The Complete „Anne of Green Gables” Series. MultiBook - Lucy Maud Montgomery - ebook

The Complete „Anne of Green Gables” Series. MultiBook ebook

Lucy Maud Montgomery

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One of the most famous novels of the Canadian writer Lucy Mod Montgomery. A single brother and sister living on a farm decide to adopt a boy from a shelter in Nova Scotia so that he becomes an au pair. But due to a misunderstanding, on the island of Prince Edward, eleven-year-old Anne, a tireless inventor and a cheerful seeker of adventures, who will forever change their lives, falls. The multibook includes the most read novels of the author, such as: „Anne of Green Gables”, „Anne of Avonlea”, „Anne of the Island”, „Anne of Windy Poplars”, „Anne’s House of Dreams”, „Anne of Ingleside”, „Rainbow Valley”, „Rilla of Ingleside”, „Chronicles of Avonlea”, „Further Chronicles of Avonlea”.

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Contents

Anne of Green Gables

CHAPTER I. Mrs. Rachel Lynde is Surprised

CHAPTER II. Matthew Cuthbert is surprised

CHAPTER III. Marilla Cuthbert is Surprised

CHAPTER IV. Morning at Green Gables

CHAPTER V. Anne’s History

CHAPTER VI. Marilla Makes Up Her Mind

CHAPTER VII. Anne Says Her Prayers

CHAPTER VIII. Anne’s Bringing-up Is Begun

CHAPTER IX. Mrs. Rachel Lynde Is Properly Horrified

CHAPTER X. Anne’s Apology

CHAPTER XI. Anne’s Impressions of Sunday-School

CHAPTER XII. A Solemn Vow and Promise

CHAPTER XIII. The Delights of Anticipation

CHAPTER XIV. Anne’s Confession

CHAPTER XV. A Tempest in the School Teapot

CHAPTER XVI. Diana Is Invited to Tea with Tragic Results

CHAPTER XVII. A New Interest in Life

CHAPTER XVIII. Anne to the Rescue

CHAPTER XIX. A Concert a Catastrophe and a Confession

CHAPTER XX. A Good Imagination Gone Wrong

CHAPTER XXI. A New Departure in Flavorings

CHAPTER XXII. Anne is Invited Out to Tea

CHAPTER XXIII. Anne Comes to Grief in an Affair of Honor

CHAPTER XXIV. Miss Stacy and Her Pupils Get Up a Concert

CHAPTER XXV. Matthew Insists on Puffed Sleeves

CHAPTER XXVI. The Story Club Is Formed

CHAPTER XXVII. Vanity and Vexation of Spirit

CHAPTER XXVIII. An Unfortunate Lily Maid

CHAPTER XXIX. An Epoch in Anne’s Life

CHAPTER XXX. The Queens Class Is Organized

CHAPTER XXXI. Where the Brook and River Meet

CHAPTER XXXII. The Pass List Is Out

CHAPTER XXXIII. The Hotel Concert

CHAPTER XXXIV. A Queen’s Girl

CHAPTER XXXV. The Winter at Queen’s

CHAPTER XXXVI. The Glory and the Dream

CHAPTER XXXVII. The Reaper Whose Name Is Death

CHAPTER XXXVIII. The Bend in the road

Anne of Avonlea

I. An Irate Neighbor

II. Selling in Haste and Repenting at Leisure

III. Mr. Harrison at Home

IV. Different Opinions

V. A Full-fledged Schoolma’am

VI. All Sorts and Conditions of Men . . and women

VII. The Pointing of Duty

VIII. Marilla Adopts Twins

IX. A Question of Color

X. Davy in Search of a Sensation

XI. Facts and Fancies

