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Chapter 36: Beth’s Secret
Jo uses the money she earned from the Volcano to take Beth for another visit to the ocean. During the little vacation, Jo learns that Beth never was in love with Laurie, but that the reason for her sadness of the previous year was that she had begun to realize she was dying. She seems to fade a little more each day. Beth has accepted the idea that her death is inevitable, and that it was meant to be.
When the girls return home, Beth has weakened to the extent that their parents are able to see Beth’s condition without being told.
Jo’s comment in the chapter about Amy foreshadows the relationship between Amy and Laurie that is about to be introduced in the next chapter.