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219
Secrets.

"I'm glad of that!"

"Why?"

"You can teach me ; and then, when we play Hamlet, you can be Laertes, and we'll make a fine thing of the fencing scene."

Laurie burst out with a hearty boy's laugh, which made several passers-by smile in spite of themselves.

" I'll teach you, whether we play Hamlet or not ; it's grand fun, and will straighten you up capitally. But I don't believe that was your only reason for saying ' I'm glad,' in that decided way ; was it, now ? "

" No, I was glad you were not in the saloon, be- cause I hope you never go to such places. Do you?"

"Not often."

" I wish you wouldn't."

" It's no harm, Jo, I have billiards at home, but it's no fun unless you have good players ; so, as I'm fond of it, I come sometimes and have a game with Ned Mof- fat or some of the other fellows."

" Oh dear, I'm so sorry, for you'll get to liking it better and better, and will waste time and money, and grow like those dreadful boys. I did hope you'd stay respectable, and be a satisfaction to your friends," said Jo, shaking her head.

" Can't a fellow take a little innocent amusement now and then without losing his respectability.?" asked Laurie, looking nettled.

" That depends upon how and where he takes it. I don't like Ned and his set, and wish you'd keep out of it. Mother won't let us have him at our house, though he wants to come, and if you grow like him