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                          ANNE OF GREEN GABLES by Lucy Maud Montgomery

                  1. Mrs. Rachel Lynde is Surprised

    Mrs. Rachel Lynde lived just where the Avonlea main road dipped  down
into a little  hollow,  fringed  with  alders  and  ladies'  eardrops  and
traversed by a brook that had its source away back in the woods of the old
Cuthbert place; it was reputed to be an intricate, headlong brook  in  its
earlier course through those woods, with dark secrets of pool and cascade;
but by the time it reached Lynde's Hollow it was a  quiet,  well-conducted
little stream, for not even a brook could run  past  Mrs.  Rachel  Lynde's
door without due regard for decency and decorum; it probably was conscious
that Mrs. Rachel was sitting  at  her  window,  keeping  a  sharp  eye  on
everything that passed, from brooks and  children  up,  and  that  if  she
noticed anything odd or out of place she would never rest  until  she  had
ferreted out the whys and wherefores thereof.
    There are plenty of people in Avonlea and out of it, who  can  attend
closely to their neighbor's business by dint of neglecting their own;  but
Mrs. Rachel Lynde was one of those capable creatures who can manage  their
own concerns and those of other folks into the bargain. She was a  notable
housewife; her work was always done and well done; she  "ran"  the  Sewing
Circle, helped run the Sunday-school, and was the strongest  prop  of  the
Church Aid Society and Foreign Missions Auxiliary. Yet with all this  Mrs.
Rachel found abundant time  to  sit  for  hours  at  her  kitchen  window,
knitting "cotton warp" quilts-she had knitted sixteen of them, as  Avonlea
housekeepers were wont to tell in awed voices-and keeping a sharp  eye  on
the main road that crossed the hollow and wound  up  the  steep  red  hill
beyond. Since Avonlea occupied a little triangular peninsula  jutting  out
into the Gulf of St. Lawrence with water on two sides of it,  anybody  who
went out of it or into it had to pass over that hill road and so  run  the
unseen gauntlet of Mrs. Rachel's all-seeing eye.
    She was sitting there one afternoon in early June. The sun was coming
in at the window warm and bright; the orchard on the slope below the house
was in a bridal flush of pinkywhite bloom, hummed  over  by  a  myriad  of
bees. Thomas Lyndea meek little man whom  Avonlea  people  called  "Rachel
Lynde's husband"-was sowing his late turnip seed on the hill field  beyond
the barn; and Matthew Cuthbert ought to have been sowing his  on  the  big
red brook field away over by Green Gables. Mrs. Rachel know that he  ought
because she had heard him  tell  Peter  Morrison  the  evening  before  in
William J. Blair's store over at Carmody that he meant to sow  his  turnip
seed the afternoon. Peter had asked him, of course, for  Matthew  Cuthbert
had never been known to volunteer information about anything in his  whole
    And yet  here  was  Matthew  Cuthbert,  at  half-past  three  on  the
afternoon of a busy day, placidly driving over the hollow and up the hill;
moreover, he wore a white collar and his best suit of clothes,  which  was
plain proof that he was going out of Avonlea; and he  had  the  buggy  and
sorrel mare, which betokened that he was going  a  considerable  distance.
Now, where was Matthew Cuthbert going and why was he going there?
    Had it been any other man in Avonlea,  Mrs.  Rachel,  deftly  putting
this and that together, might have given a pretty good guess  as  to  both
questions. But Matthew so rarely went from home that it must be  something
pressing and unusual which was taking him; he was the shyest man alive and
hated to have to go among strangers or to any place where he might have to
talk. Matthew, dressed up with a white collar and driving in a buggy,  was
something that didn't happen often. Mrs.  Rachel,  ponder  as  she  might,
could make nothing of it and her afternoon's enjoyment was spoiled.
    "I'll just step over to Green Gables after  tea  and  find  out  from
Marilla where he's gone and why," the worthy woman finally concluded.  "He
doesn't generally go to town this time of year and  he  NEVER  visits;  if
he'd run out of turnip seed he wouldn't dress up and take the buggy to  go
for more; he wasn't driving fast enough to be  going  for  a  doctor.  Yet
something must have happened since last night to start him off. I'm  clean
puzzled, that's what, and I  won't  know  a  minute's  peace  of  mind  or
conscience until I know what has taken Matthew  Cuthbert  out  of  Avonlea
    Accordingly after tea Mrs. Rachel set out; she had not far to go; the
big, rambling, orchard-embowered house where the  Cuthberts  lived  was  a
scant quarter of a mile up the road from Lynde's Hollow. To be  sure,  the
long lane made it a good deal further. Matthew Cuthbert's father,  as  shy
and silent as his son after him, had got as far away as he possibly  could
from his fellow men without actually retreating into  the  woods  when  he
founded his homestead. Green Gables was built at the furthest edge of  his
cleared land and there it was to this day, barely visible  from  the  main
road along which all the other Avonlea houses were so  sociably  situated.
Mrs. Rachel Lynde did not call living in such a place LIVING at all.
    "It's just STAYING, that's what," she said as she stepped  along  the
deep-rutted, grassy lane bordered with wild rose bushes. "It's  no  wonder
Matthew and Marilla are both living away back here  by  themselves.  Trees
aren't much company, though dear knows if they were there'd be  enough  of
them. I'd ruther look at people. To be sure, they seem  contented  enough;
but then, I suppose, they're used to it. A body can get used to  anything,
even to being hanged, as the Irishman said."
    With this Mrs. Rachel stepped out of the lane into  the  backyard  of
Green Gables. Very green and neat and precise was that yard, set about  on
one  side  with  great  patriarchal  willows  and  the  other  with   prim
Lombardies. Not a stray stick nor stone was to be seen,  for  Mrs.  Rachel
would have seen it if there had been. Privately she  was  of  the  opinion
that Marilla Cuthbert swept that yard over  as  often  as  she  swept  her
house. One could have eaten a meal off the ground without overbrimming the
proverbial peck of dirt.
    Mrs. Rachel rapped smartly at the kitchen door and  stepped  in  when
bidden to do so. The kitchen at Green Gables was a  cheerful  apartment-or
would have been cheerful if it had not been so painfully clean as to  give
it something of the appearance of an unused  parlor.  Its  windows  looked
east and west; through the west one, looking out on the back yard, came  a
flood of mellow June sunlight; but the east one, whence you got a  glimpse
of the bloom white cherry-trees in the left orchard and  nodding,  slender
birches down in the hollow by the brook, was greened over by a  tangle  of
vines. Here sat Marilla Cuthbert, when she sat  at  all,  always  slightly
distrustful of sunshine, which seemed to her too dancing and irresponsible
a thing for a world which was meant to be taken seriously;  and  here  she
sat now, knitting, and the table behind her was laid for supper.
    Mrs. Rachel, before she had fairly  closed  the  door,  had  taken  a
mental note of everything that was on that table. There were three  plates
laid, so that Marilla must be expecting some one home with Matthew to tea;
but the  dishes  were  everyday  dishes  and  there  was  only  crab-apple
preserves and one kind of cake, so that the expected company could not  be
any particular company. Yet what of Matthew's white collar and the  sorrel
mare? Mrs. Rachel was getting fairly dizzy with this unusual mystery about
quiet, unmysterious Green Gables.
    "Good evening, Rachel," Marilla said briskly. "This is  a  real  fine
evening, isn't it" Won't you sit down? How are all your folks?"
    Something that for lack of any other name might be called  friendship
existed and always had existed between Marilla Cuthbert and  Mrs.  Rachel,
in spite of-or perhaps because of-their dissimilarity.
    Marilla was a tall, thin woman, with angles and without  curves;  her
dark hair showed some gray streaks and was always twisted  up  in  a  hard
little knot behind with two wire hairpins stuck aggressively  through  it.
She looked like a woman of narrow experience and rigid  conscience,  which
she was; but there was a saving something about her mouth which, if it had
been ever so slightly developed, might have been considered indicative  of
a sense of humor.
    "We're all pretty well," said Mrs. Rachel. "I was kind of afraid  YOU
weren't, though, when I saw Matthew starting off today. I thought maybe he
was going to the doctor's."
    Marilla's lips twitched understandingly. She had expected Mrs. Rachel
up; she had known that the sight of Matthew jaunting off so  unaccountably
would be too much for her neighbor's curiosity.
    "Oh, no, I'm quite well although I had a bad headache yesterday," she
said. "Matthew went to Bright River. We're getting a little  boy  from  an
orphan asylum in Nova Scotia and he's coming on the train tonight."
    If Marilla had said that Matthew had gone to Bright River to  meet  a
kangaroo from Australia Mrs. Rachel could not have been  more  astonished.
She was actually stricken dumb for five seconds. It was unsupposable  that
Marilla was making fun of her,  but  Mrs.  Rachel  was  almost  forced  to
suppose it.
    "Are you in earnest, Marilla?" she demanded when  voice  returned  to
    "Yes, of course," said  Marilla,  as  if  getting  boys  from  orphan
asylums in Nova  Scotia  were  part  of  the  usual  spring  work  on  any
well-regulated Avonlea farm instead of being an unheard of innovation.
    Mrs. Rachel felt that she had received  a  severe  mental  jolt.  She
thought in exclamation points. A boy! Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert of  all
people adopting a  boy!  From  an  orphan  asylum!  Well,  the  world  was
certainly turning upside down! She would be  surprised  at  nothing  after
this! Nothing!
    "What on earth put such  a  notion  into  your  head?"  she  demanded
    This had been done without here advice being asked, and must perforce
be disapproved.
    "Well, we've been thinking about it for some time-all winter in fact,"
returned Marilla. "Mrs. Alexander Spencer was up  here  one  day  before
Christmas and she said she was going to get a little girl from the  asylum
over in Hopeton in the spring. Her cousin lives there and Mrs. Spencer has
visited here and knows all about it. So Matthew and I have talked it  over
off and on ever since. We thought we'd get a boy. Matthew is getting up in
years, you know-he's sixtyand he isn't so spry as he once was.  His  heart
troubles him a good deal. And you know how desperate hard it's got  to  be
to get hired help. There's never anybody  to  be  had  but  those  stupid,
half-grown little French boys; and as soon as you do get  one  broke  into
your ways and taught something he's up and off to the lobster canneries or
the States. At first Matthew suggested getting a Home boy. But I said `no'
flat to that. `They may be all right-I'm not  saying  they're  not-but  no
London street Arabs for me,' I said. `Give me  a  native  born  at  least.
There'll be a risk, no matter who we get. But I'll feel easier in my  mind
and sleep sounder at nights if we get a born Canadian.' So in the  end  we
decided to ask Mrs. Spencer to pick us out one when she went over  to  get
her little girl. We heard last week she was going, so we sent her word  by
Richard Spencer's folks at Carmody to bring us  a  smart,  likely  boy  of
about ten or eleven. We decided that would be the best age-old  enough  to
be of some use in doing chores right off and young enough to be trained up
proper. We mean to give him a good home and schooling. We had  a  telegram
from Mrs.  Alexander  Spencer  today-the  mail-man  brought  it  from  the
stationsaying they were  coming  on  the  five-thirty  train  tonight.  So
Matthew went to Bright River to meet him. Mrs. Spencer will drop  him  off
there. Of course she goes on to White Sands station herself"
    Mrs. Rachel prided herself on always speaking her mind; she proceeded
to speak it now, having adjusted her mental attitude to this amazing piece
of news.
    "Well, Marilla, I'll just tell you plain that I think you're doing  a
mighty foolish thing-a risky thing,  that's  what.  You  don't  know  what
you're getting. You're bringing a strange child into your house  and  home
and you don't know a single thing about him nor what  his  disposition  is
like nor what sort of parents he had nor how he's likely to turn out. Why,
it was only last week I read in the paper how a man and his wife  up  west
of the Island took a boy out of an orphan asylum and he set  fire  to  the
house at night-set it ON PURPOSE, Marilla-and nearly burnt them to a crisp
in their beds. And I know another case where an adopted boy used  to  such
the eggs-they couldn't break him of it. If you had asked my advice in  the
matter-which you didn't do, Marilla-I'd have said for mercy's sake not  to
think of such a thing, that's what."
    This Job's comforting seemed neither to offend nor alarm Marilla. She
knitted steadily on.
    "I don't deny there's something in what you  say,  Rachel.  I've  had
some qualms myself. But Matthew was terrible set on it. I could see  that,
so I gave in. It's so seldom Matthew sets his mind on anything  that  when
he does I always feel it's my duty to  give  in.  And  as  for  the  risk,
there's risks in pretty near everything a body does in this world. There's
risks in people's having children of their own if it  comes  to  that-they
don't always turn out well. And then Nova Scotia is  right  close  to  the
Island. It isn't as if we were getting him from England or the States.  He
can't be much different from ourselves."
    "Well, I hope it will turn out all right," said Mrs. Rachel in a tone
that plainly indicated her painful doubts. "Only don't say I  didn't  warn
you if he burns Green Gables down or puts strychnine in the  well-I  heard
of a case over in New Brunswick where an orphan asylum child did that  and
the whole family died in fearful agonies. Only, it  was  a  girl  in  that
    "Well, we're not getting a girl," said Marilla, as if poisoning wells
were a purely feminine accomplishment and not to be dreaded in the case of
a boy. "I'd never dream of taking a girl to bring up.  I  wonder  at  Mrs.
Alexander Spencer for doing  it.  But  there,  SHE  wouldn't  shrink  from
adopting a whole orphan asylum if she took it into her head."
    Mrs. Rachel would have liked to stay until Matthew came home with his
imported orphan. But reflecting that it would be a good two hours at least
before his arrival she concluded to go up the road to  Robert  Bell's  and
tell them the news. It would certainly make a sensation  second  to  none,
and Mrs. Rachel dearly loved to make a  sensation.  So  she  took  herself
away, somewhat to Marilla's relief, for the latter  felt  her  doubts  and
fears reviving under the influence of Mrs. Rachel's pessimism.
    "Well, of all things that ever were  or  will  be!"  ejaculated  Mrs.
Rachel when she was safely out in the lane. "It does really seem as  if  I
must be dreaming. Well, I'm sorry for that poor young one and no  mistake.
Matthew and Marilla don't know anything about children and they'll  expect
him to be wiser and steadier that his own grandfather, if so be's he  ever
had a grandfather, which is doubtful. It seems uncanny to think of a child
at Green Gables somehow; there's never been one  there,  for  Matthew  and
Marilla were grown up when the new  house  was  built-if  they  ever  WERE
children, which is hard to believe when one looks at them. I  wouldn't  be
in that orphan's shoes for anything. My, but I pity him, that's what."
    So said Mrs. Rachel to the wild rose bushes out of the fulness of her
heart; but if she could have seen the child who was waiting  patiently  at
the Bright River station at that very moment  her  pity  would  have  been
still deeper and more profound.

                     2. Matthew Cuthbert is surprised

    Matthew Cuthbert and the sorrel  mare  jogged  comfortably  over  the
eight miles to Bright River. It was a pretty road, running  along  between
snug farmsteads, with now and again a bit of balsamy  fir  wood  to  drive
through or a hollow where wild plums hung out their filmy bloom.  The  air
was sweet with the breath of many apple orchards and  the  meadows  sloped
away in the distance to horizon mists of pearl and purple; while

                 "The little birds sang as if it were
                  The one day of summer in all the year."

    Matthew enjoyed the drive after his own fashion,  except  during  the
moments when he met women and had to  nod  to  themfor  in  Prince  Edward
island you are supposed to nod to all and sundry  you  meet  on  the  road
whether you know them or not.
    Matthew dreaded all women except Marilla and Mrs. Rachel; he  had  an
uncomfortable feeling that the mysterious creatures were secretly laughing
at him. He may have been quite  right  in  thinking  so,  for  he  was  an
odd-looking personage, with an ungainly figure  and  long  iron-gray  hair
that touched his stooping shoulders, and a full, soft brown beard which he
had worn ever since he was twenty. In fact, he had looked at  twenty  very
much as he looked at sixty, lacking a little grayness.
    When he reached Bright River there was  no  sign  of  any  train;  he
thought he was too early, so he tied his horse in the yard  of  the  small
Bright River hotel and went over to the station house. The  long  platform
was almost deserted; the only living creature in sight being  a  girl  who
was sitting on a pile of shingles at  the  extreme  end.  Matthew,  barely
noting that it WAS a girl, sidled past her as quickly as possible  without
looking at her. Had he looked he could hardly have failed  to  notice  the
tense rigidity and expectation of her attitude  and  expression.  She  was
sitting there waiting for something or somebody  and,  since  sitting  and
waiting was the only thing to do just then, she sat and  waited  with  all
her might and main.
    Matthew encountered the stationmaster locking up  the  ticket  office
preparatory to going home for supper, and asked  him  if  the  five-thirty
train would soon be along.
    "The five-thirty train has been  in  and  gone  half  an  hour  ago,"
answered that brisk official. "But there was a passenger dropped  off  for
you-a little girl. She's sitting out there on the shingles. I asked her to
go into the ladies' waiting room, but she informed  me  gravely  that  she
preferred to stay outside. `There was more  scope  for  imagination,'  she
said. She's a case, I should say."
    "I'm not expecting a girl," said Matthew blankly. "It's  a  boy  I've
come for. He should be here. Mrs. Alexander Spencer was to bring him  over
from Nova Scotia for me."
    The stationmaster whistled.
    "Guess there's some mistake," he said. "Mrs.  Spencer  came  off  the
train with that girl and gave her into my charge. Said you and your sister
were adopting her from an orphan asylum and that you would  be  along  for
her presently. That's all I know about  it-and  I  haven't  got  any  more
orphans concealed hereabouts."
    "I don't understand," said Matthew helplessly, wishing  that  Marilla
was at hand to cope with the situation.
    "Well, you'd  better  question  the  girl,"  said  the  stationmaster
carelessly. "I dare say she'll be able to explainshe's got a tongue of her
own, that's certain. Maybe they were out of boys of the brand you wanted."
    He walked jauntily away, being hungry, and  the  unfortunate  Matthew
was left to do that which was harder for him than bearding a lion  in  its
den-walk up to a girl-a strange girl-an orphan girl-and demand of her  why
she wasn't a boy. Matthew  groaned  in  spirit  as  he  turned  about  and
shuffled gently down the platform towards her.
    She had been watching him ever since he had passed her  and  she  had
her eyes on him now. Matthew was not looking at her  and  would  not  have
seen what she was really like if he had been,  but  an  ordinary  observer
would have seen this:
    A child of about eleven, garbed in a very  short,  very  tight,  very
ugly dress of yellowish gray wincey. She wore a faded brown sailor hat and
beneath the hat, extending down her back, were two braids of  very  thick,
decidedly red hair.  Her  face  was  small,  white  and  thin,  also  much
freckled; her mouth was large and so were her eyes, that looked  green  in
some lights and moods and gray in others.
    So far, the ordinary observer; an extraordinary observer  might  have
seen that the chin was very pointed and pronounced; that the big eyes were
full  of  spirit  and  vivacity;  that  the  mouth  was  sweet-lipped  and
expressive; that the forehead was broad and full; in short, our discerning
extraordinary observer might  have  concluded  that  no  commonplace  soul
inhabited the body of this stray womanchild of whom shy  Matthew  Cuthbert
was so ludicrously afraid.
    Matthew, however, was spared the ordeal of  speaking  first,  for  as
soon as she concluded that he was coming to her  she  stood  up,  grasping
with one thin brown hand the handle of a shabby, old-fashioned carpet-bag;
the other she held out to him.
    "I suppose you are Mr. Matthew Cuthbert of Green Gables?" she said in
a peculiarly clear, sweet  voice.  "I'm  very  glad  to  see  you.  I  was
beginning to be afraid you weren't coming for me and I was  imagining  all
the things that might have happened to prevent you. I had made up my  mind
that if you didn't come for me to-night I'd go down the track to that  big
wild cherry-tree at the bend, and climb up into it to stay  all  night.  I
wouldn't be a bit afraid, and it would  be  lovely  to  sleep  in  a  wild
cherry-tree all white with bloom in the moonshine, don't  you  think?  You
could imagine you were dwelling in marble halls, couldn't you? And  I  was
quite sure you would come for me in the morning, if you didn't to-night."
    Matthew had taken the scrawny little hand awkwardly in his; then  and
there he decided what to do. He could not tell this child with the glowing
eyes that there had been a mistake; he would take her home and let Marilla
do that. She couldn't be left at  Bright  River  anyhow,  no  matter  what
mistake had been made, so all questions and explanations might as well  be
deferred until he was safely back at Green Gables.
    "I'm sorry I was late," he said shyly. "Come along. The horse is over
in the yard. Give me your bag."
    "Oh, I can carry it,"  the  child  responded  cheerfully.  "It  isn't
heavy. I've got all my worldly goods in it, but it isn't heavy. And if  it
isn't carried in just a certain way the handle  pulls  out-so  I'd  better
keep it because I know the exact  knack  of  it.  It's  an  extremely  old
carpet-bag. Oh, I'm very glad you've come, even if it would have been nice
to sleep in a wild cherry-tree. We've got to drive a long  piece,  haven't
we? Mrs. Spencer said it was eight miles. I'm glad because I love driving.
Oh, it seems so wonderful that I'm going to live with you  and  belong  to
you. I've never belonged to anybody-not really. But  the  asylum  was  the
worst. I've only been in it four months, but  that  was  enough.  I  don't
suppose you ever were an orphan  in  an  asylum,  so  you  can't  possibly
understand what it is like. It's worse than anything  you  could  imagine.
Mrs. Spencer said it was wicked of me to talk like that, but I didn't mean
to be wicked. It's so easy to be wicked without knowing it, isn't it? They
were good, you know-the asylum people. But there is so  little  scope  for
the imagination in an asylum-only just in the other orphans. It was pretty
interesting to imagine things about them-to imagine that perhaps the  girl
who sat next to you was really the daughter of a belted earl, who had been
stolen away from her parents in her infancy by  a  cruel  nurse  who  died
before she could confess. I used to lie awake at nights and imagine things
like that, because I didn't have time in the day. I guess that's  why  I'm
so thin-I am dreadful thin, ain't I? There isn't a pick on my bones. I  do
love to imagine I'm nice and plump, with dimples in my elbows."
    With this Matthew's companion stopped talking, partly because she was
out of breath and partly because they had reached the buggy.  Not  another
word did she say until they had left the village and were driving  down  a
steep little hill, the road part of which had been cut so deeply into  the
soft soil, that the banks, fringed with  blooming  wild  cherry-trees  and
slim white birches, were several feet above their heads.
    The child put out her hand and broke off a branch of wild  plum  that
brushed against the side of the buggy.
    "Isn't that beautiful? What did that tree, leaning out from the bank,
all white and lacy, make you think of?" she asked.
    "Well now, I dunno," said Matthew.
    "Why, a bride, of course-a bride all in white  with  a  lovely  misty
veil. I've never seen one, but I can imagine what she would look  like.  I
don't ever expect to be a bride myself. I'm so  homely  nobody  will  ever
want to marry meunless it might be  a  foreign  missionary.  I  suppose  a
foreign missionary mightn't be very particular. But I do  hope  that  some
day I shall have a white dress. That is my highest ideal of earthly bliss.
I just love pretty clothes. And I've never had a pretty dress in  my  life
that I can remember-but of course it's all the more to  look  forward  to,
isn't it? And then I can imagine that I'm dressed gorgeously. This morning
when I left the asylum I felt so ashamed because I had to wear this horrid
old wincey dress. All the orphans had to wear them, you know.  A  merchant
in Hopeton last winter donated  three  hundred  yards  of  wincey  to  the
asylum. Some people said it was because  he  couldn't  sell  it,  but  I'd
rather believe that it was out of the kindness of his heart, wouldn't you?
When we got on the train I felt as if everybody must be looking at me  and
pitying me. But I just went to work and imagined that I had  on  the  most
beautiful pale blue silk dress-because when you ARE imagining you might as
well imagine something worth while-and a big hat all flowers  and  nodding
plumes, and a gold watch, and kid gloves and  boots.  I  felt  cheered  up
right away and I enjoyed my trip to the Island with all my might. I wasn't
a bit sick coming over in the boat. Neither was Mrs. Spencer although  she
generally is. She said she hadn't time to get sick, watching to see that I
didn't fall overboard. She said she never saw the beat of me for  prowling
about. But if it kept her from being seasick it's a  mercy  I  did  prowl,
isn't it? And I wanted to see everything that was to be seen on that boat,
because I didn't know whether I'd ever have another opportunity. Oh, there
are a lot more cherry-trees all in bloom? This  Island  is  the  bloomiest
place. I just love it already, and I'm so glad I'm  going  to  live  here.
I've always heard that Prince Edward Island was the prettiest place in the
world, and I used to imagine  I  was  living  here,  but  I  never  really
expected I would. It's delightful when your imaginations come true,  isn't
it? But those red roads are so funny.  When  we  got  into  the  train  at
Charlottetown and the red roads began to flash past I asked  Mrs.  Spencer
what made them red and she said she didn't know and for pity's sake not to
ask her any more questions. She said I must  have  asked  her  a  thousand
already. I suppose I had, too, but how you going to find out about  things
if you don't ask questions? And what DOES make the roads red?"
    "Well now, I dunno," said Matthew.
    "Well, that is one of the things  to  find  out  sometime.  Isn't  it
splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about?  It  just
makes me feel glad to be aliveit's such an interesting world. It  wouldn't
be half so interesting if we know all about everything, would it?  There'd
be no scope for imagination then, would there? But am I talking too  much?
People are always telling me I do. Would you rather I didn't talk? If  you
say so I'll stop. I can STOP when I make up my mind to it,  although  it's
    Matthew, much to his own surprise, was enjoying  himself.  Like  most
quiet folks he liked talkative people when they were  willing  to  do  the
talking themselves and did not expect him to keep up his end of it. But he
had never expected to enjoy the society of a little girl. Women  were  bad
enough in all conscience, but little girls were worse. He detested the way
they had of sidling past him timidly, with sideways glances,  as  if  they
expected him to gobble them up at a mouthful if they  ventured  to  say  a
word. This was the  Avonlea  type  of  well-bred  little  girl.  But  this
freckled witch was  very  different,  and  although  he  found  it  rather
difficult for his slower intelligence to keep up  with  her  brisk  mental
processes he thought that he "kind of liked her chatter." So  he  said  as
shyly as usual:
    "Oh, you can talk as much as you like. I don't mind."
    "Oh, I'm so glad. I know you and I are going to  get  along  together
fine. It's such a relief to talk when one wants to and not  be  told  that
children should be seen and not heard. I've had that said to me a  million
times if I have once. And people laugh at me because I use big words.  But
if you have big ideas you have to use big words to express  them,  haven't
    "Well now, that seems reasonable," said Matthew.
    "Mrs. Spencer said that my tongue must be hung in the middle. But  it
isn't-it's firmly fastened at one end. Mrs. Spencer said  your  place  was
named Green Gables. I asked her all about it.  And  she  said  there  were
trees all around it. I was gladder than ever. I just love trees. And there
weren't any at all about the asylum, only a few  poor  weeny-teeny  things
out in front with little whitewashed cagey things about  them.  They  just
looked like orphans themselves, those trees did. It used to make  me  want
to cry to look at them. I used to  say  to  them,  `Oh,  you  POOR  little
things! If you were out in a great big woods with other trees  all  around
you and little mosses and Junebells growing over your roots  and  a  brook
not far away and birds singing in you branches, you could  grow,  couldn't
you? But you can't where you are. I know just exactly how you feel, little
trees.' I felt sorry to leave them behind this  morning.  You  do  get  so
attached to things like that, don't you? Is there a  brook  anywhere  near
Green Gables? I forgot to ask Mrs. Spencer that."
    "Well now, yes, there's one right below the house."
    "Fancy. It's always been one of my dreams to live  near  a  brook.  I
never expected I would, though. Dreams don't often  come  true,  do  they?
Wouldn't it be nice if they  did?  But  just  now  I  fell  pretty  nearly
perfectly happy. I can't feel exactly perfectly happy  because-well,  what
color would you call this?"
    She twitched one of her long glossy braids over her thin shoulder and
held it up before Matthew's eyes. Matthew was not used to deciding on  the
tints of ladies' tresses, but in this case there couldn't be much doubt.
    "It's red, ain't it?" he said.
    The girl let the braid drop back with a sigh that seemed to come from
her very toes and to exhale forth all the sorrows of the ages.
    "Yes, it's red," she said resignedly. "Now you see  why  I  can't  be
perfectly happy. Nobody could who has red hair. I  don't  mind  the  other
things so much-the freckles and the green eyes and my  skinniness.  I  can
imagine them away. I  can  imagine  that  I  have  a  beautiful  rose-leaf
complexion and lovely starry violet eyes. But I cannot  imagine  that  red
hair away. I do my best. I think to myself, `Now my  hair  is  a  glorious
black, black as the raven's wing.' But all the time  I  know  it  is  just
plain red and it breaks my heart. It will be my lifelong  sorrow,  but  it
wasn't red hair. Her hair was pure gold rippling back from  her  alabaster
brow. What is an alabaster brow? I never could find out. Can you tell me?"
    "Well now, I'm afraid I can't,"  said  Matthew,  who  was  getting  a
little dizzy. He felt as he had once felt in his rash youth  when  another
boy had enticed him on the merry-goround at a picnic.
    "Well, whatever it was it must have been something nice  because  she
was divinely beautiful. Have you ever imagined what it must feel  like  to
be divinely beautiful?"
    "Well now, no, I haven't," confessed Matthew ingenuously.
    "I  have,  often.  Which  would  you  rather  be  if  you   had   the
choice-divinely beautiful or dazzlingly clever or angelically good?"
    "Well now, I-I don't know exactly."
    "Neither do I. I can never decide. But  it  doesn't  make  much  real
difference for it isn't likely I'll ever  be  either.  It's  certain  I'll
never be angelically good. Mrs. Spencer says-oh,  Mr.  Cuthbert!  Oh,  Mr.
Cuthbert!! Oh, Mr. Cuthbert!!!"
    That was not what Mrs.  Spencer  had  said;  neither  had  the  child
tumbled out of the buggy nor had Matthew done anything  astonishing.  They
had simply rounded a curve  in  the  road  and  found  themselves  in  the
    The "Avenue," so called by the Newbridge people,  was  a  stretch  of
road four or five hundred yards long, completely arched  over  with  huge,
wide-spreading apple-trees, planted years ago by an eccentric old  farmer.
Overhead was one long canopy of snowy fragrant bloom. Below the boughs the
air was full of a purple twilight and  far  ahead  a  glimpse  of  painted
sunset sky shone like a great rose window at the end of a cathedral aisle.
    Its beauty seemed to strike the child dumb. She leaned  back  in  the
buggy, her thin hands clasped before her, her face lifted  rapturously  to
the white splendor above. Even when they had passed out and  were  driving
down the long slope to Newbridge she never moved or spoke. Still with rapt
face she gazed afar into the sunset  west,  with  eyes  that  say  visions
trooping splendidly across that glowing background. Through  Newbridge,  a
bustling little village where dogs barked at them and  small  boys  hooted
and curious faces peered from the windows, they drove, still  in  silence.
When three more miles had dropped away  behind  them  the  child  had  not
spoken. She could keep silence, it was evident, as  energetically  as  she
could talk.
    "I guess you're feeling pretty tired and hungry," Matthew ventured to
say at last, accounting for her long visitation of dumbness with the  only
reason he could think of. "But we haven't very far to go now-only  another
    She came out of her reverie with a deep sigh and looked at  him  with
the dreamy gaze of a soul that had been wondering afar, star-led.
    "Oh, Mr. Cuthbert," she whispered, "that place we  came  through-that
white place-what was it?"
    "Well now, you must mean  the  Avenue,"  said  Matthew  after  a  few
moments' profound reflection. "It is a kind of pretty place."
    "Pretty?  Oh,  PRETTY  doesn't  seem  the  right  word  to  use.  Nor
beautiful,   either.   They   don't   go   far   enough.   Oh,   it    was
wonderful-wonderful. It's the first thing I  ever  saw  that  couldn't  be
improved upon by imagination. It just satisfies me here"-she put one  hand
on her breast-"it made a queer funny ache and yet it was a pleasant  ache.
Did you ever have an ache like that, Mr. Cuthbert?"
    "Well now, I just can't recollect that I ever had."
    "I have it lots of time-whenever I see  anything  royally  beautiful.
But they shouldn't call that lovely place the Avenue. There is no  meaning
in a name like that. They should call  it-let  me  see-the  White  Way  of
Delight. Isn't that a nice imaginative name? When I don't like the name of
a place or a person I always imagine a new one and always  think  of  them
so. There was a girl at the asylum whose name was Hepzibah Jenkins, but  I
always imagined her as Rosalia DeVere. Other people may  call  that  place
the Avenue, but I shall always call it the White Way of Delight.  Have  we
really only another mile to go before we get home? I'm glad and I'm sorry.
I'm sorry because this drive has been so pleasant  and  I'm  always  sorry
when pleasant things end. Something still pleasanter may come  after,  but
you can never  be  sure.  And  it's  so  often  the  case  that  it  isn't
pleasanter. That has been my experience anyhow. But I'm glad to  think  of
getting home. You see, I've never had a real home since I can remember. It
gives me that pleasant ache again just to think  of  coming  to  a  really
truly home. Oh, isn't that pretty!"
    They had driven over the crest of a hill.  Below  them  was  a  pond,
looking almost like a river so long and winding was it. A  bridge  spanned
it midway and from there to its lower end, where  an  amber-hued  belt  of
sand-hills shut it in from the dark blue gulf  beyond,  the  water  was  a
glory of many shifting hues-the most spiritual shadings of crocus and rose
and ethereal green, with other elusive tintings for which no name has ever
been found. Above the bridge the pond ran up into fringing groves  of  fir
and maple and lay all darkly translucent in their wavering  shadows.  Here
and there a wild plum leaned out from the  back  like  a  white-clad  girl
tip-toeing to her own reflection. From the marsh at the head of  the  pond
came the clear, mournfully-sweet chorus of the frogs. There was  a  little
gray house peering around a white apple orchard on  a  slope  beyond  and,
although it was not yet quite dark, a light was shining from  one  of  its
    "That's Barry's pond," said Matthew.
    "Oh, I don't like that name, either. I shall call it-let  me  see-the
Lake of Shining Waters. Yes, that is the right name for it. I know because
of the thrill. When I hit on a name that  suits  exactly  it  gives  me  a
thrill. Do things ever give you a thrill?"
    Matthew ruminated.
    "Well now, yes. It always kind of gives me a thrill to see them  ugly
white grubs that spade up in the cucumber beds. I hate the look of them."
    "Oh, I don't think that can be exactly the same kind of a thrill.  Do
you think it can? There doesn't seem to be much connection  between  grubs
and lakes of shining waters, does there? But why do other people  call  it
Barry's pond?"
    "I reckon because Mr. Barry lives up there  in  that  house.  Orchard
Slope's the name of his place. If it wasn't for that big  bush  behind  it
you could see Green Gables from here. But we have to go  over  the  bridge
and round by the road, so it's near half a mile further."
    "Has  Mr.  Barry  any  little  girls?  Well,  not  so   very   little
either-about my size."
    "He's got one about eleven. Her name is Diana."
    "Oh!" with a long indrawing of breath. "What a perfectly lovely name!"
    "Well now, I dunno. There's something dreadful heathenish  about  it,
seems to me. I'd ruther Jane or Mary or some sensible name like that.  But
when Diana was born there was a schoolmaster boarding there and they  gave
him the naming of her and he called her Diana."
    "I wish there had been a schoolmaster like that  around  when  I  was
born, then. Oh, here we are at the bridge.  I'm  going  to  shut  my  eyes
tight. I'm always afraid going over bridges. I can't help  imagining  that
perhaps just as we get to the middle, they'll crumple up like a jack-knife
and nip us. So I shut my eyes. But I always have to open them for all when
I think we're getting near the middle. Because, you see, if the bridge DID
crumple up I'd want to SEE it crumple. What a jolly  rumble  it  makes!  I
always like the rumble part of it. Isn't it splendid  there  are  so  many
things to like in this world? There we're over. Now I'll look  back.  Good
night, dear Lake of Shining Waters. I always say good night to the  things
I love, just as I would to people I think they like it. That  water  looks
as if it was smiling at me."
    When they had driven up the further hill and around a corner  Matthew
    "We're pretty near home now. That's Green Gables over-"
    "Oh, don't tell me," she interrupted breathlessly,  catching  at  his
partially raised arm and shutting her eyes that  she  might  not  see  his
gesture. "Let me guess. I'm sure I'll guess right."
    She opened her eyes and looked about her. They were on the crest of a
hill. The sun had set some time since, but the landscape was  still  clear
in the mellow afterlight. To the west a dark church spire rose up  against
a marigold sky. Below was a little valley and beyond a long, gently-rising
slope with snug farmsteads scattered along it. From  one  to  another  the
child's eyes darted, eager and wistful. At last they lingered on one  away
to the left, far back from the road, dimly white with blossoming trees  in
the twilight of the surrounding woods. Over it, in the stainless southwest
sky, a great crystal-white star was shining like a lamp  of  guidance  and
    "That's it, isn't it?" she said, pointing.
    Matthew slapped the reins on the sorrel's back delightedly.
    "Well now, you've guessed it! But I reckon Mrs. Spencer described  it
so's you could tell."
    "No, she didn't-really she didn't. All she said might  just  as  well
have been about most of those other places. I hadn't any real idea what it
looked like. But just as soon as I saw it I felt it was home. Oh, it seems
as if I must be in a dream. Do you know, my arm must  be  black  and  blue
from the elbow up, for I've pinched myself  so  many  times  today.  Every
little while a horrible sickening feeling would come over me and I'd be so
afraid it was all a dream.  Then  I'd  pinch  myself  to  see  if  it  was
real-until suddenly I remembered that even supposing it was only  a  dream
I'd better go on dreaming as long as I could; so I stopped  pinching.  But
it IS real and we're nearly home."
    With a sigh of rapture she relapsed  into  silence.  Matthew  stirred
uneasily. He felt glad that it would be Marilla and not he who would  have
to tell this waif of the world that the home she longed for was not to  be
hers after all. They drove over Lynde's Hollow, where it was already quite
dark, but not so dark that Mrs. Rachel could not see them from her  window
vantage, and up the hill and into the long lane of Green  Gables.  By  the
time they arrived at the house Matthew was shrinking from the  approaching
revelation with an energy he did not understand. It was not of Marilla  or
himself he was thinking of the trouble this mistake was probably going  to
make for them, but of the child's disappointment. When he thought of  that
rapt light being quenched in her eyes he had an uncomfortable feeling that
he was going to assist at murdering something-much the same  feeling  that
came over him when he had to kill a lamb or calf  or  any  other  innocent
little creature.
    The yard was quite dark as they turned into it and the poplar  leaves
were rustling silkily all round it.
    "Listen to the trees talking in their sleep," she  whispered,  as  he
lifted her to the ground. "What nice dreams they must have!"
    Then, holding tightly to the  carpet-bag  which  contained  "all  her
worldly goods," she followed him into the house.

                     3. Marilla Cuthbert is Surprised

    Marilla came briskly forward as Matthew opened the door. But when her
eyes fell of the odd little figure in the stiff, ugly dress, with the long
braids of red hair and the eager, luminous  eyes,  she  stopped  short  in
    "Matthew Cuthbert, who's that?" she ejaculated. "Where is the boy?"
    "There wasn't any boy," said Matthew wretchedly. "There was only HER."
    He nodded at the child, remembering that he had never even asked  her
    "No boy! But there MUST have been a boy," insisted Marilla. "We  sent
word to Mrs. Spencer to bring a boy."
    "Well, she didn't. She brought HER. I asked the stationmaster. And  I
had to bring her home. She couldn't be left there,  no  matter  where  the
mistake had come in."
    "Well, this is a pretty piece of business!" ejaculated Marilla.
    During this dialogue the child had remained silent, her  eyes  roving
from one to the other, all the animation fading out of her face.  Suddenly
she seemed to grasp the full meaning of what had been said.  Dropping  her
precious carpet-bag she sprang forward a step and clasped her hands.
    "You don't want me!" she cried. "You don't want me because I'm not  a
boy! I might have expected it. Nobody ever did want me. I might have known
it was all too beautiful to last. I might have  known  nobody  really  did
want me. Oh, what shall I do? I'm going to burst into tears!"
    Burst into tears she did. Sitting down  on  a  chair  by  the  table,
flinging her arms out upon it, and burying her face in them, she proceeded
to cry stormily. Marilla and Matthew looked at  each  other  deprecatingly
across the stove. Neither of them knew what to say or do. Finally  Marilla
stepped lamely into the breach.
    "Well, well, there's no need to cry so about it."
    "Yes, there IS need!" The child raised her head quickly, revealing  a
tear-stained face and trembling lips. "YOU would cry, too, if you were  an
orphan and had come to a place you thought was going to be home and  found
that they didn't want you because you weren't a boy. Oh, this is the  most
TRAGICAL thing that ever happened to me!"
    Something like a reluctant smile,  rather  rusty  from  long  disuse,
mellowed Marilla's grim expression.
    "Well, don't cry any more. We're not going to  turn  you  outof-doors
to-night. You'll have to stay  here  until  we  investigate  this  affair.
What's your name?"
    The child hesitated for a moment.
    "Will you please call me Cordelia?" she said eagerly.
    "CALL you Cordelia? Is that your name?"
    "No-o-o, it's not exactly my name, but I  would  love  to  be  called
Cordelia. It's such a perfectly elegant name."
    "I don't know what on earth you mean. If Cordelia  isn't  your  name,
what is?"
    "Anne Shirley," reluctantly faltered forth the owner  of  that  name,
"but, oh, please do call me Cordelia. It can't matter much to you what you
call me if I'm only going to be here a little while, can it? And  Anne  is
such an unromantic name."
    "Unromantic fiddlesticks!" said the unsympathetic Marilla. "Anne is a
real good plain sensible name. You've no need to be ashamed of it."
    "Oh, I'm not ashamed of it," explained Anne, "only  I  like  Cordelia
better. I've always imagined that my name was Cordelia-at least, I  always
have of late years. When I was young I used to imagine it  was  Geraldine,
but I like Cordelia better now. But if you call me  Anne  please  call  me
Anne spelled with an E."
    "What difference does it make how it's spelled?" asked  Marilla  with
another rusty smile as she picked up the teapot.
    "Oh, it makes SUCH a difference. It LOOKS so  much  nicer.  When  you
hear a name pronounced can't you always see it in your mind, just as if it
was printed out? I can; and A-n-n looks dreadful,  but  A-n-n-e  looks  so
much more distinguished. If you'll only call me Anne spelled with an  E  I
shall try to reconcile myself to not being called Cordelia."
    "Very well, then, Anne spelled with an E, can you tell  us  how  this
mistake came to be made? We sent word to Mrs. Spencer to bring us  a  boy.
Were there no boys at the asylum?"
    "Oh, yes, there was an abundance  of  them.  But  Mrs.  Spencer  said
DISTINCTLY that you wanted a girl about eleven years old. And  the  matron
said she thought I would do.  You  don't  know  how  delighted  I  was.  I
couldn't sleep all last night  for  joy.  Oh,"  she  added  reproachfully,
turning to Matthew, "why didn't you tell me at the station that you didn't
want me and leave me there? If I hadn't seen the White Way of Delight  and
the Lake of Shining Waters if wouldn't be so hard."
    "What on earth does she mean?" demanded Marilla, staring at Matthew.
    "She-she's just referring to some conversation we had on  the  road,"
said Matthew hastily. "I'm going out to put the mare in, Marilla. Have tea
ready when I come back."
    "Did Mrs. Spencer bring anybody over besides you?" continued  Marilla
when Matthew had gone out.
    "She brought Lily Jones for herself. Lily is only five years old  and
she is very beautiful and had nut-brown hair. If I was very beautiful  and
had nut-brown hair would you keep me?"
    "No. We want a boy to help Matthew on the farm. A girl would be of no
use to us. Take off your hat. I'll lay it and your bag on the hall table."
    Anne took off her hat meekly. Matthew came back  presently  and  they
sat down to supper. But Anne could not eat. In vain  she  nibbled  at  the
bread and butter and pecked at the crab-apple preserve out of  the  little
scalloped glass dish by her plate. She did not really make any headway  at
    "You're not eating anything," said Marilla sharply, eying her  as  if
it were a serious shortcoming. Anne sighed.
    "I can't. I'm in the depths of despair. Can you eat when you  are  in
the depths of despair?"
    "I've never been in the depths of despair, so I can't say," responded
    "Weren't you? Well, did you ever try  to  IMAGINE  you  were  in  the
depths of despair?"
    "No, I didn't."
    "Then I don't think you can understand  what  it's  like.  It's  very
uncomfortable feeling indeed. When you try to eat a lump comes right up in
your throat and you can't swallow anything, not even if it was a chocolate
caramel. I had one chocolate caramel once two years ago and it was  simply
delicious. I've often dreamed since then that I had  a  lot  of  chocolate
caramels, but I always wake up just when I'm going to eat them. I do  hope
you won't be offended because I can't eat. Everything is  extremely  nice,
but still I cannot eat."
    "I guess she's tired," said Matthew,  who  hadn't  spoken  since  his
return from the barn. "Best put her to bed, Marilla."
    Marilla had been wondering where Anne should be put to bed.  She  had
prepared a couch in the kitchen chamber for the desired and expected  boy.
But, although it was neat and clean, it did not seem quite  the  thing  to
put a girl there somehow. But the spare room was out of the  question  for
such a stray waif, so there remained only the  east  gable  room.  Marilla
lighted a candle and told Anne to follow her, which Anne spiritlessly did,
taking her hat and carpet-bag from the hall table as she passed. The  hall
was fearsomely clean; the little gable  chamber  in  which  she  presently
found herself seemed still cleaner.
    Marilla set the candle on a three-legged,  three-cornered  table  and
turned down the bedclothes.
    "I suppose you have a nightgown?" she questioned.
    Anne nodded.
    "Yes, I have two. The matron of the asylum made them for me.  They're
fearfully skimpy. There is never enough to go  around  in  an  asylum,  so
things are always skimpy-at least in a  poor  asylum  like  ours.  I  hate
skimpy night-dresses. But one can dream just as well in them as in  lovely
trailing ones, with frills around the neck, that's one consolation."
    "Well, undress as quick as you can and go to bed. I'll come back in a
few minutes for the candle. I daren't trust you to put  it  out  yourself.
You'd likely set the place on fire."
    When  Marilla  had  gone  Anne  looked  around  her  wistfully.   The
whitewashed walls were so painfully bare and staring that she thought they
must ache over their own bareness. The floor was bare, too, except  for  a
round braided mat in the middle such as Anne had never seen before. In one
corner was the bed, a high, old-fashioned one, with four  dark,  lowturned
posts. In the other corner was the  aforesaid  threecorner  table  adorned
with a fat, red velvet pincushion hard enough to turn  the  point  of  the
most adventurous pin. Above it hung a little six by eight  mirror.  Midway
between table and bed was the window, with an icy white muslin frill  over
it, and opposite it was the wash-stand.  The  whole  apartment  was  of  a
rigidity not to be described in words, but which sent a shiver to the very
marrow of Anne's bones. With a sob she hastily discarded her garments, put
on the skimpy nightgown and  sprang  into  bed  where  she  burrowed  face
downward into the pillow and  pulled  the  clothes  over  her  head.  When
Marilla came up for the light various skimpy articles of raiment scattered
most untidily over the floor and a certain tempestuous appearance  of  the
bed were the only indications of any presence save her own.
    She deliberately picked up Anne's clothes, placed them  neatly  on  a
prim yellow chair, and then, taking up the candle, went over to the bed.
    "Good night," she said, a little awkwardly, but not unkindly.
    Anne's white face and big eyes appeared over the  bedclothes  with  a
startling suddenness.
    "How can you call it a GOOD night when you know it must be  the  very
worst night I've ever had?" she said reproachfully.
    Then she dived down into invisibility again.
    Marilla went slowly down to the kitchen and  proceeded  to  wash  the
supper dishes. Matthew was smoking-a sure sign of perturbation of mind. He
seldom smoked, for Marilla set her face against it as a filthy habit;  but
at certain times and seasons he felt driven to it and them Marilla  winked
at the practice, realizing that a mere man must have  some  vent  for  his
    "Well, this is a pretty kettle of fish," she said  wrathfully.  "This
is what comes of sending word instead of going ourselves. Robert Spencer's
folks have twisted that message somehow. One of us will have to drive over
and see Mrs. Spencer tomorrow, that's certain. This girl will have  to  be
sent back to the asylum."
    "Yes, I suppose so," said Matthew reluctantly.
    "You SUPPOSE so! Don't you know it?"
    "Well now, she's a real nice little thing, Marilla. It's  kind  of  a
pity to send her back when she's so set on staying here."
    "Matthew Cuthbert, you don't mean to say you think we ought  to  keep
    Marilla's astonishment could not have been  greater  if  Matthew  had
expressed a predilection for standing on his head.
    "Well, now,  no,  I  suppose  not-not  exactly,"  stammered  Matthew,
uncomfortably driven into a corner for his precise meaning. "I  suppose-we
could hardly be expected to keep her."
    "I should say not. What good would she be to us?"
    "We  might  be  some  good  to  her,"  said  Matthew   suddenly   and
    "Matthew Cuthbert, I believe that child has bewitched you! I can  see
as plain as plain that you want to keep her."
    "Well now, she's a real interesting little thing," persisted Matthew.
"You should have heard her talk coming from the station."
    "Oh, she can talk fast enough. I saw that at once.  It's  nothing  in
her favour, either. I don't like children who have so much to say. I don't
want an orphan girl and if I did she isn't the style I'd pick out. There's
something I don't understand about her. No, she's  got  to  be  despatched
straight-way back to where she came from."
    "I could hire a French boy to help me," said Matthew, "and  she'd  be
company for you."
    "I'm not suffering for company," said Marilla shortly. "And  I'm  not
going to keep her."
    "Well now, it's just as you say, of course,  Marilla,"  said  Matthew
rising and putting his pipe away. "I'm going to bed."
    To bed went Matthew. And to bed, when she had put  her  dishes  away,
went Marilla, frowning most resolutely. And up-stairs, in the east  gable,
a lonely, heart-hungry, friendless child cried herself to sleep.

                        4. Morning at Green Gables

    It was broad daylight when Anne awoke and  sat  up  in  bed,  staring
confusedly at the window through which a  flood  of  cheery  sunshine  was
pouring and outside of which something white  and  feathery  waved  across
glimpses of blue sky.
    For a moment she could not remember  where  she  was.  First  came  a
delightful  thrill,  as  something  very   pleasant;   then   a   horrible
remembrance. This was Green Gables and they didn't want  her  because  she
wasn't a boy!
    But it was morning and, yes, it  was  a  cherry-tree  in  full  bloom
outside of her window. With a bound she was out  of  bed  and  across  the
floor. She pushed up the sash-it went up stiffly and creakily,  as  if  it
hadn't been opened for a long time, which was the case; and  it  stuck  so
tight that nothing was needed to hold it up.
    Anne dropped on her knees and gazed out into the  June  morning,  her
eyes glistening with delight. Oh, wasn't it beautiful? Wasn't it a  lovely
place? Suppose she wasn't really going to stay here! She would imagine she
was. There was scope for imagination here.
    A huge cherry-tree grew outside, so  close  that  its  boughs  tapped
against the house, and it was so thick-set with  blossoms  that  hardly  a
leaf was to be seen. On both sides of the house was a big orchard, one  of
apple-trees and one of cherry-trees, also showered over with blossoms; and
their grass was all sprinkled with dandelions. In the  garden  below  were
lilac-trees purple with flowers, and their dizzily sweet fragrance drifted
up to the window on the morning wind.
    Below the garden a green field lush with clover sloped  down  to  the
hollow where the brook  ran  and  where  scores  of  white  birches  grew,
upspringing  airily  out  of  an  undergrowth  suggestive  of   delightful
possibilities in ferns and mosses and woodsy things generally.  Beyond  it
was a hill, green and feathery with spruce and fir; there was a gap in  it
where the gray gable end of the little house she had seen from  the  other
side of the Lake of Shining Waters was visible.
    Off to the left were the big barns and beyond them,  away  down  over
green, low-sloping fields, was a sparkling blue glimpse of sea.
    Anne's beauty-loving eyes  lingered  on  it  all,  taking  everything
greedily in; she had looked on so many unlovely places in her  life,  poor
child; but this was as lovely as anything she had ever dreamed.
    She knelt there, lost to everything but the  loveliness  around  her,
until she was startled by a hand on her  shoulder.  Marilla  had  come  in
unheard by the small dreamer.
    "It's time you were dressed," she said curtly.
    Marilla really did not know  how  to  talk  to  the  child,  and  her
uncomfortable ignorance made her crisp and curt when she did not  mean  to
    Anne stood up and drew a long breath.
    "Oh, isn't it wonderful?" she said, waving her  hand  comprehensively
at the good world outside.
    "It's a big tree," said Marilla, "and it blooms great, but the  fruit
don't amount to much never-small and wormy."
    "Oh, I don't mean just the tree;  of  course  it's  lovely-yes,  it's
RADIANTLY lovely-it blooms as if it meant it-but I  mean  everything,  the
garden and the orchard and the brook and the woods,  the  whole  big  dear
world. Don't you feel as if you just loved the world  on  a  morning  like
this? And I can hear the brook laughing all the way up here. Have you ever
noticed what cheerful things brooks are? They're always laughing. Even  in
winter-time I've heard them under the ice. I'm so  glad  there's  a  brook
near Green Gables. Perhaps you think it doesn't make any difference to  me
when you're not going to keep me, but it does.  I  shall  always  like  to
remember that there is a brook at Green Gables even  if  I  never  see  it
again. If there wasn't a brook I'd be HAUNTED by the uncomfortable feeling
that there ought to be one. I'm not in the depths of despair this morning.
I never can be in the morning. Isn't it a splendid thing  that  there  are
mornings? But I feel very sad. I've just been imagining that it was really
me you wanted after all and that I was to stay here for ever and ever.  It
was a great comfort while it lasted. But the worst of imagining things  is
that the time comes when you have to stop and that hurts."
    "You'd better get dressed and come down-stairs and  never  mind  your
imaginings," said Marilla as soon as she could get  a  word  in  edgewise.
"Breakfast is waiting. Wash your face and comb your hair. Leave the window
up and turn your bedclothes back over the foot of the bed. Be as smart  as
you can."
    Anne could evidently be smart so some purpose for she was down-stairs
in ten minutes' time, with her clothes neatly on,  her  hair  brushed  and
braided, her face washed, and a comfortable  consciousness  pervading  her
soul that she had fulfilled all Marilla's requirements.  As  a  matter  of
fact, however, she had forgotten to turn back the bedclothes.
    "I'm pretty hungry this morning," she announced as she  slipped  into
the chair Marilla placed for her. "The world doesn't seem such  a  howling
wilderness a sit did last night. I'm so glad it's a sunshiny morning.  But
I  like  rainy  mornings  real  well,  too.  All  sorts  of  mornings  are
interesting, don't you think?  You  don't  know  what's  going  to  happen
through the day, and there's so much scope for imagination. But  I'm  glad
it's not rainy today because it's easier to be cheerful and bear up  under
affliction on a sunshiny day. I feel that I have a good deal  to  bear  up
under. It's all very well to  read  about  sorrows  and  imagine  yourself
living through them heroically, but it's not so nice when you really  come
to have them, is it?"
    "For pity's sake hold your tongue," said Marilla. "You talk  entirely
too much for a little girl."
    Thereupon Anne held her tongue so obediently and thoroughly that  her
continued silence made Marilla rather nervous, as if in  the  presence  of
something not exactly natural. Matthew also held his tongue,-but this  was
natural,-so that the meal was a very silent one.
    As it  progressed  Anne  became  more  and  more  abstracted,  eating
mechanically, with her big eyes fixed unswervingly and unseeingly  on  the
sky outside the window. This made Marilla more nervous than ever; she  had
an uncomfortable feeling that while this odd child's body might  be  there
at the table her spirit was far away in some remote airy cloudland,  borne
aloft on the wings of imagination. Who would want such a child  about  the
    Yet Matthew wished to keep her, of all unaccountable things!  Marilla
felt that he wanted it just as much this  morning  as  he  had  the  night
before, and that he would go on wanting it. That was Matthew's way-take  a
whim into  his  head  and  cling  to  it  with  the  most  amazing  silent
persistency-a persistency ten times more potent and effectual in its  very
silence than if he had talked it out.
    When the meal was ended Anne came out of her reverie and  offered  to
wash the dishes.
    "Can you wash dishes right?" asked Marilla distrustfully.
    "Pretty well. I'm better at looking after children, though. I've  had
so much experience at that. It's such a pity you haven't any here  for  me
to look after."
    "I don't feel as if I wanted any more children  to  look  after  than
I've got at present. YOU'RE problem enough in all conscience. What's to be
done with you I don't know. Matthew is a most ridiculous man."
    "I think he's lovely,"  said  Anne  reproachfully.  "He  is  so  very
sympathetic. He didn't mind how much I talked-he seemed to like it. I felt
that he was a kindred spirit as soon as ever I saw him."
    "You're both queer  enough,  if  that's  what  you  mean  by  kindred
spirits," said Marilla with a sniff. "Yes, you may wash the  dishes.  Take
plenty of hot water, and be sure you dry them well.  I've  got  enough  to
attend to this morning for I'll have to drive over to White Sands  in  the
afternoon and see Mrs. Spencer. You'll  come  with  me  and  we'll  settle
what's to be done with you. After you've finished the dishes go  up-stairs
and make your bed."
    Anne washed the dishes deftly enough, as Marilla who kept a sharp eye
on the process, discerned. Later on she made her  bed  less  successfully,
for she had never learned the art of wrestling with a feather tick. But is
was done somehow and smoothed down; and then Marilla, to get rid  of  her,
told her she might go out-of-doors and amuse herself until dinner time.
    Anne flew to the  door,  face  alight,  eyes  glowing.  On  the  very
threshold she stopped short, wheeled about, came back and sat down by  the
table, light and glow as effectually  blotted  out  as  if  some  one  had
clapped an extinguisher on her.
    "What's the matter now?" demanded Marilla.
    "I  don't  dare  go  out,"  said  Anne,  in  the  tome  of  a  martyr
relinquishing all earthly joys. "If I can't stay here there is no  use  in
my loving Green Gables. And if I go out there and get acquainted with  all
those trees and flowers and the orchard and the brook I'll not be able  to
help loving it. It's hard enough now, so I won't make  it  any  harder.  I
want to go out so much-everything seems to be calling to me, `Anne,  Anne,
come out to us. Anne, Anne, we want a playmate'-but it's better not. There
is no use in loving things if you have to be torn from them, is there? And
it's so hard to keep from loving things, isn't it? That was why I  was  so
glad when I thought I was going to live here. I thought I'd have  so  many
things to love and nothing to hinder me. But that brief dream is  over.  I
am resigned to my fate now, so I don't think I'll go out for fear I'll get
unresigned again. What is the name of that geranium  on  the  window-sill,
    "That's the apple-scented geranium."
    "Oh, I don't mean that sort of a name. I mean just a name you gave it
yourself. Didn't you give it a name? May I give it one then?  May  I  call
it-let me see-Bonny would do-may I call it Bonny while I'm  here?  Oh,  do
let me!"
    "Goodness, I don't care. But where on earth is the sense of naming  a
    "Oh, I like things to have handles even if they are  only  geraniums.
It makes them seem more like people. How do you know but that it  hurts  a
geranium's feelings just to be called a geranium  and  nothing  else?  You
wouldn't like to be called nothing but a woman all the time. Yes, I  shall
call it Bonny. I named that cherry-tree outside  my  bedroom  window  this
morning. I called it Snow Queen because it was so  white.  Of  course,  it
won't always be in blossom, but one can imagine that it is, can't one?"
    "I never in all my life say or heard anything to equal her," muttered
Marilla, beating a retreat down to the cellar after potatoes. "She is kind
of interesting as Matthew says. I can feel already that I'm wondering what
on earth she'll say next. She'll be casting a spell over  me,  too.  She's
cast it over Matthew.  That  look  he  gave  me  when  he  went  out  said
everything he said or hinted last night over again. I  wish  he  was  like
other men and would talk things out. A body could  answer  back  then  and
argue him into reason. But what's to be done with a man who just LOOKS?"
    Anne had relapsed into reverie, with her chin in her  hands  and  her
eyes on the sky, when Marilla returned from her cellar  pilgrimage.  There
Marilla left her until the early dinner was on the table.
    "I suppose I can have the mare and buggy  this  afternoon,  Matthew?"
said Marilla.
    Matthew nodded and looked wistfully at Anne. Marilla intercepted  the
look and said grimly:
    "I'm going to drive over to White Sands and settle this  thing.  I'll
take Anne with me and Mrs. Spencer will probably make arrangements to send
her back to Nova Scotia at once. I'll set your tea out for you and I'll be
home in time to milk the cows."
    Still Matthew said nothing and Marilla had a sense of  having  wasted
words and breath. There is nothing more aggravating than a man  who  won't
talk back-unless it is a woman who won't.
    Matthew hitched the sorrel into the buggy in due time and Marilla and
Anne set off. Matthew opened the yard gate for  them  and  as  they  drove
slowly through, he said, to nobody in particular as it seemed.
    "Little Jerry Buote from the Creek was here this morning, and I  told
him I guessed I'd hire him for the summer."
    Marilla made no reply, but she hit the unlucky sorrel such a  vicious
clip with the whip that the fat mare, unused to  such  treatment,  whizzed
indignantly down the lane at an alarming pace. Marilla looked back once as
the buggy bounced along and saw that aggravating Matthew leaning over  the
gate, looking wistfully after them.

