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out of sight for a few minutes.
When he came back all inconvenient emotion had been disposed
of, and, having delivered a box of the hottest mustard procurable
for money, he departed to "blow up" Mac, that being his next duty
in his opinion. He did it so energetically and thoroughly that the
poor Worm was cast into the depths of remorseful despair, and
went to bed that evening feeling that he was an outcast from
among men, and bore the mark of Cain upon his brow.
Thanks to the skill of the Doctor, and the devotion of his helpers,
Rose grew easier about midnight, and all hoped that the worst was
over. Phebe was making tea by the study fire, for the Doctor had
forgotten to eat and drink since Rose was ill, and Aunt Plenty
insisted on his having a "good cordial dish of tea" after his
exertions. A tap on the window startled Phebe, and, looking up,
she saw a face peering in. She was not afraid, for a second look
showed her that it was neither ghost nor burglar, but Mac, looking
pale and wild in the wintry moonlight.
"Come and let a fellow in," he said in a low tone, and when he
stood in the hall he clutched Phebe's arm, whispering gruffly,
"How is Rose?"
"Thanks be to goodness, she's better," answered Phebe, with a
smile that was like broad sunshine to the poor lad's anxious heart.
"And she will be all right again to-morrow?"
"Oh, dear no! Dolly says she's sure to have rheumatic fever, if she
don't have noo-monia!" answered Phebe, careful to pronounce the
word rightly this time.
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