less lunatics, for they entirely forgot to hail a 'bus, and strolled leisurely along, oblivious of deepening dusk and fog. Little they cared what anybody thought, for they were enjoying the happy hour that seldom comes but once in any life—the magical moment which bestows youth on the old, beauty on the plain, wealth on the poor, and gives human hearts a foretaste of heaven. The Professor looked as if he had conquered a kingdom, and the world had nothing more to offer him in the way of bliss, while Jo trudged beside him, feeling as if her place had always been there, and wondering how she ever could have chosen any other lot. Of course, she was the first to speak—intelligibly, I mean, for the emotional remarks which followed her impetuous "Oh yes!" were not of a coherent or reportable character.
"Friedrich, why didn't you—"
"Ah, heaven! she gifs me the name that no one speaks since Minna died!" cried the Professor, pausing in a puddle to regard her with grateful delight.
"I always call you so to myself—I forgot; but I won't, unless you like it."
"Like it! it is more sweet to me than I can tell. Say 'thou,' also, and I shall say your language is almost as beautiful as mine."
"Isn't 'thou' a little sentimental?" asked Jo, privately thinking it a lovely monosyllable.
"Sentimental? yes; thank Gott, we Germans believe in sentiment, and keep ourselves young mit it. Your English 'you' is so cold—say 'thou,' heart's dearest, it means so much to me," pleaded Mr. Bhaer, more like a romantic student than a grave professor.