pleasure party, and soon a lively bustle began in both houses. Beth, who was ready first, kept reporting what went on next door, and enlivened her sisters' toilets by frequent telegrams from the window.
"There goes the man with the tent! I see Mrs. Barker doing up the lunch, in a hamper, and a great basket. Now Mr. Laurence is looking up at the sky, and the weathercock; I wish he would go, too! There's Laurie looking like a sailor, — nice boy! Oh, mercy me! here's a carriage full of people — a tall lady, a little girl, and two dreadful boys. One is lame; poor thing, he's got a crutch! Laurie didn't tell us that. Be quick, girls! it's getting late. Why, there is Ned Moftat, I do declare. Look, Meg! isn't that the man who bowed to you one day, when we were shopping?"
"So it is; how queer that he should come! I thought he was at the Mountains. There is Sallie; I'm glad she got back in time. Am I all right, Jo?" cried Meg, in a flutter.
"A regular daisy; hold up your dress, and put your hat straight; it looks sentimental tipped that way, and will fly off at the first puff. Now, then, come on!"
"Oh, oh, Jo! you ain't going to wear that awful hat? It's too absurd! You shall not make a guy of yourself," remonstrated Meg, as Jo tied down, with a red ribbon, the broad-brimmed, old-fashioned Leghorn Laurie had sent for a joke.
"I just will, though! it's capital; so shady, light, and big. It will make fun; and I don't mind being a guy, if I'm comfortable." With that Jo marched straight away, and the rest followed; a bright little band of