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                         ANNE of the ISLAND by Lucy Maud Montgomery


                                    to all the girls all over the world
                                    who have "wanted more" about ANNE

                                    All precious things discovered late
                                    To those that seek them issue forth,
                                    For Love in sequel works with Fate,
                                    And draws the veil from hidden worth.

                         1. The Shadow of Change

    "Harvest is ended and summer is gone," quoted  Anne  Shirley,  gazing
across the shorn fields dreamily. She and Diana  Barry  had  been  picking
apples in the Green Gables orchard, but were now resting from their labors
in a sunny corner, where airy fleets of  thistledown  drifted  by  on  the
wings of a wind that was still summer-sweet with the incense of  ferns  in
the Haunted Wood.
    But everything in the landscape around them spoke of autumn. The  sea
was roaring hollowly in the distance,  the  fields  were  bare  and  sere,
scarfed with golden rod, the brook valley below  Green  Gables  overflowed
with asters of ethereal purple, and the Lake of Shining Waters was blue  -
blue - blue; not the changeful blue of  spring,  nor  the  pale  azure  of
summer, but a clear, steadfast, serene blue, as if the water were past all
moods and tenses of emotion and had settled down to a tranquility unbroken
by fickle dreams.
    "It has been a nice summer," said Diana, twisting the new ring on her
left hand with a smile. "And Miss Lavendar's wedding seemed to come  as  a
sort of crown to it. I suppose Mr. and Mrs.  Irving  are  on  the  Pacific
coast now."
    "It seems to me they have been gone long  enough  to  go  around  the
world," sighed Anne.
    "I can't  believe  it  is  only  a  week  since  they  were  married.
Everything has changed. Miss Lavendar and Mr. and Mrs. Allan  gone  -  how
lonely the manse looks with the shutters all closed! I went past  it  last
night, and it made me feel as if everybody in it had died."
    "We'll never get another minister as nice as Mr. Allan," said  Diana,
with gloomy conviction. "I suppose we'll have all kinds of  supplies  this
winter, and half the Sundays no preaching at all. And you and Gilbert gone
- it will be awfully dull."
    "Fred will be here," insinuated Anne slyly.
    "When is Mrs. Lynde going to move up?" asked Diana, as if she had not
heard Anne's remark.
    "Tomorrow. I'm glad she's coming - but it  will  be  another  change.
Marilla and I cleared everything out of the spare room yesterday.  Do  you
know, I hated to do it? Of course, it was silly - but it did seem as if we
were committing sacrilege. That old spare room has always  seemed  like  a
shrine to me. When I was a child I thought it the most wonderful apartment
in the world. You remember what a consuming desire I had  to  sleep  in  a
spare room bed - but not the Green Gables spare room. Oh, no, never there!
It would have been too terrible - I couldn't have slept a wink from awe. I
never WALKED through that room when Marilla sent me in on an errand -  no,
indeed, I tiptoed through it and held my breath, as if I were  in  church,
and felt relieved when I got out of it. The pictures of George  Whitefield
and the Duke of Wellington hung there, one on each side of the mirror, and
frowned so sternly at me all the time I was in, especially if I dared peep
in the mirror, which was the only one in the house that  didn't  twist  my
face a little. I always wondered how Marilla dared houseclean  that  room.
And now it's not only cleaned but stripped bare. George Whitefield and the
Duke have been relegated to the upstairs hall. `So  passes  the  glory  of
this world,' " concluded Anne, with a laugh in which there  was  a  little
note of regret. It is never pleasant to have our old  shrines  desecrated,
even when we have outgrown them.
    "I'll be so lonesome when you go," moaned  Diana  for  the  hundredth
time. "And to think you go next week!"
    "But we're together still," said Anne cheerily. "We mustn't let  next
week rob us of this week's joy. I hate the thought of going myself -  home
and I are such good friends. Talk of being lonesome!  It's  I  who  should
groan. YOU'LL be here with any number of your  old  friends  -  AND  Fred!
While I shall be alone among strangers, not knowing a soul!"
    "EXCEPT Gilbert - AND Charlie Sloane," said Diana,  imitating  Anne's
italics and slyness.
    "Charlie Sloane will be a great  comfort,  of  course,"  agreed  Anne
sarcastically; whereupon both those irresponsible damsels  laughed.  Diana
knew exactly what Anne thought of  Charlie  Sloane;  but,  despite  sundry
confidential talks, she did not know just what  Anne  thought  of  Gilbert
Blythe. To be sure, Anne herself did not know that.
    "The boys may be boarding at the other end of Kingsport,  for  all  I
know," Anne went on. "I am glad I'm going to Redmond,  and  I  am  sure  I
shall like it after a while. But for the first few weeks I know I won't. I
shan't even have the comfort of looking forward to the weekend visit home,
as I had when I went to Queen's. Christmas will seem like a thousand years
    "Everything is changing - or going to change," said Diana  sadly.  "I
have a feeling that things will never be the same again, Anne."
    "We have come to a  parting  of  the  ways,  I  suppose,"  said  Anne
thoughtfully. "We had to come to it.  Do  you  think,  Diana,  that  being
grown-up is really as nice as we used to imagine it would be when we  were
    "I don't know - there are SOME nice things about it," answered Diana,
again caressing her ring with that  little  smile  which  always  had  the
effect of making Anne feel suddenly left out and inexperienced. "But there
are so many puzzling things, too. Sometimes I feel as  if  being  grown-up
just frightened me - and then I would give anything to be  a  little  girl
    "I suppose we'll get used  to  being  grownup  in  time,"  said  Anne
cheerfully. "There won't be so many unexpected things about it by and by -
though, after all, I fancy it's the unexpected things that give  spice  to
life. We're eighteen, Diana. In two more years we'll be twenty. When I was
ten I thought twenty was a green old age. In no time you'll  be  a  staid,
middle-aged matron, and I shall be nice, old maid  Aunt  Anne,  coming  to
visit you on vacations. You'll always keep a corner for me, won't you,  Di
darling? Not the spare room, of course - old maids can't aspire  to  spare
rooms, and I shall be as 'umble as Uriah Heep, and quite  content  with  a
little over-the-porch or off-the-parlor cubby hole."
    "What nonsense you do  talk,  Anne,"  laughed  Diana.  "You'll  marry
somebody splendid and handsome and rich - and no  spare  room  in  Avonlea
will be half gorgeous enough for you - and you'll turn up your nose at all
the friends of your youth."
    "That would be a pity; my nose is quite nice, but I fear  turning  it
up would spoil it," said Anne, patting that shapely organ. "I  haven't  so
many good features that I could afford to spoil those I have; so, even  if
I should marry the King of the Cannibal Islands, I  promise  you  I  won't
turn up my nose at you, Diana."
    With another gay laugh  the  girls  separated,  Diana  to  return  to
Orchard Slope, Anne to walk  to  the  Post  Office.  She  found  a  letter
awaiting her there, and when Gilbert Blythe overtook  her  on  the  bridge
over the Lake of Shining Waters she was sparkling with the  excitement  of
    "Priscilla Grant is going to Redmond,  too,"  she  exclaimed.  "Isn't
that splendid? I hoped she would, but she didn't think  her  father  would
consent. He has, however, and we're to board together. I feel that  I  can
face an army with banners - or all the professors of Redmond in  one  fell
phalanx - with a chum like Priscilla by my side."
    "I think we'll like Kingsport," said Gilbert. "It's a nice old  burg,
they tell me, and has the finest natural park in  the  world.  I've  heard
that the scenery in it is magnificent."
    "I wonder if it will be - can be - any  more  beautiful  than  this,"
murmured Anne, looking around her with  the  loving,  enraptured  eyes  of
those to whom "home" must always be the loveliest spot in  the  world,  no
matter what fairer lands may lie under alien stars.
    They were leaning on the bridge of the old pond, drinking deep of the
enchantment of the dusk, just at the spot where Anne had climbed from  her
sinking Dory on  the  day  Elaine  floated  down  to  Camelot.  The  fine,
empurpling dye of sunset still stained the western skies, but the moon was
rising and the water  lay  like  a  great,  silver  dream  in  her  light.
Remembrance wove a sweet and subtle spell over the two young creatures.
    "You are very quiet, Anne," said Gilbert at last.
    "I'm afraid to speak or move for fear all this wonderful beauty  will
vanish just like a broken silence," breathed Anne.
    Gilbert suddenly laid his hand over the slender white  one  lying  on
the rail of the bridge. His hazel eyes deepened into darkness,  his  still
boyish lips opened to say something of the dream and  hope  that  thrilled
his soul. But Anne snatched her hand away and turned quickly. The spell of
the dusk was broken for her.
    "I must go home," she exclaimed, with a rather overdone carelessness.
"Marilla had a headache this afternoon, and I'm sure the twins will be  in
some dreadful mischief by this time. I really shouldn't have  stayed  away
so long."
    She chattered ceaselessly and inconsequently until they  reached  the
Green Gables lane. Poor Gilbert hardly had a  chance  to  get  a  word  in
edgewise. Anne felt rather relieved when they parted.  There  had  been  a
new, secret self-consciousness in her heart with regard to  Gilbert,  ever
since that fleeting moment of revelation in  the  garden  of  Echo  Lodge.
Something alien had intruded into the old, perfect, school-day comradeship
- something that threatened to mar it.
    "I  never  felt  glad  to  see  Gilbert  go  before,"  she   thought,
halfresentfully, half-sorrowfully, as she walked alone up the  lane.  "Our
friendship will be spoiled if he goes on with this nonsense. It mustn't be
spoiled - I won't let it. Oh, WHY can't boys be just sensible!"
    Anne had an uneasy doubt that it was not strictly "sensible" that she
should still  feel  on  her  hand  the  warm  pressure  of  Gilbert's,  as
distinctly as she had felt it for the swift second his had  rested  there;
and still  less  sensible  that  the  sensation  was  far  from  being  an
unpleasant one - very different from that which  had  attended  a  similar
demonstration on Charlie Sloane's part, when she had been  sitting  out  a
dance with him at a White Sands party three nights before.  Anne  shivered
over the  disagreeable  recollection.  But  all  problems  connected  with
infatuated swains vanished from her mind  when  she  entered  the  homely,
unsentimental  atmosphere  of  the   Green   Gables   kitchen   where   an
eight-year-old boy was crying grievously on the sofa.
    "What is the matter, Davy?" asked Anne, taking him up  in  her  arms.
"Where are Marilla and Dora?"
    "Marilla's putting Dora to bed," sobbed Davy, "and I'm crying  'cause
Dora fell down the outside cellar steps, heels over head, and scraped  all
the skin off her nose, and - "
    "Oh, well, don't cry about it, dear. Of course,  you  are  sorry  for
her, but crying won't help her any. She'll be all right  tomorrow.  Crying
never helps any one, Davy-boy, and - "
    "I ain't crying 'cause Dora fell down  cellar,"  said  Davy,  cutting
short Anne's wellmeant preachment with increasing bitterness. "I'm crying,
cause I wasn't there to see her fall.  I'm  always  missing  some  fun  or
other, seems to me."
    "Oh, Davy!" Anne choked back an unholy shriek of laughter. "Would you
call it fun to see poor little Dora fall down the steps and get hurt?"
    "She wasn't MUCH hurt," said Davy, defiantly. "'Course, if she'd been
killed I'd have been real sorry,  Anne.  But  the  Keiths  ain't  so  easy
killed. They're like the Blewetts, I guess.  Herb  Blewett  fell  off  the
hayloft last Wednesday, and rolled right down  through  the  turnip  chute
into the box stall, where they had a fearful wild, cross horse, and rolled
right under his heels. And still he got out alive, with only  three  bones
broke. Mrs. Lynde says  there  are  some  folks  you  can't  kill  with  a
meat-axe. Is Mrs. Lynde coming here tomorrow, Anne?"
    "Yes, Davy, and I hope you'll be always very nice and good to her."
    "I'll be nice and good. But will she ever put me to  bed  at  nights,
    "Perhaps. Why?"
    "'Cause," said Davy very decidedly, "if  she  does  I  won't  say  my
prayers before her like I do before you, Anne."
    "Why not?"
    "'Cause I don't think  it  would  be  nice  to  talk  to  God  before
strangers, Anne. Dora can say hers to Mrs. Lynde if  she  likes,  but  _I_
won't. I'll wait till she's gone and then  say  'em.  Won't  that  be  all
right, Anne?"
    "Yes, if you are sure you won't forget to say them, Davy-boy."
    "Oh, I won't forget, you bet. I think saying my prayers is great fun.
But it won't be as good fun saying them alone as saying  them  to  you.  I
wish you'd stay home, Anne. I don't see what you want to go away and leave
us for."
    "I don't exactly WANT to, Davy, but I feel I ought to go."
    "If you don't want to go you needn't. You're  grown  up.  When  _I_'m
grown up I'm not going to do one single thing I don't want to do, Anne."
    "All your life, Davy, you'll find yourself  doing  things  you  don't
want to do."
    "I won't," said Davy flatly. "Catch me! I have to do things  I  don't
want to now 'cause you and Marilla'll send me to bed if I don't. But  when
I grow up you can't do that, and there'll be nobody to tell me not  to  do
things. Won't I have the time! Say, Anne, Milty Boulter  says  his  mother
says you're going to college to see if you can catch a man. Are you, Anne?
I want to know."
    For a second Anne burned with resentment. Then she laughed, reminding
herself that Mrs. Boulter's crude vulgarity of thought  and  speech  could
not harm her.
    "No, Davy, I'm not. I'm going to study and grow and learn about  many
    "What things?"

                 "`Shoes and ships and sealing wax
                   And cabbages and kings,'"

    quoted Anne.
    "But if you DID want to catch a man how would you go about it? I want
to know," persisted Davy, for  whom  the  subject  evidently  possessed  a
certain fascination.
    "You'd better ask Mrs. Boulter," said Anne  thoughtlessly.  "I  think
it's likely she knows more about the process than I do."
    "I will, the next time I see her," said Davy gravely.
    "Davy! If you do!" cried Anne, realizing her mistake.
    "But you just told me to," protested Davy aggrieved.
    "It's time you went to bed," decreed Anne, by way of getting  out  of
the scrape.
    After Davy had gone to bed Anne wandered down to Victoria Island  and
sat there alone, curtained with fine-spun, moonlit gloom, while the  water
laughed around her in a duet of brook and wind. Anne had always loved that
brook. Many a dream had she spun over its sparkling water in days gone by.
She  forgot  lovelorn  youths,  and  the  cayenne  speeches  of  malicious
neighbors, and all the problems of her girlish existence.  In  imagination
she sailed over storied seas that  wash  the  distant  shining  shores  of
"faery lands forlorn," where lost  Atlantis  and  Elysium  lie,  with  the
evening star for pilot, to the land of Heart's Desire. And she was  richer
in those dreams than in realities; for things  seen  pass  away,  but  the
things that are unseen are eternal.

                          2. Garlands of Autumn

    The following week  sped  swiftly,  crowded  with  innumerable  "last
things," as Anne called them. Good-bye calls had to be made and  received,
being pleasant or otherwise, according to whether callers and  called-upon
were heartily in sympathy with Anne's hopes, or thought she was  too  much
puffed-up over going to college and that it was their duty  to  "take  her
down a peg or two."
    The A.V.I.S. gave a farewell party in honor of Anne and  Gilbert  one
evening at the home of Josie Pye, choosing that place, partly because  Mr.
Pye's house was large and  convenient,  partly  because  it  was  strongly
suspected that the Pye girls would have nothing to do with the  affair  if
their offer of the house for the party was not accepted.  It  was  a  very
pleasant little time, for the Pye girls were gracious, and  said  and  did
nothing to mar the harmony of the occasion - which was  not  according  to
their wont. Josie was unusually  amiable  -  so  much  so  that  she  even
remarked condescendingly to Anne,
    "Your new dress is rather becoming to you,  Anne.  Really,  you  look
    "How kind of you to say so," responded Anne, with dancing  eyes.  Her
sense of humor was developing, and the speeches that would have  hurt  her
at fourteen were becoming merely food for amusement now.  Josie  suspected
that Anne was laughing at her behind those wicked eyes; but she  contented
herself with whispering to Gertie, as  they  went  downstairs,  that  Anne
Shirley would put on more airs than ever now that she was going to college
- you'd see!
    All the "old crowd" was there, full of mirth and  zest  and  youthful
lightheartedness. Diana Barry, rosy and dimpled, shadowed by the  faithful
Fred; Jane Andrews, neat and sensible and plain; Ruby Gillis, looking  her
handsomest and brightest in a cream silk blouse, with red geraniums in her
golden hair; Gilbert Blythe and Charlie Sloane, both  trying  to  keep  as
near the elusive  Anne  as  possible;  Carrie  Sloane,  looking  pale  and
melancholy because, so it was reported, her father would not allow  Oliver
Kimball to come near the place; Moody  Spurgeon  MacPherson,  whose  round
face and objectionable ears were as round and objectionable as  ever;  and
Billy Andrews, who sat in a corner all the evening, chuckled when any  one
spoke to him, and watched Anne Shirley with a  grin  of  pleasure  on  his
broad, freckled countenance.
    Anne had known beforehand of the party, but she had  not  known  that
she and Gilbert were, as the founders of the Society, to be presented with
a very complimentary "address" and "tokens of respect" -  in  her  case  a
volume of Shakespeare's plays, in Gilbert's a fountain  pen.  She  was  so
taken by surprise and pleased by the nice things said in the address, read
in Moody Spurgeon's most solemn and  ministerial  tones,  that  the  tears
quite drowned the sparkle of her big gray eyes. She had  worked  hard  and
faithfully for the A.V.I.S., and it warmed the cockles of her  heart  that
the members appreciated her efforts so sincerely. And  they  were  all  so
nice and friendly and jolly - even the Pye girls had their merits; at that
moment Anne loved all the world.
    She enjoyed the evening  tremendously,  but  the  end  of  it  rather
spoiled  all.  Gilbert  again  made  the  mistake  of   saying   something
sentimental to her as they ate their supper on the moonlit  verandah;  and
Anne, to punish him, was gracious to Charlie Sloane and allowed the latter
to walk home with her. She found, however, that revenge hurts nobody quite
so much as the one who tries to inflict it. Gilbert walked airily off with
Ruby Gillis, and Anne could hear them laughing and talking gaily  as  they
loitered along in the still, crisp autumn air. They were evidently  having
the best of good times, while she was horribly bored  by  Charlie  Sloane,
who talked unbrokenly on, and never, even by accident, said one thing that
was worth listening to. Anne gave an occasional absent "yes" or "no,"  and
thought how  beautiful  Ruby  had  looked  that  night,  how  very  goggly
Charlie's eyes were in the moonlight - worse even than by daylight  -  and
that the world, somehow, wasn't  quite  such  a  nice  place  as  she  had
believed it to be earlier in the evening.
    "I'm just tired out - that is what is the matter with me," she  said,
when she thankfully found herself alone in her own room. And she  honestly
believed it was. But a certain little gush of joy, as  from  some  secret,
unknown spring, bubbled up in her heart the next  evening,  when  she  saw
Gilbert striding down through the Haunted Wood and crossing  the  old  log
bridge with that firm, quick step of his. So  Gilbert  was  not  going  to
spend this last evening with Ruby Gillis after all!
    "You look tired, Anne," he said.
    "I am tired, and, worse than that, I'm disgruntled. I'm tired because
I've been packing my trunk and sewing all day. But I'm disgruntled because
six women have been here to say good-bye to me, and every one of  the  six
managed to say something that seemed to take the color right out  of  life
and leave it as gray and dismal and cheerless as a November morning."
    "Spiteful old cats!" was Gilbert's elegant comment.
    "Oh, no, they weren't,"  said  Anne  seriously.  "That  is  just  the
trouble. If they had been spiteful cats I wouldn't have minded  them.  But
they are all nice, kind, motherly souls, who like me and whom I like,  and
that is why what they said, or hinted, had such undue weight with me. They
let me see they thought I was crazy going to Redmond and trying to take  a
B.A., and ever since I've been wondering if I am. Mrs. Peter Sloane sighed
and said she hoped my strength would hold out till I got through;  and  at
once I saw myself a hopeless victim of nervous prostration at the  end  of
my third year; Mrs. Eben Wright said it must cost an awful lot to  put  in
four years at Redmond; and I felt all over me that it was unpardonable  of
me to squander Marilla's money and my own on such  a  folly.  Mrs.  Jasper
Bell said she hoped I wouldn't let  college  spoil  me,  as  it  did  some
people; and I felt in my bones that the end of my four Redmond years would
see me a most insufferable creature, thinking I knew it all,  and  looking
down on everything and everybody in Avonlea; Mrs. Elisha Wright  said  she
understood that Redmond girls, especially those who belonged to Kingsport,
were 'dreadful dressy and stuck-up,' and she guessed I wouldn't feel  much
at home among them; and I saw myself, a snubbed, dowdy, humiliated country
girl, shuffling through Redmond's classic halls in coppertoned boots."
    Anne ended with a laugh and a sigh  commingled.  With  her  sensitive
nature all disapproval had weight, even the disapproval of those for whose
opinions she had scant respect. For the time being life was savorless, and
ambition had gone out like a snuffed candle.
    "You surely don't care for what they said," protested  Gilbert.  "You
know exactly how narrow their outlook  on  life  is,  excellent  creatures
though they  are.  To  do  anything  THEY  have  never  done  is  anathema
maranatha. You are the first Avonlea girl who has ever  gone  to  college;
and you know that  all  pioneers  are  considered  to  be  afflicted  with
moonstruck madness."
    "Oh, I know. But FEELING is so  different  from  KNOWING.  My  common
sense tells me all you can say, but there are times when common sense  has
no power over me. Common nonsense takes possession  of  my  soul.  Really,
after Mrs. Elisha went away I hardly had the heart to finish packing."
    "You're just tired, Anne. Come, forget it all and take a walk with me
- a ramble back through the  woods  beyond  the  marsh.  There  should  be
something there I want to show you."
    "Should be! Don't you know if it is there?"
    "No. I only know it should be, from something I saw there in  spring.
Come on. We'll pretend we are two children again and we'll go the  way  of
the wind."
    They started gaily off. Anne, remembering the unpleasantness  of  the
preceding evening, was very nice to Gilbert; and Gilbert, who was learning
wisdom, took care to be nothing save the  schoolboy  comrade  again.  Mrs.
Lynde and Marilla watched them from the kitchen window.
    "That'll be a match some day," Mrs. Lynde said approvingly.
    Marilla winced slightly. In her heart she hoped it would, but it went
against her grain to hear the matter spoken of  in  Mrs.  Lynde's  gossipy
matter-of-fact way.
    "They're only children yet," she said shortly.
    Mrs. Lynde laughed good-naturedly.
    "Anne is eighteen; I was married when I was that age. We  old  folks,
Marilla, are too much given to thinking children  never  grow  up,  that's
what. Anne is a young woman and Gilbert's  a  man,  and  he  worships  the
ground she walks on, as any one can see. He's  a  fine  fellow,  and  Anne
can't do better. I hope she won't get any romantic nonsense into her  head
at Redmond. I don't approve of them coeducational places  and  never  did,
that's what. I don't believe," concluded Mrs. Lynde  solemnly,  "that  the
students at such colleges ever do much else than flirt."
    "They must study a little," said Marilla, with a smile.
    "Precious little," sniffed Mrs. Rachel. "However, I think Anne  will.
She never was flirtatious. But she doesn't appreciate Gilbert at his  full
value, that's what. Oh, I know girls! Charlie Sloane is  wild  about  her,
too, but I'd never advise her to marry a Sloane.  The  Sloanes  are  good,
honest, respectable people, of course.  But  when  all's  said  and  done,
they're SLOANES."
    Marilla nodded. To an  outsider,  the  statement  that  Sloanes  were
Sloanes might not be very illuminating, but she understood. Every  village
has such a family; good, honest,  respectable  people  they  may  be,  but
SLOANES they are and must ever remain, though they speak with the  tongues
of men and angels.
    Gilbert and Anne, happily unconscious  that  their  future  was  thus
being settled by Mrs. Rachel, were sauntering through the shadows  of  the
Haunted Wood. Beyond, the harvest hills were basking in  an  amber  sunset
radiance, under a pale, aerial sky of rose and blue.  The  distant  spruce
groves were burnished bronze, and their long  shadows  barred  the  upland
meadows. But around them a little wind sang among the fir tassels, and  in
it there was the note of autumn.
    "This wood really is haunted now  -  by  old  memories,"  said  Anne,
stooping to gather a spray of ferns, bleached to waxen whiteness by frost.
"It seems to me that the little girls Diana and I used  to  be  play  here
still, and sit by the Dryad's Bubble in the twilights, trysting  with  the
ghosts. Do you know, I can never go up  this  path  in  the  dusk  without
feeling a bit of the old fright  and  shiver?  There  was  one  especially
horrifying phantom which we created - the ghost of the murdered child that
crept up behind you and laid cold fingers on yours.  I  confess  that,  to
this day, I cannot help fancying its little, furtive footsteps  behind  me
when I come here after nightfall. I'm not afraid of the White Lady or  the
headless man or the skeletons, but I wish I had never imagined that baby's
ghost into existence. How angry Marilla and  Mrs.  Barry  were  over  that
affair," concluded Anne, with reminiscent laughter.
    The woods around the head of the marsh were full  of  purple  vistas,
threaded with gossamers. Past a dour plantation of gnarled spruces  and  a
maple-fringed, sun-warm valley they  found  the  "something"  Gilbert  was
looking for.
    "Ah, here it is," he said with satisfaction.
    "An apple tree - and away back here!" exclaimed Anne delightedly.
    "Yes, a veritable apple-bearing apple tree, too,  here  in  the  very
midst of pines and beeches, a mile away from any orchard. I was  here  one
day last spring and found it, all white with blossom. So  I  resolved  I'd
come again in the fall and see if it had been apples.  See,  it's  loaded.
They look good, too - tawny as russets but with a dusky  red  cheek.  Most
wild seedlings are green and uninviting."
    "I suppose it sprang years ago from some chance-sown seed," said Anne
dreamily." And how it has grown and flourished and held its own  here  all
alone among aliens, the brave determined thing!"
    "Here's a fallen tree with a cushion of moss. Sit  down,  Anne  -  it
will serve for a woodland throne. I'll climb for  some  apples.  They  all
grow high - the tree had to reach up to the sunlight."
    The apples proved to be delicious. Under the tawny skin was a  white,
white flesh, faintly veined with red; and, besides their own proper  apple
taste, they had a certain wild, delightful  tang  no  orchard-grown  apple
ever possessed.
    "The fatal apple of Eden couldn't have had a rarer flavor," commented
Anne. "But it's time we were  going  home.  See,  it  was  twilight  three
minutes ago and now it's moonlight. What a pity we  couldn't  have  caught
the moment of  transformation.  But  such  moments  never  are  caught,  I
    "Let's go back around the marsh and home by way of Lover's  Lane.  Do
you feel as disgruntled now as when you started out, Anne?"
    "Not I. Those apples have been as manna to a hungry soul. I feel that
I shall love Redmond and have a splendid four years there."
    "And after those four years - what?"
    "Oh, there's another bend in the road at their  end,"  answered  Anne
lightly. "I've no idea what may be around it - I don't want to have.  It's
nicer not to know."
    Lover's Lane was a dear place that night, still and mysteriously  dim
in the pale radiance of the moonlight.  They  loitered  through  it  in  a
pleasant chummy silence, neither caring to talk.
    "If Gilbert were always as he has been  this  evening  how  nice  and
simple everything would be," reflected Anne.
    Gilbert was looking at Anne, as she walked along. In her light dress,
with her slender delicacy, she made him think of a white iris.
    "I wonder if I can ever make her care for me,"  he  thought,  with  a
pang of self-destruct.

                         3. Greeting and Farewell

    Charlie Sloane, Gilbert Blythe and  Anne  Shirley  left  Avonlea  the
following Monday morning. Anne had hoped for a  fine  day.  Diana  was  to
drive her to the station and they wanted this, their last  drive  together
for some time, to be a pleasant one. But when  Anne  went  to  bed  Sunday
night the east wind was  moaning  around  Green  Gables  with  an  ominous
prophecy which was fulfilled in the morning. Anne awoke to find  raindrops
pattering against her window and shadowing the pond's  gray  surface  with
widening rings; hills and sea were hidden in mist,  and  the  whole  world
seemed dim and dreary. Anne dressed in the cheerless  gray  dawn,  for  an
early start was necessary to catch the boat train; she  struggled  against
the tears that WOULD well up in her eyes in  spite  of  herself.  She  was
leaving the home that was so dear to her, and something told her that  she
was leaving it forever, save as a holiday refuge. Things  would  never  be
the same again; coming back for vacations would not be living  there.  And
oh, how dear and beloved everything was - that little  white  porch  room,
sacred to the dreams of girlhood, the old Snow Queen at  the  window,  the
brook in the hollow, the Dryad's Bubble, the Haunted  Woods,  and  Lover's
Lane - all the thousand and one dear spots where memories of the old years
bided. Could she ever be really happy anywhere else?
    Breakfast at Green Gables that morning was  a  rather  doleful  meal.
Davy, for the first  time  in  his  life  probably,  could  not  eat,  but
blubbered shamelessly over his porridge. Nobody else seemed to  have  much
appetite, save Dora, who tucked away her rations comfortably.  Dora,  like
the immortal and most prudent Charlotte, who "went on  cutting  bread  and
butter" when her frenzied lover's body had been carried past on a shutter,
was one of those fortunate creatures who are seldom disturbed by anything.
Even at eight it took a great deal to ruffle  Dora's  placidity.  She  was
sorry Anne was going away, of course, but was  that  any  reason  why  she
should fail to appreciate a poached egg on toast? Not at all. And,  seeing
that Davy could not eat his, Dora ate it for him.
    Promptly on time Diana appeared with horse and buggy, her  rosy  face
glowing above her raincoat. The good-byes had to  be  said  then  somehow.
Mrs. Lynde came in from her quarters to give Anne  a  hearty  embrace  and
warn her to be careful of her health, whatever she did.  Marilla,  brusque
and tearless, pecked Anne's cheek and said she supposed they'd  hear  from
her when she got settled. A casual  observer  might  have  concluded  that
Anne's going mattered very little  to  her  -  unless  said  observer  had
happened to get a good look in her  eyes.  Dora  kissed  Anne  primly  and
squeezed out two decorous little tears; but Davy, who had been  crying  on
the back porch step ever since they rose from the table,  refused  to  say
good-bye at all. When he saw Anne coming towards  him  he  sprang  to  his
feet, bolted up the back stairs, and hid in a clothes closet, out of which
he would not come. His muffled howls were the last sounds  Anne  heard  as
she left Green Gables.
    It rained heavily all the way to Bright River, to which station  they
had to go, since the branch line train from Carmody did not  connect  with
the boat train. Charlie and Gilbert were on the station platform when they
reached it, and the train was whistling. Anne had just  time  to  get  her
ticket and trunk check, say a hurried farewell to  Diana,  and  hasten  on
board. She wished she were going back with Diana to Avonlea; she knew  she
was going to die of homesickness. And oh, if only that dismal  rain  would
stop pouring down as if the whole world were weeping over summer  vanished
and joys departed! Even Gilbert's presence brought  her  no  comfort,  for
Charlie Sloane was there, too, and Sloanishness could be tolerated only in
fine weather. It was absolutely insufferable in rain.
    But when the boat steamed out of Charlottetown harbor things  took  a
turn for the better. The rain ceased  and  the  sun  began  to  burst  out
goldenly now and again between the rents in  the  clouds,  burnishing  the
gray seas with copper-hued  radiance,  and  lighting  up  the  mists  that
curtained the Island's red shores with gleams of gold foretokening a  fine
day after all. Besides, Charlie Sloane promptly became so seasick that  he
had to go below, and Anne and Gilbert were left alone on deck.
    "I am very glad that all the Sloanes get seasick as soon as  they  go
on water," thought Anne  mercilessly.  "I  am  sure  I  couldn't  take  my
farewell look at the `ould sod' with Charlie standing there pretending  to
look sentimentally at it, too."
    "Well, we're off," remarked Gilbert unsentimentally.
    "Yes, I feel like Byron's `Childe Harold' - only it isn't  really  my
`native shore' that I'm  watching,"  said  Anne,  winking  her  gray  eyes
vigorously. "Nova Scotia is that, I suppose. But one's native shore is the
land one loves the best, and that's  good  old  P.E.I.  for  me.  I  can't
believe I didn't always live here. Those eleven years before I  came  seem
like a bad dream. It's seven years since I crossed  on  this  boat  -  the
evening Mrs. Spencer brought me over from Hopetown. I can see  myself,  in
that dreadful old wincey dress and faded sailor hat, exploring  decks  and
cabins with enraptured curiosity. It was a fine evening; and how those red
Island shores did gleam in the  sunshine.  Now  I'm  crossing  the  strait
again. Oh, Gilbert, I do hope I'll like Redmond  and  Kingsport,  but  I'm
sure I won't!"
    "Where's all your philosophy gone, Anne?"
    "It's all submerged under a great, swamping wave  of  loneliness  and
homesickness. I've longed for three years to go to Redmond - and  now  I'm
going - and I wish  I  weren't!  Never  mind!  I  shall  be  cheerful  and
philosophical again after I have just one good cry. I MUST have that,  `as
a went' - and I'll have to wait until I  get  into  my  boardinghouse  bed
tonight, wherever it may be, before I can  have  it.  Then  Anne  will  be
herself again. I wonder if Davy has come out of the closet yet."
    It was nine that night when their train reached Kingsport,  and  they
found themselves in the blue-white glare of the crowded station. Anne felt
horribly bewildered, but a moment later she was seized by Priscilla Grant,
who had come to Kingsport on Saturday.
    "Here you are, beloved! And I suppose you're as tired as I was when I
got here Saturday night."
    "Tired! Priscilla, don't talk  of  it.  I'm  tired,  and  green,  and
provincial, and only about ten years old. For pity's sake take your  poor,
broken-down chum to some place where she can hear herself think."
    "I'll take you right up  to  our  boardinghouse.  I've  a  cab  ready
    "It's such a blessing you're here, Prissy. If you weren't I  think  I
should just sit down on my suitcase, here and now, and weep bitter  tears.
What a comfort one familiar face is in a howling wilderness of strangers!"
    "Is that Gilbert Blythe over there, Anne? How he has  grown  up  this
past year! He was only a schoolboy when I taught in Carmody. And of course
that's Charlie Sloane. HE hasn't changed - couldn't! He looked  just  like
that when he was born, and he'll look like that  when  he's  eighty.  This
way, dear. We'll be home in twenty minutes."
    "Home!"  groaned  Anne.  "You  mean  we'll  be   in   some   horrible
boardinghouse, in a still more horrible hall bedroom,  looking  out  on  a
dingy back yard."
    "It isn't a horrible boardinghouse, Anne-girl. Here's our cab. Hop in
- the driver will get your trunk. Oh, yes, the boardinghouse - it's really
a very nice place of its kind, as you'll admit  tomorrow  morning  when  a
good  night's  sleep  has  turned  your  blues  rosy  pink.  It's  a  big,
old-fashioned, gray stone house on St. John Street,  just  a  nice  little
constitutional from Redmond. It used to be the `residence' of great  folk,
but fashion has deserted St. John Street and its houses only dream now  of
better days. They're so big that  people  living  in  them  have  to  take
boarders just to fill up. At least, that is the reason our landladies  are
very anxious to impress on us. They're delicious, Anne - our landladies, I
    "How many are there?"
    "Two. Miss Hannah Harvey and Miss Ada Harvey. They  were  born  twins
about fifty years ago."
    "I can't get away from twins, it seems," smiled Anne. "Wherever I  go
they confront me."
    "Oh, they're not twins now, dear.  After  they  reached  the  age  of
thirty they never were twins again. Miss Hannah has  grown  old,  not  too
gracefully, and Miss Ada has stayed thirty, less gracefully still. I don't
know whether Miss Hannah can smile or not; I've never caught her at it  so
far, but Miss Ada smiles all the time and that's worse.  However,  they're
nice, kind souls, and they take  two  boarders  every  year  because  Miss
Hannah's economical soul cannot bear to `waste room space' -  not  because
they need to or have to, as  Miss  Ada  has  told  me  seven  times  since
Saturday night. As for our rooms, I admit they are hall bedrooms, and mine
does look out on the back yard. Your room is a front one and looks out  on
Old St. John's graveyard, which is just across the street."
    "That sounds gruesome," shivered Anne. "I think I'd rather  have  the
back yard view."
    "Oh, no, you wouldn't. Wait and see. Old  St.  John's  is  a  darling
place. It's been a graveyard so long that it's ceased to be  one  and  has
become one of the sights of Kingsport. I was all through it yesterday  for
a pleasure exertion. There's a big stone wall and a row of enormous  trees
all around it, and rows of trees all through  it,  and  the  queerest  old
tombstones, with the queerest and quaintest inscriptions. You'll go  there
to study, Anne, see if you don't. Of course, nobody is ever  buried  there
now. But a few years ago they put up a beautiful monument to the memory of
Nova Scotian soldiers who fell in the Crimean War. It is just opposite the
entrance gates and there's `scope for imagination' in it, as you  used  to
say. Here's your trunk at last - and the boys coming to  say  good  night.
Must I really shake hands with Charlie Sloane, Anne? His hands are  always
so cold and fishy-feeling. We must ask them  to  call  occasionally.  Miss
Hannah gravely told  me  we  could  have  `young  gentlemen  callers'  two
evenings in the week, if they went away at a reasonable hour; and Miss Ada
asked me, smiling, please to be sure they  didn't  sit  on  her  beautiful
cushions. I promised to see to it; but goodness knows where else they  CAN
sit, unless they sit on the floor, for there are cushions  on  EVERYTHING.
Miss Ada even has an elaborate Battenburg one on top of the piano."
    Anne was laughing by this  time.  Priscilla's  gay  chatter  had  the
intended effect of cheering her up; homesickness  vanished  for  the  time
being, and did not even return  in  full  force  when  she  finally  found
herself alone in her little bedroom. She went to  her  window  and  looked
out. The street below was dim and quiet. Across it the  moon  was  shining
above the trees in Old St. John's, just behind the great dark head of  the
lion on the monument. Anne wondered  if  it  could  have  been  only  that
morning that she had left Green Gables.  She  had  the  sense  of  a  long
passage of time which one day of change and travel gives.
    "I suppose that very moon is looking down on Green Gables  now,"  she
mused. "But I won't think about it - that way homesickness lies.  I'm  not
even going to have my good cry. I'll put that off  to  a  more  convenient
season, and just now I'll go calmly and sensibly to bed and to sleep."

                             4. April's Lady

    Kingsport is a quaint old town, hearking back to early Colonial days,
and wrapped in its ancient atmosphere, as some fine old dame  in  garments
fashioned like those of her youth. Here and  there  it  sprouts  out  into
modernity, but at heart it is still  unspoiled;  it  is  full  of  curious
relics, and haloed by the romance of many legends of the past. Once it was
a mere frontier station on the fringe of the wilderness,  and  those  were
the days when Indians kept life from being  monotonous  to  the  settlers.
Then it grew to be a bone  of  contention  between  the  British  and  the
French, being occupied now by the one and now by the other, emerging  from
each occupation with some fresh scar of battling nations branded on it.
    It has in  its  park  a  martello  tower,  autographed  all  over  by
tourists, a dismantled old French fort on the hills beyond the  town,  and
several antiquated cannon in its public squares.  It  has  other  historic
spots also, which may be hunted out by  the  curious,  and  none  is  more
quaint and delightful than Old St. John's Cemetery at the very core of the
town, with streets of quiet, old-time  houses  on  two  sides,  and  busy,
bustling, modern thoroughfares on the others. Every citizen  of  Kingsport
feels a thrill of possessive pride in Old St. John's, for, if he be of any
pretensions at all, he has an ancestor buried there, with a queer, crooked
slab at his head, or else sprawling protectively over the grave, on  which
all the main facts of his history are recorded. For the most part no great
art or skill was lavished on those old tombstones. The larger  number  are
of roughly chiselled brown or gray native stone, and only in a  few  cases
is there any attempt at ornamentation. Some are  adorned  with  skull  and
cross-bones, and this grizzly decoration  is  frequently  coupled  with  a
cherub's head. Many are prostrate and in ruins.  Into  almost  all  Time's
tooth has been gnawing,  until  some  inscriptions  have  been  completely
effaced, and others can only be deciphered with difficulty. The  graveyard
is very full and very bowery, for it is surrounded and intersected by rows
of elms and willows, beneath  whose  shade  the  sleepers  must  lie  very
dreamlessly, forever crooned to by the winds and  leaves  over  them,  and
quite undisturbed by the clamor of traffic just beyond.
    Anne took the first of many  rambles  in  Old  St.  John's  the  next
afternoon. She and Priscilla had gone  to  Redmond  in  the  forenoon  and
registered as students, after which there was nothing more to do that day.
The girls gladly made their escape, for it  was  not  exhilarating  to  be
surrounded by crowds of  strangers,  most  of  whom  had  a  rather  alien
appearance, as if not quite sure where they belonged.
    The "freshettes" stood about in detached  groups  of  two  or  three,
looking askance at each other; the "freshies,"  wiser  in  their  day  and
generation, had banded themselves together on the  big  staircase  of  the
entrance hall, where they were shouting out glees with all  the  vigor  of
youthful lungs, as a species of defiance to their traditional enemies, the
Sophomores, a few of whom were prowling loftily  about,  looking  properly
disdainful of the "unlicked cubs" on the stairs. Gilbert and Charlie  were
nowhere to be seen.
    "Little did I think the day would ever come when I'd be glad  of  the
sight of a Sloane," said Priscilla, as they crossed the campus,  "but  I'd
welcome Charlie's goggle eyes almost ecstatically.  At  least,  they'd  be
familiar eyes."
    "Oh," sighed Anne. "I can't describe how I felt when I  was  standing
there, waiting my turn to be registered - as insignificant as the teeniest
drop in a most enormous bucket. It's bad enough to feel insignificant, but
it's unbearable to have it grained into your soul that you will never, can
never, be anything but insignificant, and that is how I did feel - as if I
were invisible to the naked eye and some of those Sophs might step on  me.
I knew I would go down to my grave unwept, unhonored and unsung."
    "Wait till next year," comforted Priscilla. "Then we'll  be  able  to
look as bored and sophisticated as any Sophomore of them all. No doubt  it
is rather dreadful to feel insignificant; but I think it's better than  to
feel as big and awkward as I did - as if I were sprawled all over Redmond.
That's how I felt - I suppose because I was a good two inches taller  than
any one else in the crowd. I wasn't afraid a Soph might walk  over  me;  I
was afraid they'd take me for an elephant, or an  overgrown  sample  of  a
potato-fed Islander."
    "I suppose the trouble is we can't forgive big Redmond for not  being
little Queen's," said Anne, gathering about her  the  shreds  of  her  old
cheerful philosophy to cover  her  nakedness  of  spirit.  "When  we  left
Queen's we knew everybody and had a place of our own. I  suppose  we  have
been unconsciously expecting to take life up at Redmond just where we left
off at Queen's, and now we feel as if the ground had  slipped  from  under
our feet. I'm thankful that neither Mrs.  Lynde  nor  Mrs.  Elisha  Wright
know, or ever will know, my state of mind at present. They would exult  in
saying `I told you so,' and be convinced it was the beginning of the  end.
Whereas it is just the end of the beginning."
    "Exactly. That sounds more  Anneish.  In  a  little  while  we'll  be
acclimated and acquainted, and all will be well. Anne, did you notice  the
girl who stood alone just outside the door of the coeds' dressing room all
the morning - the pretty one with the brown eyes and crooked mouth?"
    "Yes, I did. I noticed her particularly because she seemed  the  only
creature there who LOOKED as lonely and friendless as I FELT. I  had  YOU,
but she had no one."
    "I think she felt pretty all-by-herselfish, too. Several times I  saw
her make a motion as if to cross over to us, but she never did  it  -  too
shy, I suppose. I wished she would come. If I hadn't felt so much like the
aforesaid elephant I'd have gone to her. But I couldn't lumber across that
big hall with all those boys howling on the stairs. She was the  prettiest
freshette I saw today, but probably favor is deceitful and even beauty  is
vain on your first day at Redmond," concluded Priscilla with a laugh.
    "I'm going across to Old St. John's after lunch," said Anne. "I don't
know that a graveyard is a very good place to go to get cheered up, but it
seems the only get-at-able place where there are trees, and trees  I  must
have. I'll sit on one of those old slabs and shut my eyes and imagine  I'm
in the Avonlea woods."
    Anne did not do that, however, for she found enough  of  interest  in
Old St. John's to keep her eyes wide open. They went in  by  the  entrance
gates, past the simple, massive, stone arch surmounted by the  great  lion
of England.

