“scarlet stockings” louisa may alcott

Scarlet Stockings

Chapter 1

“Come out for a drive, Harry?”

“Too cold.”

“Have a game of billiards?”

“Too tired.”

“Go and call on the Fairchilds?”

“Having an unfortunate prejudice against country girls, I respectfully decline.”

“What will you do then?”

“Nothing, thank you.”

And settling himself more luxuriously upon the couch, Lennox closed his eyes, and appeared to slumber tranquilly. Kate shook her head, and stood regarding her brother, despondently, till a sudden idea made her turn toward the window, exclaiming abruptly,

“Scarlet stockings, Harry!”

“Where?” and, as if the words were a spell to break the deepest day-dream, Lennox hurried to the window, with an unusual expression of interest in his listless face.

“I thought

that would succeed! She isn’t there, but I’ve got you up, and you are not to go down again,” laughed Kate, taking possession of the sofa.

“Not a bad manoeuvre. I don’t mind; it’s about time for the one interesting event of the day to occur, so I’ll watch for myself, thank you,” and Lennox took the easy chair by the window with a shrug and a yawn.

“I’m glad any thing does interest you,” said Kate, petulantly, “though I don’t think it amounts to much, for, though you perch yourself at the window every day to see that girl pass, you don’t care enough about it to ask her name.”

“I’ve been waiting to be told.”

“It’s Belle Morgan, the Doctor’s daughter, and my dearest friend.”

“Then, of course, she is a blue-belle?”

“Don’t try to be witty or sarcastic with her, for she will beat you at that.”

“Not a dumb-belle then?”

“Quite the reverse; she talks a good deal, and very well too, when she likes.”

“She is very pretty; has anybody the right to call her ‘Ma belle’?”

“Many would be glad to do so, but she won’t have any thing to say to them.”

“A Canterbury belle in every sense of the word then?”

“She might be, for all Canterbury loves her, but she isn’t fashionable, and has more friends among the poor than among the rich.”

“Ah, I see, a diving-bell, who knows how to go down into a sea of troubles, and bring up the pearls worth having.”

“I’ll tell her that, it will please her. You are really waking up, Harry,” and Kate smiled approvingly upon him.

“This page of ‘Belle’s Life’ is rather amusing, so read away,” said Lennox, glancing up the street, as if he awaited the appearance of the next edition with pleasure.

“There isn’t much to tell; she is a nice, bright, energetic, warm-hearted dear; the pride of the Doctor’s heart, and a favorite with every one, though she is odd.

“How odd?”

“Does and says what she likes, is very blunt and honest, has ideas and principles of her own, goes to parties in high dresses, won’t dance round dances, and wears red stockings, though Mrs. Plantagenet says it’s fast.”

“Rather a jolly little person, I fancy. Why haven’t we met her at some of the tea-fights and muffin-worries we’ve been to lately?”

“It may make you angry, but it will do you good, so I’ll tell. She didn’t care enough about seeing the distinguished stranger to come; that’s the truth.”

“Sensible girl, to spare herself hours of mortal dulness, gossip, and dyspepsia,” was the placid reply.

“She has seen you, though, at church and dawdling about town, and she called you ‘Sir Charles Coldstream’ on the spot. How does that suit?” asked Kate, maliciously.

“Not bad, I rather like that. Wish she’d call some day, and stir us up.”

“scarlet stockings” louisa may alcott