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wide awake and much pleased.
But she did not go, for just then she spied her uncle standing on the
rug warming his hands with a generally fresh and breezy look
about him which suggested a recent struggle with the elements.
"How did this come?" she asked suspiciously.
"A man brought it."
"This man? Oh, Uncle! Why did you take so much trouble just to
gratify a wish of mine?" she cried, taking both the cold hands in
hers with a tenderly reproachful glance from the storm without to
the ruddy face above her.
"Because, having taken away your French bonbons with the
poisonous color on them, I wanted to get you something better.
Here it is, all pure sugar, the sort that sweetens the heart as well as
the tongue and leaves no bad taste behind."
"How good you are to me! I don't deserve it, for I didn't resist
temptation, though I tried. Uncle, after I'd put the book away, I
thought I must just see how it ended, and I'm afraid I should have
read it all if it had not been gone," said Rose, laying her face down
on the hands she held as humbly as a repentant child.
But Uncle Alec lifted up the bent head and, looking into the eyes
that met his frankly, though either held a tear, he said, with the
energy that always made his words remembered: "My little girl, I
would face a dozen storms far worse than this to keep your soul as
stainless as snow, for it is the small temptations which undermine
integrity unless we watch and pray and never think them too trivial
to be resisted."
Some people would consider Dr. Alec an overcareful man, but
Rose felt that he was right, and when she said her prayers that
night, added a meek petition to be kept from yielding to three of
the small temptations which beset a rich, pretty, and romantic girl
extravagance, coquetry, and novel reading.
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