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very effectually break up the family council.
Steve vanished, and, sooner than the boys imagined Dandy could
get himself up, the skirl of the bag-pipe was heard in the hall, and
the bonny piper came to lead Clan Campbell to the revel.
"Draw it mild, Stenie, my man; ye play unco weel, but ye mak a
most infernal din," cried Uncle Jem, with his hands over his ears,
for this accomplishment was new to him, and "took him all aback,"
as he expressed it.
So Steve droned out a Highland reel as softly as he could, and the
boys danced it to a circle of admiring relations. Captain Jem was a
true sailor, however, and could not stand idle while anything lively
was going on; so, when the piper's breath gave out, he cut a
splendid pigeon-wing into the middle of the hall, saying, "Who can
dance a Fore and After?" and, waiting for no reply, began to
whistle the air so invitingly that Mrs Jessie "set" to him laughing
like a girl; Rose and Charlie took their places behind, and away
went the four with a spirit and skill that inspired all the rest to "cut
in" as fast as they could.
That was a grand beginning, and they had many another dance
before anyone would own they were tired. Even Fun See
distinguished himself with Aunt Plenty, whom he greatly admired
as the stoutest lady in the company; plumpness being considered a
beauty in his country. The merry old soul professed herself
immensely flattered by his admiration, and the boys declared she
"set her cap at him," else he would never have dared to catch her
under the mistletoe, and, rising on the tips of his own toes,
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