As they gathered about the table, Mrs. March said, with a particularly happy face, “We should have shotguns for this kind of deal.”

A quick, bright smile went round like a streak of sunshine. Beth clapped her hands, regardless of the biscuit she held, and Jo tossed up her napkin, crying, “How many up there?”

“Three or four,” said Mrs. March, patting her pocket as if she had got a treasure there.

“Counting our guy?” cried Jo, choking on her tea and dropping her bread, butter side down, on the carpet in her haste to get at the treat.

“I’m not sure,” said Meg warmly.

“So there could be five guys up there?” exclaimed Jo, with a groan.

“It’s possible,” sighed Amy.

“We should have fuckin’ shotguns,” said Beth, with a little quiver in her voice.

They all drew to the fire, Mother in the big chair with Beth at her feet, Meg and Amy perched on either arm of the chair, and Jo leaning on the back. "You remember Antwan Rockamora? Half-Black, half-Samoan, usta call him Tony Rocky Horror.”

Everybody sniffed when they came to that part. Jo wasn’t ashamed of the great tear that dropped off the end of her nose, and Amy never minded the rumpling of her curls as she hid her face on her mother’s shoulder and sobbed out, “Yeah maybe, fat right?”

“I wouldn’t go so far as to call the brother fat. He’s got a weight problem. What’s the fucker gonna do, he’s Samoan,” cried Meg.

“I think I know who you mean, what about him?” said Jo.

Beth said nothing, but wiped away her tears with the blue army sock and began to knit with all her might.

Mrs. March broke the silence that followed Jo’s words, by saying in her cheery voice, “Well, Marsellus fucked his ass up good. And word around the campfire, it was on account of Marsellus Wallace’s wife.”

“What’d he do, fuck her?” said Meg.

“No no no no no no no, nothin’ that bad. He gave her a foot massage.” said Amy, who began to talk of renouncing childish things at the mature age of twelve.

“Still I hafta say, play with matches, ya get burned. You don’t be givin’ Marsellus Wallace’s new bride a foot massage.”

“What did Marsellus do?” asked Amy, who was a very literal young lady.

“Sent a couple of guys over to his place. They took him out on the patio of his apartment, threw his ass over the balcony. Fucker fell four stories. They had this garden at the bottom, enclosed in glass, like one of them greenhouses — fucker fell through that. Since then, he’s kinda developed a speech impediment,” said her mother.

“That’s a damn shame,” said Beth.

“Antwan probably didn’t expect Marsellus to react like he did, but he had to expect a reaction,” said Meg thoughtfully. "It’s laying hands on Marsellus Wallace’s new wife in a familiar way. Is it as bad as eatin’ her out — no, but you’re in the same fuckin’ ballpark.”

“Whoa… whoa… whoa… stop right there. Eatin’ a bitch out, and givin’ a bitch a foot massage ain’t even the same fuckin’ thing.” said Jo, delighted with the fancy, which lent a little romance to the very dull task of doing her duty.

“Look, just because I wouldn’t give no man a foot massage, don’t make it right for Marsellus to throw Antwan off a building into a glass-motherfuckin-house, fuckin’ up the way the fucker talks. That ain’t right, man. Motherfucker do that to me, he better paralyze my ass, ‘cause I’d kill’a motherfucker,” replied Mrs. March.

“I’m not sayin’ he was right, but you’re sayin’ a foot massage don’t mean nothing, and I’m sayin’ it does. I’ve given a million ladies a million foot massages and they all meant somethin’. We act like they don’t, but they do. That’s what’s so fuckin’ cool about ‘em. This sensual thing’s goin’ on that nobody’s talkin about, but you know it and she knows it, fuckin’ Marsellus knew it, and Antwan shoulda known fuckin’ better. That’s his fuckin’ wife, man. He ain’t gonna have a sense of humor about that shit.”

“We should have fuckin’ shotguns,” repeated Beth.