ANNE OF GREEN GABLES
By Lucy Maud Montgomery
Table of Contents
CHAPTER I Mrs. Rachel Lynde Is Surprised
CHAPTER II Matthew Cuthbert Is Surprised
CHAPTER III Marilla Cuthbert Is Surprised
CHAPTER IV Morning at Green Gables
CHAPTER V Anne's History
CHAPTER VI Marilla Makes Up Her Mind
CHAPTER VII Anne Says Her Prayers
CHAPTER VIII Anne's Bringing-Up Is Begun
CHAPTER IX Mrs. Rachel Lynde Is Properly Horrified
CHAPTER X Anne's Apology
CHAPTER XI Anne's Impressions of Sunday School
CHAPTER XII A Solemn Vow and Promise
CHAPTER XIII The Delights of Anticipation
CHAPTER XIV Anne's Confession
CHAPTER XV A Tempest in the School Teapot
CHAPTER XVI Diana Is Invited to Tea with Tragic Results
CHAPTER XVII A New Interest in Life
CHAPTER XVIII Anne to the Rescue
CHAPTER XIX A Concert a Catastrophe and a Confession
CHAPTER XX A Good Imagination Gone Wrong
CHAPTER XXI A New Departure in Flavorings
CHAPTER XXII Anne is Invited Out to Tea
CHAPTER XXIII Anne Comes to Grief in an Affair of Honor
CHAPTER XXIV Miss Stacy and Her Pupils Get Up a Concert
CHAPTER XXV Matthew Insists on Puffed Sleeves
CHAPTER XXVI The Story Club Is Formed
CHAPTER XXVII Vanity and Vexation of Spirit
CHAPTER XXVIII An Unfortunate Lily Maid
CHAPTER XXIX An Epoch in Anne's Life
CHAPTER XXX The Queens Class Is Organized
CHAPTER XXXI Where the Brook and River Meet
CHAPTER XXXII The Pass List Is Out
CHAPTER XXXIII The Hotel Concert
CHAPTER XXXIV A Queen's Girl
CHAPTER XXXV The Winter at Queen's
CHAPTER XXXVI The Glory and the Dream
CHAPTER XXXVII The Reaper Whose Name Is Death
CHAPTER XXXVIII The Bend in the road
ANNE OF GREEN GABLES
Mrs. Rachel Lynde is Surprised
Mrs. Rachel Lynde lived just where the Avonlea main road dipped down into a little hollow,
fringed with alders and ladies' eardrops and traversed by a brook that had its source away back in the woods of the old Cuthbert place;
it was reputed to be an intricate,
headlong brook in its earlier course through those woods,
with dark secrets of pool and cascade;
but by the time it reached Lynde's Hollow it was a quiet,
well-conducted little stream,
for not even a brook could run past Mrs. Rachel Lynde's door without due regard for decency and decorum;
it probably was conscious that Mrs. Rachel was sitting at her window,
keeping a sharp eye on everything that passed,
from brooks and children up,
and that if she noticed anything odd or out of place she would never rest until she had ferreted out the whys and wherefores thereof.
There are plenty of people in Avonlea and out of it,
who can attend closely to their neighbor's business by dint of neglecting their own;
but Mrs. Rachel Lynde was one of those capable creatures who can manage their own concerns and those of other folks into the bargain.
She was a notable housewife;
her work was always done and well done;
she "ran" the Sewing Circle,
helped run the Sunday-school,
and was the strongest prop of the Church Aid Society and Foreign Missions Auxiliary.
Yet with all this Mrs. Rachel found abundant time to sit for hours at her kitchen window,
knitting "cotton warp" quilts --she had knitted sixteen of them,
as Avonlea housekeepers were wont to tell in awed voices --and keeping a sharp eye on the main road that crossed the hollow and wound up the steep red hill beyond.
Since Avonlea occupied a little triangular peninsula jutting out into the Gulf of St. Lawrence with water on two sides of it,
anybody who went out of it or into it had to pass over that hill road and so run the unseen gauntlet of Mrs. Rachel's all-seeing eye.
She was sitting there one afternoon in early June.
The sun was coming in at the window warm and bright;
the orchard on the slope below the house was in a bridal flush of pinky-white bloom,
hummed over by a myriad of bees.
Thomas Lynde --a meek little man whom Avonlea people called "Rachel Lynde's husband" --was sowing his late turnip seed on the hill field beyond the barn;
and Matthew Cuthbert ought to have been sowing his on the big red brook field away over by Green Gables.
Mrs. Rachel knew that he ought because she had heard him tell Peter Morrison the evening before in William J. Blair's store over at Carmody that he meant to sow his turnip seed the next afternoon.
Peter had asked him,
for Matthew Cuthbert had never been known to volunteer information about anything in his whole life.
And yet here was Matthew Cuthbert,
at half-past three on the afternoon of a busy day,
placidly driving over the hollow and up the hill;
he wore a white collar and his best suit of clothes,
which was plain proof that he was going out of Avonlea;
and he had the buggy and the sorrel mare,
which betokened that he was going a considerable distance.
where was Matthew Cuthbert going and why was he going there?
Had it been any other man in Avonlea,
deftly putting this and that together,
might have given a pretty good guess as to both questions.
But Matthew so rarely went from home that it must be something pressing and unusual which was taking him;
he was the shyest man alive and hated to have to go among strangers or to any place where he might have to talk.
dressed up with a white collar and driving in a buggy,
was something that didn't happen often.
ponder as she might,
could make nothing of it and her afternoon's enjoyment was spoiled.
"I'll just step over to Green Gables after tea and find out from Marilla where he's gone and why,"
the worthy woman finally concluded.
"He doesn't generally go to town this time of year and he NEVER visits;
if he'd run out of turnip seed he wouldn't dress up and take the buggy to go for more;
he wasn't driving fast enough to be going for a doctor.
Yet something must have happened since last night to start him off.
I'm clean puzzled,
and I won't know a minute's peace of mind or conscience until I know what has taken Matthew Cuthbert out of Avonlea today."
Accordingly after tea Mrs. Rachel set out;
she had not far to go;
orchard-embowered house where the Cuthberts lived was a scant quarter of a mile up the road from Lynde's Hollow.
To be sure,
the long lane made it a good deal further.
Matthew Cuthbert's father,
as shy and silent as his son after him,
had got as far away as he possibly could from his fellow men without actually retreating into the woods when he founded his homestead.
Green Gables was built at the furthest edge of his cleared land and there it was to this day,
barely visible from the main road along which all the other Avonlea houses were so sociably situated.
Mrs. Rachel Lynde did not call living in such a place LIVING at all.
"It's just STAYING,
she said as she stepped along the deep-rutted,
grassy lane bordered with wild rose bushes.
"It's no wonder Matthew and Marilla are both a little odd,
living away back here by themselves.
Trees aren't much company,
though dear knows if they were there'd be enough of them.
I'd ruther look at people.
To be sure,
they seem contented enough;
they're used to it.
A body can get used to anything,
even to being hanged,
as the Irishman said."
With this Mrs. Rachel stepped out of the lane into the backyard of Green Gables.
Very green and neat and precise was that yard,
set about on one side with great patriarchal willows and the other with prim Lombardies.
Not a stray stick nor stone was to be seen,
for Mrs. Rachel would have seen it if there had been.
Privately she was of the opinion that Marilla Cuthbert swept that yard over as often as she swept her house.
One could have eaten a meal off the ground without overbrimming the proverbial peck of dirt.
Mrs. Rachel rapped smartly at the kitchen door and stepped in when bidden to do so.
The kitchen at Green Gables was a cheerful apartment --or would have been cheerful if it had not been so painfully clean as to give it something of the appearance of an unused parlor.
Its windows looked east and west;
through the west one,
looking out on the back yard,
came a flood of mellow June sunlight;
but the east one,
whence you got a glimpse of the bloom white cherry-trees in the left orchard and nodding,
slender birches down in the hollow by the brook,
was greened over by a tangle of vines.
Here sat Marilla Cuthbert,
when she sat at all,
always slightly distrustful of sunshine,
which seemed to her too dancing and irresponsible a thing for a world which was meant to be taken seriously;
and here she sat now,
and the table behind her was laid for supper.
before she had fairly closed the door,
had taken a mental note of everything that was on that table.
There were three plates laid,
so that Marilla must be expecting some one home with Matthew to tea;
but the dishes were everyday dishes and there was only crab-apple preserves and one kind of cake,
so that the expected company could not be any particular company.
Yet what of Matthew's white collar and the sorrel mare?
Mrs. Rachel was getting fairly dizzy with this unusual mystery about quiet,
unmysterious Green Gables.
Marilla said briskly.
"This is a real fine evening,
Won't you sit down?
How are all your folks?"
Something that for lack of any other name might be called friendship existed and always had existed between Marilla Cuthbert and Mrs. Rachel,
in spite of --or perhaps because of --their dissimilarity.
Marilla was a tall,
with angles and without curves;
her dark hair showed some gray streaks and was always twisted up in a hard little knot behind with two wire hairpins stuck aggressively through it.
She looked like a woman of narrow experience and rigid conscience,
which she was;
but there was a saving something about her mouth which,
if it had been ever so slightly developed,
might have been considered indicative of a sense of humor.
"We're all pretty well,"
said Mrs. Rachel.
"I was kind of afraid YOU weren't,
when I saw Matthew starting off today.
I thought maybe he was going to the doctor's."
Marilla's lips twitched understandingly.
She had expected Mrs. Rachel up;
she had known that the sight of Matthew jaunting off so unaccountably would be too much for her neighbor's curiosity.
I'm quite well although I had a bad headache yesterday,"
"Matthew went to Bright River.
We're getting a little boy from an orphan asylum in Nova Scotia and he's coming on the train tonight."
If Marilla had said that Matthew had gone to Bright River to meet a kangaroo from Australia Mrs. Rachel could not have been more astonished.
She was actually stricken dumb for five seconds.
It was unsupposable that Marilla was making fun of her,
but Mrs. Rachel was almost forced to suppose it.
"Are you in earnest,
she demanded when voice returned to her.
as if getting boys from orphan asylums in Nova Scotia were part of the usual spring work on any well-regulated Avonlea farm instead of being an unheard of innovation.
Mrs. Rachel felt that she had received a severe mental jolt.
She thought in exclamation points.
Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert of all people adopting a boy!
From an orphan asylum!
the world was certainly turning upside down!
She would be surprised at nothing after this!
"What on earth put such a notion into your head?"
she demanded disapprovingly.
This had been done without her advice being asked,
and must perforce be disapproved.
we've been thinking about it for some time --all winter in fact,"
"Mrs. Alexander Spencer was up here one day before Christmas and she said she was going to get a little girl from the asylum over in Hopeton in the spring.
Her cousin lives there and Mrs. Spencer has visited here and knows all about it.
So Matthew and I have talked it over off and on ever since.
We thought we'd get a boy.
Matthew is getting up in years,
you know --he's sixty --and he isn't so spry as he once was.
His heart troubles him a good deal.
And you know how desperate hard it's got to be to get hired help.
There's never anybody to be had but those stupid,
half-grown little French boys;
and as soon as you do get one broke into your ways and taught something he's up and off to the lobster canneries or the States.
At first Matthew suggested getting a Home boy.
But I said
'no' flat to that.
'They may be all right --I'm not saying they're not --but no London street Arabs for me,'
'Give me a native born at least.
There'll be a risk,
no matter who we get.
But I'll feel easier in my mind and sleep sounder at nights if we get a born Canadian.'
So in the end we decided to ask Mrs. Spencer to pick us out one when she went over to get her little girl.
We heard last week she was going,
so we sent her word by Richard Spencer's folks at Carmody to bring us a smart,
likely boy of about ten or eleven.
We decided that would be the best age --old enough to be of some use in doing chores right off and young enough to be trained up proper.
We mean to give him a good home and schooling.
We had a telegram from Mrs. Alexander Spencer today --the mail-man brought it from the station --saying they were coming on the five-thirty train tonight.
So Matthew went to Bright River to meet him.
Mrs. Spencer will drop him off there.
Of course she goes on to White Sands station herself."
Mrs. Rachel prided herself on always speaking her mind;
she proceeded to speak it now,
having adjusted her mental attitude to this amazing piece of news.
I'll just tell you plain that I think you're doing a mighty foolish thing --a risky thing,
You don't know what you're getting.
You're bringing a strange child into your house and home and you don't know a single thing about him nor what his disposition is like nor what sort of parents he had nor how he's likely to turn out.
it was only last week I read in the paper how a man and his wife up west of the Island took a boy out of an orphan asylum and he set fire to the house at night --set it ON PURPOSE,
Marilla --and nearly burnt them to a crisp in their beds.
And I know another case where an adopted boy used to suck the eggs --they couldn't break him of it.
If you had asked my advice in the matter --which you didn't do,
Marilla --I'd have said for mercy's sake not to think of such a thing,
This Job's comforting seemed neither to offend nor to alarm Marilla.
She knitted steadily on.
"I don't deny there's something in what you say,
I've had some qualms myself.
But Matthew was terrible set on it.
I could see that,
so I gave in.
It's so seldom Matthew sets his mind on anything that when he does I always feel it's my duty to give in.
And as for the risk,
there's risks in pretty near everything a body does in this world.
There's risks in people's having children of their own if it comes to that --they don't always turn out well.
And then Nova Scotia is right close to the Island.
It isn't as if we were getting him from England or the States.
He can't be much different from ourselves."
I hope it will turn out all right,"
said Mrs. Rachel in a tone that plainly indicated her painful doubts.
"Only don't say I didn't warn you if he burns Green Gables down or puts strychnine in the well --I heard of a case over in New Brunswick where an orphan asylum child did that and the whole family died in fearful agonies.
it was a girl in that instance."
we're not getting a girl,"
as if poisoning wells were a purely feminine accomplishment and not to be dreaded in the case of a boy.
"I'd never dream of taking a girl to bring up.
I wonder at Mrs. Alexander Spencer for doing it.
SHE wouldn't shrink from adopting a whole orphan asylum if she took it into her head."
Mrs. Rachel would have liked to stay until Matthew came home with his imported orphan.
But reflecting that it would be a good two hours at least before his arrival she concluded to go up the road to Robert Bell's and tell the news.
It would certainly make a sensation second to none,
and Mrs. Rachel dearly loved to make a sensation.
So she took herself away,
somewhat to Marilla's relief,
for the latter felt her doubts and fears reviving under the influence of Mrs. Rachel's pessimism.
of all things that ever were or will be!"
ejaculated Mrs. Rachel when she was safely out in the lane.
"It does really seem as if I must be dreaming.
I'm sorry for that poor young one and no mistake.
Matthew and Marilla don't know anything about children and they'll expect him to be wiser and steadier that his own grandfather,
if so be's he ever had a grandfather,
which is doubtful.
It seems uncanny to think of a child at Green Gables somehow;
there's never been one there,
for Matthew and Marilla were grown up when the new house was built --if they ever WERE children,
which is hard to believe when one looks at them.
I wouldn't be in that orphan's shoes for anything.
but I pity him,
So said Mrs. Rachel to the wild rose bushes out of the fulness of her heart;
but if she could have seen the child who was waiting patiently at the Bright River station at that very moment her pity would have been still deeper and more profound.
Matthew Cuthbert is surprised
Matthew Cuthbert and the sorrel mare jogged comfortably over the eight miles to Bright River.
It was a pretty road,
running along between snug farmsteads,
with now and again a bit of balsamy fir wood to drive through or a hollow where wild plums hung out their filmy bloom.
The air was sweet with the breath of many apple orchards and the meadows sloped away in the distance to horizon mists of pearl and purple;
"The little birds sang as if it were The one day of summer in all the year."
Matthew enjoyed the drive after his own fashion,
except during the moments when he met women and had to nod to them --for in Prince Edward island you are supposed to nod to all and sundry you meet on the road whether you know them or not.
Matthew dreaded all women except Marilla and Mrs. Rachel;
he had an uncomfortable feeling that the mysterious creatures were secretly laughing at him.
He may have been quite right in thinking so,
for he was an odd-looking personage,
with an ungainly figure and long iron-gray hair that touched his stooping shoulders,
and a full,
soft brown beard which he had worn ever since he was twenty.
he had looked at twenty very much as he looked at sixty,
lacking a little of the grayness.
When he reached Bright River there was no sign of any train;
he thought he was too early,
so he tied his horse in the yard of the small Bright River hotel and went over to the station house.
The long platform was almost deserted;
the only living creature in sight being a girl who was sitting on a pile of shingles at the extreme end.
barely noting that it WAS a girl,
sidled past her as quickly as possible without looking at her.
Had he looked he could hardly have failed to notice the tense rigidity and expectation of her attitude and expression.
She was sitting there waiting for something or somebody and,
since sitting and waiting was the only thing to do just then,
she sat and waited with all her might and main.
Matthew encountered the stationmaster locking up the ticket office preparatory to going home for supper,
and asked him if the five-thirty train would soon be along.
"The five-thirty train has been in and gone half an hour ago,"
answered that brisk official.
"But there was a passenger dropped off for you --a little girl.
She's sitting out there on the shingles.
I asked her to go into the ladies' waiting room,
but she informed me gravely that she preferred to stay outside.
'There was more scope for imagination,'
She's a case,
I should say."
"I'm not expecting a girl,"
said Matthew blankly.
"It's a boy I've come for.
He should be here.
Mrs. Alexander Spencer was to bring him over from Nova Scotia for me."
The stationmaster whistled.
"Guess there's some mistake,"
"Mrs. Spencer came off the train with that girl and gave her into my charge.
Said you and your sister were adopting her from an orphan asylum and that you would be along for her presently.
That's all I know about it --and I haven't got any more orphans concealed hereabouts."
"I don't understand,"
said Matthew helplessly,
wishing that Marilla was at hand to cope with the situation.
you'd better question the girl,"
said the station-master carelessly.
"I dare say she'll be able to explain --she's got a tongue of her own,
Maybe they were out of boys of the brand you wanted."
He walked jauntily away,
and the unfortunate Matthew was left to do that which was harder for him than bearding a lion in its den --walk up to a girl --a strange girl --an orphan girl --and demand of her why she wasn't a boy.
Matthew groaned in spirit as he turned about and shuffled gently down the platform towards her.
She had been watching him ever since he had passed her and she had her eyes on him now.
Matthew was not looking at her and would not have seen what she was really like if he had been,
but an ordinary observer would have seen this: A child of about eleven,
garbed in a very short,
very ugly dress of yellowish-gray wincey.
She wore a faded brown sailor hat and beneath the hat,
extending down her back,
were two braids of very thick,
decidedly red hair.
Her face was small,
white and thin,
also much freckled;
her mouth was large and so were her eyes,
which looked green in some lights and moods and gray in others.
the ordinary observer;
an extraordinary observer might have seen that the chin was very pointed and pronounced;
that the big eyes were full of spirit and vivacity;
that the mouth was sweet-lipped and expressive;
that the forehead was broad and full;
our discerning extraordinary observer might have concluded that no commonplace soul inhabited the body of this stray woman-child of whom shy Matthew Cuthbert was so ludicrously afraid.
was spared the ordeal of speaking first,
for as soon as she concluded that he was coming to her she stood up,
grasping with one thin brown hand the handle of a shabby,
the other she held out to him.
