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قراءة كتاب The Adopting of Rosa Marie (A Sequel to Dandelion Cottage)

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‏اللغة: English
The Adopting of Rosa Marie
(A Sequel to Dandelion Cottage)

The Adopting of Rosa Marie (A Sequel to Dandelion Cottage)

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دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
الصفحة رقم: 8

buttonholes. Such a nuisance!"

"Pity you can't use tacks and a hammer," giggled Marjory.

The clothing of Rosa Marie had presented another distressing problem. She owned absolutely nothing in the way of a wardrobe. The single, unattractive garment she had worn on her arrival had not survived the girls' attempts to wash it. They had left it boiling on the stove, the water had cooked off and the faded gingham had cooked also.

To make up for this accident, all four of the Cottagers had contributed all they could find of their own cast-off garments; but these of course were much too large without considerable making over.

"If," said Jean, reproachfully, as she took a large tuck in the grown-up stocking that she was trying to re-model for Rosa Marie, "you'd only let me tell my mother, she'd give us every blessed thing we need. One live little Indian in the hand ought to be worth more to her than a whole dozen invisible ones on a way-off Reservation; and you know she's always doing things for them."

"Jeanie Mapes!" threatened Mabel, "if you tell her, that's the very last breath I'll ever speak to you."

"I'll be good," sighed Jean, "but I just hate not telling her. And this horrid stocking is still too long."

"Button it about her neck," giggled Marjory, who flatly declined to do any sewing for Rosa Marie. "That'll take up the slack and save making her a shirt."

"Don't bother about stockings," said Bettie, fishing a round lump from her blouse. "Here's a pair of old ones that I found in the rag bag. One's black and the other's tan; but they're exactly the right size and that's something."

"What's the use," demurred Marjory. "She won't wear them."

"If Rosa Marie were about eight shades slimmer," said Jean, "I could easily get some of Anne Halliday's dear little dresses—her mother gave my mother a lot day before yesterday for that Reservation box; but goodness! You'd have to sew two of them together sideways to get them around that child."

"She is awfully thick," admitted Mabel.

Yet, after all, dressing Rosa Marie was not exactly a hardship. Indeed, it is probable that the difficulties that stood in the way made the task only so much the more interesting; then, of course, dressing a real child was much more exciting than making garments for a mere doll.

Whenever the Cottagers spoke of Rosa Marie outside the Cottage they referred to her as the D. S. D. S. stood for "Dark Secret." This seemed singularly appropriate, for Rosa Marie was certainly dark and quite as certainly a most tremendous secret—a far larger and darker secret than the troubled girls cared to keep, but there seemed to be no immediate way out of it.

Fortunately, the stolid little "D. S." was amiable to an astonishing degree. She never cried. Also, she "stayed put." If Mabel stood her in the corner she stayed there. If she were tucked into bed, there she remained until some one dragged her out. She spent her days rolling contentedly about the Cottage floor, her nights in deep, calm slumber. Never was there a youngster with fewer wants. Teaching Rosa Marie to talk furnished the Cottagers with great amusement. The round brown damsel very evidently preferred grunts to words; but she was always willing to grunt obligingly when Mabel or the others insisted.

"Say, 'This little pig went to market,'" Mabel would prompt.

"Eigh, ugh, ugh, ee, ee, ee, hee!" Rosa Marie would grunt.

Then, when everybody else laughed her very hardest, Rosa Marie's grim little mouth would relax to show for an instant the row of white teeth that Mabel scrubbed industriously many times a day. This rare smile made the borrowed baby almost attractive. But not to Marjory. From the first, Marjory regarded her with strong disapproval.

Fortunately for Mabel's secret, little Anne Halliday, the Marcotte twins and the two Tucker babies were too small to tell tales out of school, so in spite of sundry narrow escapes, Rosa Marie remained as dark a secret as one's heart could desire.