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latest was always the best. I thought Uncle would have died of
laughter over the vegetarian mania it was so funny to imagine you
living on bread and milk, baked apples, and potatoes roasted in
your own fire," continued Rose, changing the subject again.
"This old chap was the laughingstock of his class. They called him
Don Quixote, and the way he went at windmills of all sorts was a
sight to see," put in Charlie, evidently feeling that Mac had been
patted on the head quite as much as was good for him.
"But in spite of that the Don got through college with all the
honors. Oh, wasn't I proud when Aunt Jane wrote to us about it and
didn't she rejoice that her boy kept at the head of his class and won
the medal!" cried Rose, shaking Mac by both hands in a way that
caused Charlie to wish "the old chap" had been left behind with
"Oh, come, that's all Mother's nonsense. I began earlier than the
other fellows and liked it better, so I don't deserve any praise.
Prince is right, though. I did make a regular jack of myself, but on
the whole I'm not sure that my wild oats weren't better than some
I've seen sowed. Anyway, they didn't cost much, and I'm none the
worse for them," said Mac placidly.
"I know what 'wild oats' means. I heard Uncle Mac say Charlie was
sowing 'em too fast, and I asked Mama, so she told me. And I
know that he was suspelled or expended, I don't remember which,
but it was something bad, and Aunt Clara cried," added Jamie all
in one breath, for he possessed a fatal gift of making malapropos
remarks, which caused him to be a terror to his family.
"Do you want to go on the box again?" demanded Prince with a
"No, I don't."
"Then hold your tongue."
"Well, Mac needn't kick me, for I was only..." began the culprit,
innocently trying to make a bad matter worse.
"That will do," interrupted Charlie sternly, and James subsided, a
crushed boy, consoling himself with Rose's new watch for the
indignities he suffered at the hands of the "old fellows" as he
vengefully called his elders.
Mac and Charlie immediately began to talk as hard as their
tongues could wag, bringing up all sorts of pleasant subjects so
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