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though not surprised that she still looked with regretful eyes at the
Vanity Fair, always so enticing when we are young.
"I'll give it today, and make the new year a happy one to those poor
souls at least. I'm so sorry that it's impossible for me to go with
you, but you know I must help Aunty Plen receive. We haven't
been here for so long that she had set her heart on having a grand
time today, and I particularly want to please her because I have not
been as amiable as I ought lately. I really couldn't forgive her for
siding against Phebe."
"She did what she thought was right, so we must not blame her. I
am going to make my New Year's calls today and, as my friends
live down that way, I'll get the list of names from Mrs. G. and tell
the poor ladies, with Miss Campbell's compliments, that their new
home is ready. Shall I?"
"Yes, Uncle, but take all the credit to yourself, for I never should
have thought of it if you had not proposed the plan."
"Bless your heart! I'm only your agent, and suggest now and then.
I've nothing to offer but advice, so I lavish that on all occasions."
"You have nothing because you've given your substance all away
as generously as you do your advice. Never mind you shall never
come to want while I live. I'll save enough for us two, though I do
make 'ducks and drakes of my fortune.'"
Dr. Alec laughed at the toss of the head with which she quoted
Charlie's offensive words, then offered to take the letter, saying, as
he looked at his watch: "I'll post that for you in time for the early
mail. I like a run before breakfast."
But Rose held her letter fast, dimpling with sudden smiles, half
merry and half shy.
"No thank you, sir. Archie likes to do that, and never fails to call
for all I write. He gets a peep at Phebe's in return and I cheer him
up a bit, for, though he says nothing, he has a hard time of it, poor
"How many letters in five days?"
"Four, sir, to me. She doesn't write to him, Uncle."
"As yet. Well, you show hers, so it's all right and you are a set of
sentimental youngsters." And the doctor walked away, looking as
if he enjoyed the sentiment as much as any of them.
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