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

2. Eliza Runs Away With Little Harry
Mr. Shelby was very unhappy because of what he had done. He knew his wife would be
very unhappy too, and he did not know how to tell her.
He had to do it that night, however, before she went to bed.
Mrs. Shelby could hardly believe it. 'Oh, you do not mean this,' she said. 'You must not
sell our good Tom and dear little Harry. Do anything rather than that. It is a wicked,
wicked thing to do.
'There is nothing else I can do,' said Mr. Shelby. 'I have sold everything I can think of,
and at any rate now that Haley has set his heart on having Tom and Harry, he would not
take anything or anybody instead.'
Mrs. Shelby cried very much about it, but at last, though she was very, very unhappy she
fell asleep.
But some one whom Mr. and Mrs. Shelby never thought of was listening to this talk.
Eliza was sitting in the next room. The door was not quite closed, so she could not help
hearing what was said. As she listened she grew pale and cold and a terrible look of pain
came into her face.
Eliza had had three dear little children, but two of them had died when they were tiny
babies. She loved and cared for Harry all the more because she had lost the others. Now
he was to be taken from her and sold to cruel men, and she would never see him again.
She felt she could not bear it.
Eliza's husband was called George, and was a slave too. He did not belong to Mr. Shelby,
but to another man, who had a farm quite near. George and Eliza could not live together
as a husband and wife generally do. Indeed, they hardly ever saw each other. George's
master was a cruel man, and would not let him come to see his wife. He was so cruel, and
beat George so dreadfully, that the poor slave made up his mind to run away. He had
come that very day to tell Eliza what he meant to do.
As soon as Mr. and Mrs. Shelby stopped talking, Eliza crept away to her own room,
where little Harry was sleeping. There he lay with his pretty curls around his face. His
rosy mouth was half open, his fat little hands thrown out over the bed-clothes, and a smile
like a sunbeam upon his face.
'My baby, my sweet-one,' said Eliza, 'they have sold you. But mother will save you yet!'
She did not cry. She was too sad and sorrowful for that. Taking a piece of paper and a
pencil, she wrote quickly.
'Oh, missis! dear missis! don't think me ungrateful—don't think hard of me, anyway! I
heard all you and master said to-night. I am going to try to save my boy—you will not
blame me I God bless and reward you for all your kindness!'