“Do you like mushrooms?” cry I, at the top of my voice, long before I have reached him, holding up my basket triumphantly. “See, I have got the most of anybody, except Tou Tou!”
I have met him by the end of this sentence.
“Do you like mushrooms?” I repeat, lifting the lid, and giving him a peep into the creamy and pink-colored treasures inside, “oh, you must! if you do not, I shall have a divorce! I could not bear a difference of opinion upon such a subject.”
I have never given him time to speak, and now I look with appealing laughter into his silent face.
“Why, what is the matter?” I cry, with an abrupt change of tone. “What has happened? How odd you look!”
“Nothing has happened,” he answers, trying to smile, but I see that it is quite against the grain, “only that I have had some not very pleasant news.”
“It is not any thing about—about the Brat!” cry I, stopping suddenly, seizing his arm with both hands, and turning, as I feel, extremely pale, while my thoughts fly to the only one of my beloveds that is out of my sight.
“About the Brat!” he echoes in surprise, “oh, dear no! nothing!”
“Then I do not much care who is dead?” I answer, unfeelingly, drawing a long breath; “he is the only person out of this house whose death would afflict me much, and I do not think that there is any one besides us that you are very devoted to, is there?”
“Why are you so determined that some one is dead?” he asks, smiling again, but this time a little more naturally; “is there nothing vexatious in the world but death?”
“Yes,” say I, laughing, despite myself, as my thoughts revert to my late employment, “there are puff-balls!”—then, ashamed of having been flippant, and afraid of having been unsympathetic, I add hastily: “I wish you would tell me what it is! I am sure, when I hear, I shall be vexed too; but you see as long as I do not know what it is, I cannot, can I?”