Anne woke three times in the
night and made pilgrimages to
her window to make sure that
Uncle Abe's prediction was not
coming true. Finally the morning
dawned pearly and lustrous in
a sky full of silver sheen and
radiance, and the wonderful day
Diana appeared soon after breakfast,
with a basket of flowers over
one arm and HER muslin dress
over the other. . .for it would
not do to don it until all the
dinner preparations were completed.
Meanwhile she wore her afternoon
pink print and a lawn apron fearfully
and wonderfully ruffled and frilled;
and very neat and pretty and
rosy she was.
"You look simply sweet," said
"But I've had
to let out every one of my
dresses AGAIN. I weigh
four pounds more than I did in
July. Anne, WHERE will this end?
Mrs. Morgan's heroines are all
tall and slender."
"Well, let's forget our troubles
and think of our mercies," said
Anne gaily. "Mrs. Allan says
that whenever we think of anything
that is a trial to us we should
also think of something nice
that we can set over against
it. If you are slightly too plump
you've got the 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
Diana critically; and, much elated,
Anne led the way to the garden,
which was full of airy shadows
and wavering golden lights.
the parlor first. We have plenty
for Priscilla said they'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 more excited
in Canada or the United States
at that moment, but I doubt it.
Every snip of the scissors, as
rose and peony and bluebell fell,
seemed to chirp, "Mrs. Morgan
is coming today." Anne wondered
how Mr. Harrison COULD go on
placidly mowing hay in the field
across the lane, just as if nothing
were going to happen.
The parlor at Green Gables
was a rather severe 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 unfortunate
people's buttons. Even Anne had
never been able to infuse much
grace into it, for Marilla would
not permit any alterations. But
it is wonderful what flowers
can accomplish if you give them
a fair chance; when Anne and
Diana finished with the room
you would not have recognized
A great blue
bowlful of snowballs overflowed
on the polished table.
The shining black mantelpiece
was heaped with roses and ferns.
Every shelf of the what-not held
a sheaf of bluebells; the dark
corners on either side of the
grate were lighted up with jars
full of glowing crimson peonies,
and the grate itself was aflame
with yellow poppies. All this
splendor and color, mingled with
the sunshine falling through
the honeysuckle vines at the
windows in a leafy riot of dancing
shadows over walls and floor,
made of the usually dismal little
room the veritable "bower" of
Anne's imagination, and even
extorted a tribute of admiration
from Marilla, who came in to
criticize and remained to praise.
"Now, we must set the table," said
Anne, in the tone of a priestess
about to perform some sacred
rite in honor of a divinity. "We'll
have a big vaseful of wild roses
in the center and one single
rose in front of everybody's
plate -- and a special bouquet
of rosebuds only by Mrs. Morgan's
-- an allusion to `The Rosebud
Garden' you know."
The table was set in the sitting
room, with Marilla's finest linen
and the best china, glass, and
silver. You may be perfectly
certain that every article placed
on it was polished or scoured
to the highest possible perfection
of gloss and glitter.
Then the girls tripped out
to the kitchen, which was filled
with appetizing odors emanating
from the oven, where the chickens
were already sizzling splendidly.
Anne prepared the potatoes and
Diana got the peas and beans
ready. Then, while Diana shut
herself into the pantry to compound
the lettuce salad, Anne, whose
cheeks were already beginning
to glow crimson, as much with
excitement as from the heat of
the fire, prepared the bread
sauce for the chickens, minced
her onions for 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 see all that went on.
But as he sat quietly in a corner,
busily engaged in untying the
knots in a piece of herring net
he had brought home from his
last trip to the shore, nobody
objected to this.
At half past eleven the lettuce
salad was made, the golden circles
of the pies were heaped with
whipped cream, and everything
was 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 the soup must
be served as soon as it's done."
were the toilet rites presently
the east gable. Anne peered anxiously
at her nose and rejoiced to see
that its freckles were not at
all prominent, thanks either
to the lemon juice or to the
unusual flush on her cheeks.
When they were ready they looked
quite as sweet and trim and girlish
as ever did any of "Mrs. Morgan's
"I do hope I'll be able to
say something once in a while,
and not sit like a mute," said
Diana anxiously. "All Mrs. Morgan's
heroines converse so beautifully.
