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notions, and so angry about trifles that a poor fellow can't please
you, try as he will," began Charlie, ill at ease, but too proud to
show half the penitence he felt, not so much for the fault as for her
discovery of it.
"I am not angry I am grieved and disappointed, for I expect every
man to do his duty in another way and keep his word to the
uttermost, as I try to do. If that is exacting, I'm sorry, and won't
trouble you with my old-fashioned notions anymore."
"Bless my soul! What a rout about nothing! I own that I forgot I
know I acted like a fool and I beg pardon. What more can I do?"
"Act like a man, and never let me be so terribly ashamed of you
again as I was last night." And Rose gave a little shiver as she
thought of it.
That involuntary act hurt Charlie more than her words, and it was
his turn now to feel "terribly ashamed," for the events of the
previous evening were very hazy in his mind and fear magnified
them greatly. Turning sharply away, he went and stood by the fire,
quite at a loss how to make his peace this time, because Rose was
so unlike herself. Usually a word of excuse sufficed, and she
seemed glad to pardon and forget; now, though very quiet, there
was something almost stern about her that surprised and daunted
him, for how could he know that all the while her pitiful heart was
pleading for him and the very effort to control it made her a little
hard and cold?
As he stood there, restlessly fingering the ornaments upon the
chimneypiece, his eye brightened suddenly and, taking up the
pretty bracelet lying there, he went slowly back to her, saying in a
tone that was humble and serious enough now: "I will act like a
man, and you shall never be ashamed again. Only be kind to me.
Let me put this on, and promise afresh this time I swear I'll keep it.
Won't you trust me, Rose?"
It was very hard to resist the pleading voice and eyes, for this
humility was dangerous; and, but for Uncle Alec, Rose would have
answered "yes." The blue forget-me-nots reminded her of her own
promise, and she kept it with difficulty now, to be glad always
afterward. Putting back the offered trinket with a gentle touch, she
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