LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 139
key in his pocket, faced about, and, folding his arms on his bosom, looked Mr. Wilson full in the face.
" George ! " said Mr. Wilson.
" Yes, George," said the young man.
" I could n't have thought it! "
" I am pretty well disguised, I fancy," said the young man, with a smile. " A little walnut bark has made my yellow skin a genteel brown, and I 've dyed my hair black; so you see I don't answer to the advertisement at all."
" Oh, George! but this is a dangerous game you are playing. I could not have advised you to it."
" I can do it on my own responsibility," said George, with the same proud smile.
We remark, en passant, that George was, by his father's side, of white descent. His mother was one of those unfortunates of her race, marked out by personal beauty to be the slave of the passions of her possessor, and the mother of children who may never know a father. From one of the proudest families in Kentucky he had inherited a set of fine European features, and a high, indomitable spirit. From his mother he had received only a slight mulatto tinge, amply compensated by its accompanying rich, dark eye. A slight change in the tint of the skin and the color of his hair had metamorphosed him into the Spanish-looking fellow he then appeared ; and as gracefulness of movement and gentlemanly manners had always been perfectly natural to him, he found no difficulty in playing the bold part he had adopted, — that of a gentleman traveling with his domestic.
Mr. Wilson, a good-natured but extremely fidgety and cautious old gentleman, ambled up and down the room, appearing, as John Bunyan hath it, " much tumbled up and down in his mind," and divided between his wish to help George, and a certain confused notion of maintaining law and order; so, as he shambled about, he delivered himself as follows : —
" Well, George, I s'pose you 're running away, — leav-