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He too seemed out of sorts that hot afternoon, for he sat leaning his head on both hands at the desk strewn with piles of old letters. Button-Rose's tender heart yearned over him at once, and stepping quietly in at the long open window she went to him, saying in her tenderest tone,—

"Does your head ache, sir? Let me soft it as I do Papa's; he says that always makes it more better. Please let me? I'd love to dearly."

"Ah, my darling, I wish you could. But the pain is in my heart, and nothing will ever cure it," sighed Mr. Thomas, as he drew her close and put his wrinkled yellow cheek to her soft one, which looked more like a damask rose than usual.

"You have trials too, I s'pose. Mine trouble me to-day, so I came over to see you. Shall I go away?" asked Rosy with a sigh and the wistful look again.

"No, stay, and we will comfort each other. Tell me your troubles, Button, and perhaps I can help them," the kind old gentleman said as he took her on his knee and stroked the curly head with a paternal touch.

So Rosy told her latest grief, and never saw the smile that crept about the lips that asked in a tone of deep interest,—

"Well, what do you mean to do to that unkind Cicely?"

"For a minute I wanted to slap her back when she tried to spat my hands. Then I 'membered that Mamma said a kiss for a blow was a good thing, so I picked up the beads and planned to do it; but Cis