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"What curious creatures women are! Archie told us you bore the
news like a hero, and now you turn pale at a whiff of bad air. I
can't explain it," mused Mac as he meekly endured the fragrant
"Neither can I, but I've been imagining horrors all day and made
myself nervous. Don't let us talk about it, but come and have some
"That's another queer thing. Tea is your panacea for all human ills
yet there isn't any nourishment in it. I'd rather have a glass of milk,
thank you," said Mac, taking an easy chair and stretching his feet
to the fire.
She brought it to him and made him eat something; then, as he
shut his eyes wearily, she went away to the piano and, having no
heart to sing, played softly till he seemed asleep. But at the stroke
of six he was up and ready to be off again.
"He gave me that. Take it with you and put some on his hair. He
likes it, and I do so want to help a little," she said, slipping the
pretty flagon into his pocket with such a wistful look Mac never
thought of smiling at this very feminine request.
"I'll tell him. Is there anything else I can do for you, Cousin?" he
asked, holding the cold hand that had been serving him so
"Only this if there is any sudden change, promise to send for me,
no matter at what hour it is. I must say 'good-bye'".
"I will come for you. But, Rose, I am sure you may sleep in peace
tonight, and I hope to have good news for you in the morning."
"Bless you for that! Come early, and let me see him soon. I will be
very good, and I know it will not do him any harm."
"No fear of that. The first thing he said when he could speak was
'Tell Rose carefully,' and as I came away he guessed where I was
going and tried to kiss his hand in the old way, you know."
Mac thought it would cheer her to hear that Charlie remembered
her, but the sudden thought that she might never see the familiar
little gesture anymore was the last drop that made her full heart
overflow, and Mac saw the "hero" of the morning sink down at his
feet in a passion of tears that frightened him. He took her to the
sofa and tried to comfort her, but as soon as the bitter sobbing
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