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Mr. Hopper was drinking his tea and silently forming an estimate. He concluded that young Brice was not the type to acquire the money which his father had lost. And he reflected that Stephen must feel as strange in St. Louis as a cod might amongst the cat-fish in the Mississippi. So the assistant manager of Carvel & Company resolved to indulge in the pleasure of patronizing the Bostonian.
"Callatin' to go to work?" he asked him, as the boarders walked into the best room.
"Yes," replied Stephen, taken aback. And it may be said here that, if Mr. Hopper underestimated him, certainly he underestimated Mr. Hopper.
Against the walls and pillars of the building, already grimy with soot, crouched a score of miserable human beings waiting to be sold at auction. Mr. Lynch's slave pen had been disgorged that morning. Old and young, husband and wife,—the moment was come for all and each. How hard the stones and what more pitiless than the gaze of their fellow-creatures in the crowd below! O friends, we who live in peace and plenty amongst our families, how little do we realize the terror and the misery and the dumb heart-aches of those days!