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Uncle Tom's Cabin, Young Folks' Edition

18.
Uncle Tom Finds Freedom
The letter which Miss Ophelia wrote to Mrs. Shelby, telling her that Tom was to be sold
again, was delayed a long time in the post. When at last it did arrive, Mr. Shelby was very
ill, and though Mrs. Shelby felt dreadfully sorry about Uncle Tom, she could do nothing,
as her husband was so ill. Soon Mr. Shelby died. Mrs. Shelby was very sad, but in her
sorrow she did not forget her promise to Aunt Chloe and Uncle Tom. As soon as she
could, she sold some land, and George Shelby, taking the money with him, went off to try
to find Uncle Tom and buy him back again.
But by the time George Shelby, came to the place where Mr. St. Clare used to live, Uncle
Tom had been sold to Legree, and no one knew where he had gone.
At last, after searching about for months, George Shelby found out where Uncle Tom
was, and followed him.
Two days after Legree had been so cruel, George Shelby drove up the avenue and
stopped at the door of the old house.
'I hear,' he said to Legree, 'that you bought a slave named Tom. He used to belong to my
father. I have come to buy him back again.'
Legree's face grew black with anger. 'Yes, I did buy such a fellow,' he growled in rage.
'And a bad bargain it was, too! The most rebellious, saucy, impudent dog! Set up my
niggers to run away. He owned to it, and, when I bid him tell me where they were, he
said he knew, but wouldn't tell. He stuck to it, too, though I gave him the very worst
beating I ever gave a nigger yet. I believe he is trying to die. I shouldn't wonder if he did.'
'Where is he?' said George. 'Let me see him.' His cheeks were crimson, and his eye
flashed fire at the thought that Legree had dared to treat dear Uncle Tom so badly.
'He is in that shed,' said a little fellow who was holding George Shelby's horse.
George, without saying another word, hurried to the place to which the little boy pointed.
As he entered the shed, his head felt giddy and his heart sick.
Uncle Tom lay on a heap of straw on the floor, still and quiet.
'Oh, dear Uncle Tom,' cried George as he knelt beside him, 'dear Uncle Tom, do wake—
do speak once more. Here's Mas'r George—your own little Mas'r George. Don't you
know me?'
'Mas'r George!' said Tom, opening his eyes, and speaking in a feeble voice. 'Mas'r
George? it is—it is. It's all I wanted. They haven't forgot me. It warms my soul; it does
my old heart good. Now I shall die content.'
'You shan't die! you mustn't die, nor think of it. I've come to buy you and take you home,'
said George, and the tears came into his eyes as he bent over poor Uncle Tom.
 
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