One evening at sunset, Jane
Andrews, Gilbert Blythe, and
Anne Shirley were lingering by
a fence in the shadow of gently
swaying spruce boughs, where
a wood cut known as the Birch
Path joined the main road. Jane
had been up to spend the afternoon
with Anne, who walked part of
the way home with her; at the
fence they met Gilbert, and all
three were now talking about
the fateful morrow; for that
morrow was the first of September
and the schools would open. Jane
would go to Newbridge and Gilbert
to White Sands.
"You both have the advantage
of me," sighed Anne. "You're
going to teach children who don't
know you, but I have to teach
my own old schoolmates, and Mrs.
Lynde says she's afraid they
won't respect me as they would
a stranger unless I'm very cross
from the first. But I don't believe
a teacher should be cross. Oh,
it seems to me such a responsibility!"
"I guess we'll get on all right," said
Jane comfortably. Jane was not
troubled by any aspirations to
be an influence for good. She
meant to earn her salary fairly,
please the trustees, and get
her name on the School Inspector's
roll of honor. Further ambitions
Jane had none. "The main thing
will be to keep order and a teacher
has to be a little cross to do
that. If my pupils won't do as
I tell them I shall punish them."
a good whipping, of course."
"Oh, Jane, you wouldn't," cried
Anne, shocked. "Jane, you COULDN'T!"
"Indeed, I could and would,
if they deserved it," said Jane
"I could NEVER whip a child," said
Anne with equal decision. "I
don't believe in it AT ALL. Miss
Stacy never whipped any of us
and she had perfect order; and
Mr. Phillips was always whipping
and he had no order at all. No,
if I can't get along without
whipping I shall not try to teach
school. There are better ways
of managing. I shall try to win
my pupils' affections and then
they will WANT to do what I tell
"But suppose they don't?" said
whip them anyhow. I'm sure
it wouldn't do any good.
Oh, don't whip your pupils, Jane
dear, no matter what they do."
"What do you think about it,
Gilbert?" demanded Jane. "Don't
you think there are some children
who really need a whipping now
"Don't you think it's a cruel,
barbarous thing to whip a child.
. . ANY child?" exclaimed Anne,
her face flushing with earnestness.
"Well," said Gilbert slowly,
torn between his real convictions
and his wish to measure up to
Anne's ideal, "there's something
to be said on both sides. I don't
believe in whipping children
MUCH. I think, as you say, Anne,
that there are better ways of
managing as a rule, and that
corporal punishment should be
a last resort. But on the other
hand, as Jane says, I believe
there is an occasional child
who can't be influenced in any
other way and who, in short,
needs a whipping and would be
improved by it. Corporal punishment
as a last resort is to be my
Gilbert, having tried to please
both sides, succeeded, as is
usual and eminently right, in
pleasing neither. Jane tossed
my pupils when they're naughty.
It's the shortest and
easiest way of convincing them."
Anne gave Gilbert a disappointed
"I shall never whip a child," she
repeated firmly. "I feel sure
it isn't either right or necessary."
"Suppose a boy sauced you back
when you told him to do something?" said
"I'd keep him in after school
and talk kindly and firmly to
him," said Anne. "There is some
good in every person if you can
find it. It is a teacher's duty
to find and develop it. That
is what our School Management
professor at Queen's told us,
you know. Do you suppose you
could find any good in a child
by whipping him? It's far more
important to influence the children
aright than it is even to teach
them the three R's, Professor
"But the Inspector examines
them in the three R's, mind you,
and he won't give you a good
report if they don't come up
to his standard," protested Jane.
"I'd rather have my pupils
love me and look back to me in
after years as a real helper
than be on the roll of honor," asserted
"Wouldn't you punish children
at all, when they misbehaved?" asked
"Oh, yes, I
suppose I shall have to, although
I know I'll
hate to do it. But you can keep
them in at recess or stand them
on the floor or give them lines
"I suppose you won't punish
the girls by making them sit
with the boys?" said Jane slyly.
