29. CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE
"Come, Jo, it's time."
"You don't mean to say you have forgotten that you promised
to make half a dozen calls with me today?"
"I've done a good many rash and foolish things in my life,
but I don't think I ever was mad enough to say I'd make six calls
in one day, when a single one upsets me for a week."
"Yes, you did, it was a bargain between us. I was to finish
the crayon of Beth for you, and you were to go properly with me,
and return our neighbors' visits."
"If it was fair, that was in the bond, and I stand to the
letter of my bond, Shylock. There is a pile of clouds in the east,
it's not fair, and I don't go."
"Now, that's shirking. It's a lovely day, no prospect of rain,
and you pride yourself on keeping; promises, so be honorable, come
and do your duty, and then be at peace for another six months."
At that minute Jo was particularly absorbed in dressmaking,
for she was mantua-maker general to the family, and took especial
credit to herself because she could use a needle as well as a pen.
It was very provoking to be arrested in the act of a first tryingon,
and ordered out to make calls in her best array on a warm July day.
She hated calls of the formal sort, and never made any till Amy
compelled her with a bargain, bribe, or promise. In the present
instance there was no escape, and having clashed her scissors
rebelliously, while protesting that she smelled thunder, she gave in,
put away her work, and taking up her hat and gloves with an air of
resignation, told Amy the victim was ready.
"Jo March, you are perverse enough to provoke a saint! You don't
intend to make calls in that state, I hope," cried Amy, surveying
her with amazement.