chapter xi.anne's impressions of sunday-school "well, how do you like them?" said marilla.anne was standing in the gable room, looking solemnly at three new dressesspread out on the bed. one was of snuffy colored gingham whichmarilla had been tempted to buy from a peddler the preceding summer because itlooked so serviceable; one was of black- and-white checkered sateen which she had picked up at a bargain counter in thewinter; and one was a stiff print of an ugly blue shade which she had purchasedthat week at a carmody store. she had made them up herself, and they wereall made alike--plain skirts fulled tightly
to plain waists, with sleeves as plain aswaist and skirt and tight as sleeves could be. "i'll imagine that i like them," said annesoberly. "i don't want you to imagine it," saidmarilla, offended. "oh, i can see you don't like the dresses! what is the matter with them?aren't they neat and clean and new?" "yes.""then why don't you like them?" "they're--they're not--pretty," said annereluctantly. "pretty!"marilla sniffed.
"i didn't trouble my head about gettingpretty dresses for you. i don't believe in pampering vanity, anne,i'll tell you that right off. those dresses are good, sensible,serviceable dresses, without any frills or furbelows about them, and they're allyou'll get this summer. the brown gingham and the blue print willdo you for school when you begin to go. the sateen is for church and sunday school.i'll expect you to keep them neat and clean and not to tear them. i should think you'd be grateful to getmost anything after those skimpy wincey things you've been wearing.""oh, i am grateful," protested anne.
"but i'd be ever so much gratefuller if--ifyou'd made just one of them with puffed sleeves.puffed sleeves are so fashionable now. it would give me such a thrill, marilla,just to wear a dress with puffed sleeves." "well, you'll have to do without yourthrill. i hadn't any material to waste on puffedsleeves. i think they are ridiculous-looking thingsanyhow. i prefer the plain, sensible ones." "but i'd rather look ridiculous wheneverybody else does than plain and sensible all by myself," persisted anne mournfully."trust you for that!
well, hang those dresses carefully up inyour closet, and then sit down and learn the sunday school lesson. i got a quarterly from mr. bell for you andyou'll go to sunday school tomorrow," said marilla, disappearing downstairs in highdudgeon. anne clasped her hands and looked at thedresses. "i did hope there would be a white one withpuffed sleeves," she whispered disconsolately. "i prayed for one, but i didn't much expectit on that account. i didn't suppose god would have time tobother about a little orphan girl's dress.
i knew i'd just have to depend on marillafor it. well, fortunately i can imagine that one ofthem is of snow-white muslin with lovely lace frills and three-puffed sleeves." the next morning warnings of a sickheadache prevented marilla from going to sunday-school with anne."you'll have to go down and call for mrs. lynde, anne." she said. "she'll see that you get into the rightclass. now, mind you behave yourself properly.stay to preaching afterwards and ask mrs. lynde to show you our pew.
here's a cent for collection.don't stare at people and don't fidget. i shall expect you to tell me the text whenyou come home." anne started off irreproachable, arrayed inthe stiff black-and-white sateen, which, while decent as regards length andcertainly not open to the charge of skimpiness, contrived to emphasize everycorner and angle of her thin figure. her hat was a little, flat, glossy, newsailor, the extreme plainness of which had likewise much disappointed anne, who hadpermitted herself secret visions of ribbon and flowers. the latter, however, were supplied beforeanne reached the main road, for being
confronted halfway down the lane with agolden frenzy of wind-stirred buttercups and a glory of wild roses, anne promptly and liberally garlanded her hat with aheavy wreath of them. whatever other people might have thought ofthe result it satisfied anne, and she tripped gaily down the road, holding herruddy head with its decoration of pink and yellow very proudly. when she had reached mrs. lynde's house shefound that lady gone. nothing daunted, anne proceeded onward tothe church alone. in the porch she found a crowd of littlegirls, all more or less gaily attired in
whites and blues and pinks, and all staringwith curious eyes at this stranger in their midst, with her extraordinary headadornment. avonlea little girls had already heardqueer stories about anne. mrs. lynde said she had an awful temper;jerry buote, the hired boy at green gables, said she talked all the time to herself orto the trees and flowers like a crazy girl. they looked at her and whispered to eachother behind their quarterlies. nobody made any friendly advances, then orlater on when the opening exercises were over and anne found herself in missrogerson's class. miss rogerson was a middle-aged lady whohad taught a sunday-school class for twenty
years. her method of teaching was to ask theprinted questions from the quarterly and look sternly over its edge at theparticular little girl she thought ought to answer the question. she looked very often at anne, and anne,thanks to marilla's drilling, answered promptly; but it may be questioned if sheunderstood very much about either question or answer. she did not think she liked miss rogerson,and she felt very miserable; every other little girl in the class had puffedsleeves.
anne felt that life was really not worthliving without puffed sleeves. "well, how did you like sunday school?"marilla wanted to know when anne came home. her wreath having faded, anne had discardedit in the lane, so marilla was spared the knowledge of that for a time."i didn't like it a bit. it was horrid." "anne shirley!" said marilla rebukingly.anne sat down on the rocker with a long sigh, kissed one of bonny's leaves, andwaved her hand to a blossoming fuchsia. "they might have been lonesome while i wasaway," she explained. "and now about the sunday school.i behaved well, just as you told me.
mrs. lynde was gone, but i went right onmyself. i went into the church, with a lot of otherlittle girls, and i sat in the corner of a pew by the window while the openingexercises went on. mr. bell made an awfully long prayer. i would have been dreadfully tired beforehe got through if i hadn't been sitting by that window. but it looked right out on the lake ofshining waters, so i just gazed at that and imagined all sorts of splendid things.""you shouldn't have done anything of the sort.
you should have listened to mr. bell.""but he wasn't talking to me," protested anne."he was talking to god and he didn't seem to be very much inter-ested in it, either. i think he thought god was too far offthough. there was a long row of white bircheshanging over the lake and the sunshine fell down through them, 'way, 'way down, deepinto the water. oh, marilla, it was like a beautiful dream! it gave me a thrill and i just said, 'thankyou for it, god,' two or three times." "not out loud, i hope," said marillaanxiously.
"oh, no, just under my breath. well, mr. bell did get through at last andthey told me to go into the classroom with miss rogerson's class.there were nine other girls in it. they all had puffed sleeves. i tried to imagine mine were puffed, too,but i couldn't. why couldn't i? it was as easy as could be to imagine theywere puffed when i was alone in the east gable, but it was awfully hard there amongthe others who had really truly puffs." "you shouldn't have been thinking aboutyour sleeves in sunday school.
you should have been attending to thelesson. i hope you knew it." "oh, yes; and i answered a lot ofquestions. miss rogerson asked ever so many.i don't think it was fair for her to do all the asking. there were lots i wanted to ask her, but ididn't like to because i didn't think she was a kindred spirit.then all the other little girls recited a paraphrase. she asked me if i knew any.i told her i didn't, but i could recite,
'the dog at his master's grave' if sheliked. that's in the third royal reader. it isn't a really truly religious piece ofpoetry, but it's so sad and melancholy that it might as well be. she said it wouldn't do and she told me tolearn the nineteenth paraphrase for next sunday.i read it over in church afterwards and it's splendid. there are two lines in particular that justthrill me. "'quick as the slaughtered squadrons fellin midian's evil day.'
"i don't know what 'squadrons' means nor'midian,' either, but it sounds so tragical.i can hardly wait until next sunday to recite it. i'll practice it all the week.after sunday school i asked miss rogerson-- because mrs. lynde was too far away--toshow me your pew. i sat just as still as i could and the textwas revelations, third chapter, second and third verses.it was a very long text. if i was a minister i'd pick the short,snappy ones. the sermon was awfully long, too.i suppose the minister had to match it to
the text. i didn't think he was a bit interesting.the trouble with him seems to be that he hasn't enough imagination.i didn't listen to him very much. i just let my thoughts run and i thought ofthe most surprising things." marilla felt helplessly that all thisshould be sternly reproved, but she was hampered by the undeniable fact that someof the things anne had said, especially about the minister's sermons and mr. bell's prayers, were what she herself had reallythought deep down in her heart for years, but had never given expression to.
it almost seemed to her that those secret,unuttered, critical thoughts had suddenly taken visible and accusing shape and formin the person of this outspoken morsel of neglected humanity. > chapter xii.a solemn vow and promise it was not until the next friday thatmarilla heard the story of the flower- wreathed hat.she came home from mrs. lynde's and called anne to account. "anne, mrs. rachel says you went to churchlast sunday with your hat rigged out
ridiculous with roses and buttercups.what on earth put you up to such a caper? a pretty-looking object you must havebeen!" "oh.i know pink and yellow aren't becoming to me," began anne. "becoming fiddlesticks!it was putting flowers on your hat at all, no matter what color they were, that wasridiculous. you are the most aggravating child!" "i don't see why it's any more ridiculousto wear flowers on your hat than on your dress," protested anne."lots of little girls there had bouquets
pinned on their dresses. what's the difference?"marilla was not to be drawn from the safe concrete into dubious paths of theabstract. "don't answer me back like that, anne. it was very silly of you to do such athing. never let me catch you at such a trickagain. mrs. rachel says she thought she would sinkthrough the floor when she saw you come in all rigged out like that.she couldn't get near enough to tell you to take them off till it was too late.
she says people talked about it somethingdreadful. of course they would think i had no bettersense than to let you go decked out like that." "oh, i'm so sorry," said anne, tearswelling into her eyes. "i never thought you'd mind. the roses and buttercups were so sweet andpretty i thought they'd look lovely on my hat.lots of the little girls had artificial flowers on their hats. i'm afraid i'm going to be a dreadful trialto you.
maybe you'd better send me back to theasylum. that would be terrible; i don't think icould endure it; most likely i would go into consumption; i'm so thin as it is, yousee. but that would be better than being a trialto you." "nonsense," said marilla, vexed at herselffor having made the child cry. "i don't want to send you back to theasylum, i'm sure. all i want is that you should behave likeother little girls and not make yourself ridiculous. don't cry any more.i've got some news for you.
diana barry came home this afternoon. i'm going up to see if i can borrow a skirtpattern from mrs. barry, and if you like you can come with me and get acquaintedwith diana." anne rose to her feet, with clasped hands,the tears still glistening on her cheeks; the dish towel she had been hemming slippedunheeded to the floor. "oh, marilla, i'm frightened--now that ithas come i'm actually frightened. what if she shouldn't like me!it would be the most tragical disappointment of my life." "now, don't get into a fluster.and i do wish you wouldn't use such long
words.it sounds so funny in a little girl. i guess diana'll like you well enough. it's her mother you've got to reckon with.if she doesn't like you it won't matter how much diana does. if she has heard about your outburst tomrs. lynde and going to church with buttercups round your hat i don't know whatshe'll think of you. you must be polite and well behaved, anddon't make any of your startling speeches. for pity's sake, if the child isn'tactually trembling!" anne was trembling.
her face was pale and tense. "oh, marilla, you'd be excited, too, if youwere going to meet a little girl you hoped to be your bosom friend and whose mothermightn't like you," she said as she hastened to get her hat. they went over to orchard slope by theshort cut across the brook and up the firry hill grove.mrs. barry came to the kitchen door in answer to marilla's knock. she was a tall black-eyed, black-hairedwoman, with a very resolute mouth. she had the reputation of being very strictwith her children.
