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a word, or some little thing but I won't have it, and the best way to
cure him is to put it out of his power to annoy me so."
"He is a great flirt and wants to teach you how, I suppose. I'll speak
to him if you like and tell him you don't want to learn. Shall I?"
asked Mac, finding the case rather an interesting one.
"No, thank you that would only make trouble. If you will kindly
play escort a few times, it will show Charlie that I am in earnest
without more words and put a stop to the gossip," said Rose,
coloring like a poppy at the recollection of what she heard one
young man whisper to another as Charlie led her through a
crowded supper room with his most devoted air, "Lucky dog! He is
sure to get the heiress, and we are nowhere."
"There's no danger of people gossiping about us, is there?" And
Mac looked up with the oddest of all his odd expressions.
"Of course not you're only a boy."
"I'm twenty-one, thank you, and Prince is but a couple of years
older," said Mac, promptly resenting the slight put upon his
"Yes, but he is like other young men, while you are a dear old
bookworm. No one would ever mind what you did, so you may go
to parties with me every night and not a word would be said or, if
there was, I shouldn't mind since it is 'only Mac,'" answered Rose,
smiling as she quoted a household phrase often used to excuse his
"Then I am nobody?" he said, lifting his brows as if the discovery
surprised and rather nettled him.
"Nobody in society as yet, but my very best cousin in private, and
I've just proved my regard by making you my confidant and
choosing you for my knight," said Rose, hastening to soothe the
feelings her careless words seemed to have ruffled slightly.
"Much good that is likely to do me," grumbled Mac.
"You ungrateful boy, not to appreciate the honor I've conferred
upon you! I know a dozen who would be proud of the place, but
you only care for compound fractures, so I won't detain you any
longer, except to ask if I may consider myself provided with an
escort for tomorrow night?" said Rose, a trifle hurt at his
indifference, for she was not used to refusals.
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