Main  Contacts  
Table of contents
Coming Home
Old Friends with New Faces
Miss Campbell
Thorns Among the Roses
Prince Charming
Polishing Mac
Phebe
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

 

"Do you mean to say I'm tipsy?" demanded Steve, ruffling up like a 

little gamecock, for though he saw now what he had done and was 

ashamed of it, he hated to have Mac air his peculiar notions before 

other people. 

 

"With excitement, not champagne, I hope, for I wouldn't own you 

if you were," answered Mac, in whom indignation was 

effervescing like the wine in the forgotten bottle, for the men were 

all young, friends of Steve's and admirers of Charlie's. "Look here, 

boys," he went on more quietly, "I know I ought not to explode in 

this violent sort of way, but upon my life I couldn't help it when I 

heard what you were saying and saw what Steve was doing. Since I 

have begun, I may as well finish and tell you straight out that 

Prince can't stand this sort of thing. He is trying to flee temptation, 

and whoever leads him into it does a cowardly and sinful act, for 

the loss of one's own self-respect is bad enough, without losing the 

more precious things that make life worth having. Don't tell him 

I've said this, but lend a hand if you can, and never have to 

reproach yourselves with the knowledge that you helped to ruin a 

fellow creature, soul and body." 

 

It was well for the success of Mac's first crusade that his hearers 

were gentlemen and sober, so his outburst was not received with 

jeers or laughter but listened to in silence, while the expression of 

the faces changed from one of surprise to regret and respect, for 

earnestness is always effective and championship of this sort 

seldom fails to touch hearts as yet unspoiled. As he paused with an 

eloquent little quiver in his eager voice, Van corked the bottle at a 

blow, threw down the corkscrew, and offered Mac his hand, saying 

heartily, in spite of his slang: "You are a first-class old brick! I'll 

lend a hand for one, and do my best to back up Charlie, for he's the 

finest fellow I know, and shan't go to the devil like poor Randal if I 

can help it." 

 

Murmurs of applause from the others seemed to express a general 

assent to this vigorous statement, and, giving the hand a grateful 

shake, Mac retreated to the door, anxious to be off now that he had 

freed his mind with such unusual impetuosity. 


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