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Jack and Jill

Jack and Jill

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Published by Varghese K Cherian

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Published by: Varghese K Cherian on Apr 16, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Jack and Jillby Louisa May AlcottTo the schoolmates of ELLSWORTH DEVENS,Whose lovely character will not soon be forgotten,This Village Story is affectionately inscribed by their friend,L.M.A.1880ContentsChapter 1 The CatastropheChapter 2 Two PenitentsChapter 3 Ward No. IChapter 4 Ward No. 2Chapter 5 SecretsChapter 6 SurprisesChapter 7 Jill's MissionChapter 8 Merry and MollyChapter 9 The Debating ClubChapter 10 The Dramatic ClubChapter 11 "Down Brakes"Chapter 12 The Twenty-second of FebruaryChapter 13 Jack Has a MysteryChapter 14 And Jill Finds it outChapter 15 Saint LucyChapter 16 Up at Merry'sChapter 17 Down at Molly'sChapter 18 May BasketsChapter 19 Good TemplarsChapter 20 A Sweet MemoryChapter 21 Pebbly BeachChapter 22 A Happy DayChapter 23 Cattle ShowChapter 24 Down the RiverJack and JillJack and Jill went up the hillTo coast with fun and laughter;Jack fell down and broke his crown,And Jill came tumbling after.Chapter 1 The Catastrophe
"Clear the lulla!" was the general cry on a bright Decemberafternoon, when all the boys and girls of Harmony Village wereout enjoying the first good snow of the season. Up and down threelong coasts they went as fast as legs and sleds could carry them.One smooth path led into the meadow, and here the little folkcongregated; one swept across the pond, where skaters weredarting about like water-bugs; and the third, from the very top ofthe steep hill, ended abruptly at a rail fence on the high bank abovethe road. There was a group of lads and lasses sitting or leaning onthis fence to rest after an exciting race, and, as they reposed, theyamused themselves with criticising their mates, still absorbed inthis most delightful of out-door sports."Here comes Frank Minot, looking as solemn as a judge," criedone, as a tall fellow of sixteen spun by, with a set look about themouth and a keen sparkle of the eyes, fixed on the distant goalwith a do-or-die expression."Here's Molly LooAnd little Boo?sang out another; and down came a girl with flying hair, carrying asmall boy behind her, so fat that his short legs stuck out from thesides, and his round face looked over her shoulder like a fullmoon."There's Gus Burton; doesn't he go it?" and such a very long boywhizzed by, that it looked almost as if his heels were at the top ofthe hill when his head was at the bottom!"Hurrah for Ed Devlin!" and a general shout greeted a sweet-facedlad, with a laugh on his lips, a fine color on his brown cheek, and agay word for every girl he passed."Laura and Lotty keep to the safe coast into the meadow, andMolly Loo is the only girl that dares to try this long one to thepond. I wouldn't for the world; the ice can't be strong yet, though itis cold enough to freeze one's nose off," said a timid damsel, whosat hugging a post and screaming whenever a mischievous ladshook the fence."No, she isn't here's Jack and Jill going like fury.""Clear the trackFor jolly Jack!"sang the boys, who had rhymes and nicknames for nearlyeveryone.Down came a gay red sled, bearing a boy who seemed all smileand sunshine, so white were his teeth, so golden was his hair, sobright and happy his whole air. Behind him clung a little gypsy ofa girl, with black eyes and hair, cheeks as red as her hood, and aface full of fun and sparkle, as she waved Jack's blue tippet like abanner with one hand, and held on with the other."Jill goes wherever Jack does, and he lets her. He's such agood-natured chap, he can't say No."
"To a girl," slyly added one of the boys, who had wished to borrowthe red sled, and had been politely refused because Jill wanted it."He's the nicest boy in the world, for he never gets mad," said thetimid young lady, recalling the many times Jack had shielded herfrom the terrors which beset her path to school, in the shape ofcows, dogs, and boys who made faces and called her "Fraidcat.""He doesn't dare to get mad with Jill, for she'd take his head off intwo minutes if he did," growled Joe Flint, still smarting from therebuke Jill had given him for robbing the little ones of their safecoast because he fancied it."She wouldn't! she's a dear! You needn't sniff at her because she ispoor. She's ever so much brighter than you are, or she wouldn'talways be at the head of your class, old Joe," cried the girls,standing by their friend with a unanimity which proved what afavorite she was.Joe subsided with as scornful a curl to his nose as its chilly statepermitted, and Merry Grant introduced a subject of general interestby asking abruptly,"Who is going to the candy-scrape to-night?""All of us. Frank invited the whole set, and we shall have a tiptoptime. We always do at the Minots'," cried Sue, the timid trembler."Jack said there was a barrel of molasses in the house, so therewould be enough for all to eat and some to carry away. They knowhow to do things handsomely"; and the speaker licked his lips, as ifalready tasting the feast in store for him."Mrs. Minot is a mother worth having," said Molly Loo, coming upwith Boo on the sled; and she knew what it was to need a mother,for she had none, and tried to care for the little brother withmaternal love and patience."She is just as sweet as she can be!" declared Merry,enthusiastically."Especially when she has a candy-scrape," said Joe, trying to beamiable, lest he should be left out of the party.Whereat they all laughed, and went gayly away for a farewellfrolic, as the sun was setting and the keen wind nipped fingers andtoes as well as noses.Down they went, one after another, on the various coasts solemnFrank, long Gus, gallant Ed, fly-away Molly Loo, pretty Laura andLotty, grumpy Joe, sweet-faced Merry with Sue shrieking wildlybehind her, gay Jack and gypsy Jill, always together one and allbubbling over with the innocent jollity born of healthful exercise.People passing in the road below looked up and smiledinvoluntarily at the red-cheeked lads and lasses, filling the frostyair with peals of laughter and cries of triumph as they flew by inevery conceivable attitude; for the fun was at its height now, andthe oldest and gravest observers felt a glow of pleasure as theylooked, remembering their own young days.

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