                               5. Anne's History

    "Do you know," said Anne confidentially, "I've made  up  my  mind  to
enjoy this drive. It's been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy
things if you make up your mind firmly that you will. Of course, you  must
make it up FIRMLY. I am not going to think about going back to the  asylum
while we're having our drive. I'm just going to think about the drive. Oh,
look, there's one little early wild rose out! Isn't it lovely?  Don't  you
think it must be glad to be a rose? Wouldn't it be  nice  if  roses  could
talk? I'm sure they could tell us such lovely things. And isn't  pink  the
most bewitching color in the world? I  love  it,  but  I  can't  wear  it.
Redheaded people can't wear pink, not even in imagination.  Did  you  ever
know of anybody whose hair was red when she  was  young,  but  got  to  be
another color when she grew up?"
    "No, I don't know as I ever did," said Marilla  mercilessly,  "and  I
shouldn't think it likely to happen in your case either."
    Anne sighed.
    "Well, that is another hope gone. `My life is a perfect graveyard  of
buried hopes.' That's a sentence I read in a book once, and I say it  over
to comfort myself whenever I'm disappointed in anything."
    "I don't see where the comforting comes in myself," said Marilla.
    "Why, because it sounds so nice and romantic, just as  if  I  were  a
heroine in a book, you know. I am  so  fond  of  romantic  things,  and  a
graveyard full of buried hopes is about as romantic a  thing  as  one  can
imagine isn't it? I'm rather glad I have one. Are we going across the Lake
of Shining Waters today?"
    "We're not going over Barry's pond, if that's what you mean  by  your
Lake of Shining Waters. We're going by the shore road."
    "Shore road sounds nice," said Anne dreamily. "Is it as  nice  as  it
sounds? Just when you said `shore road' I saw it in a picture in my  mind,
as quick as that! And White Sands is a pretty name, too; but I don't  like
it as well as Avonlea. Avonlea is a  lovely  name.  It  just  sounds  like
music. How far is it to White Sands?"
    "It's five miles; and as you're evidently bent on talking  you  might
as well talk to some purpose by telling me what you know about yourself."
    "Oh, what I KNOW about myself isn't really worth telling." said  Anne
eagerly. "If you'll only let me tell  you  what  I  IMAGINE  about  myself
you'll think it ever so much more interesting."
    "No, I don't want any of your imaginings.  Just  you  stick  to  bald
facts. Begin at the beginning. where were you born and how old are you?"
    "I was eleven last March," said Anne, resigning herself to bald facts
with a little sigh. "And I  was  born  in  Bolingbroke,  Nova  Scotia.  My
father's name was Walter Shirley, and he was a teacher in the  Bolingbroke
High School. My mother's name was Bertha Shirley. Aren't Walter and Bertha
lovely names? I'm so glad my parents had nice names. It would  be  a  real
disgrace to have a father named-well, say Jedediah, wouldn't it?"
    "I guess it doesn't matter what a person's name  is  as  long  as  he
behaves himself," said Marilla, feeling herself called upon to inculcate a
good and useful moral.
    "Well, I don't know." Anne looked thoughtful. "I read in a book  once
that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet, but  I've  never  been
able to believe it. I don't believe a rose WOULD be  as  nice  if  it  was
called a thistle or a skunk cabbage. I suppose my father could have been a
good man even if he had been called Jedediah; but I'm sure it  would  have
been a cross. Well, my mother was a teacher in the High school,  too,  but
when she married father she gave up teaching, of  course.  A  husband  was
enough responsibility. Mrs. Thomas said that they were a  pair  of  babies
and as poor as church mice. They went to  live  in  a  weeny-teeny  little
yellow house in Bolingbroke. I've never seen that house, but I've imagined
it thousands of times. I think it  must  have  had  honeysuckle  over  the
parlor window and lilacs in the front yard and lilies of the  valley  just
inside the gate. Yes, and muslin  curtains  in  all  the  windows.  Muslin
curtains give a house such an air. I was born in that house.  Mrs.  Thomas
said I was the homeliest baby she ever saw, I was so scrawny and tiny  and
nothing but eyes, but that mother thought I  was  perfectly  beautiful.  I
should think a mother would be a better judge than a poor woman  who  came
in to scrub, wouldn't you? I'm glad she was satisfied with  me  anyhow,  I
would feel so sad if I thought I was a disappointment to  her-because  she
didn't live very long after that, you see. She died of fever  when  I  was
just three months old. I do  wish  she'd  lived  long  enough  for  me  to
remember calling her mother. I think it would be so sweet to say `mother,'
don't you? And father died four days afterwards from fever too. That  left
me an orphan and folks were at their wits end, so Mrs. Thomas  said,  what
to do with me. You see, nobody wanted me even then.  It  seems  to  be  my
fate. Father and mother had both come from places far away and it was well
known they hadn't any relatives living. Finally  Mrs.  Thomas  said  she'd
take me, though she was poor and had a drunken husband. She brought me  up
by hand. Do you know if there is anything in being brought up by hand that
ought to make people who are brought up that way better than other people?
Because whenever I was naughty Mrs. Thomas would ask me  how  I  could  be
such a bad girl when she had brought me up by handreproachful-like.
    "Mr. and Mrs. Thomas moved away from Bolingbroke to Marysville, and I
lived with them until I was eight years  old.  I  helped  look  after  the
Thomas children-there were four of them younger than me-and I can tell you
they took a lot of looking after. Then Mr. Thomas was killed falling under
a train and his mother offered to take Mrs. Thomas and the  children,  but
she didn't want me. Mrs. Thomas was at HER wits' end, so she said, what to
do with me. Then Mrs. Hammond from up the river came down and  said  she'd
take me, seeing I was handy with children, and I went up the river to live
with her in a little clearing among the stumps. It  was  a  very  lonesome
place. I'm sure I could  never  have  lived  there  if  I  hadn't  had  an
imagination. Mr. Hammond worked  a  little  sawmill  up  there,  and  Mrs.
Hammond had eight children. She had twins three times. I  like  babies  in
moderation, but twins three times in succession is TOO MUCH. I  told  Mrs.
Hammond so firmly, when the last pair came. I used to  get  so  dreadfully
tired carrying them about.
    "I lived up river with Mrs. Hammond over  two  years,  and  then  Mr.
Hammond died and Mrs. Hammond  broke  up  housekeeping.  She  divided  her
children among her relatives and went to the States. I had to  go  to  the
asylum at Hopeton, because nobody would take me. They didn't  want  me  at
the asylum, either; they said they were overcrowded as it  was.  But  they
had to take me and I was there four months until Mrs. Spencer came."
    Anne finished up with another sigh, of relief  this  time.  Evidently
she did not like talking about her experiences in a  world  that  had  not
wanted her.
    "Did you ever go to school?" demanded  Marilla,  turning  the  sorrel
mare down the shore road.
    "Not a great deal. I went a little the last year I stayed  with  Mrs.
Thomas. When I went up river we were so far from a school that I  couldn't
walk it in winter and there was a vacation in summer, so I could  only  go
in the spring and fall. But of course I went while I was at the asylum.  I
can read pretty well and I know ever so  many  pieces  of  poetry  off  by
heart-`The Battle of  Hohenlinden"  and  `Edinburgh  after  Flodden,'  and
`Bingen of the Rhine,' and lost of the `Lady of the Lake' and most of `The
Seasons' by James Thompson. Don't you just love poetry that  gives  you  a
crinkly feeling up and down your back? There  is  a  piece  in  the  Fifth
Reader-`The Downfall of Poland'-that is just full of thrills. Of course, I
wasn't in the Fifth Reader-I was only in the Fourth-but the big girls used
to lend me theirs to read."
    "Were those women-Mrs. Thomas and Mrs. Hammond-good  to  you?"  asked
Marilla, looking at Anne out of the corner of her eye.
    "O-o-o-h," faltered Anne. Her sensitive little face suddenly  flushed
scarlet and embarrassment sat on her brow. "Oh, they MEANT  to  be-I  know
they meant to be just as good and kind as possible. And when  people  mean
to be good to you, you don't mind very much when they're not quite-always.
They had a good deal to worry them, you know. It's very trying to  have  a
drunken husband, you see; and it must be very trying to have  twins  three
times in succession, don't you think? But I feel sure  they  meant  to  be
good to me."
    Marilla asked no more questions. Anne gave herself  up  to  a  silent
rapture over the shore road and Marilla  guided  the  sorrel  abstractedly
while she pondered deeply. Pity was suddenly stirring in her heart for the
child. What a starved, unloved life she had had-a  life  of  drudgery  and
poverty and neglect; for Marilla was shrewd enough  to  read  between  the
lines of Anne's history and divine the truth. No wonder she  had  been  so
delighted at the prospect of a real home. It was a pity she had to be sent
back. What if she, Marilla, should indulge  Matthew's  unaccountable  whim
and let her stay? He was set on it; and the child seemed a nice, teachable
little thing.
    "She's got too much to say,"  thought  Marilla,  "but  she  might  be
trained out of that. And there's nothing rude or slangy in what  she  does
say. She's ladylike. It's likely her people were nice folks."
    The shore road was "woodsy and wild and lonesome." On the right hand,
scrub firs, their spirits quite unbroken by long years of tussle with  the
gulf winds, grew thickly. On the left were the steep red sandstone cliffs,
so near the track in places that a mare of less steadiness that the sorrel
might have tried the nerves of the people behind her. Down at the base  of
the cliffs were heaps of surf-worn rocks or little sandy coves inlaid with
pebbles as with ocean jewels; beyond lay the sea, shimmering and blue, and
over it soared the gulls, their pinions flashing silvery in the sunlight.
    "Isn't the sea wonderful?" said Anne, rousing from a long,  wide-eyed
silence. "Once, when I lived in Marysville, Mr. Thomas  hired  an  express
wagon and took us all to spend the day at the  shore  ten  miles  away.  I
enjoyed every moment of that day, even if I had to look after the children
all the time. I lived it over in happy dreams for years. But this shore is
nicer than the Marysville shore. Aren't those gulls  splendid?  Would  you
like to be a gull? I think I would-that is, if I couldn't be a human girl.
Don't you think it would be nice to wake up at sunrise and swoop down over
the water and away out over that lovely blue all day; and then at night to
fly back to one's nest? Oh, I can just imagine myself doing it.  What  big
house is that just ahead, please?"
    "That's the White Sands Hotel. Mr. Kirke  runs  it,  but  the  season
hasn't begun yet. There are heaps of Americans come there for the  summer.
They think this shore is just about right."
    "I  was  afraid  it  might  be  Mrs.  Spencer's  place,"  said   Anne
mournfully. "I don't want to get there. Somehow, it will seem like the end
of everything."

                       6. Marilla Makes Up Her Mind

    Get there they did, however, in due season. Mrs. Spencer lived  in  a
big yellow house at White Sands Cove,  and  she  came  to  the  door  with
surprise and welcome mingled on her benevolent face.
    "Dear, dear," she exclaimed, "you're the last folks I was looking for
today, but I'm real glad to see you. You'll put your horse in? And how are
you, Anne?"
    "I'm as well as can be expected, thank you," said Anne smilelessly. A
blight seemed to have descended on her.
    "I suppose we'll stay a little while to rest the mare," said Marilla,
"but I promised Matthew I'd be home early.  The  fact  is,  Mrs.  Spencer,
there's been a queer mistake somewhere, and I've come over to see where it
is. We send word, Matthew and I, for you  to  bring  us  a  boy  from  the
asylum. We told your brother Robert to tell you we wanted  a  boy  ten  or
eleven years old."
    "Marilla Cuthbert, you don't say so!" said Mrs. Spencer in  distress.
"Why, Robert sent word down by his daughter Nancy and she said you  wanted
a girl-didn't she Flora Jane?" appealing to her daughter who had come  out
to the steps.
    "She  certainly  did,  Miss  Cuthbert,"   corroborated   Flora   Jane
    I'm dreadful sorry,"  said  Mrs.  Spencer.  "It's  too  bad;  but  it
certainly wasn't my fault, you see, Miss Cuthbert. I did the best I  could
and I thought I was following  your  instructions.  Nancy  is  a  terrible
flighty thing. I've often had to scold her well for her heedlessness."
    "It was our own fault," said Marilla resignedly. "We should have come
to you ourselves and not left an important message to be passed  along  by
word of mouth in that fashion. Anyhow, the mistake has been made  and  the
only thing to do is to set it right. Can we send the  child  back  to  the
asylum? I suppose they'll take her back, won't they?"
    "I suppose so," said Mrs. Spencer thoughtfully, "but I don't think it
will be necessary to send  her  back.  Mrs.  Peter  Blewett  was  up  here
yesterday, and she was saying to me how much she wished she'd sent  by  me
for a little girl to help her. Mrs. Peter has a large  family,  you  know,
and she finds it hard to get help. Anne will be the very girl for  you.  I
call it positively providential."
    Marilla did not look as if she thought Providence had much to do with
the matter. Here was an unexpectedly good chance  to  get  this  unwelcome
orphan off her hands, and she did not even feel grateful for it.
    She know Mrs. Peter Blewett only by sight as a small,  shrewish-faced
woman without an ounce of superfluous flesh on  her  bones.  But  she  had
heard of her. "A terrible worker and driver," Mrs. Peter was said  to  be;
and discharged servant  girls  told  fearsome  tales  of  her  temper  and
stinginess, and her family of pert, quarrelsome children. Marilla  felt  a
qualm of conscience at the thoughtof  handing  Anne  over  to  her  tender
    "Well, I'll go in and we'll talk the matter over," she said.
    "And if there isn't Mrs.  Peter  coming  up  the  lane  this  blessed
minute!" exclaimed Mrs. Spencer, bustling her guests through the hall into
the parlor, where a deadly chill struck on them as if  the  air  had  been
strained so long through dark green, closely drawn blinds that it had lost
every particle of warmth it had ever possessed. "That is real  lucky,  for
we can settle the matter right away. Take  the  armchair,  Miss  Cuthbert.
Anne, you sit here on the ottoman and don't  wriggle.  Let  me  take  your
hats. Flora Jane, go out and put  the  kettle  on.  Good  afternoon,  Mrs.
Blewett. We were just saying how fortunate it was you happened along.  Let
me introduce you two ladies. Mrs. Blewett, Miss Cuthbert. Please excuse me
for just a moment. I forgot to tell Flora Jane to take the buns out of the
    Mrs. Spencer whisked away, after pulling up the blinds. Anne  sitting
mutely on the ottoman, with her hands clasped tightly in her  lap,  stared
at Mrs Blewett as one fascinated. Was she to be given into the keeping  of
this sharp-faced, sharp-eyed woman? She felt  a  lump  coming  up  in  her
throat and her eyes smarted painfully. She was beginning to be afraid  she
couldn't keep the tears back  when  Mrs.  Spencer  returned,  flushed  and
beaming, quite capable of  taking  any  and  every  difficulty,  physical,
mental or spiritual, into consideration and settling it out of hand.
    "It seems there's  been  a  mistake  about  this  little  girl,  Mrs.
Blewett," she said. "I was under the impression that Mr. and Miss Cuthbert
wanted a little girl to adopt. I was certainly told so. But  it  seems  it
was a boy they wanted. So if you're  still  of  the  same  mind  you  were
yesterday, I think she'll be just the thing for you."
    Mrs. Blewett darted her eyes over Anne from head to foot.
    "How old are you and what's your name?" she demanded.
    "Anne Shirley," faltered the shrinking child, not daring to make  any
stipulations regarding the spelling thereof, "and I'm eleven years old."
    "Humph! You don't look as if there was much to you. But you're  wiry.
I don't know but the wiry ones are the best after all. Well, if I take you
you'll have to be a good girl, you know-good  and  smart  and  respectful.
I'll expect you to earn your keep, and  no  mistake  about  that.  Yes,  I
suppose I might as well take her off your hands, Miss Cuthbert. The baby's
awful fractious, and I'm clean worn out attending to him. If  you  like  I
can take her right home now."
    Marilla looked at Anne and softened at sight of the child's pale face
with its look of mute misery-the misery of a helpless little creature  who
finds itself once more caught in the  trap  from  which  it  had  escaped.
Marilla felt an uncomfortable conviction that, if she denied the appeal of
that look, it would haunt her to her dying  day.  Moreover,  she  did  not
fancy Mrs. Blewett. To hand a sensitive, "highstrung" child over to such a
woman! No, she could not take the responsibility of doing that!
    "Well, I don't know," she said slowly. "I didn't say that Matthew and
I had absolutely decided that we wouldn't keep her. In fact I may say that
Matthew is disposed to keep her. I just came over  to  find  out  how  the
mistake had occurred. I think I'd better take her home again and  talk  it
over with Matthew. I feel that I oughtn't to decide  on  anything  without
consulting him. If we make up our mind not to keep her we'll bring or send
her over to you tomorrow night. If we don't you may know that she is going
to stay with us. Will that suit you, Mrs. Blewett?"
    "I suppose it'll have to," said Mrs. Blewett ungraciously.
    During Marilla's speech a sunrise had been dawning  on  Anne's  face.
First the look of despair faded out; then came a faint flush of hope; here
eyes  grew  deep  and  bright  as  morning  stars.  The  child  was  quite
transfigured; and, a moment later, when Mrs. Spencer and Mrs. Blewett went
out in quest of a recipe the latter had come to borrow she sprang  up  and
flew across the room to Marilla.
    "Oh, Miss Cuthbert, did you really say that perhaps you would let  me
stay at Green Gables?" she said, in a breathless whisper, as  if  speaking
aloud might shatter the glorious possibility. "Did you really say  it?  Or
did I only imagine that you did?"
    "I think you'd better learn to control  that  imagination  of  yours,
Anne, if you can't distinguish between what is real and what isn't,"  said
Marilla crossly. "Yes, you did hear me say just that and no more. It isn't
decided yet and perhaps we ill conclude to let Mrs. Blewett take you after
all. She certainly needs you much more than I do."
    "I'd rather go back to the asylum than go to  live  with  her,"  said
Anne passionately. "She looks exactly like a-like a gimlet."
    Marilla smothered a smile under the  conviction  that  Anne  must  be
reproved for such a speech.
    "A little girl like you should be ashamed of talking so about a  lady
and a stranger," she said severely. "Go back and sit down quietly and hold
your tongue and behave as a good girl should."
    "I'll try to do and be anything you want me, if you'll only keep me,"
said Anne, returning meekly to her ottoman.
    When they arrived back at Green Gables that evening Matthew met  them
in the lane. Marilla from afar had noted him prowling along it and guessed
his motive. She was prepared for the relief she read in his face  when  he
saw that she had at least brought back Anne back with her.  But  she  said
nothing, to him, relative to the affair, until they were both out  in  the
yard behind the barn milking the cows. Then she briefly  told  him  Anne's
history and the result of the interview with Mrs. Spencer.
    "I wouldn't give a dog I liked to that Blewett woman,"  said  Matthew
with unusual vim."
    "I don't fancy her style myself," admitted Marilla, "but it's that or
keeping her ourselves, Matthew. And since you seem to want her, I  suppose
I'm willing-or have to be. I've been thinking over the idea until I've got
kind of used to it. It seems a sort of  duty.  I've  never  brought  up  a
child, especially a girl, and I dare say I'll make a terrible mess of  it.
But I'll do my best. So far as I'm concerned, Matthew, she may stay."
    Matthew's shy face was a glow of delight.
    "Well now, I reckoned you'd come to see it in that  light,  Marilla,"
he said. "She's such an interesting little thing."
    "It'd be more to the point if you could say she was a  useful  little
thing," retorted Marilla, "but I'll make  it  my  business  to  see  she's
trained to be that. And mind, Matthew, you're not to go  interfering  with
my methods. Perhaps an old maid doesn't know  much  about  bringing  up  a
child, but I guess she knows more than an old bachelor. So you just  leave
me to manage her. When I fail it'll be time enough to put your oar in."
    "There, there, Marilla, you can have  your  own  way,"  said  Matthew
reassuringly. "Only be as good and kind to her as you can without spoiling
her. I kind of think she's one of the sort you can do anything with if you
only get her to love you."
    Marilla sniffed, to  express  her  contempt  for  Matthew's  opinions
concerning anything feminine, and walked off to the dairy with the pails.
    "I won't tell her tonight that she can stay," she reflected,  as  she
strained the milk into  the  creamers.  "She'd  be  so  excited  that  she
wouldn't sleep a wink. Marilla Cuthbert, you're fairly in for it. Did  you
ever suppose you'd see the day when you'd be adopting an orphan girl? It's
surprising enough; but not so surprising as that Matthew should be at  the
bottom of it, him that always seemed to have such a mortal dread of little
girls. Anyhow, we've decided on the experiment  and  goodness  only  knows
what will come of it."

                          7. Anne Says Her Prayers

    When Marilla took Anne up to bed that night she said stiffly:
    "Now, Anne, I noticed last night that  you  threw  your  clothes  all
about the floor when you took them off. That is a very untidy habit, and I
can't allow it at all. As soon as you take off  any  article  of  clothing
fold it neatly and place it on the chair. I haven't any  use  at  all  for
little girls who aren't neat."
    "I was so harrowed up in my mind last night that I didn't think about
my clothes at all," said Anne. "I'll fold them nicely tonight. They always
made us do that at the asylum. Half the time, though, I'd forget,  I'd  be
in such a hurry to get into bed nice and quiet and imagine things."
    "You'll  have  to  remember  a  little  better  if  you  stay  here,"
admonished Marilla. "There, that looks something like.  Say  your  prayers
now and get into bed."
    "I never say any prayers," announced Anne.
    Marilla looked horrified astonishment.
    "Why, Anne, what do you mean? Were  you  never  taught  to  say  your
prayers? God always wants little girls to say  their  prayers.  Don't  you
know who God is, Anne?"
    "`God is a spirit, infinite, eternal and unchangeable, in His  being,
wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and  truth,'"  responded  Anne
promptly and glibly.
    Marilla looked rather relieved.
    "So you do know something then, thank goodness! You're  not  quite  a
heathen. Where did you learn that?"
    "Oh, at the asylum  Sunday-school.  They  made  us  learn  the  whole
catechism. I liked it pretty well. There's something splendid  about  some
of the words. 'Infinite, eternal and unchangeable.' Isn't that  grand?  It
has such a roll to it-just like a big organ playing.  You  couldn't  quite
call it poetry, I suppose, but it sounds a lot like it, doesn't it?"
    "We're not talking about poetry, Anne-we  are  talking  about  saying
your prayers. Don't you know it's a terrible wicked thing not to say  your
prayers every night? I'm afraid you are a very bad little girl."
    "You'd find it easier to be bad than good if you had red hair,"  said
Anne reproachfully. "People who haven't red hair don't know  what  trouble
is. Mrs. Thomas told me that God made my hair red  ON  PURPOSE,  and  I've
never cared about Him since. And anyhow I'd always be too tired  at  night
to bother saying prayers. People who have to look  after  twins  can't  be
expected to say their prayers. Now, do you honestly think they can?"
    Marilla decided that Anne's religious training must be begun at once.
Plainly there was no time to be lost.
    "You must say your prayers while you are under my roof, Anne."
    "Why, of course, if you want me to," assented Anne  cheerfully.  "I'd
do anything to oblige you. But you'll have to tell me what to say for this
once. After I get into bed I'll imagine out a  real  nice  prayer  to  say
always. I believe that it will be quite interesting, now that  I  come  to
think of it."
    "You must kneel down," said Marilla in embarrassment.
    Anne knelt at Marilla's knee and looked up gravely.
    "Why must people kneel down to pray?" If I really wanted to pray I'll
tell you what I'd do. I'd go out into a great big field all alone or  into
the deep, deep, woods, and I'd look up  into  the  sky-up-up-up-into  that
lovely blue sky that looks as if there was no end  to  its  blueness.  And
then I'd just FEEL a prayer. Well, I'm ready. What am I to say?"
    Marilla felt more embarrassed than ever. She had  intended  to  teach
Anne the childish classic, "Now I lay me down to sleep." But she had, as I
have told you, the glimmerings of a sense of humor-which is simply another
name for a sense of fitness of things; and it  suddenly  occurred  to  her
that that simple little prayer, sacred to white-robed childhood lisping at
motherly knees, was entirely unsuited to this freckled witch of a girl who
knew and cared nothing bout  God's  love,  since  she  had  never  had  it
translated to her through the medium of human love.
    "You're old enough to pray for yourself,  Anne,"  she  said  finally.
"Just thank God for your blessings and ask Him humbly for the  things  you
    "Well, I'll do my best," promised Anne, burying her face in Marilla's
lap. "Gracious heavenly Father-that's the way  the  ministers  say  it  in
church, so I suppose it's all right in  private  prayer,  isn't  it?"  she
interjected, lifting her head for a moment.

    "Gracious heavenly Father, I thank Thee for the White Way of  Delight
and the Lake of Shining Waters and Bonny and the Snow  Queen.  I'm  really
extremely grateful for them. And that's all the blessings I can  think  of
just now to thank Thee for. As for the things I want, they're so  numerous
that it would take a great deal of time to name them all so  I  will  only
mention the two most important. Please let me stay at  Green  Gables;  and
please let me be good-looking when I grow up.
    I remain,
                                                     "Yours respectfully,
                                                            Anne Shirley.

    "There, did I do all right?" she asked eagerly, getting up. "I  could
have made it much more flowery if I'd had a little more time to  think  it
    Poor Marilla was only preserved from complete collapse by remembering
that it was not irreverence, but simply spiritual ignorance on the part of
Anne that was responsible for this extraordinary petition. She tucked  the
child up in bed, mentally vowing that she should be taught  a  prayer  the
very next day, and was leaving the room with the light  when  Anne  called
her back.
    "I've just thought of it now. I should have said, `Amen' in place  of
`yours respectfully,' shouldn't I?-the way the ministers do. I'd forgotten
it, but I felt a prayer should be finished off in some way, so  I  put  in
the other. Do you suppose it will make any difference?"
    "I-I don't suppose it will," said Marilla. "Go to sleep  now  like  a
good child. Good night."
    "I can only say good night tonight with  a  clear  conscience,"  said
Anne, cuddling luxuriously down among her pillows.
    Marilla retreated to the kitchen, set the candle firmly on the table,
and glared at Matthew.
    "Matthew Cuthbert, it's about time somebody adopted  that  child  and
taught her something. She's next door  to  a  perfect  heathen.  Will  you
believe that she never said a prayer in her life till tonight?  I'll  send
her to the manse tomorrow and borrow the Peep of the  Day  series,  that's
what I'll do. And she shall go to Sunday-school just as soon as I can  get
some suitable clothes made for her. I foresee that I shall have  my  hands
full. Well, well, we can't get through this world  without  our  share  of
trouble. I've had a pretty easy life of it so far, but my time has come at
last and I suppose I'll just have to make the best of it."

                      8. Anne's Bringing-up Is Begun

    For reasons best known to herself, Marilla did not tell Anne that she
was to stay at Green Gables until the next afternoon. During the  forenoon
she kept the child busy with various tasks and watched  over  her  with  a
keen eye while she did them. By noon she had concluded that Anne was smart
and obedient, willing to  work  and  quick  to  learn;  her  most  serious
shortcoming seemed to be a tendency to fall into daydreams in  the  middle
of a task and forget all about it until  such  time  as  she  was  sharply
recalled to earth by a reprimand or a catastrophe.
    When Anne  had  finished  washing  the  dinner  dishes  she  suddenly
confronted  Marilla  with  the  air  and  expression  of  one  desperately
determined to learn the worst. Her thin little body trembled from head  to
foot; her face flushed and her eyes dilated until they were almost  black;
she clasped her hands tightly and said in an imploring voice:
    "Oh, please, Miss Cuthbert, won't you tell me if  you  are  going  to
send me away or not?" I've tried to be patient  all  the  morning,  but  I
really feel that I cannot bear not knowing any  longer.  It's  a  dreadful
feeling. Please tell me."
    "You haven't scalded the dishcloth in clean hot water as I  told  you
to do," said Marilla immovably. "Just go and do it before you ask any more
questions, Anne."
    Anne went and attended to the dishcloth. Then she returned to Marilla
and fastened imploring eyes of the latter's face.
    "Well," said Marilla, unable to find any  excuse  for  deferring  her
explanation longer, "I suppose I might as well tell  you.  Matthew  and  I
have decided to keep you-that is, if you will try to be a good little girl
and show yourself grateful. Why, child, whatever is the matter?"
    "I'm crying," said Anne in a tone of  bewilderment.  "I  can't  think
why. I'm glad as glad can be. Oh, GLAD doesn't seem the right word at all.
I was glad about the White Way and the cherry blossoms-but this! Oh,  it's
something more than glad. I'm so happy. I'll try to be so good. It will be
uphill work, I expect, for Mrs. Thomas often told  me  I  was  desperately
wicked. However, I'll do my very best. But can you tell me why I'm crying?"
    "I suppose it's because you're  all  excited  and  worked  up,"  said
Marilla disapprovingly. "Sit down on that chair and try to calm  yourself.
I'm afraid you both cry and laugh far too easily. Yes, you can  stay  here
and we will try to do right by you. You must go to school; but it's only a
fortnight till vacation so it isn't worth while for you to start before it
opens again in September."
    "What am I to call  you?"  asked  Anne.  "Shall  I  always  say  Miss
Cuthbert? Can I call you Aunt Marilla?"
    "No; you'll call me just plain Marilla. I'm not used to being  called
Miss Cuthbert and it would make me nervous."
    "It sounds awfully disrespectful  to  just  say  Marilla,"  protested
    "I guess there'll be nothing disrespectful in it if you're careful to
speak respectfully. Everybody, young and old, in Avonlea calls me  Marilla
except the minister. He says Miss Cuthbert-when he thinks of it."
    "I'd love to call you Aunt Marilla," said Anne wistfully. "I've never
had an aunt or any relation at all-not even a grandmother. It  would  make
me feel as if I really belonged to you. Can't I call you Aunt Marilla?"
    "No. I'm not your aunt and I don't believe in  calling  people  names
that don't belong to them."
    "But we could imagine you were my aunt."
    "I couldn't," said Marilla grimly.
    "Do you never imagine things different from what  they  really  are?"
asked Anne wide-eyed.
    "Oh!" Anne drew a long breath. "Oh, Miss-Marilla, how much you miss!"
    "I don't believe in imagining things different from what they  really
are," retorted Marilla. "When the Lord puts us in certain circumstances He
doesn't mean for us to imagine them away. And that reminds me. Go into the
sitting room, Anne-be sure your feet are clean and  don't  let  any  flies
in-and bring me out the illustrated card that's on  the  mantelpiece.  The
Lord's Prayer is on it and you'll devote your spare time this afternoon to
learning it off by heart. There's to be no more of such praying as I heard
last night."
    "I suppose I was very awkward," said Anne apologetically, "but  then,
you see, I'd never had any practice. You couldn't really expect  a  person
to pray very well the first time she tried, could you?  I  thought  out  a
splendid prayer after I went to bed, just as I promised you  I  would.  It
was nearly as long as a minister's and so poetical. But would you  believe
it? I couldn't remember one word when I woke  up  this  morning.  And  I'm
afraid I'll never be able to think to another one as good. Somehow, things
never are so good when they're thought out a second time.  Have  you  ever
noticed that?"
    "Here is something for you to notice, Anne. When I tell you to  do  a
thing I want you to  obey  me  at  once  and  not  stand  stock-still  and
discourse about it. Just you go and do as I bid you."
    Anne promptly departed for the  sitting-room  across  the  hall;  she
failed to return; after waiting ten minutes Marilla laid down her knitting
and marched after her with a grim  expression.  She  found  Anne  standing
motionless before a picture hanging on the wall between the  two  windows,
with her eyes astar with  dreams.  The  white  and  green  light  strained
through apple trees and clustering vines outside fell over the rapt little
figure with a half-unearthly radiance.
    "Anne, whatever are you thinking of?" demanded Marilla sharply.
    Anne came back to earth with a start.
    "That," she said, pointing  to  the  picture-a  rather  vivid  chromo
entitled, "Christ Blessing Little Children"-"and I was  just  imagining  I
was one of them-that I was the little girl in the blue dress, standing off
by herself in the corner as if she didn't belong to anybody, like me.  She
looks lonely and sad, don't you think? I guess she hadn't  any  father  or
mother of her own. But she wanted to be blessed, too, so  she  just  crept
shyly up  on  the  outside  of  the  crowd,  hoping  nobody  would  notice
her-except Him. I'm sure I know just how she felt.  Her  heart  must  have
beat and her hands must have got cold, like mine did when I asked you if I
could stay. She was afraid He mightn't notice her. But it's likely He did,
don't you think? I've been trying to  imagine  it  all  out-her  edging  a
little nearer all the time until she was quite close to Him; and  then  He
would look at her and put His hand on her hair and oh, such  a  thrill  of
joy as would run over her! But I wish the artist  hadn't  painted  Him  so
sorrowful looking. All His pictures are like that, if you've noticed.  But
I don't believe He could really have looked so sad or the  children  would
have been afraid of Him."
    "Anne," said Marilla, wondering why she  had  not  broken  into  this
speech   long   before,   "you   shouldn't    talk    that    way.    It's
irreverent-positively irreverent."
    Anne's eyes marveled.
    "Why, I felt just as reverent as could be. I'm sure I didn't mean  to
be irreverent."
    "Well I don't suppose you did-but it doesn't sound right to  talk  so
familiarly about such things. And another thing. Anne,  when  I  send  you
after something you're to bring it at once and not fall into  mooning  and
imagining before pictures. Remember that. Take that card and come right to
the kitchen. Now, sit down in the corner and  learn  that  prayer  off  by
    Anne set the card up against the jugful of  apple  blossoms  she  had
brought in to decorate the dinnertable-Marilla had  eyed  that  decoration
askance, but had said nothingpropped her chin on her hands,  and  fell  to
studying it intently for several silent minutes.
    "I like this," she announced at length. "It's beautiful.  I've  heard
it before-I heard the superintendent of the asylum Sunday  school  say  it
over once. But I didn't like it then. He had such a cracked voice  and  he
prayed it so mournfully. I really felt  sure  he  thought  praying  was  a
disagreeable duty. This isn't poetry, but it makes me feel just  the  same
way poetry does. `Our Father who art in heaven hallowed be Thy name.' That
is just like a line of music. Oh, I'm so glad you  thought  of  making  me
learn this, MissMarilla."
    "Well, learn it and hold your tongue," said Marilla shortly.
    Anne tipped the vase of apple blossoms near enough to bestow  a  soft
kiss on a pink-cupped but, and then studied diligently  for  some  moments
    "Marilla," she demanded presently, "do you think that  I  shall  ever
have a bosom friend in Avonlea?"
    "A-a what kind of friend?"
    'A bosom friend-an intimate friend, you know-a really kindred  spirit
to whom I can confide my inmost soul. I've dreamed of meeting her  all  my
life. I never really supposed I would, but so many of my loveliest  dreams
have come true all at once that perhaps this one will, too. Do  you  think
it's possible?"
    "Diana Barry lives over at Orchard Slope and she's  about  your  age.
She's a very nice little girl, and perhaps she will be a playmate for  you
when she comes home. She's visiting her aunt over  at  Carmody  just  now.
You'll have to be careful how you behave yourself, though. Mrs. Barry is a
very particular woman. She won't let Diana play with any little  girl  who
isn't nice and good."
    Anne looked at Marilla through the apple  blossoms,  her  eyes  aglow
with interest.
    "What is Diana like? Her hair isn't red, is it? Oh, I hope not.  It's
bad enough to have red hair myself, but I positively couldn't endure it in
a bosom friend."
    "Diana is a very pretty little girl. She has black eyes and hair  and
rosy cheeks. And she is good and smart, which is better than being pretty."
    Marilla was as fond of morals as the Duchess in Wonderland,  and  was
firmly convinced that one should be tacked on to every remark  made  to  a
child who was being brought up.
    But Anne waved the moral inconsequently aside and seized only on  the
delightful possibilities before it.
    "Oh, I'm so glad she's pretty. Next to  being  beautiful  oneself-and
that's impossible in my case-it would be best to have  a  beautiful  bosom
friend. When I lived with Mrs. Thomas she had a bookcase  in  her  sitting
room with glass doors. There weren't any books in it; Mrs. Thomas kept her
best china and her preserves there-when she had any preserves to deep. One
of the doors was broken. Mr. Thomas smashed  it  one  night  when  he  was
slightly intoxicated. But the other was whole and I used to  pretend  that
my reflection in it was another little girl who lived in it. I called  her
Katie Maurice, and we were very intimate. I used to talk  to  her  by  the
hour, especially on Sunday, and tell her everything. Katie was the comfort
and consolation of my life. We used  to  pretend  that  the  bookcase  was
enchanted and that if I only knew the spell I could open the door and step
right into the room where  Katie  Maurice  lived,  instead  of  into  Mrs.
Thomas' shelves of preserves and china. And then Katie Maurice would  have
taken me by the hand and led me out into a wonderful  place,  all  flowers
and sunshine and fairies, and we would have lived  there  happy  for  ever
after. When I went to live with Mrs. Hammond it just  broke  my  heart  to
leave Katie Maurice. She felt it dreadfully, too, I know she did, for  she
was crying when she kissed me good-bye through the  bookcase  door.  There
was no bookcase at Mrs. Hammond's. But just up the river a little way from
the house there was a long green little valley,  and  the  loveliest  echo
lived there. It echoed back every word you said, even if you didn't talk a
bit loud. So I imagined that it was a little girl called Violetta  and  we
were great friends and I loved  her  almost  as  well  as  I  loved  Katie
Maurice-not quite, but almost, you know. The night before I  went  to  the
asylum I said good-bye to Violetta, and oh, her good-bye came back  to  me
in such sad, sad tomes. I had become so attached to her that I hadn't  the
heart to imagine a bosom friend at the asylum, even if there had been  any
scope for imagination there."
    "I think it's just as well there  wasn't,"  said  Marilla  drily.  "I
don't approve of such  goings-on.  You  seem  to  half  believe  your  own
imaginations. It will be well for you to have a real live  friend  to  put
such nonsense out of your head. But don't let Mrs. Barry hear you  talking
about your Katie Maurices and your Violettas  or  she'll  think  you  tell
    "Oh, I won't. I couldn't talk of them to everybody-their memories are
too sacred for that. But I thought I'd like to have you know  about  them.
Oh, look, here's a big bee just tumbled out  of  an  apple  blossom.  Just
think what a lovely place to live-in an  apple  blossom!  Fancy  going  to
sleep in it when the wind was rocking it. If I wasn't a human girl I think
I'd like to be a bee and live among the flowers."
    "Yesterday you wanted to be a sea gull," sniffed  Marilla.  "I  think
you are very fickle minded. I told you to learn that prayer and not  talk.
But it seems impossible for you to stop talking if you've got anybody that
will listen to you. So go up to your room and learn it."
    "Oh, I know it pretty nearly all now-all but just the last line."
    "Well, never mind, do as I tell you.  Go  to  your  room  and  finish
learning it well, and stay there until I call you down to help me get tea."
    "Can I take the apple blossoms with me for company?" pleaded Anne.
    "No; you don't want your room cluttered up with flowers.  You  should
have left them on the tree in the first place."
    "I did feel a little that way, too," said Anne. "I  kind  of  felt  I
shouldn't shorten their lovely lives by picking them-I wouldn't want to be
picked if I were an apple blossom. But the  temptation  was  IRRESISTIBLE.
What do you do when you meet with an irresistible temptation?"
    "Anne, did you hear me tell you to go to your room?"
    Anne sighed, retreated to the east gable, and sat down in a chair  by
the window.
    "There-I know this  prayer.  I  learned  that  last  sentence  coming
upstairs. Now I'm going to imagine things into this room so  that  they'll
always stay imagined. The floor is covered with a white velvet carpet with
pink roses all over it and there are pink silk curtains  at  the  windows.
The furniture is mahogany. I never saw any mahogany, but it does sound  SO
luxurious. This is a couch all heaped with gorgeous silken cushions,  pink
and blue and crimson and gold, and I am reclining gracefully on it. I  can
see my reflection in that splendid big mirror hanging on the  wall.  I  am
tall and regal, clad in a gown of trailing white lace, with a pearl  cross
on my breast and pearls in my hair. My hair is of midnight darkness and my
skin is a clear ivory pallor. My name is the Lady Cordelia Fitzgerald. No,
it isn't-I can't make THAT seem real."
    She danced up to the little looking-glass and  peered  into  it.  Her
pointed freckled face and solemn gray eyes peered back at her.
    "You're only Anne of Green Gables," she said earnestly,  "and  I  see
you, just as you are looking now, whenever I try to imagine I'm  the  Lady
Cordelia. But it's a million times nicer to be Anne of Green  Gables  than
Anne of nowhere in particular, isn't it?"
    She bent forward, kissed her reflection  affectionately,  and  betook
herself to the open window

    "Dear Snow Queen, good afternoon. And  good  afternoon  dear  birches
down in the hollow. And good afternoon, dear gray house up on the hill.  I
wonder if Diana is to be my bosom friend. I hope she  will,  and  I  shall
love her very much. But I  must  never  quite  forget  Katie  Maurice  and
Violetta. They would feel so hurt if I did and I'd hate to hurt  anybody's
feelings, even a little bookcase girl's or a little echo girl's. I must be
careful to remember them and send them a kiss every day."

    Anne blew a couple of airy kisses from her fingertips past the cherry
blossoms and then, with her chin in her hands, drifted luxuriously out  on
a sea of daydreams.

              9. Mrs. Rachel Lynde Is Properly Horrified

    Anne had been a fortnight at Green Gables before Mrs.  Lynde  arrived
to inspect her. Mrs. Rachel, to do her justice, was not to blame for this.
A severe and unseasonable attack of grippe had confined that good lady  to
her house ever since the occasion of her last visit to Green Gables.  Mrs.
Rachel was not often sick and had a welldefined contempt  for  people  who
were; but grippe, she asserted, was like no other  illness  on  earth  and
could only be interpreted as one of the special visitations of Providence.
As soon as her doctor allowed her to put her foot out-of-doors she hurried
up to Green Gables, bursting with curiosity to see Matthew's and Marilla's
orphan, concerning whom all sorts of stories  and  suppositions  had  gone
abroad in Avonlea.
    Anne had made good use of every  waking  moment  of  that  fortnight.
Already she was acquainted with every tree and shrub about the place.  She
had discovered that a lane opened out below the apple orchard and  ran  up
through a belt of woodland; and she had explored it to its furthest end in
all its delicious vagaries of brook  and  bridge,  fir  coppice  and  wild
cherry arch, corners thick with fern, and branching byways  of  maple  and
mountain ash.
    She had made friends with the spring down in the hollowthat wonderful
deep, clear icy-cold spring; it was set about with smooth  red  sandstones
and rimmed in by great palm-like clumps of water fern; and beyond it was a
log bridge over the brook.
    That bridge led Anne's dancing feet up over  a  wooded  hill  beyond,
where perpetual twilight reigned under the  straight,  thick-growing  firs
and spruces; the only flowers there were myriads of delicate "June bells,"
those shyest and sweetest of  woodland  blood,  and  a  few  pale,  aerial
starflowers, like the spirits of last year's blossoms. Gossamers glimmered
like threads of silver among the trees and  the  fir  boughs  and  tassels
seemed to utter friendly speech.
    All these raptured voyages of exploration were made in the  odd  half
hours which she was allowed for play, and Anne talked Matthew and  Marilla
halfdeaf over her discoveries. Not that Matthew complained, to be sure; he
listened to it all with a wordless smile of enjoyment on his face; Marilla
permitted the "chatter" until she found herself becoming too interested in
it, whereupon she always promptly quenched Anne by a curt command to  hold
her tongue.
    Anne was out in the orchard when Mrs. Rachel came, wandering  at  her
own sweet will through the lush, tremulous  grasses  splashed  with  ruddy
evening sunshine; so that good lady had an excellent chance  to  talk  her
illness fully over, describing every ache and pulse beat with such evident
enjoyment that Marilla thought even grippe must bring  its  compensations.
When details were exhausted Mrs. Rachel introduced the real reason of  her
    "I've been hearing some surprising things about you and Matthew."
    "I don't suppose you are any more surprised than I am  myself,"  said
Marilla. "I'm getting over my surprise now."
    "It was  too  bad  there  was  such  a  mistake,"  said  Mrs.  Rachel
sympathetically. "Couldn't you have sent her back?"
    "I suppose we could, but we decided not to. Matthew took a  fancy  to
her. And I must say I like her myselfalthough I admit she has her  faults.
The house seems a different place already.  She's  a  real  bright  little
    Marilla said more than she had intended to say when  she  began,  for
she read disapproval in Mrs. Rachel's expression.
    "It's a great responsibility you've taken  on  yourself,"  said  that
lady gloomily, "especially when  you've  never  had  any  experience  with
children. You don't know  much  about  her  or  her  real  disposition,  I
suppose, and there's no guessing how a child like that will turn out.  But
I don't want to discourage you I'm sure, Marilla."
    "I'm not feeling discouraged," was Marilla's dry  response.  "when  I
make up my mind to do a thing it stays made up. I suppose  you'd  like  to
see Anne. I'll call her in."
    Anne came running in presently, her face sparkling with  the  delight
of her orchard rovings; but, abashed at finding the delight herself in the
unexpected presence of a stranger, she halted confusedly inside the  door.
She certainly was an odd-looking little creature in the short tight wincey
dress she had worn from the asylum,  below  which  her  thin  legs  seemed
ungracefully long. Her freckles were  more  numerous  and  obtrusive  than
ever; the wind had ruffled her hatless hair into over-brilliant  disorder;
it had never looked redder than at that moment.
    "Well, they didn't pick you for your looks, that's sure and certain,"
was Mrs. Rachel Lynde's emphatic comment. Mrs. Rachel  was  one  of  those
delightful and popular people who pride themselves on speaking their  mind
without fear or favor. "She's terrible skinny and  homely,  Marilla.  Come
here, child, and let me have a look at you. Lawful heart, did any one ever
see such freckles? And hair as red as carrots! Come here, child, I say."
    Anne "came there," but not exactly as Mrs. Rachel expected. With  one
bound she crossed the kitchen floor and stood before Mrs. Rachel, her face
scarlet with anger,  her  lips  quivering,  and  her  whole  slender  form
trembling from head to foot.
    "I hate you," she cried in a choked voice, stamping her foot  on  the
floor. "I hate you-I hate you-I  hate  you-"  a  louder  stamp  with  each
assertion of hatred. "How dare you call me skinny and ugly? Hew  dare  you
say I'm freckled and redheaded? You are a rude, impolite, unfeeling woman!"
    "Anne!" exclaimed Marilla in consternation.
    But Anne continued to face Mrs. Rachel  undauntedly,  head  up,  eyes
blazing, hands clenched, passionate indignation exhaling from her like  an
    "How dare you say such things about  me?"  she  repeated  vehemently.
"How would you like to have such things said about you? How would you like
to be told that you are fat and clumsy and  probably  hadn't  a  spark  of
imagination in you? I don't care if I do hurt your feelings by saying  so!
I hope I hurt them. You have hurt mine worse  than  they  were  ever  hurt
before even by Mrs. Thomas' intoxicated husband. And  I'll  NEVER  forgive
you for it, never, never!"
    Stamp! Stamp!
    "Did anybody ever see such a temper!" exclaimed  the  horrified  Mrs.
    "Anne go to your room and stay there until I come up," said  Marilla,
recovering her powers of speech with difficulty.
    Anne, bursting into tears, rushed to the hall door, slammed it  until
the tins on the porch wall outside rattled in sympathy, and  fled  through
the hall and up the stairs like a whirlwind. A  subdued  slam  above  told
that the door of the east gable had been shut with equal vehemence.
    "Well, I don't envy you your job bringing  THAT  up,  Marilla,"  said
Mrs. Rachel with unspeakable solemnity.
    Marilla opened her lips to say  she  knew  not  what  of  apology  or
deprecation. What she did say was a surprise  to  herself  then  and  ever
    "You shouldn't have twitted her about her looks, Rachel."
    "Marilla Cuthbert, you don't mean to say that you are  upholding  her
in such a terrible display of temper as we've just  seen?"  demanded  Mrs.
Rachel indignantly.
    "No," said Marilla slowly, "I'm not trying to excuse her. She's  been
very naughty and I'll have to give her a talking to about it. But we  must
make allowances for her. She's never been taught what is  right.  And  you
WERE too hard on her, Rachel."
    Marilla could not help tacking on that last  sentence,  although  she
was again surprised at herself for doing it. Mrs. Rachel got  up  with  an
air of offended dignity.
    "Well, I see that I'll have to be very careful what I say after this,
Marilla, since the fine feelings of orphans, brought from  goodness  knows
where, have to be  considered  before  anything  else.  Oh,  no,  I'm  not
vexed-don't worry yourself. I'm too sorry for you to leave  any  room  for
anger in my mind. You'll have your own troubles with that  child.  But  if
you'll take my advice-which I suppose you won't do, although I've  brought
up ten children and buried two-you'll do that  `talking  to'  you  mention
with a fairsized birch switch. I should  think  THAT  would  be  the  most
effective language for that kind of a child. Her temper matches her hair I
guess. Well, good evening, Marilla. I hope you'll  come  down  to  see  me
often as usual. But you can't expect me to visit here again in a hurry, if
I'm liable to be flown at and insulted in such a fashion.  It's  something
new in MY experience."
    Whereat Mrs. Rachel swept out and away-if  a  fat  woman  who  always
waddled COULD be said to sweep away-and Marilla with a  very  solemn  face
betook herself to the east gable.
    On the way upstairs she pondered uneasily as to what she ought to do.
She felt no little dismay over the scene that had just been  enacted.  How
unfortunate that Anne should have displayed such temper before Mrs. Rachel
Lynde,  of  all  people!  Then  Marilla  suddenly  became  aware   of   an
uncomfortable and rebuking consciousness that she  felt  more  humiliation
over this than sorrow over the discovery  of  such  a  serious  defect  in
Anne's disposition. And how was she to punish her? The amiable  suggestion
of the birch switch-to the efficiency of which all of  Mrs.  Rachel's  own
children could have borne smarting testimonydid not appeal to Marilla. She
did not believe  she  could  whip  a  child.  No,  some  other  method  of
punishment must be found to bring Anne to  a  proper  realization  of  the
enormity of her offense.
    Marilla found Anne face downward on her bed, crying  bitterly,  quite
oblivious of muddy boots on a clean counterpane.
    "Anne," she said not ungently.
    No answer.
    "Anne," with greater severity, "get off  that  bed  this  minute  and
listen to what I have to say to you."
    Anne squirmed off the bed and sat rigidly on a chair beside  it,  her
face swollen and tear-stained and her eyes fixed stubbornly on the floor.
    "This is a nice way for you to behave. Anne! Aren't  you  ashamed  of
    "She hadn't any right to call me ugly and redheaded," retorted  Anne,
evasive and defiant.
    "You hadn't any right to fly into such a fury and talk  the  way  you
did to her, Anne. I was ashamed of youthoroughly ashamed of you. I  wanted
you to behave nicely to Mrs. Lynde, and instead of that you have disgraced
me. I'm sure I don't know why you should lose your temper like  that  just
because Mrs. Lynde said you were redhaired and homely. You say it yourself
often enough."
    "Oh, but there's such a difference between saying  a  thing  yourself
and hearing other people say it," wailed Anne. "You may know  a  thing  is
so, but you can't help hoping other people don't  quite  think  it  is.  I
suppose you think I have an awful temper, but I couldn't help it. When she
said those things something just rose right up in me and choked me. I  HAD
to fly out at her."
    "Well, you made a fine exhibition of yourself I must say. Mrs.  Lynde
will have a nice story to tell about you everywhere-and  she'll  tell  it,
too. It was a dreadful thing for you to lose your temper like that, Anne."
    "Just imagine how you would feel if somebody told you  to  your  face
that you were skinny and ugly," pleaded Anne tearfully.
    An old remembrance suddenly rose up before Marilla. She  had  been  a
very small child when she had heard one aunt say of her to another,  "What
a pity she is such a dark, homely little thing." Marilla was every day  of
fifty before the sting had gone out of that memory.
    "I don't say that I think Mrs. Lynde was exactly right in saying what
she did to you, Anne," she admitted in  a  softer  tone.  "Rachel  is  too
outspoken. But that is no excuse for such behavior on your part. She was a
stranger and an elderly person and my visitor-all three very good  reasons
why you should have been respectful  to  her.  You  were  rude  and  saucy
and"-Marilla had a saving inspiration of punishment-"you must  go  to  her
and tell her you are very sorry for your bad temper and ask her to forgive
    "I can never do that," said Anne determinedly and  darkly.  "You  can
punish me in any way you like, Marilla. You can shut me up in a dark, damp
dungeon inhabited by snakes and toads and feed me only on bread and  water
and I shall not complain. But I cannot ask Mrs. Lynde to forgive me."
    "We're not in the habit of shutting people up in dark damp dungeons,"
said Marilla drily, "especially as they're rather scarce in  Avonlea.  But
apologize to Mrs. Lynde you must and shall and you'll stay  here  in  your
room until you can tell me you're willing to do it."
    "I shall have to stay  here  forever  then,"  said  Anne  mournfully,
"because I can't tell Mrs. Lynde I'm sorry I said those things to her. How
can I? I'm NOT sorry. I'm sorry I've vexed you; but I'm GLAD  I  told  her
just what I did. It was a great satisfaction. I can't say I'm  sorry  when
I'm not, can I? I can't even IMAGINE I'm sorry."
    "Perhaps your imagination will be in  better  working  order  by  the
morning," said Marilla, rising to depart. "You'll have the night to  think
over your conduct in and come to a better frame  of  mind.  You  said  you
would try to be a very good girl if we kept you at  Green  Gables,  but  I
must say it hasn't seemed very much like it this evening."
    Leaving this Parthian shaft to rankle in Anne's stormy bosom, Marilla
descended to the kitchen, grievously troubled in mind and vexed  in  soul.
She was as angry with herself as with Anne, because, whenever she recalled
Mrs. Rachel's dumbfounded countenance her lips twitched with amusement and
she felt a most reprehensible desire to laugh.

                           10. Anne's Apology

    Marilla said nothing to Matthew about the affair  that  evening;  but
when Anne proved still refractory the next morning an explanation  had  to
be made to account for her absence from the breakfast table. Marilla  told
Matthew the whole story, taking pains to impress him with a due  sense  of
the enormity of Anne's behavior.
    "It's a  good  thing  Rachel  Lynde  got  a  calling  down;  she's  a
meddlesome old gossip," was Matthew's consolatory rejoinder.
    "Matthew Cuthbert, I'm  astonished  at  you.  You  know  that  Anne's
behavior was dreadful, and yet you take her  part!  I  suppose  you'll  be
saying next thing that she oughtn't to be punished at all!"
    "Well now-no-not exactly," said Matthew uneasily. I reckon she  ought
to be punished a little. But don't be too hard on her, Marilla.  Recollect
she hasn't ever had anyone to teach her right. You're-you're going to give
her something to eat, aren't you?"
    "When did you ever hear of me starving people  into  good  behavior?"
demanded Marilla indignantly. "She'll have her  meals  regular,  and  I'll
carry them up to her myself. But she'll stay up there until she's  willing
to apologize to Mrs. Lynde, and that's final, Matthew."
    Breakfast, dinner, and supper were very silent meals-for  Anne  still
remained obdurate. After each meal Marilla carried a well-filled  tray  to
the east gable and brought it  down  later  on  not  noticeably  depleted.
Matthew eyed its last descent with a troubled eye. Had Anne eaten anything
at all?
    When Marilla went out that evening to bring the cows  from  the  back
pasture, Matthew, who had been  hanging  about  the  barns  and  watching,
slopped into the house with the air of a burglar and crept upstairs. As  a
general thing Matthew  gravitated  between  the  kitchen  and  the  little
bedroom off the  hall  where  he  slept;  once  in  a  while  he  ventured
uncomfortable into the parlor or sitting room when the  minister  came  to
tea. But he had never been upstairs in his own house since the  spring  he
helped Marilla paper the spare bedroom, and that was four years ago.
    He tiptoed along the hall and stood for several minutes  outside  the
door of the east gable before he summoned courage to tap on  it  with  his
fingers and then open the door to peep in.
    Anne was sitting on the yellow chair by the window gazing  mournfully
out into the garden. Very small and  unhappy  she  looked,  and  Matthew's
heart smote him. He softly closed the door and tiptoed over to her.
    "Anne," he whispered, as if afraid of being overheard, "how  are  you
making it, Anne?"
    Anne smiled wanly.
    "Pretty well. I imagine a good deal, and that helps to pass the time.
Of course, it's rather lonesome. But then, I may as well get used to that."
    Anne  smiled  again,  bravely  facing  the  long  years  of  solitary
imprisonment before her.
    Matthew recollected that he must say what he had come to say  without
loss of time, lest Marilla return prematurely.
    "Well now, Anne, don't you think you'd better do it and have it  over
with?" he whispered. "It'll have to be done sooner or later, you know, for
Marilla's a dreadful determined woman-dreadful  determined,  Anne.  Do  it
right off, I say, and have it over."
    "Do you mean apologize to Mrs. Lynde?"
    "Yes-apologize-that's the very word,"  said  Matthew  eagerly.  "Just
smooth it over so to speak. That's what I was trying to get at."
    "I suppose I could do it to oblige you," said Anne thoughtfully.  "It
would be true enough to say I am sorry, because I AM sorry now. I wasn't a
bit sorry last night. I was mad clear through, and I stayed mad all night.
I know I did because I woke up three times and I was  just  furious  every
time. But this morning it was over. I wasn't in a  temper  anymore-and  it
left a dreadful sort of goneness, too. I felt so ashamed of myself. But  I
just couldn't think of going and telling Mrs. Lynde so.  It  would  be  so
humiliating. I made up my mind I'd stay shut up here forever  rather  than
do that. But still-I'd do anything for you-if you really want me to-"
    "Well now, of course I do. It's terrible lonesome downstairs  without
you. Just go and smooth things overthat's a good girl."
    "Very well," said Anne resignedly. "I'll tell Marilla as soon as  she
comes in I've repented."
    "That's right-that's right, Anne.  But  don't  tell  Marilla  I  said
anything about it. She might think I was putting my oar in and I  promised
not to do that."
    "Wild horses won't drag the secret from me," promised Anne  solemnly.
"How would wild horses drag a secret from a person anyhow?"
    But Matthew was gone, scared at his own success. He fled  hastily  to
the remotest corner of the horse pasture lest Marilla should suspect  what
he had been up to. Marilla herself, upon her  return  to  the  house,  was
agreeably surprised to hear a plaintive voice calling, "Marilla" over  the
    "Well?" she said, going into the hall.
    "I'm sorry I lost my temper and said rude things, and I'm willing  to
go and tell Mrs. Lynde so."
    "Very well." Marilla's crispness gave no sign of her relief. She  had
been wondering what under the canopy she should do if Anne  did  not  give
in. "I'll take you down after milking."
    Accordingly, after milking, behold Marilla and Anne walking down  the
lane, the former erect and triumphant, the latter drooping  and  dejected.
But halfway down Anne's dejection  vanished  as  if  by  enchantment.  She
lifted her head and stepped lightly along, her eyes fixed  on  the  sunset
sky and an air of subdued exhilaration about her Marilla beheld the change
disapprovingly. This was no meek penitent such as it behooved her to  take
into the presence of the offended Mrs. Lynde.
    "What are you thinking of, Anne?" she asked sharply.
    "I'm imagining out what i must say  to  Mrs.  Lynde,"  answered  Anne
    This was satisfactory-or should have been so. But Marilla  could  not
rid herself of the notion that something in her scheme of  punishment  was
going askew. Anne had no business to look so rapt and radiant.
    Rapt and radiant Anne continued until they were in the very  presence
of Mrs. Lynde, who was sitting knitting by her kitchen  window.  Then  the
radiance vanished. Mournful penitence appeared on every feature. Before  a
word was spoken Anne suddenly went down on her knees before the astonished
Mrs. Rachel and held out her hands beseechingly.
    "Oh, Mrs. Lynde, I am so extremely sorry," she said with a quiver  in
her voice. "I could never express all my sorrow, no, not if I  used  up  a
whole dictionary. You must just imagine it. I behaved terribly to  you-and
I've disgraced the dear friends, Matthew and Marilla, who have let me stay
at Green Gables although I'm not  a  boy.  I'm  a  dreadfully  wicked  and
ungrateful girl, and I deserve to be punished and cast out by  respectable
people forever. It was very wicked of me to fly into a temper because  you
told me the truth. It WAS the truth; every word you said was true. My hair
is red and I'm freckled and skinny and ugly. What i said to you was  true,
too, but I shouldn't have said it. Oh, Mrs. Lynde, please, please, forgive
me. If you refuse it will be a lifelong sorrow on  a  poor  little  orphan
girl would you, even if she had a dreadful  temper?  Oh,  I  am  sure  you
wouldn't. Please say you forgive me, Mrs. Lynde."
    Anne clasped her hands together, bowed her head, and waited  for  the
word of judgment.
    There was no mistaking her sincerity-it breathed in every tone of her
voice. Both Marilla and Mrs. Lynde recognized its unmistakable  ring.  But
the former understood in dismay that Anne was actually enjoying her valley
of humiliation-was reveling in the thoroughness of  her  abasement.  Where
was the wholesome punishment upon which she, Marilla, had plumed  herself?
Anne had turned it into a species of positive pleasure.
    Good Mrs. Lynde, not being overburdened with perception. did not  see
this. She only perceived that Anne had made a very  thorough  apology  and
all resentment vanished from her kindly, if somewhat officious, heart.
    "There, there, get up,  child,"  she  said  heartily.  "Of  course  I
forgive you. I guess I was a little too hard on you, anyway. But I'm  such
an outspoken person. You just mustn't mind me, that's what.  It  can't  be
denied your hair is terrible red; but I knew a girl  once-went  to  school
with her, in fact-whose hair was every mite as red as yours when  she  was
young, but when she grew up it darkened  to  a  real  handsome  auburn.  I
wouldn't be a mite surprised if yours did, too-not a mite."
    "Oh, Mrs. Lynde!" Anne drew a long breath as she rose  to  her  feet.
"You have given me a hope. I shall always feel that you are a  benefactor.
Oh, I could endure anything if I only thought my hair would be a  handsome
auburn when I grew up. It would be so much easier to be good if one's hair
was a handsome auburn, don't you think? And now may I  go  out  into  your
garden and sit on that bench under the apple-trees while you  and  Marilla
are talking? There is so much more scope for imagination out there."
    "Laws, yes, run along, child. And you can  pick  a  bouquet  of  them
white June lilies over in the corner if you like."
    As the door closed behind Anne Mrs. Lynde got briskly up to  light  a
    "She's a real odd little thing. Take this chair, Marilla; it's easier
than the one you've got; I just keep that for the hired  boy  to  sit  on.
Yes, she certainly is an odd child, but there is something kind of  taking
about her after all. I don't feel so surprised at you and Matthew  keeping
her as I did-nor so sorry for you, either. She may turn out all right.  Of
course, she has a queer way of expressing herselfa  little  too-well,  too
kind of forcible, you know; but she'll likely get over that now that she's
come to live among civilized folks. And then, her temper's pretty quick, I
guess; but there's one comfort, a child that  has  a  quick  temper,  just
blaze up and cool down,  ain't  never  likely  to  be  sly  or  deceitful.
Preserve me from a sly child, that's what. On the whole, Marilla,  I  kind
of like her."
    When Marilla went home Anne came out of the fragrant twilight of  the
orchard with a sheaf of white narcissi in her hands.
    "I apologized pretty well, didn't I?" she said proudly as  they  went
down the lane. "I thought since I had to do it  I  might  as  well  do  it
    "You did it thoroughly, all right  enough,"  was  Marilla's  comment.
Marilla was dismayed  at  finding  herself  inclined  to  laugh  over  the
recollection. She had also an uneasy feeling that she ought to scold  Anne
for apologizing so well; but then, that was  ridiculous!  She  compromised
with her conscience by saying severely:
    "I hope you won't have occasion to make many more such  apologies.  I
hope you'll try to control your temper now, Anne."
    "That wouldn't be so hard if people wouldn't twit me about my looks,"
said Anne with a sigh. "I don't get cross about other things; but  I'm  SO
tired of being twitted about my hair and it just makes me boil right over.
Do you suppose my hair will really be a handsome auburn when I grow up?"
    "You shouldn't think so much about your looks, Anne. I'm  afraid  you
are a very vain little girl."
    "How can I be vain when I know I'm homely?" protested Anne.  "I  love
pretty things; and I hate to look in the  glass  and  see  something  that
isn't pretty. It makes me feel so sorrowful-just as I feel when I look  at
any ugly thing. I pity it because it isn't beautiful."
    "Handsome is as handsome does," quoted Marilla.
    "I've had that said to me before, but I have  my  doubts  about  it,"
remarked skeptical Anne, sniffing  at  her  narcissi.  "Oh,  aren't  these
flowers sweet! It was lovely of Mrs. Lynde to give them to me. I  have  no
hard feelings against Mrs. Lynde now. It gives you a  lovely,  comfortable
feeling to apologize and be forgiven, doesn't it? Aren't the stars  bright
tonight? If you could live in a star, which one would you pick?  I'd  like
that lovely clear big one away over there above that dark hill."
    "Anne, do hold your tongue." said Marilla, thoroughly worn out trying
to follow the gyrations of Anne's thoughts.
    Anne said no more until they turned into their  own  lane.  A  little
gypsy wind came down it to meet them, laden  with  the  spicy  perfume  of
young dew-wet ferns. Far up in the shadows a cheerful  light  gleamed  out
through the trees from the kitchen at Green  Gables.  Anne  suddenly  came
close to Marilla and slipped her hand into the older woman's hard palm.
    "It's lovely to be going home and know it's home," she said. "I  love
Green Gables already, and I never loved any place before.  No  place  ever
seemed like home. Oh, Marilla, I'm so happy. I could pray  right  now  and
not find it a bit hard."
    Something warm and pleasant welled up in Marilla's heart at touch  of
that thin little hand in her own-a throb of the maternity she had  missed,
perhaps. Its  very  unaccustomedness  and  sweetness  disturbed  her.  She
hastened to restore her sensations to their normal calm by  inculcating  a
    "If you'll be a good girl you'll  always  be  happy,  Anne.  And  you
should never find it hard to say your prayers."
    "Saying one's prayers isn't exactly the same thing as praying,"  said
Anne meditatively. "But I'm going to imagine that I'm  the  wind  that  is
blowing up there in those tree tops. When I get tired of  the  trees  I'll
imagine I'm gently waving down here in the ferns-and then I'll fly over to
Mrs. Lynde's garden and set the flowers dancing-and then I'll go with  one
great swoop over the clover field-and then I'll  blow  over  the  Lake  of
Shining Waters and ripple it all  up  into  little  sparkling  waves.  Oh,
there's so much scope for imagination in a wind! So I'll not talk any more
just now, Marilla."
    "Thanks by to goodness for that," breathed Marilla in devout relief.

