I first read this as a kid and I loved it. For years and years I looked for it, but could not remember the exact title. It was a happy day when I picked it up at a church book sale and recognized my childhood friend.
It is a short and simple story of Ariane, a Countess who lives a simple life tending the garden her late husband created for her. Her castle is rundown and she is poor, but she's happy surrounded by the roses that remind her of her beloved husband. Three vagabonds, led by the cruel Yarrow, take Araine and her only servant hostage while they search for the treasure that is rumored to be hidden on the estate. The only clue they have is something the Count said about his treasure, "The treasure is the rose."
I suppose in some ways this is a romantic tale, but what I liked about it when I was a girl is that Ariane is brave in a quiet way. I was not strong or daring or particularly courageous but I thought maybe I could be brave the same way as Ariane, by being kind, treating people well and not giving up.