"how do you do, marilla?" she saidcordially. "come in.and this is the little girl you have adopted, i suppose?" "yes, this is anne shirley," said marilla."spelled with an e," gasped anne, who, tremulous and excited as she was, wasdetermined there should be no misunderstanding on that important point. mrs. barry, not hearing or notcomprehending, merely shook hands and said kindly:"how are you?" "i am well in body although considerablerumpled up in spirit, thank you ma'am,"
said anne gravely. then aside to marilla in an audiblewhisper, "there wasn't anything startling in that, was there, marilla?" diana was sitting on the sofa, reading abook which she dropped when the callers entered. she was a very pretty little girl, with hermother's black eyes and hair, and rosy cheeks, and the merry expression which washer inheritance from her father. "this is my little girl diana," said mrs.barry. "diana, you might take anne out into thegarden and show her your flowers.
it will be better for you than strainingyour eyes over that book. she reads entirely too much--" this tomarilla as the little girls went out--"and i can't prevent her, for her father aidsand abets her. she's always poring over a book. i'm glad she has the prospect of aplaymate--perhaps it will take her more out-of-doors." outside in the garden, which was full ofmellow sunset light streaming through the dark old firs to the west of it, stood anneand diana, gazing bashfully at each other over a clump of gorgeous tiger lilies.
the barry garden was a bowery wilderness offlowers which would have delighted anne's heart at any time less fraught withdestiny. it was encircled by huge old willows andtall firs, beneath which flourished flowers that loved the shade. prim, right-angled paths neatly borderedwith clamshells, intersected it like moist red ribbons and in the beds between old-fashioned flowers ran riot. there were rosy bleeding-hearts and greatsplendid crimson peonies; white, fragrant narcissi and thorny, sweet scotch roses;pink and blue and white columbines and lilac-tinted bouncing bets; clumps of
southernwood and ribbon grass and mint;purple adam-and-eve, daffodils, and masses of sweet clover white with its delicate,fragrant, feathery sprays; scarlet lightning that shot its fiery lances over prim white musk-flowers; a garden it waswhere sunshine lingered and bees hummed, and winds, beguiled into loitering, purredand rustled. "oh, diana," said anne at last, claspingher hands and speaking almost in a whisper, "oh, do you think you can like me a little--enough to be my bosom friend?" diana laughed. diana always laughed before she spoke."why, i guess so," she said frankly.
"i'm awfully glad you've come to live atgreen gables. it will be jolly to have somebody to playwith. there isn't any other girl who lives nearenough to play with, and i've no sisters big enough." "will you swear to be my friend forever andever?" demanded anne eagerly. diana looked shocked."why it's dreadfully wicked to swear," she said rebukingly. "oh no, not my kind of swearing.there are two kinds, you know." "i never heard of but one kind," said dianadoubtfully.
"there really is another. oh, it isn't wicked at all.it just means vowing and promising solemnly.""well, i don't mind doing that," agreed diana, relieved. "how do you do it?""we must join hands--so," said anne gravely."it ought to be over running water. we'll just imagine this path is runningwater. i'll repeat the oath first. i solemnly swear to be faithful to my bosomfriend, diana barry, as long as the sun and
moon shall endure.now you say it and put my name in." diana repeated the "oath" with a laugh foreand aft. then she said:"you're a queer girl, anne. i heard before that you were queer. but i believe i'm going to like you realwell." when marilla and anne went home diana wentwith them as for as the log bridge. the two little girls walked with their armsabout each other. at the brook they parted with many promisesto spend the next afternoon together. "well, did you find diana a kindredspirit?" asked marilla as they went up
through the garden of green gables. "oh yes," sighed anne, blissfullyunconscious of any sarcasm on marilla's part."oh marilla, i'm the happiest girl on prince edward island this very moment. i assure you i'll say my prayers with aright good-will tonight. diana and i are going to build a playhousein mr. william bell's birch grove tomorrow. can i have those broken pieces of chinathat are out in the woodshed? diana's birthday is in february and mine isin march. don't you think that is a very strangecoincidence?
diana is going to lend me a book to read.she says it's perfectly splendid and tremendously exciting. she's going to show me a place back in thewoods where rice lilies grow. don't you think diana has got very soulfuleyes? i wish i had soulful eyes. diana is going to teach me to sing a songcalled 'nelly in the hazel dell.' she's going to give me a picture to put upin my room; it's a perfectly beautiful picture, she says--a lovely lady in a paleblue silk dress. a sewing-machine agent gave it to her.
i wish i had something to give diana. i'm an inch taller than diana, but she isever so much fatter; she says she'd like to be thin because it's so much more graceful,but i'm afraid she only said it to soothe my feelings. we're going to the shore some day to gathershells. we have agreed to call the spring down bythe log bridge the dryad's bubble. isn't that a perfectly elegant name? i read a story once about a spring calledthat. a dryad is sort of a grown-up fairy, ithink."
"well, all i hope is you won't talk dianato death," said marilla. "but remember this in all your planning,anne. you're not going to play all the time normost of it. you'll have your work to do and it'll haveto be done first." anne's cup of happiness was full, andmatthew caused it to overflow. he had just got home from a trip to thestore at carmody, and he sheepishly produced a small parcel from his pocket andhanded it to anne, with a deprecatory look at marilla. "i heard you say you liked chocolatesweeties, so i got you some," he said.
"humph," sniffed marilla."it'll ruin her teeth and stomach. there, there, child, don't look so dismal. you can eat those, since matthew has goneand got them. he'd better have brought you peppermints.they're wholesomer. don't sicken yourself eating all them atonce now." "oh, no, indeed, i won't," said anneeagerly. "i'll just eat one tonight, marilla. and i can give diana half of them, can't i?the other half will taste twice as sweet to me if i give some to her.it's delightful to think i have something
to give her." "i will say it for the child," said marillawhen anne had gone to her gable, "she isn't stingy.i'm glad, for of all faults i detest stinginess in a child. dear me, it's only three weeks since shecame, and it seems as if she'd been here always.i can't imagine the place without her. now, don't be looking i told-you-so,matthew. that's bad enough in a woman, but it isn'tto be endured in a man. i'm perfectly willing to own up that i'mglad i consented to keep the child and that
i'm getting fond of her, but don't you rubit in, matthew cuthbert." chapter xiii.the delights of anticipation "it's time anne was in to do her sewing,"said marilla, glancing at the clock and then out into the yellow august afternoonwhere everything drowsed in the heat. "she stayed playing with diana more thanhalf an hour more'n i gave her leave to; and now she's perched out there on thewoodpile talking to matthew, nineteen to the dozen, when she knows perfectly wellshe ought to be at her work. and of course he's listening to her like aperfect ninny. i never saw such an infatuated man.
the more she talks and the odder the thingsshe says, the more he's delighted evidently.anne shirley, you come right in here this minute, do you hear me!" a series of staccato taps on the westwindow brought anne flying in from the yard, eyes shining, cheeks faintly flushedwith pink, unbraided hair streaming behind her in a torrent of brightness. "oh, marilla," she exclaimed breathlessly,"there's going to be a sunday-school picnic next week--in mr. harmon andrews's field,right near the lake of shining waters. and mrs. superintendent bell and mrs.rachel lynde are going to make ice cream--
think of it, marilla--ice cream!and, oh, marilla, can i go to it?" "just look at the clock, if you please,anne. what time did i tell you to come in?""two o'clock--but isn't it splendid about the picnic, marilla? please can i go?oh, i've never been to a picnic--i've dreamed of picnics, but i've never--""yes, i told you to come at two o'clock. and it's a quarter to three. i'd like to know why you didn't obey me,anne." "why, i meant to, marilla, as much as couldbe.
but you have no idea how fascinatingidlewild is. and then, of course, i had to tell matthewabout the picnic. matthew is such a sympathetic listener. please can i go?""you'll have to learn to resist the fascination of idle-whatever-you-call-it. when i tell you to come in at a certaintime i mean that time and not half an hour later.and you needn't stop to discourse with sympathetic listeners on your way, either. as for the picnic, of course you can go.you're a sunday-school scholar, and it's
not likely i'd refuse to let you go whenall the other little girls are going." "but--but," faltered anne, "diana says thateverybody must take a basket of things to eat. i can't cook, as you know, marilla, and--and--i don't mind going to a picnic without puffed sleeves so much, but i'd feelterribly humiliated if i had to go without a basket. it's been preying on my mind ever sincediana told me." "well, it needn't prey any longer.i'll bake you a basket." "oh, you dear good marilla.
oh, you are so kind to me.oh, i'm so much obliged to you." getting through with her "ohs" anne castherself into marilla's arms and rapturously kissed her sallow cheek. it was the first time in her whole lifethat childish lips had voluntarily touched marilla's face.again that sudden sensation of startling sweetness thrilled her. she was secretly vastly pleased at anne'simpulsive caress, which was probably the reason why she said brusquely:"there, there, never mind your kissing nonsense.
i'd sooner see you doing strictly as you'retold. as for cooking, i mean to begin giving youlessons in that some of these days. but you're so featherbrained, anne, i'vebeen waiting to see if you'd sober down a little and learn to be steady before ibegin. you've got to keep your wits about you incooking and not stop in the middle of things to let your thoughts rove all overcreation. now, get out your patchwork and have yoursquare done before teatime." "i do not like patchwork," said annedolefully, hunting out her workbasket and sitting down before a little heap of redand white diamonds with a sigh.
"i think some kinds of sewing would benice; but there's no scope for imagination in patchwork.it's just one little seam after another and you never seem to be getting anywhere. but of course i'd rather be anne of greengables sewing patchwork than anne of any other place with nothing to do but play. i wish time went as quick sewing patches asit does when i'm playing with diana, though.oh, we do have such elegant times, marilla. i have to furnish most of the imagination,but i'm well able to do that. diana is simply perfect in every other way.
you know that little piece of land acrossthe brook that runs up between our farm and mr. barry's. it belongs to mr. william bell, and rightin the corner there is a little ring of white birch trees--the most romantic spot,marilla. diana and i have our playhouse there. we call it idlewild.isn't that a poetical name? i assure you it took me some time to thinkit out. i stayed awake nearly a whole night beforei invented it. then, just as i was dropping off to sleep,it came like an inspiration.
diana was enraptured when she heard it. we have got our house fixed up elegantly.you must come and see it, marilla--won't you? we have great big stones, all covered withmoss, for seats, and boards from tree to tree for shelves.and we have all our dishes on them. of course, they're all broken but it's theeasiest thing in the world to imagine that they are whole. there's a piece of a plate with a spray ofred and yellow ivy on it that is especially beautiful.we keep it in the parlor and we have the
fairy glass there, too. the fairy glass is as lovely as a dream.diana found it out in the woods behind their chicken house. it's all full of rainbows--just littleyoung rainbows that haven't grown big yet-- and diana's mother told her it was brokenoff a hanging lamp they once had. but it's nice to imagine the fairies lostit one night when they had a ball, so we call it the fairy glass.matthew is going to make us a table. oh, we have named that little round poolover in mr. barry's field willowmere. i got that name out of the book diana lentme.
that was a thrilling book, marilla. the heroine had five lovers.i'd be satisfied with one, wouldn't you? she was very handsome and she went throughgreat tribulations. she could faint as easy as anything. i'd love to be able to faint, wouldn't you,marilla? it's so romantic.but i'm really very healthy for all i'm so thin. i believe i'm getting fatter, though.don't you think i am? i look at my elbows every morning when iget up to see if any dimples are coming.
diana is having a new dress made with elbowsleeves. she is going to wear it to the picnic.oh, i do hope it will be fine next wednesday. i don't feel that i could endure thedisappointment if anything happened to prevent me from getting to the picnic.i suppose i'd live through it, but i'm certain it would be a lifelong sorrow. it wouldn't matter if i got to a hundredpicnics in after years; they wouldn't make up for missing this one. they're going to have boats on the lake ofshining waters--and ice cream, as i told
you.i have never tasted ice cream. diana tried to explain what it was like,but i guess ice cream is one of those things that are beyond imagination.""anne, you have talked even on for ten minutes by the clock," said marilla. "now, just for curiosity's sake, see if youcan hold your tongue for the same length of time."anne held her tongue as desired. but for the rest of the week she talkedpicnic and thought picnic and dreamed picnic. on saturday it rained and she workedherself up into such a frantic state lest
it should keep on raining until and overwednesday that marilla made her sew an extra patchwork square by way of steadyingher nerves. on sunday anne confided to marilla on theway home from church that she grew actually cold all over with excitement when theminister announced the picnic from the pulpit. "such a thrill as went up and down my back,marilla! i don't think i'd ever really believeduntil then that there was honestly going to be a picnic. i couldn't help fearing i'd only imaginedit.