                 11. Anne's Impressions of Sunday-School

    "Well, how do you like them?" said Marilla.
    Anne was standing in the gable room, looking solemnly  at  three  new
dresses spread out on the bed. One was of  snuffy  colored  gingham  which
Marilla had been tempted to  buy  from  a  peddler  the  preceding  summer
because it looked so serviceable; one  was  of  black-and-white  checkered
sateen which she had picked up at a bargain counter in the winter; and one
was a stiff print of an ugly blue shade which she had purchased that  week
at a Carmody store.
    She had made them up herself, and  they  were  all  made  alike-plain
skirts fulled tightly to plain waists, with sleeves as plain as waist  and
skirt and tight as sleeves could be.
    "I'll imagine that I like them," said Anne soberly.
    "I don't want you to imagine it," said Marilla, offended. "Oh, I  can
see you don't like the dresses! What is the matter with them? Aren't  they
neat and clean and new?"
    "Then why don't you like them?"
    "They're-they're not-pretty," said Anne reluctantly.
    "Pretty!" Marilla sniffed. "I didn't trouble my  head  about  getting
pretty dresses for you. I don't believe in pampering  vanity,  Anne,  I'll
tell you that right off. Those dresses  are  good,  sensible,  serviceable
dresses, without any frills or  furbelows  about  them,  and  they're  all
you'll get this summer. The brown gingham and the blue print will  do  you
for school when you begin to go. The  sateen  is  for  church  and  Sunday
school. I'll expect you to keep them neat and clean and not to tear  them.
I should think you'd be grateful to get most anything after  those  skimpy
wincey things you've been wearing."
    "Oh, I AM grateful,"  protested  Anne.  "But  I'd  be  ever  so  much
gratefuller if-if you'd made just one of them with puffed sleeves.  Puffed
sleeves are so fashionable now. It would give me such a  thrill,  Marilla,
just to wear a dress with puffed sleeves."
    "Well, you'll have to do without your thrill. I hadn't  any  material
to waste on puffed sleeves. I think  they  are  ridiculous-looking  things
anyhow. I prefer the plain, sensible ones."
    "But I'd rather look ridiculous when everybody else does  than  plain
and sensible all by myself," persisted Anne mournfully.
    "Trust you for that! Well, hang those dresses carefully  up  in  your
closet, and then sit down and learn the Sunday  school  lesson.  I  got  a
quarterly from Mr. Bell for you and you'll go to Sunday school  tomorrow,"
said Marilla, disappearing downstairs in high dudgeon.
    Anne clasped her hands and looked at the dresses.
    "I did hope there would be a white  one  with  puffed  sleeves,"  she
whispered disconsolately. "I prayed for one, but I didn't much  expect  it
on that account. I didn't suppose God would have time to  bother  about  a
little orphan girl's dress. I knew I'd just have to depend on Marilla  for
it. Well, fortunately I can imagine that one  of  them  is  of  snow-white
muslin with lovely lace frills and three-puffed sleeves."
    The next morning warnings of a sick headache prevented  Marilla  from
going to Sunday-school with Anne.
    "You'll have to go down and call for Mrs.  Lynde,  Anne."  she  said.
"She'll see that you get into  the  right  class.  Now,  mind  you  behave
yourself properly. Stay to preaching afterwards and ask Mrs. Lynde to show
you our pew. Here's a cent for collection. Don't stare at people and don't
fidget. I shall expect you to tell me the text when you come home."
    Anne started off irreproachable, arrayed in the stiff  blackand-white
sateen, which, while decent as regards length and certainly  not  open  to
the charge of skimpiness, contrived to emphasize every corner and angle of
her thin figure. Her hat was a  little,  flat,  glossy,  new  sailor,  the
extreme plainness of which had likewise much disappointed  Anne,  who  had
permitted herself secret  visions  of  ribbon  and  flowers.  The  latter,
however, were supplied before  Anne  reached  the  main  road,  for  being
confronted halfway down the lane  with  a  golden  frenzy  of  windstirred
buttercups and  a  glory  of  wild  roses,  Anne  promptly  and  liberally
garlanded her hat with a heavy wreath of them. Whatever other people might
have thought of the result it satisfied Anne, and she tripped  gaily  down
the road, holding her ruddy head with its decoration of  pink  and  yellow
very proudly.
    When she had reached Mrs. Lynde's house she  found  that  lady  gone.
Nothing daunted Anne proceeded onward to the church alone.  In  the  porch
she found a crowd of little girls, all  more  or  less  gaily  attired  in
whites and blues and pinks, and all staring  with  curious  eyes  at  this
stranger in their midst, with her extraordinary  head  adornment.  Avonlea
little girls had already heard queer stories about Anne. Mrs.  Lynde  said
she had an awful temper; Jerry Buote, the hired boy at Green Gables,  said
she talked all the time to herself or to the  trees  and  flowers  like  a
crazy girl. They looked at her and whispered to each  other  behind  their
quarterlies. Nobody  made  any  friendly  advances,  then  or  later  when
theopening exercises were over and Anne found herself in  Miss  Rogerson's
    Miss Rogerson was a middle-aged lady who had taught a  Sunday  school
class for twenty years. Her method of teaching  was  to  ask  the  printed
questions from the quarterly  and  look  sternly  over  its  edge  at  the
particular little girl she thought  ought  to  answer  the  question.  She
looked very often  at  Anne,  and  Anne,  thanks  to  Marilla's  drilling,
answered promptly; but it may be questioned if she  understood  very  much
about either question or answer.
    She did not  think  she  liked  Miss  Rogerson,  and  she  felt  very
miserable; every other little girl in the class had puffed  sleeves.  Anne
felt that life was really not worth living without puffed sleeves.
    "Well, how did you like Sunday school?" Marilla wanted to  know  when
Anne came home. Her wreath having faded, Anne  had  discarded  it  in  the
lane, so Marilla was spared the knowledge of that for a time.
    "I didn't like it a bit. It was horrid."
    "Anne Shirley!" said Marilla rebukingly.
    Anne sat down on the rocker with a long sigh, kissed one  of  Bonny's
leaves, and waved her hand to a blossoming fuchsia.
    "They might have been lonesome while I was away," she explained. "And
now about the Sunday school. I behaved well, just as  you  told  me.  Mrs.
Lynde was gone, but I went right on myself. I went into the church, with a
lot of other little girls, and I sat in the corner of a pew by the  window
while the opening exercises went on. Mr. Bell made an awfully long prayer.
I would have been dreadfully tired before he got through if I hadn't  been
sitting by that window. But it looked right out on  the  Lake  of  Shining
Waters, so I just gazed at that and imagined all sorts of splendid things."
    "You shouldn't have done  anything  of  the  sort.  You  should  have
listened to Mr. Bell."
    "But he wasn't talking to me," protested Anne. "He was talking to God
and he didn't seem to be very much interested in it, either.  I  think  he
thought God was too far off though. There was long row  of  white  birches
hanging over the lake and the sunshine fell down through them, 'way,  'way
down, deep into the water. Oh, Marilla, it was like a beautiful dream!  It
game me a thrill and I just said, `Thank you for it, God,'  two  or  three
    "Not out loud, I hope," said Marilla anxiously.
    "Oh, no, just under my breath. Well, Mr. Bell did get through at last
and they told me to go into the  classroom  with  Miss  Rogerson's  class.
There were nine other girls in it. They all had puffed sleeves. I tried to
imagine mine were puffed, too, but I couldn't. Why couldn't I? It  was  as
easy as could be to imagine they were puffed when I was alone in the  east
gable, but it was awfully hard there among the others who had really truly
    "You shouldn't have  been  thinking  about  your  sleeves  in  Sunday
school. You should have been attending to the lesson. I hope you knew it."
    "Oh, yes; and I answered a lot of questions. Miss Rogerson asked ever
so many. I don't think it was fair for her to do all the asking. There wee
lots I wanted to ask her, but I didn't like to because I didn't think  she
was  a  kindred  spirit.  Then  all  the  other  little  girls  recited  a
paraphrase. She asked me if I knew any. I told her I didn't, but  I  could
recite, `The Dog at His Master's Grave' if she liked. That's in the  Third
Royal Reader. It isn't a really truly religious piece of poetry, but  it's
so sad and melancholy that it might as well be. She said  it  wouldn't  do
and she told me to learn the nineteenth paraphrase for next Sunday. I read
it over in church afterwards and it's splendid. There  are  two  lines  in
particular that just thrill me.

               "`Quick as the slaughtered squadrons fell
                 In Midian's evil day.'

    I don't know what `squadrons' means  nor  `Midian,'  either,  but  it
sounds SO tragical. I can hardly wait until next Sunday to recite it. I'll
practice  it  all  the  week.   After   Sunday   school   I   asked   Miss
Rogerson-because Mrs. Lynde was too far away-to show me your  pew.  I  sat
just as still as I could and the  text  was  Revelations,  third  chapter,
second and third verses. It was a very long text. If I was a minister  I'd
pick the short, snappy ones. The sermon was awfully long, too.  I  suppose
the minister had to match it to the text. I didn't  think  he  was  a  bit
interesting. The trouble with him  seems  to  be  that  he  hasn't  enough
imagination. I didn't listen to him very much. I just let my thoughts  run
and I thought of the most surprising things."
    Marilla felt helplessly that all this should be sternly reproved, but
she was hampered by the undeniable fact that some of the things  Anne  had
said, especially about the minister's sermons and Mr. Bell's prayers, were
what she herself had really thought deep down in her heart for years,  but
had never given expression to. It almost seemed to her that those  secret,
unuttered, critical thoughts had suddenly taken visible and accusing shape
and form in the person of this outspoken morsel of neglected humanity.

                       12. A Solemn Vow and Promise

    It was not until the next Friday that Marilla heard the story of  the
flower-wreathed hat. She came home from Mrs. Lynde's and  called  Anne  to
    "Anne, Mrs. Rachel says you went to church last Sunday with your  hat
rigged out ridiculous with roses and buttercups. What on earth put you  up
to such a caper? A pretty-looking object you must have been!"
    "Oh. I know pink and yellow aren't becoming to me," began Anne.
    "Becoming fiddlesticks! It was putting flowers on your hat at all, no
matter what color they  were,  that  was  ridiculous.  You  are  the  most
aggravating child!"
    "I don't see why it's any more ridiculous to wear flowers on your hat
than on your dress," protested Anne.  "Lots  of  little  girls  there  had
bouquets pinned on their dresses. What's the difference?"
    Marilla was not to be drawn from the safe concrete into dubious paths
of the abstract.
    "Don't answer me back like that, Anne. It was very silly of you to do
such a thing. Never let me catch you at such a trick  again.  Mrs.  Rachel
says she thought she would sink through the floor when  she  come  in  all
rigged out like that. She couldn't get near enough to  tell  you  to  take
them off till it was too late. She says people talked about  it  something
dreadful. Of course they would think I had no better sense than to let you
go decked out like that."
    "Oh, I'm so sorry," said Anne, tears welling into her eyes. "I  never
thought you'd mind. The roses and buttercups were so sweet  and  pretty  I
thought they'd look lovely on  my  hat.  Lots  of  the  little  girls  had
artificial flowers on their hats. I'm afraid I'm going to  be  a  dreadful
trial to you. Maybe you'd better send me back to the asylum. That would be
terrible; I don't think I could endure it; most likely  I  would  go  into
consumption; I'm so thin as it is, you see. But that would be better  than
being a trial to you."
    "Nonsense," said Marilla, vexed at herself for having made the  child
cry. "I don't want to send you back to the asylum, I'm sure. All I want is
that you should behave like other  little  girls  and  not  make  yourself
ridiculous. Don't cry any more. I've got some news for  you.  Diana  Barry
came home this afternoon. I'm going up to see if  I  can  borrow  a  skirt
pattern from Mrs. Barry, and if you like you can  come  with  me  and  get
acquainted with Diana."
    Anne rose to her feet, with clasped hands, the tears still glistening
on her cheeks; the dish towel she had been hemming slipped unheeded to the
    "Oh, Marilla, I'm  frightened-now  that  it  has  come  I'm  actually
frightened. What if she shouldn't like me! It would be the  most  tragical
disappointment of my life."
    "Now, don't get into a fluster. And I do wish you wouldn't  use  such
long words. It sounds so funny in a little girl. I guess Diana'll like you
well enough. It's her mother you've got to reckon  with.  If  she  doesn't
like you it won't matter how much Diana does. If she has heard about  your
outburst to Mrs. Lynde and going to church with buttercups round your  hat
I don't know what she'll think  of  you.  You  must  be  polite  and  well
behaved, and don't make any of your startling speeches. For  pity's  sake,
if the child isn't actually trembling!"
    Anne WAS trembling. Her face was pale and tense.
    "Oh, Marilla, you'd be excited, too, if you  were  going  to  meet  a
little girl you hoped to be your bosom friend and  whose  mother  mightn't
like you," she said as she hastened to get her hat.
    They went over to Orchard Slope by the short cut across the brook and
up the firry hill grove. Mrs. Barry came to the kitchen door in answer  to
Marilla's knock. She was a tall black-eyed,  black-haired  woman,  with  a
very resolute mouth. She had the reputation of being very strict with  her
    "How do you do, Marilla?" she said cordially. "Come in. And  this  is
the little girl you have adopted, I suppose?"
    "Yes, this is Anne Shirley," said Marilla.
    "Spelled with an E," gasped Anne, who, tremulous and excited  as  she
was, was determined there should be no misunderstanding on that  important
    Mrs. Barry, not hearing or not comprehending, merely shook hands  and
said kindly:
    "How are you?"
    "I am well in body although considerable rumpled up in spirit,  thank
you ma'am," said Anne  gravely.  Then  aside  to  Marilla  in  an  audible
whisper, "There wasn't anything startling in that, was there, Marilla?"
    Diana was sitting on the sofa, reading a book which she dropped  when
the callers entered. She was a very pretty little girl, with her  mother's
black eyes and hair, and rosy cheeks, and the merry expression  which  was
her inheritance from her father.
    "This is my little girl Diana," said Mrs. Barry.  "Diana,  you  might
take Anne out into the garden and show her your flowers. It will be better
for you than straining your eyes over that book. She  reads  entirely  too
much-" this to Marilla as the little girls went out-"and I  can't  prevent
her, for her father aids and abets her. She's always poring over  a  book.
I'm glad she has the prospect of a playmateperhaps it will take  her  more
    Outside in  the  garden,  which  was  full  of  mellow  sunset  light
streaming through the dark old firs to the west  of  it,  stood  Anne  and
Diana, gazing bashfully at one another over  a  clump  of  gorgeous  tiger
    The Barry garden was a bowery wilderness of flowers which would  have
delighted Anne's heart at any time  less  fraught  with  destiny.  It  was
encircled by huge old willows and  tall  firs,  beneath  which  flourished
flowers that loved the shade. Prim,  right-angled  paths  neatly  bordered
with clamshells, intersected it like moist red ribbons  and  in  the  beds
between old-fashioned flowers ran riot. There  were  rosy  bleeding-hearts
and great splendid crimson peonies; white, fragrant narcissi  and  thorny,
sweet Scotch roses; pink and blue and white  columbines  and  lilac-tinted
Bouncing Bets; clumps of southernwood and ribbon grass  and  mint;  purple
Adam-and-Eve, daffodils,  and  masses  of  sweet  clover  white  with  its
delicate, fragrant, feathery sprays; scarlet lightning that shot its fiery
lances over prim white  musk-flowers;  a  garden  it  was  where  sunshine
lingered and bees hummed, and winds, beguiled into loitering,  purred  and
    "Oh, Diana," said Anne at  last,  clasping  her  hands  and  speaking
almost in a whisper, "do you think-oh, do you think  you  can  like  me  a
little-enough to be my bosom friend?"
    Diana laughed. Diana always laughed before she spoke.
    "Why, I guess so," she said frankly. "I'm awfully glad you've come to
live at Green Gables. It will be jolly to  have  somebody  to  play  with.
There isn't any other girl who lives near enough to play with, and I've no
sisters big enough."
    "Will you swear to be my friend  forever  and  ever?"  demanded  Anne
    Diana looked shocked.
    "Why it's dreadfully wicked to swear," she said rebukingly.
    "Oh no, not my kind of swearing. There are two kinds, you know."
    "I never heard of but one kind," said Diana doubtfully.
    "There really is another. Oh, it isn't wicked at all. It  just  means
vowing and promising solemnly."
    "Well, I don't mind doing that," agreed Diana, relieved. "How do  you
do it?"
    "We must join hands-so," said Anne gravely.  "It  ought  to  be  over
running water. We'll just imagine this path is running water. I'll  repeat
the oath first. I solemnly swear to be faithful to my bosom friend,  Diana
Barry, as long as the sun and moon shall endure. Now you say it and put my
name in."
    Diana repeated the "oath" with a laugh fore and aft. Then she said:
    "You're a queer girl, Anne. I heard before that you were queer. But I
believe I'm going to like you real well."
    When Marilla and Anne went home Diana went with them as  for  as  the
log bridge. The two little girls walked with their arms about each  other.
At the brook they parted with many promises to spend  the  next  afternoon
    "Well, did you find Diana a kindred spirit?" asked  Marilla  as  they
went up through the garden of Green Gables.
    "Oh yes," sighed Anne,  blissfully  unconscious  of  any  sarcasm  on
Marilla's part. "Oh Marilla, I'm the happiest girl on Prince Edward Island
this very moment. I assure you I'll say my prayers with a right  good-will
tonight. Diana and I are going to build a playhouse in Mr. William  Bell's
birch grove tomorrow. Can I have those broken pieces of china that are out
in the woodshed? Diana's birthday is in February and  mine  is  in  March.
Don't you think that is a very strange coincidence? Diana is going to lend
me a book to read. She  says  it's  perfectly  splendid  and  tremendously
exciting. She's going to show me a place back  in  the  woods  where  rice
lilies grow. Don't you think Diana has got very soulful eyes? I wish I had
soulful eyes. Diana is going to teach me to sing a song called  `Nelly  in
the Hazel Dell.' She's going to give me a picture to put up  in  my  room;
it's a perfectly beautiful picture, she says-a lovely lady in a pale  blue
silk dress. A sewing machine agent gave it to her. I wish I had  something
to give Diana. I'm an inch taller than Diana, but  she  is  ever  so  much
fatter; she says she'd like to be thin because it's so much more graceful,
but I'm afraid she only said it to soothe my feelings. We're going to  the
shore some day to gather shells. We have agreed to call the spring down by
the log bridge the Dryad's Bubble. Isn't that a perfectly elegant name?  I
read a story once about a spring  called  that.  A  dryad  is  sort  of  a
grown-up fairy, I think."
    "Well, all I hope is you won't talk Diana to  death,"  said  Marilla.
"But remember this in all your planning, Anne. You're not  going  to  play
all the time nor most of it. You'll have your work to do and it'll have to
be done first."
    Anne's cup of happiness was full, and Matthew caused it to  overflow.
He had just got home  from  a  trip  to  the  store  at  Carmody,  and  he
sheepishly produced a small parcel from his pocket and handed it to  Anne,
with a deprecatory look at Marilla.
    "I heard you say you liked chocolate sweeties, so I got you some," he
    "Humph," sniffed Marilla. "It'll ruin her teeth and  stomach.  There,
there, child, don't look so dismal. You can eat those, since  Matthew  has
gone and got them. He'd  better  have  brought  you  peppermints.  They're
wholesomer. Don't sicken yourself eating all them at once now."
    "Oh, no, indeed, I won't," said Anne  eagerly.  "I'll  just  eat  one
tonight, Marilla. And I can give Diana half of them, can't  I?  The  other
half will taste twice as  sweet  to  me  if  I  give  some  to  her.  It's
delightful to think I have something to give her."
    "I will say it for the child," said Marilla when Anne had gone to her
gable, "she isn't stingy. I'm glad, for of all faults I detest  stinginess
in a child. Dear me, it's only three weeks since she came, and it seems as
if she'd been here always. I can't imagine the  place  without  her.  Now,
don't be looking I told-you-so, Matthew. That's bad enough in a woman, but
it isn't to be endured in a man. I'm perfectly willing to own up that  I'm
glad I consented to keep the child and that I'm getting fond of  her,  but
don't you rub it in, Matthew Cuthbert."

                     13. The Delights of Anticipation

    "It's time Anne was in to do her sewing," said Marilla,  glancing  at
the clock and then out into the yellow August afternoon  where  everything
drowsed in the heat. "She stayed playing with Diana more than half an hour
more'n I gave her leave to;  and  now  she's  perched  out  there  on  the
woodpile talking to  Matthew,  nineteen  to  the  dozen,  when  she  knows
perfectly well she ought to be at her work. And of course  he's  listening
to her like a perfect ninny. I never saw such an infatuated man. The  more
she talks and the odder the things  she  says,  the  more  he's  delighted
evidently. Anne Shirley, you come right in here this minute, do  you  hear
    A series of staccato taps on the west window brought Anne  flying  in
from the yard, eyes shining, cheeks faintly flushed with  pink,  unbraided
hair streaming behind her in a torrent of brightness.
    "Oh, Marilla," she exclaimed breathlessly, "there's  going  to  be  a
Sunday-school picnic next week-in Mr. Harmon Andrews's field,  right  near
the lake of Shining Waters. And Mrs. Superintendent Bell and  Mrs.  Rachel
Lynde are going to make ice cream-think of it, Marilla-ICE CREAM! And, oh,
Marilla, can I go to it?"
    "Just look at the clock, if you please, Anne. What time  did  I  tell
you to come in?"
    "Two o'clock-but isn't it splendid about the picnic, Marilla?  Please
can I go? Oh, I've never been to a picnic-I've  dreamed  of  picnics,  but
I've never-"
    "Yes, I told you to come at two o'clock. And it's a quarter to three.
I'd like to know why you didn't obey me, Anne."
    "Why, I meant to, Marilla, as much as could be. But you have no  idea
how fascinating Idlewild is. And then, of course, I had  to  tell  Matthew
about the picnic. Matthew is such a sympathetic listener. Please can I go?"
    "You'll   have   to   learn   to   resist    the    fascination    of
Idlewhateveryou-call-it. When I tell you to come in at a  certain  time  I
mean that time and not half  an  hour  later.  And  you  needn't  stop  to
discourse with sympathetic listeners on  your  way,  either.  As  for  the
picnic, of course you can go. You're a Sunday-school scholar, and it's not
likely I'd refuse to let you go when all the other little girls are going."
    "But-but," faltered Anne, "Diana says  that  everybody  must  take  a
basket of things to eat. I can't cook, as  you  know,  Marilla,  and-and-I
don't mind going to a picnic without puffed sleeves so much, but I'd  feel
terribly humiliated if I had to go without a basket. It's been preying  on
my mind ever since Diana told me."
    "Well, it needn't prey any longer. I'll bake you a basket."
    "Oh, you dear good Marilla. Oh, you are so kind to  me.  Oh,  I'm  so
much obliged to you."
    Getting through with her "ohs" Anne cast herself into Marilla's  arms
and rapturously kissed her sallow cheek. It was  the  first  time  in  her
whole life that childish lips  had  voluntarily  touched  Marilla's  face.
Again that sudden sensation of startling sweetness thrilled her.  She  was
secretly vastly pleased at Anne's impulsive caress, which was probably the
reason why she said brusquely:
    "There, there, never mind your kissing nonsense. I'd sooner  see  you
doing strictly as you're told. As for cooking, I mean to begin giving  you
lessons in that some of these days. But you're  so  featherbrained,  Anne,
I've been waiting to see if you'd sober down a  little  and  learn  to  be
steady before I begin. You've got to keep your wits about you  in  cooking
and not stop in the middle of things to let your thoughts  rove  all  over
creation. Now, get out your patchwork and have  your  square  done  before
    "I do NOT like patchwork,"  said  Anne  dolefully,  hunting  out  her
workbasket and sitting down before a little heap of red and white diamonds
with a sigh. "I think some kinds of sewing would be nice; but  there's  no
scope for imagination in  patchwork.  It's  just  one  little  seam  after
another and you never seem to be  getting  anywhere.  But  of  course  I'd
rather be Anne of Green Gables sewing patchwork than  Anne  of  any  other
place with nothing to do but play.  I  wish  time  went  as  quick  sewing
patches as it does when I'm playing with Diana, though.  Oh,  we  do  have
such elegant times, Marilla. I have to furnish most  of  the  imagination,
but I'm well able to do that. Diana is simply perfect in every other  way.
You know that little piece of land across the brook that runs  up  between
our farm and Mr. Barry's. It belongs to Mr. William Bell, and right in the
corner there is a little ring of white birch trees-the most romantic spot,
Marilla. Diana and I have our playhouse there. We call it Idlewild.  Isn't
that a poetical name? I assure you it took me some time to think it out. I
stayed awake nearly a whole night before I invented it. Then,  just  as  I
was dropping off  to  sleep,  it  came  like  an  inspiration.  Diana  was
ENRAPTURED when she heard it. We have got our house  fixed  up  elegantly.
You must come and see it, Marilla-won't you? We have great big stones, all
covered with moss, for seats, and boards from tree to  tree  for  shelves.
And we have all our dishes on them. Of course, they're all broken but it's
the easiest thing in the world to imagine that they are whole.  There's  a
piece of a plate with a spray  of  red  and  yellow  ivy  on  it  that  is
especially beautiful. We keep it in the parlor and we have the fairy glass
there, too. The fairy glass is as lovely as a dream. Diana found it out in
the woods behind their chicken  house.  It's  all  full  of  rainbows-just
little young rainbows that haven't grown big yet-and Diana's  mother  told
her it was broken off a hanging lamp they  once  had.  But  it's  nice  to
imagine the fairies lost it one night when they had a ball, so we call  it
the fairy glass. Matthew is going to make us a table. Oh,  we  have  named
that little round pool over in Mr. Barry's field Willowmere.  I  got  that
name out of the book Diana lent me. That was a  thrilling  book,  Marilla.
The heroine had five lovers. I'd be satisfied with one, wouldn't you?  She
was very handsome and she went through great tribulations. She could faint
as easy as anything. I'd love to be able to faint, wouldn't you,  Marilla?
It's so romantic. But I'm really very healthy  for  all  I'm  so  thin.  I
believe I'm getting fatter, though. Don't you think I am?  I  look  at  my
elbows every morning when I get up to see if any dimples are coming. Diana
is having a new dress made with elbow sleeves. She is going to wear it  to
the picnic. Oh, I do hope it will be fine next  Wednesday.  I  don't  feel
that I could endure the disappointment if anything happened to prevent  me
from getting to the picnic. I suppose I'd live through it, but I'm certain
it would be a lifelong sorrow. It wouldn't matter if I got  to  a  hundred
picnics in after years; they  wouldn't  make  up  for  missing  this  one.
They're going to have boats on the Lake of Shining Waters-and  ice  cream,
as I told you. I have never tasted ice cream. Diana tried to explain  what
it was like, but I guess ice cream is one of those things that are  beyond
    "Anne, you have talked even on for ten minutes by  the  clock,"  said
Marilla. "Now, just for curiosity's sake, see if you can hold your  tongue
for the same length of time."
    Anne held her tongue as desired. But for the rest  of  the  week  she
talked picnic and thought picnic and dreamed picnic. On Saturday it rained
and she worked herself up into such a frantic state lest it should keep on
raining until and over Wednesday  that  Marilla  made  her  sew  an  extra
patchwork square by way of steadying her nerves.
    On Sunday Anne confided to Marilla on the way home from  church  that
she grew  actually  cold  all  over  with  excitement  when  the  minister
announced the picnic from the pulpit.
    "Such a thrill as went up and down my back, Marilla!  I  don't  think
I'd ever really believed until then that there was honestly going to be  a
picnic. I couldn't help fearing I'd only imagined it. But when a  minister
says a thing in the pulpit you just have to believe it."
    "You set your heart too much on things, Anne," said Marilla,  with  a
sigh. "I'm afraid there'll be a great many disappointments  in  store  for
you through life."
    "Oh, Marilla, looking forward to things is half the pleasure of them,"
exclaimed Anne. "You mayn't get the things themselves; but  nothing  can
prevent you from having the fun of looking forward  to  them.  Mrs.  Lynde
says, `Blessed  are  they  who  expect  nothing  for  they  shall  not  be
disappointed.' But I think it would be worse to expect nothing than to  be
    Marilla wore her amethyst brooch to church that day as usual. Marilla
always wore her amethyst brooch to  church.  She  would  have  thought  it
rather sacrilegious to leave it off-as bad as forgetting her Bible or  her
collection  dime.  That  amethyst  brooch  was  Marilla's  most  treasured
possession. A seafaring uncle had given it to her mother who in  turn  had
bequeathed it to Marilla. It was an old-fashioned oval, containing a braid
of her mother's hair, surrounded by  a  border  of  very  fine  amethysts.
Marilla knew too little about precious stones  to  realize  how  fine  the
amethysts actually were; but she  thought  them  very  beautiful  and  was
always pleasantly conscious of their violet shimmer at her  throat,  above
her good brown satin dress, even although she could not see it.
    Anne had been smitten with delighted admiration when  she  first  saw
that brooch.
    "Oh, Marilla, it's a perfectly elegant brooch. I don't know  how  you
can pay attention to the sermon or the prayers when  you  have  it  on.  I
couldn't, I know. I think amethysts are just sweet. They are what  I  used
to think diamonds were like. Long ago, before I had ever seen a diamond, I
read about them and I tried to imagine what they would be like. I  thought
they would be lovely glimmering purple stones. When I saw a  real  diamond
in a lady's ring one day I was so disappointed I cried. Of course, it  was
very lovely but it wasn't my idea of a diamond. Will you let me  hold  the
brooch for one minute, Marilla? Do you think amethysts can be the souls of
good violets?"

                          14. Anne's Confession

    ON the Monday evening before the picnic Marilla came  down  from  her
room with a troubled face.
    "Anne," she said to that small personage, who was  shelling  peas  by
the spotless table and singing, "Nelly of the Hazel Dell" with a vigor and
expression that did credit to Diana's teaching, "did you see  anything  of
my amethyst brooch? I thought I stuck it in my pincushion when I came home
from church yesterday evening, but I can't find it anywhere."
    "I-I saw it this afternoon when you were away at  the  Aid  Society,"
said Anne, a little slowly. "I was passing your door when I saw it on  the
cushion, so I went in to look at it."
    "Did you touch it?" said Marilla sternly.
    "Y-e-e-s," admitted Anne, "I took it up and I pinned it on my  breast
just to see how it would look."
    "You had no business to do anything of the sort. It's very wrong in a
little girl to meddle. You shouldn't have gone into my room in  the  first
place and you shouldn't have touched a brooch that didn't belong to you in
the second. Where did you put it?"
    "Oh, I put it back on the bureau. I hadn't it on a minute.  Truly,  I
didn't mean to meddle, Marilla. I didn't think about its being wrong to go
in and try on the brooch; but I see now that it was and I'll never  do  it
again. That's one good thing about me. I never do the same  naughty  thing
    "You didn't put it back," said Marilla. "That brooch  isn't  anywhere
on the bureau. You've taken it out or something, Anne."
    "I did put it back," said Anne quickly-pertly,  Marilla  thought.  "I
don't just remember whether I stuck it on the pincushion or laid it in the
china tray. But I'm perfectly certain I put it back."
    "I'll go and have another look,"  said  Marilla,  determining  to  be
just. "If you put that brooch back it's there still. If it isn't I'll know
you didn't, that's all!"
    Marilla went to her room and made a thorough search,  not  only  over
the bureau but in every other place she thought the brooch might  possibly
be. It was not to be found and she returned to the kitchen.
    "Anne, the brooch is gone. By your own admission you  were  the  last
person to handle it. Now, what have you done with it? Tell me the truth at
once. Did you take it out and lose it?"
    "No, I didn't," said Anne  solemnly,  meeting  Marilla's  angry  gaze
squarely. "I never took the brooch out of your room and that is the truth,
if I was to be led to the block for it-although I'm not very certain  what
a block is. So there, Marilla."
    Anne's "so there" was only intended to emphasize her  assertion,  but
Marilla took it as a display of defiance.
    "I believe you are telling me a falsehood, Anne," she  said  sharply.
"I know you are. There  now,  don't  say  anything  more  unless  you  are
prepared to tell the whole truth. Go to your room and stay there until you
are ready to confess."
    "Will I take the peas with me?" said Anne meekly.
    "No, I'll finish shelling them myself. Do as I bid you."
    When Anne had gone Marilla went about her evening  tasks  in  a  very
disturbed state of mind. She was worried about her valuable  brooch.  What
if Anne had lost it? And how wicked of the child to deny having taken  it,
when anybody could see she must have! With such an innocent face, too!
    "I don't know what  I  wouldn't  sooner  have  had  happen,"  thought
Marilla, as she nervously shelled the peas. "Of course,  I  don't  suppose
she meant to steal it or anything like that. She's just taken it  to  play
with or help along that imagination of  hers.  She  must  have  taken  it,
that's clear, for there hasn't been a soul in that room since she  was  in
it, by her own story, until I went up tonight. And  the  brooch  is  gone,
there's nothing surer. I suppose she has lost it and is afraid to  own  up
for fear she'll be punished. It's a dreadful  thing  to  think  she  tells
falsehoods. It's a far worse thing than her fit of temper. It's a  fearful
responsibility to have a child in your house you can't trust. Slyness  and
untruthfulness-that's what she has displayed. I declare I feel worse about
that than about the brooch. If she'd only have told the truth about  it  I
wouldn't mind so much."
    Marilla went to her room at intervals all  through  the  evening  and
searched for the brooch, without finding it. A bedtime visit to  the  east
gable produced no result. Anne persisted in denying that she knew anything
about the brooch but Marilla was only the more firmly convinced  that  she
    She told Matthew the story the next morning. Matthew  was  confounded
and puzzled; he could not so quickly lose faith in  Anne  but  he  had  to
admit that circumstances were against her.
    "You're sure it hasn't fell down behind the  bureau?"  was  the  only
suggestion he could offer.
    "I've moved the bureau and I've taken out the drawers and I've looked
in every crack and cranny" was Marilla's positive answer. "The  brooch  is
gone and that child has taken it and lied about it. That's the plain, ugly
truth, Matthew Cuthbert, and we might as well look it in the face."
    "Well now, what  are  you  going  to  do  about  it?"  Matthew  asked
forlornly, feeling secretly thankful that Marilla and not he had  to  deal
with the situation. He felt no desire to put his oar in this time.
    "She'll stay in her room until she confesses," said  Marilla  grimly,
remembering the success of this method in the  former  case.  "Then  we'll
see. Perhaps we'll be able to find the brooch if she'll  only  tell  where
she took it; but in any case she'll have to be severely punished, Matthew."
    "Well now, you'll have to punish her," said Matthew, reaching for his
hat. "I've nothing to do with it, remember. You warned me off yourself."
    Marilla felt deserted by everyone. She could  not  even  go  to  Mrs.
Lynde for advice. She went up to the east gable with a very  serious  face
and left it with a face more serious still. Anne  steadfastly  refused  to
confess. She persisted in asserting that she had not taken the brooch. The
child had evidently been crying and Marilla felt a pang of pity which  she
sternly repressed. By night she was, as she expressed it, "beat out."
    "You'll stay in this room until you confess, Anne. You  can  make  up
your mind to that," she said firmly.
    "But the picnic is tomorrow, Marilla," cried Anne. "You won't keep me
from going to that, will you? You'll just let me out  for  the  afternoon,
won't you? Then I'll stay here as long as you like AFTERWARDS  cheerfully.
But I MUST go to the picnic."
    "You'll not go to picnics nor anywhere else until  you've  confessed,
    "Oh, Marilla," gasped Anne.
    But Marilla had gone out and shut the door.
    Wednesday morning dawned as bright and fair as if expressly  made  to
order for the picnic. Birds sang around Green Gables; the  Madonna  lilies
in the garden sent out whiffs of perfume that entered in on viewless winds
at every door and window,  and  wandered  through  halls  and  rooms  like
spirits of benediction. The birches in the hollow waved joyful hands as if
watching for Anne's usual morning greeting from the east gable.  But  Anne
was not at her window. When Marilla took her breakfast up to her she found
the child sitting primly on her bed, pale and  resolute,  with  tight-shut
lips and gleaming eyes.
    "Marilla, I'm ready to confess."
    "Ah!"  Marilla  laid  down  her  tray.  Once  again  her  method  had
succeeded; but her success was very bitter to her. "Let me hear  what  you
have to say then, Anne."
    "I took the amethyst brooch," said Anne, as if repeating a lesson she
had learned. "I took it just as you said. I didn't mean to take it when  I
went in. But it did look so beautiful, Marilla, when I  pinned  it  on  my
breast that I was overcome by an irresistible temptation. I  imagined  how
perfectly thrilling it would be to take it to Idlewild and play I was  the
Lady Cordelia Fitzgerald. It would be so much easier to imagine I was  the
Lady Cordelia if I had a  real  amethyst  brooch  on.  Diana  and  I  make
necklaces of roseberries but what are roseberries compared  to  amethysts?
So I took the brooch. I thought I could put it back before you came  home.
I went all the way around by the road to lengthen out the time. When I was
going over the bridge across the Lake of Shining Waters I took the  brooch
off to have another look at it. Oh, how it did shine in the sunlight!  And
then, when I was leaning over the  bridge,  it  just  slipped  through  my
fingers-so-and  went  down-down-down,  all   purplysparkling,   and   sank
forevermore beneath the Lake of Shining Waters. And that's the best I  can
do at confessing, Marilla."
    Marilla felt hot anger surge up into her heart again. This child  had
taken and lost her treasured amethyst brooch  and  now  sat  there  calmly
reciting the details thereof without the  least  apparent  compunction  or
    "Anne, this is terrible," she said, trying to speak calmly. "You  are
the very wickedest girl I ever heard of"
    "Yes, I suppose I am," agreed Anne tranquilly. "And I know I'll  have
to be punished. It'll be your duty to punish me, Marilla. Won't you please
get it over right off because I'd like to go to the picnic with nothing on
my mind."
    "Picnic, indeed! You'll go to no picnic  today,  Anne  Shirley.  That
shall be your punishment. And it isn't half severe enough either for  what
you've done!"
    "Not go to  the  picnic!"  Anne  sprang  to  her  feet  and  clutched
Marilla's hand. "But you PROMISED me I might! Oh, Marilla, I  must  go  to
the picnic. That was why I confessed. Punish me any way you like but that.
Oh, Marilla, please, please, let me go to the picnic.  Think  of  the  ice
cream! For anything you know I may never have a chance to taste ice  cream
    Marilla disengaged Anne's clinging hands stonily.
    "You needn't plead, Anne. You are not going to the picnic and  that's
final. No, not a word."
    Anne realized that Marilla was not to be moved. She clasped her hands
together, gave a piercing shriek, and then flung herself face downward  on
the bed, crying and writhing in an utter abandonment of disappointment and
    "For the land's sake!" gasped Marilla, hastening from  the  room.  "I
believe the child is crazy. No child in her senses  would  behave  as  she
does. If she isn't she's utterly bad. Oh dear, I'm afraid Rachel was right
from the first. But I've put my hand to the plow and I won't look back."
    That was a dismal morning. Marilla worked fiercely and  scrubbed  the
porch floor and the dairy shelves when she could find nothing else to  do.
Neither the shelves nor the porch needed it-but Marilla did. Then she went
out and raked the yard.
    When dinner was ready she went to  the  stairs  and  called  Anne.  A
tear-stained face appeared, looking tragically over the banisters.
    "Come down to your dinner, Anne."
    "I don't want any dinner, Marilla," said Anne, sobbingly. "I couldn't
eat anything. My heart  is  broken.  You'll  feel  remorse  of  conscience
someday, I expect, for breaking it, Marilla, but I forgive  you.  Remember
when the time comes that I forgive you. But please don't  ask  me  to  eat
anything, especially boiled pork and greens. Boiled pork and greens are so
unromantic when one is in affliction."
    Exasperated, Marilla returned to the kitchen and poured out her  tale
of woe to Matthew, who, between his sense  of  justice  and  his  unlawful
sympathy with Anne, was a miserable man.
    "Well now, she shouldn't have taken  the  brooch,  Marilla,  or  told
stories about it,"  he  admitted,  mournfuly  surveying  his  plateful  of
unromantic pork and greens as if he, like Anne, thought it a food unsuited
to crises of feeling, "but she's such a little thing-such  an  interesting
little thing. Don't you think it's pretty rough not to let her go  to  the
picnic when she's so set on it?"
    "Matthew Cuthbert, I'm amazed at  you.  I  think  I've  let  her  off
entirely too easy. And she doesn't appear to realize how wicked she's been
at all-that's what worries me most. If she'd really felt sorry it wouldn't
be so bad. And you don't  seem  to  realize  it,  neither;  you're  making
excuses for her all the time to yourself-I can see that."
    "Well now, she's such a little  thing,"  feebly  reiterated  Matthew.
"And there should be allowances made, Marilla. You know  she's  never  had
any bringing up."
    "Well, she's having it now" retorted Marilla.
    The retort silenced Matthew if it did not convince him.  That  dinner
was a very dismal meal. The only cheerful thing about it was Jerry  Buote,
the hired boy, and Marilla resented his cheerfulness as a personal insult.
    When her dishes were washed and her bread sponge set and her hens fed
Marilla remembered that she had noticed a small rent  in  her  best  black
lace shawl when she had taken it off on Monday afternoon on returning from
the Ladies' Aid.
    She would go and mend it. The shawl was in a box  in  her  trunk.  As
Marilla lifted it out,  the  sunlight,  falling  through  the  vines  that
clustered thickly about the window, struck upon something  caught  in  the
shawl-something that glittered and sparkled in  facets  of  violet  light.
Marilla snatched at it with a gasp. It was the amethyst brooch, hanging to
a thread of the lace by its catch!
    "Dear life and heart," said Marilla blankly, "what  does  this  mean?
Here's my brooch safe and sound that  I  thought  was  at  the  bottom  of
Barry's pond. Whatever did that girl mean by saying she took it  and  lost
it? I declare I believe Green Gables is bewitched.  I  remember  now  that
when I took off my shawl Monday afternoon I laid it on the  bureau  for  a
minute. I suppose the brooch got caught in it somehow. Well!"
    Marilla betook herself to the east gable, brooch in  hand.  Anne  had
cried herself out and was sitting dejectedly by the window.
    "Anne Shirley," said Marilla solemnly, "I've  just  found  my  brooch
hanging to my black lace shawl. Now I want to know what that rigmarole you
told me this morning meant."
    "Why, you said you'd keep me here until I confessed,"  returned  Anne
wearily, "and so I decided to confess because I was bound to  get  to  the
picnic. I thought out a confession last night after I went to bed and made
it as interesting as I could. And I said  it  over  and  over  so  that  I
wouldn't forget it. But you wouldn't let me go to the picnic after all, so
all my trouble was wasted."
    Marilla had to laugh in spite of herself. But her conscience  pricked
    "Anne, you do beat all! But I was wrong-I see that now.  I  shouldn't
have doubted your word when I'd never  known  you  to  tell  a  story.  Of
course, it wasn't right for you to confess to a thing you  hadn't  done-it
was very wrong to do so. But I drove you to it. So if you'll  forgive  me,
Anne, I'll forgive you and we'll start square again. And now get  yourself
ready for the picnic."
    Anne flew up like a rocket.
    "Oh, Marilla, isn't it too late?"
    "No, it's only two o'clock. They won't be more than well gathered yet
and it'll be an hour before they have tea. Wash your face  and  comb  your
hair and put on your gingham. I'll fill a basket for you.  There's  plenty
of stuff baked in the house. And I'll get Jerry to hitch up the sorrel and
drive you down to the picnic ground."
    "Oh, Marilla," exclaimed Anne, flying to the washstand. "Five minutes
ago I was so miserable I was  wishing  I'd  never  been  born  and  now  I
wouldn't change places with an angel!"
    That night a thoroughly happy, completely tired-out Anne returned  to
Green Gables in a state of beatification impossible to describe.
    "Oh, Marilla, I've had a perfectly scrumptious time. Scrumptious is a
new word I learned today. I heard Mary Alice Bell use it.  Isn't  it  very
expressive? Everything was lovely. We had a  splendid  tea  and  then  Mr.
Harmon Andrews took us all for a row on the Lake of Shining Waters-six  of
us at a time. And Jane Andrews nearly fell overboard. She was leaning  out
to pick water lilies and if Mr. Andrews hadn't caught her by her sash just
in the nick of time she'd fallen in and prob'ly been drowned.  I  wish  it
had been me. It would have been such a romantic experience  to  have  been
nearly drowned. It would be such a thrilling tale to tell. And we had  the
ice cream. Words fail me to describe that ice cream. Marilla, I assure you
it was sublime."
    That evening Marilla  told  the  whole  story  to  Matthew  over  her
stocking basket.
    "I'm willing to  own  up  that  I  made  a  mistake,"  she  concluded
candidly, "but I've learned a lesson. I have to  laugh  when  I  think  of
Anne's `confession,' although I suppose I shouldn't for it  really  was  a
falsehood. But it doesn't seem as  bad  as  the  other  would  have  been,
somehow, and anyhow  I'm  responsible  for  it.  That  child  is  hard  to
understand in some respects. But I believe she'll turn out all right  yet.
And there's one thing certain, no house will ever be dull that she's in."

                    15. A Tempest in the School Teapot

    "What a splendid day!" said Anne, drawing a long  breath.  "Isn't  it
good just to be alive on a day like this? I pity  the  people  who  aren't
born yet for missing it. They may have good days, of course, but they  can
never have this one. And it's splendider still to have such a  lovely  way
to go to school by, isn't it?"
    "It's a lot nicer than going round by the road; that is so dusty  and
hot," said Diana practically, peeping into her dinner basket and  mentally
calculating if the three juicy, toothsome, raspberry tarts reposing  there
were divided among ten girls how many bites each girl would have.
    The little girls of Avonlea school always pooled their  lunches,  and
to eat three raspberry tarts all alone or even to  share  them  only  with
one's best chum would have forever and ever branded as  "awful  mean"  the
girl who did it. And yet, when the tarts were divided among ten girls  you
just got enough to tantalize you.
    The way Anne and Diana went to school was a pretty one. Anne  thought
those walks to and from school with Diana couldn't be improved  upon  even
by imagination.  Going  around  by  the  main  road  would  have  been  so
unromantic; but to go by Lover's Lane and Willowmere and Violet  Vale  and
the Birch Path was romantic, if ever anything was.
    Lover's Lane opened  out  below  the  orchard  at  Green  Gables  and
stretched far up into the woods to the end of the Cuthbert  farm.  It  was
the way by which the cows were taken to the  back  pasture  and  the  wood
hauled home in winter. Anne had named it Lover's Lane before she had  been
a month at Green Gables.
    "Not that lovers ever really walk there," she explained  to  Marilla,
"but Diana and I are reading a perfectly magnificent book  and  there's  a
Lover's Lane in it. So we want to have one, too. And it's  a  very  pretty
name, don't you think? So romantic! We can't imagine the lovers  into  it,
you know. I like that lane because you can think out  loud  there  without
people calling you crazy."
    Anne, starting out alone in the morning, went down  Lover's  Lane  as
far as the brook. Here Diana met her, and the two little girls went on  up
the lane under the leafy arch of maples-"maples are such sociable  trees,"
said Anne; "they're always rustling and whispering to you"-until they came
to a rustic bridge. Then they left the lane and walked through Mr. Barry's
back field and past  Willowmere.  Beyond  Willowmere  came  Violet  Vale-a
little green dimple in the shadow of Mr.  Andrew  Bell's  big  woods.  "Of
course there are no violets there now," Anne told Marilla, "but Diana says
there are millions of them in spring. Oh, Marilla, can't you just  imagine
you see them? It actually takes away my breath. I named  it  Violet  Vale.
Diana says she never saw the beat of me for hitting  on  fancy  names  for
places. It's nice to be clever at something, isn't it? But Diana named the
Birch Path. She wanted to, so I let her; but I'm sure I could  have  found
something more poetical than plain Birch Path. Anybody can think of a name
like that. But the Birch Path is one of the prettiest places in the world,
    It was. Other people besides Anne thought so when  they  stumbled  on
it. It was a little narrow, twisting path, winding down over a  long  hill
straight through Mr. Bell's  woods,  where  the  light  came  down  sifted
through so many emerald screens that it was as flawless as the heart of  a
diamond. It was fringed in all its length with slim young  birches,  white
stemmed   and   lissom   boughed;   ferns   and   starflowers   and   wild
lilies-of-the-valley and scarlet tufts of pigeonberries grew thickly along
it; and always there was a delightful spiciness in the air  and  music  of
bird calls and the murmur and laugh of wood winds in the  trees  overhead.
Now and then you might see a rabbit skipping across the road if  you  were
quiet-which, with Anne and Diana, happened about once in a blue moon. Down
in the valley the path came out to the main road and then it was  just  up
the spruce hill to the school.
    The Avonlea school was a whitewashed building, low in the  eaves  and
wide  in  the  windows,  furnished  inside  with  comfortable  substantial
old-fashioned desks that opened and shut, and were carved all  over  their
lids with the initials and hieroglyphics of three  generations  of  school
children. The schoolhouse was set back from the road and behind it  was  a
dusky fir wood and a brook where all the children  put  their  bottles  of
milk in the morning to keep cool and sweet until dinner hour.
    Marilla had seen Anne start  off  to  school  on  the  first  day  of
September with many secret misgivings. Anne was  such  an  odd  girl.  How
would she get on with the other children? And how on earth would she  ever
manage to hold her tongue during school hours?
    Things went better than Marilla feared, however. Anne came home  that
evening in high spirits.
    "I think I'm going to like school  here,"  she  announced.  "I  don't
think much of the master, through. He's all the time curling his  mustache
and making eyes at Prissy Andrews. Prissy is grown  up,  you  know.  She's
sixteen and she's studying  for  the  entrance  examination  into  Queen's
Academy at Charlottetown next year. Tillie Boulter says the master is DEAD
GONE on her. She's got a beautiful complexion and curly brown hair and she
does it up so elegantly. She sits in the long seat at the back and he sits
there, too, most of the time-to explain her lessons,  he  says.  But  Ruby
Gillis says she saw him writing something on her  slate  and  when  Prissy
read it she blushed as red as a beet and giggled; and Ruby Gillis says she
doesn't believe it had anything to do with the lesson."
    "Anne Shirley, don't let me hear you talking about  your  teacher  in
that way again,"  said  Marilla  sharply.  "You  don't  go  to  school  to
criticize the master. I guess he can teach YOU something,  and  it's  your
business to learn. And I want you to understand right off that you are not
to come home telling tales about him. That is something I won't encourage.
I hope you were a good girl."
    "Indeed I was," said Anne comfortably. "It  wasn't  so  hard  as  you
might imagine, either. I sit with Diana. Our seat is right by  the  window
and we can look down to the Lake of Shining Waters. There  are  a  lot  of
nice girls in school and we had scrumptious  fun  playing  at  dinnertime.
It's so nice to have a lot of little girls to play with. But of  course  I
like Diana best and always will. I ADORE Diana. I'm dreadfully far  behind
the others. They're all in the fifth book and I'm only in  the  fourth.  I
feel that it's kind of a disgrace. But there's not one of them has such an
imagination as I have and I soon  found  that  out.  We  had  reading  and
geography and Canadian history and dictation today. Mr. Phillips  said  my
spelling was disgraceful and he held up my slate so that  everybody  could
see it, all marked over. I felt so mortified, Marilla; he might have  been
politer to a stranger, I think. Ruby Gillis gave me an  apple  and  Sophia
Sloane lent me a lovely pink card with `May I see you home?' on it. I'm to
give it back to her tomorrow. And Tillie Boulter let me wear her bead ring
all the afternoon. Can I have some  of  those  pearl  beads  off  the  old
pincushion in the garret to make myself a  ring?  And  oh,  Marilla,  Jane
Andrews told me that Minnie MacPherson told  her  that  she  heard  Prissy
Andrews tell Sara Gillis that I had a very pretty nose. Marilla,  that  is
the first compliment I have ever had in my life and you can't imagine what
a strange feeling it gave me. Marilla, have I really a pretty nose? I know
you'll tell me the truth."
    "Your nose is  well  enough,"  said  Marilla  shortly.  Secretly  she
thought Anne's nose was a remarkable pretty one; but she had no  intention
of telling her so.
    That was three weeks ago and all had gone smoothly so far.  And  now,
this crisp September morning, Anne and Diana were tripping  blithely  down
the Birch Path, two of the happiest little girls in Avonlea.
    "I guess Gilbert Blythe will be in school today," said  Diana.  "He's
been visiting his cousins over in New Brunswick all  summer  and  he  only
came home Saturday night. He's AW'FLY handsome, Anne. And  he  teases  the
girls something terrible. He just torments our lives out."
    Diana's voice  indicated  that  she  rather  liked  having  her  life
tormented out than not.
    "Gilbert Blythe?" said Anne. "Isn't his name that's written up on the
porch wall with Julia Bell's and a big `Take Notice' over them?"
    "Yes," said Diana, tossing her head, "but I'm sure  he  doesn't  like
Julia Bell so very much. I've heard him say he studied the  multiplication
table by her freckles."
    "Oh, don't speak about freckles to  me,"  implored  Anne.  "It  isn't
delicate when I've got so many. But I do think that  writing  take-notices
up on the wall about the boys and girls is the  silliest  ever.  I  should
just like to see anybody dare to write my name up with a  boy's.  Not,  of
course," she hastened to add, "that anybody would."
    Anne sighed. She didn't want her name written up. But it was a little
humiliating to know that there was no danger of it.
    "Nonsense," said Diana, whose  black  eyes  and  glossy  tresses  had
played such havoc with the hearts of  Avonlea  schoolboys  that  her  name
figured on the porch walls in half a dozen take-notices. "It's only  meant
as a joke. And don't you be too sure your name won't ever be  written  up.
Charlie Sloane is DEAD GONE on you. He told his  mother-his  MOTHER,  mind
you-that you were the smartest girl in school. That's  better  than  being
good looking."
    "No, it isn't," said Anne, feminine  to  the  core.  "I'd  rather  be
pretty than clever. And I hate Charlie Sloane, I can't  bear  a  boy  with
goggle eyes. If anyone wrote my name up with his I'd never  GET  over  it,
Diana Barry. But it IS nice to keep head of your class."
    "You'll have Gilbert in your class after this," said Diana, "and he's
used to being head of his class, I can tell you. He's only in  the  fourth
book although he's nearly fourteen. Four years ago his father was sick and
had to go out to Alberta for his health and Gilbert went  with  him.  They
were there three years and Gil didn't go to school hardly any  until  they
came back. You won't find it so easy to keep head after this, Anne."
    "I'm glad," said Anne quickly.  "I  couldn't  really  feel  proud  of
keeping head of little boys and girls of  just  nine  or  ten.  I  got  up
yesterday spelling `ebullition.' Josie Pye was head  and,  mind  you,  she
peeped in her book. Mr. Phillips didn't see her-he was looking  at  Prissy
Andrews-but I did. I just swept her a look of freezing scorn and  she  got
as red as a beet and spelled it wrong after all."
    "Those Pye girls are cheats all round," said  Diana  indignantly,  as
they climbed the fence of the main road. "Gertie Pye actually went and put
her milk bottle in my place in the brook yesterday. Did you ever? I  don't
speak to her now."
    When Mr. Phillips  was  in  the  back  of  the  room  hearing  Prissy
Andrews's Latin, Diana whispered to Anne,
    "That's Gilbert Blythe sitting right across the aisle from you, Anne.
Just look at him and see if you don't think he's handsome."
    Anne looked accordingly. She had a good chance to do so, for the said
Gilbert Blythe was absorbed in stealthily pinning the long yellow braid of
Ruby Gillis, who sat in front of him, to the back of her seat.  He  was  a
tall boy, with curly brown hair, roguish hazel eyes, and a  mouth  twisted
into a teasing smile. Presently Ruby Gillis started up to take  a  sum  to
the master; she fell back into her seat with a  little  shriek,  believing
that her hair was pulled out by the roots. Everybody looked at her and Mr.
Phillips glared so sternly that Ruby began to cry. Gilbert had whisked the
pin out of sight and was studying his history with the  soberest  face  in
the world; but when the commotion subsided he looked at  Anne  and  winked
with inexpressible drollery.
    "I think your Gilbert Blythe IS handsome," confided  Anne  to  Diana,
"but I think he's very bold. It isn't good manners to wink  at  a  strange
    But it was not until  the  afternoon  that  things  really  began  to
    Mr. Phillips was back in the corner explaining a problem  in  algebra
to Prissy Andrews and the rest of the scholars were doing pretty  much  as
they pleased eating green apples, whispering, drawing  pictures  on  their
slates, and driving crickets harnessed to  strings,  up  and  down  aisle.
Gilbert Blythe was trying to make Anne Shirley look  at  him  and  failing
utterly, because Anne was at that moment totally oblivious not only to the
very existence of Gilbert Blythe, but of every other  scholar  in  Avonlea
school itself. With her chin propped on her hands and her  eyes  fixed  on
the blue glimpse of the Lake  of  Shining  Waters  that  the  west  window
afforded, she was far away in a  gorgeous  dreamland  hearing  and  seeing
nothing save her own wonderful visions.
    Gilbert Blythe wasn't used to putting himself out to make a girl look
at him and meeting with failure. She should look at him,  that  red-haired
Shirley girl with the little pointed chin and the big  eyes  that  weren't
like the eyes of any other girl in Avonlea school.
    Gilbert reached across the aisle, picked up the end  of  Anne's  long
red braid, held it out at arm's length and said in a piercing whisper:
    "Carrots! Carrots!"
    Then Anne looked at him with a vengeance!
    She did more than look. She sprang to her feet,  her  bright  fancies
fallen into cureless ruin. She flashed one  indignant  glance  at  Gilbert
from eyes whose angry sparkle was swiftly quenched in equally angry tears.
    "You mean, hateful boy!" she exclaimed passionately. "How dare you!"
    And then-thwack! Anne had brought her slate down  on  Gilbert's  head
and cracked it-slate not head-clear across.
    Avonlea school  always  enjoyed  a  scene.  This  was  an  especially
enjoyable one. Everybody said "Oh" in  horrified  delight.  Diana  gasped.
Ruby Gillis, who was inclined to be hysterical, began to cry. Tommy Sloane
let his team of crickets escape him altogether while he stared openmouthed
at the tableau.
    Mr. Phillips stalked down the aisle and  laid  his  hand  heavily  on
Anne's shoulder.
    "Anne Shirley, what does this mean?" he said angrily.  Anne  returned
no answer. It was asking too much of flesh and blood to expect her to tell
before the whole school that she had been called "carrots." Gilbert it was
who spoke up stoutly.
    "It was my fault Mr. Phillips. I teased her."
    Mr. Phillips paid no heed to Gilbert.
    "I am sorry to see a pupil of mine displaying such a temper and  such
a vindictive spirit," he said in a solemn tone, as if  the  mere  fact  of
being a pupil of his ought to root out all evil passions from  the  hearts
of small imperfect mortals. "Anne, go and stand on the platform  in  front
of the blackboard for the rest of the afternoon."
    Anne would have infinitely preferred a whipping  to  this  punishment
under which her sensitive spirit quivered  as  from  a  whiplash.  With  a
white, set face she obeyed. Mr. Phillips took a chalk crayon and wrote  on
the blackboard above her head.
    "Ann Shirley has a very bad temper. Ann Shirley must learn to control
her temper," and then read it out loud so that even the primer class,  who
couldn't read writing, should understand it.
    Anne stood there the rest of the afternoon  with  that  legend  above
her. She did not cry or hang her head. Anger was  still  too  hot  in  her
heart for that and it sustained her amid all  her  agony  of  humiliation.
With resentful eyes and passion-red cheeks she  confronted  alike  Diana's
sympathetic gaze and Charlie  Sloane's  indignant  nods  and  Josie  Pye's
malicious smiles. As for Gilbert Blythe, she would not even look  at  him.
She would NEVER look at him again! She would never speak to him!!
    When school was dismissed Anne marched out with  her  red  head  held
high. Gilbert Blythe tried to intercept her at the porch door.
    "I'm awfully sorry I made fun  of  your  hair,  Anne,"  he  whispered
contritely. "Honest I am. Don't be mad for keeps, now"
    Anne swept by disdainfully, without look or sign of hearing. "Oh  how
could you,  Anne?"  breathed  Diana  as  they  went  down  the  road  half
reproachfully, half admiringly. Diana  felt  that  SHE  could  never  have
resisted Gilbert's plea.
    "I shall never forgive Gilbert Blythe," said Anne  firmly.  "And  Mr.
Phillips spelled my name without an e, too. The iron has entered  into  my
soul, Diana."
    Diana hadn't the least idea what Anne meant but she understood it was
something terrible.
    "You mustn't  mind  Gilbert  making  fun  of  your  hair,"  she  said
soothingly. "Why, he makes fun of all the girls. He laughs at mine because
it's so black. He's called me a crow a dozen times; and I never heard  him
apologize for anything before, either."
    "There's a great deal of difference between being called a  crow  and
being called carrots," said Anne with dignity. "Gilbert Blythe has hurt my
feelings EXCRUCIATINGLY, Diana."
    It is  possible  the  matter  might  have  blown  over  without  more
excruciation if nothing else had happened. But when things begin to happen
they are apt to keep on.
    Avonlea scholars often spent noon hour  picking  gum  in  Mr.  Bell's
spruce grove over the hill and across his big pasture  field.  From  there
they could keep an eye on Eben Wright's house, where the  master  boarded.
When  they  saw  Mr.  Phillips  emerging  therefrom  they  ran   for   the
schoolhouse; but the distance being about  three  times  longer  than  Mr.
Wright's lane they were very apt to arrive there, breathless and  gasping,
some three minutes too late.
    On the following  day  Mr.  Phillips  was  seized  with  one  of  his
spasmodic fits of reform and announced before going home to  dinner,  that
he should expect to find all the scholars in their seats when he returned.
Anyone who came in late would be punished.
    All the boys and some of the girls went to Mr. Bell's spruce grove as
usual, fully intending to stay only long enough  to  "pick  a  chew."  But
spruce groves are seductive and yellow nuts of gum beguiling; they  picked
and loitered and strayed; and as usual the first thing that recalled  them
to a sense of the flight of time was Jimmy Glover shouting from the top of
a patriarchal old spruce "Master's coming."
    The girls who were on the ground, started first and managed to  reach
the schoolhouse in time but without a second to spare. The boys,  who  had
to wriggle hastily down from the trees, were later; and Anne, who had  not
been picking gum at all but was wandering happily in the far  end  of  the
grove, waist deep among the bracken, singing softly  to  herself,  with  a
wreath of rice lilies on her hair as if she were some wild divinity of the
shadowy places, was latest of all. Anne could run like  a  deer,  however;
run she did with the impish result that she overtook the boys at the  door
and was swept into the schoolhouse among them just as Mr. Phillips was  in
the act of hanging up his hat.
    Mr. Phillips's brief reforming energy was over; he  didn't  want  the
bother of punishing a dozen pupils; but it was necessary to  do  something
to save his word, so he looked about for a scapegoat and found it in Anne,
who had dropped into her seat, gasping for breath, with a  forgotten  lily
wreath hanging askew over one ear and giving her a particularly rakish and
disheveled appearance.
    "Anne Shirley, since you seem to be so fond of the boys'  company  we
shall indulge your taste for it this afternoon,"  he  said  sarcastically.
"Take those flowers out of your hair and sit with Gilbert Blythe."
    The other boys snickered. Diana, turning pale with pity, plucked  the
wreath from Anne's hair and squeezed her hand. Anne stared at  the  master
as if turned to stone.
    "Did you hear what I said, Anne?" queried Mr. Phillips sternly.
    "Yes, sir," said Anne slowly "but I didn't suppose you  really  meant
    "I assure you I did"-still with the sarcastic  inflection  which  all
the children, and Anne especially, hated. It flicked on the raw. "Obey  me
at once."
    For a moment Anne looked as if she meant to disobey. Then,  realizing
that there was no help for it, she  rose  haughtily,  stepped  across  the
aisle, sat down beside Gilbert Blythe, and buried her face in her arms  on
the desk. Ruby Gillis, who got a glimpse of it as it went down,  told  the
others going home from school that she'd "acksually  never  seen  anything
like it-it was so white, with awful little red spots in it."
    To Anne, this was as the end of all things. It was bad enough  to  be
singled out for punishment from among a dozen equally guilty ones; it  was
worse still to be sent to sit with a boy, but  that  that  boy  should  be
Gilbert  Blythe  was  heaping  insult  on  injury  to  a  degree   utterly
unbearable. Anne felt that she could not bear it and it would be of no use
to try. Her whole being seethed with shame and anger and humiliation.
    At first the other scholars looked  and  whispered  and  giggled  and
nudged. But as Anne never lifted her head and as Gilbert worked  fractions
as if his whole soul was  absorbed  in  them  and  them  only,  they  soon
returned to their own tasks and Anne  was  forgotten.  When  Mr.  Phillips
called the history class out Anne should have gone, but Anne did not move,
and Mr. Phillips, who had been writing some verses "To  Priscilla"  before
he called the class, was thinking about an obstinate rhyme still and never
missed her. Once, when nobody was looking, Gilbert took from  his  desk  a
little pink candy heart with a gold motto on  it,  "You  are  sweet,"  and
slipped it under the curve of Anne's arm. Whereupon Anne arose,  took  the
pink heart gingerly between the tips of her fingers,  dropped  it  on  the
floor, ground it to powder beneath her  heel,  and  resumed  her  position
without deigning to bestow a glance on Gilbert.
    When school went out Anne marched to her  desk,  ostentatiously  took
out everything therein, books and writing tablet, pen and  ink,  testament
and arithmetic, and piled them neatly on her cracked slate.
    "What are you taking all those things home for, Anne?"  Diana  wanted
to know, as soon as they were out on the road. She had not  dared  to  ask
the question before.
    "I am not coming back to school any more," said Anne.
    Diana gasped and stared at Anne to see if she meant it.
    "Will Marilla let you stay home?" she asked.
    "She'll have to," said Anne. "I'll NEVER go to  school  to  that  man
    "Oh, Anne!" Diana looked as if she were ready to  cry.  "I  do  think
you're mean. What shall I do? Mr. Phillips will  make  me  sit  with  that
horrid Gertie Pye-I know he will because she is  sitting  alone.  Do  come
back, Anne."
    "I'd do almost anything in the  world  for  you,  Diana,"  said  Anne
sadly. "I'd let myself be torn limb from limb if it would do you any good.
But I can't do this, so please don't ask it. You harrow up my very soul."
    "Just think of all the fun you will miss,"  mourned  Diana.  "We  are
going to build the loveliest new house down by the  brook;  and  we'll  be
playing  ball  next  week  and  you've  never  played  ball,  Anne.   It's
tremendously exciting. And we're going to learn a new songJane Andrews  is
practicing it up now; and Alice Andrews is going to bring a new Pansy book
next week and we're all going to read it out loud, chapter about, down  by
the brook. And you know you are so fond of reading out loud, Anne."
    Nothing moved Anne in the least. Her mind was made up. She would  not
go to school to Mr. Phillips again; she told Marilla so when she got home.
    "Nonsense," said Marilla.
    "It isn't nonsense at all," said Anne, gazing at Marilla with solemn,
reproachful eyes. "Don't you understand, Marilla? I've been insulted."
    "Insulted fiddlesticks! You'll go to school tomorrow as usual."
    "Oh, no." Anne shook her head gently. "I'm not going  back,  Marilla.
"I'll learn my lessons at home and I'll be as good as I can be and hold my
tongue all the time if it's possible at all. But I will  not  go  back  to
school, I assure you."
    Marilla saw something remarkably like unyielding stubbornness looking
out of Anne's small face. She understood that she would  have  trouble  in
overcoming it; but she re-solved wisely to say  nothing  more  just  then.
"I'll run down and  see  Rachel  about  it  this  evening,"  she  thought.
"There's no use reasoning with Anne now. She's too worked up and  I've  an
idea she can be awful stubborn if she takes the notion. Far as I can  make
out from her story, Mr. Phillips has been carrying matters with  a  rather
high hand. But it would never do to say so to her. I'll just talk it  over
with Rachel. She's sent ten children to  school  and  she  ought  to  know
something about it. She'll have heard the whole story, too, by this time."
    Marilla  found  Mrs.  Lynde  knitting  quilts  as  industriously  and
cheerfully as usual.
    "I suppose you know  what  I've  come  about,"  she  said,  a  little
    Mrs. Rachel nodded.
    "About Anne's fuss in school, I reckon," she  said.  "Tillie  Boulter
was in on her way home from school and told me about it."
    "I don't know what to do with her," said Marilla. "She  declares  she
won't go back to school. I never saw a  child  so  worked  up.  I've  been
expecting trouble ever since she started to school.  I  knew  things  were
going too smooth to last. She's so high strung.  What  would  you  advise,
    "Well, since you've  asked  my  advice,  Marilla,"  said  Mrs.  Lynde
amiably-Mrs. Lynde dearly loved to be asked for advice-"I'd just humor her
a little at first, that's what I'd do. It's my belief  that  Mr.  Phillips
was in the wrong. Of course, it doesn't do to say so to the children,  you
know. And of course he did right to punish her yesterday for giving way to
temper. But today it was different. The others who were late  should  have
been punished as well as Anne, that's what. And I don't believe in  making
the girls sit with the  boys  for  punishment.  It  isn't  modest.  Tillie
Boulter was real indignant. She took Anne's part right  through  and  said
all the scholars did too. Anne seems real popular among them,  somehow.  I
never thought she'd take with them so well."
    "Then you really think I'd better let her stay home," said Marilla in
    "Yes. That is I wouldn't say school to her again until  she  said  it
herself. Depend upon it, Marilla, she'll cool off in a week or so  and  be
ready enough to go back of her own accord, that's what, while, if you were
to make her go back right off, dear knows what freak or tantrum she'd take
next and make more trouble than ever. The less fuss made the better, in my
opinion. She won't miss much by not going to school, as far as THAT  goes.
Mr. Phillips isn't any good at all as a teacher. The  order  he  keeps  is
scandalous, that's what, and he neglects the young fry and  puts  all  his
time on those big scholars he's getting ready for Queen's. He'd never have
got the school for another year if his uncle  hadn't  been  a  trustee-THE
trustee, for he just leads the other two around by the nose, that's  what.
I declare, I don't know what education in this Island is coming to."
    Mrs. Rachel shook her head, as much as to say if she were only at the
head of the educational system of the Province things would be much better
    Marilla took Mrs. Rachel's advice and not another word  was  said  to
Anne about going back to school. She learned her lessons at home, did  her
chores, and played with Diana in the chilly purple autumn  twilights;  but
when she met Gilbert Blythe on the  road  or  encountered  him  in  Sunday
school she passed him by with an icy contempt that was no whit  thawed  by
his evident desire to appease her. Even Diana's efforts  as  a  peacemaker
were of no avail. Anne had evidently made up  her  mind  to  hate  Gilbert
Blythe to the end of life.
    As much as she hated Gilbert, however, did she love Diana,  with  all
the love of her passionate little heart, equally intense in its likes  and
dislikes. One evening Marilla, coming in from the orchard with a basket of
apples, found Anne sitting along by  the  east  window  in  the  twilight,
crying bitterly.
    "Whatever's the matter now, Anne?" she asked.
    "It's about Diana,"  sobbed  Anne  luxuriously.  "I  love  Diana  so,
Marilla. I cannot ever live without her. But I know very well when we grow
up that Diana will get married and go away and  leave  me.  And  oh,  what
shall I do? I hate her  husband-I  just  hate  him  furiously.  I've  been
imagining it all out-the wedding and  everything-Diana  dressed  in  snowy
garments, with a veil, and looking as beautiful and regal as a queen;  and
me the bridesmaid, with a lovely dress too, and puffed sleeves, but with a
breaking heart hid  beneath  my  smiling  face.  And  then  bidding  Diana
goodbye-e-e-" Here Anne broke  down  entirely  and  wept  with  increasing
    Marilla turned quickly away to hide her twitching face; but it was no
use; she collapsed on the nearest chair and burst into such a  hearty  and
unusual peal of laughter that Matthew, crossing the yard  outside,  halted
in amazement. When had he heard Marilla laugh like that before?
    "Well, Anne Shirley," said Marilla as soon as she  could  speak,  "if
you must borrow trouble, for pity's sake borrow it handier home. I  should
think you had an imagination, sure enough."

