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middle in his most gallant style. Landing safely at the bottom, she
stood aside to let him get his breath, for stout Uncle Mac was
bound to do or die on that occasion and would have danced his
pumps through without a murmur if she had desired it.
Leaning against the wall with his hair in his eyes, and a decidedly
bored expression of countenance, was Mac, Jr., who had been
surveying the gymnastics of his parent with respectful
"Come and take a turn, my lad. Rose is fresh as a daisy, but we old
fellows soon get enough of it, so you shall have my place," said his
father, wiping his face, which glowed like a cheerful peony.
"No, thank you, sir I can't stand that sort of thing. I'll race you
round the piazza with pleasure, Cousin, but his oven is too much
for me," was Mac's uncivil reply as he backed toward the open
window, as if glad of an excuse to escape.
"Fragile creature, don't stay on my account, I beg. I can't leave my
guests for a moonlight run, even if I dared to take it on a frosty
night in a thin dress," said Rose, fanning herself and not a bit
ruffled by Mac's refusal, for she knew his ways and they amused
"Not half so bad as all this dust, gas, heat, and noise. What do you
suppose lungs are made of?" demanded Mac, ready for a
discussion then and there.
"I used to know, but I've forgotten now. Been so busy with other
things that I've neglected the hobbies I used to ride five or six years
ago," she said, laughing.
"Ah, those were times worth having! Are you going in for much of
this sort of thing, Rose?" he asked with a disapproving glance at
"About three months of it, I think."
"Then good-bye till New Year." And Mac vanished behind the
"Rose, my dear, you really must take that fellow in hand before he
gets to be quite a bear. Since you have been gone he has lived in
his books and got on so finely that we have let him alone, though
his mother groans over his manners. Polish him up a bit, I beg of
you, for it is high time he mended his odd ways and did justice to
the fine gifts he hides behind them," said Uncle Mac, scandalized
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