"The first of June! The Kings are off to the seashore tomorrow, and I'm free. Three
months' vacation--how I shall enjoy it!" exclaimed Meg, coming home one warm day to
find Jo laid upon the sofa in an unusual state of exhaustion, while Beth took off her dusty
boots, and Amy made lemonade for the refreshment of the whole party.
"Aunt March went today, for which, oh, be joyful!" said Jo. "I was mortally afraid she'd
ask me to go with her. If she had, I should have felt as if I ought to do it, but Plumfield is
about as gay as a churchyard, you know, and I'd rather be excused. We had a flurry
getting the old lady off, and I had a fright every time she spoke to me, for I was in such a
hurry to be through that I was uncommonly helpful and sweet, and feared she'd find it
impossible to part from me. I quaked till she was fairly in the carriage, and had a final
fright, for as it drove of, she popped out her head, saying, 'Josyphine, won't you--?' I
didn't hear any more, for I basely turned and fled. I did actually run, and whisked round
the corner where I felt safe."
"Poor old Jo! She came in looking as if bears were after her," said Beth, as she cuddled
her sister's feet with a motherly air.
"Aunt March is a regular samphire, is she not?" observed Amy, tasting her mixture
"She means vampire, not seaweed, but it doesn't matter. It's too warm to be particular
about one's parts of speech," murmured Jo.
"What shall you do all your vacation?" asked Amy, changing the subject with tact.
"I shall lie abed late, and do nothing," replied Meg, from the depths of the rocking chair.
"I've been routed up early all winter and had to spend my days working for other people,
so now I'm going to rest and revel to my heart's content."
"No," said Jo, "that dozy way wouldn't suit me. I've laid in a heap of books, and I'm going
to improve my shining hours reading on my perch in the old apple tree, when I'm not
"Don't say 'larks!' " implored Amy, as a return snub for the 'samphire' correction.
"I'll say 'nightingales' then, with Laurie. That's proper and appropriate, since he's a
"Don't let us do any lessons, Beth, for a while, but play all the time and rest, as the girls
mean to," proposed Amy.
"Well, I will, if Mother doesn't mind. I want to learn some new songs, and my children
need fitting up for the summer. They are dreadfully out of order and really suffering for
"May we, Mother?" asked Meg, turning to Mrs. March, who sat sewing in what they
called `Marmee's corner'. "You may try your experiment for a week and see how you like
it. I think by Saturday night you will find that all play and no work is as bad as all work
and no play."