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Eight Cousins

15. Ear-Rings
Rose's sprain proved to be a serious one, owing to neglect, and Dr. Alec ordered her to
lie on the sofa for a fortnight at least; whereat she groaned dismally, but dared not
openly complain, lest the boys turn upon her with some of the wise little sermons on
patience which she had delivered for their benefit.
It was Mac's turn now, and honourably did he repay his debt; for, as school was still
forbidden, he had plenty of leisure, and devoted most of it to Rose. He took many steps
for her, and even allowed her to teach him to knit, after assuring himself that many a
brave Scotchman knew how to "click the pricks." She was obliged to take a solemn vow
of secrecy, however, before he would consent; for, though he did not mind being called
"Giglamps," "Granny" was more than his boyish soul could bear, and at the approach of
any of the Clan his knitting vanished as if by magic, which frequent "chucking" out of
sight did not improve the stripe he was doing for Rose's new afghan.
She was busy with this pretty work one bright October afternoon, all nicely established
on her sofa in the upper hall, while Jamie and Pokey (lent for her amusement) were
keeping house in a corner, with Comet and Rose's old doll for their "childerns."
Presently, Phebe appeared with a card. Rose read it, made a grimace, then laughed
and said
"I'll see Miss Blish," and immediately put on her company face, pulled out her locket,
and settled her curls.
"You dear thing, how do you do? I've been trying to call every day since you got back,
but I have so many engagements, I really couldn't manage it till to-day. So glad you are
alone, for mamma said I could sit awhile, and I brought my lace-work to show you, for
it's perfectly lovely." cried Miss Blish, greeting Rose with a kiss, which was not very
warmly returned, though Rose politely thanked her for coming, and bid Phebe roll up the
easy chair.
"How nice to have a maid!" said Ariadne, as she settled herself with much commotion.
"Still, dear, you must be very lonely, and feel the need of a bosom friend."
"I have my cousins," began Rose, with dignity, for her visitor's patronising manner
ruffled her temper.
"Gracious, child! you don't make friends of those great boys, do you? Mamma says she
really doesn't think it's proper for you to be with them so much."
"They are like brothers, and my aunts do think it's proper," replied Rose, rather sharply,
for it struck her that this was none of Miss Blish's business.
 
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