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John M. Kerr
L. M. MONTGOMERY
Author oj '" Anne of Green Gables" "Anne of
Avonlea," "The Story Girl," etc.
" Our kin
Have built them temples, and therein
Pray to the gods we know; and dwell
In little houses lovable."
WITH FRONTISPIECE IN COLOR
BY M. L. KIRK
MCCLELLAND & STEWART, Limited
COPYRIGHT, CANADA, 1920
MCCLELLAND & STEWART, LIMITED, TORONTO
IN MEMORY OF TH
I. IN THE GARRET OF GREEN GABLES . . 1
II. THE HOUSE OF DREAMS .... 9
III. THE LAND OF DREAMS AMONG . .17
IV. THE FIRST BRIDE OF GREEN GABLES 28
V. THE HOME COMING . . .,' .. .34
VI. CAPTAIN JIM . . . . > . \ 39
VII. THE SCHOOLMASTER'S BRIDE . . . 47
VIII. Miss CORNELIA BRYANT COMES TO CALL 61
IX. AN EVENING AT FOUR WINDS POINT 78
X. LESLIE MOORE . . . ... . .93
XI. THE STORY OF LESLIE MOORE . . 103
XII. LESLIE COMES OVER 117
XIII. A GHOSTLY EVENING . . , . .121
XIV. NOVEMBER DAYS 128
XV. CHRISTMAS AT FOUR WINDS . . . 133
XVI. NEW YEAR'S EVE AT THE LIGHT . . 144
XVII. A FOUR WINDS WINTER . . . . 152
XVIII. SPRING DAYS 161
XIX. DAWN AND DUSK 172
XX. LOST MARGARET 180
XXI. BARRIERS SWEPT AWAY .... 184
XXII. Miss CORNELIA ARRANGES MATTERS . 195
XXIII. OWEN FORD COMES . . . . 203
XXIV. THE LIFE-BOOK OF CAPTAIN JIM . 210
XXV. THE WRITING OF THE BOOK . . 220
XXVI. OWEN FORD'S CONFESSION . . 225
XXVII. ON THE SAND-BAR . . . .232
XXVIII. ODDS AND ENDS 240
XXIX. GILBERT AND ANNE DISAGREE . . 250
XXX. LESLIE DECIDES 259
XXXI. THE TRUTH MAKES FREE . . 268
XXXII. Miss CORNELIA DISCUSSES THE
AFFAIR . . . . . . 274
XXXIII. LESLIE RETURNS HOME . . .280
XXXIV. THE SHIP o' DREAMS COMES TO
HARBOUR . . . . . . 287
XXXV. POLITICS AT FOUR WINDS . . 295
XXXVI. BEAUTY FOR ASHES .... 305
XXXVII. Miss CORNELIA MAKES A
STARTLING ANNOUNCEMENT . 316
XXXVIII. RED ROSES 322
XXXIX. CAPTAIN JIM CROSSES THE BAR . 330
XL. FAREWELL TO THE HOUSE OF
DREAMS . 335
Anne's House of Dreams
IN THE GARRET OF GREEN GABLES
THANKS be, I'm done with geometry, learning
or teaching it," said Anne Shirley, a trifle vin-
dictively, as she thumped a somewhat battered volume
of Euclid into a big chest of books, banged the lid
in triumph, and sat down upon it, looking at Diana
Wright across the Green Gables garret, with gray
yes that were like a morning sky.
The garret was a shadowy, suggestive, delightful
place, as all garrets should be. Through the open
window, by which Anne sat, blew the sweet, scented,
sun-warm air of the August afternoon ; outside, poplar
boughs rustled and tossed in the wind; beyond them
were the woods, where Lover's Lane wound its en-
chanted path, and the old apple orchard which still
bore its rosy harvests munificently. And, over all,
was a great mountain range of snowy clouds in the
blue southern sky. Through the other window was
glimpsed a distant, white-capped, blue sea the beauti-
ful St. Lawrence Gulf, on which floats, like a jewel,
Abegweit, whose softer, sweeter Indian name has
2 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
long been forsaken for the more prosaic one of Prince
Diana Weight, three years older than when we last
saw her, had grown somewhat matronly in the inter-
vening time. But her eyes were as black and brilliant,
her cheeks as rosy, and her dimples as enchanting, as
in the long-ago days when she and Anne Shirley had
vowed eternal friendship in the garden at Orchard
Slope. In her arms she held a small, sleeping, black-
curled creature, who for two happy years had been
known to the world of Avonlea as "Small Anne
Cordelia." Avonlea folks knew why Diana had called
her Anne, of course, but Avonlea folks were puzzled
by the Cordelia. There had never been a Cordelia
in the Wright or Barry connections. Mrs. Harmon
Andrews said she supposed Diana had found the name
in some trashy novel, and wondered that Fred hadn't
more sense than to allow it. But Diana and Anne
smiled at each other. They knew how Small Anne
Cordelia had come by her name.
"You always hated geometry," said Diana with a
retrospective smile. "I should think you'd be real
glad to be through with teaching, anyhow."
"Oh, I've always liked teaching, apart from geome-
try. These past three years in Summerside have been
very pleasant ones. Mrs. Harmon Andrews told me
when I came home that I wouldn't likely find married
life as much better than teaching as I expected. Evi-
dently Mrs. Harmon is of Hamlet's opinion that it
IN THE GARRET 3
may be better to bear the ills that we have than fly
to others that we know not of."
Anne's laugh, as blithe and irresistible as of yore,
with an added note of sweetness and maturity, rang
through the garret. Marilla in the kitchen below,
compounding blue plum preserve, heard it and smiled ;
then sighed to think how seldom that dear laugh
would ec^o through Green Gables in the years to
come. Nothing in her life had ever given Marilla so
much happiness as the knowledge that Anne was go-
ing to marry Gilbert Blythe ; but every joy must bring
with it its little shadow of sorrow. During the three
Summerside years Anne had been home often for
vacations and week-ends; but, after this, a bi-annual
visit would be as much as could be hoped for.
"You needn't let what Mrs. Harmon says worry
you," said Diana, with the calm assurance of the
four-years matron. "Married life has its ups and
downs, of course. You mustn't expect that every-
thing will always go smoothly. But I can assure you,
Anne, that it's a happy life, when you're married to
the right man."
Anne smothered a smile. Diana's airs of vast ex-
perience always amused her a little.
"I daresay I'll be putting them on too, when I've
been married four years," she thought. "Surely my
sense of humour will preserve me from it, though."
"Is it settled yet where you are going to live?"
asked Diana, cuddling Small Anne Cordelia with the
4 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
inimitable gesture of motherhood which always sent
through Anne's heart, filled with sweet, unuttered
dreams and hopes, a thrill that was half pure pleasure
and half a strange, ethereal pain.
"Yes. That was what I wanted to tell you when I
'phoned to you to come down today. By the way, I
can't realise that we really have telephones in Avon-
lea now. It sounds so preposterously up-to-date and
modernish for this darling, leisurely old place."
"We can thank the A. V. I. S. for them," said
Diana. "We should never have got the line if they
hadn't taken the matter up and carried it through.
There was enough cold water thrown to discourage
any society. But they stuck to it, nevertheless. You
did a splendid thing for Avonlea when you founded
that society, Anne. What fun we did have at our
meetings! Will you ever forget the blue hall and
Judson Parker's scheme for painting medicine adver-
tisements on his fence?"
"I don't know that I'm wholly grateful to the
A. V. I. S. in the matter of the telephone," said Anne.
"Oh, I know it's most convenient even more so than
our old device of signalling to each other by flashes
of candlelight! And, as Mrs. Rachel says, 'Avonlea
must keep up with the procession, that's what.' But
somehow I feel as if I didn't want Avonlea spoiled
by what Mr. Harrison, when he wants to be witty,
calls 'modern inconveniences.' I should like to have
it kept always just as it was in the dear old years.
IN THE GARRET 5
That's foolish and sentimental and impossible. So
I shall immediately become wise and practical and
possible. The telephone, as Mr. Harrison concedes,
is 'a buster of a good thing' even if you do know
that probably half a dozen interested people are listen-
ing along the line."
"That's the worst of it," sighed Diana. "It's so
annoying to hear the receivers going down whenever
you ring anyone up. They say Mrs. Harmon
Andrews insisted that their 'phone should be put in
their kitchen just so that she could listen whenever it
rang and keep an eye on the dinner at the same time.
Today, when you called me, I distinctly heard that
queer clock of the Pyes* striking. So no doubt Josie
or Gertie was listening."
"Oh, so that is why you said, 'You've got a new
clock at Green Gables, haven't you?' I couldn't
imagine what you meant. I heard a vicious click as
soon as you had spoken. I suppose it was the Pyc
receiver being hung up with profane energy. Well,
never mind the Pyes. As Mrs. Rachel says, 'Pyes
they always were and Pyes they always will be, world
without end, amen.' I want to talk of pleasanter
things. It's all settled as to where my new home shall
"Oh, Anne, where? I do hope it's near here."
"No-o-o, that's the drawback. Gilbert is going to
settle at Four Winds Harbour sixty miles from
6 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
"Sixty! It might as well be six hundred," sighed
Diana. "I never can get further from home now
"You'll have to come to Four Winds. It's the most
beautiful harbour on the Island. There's a little vil-
lage called Glen St. Mary at its head, and Dr. David
Blythe has been practising there for fifty years. He
is Gilbert's great-uncle, you know. He is going to
retire, and Gilbert is to take over his practice. Dr.
Blythe is going to keep his house, though, so we shall
have to find a habitation for ourselves. I don't know
yet what it is, or where it will be in reality, but I have
a little house o' dreams all furnished in my imagina-
tion a tiny, delightful castle in Spain."
"Where are you going for your wedding tour?"
"Nowhere. Don't look horrified, Diana dearest.
You suggest Mrs. Harmon Andrews. She, no doubt,
will remark condescendingly that people who can't
afford wedding 'towers' are real sensible not to take
them; and then she'll remind me that Jane went to
Europe for hers. I want to spend my honeymoon at
Four Winds in my own dear house of dreams."
"And you've decided not to have any bridesmaid?"
"There isn't any one to have. You and Phil and
Priscilla and Jane all stole a march on me in the
matter of marriage; and Stella is teaching in Van-
couver. I have no other 'kindred soul' and I won't
have a bridesmaid who isn't."
IN THE GARRET 7
"But you are going to wear a veil, aren't you?"
asked Diana, anxiously.
"Yes, indeedy. I shouldn't feel like a bride with-
out one I remember telling Matthew, that evening
when he brought me to Green Gables, that I never
expected to be a bride because I was so homely no one
would ever want to marry me unless some foreign
missionary did. I had an idea then that foreign mis-
sionaries couldn't afford to be finicky in the matter
of looks if they wanted a girl to risk her life among
cannibals. You should have seen the foreign mis-
sionary Priscilla married. He was as handsome and
inscrutable as those day-dreams we once planned to
marry ourselves, Diana; he was the best dressed man
I ever met, and he raved over Priscilla's 'ethereal,
golden beauty.' But of course there are no cannibals
"Your wedding dress is a dream, anyhow," sighed
Diana rapturously. "You'll look like a perfect queen
in it you're so tall and slender. How do you keep
so slim, Anne? I'm fatter than ever I'll soon have
no waist at all."
"Stoutness and slimness seem to be matters of pre-
destination," said Anne. "At all events, Mrs. Har-
mon Andrews can't say to you what she said to me
when I came home from Summerside, 'Well, Anne,
you're just about as skinny as ever.' It sounds quite
romantic to be 'slender,' but 'skinny' has a very
8 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
"Mrs. Harmon has been talking about your trous-
seau. She admits it's as nice as Jane's, although she
says Jane married a millionaire and you are only mar-
rying a 'poor young doctor without a cent to his
"My dresses are nice. I love pretty things. I re-
member the first pretty dress I ever had the brown
gloria Matthew gave me for our school concert. Be-
fore that everything I had was so ugly. It seemed
to me that I stepped into a new world that night."
"That was the night Gilbert recited 'Bingen on the
Rhine,' and looked at you when he said, 'There's an-
other, not a sister.' And you were so furious because
he put your pink tissue rose in his breast pocket ! You
didn't much imagine then that you would ever marry
"Oh, well, that's another instance of predestina-
tion," laughed Anne, as they went down the garret
THE HOUSE OF DREAMS
THERE was more excitement in the air of Green
Gables than there had ever been before in all its
history. Even Marilla was so excited that she
couldn't help showing it which was little short of
"There's never been a wedding in this house," she
said, half apologetically, to Mrs. Rachel Lynde.
"When I was a child I heard an old minister say that
a house was not a real home until it had been con-
secrated by a birth, a wedding and a death. We've
had deaths here my father and mother died here as
well as Matthew; and we've even had a birth here.
Long ago, just after we moved into this house, we
had a married hired man for a little while, and his
wife had a baby here. But there's never been a wed-
ding before. It does seem so strange to think of Anne
being married. In a way she just seems to me the
little girl Matthew brought home here fourteen years
ago. I can't realise that she's grown up. I shall
never forget what I felt when I saw Matthew bring-
10 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
ing in a girl. I wonder what became of the boy we
would have got if there hadn't been a mistake. I
wonder what his fate was."
"Well, it was a fortunate mistake," said Mrs.
Rachel Lynde, "though, mind you, there was a time
I didn't think so that evening I came up to see Anne
and she treated us to such a scene. Many things have
changed since then, that's what."
Mrs. Rachel sighed, and then brisked up again.
When weddings were in order Mrs. Rachel was ready
to let the dead past bury its dead.
"I'm going to give Anne two of my cotton warp
spreads," she resumed. "A tobacco-stripe one and an
apple-leaf one. She tells me they're getting to be
real fashionable again. Well, fashion or no fashion,
I don't believe there's anything prettier for a spare-
room bed than a nice apple-leaf spread, that's what.
I must see about getting them bleached. I've had
them sewed up in cotton bags ever since Thomas
died, and no doubt they're an awful colour. But
there's a month yet, and dew-bleaching will work
Only a month! Manila sighed and then said
"I'm giving Anne that half dozen braided rugs I
have in the garret. I never supposed she'd want
them they're so old-fashioned, and nobody seems
to want anything but hooked mats now. But she
asked me for them said she'd rather have them than
THE HOUSE OF DREAMS u
anything else for her floors. They are pretty. I
made them of the nicest rags, and braided them in
stripes. It was such company these last few winters.
And I'll make her enough blue plum preserve to stock
her jam closet for a year. It seems real strange.
Those blue plum trees hadn't even a blossom for three
years, and I thought they might as well be cut down.
And this last spring they were white, and such a crop
of plums I never remember at Green Gables."
"Well, thank goodness that Anne and Gilbert
really are going to be married after all. It's what I've
always prayed for," said Mrs. Rachel, in the tone of
one who is comfortably sure that her prayers have
availed much. "It was a great relief to find out that
she really didn't mean to take the Kingsport man. He
was rich, to be sure, and Gilbert is poor at least, to
begin with; but then he's an Island boy."
"He's Gilbert Blythe," said Marilla contentedly.
Marilla would have died the death before she would
have put into words the thought that was always in
the background of her mind whenever she had looked
at Gilbert from his childhood up the thought that,
had it not been for her own wilful pride long, long
ago, he might have been her son. Marilla felt that,
in some strange way, his marriage with Anne would
put right that old mistake. Good had come out of
the evil of the ancient bitterness.
As for Anne herself, she was so happy that she
almost felt frightened. The gods, so says the old
12 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
superstition, do not like to behold too happy mortals.
It is certain, at least, that some human beings do not.
Two of that ilk descended upon Anne one violet dusk
and proceeded to do what in them lay to prick the
rainbow bubble of her satisfaction. If she thought
she was getting any particular prize in young Dr.
Ely the, or if she imagined that he was still as in-
fatuated with her as he might have been in his salad
days, it was surely their duty to put the matter before
her in another light. Yet these two worthy ladies
were not enemies of Anne; on the contrary, they
were really quite fond of her, and would have de-
fended her as their own young had anyone else at-
tacked her. Human nature is not obliged to be con-
Mrs. Inglis nee Jane Andrews, to quote from the
Daily Enterprise came with her mother and Mrs.
Jasper Bell. But in Jane the milk of human kindness
had not been curdled by years of matrimonial bicker-
ings. Her lines had fallen in pleasant places. In
spite of the fact as Mrs. Rachel Lynde would say
that she had married a millionaire, her marriage had
been happy. Wealth had not spoiled her. She was
still the placid, amiable, pink-cheeked Jane of the old
quartette, sympathising with her old chum's happiness
and as keenly interested in all the dainty details of
Anne's trousseau as if it could rival her own silken
and bejewelled splendours. Jane was not brilliant, and
had probably never made a remark worth listening to
THE HOUSE OF DREAMS 13
in her life; but she never said anything that would
hurt anyone's feelings which may be a negative
talent but is likewise a rare and enviable one.
"So Gilbert didn't go back on you after all," said
Mrs. Harmon Andrews, contriving to convey an ex-
pression of surprise in her tone. "Well, the Blythes
generally keep their word when they've once passed
it, no matter what happens. Let me see you're
twenty-five, aren't you, Anne? When I was a girl
twenty-five was the first corner. But you look quite
young. Red-headed people always do."
"Red hair is very fashionable now," said Anne,
trying to smile, but speaking rather coldly. Life had
developed in her a sense of humour which helped her
over many difficulties; but as yet nothing had availed
to steel her against a reference to her hair.
"So it is so it is," conceded Mrs. Harmon.
"There's no telling what queer freaks fashion will
take. Well, Anne, your things are very pretty, and
very suitable to your position in life, aren't they,
Jane? I hope you'll be very happy. You have my
best wishes, I'm sure. A long engagement doesn't
often turn out well. But, of course, in your case it
couldn't be helped."
"Gilbert looks very young for a doctor. I'm
afraid people won't have much confidence in him,"
said Mrs. Jasper Bell gloomily. Then she shut her
mouth tightly, as if she had said what she considered
it her duty to say and held her conscience clear. She
14 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
belonged to the type which always has a stringy black
feather in its hat and straggling locks of hair on its
Anne's surface pleasure in her pretty bridal things
was temporarily shadowed; but the deeps of happi-
ness below could not thus be disturbed; and the little
stings of Mesdames Bell and Andrews were forgotten
when Gilbert came later, and they wandered down to
the birches of the brook, which had been saplings
when Anne had come to Green Gables, but were now
tall, ivory columns in a fairy palace of twilight and
stars. In their shadows Anne and Gilbert talked in
lover-fashion of their new home and their new life
"I've found a nest for us, Anne."
"Oh, where? Not right in the village, I hope. I
wouldn't like that altogether."
"No. There was no house to be had in the village.
This is a little white house on the harbour shore, half
way between Glen St. Mary and Four Winds Point.
It's a little out of the way, but when we get a 'phone
in that won't matter so much. The situation is beauti-
ful. It looks to the sunset and has the great blue
harbour before it. The sand-dunes aren't very far
away the sea-winds blow over them and the sea
spray drenches them."
"But the house itself, Gilbert, our first home?
What is it like?"
"Not very large, but large enough for us. There's
THE HOUSE OF DREAMS 15
a splendid living room with a fireplace in it down-
stairs, and a dining room that looks out on the
harbour, and a little room that will do for my office.
It is about sixty years old the oldest house in Four
Winds. But it has been kept in pretty good repair,
and was all done over about fifteen years ago-
shingled, plastered and re-floored. It was well built
to begin with. I understand that there was some ro-
mantic story connected with its building, but the man
I rented it from didn't know it. He said Captain Jim
was the only one who could spin that old yarn now."
"Who is Captain Jim?"
"The keeper of the lighthouse on Four Winds
Point. You'll love that Four Winds light, Anne. It's
a revolving one, and it flashes like a magnificent star
through the twilights. We can see it from our living
room windows and our front door."
"Who owns the house?"
"Well, it's the property of the Glen St. Mary Pres-
byterian Church now, and I rented it from the
trustees. But it belonged until lately to a very old
lady, Miss Elizabeth Russell. She died last spring,
and as she had no near relatives she left her property
to the Glen St. Mary Church. Her furniture is still
in the house, and I bought most of it for a mere
song you might say, because it was all so old-
fashioned that the trustees despaired of selling it.
Glen St. Mary folks prefer plush brocade and side-
boards with mirrors and ornamentations, I fancy.
16 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
But Miss Russell's furniture is very good and I feel
sure you'll like it, Anne."
"So far, good," said Anne, nodding cautious ap-
proval. "But, Gilbert, people cannot live by furniture
alone. You haven't yet mentioned one very important
thing. Are there trees about this house?"
"Heaps of them, oh, dryad! There is a big grove
of fir trees behind it, two rows of Lombardy poplars
down the lane, and a ring of white birches around a
very delightful garden. Our front door opens right
into the garden, but there is another entrance a little
gate hung between two firs. The hinges are on one
trunk and the catch on the other. Their boughs form
an arch overhead."
"Oh, I'm so glad ! I couldn't live where there were
no trees something vital in me would starve. Well,
after that, there's no use asking you if there's a brook
anywhere near. That would be expecting too much."
"But there is a brook and it actually cuts across
one corner of the garden."
"Then," said Anne, with a long sigh of supreme
satisfaction, "this house you have found is my house
of dreams and none other."
THE LAND OF DREAMS AMONG
HAVE you made up your mind who you're going
to have to the wedding, Anne?" asked Mrs.
Rachel Lynde, as she hemstitched ' table napkins in-
dustriously. "It's time your invitations were sent,
even if they are to be only informal ones."
"I don't mean to have very many," said Anne. "We
just want those we love best to see us married.
Gilbert's people, and Mr. and Mrs. Allan, and Mr.
and Mrs. Harrison."
"There was a time when you'd hardly have num-
bered Mr. Harrison among your dearest friends,"
said Marilla drily.
"Well, I wasn't very strongly attracted to him at
our first meeting," acknowledged Anne, with a laugh
over the recollection. "But Mr. Harrison has im-
proved on acquaintance, and Mrs. Harrison is really
a dear. Then, of course, there are Miss Lavendar
"Have they decided to come to the Island this sum-
mer? I thought they were going to Europe."
i8 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
"They changed their minds when I wrote them I
was going to be married. I had a letter from Paul
today. He says he must come to my wedding, no
matter what happens to Europe."
"That child always idolised you," remarked Mrs.
'"That 'child' is a young man of nineteen now, Mrs.
"How time does fly!" was Mrs. Lynde's brilliant
and original response.
"Charlotta the Fourth may come with them. She
sent word by Paul that she would come if her husband
would let her. I wonder if she still wears those
enormous blue bows, and whether her husband calls
her Charlotta or Leonora. I should love to have
Charlotta at my wedding. Charlotta and I were at
a wedding long syne. They expect to be at Echo
Lodge next week. Then there are Phil and the
Reverend Jo "
"It sounds awful to hear you speaking of a min-
ister like that, Anne," said Mrs. Rachel severely.
"His wife calls him that."
"She should have more respect for his holy office,
then," retorted Mrs. Rachel.
"I've heard you criticise ministers pretty sharply
yourself," teased Anne.
"Yes, but I do it reverently," protested Mrs. Lynde.
"You never heard me nickname a minister."
Anne smothered a smile.
THE LAND OF DREAMS 19
"Well, there are Diana and Fred and little Fred
and Small Anne Cordelia and Jane Andrews. I
wish I could have Miss Stacey and Aunt Jamesina
and Priscilla and Stella. But Stella is in Vancouver,
and Pris is in Japan, and Miss Stacey is married in
California, and Aunt Jamesina has gone to India to
explore her daughter's mission field, in spite of her
horror of snakes. It's really dreadful the way
people get scattered over the globe."
"The Lord never intended it, that's what," said
Mrs. Rachel authoritatively. "In my young days
people grew up and married and settled down where
they were born, or pretty near it. Thank goodness
you've stuck to the Island, Anne. I was afraid
Gilbert would insist on rushing off to the ends of the
earth when he got through college, and dragging
you with him."
"If everybody stayed where he was born places
would soon be filled up, Mrs. Lynde."
"Oh, I'm not going to argue with you, Anne. 7
am not a B.A. What time of the day is the ceremony
"We have decided on noon high noon, as the
society reporters say. That will give us time to catch
the evening train to Glen St. Mary."
"And you'll be married in the parlour?"
"No not unless it rains. We mean to be married
in the orchard with the blue sky over us and the
sunshine around us. Do you know when and where
20 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
I'd like to be married, if I could? It would be at
dawn a June dawn, with a glorious sunrise, and
roses blooming in the gardens ; and I would slip down
and meet Gilbert and we would go together to the
heart of the beech woods, and there, under the green
arches that would be like a splendid cathedral, we
would be married."
Marilla sniffed scornfully and Mrs. Lynde looked
"But that would be terrible queer, Anne. Why, it
wouldn't really seem legal. And what would Mrs.
Harmon Andrews say?"
"Ah, there's the rub," sighed Anne. "There are
so many things in life we cannot do because of the
fear of what Mrs. Harmon Andrews would say.
''Tis true, 'tis pity, and pity 'tis, 'tis true.' What
delightful things we might do were it not for Mrs.
"By times, Anne, I don't feel quite sure that I
understand you altogether," complained Mrs. Lynde.
"Anne was always romantic, you know," said
"Well, married life will most likely cure her of
that," Mrs. Rachel responded comfortingly.
Anne laughed and slipped away to Lover's Lane,
where Gilbert found her; and neither of them seemed
to entertain much fear, or hope, that their married
life would cure them of romance.
The Echo Lodge people came over the next week,
THE LAND OF DREAMS 21
and Green Gables buzzed with the delight of them.
Miss Lavendar had changed so little that the three
years since her last Island visit might have been a
watch in the night; but Anne gasped with amazement
over Paul. Could this splendid six feet of manhood
be the little Paul of Avonlea schooldays?
"You really make me feel old, Paul," said Anne.
"Why, I have to look up to you 1"
"You'll never grow old, Teacher," said N Paul.
"You are one of the fortunate mortals who have
found and drunk from the Fountain of Youth,
you and Mother Lavendar. See here! When you're
married I won't call you Mrs. Blythe. To me you'll
always be Teacher' the teacher of the best lessons
I ever learned. I want to show you something."
The "something" was a pocketbook full of poems.
Paul had put some of his beautiful fancies into
verse, and magazine editors had not been as un-
appreciative as they are sometimes supposed to be.
Anne read Paul's poems with real delight They
were full of charm and promise.
"You'll be famous yet, Paul. I always dreamed
of having one famous pupil. He was to be a college
president but a great poet would be even better.
Some day I'll be able to boast that I whipped the
distinguished Paul Irving. But then I never did
whip you, did I, Paul ? What an opportunity lost ! I
think I kept you in at recess, however."
"You may be famous yourself, Teacher. I've
22 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
seen a good deal of your work these last three years."
"No. I know what I can do. I can write pretty,
fanciful little sketches that children love and editors
send welcome cheques for. But I can do nothing big.
My only chance for earthly immortality is a corner
in your Memoirs."
Charlotta the Fourth had discarded the blue bows
but her freckles were not noticeably less.
"I never did think I'd come down to marrying a
Yankee, Miss Shirley, ma'am," she said. "But you
never know what's before you, and it isn't his fault.
He was born that way."
"You're a Yankee yourself, Charlotta, since you've
"Miss Shirley, ma'am, I'm not! And I wouldn't be
if I was to marry a dozen Yankees! Tom's kind of
nice. And besides, I thought I'd better not be too
hard to please, for I mightn't get another chance.
Tom don't drink and he don't growl because he has
to work between meals, and when all's said and done
I'm satisfied, Miss Shirley, ma'am."
"Does he call you Leonora?" asked Anne.
"Goodness, no, Miss Shirley, ma'am. I wouldn't
know who he meant if he did. Of course, when we
got married he had to say, 'I take thee, Leonora,'
and I declare to you, Miss Shirley, ma'am, I've had
the most dreadful feeling ever since that it wasn't me
he was talking to and I haven't been rightly married
at all. And so you're going to be married yourself,
THE LAND OF DREAMS 23
Miss Shirley, ma'am? I always thought I'd like to
marry a doctor. It wou!3 be so handy when the
children had measles and croup. Tom is only a
bricklayer, but he's real good-tempered. When I
said to him, says I, 'Tom, can I go to Miss Shirley's
wedding? I mean to go anyhow, but I'd like to have
your consent,' he just says, 'Suit yourself, Charlotta,
and you'll suit me.' That's a real pleasant kind of
husband to have, Miss Shirley, ma'am."
Philippa and her Reverend Jo arrived at Green
Gables the day before the wedding. Anne and Phil
had a rapturous meeting which presently simmered
down to a cosy, confidential chat over all that had
been and was about to be.
"Queen Anne, you're as queenly as ever. I've got
fearfully thin since the babies came. I'm not half so
good-looking; but I think Jo likes it. There's not
such a contrast between us, you see. And oh, it's
perfectly magnificent that you're going to marry
Gilbert. Roy Gardner wouldn't have done at all, at
alj. I can see that now, though I was horribly
disappointed at the time. You know, Anne, you did
treat Roy very badly."
"He has recovered, I understand," smiled Anne.
"Oh, yes. He is married and his wife is a sweet
little thing and they're perfectly happy. Everything
works together for good. Jo and the Bible say that,
and they are pretty good authorities."
"Are Alec and Alonzo married yet?"
24 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
"Alec is, but Alonzo isn't. How those dear old
days at Patty's Place come back when I'm talking
to you, Anne! What fun we had!"
"Have you been to Patty's Place lately?"
"Oh, yes, I go often. Miss Patty and Miss Maria
still sit by the fireplace and knit. And that reminds
me we've brought you a wedding gift from them,
Anne. Guess what it is."
"I never could. How did they know I was going
to be married?"
"Oh, I told them. I was there last week. And
they were so interested. Two days ago Miss Patty
wrote me a note asking me to call; and then she
asked if I would take her gift to you. What would
you wish most from Patty's Place, Anne?"
"You can't mean that Miss Patty has sent me her
"Go up head. They're in my trunk this very
moment. And I've a letter for you. Wait a moment
and I'll get it."
"Dear Miss Shirley," Miss Patty had written,
"Maria and I were very much interested in hearing
of your approaching nuptials. We send you our best
wishes. Maria and I have never married, but we
have no objection to other people doing so. We are
sending you the china clogs. I intended to leave them
to you in my will, because you seemed to have a
sincere affection for them. But Maria and I expect
THE LAND OF DREAMS 25
to live a good while yet (D.V.), so I have decided to
give you the dogs while you are young. You will
not have forgotten that Gog looks to the right and
Magog to the left."
"Just fancy those lovely old dogs sitting by the
fireplace in my house of dreams," said Anne rap-
turously. "I never expected anything so delightful."
That evening Green Gables hummed with prepara-
tions for the following day; but in the twilight Anne
slipped away. She had a little pilgrimage to make
on this last day of her girlhood and she must make
it alone. She went to Matthew's grave, in the little
poplar-shaded Avonlea graveyard, and there kept a
silent tryst with old memories and immortal loves.
"How glad Matthew would be tomorrow if he
were here," she whispered. "But I believe he does
know and is glad of it somewhere else. I've read
somewhere that 'our dead are never dead until we
have forgotten them.' Matthew will never be dead
to me, for I can never forget him."
She left on his grave the flowers she had brought
and walked slowly down the long hill. It was a
gracious evening, full of delectable lights and
shadows. In the west was a sky of mackerel
clouds crimson and amber-tinted, with long strips
of apple-green sky between. Beyond was the glim-
mering radiance of a sunset sea, and' the ceaseless
voice of many waters came up from the tawny shore.
All around her, lying in the fine, beautiful country
silence, were the hills and fields and woods she had
known and loved so long.
"History repeats itself," said Gilbert, joining her
as she passed the Ely the gate. "Do yon remember
our first walk down this hill, Anne our first walk
together anywhere, for that matter?"
"I was coming home in the twilight from
Matthew's grave and you came out of the gate ; and
I swallowed the pride of years and spoke to you."
"And all heaven opened before me," supplemented
Gilbert. "From that moment I looked forward to
tomorrow. When I left you at your gate that night
and walked home I was the happiest boy in the world.
Anne had forgiven me."
"I think you had the most to forgive. I was an
ungrateful little wretch and after you had really
saved my life that day on the pond, too. How I
loathed that load of obligation at first! I don't
deserve the happiness that has come to me."
Gilbert laughed and clasped tighter the girlish hand
that wore his ring. Anne's engagement 'ring was a
circlet of pearls. She had refused to wear a diamond.
"I've never really liked diamonds since I found
out they weren't the lovely purple I had dreamed.
They will always suggest my old disappointment."
"But pearls are for tears, the old legend says,"
Gilbert had objected.
"I'm not afraid of that. And tears can be happy
THE LAND OF DREAMS 27
as well as sad. My very happiest moments have
been when I had tears in my eyes when Marilla
told me I might stay at Green Gables when Matthew
gave me the first pretty dress I ever had when I
heard that you were going to recover from the fever.
So give me pearls for our troth ring, Gilbert, and
I'll willingly accept the sorrow of life with its joy."
But tonight our lovers thought only of joy and
never of sorrow. For the morrow was their wedding
day, and their house of dreams awaited them on the
misty, purple shore of Four Winds Harbour.
THE FIRST BRIDE OF GREEN GABLES
A!^NE wakened on the morning of her wedding
day to find the sunshine winking in at the
window of the little porch gable and a September
breeze frolicking with her curtains.
"I'm so glad the sun will shine on me," she thought
She recalled the first morning she had wakened in
that little porch room, when the sunshine had crept
in on her through the blossom-drift of the old Snow
Queen. That had not been a happy wakening, for
it brought with it the bitter disappointment of the
preceding night. But since then the little room had
been endeared and consecrated by years of happy
childhood dreams and maiden visions. To it she
had come back joyfully after all her absences; at its
window she had knelt through that night of bitter
agony when she believed Gilbert dying, and by it she
had sat in speechless happiness the night of her
betrothal. Many vigils of joy and some of sorrow
had been kept there; and today she must leave it for-
THE FIRST BRIDE 29
ever. Henceforth it would be hers no more; fifteen-
year-old Dora was to inherit it when she had gone.
Nor did Anne wish it otherwise; the little room was
sacred to youth and girlhood to the past that was
to close today before the chapter of wifehood opened.
Green Gables was a busy and joyous house that
forenoon. Diana arrived early, with little Fred and
Small Anne Cordelia, to lend a hand. Davy and
Dora, the Green Gables twins, whisked the babies off
to the garden.
"Don't let Small Anne Cordelia spoil her clothes,"
warned Diana anxiously.
"You needn't be afraid to trust her with Dora,"
said Manila. "That child is more sensible and care-
ful than most of the mothers I've known. She's really
a wonder in some ways. Not much like that other
harum-scarum I brought up."
Marilla smiled across her chicken salad at Anne.
It might even be suspected that she liked the harum-
scarum best after all.
"Those twins are real nice children," said Mrs.
Rachel, when she was sure they were out of earshot.
"Dora is so womanly and helpful, and Davy is de-
veloping into a very smart boy. He isn't the holy
terror for mischief he used to be."
"I never was so distracted in my life as I was the
first six months he was here," acknowledged Marilla.
"After that I suppose I got used to him. He's taken
a great notion to farming lately, and wants me to let
30 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
him try running the farm next year. I may, for Mr.
Barry doesn't think he'll want to rent it much longer,
and some new arrangement will have to be made."
"Well, you certainly have a lovely day for your
wedding, Anne," said Diana, as she slipped a volum-
inous apron over her silken array. "You couldn't
have had a finer one if you'd ordered it from
"Indeed, there's too much money going out of this
Island to that same Eaton's," said Mrs. Lynde in-
dignantly. She had strong views on the subject of
octopus-like department stores, and never lost an op-
portunity of airing them. "And as for those
catalogues of theirs, they're the Avonlea girls' Bible
now, that's what. They pore over them on Sundays
instead of studying the Holy Scriptures."
"Well, they're splendid to amuse children with,"
said Diana. "Fred and Small Anne look at the
pictures by the hour."
"/ amused ten children without the aid of Eaton's
catalogue," said Mrs. Rachel severely.
"Come, you two, don't quarrel over Eaton's
catalogue," said Anne gaily. "This is my day of
days, you know. I'm so happy I want every one else
to be happy, too."
"I'm sure I hope your happiness will last, child,"
sighed Mrs. Rachel. She did hope it truly, and
believed it, but she was afraid it was in the nature of
a challenge to Providence to flaunt your happiness
THE FIRST BRIDE 31
too openly. Anne, for her own good, must be toned
down a trifle.
But it was a happy and beautiful bride who came
down the old, homespun-carpeted stairs that Septem-
ber noon the first bride of Green, Gables, slender and
shining-eyed, in the mist of her maiden veil, with her
arms full of roses. Gilbert, waiting for her in the
hall below, looked up at her with adoring eyes. She
was his at last, this evasive, long-sought Anne, won
after years of patient waiting. It was to him she
was coming in the sweet surrender of the bride. Was
he worthy of her? Could he make her as happy as
he hoped? If he failed her if he could not measure
up to her standard of manhood then, as she held
out her hand, their eyes met and all doubt was swept
away in a glad certainty. They belonged to each
other; and, no matter what life might hold for them,
it could never alter that. Their happiness was in
each other's keeping and both were unafraid.
They were married in the sunshine of the old
orchard, circled by the loving and kindly faces of
long-familiar friends. Mr. Allan married them, and
the Reverend Jo made what Mrs. Rachel Lynde after-
wards pronounced to be the "most beautiful wedding
prayer" she had ever heard. Birds do not often
sing in September, but one sang sweetly from some
hidden bough while Gilbert and Anne repeated their
deathless vows. Anne heard it and thrilled to it;
Gilbert heard it, and wondered only that all the birds
in the world had not burst into jubilant song; Paul
heard it and later wrote a lyric about it which was
one of the most admired in his first volume of verse;
Charlotta the Fourth heard it and was blissfully sure
it meant good luck for her adored Miss Shirley. The
bird sang until the ceremony was ended and then it
wound up with one mad little, glad little trill. Never
had the old gray-green house among its enfolding
orchards known a blither, merrier afternoon. All
the old jests and quips that must have done duty at
weddings since Eden were served up, and seemed as
new and brilliant and mirth-provoking as if they
had never been uttered before. Laughter and joy
had their way; and when Anne and Gilbert left to
catch the Carmody train, with Paul as driver, the
twins were ready with rice and old shoes, in the
throwing of which Charlotta the Fourth and Mr.
Harrison bore a valiant part. Marilla stood at the
gate and watched the carriage out of sight down the
long lane with its banks of goldenrod. Anne turned
at its end to wave her last good-bye. She was gone
Green Gables was her home no more; Manila's face
looked very gray and old as she turned to the house
which Anne had filled for fourteen years, and even
in her absence, with light and life.
But Diana and her small fry, the Echo Lodge
people and the Allans, had stayed to help the two old
ladies over the loneliness of the first evening; and
they contrived to have a quietly pleasant little supper
THE FIRST BRIDE 33
time, sitting long around the table and chatting over
all the details of the day. While they were sitting
there Anne and Gilbert were alighting from the train
at Glen St. Mary.
THE HOME COMING
DR. DAVID BLYTHE had sent his horse and
buggy to meet them, and the urchin who had
brought it slipped away with a sympathetic grin, leav-
ing them to the delight of driving alone to their new
home through the radiant evening.
Anne never forgot the loveliness of the view that
broke upon them when they had driven over the hill
behind the village. Her new home could not yet be
seen; but before her lay Four Winds Harbour like a
great, shining mirror of rose and silver. Far down,
she saw its entrance between the bar of sand-dunes
on one side and a steep, high, grim, red-sandstone cliff
on the other. Beyond the bar the sea, calm and
austere, dreamed in the afterlight. The little fishing
village, nestled in the cove where the sand-dunes .met
the harbour shore, looked like a great opal in the haze.
The sky over them was like a jewelled cup from which
the dusk was pouring; the air was crisp with the
compelling tang of the sea, and the whole landscape
was infused with the subtleties of a sea evening. A
THE HOME COMING 35
few dim sails drifted along the darkening, fir-clad
harbour shores. A bell was ringing from the tower
of a little white church on the far side; mellowly
and dreamily sweet, the chime floated across the
water blent with the moan of the sea. The great
revolving light on the cliff at the channel flashed
warm and golden against the clear northern sky, a
trembling, quivering star of good hope. Far out
along the horizon was the crinkled gray ribbon of
a passing steamer's smoke.
"Oh, beautiful, beautiful," murmured Anne. "I
shall love Four Winds, Gilbert. Where is our
"We can't see it yet the belt of birch running up
from that little cove hides it. It's about two miles
from Glen St. Mary, and there's another mile between
it and the light-house. We won't have many neigh-
bours, Anne. There's only one house near us and I
don't know who lives in it. Shall you be lonely when
"Not with that light and that loveliness for com-
pany. Who lives in that house, Gilbert?"
