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Anne's House of Dreams by Lucy Maud Montgomery

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"I believe you," said Miss Cornelia emphatically.

CHAPTER 38

RED ROSES

The garden of the little house was a haunt beloved of
bees and reddened by late roses that August. The
little house folk lived much in it, and were given to
taking picnic suppers in the grassy corner beyond the
brook and sitting about in it through the twilights
when great night moths sailed athwart the velvet gloom.
One evening Owen Ford found Leslie alone in it. Anne
and Gilbert were away, and Susan, who was expected back
that night, had not yet returned.

The northern sky was amber and pale green over the fir
tops. The air was cool, for August was nearing
September, and Leslie wore a crimson scarf over her
white dress. Together they wandered through the
little, friendly, flower-crowded paths in silence.
Owen must go soon. His holiday was nearly over.
Leslie found her heart beating wildly. She knew that
this beloved garden was to be the scene of the binding
words that must seal their as yet unworded
understanding.

" Some evenings a strange odor blows down the air of
this garden, like a phantom perfume," said Owen. "I
have never been able to discover from just what flower
it comes. It is elusive and haunting and wonderfully
sweet. I like to fancy it is the soul of Grandmother
Selwyn passing on a little visit to the old spot she
loved so well. There should be a lot of friendly
ghosts about this little old house."

"I have lived under its roof only a month," said
Leslie, "but I love it as I never loved the house over
there where I have lived all my life."

"This house was builded and consecrated by love," said
Owen. "Such houses, MUST exert an influence over those
who live in them. And this garden--it is over sixty
years old and the history of a thousand hopes and joys
is written in its blossoms. Some of those flowers were
actually set out by the schoolmaster's bride, and she
has been dead for thirty years. Yet they bloom on
every summer. Look at those red roses, Leslie--how
they queen it over everything else!"

"I love the red roses," said Leslie. "Anne likes the
pink ones best, and Gilbert likes the white. But I
want the crimson ones. They satisfy some craving in me
as no other flower does."

"These roses are very late--they bloom after all the
others have gone--and they hold all the warmth and soul
of the summer come to fruition," said Owen, plucking
some of the glowing, half-opened buds.

"The rose is the flower of love--the world has
acclaimed it so for centuries. The pink roses are
love hopeful and expectant--the white roses are love
dead or forsaken--but the red roses--ah, Leslie, what
are the red roses?"

"Love triumphant," said Leslie in a low voice.

"Yes--love triumphant and perfect. Leslie, you
know--you understand. I have loved you from the
first. And I KNOW you love me--I don't need to ask
you. But I want to hear you say it--my darling-- my
darling!"

Leslie said something in a very low and tremulous
voice. Their hands and lips met; it was life's
supreme moment for them and as they stood there in the
old garden, with its many years of love and delight and
sorrow and glory, he crowned her shining hair with the
red, red rose of a love triumphant.

Anne and Gilbert returned presently, accompanied by
Captain Jim. Anne lighted a few sticks of driftwood in
the fireplace, for love of the pixy flames, and they
sat around it for an hour of good fellowship.

"When I sit looking at a driftwood fire it's easy to
believe I'm young again," said Captain Jim.

"Can you read futures in the fire, Captain Jim?" asked
Owen.

Captain Jim looked at them all affectionately and then
back again at Leslie's vivid face and glowing eyes.

"I don't need the fire to read your futures," he said.
"I see happiness for all of you--all of you--for Leslie
and Mr. Ford--and the doctor here and Mistress
Blythe--and Little Jem--and children that ain't born
yet but will be. Happiness for you all--though, mind
you, I reckon you'll have your troubles and worries and
sorrows, too. They're bound to come--and no house,
whether it's a palace or a little house of dreams, can
bar 'em out. But they won't get the better of you if
you face 'em TOGETHER with love and trust. You can
weather any storm with them two for compass and
pilot."

The old man rose suddenly and placed one hand on
Leslie's head and one on Anne's.

