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happy thing for those who have done so much for
Your ever dutiful and loving
As Rose looked up from the letter, half stunned by the sudden
news and the great danger, she found that the old lady had already
stopped useless bewailing and was praying heartily, like one who
knew well where help was to be found. Rose went and knelt down
at her knee, laying her face on the clasped hands in her lap, and for
a few minutes neither wept nor spoke. Then a stifled sob broke
from the girl, and Aunt Plenty gathered the young head in her
arms, saying, with the slow tears of age trickling down her own
withered cheeks: "Bear up, my lamb, bear up. The good Lord won't
take him from us I am sure and that brave child will be allowed to
pay her debt to him. I feel she will."
"But I want to help. I must go, Aunty, I must no matter what the
danger is," cried Rose, full of a tender jealousy of Phebe for being
first to brave peril for the sake of him who had been a father to
"You can't go, dear, it's no use now, and she is right to say, 'Keep
away.' I know those fevers, and the ones who nurse often take it,
and fare worse for the strain they've been through. Good girl to
stand by so bravely, to be so sensible, and not let Mac go too near!
She's a grand nurse Alec couldn't have a better, and she'll never
leave him till he's safe," said Miss Plenty excitedly.
"Ah, you begin to know her now, and value her as you ought. I
think few would have done as she has, and if she does get ill and
die, it will be our fault partly, because she'd go through fire and
water to make us do her justice and receive her as we ought," cried
Rose, proud of an example which she longed to follow.
"If she brings my boy home, I'll never say another word. She may
marry every nephew I've got, if she likes, and I'll give her my
blessing," exclaimed Aunt Plenty, feeling that no price would be
too much to pay for such a deed.
Rose was going to clap her hands, but wrung them instead,
remembering with a sudden pang that the battle was not over yet,
and it was much too soon to award the honors.
Before she could speak Uncle Mac and Aunt Jane hurried in, for
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