and Anne returned to her work,
with fewer theories
but considerably more experience.
She had several new pupils, six-
and seven-year-olds just venturing,
round-eyed, into a world of wonder.
Among them were Davy and Dora.
Davy sat with Milty Boulter,
who had been going to school
for a year and was therefore
quite a man of the world. Dora
had made a compact at Sunday
School the previous Sunday to
sit with Lily Sloane; but Lily
Sloane not coming the first day,
she was temporarily assigned
to Mirabel Cotton, who was ten
years old and therefore, in Dora's
eyes, one of the "big girls."
"I think school is great fun," Davy
told Marilla when he got home
that night. "You said I'd find
it hard to sit still and I did.
. . you mostly do tell the truth,
I notice. . .but you can wriggle
your legs about under the desk
and that helps a lot. It's splendid
to have so many boys to play
with. I sit with Milty Boulter
and he's fine. He's longer than
me but I'm wider. It's nicer
to sit in the back seats but
you can't sit there till your
legs grow long enough to touch
the floor. Milty drawed a picture
of Anne on his slate and it was
awful ugly and I told him if
he made pictures of Anne like
that I'd lick him at recess.
I thought first I'd draw one
of him and put horns and a tail
on it, but I was afraid it would
hurt his feelings, and Anne says
you should never hurt anyone's
feelings. It seems it's dreadful
to have your feelings hurt. It's
better to knock a boy down than
hurt his feelings if you MUST
do something. Milty said he wasn't
scared of me but he'd just as
soon call it somebody else to
'blige me, so he rubbed out Anne's
name and printed Barbara Shaw's
under it. Milty doesn't like
Barbara 'cause she calls him
a sweet little boy and once she
patted him on his head."
Dora said primly that she liked
school; but she was very quiet,
even for her; and when at twilight
Marilla bade her go upstairs
to bed she hesitated and began
"I'm. . .I'm frightened," she
sobbed. "I. . .I don't want to
go upstairs alone in the dark."
"What notion have you got into
your head now?" demanded Marilla. "I'm
sure you've gone to bed alone
all summer and never been frightened
Dora still continued to cry,
so Anne picked her up, cuddled
her sympathetically, and whispered,
all about it, sweetheart. What
are you frightened of?"
"Of. . .of Mirabel Cotton's
uncle," sobbed Dora. "Mirabel
Cotton told me all about her
family today in school. Nearly
everybody in her family has died.
. .all her grandfathers and grandmothers
and ever so many uncles and aunts.
They have a habit of dying, Mirabel
says. Mirabel's awful proud of
having so many dead relations,
and she told me what they all
died of, and what they said,
and how they looked in their
coffins. And Mirabel says one
of her uncles was seen walking
around the house after he was
buried. Her mother saw him. I
don't mind the rest so much but
I can't help thinking about that
Anne went upstairs
with Dora and sat by her until
asleep. The next day Mirabel
Cotton was kept in at recess
and "gently but firmly" given
to understand that when you were
so unfortunate as to possess
an uncle who persisted in walking
about houses after he had been
decently interred it was not
in good taste to talk about that
eccentric gentleman to your deskmate
of tender years. Mirabel thought
this very harsh. The Cottons
had not much to boast of. How
was she to keep up her prestige
among her schoolmates if she
were forbidden to make capital
out of the family ghost?
September slipped by into a
gold and crimson graciousness
of October. One Friday evening
Diana came over.
"I'd a letter
from Ella Kimball today, Anne,
and she wants us
to go over to tea tomorrow afternoon
to meet her cousin, Irene Trent,
from town. But we can't get one
of our horses to go, for they'll
all be in use tomorrow, and your
pony is lame. . .so I suppose
we can't go."
"Why can't we walk?" suggested
Anne. "If we go straight back
through the woods we'll strike
the West Grafton road not far
from the Kimball place. I was
through that way last winter
and I know the road. It's no
more than four miles and we won't
have to walk home, for Oliver
Kimball will be sure to drive
us. He'll be only too glad of
the excuse, for he goes to see
Carrie Sloane and they say his
father will hardly ever let him
have a horse."
