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"If I may hope for the honor." And, rising, he made her a bow
which was such a capital imitation of Charlie's grand manner that
she forgave him at once, exclaiming with amused surprise: "Why,
Mac! I didn't know you could be so elegant!"
"A fellow can be almost anything he likes if he tries hard enough,"
he answered, standing very straight and looking so tall and
dignified that Rose was quite impressed, and with a stately
courtesy she retired, saying graciously: "I accept with thanks. Good
morning, Dr. Alexander Mackenzie Campbell."
When Friday evening came and word was sent up that her escort
had arrived, Rose ran down, devoutly hoping that he had not come
in a velveteen jacket, top-boots, black gloves, or made any trifling
mistake of that sort. A young gentleman was standing before the
long mirror, apparently intent upon the arrangement of his hair,
and Rose paused suddenly as her eye went from the glossy
broadcloth to the white-gloved hands, busy with an unruly lock
that would not stay in place.
"Why, Charlie, I thought " she began with an accent of surprise in
her voice, but got no further, for the gentleman turned and she
beheld Mac in immaculate evening costume, with his hair parted
sweetly on his brow, a superior posy at his buttonhole, and the
expression of a martyr on his face.
"Ah, don't you wish it was? No one but yourself to thank that it
isn't he. Am I right? Dandy got me up, and he ought to know what
is what," demanded Mac, folding his hands and standing as stiff as
"You are so regularly splendid that I don't know you."
"Neither do I."
"I really had no idea you could look so like a gentleman," added
Rose, surveying him with great approval.
"Nor that I could feel so like a fool."
"Poor boy! He does look rather miserable. What can I do to cheer
him up in return for the sacrifice he is making?"
"Stop calling me a boy. It will soothe my agony immensely and
give me courage to appear in a low-necked coat and curl on my
forehead, for I'm not used to such elegancies and I find them no
end of a trial."
Mac spoke in such a pathetic tone, and gave such a gloomy glare at
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