LIFE AMONG THE LOWLY 465
houses would fall on me, or the stones sink under me. Yes! and, in the judgment day, I will stand up before God, a witness against those that have ruined me and my children, body and soul!
" When I was a girl, I thought I was religious; I used to love God and prayer. Now, I 'm a lost soul, pursued by devils that torment me day and night; they keep pushing me on and on, — and I '11 do it, too, some of these days !" she said, clenching her hand, while an insane light glanced in her heavy black eyes. " I '11 send him where he belongs, — a short way, too, — one of these nights, if they burn me alive for it!' A wild, loud laugh rang through the deserted room, and ended in a hysteric sob ; she threw herself on the floor, in convulsive sobbings and struggles.
In a few moments, the frenzy fit seemed to pass off ; she rose slowly, and seemed to collect herself.
" Can I do anything more for you, my poor fellow ? " she said, approaching where Tom lay; " shall I give you some more water ? "
There was a graceful and compassionate sweetness in her voice and manner, as she said this, that formed a strange contrast with the former wildness.
Tom drank the water, and looked earnestly and pitifully into her face.
" Oh, Missis, I wish you 'd go to Him that can give you living waters! "
" Go to Him ! Where is He ? Who is He ? " said Cassy.
" Him that you read of to me, — the Lord."
" I used to see the picture of Him, over the altar, when I was a girl," said Cassy, her dark eyes fixing themselves in an expression of mournful reverie ; " but He is n't here ! there 's nothing here, but sin and long, long, long despair! Oh!' She laid her hand on her breast, and drew in her breath, as if to lift a heavy weight.
Tom looked as if he would speak again; but she cut him short, with a decided gesture.