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excited, for Phebe was writing with a sputtering pen on some bits
of brown paper, apparently copying something from a little book.
"I must know what the dear thing is about, and why she cried, and
then set her lips tight and went to work with all her might,"
thought Rose, forgetting all about the caramels, and, going round
to the door, she entered the kitchen, saying pleasantly
"Phebe, I want something to do. Can't you let me help you about
anything, or shall I be in the way?"
"Oh, dear no, miss; I always love to have you round when things
are tidy. What would you like to do?" answered Phebe, opening a
drawer as if about to sweep her own affairs out of sight; but Rose
stopped her, exclaiming, like a curious child
"Let me see! What is it? I won't tell if you'd rather not have Dolly
"I'm only trying to study a bit; but I'm so stupid I don't get on
much," answered the girl reluctantly, permitting her little mistress
to examine the poor contrivances she was trying to work with.
A broken slate that had blown off the roof, an inch or two of
pencil, an old almanac for a reader, several bits of brown or yellow
paper ironed smoothly and sewn together for a copy-book, and the
copies sundry receipts written in Aunt Plenty's neat hand. These,
with a small bottle of ink and a rusty pen, made up Phebe's outfit,
and it was little wonder that she did not "get on" in spite of the
patient persistence that dried the desponding tears and drove along
the sputtering pen with a will.
"You may laugh if you want to, Miss Rose, I know my things are
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