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Uncle Tom's Cabin, Young Folks' Edition

10.
Uncle Tom's Letter
Uncle Tom felt that he was indeed very fortunate to have found such a kind master and so
good a home. He had nice clothes, plenty of food, and a comfortable room to sleep in. He
had no hard, disagreeable work to do. His chief duties were to drive Mrs. St. Clare's
carriage when she wanted to go out, and to attend on Eva when she wanted him. He soon
grew to love his little mistress very, very much indeed.
Mr. St. Clare too began to find Tom very useful. He was dreadfully careless about
money, and his chief servant was just as careless as his master. So between them a great
deal was not only spent but wasted.
Mr. Shelby had trusted Tom in everything, and Tom had always been careful of his
master's money—as careful as if it had been his own. Waste seemed dreadful to him, and
he tried to do something to stop it now.
Mr. St. Clare was not long in finding out how clever Tom was, and soon trusted him as
thoroughly as Mr. Shelby had done.
But in spite of all his good fortune, Tom used to long very much to go home to see his
dear ones again. He had plenty of spare time, and whenever he had nothing to do he
would pull his Bible out of his pocket and try to find comfort in reading it.
But as time went on, Uncle Tom longed more and more for his home. At last one day he
had a grand idea. He would write a letter.
Before Uncle Tom was sold, George Shelby had been teaching him to write so he thought
he could manage a letter.
He begged a sheet of writing-paper from Eva, and going to his room began to make a
rough copy on his slate.
It was very difficult. Poor Uncle Tom found that he had quite forgotten how to make
some of the letters. Of those he did remember, he was not quite sure which he ought to
use. Yes, it was a very difficult thing indeed.
While he was working away, breathing very hard over it, Eva came behind him, and
peeped over his shoulder.
'Oh, Uncle Tom! what funny things you are making there!'
Eva put her little golden head close to Uncle Tom's black one, and the two began a grave
and anxious talk over the letter. They were both very earnest, and both very ignorant. But
after a great deal of consulting over every word, the writing began, they really thought, to
look quite like a proper letter.
'Yes, Uncle Tom, it begins to look beautiful,' said Eva, gazing on it with delight. 'How
pleased your wife will be, and the poor little children! Oh, it is a shame that you ever had
to go away from them! I mean to ask papa to let you go back, some day.'
 
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