       "`And on Inkerman yet the wild bramble is gory,
         And those bleak heights henceforth shall be famous in story,'"

    quoted Anne, looking at it with a thrill. They found themselves in  a
dim, cool, green place where winds were fond of purring. Up and  down  the
long grassy aisles they wandered, reading the quaint, voluminous epitaphs,
carved in an age that had more leisure than our own.
    "`Here lieth the body of Albert Crawford, Esq.,'" read  Anne  from  a
worn, gray slab, "`for many years Keeper  of  His  Majesty's  Ordnance  at
Kingsport. He served in the army till the peace of 1763, when  he  retired
from bad health. He was a brave officer, the best of husbands, the best of
fathers, the best of friends. He died October 29th, 1792, aged 84  years.'
There's an epitaph for you, Prissy. There is  certainly  some  `scope  for
imagination' in it. How full such a life must have been of adventure!  And
as for his personal qualities, I'm sure human eulogy couldn't go  further.
I wonder if they told him he was all those best things while he was alive."
    "Here's another," said Priscilla. "Listen -
    `To the memory of Alexander Ross, who died on the 22nd of  September,
1840, aged 43 years. This is raised as a tribute of affection by one  whom
he served so faithfully for 27 years that he was  regarded  as  a  friend,
deserving the fullest confidence and attachment.' "
    "A very good epitaph," commented Anne thoughtfully. "I wouldn't  wish
a better. We are all servants of some sort, and if the fact  that  we  are
faithful can be truthfully inscribed on our tombstones nothing  more  need
be added. Here's a sorrowful little gray stone, Prissy - `to the memory of
a favorite child.' And here is another `erected to the memory of  one  who
is buried elsewhere.' I wonder where that unknown grave is. Really,  Pris,
the graveyards of today will never be as interesting  as  this.  You  were
right - I shall come here often. I love it already. I see we're not  alone
here - there's a girl down at the end of this avenue."
    "Yes, and I believe it's  the  very  girl  we  saw  at  Redmond  this
morning. I've been watching her for five minutes. She has started to  come
up the avenue exactly half a dozen times, and half a dozen times  has  she
turned and gone back. Either she's dreadfully shy or she has got something
on her conscience. Let's go and meet her. It's easier to get acquainted in
a graveyard than at Redmond, I believe."
    They walked down the long grassy arcade towards the stranger, who was
sitting on a gray slab under an enormous willow. She  was  certainly  very
pretty, with a vivid, irregular, bewitching type of prettiness. There  was
a gloss as of brown nuts on her satin-smooth hair and a soft, ripe glow on
her round  cheeks.  Her  eyes  were  big  and  brown  and  velvety,  under
oddly-pointed black brows, and her crooked mouth was rose-red. She wore  a
smart brown suit, with two very modish little shoes peeping  from  beneath
it; and her hat of dull pink straw, wreathed  with  golden-brown  poppies,
had the indefinable, unmistakable air which pertains to the "creation"  of
an artist in millinery. Priscilla had a sudden stinging consciousness that
her own hat had been trimmed by  her  village  store  milliner,  and  Anne
wondered uncomfortably if the blouse she had made herself, and which  Mrs.
Lynde had fitted,  looked  VERY  countrified  and  home-made  besides  the
stranger's smart attire. For a moment both girls felt like turning back.
    But they had already stopped and turned towards the gray slab. It was
too late to retreat, for the brown-eyed girl had evidently concluded  that
they were coming to speak to her. Instantly she sprang up and came forward
with outstretched hand and a gay, friendly smile in which there seemed not
a shadow of either shyness or burdened conscience.
    "Oh, I want to know who you two girls are,"  she  exclaimed  eagerly.
"I've been DYING to know. I saw you at Redmond this morning.  Say,  wasn't
it AWFUL there? For the time I wished I had stayed home and got married."
    Anne and Priscilla both broke into  unconstrained  laughter  at  this
unexpected conclusion. The brown-eyed girl laughed, too.
    "I really did. I COULD have, you know. Come, let's all  sit  down  on
this gravestone and get acquainted. It won't be hard. I know  we're  going
to adore each other - I knew it as soon as  I  saw  you  at  Redmond  this
morning. I wanted so much to go right over and hug you both."
    "Why didn't you?" asked Priscilla.
    "Because I simply couldn't make up my mind to do it. I never can make
up my mind about anything myself - I'm always afflicted  with  indecision.
Just as soon as I decide to do something I feel in my bones  that  another
course would be the correct one. It's a dreadful  misfortune,  but  I  was
born that way, and there is no use in blaming me for it,  as  some  people
do. So I couldn't make up my mind to go and speak to you, much as I wanted
    "We thought you were too shy," said Anne.
    "No, no, dear. Shyness isn't among the many failings - or  virtues  -
of Philippa Gordon - Phil for short. Do call me Phil right off. Now,  what
are your handles?"
    "She's Priscilla Grant," said Anne, pointing.
    "And SHE'S Anne Shirley," said Priscilla, pointing in turn.
    "And we're from the Island," said both together.
    "I hail from Bolingbroke, Nova Scotia," said Philippa.
    "Bolingbroke!" exclaimed Anne. "Why, that is where I was born."
    "Do you really mean it? Why, that makes you a Bluenose after all."
    "No, it doesn't," retorted Anne. "Wasn't it Dan  O'Connell  who  said
that if a man was born in a stable it didn't make him a horse? I'm  Island
to the core."
    "Well, I'm glad you were born in Bolingbroke anyway. It makes us kind
of neighbors, doesn't it? And I like that, because when I tell you secrets
it won't be as if I were telling them to a stranger. I have to tell  them.
I can't keep secrets - it's no use to try. That's my worst failing - that,
and indecision, as aforesaid. Would you believe it? - it took me  half  an
hour to decide which hat to wear when I was  coming  here  -  HERE,  to  a
graveyard! At first I inclined to my brown one with the  feather;  but  as
soon as I put it on I thought this pink one with the floppy brim would  be
more becoming. When I got IT pinned in place I liked the brown one better.
At last I put them close together on the bed, shut  my  eyes,  and  jabbed
with a hat pin. The pin speared the pink one,  so  I  put  it  on.  It  is
becoming, isn't it? Tell me, what do you think of my looks?"
    At this naive demand, made in a  perfectly  serious  tone,  Priscilla
laughed again. But Anne said, impulsively squeezing Philippa's hand,
    "We thought this morning that you were the prettiest girl we  saw  at
    Philippa's crooked mouth flashed into  a  bewitching,  crooked  smile
over very white little teeth.
    "I thought that myself," was her next astounding  statement,  "but  I
wanted some one else's opinion to bolster mine up. I can't decide even  on
my own appearance. Just as soon as I've decided that I'm pretty I begin to
feel miserably that I'm not. Besides, have a horrible old  great-aunt  who
is always saying to me, with a mournful sigh,  `You  were  such  a  pretty
baby. It's strange how children change when they grow up.' I adore  aunts,
but I detest greataunts. Please tell me quite often that I am  pretty,  if
you don't mind. I feel so much more comfortable when  I  can  believe  I'm
pretty. And I'll be just as obliging to you if you want me to - I CAN  be,
with a clear conscience."
    "Thanks," laughed Anne, "but Priscilla and I are so firmly  convinced
of our own good looks that we don't need any assurance about them, so  you
needn't trouble."
    "Oh, you're laughing at me. I know you think I'm abominably vain, but
I'm not. There really isn't one spark of vanity in me. And I'm never a bit
grudging about paying compliments to other girls when they  deserve  them.
I'm so glad I know you folks. I came up on Saturday and I've  nearly  died
of homesickness  ever  since.  It's  a  horrible  feeling,  isn't  it?  In
Bolingbroke I'm an important personage, and in Kingsport I'm just  nobody!
There were times when I could feel my soul turning a delicate blue.  Where
do you hang out?"
    "Thirty-eight St. John's Street."
    "Better and better. Why,  I'm  just  around  the  corner  on  Wallace
Street. I don't like my boardinghouse, though. It's  bleak  and  lonesome,
and my room looks out on such an unholy back yard. It's the ugliest  place
in the world. As for cats - well, surely  ALL  the  Kingsport  cats  can't
congregate there at night, but half of them must. I adore cats  on  hearth
rugs, snoozing before nice, friendly fires, but  cats  in  back  yards  at
midnight are totally different animals. The first night I was here I cried
all night, and so did the cats. You  should  have  seen  my  nose  in  the
morning. How I wished I had never left home!"
    "I don't know how you managed to make up your mind to come to Redmond
at all,  if  you  are  really  such  an  undecided  person,"  said  amused
    "Bless your heart, honey, I didn't. It was father who  wanted  me  to
come here. His heart was set on it - why, I don't know. It seems perfectly
ridiculous to think of me studying for a B.A. degree, doesn't it? Not  but
what I can do it, all right. I have heaps of brains."
    "Oh!" said Priscilla vaguely.
    "Yes. But it's such hard work  to  use  them.  And  B.A.'s  are  such
learned, dignified, wise, solemn creatures - they must be. No, _I_  didn't
want to come to Redmond. I did it just to oblige  father.  He  IS  such  a
duck. Besides, I knew if I stayed home I'd have  to  get  married.  Mother
wanted that - wanted it decidedly. Mother has plenty of  decision.  But  I
really hated the thought of being married for a few years yet. I  want  to
have heaps of fun before I settle down. And, ridiculous as the idea of  my
being a B.A. is, the idea of my being an old married woman is  still  more
absurd, isn't it? I'm only eighteen. No, I concluded I would  rather  come
to Redmond than be married. Besides, how could I ever have made up my mind
which man to marry?"
    "Were there so many?" laughed Anne.
    "Heaps. The boys like me awfully - they really  do.  But  there  were
only two that mattered. The rest were all too young and too poor.  I  must
marry a rich man, you know."
    "Why must you?"
    "Honey, you couldn't imagine ME being a poor man's wife, could you? I
can't do a single useful thing, and I am  VERY  extravagant.  Oh,  no,  my
husband must have heaps of money. So that narrowed them down to two. But I
couldn't decide between two any easier than between two  hundred.  I  knew
perfectly well that whichever one I chose I'd regret all my  life  that  I
hadn't married the other."
    "Didn't  you  -  love  -  either  of  them?"  asked  Anne,  a  little
hesitatingly. It was not easy for her to speak to a stranger of the  great
mystery and transformation of life.
    "Goodness, no. _I_ couldn't love anybody. It isn't in me.  Besides  I
wouldn't want to. Being in love makes you a perfect slave, _I_ think.  And
it would give a man such power to hurt you. I'd be afraid.  No,  no,  Alec
and Alonzo are two dear boys, and I like them both so much that  I  really
don't know which I like the better. That is the trouble. Alec is the  best
looking, of course, and I simply couldn't marry a man who wasn't handsome.
He is good-tempered too, and has lovely, curly, black  hair.  He's  rather
too perfect - I don't believe I'd like a  perfect  husband  -  somebody  I
could never find fault with."
    "Then why not marry Alonzo?" asked Priscilla gravely.
    "Think of marrying a name like Alonzo!" said Phil dolefully. "I don't
believe I could endure it. But he has a classic nose, and it  WOULD  be  a
comfort to have a nose in the family that could be depended  on.  I  can't
depend on mine. So far, it takes after the  Gordon  pattern,  but  I'm  so
afraid it will develop Byrne tendencies as I  grow  older.  I  examine  it
every day anxiously to make sure it's still Gordon. Mother was a Byrne and
has the Byrne nose in the Byrnest degree. Wait till you see  it.  I  adore
nice noses. Your nose is awfully nice, Anne Shirley. Alonzo's nose  nearly
turned the balance in his favor. But ALONZO! No, I couldn't decide.  If  I
could have done as I did with the hats - stood them both up together, shut
my eyes, and jabbed with a hatpin - it would have been quite easy."
    "What did Alec and Alonzo feel like  when  you  came  away?"  queried
    "Oh, they still have hope. I told them they'd have  to  wait  till  I
could make up my mind. They're quite willing to wait.  They  both  worship
me, you know. Meanwhile, I intend to have a good time. I  expect  I  shall
have heaps of beaux at Redmond. I can't be happy unless I have, you  know.
But don't you think the freshmen are fearfully homely?
    I saw only one really handsome fellow among them. He went away before
you came. I heard his chum call him Gilbert. His chum had eyes that  stuck
out THAT FAR. But you're not going yet, girls? Don't go yet."
    "I think we must," said Anne, rather coldly. "It's getting late,  and
I've some work to do."
    "But you'll both come to see me, won't you?" asked Philippa,  getting
up and putting an arm around each. "And let me come to see you. I want  to
be chummy with you. I've taken such a fancy to you  both.  And  I  haven't
quite disgusted you with my frivolity, have I?"
    "Not quite," laughed Anne,  responding  to  Phil's  squeeze,  with  a
return of cordiality.
    "Because I'm not half so silly as I seem on the  surface,  you  know.
You just accept Philippa Gordon, as  the  Lord  made  her,  with  all  her
faults, and I believe you'll come to like  her.  Isn't  this  graveyard  a
sweet place? I'd love to be buried here.  Here's  a  grave  I  didn't  see
before - this one in the iron railing - oh, girls, look, see -  the  stone
says it's the grave of a middy who was killed in  the  fight  between  the
Shannon and the Chesapeake. Just fancy!"
    Anne paused by the railing and looked at the worn stone,  her  pulses
thrilling with sudden excitement. The old graveyard, with its over-arching
trees and long aisles of shadows, faded from her sight. Instead,  she  saw
the Kingsport Harbor of nearly a century  agone.  Out  of  the  mist  came
slowly a great frigate, brilliant  with  "the  meteor  flag  of  England."
Behind her was another, with a still, heroic  form,  wrapped  in  his  own
starry flag, lying on the quarter deck  -  the  gallant  Lawrence.  Time's
finger had turned back  his  pages,  and  that  was  the  Shannon  sailing
triumphant up the bay with the Chesapeake as her prize.
    "Come back, Anne Shirley - come back," laughed Philippa, pulling  her
arm. "You're a hundred years away from us. Come back."
    Anne came back with a sigh; her eyes were shining softly.
    "I've always loved that old  story,"  she  said,  "and  although  the
English won that victory, I think it was because of  the  brave,  defeated
commander I love it. This grave seems to bring it so near and make  it  so
real. This poor little middy was only  eighteen.  He  `died  of  desperate
wounds received in gallant action' - so reads his epitaph. It is such as a
soldier might wish for."
    Before she turned away, Anne unpinned the little  cluster  of  purple
pansies she wore and dropped it softly on the grave of  the  boy  who  had
perished in the great sea-duel.
    "Well, what do you think of our new friend?"  asked  Priscilla,  when
Phil had left them.
    "I like her. There is something very lovable about her, in  spite  of
all her nonsense. I believe, as she says herself, that she isn't  half  as
silly as she sounds. She's a dear, kissable baby - and I don't  know  that
she'll ever really grow up."
    "I like her, too," said Priscilla,  decidedly.  "She  talks  as  much
about boys as Ruby Gillis does. But it always enrages  or  sickens  me  to
hear Ruby, whereas I just wanted to laugh  good-naturedly  at  Phil.  Now,
what is the why of that?"
    "There is a  difference,"  said  Anne  meditatively.  "I  think  it's
because Ruby is really so  CONSCIOUS  of  boys.  She  plays  at  love  and
love-making. Besides, you feel, when she is boasting of her beaux that she
is doing it to rub it well into you that you haven't half  so  many.  Now,
when Phil talks of her beaux it sounds as if  she  was  just  speaking  of
chums. She really looks upon boys as good comrades,  and  she  is  pleased
when she has dozens of them tagging round, simply because she likes to  be
popular and to be thought popular. Even Alex and Alonzo -  I'll  never  be
able to think of those two names separately after this - are to  her  just
two playfellows who want her to play with them all their lives.  I'm  glad
we met her, and I'm glad we went to Old St. John's.  I  believe  I've  put
forth a tiny soul-root into Kingsport soil this afternoon. I  hope  so.  I
hate to feel transplanted."

                          5. Letters from Home

    For the next three weeks Anne and  Priscilla  continued  to  feel  as
strangers in a strange land. Then, suddenly,  everything  seemed  to  fall
into focus -  Redmond,  professors,  classes,  students,  studies,  social
doings. Life became  homogeneous  again,  instead  of  being  made  up  of
detached fragments.  The  Freshmen,  instead  of  being  a  collection  of
unrelated individuals, found themselves a class, with a  class  spirit,  a
class yell, class interests, class antipathies and class  ambitions.  They
won the day in the annual "Arts Rush" against the Sophomores, and  thereby
gained the respect of all the classes, and an enormous,  confidence-giving
opinion of themselves. For three years  the  Sophomores  had  won  in  the
"rush"; that the victory of this year perched upon the  Freshmen's  banner
was attributed  to  the  strategic  generalship  of  Gilbert  Blythe,  who
marshalled  the  campaign  and  originated  certain  new  tactics,   which
demoralized the Sophs and swept the Freshmen to triumph. As  a  reward  of
merit he was elected president of the Freshman Class, a position of  honor
and responsibility - from a Fresh point of view, at  least  -  coveted  by
many. He was also invited to join the "Lambs" - Redmondese for Lamba Theta
- a compliment rarely paid to a  Freshman.  As  a  preparatory  initiation
ordeal he had to parade the principal business streets of Kingsport for  a
whole day wearing a sunbonnet and a voluminous kitchen  apron  of  gaudily
flowered calico. This  he  did  cheerfully,  doffing  his  sunbonnet  with
courtly grace when he met ladies of his acquaintance. Charlie Sloane,  who
had not been asked to join the Lambs, told Anne he did not see how  Blythe
could do it, and HE, for his part, could never humiliate himself so.
    "Fancy Charlie Sloane in a  `caliker'  apron  and  a  `sunbunnit,'  "
giggled Priscilla. "He'd look exactly like  his  old  Grandmother  Sloane.
Gilbert, now, looked as much like a man in  them  as  in  his  own  proper
    Anne and Priscilla found themselves in the thick of the  social  life
of Redmond. That this came about so speedily was due in great  measure  to
Philippa Gordon. Philippa was the daughter of a rich and  well-known  man,
and belonged to an old and exclusive  "Bluenose"  family.  This,  combined
with her beauty and charm - a charm acknowledged by  all  who  met  her  -
promptly opened the gates of all cliques, clubs and classes in Redmond  to
her; and where she went Anne and Priscilla went, too. Phil  "adored"  Anne
and Priscilla, especially Anne. She was a loyal little soul,  crystal-free
from any form of snobbishness. "Love me, love my friends" seemed to be her
unconscious motto. Without effort, she took them with her  into  her  ever
widening circle of acquaintanceship, and the two Avonlea girls found their
social pathway at Redmond made very easy and pleasant  for  them,  to  the
envy and wonderment of  the  other  freshettes,  who,  lacking  Philippa's
sponsorship, were doomed to remain rather on the fringe of  things  during
their first college year.
    To Anne and Priscilla, with their more serious views  of  life,  Phil
remained the amusing, lovable baby she had seemed on their first  meeting.
Yet, as she said herself, she had "heaps" of brains.  When  or  where  she
found time to study was a mystery, for she seemed  always  in  demand  for
some kind of "fun," and her home evenings were crowded with  callers.  She
had all the "beaux" that  heart  could  desire,  for  nine-tenths  of  the
Freshmen and a big fraction of all the other classes were rivals  for  her
smiles. She was naively delighted over this, and gleefully recounted  each
new conquest to Anne and Priscilla, with comments that might have made the
unlucky lover's ears burn fiercely.
    "Alec and Alonzo don't seem to have any serious rival yet,"  remarked
Anne, teasingly.
    "Not one," agreed Philippa. "I write them both every  week  and  tell
them all about my young men here. I'm sure it must  amuse  them.  But,  of
course, the one I like best I can't get. Gilbert  Blythe  won't  take  any
notice of me, except to look at me as if I were a nice little kitten  he'd
like to pat. Too well I know the reason. I owe you a grudge, Queen Anne. I
really ought to hate you and instead I love you madly, and  I'm  miserable
if I don't see you every day. You're different from any girl I  ever  knew
before. When you look at me in a certain way I feel what an insignificant,
frivolous little beast I am, and  I  long  to  be  better  and  wiser  and
stronger. And then I make good resolutions;  but  the  first  nice-looking
mannie who comes my way knocks them all out of my head. Isn't college life
magnificent? It's so funny to think I hated it that first day.  But  if  I
hadn't I might never got really acquainted with you. Anne, please tell  me
over again that you like me a little bit. I yearn to hear it."
    "I like you a big bit - and I think you're a dear,  sweet,  adorable,
velvety, clawless, little - kitten," laughed Anne, "but I don't  see  when
you ever get time to learn your lessons."
    Phil must have found time for she held her own in every class of  her
year. Even the grumpy old professor of Mathematics,  who  detested  coeds,
and had bitterly opposed their admission to Redmond, couldn't  floor  her.
She led the freshettes everywhere, except in English, where  Anne  Shirley
left her far behind. Anne herself found the studies of her  Freshman  year
very easy, thanks in great part to the steady work she and Gilbert had put
in during those two past years in Avonlea. This left her more time  for  a
social life which she thoroughly enjoyed. But never for a moment  did  she
forget Avonlea and the friends there. To her, the happiest moments in each
week were those in which letters came from home. It was not until she  had
got her first letters  that  she  began  to  think  she  could  ever  like
Kingsport or feel at home there. Before  they  came,  Avonlea  had  seemed
thousands of miles away; those letters brought it near and linked the  old
life to the new so closely that they began  to  seem  one  and  the  same,
instead of two hopelessly segregated existences. The first batch contained
six letters, from Jane Andrews, Ruby Gillis, Diana  Barry,  Marilla,  Mrs.
Lynde and Davy. Jane's was a copperplate production, with every "t" nicely
crossed and every "i" precisely dotted, and not an interesting sentence in
it. She never mentioned the school, concerning  which  Anne  was  avid  to
hear; she never answered one of  the  questions  Anne  had  asked  in  her
letter. But she told  Anne  how  many  yards  of  lace  she  had  recently
crocheted, and the kind of weather they were having in  Avonlea,  and  how
she intended to have her new dress made, and the way  she  felt  when  her
head ached. Ruby Gillis wrote a gushing epistle deploring Anne's  absence,
assuring her she was  horribly  missed  in  everything,  asking  what  the
Redmond "fellows" were like, and filling the rest with accounts of her own
harrowing experiences with her numerous admirers. It was a silly, harmless
letter, and Anne would have laughed over  it  had  it  not  been  for  the
postscript. "Gilbert seems  to  be  enjoying  Redmond,  judging  from  his
letters," wrote Ruby. "I don't think Charlie is so stuck on it."
    So Gilbert was writing to Ruby! Very well. He had a perfect right to,
of course. Only - !! Anne did not know that Ruby  had  written  the  first
letter and that Gilbert had answered it from  mere  courtesy.  She  tossed
Ruby's letter aside contemptuously. But it took all Diana's breezy, newsy,
delightful epistle to banish  the  sting  of  Ruby's  postscript.  Diana's
letter contained a little too much Fred, but  was  otherwise  crowded  and
crossed with items of interest, and  Anne  almost  felt  herself  back  in
Avonlea while reading it.  Marilla's  was  a  rather  prim  and  colorless
epistle, severely innocent of gossip or emotion. Yet somehow  it  conveyed
to Anne a whiff of the wholesome, simple life at Green  Gables,  with  its
savor of ancient peace, and the steadfast abiding love that was there  for
her. Mrs. Lynde's letter  was  full  of  church  news.  Having  broken  up
housekeeping, Mrs. Lynde had more time  than  ever  to  devote  to  church
affairs and had flung herself into them heart and soul. She was at present
much worked up over the poor "supplies" they were  having  in  the  vacant
Avonlea pulpit.
    "I don't believe any but fools  enter  the  ministry  nowadays,"  she
wrote bitterly. "Such candidates as they have sent us, and such  stuff  as
they preach! Half of it ain't true, and,  what's  worse,  it  ain't  sound
doctrine. The one we have now is the worst of the lot. He mostly  takes  a
text and preaches about something else. And he says he doesn't believe all
the heathen will be eternally lost. The idea! If they won't all the  money
we've been giving to Foreign Missions will be clean wasted,  that's  what!
Last Sunday night he  announced  that  next  Sunday  he'd  preach  on  the
axe-head that swam. I think he'd better confine himself to the  Bible  and
leave sensational subjects alone. Things have come to a pretty pass  if  a
minister can't find enough in Holy Writ to preach about, that's what. What
church do you attend, Anne? I hope you go regularly. People are apt to get
so careless about church-going away from home, and  I  understand  college
students are great sinners in this respect. I'm told many of them actually
study their lessons on Sunday. I hope you'll never sink  that  low,  Anne.
Remember how you were brought up. And be very  careful  what  friends  you
make. You never  know  what  sort  of  creatures  are  in  them  colleges.
Outwardly they may be  as  whited  sepulchers  and  inwardly  as  ravening
wolves, that's what. You'd better not have anything to say  to  any  young
man who isn't from the Island.
    "I forgot to tell you what happened the day the minister called here.
It was the funniest thing I ever saw. I said to Marilla, `If Anne had been
here wouldn't she have had a laugh?' Even Marilla laughed. You know he's a
very short, fat little man with bow  legs.  Well,  that  old  pig  of  Mr.
Harrison's - the big, tall one - had wandered over here that day again and
broke into the yard, and it got into the back porch, unbeknowns to us, and
it was there when the minister appeared in the doorway. It made  one  wild
bolt to get out, but there was nowhere to bolt to except between them  bow
legs. So there it went, and, being as it was so big and  the  minister  so
little, it took him clean off his feet and carried him away. His hat  went
one way and his cane another, just as Marilla and I got to the door.  I'll
never forget the look of him. And that poor pig was near scared to  death.
I'll never be able to read that account in the Bible  of  the  swine  that
rushed madly down  the  steep  place  into  the  sea  without  seeing  Mr.
Harrison's pig careering down the hill with that minister. I guess the pig
thought he had the Old Boy on his back instead of inside  of  him.  I  was
thankful the twins weren't about. It wouldn't have been  the  right  thing
for them to have seen a minister in such an undignified predicament.  Just
before they got to the brook the minister jumped off or fell off. The  pig
rushed through the brook like mad and up through the woods. Marilla and  I
run down and helped the minister get up and  brush  his  coat.  He  wasn't
hurt, but he was mad. He seemed to hold Marilla and me responsible for  it
all, though we told him  the  pig  didn't  belong  to  us,  and  had  been
pestering us all summer. Besides, what did he come to the back  door  for?
You'd never have caught Mr. Allan doing that. It'll be a long time  before
we get a man like Mr. Allan. But it's an ill  wind  that  blows  no  good.
We've never seen hoof or hair of that pig since, and  it's  my  belief  we
never will.
    "Things is pretty quiet in Avonlea. I  don't  find  Green  Gables  as
lonesome as I expected. I think I'll start another cotton warp quilt  this
winter. Mrs. Silas Sloane has a handsome new apple-leaf pattern.
    "When I feel that I must have  some  excitement  I  read  the  murder
trials in that Boston paper my niece sends me. I never used to do it,  but
they're real interesting. The States must be an awful place. I hope you'll
never go there, Anne. But the  way  girls  roam  over  the  earth  now  is
something terrible. It always makes me think of Satan in the Book of  Job,
going to and fro and walking up and down. I don't believe  the  Lord  ever
intended it, that's what.
    "Davy has been pretty good since you went away. One day  he  was  bad
and Marilla punished him by making him wear Dora's apron all day, and then
he went and cut all Dora's aprons up. I spanked him for that and  then  he
went and chased my rooster to death.
    "The  MacPhersons  have  moved  down  to  my  place.  She's  a  great
housekeeper and very particular.  She's  rooted  all  my  June  lilies  up
because she says they make a garden look so untidy. Thomas set them lilies
out when we were married. Her husband seems a nice sort of a man, but  she
can't get over being an old maid, that's what.
    "Don't study too hard, and be sure and put your  winter  underclothes
on as soon as the weather gets cool. Marilla worries a lot about you,  but
I tell her you've got a lot more sense than I ever thought you would  have
at one time, and that you'll be all right."
    Davy's letter plunged into a grievance at the start.
    "Dear anne, please write and tell marilla not to tie me to  the  rale
of the bridge when I go fishing the boys make fun of me when she does. Its
awful lonesome here without you but grate fun in school. Jane  andrews  is
crosser than you. I scared mrs. lynde with a jacky lantern last nite.  She
was offel mad and she was mad cause I chased her  old  rooster  round  the
yard till he fell down ded. I didn't mean to make him fall down ded.  What
made him die, anne, I want to know. mrs. lynde threw him into the pig  pen
she mite of sold him to mr. blair. mr. blair is giving 50 sense apeace for
good ded roosters now. I herd mrs. lynde asking the minister to  pray  for
her. What did she do that was so bad, anne, I want to  know.  I've  got  a
kite with a magnificent tail, anne. Milty bolter told me a grate story  in
school yesterday. it is troo. old Joe Mosey and Leon  were  playing  cards
one nite last week in the woods. The cards were on a stump and a big black
man bigger than the trees come along and grabbed the cards and  the  stump
and disapered with a noys like thunder. Ill bet they  were  skared.  Milty
says the black man was the old harry. was he, anne, I want  to  know.  Mr.
kimball over at spenservale is very sick  and  will  have  to  go  to  the
hospitable. please excuse me while I ask marilla if  thats  spelled  rite.
Marilla says its the silem he has to go to not the other place. He  thinks
he has a snake inside of him. whats it like to have a snake inside of you,
anne. I want to know. mrs. lawrence bell is sick to. mrs. lynde says  that
all that is the matter with her is that she  thinks  too  much  about  her
    "I wonder," said Anne, as she folded up her letters, "what Mrs. Lynde
would think of Philippa."

                              6. In the Park

    "What are you going  to  do  with  yourselves  today,  girls?"  asked
Philippa, popping into Anne's room one Saturday afternoon.
    "We are going for a walk in the park," answered  Anne.  "I  ought  to
stay in and finish my blouse. But I couldn't  sew  on  a  day  like  this.
There's something in the air that gets into my blood and makes a  sort  of
glory in my soul. My fingers would twitch and I'd sew a crooked  seam.  So
it's ho for the park and the pines."
    "Does `we' include any one but yourself and Priscilla?"
    "Yes, it includes Gilbert and Charlie, and we'll be very glad  if  it
will include you, also."
    "But," said Philippa dolefully, "if I go I'll have to be  gooseberry,
and that will be a new experience for Philippa Gordon."
    "Well, new experiences are broadening. Come along, and you'll be able
to sympathize with all poor souls who have to play gooseberry  often.  But
where are all the victims?"
    "Oh, I was tired of them all and simply couldn't be bothered with any
of them today. Besides, I've been feeling a little blue  -  just  a  pale,
elusive azure. It isn't serious enough for anything darker. I  wrote  Alec
and Alonzo last week. I put the letters into envelopes and addressed them,
but I didn't seal them up. That evening something funny happened. That is,
Alec would think it funny, but Alonzo wouldn't be likely to. I  was  in  a
hurry, so I snatched Alec's letter - as I thought - out  of  the  envelope
and scribbled down a  postscript.  Then  I  mailed  both  letters.  I  got
Alonzo's reply this morning. Girls, I  had  put  that  postscript  to  his
letter and he was furious. Of course he'll get over it - and I don't  care
if he doesn't - but it spoiled my day.  So  I  thought  I'd  come  to  you
darlings to get cheered up. After the football season opens I  won't  have
any spare Saturday  afternoons.  I  adore  football.  I've  got  the  most
gorgeous cap and sweater striped in Redmond colors to wear to  the  games.
To be sure, a little way off I'll look like a walking  barber's  pole.  Do
you know that that Gilbert of  yours  has  been  elected  Captain  of  the
Freshman football team?"
    "Yes, he told us  so  last  evening,"  said  Priscilla,  seeing  that
outraged Anne would not answer. "He and Charlie were down.  We  knew  they
were coming, so we painstakingly put out of sight or out of reach all Miss
Ada's cushions. That very elaborate  one  with  the  raised  embroidery  I
dropped on the floor in the corner behind the chair it was on.  I  thought
it would be safe there. But would you believe it? Charlie Sloane made  for
that chair, noticed the cushion behind it, solemnly fished it up, and  sat
on it the whole evening. Such a wreck of a cushion as it  was!  Poor  Miss
Ada asked me today, still smiling, but oh, so  reproachfully,  why  I  had
allowed it to be sat upon. I told her I hadn't - that it was a  matter  of
predestination coupled with inveterate Sloanishness and I wasn't  a  match
for both combined."
    "Miss Ada's cushions are really getting on  my  nerves,"  said  Anne.
"She finished two new ones last week, stuffed and  embroidered  within  an
inch of their lives. There being absolutely no other cushionless place  to
put them she stood them up against the wall on  the  stair  landing.  They
topple over half the time and if we come up or down the stairs in the dark
we fall over them. Last Sunday,  when  Dr.  Davis  prayed  for  all  those
exposed to the perils of the sea, I added in thought `and  for  all  those
who live in houses where cushions are loved  not  wisely  but  too  well!'
There! we're ready, and I see the boys coming through Old St.  John's.  Do
you cast in your lot with us, Phil?"
    "I'll go, if I can walk with Priscilla and Charlie. That  will  be  a
bearable degree of gooseberry. That Gilbert of yours is a  darling,  Anne,
but why does he go around so much with Goggle-eyes?"
    Anne stiffened. She had no great liking for Charlie  Sloane;  but  he
was of Avonlea, so no outsider had any business to laugh at him.
    "Charlie and Gilbert have always  been  friends,"  she  said  coldly.
"Charlie is a nice boy. He's not to blame for his eyes."
    "Don't tell me that! He is! He must have done something dreadful in a
previous existence to be punished with such eyes. Pris and I are going  to
have such sport with him this afternoon. We'll make fun of him to his face
and he'll never know it."
    Doubtless, "the abandoned P's," as Anne called them,  did  carry  out
their amiable intentions. But Sloane was blissfully ignorant;  he  thought
he was quite a fine fellow to be walking with two such  coeds,  especially
Philippa Gordon, the class beauty and belle. It must surely impress  Anne.
She would see that some people appreciated him at his real value.
    Gilbert and Anne loitered a little behind the  others,  enjoying  the
calm, still beauty of the autumn afternoon under the pines of the park, on
the road that climbed and twisted round the harbor shore.
    "The silence here is like a prayer, isn't it?" said  Anne,  her  face
upturned to the shining sky. "How I love the pines! They  seem  to  strike
their roots deep into the romance of all the ages. It is so comforting  to
creep away now and then for a good talk with them. I always feel so  happy
out here."

            "`And so in mountain solitudes o'ertaken
              As by some spell divine,
              Their cares drop from them like the needles shaken
              From out the gusty pine,'"

    quoted Gilbert.
    "They make our little ambitions seem rather petty, don't they, Anne?"
    "I think, if ever any great sorrow came to me, I would  come  to  the
pines for comfort," said Anne dreamily.
    "I hope no great sorrow ever will come to you, Anne,"  said  Gilbert,
who could not connect the idea of sorrow with the vivid,  joyous  creature
beside him, unwitting that those who can soar to the highest  heights  can
also plunge to the deepest depths, and that the natures which  enjoy  most
keenly are those which also suffer most sharply.
    "But there must - sometime," mused Anne. "Life seems like  a  cup  of
glory held to my lips just now. But there must be some bitterness in it  -
there is in every cup. I shall taste mine some day. Well, I hope  I  shall
be strong and brave to meet it. And I hope it  won't  be  through  my  own
fault that it will come. Do you remember what Dr. Davis said  last  Sunday
evening - that the sorrows God sent us brought comfort and  strength  with
them, while  the  sorrows  we  brought  on  ourselves,  through  folly  or
wickedness, were by far the hardest to bear? But we mustn't talk of sorrow
on an afternoon like this. It's meant for the sheer joy of  living,  isn't
    "If I had my way I'd shut everything out of your life  but  happiness
and pleasure, Anne," said Gilbert in the tone that meant "danger ahead."
    "Then you would be very unwise," rejoined Anne hastily. "I'm sure  no
life can be properly developed and rounded  out  without  some  trial  and
sorrow - though I suppose it is only when we are pretty  comfortable  that
we admit it. Come - the others have got to the pavilion and are  beckoning
to us."
    They all sat down in the little pavilion to watch an autumn sunset of
deep red fire and pallid gold. To their left lay Kingsport, its roofs  and
spires dim in their shroud of violet smoke. To their right lay the harbor,
taking on tints of rose and copper as it stretched out  into  the  sunset.
Before them the water shimmered, satin smooth and silver gray, and beyond,
clean shaven William's Island loomed out of the mist,  guarding  the  town
like a sturdy bulldog. Its lighthouse beacon flared through the mist  like
a baleful star, and was answered by another in the far horizon.
    "Did you ever see such a strong-looking place?"  asked  Philippa.  "I
don't want William's Island especially, but I'm sure I couldn't get it  if
I did. Look at that sentry on the summit of the  fort,  right  beside  the
flag. Doesn't he look as if he had stepped out of a romance?"
    "Speaking of  romance,"  said  Priscilla,  "we've  been  looking  for
heather - but, of course, we couldn't find  any.  It's  too  late  in  the
season, I suppose."
    "Heather!" exclaimed Anne. "Heather doesn't grow in America, does it?"
    "There are just two patches of it in the whole continent," said Phil,
"one right here in the park, and one somewhere  else  in  Nova  Scotia,  I
forget where. The famous Highland Regiment, the Black Watch,  camped  here
one year, and, when the men shook out the  straw  of  their  beds  in  the
spring, some seeds of heather took root."
    "Oh, how delightful!" said enchanted Anne.
    "Let's go home around by Spofford Avenue," suggested Gilbert. "We can
see all `the handsome houses where the  wealthy  nobles  dwell.'  Spofford
Avenue is the finest residential street in Kingsport. Nobody can build  on
it unless he's a millionaire."
    "Oh, do," said Phil. "There's a perfectly killing little place I want
to show you, Anne. IT wasn't built by a millionaire. It's the first  place
after you leave the park, and must have grown while  Spofford  Avenue  was
still a country road. It DID grow - it wasn't built! I don't care for  the
houses on the Avenue. They're too brand  new  and  plateglassy.  But  this
little spot is a dream - and its name - but wait till you see it."
    They saw it as they walked up the pine-fringed hill  from  the  park.
Just on the crest, where Spofford Avenue petered out into  a  plain  road,
was a little white frame house with groups of pines on either side of  it,
stretching their arms protectingly over its low roof. It was covered  with
red and gold vines, through  which  its  green-shuttered  windows  peeped.
Before it was a tiny garden, surrounded  by  a  low  stone  wall.  October
though it was, the garden was still very sweet with  dear,  old-fashioned,
unworldly flowers and shrubs - sweet may,  southern-wood,  lemon  verbena,
alyssum, petunias, marigolds and chrysanthemums. A  tiny  brick  wall,  in
herring-bone pattern, led from the gate to  the  front  porch.  The  whole
place might have been transplanted from some remote country  village;  yet
there was something about it that  made  its  nearest  neighbor,  the  big
lawn-encircled palace of a tobacco king, look exceedingly crude and  showy
and ill-bred by contrast. As Phil said,  it  was  the  difference  between
being born and being made.
    "It's the dearest place I ever saw," said Anne delightedly. "It gives
me one of my old, delightful funny aches. It's dearer  and  quainter  than
even Miss Lavendar's stone house."
    "It's the name I want you to notice especially," said Phil.  "Look  -
in white letters, around the archway over the gate. `Patty's Place.' Isn't
that killing? Especially on this Avenue of  Pinehursts  and  Elmwolds  and
Cedarcrofts? `Patty's Place,' if you please! I adore it."
    "Have you any idea who Patty is?" asked Priscilla.
    "Patty Spofford is the name  of  the  old  lady  who  owns  it,  I've
discovered. She lives there with her niece, and they've  lived  there  for
hundreds of years, more or less - maybe a little less, Anne.  Exaggeration
is merely a flight of poetic fancy. I understand that  wealthy  folk  have
tried to buy the lot time and again - it's really worth  a  small  fortune
now, you know - but `Patty' won't sell upon any consideration. And there's
an apple orchard behind the house in place of a back yard - you'll see  it
when we get a little past - a real apple orchard on Spofford Avenue!"
    "I'm going to dream about `Patty's Place' tonight," said Anne.  "Why,
I feel as if I belonged to it. I wonder if, by any chance, we'll ever  see
the inside of it."
    "It isn't likely," said Priscilla.
    Anne smiled mysteriously.
    "No, it isn't likely. But I believe it will happen. I have  a  queer,
creepy, crawly feeling - you can call it a presentiment,  if  you  like  -
that `Patty's Place' and I are going to be better acquainted yet."

                             7. Home Again

    Those first three weeks at Redmond had seemed long; but the  rest  of
the term flew by on wings of wind. Before they  realized  it  the  Redmond
students found themselves in the grind of Christmas examinations, emerging
therefrom more or less triumphantly. The honor of leading in the  Freshman
classes fluctuated between Anne, Gilbert and Philippa; Priscilla did  very
well; Charlie Sloane scraped through respectably, and comported himself as
complacently as if he had led in everything.
    "I can't really believe that this time  tomorrow  I'll  be  in  Green
Gables," said Anne on the night before departure. "But  I  shall  be.  And
you, Phil, will be in Bolingbroke with Alec and Alonzo."
    "I'm longing to see them," admitted Phil, between the  chocolate  she
was nibbling. "They really are such dear boys, you know. There's to be  no
end of dances and drives and general jamborees. I shall never forgive you,
Queen Anne, for not coming home with me for the holidays."
    "`Never' means three days with you, Phil. It was dear of you  to  ask
me - and I'd love to go to Bolingbroke some day. But I can't go this  year
- I MUST go home. You don't know how my heart longs for it."
    "You won't have much of a time," said Phil scornfully.  "There'll  be
one or two quilting parties, I suppose; and all the old gossips will  talk
you over to your face and behind your back. You'll  die  of  lonesomeness,
    "In Avonlea?" said Anne, highly amused.
    "Now, if you'd come with me you'd have  a  perfectly  gorgeous  time.
Bolingbroke would go wild over you, Queen Anne - your hair and your  style
and, oh, everything! You're so DIFFERENT. You'd be such a success - and  I
would bask in reflected glory - `not the rose but near the rose.' Do come,
after all, Anne."
    "Your picture of social triumphs is quite fascinating, Phil, but I'll
paint one to offset it. I'm going home to an old country  farmhouse,  once
green, rather faded now, set among leafless apple  orchards.  There  is  a
brook below and a December fir wood beyond, where I've heard  harps  swept
by the fingers of rain and wind. There is a pond nearby that will be  gray
and brooding now. There will be two oldish ladies in the house,  one  tall
and thin, one short and fat; and there will be two twins,  one  a  perfect
model, the other what Mrs. Lynde calls a `holy terror.' There  will  be  a
little room upstairs over the porch, where old dreams hang  thick,  and  a
big, fat, glorious feather bed which will almost seem the height of luxury
after a boardinghouse mattress. How do you like my picture, Phil?"
    "It seems a very dull one," said Phil, with a grimace.
    "Oh, but I've left out the transforming  thing,"  said  Anne  softly.
"There'll be love there, Phil - faithful, tender love, such as I'll  never
find anywhere else in the world - love that's waiting for me.  That  makes
my picture a masterpiece, doesn't it, even if  the  colors  are  not  very
    Phil silently got up, tossed her box of chocolates away, went  up  to
Anne, and put her arms about her.
    "Anne, I wish I was like you," she said soberly.
    Diana met Anne at the Carmody station the next night, and they  drove
home together under silent, star-sown depths of sky. Green  Gables  had  a
very festal appearance as they drove up the lane. There  was  a  light  in
every window, the glow breaking out through the  darkness  like  flame-red
blossoms swung against the dark background of the Haunted Wood. And in the
yard was a brave bonfire with two gay little figures  dancing  around  it,
one of which gave an unearthly yell as  the  buggy  turned  in  under  the
    "Davy  means  that  for  an  Indian  war-whoop,"  said  Diana.   "Mr.
Harrison's hired boy taught it to him, and he's been practicing it  up  to
welcome you with. Mrs. Lynde says it has worn her nerves to a frazzle.  He
creeps up behind her, you know, and then lets go.  He  was  determined  to
have a bonfire for you, too. He's been piling up branches for a  fortnight
and pestering Marilla to be let pour some  kerosene  oil  over  it  before
setting it on fire. I guess she did, by the smell, though Mrs. Lynde  said
up to the last that Davy would blow himself and everybody else  up  if  he
was let."
    Anne was out of the buggy by this  time,  and  Davy  was  rapturously
hugging her knees, while even Dora was clinging to her hand.
    "Isn't that a bully bonfire, Anne? Just let me show you how  to  poke
it - see the sparks? I did it for you, Anne, 'cause I was so glad you were
coming home."
    The kitchen door opened and Marilla's spare form darkened against the
inner light. She preferred to meet  Anne  in  the  shadows,  for  she  was
horribly afraid that she was going to cry with joy - she, stern, repressed
Marilla, who thought all display of deep emotion unseemly. Mrs. Lynde  was
behind her, sonsy, kindly, matronly, as of yore. The love  that  Anne  had
told Phil was waiting for her surrounded her and  enfolded  her  with  its
blessing and its sweetness. Nothing, after all,  could  compare  with  old
ties, old friends, and old Green Gables! How starry Anne's  eyes  were  as
they sat down to the  loaded  supper  table,  how  pink  her  cheeks,  how
silver-clear her laughter! And Diana was going to stay all night, too. How
like the dear old times it was! And the rose-bud tea-set graced the table!
With Marilla the force of nature could no further go.
    "I suppose you and Diana will now proceed to talk  all  night,"  said
Marilla sarcastically, as the girls  went  upstairs.  Marilla  was  always
sarcastic after any self-betrayal.
    "Yes," agreed Anne gaily, "but I'm going to put Davy to bed first. He
insists on that."
    "You bet," said Davy, as they went along the hall. "I  want  somebody
to say my prayers to again. It's no fun saying them alone."
    "You don't say them alone, Davy. God is always with you to hear you."
    "Well, I can't see Him," objected Davy. "I want to pray to somebody I
can see, but I WON'T say them to Mrs. Lynde or Marilla, there now!"
    Nevertheless, when Davy was garbed in his gray flannel nighty, he did
not seem in a hurry to begin. He stood before  Anne,  shuffling  one  bare
foot over the other, and looked undecided.
    "Come, dear, kneel down," said Anne.
    Davy came and buried his head in Anne's lap, but  he  did  not  kneel
    "Anne," he said in a muffled voice. "I don't feel like praying  after
all. I haven't felt like it for a week now. I - I DIDN'T pray  last  night
nor the night before."
    "Why not, Davy?" asked Anne gently.
    "You - you won't be mad if I tell you?" implored Davy.
    Anne lifted the little gray-flannelled body on her knee  and  cuddled
his head on her arm.
    "Do I ever get `mad' when you tell me things, Davy?"
    "No-o-o, you never do. But you get sorry, and that's worse. You'll be
awful sorry when I tell you this, Anne - and you'll be 'shamed  of  me,  I
    "Have you done something naughty, Davy, and is that why you can't say
your prayers?"
    "No, I haven't done anything naughty - yet. But I want to do it."
    "What is it, Davy?"
    "I - I want to say a bad  word,  Anne,"  blurted  out  Davy,  with  a
desperate effort. "I heard Mr. Harrison's hired boy say it  one  day  last
week, and ever since I've been wanting to say it ALL the time - even  when
I'm saying my prayers."
    "Say it then, Davy."
    Davy lifted his flushed face in amazement.
    "But, Anne, it's an AWFUL bad word."
    "SAY IT!"
    Davy gave her another incredulous look, then in a low voice  he  said
the dreadful word. The next minute his face was burrowing against her.
    "Oh, Anne, I'll never say it again - never. I'll never WANT to say it
again. I knew it was bad, but I didn't s'pose it was so - so  -  I  didn't
s'pose it was like THAT."
    "No, I don't think you'll ever want to say it again, Davy - or  think
it, either. And I wouldn't go about much with Mr. Harrison's hired boy  if
I were you."
    "He can make bully war-whoops," said Davy a little regretfully.
    "But you don't want your mind filled with bad words, do you,  Davy  -
words that will poison it and drive out all that is good and manly?"
    "No," said Davy, owl-eyed with introspection.
    "Then don't go with those people who use them. And now do you feel as
if you could say your prayers, Davy?"
    "Oh, yes," said Davy, eagerly wriggling down on his knees, "I can say
them now all right. I ain't scared now to say `if I should  die  before  I
wake,' like I was when I was wanting to say that word."
    Probably Anne and Diana did empty out their souls to each other  that
night, but no record of their confidences has been  preserved.  They  both
looked as fresh and bright-eyed at breakfast as only youth can look  after
unlawful hours of revelry and confession. There had been  no  snow  up  to
this time, but as Diana crossed the old log bridge on her homeward way the
white flakes were beginning to flutter down over  the  fields  and  woods,
russet and gray in their dreamless sleep. Soon  the  far-away  slopes  and
hills were dim and wraith-like through their gauzy scarfing,  as  if  pale
autumn had flung a misty bridal veil over her hair and was waiting for her
wintry bridegroom. So they had a white Christmas after  all,  and  a  very
pleasant day it was. In the forenoon letters  and  gifts  came  from  Miss
Lavendar and Paul; Anne opened them in the cheerful Green Gables  kitchen,
which was filled with what  Davy,  sniffing  in  ecstasy,  called  "pretty
    "Miss Lavendar and Mr. Irving are settled in  their  new  home  now,"
reported Anne. "I am sure Miss Lavendar is perfectly happy - I know it  by
the general tone of her letter - but there's a  note  from  Charlotta  the
Fourth. She doesn't like Boston at all, and  she  is  fearfully  homesick.
Miss Lavendar wants me to go through to Echo Lodge some day while I'm home
and light a fire to air it, and  see  that  the  cushions  aren't  getting
moldy. I think I'll get Diana to go over with me next  week,  and  we  can
spend the evening with Theodora Dix. I want to see Theodora. By  the  way,
is Ludovic Speed still going to see her?"
    "They say so," said Marilla, "and he's likely to continue  it.  Folks
have given up expecting that that courtship will ever arrive anywhere."
    "I'd hurry him up a bit, if I was Theodora, that's what,"  said  Mrs.
Lynde. And there is not the slightest doubt but that she would.
    There was also a characteristic scrawl from Philippa,  full  of  Alec
and Alonzo, what they said and what they did, and  how  they  looked  when
they saw her.
    "But I can't make up my mind yet which to marry," wrote Phil.  "I  do
wish you had come with me to decide for me. Some one will have to. When  I
saw Alec my heart gave a great thump and I thought, `He might be the right
one.' And then, when Alonzo came, thump went my heart again. So that's  no
guide, though it should be, according to all the novels  I've  ever  read.
Now, Anne, YOUR heart wouldn't thump for anybody but  the  genuine  Prince
Charming, would it? There must be something radically wrong with mine. But
I'm having a perfectly gorgeous time. How  I  wish  you  were  here!  It's
snowing today, and I'm rapturous. I  was  so  afraid  we'd  have  a  green
Christmas and  I  loathe  them.  You  know,  when  Christmas  is  a  dirty
grayey-browney affair, looking as if it had been left over a hundred years
ago and had been in soak ever since, it is called a GREEN Christmas! Don't
ask me why. As Lord Dundreary says, `there are thome thingth no fellow can
    "Anne, did you ever get on a street car and then  discover  that  you
hadn't any money with you to pay your fare? I did,  the  other  day.  It's
quite awful. I had a nickel with me when I got on the car.  I  thought  it
was in the left pocket of my coat. When I got settled down  comfortably  I
felt for it. It wasn't there. I had a cold chill.  I  felt  in  the  other
pocket. Not there. I had another chill. Then I felt  in  a  little  inside
pocket. All in vain. I had two chills at once.
    "I took off my gloves, laid them on the seat, and went  over  all  my
pockets again. It was not there. I stood up and  shook  myself,  and  then
looked on the floor. The car was full of people, who were going home  from
the opera, and they all stared at me, but I was past caring for  a  little
thing like that.
    "But I could not find my fare. I concluded I must have put it  in  my
mouth and swallowed it inadvertently.
    "I didn't know what to do. Would the conductor, I wondered, stop  the
car and put me off in ignominy and shame? Was it  possible  that  I  could
convince him that I was merely the victim of my own absentmindedness,  and
not an unprincipled creature trying to obtain a ride upon false pretenses?
How I wished that Alec or Alonzo were there. But they  weren't  because  I
wanted them. If I HADN'T wanted them they would have  been  there  by  the
dozen. And I couldn't decide what to say to the  conductor  when  he  came
around. As soon as I got one sentence of explanation mapped out in my mind
I felt nobody could believe it and I must compose another. It seemed there
was nothing to do but trust in Providence, and for all  the  comfort  that
gave me I might as well have been the old  lady  who,  when  told  by  the
captain during a storm that  she  must  put  her  trust  in  the  Almighty
exclaimed, `Oh, Captain, is it as bad as that?'
    "Just at the conventional moment, when all hope  had  fled,  and  the
conductor was holding out his box to the passenger next to me, I  suddenly
remembered where I had put that wretched  coin  of  the  realm.  I  hadn't
swallowed it after all. I meekly fished it out of the index finger  of  my
glove and poked it in the box. I smiled at everybody and felt that it  was
a beautiful world."
    The visit to Echo Lodge was not the least pleasant of  many  pleasant
holiday outings. Anne and Diana went back to it by  the  old  way  of  the
beech woods, carrying a lunch basket with them. Echo Lodge, which had been
closed ever since Miss Lavendar's wedding, was briefly thrown open to wind
and sunshine once more, and firelight glimmered again in the little rooms.
The perfume of Miss Lavendar's rose bowl still  filled  the  air.  It  was
hardly possible to believe that Miss Lavendar would not come  tripping  in
presently, with her brown eyes a-star with welcome, and that Charlotta the
Fourth, blue of bow and wide of smile, would not  pop  through  the  door.
Paul, too, seemed hovering around, with his fairy fancies.
    "It really makes me feel a little bit like a ghost revisiting the old
time glimpses of the moon," laughed Anne. "Let's go out  and  see  if  the
echoes are at home. Bring the old horn. It is  still  behind  the  kitchen
    The echoes were at home, over the white river,  as  silver-clear  and
multitudinous as ever; and when they had ceased to answer the girls locked
up Echo Lodge again and went away in the perfect half  hour  that  follows
the rose and saffron of a winter sunset.