but when a minister says a thing in thepulpit you just have to believe it." "you set your heart too much on things,anne," said marilla, with a sigh. "i'm afraid there'll be a great manydisappointments in store for you through life." "oh, marilla, looking forward to things ishalf the pleasure of them," exclaimed anne. "you mayn't get the things themselves; butnothing can prevent you from having the fun of looking forward to them. mrs. lynde says, 'blessed are they whoexpect nothing for they shall not be disappointed.'but i think it would be worse to expect
nothing than to be disappointed." marilla wore her amethyst brooch to churchthat day as usual. marilla always wore her amethyst brooch tochurch. she would have thought it rathersacrilegious to leave it off--as bad as forgetting her bible or her collectiondime. that amethyst brooch was marilla's mosttreasured possession. a seafaring uncle had given it to hermother who in turn had bequeathed it to marilla. it was an old-fashioned oval, containing abraid of her mother's hair, surrounded by a
border of very fine amethysts. marilla knew too little about preciousstones to realize how fine the amethysts actually were; but she thought them verybeautiful and was always pleasantly conscious of their violet shimmer at her throat, above her good brown satin dress,even although she could not see it. anne had been smitten with delightedadmiration when she first saw that brooch. "oh, marilla, it's a perfectly elegantbrooch. i don't know how you can pay attention tothe sermon or the prayers when you have it on.
i couldn't, i know.i think amethysts are just sweet. they are what i used to think diamonds werelike. long ago, before i had ever seen a diamond,i read about them and i tried to imagine what they would be like.i thought they would be lovely glimmering purple stones. when i saw a real diamond in a lady's ringone day i was so disappointed i cried. of course, it was very lovely but it wasn'tmy idea of a diamond. will you let me hold the brooch for oneminute, marilla? do you think amethysts can be the souls ofgood violets?"
chapter xiv.anne's confession on the monday evening before the picnicmarilla came down from her room with a troubled face. "anne," she said to that small personage,who was shelling peas by the spotless table and singing, "nelly of the hazel dell" witha vigor and expression that did credit to diana's teaching, "did you see anything ofmy amethyst brooch? i thought i stuck it in my pincushion wheni came home from church yesterday evening, but i can't find it anywhere." "i--i saw it this afternoon when you wereaway at the aid society," said anne, a
little slowly."i was passing your door when i saw it on the cushion, so i went in to look at it." "did you touch it?" said marilla sternly."y-e-e-s," admitted anne, "i took it up and i pinned it on my breast just to see how itwould look." "you had no business to do anything of thesort. it's very wrong in a little girl to meddle. you shouldn't have gone into my room in thefirst place and you shouldn't have touched a brooch that didn't belong to you in thesecond. where did you put it?"
"oh, i put it back on the bureau.i hadn't it on a minute. truly, i didn't mean to meddle, marilla. i didn't think about its being wrong to goin and try on the brooch; but i see now that it was and i'll never do it again.that's one good thing about me. i never do the same naughty thing twice." "you didn't put it back," said marilla."that brooch isn't anywhere on the bureau. you've taken it out or something, anne.""i did put it back," said anne quickly-- pertly, marilla thought. "i don't just remember whether i stuck iton the pincushion or laid it in the china
tray.but i'm perfectly certain i put it back." "i'll go and have another look," saidmarilla, determining to be just. "if you put that brooch back it's therestill. if it isn't i'll know you didn't, that'sall!" marilla went to her room and made athorough search, not only over the bureau but in every other place she thought thebrooch might possibly be. it was not to be found and she returned tothe kitchen. "anne, the brooch is gone.by your own admission you were the last person to handle it.
now, what have you done with it?tell me the truth at once. did you take it out and lose it?""no, i didn't," said anne solemnly, meeting marilla's angry gaze squarely. "i never took the brooch out of your roomand that is the truth, if i was to be led to the block for it--although i'm not verycertain what a block is. so there, marilla." anne's "so there" was only intended toemphasize her assertion, but marilla took it as a display of defiance."i believe you are telling me a falsehood, anne," she said sharply.
"i know you are.there now, don't say anything more unless you are prepared to tell the whole truth.go to your room and stay there until you are ready to confess." "will i take the peas with me?" said annemeekly. "no, i'll finish shelling them myself.do as i bid you." when anne had gone marilla went about herevening tasks in a very disturbed state of mind.she was worried about her valuable brooch. what if anne had lost it? and how wicked of the child to deny havingtaken it, when anybody could see she must
have!with such an innocent face, too! "i don't know what i wouldn't sooner havehad happen," thought marilla, as she nervously shelled the peas."of course, i don't suppose she meant to steal it or anything like that. she's just taken it to play with or helpalong that imagination of hers. she must have taken it, that's clear, forthere hasn't been a soul in that room since she was in it, by her own story, until iwent up tonight. and the brooch is gone, there's nothingsurer. i suppose she has lost it and is afraid toown up for fear she'll be punished.
it's a dreadful thing to think she tellsfalsehoods. it's a far worse thing than her fit oftemper. it's a fearful responsibility to have achild in your house you can't trust. slyness and untruthfulness--that's what shehas displayed. i declare i feel worse about that thanabout the brooch. if she'd only have told the truth about iti wouldn't mind so much." marilla went to her room at intervals allthrough the evening and searched for the brooch, without finding it.a bedtime visit to the east gable produced no result.
anne persisted in denying that she knewanything about the brooch but marilla was only the more firmly convinced that shedid. she told matthew the story the nextmorning. matthew was confounded and puzzled; hecould not so quickly lose faith in anne but he had to admit that circumstances wereagainst her. "you're sure it hasn't fell down behind thebureau?" was the only suggestion he could offer. "i've moved the bureau and i've taken outthe drawers and i've looked in every crack and cranny" was marilla's positive answer."the brooch is gone and that child has
taken it and lied about it. that's the plain, ugly truth, matthewcuthbert, and we might as well look it in the face.""well now, what are you going to do about it?" matthew asked forlornly, feeling secretlythankful that marilla and not he had to deal with the situation.he felt no desire to put his oar in this time. "she'll stay in her room until sheconfesses," said marilla grimly, remembering the success of this method inthe former case.
"then we'll see. perhaps we'll be able to find the brooch ifshe'll only tell where she took it; but in any case she'll have to be severelypunished, matthew." "well now, you'll have to punish her," saidmatthew, reaching for his hat. "i've nothing to do with it, remember.you warned me off yourself." marilla felt deserted by everyone. she could not even go to mrs. lynde foradvice. she went up to the east gable with a veryserious face and left it with a face more serious still.
anne steadfastly refused to confess.she persisted in asserting that she had not taken the brooch. the child had evidently been crying andmarilla felt a pang of pity which she sternly repressed.by night she was, as she expressed it, "beat out." "you'll stay in this room until youconfess, anne. you can make up your mind to that," shesaid firmly. "but the picnic is tomorrow, marilla,"cried anne. "you won't keep me from going to that, willyou?
you'll just let me out for the afternoon,won't you? then i'll stay here as long as you likeafterwards cheerfully. but i must go to the picnic." "you'll not go to picnics nor anywhere elseuntil you've confessed, anne." "oh, marilla," gasped anne.but marilla had gone out and shut the door. wednesday morning dawned as bright and fairas if expressly made to order for the birds sang around green gables; the madonnalilies in the garden sent out whiffs of perfume that entered in on viewless windsat every door and window, and wandered through halls and rooms like spirits ofbenediction.
the birches in the hollow waved joyfulhands as if watching for anne's usual morning greeting from the east gable. but anne was not at her window.when marilla took her breakfast up to her she found the child sitting primly on herbed, pale and resolute, with tight-shut lips and gleaming eyes. "marilla, i'm ready to confess.""ah!" marilla laid down her tray.once again her method had succeeded; but her success was very bitter to her. "let me hear what you have to say then,anne."
"i took the amethyst brooch," said anne, asif repeating a lesson she had learned. "i took it just as you said. i didn't mean to take it when i went in.but it did look so beautiful, marilla, when i pinned it on my breast that i wasovercome by an irresistible temptation. i imagined how perfectly thrilling it wouldbe to take it to idlewild and play i was the lady cordelia fitzgerald. it would be so much easier to imagine i wasthe lady cordelia if i had a real amethyst brooch on. diana and i make necklaces of roseberriesbut what are roseberries compared to
amethysts?so i took the brooch. i thought i could put it back before youcame home. i went all the way around by the road tolengthen out the time. when i was going over the bridge across thelake of shining waters i took the brooch off to have another look at it.oh, how it did shine in the sunlight! and then, when i was leaning over thebridge, it just slipped through my fingers- -so--and went down--down--down, all purply-sparkling, and sank forevermore beneath the lake of shining waters. and that's the best i can do at confessing,marilla."
marilla felt hot anger surge up into herheart again. this child had taken and lost her treasuredamethyst brooch and now sat there calmly reciting the details thereof without theleast apparent compunction or repentance. "anne, this is terrible," she said, tryingto speak calmly. "you are the very wickedest girl i everheard of." "yes, i suppose i am," agreed annetranquilly. "and i know i'll have to be punished.it'll be your duty to punish me, marilla. won't you please get it over right offbecause i'd like to go to the picnic with nothing on my mind.""picnic, indeed!
you'll go to no picnic today, anne shirley. that shall be your punishment.and it isn't half severe enough either for what you've done!""not go to the picnic!" anne sprang to her feet and clutchedmarilla's hand. "but you promised me i might!oh, marilla, i must go to the picnic. that was why i confessed. punish me any way you like but that.oh, marilla, please, please, let me go to the picnic.think of the ice cream! for anything you know i may never have achance to taste ice cream again."
marilla disengaged anne's clinging handsstonily. "you needn't plead, anne. you are not going to the picnic and that'sfinal. no, not a word."anne realized that marilla was not to be moved. she clasped her hands together, gave apiercing shriek, and then flung herself face downward on the bed, crying andwrithing in an utter abandonment of disappointment and despair. "for the land's sake!" gasped marilla,hastening from the room.
"i believe the child is crazy.no child in her senses would behave as she does. if she isn't she's utterly bad.oh dear, i'm afraid rachel was right from the first.but i've put my hand to the plow and i won't look back." that was a dismal morning.marilla worked fiercely and scrubbed the porch floor and the dairy shelves when shecould find nothing else to do. neither the shelves nor the porch neededit--but marilla did. then she went out and raked the yard.when dinner was ready she went to the
stairs and called anne. a tear-stained face appeared, lookingtragically over the banisters. "come down to your dinner, anne.""i don't want any dinner, marilla," said anne, sobbingly. "i couldn't eat anything.my heart is broken. you'll feel remorse of conscience someday,i expect, for breaking it, marilla, but i forgive you. remember when the time comes that i forgiveyou. but please don't ask me to eat anything,especially boiled pork and greens.
boiled pork and greens are so unromanticwhen one is in affliction." exasperated, marilla returned to thekitchen and poured out her tale of woe to matthew, who, between his sense of justiceand his unlawful sympathy with anne, was a miserable man. "well now, she shouldn't have taken thebrooch, marilla, or told stories about it," he admitted, mournfully surveying hisplateful of unromantic pork and greens as if he, like anne, thought it a food unsuited to crises of feeling, "but she'ssuch a little thing--such an interesting little thing.
don't you think it's pretty rough not tolet her go to the picnic when she's so set on it?""matthew cuthbert, i'm amazed at you. i think i've let her off entirely too easy. and she doesn't appear to realize howwicked she's been at all--that's what worries me most.if she'd really felt sorry it wouldn't be so bad. and you don't seem to realize it, neither;you're making excuses for her all the time to yourself--i can see that.""well now, she's such a little thing," feebly reiterated matthew.