              16. Diana Is Invited to Tea with Tragic Results

    OCTOBER was a beautiful month at Green Gables, when  the  birches  in
the hollow turned as golden as sunshine and the maples behind the  orchard
were royal crimson and the wild cherry trees along the  lane  put  on  the
loveliest shades of dark red and bronzy green,  while  the  fields  sunned
themselves in aftermaths.
    Anne reveled in the world of color about her.
    "Oh, Marilla," she exclaimed one Saturday morning, coming dancing  in
with her arms full of gorgeous boughs" 'I'm so glad  I  live  in  a  world
where there are Octobers. It would be terrible if  we  just  skipped  from
September to November, wouldn't it? Look at these  maple  branches.  Don't
they give you a thrill-several thrills? I'm going to decorate my room with
    "Messy  things,"  said  Marilla,  whose  aesthetic  sense   was   not
noticeably developed. "You clutter up your room  entirely  too  much  with
out-of-doors stuff, Anne. Bedrooms were made to sleep in."
    "Oh, and dream in too, Marilla. And you know one can  dream  so  much
better in a room where there are pretty things. I'm  going  to  put  these
boughs in the old blue jug and set them on my table."
    "Mind you don't drop leaves all over the stairs then. I'm going on  a
meeting of the Aid Society at Carmody this afternoon, Anne,  and  I  won't
likely be home before dark. You'll have to get  Matthew  and  Jerry  their
supper, so mind you don't forget to put the tea to draw until you sit down
at the table as you did last time."
    "It was dreadful of me to forget,"  said  Anne  apologetically,  "but
that was the afternoon I was trying to think of a name for Violet Vale and
it crowded other things out. Matthew was so good. He never scolded a  bit.
He put the tea down himself and said we could wait awhile as well as  not.
And I told him a lovely fairy story while we were waiting,  so  he  didn't
find the time long at all. It was a  beautiful  fairy  story,  Marilla.  I
forgot the end of it, so I made up an end for it myself and  Matthew  said
he couldn't tell where the join came in."
    "Matthew would think it all right, Anne, if you took a notion to  get
up and have dinner in the middle of the night.  But  you  keep  your  wits
about you this time. And-I don't really know if  I'm  doing  right-it  may
make you more addlepated than ever-but you can ask Diana to come over  and
spend the afternoon with you and have tea here."
    "Oh, Marilla!" Anne clasped her hands. "How  perfectly.  lovely!  You
are able to imagine things after all or else you'd never  have  understood
how  I've  longed  for  that  very  thing.  It  will  seem  so  nice   and
grown-uppish. No fear of my forgetting to put the tea to draw when I  have
company. Oh, Marilla, can I use the rosebud spray tea set?"
    "No, indeed! The rosebud tea set! Well, what next? You know  I  never
use that except for the minister or the Aids.  You'll  put  down  the  old
brown tea set. But  you  can  open  the  little  yellow  crock  of  cherry
preserves. It's time it was being used anyhow-I believe it's beginning  to
work. And you can cut some fruit cake and have some  of  the  cookies  and
    "I can just imagine myself sitting down at the head of the table  and
pouring out the tea," said Anne,  shutting  her  eyes  ecstatically.  "And
asking Diana if she takes sugar! I know she doesn't but of course I'll ask
her just as if I didn't know. And then pressing her to take another  piece
of fruit cake and another  helping  of  preserves.  Oh,  Marilla,  it's  a
wonderful sensation just to think of it. Can I take  her  into  the  spare
room to lay off her hat when she comes? And then into the parlor to sit?"
    "No. The sitting room will do for you and your company. But there's a
bottle half full of raspberry cordial that was left over from  the  church
social the other night. It's on  the  second  shelf  of  the  sitting-room
closet and you and Diana can have it if you like, and a cooky to eat  with
it along in the afternoon, for I daresay Matthew'll be late coming  in  to
tea since he's hauling potatoes to the vessel."
    Anne flew down to the hollow, past the  Dryad's  Bubble  and  up  the
spruce path to Orchard Slope, to ask Diana to tea. As a result just  after
Marilla had driven off  to  Carmody,  Diana  came  over,  dressed  in  HER
second-best dress and looking exactly as it is proper to look  when  asked
out to tea. At other times she was wont to run into  the  kitchen  without
knocking; but now she knocked primly at the front  door.  And  when  Anne,
dressed in her second best, as primly opened it, both little  girls  shook
hands as gravely as if they had never met before. This unnatural solemnity
lasted until after Diana had been taken to the east gable to lay  off  her
hat and then had sat  for  ten  minutes  in  the  sitting  room,  toes  in
    "How is your mother?" inquired Anne politely, just as if she had  not
seen Mrs. Barry picking  apples  that  morning  in  excellent  health  and
    "She is very well, thank you.  I  suppose  Mr.  Cuthbert  is  hauling
potatoes to the LILY SANDS this afternoon, is he?"  said  Diana,  who  had
ridden down to Mr. Harmon Andrews's that morning in Matthew's cart.
    "Yes. Our potato crop is very good this year. I  hope  your  father's
crop is good too."
    "It is fairly good, thank you. Have you picked many  of  your  apples
    "Oh, ever so many," said Anne forgetting to be dignified and  jumping
up quickly. "Let's go  out  to  the  orchard  and  get  some  of  the  Red
Sweetings, Diana. Marilla says we can have all that are left on the  tree.
Marilla is a very generous woman. She said we could have  fruit  cake  and
cherry preserves for tea. But it isn't good manners to tell  your  company
what you are going to give them to eat, so I won't tell you what she  said
we could have to drink. Only it begins with an R and a C and  it's  bright
red color. I love bright red drinks, don't you? They taste twice  as  good
as any other color."
    The orchard, with its great sweeping boughs that bent to  the  ground
with fruit, proved so delightful that the little girls spent most  of  the
afternoon in it, sitting in a grassy corner where the frost had spared the
green and the mellow autumn sunshine lingered warmly,  eating  apples  and
talking as hard as they could. Diana had much to tell Anne of what went on
in school. She had to sit  with  Gertie  Pye  and  she  hated  it;  Gertie
squeaked her pencil all the time and it just  made  her-Diana's-blood  run
cold; Ruby Gillis had charmed all her warts away, true's you live, with  a
magic pebble that old Mary Joe from the Creek gave her. You had to rub the
warts with the pebble and then throw it away over your  left  shoulder  at
the time of the new moon and the warts would all go. Charlie Sloane's name
was written up with Em White's on the porch wall and Em  White  was  AWFUL
MAD about it; Sam Boulter had "sassed"  Mr.  Phillips  in  class  and  Mr.
Phillips whipped him and Sam's father came down to the  school  and  dared
Mr. Phillips to lay a hand on  one  of  his  children  again;  and  Mattie
Andrews had a new red hood and a blue crossover with tassels on it and the
airs she put on about it  were  perfectly  sickening;  and  Lizzie  Wright
didn't speak to Mamie Wilson because Mamie Wilson's  grown-up  sister  had
cut out Lizzie Wright's grown-up  sister  with  her  beau;  and  everybody
missed Anne so  and  wished  she's  come  to  school  again;  and  Gilbert
BlytheBut Anne didn't want to hear about Gilbert  Blythe.  She  jumped  up
hurriedly and said suppose they go in and have some raspberry cordial.
    Anne looked on the second shelf of the room pantry but there  was  no
bottle of raspberry cordial there . Search revealed it away  back  on  the
top shelf. Anne put it on a tray and set it on the table with a tumbler.
    "Now, please help yourself,  Diana,"  she  said  politely.  "I  don't
believe I'll have any just now. I don't feel as if I wanted any after  all
those apples."
    Diana poured herself out a tumblerful, looked at its  bright-red  hue
admiringly, and then sipped it daintily.
    "That's awfully nice raspberry cordial, Anne," she  said.  "I  didn't
know raspberry cordial was so nice."
    "I'm real glad you like it. Take as much as you want.  I'm  going  to
run out and stir the fire up. There are  so  many  responsibilities  on  a
person's mind when they're keeping house, isn't there?"
    When Anne came back from the kitchen Diana was  drinking  her  second
glassful of cordial; and, being entreated thereto by Anne, she offered  no
particular objection to the drinking of  a  third.  The  tumblerfuls  were
generous ones and the raspberry cordial was certainly very nice.
    "The nicest I ever drank," said Diana. "It's ever so much nicer  than
Mrs. Lynde's, although she brags of hers so much. It doesn't taste  a  bit
like hers."
    "I should think Marilla's raspberry cordial  would  prob'ly  be  much
nicer than Mrs. Lynde's," said Anne loyally. "Marilla is  a  famous  cook.
She is trying to teach me to cook but I assure you, Diana,  it  is  uphill
work. There's so little scope for imagination in cookery. You just have to
go by rules. The last time I made a cake I forgot to put the flour  in.  I
was thinking the loveliest story about you and me, Diana.  I  thought  you
were desperately ill with smallpox and everybody deserted you, but I  went
boldly to your bedside and nursed you back to life; and then  I  took  the
smallpox and died and I  was  buried  under  those  poplar  trees  in  the
graveyard and you planted a rosebush by my grave and watered it with  your
tears; and you never, never forgot the friend of your youth who sacrificed
her life for you. Oh, it was such a pathetic tale, Diana. The  tears  just
rained down over my cheeks while I mixed the cake. But I forgot the  flour
and the cake was a dismal failure. Flour is so  essential  to  cakes,  you
know. Marilla was very cross and I don't wonder. I'm a great trial to her.
She was terribly mortified about the pudding sauce last  week.  We  had  a
plum pudding for dinner on Tuesday and there was half the  pudding  and  a
pitcherful of sauce left over. Marilla said there was enough  for  another
dinner and told me to set it on the pantry shelf and cover it. I meant  to
cover it just as much as could be, Diana, but when I carried it in  I  was
imagining I was a nun-of course I'm a Protestant but I imagined  I  was  a
Catholic-taking the veil to bury a broken heart in  cloistered  seclusion;
and I forgot all about covering the pudding sauce. I thought  of  it  next
morning and ran to the pantry. Diana, fancy if you can my  extreme  horror
at finding a mouse drowned in that pudding sauce! I lifted the  mouse  out
with a spoon and threw it out in the yard and then I washed the  spoon  in
three waters. Marilla was out milking and I fully intended to ask her when
she came in if I'd give the sauce to the pigs; but when she did come in  I
was imagining that I was a frost fairy going through the woods turning the
trees red and yellow, whichever they wanted to  be,  so  I  never  thought
about the pudding sauce again and Marilla sent  me  out  to  pick  apples.
Well, Mr. and Mrs. Chester Ross from Spencervale came here  that  morning.
You know they are very stylish people, especially Mrs. Chester Ross.  When
Marilla called me in dinner was all ready and everybody was at the  table.
I tried to be as polite and dignified as I could be,  for  I  wanted  Mrs.
Chester Ross to think I WaS a  ladylike  little  girl  even  if  I  wasn't
pretty. Everything went right until I saw Marilla  coming  with  the  plum
pudding in one hand and the pitcher of pudding sauce  WARMED  UP,  in  the
other. Diana, that was a terrible moment. I remembered  everything  and  I
just stood up in my place and shrieked out 'Marilla, you mustn't use  that
pudding sauce. There was a mouse drowned in  it.  I  forgot  to  tell  you
before.' Oh, Diana, I shall never forget that awful moment if I live to be
a hundred. Mrs. Chester Ross just LOOKED at me and I thought I would  sink
through the floor with mortification. She is such  a  perfect  housekeeper
and fancy what she must have thought of us. Marilla turned red as fire but
she never said a word-then. She just carried that sauce  and  pudding  out
and brought in some strawberry preserves. She even offered me some, but  I
couldn't swallow a mouthful. It was like heaping coals of fire on my head.
After Mrs. Chester Ross went away, Marilla gave me  a  dreadful  scolding.
Why, Diana, what is the matter?"
    Diana had stood up very unsteadily; then she sat down again,  putting
her hands to her head.
    "I'm-I'm awful sick," she said, a little thickly. "I-I-must go  right
    "Oh, you mustn't dream of going home without your tea," cried Anne in
distress. "I'll get it right off-I'll go and put the tea  down  this  very
    "I must go home," repeated Diana, stupidly but determinedly.
    "Let me get you a lunch anyhow," implored Anne. "Let me  give  you  a
bit of fruit cake and some of the cherry preserves. Lie down on  the  sofa
for a little while and you'll be better. Where do you feel bad?"
    "I must go home," said Diana, and that was all she would say. In vain
Anne pleaded.
    "I never heard of company going home without tea," she mourned.  "Oh,
Diana, do  you  suppose  that  it's  possible  you're  really  taking  the
smallpox? If you are I'll go and nurse you, you can depend on  that.  I'll
never forsake you. But I do wish you'd stay till after tea. Where  do  you
feel bad?"
    "I'm awful dizzy," said Diana.
    And  indeed,  she  walked  very  dizzily.   Anne,   with   tears   of
disappointment in her eyes, got Diana's hat and went with her  as  far  as
the Barry yard fence. Then she wept all the  way  back  to  Green  Gables,
where she sorrowfully put the remainder of the raspberry cordial back into
the pantry and got tea ready for Matthew and Jerry, with all the zest gone
out of the performance.
    The next day was Sunday and as the rain poured down in torrents  from
dawn till dusk  Anne  did  not  stir  abroad  from  Green  Gables.  Monday
afternoon Marilla sent her down to Mrs. Lynde's on an errand.  In  a  very
short space of time Anne came flying back up the lane with  tears  rolling
down her cheeks. Into the  kitchen  she  dashed  and  flung  herself  face
downward on the sofa in an agony.
    "Whatever has gone wrong now, Anne?" queried  Marilla  in  doubt  and
dismay. "I do hope you haven't gone and been saucy to Mrs. Lynde again."
    No answer from Anne save more tears and stormier sobs!
    "Anne Shirley, when I ask you a question I want to be  answered.  Sit
right up this very minute and tell me what you are crying about."
    Anne sat up, tragedy personified.
    "Mrs. Lynde was up to see Mrs. Barry today and Mrs. Barry was  in  an
awful state," she wailed. "She says that I set Diana  DRUNK  Saturday  and
sent her home in a disgraceful  condition.  And  she  says  I  must  be  a
thoroughly bad, wicked little girl and she's never,  never  going  to  let
Diana play with me again. Oh, Marilla, I'm just overcome with woe."
    Marilla stared in blank amazement.
    "Set Diana drunk!" she said when she found her voice. "Anne  are  you
or Mrs. Barry crazy? What on earth did you give her?"
    "Not a thing but raspberry cordial," sobbed Anne.  "I  never  thought
raspberry cordial would set people drunk, Marilla-not even if  they  drank
three big tumblerfuls as Diana did. Oh, it sounds so-so-like Mrs. Thomas's
husband! But I didn't mean to set her drunk."
    "Drunk fiddlesticks!" said Marilla,  marching  to  the  sitting  room
pantry. There on the shelf was a bottle which she at  once  recognized  as
one containing some of her three-year-old homemade currant wine for  which
she was celebrated in Avonlea, although certain of the stricter sort, Mrs.
Barry among them, disapproved strongly of it. And at the same time Marilla
recollected that she had put the bottle of raspberry cordial down  in  the
cellar instead of in the pantry as she had told Anne.
    She went back to the kitchen with the wine bottle in  her  hand.  Her
face was twitching in spite of herself.
    "Anne, you certainly have a genius for getting into trouble. You went
and gave Diana currant wine instead of raspberry cordial. Didn't you  know
the difference yourself?"
    "I never tasted it," said Anne. "I thought  it  was  the  cordial.  I
meant to be so-so-hospitable. Diana got awfully sick and had to  go  home.
Mrs. Barry told Mrs. Lynde she was simply dead  drunk.  She  just  laughed
silly-like when her mother asked her what was the matter and went to sleep
and slept for hours. Her mother smelled her breath and knew she was drunk.
She had a fearful headache all day yesterday. Mrs. Barry is so  indignant.
She will never believe but what I did it on purpose."
    "I should think she would better punish Diana for being so greedy  as
to drink three glassfuls of anything," said Marilla shortly.  "Why,  three
of those big glasses would have made her sick even if  it  had  only  been
cordial. Well, this story will be a nice handle for those folks who are so
down on me for making currant wine, although I haven't made any for  three
years ever since I found out that the minister didn't approve. I just kept
that bottle for sickness. There, there, child, don't cry. I can't  see  as
you were to blame although I'm sorry it happened so."
    "I must cry," said Anne. "My heart is broken.  The  stars  in.  their
courses fight against me, Marilla. Diana and I  are  parted  forever.  Oh,
Marilla, I little dreamed  of  this  when  first  we  swore  our  vows  of
    "Don't be foolish, Anne. Mrs. Barry will think better of it when  she
finds you're not to blame. I suppose she thinks you've done it for a silly
joke or something of that sort. You'd best go up this evening and tell her
how it was."
    "My courage fails me at the thought of facing Diana's injured mother,"
sighed Anne. "I wish you'd go, Marilla. You're so  much  more  dignified
than I am. Likely she'd listen to you quicker than to me."
    "Well, I will," said Marilla, reflecting that it  would  probably  be
the wiser course. "Don't cry any more, Anne. It will be all right."
    Marilla had changed her mind about it being all right by the time she
got back from Orchard Slope. Anne was watching for her coming and flew  to
the porch door to meet her.
    "Oh, Marilla, I know by your face that it's been no  use,"  she  said
sorrowfully. "Mrs. Barry won't forgive me?"
    "Mrs. Barry indeed!" snapped Marilla. "Of all the unreasonable  women
I ever saw she's the worst. I told her  it  was  all  a  mistake  and  you
weren't to blame, but she just simply didn't believe me. And she rubbed it
well in about my currant wine and how I'd always said it couldn't have the
least effect on anybody. I just told her plainly that currant wine  wasn't
meant to be drunk three tumblerfuls at a time and that if a child I had to
do with was so greedy I'd sober her up with a right good spanking."
    Marilla whisked into the kitchen,  grievously  disturbed,  leaving  a
very much distracted little soul in the porch behind her.  Presently  Anne
stepped out bareheaded into the chill autumn dusk; very  determinedly  and
steadily she took her way down through the sere clover field over the  log
bridge and up through the spruce grove, lighted  by  a  pale  little  moon
hanging low over the western woods. Mrs. Barry,  coming  to  the  door  in
answer to a timid knock, found a white-lipped eager-eyed suppliant on  the
    Her face hardened. Mrs. Barry was a woman of  strong  prejudices  and
dislikes, and her anger was of the  cold,  sullen  sort  which  is  always
hardest to overcome. To do her justice, she really believed Anne had  made
Diana drunk out of sheer malice prepense, and she was honestly anxious  to
preserve her little daughter from the contamination  of  further  intimacy
with such a child.
    "What do you want?" she said stiffly.
    Anne clasped her hands.
    "Oh, Mrs. Barry, please forgive me. I did not  mean  to-to-intoxicate
Diana. How could I? Just imagine if you were a  poor  little  orphan  girl
that kind people had adopted and you had just one bosom friend in all  the
world. Do you think you would intoxicate her on purpose? I thought it  was
only raspberry cordial. I was firmly convinced it was  raspberry  cordial.
Oh, please don't say that you won't let Diana play with me  any  more.  If
you do you will cover my life with a dark cloud of woe."
    This speech which would have softened good Mrs. Lynde's  heart  in  a
twinkling, had no effect on Mrs. Barry except to irritate her still  more.
She was suspicious of Anne's big words and dramatic gestures and  imagined
that the child was making fun of her. So she said, coldly and cruelly:
    "I don't think you are a fit little girl for Diana to associate with.
You'd better go home and behave yourself."
    Anne's lips quivered.
    "Won't you let me see Diana just once to say farewell?" she implored.
    "Diana has gone over to Carmody with her father,"  said  Mrs.  Barry,
going in and shutting the door.
    Anne went back to Green Gables calm with despair.
    "My last hope is gone," she told Marilla. "I went  up  and  saw  Mrs.
Barry myself and she treated me very insultingly. Marilla, I do not  think
she is a well-bred woman. There is nothing more to do except to pray and I
haven't much hope that that'll do much good because,  Marilla,  I  do  not
believe that God Himself can do very much with such an obstinate person as
Mrs. Barry."
    "Anne, you shouldn't say such things" rebuked  Marilla,  striving  to
overcome that unholy tendency to laughter which she was dismayed  to  find
growing upon her. And indeed, when she told the  whole  story  to  Matthew
that night, she did laugh heartily over Anne's tribulations.
    But when she slipped into the east gable  before  going  to  bed  and
found that Anne had cried herself to sleep an unaccustomed softness  crept
into her face.
    "Poor little soul," she murmured, lifting a loose curl of  hair  from
the child's tear-stained face. Then she bent down and kissed  the  flushed
cheek on the pillow.

                        17. A New Interest in Life

    THE next afternoon Anne, bending over her patchwork  at  the  kitchen
window, happened to glance out and beheld Diana down by the Dryad's Bubble
beckoning mysteriously. In a trice Anne was out of the  house  and  flying
down to the hollow, astonishment and hope  struggling  in  her  expressive
eyes. But the hope faded when she saw Diana's dejected countenance.
    "Your mother hasn't relented?" she gasped.
    Diana shook her head mournfully.
    "No; and oh, Anne, she says I'm never to play with  you  again.  I've
cried and cried and I told her it wasn't your fault,  but  it  wasn't  any
use. I had ever such a time coaxing her  to  let  me  come  down  and  say
good-bye to you. She said I was only to stay ten minutes and she's  timing
me by the clock."
    "Ten minutes isn't very long to say an  eternal  farewell  in,"  said
Anne tearfully. "Oh, Diana, will you promise faithfully  never  to  forget
me, the friend of your youth, no matter what  dearer  friends  may  caress
    "Indeed I will," sobbed Diana, "and I'll  never  have  another  bosom
friend-I don't want to have. I couldn't love anybody as I love you."
    "Oh, Diana," cried Anne, clasping her hands, "do you LOVE me?"
    "Why, of course I do. Didn't you know that?"
    "No." Anne drew a long breath. "I thought you LIKED me of course  but
I never hoped you LOVED me. Why, Diana, I didn't think anybody could  love
me. Nobody ever has loved me since I can remember. Oh, this is  wonderful!
It's a ray of light which will forever shine on the  darkness  of  a  path
severed from thee, Diana. Oh, just say it once again."
    "I love you devotedly, Anne," said  Diana  stanchly,  "and  I  always
will, you may be sure of that."
    "And I will always love thee, Diana," said Anne,  solemnly  extending
her hand. "In the years to come thy memory will shine like a star over  my
lonely life, as that last story we read together says.  Diana,  wilt  thou
give  me  a  lock  of  thy  jet-black  tresses  in  parting  to   treasure
    "Have you got anything to cut it with?" queried  Diana,  wiping  away
the tears which Anne's affecting accents had caused to  flow  afresh,  and
returning to practicalities.
    "Yes. I've got my patchwork scissors in my apron pocket fortunately,"
said Anne. She solemnly clipped one of Diana's curls. "Fare thee well,  my
beloved friend. Henceforth we must be as strangers though living  side  by
side. But my heart will ever be faithful to thee."
    Anne stood and watched Diana out of sight, mournfully waving her hand
to the latter whenever she turned to look back. Then she returned  to  the
house, not a little consoled for the time being by this romantic parting.
    "It is all over," she informed Marilla. "I shall never  have  another
friend. I'm really worse off than ever before, for I haven't Katie Maurice
and Violetta now. And even if I had it  wouldn't  be  the  same.  Somehow,
little dream girls are not satisfying after a real friend. Diana and I had
such an affecting farewell down by the spring. It will  be  sacred  in  my
memory forever. I used the most pathetic language I  could  think  of  and
said `thou' and `thee.' `Thou' and `thee' seem so much more romantic  than
`you.' Diana gave me a lock of her hair and I'm going to sew it  up  in  a
little bag and wear it around my neck all my life. Please see that  it  is
buried with me, for I don't believe I'll live very long. Perhaps when  she
sees me lying cold and dead before her Mrs. Barry  may  feel  remorse  for
what she has done and will let Diana come to my funeral."
    "I don't think there is much fear of your dying of grief as  long  as
you can talk, Anne," said Marilla unsympathetically.
    The following Monday Anne surprised Marilla by coming down  from  her
room with her basket of books on her arm and hip lips primmed  up  into  a
line of determination.
    "I'm going back to school," she announced. "That is all there is left
in life for me, now that my friend has been ruthlessly torn  from  me.  In
school I can look at her and muse over days departed."
    "You'd better  muse  over  your  lessons  and  sums,"  said  Marilla,
concealing her delight at this development of the  situation.  "If  you're
going back to school I hope we'll hear no more  of  breaking  slates  over
people's heads and such carryings on. Behave yourself  and  do  just  what
your teacher tells you."
    "I'll try to be a model pupil," agreed Anne dolefully.  "There  won't
be much fun in it, I expect. Mr. Phillips said Minnie Andrews was a  model
pupil and there isn't a spark of imagination or life in her. She  is  just
dull and poky and never seems to have a good time. But I feel so depressed
that perhaps it will come easy to me now. I'm going round by the  road.  I
couldn't bear to go by the Birch Path all  alone.  I  should  weep  bitter
tears if I did."
    Anne was welcomed back to school with open arms. Her imagination  had
been sorely missed in games, her voice in the  singing  and  her  dramatic
ability in the perusal aloud of books at dinner hour. Ruby Gillis smuggled
three blue plums over to her during testament reading; Ella May MacPherson
gave her an enormous  yellow  pansy  cut  from  the  covers  of  a  floral
catalogue-a species of desk decoration  much  prized  in  Avonlea  school.
Sophia Sloane offered to teach her a perfectly elegant new pattern of knit
lace, so nice for trimming aprons. Katie Boulter gave her a perfume bottle
to keep slate water in, and Julia Bell copied carefully on a piece of pale
pink paper scalloped on the edges the following effusion:

               When twilight drops her curtain down
                     And pins it with a star
                 Remember that you have a friend
                    Though she may wander far.

    "It's so nice to be appreciated," sighed Anne rapturously to  Marilla
that night.
    The girls were not the only scholars who "appreciated" her. When Anne
went to her seat after dinner hour-she had been told by  Mr.  Phillips  to
sit with the model Minnie Andrews-she found on her  desk  a  big  luscious
"strawberry apple." Anne caught it up all ready to take a  bite  when  she
remembered that the only place in Avonlea where strawberry apples grew was
in the old Blythe orchard on the other side of the Lake of Shining Waters.
Anne dropped the apple as if it were a  red-hot  coal  and  ostentatiously
wiped her fingers on her handkerchief. The apple lay untouched on her desk
until the next morning, when little Timothy Andrews, who swept the  school
and kindled the fire, annexed  it  as  one  of  his  perquisites.  Charlie
Sloane's slate pencil, gorgeously bedizened with striped  red  and  yellow
paper, costing two cents where ordinary pencils cost only  one,  which  he
sent up to her after dinner hour, met with  a  more  favorable  reception.
Anne was graciously pleased to accept it and rewarded  the  donor  with  a
smile which exalted that infatuated youth  straightway  into  the  seventh
heaven of delight and caused him  to  make  such  fearful  errors  in  his
dictation that Mr. Phillips kept him in after school to rewrite it.
    But as,

              The Caesar's pageant shorn of Brutus' bust
              Did but of Rome's best son remind her more.

    so the marked absence of any tribute or recognition from Diana  Barry
who was sitting with Gertie Pye embittered Anne's little triumph.
    "Diana might just have smiled at me once, I think,"  she  mourned  to
Marilla that night. But  the  next  morning  a  note  most  fearfully  and
wonderfully twisted and folded, and a small parcel were passed  across  to

    Dear Anne (ran the former)
    Mother says I'm not to play with you or talk to you even  in  school.
It isn't my fault and don't be cross at me, because I love you as much  as
ever. I miss you awfully to tell all my secrets to and I don't like Gertie
Pye one bit. I made you one of the  new  bookmarkers  out  of  red  tissue
paper. They are awfully fashionable now and only  three  girls  in  school
know how to make them. When you look at it remember
                                                         Your true friend
                                                             Diana Barry.

    Anne read the note, kissed the  bookmark,  and  dispatched  a  prompt
reply back to the other side of the school.

    My own darling Diana:-
    Of course I am not cross at you because you have to obey your mother.
Our spirits can commune. I shall keep your lovely present forever.  Minnie
Andrews is a very nice little girl-although  she  has  no  imagination-but
after having been Diana's busum friend I cannot be Minnie's. Please excuse
mistakes because my spelling isn't very good yet, although much improoved.
Yours until death us do part
                                                Anne or Cordelia Shirley.

    P.S. I shall sleep with your letter under my pillow tonight.
    A. OR C.S.

    Marilla pessimistically expected more trouble since  Anne  had  again
begun to go to school. But none developed. Perhaps Anne  caught  something
of the "model" spirit from Minnie Andrews; at least she got on  very  well
with Mr. Phillips thenceforth. She flung herself into  her  studies  heart
and soul, determined not to be outdone in any class by Gilbert Blythe. The
rivalry between them was soon apparent; it was entirely  good  natured  on
Gilbert's side; but it is much to be feared that the same thing cannot  be
said of Anne, who had certainly an  unpraiseworthy  tenacity  for  holding
grudges. She was as intense in her hatreds as in her loves. She would  not
stoop to admit that she meant to rival Gilbert in schoolwork, because that
would have been to  acknowledge  his  existence  which  Anne  persistently
ignored; but the rivalry was there and honors fluctuated between them. Now
Gilbert was head of the spelling class; now Anne, with a toss of her  long
red braids, spelled him down. One morning Gilbert had all  his  sums  done
correctly and had his name written on the blackboard on the roll of honor;
the next morning Anne, having wrestled wildly  with  decimals  the  entire
evening before, would be first. One awful day they  were  ties  and  their
names were written up together. It was almost as bad as a take-notice  and
Anne's mortification was as evident as Gilbert's  satisfaction.  When  the
written examinations at the end of each month were held the  suspense  was
terrible. The first month Gilbert came out three marks ahead.  The  second
Anne beat him by five. But her triumph was marred by the fact that Gilbert
congratulated her heartily before the whole school.  It  would  have  been
ever so much sweeter to her if he had felt the sting of his defeat.
    Mr. Phillips might not be  a  very  good  teacher;  but  a  pupil  so
inflexibly determined on learning as Anne was could hardly  escape  making
progress under any kind of teacher. By  the  end  of  the  term  Anne  and
Gilbert were both promoted into the  fifth  class  and  allowed  to  begin
studying the elements of "the branches"-by which Latin, geometry,  French,
and algebra were meant. In geometry Anne met her Waterloo.
    "It's perfectly awful stuff, Marilla," she groaned.  "I'm  sure  I'll
never be able to  make  head  or  tail  of  it.  There  is  no  scope  for
imagination in it at all. Mr. Phillips says I'm the worst  dunce  he  ever
saw at it. And Gil-I mean some of the others are so smart  at  it.  It  is
extremely mortifying, Marilla.
    Even Diana gets along better than I do. But I don't mind being beaten
by Diana. Even although we meet as strangers now I still love her with  an
INEXTINGUISHABLE love. It makes me very sad at times to think  about  her.
But really, Marilla, one can't stay sad very long in such  an  interesting
world, can one?"

                           18. Anne to the Rescue

    ALL things great are wound up with all things little. At first glance
it might not seem that the decision  of  a  certain  Canadian  Premier  to
include Prince Edward Island in  a  political  tour  could  have  much  or
anything to do with the fortunes of little Anne Shirley at  Green  Gables.
But it had.
    It was a January the Premier came, to address  his  loyal  supporters
and such of his nonsupporters as chose to be present at the  monster  mass
meeting held  in  Charlottetown.  Most  of  the  Avonlea  people  were  on
Premier's side of politics; hence on the night of the meeting  nearly  all
the men and a goodly proportion of the women had gone to town thirty miles
away. Mrs. Rachel Lynde had gone too. Mrs.  Rachel  Lynde  was  a  red-hot
politician and couldn't have believed that the political  rally  could  be
carried through without her, although she was  on  the  opposite  side  of
politics. So she went to town and took her husband-Thomas would be  useful
in looking after the horse-and Marilla Cuthbert with her.  Marilla  had  a
sneaking interest in politics herself, and as she thought it might be  her
only chance to see a real live Premier, she promptly took it, leaving Anne
and Matthew to keep house until her return the following day.
    Hence, while Marilla and Mrs. Rachel were enjoying themselves  hugely
at the mass meeting, Anne and Matthew had the cheerful  kitchen  at  Green
Gables all to themselves. A bright fire was glowing in  the  old-fashioned
Waterloo  stove  and  blue-white  frost  crystals  were  shining  on   the
windowpanes. Matthew nodded over a FARMERS' ADVOCATE on the sofa and  Anne
at the table studied her lessons with grim determination,  despite  sundry
wistful glances at the clock shelf, where lay a new book that Jane Andrews
had lent her that day. Jane had assured  her  that  it  was  warranted  to
produce any number of thrills, or words to that effect, and Anne's fingers
tingled to reach out for it. But that would mean Gilbert Blythe's  triumph
on the morrow. Anne turned her back  on  the  clock  shelf  and  tried  to
imagine it wasn't there.
    "Matthew, did you ever study geometry when you went to school?"
    "Well now, no, I didn't," said Matthew, coming out of his doze with a
    "I wish you had,"  sighed  Anne,  "because  then  you'd  be  able  to
sympathize with me. You can't sympathize properly if you've never  studied
it. It is casting a cloud over my whole life. I'm  such  a  dunce  at  it,
    "Well now, I dunno," said Matthew soothingly.  "I  guess  you're  all
right at anything. Mr. Phillips told me last  week  in  Blair's  store  at
Carmody that you was the smartest scholar in school and was  making  rapid
progress. `Rapid progress' was his very words. There's them as  runs  down
Teddy Phillips and says he ain't much of a teacher, but I guess  he's  all
    Matthew would have thought anyone who praised Anne was "all right."
    "I'm sure I'd get on better with geometry if only he wouldn't  change
the letters," complained Anne. "I learn the proposition off by  heart  and
then he draws it on the blackboard and puts different  letters  from  what
are in the book and I get all mixed up. I don't  think  a  teacher  should
take such a mean advantage, do you? We're  studying  agriculture  now  and
I've found out at last what makes the roads red. It's a great  comfort.  I
wonder how Marilla and Mrs. Lynde are enjoying themselves. Mrs. Lynde says
Canada is going to the dogs the way things are being  run  at  Ottawa  and
that it's an awful warning to the electors. She says if women were allowed
to vote we would soon see a blessed change. What way do you vote, Matthew?"
    "Conservative," said Matthew promptly. To vote Conservative was  part
of Matthew's religion.
    "Then I'm Conservative too," said Anne decidedly. "I'm  glad  because
Gil-because some of the boys in school are Grits. I guess Mr. Phillips  is
a Grit too because Prissy Andrews's father is one, and  Ruby  Gillis  says
that when a man is courting he always has to agree with the girl's  mother
in religion and her father in politics. Is that true, Matthew?"
    "Well now, I dunno," said Matthew.
    "Did you ever go courting, Matthew?"
    "Well now, no, I dunno's I ever did," said Matthew, who had certainly
never thought of such a thing in his whole existence.
    Anne reflected with her chin in her hands.
    "It must be rather interesting, don't you think, Matthew? Ruby Gillis
says when she grows up she's going to have  ever  so  many  beaus  on  the
string and have them all crazy about her; but I think that  would  be  too
exciting. I'd rather have just one in his  right  mind.  But  Ruby  Gillis
knows a great deal about such matters because she has so many big sisters,
and Mrs. Lynde says the Gillis girls have gone off  like  hot  cakes.  Mr.
Phillips goes up to see Prissy Andrews nearly every evening. He says it is
to help her with her lessons but Miranda Sloane is  studying  for  Queen's
too, and I should think she needed help a lot  more  than  Prissy  because
she's ever so much stupider, but he never goes to help her in the evenings
at all. There are  a  great  many  things  in  this  world  that  I  can't
understand very well, Matthew."
    "Well now, I dunno. as I comprehend them  all  myself,"  acknowledged
    "Well, I suppose I must finish up my lessons. I won't allow myself to
open that new book Jane lent me until I'm through.  But  it's  a  terrible
temptation, Matthew. Even when I turn my back on it I  can  see  it  there
just as plain. Jane said she cried herself sick over it.  I  love  a  book
that makes me cry. But I think I'll carry that book into the sitting  room
and lock it in the jam closet and give you the key. And you must not  give
it to me, Matthew, until my lessons are done, not even if I implore you on
my bended knees. It's all very well to say  resist  temptation,  but  it's
ever so much easier to resist it if you can't get the key. And then  shall
I run down the cellar and get some russets,  Matthew?  Wouldn't  you  like
some russets?"
    "Well now, I dunno but what I would," said  Matthew,  who  never  ate
russets but knew Anne's weakness for them.
    Just as Anne emerged triumphantly from the cellar with  her  plateful
of russets came the sound of  flying  footsteps  on  the  icy  board  walk
outside and the next moment the kitchen door was flung open and in  rushed
Diana Barry, white faced and breathless,  with  a  shawl  wrapped  hastily
around her head. Anne promptly let go of  her  candle  and  plate  in  her
surprise, and plate, candle, and apples crashed together down  the  cellar
ladder and were found at the bottom embedded in melted  grease,  the  next
day, by Marilla, who gathered them up and thanked mercy the  house  hadn't
been set on fire.
    "Whatever is  the  matter,  Diana?"  cried  Anne.  "Has  your  mother
relented at last?"
    "Oh, Anne, do come quick," implored Diana nervously. "Minnie  May  is
awful sick-she's got croup. Young Mary Joe says-and Father and Mother  are
away to town and there's nobody to go for the doctor. Minnie May is  awful
bad and Young Mary Joe doesn't know  what  to  do-and  oh,  Anne,  I'm  so
    Matthew, without a word, reached out for cap and coat,  slipped  past
Diana and away into the darkness of the yard.
    "He's gone to harness the sorrel  mare  to  go  to  Carmody  for  the
doctor," said Anne, who was hurrying on hood and jacket.  "I  know  it  as
well as if he'd said so. Matthew and I are such kindred spirits I can read
his thoughts without words at all."
    "I don't believe he'll find the doctor at Carmody," sobbed Diana.  "I
know that Dr. Blair went to town and I guess Dr.  Spencer  would  go  too.
Young Mary Joe never saw anybody with croup and Mrs. Lynde  is  away.  Oh,
    "Don't cry, Di," said Anne cheerily. "I know exactly what to  do  for
croup. You forget that Mrs. Hammond had twins three times. When  you  look
after three pairs of twins you naturally get a lot of experience. They all
had croup regularly. Just wait till I get  the  ipecac  bottle-you  mayn't
have any at your house. Come on now."
    The two little girls hastened out hand in hand  and  hurried  through
Lover's Lane and across the crusted field beyond, for  the  snow  was  too
deep to go by the shorter wood way. Anne,  although  sincerely  sorry  for
Minnie May, was far from being insensible to the romance of the  situation
and to the sweetness of once more sharing  that  romance  with  a  kindred
    The night was clear and frosty, all ebony of  shadow  and  silver  of
snowy slope; big stars were shining over the silent fields; here and there
the dark pointed firs stood up with snow powdering their branches and  the
wind whistling through them. Anne thought it was truly  delightful  to  go
skimming through all this mystery and loveliness with  your  bosom  friend
who had been so long estranged.
    Minnie May, aged three, was really very sick. She lay on the  kitchen
sofa feverish and restless, while her hoarse breathing could be heard  all
over the house. Young Mary Joe, a buxom, broad-faced French girl from  the
creek, whom Mrs. Barry had engaged to stay with the  children  during  her
absence, was helpless and bewildered, quite incapable of thinking what  to
do, or doing it if she thought of it.
    Anne went to work with skill and promptness.
    "Minnie May has croup all right; she's pretty bad, but I've seen them
worse. First we must have lots of hot water. I declare, Diana, there isn't
more than a cupful in the kettle! There, I've filled it up, and, Mary Joe,
you may put some wood in the stove. I don't want to hurt your feelings but
it seems to me you  might  have  thought  of  this  before  if  you'd  any
imagination. Now, I'll undress Minnie May and put her to bed and  you  try
to find some soft flannel cloths, Diana. I'm going to give her a  dose  of
ipecac first of all."
    Minnie May did not take kindly to the ipecac but Anne had not brought
up three. pairs of twins for nothing. Down  that  ipecac  went,  not  only
once, but many times during the long, anxious night when  the  two  little
girls worked patiently over the suffering Minnie May, and Young Mary  Joe,
honestly anxious to do all she could, kept up a roaring  fire  and  heated
more water than would have been needed for a hospital of croupy babies.
    It was three o'clock when Matthew came with a doctor, for he had been
obliged to go all the way to Spencervale for one. But  the  pressing  need
for assistance was past. Minnie May  was  much  better  and  was  sleeping
    "I was awfully near giving up in despair," explained Anne.  "She  got
worse and worse until she was sicker than ever  the  Hammond  twins  were,
even the last pair. I actually thought she was going to choke to death.  I
gave her every drop of ipecac in that bottle and when the last  dose  went
down I said to myself-not to Diana or Young Mary  Joe,  because  I  didn't
want to worry them any more than they were worried, but I had to say it to
myself just to relieve my feelings-`This is the last lingering hope and  I
fear, tis a vain one.' But in about  three  minutes  she  coughed  up  the
phlegm and began to get better  right  away.  You  must  just  imagine  my
relief, doctor, because I can't express it in words. You  know  there  are
some things that cannot be expressed in words."
    "Yes, I know," nodded the doctor. He looked at Anne  as  if  he  were
thinking some things about her that couldn't be expressed in words.  Later
on, however, he expressed them to Mr. and Mrs. Barry.
    "That little redheaded girl they have over at Cuthbert's is as  smart
as they make 'em. I tell you she saved that baby's life, for it would have
been too late by the time I got there. She  seems  to  have  a  skill  and
presence of mind perfectly wonderful in a child of her age.  I  never  saw
anything like the eyes of her when she was explaining the case to me."
    Anne had gone home in the wonderful,  white-frosted  winter  morning,
heavy eyed from loss of sleep, but still talking unweariedly to Matthew as
they crossed the long white field and walked under  the  glittering  fairy
arch of the Lover's Lane maples.
    "Oh, Matthew, isn't it a wonderful  morning?  The  world  looks  like
something God had just imagined for His own pleasure,  doesn't  it?  Those
trees look as if I could blow them away with a breath-pouf! I'm so glad  I
live in a world where there are white frosts, aren't you? And I'm so  glad
Mrs. Hammond had three pairs of twins after all. If she hadn't I  mightn't
have known what to do for Minnie May. I'm real sorry I was ever cross with
Mrs. Hammond for having twins. But, oh, Matthew, I'm so sleepy. I can't go
to school. I just know I couldn't keep my eyes open and I'd be so  stupid.
But l hate to stay home, for Gil-some of the others will get head  of  the
class, and it's so hard to get up again-although of course the  harder  it
is the more satisfaction you have when you do get up, haven't you?"
    "Well now, I guess you'll manage all right," said Matthew, looking at
Anne's white little face and the dark shadows under her eyes. "You just go
right to bed and have a good sleep. I'll do all the chores."
    Anne accordingly went to bed and slept so long and  soundly  that  it
was well on in the white and rosy winter  afternoon  when  she  awoke  and
descended to the kitchen where  Marilla,  who  had  arrived  home  in  the
meantime, was sitting knitting.
    "Oh, did you see the Premier?" exclaimed Anne at once. "What  did  he
look like Marilla?"
    "Well, he never got to be Premier on  account  of  his  looks,"  said
Marilla. "Such a nose as that man had! But he can speak. I  was  proud  of
being a Conservative. Rachel Lynde, of course, being a Liberal, had no use
for him. Your dinner is in the oven, Anne, and you can get  yourself  some
blue plum preserve out of the pantry. I guess you're hungry.  Matthew  has
been telling me about last night. I must say it  was  fortunate  you  knew
what to do. I wouldn't have had any idea myself, for I never saw a case of
croup. There now, never mind talking till you've had your  dinner.  I  can
tell by the look of you that  you're  just  full  up  with  speeches,  but
they'll keep."
    Marilla had something to tell Anne, but she did not tell it just then
for she knew if she did Anne's consequent excitement would lift her  clear
out of the region of such material matters  as  appetite  or  dinner.  Not
until Anne had finished her saucer of blue plums did Marilla say:
    "Mrs. Barry was here this afternoon, Anne. She wanted to see you, but
I wouldn't wake you up. She says you saved Minnie May's life, and  she  is
very sorry she acted as she did in that affair of the  currant  wine.  She
says she knows now you didn't mean to  set  Diana  drunk,  and  she  hopes
you'll forgive her and be good friends with Diana again. You're to go over
this evening if you like for Diana can't stir outside the door on  account
of a bad cold she caught last night. Now, Anne Shirley,  for  pity's  sake
don't fly up into the. air"
    The warning seemed not unnecessary, so uplifted and aerial was Anne's
expression and attitude as she sprang to her  feet,  her  face  irradiated
with the flame of her spirit.
    "Oh, Marilla, can I go right now-without washing my dishes? I'll wash
them when I come back, but  I  cannot  tie  myself  down  to  anything  so
unromantic as dishwashing at this thrilling moment."
    "Yes, yes, run along," said Marilla  indulgently.  "Anne  Shirley-are
you crazy? Come back this instant and put something on  you.  I  might  as
well call to the wind. She's gone without a  cap  or  wrap.  Look  at  her
tearing through the orchard with her hair streaming. It'll be a  mercy  if
she doesn't catch her death of cold."
    Anne came dancing home in the purple winter twilight across the snowy
places. Afar in the southwest was the great shimmering, pearl-like sparkle
of an evening star in a sky that was pale golden and  ethereal  rose  over
gleaming white spaces and dark glens of  spruce.  The  tinkles  of  sleigh
bells among the snowy hills came like elfin chimes through the frosty air,
but their music was not sweeter than the song in Anne's heart and  on  her
    "You  see  before  you  a  perfectly  happy  person,  Marilla,"   she
announced. "I'm perfectly happy-yes, in spite of  my  red  hair.  Just  at
present I have a soul above red hair. Mrs. Barry kissed me and  cried  and
said she was so sorry and she could  never  repay  me.  I  felt  fearfully
embarrassed, Marilla, but I just said as politely as I could, `I  have  no
hard feelings for you, Mrs. Barry. I assure you once for all  that  I  did
not mean to intoxicate Diana and henceforth I shall cover  the  past  with
the mantle of oblivion.' That was  a  pretty  dignified  way  of  speaking
wasn't it, Marilla?
    I felt that I was heaping coals of fire on  Mrs.  Barry's  head.  And
Diana and I had a lovely afternoon. Diana showed me a  new  fancy  crochet
stitch her aunt over at Carmody taught her. Not a soul in Avonlea knows it
but us, and we pledged a solemn vow never to reveal  it  to  anyone  else.
Diana gave me a beautiful card with a wreath of roses on it and a verse of

                   "If you love me as I love you
                    Nothing but death can part us two.

    And that is true, Marilla. We're going to ask Mr. Phillips to let  us
sit together in school again, and Gertie Pye can go with  Minnie  Andrews.
We had an elegant tea. Mrs.  Barry  had  the  very  best  china  set  out,
Marilla, just as if I was real company. I can't tell you what a thrill  it
gave me. Nobody ever used their very best china on my account before.  And
we had fruit cake and pound cake and doughnuts and two kinds of preserves,
Marilla. And Mrs. Barry asked me if I took tea and said `Pa, why don't you
pass the biscuits to Anne?' It must be lovely to  be  grown  up,  Marilla,
when just being treated as if you were is so nice."
    "I don't know about that," said Marilla, with a brief sigh.
    "Well, anyway, when I am grown up," said Anne decidedly" 'I'm  always
going to talk to little girls as if they were too, and  I'll  never  laugh
when they use big words. I know from sorrowful experience how  that  hurts
one's feelings. After tea Diana and I made taffy. The  taffy  wasn't  very
good, I suppose because neither Diana nor I  had  ever  made  any  before.
Diana left me to stir it while she buttered the plates and  I  forgot  and
let it burn; and then when we set it out on the platform to cool  the  cat
walked over one plate and that had to be thrown away. But the making of it
was splendid fun. Then when I came home Mrs. Barry asked me to  come  over
as often as I could and Diana stood at the window and threw kisses  to  me
all the way down to Lover's Lane. I assure you, Marilla, that I feel  like
praying tonight and I'm going to think out a special brand-new  prayer  in
honor of the occasion."

               19. A Concert a Catastrophe and a Confession

    "MARILLA, can I go over to see Diana just for a minute?" asked  Anne,
running breathlessly down from the east gable one February evening.
    "I don't see what you want to be traipsing  about  after  dark  for,"
said Marilla shortly. "You and Diana walked home from school together  and
then stood down there in the snow for half  an  hour  more,  your  tongues
going the whole blessed time, clickety-clack. So I don't think you're very
badly off to see her again."
    "But she wants to see me," pleaded  Anne.  "She  has  something  very
important to tell me."
    "How do you know she has?"
    "Because she just signaled to me from her window. We have arranged  a
way to signal with our candles and cardboard. We set  the  candle  on  the
window sill and make flashes by passing the cardboard back and  forth.  So
many flashes mean a certain thing. It was my idea, Marilla."
    "I'll warrant you it was," said Marilla emphatically. "And  the  next
thing you'll be setting fire to the curtains with your signaling nonsense."
    "Oh, we're very  careful,  Marilla.  And  it's  so  interesting.  Two
flashes mean, `Are you there?' Three mean `yes' and four `no.' Five  mean,
`Come over as soon as possible, because  I  have  something  important  to
reveal.' Diana has just signaled five flashes, and I'm really suffering to
know what it is."
    "Well, you needn't suffer any longer,"  said  Marilla  sarcastically.
"You can go, but you're to be back here  in  just  ten  minutes,  remember
    Anne did remember it and was back in the  stipulated  time,  although
probably no mortal will ever know just what it cost  her  to  confine  the
discussion of Diana's important communication within  the  limits  of  ten
minutes. But at least she had made good use of them.
    "Oh, Marilla, what  do  you  think?  You  know  tomorrow  is  Diana's
birthday. Well, her mother told her she could ask me to go home  with  her
from school and stay all night with her. And her cousins are  coming  over
from Newbridge in a big pung sleigh to go to the Debating Club concert  at
the hall tomorrow night. And they are going to take Diana and  me  to  the
concert-if you'll let me go, that is. You will, won't you, Marilla? Oh,  I
feel so excited."
    "You can calm down then, because you're not going. You're  better  at
home in your own bed, and as for that club concert, it's all nonsense, and
little girls should not be allowed to go out to such places at all."
    "I'm sure the Debating Club is a most  respectable  affair,"  pleaded
    "I'm not saying it isn't. But you're not going to begin gadding about
to concerts and staying out all hours of  the  night.  Pretty  doings  for
children. I'm surprised at Mrs. Barry's letting Diana go."
    "But it's such a very special occasion," mourned Anne, on  the  verge
of tears. "Diana has only.  one  birthday  in  a  year.  It  isn't  as  if
birthdays were common things, Marilla. Prissy Andrews is going  to  recite
`Curfew Must Not Ring Tonight.' That is such a good moral piece,  Marilla,
I'm sure it would do me lots of good to hear it. And the choir  are  going
to sing four lovely pathetic songs that are pretty near as good as  hymns.
And oh, Marilla, the minister is going to take part; yes, indeed,  he  is;
he's going to give an address. That will be just about the same thing as a
sermon. Please, mayn't I go, Marilla?"
    "You heard what I said, Anne, didn't you? Take off your boots now and
go to bed. It's past eight."
    "There's just one more thing, Marilla," said Anne, with  the  air  of
producing the last shot in her locker. "Mrs.  Barry  told  Diana  that  we
might sleep in the spare-room bed. Think of the honor of your little  Anne
being put in the spare-room bed."
    "It's an honor you'll have to get along without. Go to bed, Anne, and
don't let me hear another word out of you."
    When Anne, with tears rolling over her cheeks, had  gone  sorrowfully
upstairs, Matthew, who had been apparently  sound  asleep  on  the  lounge
during the whole dialogue, opened his eyes and said decidedly:
    "Well now, Marilla, I think you ought to let Anne go."
    "I don't then," retorted Marilla.  "Who's  bringing  this  child  up,
Matthew, you or me?"
    "Well now, you," admitted Matthew.
    "Don't interfere then."
    "Well now, I ain't interfering. It ain't interfering to have your own
opinion. And my opinion is that you ought to let Anne go."
    "You'd think I ought to let Anne go to  the  moon  if  she  took  the
notion, I've no doubt" was Marilla's amiable rejoinder. "I might have  let
her spend the night with Diana, if that was all. But I  don't  approve  of
this concert plan. She'd go there and catch cold like as not, and have her
head filled up with nonsense and excitement. It would unsettle her  for  a
week. I understand that child's disposition and what's good for it  better
than you, Matthew."
    "I think you ought to let Anne go," repeated Matthew firmly. Argument
was not his strong point, but holding fast to his opinion  certainly  was.
Marilla gave a gasp of helplessness and took refuge in silence.  The  next
morning, when Anne was washing the breakfast dishes in the pantry, Matthew
paused on his way out to the barn to say to Marilla again:
    "I think you ought to let Anne go, Marilla."
    For a moment Marilla looked things not lawful to be uttered. Then she
yielded to the inevitable and said tartly:
    "Very well, she can go, since nothing else'll please you."
    Anne flew out of the pantry, dripping dishcloth in hand.
    "Oh, Marilla, Marilla, say those blessed words again."
    "I guess once is enough to say them. This is Matthew's doings  and  I
wash my hands of it. If you catch pneumonia sleeping in a strange  bed  or
coming out of that hot hall in the middle of the night,  don't  blame  me,
blame Matthew. Anne Shirley, you're dripping greasy  water  all  over  the
floor. I never saw such a careless child."
    "Oh,  I  know  I'm  a  great  trial  to  you,  Marilla,"  said   Anne
repentantly. "I make so many mistakes. But then  just  think  of  all  the
mistakes I don't make, although I might. I'll get some sand and  scrub  up
the spots before I go to school. Oh, Marilla, my heart  was  just  set  on
going to that concert. I never was to a concert in my life, and  when  the
other girls talk about them in school I feel so out of it. You didn't know
just how I felt about it, but you see Matthew did. Matthew understands me,
and it's so nice to be understood, Marilla."
    Anne was too excited to do herself justice as to lessons that morning
in school. Gilbert Blythe spelled her down in class and left her clear out
of sight in mental arithmetic. Anne's consequent humiliation was less than
it might have been, however, in view of the  concert  and  the  spare-room
bed. She and Diana talked so constantly about  it  all  day  that  with  a
stricter teacher than Mr. Phillips dire disgrace must inevitably have been
their portion.
    Anne felt that she could not have borne it if she had not been  going
to the concert, for nothing else was discussed that  day  in  school.  The
Avonlea Debating Club, which met fortnightly all winter, had  had  several
smaller free entertainments; but this was to be a  big  affair,  admission
ten cents, in aid of the  library.  The  Avonlea  young  people  had  been
practicing for weeks, and all the scholars were especially  interested  in
it by reason of older brothers and sisters who were going  to  take  part.
everybody in school over nine years of age expected to go,  except  Carrie
Sloane, whose father shared Marilla's opinions about small girls going out
to night concerts. Carrie Sloane cried into her grammar all the  afternoon
and felt that life was not worth living.
    For Anne the real excitement began with the dismissal of  school  and
increased therefrom in crescendo until it reached to a crash  of  positive
ecstasy in the concert itself. They had a  "perfectly  elegant  tea".  and
then came the delicious occupation of  dressing  in  Diana's  little  room
upstairs. Diana did Anne's front hair in the new pompadour style and  Anne
tied Diana's  bows  with  the  especial  knack  she  possessed;  and  they
experimented with at least half a dozen different ways of arranging  their
back hair. At last they were ready, cheeks scarlet and eyes  glowing  with
    True, Anne could not help a little pang when she contrasted her plain
black tam and shapeless,  tight-sleeved,  homemade  gray-cloth  coat  with
Diana's jaunty fur cap and smart little jacket. But she remembered in time
that she had an imagination and could use it.
    Then Diana's cousins, the Murrays  from  Newbridge,  came;  they  all
crowded into the big pung  sleigh,  among  straw  and  furry  robes.  Anne
reveled in the drive to the hall, slipping  along  over  the  satin-smooth
roads with the snow crisping under the runners. There  was  a  magnificent
sunset, and the snowy hills and deep-blue water of the St.  Lawrence  Gulf
seemed to rim in the splendor like a  huge  bowl  of  pearl  and  sapphire
brimmed with wine and fire. Tinkles of sleigh bells and distant  laughter,
that seemed like the mirth of wood elves, came from every quarter.
    "Oh, Diana," breathed Anne, squeezing Diana's mittened hand under the
fur robe, "isn't it all like a beautiful dream? Do I really look the  same
as usual? I feel so different that it seems to  me  it  must  show  in  my
    "You look awfully nice," said  Diana,  who  having  just  received  a
compliment from one of her cousins, felt that she ought  to  pass  it  on.
"You've got the loveliest color."
    The program that night was a series of "thrills"  for  at  least  one
listener in the audience, and, as Anne  assured  Diana,  every  succeeding
thrill was thrillier than the last. When Prissy Andrews, attired in a  new
pink-silk waist with a string of pearls about her smooth white throat  and
real carnations in her hair-rumor whispered that the master had  sent  all
the way to town for them for her-"climbed the slimy ladder,  dark  without
one ray of light," Anne shivered in luxurious  sympathy.  when  the  choir
sang "Far Above the Gentle Daisies" Anne gazed at the  ceiling  as  if  it
were frescoed with angels;  when  Sam  Sloane  proceeded  to  explain  and
illustrate "How Sockery Set a Hen" Anne laughed until people sitting  near
her laughed too, more out of sympathy with her than with  amusement  at  a
selection that was  rather  threadbare  even  in  Avonlea;  and  when  Mr.
Phillips gave Mark Antony's oration over the dead body of  Caesar  in  the
most heartstirring tones-looking at Prissy Andrews at  the  end  of  every
sentence-Anne felt that she could rise and mutiny on the spot if  but  one
Roman citizen led the way.
    Only one number on the program failed to interest her.  When  Gilbert
Blythe recited "Bingen on the Rhine" Anne picked up Rhoda Murray's library
book and read it until he had finished, when she  sat  rigidly  stiff  and
motionless while Diana clapped her hands until they tingled.
    It was eleven when they got home, sated with  dissipation,  but  with
the exceeding sweet pleasure  of  talking  it  all  over  still  to  come.
Everybody seemed asleep and the house was dark and silent. Anne and  Diana
tiptoed into the parlor, a long narrow room out of which  the  spare  room
opened. It was pleasantly warm and dimly lighted by the embers of  a  fire
in the grate.
    "Let's undress here," said Diana. "It's so nice and warm."
    "Hasn't it been a delightful time?" sighed Anne rapturously. "It must
be splendid to get up and recite there. Do you suppose  we  will  ever  be
asked to do it, Diana?"
    "Yes, of course, someday. They're always wanting the big scholars  to
recite. Gilbert Blythe does often and he's only two years older  than  us.
Oh, Anne, how could you pretend not to listen to him? When he came to  the

                  "There's another, not a sister,
                   he looked right down at you."

