390 UNCLE TOMS CABIN; OR
that memorable day when she had taken her last farewell.
St. Clare was a good deal affected at the sight of it; the little book had been rolled in a long strip of black crape, torn from the funeral weeds.
" "What did you wrap this round the book for ? " said St. Clare, holding up the crape.
" 'Cause, — 'cause, — 'cause 't was Miss Eva. Oh, don't take 'em away, please ! " she said ; and, sitting flat down on the floor, and putting her apron over her head, she began to sob vehemently.
It was a curious mixture of the pathetic and the ludicrous, — the little old stocking, — black crape, — text-book, — fair, soft curl, — and Topsy's utter distress.
St. Clare smiled ; but there were tears in his eyes, as he said, —
" Come, come, — don't cry ; you shall have them ! " and, putting them together, he threw them into her lap, and drew Miss Opbelia with him into the parlor.
" I really think you can make something of that concern," he said, pointing with his thumb backward over his shoulder. " Any mind that is capable of a real sorrow is capable of good. You must try and do something with her."
" The child has improved greatly," said Miss Ophelia. " I have great hopes of her ; but, Augustine," she said, laying her hand on his arm, " one thing I want to ask ; whose is this child to be ? — yours or mine ? "
" Why, I gave her to you" said Augustine.
" But not legally ; — I want her to be mine legally," said Miss Ophelia.
" Whew! cousin," said Augustine. " What will the Abolition Society think ? They '11 have a day of fasting appointed for this backsliding, if you become a slaveholder ! "
" Oh, nonsense! I want her mine, that I may have a right to take her to the free States, and give her her liberty, that all I am trying to do be not undone."