"Two good, sweet women," he said. "True and faithful
and to be depended on. Your husbands will have honor
in the gates because of you--your children will rise up
and call you blessed in the years to come."

There was a strange solemnity about the little scene.
Anne and Leslie bowed as those receiving a
benediction. Gilbert suddenly brushed his hand over
his eyes; Owen Ford was rapt as one who can see
visions. All were silent for a space. The little
house of dreams added another poignant and
unforgettable moment to its store of memories.

"I must be going now," said Captain Jim slowly at
last. He took up his hat and looked lingeringly about
the room.

"Good night, all of you," he said, as he went out.

Anne, pierced by the unusual wistfulness of his
farewell, ran to the door after him.

"Come back soon, Captain Jim," she called, as he
passed through the little gate hung between the firs.

"Ay, ay," he called cheerily back to her. But Captain
Jim had sat by the old fireside of the house of dreams
for the last time.

Anne went slowly back to the others.

"It's so--so pitiful to think of him going all alone
down to that lonely Point," she said. "And there is
no one to welcome him there."

"Captain Jim is such good company for others that one
can't imagine him being anything but good company for
himself," said Owen. "But he must often be lonely.
There was a touch of the seer about him tonight--he
spoke as one to whom it had been given to speak. Well,
I must be going, too."

Anne and Gilbert discreetly melted away; but when Owen
had gone Anne returned, to find Leslie standing by the
hearth.

"Oh, Leslie--I know--and I'm so glad, dear," she said,
putting her arms about her.

"Anne, my happiness frightens me," whispered Leslie.
"It seems too great to be real--I'm afraid to speak of
it--to think of it. It seems to me that it must just
be another dream of this house of dreams and it will
vanish when I leave here."

"Well, you are not going to leave here--until Owen
takes you. You are going to stay with me until that
times comes. Do you think I'd let you go over to that
lonely, sad place again?"

"Thank you, dear. I meant to ask you if I might stay
with you. I didn't want to go back there--it would
seem like going back into the chill and dreariness of
the old life again. Anne, Anne, what a friend you've
been to me--`a good, sweet woman--true and faithful and
to be depended on'--Captain Jim summed you up."

"He said `women,' not `woman,'" smiled Anne. "Perhaps
Captain Jim sees us both through the rose-colored
spectacles of his love for us. But we can try to live
up to his belief in us, at least."

"Do you remember, Anne," said Leslie slowly, "that I
once said--that night we met on the shore--that I hated
my good looks? I did--then. It always seemed to me
that if I had been homely Dick would never have thought
of me. I hated my beauty because it had attracted him,
but now--oh, I'm glad that I have it. It's all I have
to offer Owen,--his artist soul delights in it. I feel
as if I do not come to him quite empty-handed."

"Owen loves your beauty, Leslie. Who would not? But
it's foolish of you to say or think that that is all
you bring him. HE will tell you that--I needn't. And
now I must lock up. I expected Susan back tonight, but
she has not come."

"Oh, yes, here I am, Mrs. Doctor, dear," said Susan,
entering unexpectedly from the kitchen, "and puffing
like a hen drawing rails at that! It's quite a walk
from the Glen down here."

"I'm glad to see you back, Susan. How is your
sister?"

"She is able to sit up, but of course she cannot walk
yet. However, she is very well able to get on without
me now, for her daughter has come home for her
vacation. And I am thankful to be back, Mrs. Doctor,
dear. Matilda's leg was broken and no mistake, but her
tongue was not. She would talk the legs off an iron
pot, that she would, Mrs. Doctor, dear, though I grieve
to say it of my own sister. She was always a great
talker and yet she was the first of our family to get
married. She really did not care much about marrying
James Clow, but she could not bear to disoblige him.
Not but what James is a good man--the only fault I have
to find with him is that he always starts in to say
grace with such an unearthly groan, Mrs. Doctor, dear.
It always frightens my appetite clear away. And
speaking of getting married, Mrs. Doctor, dear, is it
true that Cornelia Bryant is going to be married to
Marshall Elliott?"

