No wonder they laughed, for the expression of his face was droll enough to convulse a Quaker, as he stood and stared wildly from the unconscious innocents to the hilarious spectators with such dismay that Jo sat down on the floor and screamed.
"Twins, by Jupiter!" was all he said for a minute, then turning to the women with an appealing look that was comically piteous, he added, "Take 'em quick, somebody! I'm going to laugh, and I shall drop 'em."
Jo rescued his babies, and marched up and down, with one on each are, as if already initiated into the mysteries of baby-tending, while Laurie laughed till the tears ran down his cheeks.
"It's the best joke of the season, isn't it? I wouldn't have told you, for I set my heart on surprising you, and I flatter myself I've done it," said Jo, when she got her breath.
"I never was more staggered in my life. Isn't it fun? Are they boys? What are you going to name them? Let's have another look. Hold me up, Jo, for upon my life it's one too many for me," returned Laurie, regarding the infants with the air of a big, benevolent Newfoundland looking at a pair of infantile kittens.
"Boy and girl. Aren't they beauties?" said the proud papa, beaming upon the little red squirmers as if they were unfledged angels.
"Most remarkable children I ever saw. Which is which?" and Laurie bent like a well-sweep to examine the prodigies.
"Amy put a blue ribbon on the boy and a pink on the girl, French fashion, so you can always tell. Besides, one has blue eyes and one brown. Kiss them, Uncle Teddy," said wicked Jo.
"I'm afraid they mightn't like it," began Laurie, with unusual timidity in such matters.
"Of course they will, they are used to it now. Do it this minute, sir!" commanded Jo, fearing he might propose a proxy.
Laurie screwed up his face and obeyed with a gingerly peck at each little cheek that produced another laugh, and made the babies squeal.
"There, I knew they didn't like it! That's the boy, see him kick, he hits out with his fists like a good one. Now then, young Brooke, pitch into a man of your own size, will you?" cried Laurie, delighted with a poke in the face from a tiny fist, flapping aimlessly about.
"He's to be named John Laurence, and the girl Margaret, after mother and grandmother. We shall call her Daisy, so as not to have two Megs, and I suppose the mannie will be Jack, unless we find a better name," said Amy, with aunt-like interest.
"Name him Demijohn, and call him Demi for short," said Laurie
"Daisy and Demi, just the thing! I knew Teddy would do it," cried Jo clapping her hands.
Teddy certainly had done it that time, for the babies were `Daisy' and `Demi' to the end of the chapter.
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