"and there should be allowances made,marilla. you know she's never had any bringing up.""well, she's having it now" retorted the retort silenced matthew if it did notconvince him. that dinner was a very dismal meal. the only cheerful thing about it was jerrybuote, the hired boy, and marilla resented his cheerfulness as a personal insult. when her dishes were washed and her breadsponge set and her hens fed marilla remembered that she had noticed a smallrent in her best black lace shawl when she had taken it off on monday afternoon onreturning from the ladies' aid.
she would go and mend it.the shawl was in a box in her trunk. as marilla lifted it out, the sunlight,falling through the vines that clustered thickly about the window, struck uponsomething caught in the shawl--something that glittered and sparkled in facets ofviolet light. marilla snatched at it with a gasp.it was the amethyst brooch, hanging to a thread of the lace by its catch! "dear life and heart," said marillablankly, "what does this mean? here's my brooch safe and sound that ithought was at the bottom of barry's pond. whatever did that girl mean by saying shetook it and lost it?
i declare i believe green gables isbewitched. i remember now that when i took off myshawl monday afternoon i laid it on the bureau for a minute.i suppose the brooch got caught in it somehow. well!"marilla betook herself to the east gable, brooch in hand.anne had cried herself out and was sitting dejectedly by the window. "anne shirley," said marilla solemnly,"i've just found my brooch hanging to my black lace shawl.now i want to know what that rigmarole you
told me this morning meant." "why, you said you'd keep me here until iconfessed," returned anne wearily, "and so i decided to confess because i was bound toget to the picnic. i thought out a confession last night afteri went to bed and made it as interesting as i could.and i said it over and over so that i wouldn't forget it. but you wouldn't let me go to the picnicafter all, so all my trouble was wasted." marilla had to laugh in spite of herself.but her conscience pricked her. "anne, you do beat all!
but i was wrong--i see that now.i shouldn't have doubted your word when i'd never known you to tell a story. of course, it wasn't right for you toconfess to a thing you hadn't done--it was very wrong to do so.but i drove you to it. so if you'll forgive me, anne, i'll forgiveyou and we'll start square again. and now get yourself ready for the picnic."anne flew up like a rocket. "oh, marilla, isn't it too late?" "no, it's only two o'clock.they won't be more than well gathered yet and it'll be an hour before they have tea.wash your face and comb your hair and put
on your gingham. i'll fill a basket for you.there's plenty of stuff baked in the house. and i'll get jerry to hitch up the sorreland drive you down to the picnic ground." "oh, marilla," exclaimed anne, flying tothe washstand. "five minutes ago i was so miserable i waswishing i'd never been born and now i wouldn't change places with an angel!" that night a thoroughly happy, completelytired-out anne returned to green gables in a state of beatification impossible todescribe. "oh, marilla, i've had a perfectlyscrumptious time.
scrumptious is a new word i learned today.i heard mary alice bell use it. isn't it very expressive? everything was lovely.we had a splendid tea and then mr. harmon andrews took us all for a row on the lakeof shining waters--six of us at a time. and jane andrews nearly fell overboard. she was leaning out to pick water liliesand if mr. andrews hadn't caught her by her sash just in the nick of time she'd fallenin and prob'ly been drowned. i wish it had been me. it would have been such a romanticexperience to have been nearly drowned.
it would be such a thrilling tale to tell.and we had the ice cream. words fail me to describe that ice cream. marilla, i assure you it was sublime."that evening marilla told the whole story to matthew over her stocking basket. "i'm willing to own up that i made amistake," she concluded candidly, "but i've learned a lesson. i have to laugh when i think of anne's'confession,' although i suppose i shouldn't for it really was a falsehood. but it doesn't seem as bad as the otherwould have been, somehow, and anyhow i'm
responsible for it.that child is hard to understand in some respects. but i believe she'll turn out all rightyet. and there's one thing certain, no housewill ever be dull that she's in." chapter xv.a tempest in the school teapot "what a splendid day!" said anne, drawing along breath. "isn't it good just to be alive on a daylike this? i pity the people who aren't born yet formissing it. they may have good days, of course, butthey can never have this one.
and it's splendider still to have such alovely way to go to school by, isn't it?" "it's a lot nicer than going round by theroad; that is so dusty and hot," said diana practically, peeping into her dinner basketand mentally calculating if the three juicy, toothsome, raspberry tarts reposing there were divided among ten girls how manybites each girl would have. the little girls of avonlea school alwayspooled their lunches, and to eat three raspberry tarts all alone or even to sharethem only with one's best chum would have forever and ever branded as "awful mean"the girl who did it. and yet, when the tarts were divided amongten girls you just got enough to tantalize
you. the way anne and diana went to school was apretty one. anne thought those walks to and from schoolwith diana couldn't be improved upon even by imagination. going around by the main road would havebeen so unromantic; but to go by lover's lane and willowmere and violet vale and thebirch path was romantic, if ever anything was. lover's lane opened out below the orchardat 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 takento 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 bookand there's a lover's lane in it. so we want to have one, too. and it's a very pretty name, don't youthink? so romantic!we can't imagine the lovers into it, you know.
i like that lane because you can think outloud there without people calling you crazy."anne, starting out alone in the morning, went down lover's lane as far as the brook. here diana met her, and the two littlegirls went on up the lane under the leafy arch of maples--"maples are such sociabletrees," said anne; "they're always rustling and whispering to you"--until they came toa rustic bridge. then they left the lane and walked throughmr. barry's back field and past willowmere. beyond willowmere came violet vale--alittle green dimple in the shadow of mr. andrew bell's big woods.
"of course there are no violets there now,"anne told marilla, "but diana says there are millions of them in spring.oh, marilla, can't you just imagine you see them? it actually takes away my breath.i named it violet vale. diana says she never saw the beat of me forhitting on fancy names for places. it's nice to be clever at something, isn'tit? but diana named the birch path. she wanted to, so i let her; but i'm sure icould 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 prettiestplaces in the world, marilla." it was.other people besides anne thought so when they stumbled on it. it was a little narrow, twisting path,winding down over a long hill straight through mr. bell's woods, where the lightcame down sifted through so many emerald screens that it was as flawless as theheart of a diamond. it was fringed in all its length with slimyoung birches, white stemmed and lissom boughed; ferns and starflowers and wildlilies-of-the-valley and scarlet tufts of pigeonberries grew thickly along it; and
always there was a delightful spiciness inthe air and music of bird calls and the murmur and laugh of wood winds in the treesoverhead. now and then you might see a rabbitskipping across the road if you were quiet- -which, with anne and diana, happened aboutonce in a blue moon. down in the valley the path came out to themain road and then it was just up the spruce hill to the school. the avonlea school was a whitewashedbuilding, low in the eaves and wide in the windows, furnished inside with comfortablesubstantial old-fashioned desks that opened and shut, and were carved all over their
lids with the initials and hieroglyphics ofthree generations of school children. the schoolhouse was set back from the roadand behind it was a dusky fir wood and a brook where all the children put theirbottles of milk in the morning to keep cool and sweet until dinner hour. marilla had seen anne start off to schoolon the first day of september with many secret misgivings.anne was such an odd girl. how would she get on with the otherchildren? and how on earth would she ever manage tohold her tongue during school hours? things went better than marilla feared,however.
anne came home that evening in highspirits. "i think i'm going to like school here,"she announced. "i don't think much of the master, through.he's all the time curling his mustache and making eyes at prissy andrews. prissy is grown up, you know.she's sixteen and she's studying for the entrance examination into queen's academyat charlottetown next year. tillie boulter says the master is dead goneon her. she's got a beautiful complexion and curlybrown hair and she does it up so elegantly. she sits in the long seat at the back andhe sits there, too, most of the time--to
explain her lessons, he says. but ruby gillis says she saw him writingsomething on her slate and when prissy read it she blushed as red as a beet andgiggled; and ruby gillis says she doesn't believe it had anything to do with thelesson." "anne shirley, don't let me hear youtalking about your teacher in that way again," said marilla sharply. "you don't go to school to criticize themaster. i guess he can teach you something, andit's your business to learn. and i want you to understand right off thatyou are not to come home telling tales
about him.that is something i won't encourage. i hope you were a good girl." "indeed i was," said anne comfortably."it wasn't so hard as you might imagine, either.i sit with diana. our seat is right by the window and we canlook down to the lake of shining waters. there are a lot of nice girls in school andwe had scrumptious fun playing at dinnertime. it's so nice to have a lot of little girlsto play with. but of course i like diana best and alwayswill.
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 animagination 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 wasdisgraceful and he held up my slate so that everybody could see it, all marked over.i felt so mortified, marilla; he might have been politer to a stranger, i think.
ruby gillis gave me an apple and sophiasloane lent me a lovely pink card with 'may i see you home?' on it.i'm to give it back to her tomorrow. and tillie boulter let me wear her beadring all the afternoon. can i have some of those pearl beads offthe old pincushion in the garret to make myself a ring? and oh, marilla, jane andrews told me thatminnie macpherson told her that she heard prissy andrews tell sara gillis that i hada very pretty nose. marilla, that is the first compliment ihave ever had in my life and you can't imagine what a strange feeling it gave me.marilla, have i really a pretty nose?
i know you'll tell me the truth." "your nose is well enough," said marillashortly. secretly she thought anne's nose was aremarkable pretty one; but she had no intention of telling her so. that was three weeks ago and all had gonesmoothly so far. and now, this crisp september morning, anneand diana were tripping blithely down the birch path, two of the happiest littlegirls in avonlea. "i guess gilbert blythe will be in schooltoday," said diana. "he's been visiting his cousins over in newbrunswick all summer and he only came home
saturday night. he's aw'fly handsome, anne.and he teases the girls something terrible. he just torments our lives out." diana's voice indicated that she ratherliked having her life tormented out than not."gilbert blythe?" said anne. "isn't his name that's written up on theporch wall with julia bell's and a big 'take notice' over them?" "yes," said diana, tossing her head, "buti'm sure he doesn't like julia bell so very much.i've heard him say he studied the
multiplication table by her freckles." "oh, don't speak about freckles to me,"implored anne. "it isn't delicate when i've got so many. but i do think that writing take-notices upon the wall about the boys and girls is the silliest ever.i should just like to see anybody dare to write my name up with a boy's. not, of course," she hastened to add, "thatanybody would." anne sighed.she didn't want her name written up. but it was a little humiliating to knowthat there was no danger of it.
"nonsense," said diana, whose black eyesand glossy tresses had played such havoc with the hearts of avonlea schoolboys thather name figured on the porch walls in half a dozen take-notices. "it's only meant as a joke.and don't you be too sure your name won't ever be written up.charlie sloane is dead gone on you. he told his mother--his mother, mind you--that you were the smartest girl in school. that's better than being good looking.""no, it isn't," said anne, feminine to the core. "i'd rather be pretty than clever.and i hate charlie sloane, i can't bear a
boy with goggle eyes.if anyone wrote my name up with his i'd never get over it, diana barry. but it is nice to keep head of your class.""you'll have gilbert in your class after this," said diana, "and he's used to beinghead of his class, i can tell you. he's only in the fourth book although he'snearly fourteen. four years ago his father was sick and hadto go out to alberta for his health and gilbert went with him. they were there three years and gil didn'tgo to school hardly any until they came back.you won't find it so easy to keep head
after this, anne." "i'm glad," said anne quickly."i couldn't really feel proud of keeping head of little boys and girls of just nineor ten. i got up yesterday spelling 'ebullition.' josie pye was head and, mind you, shepeeped in her book. mr. phillips didn't see her--he was lookingat prissy andrews--but i did. i just swept her a look of freezing scornand 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 theroom hearing prissy andrews's latin, diana whispered to anne, "that's gilbert blythe sitting right acrossthe aisle from you, anne. just look at him and see if you don't thinkhe's handsome." anne looked accordingly. she had a good chance to do so, for thesaid gilbert blythe was absorbed in
stealthily pinning the long yellow braid ofruby 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 asum to the master; she fell back into her seat with a little shriek, believing thather hair was pulled out by the roots. everybody looked at her and mr. phillipsglared so sternly that ruby began to cry. gilbert had whisked the pin out of sightand was studying his history with the soberest face in the world; but when thecommotion 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 thatthings really began to happen. mr. phillips was back in the cornerexplaining a problem in algebra to prissy andrews and the rest of the scholars weredoing pretty much as they pleased eating green apples, whispering, drawing pictures on their slates, and driving cricketsharnessed to strings, up and down aisle.
