“I’ve got a paint-box,” said Amabel. “And, if you like, I’ll give it to you, Bogy.”
The color rushed to Jan’s face.
“Oh, thank you, Miss!” he cried.
“You must dip the paints in water, you know, and rub them on a plate; and don’t let them lie in a puddle,” said Amabel, who loved to dictate.
“Thank you, Miss,” said Jan.
“And don’t put your brush in your mouth,” said Amabel.
“Oh, dear, no, Miss,” said Jan. It had never struck him that one could want to put a paint-brush in one’s mouth.
At this point Amabel’s overwrought energies suddenly failed her, and she burst out crying. “I don’t know how I shall get over the wall,” said she.
“Don’t ’ee cry, Miss. I’ll help you,” said Jan.
“I can’t walk any more,” sobbed Amabel, who was, indeed, tired out.
“I’ll take ’ee on my back,” said Jan. “Don’t ’ee cry.”
With a good deal of difficulty, Amabel was hoisted up, and planted her big feet in Jan’s hands. It was no light pilgrimage for poor Jan, as he climbed the winding path. Amabel was peevish with weariness; her bundles were sadly in the way, and at every step a cup-moss or marchantia dropped out, and Amabel insisted upon its being picked up. But they reached the wall at last, and Jan got her over, and made two or three expeditions after the missing mosses, before the little lady was finally content.
“Good-by, Bogy,” she said, at last, holding up her face to be kissed. “And thank you very much. I’m not frightened of you, Bogy.”
As Jan kissed her, he said, smiling, “What is your name, love?”
And she said, “Amabel.”
To her parents and guardians, Amabel made the following statement: “I’ve seen Bogy. I like him. He doesn’t sleep in the cellar, so Nurse told a story. And he didn’t take me away, so that’s another story. He says his prayers, and he goes to church, so he can’t be the Bad Man. He makes pictures with leaves. He carried me on his back, but not in a bag” —
At this point the outraged feelings of Lady Craikshaw exploded, and she rang the bell, and ordered Miss Amabel to be put to bed with a dose of rhubarb and magnesia (without sal-volatile), for telling stories.
“The eau-de-Cologne, mamma dear, please,” said Lady Louisa, as the door closed on the struggling, screaming, and protesting Amabel. “Isn’t it really dreadful? But Esmerelda Ammaby says Henry used to tell shocking stories when he was a little boy.”
The paint-box.—Master Linseed’s shop.—The new sign-board.—Master Swift as will Scarlet.