"It's very bad poetry, but I felt it when I wrote it one day when I was very lonely, and had a good cry on a rag-bag. I never thought it would go where it could tell tales," said Jo, tearing up the verses the Professor had treasured so long.
"Let it go,—it has done its duty,—and I will haf a fresh one when I read all the brown book in which she keeps her little secrets," said Mr. Bhaer with a smile, as he watched the fragments fly away on the wind. "Yes," he added earnestly, "I read that, and I think to myself, 'She has a sorrow, she is lonely, she would find comfort in true love.' I haf a heart full, full for her; shall I not go and say, 'If this is not too poor a thing to gif for what I shall hope to receive, take it, in Gott's name.'"
"And so you came to find that it was not too poor, but the one precious thing I needed," whispered Jo.
"I had no courage to think that at first, heavenly kind as was your welcome to me. But soon I began to hope, and then I said, 'I will haf her if I die for it,' and so I will!" cried Mr. Bhaer, with a defiant nod, as if the walls of mist closing round them were barriers which he was to surmount or valiantly knock down.
Jo thought that was splendid, and resolved to be worthy of her knight, though he did not come prancing on a charger in gorgeous array.
"What made you stay away so long?" she asked presently, finding it so pleasant to ask confidential questions, and get delightful answers, that she could not keep silent.
"It was not easy, but I could not find the heart to take you from that so happy home until I could haf a