"I suppose you are Mr. Matthew Cuthbert of Green Gables?"
she said in a peculiarly clear,
"I'm very glad to see you.
I was beginning to be afraid you weren't coming for me and I was imagining all the things that might have happened to prevent you.
I had made up my mind that if you didn't come for me to-night I'd go down the track to that big wild cherry-tree at the bend,
and climb up into it to stay all night.
I wouldn't be a bit afraid,
and it would be lovely to sleep in a wild cherry-tree all white with bloom in the moonshine,
don't you think?
You could imagine you were dwelling in marble halls,
And I was quite sure you would come for me in the morning,
if you didn't to-night."
Matthew had taken the scrawny little hand awkwardly in his;
then and there he decided what to do.
He could not tell this child with the glowing eyes that there had been a mistake;
he would take her home and let Marilla do that.
She couldn't be left at Bright River anyhow,
no matter what mistake had been made,
so all questions and explanations might as well be deferred until he was safely back at Green Gables.
"I'm sorry I was late,"
he said shyly.
The horse is over in the yard.
Give me your bag."
I can carry it,"
the child responded cheerfully.
"It isn't heavy.
I've got all my worldly goods in it,
but it isn't heavy.
And if it isn't carried in just a certain way the handle pulls out --so I'd better keep it because I know the exact knack of it.
It's an extremely old carpet-bag.
I'm very glad you've come,
even if it would have been nice to sleep in a wild cherry-tree.
We've got to drive a long piece,
Mrs. Spencer said it was eight miles.
I'm glad because I love driving.
it seems so wonderful that I'm going to live with you and belong to you.
I've never belonged to anybody --not really.
But the asylum was the worst.
I've only been in it four months,
but that was enough.
I don't suppose you ever were an orphan in an asylum,
so you can't possibly understand what it is like.
It's worse than anything you could imagine.
Mrs. Spencer said it was wicked of me to talk like that,
but I didn't mean to be wicked.
It's so easy to be wicked without knowing it,
They were good,
you know --the asylum people.
But there is so little scope for the imagination in an asylum --only just in the other orphans.
It was pretty interesting to imagine things about them --to imagine that perhaps the girl who sat next to you was really the daughter of a belted earl,
who had been stolen away from her parents in her infancy by a cruel nurse who died before she could confess.
I used to lie awake at nights and imagine things like that,
because I didn't have time in the day.
I guess that's why I'm so thin --I AM dreadful thin,
There isn't a pick on my bones.
I do love to imagine I'm nice and plump,
with dimples in my elbows."
With this Matthew's companion stopped talking,
partly because she was out of breath and partly because they had reached the buggy.
Not another word did she say until they had left the village and were driving down a steep little hill,
the road part of which had been cut so deeply into the soft soil,
that the banks,
fringed with blooming wild cherry-trees and slim white birches,
were several feet above their heads.
The child put out her hand and broke off a branch of wild plum that brushed against the side of the buggy.
"Isn't that beautiful?
What did that tree,
leaning out from the bank,
all white and lacy,
make you think of?"
of course --a bride all in white with a lovely misty veil.
I've never seen one,
but I can imagine what she would look like.
I don't ever expect to be a bride myself.
I'm so homely nobody will ever want to marry me --unless it might be a foreign missionary.
I suppose a foreign missionary mightn't be very particular.
But I do hope that some day I shall have a white dress.
That is my highest ideal of earthly bliss.
I just love pretty clothes.
And I've never had a pretty dress in my life that I can remember --but of course it's all the more to look forward to,
And then I can imagine that I'm dressed gorgeously.
This morning when I left the asylum I felt so ashamed because I had to wear this horrid old wincey dress.
All the orphans had to wear them,
A merchant in Hopeton last winter donated three hundred yards of wincey to the asylum.
Some people said it was because he couldn't sell it,
but I'd rather believe that it was out of the kindness of his heart,
When we got on the train I felt as if everybody must be looking at me and pitying me.
But I just went to work and imagined that I had on the most beautiful pale blue silk dress --because when you ARE imagining you might as well imagine something worth while --and a big hat all flowers and nodding plumes,
and a gold watch,
and kid gloves and boots.
I felt cheered up right away and I enjoyed my trip to the Island with all my might.
I wasn't a bit sick coming over in the boat.
Neither was Mrs. Spencer although she generally is.
She said she hadn't time to get sick,
watching to see that I didn't fall overboard.
She said she never saw the beat of me for prowling about.
But if it kept her from being seasick it's a mercy I did prowl,
And I wanted to see everything that was to be seen on that boat,
because I didn't know whether I'd ever have another opportunity.
there are a lot more cherry-trees all in bloom!
This Island is the bloomiest place.
I just love it already,
and I'm so glad I'm going to live here.
I've always heard that Prince Edward Island was the prettiest place in the world,
and I used to imagine I was living here,
but I never really expected I would.
It's delightful when your imaginations come true,
But those red roads are so funny.
When we got into the train at Charlottetown and the red roads began to flash past I asked Mrs. Spencer what made them red and she said she didn't know and for pity's sake not to ask her any more questions.
She said I must have asked her a thousand already.
I suppose I had,
but how you going to find out about things if you don't ask questions?
And what DOES make the roads red?"
that is one of the things to find out sometime.
Isn't it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about?
It just makes me feel glad to be alive --it's such an interesting world.
It wouldn't be half so interesting if we know all about everything,
There'd be no scope for imagination then,
But am I talking too much?
People are always telling me I do.
Would you rather I didn't talk?
If you say so I'll stop.
I can STOP when I make up my mind to it,
although it's difficult."
much to his own surprise,
was enjoying himself.
Like most quiet folks he liked talkative people when they were willing to do the talking themselves and did not expect him to keep up his end of it.
But he had never expected to enjoy the society of a little girl.
Women were bad enough in all conscience,
but little girls were worse.
He detested the way they had of sidling past him timidly,
with sidewise glances,
as if they expected him to gobble them up at a mouthful if they ventured to say a word.
That was the Avonlea type of well-bred little girl.
But this freckled witch was very different,
and although he found it rather difficult for his slower intelligence to keep up with her brisk mental processes he thought that he "kind of liked her chatter."
So he said as shyly as usual:
you can talk as much as you like.
I don't mind."
I'm so glad.
I know you and I are going to get along together fine.
It's such a relief to talk when one wants to and not be told that children should be seen and not heard.
I've had that said to me a million times if I have once.
And people laugh at me because I use big words.
But if you have big ideas you have to use big words to express them,
that seems reasonable,"
"Mrs. Spencer said that my tongue must be hung in the middle.
But it isn't --it's firmly fastened at one end.
Mrs. Spencer said your place was named Green Gables.
I asked her all about it.
And she said there were trees all around it.
I was gladder than ever.
I just love trees.
And there weren't any at all about the asylum,
only a few poor weeny-teeny things out in front with little whitewashed cagey things about them.
They just looked like orphans themselves,
those trees did.
It used to make me want to cry to look at them.
I used to say to them,
you POOR little things!
If you were out in a great big woods with other trees all around you and little mosses and Junebells growing over your roots and a brook not far away and birds singing in you branches,
you could grow,
But you can't where you are.
I know just exactly how you feel,
I felt sorry to leave them behind this morning.
You do get so attached to things like that,
Is there a brook anywhere near Green Gables?
I forgot to ask Mrs. Spencer that."
there's one right below the house."
It's always been one of my dreams to live near a brook.
I never expected I would,
Dreams don't often come true,
Wouldn't it be nice if they did?
But just now I feel pretty nearly perfectly happy.
I can't feel exactly perfectly happy because --well,
what color would you call this?"
She twitched one of her long glossy braids over her thin shoulder and held it up before Matthew's eyes.
Matthew was not used to deciding on the tints of ladies' tresses,
but in this case there couldn't be much doubt.
The girl let the braid drop back with a sigh that seemed to come from her very toes and to exhale forth all the sorrows of the ages.
she said resignedly.
"Now you see why I can't be perfectly happy.
Nobody could who has red hair.
I don't mind the other things so much --the freckles and the green eyes and my skinniness.
I can imagine them away.
I can imagine that I have a beautiful rose-leaf complexion and lovely starry violet eyes.
But I CANNOT imagine that red hair away.
I do my best.
I think to myself,
'Now my hair is a glorious black,
black as the raven's wing.'
But all the time I KNOW it is just plain red and it breaks my heart.
It will be my lifelong sorrow.
I read of a girl once in a novel who had a lifelong sorrow but it wasn't red hair.
Her hair was pure gold rippling back from her alabaster brow.
What is an alabaster brow?
I never could find out.
Can you tell me?"
I'm afraid I can't,"
who was getting a little dizzy.
He felt as he had once felt in his rash youth when another boy had enticed him on the merry-go-round at a picnic.
whatever it was it must have been something nice because she was divinely beautiful.
Have you ever imagined what it must feel like to be divinely beautiful?"
confessed Matthew ingenuously.
Which would you rather be if you had the choice --divinely beautiful or dazzlingly clever or angelically good?"
I --I don't know exactly."
"Neither do I.
I can never decide.
But it doesn't make much real difference for it isn't likely I'll ever be either.
It's certain I'll never be angelically good.
Mrs. Spencer says --oh,
That was not what Mrs. Spencer had said;
neither had the child tumbled out of the buggy nor had Matthew done anything astonishing.
They had simply rounded a curve in the road and found themselves in the "Avenue."
so called by the Newbridge people,
was a stretch of road four or five hundred yards long,
completely arched over with huge,
planted years ago by an eccentric old farmer.
Overhead was one long canopy of snowy fragrant bloom.
Below the boughs the air was full of a purple twilight and far ahead a glimpse of painted sunset sky shone like a great rose window at the end of a cathedral aisle.
Its beauty seemed to strike the child dumb.
She leaned back in the buggy,
her thin hands clasped before her,
her face lifted rapturously to the white splendor above.
Even when they had passed out and were driving down the long slope to Newbridge she never moved or spoke.
Still with rapt face she gazed afar into the sunset west,
with eyes that saw visions trooping splendidly across that glowing background.
a bustling little village where dogs barked at them and small boys hooted and curious faces peered from the windows,
still in silence.
When three more miles had dropped away behind them the child had not spoken.
She could keep silence,
it was evident,
as energetically as she could talk.
"I guess you're feeling pretty tired and hungry,"
Matthew ventured to say at last,
accounting for her long visitation of dumbness with the only reason he could think of.
"But we haven't very far to go now --only another mile."
She came out of her reverie with a deep sigh and looked at him with the dreamy gaze of a soul that had been wondering afar,
"that place we came through --that white place --what was it?"
you must mean the Avenue,"
said Matthew after a few moments' profound reflection.
"It is a kind of pretty place."
PRETTY doesn't seem the right word to use.
They don't go far enough.
it was wonderful --wonderful.
It's the first thing I ever saw that couldn't be improved upon by imagination.
It just satisfies me here" --she put one hand on her breast --"it made a queer funny ache and yet it was a pleasant ache.
Did you ever have an ache like that,
I just can't recollect that I ever had."
"I have it lots of time --whenever I see anything royally beautiful.
But they shouldn't call that lovely place the Avenue.
There is no meaning in a name like that.
They should call it --let me see --the White Way of Delight.
Isn't that a nice imaginative name?
When I don't like the name of a place or a person I always imagine a new one and always think of them so.
There was a girl at the asylum whose name was Hepzibah Jenkins,
but I always imagined her as Rosalia DeVere.
Other people may call that place the Avenue,
but I shall always call it the White Way of Delight.
Have we really only another mile to go before we get home?
I'm glad and I'm sorry.
I'm sorry because this drive has been so pleasant and I'm always sorry when pleasant things end.
Something still pleasanter may come after,
but you can never be sure.
And it's so often the case that it isn't pleasanter.
That has been my experience anyhow.
But I'm glad to think of getting home.
I've never had a real home since I can remember.
It gives me that pleasant ache again just to think of coming to a really truly home.
isn't that pretty!"
They had driven over the crest of a hill.
Below them was a pond,
looking almost like a river so long and winding was it.
A bridge spanned it midway and from there to its lower end,
where an amber-hued belt of sand-hills shut it in from the dark blue gulf beyond,
the water was a glory of many shifting hues --the most spiritual shadings of crocus and rose and ethereal green,
with other elusive tintings for which no name has ever been found.
Above the bridge the pond ran up into fringing groves of fir and maple and lay all darkly translucent in their wavering shadows.
Here and there a wild plum leaned out from the bank like a white-clad girl tip-toeing to her own reflection.
From the marsh at the head of the pond came the clear,
mournfully-sweet chorus of the frogs.
There was a little gray house peering around a white apple orchard on a slope beyond and,
although it was not yet quite dark,
a light was shining from one of its windows.
"That's Barry's pond,"
I don't like that name,
I shall call it --let me see --the Lake of Shining Waters.
that is the right name for it.
I know because of the thrill.
When I hit on a name that suits exactly it gives me a thrill.
Do things ever give you a thrill?"
It always kind of gives me a thrill to see them ugly white grubs that spade up in the cucumber beds.
I hate the look of them."
I don't think that can be exactly the same kind of a thrill.
Do you think it can?
There doesn't seem to be much connection between grubs and lakes of shining waters,
But why do other people call it Barry's pond?"
"I reckon because Mr. Barry lives up there in that house.
Orchard Slope's the name of his place.
If it wasn't for that big bush behind it you could see Green Gables from here.
But we have to go over the bridge and round by the road,
so it's near half a mile further."
"Has Mr. Barry any little girls?
not so very little either --about my size."
"He's got one about eleven.
Her name is Diana."
with a long indrawing of breath.
"What a perfectly lovely name!"
There's something dreadful heathenish about it,
seems to me.
I'd ruther Jane or Mary or some sensible name like that.
But when Diana was born there was a schoolmaster boarding there and they gave him the naming of her and he called her Diana."
"I wish there had been a schoolmaster like that around when I was born,
here we are at the bridge.
I'm going to shut my eyes tight.
I'm always afraid going over bridges.
I can't help imagining that perhaps just as we get to the middle,
they'll crumple up like a jack-knife and nip us.
So I shut my eyes.
But I always have to open them for all when I think we're getting near the middle.
if the bridge DID crumple up I'd want to SEE it crumple.
What a jolly rumble it makes!
I always like the rumble part of it.
Isn't it splendid there are so many things to like in this world?
There we're over.
Now I'll look back.
dear Lake of Shining Waters.
I always say good night to the things I love,
just as I would to people.
I think they like it.
That water looks as if it was smiling at me."
When they had driven up the further hill and around a corner Matthew said:
"We're pretty near home now.
That's Green Gables over --"
don't tell me,"
she interrupted breathlessly,
catching at his partially raised arm and shutting her eyes that she might not see his gesture.
"Let me guess.
I'm sure I'll guess right."
She opened her eyes and looked about her.
They were on the crest of a hill.
The sun had set some time since,
but the landscape was still clear in the mellow afterlight.
To the west a dark church spire rose up against a marigold sky.
Below was a little valley and beyond a long,
gently-rising slope with snug farmsteads scattered along it.
From one to another the child's eyes darted,
eager and wistful.
At last they lingered on one away to the left,
far back from the road,
dimly white with blossoming trees in the twilight of the surrounding woods.
in the stainless southwest sky,
a great crystal-white star was shining like a lamp of guidance and promise.
Matthew slapped the reins on the sorrel's back delightedly.
you've guessed it!
But I reckon Mrs. Spencer described it so's you could tell."
she didn't --really she didn't.
All she said might just as well have been about most of those other places.
I hadn't any real idea what it looked like.
But just as soon as I saw it I felt it was home.
it seems as if I must be in a dream.
Do you know,
my arm must be black and blue from the elbow up,
for I've pinched myself so many times today.
Every little while a horrible sickening feeling would come over me and I'd be so afraid it was all a dream.
Then I'd pinch myself to see if it was real --until suddenly I remembered that even supposing it was only a dream I'd better go on dreaming as long as I could;
so I stopped pinching.
But it IS real and we're nearly home."
With a sigh of rapture she relapsed into silence.
Matthew stirred uneasily.
He felt glad that it would be Marilla and not he who would have to tell this waif of the world that the home she longed for was not to be hers after all.
They drove over Lynde's Hollow,
where it was already quite dark,
but not so dark that Mrs. Rachel could not see them from her window vantage,
and up the hill and into the long lane of Green Gables.
By the time they arrived at the house Matthew was shrinking from the approaching revelation with an energy he did not understand.
It was not of Marilla or himself he was thinking of the trouble this mistake was probably going to make for them,
but of the child's disappointment.
When he thought of that rapt light being quenched in her eyes he had an uncomfortable feeling that he was going to assist at murdering something --much the same feeling that came over him when he had to kill a lamb or calf or any other innocent little creature.
The yard was quite dark as they turned into it and the poplar leaves were rustling silkily all round it.
"Listen to the trees talking in their sleep,"
as he lifted her to the ground.
"What nice dreams they must have!"
holding tightly to the carpet-bag which contained "all her worldly goods,"
she followed him into the house.
Marilla Cuthbert is Surprised
Marilla came briskly forward as Matthew opened the door.
But when her eyes fell of the odd little figure in the stiff,
with the long braids of red hair and the eager,
she stopped short in amazement.
"Where is the boy?"
"There wasn't any boy,"
said Matthew wretchedly.
"There was only HER."
He nodded at the child,
remembering that he had never even asked her name.
But there MUST have been a boy,"
"We sent word to Mrs. Spencer to bring a boy."
She brought HER.
I asked the station-master.
And I had to bring her home.
She couldn't be left there,
no matter where the mistake had come in."
this is a pretty piece of business!"
During this dialogue the child had remained silent,
her eyes roving from one to the other,
all the animation fading out of her face.
Suddenly she seemed to grasp the full meaning of what had been said.
Dropping her precious carpet-bag she sprang forward a step and clasped her hands.
"You don't want me!"
"You don't want me because I'm not a boy!
I might have expected it.
Nobody ever did want me.
I might have known it was all too beautiful to last.
I might have known nobody really did want me.
what shall I do?
I'm going to burst into tears!"
Burst into tears she did.
Sitting down on a chair by the table,
flinging her arms out upon it,
and burying her face in them,
she proceeded to cry stormily.
Marilla and Matthew looked at each other deprecatingly across the stove.
Neither of them knew what to say or do.
Finally Marilla stepped lamely into the breach.
there's no need to cry so about it."
there IS need!"
The child raised her head quickly,
revealing a tear-stained face and trembling lips.
"YOU would cry,
if you were an orphan and had come to a place you thought was going to be home and found that they didn't want you because you weren't a boy.
this is the most TRAGICAL thing that ever happened to me!"
Something like a reluctant smile,
rather rusty from long disuse,
mellowed Marilla's grim expression.
don't cry any more.
We're not going to turn you out-of-doors to-night.
You'll have to stay here until we investigate this affair.
What's your name?"
The child hesitated for a moment.
"Will you please call me Cordelia?"
she said eagerly.
"CALL you Cordelia?
