tiful ladies bokays," answered Becky, smiling at her new friend, always so dainty, and still so delicate in spite of the summer's rustication.
"Thank you! I suppose I shall never be very strong or able to do much; so I am rather like a fern, and do live in a conservatory all winter, as I can't go out a great deal. An idle thing, Becky!" and Emily sighed, for she was born frail, and even her tenderly guarded life could not give her the vigor of other girls. But the sigh changed to a smile as she added,—
"If I am like the fern, you are like your own laurel,—strong, rosy, and able to grow anywhere. I want to carry a few roots home, and see if they won't grow in my garden. Then you will have me, and I you. I only hope your plant will do as well as mine does here."
"It won't! ever so many folks have taken roots away, but they never thrive in gardens as they do on the hills where they belong. So I tell 'em to leave the dear bushes alone, and come up here and enjoy 'em in their own place. You might keep a plant of it in your hot-house, and it would blow I dare say; but it would never be half so lovely as my acres of them, and I guess it would only make you sad, seeing it so far from home, and pale and pining," answered Becky, with her eyes on the green slopes where the mountain-laurel braved the wintry snow, and came out fresh and early in the spring.
"Then I'll let it alone till I come next summer. But don't you take any of the fern into the house in the cold weather? I should think it would grow in