Uncle tom's cabin - online children's book

Complete unabridged version in one volume

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LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY            115
out any very accurate adjustment, against the windows of the down-hill side. Carriage sticks fast, while Cudjoe, on the outside, is heard making a great muster among the horses. After various ineffectual pullings and twitchings, just as the senator is losing all patience, the carriage sud­denly rights itself with a bounce, — two front wheels go down into another abyss, and senator, woman, and child all tumble promiscuously on to the front seat, — senator's hat is jammed over his eyes and nose quite unceremoni­ously, and he considers himself fairly extinguished; — child cries, and Cudjoe, on the outside, delivers animated addresses to the horses, who are kicking, and floundering, and straining, under repeated cracks of the whip. Car­riage springs up, with another bounce, — down go the hind wheels, — senator, woman, and child fly over on to the back seat, his elbows encountering her bonnet, and both her feet being jammed into his hat, which flies off in the concussion. After a few moments the " slough" is passed, and the horses stop, panting; — the senator finds his hat, the woman straightens her bonnet and hushes her child, and they brace themselves firmly for what is yet to come.
For a while only the continuous bump ! bump! inter­mingled, just by way of variety, with divers side plunges and compound shakes ; and they begin to flatter themselves that they are not so badly off, after all. At last, with a square plunge, which puts all on to their feet and then down into their seats with incredible quickness, the car­riage stops, — and, after much outside commotion, Cudjoe appears at the door.
" Please, sir, it's powerful bad spot, this yer. I don't know how we 's to get clar out. I 'm a-thinkin' we '11 have to be a-gettin' rails."
The senator despairingly steps out, picking gingerly for some firm foothold; down goes one foot an immeasurable depth, — he tries to pull it up, loses his balance, and tum­bles over into the mud, and is fished out, in a very despair­ing condition, by Cudjoe.