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Rosy," he said in the old frank way that was so winning.
"I wish you'd beg Archie's too, and be good friends again. You
never were cross when he was your chum," Rose said, looking up
at him as he bent toward her from the low chimney-piece, where
he had been leaning his elbows.
In an instant he stood as stiff and straight as a ramrod, and the
heavy eyes kindled with an angry spark as he said, in his high and
"You'd better not meddle with what you don't understand, cousin."
"But I do understand, and it troubles me very much to see you so
cold and stiff to one another. You always used to be together, and
now you hardly speak. You are so ready to beg my pardon I don't
see why you can't beg Archie's, if you are in the wrong."
"I'm not!" this was so short and sharp that Rose started, and
Charlie added in a calmer but still very haughty tone: "A
gentleman always begs pardon when he has been rude to a lady,
but one man doesn't apologize to another man who has insulted
"Oh, my heart, what a pepperpot!" thought Rose, and, hoping to
make him laugh, she added slyly: "I was not talking about men, but
boys, and one of them a Prince, who ought to set a good example
to his subjects."
But Charlie would not relent, and tried to turn the subject by
saying gravely, as he unfastened the little gold ring from his
"I've broken my word, so I want to give this back and free you
from the bargain. I'm sorry, but I think it a foolish promise, and
don't intend to keep it. Choose a pair of ear-rings to suit yourself,
as my forfeit. You have a right to wear them now."
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