chapter xiia jonah day it really began the night before with arestless, wakeful vigil of grumbling toothache. when anne arose in the dull, bitter wintermorning she felt that life was flat, stale, and unprofitable.she went to school in no angelic mood. her cheek was swollen and her face ached. the schoolroom was cold and smoky, for thefire refused to burn and the children were huddled about it in shivering groups.anne sent them to their seats with a sharper tone than she had ever used before.
anthony pye strutted to his with his usualimpertinent swagger and she saw him whisper something to his seat-mate and then glanceat her with a grin. never, so it seemed to anne, had there beenso many squeaky pencils as there were that morning; and when barbara shaw came up tothe desk with a sum she tripped over the coal scuttle with disastrous results. the coal rolled to every part of the room,her slate was broken into fragments, and when she picked herself up, her face,stained with coal dust, sent the boys into roars of laughter. anne turned from the second reader classwhich she was hearing.
"really, barbara," she said icily, "if youcannot move without falling over something you'd better remain in your seat. it is positively disgraceful for a girl ofyour age to be so awkward." poor barbara stumbled back to her desk, hertears combining with the coal dust to produce an effect truly grotesque. never before had her beloved, sympatheticteacher spoken to her in such a tone or fashion, and barbara was heartbroken. anne herself felt a prick of conscience butit only served to increase her mental irritation, and the second reader classremember that lesson yet, as well as the
unmerciful infliction of arithmetic thatfollowed. just as anne was snapping the sums out st.clair donnell arrived breathlessly. "you are half an hour late, st. clair,"anne reminded him frigidly. "why is this?" "please, miss, i had to help ma make apudding for dinner 'cause we're expecting company and clarice almira's sick," was st.clair's answer, given in a perfectly respectful voice but neverthelessprovocative of great mirth among his mates. "take your seat and work out the sixproblems on page eighty-four of your arithmetic for punishment," said anne.
st. clair looked rather amazed at her tonebut he went meekly to his desk and took out his slate.then he stealthily passed a small parcel to joe sloane across the aisle. anne caught him in the act and jumped to afatal conclusion about that parcel. old mrs. hiram sloane had lately taken tomaking and selling "nut cakes" by way of adding to her scanty income. the cakes were specially tempting to smallboys and for several weeks anne had had not a little trouble in regard to them. on their way to school the boys wouldinvest their spare cash at mrs. hiram's,
bring the cakes along with them to school,and, if possible, eat them and treat their mates during school hours. anne had warned them that if they broughtany more cakes to school they would be confiscated; and yet here was st. clairdonnell coolly passing a parcel of them, wrapped up in the blue and white stripedpaper mrs. hiram used, under her very eyes. "joseph," said anne quietly, "bring thatparcel here." joe, startled and abashed, obeyed. he was a fat urchin who always blushed andstuttered when he was frightened. never did anybody look more guilty thanpoor joe at that moment.
"throw it into the fire," said anne. joe looked very blank."p...p...p...lease, m...m...miss," he began."do as i tell you, joseph, without any words about it." "b...b...but m...m...miss...th...th...they're ..." gasped joe in desperation. "joseph, are you going to obey me or areyou not?" said anne. a bolder and more self-possessed lad thanjoe sloane would have been overawed by her tone and the dangerous flash of her eyes.this was a new anne whom none of her pupils had ever seen before.
joe, with an agonized glance at st. clair,went to the stove, opened the big, square front door, and threw the blue and whiteparcel in, before st. clair, who had sprung to his feet, could utter a word. then he dodged back just in time.for a few moments the terrified occupants of avonlea school did not know whether itwas an earthquake or a volcanic explosion that had occurred. the innocent looking parcel which anne hadrashly supposed to contain mrs. hiram's nut cakes really held an assortment offirecrackers and pinwheels for which warren sloane had sent to town by st. clair
donnell's father the day before, intendingto have a birthday celebration that evening. the crackers went off in a thunderclap ofnoise and the pinwheels bursting out of the door spun madly around the room, hissingand spluttering. anne dropped into her chair white withdismay and all the girls climbed shrieking upon their desks. joe sloane stood as one transfixed in themidst of the commotion and st. clair, helpless with laughter, rocked to and froin the aisle. prillie rogerson fainted and annetta bellwent into hysterics.
it seemed a long time, although it wasreally only a few minutes, before the last pinwheel subsided. anne, recovering herself, sprang to opendoors and windows and let out the gas and smoke which filled the room. then she helped the girls carry theunconscious prillie into the porch, where barbara shaw, in an agony of desire to beuseful, poured a pailful of half frozen water over prillie's face and shouldersbefore anyone could stop her. it was a full hour before quiet wasrestored ...but it was a quiet that might be felt.
everybody realized that even the explosionhad not cleared the teacher's mental atmosphere.nobody, except anthony pye, dared whisper a word. ned clay accidentally squeaked his pencilwhile working a sum, caught anne's eye and wished the floor would open and swallow himup. the geography class were whisked through acontinent with a speed that made them dizzy.the grammar class were parsed and analyzed within an inch of their lives. chester sloane, spelling "odoriferous" withtwo f's, was made to feel that he could
never live down the disgrace of it, eitherin this world or that which is to come. anne knew that she had made herselfridiculous and that the incident would be laughed over that night at a score of tea-tables, but the knowledge only angered her further. in a calmer mood she could have carried offthe situation with a laugh but now that was impossible; so she ignored it in icydisdain. when anne returned to the school afterdinner all the children were as usual in their seats and every face was bentstudiously over a desk except anthony pye's.
he peered across his book at anne, hisblack eyes sparkling with curiosity and mockery. anne twitched open the drawer of her deskin search of chalk and under her very hand a lively mouse sprang out of the drawer,scampered over the desk, and leaped to the floor. anne screamed and sprang back, as if it hadbeen a snake, and anthony pye laughed aloud.then a silence fell...a very creepy, uncomfortable silence. annetta bell was of two minds whether to gointo hysterics again or not, especially as
she didn't know just where the mouse hadgone. but she decided not to. who could take any comfort out of hystericswith a teacher so white-faced and so blazing-eyed standing before one?"who put that mouse in my desk?" said anne. her voice was quite low but it made ashiver go up and down paul irving's spine. joe sloane caught her eye, felt responsiblefrom the crown of his head to the sole of his feet, but stuttered out wildly, "n...n...not m...m...me t...t...teacher, n...n...not m...m...me." anne paid no attention to the wretchedjoseph.
she looked at anthony pye, and anthony pyelooked back unabashed and unashamed. "anthony, was it you?""yes, it was," said anthony insolently. anne took her pointer from her desk. it was a long, heavy hardwood pointer."come here, anthony." it was far from being the most severepunishment anthony pye had ever undergone. anne, even the stormy-souled anne she wasat that moment, could not have punished any child cruelly. but the pointer nipped keenly and finallyanthony's bravado failed him; he winced and the tears came to his eyes.anne, conscience-stricken, dropped the
pointer and told anthony to go to his seat. she sat down at her desk feeling ashamed,repentant, and bitterly mortified. her quick anger was gone and she would havegiven much to have been able to seek relief in tears. so all her boasts had come to this...shehad actually whipped one of her pupils. how jane would triumph!and how mr. harrison would chuckle! but worse than this, bitterest thought ofall, she had lost her last chance of winning anthony pye.never would he like her now. anne, by what somebody has called "aherculaneum effort," kept back her tears
until she got home that night. then she shut herself in the east gableroom and wept all her shame and remorse and disappointment into her pillows...wept solong that marilla grew alarmed, invaded the room, and insisted on knowing what thetrouble was. "the trouble is, i've got things the matterwith my conscience," sobbed anne. "oh, this has been such a jonah day,marilla. i'm so ashamed of myself.i lost my temper and whipped anthony pye." "i'm glad to hear it," said marilla withdecision. "it's what you should have done long ago.""oh, no, no, marilla.
and i don't see how i can ever look thosechildren in the face again. i feel that i have humiliated myself to thevery dust. you don't know how cross and hateful andhorrid i was. i can't forget the expression in paulirving's eyes...he looked so surprised and disappointed. oh, marilla, i have tried so hard to bepatient and to win anthony's liking...and now it has all gone for nothing." marilla passed her hard work-worn hand overthe girl's glossy, tumbled hair with a wonderful tenderness.when anne's sobs grew quieter she said,
very gently for her, "you take things too much to heart, anne.we all make mistakes...but people forget them.and jonah days come to everybody. as for anthony pye, why need you care if hedoes dislike you? he is the only one.""i can't help it. i want everybody to love me and it hurts meso when anybody doesn't. and anthony never will now.oh, i just made an idiot of myself today, marilla. i'll tell you the whole story."marilla listened to the whole story, and if
she smiled at certain parts of it annenever knew. when the tale was ended she said briskly, "well, never mind.this day's done and there's a new one coming tomorrow, with no mistakes in ityet, as you used to say yourself. just come downstairs and have your supper. you'll see if a good cup of tea and thoseplum puffs i made today won't hearten you up." "plum puffs won't minister to a minddiseased," said anne disconsolately; but marilla thought it a good sign that she hadrecovered sufficiently to adapt a
quotation. the cheerful supper table, with the twins'bright faces, and marilla's matchless plum puffs...of which davy ate four... did"hearten her up" considerably after all. she had a good sleep that night andawakened in the morning to find herself and the world transformed. it had snowed softly and thickly allthrough the hours of darkness and the beautiful whiteness, glittering in thefrosty sunshine, looked like a mantle of charity cast over all the mistakes andhumiliations of the past. "every morn is a fresh beginning,every morn is the world made new,"
sang anne, as she dressed. owing to the snow she had to go around bythe road to school and she thought it was certainly an impish coincidence thatanthony pye should come ploughing along just as she left the green gables lane. she felt as guilty as if their positionswere reversed; but to her unspeakable astonishment anthony not only lifted hiscap...which he had never done before...but said easily, "kind of bad walking, ain't it?can i take those books for you, teacher?" anne surrendered her books and wondered ifshe could possibly be awake.
anthony walked on in silence to the school,but when anne took her books she smiled down at him...not the stereotyped "kind"smile she had so persistently assumed for his benefit but a sudden outflashing ofgood comradeship. anthony smiled...no, if the truth must betold, anthony grinned back. a grin is not generally supposed to be arespectful thing; yet anne suddenly felt that if she had not yet won anthony'sliking she had, somehow or other, won his respect. mrs. rachel lynde came up the next saturdayand confirmed this. "well, anne, i guess you've won overanthony pye, that's what.
he says he believes you are some good afterall, even if you are a girl. says that whipping you gave him was 'justas good as a man's.'" "i never expected to win him by whippinghim, though," said anne, a little mournfully, feeling that her ideals hadplayed her false somewhere. "it doesn't seem right. i'm sure my theory of kindness can't bewrong." "no, but the pyes are an exception to everyknown rule, that's what," declared mrs. rachel with conviction. mr. harrison said, "thought you'd come toit," when he heard it, and jane rubbed it
in rather unmercifully. chapter xiiia golden picnic anne, on her way to orchard slope, metdiana, bound for green gables, just where the mossy old log bridge spanned the brookbelow the haunted wood, and they sat down by the margin of the dryad's bubble, where tiny ferns were unrolling like curly-headedgreen pixy folk wakening up from a nap. "i was just on my way over to invite you tohelp me celebrate my birthday on saturday," said anne. "your birthday?but your birthday was in march!"
"that wasn't my fault," laughed anne."if my parents had consulted me it would never have happened then. i should have chosen to be born in spring,of course. it must be delightful to come into theworld with the mayflowers and violets. you would always feel that you were theirfoster sister. but since i didn't, the next best thing isto celebrate my birthday in the spring. priscilla is coming over saturday and janewill be home. we'll all four start off to the woods andspend a golden day making the acquaintance of the spring.
we none of us really know her yet, butwe'll meet her back there as we never can anywhere else.i want to explore all those fields and lonely places anyhow. i have a conviction that there are scoresof beautiful nooks there that have never really been seen although they may havebeen looked at. we'll make friends with wind and sky andsun, and bring home the spring in our hearts." "it sounds awfully nice," said diana, withsome inward distrust of anne's magic of words."but won't it be very damp in some places
yet?" "oh, we'll wear rubbers," was anne'sconcession to practicalities. "and i want you to come over early saturdaymorning and help me prepare lunch. i'm going to have the daintiest thingspossible... things that will match the spring, you understand...little jelly tartsand lady fingers, and drop cookies frosted with pink and yellow icing, and buttercupcake. and we must have sandwiches too, thoughthey're not very poetical." saturday proved an ideal day for apicnic...a day of breeze and blue, warm, sunny, with a little rollicking windblowing across meadow and orchard.
over every sunlit upland and field was adelicate, flower-starred green. mr. harrison, harrowing at the back of hisfarm and feeling some of the spring witch- work even in his sober, middle-aged blood,saw four girls, basket laden, tripping across the end of his field where it joineda fringing woodland of birch and fir. their blithe voices and laughter echoeddown to him. "it's so easy to be happy on a day likethis, isn't it?" anne was saying, with true anneishphilosophy. "let's try to make this a really goldenday, girls, a day to which we can always look back with delight.we're to seek for beauty and refuse to see
anything else. 'begone, dull care!'jane, you are thinking of something that went wrong in school yesterday.""how do you know?" gasped jane, amazed. "oh, i know the expression...i've felt itoften enough on my own face. but put it out of your mind, there's adear. it will keep till monday ...or if itdoesn't so much the better. oh, girls, girls, see that patch ofviolets! there's something for memory's picturegallery. when i'm eighty years old...if i everam...i shall shut my eyes and see those
violets just as i see them now. that's the first good gift our day hasgiven us." "if a kiss could be seen i think it wouldlook like a violet," said priscilla. anne glowed. "i'm so glad you spoke that thought,priscilla, instead of just thinking it and keeping it to yourself. this world would be a much more interestingplace...although it is very interesting anyhow... if people spoke out their realthoughts." "it would be too hot to hold some folks,"quoted jane sagely.
"i suppose it might be, but that would betheir own faults for thinking nasty things. anyhow, we can tell all our thoughts todaybecause we are going to have nothing but beautiful thoughts.everybody can say just what comes into her head. that is conversation.here's a little path i never saw before. let's explore it." the path was a winding one, so narrow thatthe girls walked in single file and even then the fir boughs brushed their faces. under the firs were velvety cushions ofmoss, and further on, where the trees were
smaller and fewer, the ground was rich in avariety of green growing things. "what a lot of elephant's ears," exclaimeddiana. "i'm going to pick a big bunch, they're sopretty." "how did such graceful feathery things evercome to have such a dreadful name?" asked priscilla. "because the person who first named themeither had no imagination at all or else far too much," said anne, "oh, girls, lookat that!" "that" was a shallow woodland pool in thecenter of a little open glade where the path ended.
later on in the season it would be dried upand its place filled with a rank growth of ferns; but now it was a glimmering placidsheet, round as a saucer and clear as crystal. a ring of slender young birches encircledit and little ferns fringed its margin. "how sweet!" said jane. "let us dance around it like wood-nymphs,"cried anne, dropping her basket and extending her hands. but the dance was not a success for theground was boggy and jane's rubbers came off."you can't be a wood-nymph if you have to
wear rubbers," was her decision. "well, we must name this place before weleave it," said anne, yielding to the indisputable logic of facts."everybody suggest a name and we'll draw lots. diana?""birch pool," suggested diana promptly. "crystal lake," said jane. anne, standing behind them, imploredpriscilla with her eyes not to perpetrate another such name and priscilla rose to theoccasion with "glimmer-glass." anne's selection was "the fairies' mirror."
the names were written on strips of birchbark with a pencil schoolma'am jane produced from her pocket, and placed inanne's hat. then priscilla shut her eyes and drew one. "crystal lake," read jane triumphantly.crystal lake it was, and if anne thought that chance had played the pool a shabbytrick she did not say so. pushing through the undergrowth beyond, thegirls came out to the young green seclusion of mr. silas sloane's back pasture. across it they found the entrance to a lanestriking up through the woods and voted to explore it also.it rewarded their quest with a succession
of pretty surprises. first, skirting mr. sloane's pasture, camean archway of wild cherry trees all in bloom. the girls swung their hats on their armsand wreathed their hair with the creamy, fluffy blossoms. then the lane turned at right angles andplunged into a spruce wood so thick and dark that they walked in a gloom as oftwilight, with not a glimpse of sky or sunlight to be seen. "this is where the bad wood elves dwell,"whispered anne.
