Tom gets to work right away and proves himself to be an efficient laborer.
Legree recognizes that Tom’s a great worker, but secretly dislikes him.
One day, Tom notices with surprise that a new "field hand" – a woman – shows up to work. She’s beautiful but looks desperate and sad.
Tom tries to help one of the women, Lucy, who is struggling with her work. He puts some of his cotton in her bag. The stranger woman says that he clearly hasn’t been here for very long or he wouldn’t be so kind.
She brings her bag near Tom’s and gives him some of her cotton to replace what he has passed on to Lucy. Her name is Cassy.
Sambo, one of the principal hands (one of the slaves who’s in a position of authority over the other slaves), sees her and comes over to threaten the woman. She just tells him, "Touch me if you dare."
That night, the principal hands tell Legree that Tom kept putting some of his cotton in Lucy’s basket. So Legree tells Tom that, as punishment, he needs to whip Lucy.
Tom refuses to do it.
Legree starts beating Tom. Then he says, "Now will you tell me you can’t do it?"
"Yes, Mas’r," Tom replies. He says he’s willing to work day and night, but he will not whip an innocent woman. It’s wrong and he won’t do it.
So Legree kicks Tom violently. He says Tom belongs to him so he can do what he wants with Tom. You’re mine, body and soul, he screams.
That’s when he loses Tom forever, because Tom realizes, with a sudden flash of joy, that Legree does not own his soul. And Tom doesn’t hesitate to share this newsflash with Legree.
Legree hands Tom over to the principal hands, Sambo and Quimbo, who beat him with delight.