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wanted and taken back the confidence and respect they didn't care
for. It is wrong, I know, but I can't bear to think all the seeming
goodwill and friendliness I've been enjoying was insincere and for
a purpose. That's not the way I treat people."
"I am sure of it. Take things for what they are worth, dear, and try
to find the wheat among the tares, for there is plenty if one knows
how to look. Is that all the trouble?"
"No, sir, that is the lightest part of it. I shall soon get over my
disappointment in those girls and take them for what they are
worth as you advise, but being deceived in them makes me
suspicious of others, and that is hateful. If I cannot trust people I'd
rather keep by myself and be happy. I do detest maneuvering and
underhanded plots and plans!"
Rose spoke petulantly and twitched her silk till it broke, while
regret seemed to give place to anger as she spoke.
"There is evidently another thorn pricking. Let us have it out, and
then I'll kiss the place to make it well as I used to do when I took
the splinters from the fingers you are pricking so unmercifully,"
said the doctor, anxious to relieve his pet patient as soon as
Rose laughed, but the color deepened in her cheeks as she
answered with a pretty mixture of maidenly shyness and natural
"Aunt Clara worries me by warning me against half the young men
I meet and insisting that they want only my money. Now that is
dreadful, and I won't listen, but I can't help thinking of it
sometimes, for they are very kind to me and I'm not vain enough to
think it is my beauty. I suppose I am foolish, but I do like to feel
that I am something besides an heiress."
The little quiver was in Rose's voice again as she ended, and Dr.
Alec gave a quick sigh as he looked at the downcast face so full of
the perplexity ingenuous spirits feel when doubt first mars their
faith and dims the innocent beliefs still left from childhood. He
had been expecting this and knew that what the girl just began to
perceive and try modestly to tell had long ago been plain to
worldlier eyes. The heiress was the attraction to most of the young
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