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Anne's House of Dreams
by Lucy Maud Montgomery
"To Laura, in memory of the olden time."
IN THE GARRET OF GREEN GABLES
"Thanks be, I'm done with geometry, learning or teaching it,"
said Anne Shirley, a trifle vindictively, as she thumped
a somewhat battered volume of Euclid into a big chest of books,
banged the lid in triumph, and sat down upon it, looking at
Diana Wright across the Green Gables garret, with gray eyes
that were like a morning sky.
The garret was a shadowy, suggestive, delightful place,
as all garrets should be. Through the open window, by
which Anne sat, blew the sweet, scented, sun-warm air
of the August afternoon; outside, poplar boughs rustled
and tossed in the wind; beyond them were the woods,
where Lover's Lane wound its enchanted path, and the
old apple orchard which still bore its rosy harvests
munificently. And, over all, was a great mountain
range of snowy clouds in the blue southern sky.
Through the other window was glimpsed a distant,
white-capped, blue sea--the beautiful St. Lawrence
Gulf, on which floats, like a jewel, Abegweit, whose
softer, sweeter Indian name has long been forsaken for
the more prosaic one of Prince Edward Island.
Diana Wright, three years older than when we last saw
her, had grown somewhat matronly in the intervening
time. But her eyes were as black and brilliant, her
cheeks as rosy, and her dimples as enchanting, as in
the long-ago days when she and Anne Shirley had vowed
eternal friendship in the garden at Orchard Slope. In
her arms she held a small, sleeping, black-curled
creature, who for two happy years had been known to the
world of Avonlea as "Small Anne Cordelia." Avonlea
folks knew why Diana had called her Anne, of course,
but Avonlea folks were puzzled by the Cordelia. There
had never been a Cordelia in the Wright or Barry
connections. Mrs. Harmon Andrews said she supposed
Diana had found the name in some trashy novel, and
wondered that Fred hadn't more sense than to allow it.
But Diana and Anne smiled at each other. They knew how
Small Anne Cordelia had come by her name.
"You always hated geometry," said Diana with a
retrospective smile. "I should think you'd be real
glad to be through with teaching, anyhow."
"Oh, I've always liked teaching, apart from geometry.
These past three years in Summerside have been very
pleasant ones. Mrs. Harmon Andrews told me when I came
home that I wouldn't likely find married life as much
better than teaching as I expected. Evidently Mrs.
Harmon is of Hamlet's opinion that it may be better to
bear the ills that we have than fly to others that we
know not of."
Anne's laugh, as blithe and irresistible as of yore,
with an added note of sweetness and maturity, rang
through the garret. Marilla in the kitchen below,
compounding blue plum preserve, heard it and smiled;
then sighed to think how seldom that dear laugh would
echo through Green Gables in the years to come.
Nothing in her life had ever given Marilla so much
happiness as the knowledge that Anne was going to marry
Gilbert Blythe; but every joy must bring with it its
little shadow of sorrow. During the three Summerside
years Anne had been home often for vacations and
weekends; but, after this, a bi-annual visit would be
as much as could be hoped for.
"You needn't let what Mrs. Harmon says worry you,"
said Diana, with the calm assurance of the four-years
matron. "Married life has its ups and downs, of
course. You mustn't expect that everything will always
go smoothly. But I can assure you, Anne, that it's a
happy life, when you're married to the right man."
Anne smothered a smile. Diana's airs of vast
experience always amused her a little.
"I daresay I'll be putting them on too, when I've been
married four years," she thought. "Surely my sense of
humor will preserve me from it, though."
"Is it settled yet where you are going to live?" asked
Diana, cuddling Small Anne Cordelia with the
inimitable gesture of motherhood which always sent
through Anne's heart, filled with sweet, unuttered
dreams and hopes, a thrill that was half pure pleasure
and half a strange, ethereal pain.
"Yes. That was what I wanted to tell you when I
'phoned to you to come down today. By the way, I can't
realize that we really have telephones in Avonlea now.
It sounds so preposterously up-to-date and modernish
for this darling, leisurely old place."
"We can thank the A. V. I. S. for them," said Diana.
"We should never have got the line if they hadn't
taken the matter up and carried it through. There was
enough cold water thrown to discourage any society.
But they stuck to it, nevertheless. You did a splendid
thing for Avonlea when you founded that society, Anne.
What fun we did have at our meetings! Will you ever
forget the blue hall and Judson Parker's scheme for
painting medicine advertisements on his fence?"
"I don't know that I'm wholly grateful to the A. V. I.
S. in the matter of the telephone," said Anne. "Oh, I
know it's most convenient-- even more so than our old
device of signalling to each other by flashes of
candlelight! And, as Mrs. Rachel says, `Avonlea must
keep up with the procession, that's what.' But somehow
I feel as if I didn't want Avonlea spoiled by what Mr.
Harrison, when he wants to be witty, calls `modern
inconveniences.' I should like to have it kept always
just as it was in the dear old years. That's
foolish--and sentimental--and impossible. So I shall
immediately become wise and practical and possible.
The telephone, as Mr. Harrison concedes, is `a buster
of a good thing'--even if you do know that probably
half a dozen interested people are listening along the
"That's the worst of it," sighed Diana. "It's so
annoying to hear the receivers going down whenever you
ring anyone up. They say Mrs. Harmon Andrews insisted
that their `phone should be put in their kitchen just
so that she could listen whenever it rang and keep an
eye on the dinner at the same time. Today, when you
called me, I distinctly heard that queer clock of the
Pyes' striking. So no doubt Josie or Gertie was
"Oh, so that is why you said, `You've got a new clock
at Green Gables, haven't you?' I couldn't imagine what
you meant. I heard a vicious click as soon as you had
spoken. I suppose it was the Pye receiver being hung
up with profane energy. Well, never mind the Pyes. As
Mrs. Rachel says, `Pyes they always were and Pyes they
always will be, world without end, amen.' I want to
talk of pleasanter things. It's all settled as to
where my new home shall be."
"Oh, Anne, where? I do hope it's near here."
"No-o-o, that's the drawback. Gilbert is going to
settle at Four Winds Harbor--sixty miles from here."
"Sixty! It might as well be six hundred," sighed
Diana. "I never can get further from home now than
"You'll have to come to Four Winds. It's the most
beautiful harbor on the Island. There's a little
village called Glen St. Mary at its head, and Dr. David
Blythe has been practicing there for fifty years. He
is Gilbert's great-uncle, you know. He is going to
retire, and Gilbert is to take over his practice. Dr.
Blythe is going to keep his house, though, so we shall
have to find a habitation for ourselves. I don't know
yet what it is, or where it will be in reality, but I
have a little house o'dreams all furnished in my
imagination--a tiny, delightful castle in Spain."
"Where are you going for your wedding tour?" asked
"Nowhere. Don't look horrified, Diana dearest. You
suggest Mrs. Harmon Andrews. She, no doubt, will
remark condescendingly that people who can't afford
wedding `towers' are real sensible not to take them;
and then she'll remind me that Jane went to Europe for
hers. I want to spend MY honeymoon at Four Winds in my
own dear house of dreams."
"And you've decided not to have any bridesmaid?"
"There isn't any one to have. You and Phil and
Priscilla and Jane all stole a march on me in the
matter of marriage; and Stella is teaching in
Vancouver. I have no other `kindred soul' and I won't
have a bridesmaid who isn't."
"But you are going to wear a veil, aren't you?" asked
"Yes, indeedy. I shouldn't feel like a bride without
one. I remember telling Matthew, that evening when he
brought me to Green Gables, that I never expected to be
a bride because I was so homely no one would ever want
to marry me--unless some foreign missionary did. I had
an idea then that foreign missionaries couldn't afford
to be finicky in the matter of looks if they wanted a
girl to risk her life among cannibals. You should have
seen the foreign missionary Priscilla married. He was
as handsome and inscrutable as those daydreams we once
planned to marry ourselves, Diana; he was the best
dressed man I ever met, and he raved over Priscilla's
`ethereal, golden beauty.' But of course there are no
cannibals in Japan."
"Your wedding dress is a dream, anyhow," sighed Diana
rapturously. "You'll look like a perfect queen in
it--you're so tall and slender. How DO you keep so
slim, Anne? I'm fatter than ever--I'll soon have no
waist at all."
"Stoutness and slimness seem to be matters of
predestination," said Anne. "At all events, Mrs.
Harmon Andrews can't say to you what she said to me
when I came home from Summerside, `Well, Anne, you're
just about as skinny as ever.' It sounds quite
romantic to be `slender,' but `skinny' has a very
"Mrs. Harmon has been talking about your trousseau.
She admits it's as nice as Jane's, although she says
Jane married a millionaire and you are only marrying a
`poor young doctor without a cent to his name.'"
"My dresses ARE nice. I love pretty things. I
remember the first pretty dress I ever had--the brown
gloria Matthew gave me for our school concert. Before
that everything I had was so ugly. It seemed to me
that I stepped into a new world that night."
