362 UNCLE TOM'S CABIN: OR
" Why, Eva, your room is full now."
" I can't have too many," said Eva. " Topsy, do §'ng them here." $
Topsy, who had stood sullenly, holding down her h*. ^1, now came up and offered her flowers. She did it with a look of hesitation and bashfulness, quite unlike the eldrich boldness and brightness which was usual with her.
" It's a beautiful bouquet! " said Eva, looking at it.
It was a rather a singular one, — a brilliant scarlet geranium, and one single white japonica, with its glossy leaves. It was tied up with an evident eye to the contrast of color, and the arrangement of every leaf had been carefully studied.
Topsy looked pleased, as Eva said, — " Topsy, you arrange flowers very prettily. Here," she said, " is this vase I have n't any flowers for. I wish you 'd arrange something every day for it."
" Well, that's odd ! " said Marie. " What in the world do you want that for ? "
" Never mind, mamma; you 'd as lief as not Topsy should do it, — had you not ? "
" Of course, anything you please, dear! Topsy, you hear your young mistress ; — see that you mind."
Topsy made a short courtesy, and looked down ; and, as she turned away, Eva saw a tear roll down her dark cheek.
" You see, mamma, I knew poor Topsy wanted to do something for me," said Eva to her mother.
" Oh, nonsense ! it's only because she likes to do mischief. She knows she must n't pick flowers, — so she does it, that's all there is to it. But, if you fancy to have her pluck them, so be it."
"Mamma, I think Topsy is different from what she used to be ; she 's trying to be a good girl-"
" She '11 have to try a good while before she gets to be good," said Marie, with a careless laugh.
" Well, you know, mamma, poor Topsy! everything has always been against her.'"