Page:Good Wives.djvu/341

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
327
UNDER THE UMBRELLA.

what was going on, yet every one tried to look as if they were stone-blind to the changes in Jo's face—never asked why she sang about her work, did up her hair three times a day, and got so blooming with her evening exercise; and no one seemed to have the slightest suspicion that Professor Bhaer, while talking philosophy with the father, was giving the daughter lessons in love.

Jo couldn't even lose her heart in a decorous manner, but sternly tried to quench her feelings; and, failing do so, led a somewhat agitated life. She was mortally afraid of being laughed at for surrendering, after her many and vehement declarations of independence. Laurie was her especial dread; but, thanks to the new manager, he behaved with praiseworthy propriety, never called Mr. Bhaer "a capital old fellow" in public, never alluded, in the remotest manner, to Jo's improved appearance, or expressed the least surprise at seeing the Professor's hat on the Marches hall-table, nearly every evening. But he exulted in private, and longed for the time to come when he could give Jo a piece of plate, with a bear and a ragged staff on it as an appropriate coat of arms.

For a fortnight, the Professor came and went with lover-like regularity; then he stayed away for three whole days, and made no sign—a proceeding which caused everybody to look sober, and Jo to become pensive, at first, and then,—alas for romance,—very cross.

"Disgusted, I dare say, and gone home as suddenly as he came. It's nothing to me, of course; but I should think he would have come and bid us good-by, like a gentleman," she said to herself, with a despairing look