For the next month Anne lived
in what, for Avonlea, might be
called a whirl of excitement.
The preparation of her own modest
outfit for Redmond was of secondary
importance. Miss Lavendar was
getting ready to be married and
the stone house was the scene
of endless consultations and
plannings and discussions, with
Charlotta the Fourth hovering
on the outskirts of things in
agitated delight and wonder.
Then the dressmaker came, and
there was the rapture and wretchedness
of choosing fashions and being
fitted. Anne and Diana spent
half their time at Echo Lodge
and there were nights when Anne
could not sleep for wondering
whether she had done right in
advising Miss Lavendar to select
brown rather than navy blue for
her traveling dress, and to have
gray silk made princess.
Everybody concerned in Miss
Lavendar's story was very happy.
Paul Irving rushed to Green Gables
to talk the news over with Anne
as soon as his father had told
"I knew I could trust father
to pick me out a nice little
second mother," he said proudly. "It's
a fine thing to have a father
you can depend on, teacher. I
just love Miss Lavendar. Grandma
is pleased, too. She says she's
real glad father didn't pick
out an American for his second
wife, because, although it turned
out all right the first time,
such a thing wouldn't be likely
to happen twice. Mrs. Lynde says
she thoroughly approves of the
match and thinks its likely Miss
Lavendar will give up her queer
notions and be like other people,
now that she's going to be married.
But I hope she won't give her
queer notions up, teacher, because
I like them. And I don't want
her to be like other people.
There are too many other people
around as it is. YOU know, teacher."
Charlotta the Fourth was another
"Oh, Miss Shirley,
ma'am, it has all turned out
When Mr. Irving and Miss Lavendar
come back from their tower I'm
to go up to Boston and live with
them. . .and me only fifteen,
and the other girls never went
till they were sixteen. Ain't
Mr. Irving splendid? He just
worships the ground she treads
on and it makes me feel so queer
sometimes to see the look in
his eyes when he's watching her.
It beggars description, Miss
Shirley, ma'am. I'm awful thankful
they're so fond of each other.
It's the best way, when all's
said and done, though some folks
can get along without it. I've
got an aunt who has been married
three times and says she married
the first time for love and the
last two times for strictly business,
and was happy with all three
except at the times of the funerals.
But I think she took a resk,
Miss Shirley, ma'am."
"Oh, it's all so romantic," breathed
Anne to Marilla that night. "If
I hadn't taken the wrong path
that day we went to Mr. Kimball's
I'd never have known Miss Lavendar;
and if I hadn't met her I'd never
have taken Paul there. . .and
he'd never have written to his
father about visiting Miss Lavendar
just as Mr. Irving was starting
for San Francisco. Mr. Irving
says whenever he got that letter
he made up his mind to send his
partner to San Francisco and
come here instead. He hadn't
heard anything of Miss Lavendar
for fifteen years. Somebody had
told him then that she was to
be married and he thought she
was and never asked anybody anything
about her. And now everything
has come right. And I had a hand
in bringing it about. Perhaps,
as Mrs. Lynde says, everything
is foreordained and it was bound
to happen anyway. But even so,
it's nice to think one was an
instrument used by predestination.
Yes indeed, it's very romantic."
"I can't see that it's so terribly
romantic at all," said Marilla
rather crisply. Marilla thought
Anne was too worked up about
it and had plenty to do with
getting ready for college without "traipsing" to
Echo Lodge two days out of three
helping Miss Lavendar. "In the
first place two young fools quarrel
and turn sulky; then Steve Irving
goes to the States and after
a spell gets married up there
and is perfectly happy from all
accounts. Then his wife dies
and after a decent interval he
thinks he'll come home and see
if his first fancy'll have him.
Meanwhile, she's been living
single, probably because nobody
nice enough came along to want
her, and they meet and agree
to be married after all. Now,
where is the romance in all that?"
"Oh, there isn't any, when
you put it that way," gasped
Anne, rather as if somebody had
thrown cold water over her. "I
suppose that's how it looks in
prose. But it's very different
if you look at it through poetry.
. .and _I_ think it's nicer.
. ." Anne recovered herself and
her eyes shone and her cheeks
flushed. . ."to look at it through
at the radiant young face and
further sarcastic comments. Perhaps
some realization came to her
that after all it was better
to have, like Anne, "the vision
and the faculty divine". . .that
gift which the world cannot bestow
or take away, of looking at life
through some transfiguring. .
.or revealing?. . .medium, whereby
everything seemed apparelled
in celestial light, wearing a
glory and a freshness not visible
to those who, like herself and
Charlotta the Fourth, looked
at things only through prose.
"When's the wedding to be?" she
asked after a pause.
"The last Wednesday
in August. They are to be married
garden under the honeysuckle
trellis. . .the very spot where
Mr. Irving proposed to her twenty-five
years ago. Marilla, that IS romantic,
even in prose. There's to be
nobody there except Mrs. Irving
and Paul and Gilbert and Diana
and I, and Miss Lavendar's cousins.
And they will leave on the six
o'clock train for a trip to the
Pacific coast. When they come
back in the fall Paul and Charlotta
the Fourth are to go up to Boston
to live with them. But Echo Lodge
is to be left just as it is.
. .only of course they'll sell
the hens and cow, and board up
the windows. . .and every summer
they're coming down to live in
it. I'm so glad. It would have
hurt me dreadfully next winter
at Redmond to think of that dear
stone house all stripped and
deserted, with empty rooms. .
.or far worse still, with other
people living in it. But I can
think of it now, just as I've
always seen it, waiting happily
for the summer to bring life
and laughter back to it again."
