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Uncle Tom's Cabin, Young Folks' Edition

16.
Uncle Tom's New Master
There had been great grief in the house when Eva died. Now there was not only sorrow,
but gloom and fear.
The kind master was dead, and the poor slaves asked themselves in despair what would
happen to them now.
They were not long left in doubt. One morning Mrs. St. Clare told them that they were all
to be sold. She was going back to her father's house to live, and would not want them any
more.
Poor Uncle Tom! The news was a dreadful blow to him. For a few days he had been so
happy in the thought of going home. Once more, after all these years, he thought he
would see his dear wife and little children. Now, at one stroke, he had lost both his kind
master and his hope of freedom.
Instead of going home, he was to be sent farther away than ever from his dear ones. He
could not bear it. He tried to say, "Thy will be done", but bitter tears almost choked the
words.
He had one hope left. He would ask Miss Ophelia to speak to Mrs. St. Clare for him.
'Mas'r St. Clare promised me my freedom, Miss Feely,' he said. 'He told me that he had
begun to take it out for me. And now, perhaps, if you would be good enough to speak
about it to missis, she would feel like going on with it. Seeing it was Mas'r St. Clare's
wish, she might.'
'I'll speak for you, Tom, and do my best,' said Miss Ophelia. 'I haven't much hope, but I
will try.'
So Miss Ophelia asked Mrs. St. Clare to set Tom free.
'Indeed, I shall do no such thing,' she replied. 'Tom is worth more than any of the other
slaves. I couldn't afford to lose so much money. Besides, what does he want with his
freedom? He is a great deal better off as he is.'
'But he does want it very much,' replied Miss Ophelia. 'And his master promised it to
him.'
'I dare say he does want it,' replied Mrs. St. Clare. 'They all want it. Just because they are
a discontented set, always wanting what they haven't got.'
'But Tom is so good and gentle, and such a splendid worker. If you sell him there is the
chance of his getting a bad master.'
'Oh, I have no fear about that. Most masters are good, in spite of all the talk people make
about it,' replied Mrs. St. Clare.
 
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