Is that your name?"
it's not exactly my name,
but I would love to be called Cordelia.
It's such a perfectly elegant name."
"I don't know what on earth you mean.
If Cordelia isn't your name,
reluctantly faltered forth the owner of that name,
please do call me Cordelia.
It can't matter much to you what you call me if I'm only going to be here a little while,
And Anne is such an unromantic name."
said the unsympathetic Marilla.
"Anne is a real good plain sensible name.
You've no need to be ashamed of it."
I'm not ashamed of it,"
"only I like Cordelia better.
I've always imagined that my name was Cordelia --at least,
I always have of late years.
When I was young I used to imagine it was Geraldine,
but I like Cordelia better now.
But if you call me Anne please call me Anne spelled with an E."
"What difference does it make how it's spelled?"
asked Marilla with another rusty smile as she picked up the teapot.
it makes SUCH a difference.
It LOOKS so much nicer.
When you hear a name pronounced can't you always see it in your mind,
just as if it was printed out?
and A-n-n looks dreadful,
but A-n-n-e looks so much more distinguished.
If you'll only call me Anne spelled with an E I shall try to reconcile myself to not being called Cordelia."
Anne spelled with an E,
can you tell us how this mistake came to be made?
We sent word to Mrs. Spencer to bring us a boy.
Were there no boys at the asylum?"
there was an abundance of them.
But Mrs. Spencer said DISTINCTLY that you wanted a girl about eleven years old.
And the matron said she thought I would do.
You don't know how delighted I was.
I couldn't sleep all last night for joy.
she added reproachfully,
turning to Matthew,
"why didn't you tell me at the station that you didn't want me and leave me there?
If I hadn't seen the White Way of Delight and the Lake of Shining Waters it wouldn't be so hard."
"What on earth does she mean?"
staring at Matthew.
"She --she's just referring to some conversation we had on the road,"
said Matthew hastily.
"I'm going out to put the mare in,
Have tea ready when I come back."
"Did Mrs. Spencer bring anybody over besides you?"
continued Marilla when Matthew had gone out.
"She brought Lily Jones for herself.
Lily is only five years old and she is very beautiful and had nut-brown hair.
If I was very beautiful and had nut-brown hair would you keep me?"
"No. We want a boy to help Matthew on the farm.
A girl would be of no use to us.
Take off your hat.
I'll lay it and your bag on the hall table."
Anne took off her hat meekly.
Matthew came back presently and they sat down to supper.
But Anne could not eat.
In vain she nibbled at the bread and butter and pecked at the crab-apple preserve out of the little scalloped glass dish by her plate.
She did not really make any headway at all.
"You're not eating anything,"
said Marilla sharply,
eying her as if it were a serious shortcoming.
I'm in the depths of despair.
Can you eat when you are in the depths of despair?"
"I've never been in the depths of despair,
so I can't say,"
did you ever try to IMAGINE you were in the depths of despair?"
"Then I don't think you can understand what it's like.
It's very uncomfortable feeling indeed.
When you try to eat a lump comes right up in your throat and you can't swallow anything,
not even if it was a chocolate caramel.
I had one chocolate caramel once two years ago and it was simply delicious.
I've often dreamed since then that I had a lot of chocolate caramels,
but I always wake up just when I'm going to eat them.
I do hope you won't be offended because I can't eat.
Everything is extremely nice,
but still I cannot eat."
"I guess she's tired,"
who hadn't spoken since his return from the barn.
"Best put her to bed,
Marilla had been wondering where Anne should be put to bed.
She had prepared a couch in the kitchen chamber for the desired and expected boy.
although it was neat and clean,
it did not seem quite the thing to put a girl there somehow.
But the spare room was out of the question for such a stray waif,
so there remained only the east gable room.
Marilla lighted a candle and told Anne to follow her,
which Anne spiritlessly did,
taking her hat and carpet-bag from the hall table as she passed.
The hall was fearsomely clean;
the little gable chamber in which she presently found herself seemed still cleaner.
Marilla set the candle on a three-legged,
three-cornered table and turned down the bedclothes.
"I suppose you have a nightgown?"
I have two.
The matron of the asylum made them for me.
They're fearfully skimpy.
There is never enough to go around in an asylum,
so things are always skimpy --at least in a poor asylum like ours.
I hate skimpy night-dresses.
But one can dream just as well in them as in lovely trailing ones,
with frills around the neck,
that's one consolation."
undress as quick as you can and go to bed.
I'll come back in a few minutes for the candle.
I daren't trust you to put it out yourself.
You'd likely set the place on fire."
When Marilla had gone Anne looked around her wistfully.
The whitewashed walls were so painfully bare and staring that she thought they must ache over their own bareness.
The floor was bare,
except for a round braided mat in the middle such as Anne had never seen before.
In one corner was the bed,
with four dark,
In the other corner was the aforesaid three-corner table adorned with a fat,
red velvet pin-cushion hard enough to turn the point of the most adventurous pin.
Above it hung a little six-by-eight mirror.
Midway between table and bed was the window,
with an icy white muslin frill over it,
and opposite it was the wash-stand.
The whole apartment was of a rigidity not to be described in words,
but which sent a shiver to the very marrow of Anne's bones.
With a sob she hastily discarded her garments,
put on the skimpy nightgown and sprang into bed where she burrowed face downward into the pillow and pulled the clothes over her head.
When Marilla came up for the light various skimpy articles of raiment scattered most untidily over the floor and a certain tempestuous appearance of the bed were the only indications of any presence save her own.
She deliberately picked up Anne's clothes,
placed them neatly on a prim yellow chair,
taking up the candle,
went over to the bed.
a little awkwardly,
but not unkindly.
Anne's white face and big eyes appeared over the bedclothes with a startling suddenness.
"How can you call it a GOOD night when you know it must be the very worst night I've ever had?"
she said reproachfully.
Then she dived down into invisibility again.
Marilla went slowly down to the kitchen and proceeded to wash the supper dishes.
Matthew was smoking --a sure sign of perturbation of mind.
He seldom smoked,
for Marilla set her face against it as a filthy habit;
but at certain times and seasons he felt driven to it and them Marilla winked at the practice,
realizing that a mere man must have some vent for his emotions.
this is a pretty kettle of fish,"
she said wrathfully.
"This is what comes of sending word instead of going ourselves.
Richard Spencer's folks have twisted that message somehow.
One of us will have to drive over and see Mrs. Spencer tomorrow,
This girl will have to be sent back to the asylum."
I suppose so,"
said Matthew reluctantly.
"You SUPPOSE so!
Don't you know it?"
she's a real nice little thing,
It's kind of a pity to send her back when she's so set on staying here."
you don't mean to say you think we ought to keep her!"
Marilla's astonishment could not have been greater if Matthew had expressed a predilection for standing on his head.
I suppose not --not exactly,"
uncomfortably driven into a corner for his precise meaning.
"I suppose --we could hardly be expected to keep her."
"I should say not.
What good would she be to us?"
"We might be some good to her,"
said Matthew suddenly and unexpectedly.
I believe that child has bewitched you!
I can see as plain as plain that you want to keep her."
she's a real interesting little thing,"
"You should have heard her talk coming from the station."
she can talk fast enough.
I saw that at once.
It's nothing in her favour,
I don't like children who have so much to say.
I don't want an orphan girl and if I did she isn't the style I'd pick out.
There's something I don't understand about her.
she's got to be despatched straight-way back to where she came from."
"I could hire a French boy to help me,"
"and she'd be company for you."
"I'm not suffering for company,"
said Marilla shortly.
"And I'm not going to keep her."
it's just as you say,
said Matthew rising and putting his pipe away.
"I'm going to bed."
To bed went Matthew.
And to bed,
when she had put her dishes away,
frowning most resolutely.
in the east gable,
friendless child cried herself to sleep.
Morning at Green Gables
It was broad daylight when Anne awoke and sat up in bed,
staring confusedly at the window through which a flood of cheery sunshine was pouring and outside of which something white and feathery waved across glimpses of blue sky.
For a moment she could not remember where she was.
First came a delightful thrill,
as something very pleasant;
then a horrible remembrance.
This was Green Gables and they didn't want her because she wasn't a boy!
But it was morning and,
it was a cherry-tree in full bloom outside of her window.
With a bound she was out of bed and across the floor.
She pushed up the sash --it went up stiffly and creakily,
as if it hadn't been opened for a long time,
which was the case;
and it stuck so tight that nothing was needed to hold it up.
Anne dropped on her knees and gazed out into the June morning,
her eyes glistening with delight.
wasn't it beautiful?
Wasn't it a lovely place?
Suppose she wasn't really going to stay here!
She would imagine she was.
There was scope for imagination here.
A huge cherry-tree grew outside,
so close that its boughs tapped against the house,
and it was so thick-set with blossoms that hardly a leaf was to be seen.
On both sides of the house was a big orchard,
one of apple-trees and one of cherry-trees,
also showered over with blossoms;
and their grass was all sprinkled with dandelions.
In the garden below were lilac-trees purple with flowers,
and their dizzily sweet fragrance drifted up to the window on the morning wind.
Below the garden a green field lush with clover sloped down to the hollow where the brook ran and where scores of white birches grew,
upspringing airily out of an undergrowth suggestive of delightful possibilities in ferns and mosses and woodsy things generally.
Beyond it was a hill,
green and feathery with spruce and fir;
there was a gap in it where the gray gable end of the little house she had seen from the other side of the Lake of Shining Waters was visible.
Off to the left were the big barns and beyond them,
away down over green,
was a sparkling blue glimpse of sea.
Anne's beauty-loving eyes lingered on it all,
taking everything greedily in.
She had looked on so many unlovely places in her life,
but this was as lovely as anything she had ever dreamed.
She knelt there,
lost to everything but the loveliness around her,
until she was startled by a hand on her shoulder.
Marilla had come in unheard by the small dreamer.
"It's time you were dressed,"
she said curtly.
Marilla really did not know how to talk to the child,
and her uncomfortable ignorance made her crisp and curt when she did not mean to be.
Anne stood up and drew a long breath.
isn't it wonderful?"
waving her hand comprehensively at the good world outside.
"It's a big tree,"
"and it blooms great,
but the fruit don't amount to much never --small and wormy."
I don't mean just the tree;
of course it's lovely --yes,
it's RADIANTLY lovely --it blooms as if it meant it --but I meant everything,
the garden and the orchard and the brook and the woods,
the whole big dear world.
Don't you feel as if you just loved the world on a morning like this?
And I can hear the brook laughing all the way up here.
Have you ever noticed what cheerful things brooks are?
They're always laughing.
Even in winter-time I've heard them under the ice.
I'm so glad there's a brook near Green Gables.
Perhaps you think it doesn't make any difference to me when you're not going to keep me,
but it does.
I shall always like to remember that there is a brook at Green Gables even if I never see it again.
If there wasn't a brook I'd be HAUNTED by the uncomfortable feeling that there ought to be one.
I'm not in the depths of despair this morning.
I never can be in the morning.
Isn't it a splendid thing that there are mornings?
But I feel very sad.
I've just been imagining that it was really me you wanted after all and that I was to stay here for ever and ever.
It was a great comfort while it lasted.
But the worst of imagining things is that the time comes when you have to stop and that hurts."
"You'd better get dressed and come down-stairs and never mind your imaginings,"
said Marilla as soon as she could get a word in edgewise.
"Breakfast is waiting.
Wash your face and comb your hair.
Leave the window up and turn your bedclothes back over the foot of the bed.
Be as smart as you can."
Anne could evidently be smart to some purpose for she was down-stairs in ten minutes' time,
with her clothes neatly on,
her hair brushed and braided,
her face washed,
and a comfortable consciousness pervading her soul that she had fulfilled all Marilla's requirements.
As a matter of fact,
she had forgotten to turn back the bedclothes.
"I'm pretty hungry this morning,"
she announced as she slipped into the chair Marilla placed for her.
"The world doesn't seem such a howling wilderness as it did last night.
I'm so glad it's a sunshiny morning.
But I like rainy mornings real well,
All sorts of mornings are interesting,
don't you think?
You don't know what's going to happen through the day,
and there's so much scope for imagination.
But I'm glad it's not rainy today because it's easier to be cheerful and bear up under affliction on a sunshiny day.
I feel that I have a good deal to bear up under.
It's all very well to read about sorrows and imagine yourself living through them heroically,
but it's not so nice when you really come to have them,
"For pity's sake hold your tongue,"
"You talk entirely too much for a little girl."
Thereupon Anne held her tongue so obediently and thoroughly that her continued silence made Marilla rather nervous,
as if in the presence of something not exactly natural.
Matthew also held his tongue,
--but this was natural,
--so that the meal was a very silent one.
As it progressed Anne became more and more abstracted,
with her big eyes fixed unswervingly and unseeingly on the sky outside the window.
This made Marilla more nervous than ever;
she had an uncomfortable feeling that while this odd child's body might be there at the table her spirit was far away in some remote airy cloudland,
borne aloft on the wings of imagination.
Who would want such a child about the place?
Yet Matthew wished to keep her,
of all unaccountable things!
Marilla felt that he wanted it just as much this morning as he had the night before,
and that he would go on wanting it.
That was Matthew's way --take a whim into his head and cling to it with the most amazing silent persistency --a persistency ten times more potent and effectual in its very silence than if he had talked it out.
When the meal was ended Anne came out of her reverie and offered to wash the dishes.
"Can you wash dishes right?"
asked Marilla distrustfully.
I'm better at looking after children,
I've had so much experience at that.
It's such a pity you haven't any here for me to look after."
"I don't feel as if I wanted any more children to look after than I've got at present.
YOU'RE problem enough in all conscience.
What's to be done with you I don't know.
Matthew is a most ridiculous man."
"I think he's lovely,"
said Anne reproachfully.
"He is so very sympathetic.
He didn't mind how much I talked --he seemed to like it.
I felt that he was a kindred spirit as soon as ever I saw him."
"You're both queer enough,
if that's what you mean by kindred spirits,"
said Marilla with a sniff.
you may wash the dishes.
Take plenty of hot water,
and be sure you dry them well.
I've got enough to attend to this morning for I'll have to drive over to White Sands in the afternoon and see Mrs. Spencer.
You'll come with me and we'll settle what's to be done with you.
After you've finished the dishes go up-stairs and make your bed."
Anne washed the dishes deftly enough,
as Marilla who kept a sharp eye on the process,
Later on she made her bed less successfully,
for she had never learned the art of wrestling with a feather tick.
But is was done somehow and smoothed down;
and then Marilla,
to get rid of her,
told her she might go out-of-doors and amuse herself until dinner time.
Anne flew to the door,
On the very threshold she stopped short,
came back and sat down by the table,
light and glow as effectually blotted out as if some one had clapped an extinguisher on her.
"What's the matter now?"
"I don't dare go out,"
in the tone of a martyr relinquishing all earthly joys.
"If I can't stay here there is no use in my loving Green Gables.
And if I go out there and get acquainted with all those trees and flowers and the orchard and the brook I'll not be able to help loving it.
It's hard enough now,
so I won't make it any harder.
I want to go out so much --everything seems to be calling to me,
come out to us.
we want a playmate' --but it's better not.
There is no use in loving things if you have to be torn from them,
And it's so hard to keep from loving things,
That was why I was so glad when I thought I was going to live here.
I thought I'd have so many things to love and nothing to hinder me.
But that brief dream is over.
I am resigned to my fate now,
so I don't think I'll go out for fear I'll get unresigned again.
What is the name of that geranium on the window-sill,
"That's the apple-scented geranium."
I don't mean that sort of a name.
I mean just a name you gave it yourself.
Didn't you give it a name?
May I give it one then?
May I call it --let me see --Bonny would do --may I call it Bonny while I'm here?
do let me!"
I don't care.
But where on earth is the sense of naming a geranium?"
I like things to have handles even if they are only geraniums.
It makes them seem more like people.
How do you know but that it hurts a geranium's feelings just to be called a geranium and nothing else?
You wouldn't like to be called nothing but a woman all the time.
I shall call it Bonny.
I named that cherry-tree outside my bedroom window this morning.
I called it Snow Queen because it was so white.
it won't always be in blossom,
but one can imagine that it is,
"I never in all my life saw or heard anything to equal her,"
beating a retreat down to the cellar after potatoes.
"She is kind of interesting as Matthew says.
I can feel already that I'm wondering what on earth she'll say next.
She'll be casting a spell over me,
She's cast it over Matthew.
That look he gave me when he went out said everything he said or hinted last night over again.
I wish he was like other men and would talk things out.
A body could answer back then and argue him into reason.
But what's to be done with a man who just LOOKS?"
Anne had relapsed into reverie,
with her chin in her hands and her eyes on the sky,
when Marilla returned from her cellar pilgrimage.
There Marilla left her until the early dinner was on the table.
"I suppose I can have the mare and buggy this afternoon,
Matthew nodded and looked wistfully at Anne.
Marilla intercepted the look and said grimly:
"I'm going to drive over to White Sands and settle this thing.
I'll take Anne with me and Mrs. Spencer will probably make arrangements to send her back to Nova Scotia at once.
I'll set your tea out for you and I'll be home in time to milk the cows."
Still Matthew said nothing and Marilla had a sense of having wasted words and breath.
There is nothing more aggravating than a man who won't talk back --unless it is a woman who won't.
Matthew hitched the sorrel into the buggy in due time and Marilla and Anne set off.
Matthew opened the yard gate for them and as they drove slowly through,
to nobody in particular as it seemed:
"Little Jerry Buote from the Creek was here this morning,
and I told him I guessed I'd hire him for the summer."
Marilla made no reply,
but she hit the unlucky sorrel such a vicious clip with the whip that the fat mare,
unused to such treatment,
whizzed indignantly down the lane at an alarming pace.
Marilla looked back once as the buggy bounced along and saw that aggravating Matthew leaning over the gate,
looking wistfully after them.
CHAPTER V. Anne's History
"Do you know,"
said Anne confidentially,
"I've made up my mind to enjoy this drive.
It's been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.
you must make it up FIRMLY.
I am not going to think about going back to the asylum while we're having our drive.
I'm just going to think about the drive.
there's one little early wild rose out!
Isn't it lovely?
Don't you think it must be glad to be a rose?
Wouldn't it be nice if roses could talk?
I'm sure they could tell us such lovely things.
And isn't pink the most bewitching color in the world?
I love it,
but I can't wear it.
Redheaded people can't wear pink,
not even in imagination.
Did you ever know of anybody whose hair was red when she was young,
but got to be another color when she grew up?"
I don't know as I ever did,"
said Marilla mercilessly,
"and I shouldn't think it likely to happen in your case either."
that is another hope gone.
'My life is a perfect graveyard of buried hopes.'
That's a sentence I read in a book once,
and I say it over to comfort myself whenever I'm disappointed in anything."
"I don't see where the comforting comes in myself,"
because it sounds so nice and romantic,
just as if I were a heroine in a book,
I am so fond of romantic things,
and a graveyard full of buried hopes is about as romantic a thing as one can imagine isn't it?
I'm rather glad I have one.
Are we going across the Lake of Shining Waters today?"
"We're not going over Barry's pond,
if that's what you mean by your Lake of Shining Waters.