"I don't know. It doesn't look exactly as if
the occupants would be kindred spirits, Anne, does
The house was a large, substantial affair, painted
such a vivid green that the landscape seemed quite
faded by contrast. There was an orchard behind it,
and a nicely kept lawn before it, but, somehow, there
36 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
was a certain bareness about it. Perhaps its neatness
was responsible for this; the whole establishment,
house, barns, orchard, garden, lawn and lane, was so
"It doesn't seem probable that anyone with that
taste in paint could be very kindred," acknowledged
Anne, "unless it were an accident like our blue hall.
\ feel certain there are no children there, at least. It's
even neater than the old Copp place on the Tory
road, and I never expected to see anything neater
They had not met anybody on the moist, red road
that wound along the harbour shore. But just before
they came to the belt of birch which hid their home,
Anne saw a girl who was driving a flock of snow-white
geese along the crest of a velvety green hill on the
right. Great, scattered firs grew along it. Between
their trunks one saw glimpses of yellow harvest
fields, gleams of golden sand-hills, and bits of blue
sea. The girl was tall and wore a dress of pale blue
print. She walked with a certain springiness of step
and erectness of bearing. She and her geese came
out of the gate at the foot of the hill as Anne and
Gilbert passed. She stood with her hand on the
fastening of the gate, and looked steadily at them,
with an expression that hardly attained to interest,
but did not descend to curiosity. It seemed to Anne,
for a fleeting moment, that there was even a veiled
hint of hostility in it. But it was the girl's beaut*
THE HOME COMING 37
which made Anne give a little gasp a beauty so
marked that it must have attracted attention any-
where. She was hatless, but heavy braids of
burnished hair, the hue of ripe wheat, were twisted
about her head like a coronet; her eyes were blue and
star-like; her figure, in its plain print gown, was
magnificent; and her lips were as crimson as the
bunch of blood-red poppies she wore at her belt.
"Gilbert, who is the girl we have just passed?"
asked Anne, in a low voice.
"I didn't notice any girl," said Gilbert, who had
eyes only for his bride.
"She was standing by that gate no, don't look
back. She is still watching us. I never saw such
a beautiful face."
"I don't remember seeing any very handsome girls
while I was here. There are some pretty girls up at
the Glen, but I hardly think they could be called
"This girl is. You can't have seen her, or you
would remember her. Nobody could forget her. I
never saw such a face except in pictures. And her
hair! It made me think of Browning's 'cord of
gold' and 'gorgeous snake' !"
"Probably she's some visitor in Four Winds
likely some one from that big summer hotel over the
"She wore a white apron and she was driving
"She might do that for amusement. Look, Anne
there's our house."
Anne looked and forgot for a time the girl with
the splendid, resentful eyes. The first glimpse of her
new home was a delight to eye and spirit it looked
so like a big, creamy seashell stranded on the harbour
shore. The rows of tall Lombardy poplars down its
lane stood out in stately, purple silhouette against
the sky. Behind it, sheltering its garden from the
too keen breath of sea winds, was a cloudy fir wood,
in which the winds might make all kinds of weird
and haunting music. Like all woods, it seemed to be
holding and enfolding secrets in its recesses, secrets
whose charm is only to be won by entering in and
patiently seeking. Outwardly, dark green arms keep
them inviolate from curious or indifferent eyes.
The night winds were beginning their wild dances
beyond the bar and the fishing hamlet across the
harbour was gemmed with lights as Anne and Gilbert
drove up the poplar lane. The door of the little
house opened, and a warm glow of firelight
flickered out into the dusk. Gilbert lifted Anne from
the buggy and led her into the garden, through the
little gate between the ruddy-tipped firs, up the trim,
red path to the sandstone step.
"Welcome home," he whispered, and hand in hand
they stepped over the threshold of their house of
OLD Doctor Dave" and "Mrs. Doctor Dave" had
come down to the little house to greet the bride
and groom. Doctor Dave was a big, jolly, white-
whiskered old fellow, and Mrs. Doctor was a trim,
rosy-cheeked, silver-haired little lady who took Anne
at once to her heart, literally and figuratively.
"I'm so glad to see you, dear. You must be real
tired. We've got a bite of supper ready, and Captain
Jim brought up some trout for you. Captain Jim
where are you? Oh, he's slipped out to see to the
horse, I suppose. Come upstairs and take your things
Anne looked about her with bright, appreciative
eyes as she followed Mrs. Doctor Dave upstairs.
She liked the appearance of her new home very
much. It seemed to have the atmosphere of Green
Gables and the flavour of her old traditions.
"I think I would have found Miss Elizabeth Rus-
sell a 'kindred spirit,' " she murmured when she was
alone in her room. There were two windows in it;
40 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
the dormer one looked out on the lower harbour and
the sand-bar and the Four Winds light.
" 'A magic casement opening on the foam
Of perilous seas in fairy lands forlorn/ "
quoted Anne softly. The gable window gave a view
of a little harvest-hued valley through which a brook
ran. Half a mile up the brook was the only house
in sight an old, rambling, gray one surrounded by
huge willows through which its windows peered, like
shy, seeking eyes, into the dusk. Anne wondered
who lived there ; they would be her nearest neighbours
and she hoped they would be nice. She suddenly
found herself thinking of the beautiful girl with the
"Gilbert thought she didn't belong here," mused
Anne, "but I feel sure she does. There was something
about her that made her part of the sea and the
sky and the harbour. Four Winds is in her blood."
When Anne went downstairs Gilbert was standing
before the fireplace talking to a stranger. Both turned
as Anne entered.
"Anne, this is Captain Boyd. Captain Boyd, my
It was the first time Gilbert had said "my wife"
to anybody but Anne, and he narrowly escaped burst-
ing with the pride of it. The old captain held out
a sinewy hand to Anne ; they smiled at each other and
CAPTAIN JIM 41
were friends from that moment. Kindred spirit
flashed recognition to kindred spirit.
"I'm right down pleased to meet you, Mistress
Blythe; and I hope you'll be as happy as the first
bride was who came here. I can't wish you no better
than that. But your husband doesn't introduce me
jest exactly right. 'Captain Jim' is my week-a-day
name and you might as well begin as you're sartain
to end up calling me that. You sartainly are a
nice little bride, Mistress Blythe. Looking at you
sorter makes me feel that I've jest been married
Amid the laughter that followed Mrs. Doctor Dave
urged Captain Jim to stay and have supper with them.
"Thank you kindly. Twill be a real treat, Mistress
Doctor. I mostly has to eat my meals alone, with
the reflection of my ugly old phiz in a looking-glass
opposite for company. Tisn't often I have a chance
to sit down with two such sweet, purty ladies."
Captain Jim's compliments may look very bald on
paper, but he paid them with such a gracious, gentle
deference of tone and look that the woman upon
whom they were bestowed felt that she was being
offered a queen's tribute in a kingly fashion.
Captain Jim was a high-souled, simple-minded old
man, with eternal youth in his eyes and heart. He
had a tall, rather ungainly figure, somewhat stooped,
yet suggestive of great strength and endurance; a
clean-shaven face deeply lined and bronzed; a thick
42 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
mane of iron-gray hair falling quite to his shoulders,
and a pair of remarkably blue, deep-set eyes, which
sometimes twinkled and sometimes dreamed, and
sometimes looked out seaward with a wistful quest
in them, as of one seeking something precious and
tost. Anne was to learn one day what it was for
which Captain Jim looked.
It could not be denied that Captain Jim was a
homely man. His spare jaws, rugged mouth, and
square brow were not fashioned on the lines of
beauty; and he had passed through many hardships
and sorrows which had marked his body as well as
'his soul; but though at first sight Anne thought him
plain she never thought anything more about it the
spirit shining through that rugged tenement beautified
it so wholly.
They gathered gaily around the supper table. The
hearth fire banished the chill of the September even-
ing, but the window of the dining room was open
and sea breezes entered at their own sweet will. The
view was magnificent, taking in the harbour and the
sweep of low, purple hills beyond. The table was
heaped with Mrs. Doctor's delicacies but the piece de
resistance was undoubtedly the big platter of sea-
"Thought they'd be sorter tasty after travelling,"
said Captain Jim. "They're fresh as trout can be,
Mistress Blythe. Two hours ago they were swim-
ming in the Glen Pond."
CAPTAIN JIM 43
"vVho is attending to the light tonight, Captain
Jim?" asked Doctor Dave.
"Nephew Alec. He understands it as well as I do.
Well, now, I'm real glad you asked me to stay to
supper. I'm proper hungry didn't have much of a
"I believe you half starve yourself most of the
time down at that light," said Mrs. Doctor Dave
severely. "You won't take the trouble to get up a
"Oh, I do, Mistress Doctor, I do," protested
Captain Jim. "Why, I live like a king gen'rally.
Last night I was up to the Glen and took home two
pounds of steak. I meant to have a spanking good
"And what happened to the steak?" asked Mrs.
Doctor Dave. "Did you lose it on the way home?"
"No." Captain Jim looked sheepish. "Just at bed-
time a poor, ornery sort of dog came along and asked
for a night's lodging. Guess he belonged to some of
the fishermen 'long shore. I couldn't turn the poor
cur out he had a sore foot. So I shut him in the
porch, with an old bag to lie on, and went to bed.
But somehow I couldn't sleep. Come to think it
over, I sorter remembered that the dog looked
"And you got up and gave him that steak all
that steak," said Mrs. Doctor Dave, with a kind of
44 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
"Well, there wasn't anything else to give him,"
said Captain Jim deprecatingly. "Nothing a dog'd
care for, that is. I reckon he was hungry, for he
made about two bites of it. I had a fine sleep the
rest of the night but my dinner had to be sorter
scanty potatoes and point, as you might say. The
dog, he lit out for home this morning. I reckon he
weren't a vegetarian."
"The idea of starving yourself for a worthless
dog!'' sniffed Mrs. Doctor.
"You don't know but he may be worth a lot to
somebody," protested Captain Jim. "He didn't look
of much account, but you can't go by looks in jedging
a dog. Like meself, he might be a real beauty inside.
The First Mate didn't approve of him, I'll allow.
His language was right down forcible. But the First
Mate is prejudiced. No use in taking a cat's opinion
of a dog. 'Tennyrate, I lost my dinner, so this nice
spread in this dee-lightful company is real pleasant.
It's a great thing to have good neighbours."
"'Who lives in the house among the willows up the
brook?" asjced Anne.
"Mrs. Dick Moore," said Captain Jim "and her
husband," he added, as if by way of an afterthought.
Anne smiled, and deduced a mental picture of Mrs.
Dick Moore from Captain Jim's way of putting it;
evidently a second Mrs. Rachel Lynde.
"You haven't many neighbours, Mistress Blythe,"
Captain Jim went on. "This side of the harbour is
CAPTAIN JIM 45
mighty thinly settled. Most of the land belongs to
Mr. Howard up yander past the Glen, and he rents
it out for pasture. The other side of the harbour,
now, is thick with folks 'specially MacAllisters.
There's a whole colony of MacAllisters you can't
throw a stone but you hit one. I was talking to old
Leon Blacquiere the other day. He's been working
on the harbour all summer. 'Dey're nearly all Mac-
Allisters over thar,' he told me. 'Dare's Neil Mac-
Allister and Sandy MacAllister and William
MacAllister and Alec MacAllister and Angus Mac-
Allister and I believe dare's de Devil MacAllister.' '
"There are nearly as many Elliotts and Craw-
fords," said Doctor Dave, after the laughter had
subsided. "You know, Gilbert, we folk on this side
of Four Winds have an old saying 'From the conceit
of the Elliotts, the pride of the MacAllisters, and the
vainglory of the Craw fords, good Lord deliver us.' '
"There's a plenty of fine people among them,
though," said Captain Jim. "I sailed with William
Crawford for many a year, and for courage and
endurance and truth that man hadn't an equal.
They've got brains over on that side of Four
Winds. Mebbe that's why this side is sorter inclined
to pick on 'em. Strange, ain't it, how folks seem to
resent anyone being born a mite cleverer than they
Doctor Dave, who had a forty years' feud with the
over-harbour people, laughed and subsided.
46 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
"Who lives in that brilliant emerald house about
half a mile up the road?" asked Gilbert.
Captain Jim smiled delightedly.
"Miss Cornelia Bryant. She'll likely be over to
see you soon, seeing you're Presbyterians. If you
were Methodists she wouldn't come at all. Cornelia
has a holy horror of Methodists."
"She's quite a character," chuckled Doctor Dave.
"A most inveterate man-hater!"
"Sour grapes?" queried Gilbert, laughing.
"No, 'tisn't sour grapes," answered Captain Jim
seriously. "Cornelia could have had her pick when
she was young. Even yet she's only to say the word
to see the old widowers jump. She jest seems to
have been born with a sort of chronic spite agin
men and Methodists. She's got the bitterest tongue
and the kindest heart in Four Winds. Wherever
there's any trouble, that woman is there, doing
everything to help in the tenderest way. She never
says a harsh word about another woman, and if she
likes to card us poor scalawags of men down I reckon
our tough old hides can stand it."
"She always speaks well of you, Captain Jim,"
said Mrs. Doctor.
"Yes, I'm afraid so. I don't half like it. It makes
me feel as if there must be something sorter unnat-
teral about me."
THE SCHOOLMASTER'S BRIDE
WHO was the first bride who came to this house,
Captain Jim?" Anne asked, as they sat around
the fireplace after supper.
"Was she a part of the story I've heard was con-
nected with this house?" asked Gilbert. "Somebody
told me you could tell it, Captain Jim."
"Well, yes, I know it. I reckon I'm the only person
living in Four Winds now that can remember the
schoolmaster's bride as she was when she come to
the Island. She's been dead this thirty year, but she
was one of them women you never forget."
"Tell us the story," pleaded Anne. "I want to find
out all about the women who have lived in this house
"Well, there's jest been three Elizabeth Russell,
and Mrs. Ned Russell, and the schoolmaster's bride.
Elizabeth Russell was a nice, clever little critter, and
Mrs. Ned was a nice woman, too. But they weren't
ever like the schoolmaster's bride.
"The schoolmaster's name was John Selwyn. He
48 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
came out from the Old Country to teach school at
the Glen when I was a boy of sixteen. He wasn't
much like the usual run of derelicts who used to come
out to P. E. I. to teach school in them days. Most
of them were clever, drunken critters who taught the
children the three R's when they were sober, and
lambasted them when they wasn't. But John Selwyn
was a fine, handsome young fellow. He boarded at
my father's, and he and me were cronies, though he
was ten years older'n me. We read and walked and
talked a heap together. He knew about all the poetry
that was ever written, I reckon, and he used to quote
it to me along shore in the evenings. Dad thought
it an awful waste of time, but he sorter endured it,
hoping it'd put me off the notion of going to sea.
Well, nothing could do that mother come of a race
of sea-going folk and it was born in me. But I loved
to hear John read and recite. It's almost sixty years
ago, but I could repeat yards of poetry I learned from
him. Nearly sixty years!"
Captain Jim was silent for a space, gazing into the
glowing fire in a quest of the bygones. Then, with a
sigh, he resumed his story.
"I remember one spring evening I met him on the
sand-hills. He looked sorter uplifted jest like you
did, Dr. Blythe, when you brought Mistress Blythe in
tonight. I thought of him the minute I seen you.
And he told me that he had a sweetheart back home
and that she was coming out to him. I wasn't morc'n
THE SCHOOLMASTER'S BRIDE 49
half pleased, ornery young lump of selfishness that I
was; I thought he wouldn't be as much my friend
after she came. But I'd enough decency not to let
him see it. He told me all about her. Her name was
Persis Leigh, and she would have come out with him
if it hadn't been for her old uncle. He was sick, and
he'd looked after her when her parents died and she
wouldn'* leave him. And now he was dead and she
was coming out to marry John Selwyn. 'Twasn't no
easy journey for a woman in them days. There
weren't no steamers, you must ricollect.
" 'When do you expect her ?' says I.
'"She sails on the Royal William, the 20th of
June,' says he, 'and so she should be here by mid-
July. I must set Carpenter Johnson to building me a
home for her. Her letter come today. I know be-
fore I opened it that it had good news for me. I saw
her a few nights ago.'
"I didn't understand him, and then he explained
though I didn't understand that much better. He said
he had a gift or a curse. Them was his words,
Mistress Blythe a gift or a curse. He didn't know
which it was. He said a great-great-grandmother of
his had had it, and they burned her for a witch on
account of it. He said queer spells trances, I think
was the name he give 'em come over him now and
again. Are there such things, Doctor?"
"There are people who are certainly subject to
trances," answered Gilbert. "The matter is more
50 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
in the line of psychical research than medical. What
were the trances of this John Selwyn like?"
"Like dreams," said the old Doctor skeptically.
"He said he could see things in them," said Captain
Jim slowly. "Mind you, I'm telling you jest what he
said things that were happening things that were
going to happen. He said they were sometimes a
comfort to him and sometimes a horror. Four nights
before this he'd been in one went into it while he
was sitting looking at the fire. And he saw an old
room he knew well in England, and Persis Leigh in
it, holding out her hands to him and looking glad
and happy. So he knew he was going to hear good
news of her."
"A dream a dream," scoffed the old Doctor.
"Likely likely," conceded Captain Jim. "That's
what / said to him at the time. It was a vast more
comfortable to think so. I didn't like the idea of him
seeing things like that it was real uncanny.
" 'No,' says he, 'I didn't dream it. But we won't
talk of this again. You won't be so much my friend
if you think much about it.'
"I told him nothing could make me any less his
friend. But he jest shook his head and says, says
" 'Lad, I know. I've lost friends before because of
this. I don't blame them. There are times when I
feel hardly friendly to myself because of it. Such a
THE SCHOOLMASTER'S BRIDE 51
power has a bit of divinity in it whether of a good
or an evil divinity who shall say? And we mortals
all shrink from too close contact with God or devil.'
"Them was his words. I remember them as if
'twas yesterday, though I didn't know jest what he
meant. What do you s'pose he did mean, doctor?"
"I doubt if he knew what he meant himself," said
Doctor Dave testily.
"I think I understand," whispered Anne. She was
listening in her old attitude of clasped lips and shining
eyes. Captain Jim treated himself to an admiring
smile before he went on with his story.
"Well, purty soon all the Glen and Four Winds
people knew the schoolmaster's bride was coming, and
they were all glad because they thought so much of
him. And everybody took an interest in his new
house this house. He picked this site for it, because
you could see the harbour and hear the sea from it.
He made the garden out there for his bride, but he
didn't plant the Lombardies. Mrs. Ned Russell
planted them. But there's a double row of rose-bushes
in the garden that the little girls who went to the
Glen school set out there for the schoolmaster's
bride. He said they were pink for her cheeks and
white for her brow and red for her lips. He'd quoted
poetry so much that he sorter got into the habit of
talking it, too, I reckon.
"Almost everybody sent him some little present to
52 ANNE'S HOUSE Of DREAMS
help out the furnishing of the house. When the
Russells came into it they were well-to-do and fur-
nished it real handsome, as you can see; but the first
furniture that went into it was plain enough. This
little house was rich in love, though The women
sent in quilts and table-cloths and towels, and one
man made a chest for her, and another a table and so
on. Even blind old Aunt Margaret Boyd wove a little
basket for her out of the sweet-scented sand-hill grass.
The schoolmaster's wife used it for years to keep her
"Well, at last everything was ready even to the
logs in the big fireplace ready for lighting. 'Twasn't
exactly this fireplace, though 'twas in the same place.
Miss Elizabeth had this put in when she made the
house over fifteen years ago. It was a big, old-
fashioned fireplace where you could have roasted an
ox. Many's the time . I've sat here and spun yarns,
same's I'm doing tonight."
Again there was a silence, while Captain Jim kept
a passing tryst with visitants Anne and Gilbert could
not see the folks who had sat with him around that
fireplace in the vanished years, with mirth and bridal
joy shining in eyes long since closed forever under
churchyard sod or heaving leagues of sea. Here on
olden nights children had tossed laughter lightly to
and fro. Here on winter evenings friends had gathered.
Dance and music and jest had been here. Here
youths and maidens had dreamed. For Captain Jim
THE SCHOOLMASTER'S BRIDE 53
the little house was tenanted with shapes entreating
"It was the first of July when the house was
finished. The schoolmaster began to count the days
then. We used to see him walking along the shore,
and we'd say to each other, 'She'll soon be with him
"She was expected the middle of July, but she didn't
come then. Nobody felt anxious. Vessels were often
delayed for days and mebbe weeks. The Royal William
was a week overdue and then two and then three.
And at last we began to be frightened, and it got
worse and worse. Fin'lly I couldn't bear to look into
John Selwyn's eyes. D'ye know, Mistress Blythe"
Captain Jim lowered his voice "I used to think
that they looked just like what his old great-great-
grandmother's must have been when they were burn-
ing her to death. He never said much but he taught
school like a man in a dream and then hurried to the
shore. Many a night he walked there from dark to
dawn. People said he was losing his mind. Every-
body had given up hope the Royal William was eight
weeks overdue. It was the middle of September and
the schoolmaster's bride hadn't come never would
come, we thought.
"There was a big storm then that lasted three days,
and on the evening after it died away I went to the
shore. I found the schoolmaster there, leaning with
his arms folded against a big rock, gazing out to sea.
54 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
"I spoke to him but he didn't answer. His eyes
seemed to be looking at something I couldn't see. His
face was set, like a dead man's.
" 'John John/ I called out jest like that jest
like a frightened child, 'wake up wake up.'
"That strange, awful look seemed to sorter fade
out of his eyes. He turned his head and looked at
me. I've never forgot his face never will forget it
till I ships for my last voyage.
"' 'AH is well, lad,' he says. 'I've seen the Royal
William coming around East Point. She will be here
by dawn. Tomorrow night I shall sit with my bride
by my own hearth-fire.'
"Do you think he did see it?" demanded Captain
"God knows," said Gilbert softly. "Great love and
great pain might compass we know not what
"I am sure he did see it," said Anne earnestly.
"Fol-de-rol," said Doctor Dave, but he spoke with
less conviction than usual.
"Because, you know," said Captain Jim solemnly,
"the Royal William came into Four Winds Harbour
at daylight the next morning. Every soul in the Glen
and along the shore was at the old wharf to meet her.
The schoolmaster had been watching there all night.
How we cheered as she sailed up the channel."
Captain Jim's eyes were shining. They were look-
ing at the Four Winds Harbour of sixty years agone,
THE SCHOOLMASTER'S BRIDE 55
with a battered old ship sailing through the sunrise
"And Persis Leigh was on board ?" asked Anne.
"Yes her and the captain's wife. They'd had an
awful passage storm after storm and their pro-
visions give out, too. But there they were at last.
When Persis Leigh stepped onto the old wharf John
Sclwyn took her in his arms and folks stopped
cheering and begun to cry. I cried myself, though
'twas years, mind you, afore I'd admit it. Ain't it
ftmny how ashamed boys are of tears?"
"Was Persis Leigh beautiful?" asked Anne.
"Well, I don't know that you'd call her beautiful
exactly I don't know," said Captain Jim slowly.
"Somehow, you never got so far along as to wonder
if she was handsome or not. It jest didn't matter.
There was something so sweet and winsome about her
that you had to love her, that was all. But she was
pleasant to look at big, clear, hazel eyes and heaps
of glossy brown hair, and an English skin. John and
her were married at our house that night at early
candle-lighting; everybody from far and near was
there to see it and we all brought them down here
afterwards. Mistress Sehvyn lighted the fire, and we
went away and left them sitting here, jest as John had
seen in that vision of his. A strange thing a strange
thing I But I've seen a tumble lot of strange things
in my time."
Captain Jim shook his head sagely.
56 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
"It's a dear story," said Anne, feeling that for once
she had got enough romance to satisfy her. "How
long did they live here?"
"Fifteen years. I ran off to sea soon after they
were married, like the young scalawag I was. But
every time I come back from a voyage I'd head for
here, even before I went home, and tell Mistress
Selwyn all about it. Fifteen happy years! They had a
sort of talent for happiness, them two. Some folks are
like that, if you've noticed. They couldn't be unhappy
for long, no matter what happened. They quarrelled
once or twice, for they was both high-sperrited. But
Mistress Selwyn says to me once, says she, laughing
in that pretty way of hers, 'I felt dreadful when John
and I quarrelled, but underneath it all I was very
happy because I had such a nice husband to quarrel
with and make it up with.' Then they moved to
Charlottetown, and Ned Russell bought this house
and brought his bride here. They were a gay young
pair, as I remember them. Miss Elizabeth Russell was
Alec's sister. She came to live with them a year or so
later, and she was a creature of mirth, too. The walls
of this house must be sorter soaked with laughing
and good times. You're the third bride I've seen
come here, Mistress Blythe and the handsomest."
Captain Jim contrived to give his sunflower com-
pliment the delicacy of a violet, and Anne wore it
proudly. She was looking her best that night, with
the bridal rose on her checks and the love-light in
THE SCHOOLMASTER'S BRIDE 57
her eyes; even gruff old Doctor Dave gave her an
approving glance, and told his wife, as they drove
home together, that that red-headed wife of the boy's
was something of a beauty.
"I must be getting back to the light," announced
Captain Jim. "I've enj : yed this evening something
"You must come often to see us," said Anne.
"I wonder if you'd give that invitation if you
knew how likely I'll be to accept it," Captain Jim
"Which is another way of saying you wonder if I
mean it," smiled Anne. "I do, 'cross my heart,' as
we used to say at school."
"Then I'll come. You're likely to be pestered with
me at any hour. And I'll be proud to have you drop
down and visit me now and then, too. Gin'rally
I haven't anyone to talk to but the First Mate, bless
his sociable heart. He's a mighty good listener, and
has forgot more'n any MacAllister of them all ever
knew, but he isn't much of a conversationalist.
You're young and I'm old, but our souls are about
the same age, I reckon. We both belong to the race
that knows Joseph, as Cornelia Bryant would say."
"'The race that knows Joseph?" puzzled Anne.
"Yes. Cornelia divides all the folks in the world
.into two kinds the race that knows Joseph and the
race that don't. If a person sorter sees eye to eye with
you, and has pretty much the same ideas about things,
$8 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
and the same taste in jokes why, then he belongs to
the race that knows Joseph."
"Oh, I understand," exclaimed Anne, light break-
ing in upon her. "It's what I used to call and still
call in quotation marks 'kindred spirits.' '
"Jest so jest so," agreed Captain Jim. "We're
it, whatever it is. When you come in to-night, Mis-
tress Blythe, I says to myself, says I, 'Yes, she's of
the race that knows Joseph.' And mighty glad I was,
for if it wasn't so we couldn't have had any real
satisfaction in each other's company. The race that
knows Joseph is the salt of the airth, I reckon."
The moon had just risen when Anne and Gilbert
went to the door with their guests. Four Winds
Harbour was beginning to be a thing of dream and
glamour and enchantment a spellbound haven where
no tempest might ever ravin. The Lombardies down
the lane, tall and sombre as the priestly forms of some
mystic band, were tipped with silver.
"Always liked Lombardies," said Captain Jim,
waving a long arm at them. "They're the trees of
princesses. They're out of fashion now. Folks com-
plain that they die at the top and get ragged-looking.
So they do so they do, if you don't risk your neck
every spring climbing up a light ladder to trim them
out. I always did it for Miss Elizabeth, so her Lom-
bardies never got out-at-elbows. She was especially
fond of them. She liked their dignity and stand-off-
rshness. They don't hobnob with every Tom, Dick
THE SCHOOLMASTER'S BRIDE 59
and Harry. If it's maples for company, Mistress
Blythe, it's Lombardies for society."
"What a beautiful night," said Mrs. Doctor Dave,
as she climbed into the Doctor's buggy.
"Most nights are beautiful," said Gaptain Jim. "But
I 'low that moonlight over Four Winds makes me
sorter wonder what's left for heaven. The moon's a
great friend of mine, Mistress Blythe. I've loved her
ever since I can remember. When I was a little chap
of eight I fell asleep in the garden one evening and
wasn't missed. I woke up along in the night and I
was most scared to death. What shadows and queer
noises there was! I dursn't move. Jest crouched
there quaking, poor small mite. Seemed 'sif there
weren't anyone in the world but meself and it was
mighty big. Then all at once I saw the moon looking
down at me through the apple boughs, jest like an old
friend. I was comforted right off. Got up and
walked to the house as brave as a lion, looking at her.
Many's the night I've watched her from the deck of
my vessel, on seas far away from here. Why don't you
folks tell me to take in the slack of my jaw and go
The laughter of the goodnights died away. Anne
and Gilbert walked hand in hand around their garden.
The brook that ran across the corner dimpled pellucid-
ly in the shadows of the birches. The poppies along
its banks were like shallow cups of moonlight. Flowers
that had been planted by the hands of the school-
60 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
master's bride flung their sweetness on the shadowy
air, like the beauty and blessing of sacred yesterdays.
Anne paused in the gloom to gather a spray.
"I love to smell flowers in the dark," she said.
"You get hold of their soul then. Oh, Gilbert, this
little house is all I've dreamed it. And I'm so glad
that we are not the first who have kept bridal tryst
Miss CORNELIA BRYANT COMES TO CALL
THAT September was a month of golden mists
and purple hazes at Four Winds Harbour a
month of sun-steeped days and of nights that were
swimming in moonlight, or pulsating with stars. No
storm marred it, no rough wind blew. Anne and
Gilbert put their nest in order, rambled on the shores,
sailed on the harbour, drove about Four Winds and
the Glen, or through the ferny, sequestered roads of
the woods around the harbour head; in short, had
such a honeymoon as any lovers in the world might
have envied them.
"If life were to stop short just now it would still
have been richly worth while, just for the sake of
these past four weeks, wouldn't it?" said Anne. "I
don't suppose we will ever have four such perfect
weeks again but we've had them. Everything
wind, weather, folks, house of dreams has conspired
to make our honeymoon delightful. There hasn't
even been a rainy day since we came here."
62 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
"And we haven't quarrelled once," teased Gilbert.
"Well, 'that's a pleasure all the greater for being
deferred,' " quoted Anne. "I'm so glad we decided
to spend our honeymoon here. Our memories of it
will always belong here, in our house of dreams, in-
stead of being scattered about in strange places."
There was a certain tang of romance and adventure
in the atmosphere of their new home which Anne had
never found in Avonlea. There, although she had
lived in sight of the sea, it had not entered intimately
into her life. In Four Winds it surrounded her and
called to her constantly. From every window of her
new home she saw some varying aspect of it. Its
haunting murmur was ever in her ears. Vessels sailed
up the harbour every day to the wharf at the Glen, or
sailed out again through the sunset, bound for ports
that might be half way round the globe. Fishing boats
went white-winged down the channel in the mornings,
and returned laden in the evenings. Sailors and
fisher-folk travelled the red, winding harbour roads,
light-hearted and content. There was always a certain
sense of things going to happen of adventures and
farings-forth. The ways of Four Winds were less
staid and settled and grooved than those of Avonlea;
winds of change blew over them; the sea called ever
to the dwellers on shore, and even those who might
not answer its call felt the thrill and unrest and mys-
tery and possibilities of it.
"I understand now why some men must go to sea,"
MISS CORNELIA BRYANT 63
said Anne. "That desire which comes to us all at
times 'to sail beyond the bourne of sunset' must be
very imperious when it is born in you. I don't wonder
Captain Jim ran away because of it. I never see a
ship sailing out of the channel, or a gull soaring over
the sand-bar, without wishing I were on board the
ship or had wings, not like a dove 'to fly away and be
at rest,' but like a gull, to sweep out into the very
heart of a storm."
"You'll stay right here with me, Anne-girl," said
Gilbert lazily. "I won't have you flying away from
me into the hearts of storms."
They were sitting on their red sand-stone doorstep
in the late afternoon. Great tranquillities were all
about them in land and sea and sky. Silvery gulls were
soaring over them. The horizons were laced with long
trails of frail, pinkish clouds. The hushed air was
threaded with a murmurous refrain of minstrel
winds and waves. Pale asters were blowing in the
sere and mis.ty meadows between them and the har-
"Doctors who have to be up all night waiting on
sick folk don't feel very adventurous, I suppose,"
Anne said indulgently. "If you had had a good sleep
last night, Gilbert, you'd be as ready as I am for a
flight of imagination."
"I did good work last night, Anne," said Gilbert
quietly. "Under God, I saved a life. This is the first
time I could ever really claim that. In other cases I
64 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
may have helped; but, Anne, if I had not stayed at
Allonby's last night and fought death hand to hand,
that woman would have died before morning. I tried
an experiment that was certainly never tried in Four
Winds before. I doubt if it was ever tried anywhere
before outside of a hospital. It was a new thing in
Kingsport hospital last winter. I could never have
dared try it here if I had not been absolutely certain
that there was no other chance. I risked it and it
succeeded. As a result, a good wife and mother is
saved for long years of happiness and usefulness. As
I drove home this morning, while the sun was rising
over the harbour, I thanked God that I had chosen the
profession I did. I had fought a good fight and won
think of it, Anne, won, against the Great Destroyer.
It's what I dreamed of doing long ago when we talked
together of what we wanted to do in life. That dream
of mine came true this morning."
"Was that the only one of your dreams that has
come true?" asked Anne, who knew perfectly well
what the substance of his answer would be, but wanted
to hear it again.
"You know, Anne-girl," said Gilbert, smiling into
her eyes. At that moment there were certainly two
perfectly happy people sitting on the doorstep of a
little white house on the Four Winds Harbour shore.
Presently Gilbert said, with a change of tone, "Do
I or do I not see a full-rigged ship sailing up our
MISS CORNELIA BRYANT 65
Anne looked and sprang up.
"That must be either Miss Cornelia Bryant or Mrs.
Moore coming to call," she said.
"I'm going into the office, and if it is Miss Cornelia
I warn you that I'll eavesdrop," said Gilbert. "From
all I've heard regarding Miss Cornelia I conclude
that her conversation will not be dull, to say the
"It may be Mrs. Moore."
"I don't think Mrs. Moore is built on those lines.
I saw her working in her garden the other day, and,
though I was too far away to see clearly, I thought
she was rather slender. She doesn't seem very
socially inclined when she has never called on you
yet, although she's your nearest neighbour."
"She can't be like Mrs. Lynde, after all, or curiosity
would have brought her," said Anne. "This caller is,
I think, Miss Cornelia."
Miss Cornelia it was; moreover, Miss Cornelia
had not come to make any brief and fashionable
wedding call. She had her work under her arm in
a substantial parcel, and when Anne asked her to
stay she promptly took off her capacious sun-hat,
which had been held on her head, despite irreverent
September breezes, by a tight elastic band under her
hard little knob of fair hair. No hat pins for Miss
Cornelia, an it please ye ! Elastic bands had been good
enough for her mother and they were good enough
for her. She had a fresh, round, pink-and-white face,
66 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
and jolly brown eyes. She did not look in the least
like the traditional old maid, and there was something
in her expression which won Anne instantly. With
her old instinctive quickness to discern kindred spirits
she knew she was going to like Miss Cornelia, in spite
of uncertain oddities of opinion, and certain oddities
Nobody but Miss Cornelia would have come to
make a call arrayed in a striped blue-and-white apron
and a wrapper of chocolate print, with a design of
huge, pink roses scattered over it. And nobody but
Miss Cornelia could have looked dignified and suit-
ably garbed in it. Had Miss Cornelia been entering
a palace to call on a prince's bride, she would have
been just as dignified and just as wholly mistress of
the situation. She would have trailed her rose-
spattered flounce over the marble floors just as un-
concernedly, and she would have proceeded just as
calmly to disabuse the mind of the princess of any
idea that the possession of a mere man, be he prince
or peasant, was anything to brag of.
"I've brought my work, Mrs. Blythe, dearie," she
remarked, unrolling some dainty material. "I'm in
a hurry to get this done, and there isn't any time to
Anne looked in some surprise at the white garment
spread over Miss Cornelia's ample lap. It was cer-
tainly a baby's dress, and it was most beautifully
made, with tiny frills and tucks. Miss Cornelia ad-
MISS CORNELIA BRYANT 67
justed her glasses and fell to embroidering with ex-
"This is for Mrs. Fred Proctor up at the Glen,"
she announced. "She's expecting her eighth baby any
day now, and not a stitch has she ready for it. The
other seven have wore out all she made for the first,
and she's never had time or strength or spirit to make
any more. That woman is a martyr, Mrs. Blythe,
believe me. When she married Fred Proctor / knew
how it would turn out. He was one of your wicked,
fascinating men. After he got married he left off be-
ing fascinating and just kept on being wicked. He
drinks and he neglects his family. Isn't that like a
man? I don't know how Mrs. Proctor would ever
keep her children decently clothed if her neighbours
didn't help her out."
As Anne was afterwards to learn, Miss Cornelia
was the only neighbour who troubled herself much
about the decency of the young Proctors.
"When I heard this eighth baby was coming I de-
cided to make some things for it," Miss Cornelia went
on. "This is the last and I want to finish it today."
"It's certainly very pretty," said Anne. "I'll get
my sewing and we'll have a little thimble party of
two. You are a beautiful sewer, Miss Bryant."
"Yes, I'm the best sewer in these parts," said Miss
Cornelia in a matter-of-fact tone. "I ought to be!
Lord, I've done more of it than if I'd had a hundred
children of my own, believe me! I s'pose I'm a fool.
68 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
to be putting hand embroidery on this dress for an
eighth baby. But, Lord, Mrs. Blythe, dearie, it isn't
to blame for being the eighth, and I kind of wished
it to have one real pretty dress, just as if it was
wanted. Nobody's wanting the poor mite so I put
some extra fuss on its little things just on that ac-
"Any baby might be proud of that dress," said
Anne, feeling still more strongly that she was going
to like Miss Cornelia.
"I s'pose you've been thinking I was never coming
to call on you," resumed Miss Cornelia. "But this
is harvest month, you know, and I've been busy and
a lot of extra hands hanging round, eating more'n
they work, just like the men. I'd have come yester-
day, but I went to Mrs. Roderick MacAllister's
funeral. At first I thought my head was aching so
badly I couldn't enjoy myself if I did go. But she
was a hundred years old, and I'd always promised
myself that I'd go to her funeral."
"Was it a successful function?" asked Anne, notic-
ing that the office door was ajar.
"What's that? Oh, yes, it was a tremendous
funeral. She had a very large connection. There
was over one hundred and twenty carriages in the
procession. There was one or two funny things
happened. I thought that die I would to see old Joe
Bradshaw, who is an infidel and never darkens the
door of a church, singing 'Safe in the Arms of Jesus'
MISS CORNELIA BRYANT 69
with great gusto and fervour. He glories in singing
that's why he never misses a funeral. Poor Mrs.
Bradshaw didn't look much like singing all wore out
slaving. Old Joe starts out once in a while to buy
her a present and brings home some new kind of farm
machinery. Isn't that like a man? But what else
would you expect of a man who never goes to church,
even a Methodist one? I was real thankful to see
you and the young Doctor in the Presbyterian church
your first Sunday. No doctor for me who isn't a
"We were in the Methodist church last Sunday
evening," said Anne wickedly.
"Oh, I s'pose Dr. Blythe has to go to the Methodist
church once in a while or he wouldn't get the
"We liked the sermon very much," declared
Anne boldly. "And I thought the Methodist min-
ister's prayer was one of the most beautiful I ever
"Oh, I've no doubt he can pray. I never heard
anyone make more beautiful prayers than old Simon
Bentley, who was always drunk, or hoping to be, and
the drunker he was the better he prayed."
"The Methodist minister is very fine looking,"
said Anne, for the benefit of the office door.
"Yes, he's quite ornamental," agreed Miss Cornelia.
"Oh, and very ladylike. And he thinks that every
girl who looks at him falls in love with him as if a
yo ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
Methodist minister, wandering about like any Jew,
was such a prize! If you and the young doctor take
my advice, you won't have much to do with the
Methodists. My motto is if you are a Presbyterian,
be a Presbyterian."
"Don't you think that Methodists go to heaven as
well as Presbyterians?" asked Anne smilelessly.
"That isn't for us to decide. It's in higher hands
than ours," said Miss Cornelia solemnly. "But I
ain't going to associate with them on earth whatever
I may have to do in heaven. This Methodist minister
isn't married. The last one they had was, and his
wife was the silliest, flightiest little thing I ever saw.
I told her husband once that he should have waited
till she was grown up before he married her. He
said he wanted to have the training of her. Wasn't
that like a man?"
"It's rather hard to decide just when people are
grown up," laughed Anne.
"That's a true word, dearie. Some are grown up
when they're born, and others ain't grown up when
they're eighty, believe me. That same Mrs. Roderick
I was speaking of never grew up. She was as foolish
when she was a hundred as when she was ten."
"Perhaps that was why she lived so long," sug-
"Maybe 'twas. I'd rather live fifty sensible years
than a hundred foolish ones."
MISS CORNELIA BRYANT 71
"But just think what a dull world it would be if
everyone was sensible," pleaded Anne.
Miss Cornelia disdained any skirmish of flippant
"Mrs. Roderick was a Milgrave, and the Milgraves
never had much sense. Her nephew, Ebenezer Mil-
grave, used to be insane for years. He believed he
was dead and used to rage at his wife because she
wouldn't bury him. I'd a-done it."
Miss Cornelia looked so grimly determined that
Anne could almost see her with a spade in her hand.
