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had properly abased themselves. The pause was becoming very
awkward, when Charlie, who possessed all the persuasive arts of a
born scapegrace, went slowly down upon his knees before her,
beat his breast, and said, in a heart-broken tone
"Please forgive me this time, and I'll never do so any more."
It was very hard to keep sober, but Rose managed it and answered
"It is Mac's pardon you should ask, not mine, for you haven't hurt
me, and I shouldn't wonder if you had him a great deal, with all
that light and racket, and talk about things that only worry him."
"Do you really think we've hurt him, cousin?" asked Archie, with a
troubled look, while Charlie settled down in a remorseful heap
among the table legs.
"Yes, I do, for he has got a raging headache, and his eyes are as red
as as this emery bag," answered Rose, solemnly plunging her
needle into a fat flannel strawberry.
Steve tore his hair, metaphorically speaking, for he clutched his
cherished top-knot, and wildly dishevelled it, as if that was the
heaviest penance he could inflict upon himself at such short
notice. Charlie laid himself out flat, melodramatically begging
someone to take him away and hang him; but Archie, who felt
worst of all, said nothing except to vow within himself that he
would read to Mac till his own eyes were as red as a dozen emery
Seeing the wholesome effects of her treatment upon these culprits,
Rose felt that she might relent and allow them a gleam of hope.
She found it impossible to help trampling upon the prostrate
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