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224
Little Women.

vitingly before her, and, finding the temptation irre- sistible, Jo darted away, soon leaving hat and comb behind her, and scattering hair-pins as she ran. Lau- rie reached the goal first, and was quite satisfied with the success of his treatment ; for his Atlanta came panting up with flying hair, bright eyes, ruddy cheeks, and no signs of dissatisfaction in her face.

" I wish I was a horse ; then I could run for miles in this splendid air, and not lose my breath. It was capital ; but see what a guy it's made me. Go, pick up my things, like a cherub as you are," said Jo, drop- ping down under a maple tree, which was carpeting the bank with crimson leaves.

Laurie leisurely departed to recover the lost prop- erty, and Jo bundled up her braids, hoping no one would pass by till she was tidy again. But some one did pass, and who should it be but Meg, looking par- ticularly lady-like in her state and festival suit, for she had been making calls.

"What in the world are you doing here.?" she asked, regarding her dishevelled sister with well-bred surprise.

" Getting leaves," meekly answered Jo, sorting the rosy handful she had just swept up.

"And hair-pins," added Laurie, throwing half a dozen into Jo's lap. " They grow on this road, Meg ; so do combs and brown straw hats."

"You have been running, Jo; how could you? When will you stop such romping ways?" said Meg, reprovingly, as she settled her cuffs and smoothed her hair, with which the wind had taken liberties.

"Never till I'm stiff and old, and have to use a