We're going by the shore road."
"Shore road sounds nice,"
said Anne dreamily.
"Is it as nice as it sounds?
Just when you said
'shore road' I saw it in a picture in my mind,
as quick as that!
And White Sands is a pretty name,
but I don't like it as well as Avonlea.
Avonlea is a lovely name.
It just sounds like music.
How far is it to White Sands?"
"It's five miles;
and as you're evidently bent on talking you might as well talk to some purpose by telling me what you know about yourself."
what I KNOW about myself isn't really worth telling,"
said Anne eagerly.
"If you'll only let me tell you what I IMAGINE about myself you'll think it ever so much more interesting."
I don't want any of your imaginings.
Just you stick to bald facts.
Begin at the beginning.
Where were you born and how old are you?"
"I was eleven last March,"
resigning herself to bald facts with a little sigh.
"And I was born in Bolingbroke,
My father's name was Walter Shirley,
and he was a teacher in the Bolingbroke High School.
My mother's name was Bertha Shirley.
Aren't Walter and Bertha lovely names?
I'm so glad my parents had nice names.
It would be a real disgrace to have a father named --well,
"I guess it doesn't matter what a person's name is as long as he behaves himself,"
feeling herself called upon to inculcate a good and useful moral.
I don't know."
Anne looked thoughtful.
"I read in a book once that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,
but I've never been able to believe it.
I don't believe a rose WOULD be as nice if it was called a thistle or a skunk cabbage.
I suppose my father could have been a good man even if he had been called Jedediah;
but I'm sure it would have been a cross.
my mother was a teacher in the High school,
but when she married father she gave up teaching,
A husband was enough responsibility.
Mrs. Thomas said that they were a pair of babies and as poor as church mice.
They went to live in a weeny-teeny little yellow house in Bolingbroke.
I've never seen that house,
but I've imagined it thousands of times.
I think it must have had honeysuckle over the parlor window and lilacs in the front yard and lilies of the valley just inside the gate.
and muslin curtains in all the windows.
Muslin curtains give a house such an air.
I was born in that house.
Mrs. Thomas said I was the homeliest baby she ever saw,
I was so scrawny and tiny and nothing but eyes,
but that mother thought I was perfectly beautiful.
I should think a mother would be a better judge than a poor woman who came in to scrub,
I'm glad she was satisfied with me anyhow,
I would feel so sad if I thought I was a disappointment to her --because she didn't live very long after that,
She died of fever when I was just three months old.
I do wish she'd lived long enough for me to remember calling her mother.
I think it would be so sweet to say
And father died four days afterwards from fever too.
That left me an orphan and folks were at their wits' end,
so Mrs. Thomas said,
what to do with me.
nobody wanted me even then.
It seems to be my fate.
Father and mother had both come from places far away and it was well known they hadn't any relatives living.
Finally Mrs. Thomas said she'd take me,
though she was poor and had a drunken husband.
She brought me up by hand.
Do you know if there is anything in being brought up by hand that ought to make people who are brought up that way better than other people?
Because whenever I was naughty Mrs. Thomas would ask me how I could be such a bad girl when she had brought me up by hand --reproachful-like.
"Mr. and Mrs. Thomas moved away from Bolingbroke to Marysville,
and I lived with them until I was eight years old.
I helped look after the Thomas children --there were four of them younger than me --and I can tell you they took a lot of looking after.
Then Mr. Thomas was killed falling under a train and his mother offered to take Mrs. Thomas and the children,
but she didn't want me.
Mrs. Thomas was at HER wits' end,
so she said,
what to do with me.
Then Mrs. Hammond from up the river came down and said she'd take me,
seeing I was handy with children,
and I went up the river to live with her in a little clearing among the stumps.
It was a very lonesome place.
I'm sure I could never have lived there if I hadn't had an imagination.
Mr. Hammond worked a little sawmill up there,
and Mrs. Hammond had eight children.
She had twins three times.
I like babies in moderation,
but twins three times in succession is TOO MUCH.
I told Mrs. Hammond so firmly,
when the last pair came.
I used to get so dreadfully tired carrying them about.
"I lived up river with Mrs. Hammond over two years,
and then Mr. Hammond died and Mrs. Hammond broke up housekeeping.
She divided her children among her relatives and went to the States.
I had to go to the asylum at Hopeton,
because nobody would take me.
They didn't want me at the asylum,
they said they were over-crowded as it was.
But they had to take me and I was there four months until Mrs. Spencer came."
Anne finished up with another sigh,
of relief this time.
Evidently she did not like talking about her experiences in a world that had not wanted her.
"Did you ever go to school?"
turning the sorrel mare down the shore road.
"Not a great deal.
I went a little the last year I stayed with Mrs. Thomas.
When I went up river we were so far from a school that I couldn't walk it in winter and there was a vacation in summer,
so I could only go in the spring and fall.
But of course I went while I was at the asylum.
I can read pretty well and I know ever so many pieces of poetry off by heart --'The Battle of Hohenlinden' and
'Edinburgh after Flodden,'
'Bingen of the Rhine,'
and most of the
'Lady of the Lake' and most of
'The Seasons' by James Thompson.
Don't you just love poetry that gives you a crinkly feeling up and down your back?
There is a piece in the Fifth Reader --'The Downfall of Poland' --that is just full of thrills.
I wasn't in the Fifth Reader --I was only in the Fourth --but the big girls used to lend me theirs to read."
"Were those women --Mrs. Thomas and Mrs. Hammond --good to you?"
looking at Anne out of the corner of her eye.
Her sensitive little face suddenly flushed scarlet and embarrassment sat on her brow.
they MEANT to be --I know they meant to be just as good and kind as possible.
And when people mean to be good to you,
you don't mind very much when they're not quite --always.
They had a good deal to worry them,
It's very trying to have a drunken husband,
and it must be very trying to have twins three times in succession,
don't you think?
But I feel sure they meant to be good to me."
Marilla asked no more questions.
Anne gave herself up to a silent rapture over the shore road and Marilla guided the sorrel abstractedly while she pondered deeply.
Pity was suddenly stirring in her heart for the child.
What a starved,
unloved life she had had --a life of drudgery and poverty and neglect;
for Marilla was shrewd enough to read between the lines of Anne's history and divine the truth.
No wonder she had been so delighted at the prospect of a real home.
It was a pity she had to be sent back.
What if she,
should indulge Matthew's unaccountable whim and let her stay?
He was set on it;
and the child seemed a nice,
teachable little thing.
"She's got too much to say,"
"but she might be trained out of that.
And there's nothing rude or slangy in what she does say.
It's likely her people were nice folks."
The shore road was "woodsy and wild and lonesome."
On the right hand,
their spirits quite unbroken by long years of tussle with the gulf winds,
On the left were the steep red sandstone cliffs,
so near the track in places that a mare of less steadiness than the sorrel might have tried the nerves of the people behind her.
Down at the base of the cliffs were heaps of surf-worn rocks or little sandy coves inlaid with pebbles as with ocean jewels;
beyond lay the sea,
shimmering and blue,
and over it soared the gulls,
their pinions flashing silvery in the sunlight.
"Isn't the sea wonderful?"
rousing from a long,
when I lived in Marysville,
Mr. Thomas hired an express wagon and took us all to spend the day at the shore ten miles away.
I enjoyed every moment of that day,
even if I had to look after the children all the time.
I lived it over in happy dreams for years.
But this shore is nicer than the Marysville shore.
Aren't those gulls splendid?
Would you like to be a gull?
I think I would --that is,
if I couldn't be a human girl.
Don't you think it would be nice to wake up at sunrise and swoop down over the water and away out over that lovely blue all day;
and then at night to fly back to one's nest?
I can just imagine myself doing it.
What big house is that just ahead,
"That's the White Sands Hotel.
Mr. Kirke runs it,
but the season hasn't begun yet.
There are heaps of Americans come there for the summer.
They think this shore is just about right."
"I was afraid it might be Mrs. Spencer's place,"
said Anne mournfully.
"I don't want to get there.
it will seem like the end of everything."
Marilla Makes Up Her Mind
Get there they did,
in due season.
Mrs. Spencer lived in a big yellow house at White Sands Cove,
and she came to the door with surprise and welcome mingled on her benevolent face.
"you're the last folks I was looking for today,
but I'm real glad to see you.
You'll put your horse in?
And how are you,
"I'm as well as can be expected,
said Anne smilelessly.
A blight seemed to have descended on her.
"I suppose we'll stay a little while to rest the mare,"
"but I promised Matthew I'd be home early.
The fact is,
there's been a queer mistake somewhere,
and I've come over to see where it is.
We send word,
Matthew and I,
for you to bring us a boy from the asylum.
We told your brother Robert to tell you we wanted a boy ten or eleven years old."
you don't say so!"
said Mrs. Spencer in distress.
Robert sent word down by his daughter Nancy and she said you wanted a girl --didn't she Flora Jane?"
appealing to her daughter who had come out to the steps.
"She certainly did,
corroborated Flora Jane earnestly.
"I'm dreadful sorry,"
said Mrs. Spencer.
"It's too bad;
but it certainly wasn't my fault,
I did the best I could and I thought I was following your instructions.
Nancy is a terrible flighty thing.
I've often had to scold her well for her heedlessness."
"It was our own fault,"
said Marilla resignedly.
"We should have come to you ourselves and not left an important message to be passed along by word of mouth in that fashion.
the mistake has been made and the only thing to do is to set it right.
Can we send the child back to the asylum?
I suppose they'll take her back,
"I suppose so,"
said Mrs. Spencer thoughtfully,
"but I don't think it will be necessary to send her back.
Mrs. Peter Blewett was up here yesterday,
and she was saying to me how much she wished she'd sent by me for a little girl to help her.
Mrs. Peter has a large family,
and she finds it hard to get help.
Anne will be the very girl for you.
I call it positively providential."
Marilla did not look as if she thought Providence had much to do with the matter.
Here was an unexpectedly good chance to get this unwelcome orphan off her hands,
and she did not even feel grateful for it.
She knew Mrs. Peter Blewett only by sight as a small,
shrewish-faced woman without an ounce of superfluous flesh on her bones.
But she had heard of her.
"A terrible worker and driver,"
Mrs. Peter was said to be;
and discharged servant girls told fearsome tales of her temper and stinginess,
and her family of pert,
Marilla felt a qualm of conscience at the thought of handing Anne over to her tender mercies.
I'll go in and we'll talk the matter over,"
"And if there isn't Mrs. Peter coming up the lane this blessed minute!"
exclaimed Mrs. Spencer,
bustling her guests through the hall into the parlor,
where a deadly chill struck on them as if the air had been strained so long through dark green,
closely drawn blinds that it had lost every particle of warmth it had ever possessed.
"That is real lucky,
for we can settle the matter right away.
Take the armchair,
you sit here on the ottoman and don't wiggle.
Let me take your hats.
go out and put the kettle on.
We were just saying how fortunate it was you happened along.
Let me introduce you two ladies.
Please excuse me for just a moment.
I forgot to tell Flora Jane to take the buns out of the oven."
Mrs. Spencer whisked away,
after pulling up the blinds.
Anne sitting mutely on the ottoman,
with her hands clasped tightly in her lap,
stared at Mrs Blewett as one fascinated.
Was she to be given into the keeping of this sharp-faced,
She felt a lump coming up in her throat and her eyes smarted painfully.
She was beginning to be afraid she couldn't keep the tears back when Mrs. Spencer returned,
flushed and beaming,
quite capable of taking any and every difficulty,
mental or spiritual,
into consideration and settling it out of hand.
"It seems there's been a mistake about this little girl,
"I was under the impression that Mr. and Miss Cuthbert wanted a little girl to adopt.
I was certainly told so.
But it seems it was a boy they wanted.
So if you're still of the same mind you were yesterday,
I think she'll be just the thing for you."
Mrs. Blewett darted her eyes over Anne from head to foot.
"How old are you and what's your name?"
faltered the shrinking child,
not daring to make any stipulations regarding the spelling thereof,
"and I'm eleven years old."
You don't look as if there was much to you.
But you're wiry.
I don't know but the wiry ones are the best after all.
if I take you you'll have to be a good girl,
you know --good and smart and respectful.
I'll expect you to earn your keep,
and no mistake about that.
I suppose I might as well take her off your hands,
The baby's awful fractious,
and I'm clean worn out attending to him.
If you like I can take her right home now."
Marilla looked at Anne and softened at sight of the child's pale face with its look of mute misery --the misery of a helpless little creature who finds itself once more caught in the trap from which it had escaped.
Marilla felt an uncomfortable conviction that,
if she denied the appeal of that look,
it would haunt her to her dying day.
she did not fancy Mrs. Blewett.
To hand a sensitive,
"highstrung" child over to such a woman!
she could not take the responsibility of doing that!
I don't know,"
she said slowly.
"I didn't say that Matthew and I had absolutely decided that we wouldn't keep her.
In fact I may say that Matthew is disposed to keep her.
I just came over to find out how the mistake had occurred.
I think I'd better take her home again and talk it over with Matthew.
I feel that I oughtn't to decide on anything without consulting him.
If we make up our mind not to keep her we'll bring or send her over to you tomorrow night.
If we don't you may know that she is going to stay with us.
Will that suit you,
"I suppose it'll have to,"
said Mrs. Blewett ungraciously.
During Marilla's speech a sunrise had been dawning on Anne's face.
First the look of despair faded out;
then came a faint flush of hope;
her eyes grew deep and bright as morning stars.
The child was quite transfigured;
a moment later,
when Mrs. Spencer and Mrs. Blewett went out in quest of a recipe the latter had come to borrow she sprang up and flew across the room to Marilla.
did you really say that perhaps you would let me stay at Green Gables?"
in a breathless whisper,
as if speaking aloud might shatter the glorious possibility.
"Did you really say it?
Or did I only imagine that you did?"
"I think you'd better learn to control that imagination of yours,
if you can't distinguish between what is real and what isn't,"
said Marilla crossly.
you did hear me say just that and no more.
It isn't decided yet and perhaps we will conclude to let Mrs. Blewett take you after all.
She certainly needs you much more than I do."
"I'd rather go back to the asylum than go to live with her,"
said Anne passionately.
"She looks exactly like a --like a gimlet."
Marilla smothered a smile under the conviction that Anne must be reproved for such a speech.
"A little girl like you should be ashamed of talking so about a lady and a stranger,"
she said severely.
"Go back and sit down quietly and hold your tongue and behave as a good girl should."
"I'll try to do and be anything you want me,
if you'll only keep me,"
returning meekly to her ottoman.
When they arrived back at Green Gables that evening Matthew met them in the lane.
Marilla from afar had noted him prowling along it and guessed his motive.
She was prepared for the relief she read in his face when he saw that she had at least brought back Anne back with her.
But she said nothing,
relative to the affair,
until they were both out in the yard behind the barn milking the cows.
Then she briefly told him Anne's history and the result of the interview with Mrs. Spencer.
"I wouldn't give a dog I liked to that Blewett woman,"
said Matthew with unusual vim.
"I don't fancy her style myself,"
"but it's that or keeping her ourselves,
And since you seem to want her,
I suppose I'm willing --or have to be.
I've been thinking over the idea until I've got kind of used to it.
It seems a sort of duty.
I've never brought up a child,
especially a girl,
and I dare say I'll make a terrible mess of it.
But I'll do my best.
So far as I'm concerned,
she may stay."
Matthew's shy face was a glow of delight.
I reckoned you'd come to see it in that light,
"She's such an interesting little thing."
"It'd be more to the point if you could say she was a useful little thing,"
"but I'll make it my business to see she's trained to be that.
you're not to go interfering with my methods.
Perhaps an old maid doesn't know much about bringing up a child,
but I guess she knows more than an old bachelor.
So you just leave me to manage her.
When I fail it'll be time enough to put your oar in."
you can have your own way,"
said Matthew reassuringly.
"Only be as good and kind to her as you can without spoiling her.
I kind of think she's one of the sort you can do anything with if you only get her to love you."
to express her contempt for Matthew's opinions concerning anything feminine,
and walked off to the dairy with the pails.
"I won't tell her tonight that she can stay,"
as she strained the milk into the creamers.
"She'd be so excited that she wouldn't sleep a wink.
you're fairly in for it.
Did you ever suppose you'd see the day when you'd be adopting an orphan girl?
It's surprising enough;
but not so surprising as that Matthew should be at the bottom of it,
him that always seemed to have such a mortal dread of little girls.
we've decided on the experiment and goodness only knows what will come of it."
Anne Says Her Prayers
When Marilla took Anne up to bed that night she said stiffly:
I noticed last night that you threw your clothes all about the floor when you took them off.
That is a very untidy habit,
and I can't allow it at all.
As soon as you take off any article of clothing fold it neatly and place it on the chair.
I haven't any use at all for little girls who aren't neat."
"I was so harrowed up in my mind last night that I didn't think about my clothes at all,"
"I'll fold them nicely tonight.
They always made us do that at the asylum.
Half the time,
I'd be in such a hurry to get into bed nice and quiet and imagine things."
"You'll have to remember a little better if you stay here,"
that looks something like.
Say your prayers now and get into bed."
"I never say any prayers,"
Marilla looked horrified astonishment.
what do you mean?
Were you never taught to say your prayers?
God always wants little girls to say their prayers.
Don't you know who God is,
"'God is a spirit,
eternal and unchangeable,
in His being,
and truth,'" responded Anne promptly and glibly.
Marilla looked rather relieved.
"So you do know something then,
You're not quite a heathen.
Where did you learn that?"
at the asylum Sunday-school.
They made us learn the whole catechism.
I liked it pretty well.
There's something splendid about some of the words.
eternal and unchangeable.'
Isn't that grand?
It has such a roll to it --just like a big organ playing.
You couldn't quite call it poetry,
but it sounds a lot like it,
"We're not talking about poetry,
Anne --we are talking about saying your prayers.
Don't you know it's a terrible wicked thing not to say your prayers every night?
I'm afraid you are a very bad little girl."
"You'd find it easier to be bad than good if you had red hair,"
said Anne reproachfully.
"People who haven't red hair don't know what trouble is.
Mrs. Thomas told me that God made my hair red ON PURPOSE,
and I've never cared about Him since.
And anyhow I'd always be too tired at night to bother saying prayers.
People who have to look after twins can't be expected to say their prayers.
do you honestly think they can?"
Marilla decided that Anne's religious training must be begun at once.
Plainly there was no time to be lost.
"You must say your prayers while you are under my roof,
if you want me to,"
assented Anne cheerfully.
"I'd do anything to oblige you.
But you'll have to tell me what to say for this once.
After I get into bed I'll imagine out a real nice prayer to say always.
I believe that it will be quite interesting,
now that I come to think of it."
"You must kneel down,"
said Marilla in embarrassment.
Anne knelt at Marilla's knee and looked up gravely.
"Why must people kneel down to pray?
If I really wanted to pray I'll tell you what I'd do.
I'd go out into a great big field all alone or into the deep,
and I'd look up into the sky --up --up --up --into that lovely blue sky that looks as if there was no end to its blueness.
And then I'd just FEEL a prayer.
What am I to say?"
Marilla felt more embarrassed than ever.
