“No, I s’pose not,” responded Dotty, giving up the attempt to compare trials with such a wretched being; “but then I may be blind, some time, too. P’rhaps a chicken will pick my eyes out. A cross hen flew right up and did so to a boy.”
Emily paid no attention to this foolish remark.
“My paw writes me letters,” said she. “Here is one in my pocket; would you like to read it?”
Dotty took the letter, which was badly written and worse spelled.
“Can you read it?” asked Emily, after Dotty had turned it over for some moments in silence.
“No, I cannot,” replied Dotty, very much ashamed; “but I’m going to school by and by, and then I shall learn everything.”
“O, no matter if you can’t read it to me; my teacher has read it ever so many times. At the end of it, it says, ’Your unhappy and unfortunate paw.’ That is what he always says at the end of all his letters; and he wants me to go to the prison to see him.”
“Why, you couldn’t see him.”
“No,” replied Emily, not understanding that Dotty referred to her blindness; “no, I couldn’t see him. The superintendent Wouldn’t let me go; he says it’s no place for little girls.”
“I shouldn’t think it was,” said Dotty, looking around for Flyaway, who was riding in a lady’s chair made by two admiring little girls.
“There was one thing I didn’t tell,” said Emily, who felt obliged to pour her whole history into her new friend’s ears; “I was sick last spring, and had a fever. If it had been scarlet fever I should have died; but it was imitation of scarlet fever, and I got well.”
“I’m glad you got well,” said Dotty, rather tired of Emily’s troubles; “but don’t you want to play with the other girls? I do.”
“Yes; let us play Rollo on the Ocean,” cried Octavia, who was Emily’s bosom friend, and was seldom away from her long at a time, but had just now been devoting herself to Katie. “Here is the ship. All aboard!”
Now this ship was an old wagon-body, and had never been in water deeper than a mud puddle. A dozen little girls climbed in with great bustle and confusion, pretending they were walking a plank and climbing up some steps. After they were fairly on board they waved their handkerchiefs for a good by to their friends on shore. Then Octavia fired peas out of a little popgun twice, and this was meant as a long farewell to the land. Now they were fairly out on the ocean, and began to rock back and forth, as if tossed by a heavy sea.
“See how the waves rise!” said Emily, and threw up her hands with an undulating motion. “I can see them,” she cried, an intent look coming into her closed eyes; “they are green, with white bubbles like soap suds. And the sun shines on them so! O, ’tis as beautiful as flowers!”
“Booful as flowers!” echoed Flyaway, who was one of the passengers; while Dotty wondered how Octavia knew the difference between green and white. She did not know; and what sort of a picture she painted in her mind of the mysterious sea I am sure I cannot tell.