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184            UNCLE TOM'S CABIN; OR
to no such future reunion ; and if he had seen them, ten to one he would not have believed, — he must fill his head first with a thousand questions of authenticity of manu­script, and correctness of translation. But, to poor Tom, there it lay, just what he needed, so evidently true and divine that the possibility of a question never entered his simple head. It must be true; for, if not true, how could he live ?
As for Tom's Bible, though it had no annotations and helps in margin from learned commentators, still it had been embellished with certain way-marks and guide-boards of Tom's own invention, and which helped him more than the most learned expositions could have done. It had been his custom to get the Bible read to him by his master's children, in particular by young Master George; and, as they read, he would designate, by bold, strong marks and dashes, with pen and ink, the passages which more particu­larly gratified his ear or affected his heart. His Bible was thus marked through, from one end to the other, with a variety of styles and designations ; so he could in a moment seize upon his favorite passages, without the labor of spell­ing out what lay between them — and while it lay there before him, every passage breathing of some old home scene, and recalling some past enjoyment, his Bible seemed to him all of this life that remained, as well as the promise of a future one.
Among the passengers on the boat was a young gentle­man of fortune and family, resident in New Orleans, who bore the name of St. Clare. He had with him a daughter between five and six years of age, together with a lady who seemed to claim relationship to both, and to have the little one especially under her charge.
Tom had often caught glimpses of this little girl, — for she was one of those busy, tripping creatures, that can be no more contained in one place than a sunbeam or a sum­mer breeze, — nor was she one that, once seen, could bd easily forgotten.