Chronicles of Avonlea
X. The Courting of Prissy Strong
I WASN'T able to go to prayer meeting that evening because I had neuralgia in my face;
but Thomas went, and the minute he came home I knew by the twinkle in his eye that
he had some news.
"Who do you s'pose Stephen Clark went home with from meeting to-night?" he said,
"Jane Miranda Blair," I said promptly. Stephen Clark's wife had been dead for two years
and he hadn't taken much notice of anybody, so far as was known. But Carmody had
Jane Miranda all ready for him, and really I don't know why she didn't suit him, except
for the reason that a man never does what he is expected to do when it comes to
Thomas chuckled again.
"Wrong. He stepped up to Prissy Strong and walked off with her. Cold soup warmed
"Prissy Strong!" I just held up my hands. Then I laughed. "He needn't try for Prissy," I
said. "Emmeline nipped that in the bud twenty years ago, and she'll do it again."
"Em'line is an old crank," growled Thomas. He detested Emmeline Strong, and always
"She's that, all right," I agreed, "and that is just the reason she can turn poor Prissy any
way she likes. You mark my words, she'll put her foot right down on this as soon as she
finds it out."
Thomas said that I was probably right. I lay awake for a long time after I went to bed
that night, thinking of Prissy and Stephen. As a general rule, I don't concern my head
about other people's affairs, but Prissy was such a helpless creature I couldn't get her
off my mind.
Twenty years ago Stephen Clark had tried to go with Prissy Strong. That was pretty
soon after Prissy's father had died. She and Emmeline were living alone together.
Emmeline was thirty, ten years older than Prissy, and if ever there were two sisters
totally different from each other in every way, those two were Emmeline and Prissy
Emmeline took after her father; she was big and dark and homely, and she was the
most domineering creature that ever stepped on shoe leather. She simply ruled poor
Prissy with a rod of iron.