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Chapter 12. AT KITTY'S BALL
Rose had no new gown to wear on this festive occasion, and gave one little sigh of regret as she put on the pale blue silk refreshed with clouds of gaze de Chambéry. But a smile followed, very bright and sweet, as she added the clusters of forget-me-not which Charlie had conjured up through the agency of an old German florist, for one part of her plan had been carried out, and Prince was invited to be her escort, much to his delight, though he wisely made no protestations of any sort and showed his gratitude by being a model gentleman. This pleased Rose, for the late humiliation and a very sincere desire to atone for it gave him an air of pensive dignity which was very effective.
Aunt Clara could not go, for a certain new cosmetic, privately used to improve the once fine complexion, which had been her pride till late hours impaired it, had brought out an unsightly eruption, reducing her to the depths of woe and leaving her no solace for her disappointment but the sight of the elegant velvet dress spread forth upon her bed in melancholy state.
So Aunt Jessie was chaperon, to Rose's great satisfaction, and looked as "pretty as a pink," Archie thought, in her matronly pearl-colored gown with a dainty trifle of rich lace on her still abundant hair. He was very proud of his little mama, and as devoted as a lover, "to keep his hand in against Phebe's return," she said laughingly when he brought her a nosegay of blush roses to light up her quiet costume.
A happier mother did not live than Mrs. Jessie as she sat contentedly beside Sister Jane (who graced the frivolous scene in a serious black gown with a diadem of purple asters nodding above her severe brow), both watching their boys with the maternal conviction that no other parent could show such remarkable specimens as these. Each had done her best according to her light, and years of faithful care were now beginning to bear fruit in the promise of goodly men, so dear to the hearts of true mothers.
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