242 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN; OR
" Well," said George, " is n't it best that we hasten ou flight ? "
"I got up at four o'clock, and come on with all speed, full two or three hours ahead of them, if they start at the time they planned. It is n't safe to start till dark, at any rate; for there are some evil persons in the villages ahead, that might be disposed to meddle with us, if they saw our wagon, and that would delay us more than the waiting; but in two hours I think we may venture. I will go over to Michael Cross, and engage him to come behind on his swift nag, and keep a bright lookout on the road, and warn us if any company of men come on. Michael keeps a horse that can soon get ahead of most other horses; and he could shoot ahead and let us know, if there were any danger. I am going out now to warn Jim and the old woman to be in readiness, and see about the horse. We have a pretty fair start, and stand a good chance to get to the stand before they can come up with us. So, have good courage, friend George ; this is n't the first ugly scrape that I 've been in with thy people," said Phineas, as he closed the door.
" Phineas is pretty shrewd," said Simeon. " He will do the best that can be done for thee, George."
" All I am sorry for," said George, " is the risk to you."
" Thee '11 much oblige us, friend George, to say no more about that. What we do we are conscience bound to do; we can do no other way. And now, mother," said he, turning to Rachel, " hurry thy preparations for these friends, for we must not send them away fasting."
And while Rachel and her children were busy making corn-cake, and cooking ham and chicken, and hurrying on the et ceteras of the evening meal, George and his wife sat in their little room, with their arms folded about each other in such talk as husband and wife have when they know that a few hours may part them forever.
" Eliza," said George, " people that have friends, and houses, and lands, and money, and all those things, can't love as we do, who have nothing but each other. Till I