1 Nicely, thank you, Mr. Laurence.
2 Old Mr. Laurence sent it, replied Mrs. March.
3 And Mr. Laurence offered her his arm with old-fashioned courtesy.
4 Now, the garden separated the Marches' house from that of Mr. Laurence.
5 "Theodore Laurence, you ought to be the happiest boy in the world," she added impressively.
6 I'll see what these little girls can do for him, thought Mr. Laurence, as he looked and listened.
7 My mother knows old Mr. Laurence, but says he's very proud and doesn't like to mix with his neighbors.
8 "Thank you, ma'am," said a gruff voice behind her, and there, to her great dismay, stood old Mr. Laurence.
9 Taking no more notice of her than if she had been a fly, Mr. Laurence talked on about Laurie's lessons and teachers.
10 Her respect and regard for the 'Laurence' boy increased very much, for he played remarkably well and didn't put on any airs.
11 They found Mr. Laurence standing before the fire in the great drawing room, but Jo's attention was entirely absorbed by a grand piano, which stood open.
12 No persuasions or enticements could overcome her fear, till, the fact coming to Mr. Laurence's ear in some mysterious way, he set about mending matters.
13 She had long wanted to behold these hidden glories, and to know the Laurence boy, who looked as if he would like to be known, if he only knew how to begin.
14 When I went to get some oysters for Hannah, Mr. Laurence was in the fish shop, but he didn't see me, for I kept behind the fish barrel, and he was busy with Mr. Cutter the fish-man.
15 And having pulled the boy's hair by way of a caress, Mr. Laurence walked on, while Laurie went through a series of comic evolutions behind their backs, which nearly produced an explosion of laughter from Jo.
16 Old Mr. Laurence was the biggest one, but after he had called, said something funny or kind to each one of the girls, and talked over old times with their mother, nobody felt much afraid of him, except timid Beth.
17 She liked the 'Laurence boy' better than ever and took several good looks at him, so that she might describe him to the girls, for they had no brothers, very few male cousins, and boys were almost unknown creatures to them.
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