Rilla of Ingleside HTML version

XVIII. A War-Wedding
"I can tell you this Dr. dear," said Susan, pale with wrath, "that Germany is getting to be
perfectly ridiculous."
They were all in the big Ingleside kitchen. Susan was mixing biscuits for supper. Mrs.
Blythe was making shortbread for Jem, and Rilla was compounding candy for Ken and
Walter--it had once been "Walter and Ken" in her thoughts but somehow, quite
unconsciously, this had changed until Ken's name came naturally first. Cousin Sophia
was also there, knitting. All the boys were going to be killed in the long run, so Cousin
Sophia felt in her bones, but they might better die with warm feet than cold ones, so
Cousin Sophia knitted faithfully and gloomily.
Into this peaceful scene erupted the doctor, wrathful and excited over the burning of the
Parliament Buildings in Ottawa. And Susan became automatically quite as wrathful and
"What will those Huns do next?" she demanded. "Coming over here and burning our
Parliament building! Did anyone ever hear of such an outrage?"
"We don't know that the Germans are responsible for this," said the doctor--much as if
he felt quite sure they were. "Fires do start without their agency sometimes. And Uncle
Mark MacAllister's barn was burnt last week. You can hardly accuse the Germans of
that, Susan."
"Indeed, Dr. dear, I do not know." Susan nodded slowly and portentously. "Whiskers-on-
the-moon was there that very day. The fire broke out half an hour after he was gone. So
much is a fact--but I shall not accuse a Presbyterian elder of burning anybody's barn
until I have proof. However, everybody knows, Dr. dear, that both Uncle Mark's boys
have enlisted, and that Uncle Mark himself makes speeches at all the recruiting
meetings. So no doubt Germany is anxious to get square with him."
"I could never speak at a recruiting meeting," said Cousin Sophia solemnly. "I could
never reconcile it to my conscience to ask another woman's son to go, to murder and be
"Could you not?" said Susan. "Well, Sophia Crawford, I felt as if I could ask anyone to
go when I read last night that there were no children under eight years of age left alive
in Poland. Think of that, Sophia Crawford"--Susan shook a floury finger at Sophia--"not--
one-- child--under--eight--years--of--age!"
"I suppose the Germans has et 'em all," sighed Cousin Sophia.