LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 463
had got his deserts. He 'd got to he broken in,—the sooner the better; * what did I expect ? ' he asked.
" It seemed to me something in my head snapped, at that moment. I felt dizzy and furious. I remember seeing a great, sharp bowie-knife on the table; I remember something about catching it, and flying upon him ; and then all grew dark, and I did n't know any more — not for days and days.
" When I came to myself, I was in a nice room, — but not mine. An old black woman tended me; and a doctor came to see me, and there was a great deal of care taken of me. After a while, I found that he had gone away, and left me at this house to be sold; and that 's why they took such pains with me.
" I did n't mean to get well, and hoped I should n't; but, in spite of me, the fever went off, and I grew healthy, and finally got up. Then, they made me dress up, every day; and gentlemen used to come in and stand and smoke their cigars, and look at me, and ask questions, and debate my price. I was so gloomy and silent, that none of them wanted me. They threatened to whip me, if I was n't gayer, and did n't take some pains to make myself agreeable. At length, one day, came a gentleman named Stuart. He seemed to have some feeling for me ; he saw that something dreadful was on my heart, and he came to see me alone, a great many times, and finally persuaded me to tell him. He bought me, at last, and promised to do all he could to find and buy back my children. He went to the hotel where my Henry was ; they told him he had been sold to a planter up on Pearl River; that was the last that I ever heard. Then he found where my daughter was ; an old woman was keeping her. He offered an immense sum for her, but they would not sell her. Butler found out that it was for me he wanted her ; and he sent me word that I should never have her. Captain Stuart was very kind to me ; he had a splendid plantation, and took me to it. In the course of a year, I