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brightened as she went on, and at the last word, uttered almost
involuntarily, he actually laughed low to himself, as if this order
into exile pleased him much.
"Don't say that you give nothing, when you've just shown me that
I'm getting on. I'll go; I'll go at once, and see if absence won't help
you 'to think, to know, and to be sure' as it did me. I wish I could
do something more for you. As I can't, good-bye."
"Are you going now?" And Rose paused in her retreat to look back
with a startled face as he offered her a badly made pen and opened
the door for her just as Dr. Alec always did; for, in spite of
himself, Mac did resemble the best of uncles.
"Not yet, but you seem to be."
Rose turned as red as a poppy, snatched the pen, and flew upstairs,
to call herself hard names as she industriously spoiled all Aunt
Plenty's new pocket handkerchiefs by marking them "A.M.C."
Three days later Mac said "good-bye" in earnest, and no one was
surprised that he left somewhat abruptly, such being his way, and a
course of lectures by a famous physician the ostensible reason for
a trip to L----. Uncle Alec deserted most shamefully at the last
moment by sending word that he would be at the station to see the
traveler off, Aunt Plenty was still in her room, so when Mac came
down from his farewell to her, Rose met him in the hall, as if
anxious not to delay him. She was a little afraid of another
tete-a-tete, as she fared so badly at the last, and had assumed a
calm and cousinly air which she flattered herself would plainly
show on what terms she wished to part.
Mac apparently understood, and not only took the hint, but
surpassed her in cheerful composure, for, merely saying
"Good-bye, Cousin; write when you feel like it," he shook hands
and walked out of the house as tranquilly as if only a day instead
of three months were to pass before they met again. Rose felt as if
a sudden shower bath had chilled her and was about to retire,
saying to herself with disdainful decision: "There's no love about it
after all, only one of the eccentricities of genius," when a rush of
cold air made her turn to find herself in what appeared to be the
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