Page:A Garland for Girls (1893).djvu/212

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ladder she went, and peeped over the wall, delighted at this unexpected chance to behold the enemy's territory.

"Oh, what a pretty place!" she cried, clasping her grubby little hands with rapture, as the beauties of the forbidden land burst upon her view.

It was indeed a paradise to a child's eyes,—for flowers bloomed along the winding paths; ripening fruit lay rosy and tempting in the beds below; behind the wire walls that confined them clucked and strutted various sorts of poultry; cages of gay birds hung on the piazza; and through the open windows of the house one caught glimpses of curious curtains, bright weapons, and mysterious objects in the rooms beyond.

A gray-headed gentleman in a queer nankeen coat lay asleep on a bamboo lounge under the great cherry-tree, with a purple silk handkerchief half over his face.

"That's the missionary man, I s'pose. He doesn't look cross at all. If I could only get down there, I'd go and wake him with a softly kiss, as I do Papa, and ask to see his pretty things."

Being quite unconscious of fear, Rosy certainly would have carried out her daring plan, had it been possible; but no way of descending on the other side appeared, so she sighed and sat gazing wistfully, till Cousin Henny appeared for a breath of fresh air, and ordered her down at once.

"Come and see if my balsam-seeds have started yet. I keep planting them, but they won't come up," she said, pointing out a mound of earth newly dug and watered.