Anne's House of Dreams
21. Barriers Swept Away
"Anne," said Leslie, breaking abruptly a short silence, "you don't know how GOOD it is
to be sitting here with you again--working-- and talking--and being silent together."
They were sitting among the blue-eyed grasses on the bank of the brook in Anne's
garden. The water sparkled and crooned past them; the birches threw dappled shadows
over them; roses bloomed along the walks. The sun was beginning to be low, and the
air was full of woven music. There was one music of the wind in the firs behind the
house, and another of the waves on the bar, and still another from the distant bell of the
church near which the wee, white lady slept. Anne loved that bell, though it brought
sorrowful thoughts now.
She looked curiously at Leslie, who had thrown down her sewing and spoken with a
lack of restraint that was very unusual with her.
"On that horrible night when you were so ill," Leslie went on, "I kept thinking that
perhaps we'd have no more talks and walks and WORKS together. And I realised just
what your friendship had come to mean to me--just what YOU meant--and just what a
hateful little beast I had been."
"Leslie! Leslie! I never allow anyone to call my friends names."
"It's true. That's exactly what I am--a hateful little beast. There's something I've GOT to
tell you, Anne. I suppose it will make you despise me, but I MUST confess it. Anne,
there have been times this past winter and spring when I have HATED you."
"I KNEW it," said Anne calmly.
"You KNEW it?"
"Yes, I saw it in your eyes."
" And yet you went on liking me and being my friend."
"Well, it was only now and then you hated me, Leslie. Between times you loved me, I
"I certainly did. But that other horrid feeling was always there, spoiling it, back in my
heart. I kept it down--sometimes I forgot it-- but sometimes it would surge up and take
possession of me. I hated you because I ENVIED you--oh, I was sick with envy of you
at times. You had a dear little home--and love--and happiness--and glad dreams--
everything I wanted--and never had--and never could have. Oh, never could have!
THAT was what stung. I wouldn't have envied you, if I had had any HOPE that life would