gilbert blythe was trying to make anneshirley look at him and failing utterly, because anne was at that moment totallyoblivious not only to the very existence of gilbert blythe, but of every other scholarin avonlea school itself. with her chin propped on her hands and hereyes fixed on the blue glimpse of the lake of shining waters that the west windowafforded, she was far away in a gorgeous dreamland hearing and seeing nothing saveher own wonderful visions. gilbert blythe wasn't used to puttinghimself out to make a girl look at him and meeting with failure. she should look at him, that red-hairedshirley girl with the little pointed chin
and the big eyes that weren't like the eyesof any other girl in avonlea school. gilbert reached across the aisle, picked upthe end of anne's long red braid, held it out at arm's length and said in a piercingwhisper: "carrots! carrots!"then anne looked at him with a vengeance! she did more than look.she sprang to her feet, her bright fancies fallen into cureless ruin. she flashed one indignant glance at gilbertfrom eyes whose angry sparkle was swiftly quenched in equally angry tears."you mean, hateful boy!" she exclaimed
passionately. "how dare you!"and then--thwack! anne had brought her slate down ongilbert's head and cracked it--slate not head--clear across. avonlea school always enjoyed a scene.this was an especially enjoyable one. everybody said "oh" in horrified delight.diana gasped. ruby gillis, who was inclined to behysterical, began to cry. tommy sloane let his team of cricketsescape him altogether while he stared open- mouthed at the tableau.
mr. phillips stalked down the aisle andlaid his hand heavily on anne's shoulder. "anne shirley, what does this mean?" hesaid angrily. anne returned no answer. it was asking too much of flesh and bloodto 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 minedisplaying such a temper and such a vindictive spirit," he said in a solemntone, as if the mere fact of being a pupil
of his ought to root out all evil passionsfrom the hearts of small imperfect mortals. "anne, go and stand on the platform infront of the blackboard for the rest of the afternoon." anne would have infinitely preferred awhipping to this punishment under which her sensitive spirit quivered as from awhiplash. with a white, set face she obeyed. mr. phillips took a chalk crayon and wroteon the blackboard above her head. "ann shirley has a very bad temper. ann shirley must learn to control hertemper," and then read it out loud so that
even the primer class, who couldn't readwriting, should understand it. anne stood there the rest of the afternoonwith that legend above her. she did not cry or hang her head. anger was still too hot in her heart forthat and it sustained her amid all her agony of humiliation. with resentful eyes and passion-red cheeksshe confronted alike diana's sympathetic gaze and charlie sloane's indignant nodsand josie pye's malicious smiles. as for gilbert blythe, she would not evenlook at him. she would never look at him again!she would never speak to him!!
when school was dismissed anne marched outwith her red head held high. gilbert blythe tried to intercept her atthe porch door. "i'm awfully sorry i made fun of your hair,anne," he whispered contritely. "honest i am.don't be mad for keeps, now." anne swept by disdainfully, without look orsign of hearing. "oh how could you, anne?" breathed diana asthey went down the road half reproachfully, half admiringly. diana felt that she could never haveresisted gilbert's plea. "i shall never forgive gilbert blythe,"said anne firmly.
"and mr. phillips spelled my name withoutan e, too. the iron has entered into my soul, diana." diana hadn't the least idea what anne meantbut she understood it was something terrible."you mustn't mind gilbert making fun of your hair," she said soothingly. "why, he makes fun of all the girls.he laughs at mine because it's so black. he's called me a crow a dozen times; and inever heard him apologize for anything before, either." "there's a great deal of difference betweenbeing called a crow and being called
carrots," said anne with dignity."gilbert blythe has hurt my feelings excruciatingly, diana." it is possible the matter might have blownover 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 hourpicking 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 emergingtherefrom they ran for the schoolhouse; but
the distance being about three times longerthan 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 wasseized with one of his spasmodic fits of reform and announced before going home todinner, that he should expect to find all the scholars in their seats when hereturned. anyone who came in late would be punished. all the boys and some of the girls went tomr. bell's spruce grove as usual, fully intending to stay only long enough to "picka chew." but spruce groves are seductive and yellownuts of gum beguiling; they picked and
loitered and strayed; and as usual thefirst thing that recalled them to a sense of the flight of time was jimmy glover shouting from the top of a patriarchal oldspruce "master's coming." the girls who were on the ground, startedfirst and managed to reach the schoolhouse in time but without a second to spare. the boys, who had to wriggle hastily downfrom the trees, were later; and anne, who had not been picking gum at all but waswandering happily in the far end of the grove, waist deep among the bracken, singing softly to herself, with a wreath ofrice lilies on her hair as if she were some
wild divinity of the shadowy places, waslatest of all. anne could run like a deer, however; runshe did with the impish result that she overtook the boys at the door and was sweptinto the schoolhouse among them just as mr. phillips was in the act of hanging up hishat. mr. phillips's brief reforming energy wasover; he didn't want the bother of punishing a dozen pupils; but it wasnecessary to do something to save his word, so he looked about for a scapegoat and found it in anne, who had dropped into herseat, gasping for breath, with a forgotten lily wreath hanging askew over one ear andgiving her a particularly rakish and
disheveled appearance. "anne shirley, since you seem to be so fondof the boys' company we shall indulge your taste for it this afternoon," he saidsarcastically. "take those flowers out of your hair andsit with gilbert blythe." the other boys snickered. diana, turning pale with pity, plucked thewreath from anne's hair and squeezed her hand.anne stared at the master as if turned to stone. "did you hear what i said, anne?" queriedmr. phillips sternly.
"yes, sir," said anne slowly "but i didn'tsuppose you really meant it." "i assure you i did"--still with thesarcastic inflection which all the children, and anne especially, hated.it flicked on the raw. "obey me at once." for a moment anne looked as if she meant todisobey. then, realizing that there was no help forit, she rose haughtily, stepped across the aisle, sat down beside gilbert blythe, andburied her face in her arms on the desk. ruby gillis, who got a glimpse of it as itwent down, told the others going home from school that she'd "acksually never seenanything like it--it was so white, with
awful little red spots in it." to anne, this was as the end of all things. it was bad enough to be singled out forpunishment from among a dozen equally guilty ones; it was worse still to be sentto sit with a boy, but that that boy should be gilbert blythe was heaping insult oninjury to a degree utterly unbearable. anne felt that she could not bear it and itwould be of no use to try. her whole being seethed with shame andanger and humiliation. at first the other scholars looked andwhispered and giggled and nudged. but as anne never lifted her head and asgilbert 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 classout anne should have gone, but anne did not move, and mr. phillips, who had beenwriting some verses "to priscilla" before he called the class, was thinking about anobstinate rhyme still and never missed her. once, when nobody was looking, gilbert tookfrom 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 heartgingerly between the tips of her fingers,
dropped it on the floor, ground it topowder beneath her heel, and resumed her position without deigning to bestow aglance on gilbert. when school went out anne marched to herdesk, ostentatiously took out everything therein, books and writing tablet, pen andink, testament and arithmetic, and piled them neatly on her cracked slate. "what are you taking all those things homefor, anne?" diana wanted to know, as soon as they wereout on the road. she had not dared to ask the questionbefore. "i am not coming back to school any more,"said anne.
diana gasped and stared at anne to see ifshe meant it. "will marilla let you stay home?" sheasked. "she'll have to," said anne. "i'll never go to school to that managain." "oh, anne!"diana looked as if she were ready to cry. "i do think you're mean. what shall i do?mr. phillips will make me sit with that horrid gertie pye--i know he will becauseshe is sitting alone. do come back, anne."
"i'd do almost anything in the world foryou, diana," said anne sadly. "i'd let myself be torn limb from limb ifit would do you any good. but i can't do this, so please don't askit. you harrow up my very soul.""just think of all the fun you will miss," mourned diana. "we are going to build the loveliest newhouse down by the brook; and we'll be playing ball next week and you've neverplayed ball, anne. it's tremendously exciting. and we're going to learn a new song--janeandrews is practicing it up now; and alice
andrews is going to bring a new pansy booknext week and we're all going to read it out loud, chapter about, down by the brook. and you know you are so fond of reading outloud, anne." nothing moved anne in the least.her mind was made up. she would not go to school to mr. phillipsagain; she told marilla so when she got home."nonsense," said marilla. "it isn't nonsense at all," said anne,gazing at marilla with solemn, reproachful eyes."don't you understand, marilla? i've been insulted."
"insulted fiddlesticks!you'll go to school tomorrow as usual." "oh, no."anne shook her head gently. "i'm not going back, marilla. i'll learn my lessons at home and i'll beas 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 likeunyielding stubbornness looking out of anne's small face. she understood that she would have troublein overcoming it; but she re-solved wisely
to say nothing more just then."i'll run down and see rachel about it this evening," she thought. "there's no use reasoning with anne now.she's too worked up and i've an idea she can be awful stubborn if she takes thenotion. 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 sheought to know something about it. she'll have heard the whole story, too, bythis time."
marilla found mrs. lynde knitting quilts asindustriously and cheerfully as usual. "i suppose you know what i've come about,"she said, a little shamefacedly. mrs. rachel nodded. "about anne's fuss in school, i reckon,"she said. "tillie boulter was in on her way home fromschool and told me about it." "i don't know what to do with her," saidmarilla. "she declares she won't go back to school.i never saw a child so worked up. i've been expecting trouble ever since shestarted to school. i knew things were going too smooth tolast.
she's so high strung. what would you advise, rachel?" "well, since you've asked my advice,marilla," said mrs. lynde amiably--mrs. lynde dearly loved to be asked for advice--"i'd just humor her a little at first, that's what i'd do. it's my belief that mr. phillips was in thewrong. of course, it doesn't do to say so to thechildren, you know. and of course he did right to punish heryesterday for giving way to temper. but today it was different.the others who were late should have been
punished as well as anne, that's what. and i don't believe in making the girls sitwith the boys for punishment. it isn't modest.tillie boulter was real indignant. she took anne's part right through and saidall the scholars did too. anne seems real popular among them,somehow. i never thought she'd take with them sowell." "then you really think i'd better let herstay home," said marilla in amazement. "yes. that is i wouldn't say school to her againuntil she said it herself.
depend upon it, marilla, she'll cool off ina week or so and be ready enough to go back of her own accord, that's what, while, ifyou were to make her go back right off, dear knows what freak or tantrum she'd takenext and make more trouble than ever. the less fuss made the better, in myopinion. she won't miss much by not going to school,as far as that goes. mr. phillips isn't any good at all as ateacher. the order he keeps is scandalous, that'swhat, and he neglects the young fry and puts all his time on those big scholarshe's getting ready for queen's. he'd never have got the school for anotheryear if his uncle hadn't been a trustee--
the trustee, for he just leads the othertwo around by the nose, that's what. i declare, i don't know what education inthis island is coming to." mrs. rachel shook her head, as much as tosay if she were only at the head of the educational system of the province thingswould be much better managed. marilla took mrs. rachel's advice and notanother word was said to anne about going back to school. she learned her lessons at home, did herchores, and played with diana in the chilly purple autumn twilights; but when she metgilbert blythe on the road or encountered him in sunday school she passed him by with
an icy contempt that was no whit thawed byhis evident desire to appease her. even diana's efforts as a peacemaker wereof no avail. anne had evidently made up her mind to hategilbert blythe to the end of life. as much as she hated gilbert, however, didshe love diana, with all the love of her passionate little heart, equally intense inits likes and dislikes. one evening marilla, coming in from theorchard with a basket of apples, found anne sitting along by the east window in thetwilight, crying bitterly. "whatever's the matter now, anne?" sheasked. "it's about diana," sobbed anneluxuriously.
"i love diana so, marilla. i cannot ever live without her.but i know very well when we grow up that diana will get married and go away andleave me. and oh, what shall i do? i hate her husband--i just hate himfuriously. i've been imagining it all out--the weddingand everything--diana dressed in snowy garments, with a veil, and looking asbeautiful and regal as a queen; and me the bridesmaid, with a lovely dress too, and puffed sleeves, but with a breaking hearthid beneath my smiling face.
and then bidding diana goodbye-e-e--" hereanne broke down entirely and wept with increasing bitterness. marilla turned quickly away to hide hertwitching face; but it was no use; she collapsed on the nearest chair and burstinto such a hearty and unusual peal of laughter that matthew, crossing the yardoutside, halted in amazement. when had he heard marilla laugh like thatbefore? "well, anne shirley," said marilla as soonas she could speak, "if you must borrow trouble, for pity's sake borrow it handierhome. i should think you had an imagination, sureenough."
chapter xvi.diana is invited to tea with tragic results october was a beautiful month at greengables, when the birches in the hollow turned as golden as sunshine and the maplesbehind the orchard were royal crimson and the wild cherry trees along the lane put on the loveliest shades of dark red and bronzygreen, while the fields sunned themselves in aftermaths.anne reveled in the world of color about her. "oh, marilla," she exclaimed one saturdaymorning, coming dancing in with her arms full of gorgeous boughs, "i'm so glad ilive in a world where there are octobers.
it would be terrible if we just skippedfrom september to november, wouldn't it? look at these maple branches.don't they give you a thrill--several thrills? i'm going to decorate my room with them.""messy things," said marilla, whose aesthetic sense was not noticeablydeveloped. "you clutter up your room entirely too muchwith out-of-doors stuff, anne. bedrooms were made to sleep in.""oh, and dream in too, marilla. and you know one can dream so much betterin a room where there are pretty things. i'm going to put these boughs in the oldblue jug and set them on my table."
