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Anne of Windy Poplars

"We came by train and oh, Gilbert, I had the funniest adventure. You
know I've always been one to whom adventures came unsought. I just
seem to attract them, as it were.
"It happened just as the train was coming to a stop at the station. I got
up and, stooping to pick up Mrs. Lynde's suitcase (she was planning to
spend Sunday with a friend in Summerside), I leaned my knuckles heav-
ily on what I thought was the shiny arm of a seat. In a second I received
a violent crack across them that nearly made me howl. Gilbert, what I
had taken for the arm of a seat was a man's bald head. He was glaring
fiercely at me and had evidently just waked up. I apologized abjectly and
got off the train as quickly as possible. The last I saw of him he was still
glaring. Mrs. Lynde was horrified and my knuckles are sore yet!
"I did not expect to have much trouble in finding a boarding-house, for
a certain Mrs. Tom Pringle has been boarding the various principals of
the High School for the last fifteen years. But, for some unknown reason,
she has grown suddenly tired of 'being bothered' and wouldn't take me.
Several other desirable places had some polite excuse. Several other
places weren't desirable. We wandered about the town the whole after-
noon and got hot and tired and blue and headachy É at least I did. I was
ready to give up in despair É and then, Spook's Lane just happened!
"We had dropped in to see Mrs. Braddock, an old crony of Mrs.
Lynde's. And Mrs. Braddock said she thought 'the widows' might take
me in.
"'I've heard they want a boarder to pay Rebecca Dew's wages. They
can't afford to keep Rebecca any longer unless a little extra money comes
in. And if Rebecca goes, who is to milk that old red cow?'
"Mrs. Braddock fixed me with a stern eye as if she thought I ought to
milk the red cow but wouldn't believe me on oath if I claimed I could.
"'What widows are you talking about?' demanded Mrs. Lynde.
"'Why, Aunt Kate and Aunt Chatty,' said Mrs. Braddock, as if every-
body, even an ignorant B.A., ought to know that. 'Aunt Kate is Mrs.
Amasa MacComber (she's the Captain's widow) and Aunt Chatty is Mrs.
Lincoln MacLean, just a plain widow. But every one calls them "aunt."
They live at the end of Spook's Lane.'
"Spook's Lane! That settled it. I knew I just had to board with the
"'Let's go and see them at once,' I implored Mrs. Lynde. It seemed to
me if we lost a moment Spook's Lane would vanish back into fairyland.