I deliberated a moment; my answer, when it did come, was objectionable:
"I must keep in good health, and not die."
"How can you keep in good health? Children younger than you die daily. I
buried a little child of five years old only a day or two since,--a good
little child, whose soul is now in heaven. It is to be feared the same
could not be said of you were you to be called hence."
Not being in a condition to remove his doubt, I only cast my eyes down on
the two large feet planted on the rug, and sighed, wishing myself far
"I hope that sigh is from the heart, and that you repent of ever having
been the occasion of discomfort to your excellent benefactress."
"Benefactress! benefactress!" said I inwardly: "they all call Mrs. Reed
my benefactress; if so, a benefactress is a disagreeable thing."
"Do you say your prayers night and morning?" continued my interrogator.
"Do you read your Bible?"