                         8. Anne's First Proposal

    The old  year  did  not  slip  away  in  a  green  twilight,  with  a
pinky-yellow sunset. Instead, it went out with a wild, white  bluster  and
blow. It was one of the nights when the storm-wind hurtles over the frozen
meadows and black  hollows,  and  moans  around  the  eaves  like  a  lost
creature, and drives the snow sharply against the shaking panes.
    "Just the sort of night people like  to  cuddle  down  between  their
blankets and count their mercies," said Anne to Jane Andrews, who had come
up to spend the afternoon and stay all night. But when they  were  cuddled
between their blankets, in Anne's  little  porch  room,  it  was  not  her
mercies of which Jane was thinking.
    "Anne," she said very solemnly, "I want to tell you something. May I"
    Anne was feeling rather sleepy after the party Ruby Gillis had  given
the night before. She would much rather have gone to sleep than listen  to
Jane's confidences, which  she  was  sure  would  bore  her.  She  had  no
prophetic inkling of what was coming.  Probably  Jane  was  engaged,  too;
rumor  averred  that  Ruby  Gillis  was   engaged   to   the   Spencervale
schoolteacher, about whom all the girls were said to be quite wild.
    "I'll soon be the only fancy-free maiden of our old quartet," thought
Anne, drowsily. Aloud she said, "Of course."
    "Anne," said Jane, still more solemnly, "what  do  you  think  of  my
brother Billy?"
    Anne gasped over this unexpected question, and floundered  helplessly
in her thoughts. Goodness, what DID she think of Billy  Andrews?  She  had
never thought  ANYTHING  about  him  -  round-faced,  stupid,  perpetually
smiling, good-natured Billy Andrews. Did ANYBODY ever  think  about  Billy
    "I - I don't understand, Jane," she stammered. "What do  you  mean  -
    "Do you like Billy?" asked Jane bluntly.
    "Why - why - yes, I like him, of course," gasped Anne,  wondering  if
she were telling the literal truth. Certainly she did not  DISlike  Billy.
But could the indifferent tolerance with which she regarded him,  when  he
happened to be in her range of vision, be considered positive  enough  for
liking? WHAT was Jane trying to elucidate?
    "Would you like him for a husband?" asked Jane calmly.
    "A husband!" Anne had been sitting up in bed, the better  to  wrestle
with the problem of her exact opinion  of  Billy  Andrews.  Now  she  fell
flatly back on her pillows, the  very  breath  gone  out  of  her.  "Whose
    "Yours, of course," answered Jane. "Billy wants to  marry  you.  He's
always been crazy about you - and now father has given him the upper  farm
in his own name and there's nothing to prevent him from  getting  married.
But he's so shy he couldn't ask you himself if you'd have him, so  he  got
me to do it. I'd rather not have, but he gave me no peace till  I  said  I
would, if I got a good chance. What do you think about it, Anne?"
    Was it a dream? Was it one of those nightmare  things  in  which  you
find yourself engaged or married to some  one  you  hate  or  don't  know,
without the slightest idea how it ever came about? No, she, Anne  Shirley,
was lying there, wide awake, in her own bed, and Jane Andrews  was  beside
her, calmly proposing for her brother Billy. Anne did not know whether she
wanted to writhe or laugh; but she could do neither, for  Jane's  feelings
must not be hurt.
    "I - I couldn't marry Bill, you know, Jane,"  she  managed  to  gasp.
"Why, such an idea never occurred to me - never!"
    "I don't suppose it did," agreed Jane. "Billy has always been far too
shy to think of courting. But you might think it over, Anne.  Billy  is  a
good fellow. I must say that, if he is my brother. He has  no  bad  habits
and he's a great worker, and you can depend on him. `A bird in the hand is
worth two in the bush.' He told me to tell you he'd be  quite  willing  to
wait till you got through college, if you insisted, though he'd RATHER get
married this spring before the planting begins. He'd always be  very  good
to you, I'm sure, and you know, Anne, I'd love to have you for a sister."
    "I can't marry Billy," said Anne decidedly.  She  had  recovered  her
wits, and was even feeling a little  angry.  It  was  all  so  ridiculous.
"There is no use thinking of it, Jane. I don't care anything  for  him  in
that way, and you must tell him so."
    "Well, I didn't suppose you would," said Jane with a  resigned  sigh,
feeling that she had done her best. "I told Billy I didn't believe it  was
a bit of use to ask you, but he insisted. Well, you've made your decision,
Anne, and I hope you won't regret it."
    Jane spoke rather coldly.  She  had  been  perfectly  sure  that  the
enamored Billy had no chance  at  all  of  inducing  Anne  to  marry  him.
Nevertheless, she felt a little resentment that  Anne  Shirley,  who  was,
after all, merely an adopted orphan, without kith or  kin,  should  refuse
her brother - one of the  Avonlea  Andrews.  Well,  pride  sometimes  goes
before a fall, Jane reflected ominously.
    Anne permitted herself to smile in the darkness over  the  idea  that
she might ever regret not marrying Billy Andrews.
    "I hope Billy won't feel very badly over it," she said nicely.
    Jane made a movement as if she were tossing her head on her pillow.
    "Oh, he won't break his heart. Billy has  too  much  good  sense  for
that. He likes Nettie Blewett pretty well, too, and mother would rather he
married her than any one. She's such a good manager and  saver.  I  think,
when Billy is once sure you won't have  him,  he'll  take  Nettie.  Please
don't mention this to any one, will you, Anne?"
    "Certainly not," said Anne, who had no  desire  whatever  to  publish
abroad the fact that Billy Andrews wanted to marry  her,  preferring  her,
when all was said and done, to Nettie Blewett. Nettie Blewett!
    "And now I suppose we'd better go to sleep," suggested Jane.
    To sleep went Jane easily  and  speedily;  but,  though  very  unlike
MacBeth in most respects, she had certainly contrived to murder sleep  for
Anne. That proposed-to damsel lay on a wakeful pillow until the wee sma's,
but her meditations were far from being romantic.  It  was  not,  however,
until the next morning that she had an opportunity to indulge  in  a  good
laugh over the whole affair. When Jane had gone home - still with  a  hint
of frost in voice and manner because Anne had declined so ungratefully and
decidedly the honor of an alliance  with  the  House  of  Andrews  -  Anne
retreated to the porch room, shut the door, and had her laugh out at last.
    "If I could only share the joke with some one!" she thought.  "But  I
can't. Diana is the only one I'd want to tell, and, even if I hadn't sworn
secrecy to Jane, I can't tell Diana things now. She  tells  everything  to
Fred - I know she does. Well, I've had my first proposal.  I  supposed  it
would come some day - but I certainly never thought it would be by  proxy.
It's awfully funny - and yet there's a sting in it, too, somehow."
    Anne knew quite well wherein the sting consisted, though she did  not
put it into words. She had had her secret dreams of the  first  time  some
one should ask her the great question. And it had, in those dreams, always
been very romantic and beautiful: and  the  "some  one"  was  to  be  very
handsome and dark-eyed and distinguished-looking and eloquent, whether  he
were Prince Charming to be  enraptured  with  "yes,"  or  one  to  whom  a
regretful, beautifully worded, but hopeless refusal must be given. If  the
latter, the refusal was to be expressed so delicately  that  it  would  be
next best thing to acceptance, and he would go  away,  after  kissing  her
hand, assuring her of his unalterable, life-long devotion.  And  it  would
always be a beautiful memory, to be proud of and a little sad about, also.
    And now, this thrilling  experience  had  turned  out  to  be  merely
grotesque. Billy Andrews had got his sister to propose for him because his
father had given him the upper farm;  and  if  Anne  wouldn't  "have  him"
Nettie Blewett would. There was romance for you, with  a  vengeance!  Anne
laughed - and then sighed. The bloom had  been  brushed  from  one  little
maiden dream. Would the painful process  go  on  until  everything  became
prosaic and hum-drum?

                9. An Unwelcome Lover and a Welcome Friend

    The second term at Redmond  sped  as  quickly  as  had  the  first  -
"actually whizzed away," Philippa said. Anne enjoyed it thoroughly in  all
its phases - the stimulating class rivalry, the making  and  deepening  of
new and helpful friendships, the gay little social stunts, the  doings  of
the various societies of which she was a member, the widening of  horizons
and interests. She studied hard, for she had made up her mind to  win  the
Thorburn Scholarship in English. This being won, meant that she could come
back to Redmond the next year without trenching on Marilla's small savings
- something Anne was determined she would not do.
    Gilbert, too, was in full chase after a scholarship, but found plenty
of time for frequent calls at Thirty-eight,  St.  John's.  He  was  Anne's
escort at nearly all the college affairs, and she knew  that  their  names
were coupled in Redmond gossip. Anne raged over this but was helpless; she
could not cast an old friend like Gilbert aside, especially  when  he  had
grown suddenly wise and wary, as behooved him in the  dangerous  proximity
of more than one Redmond youth who would gladly have taken  his  place  by
the side of the slender, red-haired coed, whose gray eyes were as alluring
as stars of evening. Anne was never  attended  by  the  crowd  of  willing
victims  who  hovered  around  Philippa's  conquering  march  through  her
Freshman year; but there was a lanky, brainy  Freshie,  a  jolly,  little,
round Sophomore, and a tall, learned Junior  who  all  liked  to  call  at
Thirty-eight, St. John's, and talk over 'ologies and  'isms,  as  well  as
lighter subjects, with Anne, in the becushioned parlor of  that  domicile.
Gilbert did not love any of them, and he was exceedingly careful  to  give
none of them the advantage over him by any untimely display  of  his  real
feelings Anne-ward. To her he had become again the boy-comrade of  Avonlea
days, and as such could hold his own against any smitten swain who had  so
far  entered  the  lists  against  him.  As  a  companion,  Anne  honestly
acknowledged nobody could be so satisfactory  as  Gilbert;  she  was  very
glad, so she told herself, that he had evidently dropped  all  nonsensical
ideas - though she spent considerable time secretly wondering why.
    Only one disagreeable incident marred that  winter.  Charlie  Sloane,
sitting bolt upright on Miss Ada's most dearly beloved cushion, asked Anne
one night if she would promise "to become Mrs. Charlie Sloane  some  day."
Coming after Billy Andrews' proxy effort, this was not quite the shock  to
Anne's romantic sensibilities that it would otherwise have  been;  but  it
was certainly another heart-rending disillusion. She was angry,  too,  for
she felt that she had never given Charlie the slightest  encouragement  to
suppose such a thing possible. But what could you expect of a  Sloane,  as
Mrs. Rachel Lynde would ask scornfully? Charlie's  whole  attitude,  tone,
air, words, fairly reeked with Sloanishness. "He was  conferring  a  great
honor - no doubt whatever about that. And when Anne, utterly insensible to
the honor, refused him, as delicately and considerately as she could - for
even a Sloane had feelings which  ought  not  to  be  unduly  lacerated  -
Sloanishness still further betrayed itself. Charlie certainly did not take
his dismissal as Anne's imaginary rejected suitors did. Instead, he became
angry, and showed it; he said two or  three  quite  nasty  things;  Anne's
temper flashed up mutinously and she retorted with a cutting little speech
whose keenness pierced even Charlie's protective Sloanishness and  reached
the quick; he caught up his hat and flung himself out of the house with  a
very red face;  Anne  rushed  upstairs,  falling  twice  over  Miss  Ada's
cushions on the way, and threw herself on her bed, in tears of humiliation
and rage. Had she actually stooped  to  quarrel  with  a  Sloane?  Was  it
possible anything Charlie Sloane could say had power to  make  her  angry?
Oh, this was degradation, indeed - worse even  than  being  the  rival  of
Nettie Blewett!
    "I wish I need never see the horrible  creature  again,"  she  sobbed
vindictively into her pillows.
    She could not avoid seeing him again, but the outraged  Charlie  took
care that it should not be at very close  quarters.  Miss  Ada's  cushions
were henceforth safe from his depredations, and when he met  Anne  on  the
street, or in Redmond's halls, his bow was icy in the  extreme.  Relations
between these two old schoolmates continued to be thus strained for nearly
a year! Then Charlie transferred his blighted affections to a round, rosy,
snub-nosed, blue-eyed, little  Sophomore  who  appreciated  them  as  they
deserved, whereupon he forgave Anne and condescended to be  civil  to  her
again; in a patronizing manner intended to show  her  just  what  she  had
    One day Anne scurried excitedly into Priscilla's room.
    "Read that," she cried, tossing Priscilla a letter. "It's from Stella
- and she's coming to Redmond next year - and what do  you  think  of  her
idea? I think it's a perfectly splendid one, if we can only carry it  out.
Do you suppose we can, Pris?"
    "I'll be better able to tell you when I find out what  it  is,"  said
Priscilla, casting aside a Greek lexicon and taking  up  Stella's  letter.
Stella Maynard had been one of their chums at Queen's Academy and had been
teaching school ever since.
    "But I'm going to give it up, Anne  dear,"  she  wrote,  "and  go  to
college next year. As I took the third year at Queen's  I  can  enter  the
Sophomore year. I'm tired of teaching in a back country school.  Some  day
I'm going to write a treatise on `The Trials of a Country Schoolmarm.'  It
will be a harrowing  bit  of  realism.  It  seems  to  be  the  prevailing
impression that we live in clover, and have nothing to  do  but  draw  our
quarter's salary. My treatise shall tell the truth about  us.  Why,  if  a
week should pass without some one telling me that I am doing easy work for
big pay I would conclude that I might as  well  order  my  ascension  robe
`immediately  and  to  onct.'  `Well,  you  get  your  money  easy,'  some
rate-payer will tell me, condescendingly. `All you have to do  is  to  sit
there and hear lessons.' I used to argue the  matter  at  first,  but  I'm
wiser now. Facts are stubborn things, but as some one has wisely said, not
half so stubborn as fallacies. So I only smile  loftily  now  in  eloquent
silence. Why, I have nine grades in my school and I have to teach a little
of everything, from investigating the interiors of earthworms to the study
of the solar system. My youngest pupil is four - his mother sends  him  to
school to `get him out of the way' - and my oldest twenty -  it  `suddenly
struck him' that it would be easier to go to school and get  an  education
than follow the plough any longer. In the wild effort to cram all sorts of
research into six hours a day I don't wonder if the children feel like the
little boy who was taken to see the biograph. `I have to look  for  what's
coming next before I know what went last,' he complained. I feel like that
    "And the letters I get, Anne! Tommy's mother writes me that Tommy  is
not coming on in arithmetic as fast as she  would  like.  He  is  only  in
simple reduction yet, and Johnny Johnson is in fractions, and Johnny isn't
half as smart as her Tommy, and she can't understand it. And Susy's father
wants to know why Susy can't write a letter without misspelling  half  the
words, and Dick's aunt wants me to change his seat, because that bad Brown
boy he is sitting with is teaching him to say naughty words.
    "As to the financial part - but I'll not begin on  that.  Those  whom
the gods wish to destroy they first make country schoolmarms!
    "There, I feel better, after that  growl.  After  all,  I've  enjoyed
these past two years. But I'm coming to Redmond.
    "And now, Anne, I've a little plan. You know how I  loathe  boarding.
I've boarded for four years and I'm so tired of  it.  I  don't  feel  like
enduring three years more of it.
    Now, why can't you and Priscilla and I club together, rent  a  little
house somewhere in Kingsport, and board ourselves?  It  would  be  cheaper
than any other way. Of course, we would have to have a housekeeper  and  I
have one ready on the spot. You've heard me speak of Aunt Jamesina?  She's
the sweetest aunt that ever lived, in spite of her name.  She  can't  help
that! She was called Jamesina because her father, whose  name  was  James,
was drowned at sea a month before she was born. I  always  call  her  Aunt
Jimsie. Well, her only daughter has  recently  married  and  gone  to  the
foreign mission field. Aunt Jamesina is left alone in a great  big  house,
and she is horribly lonesome. She will come to Kingsport  and  keep  house
for us if we want her, and I know you'll both love her. The more  I  think
of the plan the more I like it.  We  could  have  such  good,  independent
    "Now, if you and Priscilla agree to it, wouldn't it be  a  good  idea
for you, who are on the spot, to look around and see if  you  can  find  a
suitable house this spring? That would be better than leaving it till  the
fall. If you could get a furnished one so much the better, but if not,  we
can scare up a few sticks of finiture between us and  old  family  friends
with attics. Anyhow, decide as soon as you can and write me, so that  Aunt
Jamesina will know what plans to make for next year."
    "I think it's a good idea," said Priscilla.
    "So do I," agreed Anne  delightedly.  "Of  course,  we  have  a  nice
boardinghouse here, but, when all's said and done, a  boardinghouse  isn't
home. So let's go house-hunting at once, before exams come on."
    "I'm afraid it will be hard enough to get a really  suitable  house,"
warned Priscilla. "Don't expect  too  much,  Anne.  Nice  houses  in  nice
localities will probably be away beyond our means. We'll  likely  have  to
content ourselves with a shabby little place on some street  whereon  live
people whom to know is to be unknown, and make life inside compensate  for
the outside."
    Accordingly they went house-hunting,  but  to  find  just  what  they
wanted proved even harder than Priscilla had  feared.  Houses  there  were
galore, furnished and unfurnished; but one was too big, another too small;
this one too expensive, that one too far from Redmond. Exams were  on  and
over; the last week of the term came and still their "house o'dreams,"  as
Anne called it, remained a castle in the air.
    "We shall have to give up and wait till the fall,  I  suppose,"  said
Priscilla wearily, as they rambled through the  park  on  one  of  April's
darling days of  breeze  and  blue,  when  the  harbor  was  creaming  and
shimmering beneath the pearl-hued mists floating over  it.  "We  may  find
some shack to shelter us then; and if not, boardinghouses  we  shall  have
always with us."
    "I'm not going to worry about it just now,  anyway,  and  spoil  this
lovely afternoon," said Anne, gazing around her with  delight.  The  fresh
chill air was faintly charged with the aroma of pine balsam, and  the  sky
above was crystal clear and blue -  a  great  inverted  cup  of  blessing.
"Spring is singing in my blood today, and the lure of April is  abroad  on
the air. I'm seeing visions and dreaming dreams, Pris. That's because  the
wind is from the west. I do love the west  wind.  It  sings  of  hope  and
gladness, doesn't it? When the east wind blows I always think of sorrowful
rain on the eaves and sad waves on a gray shore. When I get  old  I  shall
have rheumatism when the wind is east."
    "And isn't it jolly when you discard furs and winter garments for the
first time  and  sally  forth,  like  this,  in  spring  attire?"  laughed
Priscilla. "Don't you feel as if you had been made over new?"
    "Everything is new in the spring," said Anne. "Springs themselves are
always so new, too. No spring is ever  just  like  any  other  spring.  It
always has something of its own to be its own peculiar sweetness. See  how
green the grass is around that little pond, and how the  willow  buds  are
    "And exams are over and gone - the time of Convocation will come soon
- next Wednesday. This day next week we'll be home."
    "I'm glad," said Anne dreamily. "There are so many things I  want  to
do. I want to sit on the back porch steps and feel the breeze blowing down
over Mr. Harrison's fields. I want to hunt ferns in the Haunted  Wood  and
gather violets in Violet Vale. Do you  remember  the  day  of  our  golden
picnic, Priscilla? I want to  hear  the  frogs  singing  and  the  poplars
whispering. But I've learned to love Kingsport,  too,  and  I'm  glad  I'm
coming back next fall. If I hadn't won the  Thorburn  I  don't  believe  I
could have. I COULDN'T take any of Marilla's little hoard."
    "If we could only find a house!" sighed Priscilla. "Look  over  there
at Kingsport, Anne - houses, houses everywhere, and not one for us."
    "Stop it, Pris. `The best is yet to be.' Like the  old  Roman,  we'll
find a house or build one. On a day like this there's no such word as fail
in my bright lexicon."
    They lingered in the park until sunset, living in the amazing miracle
and glory and wonder of the springtide; and they went home  as  usual,  by
way of Spofford Avenue, that they might have the  delight  of  looking  at
Patty's Place.
    "I feel as if something mysterious were going to happen right away  -
`by the pricking of my thumbs,' " said Anne, as they went  up  the  slope.
"It's a nice story-bookish feeling. Why - why - why! Priscilla Grant, look
over there and tell me if it's true, or am I seein' things?"
    Priscilla looked. Anne's thumbs and eyes had not deceived  her.  Over
the arched gateway of Patty's Place dangled a little, modest sign. It said
"To Let, Furnished. Inquire Within."
    "Priscilla," said Anne, in a whisper, "do you suppose  it's  possible
that we could rent Patty's Place?"
    "No, I don't," averred Priscilla. "It would be too good to  be  true.
Fairy tales don't happen nowadays. I won't hope, Anne. The  disappointment
would be too awful to bear. They're sure to want more for it than  we  can
afford. Remember, it's on Spofford Avenue."
    "We must find out anyhow," said Anne resolutely. "It's  too  late  to
call this evening, but we'll come tomorrow. Oh, Pris, if we can  get  this
darling spot! I've always felt that my fortunes were linked  with  Patty's
Place, ever since I saw it first."

                             10. Patty's Place

    The next evening found them treading resolutely the herring-bone walk
through the tiny garden. The April wind was filling the  pine  trees  with
its roundelay, and the grove was alive with robins - great,  plump,  saucy
fellows, strutting along the paths. The girls  rang  rather  timidly,  and
were admitted by a grim and ancient handmaiden. The door  opened  directly
into a large living-room, where by a cheery  little  fire  sat  two  other
ladies, both of whom were also grim and ancient. Except that one looked to
be about seventy and the  other  fifty,  there  seemed  little  difference
between them. Each had amazingly big, light-blue eyes behind  steel-rimmed
spectacles; each wore a cap and a gray shawl; each  was  knitting  without
haste and without rest; each rocked  placidly  and  looked  at  the  girls
without speaking; and just behind each sat a large white china  dog,  with
round green spots all over it, a green nose and  green  ears.  Those  dogs
captured Anne's fancy on the spot; they  seemed  like  the  twin  guardian
deities of Patty's Place.
    For a few minutes nobody spoke. The girls were too  nervous  to  find
words,  and  neither  the  ancient  ladies  nor  the  china  dogs   seemed
conversationally inclined. Anne glanced about the room. What a dear  place
it was! Another door opened out of it directly into the pine grove and the
robins came boldly up on the very step. The floor was spotted with  round,
braided mats, such as  Marilla  made  at  Green  Gables,  but  which  were
considered out of date everywhere else, even in Avonlea. And yet here they
were on Spofford Avenue! A big, polished grandfather's clock ticked loudly
and solemnly in a corner. There were delightful little cupboards over  the
mantelpiece, behind whose glass doors gleamed quaint bits  of  china.  The
walls were hung with old prints and silhouettes. In one corner the  stairs
went up, and at the first low turn was a  long  window  with  an  inviting
seat. It was all just as Anne had known it must be.
    By this time the silence had grown too dreadful, and Priscilla nudged
Anne to intimate that she must speak.
    "We - we - saw by your sign that this house is  to  let,"  said  Anne
faintly, addressing the older lady, who was evidently Miss Patty Spofford.
    "Oh, yes," said Miss Patty. "I intended to take that sign down today."
    "Then - then we are too late," said Anne sorrowfully. "You've let  it
to some one else?"
    "No, but we have decided not to let it at all."
    "Oh, I'm so sorry," exclaimed Anne impulsively. "I  love  this  place
so. I did hope we could have got it."
    Then did Miss Patty lay down her knitting, take off  her  specs,  rub
them, put them on again, and for the first time look at Anne as at a human
being. The other lady followed her example so perfectly that she might  as
well have been a reflection in a mirror.
    "You LOVE it," said Miss Patty with emphasis. "Does  that  mean  that
you really LOVE it? Or that you merely like the looks  of  it?  The  girls
nowadays indulge in such exaggerated statements that one  never  can  tell
what they DO mean. It wasn't so in my young days. THEN a girl did not  say
she LOVED turnips, in just the same tone as she might have said she  loved
her mother or her Savior."
    Anne's conscience bore her up.
    "I really do love it," she said gently. "I've loved it ever  since  I
saw it last fall. My two college chums and I want to keep house next  year
instead of boarding, so we are looking for a little  place  to  rent;  and
when I saw that this house was to let I was so happy."
    "If you love it, you can have it," said  Miss  Patty.  "Maria  and  I
decided today that we would not let it after all, because we did not  like
any of the people who have wanted it. We don't HAVE  to  let  it.  We  can
afford to go to Europe even if we don't let it. It would help us out,  but
not for gold will I let my home pass into the possession of such people as
have come here and looked at it. YOU are different. I believe you do  love
it and will be good to it. You can have it."
    "If - if we can afford to pay what you ask for it," hesitated Anne.
    Miss Patty named the amount required. Anne and  Priscilla  looked  at
each other. Priscilla shook her head.
    "I'm afraid we can't afford quite so much," said Anne,  choking  back
her disappointment. "You see, we are only college girls and we are poor."
    "What were you thinking  you  could  afford?"  demanded  Miss  Patty,
ceasing not to knit.
    Anne named her amount. Miss Patty nodded gravely.
    "That will do. As I told you, it is not strictly  necessary  that  we
should let it at all. We are not rich, but we have enough to go to  Europe
on. I have never been in Europe in my life, and never expected  or  wanted
to go. But my niece there, Maria Spofford, has taken a fancy to  go.  Now,
you know a young person like Maria can't go globetrotting alone."
    "No - I - I suppose not," murmured Anne, seeing that Miss  Patty  was
quite solemnly in earnest.
    "Of course not. So I have to go along to look after her. I expect  to
enjoy it, too; I'm seventy years old, but I'm not tired of living  yet.  I
daresay I'd have gone to Europe before if the idea had occurred to me.  We
shall be away for two years, perhaps three. We sail in June and  we  shall
send you the key, and leave all in order for you to take  possession  when
you choose. We shall pack away a few things we prize especially,  but  all
the rest will be left."
    "Will you leave the china dogs?" asked Anne timidly.
    "Would you like me to?"
    "Oh, indeed, yes. They are delightful."
    A pleased expression came into Miss Patty's face.
    "I think a great deal of those dogs," she  said  proudly.  "They  are
over a hundred years old, and  they  have  sat  on  either  side  of  this
fireplace ever since my brother Aaron brought them from London fifty years
ago. Spofford Avenue was called after my brother Aaron."
    "A fine man he was," said Miss Maria, speaking for  the  first  time.
"Ah, you don't see the like of him nowadays."
    "He was a good uncle to you, Maria," said Miss  Patty,  with  evident
emotion. "You do well to remember him."
    "I shall always remember him," said Miss Maria solemnly. "I  can  see
him, this minute, standing there before that fire, with  his  hands  under
his coat-tails, beaming on us."
    Miss Maria took out her handkerchief and wiped  her  eyes;  but  Miss
Patty came resolutely back from the  regions  of  sentiment  to  those  of
    "I shall leave the dogs where they are, if you  will  promise  to  be
very careful of them," she said. "Their names are Gog and Magog. Gog looks
to the right and Magog to the left. And there's just one thing  more.  You
don't object, I hope, to this house being called Patty's Place?"
    "No, indeed. We think that is one of the nicest things about it."
    "You have sense,  I  see,"  said  Miss  Patty  in  a  tone  of  great
satisfaction. "Would you believe it? All the people who came here to  rent
the house wanted to know if they couldn't  take  the  name  off  the  gate
during their occupation of it. I told them roundly that the name went with
the house. This has been Patty's Place ever since my brother Aaron left it
to me in his will, and Patty's Place it shall remain until I die and Maria
dies. After that happens the next possessor can call it any fool  name  he
likes," concluded Miss Patty, much as she might have said, "After  that  -
the deluge." "And now, wouldn't you like to go over the house and  see  it
all before we consider the bargain made?"
    Further exploration still further delighted the  girls.  Besides  the
big living-room, there was a  kitchen  and  a  small  bedroom  downstairs.
Upstairs were three rooms, one large and two small. Anne took an  especial
fancy to one of the small ones, looking out into the big pines, and  hoped
it would be hers. It was papered in pale blue and had a little,  old-timey
toilet table with sconces for candles. There was  a  diamond-paned  window
with a seat under the blue muslin frills that would be a  satisfying  spot
for studying or dreaming.
    "It's all so delicious that I know we are going to wake up  and  find
it a fleeting vision of the night," said Priscilla as they went away.
    "Miss Patty and Miss Maria are hardly such stuff as dreams  are  made
of," laughed Anne. "Can you fancy them `globe-trotting'  -  especially  in
those shawls and caps?"
    "I suppose they'll take them off when they  really  begin  to  trot,"
said Priscilla,  "but  I  know  they'll  take  their  knitting  with  them
everywhere. They simply couldn't be parted from it. They will  walk  about
Westminster Abbey and knit, I feel sure.  Meanwhile,  Anne,  we  shall  be
living in  Patty's  Place  -  and  on  Spofford  Avenue.  I  feel  like  a
millionairess even now."
    "I feel like one of the morning stars that sang for joy," said Anne.
    Phil Gordon crept into Thirty-eight, St. John's, that night and flung
herself on Anne's bed.
    "Girls, dear, I'm tired to death. I  feel  like  the  man  without  a
country - or was it without a shadow? I forget which.  Anyway,  I've  been
packing up."
    "And I suppose you are worn out because  you  couldn't  decide  which
things to pack first, or where to put them," laughed Priscilla.
    "E-zackly. And when I had got everything jammed in  somehow,  and  my
landlady and her maid had both sat on it while I locked it, I discovered I
had packed a whole lot of things I wanted  for  Convocation  at  the  very
bottom. I had to unlock the old thing and poke and dive  into  it  for  an
hour before I fished out what I wanted. I would get hold of something that
felt like what I was looking for, and I'd yank it  up,  and  it  would  be
something else. No, Anne, I did NOT swear."
    "I didn't say you did."
    "Well, you looked it. But I admit my thoughts verged on the  profane.
And I have such a cold in the head - I can do nothing  but  sniffle,  sigh
and sneeze. Isn't that alliterative agony for  you?  Queen  Anne,  do  say
something to cheer me up."
    "Remember that next Thursday night, you'll be back  in  the  land  of
Alec and Alonzo," suggested Anne.
    Phil shook her head dolefully.
    "More alliteration. No, I don't want Alec and Alonzo when  I  have  a
cold in the head. But what has happened you two? Now that I  look  at  you
closely you seem all lighted up with an internal iridescence. Why,  you're
actually SHINING! What's up?"
    "We are going to live  in  Patty's  Place  next  winter,"  said  Anne
triumphantly. "Live, mark you, not board!  We've  rented  it,  and  Stella
Maynard is coming, and her aunt is going to keep house for us."
    Phil bounced up, wiped her nose, and fell on her knees before Anne.
    "Girls - girls - let me come, too. Oh, I'll be so good. If there's no
room for me I'll sleep in the little doghouse in the orchard -  I've  seen
it. Only let me come."
    "Get up, you goose."
    "I won't stir off my marrow bones till you tell me I  can  live  with
you next winter."
    Anne and Priscilla looked at each other. Then Anne said slowly, "Phil
dear, we'd love to have you. But we may as well speak plainly. I'm poor  -
Pris is poor - Stella Maynard is poor - our housekeeping will have  to  be
very simple and our table plain. You'd have to live as we would. Now,  you
are rich and your boardinghouse fare attests the fact."
    "Oh, what do I care for that?" demanded Phil  tragically.  "Better  a
dinner of herbs where your chums  are  than  a  stalled  ox  in  a  lonely
boardinghouse. Don't think I'm ALL stomach, girls. I'll be willing to live
on bread and water - with just a LEETLE jam - if you'll let me come."
    "And then," continued Anne, "there will be a good deal of work to  be
done. Stella's aunt can't do it all. We all expect to have our  chores  to
do. Now, you - "
    "Toil not, neither do I spin," finished Philippa. "But I'll learn  to
do things. You'll only have to show me once. I CAN  make  my  own  bed  to
begin with. And remember that, though I can't cook, I CAN keep my  temper.
That's something. And I NEVER growl about the weather.  That's  more.  Oh,
please, please! I never wanted anything so much in  my  life  -  and  this
floor is awfully hard."
    "There's just one more thing," said Priscilla resolutely. "You, Phil,
as all Redmond knows, entertain callers  almost  every  evening.  Now,  at
Patty's Place we can't do that. We have decided that we shall be  at  home
to our friends on Friday evenings only. If you come with us you'll have to
abide by that rule."
    "Well, you don't think I'll mind that, do you? Why, I'm glad of it. I
knew I should have had some such rule myself, but I hadn't enough decision
to make it or stick to it. When I can shuffle off  the  responsibility  on
you it will be a real relief. If you won't let me cast in my lot with  you
I'll die of the disappointment and then I'll come back and haunt you. I'll
camp on the very doorstep of Patty's Place and you won't be able to go out
or come in without falling over my spook."
    Again Anne and Priscilla exchanged eloquent looks.
    "Well," said Anne, "of course we can't  promise  to  take  you  until
we've consulted with Stella; but I don't think she'll object, and, as  far
as we are concerned, you may come and glad welcome."
    "If you get tired of our  simple  life  you  can  leave  us,  and  no
questions asked," added Priscilla.
    Phil sprang up, hugged them both jubilantly,  and  went  on  her  way
    "I hope things will go right," said Priscilla soberly.
    "We must MAKE them go right," avowed Anne. "I  think  Phil  will  fit
into our 'appy little 'ome very well."
    "Oh, Phil's a dear to rattle round with and be chums. And, of course,
the more there are of us the easier it will be on our slim purses. But how
will she be to live with? You have to  summer  and  winter  with  any  one
before you know if she's LIVABLE or not."
    "Oh, well, we'll all be put to the test, as far as that goes. And  we
must quit us like sensible folk, living and let live. Phil isn't  selfish,
though she's a little thoughtless, and  I  believe  we  will  all  get  on
beautifully in Patty's Place."

                          11. The Round of Life

    Anne was back in Avonlea with the luster of the Thorburn  Scholarship
on her brow. People told her she hadn't changed  much,  in  a  tone  which
hinted they were surprised and a little disappointed she  hadn't.  Avonlea
had not changed, either. At least, so it seemed at first. But as Anne  sat
in the Green Gables pew, on the first Sunday after her return, and  looked
over the congregation, she saw several little changes  which,  all  coming
home to her at once, made her realize that time did not quite stand still,
even in Avonlea. A new minister was in the pulpit. In the pews  more  than
one familiar face was missing forever. Old "Uncle  Abe,"  his  prophesying
over and done with, Mrs. Peter Sloane, who had sighed, it was to be hoped,
for the last time, Timothy Cotton, who, as Mrs.  Rachel  Lynde  said  "had
actually managed to die at last after practicing at it for twenty  years,"
and old Josiah Sloane, whom nobody knew in his coffin because he  had  his
whiskers neatly trimmed, were all sleeping in the little graveyard  behind
the church.  And  Billy  Andrews  was  married  to  Nettie  Blewett!  They
"appeared out" that Sunday. When Billy, beaming with pride and  happiness,
showed his be-plumed and be-silked bride into  the  Harmon  Andrews'  pew,
Anne dropped her lids to hide her dancing eyes. She  recalled  the  stormy
winter night of the Christmas holidays when Jane had proposed  for  Billy.
He certainly had not broken his heart over his rejection. Anne wondered if
Jane had also proposed to Nettie for him, or if  he  had  mustered  enough
spunk to ask the fateful question himself. All the Andrews  family  seemed
to share in his pride and pleasure, from Mrs. Harmon in the pew to Jane in
the choir. Jane had resigned from the Avonlea school and  intended  to  go
West in the fall.
    "Can't get a beau in Avonlea, that's what," said  Mrs.  Rachel  Lynde
scornfully. "SAYS she thinks she'll have better health out West.  I  never
heard her health was poor before."
    "Jane is a nice girl," Anne had said loyally.  "She  never  tried  to
attract attention, as some did."
    "Oh, she never chased the boys, if that's what you mean,"  said  Mrs.
Rachel. "But she'd like to be married, just as  much  as  anybody,  that's
what. What else would take her out West to some forsaken place whose  only
recommendation is that men are plenty and women scarce? Don't you tell me!"
    But it was not at Jane, Anne gazed that day in dismay  and  surprise.
It was at Ruby Gillis, who sat beside her in the choir. What had  happened
to Ruby? She was even handsomer than ever; but  her  blue  eyes  were  too
bright and lustrous, and the color of her cheeks was hectically brilliant;
besides, she was very thin; the hands that held her hymn-book were  almost
transparent in their delicacy.
    "Is Ruby Gillis ill?" Anne asked of Mrs. Lynde,  as  they  went  home
from church.
    "Ruby Gillis is dying of  galloping  consumption,"  said  Mrs.  Lynde
bluntly. "Everybody knows it except herself and  her  FAMILY.  They  won't
give in. If you ask THEM, she's perfectly well. She hasn't  been  able  to
teach since she had that attack of congestion in the winter, but she  says
she's going to teach again in the fall, and she's after  the  White  Sands
school. She'll be in her grave, poor girl, when White Sands school  opens,
that's what."
    Anne listened in shocked silence. Ruby Gillis, her  old  school-chum,
dying? Could it be possible? Of late years they had grown apart;  but  the
old tie of school-girl intimacy was there, and made itself felt sharply in
the tug the news gave at Anne's heartstrings.  Ruby,  the  brilliant,  the
merry, the coquettish! It was impossible to associate the thought  of  her
with anything like death. She had greeted Anne with gay  cordiality  after
church, and urged her to come up the next evening.
    "I'll be away Tuesday and  Wednesday  evenings,"  she  had  whispered
triumphantly. "There's a concert at Carmody and a party  at  White  Sands.
Herb Spencer's going to take me. He's  my  LATEST.  Be  sure  to  come  up
tomorrow. I'm dying for a good talk with you. I want  to  hear  all  about
your doings at Redmond."
    Anne knew that Ruby meant that she wanted to tell Anne all about  her
own recent flirtations, but she promised to go, and Diana  offered  to  go
with her.
    "I've been wanting to go to see Ruby for  a  long  while,"  she  told
Anne, when they left Green Gables the next evening, "but I really couldn't
go alone. It's so awful  to  hear  Ruby  rattling  on  as  she  does,  and
pretending there is nothing the matter with her, even when she can  hardly
speak for coughing. She's fighting so hard  for  her  life,  and  yet  she
hasn't any chance at all, they say."
    The girls walked silently down the red, twilit road. The robins  were
singing vespers in the high treetops, filling the golden  air  with  their
jubilant voices. The silver fluting of the frogs  came  from  marshes  and
ponds, over fields where seeds were beginning to stir with life and thrill
to the sunshine and rain that had drifted over them. The air was  fragrant
with the wild, sweet, wholesome smell of  young  raspberry  copses.  White
mists were hovering in the silent hollows and violet  stars  were  shining
bluely on the brooklands.
    "What a beautiful sunset," said Diana. "Look, Anne, it's just like  a
land in itself, isn't it? That long, low  back  of  purple  cloud  is  the
shore, and the clear sky further on is like a golden sea."
    "If we could sail to it in the moonshine boat Paul wrote  of  in  his
old composition - you remember? -  how  nice  it  would  be,"  said  Anne,
rousing from her reverie. "Do you think we could find all  our  yesterdays
there, Diana - all our old springs and blossoms? The beds of flowers  that
Paul saw there are the roses that have bloomed for us in the past?"
    "Don't!" said Diana. "You make me feel as if we were old  women  with
everything in life behind us."
    "I think I've almost felt as if we were  since  I  heard  about  poor
Ruby," said Anne. "If it is true that she is dying  any  other  sad  thing
might be true, too."
    "You don't mind calling in at Elisha Wright's for a moment, do  you?"
asked Diana. "Mother asked me to leave this little dish of jelly for  Aunt
    "Who is Aunt Atossa?"
    "Oh, haven't you heard? She's Mrs. Samson  Coates  of  Spencervale  -
Mrs. Elisha Wright's aunt. She's father's aunt, too. Her husband died last
winter and she was left very poor and lonely, so the Wrights took  her  to
live with them. Mother thought we ought to take her, but  father  put  his
foot down. Live with Aunt Atossa he would not."
    "Is she so terrible?" asked Anne absently.
    "You'll probably see what she's like before we can  get  away,"  said
Diana significantly. "Father says she has a face like a hatchet - it  cuts
the air. But her tongue is sharper still."
    Late as it was Aunt Atossa was cutting  potato  sets  in  the  Wright
kitchen. She wore a faded old wrapper, and her  gray  hair  was  decidedly
untidy. Aunt Atossa did not like being "caught in a kilter," so  she  went
out of her way to be disagreeable.
    "Oh, so you're Anne Shirley?" she said, when Diana  introduced  Anne.
"I've heard of you." Her tone implied that she  had  heard  nothing  good.
"Mrs. Andrews was telling me you were home. She said you  had  improved  a
good deal."
    There was no doubt Aunt Atossa thought there was plenty of  room  for
further improvement. She ceased not from cutting sets with much energy.
    "Is it any use to ask you to sit down?" she  inquired  sarcastically.
"Of course, there's nothing very entertaining here for you. The  rest  are
all away."
    "Mother sent you this  little  pot  of  rhubarb  jelly,"  said  Diana
pleasantly. "She made it today and thought you might like some."
    "Oh, thanks," said Aunt Atossa sourly. "I never fancy  your  mother's
jelly - she always makes it too sweet. However, I'll  try  to  worry  some
down. My appetite's been dreadful poor this spring. I'm  far  from  well,"
continued Aunt Atossa solemnly, "but still  I  keep  a-doing.  People  who
can't work aren't wanted here. If it isn't too much trouble  will  you  be
condescending enough to set the jelly in the pantry? I'm in a hurry to get
these spuds done tonight. I suppose you two LADIES never do anything  like
this. You'd be afraid of spoiling your hands."
    "I used to cut potato sets before we rented the farm," smiled Anne.
    "I do it yet," laughed Diana. "I cut sets three days  last  week.  Of
course," she added teasingly, "I did my hands up in lemon  juice  and  kid
gloves every night after it."
    Aunt Atossa sniffed.
    "I suppose you got that notion out of some of those  silly  magazines
you read so many of. I wonder your  mother  allows  you.  But  she  always
spoiled you. We all thought when George married  her  she  wouldn't  be  a
suitable wife for him."
    Aunt Atossa sighed heavily, as if all forebodings upon  the  occasion
of George Barry's marriage had been amply and darkly fulfilled.
    "Going, are you?" she inquired, as the girls rose. "Well,  I  suppose
you can't find much amusement talking to an old woman like me. It's such a
pity the boys ain't home."
    "We want to run in and see Ruby Gillis  a  little  while,"  explained
    "Oh, anything does for an  excuse,  of  course,"  said  Aunt  Atossa,
amiably. "Just whip in and whip out before you have  time  to  say  how-do
decently. It's college airs, I s'pose. You'd be wiser to  keep  away  from
Ruby Gillis. The doctors say consumption's catching. I always knew  Ruby'd
get something, gadding off to Boston last fall for  a  visit.  People  who
ain't content to stay home always catch something."
    "People who don't go visiting catch things, too. Sometimes they  even
die," said Diana solemnly.
    "Then they don't have themselves to  blame  for  it,"  retorted  Aunt
Atossa triumphantly. "I hear you are to be married in June, Diana."
    "There is no truth in that report," said Diana, blushing.
    "Well, don't put it off too long," said  Aunt  Atossa  significantly.
"You'll fade soon - you're all complexion and hair. And  the  Wrights  are
terrible fickle. You ought to wear a  hat,  MISS  SHIRLEY.  Your  nose  is
freckling scandalous. My, but you ARE redheaded! Well, I s'pose we're  all
as the Lord made us! Give Marilla Cuthbert my respects. She's  never  been
to see me since I come to Avonlea, but I s'pose I  oughtn't  to  complain.
The Cuthberts always did think themselves a cut higher than any  one  else
round here."
    "Oh, isn't she dreadful?" gasped Diana,  as  they  escaped  down  the
    "She's worse than Miss Eliza Andrews," said Anne. "But then think  of
living all your life with a name like Atossa! Wouldn't it sour almost  any
one? She should have tried to imagine her name was Cordelia. It might have
helped her a great deal. It certainly helped me in the days when I  didn't
like ANNE."
    "Josie Pye will be just like her when  she  grows  up,"  said  Diana.
"Josie's mother and Aunt Atossa are cousins, you know. Oh, dear, I'm  glad
that's over. She's so malicious -  she  seems  to  put  a  bad  flavor  in
everything. Father tells such a funny story about her. One time they had a
minister in Spencervale who was a very good, spiritual man but very  deaf.
He couldn't hear any ordinary conversation at all. Well, they used to have
a prayer meeting on Sunday evenings, and all the  church  members  present
would get up and pray in turn, or say a few words on some Bible verse. But
one evening Aunt Atossa bounced up. She  didn't  either  pray  or  preach.
Instead, she lit into everybody else in the church and gave them a fearful
raking down, calling them right out by name and telling them how they  all
had behaved, and casting up all the quarrels and scandals of the past  ten
years. Finally she  wound  up  by  saying  that  she  was  disgusted  with
Spencervale church and she never meant to darken its door again,  and  she
hoped a fearful judgment would come upon it. Then  she  sat  down  out  of
breath, and the minister, who hadn't heard a word  she  said,  immediately
remarked, in a very devout voice, `amen! The Lord grant our dear  sister's
prayer!' You ought to hear father tell the story."
    "Speaking of  stories,  Diana,"  remarked  Anne,  in  a  significant,
confidential tone, "do you know that lately I have  been  wondering  if  I
could write a short story - a story  that  would  be  good  enough  to  be
    "Why, of course you could," said Diana, after  she  had  grasped  the
amazing suggestion. "You used to write perfectly thrilling  stories  years
ago in our old Story Club."
    "Well, I hardly meant one of that  kind  of  stories,"  smiled  Anne.
"I've been thinking about it a little of late, but I'm  almost  afraid  to
try, for, if I should fail, it would be too humiliating."
    "I heard Priscilla say once that all Mrs. Morgan's first stories were
rejected. But I'm sure yours wouldn't be, Anne, for  it's  likely  editors
have more sense nowadays."
    "Margaret Burton, one of the Junior girls at Redmond, wrote  a  story
last winter and it was published in the Canadian Woman. I really do  think
I could write one at least as good."
    "And will you have it published in the Canadian Woman?"
    "I might try one of the bigger magazines first.  It  all  depends  on
what kind of a story I write."
    "What is it to be about?"
    "I don't know yet. I want to get hold of a good plot. I believe  this
is very necessary from an editor's point of  view.  The  only  thing  I've
settled on is the heroine's name.  It  is  to  be  AVERIL  LESTER.  Rather
pretty, don't you think? Don't mention this to any one, Diana.  I  haven't
told anybody but you and Mr. Harrison. HE wasn't  very  encouraging  -  he
said there was far too much trash written nowadays as  it  was,  and  he'd
expected something better of me, after a year at college."
    "What does Mr. Harrison know about it?" demanded Diana scornfully.
    They found the Gillis home  gay  with  lights  and  callers.  Leonard
Kimball, of Spencervale, and Morgan Bell, of Carmody, were glaring at each
other across the parlor. Several merry girls  had  dropped  in.  Ruby  was
dressed in white and her eyes and cheeks were very brilliant. She  laughed
and chattered incessantly, and after the other girls  had  gone  she  took
Anne upstairs to display her new summer dresses.
    "I've a blue silk to make up yet, but it's a little heavy for  summer
wear. I think I'll leave it until the fall. I'm going to  teach  in  White
Sands, you know. How do you like my hat? That one you  had  on  in  church
yesterday was real dinky. But I like something brighter  for  myself.  Did
you notice  those  two  ridiculous  boys  downstairs?  They've  both  come
determined to sit each other out. I don't care a single bit  about  either
of them, you know. Herb Spencer is the one I like. Sometimes I  really  do
think he's MR. RIGHT. At Christmas I thought the Spencervale  schoolmaster
was that. But I found out something about him that turned me against  him.
He nearly went insane when I turned him down. I wish those two boys hadn't
come tonight. I wanted to have a nice good talk with you, Anne,  and  tell
you such heaps of things. You and I were always good chums, weren't we?"
    Ruby slipped her arm about Anne's waist with a shallow little  laugh.
But just for a moment their eyes  met,  and,  behind  all  the  luster  of
Ruby's, Anne saw something that made her heart ache.
    "Come up often, won't you, Anne?" whispered Ruby.  "Come  alone  -  I
want you."
    "Are you feeling quite well, Ruby?"
    "Me! Why, I'm perfectly well. I never felt  better  in  my  life.  Of
course, that congestion last winter pulled me down a little. But just  see
my color. I don't look much like an invalid, I'm sure."
    Ruby's voice was almost sharp. She pulled her arm away from Anne,  as
if in resentment, and ran downstairs,  where  she  was  gayer  than  ever,
apparently so much absorbed in bantering her two  swains  that  Diana  and
Anne felt rather out of it and soon went away.

