Uncle tom's cabin - online children's book

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272             UNCLE TOM'S CABIN; OR
" O Lord ! I wish 't I's dead ! "
" Why do you wish you were dead ? " said Miss Ophelia.
" I 'd be out o' my misery," said the woman, gruffly, without taking her eyes from the floor.
" What need you getting drunk, then, and cutting up, Prue ? ' said a spruce quadroon chambermaid, dangling, as she spoke, a pair of coral ear-drops.
The woman looked at her with a sour, surly glance.
" Maybe you '11 come to it, one of these yer days. I 'd be glad to see you, I would ; then you '11 be glad of a drop, like me, to forget your misery."
" Come, Prue," said Dinah, " let's look at your rusks. Here 's Missis will pay for them."
Miss Ophelia took out a couple of dozen.
" Thar *s some tickets in that ar old cracked jug on the top shelf," said Dinah. " You, Jake, climb up and get it down."
" Tickets, —what are they for ? " said Miss Ophelia.
" We buys tickets of her Mas'r, and she gives us bread for 'em."
" And they counts my money and tickets, when I gets home, to see if I's got the change; and if I han't, they half kills me."
" And serves you right," said Jane, the pert chamber­maid, " if you will take their money to get drunk on. That's what she does, Missis."
"And that's what I will do,—I can't live no other ways, — drink and forget my misery."
" You are very wicked and very foolish," said Miss Ophelia, " to steal your master's money to make yourself a brute with."
" It's mighty likely, Missis ; but I will do it, —yes, I will. O Lord ! I wish I's dead, I do, — I wish I's dead, and out of my misery ! " and slowly and stiffly the old creature rose, and got her basket on her head again ; but before she went out, she looked at the quadroon girl, who still stood playing with her ear-drops.
" Ye think ye 're mighty fine with them ar, a-frolickin'