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258
Little Women.

with them till he turned round all of a sudden, and told me to go home and take belladonna right away, or I'd have the fever."

" No you won't! " cried Jo, hugging her close, with a frightened look. "Oh, Beth, if you should be sick I never could forgive myself! What shall we do?"

" Don't be frightened, I guess I shan't have it badly ; I looked in mother's book, and saw that it begins with headache, sore throat, and queer feelings like mine, so I did take some belladonna, and I feel better," said Beth, laying her cold hands on her hot forehead, and trying to look well.

" If mother was only at home ! " exclaimed Jo, seizing the book, and feeling that Washington was an immense way off. She read a page, looked at Beth, felt her head, peeped into her throat, and then said, gravely, " You've been over the baby every day for more than a week, and among the others who are going to have it, so I'm afraid you're going to have it, Beth. I'll call Hannah ; she knows all about sickness."

  • ' Don't let Amy come ; she never had it, and I

should hate to give it to her. Can't you and Meg nave it over again } " asked Beth, anxiously.

"I guess not; don't care if I do ; serve me right, selfish pig, to let you go, and stay writing rubbish my- self! " muttered Jo, as she went to consult Hannah.

The good soul was wide awake in a minute, and took the lead at once, assuring Jo that there was no need to worry ; every one had scarlet fever, and, if rightly treated, nobody died ; all of which Jo be- lieved, and felt much relieved as they went up to call Meg.