Rose in Bloom
5. Prince Charming
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
"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.
During the three months since her return she had seen more of this cousin than
any of the others, for he seemed to be the only one who had leisure to "play with
Rose," as they used to say years ago. The other boys were all at work, even little
Jamie, many of whose play hours were devoted to manful struggles with Latin
grammar, the evil genius of his boyish life. Dr. Alec had many affairs to arrange
after his long absence; Phebe was busy with her music; and Aunt Plenty still
actively superintended her housekeeping. Thus it fell out, quite naturally, that
Charlie should form the habit of lounging in at all hours with letters, messages,
bits of news, and agreeable plans for Rose. He helped her with her sketching,
rode with her, sang with her, and took her to parties as a matter of course, for
Aunt Clara, being the gaiest of the sisters, played chaperon on all occasions.
For a time it was very pleasant, but, by and by, Rose began to wish Charlie
would find something to do like the rest and not make dawdling after her the