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continued, energetically. "There, my hearties (you like sea slang,
so I'll give you a bit) now, I want you to promise not to read any
more stuff for a month, and I'll agree to supply you with
"Oh, mother, not a single one?" cried Will.
"Couldn't we just finish those?" pleaded Geordie.
"The boys threw away half-smoked cigars; and your books must go
after them. Surely you would not be outdone by the 'old fellows,' as
you call them, or be less obedient to little Mum than they were to
"Course not! Come on, Geordie," and Will took the vow like a
hero. His brother sighed and obeyed, but privately resolved to
finish his story the minute the month was over.
"You have laid out a hard task for yourself, Jessie, in trying to
provide good reading for boys who have been living on sensation
stories. It will be like going from raspberry tarts to plain bread and
butter; but you will probably save them from a bilious fever," said
Dr. Alec, much amused at the proceedings.
"I remember hearing grandpa say that a love for good books was
one of the best safeguards a man could have," began Archie,
staring thoughtfully at the fine library before him.
"Yes, but there's no time to read nowadays; a fellow has to keep
scratching round to make money or he's nobody," cut in Charlie,
trying to look worldly-wise.
"This love of money is the curse of America, and for the sake of it
men will sell honour and honesty, till we don't know whom to
trust, and it is only a genius like Agassiz who dares to say, 'I cannot
waste my time in getting rich,' " said Mrs. Jessie sadly.
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