Rilla of Ingleside HTML version
I. Glen "Notes" And Other Matters
It was a warm, golden-cloudy, lovable afternoon. In the big living-room at Ingleside
Susan Baker sat down with a certain grim satisfaction hovering about her like an aura; it
was four o'clock and Susan, who had been working incessantly since six that morning,
felt that she had fairly earned an hour of repose and gossip. Susan just then was
perfectly happy; everything had gone almost uncannily well in the kitchen that day. Dr.
Jekyll had not been Mr. Hyde and so had not grated on her nerves; from where she sat
she could see the pride of her heart-- the bed of peonies of her own planting and
culture, blooming as no other peony plot in Glen St. Mary ever did or could bloom, with
peonies crimson, peonies silvery pink, peonies white as drifts of winter snow.
Susan had on a new black silk blouse, quite as elaborate as anything Mrs. Marshall
Elliott ever wore, and a white starched apron, trimmed with complicated crocheted lace
fully five inches wide, not to mention insertion to match. Therefore Susan had all the
comfortable consciousness of a well-dressed woman as she opened her copy of the
Daily Enterprise and prepared to read the Glen "Notes" which, as Miss Cornelia had just
informed her, filled half a column of it and mentioned almost everybody at Ingleside.
There was a big, black headline on the front page of the Enterprise, stating that some
Archduke Ferdinand or other had been assassinated at a place bearing the weird name
of Sarajevo, but Susan tarried not over uninteresting, immaterial stuff like that; she was
in quest of something really vital. Oh, here it was-- "Jottings from Glen St. Mary." Susan
settled down keenly, reading each one over aloud to extract all possible gratification
Mrs. Blythe and her visitor, Miss Cornelia--alias Mrs. Marshall Elliott --were chatting
together near the open door that led to the veranda, through which a cool, delicious
breeze was blowing, bringing whiffs of phantom perfume from the garden, and charming
gay echoes from the vine-hung corner where Rilla and Miss Oliver and Walter were
laughing and talking. Wherever Rilla Blythe was, there was laughter.
There was another occupant of the living-room, curled up on a couch, who must not be
overlooked, since he was a creature of marked individuality, and, moreover, had the
distinction of being the only living thing whom Susan really hated.
All cats are mysterious but Dr. Jekyll-and-Mr. Hyde--"Doc" for short-- was trebly so. He
was a cat of double personality--or else, as Susan vowed, he was possessed by the
devil. To begin with, there had been something uncanny about the very dawn of his
existence. Four years previously Rilla Blythe had had a treasured darling of a kitten,