Read an Excerpt
An excerpt from Beth's Story
Beth loved all her sisters dearly, but she had a special spot in her heart
for Jo. Still, it seemed unfair that Jo should be allowed to go to New York
and Meg and Amy, both of whose arguments had been quite convincing, should
be made to stay at home.
"No," Beth said. "I'm sorry, Jo. I can't be the one to decide which one
of you goes."
"We could draw lots," Amy said.
"That would be gambling," Meg said. "I think Father and Marmee would prefer
it if we could decide by talking it out."
"We can talk it to death," Amy said, "and we'll still vote for ourselves."
"No," Jo said, looking first at Amy, then at Meg, then at Beth. "I think
there's an obvious answer to our problem. I'll change my vote."
"Oh, Jo!" Meg said. "I'll never forget this. And when I'm in New York, I'll
be sure to pay attention to every single thing and tell you about it, so
tht you can use it in your writing."
"Don't be so sure I'm going to vote for you," said Jo.
"Thank you, Jo!" Amy cried. "I'll do better than Meg. I'll sketch everything
I see, and you can use my pictures when you write about New York!"
"I might not be voting for you either," said Jo.
"Then who?" Meg asked.
"I'm voting for Beth," Jo declared. "I think she should go to New York with
Father and Marmee."
"Beth?" Amy said. "She doesn't even want to go."
"She never said she didn't want to," Jo said. "And it's justlike Beth to
put our happiness ahead of hers. You see it, don't you, Meg? If you go,
Amy and I will resent it. And if I go, you and Amy will resent it. And if
Amy goes, you and I will resent it. But if Beth goes, we'll all be a bit
jealous, but mostly we'll be happy for her."
"Jo's right," Meg said. "Beth is always doing kind things for others and
never asking anything for herself. I vote for Beth to go."
"Beth," Amy said, "you don't have to vote for yourself, you know. You can
vote for me."
"Don't be a selfish beast," Jo said. "Beth, whom do you vote for?"
"I can't vote for myself," Beth said. "It doesn't seem right. But I can't
pick among you either. So I still won't vote."
"Very well," Jo said. "Meg and I vote for Beth. Amy, are you still voting
"Does it matter?" Amy asked. "I'm bound to lose."
"I think Marmee and Father would be pleased if we could tell them we were
unanimous about Beth's going," Meg said. "Do you think you could do that
Amy sighed. "Someday I'll be a great artist," she said. "And a fabulously
rich lady. No thanks to any of you. All right. I vote for Beth to go to
New York. I suppose it's better than Jo, at least."
"Hurrah!" cried Jo. "Our Bethy is going to New York. And we hardly came
close to a civil war to decide it."
Beth hugged Jo and then Meg, who had hopped out of her bed to show her affection
for her younger sister. Amy scowled and left for the bedroom she and Beth
"She'll get over it," Jo said. "Amy really isn't selfish. She'll be happy
for you soon enough."
Beth hoped so. No trip to New York was worth the loss of her little sister's