Alice Watson has her feet up on her desk, her knees poke through her
well-worn blue jeans as she revels in her annual re-reading of her equally
well-worn copy of Little Women. Without taking her eyes off the page,
she holds her hand up to delay Margaret Peabody's interruption. Finally,
Alice sighs with satisfaction and closes the book, informing Margaret that,
"Jo's just turned Laurie down."
Margaret dryly comments on how convenient it is that young Mr. Laurence marries Amy and winds up paying for Jo and her husband to open Brookfield School anyway...
"Enough cynicism, Margaret. Just tell me whatever it is he sent you to tell me, I won't hold you responsible."
"Excellent. And remember that it was not I who decided that... Dean Watson is to assume the role of General Liason and Fallguy in the Sayers Hall dead body matter..."
Alice groans and utilizes her fluency in several different languages to curse her fate and Dr. Simpson and Dennis Dubois and every member of the Cliff family, living or dead, and Dick Francis and members of the press and dead Native American chieftains who suffered from intestinal problems and... pretty much everyone she can think of. Though, true to her word, Alice refrains from including Dr. Simpson's Assistant, Margaret Peabody, in her littany.
When the fortysomething Dean is finally finished, Margaret thanks her and offers her help in coping with the mess, which is exactly what Alice hoped she would do if left uncursed. So, when Ms. Peabody leaves Dean Watson's office, it is to return to her own office to notify Security Chief Francis and Dennis Dubois and Running Dog Levenstein and several others that they are invited to attend a meeting the following afternoon to... "see where things stand right now".
Alice, delighted to think about corpses and public relations tomorrow, puts her feet back up on her desk and returns to Louisa May Alcott.