"That was the night Gilbert recited `Bingen on the
Rhine,' and looked at you when he said, `There's
another, NOT a sister.' And you were so furious
because he put your pink tissue rose in his breast
pocket! You didn't much imagine then that you would
ever marry him."
"Oh, well, that's another instance of predestination,"
laughed Anne, as they went down the garret stairs.
THE HOUSE OF DREAMS
There was more excitement in the air of Green Gables
than there had ever been before in all its history.
Even Marilla was so excited that she couldn't help
showing it--which was little short of being phenomenal.
"There's never been a wedding in this house," she
said, half apologetically, to Mrs. Rachel Lynde.
"When I was a child I heard an old minister say that a
house was not a real home until it had been consecrated
by a birth, a wedding and a death. We've had deaths
here--my father and mother died here as well as
Matthew; and we've even had a birth here. Long ago,
just after we moved into this house, we had a married
hired man for a little while, and his wife had a baby
here. But there's never been a wedding before. It
does seem so strange to think of Anne being married.
In a way she just seems to me the little girl Matthew
brought home here fourteen years ago. I can't realize
that she's grown up. I shall never forget what I felt
when I saw Matthew bringing in a GIRL. I wonder what
became of the boy we would have got if there hadn't
been a mistake. I wonder what HIS fate was."
"Well, it was a fortunate mistake," said Mrs. Rachel
Lynde, "though, mind you, there was a time I didn't
think so--that evening I came up to see Anne and she
treated us to such a scene. Many things have changed
since then, that's what."
Mrs. Rachel sighed, and then brisked up again. When
weddings were in order Mrs. Rachel was ready to let the
dead past bury its dead.
"I'm going to give Anne two of my cotton warp
spreads," she resumed. "A tobacco-stripe one and an
apple-leaf one. She tells me they're getting to be
real fashionable again. Well, fashion or no fashion, I
don't believe there's anything prettier for a
spare-room bed than a nice apple-leaf spread, that's
what. I must see about getting them bleached. I've
had them sewed up in cotton bags ever since Thomas
died, and no doubt they're an awful color. But
there's a month yet, and dew-bleaching will work
Only a month! Marilla sighed and then said proudly:
"I'm giving Anne that half dozen braided rugs I have
in the garret. I never supposed she'd want
them--they're so old-fashioned, and nobody seems to
want anything but hooked mats now. But she asked me
for them--said she'd rather have them than anything
else for her floors. They ARE pretty. I made them of
the nicest rags, and braided them in stripes. It was
such company these last few winters. And I'll make
her enough blue plum preserve to stock her jam closet
for a year. It seems real strange. Those blue plum
trees hadn't even a blossom for three years, and I
thought they might as well be cut down. And this last
spring they were white, and such a crop of plums I
never remember at Green Gables."
"Well, thank goodness that Anne and Gilbert really are
going to be married after all. It's what I've always
prayed for," said Mrs. Rachel, in the tone of one who
is comfortably sure that her prayers have availed much.
"It was a great relief to find out that she really
didn't mean to take the Kingsport man. He was rich, to
be sure, and Gilbert is poor--at least, to begin with;
but then he's an Island boy."
"He's Gilbert Blythe," said Marilla contentedly.
Marilla would have died the death before she would have
put into words the thought that was always in the
background of her mind whenever she had looked at
Gilbert from his childhood up--the thought that, had it
not been for her own wilful pride long, long ago, he
might have been HER son. Marilla felt that, in some
strange way, his marriage with Anne would put right
that old mistake. Good had come out of the evil of the
As for Anne herself, she was so happy that she almost
felt frightened. The gods, so says the old
superstition, do not like to behold too happy mortals.
It is certain, at least, that some human beings do not.
Two of that ilk descended upon Anne one violet dusk and
proceeded to do what in them lay to prick the rainbow
bubble of her satisfaction. If she thought she was
getting any particular prize in young Dr. Blythe, or if
she imagined that he was still as infatuated with her
as he might have been in his salad days, it was surely
their duty to put the matter before her in another
light. Yet these two worthy ladies were not enemies
of Anne; on the contrary, they were really quite fond
of her, and would have defended her as their own young
had anyone else attacked her. Human nature is not
obliged to be consistent.
Mrs. Inglis--nee Jane Andrews, to quote from the Daily
Enterprise--came with her mother and Mrs. Jasper Bell.
But in Jane the milk of human kindness had not been
curdled by years of matrimonial bickerings. Her lines
had fallen in pleasant places. In spite of the
fact--as Mrs. Rachel Lynde would say--that she had
married a millionaire, her marriage had been happy.
Wealth had not spoiled her. She was still the placid,
amiable, pink-cheeked Jane of the old quartette,
sympathising with her old chum's happiness and as
keenly interested in all the dainty details of Anne's
trousseau as if it could rival her own silken and
bejewelled splendors. Jane was not brilliant, and had
probably never made a remark worth listening to in her
life; but she never said anything that would hurt
anyone's feelings-- which may be a negative talent but
is likewise a rare and enviable one.
"So Gilbert didn't go back on you after all," said
Mrs. Harmon Andrews, contriving to convey an expression
of surprise in her tone. "Well, the Blythes generally
keep their word when they've once passed it, no matter
what happens. Let me see--you're twenty-five, aren't
you, Anne? When I was a girl twenty-five was the first
corner. But you look quite young. Red-headed people
"Red hair is very fashionable now," said Anne, trying
to smile, but speaking rather coldly. Life had
developed in her a sense of humor which helped her over
many difficulties; but as yet nothing had availed to
steel her against a reference to her hair.
"So it is--so it is," conceded Mrs. Harmon. "There's
no telling what queer freaks fashion will take. Well,
Anne, your things are very pretty, and very suitable to
your position in life, aren't they, Jane? I hope
you'll be very happy. You have my best wishes, I'm
sure. A long engagement doesn't often turn out well.
But, of course, in your case it couldn't be helped."
"Gilbert looks very young for a doctor. I'm afraid
people won't have much confidence in him," said Mrs.
Jasper Bell gloomily. Then she shut her mouth tightly,
as if she had said what she considered it her duty to
say and held her conscience clear. She belonged to the
type which always has a stringy black feather in its
hat and straggling locks of hair on its neck.
Anne's surface pleasure in her pretty bridal things was
temporarily shadowed; but the deeps of happiness below
could not thus be disturbed; and the little stings of
Mesdames Bell and Andrews were forgotten when Gilbert
came later, and they wandered down to the birches of
the brook, which had been saplings when Anne had come
to Green Gables, but were now tall, ivory columns in a
fairy palace of twilight and stars. In their shadows
Anne and Gilbert talked in lover-fashion of their new
home and their new life together.
"I've found a nest for us, Anne."
"Oh, where? Not right in the village, I hope. I
wouldn't like that altogether."
"No. There was no house to be had in the village.
This is a little white house on the harbor shore, half
way between Glen St. Mary and Four Winds Point. It's a
little out of the way, but when we get a 'phone in that
won't matter so much. The situation is beautiful. It
looks to the sunset and has the great blue harbor
before it. The sand-dunes aren't very far away--the
sea winds blow over them and the sea spray drenches
"But the house itself, Gilbert,--OUR first home? What
is it like?"
"Not very large, but large enough for us. There's a
splendid living room with a fireplace in it downstairs,
and a dining room that looks out on the harbor, and a
little room that will do for my office. It is about
sixty years old--the oldest house in Four Winds. But
it has been kept in pretty good repair, and was all
done over about fifteen years ago--shingled, plastered
and re-floored. It was well built to begin with. I
understand that there was some romantic story connected
with its building, but the man I rented it from didn't
He said Captain Jim was the only one who could spin
that old yarn now."
"Who is Captain Jim?"
"The keeper of the lighthouse on Four Winds Point.
You'll love that Four Winds light, Anne. It's a
revolving one, and it flashes like a magnificent star
through the twilights. We can see it from our living
room windows and our front door."
"Who owns the house?"
"Well, it's the property of the Glen St. Mary
Presbyterian Church now, and I rented it from the
trustees. But it belonged until lately to a very old
lady, Miss Elizabeth Russell. She died last spring,
and as she had no near relatives she left her property
to the Glen St. Mary Church. Her furniture is still in
the house, and I bought most of it--for a mere song you
might say, because it was all so old- fashioned that
the trustees despaired of selling it. Glen St. Mary
folks prefer plush brocade and sideboards with mirrors
and ornamentations, I fancy. But Miss Russell's
furniture is very good and I feel sure you'll like it,
"So far, good," said Anne, nodding cautious approval.
"But, Gilbert, people cannot live by furniture alone.
You haven't yet mentioned one very important thing.
Are there TREES about this house?"
