looked, so I did;" answered Laurie, without turning his eyes upon her, though he half smiled at her maternal tone.
"What shall you tell her?" asked Meg, full of curiosity to know his opinion of her, yet feeling ill at ease with him, for the first time.
"I shall say I didn't know you; for you look so grown-up, and unlike yourself, I'm quite afraid of you," he said, fumbling at his glove-button.
"How absurd of you! the girls dressed me up for fun, and I rather like it. Wouldn't Jo stare if she saw me?" said Meg, bent on making him say whether he thought her improved or not.
"Yes, I think she would," returned Laurie, gravely.
"Don't you like me so?" asked Meg.
"No, I don't," was the blunt reply.
"Why not?" in an anxious tone.
He glanced at her frizzled head, bare shoulders, and fantastically trimmed dress, with an expression that abashed her more than his answer, which had not a particle of his usual politeness about it.
"I don't like fuss and feathers."
That was altogether too much from a lad younger than herself; and Meg walked away, saying, petulantly —
"You are the rudest boy I ever saw."
Feeling very much ruffled, she went and stood at a quiet window, to cool her cheeks, for the tight dress gave her an uncomfortably brilliant color. As she stood there. Major Lincoln passed by; and, a minute after, she heard him saying to his mother, —
"They are making a fool of that little girl; I