LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 357
knock my head agin the door; but it did n't do me no good! I spects, if they 's to pull every spear o' har out o' my head, it would n'.t do no good, neither,— I's so wicked ! Laws ! I's nothin' but a nigger, noways ! "
" Well, I shall have to give her up," said Miss Ophelia. " I can't have that trouble any longer."
" Well, I 'd just like to ask one question," said St. Clare.
"What is it?"
" Why, if your gospel is not strong enough to save one heathen child, that you can have at home here, all to yourself, what's the use of sending one or two poor missionaries off with it among thousands of just such ? I suppose this child is about a fair sample of what thousands of your heathen are."
Miss Ophelia did not make an immediate answer; and Eva, who had stood a silent spectator of the scene thus far, made a silent sign to Topsy to follow her. There was a little glass room at the corner of the veranda, which St. Clare used as a sort of reading-room; and Eva and Topsy disappeared into this place.
" What's Eva going about, now ? " said St. Clare; " I mean to see."
And, advancing on tiptoe, he lifted up a curtain that covered the glass door, and looked in. In a moment, laying his finger on his lips, he made a silent gesture to Miss Ophelia to come and look. There sat the two children on the floor, with their side faces towards them. Topsy, with her usual air of careless drollery and unconcern ; but, opposite to her, Eva, her whole face fervent with feeling, and tears in her large eyes.
" What does make you so bad, Topsy ? Why won't you try and be good ? Don't you love anybody, Topsy ? "
" Dunno nothing 'bout love; I loves candy and sich, that's all," said Topsy.
" But you love your father and mother ? "
" Never had none, ye know. I telled ye that, Miss Eva."