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82              UNCLE TOM'S CABIN; OR
looked shrewdly on the new acquaintance, as a cat some­times looks at a moving dry leaf, or some other possible object of pursuit.
" I say, Tom, this yer 's the luckiest thing in the world. I 'm in a devil of a hobble, and you must help me out."
" Ugh ? aw ! like enough !' grunted his complacent ac­quaintance. " A body may be pretty sure of that, when you 're glad to see 'em ; something to be made off of 'em. What's the blow now ? "
" You 've got a friend here ?" said Haley, looking doubtfully at Marks ; " partner, perhaps ? "
" Yes, I have. Here, Marks ! here 's that ar feller that
;
I was in with in Natchez."
" Shall be pleased with his acquaintance," said Marks, thrusting out a long, thin hand, like a raven's claw. " Mr. Haley, 1 believe ? "
" The same, sir," said Haley. " And now, gentlemen, seein' as we 've met so happily, I think I '11 stand up to a small matter of a treat in this here parlor. So, now, old coon," said he to the man at the bar, " get us hot water, and sugar, and cigars, and plenty of the real stuff, and we '11 have a blow-out."
Behold, then, the candles lighted, the fire stimulated to the burning point in the grate, and our three worthies seated round a table, well spread with all the accessories to good fellowship enumerated before.
Haley began a pathetic recital of his peculiar troubles. Loker shut up his rnouth, and listened to him with gruff and surly attention. Marks, who was anxiously and with much fidgeting compounding a tumbler of punch to his own peculiar taste, occasionally looked up from his em­ployment, and, poking his sharp nose and chin almost into Haley's face, gave the most earnest heed to the whole nar­rative. The conclusion of it appeared to amuse him ex­tremely, for he shook his shoulders and sides in silence, and perked up his thin lips with an air of great internal enjoyment.