Anne of Green Gables HTML version

XIII. The Delights of Anticipation
"It's time Anne was in to do her sewing," said Marilla, glancing at the clock and then out
into the yellow August afternoon where everything drowsed in the heat. "She stayed
playing with Diana more than half an hour more'n I gave her leave to; and now she's
perched out there on the woodpile talking to Matthew, nineteen to the dozen, when she
knows perfectly well she ought to be at her work. And of course he's listening to her like
a perfect ninny. I never saw such an infatuated man. The more she talks and the odder
the things she says, the more he's delighted evidently. Anne Shirley, you come right in
here this minute, do you hear me!"
A series of staccato taps on the west window brought Anne flying in from the yard, eyes
shining, cheeks faintly flushed with pink, unbraided hair streaming behind her in a
torrent of brightness.
"Oh, Marilla," she exclaimed breathlessly, "there's going to be a Sunday-school picnic
next week--in Mr. Harmon Andrews's field, right near the lake of Shining Waters. And
Mrs. Superintendent Bell and Mrs. Rachel Lynde are going to make ice cream--think of
it, Marilla--ICE CREAM! And, oh, Marilla, can I go to it?"
"Just look at the clock, if you please, Anne. What time did I tell you to come in?"
"Two o'clock--but isn't it splendid about the picnic, Marilla? Please can I go? Oh, I've
never been to a picnic--I've dreamed of picnics, but I've never--"
"Yes, I told you to come at two o'clock. And it's a quarter to three. I'd like to know why
you didn't obey me, Anne."
"Why, I meant to, Marilla, as much as could be. But you have no idea how fascinating
Idlewild is. And then, of course, I had to tell Matthew about the picnic. Matthew is such a
sympathetic listener. Please can I go?"
"You'll have to learn to resist the fascination of Idlewhatever- you-call-it. When I tell you
to come in at a certain time I mean that time and not half an hour later. And you needn't
stop to discourse with sympathetic listeners on your way, either. As for the picnic, of
course you can go. You're a Sunday-school scholar, and it's not likely I'd refuse to let
you go when all the other little girls are going."
"But--but," faltered Anne, "Diana says that everybody must take a basket of things to
eat. I can't cook, as you know, Marilla, and--and--I don't mind going to a picnic without
puffed sleeves so much, but I'd feel terribly humiliated if I had to go without a basket. It's
been preying on my mind ever since Diana told me."
"Well, it needn't prey any longer. I'll bake you a basket."