"Yes, quite true, Susan."

"Well, Mrs. Doctor, dear, it does NOT seem to me fair.
Here is me, who never said a word against the men, and
I cannot get married nohow. And there is Cornelia
Bryant, who is never done abusing them, and all she has
to do is to reach out her hand and pick one up, as it
were. It is a very strange world, Mrs. Doctor, dear."

"There's another world, you know, Susan."

"Yes," said Susan with a heavy sigh, "but, Mrs.
Doctor, dear, there is neither marrying nor giving in
marriage there."

CHAPTER 39

CAPTAIN JIM CROSSES THE BAR

One day in late September Owen Ford's book came at
last. Captain Jim had gone faithfully to the Glen post
office every day for a month, expecting it. This day
he had not gone, and Leslie brought his copy home with
hers and Anne's.

"We'll take it down to him this evening," said Anne,
excited as a schoolgirl.

The long walk to the Point on that clear, beguiling
evening along the red harbor road was very pleasant.
Then the sun dropped down behind the western hills into
some valley that must have been full of lost sunsets,
and at the same instant the big light flashed out on
the white tower of the point.

"Captain Jim is never late by the fraction of a
second," said Leslie.

Neither Anne nor Leslie ever forgot Captain Jim's face
when they gave him the book--HIS book, transfigured and
glorified. The cheeks that had been blanched of late
suddenly flamed with the color of boyhood; his eyes
glowed with all the fire of youth; but his hands
trembled as he opened it.

It was called simply The Life-Book of Captain Jim, and
on the title page the names of Owen Ford and James Boyd
were printed as collaborators. The frontispiece was a
photograph of Captain Jim himself, standing at the door
of the lighthouse, looking across the gulf. Owen Ford
had "snapped" him one day while the book was being
written. Captain Jim had known this, but he had not
known that the picture was to be in the book.

"Just think of it," he said, "the old sailor right
there in a real printed book. This is the proudest day
of my life. I'm like to bust, girls. There'll be no
sleep for me tonight. I'll read my book clean through
before sun-up."

"We'll go right away and leave you free to begin it,"
said Anne.

Captain Jim had been handling the book in a kind of
reverent rapture. Now he decidedly closed it and laid
it aside.

"No, no, you're not going away before you take a cup of
tea with the old man," he protested. "I couldn't hear
to that--could you, Matey? The life-book will keep, I
reckon. I've waited for it this many a year. I can
wait a little longer while I'm enjoying my friends."

Captain Jim moved about getting his kettle on to boil,
and setting out his bread and butter. Despite his
excitement he did not move with his old briskness. His
movements were slow and halting. But the girls did not
offer to help him. They knew it would hurt his
feelings.

"You just picked the right evening to visit me," he
said, producing a cake from his cupboard. "Leetle
Joe's mother sent me down a big basket full of cakes
and pies today. A blessing on all good cooks, says I.
Look at this purty cake, all frosting and nuts.
'Tain't often I can entertain in such style. Set in,
girls, set in! We'll `tak a cup o' kindness yet for
auld lang syne.'"

The girls "set in" right merrily. The tea was up to
Captain Jim's best brewing. Little Joe's mother's cake
was the last word in cakes; Captain Jim was the prince
of gracious hosts, never even permitting his eyes to
wander to the corner where the life-book lay, in all
its bravery of green and gold. But when his door
finally closed behind Anne and Leslie they knew that he
went straight to it, and as they walked home they
pictured the delight of the old man poring over the
printed pages wherein his own life was portrayed with
all the charm and color of reality itself.

"I wonder how he will like the ending--the ending I
suggested," said Leslie.

She was never to know. Early the next morning Anne
awakened to find Gilbert bending over her, fully
dressed, and with an expression of anxiety on his face.

"Are you called out?" she asked drowsily.

