LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 355
" If it's particularly agreeable to you to have heart disease, why, I '11 try and maintain you have it," said St. Clare ; " I did n't know it was."
" Well, I only hope you won't be sorry for this, when it 's too late!" said Marie; " but, believe it or not, my distress about Eva, and the exertions I have made with that dear child, have developed what I have long suspected."
What the exertions were which Marie referred to, it would have been difficult to state. St. Clare quietly made this commentary to himself, and went on smoking, like a hard-hearted wretch of a man as he was, till a carriage drove up before the veranda, and Eva and Miss Ophelia alighted.
Miss Ophelia marched straight to her own chamber, to put away her bonnet and shawl, as was always her manner, before she spoke a word on any subject; while Eva came, at St. Clare's call, and was sitting on his knee, giving him an account of the services they had heard.
They soon heard loud exclamations from Miss Ophelia's room, which, like the one in which they were sitting, opened on to the veranda, and violent reproof addressed to somebody*
"What new witchcraft has Tops been brewing?" asked St. Clare. " That commotion is of her raising, I '11 be bound!"
And, in a moment after, Miss Ophelia, in high indignation, came dragging the culprit along.
" Come out here, now ! " she said. " I will tell your master! "
" What's the case now ? " asked Augustine.
" The case is, that I cannot be plagued with this child, any longer ! It's past all bearing ; flesh and blood cannot endure it! Here, I locked her up, and gave her a hymn to study; and what does she do, but spy out where I put my key, and has gone to my bureau, and got a bonnet-trimming, and cut it all to pieces, to make dolls' jackets! I never saw anything like it, in my life! "