Anne of Green Gables
X. Anne's Apology
Marilla said nothing to Matthew about the affair that evening; but when Anne proved still
refractory the next morning an explanation had to be made to account for her absence
from the breakfast table. Marilla told Matthew the whole story, taking pains to impress
him with a due sense of the enormity of Anne's behavior.
"It's a good thing Rachel Lynde got a calling down; she's a meddlesome old gossip,"
was Matthew's consolatory rejoinder.
"Matthew Cuthbert, I'm astonished at you. You know that Anne's behavior was dreadful,
and yet you take her part! I suppose you'll be saying next thing that she oughtn't to be
punished at all!"
"Well now--no--not exactly," said Matthew uneasily. "I reckon she ought to be punished
a little. But don't be too hard on her, Marilla. Recollect she hasn't ever had anyone to
teach her right. You're--you're going to give her something to eat, aren't you?"
"When did you ever hear of me starving people into good behavior?" demanded Marilla
indignantly. "She'll have her meals regular, and I'll carry them up to her myself. But
she'll stay up there until she's willing to apologize to Mrs. Lynde, and that's final,
Breakfast, dinner, and supper were very silent meals--for Anne still remained obdurate.
After each meal Marilla carried a well-filled tray to the east gable and brought it down
later on not noticeably depleted. Matthew eyed its last descent with a troubled eye. Had
Anne eaten anything at all?
When Marilla went out that evening to bring the cows from the back pasture, Matthew,
who had been hanging about the barns and watching, slipped into the house with the air
of a burglar and crept upstairs. As a general thing Matthew gravitated between the
kitchen and the little bedroom off the hall where he slept; once in a while he ventured
uncomfortably into the parlor or sitting room when the minister came to tea. But he had
never been upstairs in his own house since the spring he helped Marilla paper the spare
bedroom, and that was four years ago.
He tiptoed along the hall and stood for several minutes outside the door of the east
gable before he summoned courage to tap on it with his fingers and then open the door
to peep in.
Anne was sitting on the yellow chair by the window gazing mournfully out into the
garden. Very small and unhappy she looked, and Matthew's heart smote him. He softly
closed the door and tiptoed over to her.