It was accordingly arranged
that they should walk, and the
following afternoon they set
out, going by way of Lover's
Lane to the back of the Cuthbert
farm, where they found a road
leading into the heart of acres
of glimmering beech and maple
woods, which were all in a wondrous
glow of flame and gold, lying
in a great purple stillness and
"It's as if the year were kneeling
to pray in a vast cathedral full
of mellow stained light, isn't
it?" said Anne dreamily. "It
doesn't seem right to hurry through
it, does it? It seems irreverent,
like running in a church."
"We MUST hurry though," said
Diana, glancing at her watch. "We've
left ourselves little enough
time as it is."
"Well, I'll walk fast but don't
ask me to talk," said Anne, quickening
her pace. "I just want to drink
the day's loveliness in. . .I
feel as if she were holding it
out to my lips like a cup of
airy wine and I'll take a sip
at every step."
was because she was so absorbed
it in" that Anne took the left
turning when they came to a fork
in the road. She should have
taken the right, but ever afterward
she counted it the most fortunate
mistake of her life. They came
out finally to a lonely, grassy
road, with nothing in sight along
it but ranks of spruce saplings.
"Why, where are we?" exclaimed
Diana in bewilderment. "This
isn't the West Grafton road."
"No, it's the base line road
in Middle Grafton," said Anne,
rather shamefacedly. "I must
have taken the wrong turning
at the fork. I don't know where
we are exactly, but we must be
all of three miles from Kimballs'
"Then we can't get there by
five, for it's half past four
now," said Diana, with a despairing
look at her watch. "We'll arrive
after they have had their tea,
and they'll have all the bother
of getting ours over again."
"We'd better turn back and
go home," suggested Anne humbly.
But Diana, after consideration,
"No, we may
as well go and spend the evening,
since we have
come this far"
A few yards further on the
girls came to a place where the
road forked again.
"Which of these do we take?" asked
Anne shook her head.
"I don't know
and we can't afford to make
any more mistakes.
Here is a gate and a lane leading
right into the wood. There must
be a house at the other side.
Let us go down and inquire."
"What a romantic old lane this
it," said Diana, as they walked
along its twists and turns. It
ran under patriarchal old firs
whose branches met above, creating
a perpetual gloom in which nothing
except moss could grow. On either
hand were brown wood floors,
crossed here and there by fallen
lances of sunlight. All was very
still and remote, as if the world
and the cares of the world were
"I feel as if we were walking
through an enchanted forest," said
Anne in a hushed tone. "Do you
suppose we'll ever find our way
back to the real world again,
Diana? We shall presently come
to a palace with a spellbound
princess in it, I think."
next turn they came in sight,
not indeed of a palace,
but of a little house almost
as surprising as a palace would
have been in this province of
conventional wooden farmhouses,
all as much alike in general
characteristics as if they had
grown from the same seed. Anne
stopped short in rapture and
Diana exclaimed, "Oh, I know
where we are now. That is the
little stone house where Miss
Lavendar Lewis lives. . .Echo
Lodge, she calls it, I think.
I've often heard of it but I've
never seen it before. Isn't it
a romantic spot?"
"It's the sweetest, prettiest
place I ever saw or imagined," said
Anne delightedly. "It looks like
a bit out of a story book or
The house was a low-eaved structure
built of undressed blocks of
red Island sandstone, with a
little peaked roof out of which
peered two dormer windows, with
quaint wooden hoods over them,
and two great chimneys. The whole
house was covered with a luxuriant
growth of ivy, finding easy foothold
on the rough stonework and turned
by autumn frosts to most beautiful
bronze and wine-red tints.
Before the house was an oblong
garden into which the lane gate
where the girls were standing
opened. The house bounded it
on one side; on the three others
it was enclosed by an old stone
dyke, so overgrown with moss
and grass and ferns that it looked
like a high, green bank. On the
right and left the tall, dark
spruces spread their palm-like
branches over it; but below it
was a little meadow, green with
clover aftermath, sloping down
to the blue loop of the Grafton
River. No other house or clearing
was in sight. . .nothing but
hills and valleys covered with
feathery young firs.
"I wonder what sort of a person
Miss Lewis is," speculated Diana
as they opened the gate into
the garden. "They say she is
"She'll be interesting then," said
Anne decidedly. "Peculiar people
are always that at least, whatever
else they are or are not. Didn't
I tell you we would come to an
enchanted palace? I knew the
elves hadn't woven magic over
that lane for nothing."
"But Miss Lavendar Lewis is
hardly a spellbound princess," laughed
Diana. "She's an old maid. .
