15. CHAPTER FIFTEEN
In they both came, Mrs. March with her usual question, "Any letter
from Father, girls?" and Laurie to say in his persuasive way, "Won't
some of you come for a drive? I've been working away at mathematics
till my head is in a muddle, and I'm going to freshen my wits by a
brisk turn. It's a dull day, but the air isn't bad, and I'm going to
take Brooke home, so it will be gay inside, if it isn't out. Come,
Jo, you and Beth will go, won't you?"
"Of course we will."
"Much obliged, but I'm busy." And Meg whisked out her workbasket,
for she had agreed with her mother that it was best, for her at least,
not to drive too often with the young gentleman.
"We three will be ready in a minute," cried Amy, running away to
wash her hands.
"Can I do anything for you, Madam Mother?" asked Laurie, leaning
over Mrs. March's chair with the affectionate look and tone he always
"No, thank you, except call at the office, if you'll be so kind,
dear. It's our day for a letter, and the postman hasn't been. Father
is as regular as the sun, but there's some delay on the way, perhaps."
A sharp ring interrupted her, and a minute after Hannah came in
with a letter.
"It's one of them horrid telegraph things, mum," she said,
handling it as if she was afraid it would explode and do some damage.
At the word `telegraph', Mrs. March snatched it, read the two
lines it contained, and dropped back into her chair as white as if
the little paper had sent a bullet to her heart. Laurie dashed
downstairs for water, while Meg and Hannah supported her, and Jo read
aloud, in a frightened voice...
Your husband is very ill. Come at once.
Blank Hospital, Washington.