XII. A Jonah Day

XIII. A Golden Picnic

XIV. A Danger Averted

XV. The Beginning of Vacation

XVI. The Substance of Things Hoped For

XVII. A Chapter of Accidents

XVIII. An Adventure on the Tory Road

XIX. Just a Happy Day

XX. The Way It Often Happens

XXI. Sweet Miss Lavendar

XXII. Odds and Ends

XXIII. Miss Lavendar’s Romance

XXIV. A Prophet in His Own Country

XXV. An Avonlea Scandal

XXVI. Around the Bend

XXVII. An Afternoon at the Stone House

XXVIII. The Prince Comes Back to the Enchanted Palace

XXIX. Poetry and Prose

XXX. A Wedding at the Stone House

Anne of the Island

Chapter I

Chapter II

Chapter III

Chapter IV

Chapter V

Chapter VI

Chapter VII

Chapter VIII

Chapter IX

Chapter X

Chapter XI

Chapter XII

Chapter XIII

Chapter XIV

Chapter XV

Chapter XVI

Chapter XVII

Chapter XVIII

Chapter XIX

Chapter XX

Chapter XXI

Chapter XXII

Chapter XXIII

Chapter XXIV

Chapter XXV

Chapter XXVI

Chapter XXVII

Chapter XXVIII

Chapter XXIX

Chapter XXX

Chapter XXXI

Chapter XXXII

Chapter XXXIII

Chapter XXXIV

Chapter XXXV

Chapter XXXVI

Chapter XXXVII

Chapter XXXVIII

Chapter XXXIX

Chapter XL

Chapter XLI

Anne of Windy Poplars

The First Year

The Second Year

The Third Year

Anne’s House of Dreams

IN THE GARRET OF GREEN GABLES

THE HOUSE OF DREAMS

THE LAND OF DREAMS AMONG

THE FIRST BRIDE OF GREEN GABLES

THE HOME COMING

CAPTAIN JIM

THE SCHOOLMASTER'S BRIDE

MISS CORNELIA BRYANT COMES TO CALL

AN EVENING AT FOUR WINDS POINT

LESLIE MOORE

HE STORY OF LESLIE MOORE

LESLIE COMES OVER

A GHOSTLY EVENING

NOVEMBER DAYS

CHRISTMAS AT FOUR WINDS

NEW YEAR'S EVE AT THE LIGHT

A FOUR WINDS WINTER

SPRING DAYS

DAWN AND DUSK

LOST MARGARET

BARRIERS SWEPT AWAY

MISS CORNELIA ARRANGES MATTERS

OWEN FORD COMES

THE LIFE-BOOK OF CAPTAIN JIM

THE WRITING OF THE BOOK

OWEN FORD'S CONFESSION

ON THE SAND BAR

ODDS AND ENDS

GILBERT AND ANNE DISAGREE

LESLIE DECIDES

THE TRUTH MAKES FREE

MISS CORNELIA DISCUSSES THE AFFAIR

LESLIE RETURNS

THE SHIP O'DREAMS COMES TO HARBOR

POLITICS AT FOUR WINDS

BEAUTY FOR ASHES

MISS CORNELIA MAKES A STARTLING ANNOUNCEMENT

RED ROSES

CAPTAIN JIM CROSSES THE BAR

FAREWELL TO THE HOUSE OF DREAMS

Anne of Ingleside

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

31

32

33

34

35

36

37

38

39

40

41

Rainbow Valley

CHAPTER I. HOME AGAIN

CHAPTER II. SHEER GOSSIP

CHAPTER III. THE INGLESIDE CHILDREN

CHAPTER IV. THE MANSE CHILDREN

CHAPTER V. THE ADVENT OF MARY VANCE

CHAPTER VI. MARY STAYS AT THE MANSE

CHAPTER VII. A FISHY EPISODE

CHAPTER VIII. MISS CORNELIA INTERVENES

CHAPTER IX. UNA INTERVENES

CHAPTER X. THE MANSE GIRLS CLEAN HOUSE

CHAPTER XI. A DREADFUL DISCOVERY

CHAPTER XII. AN EXPLANATION AND A DARE

CHAPTER XIII. THE HOUSE ON THE HILL

CHAPTER XIV. MRS. ALEC DAVIS MAKES A CALL

CHAPTER XV. MORE GOSSIP

CHAPTER XVI. TIT FOR TAT

CHAPTER XVII. A DOUBLE VICTORY

CHAPTER XVIII. MARY BRINGS EVIL TIDINGS

CHAPTER XIX. POOR ADAM!

