LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 303
" For you to educate, to be sure, and train in the way she should go. I thought she was rather a funny specimen in the Jim Crow line. Here, Topsy," he added, giving a whistle, as a man would to call the attention of a dog, "give us a song, now, and show us some of your dancing."
The black, glassy eyes glittered with a kind of wicked drollery, and the thing struck up, in a clear shrill voice, an odd negro melody, to which she kept time with her hands and feet, spinning round, clapping her hands, knocking her knees together, in a wild, fantastic sort of time, and producing in her throat all those odd guttural sounds which distinguish the native music of her race ; and finally, turning a somerset or two, and giving a prolonged closing note, as odd and unearthly as that of a steam-whistle, she came suddenly down on the carpet, and stood with her hands folded, and a most sanctimonious expression of meekness and solemnity over her face, only broken by the cunning glances which she shot askance from the corners of her eyes.
Miss Ophelia stood silent, perfectly paralyzed with amazement.
St. Clare, like a mischievous fellow as he was, appeared to enjoy her astonishment; and, addressing the child again, said, —
" Topsy, this is your new mistress. I 'm going to give you up to her ; see, now, that you behave yourself."
" Yes, Mas'r," said Topsy, with sanctimonious gravity, her wicked eyes twinkling as she spoke.
" You 're going to be good, Topsy, you understand," said St. Clare.
" Oh, yes, Mas'r," said Topsy, with another twinkle, her hands still devoutly folded.
" Now, Augustine, what upon earth is this for ? " said Miss Ophelia. " Your house is so full of these little plagues, now, that a body can't set down their foot without treading on 'em. I get up in the morning, and find