LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 367
Tom and Mammy, and some of the older ones, who be-longed to the Methodist Church. The younger and more thoughtless ones, for the time completely overcome, were sobbing, with their heads bowed upon their knees.
" I know," said Eva, " you all love me.''
" Yes ; oh, yes ! indeed we do ! Lord bless her ! " was the involuntary answer of all.
" Yes, I know you do! There is n't one of you that has n't always been very kind to me ; and I want to give you something that, when you look at, you shall always remember me. I 'm going to give all of you a curl of my hair; and, when you look at it, think that I loved you and am gone to heaven, and that I want to see you all there."
It is impossible to describe the scene, as, with tears and sobs, they gathered round the little creature, and took from her hands what seemed to them a last mark of her love. They fell on their knees ; they sobbed, and prayed, and kissed the hem of her garment; and the elder one& poured forth words of endearment, mingled in prayers and blessings, after the manner of their susceptible race.
As each one took their gift, Miss Ophelia, who was apprehensive for the effect of all this excitement on her little patient, signed to each one to pass out of the apartment.
At last, all were gone but Tom and Mammy.
" Here, Uncle Tom," said Eva, " is a beautiful one for you. Oh, I am so happy, Uncle Tom, to think I shall see you in heaven, — for I 'm sure I shall; and Mammy, — dear, good, kind Mammy! " she said, fondly throwing her arms round her old nurse, — "I know you'11 be there, too."
" Oh, Miss Eva, don't see how I can live without ye, nohow ! " said the faithful creature. " 'Pears like it's just taking everything off the place to oncet! " and Mammy gave way to a passion of grief.
Miss Ophelia pushed her and Tom gently from the apartment, and thought they were all gone ; but, as she turned, Topsy was standing there.