LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 117
the creek, and sat quietly down on a snug, retired farm,, to enjoy his conscience and his reflections.
" Are you the man that will shelter a poor woman and child from slave-catchers ? " said the senator, explicitly.
"I rather think I am," said honest John, with some considerable emphasis.
" I thought so," said the senator.
" If there 's anybody comes," said the good man, stretching his tall, muscular form upward, " why here I 'm ready for him; and I 've got seven sons, each six foot high, and they '11 be ready for 'em. Give our respects to 'em," said John; " tell 'em it's no matter how soon they call, — make no kinder difference to us," said John, running his fingers through the shock of hair that thatched his head, and bursting out into a great laugh.
Weary, jaded, and spiritless, Eliza dragged herself up-to the door, with her child lying in a heavy sleep on her arm. The rough man held the candle to her face, and uttering a kind of compassionate grunt, opened the door of a small bedroom adjoining to the large kitchen where they were standing, and motioned her to go in. He took down a candle, and, lighting it, set it upon the table, and then addressed himself to Eliza.
" Now, I say, gal, you need n't be a bit af eard, let wha will come here. I 'm up to all that sort o' thing," said he, pointing to two or three goodly rifles over the mantelpiece ; " and most people that know me know that 't would n't be healthy to try to get anybody out o' my house when I 'm agin it. So now you jist go to sleep now, as quiet as if yer mother was a-rockin' ye," said he, as he shut the door.
" Why, this is an uncommon handsome un," he said to the senator. " Ah, well; handsome uns has the greatest cause to run, sometimes, if they has any kind o' feelin', such as decent women should. I know all about that."
The senator, in a few words, briefly explained Eliza's* history.