LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 521
" It's very likely, Mas'r," said Tom, calmly.
" I have," said Legree, with grim, terrible calmness, " done —just — that — thing, Tom, unless you '11 tell me what you know about these yer gals ! "
Tom stood silent.
" D' ye hear ? " said Legree, stamping, with a roar like that of an incensed lion. " Speak ! "
" I han't got nothing to tell, Mas'r" said Tom, with a slow, firm, deliberate utterance.
" Do ye dare to tell me, ye old black Christian, ye don't know ? " said Legree.
Tom was silent.
" Speak !" thundered Legree, striking him furiously. " Do you know anything ? "
" I know, Mas'r ; but I can't tell anything. I can die ! '
Legree drew in a long breath ; and, suppressing his rage, took Tom by the arm, and, approaching his face almost to his, said in a terrible voice, " Hark 'e, Tom! — ye think, 'cause I 've let you off before, I don't mean what J say ; but, this time, I 've made up my mind, and counted the cost. You 've always stood it out agin me : now, I '11 conquer ye or kill ye ! — one or t'other. I '11 count every drop of blood there is in you, and take 'em, one by one, till ye give up ! "
Tom looked up to his master, and answered, u Mas'r, if you was sick, or in trouble, or dying, and I could save ye, I 'd give ye my heart's blood ; and, if taking every drop of blood in this poor old body would save your precious soul, I 'd give 'em freely, as the Lord gave his for me. Oh, Mas'r ! don't bring this great sin on your soul! It will hurt you more than 't will me ! Do the worst you can, my troubles '11 be over soon ; but, if ye don't repent, yours won't never end ! "
Like a strange snatch of heavenly music, heard in the lull of a tempest, this burst of feeling made a moment's blank pause. Legree stood aghast, and looked at Tom ; and there was such a silence that the tick of the old clock