"No. Anne, I'm afraid there's something wrong at the
Point. It's an hour after sunrise now, and the light
is still burning. You know it has always been a matter
of pride with Captain Jim to start the light the moment
the sun sets, and put it out the moment it rises."

Anne sat up in dismay. Through her window she saw the
light blinking palely against the blue skies of dawn.

"Perhaps he has fallen asleep over his life-book," she
said anxiously, "or become so absorbed in it that he
has forgotten the light."

Gilbert shook his head.

"That wouldn't be like Captain Jim. Anyway, I'm going
down to see."

"Wait a minute and I'll go with you," exclaimed Anne.
"Oh, yes, I must--Little Jem will sleep for an hour
yet, and I'll call Susan. You may need a woman's help
if Captain Jim is ill."

It was an exquisite morning, full of tints and sounds
at once ripe and delicate. The harbor was sparkling
and dimpling like a girl; white gulls were soaring over
the dunes; beyond the bar was a shining, wonderful sea.
The long fields by the shore were dewy and fresh in
that first fine, purely-tinted light. The wind came
dancing and whistling up the channel to replace the
beautiful silence with a music more beautiful still.
Had it not been for the baleful star on the white tower
that early walk would have been a delight to Anne and
Gilbert. But they went softly with fear.

Their knock was not responded to. Gilbert opened the
door and they went in.

The old room was very quiet. On the table were the
remnants of the little evening feast. The lamp still
burned on the corner stand. The First Mate was asleep
in a square of sunshine by the sofa.

Captain Jim lay on the sofa, with his hands clasped
over the life-book, open at the last page, lying on his
breast. His eyes were closed and on his face was a
look of the most perfect peace and happiness--the look
of one who has long sought and found at last.

"He is asleep?" whispered Anne tremulously.

Gilbert went to the sofa and bent over him for a few
moments. Then he straightened up.

"Yes, he sleeps--well," he added quietly. "Anne,
Captain Jim has crossed the bar."

They could not know precisely at what hour he had died,
but Anne always believed that he had had his wish, and
went out when the morning came across the gulf. Out on
that shining tide his spirit drifted, over the sunrise
sea of pearl and silver, to the haven where lost
Margaret waited, beyond the storms and calms.

CHAPTER 40

FAREWELL TO THE HOUSE OF DREAMS

Captain Jim was buried in the little over-harbor
graveyard, very near to the spot where the wee white
lady slept. His relatives put up a very expensive,
very ugly "monument"--a monument at which he would
have poked sly fun had he seen it in life. But his
real monument was in the hearts of those who knew him,
and in the book that was to live for generations.

Leslie mourned that Captain Jim had not lived to see
the amazing success of it.

"How he would have delighted in the reviews--they are
almost all so kindly. And to have seen his life-book
heading the lists of the best sellers--oh, if he could
just have lived to see it, Anne!"

But Anne, despite her grief, was wiser.

"It was the book itself he cared for, Leslie--not what
might be said of it--and he had it. He had read it all
through. That last night must have been one of the
greatest happiness for him--with the quick, painless
ending he had hoped for in the morning. I am glad for
Owen's sake and yours that the book is such a
success--but Captain Jim was satisfied--I KNOW."

The lighthouse star still kept a nightly vigil; a
substitute keeper had been sent to the Point, until
such time as an all-wise government could decide which
of many applicants was best fitted for the place--or
had the strongest pull. The First Mate was at home in
the little house, beloved by Anne and Gilbert and
Leslie, and tolerated by a Susan who had small liking
for cats.

"I can put up with him for the sake of Captain Jim,
Mrs. Doctor, dear, for I liked the old man. And I will
see that he gets bite and sup, and every mouse the
traps account for. But do not ask me to do more than
that, Mrs. Doctor, dear. Cats is cats, and take my
word for it, they will never be anything else. And at
least, Mrs. Doctor, dear, do keep him away from the
blessed wee man. Picture to yourself how awful it
would be if he was to suck the darling's breath."

