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amusement and determined to venture a bold stroke, though not
very hopeful of its success. They said nothing to Rose about their
plan for this Saturday afternoon, but let her alone till the time
came for the grand surprise, little dreaming that the odd child
would find pleasure for herself in a most unexpected quarter.
Before she had time to squeeze out a single tear a sound broke the
stillness, making her prick up her ears. It was only the soft twitter
of a bird, but it seemed to be a peculiarly gifted bird, for while she
listened the soft twitter changed to a lively whistle, then a trill, a
coo, a chirp, and ended in a musical mixture of all the notes, as if
the bird burst out laughing. Rose laughed also, and, forgetting her
woes, jumped up, saying eagerly
"It is a mocking-bird. Where is it?"
Running down the long hall, she peeped out at both doors, but saw
nothing feathered except a draggle-tailed chicken under a burdock
leaf. She listened again, and the sound seemed to be in the house.
Away she went, much excited by the chase, and following the
changeful song, it led her to the china-closet door.
"In there? How funny!" she said. But when she entered, not a bird
appeared except the everlastingly kissing swallows on the Canton
china that lined the shelves. All of a sudden Rose's face
brightened, and, softly opening the slide, she peered into the
kitchen. But the music had stopped, and all she saw was a girl in a
blue apron scrubbing the hearth. Rose stared about her for a
minute, and then asked abruptly
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