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Chapter 1 COMING HOME
Three young men stood together on a wharf one bright October
day awaiting the arrival of an ocean steamer with an impatience
which found a vent in lively skirmishes with a small lad, who
pervaded the premises like a will-o'-the-wisp and afforded much
amusement to the other groups assembled there.
"They are the Campbells, waiting for their cousin, who has been
abroad several years with her uncle, the doctor," whispered one
lady to another as the handsomest of the young men touched his
hat to her as he passed, lugging the boy, whom he had just rescued
from a little expedition down among the piles.
"Which is that?" asked the stranger.
"Prince Charlie, as he's called a fine fellow, the most promising of
the seven, but a little fast, people say," answered the first speaker
with a shake of the head.
"Are the others his brothers?"
"No, cousins. The elder is Archie, a most exemplary young man.
He has just gone into business with the merchant uncle and bids
fair to be an honor to his family. The other, with the eyeglasses
and no gloves, is Mac, the odd one, just out of college."
"And the boy?"
"Oh, he is Jamie, the youngest brother of Archibald, and the pet of
the whole family. Mercy on us he'll be in if they don't hold on to
The ladies' chat came to a sudden end just there, for by the time
Jamie had been fished out of a hogshead, the steamer hove in sight
and everything else was forgotten. As it swung slowly around to
enter the dock, a boyish voice shouted, "There she is! I see her and
Uncle and Phebe! Hooray for Cousin Rose!" And three small
cheers were given with a will by Jamie as he stood on a post
waving his arms like a windmill while his brother held onto the
tail of his jacket.
Yes, there they were Uncle Alec swinging his hat like a boy, with
Phebe smiling and nodding on one side and Rose kissing both
hands delightedly on the other as she recognized familiar faces and
heard familiar voices welcoming her home.
"Bless her dear heart, she's bonnier than ever! Looks like a
Madonna doesn't she? with that blue cloak round her, and her
bright hair flying in the wind!" said Charlie excitedly as they
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