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144             UNCLE TOM'S CABIN; OR
laws allow, and give every man power to do, in Kentucky, and none can say to him nay! Do you call these the laws of my country ? Sir, I have n't any country, any more than I have any father. But I 'm going to have one. I don't want anything of your country, except to be let alone, to go peaceably out of it; and when I get to Canada, where the laws will own me and protect me, that shall be my country, and its laws I will obey. But if any man tries to stop me, let him take care, for I am desperate. I '11 fight for my liberty to the last breath I breathe. You say your fathers did it; if it was right for them, it is right for me ! "
This speech, delivered partly while sitting at the table, and partly walking up and down the room, delivered with tears and flashing eyes, and despairing gestures, was altogether too much for the good-natured old body to whom it was addressed, who had pulled out a great yellow silk pocket-handkerchief, and was mopping up his face with great energy.
" Blast 'em all! " he suddenly broke out. " Have n't I always said so, the infernal old cusses! I hope I an't swearing, now. Well! go ahead, George, go ahead; but be careful, my boy; don't shoot anybody, George, unless well you 'd better not shoot, I reckon; at least, I would n't hit anybody, you know. Where is your wife, George ? " he added, as he nervously rose, and began walk-ing the room.
" Gone, sir, gone, with her child in her arms, the Lord only knows where ; gone after the north star ; and when we ever meet, or whether we meet at all in this world, no creature can tell."
" Is it possible ! astonishing! from such a kind family ? '
" Kind families get in debt, and the laws of our country allow them to sell the child out of its mother's bosom to pay its master's debts," said George, bitterly.
" Well, well," said the honest old man, fumbling in his pocket. " I s'pose, perhaps, I an't following my judgment,