"they are impish and malicious but theycan't harm us, because they are not allowed to do evil in the spring. there was one peeping at us around that oldtwisted fir; and didn't you see a group of them on that big freckly toadstool we justpassed? the good fairies always dwell in thesunshiny places." "i wish there really were fairies," saidjane. "wouldn't it be nice to have three wishesgranted you...or even only one? what would you wish for, girls, if youcould have a wish granted? i'd wish to be rich and beautiful andclever."
"i'd wish to be tall and slender," saiddiana. "i would wish to be famous," saidpriscilla. anne thought of her hair and then dismissedthe thought as unworthy. "i'd wish it might be spring all the timeand in everybody's heart and all our lives," she said."but that," said priscilla, "would be just wishing this world were like heaven." "only like a part of heaven.in the other parts there would be summer and autumn...yes, and a bit of winter, too.i think i want glittering snowy fields and white frosts in heaven sometimes.
don't you, jane?""i...i don't know," said jane uncomfortably. jane was a good girl, a member of thechurch, who tried conscientiously to live up to her profession and believedeverything she had been taught. but she never thought about heaven any morethan she could help, for all that. "minnie may asked me the other day if wewould wear our best dresses every day in heaven," laughed diana. "and didn't you tell her we would?" askedanne. "mercy, no!i told her we wouldn't be thinking of
dresses at all there." "oh, i think we will...a little," said anneearnestly. "there'll be plenty of time in all eternityfor it without neglecting more important things. i believe we'll all wear beautifuldresses...or i suppose raiment would be a more suitable way of speaking. i shall want to wear pink for a fewcenturies at first...it would take me that long to get tired of it, i feel sure.i do love pink so and i can never wear it in this world."
past the spruces the lane dipped down intoa sunny little open where a log bridge spanned a brook; and then came the glory ofa sunlit beechwood where the air was like transparent golden wine, and the leaves fresh and green, and the wood floor amosaic of tremulous sunshine. then more wild cherries, and a littlevalley of lissome firs, and then a hill so steep that the girls lost their breathclimbing it; but when they reached the top and came out into the open the prettiestsurprise of all awaited them. beyond were the "back fields" of the farmsthat ran out to the upper carmody road. just before them, hemmed in by beeches andfirs but open to the south, was a little
corner and in it a garden ...or what hadonce been a garden. a tumbledown stone dyke, overgrown withmosses and grass, surrounded it. along the eastern side ran a row of gardencherry trees, white as a snowdrift. there were traces of old paths still and adouble line of rosebushes through the middle; but all the rest of the space was asheet of yellow and white narcissi, in their airiest, most lavish, wind-swayedbloom above the lush green grasses. "oh, how perfectly lovely!" three of thegirls cried. anne only gazed in eloquent silence. "how in the world does it happen that thereever was a garden back here?" said
priscilla in amazement."it must be hester gray's garden," said diana. "i've heard mother speak of it but i neversaw it before, and i wouldn't have supposed that it could be in existence still.you've heard the story, anne?" "no, but the name seems familiar to me." "oh, you've seen it in the graveyard.she is buried down there in the poplar corner. you know the little brown stone with theopening gates carved on it and 'sacred to the memory of hester gray, aged twenty-two.'
jordan gray is buried right beside her butthere's no stone to him. it's a wonder marilla never told you aboutit, anne. to be sure, it happened thirty years agoand everybody has forgotten." "well, if there's a story we must have it,"said anne. "let's sit right down here among thenarcissi and diana will tell it. why, girls, there are hundreds ofthem...they've spread over everything. it looks as if the garden were carpetedwith moonshine and sunshine combined. this is a discovery worth making. to think that i've lived within a mile ofthis place for six years and have never
seen it before!now, diana." "long ago," began diana, "this farmbelonged to old mr. david gray. he didn't live on it...he lived where silassloane lives now. he had one son, jordan, and he went up toboston one winter to work and while he was there he fell in love with a girl namedhester murray. she was working in a store and she hatedit. she'd been brought up in the country andshe always wanted to get back. when jordan asked her to marry him she saidshe would if he'd take her away to some quiet spot where she'd see nothing butfields and trees.
so he brought her to avonlea. mrs. lynde said he was taking a fearfulrisk in marrying a yankee, and it's certain that hester was very delicate and a verypoor housekeeper; but mother says she was very pretty and sweet and jordan justworshipped the ground she walked on. well, mr. gray gave jordan this farm and hebuilt a little house back here and jordan and hester lived in it for four years. she never went out much and hardly anybodywent to see her except mother and mrs. lynde. jordan made her this garden and she wascrazy about it and spent most of her time
in it.she wasn't much of a housekeeper but she had a knack with flowers. and then she got sick.mother says she thinks she was in consumption before she ever came here.she never really laid up but just grew weaker and weaker all the time. jordan wouldn't have anybody to wait onher. he did it all himself and mother says hewas as tender and gentle as a woman. every day he'd wrap her in a shawl andcarry her out to the garden and she'd lie there on a bench quite happy.
they say she used to make jordan kneel downby her every night and morning and pray with her that she might die out in thegarden when the time came. and her prayer was answered. one day jordan carried her out to the benchand then he picked all the roses that were out and heaped them over her; and she justsmiled up at him ...and closed her eyes...and that," concluded diana softly,"was the end." "oh, what a dear story," sighed anne,wiping away her tears. "what became of jordan?" asked priscilla. "he sold the farm after hester died andwent back to boston.
mr. jabez sloane bought the farm and hauledthe little house out to the road. jordan died about ten years after and hewas brought home and buried beside hester." "i can't understand how she could havewanted to live back here, away from everything," said jane. "oh, i can easily understand that," saidanne thoughtfully. "i wouldn't want it myself for a steadything, because, although i love the fields and woods, i love people too. but i can understand it in hester.she was tired to death of the noise of the big city and the crowds of people alwayscoming and going and caring nothing for
her. she just wanted to escape from it all tosome still, green, friendly place where she could rest.and she got just what she wanted, which is something very few people do, i believe. she had four beautiful years before shedied...four years of perfect happiness, so i think she was to be envied more thanpitied. and then to shut your eyes and fall asleepamong roses, with the one you loved best on earth smiling down at you...oh, i think itwas beautiful!" "she set out those cherry trees overthere," said diana.
"she told mother she'd never live to eattheir fruit, but she wanted to think that something she had planted would go onliving and helping to make the world beautiful after she was dead." "i'm so glad we came this way," said anne,the shining-eyed. "this is my adopted birthday, you know, andthis garden and its story is the birthday gift it has given me. did your mother ever tell you what hestergray looked like, diana?" "no...only just that she was pretty." "i'm rather glad of that, because i canimagine what she looked like, without being
hampered by facts. i think she was very slight and small, withsoftly curling dark hair and big, sweet, timid brown eyes, and a little wistful,pale face." the girls left their baskets in hester'sgarden and spent the rest of the afternoon rambling in the woods and fieldssurrounding it, discovering many pretty nooks and lanes. when they got hungry they had lunch in theprettiest spot of all...on the steep bank of a gurgling brook where white birchesshot up out of long feathery grasses. the girls sat down by the roots and didfull justice to anne's dainties, even the
unpoetical sandwiches being greatlyappreciated by hearty, unspoiled appetites sharpened by all the fresh air and exercisethey had enjoyed. anne had brought glasses and lemonade forher guests, but for her own part drank cold brook water from a cup fashioned out ofbirch bark. the cup leaked, and the water tasted ofearth, as brook water is apt to do in spring; but anne thought it moreappropriate to the occasion than lemonade. "look do you see that poem?" she saidsuddenly, pointing. "where?"jane and diana stared, as if expecting to see runic rhymes on the birch trees.
"there...down in the brook...that oldgreen, mossy log with the water flowing over it in those smooth ripples that lookas if they'd been combed, and that single shaft of sunshine falling right athwart it,far down into the pool. oh, it's the most beautiful poem i eversaw." "i should rather call it a picture," saidjane. "a poem is lines and verses.""oh dear me, no." anne shook her head with its fluffy wildcherry coronal positively. "the lines and verses are only the outwardgarments of the poem and are no more really it than your ruffles and flounces are you,jane.
the real poem is the soul within them...and that beautiful bit is the soul of an unwritten poem.it is not every day one sees a soul...even of a poem." "i wonder what a soul...a person'ssoul...would look like," said priscilla dreamily. "like that, i should think," answered anne,pointing to a radiance of sifted sunlight streaming through a birch tree."only with shape and features of course. i like to fancy souls as being made oflight. and some are all shot through with rosystains and quivers...and some have a soft
glitter like moonlight on the sea...andsome are pale and transparent like mist at dawn." "i read somewhere once that souls were likeflowers," said priscilla. "then your soul is a golden narcissus,"said anne, "and diana's is like a red, red rose. jane's is an apple blossom, pink andwholesome and sweet." "and your own is a white violet, withpurple streaks in its heart," finished jane whispered to diana that she reallycould not understand what they were talking about.could she?
the girls went home by the light of a calmgolden sunset, their baskets filled with narcissus blossoms from hester's garden,some of which anne carried to the cemetery next day and laid upon hester's grave. minstrel robins were whistling in the firsand the frogs were singing in the marshes. all the basins among the hills were brimmedwith topaz and emerald light. "well, we have had a lovely time afterall," said diana, as if she had hardly expected to have it when she set out."it has been a truly golden day," said "i'm really awfully fond of the woodsmyself," said jane. anne said nothing.she was looking afar into the western sky
and thinking of little hester gray. chapter xiva danger averted anne, walking home from the post office onefriday evening, was joined by mrs. lynde, who was as usual cumbered with all thecares of church and state. "i've just been down to timothy cotton's tosee if i could get alice louise to help me for a few days," she said. "i had her last week, for, though she's tooslow to stop quick, she's better than nobody.but she's sick and can't come. timothy's sitting there, too, coughing andcomplaining.
he's been dying for ten years and he'll goon dying for ten years more. that kind can't even die and have done withit...they can't stick to anything, even to being sick, long enough to finish it. they're a terrible shiftless family andwhat is to become of them i don't know, but perhaps providence does." mrs. lynde sighed as if she rather doubtedthe extent of providential knowledge on the subject."marilla was in about her eyes again tuesday, wasn't she? what did the specialist think of them?" shecontinued.
"he was much pleased," said anne brightly. "he says there is a great improvement inthem and he thinks the danger of her losing her sight completely is past.but he says she'll never be able to read much or do any fine hand-work again. how are your preparations for your bazaarcoming on?" the ladies' aid society was preparing for afair and supper, and mrs. lynde was the head and front of the enterprise. "pretty well...and that reminds me.mrs. allan thinks it would be nice to fix up a booth like an old-time kitchen andserve a supper of baked beans, doughnuts,
pie, and so on. we're collecting old-fashioned fixingseverywhere. mrs. simon fletcher is going to lend us hermother's braided rugs and mrs. levi boulter some old chairs and aunt mary shaw willlend us her cupboard with the glass doors. i suppose marilla will let us have herbrass candlesticks? and we want all the old dishes we can get. mrs. allan is specially set on having areal blue willow ware platter if we can find one.but nobody seems to have one. do you know where we could get one?"
"miss josephine barry has one.i'll write and ask her if she'll lend it for the occasion," said anne."well, i wish you would. i guess we'll have the supper in about afortnight's time. uncle abe andrews is prophesying rain andstorms for about that time; and that's a pretty sure sign we'll have fine weather." the said "uncle abe," it may be mentioned,was at least like other prophets in that he had small honor in his own country. he was, in fact, considered in the light ofa standing joke, for few of his weather predictions were ever fulfilled.
mr. elisha wright, who labored under theimpression that he was a local wit, used to say that nobody in avonlea ever thought oflooking in the charlottetown dailies for weather probabilities. no; they just asked uncle abe what it wasgoing to be tomorrow and expected the opposite.nothing daunted, uncle abe kept on prophesying. "we want to have the fair over before theelection comes off," continued mrs. lynde, "for the candidates will be sure to comeand spend lots of money. the tories are bribing right and left, sothey might as well be given a chance to
spend their money honestly for once." anne was a red-hot conservative, out ofloyalty to matthew's memory, but she said nothing.she knew better than to get mrs. lynde started on politics. she had a letter for marilla, postmarkedfrom a town in british columbia. "it's probably from the children's uncle,"she said excitedly, when she got home. "oh, marilla, i wonder what he says aboutthem." "the best plan might be to open it andsee," said marilla curtly. a close observer might have thought thatshe was excited also, but she would rather
have died than show it. anne tore open the letter and glanced overthe somewhat untidy and poorly written contents. "he says he can't take the children thisspring...he's been sick most of the winter and his wedding is put off.he wants to know if we can keep them till the fall and he'll try and take them then. we will, of course, won't we marilla?""i don't see that there is anything else for us to do," said marilla rather grimly,although she felt a secret relief. "anyhow they're not so much trouble as theywere...or else we've got used to them.
davy has improved a great deal." "his manners are certainly much better,"said anne cautiously, as if she were not prepared to say as much for his morals. anne had come home from school the previousevening, to find marilla away at an aid meeting, dora asleep on the kitchen sofa,and davy in the sitting room closet, blissfully absorbing the contents of a jar of marilla's famous yellow plumpreserves... "company jam," davy called it...which hehad been forbidden to touch. he looked very guilty when anne pounced onhim and whisked him out of the closet.