    "Diana," said Anne with dignity, "you are  my  bosom  friend,  but  I
cannot allow even you to speak to me of that person.  Are  you  ready  for
bed? Let's run a race and see who'll get to the bed first."
    The suggestion appealed to Diana. The two  little  whiteclad  figures
flew down the long room, through the spareroom door, and  bounded  on  the
bed at the same moment. And then-something-moved beneath them, there was a
gasp and a cry-and somebody said in muffled accents:
    "Merciful goodness!"
    Anne and Diana were never able to tell just how they got off that bed
and out of the room. They only knew that after one frantic rush they found
themselves tiptoeing shiveringly upstairs.
    "Oh, who was it-WHAT was it?" whispered Anne,  her  teeth  chattering
with cold and fright.
    "It was Aunt Josephine," said  Diana,  gasping  with  laughter.  "Oh,
Anne, it was Aunt Josephine, however she came to be there. Oh, and I  know
she will be furious. It's dreadful-it's really dreadful-but did  you  ever
know anything so funny, Anne?"
    "Who is your Aunt Josephine?"
    "She's father's aunt and she lives in  Charlottetown.  She's  awfully
old-seventy anyhow-and I don't believe she was ever a little girl. We were
expecting her out for a visit, but not so soon.  She's  awfully  prim  and
proper and she'll scold dreadfully about this, I know. Well, we'll have to
sleep with Minnie May-and you can't think how she kicks."
    Miss Josephine Barry did not appear at the early breakfast  the  next
morning. Mrs. Barry smiled kindly at the two little girls.
    "Did you have a good time last night? I tried to stay awake until you
came home, for I wanted to tell you Aunt Josephine had come and  that  you
would have to go upstairs after all, but I was so tired I fell  asleep.  I
hope you didn't disturb your aunt, Diana."
    Diana preserved a  discreet  silence,  but  she  and  Anne  exchanged
furtive smiles of guilty amusement across the  table.  Anne  hurried  home
after breakfast and so remained in blissful ignorance of  the  disturbance
which presently resulted in the Barry household until the late  afternoon,
when she went down to Mrs. Lynde's on an errand for Marilla.
    "So you and Diana nearly frightened poor old Miss Barry to death last
night?" said Mrs. Lynde severely, but with a twinkle  in  her  eye.  "Mrs.
Barry was here a few minutes ago on her way to Carmody. She's feeling real
worried over it. Old Miss Barry was in a terrible temper when she  got  up
this morning-and Josephine Barry's temper is no joke, I can tell you that.
She wouldn't speak to Diana at all."
    "It wasn't Diana's fault," said Anne  contritely.  "It  was  mine.  I
suggested racing to see who would get into bed first."
    "I knew it!" said Mrs.  Lynde,  with  the  exultation  of  a  correct
guesser. "I knew that idea came out of your head. Well, it's made  a  nice
lot of trouble, that's what. Old Miss Barry came out to stay for a  month,
but she declares she won't stay another day and is  going  right  back  to
town tomorrow, Sunday and all as it is. She'd  have  gone  today  if  they
could have taken her. She had  promised  to  pay  for  a  quarter's  music
lessons for Diana, but now she is determined to do nothing at all for such
a tomboy. Oh, I guess they had a lively time of it there this morning. The
Barrys must feel cut up. Old Miss Barry is rich and they'd like to keep on
the good side of her. Of course, Mrs. Barry didn't say just  that  to  me,
but I'm a pretty good judge of human nature, that's what."
    "I'm such an unlucky girl," mourned Anne. "I'm  always  getting  into
scrapes myself and getting my best  friends-people  I'd  shed  my  heart's
blood for-into them too. Can you tell me why it is so, Mrs. Lynde?"
    "It's because you're too heedless and impulsive, child, that's  what.
You never stop to think-whatever comes into your head to say or do you say
or do it without a moment's reflection."
    "Oh, but that's the best of  it,"  protested  Anne.  "Something  just
flashes into your mind, so exciting, and you must out with it. If you stop
to think it over you spoil it all. Haven't you never felt  that  yourself,
Mrs. Lynde?"
    No, Mrs. Lynde had not. She shook her head sagely.
    "You must learn to think a little, Anne, that's what. The proverb you
need to go by is `Look before you leap'-especially into spare-room beds."
    Mrs. Lynde laughed comfortably over her mild joke, but Anne  remained
pensive. She saw nothing to laugh at in the situation, which to  her  eyes
appeared very serious. When she left Mrs. Lynde's she took her way  across
the crusted fields to Orchard Slope. Diana met her at the kitchen door.
    "Your Aunt Josephine was very cross about it, wasn't she?"  whispered
    "Yes," answered Diana, stifling a giggle with an apprehensive  glance
over her shoulder at the closed sittingroom door. "She was fairly  dancing
with rage, Anne. Oh, how she scolded. She said  I  was  the  worst-behaved
girl she ever saw and that my parents ought to be ashamed of the way  they
had brought me up. She says she won't stay and I'm sure I don't care.  But
Father and Mother do."
    "Why didn't you tell them it was my fault?" demanded Anne.
    "It's likely I'd do such a thing, isn't it?"  said  Diana  with  just
scorn. "I'm no telltale, Anne Shirley, and anyhow I was just  as  much  to
blame as you."
    "Well, I'm going in to tell her myself," said Anne resolutely.
    Diana stared.
    "Anne Shirley, you'd never! why-she'll eat you alive!"
    "Don't frighten me any more than I  am  frightened,"  implored  Anne.
"I'd rather walk up to a cannon's mouth. But I've got to do it, Diana.  It
was my fault and I've got to confess. I've  had  practice  in  confessing,
    "Well, she's in the room," said Diana. "You can go in if you want to.
I wouldn't dare. And I don't believe you'll do a bit of good."
    With this encouragement Anne bearded the lion in its den-that  is  to
say, walked resolutely up to the sitting-room door and knocked faintly.  A
sharp "Come in', followed.
    Miss Josephine Barry, thin, prim, and rigid, was knitting fiercely by
the fire, her wrath quite unappeased and her  eyes  snapping  through  her
gold-rimmed glasses. She wheeled around in her  chair,  expecting  to  see
Diana, and beheld a white-faced girl whose great eyes were brimmed up with
a mixture of desperate courage and shrinking terror.
    "Who are you?" demanded Miss Josephine Barry, without ceremony.
    "I'm Anne of Green  Gables,"  said  the  small  visitor  tremulously,
clasping her hands with her characteristic  gesture,  "and  I've  come  to
confess, if you please."
    "Confess what?"
    "That it was all my fault about jumping into bed on you last night. I
suggested it. Diana would never have thought of such a thing, I  am  sure.
Diana is a very ladylike girl, Miss Barry. So you must see how  unjust  it
is to blame her."
    "Oh, I must, hey? I rather think Diana did her share of  the  jumping
at least. Such carryings on in a respectable house!"
    "But we were only in fun," persisted Anne.  "I  think  you  ought  to
forgive us, Miss Barry, now that  we've  apologized.  And  anyhow,  please
forgive Diana and let her have her music lessons. Diana's heart is set  on
her music lessons, Miss Barry, and I know too well what it is to set  your
heart on a thing and not get it. If you must  be  cross  with  anyone,  be
cross with me. I've been so used in my early days to having  people  cross
at me that I can endure it much better than Diana can."
    Much of the snap had gone out of the old lady's eyes by this time and
was replaced by a twinkle of amused interest. But she still said severely:
    "I don't think it is any excuse for you that you were  only  in  fun.
Little girls never indulged in that kind of fun  when  I  was  young.  You
don't know what it is to be awakened out of a sound sleep,  after  a  long
and arduous journey, by two great girls coming bounce down on you."
    "I don't KNOW, but I can IMAGINE," said Anne eagerly.  "I'm  sure  it
must have been very disturbing. But then, there is our  side  of  it  too.
Have you any imagination, Miss. Barry? If you have, just put  yourself  in
our place. We didn't know there was anybody in that  bed  and  you  nearly
scared us to death. It was simply awful the  way  we  felt.  And  then  we
couldn't sleep in the spare room after being promised. I suppose  you  are
used to sleeping in spare rooms. But just imagine what you would feel like
if you were a little orphan girl who had never had such an honor."
    All the snap had gone by this time.  Miss  Barry  actually  laughed-a
sound which caused Diana, waiting in speechless  anxiety  in  the  kitchen
outside, to give a great gasp of relief.
    "I'm afraid my imagination is a little rusty-it's  so  long  since  I
used it," she said. "I dare say your claim to sympathy is just  as  strong
as mine. It all depends on the way we look at it. Sit down here  and  tell
me about yourself."
    "I am very sorry I can't,"  said  Anne  firmly.  "I  would  like  to,
because you seem like an interesting lady, and you might even be a kindred
spirit although you don't look very much like it. But it is my duty to  go
home to Miss Marilla Cuthbert. Miss Marilla Cuthbert is a very  kind  lady
who has taken me to bring up properly. She is doing her best,  but  it  is
very discouraging work. You must not blame her because  I  jumped  on  the
bed. But before I go I do wish you would tell me if you will forgive Diana
and stay just as long as you meant to in Avonlea."
    "I think perhaps I will  if  you  will  come  over  and  talk  to  me
occasionally," said Miss Barry.
    That evening Miss Barry gave Diana a silver bangle bracelet and  told
the senior members of the household that she had unpacked her valise.
    "I've made up my mind to stay simply for the sake of  getting  better
acquainted with that Anne-girl," she said frankly. "She amuses me, and  at
my time of life an amusing person is a rarity."
    Marilla's only comment when she heard the story was, "I told you so."
This was for Matthew's benefit.
    Miss Barry stayed her month out and over. She was  a  more  agreeable
guest than usual, for Anne kept  her  in  good  humor.  They  became  firm
    When Miss Barry went away she said:
    "Remember, you Anne-girl, when you come to town you're  to  visit  me
and I'll put you in my very sparest spareroom bed to sleep."
    "Miss Barry was a  kindred  spirit,  after  all,"  Anne  confided  to
Marilla. "You wouldn't think so to look at her, but she is. You don't find
it right out at first, as in Matthew's case, but after a while you come to
see it. Kindred spirits are not  so  scarce  as  I  used  to  think.  It's
splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world."

                     20. A Good Imagination Gone Wrong

    Spring had come once more to Green Gables-the  beautiful  capricious,
reluctant Canadian spring, lingering along through  April  and  May  in  a
succession of sweet, fresh, chilly days, with pink sunsets and miracles of
resurrection and growth. The maples in Lover's Lane were  red  budded  and
little curly ferns pushed up around the Dryad's Bubble.  Away  up  in  the
barrens, behind Mr. Silas Sloane's place, the  Mayflowers  blossomed  out,
pink and white stars of sweetness under their brown leaves. All the school
girls and boys had one golden afternoon gathering them, coming home in the
clear, echoing twilight with arms and baskets full of flowery spoil.
    "I'm so sorry for people  who  live  in  lands  where  there  are  no
Mayflowers," said Anne. "Diana says perhaps they  have  something  better,
but there couldn't  be  anything  better  than  Mayflowers,  could  there,
Marilla? And Diana says if they don't know what they are like  they  don't
miss them. But I think that is the saddest thing of all. I think it  would
be TRAGIC, Marilla, not to know what Mayflowers are like and not  to  miss
them. Do you know what I think Mayflowers are, Marilla? I think they  must
be the souls of the flowers that  died  last  summer  and  this  is  their
heaven. But we had a splendid time today, Marilla. We had our  lunch  down
in a big mossy hollow by an old well-such a ROMANTIC spot. Charlie  Sloane
dared Arty Gillis to jump over it, and Arty did because he wouldn't take a
dare. Nobody would in school. It is very FASHIONABLE to dare. Mr. Phillips
gave all the Mayflowers he found to Prissy Andrews and I heard him to  say
`sweets to the sweet.' He got that out of a book, I know; but it shows  he
has some imagination. I was offered some Mayflowers too,  but  I  rejected
them with scorn. I can't tell you the person's name because I  have  vowed
never to let it cross my lips. We made wreaths of the Mayflowers  and  put
them on our hats; and when  the  time  came  to  go  home  we  marched  in
procession down the road, two by  two,  with  our  bouquets  and  wreaths,
singing `My Home on the Hill.' Oh, it was so thrilling, Marilla.  All  Mr.
Silas Sloane's folks rushed out to see us and everybody we met on the road
stopped and stared after us. We made a real sensation."
    "Not much wonder! Such silly doings!" was Marilla's response.
    After the Mayflowers came the violets, and Violet Vale was  empurpled
with them. Anne walked through it on her way to school with reverent steps
and worshiping eyes, as if she trod on holy ground.
    "Somehow," she told Diana, "when  I'm  going  through  here  I  don't
really care whether Gil-whether anybody gets ahead of me in class or  not.
But when I'm up in school it's all different and I care as much  as  ever.
There's such a lot of different Annes in me. I sometimes think that is why
I'm such a troublesome person. If I was just the one Anne it would be ever
so much more comfortable, but then it wouldn't be half so interesting."
    One June evening, when the orchards were pink blossomed  again,  when
the frogs were singing silverly sweet in the marshes about the head of the
Lake of Shining Waters, and the air was full of the savor of clover fields
and balsamic fir woods, Anne was sitting by her gable window. She had been
studying her lessons, but it had grown too dark to see the  book,  so  she
had fallen into wide-eyed reverie, looking out past the boughs of the Snow
Queen, once more bestarred with its tufts of blossom.
    In all essential respects the little gable chamber was unchanged. The
walls were as white, the pincushion as hard, the  chairs  as  stiffly  and
yellowly upright as ever. Yet the whole character of the room was altered.
It was full of a new vital, pulsing personality that seemed to pervade  it
and to be quite independent of schoolgirl books and dresses  and  ribbons,
and even of the cracked blue jug full of apple blossoms on the  table.  It
was as if all the dreams, sleeping and waking, of its vivid  occupant  had
taken a visible although unmaterial form and had tapestried the bare  room
with splendid filmy tissues of rainbow and  moonshine.  Presently  Marilla
came briskly in with some of Anne's freshly ironed school aprons. She hung
them over a chair and sat down with a short sigh. She had had one  of  her
headaches that afternoon, and although the pain had gone she felt weak and
"tuckered out," as she expressed it. Anne looked at her with  eyes  limpid
with sympathy.
    "I do truly wish I  could  have  had  the  headache  in  your  place,
Marilla. I would have endured it joyfully for your sake."
    "I guess you did your part in attending to the work  and  letting  me
rest," said Marilla. "You seem to have got on fairly well and  made  fewer
mistakes than usual. Of course  it  wasn't  exactly  necessary  to  starch
Matthew's handkerchiefs! And most people when they put a pie in  the  oven
to warm up for dinner take it out and eat it when it gets hot  instead  of
leaving it to be burned to a crisp. But that doesn't seem to be  your  way
    Headaches always left Marilla somewhat sarcastic.
    "Oh, I'm so sorry," said Anne penitently. "I never thought about that
pie from the moment I put it  in  the  oven  till  now,  although  I  felt
INSTINCTIVELY that there was something missing on the dinner table. I  was
firmly resolved, when you left me in charge this morning, not  to  imagine
anything, but keep my thoughts on facts. I did pretty well until I put the
pie in, and then an irresistible temptation came to me to imagine I was an
enchanted princess shut up in a lonely tower with a handsome knight riding
to my rescue on a coal-black steed. So that is how I came  to  forget  the
pie. I didn't know I starched  the  handkerchiefs.  All  the  time  I  was
ironing I was trying to think of a name for a new island Diana and I  have
discovered up the brook. It's the most ravishing spot, Marilla. There  are
two maple trees on it and the brook flows right  around  it.  At  last  it
struck me that it would be splendid to call it Victoria Island because  we
found it on the Queen's birthday. Both Diana and I are very loyal. But I'm
sorry about that pie and the handkerchiefs. I  wanted  to  be  extra  good
today because it's an anniversary. Do you remember what happened this  day
last year, Marilla?"
    "No, I can't think of anything special."
    "Oh, Marilla, it was the day I came to Green Gables.  I  shall  never
forget it. It was the turning point in my life. Of course it wouldn't seem
so important to you. I've been here for a year and I've been so happy.  Of
course, I've had my troubles, but one can  live  down  troubles.  Are  you
sorry you kept me, Marilla?"
    "No, I can't say I'm sorry," said Marilla, who sometimes wondered how
she could have lived before Anne came to Green Gables,  "no,  not  exactly
sorry. If you've finished your lessons, Anne, I want you to run  over  and
ask Mrs. Barry if she'll lend me Diana's apron pattern."
    "Oh-it's-it's too dark," cried Anne.
    "Too dark? Why, it's only twilight. And goodness  knows  you've  gone
over often enough after dark."
    "I'll go over early in the morning," said Anne eagerly. "I'll get  up
at sunrise and go over, Marilla."
    "What has got into your head now, Anne Shirley? I want  that  pattern
to cut out your new apron this evening. Go at once and be smart too."
    "I'll have to go around by the road, then," said Anne, taking up  her
hat reluctantly.
    "Go by the road and waste half an hour! I'd like to catch you!"
    "I  can't  go  through  the  Haunted  Wood,  Marilla,"   cried   Anne
    Marilla stared.
    "The Haunted Wood! Are you  crazy?  What  under  the  canopy  is  the
Haunted Wood?"
    "The spruce wood over the brook," said Anne in a whisper.
    "Fiddlesticks! There is no such thing as a haunted wood anywhere. Who
has been telling you such stuff?"
    "Nobody," confessed Anne. "Diana and I just  imagined  the  wood  was
haunted. All the places around here are  so-so-COMMONPLACE.  We  just  got
this up for our own amusement. We began it in April. A haunted wood is  so
very romantic, Marilla. We chose the spruce grove because it's so  gloomy.
Oh, we have imagined the most harrowing things. There's a white lady walks
along the brook just about this time of the night and wrings her hands and
utters wailing cries. She appears when there is  to  be  a  death  in  the
family. And the ghost of a little murdered child haunts the corner  up  by
Idlewild; it creeps up behind you  and  lays  its  cold  fingers  on  your
hand-so. Oh, Marilla, it gives me a shudder to think of it. And there's  a
headless man stalks up and down the  path  and  skeletons  glower  at  you
between the boughs. Oh, Marilla, I wouldn't go through  the  Haunted  Wood
after dark now for anything. I'd be sure that white things would reach out
from behind the trees and grab me."
     "Did ever anyone hear the like!" ejaculated Marilla, who had
listened in dumb amazement.  "Anne Shirley, do you mean to tell
me you believe all that wicked nonsense of your own imagination?"
    "Not believe EXACTLY," faltered Anne. "At least, I don't  believe  it
in daylight. But after dark, Marilla, it's different. That is when  ghosts
    "There are no such things as ghosts, Anne."
    "Oh, but there are, Marilla," cried Anne eagerly. "I know people  who
have seen them. And they are respectable people. Charlie Sloane says  that
his grandmother saw his grandfather driving home the cows one night  after
he'd been buried  for  a  year.  You  know  Charlie  Sloane's  grandmother
wouldn't tell a story for anything. She's a very religious woman. And Mrs.
Thomas's father was pursued home one night by a lamb of fire with its head
cut off hanging by a strip of skin. He said he knew it was the  spirit  of
his brother and that it was a warning he would die within  nine  days.  He
didn't, but he died two years after, so you see it was  really  true.  And
Ruby Gillis says-"
    "Anne Shirley," interrupted Marilla firmly, "I never want to hear you
talking in this fashion again. I've had my doubts about  that  imagination
of yours right along, and if this is going to be  the  outcome  of  it,  I
won't countenance any such doings. You'll go right over  to  Barry's,  and
you'll go through that spruce grove, just for a lesson and  a  warning  to
you. And never let me hear a word out of your  head  about  haunted  woods
    Anne might plead and cry as she liked-and did,  for  her  terror  was
very real. Her imagination had run away with her and she held  the  spruce
grove in mortal dread after nightfall. But  Marilla  was  inexorable.  She
marched the shrinking ghostseer down to the  spring  and  ordered  her  to
proceed straightaway over the  bridge  and  into  the  dusky  retreats  of
wailing ladies and headless specters beyond.
    "Oh, Marilla, how can you be so cruel?" sobbed Anne. "What would  you
feel like if a white thing did snatch me up and carry me off?"
    "I'll risk it," said Marilla unfeelingly. "You  know  I  always  mean
what I say. I'll cure you of imagining ghosts into places. March, now."
    Anne marched.  That  is,  she  stumbled  over  the  bridge  and  went
shuddering up the horrible dim path beyond. Anne never forgot  that  walk.
Bitterly did she repent the license she had given to her imagination.  The
goblins of her fancy lurked in every shadow about her, reaching out  their
cold, fleshless hands to grasp the terrified small  girl  who  had  called
them into being. A white strip of birch bark blowing up  from  the  hollow
over the brown floor  of  the  grove  made  her  heart  stand  still.  The
long-drawn wail of two old boughs rubbing against each other  brought  out
the perspiration in beads on her  forehead.  The  swoop  of  bats  in  the
darkness over her was as  the  wings  of  unearthly  creatures.  When  she
reached Mr. William Bell's field she fled across it as if  pursued  by  an
army of white things, and arrived at the Barry  kitchen  door  so  out  of
breath that she could hardly gasp out her request for the  apron  pattern.
Diana was away so that she had no excuse to linger.  The  dreadful  return
journey had to be faced. Anne went back over it with shut eyes, preferring
to take the risk of dashing her brains out among the  boughs  to  that  of
seeing a white thing. When she finally stumbled over the  log  bridge  she
drew one long shivering breath of relief.
    "Well, so nothing caught you?" said Marilla unsympathetically.
    "Oh, Mar-Marilla," chattered Anne,  "I'll  b-b-be  contt-tented  with
c-c-commonplace places after this."

                     21. A New Departure in Flavorings

    "Dear me, there is nothing but meetings and partings in  this  world,
as Mrs. Lynde says," remarked Anne  plaintively,  putting  her  slate  and
books down on the kitchen table on the last day of June and wiping her red
eyes with a very damp handkerchief. "Wasn't it fortunate, Marilla, that  I
took an extra handkerchief to school today? I had a presentiment  that  it
would be needed."
    "I never thought you were so fond of Mr. Phillips that you'd  require
two handkerchiefs to dry your tears just because he was going away,"  said
    "I don't think I was crying because I was really so very fond of him,"
reflected Anne. "I just cried because all the others did.  It  was  Ruby
Gillis started it. Ruby Gillis has always declared she hated Mr. Phillips,
but just as soon as he got up to make his farewell speech she  burst  into
tears. Then all the girls began to cry, one after the other.  I  tried  to
hold out, Marilla. I tried to remember the time Mr. Phillips made  me  sit
with Gil-with a, boy; and the time he spelled my name without an e on  the
blackboard; and how he said I was the worst dunce he ever saw at  geometry
and laughed at my spelling; and all the times he had been  so  horrid  and
sarcastic; but somehow I couldn't, Marilla, and I just  had  to  cry  too.
Jane Andrews has been talking for a month about how glad she'd be when Mr.
Phillips went away and she declared she'd never shed a tear. Well, she was
worse than any of us and had to borrow a handkerchief from her  brother-of
course the boys didn't cry-because she hadn't brought one of her own,  not
expecting to need it. Oh, Marilla, it was heartrending. Mr. Phillips  made
such a beautiful farewell speech beginning, `The time has come for  us  to
part.' It was very affecting. And he had tears in his eyes  too,  Marilla.
Oh, I felt dreadfully sorry and remorseful for all the times I'd talked in
school and drawn pictures of him on my slate  and  made  fun  of  him  and
Prissy. I can tell you I  wished  I'd  been  a  model  pupil  like  Minnie
Andrews. She hadn't anything on her conscience. The girls  cried  all  the
way home from school. Carrie Sloane kept saying every  few  minutes,  `The
time has come for us to part,' and that would start us off again  whenever
we were in any danger of cheering up. I do feel dreadfully  sad,  Marilla.
But one can't feel quite  in  the  depths  of  despair  with  two  months'
vacation before them, can they, Marilla?  And  besides,  we  met  the  new
minister and his wife coming from the station. For all I  was  feeling  so
bad about Mr. Phillips going away I couldn't help taking a little interest
in a new minister, could I? His wife is very pretty. Not  exactly  regally
lovely, of course-it wouldn't do, I suppose, for  a  minister  to  have  a
regally lovely wife, because it might set a bad example. Mrs.  Lynde  says
the minister's wife over at Newbridge sets a very bad example because  she
dresses so fashionably. Our new minister's wife was dressed in blue muslin
with lovely puffed sleeves and a hat trimmed with roses. Jane Andrews said
she thought puffed sleeves were too worldly for a minister's wife,  but  I
didn't make any such uncharitable remark, Marilla, because I know what  it
is to long for puffed sleeves. Besides, she's only been a minister's  wife
for a little while, so one should make allowances,  shouldn't  they?  They
are going to board with Mrs. Lynde until the manse is ready."
    If Marilla, in going down to Mrs. Lynde's that evening, was  actuated
by any motive save her avowed one of returning the quilting frames she had
borrowed the preceding winter, it was an amiable weakness shared  by  most
of the Avonlea people. Many a thing Mrs. Lynde had lent,  sometimes  never
expecting to see it again, came home that night in charge of the borrowers
thereof. A new minister, and moreover a minister with a wife, was a lawful
object of curiosity in a quiet little country settlement where  sensations
were few and far between.
    Old Mr.  Bentley,  the  minister  whom  Anne  had  found  lacking  in
imagination, had been pastor of Avonlea  for  eighteen  years.  He  was  a
widower when he came, and a widower he remained,  despite  the  fact  that
gossip regularly married him to this, that, or the other one,  every  year
of his sojourn. In the preceding February he had resigned his  charge  and
departed amid the regrets of his people, most of whom  had  the  affection
born of long intercourse for their good  old  minister  in  spite  of  his
shortcomings as an orator. Since then the Avonlea  church  had  enjoyed  a
variety of religious dissipation in listening  to  the  many  and  various
candidates and "supplies" who came Sunday after Sunday to preach on trial.
These stood or fell by the judgment of the fathers and mothers in  Israel;
but a certain small, red-haired girl who sat meekly in the corner  of  the
old Cuthbert pew also had her opinions about them and discussed  the  same
in full with Matthew, Marilla always declining from principle to criticize
ministers in any shape or form.
    "I don't think Mr. Smith would have done, Matthew" was  Anne's  final
summing up. "Mrs. Lynde says his delivery was so poor,  but  I  think  his
worst fault was just like Mr. Bentley's-he had  no  imagination.  And  Mr.
Terry had too much; he let it run away with him just as I did mine in  the
matter of the Haunted Wood. Besides, Mrs. Lynde says his  theology  wasn't
sound. Mr. Gresham was a very good man and a very religious  man,  but  he
told too many funny stories and made the people laugh in  church;  he  was
undignified, and you must have some dignity about a minister, mustn't you,
Matthew? I thought Mr. Marshall was decidedly attractive; but  Mrs.  Lynde
says he isn't married, or even engaged, because she made special inquiries
about him, and she says it would  never  do  to  have  a  young  unmarried
minister in Avonlea, because he might marry in the congregation  and  that
would make trouble. Mrs. Lynde is  a  very  farseeing  woman,  isn't  she,
Matthew? I'm very glad they've called Mr. Allan. I liked him  because  his
sermon was interesting and he prayed as if he meant it and not just as  if
he did it because he was in the habit of it.  Mrs.  Lynde  says  he  isn't
perfect, but she says she supposes we couldn't expect a  perfect  minister
for seven hundred and fifty dollars a year, and  anyhow  his  theology  is
sound because she questioned him thoroughly on all the points of doctrine.
And she knows his wife's people and they  are  most  respectable  and  the
women are all good housekeepers. Mrs. Lynde says that  sound  doctrine  in
the man and good housekeeping in the woman make an ideal combination for a
minister's family."
    The new minister and his wife were a  young,  pleasant-faced  couple,
still on their honeymoon, and full of all good and  beautiful  enthusiasms
for their chosen lifework. Avonlea opened  its  heart  to  them  from  the
start. Old and young liked the frank, cheerful young  man  with  his  high
ideals, and the bright, gentle little lady who assumed  the  mistress-ship
of the manse. With Mrs. Allan Anne fell  promptly  and  wholeheartedly  in
love. She had discovered another kindred spirit.
    "Mrs. Allan is perfectly lovely," she announced one Sunday afternoon.
"She's taken our class and she's a splendid teacher. She said  right  away
she didn't think it was fair for the teacher to ask all the questions, and
you know , Marilla, that is exactly what I've always thought. She said  we
could ask her any question we liked and I asked ever so many. I'm good  at
asking questions, Marilla."
    "I believe you" was Marilla's emphatic comment.
    "Nobody else asked any except Ruby Gillis, and she asked if there was
to be a Sunday-school picnic this summer. I didn't think that was  a  very
proper  question  to  ask  because  it  hadn't  any  connection  with  the
lesson-the lesson was about Daniel in the lions' den-but Mrs.  Allan  just
smiled and said she thought there would be. Mrs. Allan has a lovely smile;
she has such EXQUISITE dimples in her cheeks. I wish I had dimples  in  my
cheeks, Marilla. I'm not half so skinny as I was when I came here,  but  I
have no dimples yet. If I had perhaps I could influence people  for  good.
Mrs. Allan said we ought always to try to influence other people for good.
She talked so nice about everything. I never knew before that religion was
such a cheerful thing. I always thought it was  kind  of  melancholy,  but
Mrs. Allan's isn't, and I'd like to be a Christian if I could be one  like
her. I wouldn't want to be one like Mr. Superintendent Bell."
    "It's very naughty of you to speak so about Mr. Bell,"  said  Marilla
severely. "Mr. Bell is a real good man."
    "Oh, of course he's good," agreed Anne, "but he doesn't seem  to  get
any comfort out of it. If I could be good  I'd  dance  and  sing  all  day
because I was glad of it. I suppose Mrs. Allan is too  old  to  dance  and
sing and of course it wouldn't be dignified in a minister's  wife.  But  I
can just feel she's glad she's a Christian and that she'd be one  even  if
she could get to heaven without it."
    "I suppose we must have Mr. and Mrs. Allan up to tea  someday  soon,"
said Marilla reflectively. "They've been most everywhere but here. Let  me
see. Next Wednesday would be a good time to have them.  But  don't  say  a
word to Matthew about it, for if he knew they were coming he'd  find  some
excuse to be away that day. He'd got so used to Mr. Bentley he didn't mind
him, but he's going to find it hard to get acquainted with a new minister,
and a new minister's wife will frighten him to death."
    "I'll be as secret as the dead," assured Anne. "But oh, Marilla, will
you let me make a cake for the occasion? I'd love to do something for Mrs.
Allan, and you know I can make a pretty good cake by this time."
    "You can make a layer cake," promised Marilla.
    Monday and Tuesday great preparations went on at Green Gables. Having
the minister and his wife to tea was a serious and important  undertaking,
and Marilla was determined not to  be  eclipsed  by  any  of  the  Avonlea
housekeepers. Anne was wild with excitement and delight. She talked it all
over with Diana Tuesday night in the twilight, as they sat on the big  red
stones by the Dryad's Bubble and made rainbows in the  water  with  little
twigs dipped in fir balsam.
    "Everything is ready, Diana, except my cake which I'm to make in  the
morning, and the baking-powder  biscuits  which  Marilla  will  make  just
before teatime. I assure you, Diana, that Marilla and I have  had  a  busy
two days of it. It's such a responsibility having a minister's  family  to
tea. I never went through such an experience before. You should  just  see
our pantry. It's a sight to behold. We're going to  have  jellied  chicken
and cold tongue. We're to have two kinds of jelly,  red  and  yellow,  and
whipped cream and lemon pie, and cherry pie, and three kinds  of  cookies,
and fruit cake, and Marilla's famous yellow plum preserves that she  keeps
especially for ministers, and pound cake and layer cake, and  biscuits  as
aforesaid; and new bread and old both, in case the minister  is  dyspeptic
and can't eat new. Mrs. Lynde says minister are  dyspeptic,  but  I  don't
think Mr. Allan has been a minister long enough for it to have had  a  bad
effect on him. I just grow cold when I think of my layer cake. Oh,  Diana,
what if it shouldn't be good! I dreamed last night that I was  chased  all
around by a fearful goblin with a big layer cake for a head."
    "It'll be good, all right," assured Diana, who was a very comfortable
sort of friend. "I'm sure that piece of the one you made that we  had  for
lunch in Idlewild two weeks ago was perfectly elegant."
    "Yes; but cakes have such a terrible habit of turning  out  bad  just
when you especially  want  them  to  be  good,"  sighed  Anne,  setting  a
particularly well-balsamed twig afloat. "However, I suppose I  shall  just
have to trust to Providence and be careful to put in the flour. Oh,  look,
Diana, what a lovely rainbow! Do you suppose the dryad will come out after
we go away and take it for a scarf?"
    "You know there is no such thing as a  dryad,"  said  Diana.  Diana's
mother had found out about the Haunted Wood and had been  decidedly  angry
over it. As a result  Diana  had  abstained  from  any  further  imitative
flights of imagination and did not think it prudent to cultivate a  spirit
of belief even in harmless dryads.
    "But it's so easy to imagine  there  is,"  said  Anne.  "Every  night
before I go to bed, I look out of my window and wonder  if  the  dryad  is
really sitting here, combing her locks  with  the  spring  for  a  mirror.
Sometimes I look for her footprints in the dew in the morning. Oh,  Diana,
don't give up your faith in the dryad!"
    Wednesday morning came. Anne got up at sunrise because  she  was  too
excited to sleep. She had caught a severe cold in the head  by  reason  of
her dabbling in the spring on the preceding evening; but nothing short  of
absolute pneumonia could have quenched her interest  in  culinary  matters
that morning. After breakfast she proceeded to make  her  cake.  When  she
finally shut the oven door upon it she drew a long breath.
    "I'm sure I haven't forgotten anything this time, Marilla. But do you
think it will rise? Just suppose perhaps the baking powder isn't  good?  I
used it out of the new can. And Mrs. Lynde says you can never be  sure  of
getting good baking powder nowadays when  everything  is  so  adulterated.
Mrs. Lynde says the Government ought to take the matter up, but  she  says
we'll never see the day when a Tory Government will do it.  Marilla,  what
if that cake doesn't rise?"
    "We'll have plenty without it" was  Marilla's  unimpassioned  way  of
looking at the subject.
    The cake did rise, however, and came out of the  oven  as  light  and
feathery as golden foam. Anne, flushed with delight, clapped  it  together
with layers of ruby jelly and, in imagination, saw Mrs.  Allan  eating  it
and possibly asking for another piece!
    "You'll be using the best tea set, of  course,  Marilla,"  she  said.
"Can I fix the table with ferns and wild roses?"
    "I think that's all nonsense," sniffed Marilla. "In my  opinion  it's
the eatables that matter and not flummery decorations."
    "Mrs. Barry had HER table decorated," said Anne, who was not entirely
guiltless of the wisdom of the serpent, "and  the  minister  paid  her  an
elegant compliment. He said it was a feast for the  eye  as  well  as  the
    "Well, do as you like," said Marilla, who was quite determined not to
be surpassed by Mrs. Barry or anybody else. "Only mind  you  leave  enough
room for the dishes and the food."
    Anne laid herself out to decorate in a manner  and  after  a  fashion
that should leave Mrs. Barry's nowhere.  Having  abundance  of  roses  and
ferns and a very artistic taste of her own, she made that tea table such a
thing of beauty that when the minister and his wife sat down  to  it  they
exclaimed in chorus over it loveliness.
    "It's Anne's doings," said Marilla, grimly just; and Anne  felt  that
Mrs. Allan's approving smile was almost too much happiness for this world.
    Matthew was there, having been inveigled into the party only goodness
and Anne knew how. He had been in such a state of shyness and  nervousness
that Marilla had given him up in despair, but Anne took  him  in  hand  so
successfully that he now sat at the table in his best  clothes  and  white
collar and talked to the minister not uninterestingly.  He  never  said  a
word to Mrs. Allan, but that perhaps was not to be expected.
    All went merry as a marriage bell until Anne's layer cake was passed.
Mrs. Allan, having already been helped to a bewildering variety,  declined
it. But Marilla, seeing the disappointment on Anne's face, said smilingly:
    "Oh, you must take a piece of this,  Mrs.  Allan.  Anne  made  it  on
purpose for you."
    "In that case I must sample it," laughed Mrs. Allan, helping  herself
to a plump triangle, as did also the minister and Marilla.
    Mrs. Allan took a mouthful of hers and  a  most  peculiar  expression
crossed her face; not a word did she say, however, but steadily  ate  away
at it. Marilla saw the expression and hastened to taste the cake.
    "Anne Shirley!" she exclaimed, "what on earth did you put  into  that
    "Nothing but what the recipe said, Marilla," cried Anne with  a  look
of anguish. "Oh, isn't it all right?"
    "All right! It's simply horrible. Mr. Allan, don't  try  to  eat  it.
Anne, taste it yourself. What flavoring did you use?"
    "Vanilla," said  Anne,  her  face  scarlet  with  modification  after
tasting the cake. "Only vanilla. Oh, Marilla, it must have been the baking
powder. I had my suspicions of that bak-"
    "Baking powder fiddlesticks! Go and bring me the  bottle  of  vanilla
you used."
    Anne fled to the pantry and returned with a  small  bottle  partially
filled with a brown liquid and labeled yellowly, "Best Vanilla."
    Marilla took it, uncorked it, smelled it.
    "Mercy on us, Anne, you've flavored that cake with ANODYNE  LINIMENT.
I broke the liniment bottle last week and poured what was left into an old
empty vanilla bottle. I suppose it's partly my fault-I should have  warned
you-but for pity's sake why couldn't you have smelled it?"
    Anne dissolved into tears under this double disgrace.
    "I couldn't-I had such a cold!" and with this she fairly fled to  the
gable chamber, where she cast herself on the  bed  and  wept  as  one  who
refuses to be comforted.
    Presently a light step sounded on the stair and somebody entered  the
    "Oh, Marilla,"  sobbed  Anne,  without  looking  up,  "I'm  disgraced
forever. I shall never be able to live this down. It will  get  out-things
always do get out in Avonlea. Diana will ask me how my cake turned out and
I shall have to tell her the truth. I shall always be pointed  at  as  the
girl who flavored a cake with anodyne liniment.  Gil-the  boys  in  school
will never get over laughing at it. Oh, Marilla, if you have  a  spark  of
Christian pity don't tell me that I must go down and wash the dishes after
this. I'll wash them when the minister and his wife are gone, but I cannot
ever look Mrs. Allan in the face again. Perhaps she'll think  I  tried  to
poison her. Mrs. Lynde says she knows an orphan girl who tried  to  poison
her benefactor. But the liniment isn't poisonous. It's meant to  be  taken
internally-although not in cakes. Won't you tell Mrs. Allan so, Marilla?"
    "Suppose you jump up and tell her so yourself," said a merry voice.
    Anne flew up, to find Mrs. Allan standing by her bed,  surveying  her
with laughing eyes.
    "My dear little girl, you musn't cry like this," she said,  genuinely
disturbed by Anne's tragic face. "Why, it's all just a funny mistake  that
anybody might make."
    "Oh, no, it takes me to make such a mistake,"  said  Anne  forlornly.
"And I wanted to have that cake so nice for you, Mrs. Allan."
    "Yes, I know, dear. And I assure you I appreciate your  kindness  and
thoughtfulness just as much as if it had turned out all  right.  Now,  you
mustn't cry any more, but come down  with  me  and  show  me  your  flower
garden. Miss Cuthbert tells me you have a little plot all your own. I want
to see it, for I'm very much interested in flowers."
    Anne permitted herself to be led down and comforted, reflecting  that
it was really providential that Mrs. Allan was a kindred  spirit.  Nothing
more was said about the liniment cake, and when the guests went away  Anne
found that she had enjoyed the evening more than could have been expected,
considering that terrible incident. Nevertheless, she sighed deeply.
    "Marilla, isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day  with  no
mistakes in it yet?"
    "I'll warrant you'll make plenty in it," said Marilla. "I  never  saw
your beat for making mistakes, Anne."
    "Yes, and well I know it," admitted Anne mournfully.  "But  have  you
ever noticed one encouraging thing about me, Marilla?  I  never  make  the
same mistake twice."
    "I don't know as that's much benefit when you're  always  making  new
    "Oh, don't you see, Marilla? There must be a limit  to  the  mistakes
one person can make, and when I get to the  end  of  them,  then  I'll  be
through with them. That's a very comforting thought."
    "Well, you'd better go and give that cake to the pigs," said Marilla.
"It isn't fit for any human to eat, not even Jerry Boute."

                      22. Anne is Invited Out to Tea

    "And what are your eyes popping out of your head about.  Now?"  asked
Marilla, when Anne had just come in from a run to the post  office.  "Have
you discovered another kindred spirit?" Excitement hung around Anne like a
garment, shone in her eyes, kindled in every feature. She had come dancing
up the lane, like a wind-blown sprite, through  the  mellow  sunshine  and
lazy shadows of the August evening.
    "No, Marilla, but oh, what do you think? I am invited to tea  at  the
manse tomorrow afternoon! Mrs. Allan left the letter for me  at  the  post
office. Just look at it, Marilla. `Miss Anne Shirley, Green Gables.'  That
is the first time I was ever called `Miss.' Such a thrill as it gave me! I
shall cherish it forever among my choicest treasures."
    "Mrs. Allan told me  she  meant  to  have  all  the  members  of  her
Sunday-school class to tea in turn," said Marilla, regarding the wonderful
event very coolly. "You needn't get in such a fever over it. Do  learn  to
take things calmly, child."
    For Anne to take things calmly would have been to change her  nature.
All "spirit and fire and dew," as she was, the pleasures and pains of life
came to her with trebled intensity. Marilla  felt  this  and  was  vaguely
troubled over it, realizing that the ups  and  downs  of  existence  would
probably  bear  hardly  on  this  impulsive  soul  and  not   sufficiently
understanding that the equally great capacity for delight might more  than
compensate. Therefore Marilla conceived it to be her duty  to  drill  Anne
into a tranquil uniformity of disposition as impossible and alien  to  her
as to a dancing sunbeam in one of the brook shallows.  She  did  not  make
much headway, as she sorrowfully admitted to herself. The downfall of some
dear hope or plan plunged Anne into "deeps of affliction." The fulfillment
thereof exalted her to dizzy realms of delight. Marilla had  almost  begun
to despair of ever fashioning this waif of the world into her model little
girl of demure  manners  and  prim  deportment.  Neither  would  she  have
believed that she really liked Anne much better as she was.
    Anne went to bed that night speechless with  misery  because  Matthew
had said the wind was round northeast and he feared it would  be  a  rainy
day tomorrow. The rustle of the poplar leaves about the house worried her,
it sounded so like pattering raindrops, and the full, faraway roar of  the
gulf, to which  she  listened  delightedly  at  other  times,  loving  its
strange, sonorous, haunting rhythm, now seemed like a  prophecy  of  storm
and disaster to a small maiden who particularly wanted a  fine  day.  Anne
thought that the morning would never come.
    But all things have an end, even nights before the day on  which  you
are invited to take tea at the manse. The morning, in spite  of  Matthew's
predictions, was fine and Anne's spirits soared to their highest.
    "Oh, Marilla, there is something in me today that makes me just  love
everybody I see," she exclaimed as she washed the breakfast  dishes.  "You
don't know how good I feel! Wouldn't it  be  nice  if  it  could  last?  I
believe I could be a model child if I were just invited out to  tea  every
day. But oh, Marilla, it's a solemn occasion too. I feel so anxious.  What
if I shouldn't behave properly? You know  I  never  had  tea  at  a  manse
before, and I'm not sure that I know all the rules of etiquette,  although
I've been studying the rules given in  the  Etiquette  Department  of  the
Family Herald ever since I came here. I'm  so  afraid  I'll  do  something
silly or forget to do something I should do. Would it be good  manners  to
take a second helping of anything if you wanted to VERY much?"
    "The trouble with you, Anne, is that you're thinking too  much  about
yourself. You should just think of Mrs. Allan and what would be nicest and
most agreeable to her," said Marilla, hitting for once in her  life  on  a
very sound and pithy piece of advice. Anne instantly realized this.
    "You are right, Marilla. I'll try not to think about myself at all."
    Anne evidently got through her visit without any  serious  breach  of
"etiquette," for she came  home  through  the  twilight,  under  a  great,
high-sprung sky gloried over with trails of saffron and rosy cloud,  in  a
beatified state of mind and told Marilla all about it happily, sitting  on
the big red-sandstone slab at the kitchen door with her tired  curly  head
in Marilla's gingham lap.
    A cool wind was blowing down over the long harvest  fields  from  the
rims of firry western hills and whistling through the poplars.  One  clear
star hung over the orchard and the fireflies were flitting over in Lover's
Lane, in and out among the ferns and rustling boughs. Anne watched them as
she talked and somehow felt that wind and stars  and  fireflies  were  all
tangled up together into something unutterably sweet and enchanting.
    "Oh, Marilla, I've had a most FASCINATING time. I feel  that  I  have
not lived in vain and I shall always feel like that even if I should never
be invited to tea at a manse again. When I got there Mrs. Allan met me  at
the door. She was dressed in the sweetest dress of pale-pink organdy, with
dozens of frills and elbow sleeves, and she looked just like a  seraph.  I
really think I'd like to be a minister's wife when I grow up,  Marilla.  A
minister mightn't mind my red hair because he wouldn't be thinking of such
worldly things. But then of course one would have to be naturally good and
I'll never be that, so I suppose there's no use in thinking about it. Some
people are naturally good, you know, and others are not. I'm  one  of  the
others. Mrs. Lynde says I'm full of original sin. No matter how hard I try
to be good I can never make  such  a  success  of  it  as  those  who  are
naturally good. It's a good deal like geometry, I expect.  But  don't  you
think the trying so hard ought to count for something? Mrs. Allan  is  one
of the naturally good people. I love her passionately. You know there  are
some people, like Matthew and Mrs. Allan  that  you  can  love  right  off
without any trouble. And there are others, like Mrs. Lynde, that you  have
to try very hard to love. You know you OUGHT to  love  them  because  they
know so much and are such active workers in the church, but  you  have  to
keep reminding yourself of it all the time or else you forget.  There  was
another little girl at the manse to  tea,  from  the  White  Sands  Sunday
school. Her name was Laurette Bradley, and she  was  a  very  nice  little
girl. Not exactly a kindred spirit, you know, but still very nice. We  had
an elegant tea, and I think I kept all the rules of etiquette pretty well.
After tea Mrs. Allan played and sang and she got Lauretta and me  to  sing
too. Mrs. Allan says I have a good voice and she says I must sing  in  the
Sunday-school choir after this. You can't think how I was thrilled at  the
mere thought. I've longed so to sing in the Sunday-school choir, as  Diana
does, but I feared it was an honor I could never aspire to.  Lauretta  had
to go home early because there is a big concert in the White  Sands  Hotel
tonight and her sister  is  to  recite  at  it.  Lauretta  says  that  the
Americans at the hotel give a  concert  every  fortnight  in  aid  of  the
Charlottetown hospital, and they ask lots of the  White  Sands  people  to
recite. Lauretta said she expected to be asked  herself  someday.  I  just
gazed at her  in  awe.  After  she  had  gone  Mrs.  Allan  and  I  had  a
heart-to-heart talk. I told her everything-about Mrs. Thomas and the twins
and Katie Maurice and Violetta and coming to Green Gables and my  troubles
over geometry. And would you believe it, Marilla? Mrs. Allan told  me  she
was a dunce at geometry too. You don't know how that encouraged  me.  Mrs.
Lynde came to the manse just  before  I  left,  and  what  do  you  think,
Marilla? The trustees have hired a new teacher and it's a lady.  Her  name
is Miss Muriel Stacy. Isn't that a romantic name? Mrs. Lynde says  they've
never had a female teacher in Avonlea  before  and  she  thinks  it  is  a
dangerous innovation. But I think it will  be  splendid  to  have  a  lady
teacher, and I really don't see how I'm going  to  live  through  the  two
weeks before school begins. I'm so impatient to see her."

              23. Anne Comes to Grief in an Affair of Honor

    Anne had to live through more than two weeks, as it happened.  Almost
a month having elapsed since the liniment cake episode, it was  high  time
for her to get into fresh trouble of some sort, little mistakes,  such  as
absentmindedly emptying a pan of skim milk into a basket of yarn balls  in
the pantry instead of into the pigs' bucket, and walking  clean  over  the
edge of the log  bridge  into  the  brook  while  wrapped  in  imaginative
reverie, not really being worth counting.
    A week after the tea at the manse Diana Barry gave a party.
    "Small and select," Anne assured Marilla.  "Just  the  girls  in  our
    They had a very good time and nothing untoward happened  until  after
tea, when they found themselves in the Barry garden, a little tired of all
their games and ripe for any enticing form of mischief which might present
itself. This presently took the form of "daring."
    Daring was the fashionable amusement among the Avonlea small fry just
then. It had begun among the boys, but soon spread to the girls,  and  all
the silly things that were done in Avonlea that summer because  the  doers
thereof were "dared" to do them would fill a book by themselves.
    First of all Carrie Sloane dared Ruby Gillis to climb  to  a  certain
point in the huge old willow  tree  before  the  front  door;  which  Ruby
Gillis, albeit in mortal dread of the fat green  caterpillars  with  which
said tree was infested and with the fear of her mother before her eyes  if
she should tear her new muslin dress, nimbly did, to the  discomfiture  of
the aforesaid Carrie Sloane.
    Then Josie Pye dared Jane Andrews to hop on her left leg  around  the
garden without stopping once or putting her  right  foot  to  the  ground;
which Jane Andrews gamely tried to do, but gave out at  the  third  corner
and had to confess herself defeated.
    Josie's  triumph  being  rather  more  pronounced  than  good   taste
permitted, Anne Shirley dared her to walk along the top of the board fence
which bounded the garden to the east. Now, to "walk" board fences requires
more skill and steadiness of head and heel than one might suppose who  has
never tried it. But Josie Pye, if deficient in some  qualities  that  make
for popularity, had at least a natural and inborn gift,  duly  cultivated,
for walking board fences. Josie  walked  the  Barry  fence  with  an  airy
unconcern which seemed to imply that a little thing like that wasn't worth
a "dare." Reluctant admiration greeted her exploit, for most of the  other
girls could appreciate it, having suffered many things themselves in their
efforts to walk fences. Josie  descended  from  her  perch,  flushed  with
victory, and darted a defiant glance at Anne.
    Anne tossed her red braids.
    "I don't think it's such a very wonderful thing  to  walk  a  little,
low, board fence," she said. "I knew a girl in Marysville who  could  walk
the ridgepole of a roof."
    "I don't believe it," said Josie flatly.  "I  don't  believe  anybody
could walk a ridgepole. YOU couldn't, anyhow."
    "Couldn't I?" cried Anne rashly.
    "Then I dare you to do it," said Josie  defiantly.  "I  dare  you  to
climb up there and walk the ridgepole of Mr. Barry's kitchen roof."
    Anne turned pale, but there was clearly only one thing  to  be  done.
She walked toward the house,  where  a  ladder  was  leaning  against  the
kitchen roof. All the fifth-class girls said, "Oh!" partly in  excitement,
partly in dismay.
    "Don't you do it, Anne," entreated Diana. "You'll  fall  off  and  be
killed. Never mind Josie Pye. It isn't fair to dare anybody to do anything
so dangerous."
    "I must do it. My honor is at stake," said Anne  solemnly.  "I  shall
walk that ridgepole, Diana, or perish in the attempt. If I am  killed  you
are to have my pearl bead ring."
    Anne  climbed  the  ladder  amid  breathless  silence,   gained   the
ridgepole, balanced herself uprightly  on  that  precarious  footing,  and
started to walk along it, dizzily conscious  that  she  was  uncomfortably
high up in the world and that walking ridgepoles was not a thing in  which
your imagination helped you out much. Nevertheless, she  managed  to  take
several steps before the catastrophe  came.  Then  she  swayed,  lost  her
balance, stumbled, staggered, and fell, sliding down  over  the  sun-baked
roof and crashing off it through the tangle of Virginia creeper beneathall
before the dismayed circle below  could  give  a  simultaneous,  terrified
    If Anne had tumbled off the  roof  on  the  side  up  which  she  had
ascended Diana would probably have fallen heir to the pearl bead ring then
and there. Fortunately she fell on the other side, where the roof extended
down over the porch so nearly to the ground that a fall  therefrom  was  a
much less serious thing. Nevertheless, when Diana and the other girls  had
rushed frantically around the house-except Ruby Gillis, who remained as if
rooted to the ground and went into hysterics-they  found  Anne  lying  all
white and limp among the wreck and ruin of the Virginia creeper.
    "Anne, are you killed?" shrieked Diana, throwing herself on her knees
beside her friend. "Oh, Anne, dear Anne, speak just one  word  to  me  and
tell me if you're killed."
    To the immense relief of all the girls, and especially of Josie  Pye,
who, in spite of lack  of  imagination,  had  been  seized  with  horrible
visions of a future branded  as  the  girl  who  was  the  cause  of  Anne
Shirley's early and  tragic  death,  Anne  sat  dizzily  up  and  answered
    "No, Diana, I am not killed, but I think I am rendered unconscious."
    "Where?" sobbed Carrie Sloane. "Oh, where, Anne?" Before  Anne  could
answer Mrs. Barry appeared on the scene. At sight of  her  Anne  tried  to
scramble to her feet, but sank back again with a sharp little cry of pain.
    "What's the matter? Where have  you  hurt  yourself?"  demanded  Mrs.
    "My ankle," gasped Anne. "Oh, Diana, please find your father and  ask
him to take me home. I know I  can  never  walk  there.  And  I'm  sure  I
couldn't hop so far on one foot when Jane couldn't  even  hop  around  the
    Marilla was out in the orchard picking a panful of summer apples when
she saw Mr. Barry coming over the log bridge and up the slope,  with  Mrs.
Barry beside him and a whole procession of  little  girls  trailing  after
him. In his arms he carried  Anne,  whose  head  lay  limply  against  his
    At that moment Marilla had a revelation. In the sudden stab  of  fear
that pierced her very heart she realized what Anne had  come  to  mean  to
her. She would have admitted that she liked Anne-nay, that  she  was  very
fond of Anne. But now she knew as she hurried wildly down the  slope  that
Anne was dearer to her than anything else on earth.
    "Mr. Barry, what has happened to her?" she  gasped,  more  white  and
shaken than the self-contained, sensible Marilla had been for many years.
    Anne herself answered, lifting her head.
    "Don't be very frightened, Marilla. I was walking the ridgepole and I
fell off. I expect I have sprained my ankle. But, Marilla,  I  might  have
broken my neck. Let us look on the bright side of things."
    "I might have known you'd go and do something of the sort when I  let
you go to that party," said  Marilla,  sharp  and  shrewish  in  her  very
relief. "Bring her in here, Mr. Barry, and lay her on the sofa. Mercy  me,
the child has gone and fainted!"
    It was quite true. Overcome by the pain of her injury, Anne  had  one
more of her wishes granted to her. She had fainted dead away.
    Matthew, hastily summoned from the  harvest  field,  was  straightway
dispatched for the doctor, who in due time  came,  to  discover  that  the
injury was more serious than they had supposed. Anne's ankle was broken.
    That night,  when  Marilla  went  up  to  the  east  gable,  where  a
white-faced girl was lying, a plaintive voice greeted her from the bed.
    "Aren't you very sorry for me, Marilla?"
    "It was your own fault," said Marilla, twitching down the  blind  and
lighting a lamp.
    "And that is just why  you  should  be  sorry  for  me,"  said  Anne,
"because the thought that it is all my own fault is what makes it so hard.
If I could blame it on anybody I would feel so much better. But what would
you have done, Marilla, if you had been dared to walk a ridgepole?"
    "I'd have stayed on good firm ground and let  them  dare  away.  Such
absurdity!" said Marilla.
    Anne sighed.
    "But you have such strength of mind, Marilla. I haven't. I just  felt
that I couldn't bear Josie Pye's scorn. She would have crowed over me  all
my life. And I think I have been punished so much that you needn't be very
cross with me, Marilla. It's not a bit nice to faint, after all.  And  the
doctor hurt me dreadfully when he was setting my ankle. I won't be able to
go around for six or seven weeks and I'll miss the new lady  teacher.  She
won't be new any  more  by  the  time  I'm  able  to  go  to  school.  And
Gileverybody will get ahead of me in class. Oh, I am an afflicted  mortal.
But I'll try to bear it all bravely if only you won't be  cross  with  me,
    "There, there, I'm not  cross,"  said  Marilla.  "You're  an  unlucky
child, there's no doubt about that;  but  as  you  say,  you'll  have  the
suffering of it. Here now, try and eat some supper."
    "Isn't it fortunate I've got such an  imagination?"  said  Anne.  "It
will help me through splendidly, I expect. What do people who haven't  any
imagination do when they break their bones, do you suppose, Marilla?"
    Anne had good reason to bless her imagination many  a  time  and  oft
during the tedious seven weeks that  followed.  But  she  was  not  solely
dependent on it. She had many visitors and not a day passed without one or
more of the schoolgirls dropping in to bring her  flowers  and  books  and
tell her all the happenings in the juvenile world of Avonlea.
    "Everybody has been so good and kind, Marilla," sighed Anne  happily,
on the day when she could first limp across  the  floor.  "It  isn't  very
pleasant to be laid up; but there is a bright side  to  it,  Marilla.  You
find out how many friends you have. Why, even Superintendent Bell came  to
see me, and he's really a very fine man. Not a kindred spirit, of  course;
but still I like him and I'm awfully sorry I ever criticized his  prayers.
I believe now he really does mean them, only he has got into the habit  of
saying them as if he didn't. He could get over that if he'd take a  little
trouble. I gave him a good broad hint. I told him how hard I tried to make
my own little private prayers interesting. He told me all about  the  time
he broke his ankle when he was a boy. It does seem so strange to think  of
Superintendent Bell ever being a boy. Even my imagination has its  limits,
for I can't imagine THAT. When I try to imagine him as a  boy  I  see  him
with gray whiskers and spectacles, just as he looks in Sunday school, only
small. Now, it's so easy to imagine Mrs. Allan  as  a  little  girl.  Mrs.
Allan has been to see me fourteen times. Isn't that something to be  proud
of, Marilla? When a minister's wife has so many claims on her time! She is
such a cheerful person to have visit you, too. She never  tells  you  it's
your own fault and she hopes you'll be a better girl  on  account  of  it.
Mrs. Lynde always told me that when she came to see me; and she said it in
a kind of way that made me feel she might hope I'd be a  better  girl  but
didn't really believe I would. Even Josie Pye came to see me.  I  received
her as politely as I could, because I think she was sorry she dared me  to
walk a ridgepole. If I had been killed she  would  had  to  carry  a  dark
burden of remorse all her life. Diana has been a  faithful  friend.  She's
been over every day to cheer my lonely pillow. But oh, I shall be so  glad
when I can go to school for I've heard such exciting things about the  new
teacher. The girls all think she is perfectly sweet. Diana  says  she  has
the loveliest fair curly hair  and  such  fascinating  eyes.  She  dresses
beautifully, and her sleeve  puffs  are  bigger  than  anybody  else's  in
Avonlea. Every other Friday afternoon she has  recitations  and  everybody
has to say a piece or take part in a dialogue. Oh, it's just  glorious  to
think of it. Josie Pye says she hates it but that is  just  because  Josie
has so little imagination. Diana and Ruby  Gillis  and  Jane  Andrews  are
preparing a dialogue, called `A Morning Visit,' for next Friday.  And  the
Friday afternoons they don't have recitations Miss Stacy takes them all to
the woods for a `field' day and they study ferns and  flowers  and  birds.
And they have physical culture exercises every morning and  evening.  Mrs.
Lynde says she never heard of such goings on and it all comes of having  a
lady teacher. But I think it must be splendid and I believe I  shall  find
that Miss Stacy is a kindred spirit."
    "There's one thing plain to be seen, Anne," said Marilla,  "and  that
is that your fall off the Barry roof hasn't injured your tongue at all."

              24. Miss Stacy and Her Pupils Get Up a Concert

    It was October again when Anne was  ready  to  go  back  to  school-a
glorious October, all red and gold, with mellow mornings when the  valleys
were filled with delicate mists as if the spirit of autumn had poured them
in for the sun to drain-amethyst, pearl, silver, rose, and smoke-blue. The
dews were so heavy that the fields glistened  like  cloth  of  silver  and
there were such heaps of rustling leaves in the  hollows  of  many-stemmed
woods to run crisply through. The Birch Path was a canopy  of  yellow  and
the ferns were sear and brown all along it. There was a tang in  the  very
air that inspired the hearts of small  maidens  tripping,  unlike  snails,
swiftly and willingly to school; and it was jolly to be back again at  the
little brown desk beside Diana, with Ruby Gillis nodding across the  aisle
and Carrie Sloane sending up notes and Julia Bell passing a "chew" of  gum
down from the back seat. Anne drew a  long  breath  of  happiness  as  she
sharpened her pencil and arranged her picture cards in her desk. Life  was
certainly very interesting.
    In the new teacher she found another true and  helpful  friend.  Miss
Stacy was a bright, sympathetic young woman with the happy gift of winning
and holding the affections of her pupils and bringing out  the  best  that
was in them mentally and morally. Anne expanded like a flower  under  this
wholesome influence and carried home  to  the  admiring  Matthew  and  the
critical Marilla glowing accounts of schoolwork and aims.
    "I love Miss Stacy with my whole heart, Marilla. She is  so  ladylike
and she has such a sweet  voice.  When  she  pronounces  my  name  I  feel
INSTINCTIVELY that she's spelling it with an E. We  had  recitations  this
afternoon. I just wish you could have been there to hear me recite  `Mary,
Queen of Scots.' I just put my whole soul into it.  Ruby  Gillis  told  me
coming home that the way I said the line, `Now for my father's  arm,'  she
said, `my woman's heart farewell,' just made her blood run cold."
    "Well now, you might recite it for me some of these days, out in  the
barn," suggested Matthew.
    "Of course I will," said Anne meditatively, "but I won't be  able  to
do it so well, I know. It won't be so exciting as it is when  you  have  a
whole schoolful before you hanging breathlessly on your words.  I  know  I
won't be able to make your blood run cold."
    "Mrs. Lynde says it made HER blood run cold to see the boys  climbing
to the very tops of those big trees on Bell's hill after crows' nests last
Friday," said Marilla. "I wonder at Miss Stacy for encouraging it."
    "But we wanted a crow's nest for nature study," explained Anne. "That
was on our field afternoon. Field afternoons are  splendid,  Marilla.  And
Miss  Stacy  explains  everything  so  beautifully.  We  have   to   write
compositions on our field afternoons and I write the best ones."
    "It's very vain of you to say so then. You'd better let your  teacher
say it."
    "But she DID say it, Marilla. And indeed I'm not vain about  it.  How
can I be, when I'm such a dunce at geometry? Although I'm really beginning
to see through it a little, too. Miss Stacy makes it so clear. Still, I'll
never be good at it and I assure you it is a humbling  reflection.  But  I
love writing compositions. Mostly  Miss  Stacy  lets  us  choose  our  own
subjects; but next week we are to write a composition on  some  remarkable
person. It's hard to choose among  so  many  remarkable  people  who  have
lived. Mustn't it be splendid  to  be  remarkable  and  have  compositions
written about you after you're  dead?  Oh,  I  would  dearly  love  to  be
remarkable. I think when I grow up I'll be a trained nurse and go with the
Red Crosses to the field of battle as a messenger of mercy. That is, if  I
don't go out as a foreign missionary. That would be very romantic, but one
would have to be very good to  be  a  missionary,  and  that  would  be  a
stumbling block. We have physical culture exercises every day,  too.  They
make you graceful and promote digestion."
    "Promote fiddlesticks!" said Marilla, who honestly thought it was all
    But all the field afternoons  and  recitation  Fridays  and  physical
culture contortions paled  before  a  project  which  Miss  Stacy  brought
forward in November. This was that the scholars of Avonlea  school  should
get up a concert and hold it in the  hall  on  Christmas  Night,  for  the
laudable purpose of helping to pay for a schoolhouse flag. The pupils  one
and all taking graciously to this plan, the  preparations  for  a  program
were begun at once. And of all the excited performers-elect  none  was  so
excited as Anne Shirley, who threw herself into the undertaking heart  and
soul, hampered as she was by Marilla's disapproval. Marilla thought it all
rank foolishness.
    "It's just filling your heads up with nonsense and taking  time  that
ought to be put on your  lessons,"  she  grumbled.  "I  don't  approve  of
children's getting up concerts and racing about  to  practices.  It  makes
them vain and forward and fond of gadding."
    "But think  of  the  worthy  object,"  pleaded  Anne.  "A  flag  will
cultivate a spirit of patriotism, Marilla."
    "Fudge! There's precious little patriotism in the thoughts of any  of
you. All you want is a good time."
    "Well, when you can combine patriotism and fun, isn't it  all  right?
Of course it's real nice to be getting up a concert. We're going  to  have
six choruses and Diana is to  sing  a  solo.  I'm  in  two  dialogues-`The
Society for the Suppression of Gossip' and `The Fairy Queen.' The boys are
going to have a dialogue too. And I'm to have two recitations, Marilla.  I
just tremble when I think of it, but it's a nice thrilly kind of  tremble.
And we're to have a tableau at the last-`Faith, Hope and  Charity.'  Diana
and Ruby and I are to be in it, all draped in white with flowing hair. I'm
to be Hope, with my hands clasped-so-and my eyes uplifted.  I'm  going  to
practice my recitations in the garret. Don't be alarmed  if  you  hear  me
groaning. I have to groan heartrendingly in one of them, and  it's  really
hard to get up a good artistic groan, Marilla. Josie Pye is sulky  because
she didn't get the part she wanted in the dialogue. She wanted to  be  the
fairy queen. That would have been ridiculous, for  who  ever  heard  of  a
fairy queen as fat as Josie? Fairy queens must be slender. Jane Andrews is
to be the queen and I am to be one of her maids of honor. Josie  says  she
thinks a red-haired fairy is just as ridiculous as a fat one, but I do not
let myself mind what Josie says. I'm to have a wreath of white roses on my
hair and Ruby Gillis is going to lend me her slippers  because  I  haven't
any of my own. It's necessary for fairies to have slippers, you know.  You
couldn't imagine a fairy wearing boots, could you? Especially with  copper
toes? We are going to decorate the  hall  with  creeping  spruce  and  fir
mottoes with pink tissue-paper roses in them. And we are all to  march  in
two by two after the audience is seated, while Emma White plays a march on
the organ. Oh, Marilla, I know you are not so enthusiastic about it  as  I
am, but don't you hope your little Anne will distinguish herself?"
    "All I hope is that you'll behave yourself.  I'll  be  heartily  glad
when all this fuss is over and you'll be able  to  settle  down.  You  are
simply good for nothing just now with your head stuffed full of  dialogues
and groans and tableaus. As for your tongue, it's a marvel it's not  clean
worn out."
    Anne sighed and betook herself to the back yard, over which  a  young
new  moon  was  shining  through  the  leafless  poplar  boughs  from   an
apple-green western sky,  and  where  Matthew  was  splitting  wood.  Anne
perched herself on a block and talked the concert over with him,  sure  of
an appreciative and sympathetic listener in this instance at least.
    "Well now, I reckon it's going to be a pretty  good  concert.  And  I
expect you'll do your part fine," he said, smiling down  into  her  eager,
vivacious little face. Anne smiled back at him. Those two were the best of
friends and Matthew thanked his stars many a time  and  oft  that  he  had
nothing to do with bringing her up. That was Marilla's exclusive duty;  if
it had been his he would have been worried over frequent conflicts between
inclination  and  said  duty.  As  it  was,  he  was   free   to,   "spoil
Anne"-Marilla's phrasing-as much as he liked. But it was not  such  a  bad
arrangement after all; a little "appreciation"  sometimes  does  quite  as
much good as all the conscientious "bringing up" in the world.

