Beth was postmistress, for, being most at home, she could attend to it regularly, and
dearly liked the daily task of unlocking the little door and distributing the mail. One July
day she came in with her hands full, and went about the house leaving letters and parcels
like the penny post.
"Here's your posy, Mother! Laurie never forgets that," she said, putting the fresh nosegay
in the vase that stood in `Marmee's corner', and was kept supplied by the affectionate boy.
"Miss Meg March, one letter and a glove," continued Beth, delivering the articles to her
sister, who sat near her mother, stitching wristbands.
"Why, I left a pair over there, and here is only one," said Meg, looking at the gray cotton
glove. "Didn't you drop the other in the garden?"
"No, I'm sure I didn't, for there was only one in the office."
"I hate to have odd gloves! Never mind, the other may be found. My letter is only a
translation of the German song I wanted. I think Mr. Brooke did it, for this isn't Laurie's
Mrs. March glanced at Meg, who was looking very pretty in her gingham morning gown,
with the little curls blowing about her forehead, and very womanly, as she sat sewing at
her little worktable, full of tidy white rolls, so unconscious of the thought in her mother's
mind as she sewed and sang, while her fingers flew and her thoughts were busied with
girlish fancies as innocent and fresh as the pansies in her belt, that Mrs. March smiled and
"Two letters for Doctor Jo, a book, and a funny old hat, which covered the whole post
office and stuck outside," said Beth, laughing as she went into the study where Jo sat
"What a sly fellow Laurie is! I said I wished bigger hats were the fashion, because I burn
my face every hot day. He said, `Why mind the fashion? Wear a big hat, and be
comfortable!' I said I would if I had one, and he has sent me this to try me. I'll wear it for
fun, and show him I don't care for the fashion." And hanging the antique broad-brim on a
bust of Plato, Jo read her letters.
One from her mother made her cheeks glow and her eyes fill, for it said to her...
I write a little word to tell you with how much satisfaction I watch your efforts to control
your temper. You say nothing about your trials, failures, or successes, and think, perhaps,
that no one sees them but the Friend whose help you daily ask, if I may trust the well-
worn cover of your guidebook. I, too, have seen them all, and heartily believe in the
sincerity of your resolution, since it begins to bear fruit. Go on, dear, patiently and
bravely, and always believe that no one sympathizes more tenderly with you than your