LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 469
servitude, and her irritability, at times, broke out into raving insanity; and this liability made her a sort of object of dread to Legree, who had that superstitious horror of insane persons which is common to coarse and un-instructed minds. When Legree brought Emmeline to the house, all the smouldering embers of womanly feeling flashed up in the worn heart of Cassy, and she took part with the girl; and a fierce quarrel ensued between her and Legree. Legree, in a fury, swore she should be put to field service, if she would not be peaceable. Cassy, with proud scorn, declared she would go to the field. And she worked there one day, as we have described, to show how perfectly she scorned the threat.
Legree was secretly uneasy, all day; for Cassy had an influence over him from which he could not free himself. When she presented her basket at the scales, he had hoped for some concession, and addressed her in a sort of half-conciliatory, half-scornful tone; and she had answered with the bitterest contempt.
The outrageous treatment of poor Tom had roused her still more; and she had followed Legree to the house, with no particular intention, but to upbraid him for his brutality.
" I wish, Cassy," said Legree, " you 'd behave yourself decently."
" You talk about behaving decently! And what have you been doing ? — you, who have n't even sense enough to keep from spoiling one of your best hands, right in the most pressing season, just for your devilish temper!'
" I was a fool, it's a fact, to let any such brangle come up," said Legree; "but, when the boy set up his will, he had to be broke in."
" I reckon you won't break him in ! "
"Won't I?' said Legree, rising, passionately. "I'd like to know if I won't! He '11 be the first nigger that ever came it round me! I '11 break every bone in his body, but he shall give up ! "