Anne's House of Dreams HTML version

14. November Days
The splendor of color which had glowed for weeks along the shores of Four Winds
Harbor had faded out into the soft gray-blue of late autumnal hills. There came many
days when fields and shores were dim with misty rain, or shivering before the breath of
a melancholy sea-wind--nights, too, of storm and tempest, when Anne sometimes
wakened to pray that no ship might be beating up the grim north shore, for if it were so
not even the great, faithful light whirling through the darkness unafraid, could avail to
guide it into safe haven.
"In November I sometimes feel as if spring could never come again," she sighed,
grieving over the hopeless unsightliness of her frosted and bedraggled flower-plots. The
gay little garden of the schoolmaster's bride was rather a forlorn place now, and the
Lombardies and birches were under bare poles, as Captain Jim said. But the fir-wood
behind the little house was forever green and staunch; and even in November and
December there came gracious days of sunshine and purple hazes, when the harbor
danced and sparkled as blithely as in midsummer, and the gulf was so softly blue and
tender that the storm and the wild wind seemed only things of a long-past dream.
Anne and Gilbert spent many an autumn evening at the lighthouse. It was always a
cheery place. Even when the east wind sang in minor and the sea was dead and gray,
hints of sunshine seemed to be lurking all about it. Perhaps this was because the First
Mate always paraded it in panoply of gold. He was so large and effulgent that one
hardly missed the sun, and his resounding purrs formed a pleasant accompaniment to
the laughter and conversation which went on around Captain Jim's fireplace. Captain
Jim and Gilbert had many long discussions and high converse on matters beyond the
ken of cat or king.
"I like to ponder on all kinds of problems, though I can't solve 'em," said Captain Jim.
"My father held that we should never talk of things we couldn't understand, but if we
didn't, doctor, the subjects for conversation would be mighty few. I reckon the gods
laugh many a time to hear us, but what matters so long as we remember that we're only
men and don't take to fancying that we're gods ourselves, really, knowing good and evil.
I reckon our pow- wows won't do us or anyone much harm, so let's have another whack
at the whence, why and whither this evening, doctor."
While they "whacked," Anne listened or dreamed. Sometimes Leslie went to the
lighthouse with them, and she and Anne wandered along the shore in the eerie twilight,
or sat on the rocks below the lighthouse until the darkness drove them back to the cheer
of the driftwood fire. Then Captain Jim would brew them tea and tell them
"tales of land and sea And whatsoever might betide The great forgotten world