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309
Laurie makes Mischief.

too ! " said Jo, forgetting her part of Mentor in lively visions of martial life at the capital.

"Come on, then! Why not? You go and sur- prise your father, and I'll stir up old Brooke. It would be a glorious joke ; let's do it, Jo ! We'll leave a letter saying we are all right, and trot off at once. I've got money enough ; it will do you good, and be no harm, as you go to your father."

For a moment Jo looked as if she vs^ould agree ; for, wild as the' plan was, it just suited her. She was tired of care and confinement, longed for change, and thoughts of her father blended temptingly with the novel charms of camps and hospitals, liberty and fun. Her eyes kindled as they turned wistfully toward the window, but they fell on the old house opposite, and she shook her head with sorrowful decision.

" If I was a boy, we'd run away together, and have a capital time ; but as I'm a miserable girl, I must be proper, and stop at home. Don't tempt me, Teddy, it's a crazy plan."

" That's the fun of it ! " began Laurie, who had got a wilful fit on him, and was possessed to break out of bounds in some way.

"Hold your tongue!" cried Jo, covering her ears. 'Prunes and prisms' are my doom, and I may as well make up my mind to it. I came here to moralize, not to hear about things that make me skip to think of."

"I knew Meg would wet-blanket such a proposal, but I thought you had more spirit," began Laurie, insinuatingly.

"Bad boy, be quiet. Sit down and think of your