"That might be fitly called a CAT-astrophe," said
Gilbert.

"Oh, you may laugh, doctor, dear, but it would be no
laughing matter."

"Cats never suck babies' breaths," said Gilbert.
"That is only an old superstition, Susan."

"Oh, well, it may be a superstition or it may not,
doctor, dear. All that I know is, it has happened. My
sister's husband's nephew's wife's cat sucked their
baby's breath, and the poor innocent was all but gone
when they found it. And superstition or not, if I find
that yellow beast lurking near our baby I will whack
him with the poker, Mrs. Doctor, dear."

Mr. and Mrs. Marshall Elliott were living comfortably
and harmoniously in the green house. Leslie was busy
with sewing, for she and Owen were to be married at
Christmas. Anne wondered what she would do when Leslie
was gone.

"Changes come all the time. Just as soon as things get
really nice they change," she said with a sigh.

"The old Morgan place up at the Glen is for sale,"
said Gilbert, apropos of nothing in especial.

"Is it?" asked Anne indifferently.

"Yes. Now that Mr. Morgan has gone, Mrs. Morgan wants
to go to live with her children in Vancouver. She will
sell cheaply, for a big place like that in a small
village like the Glen will not be very easy to dispose
of."

"Well, it's certainly a beautiful place, so it is
likely she will find a purchaser," said Anne,
absently, wondering whether she should hemstitch or
feather-stitch little Jem's "short" dresses. He was
to be shortened the next week, and Anne felt ready to
cry at the thought of it.

"Suppose we buy it, Anne?" remarked Gilbert quietly.

Anne dropped her sewing and stared at him.

"You're not in earnest, Gilbert?"

"Indeed I am, dear."

"And leave this darling spot--our house of dreams?"
said Anne incredulously. "Oh, Gilbert, it's--it's
unthinkable!"

"Listen patiently to me, dear. I know just how you
feel about it. I feel the same. But we've always
known we would have to move some day."

"Oh, but not so soon, Gilbert--not just yet."

"We may never get such a chance again. If we don't buy
the Morgan place someone else will--and there is no
other house in the Glen we would care to have, and no
other really good site on which to build. This little
house is--well, it is and has been what no other house
can ever be to us, I admit, but you know it is
out-of-the-way down here for a doctor. We have felt
the inconvenience, though we've made the best of it.
And it's a tight fit for us now. Perhaps, in a few
years, when Jem wants a room of his own, it will be
entirely too small."

"Oh, I know--I know," said Anne, tears filling her
eyes. "I know all that can be said against it, but I
love it so--and it's so beautiful here."

"You would find it very lonely here after Leslie
goes--and Captain Jim has gone too. The Morgan place
is beautiful, and in time we would love it. You know
you have always admired it, Anne."

"Oh, yes, but--but--this has all seemed to come up so
suddenly, Gilbert. I'm dizzy. Ten minutes ago I had
no thought of leaving this dear spot. I was planning
what I meant to do for it in the spring-- what I meant
to do in the garden. And if we leave this place who
will get it? It IS out-of-the-way, so it's likely some
poor, shiftless, wandering family will rent it--and
over-run it--and oh, that would be desecration. It
would hurt me horribly."

"I know. But we cannot sacrifice our own interests to
such considerations, Anne-girl. The Morgan place will
suit us in every essential particular--we really can't
afford to miss such a chance. Think of that big lawn
with those magnificent old trees; and of that splendid
hardwood grove behind it--twelve acres of it. What a
play place for our children! There's a fine orchard,
too, and you've always admired that high brick wall
around the garden with the door in it--you've thought
it was so like a story-book garden. And there is
almost as fine a view of the harbor and the dunes from
the Morgan place as from here."

"You can't see the lighthouse star from it."

"Yes, You can see it from the attic window. THERE'S
another advantage, Anne-girl--you love big garrets."

"There's no brook in the garden."

