Page:Little Women.djvu/312

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Little Women.

wheedled, bribed, ridiculed, threatened and scolded ; affected indifference, that he might surprise the truth from her ; declared he knew, then that he didn't care ; and, at last, by dint of perseverance, he satisfied himself that it concerned Meg and Mr. Brooke. Feeling in- dignant that he was not taken into his tutor's con- fidence, he set his wits to work to devise some proper retaliation for the slight.

Meg meanwhile had apparently forgotten the matter, and was absorbed in preparations for her father's re- turn ; but all of a sudden a change seemed to come over her, and, for a day or two, she was quite unlike herself. She started when spoken to, blushed when looked at, was very quiet, and sat over her sewing with a timid, troubled look on her face. To her mother's inquiries she answered that she was quite well, and Jo's she silenced by begging to be let alone.

"She feels it in the air — love, I mean — and she's going very fast. She's got most of the symptoms, is twittery and cross, don't eat, lies awake, and mopes in corners. I caught her singing that song about ' the silver-voiced brook,' and once she said 'John,' as you do, and then turned as red as a poppy. Whatever shall we do ? " said Jo, looking ready for any measures, however violent.

"Nothing but wait. Let her alone, be kind and patient, and father's coming will settle everything,'* replied her mother.

" Here's a note to you, Meg, all sealed up. How odd ! Teddy never seals mine," said Jo, next day, as she distributed the contents of the little post-office.

Mrs, March and Jo were deep in their own affairs,