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next minute. When not thus engaged Mac stood about with his
thumbs in his vest pockets, regarding the lively crowd like a
meditative philosopher of a cheerful aspect, often smiling to
himself at some whimsical fancy of his own, knitting his brows as
some bit of ill-natured gossip met his ear, or staring with
undisguised admiration as a beautiful face or figure caught his eye.
"I hope that girl knows what a treasure she has got. But I doubt if
she ever fully appreciates it," said Mrs. Jane, bringing her
spectacles to bear upon Kitty as she whisked by, causing quite a
gale with her flying skirts.
"I think she will, for Steve has been so well brought up, she cannot
but see and feel the worth of what she has never had, and being so
young she will profit by it," answered Mrs. Jessie softly, thinking
of the days when she and her Jem danced together, just betrothed.
"I've done my duty by both the boys, and done it thoroughly, or
their father would have spoilt them, for he's no more idea of
discipline than a child." And Aunt Jane gave her own palm a smart
rap with her closed fan, emphasizing the word "thoroughly" in a
most suggestive manner.
"I've often wished I had your firmness, Jane but after all, I'm not
sure that I don't like my own way best, at least with my boys, for
plenty of love, and plenty of patience, seem to have succeeded
pretty well." And Aunt Jessie lifted the nosegay from her lap,
feeling as if that unfailing love and patience were already
blooming into her life as beautifully as the sweet-breathed roses
given by her boy refreshed and brightened these long hours of
patient waiting in a corner.
"I don't deny that you've done well, Jessie, but you've been let
alone and had no one to hold your hand or interfere. If my Mac had
gone to sea as your Jem did, I never should have been as severe as
I am. Men are so perverse and shortsighted, they don't trouble
about the future as long as things are quiet and comfortable in the
present," continued Mrs. Jane, quite forgetting that the
shortsighted partner of the firm, physically speaking at least, was
"Ah, yes! We mothers love to foresee and foretell our children's
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