                         12. "Averil's Atonement"

    "What are you dreaming of, Anne?"
    The two girls were loitering one evening in a  fairy  hollow  of  the
brook. Ferns nodded in it, and little grasses were green, and  wild  pears
hung finely-scented, white curtains around it.
    Anne roused herself from her reverie with a happy sigh.
    "I was thinking out my story, Diana."
    "Oh, have you really begun it?" cried Diana, all  alight  with  eager
interest in a moment.
    "Yes, I have only a few pages written, but I have it all pretty  well
thought out. I've had such a time to get a  suitable  plot.  None  of  the
plots that suggested themselves suited a girl named AVERIL."
    "Couldn't you have changed her name?"
    "No, the thing was impossible. I tried to, but I couldn't do it,  any
more than I could change yours. AVERIL was so real to me  that  no  matter
what other name I tried to give her I just thought of her as AVERIL behind
it all. But finally  I  got  a  plot  that  matched  her.  Then  came  the
excitement of choosing names for all my characters. You have no  idea  how
fascinating that is. I've lain awake for hours thinking over those  names.
The hero's name is PERCEVAL DALRYMPLE."
    "Have you named ALL the characters?" asked Diana wistfully.  "If  you
hadn't I was going to ask you to let me name one - just  some  unimportant
person. I'd feel as if I had a share in the story then."
    "You may name the little hired  boy  who  lived  with  the  LESTERS,"
conceded Anne. "He is not very important, but he  is  the  only  one  left
    "Call him RAYMOND FITZOSBORNE," suggested Diana, who had a  store  of
such names laid away in her memory, relics of the old "Story Club,"  which
she and Anne and Jane Andrews and Ruby Gillis had had in their schooldays.
    Anne shook her head doubtfully.
    "I'm afraid that is too aristocratic a name for a chore boy, Diana. I
couldn't imagine a Fitzosborne feeding pigs and picking  up  chips,  could
    Diana didn't see why, if you had an imagination at all, you  couldn't
stretch it to that extent; but probably Anne knew best, and the chore  boy
was finally christened ROBERT RAY, to  be  called  BOBBY  should  occasion
    "How much do you suppose you'll get for it?" asked Diana.
    But Anne had not thought about this at all. She  was  in  pursuit  of
fame, not filthy lucre, and her literary dreams were as yet  untainted  by
mercenary considerations.
    "You'll let me read it, won't you?" pleaded Diana.
    "When it is finished I'll read it to you  and  Mr.  Harrison,  and  I
shall want you to criticize it SEVERELY. No one else shall see it until it
is published."
    "How are you going to end it - happily or unhappily?"
    "I'm not sure. I'd like it to end unhappily, because that would be so
much more romantic. But I understand editors have a prejudice against  sad
endings. I heard Professor Hamilton say once  that  nobody  but  a  genius
should try to write an unhappy ending.
    And," concluded Anne modestly, "I'm anything but a genius."
    "Oh I like happy endings best. You'd better let him marry her,"  said
Diana, who, especially since her engagement to Fred, thought this was  how
every story should end.
    "But you like to cry over stories?"
    "Oh, yes, in the middle of them. But I like everything to come  right
at last."
    "I must have one pathetic scene in it," said  Anne  thoughtfully.  "I
might let ROBERT RAY be injured in an accident and have a death scene."
    "No, you mustn't kill  BOBBY  off,"  declared  Diana,  laughing.  "He
belongs to me and I want him to live and flourish. Kill somebody  else  if
you have to."
    For the next fortnight Anne writhed or reveled, according to mood, in
her literary pursuits. Now she would be jubilant over  a  brilliant  idea,
now despairing because some contrary character would NOT behave  properly.
Diana could not understand this.
    "MAKE them do as you want them to," she said.
    "I can't," mourned Anne. "Averil is such an unmanageable heroine. She
WILL do and say things I never meant her to. Then that  spoils  everything
that went before and I have to write it all over again."
    Finally, however, the story was finished, and Anne read it  to  Diana
in the seclusion of the porch gable. She had achieved her "pathetic scene"
without sacrificing ROBERT RAY, and she kept a watchful eye  on  Diana  as
she read it. Diana rose to the occasion and cried properly; but, when  the
end came, she looked a little disappointed.
    "Why did you kill MAURICE LENNOX?" she asked reproachfully.
    "He was the villain," protested Anne. "He had to be punished."
    "I like him best of them all," said unreasonable Diana.
    "Well, he's dead, and he'll have to stay  dead,"  said  Anne,  rather
resentfully. "If I had let him live he'd have gone on  persecuting  AVERIL
    "Yes - unless you had reformed him."
    "That wouldn't have been romantic, and, besides, it would  have  made
the story too long."
    "Well, anyway, it's a perfectly elegant story, Anne,  and  will  make
you famous, of that I'm sure. Have you got a title for it?"
    "Oh, I decided on the title long ago. I call it  AVERIL'S  ATONEMENT.
Doesn't that sound nice and alliterative? Now, Diana, tell me candidly, do
you see any faults in my story?"
    "Well," hesitated Diana, "that  part  where  AVERIL  makes  the  cake
doesn't seem to me quite romantic enough to match the rest. It's just what
anybody might do. Heroines shouldn't do cooking, _I_ think."
    "Why, that is where the humor comes in, and  it's  one  of  the  best
parts of the whole story," said Anne. And it may be stated  that  in  this
she was quite right.
    Diana  prudently  refrained  from  any  further  criticism,  but  Mr.
Harrison was much harder to please. First he told her there  was  entirely
too much description in the story.
    "Cut out all those flowery passages," he said unfeelingly.
    Anne had an uncomfortable conviction that Mr. Harrison was right, and
she forced herself to expunge most of her beloved descriptions, though  it
took three re-writings before the story could be pruned down to please the
fastidious Mr. Harrison.
    "I've left out ALL the descriptions but  the  sunset,"  she  said  at
last. "I simply COULDN'T let it go. It was the best of them all."
    "It hasn't anything to do with the story," said  Mr.  Harrison,  "and
you shouldn't have laid the scene among rich city people. What do you know
of them? Why didn't you lay it right here in Avonlea - changing the  name,
of course, or else Mrs. Rachel Lynde would  probably  think  she  was  the
    "Oh, that would never have done," protested  Anne.  "Avonlea  is  the
dearest place in the world, but it isn't quite  romantic  enough  for  the
scene of a story."
    "I daresay there's been many a  romance  in  Avonlea  -  and  many  a
tragedy, too," said Mr. Harrison drily. "But your folks  ain't  like  real
folks anywhere. They talk  too  much  and  use  too  high-flown  language.
There's one place where that DALRYMPLE chap talks even on for  two  pages,
and never lets the girl get a word in edgewise. If he'd done that in  real
life she'd have pitched him."
    "I don't believe it," said  Anne  flatly.  In  her  secret  soul  she
thought that the beautiful, poetical things said to AVERIL would  win  any
girl's heart completely. Besides, it was gruesome to hear of  AVERIL,  the
stately, queen-like AVERIL,  "pitching"  any  one.  AVERIL  "declined  her
    "Anyhow," resumed the  merciless  Mr.  Harrison,  "I  don't  see  why
MAURICE LENNOX didn't get her. He was twice the man the other is.  He  did
bad things, but he  did  them.  Perceval  hadn't  time  for  anything  but
    "Mooning." That was even worse than "pitching!"
    "MAURICE LENNOX was the villain," said Anne indignantly. "I don't see
why every one likes him better than PERCEVAL."
    "Perceval is too good. He's aggravating. Next time you write about  a
hero put a little spice of human nature in him."
    "AVERIL couldn't have married MAURICE. He was bad."
    "She'd have reformed him. You can reform a man; you  can't  reform  a
jelly-fish, of course. Your story isn't bad - it's  kind  of  interesting,
I'll admit. But you're too young to write a  story  that  would  be  worth
while. Wait ten years."
    Anne made up her mind that the  next  time  she  wrote  a  story  she
wouldn't ask anybody to criticize it. It was too discouraging.  She  would
not read the story to Gilbert, although she told him about it.
    "If it is a success you'll see it when it is published, Gilbert,  but
if it is a failure nobody shall ever see it."
    Marilla knew nothing about  the  venture.  In  imagination  Anne  saw
herself reading a story out of a magazine to Marilla, entrapping her  into
praise of it - for in imagination all  things  are  possible  -  and  then
triumphantly announcing herself the author.
    One day Anne  took  to  the  Post  Office  a  long,  bulky  envelope,
addressed, with the delightful confidence of youth  and  inexperience,  to
the very biggest of the "big" magazines. Diana was as excited over  it  as
Anne herself.
    "How long do you suppose it will be before you  hear  from  it?"  she
    "It shouldn't be longer than a fortnight. Oh, how happy and  proud  I
shall be if it is accepted!"
    "Of course it will be accepted, and they will likely ask you to  send
them more. You may be as famous as Mrs. Morgan some day,  Anne,  and  then
how proud I'll be of knowing you," said Diana, who  possessed,  at  least,
the striking merit of an unselfish admiration of the gifts and  graces  of
her friends.
    A week of delightful  dreaming  followed,  and  then  came  a  bitter
awakening.  One  evening  Diana  found  Anne  in  the  porch  gable,  with
suspicious-looking eyes. On the table lay a long envelope and  a  crumpled
    "Anne, your story hasn't come back?" cried Diana incredulously.
    "Yes, it has," said Anne shortly.
    "Well, that editor must be crazy. What reason did he give?"
    "No reason at all. There is just a printed slip saying that it wasn't
found acceptable."
    "I never thought much of that magazine, anyway,"  said  Diana  hotly.
"The stories in it are not half as interesting as those  in  the  Canadian
Woman, although it costs so much more. I suppose the editor is  prejudiced
against any one who isn't a Yankee. Don't be discouraged,  Anne.  Remember
how Mrs. Morgan's stories came back. Send yours to the Canadian Woman."
    "I believe I will," said Anne, plucking  up  heart.  "And  if  it  is
published I'll send that American editor a marked copy. But I'll  cut  the
sunset out. I believe Mr. Harrison was right."
    Out came the sunset; but in  spite  of  this  heroic  mutilation  the
editor of the Canadian Woman sent Averil's Atonement back so promptly that
the indignant Diana declared that it couldn't have been read at  all,  and
vowed she was going to stop her subscription immediately. Anne  took  this
second rejection with the calmness of despair. She locked the  story  away
in the garret trunk where the old Story Club tales reposed; but first  she
yielded to Diana's entreaties and gave her a copy.
    "This is the end of my literary ambitions," she said bitterly.
    She never mentioned the matter to Mr. Harrison, but  one  evening  he
asked her bluntly if her story had been accepted.
    "No, the editor wouldn't take it," she answered briefly.
    Mr. Harrison looked sidewise at the flushed, delicate profile.
    "Well, I suppose you'll keep on writing them," he said encouragingly.
    "No, I shall never try to write a story again," declared  Anne,  with
the hopeless finality of nineteen when a door is shut in its face.
    "I wouldn't give up altogether," said Mr. Harrison reflectively. "I'd
write a story once in a while, but I wouldn't pester editors with it.  I'd
write of people and places like I knew, and I'd make  my  characters  talk
everyday English; and I'd let the sun rise and set in the usual quiet  way
without much fuss over the fact. If I had to have  villains  at  all,  I'd
give them a chance, Anne - I'd give them a chance. There are some terrible
bad men in the world, I suppose, but you'd have to go a long piece to find
them - though Mrs. Lynde believes we're all bad. But most of us have got a
little decency somewhere in us. Keep on writing, Anne."
    "No. It was very foolish of  me  to  attempt  it.  When  I'm  through
Redmond I'll stick to teaching. I can teach. I can't write stories."
    "It'll be time for you to be getting a husband  when  you're  through
Redmond," said Mr. Harrison. "I don't believe in putting marrying off  too
long - like I did."
    Anne got up and marched home. There were times when Mr. Harrison  was
really intolerable. "Pitching," "mooning," and "getting a husband." Ow!!

                       13. The Way of Transgressors

    Davy and Dora were ready for Sunday School. They  were  going  alone,
which did not often happen, for Mrs. Lynde always attended Sunday  School.
But Mrs. Lynde had twisted her ankle and was lame, so she was staying home
this morning. The twins were also to represent the family at  church,  for
Anne had gone away the evening before to  spend  Sunday  with  friends  in
Carmody, and Marilla had one of her headaches.
    Davy came downstairs slowly. Dora was waiting in the  hall  for  him,
having been made ready by  Mrs.  Lynde.  Davy  had  attended  to  his  own
preparations.  He  had  a  cent  in  his  pocket  for  the  Sunday  School
collection, and a five-cent piece for the church  collection;  he  carried
his Bible in one hand and his Sunday School quarterly  in  the  other;  he
knew his lesson and his Golden Text and his catechism question  perfectly.
Had he not studied them - perforce - in Mrs.  Lynde's  kitchen,  all  last
Sunday afternoon? Davy, therefore, should have been in a placid  frame  of
mind. As a matter of fact, despite text and catechism, he was inwardly  as
a ravening wolf.
    Mrs. Lynde limped out of her kitchen as he joined Dora.
    "Are you clean?" she demanded severely.
    "Yes - all of me that shows," Davy answered with a defiant scowl.
    Mrs. Rachel sighed. She had her  suspicions  about  Davy's  neck  and
ears. But she knew that if she attempted to make  a  personal  examination
Davy would likely take to his heels and she could not pursue him today.
    "Well, be sure you behave yourselves," she warned them.  "Don't  walk
in the dust. Don't stop in the porch to talk to the other children.  Don't
squirm or wriggle in your places. Don't forget the Golden Text. Don't lose
your collection or forget to put it in. Don't whisper at prayer time,  and
don't forget to pay attention to the sermon."
    Davy deigned no response. He marched away down the lane, followed  by
the meek Dora. But his soul seethed within. Davy had suffered, or  thought
he had suffered, many things at the hands and tongue of Mrs. Rachel  Lynde
since she had come to Green Gables, for Mrs. Lynde  could  not  live  with
anybody, whether they were nine or ninety, without trying to bring them up
properly. And it was only the preceding afternoon that she had  interfered
to influence Marilla against allowing Davy to go fishing with the  Timothy
Cottons. Davy was still boiling over this.
    As soon as he was out of  the  lane  Davy  stopped  and  twisted  his
countenance into such an unearthly  and  terrific  contortion  that  Dora,
although she knew his gifts in that respect, was honestly alarmed lest  he
should never in the world be able to get it straightened out again.
    "Darn her," exploded Davy.
    "Oh, Davy, don't swear," gasped Dora in dismay.
    "`Darn' isn't swearing - not real swearing. And I don't  care  if  it
is," retorted Davy recklessly.
    "Well, if you MUST say dreadful words  don't  say  them  on  Sunday,"
pleaded Dora.
    Davy was as yet far from repentance, but in his secret soul  he  felt
that, perhaps, he had gone a little too far.
    "I'm going to invent a swear word of my own," he declared.
    "God will punish you if you do," said Dora solemnly.
    "Then I think God is a mean old scamp," retorted  Davy.  "Doesn't  He
know a fellow must have some way of 'spressing his feelings?"
    "Davy!!!" said Dora. She expected that Davy would be struck down dead
on the spot. But nothing happened.
    "Anyway, I ain't going to stand any more of  Mrs.  Lynde's  bossing,"
spluttered Davy. "Anne and Marilla may have the right to boss me, but  SHE
hasn't. I'm going to do every single thing she told  me  not  to  do.  You
watch me."
    In  grim,  deliberate  silence,  while  Dora  watched  him  with  the
fascination of horror, Davy stepped off the green grass of  the  roadside,
ankle deep into the fine dust which four weeks  of  rainless  weather  had
made on the road, and marched along in it, shuffling  his  feet  viciously
until he was enveloped in a hazy cloud.
    "That's the beginning," he announced triumphantly." And I'm going  to
stop in the porch and talk as long as there's anybody there  to  talk  to.
I'm going to squirm and wriggle and whisper, and I'm going to say I  don't
know the Golden Text. And I'm going to throw away both of  my  collections
    And Davy hurled cent and nickel over Mr. Barry's  fence  with  fierce
    "Satan made you do that," said Dora reproachfully.
    "He didn't," cried Davy indignantly.  "I  just  thought  it  out  for
myself. And I've thought of something else. I'm not going to Sunday School
or church at all. I'm going up to play with  the  Cottons.  They  told  me
yesterday they weren't going to Sunday School today, 'cause  their  mother
was away and there was nobody to make them. Come along, Dora, we'll have a
great time."
    "I don't want to go," protested Dora.
    "You've got to," said Davy. "If you don't come I'll tell Marilla that
Frank Bell kissed you in school last Monday."
    "I couldn't help it. I didn't know he  was  going  to,"  cried  Dora,
blushing scarlet.
    "Well, you didn't slap him or seem a bit cross," retorted Davy. "I'll
tell her THAT, too, if you don't come. We'll take the short  cut  up  this
    "I'm afraid of those cows," protested poor Dora, seeing a prospect of
    "The very idea of your being scared of  those  cows,"  scoffed  Davy.
"Why, they're both younger than you."
    "They're bigger," said Dora.
    "They won't hurt you. Come along, now. This is great. When I grow  up
I ain't going to bother going to church at all. I believe  I  can  get  to
heaven by myself."
    "You'll go to the other place if you break  the  Sabbath  day,"  said
unhappy Dora, following him sorely against her will.
    But Davy was not scared -  yet.  Hell  was  very  far  off,  and  the
delights of a fishing expedition with  the  Cottons  were  very  near.  He
wished Dora had more spunk. She kept looking back as if she were going  to
cry every minute, and that spoiled a fellow's  fun.  Hang  girls,  anyway.
Davy did not say "darn" this time, even in thought. He was not sorry - yet
- that he had said it once, but it might be  as  well  not  to  tempt  the
Unknown Powers too far on one day.
    The small Cottons were playing in their back yard, and hailed  Davy's
appearance with whoops of delight.  Pete,  Tommy,  Adolphus,  and  Mirabel
Cotton were all alone. Their mother and older sisters were away. Dora  was
thankful Mirabel was there, at least. She had been  afraid  she  would  be
alone in a crowd of boys. Mirabel was almost as bad as a boy - she was  so
noisy and sunburned and reckless. But at least she wore dresses.
    "We've come to go fishing," announced Davy.
    "Whoop," yelled the Cottons. They rushed away to dig worms  at  once,
Mirabel leading the van with a tin can.  Dora  could  have  sat  down  and
cried. Oh, if only that hateful Frank Bell had never kissed her! Then  she
could have defied Davy, and gone to her beloved Sunday School.
    They dared not, of course, go fishing on the pond, where  they  would
be seen by people going to church. They had to resort to the brook in  the
woods behind the Cotton house. But it was full of trout, and  they  had  a
glorious time that morning - at least the Cottons certainly had, and  Davy
seemed to have it. Not being entirely bereft of prudence, he had discarded
boots and stockings and borrowed Tommy Cotton's overalls. Thus accoutered,
bog and marsh and undergrowth had no terrors for him. Dora was frankly and
manifestly miserable. She followed the others in their peregrinations from
pool to pool, clasping her Bible and quarterly tightly and  thinking  with
bitterness of soul of her beloved class where she should be  sitting  that
very moment, before a teacher she adored. Instead, here  she  was  roaming
the woods with those half-wild Cottons, trying to keep her boots clean and
her pretty white dress free from rents and stains. Mirabel had offered the
loan of an apron but Dora had scornfully refused.
    The trout  bit  as  they  always  do  on  Sundays.  In  an  hour  the
transgressors had all the fish they wanted, so they returned to the house,
much to Dora's relief. She sat primly on a hencoop in the yard  while  the
others played an uproarious game of tag; and then they all climbed to  the
top of the pig-house roof and cut their initials on the  saddleboard.  The
flat-roofed henhouse and  a  pile  of  straw  beneath  gave  Davy  another
inspiration. They spent a splendid half hour  climbing  on  the  roof  and
diving off into the straw with whoops and yells.
    But even unlawful pleasures must come to an end. When the  rumble  of
wheels over the pond bridge told that people were going home  from  church
Davy knew they must go. He discarded Tommy's  overalls,  resumed  his  own
rightful attire, and turned away from his string of trout with a sigh.  No
use to think of taking them home.
    "Well, hadn't we a splendid time?" he  demanded  defiantly,  as  they
went down the hill field.
    "I hadn't," said Dora flatly. "And I don't believe you had - really -
either," she added, with a flash of insight that was not to be expected of
    "I had so," cried Davy, but in the voice of one who doth protest  too
much. "No wonder you hadn't - just sitting there like a - like a mule."
    "I ain't going to, 'sociate with the Cottons," said Dora loftily.
    "The Cottons are all right," retorted Davy. "And they have far better
times than we have. They do just as they please and  say  just  what  they
like before everybody. _I_'m going to do that, too, after this."
    "There are lots of things you wouldn't dare  say  before  everybody,"
averred Dora.
    "No, there isn't."
    "There is, too. Would you," demanded Dora  gravely,  "would  you  say
`tomcat' before the minister?"
    This was a staggerer. Davy was  not  prepared  for  such  a  concrete
example of the freedom of speech. But one did not have  to  be  consistent
with Dora.
    "Of course not," he admitted sulkily.
    "`Tomcat' isn't a holy word. I wouldn't mention such an animal before
a minister at all."
    "But if you had to?" persisted Dora.
    "I'd call it a Thomas pussy," said Davy.
    "_I_ think `gentleman cat' would be more polite," reflected Dora.
    "YOU thinking!" retorted Davy with withering scorn.
    Davy was not feeling comfortable, though he would have died before he
admitted it to Dora. Now that the exhilaration of truant delights had died
away, his conscience was beginning to give  him  salutary  twinges.  After
all, perhaps it would have been better to have gone to Sunday  School  and
church. Mrs. Lynde might be bossy; but there was always a box  of  cookies
in her kitchen cupboard and she  was  not  stingy.  At  this  inconvenient
moment Davy remembered that when he had torn his new school pants the week
before, Mrs. Lynde had mended them beautifully and never said  a  word  to
Marilla about them.
    But Davy's cup of iniquity was not yet full. He was to discover  that
one sin demands another to cover it. They had dinner with Mrs. Lynde  that
day, and the first thing she asked Davy was,
    "Were all your class in Sunday School today?"
    "Yes'm," said Davy with a gulp. "All were there - 'cept one."
    "Did you say your Golden Text and catechism?"
    "Did you put your collection in?"
    "Was Mrs. Malcolm MacPherson in church?"
    "I don't know." This, at least, was the truth, thought wretched Davy.
    "Was the Ladies' Aid announced for next week?"
    "Yes'm" - quakingly.
    "Was prayer-meeting?"
    "I - I don't know."
    "YOU  should  know.  You  should  listen  more  attentively  to   the
announcements. What was Mr. Harvey's text?"
    Davy took a frantic gulp of water  and  swallowed  it  and  the  last
protest of conscience together. He  glibly  recited  an  old  Golden  Text
learned several weeks ago. Fortunately Mrs. Lynde now stopped  questioning
him; but Davy did not enjoy his dinner.
    He could only eat one helping of pudding.
    "What's the matter with you?" demanded justly astonished Mrs.  Lynde.
"Are you sick?"
    "No," muttered Davy.
    "You look pale. You'd better keep out of  the  sun  this  afternoon,"
admonished Mrs. Lynde.
    "Do you  know  how  many  lies  you  told  Mrs.  Lynde?"  asked  Dora
reproachfully, as soon as they were alone after dinner.
    Davy, goaded to desperation, turned fiercely.
    "I don't know and I don't care," he said. "You  just  shut  up,  Dora
    Then poor Davy betook  himself  to  a  secluded  retreat  behind  the
woodpile to think over the way of transgressors.
    Green Gables was wrapped in darkness and silence  when  Anne  reached
home. She lost no time going to bed, for she was very  tired  and  sleepy.
There  had  been  several  Avonlea  jollifications  the  preceding   week,
involving rather late hours. Anne's head was hardly on her  pillow  before
she was half asleep; but just then  her  door  was  softly  opened  and  a
pleading voice said, "Anne."
    Anne sat up drowsily.
    "Davy, is that you? What is the matter?"
    A white-clad figure flung itself across the floor and on to the bed.
    "Anne," sobbed Davy, getting his arms about her neck. "I'm awful glad
you're home. I couldn't go to sleep till I'd told somebody."
    "Told somebody what?"
    "How mis'rubul I am."
    "Why are you miserable, dear?"
    "'Cause I was so bad today, Anne. Oh, I was awful bad - badder'n I've
ever been yet."
    "What did you do?"
    "Oh, I'm afraid to tell you. You'll never  like  me  again,  Anne.  I
couldn't say my prayers tonight. I couldn't tell God what I'd done. I  was
'shamed to have Him know."
    "But He knew anyway, Davy."
    "That's what Dora said. But I thought p'raps He mightn't have noticed
just at the time. Anyway, I'd rather tell you first."
    "WHAT is it you did?"
    Out it all came in a rush.
    "I run away from Sunday School - and went fishing with the Cottons  -
and I told ever so many whoppers to Mrs. Lynde - oh! 'most half a dozen  -
and - and - I - I said a swear word, Anne -  a  pretty  near  swear  word,
anyhow - and I called God names."
    There was silence. Davy didn't know what to make of it. Was  Anne  so
shocked that she never would speak to him again?
    "Anne, what are you going to do to me?" he whispered.
    "Nothing, dear. You've been punished already, I think."
    "No, I haven't. Nothing's been done to me."
    "You've been very unhappy ever since you did wrong, haven't you?"
    "You bet!" said Davy emphatically.
    "That was your conscience punishing you, Davy."
    "What's my conscience? I want to know."
    "It's something in you, Davy, that always  tells  you  when  you  are
doing wrong and makes you unhappy if you persist in doing it. Haven't  you
noticed that?"
    "Yes, but I didn't know what it was. I wish I  didn't  have  it.  I'd
have lots more fun. Where is my conscience, Anne? I want to know. Is it in
my stomach?"
    "No, it's in your soul," answered Anne, thankful  for  the  darkness,
since gravity must be preserved in serious matters.
    "I s'pose I can't get clear of it then," said Davy with a sigh.  "Are
you going to tell Marilla and Mrs. Lynde on me, Anne?"
    "No, dear, I'm not going to tell any one.  You  are  sorry  you  were
naughty, aren't you?"
    "You bet!"
    "And you'll never be bad like that again."
    "No, but - " added Davy cautiously, "I might be bad some other way."
    "You won't say naughty  words,  or  run  away  on  Sundays,  or  tell
falsehoods to cover up your sins?"
    "No. It doesn't pay," said Davy.
    "Well, Davy, just tell God you are sorry and ask Him to forgive you."
    "Have YOU forgiven me, Anne?"
    "Yes, dear."
    "Then," said Davy joyously, "I don't care much whether  God  does  or
    "Oh - I'll ask Him - I'll ask Him," said Davy quickly, scrambling off
the bed, convinced by  Anne's  tone  that  he  must  have  said  something
dreadful. "I don't mind asking Him, Anne. - Please, God, I'm awful sorry I
behaved bad today and I'll try to be good on  Sundays  always  and  please
forgive me. - There now, Anne."
    "Well, now, run off to bed like a good boy."
    "All right. Say, I don't feel mis'rubul any more. I feel  fine.  Good
    "Good night."
    Anne slipped down on her pillows with a sigh  of  relief.  Oh  -  how
sleepy - she was! In another second -
    "Anne!" Davy was back again by her bed. Anne dragged her eyes open.
    "What is it  now,  dear?"  she  asked,  trying  to  keep  a  note  of
impatience out of her voice.
    "Anne, have you ever noticed how Mr. Harrison spits? Do  you  s'pose,
if I practice hard, I can learn to spit just like him?"
    Anne sat up.
    "Davy Keith," she said, "go straight to your bed  and  don't  let  me
catch you out of it again tonight! Go, now!"
    Davy went, and stood not upon the order of his going.

                             14. The Summons

    Anne was sitting with Ruby Gillis in the Gillis' garden after the day
had crept lingeringly through it and was gone. It had been a  warm,  smoky
summer afternoon. The world was in a splendor of out-flowering.  The  idle
valleys were full of hazes. The woodways were pranked with shadows and the
fields with the purple of the asters.
    Anne had given up a moonlight drive to the White Sands beach that she
might spend the evening with Ruby. She had so  spent  many  evenings  that
summer, although she  often  wondered  what  good  it  did  any  one,  and
sometimes went home deciding that she could not go again.
    Ruby grew paler as the summer waned; the White Sands school was given
up - "her father thought it better  that  she  shouldn't  teach  till  New
Year's" - and the fancy work she loved oftener and oftener fell from hands
grown too weary for it. But she was always  gay,  always  hopeful,  always
chattering and whispering of her beaux, and their rivalries and  despairs.
It was this that made Anne's visits hard for her. What had once been silly
or amusing was gruesome, now; it was death peering through a  wilful  mask
of life. Yet Ruby seemed to cling to her, and never let her go  until  she
had promised to come again soon. Mrs. Lynde grumbled about Anne's frequent
visits, and  declared  she  would  catch  consumption;  even  Marilla  was
    "Every time you go to see Ruby you come home looking tired out,"  she
    "It's so very sad and dreadful," said  Anne  in  a  low  tone.  "Ruby
doesn't seem to realize her condition in the least. And yet I somehow feel
she needs help - craves it - and I want to give it to her and  can't.  All
the time I'm with her I feel as if I were watching her  struggle  with  an
invisible foe - trying to push it back with such feeble resistance as  she
has. That is why I come home tired."
    But tonight Anne did not feel this  so  keenly.  Ruby  was  strangely
quiet. She said not a word  about  parties  and  drives  and  dresses  and
"fellows." She lay in the hammock, with her untouched work beside her, and
a white shawl wrapped about her thin shoulders. Her long yellow braids  of
hair - how Anne had envied those beautiful braids in old schooldays! - lay
on either side of her. She had taken the pins out -  they  made  her  head
ache, she said. The hectic flush was gone for the time, leaving  her  pale
and childlike.
    The moon rose in the silvery sky, empearling the clouds  around  her.
Below, the pond shimmered in its hazy radiance.  Just  beyond  the  Gillis
homestead was the church, with the old graveyard beside it. The  moonlight
shone on the white stones, bringing them out in clear-cut  relief  against
the dark trees behind.
    "How strange the graveyard looks by moonlight!" said  Ruby  suddenly.
"How ghostly!" she shuddered. "Anne, it won't be long now before  I'll  be
lying over there. You and Diana and all the rest will be going about, full
of life - and I'll be there - in the old graveyard - dead!"
    The surprise of it bewildered Anne. For a few moments she  could  not
    "You know it's so, don't you?" said Ruby insistently.
    "Yes, I know," answered Anne in a low tone. "Dear Ruby, I know."
    "Everybody knows it," said Ruby bitterly. "I know it - I've known  it
all summer, though I wouldn't give in. And, oh, Anne" -  she  reached  out
and caught Anne's hand pleadingly, impulsively - "I don't want to die. I'm
AFRAID to die."
    "Why should you be afraid, Ruby?" asked Anne quietly.
    "Because - because - oh, I'm not afraid but that I'll go  to  heaven,
Anne. I'm a church member. But - it'll be all so different. I think -  and
think - and I get so frightened - and - and -  homesick.  Heaven  must  be
very beautiful, of course, the Bible says so - but, Anne, IT WON'T BE WHAT
    Through Anne's mind drifted an  intrusive  recollection  of  a  funny
story she had heard Philippa Gordon tell - the story of some old  man  who
had said very much the same thing about the world to come. It had  sounded
funny then - she remembered how she and Priscilla had laughed over it. But
it did not seem in the  least  humorous  now,  coming  from  Ruby's  pale,
trembling lips. It was sad, tragic - and true! Heaven could  not  be  what
Ruby had been used to. There had been nothing in her gay, frivolous  life,
her shallow ideals and aspirations, to fit her for that great  change,  or
make the life to come seem to  her  anything  but  alien  and  unreal  and
undesirable. Anne wondered helplessly what she could say that  would  help
her. Could she say anything? "I think, Ruby," she began hesitatingly - for
it was difficult for Anne to speak to any one of the deepest  thoughts  of
her heart, or the new ideas that had vaguely begun to shape themselves  in
her mind, concerning the great  mysteries  of  life  here  and  hereafter,
superseding her old childish conceptions, and it was  hardest  of  all  to
speak of them to such as Ruby Gillis - "I think,  perhaps,  we  have  very
mistaken ideas about heaven - what it is and what it holds for us. I don't
think it can be so very different from life here as most  people  seem  to
think. I believe we'll just go on living, a good deal as we  live  here  -
and be OURSELVES just the same - only it will be easier to be good and  to
- follow the highest. All the hindrances and perplexities  will  be  taken
away, and we shall see clearly. Don't be afraid, Ruby."
    "I can't help it," said Ruby pitifully. "Even if what you  say  about
heaven is true - and you can't be sure - it may be only  that  imagination
of yours - it won't be JUST the same. It CAN'T be. I want to go on  living
HERE. I'm so young, Anne. I haven't had my life. I've fought  so  hard  to
live - and it isn't any use - I have to die - and leave EVERYTHING I  care
for." Anne sat in a pain that was almost intolerable. She could  not  tell
comforting falsehoods; and all that Ruby said was so  horribly  true.  She
WAS leaving everything she cared for. She had laid  up  her  treasures  on
earth only; she had lived solely for the  little  things  of  life  -  the
things that pass -  forgetting  the  great  things  that  go  onward  into
eternity, bridging the gulf between the two lives and making  of  death  a
mere passing from one dwelling to the other - from twilight  to  unclouded
day. God would take care of her there - Anne believed - she would learn  -
but now it was no wonder her soul clung, in  blind  helplessness,  to  the
only things she knew and loved.
    Ruby raised herself on her arm and lifted up  her  bright,  beautiful
blue eyes to the moonlit skies.
    "I want to live," she said, in a trembling voice.  "I  want  to  live
like other girls. I - I want to be married, Anne - and - and - have little
children. You know I always loved babies, Anne. I couldn't say this to any
one but you. I know you understand. And then poor Herb - he - he loves  me
and I love him, Anne. The others meant nothing to me, but HE does - and if
I could live I would be his wife and be so happy. Oh, Anne, it's hard."
    Ruby sank back on her pillows and sobbed convulsively.  Anne  pressed
her hand in an agony of sympathy - silent sympathy, which  perhaps  helped
Ruby more than broken, imperfect words could have done; for presently  she
grew calmer and her sobs ceased.
    "I'm glad I've told you this, Anne," she whispered. "It has helped me
just to say it all out. I've wanted to all summer - every time you came. I
wanted to talk it over with you - but I COULDN'T. It seemed as if it would
make death so SURE if I SAID I was going to die, or if any one  else  said
it or hinted it. I wouldn't say it, or even think it. In the daytime, when
people were around me and everything was cheerful, it wasn't  so  hard  to
keep from thinking of it. But in the night, when I couldn't sleep - it was
so dreadful, Anne. I couldn't get away from it then. Death just  came  and
stared me in the face, until I got so frightened I could have screamed.
    "But you won't be frightened any more,  Ruby,  will  you?  You'll  be
brave, and believe that all is going to be well with you."
    "I'll try. I'll think over what you have said, and try to believe it.
And you'll come up as often as you can, won't you, Anne?"
    "Yes, dear."
    "It - it won't be very long now, Anne. I feel sure of that.  And  I'd
rather have you than any one else. I always liked  you  best  of  all  the
girls I went to school with. You were never jealous, or mean, like some of
them were. Poor Em White was up to see me yesterday. You remember Em and I
were such chums for three years when  we  went  to  school?  And  then  we
quarrelled the time of the school concert.  We've  never  spoken  to  each
other since. Wasn't it silly? Anything like that seems silly NOW.  But  Em
and I made up the old quarrel yesterday. She said she'd have spoken  years
ago, only she thought I wouldn't. And I never spoke to her because  I  was
sure she wouldn't speak to me. Isn't it strange how  people  misunderstand
each other, Anne?"
    "Most of the trouble in life comes from misunderstanding,  I  think,"
said Anne. "I must go now, Ruby. It's getting late - and you shouldn't  be
out in the damp."
    "You'll come up soon again."
    "Yes, very soon. And if there's anything I can do to help you I'll be
so glad."
    "I know. You HAVE helped me already. Nothing seems quite so  dreadful
now. Good night, Anne."
    "Good night, dear."
    Anne walked home very  slowly  in  the  moonlight.  The  evening  had
changed something for  her.  Life  held  a  different  meaning,  a  deeper
purpose. On the surface it would go on just the same; but  the  deeps  had
been stirred. It must not be with her as with poor  butterfly  Ruby.  When
she came to the end of one life it must not be to face the next  with  the
shrinking terror of something  wholly  different  -  something  for  which
accustomed thought and ideal and aspiration had unfitted her.  The  little
things of life, sweet and excellent in their place, must not be the things
lived for; the highest must be sought and followed;  the  life  of  heaven
must be begun here on earth.
    That good night in the garden was for all time. Anne never  saw  Ruby
in life again. The next night the A.V.I.S. gave a farewell party  to  Jane
Andrews before her departure for the West. And, while  light  feet  danced
and bright eyes laughed and merry tongues chattered, there came a  summons
to a soul in Avonlea that might not be disregarded  or  evaded.  The  next
morning the word went from house to house that Ruby Gillis was  dead.  She
had died in her sleep, painlessly and calmly, and on her face was a  smile
- as if, after all, death had come as a kindly friend to lead her over the
threshold, instead of the grisly phantom she had dreaded.
    Mrs. Rachel Lynde said  emphatically  after  the  funeral  that  Ruby
Gillis was the handsomest corpse she ever laid eyes on. Her loveliness, as
she lay, white-clad, among the delicate flowers that Anne had placed about
her, was remembered and talked of for years in Avonlea.  Ruby  had  always
been beautiful; but her beauty had been of the earth, earthy; it had had a
certain insolent quality in it, as if it flaunted itself in the beholder's
eye; spirit had never shone through it, intellect had  never  refined  it.
But death had  touched  it  and  consecrated  it,  bringing  out  delicate
modelings and purity of outline never seen before - doing  what  life  and
love and great sorrow and deep womanhood joys might have  done  for  Ruby.
Anne, looking down through a mist of tears, at her old playfellow, thought
she saw the face God had meant Ruby to have, and remembered it so always.
    Mrs. Gillis called Anne aside into a vacant room before  the  funeral
procession left the house, and gave her a small packet.
    "I want you to have this," she sobbed. "Ruby would have liked you  to
have it. It's the embroidered centerpiece she was  working  at.  It  isn't
quite finished - the needle is sticking in it just where her  poor  little
fingers put it the last time she laid it down, the  afternoon  before  she
    "There's always a piece of unfinished work left,"  said  Mrs.  Lynde,
with tears in her eyes. "But I suppose there's always some one  to  finish
    "How difficult it is to realize that one we  have  always  known  can
really be dead," said Anne, as she and Diana walked  home.  "Ruby  is  the
first of our schoolmates to go. One by one, sooner or later, all the  rest
of us must follow."
    "Yes, I suppose so," said Diana uncomfortably. She did  not  want  to
talk of that. She would have preferred to have discussed  the  details  of
the funeral - the splendid white velvet casket Mr. Gillis had insisted  on
having for Ruby - "the Gillises  must  always  make  a  splurge,  even  at
funerals," quoth  Mrs.  Rachel  Lynde  -  Herb  Spencer's  sad  face,  the
uncontrolled, hysteric grief of one of Ruby's sisters - but Anne would not
talk of these things. She seemed wrapped in a reverie in which Diana  felt
lonesomely that she had neither lot nor part.
    "Ruby Gillis was a great girl to laugh," said  Davy  suddenly.  "Will
she laugh as much in heaven as she did in Avonlea, Anne? I want to know."
    "Yes, I think she will," said Anne.
    "Oh, Anne," protested Diana, with a rather shocked smile.
    "Well, why not, Diana?" asked Anne seriously.  "Do  you  think  we'll
never laugh in heaven?"
    "Oh - I - I don't know"  floundered  Diana.  "It  doesn't  seem  just
right, somehow. You know it's rather dreadful to laugh in church."
    "But heaven won't be like church - all the time," said Anne.
    "I hope it ain't," said Davy emphatically. "If it is I don't want  to
go. Church is awful dull. Anyway, I don't mean to go for ever so  long.  I
mean to live to be a hundred years old, like Mr. Thomas Blewett  of  White
Sands. He says he's lived so long 'cause he always smoked tobacco  and  it
killed all the germs. Can I smoke tobacco pretty soon, Anne?"
    "No, Davy, I hope you'll never use tobacco," said Anne absently.
    "What'll you feel like if the germs kill me then?" demanded Davy.

                      15. A Dream Turned Upside Down

    "Just one more week and we go back to Redmond," said  Anne.  She  was
happy at the thought of returning to work, classes  and  Redmond  friends.
Pleasing visions were also being woven around Patty's Place. There  was  a
warm pleasant sense of home in the thought of  it,  even  though  she  had
never lived there.
    But the summer had been a very happy one, too - a time of glad living
with summer suns and skies, a time of keen delight in wholesome things;  a
time of renewing and deepening of old friendships; a time in which she had
learned to live more nobly, to work more patiently, to play more heartily.
    "All life lessons are not learned at  college,"  she  thought.  "Life
teaches them everywhere."
    But alas, the final week of that pleasant vacation  was  spoiled  for
Anne, by one of those impish happenings which  are  like  a  dream  turned
upside down.
    "Been  writing  any  more  stories  lately?"  inquired  Mr.  Harrison
genially one evening when Anne was taking tea with him and Mrs. Harrison.
    "No," answered Anne, rather crisply.
    "Well, no offense meant. Mrs. Hiram Sloane told me the other day that
a big envelope addressed to the Rollings Reliable Baking Powder Company of
Montreal had been dropped into the post office box a month  ago,  and  she
suspicioned that somebody was trying for the prize they'd offered for  the
best story that introduced the name of their baking powder.  She  said  it
wasn't addressed in your writing, but I thought maybe it was you."
    "Indeed, no! I saw the prize offer, but I'd never dream of  competing
for it. I think it would be perfectly disgraceful  to  write  a  story  to
advertise a baking powder. It would be almost as bad  as  Judson  Parker's
patent medicine fence."
    So spake Anne loftily, little dreaming of the valley  of  humiliation
awaiting her. That  very  evening  Diana  popped  into  the  porch  gable,
bright-eyed and rosy cheeked, carrying a letter.
    "Oh, Anne, here's a letter for you. I was at the office, so I thought
I'd bring it along. Do open it quick. If it is what  I  believe  it  is  I
shall just be wild with delight." Anne, puzzled,  opened  the  letter  and
glanced over the typewritten contents.

    Miss Anne Shirley,
    Green Gables,
    Avonlea, P.E. Island.
    "DEAR MADAM: We  have  much  pleasure  in  informing  you  that  your
charming story `Averil's Atonement'  has  won  the  prize  of  twenty-five
dollars offered in our recent competition. We enclose the check  herewith.
We are arranging for the publication of the  story  in  several  prominent
Canadian newspapers, and we also intend to have  it  printed  in  pamphlet
form for distribution among our patrons. Thanking you for the interest you
have shown in our enterprise, we remain,
                                                    Yours very truly,
                                                    THE ROLLINGS RELIABLE
                                                    BAKING POWDER Co."

    "I don't understand," said Anne, blankly.
    Diana clapped her hands.
    "Oh, I KNEW it would win the prize - I was sure of it. _I_ sent  your
story into the competition, Anne."
    "Diana - Barry!"
    "Yes, I did," said Diana gleefully,  perching  herself  on  the  bed.
"When I saw the offer I thought of your story in a minute, and at first  I
thought I'd ask you to send it in. But then I was afraid  you  wouldn't  -
you had so little faith left in it. So I just decided I'd  send  the  copy
you gave me, and say nothing about it. Then, if it didn't win  the  prize,
you'd never know and you wouldn't feel badly over it, because the  stories
that failed were not to be returned, and if  it  did  you'd  have  such  a
delightful surprise."
    Diana was not the most discerning of mortals, but just at this moment
it struck her that Anne was not looking exactly  overjoyed.  The  surprise
was there, beyond doubt - but where was the delight?
    "Why, Anne, you don't seem a bit pleased!" she exclaimed.
    Anne instantly manufactured a smile and put it on.
    "Of course I couldn't be anything but  pleased  over  your  unselfish
wish to give me pleasure," she said slowly. "But you know - I'm so  amazed
- I can't realize it - and I don't understand. There wasn't a word  in  my
story about - about - " Anne choked a  little  over  the  word  -  "baking
    "Oh, _I_ put that in," said Diana, reassured. "It was as easy as wink
- and of course my experience in our old Story Club helped  me.  You  know
the scene where Averil makes the cake? Well, I just stated that  she  used
the Rollings Reliable in it, and that was why it turned out so  well;  and
then, in the last paragraph, where PERCEVAL clasps AVERIL in his arms  and
says, `Sweetheart, the beautiful coming years will bring us the fulfilment
of our home of dreams,' I added, `in which we will never  use  any  baking
powder except Rollings Reliable.'"
    "Oh," gasped poor Anne, as if some one had dashed cold water on her.
    "And you've won the twenty-five dollars," continued Diana jubilantly.
"Why, I heard Priscilla say once that the Canadian Woman  only  pays  five
dollars for a story!"
    Anne held out the hateful pink slip in shaking fingers.
    "I can't take it - it's yours by right, Diana. You sent the story  in
and made the alterations. I - I would certainly never have sent it. So you
must take the check."
    "I'd like to see myself," said Diana scornfully.  "Why,  what  I  did
wasn't any trouble. The honor of being a  friend  of  the  prizewinner  is
enough for me. Well, I must go. I should have gone straight home from  the
post office for we have company. But I simply had to  come  and  hear  the
news. I'm so glad for your sake, Anne."
    Anne suddenly bent forward, put her arms about Diana, and kissed  her
    "I think you are the sweetest and truest friend in the world, Diana,"
she said, with a little  tremble  in  her  voice,  "and  I  assure  you  I
appreciate the motive of what you've done."
    Diana, pleased and embarrassed, got  herself  away,  and  poor  Anne,
after flinging the innocent check into her bureau drawer  as  if  it  were
blood-money, cast herself on her bed and wept tears of shame and  outraged
sensibility. Oh, she could never live this down - never!
    Gilbert arrived at dusk, brimming over with congratulations,  for  he
had called at Orchard Slope and heard the news.  But  his  congratulations
died on his lips at sight of Anne's face.
    "Why, Anne, what is the matter? I expected to find you  radiant  over
winning Rollings Reliable prize. Good for you!"
    "Oh, Gilbert, not you," implored Anne, in an  ET-TU  BRUTE  tone.  "I
thought YOU would understand. Can't you see how awful it is?"
    "I must confess I can't. WHAT is wrong?"
    "Everything," moaned Anne. "I feel as if I  were  disgraced  forever.
What do you think a mother would feel like if she found her child tattooed
over with a baking powder advertisement? I feel just the same. I loved  my
poor little story, and I wrote it out of the best that was in me.  And  it
is SACRILEGE to  have  it  degraded  to  the  level  of  a  baking  powder
advertisement. Don't you remember what Professor Hamilton used to tell  us
in the literature class at Queen's? He said we were never to write a  word
for a low or unworthy motive, but always to  cling  to  the  very  highest
ideals. What will he think when he hears I've written a story to advertise
Rollings Reliable? And, oh, when it gets out at Redmond! Think how I'll be
teased and laughed at!"
    "That you won't," said Gilbert, wondering uneasily if  it  were  that
confounded Junior's opinion in particular over  which  Anne  was  worried.
"The Reds will think just as I thought - that you, being like nine out  of
ten of us, not overburdened with worldly wealth, had  taken  this  way  of
earning an honest penny to help yourself through the  year.  I  don't  see
that there's anything low or unworthy about that, or  anything  ridiculous
either. One would rather write masterpieces of literature no doubt  -  but
meanwhile board and tuition fees have to be paid."
    This commonsense, matter-of-fact view of  the  case  cheered  Anne  a
little. At least it removed her dread of  being  laughed  at,  though  the
deeper hurt of an outraged ideal remained.

