Chapter 10 Summary
As spring progresses, the girls spend their time gardening, collecting flowers, and playing games. They are fans of Charles Dickens, and they establish a club they call the Pickwick Club after Dickens’s The Pickwick Papers. Each girl plays the role of one character from this book. Because Meg is oldest, she plays Samuel Pickwick and acts as club president.
Every week, the members of the Pickwick Club (or P.C.) write silly stories and letters. Jo assembles these writings into a newspaper, which Meg reads aloud at the Sunday meetings. The girls act silly in their roles and enjoy the experience greatly.
At one meeting, Jo seems particularly cheerful. She listens to the reading of the paper and then proposes adding Laurie to the club’s membership roster. Meg and Amy both vote against this; they are horrified at the idea of acting ridiculous in front of a boy. Beth, to everyone’s surprise, votes for it. She says Laurie will not make fun of anyone, and his grandpa can join too if he wants. It is so out of character for Beth to argue that Meg and Amy change their minds and vote to let Laurie join.
As soon as the vote is finished, Jo triumphantly throws open the closet door. Inside, the girls see Laurie. He is laughing; he has been listening to the entire conversation. Amy, Meg, and Beth are horrified and call Jo a traitor for telling Laurie their secrets before the vote was counted.
Laurie climbs out of the closet and charms the girls into forgiving both him and Jo for the joke. Assuming a character that fits the style of the P.C., he pledges faithfulness “to this immortal club” and announces that he is celebrating his membership with the gift of a new post office. He explains that he has cleaned out an old birdhouse and placed it on the fence between the Laurence mansion and the March home. He gives the girls a key to the little house and explains that he wants to use it for passing notes and objects back and forth.
The girls are delighted by this idea, and soon they all agree that Laurie is an excellent addition to the P.C. He writes wonderful stories for the club paper, and Jo learns a bit from his writing style. His post office—quickly renamed to the P.O.—becomes a fixture of their friendship. For years afterward, they use it to exchange letters, stories, and even oddities such as pickles and puppies.