Anne's House of Dreams HTML version
9. An Evening At Four Winds Point
It was late September when Anne and Gilbert were able to pay Four Winds light their
promised visit. They had often planned to go, but something always occurred to prevent
them. Captain Jim had "dropped in" several times at the little house.
"I don't stand on ceremony, Mistress Blythe," he told Anne. "It's a real pleasure to me to
come here, and I'm not going to deny myself jest because you haven't got down to see
me. There oughtn't to be no bargaining like that among the race that knows Joseph. I'll
come when I can, and you come when you can, and so long's we have our pleasant
little chat it don't matter a mite what roof's over us."
Captain Jim took a great fancy to Gog and Magog, who were presiding over the
destinies of the hearth in the little house with as much dignity and aplomb as they had
done at Patty's Place.
"Aren't they the cutest little cusses?" he would say delightedly; and he bade them
greeting and farewell as gravely and invariably as he did his host and hostess. Captain
Jim was not going to offend household deities by any lack of reverence and ceremony.
"You've made this little house just about perfect," he told Anne. "It never was so nice
before. Mistress Selwyn had your taste and she did wonders; but folks in those days
didn't have the pretty little curtains and pictures and nicknacks you have. As for
Elizabeth, she lived in the past. You've kinder brought the future into it, so to speak. I'd
be real happy even if we couldn't talk at all, when I come here--jest to sit and look at you
and your pictures and your flowers would be enough of a treat. It's beautiful--beautiful."
Captain Jim was a passionate worshipper of beauty. Every lovely thing heard or seen
gave him a deep, subtle, inner joy that irradiated his life. He was quite keenly aware of
his own lack of outward comeliness and lamented it.
"Folks say I'm good," he remarked whimsically upon one occasion, "but I sometimes
wish the Lord had made me only half as good and put the rest of it into looks. But there,
I reckon He knew what He was about, as a good Captain should. Some of us have to be
homely, or the purty ones--like Mistress Blythe here--wouldn't show up so well."
One evening Anne and Gilbert finally walked down to the Four Winds light. The day had
begun sombrely in gray cloud and mist, but it had ended in a pomp of scarlet and gold.
Over the western hills beyond the harbor were amber deeps and crystalline shallows,
with the fire of sunset below. The north was a mackerel sky of little, fiery golden clouds.
The red light flamed on the white sails of a vessel gliding down the channel, bound to a
southern port in a land of palms. Beyond her, it smote upon and incarnadined the
shining, white, grassless faces of the sand dunes. To the right, it fell on the old house
among the willows up the brook, and gave it for a fleeting space casements more