was a brave and an honest one, and I was proud to be his friend."
"Thank you, sir;" and Jo was quite comfortable after that, for it suited her exactly.
"What have you been doing to this boy of mine, hey?" was the next question, sharply put.
"Only trying to be neighborly, sir;" and Jo told how her visit came about.
"You think he needs cheering up a bit, do you?"
"Yes, sir; he seems a little lonely, and young folks would do him good, perhaps. We are only girls, but we should be glad to help if we could, for we don't forget the splendid Christmas present you sent us," said Jo, eagerly.
"Tut, tut, tut; that was the boy's affair. How is the poor woman?"
"Doing nicely, sir;" and off went Jo, talking very fast, as she told all about the Hummels, in whom her mother had interested richer friends than they were.
"Just her father's way of doing good. I shall come and see your mother some fine day. Tell her so. There's the tea-bell; we have it early, on the boy's account. Come down, and go on being neighborly."
"If you'd like to have me, sir."
"Shouldn't ask you, if I didn't;" and Mr. Laurence offered her his arm with old-fashioned courtesy.
"What would Meg say to this?" thought Jo, as she was marched away, while her eyes danced with fun as she imagined herself telling the story at home.
"Hey! why what the dickens has come to the fellow?" said the old gentleman, as Laurie came run-