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anteroom, from whence the sound of popping corks had issued
with increasing frequency as the evening wore on.
"Dear fellow, he does try," thought Rose, longing to show how she
admired his self-denial, but she could only say, as they left the
supper room with the aunts, who were going early: "If I had not
promised Uncle to get home as soon after midnight as possible, I'd
stay and dance the German with you, for you deserve a reward
"A thousand thanks, but I am going when you do," answered
Charlie, understanding both her look and words and very grateful
"Really?" cried Rose, delighted.
"Really. I'll be in the hall when you come down." And Charlie
thought the Fra Angelico angel was not half so bright and beautiful
as the one who looked back at him out of a pale blue cloud as Rose
went upstairs as if on wings.
When she came down again Charlie was not in the hall, however,
and, after waiting a few minutes, Mac offered to go and find him,
for Aunt Jane was still hunting a lost rubber above.
"Please say I'm ready, but he needn't come if he doesn't want to,"
said Rose, not wishing to demand too much of her promising
"If he has gone into that barroom, I'll have him out, no matter who
is there!" growled Mac to himself as he made his way to the small
apartment whither the gentlemen retired for a little private
refreshment when the spirit moved, as it often did.
The door was ajar, and Charlie seemed to have just entered, for
Mac heard a familiar voice call out in a jovial tone: "Come,
Prince! You're just in time to help us drink Steve's health with all
"Can't stop, only ran in to say good night, Van. Had a capital time,
but I'm on duty and must go."
"That's a new dodge. Take a stirrup cup anyway, and come back in
time for a merry-go-rounder when you've disposed of the ladies,"
answered the young host, diving into the wine cooler for another
"Charlie's going in for sanctity, and it doesn't seem to agree with
him," laughed one of the two other young men who occupied
several chairs apiece, resting their soles in every sense of the word.
"Apron strings are coming into fashion the bluer the better hey,
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