LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 331
" Uncle Tom, I 've seen them," said Eva.
Tom had no doubt of it at all; it did not surprise him in the least. If Eva had told him she had been to heaven, he would have thought it entirely probable.
" They come to me sometimes in my sleep, those spirits ;' and Eva's eyes grew dreamy, and she hummed, in a low voice, —
" They all are robed in spotless white, And conquering palms they bear."
" Uncle Tom," said Eva, " I 'm going there."
"Where, Miss Eva?"
The child rose, and pointed her little hand to the sky; the glow of evening lit her golden hair and flushed cheek with a kind of unearthly radiance, and her eyes were bent earnestly on the skies.
" I 'm going there" she said, " to the spirits bright, Tom ; I'm going before long."
The faithful old heart felt a sudden thrust; and Tom thought how often he had noticed, within six months, that Eva's little hands had grown thinner, and her skin more transparent, and her breath shorter ; and how, when she ran or played in the garden, as she once could for hours, she became soon so tired and languid. He had heard Miss Ophelia speak often of a cough, that all her medicaments could not cure ; and even now that fervent cheek and little hand were burning with hectic fever; and yet the thought that Eva's words suggested had never come to him till now.
Has there ever been a child like Eva ? Yes, there have been; but their names are always on gravestones, and their sweet smiles, their heavenly eyes, their singular words and ways, are among the buried treasures of yearning hearts. In how many families do you hear the legend that all the goodness and graces of the living are nothing to the peculiar charms of one who is not f It is as if Heaven had an especial band of angels, whose office it was to