The Girl Scout's Triumph - novelonlinefree.info
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Rosanna clasped her hands over it. "Oh, Claire!" was all she could say at first. Then, "But it was the doctor's operation that cured her; it belongs to him."
Claire shook her red head and smiled. "No, it is yours by rights. All the doctors failed to discover the injury to her head. The box is yours, dear, dear Rosanna! Open it and see what the old Mandarin has hidden there."
Rosanna undid the paper and exclaimed over the wonderful carven casket.
But Claire urged her to open the box, and with a nail file Rosanna broke the fine cords that held the seal. She pressed the tiny knob on the front, and the glittering cover sprang open. A little object wrapped in silk lay inside. It proved to be a queer carved figure seated on a sort of stool. It was exquisitely colored and overlaid in parts with gold leaf, and the funny brown face wore a beaming smile. A large cloak of gold leaf enveloped it, and this had a ruby set in the front like a large clasp.
"I know that figure," said Claire. "It is the god of good luck. I can't remember his name."
"See the way that cunning cloak or robe is fastened with a jewel," said Rosanna, fingering the ruby. There was a little click, and the cloak parted and flew open, disclosing in the unexpected hiding-place another small carved box.
With trembling fingers Rosanna opened it. There, inside, rested the mate to the beautiful jade ring that Claire always wore.
"Oh, how lovely! How perfectly lovely!" cried Rosanna. "Just like yours!
Oh, I have always almost envied you that gorgeous ring."
"If it is like mine, there is another surprise in store for you," said Claire, taking the jewel in her hands and pressing on the stone with a swift turning motion. Sure enough the stone raised on tiny hidden springs, and disclosed an opening or socket about the size of a silver three-cent piece. "What is that for?" asked Rosanna.
"We don't know, but dad thinks these rings are royal, and this place was made for a single dose of poison to be concealed in case the wearer was going to be tortured or something like that. But I don't like to think of anything so horrid. I keep mother's picture in mine." She opened the ring, and showed a tiny colored miniature of her mother.
"It is too perfect!" sighed Rosanna.
"There is one thing I hope you will never forget, Rosanna," said Claire, "and that is why the Mandarin gave you the box. Just to thank you, you know, because you have given me a gift beyond price. This is what has come of your sacrifice. I wish I could tell the old Mandarin about it."
"I will if I see him," laughed Rosanna.
Just as the train started off with Uncle Bob and Rosanna, Claire threw her arms around Rosanna's neck and whispered, "Oh, Rosanna, you _do_ know that I love you, and thank you with every breath, don't you?"
"You thank me too much, dear Claire," said Rosanna, "and I love you too."
The whistle blew, the conductor waved his arms and called, "All aboard!"
Rosanna threw kisses after Colonel Maslin and Claire as they fell behind. They rolled slowly out of the city. Night fell. The white-jacketed porter went up and down the aisle looking his charges over. He pounced on Rosanna's hat and put it in a paper bag. Rosanna scarcely noticed. Nothing about her seemed real. The jarring train, the lights, the people, all seemed like a dream. Yet it was real, and she, Rosanna, was moving eastward, ever eastward to her grandmother, to Cita, to dear Helen, and the Ports of the World!