"Don't you know any good husbands, Miss
"Oh, yes, lots of them over yonder," said Miss
Cornelia, waving her hand through the open window
towards the little graveyard of the church across the
"But living going about in the flesh?" persisted
"Oh, there's a few, just to show that with God all
things are possible," acknowledged Miss Cornelia
reluctantly. "I don't deny that an odd man here and
there, if he's caught young and trained up proper, and
if his mother has spanked him well beforehand, may
turn out a decent being. Your husband, now, isn't so
bad, as men go, from all I hear. I s'pose" Miss
Cornelia looked sharply at Anne over her glasses
"you think there's nobody like him in the world,"
72 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
"There isn't," said Anne promptly.
"Ah, well, I heard another bride say that once,"
sighed Miss Cornelia. "Jennie Dean thought when
she married that there wasn't anybody like her hus-
band in the world. And she was right there wasn't!
And a good thing, too, believe me! He led her an
awful life and he was courting his second wife while
Jennie was dying. Wasn't that like a man ? However,
I hope your confidence will be better justified, dearie.
The young doctor is taking real well. I was afraid at
first he mightn't, for folks hereabouts have always
thought old Doctor Dave the only doctor in the world.
Doctor Dave hadn't much tact, to be sure he was
always talking of ropes in houses where someone had
hanged himself. But folks forgot their hurt feelings
when they had a pain in their stomachs. If he'd been
a minister instead of a doctor they'd never have for-
given him. Soul-ache doesn't worry folks near as
much as stomach-ache. Seeing as we're both Presby-
terians and no Methodists around, will you tell me
your candid opinion of our minister?"
"Why really I well," hesitated Anne.
Miss Cornelia nodded.
"Exactly. I agree with you, dearie. We made a
mistake when we called him. His face just looks
like one of those long, narrow stones in the graveyard,
doesn't it? 'Sacred to the memory' ought to be
written on his forehead. I shall never forget the first
sermon he preached after he came. It was on the sub-
MISS CORNELIA BRYANT 73
ject of everyone doing what they were best
fitted for a very good subject, of course; but such
illustrations as he used! He said, 'If you had a cow
and an apple tree, and if you tied the apple tree in
your stable and planted the cow in your orchard, with
her legs up, how much milk would you get from the
apple tree, or how many apples from the cow?' Did
you ever hear the like in your born days, dearie? I
was so thankful there were no Methodists there that
day they'd never have been done hooting over it.
But what I dislike most in him is his habit of agreeing
with everybody, no matter what is said. If you said to
him, 'You're a scoundrel,' he'd say, with that smooth
smile of his, 'Yes, that's so.' A minister should have
more backbone. The long and the short of it is, I
consider him a reverend jackass. But, of course, this
is just between you and me. When there are Metho-
dists in hearing I praise him to the skies. Some folks
think his wife dresses too gay, but / say when she has
to live with a face like that she needs something to
cheer her up. You'll never hear me condemning a
woman for her dress. I'm only too thankful when her
husband isn't too mean and miserly to allow it. Not
that I bother much with dress myself. Women just
dress to please the men, and I'd never stoop to that.
I have had a real placid, comfortable life, dearie, and
it's just because I never cared a cent what the men
"Why do you hate the men so, Miss Bryant?"
74 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
"Lord, dearie, I don't hate them. They aren't
worth it. I just sort of despise them. I think I'll like
your husband if he keeps on as he has begun. But
apart from him, about the only men in the world I've
much use for are the old doctor and Captain Jim."
"Captain Jim is certainly splendid," agreed Anne
"Captain Jim is a good man, but he's kind of vexing
in one way. You can't make him mad. I've tried
for twenty years and he just keeps on being placid.
It does sort of rile me. And I s'pose the woman he
should have married got a man who went into tant-
rums twice a day."
"Who was she?"
"Oh, I don't know, dearie. I never remember of
Captain Jim making up to anybody. He was edging
on old as far as my memory goes. He's seventy-six,
you know. I never heard any reason for his staying
a bachelor, but there must be one, believe me He
sailed all his life till five years ago, and there's no
corner of the earth he hasn't poked his nose into. He
and Elizabeth Russell were great cronies, all their
lives, but they never had any notion of sweet-hearting.
Elizabeth never married, though she had plenty of
chances. She was a great beauty when she was
young. The year the Prince of Wales came to the
Island she was visiting her uncle in Charlottetown and
he was a Government official, and so she got invited
to the great ball. She was the prettiest girl there,
MISS CORNELIA BRYANT 7$
and the Prince danced with her, and all the other
women he didn't dance with were furious about it,
because their social standing was higher than hers
and they said he shouldn't have passed them over.
Elizabeth was always very proud of that dance. Mean
folks said that was why she never married she
couldn't put up with an ordinary man after dancing
with a prince. But that wasn't so. She told me the
reason once it was because she had such a temper
that she was afraid she couldn't live peaceably with
any man. She had an awful temper she used to
have to go upstairs and bite pieces out of her bureau
to keep it down by times. But I told her that wasn't
any reason for not marrying if she wanted to. There's
no reason why we should let the men have a monopoly
of temper, is there, Mrs. Blythe, dearie?"
"I've a bit of temper myself," sighed Anne.
"It's well you have, dearie. You won't be half so
likely to be trodden on, believe me! My, how that
golden glow of yours is blooming! Your garden
looks fine. Poor Elizabeth always took such care of
"I love it," said Anne. "I'm glad it's so full of
old-fashioned flowers. Speaking of gardening, we
want to get a man to dig up that little lot beyond the
fir grove and set it out with strawberry plants for
us. Gilbert is so busy he will never get time for it
this fall. Do you know anyone we can get?"
"Well, Henry Hammond up at the Glen goes out
76 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
doing jobs like that. He'll do, maybe. He's always
a heap more interested in his wages than in his work,
just like a man, and he's so slow in the uptake that
he stands still for five minutes before it dawns on
him that he's stopped. His father threw a stump at
him when he was small. Nice gentle missile, wasn't
it? So like a man! Course, the boy never got over
it. But he's the only one I can recommend at all. He
painted my house for me last spring. It looks real
nice now, don't you think?"
Anne was saved by the clock striking five.
"Lord, is it that late?" exclaimed Miss Cornelia.
"How time does slip by when you're enjoying your-
self! Well, I must betake myself home."
"No, indeed ! You are going to stay and have tea
with us," said Anne eagerly.
"Are you asking me because you think you ought
to, or because you really want to?" demanded Miss
"Because I really want to."
"Then I'll stay. You belong to the race that knows
"I know we are going to be friends," said Anne,
with the smile that only they of the household of faith
"Yes, we are, dearie. Thank goodness, we can
choose our friends. We have to take our relatives as
they are, and be thankful if there are no penitentiary
birds among them. Not that I've many none nearer
MISS CORNELIA BRYANT 77
than second cousins. I'm a kind of lonely soul, Mrs.
There was a wistful note in Miss Cornelia's voice.
"I wish you would call me Anne," exclaimed Anne
impulsively. "It would seem more homey. Every-
one in Four Winds, except my husband, calls me Mrs.
Blythe, and it makes me feel like a stranger. Do you
know that your name is very near being the one I
yearned after when I was a child. I hated 'Anne'
and I called myself 'Cordelia' in imagination."
"I like Anne. It was my mother's name. Old-
fashioned names are the best and sweetest in my
opinion. If you're going to get tea you might send
the young doctor to talk to me. He's been lying on
the sofa in that office ever since I came, laughing fit
to kill over what I've been saying."
"How did you know?" cried Anne, too aghast at
this instance of Miss Cornelia's uncanny prescience
to make a polite denial.
"I saw him sitting beside you when I came up the
lane, and I know men's tricks," retorted Miss Cor-
nelia. "There, I've finished my little dress, dearie,
and the eighth baby can come as soon as it pleases."
AN EVENING AT FOUR WINDS POINT
IT was late September when Anne and Gilbert
were able to pay Four Winds light their promised
visit. They had often planned to go, but something
always occurred to prevent them. Captain Jim had
"dropped in" several times at the little house.
"I don't stand on ceremony, Mistress Blythe," he
told Anne. "It's a real pleasure to me to come here,
and I'm not going to deny myself jest because you
haven't got down to see me. There oughtn't to be no
bargaining like that among the race that knows
Joseph. I'll come when I can, and you come when
you can, and so long's we have our pleasant little chat
it don't matter a mite what roof's over us."
Captain Jim took a great fancy to Gog and Magog,
who were presiding over the destinies of the hearth
in the little house with as much dignity and aplomb
as they had done at Patty's Place.
"Aren't they the cutest little cusses?" he would say
delightedly; and he bade them greeting and farewell
as gravely and invariably as he did his host and
AN EVENING AT THE POINT 79
hostess. Captain Jim was not going to offend house-
hold deities by any lack of reverence and ceremony.
"You've made this little house just about perfect,"
he told Anne. "It never was so nice before. Mis-
tress Selwyn had your taste and she did wonders; but
folks in those days didn't have the pretty little curtains
and pictures and nicknacks you have. As for Elizabeth,
she lived in the past. You've kinder brought the
future into it, so to speak. I'd be real happy even
if we couldn't talk at all, when I come here jest to
sit and look at you and your pictures and your flowers
would be enough of a treat. It's beautiful beauti-
Captain Jim was a passionate worshipper of beauty.
Every lovely thing heard or seen gave him a deep,
subtle, inner joy that irradiated his life. He was quite
keenly aware of his own lack of outward comeliness
and lamented it.
"Folks say I'm good," he remarked whimsically
upon one occasion, "but I sometimes wish the Lord
had made me only half as good and put the rest of it
into looks. But there, I reckon He knew, what He was
about, as a good Captain should. Some of us have to
be homely, or the purty ones like Mistress Blythe
here wouldn't show up so well."
One evening Anne and Gilbert finally walked down
to the Four Winds light. The day had begun som-
brely in gray cloud and mist, but it had ended in a
pomp of scarlet and gold. Over the western hills
80 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
beyond the harbour were amber deeps and crystalline
shallows, with the fire of sunset below. The north
was a mackerel sky of little, fiery golden clouds. The
red light flamed on the white sails of a vessel gliding
down the channel, bound to a southern port in a land
of palms. Beyond her, it smote upon and incarna-
dined the shining, white, grassless faces of the sand-
dunes.' To the right, it fell on the old house among
the willows up the brook, and gave it for a fleeting
space casements more splendid than those of an old
cathedral. They glowed out of its quiet and grayness
like the throbbing, blood-red thoughts of a vivid soul
imprisoned in a dull husk of environment.
"That old house up the brook always seems so
lonely," said Anne. "I never see visitors there. Of
course, its lane opens on the upper road but I don't
think there's much coming and going. It seems odd
we've never met the Moores yet, when they live with-
in fifteen minutes' walk of us. I may have seen them
in church, of course, but if so I didn't know them.
I'm sorry they are so unsociable, when they are our
only near neighbours."
"Evidently they don't belong to the race that knows
Joseph," laughed Gilbert. "Have you ever found out
who that girl was whom you thought so beautiful?"
"No. Somehow I have never remembered to ask
about her. But I've never seen her anywhere, so I
suppose she must have been a stranger. Oh, the sun
has just vanished and there's the light."
AN EVENING AT THE POINT 8l
As the dusk deepened, the great beacon cut swathes
of light through it, sweeping in a circle over the fields
and the harbour, the sandbar and the gulf.
"I feel as if it might catch me and whisk me leagues
out to sea," said Anne, as one drenched them with
radiance; and she felt rather relieved when they got
so near the Point that they were inside the range of
those dazzling, recurrent flashes.
As they turned into the little lane that led across
the fields to the Point they met a man coming out of
it a man of such extraordinary appearance that for
a moment they both frankly stared. He was a de-
cidedly fine-looking person tall, broad-shouldered,
well- featured, with a Roman nose and frank gray
eyes ; he was dressed in a prosperous farmer's Sunday
best; in so far he might have been any inhabitant of
Four Winds or the Glen. But, flowing over his breast
nearly to his knees, was a river of crinkly brown
beard; and adown his back, beneath his commonplace
felt hat, was a corresponding cascade of thick, wavy,
"Anne," murmured Gilbert, when they were out
of earshot, "you didn't put what Uncle Dave calls
'a little of the Scott Act' in that lemonade you gave
me just before we left home, did you?"
"No, I didn't," said Anne, stifling her laughter, lest
the retreating enigma should hear her. "Who in the
world can he be?"
"I don't know; but if Captain Jim keeps appari-
82 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
tions like that down at this Point I'm going to carry
cold iron in my pocket when I come here. He wasn't
a sailor, or one might pardon his eccentricity of ap-
pearance; he must belong to the over-harbour clans.
Uncle Dave says they have several freaks over there."
"Uncle Dave is a little prejudiced, I think. You
know all the over-harbour people who come to the
Glen Church seem very nice. Oh, Gilbert, isn't this
The Four Winds light was built on a spur of red
sand-stone cliff jutting out into the gulf. On one
side, across the channel, stretched the silvery sand
shore of the bar; on the other, extended a long, curv-
ing beach of red cliffs, rising steeply from the pebbled
coves. It was a shore that knew the magic and mys-
tery of storm and star. There is a great solitude
about such a shore. The woods are never solitary
they are full of whispering, beckoning, friendly life.
But the sea is a mighty soul, forever moaning of some
great, unshareable sorrow, which shuts it up into itself
for all eternity. We can never pierce its infinite mys-
tery we may only wander, awed and spell-bound, on
the outer fringe of it. The woods call to us with a
hundred voices, but the sea has one only a mighty
voice that drowns our souls in its majestic music. The
woods are human, but the sea is of the company of
Anne and Gilbert found Uncle Jim sitting on a
bench outside the lighthouse, putting the finishing
AN EVENING AT THE POINT 83
touches to a wonderful, full-rigged, toy schooner. He
rose and welcomed them to his abode with the gentle,
unconscious courtesy that became him so well.
"This has been a purty nice day all through, Mis-
tress Blythe, and now, right at the last, it's brought
its best. Would you like to sit down here outside a
bit, while the light lasts? I've just finished this bit
of a plaything for my little grand-nephew, Joe, up at
the Glen. After I promised to make it for him I was
kinder sorry, for his mother was vexed. She's afraid
he'll be wanting to go to sea later on and she doesn't
want the notion encouraged in him. But what could
I do, Mistress Blythe? I'd promised him, and I think
it's sorter real dastardly to break a promise you make
to a child. Come, sit down. It won't take long to
stay an hour."
The wind was off shore, and only broke the sea's
surface into long, silvery ripples, and sent sheeny
shadows flying out across it, from every point and
headland, like transparent wings. The dusk was
hanging a curtain of violet gloom over the sand-dunes
and the headlands where gulls were huddling. The
sky was faintly filmed over with scarfs of silken
vapor. Cloud fleets rode at anchor along the horizons.
An evening star was watching over the bar.
"Isn't that a view worth looking at?" said Captain
Jim, with a loving, proprietary pride. "Nice and far
from the market-place, ain't it? No buying and sell-
ing and getting gain. You don't have to pay any-
84 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
thing all that sea and sky free 'without money and
without price.' There's going to be a moonrise purty
soon, too I'm never tired of finding out what a
moonrise can be over them rocks and sea and har-
bour. There's a surprise in it every time."
They had their moonrise, and watched its marvel
and magic in a silence that asked nothing of the world
or each other. Then they went up into the tower,
and Captain Jim showed and explained the mechan-
ism of the great light. Finally they found themselves
in the dining room, where a fire of driftwood was
weaving flames of wavering, elusive, sea-born hues in
the open fireplace.
"I put this fireplace in myself," remarked Captain
Jim. "The Government don't give lighthouse keepers
such luxuries. Look at the colours that wood makes.
If you'd like some driftwood for your fire, Mistress
Blythe, I'll bring you up a load some day. Sit down.
I'm going to make you a cup of tea."
Captain Jim placed a chair for Anne, having first
removed therefrom a huge, orange-coloured cat and a
"Get down, Matey. The sofa is your place. I must
put this paper away safe till I can find time to finish
the story in it. It's called A Mad Love. 'Tisn't my
favourite brand of fiction, but I'm reading it jest to
see how long she can spin it out. It's at the sixty-
second chapter now, and the wedding ain't any nearer
than when it begun, far's I can see. When little Joe
AN EVENING AT THE POINT 85
comes I have to read him pirate yarns. Ain't it
strange how innocent little creatures like children like
the blood-thirstiest stories?"
"Like my lad Davy at home," said Anne. "He
wants tales that reek with gore."
Captain Jim's tea proved to be nectar. He was
pleased as a child with Anne's compliments, but he
affected a fine indifference.
"The secret is I don't skimp the cream," he re-
marked airily. Captain Jim had never heard of
Oliver Wendell Holmes, but he evidently agreed with
that writer's dictum that "big heart never liked little
"We met an odd-looking personage coming out of
your lane," said Gilbert as they sipped. "Who was
Captain Jim grinned.
"That's Marshall Elliott a mighty fine man with
jest one streak of foolishness in him. I s'pose you
wondered what his object was in turning himself into
a sort of dime museum freak."
"Is he a modern Nazarite or a Hebrew prophet left
over from olden times?" asked Anne.
"Neither of them. It's politics that's at the bottom
of his freak. All those Elliotts and Crawfords and
MacAHisters are dyed-in-the-wool politicians. They're
born Grit or Troy, as the case may be, and they live
Grit or Tory, and they die Grit or Tory; and what
they're going to do in heaven, where there's probably
86 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
no politics, is more than I can fathom. This Marshall
Elliott was born a Grit. I'm a Grit myself in modera-
tion, but there's no moderation about Marshall. Fif-
teen years ago there was a specially bitter general
election. Marshall fought for his party tooth and
nail. He was dead sure the Liberals would win so
sure that he got up at a public meeting and vowed
that he wouldn't shave his face or cut his hair until
the Grits were in power. Well, they didn't go in and
they've never got in yet and you saw the result to-
night for yourselves. Marshall stuck to his word."
"What does his wife think of it?" asked Anne.
"He's a bachelor. But if he had a wife I reckon
she couldn't make him break that vow. That family
of Elliotts has always been more stubborn than nat-
teral. Marshall's brother Alexander had a dog he
set great store by, and when it died the man actilly
wanted to have it buried in the graveyard, 'along with
the other Christians,' he said. Course, he wasn't
allowed to; so he buried it just outside the graveyard
fence, and never darkened the church door again.
But Sundays he'd drive his family to church and sit
by that dog's grave and read his Bible all the time
service was going on. They say when he was dying
he asked his wife to bury him beside the dog ; she was
a meek little soul but she fired up at that. She said
she wasn't going to be buried be-side no dog, and if
he'd rather have his 1-ast resting place beside the dog
than beside her, jest to say so. Alexander Elliott was
AN EVENING AT THE POINT 87
a stubborn mule, but he was fond of his wife, so he
give in and said, 'Well, durn it, bury me where you
please. But when Gabriel's trump blows I expect my
dog to rise with the rest of us, for he had as much
soul as any durned Elliott or Crawford or MacAllister
that ever strutted.' Them was his parting words. As
for Marshall, we're all used to him, but he must strike
strangers as right down peculiar-looking. I've known
him ever since he was ten he's about fifty now and
I like him. Him and me was out cod-fishing today.
That's about all I'm good for now catching trout
and cod occasional. But 'tweren't always so not by
no manner of means. I used to do other things, as
you'd admit if you saw my life-book."
Anne was just going to ask what his life-book was
when the First Mate created a diversion by springing
upon Captain Jim's knee. He was a gorgeous beastie,
with a face as round as a full moon, vivid green eyes,
and immense, white, double paws. Captain Jim
stroked his velvet back gently.
"I never fancied cats much till I found the First
Mate," he remarked, to the accompaniment of the
Mate's tremendous purrs. "I saved his life, and
when you've saved a creature's life you're bound to
love it. It's next thing to giving life. There's some
turrible thoughtless people in the world, Mistress
Blythe. Some of them city folks who have summer
homes over the harbour are so thoughtless that they're
cruel. It's the worst kind of cruelty the thoughtless
88 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
kind. You can't cope with it. They keep cats there
in the summer, and feed and pet 'em, and doll 'em up
with ribbons and collars. And then in the fall they
go off and leave 'em to starve or freeze. It makes my
blood boil, Mistress Blythe. One day last winter I
found a poor old mother cat dead on the shore, lying
against the skin-and-bone bodies of her three little
kittens. She'd died trying to shelter 'em. She had
her poor stiff paws around 'em. Master, I cried.
Then I swore. Then I carried them poor little kittens
home and fed 'em up and found good homes for 'em.
I knew the woman who left the cat and when she come
back this summer I jest went over the harbour and told
her my opinion of her. It was rank meddling, but I
do love meddling in a good cause."
"How did she take it?" asked Gilbert.
"Cried and said she 'didn't think.' I says to her,
says I, 'Do you s'pose that'll be held for a good ex-
cuse in the day of Jedgment, when you'll have to ac-
count for that poor old mother's life? The Lord'll
ask you what He give you your brains for if it wasn't
to think, I reckon.' I don't fancy she'll leave cats to
starve another time."
"Was the First Mate one of the forsaken?" asked
Anne, making advances to him which were responded
to graciously, if condescendingly.
"Yes. I found him one bitter cold day in winter,
caught in the branches of a tree by his durn-fool rib-
bon collar. He was almost starving. If you could
AN EVENING AT THE POINT 89
have seen his eyes, Mistress Blythe ! He was nothing
but a kitten, and he'd got his living somehow since
he'd been left until he got hung up. When I loosed
him he give my hand a pitiful swipe with his little
red tongue. He wasn't the able seaman you see now.
He was meek as Moses. That was nine years ago.
His life has been long in the land for a cat. He's a
good old pal, the First Mate is."
"I should have expected you to have a dog," said
Captain Jim shook his head.
"I had a dog once. I thought so much of him that
when he died I couldn't bear the thought of getting
another in his place. He was a friend you under-
stand, Mistress Blythe? Matey's only a pal. I'm
fond of Matey all the fonder on account of the spice
of devilment that's in him like there is in all cats.
But I loved my dog. I always had a sneaking sympa-
thy for Alexander Elliott about his dog. There isn't
any devil in a good dog. That's why they're more
lovable than cats, I reckon. But I'm darned if they're
as interesting. Here I am, talking too much. Why
don't you check me ? When I do get a chance to talk
to anyone I run on turrible. If you've done your tea
I've a few little things you might like to look at
picked 'em up in the queer corners I used to be poking
my nose into."
Captain Jim's "few little things" turned out to be
a most interesting collection of curios, hideous, quaint
90 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
and beautiful. And almost every one had some strik-
ing story attached to it.
Anne never forgot the delight with which she
listened to those old tales that moonlit evening by that
enchanted driftwood fire, while the silver sea called
to them through the open window and sobbed against
the rocks below them.
Captain Jim never said a boastful word, but it was
impossible to help seeing what a hero the man had been
brave, true, resourceful, unselfish. He sat there in
his little room and made those things live again for
his hearers. By a lift of the eyebrow, a twist of the
lip, a gesture, a word, he painted a whole scene or
character so that they saw it as it was.
Some of Captain Jim's adventures had such a mar-
vellous edge that Anne and Gilbert secretly wondered
if he were not drawing a rather long bow at their
credulous expense. But in this, as they found later,
they did him injustice. His tales were all literally
true. Captain Jim had the gift of the born story-
teller, whereby "unhappy, far-off things" can be
brought vividly before the hearer in all their pristine
Anne and Gilbert laughed and shivered over his
tales, and once Anne found herself crying. Captain
Jim surveyed her tears with pleasure shining from his
"I like to see folks cry that way," he remarked.
"It's a compliment. But I can't do justice to the
AN EVENING AT THE POINT 91
things I've seen or helped to do. I've 'em all jotted
down in my life-book, but I haven't got the knack of
writing them out properly. If I could hit on jest the
right words and string 'em together proper on paper
I could make a great book. It would beat A Mad
Love holler, and I believe Joe'd like it as well as the
pirate yarns. Yes, I've had some adventures in my
time; and, do you know, Mistress Blythe, I still lust
after 'em. Yes, old and useless as I be, there's an
awful longing sweeps over me at times to sail out
out out there forever and ever."
"Like Ulysses, you would
'Sail beyond the sunset and the baths
Of all the western stars until you die/"
said Anne dreamily.
"Ulysses? I've read of him. Yes, that's jest how
I feel jest how all us old sailors feel, I reckon. I'll
die on land after all, I s'pose. Well, what is to be will
be. There was old William Ford at the Glen who
never went on the water in his life, 'cause he was
afraid of being drowned. A fortune-teller had pre-
dicted he would be. And one day he fainted and fell
with his face in the barn trough and was drowned.
Must you go ? Well, come soon and come often. The
doctor is to do the talking next time. He knows a
heap of things I want to find out. I'm sorter lone-
some here by times. It's been worse since Eliza-
beth Russell died. Her and me was such cronies."
Captain Jim spoke with the pathos of the aged, who
92 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
see their old friends slipping from them one by one
friends whose place can never be quite filled by those
of a younger generation, even of the race that knows
Joseph. Anne and Gilbert promised to come soon and
"He's a rare old fellow, isn't he?" said Gilbert, as
they walked home.
"Somehow, I can't reconcile his simple, kindly per
sonality with the wild, adventurous life he has lived,"
"You wouldn't find it so hard if you had seen him
the other day down at the fishing village. One of
the men of Peter Gautier's boat made a nasty remark
about some girl along the shore. Captain Jim fairly
scorched the wretched fellow with the lightning of his
eyes. He seemed a man transformed. He didn't say
much but the way he said it ! You'd have thought it
would strip the flesh from the fellow's bones. I under-
stand that Captain Jim will never allow a word against
any woman to be said in his presence."
"I wonder why he never married," said Anne. "He
should have sons with their ships at sea now, and
grandchildren climbing over him to hear his stories
he's that kind of a man. Instead, he has nothing but
a magnificent cat."
But Anne was mistaken. Captain Jim had more
than that. He had a memory.
I'M going for a walk to the outside shore tonigltt,"
Anne told Gog and Magog one October evening.
There was no one else to tell, for Gilbert had gone
over the harbour. 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 de-
lightful 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 harbour 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
94 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
spume that blew over the bar, troubled and misty and
tempest-torn the erstwhile blue peace of Four Winds
Harbour. 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 be-
low, where she seemed shut in with rocks and sea and
"I'm going to dance and sing," she said. "There's
no one here to see me the sea-gulls 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. Whirl-
ing 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
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
LESLIE MOORE 95
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 moment
she seemed the spirit of the sea personified all its
mystery, all its passion, all its elusive charm.
"You you must think me crazy," stammered
Anne, trying to recover her self-possession. To be
seen by this stately girl in such an abandon of child-
ishness she, Mrs. Dr. Blythe, with all the dignity of
the matron to keep up it was too bad!
"No," said the girl, "I don't."
She said nothing more; her voice was expression-
less; her manner slightly repellent; but there was
something in her eyes eager yet shy, defiant yet
pleading which turned Anne from her purpose of
walking away. Instead, she sat down on the boulder
beside the girl.
"Let's introduce ourselves," she said, with the
smile that had never yet failed to win confidence and
friendliness. "I am Mrs. Blythe and I live in that
little white house up the harbour shore."
96 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
"Yes, I know," said the girl. "I am Leslie Moore
Mrs. Dick Moore," she added stiffly.
Anne was silent for a moment from sheer amaze-
ment. It had not occurred to her that this girl was
married there seemed nothing of the wife about her.
And that she should be the neighbour whom Anne had
pictured as a commonplace Four Winds housewife!
Anne could not quickly adjust her mental focus to this
"Then then you live in that gray house up the
brook," she stammered.
"Yes. I should have gone over to call on you long
ago," said the other. She did not offer any explana-
tion or excuse for not having gone.
"I wish you woidd come," said Anne, recovering
herself somewhat. "We're such near neighbours we
ought to be friends. That is the sole fault of Four
Winds there aren't quite enough neighbours. Other-
wise it is perfection."
"You like it?"
"Like it ! I love it. It is the most beautiful place I
"I've never seen many places," said Leslie Moore,
slowly, "but I've always thought it was very lovely
here. I I love it, too."
She spoke, as she looked, shyly, yet eagerly. Anne
had an odd impression that this strange girl the
word "girl" would persist could say a good deal if
LESLIE MOORE 97
"I often come to the shore," she added.
"So do I," said Anne. "It's a wonder we haven't
met here before."
"Probably you come earlier in the evening than I do.
It is generally late almost dark when I come. And
I love to come just after a storm like this. I don't
like the sea so well when it's calm and quiet. I like
the struggle and the crash and the noise."
"I love it in all its moods," declared Anne. "The
sea at Four Winds is to me what Lover's Lane was
at home. Tonight it seemed so free so untamed
something broke loose in me, too, out of sympathy.
That was why I danced along the shore in that wild
way. I didn't suppose anybody was looking, of course.
If Miss Cornelia Bryant had seen me she would have
foreboded a gloomy prospect for poor young Dr.
"You know Miss Cornelia?" said Leslie, laughing.
She had an exquisite laugh; it bubbled up suddenly
and unexpectedly with something of the delicious
quality of a baby's. Anne laughed, too.
"Oh, yes. She has been down to my house of
dreams several times."
''Your house of dreams ?"
"Oh, that's a dear, foolish little name Gilbert and I
have for our home. We just call it that between our-
selves. It slipped out before I thought."
"So Miss Russell's little white house is your
house of dreams," said Leslie wonderingly. "/ had
98 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
a house of dreams once but it was a palace," she
added, with a laugh, the sweetness of which was
marred by a little note of derision.
"Oh, I once dreamed of a palace, too," said Anne.
"I suppose all girls do. And then we settle down con-
tentedly in eight-room houses that seem to fulfil all
the desires of our hearts because our prince is there.
You should have had your palace really, though you
are so beautiful. You must let me say it it has to be
said I'm nearly bursting with admiration. You are
the loveliest thing I ever saw, Mrs. Moore."
"If we are to be friends you must call me Leslie,"
.said the other with an odd passion.
"Of course I will. And my friends call me Anne."
"I suppose I am beautiful," Leslie went on, look-
ing stormily out to sea. "I hate my beauty. I wish
I had always been as brown and plain as the brownest
and plainest girl at the fishing village over there.
Well, what do you think of Miss Cornelia?"
The abrupt change of subject shut the door on any
"Miss Cornelia is a darling, isn*l she?" said Anne.
"Gilbert and I were invited to her house to a state tea
last week. You've heard of groaning tables."
"I seem to recall seeing the expression in the news-
paper reports of weddings," said Leslie, smiling.
"Well, Miss Cornelia's groaned at least, it
creaked positively. You couldn't have believed she
would have cooked so much for two ordinary people.
LESLIE MOORE 99
She had every kind of pie you could name, I think,
except lemon pie. She said she had taken the prize
for lemon pies at the Charlottetown Exhibition ten
years ago and had never made any since for fear of
losing her reputation for them."
"Were you able to eat enough pie to please her?"
"/ wasn't. Gilbert won her heart by eating I won't
tell you how much. She said she never knew a man
who didn't like pie better than his Bible. Do you
know, I love Miss Cornelia."
"So do I," said Leslie. "She is the best friend I
have in the world."
Anne wondered secretly why, if this were so, Miss
Cornelia had never mentioned Mrs. Dick Moore to
her. Miss Cornelia had certainly talked freely about
every other individual in or near Four Winds.
"Isn't that beautiful?" said Leslie, after a brief
silence, pointing to the exquisite effect of a shaft of
light falling through a cleft in the rock behind them,
across a dark green pool at its base. "If I had come
here and seen nothing but just that I would, go
"The effects of light and shadow all along these
shores are wonderful," agreed Anne. "My little sew-
ing room looks out on the harbour, and I sit at its
window and feast my eyes. The colours and shadows
are never the same two minutes together."
"And you are never lonely?" asked Leslie abruptly.
"Never when you are alone?"
ioo ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
"No. I don't think I've ever been really lonely in
my life," answered Anne. "Even when I'm alone I
have real good company dreams and imaginations
and pretendings. I like to be alone now and then,
just to think over things and taste them. But^I love
friendship and nice, jolly little times with people.
Oh, won't you come to see me often? Please do. I
believe," Anne added, laughing, "that you'd like me
if you knew me."
"I wonder if you would like me/' said Leslie seri-
ously. She was not fishing for a compliment. She
looked out across the waves that were beginning to be
garlanded with blossoms of moonlit foam, and her
eyes filled with shadows.
"I'm sure I would," said Anne. "And please don't
think I'm utterly irresponsible because you saw me
dancing on the shore at sunset. No doubt I shall be
dignified after a time. You see, I haven't been mar-
ried very long. I feel like a girl, and sometimes like
a child, yet."
"I have been married twelve years," said Leslie.
Here was another unbelievable thing.
"Why, you can't be as old as I am!" exclaimed
Anne. "You must have been a child when you were
"I was sixteen," said Leslie, rising, and picking up
the cap and jacket lying beside her. "I am twenty-
eight now. Well, I must go back."
"So must I. Gilbert will probably be home. But I'm
LESLIE MOORE 101
so glad we both came to the shore tonight and met
Leslie said nothing, and Anne was a little chilled.
She had offered friendship frankly but it had not been
accepted very graciously, if it had not been absolutely
repelled. In silence they climbed the cliffs and walked
across a pasture-field of which the feathery, bleached,
wild grasses were like a carpet of creamy velvet in
the moonlight. When they reached the shore lane
"I go this way, Mrs. Blythe. You will come over
and see me some time, won't you?"
Anne felt as if the invitation had been thrown at
her. She got the impression that Leslie Moore gave
"I will come if you really want me to," she said
a little coldly.
"Oh, I do I do," exclaimed Leslie, with an eager-
ness which seemed to burst forth and beat down some
restraint that had been imposed on it.
"Then I'll come. Good-nightLeslie."
"Good-night, Mrs. Blythe."
Anne walked home in a brown study and poured out
her tale to Gilbert.
"So Mrs. Dick Moore isn't one of the race that
knows Joseph?" said Gilbert teasingly.
"No o o, not exactly. And yet I think she
was one of them once, but has gone or got into exile,"
said Anne musingly. "She is certainly very different
102 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
from the other women about here. You can't talk
about eggs and butter to her. To think I've been
imagining her a second Mrs. Rachel Lynde! Have
you ever seen Dick Moore, Gilbert?"
"No. I've seen several men working about the
fields of the farm, but I don't know which was
"She never 'mentioned him. I know she isn't
"From what you tell me I suppose she was married
before she was old enough to know her own mind or
heart, and found out too late that she had made a
mistake. It's a common tragedy enough, Anne. A
fine woman would have made the best of it. Mrs.
Moore has evidently let it make her bitter and resent-
"Don't let us judge her till we know," pleaded
Anne. "I don't believe her case is so ordinary. You
will understand her fascination when you meet her,
Gilbert. It is a thing quite apart from her beauty.
I feel that she possesses a rich nature, into which a
friend might enter as into a kingdom; but for
some reason she bars everyone out and shuts all her
possibilities up in herself, so that they cannot develop
and blossom. There, I've been struggling to define
her to myself ever since I left her, and that is the
nearest I can get to it. I'm going to ask Miss Cor-
nelia about her."
THE STORY OF LESLIE MOORE
YES, the eighth baby arrived a fortnight ago," said
Miss Cornelia, from a rocker before the fire of
the little house one chilly October afternoon. "It's a
girl. Fred was ranting mad said he wanted a boy
when the truth is he didn't want it at all. If it had been
a boy he'd have ranted because it wasn't a girl. They
had four girls and three boys before, so I can't see
that it made much difference what this one was, but
of course he'd have to be cantankerous, just like a
man. The baby is real pretty, dressed up in its nice
little clothes. It has black eyes and the dearest, tiny
"I must go and see it. I just love babies," said
Anne, smiling to herself over a thought too dear and
sacred to be put into words.
"I don't say but what they're nice," admitted Miss
Cornelia. "But some folks seem to have more than
they really need, believe me. My poor cousin Flora
up at the Glen had eleven, and such a slave as she is I
Her husband suicided three years ago. Just like a
104 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
"What made him do that?" asked Anne, rather
"Couldn't get his way over something, so he jumped
into the well. A good riddance! He was a born
tyrant. But of course it spoiled the well. Flora could
never abide the thought of using it again, poor thing!
So she had another dug and a frightful expense it
was, and the water as hard as nails. If he had to drown
himself there was plenty of water in the harbour,
wasn't there? I've no patience with a man like that.
We've only had two suicides in Four Winds in my
recollection. The other was Frank West Leslie
Moore's father. By the way, has Leslie ever been
over to call on you yet?"
"No, but I met her on the shore a few nights ago
and we scraped an acquaintance," said Anne, pricking
up her ears.
Miss Cornelia nodded.
"I'm glad, dearie. I was hoping you'd foregather
with her. What do you think of her?"
"I thought her very beautiful."
"Oh, of course. There was never anybody about
Four Winds could touch her for looks. Did you ever
see her hair? It reaches to her feet when she lets it
down. But I meant how did you like her?"
"I think I could like her very much if she'd let me,"
said Anne slowly.
"But she wouldn't let you she pushed you off and
kept you at arm's length. Poor Leslie! You
THE STORY OF LESLIE MOORE 105
wouldn't be much surprised if you knew what her
life has been. It's been a tragedy a tragedy!"
repeated Miss Cornelia emphatically.
"I wish you would tell me all about her that is,
if you can do so without betraying any confidence."
"Lord, dearie, everybody in Four Winds knows
poor Leslie's story. It's no secret the outside,
that is. Nobody knows the inside but Leslie herself,
and she doesn't take folks into her confidence. I'm
about the best friend she has on earth, I reckon, and
she's never uttered a word of complaint to me. Have
you ever seen Dick Moore ?"
"Well, I may as well begin at the beginning and
tell you everything straight through, so you'll under-
stand it. As I said, Leslie's father was Frank West.
He was clever and shiftless just like a man. Oh,
he had heaps of brains and much good they did
him! He started to go to college, and he went for
two years, and then his health broke down. The
Wests were all inclined to be consumptive. So Frank
came home and started farming. He married Rose
Elliott from over harbour. Rose was reckoned the
beauty of Four Winds Leslie takes her looks from
her mother, but she has ten times the spirit and go
that Rose had, and a far better figure. Now you
know, Anne, I always take the ground that us women
ought to stand by each other. We've got enough to
endure at the hands of the men, the Lord knows, so
io6 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
I hold we hadn't ought to clapper-claw one another,
and it isn't often you'll find me running down another
woman. But I never had much use for Rose Elliott.
She was spoiled to begin with, believe me t and she
was nothing but a lazy, selfish, whining creature.
Frank was no hand to work, so they were poor as
Job's turkey. Poor! They lived on potatoes and
point, believe me. They had two children Leslie
and Kenneth. Leslie had her mother's looks and her
father's brains, and something she didn't get from
either of them. She took after her Grandmother
West a splendid old lady. She was the brightest,
friendliest, merriest thing when she was a child,
Anne. Everybody liked her. She was her father's
favourite and she was awful fond of him. They were
'chums,' as she used to say. She couldn't see any of
his faults and he was a taking sort of man in some
"Well, when Leslie was twelve years old, the first
dreadful thing happened. She worshipped little
Kenneth he was four years younger than her, and
he was a dear little chap. And he was killed one day
fell off a big load of hay just as it was going into
the barn, and the wheel went right over his little
body and crushed the life out of it. And mind you,
Anne, Leslie saw it. She was looking down from
the loft. She gave one screech the hired man said
he never heard such a sound in all his life he said
it would ring in his ears till Gabriel's trump drove
THE STORY OF LESLIE MOORE 107
it out. But she never screeched or cried again about
it. She jumped from the loft onto the load and from
the load to the floor, and caught up the little bleeding,
warm, dead body, Anne they had to tear it from her
before she would let it go. They sent for me I
can't talk of it."
Miss Cornelia wiped the tears from her kindly
brown eyes and sewed in bitter silence for a few
"Well," she resumed, "it was all over they buried
little Kenneth in that graveyard over the harbour,
and after a while Leslie went back to her school and
her studies. She never mentioned Kenneth's name
I've never heard it cross her lips from that day to
this. I reckon that old hurt still aches and burns at
times; but she was only a child and time is real kind
to children, Anne, dearie. After a while she began
to laugh again she had the prettiest laugh. You
don't often hear it now."
"I heard it once the other night," said Anne. "It
is a beautiful laugh."
"Frank West began to go down after Kenneth's
death. He wasn't strong and it was a shock to him,
because he was real fond of the child, though, as I've
said, Leslie was his favourite. He got mopy and
melancholy, and couldn't or wouldn't work. And
one day, when Leslie was fourteen years of age, he
hanged himself and in the parlour, too, mind you,
Anne, right in the middle of the parlour from the
io8 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
lamp hook in the ceiling. Wasn't that like a man?
It was the anniversary of his wedding day, too.
Nice, tasty time to pick for it, wasn't it? And, of
course, that poor Leslie had to be the one to find
him. She went into the parlour that morning, singing,
with some fresh flowers for the vases, and there she
saw her father hanging from the ceiling, his face as
black as a coal. It was something awful, believe me!"
"Oh, how horrible!" said Anne, shuddering. "The
poor, poor child!"
