LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 391
u Oh, cousin, what an awful ' doing evil that good may come'! I can't encourage it."
" I don't want you to joke, but to reason," said Miss Ophelia. " There is no use in my trying to make this child a Christian child, unless I save her from all the chances and reverses of slavery; and, if you really are willing I should have her, I want you to give me a deed of gift, or some legal paper."
" Well, well," said St. Clare, " I will; " and he sat down, and unfolded a newspaper to read.
" But I want it done now," said Miss Ophelia.
" What's your hurry ? "
" Because now is the only time there ever is to do a thing in," said Miss Ophelia. " Come, now, here 's paper, pen, and ink ; just write a paper."
St. Clare, like most men of his class of mind, cordially hated the present tense of action, generally; and, therefore, he was considerably annoyed by Miss Ophelia's downrightness.
" Why, what's the matter ? " said he. " Can't you take my word ? One would think you had taken lessons of the Jews, coming at a fellow so ! "
" I want to make sure of it," said Miss Ophelia. " You may die, or fail, and then Topsy be hustled off to auction, spite of all I can do."
" Really, you are quite provident. Well, seeing I 'm in the hands of a Yankee, there is nothing for it but to concede ;" and St. Clare rapidly wrote off a deed of gift, which, as he was well versed in the forms of law, he could easily do, and signed his name to it in sprawling capitals, concluding by a tremendous flourish.
" There, is n't that black and white, now, Miss Vermont ? " he said, as he handed it to her.
" Good boy," said Miss Ophelia, smiling. " But must it not be witnessed ? "
" Oh, bother! — yes. Here," he said, opening the door into Marie's apartment, " Marie, cousin wants your autograph ; just put your name down here."