Page:Little Women.djvu/325

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313
Laurie makes Mischief.

a handsome man, which hung over his table. It was Laurie's father, who had run away in his youth, and married against the imperious old man's will. Jo fancied he remembered and regretted the past, and she wished she had held her tongue.

" He won't do it, unless he is very much worried, and only threatens it sometimes, when he gets tired of studying. I often think I should like to, especially since my hair was cut ; so, if you ever miss us, you may advertise for two boys, and look among the ships bound for India."

She laughed as she spoke, and Mr. Laurence looked relieved, evidently taking the whole as a joke.

" You hussy, how dare you talk in that way? where's your respect for me, and your proper bringing up.? Bless the boys and girls ! what torments they are ; yet we can't do without them," he said, pinching her cheeks good-humoredly.

" Go and bring that boy down to his dinner, tell him it's all right, and advise him not to put on tragedy airs with his grandfather ; I won't bear it."

" He won't come, sir; he feels badly because you didn't believe him when he said he couldn't tell. I think the shaking hurt his feelings very much."

Jo tried to look pathetic, but must have failed, for Mr. Laurence began to laugh, and she knew the day was won.

"I'm sorry for that, and ought to thank him for not shaking me^ I suppose. What the dickens does the fellow expect ? " and the old gentleman looked a trifle ashamed of his own testiness.

"If I was you, I'd write him an apology, sir. He