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"I thought you had a 'deal of pluck,' as you call it. The boys all say
you are the bravest of the seven," said Rose.
"So I am about some things, but I cannot bear to be laughed at."
"It is hard, but if one is right won't that make it easier?"
"Not to me; it might to a pious parson like Arch."
"Please don't call him names! I guess he has what is called moral
courage, and you physical courage. Uncle explained the difference
to me, and moral is the best, though often it doesn't look so," said
Charlie didn't like that, and answered quickly, "I don't believe he'd
stand it any better than I do, if he had those fellows at him."
"Perhaps that's why he keeps out of their way, and wants you to."
Rose had him there, and Charlie felt it, but would not give in just
yet, though he was going fast, for somehow, in the dark he seemed
to see things clearer than in the light, and found it very easy to be
confidential when it was "only Rose."
"If he was my brother, now, he'd have some right to interfere,"
began Charlie, in an injured tone.
"I wish he was!" cried Rose.
"So do I," answered Charlie, and then they both laughed at his
The laugh did them good, and when Prince spoke again, it was in a
different tone pensive, not proud nor perverse.
"You see, it's hard upon me that I have no brothers and sisters. The
others are better off and needn't go abroad for chums if they don't
like. I am all alone, and I'd be thankful even for a little sister."
Rose thought that very pathetic, and, overlooking the
uncomplimentary word "even" in that last sentence, she said, with
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