As authors may be supposed to know better than any one else what they intended to do when writing a book, I beg leave to say that there is no moral to this story. Rose is not designed for a model girl: and the Sequel was simply written in fulfilment of a promise; hoping to afford some amusement, and perhaps here and there a helpful hint, to other roses getting ready to bloom.
L. M. Alcott.
Three young men stood together on a wharf one bright October day, awaiting the arrival of an ocean steamer with an impatience which found a vent in lively skirmishes with a small lad, who pervaded the premises like a will-o’-the-wisp, and afforded much amusement to the other groups assembled there.
“They are the Campbells, waiting for their cousin, who has been abroad several years with her uncle, the Doctor,” whispered one lady to another, as the handsomest of the young men touched his hat to her as he passed, lugging the boy, whom he had just rescued from a little expedition down among the piles.
“Which is that?” asked the stranger.
“Prince Charlie, as he’s called, — a fine fellow, the most promising of the seven; but a little fast, people say,” answered the first speaker, with a shake of the head.
“Are the others his brothers?”
“No, cousins. The elder is Archie, a most exemplary young man. He has just gone into businesswith the merchant uncle, and bids fair to be an honor to his family. The other, with the eye-glasses and no gloves, is Mac, the odd one, just out of college.”
“And the boy?”
“Oh, he is Jamie, the youngest brother of Archibald, and the pet of the whole family. Mercy on us! he’ll be in if they don’t hold on to him.”
The ladies’ chat came to a sudden end just there; for, by the time Jamie had been fished out of a hogshead, the steamer hove in sight and every thing else was forgotten. As it swung slowly round to enter the dock, a boyish voice shouted, —
“There she is! I see her and uncle and Phebe! Hooray for Cousin Rose!” and three small cheers were given with a will by Jamie, as he stood on a post waving his arms like a windmill, while his brother held on to the tail of his jacket.
Yes, there they were, — Uncle Alec swinging his hat like a boy, with Phebe smiling and nodding on one side, and Rose kissing both hands delightedly on the other, as she recognized familiar faces and heard familiar voices welcoming her home.