110 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN; OR
" Well, I know pretty well where to," said the senator, beginning to put on his boots, with a reflective air ; and stopping when his leg was half in, he embraced his knee with both hands, and seemed to go off in deep meditation.
" It's a confounded awkward, ugly business," said he, at last, beginning to tug at his boot-straps again, " and that's a fact! " After one boot was fairly on, the senator sat with the other in his hand, profoundly studying the figure of the carpet. " It will have to be done, though, for aught I see, — hang it all!" and he drew the other boot anxiously on, and looked out of the window.
Now, little Mrs. Bird was a discreet woman, — a woman who never in her life said, " I told you so ! " and, on the present occasion, though pretty well aware of the shape her husband's meditations were taking, she very prudently forebore to meddle with them, only sat very quietly in her chair, and looked quite ready to hear her liege lord's intentions, when he should think proper to utter them.
" You see," he said, " there 's my old client, Van Trompe, has come over from Kentucky, and set all his slaves free; and he has bought a place seven miles up the creek, here, back in the woods, where nobody goes, unless they go on purpose ; and it's a place that is n't found in a hurry. There she 'd be safe enough ; but the plague of the thing is, nobody could drive a carriage there to-night, but me."
" Why not ? Cud joe is an excellent driver."
" Ay, ay, but here it is. The creek has to be crossed twice ; and the second crossing is quite dangerous, unless one knows it as I do. I have crossed it a hundred times on horseback, and know exactly the turns to take. And so, you see, there 's no help for it. Cudjoe must put in the horses, as quietly as may be, about twelve o'clock, and I '11 take her over; and then, to give color to the matter, he must carry me on to the next tavern, to take the stage for Columbus, that comes by about three or four, and so it will look as if I had had the carriage only for that. I