176 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN; OR
suppose 't was my John, how should I feel ? Do tell her, right off."
" Thee uses thyself only to learn how to love thy neighbor, Ruth," said Simeon, looking, with a beaming face, on Ruth.
" To be sure. Is n't it what we are made for ? If I did n't love John and the baby, I should not know how to feel for her. Come, now, do tell her, — do !" and she laid her hands persuasively on Rachel's arm. " Take her into thy bedroom, there, and let me fry the chicken while thee does it."
Rachel came out into the kitchen, where Eliza was sewing, and opening the door of a*small bedroom, said, gently, " Come in here with me, my daughter ; I have news to tell thee."
The blood flushed in Eliza's pale face ; she rose, trembling with nervous anxiety, and looked towards her boy.
" No, no," said little Ruth, darting up, and seizing her hands. "Never thee fear; it's good news, Eliza,—go in, go in ! ' And she gently pushed her to the door, which closed after her ; and then, turning round, she caught little Harry in her arms, and began kissing him.
" Thee '11 see thy father, little one. Does thee know it ? Thy father is coming," she said, over and over again, as the boy looked wonderingly at her.
Meanwhile, within the door, another scene was going on. Rachel Halliday drew Eliza toward her, and said, " The Lord hath had mercy on thee, daughter; thy husband hath escaped from the house of bondage."
The blood flushed to Eliza's cheek in a sudden glow, and went back to her heart with as sudden a rush. She sat down, pale and faint.
" Have courage, child," said Rachel, laying her hand on her head. " He is among friends, who will bring him here to-night."
"To-night! " Eliza repeated, " to-night! " The words lost all meaning to her; her head was dreamy and confused ; all was mist for a moment.