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XXVI. Miss Cornelia Gets A New Point Of View
"Susan, after I'm dead I'm going to come back to earth every time when the
daffodils blow in this garden," said Anne rapturously. "Nobody may see me, but
I'll be here. If anybody is in the garden at the time--I THINK I'll come on an
evening just like this, but it MIGHT be just at dawn--a lovely, pale-pinky spring
dawn--they'll just see the daffodils nodding wildly as if an extra gust of wind had
blown past them, but it will be _I_."
"Indeed, Mrs. Dr. dear, you will not be thinking of flaunting worldly things like
daffies after you are dead," said Susan. "And I do NOT believe in ghosts, seen or
"Oh, Susan, I shall not be a ghost! That has such a horrible sound. I shall just be
ME. And I shall run around in the twilight, whether it is morn or eve, and see all
the spots I love. Do you remember how badly I felt when I left our little House of
Dreams, Susan? I thought I could never love Ingleside so well. But I do. I love
every inch of the ground and every stick and stone on it."
"I am rather fond of the place myself," said Susan, who would have died if she
had been removed from it, "but we must not set our affections too much on
earthly things, Mrs. Dr. dear. There are such things as fires and earthquakes. We
should always be prepared. The Tom MacAllisters over-harbour were burned out
three nights ago. Some say Tom MacAllister set the house on fire himself to get
the insurance. That may or may not be. But I advise the doctor to have our
chimneys seen to at once. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. But I
see Mrs. Marshall Elliott coming in at the gate, looking as if she had been sent for
and couldn't go."
"Anne dearie, have you seen the _Journal_ to-day?"
Miss Cornelia's voice was trembling, partly from emotion, partly from the fact that
she had hurried up from the store too fast and lost her breath.
Anne bent over the daffodils to hide a smile. She and Gilbert had laughed heartily
and heartlessly over the front page of the _Journal_ that day, but she knew that
to dear Miss Cornelia it was almost a tragedy, and she must not wound her
feelings by any display of levity.
"Isn't it dreadful? What IS to be done?" asked Miss Cornelia despairingly. Miss
Cornelia had vowed that she was done with worrying over the pranks of the
manse children, but she went on worrying just the same.
Anne led the way to the veranda, where Susan was knitting, with Shirley and
Rilla conning their primers on either side. Susan was already on her second pair
of stockings for Faith. Susan never worried over poor humanity. She did what in
her lay for its betterment and serenely left the rest to the Higher Powers.
"Cornelia Elliott thinks she was born to run this world, Mrs. Dr. dear," she had
once said to Anne, "and so she is always in a stew over something. I have never
thought _I_ was, and so I go calmly along. Not but what it has sometimes
occurred to me that things might be run a little better than they are. But it is not
for us poor worms to nourish such thoughts. They only make us uncomfortable
and do not get us anywhere."