"mind you don't drop leaves all over thestairs then. i'm going on a meeting of the aid societyat carmody this afternoon, anne, and i won't likely be home before dark. you'll have to get matthew and jerry theirsupper, so mind you don't forget to put the tea to draw until you sit down at the tableas you did last time." "it was dreadful of me to forget," saidanne apologetically, "but that was the afternoon i was trying to think of a namefor 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 wecould wait awhile as well as not. and i told him a lovely fairy story whilewe were waiting, so he didn't find the time long at all.it was a beautiful fairy story, marilla. i forgot the end of it, so i made up an endfor it myself and matthew said he couldn't tell where the join came in." "matthew would think it all right, anne, ifyou 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 doingright--it may make you more addlepated than ever--but you can ask diana to come overand spend the afternoon with you and have
tea here." "oh, marilla!"anne clasped her hands. "how perfectly lovely! you are able to imagine things after all orelse 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 todraw when i have company. oh, marilla, can i use the rosebud spraytea set?" "no, indeed! the rosebud tea set!well, what next?
you know i never use that except for theminister or the aids. you'll put down the old brown tea set. but you can open the little yellow crock ofcherry preserves. it's time it was being used anyhow--ibelieve it's beginning to work. and you can cut some fruit cake and havesome of the cookies and snaps." "i can just imagine myself sitting down atthe head of the table and pouring out the tea," said anne, shutting her eyesecstatically. "and asking diana if she takes sugar! i know she doesn't but of course i'll askher just as if i didn't know.
and then pressing her to take another pieceof fruit cake and another helping of preserves. oh, marilla, it's a wonderful sensationjust to think of it. can i take her into the spare room to layoff 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 raspberrycordial 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 italong in the afternoon, for i daresay matthew'll be late coming in to tea sincehe's hauling potatoes to the vessel." anne flew down to the hollow, past thedryad's bubble and up the spruce path to orchard slope, to ask diana to tea. as a result just after marilla had drivenoff to carmody, diana came over, dressed in her second-best dress and looking exactlyas it is proper to look when asked out to tea. at other times she was wont to run into thekitchen 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 nevermet before. this unnatural solemnity lasted until afterdiana had been taken to the east gable to lay off her hat and then had sat for tenminutes in the sitting room, toes in position. "how is your mother?" inquired annepolitely, just as if she had not seen mrs. barry picking apples that morning inexcellent health and spirits. "she is very well, thank you.
i suppose mr. cuthbert is hauling potatoesto the lily sands this afternoon, is he?" said diana, who had ridden down to mr.harmon andrews's that morning in matthew's cart. "yes.our potato crop is very good this year. i hope your father's crop is good too.""it is fairly good, thank you. have you picked many of your apples yet?" "oh, ever so many," said anne forgetting tobe dignified and jumping up quickly. "let's go out to the orchard and get someof the red sweetings, diana. marilla says we can have all that are lefton 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 yourcompany what you are going to give them to eat, so i won't tell you what she said wecould have to drink. only it begins with an r and a c and it'sbright red color. i love bright red drinks, don't you?they taste twice as good as any other color." the orchard, with its great sweeping boughsthat bent to the ground with fruit, proved so delightful that the little girls spentmost of the afternoon in it, sitting in a
grassy corner where the frost had spared the green and the mellow autumn sunshinelingered 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 shehated 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 thecreek gave her. you had to rub the warts with the pebbleand then throw it away over your left
shoulder at the time of the new moon andthe warts would all go. charlie sloane's name was written up withem 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. phillipsto lay a hand on one of his children again; and mattie andrews had a new red hood and ablue crossover with tassels on it and the airs she put on about it were perfectly sickening; and lizzie wright didn't speakto mamie wilson because mamie wilson's grown-up sister had cut out lizzie wright'sgrown-up sister with her beau; and
everybody missed anne so and wished she'scome to school again; and gilbert blythe-- but anne didn't want to hear about gilbertblythe. she jumped up hurriedly and said supposethey go in and have some raspberry cordial. anne looked on the second shelf of the roompantry but there was no bottle of raspberry cordial there. search revealed it away back on the topshelf. anne put it on a tray and set it on thetable with a tumbler. "now, please help yourself, diana," shesaid politely. "i don't believe i'll have any just now.i don't feel as if i wanted any after all
those apples." diana poured herself out a tumblerful,looked at its bright-red hue admiringly, and then sipped it daintily."that's awfully nice raspberry cordial, anne," she said. "i didn't know raspberry cordial was sonice." "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 aperson's mind when they're keeping house, isn't there?"
when anne came back from the kitchen dianawas drinking her second glassful of cordial; and, being entreated thereto byanne, she offered no particular objection to the drinking of a third. the tumblerfuls were generous ones and theraspberry cordial was certainly very nice. "the nicest i ever drank," said diana."it's ever so much nicer than mrs. lynde's, although she brags of hers so much. it doesn't taste a bit like hers.""i should think marilla's raspberry cordial would prob'ly be much nicer than mrs.lynde's," said anne loyally. "marilla is a famous cook.
she is trying to teach me to cook but iassure you, diana, it is uphill work. there's so little scope for imagination incookery. you just have to go by rules. the last time i made a cake i forgot to putthe flour in. i was thinking the loveliest story aboutyou and me, diana. i thought you were desperately ill withsmallpox and everybody deserted you, but i went boldly to your bedside and nursed youback to life; and then i took the smallpox and died and i was buried under those poplar trees in the graveyard and youplanted a rosebush by my grave and watered
it with your tears; and you never, neverforgot the friend of your youth who sacrificed her life for you. oh, it was such a pathetic tale, diana.the tears just rained down over my cheeks while i mixed the cake.but i forgot the flour and the cake was a dismal failure. flour is so essential to cakes, you know.marilla was very cross and i don't wonder. i'm a great trial to her.she was terribly mortified about the pudding sauce last week. we had a plum pudding for dinner on tuesdayand there was half the pudding and a
pitcherful of sauce left over. marilla said there was enough for anotherdinner and told me to set it on the pantry shelf and cover it. i meant to cover it just as much as couldbe, diana, but when i carried it in i was imagining i was a nun--of course i'm aprotestant but i imagined i was a catholic- -taking the veil to bury a broken heart in cloistered seclusion; and i forgot allabout covering the pudding sauce. i thought of it next morning and ran to thepantry. diana, fancy if you can my extreme horrorat finding a mouse drowned in that pudding
sauce! i lifted the mouse out with a spoon andthrew it out in the yard and then i washed the spoon in three waters. marilla was out milking and i fullyintended to ask her when she came in if i'd give the sauce to the pigs; but when shedid come in i was imagining that i was a frost fairy going through the woods turning the trees red and yellow, whichever theywanted to be, so i never thought about the pudding sauce again and marilla sent me outto pick apples. well, mr. and mrs. chester ross fromspencervale came here that morning.
you know they are very stylish people,especially mrs. chester ross. when marilla called me in dinner was allready and everybody was at the table. i tried to be as polite and dignified as icould be, for i wanted mrs. chester ross to think i was a ladylike little girl even ifi wasn't pretty. everything went right until i saw marillacoming with the plum pudding in one hand and the pitcher of pudding sauce warmed up,in the other. diana, that was a terrible moment. i remembered everything and i just stood upin my place and shrieked out 'marilla, you mustn't use that pudding sauce.there was a mouse drowned in it.
i forgot to tell you before.' oh, diana, i shall never forget that awfulmoment if i live to be a hundred. mrs. chester ross just looked at me and ithought i would sink through the floor with mortification. she is such a perfect housekeeper and fancywhat she must have thought of us. marilla turned red as fire but she neversaid a word--then. she just carried that sauce and pudding outand brought in some strawberry preserves. she even offered me some, but i couldn'tswallow a mouthful. it was like heaping coals of fire on myhead.
after mrs. chester ross went away, marillagave me a dreadful scolding. why, diana, what is the matter?" diana had stood up very unsteadily; thenshe sat down again, putting her hands to her head."i'm--i'm awful sick," she said, a little thickly. "i--i--must go right home.""oh, you mustn't dream of going home without your tea," cried anne in distress."i'll get it right off--i'll go and put the tea down this very minute." "i must go home," repeated diana, stupidlybut determinedly.
"let me get you a lunch anyhow," imploredanne. "let me give you a bit of fruit cake andsome of the cherry preserves. lie down on the sofa for a little while andyou'll be better. where do you feel bad?" "i must go home," said diana, and that wasall she would say. in vain anne pleaded."i never heard of company going home without tea," she mourned. "oh, diana, do you suppose that it'spossible you're really taking the smallpox? if you are i'll go and nurse you, you candepend on that.
i'll never forsake you. but i do wish you'd stay till after tea.where do you feel bad?" "i'm awful dizzy," said diana.and indeed, she walked very dizzily. anne, with tears of disappointment in hereyes, got diana's hat and went with her as far as the barry yard fence. then she wept all the way back to greengables, where she sorrowfully put the remainder of the raspberry cordial backinto the pantry and got tea ready for matthew and jerry, with all the zest goneout of the performance. the next day was sunday and as the rainpoured down in torrents from dawn till dusk
anne did not stir abroad from green gables. monday afternoon marilla sent her down tomrs. lynde's on an errand. in a very short space of time anne cameflying back up the lane with tears rolling down her cheeks. into the kitchen she dashed and flungherself face downward on the sofa in an agony."whatever has gone wrong now, anne?" queried marilla in doubt and dismay. "i do hope you haven't gone and been saucyto mrs. lynde again." no answer from anne save more tears andstormier sobs!
