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expressively, feeling quite bowed down with remorse at the harm
they had innocently done.
"She's put the room to rights in a jiffey. What jacks we were to let
those dogs in and kick up such a row," observed Steve, after a
"The poor old Worm turns as if she was treading on him instead of
cuddling him like a pussy cat. Isn't he cross, though?" added
Charlie, as Mac was heard growling about his "confounded head."
"She will manage him; but it's mean in us to rumple him up and
then leave her to smooth him down. I'd go and help, but I don't
know how," said Archie. looking much depressed, for he was a
conscientious fellow, and blamed himself for his want of thought.
"No, more do I. Odd, isn't it, what a knack women have for taking
care of sick folks?" and Charlie fell a-musing over this undeniable
"She has been ever so good to Mac," began Steve, in a
"Better than his own brother, hey?" cut in Archie, finding relief for
his own regret in the delinquencies of another.
"Well, you needn't preach; you didn't any of you do any more, and
you might have, for Mac likes you better than he does me. I always
fret him, he says, and it isn't my fault if I am a quiddle," protested
Steve, in self-defence.
"We have all been selfish and neglected him, so we won't fight
about it, but try and do better," said Archie, generously taking
more than his share of blame, for he had been less inattentive than
either of the others.
"Rose has stood by him like a good one, and it's no wonder he likes
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