LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 127
fellers, they hates it like sin., No way but to fetter 'em; got legs — the#- '11 use 'em, — no mistake."
" Well," said the smith, feeling among his tools, " them plantations down thar, stranger, an't jest the place a Ken-tuck nigger wants to go to ; they dies thar tol'able fast, don't they ? "
" Wal, yes, tol'able fast, ther dying is ; what with the 'climating and one thing and another, they dies so as to keep the market up pretty brisk," said Haley.
" Wal, now, a feller can't help thinkin' it's a mighty pity to have a nice, quiet, likely feller, as good un as Tom is, go down to be fairly ground up on one of them ar sugar plantations."
" Wal, he 's got a fa'r chance. I promised to do well by him. I '11 get him in house-servant in some good old family, and then, if he stands the fever, and 'climating, he '11 have a berth good as any nigger ought ler ask for."
" He leaves his wife and chil'en up here, s'pose ? "
" Yes ; but he '11 get another thar. Lord, thar 's women enough everywhar," said Haley.
Tom was sitting very mournfully on the outside of the shop while this conversation was going on. Suddenly he heard the quick, short click of a horse's hoof behind him; and, before he could fairly awake from his surprise, young Master George sprang into the wagon, threw his arms tumultuously round his neck, and was sobbing and scolding with energy.
" I declare, it's real mean ! I don't care what they say, any of 'em ! It's a nasty, mean shame ! If I was a man, they should n't do it, — they should not, so I * said George, with a kind of subdued howl.
" Oh, Mas'r George ! this does me good ! " said Tom. " I could n't bar to go off without seein' ye ! It does me real good, ye can't tell! " Here Tom made some movement of his feet, and George's eye fell on the fetters.
" What a shame ! " he exclaimed, lifting his hands. " I '11 knock that old fellow down, — I will! "