LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 387
u I 'm going to make a freeman of you ; so, have your trunk packed, and get ready to set out for Kentuck."
The sudden light of joy that shone in Tom's face as he raised his hands to Heaven, his emphatic " Bless the Lord! " rather discomposed'St. Clare ; he did*not like it that Tom should be so ready to leave him.
" You have n't had such very bad times here, that you need be in such a rapture, Tom," he said, dryly.
" No, no, Mas'r ! 't an't that, — it's bein' a free man/ That's what I 'm joyin' for."
" Why, Tom, don't you think, for your own part, you 've been better off than to be free ? "
" No, indeed, Mas'r St. Clare," said Tom, with a flash of energy. " No, indeed ! "
" Why, Tom, you could n't possibly have earned, by your work, such clothes and such a living as I have given
" Knows all that, Mas'r St. Clare ; Mas'r 's been too good ; but, Mas'r, I 'd rather have poor clothes, poor house, poor everything, and have them mine, than have the best, and have 'em any man's else, — I had so, Mas'r ; I think it's natur, Mas'r."
" I suppose so, Tom, and you '11 be going off and leaving me, in a month or so," he added, rather discontentedly. " Though why you should n't, no mortal knows," he said in a gayer tone ; and, getting up, he began to walk the floor.
"Not while Mas'r is in trouble," said Tom. "I'll stay with Mas'r as long as he wants me, — so as I can be any use."
" Not while I 'm in trouble, Tom ? " said St. Clare, looking sadly out of the window. ..." And when will my trouble be over ? "
" When Mas'r St. Clare 's a Christian," said Tom.
" And you really mean to stay by till that day comes ?' said St. Clare, half smiling, as he turned from the window, and laid his hand on Tom's shoulder. " Ah, Tom, you soft, silly boy ! I won't keep you till that day. Go home to your wife and children, and give my love to all."