"Heaps of them, oh, dryad! There is a big grove of
fir trees behind it, two rows of Lombardy poplars down
the lane, and a ring of white birches around a very
delightful garden. Our front door opens right into the
garden, but there is another entrance--a little gate
hung between two firs. The hinges are on one trunk and
the catch on the other. Their boughs form an arch
"Oh, I'm so glad! I couldn't live where there were no
trees-- something vital in me would starve. Well,
after that, there's no use asking you if there's a
brook anywhere near. THAT would be expecting too
"But there IS a brook--and it actually cuts across one
corner of the garden."
"Then," said Anne, with a long sigh of supreme
satisfaction, "this house you have found IS my house
of dreams and none other."
THE LAND OF DREAMS AMONG
"Have you made up your mind who you're going to have
to the wedding, Anne?" asked Mrs. Rachel Lynde, as she
hemstitched table napkins industriously. "It's time
your invitations were sent, even if they are to be only
"I don't mean to have very many," said Anne. "We just
want those we love best to see us married. Gilbert's
people, and Mr. and Mrs. Allan, and Mr. and Mrs.
"There was a time when you'd hardly have numbered Mr.
Harrison among your dearest friends," said Marilla
"Well, I wasn't VERY strongly attracted to him at our
first meeting," acknowledged Anne, with a laugh over
the recollection. "But Mr. Harrison has improved on
acquaintance, and Mrs. Harrison is really a dear.
Then, of course, there are Miss Lavendar and Paul."
"Have they decided to come to the Island this summer?
I thought they were going to Europe."
"They changed their minds when I wrote them I was
going to be married. I had a letter from Paul today.
He says he MUST come to my wedding, no matter what
happens to Europe."
"That child always idolised you," remarked Mrs.
"That `child' is a young man of nineteen now, Mrs.
"How time does fly!" was Mrs. Lynde's brilliant and
"Charlotta the Fourth may come with them. She sent
word by Paul that she would come if her husband would
let her. I wonder if she still wears those enormous
blue bows, and whether her husband calls her Charlotta
or Leonora. I should love to have Charlotta at my
wedding. Charlotta and I were at a wedding long syne.
They expect to be at Echo Lodge next week. Then there
are Phil and the Reverend Jo----"
"It sounds awful to hear you speaking of a minister
like that, Anne," said Mrs. Rachel severely.
"His wife calls him that."
"She should have more respect for his holy office,
then," retorted Mrs. Rachel.
"I've heard you criticise ministers pretty sharply
yourself," teased Anne.
"Yes, but I do it reverently," protested Mrs. Lynde.
"You never heard me NICKNAME a minister."
Anne smothered a smile.
"Well, there are Diana and Fred and little Fred and
Small Anne Cordelia--and Jane Andrews. I wish I could
have Miss Stacey and Aunt Jamesina and Priscilla and
Stella. But Stella is in Vancouver, and Pris is in
Japan, and Miss Stacey is married in California, and
Aunt Jamesina has gone to India to explore her
daughter's mission field, in spite of her horror of
snakes. It's really dreadful--the way people get
scattered over the globe."
"The Lord never intended it, that's what," said Mrs.
Rachel authoritatively. "In my young days people grew
up and married and settled down where they were born,
or pretty near it. Thank goodness you've stuck to the
Island, Anne. I was afraid Gilbert would insist on
rushing off to the ends of the earth when he got
through college, and dragging you with him."
"If everybody stayed where he was born places would
soon be filled up, Mrs. Lynde."
"Oh, I'm not going to argue with you, Anne. _I_ am
not a B.A. What time of the day is the ceremony to
"We have decided on noon--high noon, as the society
reporters say. That will give us time to catch the
evening train to Glen St. Mary."
"And you'll be married in the parlor?"
"No--not unless it rains. We mean to be married in
the orchard-- with the blue sky over us and the
sunshine around us. Do you know when and where I'd
like to be married, if I could? It would be at dawn--a
June dawn, with a glorious sunrise, and roses blooming
in the gardens; and I would slip down and meet Gilbert
and we would go together to the heart of the beech
woods,--and there, under the green arches that would be
like a splendid cathedral, we would be married."
Marilla sniffed scornfully and Mrs. Lynde looked
"But that would be terrible queer, Anne. Why, it
wouldn't really seem legal. And what would Mrs. Harmon
"Ah, there's the rub," sighed Anne. "There are so
many things in life we cannot do because of the fear of
what Mrs. Harmon Andrews would say. ` 'Tis true, 'tis
pity, and pity 'tis, 'tis true.' What delightful
things we might do were it not for Mrs. Harmon
"By times, Anne, I don't feel quite sure that I
understand you altogether," complained Mrs. Lynde.
"Anne was always romantic, you know," said Marilla
"Well, married life will most likely cure her of
that," Mrs. Rachel responded comfortingly.
Anne laughed and slipped away to Lover's Lane, where
Gilbert found her; and neither of them seemed to
entertain much fear, or hope, that their married life
would cure them of romance.
The Echo Lodge people came over the next week, and
Green Gables buzzed with the delight of them. Miss
Lavendar had changed so little that the three years
since her last Island visit might have been a watch in
the night; but Anne gasped with amazement over Paul.
Could this splendid six feet of manhood be the little
Paul of Avonlea schooldays?
"You really make me feel old, Paul," said Anne. "Why,
I have to look up to you!"
"You'll never grow old, Teacher," said Paul. "You are
one of the fortunate mortals who have found and drunk
from the Fountain of Youth,--you and Mother Lavendar.
See here! When you're married I WON'T call you Mrs.
Blythe. To me you'll always be `Teacher'--the teacher
of the best lessons I ever learned. I want to show you
The "something" was a pocketbook full of poems. Paul
had put some of his beautiful fancies into verse, and
magazine editors had not been as unappreciative as they
are sometimes supposed to be. Anne read Paul's poems
with real delight. They were full of charm and
"You'll be famous yet, Paul. I always dreamed of
having one famous pupil. He was to be a college
president--but a great poet would be even better. Some
day I'll be able to boast that I whipped the
distinguished Paul Irving. But then I never did whip
you, did I, Paul? What an opportunity lost! I think I
kept you in at recess, however."
"You may be famous yourself, Teacher. I've seen a
good deal of your work these last three years."
"No. I know what I can do. I can write pretty,
fanciful little sketches that children love and editors
send welcome cheques for. But I can do nothing big.
My only chance for earthly immortality is a corner in
Charlotta the Fourth had discarded the blue bows but
her freckles were not noticeably less.
"I never did think I'd come down to marrying a Yankee,
Miss Shirley, ma'am," she said. "But you never know
what's before you, and it isn't his fault. He was born
"You're a Yankee yourself, Charlotta, since you've
"Miss Shirley, ma'am, I'm NOT! And I wouldn't be if I
was to marry a dozen Yankees! Tom's kind of nice. And
besides, I thought I'd better not be too hard to
please, for I mightn't get another chance. Tom don't
drink and he don't growl because he has to work between
meals, and when all's said and done I'm satisfied, Miss
"Does he call you Leonora?" asked Anne.
"Goodness, no, Miss Shirley, ma'am. I wouldn't know
who he meant if he did. Of course, when we got married
he had to say, `I take thee, Leonora,' and I declare to
you, Miss Shirley, ma'am, I've had the most dreadful
feeling ever since that it wasn't me he was talking to
and I haven't been rightly married at all. And so
you're going to be married yourself, Miss Shirley,
ma'am? I always thought I'd like to marry a doctor.
It would be so handy when the children had measles and
croup. Tom is only a bricklayer, but he's real good-
tempered. When I said to him, says I, `Tom, can I go
to Miss Shirley's wedding? I mean to go anyhow, but
I'd like to have your consent,' he just says, `Suit
yourself, Charlotta, and you'll suit me.' That's a
real pleasant kind of husband to have, Miss Shirley,
Philippa and her Reverend Jo arrived at Green Gables
the day before the wedding. Anne and Phil had a
rapturous meeting which presently simmered down to a
cosy, confidential chat over all that had been and was
about to be.
"Queen Anne, you're as queenly as ever. I've got
fearfully thin since the babies came. I'm not half so
good-looking; but I think Jo likes it. There's not
such a contrast between us, you see. And oh, it's
perfectly magnificent that you're going to marry
Gilbert. Roy Gardner wouldn't have done at all, at
all. I can see that now, though I was horribly
disappointed at the time. You know, Anne, you did
treat Roy very badly."
"He has recovered, I understand," smiled Anne.
"Oh, yes. He is married and his wife is a sweet
little thing and they're perfectly happy. Everything
works together for good. Jo and the Bible say that,
and they are pretty good authorities."
"Are Alec and Alonzo married yet?"
"Alec is, but Alonzo isn't. How those dear old days
at Patty's Place come back when I'm talking to you,
Anne! What fun we had!"
"Have you been to Patty's Place lately?"
"Oh, yes, I go often. Miss Patty and Miss Maria still
sit by the fireplace and knit. And that reminds
me--we've brought you a wedding gift from them, Anne.
Guess what it is."