"Leslie didn't cry at her father's funeral any more
then she had cried at Kenneth's. Rose whooped and
howled for two, however, and Leslie had all she
could do trying to calm and comfort her mother. I
was disgusted with Rose and so was everyone else,
but Leslie never got out of patience. She loved her
mother. Leslie is clannish her own could never do
wrong in her eyes. Well, they buried Frank West
beside Kenneth, and Rose put up a great big
monument to him. It was bigger than his character,
believe me! Anyhow, it was bigger than Rose could
afford, for the farm was mortgaged for more than
its value. But not long after Leslie's old grand-
mother West died and she left Leslie a little money
enough to give her a year at Queen's Academy.
Leslie had made up her mind to pass for a teacher
if she could, and then earn enough to put herself
throtigh Redmond College. That had been her
THE STORY OF LESLIE MOORE 109
father's pet scheme--he wanted her to have what he
had lost. Leslie was full of ambition and her head
was chock full of brains. She went to Queen's, and
she took two years' work in one year and got her
First; and when she came home she got the Glen
school. She was so happy and hopeful and full of
life and eagerness. When I think of what she was
then and what she is now, I say drat the men!"
Miss Cornelia snipped her thread off as viciously
as if, Nero-like, she was. severing the neck of man-
kind by the stroke.
"Dick Moore came into her life that summer. His
father, Abner Moore, kept store at the Glen, but
Dick had a sea-going streak in him from his mother;
he used to sail in summer and clerk in his father's
store in winter. He was a big, handsome fellow,
with a little ugly soul. He was always wanting
something till he got it, and then he stopped wanting
it just like a man. Oh, he didn't growl at the
weather when it was fine, and he was mostly real
pleasant and agreeable when everything went right.
But he drank a good deal, and there were some nasty
stories told of him and a girl down at the fishing
village. He wasn't fit for Leslie to wipe her feet on,
that's the long and short of it. And he was a
Methodist! But he was clean mad about her
because of her good looks in the first place, and
because she wouldn't have anything to say to him
no ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
in the second. He vowed he'd have her and he
got her 1"
"How did he bring it about?"
"Oh, it was an iniquitous thing! I'll never forgive
Rose West. You see, dearie, Abner Moore held the
mortgage on the West farm, and the interest was
overdue some years, and Dick just went and told
Mrs. West that if Leslie wouldn't marry him he'd
get his father to foreclose the mortgage. Rose carried
on terrible fainted and wept, and pleaded with
Leslie not to let her be turned out of her home. She
said it would break her heart to leave the home she'd
come to as a bride. I wouldn't have blamed her for
feeling dreadful bad over it but you wouldn't have
thought she'd be so selfish as to sacrifice her own flesh
and blood because of k, would you? Well, she was.
And Leslie gave in she loved her mother so much she
would have done anything to save her pain. She
married Dick Moore. None of us knew why at the
time. It wasn't till long afterward that I found out
how her mother had worried her into it. I was sure
there was something wrong, though, because I knew
how she had snubbed him time and again, and it
wasn't like Leslie to turn face-about like that. Be-
sides, I knew that Drck Moore wasn't the kind of
man Leslie could ever fancy, in spite of his good
looks and dashing ways. Of course, there was na
wedding, but Rose asked me to go and see them
married. I went, but I was sorry I did. I'd seen
THE STORY OF LESLIE MOORE 111
Leslie's face at her brother's funeral and at her
father's funeral and now it seemed to me I was
seeing it at her own funeral. But Rose was smiling
as a basket of chips, believe me!
"Leslie and Dick settled down on the West place
Rose couldn't bear to part with her dear daughter!
and lived there for the winter. In the spring Rose
took pneumonia and died a year too late! Leslie
was heart-broken enough over it. Isn't it terrible
the way some unworthy folks are loved, while others
that deserve it far more, you'd think, never get much
affection? As for Dick, he'd had enough of quiet
married life just like a man. He was for up and
off. He went over to Nova Scotia to visit his re-
lations his father had come from Nova Scotia
and he wrote back to Leslie that his cousin, George
Moore, was going on a voyage to Havana and he
was going too. The name of the vessel was the Four
Sisters and they were to be gone about nine weeks.
"It must have been a relief to Leslie. But she
never said anything. From the day of her marriage
she was just what she is now cold and proud, and
keeping everyone but me at a distance. I won't be
kept at a distance, believe me! I've just stuck to
Leslie as close as I knew how in spite of everything."
"She told me you were the best friend she had,"
"Did she?" exclaimed Miss Cornelia delightedly.
"Well, I'm real thankful to hear it. Sometimes I've
112 . ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
wondered if she really did want me around at all
she never let me think so. You must have thawed her
out more than you think, or she wouldn't have said
that much itself to you. Oh, that poor, heart-broken
girl! I never see Dick Moore but I want to run a
knife clean through him."
Miss Cornelia wiped her eyes again and having
relieved her feelings by her blood-thirsty wish, took
up her tale.
"'Well, Leslie was left over there alone. Dick had
put in the crop before he went, and old Abner looked
after it. The summer went by and the Four Sisters
didn't come back. The Nova Scotia Moores in-
vestigated, and found she had got to Havana and
discharged her cargo and took on another and left
for home ; and that was all they ever found out about
her. By degrees people began to talk of Dick Moore
as one that was dead. Almost everyone believed that
he was, though no one felt certain, for men have
turned up here at the harbour after they'd been gone
for years. Leslie never thought he was dead and
she was right. A thousand pities too! The next
summer Captain Jim was in Havana that was
before he gave up the sea, of course. He thought
he'd poke round a bit Captain Jim was always
meddlesome, just like a man and he went to inquir-
ing round among the sailors' boarding houses and
places like that, to see if he could find out anything
about the crew of the Four Sisters. He'd better hav
THE STORY OF LESLIE MOORE 113
let sleeping dogs lie, in my opinion! Well, he went
to one out-of-the-way place, and there he found a man
and he knew at first sight it was Dick Moore, though
he had a big beard. Captain Jim got it shaved off
and then there was no doubt Dick Moore k was
his body at least. His mind wasn't there as for his
soul, in my opinion he never had one !"
"What had happened to him?"
"Nobody knows the rights of it. All the folks who
kept the boarding house could tell was that about a
year before they had found him lying on their door-
step one morning in an awful condition his head
battered to a jelly almost. They supposed he'd got
hurt in some drunken row, and likely that's the truth
of it. They took him in, never thinking he could
live. But he did and he was just like a child when
he got well. He hadn't memory or intellect or reason.
They tried to find out who he was but they never
could. He couldn't even tell them his name he
could only say a few simple words. He had a letter
on him beginning 'Dear Dick* and signed 'Leslie/ but
there was no address on it and the envelope was gone.
They let him stay on he learned to do a few odd
jobs about the place and there Captain Jim found
him. He brought him home and I've always said
it was a bad day's work, though I s'pose there was
nothing else he could do. He thought maybe when
Dick got home and saw his old surroundings and
familiar faces his memory would wake up. But it
114 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
hadn't any effect. There he's been at the house up
the brook ever since. He's just like a child, no more
nor less. Takes fractious spells occasionally, but
mostly he's just vacant and good humoured and harm-
less. He's apt to run away if he isn't watched.
That's the burden Leslie has had to carry for eleven
years and all alone. Old Abner Moore died soon
after Dick was brought home and it was found he
was almost bankrupt. When things were settled up
there was nothing for Leslie and Dick but the old
West farm. Leslie rented it to John Ward, and the
rent is all she has to live on. Sometimes in summer
she takes a boarder to help out. But most visitors
prefer the other side of the harbour where the hotels
and summer cottages are. Leslie's house is too far
from the bathing shore. She's taken care of Dick
and she's never been away from him for eleven years
she's tied to that imbecile for life. And after all
the dreams and hopes she once had ! You can imagine
what it has been like for her, Anne, dearie with her
beauty and spirit and pride and cleverness. It's just
been a living death."
"Poor, poor girl!" said Anne again. Her own
happiness seemed to reproach her. What right had
she to be so happy when another human soul must be
"Will you tell me just what Leslie said and how
she acted the night you met her on the shore?"
asked Miss Cornelia.
THE STORY OF LESLIE MOORE 115
She listened intently and nodded her satisfaction.
"You thought she was stiff and cold, Anne, dearie,
but I can tell you she thawed out wonderful for her.
She must have taken to you real strong. I'm so
glad. You may be able to help her a good deal. I
was thankful when I heard that a young couple was
coming to this house, for I hoped it would mean some
friends for Leslie; especially if you belonged to the
race that knows Joseph. You will be her friend,
won't you, Anne, dearie?"
"Indeed I will, if she'll let me," said Anne, with
all her own sweet, impulsive earnestness.
"No, you must be her friend, whether she'll let
you or not," said Miss Cornelia resolutely. "Don't
you mind if she's stiff by times don't notice it.
Remember what her life has been and is and must
always be, I suppose, for creatures like Dick Moore
live forever, I understand. You should see how fat
he's got since he came home. He used to be lean
enough. Just make her be friends you can do it
you're one of those who have the knack. Only you
mustn't be sensitive. And don't mind if she doesn't
seem to want you to go over there much. She knows
that some women don't like to be where Dick is
they complain he gives them the creeps. Just get her
to come over here as often as she can. She can't
get away so very much she can't leave Dick long, for
the Lord knows what he'd do burn the house down
most likely. At nights, after he's in bed and asleep,
ii6 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
is about the only time she's free. He always goes
to bed early and sleeps like the dead till next morn-
ing. That is how you came to meet her at the shore
likely. She wanders there considerable."
"I will do everything I can for her," said Anne.
Her interest in Leslie Moore, which had been vivid
ever since she had seen her driving her geese down
the hill, was intensified a thousand fold by Miss Cor-
nelia's narration. The girl's beauty and sorrow and
loneliness drew her with an irresistible fascination.
She had never known anyone like her; her friends
had hitherto been wholesome, normal, merry girls
like herself, with only the average trials of human
care and bereavement to shadow their girlish dreams.
Leslie Moore stood apart, a tragic, appealing figure
of thwarted womanhood. Anne resolved that she
would win entrance into the kingdom of that lonely
soul and find there the comradeship it could so richly
give, were it not for the cruel fetters that held it in
a prison not of its own making.
"And mind you this, Anne, dearie," said Miss
Cornelia, who had not yet wholly relieved her mind.
"You mustn't think Leslie is an infidel because she
hardly ever goes to church or even that she's a
Methodist. She can't take Dick to church, of course
not that he ever troubled church much in his best
days. But you just remember that she's a real strong
Presbyterian at heart, Anne, dearie."
LESLIE COMES OVER
LESLIE came over to the house of dreams one
frosty October night, when moonlit mists were
hanging over the harbour and curling like silver rib-
bons along the seaward glens. She looked as if she re-
pented coming when Gilbeit answered her knock; but
Anne flew past him, pounced on her, and drew her in.
"I'm so glad you picked tonight for a call," she
said gaily. "I made up a lot of extra good fudge
this afternoon and we want someone to help us cat it
before the fire while we tell stories. Perhaps
Captain Jim will drop in, too. This is his night."
"No. Captain Jim is over home," said Leslie.
"He he made me come here," she added, half de-
"I'll say a thank-you to him for that when I see
him," said Anne, pulling easy chairs before the fire.
"Oh, I don't mean that I didn't want to come,"
protested Leslie, flushing a little. "I I've been
thinking of coming but it isn't always easy for me
to get away."
"Of course it must be hard for you to leave Mr.
ii8 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
Moore," said Anne, in a matter-of-fact tone. She
had decided that it would be best to mention Dick
Moore occasionally as an accepted fact, and not give
undue morbidness to the subject by avoiding it. She
was right, for Leslie's air of constraint suddenly
vanished. Evidently she had been wondering how
much Anne knew of the conditions of her life and
was relieved that no explanations were needed. She
allowed her cap and jacket to be taken, and sat down
wiith a girlish snuggle in the big armchair by Magog.
She was dressed prettily and carefully, with the
customary touch of colour in the scarlet geranium at
her white throat. Her beautiful hair gleamed like
molten gold in the warm firelight. Her sea-blue eyes
were full of soft laughter and allurement. For the
moment, under the influence of the little house of
dreams, she was a girl again a girl forgetful of the.
past and its bitterness. The atmosphere of the many
loves that had sanctified the little house was all about
her; the companionship of two healthy, happy, young
folks of her own generation encircled her; she felt
and yielded to the magic of her surroundings Miss
Cornelia and Captain Jim would scarcely have recog-
nized her ; Anne found it hard to believe that this was
the cold, unresponsive woman she had met on the
shore this animated girl who talked and listened with
the eagerness of a starved soul. And how hungrily
Leslie's eyes looked at the bookcases between the
LESLIE COMES OVER 119
"Our library isn't very extensive," said Anne, "but
every book in it is a friend. We've picked our books
up through the years, here and there, never buying
one until we had first read it and knew that it be-
longed to the race of Joseph."
Leslie laughed beautiful laughter that seemed
akin to all the mirth that had echoed through the
little house in the vanished years.
"I have a few books of father's not many," she
said. "I've read them until I know them almost by
heart. I-don't get many books. There's a circulating
library at the Glen store but I don't think the com-
mittee who pick the books for Mr. Parker know what
books are of Joseph's race or perhaps they don't
care. It was so seldom I got one I really liked that
I gave up getting any."
"I hope you'll look on our bookshelves as your
own," said Anne. "You are entirely and whole-
heartedly welcome to the loan of any book on them."
"You are setting a feast of fat things before me,"
said Leslie, joyously. Then, as the clock struck ten,
she rose, half unwillingly.
"I must go. I didn't realise it was so late. Captain
Jim is always saying it doesn't take long to stay an
hour. But I've stayed two and oh, but I've enjoyed
them," she added frankly.
"Come often," said Anne and Gilbert. They had
risen and stood together in the firelight's glow.
Leslie looked at them youthful, hopeful, happy,
120 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
typifying all she had missed and must forever miss.
The light went out of her face and eyes; the girl
vanished; it was the sorowful, cheated woman who
answered the invitation almost coldly and got herself
away with a pitiful haste.
Anne watched her until she was lost in the shadows
of the chill and misty night. Then she turned slowly
back to the glow of her own radiant hearthstone.
"Isn't she lovely, Gilbert? Her hair fascinates me.
Miss Cornelia says it reaches to her feet. Ruby
Gillis had beautiful hair but Leslie's is alive- every
thread of it is living gold."
"She is very beautiful," agreed Gilbert, so heartily
that Anne almost wished he were a little less enthusias-
"Gilbert, would you like my hair better if it were
like Leslie's?" she asked wistfully.
"I wouldn't have your hair any colour but just what
it is for the world," said Gilbert, with one or two
convincing accompaniments. "You wouldn't be Anne
if you had golden hair or hair of any colour but"
"Red," said Anne, with gloomy satisfaction.
"Yes, red to give warmth to that milk-white skin
and those shining gray-green eyes of yours. Golden
hair wouldn't suit you at all, Queen Anne my Queen
Anne queen of my heart and life and home."
"Then you may admire Leslie's all you like," said
A GHOSTLY EVENING
ONE evening, a week later, Anne decided to run
over the fields to the house up the brook
for an informal call. It was an evening 01 gray fog
that had crept in from the gulf, swathed the harbour,
filled the glens and valleys, and clung heavily to the
autumnal meadows. Through it the sea sobbed and
shuddered. Anne saw Four Wind* in a new aspect,
and found it weird and mysterious and fascinating;
but it also gave her a little feeling of loneliness.
Gilbert was away and would be away until the mor-
row, attending a medical pow-wow in Charlottetown.
Anne longed for an hour of fellowship with some girl
friend. Captain Jim and Miss Cornelia were "good
fellows" each, in their own way; but youth yearned
"If only Diana or Phil or Pris or Stella could drop
in for a chat," she said to herself, "how delightful it
would be ! This is such a ghostly night. I'm sure all
the ships that ever sailed out of Fours Winds to their
doom could be seen tonight sailing up the harbour with
122 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
their drowned crews on their decks, if that shrouding
fog could suddenly be drawn aside. I feel as if it
concealed innumerable mysteries as if I were sur-
rounded by the wraiths of old generations of Four
Winds people peering at me through that gray veil. If
ever the dear dead ladies of this little house came back
to revisit it they would come on just such a night as
this. If I sit here any longer I'll see one of them there
opposite me in Gilbert's chair. This place isn't exactly
canny tonight. Even Gog and Magog have an air of
pricking up their ears to hear the footsteps of unseen
guests. I'll run over to see Leslie before I frighten
myself with my own fancies, as I did long ago in the
matter of the Haunted Wood. I'll leave my house of
dreams to welcome back its old inhabitants. My fire
will give them my good-will and greeting they will
be gone before I come back, and my house will be
mine once more. Tonight I am sure it is keeping a
tryst with the past."
Laughing a little over her fancy, yet with some-
thing of a creepy sensation in the region of her spine,
Anne kissed her hand to Gog and Magog and slipped
out into the fog, with some of the new magazines
under her arm for Leslie.
"Leslie's wild for books and magazines," Miss Cor-
nelia had told her, "and she hardly ever sees one.
She can't afford to buy them or subscribe for them.
She's really pitifully poor, Anne. I don't see how
she makes out to live at all on the little rent the farm
A GHOSTLY EVENING 123
brings in. She never even hints a complaint on the
score of poverty, but I know what it must be. She's
been handicapped by it all her life. She didn't mind
it when she was free and ambitious, but it must gall
now, believe me. I'm glad she seemed so bright and
merry the evening she spent with you. Captain Jim
told me he had fairly to put her cap and coat on and
push her out of the door. Don't be too long going to
see her either. If you are she'll think it's because you
don't like the sight of Dick, and she'll crawl into her
shell again. Dick's a great, big, harmless baby, but
that silly grin and chuckle of his do get on some
people's nerves. Thank goodness, I've no nerves my-
self. I like Dick Moore better now than I ever did
when he was in his right senses though the Lord
knows that isn't saying much. I was down there one
day in housecleaning time helping Leslie a bit, and I
was frying doughnuts. Dick was hanging round to
get one, as usual, and all at once he picked up a scald-
ing hot one I'd just fished out and dropped it on the
back of my neck when I was bending over. Then he
laughed and laughed. Believe me, Anne, it took all
the grace of God in my heart to keep me from just
whisking up that stew-pan of boiling fat and pouring
it over his head."
'Anne laughed over Miss Cornelia's wrath as she
sped through the darkness. But laughter accorded
ill with that night. She was sober enough when she
reached the house among the willows. Everything
124 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
was very silent. The front part of the house seemed
dark and deserted, so Anne slipped round to the side
door, which opened from the veranda into a little
sitting room. There she halted noiselessly.
The door was open. Beyond, in the dimly lighted
room, sat Leslie Moore, with her arms flung out on
the table and her head bent upon them. She was
weeping horribly with low, fierce, choking sobs,
as if some agony in her soul were trying to tear itself
out. An old black dog was sitting by her, his nose
resting on her lap, his big doggish eyes full of mute,
imploring sympathy and devotion. Anne drew back
in dismay. She felt that she could not intermeddle
with this bitterness. Her heart ached with a sympathy
she might not utter. To go in now would be to shut
the door forever on any possible help or friendship.
Some instinct warned Anne that the proud, bitter girl
would never forgive the one who thus surprised her
in her abandonment of despair.
Anne slipped noiselessly from the veranda and
found her way across the yard. Beyond, she heard
voices in the gloom and saw the dim glow of a light.
At the gate she met two men Captain Jim with a
lantern, and another who she knew must be Dick
Moore a big man, badly gone to fat, with a broad,
round, red face, and vacant eyes. Even in the dull
light Anne got the impression that there was some-
thing unusual about his eyes.
"Is this you, Mistress Blythe?" said Captain Jim.
A GHOSTLY EVENING 125
"Now, now, you hadn't oughter be roaming about
alone on a night like this. You could get lost in this
fog easier than not. Jest you wait till I see Dick
safe inside the door and I'll come back and light you
over the fields. I ain't going to have Dr. Blythe
coming home and finding that you walked clean over
Cape Le force in the fog. A woman did that once,
forty years ago.
"So you've been over to see Leslie," he said, when
he rejoined her.
"I didn't go in," said Anne, and told what she had
seen. Captain Jim sighed.
"Poor, poor, little girl! She don't cry often,
Mistress Blythe she's too brave for that. She must
feel terrible when she does cry. A night like this is
hard on poor women who have sorrows. There's
something about it that kinder brings up all we've
suffered or feared."
"It's full of ghosts," said Anne, with a shiver.
"That was why I came over I wanted to clasp a
human hand and hear a human voice. There seem to
be so many inhuman presences about tonight. Even
my own dear house was full of them. They fairly
elbowed me out. So I fled over here for companion-
ship of my kind."
"You were right not to go in, though, Mistress
Blythe. Leslie wouldn't have liked it. She wouldn't
have liked me going in with Dick, as I'd
have done if I hadn't met you. I had Dick down
126 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
with me all day. I keep him with me as much as I
can to help Leslie a bit."
"Isn't there something odd about his eyes?" asked
"You noticed that? Yes, one is blue and t'other is
hazel his father had the same. It's a Moore
peculiarity. That was what told me he was Dick
Moore when I saw him first down in Cuby. If it
hadn't a-bin for his eyes I mightn't a-known him,
what with his beard and fat. You know, I reckon,
that it was me found him and brought him home.
Miss Cornelia always says I shouldn't have done it,
but I can't agree with her. It was the right thing to
do and so 'twas the only thing. There ain't no
question in my mind about that. But my old heart
aches for Leslie. She's only twenty-eight and she's
eaten more bread with sorrow than most women do
in eighty years."
They walked on in silence for a little while.
Presently Anne said, "Do you know, Captain Jim,
I never like walking with a lantern. I have always
the strangest feeling that just outside the circle of
light, just over its edge in the darkness, I am sur-
rounded by a ring of furtive, sinister things, watching
me from the shadows with hostile eyes. I've had
that feeling from childhood. What is the reason?
I never feel like that when I'm really in the darkness
when it is close all around me I'm not the least
A GHOSTLY EVENING 127
"I've something of that feeling myself/* admitted
Captain Jim. "I reckon when the darkness is close
to us it is a friend. But when we sorter push it away
from us divorce ourselves from it, so to speak, with
lantern light it becomes an enemy. But the fog is
lifting. There's a smart west wind rising, if you
notice. The stars will be out when you get home."
They were out; and when Anne re-entered her
house of dreams the red embers were still glowing on
the hearth, and all the haunting presences were gone.
THE splendour of colour which had glowed for
weeks along the shores of Four Winds Harbour
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 un-
afraid, 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 school-
master'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 harbour danced
NOVEMBER DAYS 129
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
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 un-
derstand, but if we didn't, doctor, the subjects for con-
versation 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-pows won't
do us or anyone much harm, so let's have another
whack at the whence, why and whither this evening,
While they "whacked," Anne listened or dreamed.
130 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
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 light-
house 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 outside."
Leslie seemed always to enjoy those lighthouse
carousals very much, and bloomed out for the time
being into ready wit and beautiful laughter, or
glowing-eyed silence. There was a certain tang and
savour in the conversation when Leslie was present
which they missed when she was absent. Even when
she did not talk she seemed to inspire others to bril-
liancy. Captain Jim told his stories better, Gilbert
was quicker in argument and repartee, Anne felt
little gushes and trickles of fancy and imagination
bubbling to her lips under the influence of Leslie's
"That girl was born to be a leader in social and
intellectual circles, far away from Four Winds," she
said to Gilbert as they walked home one night. "She's
just wasted here wasted."
"Weren't you listening to Captain Jim and yours
truly the other night when we discussed that subject
generally? We came to the comforting conclusion
that the Creator probably knew how to run His
NOVEMBER DAYS 131
universe quite as well as we do, and that, after all,
there are no such things as 'wasted' lives, saving and
except when an individual wilfully squanders and
wastes his own life which Leslie Moore certainly
hasn't done. And some people might think that a
Redmond B.A., whom editors were beginning to
honour, was 'wasted' as the wife of a struggling
country doctor in the rural community of Four
"If you had married Roy Gardner, now,"
continued Gilbert mercilessly, "you could have been
'a leader in social and intellectual circles far away
from Four Winds.' '
"You know you were in love with him at one
"Gilbert, that's mean 'pisen mean, just like all
the men,' as Miss Cornelia says. I never was in
love with him. I only imagined I was. You know
that. You know I'd rather be your wife in our house
of dreams and fulfilment than a queen in a palace."
Gilbert's answer was not in words; but I am afraid
that both of them forgot poor Leslie speeding her
lonely way across the fields to a house that was neither
a palace nor the fulfilment of a dream.
The moon was rising over the sad, dark sea behind
them and transfiguring it. Her light had not yet
reached the harbour, the further side of which was
132 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
shadowy and suggestive, with dim coves and rich
glooms and jewelling lights.
"How the home lights shine out tonight through
the dark !" said Anne. "That string of them over the
harbour looks like a necklace. And what a coruscation
there is up at the Glen! Oh, look, Gilbert, there is
ours. I'm so glad we left it burning. I hate to come
home to a dark house. Our homelight, Gilbert ! Isn't
it lovely to see?"
"Just one of earth's many millions of homes, Anne-
girl but ours ours our beacon in 'a naughty
world.' When a fellow has a home and a dear, little,
red-haired wife in it what more need he ask of life?"
"Well, he might ask one thing more," whispered
Anne happily. "Oh, Gilbert, it seems as if I just
couldn't wait for the spring."
CHRISTMAS AT FOUR WINDS
AT first Anne and Gilbert talked of going home
to Avonlea for Christmas; but eventually
they decided to stay in Four Winds. "I want to
spend the first Christmas of our life together in our
own home," decreed Anne.
So it fell out that Marilla and Mrs. Rachel Lynde
and the twins came to Four Winds for Christmas.
Marilla had the face of a woman who had circum-
navigated the globe. She had never been sixty
miles away from home before; and she had never
eaten a Christmas dinner anywhere save at Green
Mrs. Rachel had made and brought with her an
enormous plum pudding. Nothing could have
convinced Mrs. Rachel that a college graduate of
the younger generation could make a Christmas
plum pudding properly ; but she bestowed approval on
"Anne's a good housekeeper," she said to Marilla
in the spare room the night of their arrival. "I've
134 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
looked into her bread box and her scrap pail. I al-
ways judge a housekeeper by those, that's what.
There's nothing in the pail that shouldn't have been
thrown away, and no stale pieces in the bread box.
Of course, she was trained up with you but, then,
she went to college afterwards. I notice she's got
my tobacco stripe quilt on the bed here, and that
big round braided mat of yours before her living-
room fire. It makes me feel right at home."
Anne's first Christmas in her own house was as
delightful as she could have wished. The day was
fine and bright; the first skim of snow had fallen on
Christmas Eve and made the world beautiful; the
harbour was still open and glittering.
Captain Jim and Miss Cornelia came to dinner.
Leslie and Dick had been invited, but Leslie made
excuse; they always went to her Uncle Isaac West's
for Christmas, she said.
"She'd rather have it so," Miss Cornelia told Anne.
"She can't bear taking Dick where there are strangers.
Christmas is always a hard time for Leslie. She and
her father used to make a lot of it."
Miss Cornelia and Mrs. Rachel did not take a very
violent fancy to each other. "Two suns hold not
their courses in one sphere." But they did not clash
at all, for Mrs. Rachel was in the kitchen helping
Anne and Marilla with the dinner, and it fell to
Gilbert to entertain Captain Jim and Miss Cornelia,
or rather to be entertained by them, for a dialogue
CHRISTMAS AT FOUR WINDS 135
between those two old friends and antagonists was
assuredly never dull.
"It's many a year since there was a Christmas
dinner here, Mistress Blythe," said Captain Jim.
"Miss Russell always went to her friends in town
for Christmas. But I was here to the first Christmas
dinner that was ever eaten in this house and the
schoolmaster's bride cooked it. That was sixty years
ago today, Mistress Blythe and a day very like this
just enough snow to make the hills white, and the
harbour as blue as June. I was only a lad, and I'd
never been invited out to dinner before, and I was
too shy to eat enough. I've got all over that."
"Most men do," said Miss Cornelia, sewing furi-
ously. Miss Cornelia was not going to sit with idle
hands, even on Christmas. Babies come without any
consideration for holidays, and there was one expect-
ed in a poverty-stricken household at Glen St. Mary.
Miss Cornelia had sent that household a substantial
dinner for it little swarm, and so meant to eat her
own with a comfortable conscience.
"Well, you "know, the way to a man's heart is
through his stomach, Cornelia," explained Captain
"I believe you when he has a heart," retorted
Miss Cornelia. "I suppose that's why so many
women kill themselves cooking just as poor Amelia
Baxter did. She died last Christmas morning, and
she said it was the first Christmas since she was
136 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
married that she didn't have to cook a big, twenty-
plate dinner. It must have been a real pleasant change
for her. Well, she's been dead a year, so you'll soon
hear of Horace Baxter taking notice."
"I heard he was taking notice already," said
Captain Jim, winking at Gilbert. "Wasn't he up to
your place one Sunday lately, with his funeral blacks
on, and a boiled collar?"
"No, he wasn't. And he needn't come neither. I
could have had him long ago when he was fresh. I
don't want any second-hand goods, believe me. As
for Horace Baxter, he was in financial difficulties a
year ago last summer, and he prayed to the Lord for
help; and when his wife died and he got her life
insurance he said he believed it was the answer to his
prayer. Wasn't that like a man ?"
"Have you really proof that he said that, Cornelia ?"
"I have the Methodist minister's word for it if
you call that proof. Robert Baxter told me tht same
thing too, but I admit that isn't evidence. Robert
Baxter isn't often known to tell the truth."
"Come, come, Cornelia, I think he generally tells
the truth, but he changes his opinion so often it
sometimes sounds as if he didn't."
"It sounds like it mighty often, believe me. But
trust one man to excuse another. I have no use for
Robert Baxter. He turned Methodist just because
the Presbyterian choir happened to be singing
CHRISTMAS AT FOUR WINDS 137
'Behold the bridegroom cometh' for a collection piece
when him- and Margaret walked up the aisle the
Sunday after they were married. Served him right
for being late ! He always insisted the choir did it on
purpose to insult him, as if he was of that much
importance. But that family always thought they
were much bigger potatoes than they really were.
His brother Eliphalet imagined the devil was always
at his elbow but / never believed the devil wasted
that much time on him."
"I don't know," said Captain Jim thoughtfully.
"Eliphalet Baxter lived too much alone hadn't even
a cat or dog to keep him human. When a man is
alone he's mighty apt to be with the devil if he
ain't with God. He has to choose which company
he'll keep, I reckon. If the devil always was at Life
Baxter's elbow it must have been because Life liked
to have him there."
"Man-like," said Miss Cornelia, and subsided into
silence over a complicated arrangement of tucks until
Captain Jim deliberately stirred her up again by
remarking in a casual way :
"I was up to the Methodist church last Sunday
"You'd better have been home reading your Bible,"
was Miss Cornelia's retort.
"Come, now, Cornelia, I can't see any harm in go-
ing to the Methodist church when there's no preach-
138 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
ing in your own. I've been a Presbyterian for seven*
ty-six years, and it isn't likely my theology will hoist
anchor at this late day."
"It's setting a bad example," said Miss Cornelia
"Besides," continued wicked Captain Jim, "I wanted
to hear some good singing. The Methodists have a
good choir; and you can't deny, Cornelia, that the
singing in our church is awful since the split in the
"What if the singing isn't good? They're doing
their best, and God sees no difference between the
voice of a crow and the voice of a nightingale."
"Come, come, Cornelia," said Captain Jim mildly,
"I've a better opinion of the Almighty's ear for music
"What caused the trouble in our choir?" asked
Gilbert, who was suffering from suppressed laughter.
"It dates back to the new church, three years ago,"
answered Captain Jim. "We had a fearful time over
the building of that church fell out over the question
of a new site. The two sites wasn't more'n two
hundred yards apart, but you'd have thought they
was a thousand by the bitterness of that fight. We
was split up into three factions one wanted the east
site and one the south, and one held to the old. It
was fought out in bed and at board, and in church
and at market. All the old scandals of three genera-
tions were dragged out of their graves and aired.
CHRISTMAS AT FOUR WINDS 139
Three matches was broken up by it. And the meet-
ings we had to try to settle the question! Cornelia,
will you ever forget the one when old Luther Burns
got up and made a speech? He stated his opinions
"Call a spade a spade, Captain. You mean he got
red-mad and raked them all, fore and aft. They
deserved it too a pack of incapables. But what
would you expect of a committee of men? That
building committee held twenty-seven meetings, and
at the end of the twenty-seventh weren't no nearer
having a church than when they begun not so near,
for a fact, for in one fit of hurrying things along
they'd gone to work and tore the old church down,
so there we were, without a church, and no place but
the hall to worship in."
"The Methodists offered us their church, Cornelia."
"The Glen St. Mary church wouldn't have been
built to this day," went on Miss Cornelia, ignoring
Captain Jim, "if we women hadn't just started in
and took charge. We said we meant to have a church,
if the men meant to quarrel till doomsday, and we
were tired of being a laughing-stock for the Method-
ists. We held one meeting and elected a committee
and canvassed for subscriptions. We got them, too.
When any of the men tried to sass us we told them
they'd tried for two years to build a church and it
was our turn now. We shut them up close, believe
me, and in six months we had our church. Of course,
140 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
when the men saw we were determined they stopped
fighting and went to work, man-like, as soon as they
saw they had to, or quit bossing. Oh, women can't
preach or be elders; but they can build churches and
scare up the money for them."
"The Methodists allow women to preach," saicj
Miss Cornelia glared at him.
"I never said the Methodists hadn't common sense,
Captain. What I say is, I doubt if they have much
"I suppose you are in favor of votes for women,
Miss Cornelia," said Gilbert.
"I'm not hankering after the vote, believe me,"
said Miss Cornelia scornfully. "/ know what it is to
clean up after the men. But some of these days, when
the men realise they've got the world into a mess they
can't get it out of, they'll be glad to give us the vote,
and shoulder their troubles over on us. That's their
scheme. Oh, it's well that women are patient, believe
"What about Job?" suggested Captain Jim.
"Job! It was such a rare thing to find a patient
man that when one was really discovered they were
determined he shouldn't be forgotten," retorted Miss
Cornelia triumphantly. "Anyhow, the virtue doesn't
go with the name. There never was such an impa-
tient man born as old Job Taylor over harbour."
"Well, you know, he had a good deal to try him.
CHRISTMAS AT FOUR WINDS 141
Cornelia. Even you can't defend his wife. I always
remember what old William MacAllister said of her
at her funeral, 'There's nae doot she was a Chrees-
tian wumman, but she had the de'il's own temper.' '
"I suppose she was trying," admitted Miss Cornelia
reluctantly, "but that didn't justify what Job said
when she died. He rode home from the graveyard
the day of the funeral with my father. He never
said a word till they got near home. Then he heaved
a big sigh and said, 'You may not believe it, Stephen,
but this is the happiest day of my life!' Wasn't that
like a man?"
"I s'pose poor old Mrs. Job did make life kinder
uneasy for him," reflected Captain Jim.
"Well, there's such a thing as decency, isn't there?
Even if a man is rejoicing in his heart over his wife
being dead, he needn't proclaim it to the four winds
of heaven. And happy day or not, Job Taylor wasn't
long in marrying again, you might notice. His second
wife could manage him. She made him walk Spanish,
believe me ! The first thing she did was to make him
hustle round and put up a tombstone to the first Mrs.
Job and she had a place left on it for her own name.
She said there'd be nobody to make Job put up a
monument to her."
"Speaking of Taylors, how is Mrs. Lewis Taylor
up at the Glen, doctor?" asked Captain Jim.
"She's getting better slowly but she has to work
too hard," replied Gilbert.
142 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
"Her husband works hard too raising prize pigs,"
said Miss Cornelia. "He's noted for his beautiful
pigs. He's a heap prouder of his pigs than of his
children. But then, to be sure, his pigs are the best
pigs possible, while his children don't amount to much.
He picked a poor mother for them, and starved her
while she was bearing and rearing them. His pigs
got the cream and his children got the skim milk."
"There are times, Cornelia, when I have to agree
with you, though it hurts me," said Captain Jim.
"That's just exactly the truth about Lewis Taylor.
When I see those poor, miserable children of his,
robbed of all children ought to have, it p'isens my
own bite and sup for days afterwards."
Gilbert went out to the kitchen in response to
Anne's beckoning. Anne shut the door and gave
him a connubial lecture.
"Gilbert, you and Captain Jim must stop baiting
Miss Cornelia. Oh, I've been listening to you and
I just won't allow it."
"Anne, Miss Cornelia is enjoying herself hugely.
You know she is."
"Well, never mind. You two needn't egg her on
like that. Dinner is ready now, and, Gilbert, don't
let Mrs. Rachel carve the geese. I know she means
to offer to do it because she doesn't think you can do
it properly. Show her you can."
"I ought to be able to. I've been studying A-B-C-D
diagrams of carving for the past month," said Gilbert
CHRISTMAS AT FOUR WINDS 143
"Only don't talk to me while I'm doing it, Anne,
for if you drive the letters out of my head I'll be in
a worse predicament than you were in old geometry
days when the teacher changed them"
Gilbert carved the geese beautifully. Even Mrs.
Rachel had to admit that. And everybody ate of
them and enjoyed them. Anne's first Christmas
dinner was a great success and she beamed with
housewifely pride. Merry was the feast and long;
and when it was over they gathered around the cheer
of the red hearth flame and Captain Jim told them
stories until the red sun swung low over Four Winds
Harbour, and the long blue shadows of the Lombardies
fell across the snow in the lane.
"I must be getting back to the light," he said finally.
"Til jest have time to walk home before sun-down.
Thank you for a beautiful Christmas, Mistress Blythe.
Bring Master Davy down to the light some night be-
fore he goes home."
"I want to see those stone gods," said Davy with
NEW YEAR'S EVE AT THE LIGHT
THE Green Gables folk went home after Christ-
mas, Marilla under solemn covenant to return
for a month in the spring. More snow came before
New Year's, and the harbour froze over, but the gulf
still was free, beyond the white, imprisoned fields.
The last day of the old year was one of those bright,
cold, dazzling winter days, which bombard us with
their brilliancy, and command our admiration but
never our love. The sky was sharp and blue; the
snow diamonds sparkled insistently; the stark trees
were bare and shameless, with a kind of brazen
beauty; the hills shot assaulting lances of crystal.
Even the shadows were sharp and stiff and clear-cut,
as no proper shadows should be. Everything that
was handsome seemed ten times handsomer and less
attractive in the glaring splendour; and everything
that was ugly seemed ten times uglier, and every-
thing was either handsome or ugly. There was no
soft blending, or kind obscurity, or elusive mistiness
in that searching glitter. The only things that held
NEW YEAR'S EVE 145
their own individuality were the firs for the fir is
the tree of mystery and shadow, and yields never to
the encroachments of crude radiance.
But finally the day began to realise that she was
growing old. Then a certain pensiveness fell over
her beauty which dimmed yet intensified it; sharp
angles, glittering points, melted away into curves and
enticing gleams. The white harbour put on soft grays
and pinks ; the far-away hills turned amethyst.
"The old year is going away beautifully," said
She and Leslie and Gilbert were on their way to
the Four Winds Point, having plotted with Captain
Jim to watch the New Year in at the light. The sun
had set and in the southwestern sky hung Venus,
glorious and golden, having drawn as near to her
earth-sister as is possible for her. For the first time
Anne and Gilbert saw the shadow cast by that bril-
liant star of evening, that faint, mysterious shadow,
never seen save when there is white snow to reveal it,
and then only with averted vision, vanishing when
you gaze at it directly.
"It's like the spirit of a shadow, isn't it?" whispered
Anne. "You can see it so plainly haunting your side
when you look ahead; but when you turn and look
at it it's gone."
"I have heard that you can see the shadow of Venus
only once in a lifetime, and that within a year of
seeing it your life's most wonderful gift will come
146 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
to you," said Leslie. But she spoke rather hardly;
perhaps she thought that even the shadow of Venus
could bring her no gift of life. Anne smiled in the
soft twilight; she felt quite sure what the mystic
shadow promised her.
They found Marshall Elliott at the lighthouse. At
first Anne felt inclined to resent the intrusion of this
long-haired, long-bearded eccentric into the familiar
little circle. But Marshall Elliott soon proved his
legitimate claim to membership in the household of
Joseph. He was a witty, intelligent, well-read man,
rivalling Captain Jim himself in the knack of telling
a good story. They were all glad when he agreed to
watch the old year out with them.
Captain Jim's small nephew Joe had come down
to spend New Year's with his great-uncle, and had
fallen asleep on the sofa with the First Mate curled
up in a huge golden ball at his feet.
"Ain't he a dear little man?" said Captain Jim
gloatingly. "I do love to watch a little child asleep,
Mistress Blythe. It's the most beautiful sight in th
world, I reckon. Joe does love to get down here for
a night, because I have him sleep with me. At home
he has to sleep with the other two boys, and he doesn't
like it. 'Why can't I sleep with father, Uncle Jim?'
say he. 'Everybody in the Bible slept with their
fathers.' As for the questions he asks, the minister
himself couldn't answer them. They fair swamp me.
