Anne's House of Dreams HTML version

22. Miss Cornelia Arranges Matters
Gilbert insisted that Susan should be kept on at the little house for the summer. Anne
protested at first.
"Life here with just the two of us is so sweet, Gilbert. It spoils it a little to have anyone
else. Susan is a dear soul, but she is an outsider. It won't hurt me to do the work here."
"You must take your doctor's advice," said Gilbert. "There's an old proverb to the effect
that shoemakers' wives go barefoot and doctors' wives die young. I don't mean that it
shall be true in my household. You will keep Susan until the old spring comes back into
your step, and those little hollows on your cheeks fill out."
"You just take it easy, Mrs. Doctor, dear," said Susan, coming abruptly in. "Have a good
time and do not worry about the pantry. Susan is at the helm. There is no use in
keeping a dog and doing your own barking. I am going to take your breakfast up to you
every morning."
"Indeed you are not," laughed Anne. "I agree with Miss Cornelia that it's a scandal for a
woman who isn't sick to eat her breakfast in bed, and almost justifies the men in any
"Oh, Cornelia!" said Susan, with ineffable contempt. "I think you have better sense, Mrs.
Doctor, dear, than to heed what Cornelia Bryant says. I cannot see why she must be
always running down the men, even if she is an old maid. I am an old maid, but you
never hear ME abusing the men. I like 'em. I would have married one if I could. Is it not
funny nobody ever asked me to marry him, Mrs. Doctor, dear? I am no beauty, but I am
as good-looking as most of the married women you see. But I never had a beau. What
do you suppose is the reason?"
"It may be predestination," suggested Anne, with unearthly solemnity.
Susan nodded.
"That is what I have often thought, Mrs. Doctor, dear, and a great comfort it is. I do not
mind nobody wanting me if the Almighty decreed it so for His own wise purposes. But
sometimes doubt creeps in, Mrs. Doctor, dear, and I wonder if maybe the Old Scratch
has not more to do with it than anyone else. I cannot feel resigned THEN. But maybe,"
added Susan, brightening up, "I will have a chance to get married yet. I often and often
think of the old verse my aunt used to repeat:
There never was a goose so gray but sometime soon or late Some honest gander came
her way and took her for his mate!