Uncle Tom's Cabin
Showing the Feelings of Living Property on Changing
Mr. and Mrs. Shelby had retired to their apartment for the night. He was lounging in a
large easy-chair, looking over some letters that had come in the afternoon mail, and she
was standing before her mirror, brushing out the complicated braids and curls in which
Eliza had arranged her hair; for, noticing her pale cheeks and haggard eyes, she had
excused her attendance that night, and ordered her to bed. The employment, naturally
enough, suggested her conversation with the girl in the morning; and turning to her
husband, she said, carelessly,
"By the by, Arthur, who was that low-bred fellow that you lugged in to our dinner-table
"Haley is his name," said Shelby, turning himself rather uneasily in his chair, and
continuing with his eyes fixed on a letter.
"Haley! Who is he, and what may be his business here, pray?"
"Well, he's a man that I transacted some business with, last time I was at Natchez," said
"And he presumed on it to make himself quite at home, and call and dine here, ay?"
"Why, I invited him; I had some accounts with him," said Shelby.
"Is he a negro-trader?" said Mrs. Shelby, noticing a certain embarrassment in her
"Why, my dear, what put that into your head?" said Shelby, looking up.
"Nothing,--only Eliza came in here, after dinner, in a great worry, crying and taking on,
and said you were talking with a trader, and that she heard him make an offer for her boy-
-the ridiculous little goose!"
"She did, hey?" said Mr. Shelby, returning to his paper, which he seemed for a few
moments quite intent upon, not perceiving that he was holding it bottom upwards.
"It will have to come out," said he, mentally; "as well now as ever."
"I told Eliza," said Mrs. Shelby, as she continued brushing her hair, "that she was a little
fool for her pains, and that you never had anything to do with that sort of persons. Of
course, I knew you never meant to sell any of our people,--least of all, to such a fellow."