LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 159
towards them will part this poor man and his wife forever. Depend upon it, God will bring you into judgment for this."
The trader turned away in silence.
" I say, now," said the drover, touching his elbow, " there 's differences in parsons, an't there ? ' Cussed be Canaan' don't seem to go down with this 'un, does it ? "
Haley gave an uneasy growl.
" And that ar an't the worst on 't," said John; " mabbe it won't go down with the Lord, neither, when ye come to settle with Him, one o' these days, as all on us must, I reckon."
Haley walked reflectively to the other end of the boat.
"If I make pretty handsomely on one or two next gangs," he thought, " I reckon I '11 stop off this yer ; it's really getting dangerous." And he took out his pocket-book, and began adding over his accounts, — a process which many gentlemen besides Mr. Haley have found a specific for an uneasy conscience.
The boat swept proudly away from the shore, and all went on merrily, as before. Men talked, and loafed, and read, and smoked. Women sewed, and children played, and the boat passed on her way.
One day, when she lay to for a while at a small town in Kentucky, Haley went up into the place on a little matter of business.
Tom, whose fetters did not prevent his taking a moderate circuit, had drawn near the side of the boat, and stood listlessly gazing over the railings. After a time, he saw the trader returning, with an alert step, in company with a colored woman, bearing in her arms a young child. She was dressed quite respectably, and a colored man followed her bringing along a small trunk. The woman came cheerfully onward, talking, as she came, with the man who bore her trunk, and so passed up the plank into the boat. The bell rung, the steamer whizzed, the engine groaned and coughed, and away swept the boat down the river.