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better mind what you are about," answered Steve, without a ray of
proper respect for his elder brother.
"It is getting dark, and I must go, or mamma will be alarmed," said
Ariadne, rising in sudden haste, though she hoped to be asked to
remain to the nut-party.
No one invited her; and all the while she was putting on her things
and chatting to Rose the boys were telegraphing to one another the
sad fact that someone ought to escort the young lady home. Not a
boy felt heroic enough to cast himself into the breach, however;
even polite Archie shirked the duty, saying to Charlie, as they
quietly slipped into an adjoining room
"I'm not going to do all the gallivanting. Let Steve take that chit
home and show his manners."
"I'll be hanged if I do!" answered Prince, who disliked Miss Blish
because she tried to be coquettish with him.
"Then I will," and, to the dismay of both recreant lads, Dr. Alec
walked out of the room to offer his services to the "chit."
He was too late, however, for Mac, obeying a look from Rose, had
already made a victim of himself, and trudged meekly away,
wishing the gentle Ariadne at the bottom of the Red Sea.
"Then I will take this lady down to tea, as the other one has found
a gentleman to go home with her. I see the lamps are lighted
below, and I smell a smell which tells me that auntie has
something extra nice for us to-night."
As he spoke, Dr. Alec was preparing to carry Rose downstairs as
usual; but Archie and Prince rushed forward, begging with penitent
eagerness for the honour of carrying her in an arm-chair. Rose
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