.she's forty-five and quite gray,
"Oh, that's only part of the
spell," asserted Anne confidently. "At
heart she's young and beautiful
still. . .and if we only knew
how to unloose the spell she
would step forth radiant and
fair again. But we don't know
how. . .it's always and only
the prince who knows that . .
.and Miss Lavendar's prince hasn't
come yet. Perhaps some fatal
mischance has befallen him. .
.though THAT'S against the law
of all fairy tales."
"I'm afraid he came long ago
and went away again," said Diana. "They
say she used to be engaged to
Stephan Irving. . .Paul's father.
. .when they were young. But
they quarreled and parted."
"Hush," warned Anne. "The
door is open."
The girls paused
in the porch under the tendrils
of ivy and
knocked at the open door. There
was a patter of steps inside
and a rather odd little personage
presented herself. . .a girl
of about fourteen, with a freckled
face, a snub nose, a mouth so
wide that it did really seem
as if it stretched "from ear
to ear," and two long braids
of fair hair tied with two enormous
bows of blue ribbon.
"Is Miss Lewis at home?" asked
Come in, ma'am. I'll tell Miss
here, ma'am. She's upstairs,
With this the small handmaiden
whisked out of sight and the
girls, left alone, looked about
them with delighted eyes. The
interior of this wonderful little
house was quite as interesting
as its exterior.
The room had
a low ceiling and two square,
curtained with muslin frills.
All the furnishings were old-fashioned,
but so well and daintily kept
that the effect was delicious.
But it must be candidly admitted
that the most attractive feature,
to two healthy girls who had
just tramped four miles through
autumn air, was a table, set
out with pale blue china and
laden with delicacies, while
little golden-hued ferns scattered
over the cloth gave it what Anne
would have termed "a festal air."
"Miss Lavendar must be expecting
company to tea," she whispered. "There
are six places set. But what
a funny little girl she has.
She looked like a messenger from
pixy land. I suppose she could
have told us the road, but I
was curious to see Miss Lavendar.
S. . .s. . .sh, she's coming."
And with that Miss Lavendar
Lewis was standing in the doorway.
The girls were so surprised that
they forgot good manners and
simply stared. They had unconsciously
been expecting to see the usual
type of elderly spinster as known
to their experience . . .a rather
angular personage, with prim
gray hair and spectacles. Nothing
more unlike Miss Lavendar could
possibly be imagined.
She was a little lady with
snow-white hair beautifully wavy
and thick, and carefully arranged
in becoming puffs and coils.
Beneath it was an almost girlish
face, pink cheeked and sweet
lipped, with big soft brown eyes
and dimples. . .actually dimples.
She wore a very dainty gown of
cream muslin with pale-hued roses
on it. . .a gown which would
have seemed ridiculously juvenile
on most women of her age, but
which suited Miss Lavendar so
perfectly that you never thought
about it at all.
"Charlotta the Fourth says
that you wished to see me," she
said, in a voice that matched
"We wanted to ask the right
road to West Grafton," said Diana. "We
are invited to tea at Mr. Kimball's,
but we took the wrong path coming
through the woods and came out
to the base line instead of the
West Grafton road. Do we take
the right or left turning at
"The left," said
Miss Lavendar, with a hesitating
glance at her
tea table. Then she exclaimed,
as if in a sudden little burst
"But oh, won't
you stay and have tea with
me? Please, do.
Mr. Kimball's will have tea over
before you get there. And Charlotta
the Fourth and I will be so glad
to have you."
Diana looked mute inquiry at
"We'd like to stay," said Anne
promptly, for she had made up
her mind that she wanted to know
more of this surprising Miss
Lavendar, "if it won't inconvenience
you. But you are expecting other
guests, aren't you?"
Miss Lavendar looked at her
tea table again, and blushed.
"I know you'll think me dreadfully
foolish," she said. "I AM foolish.
. .and I'm ashamed of it when
I'm found out, but never unless
I AM found out. I'm not expecting
anybody. . .I was just pretending
I was. You see, I was so lonely.
I love company. . . that is,
the right kind of company. .
.but so few people ever come
here because it is so far out
of the way. Charlotta the Fourth
was lonely too. So I just pretended
I was going to have a tea party.