                         16. Adjusted Relationships

    "It's the homiest spot I ever saw - it's homier  than  home,"  avowed
Philippa Gordon, looking about her with  delighted  eyes.  They  were  all
assembled at twilight in the big living-room at Patty's Place -  Anne  and
Priscilla, Phil and Stella, Aunt Jamesina, Rusty, Joseph,  the  Sarah-Cat,
and Gog and Magog. The firelight shadows were dancing over the walls;  the
cats were purring; and a huge bowl of  hothouse  chrysanthemums,  sent  to
Phil by one of the victims, shone through the  golden  gloom  like  creamy
    It was three weeks since they had considered themselves settled,  and
already all  believed  the  experiment  would  be  a  success.  The  first
fortnight after their return had been a pleasantly exciting one; they  had
been busy setting  up  their  household  goods,  organizing  their  little
establishment, and adjusting different opinions.
    Anne was not over-sorry to leave Avonlea when the time came to return
to college. The last few days of her vacation had not been  pleasant.  Her
prize story had been published in the Island papers; and Mr. William Blair
had, upon the counter of his store, a huge pile of pink, green and  yellow
pamphlets, containing it, one of which he gave to every customer. He  sent
a complimentary bundle to Anne, who  promptly  dropped  them  all  in  the
kitchen stove. Her humiliation was the consequence of her own ideals only,
for Avonlea folks thought it quite splendid that she should have  won  the
prize. Her many friends regarded her with honest admiration; her few  foes
with scornful envy. Josie Pye said she  believed  Anne  Shirley  had  just
copied the story; she was sure she remembered reading it in a paper  years
before. The Sloanes, who had found out or guessed that  Charlie  had  been
"turned down," said they didn't think it was much to be proud  of;  almost
any one could have done it, if she tried. Aunt Atossa told  Anne  she  was
very sorry to hear she had taken to writing novels; nobody born  and  bred
in Avonlea would do it; that  was  what  came  of  adopting  orphans  from
goodness knew where, with goodness knew what kind of  parents.  Even  Mrs.
Rachel Lynde was darkly dubious about the propriety  of  writing  fiction,
though she was almost reconciled to it by that twenty-five dollar check.
    "It is perfectly amazing, the price they pay for  such  lies,  that's
what," she said, half-proudly, half-severely.
    All things considered, it was a relief when going-away time came. And
it was very jolly to be back at Redmond, a  wise,  experienced  Soph  with
hosts of friends to greet on the merry opening day. Pris  and  Stella  and
Gilbert were there, Charlie Sloane, looking more  important  than  ever  a
Sophomore looked before, Phil, with  the  Alec-and-Alonzo  question  still
unsettled, and Moody Spurgeon MacPherson. Moody Spurgeon had been teaching
school ever since leaving Queen's, but his mother  had  concluded  it  was
high time he gave it up and turned his attention to learning how to  be  a
minister. Poor Moody Spurgeon fell on hard luck at the very  beginning  of
his college career. Half a  dozen  ruthless  Sophs,  who  were  among  his
fellow-boarders, swooped down upon him one night and shaved  half  of  his
head. In this guise the luckless Moody Spurgeon had to go about until  his
hair grew again. He told Anne bitterly that there were times when  he  had
his doubts as to whether he was really called to be a minister.
    Aunt Jamesina did not come until the girls had  Patty's  Place  ready
for her. Miss Patty had sent the key to Anne, with a letter in  which  she
said Gog and Magog were packed in a box  under  the  spare-room  bed,  but
might be taken out when wanted; in a postscript she added that  she  hoped
the girls would be careful about putting up pictures. The living room  had
been newly papered five years before and she and Miss Maria did  not  want
any more holes made in that new paper than was absolutely  necessary.  For
the rest she trusted everything to Anne.
    How those girls enjoyed putting their nest in order! As Phil said, it
was almost as good as getting married.  You  had  the  fun  of  homemaking
without the bother of a husband. All brought something with them to  adorn
or make comfortable the  little  house.  Pris  and  Phil  and  Stella  had
knick-knacks and pictures galore, which  latter  they  proceeded  to  hang
according to taste, in reckless disregard of Miss Patty's new paper.
    "We'll putty the holes up when we leave, dear - she'll  never  know,"
they said to protesting Anne.
    Diana had given Anne a pine needle cushion and  Miss  Ada  had  given
both her and  Priscilla  a  fearfully  and  wonderfully  embroidered  one.
Marilla had sent a big box of preserves, and darkly hinted at a hamper for
Thanksgiving, and Mrs. Lynde gave Anne a patchwork quilt  and  loaned  her
five more.
    "You take them," she said authoritatively. "They might as well be  in
use as packed away in that trunk in the garret for moths to gnaw."
    No moths would ever have ventured near those quilts, for they  reeked
of mothballs to such an extent that they had to be hung in the orchard  of
Patty's Place a full fortnight  before  they  could  be  endured  indoors.
Verily, aristocratic Spofford Avenue had rarely beheld such a display. The
gruff old millionaire who lived "next door" came over and  wanted  to  buy
the gorgeous red and yellow "tulip-pattern"  one  which  Mrs.  Rachel  had
given Anne. He said his mother used to make quilts like that, and by Jove,
he wanted one to remind him of her. Anne would not sell it,  much  to  his
disappointment,  but  she  wrote  all  about  it  to  Mrs.   Lynde.   That
highly-gratified lady sent word back that she had  one  just  like  it  to
spare, so the tobacco king got his quilt after all, and insisted on having
it spread on his bed, to the disgust of his fashionable wife.
    Mrs. Lynde's quilts served a very useful purpose that winter. Patty's
Place for all its many virtues, had its  faults  also.  It  was  really  a
rather cold house; and when the frosty nights came  the  girls  were  very
glad to snuggle down under Mrs. Lynde's quilts, and hoped that the loan of
them might be accounted unto her for righteousness. Anne had the blue room
she had coveted at sight. Priscilla and Stella had the large one. Phil was
blissfully content with the little one over the kitchen; and Aunt Jamesina
was to have the downstairs one off the living-room. Rusty at  first  slept
on the doorstep.
    Anne, walking home from Redmond a few days after her  return,  became
aware that the people that she met surveyed her with a  covert,  indulgent
smile. Anne wondered uneasily what was the matter with her.  Was  her  hat
crooked? Was her belt loose? Craning her head to  investigate,  Anne,  for
the first time, saw Rusty.
    Trotting along behind her, close to her heels,  was  quite  the  most
forlorn specimen of the cat tribe she had ever beheld. The animal was well
past kitten-hood, lank, thin, disreputable looking. Pieces  of  both  ears
were lacking, one  eye  was  temporarily  out  of  repair,  and  one  jowl
ludicrously swollen. As for color, if a once black cat had been  well  and
thoroughly singed the result would have resembled the hue of  this  waif's
thin, draggled, unsightly fur.
    Anne "shooed," but the cat would not "shoo." As long as she stood  he
sat back on his haunches and gazed at her reproachfully  out  of  his  one
good eye; when she resumed her walk he followed. Anne resigned herself  to
his company until she reached the gate of Patty's Place, which she  coldly
shut in his face, fondly supposing she had seen the last of him. But when,
fifteen minutes later, Phil opened the door, there sat the rusty-brown cat
on the step. More, he promptly darted in and sprang upon Anne's lap with a
half-pleading, half-triumphant "miaow."
    "Anne," said Stella severely, "do you own that animal?"
    "No, I do NOT," protested disgusted Anne. "The creature  followed  me
home from somewhere. I couldn't get rid of him.  Ugh,  get  down.  I  like
decent cats reasonably well; but I don't like beasties of your complexion."
    Pussy, however, refused to get down. He coolly curled  up  in  Anne's
lap and began to purr.
    "He has evidently adopted you," laughed Priscilla.
    "I won't BE adopted," said Anne stubbornly.
    "The poor creature is starving," said Phil pityingly. "Why, his bones
are almost coming through his skin."
    "Well, I'll give him a square meal and then he must return to  whence
he came," said Anne resolutely.
    The cat was fed and put out. In the  morning  he  was  still  on  the
doorstep. On the doorstep he continued to sit,  bolting  in  whenever  the
door was opened. No coolness of welcome had the least effect  on  him;  of
nobody save Anne did he take the least notice. Out of compassion the girls
fed him; but when a week had passed they decided that  something  must  be
done. The cat's appearance had improved. His eye  and  cheek  had  resumed
their normal appearance; he was not quite so thin; and he  had  been  seen
washing his face.
    "But for all that we can't keep him," said Stella.  "Aunt  Jimsie  is
coming next week and she will bring the Sarah-cat with her.
    We can't keep two cats; and if we did this Rusty Coat would fight all
the time with the Sarah-cat. He's a fighter by nature. He  had  a  pitched
battle last evening with the tobacco-king's cat  and  routed  him,  horse,
foot and artillery."
    "We must get rid of him," agreed Anne, looking darkly at the  subject
of their discussion, who was purring on the hearth  rug  with  an  air  of
lamb-like meekness. "But the question is - how? How can  four  unprotected
females get rid of a cat who won't be got rid of?"
    We must chloroform him," said Phil briskly. "That is the most  humane
    "Who of us knows anything about chloroforming a cat?"  demanded  Anne
    "I  do,  honey.  It's  one  of  my  few  -   sadly   few   -   useful
accomplishments. I've disposed of several at home. You take the cat in the
morning and give him a good breakfast. Then you take an old burlap  bag  -
there's one in the back porch - put the cat on it  and  turn  over  him  a
wooden box. Then take a two-ounce bottle of  chloroform,  uncork  it,  and
slip it under the edge of the box. Put a heavy weight on top  of  the  box
and leave it till evening. The cat will be dead, curled up  peacefully  as
if he were asleep. No pain - no struggle."
    "It sounds easy," said Anne dubiously.
    "It IS easy. Just leave  it  to  me.  I'll  see  to  it,"  said  Phil
    Accordingly the chloroform was procured, and the next  morning  Rusty
was lured to his doom. He ate his breakfast, licked his chops, and climbed
into Anne's lap. Anne's heart misgave her. This poor creature loved her  -
trusted her. How could she be a party to this destruction?
    "Here, take him," she said hastily to Phil. "I feel like a murderess."
    "He won't suffer, you know," comforted Phil, but Anne had fled.
    The fatal deed was done in the back porch. Nobody went near  it  that
day. But at dusk Phil declared that Rusty must be buried.
    "Pris and Stella must dig his grave in the orchard,"  declared  Phil,
"and Anne must come with me to lift the box off. That's the part I  always
    The two conspirators tip-toed reluctantly to  the  back  porch.  Phil
gingerly lifted the stone she had put on  the  box.  Suddenly,  faint  but
distinct, sounded an unmistakable mew under the box.
    "He - he isn't dead,"  gasped  Anne,  sitting  blankly  down  on  the
kitchen doorstep.
    "He must be," said Phil incredulously.
    Another tiny mew proved that he wasn't. The two girls stared at  each
    What will we do?" questioned Anne.
    "Why in the world don't you come?" demanded Stella, appearing in  the
doorway. "We've got the grave ready. `What silent still and silent  all?'"
she quoted teasingly.
    "`Oh, no, the voices of the dead Sound  like  the  distant  torrent's
fall,'" promptly counter-quoted Anne, pointing solemnly to the box.
    A burst of laughter broke the tension.
    "We must leave him here  till  morning,"  said  Phil,  replacing  the
stone. "He hasn't mewed for five minutes. Perhaps the mews we  heard  were
his dying groan. Or perhaps we merely imagined them, under the  strain  of
our guilty consciences."
    But, when the box was lifted in the morning, Rusty bounded at one gay
leap to Anne's shoulder where he began to lick  her  face  affectionately.
Never was there a cat more decidedly alive.
    "Here's a knot hole in the box,"  groaned  Phil.  "I  never  saw  it.
That's why he didn't die. Now, we've got to do it all over again."
    "No, we haven't," declared Anne suddenly. "Rusty isn't  going  to  be
killed again. He's my cat - and you've just got to make the best of it."
    "Oh, well, if you'll settle with Aunt Jimsie and the Sarah-cat," said
Stella, with the air of one washing her hands of the whole affair.
    From that time Rusty was one of the family. He slept o'nights on  the
scrubbing cushion in the back porch and lived on the fat of the  land.  By
the time Aunt  Jamesina  came  he  was  plump  and  glossy  and  tolerably
respectable. But, like Kipling's cat, he "walked by himself." His paw  was
against every cat, and  every  cat's  paw  against  him.  One  by  one  he
vanquished the aristocratic felines  of  Spofford  Avenue.  As  for  human
beings, he loved Anne and Anne alone. Nobody else even dared  stroke  him.
An angry spit and something that sounded much like very improper  language
greeted any one who did.
    "The airs that cat  puts  on  are  perfectly  intolerable,"  declared
    "Him was a nice old pussens, him was," vowed Anne, cuddling  her  pet
    "Well, I don't know how he and the Sarah-cat will ever  make  out  to
live together," said Stella pesimistically.  "Cat-fights  in  the  orchard
o'nights are bad  enough.  But  cat-fights  here  in  the  livingroom  are
unthinkable." In due time Aunt Jamesina arrived. Anne  and  Priscilla  and
Phil had awaited her advent rather dubiously; but when Aunt  Jamesina  was
enthroned in the rocking chair before  the  open  fire  they  figuratively
bowed down and worshipped her.
    Aunt Jamesina was a tiny old woman with a  little,  softly-triangular
face, and large, soft blue eyes that were alight with unquenchable  youth,
and as full of hopes as a girl's. She had pink cheeks and snow-white  hair
which she wore in quaint little puffs over her ears.
    "It's a very old-fashioned way," she said, knitting industriously  at
something as dainty and pink as a sunset cloud. "But _I_ am old-fashioned.
My clothes are, and it stands to reason my opinions are, too. I don't  say
they're any the better of that, mind you. In fact,  I  daresay  they're  a
good deal the worse. But they've worn nice and easy. New shoes are smarter
than old ones, but the old ones are more comfortable. I'm  old  enough  to
indulge myself in the matter of shoes and opinions. I mean to take it real
easy here. I know you expect me to look after you and keep you proper, but
I'm not going to do it.
    You're old enough to know how to behave if you're ever going  to  be.
So, as far as I am concerned," concluded Aunt Jamesina, with a twinkle  in
her young eyes, "you can all go to destruction in your own way."
    "Oh,  will   somebody   separate   those   cats?"   pleaded   Stella,
    Aunt Jamesina had brought with her not only the Sarah-cat but Joseph.
Joseph, she explained, had belonged to a dear friend of hers who had  gone
to live in Vancouver.
    "She couldn't take Joseph with her so she begged me to  take  him.  I
really couldn't refuse. He's a beautiful cat - that is, his disposition is
beautiful. She called him Joseph because his coat is of many colors."
    It certainly was. Joseph, as the disgusted Stella said, looked like a
walking rag-bag. It was impossible to say what his ground color  was.  His
legs were white with black spots on them. His back was gray  with  a  huge
patch of yellow on one side and a black patch on the other. His  tail  was
yellow with a gray tip. One ear was black and one yellow.  A  black  patch
over one eye gave him a fearfully rakish look. In reality he was meek  and
inoffensive, of a sociable disposition. In one respect, if  in  no  other,
Joseph was like a lily of the field. He toiled not neither did he spin  or
catch mice. Yet Solomon in all his glory slept not on softer cushions,  or
feasted more fully on fat things.
    Joseph and the Sarah-cat arrived by express in separate boxes.  After
they had been released and fed, Joseph selected  the  cushion  and  corner
which appealed to him, and the Sarah-cat gravely sat herself  down  before
the fire and  proceeded  to  wash  her  face.  She  was  a  large,  sleek,
gray-and-white cat, with an enormous dignity which was not at all impaired
by any consciousness of her plebian origin. She had  been  given  to  Aunt
Jamesina by her washerwoman.
    "Her name was Sarah, so my husband always called puss the Sarah-cat,"
explained Aunt Jamesina. "She is eight years old, and a remarkable mouser.
Don't worry, Stella. The Sarah-cat NEVER fights and Joseph rarely."
    "They'll have to fight here in self-defense," said Stella.
    At this juncture Rusty arrived on the scene. He bounded joyously half
way across the room before he saw the intruders. Then  he  stopped  short;
his tail expanded until it was as big as three tails. The fur on his  back
rose up in a defiant arch; Rusty  lowered  his  head,  uttered  a  fearful
shriek of hatred and defiance, and launched himself at the Sarah-cat.
    The stately animal had stopped washing her face and  was  looking  at
him curiously. She met his onslaught with one contemptuous  sweep  of  her
capable paw. Rusty went rolling helplessly over  on  the  rug;  he  picked
himself up dazedly. What sort of a cat was this who had boxed his ears? He
looked dubiously at the Sarah-cat. Would he or would he not? The Sarah-cat
deliberately turned her back on him and  resumed  her  toilet  operations.
Rusty decided that he would not. He never  did.  From  that  time  on  the
Sarah-cat ruled the roost. Rusty never again interfered with her.
    But Joseph rashly sat up and yawned. Rusty,  burning  to  avenge  his
disgrace, swooped down upon him. Joseph, pacific by  nature,  could  fight
upon occasion and fight well. The result was a series  of  drawn  battles.
Every day Rusty and Joseph fought at sight. Anne  took  Rusty's  part  and
detested Joseph. Stella was in despair. But Aunt Jamesina only laughed.
    Let them fight it out," she said tolerantly.  "They'll  make  friends
after a bit. Joseph needs some exercise - he  was  getting  too  fat.  And
Rusty has to learn he isn't the only cat in the world."
    Eventually Joseph and Rusty accepted the  situation  and  from  sworn
enemies became sworn friends. They slept on the same  cushion  with  their
paws about each other, and gravely washed each other's faces.
    "We've all got used to each other," said Phil. "And I've learned  how
to wash dishes and sweep a floor."
    "But you needn't try to make us believe you can  chloroform  a  cat,"
laughed Anne.
    "It was all the fault of the knothole," protested Phil.
    "It was a good thing the knothole  was  there,"  said  Aunt  Jamesina
rather severely. "Kittens HAVE to be drowned, I admit, or the world  would
be overrun. But no decent, grown-up cat should be done to death  -  unless
he sucks eggs."
    "You wouldn't have thought Rusty very decent if you'd seen  him  when
he came here," said Stella. "He positively looked like the Old Nick."
    "I don't believe Old Nick can be so very, ugly"  said  Aunt  Jamesina
reflectively. "He wouldn't do so much harm if he was. _I_ always think  of
him as a rather handsome gentleman."

                          17. A Letter from Davy

    "It's beginning to snow, girls," said Phil, coming  in  one  November
evening, "and there are the loveliest little stars and  crosses  all  over
the garden walk. I never noticed before what exquisite  things  snowflakes
really are. One has time to notice things like that in  the  simple  life.
Bless you all for permitting me to live it. It's really delightful to feel
worried because butter has gone up five cents a pound."
    "Has it?" demanded Stella, who kept the household accounts.
    "It has - and  here's  your  butter.  I'm  getting  quite  expert  at
marketing. It's better fun than flirting," concluded Phil gravely.
    "Everything is going up scandalously," sighed Stella.
    "Never mind. Thank goodness air and salvation are still  free,"  said
Aunt Jamesina.
    "And so is laughter," added Anne. "There's no tax on it yet and  that
is well, because you're all going to laugh presently. I'm  going  to  read
you Davy's letter. His spelling has improved  immensely  this  past  year,
though he is not strong on apostrophes, and  he  certainly  possesses  the
gift of writing an interesting letter. Listen and laugh, before we  settle
down to the evening's study-grind."
    "Dear Anne," ran Davy's letter, "I take my pen to tell  you  that  we
are all pretty well and hope this will find you  the  same.  It's  snowing
some today and Marilla says the old  woman  in  the  sky  is  shaking  her
feather beds. Is the old woman in the sky God's  wife,  Anne?  I  want  to
    "Mrs. Lynde has been real sick but she is better now. She  fell  down
the cellar stairs last week. When she fell she grabbed hold of  the  shelf
with all the milk pails and stewpans on it, and it gave way and went  down
with her and made a splendid crash. Marilla thought it was  an  earthquake
at first.
    One of the stewpans was all dinged up  and  Mrs.  Lynde  straned  her
ribs. The doctor came and gave her medicine to rub on  her  ribs  but  she
didn't under stand him and took it all inside instead. The doctor said  it
was a wonder it dident kill her but it dident and it cured  her  ribs  and
Mrs. Lynde says doctors dont know much anyhow. But we couldent fix up  the
stewpan. Marilla had to throw it out. Thanksgiving was  last  week.  There
was no school and we had a great dinner. I et mince pie  and  rost  turkey
and frut cake and donuts and cheese and jam and choklut cake. Marilla said
I'd die but I dident. Dora had earake after it, only it wasent in her ears
it was in her stummick. I dident have earake anywhere.
    "Our new teacher is a man. He does things for  jokes.  Last  week  he
made all us third-class boys write a composishun on what kind  of  a  wife
we'd like to have and the girls on what kind of a husband. He laughed  fit
to kill when he read them. This was mine. I thought youd like to see it.
    "`The kind of a wife I'd like to Have.
    "`She must have good manners and get my meals on time and do  what  I
tell her and always be very polite to me. She must be  fifteen  yers  old.
She must be good to the poor and keep her house tidy and be good  tempered
and go to church regularly. She must be very handsome and have curly hair.
If I get a wife that is just what I like Ill be an awful good  husband  to
her. I think a woman ought to be awful good  to  her  husband.  Some  poor
women havent any husbands.
                                                              `THE END.'"

    "I was at Mrs. Isaac Wrights funeral at White Sands  last  week.  The
husband of the corpse felt  real  sorry.  Mrs.  Lynde  says  Mrs.  Wrights
grandfather stole a sheep but Marilla says we mustent  speak  ill  of  the
dead. Why mustent we, Anne? I want to know. It's pretty safe, ain't it?
    "Mrs. Lynde was awful mad the other day because I asked  her  if  she
was alive in Noah's time. I dident mean  to  hurt  her  feelings.  I  just
wanted to know. Was she, Anne?
    "Mr. Harrison wanted to get rid of his dog. So he hunged him once but
he come to life and scooted for the barn while Mr.  Harrison  was  digging
the grave, so he hunged him again  and  he  stayed  dead  that  time.  Mr.
Harrison has a new man working for him. He's awful  okward.  Mr.  Harrison
says he is left handed in both his feet. Mr. Barry's hired  man  is  lazy.
Mrs. Barry says that but Mr. Barry says  he  aint  lazy  exactly  only  he
thinks it easier to pray for things than to work for them.
    "Mrs. Harmon Andrews prize pig that she talked so much of died  in  a
fit. Mrs. Lynde says it was a judgment on her for pride. But  I  think  it
was hard on the pig. Milty Boulter has been  sick.  The  doctor  gave  him
medicine and it tasted horrid. I offered to take it for him for a  quarter
but the Boulters are so mean. Milty says he'd rather take it  himself  and
save his money. I asked Mrs. Boulter how a person would go about  catching
a man and she got awful mad and said she dident know,  shed  never  chased
    "The A.V.I.S. is going to paint the  hall  again.  They're  tired  of
having it blue.
    "The new minister was here to tea last night. He took three pieces of
    If I did that Mrs. Lynde would call me piggy. And he et fast and took
big bites and Marilla is always  telling  me  not  to  do  that.  Why  can
ministers do what boys can't? I want to know.
    "I haven't any more news. Here are six  kisses.  xxxxxx.  Dora  sends
one. Heres hers. x.
                                                      "Your loving friend
                                                             DAVID KEITH"
    "P.S. Anne, who was the devils father? I want to know."

                18. Miss Josepine Remembers the Anne-girl

    When Christmas holidays came the girls of Patty's Place scattered  to
their respective homes, but Aunt Jamesina elected to stay where she was.
    "I couldn't go to any of the places I've been invited and take  those
three cats," she said. "And I'm not going to leave the poor creatures here
alone for nearly three weeks. If we had any  decent  neighbors  who  would
feed them I might, but there's nothing except millionaires on this street.
So I'll stay here and keep Patty's Place warm for you."
    Anne went home with the usual joyous anticipations - which  were  not
wholly fulfilled. She found Avonlea in the grip of such  an  early,  cold,
and stormy winter as even the "oldest inhabitant" could not recall.  Green
Gables was literally hemmed in by huge drifts. Almost every  day  of  that
ill-starred vacation it stormed fiercely; and even on fine days it drifted
unceasingly. No sooner were the roads broken than they filled in again. It
was almost impossible to stir out. The A.V.I.S. tried, on three  evenings,
to have a party in honor of the college students, and on each evening  the
storm was so wild that nobody could go, so they gave  up  the  attempt  in
despair. Anne, despite her love of and loyalty to Green Gables, could  not
help thinking longingly  of  Patty's  Place,  its  cosy  open  fire,  Aunt
Jamesina's mirthful eyes, the three cats, the merry chatter of the  girls,
the pleasantness of Friday evenings when college  friends  dropped  in  to
talk of grave and gay.
    Anne was lonely;  Diana,  during  the  whole  of  the  holidays,  was
imprisoned at home with a bad attack of bronchitis. She could not come  to
Green Gables and it was rarely Anne could get to Orchard  Slope,  for  the
old way through the Haunted Wood was impassable with drifts, and the  long
way over the frozen Lake of Shining Waters was almost as bad. Ruby  Gillis
was sleeping in the white-heaped graveyard; Jane Andrews  was  teaching  a
school on western prairies. Gilbert, to be sure, was still  faithful,  and
waded up to Green Gables every possible evening. But Gilbert's visits were
not  what  they  once  were.  Anne  almost  dreaded  them.  It  was   very
disconcerting to look up in  the  midst  of  a  sudden  silence  and  find
Gilbert's hazel eyes fixed upon her with a quite  unmistakable  expression
in their grave depths; and it was still more disconcerting to find herself
blushing hotly and uncomfortably under his gaze, just as if - just as if -
well, it was very embarrassing. Anne wished herself back at Patty's Place,
where there was always somebody else about to take the edge off a delicate
situation. At Green Gables Marilla went promptly to  Mrs.  Lynde's  domain
when Gilbert  came  and  insisted  on  taking  the  twins  with  her.  The
significance of this was unmistakable and Anne was in a helpless fury over
    Davy, however, was perfectly happy. He reveled in getting out in  the
morning and shoveling out the paths to the well and henhouse.  He  gloried
in the Christmas-tide delicacies which Marilla and Mrs.  Lynde  vied  with
each other in preparing for Anne, and he was reading an enthralling  tale,
in a school library book, of a wonderful hero who seemed  blessed  with  a
miraculous faculty for getting into scrapes  from  which  he  was  usually
delivered by an earthquake or a volcanic explosion, which  blew  him  high
and dry out of his troubles, landed him in a fortune, and closed the story
with proper ECLAT.
    "I tell you it's a bully story, Anne,"  he  said  ecstatically.  "I'd
ever so much rather read it than the Bible."
    "Would you?" smiled Anne.
    Davy peered curiously at her.
    "You don't seem a bit shocked, Anne. Mrs.  Lynde  was  awful  shocked
when I said it to her."
    "No, I'm not shocked,  Davy.  I  think  it's  quite  natural  that  a
nine-year-old boy would sooner read an adventure story than the Bible. But
when you are older I hope and think that you will realize what a wonderful
book the Bible is."
    "Oh, I think some parts of it are fine," conceded Davy.  "That  story
about Joseph now - it's bully. But if I'd been Joseph  _I_  wouldn't  have
forgive the brothers. No, siree, Anne. I'd have cut all their  heads  off.
Mrs. Lynde was awful mad when I said that and shut the Bible up  and  said
she'd never read me any more of it if I talked like that. So I don't  talk
now when she reads it Sunday afternoons; I just think things and say  them
to Milty Boulter next day in school. I told Milty the story  about  Elisha
and the bears and it scared him so he's never made fun of  Mr.  Harrison's
bald head once. Are there any bears on P.E. Island, Anne? I want to know."
    "Not nowadays," said Anne, absently, as the wind blew a scud of  snow
against the window. "Oh, dear, will it ever stop storming."
    "God knows," said Davy airily, preparing to resume his reading.
    Anne WAS shocked this time.
    "Davy!" she exclaimed reproachfully.
    "Mrs. Lynde says that," protested Davy. "One night last week  Marilla
said `Will Ludovic Speed and Theodora Dix EVER get married" and Mrs. Lynde
said, `God knows' - just like that."
    "Well, it wasn't right for  her  to  say  it,"  said  Anne,  promptly
deciding upon which horn of this dilemma  to  empale  herself.  "It  isn't
right for anybody to take that name in vain or  speak  it  lightly,  Davy.
Don't ever do it again."
    "Not if I say it slow and solemn, like the  minister?"  queried  Davy
    "No, not even then."
    "Well, I won't. Ludovic Speed and Theodora Dix live in Middle Grafton
and Mrs. Rachel says he has been courting her for a hundred  years.  Won't
they soon be too old to get married, Anne? I hope Gilbert won't court  YOU
that long. When are you going to be married, Anne? Mrs. Lynde says it's  a
sure thing."
    "Mrs. Lynde is a -"  began  Anne  hotly;  then  stopped.  "Awful  old
gossip," completed Davy calmly. "That's what every one calls her.  But  is
it a sure thing, Anne? I want to know."
    "You're a very silly little boy, Davy," said Anne, stalking haughtily
out of the room. The kitchen was deserted and she sat down by  the  window
in the fast falling wintry twilight. The sun had set and the wind had died
down. A pale chilly moon looked out behind a bank of purple clouds in  the
west. The sky faded out, but the strip of yellow along the western horizon
grew brighter and fiercer, as if  all  the  stray  gleams  of  light  were
concentrating in one spot; the  distant  hills,  rimmed  with  priest-like
firs, stood out in dark distinctness against it. Anne  looked  across  the
still, white fields, cold and lifeless in the harsh  light  of  that  grim
sunset, and sighed. She was very lonely; and she was sad at heart; for she
was wondering if she would be able to return to Redmond next year. It  did
not seem likely. The only scholarship possible in the Sophomore year was a
very small affair. She would not take Marilla's money;  and  there  seemed
little prospect of being able to earn enough in the summer vacation.
    "I suppose I'll just  have  to  drop  out  next  year,"  she  thought
drearily, "and teach a district school again until I earn enough to finish
my course. And by that time all my  old  class  will  have  graduated  and
Patty's Place will be out of the question. But there! I'm not going to  be
a coward. I'm thankful I can earn my way through if necessary."
    "Here's Mr. Harrison wading up the  lane,"  announced  Davy,  running
out. "I hope he's brought the mail. It's three days since  we  got  it.  I
want to see what them pesky Grits are doing. I'm a Conservative, Anne. And
I tell you, you have to keep your eye on them Grits."
    Mr. Harrison had brought the mail, and merry letters from Stella  and
Priscilla and Phil soon dissipated Anne's blues. Aunt Jamesina,  too,  had
written, saying that she was keeping the hearth-fire alight, and that  the
cats were all well, and the house plants doing fine.
    "The weather has been real cold," she wrote, "so I let the cats sleep
in the house - Rusty and Joseph on the sofa in the  living-room,  and  the
Sarah-cat on the foot of my bed. It's real company  to  hear  her  purring
when I wake up in the night and think of my poor daughter in  the  foreign
field. If it was anywhere but in India I wouldn't worry, but they say  the
snakes out there are terrible. It takes all the  Sarah-cats's  purring  to
drive away the thought of those snakes. I have enough faith for everything
but the snakes. I can't think why Providence ever made them.  Sometimes  I
don't think He did. I'm inclined to believe the Old Harry had  a  hand  in
making THEM."
    Anne had left  a  thin,  typewritten  communication  till  the  last,
thinking it unimportant. When she had read it she  sat  very  still,  with
tears in her eyes.
    "What is the matter, Anne?" asked Marilla.
    "Miss Josephine Barry is dead," said Anne, in a low tone.
    "So she has gone at last," said Marilla. "Well, she has been sick for
over a year, and the Barrys have been expecting to hear of her  death  any
time. It is well she is at rest for she has suffered dreadfully, Anne. She
was always kind to you."
    "She has been kind to the last, Marilla.  This  letter  is  from  her
lawyer. She has left me a thousand dollars in her will."
    "Gracious, ain't that an awful lot of money," exclaimed Davy.  "She's
the woman you and Diana lit on when you jumped into the  spare  room  bed,
ain't she? Diana told me that story. Is that why she left you so much?"
    "Hush, Davy," said Anne gently. She slipped away to the  porch  gable
with a full heart, leaving Marilla and Mrs. Lynde to talk over the news to
their hearts' content.
    "Do you s'pose Anne will  ever  get  married  now?"  speculated  Davy
anxiously. "When Dorcas Sloane got married last summer she said  if  she'd
had enough money to live on she'd never have been bothered with a man, but
even  a  widower  with  eight  children  was  better'n   living   with   a
    "Davy Keith, do hold your tongue," said Mrs.  Rachel  severely.  "The
way you talk is scandalous for a small boy, that's what."

                             19. An Interlude

    "To think that this is my twentieth birthday, and that I've  left  my
teens behind me forever," said Anne, who was curled up on  the  hearth-rug
with Rusty in her lap, to Aunt Jamesina who was reading in her pet  chair.
They were alone in the living room. Stella and Priscilla  had  gone  to  a
committee meeting and Phil was upstairs adorning herself for a party.
    "I suppose you feel kind of, sorry" said Aunt  Jamesina.  "The  teens
are such a nice part of life. I'm glad I've never gone out of them myself."
    Anne laughed.
    "You never will, Aunty. You'll be  eighteen  when  you  should  be  a
hundred. Yes, I'm sorry, and a little dissatisfied  as  well.  Miss  Stacy
told me long ago that by the time I  was  twenty  my  character  would  be
formed, for good or evil. I don't feel that it's what it should  be.  It's
full of flaws."
    "So's everybody's," said Aunt Jamesina cheerfully. "Mine's cracked in
a hundred places. Your Miss Stacy likely meant that when  you  are  twenty
your character would have got its  permanent  bent  in  one  direction  or
'tother, and would go on developing in that line.  Don't  worry  over  it,
Anne. Do your duty by God and your neighbor and yourself, and have a  good
time. That's my philosophy and it's always  worked  pretty  well.  Where's
Phil off to tonight?"
    "She's going to a dance, and she's got the sweetest dress  for  it  -
creamy yellow silk and cobwebby lace. It just suits those brown  tints  of
    "There's magic in the words `silk' and  `lace,'  isn't  there?"  said
Aunt Jamesina. "The very sound of them makes me feel like skipping off  to
a dance. And YELLOW silk. It makes one think of a  dress  of  sunshine.  I
always wanted a yellow silk dress, but first my mother and then my husband
wouldn't hear of it. The very first thing I'm going to do when  I  get  to
heaven is to get a yellow silk dress."
    Amid Anne's peal of laughter Phil came downstairs, trailing clouds of
glory, and surveyed herself in the long oval mirror on the wall.
    "A flattering looking glass is a promoter of amiability,"  she  said.
"The one in my room does certainly make me green. Do I look  pretty  nice,
    "Do you really know how pretty you are, Phil?" asked Anne, in  honest
    "Of course I do. What are looking glasses and men  for?  That  wasn't
what I meant. Are all my ends tucked in? Is my skirt straight?  And  would
this rose look better lower down? I'm afraid it's too high - it will  make
me look lop-sided. But I hate things tickling my ears."
    "Everything is just right, and that  southwest  dimple  of  yours  is
    "Anne, there's one thing in particular I like about you -  you're  so
ungrudging. There isn't a particle of envy in you."
    "Why should she be envious?" demanded Aunt Jamesina. "She's not quite
as goodlooking as you, maybe, but she's got a far handsomer nose."
    "I know it," conceded Phil.
    "My nose always has been a great comfort to me," confessed Anne.
    "And I love the way your hair grows on your forehead, Anne. And  that
one wee curl, always looking as if  it  were  going  to  drop,  but  never
dropping, is delicious. But as for noses, mine is a dreadful worry to  me.
I know by the time I'm forty it will be Byrney. What  do  you  think  I'll
look like when I'm forty, Anne?"
    "Like an old, matronly, married woman," teased Anne.
    "I won't," said Phil,  sitting  down  comfortably  to  wait  for  her
escort. "Joseph, you calico beastie, don't you dare  jump  on  my  lap.  I
won't go to a dance all over cat hairs. No, Anne, I WON'T  look  matronly.
But no doubt I'll be married."
    "To Alec or Alonzo?" asked Anne.
    "To one of them, I suppose," sighed  Phil,  "if  I  can  ever  decide
    "It shouldn't be hard to decide," scolded Aunt Jamesina.
    "I was born a see-saw Aunty, and nothing can  ever  prevent  me  from
    "You ought to be more levelheaded, Philippa."
    "It's best to be levelheaded, of course," agreed Philippa,  "but  you
miss lots of fun.  As  for  Alec  and  Alonzo,  if  you  knew  them  you'd
understand why it's difficult to  choose  between  them.  They're  equally
    "Then take somebody who is nicer" suggested Aunt  Jamesina.  "There's
that Senior who is so devoted to you - Will  Leslie.  He  has  such  nice,
large, mild eyes."
    "They're a little bit too large and too mild - like  a  cow's,"  said
Phil cruelly.
    "What do you say about George Parker?"
    "There's nothing to say about him except that he always looks  as  if
he had just been starched and ironed."
    "Marr Holworthy then. You can't find a fault with him."
    "No, he would do if he wasn't poor. I must marry  a  rich  man,  Aunt
Jamesina. That - and good looks - is an indispensable  qualification.  I'd
marry Gilbert Blythe if he were rich."
    "Oh, would you?" said Anne, rather viciously.
    "We don't like that idea a little bit, although we don't want Gilbert
ourselves, oh, no," mocked Phil. "But don't  let's  talk  of  disagreeable
subjects. I'll have to marry sometime, I suppose, but I shall put off  the
evil day as long as I can."
    "You mustn't marry anybody you don't love, Phil, when all's said  and
done," said Aunt Jamesina.

          "`Oh, hearts that loved in the good old way
            Have been out o' the fashion this many a day.'"

    trilled Phil mockingly. "There's the carriage. I fly - Bi-bi, you two
old-fashioned darlings."
    When Phil had gone Aunt Jamesina looked solemnly at Anne.
    "That girl is pretty and sweet and goodhearted, but do you think  she
is quite right in her mind, by spells, Anne?"
    "Oh, I don't think there's anything the  matter  with  Phil's  mind,"
said Anne, hiding a smile. "It's just her way of talking."
    Aunt Jamesina shook her head.
    "Well, I hope so, Anne. I do hope so, because I  love  her.  But  _I_
can't understand her - she beats me. She isn't like any  of  the  girls  I
ever knew, or any of the girls I was myself."
    "How many girls were you, Aunt Jimsie?"
    "About half a dozen, my dear."

                            20. Gilbert Speaks

    "This has been a dull, prosy day," yawned  Phil,  stretching  herself
idly on the sofa, having previously dispossessed two exceedingly indignant
    Anne looked up from Pickwick Papers.  Now  that  spring  examinations
were over she was treating herself to Dickens.
    "It has been a prosy day for us," she said thoughtfully, "but to some
people it has been a wonderful day. Some one has been rapturously happy in
it. Perhaps a great deed has been done somewhere today - or a  great  poem
written - or a great man born. And some heart has been broken, Phil."
    "Why did you spoil your pretty thought by tagging that last  sentence
on, honey?" grumbled Phil. "I don't like to think of broken  hearts  -  or
anything unpleasant."
    "Do you think you'll be able to  shirk  unpleasant  things  all  your
life, Phil?"
    "Dear me, no. Am I not up against them now? You don't call  Alec  and
Alonzo pleasant things, do you, when they simply plague my life out?"
    "You never take anything seriously, Phil."
    "Why should I? There are enough folks who do. The world needs  people
like me, Anne, just to amuse it. It would be a terrible place if EVERYBODY
were intellectual and serious and in deep, deadly earnest. MY mission  is,
as Josiah Allen says, `to charm and allure.' Confess now. Hasn't  life  at
Patty's Place been really much brighter and pleasanter  this  past  winter
because I've been here to leaven you?"
    "Yes, it has," owned Anne.
    "And you all love me - even Aunt Jamesina, who thinks I'm stark  mad.
So why should I try to be different? Oh, dear, I'm so sleepy. I was  awake
until one last night, reading a harrowing ghost story. I read it  in  bed,
and after I had finished it do you suppose I could get out of bed  to  put
the light out? No! And if Stella had not fortunately  come  in  late  that
lamp would have burned good and bright till morning. When I heard Stella I
called her in, explained my predicament, and got her to put out the light.
If I had got out myself to do it I knew something would  grab  me  by  the
feet when I was getting in again. By the  way,  Anne,  has  Aunt  Jamesina
decided what to do this summer?"
    "Yes, she's going to stay here. I know she's doing it for the sake of
those blessed cats, although she says it's too much trouble  to  open  her
own house, and she hates visiting."
    "What are you reading?"
    "That's a book that always makes me hungry," said Phil.  "There's  so
much good eating in it. The characters seem always to be reveling  on  ham
and eggs and milk punch. I  generally  go  on  a  cupboard  rummage  after
reading Pickwick. The mere thought reminds me that I'm starving. Is  there
any tidbit in the pantry, Queen Anne?"
    "I made a lemon pie this morning. You may have a piece of it."
    Phil dashed out to the pantry and Anne betook herself to the  orchard
in company with Rusty. It was a moist, pleasantlyodorous  night  in  early
spring. The snow was not quite all gone from the park; a little dingy bank
of it yet lay under the pines  of  the  harbor  road,  screened  from  the
influence of April suns. It kept the harbor road muddy,  and  chilled  the
evening air. But grass was growing green in sheltered  spots  and  Gilbert
had found some pale, sweet arbutus in a hidden corner. He came up from the
park, his hands full of it.
    Anne was sitting on the big gray boulder in the  orchard  looking  at
the poem of a bare, birchen bough hanging against the pale red sunset with
the very perfection of grace. She  was  building  a  castle  in  air  -  a
wondrous mansion whose sunlit courts and stately  halls  were  steeped  in
Araby's perfume, and where she reigned queen and chatelaine.  She  frowned
as she saw Gilbert coming through the orchard. Of late she had managed not
to be left alone with Gilbert. But he had caught her fairly now; and  even
Rusty had deserted her.
    Gilbert sat  down  beside  her  on  the  boulder  and  held  out  his
    "Don't these remind you of home and our old schoolday picnics, Anne?"
    Anne took them and buried her face in them.
    "I'm in Mr. Silas  Sloane's  barrens  this  very  minute,"  she  said
    "I suppose you will be there in reality in a few days?"
    "No, not for a fortnight. I'm going to visit with Phil in Bolingbroke
before I go home. You'll be in Avonlea before I will."
    "No, I shall not be in Avonlea at all this summer,  Anne.  I've  been
offered a job in the Daily News office and I'm going to take it."
    "Oh," said Anne vaguely. She wondered what  a  whole  Avonlea  summer
would be like without Gilbert. Somehow she  did  not  like  the  prospect.
"Well," she concluded flatly, "it is a good thing for you, of course."
    "Yes, I've been hoping I would get it. It will help me out next year."
    "You mustn't work too HARD," said Anne, without any very  clear  idea
of what she was saying. She wished desperately that Phil would  come  out.
"You've studied very constantly  this  winter.  Isn't  this  a  delightful
evening? Do you know, I found a cluster of white violets  under  that  old
twisted tree over there today? I felt as if I had discovered a gold mine."
    "You  are  always  discovering  gold  mines,"  said  Gilbert  -  also
    "Let us go and see if we can find some more," suggested Anne eagerly.
"I'll call Phil and - "
    "Never mind Phil and  the  violets  just  now,  Anne,"  said  Gilbert
quietly, taking her hand in a clasp from which  she  could  not  free  it.
"There is something I want to say to you."
    "Oh, don't say it," cried Anne, pleadingly. "Don't - PLEASE, Gilbert."
    "I must. Things can't go on like this any longer. Anne, I  love  you.
You know I do. I - I can't tell you how much. Will  you  promise  me  that
some day you'll be my wife?"
    "I - I can't," said Anne miserably.  "Oh,  Gilbert  -  you  -  you've
spoiled everything."
    "Don't you care for me at all?" Gilbert asked after a  very  dreadful
pause, during which Anne had not dared to look up.
    "Not - not in that way. I do care a great deal for you as  a  friend.
But I don't love you, Gilbert."
    "But can't you give me some hope that you will - yet?"
    "No, I can't," exclaimed Anne desperately. "I never, never  can  love
you - in that way - Gilbert. You must never speak of this to me again."
    There was another pause - so long  and  so  dreadful  that  Anne  was
driven at last to look up. Gilbert's face was white to the lips.  And  his
eyes - but Anne shuddered and looked  away.  There  was  nothing  romantic
about this. Must proposals be either grotesque or -  horrible?  Could  she
ever forget Gilbert's face?
    "Is there anybody else?" he asked at last in a low voice.
    "No - no," said Anne eagerly. "I don't care for any one like  THAT  -
and I LIKE you better than anybody else in the world, Gilbert. And we must
- we must go on being friends, Gilbert."
    Gilbert gave a bitter little laugh.
    "Friends! Your friendship can't satisfy me, Anne. I want your love  -
and you tell me I can never have that."
    "I'm sorry. Forgive me, Gilbert," was all Anne could say. Where,  oh,
where  were  all  the  gracious  and  graceful  speeches   wherewith,   in
imagination, she had been wont to dismiss rejected suitors?
    Gilbert released her hand gently.
    "There isn't anything to  forgive.  There  have  been  times  when  I
thought you did care. I've deceived myself, that's all. Goodbye, Anne."
    Anne got herself to her room, sat down on her window seat behind  the
pines, and cried bitterly. She felt as if something incalculably  precious
had gone out of her life. It was Gilbert's friendship, of course. Oh,  why
must she lose it after this fashion?
    "What is the matter,  honey?"  asked  Phil,  coming  in  through  the
moonlit gloom.
    Anne did not answer. At that moment she wished Phil were  a  thousand
miles away.
    "I suppose you've gone and refused Gilbert Blythe. You are an  idiot,
Anne Shirley!"
    "Do you call it idiotic to refuse to marry a man I don't love?"  said
Anne coldly, goaded to reply.
    "You don't know love when you see it. You've  tricked  something  out
with your imagination that you think love, and you expect the  real  thing
to look like that. There, that's the first sensible thing I've  ever  said
in my life. I wonder how I managed it?"
    "Phil," pleaded Anne, "please go away and leave me alone for a little
while. My world has tumbled into pieces. I want to reconstruct it."
    "Without any Gilbert in it?" said Phil, going.
    A world without any Gilbert in it! Anne repeated the words  drearily.
Would it not be a very lonely, forlorn place? Well, it was  all  Gilbert's
fault. He had spoiled their beautiful comradeship. She must just learn  to
live without it.

                          21. Roses of Yesterday

    The fortnight Anne spent in Bolingbroke was a very pleasant one, with
a little under current of vague pain and dissatisfaction  running  through
it whenever she thought about Gilbert. There was not, however,  much  time
to think about him. "Mount Holly," the beautiful old Gordon homestead, was
a very gay place, overrun by Phil's friends of both sexes. There was quite
a bewildering succession of drives, dances, picnics and  boating  parties,
all expressively lumped together by Phil under the  head  of  "jamborees";
Alec and Alonzo were so constantly on hand that Anne wondered if they ever
did anything but dance attendance on that will-o'-the-wisp of a Phil. They
were both nice, manly fellows, but  Anne  would  not  be  drawn  into  any
opinion as to which was the nicer.
    "And I depended so on you to help me make up my mind which of them  I
should promise to marry," mourned Phil.
    "You must do that for yourself. You are quite  expert  at  making  up
your mind as to whom other people should  marry,"  retorted  Anne,  rather
    "Oh, that's a very different thing," said Phil, truly.
    But the sweetest incident of Anne's sojourn in  Bolingbroke  was  the
visit  to  her  birthplace  -  the  little  shabby  yellow  house  in   an
out-of-the-way street she had so often dreamed about.  She  looked  at  it
with delighted eyes, as she and Phil turned in at the gate.
    "It's almost exactly as I've pictured it," she  said.  "There  is  no
honeysuckle over the windows, but there is a lilac tree by the gate, and -
yes, there are the muslin curtains in the windows. How glad  I  am  it  is
still painted yellow."
    A very tall, very thin woman opened the door.
    "Yes, the Shirleys lived here twenty years ago," she said, in  answer
to Anne's question. "They had it rented. I remember 'em. They both died of
fever at onct. It was turrible sad. They left a baby. I  guess  it's  dead
long ago. It was a sickly thing. Old Thomas and his wife took it -  as  if
they hadn't enough of their own."
    "It didn't die," said Anne, smiling. "I was that baby."
    "You don't say so! Why, you have grown," exclaimed the woman,  as  if
she were much surprised that Anne was not still a baby. "Come to  look  at
you, I see the resemblance. You're complected like your  pa.  He  had  red
hair. But you favor your ma in your eyes and mouth. She was a nice  little
thing. My darter went to school to her and was nigh crazy about her.  They
was buried in the one grave and the School Board put  up  a  tombstone  to
them as a reward for faithful service. Will you come in?"
    "Will you let me go all over the house?" asked Anne eagerly.
    "Laws, yes, you can if you like. 'Twon't take you long - there  ain't
much of it. I keep at my man to build a new kitchen, but he ain't  one  of
your hustlers. The parlor's in there and there's two rooms upstairs.  Just
prowl about yourselves. I've got to see to the baby. The east room was the
one you were born in. I remember your ma  saying  she  loved  to  see  the
sunrise; and I mind hearing that you was born just as the sun  was  rising
and its light on your face was the first thing your ma saw."
    Anne went up the narrow stairs and into that little east room with  a
full heart. It was as a shrine to her. Here her  mother  had  dreamed  the
exquisite, happy dreams of anticipated motherhood; here that  red  sunrise
light had fallen over them both in the sacred  hour  of  birth;  here  her
mother had died. Anne looked about her reverently, her eyes with tears. It
was for her one of the jeweled hours of  life  that  gleam  out  radiantly
forever in memory.
    "Just to think of it - mother was younger than I am now  when  I  was
born," she whispered.
    When Anne went downstairs the lady of the house met her in the  hall.
She held out a dusty little packet tied with faded blue ribbon.
    "Here's a bundle of old letters I found in that closet upstairs  when
I came here," she said. "I dunno what they are - I never bothered to  look
in 'em, but the address on the top one is `Miss Bertha Willis,'  and  that
was your ma's maiden name. You can take 'em if you'd keer to have 'em."
    "Oh, thank  you  -  thank  you,"  cried  Anne,  clasping  the  packet
    "That was all  that  was  in  the  house,"  said  her  hostess.  "The
furniture was all sold to pay the doctor bills, and Mrs. Thomas  got  your
ma's clothes and little things. I reckon they didn't last long among  that
drove of Thomas youngsters. They was destructive young animals, as I  mind
    "I haven't one thing that belonged to my mother," said Anne, chokily.
"I - I can never thank you enough for these letters."
    "You're quite welcome. Laws, but your eyes is  like  your  ma's.  She
could just about talk with hers. Your father was sorter homely  but  awful
nice. I mind hearing folks say when they was married that there never  was
two people more in love with each other - Pore creatures, they didn't live
much longer; but they was awful happy while they was alive, and  I  s'pose
that counts for a good deal."
    Anne longed to get home to read her precious letters;  but  she  made
one little pilgrimage first. She went alone to the  green  corner  of  the
"old" Bolingbroke cemetery where her father and mother  were  buried,  and
left on their grave the white flowers she carried. Then she hastened  back
to Mount Holly, shut herself up in her room, and read  the  letters.  Some
were written by her father, some by her mother. There were not many - only
a dozen in all -  for  Walter  and  Bertha  Shirley  had  not  been  often
separated during their courtship. The letters were yellow  and  faded  and
dim, blurred with the touch of passing years. No profound words of  wisdom
were traced on the stained and wrinkled pages, but only lines of love  and
trust. The sweetness of forgotten things clung to them - the far-off, fond
imaginings of those long-dead lovers. Bertha  Shirley  had  possessed  the
gift of writing letters which embodied the  charming  personality  of  the
writer in words and thoughts that  retained  their  beauty  and  fragrance
after the lapse of time. The letters were  tender,  intimate,  sacred.  To
Anne, the sweetest of all was the one  written  after  her  birth  to  the
father on a brief absence. It was full of a proud young mother's  accounts
of "baby" - her cleverness, her brightness, her thousand sweetnesses.
    "I love her best when she is asleep and  better  still  when  she  is
awake," Bertha Shirley had written in the postscript. Probably it was  the
last sentence she had ever penned. The end was very near for her.
    "This has been the most beautiful day of my life," Anne said to  Phil
that night. "I've FOUND my father and mother. Those letters have made them
REAL to me. I'm not an orphan any longer. I feel as if I had opened a book
and found roses of yesterday, sweet and beloved, between its leaves."

                22. Spring and Anne Return to Green Gables

    The firelight shadows were dancing over the kitchen  walls  at  Green
Gables, for the spring evening was chilly; through the  open  east  window
drifted in the subtly sweet voices of the night. Marilla  was  sitting  by
the fire - at least, in body. In spirit she was roaming olden  ways,  with
feet grown young. Of late Marilla had thus spent many an  hour,  when  she
thought she should have been knitting for the twins.
    "I suppose I'm growing old," she said.
    Yet Marilla had changed but little in the past nine  years,  save  to
grow something thinner, and even more angular; there  was  a  little  more
gray in the hair that was still twisted up in the same hard knot, with two
hairpins - WERE they the same hairpins? - still stuck through it. But  her
expression was very different; the something about  the  mouth  which  had
hinted at a sense of  humor  had  developed  wonderfully;  her  eyes  were
gentler and milder, her smile more frequent and tender.
    Marilla was thinking of her whole past  life,  her  cramped  but  not
unhappy childhood, the jealously hidden dreams and the blighted  hopes  of
her girlhood, the long, gray, narrow, monotonous years of dull middle life
that followed. And the coming of Anne - the vivid, imaginative,  impetuous
child with her heart of love, and her world of fancy,  bringing  with  her
color and warmth and radiance,  until  the  wilderness  of  existence  had
blossomed like the rose. Marilla felt that out of her sixty years she  had
lived only the nine that had followed the advent of Anne. And  Anne  would
be home tomorrow night.
    The kitchen door opened. Marilla looked  up  expecting  to  see  Mrs.
Lynde. Anne stood before her, tall and starry-eyed, with her hands full of
Mayflowers and violets.
    "Anne Shirley!" exclaimed Marilla. For  once  in  her  life  she  was
surprised out of her reserve; she caught her girl in her arms and  crushed
her and her flowers against her heart, kissing the bright hair  and  sweet
face warmly. "I never looked for you till tomorrow night. How did you  get
from Carmody?"
    "Walked, dearest of Marillas. Haven't I done it a score of  times  in
the Queen's days? The mailman is to bring my trunk tomorrow;  I  just  got
homesick all at once, and came a day earlier. And  oh!  I've  had  such  a
lovely walk in the May twilight; I stopped by the barrens and picked these
Mayflowers; I came through Violet-Vale; it's just a big bowlful of violets
now - the dear, sky-tinted things. Smell them, Marilla - drink them in."
    Marilla sniffed obligingly, but she was more interested in Anne  than
in drinking violets.
    "Sit down, child. You must be real tired. I'm going to get  you  some
    "There's a darling moonrise behind the hills  tonight,  Marilla,  and
oh, how the frogs sang me home from Carmody! I do love the  music  of  the
frogs. It seems bound up with all my happiest recollections of old  spring
evenings. And it always reminds me of the night I came here first. Do  you
remember it, Marilla?"
    "Well, yes," said Marilla with emphasis. "I'm not likely to forget it
    "They used to sing so madly in the marsh and brook that year. I would
listen to them at my window in the dusk, and wonder how they could seem so
glad and so sad at the same time. Oh, but it's  good  to  be  home  again!
Redmond was splendid and Bolingbroke delightful  -  but  Green  Gables  is
    "Gilbert isn't coming home this summer, I hear," said Marilla.
    "No." Something in Anne's tone made Marilla glance  at  her  sharply,
but Anne was apparently absorbed in arranging her violets in a bowl. "See,
aren't they sweet?" she went on hurriedly. "The year is a book, isn't  it,
Marilla? Spring's pages are written in Mayflowers and violets, summer's in
roses, autumn's in red maple leaves, and winter in holly and evergreen."
    "Did Gilbert do well in his examinations?" persisted Marilla.
    "Excellently well. He led his class. But where are the twins and Mrs.
    "Rachel and Dora  are  over  at  Mr.  Harrison's.  Davy  is  down  at
Boulters'. I think I hear him coming now."
    Davy burst in, saw Anne, stopped, and then hurled  himself  upon  her
with a joyful yell.
    "Oh, Anne, ain't I glad to see you! Say, Anne, I've grown two  inches
since last fall. Mrs. Lynde measured me with  her  tape  today,  and  say,
Anne, see my front tooth. It's gone. Mrs. Lynde tied one end of  a  string
to it and the other end to the door, and then shut the door. I sold it  to
Milty for two cents. Milty's collecting teeth."
    "What in the world does he want teeth for?" asked Marilla.
    "To make a  necklace  for  playing  Indian  Chief,"  explained  Davy,
climbing upon Anne's lap.  "He's  got  fifteen  already,  and  everybody's
else's promised, so there's no use in the rest of us starting to  collect,
too. I tell you the Boulters are great business people."
    "Were you a good boy at Mrs. Boulter's?" asked Marilla severely.
    "Yes; but say, Marilla, I'm tired of being good."
    "You'd get tired of being bad much sooner, Davy-boy," said Anne.
    "Well, it'd be fun while it lasted, wouldn't it?" persisted Davy.  "I
could be sorry for it afterwards, couldn't I?"
    "Being sorry wouldn't do away with the  consequences  of  being  bad,
Davy. Don't you remember the Sunday last summer when  you  ran  away  from
Sunday School? You told me then that being bad wasn't  worth  while.  What
were you and Milty doing today?"
    "Oh, we fished and chased the cat, and hunted for eggs, and yelled at
the echo. There's a great echo in the bush behind the Boulter  barn.  Say,
what is echo, Anne; I want to know."
    "Echo is a beautiful nymph, Davy, living far away in the  woods,  and
laughing at the world from among the hills."
    "What does she look like?"
    "Her hair and eyes are dark, but her neck and arms are white as snow.
No mortal can ever see how fair she is. She is fleeter than  a  deer,  and
that mocking voice of hers is all we can know of her.  You  can  hear  her
calling at night; you can hear her laughing under the stars. But  you  can
never see her. She flies afar if you follow her, and laughs at you  always
just over the next hill."
    "Is that true, Anne? Or is it a whopper?" demanded Davy staring.
    "Davy,"  said  Anne  despairingly,  "haven't  you  sense  enough   to
distinguish between a fairytale and a falsehood?"
    "Then what is it that sasses back from the Boulter bush?  I  want  to
know," insisted Davy.
    "When you are a little older, Davy, I'll explain it all to you."
    The mention of age evidently gave a new turn to Davy's  thoughts  for
after a few moments of reflection, he whispered solemnly:
    "Anne, I'm going to be married."
    "When?" asked Anne with equal solemnity.
    "Oh, not until I'm grown-up, of course."
    "Well, that's a relief, Davy. Who is the lady?"
    "Stella Fletcher; she's in my class at school. And say,  Anne,  she's
the prettiest girl you ever saw. If I die before I grow up you'll keep  an
eye on her, won't you?"
    "Davy Keith, do stop talking such nonsense," said Marilla severely.
    " 'Tisn't nonsense," protested Davy in an  injured  tone.  "She's  my
promised wife, and if I was to die she'd be my  promised  widow,  wouldn't
she? And she  hasn't  got  a  soul  to  look  after  her  except  her  old
    "Come and have your supper, Anne," said Marilla, "and don't encourage
that child in his absurd talk."