"anne shirley, when i ask you a question iwant to be answered. sit right up this very minute and tell mewhat you are crying about." anne sat up, tragedy personified. "mrs. lynde was up to see mrs. barry todayand mrs. barry was in an awful state," she wailed. "she says that i set diana drunk saturdayand sent her home in a disgraceful condition. and she says i must be a thoroughly bad,wicked little girl and she's never, never going to let diana play with me again.oh, marilla, i'm just overcome with woe."
marilla stared in blank amazement. "set diana drunk!" she said when she foundher voice. "anne are you or mrs. barry crazy?what on earth did you give her?" "not a thing but raspberry cordial," sobbedanne. "i never thought raspberry cordial wouldset people drunk, marilla--not even if they drank three big tumblerfuls as diana did. oh, it sounds so--so--like mrs. thomas'shusband! but i didn't mean to set her drunk.""drunk fiddlesticks!" said marilla, marching to the sitting room pantry.
there on the shelf was a bottle which sheat once recognized as one containing some of her three-year-old homemade currant winefor which she was celebrated in avonlea, although certain of the stricter sort, mrs. barry among them, disapproved strongly ofit. and at the same time marilla recollectedthat she had put the bottle of raspberry cordial down in the cellar instead of inthe pantry as she had told anne. she went back to the kitchen with the winebottle in her hand. her face was twitching in spite of herself."anne, you certainly have a genius for getting into trouble.
you went and gave diana currant wineinstead of raspberry cordial. didn't you know the difference yourself?""i never tasted it," said anne. "i thought it was the cordial. i meant to be so--so--hospitable.diana got awfully sick and had to go home. mrs. barry told mrs. lynde she was simplydead drunk. she just laughed silly-like when her motherasked 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 dayyesterday.
mrs. barry is so indignant.she will never believe but what i did it on purpose." "i should think she would better punishdiana for being so greedy as to drink three glassfuls of anything," said marillashortly. "why, three of those big glasses would havemade her sick even if it had only been cordial. well, this story will be a nice handle forthose folks who are so down on me for making currant wine, although i haven'tmade any for three years ever since i found out that the minister didn't approve.
i just kept that bottle for sickness.there, there, child, don't cry. i can't see as you were to blame althoughi'm sorry it happened so." "i must cry," said anne. "my heart is broken.the stars in their courses fight against me, marilla.diana and i are parted forever. oh, marilla, i little dreamed of this whenfirst we swore our vows of friendship." "don't be foolish, anne.mrs. barry will think better of it when she finds you're not to blame. i suppose she thinks you've done it for asilly joke or something of that sort.
you'd best go up this evening and tell herhow it was." "my courage fails me at the thought offacing diana's injured mother," sighed anne."i wish you'd go, marilla. you're so much more dignified than i am. likely she'd listen to you quicker than tome." "well, i will," said marilla, reflectingthat it would probably be the wiser course. "don't cry any more, anne. it will be all right."marilla had changed her mind about it being all right by the time she got back fromorchard slope.
anne was watching for her coming and flewto the porch door to meet her. "oh, marilla, i know by your face that it'sbeen no use," she said sorrowfully. "mrs. barry won't forgive me?" "mrs. barry indeed!" snapped marilla."of all the unreasonable women i ever saw she's the worst. i told her it was all a mistake and youweren't to blame, but she just simply didn't believe me. and she rubbed it well in about my currantwine and how i'd always said it couldn't have the least effect on anybody.
i just told her plainly that currant winewasn't meant to be drunk three tumblerfuls at a time and that if a child i had to dowith was so greedy i'd sober her up with a right good spanking." marilla whisked into the kitchen,grievously disturbed, leaving a very much distracted little soul in the porch behindher. presently anne stepped out bareheaded intothe chill autumn dusk; very determinedly and steadily she took her way down throughthe sere clover field over the log bridge and up through the spruce grove, lighted by a pale little moon hanging low over thewestern woods.
mrs. barry, coming to the door in answer toa 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 thecold, sullen sort which is always hardest to overcome. to do her justice, she really believed annehad made diana drunk out of sheer malice prepense, and she was honestly anxious topreserve her little daughter from the contamination of further intimacy with sucha child. "what do you want?" she said stiffly.anne clasped her hands.
"oh, mrs. barry, please forgive me. i did not mean to--to--intoxicate diana.how could i? just imagine if you were a poor littleorphan girl that kind people had adopted and you had just one bosom friend in allthe world. do you think you would intoxicate her onpurpose? i thought it was only raspberry cordial.i was firmly convinced it was raspberry oh, please don't say that you won't letdiana play with me any more. if you do you will cover my life with adark cloud of woe." this speech which would have softened goodmrs. lynde's heart in a twinkling, had no
effect on mrs. barry except to irritate herstill more. she was suspicious of anne's big words anddramatic 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 girlfor 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 tosay farewell?" she implored. "diana has gone over to carmody with herfather," said mrs. barry, going in and shutting the door. anne went back to green gables calm withdespair.
"my last hope is gone," she told marilla."i went up and saw mrs. barry myself and she treated me very insultingly. marilla, i do not think she is a well-bredwoman. there is nothing more to do except to prayand i haven't much hope that that'll do much good because, marilla, i do notbelieve that god himself can do very much with such an obstinate person as mrs.barry." "anne, you shouldn't say such things"rebuked marilla, striving to overcome that unholy tendency to laughter which she wasdismayed to find growing upon her. and indeed, when she told the whole storyto matthew that night, she did laugh
heartily over anne's tribulations. but when she slipped into the east gablebefore going to bed and found that anne had cried herself to sleep an unaccustomedsoftness crept into her face. "poor little soul," she murmured, lifting aloose curl of hair from the child's tear- stained face.then she bent down and kissed the flushed cheek on the pillow. chapter xvii.a new interest in life the next afternoon anne, bending over herpatchwork at the kitchen window, happened to glance out and beheld diana down by thedryad's bubble beckoning mysteriously.
in a trice anne was out of the house andflying down to the hollow, astonishment and hope struggling in her expressive eyes.but the hope faded when she saw diana's dejected countenance. "your mother hasn't relented?" she gasped.diana shook her head mournfully. "no; and oh, anne, she says i'm never toplay with you again. i've cried and cried and i told her itwasn't your fault, but it wasn't any use. i had ever such a time coaxing her to letme come down and say good-bye to you. she said i was only to stay ten minutes andshe's timing me by the clock." "ten minutes isn't very long to say aneternal farewell in," said anne tearfully.
"oh, diana, will you promise faithfullynever to forget me, the friend of your youth, no matter what dearer friends maycaress thee?" "indeed i will," sobbed diana, "and i'llnever have another bosom friend--i don't want to have.i couldn't love anybody as i love you." "oh, diana," cried anne, clasping herhands, "do you love me?" "why, of course i do.didn't you know that?" "no." anne drew a long breath."i thought you liked me of course but i never hoped you loved me.why, diana, i didn't think anybody could
love me. nobody ever has loved me since i canremember. oh, this is wonderful! it's a ray of light which will forevershine on the darkness of a path severed from thee, diana.oh, just say it once again." "i love you devotedly, anne," said dianastanchly, "and i always will, you may be sure of that.""and i will always love thee, diana," said anne, solemnly extending her hand. "in the years to come thy memory will shinelike a star over my lonely life, as that
last story we read together says. diana, wilt thou give me a lock of thy jet-black tresses in parting to treasure forevermore?" "have you got anything to cut it with?"queried diana, wiping away the tears which anne's affecting accents had caused to flowafresh, and returning to practicalities. i've got my patchwork scissors in my apronpocket fortunately," said anne. she solemnly clipped one of diana's curls."fare thee well, my beloved friend. henceforth we must be as strangers thoughliving side by side. but my heart will ever be faithful tothee."
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 alittle 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, fori haven't katie maurice and violetta now. and even if i had it wouldn't be the same.somehow, little dream girls are not satisfying after a real friend. diana and i had such an affecting farewelldown by the spring.
it will be sacred in my memory forever.i used the most pathetic language i could think of and said 'thou' and 'thee.' 'thou' and 'thee' seem so much moreromantic than 'you.' diana gave me a lock of her hair and i'mgoing 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 idon't believe i'll live very long. perhaps when she sees me lying cold anddead before her mrs. barry may feel remorse for what she has done and will let dianacome to my funeral." "i don't think there is much fear of yourdying of grief as long as you can talk,
anne," said marilla unsympathetically. the following monday anne surprised marillaby coming down from her room with her basket of books on her arm and hip and herlips primmed up into a line of determination. "i'm going back to school," she announced."that is all there is left in life for me, now that my friend has been ruthlessly tornfrom me. in school i can look at her and muse overdays departed." "you'd better muse over your lessons andsums," said marilla, concealing her delight at this development of the situation.
"if you're going back to school i hopewe'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 annedolefully. "there won't be much fun in it, i expect. mr. phillips said minnie andrews was amodel 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 itwill 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 ingames, her voice in the singing and her dramatic ability in the perusal aloud ofbooks at dinner hour. ruby gillis smuggled three blue plums overto her during testament reading; ella may macpherson gave her an enormous yellowpansy cut from the covers of a floral catalogue--a species of desk decorationmuch prized in avonlea school.
sophia sloane offered to teach her aperfectly elegant new pattern of knit lace, so nice for trimming aprons. katie boulter gave her a perfume bottle tokeep slate water in, and julia bell copied carefully on a piece of pale pink paperscalloped on the edges the following effusion: when twilight drops her curtain downand pins it with a star remember that you have a friendthough she may wander far. "it's so nice to be appreciated," sighedanne rapturously to marilla that night. the girls were not the only scholars who"appreciated" her.
when anne went to her seat after dinnerhour--she had been told by mr. phillips to sit with the model minnie andrews--shefound on her desk a big luscious "strawberry apple." anne caught it up all ready to take a bitewhen she remembered that the only place in avonlea where strawberry apples grew was inthe 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 untilthe next morning, when little timothy
andrews, who swept the school and kindledthe fire, annexed it as one of his perquisites. charlie sloane's slate pencil, gorgeouslybedizened with striped red and yellow paper, costing two cents where ordinarypencils cost only one, which he sent up to her after dinner hour, met with a morefavorable reception. anne was graciously pleased to accept itand rewarded the donor with a smile which exalted that infatuated youth straightwayinto the seventh heaven of delight and caused him to make such fearful errors in his dictation that mr. phillips kept him inafter school to rewrite it.
but as,the caesar's pageant shorn of brutus' bust did but of rome's best son remind her more.so the marked absence of any tribute or recognition from diana barry who wassitting with gertie pye embittered anne's little triumph. "diana might just have smiled at me once,i think," she mourned to marilla that night. but the next morning a note most fearfullyand 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 secretsto and i don't like gertie pye one bit. i made you one of the new bookmarkers outof red tissue paper. they are awfully fashionable now and onlythree girls in school know how to make them.when you look at it remember your true friend diana barry. anne read the note, kissed the bookmark,and dispatched a prompt reply back to the other side of the school.
my own darling diana:--of course i am not cross at you because you have to obey your mother.our spirits can commune. i shall keep your lovely present forever. minnie andrews is a very nice little girl--although she has no imagination--but after having been diana's busum friend i cannotbe minnie's. please excuse mistakes because my spellingisn't very good yet, although much improoved.yours until death us do part anne or cordelia shirley. p.s. i shall sleep with your letter undermy pillow tonight.
a. or c.s. marilla pessimistically expected moretrouble 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 heartand 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 thesame thing cannot be said of anne, who had
certainly an unpraiseworthy tenacity forholding grudges. she was as intense in her hatreds as in herloves. she would not stoop to admit that she meantto rival gilbert in schoolwork, because that would have been to acknowledge hisexistence which anne persistently ignored; but the rivalry was there and honorsfluctuated between them. now gilbert was head of the spelling class;now anne, with a toss of her long red braids, spelled him down. one morning gilbert had all his sums donecorrectly and had his name written on the blackboard on the roll of honor; the nextmorning anne, having wrestled wildly with
decimals the entire evening before, wouldbe first. one awful day they were ties and theirnames were written up together. it was almost as bad as a take-notice andanne's mortification was as evident as gilbert's satisfaction. when the written examinations at the end ofeach 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 beforethe whole school.
it would have been ever so much sweeter toher if he had felt the sting of his defeat. mr. phillips might not be a very goodteacher; but a pupil so inflexibly determined on learning as anne was couldhardly escape making progress under any kind of teacher. by the end of the term anne and gilbertwere both promoted into the fifth class and allowed to begin studying the elements of"the branches"--by which latin, geometry, french, and algebra were meant. in geometry anne met her waterloo."it's perfectly awful stuff, marilla," she groaned."i'm sure i'll never be able to make head
or tail of it. there is no scope for imagination in it atall. mr. phillips says i'm the worst dunce heever saw at it. and gil--i mean some of the others are sosmart at it. it is extremely mortifying, marilla."even diana gets along better than i do. but i don't mind being beaten by diana. even although we meet as strangers now istill love her with an inextinguishable love.it makes me very sad at times to think about her.
but really, marilla, one can't stay sadvery long in such an interesting world, can one?" chapter xviii.anne to the rescue all things great are wound up with allthings little. at first glance it might not seem that thedecision of a certain canadian premier to include prince edward island in a politicaltour could have much or anything to do with the fortunes of little anne shirley atgreen gables. but it had. it was a january the premier came, toaddress his loyal supporters and such of
his nonsupporters as chose to be present atthe monster mass meeting held in charlottetown. most of the avonlea people were onpremier's side of politics; hence on the night of the meeting nearly all the men anda 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 politicianand couldn't have believed that the political rally could be carried throughwithout 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 politicsherself, and as she thought it might be her only chance to see a real live premier, shepromptly took it, leaving anne and matthew to keep house until her return thefollowing day. hence, while marilla and mrs. rachel wereenjoying themselves hugely at the mass meeting, anne and matthew had the cheerfulkitchen 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 thewindowpanes.
matthew nodded over a farmers' advocate onthe sofa and anne at the table studied her lessons with grim determination, despitesundry wistful glances at the clock shelf, where lay a new book that jane andrews hadlent her that day. jane had assured her that it was warrantedto produce any number of thrills, or words to that effect, and anne's fingers tingledto reach out for it. but that would mean gilbert blythe'striumph on the morrow. anne turned her back on the clock shelf andtried to imagine it wasn't there. "matthew, did you ever study geometry whenyou went to school?" "well now, no, i didn't," said matthew,coming out of his doze with a start.
