3. CHAPTER THREE
"Jo! Jo! Where are you?" cried Meg at the foot of the garret stairs.
"Here!" answered a husky voice from above, and, running up,
Meg found her sister eating apples and crying over the Heir of
Redclyffe, wrapped up in a comforter on an old three-legged sofa
by the sunny window. This was Jo's favorite refuge, and here she
loved to retire with half a dozen russets and a nice book, to enjoy
the quiet and the society of a pet rat who lived near by and didn't
mind her a particle. As Meg appeared, Scrabble whisked into his
hole. Jo shook the tears off her cheeks and waited to hear the news.
"Such fun! Only see! A regular note of invitation from Mrs.
Gardiner for tomorrow night!" cried Meg, waving the precious paper
and then proceeding to read it with girlish delight.
"`Mrs. Gardiner would be happy to see Miss March and Miss Josephine
at a little dance on New Year's Eve.' Marmee is willing we should go,
now what shall we wear?"
"What's the use of asking that, when you know we shall wear
our poplins, because we haven't got anything else?" answered Jo
with her mouth full.
"If I only had a silk!" sighed Meg. "Mother says I may when
I'm eighteen perhaps, but two years is an everlasting time to wait."
"I'm sure our pops look like silk, and they are nice enough for
us. Yours is as good as new, but I forgot the burn and the tear in
mine. Whatever shall I do? The burn shows badly, and I can't take
"You must sit still all you can and keep your back out of sight.
The front is all right. I shall have a new ribbon for my hair, and
Marmee will lend me her little pearl pin, and my new slippers are
lovely, and my gloves will do, though they aren't as nice as I'd like."