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waist in a stiff band of leather and steel just when it ought to be
growing," said Dr. Alec, surveying the belt with great disfavour as
he put the clasp forward several holes, to Rose's secret dismay, for
she was proud of her slender figure, and daily rejoiced that she
wasn't as stout as Luly Miller, a former schoolmate, who vainly
tried to repress her plumpness.
"It will fall off if it is so loose," she said anxiously, as she stood
watching him pull her precious belt about.
"Not if you keep taking long breaths to hold it on. That is what I
want you to do, and when you have filled this out we will go on
enlarging it till your waist is more like that of Hebe, goddess of
health, and less like that of a fashion-plate the ugliest thing
"How it does look!" and Rose gave a glance of scorn at the loose
belt hanging round her trim little waist. "It will be lost, and then I
shall feel badly, for it cost ever so much, and is real steel and
Russia leather. Just smell how nice."
"If it is lost I'll give you a better one. A soft silken sash is much
fitter for a pretty child like you than a plated harness like this; and
I've got no end of Italian scarfs and Turkish sashes among my
traps. Ah! that makes you feel better, doesn't it?" and he pinched
the cheek that had suddenly dimpled with a smile.
"It is very silly of me, but I can't help liking to know that" here she
stopped and blushed and held down her head, ashamed to add,
"you think I am pretty."
Dr. Alec's eyed twinkled, but he said very soberly
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