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|Uncle Tom's Cabin||Harriet Beecher Stowe|
|Page 6 of 11||
Topsy now confessed to the gloves, but still persisted in denying the ribbon.
"Now, Topsy," said Miss Ophelia, "if you'll confess all about it, I won't whip you this time." Thus adjured, Topsy confessed to the ribbon and gloves, with woful protestations of penitence.
"Well, now, tell me. I know you must have taken other things since you have been in the house, for I let you run about all day yesterday. Now, tell me if you took anything, and I shan't whip you."
"Laws, Missis! I took Miss Eva's red thing she wars on her neck."
"You did, you naughty child!--Well, what else?"
"I took Rosa's yer-rings,--them red ones."
"Go bring them to me this minute, both of 'em."
"Laws, Missis! I can't,--they 's burnt up!"
"Burnt up!--what a story! Go get 'em, or I'll whip you."
Topsy, with loud protestations, and tears, and groans, declared that she _could_ not. "They 's burnt up,--they was."
"What did you burn 'em for?" said Miss Ophelia.
"Cause I 's wicked,--I is. I 's mighty wicked, any how. I can't help it."
Just at this moment, Eva came innocently into the room, with the identical coral necklace on her neck.
"Why, Eva, where did you get your necklace?" said Miss Ophelia.
"Get it? Why, I've had it on all day," said Eva.
"Did you have it on yesterday?"
"Yes; and what is funny, Aunty, I had it on all night. I forgot to take it off when I went to bed."
Miss Ophelia looked perfectly bewildered; the more so, as Rosa, at that instant, came into the room, with a basket of newly-ironed linen poised on her head, and the coral ear-drops shaking in her ears!
"I'm sure I can't tell anything what to do with such a child!" she said, in despair. "What in the world did you tell me you took those things for, Topsy?"
"Why, Missis said I must 'fess; and I couldn't think of nothin' else to 'fess," said Topsy, rubbing her eyes.
"But, of course, I didn't want you to confess things you didn't do," said Miss Ophelia; "that's telling a lie, just as much as the other."
"Laws, now, is it?" said Topsy, with an air of innocent wonder.
"La, there an't any such thing as truth in that limb," said Rosa, looking indignantly at Topsy. "If I was Mas'r St. Clare, I'd whip her till the blood run. I would,--I'd let her catch it!"
"No, no Rosa," said Eva, with an air of command, which the child could assume at times; "you mustn't talk so, Rosa. I can't bear to hear it."
"La sakes! Miss Eva, you 's so good, you don't know nothing how to get along with niggers. There's no way but to cut 'em well up, I tell ye."
"Rosa!" said Eva, "hush! Don't you say another word of that sort!" and the eye of the child flashed, and her cheek deepened its color.
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|Uncle Tom's Cabin
Harriet Beecher Stowe
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