CHAPTER XX. FAITH MAKES A FRIEND

CHAPTER XXI. THE IMPOSSIBLE WORD

CHAPTER XXII. ST. GEORGE KNOWS ALL ABOUT IT

CHAPTER XXIII. THE GOOD-CONDUCT CLUB

CHAPTER XXIV. A CHARITABLE IMPULSE

CHAPTER XXV. ANOTHER SCANDAL AND ANOTHER “EXPLANATION”

CHAPTER XXVI. MISS CORNELIA GETS A NEW POINT OF VIEW

CHAPTER XXVII. A SACRED CONCERT

CHAPTER XXVIII. A FAST DAY

CHAPTER XXIX. A WEIRD TALE

CHAPTER XXX. THE GHOST ON THE DYKE

CHAPTER XXXI. CARL DOES PENANCE

CHAPTER XXXII. TWO STUBBORN PEOPLE

CHAPTER XXXIII. CARL I. NO. WHIPPED

CHAPTER XXXIV. UNA VISITS THE HILL

CHAPTER XXXV. “LET THE PIPER COME”

Rilla of Ingleside

CHAPTER I. GLEN "NOTES" AND OTHER MATTERS

CHAPTER II. DEW OF MORNING

CHAPTER III. MOONLIT MIRTH

CHAPTER IV. THE PIPER PIPES

CHAPTER V. "THE SOUND OF A GOING"

CHAPTER VI. SUSAN, RILLA, AND DOG MONDAY MAKE A RESOLUTION

CHAPTER VII. A WAR-BABY AND A SOUP TUREEN

CHAPTER VIII. RILLA DECIDES

CHAPTER IX. DOC HAS A MISADVENTURE

CHAPTER X. THE TROUBLES OF RILLA

CHAPTER XI. DARK AND BRIGHT

CHAPTER XII. IN THE DAYS OF LANGEMARCK

CHAPTER XIII. A SLICE OF HUMBLE PIE

CHAPTER XIV. THE VALLEY OF DECISION

CHAPTER XV. UNTIL THE DAY BREAK

CHAPTER XVI. REALISM AND ROMANCE

CHAPTER XVII. THE WEEKS WEAR BY

CHAPTER XVIII. A WAR-WEDDING

CHAPTER XIX. "THEY SHALL NOT PASS"

CHAPTER XX. NORMAN DOUGLAS SPEAKS OUT IN MEETING

CHAPTER XXI. "LOVE AFFAIRS ARE HORRIBLE"

CHAPTER XXII. LITTLE DOG MONDAY KNOWS

CHAPTER XXIII. "AND SO, GOODNIGHT"

CHAPTER XXIV. MARY IS JUST IN TIME

CHAPTER XXV. SHIRLEY GOES

CHAPTER XXVI. SUSAN HAS A PROPOSAL OF MARRIAGE

CHAPTER XXVII. WAITING

CHAPTER XXVIII. BLACK SUNDAY

CHAPTER XXIX. "WOUNDED AND MISSING"

CHAPTER XXX. THE TURNING OF THE TIDE

CHAPTER XXXI. MRS. MATILDA PITTMAN

CHAPTER XXXII. WORD FROM JEM

CHAPTER XXXIII. VICTORY!

CHAPTER XXXIV. MR. HYDE GOES TO HIS OWN PLACE AND SUSAN TAKES A HONEYMOON

CHAPTER XXXV. "RILLA-MY-RILLA!"

