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Anne of Island Part 2

Anne of Island Part 2

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Published by: chicku10 on Jun 06, 2010
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"Anne Shirley to Philippa Gordon, greeting.

"Well-beloved, it's high time I was writing you. Here am I,
installed once more as a country `schoolma'am' at Valley
Road, boarding at `Wayside,' the home of Miss Janet

Sweet. Janet is a dear soul and very nicelooking; tall, but
not over-tall; stoutish, yet with a certain restraint of outline
suggestive of a thrifty soul who is not going to be overlavish
even in the matter of avoirdupois. She has a knot of soft,
crimpy, brown hair with a thread of gray in it, a sunny face
with rosy cheeks, and big, kind eyes as blue as forget-me-
nots. Moreover, she is one of those delightful, old-fashioned
cooks who don't care a bit if they ruin your digestion as long
as they can give you feasts of fat things.

"I like her; and she likes me -- principally, it seems, because
she had a sister named Anne who died young.

"`I'm real glad to see you,' she said briskly, when I landed in
her yard. `My, you don't look a mite like I expected. I was
sure you'd be dark -- my sister Anne was dark. And here
you're redheaded!'

"For a few minutes I thought I wasn't going to like Janet as
much as I had expected at first sight. Then I reminded
myself that I really must be more sensible than to be
prejudiced against any one simply because she called my
hair red. Probably the word `auburn' was not in Janet's
vocabulary at all.

"`Wayside' is a dear sort of little spot. The house is small
and white, set down in a delightful little hollow that drops
away from the road. Between road and house is an orchard
and flower-garden all mixed up together. The front door
walk is bordered with quahog clam-shells -- `cow-hawks,'
Janet calls them; there is Virginia Creeper over the porch
and moss on the roof. My room is a neat little spot `off the
parlor' -- just big enough for the bed and me. Over the head
of my bed there is a picture of Robby Burns standing at
Highland Mary's grave, shadowed by an enormous
weeping willow tree. Robby's face is so lugubrious that it is
no wonder I have bad dreams. Why, the first night I was
here I dreamed I COULDN'T LAUGH.

"The parlor is tiny and neat. Its one window is so shaded by
a huge willow that the room has a grotto-like effect of
emerald gloom. There are wonderful tidies on the chairs,
and gay mats on the floor, and books and cards carefully
arranged on a round table, and vases of dried grass on the
mantel-piece. Between the vases is a cheerful decoration of
preserved coffin plates -- five in all, pertaining respectively
to Janet's father and mother, a brother, her sister Anne,
and a hired man who died here once! If I go suddenly
insane some of these days `know all men by these
presents' that those coffin-plates have caused it.

"But it's all delightful and I said so. Janet loved me for it,
just as she detested poor Esther because Esther had said
so much shade was unhygienic and had objected to
sleeping on a feather bed. Now, I glory in feather-beds, and
the more unhygienic and feathery they are the more I glory.
Janet says it is such a comfort to see me eat; she had been
so afraid I would be like Miss Haythorne, who wouldn't eat
anything but fruit and hot water for breakfast and tried to
make Janet give up frying things. Esther is really a dear girl,
but she is rather given to fads. The trouble is that she
hasn't enough imagination and HAS a tendency to

"Janet told me I could have the use of the parlor when any
young men called! I don't think there are many to call. I
haven't seen a young man in Valley Road yet, except the
next-door hired boy -- Sam Toliver, a very tall, lank, tow-
haired youth. He came over one evening recently and sat
for an hour on the garden fence, near the front porch where
Janet and I were doing fancy-work. The only remarks he
volunteered in all that time were, `Hev a peppermint, miss!
Dew now-fine thing for carARRH, peppermints,' and,
`Powerful lot o' jump-grasses round here ternight. Yep.'

"But there is a love affair going on here. It seems to be my
fortune to be mixed up, more or less actively, with elderly

love affairs. Mr. and Mrs. Irving always say that I brought
about their marriage. Mrs. Stephen Clark of Carmody
persists in being most grateful to me for a suggestion which
somebody else would probably have made if I hadn't. I do
really think, though, that Ludovic Speed would never have
got any further along than placid courtship if I had not
helped him and Theodora Dix out.

"In the present affair I am only a passive spectator. I've
tried once to help things along and made an awful mess of
it. So I shall not meddle again. I'll tell you all about it when
we meet."

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