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"So she doesn't call desertion, poverty, and hard work, troubles?
She's a brave little girl, and I shall be proud to know her." And
Uncle Alec gave an approving nod, that made Rose wish she had
been the one to earn it.
"But what are these troubles of yours, child?" he asked, after a
minute of silence.
"Please don't ask me, uncle."
"Can't you tell them to me as well as to Phebe?"
Something in his tone made Rose feel that it would be better to
speak out and be done with it, so she answered, with sudden colour
and averted eyes
"The greatest one was losing dear papa."
As she said that, Uncle Alec's arm came gently round her, and he
drew her to him, saying, in the voice so like papa's
"That is a trouble which I cannot cure, my child; but I shall try to
make you feel it less. What else, dear?"
"I am so tired and poorly all the time, I can't do anything I want to,
and it makes me cross," sighed Rose, rubbing the aching head like
a fretful child.
"That we can cure and we will," said her uncle, with a decided nod
that made the curls bob on his head, to that Rose saw the gray ones
underneath the brown.
"Aunt Myra says I have no constitution, and never shall be strong,"
observed Rose, in a pensive tone, as if it was rather a nice thing to
be an invalid.
"Aunt Myra is a ahem! an excellent woman, but it is her hobby to
believe that everyone is tottering on the brink of the grave; and,
upon my life, I believe she is offended if people don't fall into it!
We will show her how to make constitutions and turn pale-faced
little ghosts into rosy, hearty girls. That's my business, you know,"
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