7. CHAPTER SEVEN
"That boy is a perfect cyclops, isn't he?" said Amy one day,
as Laurie clattered by on horseback, with a flourish of his whip
as he passed.
"How dare you say so, when he's got both his eyes? And
very handsome ones they are, too," cried Jo, who resented any
slighting remarks about her friend.
"I didn't day anything about his eyes, and I don't see why
you need fire up when I admire his riding."
"Oh, my goodness! That little goose means a centaur, and she
called him a Cyclops," exclaimed Jo, with a burst of laughter.
"You needn't be so rude, it's only a `lapse of lingy', as Mr.
Davis says," retorted Amy, finishing Jo with her Latin. "I just
wish I had a little of the money Laurie spends on that horse," she
added, as if to herself, yet hoping her sisters would hear.
"Why?" asked Meg kindly, for Jo had gone off in another laugh
at Amy's second blunder.
"I need it so much. I'm dreadfully in debt, and it won't be
my turn to have the rag money for a month."
"In debt, Amy? What do you mean?" And Meg looked sober.
"Why, I owe at least a dozen pickled limes, and I can't pay
them, you know, till I have money, for Marmee forbade my having
anything charged at the shop."
"Tell me all about it. Are limes the fashion now? It used
to be pricking bits of rubber to make balls." And Meg tried to
keep her countenance, Amy looked so grave and important.
"Why, you see, the girls are always buying them, and unless
you want to be thought mean, you must do it too. It's nothing
but limes now, for everyone is sucking them in their desks in
schooltime, and trading them off for pencils, bead rings, paper
dolls, or something else, at recess. If one girl likes another,
she gives her a lime. If she's mad with her, she eats one before
her face, and doesn't offer even a suck. They treat by turns,
and I've had ever so many but haven't returned them, and I ought
for they are debts of honor, you know."