446 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN; OR
" Got to come to it, at last, — glad of it! " said one.
" He ! he ! he ! " said another; " you '11 know how good it is, Misse ! "
" We '11 see her work! "
" Wonder if she '11 get a cutting up, at night, like the rest of us ! "
" I 'd be glad to see her down for a flogging, I '11 be bound ! " said another.
The woman took no notice of these taunts, but walked on, with the same expression of angry scorn, as if she heard nothing. Tom had always lived among refined and cultivated people, and he felt intuitively, from her air and bearing, that she belonged to that class ; but how or why she could be fallen to those degrading circumstances, he could not tell. The woman neither looked at him nor spoke to him, though, all the way to the field, she kept close at his side.
Tom was soon busy at his work ; but, as the woman was at no great distance from him, he often glanced an eye to her, at her work. He saw, at a glance, that a native adroitness and handiness made the task to her an easier one than it proved to many. She picked very fast and very clean, and with an air of scorn, as if she despised both the work and the disgrace and humiliation of the circumstances in which she was placed.
In the course of the day, Tom was working near the mulatto woman who had been bought in the same lot with himself. She was evidently in a condition of great suffering, and Tom often heard her praying, as she wavered and trembled, and seemed about to fall down. Tom silently, as he came near to her, transferred several handfuls of cotton from his own sack to hers.
" Oh, don't, don't! " said the woman, looking surprised ; " it '11 get you into trouble."
Just then Sambo came up. He seemed to have a special spite against this woman; and, flourishing his whip, said, in brutal, guttural tones, " What dis yer, Luce, — foolin*