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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 552 pages of information about Little Women.

“Then I shall come home and teach drawing for my living,” replied the aspirant for fame, with philosophic composure.  But she made a wry face at the prospect, and scratched away at her palette as if bent on vigorous measures before she gave up her hopes.

“No, you won’t.  You hate hard work, and you’ll marry some rich man, and come home to sit in the lap of luxury all your days,” said Jo.

“Your predictions sometimes come to pass, but I don’t believe that one will.  I’m sure I wish it would, for if I can’t be an artist myself, I should like to be able to help those who are,” said Amy, smiling, as if the part of Lady Bountiful would suit her better than that of a poor drawing teacher.

“Hum!” said Jo, with a sigh.  “If you wish it you’ll have it, for your wishes are always granted—­mine never.”

“Would you like to go?” asked Amy, thoughtfully patting her nose with her knife.

“Rather!”

“Well, in a year or two I’ll send for you, and we’ll dig in the Forum for relics, and carry out all the plans we’ve made so many times.”

“Thank you.  I’ll remind you of your promise when that joyful day comes, if it ever does,” returned Jo, accepting the vague but magnificent offer as gratefully as she could.

There was not much time for preparation, and the house was in a ferment till Amy was off.  Jo bore up very well till the last flutter of blue ribbon vanished, when she retired to her refuge, the garret, and cried till she couldn’t cry any more.  Amy likewise bore up stoutly till the steamer sailed.  Then just as the gangway was about to be withdrawn, it suddenly came over her that a whole ocean was soon to roll between her and those who loved her best, and she clung to Laurie, the last lingerer, saying with a sob . . .

“Oh, take care of them for me, and if anything should happen . . .”

“I will, dear, I will, and if anything happens, I’ll come and comfort you,” whispered Laurie, little dreaming that he would be called upon to keep his word.

So Amy sailed away to find the Old World, which is always new and beautiful to young eyes, while her father and friend watched her from the shore, fervently hoping that none but gentle fortunes would befall the happy-hearted girl, who waved her hand to them till they could see nothing but the summer sunshine dazzling on the sea.

CHAPTER THIRTY-ONE

OUR FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT

London

Dearest People, Here I really sit at a front window of the Bath Hotel, Piccadilly.  It’s not a fashionable place, but Uncle stopped here years ago, and won’t go anywhere else.  However, we don’t mean to stay long, so it’s no great matter.  Oh, I can’t begin to tell you how I enjoy it all!  I never can, so I’ll only give you bits out of my notebook, for I’ve done nothing but sketch and scribble since I started.

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