He had no idea she would do it, and was much surprised when she took the dear rings from her ears, with a quick gesture, and held them out to him, saying, in a tone that made the colour come up to his brown cheek, it was so full of sweet good will
I care more for my cousins than for my ear-rings, so I promise, and Ill keep my word.
For shame, Prince! let her wear her little danglers if she likes, and dont bargain about doing what you know is right, cried Archie, coming out of his grove of newspapers with an indignant bounce.
But Rose was bent on showing her aunt that she could use her influence for the boys good, and said steadily
It is fair, and I want it to be so, then you will believe Im in earnest. Here, each of you wear one of these on your watch-guard to remind you. I shall not forget, because very soon I cannot wear ear-rings if I want to.
As she spoke, Rose offered a little ring to each cousin, and the boys, seeing how sincere she was, obeyed her. When the pledges were safe, Rose stretched a hand to each, and the lads gave hers a hearty grip, half pleased and half ashamed of their part in the compact.
Just at that moment Dr. Alec and Mrs. Jessie came in.
Whats this? Dancing Ladies Triumph on Sunday? exclaimed Uncle Alec, surveying the trio with surprise.
No, sir, it is the Anti-Tobacco League. Will you join? said Charlie, while Rose slipped away to her aunt, and Archie buried both cigars behind the back log.
When the mystery was explained, the elders were well pleased, and Rose received a vote of thanks, which made her feel as if she had done a service to her country, as she had, for every boy who grows up free from bad habits bids fair to make a good citizen.
I wish Rose would drive a bargain with Will and Geordie also, for I think these books are as bad for the small boys as cigars for the large ones, said Mrs. Jessie, sitting down on the sofa between the readers, who politely curled up their legs to make room for her.
I thought they were all the fashion, answered Dr. Alec, settling in the big chair with Rose.
So is smoking, but it is harmful. The writers of these popular stories intend to do good, I have no doubt, but it seems to me they fail because their motto is, Be smart, and you will be rich, instead of Be honest, and you will be happy. I do not judge hastily, Alec, for I have read a dozen, at least, of these stories, and, with much that is attractive to boys, I find a great deal to condemn in them, and other parents say the same when I ask them.
Now, Mum, thats too bad! I like em tip-top. This one is a regular screamer, cried Will.
Theyre bully books, and Id like to know wheres the harm, added Geordie.
You have just shown us one of the chief evils, and that is slang, answered their mother quickly.
Must have it, maam. If these chaps talked all right, thered be no fun in em, protested Will.
A boot-black mustnt use good grammar, and a newsboy must swear a little, or he wouldnt be natural, explained Geordie, both boys ready to fight gallantly for their favourites.
But my sons are neither boot-blacks nor newsboys, and I object to hearing them use such words as screamer, bully, and buster. In fact, I fail to see the advantage of writing books about such people
|Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Bibliomania.com Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.|