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LAZY LAURENCE.

"It's good advice,—you'd better take it and save your fingers," she said, thinking her speech amused him.

"Thank you, I will!" he answered in jest,—and a few months later he did it in earnest.

"Laurie, when are you going to your grandfather?" she asked, presently, as she settled herself on a rustic seat.

"Very soon."

"You have said that a dozen times within the last three weeks."

"I dare say; short answers save trouble."

"He expects you, and you really ought to go."

"Hospitable creature! I know it."

"Then why don't you do it?"

"Natural depravity, I suppose."

"Natural indolence, you mean. It's really dreadful!" and Amy looked severe.

"Not so bad as it seems, for I should only plague him if I went, so I might as well stay, and plague you a little longer—you can bear it better; in fact, I think it agrees with you excellently!" and Laurie composed himself for a lounge on the broad ledge of the balustrade.

Amy shook her head, and opened her sketch-book with an air of resignation, but she had made up her mind to lecture "that boy," and in a minute she began again.

"What are you doing just now?"

"Watching lizards."

"No, no! I mean what do you intend, and wish to do?"

"Smoke a cigarette, if you'll allow me."