XXXV. "Let The Piper Come"
"And so," said Miss Cornelia, "the double wedding is to be sometime about the
middle of this month."
There was a faint chill in the air of the early September evening, so Anne had
lighted her ever ready fire of driftwood in the big living room, and she and Miss
Cornelia basked in its fairy flicker.
"It is so delightful--especially in regard to Mr. Meredith and Rosemary," said
Anne. "I'm as happy in the thought of it, as I was when I was getting married
myself. I felt exactly like a bride again last evening when I was up on the hill
seeing Rosemary's trousseau."
"They tell me her things are fine enough for a princess," said Susan from a
shadowy corner where she was cuddling her brown boy. "I have been invited up
to see them also and I intend to go some evening. I understand that Rosemary is
to wear white silk and a veil, but Ellen is to be married in navy blue. I have no
doubt, Mrs. Dr. dear, that that is very sensible of her, but for my own part I have
always felt that if I were ever married _I_ would prefer the white and the veil, as
being more bride-like."
A vision of Susan in "white and a veil" presented itself before Anne's inner vision
and was almost too much for her.
"As for Mr. Meredith," said Miss Cornelia, "even his engagement has made a
different man of him. He isn't half so dreamy and absent-minded, believe me. I
was so relieved when I heard that he had decided to close the manse and let the
children visit round while he was away on his honeymoon. If he had left them and
old Aunt Martha there alone for a month I should have expected to wake every
morning and see the place burned down."
"Aunt Martha and Jerry are coming here," said Anne. "Carl is going to Elder
Clow's. I haven't heard where the girls are going."
"Oh, I'm going to take them," said Miss Cornelia. "Of course, I was glad to, but
Mary would have given me no peace till I asked them any way. The Ladies' Aid is
going to clean the manse from top to bottom before the bride and groom come
back, and Norman Douglas has arranged to fill the cellar with vegetables.
Nobody ever saw or heard anything quite like Norman Douglas these days,
believe ME. He's so tickled that he's going to marry Ellen West after wanting her
all his life. If _I_ was Ellen--but then, I'm not, and if she is satisfied I can very well
be. I heard her say years ago when she was a schoolgirl that she didn't want a
tame puppy for a husband. There's nothing tame about Norman, believe ME."
The sun was setting over Rainbow Valley. The pond was wearing a wonderful
tissue of purple and gold and green and crimson. A faint blue haze rested on the
eastern hill, over which a great, pale, round moon was just floating up like a silver
They were all there, squatted in the little open glade--Faith and Una, Jerry and
Carl, Jem and Walter, Nan and Di, and Mary Vance. They had been having a
special celebration, for it would be Jem's last evening in Rainbow Valley. On the
morrow he would leave for Charlottetown to attend Queen's Academy. Their