LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 125
door. A crowd of all the old and young hands on the place stood gathered around it, to bid farewell to their old associate. Tom had been looked up to, both as a head servant and a Christian teacher, by all the place, and there was much honest sympathy and grief about him, particularly among the women.
" Why, Chloe, you bar it better 'n we do ! " said one of the women, who had been weeping freely, noticing the gloomy calmness with which Aunt Chloe stood by the wagon.
" I's done my tears ! " she said, looking grimly at the trader, who was coming up. " I does not feel to cry 'fore dat ar old limb, nohow ! "
" Get in! " said Haley to Tom, as he strode through the crowd of servants, who looked at him with lowering brows.
Tom got in, and Haley, drawing out from under the wagon-seat a heavy pair of shackles, made them fast around each ankle.
A smothered groan of indignation ran through the whole circle, and Mrs. Shelby spoke from the veranda, —
" Mr. Haley, I assure you that precaution is entirely unnecessary."
" Don' know, ma'am; I 've lost one five hundred dollars from this yer place, and I can't afford to run no more risks."
" What else could she spect on him ? " said Aunt Chloe, indignantly, while the two boys, who now seemed to comprehend at once their father's destiny, clung to her gown, sobbing and groaning vehemently.
" I 'm sorry," said Tom, " that Mas'r George happened to be away."
George had gone to spend two or three days with a companion on a neighboring estate, and having departed early in the morning, before Tom's misfortune had been made public, had left without hearing of it.
" Give my love to Mas'r George," he said, earnestly.