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mistakes, and I never repented it more deeply than I do now. Your
father and I had a trouble once, and I thought I could never forgive
him; so I kept away for years. Thank God, we made it all up the
last time I saw him, and he told me then, that if he was forced to
leave her he should bequeath his little girl to me as a token of his
love. I can't fill his place, but I shall try to be a father to her; and if
she learns to love me half as well as she did the good one she has
lost, I shall be a proud and happy man. Will she believe this and
Something in Uncle Alec's face touched Rose to the heart, and
when he held out his hand with that anxious troubled look in his
eyes, she was moved to put up her innocent lips and seal the
contract with a confiding kiss. The strong arm held her close a
minute, and she felt the broad chest heave once as if with a great
sigh of relief; but not a word was spoken till a tap at the door made
Rose popped her head through the window to say "come in," while
Dr. Alec hastily rubbed the sleeve of his jacket across his eyes and
began to whistle again.
Phebe appeared with a cup of coffee.
"Debby told me to bring this and help you get up," she said,
opening her black eyes wide, as if she wondered how on earth "the
sailor man" got there.
"I'm all dressed, so I don't need any help. I hope that is good and
strong," added Rose, eyeing the steaming cup with an eager look.
But she did not get it, for a brown hand took possession of it as her
uncle said quickly
"Hold hard, my lass, and let me overhaul that dose before you take
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