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the house afire?"
"No, ma'am, everything is safe, and I'm only saying good night,"
answered Mac, diving for his cap.
"Then go at once and let that child have her sleep," added the old
lady, retiring to her bed.
Rose ran into the hall, and catching up her uncle's fur coat, met
Mac as he came out of the study, absently looking about for his
"You haven't any, you benighted boy! So take this, and have your
wits about you next time or I won't let you off so easily," she said,
holding up the heavy garment and peeping over it, with no sign of
displeasure in her laughing eyes.
"Next time! Then you do forgive me? You will try me again, and
give me a chance to prove that I'm not a fool?" cried Mac,
embracing the big coat with emotion.
"Of course I will, and, so far from thinking you a fool, I was much
impressed with your learning tonight and told Steve that we ought
to be proud of our philosopher."
"Learning be hanged! I'll show you that I'm not a bookworm but as
much a man as any of them, and then you may be proud or not, as
you like!" cried Mac with a defiant nod that caused the glasses to
leap wildly off his nose as he caught up his hat and departed as he
A day or two later Rose went to call upon Aunt Jane, as she
dutifully did once or twice a week. On her way upstairs she heard a
singular sound in the drawing room and involuntarily stopped to
"One, two, three, slide! One, two, three, turn! Now, then, come
on!" said one voice impatiently.
"It's very easy to say 'come on,' but what the dickens do I do with
my left leg while I'm turning and sliding with my right?"
demanded another voice in a breathless and mournful tone.
Then the whistling and thumping went on more vigorously than
before, and Rose, recognizing the voices, peeped through the
half-open door to behold a sight which made her shake with
suppressed laughter. Steve, with a red tablecloth tied around his
waist, languished upon Mac's shoulder, dancing in perfect time to
the air he whistled, for Dandy was proficient in the graceful art
and plumed himself upon his skill. Mac, with a flushed face and
dizzy eye, clutched his brother by the small of his back, vainly
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