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,