'Uncle Jim, if I wasn't me who'd I be?' and, 'Uncle
NEW YEAR'S EVE 147
Jim, what would happen if God died?' He fired them
two off at me tonight, afore he went to sleep. As
for his imagination, it sails away from everything.
He makes up the most remarkable yarns and then
his mother shuts him up in the closet for telling
stories. And he sits down and makes up another one,
and has it ready to relate to her when she lets him
out. He had one for me when he come down to-
night. 'Uncle Jim/ says he, solemn as a tombstone,
'I had a 'venture in the Glen today.' 'Yes, what was
it ?' says I, expecting something quite startling, but no-
wise prepared for what I really got. 'I met a wolf
in the street,' says he, 'a 'normous wolf with a big,
red mouf and awful long teeth, Uncle Jim/ 'I didn't
know there was any wolves up at the Glen/ says I.
'Oh, he corned there from far, far away/ says Joe,
'and I fought he was going to eat me up, Uncle Jim.'
'Were you scared?' says I. 'No, 'cause I had a big
gun/ says Joe, 'and I shot the wolf dead, Uncle Jim,
solid dead and then he went up to heaven and bit
God/ says he. Well, I was fair staggered, Mistress
The hours bloomed into mirth around the drift-
wood fire. Captain Jim told tales, and Marshall
Elliott sang old Scotch ballads in a fine tenor voice;
finally Captain Jim took down his old brown fiddle
from the wall and began to play. He had a tolerable
knack of fiddling, which all appreciated save the First
Mate, who sprang from the sofa as if he had been
148 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
shot, emitted a shriek of protest, and fled wildly up
the stairs. ,
"Can't cultivate an ear for music in that cat
nohow," said Captain Jim. "He won't stay long
enough to learn to like it. When we got the organ
up at the Glen church old Elder Richards bounced up
from his seat the minute the organist began to play
and scuttled down the aisle and out of the church at
the rate of no-man's-business. It reminded me so
strong of the First Mate tearing loose as soon as I
begin to fiddle that I come nearer to laughing out
loud in church than I ever did before or since."
There was something so infectious in the rollicking
tunes which Captain Jim played that very soon
Marshall Elliott's feet began to twitch. He had been
a noted dancer in his youth. Presently he started up
and held out his hands to Leslie. Instantly she re-
sponded. Round and round the firelit room they
circled with a rhythmic grace that was wonderful.
Leslie danced like one inspired; the wild, sweet
abandon of the music seemed to have entered into
and possessed her. Anne watched her in fascinated
admiration. She had never seen her like this. All
the innate richness and colour and charm of her nature
seemed to have broken loose and overflowed in crim-
son cheek and glowing eye and grace of motion. Even
the aspect of Marshall Elliott, with his long beard and
hair, could not spoil the picture. On the contrary,
it seemed to enhance it. Marshall Elliott looked like
NEW YEAR'S EVE 149
a Viking of elder days, dancing with one of the blue-
eyed, golden-haired daughters of the Northland.
"The purtiest dancing I ever saw, and I've seen
some in my time," declared Captain Jim, when at last
the bow fell from his tired hand. Leslie dropped into
her chair, laughing, breathless.
"I love dancing," she said apart to Anne. "I haven't
danced since I was sixteen but I love it. The music
seems to run through my veins like quicksilver and I
forget everything everything except the delight of
keeping time to it. There isn't any floor beneath me,
or walls about me, or roof over me I'm floating amid
Captain Jim hung his fiddle up in its place, beside
a large frame enclosing several banknotes.
"Is there anybody else of your acquaintance who
can afford to hang his walls with banknotes for
pictures?" he asked. "There's twenty ten-dollar notes
there, not worth the glass over them. They're old
Bank of P. E. Island notes. Had them by me when
the bank failed, and I had 'em framed and hung up,
partly as a reminder not to put your trust in banks,
and partly to give me a real luxurious, millionairy
feeling. Hullo, Matey, don't be scared. You can come
back now. The music and revelry is over for tonight.
The old year has just another hour to stay with us.
I've seen seventy-six New Years come in over that
gulf yonder, Mistress Blythe."
"You'll see a hundred," said Marshall Elliott.
150 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
Captain Jim shook his head.
"No; and I don't want to at least, I think I don't
Death grows friendlier as we grow older. Not that
one of us really wants to die though, Marshall. Ten-
nyson spoke truth when he said that. There's old
Mrs. Wallace up at the Glen. She's had heaps of
trouble all her life, poor soul, and she's lost almost
everyone she cared about. She's always saying that
she'll be glad when her time comes, and she doesn't
want to sojourn any longer in this vale of tears. But
when she takes a sick spell there's a fuss! Doctors
from town, and a trained nurse, and enough medicine
to kill a dog. Life may be a vale of tears, all right,
but there are some folks who enjoy weeping, I
They spent the old year's last hour quietly around
the fire. A few minutes before twelve Captain Jim
rose and opened the door.
"We must let the New Year in," he said.
Outside was a fine blue night. A sparkling ribbon
of moonlight garlanded the gulf. Inside the bar the
harbour shone like a pavement of pearl. They stood
before the door and waited Captain Jim with his
ripe, full experience, Marshall Elliott in his vigorous
but empty middle life, Gilbert and Anne with their
precious memories and exquisite hopes, Leslie with
her record of starved years and her hopeless future.
The clock on the little shelf above the fireplace struck
NEW YEAR'S EVE 151
"Welcome, New Year," said Captain Jim, bowing
low as the last stroke died away. "I wish you all the
best year of your lives, mates. I reckon that what-
ever the New Year brings us will be the best the
Great Captain has for us and somehow or other
we'll all make port in a good harbour."
A FOUR WINDS WINTER
WINTER set in vigorously after New Year's.
Big, white drifts heaped themselves about the
little house, and palms of frost covered its windows.
The harbour ice grew harder and thicker, until the Four
Winds people began their usual winter travelling over
it. The safe ways were "bushed" by a benevolent
Government, and night and day the gay tinkle of the
sleigh-bells sounded on it. On moonlit nights Anne
heard them in her house of dreams like fairy chimes.
The gulf froze over, and the Four Winds light flashed
no more. During the months when navigation was
closed Captain Jim's office was a sinecure.
"The First Mate and I will have nothing to do till
spring except keep warm and amuse ourselves. The
last lighthouse keeper used always to move up to the
Glen in winter; but I'd rather stay at the Point. The
First Mate might get poisoned or chewed up by dogs
at the Glen. It's a mite lonely, to be sure, with neither
the light nor the water for company, but if our friends
come to see us often we'll weather it through?'
Captain Jim had an ice boat, and many a wild,
A FOUR WINDS WINTER 153
glorious spin Gilbert and Anne and Leslie had over
the glib harbour ice with him. Anne and Leslie took
long snowshoe tramps together, too, over the fields,
or across the harbour after storms, or through the
woods beyond the Glen. They were very good com-
rades in their rambles and their fireside communings.
Each had something to give the other each felt life
the richer for friendly exchange of thought and
friendly silence; each looked across the white fields
between their homes with a pleasant consciousness of
a friend beyond. But, in spite of all this, Anne felt
that there was always a barrier between Leslie and
herself a constraint th*. t never wholly vanished.
"I don't know why I can't get closer to her," Anne
said one evening to Captain Jim. "I like her so much
I admire her so much I want to take her right
into my heart and creep right into hers. But I can
never cross the barrier."
"You've been too happy all your life, Mistress
Blythe," said Captain Jim thoughtfully. "I reckon
that's why you and Leslie can't get real close together
in your souls. The barrier between you is her ex-
perience of sorrow and trouble. She ain't responsible
for it and you ain't; but it's there and neither of you
can cross it."
"My childhood wasn't very happy before I came
to Green Gables," said Anne, gazing soberly out of
the window at the still, sad, dead beauty of the leaf-
less tree-shadows on the moonlit snow.
154 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
"Mebbe not but it was just the usual unhappiness
of a child who hasn't anyone to look after it properly.
There hasn't been any tragedy in your life, Mistress
Blythe. And poor Leslie's has been almost all tragedy.
She feels, I reckon, though mebbe she hardly knows
she feels it, that there's a vast deal in her life you
can't enter nor understand and so she has to keep
you back from it hold you off, so to speak, from
hurting her. You know if we've got anything about
us that hurts we shrink from anyone's touch on or
near it. It holds good with our souls as well as our
bodies, I reckon. Leslie's soul must be near ravfc
it's no wonder she hides it away."
"If that were really all, I wouldn't mind, Captain
Jim. I would understand. But there are times
not always, but now and again when I almost have
to believe that Leslie doesn't doesn't like me. Some-
times I surprise a look in her eyes that seems to show
resentment and dislike it goes so quickly but I've
seen it, I'm sure of that. And it hurts me, Captain
Jim. I'm not used to being disliked and I've tried
so hard to win Leslie's friendship."
"You have won it, Mistress Blythe. Don't you go
cherishing any foolish notion that Leslie don't like
you. If she didn't she wouldn't have anything to do
with you, much less chumming with you as she does.
I know Leslie Moore too well not to be sure of that."
"The first time I ever saw her, driving her geese
down the hill on the day I came to Four Winds, she
A FOUR WINDS WINTER 155
looked at me with the same expression," presisted
Anne. "I felt it, even in the midst of my admiration
of her beauty. She looked at me resentfully she
did, indeed, Captain Jim."
"The resentment must have been about something
else, Mistress Blythe, and you jest come in for a share
of it because you happened past. Leslie does take
sullen spells now and again, poor girl. I can't blame
her, when I know what she has to put up with. I
don't know why it's permitted. The doctor and I
have talked a lot about the origin of evil, but we
haven't quite found out all about it yet. There's
a vast of onunderstandable things in life, ain't there,
Mistress Blythe? Sometimes things seem to work
out real proper-like, same as with you and the doctor.
And then again they all seem to go catawampus.
There's Leslie, so clever and beautiful you'd think
she was meant for a queen, and instead she's cooped
up over there, robbed of almost everything a woman'd
value, with no prospect except waiting on Dick Moore
all her life. Though, mind you, Mistress Blythe, 1
daresay she'd choose her life now, such as it is, rather
than the life she lived with Dick before he went away.
That's something a clumsy old sailor's tongue mustn't
meddle with. But you've helped Leslie a lot she's a
different creature since you come to Four Winds.
Us old friends see the difference in her, as you can't.
Miss Cornelia and me was talking it over the other
day, and it's one of the mighty few p'ints that we
156 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
see eye to eye on. So jest you throw overboard any
idea of her not liking you."
Anne could hardly discard it completely, for there
were undoubtedly times when she felt, with an instinct
that was not to be combated by reason, that Leslie
harboured a queer, indefinable resentment towards
her. At times, this secret consciousness marred the
delight of their comradeship; at others it was almost
forgotten ; but Anne always felt the hidden thorn was
there, and might prick her at any moment. She felt
a cruel sting from it on the day when she told Leslie
of what she hoped the spring would bring to the little
house of dreams. Leslie looked at her with hard,
bitter, unfriendly eyes.
"So you are to have that, too," she said in a choked
voice. And without another word she had turned and
gone across the fields homeward. Anne was deeply
hurt; for the moment she felt as if she could never
like Leslie again. But when Leslie came over a few
evenings later she was so pleasant, so friendly, so
frank, and witty, and winsome, that Anne was
charmed into forgiveness and forgetfulness. Only,
she never mentioned her darling hope to Leslie again ;
nor did Leslie ever refer to it. But one evening,
when late winter was listening for the word of spring,
she came over to the little house for a twilight chat;
and when she went away she left a small, white box
on the table. Anne found it after she was gone and
opened it wonderingly. In it was a tiny white dress
A FOUR WINDS WINTER 157
of exquisite workmanship delicate embroidery, won-
derful tucking, sheer loveliness. Every stitch in it
was handwork; and the little frills of lace at neck
and sleeves were of real Valenciennes. Lying on it
was a card "with Leslie's love."
"What hours of work she must have put on it," said
Anne. "And the material must have cost more than
she could really afford. It is very sweet of her."
But Leslie was brusque and curt when Anne thanked
her, and again the latter felt thrown back upon her-
Leslie's gift was not alone in the little house. Miss
Cornelia had, for the time being, given up sewing
for unwanted, unwelcome eighth babies, and fallen
to sewing for a very much wanted first one, whose
welcome would leave nothing to be desired. Philippa
Blake and Diana Wright each sent a marvellous gar-
ment; and Mrs. Rachel Lynde sent several, in which
good material and honest stitches took the place of
embroidery and frills. Anne herself made many,
desecrated by no touch of machinery, spending over
them the happiest hours of that happy winter.
Captain Jim was the most frequent guest of the
little house, and none was more welcome. Every day
Anne loved the simple-souled, true-hearted old sailor
more and more. He was as refreshing as a sea-breeze,
as interesting as some ancient chronicle. She was
never tired of listening to his stories, and his quaint
remarks and comments were a continual delight to her.
158 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
Captain Jim was one of those rare and interesting
people who "never speak but they say something."
The milk of human kindness and the wisdom of the
serpent were mingled in his composition in delight-
Nothing ever seemed to put Captain Jim out or de-
press him in any way.
"I've kind of contracted a habit of enj'ying things,"
he remarked once, when Anne had commented on his
invariable cheerfulness. "It's got so chronic that I
believe I even enj'y the disagreeable things. It's
great fun thinking they can't last. 'Old rheumatiz,'
says I, when it grips me hard, 'you've got to stop
aching sometime. The worse you are the sooner
you'll stop, mebbe. I'm bound to get the better of
you in the long run, whether in the body or out of the
One night, by the fireside at the light Anne saw
Captain Jim's "life-book." He needed no coaxing to
show it and proudly gave it to her to read.
"I writ it to leave to little Joe," he said. "I don't
like the idea of everything I've done and seen being
clean forgot after I've shipped for my last v'yage.
Joe, he'll remember it, and tell the yarns to his
It was an old leather-bound book filled with the
record of his voyages and adventures. Anne thought
what a treasure trove it would be to a writer. Every
sentence was a nugget. In itself the book had no
A FOUR WINDS WINTER
literary merit; Captain Jim's charm of story-telling
failed him when he came to pen and ink; he could
only jot roughly down the outline of his famous tales,
and both spelling and grammar were sadly askew.
But Anne felt that if anyone possessed of the gift
could take that simple record of a brave, adventurous
life, reading between the bald lines the tales of dangers
staunchly faced and duty manfully done, a wonderful
story might be made from it. Rich comedy and thrill-
ing tragedy were both lying hidden in Captain Jim's
"life-book," waiting for the touch of the master
hand to waken the laughter and grief and horror of
Anne said something of this to Gilbert as they
"Why don't you try your hand at it yourself,
Anne shook her head.
"No. I only wish I could. But it's not in the
power of my gift. You know what my forte is, Gil-
bert the fanciful, the fairylike, the pretty. To write
Captain Jim's life-book as it should be written one
should be a master of vigorous yet subtle style, a keen
psychologist, a born humourist and a born tragedian.
A rare combination of gifts is needed. Paul might
do it if he were older. Anyhow, I'm going to ask
him to come down next summer and meet Captain
"Come to this shore," wrote Anne to Paul. "I am
160 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
afraid you cannot find here Nora or the Golden Lady
or the Twin Sailors; but you will find one old sailor
who can tell you wonderful stories."
Paul, however, wrote back, saying regretfully that
he could not come that year. He was going abroad
for two years' study.
"When I return I'll come to Four Winds, dear
Teacher," he wrote.
"But meanwhile, Captain Jim is growing old," said
Anne, sorrowfully, "and there is nobody to write his
THE ice in the harbour grew black and rotten in
the March suns ; in April there were blue waters
and a windy, white-capped gulf again; and again the
Four Winds light begemmed the twilights.
"I'm so glad to see it once more," said Anne, on the
first evening of its reappearance. "I've missed it so
all winter. The north-western sky has seemed blank
and lonely without it."
The land was tender with brand-new, golden-green,
baby leaves. There was an emerald mist on the woods
beyond the Glen. The seaward valleys were full of
fairy mists at dawn.
Vibrant winds came and went with salt foam in
their breath. The sea laughed and flashed and
preened and allured, like a beautiful, coquettish
woman. The herring schooled and the fishing village
woke to life. The harbour was alive with white sails
making for the channel. The ships began to sail out-
ward and inward again.
"On a spring day like this," said Anne, "I know
162 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
exactly what my soul will feel like on the resurrection
"There are times in spring when I sorter fed that
I might have been a poet if I'd been caught young,"
remarked Captain Jim. "I catch myself conning over
old lines and verses I heard the schoolmaster reciting
sixty years ago. They don't trouble me at other
times. Now I feel as if I had to get out on the rocks
or the fields or the water and spout them."
Captain Jim ha4 come up that afternoon to bring
Anne a load of shells for her garden, and a little
bunch of sweet-grass which he had found in a ramble
over the sand-dunes.
"It's getting real scarce along this shore now," he
said. "When I was a boy there was a-plenty of it.
But now it's only once in a while you'll find a plot
and never when you're looking for it. You jest have
to stumble on it you're walking along on the sand-
hills, never thinking of sweet-grass and all at once
the air is full of sweetness and there's the grass
under your feet. I favour the smell of sweet-grass.
It always makes me think of my mother."
"She was fond of it?" asked Anne.
"Not that I knows on. Dunno's she ever saw any
sweet-grass. No, it's because it has a kind of mother-
ly perfume not too young, you understand some-
thing kind of seasoned and wholesome and depend-
able jest like a mother. The schoolmaster's bride
always kept it among her handkerchiefs. You might
SPRING DAYS 163
put that little bunch among yours, Mistress Blythe.
I don't like these boughten scents but a whiff of
sweet-grass belongs anywhere a lady does."
Anne had not been especially enthusiastic over the
idea of surrounding her flower beds with quahog
shells; as a decoration they did not appeal to her on
first thought But she would not have hurt Captain
Jim's feelings for anything; so she assumed a virtue
she did not at first feel, and thanked him heartily And
when Captain Jim had proudly encircled every bed
with a rim of the big, milk-white shells, Anne found
to her surprise that she liked the effect. On a town
lawn, or even up at the Glen, they would not have
been in keeping, but here, in the old-fashioned, sea-
bound garden of the little house of dreams, they
"They do look nice," she said sincerely.
"The schoolmaster's bride always had cow-hawks
round her beds," said Captain Jim. "She was a
master hand with flowers. She looked at 'em and
touched 'em so and they grew like mad. Some
folks have that knack I reckon you have it, too,
"Oh, I don't know but I love my garden, and I
love working in it. To potter with green, growing
things, watching each day to see the dear, new sprouts
come up, is like taking a hand in creation, I think.
Just now my garden is like faith the substance of
things hoped for. But bide a wee."
164 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
"It always amazes me to look at the little, wririkled
brown seeds and think of the rainbows in 'em," said
Captain Jim. "When I ponder on them seeds I don't
find it nowise hard to believe that we've got souls
that'll live in other worlds. You couldn't hardly be-
lieve there was life in them tiny things, some no big-
ger than grains of dust, let alone colour and scent, if
you hadn't seen the miracle, could you?"
Anne, who was counting her days like silver beads
on a rosary, could not now take the long walk to the
lighthouse or up the Glen road. But Miss Cornelia
and Captain Jim came very often to the little house.
Miss Cornelia was the joy of Anne's and Gilbert's
existence. They laughed side-splittingly over her
speeches after every visit. When Captain Jim and
she happened to visit the little house at the same
time there was much sport for the listening. They
waged wordy warfare, she attacking, he defending.
Anne once reproached the Captain for his baiting of
"Oh, I do love to set her going, Mistress Blythe,"
chuckled the unrepentant sinner. "It's the greatest
amusement I have in life. That tongue of hers would
blister a stone. And you and that young dog of a
doctor enj'y listening to her as much as I do."
Captain Jim came along another evening to bring
Anne some mayflowers. The garden was full of
the moist, scented air of a maritime spring evening.
There was a milk-white mist on the edge of the sea,
SPRING DAYS 165
with a young moon kissing it, and a silver gladness of
stars over the Glen. The bell of the church across the
harbour was ringing dreamily sweet. The mellow
chime drifted through the dusk to mingle with the
soft spring-moan of the sea. Captain Jim's may-
flowers added the last completing touch to the charm
of the night.
"I haven't seen any this spring, and I've missed
them," said Anne, burying her face in them.
"They ain't to be found around Four Winds, only
in the barrens away behind the GJen up yander. I
took a little trip today to the Land-of -nothing-to-do,
and hunted these up for you. I reckon they're the
last you'll see this spring, for they're nearly done."
"How kind and thoughtful you are, Captain Jim.
Nobody else not even Gilbert" with a shake of her
head at him "remembered that I always long for
mayflowers in spring."
"Well, I had another errand, too I wanted to
take Mr. Howard back yander a mess of trout. He
likes one occasional, and it's all I can do for a kind-
ness he did me once. I stayed all the afternoon and
talked to him. He likes to talk to me, though he's
a highly eddicated man and I'm only an ignorant old
sailor, because he's one of the folks that's got to talk
or they're miserable, and he finds listeners scarce
around here. The Glen folks fight shy of him be-
cause they think he's an infidel. He ain't that far
gone exactly few men is, I reckon but he's what
i66 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
you might call a heretic. Heretics are wicked, but
they're mighty int'resting. It's jest that they've got
sorter lost looking for God, being under the impres-
sion that He's hard to find which He ain't never.
Most of 'em blunder to Him after awhile, I guess. I
don't think listening to Mr. Howard's arguments is
likely to do me much harm. Mind you, I believe
what I was brought up to believe. It saves a vast of
bother and back of it all, God is good. The trouble
with Mr. Howard is that he's a leetle too clever. He
thinks that he's bound to live up to his cleverness, and
that it's smarter to thrash out some new way of
getting to heaven than to go by the old track the
common, ignorant folks is travelling. But he'll get
there sometime all right, and then he'll laugh at
"Mr. Howard was a Methodist to begin with,"
said Miss Cornelia, as if she thought he had not far
to go from that to heresy.
"Do you know, Cornelia," said Captain Jim
gravely, "I've often thought that if I wasn't a Presby-
terian I'd be a Methodist."
"Oh, well," conceded Miss Cornelia, "if you weren't
a Presbyterian it wouldn't matter much what you
were. Speaking of heresy, reminds me, doctor I've
brought back that book you lent me that Natural
Law in the Spiritual World I didn't read more'n a
third of it. I can read sense, and I can read non-
SPRING DAYS 167
sense, but that book is neither the one nor the other."
"It is considered rather heretical in some quarters,"
admitted Gilbert, "but I told you that before you
took it, Miss Cornelia."
"Oh, I wouldn't have minded its being heretical.
I can stand wickedness, but I can't stand foolishness,"
said Miss Cornelia calmly, and with the air of having
said the last thing there was to say about Natural
"Speaking of books, A Mad Love come to an end at
last two weeks ago," remarked Captain Jim musingly.
"It run to one hundred and three chapters. When
they got married the book stopped right off, so I
reckon their troubles were all over. It's real nice that
that's the way in books anyhow, isn't it, even if 'tisn't
so anywhere else?"
"I never read novels," said Miss Cornelia. "Did
you hear how Geordie Russell was today, Captain
"Yes, I called in on my way home to see him. He's
getting round all right but stewing in a broth of
trouble, as usual, poor man. 'Course he brews up
most of it for himself, but I reckon that don't make
it any easier to bear."
"He's an awful pessimist," said Miss Cornelia.
"Well, no, he ain't a pessimist exactly, Cornelia.
He only jest never finds anything that suits him."
"And isn't that a pessimist?"
i68 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
"No, no. A pessimist is one who never expects
to find anything to suit him. Geordie hain't got that
"You'd find something good to say of the devil
himself, Jim Boyd."
"Well, you've heard the story of the old lady who
said he was persevering. But no, Cornelia, I've noth-
ing good to say of the devil."
"Do you believe in him at all?" asked Miss Cor-
"How can you ask that when you know what a
good Presbyterian I am, Cornelia? How could a
Presbyterian get along without a devil?"
"Do you?" persisted Miss Cornelia.
Captain Jim suddenly became grave.
"I believe in what I heard a minister once call 'a
mighty and malignant and intelligent power of evil
working in the universe,' " he said solemnly. "I do
that, Cornelia. You can call it the devil, or the 'prin-
ciple of evil,' or the Old Scratch, or any name you
like. It's there, and all the infidels and heretics in
the world can't argue it away, any more'n they can
argue God away. It's there, and it's working. But,
mind you, Cornelia, I believe it's going to get the
worst of it in the long run."
"I am sure I hope so," said Miss Cornelia, none
too hopefully. "But speaking of the devil, I am posi-
tive that Billy Booth is possessed by him now. Have
you heard of Billy's latest performance?"
SPRING DAYS 169
"No, what was that?"
"He's gone and burned up his wife's new, brown
broadcloth suit, that she paid twenty-five dollars for
in Charlottetown, because he declares the men looked
too admiring at her when she wore it to church the
first time. Wasn't that like a man?"
"Mistress Booth is mighty pretty, and brown's her
colour," said Captain Jim reflectively.
"Is that any good reason why he should poke her
new suit into the kitchen stove? Billy Booth is a
jealous fool, and he makes his wife's life miserable.
She's cried all the week about her suit. Oh, Anne,
I wish I could write like you, believe me. Wouldn't
I score some of the men round here !"
"Those Booths are all a mite queer," said Captain
Jim. "Billy seemed the sanest of the lot till he got
married and then this queer jealous streak cropped
out in him. His brother Daniel, now, was always
"Took tantrums every few days or so and wouldn't
get out of bed," said Miss Cornelia with a relish.
"His wife would have to do all the barn work till he
got over his spell. When he died people wrote her
letters of condolence; if I'd written anything it would
have been one of congratulation. Their father, old
Abram Booth, was a disgusting old sot. He was
drunk at his wife's funeral, and kept reeling round
and hiccuping 'I didn't dri i i nk much but I feel
a a awfully que e e r.' I gave him a good
170 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
jab in the back with my umbrella when he came near
me, and it sobered him up until they got the casket
out of the house. Young Johnny Booth was to have
been married yesterday, but he couldn't be because
he's gone and got the mumps. Wasn't that like a
"How could he help getting the mumps, poor fel-
"I'd poor fellow him, believe me, if I was Kate
Sterns. I don't know how he could help getting the
mumps, but I do know the wedding supper was all
prepared and everything will be spoiled before he's
well again. Such a waste! He should have had the
mumps when he was a boy."
"Come, come, Cornelia, don't you think you're a
Miss Cornelia disdained to reply and turned instead
to Susan Baker, a grim-faced, kind-hearted elderly
spinster of the Glen, who had been installed as maid-
of -all-work at the little house for some weeks. Susan
had been up to the Glen to make a sick call, and had
"How is poor old Aunt Mandy tonight?" asked
"Very poorly very poorly, Cornelia. I am afraid
she will soon be in heaven, poor thing!"
. "Oh, surely, it's not so bad as that!" exclaimed
Miss Cornelia, sympathetically.
SPRING DAYS 171
Captain Jim and Gilbert looked at each other. Then
they suddenly rose and went out.
'There are times," said Captain Jim, between
spasms, "when it would be a sin not to laugh. Them
two excellent women I"
DAWN AND DUSK
IN early June, when the sand-hills were a great
glory of pink wild roses, and the Glen was
smothered in apple-blossoms, Marilla arrived at the
little house, accompanied by a black horse-hair trunk,
patterned with brass nails, which had reposed undis-
turbed in the Green Gables garret for half a century.
Susan Baker, who, during her few weeks' sojourn in
the little house, had come to worship "young Mrs.
Doctor," as she called Anne, with blind fervour, looked
rather jealously askance at Marilla at first. But as
Marilla did not try to interfere in kitchen matters,
and showed no desire to interrupt Susan's ministra-
tions to young Mrs. Doctor, the good handmaiden be-
came reconciled to her presence, and told her cronies
at the Glen that Miss Cuthbert was a fine old lady
and knew her place.
One evening, when the sky's limpid bowl was filled
with a red glory, and the robins were thrilling the
golden twilight with jubilant hymns to the stars of
evening, there was a sudden commotion in the little
DAWN AND DUSK i?3
house of dreams. Telephone messages were sent up
to the Glen, Doctor Dave and a white-capped nurse
came hastily down, Marilla paced the garden walks
between the quahog shells, murmuring prayers be-
tween her set lips, and Susan sat in the kitchen with
cotton wool in her ears and her apron over her head.
Leslie, looking out from the house up the brook,
saw that every window of the little house was alight,
and did not sleep that night.
The June night was short; but it seemed an eter-
nity to those who waited and watched.
"Oh, will it never end ?" said Marilla ; then she saw
how grave the nurse and Doctor Dave looked, and
she dared ask no more questions. Suppose Anne
but Marilla could not suppose it.
"Do not tell me," said Susan fiercely, answering
the anguish in Manila's eyes, "that God could be so
cruel as to take that darling lamb from us when we
all love her so much."
"He has taken others as well beloved," said Ma-
But at dawn, when the rising sun rent apart the
mists hanging over the sand-bar, and made rainbows
of them, joy came to the little house. Anne was safe,
and a wee, white lady, with her mother's big eyes,
was lying beside her. Gilbert, his face gray and hag-
gard from his night's agony, came down to tell Ma*
rilla and Susan.
"Thank God," shuddered Marilla.
174 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
Susan got up and took the cotton wool out of her
"Now for breakfast," she said briskly. "I am of
the opinion that we will all be glad of a bite and sup.
You tell young Mrs. Doctor not to worry about a
single thing Susan is at the helm. You tell her just
to think of her baby."
Gilbert smiled rather sadly as he went away. Anne,
her pale face blanched with its baptism of pain, her
eyes aglow with the holy passion of motherhood, did
not need to be told to think of her baby. She thought
of nothing else. For a few hours she tasted of happi-
ness so rare and exquisite that she wondered if the
angels in heaven did not envy her.
"Little Joyce," she murmured, when Marilla came
in to see the baby. "We planned to call her that if
she were a girlie. There were so many we would
have liked to name her for; we couldn't choose be-
tween them, so we decided on Joyce we can call her
Joy for short Joy it suits so well. Oh, Marilla, I
thought I was happy before. Now I know that I just
dreamed a pleasant dream of happiness. This is the
"You mustn't talk, Anne wait till you're
stronger," said Marilla warningly.
"You know how hard it is for me not to talk,"
At first she was too weak and too happy to notice
that Gilbert and the nurse looked grave and Marilla
DAWN AND DUSK 175
sorrowful. Then, as subtly, and coldly, and remorse-
lessly as a sea- fog stealing landward, fear crept into
her heart Why was not Gilbert gladder? Why
would he not talk about the baby? Why would they
not let her have it with her after that first heavenly-
happy hour? Was was there anything wrong?
"Gilbert," whispered Anne imploringly, "the baby
is all right isn't she? Tell me tell me."
Gilbert was a long while in turning round; then he
bent over Anne and looked in her eyes. Manila,
listening fearfully outside the door, heard a pitiful,
heart-broken moan, and fled to the kitchen where
Susan was weeping.
"Oh, the poor iamb the poor lamb ! How can she
bear it, Miss Cuthbert? I am afraid it will kill her.
She has been that built up and happy, longing for
that baby, and planning for it. Cannot anything be
done nohow, Miss Cuthbert?"
"I'm afraid not, Susan. Gilbert says there is no
hope. He knew from the first the little thing couldn't
"And it is such a sweet baby," sobbed Susan. "I
never saw one so white they are mostly red or yal-
low. And it opened its big eyes as if it was months
old. The little, little thing! Oh, the poor, young
At sunset the little soul that had come with the
dawning went away, leaving heartbreak behind it.
Miss Cornelia took the wee, white lady from the
176 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
kindly but stranger hands of the nurse, and dressed
the tiny waxen form in the beautiful dress Leslie had
made for it. Leslie had asked her to do that. Then
she took it back and laid it beside the poor, broken,
tear-blinded little mother.
"The Lord has given and the Lord has taken away,
'dearie," she said through her own tears. "Blessed
be the name of the Lord."
Then she went away, leaving Anne and Gilbert
alone together with their dead.
The next day, the small white Joy was laid in a
velvet casket which Leslie had lined with apple-blos-
soms, and taken to the graveyard of the church across
the harbour. Miss Cornelia and Marilla put all the little
love-made garments away, together with the ruffled
basket which had been befrilled and belaced for
dimpled limbs and downy head. Little Joy was never
to sleep there; she had found a colder, narrower bed.
"This has been an awful disappointment to me,"
sighed Miss Cornelia. "I've looked forward to this
baby and I did want it to be a girl, too."
"I can only be thankful that Anne's life was
spared," said Marilla, with a shiver, recalling those
hours of darkness when the girl she loved was passing
through the valley of the shadow.
"Poor, poor lamb! Her heart is broken," said
"I envy Anne," said Leslie suddenly and fiercely,
"and I'd envy her even if she had died! She was a
DAWN AND DUSK 177
mother for one beautiful day. I'd gladly givt my life
"I wouldn't talk like that, Leslie, dearie," said Miss
Cornelia deprecatingly. She was afraid that the dig-
nified Miss Cuthbert would think Leslie quite ter-
Anne's convalescence was long, and made bitter for
her by many things. The bloom and sunshine of the
Four Winds world grated harshly on her; and yet,
when the rain fell heavily, she pictured it beating so
mercilessly down on that little grave across the har-
bour; and when the wind blew around the eaves she
heard sad voices in it she had never heard before.
Kindly callers hurt her, too, with the well-meant
platitudes with which they strove to cover the naked-
ness of bereavement. A letter from Phil Blake was
an added sting. Phil had heard of the baby's birth,
but not of its death, and she wrote Anne a congratu-
latory letter of sweet mirth which hurt her horribly.
"I would have laughed over it so happily if I had
my baby," she sobbed to Marilla. "But when I haven't
it just seems like wanton cruelty though I know Phil
wouldn't hurt me for the world. Oh, Marilla, I don't
see how I can ever be happy again everything will
hurt me all the rest of my life."
"Time will help you," said Marilla, who was racked
with sympathy but could never learn to express it
in other than age-worn formulas.
"It doesn't seem fair" said Anne rebelliously.
178 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
"Babies are born and live where they are not wanted
where they will be neglected where they will have
no chance. I would have loved my baby so and
cared for it so tenderly and tried to give her every
chance for good. And yet I wasn't allowed to keep
"It was God's will, Anne," said Marilla, helpless
before the riddle of the universe the why of unde-
served pain. "And little Joy is better off."
"I can't believe that," cried Anne bitterly. Then,
seeing that Marilla looked shocked, she added passion-
ately, "Why should she be born at all why
should any one be born at all if she's better
off dead? I don't believe it is better for a child to
die at birth than to live its life out and love and be
loved and enjoy and suffer and do its work and
develop a character that would give it a personality in
eternity. And how do you know it was God's will?
Perhaps it was just a thwarting of His purpose by
the Power of Evil. We can't be expected to be re-
signed to that."
"Oh, Anne, don't talk so," said Marilla, genuinely
alarmed lest Anne were drifting into deep and danger-
ous waters. '"We can't understand but we must
have faith we must believe that all is for the best.
I know you find it hard to think so, just now. But
try to be brave for Gilbert's sake. He's so worried
about you. You aren't getting strong as fast as you
DAWN AND DUSK 179
"Oh, I know I've been very selfish," sighed Anne.
"I love Gilbert more than ever and I want to live
for his sake. But it seems as if part of me was buried
over there in that little harbour graveyard and it
hurts so much that I'm afraid of life."
"It won't hurt so much always, Anne."
"The thought that it may stop hurting sometimes
hurts me worse than all else, Marilla."
"Yes, I know, I've felt that too, about other things.
But we all love you, Anne. Captain Jim has been
up every day to ask for you and Mrs. Moore haunts
the place and Miss Bryant spends most of her time,
I think, cooking up nice things for you. Susan doesn't
like it very well. She thinks she can cook as well as
"Dear Susan ! Oh, everybody has been so dear and
good and lovely to me, Marilla. I'm not ungrateful
and perhaps when this horrible ache grows a little
less I'll find that I can go on living."
ANNE fotind that she could go oti living; the
day came when she even smiled again over
one of Miss Cornelia's speeches. But there was
something in the smile that had never been in Anne's
smile before and would never be absent from it again.
On the first day she was able to go for a drive
Gilbert took her down to Four Winds Point, and left
her there while he rowed over the channel to see a
patient at the fishing village. A rollicking wind was
scudding across the harbour and the dunes, whipping
the water into white-caps and washing the sandshore
with long lines of silvery breakers.
"I'm real proud to see you here again, Mistress
Blythe," said Captain Jim. "Sit down sit down.
I'm afeared it's mighty dusty here today but there's
no need of looking at dust when you can look at
such scenery, is there?"
"I don't mind the dust," said Anne, "but Gilbert
says I must keep in the open air. I think I'll go and
sit on the rocks down there."
LOST MARGARET 181
"Would you like company or would you rather be
"If by company you mean yours I'd much rather
have it than be alone," said Anne, smiling. Then she
sighed. She had never before minded being alone.
Now she dreaded it. When she was alone now she
felt so dreadfully alone.
"Here's a nice little spot where the wind can't get
at you," said Captain Jim, when they reached the
rocks. "'I often sit here. It's a great place jest to
sit and dream."
"Oh dreams," sighed Anne. "I can't dream now,
Captain Jim I'm done with dreams."
"Oh, no, you're not, Mistress Blythe oh, no, you're
not," said Captain Jim meditatively. "I know how
you feel jest now but if you keep on living you'll
get glad again, and the first thing you know you'll be
dreaming again thank the good Lord for it! If it
wasn't for our dreams they might as well bury us.
How'd we stand living if it wasn't for our dream of
immortality? And that's a dream that's bound to
come true, Mistress Blythe. You'll see your little
Joyce again some day."
"But she won't be my baby," said Anne, with trem-
bling lips. "Oh, she may be, as Longfellow says, 'a
fair maiden clothed with celestial grace' but she'll be
a stranger to me."
"God will manage better'n that, I believe," said
182 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
They were both silent for a little time. Then Cap-
tain Jim said very softly:
"Mistress Blythe, may I tell you about lost Mar-
"Of course," said Anne gently. She did not know
who "lost Margaret" was, but she felt that she was
going to hear the romance of Captain Jim's life.
"I've often wanted to tell you about her," Captain
Jim went on. "Do you know why, Mistress Blythe?
It's because I want somebody to remember and think
of her sometime after I'm gone. I can't bear that
her name should be forgotten by all living souls. And
now nobody remembers lost Margaret but me."
Then Captain Jim told the story an old, old for-
gotten story, for it was over, fifty years since Mar-
garet had fallen asleep one day in her father's dory
and drifted or so it was supposed, for nothing was
ever certainly known as to her fate out of the chan-
nel, beyond the bar, to perish in the black thunder-
squall which had come up so suddenly that long-ago
summer afternoon. But to Captain Jim those fifty
years were but as yesterday when it is past.
"I walked the shore for months after that," he said
sadly, "looking to find her dear, sweet little body;
but the sea never give her back to me. But I'll find
her sometime, Mistress Blythe I'll find her sometime.
She's waiting for me. I wish I could tell you jest
how she looked, but I can't. I've seen a fine, silvery
mist hanging over the bar at sunrise that seemed like
LOST MARGARET 183
her and then again I've seen a white birch in the
woods back yander that made me think of her. She
had pale, brown hair and a little white, sweet face,
and long slender fingers like yours, Mistress Blythe,
only browner, for she was a shore girl. Sometimes
I wake up in the night and hear the sea calling to me
in the old way, and it seems as if lost Margaret called
in it. And when there's a storm and the waves are
sobbing and moaning I hear her lamenting among
them. And when they laugh on a gay day it's her
laugh lost Margaret's sweet, roguish, little laugh.
The sea took her from me, but some day I'll find her.
Mistress Blythe. It can't keep us apart forever."
"I am glad you have told me about her," said Anne.
"I have often wondered why you had lived all your
"I couldn't ever care for anyone else. Lost Mar-
garet took my heart with her out there," said the old
lover, who had been faithful for fifty years to his
drowned sweetheart. "You won't mind if I talk a
good deal about her, will you, Mistress Blythe? It's
a pleasure to me for all the pain went out of her
memory years ago and jest left its blessing. I know
you'll never forget her, Mistress Blythe. And if the
years, as I hope, bring other little folks to your home,
I want you to promise me that you'll tell them the
story of lost Margaret, so that her name won't be
forgotten among humankind."
BARRIERS SWEPT AWAY
ANNE," said Leslie, breaking abruptly a short
silence, "you don't know how good it is to be
sitting here with you again working and talking
and being silent together."
They were sitting among the blue-eyed grasses on
the bank of the brook in Anne's garden. The water
sparkled and crooned past them ; the birches threw
dappled shadows over them; roses bloomed along the
walks. The sun was beginning to be low, and the air
was full of woven music. There was one music of
the wind in the firs behind the house, and another of
the , waves on the bar, and still another from the
distant bell of the church near which the wee, white
lady slept. Anne loved that bell, though it brought
sorrowful thoughts now.
