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The girl was thinking of this as she watched her cousin turn the
ring about with a sudden sobriety which became him well; and,
believing that the moment was propitious, she said earnestly: "He
is getting on. Dear Charlie, do think of duty more than pleasure in
this case and I'm sure you never will regret it."
"Do you want me to go?" he asked quickly.
"I think you ought."
"And I think you'd be much more charming if you wouldn't always
be worrying about right and wrong! Uncle Alec taught you that
along with the rest of his queer notions."
"I'm glad he did!" cried Rose warmly, then checked herself and
said with a patient sort of sigh, "You know women always want
the men they care for to be good and can't help trying to make
"So they do, and we ought to be a set of angels, but I've a strong
conviction that, if we were, the dear souls wouldn't like us half as
well. Would they now?" asked Charlie with an insinuating smile.
"Perhaps not, but that is dodging the point. Will you go?" persisted
"No, I will not."
That was sufficiently decided and an uncomfortable pause
followed, during which Rose tied a knot unnecessarily tight and
Charlie went on exploring the drawer with more energy than
"Why, here's an old thing I gave you ages ago!" he suddenly
exclaimed in a pleased tone, holding up a little agate heart on a
faded blue ribbon. "Will you let me take away the heart of stone
and give you a heart of flesh?" he asked, half in earnest, half in
jest, touched by the little trinket and the recollections it awakened.
"No, I will not," answered Rose bluntly, much displeased by the
irreverent and audacious question.
Charlie looked rather abashed for a moment, but his natural
lightheartedness made it easy for him to get the better of his own
brief fits of waywardness and put others in good humor with him
"Now we are even let's drop the subject and start afresh," he said
with irresistible affability as he coolly put the little heart in his
pocket and prepared to shut the drawer. But something caught his
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