With Pen and Pencil 27
overcome her objection, and she promised her consent on condition that she might take with her her old 'Mammy,' also a maid- and man-servant of her own choosing, and that she might remain veiled until brought into the king's presence.
"A plot was conceived in the ingenious brain of the lover of the young woman, who saw therein his opportunity to carry off his bride. The young man, who had very 'winning ways,' induced a certain dame called Miss Ophelia to lend him a slave-girl named Topsy, who, bribed by a diet of unlimited chickens and watermelon, and the expected sight of new lands and people, agreed to personate the veiled beauty. A little walnut juice and wooly wigs transformed the young woman and her lover into the semblance of mulatto servants, and ' Mammy' was a born actress.
"Arrived in England, the interview was soon arranged with the impatient bridegroom elect. The supreme moment at length arrived. The door was thrown open, and Topsy, arrayed in sweeping garments, with enormous lace ruff, her hair braided in many pig-tails and broadly grinning, was ushered veiled into the royal presence.
"Bluebeard turned purple and roared like a bull of Bashan:
'"Off with her head!'
"Topsy lifted up her voice and howled. Her coloured escort turned pale under the walnut juice, but 'Mammy,' with blazing eyes, demanded indignantly:
Who done stole my lamb and sont dis yere nigger coon in her place ? Some o' you uns has done dis yere dirty trick on me an' de King !'
"It was whispered to the irate Bluebeard that another decapitation so soon would be unpopular with his sub-