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188
Little Women.

sixty feet below. Could swim like a duck, paddled round the castle till he came to a little door guarded by two stout fellows ; knocked their heads together till they cracked like a couple of nuts, then, by a trifling exertion of his prodigious strength, he smashed in the door, went up a pair of stone steps covered with dust a foot thick, toads as big as your fist, and spiders that would frighten you into hysterics, Miss March. At the top of these steps he came plump upon a sight that took his breath away and chilled his blood — "

" A tall figure, all in white, with a veil over its face, and a lamp in its wasted hand," went on Meg. " It beckoned, gliding noiselessly before him down a cor- ridor as dark and cold as any tomb. Shadowy effigies in armor stood on either side, a dead silence reigned, the lamp burned blue, and the ghostly figure ever and anon turned its face toward him, showing the glitter of awful eyes through its white veil. They reached a curtained door, behind which sounded lovely music ; he sprang forward to enter, but the spectre plucked him back, and waved, threateningly, before him a — "

"Snuff'-box," said Jo, in a sepulchral tone, which convulsed the audience. " ' Thankee,' said the knight, politely, as he took a pinch, and sneezed seven times so violently that his head fell off*. ' Ha ! ha ! ' laughed the ghost ; and, having peeped through the keyhole at the princesses spinning away for dear life, the evil spirit picked up her victim and put him in a large tin box, where there were eleven other knights packed together without their heads, like sardines, who all rose and began to—"