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Anne of the Island

I. The Shadow of Change
"Harvest is ended and summer is gone," quoted Anne Shirley, gazing across the shorn
fields dreamily. She and Diana Barry had been picking apples in the Green Gables
orchard, but were now resting from their labors in a sunny corner, where airy fleets of
thistledown drifted by on the wings of a wind that was still summer-sweet with the
incense of ferns in the Haunted Wood.
But everything in the landscape around them spoke of autumn. The sea was roaring
hollowly in the distance, the fields were bare and sere, scarfed with golden rod, the
brook valley below Green Gables overflowed with asters of ethereal purple, and the
Lake of Shining Waters was blue--blue--blue; not the changeful blue of spring, nor the
pale azure of summer, but a clear, steadfast, serene blue, as if the water were past all
moods and tenses of emotion and had settled down to a tranquility unbroken by fickle
dreams.
"It has been a nice summer," said Diana, twisting the new ring on her left hand with a
smile. "And Miss Lavendar's wedding seemed to come as a sort of crown to it. I
suppose Mr. and Mrs. Irving are on the Pacific coast now."
"It seems to me they have been gone long enough to go around the world," sighed
Anne.
"I can't believe it is only a week since they were married. Everything has changed. Miss
Lavendar and Mr. and Mrs. Allan gone--how lonely the manse looks with the shutters all
closed! I went past it last night, and it made me feel as if everybody in it had died."
"We'll never get another minister as nice as Mr. Allan," said Diana, with gloomy
conviction. "I suppose we'll have all kinds of supplies this winter, and half the Sundays
no preaching at all. And you and Gilbert gone--it will be awfully dull."
"Fred will be here," insinuated Anne slyly.
"When is Mrs. Lynde going to move up?" asked Diana, as if she had not heard Anne's
remark.
"Tomorrow. I'm glad she's coming--but it will be another change. Marilla and I cleared
everything out of the spare room yesterday. Do you know, I hated to do it? Of course, it
was silly--but it did seem as if we were committing sacrilege. That old spare room has
always seemed like a shrine to me. When I was a child I thought it the most wonderful
apartment in the world. You remember what a consuming desire I had to sleep in a
spare room bed--but not the Green Gables spare room. Oh, no, never there! It would
have been too terrible--I couldn't have slept a wink from awe. I never WALKED through
that room when Marilla sent me in on an errand--no, indeed, I tiptoed through it and held
 
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