310 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN; OR
pounced upon it. " What's this ? You naughty, wicke child, — you 've been stealing this ! "
The ribbon was pulled out of Topsy's own sleeve, yet was she not in the least disconcerted; she only looked at it with an air of the most surprised and unconscious innocence.
" Laws! why, that ar 's Miss Feely's ribbon, an't it ? How could it 'a' got caught in my sleeve ? "
" Topsy, you naughty girl, don't you tell me a lie, — you stole that ribbon ! "
" Missis, I declar for 't, I did n't; — never seed it till dis yer blessed minnit."
" Topsy," said Miss Ophelia, " don't you know it's wicked to tell lies ? "
" I never tells no lies, Miss Feely," said Topsy, with virtuous gravity ; " it's jist the truth I 've been a-tellin* now, and an't nothin' else."
" Topsy, I shall have to whip you, if you tell lies so."
" Laws, Missis, if you's to whip all day, could n't say no other way," said Topsy, beginning to blubber. "I never seed dat ar, — it must 'a' got caught in my sleeve. Miss Feely must have left in on the bed, and it got caught in the clothes, and so got in my sleeve."
Miss Ophelia was so indignant at the barefaced lie, that she caught the child, and shook her.
" Don't you tell me that again! "
The shake brought the gloves on the floor, from the other sleeve.
" There, you! " said Miss Ophelia, " will you tell me now, you did n't steal the ribbon ? "
Topsy now confessed to the gloves, but still persisted in denying the ribbon.
" Now, Topsy," said Miss Ophelia, " if you '11 confess all about it, I won't whip you this time."
Thus adjured, Topsy confessed to the ribbon and gloves, with woeful protestations of penitence.
" Well now, tell me. I know you must have taken