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Rose in Bloom

2. Old Friends With New Faces
"It is so good to be home again! I wonder how we ever made up our minds to go
away!" exclaimed Rose as she went roaming about the old house next morning,
full of the satisfaction one feels at revisiting familiar nooks and corners and
finding them unchanged.
"That we might have the pleasure of coming back again," answered Phebe,
walking down the hall beside her little mistress, as happy as she.
"Everything seems just as we left it, even to the rose leaves we used to tuck in
here," continued the younger girl, peeping into one of the tall India jars that stood
about the hall.
"Don't you remember how Jamie and Pokey used to play Forty Thieves with
them, and how you tried to get into that blue one and got stuck, and the other
boys found us before I could pull you out?" asked Phebe, laughing.
"Yes, indeed, and speaking of angels, one is apt to hear the rustling of their
wings," added Rose, as a shrill whistle came up the avenue accompanied by the
clatter of hoofs.
"It is the circus!" cried Phebe gaily as they both recalled the red cart and the
charge of the clan.
There was only one boy now, alas, but he made noise enough for half a dozen,
and before Rose could run to the door, Jamie came bouncing in with a "shining
morning face," a bat over his shoulder, a red and white jockey cap on his head,
one pocket bulging with a big ball, the other overflowing with cookies, and his
mouth full of the apple he was just finishing off in hot haste.
"Morning! I just looked in to make sure you'd really come and see that you were
all right," he observed, saluting with bat and doffing the gay cap with one
effective twitch.
"Good morning, dear. Yes, we really are here, and getting to rights as fast as
possible. But it seems to me you are rather gorgeous, Jamie. What do you
belong to a fire company or a jockey club?" asked Rose, turning up the once
chubby face, which now was getting brown and square about the chin.
"No, ma'am! Why, don't you know? I'm captain of the Base Ball Star Club. Look
at that, will you?" And, as if the fact were one of national importance, Jamie flung
open his jacket to display upon his proudly swelling chest an heart-shaped red
flannel shield decorated with a white cotton star the size of a tea plate.
"Superb! I've been away so long I forgot there was such a game. And you the
captain?" cried Rose, deeply impressed by the high honor to which her kinsman
had arrived.
"I just am, and it's no joke you'd better believe, for we knock our teeth out, black
our eyes, and split our fingers almost as well as the big fellows. You come down
to the Common between one and two and see us play a match, then you'll
understand what hard work it is. I'll teach you to bat now if you'll come out on the
lawn," added Jamie, fired with a wish to exhibit his prowess.
"No, thank you, captain. The grass is wet, and you'll be late at school if you stay
for us."
 
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