Page:Little Women.djvu/322

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310
Little Women.

own sins, don't go making me add to mine. If I get your grandpa to apologize for the shaking, will you give up running away?" asked Jo, seriously.

" Yes, but you won't do it," answered Laurie, who wished to " make up," but felt that his outraged dignity must be appeased first.

" If I can manage the young one I can the old one," muttered Jo, as she walked a.way, leaving Laurie bent over a railroad map, with his head propped up on both hands.

"Come in ! " and Mr. Laurence's gruff voice sounded gruffer than ever, as Jo tapped at his door.

" It's only me, sir, come to return a book," she said, blandly, as she entered.

"Want any more?" asked the old gentleman, look- ing grim and vexed, but trying not to show it. •' Yes, please, I like old Sam so well, I think I'll try the second volume," returned Jo, hoping to pro- pitiate him by accepting a second dose of " Boswell's Johnson," as he had recommended that lively work.

The shaggy eyebrows unbent a little, as he rolled the steps toward the shelf where the Johnsonian literature was placed. Jo skipped up, and, sitting on the top step, affected to be searching for her book, but was really wondering how best to introduce the dan- gerous object of her visit. Mr. Laurence seemed to suspect that something was brewing in her mind; for, after taking several brisk turns about the room, he faced round on her, speaking so abruptly, that " Ras- selas " tumbled face downward on the floor.

"What has that boy been about? Don't try to shield him, now ! I know he has been in mischief,