She looked curiously at Leslie, who had thrown
down her sewing and spoken with a lack of restraint
that was very unusual with her.
"On that horrible night when you were so ill,"
Leslie went on, "I kept thinking that perhaps we'd
have no more talks and walks and works together.
BARRIERS SWEPT AWAY 185
And I realised just what your friendship had come
to mean to me just what you meant and just what
a hateful little beast I had been."
"Leslie! Leslie! I never allow anyone to call my
"It's true. That's exactly what I am a hateful
little beast. There's something I've got to tell you,
Anne. I suppose it will make you despise me, but I
must confess it. Anne, there have been times this
past winter and spring when I have hated you."
"I knew it," said Anne calmly.
"You knew it?"
"Yes, I saw it in your eyes."
"And yet you went on liking me and being my
"Well, it was only now and then you hated me,
Leslie. Between times you loved me, I think."
"I certainly did. But that other horrid feeling was
always there, spoiling it, back in my heart. I kept it
down sometimes I forgot it but sometimes it would
surge up and take possession of me. I hated you be-
cause I envied you oh, I was sick with envy
of you at times. You had a dear little home and
love and happiness and glad dreams everything
I wanted and never had and never could have.
Oh, never could have! That was what stung. I
wouldn't have envied you, if I had had any hope that
life would ever be different for me. But I hadn't
I hadn't and it didn't seem fair. It made me re-
186 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
bellious and it hurt me and so I hated you at times.
Oh, I was so ashamed of it I'm dying of shame
now but I couldn't conquer it. That night, when
I was afraid you mightn't live I thought I was go-
ing to be punished for my wickedness and I loved
you so then. Anne, Anne, I never had anything to
love since my mother died, except Dick's old dog
and it's so dreadful to have nothing to love life is so
empty and there's nothing worse than emptiness
and I might have loved you so much and that hor-
rible thing had spoiled it "
Leslie was trembling and growing almost incoher-
ent with the violence of her emotion.
"Don't, Leslie," implored Anne, "oh, don't. I
understand don't talk of it any more."
"I must I must. When I knew you were going to
live I vowed that I would tell you as soon as you
were well that I wouldn't go on accepting your
friendship and companionship without telling you
how unworthy I was of it. And I've been so afraid
it would turn you against me."
"You needn't fear that, Leslie."
"Oh, I'm so glad so glad, Anne." Leslie clasped
her brown, work-hardened hands tightly together to
still their shaking. "But I want to tell you every-
thing, now I've begun. You don't remember the first
time I saw you, I suppose it wasn't that night on
BARRIERS SWEPT AWAY 187
"No, it was the night Gilbert and I came home.
You were driving your geese down the hill. I should
think I do remember it ! I thought you were sq beauti-
ful I longed for weeks after to find out who you
"I knew who you were, although I had never seen
either of you before. I had heard of the new doctor
and his bride who were coming to live in Miss Rus-
sell's little house I I hated you that very moment,
"I felt the resentment in your eyes then I doubted
I thought I must be mistaken because why should
"It was because you looked so happy. Oh, you'll
agree with me now that I am a hateful beast to
hate another woman just because she was happy,
and when her happiness didn't take anything from
me ! That was why I never went to see you. I knew
quite well I ought to go even our simple Four
Winds customs demanded that. But I couldn't. 1
used to watch you from my window I could see you
and your husband strolling about your garden in the
evening or you running down the poplar lane to
meet him. And it hurt me. And yet in another way I
wanted to go over. I felt that, if I were not so
miserable, I could have liked you and found in you
what I've never had in my life an intimate, real
friend of my own age. And then you remember that
i88 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
night at the shore? You were afraid I would think
you crazy. You must have thought I was."
"No, but I couldn't understand you, Leslie. One
moment you drew me to you the next you pushed
"I was very unhappy that evening. I had had a
hard day Dick had been very very hard to man-
age that day. Generally he is quite good-natured
and easily controlled, you know, Anne. But some
days he is very different. I was so heartsick I
ran away to the shore as soon as he went to sleep.
It was my only refuge. I sat there thinking of how
my poor father had ended his life, and wonder-
ing if I wouldn't be driven to it some day. Oh, my
heart was full of black thoughts! And then you
came dancing along the cove like a glad, light-hearted
child. I I hated you more then than I've ever done
since. And yet I craved your friendship. The one
feeling swayed me one moment; the other feeling the
next. When I got home that night I cried for shame
of what you must think of me. But it's always been
just the same when I came over here. Sometimes I'd
be happy and enjoy my visit. And at other times that
hideous feeling would mar it all. There were times
when everything about you and your house hurt me.
You had so many dear little things I couldn't have.
Do you know it's ridiculous but I had an especial
spite at those china dogs of yours, There were times
BARRIERS SWEPT AWAY 189
when I wanted to catch up Gog and Magog and bang
their pert black noses together ! Oh, you smile, Anne
but it was never funny to me. I would come here
and see you and Gilbert with your books and your
flowers, and your household gods, and your little
family jokes and your love for each other showing
in every look and word, even when you didn't know
it and I would go home to you know what I went
home to! Oh, Anne, I don't believe I'm jealous and
envious by nature. When I was a girl I lacked many
things my schoolmates had, but I never cared I
never disliked them for it. But I seem to have grown
so hateful "
"Leslie, dearest, stop blaming yourself. You arc
not hateful or jealous or envious. The life you have
to live has warped you a little, perhaps but it would
have ruined a nature less fine and noble than yours.
I'm letting you tell me all this because I believe it's
better for you to talk it out and rid your soul of it.
But don't blame yourself any more."
"Well, I won't. I just wanted you to know me
as I am. That time you told me of your darling hope
for the spring was the worst of all, Anne. I shall
never forgive myself for the way I behaved then.
I repented it with tears. And I did put many a tender
and loving thought of you into the little dress I
made. But I might have known that anything I made
could only be a shroud in the end."
190 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
"Now, Leslie, that is bitter and morbid put such
thoughts away. I was so glad when you brought the
little dress; and since I had to lose little Joyce I like
to think that the dress she wore was the one you
made for her when you let yourself love me."
"Anne, do you know, I believe I shall always love
you after this. I don't think I'll ever feel that dread-
ful way about you again. Talking it all out seems
to have done away with it, somehow. It's very strange
and I thought it so real and bitter. It's like open-
ing the door of a dark room to show some hideous
creature you've believed to be there and when the
light streams in your monster turns out to have been
just a shadow, vanishing when the light comes. It
will never come between us again."
"No, we are real friends now, Leslie, and I am
"I hope you won't misunderstand me if I say
something else. Anne, I was grieved to the core of
my heart when you lost your baby; and if 1 could
have saved her for you by cutting off one of my hands
I would have done it But your sorrow has brought
us closer together. Your perfect happiness isn't
a barrier any longer. Oh, don't misunderstand, dear-
est I'm not glad that your happiness isn't perfect
any longer I can say that sincerely ; but since it isn't,
there isn't such a gulf between us."
"I do understand that, too, Leslie. Now, we'll just
shut up the past and forget what was unpleasant in it
BARRIERS SWEPT AWAY 191
It's all going to be different. We're both of the race
of Joseph now. I think you've been wonderful
wonderful. And, Leslie, I can't help believing that
life has something good and beautiful for you yet."
Leslie shook her head.
"No," she said dully. "There isn't any hope.
Dick will never be better and even if his memory
were to come back oh, Anne, it would be worse,
even worse, than it is now. This is something you
can't understand, you happy bride. Anne, did Miss
Cornelia ever tell you how I came to marry Dick?"
"I'm glad I wanted you to know but I couldn't
bring myself to talk of it if you hadn't known. Anne,
it seems to me that ever since I was twelve years old
life has been bitter. Before that I had a happy child-
hood. We were very poor but we didn't mind.
Father was so splendid so clever and loving and
sympathetic. We were chums as far back as I can
remember. And mother was so sweet. She was
very, very beautiful. I look like her, but I am not
so beautiful as she was."
"Miss Cornelia says you are far more beautiful."
"She is mistaken or prejudiced. I think my
figure is better mother was slight and bent by hard
work but she had the face of an angel. I used just
to look up at her in worship. We all worshipped her,
father and Kenneth and I."
Anne remembered that Miss Cornelia had given
192 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
her a very different impression of Leslie's mother.
But had not love the truer vision? Still, it was
selfish of Rose West to make her daughter marry
"Kenneth was my brother," went on Leslie. "Oh,
I can't tell you how I loved him. And he was cruelly
killed. Do you know how?"
"Anne, I saw his little face as the wheel went over
him. He fell on his back. Anne Anne I can see
it now. I shall always see it. Anne, all I ask of
heaven is that that recollection shall be blotted out
of my memory. O my God !"
"Leslie, don't speak of it. I know the story
don't go into details that only harrow your soul up
unavailingly. It will be blotted out."
After a moment's struggle, Leslie regained a
measure of self-control.
"Then father's health got worse and he grew
despondent his mind became unbalanced you've
heard all that, too?"
"After that I had just mother to live for. But I
was very ambitious. I meant to teach and earn my
way through college. I meant to climb to the very
tog oh, I won't talk of that either. It's no use.
You know what happened. I couldn't see my dear
little heart-broken mother, who had been such a slave
all her life, turned out of her home. Of course, I
BARRIERS SWEPT AWAY 193
could have earned enough for us to live on. But
mother couldn't leave her home. She had come there
as a bride and she had loved father so and all her
memories were there. Even yet, Anne, when I think
that I made her last year happy I'm not sorry for
what I did. As for Dick I didn't hate him when
I married him I just felt for him trie indifferent,
friendly feeling I had for most of my schoolmates. I
knew he drank some but I had never heard the
story of the girl down at the fishing cove. If I had,
I couldn't have married him, even for mother's sake.
Afterwards I did hate him but mother never knew.
She died and then I was alone. I was only seven-
teen and I was alone. Dick had gone off in the
Four Sisters. I hoped he wouldn't be home very
much more.. The sea had always been in his blood.
I had no other hope. Well, Captain Jim brought him
home, as you know and that's all there is to say.
You know me now, Anne the worst of me the
barriers are all down. And you still want to be my
Anne looked up through the birches, at the white
paper-lantern of a half moon drifting downwards to
the gulf of sunset. Her face was very sweet.
"I am your friend and you are mine, for always,"
she said. "Such a friend as I never had before. I have
had many dear and beloved friends but there is a
something in you, Leslie, that I never found in any-
one else. You have more to offer me in that rich
194 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
nature of yours, and I have more to give you than I
had in my careless girlhood. We are both women
and friends forever."
They clasped hands and smiled at each other
through the tears that filled the gray eyes and the
Miss CORNELIA ARRANGES MATTERS
ILBERT insisted that Susan shoud be kept on
at the little house for the summer. Anne pro-
tested at first.
"Life here with just the two of us is so sweet,
Gilbert. It spoils it a little to have anyone else. Susan
is a dear soul, but she is an outsider. It won't hurt
me to do the work here."
"You must take your doctor's advice," said Gilbert.
"There's an old proverb to the effect that shoe-
makers' wives go barefoot and doctors' wives die
young. I don't mean that it shall be true in my house-
hold. You will keep Susan until the old spring comes
back into your step, and those little hollows on your
cheeks fill out."
"You just take it easy, Mrs. Doctor, dear," said
Susan, coming abruptly in. "Have a good time and
do not worry about the pantry. Susan is at the
helm. There is no use in keeping a dog and doing
your own barking. I am going to take your break-
fast up to you every morning."
196 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
"Indeed you are not," laughed Anne. "I agree
with Miss Cornelia that it's a scandal for a woman
who isn't sick to eat her breakfast in bed, and almost
justifies the men in any enormities."
"Oh, Cornelia!" said Susan, with ineffable con-
tempt. "I think you have better sense, Mrs. Doctor,
dear, than to heed what Cornelia Bryant says. I
cannot see why she must be always running down the
men, even if she is an old maid. / am an old maid,
but you never hear me abusing the men. I like 'em.
I would have married one if I could. Is it not funny
nobody ever asked me to marry him, Mrs. Doctor,
dear? I am no beauty, but I am as good-looking as
most of the married women you see. But I never
had a beau. What do you suppose is the reason?"
"It may be predestination," suggested Anne, with
"That is what I have often thought, Mrs. Doctor,
dear, and a great comfort it is. I do not mind nobody
wanting me if the Almighty decreed it so for His own
wise purposes. But sometimes doubt creeps in, Mrs.
Doctor, dear, and I wonder if maybe the Old Scratch
has not more to do with it than anyone else. I cannot
feel resigned then. But maybe," added Susan, bright-
ening up, "I will have a chance to get married yet.
I often and often think of the old verse my aunt
uwd to repeat:
MISS CORNELIA ARRANGES 197
'There never was a goose so gray but sometime soon or
Some honest gander came her way and took her for his
A woman cannot ever be sure of not being married
till she is buried, Mrs. Doctor, dear, and meanwhile
I will make a batch of cherry pies. I notice the doctor
favours 'emf, and I do like cooking for a man who
appreciates his victuals."
Miss Cornelia dropped in that afternoon, puffing
"'I don't mind the world or the devil much, but
the flesh does rather bother me," she admitted. "You
always look as cool as a cucumber, Anne, dearie. Do
r smell cherry pie? If I do, ask me to stay to tea.
Haven't tasted a cherry pie this summer. My cherries
have all been stolen by those scamps of Oilman boys
from the Glen."
"'Now, now, Cornelia," remonstrated Captain Jim,
who had been reading a sea novel in a corner of the
living room, "you shouldn't say that about those two
poor, motherless little Gilman boys, unless you've
got certain proof. Jest because their father ain't none
too honest isn't any reason for calling them thieves.
It's more likely it's been the robins took your cherries.
They're tumble thick this year."
"Robins!" said Miss Cornelia disdainfully,
"Humph! Two-legged robins, believe me!"
"Well, most of the Four Winds robins are con-
structed on that principle," said Captain Jim gravely.
Miss Cornelia stared at him for a moment. Then
she leaned back in her rocker and laughed long and
"Well, you have got one on me at last, Jim Boyd,
I'll admit. Just look how pleased he is, Anne, dearie,
grinning like a Chessy-cat. As for the robins' legs,
if robins have great, big, bare, sunburned legs, with
ragged trousers hanging on ? em, such as I saw up in
my cherry tree one morning at sunrise last week,
I'll beg the Gilman boys' pardon. By the time I got
down they were gone. I couldn't understand how
they had disappeared so quick, but Captain Jim has
enlightened me. They flew away, of course."
Captain Jim laughed and went away, regretfully
declining an invitation to stay to supper and partake
of cherry pie.
"I'm on my way to see Leslie and ask her if she'll
take a boarder," Miss Cornelia resumed. "I'd
a letter yesterday fiom a Mrs. Daly in Toronto, who
boarded a spell with me two years ago. She wanted
me to take a friend of hers for the summer. His
name is Owen Ford, and he's a newspaper man, and
it seems he's a grandson of the schoolmaster who
built this house. John Selwyn's oldest daughter
married an Ontario man named Ford, and this is her
son. He wants to see the old place his grandparents
lived in. He had a bad spell of typhoid in the spring
MISS CORNELIA ARRANGES 190
and hasn't got rightly over it, so his doctor has
ordered him to the sea. He doesn't want to go to
the hotel he just wants a quiet home place. I can't
take him, for I have to be away in August. I've
been appointed a delegate to the W. F. M. S. conven-
tion in Kingsport and I'm going. I don't know
whether Leslie'll want to be bothered with him, either,
but there's no one else. If she can't take him he'll
have to go over the harbour."
"When you've seen her come back and help us eat
our cherry pies," said Anne. "Bring Leslie and Dick,
too, if they can come. And so you're going to Kings-
port? What a nice time you will have. I must give
you a letter to a friend of mine there Mrs. Jonas
"'I've prevailed on Mrs. Thomas Holt to go with
me," said Miss Cornelia complacently. "It's time she
had a little holiday, believe me. She has just about
worked herself to death. Tom Holt can crochet
beautifully, but he can't make a living for his family.
He never seems to be able to get up early enough to
do any work, but I notice he can always get up early
to go fishing. Isn't that like a man?"
Anne smiled. She had learned to discount largely
Miss Cornelia's opinions of the Four Winds men.
Otherwise she must have believed them the most
hopeless assortment of reprobates and ne'er-do-weels
in the world, with veritable slaves and martyrs for
wives. This particular Tom Holt, for example, she
knew to be a kind husband, a much loved father, and
an excellent neighbour. If he were rather inclined to
be lazy, liking better the fishing he had been born
for than the farming he had not, and if he had a
harmless eccentricity for doing fancy work, nobody
save Miss Cornelia seemed to hold it against him.
His wife was a "hustler," who gloried in hustling;
his family got a comfortable living off the farm;
and his strapping sons and daughters, inheriting their
mother's energy, were all in a fair way to do well in
the world. There was not a happier household in
Glen St. Mary than the Holts'.
Miss Cornelia returned satisfied from the house up
"Leslie's going to take him," she announced. "She
jumped at the chance. She wants to make a little
money to shingle the roof of her house this fall, and
she didn't know how she was going to manage it.
I expect Captain Jim'll be more than interested when
he hears that a grandson of the SelwynS* is coming
here. Leslie said to tell you she hankered after cherry
pie, but she couldn't come to tea because she has to
go and hunt up her turkeys. They've strayed away.
But she said, if there was a piece left, for you to put
it in the pantry and she'd run over in the cat's light,
when prowling's in order, to get it. You don't know,
Anne, dearie, what good it did my heart to hear
Leslie send you a message like that, laughing like she
MISS CORNELIA ARRANGES 201
used to long ago. There's a great change come over
her lately. She laughs and jokes like a girl, and
from her talk I gather she's here real often."
"Every day or else I'm over there," said Anne.
"I don't know what I'd do without Leslie, especially
just now when Gilbert is so busy. He's hardly ever
home except for a few hours in the wee sma's. He's
really working himself to death. So many of the
over-harbour people send for him now."
"They might better be content with their own
doctor," said Miss Cornelia. "Though to be sure I
can't blame them, for he's a Methodist. Ever since
Dr. Blythe brought Mrs. Allonby round folks think
he can raise the dead. I believe Dr. Dave is a mite
jealous just like a man. He thinks Dr. Blythe has
too many new-fangled notions ! 'Well/ I says to him,
'it was a new-fangled notion saved Rhoda Allonby.
If you'd been attending her she'd have died, and had
a tombstone saying it had pleased God to take her
away.' Oh, I do like to speak my mind to Dr. Dave!
He's bossed the Glen for years, and he thinks he's
forgotten more than other people ever knew. Speak-
ing of doctors, I wish Dr. Blythe'd run over and see
to that boil on Dick Moore's neck. It's getting past
Leslie's skill. I'm sure I don't know what Dick Moore
wants to start in having boils for as if he wasn't
enough trouble without that!"
"Do you know, Dick has taken quite a fancy to
202 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
me," said Anne. "He follows me round like a dog,
and smiles like a pleased child when I notice him."
"Does it make you creepy?"
"Not at all. I rather like poor Dick Moore. He
seems so pitiful and appealing, somehow."
"You wouldn't think him very appealing if you'd
see him on his cantankerous days, believe me. But
I'm glad you don't mind him it's all the nicer for
Leslie. She'll have more to do when her boarder comes.
I hope he'll be a decent creature. You'll probably like
him he's a writer."
"I wonder why people so commonly suppose that
if two individuals are both writers they must there-
fore be hugely congenial," said Anne, rather scorn-
fully. "Nobody would expect two blacksmiths to be
violently attracted toward each other merely because
they were both blacksmiths."
Nevertheless, she looked forward to the advent
of Owen Ford with a pleasant sense of expectation. If
he were young and likeable he might prove a very
pleasant addition to society in Four Winds. The
latch-string of the little house was always out for the
race of Joseph.
OWEN FORD COMES
ONE evening Miss Cornelia telephoned down to
"The writer man has just arrived here. I'm going
to drive him down to your place, and you can show
him the way over to Leslie's. It's shorter than driv-
ing round by the other road, and I'm in a mortal
hurry. The Reese baby has gone and fallen into a
pail of hot water at the Glen, and got nearly scalded
to death and they want me right off to put a new
skin on the child, I presume. Mrs. Reese is always
so careless, and then expects other people to mend
her mistakes. You won't mind, will you, dearie ? His
trunk can go down to-morrow."
"Very well," said Anne. "What is he like, Miss
"You'll see what he's like outside when I take him
down. As for what he's like inside only the Lord
who made him knows that. I'm not going to say
another word, for every receiver in the Glen is down."
"Miss Cornelia evidently can't find much fault with
204 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
Mr. Ford's looks, or she would find it in spite of the
receivers," said Anne. "I cenclude therefore, Susan,
that Mr. Ford is rather handsome than otherwise."
"Well, Mrs. Doctor, dear, I do enjoy seeing a well-
looking man," said Susan candidly. "Had I not
better get up a snack for him ? There is a strawberry
pie that would melt in your mouth."
"No, Leslie is expecting him and has his supper
ready. Besides, I want that strawberry pie for my
own poor man. He won't be home till late, so leave
the pie and a glass of milk out for him, Susan."
"That I will, Mrs. Doctor, dear. Susan is at the
helm. After all, it is better to give pie to your own
men than to strangers, who may be only seeking to
devour, and the doctor himself is as well-looking a
man as you often come across."
When Owen Ford came Anne secretly admitted, as
Miss Cornelia towed him in, that he was very "well-
lookmg" indeed. He was tall and broad-shouldered,
with thick, brown hair, finely-cut nose and chin, large
and brilliant dark-gray eyes.
"And did you notice his ears and his teeth, Mrs.
Doctor, dear?" queried Susan later on. "He has got
the nicest-shaped ears I ever saw on a man's head.
I am choice about ears. When I was young I was
scared that I might have to marry a man with ears
like flaps. But I need not have worried, for never a
chance did I have with any kind of ears."
Anne had not noticed Owen Ford's ears, but she
OWEN FORD COMES 205
did see his teeth, as his lips parted over them in a
frank and friendly smile. Unsmiling, his face was
rather sad and absent in expression, not unlike the
melancholy, inscrutable hero of Anne's own early
dreams ; but mirth and humour and charm lighted it up
when he smiled. Certainly, on the outside, as Miss
Cornelia said, Owen Ford was a very presentable
"You cannot realise how delighted I am to be here,
Mrs. Blythe," he said, looking around him with eager,
interested eyes. "I have an odd feeling of coming
home. My mother was born and spent her childhood
here, you know. She used to talk a great deal to me
of her old home. I know the geography of it as well
as of the one I lived in, and, of course, she told me
the story of the building of the house, and of my
grandfather's agonised watch for the Royal William.
I had thought that so old a house must have vanished
years ago, or I should have come to see it before this."
"Old houses don't vanish easily on this enchanted
coast," smiled Anne. "This is a 'land where all things
always seem the same' nearly always, at least
John Selwyn's house hasn't even been much changed,
and outside the rose-bushes your grandfather planted
for his bride are blooming this very minute."
"How the thought links me with them ! With your
leave I must explore the whole place soon."
"'Our latch-string will always be out for you,"
promised Anne. "And do you know that the old sea
206 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
captain who keeps the Four Winds light knew John
Selwyn and his bride well in his boyhood? He told
me their story the night I came here the third bride
of the old house."
"Can it be possible? This is a discovery. I must
hunt him up."
"It won't be difficult ; we are all cronies of Captain
Jim. He will be as eager to see you as you could be
to see him. Your grandmother shines like a star in
his memory. But I think Mrs. Moore is expecting
you. I'll show you our 'cross-lots' road."
Anne walked with him to the house~ up the brook,
over a field that was as white as snow with daisies.
A boat-load of people were singing far across the
harbour. The sound drifted over the water like faint,
unearthly music wind-blown across a starlit sea. The
big light flashed and beaconed. Owen Ford looked
around him with satisfaction.
"And so this is Four Winds," he said. "I wasn't
prepared to find it quite so beautiful, in spite of all
mother's praises. What colours what scenery what
charm! I shall get as strong as a horse in no time.
And if inspiration comes from beauty, I should
certainly be able to begin my great Canadian novel
"You haven't begun it yet?" asked Anne.
"Alack-a-day, no. I've never been able to get the
right central idea for it. It lurks beyond me it
allures and beckons and recedes I almost grasp it
OWEN FORD COMES 207
and it is gone. Perhaps amid this peace and love-
liness, I shall be able to capture it. Miss Bryant tells
me that you write."
"Oh, I do little things for children. I haven't done
much since I was married. And I have no designs on
a great Canadian novel," laughed Anne. "That is
quite beyond me."
Owen Ford laughed too.
rt l dare say it is beyond me as well. All the same
I mean to have a try at it some day, if I can ever get
time. A newspaper man doesn't have much chance
for that sort of thing. I've done a good deal of
short story writing for the magazines, but I've never
had the leisure that seems to be necessary for the
writing of a book. With three months of liberty I
ought to make a start, though if I could only get the
necessary motif for it the soul of the book."
An idea whisked through Anne's brain with a
suddenness that made her jump. But she did not
utter it, for they had reached the Moore house. As
they entered the yard Leslie came out on the veranda
from the side door, peering through the gloom for
some sign of her expected guest. She stood just
where the warm yellow light flooded her from the
open door. She wore a plain dress of cheap, cream-
tinted cotton voile, with the usual girdle of crimson.
Leslie was never without her touch of crimson.
She had told Anne that she never felt satisfied
without a gleam of red somewhere about her,
208 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
if it were only a flower. To Anne, it always
seemed to symbolise Leslie's glowing, pent-up
personality, denied all expression save in that
flaming glint. Leslie's dress was cut a little away
at the neck and had short sleeves. Her arms gleamed
like ivory-tinted marble. Every exquisite curve of her
form was outlined in soft darkness against the light.
Her hair shone in it like flame. Beyond her was a
purple sky, flowering with stars over the harbour.
Anne heard her companion give a gasp. Even in
the dusk she could see the amazement and admiration
on his face.
"Who is that beautiful creature?" he asked.
"That is Mrs. Moore," said Anne. "She is very
lovely, isn't she?"
"I I never saw anything like her," he answered,
rather dazedly. "I wasn't prepared I didn't expect
good heavens, one doesn't expect a goddess for a
landlady! Why, if she were clothed in a gown of
sea-purple, with a rope of amethysts in her hair, she
would be a veritable sea-queen. And she takes in
"Even goddesses must live," said Anne. "And
Leslie isn't a goddess. She's just a very beautiful
woman, as human as the rest of us. Did Miss Bryant
tell you about Mr. Moore?"
"Yes, he's mentally deficient, or something of the
sort, isn't he? But she said nothing about Mrs.
Moore, and I supposed she'd be the usual hustling
OWEN FORD COMES 209
country housewife who takes in boarders to earn an
"Well, that's just what Leslie is doing," said Anne
crisply. "And it isn't altogether pleasant for her,
either. I hope you won't mind Dick. If you do,
please don't let Leslie see it. It would hurt her hor-
ribly. He's just a big baby, and sometimes a rather
"Oh, I won't mind him. I don't suppose I'll be
much in the house anyhow, except for meals. But
what a shame it all is ! Her life must be a hard one."
"It is. But she doesn't like to be pitied."
Leslie had gone back into the house and now met
them at the front door. She greeted Owen Ford with
cold civility, and told him in a business-like tone that
his room and his supper were ready for him. Dick,
with a pleased grin, shambled upstairs with the valise,
and Owen Ford was installed as an inmate of the old
house among the willows.
THE LIFE- BOOK OF CAPTAIN JIM
I HAVE a little brown cocoon of an idea that
may possibly expand into a magnificent moth
of fulfilment," Anne told Gilbert when she reached
home. He had returned earlier than she had expected,
and was enjoying Susan's cherry pie. Susan herself
hovered in the background, like a rather grim but
beneficent guardian spirit, and found as much pleasure
in watching Gilbert eat pie as he did in eating it.
"What is your idea?" he asked.
"I sha'n't tell you just yet not till I see if I can
bring the thing about."
"What sort of a chap is Ford?"
"Oh, very nice, and quite good-looking."
"Such beautiful ears, doctor, dear," interjected
Susan with a relish.
"He is about thirty or thirty-five, I think, and he
meditates writing a novel. His voice is pleasant and
his smile delightful, and he knows how to dress. He
looks as if life hadn't been altogether easy for him,
LIFE-BOOK OF CAPTAIN JIM 211
Owen Ford came over the next evening with a note
to Anne from Leslie ; they spent the sunset-tirne in the
garden and then went for a moonlit sail on the harbour,
in the little boat Gilbert had set up for summer out-
ings. They liked Owen immensely and had that feel-
ing of having known him for many years which
distinguishes the freemasonry of the house of Joseph.
"He is as nice as his ears, Mrs. Doctor, dear," said
Susan, when he had gone. He had told Susan that
he had never tasted anything like her strawberry short-
cake and Susan's susceptible heart was his forever.
"He has got a way with him," she reflected, as she
cleared up the relics of the supper. "It is real queer
he is not married, for a man like that could have any-
body for the asking. Well, maybe he is like me, and
has not met the right one yet."
Susan really grew quite romantic in her musings as
she washed the supper dishes.
Two nights later Anne took Owen Ford down to
Four Winds Point to introduce him to Captain Jim.
The clover fields along the harbour shore were whiten-
ing in the western wind, and Captain Jim had one
of his finest sunsets on exhibition. He himself had
just returned from a trip ov _ : the harbour.
"I had to go over and ttil Henry Pollock he was
dying. Everybody else was afraid to tell him. They
expected he'd take on tumble, for he's been dread-
ful determined to live, and been making no end of
plans for the fall. His wife thought he oughter be
212 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
told and that I'd be the best one to break it to him
that he couldn^t get better. Henry and me are old
cronies we sailed in the Gray Gull for years together.
Well, I went over and sat down by Henry's bed and
I says to him, says I, jest right out plain and simple,
for if a thing's got to be told it may as well be told
first as last, says I, 'Mate, I reckon you've got your
sailing orders this time.' I was sorter quaking inside,
for it's an awful thing to have to tell a man who
hain't any idea he's dying that he is. But lo and
behold, Mistress Blythe, Henry looks up at me, with
those bright old black eyes of his in his wizened face
and says, says he, Tell me something I don't know,
Jim Boyd, if you want to give me information. I've
known that for a week.' I was too astonished to
speak, and Henry, he chuckled. 'To see you coming
in here/ says he, 'with your face as solemn as a
tombstone and sitting down there with your hands
clasped over your stomach, and passing me out a blue-
mouldy old item of news like that! It'd make a cat
laugh, Jim Boyd,' says he. 'Who told you?' says I,
stupid like. 'Nobody,' says he. 'A week ago Tuesday
night I was lying here awake and I jest knew. I'd
suspicioned it before, but then I knew. I've been
keeping up for the wife's sake. And I'd like to have
got that barn built, for Eben'll never get it right. But
anyhow, now that you've eased your mind, Jim, put
on a smile and tell me something interesting.' Well,
there it was. They'd been so scared to tell him and
LIFE-BOOK OF CAPTAIN JIM 213
he knew it all the time. Strange how nature looks
out for us, ain't it, and lets us know what we should
know when the time comes ? Did I never tell you the
yarn about Henry getting the fish hook in his nose,
"Well, him and me had a laugh over it today. It
happened nigh unto thirty years ago. Him and me
and several more was out mackerel fishing one day. It
was a great day never saw such a school of mackerel
in the gulf and in the general excitement Henry got
quite wild and contrived to stick a fish hook clean
through one side of his nose. Well, there he was;
there was barb on one end and a big piece of lead
on the other, so it couldn't be pulled out. We wanted
to take him ashore at once, but Henry was game;
he said he'd be jiggered if he'd leave a school like
that for anything short of lockjaw; then he kept fish-
ing away, hauling in hand over fist and groaning be-
tween times. Fin'lly the school passed and we come
in with a load; I got a file and begun to try to file
through that hook. I tried to be as easy as I could, -
but you should have heard Henry no, you shouldn't
either. It was well no ladies were around. Henry
wasn't a swearing man, but he'd heard some few
matters of that sort along shore in his time, and he
fished 'em all out of his recollection and hurled 'em
at me. Fin'lly he declared he couldn't stand it and
I had no bowels of compassion. So we hitched up
214 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
and I drove him to a doctor in Charlottetown, thirty-
five miles there weren't none nearer in them days
with that blessed hook still hanging from his nose.
When we got there old Dr. Crabb jest took a file and
filed that hook jest the same as I'd tried to do, only
he weren't a mite particular about doing it easy!"
Captain Jim's visit to his old friend had revived
many recollections and he was now in the full tide of
"Henry was asking me today if I remembered the
time old Father Chiniquy blessed Alexander Mac-
Allister's boat. Another odd yarn and true as gospel.
I was in the boat myself. We went out, him and me,
in Alexander MacAllister's boat one morning at sun-
rise. Besides, there was a French boy in the boat
Catholic of course. You know old Father Chiniquy
had turned Protestant, so the Catholics hadn't much
use for him. Well, we sat out in the gulf in the
broiling sun till noon, and not a bite did we get. When
we went ashore old Father Chiniquy had to go, so he
said in that polite way of his, Tm very sorry I cannot
go out with you dis afternoon, Mr. MacAllister, but
I leave you my blessing. You will catch a t'ousand
dis afternoon.' Well, we did not catch a thousand,
but we caught exactly nine hundred and ninety-nine
the biggest catch for a small boat on the whole
north shore that summer. Curious, wasn't it?
Alexander MacAllister, he says to Andrew Peters,
'Well, and what do you think of Father Chiniquy
LIFE-BOOK OF CAPTAIN JIM 215
now?' 'Veil/ growled Andrew, 'I t'ink de old devil
has got a blessing left yet.' Laws, how Henry did
laugh over that today!"
"Do you know who Mr. Ford is, Captain Jim?"
asked Anne, seeing that Captain Jim's fountain of
reminiscence had run out for the present. "I want
you to guess."
Captain Jim shook his head.
"I never was any hand at guessing, Mistress Blythe,
and yet somehow when I come in I thought, 'Where
have I seen them eyes before?' for I have seen 'em."
"Think of a September morning many years ago/'
said Anne, softly. "Think of a ship sailing up the
harbour a ship long waited for and despaired of.
Think of the day the Royal William came in and the
first look you had at the schoolmaster's bride."
Captain Jim sprang up.
"They're Persis Selwyn's eyes," he almost shouted.
"You can't be her son you must be her "
"Grandson; yes, I am Alice Selwyn's son."
Captain Jim swooped down on Owen Ford and
shook his hand over again.
"Alice Selwyn's son! Lord, but you're welcome!
Many's the time I've wondered where the descendants
of the schoolmaster were living. I knew there was
none on the Island. Alice Alice the first baby ever
born in that little house. No baby ever brought more
joy! I've dandled her a hundred times. It was from
my knee she took her first steps alone. Can't I see
216 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
her mother's face watching her and it was near
sixty years ago. Is she living yet?"
"No, she died when I was only a boy."
"Oh, it doesn't seem right that I should be living
to hear that," sighed Captain Jim. "But I'm heart-
glad to see you. It's brought back my youth for a
little while. You don't know yet what a boon that
is. Mistress Blythe here has the trick she does it
quite often for me."
Captain Jim was still more excited when he dis-
covered that Owen Ford was what he called a "real
writing man." He gazed at him as at a superior being.
Captain Jim knew that Anne wrote, but he had never
taken that fact very seriously. Captain Jim thought
women were delightful creatures, who ought to have
the vote, and everything else they wanted, bless their
hearts ; but he did not believe they could write.
"Jest look at A Mad Love," he would protest. "A
woman wrote that and jest look at it one hundred
and three chapters when it could all have been told in
ten. A writing woman never knows when to stop;
that's the trouble. The p'int of good writing is to
know when to stop."
"Mr. Ford wants to hear some of your stories,
Captain Jim," said Anne. "Tell him the one about
the captain who went crazy and imagined he was the
This was Captain Jim's best story. It was a com-
pound of horror and humour, and though Anne iiad
LIFE-BOOK OF CAPTAIN JIM 217
heard it several times she laughed as heartily and
shivered as fearsomely over it as Mr. Ford did. Other
tales followed, for Captain Jim had an audience after
his own heart. He told how his vessel had been run
down by a steamer; how he had been boarded by
Malay pirates; how his ship had caught fire; how he
helped a political prisoner escape from a South Afri-
can republic ; how he had been wrecked one fall on the
Magdalens and stranded there for the winter; how a
tiger had broken loose on board ship; how his crew
had mutinied and marooned him on a barren island
these and many other tales, tragic or humorous or
grotesque, did Captain Jim relate. The mystery of the
sea, the fascination of far lands, the lure of adventure,
the laughter of the world his hearers felt and real-
ised them all. Owen Ford listened, with his head on
his hand, and the First Mate purring on his knee, his
brilliant eyes fastened on Captain Jim's rugged,
"Won't you let Mr. Ford see your life-book,
Captain Jim?" asked Anne, when Captain Jim finally
declared that yarn-spinning must end for the time.
"Oh, he don't want to be bothered with that" pro-
tested Captain Jim, who was secretly dying to show it.
"I should like nothing better than to see it, Captain
Boyd," said Owen. "If it is half as wonderful as
your tales it will be worth seeing."
With pretended reluctance Captain Jim dug his
life-book out of his old chest and handed it to Owea
218 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
"I reckon you won't care to wrastle long with my
old hand o' write. I never had much schooling," he
observed carelessly. "Just wrote that there to amuse
my nephew Joe. He's always wanting stories. Comes
here yesterday and says to me, reproachful-like, as I
was lifting a twenty-pound codfish out of my boat,
'Uncle Jim, ain't a codfish a dumb animal?' I'd been
a-telling him, you see, that he must be real kind to
dumb animals, and never hurt 'em in any way. I got
out of the scrape by saying a codfish was dumb enough
but it wasn't an animal, but Joe didn't look satisfied,
and I wasn't satisfied myself. You've got to be
mighty careful what you tell them little critters. They
can see through you."
While talking, Captain Jim watched Owen Ford
from the corner of his eye as the latter examined the
life-book; and presently observing that his guest was
lost in its pages, he turned smilingly to his cupboard
and proceeded to make a pot of tea. Owen Ford
separated himself from the life-book, with as much
reluctance as a miser wrenches himself from his gold,
long enough to drink his tea, and then returned to it
"Oh, you can take that thing home with you if you
want to," said Captain Jim, as if the "thing" were
not his most treasured possession. "I must go down
and pull my boat up a bit on the skids. There's a
wind coming. Did you notice the sky tonight?
LIFE-BOOK OF CAPTAIN JIM 219
'Mackerel skies and mares' tails
Make tall ships carry short sails.' "
Owen Ford accepted the offer of the life-book
gladly. On their way home Anne told him the story
of lost Margaret.
"That old captain is a wonderful old fellow," he
said. "What a life he has led! Why, the man had
more adventures in one week of his life than most of
us have in a lifetime. Do you really think his tales
are all true?"
"I certainly do. I am sure Captain Jim could not
tell a lie; and besides, all the people about here say
that everything happened as he relates it. There used
to be plenty of his old shipmates alive to corroborate
him. He's one of the last of the old type of P. E.
Island sea-captains. Thty are almost extinct MOW."
THE WRITING OF THE BOOK
OWEN FORD came over to the little house the
next morning in a state of great excitement.
"Mrs. Blythe, this is a wonderful book absolutely
wonderful. If I could take it and use the material
for a book I feel certain I could make the novel of the
year out of it. Do you suppose Captain Jim would
let me do it?"
"Let you! I'm sure he would be delighted," cried
Anne. "I admit that it was what was in my head
when I took you down last night. Captain Jim has
always been wishing he could get somebody to write
his life-book properly for him."
"Will you go down to the Point with me this even-
ing, Mrs. Blythe? I'll ask him about the life-book
myself, but I want you to tell him that you told me
the story of lost Margaret and ask him if he will let
me use it as a thread of romance with which to weave
the stories of the life-book into a harmonious whole."
Captain Jim was more excited than ever when
Owen Ford told him of his plan. At last his cher-
ished dream was to be realised and his "life-book"
THE WRITING OF THE BOOK 221
given to the world. He was also pleased that the
story of lost Margaret should be woven into it.
"It will keep her name from being forgotten," he
said wistfully. "That's why I want it put in."
"We'll collaborate," cried Owen delightedly. "You
will give the soul and I the body. Oh, we'll write a
famous book between us, Captain Jim. And we'll
get right to work."
"And to think my book is to be writ by the school-
master's grandson!" exclaimed Captain Jim. "Lad,
your grandfather was my dearest friend. I thought
there was nobody like him. I see now why I had
to wait so long. It couldn't be writ till the right man
come. You belong here you've got the soul of this
old north shore in you you're the only one who could
It was arranged that the tiny room off the living-
room at the lighthouse should be given over to Owen
for a workshop. It was necessary that Captain Jim
should be near him as he wrote, for consultation upon
many matters of sea- faring and gulf lore of which
Owen was quite ignorant.