But I'm afraid I'll be tongue-tied
and stupid. And I'll be sure
to say `I seen.' I haven't often
said it since Miss Stacy taught
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 have nothing 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
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 was beginning
to feel nervous. It was surely
time for Priscilla and Mrs. Morgan
to arrive. She made frequent
trips to the gate and looked
as anxiously down the lane as
ever her namesake in the Bluebeard
story peered from the tower casement.
"Suppose they don't come at
all?" she said piteously.
"Don't suppose it. It would
be too mean," said Diana, who,
however, was beginning to have
uncomfortable misgivings on the
"Anne," said Marilla, coming
out from the parlor, "Miss Stacy
wants to see Miss Barry's willowware
Anne hastened to the sitting
room closet to get the platter.
She had, in accordance with her
promise to Mrs. Lynde, written
to Miss Barry of Charlottetown,
asking for the loan of it. Miss
Barry was an old friend of Anne's,
and she promply sent the platter
out, with a letter exhorting
Anne to be very careful of it,
for she had paid twenty dollars
for it. The platter had served
its purpose at the Aid bazaar
and had then been returned to
the Green Gables closet, for
Anne would not trust anybody
but herself to take it back to
She carried the platter carefully
to the front door where her guests
were enjoying the cool breeze
that blew up from the brook.
It was examined and admired;
then, just as Anne had taken
it back into her own hands, a
terrific crash and clatter sounded
from the kitchen pantry. Marilla,
Diana, and Anne fled out, the
latter pausing only long enough
to set the precious platter hastily
down on the second step of the
When they reached the pantry
a truly harrowing spectacle met
their eyes. . .a guilty looking
small boy scrambling down from
the table, with his clean print
blouse liberally plastered with
yellow filling, and on the table
the shattered remnants of what
had been two brave, becreamed
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
it up on the shelf above the
table, where he already kept
a score or so of similar balls,
which, so far as could be discovered,
served no useful purpose save
to yield the joy of possession.
Davy had to climb on the table
and reach over to the shelf at
a dangerous angle. . .something
he had been forbidden by Marilla
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
blows nobody good, and the pig
was eventually the gainer by
"Davy Keith," said Marilla,
shaking him by the 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
lot of things that I can't remember
march upstairs and stay there
till after dinner.
Perhaps you'll get them sorted
out in your memory by that time.
No, Anne, never you mind interceding
for him. I'm not punishing him
because he spoiled your pies.
. .that was an accident. I'm
punishing him for his disobedience.
Go, Davy, I say."
"Ain't I to have any dinner?" wailed
"You can come
down after dinner is over and
have yours in the
"Oh, all right," said Davy,
somewhat comforted. "I know Anne'll
save some nice bones for me,
won't you, Anne? 'Cause you know
I didn't mean to fall on the
pies. Say, Anne, since they ARE
spoiled can't I take some of
the pieces upstairs with me?"
"No, no lemon pie for you,
Master Davy," said Marilla, pushing
him toward the hall."
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
in the 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 soup was
just what soup should be, but
couldn't be depended on to remain
so for any length of time.
"I don't believe they're coming
after all," said Marilla crossly.
Anne and Diana sought comfort
in each other's eyes.
At half past one Marilla again
emerged from the parlor.
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
the dinner, with all the zest
gone out of the performance.
"I don't believe I'll be able
to eat a mouthful," said Diana
"Nor I. But I hope everything
will be nice for Miss Stacy's
and Mr. and Mrs. Allan's sakes," said
When Diana dished the peas
she tasted them and a very peculiar
expression crossed her face.
YOU put sugar in these peas?"
"Yes," said Anne, mashing the
potatoes with the 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 set them on the stove," said
Anne dropped her masher and
tasted the peas also. Then she
made a grimace.
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 a spoonful
"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
the sugar, Anne, for I'm perfectly
certain you never did before.
. .so _I_ put in a spoonful."
The guests in the parlor heard
peal after peal 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 with a sigh of recollection, "we
have the salad anyhow and I don't
think anything has happened to
the beans. Let's carry the things
in and get it over."
It cannot be said that that
dinner was a notable success
socially. The Allans and Miss
Stacy exerted themselves to save
the situation and Marilla's customary
placidity was not noticeably
ruffled. But Anne and Diana,
between their disappointment
and the reaction from their excitement
of the forenoon, could neither
talk nor eat. Anne tried heroically
to bear her part in the conversation
for the sake of her guests; but
all the sparkle had been quenched
in her for the time being, and,
in spite of her love for the
Allans and Miss Stacy, she couldn't
help thinking how nice it would
be when everybody had gone home
and she could bury her weariness
and disappointment in the pillows
of the east gable.
