A Tempest in the School Teapot
"What a splendid day!"
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,
but they can never have this one.
And it's splendider still to have such a lovely way to go to school by,
"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,
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.
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,
And it's a very pretty name,
don't you think?
We can't imagine the lovers into it,
I like that lane because you can think out loud there without people calling you crazy."
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,"
"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.
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,
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,
Other people besides Anne thought so when they stumbled on it.
It was a little narrow,
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,
Anne came home that evening in high spirits.
"I think I'm going to like school here,"
"I don't think much of the master,
He's all the time curling his mustache and making eyes at Prissy Andrews.
Prissy is grown up,
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,
most of the time --to explain her lessons,
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."
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,
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,
he might have been politer to a stranger,
Ruby Gillis gave me an apple and Sophia Sloane lent me a lovely pink card with
'May I see you home?'
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?
Jane Andrews told me that Minnie MacPherson told her that she heard Prissy Andrews tell Sara Gillis that I had a very pretty nose.
that is the first compliment I have ever had in my life and you can't imagine what a strange feeling it gave me.
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.
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,"
"He's been visiting his cousins over in New Brunswick all summer and he only came home Saturday night.
He's AW'FLY handsome,
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.
"Isn't his name that's written up on the porch wall with Julia Bell's and a big
'Take Notice' over them?"
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."
don't speak about freckles to me,"
"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.
she hastened to add,
"that anybody would."
She didn't want her name written up.
But it was a little humiliating to know that there was no danger of it.
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."
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,
But it IS nice to keep head of your class."
"You'll have Gilbert in your class after this,"
"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,
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
Josie Pye was head and,
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,
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 girl."
But it was not until the afternoon that things really began to happen.
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,
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:
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.
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.
who was inclined to be hysterical,
began to cry.
Tommy Sloane let his team of crickets escape him altogether while he stared open-mouthed at the tableau.
Mr. Phillips stalked down the aisle and laid his hand heavily on Anne's shoulder.
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.
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,
he whispered contritely.
"Honest I am.
Don't be mad for keeps,
Anne swept by disdainfully,
without look or sign of hearing.
"Oh how could you,
breathed Diana as they went down the road half reproachfully,
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,
The iron has entered into my soul,
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.
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,
"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,
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.
who had to wriggle hastily down from the trees,
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,
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.
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.
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,
queried Mr. Phillips sternly.
said Anne slowly "but I didn't suppose you really meant it."
"I assure you I did" --still with the sarcastic inflection which all the children,
and Anne especially,
It flicked on the raw.
"Obey me at once."
For a moment Anne looked as if she meant to disobey.
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.
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."
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.
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,
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,"
Diana gasped and stared at Anne to see if she meant it.
"Will Marilla let you stay home?"
"She'll have to,"
"I'll NEVER go to school to that man again."
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,
"I'd do almost anything in the world for you,
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,"
"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,
It's tremendously exciting.
And we're going to learn a new song --Jane 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,
down by the brook.
And you know you are so fond of reading out loud,
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.
"It isn't nonsense at all,"
gazing at Marilla with solemn,
"Don't you understand,
I've been insulted."
You'll go to school tomorrow as usual."
Anne shook her head gently.
"I'm not going back,
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,"
"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,
by this time."
Marilla found Mrs. Lynde knitting quilts as industriously and cheerfully as usual.
"I suppose you know what I've come about,"
a little shamefacedly.
Mrs. Rachel nodded.
"About Anne's fuss in school,
"Tillie Boulter was in on her way home from school and told me about it."
"I don't know what to do with her,"
"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,
since you've asked my advice,
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.
it doesn't do to say so to the children,
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,
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,
I never thought she'd take with them so well."
"Then you really think I'd better let her stay home,"
said Marilla in amazement.
That is I wouldn't say school to her again until she said it herself.
Depend upon it,
she'll cool off in a week or so and be ready enough to go back of her own accord,
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,
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,
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 managed.
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,
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,
"Whatever's the matter now,
"It's about Diana,"
sobbed Anne luxuriously.
"I love Diana so,
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.
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 bitterness.
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?
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,
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.
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,
Look at these maple branches.
Don't they give you a thrill --several thrills?
I'm going to decorate my room with them."
whose aesthetic sense was not noticeably developed.
