1 Old Mr. Laurence sent it, replied Mrs. March.
2 But I am not Miss March, I'm only Jo, returned the young lady.
3 "I thought you'd do it," said Mrs. March, smiling as if satisfied.
4 "Aunt March had a good fit and sent the supper," cried Jo, with a sudden inspiration.
5 Jo happened to suit Aunt March, who was lame and needed an active person to wait upon her.
6 But Beth's roses are sweeter to me, said Mrs. March, smelling the half-dead posy in her belt.
7 "Look under your pillows Christmas morning, and you will find your guidebook," replied Mrs. March.
8 I suspect that the real attraction was a large library of fine books, which was left to dust and spiders since Uncle March died.
9 Mrs. March was very busy trying to finish a letter, which must go at once, and Hannah had the grumps, for being up late didn't suit her.
10 Mrs. March was both surprised and touched, and smiled with her eyes full as she examined her presents and read the little notes which accompanied them.
11 Mrs. March gave the mother tea and gruel, and comforted her with promises of help, while she dressed the little baby as tenderly as if it had been her own.
12 He sends all sorts of loving wishes for Christmas, and an especial message to you girls, said Mrs. March, patting her pocket as if she had got a treasure there.
13 When Mr. March lost his property in trying to help an unfortunate friend, the two oldest girls begged to be allowed to do something toward their own support, at least.
14 They talked over the new plan while old Hannah cleared the table, then out came the four little work baskets, and the needles flew as the girls made sheets for Aunt March.
15 While making these maternal inquiries Mrs. March got her wet things off, her warm slippers on, and sitting down in the easy chair, drew Amy to her lap, preparing to enjoy the happiest hour of her busy day.
16 The moment Aunt March took her nap, or was busy with company, Jo hurried to this quiet place, and curling herself up in the easy chair, devoured poetry, romance, history, travels, and pictures like a regular bookworm.
17 There was an occasional tempest, and once Jo marched home, declaring she couldn't bear it longer, but Aunt March always cleared up quickly, and sent for her to come back again with such urgency that she could not refuse, for in her heart she rather liked the peppery old lady.
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