Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm
Roses Of Joy
The day before Rebecca started for the South with Miss Maxwell she was in the library
with Emma Jane and Huldah, consulting dictionaries and encyclopaedias. As they were
leaving they passed the locked cases containing the library of fiction, open to the teachers
and townspeople, but forbidden to the students.
They looked longingly through the glass, getting some little comfort from the titles of the
volumes, as hungry children imbibe emotional nourishment from the pies and tarts inside
a confectioner's window. Rebecca's eyes fell upon a new book in the corner, and she read
the name aloud with delight: "_The Rose of Joy_. Listen, girls; isn't that lovely? _The
Rose of Joy_. It looks beautiful, and it sounds beautiful. What does it mean, I wonder?"
"I guess everybody has a different rose," said Huldah shrewdly. "I know what mine
would be, and I'm not ashamed to own it. I'd like a year in a city, with just as much
money as I wanted to spend, horses and splendid clothes and amusements every minute
of the day; and I'd like above everything to live with people that wear low necks." (Poor
Huldah never took off her dress with- out bewailing the fact that her lot was cast in
Riverboro, where her pretty white shoulders could never be seen.)
"That would be fun, for a while anyway," Emma Jane remarked. "But wouldn't that be
pleasure more than joy? Oh, I've got an idea!"
"Don't shriek so!" said the startled Huldah. "I thought it was a mouse."
"I don't have them very often," apologized Emma Jane,--"ideas, I mean; this one shook
me like a stroke of lightning. Rebecca, couldn't it be success?"
"That's good," mused Rebecca; "I can see that success would be a joy, but it doesn't seem
to me like a rose, somehow. I was wondering if it could be love?"
"I wish we could have a peep at the book! It must be perfectly elergant!" said Emma
Jane. "But now you say it is love, I think that's the best guess yet."
All day long the four words haunted and possessed Rebecca; she said them over to
herself continually. Even the prosaic Emma Jane was affected by them, for in the evening
she said, "I don't expect you to believe it, but I have another idea,-- that's two in one day;
I had it while I was putting cologne on your head. The rose of joy might be helpfulness."
"If it is, then it is always blooming in your dear little heart, you darlingest, kind Emmie,
taking such good care of your troublesome Becky!"
"Don't dare to call yourself troublesome! You're --you're--you're my rose of joy, that's
what you are!" And the two girls hugged each other affectionately.