1 "Let us do it," said Meg thoughtfully.
2 We must go shopping tomorrow afternoon, Meg.
3 Meg had a voice like a flute, and she and her mother led the little choir.
4 As for you, Amy," continued Meg, "you are altogether too particular and prim.
5 "I liked the place where the bundles fell off and tumbled downstairs," said Meg.
6 She woke Meg with a "Merry Christmas," and bade her see what was under her pillow.
7 "It's the best we've had yet," said Meg, as the dead villain sat up and rubbed his elbows.
8 "Really, girls, you are both to be blamed," said Meg, beginning to lecture in her elder-sisterly fashion.
9 I'm getting too old for such things, observed Meg, who was as much a child as ever about 'dressing-up' frolics.
10 But I am afraid I don't, and Meg shook her head, as she thought regretfully of all the pretty things she wanted.
11 Jo gave a despairing groan, and Meg laughed outright, while Beth let her bread burn as she watched the fun with interest.
12 Meg arranged the tea table, Jo brought wood and set chairs, dropping, over-turning, and clattering everything she touched.
13 "You're a dear, and nothing else," answered Meg warmly, and no one contradicted her, for the 'Mouse' was the pet of the family.
14 "I think it was so splendid in Father to go as chaplain when he was too old to be drafted, and not strong enough for a soldier," said Meg warmly.
15 Meg stopped lecturing, and lighted the lamp, Amy got out of the easy chair without being asked, and Jo forgot how tired she was as she sat up to hold the slippers nearer to the blaze.
16 They all drew to the fire, Mother in the big chair with Beth at her feet, Meg and Amy perched on either arm of the chair, and Jo leaning on the back, where no one would see any sign of emotion if the letter should happen to be touching.
17 Nobody spoke for a minute; then Meg said in an altered tone, "You know the reason Mother proposed not having any presents this Christmas was because it is going to be a hard winter for everyone; and she thinks we ought not to spend money for pleasure, when our men are suffering so in the army."
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