"davy keith, don't you know that it is verywrong of you to be eating that jam, when you were told never to meddle with anythingin that closet?" "yes, i knew it was wrong," admitted davyuncomfortably, "but plum jam is awful nice, anne.i just peeped in and it looked so good i thought i'd take just a weeny taste. i stuck my finger in ..."anne groaned ... "and licked it clean. and it was so much gooder than i'd everthought that i got a spoon and just sailed in."
anne gave him such a serious lecture on thesin of stealing plum jam that davy became conscience stricken and promised withrepentant kisses never to do it again. "anyhow, there'll be plenty of jam inheaven, that's one comfort," he said complacently.anne nipped a smile in the bud. "perhaps there will...if we want it," shesaid, "but what makes you think so?" "why, it's in the catechism," said davy."oh, no, there is nothing like that in the catechism, davy." "but i tell you there is," persisted davy."it was in that question marilla taught me last sunday.'why should we love god?'
it says, 'because he makes preserves, andredeems us.' preserves is just a holy way of sayingjam." "i must get a drink of water," said annehastily. when she came back it cost her some timeand trouble to explain to davy that a certain comma in the said catechismquestion made a great deal of difference in the meaning. "well, i thought it was too good to betrue," he said at last, with a sigh of disappointed conviction. "and besides, i didn't see when he'd findtime to make jam if it's one endless
sabbath day, as the hymn says.i don't believe i want to go to heaven. won't there ever be any saturdays inheaven, anne?" "yes, saturdays, and every other kind ofbeautiful days. and every day in heaven will be morebeautiful than the one before it, davy," assured anne, who was rather glad thatmarilla was not by to be shocked. marilla, it is needless to say, wasbringing the twins up in the good old ways of theology and discouraged all fancifulspeculations thereupon. davy and dora were taught a hymn, acatechism question, and two bible verses every sunday.
dora learned meekly and recited like alittle machine, with perhaps as much understanding or interest as if she wereone. davy, on the contrary, had a livelycuriosity, and frequently asked questions which made marilla tremble for his fate. "chester sloane says we'll do nothing allthe time in heaven but walk around in white dresses and play on harps; and he says hehopes he won't have to go till he's an old man, 'cause maybe he'll like it betterthen. and he thinks it will be horrid to weardresses and i think so too. why can't men angels wear trousers, anne?
chester sloane is interested in thosethings, 'cause they're going to make a minister of him. he's got to be a minister 'cause hisgrandmother left the money to send him to college and he can't have it unless he is aminister. she thought a minister was such a'spectable thing to have in a family. chester says he doesn't mind much...thoughhe'd rather be a blacksmith...but he's bound to have all the fun he can before hebegins to be a minister, 'cause he doesn't expect to have much afterwards. i ain't going to be a minister.i'm going to be a storekeeper, like mr.
blair, and keep heaps of candy and bananas. but i'd rather like going to your kind of aheaven if they'd let me play a mouth organ instead of a harp.do you s'pose they would?" "yes, i think they would if you wanted it,"was all anne could trust herself to say. the a.v.i.s. met at mr. harmon andrews'that evening and a full attendance had been requested, since important business was tobe discussed. the a.v.i.s. was in a flourishingcondition, and had already accomplished wonders. early in the spring mr. major spencer hadredeemed his promise and had stumped,
graded, and seeded down all the road frontof his farm. a dozen other men, some prompted by adetermination not to let a spencer get ahead of them, others goaded into action byimprovers in their own households, had followed his example. the result was that there were long stripsof smooth velvet turf where once had been unsightly undergrowth or brush. the farm fronts that had not been donelooked so badly by contrast that their owners were secretly shamed into resolvingto see what they could do another spring. the triangle of ground at the cross roadshad also been cleared and seeded down, and
anne's bed of geraniums, unharmed by anymarauding cow, was already set out in the center. altogether, the improvers thought that theywere getting on beautifully, even if mr. levi boulter, tactfully approached by acarefully selected committee in regard to the old house on his upper farm, did bluntly tell them that he wasn't going tohave it meddled with. at this especial meeting they intended todraw up a petition to the school trustees, humbly praying that a fence be put aroundthe school grounds; and a plan was also to be discussed for planting a few ornamental
trees by the church, if the funds of thesociety would permit of it...for, as anne said, there was no use in starting anothersubscription as long as the hall remained blue. the members were assembled in the andrews'parlor and jane was already on her feet to move the appointment of a committee whichshould find out and report on the price of said trees, when gertie pye swept in, pompadoured and frilled within an inch ofher life. gertie had a habit of being late ..."to make her entrance more effective," spiteful people said.
gertie's entrance in this instance wascertainly effective, for she paused dramatically on the middle of the floor,threw up her hands, rolled her eyes, and exclaimed, "i've just heard somethingperfectly awful. what do you think? mr. judson parker is going to rent all theroad fence of his farm to a patent medicine company to paint advertisements on."for once in her life gertie pye made all the sensation she desired. if she had thrown a bomb among thecomplacent improvers she could hardly have made more."it can't be true," said anne blankly.
"that's just what i said when i heard itfirst, don't you know," said gertie, who was enjoying herself hugely. "i said it couldn't be true ...that judsonparker wouldn't have the heart to do it, don't you know.but father met him this afternoon and asked him about it and he said it was true. just fancy!his farm is side-on to the newbridge road and how perfectly awful it will look to seeadvertisements of pills and plasters all along it, don't you know?" the improvers did know, all too well.even the least imaginative among them could
picture the grotesque effect of half a mileof board fence adorned with such advertisements. all thought of church and school groundsvanished before this new danger. parliamentary rules and regulations wereforgotten, and anne, in despair, gave up trying to keep minutes at all. everybody talked at once and fearful wasthe hubbub. "oh, let us keep calm," implored anne, whowas the most excited of them all, "and try to think of some way of preventing him." "i don't know how you're going to preventhim," exclaimed jane bitterly.
"everybody knows what judson parker is.he'd do anything for money. he hasn't a spark of public spirit or anysense of the beautiful." the prospect looked rather unpromising. judson parker and his sister were the onlyparkers in avonlea, so that no leverage could be exerted by family connections. martha parker was a lady of all too certainage who disapproved of young people in general and the improvers in particular. judson was a jovial, smooth-spoken man, souniformly goodnatured and bland that it was surprising how few friends he had.
perhaps he had got the better in too manybusiness transactions...which seldom makes for popularity. he was reputed to be very "sharp" and itwas the general opinion that he "hadn't much principle." "if judson parker has a chance to 'turn anhonest penny,' as he says himself, he'll never lose it," declared fred wright."is there nobody who has any influence over him?" asked anne despairingly. "he goes to see louisa spencer at whitesands," suggested carrie sloane. "perhaps she could coax him not to rent hisfences."
"not she," said gilbert emphatically. "i know louisa spencer well.she doesn't 'believe' in village improvement societies, but she does believein dollars and cents. she'd be more likely to urge judson on thanto dissuade him." "the only thing to do is to appoint acommittee to wait on him and protest," said julia bell, "and you must send girls, forhe'd hardly be civil to boys ...but i won't go, so nobody need nominate me." "better send anne alone," said oliversloane. "she can talk judson over if anybody can."anne protested.
she was willing to go and do the talking;but she must have others with her "for moral support." diana and jane were therefore appointed tosupport her morally and the improvers broke up, buzzing like angry bees withindignation. anne was so worried that she didn't sleepuntil nearly morning, and then she dreamed that the trustees had put a fence aroundthe school and painted "try purple pills" all over it. the committee waited on judson parker thenext afternoon. anne pleaded eloquently against hisnefarious design and jane and diana
supported her morally and valiantly. judson was sleek, suave, flattering; paidthem several compliments of the delicacy of sunflowers; felt real bad to refuse suchcharming young ladies ...but business was business; couldn't afford to let sentimentstand in the way these hard times. "but i'll tell what i will do," he said,with a twinkle in his light, full eyes. "i'll tell the agent he must use onlyhandsome, tasty colors ...red and yellow and so on.i'll tell him he mustn't paint the ads blue on any account." the vanquished committee retired, thinkingthings not lawful to be uttered.
"we have done all we can do and must simplytrust the rest to providence," said jane, with an unconscious imitation of mrs.lynde's tone and manner. "i wonder if mr. allan could do anything,"reflected diana. anne shook her head."no, it's no use to worry mr. allan, especially now when the baby's so sick. judson would slip away from him as smoothlyas from us, although he has taken to going to church quite regularly just now. that is simply because louisa spencer'sfather is an elder and very particular about such things."
"judson parker is the only man in avonleawho would dream of renting his fences," said jane indignantly. "even levi boulter or lorenzo white wouldnever stoop to that, tightfisted as they are.they would have too much respect for public opinion." public opinion was certainly down on judsonparker when the facts became known, but that did not help matters much. judson chuckled to himself and defied it,and the improvers were trying to reconcile themselves to the prospect of seeing theprettiest part of the newbridge road
defaced by advertisements, when anne rose quietly at the president's call for reportsof committees on the occasion of the next meeting of the society, and announced thatmr. judson parker had instructed her to inform the society that he was not going to rent his fences to the patent medicinecompany. jane and diana stared as if they found ithard to believe their ears. parliamentary etiquette, which wasgenerally very strictly enforced in the a.v.i.s., forbade them giving instant ventto their curiosity, but after the society adjourned anne was besieged forexplanations.
anne had no explanation to give. judson parker had overtaken her on the roadthe preceding evening and told her that he had decided to humor the a.v.i.s. in itspeculiar prejudice against patent medicine that was all anne would say, then or everafterwards, and it was the simple truth; but when jane andrews, on her way home,confided to oliver sloane her firm belief that there was more behind judson parker's mysterious change of heart than anneshirley had revealed, she spoke the truth also. anne had been down to old mrs. irving's onthe shore road the preceding evening and
had come home by a short cut which led herfirst over the low-lying shore fields, and then through the beech wood below robert dickson's, by a little footpath that ranout to the main road just above the lake of shining waters...known to unimaginativepeople as barry's pond. two men were sitting in their buggies,reined off to the side of the road, just at the entrance of the path. one was judson parker; the other was jerrycorcoran, a newbridge man against whom, as mrs. lynde would have told you in eloquentitalics, nothing shady had ever been proved.
he was an agent for agricultural implementsand a prominent personage in matters political. he had a finger... some people said all hisfingers...in every political pie that was cooked; and as canada was on the eve of ageneral election jerry corcoran had been a busy man for many weeks, canvassing the county in the interests of his party'scandidate. just as anne emerged from under theoverhanging beech boughs she heard corcoran say, "if you'll vote for amesbury,parker...well, i've a note for that pair of harrows you've got in the spring.
i suppose you wouldn't object to having itback, eh?" "we...ll, since you put it in that way,"drawled judson with a grin, "i reckon i might as well do it. a man must look out for his own interestsin these hard times." both saw anne at this moment andconversation abruptly ceased. anne bowed frostily and walked on, with herchin slightly more tilted than usual. soon judson parker overtook her."have a lift, anne?" he inquired genially. "thank you, no," said anne politely, butwith a fine, needle-like disdain in her voice that pierced even judson parker'snone too sensitive consciousness.
his face reddened and he twitched his reinsangrily; but the next second prudential considerations checked him. he looked uneasily at anne, as she walkedsteadily on, glancing neither to the right nor to the left.had she heard corcoran's unmistakable offer and his own too plain acceptance of it? confound corcoran!if he couldn't put his meaning into less dangerous phrases he'd get into troublesome of these long-come-shorts. and confound redheaded school-ma'ams with ahabit of popping out of beechwoods where they had no business to be.
if anne had heard, judson parker, measuringher corn in his own half bushel, as the country saying went, and cheating himselfthereby, as such people generally do, believed that she would tell it far andwide. now, judson parker, as has been seen, wasnot overly regardful of public opinion; but to be known as having accepted a bribewould be a nasty thing; and if it ever reached isaac spencer's ears farewell forever to all hope of winning louisa janewith her comfortable prospects as the heiress of a well-to-do farmer. judson parker knew that mr. spencer lookedsomewhat askance at him as it was; he could
not afford to take any risks. "ahem...anne, i've been wanting to see youabout that little matter we were discussing the other day.i've decided not to let my fences to that company after all. a society with an aim like yours ought tobe encouraged." anne thawed out the merest trifle."thank you," she said. "and...and...you needn't mention thatlittle conversation of mine with jerry." "i have no intention of mentioning it inany case," said anne icily, for she would have seen every fence in avonlea paintedwith advertisements before she would have
stooped to bargain with a man who wouldsell his vote. "just so...just so," agreed judson,imagining that they understood each other beautifully. "i didn't suppose you would.of course, i was only stringing jerry...he thinks he's so all-fired cute and smart.i've no intention of voting for amesbury. i'm going to vote for grant as i've alwaysdone...you'll see that when the election comes off.i just led jerry on to see if he would commit himself. and it's all right about the fence ...youcan tell the improvers that."
"it takes all sorts of people to make aworld, as i've often heard, but i think there are some who could be spared," annetold her reflection in the east gable mirror that night. "i wouldn't have mentioned the disgracefulthing to a soul anyhow, so my conscience is clear on that score.i really don't know who or what is to be thanked for this. i did nothing to bring it about, and it'shard to believe that providence ever works by means of the kind of politics men likejudson parker and jerry corcoran have." chapter xvthe beginning of vacation
anne locked the schoolhouse door on astill, yellow evening, when the winds were purring in the spruces around theplayground, and the shadows were long and lazy by the edge of the woods. she dropped the key into her pocket with asigh of satisfaction. the school year was ended, she had beenreengaged for the next, with many expressions of satisfaction....only mr.harmon andrews told her she ought to use the strap oftener...and two delightful months of a well-earned vacation beckonedher invitingly. anne felt at peace with the world andherself as she walked down the hill with
her basket of flowers in her hand. since the earliest mayflowers anne hadnever missed her weekly pilgrimage to matthew's grave. everyone else in avonlea, except marilla,had already forgotten quiet, shy, unimportant matthew cuthbert; but hismemory was still green in anne's heart and always would be. she could never forget the kind old man whohad been the first to give her the love and sympathy her starved childhood had craved. at the foot of the hill a boy was sittingon the fence in the shadow of the
spruces...a boy with big, dreamy eyes and abeautiful, sensitive face. he swung down and joined anne, smiling; butthere were traces of tears on his cheeks. "i thought i'd wait for you, teacher,because i knew you were going to the graveyard," he said, slipping his hand intohers. "i'm going there, too...i'm taking thisbouquet of geraniums to put on grandpa irving's grave for grandma. and look, teacher, i'm going to put thisbunch of white roses beside grandpa's grave in memory of my little mother...because ican't go to her grave to put it there. but don't you think she'll know all aboutit, just the same?"
"yes, i am sure she will, paul.""you see, teacher, it's just three years today since my little mother died. it's such a long, long time but it hurtsjust as much as ever ...and i miss her just as much as ever.sometimes it seems to me that i just can't bear it, it hurts so." paul's voice quivered and his lip trembled.he looked down at his roses, hoping that his teacher would not notice the tears inhis eyes. "and yet," said anne, very softly, "youwouldn't want it to stop hurting ...you wouldn't want to forget your little mothereven if you could."
"no, indeed, i wouldn't...that's just theway i feel. you're so good at understanding, teacher.nobody else understands so well...not even grandma, although she's so good to me. father understood pretty well, but still icouldn't talk much to him about mother, because it made him feel so bad.when he put his hand over his face i always knew it was time to stop. poor father, he must be dreadfully lonesomewithout me; but you see he has nobody but a housekeeper now and he thinks housekeepersare no good to bring up little boys, especially when he has to be away from homeso much on business.
grandmothers are better, next to mothers. someday, when i'm brought up, i'll go backto father and we're never going to be parted again." paul had talked so much to anne about hismother and father that she felt as if she had known them. she thought his mother must have been verylike what he was himself, in temperament and disposition; and she had an idea thatstephen irving was a rather reserved man with a deep and tender nature which he kepthidden scrupulously from the world. "father's not very easy to get acquaintedwith," paul had said once.
