She had quite forgotten Nurse’s warning, when she came suddenly upon a figure crouched in her path, and gazing at her with large, black eyes. Her fat cheeks turned pale, and with a cry of, “It’s Bogy!” she let down the whole contents of her dress into one of Jan’s leaf-pictures.
“Don’t hurt me! Don’t take me away! Please, please don’t!” she cried, dancing wildly.
“I won’t hurt you, Miss. I be going to help you to pick ’em up,” said Jan. By the time he had returned her treasures to her skirt, Amabel had regained confidence, especially as she saw no signs of the black bag in which naughty children are supposed to be put.
“What are you doing, Bogy?” said she.
“I be making a picture, Miss,” said Jan, pointing it out.
“Go on making it, please,” said Amabel; and she sat down and watched him.
“Do you like this wood, Bogy?” she asked, softly, after a time.
“I do, Miss,” said Jan.
“Why don’t you sleep in it, then? I wouldn’t sleep in a cellar, if I were you.”
“I don’t sleep in a cellar, Miss.”
“Nurse says you do,” said Amabel, nodding emphatically.
Jan was at a loss how to express the full inaccuracy of Nurse’s statement in polite language, so he was silent; rapidly adding tint to tint from his heap of leaves, whilst the birds sang overhead, and Amabel sat with her two bundles watching him.
“I thought you were an old man!” she said, at length.
“Oh, no, Miss,” said Jan, laughing.
“You don’t look very bad,” Amabel continued.
“I don’t think I be very bad,” said Jan, modestly.
Amabel’s next questions came at short intervals, like dropping shots.
“Do you say your prayers, Bogy?”
“Do you go to church, Bogy?”
“Then where do you sit?”
“In the choir, Miss; the end next to Squire Ammaby’s big pew.”
“Do you?” said Amabel. She had been threatened with Bogy for misbehavior in church, and it was startling to find that he sat so near. She changed the subject, under a hasty remembrance of having once made a face at the parson through a hole in the bombazine curtains.
“Why don’t you paint with paints, Bogy?” said she.
“I haven’t got none, Miss,” said Jan.