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ever, and promptly quenched his vanities by answering, with a
provoking laugh, "Then the name of the flower of the family is
"Ah, ha! who's got it now?" jeered Will.
"Let us off easy, please," whispered Geordie, mindful that their
turn came next.
"You blessed beanstalks! I'm proud of you only don't grow quite
out of sight, or even be ashamed to look a woman in the face,"
answered Rose, with a gentle pat on the cheek of either bashful
young giant, for both were red as peonies, though their boyish eyes
were as clear and calm as summer lakes.
"Now me!" and Jamie assumed his manliest air, feeling that he did
not appear to advantage among his tall kinsmen. But he went to
the head of the class in everyone's opinion when Rose put her arms
around him, saying, with a kiss, "You must be my boy now, for all
the others are too old, and I want a faithful little page to do my
errands for me."
"I will, I will I'll marry you too, if you'll just hold on till I grow
up!" cried Jamie, rather losing his head at this sudden promotion.
"Bless the baby, what is he talking about?" laughed Rose, looking
down at her little knight as he clung about her with grateful ardor.
"Oh, I heard the aunts say that you'd better marry one of us, and
keep the property in the family, so I speak first, because you are
very fond of me, and I do love curls."
Alas for Jamie! This awful speech had hardly left his innocent lips
when Will and Geordie swept him out of the room like a
whirlwind, and the howls of that hapless boy were heard from the
torture hall, where being shut into the skeleton case was one of the
mildest punishments inflicted upon him.
Dismay fell upon the unfortunates who remained, but their
confusion was soon ended, for Rose, with a look which they had
never seen upon her face before, dismissed them with the brief
command, "Break ranks the review is over," and walked away to
"Confound that boy! You ought to shut him up or gag him!" fumed
"He shall be attended to," answered poor Archie, who was trying to
bring up the little marplot with the success of most parents and
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