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jollity born of spring sunshine and healthy exercise.
"Of course, we choose to stay! Wouldn't miss our Saturday high
tea for anything," said the Chief, as he restored order among his
men with a nod, a word, and an occasional shake.
"What is up? a court-martial?" asked Charlie, looking at the
assembled ladies with affected awe and real curiosity, for these
faces betrayed that some interesting business was afloat.
Dr. Alec explained in a few words, which he made as brief and
calm as he could; but the effect was exciting, nevertheless, for
each of the lads began at once to bribe, entice, and wheedle "our
cousin" to choose his home.
"You really ought to come to us for mother's sake, as a relish, you
know, for she must be perfectly satiated with boys," began Archie,
using the strongest argument he could think of at the moment.
"Ah! yes," she thought, "he wants me most! I've often longed to
give him something that he wished for very much, and now I can."
So, when, at a sudden gesture from Aunt Peace, silence fell, Rose
said slowly, with a pretty colour in her cheeks, and a beseeching
look about the room, as if asking pardon of the boys
"It's very hard to choose when everybody is so fond of me;
therefore I think I'd better go to the one who seems to need me
"No, dear, the one you love the best and will be happiest with,"
said Dr. Alec quickly, as a doleful sniff from Aunt Myra, and a
murmur of "My sainted Caroline," made Rose pause and look that
"Take time, cousin; don't be in a hurry to make up your mind, and
remember, 'Codlin's your friend,' " added Charlie, hopeful still.
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