"i never got really acquainted with himuntil after my little mother died. but he's splendid when you do get to knowhim. i love him the best in all the world, andgrandma irving next, and then you, teacher. i'd love you next to father if it wasn't myduty to love grandma irving best, because she's doing so much for me. you know, teacher.i wish she would leave the lamp in my room till i go to sleep, though. she takes it right out as soon as she tucksme up because she says i mustn't be a coward.i'm not scared, but i'd rather have the
light. my little mother used always to sit besideme and hold my hand till i went to sleep. i expect she spoiled me.mothers do sometimes, you know." no, anne did not know this, although shemight imagine it. she thought sadly of her "little mother,"the mother who had thought her so "perfectly beautiful" and who had died solong ago and was buried beside her boyish husband in that unvisited grave far away. anne could not remember her mother and forthis reason she almost envied paul. "my birthday is next week," said paul, asthey walked up the long red hill, basking
in the june sunshine, "and father wrote methat he is sending me something that he thinks i'll like better than anything elsehe could send. i believe it has come already, for grandmais keeping the bookcase drawer locked and that is something new. and when i asked her why, she just lookedmysterious and said little boys mustn't be too curious.it's very exciting to have a birthday, isn't it? i'll be eleven.you'd never think it to look at me, would you?
grandma says i'm very small for my age andthat it's all because i don't eat enough porridge. i do my very best, but grandma gives suchgenerous platefuls ...there's nothing mean about grandma, i can tell you. ever since you and i had that talk aboutpraying going home from sunday school that day, teacher... when you said we ought topray about all our difficulties...i've prayed every night that god would give me enough grace to enable me to eat every bitof my porridge in the mornings. but i've never been able to do it yet, andwhether it's because i have too little
grace or too much porridge i really can'tdecide. grandma says father was brought up onporridge, and it certainly did work well in his case, for you ought to see theshoulders he has. but sometimes," concluded paul with a sighand a meditative air "i really think porridge will be the death of me."anne permitted herself a smile, since paul was not looking at her. all avonlea knew that old mrs. irving wasbringing her grandson up in accordance with the good, old-fashioned methods of diet andmorals. "let us hope not, dear," she saidcheerfully.
"how are your rock people coming on?does the oldest twin still continue to behave himself?" "he has to," said paul emphatically."he knows i won't associate with him if he doesn't.he is really full of wickedness, i think." "and has nora found out about the goldenlady yet?" "no; but i think she suspects.i'm almost sure she watched me the last time i went to the cave. i don't mind if she finds out... it is onlyfor her sake i don't want her to...so that her feelings won't be hurt.but if she is determined to have her
feelings hurt it can't be helped." "if i were to go to the shore some nightwith you do you think i could see your rock people too?"paul shook his head gravely. "no, i don't think you could see my rockpeople. i'm the only person who can see them.but you could see rock people of your own. you're one of the kind that can. we're both that kind.you know, teacher," he added, squeezing her hand chummily."isn't it splendid to be that kind, teacher?"
"splendid," anne agreed, gray shining eyeslooking down into blue shining ones. anne and paul both knew "how fair the realm imagination opens tothe view," and both knew the way to that happy land. there the rose of joy bloomed immortal bydale and stream; clouds never darkened the sunny sky; sweet bells never jangled out oftune; and kindred spirits abounded. the knowledge of that land's geography... "east o' the sun, west o' the moon"...ispriceless lore, not to be bought in any market place.
it must be the gift of the good fairies atbirth and the years can never deface it or take it away. it is better to possess it, living in agarret, than to be the inhabitant of palaces without it.the avonlea graveyard was as yet the grass- grown solitude it had always been. to be sure, the improvers had an eye on it,and priscilla grant had read a paper on cemeteries before the last meeting of thesociety. at some future time the improvers meant tohave the lichened, wayward old board fence replaced by a neat wire railing, the grassmown and the leaning monuments straightened
up. anne put on matthew's grave the flowers shehad brought for it, and then went over to the little poplar shaded corner wherehester gray slept. ever since the day of the spring picnicanne had put flowers on hester's grave when she visited matthew's. the evening before she had made apilgrimage back to the little deserted garden in the woods and brought therefromsome of hester's own white roses. "i thought you would like them better thanany others, dear," she said softly. anne was still sitting there when a shadowfell over the grass and she looked up to
see mrs. allan. they walked home together.mrs. allan's face was not the face of the girlbride whom the minister had brought toavonlea five years before. it had lost some of its bloom and youthfulcurves, and there were fine, patient lines about eyes and mouth. a tiny grave in that very cemeteryaccounted for some of them; and some new ones had come during the recent illness,now happily over, of her little son. but mrs. allan's dimples were as sweet andsudden as ever, her eyes as clear and bright and true; and what her face lackedof girlish beauty was now more than atoned
for in added tenderness and strength. "i suppose you are looking forward to yourvacation, anne?" she said, as they left the graveyard.anne nodded. "yes....i could roll the word as a sweetmorsel under my tongue. i think the summer is going to be lovely. for one thing, mrs. morgan is coming to theisland in july and priscilla is going to bring her up.i feel one of my old 'thrills' at the mere thought." "i hope you'll have a good time, anne.you've worked very hard this past year and
you have succeeded.""oh, i don't know. i've come so far short in so many things. i haven't done what i meant to do when ibegan to teach last fall. i haven't lived up to my ideals.""none of us ever do," said mrs. allan with a sigh. "but then, anne, you know what lowell says,'not failure but low aim is crime.' we must have ideals and try to live up tothem, even if we never quite succeed. life would be a sorry business withoutthem. with them it's grand and great.hold fast to your ideals, anne."
"i shall try. but i have to let go most of my theories,"said anne, laughing a little. "i had the most beautiful set of theoriesyou ever knew when i started out as a schoolma'am, but every one of them hasfailed me at some pinch or another." "even the theory on corporal punishment,"teased mrs. allan. but anne flushed."i shall never forgive myself for whipping anthony." "nonsense, dear, he deserved it.and it agreed with him. you have had no trouble with him since andhe has come to think there's nobody like
you. your kindness won his love after the ideathat a 'girl was no good' was rooted out of his stubborn mind.""he may have deserved it, but that is not the point. if i had calmly and deliberately decided towhip him because i thought it a just punishment for him i would not feel over itas i do. but the truth is, mrs. allan, that i justflew into a temper and whipped him because of that. i wasn't thinking whether it was just orunjust...even if he hadn't deserved it i'd
have done it just the same.that is what humiliates me." "well, we all make mistakes, dear, so justput it behind you. we should regret our mistakes and learnfrom them, but never carry them forward into the future with us. there goes gilbert blythe on hiswheel...home for his vacation too, i suppose.how are you and he getting on with your studies?" "pretty well.we plan to finish the virgil tonight...there are only twenty lines todo.
then we are not going to study any moreuntil september." "do you think you will ever get tocollege?" "oh, i don't know." anne looked dreamily afar to the opal-tinted horizon. "marilla's eyes will never be much betterthan they are now, although we are so thankful to think that they will not getworse. and then there are the twins...somehow idon't believe their uncle will ever really send for them. perhaps college may be around the bend inthe road, but i haven't got to the bend yet
and i don't think much about it lest imight grow discontented." "well, i should like to see you go tocollege, anne; but if you never do, don't be discontented about it. we make our own lives wherever we are,after all...college can only help us to do it more easily.they are broad or narrow according to what we put into them, not what we get out. life is rich and full here...everywhere...if we can only learn how to open our whole hearts to its richness andfulness." "i think i understand what you mean," saidanne thoughtfully, "and i know i have so
much to feel thankful for...oh, so much...my work, and paul irving, and the dear twins, and all my friends. do you know, mrs. allan, i'm so thankfulfor friendship. it beautifies life so much." "true friendship is a very helpful thingindeed," said mrs. allan, "and we should have a very high ideal of it, and neversully it by any failure in truth and sincerity. i fear the name of friendship is oftendegraded to a kind of intimacy that has nothing of real friendship in it.""yes...like gertie pye's and julia bell's.
they are very intimate and go everywheretogether; but gertie is always saying nasty things of julia behind her back andeverybody thinks she is jealous of her because she is always so pleased whenanybody criticizes julia. i think it is desecration to call thatfriendship. if we have friends we should look only forthe best in them and give them the best that is in us, don't you think?then friendship would be the most beautiful thing in the world." "friendship is very beautiful," smiled mrs.allan, "but some day ..." then she paused abruptly.
in the delicate, white-browed face besideher, with its candid eyes and mobile features, there was still far more of thechild than of the woman. anne's heart so far harbored only dreams offriendship and ambition, and mrs. allan did not wish to brush the bloom from her sweetunconsciousness. so she left her sentence for the futureyears to finish. chapter xvithe substance of things hoped for "anne," said davy appealingly, scramblingup on the shiny, leather-covered sofa in the green gables kitchen, where anne sat,reading a letter, "anne, i'm awful hungry. you've no idea."
"i'll get you a piece of bread and butterin a minute," said anne absently. her letter evidently contained someexciting news, for her cheeks were as pink as the roses on the big bush outside, andher eyes were as starry as only anne's eyes could be. "but i ain't bread and butter hungry," saiddavy in a disgusted tone. "i'm plum cake hungry." "oh," laughed anne, laying down her letterand putting her arm about davy to give him a squeeze, "that's a kind of hunger thatcan be endured very comfortably, davy-boy. you know it's one of marilla's rules thatyou can't have anything but bread and
butter between meals.""well, gimme a piece then...please." davy had been at last taught to say"please," but he generally tacked it on as an afterthought.he looked with approval at the generous slice anne presently brought to him. "you always put such a nice lot of butteron it, anne. marilla spreads it pretty thin.it slips down a lot easier when there's plenty of butter." the slice "slipped down" with tolerableease, judging from its rapid disappearance. davy slid head first off the sofa, turned adouble somersault on the rug, and then sat
up and announced decidedly, "anne, i've made up my mind about heaven.i don't want to go there." "why not?" asked anne gravely."cause heaven is in simon fletcher's garret, and i don't like simon fletcher." "heaven in...simon fletcher's garret!"gasped anne, too amazed even to laugh. "davy keith, whatever put such anextraordinary idea into your head?" "milty boulter says that's where it is. it was last sunday in sunday school.the lesson was about elijah and elisha, and i up and asked miss rogerson where heavenwas.
miss rogerson looked awful offended. she was cross anyhow, because when she'dasked us what elijah left elisha when he went to heaven milty boulter said, 'his oldclo'es,' and us fellows all laughed before we thought. i wish you could think first and do thingsafterwards, 'cause then you wouldn't do them.but milty didn't mean to be disrespeckful. he just couldn't think of the name of thething. miss rogerson said heaven was where god wasand i wasn't to ask questions like that. milty nudged me and said in a whisper,'heaven's in uncle simon's garret and i'll
esplain about it on the road home.'so when we was coming home he esplained. milty's a great hand at esplaining things. even if he don't know anything about athing he'll make up a lot of stuff and so you get it esplained all the same. his mother is mrs. simon's sister and hewent with her to the funeral when his cousin, jane ellen, died. the minister said she'd gone to heaven,though milty says she was lying right before them in the coffin.but he s'posed they carried the coffin to the garret afterwards.
well, when milty and his mother wentupstairs after it was all over to get her bonnet he asked her where heaven was thatjane ellen had gone to, and she pointed right to the ceiling and said, 'up there.' milty knew there wasn't anything but thegarret over the ceiling, so that's how he found out.and he's been awful scared to go to his uncle simon's ever since." anne took davy on her knee and did her bestto straighten out this theological tangle she was much better fitted for the taskthan marilla, for she remembered her own childhood and had an instinctiveunderstanding of the curious ideas that
seven-year-olds sometimes get about matters that are, of course, very plain and simpleto grown up people. she had just succeeded in convincing davythat heaven was not in simon fletcher's garret when marilla came in from thegarden, where she and dora had been picking peas. dora was an industrious little soul andnever happier than when "helping" in various small tasks suited to her chubbyfingers. she fed chickens, picked up chips, wipeddishes, and ran errands galore. she was neat, faithful and observant; shenever had to be told how to do a thing
twice and never forgot any of her littleduties. davy, on the other hand, was ratherheedless and forgetful; but he had the born knack of winning love, and even yet anneand marilla liked him the better. while dora proudly shelled the peas anddavy made boats of the pods, with masts of matches and sails of paper, anne toldmarilla about the wonderful contents of her letter. "oh, marilla, what do you think? i've had a letter from priscilla and shesays that mrs. morgan is on the island, and that if it is fine thursday they are goingto drive up to avonlea and will reach here
about twelve. they will spend the afternoon with us andgo to the hotel at white sands in the evening, because some of mrs. morgan'samerican friends are staying there. oh, marilla, isn't it wonderful? i can hardly believe i'm not dreaming.""i daresay mrs. morgan is a lot like other people," said marilla drily, although shedid feel a trifle excited herself. mrs. morgan was a famous woman and a visitfrom her was no commonplace occurrence. "they'll be here to dinner, then?""yes; and oh, marilla, may i cook every bit of the dinner myself?
i want to feel that i can do something forthe author of 'the rosebud garden,' if it is only to cook a dinner for her.you won't mind, will you?" "goodness, i'm not so fond of stewing overa hot fire in july that it would vex me very much to have someone else do it.you're quite welcome to the job." "oh, thank you," said anne, as if marillahad just conferred a tremendous favor, "i'll make out the menu this very night." "you'd better not try to put on too muchstyle," warned marilla, a little alarmed by the high-flown sound of 'menu.'"you'll likely come to grief if you do." "oh, i'm not going to put on any 'style,'if you mean trying to do or have things we
don't usually have on festal occasions,"assured anne. "that would be affectation, and, although iknow i haven't as much sense and steadiness as a girl of seventeen and a schoolteacherought to have, i'm not so silly as that. but i want to have everything as nice anddainty as possible. davy-boy, don't leave those peapods on theback stairs...someone might slip on them. i'll have a light soup to begin with...youknow i can make lovely cream-of-onion soup...and then a couple of roast fowls.i'll have the two white roosters. i have real affection for those roostersand they've been pets ever since the gray hen hatched out just the two ofthem...little balls of yellow down.
but i know they would have to be sacrificedsometime, and surely there couldn't be a worthier occasion than this.but oh, marilla, i cannot kill them...not even for mrs. morgan's sake. i'll have to ask john henry carter to comeover and do it for me." "i'll do it," volunteered davy, "ifmarilla'll hold them by the legs, 'cause i guess it'd take both my hands to manage theaxe. it's awful jolly fun to see them hoppingabout after their heads are cut off." "then i'll have peas and beans and creamedpotatoes and a lettuce salad, for vegetables," resumed anne, "and fordessert, lemon pie with whipped cream, and
coffee and cheese and lady fingers. i'll make the pies and lady fingerstomorrow and do up my white muslin dress. and i must tell diana tonight, for she'llwant to do up hers. mrs. morgan's heroines are nearly alwaysdressed in white muslin, and diana and i have always resolved that that was what wewould wear if we ever met her. it will be such a delicate compliment,don't you think? davy, dear, you mustn't poke peapods intothe cracks of the floor. i must ask mr. and mrs. allan and missstacy to dinner, too, for they're all very anxious to meet mrs. morgan.it's so fortunate she's coming while miss
stacy is here. davy dear, don't sail the peapods in thewater bucket...go out to the trough. oh, i do hope it will be fine thursday, andi think it will, for uncle abe said last night when he called at mr. harrison's,that it was going to rain most of this week." "that's a good sign," agreed marilla. anne ran across to orchard slope thatevening to tell the news to diana, who was also very much excited over it, and theydiscussed the matter in the hammock swung under the big willow in the barry garden.