Chronicles of Avonlea

I. The Hurrying of Ludovic

II. Old Lady Lloyd

III. Each In His Own Tongue

IV. Little Joscelyn

V. The Winning of Lucinda

VI. Old Man Shaw’s Girl

VII. Aunt Olivia’s Beau

VIII. The Quarantine at Alexander Abraham’s

IX. Pa Sloane’s Purchase

X. The Courting of Prissy Strong

XI. The Miracle at Carmody

XII. The End of a Quarrel

Further Chronicles of Avonlea

I. Aunt Cynthia's Persian Cat

II. The Materializing of Cecil

III. Her Father's Daughter

IV. Jane's Baby

V. The Dream-Child

VI. The Brother Who Failed

VII. The Return of Hester

VIII. The Little Brown Book of Miss Emily

IX. Sara's Way

X. The Son of His Mother

XI. The Education of Betty

XII. In Her Selfless Mood

XIII. The Conscience Case of David Bell

XIV. Only a Common Fellow

XV. Tannis of the Flats

Anne of Green Gables

CHAPTER I. Mrs. Rachel Lynde is Surprised

MRS. Rachel Lynde lived just where the Avonlea main road dipped down into a little hollow, fringed with alders and ladies’ eardrops and traversed by a brook that had its source away back in the woods of the old Cuthbert place; it was reputed to be an intricate, headlong brook in its earlier course through those woods, with dark secrets of pool and cascade; but by the time it reached Lynde’s Hollow it was a quiet, well-conducted little stream, for not even a brook could run past Mrs. Rachel Lynde’s door without due regard for decency and decorum; it probably was conscious that Mrs. Rachel was sitting at her window, keeping a sharp eye on everything that passed, from brooks and children up, and that if she noticed anything odd or out of place she would never rest until she had ferreted out the whys and wherefores thereof.

There are plenty of people in Avonlea and out of it, who can attend closely to their neighbor’s business by dint of neglecting their own; but Mrs. Rachel Lynde was one of those capable creatures who can manage their own concerns and those of other folks into the bargain. She was a notable housewife; her work was always done and well done; she “ran” the Sewing Circle, helped run the Sunday-school, and was the strongest prop of the Church Aid Society and Foreign Missions Auxiliary. Yet with all this Mrs. Rachel found abundant time to sit for hours at her kitchen window, knitting “cotton warp” quilts–she had knitted sixteen of them, as Avonlea housekeepers were wont to tell in awed voices–and keeping a sharp eye on the main road that crossed the hollow and wound up the steep red hill beyond. Since Avonlea occupied a little triangular peninsula jutting out into the Gulf of St. Lawrence with water on two sides of it, anybody who went out of it or into it had to pass over that hill road and so run the unseen gauntlet of Mrs. Rachel’s all-seeing eye.

She was sitting there one afternoon in early June. The sun was coming in at the window warm and bright; the orchard on the slope below the house was in a bridal flush of pinky-white bloom, hummed over by a myriad of bees. Thomas Lynde–a meek little man whom Avonlea people called “Rachel Lynde’s husband”–was sowing his late turnip seed on the hill field beyond the barn; and Matthew Cuthbert ought to have been sowing his on the big red brook field away over by Green Gables. Mrs. Rachel knew that he ought because she had heard him tell Peter Morrison the evening before in William J. Blair’s store over at Carmody that he meant to sow his turnip seed the next afternoon. Peter had asked him, of course, for Matthew Cuthbert had never been known to volunteer information about anything in his whole life.

And yet here was Matthew Cuthbert, at half-past three on the afternoon of a busy day, placidly driving over the hollow and up the hill; moreover, he wore a white collar and his best suit of clothes, which was plain proof that he was going out of Avonlea; and he had the buggy and the sorrel mare, which betokened that he was going a considerable distance. Now, where was Matthew Cuthbert going and why was he going there?

Had it been any other man in Avonlea, Mrs. Rachel, deftly putting this and that together, might have given a pretty good guess as to both questions. But Matthew so rarely went from home that it must be something pressing and unusual which was taking him; he was the shyest man alive and hated to have to go among strangers or to any place where he might have to talk. Matthew, dressed up with a white collar and driving in a buggy, was something that didn’t happen often. Mrs. Rachel, ponder as she might, could make nothing of it and her afternoon’s enjoyment was spoiled.

“I’ll just step over to Green Gables after tea and find out from Marilla where he’s gone and why,” the worthy woman finally concluded. “He doesn’t generally go to town this time of year and he never visits; if he’d run out of turnip seed he wouldn’t dress up and take the buggy to go for more; he wasn’t driving fast enough to be going for a doctor. Yet something must have happened since last night to start him off. I’m clean puzzled, that’s what, and I won’t know a minute’s peace of mind or conscience until I know what has taken Matthew Cuthbert out of Avonlea today.”