"Well, no, but there is one running through the maple
grove into the Glen pond. And the pond itself isn't
far away. You'll be able to fancy you have your own
Lake of Shining Waters again."

"Well, don't say anything more about it just now,
Gilbert. Give me time to think--to get used to the
idea."

"All right. There is no great hurry, of course.
Only--if we decide to buy, it would be well to be
moved in and settled before winter."

Gilbert went out, and Anne put away Little Jem's short
dresses with trembling hands. She could not sew any
more that day. With tear-wet eyes she wandered over
the little domain where she had reigned so happy a
queen. The Morgan place was all that Gilbert claimed.
The grounds were beautiful, the house old enough to
have dignity and repose and traditions, and new enough
to be comfortable and up-to-date. Anne had always
admired it; but admiring is not loving; and she loved
this house of dreams so much. She loved EVERYTHING
about it--the garden she had tended, and which so many
women had tended before her--the gleam and sparkle of
the little brook that crept so roguishly across the
corner--the gate between the creaking fir trees--the
old red sandstone step--the stately Lombardies-- the
two tiny quaint glass cupboards over the chimney- piece
in the living-room--the crooked pantry door in the
kitchen-- the two funny dormer windows upstairs--the
little jog in the staircase-- why, these things were a
part of her! How could she leave them?

And how this little house, consecrated aforetime by
love and joy, had been re-consecrated for her by her
happiness and sorrow! Here she had spent her bridal
moon; here wee Joyce had lived her one brief day; here
the sweetness of motherhood had come again with Little
Jem; here she had heard the exquisite music of her
baby's cooing laughter; here beloved friends had sat by
her fireside. Joy and grief, birth and death, had made
sacred forever this little house of dreams.

And now she must leave it. She knew that, even while
she had contended against the idea to Gilbert. The
little house was outgrown. Gilbert's interests made
the change necessary; his work, successful though it
had been, was hampered by his location. Anne realised
that the end of their life in this dear place drew
nigh, and that she must face the fact bravely. But how
her heart ached!

"It will be just like tearing something out of my
life," she sobbed. "And oh, if I could hope that some
nice folk would come here in our place--or even that it
would be left vacant. That itself would be better than
having it overrun with some horde who know nothing of
the geography of dreamland, and nothing of the history
that has given this house its soul and its identity.
And if such a tribe come here the place will go to rack
and ruin in no time--an old place goes down so quickly
if it is not carefully attended to. They'll tear up my
garden--and let the Lombardies get ragged--and the
paling will come to look like a mouth with half the
teeth missing--and the roof will leak--and the plaster
fall--and they'll stuff pillows and rags in broken
window panes--and everything will be out-at-elbows."

Anne's imagination pictured forth so vividly the coming
degeneration of her dear little house that it hurt her
as severely as if it had already been an accomplished
fact. She sat down on the stairs and had a long,
bitter cry. Susan found her there and enquired with
much concern what the trouble was.

"You have not quarrelled with the doctor, have you now,
Mrs. Doctor, dear? But if you have, do not worry. It
is a thing quite likely to happen to married couples, I
am told, although I have had no experience that way
myself. He will be sorry, and you can soon make it
up."

"No, no, Susan, we haven't quarrelled. It's
only--Gilbert is going to buy the Morgan place, and
we'll have to go and live at the Glen. And it will
break my heart."

Susan did not enter into Anne's feelings at all. She
was, indeed, quite rejoiced over the prospect of living
at the Glen. Her one grievance against her place in
the little house was its lonesome location.

"Why, Mrs. Doctor, dear, it will be splendid. The
Morgan house is such a fine, big one."

"I hate big houses," sobbed Anne.

"Oh, well, you will not hate them by the time you have
half a dozen children," remarked Susan calmly. "And
this house is too small already for us. We have no
spare room, since Mrs. Moore is here, and that pantry
is the most aggravating place I ever tried to work in.
There is a corner every way you turn. Besides, it is
out-of-the-world down here. There is really nothing at
all but scenery."