                   25. Matthew Insists on Puffed Sleeves

    Matthew was having a bad ten minutes of it.  He  had  come  into  the
kitchen, in the twilight of a cold, gray December  evening,  and  had  sat
down in the woodbox corner to take off his heavy boots, unconscious of the
fact that Anne and a bevy of her schoolmates were  having  a  practice  of
"The Fairy Queen" in  the  sitting  room.  Presently  they  came  trooping
through the hall and out into the kitchen, laughing and chattering  gaily.
They did not see Matthew, who  shrank  bashfully  back  into  the  shadows
beyond the woodbox with a boot in one hand and a bootjack  in  the  other,
and he watched them shyly for the aforesaid ten minutes  as  they  put  on
caps and jackets and talked about the dialogue and the concert. Anne stood
among them, bright eyed and animated as they; but Matthew suddenly  became
conscious that there was something about her different from her mates. And
what worried Matthew was  that  the  difference  impressed  him  as  being
something that should not exist. Anne had a  brighter  face,  and  bigger,
starrier eyes, and more  delicate  features  than  the  other;  even  shy,
unobservant Matthew had learned to take note  of  these  things;  but  the
difference that disturbed him did not consist in any  of  these  respects.
Then in what did it consist?
    Matthew was haunted by this question long after the girls  had  gone,
arm in arm, down the long, hard-frozen lane and Anne had  betaken  herself
to her books. He could not refer it to Marilla, who,  he  felt,  would  be
quite sure to sniff scornfully and remark that the only difference she saw
between Anne and the other  girls  was  that  they  sometimes  kept  their
tongues quiet while Anne never did. This, Matthew felt, would be no  great
    He had recourse to his pipe that evening to help him  study  it  out,
much to Marilla's disgust. After two hours of smoking and hard  reflection
Matthew arrived at a solution of his problem. Anne was  not  dressed  like
the other girls!
    The more Matthew thought about the matter the more he  was  convinced
that Anne never had been dressed like the other girls-never since she  had
come to Green Gables. Marilla kept her clothed in plain, dark dresses, all
made after the same unvarying pattern. If Matthew knew there  was  such  a
thing as fashion in dress it was as much as he did; but he was quite  sure
that Anne's sleeves did not look at all like the sleeves the  other  girls
wore. He recalled the cluster of little girls he had seen around her  that
evening-all gay in waists of red  and  blue  and  pink  and  white-and  he
wondered why Marilla always kept her so plainly and soberly gowned.
    Of course, it must be all right. Marilla knew best  and  Marilla  was
bringing her up. Probably some wise, inscrutable motive was to  be  served
thereby. But surely it would do no harm to let the child have  one  pretty
dress-something like Diana Barry always  wore.  Matthew  decided  that  he
would give her one; that surely could not be objected to as an unwarranted
putting in of his oar. Christmas was only a  fortnight  off.  A  nice  new
dress would be the very thing for a  present.  Matthew,  with  a  sigh  of
satisfaction, put away his pipe and went to bed, while Marilla opened  all
the doors and aired the house.
    The very next evening Matthew betook himself to Carmody  to  buy  the
dress, determined to get the worst over and have done with  it.  It  would
be, he felt assured, no trifling ordeal. There were  some  things  Matthew
could buy and prove himself no mean bargainer; but he knew he would be  at
the mercy of shopkeepers when it came to buying a girl's dress.
    After much cogitation Matthew resolved to go to Samuel Lawson's store
instead of William Blair's. To be sure, the Cuthberts always had  gone  to
William Blair's; it was almost as much a matter of conscience with them as
to attend the Presbyterian  church  and  vote  Conservative.  But  William
Blair's two daughters frequently waited on  customers  there  and  Matthew
held them in absolute dread. He could contrive to deal with them  when  he
knew exactly what he wanted and could point it out; but in such  a  matter
as this, requiring explanation and consultation, Matthew felt that he must
be sure of a man behind the counter. So he would  go  to  Lawson's,  where
Samuel or his son would wait on him.
    Alas! Matthew did not know that Samuel, in the  recent  expansion  of
his business, had set up a lady clerk also; she was a niece of his  wife's
and a very dashing young person indeed, with a huge,  drooping  pompadour,
big, rolling brown eyes, and a most extensive and bewildering  smile.  She
was dressed with exceeding smartness and  wore  several  bangle  bracelets
that glittered and rattled and tinkled with every movement of  her  hands.
Matthew was covered with confusion at finding her there at all; and  those
bangles completely wrecked his wits at one fell swoop.
    "What can I do for you this  evening,  Mr.  Cuthbert?"  Miss  Lucilla
Harris inquired, briskly and ingratiatingly, tapping the counter with both
    "Have you any-any-any-well now,  say  any  garden  rakes?"  stammered
    Miss Harris looked somewhat surprised, as well she might, to  hear  a
man inquiring for garden rakes in the middle of December.
    "I believe we have one or two left  over,"  she  said,  "but  they're
upstairs in the lumber room. I'll go and see.". During her absence Matthew
collected his scattered senses for another effort.
    When Miss Harris returned with  the  rake  and  cheerfully  inquired:
"Anything else tonight, Mr. Cuthbert?" Matthew took his  courage  in  both
hands  and  replied:  "Well  now,  since  you  suggest  it,  I  might   as
well-take-that is-look at-buy some-some hayseed."
    Miss Harris had heard Matthew Cuthbert called odd. She now  concluded
that he was entirely crazy.
    "We only keep hayseed in the spring," she explained  loftily.  "We've
none on hand just now."
    "Oh, certainly-certainly-just as you say," stammered unhappy Matthew,
seizing the rake and making for the door. At the threshold he  recollected
that he had not paid for it and  he  turned  miserably  back.  While  Miss
Harris was counting out his change he  rallied  his  powers  for  a  final
desperate attempt.
    "Well now-if it isn't too much trouble-I might  as  well-that  is-I'd
like to look at-at-some sugar."
    "White or brown?" queried Miss Harris patiently.
    "Oh-well now-brown," said Matthew feebly.
    "There's a barrel of it over there," said Miss  Harris,  shaking  her
bangles at it. "It's the only kind we have."
    "I'll-I'll take twenty pounds of it," said  Matthew,  with  beads  of
perspiration standing on his forehead.
    Matthew had driven halfway home before he was his own man  again.  It
had been a gruesome experience, but it served him right, he  thought,  for
committing the heresy of going to a strange store. When he reached home he
hid the rake in the tool house, but the sugar he carried in to Marilla.
    "Brown sugar!" exclaimed Marilla. "Whatever possessed you to  get  so
much? You know I never use it except for the hired man's porridge or black
fruit cake. Jerry's gone and I've made my cake long  ago.  It's  not  good
sugar, either-it's coarse and  dark-William  Blair  doesn't  usually  keep
sugar like that."
    "I-I thought it might come in handy sometime," said  Matthew,  making
good his escape.
    When Matthew came to think the matter over he decided  that  a  woman
was required to cope with the situation. Marilla was out of the  question.
Matthew felt sure she would throw cold  water  on  his  project  at  once.
Remained only Mrs. Lynde; for of no other woman in Avonlea  would  Matthew
have dared to ask advice. To Mrs. Lynde he went accordingly, and that good
lady promptly took the matter out of the harassed man's hands.
    "Pick out a dress for you to give Anne? To be sure I will. I'm  going
to Carmody tomorrow and I'll attend to it. Have you  something  particular
in mind? No? Well, I'll just go by my own judgment then. I believe a  nice
rich brown would just suit Anne, and William Blair has some new gloria  in
that's real pretty. Perhaps you'd like me to make  it  up  for  her,  too,
seeing that if Marilla was to make it Anne would probably get wind  of  it
before the time and spoil the surprise? Well, I'll do it. No, it  isn't  a
mite of trouble. I like sewing. I'll  make  it  to  fit  my  niece,  Jenny
Gillis, for she and Anne are as like as two peas as far as figure goes."
    "Well now, I'm much obliged," said Matthew, "and-and-I dunno-but  I'd
like-I think they make the sleeves different nowadays to what they used to
be. If it wouldn't be asking too much I-I'd like them made in the new way."
    "Puffs? Of course. You needn't worry a speck more about it,  Matthew.
I'll make it up in the very latest fashion," said Mrs. Lynde.  To  herself
she added when Matthew had gone:
    "It'll be  a  real  satisfaction  to  see  that  poor  child  wearing
something decent for once. The  way  Marilla  dresses  her  is  positively
ridiculous, that's what, and I've ached to tell her  so  plainly  a  dozen
times. I've held my tongue though, for I  can  see  Marilla  doesn't  want
advice and she thinks she knows more about bringing children up than I  do
for all she's an old maid. But that's  always  the  way.  Folks  that  has
brought up children know that there's no hard and fast method in the world
that'll suit every child. But them as never have think it's all  as  plain
and easy as Rule of Three-just set your three terms down so  fashion,  and
the sum'll work out correct. But flesh and blood don't come under the head
of arithmetic and that's where  Marilla  Cuthbert  makes  her  mistake.  I
suppose she's trying to cultivate a spirit of humility in Anne by dressing
her as she does; but it's more likely to cultivate  envy  and  discontent.
I'm sure the child must feel the difference between her  clothes  and  the
other girls'. But to think of Matthew taking notice of  it!  That  man  is
waking up after being asleep for over sixty years."
    Marilla knew all the following fortnight that Matthew  had  something
on his mind, but what it was she could not  guess,  until  Christmas  Eve,
when Mrs. Lynde brought up the new dress. Marilla behaved pretty  well  on
the whole,  although  it  is  very  likely  she  distrusted  Mrs.  Lynde's
diplomatic explanation that she had made the  dress  because  Matthew  was
afraid Anne would find out about it too soon if Marilla made it.
    "So this is what Matthew has been  looking  so  mysterious  over  and
grinning about to himself for two weeks, is it?" she said a little stiffly
but tolerantly. "I knew he was up to some foolishness. Well, I must say  I
don't think Anne needed any more dresses. I made  her  three  good,  warm,
serviceable ones this fall,  and  anything  more  is  sheer  extravagance.
There's enough material in those sleeves alone to make a waist, I  declare
there is. You'll just pamper Anne's vanity, Matthew, and she's as vain  as
a peacock now. Well, I hope she'll be satisfied at last, for I know  she's
been hankering after those silly sleeves ever since they came in, although
she never said a word after the first. The puffs have been getting  bigger
and more ridiculous right along; they're as big as balloons now. Next year
anybody who wears them will have to go through a door sideways."
    Christmas morning broke on a beautiful white world.  It  had  been  a
very mild December and people had looked forward to a green Christmas; but
just enough snow fell softly in the night  to  transfigure  Avonlea.  Anne
peeped out from her frosted gable window with delighted eyes. The firs  in
the Haunted Wood were all feathery and wonderful;  the  birches  and  wild
cherry trees were outlined in pearl; the plowed fields were  stretches  of
snowy dimples; and there was a crisp tang in the air  that  was  glorious.
Anne ran downstairs singing until her voice reechoed through Green Gables.
    "Merry Christmas, Marilla!  Merry  Christmas,  Matthew!  Isn't  it  a
lovely Christmas? I'm so glad it's white.  Any  other  kind  of  Christmas
doesn't seem real, does it? I don't like green  Christmases.  They're  not
greenthey're just nasty faded browns and grays.  What  makes  people  call
them green? Why-why-Matthew, is that for me? Oh, Matthew!"
    Matthew had sheepishly unfolded the dress from  its  paper  swathings
and held it out with a deprecatory glance at Marilla, who  feigned  to  be
contemptuously filling the teapot, but nevertheless watched the scene  out
of the corner of her eye with a rather interested air.
    Anne took the dress and looked at it in  reverent  silence.  Oh,  how
pretty it was-a lovely soft brown gloria with all the  gloss  of  silk;  a
skirt with dainty frills and shirrings; a waist elaborately  pintucked  in
the most fashionable way, with a little ruffle of filmy lace at the  neck.
But the sleeves-they were the crowning glory! Long elbow cuffs, and  above
them two  beautiful  puffs  divided  by  rows  of  shirring  and  bows  of
brown-silk ribbon.
    "That's a Christmas present  for  you,  Anne,"  said  Matthew  shyly.
"Why-why-Anne, don't you like it? Well now-well now."
    For Anne's eyes had suddenly filled with tears.
    "Like it! Oh, Matthew!" Anne laid the dress over a chair and  clasped
her hands. "Matthew, it's perfectly exquisite. Oh, I can never  thank  you
enough. Look at those sleeves! Oh, it seems to me this  must  be  a  happy
    "Well, well, let us have breakfast,"  interrupted  Marilla.  "I  must
say, Anne, I don't think you needed the dress; but since Matthew  has  got
it for you, see that you take good care of it. There's a hair ribbon  Mrs.
Lynde left for you. It's brown, to match the dress. Come now, sit in."
    "I don't see how I'm going to eat breakfast," said Anne  rapturously.
"Breakfast seems so commonplace at such an  exciting  moment.  I'd  rather
feast my eyes on that dress. I'm so glad that  puffed  sleeves  are  still
fashionable. It did seem to me that I'd never get over it if they went out
before I had a dress with them. I'd never have felt quite  satisfied,  you
see. It was lovely of Mrs. Lynde to give me the ribbon too. I feel that  I
ought to be a very good girl indeed. It's at times like this I'm sorry I'm
not a model little girl; and I always resolve that I will  be  in  future.
But somehow it's hard to carry  out  your  resolutions  when  irresistible
temptations come. Still, I really will make an extra effort after this."
    When the commonplace breakfast was over Diana appeared, crossing  the
white log bridge in the hollow, a gay little figure in her crimson ulster.
Anne flew down the slope to meet her.
    "Merry Christmas, Diana! And oh, it's  a  wonderful  Christmas.  I've
something splendid to show you. Matthew has given me the loveliest  dress,
with such sleeves. I couldn't even imagine any nicer."
    "I've got something more for you," said  Diana  breathlessly.  "Here-
this box. Aunt Josephine sent us out a big box with ever so many things in
it-and this is for you. I'd have brought it over last night, but it didn't
come until after dark, and I never feel very  comfortable  coming  through
the Haunted. Wood in the dark now."
    Anne opened the box and  peeped  in.  First  a  card  with  "For  the
Anne-girl and Merry Christmas," written on it; and then,  a  pair  of  the
daintiest little kid  slippers,  with  beaded  toes  and  satin  bows  and
glistening buckles.
    "Oh," said Anne, "Diana, this is too much. I must be dreaming."
    "I call it providential," said  Diana.  "You  won't  have  to  borrow
Ruby's slippers now, and that's a blessing, for they're two sizes too  big
for you, and it would be awful to hear a fairy shuffling. Josie Pye  would
be delighted. Mind you, Rob Wright went home  with  Gertie  Pye  from  the
practice night before last. Did you ever hear anything equal to that?"
    All the Avonlea scholars were in a fever of excitement that day,  for
the hall had to be decorated and a last grand rehearsal held.
    The concert came off in the evening and was a pronounced success. The
little hall was crowded; all the performers did excellently well, but Anne
was the bright particular star of the occasion, as even envy, in the shape
of Josie Pye, dared not deny.
    "Oh, hasn't it been a brilliant evening?" sighed Anne,  when  it  was
all over and she and Diana were walking home together under a dark, starry
    "Everything went off very well," said Diana practically. "I guess  we
must have made as much as ten dollars. Mind you, Mr.  Allan  is  going  to
send an account of it to the Charlottetown papers."
    "Oh, Diana, will we really see our names in print? It makes me thrill
to think of it. Your solo was perfectly elegant,  Diana.  I  felt  prouder
than you did when it was encored. I just said to myself, `It  is  my  dear
bosom friend who is so honored.'"
    "Well, your recitations just brought down the house, Anne.  That  sad
one was simply splendid."
    "Oh, I was so nervous, Diana. When Mr. Allan called  out  my  name  I
really cannot tell how I ever got up on that platform.  I  felt  as  if  a
million eyes were looking at me and  through  me,  and  for  one  dreadful
moment I was sure I couldn't begin at all. Then I  thought  of  my  lovely
puffed sleeves and took courage. I knew that  I  must  live  up  to  those
sleeves, Diana. So I started in, and my voice seemed  to  be  coming  from
ever so far away. I just felt like a  parrot.  It's  providential  that  I
practiced those recitations so often up in the garret, or I'd  never  have
been able to get through. Did I groan all right?"
    "Yes, indeed, you groaned lovely," assured Diana.
    "I saw old Mrs. Sloane wiping away tears when  I  sat  down.  It  was
splendid to think I had touched somebody's heart. It's so romantic to take
part in a concert, isn't it? Oh,  it's  been  a  very  memorable  occasion
    "Wasn't the boys' dialogue fine?" said  Diana.  "Gilbert  Blythe  was
just splendid. Anne, I do think it's awful mean the  way  you  treat  Gil.
Wait till I tell you. When you  ran  off  the  platform  after  the  fairy
dialogue one of your roses fell out of your hair. I saw Gil pick it up and
put it in his breast pocket. There now. You're so romantic that  I'm  sure
you ought to be pleased at that."
    "It's nothing to me what that person does,"  said  Anne  loftily.  "I
simply never waste a thought on him, Diana."
    That night Marilla and Matthew, who had been out to a concert for the
first time in twenty years, sat for a while by the kitchen fire after Anne
had gone to bed.
    "Well now, I guess our Anne did as well as any of them," said Matthew
    "Yes, she did," admitted Marilla. "She's a bright child, Matthew. And
she looked real nice too. I've  been  kind  of  opposed  to  this  concert
scheme, but I suppose there's no real harm in it after all. Anyhow, I  was
proud of Anne tonight, although I'm not going to tell her so."
    "Well now, I was proud of her and I did tell her so  'fore  she  went
upstairs," said Matthew. "We must see what we can do for her some of these
days, Marilla. I guess she'll need something more than Avonlea  school  by
and by."
    "There's time enough to think of that,"  said  Marilla.  "She's  only
thirteen in March. Though tonight it struck me she was growing quite a big
girl. Mrs. Lynde made that dress a mite too long, and it makes  Anne  look
so tall. She's quick to learn and I guess the best thing we can do for her
will be to send her to Queen's after a spell. But  nothing  need  be  said
about that for a year or two yet."
    "Well now, it'll do no harm to be thinking it over off and on,"  said
Matthew. "Things like that are all the better for lots of thinking over."

                       26. The Story Club Is Formed

    Junior Avonlea found it hard to  settle  down  to  humdrum  existence
again. To Anne in particular things  seemed  fearfully  flat,  stale,  and
unprofitable after the goblet of  excitement  she  had  been  sipping  for
weeks. Could she go back to the former quiet pleasures  of  those  faraway
days before the concert? At first, as she told Diana, she did  not  really
think she could.
    "I'm positively certain, Diana, that life can never be quite the same
again as it was in those olden days," she said mournfully, as if referring
to a period of at least fifty years back. "Perhaps after a while I'll  get
used to it, but I'm afraid concerts spoil  people  for  everyday  life.  I
suppose that is why  Marilla  disapproves  of  them.  Marilla  is  such  a
sensible woman. It must be a great deal better to be sensible; but  still,
I don't believe I'd really want to be a sensible person, because they  are
so unromantic. Mrs. Lynde says there is no danger of my  ever  being  one,
but you can never tell. I feel just now that I may grow up to be  sensible
yet. But perhaps that is only because I'm tired. I simply  couldn't  sleep
last night for ever so long. I just lay awake  and  imagined  the  concert
over and over again. That's one splendid thing about such affairs-it's  so
lovely to look back to them."
    Eventually, however, Avonlea school slipped back into its old  groove
and took up its old interests. To be sure, the concert left  traces.  Ruby
Gillis and Emma White, who had quarreled over a  point  of  precedence  in
their platform seats, no longer sat at the  same  desk,  and  a  promising
friendship of three years was broken up. Josie Pye and Julia Bell did  not
"speak" for three months, because Josie Pye had told  Bessie  Wright  that
Julia Bell's bow when she got up to recite made her  think  of  a  chicken
jerking its head, and Bessie.told Julia. None of the  Sloanes  would  have
any dealings with the Bells, because  the  Bells  had  declared  that  the
Sloanes had too much to do in the program, and the  Sloanes  had  retorted
that the Bells were not capable  of  doing  the  little  they  had  to  do
properly.  Finally,  Charlie  Sloane  fought  Moody  Spurgeon  MacPherson,
because Moody Spurgeon had said that Anne Shirley put on  airs  about  her
recitations,  and  Moody  Spurgeon  was   "licked";   consequently   Moody
Spurgeon's sister, Ella May, would not "speak" to  Anne  Shirley  all  the
rest of the winter. With the exception of these trifling  frictions,  work
in Miss Stacy's little kingdom went on with regularity and smoothness.
    The winter weeks slipped by. It was an unusually mild winter, with so
little snow that Anne and Diana could go to school nearly every day by way
of the Birch Path. On Anne's birthday they were tripping lightly down  it,
keeping eyes and ears alert amid all their chatter,  for  Miss  Stacy  had
told them that they must soon write a composition on "A Winter's  Walk  in
the Woods," and it behooved them to be observant.
    "Just think, Diana, I'm thirteen years old today," remarked  Anne  in
an awed voice. "I can scarcely realize that I'm in my teens. When  I  woke
this morning it seemed to me that everything  must  be  different.  You've
been thirteen for a month, so I suppose it doesn't seem such a novelty  to
you as it does to me. It makes life seem so much more interesting. In  two
more years I'll be really grown up. It's a great  comfort  to  think  that
I'll be able to use big words then without being laughed at."
    "Ruby Gillis says she means to have a beau as soon as she's fifteen,"
said Diana.
    "Ruby Gillis thinks of nothing but beaus,"  said  Anne  disdainfully.
"She's actually delighted when anyone writes her name up in a  take-notice
for all she pretends to be so mad. But I'm afraid that is an  uncharitable
speech. Mrs. Allan says we should never make  uncharitable  speeches;  but
they do slip out so often before you think, don't  they?  I  simply  can't
talk about Josie Pye without making an uncharitable  speech,  so  I  never
mention her at all. You may have noticed that. I'm trying to  be  as  much
like Mrs. Allan as I possibly can, for I think she's  perfect.  Mr.  Allan
thinks so too. Mrs. Lynde says he just worships the ground she  treads  on
and she doesn't really think it right for a minister to set his affections
so much on a mortal being. But then, Diana, even ministers are  human  and
have their besetting  sins  just  like  everybody  else.  I  had  such  an
interesting  talk  with  Mrs.  Allan  about  besetting  sins  last  Sunday
afternoon. There are just a few  things  it's  proper  to  talk  about  on
Sundays and that is one of them. My besetting sin is  imagining  too  much
and forgetting my duties. I'm striving very hard to overcome  it  and  now
that I'm really thirteen perhaps I'll get on better."
    "In four more years we'll be able to put our hair  up,"  said  Diana.
"Alice Bell is only sixteen and she is wearing hers up, but I think that's
ridiculous. I shall wait until I'm seventeen."
    "If I had  Alice  Bell's  crooked  nose,"  said  Anne  decidedly,  "I
wouldn't-but there! I won't say  what  I  was  going  to  because  it  was
extremely uncharitable. Besides, I was comparing it with my own  nose  and
that's vanity. I'm afraid I think too much about  my  nose  ever  since  I
heard that compliment about it long ago. It really is a great  comfort  to
me. Oh, Diana, look, there's a rabbit. That's something  to  remember  for
our woods composition. I really think the woods  are  just  as  lovely  in
winter as in summer. They're so white and still, as if  they  were  asleep
and dreaming pretty dreams."
    "I won't mind writing that composition when its time  comes,"  sighed
Diana. "I can manage to write about the woods, but the one we're  to  hand
in Monday is terrible. The idea of Miss Stacy telling us to write a  story
out of our own heads!"
    "Why. it's as easy as wink," said Anne.
    "It's easy for you because you have an imagination," retorted  Diana,
"but what would you do if you had been born without  one?  I  suppose  you
have your composition all done?"
    Anne nodded, trying  hard  not  to  look  virtuously  complacent  and
failing miserably.
    "I wrote it last Monday evening. It's called `The Jealous  Rival;  or
In Death Not Divided.' I read it to Marilla and she said it was stuff  and
nonsense. Then I read it to Matthew and he said it was fine. That  is  the
kind of critic I like. It's a sad, sweet story. I just cried like a  child
while I was writing it. It's about two beautiful maidens  called  Cordelia
Montmorency and Geraldine Seymour who lived in the same village  and  were
devotedly attached to each other. Cordelia was a  regal  brunette  with  a
coronet of midnight hair and duskly flashing eyes. Geraldine was a queenly
blonde with hair like spun gold and velvety purple eyes."
    "I never saw anybody with purple eyes," said Diana dubiously.
    "Neither did I. I just imagined them. I wanted something out  of  the
common. Geraldine had an alabaster  brow  too.  I've  found  out  what  an
alabaster brow is. That is one of the advantages of  being  thirteen.  You
know so much more than you did when you were only twelve."
    "Well, what became of Cordelia and Geraldine?" asked Diana,  who  was
beginning to feel rather interested in their fate.
    "They grew in beauty side by  side  until  they  were  sixteen.  Then
Bertram DeVere came to their native village and fell in love with the fair
Geraldine. He saved her life when  her  horse  ran  away  with  her  in  a
carriage, and she fainted in his arms and he carried her home three miles;
because, you understand, the carriage was  all  smashed  up.  I  found  it
rather hard to imagine the proposal because I had no experience to go  by.
I asked Ruby Gillis if she knew anything about how men proposed because  I
thought she'd likely be an  authority  on  the  subject,  having  so  many
sisters married. Ruby told me she was hid in the hall pantry when  Malcolm
Andres proposed to her sister Susan. She said Malcolm told Susan that  his
dad had given him the farm in his own name and then  said,  `What  do  you
say, darling pet, if we get hitched this fall?' And Susan said,  `Yes-no-I
don't know-let me see'-and there they were, engaged as quick as that.  But
I didn't think that sort of a proposal was a very romantic one, so in  the
end I had to imagine it out as well as I could. I made it very flowery and
poetical and Bertram went on his knees, although Ruby Gillis says it isn't
done nowadays. Geraldine accepted him in a speech a page long. I can  tell
you I took a lot of trouble with that speech. I rewrote it five times  and
I look upon it as my masterpiece. Bertram gave her a diamond  ring  and  a
ruby necklace and told her they would go to Europe for a wedding tour, for
he was immensely wealthy. But then, alas, shadows  began  to  darken  over
their path. Cordelia was secretly in love with Bertram  herself  and  when
Geraldine told her about the engagement she was simply furious, especially
when she saw the necklace and the diamond  ring.  All  her  affection  for
Geraldine turned to bitter hate and she vowed that she should never  marry
Bertram. But she pretended to be Geraldine's friend the same as ever.  One
evening they were standing on the bridge over a rushing  turbulent  stream
and Cordelia, thinking they were alone, pushed Geraldine  over  the  brink
with a wild, mocking, `Ha, ha, ha.' But Bertram saw it all and he at  once
plunged into the current, exclaiming,  `I  will  save  thee,  my  peerless
Geraldine.' But alas, he had forgotten he couldn't  swim,  and  they  were
both drowned, clasped in each  other's  arms.  Their  bodies  were  washed
ashore soon afterwards. They were  buried  in  the  one  grave  and  their
funeral was most imposing, Diana. It's so much  more  romantic  to  end  a
story up with a funeral than a wedding. As for Cordelia, she  went  insane
with remorse and was shut up in a lunatic asylum. I  thought  that  was  a
poetical retribution for her crime."
    "How perfectly lovely!"  sighed  Diana,  who  belonged  to  Matthew's
school of critics. "I don't see how you can make up such thrilling  things
out of your own head, Anne. I wish my imagination was as good as yours."
    "It would be if you'd only cultivate it," said Anne cheeringly. "I've
just thought of a plan, Diana. Let you and me have a story  club  all  our
own and write stories for practice. I'll help you along until you  can  do
them by yourself. You ought to cultivate your imagination, you know.  Miss
Stacy says so. Only we must take the right  way.  I  told  her  about  the
Haunted Wood, but she said we went the wrong way about it in that."
    This was how the story club came into existence. It  was  limited  to
Diana and Anne at first, but soon it was extended to include Jane  Andrews
and Ruby Gillis and one or two others who  felt  that  their  imaginations
needed cultivating. No boys were allowed in it-although Ruby Gillis opined
that their admission would make it more exciting-and each  member  had  to
produce one story a week.
    "It's extremely interesting," Anne told Marilla. "Each  girl  has  to
read her story out loud and then we talk it over. We  are  going  to  keep
them all sacredly and have them to read to our descendants. We each  write
under a nom-de-plume. Mine is  Rosamond  Montmorency.  All  the  girls  do
pretty well.  Ruby  Gillis  is  rather  sentimental.  She  puts  too  much
lovemaking into her stories and you  know  too  much  is  worse  than  too
little. Jane never puts any because she says it makes her  feel  so  silly
when she had to read it out loud. Jane's stories are  extremely  sensible.
Then Diana puts too many murders into hers. She says most of the time  she
doesn't know what to do with the people so she kills them off to  get  rid
of them. I mostly always have to tell them what to write about,  but  that
isn't hard for I've millions of ideas."
    "I think this story-writing business is the foolishest yet,"  scoffed
Marilla. "You'll get a pack of nonsense into your  heads  and  waste  time
that should be put on your lessons. Reading  stories  is  bad  enough  but
writing them is worse."
    "But we're so careful  to  put  a  moral  into  them  all,  Marilla,"
explained Anne. "I insist upon that. All the good people are rewarded  and
all the bad ones  are  suitably  punished.  I'm  sure  that  must  have  a
wholesome effect. The moral is the great thing. Mr. Allan says so. I  read
one of my stories to him and Mrs. Allan and  they  both  agreed  that  the
moral was excellent. Only they laughed in the  wrong  places.  I  like  it
better when people cry. Jane and Ruby almost always cry when I come to the
pathetic parts. Diana wrote her Aunt Josephine about our club and her Aunt
Josephine wrote back that we were to send her some of our stories.  So  we
copied out four of our very best and sent them. Miss Josephine Barry wrote
back that she had never read anything so amusing in her life. That kind of
puzzled us because the stories were all very pathetic and almost everybody
died. But I'm glad Miss Barry liked them. It shows our club is doing  some
good in the world. Mrs.  Allan  says  that  ought  to  be  our  object  in
everything. I do really try to make it my object but  I  forget  so  often
when I'm having fun. I hope I shall be a little like  Mrs.  Allan  when  I
grow up. Do you think there is any prospect of it, Marilla?"
    "I shouldn't say there was a great deal"  was  Marilla's  encouraging
answer. "I'm sure Mrs. Allan was never such a silly, forgetful little girl
as you are."
    "No; but she wasn't always so good as she is now either,"  said  Anne
seriously. "She told me so herself-that is, she said she  was  a  dreadful
mischief when she was a girl and was always getting into scrapes.  I  felt
so encouraged when I heard that. Is it very wicked of me, Marilla, to feel
encouraged when I hear that other people have been  bad  and  mischievous?
Mrs. Lynde says it is. Mrs. Lynde says she always feels shocked  when  she
hears of anyone ever having been naughty, no matter how small  they  were.
Mrs. Lynde says she once heard a minister confess that when he was  a  boy
he stole a strawberry tart out of his aunt's pantry and she never had  any
respect for that minister again. Now, I wouldn't have felt that  way.  I'd
have thought that it was real noble of him to confess  it,  and  I'd  have
thought what an encouraging thing it would be for small boys nowadays  who
do naughty things and are sorry for them to know  that  perhaps  they  may
grow up to be ministers in spite of it. That's how I'd feel, Marilla."
    "The way I feel at present, Anne," said Marilla, "is that  it's  high
time you had those dishes washed. You've taken half an  hour  longer  than
you should with  all  your  chattering.  Learn  to  work  first  and  talk

                     27. Vanity and Vexation of Spirit

    Marilla, walking home one late April evening  from  an  Aid  meeting,
realized that the winter was over and gone with the thrill of delight that
spring never fails to bring to the oldest and saddest as well  as  to  the
youngest and merriest. Marilla was not given to subjective analysis of her
thoughts and feelings. She probably imagined that she was  thinking  about
the Aids and their missionary box and the new carpet for the vestry  room,
but under these reflections was a harmonious consciousness of  red  fields
smoking  into  pale-purply  mists  in  the   declining   sun,   of   long,
sharp-pointed fir shadows falling over the meadow  beyond  the  brook,  of
still, crimson-budded maples around a mirrorlike wood pool, of a  wakening
in the world and a stir of hidden pulses under the gray  sod.  The  spring
was abroad in the land and Marilla's sober, middle-aged step  was  lighter
and swifter because of its deep, primal gladness.
    Her eyes dwelt affectionately on Green Gables,  peering  through  its
network of trees and reflecting the sunlight  back  from  its  windows  in
several little coruscations of glory. Marilla, as  she  picked  her  steps
along the damp lane, thought that it was really  a  satisfaction  to  know
that she was going home to a briskly snapping wood fire and a table nicely
spread for tea, instead of to the cold comfort of old Aid meeting evenings
before Anne had come to Green Gables.
    Consequently, when Marilla entered her kitchen  and  found  the  fire
black out, with no sign of Anne anywhere, she felt justly disappointed and
irritated. She had told Anne to  be  sure  and  have  tea  ready  at  five
o'clock, but now she must hurry to take  off  her  second-best  dress  and
prepare the meal herself against Matthew's return from plowing.
    "I'll settle Miss Anne when she comes home," said Marilla grimly,  as
she shaved up kindlings with a carving knife and with more  vim  than  was
strictly necessary. Matthew had come in and was waiting patiently for  his
tea in his corner.  "She's  gadding  off  somewhere  with  Diana,  writing
stories or  practicing  dialogues  or  some  such  tomfoolery,  and  never
thinking once about the time or her duties. She's just got to be pulled up
short and sudden on this sort of thing. I don't care if  Mrs.  Allan  does
say she's the brightest and sweetest child  she  ever  knew.  She  may  be
bright and sweet enough, but her head is  full  of  nonsense  and  there's
never any knowing what shape it'll break out in next. Just as soon as  she
grows out of one freak she takes up with another. But  there!  Here  I  am
saying the very thing I was so riled with Rachel Lynde for saying  at  the
Aid today. I was real glad when Mrs. Allan spoke up for Anne, for  if  she
hadn't I  know  I'd  have  said  something  too  sharp  to  Rachel  before
everybody. Anne's got plenty of faults, goodness knows, and far be it from
me to deny it. But I'm bringing her up and not Rachel  Lynde,  who'd  pick
faults in the Angel Gabriel himself if he lived in Avonlea. Just the same,
Anne has no business to leave the house like this when I told her she  was
to stay home this afternoon and look after things. I must  say,  with  all
her faults, I never found her disobedient or untrustworthy before and  I'm
real sorry to find her so now."
    "Well now, I dunno," said Matthew, who, being patient and  wise  and,
above all, hungry, had deemed it best to let Marilla talk  her  wrath  out
unhindered, having  learned  by  experience  that  she  got  through  with
whatever work was  on  hand  much  quicker  if  not  delayed  by  untimely
argument. "Perhaps you're judging her too hasty, Marilla. Don't  call  her
untrustworthy until you're sure she has disobeyed you. Mebbe it can all be
explained-Anne's a great hand at explaining."
    "She's not here when I told her to stay," retorted Marilla. "I reckon
she'll find it hard to explain that to my satisfaction. Of course  I  knew
you'd take her part, Matthew. But I'm bringing her up, not you."
    It was dark when supper was ready, and still no sign of Anne,  coming
hurriedly over the log bridge or up Lover's Lane, breathless and repentant
with a sense of neglected duties. Marilla washed and put away  the  dishes
grimly. Then, wanting a candle to light her way down the cellar, she  went
up to the east gable for the one that generally  stood  on  Anne's  table.
Lighting it, she turned around to see Anne herself lying on the bed,  face
downward among the pillows.
    "Mercy on us," said astonished Marilla, "have you been asleep, Anne?"
    "No," was the muffled reply.
    "Are you sick then?" demanded Marilla anxiously, going  over  to  the
    Anne cowered deeper into her pillows as if desirous of hiding herself
forever from mortal eyes.
    "No. But please, Marilla, go away and don't look at me.  I'm  in  the
depths of despair and I don't care who gets head in class  or  writes  the
best composition or sings in  the  Sundayschool  choir  any  more.  Little
things like that are of no importance now because  I  don't  suppose  I'll
ever be able to go anywhere again. My career is closed.  Please,  Marilla,
go away and don't look at me."
    "Did anyone ever hear the like?"  the  mystified  Marilla  wanted  to
know. "Anne Shirley, whatever is the matter with you? What have you  done?
Get right up this minute and tell me. This minute, I say. There now,  what
is it?"
    Anne had slid to the floor in despairing obedience.
    "Look at my hair, Marilla," she whispered.
    Accordingly, Marilla lifted her candle and looked  scrutinizingly  at
Anne's hair, flowing in heavy masses down her back.  It  certainly  had  a
very strange appearance.
    "Anne Shirley, what have you done to your hair? Why, it's GREEN!"
    Green it might be called, if it were any earthly color-a queer, dull,
bronzy green, with streaks here and there of the original red to  heighten
the ghastly effect. Never in all her life had  Marilla  seen  anything  so
grotesque as Anne's hair at that moment.
    "Yes, it's green," moaned Anne. "I thought nothing could be as bad as
red hair. But now I know it's ten times worse  to  have  green  hair.  Oh,
Marilla, you little know how utterly wretched I am."
    "I little know how you got into this fix, but I mean  to  find  out,"
said Marilla. "Come right down to the kitchen-it's too  cold  up  here-and
tell me just what you've done. I've been  expecting  something  queer  for
some time. You haven't got into any scrape for over two months, and I  was
sure another one was due. Now, then, what did you do to your hair?"
    "I dyed it."
    "Dyed it! Dyed your hair! Anne Shirley, didn't  you  know  it  was  a
wicked thing to do?"
    "Yes, I knew it was a little wicked," admitted Anne. "But  I  thought
it was worth while to be a little wicked to get rid of red hair. I counted
the cost, Marilla. Besides, I meant to be extra good in other ways to make
up for it."
    "Well," said Marilla sarcastically, "if  I'd  decided  it  was  worth
while to dye my hair I'd have dyed it a decent color at least. I  wouldn't
have dyed it green."
    "But I  didn't  mean  to  dye  it  green,  Marilla,"  protested  Anne
dejectedly. "If I was wicked I meant to be wicked to some purpose. He said
it would turn my hair a beautiful raven  black-he  positively  assured  me
that it would. How could I doubt his word, Marilla? I know what  it  feels
like to have your word doubted.  And  Mrs.  Allan  says  we  should  never
suspect anyone of not telling us the  truth  unless  we  have  proof  that
they're not. I have proof now-green hair is proof enough for anybody.  But
I hadn't then and I believed every word he said IMPLICITLY."
    "Who said? Who are you talking about?"
    "The peddler that was here this afternoon. I bought the dye from him."
    "Anne Shirley, how often have I told you never to let  one  of  those
Italians in the house! I don't believe in encouraging them to come  around
at all."
    "Oh, I didn't let him in the house. I remembered what  you  told  me,
and I went out, carefully shut the door, and looked at his things  on  the
step. Besides, he wasn't an Italian-he was a German Jew. He had a big  box
full of very interesting things and he told me he was working hard to make
enough money to bring his wife and children out from Germany. He spoke  so
feelingly about them that it touched my heart. I wanted to  buy  something
from him to help him in such a worthy object. Then all at once I  saw  the
bottle of hair dye. The peddler said it was warranted to dye  any  hair  a
beautiful raven black and wouldn't wash off. In a trice I saw myself  with
beautiful raven-black hair and the temptation was  irresistible.  But  the
price of the bottle was seventy-five cents and I had only fifty cents left
out of my chicken money. I think the peddler had a very kind heart, for he
said that, seeing it was me, he'd sell it for fifty  cents  and  that  was
just giving it away. So I bought it, and as soon as he had gone I came  up
here and applied it with an old hairbrush as the directions said.  I  used
up the whole bottle, and oh, Marilla, when I saw  the  dreadful  color  it
turned my hair I repented of being wicked, I can tell you. And  I've  been
repenting ever since."
    "Well, I hope you'll repent to good purpose," said Marilla  severely,
"and that you've got your eyes opened to where your vanity  has  led  you,
Anne. Goodness knows what's to be done. I suppose the first  thing  is  to
give your hair a good washing and see if that will do any good."
    Accordingly, Anne washed her hair, scrubbing it vigorously with  soap
and water, but for all the difference it made she might as well have  been
scouring its original red. The peddler had certainly spoken the truth when
he declared that the dye wouldn't wash off, however his veracity might  be
impeached in other respects.
    "Oh, Marilla, what shall I do?" questioned  Anne  in  tears.  "I  can
never  live  this  down.  People  have  pretty  well  forgotten  my  other
mistakes-the liniment cake and setting  Diana  drunk  and  flying  into  a
temper with Mrs. Lynde. But they'll never forget this. They will  think  I
am not respectable. Oh, Marilla, `what a tangled web we weave  when  first
we practice to deceive.' That is poetry, but it is true. And oh, how Josie
Pye will laugh! Marilla, I CANNOT face Josie Pye. I am the unhappiest girl
in Prince Edward Island."
    Anne's unhappiness continued for a week. During that  time  she  went
nowhere and shampooed her hair every day. Diana alone  of  outsiders  knew
the fatal secret, but she promised solemnly never to tell, and it  may  be
stated here and now that she kept her word. At the end of the week Marilla
said decidedly:
    "It's no use, Anne. That is fast dye if ever there was any. Your hair
must be cut off; there is no other way. You can't go out with  it  looking
like that."
    Anne's lips quivered, but she realized the bitter truth of  Marilla's
remarks. With a dismal sigh she went for the scissors.
    "Please cut it off at once, Marilla, and have it  over.  Oh,  I  feel
that my heart is broken. This is such an unromantic affliction. The  girls
in books lose their hair in fevers or sell it to get money for  some  good
deed, and I'm sure I wouldn't mind losing my hair  in  some  such  fashion
half so much. But there is nothing comforting in having your hair cut  off
because you've dyed it a dreadful color, is there? I'm going to  weep  all
the time you're cutting it off, if it won't interfere.  It  seems  such  a
tragic thing."
    Anne wept then, but later on, when she went upstairs  and  looked  in
the glass, she was calm with despair. Marilla had done her work thoroughly
and it had been necessary to shingle the hair as closely as possible.  The
result was not becoming, to state the case  as  mildly  as  may  be.  Anne
promptly turned her glass to the wall.
    "I'll never, never look at myself again until  my  hair  grows,"  she
exclaimed passionately.
    Then she suddenly righted the glass.
    "Yes, I will, too. I'd do penance for being  wicked  that  way.  I'll
look at myself every time I come to my room and see how ugly I am.  And  I
won't try to imagine it away, either. I never thought I was vain about  my
hair, of all things, but now I know I was, in  spite  of  its  being  red,
because it was so long and thick and curly. I expect something will happen
to my nose next."
    Anne's clipped head made a  sensation  in  school  on  the  following
Monday, but to her relief nobody guessed the real reason for it, not  even
Josie Pye, who, however, did not fail to inform Anne that she looked  like
a perfect scarecrow.
    "I didn't say anything when Josie said that  to  me,"  Anne  confided
that evening to Marilla, who was lying  on  the  sofa  after  one  of  her
headaches, "because I thought it was part of my punishment and I ought  to
bear it patiently. It's hard to be told you look like a  scarecrow  and  I
wanted to say something back. But I didn't. I just swept her one  scornful
look and then I forgave her. It makes you  feel  very  virtuous  when  you
forgive people, doesn't it? I mean to devote all my energies to being good
after this and I shall never try to be beautiful  again.  Of  course  it's
better to be good. I know it is, but it's sometimes so hard to  believe  a
thing even when you know it. I do really want to be  good,  Marilla,  like
you and Mrs. Allan and Miss Stacy, and grow up to  be  a  credit  to  you.
Diana says when my hair begins to grow to tie a black velvet ribbon around
my head with a bow at one side. She  says  she  thinks  it  will  be  very
becoming. I will call it a snood-that sounds so romantic. But am I talking
too much, Marilla? Does it hurt your head?"
    "My head is better now. It was terrible bad this  afternoon,  though.
These headaches of mine are getting worse and worse. I'll have  to  see  a
doctor about them. As for your chatter, I don't know that I  mind  it-I've
got so used to it."
    Which was Marilla's way of saying that she liked to hear it.

                       28. An Unfortunate Lily Maid

    OF course you must be Elaine, Anne," said Diana. "I could never  have
the courage to float down there."
    "Nor I," said Ruby Gillis, with a shiver. "I don't mind floating down
when there's two or three of us in the flat and we can sit  up.  It's  fun
then. But to lie down and pretend I was  dead-I  just  couldn't.  I'd  die
really of fright."
    "Of course it would be romantic," conceded Jane Andrews, "but I  know
I couldn't keep still. I'd be popping up every minute or so to see where I
was and if I wasn't drifting too far out. And you know, Anne,  that  would
spoil the effect."
    "But it's so ridiculous to have a redheaded  Elaine,"  mourned  Anne.
"I'm not afraid to float  down  and  I'd  love  to  be  Elaine.  But  it's
ridiculous just the same. Ruby ought to be Elaine because she is  so  fair
and has such lovely long  golden  hairElaine  had  `all  her  bright  hair
streaming down,' you know. And Elaine was the lily maid. Now, a red-haired
person cannot be a lily maid."
    "Your complexion is just as fair as Ruby's,"  said  Diana  earnestly,
"and your hair is ever so much darker than it used to be  before  you  cut
    "Oh, do you really think so?" exclaimed  Anne,  flushing  sensitively
with delight. "I've sometimes thought it was myself-but I never  dared  to
ask anyone for fear she would tell me it wasn't. Do you think it could  be
called auburn now, Diana?"
    "Yes, and I think it is real pretty," said Diana, looking  admiringly
at the short, silky curls that clustered over Anne's head and were held in
place by a very jaunty black velvet ribbon and bow.
    They were standing on the bank of  the  pond,  below  Orchard  Slope,
where a little headland fringed with birches ran out from the bank; at its
tip was a  small  wooden  platform  built  out  into  the  water  for  the
convenience of fishermen and duck hunters. Ruby and Jane were spending the
midsummer afternoon with Diana, and Anne had come over to play with them.
    Anne and Diana had spent most of their playtime that  summer  on  and
about the pond. Idlewild  was  a  thing  of  the  past,  Mr.  Bell  having
ruthlessly cut down the little circle of trees in his back pasture in  the
spring. Anne had sat among the stumps and wept, not without an eye to  the
romance of it; but she was speedily consoled, for, after all, as  she  and
Diana said, big girls of thirteen, going on fourteen,  were  too  old  for
such childish amusements as playhouses, and there  were  more  fascinating
sports to be found about the pond. It was splendid to fish for trout  over
the bridge and the two girls learned to row themselves about in the little
flat-bottomed dory Mr. Barry kept for duck shooting.
    It was Anne's idea that  they  dramatize  Elaine.  They  had  studied
Tennyson's poem in school the  preceding  winter,  the  Superintendent  of
Education having prescribed it in the English course for the Prince Edward
Island schools. They had analyzed and parsed it and torn it to  pieces  in
general until it was a wonder there was any meaning at all left in it  for
them, but at least the fair lily maid and Lancelot and Guinevere and  King
Arthur had become very real people to  them,  and  Anne  was  devoured  by
secret regret that she had not been born in Camelot. Those days, she said,
were so much more romantic than the present.
    Anne's plan was hailed with enthusiasm. The girls had discovered that
if the flat were pushed off from the landing place  it  would  drift  down
with the current under the bridge and finally  strand  itself  on  another
headland lower down which ran out at a curve in the pond. They  had  often
gone down like this and nothing  could  be  more  convenient  for  playing
    "Well,  I'll  be  Elaine,"  said  Anne,  yielding  reluctantly,  for,
although she would have been delighted to play  the  principal  character,
yet her artistic sense demanded fitness for it and  this,  she  felt,  her
limitations made impossible. "Ruby, you must be King Arthur and Jane  will
be Guinevere and Diana must  be  Lancelot.  But  first  you  must  be  the
brothers and the father. We can't have the old dumb servitor because there
isn't room for two in the flat when one is lying down. We  must  pall  the
barge all its length in blackest samite. That  old  black  shawl  of  your
mother's will be just the thing, Diana."
    The black shawl having been procured, Anne spread it  over  the  flat
and then lay down on the bottom, with closed eyes and  hands  folded  over
her breast.
    "Oh, she does look really dead,"  whispered  Ruby  Gillis  nervously,
watching the still, white little face under the flickering shadows of  the
birches. "It makes me feel frightened, girls. Do you suppose  it's  really
right to act like this? Mrs. Lynde says that all play-acting is abominably
    "Ruby, you shouldn't talk about Mrs. Lynde," said Anne severely.  "It
spoils the effect because this is hundreds of years before Mrs. Lynde  was
born. Jane, you arrange this. It's silly for Elaine  to  be  talking  when
she's dead."
    Jane rose to the occasion. Cloth of gold for coverlet there was none,
but an  old  piano  scarf  of  yellow  Japanese  crepe  was  an  excellent
substitute. A white lily was not obtainable just then, but the effect of a
tall blue iris placed in one of Anne's folded hands was all that could  be
    "Now, she's all ready," said Jane. "We must kiss her quiet brows and,
Diana, you say, `Sister, farewell forever,' and Ruby, you say,  `Farewell,
sweet sister" both of you as sorrowfully as you possibly  can.  Anne,  for
goodness sake smile a little. You know Elaine `lay as though she  smiled.'
That's better. Now push the flat off."
    The flat was accordingly pushed off, scraping  roughly  over  an  old
embedded stake in the process. Diana and Jane and Ruby  only  waited  long
enough to see it caught in the current and headed for  the  bridge  before
scampering up through the woods, across the road, and down  to  the  lower
headland where, as Lancelot and Guinevere and the King, they were to be in
readiness to receive the lily maid.
    For a few minutes Anne, drifting slowly down, enjoyed the romance  of
her situation to the full. Then something happened not  at  all  romantic.
The flat began to leak. In a very few moments it was necessary for  Elaine
to scramble to her feet, pick up her cloth of gold coverlet  and  pall  of
blackest samite and gaze blankly at a big crack in the bottom of her barge
through which the water was literally pouring. That  sharp  stake  at  the
landing had torn off the strip of batting nailed on the flat. Anne did not
know this, but it did not take her long to  realize  that  she  was  in  a
dangerous plight. At this rate the flat would fill and sink long before it
could drift to the lower headland. Where were the oars? Left behind at the
    Anne gave one gasping little scream which nobody ever heard; she  was
white to the lips, but she did not lose her self-possession. There was one
chance-just one.
    "I was horribly frightened," she told Mrs. Allan the next  day,  "and
it seemed like years while the flat was drifting down to  the  bridge  and
the water rising in it every moment. I prayed, Mrs. Allan, most earnestly,
but I didn't shut my eyes to pray, for I knew the only way God could  save
me was to let the flat float close enough to one of the bridge  piles  for
me to climb up on it. You know the piles are  just  old  tree  trunks  and
there are lots of knots and old branch stubs on them.  It  was  proper  to
pray, but I had to do my part by watching out and right well I knew it.  I
just said, `Dear God, please take the flat close to a pile and I'll do the
rest,' over and over again. Under such circumstances you don't think  much
about making a flowery prayer. But mine was answered, for the flat  bumped
right into a pile for a minute and I flung the scarf and the shawl over my
shoulder and scrambled up on a big providential stub.  And  there  I  was,
Mrs. Allan, clinging to that slippery old pile with no way of  getting  up
or down. It was a very unromantic position, but I didn't think about  that
at the time. You don't think much about romance when you have just escaped
from a watery grave. I said a grateful prayer at once and then I gave  all
my attention to holding on tight, for I knew I  should  probably  have  to
depend on human aid to get back to dry land."
    The  flat  drifted  under  the  bridge  and  then  promptly  sank  in
midstream. Ruby, Jane,  and  Diana,  already  awaiting  it  on  the  lower
headland, saw it disappear before their very eyes and had not a doubt  but
that Anne had gone down with it. For a moment they stood still,  white  as
sheets, frozen with horror at the tragedy; then, shrieking at the tops  of
their voices, they started on a frantic run up through  the  woods,  never
pausing as they crossed the main road to glance the  way  of  the  bridge.
Anne, clinging desperately to her precarious foothold,  saw  their  flying
forms and heard their shrieks. Help would soon  come,  but  meanwhile  her
position was a very uncomfortable one.
    The minutes passed by, each seeming an hour to the  unfortunate  lily
maid. Why didn't somebody come? Where had the girls gone? Suppose they had
fainted, one and all! Suppose nobody ever came! Suppose she grew so  tired
and cramped that she could hold on no longer! Anne looked  at  the  wicked
green depths below her, wavering with long, oily  shadows,  and  shivered.
Her imagination began to suggest all manner of gruesome  possibilities  to
    Then, just as she thought she really could not endure the ache in her
arms and wrists another moment,  Gilbert  Blythe  came  rowing  under  the
bridge in Harmon Andrews's dory!
    Gilbert glanced up and, much to his amazement, beheld a little  white
scornful face looking down upon him with big, frightened but also scornful
gray eyes.
    "Anne Shirley! How on earth did you get there?" he exclaimed.
    Without waiting for an  answer  he  pulled  close  to  the  pile  and
extended his hand. There was no help for it;  Anne,  clinging  to  Gilbert
Blythe's hand, scrambled down into the dory, where she sat,  drabbled  and
furious, in the stern with her arms full of dripping shawl and wet  crepe.
It  was  certainly  extremely  difficult  to  be   dignified   under   the
    "What has happened, Anne?" asked Gilbert, taking up his oars.
    "We were  playing  Elaine"  explained  Anne  frigidly,  without  even
looking at her rescuer, "and I had to drift down to Camelot in the barge-I
mean the flat. The flat began to leak and I climbed out on the  pile.  The
girls went for help. Will you be kind enough to row me to the landing?"
    Gilbert  obligingly  rowed  to  the  landing  and  Anne,   disdaining
assistance, sprang nimbly on shore.
    "I'm very much obliged to you," she  said  haughtily  as  she  turned
away. But Gilbert had also sprung from the boat and now laid  a  detaining
hand on her arm.
    "Anne," he said hurriedly, "look here. Can't we be good friends?  I'm
awfully sorry I made fun of your hair that time. I didn't mean to vex  you
and I only meant it for a joke. Besides, it's so long ago.  I  think  your
hair is awfully pretty now-honest I do. Let's be friends."
    For  a  moment  Anne  hesitated.  She  had  an  odd,  newly  awakened
consciousness under all her outraged dignity that the half-shy, half-eager
expression in Gilbert's hazel eyes was something that  was  very  good  to
see. Her heart gave a quick, queer little beat. But the bitterness of  her
old grievance promptly stiffened up her wavering determination. That scene
of two years before flashed back into her recollection as vividly as if it
had taken place yesterday. Gilbert had  called  her,  `carrots',  and  had
brought about her disgrace before the whole school. Her resentment,  which
to other and older people might be as laughable as its cause,  was  in  no
whit allayed and softened by time seemingly. She hated Gilbert Blythe! She
would never forgive him!
    "No," she said coldly, "I shall never be friends  with  you,  Gilbert
Blythe; and I don't want to be!"
    "All right!" Gilbert sprang into his skiff with an angry color in his
cheeks. "I'll never ask you to be friends again, Anne Shirley. And I don't
care either!"
    He pulled away with swift defiant  strokes,  and  Anne  went  up  the
steep, ferny little path under the maples. She held her  head  very  high,
but she was conscious of an odd feeling of regret. She almost  wished  she
had answered Gilbert differently. Of course, he had insulted her terribly,
but still-! Altogether, Anne rather thought it would be a  relief  to  sit
down and have a good cry. She was really quite unstrung, for the  reaction
from her fright and cramped clinging was making itself felt.
    Halfway up the path she met Jane and Diana rushing back to  the  pond
in a state narrowly removed from positive frenzy. They had found nobody at
Orchard Slope, both Mr. and Mrs. Barry being away. Here  Ruby  Gillis  had
succumbed to hysterics, and was left to recover  from  them  as  best  she
might, while Jane and Diana flew through the Haunted Wood and  across  the
brook to Green Gables. There they had found nobody either, for Marilla had
gone to Carmody and Matthew was making hay in the back field.
    "Oh, Anne," gasped Diana, fairly falling on  the  former's  neck  and
weeping with relief and delight, "oh, Anne-we thought-you were-drowned-and
we felt like murderers-because we had made-you be-Elaine. And Ruby  is  in
hysterics-oh, Anne, how did you escape?"
    "I climbed up on one of the  piles,"  explained  Anne  wearily,  "and
Gilbert Blythe came along in Mr. Andrews's dory and brought me to land."
    "Oh, Anne, how splendid of him! Why, it's so  romantic!"  said  Jane,
finding breath enough for utterance at last. "Of course  you'll  speak  to
him after this."
    "Of course I won't," flashed Anne, with a momentary return of her old
spirit. "And I don't want ever to hear the  word  `romantic'  again,  Jane
Andrews. I'm awfully sorry you were so frightened, girls.  It  is  all  my
fault. I feel sure I was born under an unlucky star. Everything I do  gets
me or my dearest friends into a scrape. We've gone and lost your  father's
flat, Diana, and I have a presentiment that we'll not be allowed to row on
the pond any more."
    Anne's presentiment proved more trustworthy  than  presentiments  are
apt to  do.  Great  was  the  consternation  in  the  Barry  and  Cuthbert
households when the events of the afternoon became known.
    "Will you ever have any sense, Anne?" groaned Marilla.
    "Oh, yes, I think I will, Marilla," returned Anne  optimistically.  A
good cry, indulged in the grateful solitude of the east gable, had soothed
her nerves and restored her  to  her  wonted  cheerfulness.  "I  think  my
prospects of becoming sensible are brighter now than ever"
    "I don't see how," said Marilla.
    "Well," explained Anne, "I've  learned  a  new  and  valuable  lesson
today. Ever since I came to Green Gables I've been  making  mistakes,  and
each mistake has helped to cure me of some great shortcoming.  The  affair
of the amethyst brooch cured me of meddling with things that didn't belong
to me. The Haunted Wood mistake cured me of  letting  my  imagination  run
away with me. The liniment  cake  mistake  cured  me  of  carelessness  in
cooking. Dyeing my hair cured me of vanity. I never think  about  my  hair
and nose now-at least, very seldom. And today's mistake is going  to  cure
me of being too romantic. I have come to the conclusion that it is no  use
trying to be romantic in Avonlea. It was probably easy enough  in  towered
Camelot hundreds of years ago, but romance is not appreciated now. I  feel
quite sure that you will soon see  a  great  improvement  in  me  in  this
respect, Marilla."
    "I'm sure I hope so," said Marilla skeptically.
    But Matthew, who had been sitting mutely in his corner, laid  a  hand
on Anne's shoulder when Marilla had gone out.
    "Don't give up all your romance, Anne," he whispered shyly, "a little
of it is a good thing-not too much, of course-but keep  a  little  of  it,
Anne, keep a little of it."