Gilbert and Anne looked at
each other and smiled rather
foolishly. Once upon a time,
Anne had been made to sit with
Gilbert for punishment and sad
and bitter had been the consequences
"Well, time will tell which
is the best way," said Jane philosophically
as they parted.
Anne went back to Green Gables
by way of Birch Path, shadowy,
rustling, fern-scented, through
Violet Vale and past Willowmere,
where dark and light kissed each
other under the firs, and down
through Lover's Lane. . .spots
she and Diana had so named long
ago. She walked slowly, enjoying
the sweetness of wood and field
and the starry summer twilight,
and thinking soberly about the
new duties she was to take up
on the morrow. When she reached
the yard at Green Gables Mrs.
Lynde's loud, decided tones floated
out through the open kitchen
"Mrs. Lynde has come up to
give me good advice about tomorrow," thought
Anne with a grimace, "but I don't
believe I'll go in. Her advice
is much like pepper, I think.
. .excellent in small quantities
but rather scorching in her doses.
I'll run over and have a chat
with Mr. Harrison instead."
This was not
the first time Anne had run
over and chatted
with Mr. Harrison since the notable
affair of the Jersey cow. She
had been there several evenings
and Mr. Harrison and she were
very good friends, although there
were times and seasons when Anne
found the outspokenness on which
he prided himself rather trying.
Ginger still continued to regard
her with suspicion, and never
failed to greet her sarcastically
as "redheaded snippet." Mr. Harrison
had tried vainly to break him
of the habit by jumping excitedly
up whenever he saw Anne coming
"Bless my soul, here's that
pretty little girl again," or
something equally flattering.
But Ginger saw through the scheme
and scorned it. Anne was never
to know how many compliments
Mr. Harrison paid her behind
her back. He certainly never
paid her any to her face.
"Well, I suppose you've been
back in the woods laying in a
supply of switches for tomorrow?" was
his greeting as Anne came up
the veranda steps.
"No, indeed," said Anne indignantly.
She was an excellent target for
teasing because she always took
things so seriously. "I shall
never have a switch in my school,
Mr. Harrison. Of course, I shall
have to have a pointer, but I
shall use it for pointing ONLY."
"So you mean
to strap them instead? Well,
I don't know but
you're right. A switch stings
more at the time but the strap
smarts longer, that's a fact."
"I shall not
use anything of the sort. I'm
not going to whip
"Bless my soul," exclaimed
Mr. Harrison in genuine astonishment, "how
do you lay out to keep order
"I shall govern
by affection, Mr. Harrison."
"It won't do," said Mr. Harrison, "won't
do at all, Anne. `Spare the rod
and spoil the child.' When I
went to school the master whipped
me regular every day because
he said if I wasn't in mischief
just then I was plotting it."
changed since your schooldays,
nature hasn't. Mark my words,
you'll never manage
the young fry unless you keep
a rod in pickle for them. The
thing is impossible."
"Well, I'm going to try my
way first," said Anne, who had
a fairly strong will of her own
and was apt to cling very tenaciously
to her theories.
"You're pretty stubborn, I
reckon," was Mr. Harrison's way
of putting it. "Well, well, we'll
see. Someday when you get riled
up. . .and people with hair like
yours are desperate apt to get
riled. . .you'll forget all your
pretty little notions and give
some of them a whaling. You're
too young to be teaching anyhow
. . .far too young and childish."
Altogether, Anne went to bed
that night in a rather pessimistic
mood. She slept poorly and was
so pale and tragic at breakfast
next morning that Marilla was
alarmed and insisted on making
her take a cup of scorching ginger
tea. Anne sipped it patiently,
although she could not imagine
what good ginger tea would do.
Had it been some magic brew,
potent to confer age and experience,
Anne would have swallowed a quart
of it without flinching.
if I fail!"
"You'll hardly fail completely
in one day and there's plenty
more days coming," said Marilla. "The
trouble with you, Anne, is that
you'll expect to teach those
children everything and reform
all their faults right off, and
if you can't you'll think you've