She had intended to teach Anne the childish classic,
"Now I lay me down to sleep."
But she had,
as I have told you,
the glimmerings of a sense of humor --which is simply another name for a sense of fitness of things;
and it suddenly occurred to her that that simple little prayer,
sacred to white-robed childhood lisping at motherly knees,
was entirely unsuited to this freckled witch of a girl who knew and cared nothing about God's love,
since she had never had it translated to her through the medium of human love.
"You're old enough to pray for yourself,
she said finally.
"Just thank God for your blessings and ask Him humbly for the things you want."
I'll do my best,"
burying her face in Marilla's lap.
"Gracious heavenly Father --that's the way the ministers say it in church,
so I suppose it's all right in private prayer,
lifting her head for a moment.
"Gracious heavenly Father,
I thank Thee for the White Way of Delight and the Lake of Shining Waters and Bonny and the Snow Queen.
I'm really extremely grateful for them.
And that's all the blessings I can think of just now to thank Thee for.
As for the things I want,
they're so numerous that it would take a great deal of time to name them all so I will only mention the two most important.
Please let me stay at Green Gables;
and please let me be good-looking when I grow up.
did I do all right?"
she asked eagerly,
"I could have made it much more flowery if I'd had a little more time to think it over."
Poor Marilla was only preserved from complete collapse by remembering that it was not irreverence,
but simply spiritual ignorance on the part of Anne that was responsible for this extraordinary petition.
She tucked the child up in bed,
mentally vowing that she should be taught a prayer the very next day,
and was leaving the room with the light when Anne called her back.
"I've just thought of it now.
I should have said,
'Amen' in place of
--the way the ministers do.
I'd forgotten it,
but I felt a prayer should be finished off in some way,
so I put in the other.
Do you suppose it will make any difference?"
"I --I don't suppose it will,"
"Go to sleep now like a good child.
"I can only say good night tonight with a clear conscience,"
cuddling luxuriously down among her pillows.
Marilla retreated to the kitchen,
set the candle firmly on the table,
and glared at Matthew.
it's about time somebody adopted that child and taught her something.
She's next door to a perfect heathen.
Will you believe that she never said a prayer in her life till tonight?
I'll send her to the manse tomorrow and borrow the Peep of the Day series,
that's what I'll do.
And she shall go to Sunday-school just as soon as I can get some suitable clothes made for her.
I foresee that I shall have my hands full.
we can't get through this world without our share of trouble.
I've had a pretty easy life of it so far,
but my time has come at last and I suppose I'll just have to make the best of it."
Anne's Bringing-up Is Begun
For reasons best known to herself,
Marilla did not tell Anne that she was to stay at Green Gables until the next afternoon.
During the forenoon she kept the child busy with various tasks and watched over her with a keen eye while she did them.
By noon she had concluded that Anne was smart and obedient,
willing to work and quick to learn;
her most serious shortcoming seemed to be a tendency to fall into daydreams in the middle of a task and forget all about it until such time as she was sharply recalled to earth by a reprimand or a catastrophe.
When Anne had finished washing the dinner dishes she suddenly confronted Marilla with the air and expression of one desperately determined to learn the worst.
Her thin little body trembled from head to foot;
her face flushed and her eyes dilated until they were almost black;
she clasped her hands tightly and said in an imploring voice:
won't you tell me if you are going to send me away or not?
I've tried to be patient all the morning,
but I really feel that I cannot bear not knowing any longer.
It's a dreadful feeling.
Please tell me."
"You haven't scalded the dishcloth in clean hot water as I told you to do,"
said Marilla immovably.
"Just go and do it before you ask any more questions,
Anne went and attended to the dishcloth.
Then she returned to Marilla and fastened imploring eyes of the latter's face.
unable to find any excuse for deferring her explanation longer,
"I suppose I might as well tell you.
Matthew and I have decided to keep you --that is,
if you will try to be a good little girl and show yourself grateful.
whatever is the matter?"
said Anne in a tone of bewilderment.
"I can't think why.
I'm glad as glad can be.
GLAD doesn't seem the right word at all.
I was glad about the White Way and the cherry blossoms --but this!
it's something more than glad.
I'm so happy.
I'll try to be so good.
It will be uphill work,
for Mrs. Thomas often told me I was desperately wicked.
I'll do my very best.
But can you tell me why I'm crying?"
"I suppose it's because you're all excited and worked up,"
said Marilla disapprovingly.
"Sit down on that chair and try to calm yourself.
I'm afraid you both cry and laugh far too easily.
you can stay here and we will try to do right by you.
You must go to school;
but it's only a fortnight till vacation so it isn't worth while for you to start before it opens again in September."
"What am I to call you?"
"Shall I always say Miss Cuthbert?
Can I call you Aunt Marilla?"
you'll call me just plain Marilla.
I'm not used to being called Miss Cuthbert and it would make me nervous."
"It sounds awfully disrespectful to just say Marilla,"
"I guess there'll be nothing disrespectful in it if you're careful to speak respectfully.
young and old,
in Avonlea calls me Marilla except the minister.
He says Miss Cuthbert --when he thinks of it."
"I'd love to call you Aunt Marilla,"
said Anne wistfully.
"I've never had an aunt or any relation at all --not even a grandmother.
It would make me feel as if I really belonged to you.
Can't I call you Aunt Marilla?"
"No. I'm not your aunt and I don't believe in calling people names that don't belong to them."
"But we could imagine you were my aunt."
said Marilla grimly.
"Do you never imagine things different from what they really are?"
asked Anne wide-eyed.
Anne drew a long breath.
how much you miss!"
"I don't believe in imagining things different from what they really are,"
"When the Lord puts us in certain circumstances He doesn't mean for us to imagine them away.
And that reminds me.
Go into the sitting room,
Anne --be sure your feet are clean and don't let any flies in --and bring me out the illustrated card that's on the mantelpiece.
The Lord's Prayer is on it and you'll devote your spare time this afternoon to learning it off by heart.
There's to be no more of such praying as I heard last night."
"I suppose I was very awkward,"
said Anne apologetically,
I'd never had any practice.
You couldn't really expect a person to pray very well the first time she tried,
I thought out a splendid prayer after I went to bed,
just as I promised you I would.
It was nearly as long as a minister's and so poetical.
But would you believe it?
I couldn't remember one word when I woke up this morning.
And I'm afraid I'll never be able to think out another one as good.
things never are so good when they're thought out a second time.
Have you ever noticed that?"
"Here is something for you to notice,
When I tell you to do a thing I want you to obey me at once and not stand stock-still and discourse about it.
Just you go and do as I bid you."
Anne promptly departed for the sitting-room across the hall;
she failed to return;
after waiting ten minutes Marilla laid down her knitting and marched after her with a grim expression.
She found Anne standing motionless before a picture hanging on the wall between the two windows,
with her eyes astar with dreams.
The white and green light strained through apple trees and clustering vines outside fell over the rapt little figure with a half-unearthly radiance.
whatever are you thinking of?"
demanded Marilla sharply.
Anne came back to earth with a start.
pointing to the picture --a rather vivid chromo entitled,
"Christ Blessing Little Children" --"and I was just imagining I was one of them --that I was the little girl in the blue dress,
standing off by herself in the corner as if she didn't belong to anybody,
She looks lonely and sad,
don't you think?
I guess she hadn't any father or mother of her own.
But she wanted to be blessed,
so she just crept shyly up on the outside of the crowd,
hoping nobody would notice her --except Him.
I'm sure I know just how she felt.
Her heart must have beat and her hands must have got cold,
like mine did when I asked you if I could stay.
She was afraid He mightn't notice her.
But it's likely He did,
don't you think?
I've been trying to imagine it all out --her edging a little nearer all the time until she was quite close to Him;
and then He would look at her and put His hand on her hair and oh,
such a thrill of joy as would run over her!
But I wish the artist hadn't painted Him so sorrowful looking.
All His pictures are like that,
if you've noticed.
But I don't believe He could really have looked so sad or the children would have been afraid of Him."
wondering why she had not broken into this speech long before,
"you shouldn't talk that way.
It's irreverent --positively irreverent."
Anne's eyes marveled.
I felt just as reverent as could be.
I'm sure I didn't mean to be irreverent."
"Well I don't suppose you did --but it doesn't sound right to talk so familiarly about such things.
And another thing,
when I send you after something you're to bring it at once and not fall into mooning and imagining before pictures.
Take that card and come right to the kitchen.
sit down in the corner and learn that prayer off by heart."
Anne set the card up against the jugful of apple blossoms she had brought in to decorate the dinner-table --Marilla had eyed that decoration askance,
but had said nothing --propped her chin on her hands,
and fell to studying it intently for several silent minutes.
"I like this,"
she announced at length.
I've heard it before --I heard the superintendent of the asylum Sunday school say it over once.
But I didn't like it then.
He had such a cracked voice and he prayed it so mournfully.
I really felt sure he thought praying was a disagreeable duty.
This isn't poetry,
but it makes me feel just the same way poetry does.
'Our Father who art in heaven hallowed be Thy name.'
That is just like a line of music.
I'm so glad you thought of making me learn this,
learn it and hold your tongue,"
said Marilla shortly.
Anne tipped the vase of apple blossoms near enough to bestow a soft kiss on a pink-cupped bud,
and then studied diligently for some moments longer.
she demanded presently,
"do you think that I shall ever have a bosom friend in Avonlea?"
"A --a what kind of friend?"
"A bosom friend --an intimate friend,
you know --a really kindred spirit to whom I can confide my inmost soul.
I've dreamed of meeting her all my life.
I never really supposed I would,
but so many of my loveliest dreams have come true all at once that perhaps this one will,
Do you think it's possible?"
"Diana Barry lives over at Orchard Slope and she's about your age.
She's a very nice little girl,
and perhaps she will be a playmate for you when she comes home.
She's visiting her aunt over at Carmody just now.
You'll have to be careful how you behave yourself,
Mrs. Barry is a very particular woman.
She won't let Diana play with any little girl who isn't nice and good."
Anne looked at Marilla through the apple blossoms,
her eyes aglow with interest.
"What is Diana like?
Her hair isn't red,
I hope not.
It's bad enough to have red hair myself,
but I positively couldn't endure it in a bosom friend."
"Diana is a very pretty little girl.
She has black eyes and hair and rosy cheeks.
And she is good and smart,
which is better than being pretty."
Marilla was as fond of morals as the Duchess in Wonderland,
and was firmly convinced that one should be tacked on to every remark made to a child who was being brought up.
But Anne waved the moral inconsequently aside and seized only on the delightful possibilities before it.
I'm so glad she's pretty.
Next to being beautiful oneself --and that's impossible in my case --it would be best to have a beautiful bosom friend.
When I lived with Mrs. Thomas she had a bookcase in her sitting room with glass doors.
There weren't any books in it;
Mrs. Thomas kept her best china and her preserves there --when she had any preserves to keep.
One of the doors was broken.
Mr. Thomas smashed it one night when he was slightly intoxicated.
But the other was whole and I used to pretend that my reflection in it was another little girl who lived in it.
I called her Katie Maurice,
and we were very intimate.
I used to talk to her by the hour,
especially on Sunday,
and tell her everything.
Katie was the comfort and consolation of my life.
We used to pretend that the bookcase was enchanted and that if I only knew the spell I could open the door and step right into the room where Katie Maurice lived,
instead of into Mrs. Thomas' shelves of preserves and china.
And then Katie Maurice would have taken me by the hand and led me out into a wonderful place,
all flowers and sunshine and fairies,
and we would have lived there happy for ever after.
When I went to live with Mrs. Hammond it just broke my heart to leave Katie Maurice.
She felt it dreadfully,
I know she did,
for she was crying when she kissed me good-bye through the bookcase door.
There was no bookcase at Mrs. Hammond's.
But just up the river a little way from the house there was a long green little valley,
and the loveliest echo lived there.
It echoed back every word you said,
even if you didn't talk a bit loud.
So I imagined that it was a little girl called Violetta and we were great friends and I loved her almost as well as I loved Katie Maurice --not quite,
The night before I went to the asylum I said good-bye to Violetta,
her good-bye came back to me in such sad,
I had become so attached to her that I hadn't the heart to imagine a bosom friend at the asylum,
even if there had been any scope for imagination there."
"I think it's just as well there wasn't,"
said Marilla drily.
"I don't approve of such goings-on.
You seem to half believe your own imaginations.
It will be well for you to have a real live friend to put such nonsense out of your head.
But don't let Mrs. Barry hear you talking about your Katie Maurices and your Violettas or she'll think you tell stories."
I couldn't talk of them to everybody --their memories are too sacred for that.
But I thought I'd like to have you know about them.
here's a big bee just tumbled out of an apple blossom.
Just think what a lovely place to live --in an apple blossom!
Fancy going to sleep in it when the wind was rocking it.
If I wasn't a human girl I think I'd like to be a bee and live among the flowers."
"Yesterday you wanted to be a sea gull,"
"I think you are very fickle minded.
I told you to learn that prayer and not talk.
But it seems impossible for you to stop talking if you've got anybody that will listen to you.
So go up to your room and learn it."
I know it pretty nearly all now --all but just the last line."
do as I tell you.
Go to your room and finish learning it well,
and stay there until I call you down to help me get tea."
"Can I take the apple blossoms with me for company?"
you don't want your room cluttered up with flowers.
You should have left them on the tree in the first place."
"I did feel a little that way,
"I kind of felt I shouldn't shorten their lovely lives by picking them --I wouldn't want to be picked if I were an apple blossom.
But the temptation was IRRESISTIBLE.
What do you do when you meet with an irresistible temptation?"
did you hear me tell you to go to your room?"
retreated to the east gable,
and sat down in a chair by the window.
"There --I know this prayer.
I learned that last sentence coming upstairs.
Now I'm going to imagine things into this room so that they'll always stay imagined.
The floor is covered with a white velvet carpet with pink roses all over it and there are pink silk curtains at the windows.
The walls are hung with gold and silver brocade tapestry.
The furniture is mahogany.
I never saw any mahogany,
but it does sound SO luxurious.
This is a couch all heaped with gorgeous silken cushions,
pink and blue and crimson and gold,
and I am reclining gracefully on it.
I can see my reflection in that splendid big mirror hanging on the wall.
I am tall and regal,
clad in a gown of trailing white lace,
with a pearl cross on my breast and pearls in my hair.
My hair is of midnight darkness and my skin is a clear ivory pallor.
My name is the Lady Cordelia Fitzgerald.
it isn't --I can't make THAT seem real."
She danced up to the little looking-glass and peered into it.
Her pointed freckled face and solemn gray eyes peered back at her.
"You're only Anne of Green Gables,"
she said earnestly,
"and I see you,
just as you are looking now,
whenever I try to imagine I'm the Lady Cordelia.
But it's a million times nicer to be Anne of Green Gables than Anne of nowhere in particular,
She bent forward,
kissed her reflection affectionately,
and betook herself to the open window.
"Dear Snow Queen,
And good afternoon dear birches down in the hollow.
And good afternoon,
dear gray house up on the hill.
I wonder if Diana is to be my bosom friend.
I hope she will,
and I shall love her very much.
But I must never quite forget Katie Maurice and Violetta.
They would feel so hurt if I did and I'd hate to hurt anybody's feelings,
even a little bookcase girl's or a little echo girl's.
I must be careful to remember them and send them a kiss every day."
Anne blew a couple of airy kisses from her fingertips past the cherry blossoms and then,
with her chin in her hands,
drifted luxuriously out on a sea of daydreams.
Mrs. Rachel Lynde Is Properly Horrified
Anne had been a fortnight at Green Gables before Mrs. Lynde arrived to inspect her.
to do her justice,
was not to blame for this.
A severe and unseasonable attack of grippe had confined that good lady to her house ever since the occasion of her last visit to Green Gables.
Mrs. Rachel was not often sick and had a well-defined contempt for people who were;
was like no other illness on earth and could only be interpreted as one of the special visitations of Providence.
As soon as her doctor allowed her to put her foot out-of-doors she hurried up to Green Gables,
bursting with curiosity to see Matthew and Marilla's orphan,
concerning whom all sorts of stories and suppositions had gone abroad in Avonlea.
Anne had made good use of every waking moment of that fortnight.
Already she was acquainted with every tree and shrub about the place.
She had discovered that a lane opened out below the apple orchard and ran up through a belt of woodland;
and she had explored it to its furthest end in all its delicious vagaries of brook and bridge,
fir coppice and wild cherry arch,
corners thick with fern,
and branching byways of maple and mountain ash.
She had made friends with the spring down in the hollow --that wonderful deep,
clear icy-cold spring;
it was set about with smooth red sandstones and rimmed in by great palm-like clumps of water fern;
and beyond it was a log bridge over the brook.
That bridge led Anne's dancing feet up over a wooded hill beyond,
where perpetual twilight reigned under the straight,
thick-growing firs and spruces;
the only flowers there were myriads of delicate "June bells,"
those shyest and sweetest of woodland blooms,
and a few pale,
like the spirits of last year's blossoms.
Gossamers glimmered like threads of silver among the trees and the fir boughs and tassels seemed to utter friendly speech.
All these raptured voyages of exploration were made in the odd half hours which she was allowed for play,
and Anne talked Matthew and Marilla half-deaf over her discoveries.
Not that Matthew complained,
to be sure;
he listened to it all with a wordless smile of enjoyment on his face;
Marilla permitted the "chatter" until she found herself becoming too interested in it,
whereupon she always promptly quenched Anne by a curt command to hold her tongue.
Anne was out in the orchard when Mrs. Rachel came,
wandering at her own sweet will through the lush,
tremulous grasses splashed with ruddy evening sunshine;
so that good lady had an excellent chance to talk her illness fully over,
describing every ache and pulse beat with such evident enjoyment that Marilla thought even grippe must bring its compensations.
When details were exhausted Mrs. Rachel introduced the real reason of her call.
"I've been hearing some surprising things about you and Matthew."
"I don't suppose you are any more surprised than I am myself,"
"I'm getting over my surprise now."
"It was too bad there was such a mistake,"
said Mrs. Rachel sympathetically.
"Couldn't you have sent her back?"
"I suppose we could,
but we decided not to.
Matthew took a fancy to her.
And I must say I like her myself --although I admit she has her faults.
The house seems a different place already.
She's a real bright little thing."
Marilla said more than she had intended to say when she began,
for she read disapproval in Mrs. Rachel's expression.
"It's a great responsibility you've taken on yourself,"
said that lady gloomily,
"especially when you've never had any experience with children.
You don't know much about her or her real disposition,
and there's no guessing how a child like that will turn out.
But I don't want to discourage you I'm sure,
"I'm not feeling discouraged,"
was Marilla's dry response,
"when I make up my mind to do a thing it stays made up.
I suppose you'd like to see Anne.
I'll call her in."
Anne came running in presently,
her face sparkling with the delight of her orchard rovings;
abashed at finding the delight herself in the unexpected presence of a stranger,
she halted confusedly inside the door.
She certainly was an odd-looking little creature in the short tight wincey dress she had worn from the asylum,
below which her thin legs seemed ungracefully long.
