Louisa May Alcott: Rose in Bloom


The old glove lay upon the floor forgotten while Rose sat musing, till a quick step sounded in the hall and a voice drew near, tunefully humming.

"As he was walkin' doun the street
The city for to view,
Oh, there he spied a bonny lass,
The window lookin' through."

"Sae licht he jumpèd up the stair,
And tirled at the pin;
Oh, wha sae ready as hersel'
To let the laddie in?"

sang Rose as the voice paused and a tap came at the door.

"Good morning, Rosamunda, here are your letters, and your most devoted ready to execute any commissions you may have for him," was Charlie's greeting as he came in looking comely, gay, and debonair as usual.

"Thanks. I've no errands unless you mail my replies, if these need answering, so by your leave, Prince," and Rose began to open the handful of notes he threw into her lap.

"Ha! What sight is this to blast mine eyes?" ejaculated Charlie, as he pointed to the glove with a melodramatic start, for, like most accomplished amateur actors, he was fond of introducing private theatricals into his daily talk and conversation.

"Uncle left it."

"'Tis well. Methought perchance a rival had been here," and, picking it up, Charlie amused himself with putting it on the head of a little Psyche which ornamented the mantelpiece, softly singing as he did so, another verse of the old song:

"He set his Jenny on his knee,
All in his Highland dress;
For brawly well he kenned the way
To please a bonny lass."

Rose went on reading her letters, but all the while was thinking of her conversation with her uncle as well as something else suggested by the newcomer and his ditty.

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