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Chapter 46: Under the Umbrella
For two weeks Jo and Professor Bhaer meet each other daily when Jo goes for her evening walk to Megís house. Jo is afraid of being laughed at and tries to keep her feelings hidden, but everyone is aware of change in her.
Suddenly, with no goodbyes or explanations, the professor stays away for three days. One afternoon Jo takes her walk into town, saying she needs more writing paper and offering to do some shopping for Mrs. March. She soon wanders to a section of town that has nothing to do with her shopping, but she does not find Mr. Bhaer. It begins to rain, so she rushes toward home only to run into another pedestrian who happens to be Mr. Bhaer.
Mr. Bhaer holds an umbrella for her and the two exchange a variety of comments that alternately build and squelch their individual hopes regarding each otherís love. At length, Bhaer tells her that he has concluded his business and will be taking a professorship in a school in the west. At first he thinks she doesnít care, but on the walk home, he sees tears in her eyes and asks the reason. She tells him it is because he is going away. The professorís reaction is ecstatic; he offers his love even though he has no money to go with it. Before they enter the house, he proposes to her in the rain under the umbrella.
This chapter is the climax of Joís story.