Her freckles were more numerous and obtrusive than ever;
the wind had ruffled her hatless hair into over-brilliant disorder;
it had never looked redder than at that moment.
they didn't pick you for your looks,
that's sure and certain,"
was Mrs. Rachel Lynde's emphatic comment.
Mrs. Rachel was one of those delightful and popular people who pride themselves on speaking their mind without fear or favor.
"She's terrible skinny and homely,
and let me have a look at you.
did any one ever see such freckles?
And hair as red as carrots!
Anne "came there,"
but not exactly as Mrs. Rachel expected.
With one bound she crossed the kitchen floor and stood before Mrs. Rachel,
her face scarlet with anger,
her lips quivering,
and her whole slender form trembling from head to foot.
"I hate you,"
she cried in a choked voice,
stamping her foot on the floor.
"I hate you --I hate you --I hate you --" a louder stamp with each assertion of hatred.
"How dare you call me skinny and ugly?
How dare you say I'm freckled and redheaded?
You are a rude,
exclaimed Marilla in consternation.
But Anne continued to face Mrs. Rachel undauntedly,
passionate indignation exhaling from her like an atmosphere.
"How dare you say such things about me?"
she repeated vehemently.
"How would you like to have such things said about you?
How would you like to be told that you are fat and clumsy and probably hadn't a spark of imagination in you?
I don't care if I do hurt your feelings by saying so!
I hope I hurt them.
You have hurt mine worse than they were ever hurt before even by Mrs. Thomas' intoxicated husband.
And I'll NEVER forgive you for it,
"Did anybody ever see such a temper!"
exclaimed the horrified Mrs. Rachel.
"Anne go to your room and stay there until I come up,"
recovering her powers of speech with difficulty.
bursting into tears,
rushed to the hall door,
slammed it until the tins on the porch wall outside rattled in sympathy,
and fled through the hall and up the stairs like a whirlwind.
A subdued slam above told that the door of the east gable had been shut with equal vehemence.
I don't envy you your job bringing THAT up,
said Mrs. Rachel with unspeakable solemnity.
Marilla opened her lips to say she knew not what of apology or deprecation.
What she did say was a surprise to herself then and ever afterwards.
"You shouldn't have twitted her about her looks,
you don't mean to say that you are upholding her in such a terrible display of temper as we've just seen?"
demanded Mrs. Rachel indignantly.
said Marilla slowly,
"I'm not trying to excuse her.
She's been very naughty and I'll have to give her a talking to about it.
But we must make allowances for her.
She's never been taught what is right.
And you WERE too hard on her,
Marilla could not help tacking on that last sentence,
although she was again surprised at herself for doing it.
Mrs. Rachel got up with an air of offended dignity.
I see that I'll have to be very careful what I say after this,
since the fine feelings of orphans,
brought from goodness knows where,
have to be considered before anything else.
I'm not vexed --don't worry yourself.
I'm too sorry for you to leave any room for anger in my mind.
You'll have your own troubles with that child.
But if you'll take my advice --which I suppose you won't do,
although I've brought up ten children and buried two --you'll do that
'talking to' you mention with a fair-sized birch switch.
I should think THAT would be the most effective language for that kind of a child.
Her temper matches her hair I guess.
I hope you'll come down to see me often as usual.
But you can't expect me to visit here again in a hurry,
if I'm liable to be flown at and insulted in such a fashion.
It's something new in MY experience."
Whereat Mrs. Rachel swept out and away --if a fat woman who always waddled COULD be said to sweep away --and Marilla with a very solemn face betook herself to the east gable.
On the way upstairs she pondered uneasily as to what she ought to do.
She felt no little dismay over the scene that had just been enacted.
How unfortunate that Anne should have displayed such temper before Mrs. Rachel Lynde,
of all people!
Then Marilla suddenly became aware of an uncomfortable and rebuking consciousness that she felt more humiliation over this than sorrow over the discovery of such a serious defect in Anne's disposition.
And how was she to punish her?
The amiable suggestion of the birch switch --to the efficiency of which all of Mrs. Rachel's own children could have borne smarting testimony --did not appeal to Marilla.
She did not believe she could whip a child.
some other method of punishment must be found to bring Anne to a proper realization of the enormity of her offense.
Marilla found Anne face downward on her bed,
quite oblivious of muddy boots on a clean counterpane.
she said not ungently.
with greater severity,
"get off that bed this minute and listen to what I have to say to you."
Anne squirmed off the bed and sat rigidly on a chair beside it,
her face swollen and tear-stained and her eyes fixed stubbornly on the floor.
"This is a nice way for you to behave.
Aren't you ashamed of yourself?"
"She hadn't any right to call me ugly and redheaded,"
evasive and defiant.
"You hadn't any right to fly into such a fury and talk the way you did to her,
I was ashamed of you --thoroughly ashamed of you.
I wanted you to behave nicely to Mrs. Lynde,
and instead of that you have disgraced me.
I'm sure I don't know why you should lose your temper like that just because Mrs. Lynde said you were red-haired and homely.
You say it yourself often enough."
but there's such a difference between saying a thing yourself and hearing other people say it,"
"You may know a thing is so,
but you can't help hoping other people don't quite think it is.
I suppose you think I have an awful temper,
but I couldn't help it.
When she said those things something just rose right up in me and choked me.
I HAD to fly out at her."
you made a fine exhibition of yourself I must say.
Mrs. Lynde will have a nice story to tell about you everywhere --and she'll tell it,
It was a dreadful thing for you to lose your temper like that,
"Just imagine how you would feel if somebody told you to your face that you were skinny and ugly,"
pleaded Anne tearfully.
An old remembrance suddenly rose up before Marilla.
She had been a very small child when she had heard one aunt say of her to another,
"What a pity she is such a dark,
homely little thing."
Marilla was every day of fifty before the sting had gone out of that memory.
"I don't say that I think Mrs. Lynde was exactly right in saying what she did to you,
she admitted in a softer tone.
"Rachel is too outspoken.
But that is no excuse for such behavior on your part.
She was a stranger and an elderly person and my visitor --all three very good reasons why you should have been respectful to her.
You were rude and saucy and" --Marilla had a saving inspiration of punishment --"you must go to her and tell her you are very sorry for your bad temper and ask her to forgive you."
"I can never do that,"
said Anne determinedly and darkly.
"You can punish me in any way you like,
You can shut me up in a dark,
damp dungeon inhabited by snakes and toads and feed me only on bread and water and I shall not complain.
But I cannot ask Mrs. Lynde to forgive me."
"We're not in the habit of shutting people up in dark damp dungeons,"
said Marilla drily,
"especially as they're rather scarce in Avonlea.
But apologize to Mrs. Lynde you must and shall and you'll stay here in your room until you can tell me you're willing to do it."
"I shall have to stay here forever then,"
said Anne mournfully,
"because I can't tell Mrs. Lynde I'm sorry I said those things to her.
How can I?
I'm NOT sorry.
I'm sorry I've vexed you;
but I'm GLAD I told her just what I did.
It was a great satisfaction.
I can't say I'm sorry when I'm not,
I can't even IMAGINE I'm sorry."
"Perhaps your imagination will be in better working order by the morning,"
rising to depart.
"You'll have the night to think over your conduct in and come to a better frame of mind.
You said you would try to be a very good girl if we kept you at Green Gables,
but I must say it hasn't seemed very much like it this evening."
Leaving this Parthian shaft to rankle in Anne's stormy bosom,
Marilla descended to the kitchen,
grievously troubled in mind and vexed in soul.
She was as angry with herself as with Anne,
whenever she recalled Mrs. Rachel's dumbfounded countenance her lips twitched with amusement and she felt a most reprehensible desire to laugh.
CHAPTER X. Anne's Apology
Marilla said nothing to Matthew about the affair that evening;
but when Anne proved still refractory the next morning an explanation had to be made to account for her absence from the breakfast table.
Marilla told Matthew the whole story,
taking pains to impress him with a due sense of the enormity of Anne's behavior.
"It's a good thing Rachel Lynde got a calling down;
she's a meddlesome old gossip,"
was Matthew's consolatory rejoinder.
I'm astonished at you.
You know that Anne's behavior was dreadful,
and yet you take her part!
I suppose you'll be saying next thing that she oughtn't to be punished at all!"
"Well now --no --not exactly,"
said Matthew uneasily.
"I reckon she ought to be punished a little.
But don't be too hard on her,
Recollect she hasn't ever had anyone to teach her right.
You're --you're going to give her something to eat,
"When did you ever hear of me starving people into good behavior?"
demanded Marilla indignantly.
"She'll have her meals regular,
and I'll carry them up to her myself.
But she'll stay up there until she's willing to apologize to Mrs. Lynde,
and that's final,
and supper were very silent meals --for Anne still remained obdurate.
After each meal Marilla carried a well-filled tray to the east gable and brought it down later on not noticeably depleted.
Matthew eyed its last descent with a troubled eye.
Had Anne eaten anything at all?
When Marilla went out that evening to bring the cows from the back pasture,
who had been hanging about the barns and watching,
slipped into the house with the air of a burglar and crept upstairs.
As a general thing Matthew gravitated between the kitchen and the little bedroom off the hall where he slept;
once in a while he ventured uncomfortably into the parlor or sitting room when the minister came to tea.
But he had never been upstairs in his own house since the spring he helped Marilla paper the spare bedroom,
and that was four years ago.
He tiptoed along the hall and stood for several minutes outside the door of the east gable before he summoned courage to tap on it with his fingers and then open the door to peep in.
Anne was sitting on the yellow chair by the window gazing mournfully out into the garden.
Very small and unhappy she looked,
and Matthew's heart smote him.
He softly closed the door and tiptoed over to her.
as if afraid of being overheard,
"how are you making it,
Anne smiled wanly.
I imagine a good deal,
and that helps to pass the time.
it's rather lonesome.
I may as well get used to that."
Anne smiled again,
bravely facing the long years of solitary imprisonment before her.
Matthew recollected that he must say what he had come to say without loss of time,
lest Marilla return prematurely.
don't you think you'd better do it and have it over with?"
"It'll have to be done sooner or later,
for Marilla's a dreadful deter-mined woman --dreadful determined,
Do it right off,
and have it over."
"Do you mean apologize to Mrs. Lynde?"
"Yes --apologize --that's the very word,"
said Matthew eagerly.
"Just smooth it over so to speak.
That's what I was trying to get at."
"I suppose I could do it to oblige you,"
said Anne thoughtfully.
"It would be true enough to say I am sorry,
because I AM sorry now.
I wasn't a bit sorry last night.
I was mad clear through,
and I stayed mad all night.
I know I did because I woke up three times and I was just furious every time.
But this morning it was over.
I wasn't in a temper anymore --and it left a dreadful sort of goneness,
I felt so ashamed of myself.
But I just couldn't think of going and telling Mrs. Lynde so.
It would be so humiliating.
I made up my mind I'd stay shut up here forever rather than do that.
But still --I'd do anything for you --if you really want me to --"
of course I do.
It's terrible lonesome downstairs without you.
Just go and smooth things over --that's a good girl."
said Anne resignedly.
"I'll tell Marilla as soon as she comes in I've repented."
"That's right --that's right,
But don't tell Marilla I said anything about it.
She might think I was putting my oar in and I promised not to do that."
"Wild horses won't drag the secret from me,"
promised Anne solemnly.
"How would wild horses drag a secret from a person anyhow?"
But Matthew was gone,
scared at his own success.
He fled hastily to the remotest corner of the horse pasture lest Marilla should suspect what he had been up to.
upon her return to the house,
was agreeably surprised to hear a plaintive voice calling,
"Marilla" over the banisters.
going into the hall.
"I'm sorry I lost my temper and said rude things,
and I'm willing to go and tell Mrs. Lynde so."
Marilla's crispness gave no sign of her relief.
She had been wondering what under the canopy she should do if Anne did not give in.
"I'll take you down after milking."
behold Marilla and Anne walking down the lane,
the former erect and triumphant,
the latter drooping and dejected.
But halfway down Anne's dejection vanished as if by enchantment.
She lifted her head and stepped lightly along,
her eyes fixed on the sunset sky and an air of subdued exhilaration about her.
Marilla beheld the change disapprovingly.
This was no meek penitent such as it behooved her to take into the presence of the offended Mrs. Lynde.
"What are you thinking of,
she asked sharply.
"I'm imagining out what I must say to Mrs. Lynde,"
answered Anne dreamily.
This was satisfactory --or should have been so.
But Marilla could not rid herself of the notion that something in her scheme of punishment was going askew.
Anne had no business to look so rapt and radiant.
Rapt and radiant Anne continued until they were in the very presence of Mrs. Lynde,
who was sitting knitting by her kitchen window.
Then the radiance vanished.
Mournful penitence appeared on every feature.
Before a word was spoken Anne suddenly went down on her knees before the astonished Mrs. Rachel and held out her hands beseechingly.
I am so extremely sorry,"
she said with a quiver in her voice.
"I could never express all my sorrow,
not if I used up a whole dictionary.
You must just imagine it.
I behaved terribly to you --and I've disgraced the dear friends,
Matthew and Marilla,
who have let me stay at Green Gables although I'm not a boy.
I'm a dreadfully wicked and ungrateful girl,
and I deserve to be punished and cast out by respectable people forever.
It was very wicked of me to fly into a temper because you told me the truth.
It WAS the truth;
every word you said was true.
My hair is red and I'm freckled and skinny and ugly.
What I said to you was true,
but I shouldn't have said it.
If you refuse it will be a lifelong sorrow on a poor little orphan girl,
even if she had a dreadful temper?
I am sure you wouldn't.
Please say you forgive me,
Anne clasped her hands together,
bowed her head,
and waited for the word of judgment.
There was no mistaking her sincerity --it breathed in every tone of her voice.
Both Marilla and Mrs. Lynde recognized its unmistakable ring.
But the former under-stood in dismay that Anne was actually enjoying her valley of humiliation --was reveling in the thoroughness of her abasement.
Where was the wholesome punishment upon which she,
had plumed herself?
Anne had turned it into a species of positive pleasure.
Good Mrs. Lynde,
not being overburdened with perception,
did not see this.
She only perceived that Anne had made a very thorough apology and all resentment vanished from her kindly,
if somewhat officious,
she said heartily.
"Of course I forgive you.
I guess I was a little too hard on you,
But I'm such an outspoken person.
You just mustn't mind me,
It can't be denied your hair is terrible red;
but I knew a girl once --went to school with her,
in fact --whose hair was every mite as red as yours when she was young,
but when she grew up it darkened to a real handsome auburn.
I wouldn't be a mite surprised if yours did,
too --not a mite."
Anne drew a long breath as she rose to her feet.
"You have given me a hope.
I shall always feel that you are a benefactor.
I could endure anything if I only thought my hair would be a handsome auburn when I grew up.
It would be so much easier to be good if one's hair was a handsome auburn,
don't you think?
And now may I go out into your garden and sit on that bench under the apple-trees while you and Marilla are talking?
There is so much more scope for imagination out there."
And you can pick a bouquet of them white June lilies over in the corner if you like."
As the door closed behind Anne Mrs. Lynde got briskly up to light a lamp.
"She's a real odd little thing.
Take this chair,
it's easier than the one you've got;
I just keep that for the hired boy to sit on.
she certainly is an odd child,
but there is something kind of taking about her after all.
I don't feel so surprised at you and Matthew keeping her as I did --nor so sorry for you,
She may turn out all right.
she has a queer way of expressing herself --a little too --well,
too kind of forcible,
but she'll likely get over that now that she's come to live among civilized folks.
her temper's pretty quick,
but there's one comfort,
a child that has a quick temper,
just blaze up and cool down,
ain't never likely to be sly or deceitful.
Preserve me from a sly child,
On the whole,
I kind of like her."
When Marilla went home Anne came out of the fragrant twilight of the orchard with a sheaf of white narcissi in her hands.
"I apologized pretty well,
she said proudly as they went down the lane.
"I thought since I had to do it I might as well do it thoroughly."
"You did it thoroughly,
all right enough,"
was Marilla's comment.
Marilla was dismayed at finding herself inclined to laugh over the recollection.
She had also an uneasy feeling that she ought to scold Anne for apologizing so well;
that was ridiculous!
She compromised with her conscience by saying severely:
"I hope you won't have occasion to make many more such apologies.
I hope you'll try to control your temper now,
"That wouldn't be so hard if people wouldn't twit me about my looks,"
said Anne with a sigh.
"I don't get cross about other things;
but I'm SO tired of being twitted about my hair and it just makes me boil right over.
Do you suppose my hair will really be a handsome auburn when I grow up?"
"You shouldn't think so much about your looks,
I'm afraid you are a very vain little girl."
"How can I be vain when I know I'm homely?"
"I love pretty things;
and I hate to look in the glass and see something that isn't pretty.
It makes me feel so sorrowful --just as I feel when I look at any ugly thing.
I pity it because it isn't beautiful."
"Handsome is as handsome does,"
"I've had that said to me before,
but I have my doubts about it,"
remarked skeptical Anne,
sniffing at her narcissi.
aren't these flowers sweet!
It was lovely of Mrs. Lynde to give them to me.
I have no hard feelings against Mrs. Lynde now.
It gives you a lovely,
comfortable feeling to apologize and be forgiven,
Aren't the stars bright tonight?
If you could live in a star,
which one would you pick?
I'd like that lovely clear big one away over there above that dark hill."
do hold your tongue,"
thoroughly worn out trying to follow the gyrations of Anne's thoughts.
Anne said no more until they turned into their own lane.
A little gypsy wind came down it to meet them,
laden with the spicy perfume of young dew-wet ferns.
Far up in the shadows a cheerful light gleamed out through the trees from the kitchen at Green Gables.
Anne suddenly came close to Marilla and slipped her hand into the older woman's hard palm.
"It's lovely to be going home and know it's home,"
"I love Green Gables already,
and I never loved any place before.
No place ever seemed like home.
I'm so happy.
I could pray right now and not find it a bit hard."
Something warm and pleasant welled up in Marilla's heart at touch of that thin little hand in her own --a throb of the maternity she had missed,
Its very unaccustomedness and sweetness disturbed her.
She hastened to restore her sensations to their normal calm by inculcating a moral.
"If you'll be a good girl you'll always be happy,
And you should never find it hard to say your prayers."
"Saying one's prayers isn't exactly the same thing as praying,"
said Anne meditatively.
"But I'm going to imagine that I'm the wind that is blowing up there in those tree tops.
When I get tired of the trees I'll imagine I'm gently waving down here in the ferns --and then I'll fly over to Mrs. Lynde's garden and set the flowers dancing --and then I'll go with one great swoop over the clover field --and then I'll blow over the Lake of Shining Waters and ripple it all up into little sparkling waves.
there's so much scope for imagination in a wind!
So I'll not talk any more just now,
"Thanks be to goodness for that,"
breathed Marilla in devout relief.
Anne's Impressions of Sunday-School
how do you like them?"
Anne was standing in the gable room,
looking solemnly at three new dresses spread out on the bed.
One was of snuffy colored gingham which Marilla had been tempted to buy from a peddler the preceding summer because it looked so serviceable;
one was of black-and-white checkered sateen which she had picked up at a bargain counter in the winter;
and one was a stiff print of an ugly blue shade which she had purchased that week at a Carmody store.
