508 UNCLE TOMS CABIN; OR
and supernatural visitations, which, coarsely got up and illustrated, have a strange fascination for one who once begins to read them.
Legree poohed and pished, but read, turning page after page, till, finally, after reading some way, he threw down the book, with an oath.
" You don't believe in ghosts, do you, Cass ? " said he, taking the tongs and settling the fire. " I thought you 'd more sense than to let noises scare you."
" No matter what I believe," said Cassy, sullenly.
" Fellows used to try to frighten me with their yarns at sea," said Legree. " Never come it round me that way. I 'm too tough for any such trash, tell ye."
Cassy sat looking intensely at him in the shadow of the corner. There was that strange light in her eyes that always impressed Legree with uneasiness.
" Them noises was nothing but rats and the wind," said Legree. " Rats will make a devil of a noise. I used to hear 'em sometimes down in the hold of the ship; and wind, — Lord's sake ! ye can make anything out o' wind."
Cassy knew Legree was uneasy under her eyes, and, therefore, she made no answer, but sat fixing them on him, with that strange, unearthly expression, as before.
" Come, speak out, woman, — don't you think so ? " said Legree.
" Can rats walk downstairs, and come walking through the entry, and open a door when you 've locked it and set a chair against it ? " said Cassy ; " and come walk, walk, walking right up to your bed, and put out their hand, so ? "
Cassy kept her glittering eyes fixed on Legree, as she spoke, and he stared at her like a man in the nightmare, till, when she finished by laying her hand, icy cold, on his, he sprung back, with an oath.
" Woman ! what do you mean ? Nobody did ! "
" Oh, no, — of course not, — did I say they did ? " said Cassy, with a smile of chilling derision.
" But — did — have you really seen ? — Come, Cass, what is it, now, — speak out! "