"Out of your world perhaps, Susan--but not out of
mine," said Anne with a faint smile.

"I do not quite understand you, Mrs. Doctor, dear, but
of course I am not well educated. But if Dr. Blythe
buys the Morgan place he will make no mistake, and that
you may tie to. They have water in it, and the
pantries and closets are beautiful, and there is not
another such cellar in P. E. Island, so I have been
told. Why, the cellar here, Mrs. Doctor, dear, has
been a heart-break to me, as well you know."

"Oh, go away, Susan, go away," said Anne forlornly.
"Cellars and pantries and closets don't make a HOME.
Why don't you weep with those who weep?"

"Well, I never was much hand for weeping, Mrs. Doctor,
dear. I would rather fall to and cheer people up than
weep with them. Now, do not you cry and spoil your
pretty eyes. This house is very well and has served
your turn, but it is high time you had a better."

Susan's point of view seemed to be that of most people.
Leslie was the only one who sympathised
understandingly with Anne. She had a good cry, too,
when she heard the news. Then they both dried their
tears and went to work at the preparations for moving.

"Since we must go let us go as soon as we can and have
it over," said poor Anne with bitter resignation.

"You know you will like that lovely old place at the
Glen after you have lived in it long enough to have
dear memories woven about it," said Leslie. "Friends
will come there, as they have come here-- happiness
will glorify it for you. Now, it's just a house to
you--but the years will make it a home."

Anne and Leslie had another cry the next week when they
shortened Little Jem. Anne felt the tragedy of it
until evening when in his long nightie she found her
own dear baby again.

"But it will be rompers next--and then trousers--and in
no time he will be grown-up," she sighed.

"Well, you would not want him to stay a baby always,
Mrs. Doctor, dear, would you?" said Susan. "Bless his
innocent heart, he looks too sweet for anything in his
little short dresses, with his dear feet sticking out.
And think of the save in the ironing, Mrs. Doctor, dear."

"Anne, I have just had a letter from Owen," said
Leslie, entering with a bright face. "And, oh! I have
such good news. He writes me that he is going to buy
this place from the church trustees and keep it to
spend our summer vacations in. Anne, are you not glad?"

"Oh, Leslie, `glad' isn't the word for it! It seems
almost too good to be true. I sha'n't feel half so
badly now that I know this dear spot will never be
desecrated by a vandal tribe, or left to tumble down in
decay. Why, it's lovely! It's lovely!"

One October morning Anne wakened to the realisation
that she had slept for the last time under the roof of
her little house. The day was too busy to indulge
regret and when evening came the house was stripped and
bare. Anne and Gilbert were alone in it to say
farewell. Leslie and Susan and Little Jem had gone to
the Glen with the last load of furniture. The sunset
light streamed in through the curtainless windows.

"It has all such a heart-broken, reproachful look,
hasn't it?" said Anne. "Oh, I shall be so homesick at
the Glen tonight!"

"We have been very happy here, haven't we, Anne-girl?"
said Gilbert, his voice full of feeling.

Anne choked, unable to answer. Gilbert waited for her
at the fir-tree gate, while she went over the house and
said farewell to every room. She was going away; but
the old house would still be there, looking seaward
through its quaint windows. The autumn winds would
blow around it mournfully, and the gray rain would beat
upon it and the white mists would come in from the sea
to enfold it; and the moonlight would fall over it and
light up the old paths where the schoolmaster and his
bride had walked. There on that old harbor shore the
charm of story would linger; the wind would still
whistle alluringly over the silver sand-dunes; the
waves would still call from the red rock-coves.

"But we will be gone," said Anne through her tears.

She went out, closing and locking the door behind her.
Gilbert was waiting for her with a smile. The
lighthouse star was gleaming northward. The little
garden, where only marigolds still bloomed, was already
hooding itself in shadows.

Anne knelt down and kissed the worn old step which she
had crossed as a bride.

"Good-bye, dear little house of dreams," she said.

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