"oh, anne, mayn't i help you cook thedinner?" implored diana. "you know i can make splendid lettucesalad." "indeed you, may" said anne unselfishly. "and i shall want you to help me decoratetoo. i mean to have the parlor simply a bower ofblossoms ...and the dining table is to be adorned with wild roses. oh, i do hope everything will go smoothly.mrs. morgan's heroines never get into scrapes or are taken at a disadvantage, andthey are always so selfpossessed and such good housekeepers.
they seem to be born good housekeepers.you remember that gertrude in 'edgewood days' kept house for her father when shewas only eight years old. when i was eight years old i hardly knewhow to do a thing except bring up children. mrs. morgan must be an authority on girlswhen she has written so much about them, and i do want her to have a good opinion ofus. i've imagined it all out a dozen differentways...what she'll look like, and what she'll say, and what i'll say.and i'm so anxious about my nose. there are seven freckles on it, as you cansee. they came at the a.v.i s. picnic, when iwent around in the sun without my hat.
i suppose it's ungrateful of me to worryover them, when i should be thankful they're not spread all over my face as theyonce were; but i do wish they hadn't come...all mrs. morgan's heroines have suchperfect complexions. i can't recall a freckled one among them.""yours are not very noticeable," comforted "try a little lemon juice on them tonight." the next day anne made her pies and ladyfingers, did up her muslin dress, and swept and dusted every room in the house...aquite unnecessary proceeding, for green gables was, as usual, in the apple pieorder dear to marilla's heart. but anne felt that a fleck of dust would bea desecration in a house that was to be
honored by a visit from charlotte e.morgan. she even cleaned out the "catch-all" closetunder the stairs, although there was not the remotest possibility of mrs. morgan'sseeing its interior. "but i want to feel that it is in perfectorder, even if she isn't to see it," anne told marilla. "you know, in her book 'golden keys,' shemakes her two heroines alice and louisa take for their motto that verse oflongfellow's, 'in the elder days of artbuilders wrought with greatest care each minute and unseen part,for the gods see everywhere,'
and so they always kept their cellar stairsscrubbed and never forgot to sweep under the beds. i should have a guilty conscience if ithought this closet was in disorder when mrs. morgan was in the house. ever since we read 'golden keys,' lastapril, diana and i have taken that verse for our motto too." that night john henry carter and davybetween them contrived to execute the two white roosters, and anne dressed them, theusually distasteful task glorified in her eyes by the destination of the plump birds.
"i don't like picking fowls," she toldmarilla, "but isn't it fortunate we don't have to put our souls into what our handsmay be doing? i've been picking chickens with my handsbut in imagination i've been roaming the milky way." "i thought you'd scattered more feathersover the floor than usual," remarked then anne put davy to bed and made himpromise that he would behave perfectly the next day. "if i'm as good as good can be all daytomorrow will you let me be just as bad as i like all the next day?" asked davy.
"i couldn't do that," said anne discreetly,"but i'll take you and dora for a row in the flat right to the bottom of the pond,and we'll go ashore on the sandhills and have a picnic." "it's a bargain," said davy."i'll be good, you bet. i meant to go over to mr. harrison's andfire peas from my new popgun at ginger but another day'll do as well. i espect it will be just like sunday, but apicnic at the shore'll make up for that." chapter xviia chapter of accidents anne woke three times in the night and madepilgrimages to her window to make sure that
uncle abe's prediction was not coming true. finally the morning dawned pearly andlustrous in a sky full of silver sheen and radiance, and the wonderful day hadarrived. diana appeared soon after breakfast, with abasket of flowers over one arm and her muslin dress over the other...for it wouldnot do to don it until all the dinner preparations were completed. meanwhile she wore her afternoon pink printand a lawn apron fearfully and wonderfully ruffled and frilled; and very neat andpretty and rosy she was. "you look simply sweet," said anneadmiringly.
diana sighed."but i've had to let out every one of my dresses again. i weigh four pounds more than i did injuly. anne, where will this end?mrs. morgan's heroines are all tall and slender." "well, let's forget our troubles and thinkof our mercies," said anne gaily. "mrs. allan says that whenever we think ofanything that is a trial to us we should also think of something nice that we canset over against it. if you are slightly too plump you've gotthe dearest dimples; and if i have a
freckled nose the shape of it is all right.do you think the lemon juice did any good?" "yes, i really think it did," said dianacritically; and, much elated, anne led the way to the garden, which was full of airyshadows and wavering golden lights. "we'll decorate the parlor first. we have plenty of time, for priscilla saidthey'd be here about twelve or half past at the latest, so we'll have dinner at one." there may have been two happier and moreexcited girls somewhere in canada or the united states at that moment, but i doubtit. every snip of the scissors, as rose andpeony and bluebell fell, seemed to chirp,
"mrs. morgan is coming today." anne wondered how mr. harrison could go onplacidly mowing hay in the field across the lane, just as if nothing were going tohappen. the parlor at green gables was a rathersevere and gloomy apartment, with rigid horsehair furniture, stiff lace curtains,and white antimacassars that were always laid at a perfectly correct angle, except at such times as they clung to unfortunatepeople's buttons. even anne had never been able to infusemuch grace into it, for marilla would not permit any alterations.
but it is wonderful what flowers canaccomplish if you give them a fair chance; when anne and diana finished with the roomyou would not have recognized it. a great blue bowlful of snowballsoverflowed on the polished table. the shining black mantelpiece was heapedwith roses and ferns. every shelf of the what-not held a sheaf ofbluebells; the dark corners on either side of the grate were lighted up with jars fullof glowing crimson peonies, and the grate itself was aflame with yellow poppies. all this splendor and color, mingled withthe sunshine falling through the honeysuckle vines at the windows in a leafyriot of dancing shadows over walls and
floor, made of the usually dismal little room the veritable "bower" of anne'simagination, and even extorted a tribute of admiration from marilla, who came in tocriticize and remained to praise. "now, we must set the table," said anne, inthe tone of a priestess about to perform some sacred rite in honor of a divinity. "we'll have a big vaseful of wild roses inthe center and one single rose in front of everybody's plate--and a special bouquet ofrosebuds only by mrs. morgan's--an allusion to 'the rosebud garden' you know." the table was set in the sitting room, withmarilla's finest linen and the best china,
glass, and silver. you may be perfectly certain that everyarticle placed on it was polished or scoured to the highest possible perfectionof gloss and glitter. then the girls tripped out to the kitchen,which was filled with appetizing odors emanating from the oven, where the chickenswere already sizzling splendidly. anne prepared the potatoes and diana gotthe peas and beans ready. then, while diana shut herself into thepantry to compound the lettuce salad, anne, whose cheeks were already beginning to glowcrimson, as much with excitement as from the heat of the fire, prepared the bread
sauce for the chickens, minced her onionsfor the soup, and finally whipped the cream for her lemon pies.and what about davy all this time? was he redeeming his promise to be good? he was, indeed.to be sure, he insisted on remaining in the kitchen, for his curiosity wanted to seeall that went on. but as he sat quietly in a corner, busilyengaged in untying the knots in a piece of herring net he had brought home from hislast trip to the shore, nobody objected to this. at half past eleven the lettuce salad wasmade, the golden circles of the pies were
heaped with whipped cream, and everythingwas sizzling and bubbling that ought to sizzle and bubble. "we'd better go and dress now," said anne,"for they may be here by twelve. we must have dinner at sharp one, for thesoup must be served as soon as it's done." serious indeed were the toilet ritespresently performed in the east gable. anne peered anxiously at her nose andrejoiced to see that its freckles were not at all prominent, thanks either to thelemon juice or to the unusual flush on her cheeks. when they were ready they looked quite assweet and trim and girlish as ever did any
of "mrs. morgan's heroines." "i do hope i'll be able to say somethingonce in a while, and not sit like a mute," said diana anxiously."all mrs. morgan's heroines converse so but i'm afraid i'll be tongue-tied andstupid. and i'll be sure to say 'i seen.' i haven't often said it since miss stacytaught here; but in moments of excitement it's sure to pop out.anne, if i were to say 'i seen' before mrs. morgan i'd die of mortification. and it would be almost as bad to havenothing to say."
"i'm nervous about a good many things,"said anne, "but i don't think there is much fear that i won't be able to talk." and, to do her justice, there wasn't.anne shrouded her muslin glories in a big apron and went down to concoct her soup. marilla had dressed herself and the twins,and looked more excited than she had ever been known to look before.at half past twelve the allans and miss stacy came. everything was going well but anne wasbeginning to feel nervous. it was surely time for priscilla and mrs.morgan to arrive.
she made frequent trips to the gate andlooked as anxiously down the lane as ever her namesake in the bluebeard story peeredfrom the tower casement. "suppose they don't come at all?" she saidpiteously. "don't suppose it. it would be too mean," said diana, who,however, was beginning to have uncomfortable misgivings on the subject. "anne," said marilla, coming out from theparlor, "miss stacy wants to see miss barry's willowware platter."anne hastened to the sitting room closet to get the platter.
she had, in accordance with her promise tomrs. lynde, written to miss barry of charlottetown, asking for the loan of it. miss barry was an old friend of anne's, andshe promptly sent the platter out, with a letter exhorting anne to be very careful ofit, for she had paid twenty dollars for it. the platter had served its purpose at theaid bazaar and had then been returned to the green gables closet, for anne would nottrust anybody but herself to take it back to town. she carried the platter carefully to thefront door where her guests were enjoying the cool breeze that blew up from thebrook.
it was examined and admired; then, just asanne had taken it back into her own hands, a terrific crash and clatter sounded fromthe kitchen pantry. marilla, diana, and anne fled out, thelatter pausing only long enough to set the precious platter hastily down on the secondstep of the stairs. when they reached the pantry a trulyharrowing spectacle met their eyes ...a guilty looking small boy scrambling downfrom the table, with his clean print blouse liberally plastered with yellow filling, and on the table the shattered remnants ofwhat had been two brave, becreamed lemon pies.davy had finished ravelling out his herring
net and had wound the twine into a ball. then he had gone into the pantry to put itup on the shelf above the table, where he already kept a score or so of similarballs, which, so far as could be discovered, served no useful purpose saveto yield the joy of possession. davy had to climb on the table and reachover to the shelf at a dangerous angle...something he had been forbidden bymarilla to do, as he had come to grief once before in the experiment. the result in this instance was disastrous.davy slipped and came sprawling squarely down on the lemon pies.his clean blouse was ruined for that time
and the pies for all time. it is, however, an ill wind that blowsnobody good, and the pig was eventually the gainer by davy's mischance. "davy keith," said marilla, shaking him bythe shoulder, "didn't i forbid you to climb up on that table again?didn't i?" "i forgot," whimpered davy. "you've told me not to do such an awful lotof things that i can't remember them all." "well, you march upstairs and stay theretill after dinner. perhaps you'll get them sorted out in yourmemory by that time.
no, anne, never you mind interceding forhim. i'm not punishing him because he spoiledyour pies...that was an accident. i'm punishing him for his disobedience.go, davy, i say." "ain't i to have any dinner?" wailed davy. "you can come down after dinner is over andhave yours in the kitchen." "oh, all right," said davy, somewhatcomforted. "i know anne'll save some nice bones forme, won't you, anne? 'cause you know i didn't mean to fall onthe pies. say, anne, since they are spoiled can't itake some of the pieces upstairs with me?"
"no, no lemon pie for you, master davy,"said marilla, pushing him toward the hall. "what shall we do for dessert?" asked anne,looking regretfully at the wreck and ruin. "get out a crock of strawberry preserves,"said marilla consolingly. "there's plenty of whipped cream left inthe bowl for it." one o'clock came...but no priscilla or mrs.morgan. anne was in an agony. everything was done to a turn and the soupwas just what soup should be, but couldn't be depended on to remain so for any lengthof time. "i don't believe they're coming after all,"said marilla crossly.
anne and diana sought comfort in eachother's eyes. at half past one marilla again emerged fromthe parlor. "girls, we must have dinner.everybody is hungry and it's no use waiting any longer. priscilla and mrs. morgan are not coming,that's plain, and nothing is being improved by waiting." anne and diana set about lifting thedinner, with all the zest gone out of the performance."i don't believe i'll be able to eat a mouthful," said diana dolefully.
"nor i.but i hope everything will be nice for miss stacy's and mr. and mrs. allan's sakes,"said anne listlessly. when diana dished the peas she tasted themand a very peculiar expression crossed her face."anne, did you put sugar in these peas?" "yes," said anne, mashing the potatoes withthe air of one expected to do her duty. "i put a spoonful of sugar in.we always do. don't you like it?" "but i put a spoonful in too, when i setthem on the stove," said diana. anne dropped her masher and tasted the peasalso.
then she made a grimace. "how awful!i never dreamed you had put sugar in, because i knew your mother never does.i happened to think of it, for a wonder... i'm always forgetting it...so i popped aspoonful in." "it's a case of too many cooks, i guess,"said marilla, who had listened to this dialogue with a rather guilty expression. "i didn't think you'd remember about thesugar, anne, for i'm perfectly certain you never did before...so i put in a spoonful." the guests in the parlor heard peal afterpeal of laughter from the kitchen, but they
never knew what the fun was about.there were no green peas on the dinner table that day, however. "well," said anne, sobering down again witha sigh of recollection, "we have the salad anyhow and i don't think anything hashappened to the beans. let's carry the things in and get it over." it cannot be said that that dinner was anotable success socially. the allans and miss stacy exertedthemselves to save the situation and marilla's customary placidity was notnoticeably ruffled. but anne and diana, between theirdisappointment and the reaction from their
excitement of the forenoon, could neithertalk nor eat. anne tried heroically to bear her part inthe conversation for the sake of her guests; but all the sparkle had beenquenched in her for the time being, and, in spite of her love for the allans and miss stacy, she couldn't help thinking how niceit would be when everybody had gone home and she could bury her weariness anddisappointment in the pillows of the east gable. there is an old proverb that really seemsat times to be inspired ... "it never rains but it pours."the measure of that day's tribulations was
not yet full. just as mr. allan had finished returningthanks there arose a strange, ominous sound on the stairs, as of some hard, heavyobject bounding from step to step, finishing up with a grand smash at thebottom. everybody ran out into the hall.anne gave a shriek of dismay. at the bottom of the stairs lay a big pinkconch shell amid the fragments of what had been miss barry's platter; and at the topof the stairs knelt a terrified davy, gazing down with wide-open eyes at thehavoc. "davy," said marilla ominously, "did youthrow that conch down on purpose?"
"no, i never did," whimpered davy. "i was just kneeling here, quiet as quiet,to watch you folks through the bannisters, and my foot struck that old thing andpushed it off...and i'm awful hungry...and i do wish you'd lick a fellow and have done with it, instead of always sending himupstairs to miss all the fun." "don't blame davy," said anne, gathering upthe fragments with trembling fingers. "it was my fault. i set that platter there and forgot allabout it. i am properly punished for my carelessness;but oh, what will miss barry say?"
"well, you know she only bought it, so itisn't the same as if it was an heirloom," said diana, trying to console. the guests went away soon after, feelingthat it was the most tactful thing to do, and anne and diana washed the dishes,talking less than they had ever been known to do before. then diana went home with a headache andanne went with another to the east gable, where she stayed until marilla came homefrom the post office at sunset, with a letter from priscilla, written the daybefore. mrs. morgan had sprained her ankle soseverely that she could not leave her room.
