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86               UNCLE TOM'S CABIN; OR
tween me and you ? 'T an't that you care one bit more, or have a bit more feelin', — it's clean, sheer, dog mean­ness, wanting to cheat the devil and save your own skin; don't I see through it ? And your ' gettin' religion,' as you call it, arter all, is too p'isin mean for any crittur; — run up a bill with the devil all your life, and then sneak out when pay-time comes ! Bah ! "
" Come, come, gentlemen, I say; this is n't business," said Marks. " There 's different ways, you know, of look­ing at all subjects. Mr. Haley is a very nice man, no doubt, and has his own conscience; and, Tom, you have your ways, and very good ones, too, Tom ; but quarreling, you know, won't answer no kind of purpose. Let's go to business. Now, Mr. Haley, what is it? — you want us to undertake to catch this yer gal ? "
" The gal's no matter of mine, — she 's Shelby's ; it's only the boy. I was a fool for buying the monkey!'
" You 're generally a fool! " said Tom, gruffly.
"Come, now, Loker, none of your huffs," said Marks, licking his lips ; " you see, Mr. Haley 's a-puttin' us in a way of a good job, I reckon ; just hold still, — these yer arrangements is my forte. This yer gal, Mr. Haley, how is she ? what is she ? "
" Wal! white and handsome, — well brought up. I 'd 'a' gin Shelby eight hundred or a thousand,,and then made well on her."
" White and handsome,—well brought up 3" said Marks, his sharp eyes, nose, and mouth all alive with enterprise. " Look here, now, Loker, a beautiful opening. We '11 do a business here on our own account; — we does the catchin'; the boy, of course, goes to Mr. Haley, — we takes the gal to Orleans to speculate on. An't it beautiful ? "
Tom, whose great heavy mouth had stood ajar during this communication, now suddenly snapped it together, as a big dog closes on a piece of meat, and seemed to be di­gesting the idea at his leisure.
"Ye see," said Marks to Haley, stirring his punch as