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Eight Cousins

8. And what came of it
"Uncle, could you lend me a ninepence? I'll return it as soon as I get my pocket-money,"
said Rose, coming into the library in a great hurry that evening.
"I think I could, and I won't charge any interest for it, so you need not be in any hurry to
repay me. Come back here and help me settle these books if you have nothing
pleasanter to do," answered Dr. Alec, handing out the money with that readiness which
is so delightful when we ask small loans.
"I'll come in a minute; I've been longing to fix my books, but didn't dare to touch them,
because you always shake your head when I read."
"I shall shake my head when you write, if you don't do it better than you did in making
out this catalogue."
"I know it's bad, but I was in a hurry when I did it, and I am in one now." And away went
Rose, glad to escape a lecture.
But she got it when she came back, for Uncle Alec was still knitting his brows over the
list of books, and sternly demanded, pointing to a tipsy-looking title staggering down the
page
"Is that meant for 'Pulverized Bones,' ma'am?"
"No, sir; it's 'Paradise Lost.' "
"Well, I'm glad to know it, for I began to think you were planning to study surgery or
farming. And what is this, if you please? 'Babies' Aprons' is all I can make of it."
Rose looked hard at the scrawl, and presently announced, with an air of superior
wisdom
"Oh, that's 'Bacon's Essays.' "
"Miss Power did not teach anything so old-fashioned as writing, I see. Now look at this
memorandum Aunt Plenty gave me, and see what a handsome plain hand that is. She
went to a dame-school and learnt a few useful things well; that is better than a
smattering of half a dozen so-called higher branches, I take the liberty of thinking."
"Well, I'm sure I was considered a bright girl at school, and learned everything I was
taught. Luly and me were the first in all our classes, and 'specially praised for our
French and music and those sort of things," said Rose, rather offended at Uncle Alec's
criticism.
 
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