I told you, Cousin, said Marie, that youd find out that these creatures cant be brought up without severity. If I had my way, now, she said, looking reproachfully at St. Clare, Id send that child out, and have her thoroughly whipped; Id have her whipped till she couldnt stand!
I dont doubt it, said St. Clare. Tell me of the lovely rule of woman! I never saw above a dozen women that wouldnt half kill a horse, or a servant, either, if they had their own way with them!let alone a man.
There is no use in this shilly-shally way of yours, St. Clare! said Marie. Cousin is a woman of sense, and she sees it now, as plain as I do.
Miss Ophelia had just the capability of indignation that belongs to the thorough-paced housekeeper, and this had been pretty actively roused by the artifice and wastefulness of the child; in fact, many of my lady readers must own that they should have felt just so in her circumstances; but Maries words went beyond her, and she felt less heat.
I wouldnt have the child treated so, for the world, she said; but, I am sure, Augustine, I dont know what to do. Ive taught and taught; Ive talked till Im tired; Ive whipped her; Ive punished her in every way I can think of, and shes just what she was at first.
Come here, Tops, you monkey! said St. Clare, calling the child up to him.
Topsy came up; her round, hard eyes glittering and blinking with a mixture of apprehensiveness and their usual odd drollery.
What makes you behave so? said St. Clare, who could not help being amused with the childs expression.
Spects its my wicked heart, said Topsy, demurely; Miss Feely says so.
Dont you see how much Miss Ophelia has done for you? She says she has done everything she can think of.
Lor, yes, Masr! old Missis used to say so, too. She whipped me a heap harder, and used to pull my har, and knock my head agin the door; but it didnt do me no good! I spects, if they s to pull every spire o har out o my head, it wouldnt do no good, neither,I s so wicked! Laws! I s nothin but a nigger, no ways!
Well, I shall have to give her up, said Miss Ophelia; I cant have that trouble any longer.
Well, Id just like to ask one question, said St. Clare.
What is it?
Why, if your Gospel is not strong enough to save one heathen child, that you can have at home here, all to yourself, whats the use of sending one or two poor missionaries off with it among thousands of just such? I suppose this child is about a fair sample of what thousands of your heathen are.
Miss Ophelia did not make an immediate answer; and Eva, who had stood a silent spectator of the scene thus far, made a silent sign to Topsy to follow her. There was a little glass-room at the corner of the verandah, which St. Clare used as a sort of reading-room; and Eva and Topsy disappeared into this place.
Whats Eva going about, now? said St. Clare; I mean to see.
And, advancing on tiptoe, he lifted up a curtain that covered the glass-door, and looked in. In a moment, laying his finger on his lips, he made a silent gesture to Miss Ophelia to come and look. There sat the
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