LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 447
a' ? " and, with the word, kicking the woman with his heavy cowhide shoe, he struck Tom across the face with his whip.
Tom silently resumed his task; but the woman, before at the last point of exhaustion, fainted.
" I '11 bring her to ! " said the driver, with a brutal grin. " I '11 give her something better than camphire ! '' and, taking a pin from his coat-sleeve, he buried it to the head in her flesh. The woman groaned, and half rose. " Get up, you beast, and work, will yer, or I '11 show yer a trick more ! "
The woman seemed stimulated, for a few moments, to an unnatural strength, and worked with desperate eagerness.
" See that you keep to dat ar," said the man, " or yer '11 wish yer 's dead to-night, I reckin ! "
" That I do now ! " Tom heard her say ; and again he heard her say, " O Lord, how long ! O Lord, why don't you help us ? "
At the risk of all that he might suffer, Tom came forward again, and put all the cotton in his sack into the. woman's.
" Oh, you must n't! you donno what they '11 do to ye ! " said the woman.
" I can bar it! " said Tom, " better 'n you ; " and he was at his place again. It passed in a moment.
Suddenly, the stranger woman whom we have described, and who had, in the course of her work, come near enough to hear Tom's last words, raised her heavy black eyes, and fixed them, for a second, on him ; then, taking a quantity of cotton from her basket, she placed it in his.
" You know nothing about this place," she said, " or you would n't have done that. When you 've been here a month, you '11 be done helping anybody ; you '11 find it hard enough to take care of your own skin ! '
"The Lord forbid, Missis! " said Tom, using instinc-