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Chapter 21: Laurie Makes Mischief and Jo Makes Peace
Laurie wheedles the secret about Meg and Mr. Brooke out of Jo, then plans a retaliation for having been left out. He composes a series of letters, ostensibly from Mr. Brooks. In one letter he confesses his love, and Meg answers by saying that she is too young to marry and prefers to be friends for a long while. In the next letter, Laurie-under the absconded identity-writes that he never wrote the first letter and regrets that her "roguish sister" has taken liberty with their names. Laurie is summoned and admits to the deviltry. He is chastised by Mrs. March who swears him to silence about the whole affair.
Jo refuses to forgive Laurie for what she considers a crude joke, but she later relents and goes to the Laurence house under the pretext of returning a book. She finds Mr. Laurence in an angry mood and Laurie shut up in his room. The two have been quarreling over Laurie’s silence about the letter affair. Mr. Laurence thinks Laurie is just being impudent. Consequently, Laurie is pondering the idea of running away and refuses to come out of his room until he receives an apology from his grandfather.
Feeling that if she can handle the young one, she can handle the old one, Jo talks Mr. Laurence into writing a formal sounding apology to Laurie.
Jo is a true diplomat. Regardless of which Laurence she is talking to, she can find a way to be sympathetic without totally agreeing. Thus she can enable each individual to look at a situation from a different perspective.