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of superior women and Kitty to comfort him by promising to
marry him on May Day "all alone."
A very different couple occupied the drawing room, but a happier
one, for they had known the pain of separation and were now
enjoying the bliss of a reunion which was to last unbroken for their
lives. Phebe sat in an easy chair, resting from her labors, pale and
thin and worn, but lovelier in Archie's eyes than ever before. It was
very evident that he was adoring his divinity, for, after placing a
footstool at her feet, he had forgotten to get up and knelt there with
his elbow on the arm of her chair, looking like a thirsty man
drinking long drafts of the purest water.
"Shall I disturb you if I pass through?" asked Rose, loath to spoil
the pretty tableau.
"Not if you stop a minute on the way and congratulate me, Cousin,
for she says 'yes' at last!" cried Archie, springing up to go and bring
her to the arms Phebe opened as she appeared.
"I knew she would reward your patience and put away her pride
when both had been duly tried," said Rose, laying the tired head on
her bosom with such tender admiration in her eyes that Phebe had
to shake some bright drops from her own before she could reply in
a tone of grateful humility that showed how much her heart was
touched: "How can I help it, when they are all so kind to me? Any
pride would melt away under such praise and thanks and loving
wishes as I've had today, for every member of the family has taken
pains to welcome me, to express far too much gratitude, and to beg
me to be one of you. I needed very little urging, but when Archie's
father and mother came and called me 'daughter,' I would have
promised anything to show my love for them."
"And him," added Rose, but Archie seemed quite satisfied and
kissed the hand he held as if it had been that of a beloved princess
while he said with all the pride Phebe seemed to have lost: "Think
what she gives up for me fame and fortune and the admiration of
many a better man. You don't know what a splendid prospect she
has of becoming one of the sweet singers who are loved and
honored everywhere, and all this she puts away for my sake,
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