"You clutter up your room entirely too much with out-of-doors stuff,
Bedrooms were made to sleep in."
and dream in too,
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,
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,
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,
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."
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.
can I use the rosebud spray tea set?"
The rosebud tea set!
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 snaps."
"I can just imagine myself sitting down at the head of the table and pouring out the tea,"
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.
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 position.
"How is your mother?"
inquired Anne politely,
just as if she had not seen Mrs. Barry picking apples that morning in excellent health and spirits.
"She is very well,
I suppose Mr. Cuthbert is hauling potatoes to the LILY SANDS this afternoon,
who had ridden down to Mr. Harmon Andrews's that morning in Matthew's cart.
Our potato crop is very good this year.
I hope your father's crop is good too."
"It is fairly good,
Have you picked many of your apples yet?"
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,
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,
They taste twice as good as any other color."
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 Blythe --
But 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.
please help yourself,
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,
"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,
When Anne came back from the kitchen Diana was drinking her second glassful of cordial;
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,"
"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,
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,
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.
it was such a pathetic tale,
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,
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,
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.
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.
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.
that was a terrible moment.
I remembered everything and I just stood up in my place and shrieked out
you mustn't use that pudding sauce.
There was a mouse drowned in it.
I forgot to tell you before.'
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.
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,"
a little thickly.
"I --I --must go right home."
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 minute."
"I must go home,"
stupidly but determinedly.
"Let me get you a lunch anyhow,"
"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,"
and that was all she would say.
In vain Anne pleaded.
"I never heard of company going home without tea,"
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,"
she walked very dizzily.
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,
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!
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,
"Mrs. Lynde was up to see Mrs. Barry today and Mrs. Barry was in an awful state,"
"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.
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,"
"I never thought raspberry cordial would set people drunk,
Marilla --not even if they drank three big tumblerfuls as Diana did.
it sounds so --so --like Mrs. Thomas's husband!
But I didn't mean to set her drunk."
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.
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,"
"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.
three of those big glasses would have made her sick even if it had only been cordial.
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.
I can't see as you were to blame although I'm sorry it happened so."
"I must cry,"
"My heart is broken.
The stars in their courses fight against me,
Diana and I are parted forever.
I little dreamed of this when first we swore our vows of friendship."
"Don't be foolish,
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,"
"I wish you'd go,
You're so much more dignified than I am.
Likely she'd listen to you quicker than to me."
reflecting that it would probably be the wiser course.
"Don't cry any more,
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.
I know by your face that it's been no use,"
she said sorrowfully.
"Mrs. Barry won't forgive me?"
"Mrs. Barry indeed!"
"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,
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.
coming to the door in answer to a timid knock,
found a white-lipped eager-eyed suppliant on the doorstep.
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.
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.
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?"
"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.
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,
I do not believe that God Himself can do very much with such an obstinate person as Mrs. Barry."
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.
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,"
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.
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?"
Diana shook her head mournfully.
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.
will you promise faithfully never to forget me,
the friend of your youth,
no matter what dearer friends may caress thee?"
"Indeed I will,"
"and I'll never have another bosom friend --I don't want to have.
I couldn't love anybody as I love you."
clasping her hands,
"do you LOVE me?"
of course I do.
Didn't you know that?"
Anne drew a long breath.
"I thought you LIKED me of course but I never hoped you LOVED me.
I didn't think anybody could love me.
Nobody ever has loved me since I can remember.
this is wonderful!
It's a ray of light which will forever shine on the darkness of a path severed from thee,
just say it once again."
"I love you devotedly,
said Diana stanchly,
"and I always will,
you may be sure of that."
"And I will always love thee,
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.
wilt thou give me a lock of thy jet-black tresses in parting to treasure forevermore?"
"Have you got anything to cut it with?"
wiping away the tears which Anne's affecting accents had caused to flow afresh,
and returning to practicalities.
I've got my patchwork scissors in my apron pocket fortunately,"
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.
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
'thee' seem so much more romantic than
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,
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 and her lips primmed up into a line of determination.
"I'm going back to school,"
"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,"
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,
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.
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,
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 Anne.
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
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.
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;
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,
and algebra were meant.
In geometry Anne met her Waterloo.
"It's perfectly awful stuff,
"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,
"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.
one can't stay sad very long in such an interesting world,
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.
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.
did you ever study geometry when you went to school?"
coming out of his doze with a start.
"I wish you had,"
"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,
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 right."