"I never could. How did they know I was going to be
"Oh, I told them. I was there last week. And they
were so interested. Two days ago Miss Patty wrote me a
note asking me to call; and then she asked if I would
take her gift to you. What would you wish most from
Patty's Place, Anne?"
"You can't mean that Miss Patty has sent me her china
"Go up head. They're in my trunk this very moment.
And I've a letter for you. Wait a moment and I'll get
"Dear Miss Shirley," Miss Patty had written, "Maria
and I were very much interested in hearing of your
approaching nuptials. We send you our best wishes.
Maria and I have never married, but we have no
objection to other people doing so. We are sending you
the china dogs. I intended to leave them to you in my
will, because you seemed to have sincere affection for
them. But Maria and I expect to live a good while yet
(D.V.), so I have decided to give you the dogs while
you are young. You will not have forgotten that Gog
looks to the right and Magog to the left."
"Just fancy those lovely old dogs sitting by the
fireplace in my house of dreams," said Anne
rapturously. "I never expected anything so
That evening Green Gables hummed with preparations for
the following day; but in the twilight Anne slipped
away. She had a little pilgrimage to make on this last
day of her girlhood and she must make it alone. She
went to Matthew's grave, in the little poplar-shaded
Avonlea graveyard, and there kept a silent tryst with
old memories and immortal loves.
"How glad Matthew would be tomorrow if he were here,"
she whispered. "But I believe he does know and is
glad of it-- somewhere else. I've read somewhere that
`our dead are never dead until we have forgotten them.'
Matthew will never be dead to me, for I can never
She left on his grave the flowers she had brought and
walked slowly down the long hill. It was a gracious
evening, full of delectable lights and shadows. In the
west was a sky of mackerel clouds-- crimson and
amber-tinted, with long strips of apple-green sky
between. Beyond was the glimmering radiance of a
sunset sea, and the ceaseless voice of many waters came
up from the tawny shore. All around her, lying in the
fine, beautiful country silence, were the hills and
fields and woods she had known and loved so long.
"History repeats itself," said Gilbert, joining her as
she passed the Blythe gate. "Do you remember our
first walk down this hill, Anne--our first walk
together anywhere, for that matter?"
"I was coming home in the twilight from Matthew's
grave--and you came out of the gate; and I swallowed
the pride of years and spoke to you."
"And all heaven opened before me," supplemented
Gilbert. "From that moment I looked forward to
tomorrow. When I left you at your gate that night and
walked home I was the happiest boy in the world. Anne
had forgiven me."
"I think you had the most to forgive. I was an
ungrateful little wretch--and after you had really
saved my life that day on the pond, too. How I loathed
that load of obligation at first! I don't deserve the
happiness that has come to me."
Gilbert laughed and clasped tighter the girlish hand
that wore his ring. Anne's engagement ring was a
circlet of pearls. She had refused to wear a diamond.
"I've never really liked diamonds since I found out
they weren't the lovely purple I had dreamed. They
will always suggest my old disappointment ."
"But pearls are for tears, the old legend says,"
Gilbert had objected.
"I'm not afraid of that. And tears can be happy as
well as sad. My very happiest moments have been when I
had tears in my eyes-- when Marilla told me I might
stay at Green Gables--when Matthew gave me the first
pretty dress I ever had--when I heard that you were
going to recover from the fever. So give me pearls for
our troth ring, Gilbert, and I'll willingly accept the
sorrow of life with its joy."
But tonight our lovers thought only of joy and never of
sorrow. For the morrow was their wedding day, and
their house of dreams awaited them on the misty, purple
shore of Four Winds Harbor.
THE FIRST BRIDE OF GREEN GABLES
Anne wakened on the morning of her wedding day to find
the sunshine winking in at the window of the little
porch gable and a September breeze frolicking with her
"I'm so glad the sun will shine on me," she thought happily.
She recalled the first morning she had wakened in that
little porch room, when the sunshine had crept in on
her through the blossom- drift of the old Snow Queen.
That had not been a happy wakening, for it brought with
it the bitter disappointment of the preceding night.
But since then the little room had been endeared and
consecrated by years of happy childhood dreams and
maiden visions. To it she had come back joyfully after
all her absences; at its window she had knelt through
that night of bitter agony when she believed Gilbert
dying, and by it she had sat in speechless happiness
the night of her betrothal. Many vigils of joy and
some of sorrow had been kept there; and today she must
leave it forever. Henceforth it would be hers no more;
fifteen-year-old Dora was to inherit it when she had
gone. Nor did Anne wish it otherwise; the little room
was sacred to youth and girlhood--to the past that was
to close today before the chapter of wifehood opened.
Green Gables was a busy and joyous house that forenoon.
Diana arrived early, with little Fred and Small Anne
Cordelia, to lend a hand. Davy and Dora, the Green
Gables twins, whisked the babies off to the garden.
"Don't let Small Anne Cordelia spoil her clothes,"
warned Diana anxiously.
"You needn't be afraid to trust her with Dora," said
Marilla. "That child is more sensible and careful
than most of the mothers I've known. She's really a
wonder in some ways. Not much like that other
harum-scarum I brought up."
Marilla smiled across her chicken salad at Anne. It
might even be suspected that she liked the harum-scarum
best after all.
"Those twins are real nice children," said Mrs.
Rachel, when she was sure they were out of earshot.
"Dora is so womanly and helpful, and Davy is
developing into a very smart boy. He isn't the holy
terror for mischief he used to be."
"I never was so distracted in my life as I was the
first six months he was here," acknowledged Marilla.
"After that I suppose I got used to him. He's taken a
great notion to farming lately, and wants me to let him
try running the farm next year. I may, for Mr. Barry
doesn't think he'll want to rent it much longer, and
some new arrangement will have to be made."
"Well, you certainly have a lovely day for your
wedding, Anne," said Diana, as she slipped a
voluminous apron over her silken array. "You couldn't
have had a finer one if you'd ordered it from
"Indeed, there's too much money going out of this
Island to that same Eaton's," said Mrs. Lynde
indignantly. She had strong views on the subject of
octopus-like department stores, and never lost an
opportunity of airing them. "And as for those
catalogues of theirs, they're the Avonlea girls' Bible
now, that's what. They pore over them on Sundays
instead of studying the Holy Scriptures."
"Well, they're splendid to amuse children with," said
Diana. "Fred and Small Anne look at the pictures by
"_I_ amused ten children without the aid of Eaton's
catalogue," said Mrs. Rachel severely.
"Come, you two, don't quarrel over Eaton's catalogue,"
said Anne gaily. "This is my day of days, you know.
I'm so happy I want every one else to be happy, too."
"I'm sure I hope your happiness will last, child,"
sighed Mrs. Rachel. She did hope it truly, and
believed it, but she was afraid it was in the nature of
a challenge to Providence to flaunt your happiness too
openly. Anne, for her own good, must be toned down a
But it was a happy and beautiful bride who came down
the old, homespun-carpeted stairs that September
noon--the first bride of Green Gables, slender and
shining-eyed, in the mist of her maiden veil, with her
arms full of roses. Gilbert, waiting for her in the
hall below, looked up at her with adoring eyes. She
was his at last, this evasive, long-sought Anne, won
after years of patient waiting. It was to him she was
coming in the sweet surrender of the bride. Was he
worthy of her? Could he make her as happy as he hoped?
If he failed her--if he could not measure up to her
standard of manhood--then, as she held out her hand,
their eyes met and all doubt was swept away in a glad
certainty. They belonged to each other; and, no matter
what life might hold for them, it could never alter
that. Their happiness was in each other's keeping and
both were unafraid.
They were married in the sunshine of the old orchard,
circled by the loving and kindly faces of long-familiar
friends. Mr. Allan married them, and the Reverend Jo
made what Mrs. Rachel Lynde afterwards pronounced to be
the "most beautiful wedding prayer" she had ever
heard. Birds do not often sing in September, but one
sang sweetly from some hidden bough while Gilbert and
Anne repeated their deathless vows. Anne heard it and
thrilled to it; Gilbert heard it, and wondered only
that all the birds in the world had not burst into
jubilant song; Paul heard it and later wrote a lyric
about it which was one of the most admired in his first
volume of verse; Charlotta the Fourth heard it and was
blissfully sure it meant good luck for her adored Miss
Shirley. The bird sang until the ceremony was ended
and then it wound up with one mad little, glad little
trill. Never had the old gray-green house among its
enfolding orchards known a blither, merrier afternoon.
All the old jests and quips that must have done duty at
weddings since Eden were served up, and seemed as new
and brilliant and mirth-provoking as if they had never
been uttered before. Laughter and joy had their way;
and when Anne and Gilbert left to catch the Carmody
train, with Paul as driver, the twins were ready with
rice and old shoes, in the throwing of which Charlotta
the Fourth and Mr. Harrison bore a valiant part.
Marilla stood at the gate and watched the carriage out
of sight down the long lane with its banks of
goldenrod. Anne turned at its end to wave her last
good-bye. She was gone--Green Gables was her home no
more; Marilla's face looked very gray and old as she
turned to the house which Anne had filled for fourteen
years, and even in her absence, with light and life.
