Why do you keep smiling to yourself, Phebe? asked Rose, as they were working together one morning, for Dr. Alec considered house-work the best sort of gymnastics for girls; so Rose took lessons of Phebe in sweeping, dusting and bed-making.
I was thinking about a nice little secret I know, and couldnt help smiling.
Shall I know it, sometime?
Guess you will.
Shall I like it?
Oh, wont you, though!
Will it happen soon?
Sometime this week.
I know what it is! The boys are going to have fireworks on the fourth, and have got some surprise for me. Havent they?
Well, I can wait; only tell me one thingis uncle in it?
Of course he is; theres never any fun without him.
Then its all right, and sure to be nice.
Rose went out on the balcony to shake the rugs, and, having given them a vigorous beating, hung them on the balustrade to air, while she took a look at her plants. Several tall vases and jars stood there, and a month of June sun and rain had worked wonders with the seeds and slips she had planted. Morning- glories and nasturtiums ran all over the bars, making haste to bloom. Scarlet beans and honeysuckles were climbing up from below to meet their pretty neighbours, and the woodbine was hanging its green festoons wherever it could cling.
The waters of the bay were dancing in the sunshine, a fresh wind stirred the chestnut-trees with a pleasant sound, and the garden below was full of roses, butterflies and bees. A great chirping and twittering went on among the birds, busy with their summer house-keeping, and, far away, the white-winged gulls were dipping and diving in the sea, where ships, like larger birds, went sailing to and fro.
Oh, Phebe, its such a lovely day, I do wish your fine secret was going to happen right away! I feel just like having a good time; dont you? said Rose, waving her arms as if she was going to fly.
I often feel that way, but I have to wait for my good times, and dont stop working to wish for em. There, now you can finish as soon as the dust settles; I must go do my stairs, and Phebe trudged away with the broom, singing as she went.
Rose leaned where she was, and fell to thinking how many good times she had had lately, for the gardening had prospered finely, and she was learning to swim and row, and there were drives and walks, and quiet hours of reading and talk with Uncle Alec, and, best of all, the old pain and ennui seldom troubled her now. She could work and play all day, sleep sweetly all night, and enjoy life with the zest of a healthy, happy child. She was far from being as strong and hearty as Phebe, but she was getting on; the once pale cheeks had colour in them now, the hands were growing plump and brown, and the belt was not much too loose. No one talked to her about her health, and she forgot that she had no constitution. She took no medicine but Dr. Alecs three great remedies, and they seemed to suit her excellently. Aunt
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