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,"
"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,
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,
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,
"Did you ever go courting,
I dunno's I ever did,"
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,
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,
I dunno as I comprehend them all myself,"
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,
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,
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,
Wouldn't you like some russets?"
I dunno but what I would,"
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 apples crashed together down the cellar ladder and were found at the bottom embedded in melted grease,
the next day,
who gathered them up and thanked mercy the house hadn't been set on fire.
"Whatever is the matter,
"Has your mother relented at last?"
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,
I'm so scared!"
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,"
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,"
"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.
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.
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 spirit.
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.
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,
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.
there isn't more than a cupful in the kettle!
I've filled it up,
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.
I'll undress Minnie May and put her to bed and you try to find some soft flannel cloths,
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 soundly.
"I was awfully near giving up in despair,"
"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,
because I can't express it in words.
You know there are some things that cannot be expressed in words."
nodded the doctor.
He looked at Anne as if he were thinking some things about her that couldn't be expressed in words.
he expressed them to Mr. and Mrs. Barry.
"That little redheaded girl they have over at Cuthbert's is as smart as they make
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.
isn't it a wonderful morning?
The world looks like something God had just imagined for His own pleasure,
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,
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.
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 I 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,
I guess you'll manage all right,"
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.
did you see the Premier?"
exclaimed Anne at once.
"What did he look like Marilla?"
he never got to be Premier on account of his looks,"
"Such a nose as that man had!
But he can speak.
I was proud of being a Conservative.
being a Liberal,
had no use for him.
Your dinner is in the oven,
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.
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,
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.
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.
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."
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 lips.
"You see before you a perfectly happy person,
"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,
but I just said as politely as I could,
'I have no hard feelings for you,
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,
"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 poetry:
"If you love me as I love you Nothing but death can part us two.
"And that is true,
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,
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,
And Mrs. Barry asked me if I took tea and said
why don't you pass the biscuits to Anne?'
It must be lovely to be grown up,
when just being treated as if you were is so nice."
"I don't know about that,"
with a brief sigh.
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,
that I feel like praying tonight and I'm going to think out a special brand-new prayer in honor of the occasion."
A Concert a Catastrophe and a Confession
can I go over to see Diana just for a minute?"
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,
So I don't think you're very badly off to see her again."
"But she wants to see me,"
"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,
"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."
we're very careful,
And it's so interesting.
Two flashes mean,
'Are you there?'
'yes' and four
'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."
you needn't suffer any longer,"
said Marilla sarcastically.
"You can go,
but you're to be back here in just ten minutes,
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.
what do you think?
You know tomorrow is Diana's birthday.
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,
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,"
"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,"
on the verge of tears.
"Diana has only one birthday in a year.
It isn't as if birthdays were common things,
Prissy Andrews is going to recite
'Curfew Must Not Ring Tonight.'
That is such a good moral piece,
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.
the minister is going to take part;
he's going to give an address.
That will be just about the same thing as a sermon.
mayn't I go,
"You heard what I said,
Take off your boots now and go to bed.
It's past eight."
"There's just one more thing,
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,
and don't let me hear another word out of you."
with tears rolling over her cheeks,
had gone sorrowfully upstairs,
who had been apparently sound asleep on the lounge during the whole dialogue,
opened his eyes and said decidedly:
I think you ought to let Anne go."
"I don't then,"
"Who's bringing this child up,
you or me?"
"Don't interfere then."
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,
"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,
For a moment Marilla looked things not lawful to be uttered.
Then she yielded to the inevitable and said tartly:
she can go,
since nothing else'll please you."
Anne flew out of the pantry,
dripping dishcloth in hand.
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,
you're dripping greasy water all over the floor.
I never saw such a careless child."
I know I'm a great trial to you,
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.
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,
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,
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 excitement.
Anne could not help a little pang when she contrasted her plain black tam and shapeless,
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,
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.
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 looks."
"You look awfully nice,"
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,
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 heart-stirring 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,"
"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,
They're always wanting the big scholars to recite.
Gilbert Blythe does often and he's only two years older than us.
how could you pretend not to listen to him?
When he came to the line,
not A SISTER,
he looked right down at you."
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 white-clad figures flew down the long room,
through the spare-room 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:
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.
who was it --WHAT was it?"
her teeth chattering with cold and fright.
