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"It isn't very pretty," said Rose, who was trimming the
chimney-piece with glossy holly sprays.
"Never mind that, it's mistletoe, and anyone who stands under it
will get kissed whether they like it or not. Now's your time, ladies,"
answered the saucy Prince, keeping his place and looking
sentimentally at the girls, who retired precipitately from the
"You won't catch me," said Rose, with great dignity.
"See if I don't!"
"I've got my eye on Phebe," observed Will, in a patronising tone
that made them all laugh.
"Bless the dear; I shan't mind it a bit," answered Phebe, with such a
maternal air that Will's budding gallantry was chilled to death.
"Oh, the mistletoe bough," sang Rose.
"Oh, the mistletoe bough!" echoed all the boys, and the teasing
ended in the plaintive ballad they all liked so well.
There was plenty of time to try the new skates before dinner, and
then Rose took her first lesson on the little bay, which seemed to
have frozen over for that express purpose. She found tumbling
down and getting up again warm work for a time, but with six boys
to teach her, she managed at last to stand alone; and, satisfied with
that success, she refreshed herself with a dozen grand coasts on the
Amazon, as her sled was called.
"Ah, that fatal colour! it breaks my heart to see it," croaked Aunt
Myra, as Rose came down a little late, with cheeks almost as ruddy
as the holly berries on the wall, and every curl as smooth as
Phebe's careful hands could make it.
"I'm glad to see that Alec allows the poor child to make herself
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