Anne of Green Gables HTML version
VI. Marilla Makes Up Her Mind
Get there they did, however, in due season. Mrs. Spencer lived in a big yellow house at
White Sands Cove, and she came to the door with surprise and welcome mingled on
her benevolent face.
"Dear, dear," she exclaimed, "you're the last folks I was looking for today, but I'm real
glad to see you. You'll put your horse in? And how are you, Anne?"
"I'm as well as can be expected, thank you," said Anne smilelessly. A blight seemed to
have descended on her.
"I suppose we'll stay a little while to rest the mare," said Marilla, "but I promised Matthew
I'd be home early. The fact is, Mrs. Spencer, there's been a queer mistake somewhere,
and I've come over to see where it is. We send word, Matthew and I, for you to bring us
a boy from the asylum. We told your brother Robert to tell you we wanted a boy ten or
eleven years old."
"Marilla Cuthbert, you don't say so!" said Mrs. Spencer in distress. "Why, Robert sent
word down by his daughter Nancy and she said you wanted a girl--didn't she Flora
Jane?" appealing to her daughter who had come out to the steps.
"She certainly did, Miss Cuthbert," corroborated Flora Jane earnestly.
"I'm dreadful sorry," said Mrs. Spencer. "It's too bad; but it certainly wasn't my fault, you
see, Miss Cuthbert. I did the best I could and I thought I was following your instructions.
Nancy is a terrible flighty thing. I've often had to scold her well for her heedlessness."
"It was our own fault," said Marilla resignedly. "We should have come to you ourselves
and not left an important message to be passed along by word of mouth in that fashion.
Anyhow, the mistake has been made and the only thing to do is to set it right. Can we
send the child back to the asylum? I suppose they'll take her back, won't they?"
"I suppose so," said Mrs. Spencer thoughtfully, "but I don't think it will be necessary to
send her back. Mrs. Peter Blewett was up here yesterday, and she was saying to me
how much she wished she'd sent by me for a little girl to help her. Mrs. Peter has a large
family, you know, and she finds it hard to get help. Anne will be the very girl for you. I
call it positively providential."
Marilla did not look as if she thought Providence had much to do with the matter. Here
was an unexpectedly good chance to get this unwelcome orphan off her hands, and she
did not even feel grateful for it.