Ive got heaps of lovely things upstairs, and Ill show them all to you, and Id go halves, only auntie thinks they wouldnt be useful, so I shall give you something else; and you wont mind, will you? because I want to adopt you as Arabella was in the story. Wont that be nice?
Why, Miss Rose, have you lost your wits?
No wonder Phebe asked, for Rose talked very fast, and looked so odd in her new costume, and was so eager she could not stop to explain. Seeing Phebes bewilderment, she quieted down and said, with a pretty air of earnestness
It isnt fair that I should have so much and you so little, and I want to be as good to you as if you were my sister, for Aunt Peace says we are all sisters really. I thought if I adopted you as much as I can now, it would be nicer. Will you let me, please?
To Roses great surprise, Phebe sat down on the floor and hid her face in her apron for a minute without answering a word.
Oh, dear, now shes offended, and I dont know what to do, thought Rose, much discouraged by this reception of her offer.
Please, forgive me; I didnt mean to hurt your feelings, and hope you wont think she faltered presently, feeling that she must undo the mischief, if possible.
But Phebe gave her another surprise, by dropping the apron and showing a face all smiles, in spite of tears in the eyes, as she put both arms round Rose and said, with a laugh and sob
I think you are the dearest girl in the world, and Ill let you do anything you like with me.
Then you do like the plan? You didnt cry because I seemed to be kind of patronising? I truly didnt mean to be, cried Rose, delighted.
I guess I do like it! and cried because no one was ever so good to me before, and I couldnt help it. As for patronising, you may walk on me if you want to, and I wont mind, said Phebe, in a burst of gratitude, for the words, we are sisters went straight to her lonely heart and nestled there.
Well, now, we can play Im a good sprite out of the box, or, what is better, a fairy godmother come down the chimney, and you are Cinderella, and must say what you want, said Rose, trying to put the question delicately.
Phebe understood that, for she had a good deal of natural refinement, though she did come from the poor-house.
I dont feel as if I wanted anything now, Miss Rose, but to find some way of thanking you for all youve done, she said, rubbing off a tear that went rolling down the bridge of her nose in the most unromantic way.
Why, I havent done anything but given you a bit of candy! Here, have some more, and eat em while you work, and think what I can do. I must go and clear up, so good-bye, and dont forget Ive adopted you.
Youve given me sweeter things than candy, and Im not likely to forget it. And carefully wiping off the brick-dust, Phebe pressed the little hand Rose offered warmly in both her hard ones, while the black eyes followed the departing visitor with a grateful look that made them very soft and bright.
|Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Bibliomania.com Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.|