But Diana and her small fry, the Echo Lodge people and
the Allans, had stayed to help the two old ladies over
the loneliness of the first evening; and they contrived
to have a quietly pleasant little supper time, sitting
long around the table and chatting over all the details
of the day. While they were sitting there Anne and
Gilbert were alighting from the train at Glen St. Mary.
THE HOME COMING
Dr. David Blythe had sent his horse and buggy to meet
them, and the urchin who had brought it slipped away
with a sympathetic grin, leaving them to the delight of
driving alone to their new home through the radiant evening.
Anne never forgot the loveliness of the view that broke
upon them when they had driven over the hill behind the
village. Her new home could not yet be seen; but
before her lay Four Winds Harbor like a great, shining
mirror of rose and silver. Far down, she saw its
entrance between the bar of sand dunes on one side and
a steep, high, grim, red sandstone cliff on the other.
Beyond the bar the sea, calm and austere, dreamed in
the afterlight. The little fishing village, nestled in
the cove where the sand-dunes met the harbor shore,
looked like a great opal in the haze. The sky over
them was like a jewelled cup from which the dusk was
pouring; the air was crisp with the compelling tang of
the sea, and the whole landscape was infused with the
subtleties of a sea evening. A few dim sails drifted
along the darkening, fir-clad harbor shores. A bell
was ringing from the tower of a little white church on
the far side; mellowly and dreamily sweet, the chime
floated across the water blent with the moan of the
sea. The great revolving light on the cliff at the
channel flashed warm and golden against the clear
northern sky, a trembling, quivering star of good hope.
Far out along the horizon was the crinkled gray ribbon
of a passing steamer's smoke.
"Oh, beautiful, beautiful," murmured Anne. "I shall
love Four Winds, Gilbert. Where is our house?"
"We can't see it yet--the belt of birch running up
from that little cove hides it. It's about two miles
from Glen St. Mary, and there's another mile between it
and the light-house. We won't have many neighbors,
Anne. There's only one house near us and I don't know
who lives in it. Shall you be lonely when I'm away?"
"Not with that light and that loveliness for company.
Who lives in that house, Gilbert?"
"I don't know. It doesn't look--exactly--as if the
occupants would be kindred spirits, Anne, does it?"
The house was a large, substantial affair, painted such
a vivid green that the landscape seemed quite faded by
contrast. There was an orchard behind it, and a nicely
kept lawn before it, but, somehow, there was a certain
bareness about it. Perhaps its neatness was
responsible for this; the whole establishment, house,
barns, orchard, garden, lawn and lane, was so starkly
"It doesn't seem probable that anyone with that taste
in paint could be VERY kindred," acknowledged Anne,
"unless it were an accident--like our blue hall. I
feel certain there are no children there, at least.
It's even neater than the old Copp place on the Tory
road, and I never expected to see anything neater than
They had not met anybody on the moist, red road that
wound along the harbor shore. But just before they
came to the belt of birch which hid their home, Anne
saw a girl who was driving a flock of snow- white
geese along the crest of a velvety green hill on the
right. Great, scattered firs grew along it. Between
their trunks one saw glimpses of yellow harvest fields,
gleams of golden sand-hills, and bits of blue sea. The
girl was tall and wore a dress of pale blue print. She
walked with a certain springiness of step and erectness
of bearing. She and her geese came out of the gate at
the foot of the hill as Anne and Gilbert passed. She
stood with her hand on the fastening of the gate, and
looked steadily at them, with an expression that hardly
attained to interest, but did not descend to curiosity.
It seemed to Anne, for a fleeting moment, that there
was even a veiled hint of hostility in it. But it was
the girl's beauty which made Anne give a little gasp--a
beauty so marked that it must have attracted attention
anywhere. She was hatless, but heavy braids of
burnished hair, the hue of ripe wheat, were twisted
about her head like a coronet; her eyes were blue and
star-like; her figure, in its plain print gown, was
magnificent; and her lips were as crimson as the bunch
of blood-red poppies she wore at her belt.
"Gilbert, who is the girl we have just passed?" asked
Anne, in a low voice.
"I didn't notice any girl," said Gilbert, who had eyes
only for his bride.
"She was standing by that gate--no, don't look back.
She is still watching us. I never saw such a beautiful
"I don't remember seeing any very handsome girls while
I was here. There are some pretty girls up at the
Glen, but I hardly think they could be called
"This girl is. You can't have seen her, or you would
remember her. Nobody could forget her. I never saw
such a face except in pictures. And her hair! It made
me think of Browning's `cord of gold' and `gorgeous
"Probably she's some visitor in Four Winds--likely
some one from that big summer hotel over the harbor."
"She wore a white apron and she was driving geese."
"She might do that for amusement. Look, Anne--there's
Anne looked and forgot for a time the girl with the
splendid, resentful eyes. The first glimpse of her new
home was a delight to eye and spirit--it looked so like
a big, creamy seashell stranded on the harbor shore.
The rows of tall Lombardy poplars down its lane stood
out in stately, purple silhouette against the sky.
Behind it, sheltering its garden from the too keen
breath of sea winds, was a cloudy fir wood, in which
the winds might make all kinds of weird and haunting
music. Like all woods, it seemed to be holding and
enfolding secrets in its recesses,--secrets whose charm
is only to be won by entering in and patiently seeking.
Outwardly, dark green arms keep them inviolate from
curious or indifferent eyes.
The night winds were beginning their wild dances beyond
the bar and the fishing hamlet across the harbor was
gemmed with lights as Anne and Gilbert drove up the
poplar lane. The door of the little house opened, and
a warm glow of firelight flickered out into the dusk.
Gilbert lifted Anne from the buggy and led her into the
garden, through the little gate between the
ruddy-tipped firs, up the trim, red path to the
"Welcome home," he whispered, and hand in hand they
stepped over the threshold of their house of dreams.
"Old Doctor Dave" and "Mrs. Doctor Dave" had come down
to the little house to greet the bride and groom.
Doctor Dave was a big, jolly, white-whiskered old
fellow, and Mrs. Doctor was a trim rosy-cheeked,
silver-haired little lady who took Anne at once
to her heart, literally and figuratively.
"I'm so glad to see you, dear. You must be real
tired. We've got a bite of supper ready, and Captain
Jim brought up some trout for you. Captain Jim--where
are you? Oh, he's slipped out to see to the horse, I
suppose. Come upstairs and take your things off."
Anne looked about her with bright, appreciative eyes as
she followed Mrs. Doctor Dave upstairs. She liked the
appearance of her new home very much. It seemed to
have the atmosphere of Green Gables and the flavor of
her old traditions.
"I think I would have found Miss Elizabeth Russell a
`kindred spirit,'" she murmured when she was alone in
her room. There were two windows in it; the dormer one
looked out on the lower harbor and the sand-bar and the
Four Winds light.
"A magic casement opening on the foam Of
perilous seas in fairy lands forlorn,"
quoted Anne softly. The gable window gave a view of a
little harvest-hued valley through which a brook ran.
Half a mile up the brook was the only house in
sight--an old, rambling, gray one surrounded by huge
willows through which its windows peered, like shy,
seeking eyes, into the dusk. Anne wondered who lived
there; they would be her nearest neighbors and she
hoped they would be nice. She suddenly found herself
thinking of the beautiful girl with the white geese.
"Gilbert thought she didn't belong here," mused Anne,
"but I feel sure she does. There was something about
her that made her part of the sea and the sky and the
harbor. Four Winds is in her blood."
When Anne went downstairs Gilbert was standing before
the fireplace talking to a stranger. Both turned as
"Anne, this is Captain Boyd. Captain Boyd, my wife."
It was the first time Gilbert had said "my wife" to
anybody but Anne, and he narrowly escaped bursting with
the pride of it. The old captain held out a sinewy
hand to Anne; they smiled at each other and were
friends from that moment. Kindred spirit flashed
recognition to kindred spirit.
"I'm right down pleased to meet you, Mistress Blythe;
and I hope you'll be as happy as the first bride was
who came here. I can't wish you no better than THAT.
But your husband doesn't introduce me jest exactly
right. `Captain Jim' is my week-a-day name and you
might as well begin as you're sartain to end
up--calling me that. You sartainly are a nice little
bride, Mistress Blythe. Looking at you sorter makes
me feel that I've jest been married myself."
Amid the laughter that followed Mrs. Doctor Dave urged
Captain Jim to stay and have supper with them.
"Thank you kindly. 'Twill be a real treat, Mistress
Doctor. I mostly has to eat my meals alone, with the
reflection of my ugly old phiz in a looking-glass
opposite for company. 'Tisn't often I have a chance to
sit down with two such sweet, purty ladies."
Captain Jim's compliments may look very bald on paper,
but he paid them with such a gracious, gentle deference
of tone and look that the woman upon whom they were
bestowed felt that she was being offered a queen's
tribute in a kingly fashion.
