Lynde was sitting at her kitchen
a quilt, just as she had been
sitting one evening several years
previously when Matthew Cuthbert
had driven down over the hill
what Mrs. Rachel called "his imported orphan." But that had been in springtime;
and this was late autumn, and all the woods were leafless and the fields sere
and brown. The sun was just setting with a great deal of purple and golden pomp
behind the dark woods west of Avonlea when a buggy drawn by a comfortable brown
nag came down the hill. Mrs. Rachel peered at it eagerly.
"There's Marilla getting home
from the funeral," she said to
her husband, who was lying on
the kitchen lounge. Thomas Lynde
lay more on the lounge nowadays
than he had been used to do,
but Mrs. Rachel, who was so sharp
at noticing anything beyond her
own household, had not as yet
noticed this. "And she's got
the twins with her,. . .yes,
there's Davy leaning over the
dashboard grabbing at the pony's
tail and Marilla jerking him
back. Dora's sitting up on the
seat as prim as you please. She
always looks as if she'd just
been starched and ironed. Well,
poor Marilla is going to have
her hands full this winter and
no mistake. Still, I don't see
that she could do anything less
than take them, under the circumstances,
and she'll have Anne to help
her. Anne's tickled to death
over the whole business, and
she has a real knacky way with
children, I must say. Dear me,
it doesn't seem a day since poor
Matthew brought Anne herself
home and everybody laughed at
the idea of Marilla bringing
up a child. And now she has adopted
twins. You're never safe from
being surprised till you're dead."
The fat pony jogged over the
bridge in Lynde's Hollow and
along the Green Gables lane.
Marilla's face was rather grim.
It was ten miles from East Grafton
and Davy Keith seemed to be possessed
with a passion for perpetual
motion. It was beyond Marilla's
power to make him sit still and
she had been in an agony the
whole way lest he fall over the
back of the wagon and break his
neck, or tumble over the dashboard
under the pony's heels. In despair
she finally threatened to whip
him soundly when she got him
home. Whereupon Davy climbed
into her lap, regardless of the
reins, flung his chubby arms
about her neck and gave her a
"I don't believe you mean it," he
said, smacking her wrinkled cheek
affectionately. "You don't LOOK
like a lady who'd whip a little
boy just 'cause he couldn't keep
still. Didn't you find it awful
hard to keep still when you was
only 's old as me?"
"No, I always kept still when
I was told," said Marilla, trying
to speak sternly, albeit she
felt her heart waxing soft within
her under Davy's impulsive caresses.
"Well, I s'pose that was 'cause
you was a girl," said Davy, squirming
back to his place after another
hug. "You WAS a girl once, I
s'pose, though it's awful funny
to think of it. Dora can sit
still. . .but there ain't much
fun in it _I_ don't think. Seems
to me it must be slow to be a
girl. Here, Dora, let me liven
you up a bit."
up" was to grasp Dora's curls
in his fingers and give them
a tug. Dora shrieked and then
"How can you be such a naughty
boy and your poor mother just
laid in her grave this very day?" demanded
"But she was glad to die," said
Davy confidentially. "I know,
'cause she told me so. She was
awful tired of being sick. We'd
a long talk the night before
she died. She told me you was
going to take me and Dora for
the winter and I was to be a
good boy. I'm going to be good,
but can't you be good running
round just as well as sitting
still? And she said I was always
to be kind to Dora and stand
up for her, and I'm going to."
"Do you call
pulling her hair being kind
"Well, I ain't going to let
anybody else pull it," said Davy,
doubling up his fists and frowning. "They'd
just better try it. I didn't
hurt her much. . .she just cried
'cause she's a girl. I'm glad
I'm a boy but I'm sorry I'm a
twin. When Jimmy Sprott's sister
conterdicks him he just says,
`I'm oldern you, so of course
I know better,' and that settles
HER. But I can't tell Dora that,
and she just goes on thinking
diffrunt from me. You might let
me drive the gee-gee for a spell,
since I'm a man."
Marilla was a thankful woman
when she drove into her
own yard, where the wind of the
autumn night was dancing with
the brown leaves. Anne was at
the gate to meet them and lift
the twins out. Dora submitted
calmly to be kissed, but Davy
responded to Anne's welcome with
one of his hearty hugs and the
cheerful announcement, "I'm Mr.
At the supper table Dora behaved
like a little lady, but Davy's
manners left much to be desired.
"I'm so hungry I ain't got
time to eat p'litely," he said
when Marilla reproved him. "Dora
ain't half as hungry as I am.
Look at all the ex'cise I took
on the road here. That cake's
awful nice and plummy. We haven't
had any cake at home for ever'n
ever so long, 'cause mother was
too sick to make it and Mrs.
Sprott said it was as much as
she could do to bake our bread
for us. And Mrs. Wiggins never
puts any plums in HER cakes.
Catch her! Can I have another
have refused but Anne cut a
slice. However, she reminded
Davy that he ought to say "Thank
you" for it. Davy merely grinned
at her and took a huge bite.
