Anne of the Island
XVIII. Miss Josepine Remembers the Anne-girl
When Christmas holidays came the girls of Patty's Place scattered to their respective
homes, but Aunt Jamesina elected to stay where she was.
"I couldn't go to any of the places I've been invited and take those three cats," she said.
"And I'm not going to leave the poor creatures here alone for nearly three weeks. If we
had any decent neighbors who would feed them I might, but there's nothing except
millionaires on this street. So I'll stay here and keep Patty's Place warm for you."
Anne went home with the usual joyous anticipations--which were not wholly fulfilled.
She found Avonlea in the grip of such an early, cold, and stormy winter as even the
"oldest inhabitant" could not recall. Green Gables was literally hemmed in by huge
drifts. Almost every day of that ill-starred vacation it stormed fiercely; and even on fine
days it drifted unceasingly. No sooner were the roads broken than they filled in again. It
was almost impossible to stir out. The A.V.I.S. tried, on three evenings, to have a party
in honor of the college students, and on each evening the storm was so wild that
nobody could go, so they gave up the attempt in despair. Anne, despite her love of and
loyalty to Green Gables, could not help thinking longingly of Patty's Place, its cosy open
fire, Aunt Jamesina's mirthful eyes, the three cats, the merry chatter of the girls, the
pleasantness of Friday evenings when college friends dropped in to talk of grave and
Anne was lonely; Diana, during the whole of the holidays, was imprisoned at home with
a bad attack of bronchitis. She could not come to Green Gables and it was rarely Anne
could get to Orchard Slope, for the old way through the Haunted Wood was impassable
with drifts, and the long way over the frozen Lake of Shining Waters was almost as bad.
Ruby Gillis was sleeping in the white-heaped graveyard; Jane Andrews was teaching a
school on western prairies. Gilbert, to be sure, was still faithful, and waded up to Green
Gables every possible evening. But Gilbert's visits were not what they once were. Anne
almost dreaded them. It was very disconcerting to look up in the midst of a sudden
silence and find Gilbert's hazel eyes fixed upon her with a quite unmistakable
expression in their grave depths; and it was still more disconcerting to find herself
blushing hotly and uncomfortably under his gaze, just as if--just as if--well, it was very
embarrassing. Anne wished herself back at Patty's Place, where there was always
somebody else about to take the edge off a delicate situation. At Green Gables Marilla
went promptly to Mrs. Lynde's domain when Gilbert came and insisted on taking the
twins with her. The significance of this was unmistakable and Anne was in a helpless
fury over it.
Davy, however, was perfectly happy. He reveled in getting out in the morning and
shoveling out the paths to the well and henhouse. He gloried in the Christmas-tide
delicacies which Marilla and Mrs. Lynde vied with each other in preparing for Anne, and
he was reading an enthralling tale, in a school library book, of a wonderful hero who
seemed blessed with a miraculous faculty for getting into scrapes from which he was