Captain Jim was a high-souled, simple-minded old man,
with eternal youth in his eyes and heart. He had a
tall, rather ungainly figure, somewhat stooped, yet
suggestive of great strength and endurance; a
clean-shaven face deeply lined and bronzed; a thick
mane of iron-gray hair falling quite to his shoulders,
and a pair of remarkably blue, deep-set eyes, which
sometimes twinkled and sometimes dreamed, and
sometimes looked out seaward with a wistful quest in
them, as of one seeking something precious and lost.
Anne was to learn one day what it was for which Captain
It could not be denied that Captain Jim was a homely
man. His spare jaws, rugged mouth, and square brow
were not fashioned on the lines of beauty; and he had
passed through many hardships and sorrows which had
marked his body as well as his soul; but though at
first sight Anne thought him plain she never thought
anything more about it--the spirit shining through that
rugged tenement beautified it so wholly.
They gathered gaily around the supper table. The
hearth fire banished the chill of the September
evening, but the window of the dining room was open and
sea breezes entered at their own sweet will. The view
was magnificent, taking in the harbor and the sweep of
low, purple hills beyond. The table was heaped with
Mrs. Doctor's delicacies but the piece de resistance
was undoubtedly the big platter of sea trout.
"Thought they'd be sorter tasty after travelling,"
said Captain Jim. "They're fresh as trout can be,
Mistress Blythe. Two hours ago they were swimming in
the Glen Pond."
"Who is attending to the light tonight, Captain Jim?"
asked Doctor Dave.
"Nephew Alec. He understands it as well as I do.
Well, now, I'm real glad you asked me to stay to
supper. I'm proper hungry--didn't have much of a
"I believe you half starve yourself most of the time
down at that light," said Mrs. Doctor Dave severely.
"You won't take the trouble to get up a decent meal."
"Oh, I do, Mistress Doctor, I do," protested Captain
Jim. "Why, I live like a king gen'rally. Last night
I was up to the Glen and took home two pounds of steak.
I meant to have a spanking good dinner today."
"And what happened to the steak?" asked Mrs. Doctor
Dave. "Did you lose it on the way home?"
"No." Captain Jim looked sheepish. "Just at bedtime
a poor, ornery sort of dog came along and asked for a
night's lodging. Guess he belonged to some of the
fishermen 'long shore. I couldn't turn the poor cur
out--he had a sore foot. So I shut him in the porch,
with an old bag to lie on, and went to bed. But
somehow I couldn't sleep. Come to think it over, I
sorter remembered that the dog looked hungry."
"And you got up and gave him that steak--ALL that
steak," said Mrs. Doctor Dave, with a kind of
"Well, there wasn't anything else TO give him," said
Captain Jim deprecatingly. "Nothing a dog'd care for,
that is. I reckon he WAS hungry, for he made about two
bites of it. I had a fine sleep the rest of the night
but my dinner had to be sorter scanty--potatoes and
point, as you might say. The dog, he lit out for home
this morning. I reckon HE weren't a vegetarian."
"The idea of starving yourself for a worthless dog!"
sniffed Mrs. Doctor.
"You don't know but he may be worth a lot to
somebody," protested Captain Jim. "He didn't LOOK of
much account, but you can't go by looks in jedging a
dog. Like meself, he might be a real beauty inside.
The First Mate didn't approve of him, I'll allow. His
language was right down forcible. But the First Mate is
prejudiced. No use in taking a cat's opinion of a dog.
'Tennyrate, I lost my dinner, so this nice spread in
this dee-lightful company is real pleasant. It' s a
great thing to have good neighbors."
"Who lives in the house among the willows up the
brook?" asked Anne.
"Mrs. Dick Moore," said Captain Jim--"and her
husband," he added, as if by way of an afterthought.
Anne smiled, and deduced a mental picture of Mrs. Dick
Moore from Captain Jim's way of putting it; evidently a
second Mrs. Rachel Lynde.
"You haven't many neighbors, Mistress Blythe," Captain
Jim went on. "This side of the harbor is mighty thinly
settled. Most of the land belongs to Mr. Howard up
yander past the Glen, and he rents it out for pasture.
The other side of the harbor, now, is thick with
folks--'specially MacAllisters. There's a whole
colony of MacAllisters you can't throw a stone but you
hit one. I was talking to old Leon Blacquiere the
other day. He's been working on the harbor all summer.
`Dey're nearly all MacAllisters over thar,' he told me.
`Dare's Neil MacAllister and Sandy MacAllister and
William MacAllister and Alec MacAllister and Angus
MacAllister--and I believe dare's de Devil
"There are nearly as many Elliotts and Crawfords,"
said Doctor Dave, after the laughter had subsided.
"You know, Gilbert, we folk on this side of Four Winds
have an old saying--`From the conceit of the Elliotts,
the pride of the MacAllisters, and the vainglory of the
Crawfords, good Lord deliver us.'"
"There's a plenty of fine people among them, though,"
said Captain Jim. "I sailed with William Crawford for
many a year, and for courage and endurance and truth
that man hadn't an equal. They've got brains over on
that side of Four Winds. Mebbe that's why this side is
sorter inclined to pick on 'em. Strange, ain't it, how
folks seem to resent anyone being born a mite cleverer
than they be."
Doctor Dave, who had a forty years' feud with the
over-harbor people, laughed and subsided.
"Who lives in that brilliant emerald house about half
a mile up the road?" asked Gilbert.
Captain Jim smiled delightedly.
"Miss Cornelia Bryant. She'll likely be over to see
you soon, seeing you're Presbyterians. If you were
Methodists she wouldn't come at all. Cornelia has a
holy horror of Methodists."
"She's quite a character," chuckled Doctor Dave. "A
most inveterate man-hater!"
"Sour grapes?" queried Gilbert, laughing.
"No, 'tisn't sour grapes," answered Captain Jim
seriously. "Cornelia could have had her pick when she
was young. Even yet she's only to say the word to see
the old widowers jump. She jest seems to have been
born with a sort of chronic spite agin men and
Methodists. She's got the bitterest tongue and the
kindest heart in Four Winds. Wherever there's any
trouble, that woman is there, doing everything to help
in the tenderest way. She never says a harsh word
about another woman, and if she likes to card us poor
scalawags of men down I reckon our tough old hides can
"She always speaks well of you, Captain Jim," said
"Yes, I'm afraid so. I don't half like it. It makes
me feel as if there must be something sorter unnateral
THE SCHOOLMASTER'S BRIDE
"Who was the first bride who came to this house,
Captain Jim?" Anne asked, as they sat around the
fireplace after supper.
"Was she a part of the story I've heard was connected
with this house?" asked Gilbert. "Somebody told me
you could tell it, Captain Jim."
"Well, yes, I know it. I reckon I'm the only person
living in Four Winds now that can remember the
schoolmaster's bride as she was when she come to the
Island. She's been dead this thirty year, but she was
one of them women you never forget."
"Tell us the story," pleaded Anne. "I want to find
out all about the women who have lived in this house
"Well, there's jest been three--Elizabeth Russell, and
Mrs. Ned Russell, and the schoolmaster's bride.
Elizabeth Russell was a nice, clever little critter,
and Mrs. Ned was a nice woman, too. But they weren't
ever like the schoolmaster's bride.
"The schoolmaster's name was John Selwyn. He came out
from the Old Country to teach school at the Glen when I
was a boy of sixteen. He wasn't much like the usual
run of derelicts who used to come out to P.E.I. to
teach school in them days. Most of them were clever,
drunken critters who taught the children the three R's
when they were sober, and lambasted them when they
wasn't. But John Selwyn was a fine, handsome young
fellow. He boarded at my father's, and he and me were
cronies, though he was ten years older'n me. We read
and walked and talked a heap together. He knew about
all the poetry that was ever written, I reckon, and he
used to quote it to me along shore in the evenings.
Dad thought it an awful waste of time, but he sorter
endured it, hoping it'd put me off the notion of going
to sea. Well, nothing could do THAT--mother come of a
race of sea-going folk and it was born in me. But I
loved to hear John read and recite. It's almost sixty
years ago, but I could repeat yards of poetry I learned
from him. Nearly sixty years!"
Captain Jim was silent for a space, gazing into the
glowing fire in a quest of the bygones. Then, with a
sigh, he resumed his story.
"I remember one spring evening I met him on the
sand-hills. He looked sorter uplifted--jest like you
did, Dr. Blythe, when you brought Mistress Blythe in
tonight. I thought of him the minute I seen you. And
he told me that he had a sweetheart back home and that
she was coming out to him. I wasn't more'n half
pleased, ornery young lump of selfishness that I was; I
thought he wouldn't be as much my friend after she
came. But I'd enough decency not to let him see it.
He told me all about her. Her name was Persis Leigh,
and she would have come out with him if it hadn't been
for her old uncle. He was sick, and he'd looked after
her when her parents died and she wouldn't leave him.
