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298
Little Women.

Meg, as she crept into the room, with the finished letter in her hand.

" Only one of my stupid speeches. I'm going to bed ; come on, Peggy," said Jo, unfolding herself, like an animated puzzle.

" Quite right, and beautifully written. Please add that I send my love to John," said Mrs. March, as she glanced over the letter, and gave it back.

"Do you call him 'John'?" asked Meg, smiling, with her innocent eyes looking down into her mother's.

" Yes ; he has been like a son to us, and we are very fond of him," replied Mrs. March, returning the look with a keen one.

" I'm glad of that ; he is so lonely. Good-night, mother, dear. It is so inexpressibly comfortable to have you here," was Meg's quiet answer.

The kiss her mother gave her was a very tender one ; and, as she went away, Mrs. March said, with a mixture of satisfaction and regret, " She does not love John yet, but will soon learn to."