                  23. Paul Cannot Find the Rock People

    Life was very pleasant in Avonlea that summer,  although  Anne,  amid
all her vacation joys, was haunted by a sense  of  "something  gone  which
should be there." She would not admit, even  in  her  inmost  reflections,
that this was caused by Gilbert's absence. But when she had to  walk  home
alone from prayer meetings and A.V.I.S. pow-wows, while  Diana  and  Fred,
and many other gay couples, loitered  along  the  dusky,  starlit  country
roads, there was a queer, lonely ache in her heart  which  she  could  not
explain away. Gilbert did not even write to her, as she thought  he  might
have done. She knew he wrote to Diana  occasionally,  but  she  would  not
inquire about  him;  and  Diana,  supposing  that  Anne  heard  from  him,
volunteered no information.  Gilbert's  mother,  who  was  a  gay,  frank,
light-hearted  lady,  but  not  overburdened  with  tact,   had   a   very
embarrassing habit of asking Anne, always in a  painfully  distinct  voice
and always in the presence of a crowd,  if  she  had  heard  from  Gilbert
lately. Poor Anne could only blush horribly and murmur, "not very lately,"
which was taken by all, Mrs. Blythe included,  to  be  merely  a  maidenly
    Apart from this, Anne enjoyed her summer. Priscilla came for a  merry
visit in June; and, when she had gone,  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Irving,  Paul  and
Charlotta the Fourth came "home" for July and August.
    Echo Lodge was the scene of gaieties once more, and the  echoes  over
the river were kept busy mimicking the  laughter  that  rang  in  the  old
garden behind the spruces.
    "Miss Lavendar" had not changed, except  to  grow  even  sweeter  and
prettier.  Paul  adored  her,  and  the  companionship  between  them  was
beautiful to see.
    "But I don't call her `mother' just by itself," he explained to Anne.
"You see, THAT name belongs just to my own little mother, and I can't give
it to any one else. You know, teacher. But I call  her  `Mother  Lavendar'
and I love her next best to father. I - I even love her  a  LITTLE  better
than you, teacher."
    "Which is just as it ought to be," answered Anne.
    Paul was thirteen now and very tall for his years. His face and  eyes
were as beautiful  as  ever,  and  his  fancy  was  still  like  a  prism,
separating everything that fell upon it into rainbows.  He  and  Anne  had
delightful rambles to wood and field and shore. Never were there two  more
thoroughly "kindred spirits."
    Charlotta the Fourth had blossomed out into young ladyhood. She  wore
her hair now in an enormous pompador and had  discarded  the  blue  ribbon
bows of auld lang syne, but her face was as freckled, her nose as snubbed,
and her mouth and smiles as wide as ever.
    "You don't think I talk with a Yankee accent, do you,  Miss  Shirley,
ma'am?" she demanded anxiously.
    "I don't notice it, Charlotta."
    "I'm real glad of that. They said I did at home, but I thought likely
they just wanted to aggravate me. I don't want no Yankee accent. Not  that
I've a word to say against the Yankees, Miss Shirley, ma'am. They're  real
civilized. But give me old P.E. Island every time."
    Paul spent  his  first  fortnight  with  his  grandmother  Irving  in
Avonlea. Anne was there to meet him when he came, and found him wild  with
eagerness to get to the shore - Nora and the  Golden  Lady  and  the  Twin
Sailors would be there. He could hardly wait to eat his supper.  Could  he
not see Nora's elfin face peering  around  the  point,  watching  for  him
wistfully? But it was a very sober Paul who came back from  the  shore  in
the twilight.
    "Didn't you find your Rock People?" asked Anne.
    Paul shook his chestnut curls sorrowfully.
    "The Twin Sailors and the Golden Lady never came at  all,"  he  said.
"Nora was there - but Nora is not the same, teacher. She is changed."
    "Oh, Paul, it is you who are changed," said Anne. "You have grown too
old for the Rock People. They like only children  for  playfellows.  I  am
afraid the Twin Sailors will never  again  come  to  you  in  the  pearly,
enchanted boat with the sail of moonshine; and the Golden Lady  will  play
no more for you on her golden harp. Even  Nora  will  not  meet  you  much
longer. You must pay the penalty  of  growing-up,  Paul.  You  must  leave
fairyland behind you."
    "You two talk as much foolishness as ever you  did,"  said  old  Mrs.
Irving, half-indulgently, half-reprovingly.
    "Oh, no, we don't," said Anne, shaking  her  head  gravely.  "We  are
getting very, very wise, and it is such a  pity.  We  are  never  half  so
interesting when we have learned that language is given us to enable us to
conceal our thoughts."
    "But it isn't - it is given us to exchange our thoughts,"  said  Mrs.
Irving seriously. She had never heard of Tallyrand and did not  understand
    Anne spent a fortnight of halcyon days at Echo Lodge  in  the  golden
prime of August. While there she incidentally contrived to  hurry  Ludovic
Speed in his leisurely courting  of  Theodora  Dix,  as  related  duly  in
another chronicle of her history.[1] Arnold Sherman, an elderly friend  of
the Irvings, was there at the same time, and added not  a  little  to  the
general pleasantness of life.
    ([1] Chronicles of Avonlea.)
    "What a nice play-time this has been," said  Anne.  "I  feel  like  a
giant refreshed. And it's  only  a  fortnight  more  till  I  go  back  to
Kingsport, and Redmond and Patty's Place. Patty's  Place  is  the  dearest
spot, Miss Lavendar. I feel as if I had two homes - one  at  Green  Gables
and one at Patty's Place. But where has the summer gone? It doesn't seem a
day since I came home that spring evening with the Mayflowers. When I  was
little I couldn't see from  one  end  of  the  summer  to  the  other.  It
stretched before me like an unending season.  Now,  `'tis  a  handbreadth,
'tis a tale.'"
    "Anne, are you and Gilbert Blythe as good friends as you used to be?"
asked Miss Lavendar quietly.
    "I am just as much Gilbert's friend as ever I was, Miss Lavendar."
    Miss Lavendar shook her head.
    "I see something's gone wrong, Anne. I'm going to be impertinent  and
ask what. Have you quarrelled?"
    "No; it's only that Gilbert wants more than friendship  and  I  can't
give him more."
    "Are you sure of that, Anne?"
    "Perfectly sure."
    "I'm very, very sorry."
    "I wonder why everybody seems to  think  I  ought  to  marry  Gilbert
Blythe," said Anne petulantly.
    "Because you were made and meant for each other, Anne - that is  why.
You needn't toss that young head of yours. It's a fact."

                                24. Enter Jonas

    "August 20th.
    "Dear Anne - spelled - with - an - E," wrote Phil, "I  must  prop  my
eyelids open long enough to write you. I've neglected you shamefully  this
summer, honey, but all my other correspondents have been neglected, too. I
have a huge pile of letters to answer, so I must gird up the loins  of  my
mind and hoe in. Excuse my mixed metaphors.  I'm  fearfully  sleepy.  Last
night Cousin Emily and I were calling at a neighbor's. There were  several
other callers there, and as soon as those unfortunate creatures left,  our
hostess and her three daughters picked them all to  pieces.  I  knew  they
would begin on Cousin Emily and me as soon as the  door  shut  behind  us.
When we came home Mrs. Lilly informed us  that  the  aforesaid  neighbor's
hired boy was supposed to be down with scarlet fever. You can always trust
Mrs. Lilly to tell you cheerful things like  that.  I  have  a  horror  of
scarlet fever. I couldn't sleep when I went to bed for thinking of  it.  I
tossed and tumbled about, dreaming fearful dreams when I did snooze for  a
minute; and at three I wakened up with a high fever, a sore throat, and  a
raging headache. I knew I had scarlet fever; I  got  up  in  a  panic  and
hunted up Cousin Emily's 'doctor book' to read up the  symptoms.  Anne,  I
had them all. So I went back to bed, and knowing the worst, slept  like  a
top the rest of the night. Though why a  top  should  sleep  sounder  than
anything else I never could understand. But this morning I was quite well,
so it couldn't have been the fever. I suppose if I did catch it last night
it couldn't have developed so soon. I can remember that in daytime, but at
three o'clock at night I never can be logical.
    "I suppose you wonder what I'm  doing  at  Prospect  Point.  Well,  I
always like to spend a month of summer at the shore,  and  father  insists
that I  come  to  his  second-cousin  Emily's  `select  boardinghouse'  at
Prospect Point. So a fortnight ago I came  as  usual.  And  as  usual  old
`Uncle Mark Miller' brought me from the station with his ancient buggy and
what he calls his `generous purpose' horse. He is a nice old man and  gave
me a handful of pink peppermints. Peppermints always seem  to  me  such  a
religious sort of candy - I suppose because  when  I  was  a  little  girl
Grandmother Gordon always gave  them  to  me  in  church.  Once  I  asked,
referring to the smell of peppermints, `Is that the odor of  sanctity?'  I
didn't like to eat Uncle Mark's peppermints because he  just  fished  them
loose out of his pocket, and had to pick some rusty nails and other things
from among them before he gave them to me. But I wouldn't  hurt  his  dear
old feelings for anything, so I carefully sowed them  along  the  road  at
intervals. When  the  last  one  was  gone,  Uncle  Mark  said,  a  little
rebukingly, `Ye shouldn't a'et all them candies to onct, Miss Phil. You'll
likely have the stummick-ache.'
    "Cousin Emily has only five boarders besides myself - four old ladies
and one young man. My right-hand neighbor is Mrs. Lilly.  She  is  one  of
those people who seem to take a gruesome pleasure in detailing  all  their
many aches and pains and sicknesses. You cannot mention  any  ailment  but
she says, shaking her head, `Ah, I know too well what that is' - and  then
you get all the details. Jonas declares he once spoke of locomotor  ataxia
in hearing and she said she knew too well what that was. She suffered from
it for ten years and was finally cured by a traveling doctor.
    "Who is Jonas? Just wait, Anne Shirley. You'll hear all  about  Jonas
in the proper time and place. He is not to be mixed up with estimable  old
    "My left-hand neighbor at the  table  is  Mrs.  Phinney.  She  always
speaks with a wailing, dolorous voice - you are nervously expecting her to
burst into tears every moment. She gives you the impression that  life  to
her is indeed a vale of tears, and that a  smile,  never  to  speak  of  a
laugh, is a frivolity truly reprehensible. She has a worse opinion  of  me
than Aunt Jamesina, and she doesn't love me hard to atone for it, as Aunty
J. does, either.
    "Miss Maria Grimsby sits cati-corner from me. The first day I came  I
remarked to Miss Maria that it looked a little like rain - and Miss  Maria
laughed. I said the road from the station was very pretty - and Miss Maria
laughed. I said there seemed to be a few mosquitoes left yet  -  and  Miss
Maria laughed. I said that Prospect Point was as beautiful as ever  -  and
Miss Maria laughed. If I were to say to Miss Maria, `My father has  hanged
himself, my mother has taken poison, my brother is  in  the  penitentiary,
and I am in the last stages of consumption,' Miss Maria would  laugh.  She
can't help it - she was born so; but is very sad and awful.
    "The fifth old lady is Mrs. Grant. She is a sweet old thing; but  she
never says anything but good of anybody and so she is a very uninteresting
    "And now for Jonas, Anne.
    "That first day I came I saw a young man sitting opposite me  at  the
table, smiling at me as if he had known me from my  cradle.  I  knew,  for
Uncle Mark had told me, that his name was  Jonas  Blake,  that  he  was  a
Theological Student from St. Columbia, and that he had taken charge of the
Point Prospect Mission Church for the summer.
    "He is a very ugly young man - really, the  ugliest  young  man  I've
ever seen. He has a big, loose-jointed figure with absurdly long legs. His
hair is tow-color and lank, his eyes are green, and his mouth is big,  and
his ears - but I never think about his ears if I can help it.
    "He has a lovely voice - if you shut your eyes he is adorable  -  and
he certainly has a beautiful soul and disposition.
    "We were good chums right way. Of course he is a graduate of Redmond,
and that is a link between us. We  fished  and  boated  together;  and  we
walked on the sands by moonlight. He didn't look so  homely  by  moonlight
and oh, he was nice. Niceness fairly exhaled from him. The  old  ladies  -
except Mrs. Grant - don't approve of Jonas, because he laughs and jokes  -
and because he evidently likes the society of  frivolous  me  better  than
    "Somehow, Anne, I don't want him  to  think  me  frivolous.  This  is
ridiculous. Why should I care what a tow-haired person called Jonas,  whom
I never saw before thinks of me?
    "Last Sunday Jonas preached in the village church. I went, of course,
but I couldn't realize that Jonas was going to preach. The  fact  that  he
was a minister - or going to be one - persisted in seeming a huge joke  to
    "Well, Jonas preached. And, by the time he had preached ten  minutes,
I felt so small and insignificant that I thought I must  be  invisible  to
the naked eye. Jonas never said a word about women and he never looked  at
me. But I realized then and there what a pitiful, frivilous,  small-souled
little butterfly I was, and how horribly different I must be  from  Jonas'
ideal woman. SHE would be grand and strong and noble. He  was  so  earnest
and tender and true. He was everything a minister ought to be. I  wondered
how I could ever have thought him ugly - but he really is!  -  with  those
inspired eyes and that intellectual brow which  the  roughly-falling  hair
hid on week days.
    "It was a splendid sermon and I could have listened  to  it  forever,
and it made me feel utterly wretched. Oh, I wish I was like YOU, Anne.
    "He caught up with me on the road home, and grinned as cheerfully  as
usual. But his grin could never deceive me again.  I  had  seen  the  REAL
Jonas. I wondered if he could ever see the REAL PHIL -  whom  NOBODY,  not
even you, Anne, has ever seen yet.
    "`Jonas,' I said -  I  forgot  to  call  him  Mr.  Blake.  Wasn't  it
dreadful? But there are times when things like that don't matter - `Jonas,
you were born to be a minister. You COULDN'T be anything else.'
    "`No, I couldn't,' he said soberly. `I tried to be something else for
a long time - I didn't want to be a minister. But I came to  see  at  last
that it was the work given me to do - and God helping me, I shall  try  to
do it.'
    "His voice was low and reverent. I thought that he would do his  work
and do it well and nobly;  and  happy  the  woman  fitted  by  nature  and
training to help him do it. SHE would be no feather, blown about by  every
fickle wind of fancy. SHE would always know what hat to put  on.  Probably
she would have only one. Ministers never have much money. But she wouldn't
mind having one hat or none at all, because she would have Jonas.
    "Anne Shirley, don't you dare to say  or  hint  or  think  that  I've
fallen in love with Mr. Blake.  Could  I  care  for  a  lank,  poor,  ugly
theologue - named Jonas? As Uncle Mark says, `It's impossible, and  what's
more it's improbable.'
                                                              Good night,
    "P.S. It is impossible - but I am  horribly  afraid  it's  true.  I'm
happy and wretched and scared. HE can NEVER care for me, I  know.  Do  you
think I could ever develop into a  passable  minister's  wife,  Anne?  And
WOULD they expect me to lead in prayer? P G."

                         25. Enter Prince Charming

    "I'm contrasting the claims of indoors and out," said  Anne,  looking
from the window of Patty's Place to the distant pines of the park.
    "I've an afternoon to spend in  sweet  doing  nothing,  Aunt  Jimsie.
Shall I spend it here where there is a cosy fire, a plateful of  delicious
russets, three purring and harmonious cats, and two impeccable china  dogs
with green noses? Or shall I go to the park, where there is  the  lure  of
gray woods and of gray water lapping on the harbor rocks?"
    "If I was as young as you, I'd decide in favor  of  the  park,"  said
Aunt Jamesina, tickling Joseph's yellow ear with a knitting needle.
    "I thought that you claimed to be as young  as  any  of  us,  Aunty,"
teased Anne.
    "Yes, in my soul. But I'll admit my legs aren't as  young  as  yours.
You go and get some fresh air, Anne. You look pale lately."
    "I think I'll go to the park," said Anne restlessly.  "I  don't  feel
like tame domestic joys today. I want to feel alone and free and wild. The
park will be empty, for every one will be at the football match."
    "Why didn't you go to it?"
    "`Nobody axed me, sir, she said' - at least, nobody but  that  horrid
little Dan Ranger. I wouldn't go anywhere with him; but rather  than  hurt
his poor little tender feelings I said I wasn't going to the game at  all.
I don't mind. I'm not in the mood for football today somehow."
    "You go and get some fresh air," repeated Aunt  Jamesina,  "but  take
your umbrella, for I believe it's going to rain.  I've  rheumatism  in  my
    "Only old people should have rheumatism, Aunty."
    "Anybody is liable to rheumatism in her legs,  Anne.  It's  only  old
people who should have rheumatism in their souls, though. Thank  goodness,
I never have. When you get rheumatism in your soul you might  as  well  go
and pick out your coffin."
    It was November - the month of crimson sunsets, parting birds,  deep,
sad hymns of the sea, passionate wind-songs  in  the  pines.  Anne  roamed
through the pineland alleys in the park and, as she said, let  that  great
sweeping wind blow the fogs out of her soul.  Anne  was  not  wont  to  be
troubled with soul fog. But, somehow, since her return to Redmond for this
third year, life had not mirrored her spirit back to  her  with  its  old,
perfect, sparkling clearness.
    Outwardly, existence at Patty's Place was the same pleasant round  of
work and study and recreation that it had always been. On Friday  evenings
the big, fire-lighted livingroom was crowded  by  callers  and  echoed  to
endless jest and laughter, while Aunt Jamesina smiled  beamingly  on  them
all. The "Jonas" of Phil's letter came often, running up from St. Columbia
on the early train and departing on the late. He was a general favorite at
Patty's Place, though  Aunt  Jamesina  shook  her  head  and  opined  that
divinity students were not what they used to be.
    "He's VERY nice, my dear," she told Phil, "but ministers ought to  be
graver and more dignified."
    "Can't a man laugh and laugh and  be  a  Christian  still?"  demanded
    "Oh, MEN - yes. But I was speaking of MINISTERS, my dear," said  Aunt
Jamesina rebukingly." And you shouldn't flirt so  with  Mr.  Blake  -  you
really shouldn't."
    "I'm not flirting with him," protested Phil.
    Nobody believed her, except Anne. The others thought she was  amusing
herself as usual, and told her roundly that she was behaving very badly.
    "Mr. Blake isn't of the  Alec-and-Alonzo  type,  Phil,"  said  Stella
severely. "He takes things seriously. You may break his heart."
    "Do you really think I could?" asked Phil. "I'd love to think so."
    "Philippa Gordon! I never thought you  were  utterly  unfeeling.  The
idea of you saying you'd love to break a man's heart!"
    "I didn't say so, honey. Quote me correctly. I said I'd like to think
I COULD break it. I would like to know I had the POWER to do it."
    "I  don't  understand  you,  Phil.  You  are  leading  that  man   on
deliberately - and you know you don't mean anything by it."
    "I mean to make him ask me to marry him if I can," said Phil calmly.
    "I give you up," said Stella hopelessly.
    Gilbert came occasionally on Friday evenings.  He  seemed  always  in
good spirits, and held his own in the jests and repartee that flew  about.
He neither sought nor avoided Anne. When  circumstances  brought  them  in
contact he talked to her pleasantly and courteously, as to any  newly-made
acquaintance. The old camaraderie was gone entirely. Anne felt it  keenly;
but she told herself she was very glad and thankful that Gilbert  had  got
so completely over his disappointment in regard to  her.  She  had  really
been afraid, that April evening in the orchard,  that  she  had  hurt  him
terribly and that the wound would be long in healing. Now she saw that she
need not have worried. Men have died and the worms have eaten them but not
for love. Gilbert evidently was in no danger of immediate dissolution.  He
was enjoying life, and he was full of ambition and zest. For him there was
to be no wasting in despair because a woman was fair and  cold.  Anne,  as
she listened to the ceaseless badinage that went on between him and  Phil,
wondered if she had only imagined that look in his eyes when she had  told
him she could never care for him.
    There were not lacking those  who  would  gladly  have  stepped  into
Gilbert's vacant place. But Anne snubbed them  without  fear  and  without
reproach. If the real Prince Charming was never to  come  she  would  have
none of a substitute. So she sternly told herself that  gray  day  in  the
windy park.
    Suddenly the rain of Aunt Jamesina's prophecy came with a  swish  and
rush. Anne put up her umbrella and hurried down the slope. As  she  turned
out on the harbor road a savage gust of wind tore along it. Instantly  her
umbrella turned wrong side out. Anne clutched at it in despair. And then -
there came a voice close to her.
    "Pardon me - may I offer you the shelter of my umbrella?"
    Anne looked up. Tall and handsome and distinguished-looking  -  dark,
melancholy, inscrutable eyes - melting, musical, sympathetic voice -  yes,
the very hero of her dreams stood before her in the flesh.  He  could  not
have more closely resembled her ideal if he had been made to order.
    "Thank you," she said confusedly.
    "We'd better hurry over to  that  little  pavillion  on  the  point,"
suggested the unknown. "We can wait there until this shower is over. It is
not likely to rain so heavily very long."
    The words were very commonplace, but oh,  the  tone!  And  the  smile
which accompanied them! Anne felt her heart beating strangely.
    Together they scurried to the  pavilion  and  sat  breathlessly  down
under its friendly roof. Anne laughingly held up her false umbrella.
    "It is when my umbrella turns inside out that I am convinced  of  the
total depravity of inanimate things," she said gaily.
    The raindrops sparkled on her shining hair; its loosened rings curled
around her neck and forehead. Her cheeks were flushed, her  eyes  big  and
starry. Her companion looked down at  her  admiringly.  She  felt  herself
blushing under his gaze. Who could he be? Why, there  was  a  bit  of  the
Redmond white and scarlet pinned to his coat lapel. Yet  she  had  thought
she knew, by sight at least, all the Redmond students except the Freshmen.
And this courtly youth surely was no Freshman.
    "We are schoolmates, I see," he said, smiling at Anne's colors. "That
ought to be sufficient introduction. My name is Royal Gardner. And you are
the Miss Shirley who read the Tennyson paper at the Philomathic the  other
evening, aren't you?"
    "Yes; but I cannot place you at all," said  Anne,  frankly.  "Please,
where DO you belong?"
    "I feel as if I didn't belong anywhere yet. I put in my Freshman  and
Sophomore years at Redmond two years ago. I've been in Europe ever  since.
Now I've come back to finish my Arts course."
    "This is my Junior year, too," said Anne.
    "So we are classmates as well as collegemates. I am reconciled to the
loss of the years that the locust has eaten," said her companion,  with  a
world of meaning in those wonderful eyes of his.
    The rain came steadily down for the best part of  an  hour.  But  the
time seemed really very short. When the clouds parted and a burst of  pale
November sunshine fell athwart the harbor  and  the  pines  Anne  and  her
companion walked home together. By the time they had reached the  gate  of
Patty's Place he had asked permission to call, and had received  it.  Anne
went in with cheeks of flame and her  heart  beating  to  her  fingertips.
Rusty, who climbed into her lap and tried to kiss her, found a very absent
welcome. Anne, with her soul full of romantic thrills, had no attention to
spare just then for a crop-eared pussy cat.
    That evening a parcel was left at Patty's Place for Miss Shirley.  It
was a box containing a dozen magnificent roses. Phil pounced impertinently
on the card that fell from it, read the name and  the  poetical  quotation
written on the back.
    "Royal Gardner!" she exclaimed. "Why, Anne, I didn't  know  you  were
acquainted with Roy Gardner!"
    "I met him in the park this afternoon in the  rain,"  explained  Anne
hurriedly. "My umbrella turned inside out and he came to  my  rescue  with
    "Oh!" Phil  peered  curiously  at  Anne."  And  is  that  exceedingly
commonplace incident any reason why he should send us longstemmed roses by
the dozen, with a very sentimental rhyme? Or why we should blush  divinest
rosy-red when we look at his card? Anne, thy face betrayeth thee."
    "Don't talk nonsense, Phil. Do you know Mr. Gardner?"
    "I've met his two sisters, and I  know  of  him.  So  does  everybody
worthwhile in Kingsport. The Gardners are among the  richest,  bluest,  of
Bluenoses. Roy is adorably handsome and clever. Two years ago his mother's
health failed and he had to leave college and go abroad  with  her  -  his
father is dead. He must have been greatly disappointed to have to give  up
his class, but they say he was perfectly sweet about it. Fee - fi -  fo  -
fum, Anne. I smell romance. Almost do I envy you,  but  not  quite.  After
all, Roy Gardner isn't Jonas."
    "You goose!" said Anne loftily. But she lay long  awake  that  night,
nor did she wish for sleep. Her waking fancies were more alluring than any
vision of dreamland. Had the real Prince come  at  last?  Recalling  those
glorious dark eyes which had gazed so deeply into her own, Anne  was  very
strongly inclined to think he had.

                             26. Enter Christine

    The girls at Patty's Place were dressing for the reception which  the
Juniors were giving for the Seniors in February. Anne surveyed herself  in
the mirror  of  the  blue  room  with  girlish  satisfaction.  She  had  a
particularly pretty gown on. Originally it had been only a  simple  little
slip of cream silk with a chiffon overdress.  But  Phil  had  insisted  on
taking it home with her in the Christmas holidays  and  embroidering  tiny
rosebuds all over the chiffon. Phil's fingers were deft,  and  the  result
was a dress which was the envy of every Redmond girl.  Even  Allie  Boone,
whose frocks came from Paris, was wont to look with longing eyes  on  that
rosebud concoction as Anne trailed up the main staircase at Redmond in it.
    Anne was trying the effect of a white orchid in her hair. Roy Gardner
had sent her white orchids for  the  reception,  and  she  knew  no  other
Redmond girl would have them that night - when Phil came in with  admiring
    "Anne, this is certainly your night for looking handsome. Nine nights
out of ten I can easily outshine you. The tenth you blossom  out  suddenly
into something that eclipses me altogether. How do you manage it?"
    "It's the dress, dear. Fine feathers."
    "`Tisn't. The last evening you flamed out into beauty you  wore  your
old blue flannel shirtwaist that  Mrs.  Lynde  made  you.  If  Roy  hadn't
already lost head and heart about you he certainly would  tonight.  But  I
don't like orchids on you, Anne. No; it isn't jealousy. Orchids don't seem
to BELONG to you. They're too exotic - too tropical - too insolent.  Don't
put them in your hair, anyway."
    "Well, I won't. I admit I'm not fond of orchids myself. I don't think
they're related to me. Roy doesn't often send  them  -  he  knows  I  like
flowers I can live with. Orchids are only things you can visit with."
    "Jonas sent me some dear pink rosebuds for the evening  -  but  -  he
isn't coming himself. He said he had  to  lead  a  prayer-meeting  in  the
slums! I don't believe he wanted to come. Anne, I'm horribly afraid  Jonas
doesn't really care anything about me. And I'm trying  to  decide  whether
I'll pine away and die, or go on and get  my  B.A.  and  be  sensible  and
    "You couldn't possibly be sensible and useful, Phil, so you'd  better
pine away and die," said Anne cruelly.
    "Heartless Anne!"
    "Silly Phil! You know quite well that Jonas loves you."
    "But - he won't TELL me so. And I can't MAKE him. He LOOKS  it,  I'll
admit. But speak-to-me-only-with-thine-eyes isn't a really reliable reason
for embroidering doilies and hemstitching tablecloths.  I  don't  want  to
begin such work until I'm really engaged. It would be tempting Fate."
    "Mr. Blake is afraid to ask you to marry him, Phil. He  is  poor  and
can't offer you a home such as you've always had. You  know  that  is  the
only reason he hasn't spoken long ago."
    "I suppose so," agreed Phil dolefully. "Well" - brightening up -  "if
he WON'T ask me to marry him I'll ask him, that's all. So  it's  bound  to
come right. I won't worry. By the  way,  Gilbert  Blythe  is  going  about
constantly with Christine Stuart. Did you know?"
    Anne was trying to fasten a little gold chain about her  throat.  She
suddenly found the clasp difficult to manage. WHAT was the matter with  it
- or with her fingers?
    "No," she said carelessly." Who is Christine Stuart?"
    "Ronald Stuart's sister. She's  in  Kingsport  this  winter  studying
music. I haven't seen her, but they say she's very pretty and that Gilbert
is quite crazy over her. How angry I was when you refused  Gilbert,  Anne.
But Roy Gardner was foreordained for you. I can see  that  now.  You  were
right, after all."
    Anne did not blush, as she usually did when the  girls  assumed  that
her eventual marriage to Roy Gardner was a settled thing. All at once  she
felt rather dull. Phil's chatter seemed trivial and the reception a  bore.
She boxed poor Rusty's ears.
    "Get off that cushion instantly, you cat, you!  Why  don't  you  stay
down where you belong?"
    Anne picked up her orchids and went downstairs, where  Aunt  Jamesina
was presiding over a row of coats  hung  before  the  fire  to  warm.  Roy
Gardner was waiting for Anne and teasing the Sarah-cat  while  he  waited.
The Sarah-cat did not approve of him. She always turned her back  on  him.
But everybody else at Patty's Place liked him very  much.  Aunt  Jamesina,
carried away by his unfailing and deferential courtesy, and  the  pleading
tones of his delightful voice, declared he was the nicest  young  man  she
ever knew, and that Anne was a very fortunate girl. Such remarks made Anne
restive. Roy's wooing had certainly been  as  romantic  as  girlish  heart
could desire, but - she wished Aunt Jamesina and the girls would not  take
things so for granted. When Roy  murmured  a  poetical  compliment  as  he
helped her on with her coat, she did not blush and thrill as usual; and he
found her rather silent in their brief walk to  Redmond.  He  thought  she
looked a little pale when she came out of the coeds' dressing room; but as
they entered the reception room her color and sparkle suddenly returned to
her. She turned to Roy with her gayest expression. He smiled back  at  her
with what Phil called "his deep, black, velvety smile." Yet she really did
not see Roy at all. She was acutely conscious that  Gilbert  was  standing
under the palms just across the  room  talking  to  a  girl  who  must  be
Christine Stuart.
    She was very handsome, in the stately style destined to become rather
massive in middle life. A tall girl,  with  large  dark-blue  eyes,  ivory
outlines, and a gloss of darkness on her smooth hair.
    "She looks  just  as  I've  always  wanted  to  look,"  thought  Anne
miserably. "Rose-leaf complexion - starry violet eyes - raven hair -  yes,
she has them all. It's a wonder her name isn't  Cordelia  Fitzgerald  into
the bargain! But I don't believe her figure is as good as  mine,  and  her
nose certainly isn't."
    Anne felt a little comforted by this conclusion.

                          27. Mutual Confidences

    March came in that winter like the  meekest  and  mildest  of  lambs,
bringing days that were crisp and golden and tingling, each followed by  a
frosty pink  twilight  which  gradually  lost  itself  in  an  elfland  of
    Over the girls at Patty's Place  was  falling  the  shadow  of  April
examinations. They were studying hard; even Phil had settled down to  text
and notebooks with a doggedness not to be expected of her.
    "I'm going to take  the  Johnson  Scholarship  in  Mathematics,"  she
announced calmly. "I could take the one in Greek easily,  but  I'd  rather
take the mathematical one because I want to prove to Jonas that I'm really
enormously clever."
    "Jonas likes you better for your big  brown  eyes  and  your  crooked
smile than for all the brains you carry under your curls," said Anne.
    "When I was a girl it wasn't considered lady-like  to  know  anything
about Mathematics," said Aunt Jamesina. "But times have changed.  I  don't
know that it's all for the better. Can you cook, Phil?"
    "No, I never cooked anything in my life except a gingerbread  and  it
was a failure - flat in the middle and hilly round the edges. You know the
kind. But, Aunty, when I begin in good earnest to learn to cook don't  you
think the brains that enable me to win  a  mathematical  scholarship  will
also enable me to learn cooking just as well?"
    "Maybe," said Aunt Jamesina cautiously. "I am not decrying the higher
education of women. My daughter is an M.A. She can cook, too. But I taught
her to cook BEFORE I let a college professor teach her Mathematics."
    In mid-March came a letter from Miss Patty Spofford, saying that  she
and Miss Maria had decided to remain abroad for another year.
    "So you may have Patty's Place next winter, too," she  wrote.  "Maria
and I are going to run over Egypt. I want to see the Sphinx once before  I
    "Fancy those two dames `running over Egypt'! I wonder if they'll look
up at the Sphinx and knit," laughed Priscilla.
    "I'm so glad we can  keep  Patty's  Place  for  another  year,"  said
Stella. "I was afraid they'd come back. And then  our  jolly  little  nest
here would be broken up - and we poor callow nestlings thrown out  on  the
cruel world of boardinghouses again."
    "I'm off for a tramp in the park," announced Phil, tossing  her  book
aside. "I think when I am eighty I'll be glad I went for  a  walk  in  the
park tonight."
    "What do you mean?" asked Anne.
    "Come with me and I'll tell you, honey."
    They captured in their ramble all the mysteries and magics of a March
evening. Very still and mild it was, wrapped in a great,  white,  brooding
silence - a silence which  was  yet  threaded  through  with  many  little
silvery sounds which you could hear if you hearkened  as  much  with  your
soul as your ears. The girls wandered down  a  long  pineland  aisle  that
seemed to lead right out into the heart of a deep-red, overflowing  winter
    "I'd go home and write a poem this blessed minute if I only knew how,"
declared Phil, pausing in an open space where a rosy light was  staining
the green tips of the pines. "It's all so wonderful  here  -  this  great,
white stillness, and those dark trees that always seem to be thinking."
    "`The woods were God's first  temples,'"  quoted  Anne  softly.  "One
can't help feeling reverent and adoring in such a place. I always feel  so
near Him when I walk among the pines."
    "Anne, I'm the happiest girl in the world," confessed Phil suddenly.
    "So Mr. Blake has asked you to marry him at last?" said Anne calmly.
    "Yes. And I sneezed three times while he was asking me.  Wasn't  that
horrid? But I said `yes' almost before he finished - I was  so  afraid  he
might change his mind and stop. I'm besottedly happy.  I  couldn't  really
believe before that Jonas would ever care for frivolous me."
    "Phil, you're not really frivolous," said Anne  gravely.  "'Way  down
underneath that frivolous exterior of yours  you've  got  a  dear,  loyal,
womanly little soul. Why do you hide it so?"
    "I can't help it, Queen Anne. You are right - I'm  not  frivolous  at
heart. But there's a sort of frivolous skin over my soul and I can't  take
it off. As Mrs. Poyser says, I'd have to be hatched over again and hatched
different before I could change it. But Jonas knows the real me and  loves
me, frivolity and all. And I love him. I never was so surprised in my life
as I was when I found out I loved him. I'd never thought  it  possible  to
fall in love with an ugly man. Fancy me coming down to one solitary  beau.
And one named Jonas! But I mean to call him Jo. That's such a nice,  crisp
little name. I couldn't nickname Alonzo."
    "What about Alec and Alonzo?"
    "Oh, I told them at Christmas that I  never  could  marry  either  of
them. It seems so funny now to remember that I ever  thought  it  possible
that I might. They felt so badly I just cried over both of them -  howled.
But I knew there was only one man in the world I could ever marry.  I  had
made up my own mind for  once  and  it  was  real  easy,  too.  It's  very
delightful to feel so sure, and  know  it's  your  own  sureness  and  not
somebody else's."
    "Do you suppose you'll be able to keep it up?"
    "Making up my mind, you mean? I don't know, but Jo  has  given  me  a
splendid rule. He says, when I'm perplexed, just to do what I would wish I
had done when I shall be eighty. Anyhow, Jo can make up his  mind  quickly
enough, and it would be uncomfortable to have too much mind  in  the  same
    "What will your father and mother say?"
    "Father won't say much. He thinks everything I do right.  But  mother
WILL talk. Oh, her tongue will be as Byrney as her nose. But in the end it
will be all right."
    "You'll have to give up a good many things you've  always  had,  when
you marry Mr. Blake, Phil."
    "But I'll have HIM. I won't  miss  the  other  things.  We're  to  be
married a year from next June. Jo graduates from St. Columbia this spring,
you know. Then he's  going  to  take  a  little  mission  church  down  on
Patterson Street in the slums. Fancy me in the slums! But I'd go there  or
to Greenland's icy mountains with him."
    "And this is the girl who would NEVER marry a man who  wasn't  rich,"
commented Anne to a young pine tree.
    "Oh, don't cast up the follies of my youth to me. I shall be poor  as
gaily as I've been rich. You'll see. I'm going to learn how  to  cook  and
make over dresses. I've learned how to market since I've lived at  Patty's
Place; and once I taught a Sunday School class for a  whole  summer.  Aunt
Jamesina says I'll ruin Jo's career if I marry him. But I won't. I know  I
haven't much sense or sobriety, but I've got what is ever so much better -
the knack of making people like me. There is  a  man  in  Bolingbroke  who
lisps and always testifies in prayer-meeting. He says, 'If you can't thine
like an electric thtar thine like a candlethtick.'  I'll  be  Jo's  little
    "Phil, you're incorrigible. Well, I love you so  much  that  I  can't
make nice, light, congratulatory little speeches. But  I'm  heart-glad  of
your happiness."
    "I know. Those big gray eyes of yours are  brimming  over  with  real
friendship, Anne. Some day I'll look the same way at you. You're going  to
marry Roy, aren't you, Anne?"
    "My dear Philippa, did you ever hear of the famous Betty Baxter,  who
`refused a man before he'd axed her'? I  am  not  going  to  emulate  that
celebrated lady by either refusing or accepting any one before  he  `axes'
    "All Redmond knows that Roy is crazy about you," said Phil candidly."
And you DO love him, don't you, Anne?"
    "I - I suppose so," said Anne reluctantly. She felt that she ought to
be blushing while making such a confession; but she was not; on the  other
hand, she always blushed hotly when any one said  anything  about  Gilbert
Blythe or Christine Stuart in her hearing. Gilbert  Blythe  and  Christine
Stuart were nothing to her - absolutely nothing. But  Anne  had  given  up
trying to analyze the reason of her blushes. As for Roy, of course she was
in love with him - madly so. How could she help it? Was he not her  ideal?
Who could resist those glorious dark eyes, and that pleading  voice?  Were
not half the Redmond girls wildly envious? And what a charming  sonnet  he
had sent her, with a box of violets, on her birthday! Anne knew every word
of it by heart. It was very good stuff of its kind, too. Not exactly up to
the level of Keats or Shakespeare - even Anne was not so deeply in love as
to think that. But it was  very  tolerable  magazine  verse.  And  it  was
addressed to HER - not to Laura or Beatrice or the Maid of Athens, but  to
her, Anne Shirley. To be told in rhythmical cadences that  her  eyes  were
stars of the morning - that her cheek had the  flush  it  stole  from  the
sunrise - that her lips were  redder  than  the  roses  of  Paradise,  was
thrillingly romantic. Gilbert would never have dreamed of writing a sonnet
to her eyebrows. But then, Gilbert could see a joke. She had once told Roy
a funny story - and he had not seen the point  of  it.  She  recalled  the
chummy laugh she and Gilbert  had  had  together  over  it,  and  wondered
uneasily if life with a man who  had  no  sense  of  humor  might  not  be
somewhat uninteresting in the long run. But who could expect a melancholy,
inscrutable hero to see the humorous side of things? It  would  be  flatly

                              28. A June Evening

    "I wonder what it would be like to live  in  a  world  where  it  was
always June," said Anne, as she came through the spice and  bloom  of  the
twilit orchard to the front door steps, where Marilla and Mrs. Rachel were
sitting, talking over Mrs. Samson Coates' funeral, which they had attended
that day. Dora sat between them, diligently studying her lessons; but Davy
was sitting tailor-fashion on the grass, looking as gloomy  and  depressed
as his single dimple would let him.
    "You'd get tired of it," said Marilla, with a sigh.
    "I daresay; but just now I feel that it would take me a long time  to
get tired of it, if it were all as charming  as  today.  Everything  loves
June. Davy-boy, why this melancholy November face in blossom-time?"
    "I'm just sick and tired of living," said the youthful pessimist.
    "At ten years? Dear me, how sad!"
    "I'm not making fun," said Davy  with  dignity.  "I'm  dis  -  dis  -
discouraged" - bringing out the big word with a valiant effort.
    "Why and wherefore?" asked Anne, sitting down beside him.
    "'Cause the new teacher that come when Mr. Holmes got  sick  give  me
ten sums to do for Monday. It'll take me all day tomorrow to do  them.  It
isn't fair to have to work Saturdays. Milty Boulter said  he  wouldn't  do
them, but Marilla says I've got to. I don't like Miss Carson a bit."
    "Don't talk like that about your  teacher,  Davy  Keith,"  said  Mrs.
Rachel severely. "Miss Carson is a very fine girl. There  is  no  nonsense
about her."
    "That doesn't sound very attractive," laughed Anne. "I like people to
have a little nonsense about them. But  I'm  inclined  to  have  a  better
opinion of Miss Carson than you have. I saw  her  in  prayer-meeting  last
night, and she has a pair of eyes that can't always  look  sensible.  Now,
Davy-boy, take heart of grace. `Tomorrow will bring another day' and  I'll
help you with the sums as far as in me lies. Don't waste this lovely  hour
`twixt light and dark worrying over arithmetic."
    "Well, I won't," said Davy, brightening up. "If you help me with  the
sums I'll have 'em done in time to go fishing with Milty. I wish old  Aunt
Atossa's funeral was tomorrow instead of today.  I  wanted  to  go  to  it
'cause Milty said his mother said Aunt Atossa would be sure to rise up  in
her coffin and say sarcastic things to the folks  that  come  to  see  her
buried. But Marilla said she didn't."
    "Poor Atossa laid in her coffin peaceful  enough,"  said  Mrs.  Lynde
solemnly. "I never saw her look so pleasant  before,  that's  what.  Well,
there weren't many tears shed over her, poor old soul. The Elisha  Wrights
are thankful to be rid of her, and I can't say I blame them a mite."
    "It seems to me a most dreadful thing to go out of the world and  not
leave one person behind you  who  is  sorry  you  are  gone,"  said  Anne,
    "Nobody except her parents ever loved poor  Atossa,  that's  certain,
not even her husband," averred Mrs. Lynde. "She was his fourth wife.  He'd
sort of got into the habit of marrying. He only lived a few years after he
married her. The doctor said he died of  dyspepsia,  but  I  shall  always
maintain that he died of Atossa's tongue,  that's  what.  Poor  soul,  she
always knew everything about her neighbors, but she never  was  very  well
acquainted with herself. Well, she's gone anyhow; and I suppose  the  next
excitement will be Diana's wedding."
    "It seems funny and horrible to  think  of  Diana's  being  married,"
sighed Anne, hugging her knees and looking through the gap in the  Haunted
Wood to the light that was shining in Diana's room.
    "I don't see what's horrible about it, when  she's  doing  so  well,"
said Mrs. Lynde emphatically. "Fred Wright has a fine farm  and  he  is  a
model young man."
    "He certainly isn't the wild, dashing, wicked, young man  Diana  once
wanted to marry," smiled Anne. "Fred is extremely good."
    "That's just what he ought to be. Would you want  Diana  to  marry  a
wicked man? Or marry one yourself?"
    "Oh, no. I wouldn't want to marry anybody who was wicked, but I think
I'd like it if he COULD be wicked and WOULDN'T. Now,  Fred  is  HOPELESSLY
    "You'll have more sense some day, I hope," said Marilla.
    Marilla spoke rather bitterly. She was grievously  disappointed.  She
knew Anne had refused Gilbert Blythe. Avonlea gossip buzzed over the fact,
which had leaked out, nobody knew how. Perhaps Charlie Sloane had  guessed
and told his guesses for truth. Perhaps Diana had betrayed it to Fred  and
Fred had been indiscreet. At all events  it  was  known;  Mrs.  Blythe  no
longer asked Anne, in public or private, if  she  had  heard  lately  from
Gilbert, but passed her by with a frosty bow. Anne, who had  always  liked
Gilbert's merry, young-hearted mother, was grieved in  secret  over  this.
Marilla said nothing; but Mrs. Lynde gave Anne many exasperated digs about
it, until fresh gossip reached that worthy lady,  through  the  medium  of
Moody Spurgeon MacPherson's  mother,  that  Anne  had  another  "beau"  at
college, who was rich and handsome and good all in one.  After  that  Mrs.
Rachel held her tongue, though she still wished in her inmost  heart  that
Anne had accepted Gilbert. Riches  were  all  very  well;  but  even  Mrs.
Rachel, practical soul though she was,  did  not  consider  them  the  one
essential. If Anne "liked" the Handsome Unknown better than Gilbert  there
was nothing more to be said; but Mrs. Rachel was  dreadfully  afraid  that
Anne was going to make the mistake of marrying  for  money.  Marilla  knew
Anne too well to fear this; but she felt that something in  the  universal
scheme of things had gone sadly awry.
    "What is to be, will be," said Mrs. Rachel gloomily, "and what  isn't
to be happens sometimes. I can't help believing it's going  to  happen  in
Anne's case, if Providence doesn't interfere, that's  what."  Mrs.  Rachel
sighed. She was afraid Providence wouldn't interfere; and she didn't  dare
    Anne had wandered down to the Dryad's Bubble and was curled up  among
the ferns at the root of the big white birch where she and Gilbert had  so
often sat in summers gone by. He had gone into the newspaper office  again
when college closed, and Avonlea seemed very dull without  him.  He  never
wrote to her, and Anne missed the letters that never came. To be sure, Roy
wrote twice a week; his letters were exquisite  compositions  which  would
have read beautifully in a memoir or biography.  Anne  felt  herself  more
deeply in love with him than ever when she read them; but her heart  never
gave the queer, quick, painful bound at sight of his letters which it  had
given one day when Mrs. Hiram  Sloane  had  handed  her  out  an  envelope
addressed in Gilbert's black, upright handwriting. Anne had  hurried  home
to the east gable and opened it eagerly - to find a  typewritten  copy  of
some college society report - "only that and nothing more." Anne flung the
harmless screed across her room and sat down to write an  especially  nice
epistle to Roy.
    Diana was to be married in five more days. The gray house at  Orchard
Slope was in a turmoil of baking and brewing and boiling and stewing,  for
there was to be a big, old-timey wedding.  Anne,  of  course,  was  to  be
bridesmaid, as had been arranged when they  were  twelve  years  old,  and
Gilbert was coming from Kingsport to be best man. Anne  was  enjoying  the
excitement of the various preparations, but under it  all  she  carried  a
little heartache. She was, in a sense, losing her dear old  chum;  Diana's
new home would be two miles  from  Green  Gables,  and  the  old  constant
companionship could never be theirs again. Anne looked up at Diana's light
and thought how it had beaconed to her for many years; but soon  it  would
shine through the summer twilights no more. Two big, painful tears  welled
up in her gray eyes.
    "Oh," she thought, "how horrible it is that people have to grow up  -
and marry - and CHANGE!"

