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"What did you say? I won't laugh if I can help it," said Rose,
curious to hear, for Steve's eyes were twinkling with fun.
"Well, I knew she was fond of theaters, so I tried that first and got
on pretty well till I began to tell her how they managed those
things in Greece. Most interesting subject, you know?"
"Very. Did you give her one of the choruses or a bit of
Agamemnon, as you did when you described it to me?" asked
Rose, keeping sober with difficulty as she recalled that serio-comic
"Of course not, but I was advising her to read Prometheus when
she gaped behind her fan and began to talk about Phebe. What a
'nice creature' she was, 'kept her place,' dressed according to her
station, and that sort of twaddle. I suppose it was rather rude, but
being pulled up so short confused me a bit, and I said the first
thing that came into my head, which was that I thought Phebe the
best-dressed woman in the room because she wasn't all fuss and
feathers like most of the girls."
"Oh, Mac! That to Emma, who makes it the labor of her life to be
always in the height of fashion and was particularly splendid that
night. What did she say?" cried Rose, full of sympathy for both
"She bridled and looked daggers at me."
"And what did you do?"
"I bit my tongue and tumbled out of one scrape into another.
Following her example, I changed the subject by talking about the
charity concert for the orphans, and when she gushed about the
'little darlings,' I advised her to adopt one and wondered why
young ladies didn't do that sort of thing, instead of cuddling cats
"Unhappy boy! Her pug is the idol of her life, and she hates
babies," said Rose.
"More fool she! Well, she got my opinion on the subject, anyway,
and she's very welcome, for I went on to say that I thought it would
not only be a lovely charity, but excellent training for the time
when they had little darlings of their own. No end of poor things
die through the ignorance of mothers, you know," added Mac, so
seriously that Rose dared not smile at what went before.
"Imagine Emma trotting round with a pauper baby under her arm
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