Louisa May Alcott: Rose in Bloom

Chapter 19. BEHIND THE FOUNTAIN (continued)


Only a word, but it wrought a marvelous change, for the devout expression vanished in the drawing of a breath, and the quiet face blossomed suddenly with color, warmth, and "the light that never was on sea or land" as she turned to meet her lover with an answering word as eloquent as his.


"The year is out today. I told you I should come. Have you forgotten?"

"No I knew you'd come."

"And are you glad?"

"How can I help it?"

"You can't don't try. Come into this little park and let us talk." And drawing her hand through his arm, Archie led her into what to other eyes was a very dismal square, with a boarded-up fountain in the middle, sodden grass plots, and dead leaves dancing in the wintry wind.

But to them it was a summery Paradise, and they walked to and fro in the pale sunshine, quite unconscious that they were objects of interest to several ladies and gentlemen waiting anxiously for their dinner or yawning over the dull books kept for Sunday reading. "Are you ready to come home now, Phebe?" asked Archie tenderly as he looked at the downcast face beside him and wondered why all women did not wear delightful little black velvet bonnets with one deep red flower against their hair.

"Not yet. I haven't done enough," began Phebe, finding it very hard to keep the resolution made a year ago.

"You have proved that you can support yourself, make friends, and earn a name, if you choose. No one can deny that, and we are all getting proud of you. What more can you ask, my dearest?"

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