14. CHAPTER FOURTEEN
"You can teach me, and then when we play HAMLET, you can be
Laertes, and we'll make a fine thing of the fencing scene."
"Laurie burst out with a hearty boy's laugh, which made
several passers-by smile in spite of themselves.
"I'll teach you whether we play HAMLET or not. It's grand
fun and will straighten you up capitally. But I don't believe
that was your only reason for saying `I'm glad' in that decided
way, was it now?"
"No, I was glad that you were not in the saloon, because I
hope you never go to such places. Do you?"
"I wish you wouldn't."
"It's no harm, Jo. I have billiards at home, but it's no fun
unless you have good players, so, as I'm fond of it, I come sometimes
and have a game with Ned Moffat or some of the other fellows."
"Oh, dear, I'm so sorry, for you'll get to liking it better and
better, and will waste time and money, and grow like those dreadful
boys. I did hope you'd stay respectable and be a satisfaction to
your friends," said Jo, shaking her head.
"Can't a fellow take a little innocent amusement now and then
without losing his respectability?" asked Laurie, looking nettled.
"That depends upon how and where he takes it. I don't like
Ned and his set, and wish you'd keep out of it. Mother won't let
us have him at our house, though he wants to come. And if you
grow like him she won't be willing to have us frolic together as
we do now."
"Won't she?" asked Laurie anxiously.
"No, she can't bear fashionable young men, and she'd shut us
all up in bandboxes rather than have us associate with them."