"It was Aunt Josephine,"
gasping with laughter.
it was Aunt Josephine,
however she came to be there.
and I know she will be furious.
It's dreadful --it's really dreadful --but did you ever know anything so funny,
"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,
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 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.
it's made a nice lot of trouble,
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.
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.
Mrs. Barry didn't say just that to me,
but I'm a pretty good judge of human nature,
"I'm such an unlucky girl,"
"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,
"It's because you're too heedless and impulsive,
You never stop to think --whatever comes into your head to say or do you say or do it without a moment's reflection."
but that's the best of it,"
"Something just flashes into your mind,
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 had not.
She shook her head sagely.
"You must learn to think a little,
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,
stifling a giggle with an apprehensive glance over her shoulder at the closed sitting-room door.
"She was fairly dancing with rage,
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?"
"It's likely I'd do such a thing,
said Diana with just scorn.
"I'm no telltale,
and anyhow I was just as much to blame as you."
I'm going in to tell her myself,"
said Anne resolutely.
why --she'll eat you alive!"
"Don't frighten me any more than I am frightened,"
"I'd rather walk up to a cannon's mouth.
But I've got to do it,
It was my fault and I've got to confess.
I've had practice in confessing,
she's in the room,"
"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,
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,
"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."
"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,
So you must see how unjust it is to blame her."
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,"
"I think you ought to forgive us,
now that we've apologized.
please forgive Diana and let her have her music lessons.
Diana's heart is set on her music lessons,
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.
there is our side of it too.
Have you any imagination,
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,"
"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 friends.
When Miss Barry went away she said:
when you come to town you're to visit me and I'll put you in my very sparest spare-room bed to sleep."
"Miss Barry was a kindred spirit,
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."
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,
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,"
"Diana says perhaps they have something better,
but there couldn't be anything better than Mayflowers,
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,
not to know what Mayflowers are like and NOT to miss them.
Do you know what I think Mayflowers are,
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,
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,
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,
'My Home on the Hill.'
it was so thrilling,
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.
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,
I would have endured it joyfully for your sake."
"I guess you did your part in attending to the work and letting me rest,"
"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 evidently."
Headaches always left Marilla somewhat sarcastic.
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,
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,
I can't think of anything special."
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.
I've had my troubles,
but one can live down troubles.
Are you sorry you kept me,
I can't say I'm sorry,"
who sometimes wondered how she could have lived before Anne came to Green Gables,
not exactly sorry.
If you've finished your lessons,
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,"
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,
"What has got into your head now,
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,
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,
cried Anne desperately.
"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.
There is no such thing as a haunted wood anywhere.
Who has been telling you such stuff?"
"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,
We chose the spruce grove because it's so gloomy.
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.
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.
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!"
who had listened in dumb amazement.
do you mean to tell me you believe all that wicked nonsense of your own imagination?"
"Not believe EXACTLY,"
I don't believe it in daylight.
But after dark,
That is when ghosts walk."
"There are no such things as ghosts,
but there are,
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.
but he died two years after,
so you see it was really true.
And Ruby Gillis says --"
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 again."
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 ghost-seer 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.
how can you be so cruel?"
"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.
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.
so nothing caught you?"
said Marilla unsympathetically.
"I'll b-b-be contt-tented with c-c-commonplace places after this."
A New Departure in Flavorings
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,
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,"
"I don't think I was crying because I was really so very fond of him,"
"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,
I tried to remember the time Mr. Phillips made me sit with Gil --with a,
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,
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.
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.
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,
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,
But one can't feel quite in the depths of despair with two months' vacation before them,
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,
His wife is very pretty.
Not exactly regally lovely,
of course --it wouldn't do,
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,
because I know what it is to long for puffed sleeves.
she's only been a minister's wife for a little while,
so one should make allowances,
They are going to board with Mrs. Lynde until the manse is ready."
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,
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.
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,
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,
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,
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,
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,
"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,
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."
of course he's good,"
"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,"
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,"
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,
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,
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 ministers 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.
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,
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."
but cakes have such a terrible habit of turning out bad just when you especially want them to be good,"
setting a particularly well-balsamed twig afloat.
I suppose I shall just have to trust to Providence and be careful to put in the flour.
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,"
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,"
"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.
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,
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.
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,
and came out of the oven as light and feathery as golden foam.
flushed with delight,
clapped it together with layers of ruby jelly and,
saw Mrs. Allan eating it and possibly asking for another piece!
