84 UJS[CLE TOM'S CABIN; OR
sayin' nothin'; and I 'd got him nicely swapped off for a keg o' whiskey ; but come to get him away from the gal, she was jest like a tiger. So 't was before we started, and I had n't got my gang chained up ; so what should she do but ups on a cotton-bale, like a cat, ketches a knife from one of the deck hands, and, I tell ye, she made all fly for a niinnit, till she saw't warn't no use ; and she jest turns round, and pitches head first, young un and all, into the river — went down plump, and never ris."
ki Bah ! " said Tom Loker, who had listened to these stories with ill-repressed disgust, — " shif'less, both on ye ! my gals don't cut up no such shines, I tell ye ! "
il Indeed ! how do you help it ? " said Marks, briskly.
" Help it ? why, I buys a gal, and if she 's got a young un to be sold, I jest walks up and puts my fist to her face, and says, ' Look here, now, if you give me one word out of your head, I '11 smash yer face in. I won't hear one word, — not the beginning of a word.' I says to 'em, 'This yer young un 's mine, and not yourn, and you 've no kind o' business with it. I 'm going to sell it, first chance; mind, you don't cut up none o' yer shines about it, or I '11 make ye wish ye 'd never been born.' I tell ye, they sees it an't no play, when I gets hold. I makes 'em as whist as fishes ; and if one on 'em begins and gives a yelp, why " — and Mr. Loker brought down his fist with a thump that fully explained the hiatus.
" That ar 's what ye may call emphasis" said Marks, poking Haley in the side, and going into another small giggle. " An't Tom peculiar ? he ! he ! he ! I say, Tom, I spect you make 'em understand, for all niggers' heads is woolly.. They don't never have no doubt o' your meaning, Tom. If you an't the devil, Tom, you 's his twin brother, I '11 say that for ye ! "
Tom received the compliment with becoming modesty, and began to look as affable as was consistent, as John Bunyan says, " with his doggish nature."
Haley, who had been imbibing very freely of the staple