"and oh, anne dear," wrote priscilla, "i'mso sorry, but i'm afraid we won't get up to green gables at all now, for by the timeaunty's ankle is well she will have to go back to toronto. she has to be there by a certain date." "well," sighed anne, laying the letter downon the red sandstone step of the back porch, where she was sitting, while thetwilight rained down out of a dappled sky, "i always thought it was too good to betrue that mrs. morgan should really come. but there...that speech sounds aspessimistic as miss eliza andrews and i'm ashamed of making it.
after all, it was not too good to betrue...things just as good and far better are coming true for me all the time.and i suppose the events of today have a funny side too. perhaps when diana and i are old and graywe shall be able to laugh over them. but i feel that i can't expect to do itbefore then, for it has truly been a bitter disappointment." "you'll probably have a good many more andworse disappointments than that before you get through life," said marilla, whohonestly thought she was making a comforting speech.
"it seems to me, anne, that you are nevergoing to outgrow your fashion of setting your heart so on things and then crashingdown into despair because you don't get them." "i know i'm too much inclined that, way"agreed anne ruefully. "when i think something nice is going tohappen i seem to fly right up on the wings of anticipation; and then the first thing irealize i drop down to earth with a thud. but really, marilla, the flying part isglorious as long as it lasts...it's like soaring through a sunset.i think it almost pays for the thud." "well, maybe it does," admitted marilla.
"i'd rather walk calmly along and dowithout both flying and thud. but everybody has her own way of living...iused to think there was only one right way ...but since i've had you and the twins tobring up i don't feel so sure of it. what are you going to do about miss barry'splatter?" "pay her back the twenty dollars she paidfor it, i suppose. i'm so thankful it wasn't a cherishedheirloom because then no money could replace it.""maybe you could find one like it somewhere and buy it for her." "i'm afraid not.platters as old as that are very scarce.
mrs. lynde couldn't find one anywhere forthe supper. i only wish i could, for of course missbarry would just as soon have one platter as another, if both were equally old andgenuine. marilla, look at that big star over mr.harrison's maple grove, with all that holy hush of silvery sky about it.it gives me a feeling that is like a prayer. after all, when one can see stars and skieslike that, little disappointments and accidents can't matter so much, can they?""where's davy?" said marilla, with an indifferent glance at the star.
"in bed.i've promised to take him and dora to the shore for a picnic tomorrow.of course, the original agreement was that he must be good. but he tried to be good...and i hadn't theheart to disappoint him." "you'll drown yourself or the twins, rowingabout the pond in that flat," grumbled "i've lived here for sixty years and i'venever been on the pond yet." "well, it's never too late to mend," saidanne roguishly. "suppose you come with us tomorrow. we'll shut green gables up and spend thewhole day at the shore, daffing the world
aside.""no, thank you," said marilla, with indignant emphasis. "i'd be a nice sight, wouldn't i, rowingdown the pond in a flat? i think i hear rachel pronouncing on it.there's mr. harrison driving away somewhere. do you suppose there is any truth in thegossip that mr. harrison is going to see isabella andrews?""no, i'm sure there isn't. he just called there one evening onbusiness with mr. harmon andrews and mrs. lynde saw him and said she knew he wascourting because he had a white collar on.
i don't believe mr. harrison will evermarry. he seems to have a prejudice againstmarriage." "well, you can never tell about those oldbachelors. and if he had a white collar on i'd agreewith rachel that it looks suspicious, for i'm sure he never was seen with onebefore." "i think he only put it on because hewanted to conclude a business deal with harmon andrews," said anne. "i've heard him say that's the only time aman needs to be particular about his appearance, because if he looks prosperousthe party of the second part won't be so
likely to try to cheat him. i really feel sorry for mr. harrison; idon't believe he feels satisfied with his life. it must be very lonely to have no one tocare about except a parrot, don't you think?but i notice mr. harrison doesn't like to be pitied. nobody does, i imagine.""there's gilbert coming up the lane," said marilla."if he wants you to go for a row on the pond mind you put on your coat and rubbers.
there's a heavy dew tonight." chapter xviiian adventure on the tory road "anne," said davy, sitting up in bed andpropping his chin on his hands, "anne, where is sleep? people go to sleep every night, and ofcourse i know it's the place where i do the things i dream, but i want to know where itis and how i get there and back without knowing anything about it...and in mynighty too. where is it?" anne was kneeling at the west gable windowwatching the sunset sky that was like a
great flower with petals of crocus and aheart of fiery yellow. she turned her head at davy's question andanswered dreamily, "'over the mountains of the moon, down thevalley of the shadow.'" paul irving would have known the meaning ofthis, or made a meaning out of it for himself, if he didn't; but practical davy,who, as anne often despairingly remarked, hadn't a particle of imagination, was onlypuzzled and disgusted. "anne, i believe you're just talkingnonsense." "of course, i was, dear boy. don't you know that it is only very foolishfolk who talk sense all the time?"
"well, i think you might give a sensibleanswer when i ask a sensible question," said davy in an injured tone. "oh, you are too little to understand,"said anne. but she felt rather ashamed of saying it;for had she not, in keen remembrance of many similar snubs administered in her ownearly years, solemnly vowed that she would never tell any child it was too little tounderstand? yet here she was doing it...so widesometimes is the gulf between theory and practice. "well, i'm doing my best to grow," saiddavy, "but it's a thing you can't hurry
much.if marilla wasn't so stingy with her jam i believe i'd grow a lot faster." "marilla is not stingy, davy," said anneseverely. "it is very ungrateful of you to say such athing." "there's another word that means the samething and sounds a lot better, but i don't just remember it," said davy, frowningintently. "i heard marilla say she was it, herself,the other day." "if you mean economical, it's a verydifferent thing from being stingy. it is an excellent trait in a person if sheis economical.
if marilla had been stingy she wouldn'thave taken you and dora when your mother died. would you have liked to live with mrs.wiggins?" "you just bet i wouldn't!"davy was emphatic on that point. "nor i don't want to go out to unclerichard neither. i'd far rather live here, even if marillais that long-tailed word when it comes to jam, 'cause you're here, anne. say, anne, won't you tell me a story 'forei go to sleep? i don't want a fairy story.
they're all right for girls, i s'pose, buti want something exciting...lots of killing and shooting in it, and a house on fire,and in'trusting things like that." fortunately for anne, marilla called out atthis moment from her room. "anne, diana's signaling at a great rate.you'd better see what she wants." anne ran to the east gable and saw flashesof light coming through the twilight from diana's window in groups of five, whichmeant, according to their old childish code, "come over at once for i havesomething important to reveal." anne threw her white shawl over her headand hastened through the haunted wood and across mr. bell's pasture corner to orchardslope.
"i've good news for you, anne," said diana. "mother and i have just got home fromcarmody, and i saw mary sentner from spencer vale in mr. blair's store. she says the old copp girls on the toryroad have a willow-ware platter and she thinks it's exactly like the one we had atthe supper. she says they'll likely sell it, for marthacopp has never been known to keep anything she could sell; but if they won't there's aplatter at wesley keyson's at spencervale and she knows they'd sell it, but she isn't sure it's just the same kind as auntjosephine's."
"i'll go right over to spencervale after ittomorrow," said anne resolutely, "and you must come with me. it will be such a weight off my mind, for ihave to go to town day after tomorrow and how can i face your aunt josephine withouta willow-ware platter? it would be even worse than the time i hadto confess about jumping on the spare room bed." both girls laughed over the oldmemory...concerning which, if any of my readers are ignorant and curious, i mustrefer them to anne's earlier history. the next afternoon the girls fared forth ontheir platter hunting expedition.
it was ten miles to spencervale and the daywas not especially pleasant for traveling. it was very warm and windless, and the duston the road was such as might have been expected after six weeks of dry weather."oh, i do wish it would rain soon," sighed anne. "everything is so parched up.the poor fields just seem pitiful to me and the trees seem to be stretching out theirhands pleading for rain. as for my garden, it hurts me every time igo into it. i suppose i shouldn't complain about agarden when the farmers' crops are suffering so.
mr. harrison says his pastures are soscorched up that his poor cows can hardly get a bite to eat and he feels guilty ofcruelty to animals every time he meets their eyes." after a wearisome drive the girls reachedspencervale and turned down the "tory" road...a green, solitary highway where thestrips of grass between the wheel tracks bore evidence to lack of travel. along most of its extent it was lined withthick-set young spruces crowding down to the roadway, with here and there a breakwhere the back field of a spencervale farm came out to the fence or an expanse of
stumps was aflame with fireweed andgoldenrod. "why is it called the tory road?" askedanne. "mr. allan says it is on the principle ofcalling a place a grove because there are no trees in it," said diana, "for nobodylives along the road except the copp girls and old martin bovyer at the further end,who is a liberal. the tory government ran the road throughwhen they were in power just to show they were doing something." diana's father was a liberal, for whichreason she and anne never discussed politics.green gables folk had always been
conservatives. finally the girls came to the old copphomestead...a place of such exceeding external neatness that even green gableswould have suffered by contrast. the house was a very old-fashioned one,situated on a slope, which fact had necessitated the building of a stonebasement under one end. the house and out-buildings were allwhitewashed to a condition of blinding perfection and not a weed was visible inthe prim kitchen garden surrounded by its white paling. "the shades are all down," said dianaruefully.
"i believe that nobody is home."this proved to be the case. the girls looked at each other inperplexity. "i don't know what to do," said anne. "if i were sure the platter was the rightkind i would not mind waiting until they came home.but if it isn't it may be too late to go to wesley keyson's afterward." diana looked at a certain little squarewindow over the basement. "that is the pantry window, i feel sure,"she said, "because this house is just like uncle charles' at newbridge, and that istheir pantry window.
the shade isn't down, so if we climbed upon the roof of that little house we could look into the pantry and might be able tosee the platter. do you think it would be any harm?" "no, i don't think so," decided anne, afterdue reflection, "since our motive is not idle curiosity." this important point of ethics beingsettled, anne prepared to mount the aforesaid "little house," a construction oflathes, with a peaked roof, which had in times past served as a habitation forducks. the copp girls had given up keepingducks..."because they were such untidy
birds"...and the house had not been in usefor some years, save as an abode of correction for setting hens. although scrupulously whitewashed it hadbecome somewhat shaky, and anne felt rather dubious as she scrambled up from thevantage point of a keg placed on a box. "i'm afraid it won't bear my weight," shesaid as she gingerly stepped on the roof. "lean on the window sill," advised diana,and anne accordingly leaned. much to her delight, she saw, as she peeredthrough the pane, a willow-ware platter, exactly such as she was in quest of, on theshelf in front of the window. so much she saw before the catastrophecame.
in her joy anne forgot the precariousnature of her footing, incautiously ceased to lean on the window sill, gave animpulsive little hop of pleasure...and the next moment she had crashed through the roof up to her armpits, and there she hung,quite unable to extricate herself. diana dashed into the duck house and,seizing her unfortunate friend by the waist, tried to draw her down. "ow...don't," shrieked poor anne."there are some long splinters sticking into me.see if you can put something under my feet...then perhaps i can draw myself up."
diana hastily dragged in the previouslymentioned keg and anne found that it was just sufficiently high to furnish a secureresting place for her feet. but she could not release herself. "could i pull you out if i crawled up?"suggested diana. anne shook her head hopelessly."no...the splinters hurt too badly. if you can find an axe you might chop meout, though. oh dear, i do really begin to believe thati was born under an ill-omened star." diana searched faithfully but no axe was tobe found. "i'll have to go for help," she said,returning to the prisoner.
"no, indeed, you won't," said annevehemently. "if you do the story of this will get outeverywhere and i shall be ashamed to show my face. no, we must just wait until the copp girlscome home and bind them to secrecy. they'll know where the axe is and get meout. i'm not uncomfortable, as long as i keepperfectly still... not uncomfortable in body i mean.i wonder what the copp girls value this house at. i shall have to pay for the damage i'vedone, but i wouldn't mind that if i were
only sure they would understand my motivein peeping in at their pantry window. my sole comfort is that the platter is justthe kind i want and if miss copp will only sell it to me i shall be resigned to whathas happened." "what if the copp girls don't come homeuntil after night...or till tomorrow?" suggested diana. "if they're not back by sunset you'll haveto go for other assistance, i suppose," said anne reluctantly, "but you mustn't gountil you really have to. oh dear, this is a dreadful predicament. i wouldn't mind my misfortunes so much ifthey were romantic, as mrs. morgan's
heroines' always are, but they are alwaysjust simply ridiculous. fancy what the copp girls will think whenthey drive into their yard and see a girl's head and shoulders sticking out of the roofof one of their outhouses. listen...is that a wagon? no, diana, i believe it is thunder." thunder it was undoubtedly, and diana,having made a hasty pilgrimage around the house, returned to announce that a veryblack cloud was rising rapidly in the northwest. "i believe we're going to have a heavythunder-shower," she exclaimed in dismay,
"oh, anne, what will we do?""we must prepare for it," said anne tranquilly. a thunderstorm seemed a trifle incomparison with what had already happened. "you'd better drive the horse and buggyinto that open shed. fortunately my parasol is in the buggy. here...take my hat with you.marilla told me i was a goose to put on my best hat to come to the tory road and shewas right, as she always is." diana untied the pony and drove into theshed, just as the first heavy drops of rain fell.
there she sat and watched the resultingdownpour, which was so thick and heavy that she could hardly see anne through it,holding the parasol bravely over her bare there was not a great deal of thunder, butfor the best part of an hour the rain came merrily down. occasionally anne slanted back her parasoland waved an encouraging hand to her friend; but conversation at that distancewas quite out of the question. finally the rain ceased, the sun came out,and diana ventured across the puddles of the yard."did you get very wet?" she asked anxiously.
"oh, no," returned anne cheerfully."my head and shoulders are quite dry and my skirt is only a little damp where the rainbeat through the lathes. don't pity me, diana, for i haven't mindedit at all. i kept thinking how much good the rain willdo and how glad my garden must be for it, and imagining what the flowers and budswould think when the drops began to fall. i imagined out a most interesting dialoguebetween the asters and the sweet peas and the wild canaries in the lilac bush and theguardian spirit of the garden. when i go home i mean to write it down. i wish i had a pencil and paper to do itnow, because i daresay i'll forget the best
parts before i reach home." diana the faithful had a pencil anddiscovered a sheet of wrapping paper in the box of the buggy. anne folded up her dripping parasol, put onher hat, spread the wrapping paper on a shingle diana handed up, and wrote out hergarden idyl under conditions that could hardly be considered as favorable toliterature. nevertheless, the result was quite pretty,and diana was "enraptured" when anne read it to her. "oh, anne, it's sweet...just sweet.do send it to the 'canadian woman.'"
anne shook her head."oh, no, it wouldn't be suitable at all. there is no plot in it, you see. it's just a string of fancies.i like writing such things, but of course nothing of the sort would ever do forpublication, for editors insist on plots, so priscilla says. oh, there's miss sarah copp now.please, diana, go and explain." miss sarah copp was a small person, garbedin shabby black, with a hat chosen less for vain adornment than for qualities thatwould wear well. she looked as amazed as might be expectedon seeing the curious tableau in her yard,
but when she heard diana's explanation shewas all sympathy. she hurriedly unlocked the back door,produced the axe, and with a few skillfull blows set anne free. the latter, somewhat tired and stiff,ducked down into the interior of her prison and thankfully emerged into liberty oncemore. "miss copp," she said earnestly. "i assure you i looked into your pantrywindow only to discover if you had a willow-ware platter.i didn't see anything else--i didn't look for anything else."
