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|Uncle Tom's Cabin||Harriet Beecher Stowe|
|Page 6 of 10||
"I was here," said Topsy, wiping the tears from her eyes. "O, Miss Eva, I've been a bad girl; but won't you give _me_ one, too?"
"Yes, poor Topsy! to be sure, I will. There--every time you look at that, think that I love you, and wanted you to be a good girl!"
"O, Miss Eva, I _is_ tryin!" said Topsy, earnestly; "but, Lor, it's so hard to be good! 'Pears like I an't used to it, no ways!"
"Jesus knows it, Topsy; he is sorry for you; he will help you."
Topsy, with her eyes hid in her apron, was silently passed from the apartment by Miss Ophelia; but, as she went, she hid the precious curl in her bosom.
All being gone, Miss Ophelia shut the door. That worthy lady had wiped away many tears of her own, during the scene; but concern for the consequence of such an excitement to her young charge was uppermost in her mind.
St. Clare had been sitting, during the whole time, with his hand shading his eyes, in the same attitude.
When they were all gone, he sat so still.
"Papa!" said Eva, gently, laying her hand on his.
He gave a sudden start and shiver; but made no answer.
"Dear papa!" said Eva.
"_I cannot_," said St. Clare, rising, "I _cannot_ have it so! The Almighty hath dealt _very bitterly_ with me!" and St. Clare pronounced these words with a bitter emphasis, indeed.
"Augustine! has not God a right to do what he will with his own?" said Miss Ophelia.
"Perhaps so; but that doesn't make it any easier to bear," said he, with a dry, hard, tearless manner, as he turned away.
"Papa, you break my heart!" said Eva, rising and throwing herself into his arms; "you must not feel so!" and the child sobbed and wept with a violence which alarmed them all, and turned her father's thoughts at once to another channel.
"There, Eva,--there, dearest! Hush! hush! I was wrong; I was wicked. I will feel any way, do any way,--only don't distress yourself; don't sob so. I will be resigned; I was wicked to speak as I did."
Eva soon lay like a wearied dove in her father's arms; and he, bending over her, soothed her by every tender word he could think of.
Marie rose and threw herself out of the apartment into her own, when she fell into violent hysterics.
"You didn't give me a curl, Eva," said her father, smiling sadly.
"They are all yours, papa," said she, smiling--"yours and mamma's; and you must give dear aunty as many as she wants. I only gave them to our poor people myself, because you know, papa, they might be forgotten when I am gone, and because I hoped it might help them remember. . . . You are a Christian, are you not, papa?" said Eva, doubtfully.
"Why do you ask me?"
"I don't know. You are so good, I don't see how you can help it."
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|Uncle Tom's Cabin
Harriet Beecher Stowe
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