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Before the words were out of his mouth, Mrs. Jessie was
half-hidden under his rough great-coat, and four boys were
prancing about him clamouring for their turn.
Of course, there was a joyful tumult for a time, during which Rose
slipped into the window recess and watched what went on, as if it
were a chapter in a Christmas story. It was good to see bluff Uncle
Jem look proudly at his tall son, and fondly hug the little ones. It
was better still to see him shake his brothers' hands as if he would
never leave off, and kiss all the sisters in a way that made even
solemn Aunt Myra brighten up for a minute. But it was best of all
to see him finally established in grandfather's chair, with his "little
woman" beside him, his three youngest boys in his lap, and Archie
hovering over him like a large-sized cherub. That really was, as
Charlie said, "A landscape to do one's heart good."
"All hearty and all here, thank God!" said Captain Jem in the first
pause that came, as he looked about him with a grateful face.
"All but Rose," answered loyal little Jamie, remembering the
"Faith, I forgot the child! Where is George's little girl?" asked the
Captain, who had not seen her since she was a baby.
"You'd better say Alec's great girl," said Uncle Mac, who professed
to be madly jealous of his brother.
"Here I am, sir," and Rose appeared from behind the curtains,
looking as if she had rather have stayed there.
"Saint George Germain, how the mite has grown!" cried Captain
Jem, as he tumbled the boys out of his lap, and rose to greet the
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