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Table of contents
Coming Home
Old Friends with New Faces
Miss Campbell
Thorns Among the Roses
Prince Charming
Polishing Mac
Breakers Ahead
New Year's Calls
The Sad and Sober Part
Small Temptations
At Kitty's Ball
Both Sides
Aunt Clara's Plan
Alas for Charlie!
Good Works
Among the Haycocks
Which Was It?
Behind the Fountain
What Mac Did
How Phebe Earned Her Welcome
Short and Sweet

she ought to show. She decided to be gentle, but very frank; to 

reprove, but also to console; and to try to improve the softened 

moment by inspiring the culprit with a wish for all the virtues 

which make a perfect man. 


The fond delusion grew quite absorbing, and her mind was full of 

it as she sat watching the sun set from her western window and 

admiring with dreamy eyes the fine effect of the distant hills clear 

and dark against a daffodil sky when the bang of a door made her 

sit suddenly erect in her low chair and say with a catch in her 

breath: "He's coming! I must remember what I promised Uncle and 

be very firm." 


Usually Charlie announced his approach with music of some sort. 

Now he neither whistled, hummed, nor sang, but came so quietly 

Rose was sure that he dreaded this meeting as much as she did 

and, compassionating his natural confusion, did not look around as 

the steps drew near. She thought perhaps he would go down upon 

his knees, as he used to after a boyish offense, but hoped not, for 

too much humility distressed her, so she waited for the first 

demonstration anxiously. 


It was rather a shock when it came, however, for a great nosegay 

dropped into her lap and a voice, bold and gay as usual, said 

lightly: "Here she is, as pretty and pensive as you please. Is the 

world hollow, our doll stuffed with sawdust, and do we want to go 

into a nunnery today, Cousin?" 


Rose was so taken aback by this unexpected coolness that the 

flowers lay unnoticed as she looked up with a face so full of 

surprise, reproach, and something like shame that it was 

impossible to mistake its meaning. Charlie did not, and had the 

grace to redden deeply, and his eyes fell as he said quickly, though 

in the same light tone: "I humbly apologize for coming so late last 

night. Don't be hard upon me, Cousin. You know America expects 

every man to do his duty on New Year's Day." 


"I am tired of forgiving! You make and break promises as easily as 

you did years ago, and I shall never ask you for another," answered 

Rose, putting the bouquet away, for the apology did not satisfy her 

and she would not be bribed to silence. 


"But, my dear girl, you are so very exacting, so peculiar in your 

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