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consented, fearing that her uncle's keen eye would discover the
fatal bits of silk; so the boys crossed hands, and, taking a good grip
of each curly pate, she was borne down in state, while the others
followed by way of the banisters.
Tea was ordered earlier than usual, so that Jamie and his dolly
could have a taste, at least, of the holiday fun, for they were to stay
till seven, and be allowed twelve roasted chestnuts apiece, which
they were under bonds not to eat till next day.
Tea was despatched rapidly, therefore, and the party gathered
round the wide hearth in the dining-room, where the nuts were
soon dancing gaily on hot shovels or bouncing out among the
company, thereby causing delightful panics among the little ones.
"Come, Rosy, tell us a story while we work, for you can't help
much, and must amuse us as your share," proposed Mac, who sat
in the shade pricking nuts, and who knew by experience what a
capital little Scheherazade his cousin was.
"Yes, we poor monkeys can't burn our paws for nothing, so tell
away, Pussy," added Charlie, as he threw several hot nuts into her
lap and shook his fingers afterwards.
"Well, I happen to have a little story with a moral to it in my mind,
and I will tell it, though it is intended for younger children than
you," answered Rose, who was rather fond of telling instructive
"Fire away," said Geordie, and she obeyed, little thinking what a
disastrous story it would prove to herself.
"Well, once upon a time, a little girl went to see a young lady who
was very fond of her. Now, the young lady happened to be lame,
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