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518             UNCLE TOM'S CABIN; OR
" Well," said Cassy, the next day, from the garret, as she reconnoitred through the knot-hole, " the hunt's going to begin again to-day ! '
Three or four mounted horsemen were curveting about, on the space front of the house; and one or two leashes of strange dogs were struggling with the negroes who held them, baying and barking at each other.
The men are, two of them, overseers of plantations in the vicinity; and others were some of Legree's associates at the tavern-bar of a neighboring city, who had come for the interest of the sport. A more hard-favored set, per­haps, could not be imagined. Legree was serving brandy, profusely, round among them, as also among the negroes, who had been detailed from the various plantations for this service; for it was an object to make every service of this kind, among the negroes, as much of a holiday as possible.
Cassy placed her ear at the knot-hole ; and, as the morn­ing air blew directly towards the house, she could overhear a good deal of the conversation. A grave sneer overcast the dark, severe gravity of her face, as she listened, and heard them divide out the ground, discuss the rival merits of the dogs, give orders about firing, and the treatment of each, in case of capture.
Cassy drew back ; and, clasping her hands, looked up­ward, and said, " O great Almighty God! we are all sin­ners ; but what have we done, more than all the rest of the world, that we should be treated so ? "
There was a terrible earnestness in her face and voice, as she spoke.
" If it was n't for you, child," she said, looking a': Era-meline, " I 'd go out to them ; and I 'd thank any one of them that would shoot me down ; for what use will free­dom be to me ? Can it give me back my children, or make me what I used to be ? "
Emmeline, in her childlike simplicity, was half afraid of the dark moods of Cassy. She looked perplexed, but