Anne of the Island HTML version

XVI. Adjusted Relationships
"It's the homiest spot I ever saw--it's homier than home," avowed Philippa Gordon,
looking about her with delighted eyes. They were all assembled at twilight in the big
living-room at Patty's Place--Anne and Priscilla, Phil and Stella, Aunt Jamesina, Rusty,
Joseph, the Sarah-Cat, and Gog and Magog. The firelight shadows were dancing over
the walls; the cats were purring; and a huge bowl of hothouse chrysanthemums, sent to
Phil by one of the victims, shone through the golden gloom like creamy moons.
It was three weeks since they had considered themselves settled, and already all
believed the experiment would be a success. The first fortnight after their return had
been a pleasantly exciting one; they had been busy setting up their household goods,
organizing their little establishment, and adjusting different opinions.
Anne was not over-sorry to leave Avonlea when the time came to return to college. The
last few days of her vacation had not been pleasant. Her prize story had been published
in the Island papers; and Mr. William Blair had, upon the counter of his store, a huge
pile of pink, green and yellow pamphlets, containing it, one of which he gave to every
customer. He sent a complimentary bundle to Anne, who promptly dropped them all in
the kitchen stove. Her humiliation was the consequence of her own ideals only, for
Avonlea folks thought it quite splendid that she should have won the prize. Her many
friends regarded her with honest admiration; her few foes with scornful envy. Josie Pye
said she believed Anne Shirley had just copied the story; she was sure she
remembered reading it in a paper years before. The Sloanes, who had found out or
guessed that Charlie had been "turned down," said they didn't think it was much to be
proud of; almost any one could have done it, if she tried. Aunt Atossa told Anne she was
very sorry to hear she had taken to writing novels; nobody born and bred in Avonlea
would do it; that was what came of adopting orphans from goodness knew where, with
goodness knew what kind of parents. Even Mrs. Rachel Lynde was darkly dubious
about the propriety of writing fiction, though she was almost reconciled to it by that
twenty-five dollar check.
"It is perfectly amazing, the price they pay for such lies, that's what," she said, half-
proudly, half-severely.
All things considered, it was a relief when going-away time came. And it was very jolly
to be back at Redmond, a wise, experienced Soph with hosts of friends to greet on the
merry opening day. Pris and Stella and Gilbert were there, Charlie Sloane, looking more
important than ever a Sophomore looked before, Phil, with the Alec-and-Alonzo
question still unsettled, and Moody Spurgeon MacPherson. Moody Spurgeon had been
teaching school ever since leaving Queen's, but his mother had concluded it was high
time he gave it up and turned his attention to learning how to be a minister. Poor Moody
Spurgeon fell on hard luck at the very beginning of his college career. Half a dozen
ruthless Sophs, who were among his fellow-boarders, swooped down upon him one