Accordingly after tea Mrs. Rachel set out; she had not far to go; the big, rambling, orchard-embowered house where the Cuthberts lived was a scant quarter of a mile up the road from Lynde’s Hollow. To be sure, the long lane made it a good deal further. Matthew Cuthbert’s father, as shy and silent as his son after him, had got as far away as he possibly could from his fellow men without actually retreating into the woods when he founded his homestead. Green Gables was built at the furthest edge of his cleared land and there it was to this day, barely visible from the main road along which all the other Avonlea houses were so sociably situated. Mrs. Rachel Lynde did not call living in such a place living at all.

“It’s just staying, that’s what,” she said as she stepped along the deep-rutted, grassy lane bordered with wild rose bushes. “It’s no wonder Matthew and Marilla are both a little odd, living away back here by themselves. Trees aren’t much company, though dear knows if they were there’d be enough of them. I’d ruther look at people. To be sure, they seem contented enough; but then, I suppose, they’re used to it. A body can get used to anything, even to being hanged, as the Irishman said.”

With this Mrs. Rachel stepped out of the lane into the backyard of Green Gables. Very green and neat and precise was that yard, set about on one side with great patriarchal willows and the other with prim Lombardies. Not a stray stick nor stone was to be seen, for Mrs. Rachel would have seen it if there had been. Privately she was of the opinion that Marilla Cuthbert swept that yard over as often as she swept her house. One could have eaten a meal off the ground without over-brimming the proverbial peck of dirt.

Mrs. Rachel rapped smartly at the kitchen door and stepped in when bidden to do so. The kitchen at Green Gables was a cheerful apartment–or would have been cheerful if it had not been so painfully clean as to give it something of the appearance of an unused parlor. Its windows looked east and west; through the west one, looking out on the back yard, came a flood of mellow June sunlight; but the east one, whence you got a glimpse of the bloom white cherry-trees in the left orchard and nodding, slender birches down in the hollow by the brook, was greened over by a tangle of vines. Here sat Marilla Cuthbert, when she sat at all, always slightly distrustful of sunshine, which seemed to her too dancing and irresponsible a thing for a world which was meant to be taken seriously; and here she sat now, knitting, and the table behind her was laid for supper.

Mrs. Rachel, before she had fairly closed the door, had taken a mental note of everything that was on that table. There were three plates laid, so that Marilla must be expecting some one home with Matthew to tea; but the dishes were everyday dishes and there was only crab-apple preserves and one kind of cake, so that the expected company could not be any particular company. Yet what of Matthew’s white collar and the sorrel mare? Mrs. Rachel was getting fairly dizzy with this unusual mystery about quiet, unmysterious Green Gables.

“Good evening, Rachel,” Marilla said briskly. “This is a real fine evening, isn’t it? Won’t you sit down? How are all your folks?”

Something that for lack of any other name might be called friendship existed and always had existed between Marilla Cuthbert and Mrs. Rachel, in spite of–or perhaps because of–their dissimilarity.

Marilla was a tall, thin woman, with angles and without curves; her dark hair showed some gray streaks and was always twisted up in a hard little knot behind with two wire hairpins stuck aggressively through it. She looked like a woman of narrow experience and rigid conscience, which she was; but there was a saving something about her mouth which, if it had been ever so slightly developed, might have been considered indicative of a sense of humor.

“We’re all pretty well,” said Mrs. Rachel. “I was kind of afraid you weren’t, though, when I saw Matthew starting off today. I thought maybe he was going to the doctor’s.”

Marilla’s lips twitched understandingly. She had expected Mrs. Rachel up; she had known that the sight of Matthew jaunting off so unaccountably would be too much for her neighbor’s curiosity.

“Oh, no, I’m quite well although I had a bad headache yesterday,” she said. “Matthew went to Bright River. We’re getting a little boy from an orphan asylum in Nova Scotia and he’s coming on the train tonight.”