There is an
old proverb that really seems
at 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 returning
thanks there arose a strange,
ominous sound on the stairs,
as of some hard, heavy object
bounding from step to step, finishing
up with a grand smash at the
bottom. Everybody ran out into
the hall. Anne gave a shriek
At the bottom of the stairs
lay a big pink conch shell amid
the fragments of what had been
Miss Barry's platter; and at
the top of the stairs knelt a
terrified Davy, gazing down with
wide-open eyes at the havoc.
"Davy," said Marilla ominously, "did
you throw that conch down ON
"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
and pushed 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 him upstairs to miss
all the fun."
"Don't blame Davy," said Anne,
gathering up the fragments with
trembling fingers. "It was my
fault. I set that platter there
and forgot all about it. I am
properly punished for my carelessness;
but oh, what will Miss Barry
"Well, you know she only bought
it, so it isn't the same as if
it was an heirloom," said Diana,
trying to console.
The guests went away soon after,
feeling that 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
and Anne went with another to
the east gable, where she stayed
until Marilla came home from
the post office at sunset, with
a letter from Priscilla, written
the day before. Mrs. Morgan had
sprained her ankle so severely
that she could not leave her
"And oh, Anne dear," wrote
Priscilla, "I'm so sorry, but
I'm afraid we won't get up to
Green Gables at all now, for
by the time Aunty'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 down on the red sandstone
step of the back porch, where
she was sitting, while the twilight
rained down out of a dappled
sky, "I always thought it was
too good to be true that Mrs.
Morgan should really come. But
there. . .that speech sounds
as pessimistic as Miss Eliza
Andrews and I'm ashamed of making
it. After all, it was NOT too
good to be true. . .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
gray we shall be able to laugh
over them. But I feel that I
can't expect to do it before
then, for it has truly been a
"You'll probably have a good
many more and worse disappointments
than that before you get through
life," said Marilla, who honestly
thought she was making a comforting
speech. "It seems to me, Anne,
that you are never going to outgrow
your fashion of setting your
heart so on things and then crashing
down 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
to happen I seem to fly right
up on the wings of anticipation;
and then the first thing I realize
I drop down to earth with a thud.
But really, Marilla, the flying
part IS glorious 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 do without both flying
and thud. But everybody has her
own way of living. . .I used
to think there was only one right
way . . .but since I've had you
and the twins to bring up I don't
feel so sure of it. What are
you going to do about Miss Barry's
"Pay her back
the twenty dollars she paid
for it, I suppose. I'm
so thankful it wasn't a cherished
heirloom because then no money
could replace it."
could find one like it somewhere
and buy it for her."
not. Platters as old as that
are very scarce.
Mrs. Lynde couldn't find one
anywhere for the supper. I only
wish I could, for of course Miss
Barry would just as soon have
one platter as another, if both
were equally old and genuine.
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
skies like that, little disappointments
and accidents can't matter so
much, can they?"
"Where's Davy?" said
Marilla, with an indifferent
"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 the
heart to disappoint him."
"You'll drown yourself or the
twins, rowing about the pond
in that flat," grumbled Marilla. "I've
lived here for sixty years and
I've never been on the pond yet."
"Well, it's never too late
to mend," said Anne roguishly. "Suppose
you come with us tomorrow. We'll
shut Green Gables up and spend
the whole 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,
rowing down 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 the gossip
that Mr. Harrison is going to
see Isabella Andrews?"
"No, I'm sure
there isn't. He just called
there one evening
on business with Mr. Harmon Andrews
and Mrs. Lynde saw him and said
she knew he was courting because
he had a white collar on. I don't
believe Mr. Harrison will ever
marry. He seems to have a prejudice
can never tell about those
old bachelors. And if he
had a white collar on I'd agree
with Rachel that it looks suspicious,
for I'm sure he never was seen
with one before."
"I think he only put it on
because he wanted to conclude
a business deal with Harmon Andrews," said
Anne. "I've heard him say that's
the only time a man needs to
be particular about his appearance,
because if he looks prosperous
the party of the second part
won't be so likely to try to
cheat him. I really feel sorry
for Mr. Harrison; I don't believe
he feels satisfied with his life.
It must be very lonely to have
no one to care about except a
parrot, don't you think? But
I notice Mr. Harrison doesn't
like to be pitied. Nobody does,
"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