There was more romance in the
world than that which had fallen
to the share of the middle-aged
lovers of the stone house. Anne
stumbled suddenly on it one evening
when she went over to Orchard
Slope by the wood cut and came
out into the Barry garden. Diana
Barry and Fred Wright were standing
together under the big willow.
Diana was leaning against the
gray trunk, her lashes cast down
on very crimson cheeks. One hand
was held by Fred, who stood with
his face bent toward her, stammering
something in low earnest tones.
There were no other people in
the world except their two selves
at that magic moment; so neither
of them saw Anne, who, after
one dazed glance of comprehension,
turned and sped noiselessly back
through the spruce wood, never
stopping till she gained her
own gable room, where she sat
breathlessly down by her window
and tried to collect her scattered
"Diana and Fred are in love
with each other," she gasped. "Oh,
it does seem so. . .so. . .so
HOPELESSLY grown up."
Anne, of late,
had not been without her suspicions
was proving false to the melancholy
Byronic hero of her early dreams.
But as "things seen are mightier
than things heard," or suspected,
the realization that it was actually
so came to her with almost the
shock of perfect surprise. This
was succeeded by a queer, little
lonely feeling. . .as if, somehow,
Diana had gone forward into a
new world, shutting a gate behind
her, leaving Anne on the outside.
"Things are changing so fast
it almost frightens me," Anne
thought, a little sadly. "And
I'm afraid that this can't help
making some difference between
Diana and me. I'm sure I can't
tell her all my secrets after
this. . .she might tell Fred.
And what CAN she see in Fred?
He's very nice and jolly. . .but
he's just Fred Wright."
It is always
a very puzzling question. .
.what can somebody
see in somebody else? But how
fortunate after all that it is
so, for if everybody saw alike.
. .well, in that case, as the
old Indian said, "Everybody would
want my squaw." It was plain
that Diana DID see something
in Fred Wright, however Anne's
eyes might be holden. Diana came
to Green Gables the next evening,
a pensive, shy young lady, and
told Anne the whole story in
the dusky seclusion of the east
gable. Both girls cried and kissed
"I'm so happy," said Diana, "but
it does seem ridiculous to think
of me being engaged."
"What is it really like to
be engaged?" asked Anne curiously.
"Well, that all depends on
who you're engaged to," answered
Diana, with that maddening air
of superior wisdom always assumed
by those who are engaged over
those who are not. "It's perfectly
lovely to be engaged to Fred.
. .but I think it would be simply
horrid to be engaged to anyone
"There's not much comfort for
the rest of us in that, seeing
that there is only one Fred," laughed
"Oh, Anne, you don't understand," said
Diana in vexation. "I didn't
mean THAT. . .it's so hard to
explain. Never mind, you'll understand
sometime, when your own turn
dearest of Dianas, I understand
now. What is an
imagination for if not to enable
you to peep at life through other
"You must be
my bridesmaid, you know, Anne.
Promise me that.
. . wherever you may be when
"I'll come from the ends of
the earth if necessary," promised
"Of course, it won't be for
ever so long yet," said Diana,
blushing. "Three years at the
very least. . .for I'm only eighteen
and mother says no daughter of
hers shall be married before
she's twenty-one. Besides, Fred's
father is going to buy the Abraham
Fletcher farm for him and he
says he's got to have it two
thirds paid for before he'll
give it to him in his own name.
But three years isn't any too
much time to get ready for housekeeping,
for I haven't a speck of fancy
work made yet. But I'm going
to begin crocheting doilies tomorrow.
Myra Gillis had thirty-seven
doilies when she was married
and I'm determined I shall have
as many as she had."
"I suppose it would be perfectly
impossible to keep house with
only thirty-six doilies," conceded
Anne, with a solemn face but
Diana looked hurt.
"I didn't think you'd make
fun of me, Anne," she said reproachfully.
"Dearest, I wasn't making fun
of you," cried Anne repentantly. "I
was only teasing you a bit. I
think you'll make the sweetest
little housekeeper in the world.
And I think it's perfectly lovely
of you to be planning already
for your home o'dreams."
Anne had no
sooner uttered the phrase, "home o'dreams," than
it captivated her fancy and she
immediately began the erection
of one of her own. It was, of
course, tenanted by an ideal
master, dark, proud, and melancholy;
but oddly enough, Gilbert Blythe
persisted in hanging about too,
helping her arrange pictures,
lay out gardens, and accomplish
sundry other tasks which a proud
and melancholy hero evidently
considered beneath his dignity.
Anne tried to banish Gilbert's
image from her castle in Spain
but, somehow, he went on being
there, so Anne, being in a hurry,
gave up the attempt and pursued
her aerial architecture with
such success that her "home o'dreams" was
built and furnished before Diana
"I suppose, Anne, you must
think it's funny I should like
Fred so well when he's so different
from the kind of man I've always
said I would marry. . .the tall,
slender kind? But somehow I wouldn't
want Fred to be tall and slender.
. .because, don't you see, he
wouldn't be Fred then. Of course," added
Diana rather dolefully, "we will
be a dreadfully pudgy couple.
But after all that's better than
one of us being short and fat
and the other tall and lean,
like Morgan Sloane and his wife.
Mrs. Lynde says it always makes
her think of the long and short
of it when she sees them together."
"Well," said Anne to herself
that night, as she brushed her
hair before her gilt framed mirror, "I
am glad Diana is so happy and
satisfied. But when my turn comes.
. .if it ever does. . .I do hope
there'll be something a little
more thrilling about it. But
then Diana thought so too, once.
I've heard her say time and again
she'd never get engaged any poky
commonplace way. . .he'd HAVE
to do something splendid to win
her. But she has changed. Perhaps
I'll change too. But I won't.
. .and I'm determined I won't.
Oh, I think these engagements
are dreadfully unsettling things
when they happen to your intimate