"I'm always glad to see you, sir."
In her anxiety to keep her voice quite calm, Jo made it rather cool, and the frosty little monosyllable at the end seemed to chill the Professor, for his smile vanished, as he said, gravely,—
"I thank you, and come one time more before I go."
"You are going, then?"
"I haf no longer any business here; it is done."
"Successfully, I hope?" said Jo, for the bitterness of disappointment was in that short reply of his.
"I ought to think so, for I haf a way opened to me by which I can make my bread and gif my Jünglings much help."
"Tell me, please! I like to know all about the—the boys," said Jo eagerly.
"That is so kind, I gladly tell you. My friends find for me a place in a college, where I teach as at home, and earn enough to make the way smooth for Franz and Emil. For this I should be grateful, should I not?"
"Indeed you should! How splendid it will be to have you doing what you like, and be able to see you often, and the boys—" cried Jo, clinging to the lads as an excuse for the satisfaction she could not help betraying.
"Ah, but we shall not meet often, I fear; this place is at the West."
"So far away!" and Jo left her skirts to their fate, as if it didn't matter now what became of her clothes or herself.
Mr. Bhaer could read several languages, but he had not learned to read women yet. He flattered himself