"You'll be using the best tea set,
"Can I fix the table with ferns and wild roses?"
"I think that's all nonsense,"
"In my opinion it's the eatables that matter and not flummery decorations."
"Mrs. Barry had HER table decorated,"
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 palate."
do as you like,"
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,"
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.
having already been helped to a bewildering variety,
seeing the disappointment on Anne's face,
you must take a piece of this,
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,
but steadily ate away at it.
Marilla saw the expression and hastened to taste the cake.
"what on earth did you put into that cake?"
"Nothing but what the recipe said,
cried Anne with a look of anguish.
isn't it all right?"
It's simply horrible.
don't try to eat it.
taste it yourself.
What flavoring did you use?"
her face scarlet with mortification after tasting the cake.
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,
Marilla took it,
"Mercy on us,
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 stairs and somebody entered the room.
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.
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,
"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 mustn't cry like this,"
genuinely disturbed by Anne's tragic face.
it's all just a funny mistake that anybody might make."
it takes me to make such a mistake,"
said Anne forlornly.
"And I wanted to have that cake so nice for you,
And I assure you I appreciate your kindness and thoughtfulness just as much as if it had turned out all right.
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.
she sighed deeply.
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,"
"I never saw your beat for making mistakes,
and well I know it,"
admitted Anne mournfully.
"But have you ever noticed one encouraging thing about me,
I never make the same mistake twice."
"I don't know as that's much benefit when you're always making new ones."
don't you see,
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."
you'd better go and give that cake to the pigs,"
"It isn't fit for any human to eat,
not even Jerry Boute."
Anne is Invited Out to Tea
"And what are your eyes popping out of your head about.
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.
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,
'Miss Anne Shirley,
That is the first time I was ever called
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,"
regarding the wonderful event very coolly.
"You needn't get in such a fever over it.
Do learn to take things calmly,
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,
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.
in spite of Matthew's predictions,
was fine and Anne's spirits soared to their highest.
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.
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,
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,"
hitting for once in her life on a very sound and pithy piece of advice.
Anne instantly realized this.
"You are right,
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.
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,
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,
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,
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,
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,
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,
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."
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,
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 class."
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,
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.
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,
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,
"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.
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,
partly in excitement,
partly in dismay.
"Don't you do it,
"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,
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.
she managed to take several steps before the catastrophe came.
Then she swayed,
lost her balance,
sliding down over the sun-baked roof and crashing off it through the tangle of Virginia creeper beneath --all before the dismayed circle below could give a simultaneous,
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.
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.
are you killed?"
throwing herself on her knees beside her friend.
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,
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 uncertainly:
I am not killed,
but I think I am rendered unconscious."
sobbed Carrie Sloane.
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. Barry.
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 garden."
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 shoulder.
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.
what has happened to her?"
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,
I was walking the ridgepole and I fell off.
I expect I have sprained my ankle.
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,"
sharp and shrewish in her very relief.
"Bring her in here,
and lay her on the sofa.
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.
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.
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,
"It was your own fault,"
twitching down the blind and lighting a lamp.
"And that is just why you should be sorry for me,"
"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,
if you had been dared to walk a ridgepole?"
"I'd have stayed on good firm ground and let them dare away.
"But you have such strength of mind,
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,
It's not a bit nice to faint,
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 Gil --everybody will get ahead of me in class.
I am an afflicted mortal.
But I'll try to bear it all bravely if only you won't be cross with me,
I'm not cross,"
"You're an unlucky child,
there's no doubt about that;
but as you say,
you'll have the suffering of it.
try and eat some supper."
"Isn't it fortunate I've got such an imagination?"
"It will help me through splendidly,
What do people who haven't any imagination do when they break their bones,
do you suppose,
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,
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,
You find out how many friends you have.
even Superintendent Bell came to see me,
and he's really a very fine man.
Not a kindred spirit,
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,
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,
When a minister's wife has so many claims on her time!
She is such a cheerful person to have visit you,
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.
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.
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,
'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,
"and that is that your fall off the Barry roof hasn't injured your tongue at all."
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,
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,
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,
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
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,'
'my woman's heart farewell,'
just made her blood run cold."
you might recite it for me some of these days,
out in the barn,"
"Of course I will,"
said Anne meditatively,
"but I won't be able to do it so well,
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,"
"I wonder at Miss Stacy for encouraging it."
