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times, till the three were moved to laugh and cry together, for the
busy needles were embroidering all sorts of bright patterns on the
lives of the workers, though they seemed to be only stitching
cotton and darning hose.
It was a pretty sight to see the rosy-faced little maid sitting
between the two old ladies, listening dutifully to their instructions,
and cheering the lessons with her lively chatter and blithe laugh. If
the kitchen had proved attractive to Dr. Alec when Rose was there
at work, the sewing-room was quite irresistible, and he made
himself so agreeable that no one had the heart to drive him away,
especially when he read aloud or spun yarns.
"There! I've made you a new set of warm night-gowns with four
button-holes in each. See if they are not neatly done," said Rose,
one day, some weeks after the new lessons began.
"Even to a thread, and nice little bars across the end so I can't tear
them when I twitch the buttons out. Most superior work, ma'am,
and I'm deeply grateful; so much so, that I'll sew on these buttons
myself, and save those tired fingers from another prick."
"You sew them on?" cried Rose, with her eyes wide open in
"Wait a bit till I get my sewing tackle, and then you shall see what
I can do."
"Can he, really?" asked Rose of Aunt Peace, as Uncle Alec
marched off with a comical air of importance.
"Oh, yes, I taught him years ago, before he went to sea; and I
suppose he has had to do things for himself, more or less, ever
since; so he has kept his hand in."
He evidently had, for he was soon back with a funny little
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