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"Thank you; now the question is, shall I go on? for this is only the
beginning. None of you know the hindrances I've had, the mistakes
I've made, the study I've given the case, and the anxiety I've often
felt. Sister Myra is right is one thing Rose is a delicate creature,
quick to flourish in the sunshine, and as quick to droop without it.
She has no special weakness, but inherits her mother's sensitive
nature, and needs the wisest, tenderest care, to keep a very ardent
little soul from wearing out a finely organised little body. I think I
have found the right treatment, and; with you to help me, I believe
we may build up a lovely and a noble woman, who will be a pride
and comfort to us all."
There Dr. Alec stopped to get his breath, for he had spoken very
earnestly, and his voice got a little husky over the last words. A
gentle murmur from the aunts seemed to encourage him, and he
went on with an engaging smile, for the good man was slyly trying
to win all the ladies to vote for him when the time came.
"Now, I don't wish to be selfish or arbitrary, because I am her
guardian, and I shall leave Rose free to choose for herself. We all
want her, and if she likes to make her home with any of you rather
than with me, she shall do so. In fact, I encouraged her visits last
winter, that she might see what we can all offer her, and judge
where she will be happiest. Is not that the fairest way? Will you
agree to abide by her choice, as I do?"
"Yes, we will," said all the aunts, in quite a flutter of excitement at
the prospect of having Rose for a whole year.
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