When he had finished the slice
give me ANOTHER piece I'll
say thank you for
"No, you have had plenty of
cake," said Marilla in a tone
which Anne knew and Davy was
to learn to be final.
at Anne, and then, leaning
over the table, snatched
Dora's first piece of cake, from
which she had just taken one
dainty little bite, out of her
very fingers and, opening his
mouth to the fullest extent,
crammed the whole slice in. Dora's
lip trembled and Marilla was
speechless with horror. Anne
promptly exclaimed, with her
best "schoolma'am" air,
gentlemen don't do things like
"I know they don't," said Davy,
as soon as he could speak, "but
I ain't a gemplum."
"But don't you want to be?" said
"Course I do.
But you can't be a gemplum
till you grow up."
"Oh, indeed you can," Anne
hastened to say, thinking she
saw a chance to sow good seed
betimes. "You can begin to be
a gentleman when you are a little
boy. And gentlemen NEVER snatch
things from ladies. . . or forget
to say thank you. . .or pull
"They don't have much fun,
that's a fact," said Davy frankly. "I
guess I'll wait till I'm grown
up to be one."
Marilla, with a resigned air,
had cut another piece of cake
for Dora. She did not feel able
to cope with Davy just then.
It had been a hard day for her,
what with the funeral and the
long drive. At that moment she
looked forward to the future
with a pessimism that would have
done credit to Eliza Andrews
The twins were
not noticeably alike, although
both were fair.
Dora had long sleek curls that
never got out of order. Davy
had a crop of fuzzy little yellow
ringlets all over his round head.
Dora's hazel eyes were gentle
and mild; Davy's were as roguish
and dancing as an elf's. Dora's
nose was straight, Davy's a positive
snub; Dora had a "prunes and
prisms" mouth, Davy's was all
smiles; and besides, he had a
dimple in one cheek and none
in the other, which gave him
a dear, comical, lopsided look
when he laughed. Mirth and mischief
lurked in every corner of his
"They'd better go to bed," said
Marilla, who thought it was the
easiest way to dispose of them. "Dora
will sleep with me and you can
put Davy in the west gable. You're
not afraid to sleep alone, are
"No; but I ain't going to bed
for ever so long yet," said Davy
"Oh, yes, you are." That
was all the muchtried Marilla
but something in her tone squelched
even Davy. He trotted obediently
upstairs with Anne."
When I'm grown
up the very first thing I'm
going to do is
stay up ALL night just to see
what it would be like," he told
In after years Marilla never
thought of that first week of
the twins' sojourn at Green Gables
without a shiver. Not that it
really was so much worse than
the weeks that followed it; but
it seemed so by reason of its
novelty. There was seldom a waking
minute of any day when Davy was
not in mischief or devising it;
but his first notable exploit
occurred two days after his arrival,
on Sunday morning. . .a fine,
warm day, as hazy and mild as
September. Anne dressed him for
church while Marilla attended
to Dora. Davy at first objected
strongly to having his face washed.
it yesterday. . .and Mrs. Wiggins
with hard soap the day of the
funeral. That's enough for one
week. I don't see the good of
being so awful clean. It's lots
more comfable being dirty."
"Paul Irving washes his face
every day of his own accord," said
Davy had been an inmate of
Green Gables for little over
forty-eight hours; but he already
worshipped Anne and hated Paul
Irving, whom he had heard Anne
praising enthusiastically the
day after his arrival. If Paul
Irving washed his face every
day, that settled it. He, Davy
Keith, would do it too, if it
killed him. The same consideration
induced him to submit meekly
to the other details of his toilet,
and he was really a handsome
little lad when all was done.
Anne felt an almost maternal
pride in him as she led him into
the old Cuthbert pew.
Davy behaved quite well at
first, being occupied in casting
covert glances at all the small
boys within view and wondering
which was Paul Irving. The first
two hymns and the Scripture reading
passed off uneventfully. Mr.
Allan was praying when the sensation
Lauretta White was sitting
in front of Davy, her head slightly
bent and her fair hair hanging
in two long braids, between which
a tempting expanse of white neck
showed, encased in a loose lace
frill. Lauretta was a fat, placid-looking
child of eight, who had conducted
herself irreproachably in church
from the very first day her mother
carried her there, an infant
of six months.
Davy thrust his hand into his
pocket and produced. . .a caterpillar,
a furry, squirming caterpillar.
Marilla saw and clutched at him
but she was too late. Davy dropped
the caterpillar down Lauretta's
Right into the middle of Mr.
Allan's prayer burst a series
of piercing shrieks. The minister
stopped appalled and opened his
eyes. Every head in the congregation
flew up. Lauretta White was dancing
up and down in her pew, clutching
frantically at the back of her
"Ow. . .mommer.
. .mommer. . .ow. . .take it
off. . .ow.
. .get it out. . .ow. . .that
bad boy put it down my neck.
. .ow. . .mommer. . .it's going
further down. . .ow. . .ow. .
Mrs. White rose and with a
set face carried the hysterical,
writhing Lauretta out of church.
Her shrieks died away in the
distance and Mr. Allan proceeded
with the service. But everybody
felt that it was a failure that
day. For the first time in her
life Marilla took no notice of
the text and Anne sat with scarlet
cheeks of mortification.