                        29. An Epoch in Anne's Life

    Anne was bringing the cows home from  the  back  pasture  by  way  of
Lover's Lane. It was a September evening and all the gaps and clearings in
the woods were brimmed up with ruby sunset light. Here and there the  lane
was splashed with it, but for the most part it was already  quite  shadowy
beneath the maples, and the spaces under the firs were filled with a clear
violet dusk like airy wine. The winds were out in their tops, and there is
no sweeter music on earth than that which the wind makes in the fir  trees
at evening.
    The cows swung  placidly  down  the  lane,  and  Anne  followed  them
dreamily, repeating aloud the battle canto  from  Marmion-which  had  also
been part of their English course the  preceding  winter  and  which  Miss
Stacy had made them learn off by heart-and exulting in its  rushing  lines
and the clash of spears in its imagery. When she came to the lines

               The stubborn spearsmen still made good
               Their dark impenetrable wood,

    she stopped in ecstasy to shut her eyes that  she  might  the  better
fancy herself one of that heroic ring. When she opened them again  it  was
to behold Diana coming through the gate that led into the Barry field  and
looking so important that Anne instantly divined  there  was  news  to  be
told. But betray too eager curiosity she would not.
    "Isn't this evening just like a purple dream, Diana? It makes  me  so
glad to be alive. In the mornings I always think the  mornings  are  best;
but when evening comes I think it's lovelier still."
    "It's a very fine evening," said Diana, "but oh, I  have  such  news,
Anne. Guess. You can have three guesses."
    "Charlotte Gillis is going to be married in the church after all  and
Mrs. Allan wants us to decorate it," cried Anne.
    "No. Charlotte's beau won't agree to that, because  nobody  ever  has
been married in the church yet, and he thinks it would seem too much  like
a funeral. It's too mean, because it would be such fun. Guess again."
    "Jane's mother is going to let her have a birthday party?"
    Diana shook her head, her black eyes dancing with merriment.
    "I can't think what it can be," said Anne in  despair,  "unless  it's
that Moody Spurgeon MacPherson saw  you  home  from  prayer  meeting  last
night. Did he?"
    "I should think not," exclaimed Diana  indignantly.  "I  wouldn't  be
likely to boast of it if he did, the horrid creature! I knew you  couldn't
guess it. Mother  had  a  letter  from  Aunt  Josephine  today,  and  Aunt
Josephine wants you and me to go to town next Tuesday and  stop  with  her
for the Exhibition. There!"
    "Oh, Diana," whispered Anne, finding it necessary to lean up  against
a maple tree for support, "do you really mean it? But I'm  afraid  Marilla
won't let me go. She will say that she can't encourage gadding about. That
was what she said last week when Jane invited me to go with them in  their
double-seated buggy to the American concert at the White  Sands  Hotel.  I
wanted to go, but Marilla said I'd be better at home learning  my  lessons
and so  would  Jane.  I  was  bitterly  disappointed,  Diana.  I  felt  so
heartbroken that I wouldn't say my prayers when  I  went  to  bed.  But  I
repented of that and got up in the middle of the night and said them."
    "I'll tell you," said Diana, "we'll get Mother to ask Marilla. She'll
be more likely to let you go then; and if she does we'll have the time  of
our lives, Anne. I've never been to an Exhibition, and it's so aggravating
to hear the other girls talking about their trips. Jane and Ruby have been
twice, and they're going this year again."
    "I'm not going to think about it at all until I know whether I can go
or not," said Anne resolutely. "If I did and  then  was  disappointed,  it
would be more than I could bear. But in case I do go I'm very glad my  new
coat will be ready by that time. Marilla didn't think I needed a new coat.
She said my old one would do very well for another winter and that I ought
to be satisfied with having  a  new  dress.  The  dress  is  very  pretty,
Diana-navy blue and made so fashionably. Marilla always makes  my  dresses
fashionably now, because she says she doesn't intend to have Matthew going
to Mrs. Lynde to make them. I'm so glad. It is ever so much easier  to  be
good if your clothes are fashionable. At least, it is  easier  for  me.  I
suppose it doesn't make such a difference to naturally  good  people.  But
Matthew said I must have a new coat, so Marilla bought a lovely  piece  of
blue broadcloth, and it's being made by a real dressmaker over at Carmody.
It's to be done Saturday night, and  I'm  trying  not  to  imagine  myself
walking up the church aisle on Sunday in my new suit and cap, because  I'm
afraid it isn't right to imagine such things. But it just  slips  into  my
mind in spite of me. My cap is so pretty. Matthew bought it for me the day
we were over at Carmody. It is one of those little blue velvet  ones  that
are all the rage, with gold cord and tassels. Your  new  hat  is  elegant,
Diana, and so becoming. When I saw you come into  church  last  Sunday  my
heart swelled with pride to think you  were  my  dearest  friend.  Do  you
suppose it's wrong for us to think so much about our clothes? Marilla says
it is very sinful. But it is such an interesting subject, isn't it?"
    Marilla agreed to let Anne go to town, and it was arranged  that  Mr.
Barry should take the girls in on the following Tuesday. As  Charlottetown
was thirty miles away and Mr. Barry wished to go and return the same  day,
it was necessary to make a very early start. But Anne counted it all  joy,
and was up before sunrise on Tuesday morning. A  glance  from  her  window
assured her that the day would be fine, for the  eastern  sky  behind  the
firs of the Haunted Wood was all silvery and cloudless. Through the gap in
the trees a light was shining in the western gable  of  Orchard  Slope,  a
token that Diana was also up.
    Anne was dressed by the time Matthew had the  fire  on  and  had  the
breakfast ready when Marilla came down, but for her own part was much  too
excited to eat. After breakfast the jaunty new cap and jacket were donned,
and Anne hastened over the brook and up through the firs to Orchard Slope.
Mr. Barry and Diana were waiting for her, and they were soon on the road.
    It was a long drive, but Anne and Diana enjoyed every minute  of  it.
It was delightful to rattle along over the moist roads in  the  early  red
sunlight that was creeping across the shorn harvest fields.  The  air  was
fresh and crisp, and little smoke-blue mists curled  through  the  valleys
and floated off from the hills. Sometimes  the  road  went  through  woods
where maples were beginning to hang  out  scarlet  banners;  sometimes  it
crossed rivers on bridges that made Anne's  flesh  cringe  with  the  old,
half-delightful fear; sometimes it wound along a harbor shore  and  passed
by a little cluster of weather-gray fishing  huts;  again  it  mounted  to
hills whence a far sweep of curving upland  or  misty-blue  sky  could  be
seen; but wherever it went there was much of interest to discuss.  It  was
almost noon when they reached town and found their way to "Beechwood."  It
was quite a fine old mansion, set back from the street in a  seclusion  of
green elms and branching beeches. Miss Barry met them at the door  with  a
twinkle in her sharp black eyes.
    "So you've come to see me at last, you Anne-girl," she said.  "Mercy,
child, how you have grown! You're taller than I am, I declare. And  you're
ever so much better looking than you used to be, too. But I dare  say  you
know that without being told."
    "Indeed I didn't," said Anne radiantly. "I know I'm not  so  freckled
as I used to be, so I've much to be thankful  for,  but  I  really  hadn't
dared to hope there was any other improvement. I'm so glad you think there
is,  Miss  Barry."  Miss  Barry's  house   was   furnished   with   "great
magnificence," as Anne told Marilla  afterward.  The  two  little  country
girls were rather abashed by the splendor of the parlor where  Miss  Barry
left them when she went to see about dinner.
    "Isn't it just like a palace?" whispered Diana. "I never was in  Aunt
Josephine's house before, and I'd no idea it was so  grand.  I  just  wish
Julia Bell could see this-she puts on such airs about her mother's parlor."
    "Velvet carpet," sighed Anne luxuriously, "and  silk  curtains!  I've
dreamed of such things, Diana. But do you know I don't believe I feel very
comfortable with them after all. There are so many things in this room and
all so splendid that there is  no  scope  for  imagination.  That  is  one
consolation when you are poor-there  are  so  many  more  things  you  can
imagine about."
    Their sojourn in town was something that Anne and  Diana  dated  from
for years. From first to last it was crowded with delights.
    On Wednesday Miss Barry took them to the Exhibition grounds and  kept
them there all day.
    "It was splendid,"  Anne  related  to  Marilla  later  on.  "I  never
imagined anything so interesting. I don't really know which department was
the most interesting. I think I liked the horses and the flowers  and  the
fancywork best. Josie Pye took first prize for knitted lace.  I  was  real
glad she did. And I was glad that I felt glad, for it shows I'm improving,
don't you think, Marilla, when I  can  rejoice  in  Josie's  success?  Mr.
Harmon Andrews took second prize for Gravenstein apples and Mr. Bell  took
first prize for a pig. Diana said she thought  it  was  ridiculous  for  a
Sunday-school superintendent to take a prize in pigs, but I don't see why.
Do you? She said she would always think of  it  after  this  when  he  was
praying so solemnly. Clara Louise MacPherson took a  prize  for  painting,
and Mrs. Lynde got first prize for homemade butter and cheese. So  Avonlea
was pretty well represented, wasn't it? Mrs. Lynde was there that day, and
I never knew how much I really liked her until I  saw  her  familiar  face
among all those strangers. There were thousands of people there,  Marilla.
It made me feel dreadfully insignificant. And Miss Barry took us up to the
grandstand to see the horse races. Mrs. Lynde wouldn't go; she said  horse
racing was an abomination and, she being a church member, thought  it  her
bounden duty to set a good example by staying away. But there were so many
there I don't believe Mrs. Lynde's absence would ever be noticed. I  don't
think, though, that I ought to go very often to horse races, because  they
ARE awfully fascinating. Diana got so excited that she offered to  bet  me
ten cents that the red horse would win. I didn't believe he would,  but  I
refused to bet, because I wanted to tell Mrs. Allan all about  everything,
and I felt sure it wouldn't do to tell her that. It's always wrong  to  do
anything you can't tell the minister's wife. It's  as  good  as  an  extra
conscience to have a minister's wife for your friend. And I was very  glad
I didn't bet, because the red horse DID win, and I  would  have  lost  ten
cents. So you see that virtue was its own reward. We saw a man go up in  a
balloon. I'd love to go up in a  balloon,  Marilla;  it  would  be  simply
thrilling; and we saw a man selling fortunes. You paid him ten cents and a
little bird picked out your fortune for you. Miss Barry gave Diana and  me
ten cents each to have our fortunes told. Mine was that I  would  marry  a
dark-complected man who was very wealthy, and I would go across  water  to
live. I looked carefully at all the dark men  I  saw  after  that,  but  I
didn't care much for any of them, and anyhow I suppose it's too  early  to
be looking out for  him  yet.  Oh,  it  was  a  never-to-beforgotten  day,
Marilla. I was so tired I couldn't sleep at night. Miss Barry  put  us  in
the spare room, according to promise. It was an elegant room, Marilla, but
somehow sleeping in a spare room isn't what I used to think it was. That's
the worst of growing up, and I'm beginning to realize it. The  things  you
wanted so much when you were a child don't seem half so wonderful  to  you
when you get them."
    Thursday the girls had a drive in the park, and in the  evening  Miss
Barry took them to a concert in the Academy of Music, where a noted  prima
donna was to sing. To Anne the evening was a glittering vision of delight.
    "Oh, Marilla, it was beyond description. I was so excited I  couldn't
even talk, so you may know what it was like.  I  just  sat  in  enraptured
silence. Madame Selitsky was perfectly beautiful, and wore white satin and
diamonds. But when she began to sing I never thought about anything  else.
Oh, I can't tell you how I felt. But it seemed to me that it  could  never
be hard to be good any more. I felt like I do when I look up to the stars.
Tears came into my eyes, but, oh, they were such happy  tears.  I  was  so
sorry when it was all over, and I told Miss Barry I didn't see how  I  was
ever to return to common life again. She said she thought if we went  over
to the restaurant across the street and had an ice cream it might help me.
That sounded so prosaic; but to my surprise I found it true. The ice cream
was delicious, Marilla, and it was so lovely and dissipated to be  sitting
there eating it at eleven o'clock at night. Diana said  she  believed  she
was born for city life. Miss Barry asked me what my  opinion  was,  but  I
said I would have to think it over very seriously before I could tell  her
what I really thought. So I thought it over after I went to bed.  That  is
the to think things out. And I came to the  conclusion,  Marilla,  that  I
wasn't born for city life and that I was glad  of  it.  It's  nice  to  be
eating ice cream at brilliant restaurants at eleven o'clock at night  once
in a while; but as a regular thing I'd rather be  in  the  east  gable  at
eleven, sound asleep, but kind of knowing even in my sleep that the  stars
were shining outside and that the wind was blowing in the firs across  the
brook. I told Miss Barry so at breakfast the next morning and she laughed.
Miss Barry generally laughed at anything I said, even when I said the most
solemn things. I don't think I liked it, Marilla, because I wasn't  trying
to be funny. But she is a most hospitable lady and treated us royally."
    Friday brought going-home time, and Mr. Barry drove in for the girls.
    "Well, I hope you've enjoyed yourselves," said  Miss  Barry,  as  she
bade them good-bye.
    "Indeed we have," said Diana.
    "And you, Anne-girl?"
    "I've enjoyed every minute of the time," said Anne, throwing her arms
impulsively about the old woman's neck and  kissing  her  wrinkled  cheek.
Diana would never have dared to do such a thing and felt rather aghast  at
Anne's freedom. But Miss Barry was pleased, and she stood on  her  veranda
and watched the buggy out of sight. Then she went back into her big  house
with a sigh. It seemed very lonely, lacking those fresh young lives.  Miss
Barry was a rather selfish old lady, if the truth must be  told,  and  had
never cared much for anybody but herself. She valued people only  as  they
were  of  service  to  her  or  amused  her.  Anne  had  amused  her,  and
consequently stood high in the old lady's  good  graces.  But  Miss  Barry
found herself thinking less about Anne's quaint speeches than of her fresh
enthusiasms, her transparent emotions, her little winning  ways,  and  the
sweetness of her eyes and lips.
    "I thought Marilla Cuthbert was  an  old  fool  when  I  heard  she'd
adopted a girl out of an orphan asylum," she said to herself, "but I guess
she didn't make much of a mistake after all. If I'd a child like  Anne  in
the house all the time I'd be a better and happier woman."
    Anne and Diana  found  the  drive  home  as  pleasant  as  the  drive
in-pleasanter, indeed, since there was  the  delightful  consciousness  of
home waiting at the end of it. It was  sunset  when  they  passed  through
White Sands and turned into the shore road. Beyond, the Avonlea hills came
out darkly against the saffron sky. Behind them the moon was rising out of
the sea that grew all radiant and transfigured in her light. Every  little
cove along the curving road was a marvel of  dancing  ripples.  The  waves
broke with a soft swish on the rocks below them, and the tang of  the  sea
was in the strong, fresh air.
    "Oh, but it's good to be alive and to be going home," breathed Anne.
    When she crossed the log bridge over the brook the kitchen  light  of
Green Gables winked her a friendly welcome back, and through the open door
shone the hearth fire, sending out its warm red glow  athwart  the  chilly
autumn night. Anne ran blithely up the hill and into the kitchen, where  a
hot supper was waiting on the table.
    "So you've got back?" said Marilla, folding up her knitting.
    "Yes, and oh, it's so good to be back," said Anne joyously. "I  could
kiss everything, even to the clock. Marilla, a broiled chicken! You  don't
mean to say you cooked that for me!"
    "Yes, I did," said Marilla. "I thought you'd be hungry after  such  a
drive and need something real appetizing. Hurry and take off your  things,
and we'll have supper as soon as Matthew comes in.  I'm  glad  you've  got
back, I must say. It's been fearful lonesome here without you, and I never
put in four longer days."
    After supper Anne sat before the fire between  Matthew  and  Marilla,
and gave them a full account of her visit.
    "I've had a splendid time," she concluded happily, "and I  feel  that
it marks an epoch in my life. But the best of it all was the coming home."

                    30. The Queens Class Is Organized

    Marilla laid her knitting on her lap and leaned back  in  her  chair.
Her eyes were tired, and she thought  vaguely  that  she  must  see  about
having her glasses changed the next time she went to town,  for  her  eyes
had grown tired very often of late.
    It was nearly dark, for the full November twilight had fallen  around
Green Gables, and the only light in the kitchen came from the dancing  red
flames in the stove.
    Anne was curled up Turk-fashion on the hearthrug,  gazing  into  that
joyous glow where the sunshine of a hundred summers  was  being  distilled
from the maple cordwood. She had been reading, but her book had slipped to
the floor, and now she was dreaming, with a  smile  on  her  parted  lips.
Glittering castles in Spain were shaping themselves out of the  mists  and
rainbows of her lively fancy; adventures wonderful  and  enthralling  were
happening  to  her  in  cloudland-adventures  that   always   turned   out
triumphantly and never involved her in scrapes like those of actual life.
    Marilla looked at her with a tenderness that would  never  have  been
suffered to reveal itself in any clearer light than that soft mingling  of
fireshine and shadow. The lesson of a  love  that  should  display  itself
easily in spoken word and open look was one Marilla could never learn. But
she had learned to love this slim, gray-eyed girl with  an  affection  all
the deeper and stronger from its very undemonstrativeness. Her  love  made
her afraid of being unduly indulgent, indeed. She had  an  uneasy  feeling
that it was rather sinful to set one's heart so  intensely  on  any  human
creature as she had set hers on Anne, and perhaps she performed a sort  of
unconscious penance for this by being stricter and more critical  than  if
the girl had been less dear to her. Certainly Anne herself had no idea how
Marilla loved her. She sometimes thought wistfully that Marilla  was  very
hard to please and distinctly lacking in sympathy and  understanding.  But
she always checked the thought reproachfully, remembering what she owed to
    "Anne," said Marilla abruptly, "Miss Stacy was  here  this  afternoon
when you were out with Diana."
    Anne came back from her other world with a start and a sigh.
    "Was she? Oh, I'm so sorry I wasn't  in.  Why  didn't  you  call  me,
Marilla? Diana and I were only over in the Haunted Wood.  It's  lovely  in
the woods now. All the little wood things-the ferns and the  satin  leaves
and the crackerberries-have gone to sleep, just as if somebody had  tucked
them away until spring under a blanket of leaves. I think it was a  little
gray fairy with a  rainbow  scarf  that  came  tiptoeing  along  the  last
moonlight night and did it. Diana wouldn't say much  about  that,  though.
Diana has never forgotten the scolding her mother gave her about imagining
ghosts into the Haunted  Wood.  It  had  a  very  bad  effect  on  Diana's
imagination. It blighted it. Mrs. Lynde says Myrtle  Bell  is  a  blighted
being. I asked Ruby Gillis why Myrtle was  blighted,  and  Ruby  said  she
guessed it was because her young man had gone back  on  her.  Ruby  Gillis
thinks of nothing but young men, and the older she gets the worse she  is.
Young men are all very well in their place, but it doesn't do to drag them
into everything, does it? Diana and I are thinking seriously of  promising
each other that we will never  marry  but  be  nice  old  maids  and  live
together forever. Diana hasn't quite made up her mind though, because  she
thinks perhaps it would be nobler to  marry  some  wild,  dashing,  wicked
young man and reform him. Diana and I talk  a  great  deal  about  serious
subjects now, you know. We feel that we are so much older than we used  to
be that it isn't becoming to talk of childish matters. It's such a  solemn
thing to be almost fourteen, Marilla. Miss Stacy took all us girls who are
in our teens down to the brook last Wednesday, and talked to us about  it.
She said we couldn't be too careful what habits we formed and what  ideals
we acquired in  our  teens,  because  by  the  time  we  were  twenty  our
characters would be developed and the foundation laid for our whole future
life. And she said if the  foundation  was  shaky  we  could  never  build
anything really worth while on it. Diana and  I  talked  the  matter  over
coming home from school. We felt extremely solemn, Marilla. And we decided
that we would try to be very careful indeed and  form  respectable  habits
and learn all we could and be as sensible as possible, so that by the time
we were twenty our characters would be properly developed. It's  perfectly
appalling to think of being twenty, Marilla. It sounds  so  fearfully  old
and grown up. But why was Miss Stacy here this afternoon?"
    "That is what I want to tell you, Anne, if  you'll  ever  give  me  a
chance to get a word in edgewise. She was talking about you."
    "About  me?"  Anne  looked  rather  scared.  Then  she  flushed   and
    "Oh, I know what she was  saying.  I  meant  to  tell  you,  Marilla,
honestly I did, but I forgot. Miss Stacy caught  me  reading  Ben  Hur  in
school yesterday afternoon when I should have been  studying  my  Canadian
history. Jane Andrews lent it to me. I was reading it at dinner hour,  and
I had just got to the chariot race when school went in. I was simply  wild
to know how it turned outalthough I felt sure Ben Hur must win, because it
wouldn't be poetical justice if he didn't-so I spread the history open  on
my desk lid and then tucked Ben Hur between the desk and my knee.  I  just
looked as if I were studying Canadian history, you  know,  while  all  the
while I was reveling in Ben Hur. I was so interested in it  that  I  never
noticed Miss Stacy coming down the aisle until all at once I  just  looked
up and there she was looking down at me, so reproachful-like. I can't tell
you how ashamed I  felt,  Marilla,  especially  when  I  heard  Josie  Pye
giggling. Miss Stacy took Ben Hur away, but she never said  a  word  then.
She kept me in at recess and talked to me. She said I had done very  wrong
in two respects. First, I was wasting the time I ought to have put  on  my
studies; and secondly, I was deceiving my teacher in  trying  to  make  it
appear I was reading a history when it was  a  storybook  instead.  I  had
never realized until that moment, Marilla,  that  what  I  was  doing  was
deceitful. I was shocked. I  cried  bitterly,  and  asked  Miss  Stacy  to
forgive me and I'd never do such a  thing  again;  and  I  offered  to  do
penance by never so much as looking at Ben Hur for a whole week, not  even
to see how the chariot race turned out. But Miss Stacy said  she  wouldn't
require that, and she forgave me freely. So I think it wasn't very kind of
her to come up here to you about it after all."
    "Miss Stacy never mentioned such a thing to me, Anne,  and  its  only
your guilty conscience that's the matter with you. You have no business to
be taking storybooks to school. You read too many novels  anyhow.  When  I
was a girl I wasn't so much as allowed to look at a novel."
    "Oh, how can you call Ben  Hur  a  novel  when  it's  really  such  a
religious book?" protested Anne. "Of course it's a little too exciting  to
be proper reading for Sunday, and I only read it on weekdays. And I  never
read ANY book now unless either Miss Stacy or Mrs. Allan thinks  it  is  a
proper book for a girl thirteen and three-quarters  to  read.  Miss  Stacy
made me promise that. She found me reading a  book  one  day  called,  The
Lurid Mystery of the Haunted Hall. It was one Ruby  Gillis  had  lent  me,
and, oh, Marilla, it was so fascinating and creepy. It  just  curdled  the
blood in my veins. But Miss Stacy said it was a  very  silly,  unwholesome
book, and she asked me not to read any more of it or any like it. I didn't
mind promising not to read any more like it, but it was AGONIZING to  give
back that book without knowing how it turned out. But  my  love  for  Miss
Stacy stood the test and I did. It's really wonderful, Marilla,  what  you
can do when you're truly anxious to please a certain person."
    "Well, I guess I'll light the lamp and get to work," said Marilla. "I
see plainly that you don't want to hear what Miss Stacy had to say. You're
more interested in the sound of your own tongue than in anything else."
    "Oh, indeed, Marilla, I do want to hear it," cried  Anne  contritely.
"I won't say another word-not one. I know I talk too much, but I am really
trying to overcome it, and although I say far too much, yet  if  you  only
knew how many things I want to say and don't, you'd give  me  some  credit
for it. Please tell me, Marilla."
    "Well, Miss Stacy wants  to  organize  a  class  among  her  advanced
students who mean to study for the entrance examination into Queen's.  She
intends to give them extra lessons for an hour after school. And she  came
to ask Matthew and me if we would like to have you join it.  What  do  you
think about it yourself, Anne? Would you like to go to  Queen's  and  pass
for a teacher?"
    "Oh, Marilla!" Anne straightened to her knees and clasped her  hands.
"It's been the dream of my life-that is, for the  last  six  months,  ever
since Ruby and Jane began to talk of studying  for  the  Entrance.  But  I
didn't say anything about it, because I supposed  it  would  be  perfectly
useless. I'd love to be a teacher. But won't it be  dreadfully  expensive?
Mr. Andrews says it cost him one hundred and fifty dollars to  put  Prissy
through, and Prissy wasn't a dunce in geometry."
    "I guess you needn't worry about that part of it. When Matthew and  I
took you to bring up we resolved we would do the best we could for you and
give you a good education. I believe in a girl being fitted  to  earn  her
own living whether she ever has to or not. You'll always have  a  home  at
Green Gables as long as Matthew and I are here, but nobody knows  what  is
going to happen in this uncertain world, and  it's  just  as  well  to  be
prepared. So you can join the Queen's class if you like, Anne."
    "Oh, Marilla, thank you." Anne flung her arms about  Marilla's  waist
and looked up earnestly into her face. "I'm extremely grateful to you  and
Matthew. And I'll study as hard as I can and do  my  very  best  to  be  a
credit to you. I warn you not to expect much in geometry, but  I  think  I
can hold my own in anything else if I work hard."
    "I dare say you'll get along well enough. Miss  Stacy  says  you  are
bright and diligent." Not for worlds would Marilla  have  told  Anne  just
what Miss Stacy had said about her; that would have been to pamper vanity.
"You needn't rush to any extreme of  killing  yourself  over  your  books.
There is no hurry. You won't be ready to try the Entrance for a year and a
half yet. But it's well to begin in time and be thoroughly grounded,  Miss
Stacy says."
    "I shall take more interest than ever in my studies now,"  said  Anne
blissfully, "because I have a purpose in life. Mr.  Allan  says  everybody
should have a purpose in life and pursue it faithfully. Only  he  says  we
must first make sure that it is a worthy purpose. I would call it a worthy
purpose to want to be a teacher like Miss Stacy, wouldn't you, Marilla?  I
think it's a very noble profession."
    The Queen's class was organized in due  time.  Gilbert  Blythe,  Anne
Shirley, Ruby Gillis, Jane Andrews, Josie Pye, Charlie Sloane,  and  Moody
Spurgeon MacPherson joined it. Diana Barry did not, as her parents did not
intend to send her to Queen's. This seemed nothing short of a calamity  to
Anne. Never, since the night on which Minnie May had had  the  croup,  had
she and Diana been separated in anything. On the evening when the  Queen's
class first remained in school for the extra lessons and Anne saw Diana go
slowly out with the others, to walk home alone through the Birch Path  and
Violet Vale, it was all the former could do to keep her seat  and  refrain
from rushing impulsively after her chum. A lump came into her throat,  and
she hastily retired behind the pages of her uplifted Latin grammar to hide
the tears in her eyes. Not for worlds would Anne have had  Gilbert  Blythe
or Josie Pye see those tears.
    "But, oh, Marilla, I really felt that I had tasted the bitterness  of
death, as Mr. Allan said in his sermon last Sunday, when I  saw  Diana  go
out alone," she said mournfully that night. "I  thought  how  splendid  it
would have been if Diana had only been going to study  for  the  Entrance,
too. But we can't have things perfect in this  imperfect  world,  as  Mrs.
Lynde says. Mrs. Lynde isn't exactly a comforting  person  sometimes,  but
there's no doubt she says a great many very true things. And I  think  the
Queen's class is going to be extremely interesting. Jane and Ruby are just
going to study to be teachers. That is the height of their ambition.  Ruby
says she will only teach for two years after she gets  through,  and  then
she intends to be married. Jane says she will devote  her  whole  life  to
teaching, and never, never marry,  because  you  are  paid  a  salary  for
teaching, but a husband won't pay you anything, and growls if you ask  for
a share in the egg and butter money. I expect Jane  speaks  from  mournful
experience, for Mrs. Lynde says that her father is a  perfect  old  crank,
and meaner than second skimmings. Josie Pye says  she  is  just  going  to
college for education's sake, because she  won't  have  to  earn  her  own
living; she says of course it is different with orphans who are living  on
charity-THEY have to hustle. Moody Spurgeon is going  to  be  a  minister.
Mrs. Lynde says he couldn't be anything else with a name like that to live
up to. I hope it isn't wicked of me, Marilla, but really  the  thought  of
Moody Spurgeon being a minister makes me laugh. He's such a  funny-looking
boy with that big fat face,  and  his  little  blue  eyes,  and  his  ears
sticking out like flaps. But perhaps he will be more intellectual  looking
when he grows up. Charlie Sloane says he's going to go into  politics  and
be a member of Parliament, but Mrs. Lynde  says  he'll  never  succeed  at
that, because the Sloanes are all honest people,  and  it's  only  rascals
that get on in politics nowadays."
    "What is Gilbert Blythe going to be?" queried  Marilla,  seeing  that
Anne was opening her Caesar.
    "I don't happen to know what Gilbert Blythe's ambition in  life  isif
he has any," said Anne scornfully.
    There was open rivalry between Gilbert and Anne now.  Previously  the
rivalry had been rather onesided, but there was no longer any  doubt  that
Gilbert was as determined to be first in class  as  Anne  was.  He  was  a
foeman worthy of her  steel.  The  other  members  of  the  class  tacitly
acknowledged their superiority, and never dreamed  of  trying  to  compete
with them.
    Since the day by the pond when she had refused to listen to his  plea
for forgiveness, Gilbert, save for the aforesaid determined  rivalry,  had
evinced no recognition whatever of  the  existence  of  Anne  Shirley.  He
talked and jested with the other girls, exchanged books and  puzzles  with
them, discussed lessons and plans, sometimes walked home with one  or  the
other of them from prayer meeting or Debating Club. But  Anne  Shirley  he
simply ignored, and Anne found out that it is not pleasant to be  ignored.
It was in vain that she told herself with a toss of her head that she  did
not care. Deep down in her wayward, feminine little heart  she  knew  that
she did care, and that if she had that  chance  of  the  Lake  of  Shining
Waters again she would answer very differently. All at once, as it seemed,
and to her secret dismay, she  found  that  the  old  resentment  she  had
cherished against  him  was  gone-gone  just  when  she  most  needed  its
sustaining power. It was in vain that  she  recalled  every  incident  and
emotion of that memorable occasion and tried to feel  the  old  satisfying
anger. That day by the pond had witnessed its last spasmodic flicker. Anne
realized that she had forgiven and forgotten without knowing  it.  But  it
was too late.
    And at least neither Gilbert nor anybody else, not even Diana, should
ever suspect how sorry she was and how much she wished she hadn't been  so
proud and horrid! She  determined  to  "shroud  her  feelings  in  deepest
oblivion," and it may  be  stated  here  and  now  that  she  did  it,  so
successfully that Gilbert, who possibly was not quite so indifferent as he
seemed, could not console himself with  any  belief  that  Anne  felt  his
retaliatory scorn. The only poor comfort  he  had  was  that  she  snubbed
Charlie Sloane, unmercifully, continually, and undeservedly.
    Otherwise the winter passed away in a round of  pleasant  duties  and
studies. For Anne the days slipped by like golden beads on the necklace of
the year. She was happy, eager,  interested;  there  were  lessons  to  be
learned and honor to be won; delightful books to read; new  pieces  to  be
practiced for the Sunday-school choir; pleasant Saturday afternoons at the
manse with Mrs. Allan; and then, almost before Anne  realized  it,  spring
had come again to Green Gables and all the world was abloom once more.
    Studies palled just a wee bit then; the Queen's class, left behind in
school while the others scattered to green lanes and leafy wood  cuts  and
meadow byways, looked wistfully out of the  windows  and  discovered  that
Latin verbs and French exercises had somehow lost the tang and  zest  they
had possessed in the crisp winter months. Even Anne and Gilbert lagged and
grew indifferent. Teacher and taught were alike glad  when  the  term  was
ended and the glad vacation days stretched rosily before them.
    "But you've done good work this past year," Miss Stacy told  them  on
the last evening, "and you deserve a good, jolly vacation. Have  the  best
time you can in the out-of-door world and lay in a good  stock  of  health
and vitality and ambition to carry you through next year. It will  be  the
tug of war, you know-the last year before the Entrance."
    "Are you going to be back next year, Miss Stacy?" asked Josie Pye.
    Josie Pye never scrupled to ask questions; in this instance the  rest
of the class felt grateful to her; none of them would have dared to ask it
of Miss Stacy, but all wanted to,  for  there  had  been  alarming  rumors
running at large through the school for some time that Miss Stacy was  not
coming back the next year-that she had been  offered  a  position  in  the
grade school of her own home district and meant  to  accept.  The  Queen's
class listened in breathless suspense for her answer.
    "Yes, I think I will," said Miss Stacy. "I thought of taking  another
school, but I have decided to come back to Avonlea.  To  tell  the  truth,
I've grown so interested in my pupils here that I found I  couldn't  leave
them. So I'll stay and see you through."
    "Hurrah!" said Moody Spurgeon.  Moody  Spurgeon  had  never  been  so
carried away by his feelings before, and he  blushed  uncomfortably  every
time he thought about it for a week.
    "Oh, I'm so glad," said Anne, with  shining  eyes.  "Dear  Stacy,  it
would be perfectly dreadful if you didn't come I  don't  believe  I  could
have the heart to go on with my studies at all  if  another  teacher  came
    When Anne got home that night she stacked all her textbooks  away  in
an old trunk in the attic, locked it, and threw the key into  the  blanket
    "I'm not even going to look at a schoolbook in  vacation,"  she  told
Marilla. "I've studied as hard all the term as I possibly could  and  I've
pored over that geometry until I know every proposition in the first  book
off by heart, even when the letters ARE changed.  I  just  feel  tired  of
everything sensible and I'm going to let my imagination run riot  for  the
summer. Oh, you needn't be alarmed, Marilla. I'll only  let  it  run  riot
within reasonable limits. But I want to have a real good jolly  time  this
summer, for maybe it's the last summer I'll be a little girl.  Mrs.  Lynde
says that if I keep stretching out next year as I've done this  I'll  have
to put on longer skirts. She says I'm all running to legs  and  eyes.  And
when I put on longer skirts I shall feel that I have to live  up  to  them
and be very dignified. It won't even do to believe in  fairies  then,  I'm
afraid; so I'm going to believe in them  with  all  my  whole  heart  this
summer. I think we're going to have a very gay vacation.  Ruby  Gillis  is
going to have a birthday party soon and there's the Sunday school  picnic.
and the missionary concert next month.  And  Mrs.  Barry  says  that  some
evening he'll take Diana and me over to the White  Sands  Hotel  and  have
dinner there. They have dinner  there  in  the  evening,  you  know.  Jane
Andrews was over once last summer and she says it was a dazzling sight  to
see the electric lights and the flowers and all the lady  guests  in  such
beautiful dresses. Jane says it was her first glimpse into high  life  and
she'll never forget it to her dying day."
    Mrs. Lynde came up the next afternoon to find out why Marilla had not
been at the Aid meeting on Thursday. When Marilla was not at  Aid  meeting
people knew there was something wrong at Green Gables.
    "Matthew had a bad spell with his heart Thursday," Marilla explained,
"and I didn't feel like leaving him. Oh, yes, he's all  right  again  now,
but he takes them spells oftener than he used to  and  I'm  anxious  about
him. The doctor says he must be careful to avoid excitement.  That's  easy
enough, for Matthew doesn't go about looking for excitement by  any  means
and never did, but he's not to do any very heavy work either and you might
as well tell Matthew not to breathe as not to work. Come and lay off  your
things, Rachel. You'll stay to tea?"
    "Well, seeing you're so pressing, perhaps I might as well, stay" said
Mrs. Rachel, who had not the slightest intention of doing anything else.
    Mrs. Rachel and Marilla sat comfortably in the parlor while Anne  got
the tea and made hot biscuits that were light and  white  enough  to  defy
even Mrs. Rachel's criticism.
    "I must say Anne has turned out a real  smart  girl,"  admitted  Mrs.
Rachel, as Marilla accompanied her to the end of the lane at sunset.  "She
must be a great help to you."
    "She is," said Marilla, "and she's real steady and  reliable  now.  I
used to be afraid she'd never get over her featherbrained  ways,  but  she
has and I wouldn't be afraid to trust her in anything now."
    "I never would have thought she'd have turned out so well that  first
day I was here three years ago," said Mrs. Rachel. "Lawful heart, shall  I
ever forget that tantrum of hers! When I went home that night  I  says  to
Thomas, says I, `Mark my words, Thomas, Marilla Cuthbert'll  live  to  rue
the step she's took.' But I was mistaken and I'm real glad of it. I  ain't
one of those kind of people, Marilla, as can never be brought  to  own  up
that they've made a mistake. No, that never was my way, thank goodness.  I
did make a mistake in judging Anne, but  it  weren't  no  wonder,  for  an
odder, unexpecteder witch of a child there never was in this world, that's
what. There was no ciphering her out by the rules that worked  with  other
children. It's nothing short of wonderful how she's improved  these  three
years, but especially in looks. She's a real pretty girl got to be, though
I can't say I'm overly partial to that pale, big-eyed style myself. I like
more snap and color, like Diana Barry has or Ruby  Gillis.  Ruby  Gillis's
looks are real showy. But somehow-I don't know how it is but when Anne and
them are together, though she ain't half as handsome, she makes them  look
kind of common and overdonesomething like them white June lilies she calls
narcissus alongside of the big, red peonies, that's what."

                   31. Where the Brook and River Meet

    Anne had her "good" summer and enjoyed  it  wholeheartedly.  She  and
Diana fairly lived outdoors, reveling in all  the  delights  that  Lover's
Lane and the Dryad's Bubble and Willowmere and Victoria  Island  afforded.
Marilla offered no objections to Anne's gypsyings. The Spencervale  doctor
who had come the night Minnie May had the croup met Anne at the house of a
patient one afternoon early in vacation, looked her over sharply,  screwed
up his mouth, shook his head, and sent a message to  Marilla  Cuthbert  by
another person. It was:
    "Keep that redheaded girl of yours in the open  air  all  summer  and
don't let her read books until she gets more spring into her step."
    This message frightened Marilla wholesomely. She  read  Anne's  death
warrant by consumption in it unless  it  was  scrupulously  obeyed.  As  a
result, Anne had the golden summer of her  life  as  far  as  freedom  and
frolic went. She walked,  rowed,  berried,  and  dreamed  to  her  heart's
content; and when September came she was bright-eyed  and  alert,  with  a
step that would have satisfied the Spencervale doctor and a heart full  of
ambition and zest once more.
    "I feel just like studying with might and main," she declared as  she
brought her books down from the attic. "Oh, you good old friends, I'm glad
to see your honest faces once more-yes, even you,  geometry.  I've  had  a
perfectly beautiful summer, Marilla, and now I'm rejoicing as a strong man
to run a race, as Mr. Allan said last Sunday.  Doesn't  Mr.  Allan  preach
magnificent sermons? Mrs. Lynde says he is improving  every  day  and  the
first thing we know some city church will gobble him up and then we'll  be
left and have to turn to and break in another green preacher. But I  don't
see the use of meeting trouble halfway, do you, Marilla? I think it  would
be better just to enjoy Mr. Allan while we have him. If I  were  a  man  I
think I'd be a minister. They can have such  an  influence  for  good,  if
their theology is sound; and it  must  be  thrilling  to  preach  splendid
sermons and stir your hearers'  hearts.  Why  can't  women  be  ministers,
Marilla? I asked Mrs. Lynde that and she was shocked and said it would  be
a scandalous thing. She said there might be female ministers in the States
and she believed there was, but thank goodness we hadn't got to that stage
in Canada yet and she hoped we never would. But I don't see why.  I  think
women would make splendid ministers. When there is a social to be  got  up
or a church tea or anything else to raise money the women have to turn  to
and do the work. I'm sure Mrs.  Lynde  can  pray  every  bit  as  well  as
Superintendent Bell and I've no doubt she could preach too with  a  little
    "Yes, I believe she could," said Marilla dryly. "She does  plenty  of
unofficial preaching as it is. Nobody has much of a chance to go wrong  in
Avonlea with Rachel to oversee them."
    "Marilla," said Anne in a burst of confidence, "I want  to  tell  you
something and ask  you  what  you  think  about  it.  It  has  worried  me
terribly-on Sunday afternoons, that is, when I think specially about  such
matters. I do really want to be good; and when I'm with you or Mrs.  Allan
or Miss Stacy I want it more than ever and I want to do  just  what  would
please you and what you would approve of. But mostly when  I'm  with  Mrs.
Lynde I feel desperately wicked and as if I wanted to go and do  the  very
thing she tells me I oughtn't to do. I feel irresistibly tempted to do it.
Now, what do you think is the reason I feel like that? Do you  think  it's
because I'm really bad and unregenerate?"
    Marilla looked dubious for a moment. Then she laughed.
    "If you are I guess I am too, Anne, for Rachel often  has  that  very
effect on me. I sometimes think she'd have more of an influence for  good,
as you say yourself, if she didn't keep nagging people to do right.  There
should have been a special  commandment  against  nagging.  But  there,  I
shouldn't talk so. Rachel is a good Christian woman and  she  means  well.
There isn't a kinder soul in Avonlea and she never  shirks  her  share  of
    "I'm very glad you feel the same,"  said  Anne  decidedly.  "It's  so
encouraging. I shan't worry so much over that after this. But I  dare  say
there'll be other things to worry me. They keep  coming  up  new  all  the
time-things to perplex you, you know. You settle one question and  there's
another right after. There are so many  things  to  be  thought  over  and
decided when you're beginning to grow up. It keeps me busy  all  the  time
thinking them over and deciding what is right. It's  a  serious  thing  to
grow up, isn't it, Marilla? But when I have such good friends as  you  and
Matthew and Mrs. Allan and Miss Stacy I ought to grow up successfully, and
I'm sure it will be my  own  fault  if  I  don't.  I  feel  it's  a  great
responsibility because I have only the one chance.  If  I  don't  grow  up
right I can't go back and begin over again. I've  grown  two  inches  this
summer, Marilla. Mr. Gillis measured me at Ruby's party. I'm so  glad  you
made my new dresses longer. That dark-green one is so pretty  and  it  was
sweet of you to put on the flounce. Of course  I  know  it  wasn't  really
necessary, but flounces are  so  stylish  this  fall  and  Josie  Pye  has
flounces on all her dresses. I know I'll be able to study  better  because
of mine. I shall have such a comfortable feeling  deep  down  in  my  mind
about that flounce."
    "It's worth something to have that," admitted Marilla.
    Miss Stacy came back to Avonlea school and found all her pupils eager
for work once more. Especially did the Queen's class gird up  their  loins
for the fray, for at the end of the coming  year,  dimly  shadowing  their
pathway already, loomed up that fateful thing known as "the Entrance,"  at
the thought of which one and all felt their hearts sink  into  their  very
shoes. Suppose they did not pass! That thought was doomed  to  haunt  Anne
through the waking hours of that winter, Sunday afternoons  inclusive,  to
the almost entire exclusion of moral and theological problems.  When  Anne
had bad dreams she found herself staring miserably at pass  lists  of  the
Entrance exams, where Gilbert Blythe's name was blazoned at the top and in
which hers did not appear at all.
    But it was a jolly, busy, happy swift-flying winter.  Schoolwork  was
as interesting, class rivalry as absorbing, as  of  yore.  New  worlds  of
thought, feeling, and ambition, fresh, fascinating  fields  of  unexplored
knowledge seemed to be opening out before Anne's eager eyes.

            "Hills peeped o'er hill and Alps on Alps arose."

    Much  of  all  this  was  due  to  Miss  Stacy's  tactful,   careful,
broadminded guidance. She led her class to think and explore and  discover
for themselves and encouraged straying from the  old  beaten  paths  to  a
degree that quite shocked Mrs. Lynde and the school trustees,  who  viewed
all innovations on established methods rather dubiously.
    Apart from her studies Anne expanded socially, for  Marilla,  mindful
of the Spencervale doctor's dictum, no longer vetoed  occasional  outings.
The Debating Club flourished and gave several concerts; there were one  or
two parties almost verging on grown-up affairs; there were  sleigh  drives
and skating frolics galore.
    Betweentimes Anne grew, shooting  up  so  rapidly  that  Marilla  was
astonished one day, when they were standing side by side, to find the girl
was taller than herself.
    "Why, Anne, how you've grown!" she said, almost unbelievingly. A sigh
followed on the words. Marilla felt a queer regret over Anne's inches. The
child she had learned to love had vanished somehow and here was this tall,
serious-eyed girl of fifteen, with the thoughtful brows  and  the  proudly
poised little head, in her place. Marilla loved the girl as  much  as  she
had loved the child, but she was conscious of a queer sorrowful  sense  of
loss. And that night, when Anne had gone to  prayer  meeting  with  Diana,
Marilla sat alone in the wintry twilight and indulged in the weakness of a
cry. Matthew, coming in with a lantern, caught her at it and gazed at  her
in such consternation that Marilla had to laugh through her tears.
    "I was thinking about Anne," she explained. "She's got to be  such  a
big girl-and she'll probably be away from us next winter.  I'll  miss  her
    "She'll be able to come home often," comforted Matthew, to whom  Anne
was as yet and always would be the little, eager girl he had brought  home
from Bright River on that June evening  four  years  before.  "The  branch
railroad will be built to Carmody by that time."
    "It won't be the same thing as having her here all the time,"  sighed
Marilla gloomily, determined to enjoy her  luxury  of  grief  uncomforted.
"But there-men can't understand these things!"
    There were other changes in Anne  no  less  real  than  the  physical
change. For one thing, she became much quieter. Perhaps  she  thought  all
the more and dreamed as much as  ever,  but  she  certainly  talked  less.
Marilla noticed and commented on this also.
    "You don't chatter half as much as you used to, Anne, nor use half as
many big words. What has come over you?"
    Anne colored and laughed a little, as she dropped her book and looked
dreamily out of the window, where big fat red buds were  bursting  out  on
the creeper in response to the lure of the spring sunshine.
    "I don't know-I don't want to talk as much," she  said,  denting  her
chin thoughtfully with her forefinger. "It's nicer to think  dear,  pretty
thoughts and keep them in one's heart, like treasures.  I  don't  like  to
have them laughed at or wondered over. And somehow I don't want to use big
words any more. It's almost a pity, isn't it, now that I'm really  growing
big enough to say them if I did want to. It's fun to be almost grown up in
some ways, but it's not the kind of fun I expected,  Marilla.  There's  so
much to learn and do and think  that  there  isn't  time  for  big  words.
Besides, Miss Stacy says the short ones are much stronger and better.  She
makes us write all our essays as simply as possible. It was hard at first.
I was so used to crowding in all the fine big words I could think of-and I
thought of any number of them. But I've got used to it now and I see  it's
so much better."
    "What has become of your story club? I haven't heard you speak of  it
for a long time."
    "The story club isn't in existence any longer.  We  hadn't  time  for
it-and anyhow I think we had got tired of it. It was silly to  be  writing
about love and murder and elopements and mysteries. Miss  Stacy  sometimes
has us write a story for training in composition, but  she  won't  let  us
write anything but what might happen in Avonlea in our own lives, and  she
criticizes it very sharply and makes us criticize our  own  too.  I  never
thought my compositions had so many faults until I began to look for  them
myself. I felt so ashamed I wanted to give up altogether, but  Miss  Stacy
said I could learn to write well if I only trained myself  to  be  my  own
severest critic. And so I am trying to."
    "You've only two more months before the Entrance," said Marilla.  "Do
you think you'll be able to get through?"
    Anne shivered.
    "I don't know. Sometimes I think I'll be all  right-and  then  I  get
horribly afraid.  We've  studied  hard  and  Miss  Stacy  has  drilled  us
thoroughly, but we mayn't get through for  all  that.  We've  each  got  a
stumbling block. Mine is geometry of course, and Jane's is Latin, and Ruby
and Charlie's is algebra, and Josie's is arithmetic. Moody  Spurgeon  says
he feels it in his bones that he is going to fail in English history. Miss
Stacy is going to give us examinations in June just as hard as we'll  have
at the Entrance and mark us just as strictly, so we'll have some  idea.  I
wish it was all over, Marilla. It haunts me. Sometimes I wake  up  in  the
night and wonder what I'll do if I don't pass."
    "Why,  go  to  school  next  year  and  try  again,"   said   Marilla
    "Oh, I don't believe I'd have the heart for it. It would  be  such  a
disgrace to fail, especially if Gil-if the others passed.  And  I  get  so
nervous in an examination that I'm likely to make a mess of it. I  wish  I
had nerves like Jane Andrews. Nothing rattles her."
    Anne sighed and, dragging her eyes from the witcheries of the  spring
world, the beckoning  day  of  breeze  and  blue,  and  the  green  things
upspringing in the garden, buried herself resolutely in  her  book.  There
would be other springs,  but  if  she  did  not  succeed  in  passing  the
Entrance, Anne felt convinced that she would never recover sufficiently to
enjoy them.

                         32. The Pass List Is Out

    With the end of June came the close of the term and the close of Miss
Stacy's rule in Avonlea school. Anne and Diana walked  home  that  evening
feeling very sober indeed. Red eyes and damp handkerchiefs bore convincing
testimony to the fact that Miss Stacy's  farewell  words  must  have  been
quite as touching as Mr. Phillips's had been under  similar  circumstances
three years before. Diana looked back at the schoolhouse from the foot  of
the spruce hill and sighed deeply.
    "It does seem as if it was the end of everything,  doesn't  it?"  she
said dismally.
    "You oughtn't to feel half as badly as  I  do,"  said  Anne,  hunting
vainly for a dry spot on her handkerchief.  "You'll  be  back  again  next
winter, but I suppose I've left the dear old school foreverif I have  good
luck, that is."
    "It won't be a bit the same. Miss Stacy won't be there, nor  you  nor
Jane nor Ruby probably. I shall have to sit all alone, for I couldn't bear
to have another deskmate after you. Oh, we have had jolly  times,  haven't
we, Anne? It's dreadful to think they're all over."
    Two big tears rolled down by Diana's nose.
    "If you would stop crying I could," said Anne imploringly.  "Just  as
soon as I put away my hanky I see you brimming up and that starts  me  off
again. As Mrs. Lynde says, `If you can't be cheerful, be  as  cheerful  as
you can.' After all, I dare say I'll be back next year. This is one of the
times I KNOW I'm not going to pass. They're getting alarmingly frequent."
    "Why, you came out splendidly in the exams Miss Stacy gave."
    "Yes, but those exams didn't make me nervous. When  I  think  of  the
real thing you can't imagine what a horrid  cold  fluttery  feeling  comes
round my heart. And then my number is thirteen and Josie Pye says it's  so
unlucky. I am NOT superstitious and I know it can make no difference.  But
still I wish it wasn't thirteen."
    "I do wish I was going in with you," said Diana. "Wouldn't we have  a
perfectly elegant time? But I suppose you'll have to cram in the evenings."
    "No; Miss Stacy has made us promise not to open a book  at  all.  She
says it would only tire and confuse us and we are to go  out  walking  and
not think about the exams at all and go to bed early.  It's  good  advice,
but I expect it will be hard to follow; good advice is apt to be, I think.
Prissy Andrews told me that she sat up half the night every night  of  her
Entrance week and crammed for dear life; and I had determined to sit up AT
LEAST as long as she did. It was so kind of your Aunt Josephine to ask  me
to stay at Beechwood while I'm in town."
    "You'll write to me while you're in, won't you?"
    "I'll write Tuesday night and tell  you  how  the  first  day  goes,"
promised Anne.
    "I'll be haunting the post office Wednesday," vowed Diana.
    Anne went to town the following Monday and on Wednesday Diana haunted
the post office, as agreed, and got her letter.

    "Dearest Diana" [wrote Anne],
    "Here it is Tuesday night and I'm writing  this  in  the  library  at
Beechwood. Last night I was horribly lonesome all alone  in  my  room  and
wished so much you were with me. I couldn't "cram"  because  I'd  promised
Miss Stacy not to, but it was as hard to keep from opening my  history  as
it used to be to keep from reading a story before my lessons were learned.
    "This morning Miss Stacy came for me and  we  went  to  the  Academy,
calling for Jane and Ruby and Josie on our way. Ruby asked me to feel  her
hands and they were as cold as ice. Josie said I looked  as  if  I  hadn't
slept a wink and she didn't believe I was strong enough to stand the grind
of the teacher's course even if I did get through.  There  are  times  and
seasons even yet when I don't feel that I've made  any  great  headway  in
learning to like Josie Pye!
    "When we reached the Academy there were scores of students there from
all over the Island. The first person we saw was Moody Spurgeon sitting on
the steps and muttering away to himself. Jane asked him what on  earth  he
was doing and he said he was repeating the multiplication table  over  and
over to steady his nerves and  for  pity's  sake  not  to  interrupt  him,
because if he stopped for a moment he got frightened and forgot everything
he ever knew, but the multiplication table kept all his  facts  firmly  in
their proper place!
    "When we were assigned to our rooms Miss Stacy had to leave us.  Jane
and I sat together and Jane was so composed that I envied sensible her. No
need of the multiplication  table  for  good,  steady,  sensible  Jane!  I
wondered if I looked as I felt and if they could hear  my  heart  thumping
clear across the room. Then a man  came  in  and  began  distributing  the
English examination sheets. My hands grew cold then  and  my  head  fairly
whirled around as I picked it up. Just  one  awful  moment-Diana,  I  felt
exactly as I did four years ago when I asked Marilla if I  might  stay  at
Green Gables-and then everything cleared up in my mind and my heart  began
beating again-I forgot to say that it had stopped altogether!-for I knew I
could do something with THAT paper anyhow.
    "At noon we went home for dinner and then back again for  history  in
the afternoon. The history was a pretty hard paper and  I  got  dreadfully
mixed up in the dates. Still, I think I did fairly  well  today.  But  oh,
Diana, tomorrow the geometry exam comes off and when  I  think  of  it  it
takes every bit of determination I possess to keep from opening my Euclid.
If I thought the multiplication table would help me any I would recite  it
from now till tomorrow morning.
    "I went down to see the other girls this evening. On  my  way  I  met
Moody Spurgeon wandering distractedly around.  He  said  he  knew  he  had
failed in history and he was born to be a disappointment  to  his  parents
and he was going home on the morning train; and it would be easier to be a
carpenter than a minister, anyhow. I cheered him up and persuaded  him  to
stay to the end because it would be unfair to Miss  Stacy  if  he  didn't.
Sometimes I have wished I was born a boy, but when I  see  Moody  Spurgeon
I'm always glad I'm a girl and not his sister.
    "Ruby was in hysterics when I reached their  boardinghouse;  she  had
just discovered a fearful mistake she had made in her English paper.  When
she recovered we went uptown and had an ice cream. How we wished  you  had
been with us.
    "Oh, Diana, if only the geometry examination were over! But there, as
Mrs. Lynde would say, the sun will go on rising and setting whether I fail
in geometry or not. That is true but not especially  comforting.  I  think
I'd rather it didn't go on if I failed!
                                                         Yours devotedly,

    The geometry examination and all the others were over in due time and
Anne arrived home on Friday evening, rather  tired  but  with  an  air  of
chastened triumph about her. Diana was  over  at  Green  Gables  when  she
arrived and they met as if they had been parted for years.
    "You old darling, it's perfectly splendid to see you back  again.  It
seems like an age since you went to town and oh, Anne,  how  did  you  get
    "Pretty well, I think, in everything but the geometry. I  don't  know
whether I passed in it or not and I have  a  creepy,  crawly  presentiment
that I didn't. Oh, how good it is to be back! Green Gables is the dearest,
loveliest spot in the world."
    "How did the others do?"
    "The girls say they know they didn't  pass,  but  I  think  they  did
pretty well. Josie says the geometry was so easy a child of ten  could  do
it! Moody Spurgeon still thinks he failed in history and Charlie  says  he
failed in algebra. But we don't really know anything about  it  and  won't
until the pass list is out. That won't be for a fortnight. Fancy living  a
fortnight in such suspense! I wish I could go to sleep and never  wake  up
until it is over."
    Diana knew it would be useless to ask how Gilbert Blythe  had  fared,
so she merely said:
    "Oh, you'll pass all right. Don't worry."
    "I'd rather not pass at all than not come out pretty well up  on  the
list," flashed Anne, by which she  meant-and  Diana  knew  she  meant-that
success would be incomplete and bitter if she did not come  out  ahead  of
Gilbert Blythe.
    With this end in view  Anne  had  strained  every  nerve  during  the
examinations. So had Gilbert. They had met and passed each  other  on  the
street a dozen times without any sign of recognition and every  time  Anne
had held her head a little higher and wished a little more earnestly  that
she had made friends with Gilbert when he asked her, and  vowed  a  little
more determinedly to surpass him in the examination.  She  knew  that  all
Avonlea junior was wondering which would come out  first;  she  even  knew
that Jimmy Glover and Ned Wright had a bet on the question and that  Josie
Pye had said there was no doubt in the world that Gilbert would be  first;
and she felt that her humiliation would be unbearable if she failed.
    But she had another and nobler motive for wishing  to  do  well.  She
wanted to "pass high"  for  the  sake  of  Matthew  and  Marillaespecially
Matthew. Matthew had declared to her his conviction that she  "would  beat
the whole Island." That, Anne felt, was something it would be  foolish  to
hope for even in the wildest dreams. But she did hope fervently  that  she
would be among the first ten at least, so that  she  might  see  Matthew's
kindly brown eyes gleam with pride in her  achievement.  That,  she  felt,
would be a sweet reward indeed for all her hard work and patient  grubbing
among unimaginative equations and conjugations.
    At the end of the fortnight Anne took to "haunting" the  post  office
also, in the distracted company of Jane,  Ruby,  and  Josie,  opening  the
Charlottetown dailies with shaking hands and cold,  sinkaway  feelings  as
bad as any experienced during the Entrance week. Charlie and Gilbert  were
not above doing this too, but Moody Spurgeon stayed resolutely away.
    "I haven't got the grit to go there and  look  at  a  paper  in  cold
blood," he told Anne. "I'm just going to wait  until  somebody  comes  and
tells me suddenly whether I've passed or not."
    When three weeks had gone by without the  pass  list  appearing  Anne
began to feel that she really couldn't stand the strain much  longer.  Her
appetite failed and her interest in Avonlea doings languished. Mrs.  Lynde
wanted to know what else you could expect with a  Tory  superintendent  of
education at the head of affairs, and Matthew, noting Anne's paleness  and
indifference and the lagging steps that bore her home from the post office
every afternoon, began seriously to wonder if he hadn't better  vote  Grit
at the next election.
    But one evening the news came. Anne was sitting at her  open  window,
for the time forgetful of the woes of examinations and the  cares  of  the
world, as she drank in the beauty of the summer dusk,  sweet-scented  with
flower breaths from the garden below and sibilant and  rustling  from  the
stir of poplars. The eastern sky above the firs was flushed  faintly  pink
from the reflection of the west, and Anne was wondering  dreamily  if  the
spirit of color looked like that, when she  saw  Diana  come  flying  down
through the firs, over the log bridge, and up the slope, with a fluttering
newspaper in her hand.
    Anne sprang to her feet, knowing at once what that  paper  contained.
The pass list was out! Her head whirled and her heart beat until  it  hurt
her. She could not move a step. It seemed an hour to her before Diana came
rushing along the hall and burst into the room without even  knocking,  so
great was her excitement.
    "Anne, you've passed," she cried,  "passed  the  VERY  FIRST-you  and
Gilbert both-you're ties-but your name is first. Oh, I'm so proud!"
    Diana flung the paper on the table and herself on Anne's bed, utterly
breathless and  incapable  of  further  speech.  Anne  lighted  the  lamp,
oversetting the match safe and using up half a dozen  matches  before  her
shaking hands could accomplish the task. Then she snatched up  the  paper.
Yes, she had passed-there was her name at the very top of a  list  of  two
hundred! That moment was worth living for.
    "You  did  just   splendidly,   Anne,"   puffed   Diana,   recovering
sufficiently to sit up and speak, for Anne, starry eyed and rapt, had  not
uttered a word. "Father brought the paper home from Bright River  not  ten
minutes ago-it came out on the afternoon train, you  know,  and  won't  be
here till tomorrow by mail-and when I saw the pass list I just rushed over
like a wild thing. You've all passed, every one of you, Moody Spurgeon and
all, although he's conditioned  in  history.  Jane  and  Ruby  did  pretty
well-they're halfway up-and so did Charlie.  Josie  just  scraped  through
with three marks to spare, but you'll see she'll put on as many airs as if
she'd led. Won't Miss Stacy be delighted? Oh, Anne, what does it feel like
to see your name at the head of a pass list like that? If  it  were  me  I
know I'd go crazy with joy. I am pretty near crazy as it is, but you're as
calm and cool as a spring evening."
    "I'm just dazzled inside," said  Anne.  "I  want  to  say  a  hundred
things, and I can't find  words  to  say  them  in.  I  never  dreamed  of
this-yes, I did too, just once! I let myself think ONCE, `What if I should
come  out  first?'  quakingly,  you  know,  for  it  seemed  so  vain  and
presumptuous to think I could lead the Island. Excuse me a minute,  Diana.
I must run right out to the field to tell Matthew. Then we'll  go  up  the
road and tell the good news to the others."
    They hurried to the hayfield below the barn where Matthew was coiling
hay, and, as luck would have it, Mrs. Lynde was talking to Marilla at  the
lane fence.
    "Oh, Matthew," exclaimed Anne, "I've passed and I'm first-or  one  of
the first! I'm not vain, but I'm thankful."
    "Well now, I always said it," said Matthew, gazing at the  pass  list
delightedly. "I knew you could beat them all easy."
    "You've done pretty well, I must say, Anne," said Marilla, trying  to
hide her extreme pride in Anne from Mrs. Rachel's critical eye.  But  that
good soul said heartily:
    "I just guess she has done well, and far be it from me to be backward
in saying it. You're a credit to your  friends,  Anne,  that's  what,  and
we're all proud of you."
    That night Anne, who had wound  up  the  delightful  evening  with  a
serious little talk with Mrs. Allan at the manse,  knelt  sweetly  by  her
open window in a great  sheen  of  moonshine  and  murmured  a  prayer  of
gratitude and aspiration that came straight from her heart. There  was  in
it thankfulness for the past and reverent petition  for  the  future;  and
when she slept on her white pillow her dreams were as fair and bright  and
beautiful as maidenhood might desire.

                          33. The Hotel Concert

    Put on your  white  organdy,  by  all  means,  Anne,"  advised  Diana
    They were together in the east gable chamber;  outside  it  was  only
twilight-a lovely yellowish-green twilight  with  a  clear-blue  cloudless
sky. A big round moon,  slowly  deepening  from  her  pallid  luster  into
burnished silver, hung over the Haunted Wood; the air was  full  of  sweet
summer sounds-sleepy birds twittering, freakish  breezes,  faraway  voices
and laughter. But in Anne's room the blind was drawn and the lamp lighted,
for an important toilet was being made.
    The east gable was a very different place from what it  had  been  on
that night four years before, when Anne had felt its bareness penetrate to
the marrow of her spirit with its inhospitable chill.  Changes  had  crept
in, Marilla conniving at them resignedly, until it was as sweet and dainty
a nest as a young girl could desire.
    The velvet carpet with the pink roses and the pink silk  curtains  of
Anne's early visions had certainly never materialized; but her dreams  had
kept pace with her growth, and it is not probable she lamented  them.  The
floor was covered with a pretty matting, and the  curtains  that  softened
the high window and fluttered in the vagrant breezes  were  of  pale-green
art muslin. The walls, hung not with gold and silver brocade tapestry, but
with a dainty apple-blossom paper, were adorned with a few  good  pictures
given Anne by Mrs. Allan. Miss Stacy's photograph occupied  the  place  of
honor, and Anne made a sentimental point of keeping fresh flowers  on  the
bracket under it. Tonight a spike of white  lilies  faintly  perfumed  the
room like the dream of a fragrance. There was no "mahogany furniture," but
there was a white-painted bookcase filled with books, a  cushioned  wicker
rocker, a toilet table befrilled with white muslin, a quaint,  gilt-framed
mirror with chubby pink Cupids and purple grapes painted over  its  arched
top, that used to hang in the spare room, and a low white bed.
    Anne was dressing for a concert at the White Sands Hotel. The  guests
had got it up in aid of the Charlottetown hospital, and had hunted out all
the available amateur talent in  the  surrounding  districts  to  help  it
along. Bertha Sampson and Pearl Clay of the White Sands Baptist choir  had
been asked to sing a duet; Milton Clark of Newbridge was to give a  violin
solo; Winnie Adella Blair of Carmody was to  sing  a  Scotch  ballad;  and
Laura Spencer of Spencervale and Anne Shirley of Avonlea were to recite.
    As Anne would have said at one time, it was "an epoch in  her  life,"
and she was deliciously athrill with the excitement of it. Matthew was  in
the seventh heaven of gratified pride over the honor conferred on his Anne
and Marilla was not far behind, although she would have died  rather  than
admit it, and said she didn't think it was very proper for a lot of  young
folks to be gadding over to the hotel without any responsible person  with
    Anne and Diana were to drive over with Jane Andrews and  her  brother
Billy in their double-seated buggy; and several other  Avonlea  girls  and
boys were going too. There was a party of visitors expected out from town,
and after the concert a supper was to be given to the performers.
    "Do you  really  think  the  organdy  will  be  best?"  queried  Anne
anxiously. "I don't think it's as pretty as my blueflowered muslin-and  it
certainly isn't so fashionable."
     "But it suits you ever so much better," said Diana.  "It's so soft
and frilly and clinging.  The muslin is stiff, and makes you look too
dressed up.  But the organdy seems as if it grew on you."
    Anne sighed and yielded. Diana was beginning to have a reputation for
notable taste in dressing, and her advice on such subjects was much sought
after. She was looking very pretty herself on this particular night  in  a
dress of the lovely wild-rose pink, from which Anne was forever  debarred;
but she was not to take any part in the concert, so her appearance was  of
minor importance. All her pains were bestowed upon Anne, who,  she  vowed,
must, for the credit of Avonlea, be dressed and combed and adorned to  the
Queen's taste.
    "Pull out that frill a little more-so; here, let me  tie  your  sash;
now for your slippers. I'm going to braid your hair in two  thick  braids,
and tie them halfway up with big white bows-no, don't pull  out  a  single
curl over your forehead-just have the soft part. There is no  way  you  do
your hair suits you so well, Anne, and Mrs. Allan says  you  look  like  a
Madonna when you part it so. I shall fasten this little white  house  rose
just behind your ear. There was just one on my bush, and I  saved  it  for
    "Shall I put my pearl beads on?" asked Anne. "Matthew  brought  me  a
string from town last week, and I know he'd like to see them on me."
    Diana pursed up her lips, put her black head on one side  critically,
and finally pronounced in favor of the beads, which  were  thereupon  tied
around Anne's slim milk-white throat.
    "There's something so stylish about  you,  Anne,"  said  Diana,  with
unenvious admiration. "You hold your head with such an air. I suppose it's
your figure. I am just a dumpling. I've always been afraid of it, and  now
I know it is so. Well, I suppose I shall just have to resign myself to it."
    "But you have such dimples," said Anne, smiling  affectionately  into
the pretty, vivacious face so near her own. "Lovely dimples,  like  little
dents in cream. I have given up all hope of dimples. My dimple-dream  will
never come true; but so many of my dreams have that I mustn't complain. Am
I all ready now?"
    "All ready," assured Diana, as Marilla appeared  in  the  doorway,  a
gaunt figure with grayer hair than of yore and no fewer angles, but with a
much softer face. "Come right in and look at  our  elocutionist,  Marilla.
Doesn't she look lovely?"
    Marilla emitted a sound between a sniff and a grunt.
    "She looks neat and proper. I like that way of fixing her hair. But I
expect she'll ruin that dress driving over there in the dust and dew  with
it, and it looks most too thin for these damp nights. Organdy's  the  most
unserviceable stuff in the world anyhow, and I told Matthew so when he got
it. But there is no use in saying anything to Matthew nowadays.  Time  was
when he would take my advice,  but  now  he  just  buys  things  for  Anne
regardless, and the clerks at Carmody know they can palm anything  off  on
him. Just let them tell him a thing is pretty and fashionable, and Matthew
plunks his money down for it. Mind you keep your skirt clear of the wheel,
Anne, and put your warm jacket on."
    Then Marilla stalked downstairs,  thinking  proudly  how  sweet  Anne
looked, with that

               "One moonbeam from the forehead to the crown"

    and regretting that she could not go to the concert herself  to  hear
her girl recite.
     "I wonder if it IS too damp for my dress," said Anne anxiously.
    "Not a bit of it," said Diana, pulling up the window blind.  "It's  a
perfect night, and there won't be any dew. Look at the moonlight."
    "I'm so glad my window looks east into  the  sunrising,"  said  Anne,
going over to Diana. "It's so splendid to see the morning coming  up  over
those long hills and glowing through those sharp fir tops. It's new  every
morning, and I feel as if I washed my very soul in that bath  of  earliest
sunshine. Oh, Diana, I love this little room so dearly. I don't  know  how
I'll get along without it when I go to town next month."
    "Don't speak of your going away tonight," begged Diana. "I don't want
to think of it, it makes me so miserable, and I do want  to  have  a  good
time this evening. What are  you  going  to  recite,  Anne?  And  are  you
    "Not a bit. I've recited so often in public I don't mind at all  now.
I've decided to give `The Maiden's Vow.' It's so pathetic.  Laura  Spencer
is going to give a comic recitation, but I'd rather make people  cry  than
    "What will you recite if they encore you?"
    "They won't dream of encoring me," scoffed Anne, who was not  without
her own secret hopes that they would, and already visioned herself telling
Matthew all about it at the next morning's  breakfast  table.  "There  are
Billy and Jane nowI hear the wheels. Come on."
    Billy Andrews insisted that Anne should ride on the front  seat  with
him, so she unwillingly climbed up. She would have much preferred  to  sit
back with the girls, where she could have laughed  and  chattered  to  her
heart's content. There was not much  of  either  laughter  or  chatter  in
Billy. He  was  a  big,  fat,  stolid  youth  of  twenty,  with  a  round,
expressionless face, and a painful lack of conversational  gifts.  But  he
admired Anne immensely, and was puffed up with pride over the prospect  of
driving to White Sands with that slim, upright figure beside him.
    Anne, by  dint  of  talking  over  her  shoulder  to  the  girls  and
occasionally passing a sop of civility to Billy-who grinned  and  chuckled
and never could think of any reply until  it  was  too  late-contrived  to
enjoy the drive in spite of all. It was a night for  enjoyment.  The  road
was full of buggies, all bound for the hotel, and laughter, silver  clear,
echoed and reechoed along it. When they reached the hotel it was  a  blaze
of light from top to bottom. They were met by the ladies  of  the  concert
committee, one of whom took Anne off  to  the  performers'  dressing  room
which was filled with the members of a Charlottetown Symphony Club,  among
whom Anne felt suddenly shy and frightened  and  countrified.  Her  dress,
which, in the east gable, had seemed so  dainty  and  pretty,  now  seemed
simple and plain-too simple and plain, she thought, among  all  the  silks
and laces that glistened and rustled around her. What were her pearl beads
compared to the diamonds of the big, handsome lady near her? And how  poor
her one wee white rose must look  beside  all  the  hothouse  flowers  the
others wore! Anne laid her hat and jacket away, and shrank miserably  into
a corner. She wished herself back in the white room at Green Gables.
    It was still worse on the platform of the big  concert  hall  of  the
hotel, where she presently found herself. The electric lights dazzled  her
eyes, the perfume and hum bewildered her. She wished she were sitting down
in the audience with Diana and Jane, who seemed to be  having  a  splendid
time away at the back. She was wedged in between a stout lady in pink silk
and a tall, scornful-looking girl in a white-lace dress.  The  stout  lady
occasionally turned her head squarely around and surveyed Anne through her
eyeglasses until Anne, acutely sensitive of  being  so  scrutinized,  felt
that she must scream aloud; and the white-lace girl kept  talking  audibly
to her next neighbor about the "country bumpkins" and "rustic  belles"  in
the audience, languidly anticipating "such  fun',  from  the  displays  of
local talent on the program.  Anne  believed  that  she  would  hate  that
white-lace girl to the end of life.
    Unfortunately for Anne, a professional elocutionist  was  staying  at
the hotel and had consented to recite. She was a lithe, dark-eyed woman in
a wonderful gown of shimmering gray stuff like woven moonbeams, with  gems
on her neck and in her dark hair. She had a marvelously flexible voice and
wonderful power of expression; the audience went wild over her  selection.
Anne, forgetting all about herself and her troubles for the time, listened
with rapt and shining eyes; but when the recitation ended she suddenly put
her hands over  her  face.  She  could  never  get  up  and  recite  after
that-never. Had she ever thought she could recite? Oh, if  she  were  only
back at Green Gables!
    At this unpropitious moment her name was called. Somehow Anne-who did
not notice the rather guilty little start of surprise the white-lace  girl
gave, and would not have understood the subtle compliment implied  therein
if she had-got on her feet, and moved dizzily out to the front. She was so
pale that Diana and Jane, down in the audience, clasped each other's hands
in nervous sympathy.
    Anne was the victim of an overwhelming attack of stage fright.  Often
as she had recited in public, she had never before faced such an  audience
as this, and the sight of it paralyzed her energies completely. Everything
was so strange, so brilliant, so bewildering-the rows of ladies in evening
dress, the critical faces, the whole  atmosphere  of  wealth  and  culture
about her. Very different this from the  plain  benches  at  the  Debating
Club, filled with the homely, sympathetic faces of friends and  neighbors.
These people, she thought, would be merciless critics. Perhaps,  like  the
white-lace girl, they anticipated amusement from her "rustic" efforts. She
felt hopelessly, helplessly ashamed and miserable. Her knees trembled, her
heart fluttered, a horrible faintness came over her; not a word could  she
utter, and the next moment she would have fled from the  platform  despite
the humiliation which, she felt, must ever after be her portion if she did
    But suddenly, as her dilated, frightened  eyes  gazed  out  over  the
audience, she saw Gilbert Blythe away at the back  of  the  room,  bending
forward with a smile on his face-a smile which  seemed  to  Anne  at  once
triumphant and taunting. In reality it was nothing of  the  kind.  Gilbert
was merely smiling with appreciation of the whole affair in general and of
the effect produced by  Anne's  slender  white  form  and  spiritual  face
against a background of palms in particular. Josie Pye, whom he had driven
over, sat beside him, and her  face  certainly  was  both  triumphant  and
taunting. But Anne did not see Josie, and would not have cared if she had.
She drew a long  breath  and  flung  her  head  up  proudly,  courage  and
determination tingling over her like an electric shock. She WOULD NOT fail
before Gilbert Blythe-he should never be able  to  laugh  at  her,  never,
never! Her fright and nervousness vanished; and she began her  recitation,
her clear, sweet voice reaching to the farthest corner of the room without
a tremor or a break. Self-possession was fully restored to her, and in the
reaction from that horrible moment of powerlessness she recited as she had
never done before. When she finished there were bursts of honest applause.
Anne, stepping back to her seat, blushing with shyness and delight,  found
her hand vigorously clasped and shaken by the stout lady in pink silk.
    "My dear, you did splendidly," she puffed. "I've been crying  like  a
baby, actually I have. There, they're encoring youthey're  bound  to  have
you back!"
    "Oh, I can't go," said Anne confusedly. "But yet-I must,  or  Matthew
will be disappointed. He said they would encore me."
    "Then don't disappoint Matthew," said the pink lady, laughing.
    Smiling, blushing, limpid eyed, Anne tripped back and gave a  quaint,
funny little selection that captivated her  audience  still  further.  The
rest of the evening was quite a little triumph for her.
    When the concert was over, the stout, pink lady-who was the  wife  of
an American millionaire-took her under her wing,  and  introduced  her  to
everybody;  and  everybody  was  very  nice  to  her.   The   professional
elocutionist, Mrs. Evans, came and chatted with her, telling her that  she
had a charming voice and "interpreted" her  selections  beautifully.  Even
the white-lace girl paid her a languid little compliment. They had  supper
in the big, beautifully decorated dining room; Diana and Jane were invited
to partake of this, also, since they had come with  Anne,  but  Billy  was
nowhere to  be  found,  having  decamped  in  mortal  fear  of  some  such
invitation. He was in waiting for them, with the team,  however,  when  it
was all over, and the three girls came merrily out into  the  calm,  white
moonshine radiance. Anne breathed deeply, and looked into  the  clear  sky
beyond the dark boughs of the firs.
    Oh, it was good to be out again in the  purity  and  silence  of  the
night! How great and still and wonderful everything was, with  the  murmur
of the sea sounding through it and the darkling cliffs  beyond  like  grim
giants guarding enchanted coasts.
    "Hasn't it been a perfectly splendid  time?"  sighed  Jane,  as  they
drove away. "I just wish I was a rich American and could spend  my  summer
at a hotel and wear jewels and low-necked dresses and have ice  cream  and
chicken salad every blessed day. I'm sure it would be ever  so  much  more
fun than teaching school. Anne, your recitation was simply great, although
I thought at first you were never going to begin. I think  it  was  better
than Mrs. Evans's."
    "Oh, no, don't say  things  like  that,  Jane,"  said  Anne  quickly,
"because it sounds silly. It couldn't be better  than  Mrs.  Evans's,  you
know, for she is a professional, and I'm only a schoolgirl, with a  little
knack of reciting. I'm quite satisfied  if  the  people  just  liked  mine
pretty well."
    "I've a compliment for you, Anne," said Diana. "At least I  think  it
must be a compliment because of the tone he said it in.  Part  of  it  was
anyhow.  There  was  an  American  sitting  behind  Jane  and  me-such   a
romantic-looking man, with coal-black hair and eyes. Josie Pye says he  is
a distinguished artist, and that her mother's cousin in Boston is  married
to a man that used to go to school with him. Well, we heard him say-didn't
we, Jane?-`Who is that girl on the platform with the splendid Titian hair?
She has a face I should like to paint.' There now,  Anne.  But  what  does
Titian hair mean?"
    "Being interpreted it  means  plain  red,  I  guess,"  laughed  Anne.
"Titian was a very famous artist who liked to paint red-haired women."
    "DID you see all the diamonds those ladies wore?" sighed Jane.  "They
were simply dazzling. Wouldn't you just love to be rich, girls?"
    "We ARE rich," said Anne staunchly. "Why, we have  sixteen  years  to
our credit, and we're happy as queens, and  we've  all  got  imaginations,
more or less. Look at that sea, girls-all silver and shadow and vision  of
things not seen. We couldn't enjoy its  loveliness  any  more  if  we  had
millions of dollars and ropes of diamonds. You wouldn't change into any of
those women if you could. Would you want to be that  white-lace  girl  and
wear a sour look all your life, as if you'd been born turning up your nose
at the world? Or the pink lady, kind and nice as  she  is,  so  stout  and
short that you'd really no figure at all? Or even Mrs.  Evans,  with  that
sad, sad look in her eyes? She must have been dreadfully unhappy  sometime
to have such a look. You KNOW you wouldn't, Jane Andrews!"
    "I DON'T know-exactly," said  Jane  unconvinced.  "I  think  diamonds
would comfort a person for a good deal."
    "Well, I don't want to be anyone but myself, even if I go uncomforted
by diamonds all my life," declared Anne. "I'm quite content to be Anne  of
Green Gables, with my string of pearl beads. I know  Matthew  gave  me  as
much love with them as ever went with Madame the Pink Lady's jewels."

