Anne's House of Dreams
10. Leslie Moore
"I'm going for a walk to the outside shore tonight," Anne told Gog and Magog one
October evening. There was no one else to tell, for Gilbert had gone over the harbor.
Anne had her little domain in the speckless order one would expect of anyone brought
up by Marilla Cuthbert, and felt that she could gad shoreward with a clear conscience.
Many and delightful had been her shore rambles, sometimes with Gilbert, sometimes
with Captain Jim, sometimes alone with her own thoughts and new, poignantly-sweet
dreams that were beginning to span life with their rainbows. She loved the gentle, misty
harbor shore and the silvery, wind-haunted sand shore, but best of all she loved the
rock shore, with its cliffs and caves and piles of surf-worn boulders, and its coves where
the pebbles glittered under the pools; and it was to this shore she hied herself tonight.
There had been an autumn storm of wind and rain, lasting for three days. Thunderous
had been the crash of billows on the rocks, wild the white spray and spume that blew
over the bar, troubled and misty and tempest-torn the erstwhile blue peace of Four
Winds Harbor. Now it was over, and the shore lay clean-washed after the storm; not a
wind stirred, but there was still a fine surf on, dashing on sand and rock in a splendid
white turmoil--the only restless thing in the great, pervading stillness and peace.
"Oh, this is a moment worth living through weeks of storm and stress for," Anne
exclaimed, delightedly sending her far gaze across the tossing waters from the top of
the cliff where she stood. Presently she scrambled down the steep path to the little cove
below, where she seemed shut in with rocks and sea and sky.
"I'm going to dance and sing," she said. "There's no one here to see me--the seagulls
won't carry tales of the matter. I may be as crazy as I like."
She caught up her skirt and pirouetted along the hard strip of sand just out of reach of
the waves that almost lapped her feet with their spent foam. Whirling round and round,
laughing like a child, she reached the little headland that ran out to the east of the cove;
then she stopped suddenly, blushing crimson; she was not alone; there had been a
witness to her dance and laughter.
The girl of the golden hair and sea-blue eyes was sitting on a boulder of the headland,
half-hidden by a jutting rock. She was looking straight at Anne with a strange
expression--part wonder, part sympathy, part--could it be?--envy. She was bare-
headed, and her splendid hair, more than ever like Browning's "gorgeous snake," was
bound about her head with a crimson ribbon. She wore a dress of some dark material,
very plainly made; but swathed about her waist, outlining its fine curves, was a vivid
girdle of red silk. Her hands, clasped over her knee, were brown and somewhat work-
hardened; but the skin of her throat and cheeks was as white as cream. A flying gleam
of sunset broke through a low-lying western cloud and fell across her hair. For a