Uncle Tom's Cabin, Young Folks' Edition HTML version

9. Uncle Tom's New Home
Uncle Tom soon settled down in his new home. He was as happy as he could be, so far
away from his wife and dear little children. He had a kind master.
Mrs. St. Clare, however, was not nearly so nice as her husband. She was cruel, and would
often have beaten her poor slaves, but Mr. St. Clare would not allow it.
She always pretended that she was very ill, and spent most of her time lying on a sofa, or
driving about in her comfortable carriage.
Mrs. St. Clare said she really was too ill to look after the house, so everything was left to
the slaves. Soon things began to be very uncomfortable, and even good-natured Mr. St.
Clare could stand it no longer.
He went to his cousin, Miss Ophelia St. Clare, and begged her to come and keep house
for him, and to look after Eva. It was on the journey back with her that the accident to
Eva happened, which ended in his buying Tom.
Miss Ophelia was a very prim and precise person, not at all like the St. Clares. In her
home people did not have slaves. Though her cousin had a great many, and was kind to
them, she could not help seeing that it was a very wicked thing to buy and sell men and
women as if they were cattle. She was very, very sorry for the poor slaves, and would
have liked to free them all. Yet she did not love them. She could not bear even to have
them near her, nor to touch them, just because they were black.
It made her quite ill to see Eva kissing and hugging the black slave women when she
came home.
'Well, I couldn't do that,' she said.
'Why not?' said Mr. St. Clare, who was looking on.
'Well, I want to be kind to every one. I wouldn't have anybody hurt. But, as to kissing
niggers—' she gave a little shudder. 'How can she?'
Presently a gay laugh sounded from the court. Mr. St. Clare stepped out to see what was
'What is it?' said Miss Ophelia, following him.
There sat Tom on a little mossy seat in the court. Every one of his buttonholes was stuck
full of flowers. Eva, laughing gaily, was hanging a wreath of roses round his neck. Then,
still laughing, she perched on his knee like a little sparrow.
'Oh, Tom, you look so funny!'
Tom had a sober smile on his face. He seemed in his own quiet way to be enjoying the
fun quite as much as his little mistress. When he lifted his eyes and saw his master he
looked as if he were afraid he might be scolded. But Mr. St. Clare only smiled.