"But we wanted a crow's nest for nature study,"
"That was on our field afternoon.
Field afternoons are splendid,
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,
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,
Miss Stacy makes it so clear.
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?
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.
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,
They make you graceful and promote digestion."
who honestly thought it was all nonsense.
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,"
"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,"
"A flag will cultivate a spirit of patriotism,
There's precious little patriotism in the thoughts of any of you.
All you want is a good time."
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,
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,
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 couldn't imagine a fairy wearing boots,
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.
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.
I reckon it's going to be a pretty good concert.
And I expect you'll do your part fine,"
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.
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 more delicate features than the other;
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,
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.
would be no great help.
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,
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.
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.
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.
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,
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,
Miss Lucilla Harris inquired,
briskly and ingratiatingly,
tapping the counter with both hands.
"Have you any --any --any --well now,
say any garden rakes?"
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,"
"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,
Matthew took his courage in both hands and replied:
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."
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,"
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,
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.
"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,"
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?
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,
seeing that if Marilla was to make it Anne would probably get wind of it before the time and spoil the surprise?
I'll do it.
it isn't a mite of trouble.
I like sewing.
I'll make it to fit my niece,
for she and Anne are as like as two peas as far as figure goes."
I'm much obliged,"
"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."
You needn't worry a speck more about it,
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,
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,
she said a little stiffly but tolerantly.
"I knew he was up to some foolishness.
I must say I don't think Anne needed any more dresses.
I made her three good,
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,
and she's as vain as a peacock now.
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.
Isn't it a lovely Christmas?
I'm so glad it's white.
Any other kind of Christmas doesn't seem real,
I don't like green Christmases.
They're not green --they're just nasty faded browns and grays.
What makes people call them green?
Why --why --Matthew,
is that for me?
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.
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,
said Matthew shyly.
"Why --why --Anne,
don't you like it?
Well now --well now."
For Anne's eyes had suddenly filled with tears.
Anne laid the dress over a chair and clasped her hands.
it's perfectly exquisite.
I can never thank you enough.
Look at those sleeves!
it seems to me this must be a happy dream."
let us have breakfast,"
"I must say,
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.
to match the dress.
"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,
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.
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.
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;
a pair of the daintiest little kid slippers,
with beaded toes and satin bows and glistening buckles.
this is too much.
I must be dreaming."
"I call it providential,"
"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.
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.
hasn't it been a brilliant evening?"
when it was all over and she and Diana were walking home together under a dark,
"Everything went off very well,"
said Diana practically.
"I guess we must have made as much as ten dollars.
Mr. Allan is going to send an account of it to the Charlottetown papers."
will we really see our names in print?
It makes me thrill to think of it.
Your solo was perfectly elegant,
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.'"
your recitations just brought down the house,
That sad one was simply splendid."
I was so nervous,
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,
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?"
you groaned lovely,"
"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,
it's been a very memorable occasion indeed."
"Wasn't the boys' dialogue fine?"
"Gilbert Blythe was just splendid.
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.
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,
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.
I guess our Anne did as well as any of them,"
said Matthew proudly.
"She's a bright child,
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.
I was proud of Anne tonight,
although I'm not going to tell her so."
I was proud of her and I did tell her so
'fore she went upstairs,"
"We must see what we can do for her some of these days,
I guess she'll need something more than Avonlea school by and by."
"There's time enough to think of that,"
"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."
it'll do no harm to be thinking it over off and on,"
"Things like that are all the better for lots of thinking over."
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,
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?
as she told Diana,
she did not really think she could.
"I'm positively certain,
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;
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."
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.
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,
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.
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,"
"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,
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.
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,"
"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.
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.
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,"
"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!"
it's as easy as wink,"
"It's easy for you because you have an imagination,"
"but what would you do if you had been born without one?
I suppose you have your composition all done?"
trying hard not to look virtuously complacent and failing miserably.
"I wrote it last Monday evening.
'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,
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."
what became of Cordelia and Geraldine?"
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;
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,
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.
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,
But Bertram saw it all and he at once plunged into the current,
'I will save thee,
my peerless Geraldine.'
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,
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!"
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,
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,
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,
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,"
"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,
"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,
"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."
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,
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.
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,
"The way I feel at present,
"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 afterwards."