© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Uncle Tom's Cabin

Uncle Tom's Cabin


by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Uncle Tom's Cabin Chapter 8 Summary

READ THE BOOK: Chapter 8

  • Mr. Haley wonders why he ever wanted Eliza’s child in the first place, since the kid’s causing Mr. Haley so much trouble.
  • He retreats to a local tavern, where he happens to run into Tom Loker and Loker’s friend, Mr. Marks.
  • Loker and Haley know each other, and Haley asks Loker to help him out. He hires Loker to track Eliza down.
  • They swap stories about the behavior of slave women after their children have been taken away.
  • Loker explains that his slave women don’t fuss when he sells their children because he smashes their faces in if they do.
  • Haley says that he always tries, first and foremost, to make money, but everybody has a soul, so you can’t just do whatever you want.
  • Loker and Marks suggest that they make some cash off Eliza after they catch her and Harry, rather than sending her straight back to Mr. Shelby.
  • Haley wants in on the profits, but Loker says that getting the little boy should be profit enough for Haley. If that doesn’t work for Haley, then Loker and Marks will catch mother and child, sell them both, and keep all the profits.
  • Loker demands that Haley fork over fifty dollars as a retainer.
  • Loker and Marks decide to cross the river that night.
  • They have dogs that can sniff Eliza out, but Haley says that dogs could damage Eliza’s looks, and she won’t fetch as much money that way.
  • While this discussion is going on, Sam and Andy arrive home; Mrs. Shelby wants to know immediately what’s happened. Sam relates the events of the day and lets her know that Eliza managed to cross the river with Harry.
  • Mrs. Shelby explains to Mr. Shelby that, as a mother herself, she completely understands Eliza’s desperate bid to save her son.
  • After Sam tells the story of Eliza’s narrow escape, Mrs. Shelby praises God.
  • Sam goes to the kitchen and relates the tale of the day, while Aunt Chloe gets a delicious dinner ready for him. Fellow slaves gather round to hear the tale.
  • Aunt Chloe sends everybody to bed. She’s worried that the talk is a bit too explosive.

READ THE BOOK: Chapter 8

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...