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"I don't want any time! I know who I love best, who I'm happiest
with, and I choose uncle. Will he have me?" cried Rose, in a tone
that produced a sympathetic thrill among the hearers, it was so full
of tender confidence and love.
If she really had any doubt, the look in Dr. Alec's face banished it
without a word, as he opened wide his arms, and she ran into them,
feeling that home was there.
No one spoke for a minute, but there were signs of emotion among
the aunts, which warned the boys to bestir themselves before the
water-works began to play. So they took hands and began to
prance about uncle and niece, singing, with sudden inspiration, the
"Ring around a Rosy!"
Of course that put an end to all sentiment, and Rose emerged
laughing from Dr. Alec's bosom, with the mark of a waistcoat
button nicely imprinted on her left cheek. He saw it, and said with
a merry kiss that half effaced it, "This is my ewe lamb, and I have
set my mark on her, so no one can steal her away."
That tickled the boys, and they set up a shout of
"Uncle had a little lamb!"
But Rose hushed the noise by slipping into the circle, and making
them dance prettily like lads and lasses round a May-pole; while
Phebe, coming in with fresh water for the flowers, began to twitter,
chirp, and coo, as if all the birds of the air had come to join in the
spring revel of the eight cousins.
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