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Eight Cousins

20. Under The Mistletoe
Rose made Phebe promise that she would bring her stocking into the "Bower," as she
called her pretty room, on Christmas morning, because that first delicious rummage
loses half its charm if two little night-caps at least do not meet over the treasures, and
two happy voices Oh and Ah together.
So when Rose opened her eyes that day they fell upon faithful Phebe, rolled up in a
shawl, sitting on the rug before a blazing fire, with her untouched stocking laid beside
her.
"Merry Christmas!" cried the little mistress smiling gaily.
"Merry Christmas!" answered the little maid, so heartily that it did one good to hear her.
"Bring the stockings right away, Phebe, and let's see what we've got," said Rose, sitting
up among the pillows, and looking as eager as a child.
A pair of long knobby hose were laid out upon the coverlet, and their contents examined
with delight, though each knew every blessed thing that had been put into the other's
stocking.
Never mind what they were; it is evident that they were quite satisfactory, for as Rose
leaned back, she said, with a luxurious sigh of satisfaction, "Now, I believe I've got
everything in the world that I want," and Phebe answered, smiling over a lapful of
treasures, "This is the most splendid Christmas I ever had since I was born." Then she
added with an important air
"Do wish for something else, because I happen to know of two more presents outside
the door this minute."
"Oh, me, what richness!" cried Rose, much excited. "I used to wish for a pair of glass
slippers like Cinderella's, but as I can't have them, I really don't know what to ask for."
Phebe clapped her hands as she skipped off the bed and ran to the door, saying
merrily, "One of them is for your feet, anyway. I don't know what you'll say to the other,
but I think it's elegant."
So did Rose, when a shining pair of skates and a fine sled appeared.
"Uncle sent those; I know he did; and, now I see them, I remember that I did want to
skate and coast. Isn't it a beauty? See! they fit nicely," and, sitting on the new sled,
Rose tried a skate on her little bare foot, while Phebe stood by admiring the pretty
tableau.
 
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