                             29. Diana's Wedding

    "After all, the only real roses are the pink ones," said Anne, as she
tied white ribbon around Diana's bouquet in the westwardlooking  gable  at
Orchard Slope. "They are the flowers of love and faith."
    Diana was standing nervously in the middle of the  room,  arrayed  in
her bridal white, her black curls  frosted  over  with  the  film  of  her
wedding  veil.  Anne  had  draped  that  veil,  in  accordance  with   the
sentimental compact of years before.
    "It's all pretty much as I used to imagine it long ago, when  I  wept
over your inevitable marriage and our consequent  parting,"  she  laughed.
"You are the bride of my dreams, Diana, with the `lovely misty veil';  and
I am YOUR bridesmaid. But, alas! I haven't the  puffed  sleeves  -  though
these short lace ones are  even  prettier.  Neither  is  my  heart  wholly
breaking nor do I exactly hate Fred."
    "We are not really parting, Anne," protested Diana.  "I'm  not  going
far away. We'll love each other just as much as ever.  We've  always  kept
that `oath' of friendship we swore long ago, haven't we?"
    "Yes. We've kept it faithfully. We've  had  a  beautiful  friendship,
Diana. We've never marred it by one quarrel or coolness  or  unkind  word;
and I hope it will always be so. But things can't be quite the same  after
this. You'll have other interests. I'll just be on the outside. But  `such
is life' as Mrs. Rachel says. Mrs. Rachel has given you one of her beloved
knitted quilts of the `tobacco stripe' pattern, and she  says  when  I  am
married she'll give me one, too."
    "The mean thing about your getting married is that I won't be able to
be your bridesmaid," lamented Diana.
    "I'm to be Phil's bridesmaid next June, when she marries  Mr.  Blake,
and then I must stop, for you know the proverb `three times a  bridesmaid,
never a bride,' " said Anne, peeping through the window over the pink  and
snow of the blossoming orchard beneath. "Here comes the minister, Diana."
    "Oh, Anne," gasped Diana, suddenly turning very pale and beginning to
tremble. "Oh, Anne - I'm so nervous - I can't go through with it - Anne, I
know I'm going to faint."
    "If you do I'll drag you down to the rainwater hogshed and  drop  you
in," said Anne unsympathetically.  "Cheer  up,  dearest.  Getting  married
can't be so very terrible when so many people survive  the  ceremony.  See
how cool and composed I am, and take courage."
    "Wait till your turn comes, Miss Anne. Oh, Anne, I hear father coming
upstairs. Give me my bouquet. Is my veil right? Am I very pale?"
    "You look just lovely. Di, darling, kiss me  good-bye  for  the  last
time. Diana Barry will never kiss me again."
    "Diana Wright will, though. There, mother's calling. Come."
    Following the simple, old-fashioned way in vogue then, Anne went down
to the parlor on Gilbert's arm. They met at the top of the stairs for  the
first time since they had left Kingsport, for  Gilbert  had  arrived  only
that day. Gilbert shook hands  courteously.  He  was  looking  very  well,
though, as Anne instantly noted, rather thin. He was not pale; there was a
flush on his cheek that had burned into it as Anne  came  along  the  hall
towards him, in her soft, white dress  with  lilies-of-the-valley  in  the
shining masses of her hair. As they entered the crowded parlor together  a
little murmur of admiration ran around the room. "What a fine-looking pair
they are," whispered the impressible Mrs. Rachel to Marilla.
    Fred ambled in alone, with a very red face, and then Diana  swept  in
on her father's arm. She did not faint, and nothing untoward  occurred  to
interrupt the ceremony. Feasting and merry-making followed; then,  as  the
evening waned, Fred and Diana drove away through the  moonlight  to  their
new home, and Gilbert walked with Anne to Green Gables.
    Something of their old comradeship had returned during  the  informal
mirth of the evening. Oh, it was nice to be walking over  that  well-known
road with Gilbert again!
    The night was so very still that one should have been  able  to  hear
the whisper of roses in blossom - the laughter of daisies - the piping  of
grasses - many sweet sounds,  all  tangled  up  together.  The  beauty  of
moonlight on familiar fields irradiated the world.
    "Can't we take a ramble up Lovers' Lane  before  you  go  in?"  asked
Gilbert as they crossed the bridge over the Lake  of  Shining  Waters,  in
which the moon lay like a great, drowned blossom of gold.
    Anne assented readily.  Lovers'  Lane  was  a  veritable  path  in  a
fairyland that night - a shimmering, mysterious place, full of wizardry in
the white-woven enchantment of moonlight. There had been a time when  such
a walk  with  Gilbert  through  Lovers'  Lane  would  have  been  far  too
dangerous. But Roy and Christine had made it very  safe  now.  Anne  found
herself thinking a good deal about Christine as  she  chatted  lightly  to
Gilbert. She had met her several times before leaving Kingsport,  and  had
been charmingly sweet to her. Christine had also  been  charmingly  sweet.
Indeed,  they  were  a  most  cordial  pair.  But  for  all  that,   their
acquaintance had not ripened into friendship. Evidently Christine was  not
a kindred spirit.
    "Are you going to be in Avonlea all summer?" asked Gilbert.
    "No. I'm going down east to Valley Road next week.  Esther  Haythorne
wants me to teach for her through July and August. They have a summer term
in that school, and Esther isn't feeling well. So I'm going to  substitute
for her. In one way I don't mind. Do you know, I'm  beginning  to  feel  a
little bit like a stranger in Avonlea now? It makes me sorry  -  but  it's
true. It's quite appalling to see the number of children who have shot  up
into big boys and girls - really young men and  women  -  these  past  two
years. Half of my pupils are grown up. It makes me feel awfully old to see
them in the places you and I and our mates used to fill."
    Anne laughed and sighed. She felt very old  and  mature  and  wise  -
which showed how young she was. She told herself that she  longed  greatly
to go back to those dear merry days when life was seen through a rosy mist
of hope and illusion, and possessed  an  indefinable  something  that  had
passed away forever. Where was it now - the glory and the dream?
    "`So wags the world away,' " quoted Gilbert practically, and a trifle
absently. Anne wondered if he were thinking of Christine. Oh, Avonlea  was
going to be so lonely now - with Diana gone!

                        30. Mrs. Skinner's Romance

    Anne stepped off the train at Valley Road station and looked about to
see if any one had come to meet her. She was to board with a certain  Miss
Janet Sweet, but she  saw  no  one  who  answered  in  the  least  to  her
preconception of that lady, as  formed  from  Esther's  letter.  The  only
person in sight was an elderly woman, sitting in a wagon  with  mail  bags
piled around her. Two hundred would have been a charitable  guess  at  her
weight; her face was as round and red as  a  harvest-moon  and  almost  as
featureless. She wore a tight, black, cashmere dress, made in the  fashion
of ten years ago, a little dusty black straw  hat  trimmed  with  bows  of
yellow ribbon, and faded black lace mits.
    "Here, you," she called, waving her whip at Anne. "Are  you  the  new
Valley Road schoolma'am?"
    "Well, I thought so.  Valley  Road  is  noted  for  its  good-looking
schoolma'ams, just as Millersville is noted  for  its  humly  ones.  Janet
Sweet asked me this morning if I could bring you out. I  said,  `Sartin  I
kin, if she don't mind being scrunched up some. This rig of mine's  kinder
small for the mail bags and I'm some  heftier  than  Thomas!'  Just  wait,
miss, till I shift these bags a bit and I'll tuck  you  in  somehow.  It's
only two miles to Janet's. Her next-door neighbor's hired  boy  is  coming
for your trunk tonight. My name is Skinner - Amelia Skinner."
    Anne was eventually tucked in, exchanging amused smiles with  herself
during the process.
    "Jog along, black mare," commanded Mrs.  Skinner,  gathering  up  the
reins in her pudgy hands. "This is my first trip on the mail rowte. Thomas
wanted to hoe his turnips today so he asked me to come. So I jest sot down
and took a standing-up snack and started. I sorter like it. O' course it's
rather tejus. Part of the time I sits and thinks and the rest I jest sits.
Jog along, black mare. I want  to  git  home  airly.  Thomas  is  terrible
lonesome when I'm away. You see, we haven't been married very long."
    "Oh!" said Anne politely.
    "Just a month. Thomas courted me for quite a spell,  though.  It  was
real romantic." Anne tried to picture Mrs. Skinner on speaking terms  with
romance and failed.
    "Oh?" she said again.
    "Yes. Y'see, there was another man after me. Jog along,  black  mare.
I'd been a widder so long folks had given up expecting me to marry  again.
But when my darter - she's a schoolma'am like you - went out West to teach
I felt real lonesome and wasn't  nowise  sot  against  the  idea.  Bime-by
Thomas began to come up and so did the  other  feller  -  William  Obadiah
Seaman, his name was. For a long time I couldn't make up my mind which  of
them to take, and they kep' coming and coming, and I kep' worrying. Y'see,
W.O. was rich - he had a fine place and carried considerable style. He was
by far the best match. Jog along, black mare."
    "Why didn't you marry him?" asked Anne.
    "Well, y'see, he didn't love me," answered Mrs. Skinner, solemnly.
    Anne opened her eyes widely and looked at Mrs. Skinner. But there was
not a glint of humor on that  lady's  face.  Evidently  Mrs.  Skinner  saw
nothing amusing in her own case.
    "He'd been a widder-man for three yers, and his sister kept house for
him. Then she got married and he just wanted some one to  look  after  his
house. It was worth looking after, too, mind you  that.  It's  a  handsome
house. Jog along, black mare. As for Thomas, he was poor, and if his house
didn't leak in dry weather it was about all that could  be  said  for  it,
though it looks kind of pictureaskew. But, y'see, I loved  Thomas,  and  I
didn't care one red cent for W.O. So I argued it out with  myself.  `Sarah
Crowe,' say I - my first was a Crowe - `you can marry your rich man if you
like but you won't be happy. Folks can't get along together in this  world
without a little bit of love. You'd just better tie up to Thomas,  for  he
loves you and you love him and nothing else ain't going to  do  you.'  Jog
along, black mare. So I told Thomas I'd take  him.  All  the  time  I  was
getting ready I never dared drive past W.O.'s place for fear the sight  of
that fine house of his would put me in the swithers again. But now I never
think of it at all, and I'm just that comfortable and happy  with  Thomas.
Jog along, black mare."
    "How did William Obadiah take it?" queried Anne.
    "Oh, he rumpussed a bit. But he's going to see a skinny old  maid  in
Millersville now, and I guess she'll take him fast enough. She'll make him
a better wife than his first did. W.O. never wanted to marry her. He  just
asked her to marry him 'cause his father wanted him to, never dreaming but
that she'd say `no.' But mind you, she said 'yes.' There was a predicament
for you. Jog along, black mare. She was  a  great  housekeeper,  but  most
awful mean. She wore the same bonnet for eighteen years. Then  she  got  a
new one and W.O. met her on the road and didn't know her. Jog along, black
mare. I feel that I'd a narrer escape. I might have married him  and  been
most awful miserable, like my poor cousin, Jane Ann. Jane  Ann  married  a
rich man she didn't care anything about, and she hasn't the life of a dog.
She come to see me last week and says, says she, `Sarah  Skinner,  I  envy
you. I'd rather live in a little hut on the side of the road with a man  I
was fond of than in my big house with the one I've got.'  Jane  Ann's  man
ain't such a bad sort, nuther, though he's so contrary that he  wears  his
fur coat when the thermometer's at ninety. The only way to git him  to  do
anything is to coax him to do the opposite. But there ain't  any  love  to
smooth things down and it's a poor way of living. Jog along,  black  mare.
There's Janet's place in the hollow  -  `Wayside,'  she  calls  it.  Quite
pictureaskew, ain't it? I guess you'll be glad to git out  of  this,  with
all them mail bags jamming round you."
    "Yes, but I have enjoyed my drive with  you  very  much,"  said  Anne
    "Git away now!" said Mrs. Skinner, highly  flattered.  "Wait  till  I
tell Thomas that. He always feels dretful tickled when I git a compliment.
Jog along, black mare. Well, here we are. I hope you'll git on well in the
school, miss. There's a short cut to it through the ma'sh back of Janet's.
If you take that way be awful keerful. If you once got stuck in that black
mud you'd be sucked right down and never seen or heard tell of again  till
the day of judgment, like Adam Palmer's cow. Jog along, black mare."

                           31. Anne to Philippa

    "Anne Shirley to Philippa Gordon, greeting.
    "Well-beloved, it's high time I was writing you. Here am I, installed
once more as a country `schoolma'am' at Valley Road, boarding at `Wayside,
' the home of Miss Janet Sweet. Janet is a dear soul and very nicelooking;
tall, but not over-tall; stoutish, yet with a certain restraint of outline
suggestive of a thrifty soul who is not going to be overlavish even in the
matter of avoirdupois. She has a knot of soft, crimpy, brown hair  with  a
thread of gray in it, a sunny face with rosy cheeks, and big, kind eyes as
blue  as  forget-me-nots.  Moreover,  she  is  one  of  those  delightful,
old-fashioned cooks who don't care a bit if they ruin  your  digestion  as
long as they can give you feasts of fat things.
    "I like her; and she likes me - principally, it  seems,  because  she
had a sister named Anne who died young.
    "`I'm real glad to see you,' she said briskly, when I landed  in  her
yard. `My, you don't look a mite like I expected. I was sure you'd be dark
- my sister Anne was dark. And here you're redheaded!'
    "For a few minutes I thought I wasn't going to like Janet as much  as
I had expected at first sight. Then I reminded myself that I  really  must
be more sensible than to be prejudiced against any one simply because  she
called my hair  red.  Probably  the  word  `auburn'  was  not  in  Janet's
vocabulary at all.
    "`Wayside' is a dear sort of little spot.  The  house  is  small  and
white, set down in a delightful little hollow that  drops  away  from  the
road. Between road and house is an orchard and flower-garden all mixed  up
together. The front door  walk  is  bordered  with  quahog  clam-shells  -
`cow-hawks,' Janet calls them; there is Virginia Creeper  over  the  porch
and moss on the roof. My room is a neat little spot  `off  the  parlor'  -
just big enough for the bed and me. Over the head of my  bed  there  is  a
picture of Robby Burns standing at Highland Mary's grave, shadowed  by  an
enormous weeping willow tree. Robby's face is so lugubrious that it is  no
wonder I have bad dreams. Why, the first night I  was  here  I  dreamed  I
    "The parlor is tiny and neat. Its one window is so shaded by  a  huge
willow that the room has a grotto-like effect of emerald gloom. There  are
wonderful tidies on the chairs, and gay mats on the floor, and  books  and
cards carefully arranged on a round table, and vases of dried grass on the
mantel-piece. Between the vases is  a  cheerful  decoration  of  preserved
coffin plates - five in all, pertaining respectively to Janet's father and
mother, a brother, her sister Anne, and a hired man who died here once! If
I go suddenly insane some of these days `know all men by  these  presents'
that those coffin-plates have caused it.
    "But it's all delightful and I said so. Janet loved me for  it,  just
as she detested poor Esther because Esther had  said  so  much  shade  was
unhygienic and had objected to sleeping on a feather bed. Now, I glory  in
feather-beds, and the more unhygienic and feathery they  are  the  more  I
glory. Janet says it is such a comfort to see me  eat;  she  had  been  so
afraid I would be like Miss Haythorne, who wouldn't eat anything but fruit
and hot water for breakfast and tried to make Janet give up frying things.
Esther is really a dear girl, but she is rather given to fads. The trouble
is that she hasn't enough imagination and HAS a tendency to indigestion.
    "Janet told me I could have the use of the parlor when any young  men
called! I don't think there are many to call. I haven't seen a  young  man
in Valley Road yet, except the next-door hired boy - Sam Toliver,  a  very
tall, lank, tow-haired youth. He came over one evening  recently  and  sat
for an hour on the garden fence, near the front porch where  Janet  and  I
were doing fancy-work. The only remarks he volunteered in  all  that  time
were,  `Hev  a  peppermint,  miss!  Dew  now-fine   thing   for   carARRH,
peppermints,' and, `Powerful lot o' jump-grasses round here ternight. Yep.
    "But there is a love affair going on here. It seems to be my  fortune
to be mixed up, more or less actively, with elderly love affairs. Mr.  and
Mrs. Irving always say that I brought about their marriage.  Mrs.  Stephen
Clark of Carmody persists in being most grateful to me  for  a  suggestion
which somebody else would probably have made if  I  hadn't.  I  do  really
think, though, that Ludovic Speed would never have got any  further  along
than placid courtship if I had not helped him and Theodora Dix out.
    "In the present affair I am only a passive spectator. I've tried once
to help things along and made an awful mess of it. So I shall  not  meddle
again. I'll tell you all about it when we meet."

                        32. Tea with Mrs. Douglas

    On the first Thursday night of Anne's sojourn in  Valley  Road  Janet
asked her to go to prayer-meeting. Janet blossomed  out  like  a  rose  to
attend that prayer-meeting. She wore a pale-blue,  pansy-sprinkled  muslin
dress with more ruffles than one would ever have supposed economical Janet
could be guilty of, and a white leghorn hat  with  pink  roses  and  three
ostrich feathers on it. Anne felt quite amazed. Later on,  she  found  out
Janet's motive in so arraying herself - a motive as old as Eden.
    Valley Road prayer-meetings seemed to be essentially feminine.  There
were thirty-two women present, two half-grown boys, and one solitary  man,
beside the minister. Anne found herself studying  this  man.  He  was  not
handsome or young or graceful; he had remarkably long legs - so long  that
he had to keep them coiled up under his chair to dispose of them - and  he
was stoopshouldered. His hands were big, his hair  wanted  barbering,  and
his moustache was unkempt. But Anne thought she liked  his  face;  it  was
kind and honest and tender; there was something else in  it,  too  -  just
what, Anne found it hard to define. She finally concluded  that  this  man
had suffered and been strong, and it had been made manifest in  his  face.
There was a sort of patient, humorous endurance in  his  expression  which
indicated that he would go to the stake if need  be,  but  would  keep  on
looking pleasant until he really had to begin squirming.
    When prayer-meeting was over this man came up to Janet and said,
    "May I see you home, Janet?"
    Janet took his arm - "as primly and shyly as if she were no more than
sixteen, having her first escort home," Anne told  the  girls  at  Patty's
Place later on.
    "Miss Shirley, permit me to introduce Mr. Douglas," she said stiffly.
    Mr. Douglas nodded and said, "I was looking at you in prayer-meeting,
miss, and thinking what a nice little girl you were."
    Such a speech from ninety-nine people out of  a  hundred  would  have
annoyed Anne bitterly; but the way in which Mr. Douglas said it  made  her
feel that she had received a very real and pleasing compliment. She smiled
appreciatively at him and dropped obligingly behind on the moonlit road.
    So Janet had a beau! Anne was delighted. Janet would make  a  paragon
of a wife - cheery, economical, tolerant, and a very queen  of  cooks.  It
would be a flagrant waste on Nature's part to keep  her  a  permanent  old
    "John Douglas asked me to take you up to see his mother," said  Janet
the next day. "She's bed-rid a lot of the time and never goes out  of  the
house. But she's powerful fond of company  and  always  wants  to  see  my
boarders. Can you go up this evening?"
    Anne assented; but later  in  the  day  Mr.  Douglas  called  on  his
mother's behalf to invite them up to tea on Saturday evening.
    "Oh, why didn't you put on your pretty pansy dress?" asked Anne, when
they left home. It was a hot day, and poor Janet, between  her  excitement
and her heavy black cashmere dress, looked as if she  were  being  broiled
    "Old Mrs. Douglas would think it terrible frivolous  and  unsuitable,
I'm afraid. John likes that dress, though," she added wistfully.
    The old Douglas homestead was half a mile from "Wayside"  cresting  a
windy hill. The house itself was large and comfortable, old enough  to  be
dignified, and girdled with maple groves and  orchards.  There  were  big,
trim barns behind it, and  everything  bespoke  prosperity.  Whatever  the
patient endurance in Mr. Douglas'  face  had  meant  it  hadn't,  so  Anne
reflected, meant debts and duns.
    John  Douglas  met  them  at  the  door  and  took  them   into   the
sitting-room, where his mother was enthroned in an armchair.
    Anne had expected old Mrs. Douglas to be tall and thin,  because  Mr.
Douglas was. Instead, she was a tiny scrap of  a  woman,  with  soft  pink
cheeks, mild blue eyes, and a mouth like a baby's. Dressed in a beautiful,
fashionably-made black silk dress, with a  fluffy  white  shawl  over  her
shoulders, and her snowy hair surmounted by a dainty lace cap,  she  might
have posed as a grandmother doll.
    "How do you do, Janet dear?" she said sweetly. "I am so glad  to  see
you again, dear." She put up her pretty old face to be kissed.  "And  this
is our new teacher. I'm delighted to meet you. My  son  has  been  singing
your praises until I'm half jealous, and I'm sure Janet ought to be wholly
    Poor Janet blushed, Anne said something polite and conventional,  and
then everybody sat down and made talk. It was hard work,  even  for  Anne,
for nobody seemed at ease except old Mrs. Douglas, who certainly  did  not
find any difficulty in talking. She made Janet sit by her and stroked  her
hand occasionally. Janet sat and smiled, looking horribly uncomfortable in
her hideous dress, and John Douglas sat without smiling.
    At the tea table Mrs. Douglas gracefully asked Janet to pour the tea.
Janet turned redder than ever but did it. Anne wrote a description of that
meal to Stella.
    "We had cold tongue and chicken and strawberry preserves,  lemon  pie
and tarts and chocolate cake and raisin cookies and pound cake  and  fruit
cake - and a few other things, including more pie - caramel pie,  I  think
it was. After I had eaten twice as much as was good for me,  Mrs.  Douglas
sighed and said she feared she had nothing to tempt my appetite.
    "`I'm afraid dear Janet's cooking has spoiled you for any other,' she
said sweetly. `Of course nobody in Valley Road aspires to rival HER. WON'T
you have another piece of pie, Miss Shirley? You haven't eaten ANYTHING.'
    "Stella, I had eaten a helping of tongue and one  of  chicken,  three
biscuits, a generous allowance of preserves, a piece of pie, a tart, and a
square of chocolate cake!"
    After tea Mrs. Douglas smiled benevolently  and  told  John  to  take
"dear Janet" out into the garden and get her  some  roses.  "Miss  Shirley
will keep me company while you are out - won't you?" she said plaintively.
She settled down in her armchair with a sigh.
    "I am a very frail old woman, Miss Shirley.  For  over  twenty  years
I've been a great sufferer. For twenty long, weary years I've  been  dying
by inches."
    "How painful!" said Anne, trying to  be  sympathetic  and  succeeding
only in feeling idiotic.
    "There have been scores of nights when they've thought I could  never
live to see the dawn," went on Mrs. Douglas solemnly. "Nobody  knows  what
I've gone through - nobody can know but myself. Well, it can't  last  very
much longer now. My weary pilgrimage will soon be over, Miss  Shirley.  It
is a great comfort to me that John will have such  a  good  wife  to  look
after him when his mother is gone - a great comfort, Miss Shirley."
    "Janet is a lovely woman," said Anne warmly.
    "Lovely! A  beautiful  character,"  assented  Mrs.  Douglas.  "And  a
perfect housekeeper - something I never was. My health  would  not  permit
it, Miss Shirley. I am indeed thankful that John  has  made  such  a  wise
choice. I hope and believe that he will be happy. He is my only son,  Miss
Shirley, and his happiness lies very near my heart."
    "Of course," said Anne stupidly. For the first time in her  life  she
was stupid. Yet she could not imagine why. She seemed to  have  absolutely
nothing to say to this sweet, smiling, angelic old lady  who  was  patting
her hand so kindly.
    "Come and see me soon again, dear Janet," said Mrs. Douglas lovingly,
when they left. "You don't come half often enough. But then I suppose John
will be bringing you here to stay all the time one of these  days."  Anne,
happening to glance at John Douglas, as his mother spoke, gave a  positive
start of dismay.  He  looked  as  a  tortured  man  might  look  when  his
tormentors gave the rack the last turn of  possible  endurance.  She  felt
sure he must be ill and hurried poor blushing Janet away.
    "Isn't old Mrs. Douglas a sweet woman?" asked  Janet,  as  they  went
down the road.
    "M - m," answered Anne absently. She was wondering why  John  Douglas
had looked so.
    "She's been a terrible sufferer," said Janet  feelingly.  "She  takes
terrible spells. It keeps John all worried up. He's scared to  leave  home
for fear his mother will take a spell and nobody there but the hired girl."

                   33. "He Just Kept Coming and Coming"

    Three days later Anne came home from school and found  Janet  crying.
Tears and Janet seemed so incongruous that Anne was honestly alarmed.
    "Oh, what is the matter?" she cried anxiously.
    "I'm - I'm forty today," sobbed Janet.
    "Well, you were nearly that yesterday and it didn't hurt,"  comforted
Anne, trying not to smile.
    "But - but," went on Janet with a big gulp, "John Douglas  won't  ask
me to marry him."
    "Oh, but he will," said Anne lamely. "You must give him time, Janet
    "Time!" said Janet with  indescribable  scorn.  "He  has  had  twenty
years. How much time does he want?"
    "Do you mean that John Douglas has been coming to see you for  twenty
    "He has. And he has never so much as mentioned marriage to me. And  I
don't believe he ever will now. I've never said a word to a  mortal  about
it, but it seems to me I've just got to talk it out with some one at  last
or go crazy. John Douglas begun to go with me  twenty  years  ago,  before
mother died. Well, he kept coming and coming, and after a  spell  I  begun
making quilts and  things;  but  he  never  said  anything  about  getting
married, only just kept coming and coming. There wasn't anything  I  could
do. Mother died when we'd been going together for eight years.  I  thought
he maybe would speak out then, seeing as I was left alone in the world. He
was real kind and feeling, and did everything he  could  for  me,  but  he
never said marry. And that's the way it has  been  going  on  ever  since.
People blame ME for it. They say I won't marry him because his  mother  is
so sickly and I don't want the bother of waiting on her. Why, I'd LOVE  to
wait on John's mother! But I let them think so. I'd rather they'd blame me
than pity me! It's so dreadful humiliating that John won't ask me. And WHY
won't he? Seems to me if I only knew his reason  I  wouldn't  mind  it  so
    "Perhaps his mother doesn't want him  to  marry  anybody,"  suggested
    "Oh, she does. She's told me time and again that she'd  love  to  see
John settled before her time comes. She's always giving him  hints  -  you
heard her yourself the other day. I  thought  I'd  ha'  gone  through  the
    "It's beyond me," said Anne helplessly. She thought of Ludovic Speed.
But the cases were not parallel. John Douglas was not a man  of  Ludovic's
    "You should show more spirit, Janet," she went  on  resolutely.  "Why
didn't you send him about his business long ago?"
    "I couldn't," said poor Janet  pathetically.  "You  see,  Anne,  I've
always been awful fond of John. He might just as well keep coming as  not,
for there was never anybody else I'd want, so it didn't matter."
    "But it might have made him speak out like a man," urged Anne.
    Janet shook her head.
    "No, I guess not. I was afraid to try, anyway, for fear he'd think  I
meant it and just go. I suppose I'm a poor-spirited creature, but that  is
how I feel. And I can't help it."
    "Oh, you COULD help it, Janet. It isn't too late  yet.  Take  a  firm
stand. Let that man know you are not going to endure  his  shillyshallying
any longer. I'LL back you up."
    "I dunno," said Janet hopelessly. "I dunno if I  could  ever  get  up
enough spunk. Things have drifted so long. But I'll think it over."
    Anne felt that she was disappointed in John Douglas.  She  had  liked
him so well, and she had not thought him the sort of man  who  would  play
fast and loose with a woman's feelings  for  twenty  years.  He  certainly
should be taught a lesson, and Anne felt vindictively that she would enjoy
seeing the process. Therefore she was delighted when Janet  told  her,  as
they were going to prayer-meeting the next night, that she meant  to  show
some "sperrit."
    "I'll let John Douglas see I'm not going to be trodden on any longer."
    "You are perfectly right," said Anne emphatically.
    When prayer-meeting was over John Douglas  came  up  with  his  usual
request. Janet looked frightened but resolute.
    "No, thank you," she said icily. "I know the road  home  pretty  well
alone. I ought to, seeing I've been traveling it for forty years.  So  you
needn't trouble yourself, MR. Douglas."
    Anne was looking at John Douglas; and, in that  brilliant  moonlight,
she saw the last twist of the rack again. Without a  word  he  turned  and
strode down the road.
    "Stop! Stop!" Anne called wildly after him, not caring in  the  least
for the other dumbfounded onlookers. "Mr. Douglas, stop! Come back."
    John Douglas stopped but he did not come back.  Anne  flew  down  the
road, caught his arm and fairly dragged him back to Janet.
    "You must come back," she said imploringly. "It's all a mistake,  Mr.
Douglas - all my fault. I made Janet do it. She didn't want to - but  it's
all right now, isn't it, Janet?"
    Without a word Janet took his arm and walked away. Anne followed them
meekly home and slipped in by the back door.
    "Well,  you  are  a  nice  person  to  back  me   up,"   said   Janet
    "I couldn't help it, Janet," said Anne repentantly. "I just  felt  as
if I had stood by and seen murder done. I HAD to run after him."
    "Oh, I'm just as glad you did. When I saw  John  Douglas  making  off
down that road I just felt as if every little bit  of  joy  and  happiness
that was left in my life was going with him. It was an awful feeling."
    "Did he ask you why you did it?" asked Anne.
    "No, he never said a word about it," replied Janet dully.

                     34. John Douglas Speaks at Last

    Anne was not without a feeble hope that something might  come  of  it
after all. But nothing did. John Douglas came and took Janet driving,  and
walked home from prayer-meeting with her, as he had been doing for  twenty
years, and as he seemed likely to do for twenty  years  more.  The  summer
waned. Anne taught her school and wrote letters and studied a little.  Her
walks to and from school were pleasant. She always  went  by  way  of  the
swamp; it was a lovely place - a boggy soil, green with  the  greenest  of
mossy hillocks; a silvery brook meandered through  it  and  spruces  stood
erectly,  their  boughs  a-trail  with  gray-green  mosses,  their   roots
overgrown with all sorts of woodland lovelinesses.
    Nevertheless, Anne found life in Valley Road a little monotonous.  To
be sure, there was one diverting incident.
    She had not seen the lank, tow-headed Samuel of the peppermints since
the evening of his call, save for chance meetings on  the  road.  But  one
warm August night he appeared, and solemnly seated himself on  the  rustic
bench by the porch. He wore his usual working habiliments,  consisting  of
varipatched trousers, a blue jean shirt, out at the elbows, and  a  ragged
straw hat. He was chewing a straw and he  kept  on  chewing  it  while  he
looked solemnly at Anne. Anne laid her book aside with a sigh and took  up
her doily. Conversation with Sam was really out of the question.
    After a long silence Sam suddenly spoke.
    "I'm leaving over there," he said abruptly, waving his straw  in  the
direction of the neighboring house.
    "Oh, are you?" said Anne politely.
    "And where are you going now?"
    "Wall, I've been thinking some of gitting a place of my own.  There's
one that'd suit me over at Millersville. But ef I rents  it  I'll  want  a
    "I suppose so," said Anne vaguely.
    There was another long silence. Finally Sam removed his  straw  again
and said,
    "Will yeh hev me?"
    "Wh - a - t!" gasped Anne.
    "Will yeh hev me?"
    "Do you mean - MARRY you?" queried poor Anne feebly.
    "Why, I'm hardly acquainted with you," cried Anne indignantly.
    "But yeh'd git acquainted with me after we was married," said Sam.
    Anne gathered up her poor dignity.
    "Certainly I won't marry you," she said haughtily.
    "Wall, yeh might do worse," expostulated Sam. "I'm a good worker  and
I've got some money in the bank."
    "Don't speak of this to me again. Whatever put such an idea into your
head?" said Anne, her sense of humor getting the better of her  wrath.  It
was such an absurd situation.
    "Yeh're a likely-looking girl and hev a right-smart way o' stepping,"
said Sam. "I don't want no lazy woman. Think it over. I  won't  change  my
mind yit awhile. Wall, I must be gitting. Gotter milk the cows."
    Anne's illusions concerning proposals had suffered so  much  of  late
years that there were few of them left. So she could laugh  wholeheartedly
over this one, not feeling any secret sting.  She  mimicked  poor  Sam  to
Janet that night, and both of them laughed immoderately  over  his  plunge
into sentiment.
    One afternoon, when Anne's sojourn in Valley Road was  drawing  to  a
close, Alec Ward came driving down to "Wayside" in hot haste for Janet.
    "They want you at the  Douglas  place  quick,"  he  said.  "I  really
believe old Mrs. Douglas is going to die at last, after pretending  to  do
it for twenty years."
    Janet ran to get her hat. Anne asked if Mrs. Douglas was  worse  than
    "She's not half as bad," said Alec solemnly, "and that's  what  makes
me think it's serious. Other times she'd be screaming and throwing herself
all over the place. This time she's lying still and mum. When Mrs. Douglas
is mum she is pretty sick, you bet."
    "You don't like old Mrs. Douglas?" said Anne curiously.
    "I like cats as IS cats. I don't like cats as is women,"  was  Alec's
cryptic reply.
    Janet came home in the twilight.
    "Mrs. Douglas is dead," she said wearily. "She died soon after I  got
there. She just spoke to me once - `I suppose you'll marry John now?'  she
said. It cut me to the heart, Anne. To think John's own mother  thought  I
wouldn't marry him because of her! I couldn't say a word  either  -  there
were other women there. I was thankful John had gone out."
    Janet began to cry drearily. But Anne  brewed  her  a  hot  drink  of
ginger tea to her comforting. To be sure, Anne discovered  later  on  that
she had used white pepper instead of ginger;  but  Janet  never  knew  the
    The evening after the funeral Janet and  Anne  were  sitting  on  the
front porch steps at sunset. The wind had fallen asleep in  the  pinelands
and lurid sheets of heat-lightning flickered across  the  northern  skies.
Janet wore her ugly black dress and looked her very worst,  her  eyes  and
nose red from crying. They talked little,  for  Janet  seemed  faintly  to
resent Anne's efforts to  cheer  her  up.  She  plainly  preferred  to  be
    Suddenly the gate-latch clicked and  John  Douglas  strode  into  the
garden. He walked towards them straight over the geranium bed. Janet stood
up. So did Anne. Anne was a tall girl and wore a  white  dress;  but  John
Douglas did not see her.
    "Janet," he said, "will you marry me?"
    The words burst out as if they had been wanting to be said for twenty
years and MUST be uttered now, before anything else.
    Janet's face was so red from crying that it couldn't turn any redder,
so it turned a most unbecoming purple.
    "Why didn't you ask me before?" she said slowly.
    "I couldn't. She made me promise not to - mother made me promise  not
to. Nineteen years ago she took a terrible spell. We thought she  couldn't
live through it. She implored me to promise not to ask  you  to  marry  me
while she was alive. I didn't want to promise such a thing, even though we
all thought she couldn't live very long - the doctor  only  gave  her  six
months. But she begged it on her knees,  sick  and  suffering.  I  had  to
    "What had your mother against me?" cried Janet.
    "Nothing - nothing. She just didn't want another woman - ANY woman  -
there while she was living. She said if I didn't promise she'd  die  right
there and I'd have killed her. So I promised. And she's held  me  to  that
promise ever since, though I've gone on my knees to her in my turn to  beg
her to let me ff."
    "Why didn't you tell me this?" asked Janet chokingly.  "If  I'd  only
KNOWN! Why didn't you just tell me?"
    "She made me promise I wouldn't tell a  soul,"  said  John  hoarsely.
"She swore me to it on the Bible; Janet, I'd never have  done  it  if  I'd
dreamed it was to be for so long.  Janet,  you'll  never  know  what  I've
suffered these nineteen years. I know  I've  made  you  suffer,  too,  but
you'll marry me for all, won't you, Janet? Oh, Janet, won't you? I've come
as soon as I could to ask you."
    At this moment the stupefied Anne came to  her  senses  and  realized
that she had no business to be there. She slipped away  and  did  not  see
Janet until the next morning, when the latter told her  the  rest  of  the
    "That cruel, relentless, deceitful old woman!" cried Anne.
    "Hush - she's dead," said Janet solemnly. "If she wasn't  -  but  she
IS. So we mustn't speak evil of her. But I'm happy at last,  Anne.  And  I
wouldn't have minded waiting so long a bit if I'd only known why."
    "When are you to be married?"
    "Next month. Of course it will be very quiet. I suppose  people  will
talk terrible. They'll say I made enough haste to snap John up as soon  as
his poor mother was out of the way. John wanted to let them know the truth
but I said, `No, John; after all she was your mother, and we'll  keep  the
secret between us, and not cast any shadow on her  memory.  I  don't  mind
what people say, now that I know the truth myself. It don't matter a mite.
Let it all be buried with the dead' says I to him. So I coaxed  him  round
to agree with me."
    "You're much more forgiving than I could ever be," Anne said,  rather
    "You'll feel differently about a good many things when you get to  be
my age," said Janet tolerantly. "That's one of the things we learn  as  we
grow older - how to forgive. It comes easier  at  forty  than  it  did  at

                      35. The Last Redmond Year Opens

    "Here we are, all back again, nicely sunburned  and  rejoicing  as  a
strong man to run a race," said Phil, sitting down on a  suitcase  with  a
sigh of pleasure. "Isn't it jolly to see this dear old Patty's Place again
- and Aunty - and the cats? Rusty has lost another piece  of  ear,  hasn't
    "Rusty would be the nicest cat in the world if he had no ears at all,"
declared Anne loyally from her trunk, while Rusty writhed about her  lap
in a frenzy of welcome.
    "Aren't you glad to see us back, Aunty?" demanded Phil.
    "Yes.  But  I  wish  you'd  tidy  things  up,"  said  Aunt   Jamesina
plaintively, looking at the wilderness of trunks and  suitcases  by  which
the four laughing, chattering girls were surrounded. "You can talk just as
well later on. Work first and then play used to be my motto when I  was  a
    "Oh, we've just reversed that in this generation, Aunty. OUR motto is
play your play and then dig in. You can do your work  so  much  better  if
you've had a good bout of play first."
    "If you are going to marry a minister," said Aunt  Jamesina,  picking
up Joseph and her knitting and resigning herself to  the  inevitable  with
the charming grace that made her the queen of housemothers, "you will have
to give up such expressions as `dig in.'"
    "Why?" moaned Phil. "Oh, why must a minister's wife  be  supposed  to
utter only prunes and prisms? I shan't. Everybody on Patterson Street uses
slang - that is to say, metaphorical language - and if I didn't they would
think me insufferably proud and stuck up."
    "Have you broken the news to your family?" asked  Priscilla,  feeding
the Sarah-cat bits from her lunchbasket.
    Phil nodded.
    "How did they take it?"
    "Oh, mother rampaged. But I stood rockfirm - even I, Philippa Gordon,
who never before could hold fast to anything. Father was calmer.  Father's
own daddy was a minister, so you see he has a soft spot in his  heart  for
the cloth. I had Jo up to Mount Holly, after mother grew  calm,  and  they
both loved him.  But  mother  gave  him  some  frightful  hints  in  every
conversation regarding what she had hoped for me. Oh, my vacation  pathway
hasn't been exactly strewn with roses, girls dear. But - I've won out  and
I've got Jo. Nothing else matters."
    "To you," said Aunt Jamesina darkly.
    "Nor to Jo, either," retorted Phil. "You keep on  pitying  him.  Why,
pray? I think he's to be envied. He's getting brains, beauty, and a  heart
of gold in ME."
    "It's well we know how to take your  speeches,"  said  Aunt  Jamesina
patiently. "I hope you don't talk like that before strangers.  What  would
they think?"
    "Oh, I don't want to know what they think. I don't want to see myself
as others see me. I'm sure it would be horribly uncomfortable most of  the
time. I don't believe Burns was really sincere in that prayer, either."
    "Oh, I daresay we all pray for some things that we really don't want,
if we were only honest  enough  to  look  into  our  hearts,"  owned  Aunt
Jamesina candidly. "I've a notion that such prayers don't rise  very  far.
_I_ used to pray that I might be enabled to forgive a certain person,  but
I know now I really didn't want to forgive her. When I finally got that  I
DID want to I forgave her without having to pray about it."
    "I can't picture you as being unforgiving for long," said Stella.
    "Oh, I used to be. But holding spite doesn't seem  worth  while  when
you get along in years."
    "That reminds me," said Anne, and told the tale of John and Janet.
    "And now tell us about that romantic scene you hinted so darkly at in
one of your letters," demanded Phil.
    Anne acted  out  Samuel's  proposal  with  great  spirit.  The  girls
shrieked with laughter and Aunt Jamesina smiled.
    "It isn't in good  taste  to  make  fun  of  your  beaux,"  she  said
severely; "but," she added calmly, "I always did it myself."
    "Tell us about your beaux, Aunty, "en treated Phil.  "You  must  have
had any number of them."
    "They're not in the past tense," retorted Aunt  Jamesina.  "I've  got
them yet. There are three old widowers  at  home  who  have  been  casting
sheep's eyes at me for some time. You children needn't think you  own  all
the romance in the world."
    "Widowers and sheep's eyes don't sound very romantic, Aunty."
    "Well, no; but young folks aren't always romantic either. Some of  my
beaux certainly weren't. I used to laugh at them  scandalous,  poor  boys.
There was Jim Elwood - he was always in a sort of day-dream - never seemed
to sense what was going on. He didn't wake up to the fact  that  I'd  said
`no' till a year after I'd said it. When he did get married his wife  fell
out of the sleigh one night when they were driving home from church and he
never missed her. Then there was Dan Winston. He knew too  much.  He  knew
everything in this world and most of what is in the next.  He  could  give
you an answer to any question, even if you asked him when the Judgment Day
was to be. Milton Edwards was real nice and I liked him but I didn't marry
him. For one thing, he took a week to get a joke through his head, and for
another he never asked me. Horatio Reeve was the most interesting  beau  I
ever had. But when he told a story he dressed it up so that  you  couldn't
see it for frills. I never could decide  whether  he  was  lying  or  just
letting his imagination run loose."
    "And what about the others, Aunty?"
    "Go away and unpack," said Aunt Jamesina, waving Joseph  at  them  by
mistake for a needle. "The others were too nice to make fun  of.  I  shall
respect their memory. There's a box of flowers in your  room,  Anne.  They
came about an hour ago."
    After the first week the girls of Patty's Place  settled  down  to  a
steady grind of study; for  this  was  their  last  year  at  Redmond  and
graduation honors must be fought for persistently. Anne devoted herself to
English, Priscilla pored over  classics,  and  Philippa  pounded  away  at
Mathematics. Sometimes they grew tired, sometimes they  felt  discouraged,
sometimes nothing seemed worth the struggle  for  it.  In  one  such  mood
Stella wandered up to the blue room one rainy November evening.  Anne  sat
on the floor in a little circle of light cast by the lamp beside her, amid
a surrounding snow of crumpled manuscript.
    "What in the world are you doing?"
    "Just looking over some old Story Club yarns. I wanted  something  to
cheer AND inebriate. I'd studied until the world seemed azure. So  I  came
up here and dug these out of my trunk. They are so drenched in  tears  and
tragedy that they are excruciatingly funny."
    "I'm blue and discouraged myself," said Stella, throwing  herself  on
the couch. "Nothing seems worthwhile.  My  very  thoughts  are  old.  I've
thought them all before. What is the use of living after all, Anne?"
    "Honey, it's just brain fag that makes us  feel  that  way,  and  the
weather. A pouring rainy night like this, coming after a hard day's grind,
would squelch any one but a Mark Tapley. You  know  it  IS  worthwhile  to
    "Oh, I suppose so. But I can't prove it to myself just now."
    "Just think of all the great and  noble  souls  who  have  lived  and
worked in the world," said Anne dreamily. "Isn't  it  worthwhile  to  come
after them and inherit what they won and taught? Isn't  it  worthwhile  to
think we can share their inspiration? And then, all the great  souls  that
will come in the future? Isn't it worthwhile to work a little and  prepare
the way for them - make just one step in their path easier?"
    "Oh, my mind agrees with you, Anne. But my soul remains  doleful  and
uninspired. I'm always grubby and dingy on rainy nights."
    "Some nights I like the rain - I like to  lie  in  bed  and  hear  it
pattering on the roof and drifting through the pines."
    "I like it when it stays on  the  roof,"  said  Stella.  "It  doesn't
always. I spent a gruesome night in an old country farmhouse last  summer.
The roof leaked and the rain came pattering down on my bed. There  was  no
poetry in THAT. I had to get up in the `mirk midnight' and chivy round  to
pull the bedstead out of the drip  -  and  it  was  one  of  those  solid,
old-fashioned beds that weigh  a  ton  -  more  or  less.  And  then  that
drip-drop, drip-drop kept up all  night  until  my  nerves  just  went  to
pieces. You've no idea what an eerie noise a great drop  of  rain  falling
with a mushy thud on a bare floor makes  in  the  night.  It  sounds  like
ghostly footsteps and all that sort of thing. What are you laughing  over,
    "These stories. As Phil would say they are killing - in  more  senses
than one, for everybody died in them. What dazzlingly lovely  heroines  we
had - and how we dressed them! Silks - satins - velvets - jewels - laces -
they never wore anything else.  Here  is  one  of  Jane  Andrews'  stories
depicting her heroine as sleeping in a beautiful  white  satin  nightdress
trimmed with seed pearls."
    "Go on," said Stella. "I begin to feel that life is worth  living  as
long as there's a laugh in it."
    "Here's one I wrote. My heroine  is  disporting  herself  at  a  ball
`glittering from head to foot with large diamonds of the first water.' But
what booted beauty or rich attire? `The paths of glory  lead  but  to  the
grave.' They must either be murdered or die of a broken heart.  There  was
no escape for them."
    "Let me read some of your stories."
    "Well, here's my masterpiece. Note its cheerful title - `My  Graves.'
I shed quarts of tears while writing it, and the other girls shed  gallons
while I read it. Jane Andrews' mother scolded her frightfully because  she
had so many handkerchiefs in the wash that week. It's a harrowing tale  of
the wanderings of a Methodist minister's wife.  I  made  her  a  Methodist
because it was necessary that she should wander. She buried a child  every
place she lived in. There were nine of them and their graves were  severed
far apart,  ranging  from  Newfoundland  to  Vancouver.  I  described  the
children, pictured their several death beds, and detailed their tombstones
and epitaphs. I had intended to  bury  the  whole  nine  but  when  I  had
disposed of eight my invention of horrors gave out  and  I  permitted  the
ninth to live as a hopeless cripple."
    While Stella read My Graves, punctuating its tragic  paragraphs  with
chuckles, and Rusty slept the sleep of a just cat who  has  been  out  all
night curled up on a Jane Andrews tale of a beautiful  maiden  of  fifteen
who went to nurse in a leper colony - of course  dying  of  the  loathsome
disease finally - Anne glanced over the other manuscripts and recalled the
old days at Avonlea school when the members of  the  Story  Club,  sitting
under the spruce trees or down among the ferns by the brook,  had  written
them. What fun they had had! How the sunshine and  mirth  of  those  olden
summers returned as she read. Not all the glory that  was  Greece  or  the
grandeur that was Rome could weave such wizardry as those  funny,  tearful
tales of the Story Club. Among the manuscripts Anne found one  written  on
sheets of wrapping paper. A wave of laughter filled her gray eyes  as  she
recalled the time and place of its genesis. It  was  the  sketch  she  had
written the day she fell through the roof of the  Cobb  duckhouse  on  the
Tory Road.
    Anne glanced over it, then fell to reading  it  intently.  It  was  a
little dialogue between asters and sweet-peas, wild canaries in the  lilac
bush, and the guardian spirit of the garden. After she had  read  it,  she
sat, staring into space; and when Stella had gone  she  smoothed  out  the
crumpled manuscript.
    "I believe I will," she said resolutely.

                           36. The Gardners'Call

    "Here is a letter with an Indian stamp for you,  Aunt  Jimsie,"  said
Phil. "Here are three for Stella, and two for Pris, and a glorious fat one
for me from Jo. There's nothing for you, Anne, except a circular."
    Nobody noticed Anne's flush as she took the thin letter  Phil  tossed
her carelessly.  But  a  few  minutes  later  Phil  looked  up  to  see  a
transfigured Anne.
    "Honey, what good thing has happened?"
    "The Youth's Friend has accepted  a  little  sketch  I  sent  them  a
fortnight ago," said Anne, trying hard to speak as if she were  accustomed
to having sketches accepted every mail, but not quite succeeding.
    "Anne Shirley! How glorious! What was it? When is it to be published?
Did they pay you for it?"
    "Yes; they've sent a check for ten dollars,  and  the  editor  writes
that he would like to see more of my work. Dear man, he shall. It  was  an
old sketch I found in my box. I re-wrote it and sent it in - but  I  never
really thought it could be accepted because it had no  plot,"  said  Anne,
recalling the bitter experience of Averil's Atonement.
    "What are you going to do with that ten dollars, Anne? Let's  all  go
up town and get drunk," suggested Phil.
    "I AM going to squander it in a wild soulless revel  of  some  sort,"
declared Anne gaily. "At all events it isn't  tainted  money  -  like  the
check I got for that horrible Reliable Baking Powder  story.  I  spent  IT
usefully for clothes and hated them every time I put them on."
    "Think  of  having  a  real  live  author  at  Patty's  Place,"  said
    "It's a great responsibility," said Aunt Jamesina solemnly.
    "Indeed it is," agreed Pris with equal solemnity. "Authors are kittle
cattle. You never know when or how they will break out. Anne may make copy
of us."
    "I meant that the  ability  to  write  for  the  Press  was  a  great
responsibility," said Aunt Jamesina severely. "and I hope  Anne  realizes,
it. My daughter used to write stories  before  she  went  to  the  foreign
field, but now she has turned her attention to higher things. She used  to
say her motto was `Never write a line you would be ashamed to read at your
own funeral.' You'd better take that for yours, Anne, if you are going  to
embark  in  literature.  Though,  to  be  sure,"   added   Aunt   Jamesina
perplexedly, "Elizabeth always used to laugh when she said it. She  always
laughed so much that I don't know how she ever came to decide on  being  a
missionary. I'm thankful she did - I prayed that she might - but - I  wish
she hadn't."
    Then Aunt Jamesina wondered why those giddy girls all laughed.
    Anne's eyes shone all  that  day;  literary  ambitions  sprouted  and
budded in her brain; their exhilaration accompanied her to Jennie Cooper's
walking party, and not even the sight of Gilbert  and  Christine,  walking
just ahead of her and Roy, could quite subdue the sparkle  of  her  starry
hopes. Nevertheless, she was not so rapt from things of  earth  as  to  be
unable to notice that Christine's walk was decidedly ungraceful.
    "But I suppose Gilbert looks only  at  her  face.  So  like  a  man,"
thought Anne scornfully.
    "Shall you be home Saturday afternoon?" asked Roy.
    "My mother and sisters are coming to call on you," said Roy quietly.
    Something went over Anne which might be described as a thrill, but it
was hardly a pleasant one. She had never met  any  of  Roy's  family;  she
realized the significance of  his  statement;  and  it  had,  somehow,  an
irrevocableness about it that chilled her.
    "I shall be glad to see them," she said flatly; and then wondered  if
she really would be glad. She ought to be, of course. But would it not  be
something of an ordeal? Gossip had filtered to Anne regarding the light in
which the Gardners viewed the "infatuation" of son and brother.  Roy  must
have brought pressure to bear in the matter of this call.  Anne  knew  she
would be weighed in the balance. From the fact that they had consented  to
call she understood that, willingly or unwillingly, they regarded her as a
possible member of their clan.
    "I shall just be myself. I shall not TRY to make a good  impression,"
thought Anne loftily. But she was wondering what dress  she  would  better
wear Saturday afternoon, and if the new style of high hair-dressing  would
suit her better than the old; and the walking party was rather spoiled for
her. By night she had decided that she would wear  her  brown  chiffon  on
Saturday, but would do her hair low.
    Friday afternoon none of the girls had  classes  at  Redmond.  Stella
took the opportunity to write a paper for the Philomathic Society, and was
sitting at the table in the corner  of  the  living-room  with  an  untidy
litter of notes and manuscript on the  floor  around  her.  Stella  always
vowed she never could write anything unless she threw each sheet  down  as
she completed it. Anne, in her flannel blouse and serge  skirt,  with  her
hair rather blown from her windy walk home, was sitting  squarely  in  the
middle of the floor, teasing the Sarah-cat with  a  wishbone.  Joseph  and
Rusty were both curled up in her lap. A warm plummy odor filled the  whole
house, for Priscilla was cooking in the kitchen. Presently  she  came  in,
enshrouded in a huge work-apron, with a smudge of flour on  her  nose,  to
show Aunt Jamesina the chocolate cake she had just iced.
    At this auspicious  moment  the  knocker  sounded.  Nobody  paid  any
attention to it save Phil, who sprang up and opened it,  expecting  a  boy
with the hat she had bought that  morning.  On  the  doorstep  stood  Mrs.
Gardner and her daughters.
    Anne scrambled to her feet somehow, emptying two indignant  cats  out
of her lap as she did so, and mechanically shifting her wishbone from  her
right hand to her left. Priscilla, who would have had to cross the room to
reach the kitchen door, lost her head, wildly plunged the  chocolate  cake
under a cushion on the inglenook sofa, and dashed upstairs.  Stella  began
feverishly gathering up  her  manuscript.  Only  Aunt  Jamesina  and  Phil
remained normal. Thanks to them, everybody was soon sitting at ease,  even
Anne. Priscilla came down, apronless and smudgeless,  Stella  reduced  her
corner to decency, and Phil saved the situation by a stream of ready small
    Mrs. Gardner was tall and  thin  and  handsome,  exquisitely  gowned,
cordial with a cordiality that seemed a trifle forced. Aline Gardner was a
younger edition of her mother, lacking the cordiality. She  endeavored  to
be nice, but succeeded only in  being  haughty  and  patronizing.  Dorothy
Gardner was slim and jolly and rather tomboyish. Anne knew she  was  Roy's
favorite sister and warmed to her. She would have looked  very  much  like
Roy if she had had dreamy dark eyes instead of roguish hazel ones.  Thanks
to her and Phil, the call really went off very well, except for  a  slight
sense of strain in the atmosphere and two rather untoward incidents. Rusty
and Joseph, left to themselves, began a game of chase,  and  sprang  madly
into Mrs. Gardner's silken lap and out of it in their  wild  career.  Mrs.
Gardner lifted her lorgnette and gazed after their flying forms as if  she
had never seen cats  before,  and  Anne,  choking  back  slightly  nervous
laughter, apologized as best she could.
    "You are fond of cats?" said Mrs. Gardner, with a  slight  intonation
of tolerant wonder.
    Anne, despite her affection for Rusty, was  not  especially  fond  of
cats, but Mrs. Gardner's tone annoyed her. Inconsequently  she  remembered
that Mrs. John Blythe was so fond of cats that she kept  as  many  as  her
husband would allow.
    "They ARE adorable animals, aren't they?" she said wickedly.
    "I have never liked cats," said Mrs. Gardner remotely.
    "I love them," said Dorothy. "They are so nice and selfish. Dogs  are
TOO good and unselfish. They make me  feel  uncomfortable.  But  cats  are
gloriously human."
    "You have two delightful old china dogs there. May  I  look  at  them
closely?" said Aline, crossing the room towards the fireplace and  thereby
becoming the unconscious cause of the other accident.  Picking  up  Magog,
she sat down on the cushion under which was secreted Priscilla's chocolate
cake. Priscilla and Anne exchanged agonized glances but could do  nothing.
The stately Aline continued to sit on the cushion and discuss  china  dogs
until the time of departure.
    Dorothy lingered behind a moment to squeeze Anne's hand  and  whisper
    "I KNOW you and I are going to be chums. Oh,  Roy  has  told  me  all
about you. I'm the only one of the family he tells things to, poor  boy  -
nobody COULD confide in mamma and Aline, you know. What glorious times you
girls must have here! Won't you let me come often  and  have  a  share  in
    "Come as often as you like," Anne responded heartily,  thankful  that
one of Roy's sisters was likable. She would never like Aline, so much  was
certain; and Aline would never like her, though Mrs. Gardner might be won.
Altogether, Anne sighed with relief when the ordeal was over.

