Laurie happens to see Jo go in and out of an office several times in a very odd way.
When Laurie meets Jo in the street, her face red and looking like she's undergone a "trying ordeal," he asks her what's going on. She, in turn, asks him why he is coming from a billiard saloon. He explains that he is taking fencing lessons.
Laurie also tells Jo he has a secret he will share if she shares her own. So Jo tells him she has just submitted two of her stories in hopes they will be published:
"Well, I’ve left two stories with a newspaperman, and he’s to give his answer next week," whispered Jo
Laurie shows his confidence in Jo when he tells her that her writing is Shakespeare when measured against most of what else is published. He says:
Why, Jo, your stories are works of Shakespeare compared to half the rubbish that is published every day. Won’t it be fun to see them in print, and shan’t we feel proud of our authoress?
He then shares with her his secret that Mr. Brooke might be in love with Meg.