                            34. A Queen's Girl

    The next three weeks were busy ones at Green  Gables,  for  Anne  was
getting ready to go to Queen's, and there was much sewing to be done,  and
many things to be talked over and arranged. Anne's outfit  was  ample  and
pretty, for Matthew saw to that, and Marilla for once made  no  objections
whatever to anything he purchased or suggested. Moreone evening  she  went
up to the east gable with her arms full of a delicate pale green material.
    "Anne, here's something for a nice  light  dress  for  you.  I  don't
suppose you really need it; you've plenty of pretty waists; but I  thought
maybe you'd like something real dressy to  wear  if  you  were  asked  out
anywhere of an evening in town, to a party or anything like that.  I  hear
that Jane and Ruby and Josie have got  `evening  dresses,'  as  they  call
them, and I don't mean you shall be behind them. I got Mrs. Allan to  help
me pick it in town last week, and we'll get Emily Gillis to  make  it  for
you. Emily has got taste, and her fits aren't to be equaled."
    "Oh, Marilla, it's just lovely," said Anne. "Thank  you  so  much.  I
don't believe you ought to be so kind to me-it's making  it  harder  every
day for me to go away."
    The green dress was made  up  with  as  many  tucks  and  frills  and
shirrings as Emily's taste permitted. Anne  put  it  on  one  evening  for
Matthew's and Marilla's benefit, and recited "The Maiden's Vow"  for  them
in the kitchen. As Marilla watched the bright, animated face and  graceful
motions her thoughts went back to the evening Anne had  arrived  at  Green
Gables, and memory recalled a vivid picture of the odd,  frightened  child
in her preposterous yellowish-brown wincey dress, the  heartbreak  looking
out of her  tearful  eyes.  Something  in  the  memory  brought  tears  to
Marilla's own eyes.
    "I declare, my recitation has made you cry, Marilla," said Anne gaily
stooping over Marilla's chair to drop a  butterfly  kiss  on  that  lady's
cheek. "Now, I call that a positive triumph."
    "No, I wasn't crying over your piece," said Marilla, who  would  have
scorned to be betrayed into such weakness by any "poetry stuff."  "I  just
couldn't help thinking of the little girl you used to be, Anne. And I  was
wishing you could have stayed a little girl,  even  with  all  your  queer
ways. You've grown up now and you're going away; and you look so tall  and
stylish and so-so-different altogether in  that  dress-as  if  you  didn't
belong in Avonlea at alland I just got lonesome thinking it all over."
    "Marilla!" Anne sat down on Marilla's  gingham  lap,  took  Marilla's
lined face between  her  hands,  and  looked  gravely  and  tenderly  into
Marilla's eyes. "I'm not a bit changednot really.  I'm  only  just  pruned
down and branched out. The real ME-back here-is just the  same.  It  won't
make a bit of difference where I go or how much  I  change  outwardly;  at
heart I shall always be your little Anne, who will love  you  and  Matthew
and dear Green Gables more and better every day of her life."
    Anne laid her fresh young cheek  against  Marilla's  faded  one,  and
reached out a hand to pat Matthew's shoulder.  Marilla  would  have  given
much just then to have possessed Anne's power of putting her feelings into
words; but nature and habit had willed it otherwise, and  she  could  only
put her arms close about her girl and hold  her  tenderly  to  her  heart,
wishing that she need never let her go.
    Matthew, with a suspicious moisture in his  eyes,  got  up  and  went
out-of-doors.  Under  the  stars  of  the  blue  summer  night  he  walked
agitatedly across the yard to the gate under the poplars.
    "Well now, I  guess  she  ain't  been  much  spoiled,"  he  muttered,
proudly. "I guess my putting in my oar  occasional  never  did  much  harm
after all. She's smart and pretty, and loving, too, which is  better  than
all the rest. She's been a blessing to us, and there never was  a  luckier
mistake than what Mrs. Spencer made-if it WAS luck. I don't believe it was
any such thing. It was Providence, because the Almighty saw we needed her,
I reckon."
    The day finally came when Anne must go to town. She and Matthew drove
in one fine September morning, after a tearful parting with Diana  and  an
untearful practical oneon Marilla's side at least-with Marilla.  But  when
Anne had gone Diana dried her tears and went to a beach  picnic  at  White
Sands with some of her Carmody  cousins,  where  she  contrived  to  enjoy
herself tolerably well; while Marilla plunged  fiercely  into  unnecessary
work and kept at it all day long with the bitterest kind of  heartache-the
ache that burns and gnaws and cannot wash itself away in ready tears.  But
that night, when Marilla went to bed, acutely and miserably conscious that
the little gable room at the end of the hall was untenanted by  any  vivid
young life and unstirred by any soft breathing, she buried her face in her
pillow, and wept for her girl in a passion of sobs that appalled her  when
she grew calm enough to reflect how very wicked it must be to take  on  so
about a sinful fellow creature.
    Anne and the rest of the Avonlea scholars reached town just  in  time
to hurry off to the Academy. That first day passed pleasantly enough in  a
whirl of excitement, meeting all the new students, learning  to  know  the
professors by sight and being assorted and organized  into  classes.  Anne
intended taking up the Second Year work being advised to  do  so  by  Miss
Stacy; Gilbert Blythe elected to do the same. This meant getting  a  First
Class teacher's  license  in  one  year  instead  of  two,  if  they  were
successful; but it also meant much  more  and  harder  work.  Jane,  Ruby,
Josie, Charlie, and Moody Spurgeon, not being troubled with the  stirrings
of ambition, were content to take up  the  Second  Class  work.  Anne  was
conscious of a pang of loneliness when she found herself in  a  room  with
fifty other  students,  not  one  of  whom  she  knew,  except  the  tall,
brown-haired boy across the room; and knowing him in the fashion she  did,
did not help her much, as  she  reflected  pessimistically.  Yet  she  was
undeniably glad that they were in the same class; the  old  rivalry  could
still be carried on, and Anne would hardly have known what to do if it had
been lacking.
    "I wouldn't feel comfortable without it," she thought. "Gilbert looks
awfully determined. I suppose he's making up his mind, here  and  now,  to
win the medal. What a splendid chin he has! I never noticed it  before.  I
do wish Jane and Ruby had gone in for First Class, too. I suppose I  won't
feel so much like a cat in a strange garret when I get acquainted, though.
I wonder which of the girls here are going to be my friends.  It's  really
an interesting speculation. Of course I promised  Diana  that  no  Queen's
girl, no matter how much I liked her, should ever be as dear to me as  she
is; but I've lots of second-best affections to bestow. I like the look  of
that girl with the brown eyes and the crimson waist. She looks  vivid  and
red-rosy; there's that pale, fair one gazing out of the  window.  She  has
lovely hair, and looks as if she knew a thing or  two  about  dreams.  I'd
like to know them both-know them well-well enough  to  walk  with  my  arm
about their waists, and call them nicknames. But just  now  I  don't  know
them and  they  don't  know  me,  and  probably  don't  want  to  know  me
particularly. Oh, it's lonesome!"
    It was lonesomer still when Anne found  herself  alone  in  her  hall
bedroom that night at twilight. She was not to board with the other girls,
who all had relatives in town to take pity on them. Miss  Josephine  Barry
would have liked to board her, but Beechwood was so far from  the  Academy
that it was out of the question; so miss Barry hunted up a boarding-house,
assuring Matthew and Marilla that it was the very place for Anne.
    "The lady who keeps it is  a  reduced  gentlewoman,"  explained  Miss
Barry. "Her husband was a British officer, and she is  very  careful  what
sort of boarders she takes. Anne will  not  meet  with  any  objectionable
persons under her roof. The table is good,  and  the  house  is  near  the
Academy, in a quiet neighborhood."
    All this might be quite true, and indeed, proved to be so, but it did
not materially help Anne in the first agony of  homesickness  that  seized
upon her. She looked dismally about  her  narrow  little  room,  with  its
dull-papered,  pictureless  walls,  its  small  iron  bedstead  and  empty
bookcase; and a horrible choke came into her throat as she thought of  her
own white room  at  Green  Gables,  where  she  would  have  the  pleasant
consciousness of a great green still outdoors, of sweet  peas  growing  in
the garden, and moonlight falling on the orchard, of the brook  below  the
slope and the spruce boughs tossing in the night wind beyond it, of a vast
starry sky, and the light from Diana's window shining out through the  gap
in the trees. Here there was nothing of this; Anne knew  that  outside  of
her window was a hard street, with a network of telephone  wires  shutting
out the sky, the tramp of alien feet, and a thousand  lights  gleaming  on
stranger faces. She knew that she was going to cry, and fought against it.
    "I WON'T cry. It's silly-and weak-there's the  third  tear  splashing
down by my nose. There are more coming! I must think of something funny to
stop them. But  there's  nothing  funny  except  what  is  connected  with
Avonlea, and that only makes things worse-four-five-I'm  going  home  next
Friday, but that seems a hundred years away. Oh, Matthew is nearly home by
now-and  Marilla  is  at   the   gate,   looking   down   the   lane   for
him-six-seven-eightoh, there's no use in counting them! They're coming  in
a flood presently. I can't cheer up-I don't WANT to cheer up.  It's  nicer
to be miserable!"
    The flood of tears would have come,  no  doubt,  had  not  Josie  Pye
appeared at that moment. In the joy of seeing a familiar face Anne  forgot
that there had never been much love lost between her and Josie. As a  part
of Avonlea life even a Pye was welcome.
    "I'm so glad you came up." Anne said sincerely.
    "You've been crying,"  remarked  Josie,  with  aggravating  pity.  "I
suppose you're homesick-some people have so little  self-control  in  that
respect. I've no intention of being homesick, I can tell you.  Town's  too
jolly after that poky old Avonlea. I wonder how I ever  existed  there  so
long. You shouldn't cry, Anne; it isn't becoming, for your nose  and  eyes
get red, and then you see ALL red. I'd a perfectly scrumptious time in the
Academy today. Our French professor is simply a duck. His moustache  would
give you kerwollowps of the heart. Have you anything eatable around, Anne?
I'm literally starving. Ah, I guessed likely Marilla'd load  you  up  with
cake. That's why I called round. Otherwise I'd have gone to  the  park  to
hear the band play with Frank Stockley. He boards same place as I do,  and
he's a sport. He noticed  you  in  class  today,  and  asked  me  who  the
red-headed girl was. I told him you were an orphan that the Cuthberts  had
adopted, and nobody knew very much about what you'd been before that."
    Anne was wondering if, after all, solitude and tears  were  not  more
satisfactory than Josie Pye's companionship when Jane and  Ruby  appeared,
each with an  inch  of  Queen's  color  ribbon-purple  and  scarlet-pinned
proudly to her coat. As Josie was not "speaking" to Jane just then she had
to subside into comparative harmlessness.
    "Well," said Jane with a sigh, "I feel as if  I'd  lived  many  moons
since the morning. I ought to be home studying my Virgil-that  horrid  old
professor gave us twenty lines to start  in  on  tomorrow.  But  I  simply
couldn't settle down to study tonight. Anne, methinks I see the traces  of
tears. If you've been crying DO own up. It will restore  my  self-respect,
for I was shedding tears freely before Ruby came along. I don't mind being
a goose so much if somebody else is goosey, too. Cake? You'll  give  me  a
teeny piece, won't you? Thank you. It has the real Avonlea flavor."
    Ruby, perceiving the Queen's calendar lying on the table,  wanted  to
know if Anne meant to try for the gold medal.
    Anne blushed and admitted she was thinking of it.
    "Oh, that reminds me," said Josie, "Queen's is  to  get  one  of  the
Avery scholarships after all. The word came  today.  Frank  Stockley  told
me-his uncle is one of the board  of  governors,  you  know.  It  will  be
announced in the Academy tomorrow."
    An Avery scholarship! Anne felt her heart beat more quickly, and  the
horizons of her ambition shifted and broadened  as  if  by  magic.  Before
Josie had told the news Anne's highest pinnacle of aspiration had  been  a
teacher's provincial license, Class First, at the end  of  the  year,  and
perhaps the medal! But now in one moment  Anne  saw  herself  winning  the
Avery  scholarship,  taking  an  Arts  course  at  Redmond  College,   and
graduating in a gown and mortar board, before the echo  of  Josie's  words
had died away. For the Avery scholarship was in  English,  and  Anne  felt
that here her foot was on native heath.
    A wealthy manufacturer of New Brunswick had died and left part of his
fortune to endow a large number of scholarships to  be  distributed  among
the  various  high  schools  and  academics  of  the  Maritime  Provinces,
according to their respective standings. There had been much doubt whether
one would be allotted to Queen's, but the matter was settled at last,  and
at the end of the year the graduate who made the highest mark  in  English
and English Literature would win  the  scholarshiptwo  hundred  and  fifty
dollars a year for four years at Redmond College. No wonder that Anne went
to bed that night with tingling cheeks!
    "I'll win that scholarship if hard work can  do  it,"  she  resolved.
"Wouldn't Matthew be proud if I got to be a B.A.? Oh, it's  delightful  to
have ambitions. I'm so glad I have such a lot. And there never seems to be
any end to themthat's the best of it. Just as soon as you  attain  to  one
ambition you see another one glittering higher up still. It does make life
so interesting."

                        35. The Winter at Queen's

    Anne's homesickness wore off, greatly helped in the  wearing  by  her
weekend visits home. As long  as  the  open  weather  lasted  the  Avonlea
students went out to Carmody on the new branch railway every Friday night.
Diana and several other Avonlea young folks were generally on hand to meet
them and they all walked over to Avonlea in a merry  party.  Anne  thought
those Friday evening gypsyings over the autumnal hills in the crisp golden
air, with the homelights of Avonlea twinkling beyond, were  the  best  and
dearest hours in the whole week.
    Gilbert Blythe nearly always walked with Ruby Gillis and carried  her
satchel for her. Ruby was a very handsome young lady, now thinking herself
quite as grown up as she really was; she wore her skirts as  long  as  her
mother would let her and did her hair up in town, though she had  to  take
it down when she went home. She had large, bright-blue eyes,  a  brilliant
complexion, and a plump showy  figure.  She  laughed  a  great  deal,  was
cheerful and good-tempered,  and  enjoyed  the  pleasant  things  of  life
    "But I shouldn't think she was the sort of girl Gilbert would  like,"
whispered Jane to Anne. Anne did not think so either, but  she  would  not
have said so for the Avery scholarship. She could not help thinking,  too,
that it would be very pleasant to have such a friend as  Gilbert  to  jest
and chatter with and exchange ideas about books and studies and ambitions.
Gilbert had ambitions, she knew, and Ruby Gillis did not seem the sort  of
person with whom such could be profitably discussed.
    There was no silly sentiment in Anne's ideas concerning Gilbert. Boys
were to her, when she thought about them  at  all,  merely  possible  good
comrades. If she and Gilbert had been friends she would not have cared how
many other friends he had nor with whom he walked. She had  a  genius  for
friendship;  girl  friends  she  had  in  plenty;  but  she  had  a  vague
consciousness that masculine friendship might also  be  a  good  thing  to
round  out  one's  conceptions  of  companionship  and   furnish   broader
standpoints of judgment and comparison. Not that Anne could have  put  her
feelings on the matter into just such clear definition.  But  she  thought
that if Gilbert had ever walked home with her from  the  train,  over  the
crisp fields and along the ferny byways, they  might  have  had  many  and
merry and interesting conversations about the new world that  was  opening
around them and their hopes and ambitions therein. Gilbert  was  a  clever
young fellow, with his own thoughts about things and  a  determination  to
get the best out of life and put the best into it. Ruby Gillis  told  Jane
Andrews that she didn't understand half the things Gilbert Blythe said; he
talked just like Anne Shirley did when she had a thoughtful fit on and for
her part she didn't think if any fun to be bothering about books and  that
sort of thing when you didn't have to. Frank Stockley had lots  more  dash
and go, but then he wasn't half as good-looking as Gilbert and she  really
couldn't decide which she liked best!
    In the Academy Anne gradually drew a little circle of  friends  about
her, thoughtful, imaginative, ambitious students like  herself.  With  the
"rose-red" girl, Stella Maynard, and the "dream  girl,"  Priscilla  Grant,
she soon became intimate, finding the latter pale spiritual-looking maiden
to be full to the brim of mischief and pranks and fun,  while  the  vivid,
black-eyed Stella had a heartful of wistful dreams and fancies, as  aerial
and rainbow-like as Anne's own.
    After the Christmas holidays the Avonlea students gave up going  home
on Fridays and settled down to hard work. By this  time  all  the  Queen's
scholars had gravitated into their own places in the ranks and the various
classes had  assumed  distinct  and  settled  shadings  of  individuality.
Certain facts had become generally accepted.  It  was  admitted  that  the
medal contestants had practically narrowed down to  three-Gilbert  Blythe,
Anne Shirley, and Lewis Wilson; the Avery scholarship was  more  doubtful,
any one of a certain six being a possible winner.  The  bronze  medal  for
mathematics was  considered  as  good  as  won  by  a  fat,  funny  little
up-country boy with a bumpy forehead and a patched coat.
    Ruby Gillis was the handsomest girl of the year at  the  Academy;  in
the Second Year classes Stella Maynard carried off the  palm  for  beauty,
with small but critical minority in favor of Anne Shirley. Ethel Marr  was
admitted by all competent  judges  to  have  the  most  stylish  modes  of
hair-dressing,   and   Jane   Andrews-plain,    plodding,    conscientious
Jane-carried off the honors in the domestic science course. Even Josie Pye
attained a certain  preeminence  as  the  sharpesttongued  young  lady  in
attendance at Queen's. So it may be fairly stated that  Miss  Stacy's  old
pupil's held their own in the wider arena of the academical course.
    Anne worked hard and  steadily.  Her  rivalry  with  Gilbert  was  as
intense as it had ever been in Avonlea school, although it was  not  known
in the class at large, but somehow the bitterness had gone out of it. Anne
no longer wished to win for the sake of defeating Gilbert; rather, for the
proud consciousness of a well-won victory over a worthy foeman.  It  would
be  worth  while  to  win,  but  she  no  longer  thought  like  would  be
insupportable if she did not.
    In spite of lessons the students  found  opportunities  for  pleasant
times. Anne spent many of her spare hours at Beechwood and  generally  ate
her Sunday dinners there and went to church with Miss  Barry.  The  latter
was, as she admitted, growing old, but her black eyes were not dim nor the
vigor of her tongue in the least  abated.  But  she  never  sharpened  the
latter on Anne, who continued to be a prime favorite with the critical old
    "That Anne-girl improves all the time," she said.  "I  get  tired  of
other girls-there is such a provoking and  eternal  sameness  about  them.
Anne has as many shades as a rainbow and  every  shade  is  the  prettiest
while it lasts. I don't know that she is as amusing as she  was  when  she
was a child, but she makes me love her and I like people who make me  love
them. It saves me so much trouble in making myself love them."
    Then, almost before anybody realized it,  spring  had  come;  out  in
Avonlea the Mayflowers were peeping pinkly out on the sere  barrens  where
snow-wreaths lingered; and the "mist of green" was on the woods and in the
valleys. But in Charlottetown harassed Queen's students thought and talked
only of examinations.
    "It doesn't seem possible that the term is nearly over,"  said  Anne.
"Why, last fall it seemed so long to look forward  to-a  whole  winter  of
studies and classes. And here we are, with the exams looming up next week.
Girls, sometimes I feel as if those exams meant  everything,  but  when  I
look at the big buds swelling on those chestnut trees and the  misty  blue
air at the end of the streets they don't seem half so important."
    Jane and Ruby and Josie, who had dropped in, did not take  this  view
of it. To them the coming  examinations  were  constantly  very  important
indeed-far more important than chestnut buds or Maytime hazes. It was  all
very well for Anne, who was sure of passing at least, to have her  moments
of belittling them, but when your whole future  depended  on  them-as  the
girls truly thought theirs didyou could not regard them philosophically.
    "I've lost seven pounds in the last two weeks," sighed Jane. "It's no
use to say don't worry. I WILL worry. Worrying helps you some-it seems  as
if you were doing something when you're worrying. It would be dreadful  if
I failed to get my license after going to Queen's all winter and  spending
so much money."
    "_I_ don't care," said Josie Pye. "If I  don't  pass  this  year  I'm
coming back next. My father can afford to send me.  Anne,  Frank  Stockley
says that Professor Tremaine said Gilbert Blythe was sure to get the medal
and that Emily Clay would likely win the Avery scholarship."
    "That may make me feel badly tomorrow,  Josie,"  laughed  Anne,  "but
just now I honestly feel that as long as I know the violets are coming out
all purple down in the hollow below Green Gables and that little ferns are
poking their heads up in Lovers' Lane, it's not a great deal of difference
whether I win the Avery  or  not.  I've  done  my  best  and  I  begin  to
understand what is meant by the `joy of the strife.' Next  to  trying  and
winning, the best thing is trying and failing.  Girls,  don't  talk  about
exams! Look at that arch of pale green sky over those houses  and  picture
to yourself what it must look like over the purply-dark  beech-woods  back
of Avonlea."
    "What are you going to  wear  for  commencement,  Jane?"  asked  Ruby
    Jane and Josie both answered at once and the chatter drifted  into  a
side eddy of fashions. But Anne, with her elbows on the window  sill,  her
soft cheek laid against her  clasped  hands,  and  her  eyes  filled  with
visions, looked out  unheedingly  across  city  roof  and  spire  to  that
glorious dome of sunset sky and wove her dreams of a possible future  from
the golden tissue of youth's own optimism. All the Beyond  was  hers  with
its possibilities lurking rosily in the oncoming years-each year a rose of
promise to be woven into an immortal chaplet.

                      36. The Glory and the Dream

    On the morning when the final results of all the examinations were to
be posted on the bulletin board at Queen's, Anne and Jane walked down  the
street together. Jane was smiling and happy; examinations  were  over  and
when  was  comfortably  sure  she  had  made  a  pass  at  least;  further
considerations troubled Jane not at all; she had no soaring ambitions  and
consequently was not affected with the unrest attendant  thereon.  For  we
pay a price for everything we get or take  in  this  world;  and  although
ambitions are well worth having, they are not to be cheaply won, but exact
their dues of work and self-denial, anxiety and discouragement.  Anne  was
pale and quiet; in ten more minutes she would know who had won  the  medal
and who the Avery. Beyond those ten minutes there did not seem, just then,
to be anything worth being called Time.
    "Of course you'll win one of them anyhow," said  Jane,  who  couldn't
understand how the faculty could be so unfair as to order it otherwise.
    "I have not hope of the Avery," said Anne. "Everybody says Emily Clay
will win it. And I'm not going to march up to that bulletin board and look
at it before everybody. I haven't the moral courage. I'm going straight to
the girls' dressing room. You must read the announcements  and  then  come
and tell me, Jane. And I implore you in the name of our old friendship  to
do it as quickly as possible. If I have failed just say so, without trying
to break it gently; and whatever you do DON'T sympathize with me.  Promise
me this, Jane."
    Jane promised solemnly; but, as it happened, there was  no  necessity
for such a promise. When they went up the entrance steps of  Queen's  they
found the hall full of boys who were carrying  Gilbert  Blythe  around  on
their shoulders and yelling at the  tops  of  their  voices,  "Hurrah  for
Blythe, Medalist!"
    For  a  moment  Anne  felt  one  sickening   pang   of   defeat   and
disappointment. So she had failed and Gilbert had won! Well, Matthew would
be sorry-he had been so sure she would win.
    And then!
    Somebody called out:
    "Three cheers for Miss Shirley, winner of the Avery!"
    "Oh, Anne," gasped Jane, as they fled to  the  girls'  dressing  room
amid hearty cheers. "Oh, Anne I'm so proud! Isn't it splendid?"
    And then the girls were around them and Anne  was  the  center  of  a
laughing, congratulating group. Her shoulders were thumped and  her  hands
shaken vigorously. She was pushed and pulled and hugged and among  it  all
she managed to whisper to Jane:
    "Oh, won't Matthew and Marilla be pleased! I must write the news home
right away."
    Commencement was the next important  happening.  The  exercises  were
held in the big assembly hall of the Academy. Addresses were given, essays
read, songs sung, the public award of diplomas, prizes and medals made.
    Matthew and Marilla were there, with  eyes  and  ears  for  only  one
student on the platform-a tall girl in pale green,  with  faintly  flushed
cheeks and starry eyes, who read the best essay and was  pointed  out  and
whispered about as the Avery winner.
    "Reckon  you're  glad  we  kept  her,  Marilla?"  whispered  Matthew,
speaking for the first time since he had entered the hall, when  Anne  had
finished her essay.
    "It's not the first time I've been glad," retorted Marilla.  "You  do
like to rub things in, Matthew Cuthbert."
    Miss Barry, who was sitting behind them,  leaned  forward  and  poked
Marilla in the back with her parasol.
    "Aren't you proud of that Anne-girl? I am," she said.
    Anne went home to Avonlea with Matthew and Marilla that evening.  She
had not been home since April and she felt that she could not wait another
day. The apple blossoms were out and the world was fresh and young.  Diana
was at Green Gables to meet her. In her own white room, where Marilla  had
set a flowering house rose on the window sill, Anne looked about  her  and
drew a long breath of happiness.
    "Oh, Diana, it's so good to be back again. It's so good to see  those
pointed firs coming out against the pink skyand that white orchard and the
old Snow Queen. Isn't the breath of  the  mint  delicious?  And  that  tea
rose-why, it's a song and a hope and a prayer all in one. And it's GOOD to
see you again, Diana!"
    "I thought you like that Stella Maynard better than me,"  said  Diana
reproachfully. "Josie Pye told me you did. Josie said you were  INFATUATED
with her."
    Anne laughed and pelted Diana with the faded  "June  lilies"  of  her
    "Stella Maynard is the dearest girl in the world except one  and  you
are that one, Diana," she said. "I love you more  than  ever-and  I've  so
many things to tell you. But just now I feel as if it were joy  enough  to
sit here and look at you. I'm tired, I think-tired of being  studious  and
ambitious. I mean to spend at least two hours tomorrow lying  out  in  the
orchard grass, thinking of absolutely nothing."
    "You've done splendidly, Anne. I suppose you won't  be  teaching  now
that you've won the Avery?"
    "No. I'm going to Redmond in September. Doesn't  it  seem  wonderful?
I'll have a brand new stock of ambition laid in by that time  after  three
glorious, golden months of vacation. June and Ruby  are  going  to  teach.
Isn't it splendid to think we all got through even to Moody  Spurgeon  and
Josie Pye?"
    "The Newbridge trustees have offered Jane their school already," said
Diana. "Gilbert Blythe is going to teach, too. He has to. His father can't
afford to send him to college next year, after all, so he  means  to  earn
his own way through. I expect he'll get  the  school  here  if  Miss  Ames
decides to leave."
    Anne felt a queer little sensation of dismayed surprise. She had  not
known this; she had expected that Gilbert would be going to Redmond  also.
What would she do without their inspiring rivalry? Would not work, even at
a coeducational college with a real degree in  prospect,  be  rather  flat
without her friend the enemy?
    The next morning at breakfast it suddenly struck  Anne  that  Matthew
was not looking well. Surely he was much grayer than he had  been  a  year
    "Marilla," she said hesitatingly when he had gone  out,  "is  Matthew
quite well?"
    "No, he isn't," said Marilla in a troubled tone. "He's had some  real
bad spells with his heart this spring and he won't spare himself  a  mite.
I've been real worried about him, but he's some better this while back and
we've got a good hired man, so I'm hoping he'll kind of rest and pick  up.
Maybe he will now you're home. You always cheer him up."
    Anne leaned across the table and took Marilla's face in her hands.
    "You are not looking as  well  yourself  as  I'd  like  to  see  you,
Marilla. You look tired. I'm afraid you've been working too hard. You must
take a rest, now that I'm home. I'm just going to take this one day off to
visit all the dear old spots and hunt up my old dreams, and then  it  will
be your turn to be lazy while I do the work."
    Marilla smiled affectionately at her girl.
    "It's not the work-it's my head. I've got a pain so often  now-behind
my eyes. Doctor Spencer's been fussing with glasses, but they don't do  me
any good. There is a distinguished oculist coming to the Island  the  last
of June and the doctor says I must see him. I guess I'll have to. I  can't
read or sew with any comfort now. Well, Anne, you've  done  real  well  at
Queen's I must say. To take First Class License in one year  and  win  the
Avery scholarship-well, well, Mrs. Lynde says pride goes before a fall and
she doesn't believe in the higher education of women at all; she  says  it
unfits them for woman's true  sphere.  I  don't  believe  a  word  of  it.
speaking of Rachel reminds me-did you hear anything about the  Abbey  Bank
lately, Anne?"
    "I heard it was shaky," answered Anne. "Why?"
    "That is what Rachel said. She was up here one day last week and said
there was some talk about it. Matthew felt real worried. All we have saved
is in that bank-every penny. I wanted Matthew to put  it  in  the  Savings
Bank in the first place, but old Mr. Abbey was a great friend of  father's
and he'd always banked with him. Matthew said any bank  with  him  at  the
head of it was good enough for anybody."
    "I think he has only been its nominal  head  for  many  years,"  said
Anne. "He is a very old man; his nephews are really at  the  head  of  the
    "Well, when Rachel told us that, I wanted Matthew to draw  our  money
right out and he said he'd think of it. But Mr. Russell told him yesterday
that the bank was all right."
    Anne had her good day in the companionship of the outdoor world.  She
never forgot that day; it was so bright and golden and fair, so free  from
shadow and so lavish of blossom. Anne spent some of its rich hours in  the
orchard; she went to the Dryad's Bubble and Willowmere  and  Violet  Vale;
she called at the manse and had a satisfying talk  with  Mrs.  Allan;  and
finally in the evening she went with Matthew for the cows, through Lovers'
Lane to the back pasture. The woods were all gloried through  with  sunset
and the warm splendor of it streamed down through the  hill  gaps  in  the
west. Matthew walked slowly with bent head; Anne, tall and  erect,  suited
her springing step to his.
    "You've  been  working   too   hard   today,   Matthew,"   she   said
reproachfully. "Why won't you take things easier?"
    "Well now, I can't seem to," said Matthew, as he opened the yard gate
to let the cows through. "It's only that I'm getting old, Anne,  and  keep
forgetting it. Well, well, I've always worked pretty hard and  I'd  rather
drop in harness."
    "If I had been the boy you sent for," said Anne  wistfully,  "I'd  be
able to help you so much now and spare you in a hundred ways. I could find
it in my heart to wish I had been, just for that."
    "Well now, I'd rather have you than a dozen boys, Anne," said Matthew
patting her hand. "Just mind you thatrather than a dozen boys. Well now, I
guess it wasn't a boy that took the Avery scholarship, was it?  It  was  a
girl-my girl-my girl that I'm proud of."
    He smiled his shy smile at her as he went into the  yard.  Anne  took
the memory of it with her when she went to her room that night and sat for
a long while at her open window, thinking of the past and dreaming of  the
future. Outside the Snow Queen was mistily white  in  the  moonshine;  the
frogs were  singing  in  the  marsh  beyond  Orchard  Slope.  Anne  always
remembered the silvery, peaceful beauty and fragrant calm of  that  night.
It was the last night before sorrow touched her life; and no life is  ever
quite the same again when once that cold, sanctifying touch has been  laid
upon it.

                   37. The Reaper Whose Name Is Death

    "Matthew-Matthew-what is the matter? Matthew, are you sick?"
    It was Marilla who spoke,  alarm  in  every  jerky  word.  Anne  came
through the hall, her hands full of white narcissus,-it  was  long  before
Anne could love the sight or odor of white  narcissus  again,-in  time  to
hear her and to see Matthew standing in the porch doorway, a folded  paper
in his hand, and his face strangely  drawn  and  gray.  Anne  dropped  her
flowers and sprang across the  kitchen  to  him  at  the  same  moment  as
Marilla. They were both too late; before they could reach him Matthew  had
fallen across the threshold.
    "He's fainted," gasped Marilla. "Anne, run  for  Martinquick,  quick!
He's at the barn."
    Martin, the hired man, who had just driven home from the post office,
started at once for the doctor, calling at Orchard Slope  on  his  way  to
send Mr. and Mrs. Barry over. Mrs. Lynde, who was there on an errand, came
too. They found Anne and Marilla distractedly trying to restore Matthew to
    Mrs. Lynde pushed them gently aside, tried his pulse, and  then  laid
her ear over his heart. She looked at their anxious faces sorrowfully  and
the tears came into her eyes.
    "Oh, Marilla," she said gravely. "I don't think-we  can  do  anything
for him."
    "Mrs. Lynde, you don't think-you can't think Matthew  is-  is-"  Anne
could not say the dreadful word; she turned sick and pallid.
    "Child, yes, I'm afraid of it. Look at his  face.  When  you've  seen
that look as often as I have you'll know what it means."
    Anne looked at the still face and there beheld the seal of the  Great
    When the doctor came he said that death had  been  instantaneous  and
probably painless, caused in all likelihood  by  some  sudden  shock.  The
secret of the shock was discovered to be in the paper Matthew had held and
which Martin had brought from the office that  morning.  It  contained  an
account of the failure of the Abbey Bank.
    The news spread quickly through Avonlea,  and  all  day  friends  and
neighbors thronged Green Gables and came and went on errands  of  kindness
for the dead and living. For the first time shy,  quiet  Matthew  Cuthbert
was a person of central importance; the white majesty of death had  fallen
on him and set him apart as one crowned.
    When the calm night came softly down over Green Gables the old  house
was hushed and tranquil. In the parlor lay Matthew Cuthbert in his coffin,
his long gray hair framing his placid face on which  there  was  a  little
kindly smile as if he but slept,  dreaming  pleasant  dreams.  There  were
flowers about him-sweet old-fashioned flowers which his mother had planted
in the homestead garden in her bridal  days  and  for  which  Matthew  had
always had a secret, wordless love. Anne had  gathered  them  and  brought
them to him, her anguished, tearless eyes burning in her  white  face.  It
was the last thing she could do for him.
    The Barrys and Mrs. Lynde stayed with them that night.  Diana,  going
to the east gable, where Anne was standing at her window, said gently:
    "Anne dear, would you like to have me sleep with you tonight?"
    "Thank you, Diana." Anne looked earnestly into her friend's face.  "I
think you won't misunderstand me when I say I want to be  alone.  I'm  not
afraid. I haven't been alone one minute since it happenedand I want to be.
I want to be quite silent and quiet and try to realize it. I can't realize
it. Half the time it seems to me that Matthew can't be dead; and the other
half it seems as if he must have been dead for a long time  and  I've  had
this horrible dull ache ever since."
    Diana did not quite understand. Marilla's impassioned grief, breaking
all the bounds of natural reserve and lifelong habit in its  stormy  rush,
she could comprehend better than Anne's tearless agony. But she went  away
kindly, leaving Anne alone to keep her first vigil with sorrow.
    Anne hoped that the tears would come in solitude. It seemed to her  a
terrible thing that she could not shed a tear for Matthew,  whom  she  had
loved so much and who had been so kind to her, Matthew who had walked with
her last evening at sunset and was now lying in the dim  room  below  with
that awful peace on his brow. But no tears came at first,  even  when  she
knelt by her window in the darkness and prayed, looking up  to  the  stars
beyond the hills-no tears, only the same horrible dull ache of misery that
kept on aching until she fell asleep, worn out with  the  day's  pain  and
    In the night she awakened, with the stillness and the darkness  about
her, and the recollection of the day came over her like a wave of  sorrow.
She could see Matthew's face smiling at her as he  had  smiled  when  they
parted at the gate that last evening-she could hear his voice saying,  "My
girl-my girl that I'm proud of." Then the tears came  and  Anne  wept  her
heart out. Marilla heard her and crept in to comfort her.
    "There-there-don't  cry  so,  dearie.  It  can't  bring   him   back.
It-it-isn't right to cry so. I knew that today, but  I  couldn't  help  it
then. He'd always been such a good, kind brother to me-but God knows best."
    "Oh, just let me cry, Marilla," sobbed Anne. "The tears don't hurt me
like that ache did. Stay here for a little while with me and keep your arm
round me-so. I couldn't have Diana stay, she's good and kind and sweet-but
it's not her sorrow-she's outside of it and she couldn't come close enough
to my heart to help me. It's our sorrowyours and mine. Oh,  Marilla,  what
will we do without him?"
    "We've got each other, Anne. I don't know what I'd do if you  weren't
here-if you'd never come. Oh, Anne, I know I've been kind  of  strict  and
harsh with you maybebut you mustn't think I didn't love  you  as  well  as
Matthew did, for all that. I want to tell you now when I can.  It's  never
been easy for me to say things out of my heart, but  at  times  like  this
it's easier. I love you as dear as if you were my own flesh and blood  and
you've been my joy and comfort ever since you came to Green Gables."
    Two days afterwards they carried Matthew Cuthbert over his  homestead
threshold and away from the fields he had tilled and the orchards  he  had
loved and the trees he had planted; and then Avonlea settled back  to  its
usual placidity and even at Green Gables affairs slipped  into  their  old
groove and work was done and duties fulfilled with regularity  as  before,
although always with the aching sense of "loss in  all  familiar  things."
Anne, new to grief, thought it almost sad that it could  be  so-that  they
COULD go on in the old way without Matthew. She felt something like  shame
and remorse when she discovered that the sunrises behind the firs and  the
pale pink buds opening in the garden gave her the old inrush  of  gladness
when she saw them-that Diana's  visits  were  pleasant  to  her  and  that
Diana's merry words and ways moved her to  laughter  and  smiles-that,  in
brief, the beautiful world of blossom and love  and  friendship  had  lost
none of its power to please her fancy and  thrill  her  heart,  that  life
still called to her with many insistent voices.
    "It seems like disloyalty to Matthew, somehow, to  find  pleasure  in
these things now that he has gone," she said wistfully to Mrs.  Allan  one
evening when they were together in  the  manse  garden.  "I  miss  him  so
much-all the timeand yet,  Mrs.  Allan,  the  world  and  life  seem  very
beautiful and interesting to me for all. Today Diana said something  funny
and I found myself laughing. I thought when  it  happened  I  could  never
laugh again. And it somehow seems as if I oughtn't to."
    "When Matthew was here he liked to hear you laugh  and  he  liked  to
know that you found pleasure in the pleasant things around you," said Mrs.
Allan gently. "He is just away now; and he likes to know it just the same.
I am sure we should not shut our hearts  against  the  healing  influences
that nature offers us. But I can understand your feeling. I think  we  all
experience the same thing. We resent the thought that anything can  please
us when someone we love is no longer here to share the pleasure  with  us,
and we almost feel as if we were unfaithful to our sorrow when we find our
interest in life returning to us."
    "I was down to the graveyard to plant a rosebush on  Matthew's  grave
this afternoon," said Anne dreamily. "I took a slip of  the  little  white
Scotch rosebush his mother brought out from  Scotland  long  ago;  Matthew
always liked those roses the best-they were so small and  sweet  on  their
thorny stems. It made me feel glad that I could plant it by  his  grave-as
if I were doing something that must please him in taking it  there  to  be
near him. I hope he has roses like them in heaven. Perhaps  the  souls  of
all those little white roses that he has loved so many  summers  were  all
there to meet him. I must go home now. Marilla is all alone and  she  gets
lonely at twilight."
    "She will be lonelier still, I  fear,  when  you  go  away  again  to
college," said Mrs. Allan.
    Anne did not reply; she said good night and went slowly back to green
Gables. Marilla was sitting on the front  door-steps  and  Anne  sat  down
beside her. The door was open behind them, held back by a big  pink  conch
shell with hints of sea sunsets in its smooth inner convolutions.
    Anne gathered some sprays of pale yellow honeysuckle and put them  in
her hair. She like  the  delicious  hint  of  fragrance,  as  some  aerial
benediction, above her every time she moved.
    "Doctor Spencer was here while you were away," Marilla said. "He says
that the specialist will be in town tomorrow and he insists that I must go
in and have my eyes examined. I suppose I'd better go and  have  it  over.
I'll be more than thankful if the man  can  give  me  the  right  kind  of
glasses to suit my eyes. You won't mind staying here alone while I'm away,
will you? Martin will have to drive me in and there's ironing  and  baking
to do."
    "I shall be all right. Diana will come over for  company  for  me.  I
shall attend to the ironing and baking beautifullyyou  needn't  fear  that
I'll starch the handkerchiefs or flavor the cake with liniment."
    Marilla laughed.
    "What a girl you were for making mistakes in  them  days,  Anne.  You
were always getting into scrapes. I did use to think you  were  possessed.
Do you mind the time you dyed your hair?"
    "Yes, indeed. I shall never forget it,"  smiled  Anne,  touching  the
heavy braid of hair that was wound about her  shapely  head.  "I  laugh  a
little now sometimes when I think what a worry  my  hair  used  to  be  to
me-but I don't laugh MUCH, because it was a very real trouble then. I  did
suffer terribly over my hair and my freckles. My freckles are really gone;
and people are nice enough to tell me my hair is auburn now-all but  Josie
Pye. She informed me yesterday that she really thought is was redder  than
ever, or at least my black dress made it look redder, and she asked me  if
people who had red hair ever got used to having it. Marilla,  I've  almost
decided to give up trying to like Josie Pye. I've made what I  would  once
have called a heroic effort to like her, but Josie Pye won't BE liked."
    "Josie is a Pye," said Marilla sharply,  "so  she  can't  help  being
disagreeable. I suppose people of that kind serve some useful  purpose  in
society, but I must say I don't know what it is any more than I  know  the
use of thistles. Is Josie going to teach?"
    "No, she is going back to Queen's next year. So  are  Moody  Spurgeon
and Charlie Sloane. Jane and Ruby are going to teach and  they  have  both
got schools-Jane at Newbridge and Ruby at some place up west."
    "Gilbert Blythe is going to teach too, isn't he?"
    "What a nice looking fellow he is," said Marilla absently. "I saw him
in church last Sunday and he seemed so tall and manly. He looks a lot like
his father did at the same age. John Blythe was a nice boy. We used to  be
real good friends, he and I. People called him my beau."
    Anne looked up with swift interest.
    "Oh, Marilla-and what happened?-why didn't you-"
    "We had a quarrel. I wouldn't forgive him when  he  asked  me  to.  I
meant to, after awhile-but I was sulky and angry and I  wanted  to  punish
him first. He never came back-the Blythes were all mighty independent. But
I always felt-rather sorry. I've always kind of wished  I'd  forgiven  him
when I had the chance."
    "So you've had a bit of romance in your life, too," said Anne softly.
    "Yes, I suppose you might call it that. You wouldn't think so to look
at me, would you? But you never can tell about people from their outsides.
Everybody has forgot about me and John. I'd forgotten myself. But  it  all
came back to me when I saw Gilbert last Sunday."

                        38. The Bend in the road

    Marilla went to town the next day and returned in the  evening.  Anne
had gone over to Orchard Slope with Diana and came back to find Marilla in
the kitchen, sitting by the table with  her  head  leaning  on  her  hand.
Something in her dejected attitude struck a chill to Anne's heart. She had
never seen Marilla sit limply inert like that.
    "Are you very tired, Marilla?"
    "Yes-no-I don't know," said Marilla wearily, looking up. "I suppose I
am tired but I haven't thought about it. It's not that."
    "Did you see the oculist? What did he say?" asked Anne anxiously.
    "Yes, I saw him. He examined my eyes. He says that if I give  up  all
reading and sewing entirely and any kind of work that  strains  the  eyes,
and if I'm careful not to cry, and if I wear the glasses he's given me  he
thinks my eyes may not get any worse and my headaches will be  cured.  But
if I don't he says I'll certainly be stone blind  in  six  months.  Blind!
Anne, just think of it!"
    For a minute Anne, after her first quick exclamation of  dismay,  was
silent. It seemed to her that she could NOT speak. Then she said  bravely,
but with a catch in her voice:
    "Marilla, DON'T think of it. You know he has given you hope.  If  you
are careful you won't lose your sight altogether; and if his glasses  cure
your headaches it will be a great thing."
    "I don't call it much hope," said Marilla bitterly.  "What  am  I  to
live for if I can't read or sew or do anything like that? I might as  well
be blind-or dead. And as  for  crying,  I  can't  help  that  when  I  get
lonesome. But there, it's no good talking about it. If you'll get me a cup
of tea I'll be thankful. I'm about done out. Don't say anything about this
to any one for a spell yet, anyway. I can't bear that  folks  should  come
here to question and sympathize and talk about it."
    When Marilla had eaten her lunch Anne persuaded her  to  go  to  bed.
Then Anne went herself to the east gable and sat down by her window in the
darkness alone with her tears and her heaviness of heart. How sadly things
had changed since she had sat there the night after coming home! Then  she
had been full of hope and joy and the future had looked rosy with promise.
Anne felt as if she had lived years since then, but before she went to bed
there was a smile on her lips and peace in her heart. She had  looked  her
duty courageously in the face and found it a friend-as duty ever  is  when
we meet it frankly.
    One afternoon a few days later Marilla came slowly in from the  front
yard where she had been talking to a callera man whom Anne knew  by  sight
as Sadler from Carmody. Anne wondered what he could have  been  saying  to
bring that look to Marilla's face.
    "What did Mr. Sadler want, Marilla?"
    Marilla sat down by the window and looked at Anne. There  were  tears
in her eyes in defiance of the oculist's prohibition and her  voice  broke
as she said:
    "He heard that I was going to sell Green Gables and he wants  to  buy
    "Buy it! Buy Green Gables?" Anne wondered if she  had  heard  aright.
"Oh, Marilla, you don't mean to sell Green Gables!"
    "Anne, I don't know what else is to be  done.  I've  thought  it  all
over. If my eyes were strong I could stay here and make out to look  after
things and manage, with a good hired man. But as it is I can't. I may lose
my sight altogether; and anyway I'll not be fit to run things. Oh, I never
thought I'd live to see the day when I'd have to sell my home. But  things
would only go behind worse and worse all the time, till nobody would  want
to buy it. Every cent of our money went in that  bank;  and  there's  some
notes Matthew gave last fall to pay. Mrs. Lynde advises  me  to  sell  the
farm and board somewhere-with her I  suppose.  It  won't  bring  much-it's
small and the buildings are old. But it'll be enough for me to live  on  I
reckon. I'm thankful you're provided for with that scholarship, Anne.  I'm
sorry you won't have a home to come to in your vacations, that's all,  but
I suppose you'll manage somehow."
    Marilla broke down and wept bitterly.
    "You mustn't sell Green Gables," said Anne resolutely.
    "Oh, Anne, I wish I didn't have to. But you can see for  yourself.  I
can't stay here alone. I'd go crazy with trouble and  loneliness.  And  my
sight would go-I know it would."
    "You won't have to stay here alone, Marilla. I'll be  with  you.  I'm
not going to Redmond."
    "Not going to Redmond!" Marilla lifted her worn face from  her  hands
and looked at Anne. "Why, what do you mean?"
    "Just what I say. I'm not going to take the scholarship. I decided so
the night after you came home from town. You surely don't  think  I  could
leave you alone in your trouble, Marilla, after all you've  done  for  me.
I've been thinking and planning. Let me tell you my plans. Mr. Barry wants
to rent the farm for next year. So you won't have any  bother  over  that.
And I'm going to teach. I've applied  for  the  school  here-but  I  don't
expect to get it for I understand the trustees have promised it to Gilbert
Blythe. But I can have the Carmody school-Mr. Blair told me so last  night
at the store. Of course that won't be quite as nice or convenient as if  I
had the Avonlea school. But I can board home  and  drive  myself  over  to
Carmody and back, in the warm weather at least. And even in winter  I  can
come home Fridays. We'll keep a horse for that. Oh, I have it all  planned
out, Marilla. And I'll read to you and keep you cheered up. You sha'n't be
dull or lonesome. And we'll be real cozy and happy here together, you  and
    Marilla had listened like a woman in a dream.
    "Oh, Anne, I could get on real well if you were here, I know.  But  I
can't let you sacrifice yourself so for me. It would be terrible."
    "Nonsense!" Anne laughed merrily. "There  is  no  sacrifice.  Nothing
could be worse than giving up Green Gables-nothing could hurt me more.  We
must keep the dear old place. My mind is quite made up, Marilla.  I'm  NOT
going to Redmond; and I AM going to stay here and teach. Don't  you  worry
about me a bit."
    "But your ambitions-and-"
    "I'm just as ambitious as ever. Only, I've changed the object  of  my
ambitions. I'm going to be a  good  teacherand  I'm  going  to  save  your
eyesight. Besides, I mean to study at home here and take a little  college
course all by myself.  Oh,  I've  dozens  of  plans,  Marilla.  I've  been
thinking them out for a week. I shall  give  life  here  my  best,  and  I
believe it will give its best to me in return.  When  I  left  Queen's  my
future seemed to stretch out before me like a straight road. I  thought  I
could see along it for many a milestone. Now there is  a  bend  in  it.  I
don't know what lies around the bend, but I'm going to  believe  that  the
best does. It has a fascination of its own, that bend, Marilla.  I  wonder
how the road beyond it  goes-what  there  is  of  green  glory  and  soft,
checkered light and shadows-what  new  landscapes-what  new  beauties-what
curves and hills and valleys further on."
    "I don't feel as if I ought to let you give  it  up,"  said  Marilla,
referring to the scholarship.
    "But you can't prevent me. I'm sixteen and a half,  `obstinate  as  a
mule,' as Mrs. Lynde once told me," laughed Anne. "Oh, Marilla, don't  you
go pitying me. I don't like to be pitied, and there is no need for it. I'm
heart glad over the very thought of staying at dear Green  Gables.  Nobody
could love it as you and I do-so we must keep it."
    "You blessed girl!" said Marilla, yielding. "I feel as if you'd given
me new life. I guess I ought to stick out and make you go to college-but I
know I can't, so I ain't going to try. I'll make  it  up  to  you  though,
    When it became noised abroad in Avonlea that Anne Shirley  had  given
up the idea of going to college and intended to stay home and teach  there
was a good deal of discussion over it. Most of the good folks, not knowing
about Marilla's eyes, thought she was foolish. Mrs.  Allan  did  not.  She
told Anne so in approving words that brought  tears  of  pleasure  to  the
girl's eyes. Neither did good Mrs. Lynde. She  came  up  one  evening  and
found Anne and Marilla sitting at the front  door  in  the  warm,  scented
summer dusk. They liked to sit there when the twilight came down  and  the
white moths flew about in the garden and the odor of mint filled the  dewy
    Mrs. Rachel deposited her substantial person upon the stone bench  by
the door, behind which grew a row of tall pink and yellow hollyhocks, with
a long breath of mingled weariness and relief.
    "I declare I'm getting glad to sit down. I've been  on  my  feet  all
day, and two hundred pounds is a good bit for two  feet  to  carry  round.
It's a great blessing not to be fat, Marilla. I hope  you  appreciate  it.
Well, Anne, I hear you've given up your notion of going to college. I  was
real glad to hear it. You've got as much education now as a woman  can  be
comfortable with. I don't believe in girls going to college with  the  men
and cramming their heads full of Latin and Greek and all that nonsense."
    "But I'm going to study Latin and Greek just the same,  Mrs.  Lynde,"
said Anne laughing. "I'm going to take my Arts course right here at  Green
Gables, and study everything that I would at college."
    Mrs. Lynde lifted her hands in holy horror.
    "Anne Shirley, you'll kill yourself."
    "Not a bit of it. I shall thrive on it. Oh, I'm not going  to  overdo
things. As `Josiah Allen's wife,' says, I shall be `mejum'. But I'll  have
lots of spare time in the long winter evenings, and I've no  vocation  for
fancy work. I'm going to teach over at Carmody, you know."
    "I don't know it. I  guess  you're  going  to  teach  right  here  in
Avonlea. The trustees have decided to give you the school."
    "Mrs. Lynde!" cried Anne, springing to  her  feet  in  her  surprise.
"Why, I thought they had promised it to Gilbert Blythe!"
    "So they did. But as soon as Gilbert heard that you had  applied  for
it he went to them-they had a business meeting at the school  last  night,
you know-and told them that he withdrew  his  application,  and  suggested
that they accept yours. He said he was going to teach at White  Sands.  Of
course he knew how much you wanted to stay with Marilla, and I must say  I
think  it  was  real  kind  and  thoughtful  in  him,  that's  what.  Real
self-sacrificing, too, for he'll have his board to pay at White Sands, and
everybody knows he's got to earn his  own  way  through  college.  So  the
trustees decided to take you. I was tickled to death when Thomas came home
and told me."
    "I don't feel that I ought to take  it,"  murmured  Anne.  "I  mean-I
don't think I ought to let Gilbert make such a sacrifice for-for me."
    "I guess you can't prevent him now. He's signed papers with the White
Sands trustees. So it wouldn't do him any good now if you were to  refuse.
Of course you'll take the school. You'll get along  all  right,  now  that
there are no Pyes going. Josie was the last of them, and a good thing  she
was, that's what. There's been some Pye or other going to  Avonlea  school
for the last twenty years, and I guess their mission in life was  to  keep
school teachers reminded that earth isn't their home. Bless my heart! What
does all that winking and blinking at the Barry gable mean?"
    "Diana is signaling for me to go over," laughed Anne.  "You  know  we
keep up the old custom. Excuse me while I run over and see what she wants."
    Anne ran down the clover slope like a deer, and  disappeared  in  the
firry  shadows  of  the  Haunted  Wood.  Mrs.  Lynde  looked   after   her
    "There's a good deal of the child about her yet in some ways."
    "There's a good deal more of the woman about her in others," retorted
Marilla, with a momentary return of her old crispness.
    But crispness was no longer Marilla's distinguishing  characteristic.
As Mrs. Lynde told her Thomas that night.
    "Marilla Cuthbert has got MELLOW. That's what."
    Anne went to the little Avonlea graveyard the  next  evening  to  put
fresh flowers on Matthew's  grave  and  water  the  Scotch  rosebush.  She
lingered there until dusk, liking the peace and calm of the little  place,
with its poplars whose rustle was  like  low,  friendly  speech,  and  its
whispering grasses growing at will among the graves. When she finally left
it and walked down the long hill that sloped to the Lake of Shining Waters
it was past  sunset  and  all  Avonlea  lay  before  her  in  a  dreamlike
afterlight"a haunt of ancient peace." There was a freshness in the air  as
of a wind that had blown over honey-sweet fields of  clover.  Home  lights
twinkled out here and there among the homestead trees. Beyond lay the sea,
misty and purple, with its haunting, unceasing  murmur.  The  west  was  a
glory of soft mingled hues, and the  pond  reflected  them  all  in  still
softer shadings. The beauty of it  all  thrilled  Anne's  heart,  and  she
gratefully opened the gates of her soul to it.
    "Dear old world," she murmured, "you are very lovely, and I  am  glad
to be alive in you."
    Halfway down the hill a tall lad came whistling out of a gate  before
the Blythe homestead. It was Gilbert, and the whistle died on his lips  as
he recognized Anne. He lifted his  cap  courteously,  but  he  would  have
passed on in silence, if Anne had not stopped and held out her hand.
    "Gilbert," she said, with scarlet cheeks, "I want to  thank  you  for
giving up the school for me. It was very good of you-and  I  want  you  to
know that I appreciate it."
    Gilbert took the offered hand eagerly.
    "I wasn't particularly good of me at all, Anne. I was pleased  to  be
able to do you some small service. Are we going to be friends after  this?
Have you really forgiven me my old fault?"
    Anne laughed and tried unsuccessfully to withdraw her hand.
    "I forgave you that day by the pond landing, although I  didn't  know
it. What a stubborn little goose I was. I've been-I may  as  well  make  a
complete confession-I've been sorry ever since."
    "We are going to be the best of friends," said  Gilbert,  jubilantly.
"We were born to be good friends, Anne. You've thwarted destiny enough.  I
know we can help each other in many ways. You are going to  keep  up  your
studies, aren't you? So am I. Come, I'm going to walk home with you."
    Marilla looked curiously at Anne when the latter entered the kitchen.
    "Who was that came up the lane with you, Anne?"
    "Gilbert Blythe," answered Anne, vexed to find herself  blushing.  "I
met him on Barry's hill."
    "I didn't think you and Gilbert Blythe were such  good  friends  that
you'd stand for half an hour at the gate talking  to  him,"  said  Marilla
with a dry smile.
    "We haven't been-we've been good enemies. But we have decided that it
will be much more sensible to be good  friends  in  the  future.  Were  we
really there half an hour? It seemed just a few minutes. But, you see,  we
have five years' lost conversations to catch up with, Marilla."
    Anne sat long at her window that night companioned by a glad content.
The wind purred softly in the cherry boughs, and the mint breaths came  up
to her. The stars twinkled over the pointed firs in the hollow and Diana's
light gleamed through the old gap.
    Anne's horizons had closed in since the night she had sat there after
coming home from Queen's; but if the path set before her feet  was  to  be
narrow she knew that flowers of quiet happiness would bloom along it.  The
joy of sincere work and worthy aspiration and congenial friendship were to
be hers; nothing could rob her of her birthright of  fancy  or  her  ideal
world of dreams. And there was always the bend in the road!
    "`God's in his heaven, all's right with the world,'"  whispered  Anne

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