Page:Little Women.djvu/230

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218
Little Women.

shut to draw attention to a fine set of teeth, the young gentleman put on his coat, took his hat, and went down to post himself in the opposite door-way, saying, with a smile and a shiver, —

" It's like her to come alone, but if she has a bad time she'll need some one to help her home."

In ten minutes Jo came running down stairs with a very red face, and the general appearance of a person who had just passed through a trying ordeal of some sort. When she saw the young gentleman she looked anything but pleased, and passed him with a nod ; but he followed, asking with an air of sympathy, —

" Did you have a bad time ? "

" Not very."

" You got through quick."

" Yes, thank goodness ! "

" Why did you go alone? "

"Didn't want any one to know."

"You're the oddest fellow I ever saw. How many did you have out ? "

Jo looked at her friend as if she did not understand him ; then began to laugh, as if mightily amused at something.

" There are two which I want to have come out, but I must wait a week."

"What are you laughing at? You are up to some mischief, Jo," said Laurie, looking mystified.

" So are you. What were you doing, sir, up in that billiard saloon ? "

"Begging your pardon, ma'am, it wasn't a billiard saloon, but a gymnasium, and I was taking a lesson in fencing."