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Anne of the Island

VII. Home Again
Those first three weeks at Redmond had seemed long; but the rest of the term flew by
on wings of wind. Before they realized it the Redmond students found themselves in the
grind of Christmas examinations, emerging therefrom more or less triumphantly. The
honor of leading in the Freshman classes fluctuated between Anne, Gilbert and
Philippa; Priscilla did very well; Charlie Sloane scraped through respectably, and
comported himself as complacently as if he had led in everything.
"I can't really believe that this time tomorrow I'll be in Green Gables," said Anne on the
night before departure. "But I shall be. And you, Phil, will be in Bolingbroke with Alec
and Alonzo."
"I'm longing to see them," admitted Phil, between the chocolate she was nibbling. "They
really are such dear boys, you know. There's to be no end of dances and drives and
general jamborees. I shall never forgive you, Queen Anne, for not coming home with me
for the holidays."
"'Never' means three days with you, Phil. It was dear of you to ask me--and I'd love to
go to Bolingbroke some day. But I can't go this year--I MUST go home. You don't know
how my heart longs for it."
"You won't have much of a time," said Phil scornfully. "There'll be one or two quilting
parties, I suppose; and all the old gossips will talk you over to your face and behind your
back. You'll die of lonesomeness, child."
"In Avonlea?" said Anne, highly amused.
"Now, if you'd come with me you'd have a perfectly gorgeous time. Bolingbroke would
go wild over you, Queen Anne--your hair and your style and, oh, everything! You're so
DIFFERENT. You'd be such a success--and I would bask in reflected glory--'not the
rose but near the rose.' Do come, after all, Anne."
"Your picture of social triumphs is quite fascinating, Phil, but I'll paint one to offset it. I'm
going home to an old country farmhouse, once green, rather faded now, set among
leafless apple orchards. There is a brook below and a December fir wood beyond,
where I've heard harps swept by the fingers of rain and wind. There is a pond nearby
that will be gray and brooding now. There will be two oldish ladies in the house, one tall
and thin, one short and fat; and there will be two twins, one a perfect model, the other
what Mrs. Lynde calls a 'holy terror.' There will be a little room upstairs over the porch,
where old dreams hang thick, and a big, fat, glorious feather bed which will almost seem
the height of luxury after a boardinghouse mattress. How do you like my picture, Phil?"
"It seems a very dull one," said Phil, with a grimace.
 
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