Eight Cousins HTML version

5. A Belt and a Box
When Rose came out of her chamber, cup in hand, next morning, the first person she
saw was Uncle Alec standing on the threshold of the room opposite, which he appeared
to be examining with care. When he heard her step, he turned about and began to sing
"Where are you going, my pretty maid?"
"I'm going a-milking, sir, she said," answered Rose, waving the cup; and then they
finished the verse together in fine style.
Before either spoke, a head, in a nightcap so large and beruffled that it looked like a
cabbage, popped out of a room farther down the hall, and an astonished voice
"What in the world are you doing about so early?"
"Clearing our pipes for the day, ma'am. Look here, auntie, can I have this room?" said
Dr. Alec, making her a sailor's bow.
"Any room you like, except sister's."
"Thanks. And may I go rummaging round in the garrets and glory-holes to furnish it as I
"My dear boy, you may turn the house upside down if you will only stay in it."
"That's a handsome offer, I'm sure. I'll stay, ma'am; here's my little anchor, so you will
get more than you want of me this time."
"That's impossible! Put on your jacket, Rose. Don't tire her out with antics, Alec. Yes,
sister, I'm coming!" and the cabbage vanished suddenly.
The first milking lesson was a droll one; but after several scares and many vain
attempts, Rose at last managed to fill her cup, while Ben held Clover's tail so that it
could not flap, and Dr. Alec kept her from turning to stare at the new milkmaid, who
objected to both these proceedings very much.
"You look chilly in spite of all this laughing. Take a smart run round the garden and get
up a glow," said the doctor, as they left the barn.
"I'm too old for running, uncle; Miss Power said it was not lady-like for girls in their
teens," answered Rose, primly.