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Then he went away to talk quite cheerfully to Aunt Peace about its
being "only a chill"; after which he tramped up and down the hall,
pulling his beard and knitting his brows, sure signs of great inward
"I thought it would be too good luck to get through the year
without a downfall. Confound my perversity! Why couldn't I take
Myra's advice and keep Rose at home. It's not fair that the poor
child should suffer for my sinful over-confidence. She shall not
suffer for it! Pneumonia, indeed! I defy it," and he shook his fist in
the ugly face of an Indian idol that happened to be before him, as
if that particularly hideous god had some spite against his own
In spite of his defiance his heart sunk when he saw Rose again, for
the pain was worse, and the bath and blankets, the warming-pan
and piping-hot sage tea, were all in vain. For several hours there
was no rest for the poor child, and all manner of gloomy
forebodings haunted the minds of those who hovered about her
with faces full of the tenderest anxiety.
In the midst of the worst paroxysm Charlie came to leave a
message from his mother, and was met by Phebe coming
despondently downstairs with a mustard plaster that had brought
"What the dickens is the matter? You look as dismal as a
tombstone," he said, as she held up her hand to stop his lively
"Miss Rose is dreadful sick."
"The deuce she is!"
"Don't swear, Mr. Charlie; she really is, and it's Mr. Mac's fault,"
and Phebe told the sad tale in a few sharp words, for she felt at war
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