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look much more tidy, and I fancy I shall like it when I'm used to
seeing a somewhat distinguished-looking man about the house
instead of my old friend Orson," answered Rose, with her head on
one side to get a profile view.
"Don't tell Uncle why I did it, please he thinks it was for the sake
of coolness and likes it, so take no notice. They are all used to me
now, and don't mind," said Mac, roving about the room as if rather
ashamed of his whim after all.
"No, I won't, but you mustn't mind if I'm not as sociable as usual
for a while. I never can be with strangers, and you really do seem
like one. That will be a punishment for your want of taste and love
of originality," returned Rose, resolved to punish him for the slight
put upon her beloved uncle.
"As you like. I won't trouble you much anyway, for I'm going to be
very busy. May go to L this winter, if Uncle thinks best, and then
my 'originality' can't annoy you."
"I hope you won't go. Why, Mac, I'm just getting to know and
enjoy you, and thought we'd have a nice time this winter reading
something together. Must you go?" And Rose seemed to forget his
strangeness, as she held him still by one button while she talked.
"That would be nice. But I feel as if I must go my plans are all
made, and I've set my heart on it," answered Mac, looking so eager
that Rose released him, saying sadly: "I suppose it is natural for
you all to get restless and push off, but it is hard for me to let you
go one after the other and stay here alone. Charlie is gone, Archie
and Steve are wrapped up in their sweethearts, the boys away, and
only Jamie left to 'play with Rose.'?
"But I'll come back, and you'll be glad I went if I bring you my--"
began Mac with sudden animation, then stopped abruptly to bite
his lips, as if he had nearly said too much.
"Your what?" asked Rose curiously, for he neither looked nor
acted like himself.
"I forgot how long it takes to get a diploma," he said, walking
"There will be one comfort if you go you'll see Phebe and can tell
me all about her, for she is so modest, she doesn't half do it. I shall
want to know how she gets on, if she is engaged to sing ballads in
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