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Chapter 17 - Good Bargains (continued)
"You never disturb us, cousin," said the smokers, while the readers tore themselves from the heroes of the bar-room and gutter long enough to nod affably to their guest.
As Rose bent to warm her hands, one end of Archie's cigar stuck out of the ashes, smoking furiously and smelling strongly.
"Oh, you bad boys, how could you do it, to-day of all days?" she said reproachfully.
"Where's the harm?" asked Archie.
"You know as well as I do; your mother doesn't like it, and it's a bad habit, for it wastes money and does you no good."
"Fiddlesticks! every man smokes, even Uncle Alec, whom you think so perfect," began Charlie, in his teasing way.
"No, he doesn't! He has given it up, and I know why," cried Rose eagerly.
"Now I think of it, I haven't seen the old meerschaum since he came home. Did he stop it on our account?" asked Archie.
"Yes," and Rose told the little scene on the seashore in the camping-out time.
Archie seemed much impressed, and said manfully, "He won't have done that in vain so far as I'm concerned. I don't care a pin about smoking, so can give it up as easy as not, and I promise you I will. I only do it now and then for fun."
"You too?" and Rose looked up at the bonny Prince, who never looked less bonny than at that moment, for he had resumed his cigar just to torment her.
Now Charlie cared as little as Archie about smoking, but it would not do to yield too soon: so he shook his head, gave a great puff, and said loftily
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