45. CHAPTER FORTY-FIVE
"Me went to see little Mary."
"And what did you there?"
"I kissed her," began Demi, with artless frankness.
"Prut! Thou beginnest early. What did the little Mary say
to that?" asked Mr. Bhaer, continuing to confess the young sinner,
who stood upon the knee, exploring the waistcoat pocket.
"Oh, she liked it, and she kissed me, and I liked it. Don't
little boys like little girls?" asked Demi, with his mouth full,
and an air of bland satisfaction.
"You precious chick! Who put that into your head?" said Jo,
enjoying the innocent revelation as much as the Professor.
"`Tisn't in mine head, it's in mine mouf," answered literal
Demi, putting out his tongue, with a chocolate drop on it, thinking
she alluded to confectionery, not ideas.
"Thou shouldst save some for the little friend. Sweets to
the sweet, mannling." And Mr. Bhaer offered Jo some, with a look
that made her wonder if chocolate was not the nectar drunk by the
gods. Demi also saw the smile, was impressed by it, and artlessy
"Do great boys like great girls, to, 'Fessor?"
Like young Washington, Mr. Bhaer `couldn't tell a lie', so
he gave the somewhat vague reply that he believed they did sometimes,
in a tone that made Mr. March put down his clothesbrush,
glance at Jo's retiring face, and then sink into his chair, looking
as if the `precocious chick' had put an idea into his head
that was both sweet and sour.
Why Dodo, when she caught him in the china closet half an
hour afterward, nearly squeezed the breath out of his little body
with a tender embrace, instead of shaking him for being there,
and why she followed up this novel performance by the unexpected
gift of a big slice of bread and jelly, remained one of the problems
over which Demi puzzled his small wits, and was forced to
leave unsolved forever.