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293
Confidential.

and missed by a great many friends, so I'm going to try and be like Beth all I can. I'm apt to forget my resolutions ; but, if I had something always about me to remind me, I guess I should do better. May I try this way ? "

" Yes ; but I have more faith in the corner of the big closet. Wear your ring, dear, and do your best ; I think you will prosper, for the sincere wish to be good is half the battle. Now, I must go back to Beth. Keep up your heart, little daughter, and we will soon have you home again."

That evening, while Meg was writing to her father, to report the traveller's safe arrival, Jo slipped up- stairs into Beth's room, and, finding her mother in her usual place, stood a minute twisting her fingers in her hair, with a worried gesture and an undecided look.

"What is it, deary.?" asked Mrs. March, holding out her hand with a face which invited confidence.

" I want to tell you something, mother."

"About Meg?"

" How quick you guessed ! Yes, it's about her, and though it's a little thing, it fidgets me."

" Beth is asleep ; speak low, and tell me all about it. That Moffat hasn't been here, I hope?" asked Mrs. March, rather sharply.

" No ; I should have shut the door in his face if he had," said Jo, settling herself on the floor at her mother's feet. " Last summer Meg left a pair of gloves over at the Laurences, and only one was re- turned. We forgot all about it, till Teddy told me that Mr. Brooke had it. He kept it in his waistcoat pocket, and once it fell out, and Teddy joked him