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right upstairs and wished to be excused, please, being very tired."
"That isn't at all like Phebe I hope she isn't ill," began Aunt Plenty,
sitting down to toast her feet.
"She may be a little hysterical, for she is a proud thing and
represses her emotions as long as she can. I'll step up and see if she
doesn't need a soothing draft of some sort." And Dr. Alec threw off
his coat as he spoke.
"No, no, she's only tired. I'll run up to her she won't mind me and
I'll report if anything is amiss."
Away went Rose, quite trembling with suspense, but Phebe's door
was shut, no light shone underneath, and no sound came from the
room within. She tapped and receiving no answer, went on to her
own chamber, thinking to herself: "Love always makes people
queer, I've heard, so I suppose they settled it all in the carriage and
the dear thing ran away to think about her happiness alone. I'll not
disturb her. Why, Phebe!" said Rose, surprised, for, entering her
room, there was the cantatrice, busy about the nightly services she
always rendered her little mistress.
"I'm waiting for you, dear. Where have you been so long?" asked
Phebe, poking the fire as if anxious to get some color into cheeks
that were unnaturally pale.
The instant she spoke Rose knew that something was wrong, and a
glance at her face confirmed the fear. It was like a dash of cold
water and quenched her happy fancies in a moment; but being a
delicate-minded girl, she respected Phebe's mood and asked no
questions, made no comments, and left her friend to speak or be
silent as she chose.
"I was so excited I would take a turn in the moonlight to calm my
nerves. Oh, dearest Phebe, I am so glad, so proud, so full of
wonder at your courage and skill and sweet ways altogether that I
cannot half tell you how I love and honor you!" she cried, kissing
the white cheeks with such tender warmth they could not help
glowing faintly as Phebe held her little mistress close, sure that
nothing could disturb this innocent affection.
"It is all your work, dear, because but for you I might still be
scrubbing floors and hardly dare to dream of anything like this,"
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