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to be happy, and I don't care how soon she gets rid of her money if
it is going to be a millstone round her neck. I declare to you, I
dreaded the thought of this time so much that I've kept her away as
long as I could and trembled whenever a young fellow joined us
while we were abroad. Had one or two narrow escapes, and now
I'm in for it, as you can see by tonight's 'success' as Clara calls it.
Thank heaven I haven't many daughters to look after!"
"Come, come, don't be anxious take Archie and settle it right up
safely and happily. That's my advice, and you'll find it sound,"
replied the elder conspirator, like one having experience.
"I'll think of it, but mind you, Mac, not a word of this to the sisters.
We are a couple of old fools to be matchmaking so soon but I see
what is before me and it's a comfort to free my mind to someone."
"So it is. Depend on me not a breath even to Jane," answered
Uncle Mac, with a hearty shake and a sympathetic slap on the
"Why, what dark and awful secrets are going on here? Is it a
Freemason's Lodge and those the mystic signs?" asked a gay voice
at the door; and there stood Rose, full of smiling wonder at the
sight of her two uncles hand in hand, whispering and nodding to
one another mysteriously.
They stared like schoolboys caught plotting mischief and looked
so guilty that she took pity on them, innocently imagining the
brothers were indulging in a little sentiment on this joyful
occasion, so she added quickly, as she beckoned, without crossing
the threshold, "Women not allowed, of course, but both of you
dear Odd Fellows are wanted, for Aunt Plenty begs we will have
an old-fashioned contra dance, and I'm to lead off with Uncle Mac.
I chose you, sir, because you do it in style, pigeon wings and all.
So, please come and Phebe is waiting for you, Uncle Alec. She is
rather shy you know, but will enjoy it with you to take care of her."
"Thank you, thank you!" cried both gentlemen, following with
Unconscious, Rose enjoyed that Virginia reel immensely, for the
pigeon wings were superb, and her partner conducted her through
the convolutions of the dance without a fault, going down the
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