                "`Of all sad words of tongue or pen
                  The saddest are it might have been,'"

    quoted Priscilla tragically, lifting the cushion. "This cake  is  now
what you might call a flat failure. And the cushion  is  likewise  ruined.
Never tell me that Friday isn't unlucky."
    "People who send word they are coming on Saturday shouldn't  come  on
Friday," said Aunt Jamesina.
    "I fancy it was Roy's mistake," said Phil.  "That  boy  isn't  really
responsible for what he says when he talks to Anne. Where IS Anne?"
    Anne had gone upstairs. She felt oddly  like  crying.  But  she  made
herself laugh instead. Rusty and Joseph had been TOO  awful!  And  Dorothy
WAS a dear.

                          37. Full-fledged B.A.'s

    "I wish I were dead, or that it were tomorrow night," groaned Phil.
    "If you live long enough both  wishes  will  come  true,"  said  Anne
    "It's easy for you to be serene. You're at home  in  Philosophy.  I'm
not - and when I think of that horrible  paper  tomorrow  I  quail.  If  I
should fail in it what would Jo say?"
    "You won't fail. How did you get on in Greek today?"
    "I don't know. Perhaps it was a good paper and  perhaps  it  was  bad
enough to make Homer turn over in his grave. I've studied and mulled  over
notebooks until I'm incapable of  forming  an  opinion  of  anything.  How
thankful little Phil will be when all this examinating is over."
    "Examinating? I never heard such a word."
    "Well, haven't I as good a right to make a word  as  any  one  else?"
demanded Phil.
    "Words aren't made - they grow," said Anne.
    "Never mind - I begin faintly to discern clear water ahead  where  no
examination breakers loom. Girls, do  you  -  can  you  realize  that  our
Redmond Life is almost over?"
    "I can't," said Anne, sorrowfully. "It seems just yesterday that Pris
and I were alone in that crowd of Freshmen at  Redmond.  And  now  we  are
Seniors in our final examinations."
    "`Potent, wise, and reverend Seniors,'" quoted Phil. "Do you  suppose
we really are any wiser than when we came to Redmond?"
    "You don't act as if you were by times," said Aunt Jamesina severely.
    "Oh, Aunt Jimsie, haven't we been pretty good girls, take us  by  and
large, these three winters you've mothered us?" pleaded Phil.
    "You've been four of the dearest, sweetest, goodest girls  that  ever
went together through college," averred Aunt Jamesina, who never spoiled a
compliment by misplaced economy.
    "But I mistrust you haven't any too much sense yet. It's  not  to  be
expected, of course. Experience teaches sense. You can't  learn  it  in  a
college course. You've been to college four years and I never was,  but  I
know heaps more than you do, young ladies."

          "`There are lots of things that never go by rule,
            There's a powerful pile o' knowledge
            That you never get at college,
            There are heaps of things you never learn at school,'"

    quoted Stella.
    "Have you learned anything  at  Redmond  except  dead  languages  and
geometry and such trash?" queried Aunt Jamesina.
    "Oh, yes. I think we have, Aunty," protested Anne.
    "We've learned the truth of what Professor  Woodleigh  told  us  last
Philomathic," said Phil. "He said, `Humor is the spiciest condiment in the
feast of existence. Laugh at your mistakes but learn from them, joke  over
your troubles  but  gather  strength  from  them,  make  a  jest  of  your
difficulties but overcome them.' Isn't that worth learning, Aunt Jimsie?"
    "Yes, it is, dearie. When you've learned to laugh at the things  that
should be laughed at, and not to laugh at those that shouldn't, you've got
wisdom and understanding."
    "What have you got  out  of  your  Redmond  course,  Anne?"  murmured
Priscilla aside.
    "I think," said Anne slowly, "that I really have learned to look upon
each little hindrance as a jest and each great one as the foreshadowing of
victory. Summing up, I think that is what Redmond has given me."
    "I shall have to fall back on another Professor  Woodleigh  quotation
to express what it has done for me," said Priscilla. "You remember that he
said in his address, `There is so much in the world for us all if we  only
have the eyes to see it, and the heart to love it, and the hand to  gather
it to ourselves - so much in men and women, so much in art and literature,
so much everywhere in which to delight, and for which to be  thankful.'  I
think Redmond has taught me that in some measure, Anne."
    "Judging from what you all, say" remarked Aunt Jamesina, "the sum and
substance is that you can learn - if you've got natural gumption enough  -
in four years at college what it would take about twenty years  of  living
to teach you. Well, that justifies higher education in my opinion. It's  a
matter I was always dubious about before."
    "But what about people who haven't natural gumption, Aunt Jimsie?"
    "People who haven't natural  gumption  never  learn,"  retorted  Aunt
Jamesina, "neither in college nor life. If they live to be a hundred  they
really don't know anything more than  when  they  were  born.  It's  their
misfortune not their fault, poor souls. But those  of  us  who  have  some
gumption should duly thank the Lord for it."
    "Will you please define what gumption is, Aunt Jimsie?" asked Phil.
    "No, I won't, young woman. Any one who has gumption knows what it is,
and any one who hasn't can never know what it is. So there is no  need  of
defining it."
    The busy days flew by and examinations  were  over.  Anne  took  High
Honors in  English.  Priscilla  took  Honors  in  Classics,  and  Phil  in
Mathematics.  Stella  obtained  a  good  all-round  showing.   Then   came
    "This is what I would once have called an epoch  in  my  life,"  said
Anne, as she took Roy's violets  out  of  their  box  and  gazed  at  them
thoughtfully. She meant to carry them, of course, but her eyes wandered to
another box on her table. It  was  filled  with  lilies-of-the-valley,  as
fresh and fragrant as those which bloomed in the Green  Gables  yard  when
June came to Avonlea. Gilbert Blythe's card lay beside it.
    Anne  wondered  why  Gilbert  should  have  sent  her   flowers   for
Convocation. She had seen very little of him during the  past  winter.  He
had come to Patty's Place only one  Friday  evening  since  the  Christmas
holidays, and they rarely met elsewhere. She knew  he  was  studying  very
hard, aiming at High Honors and the Cooper Prize, and he took little  part
in the social doings of Redmond. Anne's own  winter  had  been  quite  gay
socially. She had seen a good deal of the Gardners; she and  Dorothy  were
very intimate; college circles expected the announcement of her engagement
to Roy any day. Anne expected it herself. Yet just before she left Patty's
Place for Convocation she flung Roy's  violets  aside  and  put  Gilbert's
lilies-of-the-valley in their place. She could not have told why  she  did
it. Somehow, old Avonlea days and dreams and friendships seemed very close
to her in this attainment of her long-cherished ambitions. She and Gilbert
had once picturedout merrily the day on which they should  be  capped  and
gowned graduates in Arts. The wonderful day had come and Roy's violets had
no place in it. Only her old friend's flowers seemed  to  belong  to  this
fruition of old-blossoming hopes which he had once shared.
    For years this day had beckoned and allured to her; but when it  came
the one single, keen, abiding memory it left with her was not that of  the
breathless moment when the stately president of Redmond gave her  cap  and
diploma and hailed her B.A.; it was not of the  flash  in  Gilbert's  eyes
when he saw her lilies, nor the puzzled pained glance Roy gave her  as  he
passed her on the platform. It was not of  Aline  Gardner's  condescending
congratulations, or Dorothy's ardent, impulsive good wishes. It was of one
strange, unaccountable pang that spoiled this long-expected  day  for  her
and left in it a certain faint but enduring flavor of bitterness.
    The Arts graduates gave a graduation  dance  that  night.  When  Anne
dressed for it she tossed aside the pearl beads she usually wore and  took
from her trunk the small box that had come to Green  Gables  on  Christmas
day. In it was a thread-like gold chain with a tiny pink enamel heart as a
pendant. On the accompanying card was written, "With all good wishes  from
your old chum, Gilbert." Anne, laughing over the memory the  enamel  heart
conjured up the fatal day when Gilbert had called her "Carrots" and vainly
tried to make his peace with a pink candy heart, had written  him  a  nice
little note of thanks. But she had never worn  the  trinket.  Tonight  she
fastened it about her white throat with a dreamy smile.
    She and Phil walked to Redmond together. Anne walked in silence; Phil
chattered of many things. Suddenly she said,
    "I heard today that Gilbert Blythe's engagement to  Christine  Stuart
was to be announced as soon as Convocation was over. Did you hear anything
of it?"
    "No," said Anne.
    "I think it's true," said Phil lightly.
    Anne did not speak. In the darkness she felt her  face  burning.  She
slipped her hand inside her collar and  caught  at  the  gold  chain.  One
energetic twist and it gave way. Anne thrust the broken trinket  into  her
pocket. Her hands were trembling and her eyes were smarting.
    But she was the gayest of all the gay revellers that night, and  told
Gilbert unregretfully that her card was full when he came to ask her for a
dance. Afterwards, when she sat with the girls before the dying embers  at
Patty's Place, removing the spring chilliness from their satin skins, none
chatted more blithely than she of the day's events.
    "Moody Spurgeon MacPherson called here tonight after you left,"  said
Aunt Jamesina, who had sat up to keep the fire on. "He didn't  know  about
the graduation dance. That boy ought to sleep with a  rubber  band  around
his head to train his ears not to stick out. I had a  beau  once  who  did
that and it improved him immensely. It was I who suggested it to  him  and
he took my advice, but he never forgave me for it."
    "Moody Spurgeon is a very serious young man," yawned  Priscilla.  "He
is concerned with graver matters than his  ears.  He  is  going  to  be  a
minister, you know."
    "Well, I suppose the Lord doesn't regard the ears  of  a  man,"  said
Aunt Jamesina gravely, dropping all further criticism of  Moody  Spurgeon.
Aunt Jamesina had a proper respect for the cloth even in the  case  of  an
unfledged parson.

                               38. False Dawn

    "Just imagine - this night week  I'll  be  in  Avonlea  -  delightful
thought!" said Anne, bending over the box in which she  was  packing  Mrs.
Rachel Lynde's quilts. "But just imagine - this night week  I'll  be  gone
forever from Patty's Place - horrible thought!"
    "I wonder if the ghost of all our  laughter  will  echo  through  the
maiden dreams of Miss Patty and Miss Maria," speculated Phil.
    Miss Patty and Miss Maria were coming home, after having trotted over
most of the habitable globe.
    "We'll be back the second week in May" wrote Miss  Patty.  "I  expect
Patty's Place will seem rather small  after  the  Hall  of  the  Kings  at
Karnak, but I never did like big places to  live  in.  And  I'll  be  glad
enough to be home again. When you start traveling late in life you're  apt
to do too much of it because you know you haven't much time left, and it's
a thing that grows on you. I'm afraid Maria will never be contented again."
    "I shall leave here my fancies and dreams to bless the  next  comer,"
said Anne, looking around the blue room wistfully - her pretty  blue  room
where she had spent three such happy years. She had knelt at its window to
pray and had bent from it to watch the sunset behind the  pines.  She  had
heard the autumn raindrops beating against it and had welcomed the  spring
robins at its sill. She wondered if old dreams could  haunt  rooms  -  if,
when one left forever the room  where  she  had  joyed  and  suffered  and
laughed  and  wept,  something  of  her,  intangible  and  invisible,  yet
nonetheless real, did not remain behind like a voiceful memory.
    "I think," said Phil, "that a room where one dreams and  grieves  and
rejoices and lives becomes inseparably connected with those processes  and
acquires a personality of its own. I am sure if  I  came  into  this  room
fifty years from now it would say 'Anne, Anne'  to  me.  What  nice  times
we've had here, honey! What chats and jokes and good chummy jamborees! Oh,
dear me! I'm to marry Jo in June and I know I will be  rapturously  happy.
But just now I feel as if I wanted this  lovely  Redmond  life  to  go  on
    "I'm unreasonable enough just now to wish that, too," admitted  Anne.
"No matter what deeper joys may come to us later on we'll never again have
just the same delightful, irresponsible existence  we've  had  here.  It's
over forever, Phil."
    "What are you going to do with Rusty?" asked Phil, as that privileged
pussy padded into the room.
    "I am going to take him home with me and Joseph and  the  Sarah-cat,"
announced Aunt Jamesina, following Rusty. "It would be a shame to separate
those cats now that they have learned to live together. It's a hard lesson
for cats and humans to learn."
    "I'm sorry to part with Rusty," said Anne regretfully, "but it  would
be no use to take him to Green Gables.  Marilla  detests  cats,  and  Davy
would tease his life out. Besides, I don't suppose I'll be home very long.
I've been offered the principalship of the Summerside High School."
    "Are you going to accept it?" asked Phil.
    "I - I haven't decided yet," answered Anne, with a confused flush.
    Phil nodded understandingly. Naturally  Anne's  plans  could  not  be
settled until Roy had spoken. He would soon - there was no doubt of  that.
And there was no doubt that Anne would say "yes" when he  said  "Will  you
please?" Anne herself regarded the state of affairs with a  seldom-ruffled
complacency. She was deeply in love with Roy. True, it was not  just  what
she had imagined love to be. But was anything in life, Anne asked  herself
wearily, like one's imagination of it? It was the old diamond  disillusion
of childhood repeated - the same disappointment she had felt when she  had
first seen the chill sparkle  instead  of  the  purple  splendor  she  had
anticipated. "That's not my idea of a diamond," she had said. But Roy  was
a dear fellow and  they  would  be  very  happy  together,  even  if  some
indefinable zest was missing out of life. When Roy came down that  evening
and asked Anne to walk in the park every one at Patty's Place knew what he
had come to say; and every one knew, or thought  they  knew,  what  Anne's
answer would be.
    "Anne is a very fortunate girl," said Aunt Jamesina.
    "I suppose so," said Stella, shrugging her shoulders. "Roy is a  nice
fellow and all that. But there's really nothing in him."
    "That sounds very like a jealous remark, Stella Maynard,"  said  Aunt
Jamesina rebukingly.
    "It does - but I am not jealous," said Stella calmly.  "I  love  Anne
and I like Roy. Everybody says she is making a brilliant match,  and  even
Mrs. Gardner thinks her charming now. It all sounds as if it were made  in
heaven, but I have my doubts. Make the most of that, Aunt Jamesina."
    Roy asked Anne to marry him in the  little  pavilion  on  the  harbor
shore where they had talked on the rainy day of their first meeting.  Anne
thought it very romantic that he should have chosen  that  spot.  And  his
proposal was as beautifully worded as if he had copied it, as one of  Ruby
Gillis' lovers had done, out of a Deportment of  Courtship  and  Marriage.
The whole effect was quite flawless. And it was also sincere. There was no
doubt that Roy meant what he said. There was no  false  note  to  jar  the
symphony. Anne felt that she ought to be thrilling from head to foot.  But
she wasn't; she was horribly cool. When Roy  paused  for  his  answer  she
opened her lips to say her fateful yes.  And  then  -  she  found  herself
trembling as if she were reeling back from a precipice. To her came one of
those moments when we realize, as by a  blinding  flash  of  illumination,
more than all our previous years have taught us. She pulled her hand  from
    "Oh, I can't marry you - I can't - I can't," she cried, wildly.
    Roy turned pale - and also looked rather  foolish.  He  had  -  small
blame to him - felt very sure.
    "What do you mean?" he stammered.
    "I mean that I  can't  marry  you,"  repeated  Anne  desperately.  "I
thought I could - but I can't."
    "Why can't you?" Roy asked more calmly.
    "Because - I don't care enough for you."
    A crimson streak came into Roy's face.
    "So you've just been amusing  yourself  these  two  years?"  he  said
    "No, no, I haven't," gasped poor Anne. Oh, how could she explain? She
COULDN'T explain. There are some things that cannot be explained.  "I  did
think I cared - truly I did - but I know now I don't."
    "You have ruined my life," said Roy bitterly.
    "Forgive me," pleaded Anne miserably, with hot  cheeks  and  stinging
    Roy turned away and stood for a few minutes looking out seaward. When
he came back to Anne, he was very pale again.
    "You can give me no hope?" he said.
    Anne shook her head mutely.
    "Then - good-bye," said Roy. "I can't understand it - I can't believe
you are not the woman I've believed you to be.  But  reproaches  are  idle
between us. You are the only woman I can ever love. I thank you  for  your
friendship, at least. Good-bye, Anne."
    "Good-bye," faltered Anne. When Roy had gone she sat for a long  time
in the pavilion, watching a white mist creeping subtly  and  remorselessly
landward up the harbor. It was her hour of humiliation  and  self-contempt
and shame. Their waves went over her. And yet, underneath it  all,  was  a
queer sense of recovered freedom.
    She slipped into Patty's Place in the dusk and escaped to  her  room.
But Phil was there on the window seat.
    "Wait," said Anne, flushing to anticipate the scene.  "Wait  til  you
hear what I have to say. Phil, Roy asked me to marry him-and I refused."
    "You - you REFUSED him?" said Phil blankly.
    "Anne Shirley, are you in your senses?"
    "I think so," said Anne wearily. "Oh, Phil, don't scold me. You don't
    "I certainly don't understand. You've encouraged Roy Gardner in every
way for two years - and now you tell me you've refused  him.  Then  you've
just been flirting scandalously with him. Anne, I couldn't  have  believed
it of YOU."
    "I WASN'T flirting with him - I honestly thought I cared  up  to  the
last minute - and then - well, I just knew I NEVER could marry him."
    "I suppose," said Phil cruelly, "that you intended to marry  him  for
his money, and then your better self rose up and prevented you."
    "I DIDN'T. I never thought about his money. Oh, I can't explain it to
you any more than I could to him."
    "Well, I certainly think you have treated Roy shamefully," said  Phil
in exasperation. "He's handsome and clever and rich and good. What more do
you want?"
    "I want some one who BELONGS in my life. He doesn't. I was swept  off
my feet  at  first  by  his  good  looks  and  knack  of  paying  romantic
compliments; and later on I thought I MUST be in love because  he  was  my
dark-eyed ideal."
    "I am bad enough for not knowing my own mind,  but  you  are  worse,"
said Phil.
    "_I_ DO know my own mind," protested Anne. "The trouble is,  my  mind
changes and then I have to get acquainted with it all over again."
    "Well, I suppose there is no use in saying anything to you."
    "There is no need, Phil. I'm in the dust. This has spoiled everything
backwards. I can  never  think  of  Redmond  days  without  recalling  the
humiliation of this evening. Roy despises me - and you despise me - and  I
despise myself."
    "You poor darling," said Phil, melting. "Just come here  and  let  me
comfort you. I've no right to scold you. I'd have married Alec  or  Alonzo
if I hadn't met Jo. Oh, Anne, things are so mixed-up in  real  life.  They
aren't clear-cut and trimmed off, as they are in novels."
    "I hope that NO one will ever again ask me to marry him as long as  I
live," sobbed poor Anne, devoutly believing that she meant it.

                          39. Deals with Weddings

    Anne felt that life partook of the nature of an anticlimax during the
first few weeks after her return to Green Gables.  She  missed  the  merry
comradeship of Patty's Place. She had dreamed some brilliant dreams during
the past winter and now they lay in the dust around her.  In  her  present
mood of self-disgust, she could not immediately begin dreaming again.  And
she discovered that, while solitude  with  dreams  is  glorious,  solitude
without them has few charms.
    She had not seen Roy again after their painful parting  in  the  park
pavilion; but Dorothy came to see her before she left Kingsport.
    "I'm awfully sorry you won't marry Roy," she said. "I  did  want  you
for a sister. But you are quite right. He would bore you to death. I  love
him, and he is a dear sweet boy, but really he isn't a bit interesting. He
looks as if he ought to be, but he isn't."
    "This won't spoil OUR friendship, will it, Dorothy?" Anne  had  asked
    "No, indeed. You're too good to lose. If  I  can't  have  you  for  a
sister I mean to keep you as a chum anyway. And don't fret over Roy. He is
feeling terribly just now - I have to listen to his outpourings every  day
- but he'll get over it. He always does."
    "Oh - ALWAYS?" said Anne with a slight change of voice.  "So  he  has
`got over it' before?"
    "Dear me, yes," said Dorothy frankly. "Twice before. And he raved  to
me just the same both times. Not that the others actually  refused  him  -
they simply announced their engagements to some one else. Of course,  when
he met you he vowed to me that he had never really loved before - that the
previous affairs had been merely boyish fancies. But  I  don't  think  you
need worry."
    Anne decided not to worry. Her feelings were a mixture of relief  and
resentment. Roy had certainly told her she was the only one  he  had  ever
loved. No doubt he believed it. But it was a comfort to feel that she  had
not, in all likelihood, ruined his life. There were other  goddesses,  and
Roy, according to Dorothy, must  needs  be  worshipping  at  some  shrine.
Nevertheless, life was stripped of several more illusions, and Anne  began
to think drearily that it seemed rather bare.
    She came down from the porch gable on the evening of her return  with
a sorrowful face.
    "What has happened to the old Snow Queen, Marilla?"
    "Oh, I knew you'd feel bad over that,"  said  Marilla.  "I  felt  bad
myself. That tree was there ever since I was a young girl. It blew down in
the big gale we had in March. It was rotten at the core."
    "I'll miss it so," grieved Anne. "The porch gable  doesn't  seem  the
same room without it. I'll never look from  its  window  again  without  a
sense of loss. And oh, I never came home to Green Gables before that Diana
wasn't here to welcome me."
    "Diana has something else to think of  just  now,"  said  Mrs.  Lynde
    "Well, tell me all the Avonlea news," said Anne, sitting down on  the
porch steps, where the evening sunshine fell  over  her  hair  in  a  fine
golden rain.
    "There isn't much news except what we've wrote you," said Mrs. Lynde.
"I suppose you haven't heard that Simon Fletcher broke his leg last  week.
It's a great thing for his family. They're getting a hundred  things  done
that they've always wanted to do but couldn't as long as he was about, the
old crank."
    "He came of an aggravating family," remarked Marilla.
    "Aggravating?  Well,  rather!  His  mother  used   to   get   up   in
prayer-meeting and tell all her children's shortcomings  and  ask  prayers
for them. `Course it made them mad, and worse than ever."
    "You haven't told Anne the news about Jane," suggested Marilla.
    "Oh, Jane," sniffed Mrs.  Lynde.  "Well,"  she  conceded  grudgingly,
"Jane Andrews is home from the West - came last week - and she's going  to
be married to a Winnipeg millionaire. You may be sure Mrs. Harmon lost  no
time in telling it far and wide."
    "Dear old Jane - I'm so glad," said Anne heartily. "She deserves  the
good things of life."
    "Oh, I ain't saying anything against Jane. She's a nice enough  girl.
But she isn't in the millionaire class, and you'll find there's  not  much
to recommend that man but his money, that's what. Mrs. Harmon says he's an
Englishman who has made money in mines but _I_ believe he'll turn  out  to
be a Yankee. He certainly must have money, for he has just  showered  Jane
with jewelry. Her engagement ring is a diamond  cluster  so  big  that  it
looks like a plaster on Jane's fat paw."
    Mrs. Lynde could not keep some bitterness out of her tone.  Here  was
Jane Andrews, that plain little plodder, engaged to a  millionaire,  while
Anne, it seemed, was not yet bespoken by any one, rich or poor.  And  Mrs.
Harmon Andrews did brag insufferably.
    "What has Gilbert Blythe been doing to at college?" asked Marilla. "I
saw him when he came home last week, and he is so pale and thin  I  hardly
knew him."
    "He studied very hard last winter," said Anne. "You know he took High
Honors in Classics and the Cooper Prize. It hasn't  been  taken  for  five
years! So I think he's rather run down. We're all a little tired."
    "Anyhow, you're a B.A. and Jane Andrews isn't  and  never  will  be,"
said Mrs. Lynde, with gloomy satisfaction.
    A few evenings later Anne went down to see Jane, but the  latter  was
away in Charlottetown - "getting sewing done," Mrs. Harmon  informed  Anne
proudly. "Of course an Avonlea dressmaker wouldn't do for Jane  under  the
    "I've heard something very nice about Jane," said Anne.
    "Yes, Jane has done pretty well, even if she isn't a B.A.," said Mrs.
Harmon, with a slight toss of her head. "Mr. Inglis is worth millions, and
they're going to Europe on their wedding tour. When they come back they'll
live in a perfect mansion of marble in Winnipeg. Jane has only one trouble
- she can cook so well and her husband won't let her cook. He is  so  rich
he hires his cooking done. They're going to keep  a  cook  and  two  other
maids and a coachman and a man-of-all-work. But what about  YOU,  Anne?  I
don't hear anything of your being married, after all your college-going."
    "Oh," laughed Anne, "I am going to be an old  maid.  I  really  can't
find any one to suit me." It was rather wicked of  her.  She  deliberately
meant to remind Mrs. Andrews that if she became an old  maid  it  was  not
because she had not had at least one chance of marriage. But  Mrs.  Harmon
took swift revenge.
    "Well, the over-particular girls generally get left,  I  notice.  And
what's this I hear about Gilbert Blythe being engaged to  a  Miss  Stuart?
Charlie Sloane tells me she is perfectly beautiful. Is it true?"
    "I don't know if it is true that  he  is  engaged  to  Miss  Stuart,"
replied Anne, with Spartan composure, "but it is certainly true  that  she
is very lovely."
    "I once thought you and Gilbert would have made a match of it,"  said
Mrs. Harmon. "If you don't take care, Anne, all of your  beaux  will  slip
through your fingers."
    Anne decided not to continue her duel with Mrs. Harmon. You could not
fence with an antagonist who met rapier thrust with blow of battle axe.
    "Since Jane is away," she said, rising haughtily, "I  don't  think  I
can stay longer this morning. I'll come down when she comes home."
    "Do," said Mrs. Harmon effusively. "Jane isn't a bit proud. She  just
means to associate with her old friends the same as ever. She'll  be  real
glad to see you."
    Jane's millionaire arrived the last of May and carried her off  in  a
blaze of splendor. Mrs. Lynde was spitefully gratified to  find  that  Mr.
Inglis was every day of forty, and short and thin and grayish. Mrs.  Lynde
did not spare him in her enumeration of his shortcomings, you may be sure.
    "It will take all his gold to gild a pill  like  him,  that's  what,"
said Mrs. Rachel solemnly.
    "He looks kind and good-hearted," said Anne loyally, "and I'm sure he
thinks the world of Jane."
    "Humph!" said Mrs. Rachel.
    Phil Gordon  was  married  the  next  week  and  Anne  went  over  to
Bolingbroke to be her bridesmaid. Phil made a dainty fairy of a bride, and
the Rev. Jo was so radiant in his happiness that nobody thought him plain.
    "We're going for a lovers' saunter through the land  of  Evangeline,"
said Phil, "and then we'll settle down on Patterson Street. Mother  thinks
it is terrible - she thinks Jo might at least take a church  in  a  decent
place. But the wilderness of the Patterson slums  will  blossom  like  the
rose for me if Jo is there. Oh, Anne, I'm so happy my heart aches with it."
    Anne was always glad in the happiness  of  her  friends;  but  it  is
sometimes a little lonely to be surrounded everywhere by a happiness  that
is not your own. And it was just the same when she went back  to  Avonlea.
This time it was Diana who was bathed in the wonderful glory that comes to
a woman when her first-born is laid beside her. Anne looked at  the  white
young mother with a certain awe that had never entered into  her  feelings
for Diana before. Could this pale woman with the rapture in  her  eyes  be
the little  black-curled,  rosy-cheeked  Diana  she  had  played  with  in
vanished schooldays? It gave her a queer desolate feeling that she herself
somehow belonged only in those past years  and  had  no  business  in  the
present at all.
    "Isn't he perfectly beautiful?" said Diana proudly.
    The little fat fellow was absurdly like Fred - just as round, just as
red. Anne really could  not  say  conscientiously  that  she  thought  him
beautiful, but she vowed sincerely that he  was  sweet  and  kissable  and
altogether delightful.
    "Before he came I wanted a girl, so that I could call her ANNE," said
Diana. "But now that little Fred is here I wouldn't  exchange  him  for  a
million girls. He just COULDN'T have been anything but  his  own  precious
    "`Every little baby is the sweetest and  the  best,'  "  quoted  Mrs.
Allan gaily. "If little Anne HAD come you'd have felt just the same  about
    Mrs. Allan was visiting in Avonlea, for the first time since  leaving
it. She was as gay and sweet and sympathetic as ever. Her old girl friends
had welcomed her back rapturously. The reigning  minister's  wife  was  an
estimable lady, but she was not exactly a kindred spirit.
    "I can hardly wait till he gets old enough to talk," sighed Diana. "I
just long to hear him say `mother.' And oh, I'm determined that his  first
memory of me shall be a nice one. The first memory I have of my mother  is
of her slapping me for something I had done. I am sure I deserved it,  and
mother was always a good mother and I love her dearly. But I  do  wish  my
first memory of her was nicer."
    "I have just one memory of my mother and it is the sweetest of all my
memories," said Mrs. Allan. "I was five years old, and I had been  allowed
to go to school one day with my two older sisters. When school came out my
sisters went home in different groups,  each  supposing  I  was  with  the
other. Instead I had run off with a little  girl  I  had  played  with  at
recess. We went to her home, which was near the school, and  began  making
mud pies. We were having a glorious time when  my  older  sister  arrived,
breathless and angry.
    "`You naughty girl"  she  cried,  snatching  my  reluctant  hand  and
dragging me along with her. `Come home this minute. Oh,  you're  going  to
catch it! Mother is awful cross. She is going to give you a good whipping.
    "I had never been whipped. Dread and terror  filled  my  poor  little
heart. I have never been so miserable in my life as I  was  on  that  walk
home. I had not meant to be naughty. Phemy Cameron had asked me to go home
with her and I had not known it was wrong to go.  And  now  I  was  to  be
whipped for it. When we got home my sister dragged  me  into  the  kitchen
where mother was sitting by the fire in the twilight.  My  poor  wee  legs
were trembling so that I could hardly stand. And mother - mother just took
me up in her arms, without one word of rebuke or harshness, kissed me  and
held me close to her heart. `I was so frightened you were lost,  darling,'
she said tenderly. I could see the love shining in her eyes as she  looked
down on me. She never scolded or reproached me for what I had done -  only
told me I must never go away again without  asking  permission.  She  died
very soon afterwards. That is the only memory I have of her.  Isn't  it  a
beautiful one?"
    Anne felt lonelier than ever as she walked home, going by way of  the
Birch Path and Willowmere. She had not walked that way for many moons.  It
was a darkly-purple bloomy night. The air was heavy with blossom fragrance
- almost too heavy. The cloyed senses recoiled from it as from an overfull
cup. The birches of the path had grown from the fairy saplings of  old  to
big trees. Everything had changed. Anne felt that she would be  glad  when
the summer was over and she was away at work again. Perhaps life would not
seem so empty then.

          "`I've tried the world - it wears no more
            The coloring of romance it wore,'"

    sighed Anne - and was straightway much comforted by  the  romance  in
the idea of the world being denuded of romance!

                          40. A Book of Revelation

    The Irvings came back to Echo Lodge for the summer, and Anne spent  a
happy three weeks there in July. Miss Lavendar had not changed;  Charlotta
the Fourth was a very grown-up young  lady  now,  but  still  adored  Anne
    "When all's said and done, Miss Shirley, ma'am, I  haven't  seen  any
one in Boston that's equal to you," she said frankly.
    Paul was almost grown up, too. He was sixteen, his chestnut curls had
given place to close-cropped brown locks, and he was  more  interested  in
football than fairies. But the bond between him and his old teacher  still
held. Kindred spirits alone do not change with changing years.
    It was a wet, bleak, cruel evening in July when  Anne  came  back  to
Green Gables. One of the fierce summer storms which sometimes  sweep  over
the gulf was ravaging the sea. As Anne came in the first raindrops  dashed
against the panes.
    "Was that Paul who brought you home?" asked Marilla. "Why didn't  you
make him stay all night. It's going to be a wild evening."
    "He'll reach Echo Lodge before the rain gets  very  heavy,  I  think.
Anyway, he wanted to go back tonight. Well, I've had a splendid visit, but
I'm glad to see you dear folks again. `East,  west,  hame's  best.'  Davy,
have you been growing again lately?"
    "I've growed a whole inch since you left," said Davy proudly. "I'm as
tall as Milty Boulter now. Ain't I glad. He'll have to stop crowing  about
being bigger. Say, Anne, did you know that Gilbert Blythe is dying?"  Anne
stood quite silent and motionless, looking at Davy. Her face had  gone  so
white that Marilla thought she was going to faint.
    "Davy, hold your tongue," said Mrs. Rachel angrily. "Anne, don't look
like that - DON'T LOOK LIKE THAT! We didn't mean to tell you so suddenly."
    "Is - it - true?" asked Anne in a voice that was not hers.
    "Gilbert is very ill," said Mrs. Lynde gravely. "He  took  down  with
typhoid fever just after you left for Echo Lodge. Did you  never  hear  of
    "No," said that unknown voice.
    "It was a very bad case from the start. The  doctor  said  he'd  been
terribly run down. They've a trained nurse  and  everything's  been  done.
DON'T look like that, Anne. While there's life there's hope."
    "Mr. Harrison was here this evening and he said they had no  hope  of
him," reiterated Davy.
    Marilla, looking old and worn and tired,  got  up  and  marched  Davy
grimly out of the kitchen.
    "Oh, DON'T look so, dear," said Mrs. Rachel,  putting  her  kind  old
arms about the pallid girl. "I haven't given up hope,  indeed  I  haven't.
He's got the Blythe constitution in his favor, that's what."
    Anne gently put Mrs. Lynde's  arms  away  from  her,  walked  blindly
across the kitchen, through the hall, up the stairs to her  old  room.  At
its window she knelt down, staring out unseeingly. It was very  dark.  The
rain was beating down over the shivering fields.  The  Haunted  Woods  was
full of the groans of mighty trees wrung  in  the  tempest,  and  the  air
throbbed with the thunderous crash of billows on the  distant  shore.  And
Gilbert was dying!
    There is a book of Revelation in every one's life, as there is in the
Bible. Anne read hers that bitter night, as she kept  her  agonized  vigil
through the hours of storm and darkness. She loved Gilbert  -  had  always
loved him! She knew that now. She knew that she could no more cast him out
of her life without agony than she could have cut off her right  hand  and
cast it from her. And the knowledge had come too late - too late even  for
the bitter solace of being with him at the last. If she had  not  been  so
blind - so foolish - she would have had the right to go to him now. But he
would never know that she loved him - he would  go  away  from  this  life
thinking that  she  did  not  care.  Oh,  the  black  years  of  emptiness
stretching before her! She could not live through them -  she  could  not!
She cowered down by her window and wished, for the first time in  her  gay
young life, that she could die,  too.  If  Gilbert  went  away  from  her,
without one word or sign or message, she could not live.  Nothing  was  of
any value without him. She belonged to him and he to her. In her  hour  of
supreme agony she had no doubt of that. He did not love Christine Stuart -
never had loved Christine Stuart. Oh, what a fool  she  had  been  not  to
realize what the bond was that had held her to Gilbert - to think that the
flattered fancy she had felt for Roy Gardner had been love.  And  now  she
must pay for her folly as for a crime.
    Mrs. Lynde and Marilla crept to her door before  they  went  to  bed,
shook their heads doubtfully at each other  over  the  silence,  and  went
away. The storm raged all night, but when the dawn came it was spent. Anne
saw a fairy fringe of light on the skirts of darkness.  Soon  the  eastern
hilltops had a fire-shot ruby rim. The clouds rolled themselves away  into
great, soft, white masses  on  the  horizon;  the  sky  gleamed  blue  and
silvery. A hush fell over the world.
    Anne rose from her knees and crept downstairs. The freshness  of  the
rain-wind blew against her white face as she went out into the  yard,  and
cooled her dry, burning eyes. A merry rollicking whistle  was  lilting  up
the lane. A moment later Pacifique Buote came in sight.
    Anne's physical strength suddenly failed her. If she had not clutched
at a low  willow  bough  she  would  have  fallen.  Pacifique  was  George
Fletcher's hired man, and George Fletcher lived next door to the  Blythes.
Mrs. Fletcher was Gilbert's aunt. Pacifique would know if - if - Pacifique
would know what there was to be known.
    Pacifique strode sturdily on along the red lane,  whistling.  He  did
not see Anne. She made three futile attempts to call him.  He  was  almost
past before she succeeded in making her quivering lips call, "Pacifique!"
    Pacifique turned with a grin and a cheerful good morning.
    "Pacifique," said Anne faintly, "did you come from George  Fletcher's
this morning?"
    "Sure," said Pacifique amiably. "I got de  word  las'  night  dat  my
fader, he was seeck. It was so stormy dat I couldn't go den,  so  I  start
vair early dis mornin'. I'm goin' troo de woods for short cut."
    "Did  you  hear  how  Gilbert  Blythe  was  this   morning?"   Anne's
desperation drove her to the  question.  Even  the  worst  would  be  more
endurable than this hideous suspense.
    "He's better," said Pacifique. "He got de turn las' night. De  doctor
say he'll be all right now dis soon while. Had  close  shave,  dough!  Dat
boy, he jus' keel himself at college. Well, I  mus'  hurry.  De  old  man,
he'll be in hurry to see me."
    Pacifique resumed his walk and his whistle. Anne gazed after him with
eyes where joy was driving out the strained anguish of the night. He was a
very lank, very ragged, very homely youth. But in  her  sight  he  was  as
beautiful as those who bring good tidings on the mountains. Never, as long
as she lived, would Anne see Pacifique's  brown,  round,  black-eyed  face
without a warm remembrance of the moment when he had given to her the  oil
of joy for mourning.
    Long after Pacifique's gay whistle had  faded  into  the  phantom  of
music and then into silence far up under the maples of Lover's  Lane  Anne
stood under the willows, tasting the poignant sweetness of life when  some
great dread has been removed from it. The morning was a  cup  filled  with
mist and glamor. In the corner near her was a rich surprise of  new-blown,
crystal-dewed roses. The trills and trickles of song from the birds in the
big tree above her seemed in perfect accord with her mood. A sentence from
a very old, very true, very wonderful Book came to her lips,
    "Weeping may endure for a night but joy cometh in the morning."

                    41. Love Takes Up the Glass of Time

    "I've come up to ask you to  go  for  one  of  our  old-time  rambles
through  September  woods  and  `over  hills  where  spices  grow,'   this
afternoon,"  said  Gilbert,  coming  suddenly  around  the  porch  corner.
"Suppose we visit Hester Gray's garden."
    Anne, sitting on the stone step with her lap full of a  pale,  filmy,
green stuff, looked up rather blankly.
    "Oh, I wish I could," she said slowly, "but I really can't,  Gilbert.
I'm going to Alice Penhallow's wedding this evening, you know. I've got to
do something to this dress, and by the time it's finished I'll have to get
ready. I'm so sorry. I'd love to go."
    "Well,  can  you  go  tomorrow  afternoon,  then?"   asked   Gilbert,
apparently not much disappointed.
    "Yes, I think so."
    "In that case I shall hie me home at once to do  something  I  should
otherwise have to do  tomorrow.  So  Alice  Penhallow  is  to  be  married
tonight. Three weddings for you in one summer, Anne - Phil's, Alice's, and
Jane's. I'll never forgive Jane for not inviting me to her wedding."
    "You really can't blame her when you think of the tremendous  Andrews
connection who had to be invited. The house could hardly hold them all.  I
was only bidden by grace of being Jane's old chum -  at  least  on  Jane's
part. I think Mrs. Harmon's motive for inviting  me  was  to  let  me  see
Jane's surpassing gorgeousness."
    "Is it true that she wore so many diamonds  that  you  couldn't  tell
where the diamonds left off and Jane began?"
    Anne laughed.
    "She certainly wore a good many. What with all the diamonds and white
satin and tulle and lace and roses and orange blossoms, prim  little  Jane
was almost lost to sight. But she was VERY happy, and so was Mr. Inglis  -
and so was Mrs. Harmon."
    "Is that the dress you're going  to  wear  tonight?"  asked  Gilbert,
looking down at the fluffs and frills.
    "Yes. Isn't it pretty? And I shall wear starflowers in my  hair.  The
Haunted Wood is full of them this summer."
    Gilbert had a sudden vision of Anne, arrayed in a frilly green  gown,
with the virginal curves of arms and throat slipping out of it, and  white
stars shining against the coils of her ruddy hair.  The  vision  made  him
catch his breath. But he turned lightly away.
    "Well, I'll be up tomorrow. Hope you'll have a nice time tonight."
    Anne looked after him as he strode  away,  and  sighed.  Gilbert  was
friendly - very friendly - far too friendly. He had come  quite  often  to
Green Gables after his recovery, and something of  their  old  comradeship
had returned. But Anne no longer found it satisfying.  The  rose  of  love
made the blossom of friendship pale and scentless by  contrast.  And  Anne
had again begun to  doubt  if  Gilbert  now  felt  anything  for  her  but
friendship. In the common light of common day  her  radiant  certainty  of
that rapt morning had faded. She was haunted by a miserable fear that  her
mistake could never  be  rectified.  It  was  quite  likely  that  it  was
Christine whom Gilbert loved after all. Perhaps he  was  even  engaged  to
her. Anne tried to  put  all  unsettling  hopes  out  of  her  heart,  and
reconcile herself to a future where work and ambition must take the  place
of love. She could do good, if not noble,  work  as  a  teacher;  and  the
success her little  sketches  were  beginning  to  meet  with  in  certain
editorial sanctums augured well for her budding literary dreams. But - but
- Anne picked up her green dress and sighed again.
    When Gilbert came the next afternoon he found Anne waiting  for  him,
fresh as the dawn and fair  as  a  star,  after  all  the  gaiety  of  the
preceding night. She wore a green dress - not the one she had worn to  the
wedding, but an old one which Gilbert had told her at a Redmond  reception
he liked especially. It was just the shade of green that brought  out  the
rich tints of her hair, and the starry gray of her eyes and the  iris-like
delicacy of her skin. Gilbert, glancing at her  sideways  as  they  walked
along a shadowy woodpath, thought she had never looked  so  lovely.  Anne,
glancing sideways at Gilbert, now and then,  thought  how  much  older  he
looked since his illness. It was as if  he  had  put  boyhood  behind  him
    The day was beautiful and the way  was  beautiful.  Anne  was  almost
sorry when they reached Hester Gray's garden, and  sat  down  on  the  old
bench. But it was beautiful there, too - as beautiful as it  had  been  on
the faraway day of the Golden Picnic, when Diana and  Jane  and  Priscilla
and she had found it. Then it had been lovely with narcissus and  violets;
now golden rod had kindled its fairy torches in  the  corners  and  asters
dotted it bluely. The call of the brook came up through the woods from the
valley of birches with all its old allurement; the mellow air was full  of
the purr of the sea; beyond were fields rimmed by fences bleached  silvery
gray in the suns of many summers, and long hills scarfed with the  shadows
of autumnal clouds; with the blowing of the west wind old dreams returned.
    "I think," said Anne softly, "that `the land where dreams come  true'
is in the blue haze yonder, over that little valley."
    "Have you any unfulfilled dreams, Anne?" asked Gilbert.
    Something in his tone -  something  she  had  not  heard  since  that
miserable evening in the orchard at Patty's Place - made Anne's heart beat
wildly. But she made answer lightly.
    "Of course. Everybody has. It wouldn't do for  us  to  have  all  our
dreams fulfilled. We would be as good as dead if we had  nothing  left  to
dream about. What a delicious aroma that low-descending sun is  extracting
from the asters and ferns. I wish we could see perfumes as well  as  smell
them. I'm sure they would be very beautiful."
    Gilbert was not to be thus sidetracked.
    "I have a dream," he said slowly. "I persist in dreaming it, although
it has often seemed to me that it could never come true. I dream of a home
with a hearth-fire in it, a cat and dog, the footsteps of  friends  -  and
    Anne wanted to speak but she  could  find  no  words.  Happiness  was
breaking over her like a wave. It almost frightened her.
    "I asked you a question over two years ago, Anne. If I ask  it  again
today will you give me a different answer?"
    Still Anne could not speak. But she lifted her eyes, shining with all
the love-rapture of countless generations,  and  looked  into  his  for  a
moment. He wanted no other answer.
    They lingered in the old garden until twilight, sweet as dusk in Eden
must have been, crept over it. There was so much to talk over and recall -
things said and done and heard and thought and felt and misunderstood.
    "I  thought  you  loved  Christine  Stuart,"  Anne   told   him,   as
reproachfully as if she had not given him every reason to suppose that she
loved Roy Gardner.
    Gilbert laughed boyishly.
    "Christine was engaged to somebody in her home town. I  knew  it  and
she knew I knew it. When her brother graduated he told me his  sister  was
coming to Kingsport the next winter to take music, and asked me if I would
look after her a bit, as she knew no one and would be very  lonely.  So  I
did. And then I liked Christine for her own sake. She is one of the nicest
girls I've ever known. I knew college gossip credited  us  with  being  in
love with each other. I didn't care. Nothing mattered much  to  me  for  a
time there, after you told me you could never love  me,  Anne.  There  was
nobody else - there never could be anybody else for me but you. I've loved
you ever since that day you broke your slate over my head in school."
    "I don't see how you could keep on loving me when I was such a little
fool," said Anne.
    "Well, I tried to stop," said Gilbert frankly, "not because I thought
you what you call yourself, but because I felt sure there  was  no  chance
for me after Gardner came on the scene. But I couldn't - and I can't  tell
you, either, what it's meant to me these two years  to  believe  you  were
going to marry him, and be told every week  by  some  busybody  that  your
engagement was on the point of being announced. I believed  it  until  one
blessed day when I was sitting up after the fever. I  got  a  letter  from
Phil Gordon - Phil Blake, rather - in which she told me there  was  really
nothing between you and Roy, and advised me  to  `try  again.'  Well,  the
doctor was amazed at my rapid recovery after that."
    Anne laughed - then shivered.
    "I can never forget the night I thought you were dying, Gilbert.  Oh,
I knew - I KNEW then - and I thought it was too late."
    "But it wasn't, sweetheart. Oh, Anne, this makes up  for  everything,
doesn't it? Let's resolve to keep this day sacred to  perfect  beauty  all
our lives for the gift it has given us."
    "It's the birthday of our happiness," said Anne softly. "I've  always
loved this old garden of Hester Gray's, and now it  will  be  dearer  than
    "But I'll have to ask you to wait a long time,  Anne,"  said  Gilbert
sadly. "It will be three years before I'll finish my medical  course.  And
even then there will be no diamond sunbursts and marble halls."
    Anne laughed.
    "I don't want sunbursts and marble halls. I just want  YOU.  You  see
I'm quite as shameless as Phil about it. Sunbursts and marble halls may be
all very well, but there is more `scope for imagination' without them. And
as for the waiting, that doesn't matter. We'll just be happy, waiting  and
working for each other - and dreaming. Oh, dreams will be very sweet now."
    Gilbert drew her close to him and kissed her. Then they  walked  home
together in the dusk, crowned king and queen in the bridal realm of  love,
along winding paths fringed with the sweetest flowers that  ever  bloomed,
and over haunted meadows where winds of hope and memory blew.

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