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had remembered his promise to help Phebe slip away before the
rush began. No, there he was putting on Kitty's cloak, quite
oblivious to any other duty. Turning to ask Archie to hurry out,
Rose found that he had already vanished, leaving his gloves behind
"Have you lost anything?" asked Dr. Alec, catching a glimpse of
"No, sir, I've found something," she whispered back, giving him
the gloves to pocket along with her fan and glass, adding hastily as
the concert ended, "Please, Uncle, tell them all not to come with
us. Phebe has had enough excitement and ought to rest."
Rose's word was law to the family in all things concerning Phebe.
So word was passed that there were to be no congratulations until
tomorrow, and Dr. Alec got his party off as soon as possible. But
all the way home, while he and Aunt Plenty were prophesying a
brilliant future for the singer, Rose sat rejoicing over the happy
present of the woman. She was sure that Archie had spoken and
imagined the whole scene with feminine delight how tenderly he
had asked the momentous question, how gratefully Phebe had
given the desired reply, and now how both were enjoying that
delicious hour which Rose had been given to understand never
came but once. Such a pity to shorten it, she thought, and begged
her uncle to go home the longest way the night was so mild, the
moonlight so clear, and herself so in need of fresh air after the
excitement of the evening.
"I thought you would want to rush into Phebe's arms the instant she
got done," said Aunt Plenty, innocently wondering at the whims
girls took into their heads.
"So I should if I consulted my own wishes, but as Phebe asked to
be let alone I want to gratify her," answered Rose, making the best
excuse she could.
"A little piqued," thought the doctor, fancying he understood the
As the old lady's rheumatism forbade their driving about till
midnight, home was reached much too soon, Rose thought, and
tripped away to warn the lovers the instant she entered the house.
But study, parlor, and boudoir were empty; and, when Jane
appeared with cake and wine, she reported that "Miss Phebe went
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