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Chapter 9 - Phebe's Secret
"Why do you keep smiling to yourself, Phebe?" asked Rose, as
they were working together one morning, for Dr. Alec considered
house-work the best sort of gymnastics for girls; so Rose took
lessons of Phebe in sweeping, dusting and bed-making.
"I was thinking about a nice little secret I know, and couldn't help
"Shall I know it, sometime?"
"Guess you will."
"Shall I like it?"
"Oh, won't you, though!"
"Will it happen soon?"
"Sometime this week."
"I know what it is! The boys are going to have fireworks on the
fourth, and have got some surprise for me. Haven't they?"
"Well, I can wait; only tell me one thing is uncle in it?"
"Of course he is; there's never any fun without him."
"Then it's all right, and sure to be nice."
Rose went out on the balcony to shake the rugs, and, having given
them a vigorous beating, hung them on the balustrade to air, while
she took a look at her plants. Several tall vases and jars stood
there, and a month of June sun and rain had worked wonders with
the seeds and slips she had planted. Morning-glories and
nasturtiums ran all over the bars, making haste to bloom. Scarlet
beans and honeysuckles were climbing up from below to meet
their pretty neighbours, and the woodbine was hanging its green
festoons wherever it could cling.
The waters of the bay were dancing in the sunshine, a fresh wind
stirred the chestnut-trees with a pleasant sound, and the garden
below was full of roses, butterflies and bees. A great chirping and
twittering went on among the birds, busy with their summer
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