422 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN; OR
of the lot. He seized Tom by the jaw, and pulled open his mouth to inspect his teeth ; made him strip up his sleeve, to show his muscle; turned him round, made him jump and spring, to show his paces.
" Where was you raised ? " he added, briefly, to these investigations.
" In Kintuck, Mas'r," said Tom, looking about, as if for deliverance.
" What have you done ? "
" Had care of Mas'r's farm," said Tom.
" Likely story ! " said the other, shortly, as he passed on. He paused a moment before Dolph; then spitting a discharge of tobacco-juice on his well-blacked boots, and giving a contemptuous umph, he walked on. Again he stopped before Susan and Emmeline. He put out his heavy, dirty hand, and drew the girl towards him ; passed it over her neck and bust, felt her arms, looked at her teeth, and then pushed her back against her mother, whose patient face showed the suffering she had been going through at every motion of the hideous stranger.
The girl was frightened, and began to cry.
" Stop that, you minx! " said the salesman; " no whimpering here, — the sale is going to begin." And accordingly the sale began.
Adolph was knocked off, at a good sum, to the young gentleman who had previously stated his intention of buying him; and the other servants of the St. Clare lot went to various bidders.
" Now, up with you, boy! d' ye hear ? " said the auctioneer to Tom.
Tom stepped upon the block, gave a few anxious looks round; all seemed mingled in a common, indistinct noise,— the clatter of the salesman crying off his qualifications in French and English, the quick fire of French and English bids; and almost in a moment came the final thump of the hammer, and the clear ring on the last syllable of the word "dollars" as the auctioneer announced his price, and Tom was made over. — He had a master.