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259
Little Faithful.

" Now I'll tell you what we'll do," said Hannah, when she had examined and questioned Beth ; " we will have Dr. Bangs, just to take a look at you, dear, and see that we start right ; then we'll send Amy off to Aunt March's, for a spell, to keep her out of harm's way, and one of you girls can stay at home and amuse Beth for a day or two."

" I shall stay, of course, I'm oldest;" began Meg, looking anxious and self-reproachful.

"I shall, because it's my fault she is sick ; I told mother I'd do the errands, and I haven't," said Jo, decidedly.

"Which will you have, Beth? there ain't no need of but one," said Hannah.

"Jo, please ; " and Beth leaned her head against her sister, with a contented look, which effectually settled that point.

" I'll go and tell Amy," said Meg, feeling a little hurt, yet rather relieved, on the whole, for she did not like nursing, and Jo did.

Amy rebelled outright, and passionately declared that she had rather have the fever than go to Aunt March. Meg reasoned, pleaded, and commanded, all in vain. Amy protested that she would not go ; and Meg left her in despair, to ask Hannah what should be done. Before she came back, Laurie walked into the parlor to find Amy sobbing, with her head in the sofa cushions. She told her story, expecting to be consoled; but Laurie only put his hands in his pockets and walked about the room, whistling softly, as he knit his brows in deep thought. Presently he sat down beside her, and said, in his most wheedlesome tone,