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Old Miss Campbell was nearly as great a favorite as young Miss
Campbell, so a succession of black coats and white gloves flowed
in and out of the hospitable mansion pretty steadily all day. The
clan was out in great force, and came by in installments to pay
their duty to Aunt Plenty and wish the compliments of the season
to "our cousin." Archie appeared first, looking sad but steadfast,
and went away with Phebe's letter in his left breast pocket feeling
that life was still endurable, though his love was torn from him, for
Rose had many comfortable things to say and read him delicious
bits from the voluminous correspondence lately begun.
Hardly was he gone when Will and Geordie came marching in,
looking as fine as gray uniforms with much scarlet piping could
make them and feeling peculiarly important, as this was their first
essay in New Year's call-making. Brief was their stay, for they
planned to visit every friend they had, and Rose could not help
laughing at the droll mixture of manly dignity and boyish delight
with which they drove off in their own carriage, both as erect as
ramrods, arms folded, and caps stuck at exactly the same angle on
each blond head.
"Here comes the other couple Steve, in full feather, with a big
bouquet for Kitty, and poor Mac, looking like a gentleman and
feeling like a martyr, I'm sure," said Rose, watching one carriage
turn in as the other turned out of the great gate, with its arch of
holly, ivy, and evergreen.
"Here he is. I've got him in tow for the day and want you to cheer
him up with a word of praise, for he came without a struggle
though planning to bolt somewhere with Uncle," cried Steve,
falling back to display his brother, who came in looking
remarkably well in his state and festival array, for polishing had
begun to tell.
"A happy New Year, Aunty, same to you, Cousin, and best wishes
for as many more as you deserve," said Mac, heeding Steve no
more than if he had been a fly as he gave the old lady a hearty kiss
and offered Rose a quaint little nosegay of pansies.
"Heart's-ease do you think I need it?" she asked, looking up with
"We all do. Could I give you anything better on a day like this?"
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