I cooked for it. . .and decorated
the table for it. . . and set
it with my mother's wedding china
. . .and I dressed up for it." Diana
secretly thought Miss Lavendar
quite as peculiar as report had
pictured her. The idea of a woman
of forty-five playing at having
a tea party, just as if she were
a little girl! But Anne of the
shining eyes exclaimed joyfuly, "Oh,
do YOU imagine things too?"
That "too" revealed
a kindred spirit to Miss Lavendar.
"Yes, I do," she confessed,
boldly. "Of course it's silly
in anybody as old as I am. But
what is the use of being an independent
old maid if you can't be silly
when you want to, and when it
doesn't hurt anybody? A person
must have some compensations.
I don't believe I could live
at times if I didn't pretend
things. I'm not often caught
at it though, and Charlotta the
Fourth never tells. But I'm glad
to be caught today, for you have
really come and I have tea all
ready for you. Will you go up
to the spare room and take off
your hats? It's the white door
at the head of the stairs. I
must run out to the kitchen and
see that Charlotta the Fourth
isn't letting the tea boil. Charlotta
the Fourth is a very good girl
but she WILL let the tea boil."
Miss Lavendar tripped off to
the kitchen on hospitable thoughts
intent and the girls found their
way up to the spare room, an
apartment as white as its door,
lighted by the ivy-hung dormer
window and looking, as Anne said,
like the place where happy dreams
"This is quite an adventure,
isn't it?" said Diana. "And isn't
Miss Lavendar sweet, if she IS
a little odd? She doesn't look
a bit like an old maid."
"She looks just as music sounds,
I think," answered Anne.
When they went down Miss Lavendar
was carrying in the teapot, and
behind her, looking vastly pleased,
was Charlotta the Fourth, with
a plate of hot biscuits.
"Now, you must tell me your
names," said Miss Lavendar. "I'm
so glad you are young girls.
I love young girls. It's so easy
to pretend I'm a girl myself
when I'm with them. I do hate".
. .with a little grimace. . ."to
believe I'm old. Now, who are
you. . . just for convenience'
sake? Diana Barry? And Anne Shirley?
May I pretend that I've known
you for a hundred years and call
you Anne and Diana right away?"
"You, may" the
girls said both together.
"Then just let's sit comfily
down and eat everything," said
Miss Lavendar happily. "Charlotta,
you sit at the foot and help
with the chicken. It is so fortunate
that I made the sponge cake and
doughnuts. Of course, it was
foolish to do it for imaginary
guests. . . I know Charlotta
the Fourth thought so, didn't
you, Charlotta? But you see how
well it has turned out. Of course
they wouldn't have been wasted,
for Charlotta the Fourth and
I could have eaten them through
time. But sponge cake is not
a thing that improves with time."
That was a merry and memorable
meal; and when it was over they
all went out to the garden, lying
in the glamor of sunset.
"I do think you have the loveliest
place here," said Diana, looking
round her admiringly.
"Why do you call it Echo Lodge?" asked
"Charlotta," said Miss Lavendar, "go
into the house and bring out
the little tin horn that is hanging
over the clock shelf."
Charlotta the Fourth skipped
off and returned with the horn.
"Blow it, Charlotta," commanded
blew, a rather raucous, strident
There was moment's stillness.
. .and then from the woods over
the river came a multitude of
fairy echoes, sweet, elusive,
silvery, as if all the "horns
of elfland" were blowing against
the sunset. Anne and Diana exclaimed
Charlotta. . .laugh loudly."
Charlotta, who would probably
have obeyed if Miss Lavendar
had told her to stand on her
head, climbed upon the stone
bench and laughed loud and heartily.
Back came the echoes, as if a
host of pixy people were mimicking
her laughter in the purple woodlands
and along the fir-fringed points.
"People always admire my echoes
very much," said Miss Lavendar,
as if the echoes were her personal
property. "I love them myself.
They are very good company. .
.with a little pretending. On
calm evenings Charlotta the Fourth
and I often sit out here and
amuse ourselves with them. Charlotta,
take back the horn and hang it
carefully in its place."
"Why do you call her Charlotta
the Fourth?" asked Diana, who
was bursting with curiosity on
"Just to keep her from getting
mixed up with other Charlottas
in my thoughts," said Miss Lavendar
seriously. "They all look so
much alike there's no telling
them apart. Her name isn't really
Charlotta at all. It is. . .let
me see. . .what is it? I THINK
it's Leonora. . .yes, it IS Leonora.
