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two book-cases at the back of the room, a darkish corner, where
Brother Bones, as the boys would call him, was out of the way.
As Rose stood looking in that direction, and wondering if a rat had
got shut in, the door of the case swung slowly open, and with a
great start she saw a bony arm lifted, and a bony finger beckon to
her. For a minute she was frightened, and ran to the study door
with a fluttering heart, but just as she touched the handle a queer,
stifled sort of giggle made her stop short and turn red with anger.
She paused an instant to collect herself, and then went softly
toward the bony beckoner. A nearer look revealed black threads
tied to the arm and fingers, the ends of threads disappearing
through holes bored in the back of the case. Peeping into the dark
recess, she also caught sight of the tip of an elbow covered with a
rough gray cloth which she knew very well.
Quick as a flash she understood the joke, her fear vanished, and
with a wicked smile, she whipped out her scissors, cut the threads,
and the bony arm dropped with a rattle. Before she could say,
"Come out, Charlie, and let my skeleton alone," a sudden irruption
of boys, all in a high state of tickle, proclaimed to the hidden rogue
that his joke was a failure.
"I told him not to do it, because it might give you a start,"
explained Archie, emerging from the closet.
"I had a smelling bottle all ready if she fainted away," added Steve,
popping up from behind the great chair.
"It's too bad of you not to squawk and run; we depended on it, it's
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