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Chapter 2 - The Clan (continued)
This impressive ceremony being over, the Clan broke ranks, and both rooms instantly appeared to be pervaded with boys. Rose hastily retired to the shelter of a big chair and sat there watching the invaders and wondering when her aunt would come and rescue her.
As if bound to do their duty manfully, yet rather oppressed by it, each lad paused beside her chair in his wanderings, made a brief remark, received a still briefer answer, and then sheered off with a relieved expression.
Archie came first, and, leaning over the chair-back, observed in a paternal tone
"I'm glad you've come, cousin, and I hope you'll find the Aunt-hill pretty jolly."
"I think I shall."
Mac shook his hair out of his eyes, stumbled over a stool, and asked abruptly
"Did you bring any books with you?"
"Four boxes full. They are in the library."
Mac vanished from the room, and Steve, striking an attitude which displayed his costume effectively, said with an affable smile
"We were sorry not to see you last Wednesday. I hope your cold is better."
"Yes, thank you." And a smile began to dimple about Rose's mouth, as she remembered her retreat under the bed-cover.
Feeling that he had been received with distinguished marks of attention, Steve strolled away with his topknot higher than ever, and Prince Charlie pranced across the room, saying in a free and easy tone
"Mamma sent her love and hopes you will be well enough to come over for a day next week. It must be desperately dull here for a little thing like you."
"I'm thirteen and a half, though I do look small," cried Rose, forgetting her shyness in indignation at this insult to her newly acquired teens.
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