LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 307
phatically; " never had no father nor mother, nor nothin'. I was raised by a speculator, with lots of others. Old Aunt Sue used to take car on us."
The child was evidently sincere; and Jane, breaking into a short laugh, said, —
" Laws, Missis, there 's heaps of 'em. Speculators buys 'em up cheap, when they 's little, and gets 'em raised for market."
" How long have you lived with your master and mistress ? "
" Dunno, Missis."
" Is it a year, or more, or less ? "
" Laws, Missis, those low negroes, — they can't tell; they don't know anything about time," said Jane; "they don't know what a year is; they don't know their own ages."
" Have you ever heard anything about God, Topsy ? "
The child looked bewildered, but grinned as usual.
" Do you know who made you ? "
" Nobody, as I knows on," said the child, with a short laugh.
The idea appeared to amuse her considerably; for her eyes twinkled, and she added, —
" I spect I grow'd. Don't think nobody never made me."
" Do you know how to sew ? " said Miss Ophelia, who thought she would turn her inquiries to something more tangible.
" No, Missis."
" What can you do ? — what did you do for your master and mistress ? "
" Fetch water, and wash dishes, and rub knives, and wait on folks."
" Were they good to you ? "
" Spect they was," said the child, scanning Miss Ophelia cunningly.