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observed that Aunt Jessie's boys filled their glasses with water, and
had done the same herself in spite of the Prince's jokes about "the
But Archie certainly was unusually excited, and when someone
remembered that it was the anniversary of Uncle Jem's wedding,
and wished he was there to make a speech, his son electrified the
family by trying to do it for him. It was rather incoherent and
flowery, as maiden speeches are apt to be, but the end was
considered superb; for, turning to his mother with a queer little
choke in his voice, he said that she "deserved to be blessed with
peace and plenty, to be crowned with roses and lads'-love, and to
receive the cargo of happiness sailing home to her in spite of wind
or tide to add another Jem to the family jewels."
That allusion to the Captain, now on his return trip, made Mrs.
Jessie sob in her napkin, and set the boys cheering. Then, as if that
was not sensation enough, Archie suddenly dashed out of the
room, as if he had lost his wits.
"Too bashful to stay and be praised," began Charlie, excusing the
peculiarities of his chief as in duty bound.
"Phebe beckoned to him; I saw her," cried Rose, staring hard at the
"Is it more presents coming?" asked Jamie, just as his brother
re-appeared, looking more excited than ever.
"Yes; a present for mother, and here it is!" roared Archie, flinging
wide the door to let in a tall man, who cried out
"Where's my little woman? The first kiss for her, then the rest may
come on as fast as they like."
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