And now he was dead and she was coming out to marry
John Selwyn. 'Twasn't no easy journey for a woman in
them days. There weren't no steamers, you must
"`When do you expect her?' says I.
"`She sails on the Royal William, the 20th of June,'
says he, `and so she should be here by mid-July. I
must set Carpenter Johnson to building me a home for
her. Her letter come today. I know before I opened it
that it had good news for me. I saw her a few nights
"I didn't understand him, and then he
explained--though I didn't understand THAT much better.
He said he had a gift--or a curse. Them was his words,
Mistress Blythe--a gift or a curse. He didn't know
which it was. He said a great-great-grandmother of his
had had it, and they burned her for a witch on account
of it. He said queer spells--trances, I think was the
name he give 'em--come over him now and again. Are
there such things, Doctor?"
"There are people who are certainly subject to
trances," answered Gilbert. "The matter is more in
the line of psychical research than medical. What were
the trances of this John Selwyn like?"
"Like dreams," said the old Doctor skeptically.
"He said he could see things in them," said Captain
"Mind you, I'm telling you jest what HE said--things
that were happening--things that were GOING to happen.
He said they were sometimes a comfort to him and
sometimes a horror. Four nights before this he'd been
in one--went into it while he was sitting looking at
the fire. And he saw an old room he knew well in
England, and Persis Leigh in it, holding out her hands
to him and looking glad and happy. So he knew he was
going to hear good news of her."
"A dream--a dream," scoffed the old Doctor.
"Likely--likely," conceded Captain Jim. "That's what
_I_ said to him at the time. It was a vast more
comfortable to think so. I didn't like the idea of him
seeing things like that--it was real uncanny.
"`No,' says he, `I didn't dream it. But we won't talk
of this again. You won't be so much my friend if you
think much about it.'
"I told him nothing could make me any less his friend.
But he jest shook his head and says, says he:
"`Lad, I know. I've lost friends before because of
this. I don't blame them. There are times when I feel
hardly friendly to myself because of it. Such a power
has a bit of divinity in it--whether of a good or an
evil divinity who shall say? And we mortals all shrink
from too close contact with God or devil.'
"Them was his words. I remember them as if 'twas
yesterday, though I didn't know jest what he meant.
What do you s'pose he DID mean, doctor?"
"I doubt if he knew what he meant himself," said
Doctor Dave testily.
"I think I understand," whispered Anne. She was
listening in her old attitude of clasped lips and
shining eyes. Captain Jim treated himself to an
admiring smile before he went on with his story.
"Well, purty soon all the Glen and Four Winds people
knew the schoolmaster's bride was coming, and they were
all glad because they thought so much of him. And
everybody took an interest in his new house--THIS
house. He picked this site for it, because you could
see the harbor and hear the sea from it. He made the
garden out there for his bride, but he didn't plant the
Lombardies. Mrs. Ned Russell planted THEM. But
there's a double row of rose-bushes in the garden that
the little girls who went to the Glen school set out
there for the schoolmaster's bride. He said they were
pink for her cheeks and white for her brow and red for
her lips. He'd quoted poetry so much that he sorter
got into the habit of talking it, too, I reckon.
"Almost everybody sent him some little present to help
out the furnishing of the house. When the Russells
came into it they were well-to-do and furnished it real
handsome, as you can see; but the first furniture that
went into it was plain enough. This little house was
rich in love, though. The women sent in quilts and
tablecloths and towels, and one man made a chest for
her, and another a table and so on. Even blind old
Aunt Margaret Boyd wove a little basket for her out of
the sweet-scented sand-hill grass. The schoolmaster's
wife used it for years to keep her handkerchiefs in.
"Well, at last everything was ready--even to the logs
in the big fireplace ready for lighting. 'Twasn't
exactly THIS fireplace, though 'twas in the same place.
Miss Elizabeth had this put in when she made the house
over fifteen years ago. It was a big, old-fashioned
fireplace where you could have roasted an ox. Many's
the time I've sat here and spun yarns, same's I'm doing
Again there was a silence, while Captain Jim kept a
passing tryst with visitants Anne and Gilbert could not
see--the folks who had sat with him around that
fireplace in the vanished years, with mirth and bridal
joy shining in eyes long since closed forever under
churchyard sod or heaving leagues of sea. Here on
olden nights children had tossed laughter lightly to
and fro. Here on winter evenings friends had
gathered. Dance and music and jest had been here.
Here youths and maidens had dreamed. For Captain Jim
the little house was tenanted with shapes entreating
"It was the first of July when the house was finished.
The schoolmaster began to count the days then. We used
to see him walking along the shore, and we'd say to
each other, `She'll soon be with him now.'
"She was expected the middle of July, but she didn't
come then. Nobody felt anxious. Vessels were often
delayed for days and mebbe weeks. The Royal William
was a week overdue--and then two--and then three. And
at last we began to be frightened, and it got worse and
worse. Fin'lly I couldn't bear to look into John
Selwyn's eyes. D'ye know, Mistress Blythe"--Captain
Jim lowered his voice--"I used to think that they
looked just like what his old great-great-grandmother's
must have been when they were burning her to death. He
never said much but he taught school like a man in a
dream and then hurried to the shore. Many a night he
walked there from dark to dawn. People said he was
losing his mind. Everybody had given up hope--the
Royal William was eight weeks overdue. It was the
middle of September and the schoolmaster's bride hadn't
come-- never would come, we thought.
"There was a big storm then that lasted three days, and
on the evening after it died away I went to the shore.
I found the schoolmaster there, leaning with his arms
folded against a big rock, gazing out to sea.
"I spoke to him but he didn't answer. His eyes seemed
to be looking at something I couldn't see. His face
was set, like a dead man's.
"`John--John,' I called out--jest like that--jest like
a frightened child, `wake up--wake up.'
"That strange, awful look seemed to sorter fade out of
He turned his head and looked at me. I've never forgot
his face-- never will forget it till I ships for my
"`All is well, lad,' he says. `I've seen the Royal
William coming around East Point. She will be here by
dawn. Tomorrow night I shall sit with my bride by my
"Do you think he did see it?" demanded Captain Jim
"God knows," said Gilbert softly. "Great love and
great pain might compass we know not what marvels."
"I am sure he did see it," said Anne earnestly.
"Fol-de-rol," said Doctor Dave, but he spoke with less
conviction than usual.
"Because, you know," said Captain Jim solemnly, "the
Royal William came into Four Winds Harbor at daylight
the next morning.
Every soul in the Glen and along the shore was at the
old wharf to meet her. The schoolmaster had been
watching there all night. How we cheered as she sailed
up the channel."
Captain Jim's eyes were shining. They were looking at
the Four Winds Harbor of sixty years agone, with a
battered old ship sailing through the sunrise splendor.
"And Persis Leigh was on board?" asked Anne.
"Yes--her and the captain's wife. They'd had an awful
passage-- storm after storm--and their provisions give
out, too. But there they were at last. When Persis
Leigh stepped onto the old wharf John Selwyn took her
in his arms--and folks stopped cheering and begun to
cry. I cried myself, though 'twas years, mind you,
afore I'd admit it. Ain't it funny how ashamed boys
are of tears?"
"Was Persis Leigh beautiful?" asked Anne.
"Well, I don't know that you'd call her beautiful
exactly--I-- don't--know," said Captain Jim slowly.
"Somehow, you never got so far along as to wonder if
she was handsome or not. It jest didn't matter. There
was something so sweet and winsome about her that you
had to love her, that was all. But she was pleasant to
look at--big, clear, hazel eyes and heaps of glossy
brown hair, and an English skin. John and her were
married at our house that night at early
candle-lighting; everybody from far and near was there
to see it and we all brought them down here afterwards.
Mistress Selwyn lighted the fire, and we went away and
left them sitting here, jest as John had seen in that
vision of his. A strange thing--a strange thing! But
I've seen a turrible lot of strange things in my
Captain Jim shook his head sagely.
"It's a dear story," said Anne, feeling that for once
she had got enough romance to satisfy her. "How long
did they live here?"
"Fifteen years. I ran off to sea soon after they were
married, like the young scalawag I was. But every time
I come back from a voyage I'd head for here, even
before I went home, and tell Mistress Selwyn all about
it. Fifteen happy years! They had a sort of talent
for happiness, them two. Some folks are like that, if
you've noticed. They COULDN'T be unhappy for long, no
matter what happened. They quarrelled once or twice,
for they was both high-sperrited. But Mistress Selwyn
says to me once, says she, laughing in that pretty way
of hers, `I felt dreadful when John and I quarrelled,
but underneath it all I was very happy because I had
such a nice husband to quarrel with and make it up
with.' Then they moved to Charlottetown, and Ned
Russell bought this house and brought his bride here.
