Anne's House of Dreams
1. In The Garret Of Green Gables
"Thanks be, I'm done with geometry, learning or teaching it," said Anne Shirley, a trifle
vindictively, as she thumped a somewhat battered volume of Euclid into a big chest of
books, banged the lid in triumph, and sat down upon it, looking at Diana Wright across
the Green Gables garret, with gray eyes that were like a morning sky.
The garret was a shadowy, suggestive, delightful place, as all garrets should be.
Through the open window, by which Anne sat, blew the sweet, scented, sun-warm air of
the August afternoon; outside, poplar boughs rustled and tossed in the wind; beyond
them were the woods, where Lover's Lane wound its enchanted path, and the old apple
orchard which still bore its rosy harvests munificently. And, over all, was a great
mountain range of snowy clouds in the blue southern sky. Through the other window
was glimpsed a distant, white-capped, blue sea--the beautiful St. Lawrence Gulf, on
which floats, like a jewel, Abegweit, whose softer, sweeter Indian name has long been
forsaken for the more prosaic one of Prince Edward Island.
Diana Wright, three years older than when we last saw her, had grown somewhat
matronly in the intervening time. But her eyes were as black and brilliant, her cheeks as
rosy, and her dimples as enchanting, as in the long-ago days when she and Anne
Shirley had vowed eternal friendship in the garden at Orchard Slope. In her arms she
held a small, sleeping, black-curled creature, who for two happy years had been known
to the world of Avonlea as "Small Anne Cordelia." Avonlea folks knew why Diana had
called her Anne, of course, but Avonlea folks were puzzled by the Cordelia. There had
never been a Cordelia in the Wright or Barry connections. Mrs. Harmon Andrews said
she supposed Diana had found the name in some trashy novel, and wondered that Fred
hadn't more sense than to allow it. But Diana and Anne smiled at each other. They
knew how Small Anne Cordelia had come by her name.
"You always hated geometry," said Diana with a retrospective smile. "I should think
you'd be real glad to be through with teaching, anyhow."
"Oh, I've always liked teaching, apart from geometry. These past three years in
Summerside have been very pleasant ones. Mrs. Harmon Andrews told me when I
came home that I wouldn't likely find married life as much better than teaching as I
expected. Evidently Mrs. Harmon is of Hamlet's opinion that it may be better to bear the
ills that we have than fly to others that we know not of."
Anne's laugh, as blithe and irresistible as of yore, with an added note of sweetness and
maturity, rang through the garret. Marilla in the kitchen below, compounding blue plum
preserve, heard it and smiled; then sighed to think how seldom that dear laugh would
echo through Green Gables in the years to come. Nothing in her life had ever given
Marilla so much happiness as the knowledge that Anne was going to marry Gilbert
Blythe; but every joy must bring with it its little shadow of sorrow. During the three