LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 311
other things since you have been in the house, for I let you run about all day yesterday. Now, tell me if you took anything, and I shan't whip you."
" Laws, Missis! I took Miss Eva's red thing she wars on her neck."
" You did, you naughty child ! —Well, what else ? "
" I took Rosa's yer-rings, — them red ones."
" Go bring them to me this minute, both of 'em."
" Laws, Missis ! I can't, — they's burnt up ! "
" Burnt up! — what a story! Go get 'em, or I '11 whip you."
Topsy, with loud protestations, and tears, and groans, declared that she could not. " They's burnt up, — they was."
" What did you burn 'em up for ? " said Miss Ophelia.
" 'Cause I's wicked, — I is. I's mighty wicked, anyhow. I can't help it."
Just at this moment, Eva came innocentlv into the room, with the identical coral necklace on her neck.
" Why, Eva, where did you get your necklace ? ' said Miss Ophelia.
" Get it ? Why, I 've had it on all day," said Eva.
" Did you have it on yesterday ? "
" Yes; and what is funny, aunty, I had it on all night. I forgot to take it off when I went to bed."
Miss Ophelia looked perfectly bewildered; the more so, as Rosa, at that instant, came into the room, with a basket of newly ironed linen poised on her head, and the coral ear-drops shaking in her ears!
" I 'm sure I can't tell anything what to do with such a child!" she said, in despair. " What in the world did you tell me you took those things for, Topsy ?'
" Why, Missis said I must 'fess ; and I could n't think of nothin' else to 'fess," said Topsy, rubbing her eyes.
" But, of course, I did n't want you to confess things you did n't do," said Miss Ophelia j " that's telling a lie, just as much as the other."