You see, it is this way. When
mother died ten years ago I couldn't
stay here alone. . . and I couldn't
afford to pay the wages of a
grown-up girl. So I got little
Charlotta Bowman to come and
stay with me for board and clothes.
Her name really was Charlotta.
. .she was Charlotta the First.
She was just thirteen. She stayed
with me till she was sixteen
and then she went away to Boston,
because she could do better there.
Her sister came to stay with
me then. Her name was Julietta.
. .Mrs. Bowman had a weakness
for fancy names I think. . .but
she looked so like Charlotta
that I kept calling her that
all the time. . .and she didn't
mind. So I just gave up trying
to remember her right name. She
was Charlotta the Second, and
when she went away Evelina came
and she was Charlotta the Third.
Now I have Charlotta the Fourth;
but when she is sixteen. . .she's
fourteen now. . . she will want
to go to Boston too, and what
I shall do then I really do not
know. Charlotta the Fourth is
the last of the Bowman girls,
and the best. The other Charlottas
always let me see that they thought
it silly of me to pretend things
but Charlotta the Fourth never
does, no matter what she may
really think. I don't care what
people think about me if they
don't let me see it."
"Well," said Diana looking
regretfully at the setting sun. "I
suppose we must go if we want
to get to Mr. Kimball's before
dark. We've had a lovely time,
"Won't you come again to see
me?" pleaded Miss Lavendar.
Tall Anne put her arm about
the little lady.
"Indeed we shall," she promised. "Now
that we have discovered you we'll
wear out our welcome coming to
see you. Yes, we must go. . .
'we must tear ourselves away,'
as Paul Irving says every time
he comes to Green Gables."
"Paul Irving?" There was a
subtle change in Miss Lavendar's
voice. "Who is he? I didn't think
there was anybody of that name
Anne felt vexed at her own
heedlessness. She had forgotten
about Miss Lavendar's old romance
when Paul's name slipped out.
"He is a little pupil of mine," she
explained slowly. "He came from
Boston last year to live with
his grandmother, Mrs. Irving
of the shore road."
"Is he Stephen Irving's son?" Miss
Lavendar asked, bending over
her namesake border so that her
face was hidden.
"I'm going to give you girls
a bunch of lavendar apiece," said
Miss Lavendar brightly, as if
she had not heard the answer
to her question. "It's very sweet,
don't you think? Mother always
loved it. She planted these borders
long ago. Father named me Lavendar
because he was so fond of it.
The very first time he saw mother
was when he visited her home
in East Grafton with her brother.
He fell in love with her at first
sight; and they put him in the
spare room bed to sleep and the
sheets were scented with lavendar
and he lay awake all night and
thought of her. He always loved
the scent of lavendar after that.
. .and that was why he gave me
the name. Don't forget to come
back soon, girls dear. We'll
be looking for you, Charlotta
the Fourth and I."
She opened the gate under the
firs for them to pass through.
She looked suddenly old and tired;
the glow and radiance had faded
from her face; her parting smile
was as sweet with ineradicable
youth as ever, but when the girls
looked back from the first curve
in the lane they saw her sitting
on the old stone bench under
the silver poplar in the middle
of the garden with her head leaning
wearily on her hand.
"She does look lonely," said
Diana softly. "We must come often
to see her."
"I think her parents gave her
the only right and fitting name
that could possibly be given
her," said Anne. "If they had
been so blind as to name her
Elizabeth or Nellie or Muriel
she must have been called Lavendar
just the same, I think. It's
so suggestive of sweetness and
old-fashioned graces and `silk
attire.' Now, my name just smacks
of bread and butter, patchwork
"Oh, I don't think so," said
Diana. "Anne seems to me real
stately and like a queen. But
I'd like Kerrenhappuch if it
happened to be your name. I think
people make their names nice
or ugly just by what they are
themselves. I can't bear Josie
or Gertie for names now but before
I knew the Pye girls I thought
them real pretty."
"That's a lovely idea, Diana," said
Anne enthusiastically. "Living
so that you beautify your name,
even if it wasn't beautiful to
begin with. . .making it stand
in people's thoughts for something
so lovely and pleasant that they
never think of it by itself.
Thank you, Diana."