1 How the big eyes stared and the blue lips smiled as the girls went in.
2 The girls flew about, trying to make things comfortable, each in her own way.
3 "Really, girls, you are both to be blamed," said Meg, beginning to lecture in her elder-sisterly fashion.
4 Another bang of the street door sent the basket under the sofa, and the girls to the table, eager for breakfast.
5 Somehow the sight of the old shoes had a good effect upon the girls, for Mother was coming, and everyone brightened to welcome her.
6 "I don't think it's fair for some girls to have plenty of pretty things, and other girls nothing at all," added little Amy, with an injured sniff.
7 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.
8 The girls had never been called angel children before, and thought it very agreeable, especially Jo, who had been considered a 'Sancho' ever since she was born.
9 She was not elegantly dressed, but a noble-looking woman, and the girls thought the gray cloak and unfashionable bonnet covered the most splendid mother in the world.
10 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.
11 The girls meantime spread the table, set the children round the fire, and fed them like so many hungry birds, laughing, talking, and trying to understand the funny broken English.
12 "Glad to find you so merry, my girls," said a cheery voice at the door, and actors and audience turned to welcome a tall, motherly lady with a 'can I help you' look about her which was truly delightful.
13 The first sound in the morning was her voice as she went about the house singing like a lark, and the last sound at night was the same cheery sound, for the girls never grew too old for that familiar lullaby.
14 It was a cheerful, hopeful letter, full of lively descriptions of camp life, marches, and military news, and only at the end did the writer's heart over-flow with fatherly love and longing for the little girls at home.
15 Being still too young to go often to the theater, and not rich enough to afford any great outlay for private performances, the girls put their wits to work, and necessity being the mother of invention, made whatever they needed.
16 So you must try to be contented with making your name boyish, and playing brother to us girls, said Beth, stroking the rough head with a hand that all the dish washing and dusting in the world could not make ungentle in its touch.
17 And when they went away, leaving comfort behind, I think there were not in all the city four merrier people than the hungry little girls who gave away their breakfasts and contented themselves with bread and milk on Christmas morning.
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