"bless you, that's all right," said misssarah amiably. "you needn't worry--there's no harm done. thank goodness, we copps keep our pantriespresentable at all times and don't care who sees into them. as for that old duckhouse, i'm glad it'ssmashed, for maybe now martha will agree to having it taken down. she never would before for fear it mightcome in handy sometime and i've had to whitewash it every spring.but you might as well argue with a post as with martha.
she went to town today--i drove her to thestation. and you want to buy my platter.well, what will you give for it?" "twenty dollars," said anne, who was nevermeant to match business wits with a copp, or she would not have offered her price atthe start. "well, i'll see," said miss sarahcautiously. "that platter is mine fortunately, or i'dnever dare to sell it when martha wasn't here. as it is, i daresay she'll raise a fuss.martha's the boss of this establishment i can tell you.i'm getting awful tired of living under
another woman's thumb. but come in, come in.you must be real tired and hungry. i'll do the best i can for you in the wayof tea but i warn you not to expect anything but bread and butter and somecowcumbers. martha locked up all the cake and cheeseand preserves afore she went. she always does, because she says i'm tooextravagant with them if company comes." the girls were hungry enough to do justiceto any fare, and they enjoyed miss sarah's excellent bread and butter and "cowcumbers"thoroughly. when the meal was over miss sarah said,
"i don't know as i mind selling theplatter. but it's worth twenty-five dollars.it's a very old platter." diana gave anne's foot a gentle kick underthe table, meaning, "don't agree--she'll let it go for twenty if you hold out."but anne was not minded to take any chances in regard to that precious platter. she promptly agreed to give twenty-five andmiss sarah looked as if she felt sorry she hadn't asked for thirty."well, i guess you may have it. i want all the money i can scare up justnow. the fact is--" miss sarah threw up her headimportantly, with a proud flush on her thin
cheeks--"i'm going to be married--to lutherwallace. he wanted me twenty years ago. i liked him real well but he was poor thenand father packed him off. i s'pose i shouldn't have let him go someek but i was timid and frightened of father. besides, i didn't know men were so skurse." when the girls were safely away, dianadriving and anne holding the coveted platter carefully on her lap, the green,rain-freshened solitudes of the tory road were enlivened by ripples of girlishlaughter.
"i'll amuse your aunt josephine with the'strange eventful history' of this afternoon when i go to town tomorrow. we've had a rather trying time but it'sover now. i've got the platter, and that rain haslaid the dust beautifully. so 'all's well that ends well.'" "we're not home yet," said diana ratherpessimistically, "and there's no telling what may happen before we are.you're such a girl to have adventures, anne." "having adventures comes natural to somepeople," said anne serenely.
"you just have a gift for them or youhaven't." chapter xixjust a happy day "after all," anne had said to marilla once,"i believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendidor wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearlsslipping off a string." life at green gables was full of just suchdays, for anne's adventures and misadventures, like those of other people,did not all happen at once, but were sprinkled over the year, with long
stretches of harmless, happy days between,filled with work and dreams and laughter and lessons.such a day came late in august. in the forenoon anne and diana rowed thedelighted twins down the pond to the sandshore to pick "sweet grass" and paddlein the surf, over which the wind was harping an old lyric learned when the worldwas young. in the afternoon anne walked down to theold irving place to see paul. she found him stretched out on the grassybank beside the thick fir grove that sheltered the house on the north, absorbedin a book of fairy tales. he sprang up radiantly at sight of her.
"oh, i'm so glad you've come, teacher," hesaid eagerly, "because grandma's away. you'll stay and have tea with me, won'tyou? it's so lonesome to have tea all byoneself. you know, teacher. i've had serious thoughts of asking youngmary joe to sit down and eat her tea with me, but i expect grandma wouldn't approve.she says the french have to be kept in their place. and anyhow, it's difficult to talk withyoung mary joe. she just laughs and says, 'well, yous dobeat all de kids i ever knowed.'
that isn't my idea of conversation." "of course i'll stay to tea," said annegaily. "i was dying to be asked. my mouth has been watering for some more ofyour grandma's delicious shortbread ever since i had tea here before."paul looked very sober. "if it depended on me, teacher," he said,standing before anne with his hands in his pockets and his beautiful little faceshadowed with sudden care, "you should have shortbread with a right good will. but it depends on mary joe.i heard grandma tell her before she left
that she wasn't to give me any shortcakebecause it was too rich for little boys' stomachs. but maybe mary joe will cut some for you ifi promise i won't eat any. let us hope for the best." "yes, let us," agreed anne, whom thischeerful philosophy suited exactly, "and if mary joe proves hard-hearted and won't giveme any shortbread it doesn't matter in the least, so you are not to worry over that." "you're sure you won't mind if shedoesn't?" said paul anxiously. "perfectly sure, dear heart."
"then i won't worry," said paul, with along breath of relief, "especially as i really think mary joe will listen toreason. she's not a naturally unreasonable person,but she has learned by experience that it doesn't do to disobey grandma's orders.grandma is an excellent woman but people must do as she tells them. she was very much pleased with me thismorning because i managed at last to eat all my plateful of porridge.it was a great effort but i succeeded. grandma says she thinks she'll make a manof me yet. but, teacher, i want to ask you a veryimportant question.
you will answer it truthfully, won't you?" "i'll try," promised anne."do you think i'm wrong in my upper story?" asked paul, as if his very existencedepended on her reply. "goodness, no, paul," exclaimed anne inamazement. "certainly you're not.what put such an idea into your head?" "mary joe...but she didn't know i heardher. mrs. peter sloane's hired girl, veronica,came to see mary joe last evening and i heard them talking in the kitchen as i wasgoing through the hall. i heard mary joe say, 'dat paul, he is dequeeres' leetle boy.
he talks dat queer.i tink dere's someting wrong in his upper story.' i couldn't sleep last night for ever solong, thinking of it, and wondering if mary joe was right.i couldn't bear to ask grandma about it somehow, but i made up my mind i'd ask you. i'm so glad you think i'm all right in myupper story." "of course you are. mary joe is a silly, ignorant girl, and youare never to worry about anything she says," said anne indignantly, secretlyresolving to give mrs. irving a discreet
hint as to the advisability of restrainingmary joe's tongue. "well, that's a weight off my mind," saidpaul. "i'm perfectly happy now, teacher, thanksto you. it wouldn't be nice to have something wrongin your upper story, would it, teacher? i suppose the reason mary joe imagines ihave is because i tell her what i think about things sometimes." "it is a rather dangerous practice,"admitted anne, out of the depths of her own experience. "well, by and by i'll tell you the thoughtsi told mary joe and you can see for
yourself if there's anything queer inthem," said paul, "but i'll wait till it begins to get dark. that is the time i ache to tell peoplethings, and when nobody else is handy i just have to tell mary joe.but after this i won't, if it makes her imagine i'm wrong in my upper story. i'll just ache and bear it." "and if the ache gets too bad you can comeup to green gables and tell me your thoughts," suggested anne, with all thegravity that endeared her to children, who so dearly love to be taken seriously.
"yes, i will.but i hope davy won't be there when i go because he makes faces at me. i don't mind very much because he is such alittle boy and i am quite a big one, but still it is not pleasant to have faces madeat you. and davy makes such terrible ones. sometimes i am frightened he will never gethis face straightened out again. he makes them at me in church when i oughtto be thinking of sacred things. dora likes me though, and i like her, butnot so well as i did before she told minnie may barry that she meant to marry me when igrew up.
i may marry somebody when i grow up but i'mfar too young to be thinking of it yet, don't you think, teacher?""rather young," agreed teacher. "speaking of marrying, reminds me ofanother thing that has been troubling me of late," continued paul. "mrs. lynde was down here one day last weekhaving tea with grandma, and grandma made me show her my little mother'spicture...the one father sent me for my birthday present. i didn't exactly want to show it to mrs.lynde. mrs. lynde is a good, kind woman, but sheisn't the sort of person you want to show
your mother's picture to. you know, teacher.but of course i obeyed grandma. mrs. lynde said she was very pretty butkind of actressy looking, and must have been an awful lot younger than father. then she said, 'some of these days your pawill be marrying again likely. how will you like to have a new ma, masterpaul?' well, the idea almost took my breath away,teacher, but i wasn't going to let mrs. lynde see that. i just looked her straight in theface...like this...and i said, 'mrs. lynde,
father made a pretty good job of pickingout my first mother and i could trust him to pick out just as good a one the secondtime.' and i can trust him, teacher. but still, i hope, if he ever does give mea new mother, he'll ask my opinion about her before it's too late.there's mary joe coming to call us to tea. i'll go and consult with her about theshortbread." as a result of the "consultation," mary joecut the shortbread and added a dish of preserves to the bill of fare. anne poured the tea and she and paul had avery merry meal in the dim old sitting room
whose windows were open to the gulfbreezes, and they talked so much "nonsense" that mary joe was quite scandalized and told veronica the next evening that "deschool mees" was as queer as paul. after tea paul took anne up to his room toshow her his mother's picture, which had been the mysterious birthday present keptby mrs. irving in the bookcase. paul's little low-ceilinged room was a softwhirl of ruddy light from the sun that was setting over the sea and swinging shadowsfrom the fir trees that grew close to the square, deep-set window. from out this soft glow and glamor shone asweet, girlish face, with tender mother
eyes, that was hanging on the wall at thefoot of the bed. "that's my little mother," said paul withloving pride. "i got grandma to hang it there where i'dsee it as soon as i opened my eyes in the morning. i never mind not having the light when i goto bed now, because it just seems as if my little mother was right here with me. father knew just what i would like for abirthday present, although he never asked me.isn't it wonderful how much fathers do know?"
"your mother was very lovely, paul, and youlook a little like her. but her eyes and hair are darker thanyours." "my eyes are the same color as father's,"said paul, flying about the room to heap all available cushions on the window seat,"but father's hair is gray. he has lots of it, but it is gray. you see, father is nearly fifty.that's ripe old age, isn't it? but it's only outside he's old.inside he's just as young as anybody. now, teacher, please sit here; and i'll sitat your feet. may i lay my head against your knee?that's the way my little mother and i used
to sit. oh, this is real splendid, i think.""now, i want to hear those thoughts which mary joe pronounces so queer," said anne,patting the mop of curls at her side. paul never needed any coaxing to tell histhoughts...at least, to congenial souls. "i thought them out in the fir grove onenight," he said dreamily. "of course i didn't believe them but ithought them. you know, teacher.and then i wanted to tell them to somebody and there was nobody but mary joe. mary joe was in the pantry setting breadand i sat down on the bench beside her and
i said, 'mary joe, do you know what ithink? i think the evening star is a lighthouse onthe land where the fairies dwell.' and mary joe said, 'well, yous are de queerone. dare ain't no such ting as fairies.' i was very much provoked.of course, i knew there are no fairies; but that needn't prevent my thinking there is.you know, teacher. but i tried again quite patiently. i said, 'well then, mary joe, do you knowwhat i think? i think an angel walks over the world afterthe sun sets...a great, tall, white angel,
with silvery folded wings... and sings theflowers and birds to sleep. children can hear him if they know how tolisten.' then mary joe held up her hands all overflour and said, 'well, yous are de queer leetle boy. yous make me feel scare.'and she really did looked scared. i went out then and whispered the rest ofmy thoughts to the garden. there was a little birch tree in the gardenand it died. grandma says the salt spray killed it; buti think the dryad belonging to it was a foolish dryad who wandered away to see theworld and got lost.
and the little tree was so lonely it diedof a broken heart." "and when the poor, foolish little dryadgets tired of the world and comes back to her tree her heart will break," said anne. "yes; but if dryads are foolish they musttake the consequences, just as if they were real people," said paul gravely."do you know what i think about the new moon, teacher? i think it is a little golden boat full ofdreams." "and when it tips on a cloud some of themspill out and fall into your sleep." "exactly, teacher.
oh, you do know.and i think the violets are little snips of the sky that fell down when the angels cutout holes for the stars to shine through. and the buttercups are made out of oldsunshine; and i think the sweet peas will be butterflies when they go to heaven.now, teacher, do you see anything so very queer about those thoughts?" "no, laddie dear, they are not queer atall; they are strange and beautiful thoughts for a little boy to think, and sopeople who couldn't think anything of the sort themselves, if they tried for ahundred years, think them queer. but keep on thinking them, paul ...some dayyou are going to be a poet, i believe."
when anne reached home she found a verydifferent type of boyhood waiting to be put to bed. davy was sulky; and when anne had undressedhim he bounced into bed and buried his face in the pillow."davy, you have forgotten to say your prayers," said anne rebukingly. "no, i didn't forget," said davy defiantly,"but i ain't going to say my prayers any more. i'm going to give up trying to be good,'cause no matter how good i am you'd like paul irving better.so i might as well be bad and have the fun
of it." "i don't like paul irving better," saidanne seriously. "i like you just as well, only in adifferent way." "but i want you to like me the same way,"pouted davy. "you can't like different people the sameway. you don't like dora and me the same way, doyou?" davy sat up and reflected. "no...o...o," he admitted at last, "i likedora because she's my sister but i like you because you're you.""and i like paul because he is paul and
davy because he is davy," said anne gaily. "well, i kind of wish i'd said my prayersthen," said davy, convinced by this logic. "but it's too much bother getting out nowto say them. i'll say them twice over in the morning,anne. won't that do as well?"no, anne was positive it would not do as well. so davy scrambled out and knelt down at herknee. when he had finished his devotions heleaned back on his little, bare, brown heels and looked up at her.
