LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 237
THE FREEMAN'S DEFENSE.
There was a gentle bustle at the Quaker house, as the afternoon drew to a close. Rachel Halliday moved quietly to and fro, collecting from her household stores such needments as could be arranged in the smallest compass for the wanderers who were to go forth that night. The afternoon shadows stretched eastward, and the round red sun stood thoughtfully on the horizon, and his beams shone yellow and calm into the little bedroom where George and his wife were sitting. He was sitting with his child on his knee, and his wife's hand in his. Both looked thoughtful and serious, and traces of tears were on their cheeks.
" Yes, Eliza," said George, " I know all you say is true. You are a good child, — a great deal better than I am ; and I will try to do as you say. I '11 try to act worthy of a free man. I '11 try to feel like a Christian. God Almighty knows that I 've meant to do well, — tried hard to do well, — when everything has been against me ; and now I '11 forget all the past, and put away every hard and bitter feeling, and read my Bible, and learn to be a good man."
" And when we get to Canada," said Eliza, " I can help you. I can do dress-making very well; and I understand fine washing and ironing; and between us we can find something to live on."
" Yes, Eliza, so long as. we have each other and our boy. Oh, Eliza, if these people only knew what a blessing it is for a man to feel that his wife and child belong to him / I 've often wondered to see men that could call