"i wish you had," sighed anne, "becausethen you'd be able to sympathize with me. you can't sympathize properly if you'venever studied it. it is casting a cloud over my whole life. i'm such a dunce at it, matthew.""well now, i dunno," said matthew soothingly."i guess you're all right at anything. mr. phillips told me last week in blair'sstore at carmody that you was the smartest scholar in school and was making rapidprogress. 'rapid progress' was his very words. there's them as runs down teddy phillipsand 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 geometryif only he wouldn't change the letters," complained anne. "i learn the proposition off by heart andthen he draws it on the blackboard and puts different letters from what are in the bookand i get all mixed up. i don't think a teacher should take such amean advantage, do you? we're studying agriculture now and i'vefound out at last what makes the roads red. it's a great comfort.
i wonder how marilla and mrs. lynde areenjoying themselves. mrs. lynde says canada is going to the dogsthe 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 wewould soon see a blessed change. what way do you vote, matthew?""conservative," said matthew promptly. to vote conservative was part of matthew'sreligion. "then i'm conservative too," said annedecidedly. "i'm glad because gil--because some of theboys in school are grits. i guess mr. phillips is a grit too becauseprissy andrews's father is one, and ruby
gillis says that when a man is courting healways has to agree with the girl's mother in religion and her father in politics. is that true, matthew?""well now, i dunno," said matthew. "did you ever go courting, matthew?" "well now, no, i dunno's i ever did," saidmatthew, 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 youthink, matthew? ruby gillis says when she grows up she'sgoing 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 aboutsuch matters because she has so many big sisters, and mrs. lynde says the gillisgirls have gone off like hot cakes. mr. phillips goes up to see prissy andrewsnearly every evening. he says it is to help her with her lessonsbut miranda sloane is studying for queen's too, and i should think she needed help alot more than prissy because she's ever so much stupider, but he never goes to helpher in the evenings at all. there are a great many things in this worldthat i can't understand very well, matthew."
"well now, i dunno as i comprehend them allmyself," acknowledged matthew. "well, i suppose i must finish up mylessons. i won't allow myself to open that new bookjane lent me until i'm through. but it's a terrible temptation, matthew.even when i turn my back on it i can see it there just as plain. jane said she cried herself sick over it.i love a book that makes me cry. but i think i'll carry that book into thesitting room and lock it in the jam closet and give you the key. and you must not give it to me, matthew,until my lessons are done, not even if i
implore you on my bended knees. it's all very well to say resisttemptation, but it's ever so much easier to resist it if you can't get the key.and then shall i run down the cellar and get some russets, matthew? wouldn't you like some russets?""well now, i dunno but what i would," said matthew, who never ate russets but knewanne's weakness for them. just as anne emerged triumphantly from thecellar with her plateful of russets came the sound of flying footsteps on the icyboard 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 andplate in her surprise, and plate, candle, and apples crashed together down the cellarladder and were found at the bottom embedded in melted grease, the next day, by marilla, who gathered them up and thankedmercy the house hadn't been set on fire. "whatever is the matter, diana?" criedanne. "has your mother relented at last?" "oh, anne, do come quick," implored diananervously.
"minnie may is awful sick--she's got croup. young mary joe says--and father and motherare away to town and there's nobody to go for the doctor. minnie may is awful bad and young mary joedoesn't know what to do--and oh, anne, i'm so scared!" matthew, without a word, reached out forcap and coat, slipped past diana and away into the darkness of the yard. "he's gone to harness the sorrel mare to goto carmody for the doctor," said anne, who was hurrying on hood and jacket."i know it as well as if he'd said so.
matthew and i are such kindred spirits ican read his thoughts without words at all.""i don't believe he'll find the doctor at carmody," sobbed diana. "i know that dr. blair went to town and iguess dr. spencer would go too. young mary joe never saw anybody with croupand mrs. lynde is away. oh, anne!" "don't cry, di," said anne cheerily."i know exactly what to do for croup. you forget that mrs. hammond had twinsthree times. when you look after three pairs of twinsyou 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 inhand and hurried through lover's lane and across the crusted field beyond, for thesnow was too deep to go by the shorter wood way. anne, although sincerely sorry for minniemay, was far from being insensible to the romance of the situation and to thesweetness of once more sharing that romance with a kindred spirit.
the night was clear and frosty, all ebonyof 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 andthe wind whistling through them. anne thought it was truly delightful to goskimming through all this mystery and loveliness with your bosom friend who hadbeen so long estranged. minnie may, aged three, was really verysick. she lay on the kitchen sofa feverish andrestless, while her hoarse breathing could be heard all over the house. young mary joe, a buxom, broad-faced frenchgirl from the creek, whom mrs. barry had
engaged to stay with the children duringher absence, was helpless and bewildered, quite incapable of thinking what to do, ordoing it if she thought of it. anne went to work with skill andpromptness. "minnie may has croup all right; she'spretty bad, but i've seen them worse. first we must have lots of hot water.i declare, diana, there isn't more than a cupful in the kettle! there, i've filled it up, and, mary joe,you may put some wood in the stove. i don't want to hurt your feelings but itseems to me you might have thought of this before if you'd any imagination.
now, i'll undress minnie may and put her tobed and you try to find some soft flannel cloths, diana.i'm going to give her a dose of ipecac first of all." minnie may did not take kindly to theipecac but anne had not brought up three pairs of twins for nothing. down that ipecac went, not only once, butmany times during the long, anxious night when the two little girls worked patientlyover the suffering minnie may, and young mary joe, honestly anxious to do all she could, kept up a roaring fire and heatedmore water than would have been needed for
a hospital of croupy babies. it was three o'clock when matthew came witha 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 sleepingsoundly. "i was awfully near giving up in despair,"explained anne. "she got worse and worse until she wassicker 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 thatbottle and when the last dose went down i said to myself--not to diana or young maryjoe, 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 myfeelings--'this is the last lingering hope and i fear, tis a vain one.' but in about three minutes she coughed upthe phlegm and began to get better right away.you must just imagine my relief, doctor, because i can't express it in words. you know there are some things that cannotbe expressed in words."
"yes, i know," nodded the doctor. he looked at anne as if he were thinkingsome things about her that couldn't be expressed in words.later on, however, he expressed them to mr. and mrs. barry. "that little redheaded girl they have overat cuthbert's is as smart as they make 'em. i tell you she saved that baby's life, forit would have been too late by the time i got there. she seems to have a skill and presence ofmind 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 talkingunweariedly to matthew as they crossed the long white field and walked under the glittering fairy arch of the lover's lanemaples. "oh, matthew, isn't it a wonderful morning?the world looks like something god had just imagined for his own pleasure, doesn't it? those trees look as if i could blow themaway with a breath--pouf! i'm so glad i live in a world where thereare white frosts, aren't you?
and i'm so glad mrs. hammond had threepairs of twins after all. if she hadn't i mightn't have known what todo for minnie may. i'm real sorry i was ever cross with mrs.hammond for having twins. but, oh, matthew, i'm so sleepy.i can't go to school. i just know i couldn't keep my eyes openand i'd be so stupid. but i hate to stay home, for gil--some ofthe others will get head of the class, and it's so hard to get up again--although ofcourse the harder it is the more satisfaction you have when you do get up,haven't you?" "well now, i guess you'll manage allright," said matthew, looking at anne's
white little face and the dark shadowsunder her eyes. "you just go right to bed and have a goodsleep. i'll do all the chores." anne accordingly went to bed and slept solong and soundly that it was well on in the white and rosy winter afternoon when sheawoke and descended to the kitchen where marilla, who had arrived home in themeantime, was sitting knitting. "oh, did you see the premier?" exclaimedanne at once. "what did he look like marilla?" "well, he never got to be premier onaccount of his looks," said marilla.
"such a nose as that man had!but he can speak. i was proud of being a conservative. rachel lynde, of course, being a liberal,had no use for him. your dinner is in the oven, anne, and youcan 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 inever saw a case of croup.
there now, never mind talking till you'vehad your dinner. i can tell by the look of you that you'rejust full up with speeches, but they'll keep." marilla had something to tell anne, but shedid not tell it just then for she knew if she did anne's consequent excitement wouldlift her clear out of the region of such material matters as appetite or dinner. not until anne had finished her saucer ofblue plums did marilla say: "mrs. barry was here this afternoon, anne.she wanted to see you, but i wouldn't wake you up.
she says you saved minnie may's life, andshe is very sorry she acted as she did in that affair of the currant wine. she says she knows now you didn't mean toset diana drunk, and she hopes you'll forgive her and be good friends with dianaagain. you're to go over this evening if you likefor diana can't stir outside the door on account of a bad cold she caught lastnight. now, anne shirley, for pity's sake don'tfly up into the air." the warning seemed not unnecessary, souplifted and aerial was anne's expression and attitude as she sprang to her feet, herface irradiated with the flame of her
spirit. "oh, marilla, can i go right now--withoutwashing my dishes? i'll wash them when i come back, but icannot tie myself down to anything so unromantic as dishwashing at this thrillingmoment." "yes, yes, run along," said marillaindulgently. "anne shirley--are you crazy?come back this instant and put something on i might as well call to the wind.she's gone without a cap or wrap. look at her tearing through the orchardwith her hair streaming. it'll be a mercy if she doesn't catch herdeath of cold."
anne came dancing home in the purple wintertwilight across the snowy places. afar in the southwest was the greatshimmering, pearl-like sparkle of an evening star in a sky that was pale goldenand ethereal rose over gleaming white spaces and dark glens of spruce. the tinkles of sleigh bells among the snowyhills came like elfin chimes through the frosty air, but their music was not sweeterthan the song in anne's heart and on her lips. "you see before you a perfectly happyperson, marilla," she announced. "i'm perfectly happy--yes, in spite of myred hair.
just at present i have a soul above redhair. mrs. barry kissed me and cried and said shewas so sorry and she could never repay me. i felt fearfully embarrassed, marilla, buti just said as politely as i could, 'i have no hard feelings for you, mrs. barry. i assure you once for all that i did notmean to intoxicate diana and henceforth i shall cover the past with the mantle ofoblivion.' that was a pretty dignified way of speakingwasn't it, marilla?" "i felt that i was heaping coals of fire onmrs. barry's head. and diana and i had a lovely afternoon.
diana showed me a new fancy crochet stitchher aunt over at carmody taught her. not a soul in avonlea knows it but us, andwe pledged a solemn vow never to reveal it to anyone else. diana gave me a beautiful card with awreath 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, marilla.we're going to ask mr. phillips to let us sit together in school again, and gertiepye can go with minnie andrews. we had an elegant tea.
mrs. barry had the very best china set out,marilla, just as if i was real company. i can't tell you what a thrill it gave me.nobody ever used their very best china on my account before. and we had fruit cake and pound cake anddoughnuts and two kinds of preserves, and mrs. barry asked me if i took tea andsaid 'pa, why don't you pass the biscuits to anne?' it must be lovely to be grown up, marilla,when just being treated as if you were is so nice.""i don't know about that," said marilla, with a brief sigh.
"well, anyway, when i am grown up," saidanne decidedly, "i'm always going to talk to little girls as if they were too, andi'll never laugh when they use big words. i know from sorrowful experience how thathurts one's feelings. after tea diana and i made taffy. the taffy wasn't very good, i supposebecause neither diana nor i had ever made any before. diana left me to stir it while she butteredthe plates and i forgot and let it burn; and then when we set it out on the platformto 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 dianastood at the window and threw kisses to me all the way down to lover's lane. i assure you, marilla, that i feel likepraying tonight and i'm going to think out a special brand-new prayer in honor of theoccasion."