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it to be, and I rushed into a dark place behind the organ, feeling
ready to kill myself. How angry and miserable I was! I set my
teeth, clenched my hands, and vowed that I would do well next
time or never sing another note. I was quite desperate when my
turn came, and felt as if I could do almost anything, for I
remembered that he was there. I'm not sure how it was, but it
seemed as if I was all voice, for I let myself go, trying to forget
everything except that two people must not be disappointed,
though I died when the song was done."
"Oh, Phebe, it was splendid! I nearly cried, I was so proud and glad
to see you do yourself justice at last."
"And he?" whispered Phebe, with her face half hidden on the arm
of the chair.
"Said not a word, but I saw his lips tremble and his eyes shine and
I knew he was the happiest creature there, because I was sure he
did think you fit to be his wife and did mean to speak very soon."
Phebe made no answer for a moment, seeming to forget the small
success in the greater one which followed and to comfort her sore
heart with the knowledge that Rose was right.
"He sent the flowers, he came for me, and, on the way home,
showed me how wrong I had been to doubt him for an hour. Don't
ask me to tell that part, but be sure I was the happiest creature in
the world then."
And Phebe hid her face again, all wet with tender tears that fell
soft and sudden as a summer shower.
Rose let them flow undisturbed while she silently caressed the bent
head, wondering, with a wistful look in her own wet eyes, what
this mysterious passion was which could so move, ennoble, and
beautify the beings whom it blessed.
An impertinent little clock upon the chimneypiece striking eleven
broke the silence and reminded Phebe that she could not indulge in
love dreams there. She started up, brushed off her tears, and said
resolutely: "That is enough for tonight. Go happily to bed, and
leave the troubles for tomorrow."
"But, Phebe, I must know what you said," cried Rose, like a child
defrauded of half its bedtime story.
"I said, 'No.'"
"Ah! But it will change to 'yes' by and by, I'm sure of that so I'll let
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