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St. Clare and Marie are relaxing on a Sunday afternoon while Miss Ophelia goes to church.
They’re chatting about Marie’s latest physical health complaint. She wants to send for a special doctor but St. Clare thinks she should just see Eva’s doctor. Oh, no, Marie responds, Eva’s doctor is fine enough but not for a "critical" illness. (What on earth does Eva have if it’s not a "critical" illness?)
Miss Ophelia and Eva come home, and Miss Ophelia goes straight to her room. Soon, they hear having a massive conniption fit.
Along she comes, dragging Topsy behind her.
It turns out that Topsy has cut one of Miss Ophelia’s bonnet trimmings to pieces to make into jackets for dolls.
I don’t know what to do with her anymore, Miss Ophelia admits.
Again, Topsy blames her own bad behavior on her "wicked heart."
Miss Ophelia begins to admit defeat.
But then Eva calls Topsy, and they go to a little reading room in the corner of the verandah. St. Clare tiptoes over to look, then calls Miss Ophelia over.
Topsy and Eva talk together. Eva asks the other girl why she doesn’t behave herself. Doesn’t she love anybody?
Topsy replies that she doesn’t know anything about love. She’s never had anything to love and nobody has ever loved her.
But what about Miss Ophelia? Eva asks, wouldn’t she love you if you were good?
Topsy snorts and says Miss Ophelia can’t even bear to touch her.
That’s when Eva says that she loves Topsy and wants Topsy to be good.
The effect is amazing. When Topsy realizes that somebody loves her, she begins to cry. It transforms her forever.
Miss Ophelia admits that she is prejudiced, but she didn’t know her feelings were so obvious to Topsy. Then she says she should model herself after Eva.