They were a gay young pair, as I remember them. Miss
Elizabeth Russell was Alec's sister. She came to live
with them a year or so later, and she was a creature of
mirth, too. The walls of this house must be sorter
SOAKED with laughing and good times. You're the third
bride I've seen come here, Mistress Blythe--and the
Captain Jim contrived to give his sunflower compliment
the delicacy of a violet, and Anne wore it proudly.
She was looking her best that night, with the bridal
rose on her cheeks and the love-light in her eyes; even
gruff old Doctor Dave gave her an approving glance, and
told his wife, as they drove home together, that that
red-headed wife of the boy's was something of a beauty.
"I must be getting back to the light," announced
Captain Jim. "I've enj'yed this evening something
" You must come often to see us," said Anne.
"I wonder if you'd give that invitation if you knew how
likely I'll be to accept it," Captain Jim remarked
"Which is another way of saying you wonder if I mean
it," smiled Anne. "I do, `cross my heart,' as we used
to say at school."
"Then I'll come. You're likely to be pestered with me
at any hour. And I'll be proud to have you drop down
and visit me now and then, too. Gin'rally I haven't
anyone to talk to but the First Mate, bless his
sociable heart. He's a mighty good listener, and has
forgot more'n any MacAllister of them all ever knew,
but he isn't much of a conversationalist. You're young
and I'm old, but our souls are about the same age, I
reckon. We both belong to the race that knows Joseph,
as Cornelia Bryant would say."
"The race that knows Joseph?" puzzled Anne.
"Yes. Cornelia divides all the folks in the world into
two kinds-- the race that knows Joseph and the race
that don't. If a person sorter sees eye to eye with
you, and has pretty much the same ideas about things,
and the same taste in jokes--why, then he belongs to
the race that knows Joseph."
"Oh, I understand," exclaimed Anne, light breaking in
"It's what I used to call--and still call in quotation
marks `kindred spirits.'"
"Jest so--jest so," agreed Captain Jim. "We're it,
whatever IT is. When you come in tonight, Mistress
Blythe, I says to myself, says I, `Yes, she's of the
race that knows Joseph.' And mighty glad I was, for
if it wasn't so we couldn't have had any real
satisfaction in each other's company. The race that
knows Joseph is the salt of the airth, I reckon."
The moon had just risen when Anne and Gilbert went to
the door with their guests. Four Winds Harbor was
beginning to be a thing of dream and glamour and
enchantment--a spellbound haven where no tempest might
ever ravin. The Lombardies down the lane, tall and
sombre as the priestly forms of some mystic band, were
tipped with silver.
"Always liked Lombardies," said Captain Jim, waving a
long arm at them. "They're the trees of princesses.
They're out of fashion now. Folks complain that they
die at the top and get ragged-looking. So they do--so
they do, if you don't risk your neck every spring
climbing up a light ladder to trim them out. I always
did it for Miss Elizabeth, so her Lombardies never got
out-at-elbows. She was especially fond of them. She
liked their dignity and stand-offishness. THEY don't
hobnob with every Tom, Dick and Harry. If it's maples
for company, Mistress Blythe, it's Lombardies for
"What a beautiful night," said Mrs. Doctor Dave, as
she climbed into the Doctor's buggy.
"Most nights are beautiful," said Captain Jim. "But I
'low that moonlight over Four Winds makes me sorter
wonder what's left for heaven. The moon's a great
friend of mine, Mistress Blythe. I've loved her ever
since I can remember. When I was a little chap of
eight I fell asleep in the garden one evening and
wasn't missed. I woke up along in the night and I was
most scared to death. What shadows and queer noises
there was! I dursn't move. Jest crouched there
quaking, poor small mite. Seemed 'sif there weren't
anyone in the world but meself and it was mighty big.
Then all at once I saw the moon looking down at me
through the apple boughs, jest like an old friend. I
was comforted right off. Got up and walked to the
house as brave as a lion, looking at her. Many's the
night I've watched her from the deck of my vessel, on
seas far away from here. Why don't you folks tell me
to take in the slack of my jaw and go home?"
The laughter of the goodnights died away. Anne and
Gilbert walked hand in hand around their garden. The
brook that ran across the corner dimpled pellucidly in
the shadows of the birches. The poppies along its
banks were like shallow cups of moonlight. Flowers
that had been planted by the hands of the
schoolmaster's bride flung their sweetness on the
shadowy air, like the beauty and blessing of sacred
yesterdays. Anne paused in the gloom to gather a
"I love to smell flowers in the dark," she said. "You
get hold of their soul then. Oh, Gilbert, this little
house is all I've dreamed it. And I'm so glad that we
are not the first who have kept bridal tryst here!"
MISS CORNELIA BRYANT COMES TO CALL
That September was a month of golden mists and purple
hazes at Four Winds Harbor--a month of sun-steeped days
and of nights that were swimming in moonlight, or
pulsating with stars. No storm marred it, no rough
wind blew. Anne and Gilbert put their nest in order,
rambled on the shores, sailed on the harbor, drove
about Four Winds and the Glen, or through the ferny,
sequestered roads of the woods around the harbor head;
in short, had such a honeymoon as any lovers in the
world might have envied them.
"If life were to stop short just now it would still
have been richly worth while, just for the sake of
these past four weeks, wouldn't it?" said Anne. "I
don't suppose we will ever have four such perfect weeks
again--but we've HAD them. Everything--wind, weather,
folks, house of dreams--has conspired to make our
honeymoon delightful. There hasn't even been a rainy
day since we came here."
"And we haven't quarrelled once," teased Gilbert.
"Well, `that's a pleasure all the greater for being
deferred,'" quoted Anne. "I'm so glad we decided to
spend our honeymoon here. Our memories of it will
always belong here, in our house of dreams, instead of
being scattered about in strange places."
There was a certain tang of romance and adventure in
the atmosphere of their new home which Anne had never
found in Avonlea. There, although she had lived in
sight of the sea, it had not entered intimately into
her life. In Four Winds it surrounded her and called
to her constantly. From every window of her new home
she saw some varying aspect of it. Its haunting murmur
was ever in her ears. Vessels sailed up the harbor
every day to the wharf at the Glen, or sailed out
again through the sunset, bound for ports that might be
half way round the globe. Fishing boats went
white-winged down the channel in the mornings, and
returned laden in the evenings. Sailors and
fisher-folk travelled the red, winding harbor roads,
light-hearted and content. There was always a certain
sense of things going to happen--of adventures and
farings-forth. The ways of Four Winds were less staid
and settled and grooved than those of Avonlea; winds of
change blew over them; the sea called ever to the
dwellers on shore, and even those who might not answer
its call felt the thrill and unrest and mystery and
possibilities of it.
"I understand now why some men must go to sea," said
Anne. "That desire which comes to us all at times--`to
sail beyond the bourne of sunset'--must be very
imperious when it is born in you. I don't wonder
Captain Jim ran away because of it. I never see a ship
sailing out of the channel, or a gull soaring over the
sand-bar, without wishing I were on board the ship or
had wings, not like a dove `to fly away and be at
rest,' but like a gull, to sweep out into the very
heart of a storm."
"You'll stay right here with me, Anne-girl," said
Gilbert lazily. "I won't have you flying away from me
into the hearts of storms."
They were sitting on their red sand-stone doorstep in
the late afternoon. Great tranquillities were all
about them in land and sea and sky. Silvery gulls were
soaring over them. The horizons were laced with long
trails of frail, pinkish clouds. The hushed air was
threaded with a murmurous refrain of minstrel winds and
waves. Pale asters were blowing in the sere and misty
meadows between them and the harbor.
"Doctors who have to be up all night waiting on sick
folk don't feel very adventurous, I suppose," Anne
said indulgently. "If you had had a good sleep last
night, Gilbert, you'd be as ready as I am for a flight
"I did good work last night, Anne," said Gilbert
quietly. "Under God, I saved a life. This is the
first time I could ever really claim that. In other
cases I may have helped; but, Anne, if I had not stayed
at Allonby's last night and fought death hand to hand,
that woman would have died before morning. I tried an
experiment that was certainly never tried in Four Winds
before. I doubt if it was ever tried anywhere before
outside of a hospital. It was a new thing in Kingsport
hospital last winter. I could never have dared try it
here if I had not been absolutely certain that there
was no other chance. I risked it--and it succeeded.
As a result, a good wife and mother is saved for long
years of happiness and usefulness. As I drove home
this morning, while the sun was rising over the harbor,
I thanked God that I had chosen the profession I did.
I had fought a good fight and won--think of it, Anne,
WON, against the Great Destroyer. It's what I dreamed
of doing long ago when we talked together of what we
wanted to do in life. That dream of mine came true
"Was that the only one of your dreams that has come
true?" asked Anne, who knew perfectly well what the
substance of his answer would be, but wanted to hear it
"YOU know, Anne-girl," said Gilbert, smiling into her
eyes. At that moment there were certainly two
perfectly happy people sitting on the doorstep of a
little white house on the Four Winds Harbor shore.
Presently Gilbert said, with a change of tone, "Do I or
do I not see a full-rigged ship sailing up our lane?"