Anne of Green Gables
XVIII. Anne to the Rescue
ALL things great are wound up with all things little. At first glance it might not seem that
the decision of a certain Canadian Premier to include Prince Edward Island in a political
tour could have much or anything to do with the fortunes of little Anne Shirley at Green
Gables. But it had.
It was a January the Premier came, to address his loyal supporters and such of his
nonsupporters as chose to be present at the monster mass meeting held in
Charlottetown. Most of the Avonlea people were on Premier's side of politics; hence on
the night of the meeting nearly all the men and a goodly proportion of the women had
gone to town thirty miles away. Mrs. Rachel Lynde had gone too. Mrs. Rachel Lynde
was a red-hot politician and couldn't have believed that the political rally could be
carried through without her, although she was on the opposite side of politics. So she
went to town and took her husband--Thomas would be useful in looking after the horse--
and Marilla Cuthbert with her. Marilla had a sneaking interest in politics herself, and as
she thought it might be her only chance to see a real live Premier, she promptly took it,
leaving Anne and Matthew to keep house until her return the following day.
Hence, while Marilla and Mrs. Rachel were enjoying themselves hugely at the mass
meeting, Anne and Matthew had the cheerful kitchen at Green Gables all to themselves.
A bright fire was glowing in the old-fashioned Waterloo stove and blue-white frost
crystals were shining on the windowpanes. Matthew nodded over a FARMERS'
ADVOCATE on the sofa and Anne at the table studied her lessons with grim
determination, despite sundry wistful glances at the clock shelf, where lay a new book
that Jane Andrews had lent her that day. Jane had assured her that it was warranted to
produce any number of thrills, or words to that effect, and Anne's fingers tingled to reach
out for it. But that would mean Gilbert Blythe's triumph on the morrow. Anne turned her
back on the clock shelf and tried to imagine it wasn't there.
"Matthew, did you ever study geometry when you went to school?"
"Well now, no, I didn't," said Matthew, coming out of his doze with a start.
"I wish you had," sighed Anne, "because then you'd be able to sympathize with me. You
can't sympathize properly if you've never studied it. It is casting a cloud over my whole
life. I'm such a dunce at it, Matthew."
"Well now, I dunno," said Matthew soothingly. "I guess you're all right at anything. Mr.
Phillips told me last week in Blair's store at Carmody that you was the smartest scholar
in school and was making rapid progress. `Rapid progress' was his very words. There's
them as runs down Teddy Phillips and says he ain't much of a teacher, but I guess he's
Matthew would have thought anyone who praised Anne was "all right."