"I'm not afraid," laughed Rosy. "I'll go and ask right away, and I won't touch a thing, and I know you'll like me for a friend. Papa says I'm a dear little one. Thank you very much, sir. Good-by till I come again;" and with a kiss of the hand, the yellow head sunk out of sight like the sun going down, leaving a sense of darkness behind when the beaming little face disappeared, though fresh stains of green mould from the wall made it rather like the tattooed countenances Mr. Dover used to see among his cannibal friends in Africa.
He sat musing with the dead chicken in his hand, forgetful of time, till a ring of his own door-bell called him in to receive a note from Miss Penelope, thanking him for his invitation to little Rosamond, but declining it in the most polite and formal words.
"I expected it! Bless the silly old souls! why can't they be reasonable, and accept the olive branch when I offer it? I'll be hanged if I do again! The fat one is at the bottom of this. Miss Pen would give in if that absurd Henrietta didn't hold her back. Well, I'm sorry for the child, but that's not my fault;" and throwing down the note, Mr. Dover went out to water his roses.
For a week or two, Button-Rose hardly dared glance toward the forbidden spot from her window, as she was ordered to play in the front garden, and sent to take sober walks with Cicely, who loved to stop and gossip with her friends, while the poor child waited patiently till the long tales were told.
Nursing Tabby was her chief consolation; and so