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Chapter 17 - Good Bargains
It was a rainy Sunday afternoon, and four boys were trying to
spend it quietly in the "liberry," as Jamie called the room devoted
to books and boys, at Aunt Jessie's. Will and Geordie were
sprawling on the sofa, deep in the adventures of the scapegraces
and ragamuffins whose histories are now the fashion. Archie
lounged in the easy chair, surrounded by newspapers; Charlie
stood upon the rug, in an Englishman's favourite attitude, and, I
regret to say, both were smoking cigars.
"It is my opinion that this day will never come to an end," said
Prince, with a yawn that nearly rent him asunder.
"Read and improve your mind, my son," answered Archie, peering
solemnly over the paper behind which he had been dozing.
"Don't you preach, parson, but put on your boots and come out for
a tramp, instead of mulling over the fire like a granny."
"No, thank you, tramps in an easterly storm don't strike me as
amusing." There Archie stopped and held up his hand, for a
pleasant voice was heard saying outside
"Are the boys in the library, auntie?"
"Yes, dear, and longing for sunshine; so run in and make it for
them," answered Mrs. Jessie.
"It's Rose," and Archie threw his cigar into the fire.
"What's that for?" asked Charlie.
"Gentlemen don't smoke before ladies."
"True; but I'm not going to waste my weed," and Prince poked his
into the empty inkstand that served them for an ash tray.
A gentle tap at the door was answered by a chorus of "Come in,"
and Rose appeared, looking blooming and breezy with the chilly
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