"No. The foolish fellow tore the paper in two, and absolutely refused to leave me. I never had a braver, better fellow, - trusty and true as steel. He embraced Christianity afterwards, and became as gentle as a child. He used to oversee my place on the lake, and did it capitally, too. I lost him the first cholera season. In fact, he laid down his life for me. For I was sick, almost to death; and when, through the panic, everyone else fled, Scipio worked for me like a giant, and actually brought me back into life again. But, poor fellow! he was taken, right after, and there was no saving him. I never felt anybody's loss more."
Eva had come gradually nearer and nearer to her father, as he told the story,- her small lips apart, her eyes wide and earnest with absorbing interest.
As he finished, she suddenly threw her arms around his neck, burst into tears, and sobbed convulsively.
"Eva, dear child! what is the matter?" said St. Clare, as the child's small frame trembled and shook with the violence of her feelings. "This child," he added, "ought not to hear any of this kind of thing,- she's nervous."
"No, papa, I'm not nervous," said Eva, controlling herself, suddenly, with a strength of resolution singular in such a child. "I'm not nervous, but these things sink into my heart."
"What do you mean, Eva?"
"I can't tell you, papa. I think a great many thoughts. Perhaps some day I shall tell you."
"Well, think away, dear, - only don't cry and worry your papa," said St. Clare. "Look here, - see what a beautiful peach I have got for you!"
Eva took it, and smiled, though there was still a nervous twitching about the corners of her mouth.
"Come, look at the gold-fish," said St. Clare, taking her hand and stepping on to the verandah. A few moments, and merry laughs were heard through the silken curtains, as Eva and St. Clare were pelting each other with roses, and chasing each other among the alleys of the court.
-- Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beacher Stowe
I'm learning a ton from Stowe's incredible use of dialogue. Uncle Tom's Cabin is one of the most powerful books I've ever read, and I've read some pretty darn powerful books. Everyone should read it, if not have it on their shelves. Happy reading! :)