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[485] listened, but the sound soon died away. Going into the shop she blew the fire into a blaze; then beheld that the things were in great confusion, and that spots of blood were upon the ground. She was now convinced that her father had been seized and carried off, but not without a desperate struggle on his part.

As Mattie stood gazing at the pools of blood, a wagon containing two persons drove up, one of whom, an athletic young man of five-and-twenty years, got out and entered the shop.

“Good-evening, Mattie! Where is your father?” he said. Then observing the strange demeanor of the girl, he continued, “Why, Mattie, what ails you? What has happened?”

The young girl's heart was too full for her tongue to give utterance, and throwing herself upon the shoulder of the young man, she sobbingly exclaimed:

They have carried him off! Don't you see the blood?

“ Have they dared to lay hands upon your father? The infernal wretches!”

Mattie recovered herself sufficiently to narrate the events of the evening. When she had finished, he exclaimed:

Oh!, that I should have lived to see the day that old Tennessee was to be thus disgraced! Here, Joe!

At this, the other person in the wagon alighted and entered the shop. He was a stalwart negro.

“Joe,” continued the young man, “you would like your freedom?”

“Well, Massa John, I wouldn't like much to leave you, but den I'se like to be a free man.”

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