LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 235
"I say, what do you think, pussy? " said her father to Eva, who came in at this moment, with a flower in her hand.
" What about, papa ? "
" Why, which do you like the best, — to live as they do at your uncle's, up in Vermont, or to have a houseful of servants, as we do ? "
" Oh, of course, our way is the pleasantest," said Eva.
" Why so ? " said St. Clare, stroking her head.
" Why, it makes so many more round you to love, you know," said Eva, looking up earnestly.
"Now, that's just like Eva," said Marie; "just one of her odd speeches."
"Is it an odd speech, papa?" said Eva, whisperingly, as she got upon his knee.
" Rather, as this world goes, pussy," said St. Clare. " But where has my little Eva been, all dinner-time ? "
" Oh, I 've been up in Tom's room, hearing him sing, and Aunt Dinah gave me my dinner."
" Hearing Tom sing, hey ? "
" Oh, yes! he sings such beautiful things about the New Jerusalem, and bright angels, and the land of Canaan."
" I dare say; it's better than the opera, is n't it? "
" Yes, and he 's going to teach them to me."
" Singing lessons, hey ? — you are coming on."
" Yes, he sings for me, and I read to him in my Bible; and he explains what it means, you know."
" On my word," said Marie, laughing, " that is the latest joke of the season."
" Tom is n't a bad hand, now, at explaining Scripture, I'll dare swear," said St. Clare. "Tom has a natural genius for religion. I wanted the horses out early, this morning, and I stole up to Tom's cubiculum there, over the stables, and there I heard him holding a meeting by himself; and, in fact, I have n't heard anything quite so savory as Tom's prayer, this some time. He put in for me, with a zeal that was quite apostolic."