She had made them up herself,
and they were all made alike --plain skirts fulled tightly to plain waists,
with sleeves as plain as waist and skirt and tight as sleeves could be.
"I'll imagine that I like them,"
said Anne soberly.
"I don't want you to imagine it,"
I can see you don't like the dresses!
What is the matter with them?
Aren't they neat and clean and new?"
"Then why don't you like them?"
"They're --they're not --pretty,"
said Anne reluctantly.
"I didn't trouble my head about getting pretty dresses for you.
I don't believe in pampering vanity,
I'll tell you that right off.
Those dresses are good,
without any frills or furbelows about them,
and they're all you'll get this summer.
The brown gingham and the blue print will do you for school when you begin to go.
The sateen is for church and Sunday school.
I'll expect you to keep them neat and clean and not to tear them.
I should think you'd be grateful to get most anything after those skimpy wincey things you've been wearing."
I AM grateful,"
"But I'd be ever so much gratefuller if --if you'd made just one of them with puffed sleeves.
Puffed sleeves are so fashionable now.
It would give me such a thrill,
just to wear a dress with puffed sleeves."
you'll have to do without your thrill.
I hadn't any material to waste on puffed sleeves.
I think they are ridiculous-looking things anyhow.
I prefer the plain,
"But I'd rather look ridiculous when everybody else does than plain and sensible all by myself,"
persisted Anne mournfully.
"Trust you for that!
hang those dresses carefully up in your closet,
and then sit down and learn the Sunday school lesson.
I got a quarterly from Mr. Bell for you and you'll go to Sunday school tomorrow,"
disappearing downstairs in high dudgeon.
Anne clasped her hands and looked at the dresses.
"I did hope there would be a white one with puffed sleeves,"
she whispered disconsolately.
"I prayed for one,
but I didn't much expect it on that account.
I didn't suppose God would have time to bother about a little orphan girl's dress.
I knew I'd just have to depend on Marilla for it.
fortunately I can imagine that one of them is of snow-white muslin with lovely lace frills and three-puffed sleeves."
The next morning warnings of a sick headache prevented Marilla from going to Sunday-school with Anne.
"You'll have to go down and call for Mrs. Lynde,
"She'll see that you get into the right class.
mind you behave yourself properly.
Stay to preaching afterwards and ask Mrs. Lynde to show you our pew.
Here's a cent for collection.
Don't stare at people and don't fidget.
I shall expect you to tell me the text when you come home."
Anne started off irreproachable,
arrayed in the stiff black-and-white sateen,
while decent as regards length and certainly not open to the charge of skimpiness,
contrived to emphasize every corner and angle of her thin figure.
Her hat was a little,
the extreme plainness of which had likewise much disappointed Anne,
who had permitted herself secret visions of ribbon and flowers.
were supplied before Anne reached the main road,
for being confronted halfway down the lane with a golden frenzy of wind-stirred buttercups and a glory of wild roses,
Anne promptly and liberally garlanded her hat with a heavy wreath of them.
Whatever other people might have thought of the result it satisfied Anne,
and she tripped gaily down the road,
holding her ruddy head with its decoration of pink and yellow very proudly.
When she had reached Mrs. Lynde's house she found that lady gone.
Anne proceeded onward to the church alone.
In the porch she found a crowd of little girls,
all more or less gaily attired in whites and blues and pinks,
and all staring with curious eyes at this stranger in their midst,
with her extraordinary head adornment.
Avonlea little girls had already heard queer stories about Anne.
Mrs. Lynde said she had an awful temper;
the hired boy at Green Gables,
said she talked all the time to herself or to the trees and flowers like a crazy girl.
They looked at her and whispered to each other behind their quarterlies.
Nobody made any friendly advances,
then or later on when the opening exercises were over and Anne found herself in Miss Rogerson's class.
Miss Rogerson was a middle-aged lady who had taught a Sunday-school class for twenty years.
Her method of teaching was to ask the printed questions from the quarterly and look sternly over its edge at the particular little girl she thought ought to answer the question.
She looked very often at Anne,
thanks to Marilla's drilling,
but it may be questioned if she understood very much about either question or answer.
She did not think she liked Miss Rogerson,
and she felt very miserable;
every other little girl in the class had puffed sleeves.
Anne felt that life was really not worth living without puffed sleeves.
how did you like Sunday school?"
Marilla wanted to know when Anne came home.
Her wreath having faded,
Anne had discarded it in the lane,
so Marilla was spared the knowledge of that for a time.
"I didn't like it a bit.
It was horrid."
said Marilla rebukingly.
Anne sat down on the rocker with a long sigh,
kissed one of Bonny's leaves,
and waved her hand to a blossoming fuchsia.
"They might have been lonesome while I was away,"
"And now about the Sunday school.
I behaved well,
just as you told me.
Mrs. Lynde was gone,
but I went right on myself.
I went into the church,
with a lot of other little girls,
and I sat in the corner of a pew by the window while the opening exercises went on.
Mr. Bell made an awfully long prayer.
I would have been dreadfully tired before he got through if I hadn't been sitting by that window.
But it looked right out on the Lake of Shining Waters,
so I just gazed at that and imagined all sorts of splendid things."
"You shouldn't have done anything of the sort.
You should have listened to Mr. Bell."
"But he wasn't talking to me,"
"He was talking to God and he didn't seem to be very much inter-ested in it,
I think he thought God was too far off though.
There was a long row of white birches hanging over the lake and the sunshine fell down through them,
deep into the water.
it was like a beautiful dream!
It gave me a thrill and I just said,
'Thank you for it,
two or three times."
"Not out loud,
said Marilla anxiously.
just under my breath.
Mr. Bell did get through at last and they told me to go into the classroom with Miss Rogerson's class.
There were nine other girls in it.
They all had puffed sleeves.
I tried to imagine mine were puffed,
but I couldn't.
Why couldn't I?
It was as easy as could be to imagine they were puffed when I was alone in the east gable,
but it was awfully hard there among the others who had really truly puffs."
"You shouldn't have been thinking about your sleeves in Sunday school.
You should have been attending to the lesson.
I hope you knew it."
and I answered a lot of questions.
Miss Rogerson asked ever so many.
I don't think it was fair for her to do all the asking.
There were lots I wanted to ask her,
but I didn't like to because I didn't think she was a kindred spirit.
Then all the other little girls recited a paraphrase.
She asked me if I knew any.
I told her I didn't,
but I could recite,
'The Dog at His Master's Grave' if she liked.
That's in the Third Royal Reader.
It isn't a really truly religious piece of poetry,
but it's so sad and melancholy that it might as well be.
She said it wouldn't do and she told me to learn the nineteenth paraphrase for next Sunday.
I read it over in church afterwards and it's splendid.
There are two lines in particular that just thrill me.
"'Quick as the slaughtered squadrons fell In Midian's evil day.'
"I don't know what
'squadrons' means nor
but it sounds SO tragical.
I can hardly wait until next Sunday to recite it.
I'll practice it all the week.
After Sunday school I asked Miss Rogerson --because Mrs. Lynde was too far away --to show me your pew.
I sat just as still as I could and the text was Revelations,
second and third verses.
It was a very long text.
If I was a minister I'd pick the short,
The sermon was awfully long,
I suppose the minister had to match it to the text.
I didn't think he was a bit interesting.
The trouble with him seems to be that he hasn't enough imagination.
I didn't listen to him very much.
I just let my thoughts run and I thought of the most surprising things."
Marilla felt helplessly that all this should be sternly reproved,
but she was hampered by the undeniable fact that some of the things Anne had said,
especially about the minister's sermons and Mr. Bell's prayers,
were what she herself had really thought deep down in her heart for years,
but had never given expression to.
It almost seemed to her that those secret,
critical thoughts had suddenly taken visible and accusing shape and form in the person of this outspoken morsel of neglected humanity.
A Solemn Vow and Promise
It was not until the next Friday that Marilla heard the story of the flower-wreathed hat.
She came home from Mrs. Lynde's and called Anne to account.
Mrs. Rachel says you went to church last Sunday with your hat rigged out ridiculous with roses and buttercups.
What on earth put you up to such a caper?
A pretty-looking object you must have been!"
I know pink and yellow aren't becoming to me,"
It was putting flowers on your hat at all,
no matter what color they were,
that was ridiculous.
You are the most aggravating child!"
"I don't see why it's any more ridiculous to wear flowers on your hat than on your dress,"
"Lots of little girls there had bouquets pinned on their dresses.
What's the difference?"
Marilla was not to be drawn from the safe concrete into dubious paths of the abstract.
"Don't answer me back like that,
It was very silly of you to do such a thing.
Never let me catch you at such a trick again.
Mrs. Rachel says she thought she would sink through the floor when she saw you come in all rigged out like that.
She couldn't get near enough to tell you to take them off till it was too late.
She says people talked about it something dreadful.
Of course they would think I had no better sense than to let you go decked out like that."
I'm so sorry,"
tears welling into her eyes.
"I never thought you'd mind.
The roses and buttercups were so sweet and pretty I thought they'd look lovely on my hat.
Lots of the little girls had artificial flowers on their hats.
I'm afraid I'm going to be a dreadful trial to you.
Maybe you'd better send me back to the asylum.
That would be terrible;
I don't think I could endure it;
most likely I would go into consumption;
I'm so thin as it is,
But that would be better than being a trial to you."
vexed at herself for having made the child cry.
"I don't want to send you back to the asylum,
All I want is that you should behave like other little girls and not make yourself ridiculous.
Don't cry any more.
I've got some news for you.
Diana Barry came home this afternoon.
I'm going up to see if I can borrow a skirt pattern from Mrs. Barry,
and if you like you can come with me and get acquainted with Diana."
Anne rose to her feet,
with clasped hands,
the tears still glistening on her cheeks;
the dish towel she had been hemming slipped unheeded to the floor.
I'm frightened --now that it has come I'm actually frightened.
What if she shouldn't like me!
It would be the most tragical disappointment of my life."
don't get into a fluster.
And I do wish you wouldn't use such long words.
It sounds so funny in a little girl.
I guess Diana'll like you well enough.
It's her mother you've got to reckon with.
If she doesn't like you it won't matter how much Diana does.
If she has heard about your outburst to Mrs. Lynde and going to church with buttercups round your hat I don't know what she'll think of you.
You must be polite and well behaved,
and don't make any of your startling speeches.
For pity's sake,
if the child isn't actually trembling!"
Anne WAS trembling.
Her face was pale and tense.
you'd be excited,
if you were going to meet a little girl you hoped to be your bosom friend and whose mother mightn't like you,"
she said as she hastened to get her hat.
They went over to Orchard Slope by the short cut across the brook and up the firry hill grove.
Mrs. Barry came to the kitchen door in answer to Marilla's knock.
She was a tall black-eyed,
with a very resolute mouth.
She had the reputation of being very strict with her children.
"How do you do,
she said cordially.
And this is the little girl you have adopted,
this is Anne Shirley,"
"Spelled with an E,"
tremulous and excited as she was,
was determined there should be no misunderstanding on that important point.
not hearing or not comprehending,
merely shook hands and said kindly:
"How are you?"
"I am well in body although considerable rumpled up in spirit,
thank you ma'am,"
said Anne gravely.
Then aside to Marilla in an audible whisper,
"There wasn't anything startling in that,
Diana was sitting on the sofa,
reading a book which she dropped when the callers entered.
She was a very pretty little girl,
with her mother's black eyes and hair,
and rosy cheeks,
and the merry expression which was her inheritance from her father.
"This is my little girl Diana,"
said Mrs. Barry.
you might take Anne out into the garden and show her your flowers.
It will be better for you than straining your eyes over that book.
She reads entirely too much --" this to Marilla as the little girls went out --"and I can't prevent her,
for her father aids and abets her.
She's always poring over a book.
I'm glad she has the prospect of a playmate --perhaps it will take her more out-of-doors."
Outside in the garden,
which was full of mellow sunset light streaming through the dark old firs to the west of it,
stood Anne and Diana,
gazing bashfully at each other over a clump of gorgeous tiger lilies.
The Barry garden was a bowery wilderness of flowers which would have delighted Anne's heart at any time less fraught with destiny.
It was encircled by huge old willows and tall firs,
beneath which flourished flowers that loved the shade.
right-angled paths neatly bordered with clamshells,
intersected it like moist red ribbons and in the beds between old-fashioned flowers ran riot.
There were rosy bleeding-hearts and great splendid crimson peonies;
fragrant narcissi and thorny,
sweet Scotch roses;
pink and blue and white columbines and lilac-tinted Bouncing Bets;
clumps of southernwood and ribbon grass and mint;
and masses of sweet clover white with its delicate,
scarlet lightning that shot its fiery lances over prim white musk-flowers;
a garden it was where sunshine lingered and bees hummed,
beguiled into loitering,
purred and rustled.
said Anne at last,
clasping her hands and speaking almost in a whisper,
do you think you can like me a little --enough to be my bosom friend?"
Diana always laughed before she spoke.
I guess so,"
she said frankly.
"I'm awfully glad you've come to live at Green Gables.
It will be jolly to have somebody to play with.
There isn't any other girl who lives near enough to play with,
and I've no sisters big enough."
"Will you swear to be my friend forever and ever?"
demanded Anne eagerly.
Diana looked shocked.
"Why it's dreadfully wicked to swear,"
she said rebukingly.
not my kind of swearing.
There are two kinds,
"I never heard of but one kind,"
said Diana doubtfully.
"There really is another.
it isn't wicked at all.
It just means vowing and promising solemnly."
I don't mind doing that,"
"How do you do it?"
"We must join hands --so,"
said Anne gravely.
"It ought to be over running water.
We'll just imagine this path is running water.
I'll repeat the oath first.
I solemnly swear to be faithful to my bosom friend,
as long as the sun and moon shall endure.
Now you say it and put my name in."
Diana repeated the "oath" with a laugh fore and aft.
Then she said:
"You're a queer girl,
I heard before that you were queer.
But I believe I'm going to like you real well."
When Marilla and Anne went home Diana went with them as far as the log bridge.
The two little girls walked with their arms about each other.
At the brook they parted with many promises to spend the next afternoon together.
did you find Diana a kindred spirit?"
asked Marilla as they went up through the garden of Green Gables.
blissfully unconscious of any sarcasm on Marilla's part.
I'm the happiest girl on Prince Edward Island this very moment.
I assure you I'll say my prayers with a right good-will tonight.
Diana and I are going to build a playhouse in Mr. William Bell's birch grove tomorrow.
Can I have those broken pieces of china that are out in the woodshed?
Diana's birthday is in February and mine is in March.
Don't you think that is a very strange coincidence?
Diana is going to lend me a book to read.
She says it's perfectly splendid and tremendously exciting.
She's going to show me a place back in the woods where rice lilies grow.
Don't you think Diana has got very soulful eyes?
I wish I had soulful eyes.
Diana is going to teach me to sing a song called
'Nelly in the Hazel Dell.'
She's going to give me a picture to put up in my room;
it's a perfectly beautiful picture,
she says --a lovely lady in a pale blue silk dress.
A sewing-machine agent gave it to her.
I wish I had something to give Diana.
I'm an inch taller than Diana,
but she is ever so much fatter;
she says she'd like to be thin because it's so much more graceful,
but I'm afraid she only said it to soothe my feelings.
We're going to the shore some day to gather shells.
We have agreed to call the spring down by the log bridge the Dryad's Bubble.
Isn't that a perfectly elegant name?
I read a story once about a spring called that.
A dryad is sort of a grown-up fairy,
all I hope is you won't talk Diana to death,"
"But remember this in all your planning,
You're not going to play all the time nor most of it.
You'll have your work to do and it'll have to be done first."
Anne's cup of happiness was full,
and Matthew caused it to overflow.
He had just got home from a trip to the store at Carmody,
and he sheepishly produced a small parcel from his pocket and handed it to Anne,
with a deprecatory look at Marilla.
"I heard you say you liked chocolate sweeties,
so I got you some,"
"It'll ruin her teeth and stomach.
don't look so dismal.
You can eat those,
since Matthew has gone and got them.
He'd better have brought you peppermints.
Don't sicken yourself eating all them at once now."
said Anne eagerly.
"I'll just eat one tonight,
And I can give Diana half of them,
The other half will taste twice as sweet to me if I give some to her.
It's delightful to think I have something to give her."
"I will say it for the child,"
said Marilla when Anne had gone to her gable,
"she isn't stingy.
for of all faults I detest stinginess in a child.
it's only three weeks since she came,
and it seems as if she'd been here always.
I can't imagine the place without her.
don't be looking I told-you-so,
That's bad enough in a woman,
but it isn't to be endured in a man.
I'm perfectly willing to own up that I'm glad I consented to keep the child and that I'm getting fond of her,
but don't you rub it in,
The Delights of Anticipation
"It's time Anne was in to do her sewing,"
glancing at the clock and then out into the yellow August afternoon where everything drowsed in the heat.
"She stayed playing with Diana more than half an hour more'n I gave her leave to;
and now she's perched out there on the woodpile talking to Matthew,
nineteen to the dozen,
when she knows perfectly well she ought to be at her work.
And of course he's listening to her like a perfect ninny.
I never saw such an infatuated man.
The more she talks and the odder the things she says,
the more he's delighted evidently.
you come right in here this minute,
do you hear me!"
A series of staccato taps on the west window brought Anne flying in from the yard,
cheeks faintly flushed with pink,
unbraided hair streaming behind her in a torrent of brightness.
she exclaimed breathlessly,
"there's going to be a Sunday-school picnic next week --in Mr. Harmon Andrews's field,
right near the lake of Shining Waters.
And Mrs. Superintendent Bell and Mrs. Rachel Lynde are going to make ice cream --think of it,
Marilla --ICE CREAM!
can I go to it?"
"Just look at the clock,
if you please,
What time did I tell you to come in?"
"Two o'clock --but isn't it splendid about the picnic,
Please can I go?
I've never been to a picnic --I've dreamed of picnics,
but I've never --"
I told you to come at two o'clock.
And it's a quarter to three.
I'd like to know why you didn't obey me,
I meant to,
as much as could be.
But you have no idea how fascinating Idlewild is.
I had to tell Matthew about the picnic.
Matthew is such a sympathetic listener.
Please can I go?"
"You'll have to learn to resist the fascination of Idle-whatever-you-call-it.
When I tell you to come in at a certain time I mean that time and not half an hour later.
And you needn't stop to discourse with sympathetic listeners on your way,
As for the picnic,
of course you can go.
You're a Sunday-school scholar,
and it's not likely I'd refuse to let you go when all the other little girls are going."
"Diana says that everybody must take a basket of things to eat.
I can't cook,
as you know,
and --and --I don't mind going to a picnic without puffed sleeves so much,
but I'd feel terribly humiliated if I had to go without a basket.
It's been preying on my mind ever since Diana told me."
it needn't prey any longer.
I'll bake you a basket."
you dear good Marilla.
you are so kind to me.
I'm so much obliged to you."
Getting through with her "ohs" Anne cast herself into Marilla's arms and rapturously kissed her sallow cheek.
It was the first time in her whole life that childish lips had voluntarily touched Marilla's face.