If Marilla had said that Matthew had gone to Bright River to meet a kangaroo from Australia Mrs. Rachel could not have been more astonished. She was actually stricken dumb for five seconds. It was unsupposable that Marilla was making fun of her, but Mrs. Rachel was almost forced to suppose it.

“Are you in earnest, Marilla?” she demanded when voice returned to her.

“Yes, of course,” said Marilla, as if getting boys from orphan asylums in Nova Scotia were part of the usual spring work on any well-regulated Avonlea farm instead of being an unheard of innovation.

Mrs. Rachel felt that she had received a severe mental jolt. She thought in exclamation points. A boy! Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert of all people adopting a boy! From an orphan asylum! Well, the world was certainly turning upside down! She would be surprised at nothing after this! Nothing!

“What on earth put such a notion into your head?” she demanded disapprovingly.

This had been done without her advice being asked, and must perforce be disapproved.

“Well, we’ve been thinking about it for some time–all winter in fact,” returned Marilla. “Mrs. Alexander Spencer was up here one day before Christmas and she said she was going to get a little girl from the asylum over in Hopeton in the spring. Her cousin lives there and Mrs. Spencer has visited here and knows all about it. So Matthew and I have talked it over off and on ever since. We thought we’d get a boy. Matthew is getting up in years, you know–he’s sixty–and he isn’t so spry as he once was. His heart troubles him a good deal. And you know how desperate hard it’s got to be to get hired help. There’s never anybody to be had but those stupid, half-grown little French boys; and as soon as you do get one broke into your ways and taught something he’s up and off to the lobster canneries or the States. At first Matthew suggested getting a Home boy. But I said ‘no’ flat to that. ‘They may be all right–I’m not saying they’re not–but no London street Arabs for me,’ I said. ‘Give me a native born at least. There’ll be a risk, no matter who we get. But I’ll feel easier in my mind and sleep sounder at nights if we get a born Canadian.’ So in the end we decided to ask Mrs. Spencer to pick us out one when she went over to get her little girl. We heard last week she was going, so we sent her word by Richard Spencer’s folks at Carmody to bring us a smart, likely boy of about ten or eleven. We decided that would be the best age–old enough to be of some use in doing chores right off and young enough to be trained up proper. We mean to give him a good home and schooling. We had a telegram from Mrs. Alexander Spencer today–the mail-man brought it from the station–saying they were coming on the five-thirty train tonight. So Matthew went to Bright River to meet him. Mrs. Spencer will drop him off there. Of course she goes on to White Sands station herself.”

Mrs. Rachel prided herself on always speaking her mind; she proceeded to speak it now, having adjusted her mental attitude to this amazing piece of news.

“Well, Marilla, I’ll just tell you plain that I think you’re doing a mighty foolish thing–a risky thing, that’s what. You don’t know what you’re getting. You’re bringing a strange child into your house and home and you don’t know a single thing about him nor what his disposition is like nor what sort of parents he had nor how he’s likely to turn out. Why, it was only last week I read in the paper how a man and his wife up west of the Island took a boy out of an orphan asylum and he set fire to the house at night–set it on purpose, Marilla–and nearly burnt them to a crisp in their beds. And I know another case where an adopted boy used to suck the eggs–they couldn’t break him of it. If you had asked my advice in the matter–which you didn’t do, Marilla–I’d have said for mercy’s sake not to think of such a thing, that’s what.”

This Job’s comforting seemed neither to offend nor to alarm Marilla. She knitted steadily on.

“I don’t deny there’s something in what you say, Rachel. I’ve had some qualms myself. But Matthew was terrible set on it. I could see that, so I gave in. It’s so seldom Matthew sets his mind on anything that when he does I always feel it’s my duty to give in. And as for the risk, there’s risks in pretty near everything a body does in this world. There’s risks in people’s having children of their own if it comes to that–they don’t always turn out well. And then Nova Scotia is right close to the Island. It isn’t as if we were getting him from England or the States. He can’t be much different from ourselves.”

