1 "Jo can," said Meg, glad to recommend her sister.
2 "Nearer my sister Jo's; I am seventeen in August," returned Meg, tossing her head.
3 Jo quite glowed with pleasure at this boyish praise of her sister, and stored it up to repeat to Meg.
4 We didn't open it, but we are dying to know what he says, cried Jo, hugging her sister and offering the note.
5 The garden had to be put in order, and each sister had a quarter of the little plot to do what she liked with.
6 My sister, Meg, used to ride when Papa was rich, but we don't keep any horses now, except Ellen Tree, added Amy, laughing.
7 "Miss Meg March, one letter and a glove," continued Beth, delivering the articles to her sister, who sat near her mother, stitching wristbands.
8 And Jo felt as if during that fortnight her sister had grown up amazingly, and was drifting away from her into a world where she could not follow.
9 The storm cleared up below, for Mrs. March came home, and, having heard the story, soon brought Amy to a sense of the wrong she had done her sister.
10 No one said a word about it, but Sallie offered to dress her hair, and Annie to tie her sash, and Belle, the engaged sister, praised her white arms.
11 To Jo alone did the shy child tell her thoughts, and over her big harum-scarum sister Beth unconsciously exercised more influence than anyone in the family.
12 "I wish I was going to have a fine time and wear all these nice things," said Amy with her mouth full of pins, as she artistically replenished her sister's cushion.
13 Sitting on the floor with one boot on, Amy began to cry and Meg to reason with her, when Laurie called from below, and the two girls hurried down, leaving their sister wailing.
14 When the music stopped, they sat down on the stairs to get their breath, and Laurie was in the midst of an account of a students' festival at Heidelberg when Meg appeared in search of her sister.
15 Meg flew to rescue Amy, and Beth to pacify Jo, but Jo was quite beside herself, and with a parting box on her sister's ear, she rushed out of the room up to the old sofa in the garret, and finished her fight alone.
16 Jo heard Amy panting after her run, stamping her feet and blowing on her fingers as she tried to put her skates on, but Jo never turned and went slowly zigzagging down the river, taking a bitter, unhappy sort of satisfaction in her sister's troubles.
17 Jo gave her sister an encouraging pat on the shoulder as they parted for the day, each going a different way, each hugging her little warm turnover, and each trying to be cheerful in spite of wintry weather, hard work, and the unsatisfied desires of pleasure-loving youth.
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