Uncle tom's cabin - online children's book

Complete unabridged version in one volume

Home Main Menu Order Support About Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY             275
the conversation with the old rusk-woman, had followed her out into the street. He saw her go on, giving every once in a while a suppressed groan. At last she set her basket down on a doorstep, and began arranging the old, faded shawl which covered her shoulders.
" I '11 carry your basket a piece," said Tom, compassion­ately.
" Why should ye ? " said the woman. " I don't want no help."
" You seem to be sick, or in trouble, or something" said Tom.
" I an't sick," said the woman, shortly.
" I wish," said Tom, looking at her earnestly, — "I wish I could persuade you to leave off drinking. Don't you know it will be the ruin of ye, body and soul ? "
" I knows 1 'm gwine to torment," said the woman, sullenly. " Ye don't need to tell me that ar. I's ugly, — I's wicked, — I's gwine straight to torment. O Lord ! I wish I's thar! "
Tom shuddered at these frightful words, spoken with a sullen, impassioned earnestness.
" O Lord have mercy on ye! poor crittur. Han't ye never heard of Jesus Christ ? "
" Jesus Christ, — who 's He ? "
" Why, He's the Lord;' said Tom.
" I think I 've hearn tell o' the Lord", and the judg­ment and torment. I 've heard o' that."
" But did n't anybody ever tell you of the Lord Jesus, that loved us poor sinners, and died for us ? "
" Don't know nothin' 'bout that," said the woman ; " no­body han't never loved me, since my old man died."
" Where was you raised ? " said Tom.
" Up in Kentuck. A man kept me to breed chil'en for market, and sold 'em as fast as they got big enough ; last of all, he sold me to a speculator, and my Mas'r got me o' him."
" What set you into this bad way of drinkin' ? "