"anne, i'm gooder than i used to be.""yes, indeed you are, davy," said anne, who never hesitated to give credit where creditwas due. "i know i'm gooder," said davy confidently,"and i'll tell you how i know it. today marilla give me two pieces of breadand jam, one for me and one for dora. one was a good deal bigger than the otherand marilla didn't say which was mine. but i give the biggest piece to dora.that was good of me, wasn't it?" "very good, and very manly, davy." "of course," admitted davy, "dora wasn'tvery hungry and she only et half her slice and then she give the rest to me.
but i didn't know she was going to do thatwhen i give it to her, so i was good, in the twilight anne sauntered down to thedryad's bubble and saw gilbert blythe coming down through the dusky haunted wood.she had a sudden realization that gilbert was a schoolboy no longer. and how manly he looked--the tall, frank-faced fellow, with the clear, straightforward eyes and the broadshoulders. anne thought gilbert was a very handsomelad, even though he didn't look at all like her ideal man. she and diana had long ago decided whatkind of a man they admired and their tastes
seemed exactly similar. he must be very tall and distinguishedlooking, with melancholy, inscrutable eyes, and a melting, sympathetic voice. there was nothing either melancholy orinscrutable in gilbert's physiognomy, but of course that didn't matter in friendship! gilbert stretched himself out on the fernsbeside the bubble and looked approvingly at if gilbert had been asked to describe hisideal woman the description would have answered point for point to anne, even tothose seven tiny freckles whose obnoxious presence still continued to vex her soul.
gilbert was as yet little more than a boy;but a boy has his dreams as have others, and in gilbert's future there was always agirl with big, limpid gray eyes, and a face as fine and delicate as a flower. he had made up his mind, also, that hisfuture must be worthy of its goddess. even in quiet avonlea there weretemptations to be met and faced. white sands youth were a rather "fast" set,and gilbert was popular wherever he went. but he meant to keep himself worthy ofanne's friendship and perhaps some distant day her love; and he watched over word andthought and deed as jealously as if her clear eyes were to pass in judgment on it.
she held over him the unconscious influencethat every girl, whose ideals are high and pure, wields over her friends; an influencewhich would endure as long as she was faithful to those ideals and which she would as certainly lose if she were everfalse to them. in gilbert's eyes anne's greatest charm wasthe fact that she never stooped to the petty practices of so many of the avonleagirls--the small jealousies, the little deceits and rivalries, the palpable bidsfor favor. anne held herself apart from all this, notconsciously or of design, but simply because anything of the sort was utterlyforeign to her transparent, impulsive
nature, crystal clear in its motives andaspirations. but gilbert did not attempt to put histhoughts into words, for he had already too good reason to know that anne wouldmercilessly and frostily nip all attempts at sentiment in the bud--or laugh at him,which was ten times worse. "you look like a real dryad under thatbirch tree," he said teasingly. "i love birch trees," said anne, laying hercheek against the creamy satin of the slim bole, with one of the pretty, caressinggestures that came so natural to her. "then you'll be glad to hear that mr. majorspencer has decided to set out a row of white birches all along the road front ofhis farm, by way of encouraging the
a.v.i.s.," said gilbert. "he was talking to me about it today.major spencer is the most progressive and public-spirited man in avonlea. and mr. william bell is going to set out aspruce hedge along his road front and up his lane.our society is getting on splendidly, anne. it is past the experimental stage and is anaccepted fact. the older folks are beginning to take aninterest in it and the white sands people are talking of starting one too. even elisha wright has come around sincethat day the americans from the hotel had
the picnic at the shore. they praised our roadsides so highly andsaid they were so much prettier than in any other part of the island. and when, in due time, the other farmersfollow mr. spencer's good example and plant ornamental trees and hedges along theirroad fronts avonlea will be the prettiest settlement in the province." "the aids are talking of taking up thegraveyard," said anne, "and i hope they will, because there will have to be asubscription for that, and it would be no use for the society to try it after thehall affair.
but the aids would never have stirred inthe matter if the society hadn't put it into their thoughts unofficially. those trees we planted on the churchgrounds are flourishing, and the trustees have promised me that they will fence inthe school grounds next year. if they do i'll have an arbor day and everyscholar shall plant a tree; and we'll have a garden in the corner by the road." "we've succeeded in almost all our plans sofar, except in getting the old boulter house removed," said gilbert, "and i'vegiven that up in despair. levi won't have it taken down just to vexus.
there's a contrary streak in all theboulters and it's strongly developed in him." "julia bell wants to send another committeeto him, but i think the better way will just be to leave him severely alone," saidanne sagely. "and trust to providence, as mrs. lyndesays," smiled gilbert. "certainly, no more committees.they only aggravate him. julia bell thinks you can do anything, ifyou only have a committee to attempt it. next spring, anne, we must start anagitation for nice lawns and grounds. we'll sow good seed betimes this winter.
i've a treatise here on lawns andlawnmaking and i'm going to prepare a paper on the subject soon.well, i suppose our vacation is almost over. school opens monday.has ruby gillis got the carmody school?" "yes; priscilla wrote that she had takenher own home school, so the carmody trustees gave it to ruby. i'm sorry priscilla is not coming back, butsince she can't i'm glad ruby has got the school. she will be home for saturdays and it willseem like old times, to have her and jane
and diana and myself all together again." marilla, just home from mrs. lynde's, wassitting on the back porch step when anne returned to the house."rachel and i have decided to have our cruise to town tomorrow," she said. "mr. lynde is feeling better this week andrachel wants to go before he has another sick spell." "i intend to get up extra early tomorrowmorning, for i've ever so much to do," said anne virtuously. "for one thing, i'm going to shift thefeathers from my old bedtick to the new
one. i ought to have done it long ago but i'vejust kept putting it off... it's such a detestable task. it's a very bad habit to put offdisagreeable things, and i never mean to again, or else i can't comfortably tell mypupils not to do it. that would be inconsistent. then i want to make a cake for mr. harrisonand finish my paper on gardens for the a.v.i.s., and write stella, and wash andstarch my muslin dress, and make dora's new apron."
"you won't get half done," said marillapessimistically. "i never yet planned to do a lot of thingsbut something happened to prevent me." chapter xxthe way it often happens anne rose betimes the next morning andblithely greeted the fresh day, when the banners of the sunrise were shakentriumphantly across the pearly skies. green gables lay in a pool of sunshine,flecked with the dancing shadows of poplar and willow. beyond the land was mr. harrison'swheatfield, a great, windrippled expanse of pale gold.
the world was so beautiful that anne spentten blissful minutes hanging idly over the garden gate drinking the loveliness in.after breakfast marilla made ready for her journey. dora was to go with her, having been longpromised this treat. "now, davy, you try to be a good boy anddon't bother anne," she straitly charged him. "if you are good i'll bring you a stripedcandy cane from town." for alas, marilla had stooped to the evilhabit of bribing people to be good! "i won't be bad on purpose, but s'posen i'mbad zacksidentally?"
davy wanted to know."you'll have to guard against accidents," admonished marilla. "anne, if mr. shearer comes today get anice roast and some steak. if he doesn't you'll have to kill a fowlfor dinner tomorrow." anne nodded. "i'm not going to bother cooking any dinnerfor just davy and myself today," she said. "that cold ham bone will do for noon lunchand i'll have some steak fried for you when you come home at night." "i'm going to help mr. harrison haul dulsethis morning," announced davy.
"he asked me to, and i guess he'll ask meto dinner too. mr. harrison is an awful kind man. he's a real sociable man.i hope i'll be like him when i grow up. i mean behave like him...i don't want tolook like him. but i guess there's no danger, for mrs.lynde says i'm a very handsome child. do you s'pose it'll last, anne?i want to know?" "i daresay it will," said anne gravely. "you are a handsome boy, davy," ...marillalooked volumes of disapproval..."but you must live up to it and be just as nice andgentlemanly as you look to be."
"and you told minnie may barry the otherday, when you found her crying 'cause some one said she was ugly, that if she was niceand kind and loving people wouldn't mind her looks," said davy discontentedly. "seems to me you can't get out of beinggood in this world for some reason or 'nother.you just have to behave." "don't you want to be good?" asked marilla,who had learned a great deal but had not yet learned the futility of asking suchquestions. "yes, i want to be good but not too good,"said davy cautiously. "you don't have to be very good to be asunday school superintendent.
mr. bell's that, and he's a real bad man." "indeed he's not," said marila indignantly."he is...he says he is himself," asseverated davy."he said it when he prayed in sunday school last sunday. he said he was a vile worm and a miserablesinner and guilty of the blackest 'niquity. what did he do that was so bad, marilla?did he kill anybody? or steal the collection cents? i want to know." fortunately mrs. lynde came driving up thelane at this moment and marilla made off,
feeling that she had escaped from the snareof the fowler, and wishing devoutly that mr. bell were not quite so highly figurative in his public petitions,especially in the hearing of small boys who were always "wanting to know."anne, left alone in her glory, worked with a will. the floor was swept, the beds made, thehens fed, the muslin dress washed and hung out on the line.then anne prepared for the transfer of feathers. she mounted to the garret and donned thefirst old dress that came to hand...a navy
blue cashmere she had worn at fourteen. it was decidedly on the short side and as"skimpy" as the notable wincey anne had worn upon the occasion of her debut atgreen gables; but at least it would not be materially injured by down and feathers. anne completed her toilet by tying a bigred and white spotted handkerchief that had belonged to matthew over her head, and,thus accoutred, betook herself to the kitchen chamber, whither marilla, before her departure, had helped her carry thefeather bed. a cracked mirror hung by the chamber windowand in an unlucky moment anne looked into
it. there were those seven freckles on hernose, more rampant than ever, or so it seemed in the glare of light from theunshaded window. "oh, i forgot to rub that lotion on lastnight," she thought. "i'd better run down to the pantry and doit now." anne had already suffered many thingstrying to remove those freckles. on one occasion the entire skin had peeledoff her nose but the freckles remained. a few days previously she had found arecipe for a freckle lotion in a magazine and, as the ingredients were within herreach, she straightway compounded it, much
to the disgust of marilla, who thought that if providence had placed freckles on yournose it was your bounden duty to leave them there. anne scurried down to the pantry, which,always dim from the big willow growing close to the window, was now almost dark byreason of the shade drawn to exclude flies. anne caught the bottle containing thelotion from the shelf and copiously anointed her nose therewith by means of alittle sponge sacred to the purpose. this important duty done, she returned toher work. any one who has ever shifted feathers fromone tick to another will not need to be
told that when anne finished she was asight to behold. her dress was white with down and fluff,and her front hair, escaping from under the handkerchief, was adorned with a veritablehalo of feathers. at this auspicious moment a knock soundedat the kitchen door. "that must be mr. shearer," thought anne. "i'm in a dreadful mess but i'll have torun down as i am, for he's always in a hurry."down flew anne to the kitchen door. if ever a charitable floor did open toswallow up a miserable, befeathered damsel the green gables porch floor shouldpromptly have engulfed anne at that moment.
on the doorstep were standing priscillagrant, golden and fair in silk attire, a short, stout gray-haired lady in a tweedsuit, and another lady, tall stately, wonderfully gowned, with a beautiful, highbred face and large, black-lashedviolet eyes, whom anne "instinctively felt," as she would have said in herearlier days, to be mrs. charlotte e. morgan. in the dismay of the moment one thoughtstood out from the confusion of anne's mind and she grasped at it as at the proverbialstraw. all mrs. morgan's heroines were noted for"rising to the occasion."
no matter what their troubles were, theyinvariably rose to the occasion and showed their superiority over all ills of time,space, and quantity. anne therefore felt it was her duty to riseto the occasion and she did it, so perfectly that priscilla afterward declaredshe never admired anne shirley more than at that moment. no matter what her outraged feelings wereshe did not show them. she greeted priscilla and was introduced toher companions as calmly and composedly as if she had been arrayed in purple and finelinen. to be sure, it was somewhat of a shock tofind that the lady she had instinctively
felt to be mrs. morgan was not mrs. morganat all, but an unknown mrs. pendexter, while the stout little gray-haired woman was mrs. morgan; but in the greater shockthe lesser lost its power. anne ushered her guests to the spare roomand thence into the parlor, where she left them while she hastened out to helppriscilla unharness her horse. "it's dreadful to come upon you sounexpectedly as this," apologized priscilla, "but i did not know till lastnight that we were coming. aunt charlotte is going away monday and shehad promised to spend today with a friend in town.
but last night her friend telephoned to hernot to come because they were quarantined for scarlet fever.so i suggested we come here instead, for i knew you were longing to see her. we called at the white sands hotel andbrought mrs. pendexter with us. she is a friend of aunt's and lives in newyork and her husband is a millionaire. we can't stay very long, for mrs. pendexterhas to be back at the hotel by five o'clock." several times while they were putting awaythe horse anne caught priscilla looking at her in a furtive, puzzled way."she needn't stare at me so," anne thought
a little resentfully. "if she doesn't know what it is to change afeather bed she might imagine it." when priscilla had gone to the parlor, andbefore anne could escape upstairs, diana walked into the kitchen. anne caught her astonished friend by thearm. "diana barry, who do you suppose is in thatparlor at this very moment? mrs. charlotte e. morgan...and a new yorkmillionaire's wife...and here i am like this...and not a thing in the house fordinner but a cold ham bone, diana!" by this time anne had become aware thatdiana was staring at her in precisely the
same bewildered fashion as priscilla haddone. it was really too much. "oh, diana, don't look at me so," sheimplored. "you, at least, must know that the neatestperson in the world couldn't empty feathers from one tick into another and remain neatin the process." "it...it...isn't the feathers," hesitateddiana. "it's ...it's...your nose, anne.""my nose? oh, diana, surely nothing has gone wrongwith it!" anne rushed to the little looking glassover the sink.
one glance revealed the fatal truth. her nose was a brilliant scarlet!anne sat down on the sofa, her dauntless spirit subdued at last."what is the matter with it?" asked diana, curiosity overcoming delicacy. "i thought i was rubbing my freckle lotionon it, but i must have used that red dye marilla has for marking the pattern on herrugs," was the despairing response. "what shall i do?" "wash it off," said diana practically."perhaps it won't wash off. first i dye my hair; then i dye my nose.
marilla cut my hair off when i dyed it butthat remedy would hardly be practicable in this case. well, this is another punishment for vanityand i suppose i deserve it...though there's not much comfort in that. it is really almost enough to make onebelieve in ill-luck, though mrs. lynde says there is no such thing, because everythingis foreordained." fortunately the dye washed off easily andanne, somewhat consoled, betook herself to the east gable while diana ran home.presently anne came down again, clothed and in her right mind.
the muslin dress she had fondly hoped towear was bobbing merrily about on the line outside, so she was forced to contentherself with her black lawn. she had the fire on and the tea steepingwhen diana returned; the latter wore her muslin, at least, and carried a coveredplatter in her hand. "mother sent you this," she said, liftingthe cover and displaying a nicely carved and jointed chicken to anne's greatfuleyes. the chicken was supplemented by light newbread, excellent butter and cheese, marilla's fruit cake and a dish ofpreserved plums, floating in their golden syrup as in congealed summer sunshine.
there was a big bowlful of pink-and-whiteasters also, by way of decoration; yet the spread seemed very meager beside theelaborate one formerly prepared for mrs. anne's hungry guests, however, did not seemto think anything was lacking and they ate the simple viands with apparent enjoyment. but after the first few moments annethought no more of what was or was not on her bill of fare. mrs. morgan's appearance might be somewhatdisappointing, as even her loyal worshippers had been forced to admit toeach other; but she proved to be a delightful conversationalist.
she had traveled extensively and was anexcellent storyteller. she had seen much of men and women, andcrystalized her experiences into witty little sentences and epigrams which madeher hearers feel as if they were listening to one of the people in clever books. but under all her sparkle there was astrongly felt undercurrent of true, womanly sympathy and kindheartedness which wonaffection as easily as her brilliancy won admiration. nor did she monopolize the conversation.she could draw others out as skillfully and fully as she could talk herself, and anneand diana found themselves chattering
freely to her. mrs. pendexter said little; she merelysmiled with her lovely eyes and lips, and ate chicken and fruit cake and preserveswith such exquisite grace that she conveyed the impression of dining on ambrosia andhoneydew. but then, as anne said to diana later on,anybody so divinely beautiful as mrs. pendexter didn't need to talk; it wasenough for her just to look. after dinner they all had a walk throughlover's lane and violet vale and the birch path, then back through the haunted wood tothe dryad's bubble, where they sat down and talked for a delightful last half hour.
mrs. morgan wanted to know how the hauntedwood came by its name, and laughed until she cried when she heard the story andanne's dramatic account of a certain memorable walk through it at the witchinghour of twilight. "it has indeed been a feast of reason andflow of soul, hasn't it?" said anne, when her guests had gone and she and diana werealone again. "i don't know which i enjoyedmore...listening to mrs. morgan or gazing at mrs. pendexter. i believe we had a nicer time than if we'dknown they were coming and been cumbered with much serving.you must stay to tea with me, diana, and
we'll talk it all over." "priscilla says mrs. pendexter's husband'ssister is married to an english earl; and yet she took a second helping of the plumpreserves," said diana, as if the two facts were somehow incompatible. "i daresay even the english earl himselfwouldn't have turned up his aristocratic nose at marilla's plum preserves," saidanne proudly. anne did not mention the misfortune whichhad befallen her nose when she related the day's history to marilla that evening.but she took the bottle of freckle lotion and emptied it out of the window.
"i shall never try any beautifying messesagain," she said, darkly resolute. "they may do for careful, deliberatepeople; but for anyone so hopelessly given over to making mistakes as i seem to beit's tempting fate to meddle with them."