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"No thank you very much." And a sudden dew came to Rose's
eyes, for, though often blunt in speech, when Mac did do a tender
thing, it always touched her because he seemed to understand her
moods so well.
"Has Archie been here? He said he shouldn't go anywhere else, but
I hope you talked that nonsense out of his head," said Steve,
settling his tie before the mirror.
"Yes, dear, he came but looked so out of spirits I really felt
reproached. Rose cheered him up a little, but I don't believe he will
feel equal to making calls and I hope he won't, for his face tells the
whole story much too plainly," answered Aunty Plenty, rustling
about her bountiful table in her richest black silk with all her old
"Oh, he'll get over it in a month or two, and Phebe will soon find
another lover, so don't be worried about him, Aunty," said Steve,
with the air of a man who knew all about that sort of thing.
"If Archie does forget, I shall despise him, and I know Phebe won't
try to find another lover, though she'll probably have them she is so
sweet and good!" cried Rose indignantly, for, having taken the pair
under her protection, she defended them valiantly.
"Then you'd have Arch hope against hope and never give up,
would you?" asked Mac, putting on his glasses to survey the thin
boots which were his especial abomination.
"Yes, I would, for a lover is not worth having if he's not in
"Exactly. So you'd like them to wait and work and keep on loving
till they made you relent or plainly proved that it was no use."
"If they were good as well as constant, I think I should relent in
"I'll mention that to Pemberton, for he seemed to be hit the hardest,
and a ray of hope will do him good, whether he is equal to the ten
years' wait or not," put in Steve, who liked to rally Rose about her
"I'll never forgive you if you say a word to anyone. It is only Mac's
odd way of asking questions, and I ought not to answer them. You
will talk about such things and I can't stop you, but I don't like it,"
said Rose, much annoyed.
"Poor little Penelope! She shall not be teased about her suitors but
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