4. CHAPTER FOUR
Beth had a headache and lay on the sofa, trying to comfort
herself with the cat and three kittens. Amy was fretting
because her lessons were not learned, and she couldn't
find her rubbers. Jo would whistle and make a great racket
Mrs. March was very busy trying to finish a letter,
which must go at once, and Hannah had the grumps, for being
up late didn't suit her.
"There never was such a cross family!" cried Jo, losing
her temper when she had upset an inkstand, broken both boot
lacings, and sat down upon her hat.
"You're the crossest person in it!" returned Amy, washing
out the sum that was all wrong with the tears that had
fallen on her slate.
"Beth, if you don't keep these horrid cats down cellar
I'll have them drowned," exclaimed Meg angrily as she tried
to get rid of the kitten which had scrambled up her back and
stuck like a burr just out of reach.
Jo laughed, Meg scolded, Beth implored, and Amy wailed
because she couldn't remember how much nine times twelve was.
"Girls, girls, do be quiet one minute! I must get this
off by the early mail, and you drive me distracted with your
worry," cried Mrs. March, crossing out the third spoiled sentence
in her letter.
There was a momentary lull, broken by Hannah, who stalked in,
laid two hot turnovers on the table, and stalked out again.
These turnovers were an institution, and the girls called
them `muffs', for they had no others and found the hot
pies very comforting to their hands on cold mornings.
Hannah never forgot to make them, no matter how busy or
grumpy she might be, for the walk was long and bleak.
The poor things got no other lunch and were seldom home
"Cuddle your cats and get over your headache, Bethy.
Goodbye, Marmee. We are a set of rascals this morning, but
we'll come home regular angels. Now then, Meg!" And Jo
tramped away, feeling that the pilgrims were not setting out
as they ought to do.