Read Books Online, for Free
|A Little Princess||Frances Hodgson Burnett|
"It Is the Child!"
|Page 4 of 5||
"Shall I give him to the Lascar?" she asked.
"How do you know he is a Lascar?" said the Indian gentleman, smiling a little.
"Oh, I know Lascars," Sara said, handing over the reluctant monkey. "I was born in India."
The Indian gentleman sat upright so suddenly, and with such a change of expression, that she was for a moment quite startled.
"You were born in India," he exclaimed, "were you? Come here." And he held out his hand.
Sara went to him and laid her hand in his, as he seemed to want to take it. She stood still, and her green-gray eyes met his wonderingly. Something seemed to be the matter with him.
"You live next door?" he demanded.
"Yes; I live at Miss Minchin's seminary."
"But you are not one of her pupils?"
A strange little smile hovered about Sara's mouth. She hesitated a moment.
"I don't think I know exactly WHAT I am," she replied.
"At first I was a pupil, and a parlor boarder; but now--"
"You were a pupil! What are you now?"
The queer little sad smile was on Sara's lips again.
"I sleep in the attic, next to the scullery maid," she said. "I run errands for the cook--I do anything she tells me; and I teach the little ones their lessons."
"Question her, Carmichael," said Mr. Carrisford, sinking back as if he had lost his strength. "Question her; I cannot."
The big, kind father of the Large Family knew how to question little girls. Sara realized how much practice he had had when he spoke to her in his nice, encouraging voice.
"What do you mean by `At first,' my child?" he inquired.
"When I was first taken there by my papa."
"Where is your papa?"
"He died," said Sara, very quietly. "He lost all his money and there was none left for me. There was no one to take care of me or to pay Miss Minchin."
"Carmichael!" the Indian gentleman cried out loudly. "Carmichael!"
"We must not frighten her," Mr. Carmichael said aside to him in a quick, low voice. And he added aloud to Sara, "So you were sent up into the attic, and made into a little drudge. That was about it, wasn't it?"
"There was no one to take care of me," said Sara. "There was no money; I belong to nobody."
"How did your father lose his money?" the Indian gentleman broke in breathlessly.
"He did not lose it himself," Sara answered, wondering still more each moment. "He had a friend he was very fond of-- he was very fond of him. It was his friend who took his money. He trusted his friend too much."
The Indian gentleman's breath came more quickly.
|Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
|A Little Princess
Frances Hodgson Burnett
Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004