LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 299
" 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 veranda. 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.
There' is danger that our humble friend Tom be neglected amid the adventures of the higher born ; but if our readers will accompany us up to a little loft over the stable, they may, perhaps, learn a little of his affairs. It was a decent room, containing a bed, a chair, and a small, rough stand, where lay Tom's Bible and hymn-book; and where he sits, at present, with his slate before him, intent on something that seems to cost him a great deal of anxious thought.
The fact was, that Tom's home-yearnings had become so strong, that he had begged a sheet of writing-paper of Eva, and mustering up all his small stock of literary attainment acquired by Mas'r George's instructions, he conceived the bold idea of writing a letter ; and he was busy now, on his slate, getting out his first draft. Tom was in a good deal of trouble, for the forms of some of the letters he had forgotten entirely; and of what he did remember, he did not know exactly which to use. And