298 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN; OR
and he fell, wounded and bleeding, almost at my feet. The poor fellow looked up at me with manhood and despair both in his eye. I kept back the dogs and the party, as they came pressing up, and claimed him as my prisoner. It was all I could do to keep them from shooting him, in the flush of success; but I persisted in my bargain, and Alfred sold him to me. Well, I took him in hand, and in one fortnight I had him tamed down as submissive and tractable as heart could desire."
" What in the world did you do to him ? " said Marie.
" Well, it was quite a simple process. I took him to my own room, had a good bed made for him, dressed his wounds, and tended him myself, until he got fairly on his feet again. And, in process of time, I had free papers made out for him, and told him he might go where he liked."
" And did he go ? " said Miss Ophelia.
" No. The foolish fellow tore the paper in two, and absolutely refused to leave me. I never had a braver, better fellow, as trusty and true as steel. He embraced Christianity afterwards, and became as gentle as a child. He used to oversee my place on the lake, and did it capitally, too. I lost him the first cholera season. In fact, he laid down his life for me. For I was sick, almost to death; and when, through the panic, everybody else fled, Scipio worked for me like a giant, and actually brought me back into life again. But, poor fellow ! he was taken, right after, and there was no saving him. I never felt anybody's loss more."
Eva had come gradually nearer and nearer to her father, as he told the story, — her small lips apart, her eyes wide and earnest with absorbing interest.
As he finished, she suddenly threw her arms around his neck, burst into tears, and sobbed convulsively.
" Eva, dear child! what is the matter ? " said St. Clare, as the child's small frame trembled and shook with the violence of her feelings. "This child," he added, "ought not to hear any of this kind of thing, — she 's nervous."