I thought you were with mother, so I took forty winks after I got those girls off. Now, Im at your service, Rosamunda, whenever you like.
You look as if your head ached. If it does, dont mind me. Im not afraid to run home alone, its so early, answered Rose, observing the flushed cheeks and heavy eyes of her cousin.
I think I see myself letting you do it. Champagne always makes my headache, but the air will set me up.
Why do you drink it, then? asked Rose, anxiously.
Cant help it, when Im host. Now, dont you begin to lecture; Ive had enough of Archies old-fashioned notions, and I dont want any more.
Charlies tone was decidedly cross, and his whole manner so unlike his usual merry good-nature, that Rose felt crushed, and answered meekly
I wasnt going to lecture, only when people like other people, they cant bear to see them suffer pain.
That brought Charlie round at once, for Roses lips trembled a little, though she tried to hide it by smelling the flower she pulled from her sash.
Im a regular bear, and I beg your pardon for being so cross, Rosy, he said in the old frank way that was so winning.
I wish youd beg Archies too, and be good friends again. You never were cross when he was your chum, Rose said, looking up at him as he bent toward her from the low chimney-piece, where he had been leaning his elbows.
In an instant he stood as stiff and straight as a ramrod, and the heavy eyes kindled with an angry spark as he said, in his high and mighty manner
Youd better not meddle with what you dont understand, cousin.
But I do understand, and it troubles me very much to see you so cold and stiff to one another. You always used to be together, and now you hardly speak. You are so ready to beg my pardon I dont see why you cant beg Archies, if you are in the wrong.
Im not! this was so short and sharp that Rose started, and Charlie added in a calmer but still very haughty tone: A gentleman always begs pardon when he has been rude to a lady, but one man doesnt apologize to another man who has insulted him.
Oh, my heart, what a pepperpot! thought Rose, and, hoping to make him laugh, she added slyly: I was not talking about men, but boys, and one of them a Prince, who ought to set a good example to his subjects.
But Charlie would not relent, and tried to turn the subject by saying gravely, as he unfastened the little gold ring from his watch-guard
Ive broken my word, so I want to give this back and free you from the bargain. Im sorry, but I think it a foolish promise, and dont intend to keep it. Choose a pair of ear-rings to suit yourself, as my forfeit. You have a right to wear them now.
No, I can only wear one, and that is no use, for Archie will keep his word Im sure! Rose was so mortified and grieved at this downfall of her hopes that she spoke sharply, and would not take the ring the deserter offered her.
|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.|