He began work on the book the very next morn-
ing, and flung himself into it heart and soul. As for
Captain Jim, he was a happy man that summer. He
looked upon the little room where Owen worked as
a sacred shrine. Owen talked everything over with
Captain Jim, but he would not let him see the manu-
222 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
"You must wait until it is published," he said.
"Then you'll get it all at once in its best shape."
He delved into the treasures of the life-book and
used them freely. He dreamed and brooded over lost
Margaret until she became a vivid reality to him and
lived in his pages. As the book progressed it took
possession of him and he worked at it with feverish
eagerness. He let Anne and Leslie read the manu-
script and criticise it; and the concluding chapter of
the book, which the critics, later on, were pleased to
call idyllic, was modelled upon a suggestion of Leslie's.
Anne fairly hugged herself with delight over the
success of her idea.
"I knew when I looked at Owen Ford that he was
the very man for it," she told Gilbert. '"Both humour
and passion were in his face, and that, together with
the art of expression, was just what was necessary for
the writing of such a book. As Mrs. Rachel would
say, he was predestined for the part."
Owen Ford wrote in the mornings. The after-
noons were generally spent in some merry outing with
the Blythes. Leslie often went, too, for Captain Jim
took charge of Dick frequently, in order to set her
free. They went boating on the harbour and up the
three pretty rivers that flowed into it; they had clam-
bakes on the bar and mussel-bakes on the rocks; they
picked strawberries on the sand-dunes; they went out
cod-fishing with Captain Jim; they shot plover in
the shore fields and wild ducks in the cove at least.
THE WRITING OF THE BOOK 223
the men did. In the evenings they rambled in the low-
lying, daisied, shore fields under a golden moon, or
they sat in the living-room at the little house where
often the coolness of the sea breeze justified a drift-
wood fire, and talked of the thousand and one things
which happy, eager, clever young people can find to
Ever since the day on which she had made her
confession to Anne Leslie had been a changed crea-
ture. There was no trace of her old coldness and
reserve, no shadow of her old bitterness. The girl-
hood of which she had been cheated seemed to come
back to her with the ripeness of womanhood; she ex-
panded like a flower of flame and perfume; no laugh
was readier than hers, no wit quicker, in the twilight
circles of that enchanted summer. When she could
not be with them all felt that some exquisite savour
was lacking in their intercourse. Her beauty was
illumined by the awakened soul within, as some rosy
lamp might shine through a flawless vase of alabaster.
There were hours when Anne's eyes seemed to ache
with the splendour of her. As for Owen Ford, the
"Margaret" of his book, although she had the soft
brown hair and elfin face of the real girl who had
vanished so long ago, "pillowed where lost Atlantis
sleeps," had the personality of Leslie Moore, as it
was revealed to him in those halcyon days at Four
All in all, it was a never-to-be-forgotten summer
224 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
one of those summers which come seldom into any
life, but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories
in their going one of those summers which, in a
fortunate combination of delightful weather, delight-
ful friends and delightful doings, come as near to per-
fection as anything can come in this world.
"Too good to last," Anne told herself with a little
sigh, on the September day when a certain nip in the
wind and a certain shade of intense blue on the gulf
water said that autumn was hard by.
That evening Owen Ford told them that he had
finished his book and that his vacation must come to
"I have a good deal to do to it yet revising and
pruning and so forth," he said, "but in the main it's
done. I wrote the last sentence this morning. If I
can find a publisher for it it will probably be out next
summer or fall."
Owen had not much doubt that he would find a
publisher. He knew that he had written a great book
a book that would score a wonderful success a
book that would live. He knew that it would bring
him both fame and fortune; but when he had written
the last line of it he had bowed his head on the manu-
script and so sat for a long time. And his thoughts
were not of the good work he had done.
OWEN FORD'S CONFESSION
I'M so sorry Gilbert is away," said Anne. "He
had to go Allan Lyons at the Glen has met
with a serious accident. He will not likely be home
till very late. But he told me to tell you he'd be up and
over early enough in the morning to see you before
you left. It's too provoking. Susan and I had
planned such a nice little jamboree for your last night
She was sitting beside the garden brook on the little
rustic seat Gilbert had built. Owen Ford stood be-
fore her, leaning against the bronze column of a yel-
low birch. He was very pale and his face bore the
marks of the preceding sleepless night. Anne ;
glancing up at him, wondered if, after all, his summer
had brought him the strength it should. Had he
worked too hard over his book? She remembered
that for a week he had not been looking well.
"Tm rather glad the doctor is away," said Owen
slowly. "I wanted to see you alone, Mrs. Blythc.
There is something I must tell somebody, or I think
226 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
it will drive me mad. I've been trying for a week to
look it in the face and I can't. I know I can trust
you and, besides, you will understand. A woman
with eyes like yours always understands. You are
one of the folks people instinctively tell things to.
Mrs. Blythe, I love Leslie. Love her! That seems
too weak a word!"
His voice suddenly broke with the suppressed pas-
sion of his utterance. He turned his head away and
hid his face on his arm. His whole form shook.
Anne sat looking at him, pale and aghast. She had
never thought of this ! And yet how was it she had
never thought of it? It now seemed a natural and
inevitable thing. She wondered at her own blindness.
But but things like this did not happen in Four
Winds. Elsewhere in the world human passions
might set at defiance human conventions and laws
but not here, surely. Leslie had kept summer board-
ers off and on for ten years, and nothing like fhis had
happened. But perhaps they had not been like Owen
Ford; and the vivid, living Leslie of this summer
was not the cold, sullen girl of other years. Oh,
somebody should have thought of this! Why hadn't
Miss Cornelia thought of it? Miss Cornelia was al-
ways ready enough to sound the alarum where men
were concerned. Anne felt an unreasonable resent-
ment against Miss Cornelia. Then she gave a little
inward groan. No matter who was to blame the
OWEN FORD'S CONFESSION 227
mischief was done. And Leslie what of Leslie? It
was for Leslie Anne felt most concerned.
"Does Leslie know this, Mr. Ford?" she a*ked
"No no, unless she has guessed it. You surely
don't think I'd be cad and scoundrel enough to tell
her, Mrs. Blythe. I couldn't help loving her that's
all and my misery is greater than I can bear."
"Does she care?" asked Anne. The moment the
question crossed her lips she felt that she should not
have asked it. Owen Ford answered it with over-
"No no, of course not. But I could make her
care if she were free I know I could."
"She does care and he knows it," thought Anne.
Aloud she said, sympathetically but decidedly:
"But she is not free, Mr. Ford. And the only
thing you can do is to go away in silence and leave
her to her own life."
"I know I know," groaned Owen. He sat down
on the grassy bank and stared moodily into the amber
water beneath him. "I know there's nothing to do
nothing but to say conventionally, 'Good-bye, Mrs.
Moore. Thank you for all your kindness to me this
summer,' just as I would have said it to the sonsy, bus-
tling, keen-eyed housewife I expected her to be when
I came. Then I'll pay my board money like any
honest boarder and go! Oh, it's very simple. No
228 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
doubt no perplexity a straight road to the end of
the world! And I'll walk it you needn't fear that
I won't, Mrs. Blythe. But it would be easier to walk
over red-hot ploughshares."
Anne flinched with the pain of his voice. And there
was so little she could say that would be adequate
to the situation. Blame v/as out of the question
advice was not needed sympathy was mocked by
the man's stark agony. She could only feel with him
in a maze of compassion and regret. Her heart ached
for Leslie! Had not that poor girl suffered enough
"It wouldn't be so hard to go and leave her if she
were only happy," resumed Owen passionately. "But
to think of her living death to realise what it is to
which I do leave her! That is the worst of all. I
would give my life to make her happy and I can do
nothing even to help her nothing. She is bound for-
ever to that poor wretch with nothing to look for-
ward to but growing old in a succession of empty,
meaningless, barren years. It drives me mad to think
of it. But I must go through my life, never seeing
her, but always knowing what she is enduring. It's
hideous hideous !"
"It is very hard," said Anne sorrowfully. "We
her friends here all know how hard it is for her."
"And she is so richly fitted for life," said Owen
rebelliously. "Her beauty is the least of her dower
and she is the most beautiful woman I've ever
OWEN FORD'S CONFESSION 229
known. That laugh of hers ! I've angled all summer
to evoke that laugh, just for the delight of hearing
it. And her eyes they are as deep and blue as the
gulf out there. I never saw such blueness- and goldl
Did you ever see her hair down, Mrs. Blythe?"
"I didonce. I had gone down to the Point to go
fishing with Captain Jim but it was too rough to go
out, so I came back. She had taken the opportunity
of what she expected to be an afternoon alone to
wash her hair, and she was standing on the veranda
in the sunshine to dry it. It fell all about her to her
feet in a fountain of living gold. When she saw me
she hurried in, and the wind caught her hair and
swirled it all around her Danae in her cloud. Some-
how, just then the knowledge that I loved her came
home to me and realised that I had loved her from
the moment I first saw her standing against the dark-
ness in that glow of light. And she must live on here
petting and soothing Dick, pinching and saving for
a mere existence, while I spend my life longing vainly
for her, and debarred, by that very fact, from even
giving her the little help a friend might. I walked
the shore last night, almost till dawn, and thrashed
it all out over and over again. And yet, in spite of
everything, I can't find it in my heart to be sorry that
I came to Four Winds. It seems to me that, bad as
everything is, it would be still worse never to have
known Leslie. It's burning, searing pain to love her
230 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
and leave her but not to have loved her is unthink-
able. I suppose all this sounds very crazy all these
terrible emotions always do sound foolish when we
put them into our inadequate words. They are not
meant to be spoken only felt and endured. I
shouldn't have spoken but it has helped some. At
least, it has given me strength to go away respectably
to-morrow morning, without making a scene. You'll
write me now and then, won't you, Mrs. Blythe, and
give me what news there is to give of her?"
"Yes," said Anne. "Oh, I'm so sorry you are
going we'll miss you so we've all been such friends !
If it were not for this you could come back other
summers. Perhaps, even yet by-and-by when
you've forgotten, perhaps "
"I shall never forget and I shall never come back
to Four Winds," said Owen briefly.
Silence and twilight fell over the garden. Far away
the sea was lapping gently and monotonously on the
bar. The wind of evening in the poplars sounded
like some sad, weird, old rune some broken dream
of old memories. A slender shapely young aspen
rose up before them against the fine maize and emerald
and paling rose of the western sky, which brought
out every leaf and twig in dark, tremulous, elfin love-
"Isn't that beautiful?" said Owen, pointing to it
with the air of a man who puts a certain conversation
OWEN FORD'S CONFESSION 231
"It's so beautiful that it hurts me." said Anne softly.
"Perfect things like that alway did hurt me I
remember I called it 'the queer ache* when I was a
child. What is the reason that pain like this seems
inseparable from perfection ? Is it the pain of finality
when we realise that there can be nothing beyond
"Perhaps," said Owen dreamily, "it is the prisoned
infinite in us calling out to its kindred infinite as ex-
pressed in that visible perfection."
"You seem to have a cold in the head. Better rub
some tallow on your nose when you go to bed," said
Miss Cornelia, who had come in through the little
gate between the firs in time to catch Owen's last re-
mark. Miss Cornelia liked Owen; but it was a matter
of principle with her to visit any "high falutin" lan-
guage from a man with a snub.
Miss Cornelia personated the comedy that ever
peeps around the corner at the tragedy of life. Anne,
whose nerves had been rather strained, laughed hys-
terically, and even Owen smiled. Certainly, senti-
ment and passion had a way of shrinking out of sight
in Miss Cornelia's presence. And yet to Anne noth-
ing seemed quite as hopeless and dark and painful as
it had seemed a few moments before, But sleep was
far from her eyes that night.
ON THE SAND-BAR
OWEN FORD left Four Winds the next morn-
ing. In the evening Anne went over to see
Leslie, but found nobody. The house was locked and
there was no light in any window. It looked like a
home left soulless. Leslie did not run over on the
following day which Anne thought a bad sign.
Gilbert having occasion to go in the evening to the
fishing cove, Anne drove with him to the Point, in-
tending to stay awhile with Captain Jim. But the
great light, cutting its swathes through the fog of
the autumn evening, was in care of Alec Boyd and
Captain Jim was away.
"What will you do?" asked Gilbert. "Come with
"I don't want to go to the cove but I'll go over
the channel with you, and roam about on the sand-
shore till you come back. The rock shore is too slip-
pery and grim to-night."
Alone on the sands of the bar Anne gave herself
up to the eerie charm of the night. It was warm for
September, and the late afternoon had been very
ON THE SAND-BAR 233
foggy; but a full moon had in part lessened the fog
and transformed the harbour and the gulf and the
surrounding shores into a strange, fantastic, unreal
world of pale silver mist, through which everything
loomed phantom-like. Captain Josiah Crawford's
black schooner sailing down the channel, laden with
potatoes for Bluenose ports, was a spectral ship bound
for a far uncharted land, ever receding, never to be
reached. The calls of unseen gulls overhead were
the cries of the souls of doomed seamen. The little
curls of foam that blew across the sand were elfin
things stealing up from the sea-caves. The big, round-
shouldered sand-dunes were the sleeping giants of
some old northern tale. The lights that glimmered
palely across the harbour were the delusive beacons
on some coast of fairyland. Anne pleased herself
with a hundred fancies as she wandered through the
mist. It was delightful romantic mysterious to be
roaming here alone on this enchanted shere.
But was she alone? Something loomed in the mist
before her took shape and form suddenly moved
towards her across the wave-rippled sand.
"Leslie!" exclaimed Anne in amazement. "What-
ever are you doing here to-night?"
"If it comes to that, whatever are you doing
here?" said Leslie, trying to laugh. The effort was
a failure. She looked very pale and tired; but the
love locks under her scarlet cap were curling about
her face and eyes like little sparkling rings of gold.
234 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
"I'm waiting for Gilbert he's over at the Cove.
I intended to stay at the light, but Captain Jim is
"Well, 7 came here because I wanted to walk and
walk and walk," said Leslie restlessly. "I couldn't
on the rock shore the tide was too high and the rocks
prisoned me. I had to come here or I should have
gone mad, I think. I rowed myself over the channel
in Captain Jim's flat. I've been here for an hour.
Come come let us walk. I can't stand still. Oh,
"Leslie, dearest, what is the trouble?" asked Anne,
though she knew too well already.
"I can't tell you don't ask me. I wouldn't mind
your knowing I wish you did know but I can't tell
you I can't tell anyone. I've been such a fool, Anne
and oh, it hurts so terribly to be a fool. There's
nothing so painful in the world."
She laughed bitterly. Anne slipped her arm around
"Leslie, is it that you have learned to care for Mr.
Leslie turned herself about passionately.
"How did you know?" she cried. "Anne, how did
you know ? Oh, is it written in my face for everyone
to see? Is it as plain as that?"
"No, no. I I can't tell you how I knew. It just
came into my mind, somehow. Leslie, don't look at
me like that!"
ON THE SAND-BAR 235
"Do you despise me?" demanded Leslie in a fierce,
low tone. "Do you think I'm wicked unwomanly?
Or do you think I'm just plain fool ?"
"I don't think you any of those things. Come,
dear, let's just talk it over sensibly, as we might talk
over any other of the great crises of life. You've
been brooding over it and let yourself drift into a
morbid view of it. You know you have a little tend-
ency to do that about everything that goes wrong, and
you promised me that you would fight against it."
"But oh, it's so so shameful," murmured Leslie.
"To love him unsought and when I'm not free to
"There's nothing shameful about it. But I'm very
sorry that you have learned to care for Owen, because,
as things are, it will only make you more unhappy."
"I didn't learn to care," said Leslie, walking on
and speaking passionately. "If it had been like that
I could have prevented it. I never dreamed of such
a thing until that day, a week ago, when he told me
he had finished his book and must soon go away. Then
then I knew. I felt as if someone had struck me a
terrible blow. I didn't say anything I couldn't
speak but I don't know what I looked like. I'm so
afraid my face betrayed me. Oh, I would die of
shame if I thought he knew or suspected."
Anne was miserably silent, hampered by her deduc-
tions from her conversation with Owen. Leslie went
on feverishly, as if she found relief in speech.
236 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
"I was so happy all this summer, Anne happier
than I ever was in my life. I thought it was because
everything had been made clear between you and me,
and that it was our friendship which made life seem
so beautiful and full once more. And it was, in part
-but not all oh, not nearly all. I know now why
everything was so different. And now it's all over
and he has gone. How can I live, Anne? When I
turned back into the house this morning after he had
gone the solitude struck me like a blow in the face."
"It won't seem so hard by and by, dear," said Anne,
who always felt the pain of her friends so keenly
that she could not speak easy, fluent words of com-
forting. Besides, she remembered how well-meant
speeches had hurt her in her own sorrow and was
"Oh, it seems to me it will grow harder all the
time," said Leslie miserably. "I've nothing to look
forward to. Morning will come after morning and
he will not come back he will never come back. Oh,
when I think that I will never see him again I feel
as if a great brutal hand had twisted itself among
my heartstrings, and was wrenching them. Once,
long ago, I dreamed of love and I thought it must
be beautiful and now it's like this. When he went
away yesterday morning he was so cold and indiffer-
ent. He said 'Good-bye, Mrs. Moore' in the coldest
tone in the world as if we had not even been friends
as if I meant absolutely nothing to him. I know
ON THE SAND-BAR 237
I don't I didn't want him to care but he might
have been a little kinder."
"Oh, I wish Gilbert would come," thought Anne.
She was racked between her sympathy for Leslie and
the necessity of avoiding anything that would betray
Owen's confidence. She knew why his good-bye had
been so cold why it could not have the cordiality
that their good-comradeship demanded but she could
not tell Leslie.
"I couldn't help it, Anne I couldn't help it," said
"I know that."
"Do you blame me so very much?"
"I don't blame you at all."
"And you won't you won't tell Gilbert?"
"Leslie ! Do you think I would do such a thing ?"
"Oh, I don't know you and Gilbert are such
chums. I don't see how you could help telling him
"Everything about my own concerns yes. But
not my friends' secrets."
*'I couldn't have him know. But I'm glad you
know. I would feel guilty if there were anything I
was ashamed to tell you. I hope Miss Cornelia won't
find out. Sometimes I feel as if those terrible, kind
brown eyes of hers read my very soul. Oh, I wish
this mist would never lift I wish I could just stay
in it forever, hidden away from every living being.
I don't see how I can go on with life. This summer
238 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
has been so full. I never was lonely for a moment.
Before Owen came there used to be horrible moments
when I had been with you and Gilbert and then
had to leave you. You two would walk away to-
gether and I would walk away alone. After Owen
came he was always there to walk home with me we
would laugh and talk as you and Gilbert were doing
"there were no more lonely, envious moments for
me. And now! Oh, yes, I've been a fool. Let's
have done talking about my folly. I'll never bore
you with it again."
"Here is Gilbert, and you are coming back with
us," said Anne, who had no intention of leaving Leslie
to wander alone on the sand-bar on such a night and
in such a mood. "There's plenty of room in our boat
for three, and we'll tie the flat on behind."
"Oh, I suppose I must reconcile myself to being
the odd one again," said poor Leslie with another
bitter laugh. "Forgive me, Anne that was hateful.
I ought to be thankful and I am that I have two
good friends who are glad to count me in as a third.
Don't mind my hateful speeches. I just seem to be
one great pain all over and everything hurts me."
"Leslie seemed very quiet tonight, didn't she?"
said Gilbert, when he and Anne reached home. "What
in the world was she doing over there on the bar
"Oh, she was tired and you know she likes to go
to the shore after one of Dick's bad days."
ON THE SAND-BAR 239
"What a pity she hadn't met and married a fellow
like Ford long ago," ruminated Gilbert. "They'd
have made an ideal couple, wouldn't they?"
"For pity's sake, Gilbert, don't develop into a match-
maker. It's an abominable profession for a man,"
cried Anne rather sharply, afraid that Gilbert might
blunder on the truth if he kept on in this strain.
"Bless us, Anne-girl, I'm not matchmaking," pro-
tested Gilbert, rather surprised at her tone. "I was
only thinking of one of the might-have-beens."
"Well, don't. It's a waste of time," said Anne.
Then she added suddenly :
"Oh, Gilbert, I wish everybody could be as happy
as we are."
ODDS AND ENDS
I'VE been reading obituary notices," said Mist
Cornelia, laying down the Daily Enterprise and
taking up her sewing.
The harbour was lying black and sullen under a dour
November sky; the wet, dead leaves clung drenched
and sodden to the window sills; but the little house
was gay with firelight and spring-like with Anne's
ferns and geraniums.
"It's always summer here, Anne," Leslie had said
one day; and all who were the guests of that house
of dreams felt the same.
"The Enterprise seems to run to obituaries these
days," quoth Miss Cornelia. "It always has a couple
of columns of them, and I read every line. It's one
of my forms of recreation, especially when there's
some original poetry attached to them. Here's a
choice sample for you :
'She's gone to be with her Maker,
Never more to roam.
She used to play and sing with joy
The song of Home, Sweet Home/
ODDS AND ENDS 241
Who says we haven't any poetical talent on the
Island! Have you ever noticed what heaps of good
people die, Anne, dearie ? It's kind of pitiful. Here's
ten obituaries, and every one of them saints and mod-
els, even the men. Here's old Peter Stimson, who
has 'left a large circle of friends to mourn his un-
timely loss.' Lord, Anne, dearie, that man was eighty,
and everybody who knew him had been wishing him
dead these thirty years. Read obituaries when you're
blue, Arnie, dearie especially the ones of folks you
know. If you've any sense of humour at all they'll
cheer you up, believe me. I just wish / had the writ-
ing of the obituaries of some people. Isn't 'obituary'
an awful ugly word? This very Peter I've been
speaking of had a face exactly like one. I never saw
it but I thought of the word obituary then and there.
There's only one uglier word that I know of, and
that's relict. Lord, Anne, dearie, I may be an old
maid, but there's this comfort in it I'll never be
any man's 'relict.' '
"It is an ugly word," said Anne, laughing. "Avon-
lea graveyard was full of old tombstones 'sacred to
the memory of So-and-So, relict of the late So-and-
So.' It always made me think of something worn-
out and moth-eaten. Why is it that so many of the
words connected with death are so disagreeable? I
do wish that the custom of calling a dead body 'the
remains' could be abolished. I positively shiver when
I hear the undertaker say at a funeral, 'All who wish
242 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
to see the remains please step this way.' It always
gives me the horrible impression that I am about to
view the scene of a cannibal feast."
"Well, all I hope," said Miss Cornelia calmly, "is
that when I'm dead nobody will call me 'our departed
sister.' I took a scunner at this sistering-and-broth-
ering business five years ago when there was a travel-
ling evangelist holding meetings at the Glen. I hadn't
any use for him from the start. I felt in my bones
that there was something wrong with him. And there
was. Mind you, he was pretending to be a Presby-
terian Presby tarian, he called it and all the time
he was a Methodist. He brothered and sistered every-
body. He had a large circle of relations, that man
had. He clutched my hand fervently one night, and
said imploringly, 'My dear sister Bryant, are you a
Christian?' I just looked him over a bit, and then I
said calmly, The only brother I ever had, Mr. Fiske,
was buried fifteen years ago, and I haven't adopted
any since. As for being a Christian, I was that, I hope
and believe, when you were crawling about the floor
in petticoats.' That squelched him, believe me. Mind
you, Anne dearie, I'm not down on all evangelists.
We've had some real fine, earnest men, who did a lot
of good and made the old sinners squirm. But this
Fiske-man wasn't one of them. I had a good laugh
all to myself one evening. Fiske had asked all who
were Christians to stand up. 7 didn't, believe me! I
never had any use for that sort of thing. But most
ODDS AND ENDS 243
of them did, and then he asked all who wanted to be
Christians to stand up. Nobody stirred for a spell,
so Fiske started up a hymn at the top of his voice.
Just in front of me poor little Ikey Baker was sitting
in the Millison pew. He was a home boy, ten years
old, and Millison just about worked him to death.
The poor little creature was always so tired he fell
asleep right off whenever he went to church or any-
where he could sit still for a few minutes. He'd been
sleeping all through the meeting, and I was thankful
to see the poor child getting a rest, believe me. Well,
when Fiske's voice went soaring skyward and the rest
joined in, poor Ikey wakened with a start. He thought
it was just an ordinary singing and that everybody
ought to stand up, so he scrambled to his feet mighty
quick, knowing he'd get a combing down from Maria
Millison for sleeping in meeting. Fiske saw him,
stopped and shouted, 'Another soul saved! Glory
Hallelujah!' And there was poor, frightened Ikey,
only half awake and yawning, never thinking about
his soul at all. Poor child, he never had time to
think of anything but his tired, overworked little
"Leslie went one night and the Fiske-man got
right after her oh, he was especially anxious about
the souls of the nice-looking girls, believe me! and
he hurt her feelings so she never went again. And
then he prayed every night after that, right in public,
that the Lord would soften her hard heart. Finally
244 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
I went to Mr. Leavitt, our minister then, and told
him if he didn't make Fiske stop that I'd just rise up
the next night and throw my hymn book at him when
he mentioned that 'beautiful but unrepentant young
woman.' I'd have done it too, believe me. Mr.
Leavitt did put a stop to it, but Fiske kept on with
his meetings until Charley Douglas put an end to his
career in the Glen. Mrs. Charley had been out in
California all winter. She'd been real melancholy in
the fall religious melancholy it ran in her family.
Her father worried so much over believing that he
had committed the unpardonable sin that he died in
the asylum. So when Rose Douglas got that way
Charley packed her off to visit her sister in Los An-
geles. She got perfectly well and came home just
when the Fiske revival was in full swing. She stepped
off the train at the Glen, real smiling and chipper, and
the first thing she saw staring her in the face on the
black, gable-end of the freight shed, was the question,
in big white letters, two feet high, 'Whither goest
thou to heaven or hell?' That had been one of
Fiske's ideas, and he had got Henry Hammond to
paint it. Rose just gave a shriek and fainted; and
when they got her home she was worse than ever.
Charley Douglas went to Mr. Leavitt and told him
that every Dougfas would leave the church if Fiske
was kept there any longer. Mr. Leavitt had to give
in, for the Douglases paid half his salary, so Fiske de-
parted, and we had to depend on our Bibles once more
ODDS AND ENDS 245
for instructions on how to get to heaven. After he
was gone Mr. Leavitt found out he was just a mas-
querading Methodist, and he felt pretty sick, believe
me. Mr. Leavitt fell short in some ways, but he was
a good, sound Presbyterian."
"By the way, I had a letter from Mr. Ford yester-
day," said Anne. "He asked me to remember him
kindly to you."
"I don't want his remembrances," said Miss Cor-
"Why?" said Anne, in astonishment. "I thought
you liked him."
"Well, so I did, in a kind of way. But I'll never
forgive him for what he done to Leslie. There's that
poor child eating her heart out about him as if she
hadn't had trouble enough and him ranting round
Toronto, I've no doubt, enjoying himself same as
ever. Just like a man."
"Oh, Miss Cornelia, how did you find out?"
"Lord, Anne, dearie, I've got eyes, haven't I ? And
I've known Leslie since she was a baby. There's been
a new kind of heartbreak in her eyes all the fall, and
I know that writer-man was behind it somehow. I'll
never forgive myself for being the means of bringing
him here. But I never expected he'd be like he was.
I thought he'd just be like the other men Leslie had
boarded conceited young asses, every one of them,
that she never had any use for. One of them did try
to flirt with her once and she froze him out so bad,
246 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
I feel sure he's never got himself thawed since. So
I never thought of any danger."
"Don't let Leslie suspect you know her secret," said
Anne hurriedly. "I think it would hurt her."
"Trust me, Anne, dearie. / wasn't born yesterday.
Oh, a plague on all the men! One of them ruined
Leslie's life to begin with, and now another of the
tribe comes and makes her still more wretched. Anne,
this world is an awful place, believe me"
" 'There's something in the world amiss
Will be unriddled by and by,' "
quoted Anne dreamily.
"If it is, it'll be in a world where there aren't any
men," said Miss Cornelia gloomily.
"What have the men been doing now?" asked Gil-
"Mischief mischief! What else did they ever
"It was Eve ate the apple, Miss Cornelia."
" 'Twas a he-creature tempted her," retorted Miss
Leslie, after her first anguish was over, found it
possible to go on with life after all, as most of us do,
no matter what our particular form of torment has
been. It is even possible that she enjoyed moments
of it, when she was one of the gay circle in the little
house of dreams. But if Anne ever hoped that she
was forgetting Owen Ford she would have been un-
ODDS AND ENDS 247
deceived by the furtive hunger in Leslie's eyes when-
ever his name was mentioned. Pitiful to that hunger,
Anne always contrived to tell Captain Jim or Gilbert
bits of news from Owen's letters when Leslie was
with them. The girl's flush and pallor at such mo-
ments spoke all too eloquently of the emotion that
filled her being. But she never spoke of him to Anne,
or mentioned that night on the sand-bar.
One day her old dog died and she grieved bitterly
"He's been my friend so long," she said sorrowfully
to Anne. "He was Dick's old dog, you know Dick
had him for a year or so before we were married. He
left him with me when he sailed on the Four Sisters.
Carlo got very fond of me and his dog-love helped
me through that first dreadful year after mother died,
when I was all alone. When I heard that Dick was
coming back I was afraid Carlo wouldn't be so much
mine. But he never seemed to care for Dick, though
he had been so fond of him once. He would snap
and growl at him as if he were a stranger. I was
glad. It was nice to have one thing whose love was
all mine. That old dog has been such a comfort to
me, Anne. He got so feeble in the fall that I was
afraid he couldn't live long but I hoped I could nurse
him through the winter. He seemed pretty well this
morning. He was lying on the rug before the fire;
then, all at once, he got up and crept over to me; he
put his head on my lap and gave me one loving look
248 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
out of his big, soft, dog eyes and then he just shiv-
ered and died. I shall miss him so."
"Let me give you another dog, Leslie," said Anne.
"I'm getting a lovely Gordon setter for a Christmas
present for Gilbert. Let me give you one too."
Leslie shook her head.
"Not just now, thank you, Anne. I don't feel like
having another dog yet. I don't seem to have any
affection left for another. Perhaps in time I'll let
you give me one. I really need one as a kind of pro-
tection. But there was something almost human about
Carlo it wouldn't be decent to fill his place too hur-
riedly, dear old fellow."
Anne went to Avonlea a week before Christmas and
stayed until after the holidays. Gilbert came up for
her, and there was a glad New Year celebration at
Green Gables, when Barrys and Blythes and Wrights
assembled to devour a dinner which had cost Mrs.
Rachel and Marilla much careful thought and prep-
aration. When they went back to Four Winds the
little house was almost drifted over, for the third
storm of a winter that was to prove phenomenally
stormy had whirled up the harbour and heaped huge
snow mountains about everything it encountered. But
Captain Jim had shovelled out doors and paths, and
Miss Cornelia had come down and kindled the hearth-
"It's good to see you back, Anne, dearie! But did
you ever see such drifts? You can't see the Moore
ODDS AND ENDS 249
place at all unless you go upstairs. Leslie'll be so
glad you're back. She's almost buried alive over there.
Fortunately Dick can shovel snow, and thinks it's
great fun. Susan sent me word to tell you she would
be on hand tomorrow. Where are you off to now,
"I reckon I'll plough up to the Glen and sit a bit
with old Martin Strong. He's not far from his end
and he's lonesome. He hasn't many friends been too
busy all his life to make any. He's made heaps of
"Well, he thought that since he couldn't serve God
and Mammon he'd better stick to Mammon," said
Miss Cornelia crisply. "So he shouldn't complain if
he doesn't find Mammon very good company now."
Captain Jim went out, but remembered something
in the yard and turned back for a moment.
"I'd a letter from Mr. Ford, Mistress Blythe, and
he says the life-book is accepted and is going to be
published next fall. I felt fair uplifted when I got
the news. To think that I'm to see it in print at last."
"That man is clean crazy on the subject of his
life-book," said Miss Cornelia compassionately. "For
my part, I think there's far too many books in the
GILBERT AND ANNE DISAGREE
GILBERT laid down the ponderous medical tome
over which he had been poring until the in-
creasing dusk of the March evening made him desist.
He leaned back in his chair and gazed meditatively
out of the window. It was early spring probably
the ugliest time of the year. Not even the sunset
could redeem the dead, sodden landscape and rotten-
black harbour ice upon which he looked. No sign of
life was visible, save a big black crow winging his
solitary way across a leaden field. Gilbert speculated
idly concerning that crow. Was he a family crow,
with a black but comely crow wife awaiting him in
the woods beyond the Glen? Or was he a glossy
young buck of a crow on courting thoughts intent?
Or was he a cynical bachelor crow, believing that he
travels the fastest who travels alone? Whatever he
was, he soon disappeared in congenial gloom and
Gilbert turned to the cheerier view indoors.
The firelight flickered from point to point, gleaming
on the white and green coats of Gog and Magog, on
the sleek, brown head of the beautiful setter basking
GILBERT AND ANNE DISAGREE 251
on the rug, on the picture frames on the walls, on the
vaseful of daffodils from the window garden, on
Anne herself, sitting by her little table, with her sew-
ing beside her and her hands clasped over her knee
while she traced out pictures in the fire Castles in
Spain whose airy turrets pierced moonlit cloud and
sunset bar ships sailing from the Haven of Good
Hopes straight to Four Winds Harbour with precious
burthen. For Anne was again a dreamer of dreams,
albeit a grim shape of fear went with her night and
day to shadow and darken her visions.
Gilbert was accustomed to refer to himself as "an
old married man." But he still looked upon Anne
with the incredulous eyes of a lover. He couldn't
wholly believe yet that she was really his. It might
be only a dream after all, part and parcel of this magic
house of dreams. His soul still went on tip-toe be-
fore her, lest the charm be shattered and the dream
"Anne," he said slowly, "lend me your ears. I
want to talk with you about something."
Anne looked across at him through the fire-lit
"What is it?" she asked, gaily. "You look fear-
fully solemn, Gilbert. I really haven't done anything
naughty to-day. Ask Susan."
"It's not of you or ourselves I want to talk. It's
about Dick Moore."
"Dick Moore?" echoed Anne, sitting up alertly.
252 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
"Why, what in the world have you to say about Dick
"I've been thinking a great deal about him lately.
Do you remember that time last summer I treated
him for those carbuncles on his neck?"
"I took the opportunity to examine the scars on his
head thoroughly. I've always thought Dick was a
very interesting case from a medical point of view.
Lately I've been studying the history of trephining
and the cases where it has been employed. Anne, I
have come to the conclusion that if Dick Moore were
taken to a good hospital and the operation of trephin-
ing performed on several places in his skull, his mem-
ory and faculties might be restored."
"Gilbert!" Anne's voice was full of protest.
"Surely you don't mean it!"
"I do, indeed. And I have decided that it is my
duty to broach the subject to Leslie."
"Gilbert Blythe, you shall not do any such thing,"
cried Anne vehemently. "Oh, Gilbert, you won't
you won't. You couldn't be so cruel. Promise me
"Why, Anne-girl, I didn't suppose you would take
it like this. Be reasonable"
"I won't be reasonable I can't be reasonable I
am reasonable. It is you who are unreasonable. Gil-
bert, have you ever once thought what it would mean
for Leslie if Dick Moore were to be restored to his
GILBERT AND ANNE DISAGREE 253
right senses? Just stop and think! She's unhappy
enough now; but life as Dick's nurse and attendant
is a thousand times easier for her than life as Dick's
wife. I know I know! It's unthinkable. Don't
you meddle with the matter. Leave well enough
"I have thought over that aspect of the case thor-
oughly, Anne. But I believe that a doctor is bound
to set the sanctity of a patient's mind and body above
all other considerations, no matter what the conse-
quences may be. I believe it his duty to endeavour to
restore health and sanity, if there is any hope what-
ever of it."
"But Dick isn't your patient in that respect," cried
Anne, taking another tack. "If Leslie had asked you
if anything could be done for him, then it might be
your duty to tell her what you really thought. But
you've no right to meddle."
"I don't call it meddling. Uncle Dave told Leslie
twelve years ago that nothing could be done for Dick.
She believes that, of course."
"And why did Uncle Dave tell her that, if it wasn't
true?" cried Anne, triumphantly. "Doesn't he know
as much about it as you?"
"I think not though it may sound conceited and
presumptuous to say it. And you know as well as I
that he is rather prejudiced against what he calls
'these new-fangled notions of cutting and carving.'
He's even opposed to operating for appendicitis."
254 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
"He's right," exclaimed Anne, with a complete
change of front. "I believe myself that you modern
doctors are entirely too fond of making experiments
with human flesh and blood."
"Rhoda Allonby would not be a living woman to-
day if I had been afraid of making a certain experi-
ment," argued Gilbert. "I took the risk and saved
"I'm sick and tired of hearing about Rhoda Allon-
by," cried Anne most unjustly, for Gilbert had never
mentioned Mrs. Allonby's name since the day he had
told Anne of his success in regard to her. And he
could not be blamed for other people's discussion of it.
Gilbert felt rather hurt.
"I had not expected you to look at the matter as
you do, Anne," he said a little stiffly, getting up and
moving towards the office door. It was their first ap-
proach to a quarrel.
But Anne flew after him and dragged him back.
"Now, Gilbert, you are not 'going off mad.' Sit
down here and I'll apologise bee-ym-ti- fully. I
shouldn't have said that. But oh, if you knew "
Anne checked herself just in time. She had been
on the very verge of betraying Leslie's secret.
"Knew what a woman feels about it," she concluded
"I think I do know. I've looked at the matter from
every point of view and I've been driven to the con-
clusion that it is my duty to tell Leslie that I believe
GILBERT AND ANNE DISAGREE 255
it is possible that Dick can be restored to himself;
there my responsibility ends. It will be for her to
decide what she will do."
"I don't think you've any right to put such a re-
sponsibility on her. She has enough to bear. She
is poor how could she afford such an operation?"
"That is for her to decide," persisted Gilbert stub-
"You say you think that Dick can be cured. But
are you sure of it?"
"Certainly not. Nobody could be sure of such a
thing. There may have been lesions of the brain
itself, the effect of which can never be removed. But
if, as I believe, his loss of memory and other faculties
is due merely to the pressure on the brain centres of
certain depressed areas of bone, then he can be cured."
"But it's only a possibility !" insisted Anne. "Now,
suppose you tell Leslie and she decides to have the
operation. It will cost a great deal. She will have to
borrow the money, or sell her little property. And
suppose the operation is a failure and Dick remains
the same. How will she be able to pay back the
money she borrows, or make a living for herself and
that big helpless creature if she sells the farm?"
"Oh, I know I know. But it is my duty to tell
her. I can't get away from that conviction."
"Oh, I know the Blythe stubbornness," groaned
Anne. "But don't do this solely on your own responsi-
bility. Consult Doctor Dave."
256 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
"I have done so," said Gilbert reluctantly.
"And what did he say?"
"In brief as ^ou say leave well enough alone,
Apart from his prejudice against new-fangled surgery,
I'm afraid he looks at the case from your point of
view don't do it, for Leslie's sake."
"There now," cried Anne triumphantly. "I do think,
Gilbert, that you ought to abide by the judgment of a
man nearly eighty, who has seen a great deal and saved
scores of lives himself surely his opinion ought to
weigh more than a mere boy's."
"Don't laugh. It's too serious."
"That's just my point. It is serious. Here is a man
who is a helpless burden. He may be restored to
reason and usefulness "
"He was so very useful before," interjected Anne
"He may be given a chance to make good and re-
deem the past. His wife doesn't know this. I do.
It is therefore my duty to tell her that there is such
a possibility. That, boiled down, is my decision."
"Don't say 'decision' yet, Gilbert. Consult somebody
else. Ask Captain Jim what he thinks about it."
"Very well. But I'll not promise to abide by his
opinion, Anne. This is something a man must decide
for himself. My conscience would never be easy if I
kpt silent on the subject."
"Oh, your conscience!" moaned Anne. "I suppose
GILBERT AND ANNE DISAGREE 257
that Uncle Dave has a conscience too, hasn't he?"
"Yes. But I am not the keeper of his conscience.
Come, Anne, if this affair did not concern Leslie if
it were a purely abstract case, you would agree with
me, you know you would."
"I wouldn't," vowed Anne, trying to believe it her-
self. "Oh, you can argue all night, Gilbert, but you
won't convince me. Just you ask Miss Cornelia what
she thinks of it."
"You're driven to the last ditch, Anne, when you
bring up Miss Cornelia as a reinforcement. She will
say, 'J ust like a man,' and rage furiously. No matter.
This is no affair for Miss Cornelia to settle. Leslie
alone must decide it."
"You know very well how she will decide it," said
Anne, almost in tears. "She has ideals of duty, too.
I don't see how you can take such a responsibility on
your shoulders. / couldn't."
" 'Because right is right to follow right
Were wisdom in the scorn of consequence/ "
"Oh, you think a couplet of poetry a convincing
argument !" scoffed Anne. "That is so like a man."
And then she laughed in spite of herself. It sounded
so like an echo of Miss Cornelia.
"Well, if you won't accept Tennyson as an authority,
perhaps you will believe the words of a Greater than
he," said Gilbert seriously. " 'Ye shall know the truth
and the truth shall make you free.' I believe that,
258 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
Anne, with all my heart. It's the greatest and grandest
verse in the Bible or in any literature and the
truest, if there are comparative degrees of trueness.
