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share the fun. But Charlie had been spoiled by too much
indulgence, and it was hard for him to own himself in the wrong
even when he knew it. He always got what he wanted sooner or
later, and having long ago made up his mind that Rose and her
fortune were to be his, he was secretly displeased at the new plans
and beliefs of the young lady, but flattered himself that they would
soon be changed when she saw how unfashionable and
inconvenient they were.
Musing over the delightful future he had laid out, he made himself
comfortable in the sofa corner near his mother till the appearance
of a slight refection caused both groups to melt into one. Aunt
Plenty believed in eating and drinking, so the slightest excuse for
festivity delighted her hospitable soul, and on this joyful occasion
she surpassed herself.
It was during this informal banquet that Rose, roaming about from
one admiring relative to another, came upon the three younger
lads, who were having a quiet little scuffle in a secluded corner.
"Come out here and let me have a look at you," she said enticingly,
for she predicted an explosion and public disgrace if peace was not
Hastily smoothing themselves down, the young gentlemen
presented three flushed and merry countenances for inspection,
feeling highly honored by the command.
"Dear me, how you two have grown! You big things how dare you
get head of me in this way!" she said, standing on tiptoe to pat the
curly pates before her, for Will and Geordie had shot up like
weeds, and now grinned cheerfully down upon her as she surveyed
them in comic amazement.
"The Campbells are all fine, tall fellows, and we mean to be the
best of the lot. Shouldn't wonder if we were six-footers like
Grandpa," observed Will proudly, looking so like a young
Shanghai rooster, all legs and an insignificant head, that Rose kept
her countenance with difficulty.
"We shall broaden out when we get our growth. We are taller than
Steve now, a half a head, both of us," added Geordie, with his nose
in the air.
Rose turned to look at Steve and, with a sudden smile, beckoned to
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