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"Like it! I'm so glad, so proud, I haven't any words strong and
beautiful enough to half express my wonder and my admiration.
How could you do it, Mac?" And a whole face full of smiles broke
loose as Rose clapped her hands, looking as if she could dance
with sheer delight.
"It did itself, up there among the hills, and here with you, or out
alone upon the sea. I could write a heavenly poem this very
minute, and put you in as Spring you look like her in that green
gown with snowdrops in your bonny hair. Rose, am I getting on a
little? Does a hint of fame help me nearer to the prize I'm working
for? Is your heart more willing to be won?"
He did not stir a step, but looked at her with such intense longing
that his glance seemed to draw her nearer like an irresistible
appeal, for she went and stood before him, holding out both hands,
as if she offered all her little store, as she said with simplest
sincerity: "It is not worth so much beautiful endeavor, but if you
still want so poor a thing, it is yours."
He caught her hands in his and seemed about to take the rest of
her, but hesitated for an instant, unable to believe that so much
happiness was true.
"Are you sure, Rose very sure? Don't let a momentary admiration
blind you I'm not a poet yet, and the best are but mortal men, you
"It is not admiration, Mac."
"Nor gratitude for the small share I've taken in saving Uncle? I had
my debt to pay, as well as Phebe, and was as glad to risk my life."
"No it is not gratitude."
"Nor pity for my patience? I've only done a little yet, and I am as
far as ever from being like your hero. I can work and wait still
longer if you are not sure, for I must have all or nothing."
"Oh, Mac! Why will you be so doubtful? You said you'd make me
love you, and you've done it. Will you believe me now?" And, with
a sort of desperation, she threw herself into his arms, clinging
there in eloquent silence while he held her close; feeling, with a
thrill of tender triumph, that this was no longer little Rose, but a
loving woman, ready to live and die for him.
"Now I'm satisfied!" he said presently, when she lifted up her face,
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