LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 279
" Lor bless us! Miss Eva 's gwine to faint away! What got us all, to let her har such talk ? Her pa '11 be rail mad."
"I shan't faint, Dinah," said the child, firmly; "and why should n't I hear it ? It an't so much for me to hear it, as for poor Prue to suffer it."
" Lor sokes ! it is n't for sweet, delicate young ladies, like you, — these yer stories is n't; it's enough to kill 'em."
Eva sighed again, and walked upstairs with a slow and melancholy step.
Miss Ophelia anxiously inquired the woman's story. Dinah gave a very garrulous version of it, to which Tom added the particulars which he had drawn from her that morning.
" An abominable business, — perfectly horrible! " she exclaimed, as she entered the room where St. Clare lay reading his paper.
" Pray, what iniquity has turned up now ? " said he. " What now ? why those folks have whipped Prue to death! " said Miss Ophelia, going on, with great strength of detail, into the story, and enlarging on its most shocking particulars.
" I thought it would come to that, some time," said St. Clare, going on with his paper.
" Thought so ! — an't you going to do anything about it ? ' said Miss Ophelia. " Have n't you got any selectmen, or anybody, to interfere and look after such matters ? "
" It 's commonly supposed that the property interest is a sufficient guard in these cases. If people choose to ruin their own possessions, I don't know what 's to be done. It seems the poor creature was a thief and a drunkard ; and so there won't be much hope to get up sympathy for her."
" If is perfectly outrageous, — it is horrid, Augustine ! It will certainly bring down vengeance upon you."