Again that sudden sensation of startling sweetness thrilled her.
She was secretly vastly pleased at Anne's impulsive caress,
which was probably the reason why she said brusquely:
never mind your kissing nonsense.
I'd sooner see you doing strictly as you're told.
As for cooking,
I mean to begin giving you lessons in that some of these days.
But you're so featherbrained,
I've been waiting to see if you'd sober down a little and learn to be steady before I begin.
You've got to keep your wits about you in cooking and not stop in the middle of things to let your thoughts rove all over creation.
get out your patchwork and have your square done before teatime."
"I do NOT like patchwork,"
said Anne dolefully,
hunting out her workbasket and sitting down before a little heap of red and white diamonds with a sigh.
"I think some kinds of sewing would be nice;
but there's no scope for imagination in patchwork.
It's just one little seam after another and you never seem to be getting anywhere.
But of course I'd rather be Anne of Green Gables sewing patchwork than Anne of any other place with nothing to do but play.
I wish time went as quick sewing patches as it does when I'm playing with Diana,
we do have such elegant times,
I have to furnish most of the imagination,
but I'm well able to do that.
Diana is simply perfect in every other way.
You know that little piece of land across the brook that runs up between our farm and Mr. Barry's.
It belongs to Mr. William Bell,
and right in the corner there is a little ring of white birch trees --the most romantic spot,
Diana and I have our playhouse there.
We call it Idlewild.
Isn't that a poetical name?
I assure you it took me some time to think it out.
I stayed awake nearly a whole night before I invented it.
just as I was dropping off to sleep,
it came like an inspiration.
Diana was ENRAPTURED when she heard it.
We have got our house fixed up elegantly.
You must come and see it,
Marilla --won't you?
We have great big stones,
all covered with moss,
and boards from tree to tree for shelves.
And we have all our dishes on them.
they're all broken but it's the easiest thing in the world to imagine that they are whole.
There's a piece of a plate with a spray of red and yellow ivy on it that is especially beautiful.
We keep it in the parlor and we have the fairy glass there,
The fairy glass is as lovely as a dream.
Diana found it out in the woods behind their chicken house.
It's all full of rainbows --just little young rainbows that haven't grown big yet --and Diana's mother told her it was broken off a hanging lamp they once had.
But it's nice to imagine the fairies lost it one night when they had a ball,
so we call it the fairy glass.
Matthew is going to make us a table.
we have named that little round pool over in Mr. Barry's field Willowmere.
I got that name out of the book Diana lent me.
That was a thrilling book,
The heroine had five lovers.
I'd be satisfied with one,
She was very handsome and she went through great tribulations.
She could faint as easy as anything.
I'd love to be able to faint,
It's so romantic.
But I'm really very healthy for all I'm so thin.
I believe I'm getting fatter,
Don't you think I am?
I look at my elbows every morning when I get up to see if any dimples are coming.
Diana is having a new dress made with elbow sleeves.
She is going to wear it to the picnic.
I do hope it will be fine next Wednesday.
I don't feel that I could endure the disappointment if anything happened to prevent me from getting to the picnic.
I suppose I'd live through it,
but I'm certain it would be a lifelong sorrow.
It wouldn't matter if I got to a hundred picnics in after years;
they wouldn't make up for missing this one.
They're going to have boats on the Lake of Shining Waters --and ice cream,
as I told you.
I have never tasted ice cream.
Diana tried to explain what it was like,
but I guess ice cream is one of those things that are beyond imagination."
you have talked even on for ten minutes by the clock,"
just for curiosity's sake,
see if you can hold your tongue for the same length of time."
Anne held her tongue as desired.
But for the rest of the week she talked picnic and thought picnic and dreamed picnic.
On Saturday it rained and she worked herself up into such a frantic state lest it should keep on raining until and over Wednesday that Marilla made her sew an extra patchwork square by way of steadying her nerves.
On Sunday Anne confided to Marilla on the way home from church that she grew actually cold all over with excitement when the minister announced the picnic from the pulpit.
"Such a thrill as went up and down my back,
I don't think I'd ever really believed until then that there was honestly going to be a picnic.
I couldn't help fearing I'd only imagined it.
But when a minister says a thing in the pulpit you just have to believe it."
"You set your heart too much on things,
with a sigh.
"I'm afraid there'll be a great many disappointments in store for you through life."
looking forward to things is half the pleasure of them,"
"You mayn't get the things themselves;
but nothing can prevent you from having the fun of looking forward to them.
Mrs. Lynde says,
'Blessed are they who expect nothing for they shall not be disappointed.'
But I think it would be worse to expect nothing than to be disappointed."
Marilla wore her amethyst brooch to church that day as usual.
Marilla always wore her amethyst brooch to church.
She would have thought it rather sacrilegious to leave it off --as bad as forgetting her Bible or her collection dime.
That amethyst brooch was Marilla's most treasured possession.
A seafaring uncle had given it to her mother who in turn had bequeathed it to Marilla.
It was an old-fashioned oval,
containing a braid of her mother's hair,
surrounded by a border of very fine amethysts.
Marilla knew too little about precious stones to realize how fine the amethysts actually were;
but she thought them very beautiful and was always pleasantly conscious of their violet shimmer at her throat,
above her good brown satin dress,
even although she could not see it.
Anne had been smitten with delighted admiration when she first saw that brooch.
it's a perfectly elegant brooch.
I don't know how you can pay attention to the sermon or the prayers when you have it on.
I think amethysts are just sweet.
They are what I used to think diamonds were like.
before I had ever seen a diamond,
I read about them and I tried to imagine what they would be like.
I thought they would be lovely glimmering purple stones.
When I saw a real diamond in a lady's ring one day I was so disappointed I cried.
it was very lovely but it wasn't my idea of a diamond.
Will you let me hold the brooch for one minute,
Do you think amethysts can be the souls of good violets?"
ON the Monday evening before the picnic Marilla came down from her room with a troubled face.
she said to that small personage,
who was shelling peas by the spotless table and singing,
"Nelly of the Hazel Dell" with a vigor and expression that did credit to Diana's teaching,
"did you see anything of my amethyst brooch?
I thought I stuck it in my pincushion when I came home from church yesterday evening,
but I can't find it anywhere."
"I --I saw it this afternoon when you were away at the Aid Society,"
a little slowly.
"I was passing your door when I saw it on the cushion,
so I went in to look at it."
"Did you touch it?"
said Marilla sternly.
"I took it up and I pinned it on my breast just to see how it would look."
"You had no business to do anything of the sort.
It's very wrong in a little girl to meddle.
You shouldn't have gone into my room in the first place and you shouldn't have touched a brooch that didn't belong to you in the second.
Where did you put it?"
I put it back on the bureau.
I hadn't it on a minute.
I didn't mean to meddle,
I didn't think about its being wrong to go in and try on the brooch;
but I see now that it was and I'll never do it again.
That's one good thing about me.
I never do the same naughty thing twice."
"You didn't put it back,"
"That brooch isn't anywhere on the bureau.
You've taken it out or something,
"I did put it back,"
said Anne quickly --pertly,
"I don't just remember whether I stuck it on the pincushion or laid it in the china tray.
But I'm perfectly certain I put it back."
"I'll go and have another look,"
determining to be just.
"If you put that brooch back it's there still.
If it isn't I'll know you didn't,
Marilla went to her room and made a thorough search,
not only over the bureau but in every other place she thought the brooch might possibly be.
It was not to be found and she returned to the kitchen.
the brooch is gone.
By your own admission you were the last person to handle it.
what have you done with it?
Tell me the truth at once.
Did you take it out and lose it?"
said Anne solemnly,
meeting Marilla's angry gaze squarely.
"I never took the brooch out of your room and that is the truth,
if I was to be led to the block for it --although I'm not very certain what a block is.
Anne's "so there" was only intended to emphasize her assertion,
but Marilla took it as a display of defiance.
"I believe you are telling me a falsehood,
she said sharply.
"I know you are.
don't say anything more unless you are prepared to tell the whole truth.
Go to your room and stay there until you are ready to confess."
"Will I take the peas with me?"
said Anne meekly.
I'll finish shelling them myself.
Do as I bid you."
When Anne had gone Marilla went about her evening tasks in a very disturbed state of mind.
She was worried about her valuable brooch.
What if Anne had lost it?
And how wicked of the child to deny having taken it,
when anybody could see she must have!
With such an innocent face,
"I don't know what I wouldn't sooner have had happen,"
as she nervously shelled the peas.
I don't suppose she meant to steal it or anything like that.
She's just taken it to play with or help along that imagination of hers.
She must have taken it,
for there hasn't been a soul in that room since she was in it,
by her own story,
until I went up tonight.
And the brooch is gone,
there's nothing surer.
I suppose she has lost it and is afraid to own up for fear she'll be punished.
It's a dreadful thing to think she tells falsehoods.
It's a far worse thing than her fit of temper.
It's a fearful responsibility to have a child in your house you can't trust.
Slyness and untruthfulness --that's what she has displayed.
I declare I feel worse about that than about the brooch.
If she'd only have told the truth about it I wouldn't mind so much."
Marilla went to her room at intervals all through the evening and searched for the brooch,
without finding it.
A bedtime visit to the east gable produced no result.
Anne persisted in denying that she knew anything about the brooch but Marilla was only the more firmly convinced that she did.
She told Matthew the story the next morning.
Matthew was confounded and puzzled;
he could not so quickly lose faith in Anne but he had to admit that circumstances were against her.
"You're sure it hasn't fell down behind the bureau?"
was the only suggestion he could offer.
"I've moved the bureau and I've taken out the drawers and I've looked in every crack and cranny" was Marilla's positive answer.
"The brooch is gone and that child has taken it and lied about it.
That's the plain,
and we might as well look it in the face."
what are you going to do about it?"
Matthew asked forlornly,
feeling secretly thankful that Marilla and not he had to deal with the situation.
He felt no desire to put his oar in this time.
"She'll stay in her room until she confesses,"
said Marilla grimly,
remembering the success of this method in the former case.
"Then we'll see.
Perhaps we'll be able to find the brooch if she'll only tell where she took it;
but in any case she'll have to be severely punished,
you'll have to punish her,"
reaching for his hat.
"I've nothing to do with it,
You warned me off yourself."
Marilla felt deserted by everyone.
She could not even go to Mrs. Lynde for advice.
She went up to the east gable with a very serious face and left it with a face more serious still.
Anne steadfastly refused to confess.
She persisted in asserting that she had not taken the brooch.
The child had evidently been crying and Marilla felt a pang of pity which she sternly repressed.
By night she was,
as she expressed it,
"You'll stay in this room until you confess,
You can make up your mind to that,"
she said firmly.
"But the picnic is tomorrow,
"You won't keep me from going to that,
You'll just let me out for the afternoon,
Then I'll stay here as long as you like AFTERWARDS cheerfully.
But I MUST go to the picnic."
"You'll not go to picnics nor anywhere else until you've confessed,
But Marilla had gone out and shut the door.
Wednesday morning dawned as bright and fair as if expressly made to order for the picnic.
Birds sang around Green Gables;
the Madonna lilies in the garden sent out whiffs of perfume that entered in on viewless winds at every door and window,
and wandered through halls and rooms like spirits of benediction.
The birches in the hollow waved joyful hands as if watching for Anne's usual morning greeting from the east gable.
But Anne was not at her window.
When Marilla took her breakfast up to her she found the child sitting primly on her bed,
pale and resolute,
with tight-shut lips and gleaming eyes.
I'm ready to confess."
Marilla laid down her tray.
Once again her method had succeeded;
but her success was very bitter to her.
"Let me hear what you have to say then,
"I took the amethyst brooch,"
as if repeating a lesson she had learned.
"I took it just as you said.
I didn't mean to take it when I went in.
But it did look so beautiful,
when I pinned it on my breast that I was overcome by an irresistible temptation.
I imagined how perfectly thrilling it would be to take it to Idlewild and play I was the Lady Cordelia Fitzgerald.
It would be so much easier to imagine I was the Lady Cordelia if I had a real amethyst brooch on.
Diana and I make necklaces of roseberries but what are roseberries compared to amethysts?
So I took the brooch.
I thought I could put it back before you came home.
I went all the way around by the road to lengthen out the time.
When I was going over the bridge across the Lake of Shining Waters I took the brooch off to have another look at it.
how it did shine in the sunlight!
when I was leaning over the bridge,
it just slipped through my fingers --so --and went down --down --down,
and sank forevermore beneath the Lake of Shining Waters.
And that's the best I can do at confessing,
Marilla felt hot anger surge up into her heart again.
This child had taken and lost her treasured amethyst brooch and now sat there calmly reciting the details thereof without the least apparent compunction or repentance.
this is terrible,"
trying to speak calmly.
"You are the very wickedest girl I ever heard of."
I suppose I am,"
agreed Anne tranquilly.
"And I know I'll have to be punished.
It'll be your duty to punish me,
Won't you please get it over right off because I'd like to go to the picnic with nothing on my mind."
You'll go to no picnic today,
That shall be your punishment.
And it isn't half severe enough either for what you've done!"
"Not go to the picnic!"
Anne sprang to her feet and clutched Marilla's hand.
"But you PROMISED me I might!
I must go to the picnic.
That was why I confessed.
Punish me any way you like but that.
let me go to the picnic.
Think of the ice cream!
For anything you know I may never have a chance to taste ice cream again."
Marilla disengaged Anne's clinging hands stonily.
"You needn't plead,
You are not going to the picnic and that's final.
not a word."
Anne realized that Marilla was not to be moved.
She clasped her hands together,
gave a piercing shriek,
and then flung herself face downward on the bed,
crying and writhing in an utter abandonment of disappointment and despair.
"For the land's sake!"
hastening from the room.
"I believe the child is crazy.
No child in her senses would behave as she does.
If she isn't she's utterly bad.
I'm afraid Rachel was right from the first.
But I've put my hand to the plow and I won't look back."
That was a dismal morning.
Marilla worked fiercely and scrubbed the porch floor and the dairy shelves when she could find nothing else to do.
Neither the shelves nor the porch needed it --but Marilla did.
Then she went out and raked the yard.
When dinner was ready she went to the stairs and called Anne.
A tear-stained face appeared,
looking tragically over the banisters.
"Come down to your dinner,
"I don't want any dinner,
"I couldn't eat anything.
My heart is broken.
You'll feel remorse of conscience someday,
for breaking it,
but I forgive you.
Remember when the time comes that I forgive you.
But please don't ask me to eat anything,
especially boiled pork and greens.
Boiled pork and greens are so unromantic when one is in affliction."
Marilla returned to the kitchen and poured out her tale of woe to Matthew,
between his sense of justice and his unlawful sympathy with Anne,
was a miserable man.
she shouldn't have taken the brooch,
or told stories about it,"
mournfully surveying his plateful of unromantic pork and greens as if he,
thought it a food unsuited to crises of feeling,
"but she's such a little thing --such an interesting little thing.
Don't you think it's pretty rough not to let her go to the picnic when she's so set on it?"
I'm amazed at you.
I think I've let her off entirely too easy.
And she doesn't appear to realize how wicked she's been at all --that's what worries me most.
If she'd really felt sorry it wouldn't be so bad.
And you don't seem to realize it,
you're making excuses for her all the time to yourself --I can see that."
she's such a little thing,"
feebly reiterated Matthew.
"And there should be allowances made,
You know she's never had any bringing up."
she's having it now" retorted Marilla.
The retort silenced Matthew if it did not convince him.
That dinner was a very dismal meal.
The only cheerful thing about it was Jerry Buote,
the hired boy,
and Marilla resented his cheerfulness as a personal insult.
When her dishes were washed and her bread sponge set and her hens fed Marilla remembered that she had noticed a small rent in her best black lace shawl when she had taken it off on Monday afternoon on returning from the Ladies' Aid.
She would go and mend it.
The shawl was in a box in her trunk.
As Marilla lifted it out,
falling through the vines that clustered thickly about the window,
struck upon something caught in the shawl --something that glittered and sparkled in facets of violet light.
Marilla snatched at it with a gasp.
It was the amethyst brooch,
hanging to a thread of the lace by its catch!
"Dear life and heart,"
said Marilla blankly,
"what does this mean?
Here's my brooch safe and sound that I thought was at the bottom of Barry's pond.
Whatever did that girl mean by saying she took it and lost it?
I declare I believe Green Gables is bewitched.
I remember now that when I took off my shawl Monday afternoon I laid it on the bureau for a minute.
I suppose the brooch got caught in it somehow.
Marilla betook herself to the east gable,
brooch in hand.
Anne had cried herself out and was sitting dejectedly by the window.
said Marilla solemnly,
"I've just found my brooch hanging to my black lace shawl.
Now I want to know what that rigmarole you told me this morning meant."
you said you'd keep me here until I confessed,"
returned Anne wearily,
"and so I decided to confess because I was bound to get to the picnic.
I thought out a confession last night after I went to bed and made it as interesting as I could.
And I said it over and over so that I wouldn't forget it.
But you wouldn't let me go to the picnic after all,
so all my trouble was wasted."
Marilla had to laugh in spite of herself.
But her conscience pricked her.
you do beat all!
But I was wrong --I see that now.
I shouldn't have doubted your word when I'd never known you to tell a story.
it wasn't right for you to confess to a thing you hadn't done --it was very wrong to do so.
But I drove you to it.
So if you'll forgive me,
I'll forgive you and we'll start square again.
And now get yourself ready for the picnic."
Anne flew up like a rocket.
isn't it too late?"
it's only two o'clock.
They won't be more than well gathered yet and it'll be an hour before they have tea.
Wash your face and comb your hair and put on your gingham.
I'll fill a basket for you.
There's plenty of stuff baked in the house.
And I'll get Jerry to hitch up the sorrel and drive you down to the picnic ground."
flying to the washstand.
"Five minutes ago I was so miserable I was wishing I'd never been born and now I wouldn't change places with an angel!"
That night a thoroughly happy,
completely tired-out Anne returned to Green Gables in a state of beatification impossible to describe.
I've had a perfectly scrumptious time.
Scrumptious is a new word I learned today.
I heard Mary Alice Bell use it.
Isn't it very expressive?
Everything was lovely.
We had a splendid tea and then Mr. Harmon Andrews took us all for a row on the Lake of Shining Waters --six of us at a time.
And Jane Andrews nearly fell overboard.
She was leaning out to pick water lilies and if Mr. Andrews hadn't caught her by her sash just in the nick of time she'd fallen in and prob'ly been drowned.
I wish it had been me.
It would have been such a romantic experience to have been nearly drowned.
It would be such a thrilling tale to tell.
And we had the ice cream.
Words fail me to describe that ice cream.
I assure you it was sublime."
That evening Marilla told the whole story to Matthew over her stocking basket.
"I'm willing to own up that I made a mistake,"
she concluded candidly,
"but I've learned a lesson.
I have to laugh when I think of Anne's
although I suppose I shouldn't for it really was a falsehood.
But it doesn't seem as bad as the other would have been,
and anyhow I'm responsible for it.
That child is hard to understand in some respects.
But I believe she'll turn out all right yet.
And there's one thing certain,
no house will ever be dull that she's in."