Eight Cousins HTML version

7. A Trip to China
"Come, little girl, I've got another dose for you. I fancy you won't take it as well as you
did the last, but you will like it better after a while," said Dr. Alec, about a week after the
grand surprise.
Rose was sitting in her pretty room, where she would gladly have spent all her time if it
had been allowed; but she looked up with a smile, for she had ceased to fear her
uncle's remedies, and was always ready to try a new one. The last had been a set of
light gardening tools, with which she had helped him put the flower-beds in order,
learning all sorts of new and pleasant things about the plants as she worked, for, though
she had studied botany at school, it seemed very dry stuff compared with Uncle Alec's
lively lesson.
"What is it now?" she asked, shutting her work-box without a murmur.
"How must I take it?"
"Put on the new suit Miss Hemming sent home yesterday, and come down to the beach;
then I'll show you."
"Yes, sir," answered Rose obediently, adding to herself, with a shiver, as he went off: "It
is too early for bathing, so I know it is something to do with a dreadful boat."
Putting on the new suit of blue flannel, prettily trimmed with white, and the little sailor-
hat with long streamers, diverted her mind from the approaching trial, till a shrill whistle
reminded her that her uncle was waiting. Away she ran through the garden, down the
sandy path, out upon the strip of beach that belonged to the house, and here she found
Dr. Alec busy with a slender red and white boat that lay rocking on the rising tide.
"That is a dear little boat; and 'Bonnie Belle' is a pretty name," she said, trying not to
show how nervous she felt.
"It is for you; so sit in the stern and learn to steer, till you are ready to learn to row."
"Do all boats wiggle about in that way?" she asked, lingering as if to tie her hat more
"Oh, yes, pitch about like nutshells when the sea is a bit rough," answered her sailor
uncle, never guessing her secret woe.
"Is it rough to-day?"