LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 119
THE PROPERTY IS CARRIED OFF.
The February morning looked gray and drizzling through the window of Uncle Tom's cabin. It looked on downcast faces, the images of mournful hearts. The little table stood out before the fire, covered with an ironing-cloth ; a coarse but clean shirt or two, fresh from the iron, hung on the back of a chair by the fire, and Aunt Chloe had another spread out before her on the table. Carefully she rubbed and ironed every fold and every hem, with the most scrupulous exactness, every now and then raising her hand to her face to wipe off the tears that were coursing down her cheeks.
Tom sat by, with his Testament open on his knee, and his head leaning upon his hand ; — but neither spoke. It was yet early, and the children lay all asleep together in their little rude trundle-bed.
Tom, who had, to the full, the gentle, domestic heart, which, woe for them ! has been a peculiar characteristic of his unhappy race, got up and walked silently to look at his children.
"It 's the last time," he said.
Aunt Chloe did not answer, only rubbed away over and over on the coarse shirt, already as smooth as hands could make it, and finally setting her iron suddenly down with a despairing plunge, she sat down to the table, and " lifted up her voice and wept."
" S'pose we must be resigned; but, O Lord! how ken I ? If I know'd anything whar you 's goin', or how they 'd sarve you ! Missis says she 11 try and 'deem ye, in a year or two ; but Lor ! nobody never comes up that