138 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN; OR
seven negroes, old and young, male and female, little and big, were soon whizzing about, like a covey of partridges, bustling, hurrying, treading on each other's toes, and tumbling over each other, in their zeal to get Mas'r's room ready, while he seated himself easily on a chair in the middle of the room, and entered into conversation with the man who sat next to him.
The manufacturer, Mr. Wilson, from the time of the entrance of the stranger, had regarded him with an air of disturbed and uneasy curiosity. He seemed to himself to have met and been acquainted with him somewhere, but he could not recollect. Every few moments, when the man spoke, or moved, or smiled, he would start and fix his eyes on him, and then suddenly withdraw them, as the bright, dark eyes met his with such unconcerned coolness. At last, a sudden recollection seemed to flash upon him, for he stared at the stranger with such an air of blank amazement and alarm, that he walked up to him.
" Mr. Wilson, I think," said he, in a tone of recognition, and extending his hand. " I beg your pardon, I did n't recollect you before. I see you remember me, — Mr. Butler, of Oaklands, Shelby County."
" Ye — yes — yes, sir," said Mr. Wilson, like one speaking in a dream.
Just then a negro boy entered, and announced that Mas'r's room was ready.
" Jim, see to the trunks," said the gentleman, negligently ; then addressing himself to Mr. Wilson, he added, — "I should like to have a few moments' conversation with you on business, in my room, if you please."
Mr. Wilson followed him, as one who walks in his sleep; and they proceeded to a large upper chamber, where a new-made fire was crackling, and various servants flying about, putting finishing touches to the arrangements.
When all was done, and the servants departed, the young man deliberately locked the door, and putting the