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350             UNCLE TOM'S CABIN; OR
had lost their mothers, and some their husbands, and some mothers cried for their little children, — and when I heard about poor Prue, — oh, was n't that dreadful! — and a great many other times, I 've felt that I would be glad to die, if my dying could stop all this misery. I would die for them, Tom, if I could," said the child, earnestly, laying her little thin hand on his.
Tom looked at the child with awe ; and when she, hearing her father's voice, glided away, he wiped his eyes many times, as he looked after her.
" It 's jest no use tryin' to keep Miss Eva here," he said to Mammy, whom he met a moment after. " She 's got the Lord's mark in her forehead."
" Ah, yes, yes," said Mammy, raising her hands; " I 've allers said so. She was n't never like a child that 's to live, — there was allers something deep in her eyes. I 've told Missis so, many the time ; it 's a-comin' true, —we all sees it, — dear, little, blessed lamb ! "
Eva came tripping up the veranda steps to her father. It was late in the afternoon, and the rays of the sun formed a kind of glory behind her, as she came forward in her white dress, with her golden hair, and glowing cheeks, her eyes unnaturally bright, with the slow fever that burned in her veins.
St. Clare had called her to show a statuette that he had been buying for her; but her appearance, as she came on, impressed him suddenly and painfully. There is a kind of beauty so intense, yet so fragile, that we cannot bear to look at it. Her father folded her suddenly in his arms, and almost forgot what he was going to tell her.
" Eva, dear, you are better nowadays, — are you not ? "
" Papa," said Eva, with sudden firmness, " I Ve had things I wanted to say to you, a great while. I want to say them now, before I get weaker."
St. Clare trembled, as Eva seated herself in his lap. She laid her head on his bosom, and said, —