When they got home Marilla
put Davy to bed and made him
stay there for the rest of the
day. She would not give him any
dinner but allowed him a plain
tea of bread and milk. Anne carried
it to him and sat sorrowfully
by him while he ate it with an
unrepentant relish. But Anne's
mournful eyes troubled him.
"I s'pose," he said reflectively, "that
Paul Irving wouldn't have dropped
a caterpillar down a girl's neck
in church, would he?"
"Indeed he wouldn't," said
"Well, I'm kind of sorry I
did it, then," conceded Davy. "But
it was such a jolly big caterpillar.
. .I picked him up on the church
steps just as we went in. It
seemed a pity to waste him. And
say, wasn't it fun to hear that
Tuesday afternoon the Aid Society
met at Green Gables. Anne hurried
home from school, for she knew
that Marilla would need all the
assistance she could give. Dora,
neat and proper, in her nicely
starched white dress and black
sash, was sitting with the members
of the Aid in the parlor, speaking
demurely when spoken to, keeping
silence when not, and in every
way comporting herself as a model
child. Davy, blissfully dirty,
was making mud pies in the barnyard.
"I told him he might," said
Marilla wearily. "I thought it
would keep him out of worse mischief.
He can only get dirty at that.
We'll have our teas over before
we call him to his. Dora can
have hers with us, but I would
never dare to let Davy sit down
at the table with all the Aids
When Anne went to call the
Aids to tea she found that Dora
was not in the parlor. Mrs. Jasper
Bell said Davy had come to the
front door and called her out.
A hasty consultation with Marilla
in the pantry resulted in a decision
to let both children have their
teas together later on.
Tea was half over when the
dining room was invaded by a
forlorn figure. Marilla and Anne
stared in dismay, the Aids in
amazement. Could that be Dora.
. .that sobbing nondescript in
a drenched, dripping dress and
hair from which the water was
streaming on Marilla's new coin-spot
"Dora, what has happened to
you?" cried Anne, with a guilty
glance at Mrs. Jasper Bell, whose
family was said to be the only
one in the world in which accidents
"Davy made me walk the pigpen
fence," wailed Dora. "I didn't
want to but he called me a fraid-cat.
And I fell off into the pigpen
and my dress got all dirty and
the pig runned right over me.
My dress was just awful but Davy
said if I'd stand under the pump
he'd wash it clean, and I did
and he pumped water all over
me but my dress ain't a bit cleaner
and my pretty sash and shoes
is all spoiled."
Anne did the honors of the
table alone for the rest of the
meal while Marilla went upstairs
and redressed Dora in her old
clothes. Davy was caught and
sent to bed without any supper.
Anne went to his room at twilight
and talked to him seriously.
. .a method in which she had
great faith, not altogether unjustified
by results. She told him she
felt very badly over his conduct.
"I feel sorry now myself," admitted
Davy, "but the trouble is I never
feel sorry for doing things till
after I've did them. Dora wouldn't
help me make pies, cause she
was afraid of messing her clo'es
and that made me hopping mad.
I s'pose Paul Irving wouldn't
have made HIS sister walk a pigpen
fence if he knew she'd fall in?"
"No, he would
never dream of such a thing.
Paul is a perfect
Davy screwed his eyes tight
shut and seemed to meditate on
this for a time. Then he crawled
up and put his arms about Anne's
neck, snuggling his flushed little
face down on her shoulder.
you like me a little bit, even
if I ain't a
good boy like Paul?"
"Indeed I do," said Anne sincerely.
Somehow, it was impossible to
help liking Davy. "But I'd like
you better still if you weren't
"I. . .did something else today," went
on Davy in a muffled voice. "I'm
sorry now but I'm awful scared
to tell you. You won't be very
cross, will you? And you won't
tell Marilla, will you?"
"I don't know,
Davy. Perhaps I ought to tell
her. But I think
I can promise you I won't if
you promise me that you will
never do it again, whatever it
"No, I never
will. Anyhow, it's not likely
I'd find any
more of them this year. I found
this one on the cellar steps."
is it you've done?"
"I put a toad
in Marilla's bed. You can go
and take it out
if you like. But say, Anne, wouldn't
it be fun to leave it there?"
"Davy Keith!" Anne
sprang from Davy's clinging
arms and flew
across the hall to Marilla's
room. The bed was slightly rumpled.
She threw back the blankets in
nervous haste and there in very
truth was the toad, blinking
at her from under a pillow.
"How can I carry that awful
thing out?" moaned Anne with
a shudder. The fire shovel suggested
itself to her and she crept down
to get it while Marilla was busy
in the pantry. Anne had her own
troubles carrying that toad downstairs,
for it hopped off the shovel
three times and once she thought
she had lost it in the hall.
When she finally deposited it
in the cherry orchard she drew
a long breath of relief.
knew she'd never feel safe
getting into bed again
in her life. I'm so glad that
little sinner repented in time.
There's Diana signaling to me
from her window. I'm glad. .
.I really feel the need of some
diversion, for what with Anthony
Pye in school and Davy Keith
at home my nerves have had about
all they can endure for one day."