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Rose in Bloom

11.
Small Temptations
"Oh, Rose, I've got something so exciting to tell you!" cried Kitty Van Tassel,
skipping into the carriage next morning when her friend called for her to go
shopping.
Kitty always did have some "perfectly thrilling" communication to make and Rose
had learned to take them quietly, but the next demonstration was a new one, for,
regardless alike of curious observers outside and disordered hats within, Kitty
caught Rose around the neck, exclaiming in a rapturous whisper: "My dearest
creature, I'm engaged!"
"I'm so glad! Of course it is Steve?"
"Dear fellow, he did it last night in the nicest way, and Mama is so delighted. Now
what shall I be married in?" And Kitty composed herself with a face full of the
deepest anxiety.
"How can you talk of that so soon? Why, Kit, you unromantic girl, you ought to be
thinking of your lover and not your clothes," said Rose, amused yet rather
scandalized at such want of sentiment.
"I am thinking of my lover, for he says he will not have a long engagement, so I
must begin to think about the most important things at once, mustn't I?"
"Ah, he wants to be sure of you, for you are such a slippery creature he is afraid
you'll treat him as you did poor Jackson and the rest," interrupted Rose, shaking
her finger at her prospective cousin, who had tried this pastime twice before and
was rather proud than otherwise of her brief engagements.
"You needn't scold, for I know I'm right, and when you've been in society as long
as I have you'll find that the only way to really know a man is to be engaged to
him. While they want you they are all devotion, but when they think they've got
you, then you find out what wretches they are," answered Kitty with an air of
worldly wisdom which contrasted oddly with her youthful face and giddy
manners.
"A sad prospect for poor Steve, unless I give him a hint to look well to his ways."
"Oh, my dear child, I'm sure of him, for my experience has made me very sharp
and I'm convinced I can manage him without a bit of trouble. We've known each
other for ages" Steve was twenty and Kitty eighteen "and always been the best of
friends. Besides, he is quite my ideal man. I never could bear big hands and feet,
and his are simply adorable. Then he's the best dancer I know and dresses in
perfect taste. I really do believe I fell in love with his pocket handkerchiefs first,
they were so enchanting I couldn't resist," laughed Kitty, pulling a large one out of
her pocket and burying her little nose in the folds, which shed a delicious
fragrance upon the air.
"Now, that looks promising, and I begin to think you have got a little sentiment
after all," said Rose, well pleased, for the merry brown eyes had softened
suddenly and a quick color came up in Kitty's cheek as she answered, still half
hiding her face in the beloved handkerchief: "Of course I have, lots of it, only I'm
ashamed to show it to most people, because it's the style to take everything in
the most nonchalant way. My gracious, Rose, you'd have thought me a romantic
 
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