“Well, I hope it will turn out all right,” said Mrs. Rachel in a tone that plainly indicated her painful doubts. “Only don’t say I didn’t warn you if he burns Green Gables down or puts strychnine in the well–I heard of a case over in New Brunswick where an orphan asylum child did that and the whole family died in fearful agonies. Only, it was a girl in that instance.”

“Well, we’re not getting a girl,” said Marilla, as if poisoning wells were a purely feminine accomplishment and not to be dreaded in the case of a boy. “I’d never dream of taking a girl to bring up. I wonder at Mrs. Alexander Spencer for doing it. But there, she wouldn’t shrink from adopting a whole orphan asylum if she took it into her head.”

Mrs. Rachel would have liked to stay until Matthew came home with his imported orphan. But reflecting that it would be a good two hours at least before his arrival she concluded to go up the road to Robert Bell’s and tell the news. It would certainly make a sensation second to none, and Mrs. Rachel dearly loved to make a sensation. So she took herself away, somewhat to Marilla’s relief, for the latter felt her doubts and fears reviving under the influence of Mrs. Rachel’s pessimism.

“Well, of all things that ever were or will be!” ejaculated Mrs. Rachel when she was safely out in the lane. “It does really seem as if I must be dreaming. Well, I’m sorry for that poor young one and no mistake. Matthew and Marilla don’t know anything about children and they’ll expect him to be wiser and steadier that his own grandfather, if so be’s he ever had a grandfather, which is doubtful. It seems uncanny to think of a child at Green Gables somehow; there’s never been one there, for Matthew and Marilla were grown up when the new house was built–if they ever were children, which is hard to believe when one looks at them. I wouldn’t be in that orphan’s shoes for anything. My, but I pity him, that’s what.”

So said Mrs. Rachel to the wild rose bushes out of the fulness of her heart; but if she could have seen the child who was waiting patiently at the Bright River station at that very moment her pity would have been still deeper and more profound.

CHAPTER II. Matthew Cuthbert is surprised

MATTHEW Cuthbert and the sorrel mare jogged comfortably over the eight miles to Bright River. It was a pretty road, running along between snug farmsteads, with now and again a bit of balsamy fir wood to drive through or a hollow where wild plums hung out their filmy bloom. The air was sweet with the breath of many apple orchards and the meadows sloped away in the distance to horizon mists of pearl and purple; while

     “The little birds sang as if it were      The one day of summer in all the year.”  

Matthew enjoyed the drive after his own fashion, except during the moments when he met women and had to nod to them–for in Prince Edward island you are supposed to nod to all and sundry you meet on the road whether you know them or not.

Matthew dreaded all women except Marilla and Mrs. Rachel; he had an uncomfortable feeling that the mysterious creatures were secretly laughing at him. He may have been quite right in thinking so, for he was an odd-looking personage, with an ungainly figure and long iron-gray hair that touched his stooping shoulders, and a full, soft brown beard which he had worn ever since he was twenty. In fact, he had looked at twenty very much as he looked at sixty, lacking a little of the grayness.

When he reached Bright River there was no sign of any train; he thought he was too early, so he tied his horse in the yard of the small Bright River hotel and went over to the station house. The long platform was almost deserted; the only living creature in sight being a girl who was sitting on a pile of shingles at the extreme end. Matthew, barely noting that it was a girl, sidled past her as quickly as possible without looking at her. Had he looked he could hardly have failed to notice the tense rigidity and expectation of her attitude and expression. She was sitting there waiting for something or somebody and, since sitting and waiting was the only thing to do just then, she sat and waited with all her might and main.

Matthew encountered the stationmaster locking up the ticket office preparatory to going home for supper, and asked him if the five-thirty train would soon be along.

“The five-thirty train has been in and gone half an hour ago,” answered that brisk official. “But there was a passenger dropped off for you–a little girl. She’s sitting out there on the shingles. I asked her to go into the ladies’ waiting room, but she informed me gravely that she preferred to stay outside. ‘There was more scope for imagination,’ she said. She’s a case, I should say.”

“I’m not expecting a girl,” said Matthew blankly. “It’s a boy I’ve come for. He should be here. Mrs. Alexander Spencer was to bring him over from Nova Scotia for me.”

The stationmaster whistled.

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