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please. They are Aunt Jane's lads, and a precious pair you'd better
believe. These are the Brats, my brothers, Geordie and Will, and
Jamie the Baby. Now, my men, step out and show your manners."
At this command, to Rose's great dismay, six more hands were
offered, and it was evident that she was expected to shake them
all. It was a trying moment to the bashful child; but, remembering
that they were her kinsmen come to welcome her, she tried her
best to return the greeting cordially.
This impressive ceremony being over, the Clan broke ranks, and
both rooms instantly appeared to be pervaded with boys. Rose
hastily retired to the shelter of a big chair and sat there watching
the invaders and wondering when her aunt would come and rescue
As if bound to do their duty manfully, yet rather oppressed by it,
each lad paused beside her chair in his wanderings, made a brief
remark, received a still briefer answer, and then sheered off with a
Archie came first, and, leaning over the chair-back, observed in a
"I'm glad you've come, cousin, and I hope you'll find the Aunt-hill
"I think I shall."
Mac shook his hair out of his eyes, stumbled over a stool, and
"Did you bring any books with you?"
"Four boxes full. They are in the library."
Mac vanished from the room, and Steve, striking an attitude which
displayed his costume effectively, said with an affable smile
"We were sorry not to see you last Wednesday. I hope your cold is
"Yes, thank you." And a smile began to dimple about Rose's
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