been moved; and above it, Beth's face, serene and smiling, as in the early days, looked down upon them, seeming to say, "Be happy! I am here."
"Play something. Amy; let them hear how much you have improved," said Laurie, with pardonable pride in his promising pupil.
But Amy whispered, with full eyes, as she twirled the faded stool,—
"Not to-night, dear; I can't show off to-night."
But she did show something better than brilliancy or skill, for she sung Beth's songs, with a tender music in her voice which the best master could not have taught, and touched the listeners' hearts with a sweeter power than any other inspiration could have given her. The room was very still when the clear voice failed suddenly, at the last line of Beth's favorite hymn. It was hard to say,—
"Earth hath no sorrow that heaven cannot heal";-
and Amy leaned against her husband, who stood behind her, feeling that her welcome home was not quite perfect without Beth's kiss.
"Now we must finish with Mignon's song, for Mr. Bhaer sings that," said Jo, before the pause grew painful; and Mr. Bhaer cleared his throat with a gratified "hem," as he stepped into the corner where Jo stood, saying,—
"You will sing with me; we go excellently well together."
A pleasing fiction, by the way, for Jo had no more idea of music than a grasshopper; but she would have consented, if he had proposed to sing a whole