Part 5 out of 5
and I'll be as amiable as I know how. But since you have gone
to the trouble of getting my supper for me, Nancy, you must
stay and help me eat it. Them strawberries look good. I
haven't had any this summer--been too busy to pick them."
Nancy stayed. She sat at the head of Peter's table and poured
his tea for him. She talked to him wittily of the Avonlea
people and the changes in their old set. Peter followed her
lead with an apparent absence of self-consciousness, eating
his supper like a man whose heart and mind were alike on good
terms with him. Nancy felt wretched--and, at the same time,
ridiculously happy. It seemed the most grotesque thing in the
world that she should be presiding there at Peter's table, and
yet the most natural. There were moments when she felt like
crying--other moments when her laughter was as ready and
spontaneous as a girl's. Sentiment and humour had always waged
an equal contest in Nancy's nature.
When Peter had finished his strawberries he folded his arms on
the table and looked admiringly at Nancy.
"You look well at the head of a table, Nancy," he said
critically. "How is it that you haven't been presiding at one
of your own long before this? I thought you'd meet a lots of
men out in the world that you'd like--men who talked good
"Peter, don't!" said Nancy, wincing. "I was a goose."
"No, you were quite right. I was a tetchy fool. If I'd had any
sense, I'd have felt thankful you thought enough of me to want
to improve me, and I'd have tried to kerrect my mistakes
instead of getting mad. It's too late now, I suppose."
"Too late for what?" said Nancy, plucking up heart of grace at
something in Peter's tone and look.
"Not exactly. I guess them mistakes are past kerrecting in an
old fellow like me. Worse mistakes, Nancy. I wonder what you
would say if I asked you to forgive me, and have me after all."
"I'd snap you up before you'd have time to change your mind,"
said Nancy brazenly. She tried to look Peter in the face, but
her blue eyes, where tears and mirth were blending, faltered
down before his gray ones.
Peter stood up, knocking over his chair, and strode around the
table to her.
"Nancy, my girl!" he said.