everlastin'ly poke fun at him, but they never said a word. I
guess his eyes flashed, for he come out the screen door, slammin'
it after him, and stalked by me as if he was too worked up to
notice anything or anybody. I didn't foiler him, for his long
legs git over the ground too fast for me, but thinks I, 'Mebbe
I'll hev some use for my lemonade-set after all.'"
"I hope to the land you will," responded Mrs. Wiley, "for I'm
about sick o' movin' it round when I sweep under my bed. And I
shall be glad if Rose an' Stephen do make it up, for Wealthy Ann
Brooks's gossip is too much for a Christian woman to stand."
Where was the pale Rose, the faded Rose, that crept noiselessly
down from her room, wanting neither to speak nor to be spoken to!
Nobody ever knew. She vanished forever, and in her place a thing
of sparkles and dimples flashed up the stairway and closed the
door softly. There was a streak of moonshine lying across the
bare floor, and a merry ghost, with dressing-gown held prettily
away from bare feet, danced a gay fandango among the yellow
moonbeams. There were breathless flights to the open window, and
kisses thrown in the direction of the River Farm. There were
impressive declamations at the looking-glass, where a radiant
creature pointed to her reflection and whispered, "Worthless
little pig, he loves you, after all!"
Then, when quiet joy had taken the place of mad delight, there
was a swoop down upon the floor, an impetuous hiding of brimming
eyes in the white counterpane, and a dozen impassioned promises
to herself and to something higher than herself, to be a better
The mood lasted, and deepened, and still Rose did not move. Her
heart was on its knees before Stephen's faithful love, his
chivalry, his strength. Her troubled spirit, like a frail boat
tossed about in the rapids, seemed entering a quiet harbor, where
there were protecting shores and a still, still evening star.
Her sails were all torn and drooping, but the harbor was in
sight, and the poor little weather-beaten craft could rest in
A period of grave reflection now ensued,--under the bedclothes,
where one could think better. Suddenly an inspiration seized
her,--an inspiration so original, so delicious, and above all
so humble and praiseworthy, that it brought her head from her
pillow, and she sat bolt upright, clapping her hands like a
"The very thing!" she whispered to herself gleefully. "It will
take courage, but I'm sure of my ground after what he said before
them all, and I'll do it. Grandma in Biddeford buying church
carpets, Stephen in Portland--was ever such a chance?"
The same glowing Rose came downstairs, two steps at a time, next
morning, bade her grandmother good-by with suspicious pleasure,
and sent her grandfather away on an errand which, with attendant
conversation, would consume half the day. Then bundles afterDownload<<BackPagesMainNext>>