And it's the first duty of a man to tell the truth, as he
sees it and believes it."
"In this case the truth won't make poor Leslie
free," sighed Anne. "It will probably end in still more
bitter bondage for her. Oh, Gilbert, I can't think you
A SUDDEN outbreak of a virulent type of
influenza at the Glen and down at the fishing
village kept Gilbert so busy for the next fortnight
that he had no time to pay the promised visit to
Captain Jim. Anne hoped against hope that he had
abandoned the idea about Dick Moore, and, resolving
to let sleeping dogs lie, she said no more about the
subject. But she thought of it incessantly.
"I wonder if it would be right for me to tell him
that Leslie cares for Owen," she thought. "He would
never let her suspect that he knew, so her pride would
not suffer, and it might convince him that he should
let Dick Moore alone. Shall I shall I? No, after
all, I cannot. A promise is sacred, and I've no right
to betray Leslie's secret. But oh, I never felt so
worried over anything in my life as I do over this.
It's spoiling the spring it's spoiling everything."
One evening Gilbert abruptly proposed that they go
down and see Captain Jim. With a sinking heart
Anne agreed, and they set forth. Two weeks of kind
sunshine had wrought a miracle in the bleak landscape
260 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
over which Gilbert's crow had flown. The hills and
fields were dry and brown and warm, ready to break
into bud and blossom ; the harbour was laughter-shaken
again; the long harbour road was like a gleaming red
ribbon ; down on the dunes a crowd of boys, who were
out smelt fishing, were burning the thick, dry sand-
hill grass of the preceding summer. The flames swept
over the dunes rosily, flinging their cardinal banners
against the dark gulf beyond, and illuminating the
channel and the fishing village. It was a picturesque
scene which would at other times have delighted
Anne's eyes; but she was not enjoying this walk.
Neither was Gilbert. Their usual good-comradeship
and Josephian community of taste and view-point
were sadly lacking. Anne's disapproval of the whole
project showed itself in the haughty uplift of her
head and the studied politeness of her remarks.
Gilbert's mouth was set in all the Blythe obstinacy,
but his eyes were troubled. He meant to do what he
believed to be his duty; but to be at outs with Anne
was a high price to pay. Altogether, both were glad
when they reached the light and remorseful that they
should be glad.
Captain Jim put away the fishing net upon which
he was working, and welcomed them joyfully. In the
searching light of the spring evening he looked older
than Anne had ever seen him. His hair had grown
much grayer, and the strong old hand shook a little.
But his blue eyes were clear and steady, and the staunch
LESLIE DECIDES 261
soul looked out through them gallant and unafraid.
Captain Jim listened in amazed silence while Gilbert
said what he had come to say. Anne, who knew how
the old man worshipped Leslie, felt quite sure that he
would side with her, although she had not much hope
that this would influence Gilbert. She was therefore
surprised beyond measure when Captain Jim, slowly
and sorrowfully, but unhesitatingly, gave it as his
opinion that Leslie should be told.
"Oh, Captain Jim, I didn't think you'd say that,"
she exclaimed reproachfully. "I thought you wouldn't
want to make more trouble for her."
Captain Jim shook his head.
"I don't want to. I know how you feel about it,
Mistress Blythe just as I feel meself. But it ain't
our feelings we have to steer by through life no, no,
we'd make shipwreck mighty often if we did that.
There's only the one saf compass and we've got to
set our course by that what it's right to do. I agree
with the doctor. If there's a chance for Dick, Leslie
should be told of it. There's no two sides to that, in
"Well," said Anne, giving up in despair, "wait
until Miss Cornelia gets after you two men."
"Cornelia'll rake us fore and aft, no doubt," as-
sented Captain Jim. "You women are lovely critters,
Mistress Blythe, but you're just a mite illogical. You're
a highly eddicated lady and Cornelia isn't, but you're
like as two peas when it comes to that. I dunno's
262 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
you're any the worse for it. Logic is a sort of hard,
merciless thing, I reckon. Now, I'll brew a cup of
tea and we'll drink it and talk of pleasant things, jest
to calm our minds a bit."
At least, Captain Jim's tea and conversation calmed
Anne's mind to such an extent that she did not make
Gilbert suffer so acutely on the way home as she had
deliberately intended to do. She did not refer to the
burning question at all, but she chatted amiably of
other matters, and Gilbert understood that he was
forgiven under protest.
"Captain Jim seems very frail and bent this spring.
The winter has aged him," said Anne sadly. "I am
afraid that he will soon be going to seek lost Margaret.
I can't bear to think of it."
"Four Winds won't be the same place when Captain
Jim 'sets out to sea,' " agreed Gilbert.
The following evening he went to the house up the
brook. Anne wandered dismally around until his
"Well, what did Leslie say?" she demanded when
he came in.
"Very little. I think she felt rather dazed."
"And is she going to have the operation ?"
"She is going to think it over and decide very soon."
Gilbert flung himself wearily into the easy chair
before the fire. He looked tired. It had not been an
easy thing for him to tell Leslie. And the terror that
had sprung into her eyes when the meaning of what
LESLIE DECIDES 263
he told her came home to her was not a pleasant thing
to remember. Now, when the die was cast, he was
beset with doubts of his own wisdom.
Anne looked at him remorsefully; then she slipped
down on the rug beside him and laid her glossy red
head on his arm.
"Gilbert, I've been rather hateful over this. I won't
be any more. Please just call me red-headed and
By which Gilbert understood that, no matter what
came of it, there would be no I-told-you-so's. But he
was not wholly comforted. Duty in the abstract is one
thing; duty in the concrete is quite another, especially
when the doer is confronted by a woman's stricken
Some instinct made Anne keep away from Leslie
for the next three days. On the third evening Leslie
came down to the little house and told Gilbert that she
had made up her mind; she would take Dick to
Montreal and have the operation.
She was very pale and seemed to have wrapped
herself in her old mantle of aloofness. But her eyes
had lost the look which had haunted Gilbert; they
were cold and bright; and she proceeded to discuss
details with him in a crisp, business-like way. There
were plans to be made and many things to be thought
over. When Leslie had got the information she
wanted she went home. Anne wanted to walk part of
the way with her.
264 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
"Better not," said Leslie curtly. "To-day's rain has
made the ground damp. Good-night"
"Have I lost my friend?" said Anne with a sigh.
"If the operation is successful and Dick Moore finds
himself again Leslie will retreat into some remote
fastness of her soul where none of us can ever find
"Perhaps she will leave him," said Gilbert.
"Leslie would never do that, Gilbert. Her sense
of duty is very strong. She told me once that her
Grandmother West always impressed upon her the
fact that when she assumed any responsibility she
must never shirk it, no matter what the consequences
might be. That is one of her cardinal rules. I
suppose it's very old-fashioned."
"Don't be bitter, Anne-girl. You know you don't
think it old-fashioned you know you have the very
same idea of the sacredness of assumed responsibili-
ties yourself. And you are right. Shirking respon-
sibilities is the curse of our modern life the secret
of all the unrest and discontent that is seething in
"Thus saith the preacher," mocked Anne. But
under the mockery she felt that he was right ; and she
was very sick at heart for Leslie.
A week later Miss Cornelia descended like an
avalanche upon the little house. Gilbert was away
and Anne was compelled to bear the shock of the
LESLIE DECIDES 265
Miss Cornelia hardly waited to get her hat off be-
fore she began.
"Anne, do you mean to tell me it's true what I've
heard that Dr. Blythe has told Leslie Dick can be
cured, and that she is going to take him to Montreal
to have him operated on?"
'"Yes, it is quite true, Miss Cornelia," said Anne
"Well, it's inhuman cruelty, that's what it is," said
Miss Cornelia, violently agitated. "I did think Dr.
Blythe was a decent man. I didn't think he could
have been guilty of this."
"Dr. Blythe thought it was his duty to tell Leslie
that there was a chance for Dick," said Anne with
spirit, "and," she added, loyalty to Gilbert getting the
better of her, "I agree with him."
"Oh, no, you don't, dearie," said Miss Cornelia.
"No person with any bowels of compassion could."
"Captain Jim does."
"Don't quote that old ninny to me," cried Miss
Cornelia. "And I don't care who agrees with him.
Think think what it means to that poor hunted, har-
"We do think of it. But Gilbert believes that a
doctor should put the welfare of a patient's mind and
body before all other considerations."
"That's just like a man. But I expected better
things of you, Anne," said Miss Cornelia, more in
sorrow than in wrath ; then she proceeded to bombard
266 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
Anne with precisely the same arguments with which
the latter had attacked Gilbert; and Anne valiantly
defended her husband with the weapons he had used
for his own protection. Long was the fray, but Miss
Cornelia made an end at last.
"It's an iniquitous shame," she declared, almost
in tears. "That's just what it is an iniquitous shame.
Poor, poor Leslie !"
"Don't you think Dick should be considered a little,
too?" pleaded Anne.
"Dick! Dick Moore! He's happy enough. He's
a better-behaved and more reputable member of society
now than he ever was before. Why, he was a drunk-
ard and perhaps worse. Are you going to set him
loose again to roar and to devour?"
"He may reform," said poor Anne, beset by foe
without and traitor within.
"Reform your grandmother!" retorted Miss
Cornelia. "Dick Moore got the injuries that left him
as he is in a drunken brawl. He deserves his fate. It
was sent on him for a punishment. I don't believe the
doctor has any business to tamper with the visitations
"Nobody knows how Dick was hurt, Miss Cornelia.
It may not have been in a drunken brawl at all. He
may have been waylaid and robbed."
"Pigs may whistle, but they've poor mouths for it,"
said Miss Cornelia. "Well, the gist of what you tell
me is that the thing is settled and there's no use in
LESLIE DECIDES 267
talking. If that's so I'll hold my tongue. I don't pro-
pose to wear my teeth out gnawing files. When a
thing has to be I give in to it. But I like to make
mighty sure first that it has to be. Now, I'll devote
my energies to comforting and sustaining Leslie. And
after all," added Miss Cornelia, orightening up hope-
fully, "perhaps nothing can be done for Dick."
THE TRUTH MAKES FREE
LESLIE, having once made up her mind what to
do, proceeded to do it with characteristic resolu-
tion and speed. House-cleaning must be finished with
first, whatever issues of life and death might await
beyond. The gray house up the brook was put into
flawless order and cleanliness, with Miss Cornelia's
ready assistance. Miss Cornelia, having said her say
to Anne, and later on to Gilbert and Captain Jim
sparing neither of them, let it be assured never spoke
of the matter to Leslie. She accepted the fact of Dick's
operation, referred to it when necessary in a business-
like way, and ignored it when it was not. Leslie never
attempted to discuss it. She was very cold and quiet
during these beautiful spring days. She seldom visited
Anne, and though she was invariably courteous and
friendly, that very courtesy was as an icy barrier be-
tween her and the people of the little house. The
old jokes and laughter and chumminess of common
things could not reach her over it. Anne refused to
feel hurt. She knew that Leslie was in the grip of
THE TRUTH MAKES FREE 269
a hideous dread a dread that wrapped her away from
all little glimpses of happiness and hours of pleasure.
When one great passion seizes possession of the soul
all other feelings are crowded aside. Never in .all
her life had Leslie Moore shuddered away from the
future with more intolerable terror. But she went
forward as unswervingly in the path she had elected
as the martyrs of old walked their chosen way, know-
ing the end of it to be the fiery agony of the stake.
The financial question was settled with greater ease
than Anne had feared. Leslie borrowed the necessary
money from Captain Jim, and, at her insistence, he
took a mortgage on the little farm.
"So that is one thing off the poor girl's mind," Miss
Cornelia told Anne, "and off mine too. Now, if Dick
gets well enough to work again he'll be able to earn
enough to pay the interest on it; and if he doesn't I
know Captain Jim'll manage someway that Leslie
won't have to. He said as much to me. Tm getting old,
Cornelia,' he said, 'and I've no chick or child of my
own. Leslie won't take a gift from a living man,
but mebbe she will from a dead one.' So it will be
all right as far as that goes. I wish everything else
might be settled as satisfactorily. As for that wretch
of a Dick, he's been awful these last few days. The
devil was in him, believe me! Leslie and I
couldn't get on with our work for the tricks he'd
play. He chased all her ducks one day around the
yard till most of them died. And not one thing would
270 ANNE'.S HOUSE OF DREAMS
he do for us. Sometimes, you know, he'll make him-
self quite handy, bringing in pails of water and wood.
But this week if we sent him to the well he'd try to
climb down into it. I thought once, 'If you'd only
shoot down there head-first everything would be nicely
"Oh, Miss Cornelia!"
"Now, you needn't Miss Cornelia me, Anne, dearie.
'Anybody would have thought the same. If the Mont-
real doctors can make a rational creature out of Dick
Moore they're wonders."
Leslie took Dick to Montreal early in May. Gilbert
went with her, to help her, and make the necessary
arrangements for her. He came home with the report
that the Montreal surgeon whom they had consulted
agreed with him that there was a good chance of
"Very comforting," was Miss Cornelia's sarcastic
Anne only sighed. Leslie had been very distant at
their parting. But she had promised to write. Ten
days after Gilbert's return the letter came. Leslie
wrote that the operation had been success fullly per-
formed and that Dick was making a good recovery.
"What does she mean by 'successfully?' " asked
Anne. "Does she mean that Dick's memory is really
"Not likely since she says nothing of it," said
Gilbert. "She uses the word 'successfully' from the
THE TRUTH-MAKES FREE 271
surgeon's point of view. The operation has been
performed and followed by normal results. But it
is too soon to know whether Dick's faculties will be
eventually restored, wholly or in part. His memory
would not be likely to return to him all at once. The
process will be gradual, if it occurs at all. Is that
all she says?"
"Yes there's her letter. It's very short. Poor
girl, she must be under a terrible strain. Gilbert
Blythe, there are heaps of things I long to say to you,
only it would be mean."
"Miss Cornelia says them for you," said Gilbert
with a rueful smile. "She combs me down every time
I encounter her. She makes it plain to me that she
regards me as little better than a murderer, and that
she thinks it a great pity that Dr. Dave ever let me
step into his shoes. She even told me that the Method-
ist doctor over the harbour was to be preferred before
me. With Miss Cornelia the force of condemnation
can no further go."
"If Cornelia Bryant was sick, it would not be
Doctor Dave or the Methodist doctor she would send
for," sniffed Susan. "She would have you out of
your hard-earned bed in the middle of the night,
doctor,dear, if she took a spell of misery, that she
would. And then she would likely say your bill was
past all reason. But do not you mind her, doctor,
dear. It takes all kinds of people to make a world."
No further word came from Leslie for some time.
272 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
The May days crept away in a sweet succession and
the shores of Four Winds Harbour greened and
bloomed and purpled. One day in late May Gilbert
came home to be met by Susan in the stable yard.
"I am afraid something has upset Mrs. Doctor,
doctor, dear," she said mysteriously. "She got a
letter this afternoon and since then she has just been
walking round the garden and talking to herself.
You know it is not good for her to be on her feet so
much, doctor, dear. She did not see fit to tell me
what her news was, and I am no pry, doctor, dear,
and never was, but it is plain something has upset
her. And it is not good for her to be upset."
Gilbert hurried rather anxiously to the garden.
Had anything happened at Green Gables ? But Anne,
sitting on the rustic seat by the brook, did not look
troubled, though she was certainly much excited. Her
eyes were their grayest, and scarlet spots burned on
"What has happened, Anne?"
Anne gave a queer little laugh.
"I think you'll hardly believe it when I tell you,
Gilbert 7 can't believe it yet. As Susan said the
other day, 'I feel like a fly coming to life in the sun
dazed-like.' It's all so incredible. I've read the
letter a score of times and every time it's just the
same I can't believe my own eyes. Oh, Gilbert, you
were right so right. I can see that clearly enough
THE TRUTH MAKES FREE 273
now and I'm so ashamed of myself and will you
ever really forgive me?"
"Anne, I'll shake you if you don't grow coherent.
Redmond would be ashamed of you. What has
"You won't believe it you won't believe it "
"I'm going in to 'phone for Uncle Dave," said
Gilbert, pretending to start for the house.
"Sit down, Gilbert. I'll try to tell you. I've had
a letter, and oh, Gilbert, it's all so amazing so in-
credibly amazing we never thought not one of us
ever dreamed "
"I suppose," said Gilbert, sitting down with a re-
signed air, "the only thing to do in a case of this
kind is to have patience and go at the matter cate-
gorically. Whom is your letter from?"
"Leslie and, oh, Gilbert"
"Leslie! Whew! What has she to say? What's
the news about Dick?"
Anne lifted the letter and held it out, calmly
dramatic in a moment.
"There is no Dick! The man we have thought
Dick Moore whom everybody in Four Winds has
believed for twelve years to be Dick Moore is his
cousin, George Moore, of Nova Scotia, who, it seems,
always resembled him very strikingly. Dick Moore
died of yellow fever thirteen years ago in Cuba."
Miss CORNELIA DISCUSSES THE AFFAIR
AND do you mean to tell me, Anne, dearie, that
Dick Moore has turned out not to be Dick
Moore at all but somebody else? Is that what you
'phoned up to me today?"
"Yes, Miss Cornelia. It is very amazing, isn't it?"
"It's it's just like a man," said Miss Cornelia
helplessly. She took off her hat with trembling fingers.
For once in her life Miss Cornelia was undeniably
"I can't seem to sense it, Anne," she said. "I've
heard you say it and I believe you but I can't take
it in. Dick Moore is dead has been dead all these
years and Leslie is free?"
"Yes. The truth has made her free. Gilbert was
right when he said that verse was the grandest in the
"Tell me everything, Anne, dearie. Since I got
your 'phone I've been in a regular muddle, believe me.
Cornelia Bryant was never so kerflummuxed before."
"There isn't a very great deal to tell. Leslie's
MISS CORNELIA DISCUSSES 275
letter was short. She didn't go into particulars. This
man George Moore has recovered his memory and
knows who he is. He says Dick took yellow fever
in Cuba, and the Four Sisters had to sail without him.
George stayed behind to nurse him. But he died very
shortly afterwards. George did not write Leslie be-
cause he intended to come right home and tell her
"And why didn't he?"
"I suppose his accident must have intervened.
Gilbert says it is quite likely that George Moore re-
members nothing of his accident, or what led to it,
and may never remember it. It probably happened
very soon after Dick's death. We may find out more
particulars when Leslie writes again."
"Does she say what she is going to do? When is
she coming home ?"
"She says she will stay with George Moore until
he can leave the hospital. She has written to his
people in Nova Scotia. It seems that George's only
near relative is a married sister much older than him-
self. She was living when George sailed on the Four
Sisters, but of course we do not know what may have
happened since. Did you ever see George Moore,
"I did. It is all coming back to me. He was here
visiting his Uncle Abner eighteen years ago, when he
and Dick would be about seventeen. They were
double cousins, you see. Their fathers were brothers
276 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
and their mothers were twin sisters, and they did
look a terrible lot alike. Of course," added Miss
Cornelia scornfully, "it wasn't one of those freak
resemblances you read of in novels where two people
are so much alike that they can fill each other's places
and their nearest and dearest can't tell between them.
In those days you could tell easy enough which was
George and which was Dick, if you saw them together
and near at hand. Apart, or some distance away, it
wasn't so easy. They played lots of tricks on people
and thought it great fun, the two scamps. George
Moore was a little taller and a good deal fatter than
Dick though neither of them was what you would
call fat they were both of the lean kind. Dick had
higher color than George, and his hair was a shade
lighter. But their features were just alike, and they
both had that queer freak of eyes one blue and one
hazel. They weren't much alike in any other way,
though. George was a real nice fellow, though he
was a scalawag for mischief, and some said he had a
liking for a glass even then. But everybody liked
him better than Dick. He spent about a month here.
Leslie never saw him; she was only about eight or
nine then and I remember now that she spent that
whole winter over harbour with her grandmother West.
Captain Jim was away, too that was the winter he
was wrecked on the Magdalens. I don't suppose
either he or Leslie had ever heard about the Nova
Scotia cousin looking so much like Dick. Nobody
MISS CORNELIA DISCUSSES 277
ever thought of him when Captain Jim brought Dick
George, I should say home. Of course, we all
thought Dick had changed considerable he'd got so
lumpish and fat. But we put that down to what had
happened to him, and no doubt that was the reason,
for, as I've said, George wasn't fat to begin with
either. And there was no other way we could have
guessed, for the man's senses were clean gone. I
can't see that it is any wonder we were all deceived.
But it's a staggering thing. And Leslie has sacrificed
the best years of her life to nursing a man who hadn't
any claim on her! Oh, drat the men! No matter
what they do, it's the wrong thing. And no matter
who they are, it's somebody they shouldn't be. They
do exasperate me."
"Gilbert and Captain Jim are men, and it is through
them that the truth has been discovered at last," said
"Well, I admit that," conceded Miss Cornelia re-
luctantly. "I'm sorry I raked the doctor off so. It's
the first time in my life I've ever felt ashamed of any-
thing I said to a man. I don't know as I shall tell
him so, though. He'll just have to take it for granted.
Well, Anne, dearie, it's a mercy the Lord doesn't
answer all our prayers. I've been praying hard right
along that the operation wouldn't cure Dick. Of
course I didn't put it just quite so plain. But that
was what was in the back of my mind, and I have no
doubt the Lord knew it."
278 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
"Well, He has answered the spirit of your prayer.
You really wished that things shouldn't be made any
harder for Leslie. I'm afraid that in my secret heart
I've been hoping the operation wouldn't succeed, and
I am wholesomely ashamed of it."
"How does Leslie seem to take it?"
"She writes like one dazed. I think that, like our-
selves, she hardly realises it yet. She says, 'It all
seems like a strange dream to me, Anne.' That is the
only reference she makes to herself."
"Poor child ! I suppose when the chains are struck
off a prisoner he'd feel queer and lost without them
for a while. Anne, dearie, there's a thought keeps
coming into my mind. What about Owen Ford? We
both know Leslie was fond of him. Did it ever occur
to you that he was fond of her?"
"It did once," admitted Anne, feeling that she
might say so much.
"Well, I hadn't any reason to think he was, but it
just appeared to me he must he. Now, Anne, dearie,
the Lord knows I'm not a match-maker, and I scorn
all such doings. But if I were you and writing to that
Ford man I'd just mention, casual-like, what has
happened. That is what /'d do."
"Of course I will mention it when I write him,"
said Anne, a trifle distantly. Somehow, this was a
thing she could not discuss with Miss Cornelia. And
yet, she had to admit that the same thought had been
lurking in her mind ever since she had heard of
MISS CORNELIA DISCUSSES 279
Leslie's freedom. But she would not desecrate it by
"Of course there is no great rush, dearie. But
Dick Moore's been dead for thirteen years and Leslie
has wasted enough of her life for him. We'll just see
what comes of it. As for this George Moore, who's
gone and come back to life when everyone thought he
was dead and done for, just like a man, I'm real
sorry for him. He won't seem to fit in anywhere."
"He is still a young man, and if he recovers com-
pletely, as seems likely, he will be able to make a place
for himself again. It must be very strange for him,
poor fellow. I suppose all these years since his ac-
cident will not exist for him."
A FORTNIGHT later Leslie Moore came home
alone to the old house where she had spent so
many bitter years. In the June twilight she went over
the fields to Anne's, and appeared with ghost-like
suddenness in the scented garden.
"Leslie!" cried Anne in amazement. "Where have
you sprung from ? We never knew you were coming.
Why didn't you write ? We would have met you."
"I couldn't write somehow, Anne. It seemed so
futile to try to say anything with pen and ink. And
I wanted to get back quietly and unobserved."
Anne put her arms about Leslie and kissed her.
Leslie returned the kiss warmly. She looked pale and
tired, and she gave a little sigh as she dropped down
on the grasses beside a great bed of daffodils that
were gleaming through the pale, silvery twilight like
"And you have come home alone, Leslie?"
"Yes. George Moore's sister came to Montreal
and took him home with her. Poor fellow, he was
sorry to part with me though I was a stranger to
LESLIE RETURNS 281
him when his memory first came back. He clung to
me in those first hard days when he was trying to
realise that Dick's death was not the thing of yester-
day that it seemed to him. It was all very hard for
him. I helped him all I could. When his sister came
it was easier for him, because it seemed to him only
the other day that he had seen her last. Fortunately
she had not changed much, and that helped him, too."
"It is all so strange and wonderful, Leslie. I think
we none of us realise it yet."
"I cannot. When I went into the house over there
an hour ago, I felt that it must be a dream that Dick
must be there, with his childish smile, as he had been
for so long. Anne, I seem stunned yet. I'm not
glad or sorry or anything. I feel as if something
had been torn suddenly out of my life and left a ter-
rible hole. I feel as if I couldn't be / as if I must
have changed into somebody else and couldn't get
used to it. It gives me a horrible lonely, dazed, help-
less feeling. It's good to see you again it seems as
if you were, a sort of anchor for my drifting soul.
Oh Anne, I dread it all the gossip and wonderment
and questioning. When I think of that, I wish that
I need not have come home at all. Dr. Dave was
at the station when I came off the train he brought
me home. Poor old man, he feels very badly because
he told me years ago that nothing could be done for
Dick. 'I honestly thought so, Leslie,' he said to me
today. 'But I should have told you not to depend
282 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
on my opinion I should have told you to go to a
specialist. If I had, you would have been saved many
bitter years, and poor George Moore many wasted
ones. I blame myself very much, Leslie.' I told him
not to do that he had done what he thought right.
He has always been so kind to me I couldn't bear to
see him worrying over it."
"And Dick George, I mean ? Is his memory fully
"Practically. Of course, there are a great manj
details he can't recall yet but he remembers more
and more every day. He went out for a walk on the
evening after Dick was buried. He had Dick's
money and watch on him; he meant to bring them
home to me, along with my letter. He admits he went
to a place where the sailors resorted and he re-
members drinking and nothing else. Anne, I shall
never forget the moment he remembered his own
name. I saw him looking at me with an intelligent
but puzzled expression. I said, 'Do you know me,
Dick?' He answered, 'I never saw you before. Who
are you? And my name is not Dick. I am George
Moore, and Dick died of yellow fever yesterday!
Where am I? What has happened to me?' I I
fainted, Anne. And ever since I have felt as if I
were in a dream."
"You will soon adjust yourself to this new state
of things, Leslie. And you are young life is before
you you will have many beautiful years yet."
LESLIE RETURNS 283
"Perhaps I shall be able to look at it in that way
after awhile, Anne. Just now I feel too tired and in-
different to think about the future. I'm I'm Anne,
I'm lonely. I miss Dick. Isn't it all very strange ? Do
you know, I was really fond of poor Dick George,
I suppose I should say just as I would have been
fond of a helpless child who depended on me for
everything. I would never have admitted it I was
really ashamed of it because, you see, I had hated
and despised Dick so much before he went away.
When I heard that Captain Jim was bringing him
home I expected I would just feel the same to him.
But I never did although I continued to loathe him
as I remembered him before. From the time he came
home I felt only pity- a pity that hurt and wrung
me. I supposed then that it was just because his ac-
cident had made him so helpless and changed. But
now I believe it was because there was really a dif-
ferent personality there. Carlo knew it, Anne I
know now that Carlo knew it. I always thought it
strange that Carlo shouldn't have known Dick. Dogs
are usually so faithful. But he knew it was not his
master who had come back, although none of the rest
of us did. I had never seen George Moore, you know.
I remember now that Dick once mentioned casually
that he had a cousin in Nova Scotia who looked as
much like him as a twin; but the thing had gone out
of my memory, and in any case I would never have
thought it of iny importance. You see, it never oc-
284 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
curred to me to question Dick's identity. Any change
in him seemed to me just the result of the accident.
"Oh, Anne, that night in April when Gilbert told
me he thought Dick might be cured ! I can never for-
get it. It seemed to me that I had once been a prisoner
in a hideous cage of torture, and then the door had
been opened and I could get out. I was still chained
to the cage but I was not in it. And that night I felt
that a merciless hand was drawing me back into the
cage back to a torture even more terrible than it had
once been. I didn't blame Gilbert. I felt he was right.
And he had been very good he said that if, in view
of the expense and uncertainty of the operation, I
should decide not to risk it, he would not blame me in
the least. But I knew how I ought to decide and I
couldn't face it. All night I walked the floor like a
mad woman, trying to compel myself to face it. I
couldn't, Anne I thought I couldn't and when morn-
ing broke I set my teeth and resolved that I wouldn't.
I would let things remain as they were. It was very
wicked, I know. It would have been a just punish-
ment for such wickedness if I had just been left to
abide by that decision. I kept to it all day. That
afternoon I had to go up to the Glen to do some
shopping. It was one of Dick's quiet, drowsy days,
so I left him alone. I was gone a little longer than
I had expected, and he missed me. He felt lonely.
And when I got home, he ran to meet me just like
LESLIE RETURNS 285
h child, with such a pleased smile on his face. Some-
how, Anne, I just gave way then. That smile on his
poor vacant face was more than I could endure. I
felt as if I were denying a child the chance to grow
and develop. I knew that I must give him his chance,
no matter what the consequences might be. So I
came over and told Gilbert. Oh, Anne, you must
have thought me hateful in those weeks before I went
away. I didn't mean to be but I couldn't think of
anything except what I had to do, and everything and
everybody about me were like shadows. '
"I know I understood, Leslie. And now it is all
over your chain is broken there is no cage."
"There is no cage," repeated Leslie absently, pluck-
ing at the fringing grasses with her slender, brown
hands. "But it doesn't seem as if there were any-
thing else, Anne. You you remember what I told
you of my folly that night on the sand-bar? I find
one doesn't get over being a fool very quickly. Some-
times I think there are people who are fools forever.
And to be a fool of that kind is almost as bad as
being a a dog on a chain."
"You will feel very differently after you get over
being tired and bewildered," said Anne, who, knowing
a certain thing that Leslie did not know, did not feel
herself called upon to waste overmuch sympathy.
Leslie laid her splendid golden head against Anne's
286 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
"Anyhow, I have you," she said. "Life can't be al-
together empty with such a friend. Anne, pat my
head just as if I were a little girl mother me a bit
and let me tell you while my stubborn tongue is
loosed a little just what you and your comradeship
have meant to me since that night I met you on the
THE SHIP O' DREAMS COMES TO HARBOUR
ONE morning, when a windy golden sunrise was
billowing over the gulf in waves of light, a
certain weary stork flew over the bar of Four Winds
Harbour on his way from the Land of Evening Stars.
Under, his wing was tucked a sleepy, starry-eyed, little
creature. The stork was tired, and he looked wist-
fully about him. He knew he was somewhere near his
destination, but he could not yet see it. The big,
white light-house on the red sandstone cliff had its
good points; but no stork possessed of any gumption
would leave a new, velvet baby there. An old gray
house, surrounded by willows, in a blossomy brook
valley, looked more promising, but did not seem quite
the thing either. The staring green abode further
on was manifestly out of the question. Then the
stork brightened up. He had caught sight of the
very place a little white house nestled against a big,
whispering fir-wood, with a spiral of blue smoke
winding up from its kitchen chimney a house which
just looked as if it were meant for babies. The stork
288 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
gave a sigh of satisfaction, and softly alighted on the
Half an hour later Gilbert ran down the hall and
tapped on the spare-room door. A drowsy voice
answered him and in a moment Manila's pale, scared
face peeped out from behind the door.
"Marilla, Anne has sent me to tell you that a cer-
tain young gentleman has arrived here. He hasn't
brought much luggage with him, but he evidently
means to stay."
"For pity's sake !" said Marilla blankly. "You don't
mean to tell me, Gilbert, that it's all over. Why
wasn't I called?"
"Anne wouldn't let us disturb you when there was
no need. Nobody was called until about two hours
ago. There was no 'passage perilous' this time."
"And and Gilbert will this baby live?"
"He certainly will. He weighs ten pounds and
why, listen to him. Nothing wrong with his lungs,
is there? The nurse says his hair will be red. Anne
is furious with her, and I'm tickled to death."
That was a wonderful day in the little house of
"The best dream of all has come true," said Anne,
pale and rapturous. "Oh, Marilla, I hardly dare be-
lieve it, after that horrible day last summer. I have
had a heartache ever since then but it is gone now."
"This baby will take Joy's place," said Marilla.
"Oh, no, no, no, Marilla. He can't nothing can
THE SHIP O' DREAMS 289
ever do that. He has his own place, my dear, wee
man-child. But little Joy has hers, and always will
have it. If she had lived she would have been over
a year old. She would have been toddling around on
her tiny feet and lisping a few words. I can see her
so plainly, Marilla. Oh, I know now that Captain
Jim was right when he said Ged would manage better
than that my baby would seem a stranger to me when
I found her Beyond. I've learned that this past year.
I've followed her development day by day and week
by week I always shall. I shall know just how she
grows from year to year and when I meet her again
I'll know her she won't be a stranger. Oh, Marilla,
look at his dear, darling toes! Isn't it strange they
should be so perfect?"
"It would be stranger if they weren't," said Marilla
crisply. Now that all was safely over, Marilla was
"Oh, I know but it seems as if they couldn't be
quite finished, you know and they are, even to the
tiny nails. And his hands just look at his hands,
"They appear to be a good deal like hands," Marilla
"See how he clings to my finger. I'm sure he knows
me already. He cries when the nurse takes him away.
Oh, Marilla, do you think you don't think, do you
that his hair is going to be red?"
"I don't see much hair of any colour," said Marilla.
290 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
"I wouldn't worry about it, if I were you, until it
"Marilla, he has hair look at that fine little down
all over his head. Anyway, nurse says his eyes will be
hazel and his forehead is exactly like Gilbert's."
"And he has the nicest little ears, Mrs. Doctor,
dear," said Susan. "The first thing I did was to look
at his ears. Hair is deceitful and noses and eyes
change, and you cannot tell what is going to come of
them, but ears is ears from start to finish, and you
always know where you are with them. Just look at
their shape and they are set right back against his
precious head. You will never need to be ashamed
of his ears, Mrs. Doctor, dear."
Anne's convalescence was rapid and happy. Folks
came and worshipped the baby, as people have bowed
before the kingship of the new-born since long before
the Wise Men of the East knelt in homage to the
Royal Babe of the Bethlehem manger. Leslie, slowly
finding herself amid the new conditions of her life,
hovered over it, like a beautiful, golden-crowned
Madonna. Miss Cornelia nursed it as knackily as
could any mother in Israel. Captain Jim held the
small creature in his big brown hands and gazed ten-
derly at it, with eyes that saw the children who had
never been born to him.
"What are you going to call him?" asked Miss
"Anne has settled his name," answered Gilbert
THE SHIP O' DREAMS 291
"James Matthew after the two finest gentlemen
I've ever known not even saving your presence,"
said Anne with a saucy glance at Gilbert.
"I never knew Matthew very well; he was so shy
we boys couldn't get acquainted with him but I
quite agree with you that Captain Jim is one of the
rarest and finest souls God ever clothed in clay. He is
so delighted over the fact that we have given his name
to our small lad. It seems he has no other namesake."
"Well, James Matthew is a name that will wear
well and not fade in the washing," said Miss Cornelia.
"I'm glad you didn't load him down with some high-
falutin, romantic name that he'd be ashamed of when
he gets to be a grandfather. Mrs. William Drew at
the Glen has called her baby Bertie Shakespeare.
Quite a combination, isn't it? And I'm glad you
haven't had much trouble picking on a name. Some
folks have an awful time. When the Stanley Flaggs'
first boy was born there was so much rivalry as to
who the child should be named for that the poor little
soul had to go for two years without a name. Then
a brother came along and there it was 'Big Baby'
and 'Little Baby.' Finally they called Big Baby Peter
and Little Baby Isaac, after the two grandfathers,
and had them both christened together. And each
tried to see if it couldn't howl the other down. You
know that Highland Scotch family of MacNabs back
of the Glen? They've got twelve boys and the oldest
292 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
and the youngest are both called Neil Big Neil and
Little Neil in the same family. Well, I s'pose they ran
out of names."
"I have read somewhere," laughed Anne, "that the
first child is a poem but the tenth is very prosy prose.
Perhaps Mrs. MacNab thought that the twelfth was
merely an old tale re-told."
"Well, there's something to be said for large fam-
ilies," said Miss Cornelia, with a sigh. "I was an
only child for eight years and I did long for a brother
and sister. Mother told me to pray for one and
pray I did, believe me. Well, one day Aunt Nellie
came to me and said, 'Cornelia, there is a little brother
for you upstairs in your ma's room. You can go up
and see him.' I was so excited and delighted I just
flew upstairs. And old Mrs. Flagg lifted up the baby
for me to see. Lord, Anne, dearie, I never was so
disappointed in my life. You see, I'd been praying
for a brother two years older than myself."
"How long did it take you to get over your disap-
pointment?" asked Anne, amid her laughter.
"Well, I had a spite at Providence for a good spell,
and for weeks I wouldn't even look at the baby. No-
body knew why, for I never told. Then he began to
get real cute, and held out his wee hands to me and I
began to get fond of him. But I didn't get really
reconciled to him until one day a school chum came to
see him and said she thought he was awful small for
THE SHIP O' DREAMS 293
his age. I just got boiling mad, and I sailed right
into her, and told her she didn't know a nice baby
when she saw one, and ours was the nicest baby in the
world. And after that I just worshipped him. Mother
died before he was three years old and I was sister
and mother to him both. Poor little lad, he was never
strong, and he died when he wasn't much over twenty.
Seems to me I'd have given anything on earth, Anne,
dearie, if he'd only lived."
Miss Cornelia sighed. Gilbert had gone down and
Leslie, who had been crooning .over the small James
Matthew in the dormer window, laid him asleep in his
basket and went her way. As soon as she was safely
out of earshot, Miss Cornelia bent forward and said
in a conspirator's whisper:
"Anne, dearie, I'd a letter from Owen Ford yes-
terday. He's in Vancouver just now, but he wants to
know if I can board him for a month later on. You
know what that means. Well, I hope we're doing
"We've nothing to do with it we couldn't prevent
him from coming to Four Winds if he wanted to,"
said Anne quickly. She did not like the feeling of
match-making Miss Cornelia's whispers gave her;
and then she weakly succumbed herself.
"Don't let Leslie know he is coming until he is
here," she said. "If she found out I feel sure she
would go away at once. She intends to go in the fall
294 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
anyhow she told me so the other day. She is going
to Montreal to take up nursing and make what she
can of her life."
"Oh, well, Anne, dearie," said Miss Cornelia, nod-
ding sagely, "that is all as it may be. You and I have
done our part and we must leave the rest to Higher
POLITICS AT FOUR WINDS
WHEN Anne came downstairs again, the Island,
as well as all Canada, was in the throes of a
campaign preceding a general election. Gilbert, who
was an ardent Conservative, found himself caught in
the vortex, being much in demand for speech-making
at the various county rallies. Miss Cornelia did not
approve of his mixing up in politics and told Anne
"Dr. Dave never did it. Dr. Blythe will find he is
making a mistake, believe me. Politics is something
no decent man should meddle with."
"Is the government of the country to be left solely
to the rogues then?" asked Anne.
"Yes so long as it's Conservative rogues," said
Miss Cornelia, marching off with the honours of war.
"Men and politicians are all tarred with the same
brush. The Grits have it laid on thicker than the
Conservatives, that's all considerably thicker. But
Grit or Tory, my advice to Dr. Blythe is to steer clear
of politics. First thing you know, he'll be running
an election himself, and going off to Ottawa for half
the year and leaving his practice to go to the dogs."
296 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
"Ah, well, let's not borrow trouble," said Anne.
"The rate of interest is too high. Instead, let's look
at Little Jem. It should be spelled with a G. Isn't
he perfectly beautiful? Just see the dimples in his
elbows. We'll bring him up to be a good Conserva-
tive, you and I, Miss Cornelia."
"Bring him up to be a good man," said Miss Cor-
nelia. "They're scarce and valuable; though, mind
you, I wouldn't like to see him a Grit. As for the
election, you and I may be thankful we don't live over
harbour. The air there is blue these days. Every
Elliott and Crawford and MacAllister is on the war-
path, loaded for bear. This side is peaceful and calm,
seeing there's so few men. Captain Jim's a Grit, But
it's my opinion he's ashamed of it, for he never talks
politics. There isn't any earthly doubt that the Con-
servatives will be returned with a big majority again."
Miss Cornelia was mistaken. On the morning after
the election Captain Jim dropped in at the little house
to tell the news. So virulent is the microbe of party
politics, even in a peaceable old man, that Captain
Jim's cheeks were flushed and his eyes were flashing
with all his old-time fire.
"Mistress Blythe, the Liberals are in with a sweep-
ing majority. After eighteen years of Tory misman-
agement this down-trodden country is going to have
a chance at last."
"I never heard you make such a bitter partisan
speech before, Captain Jim. I didn't think you had so
POLITICS AT FOUR WINDS 297
much political venom in you," laughed Anne, who
was not much excited over the tidings. Little Jem
had said "Wow-ga" that morning. What were prin-
cipalities and powers, the rise and fall of dynasties,
the overthrow of Grit or Tory, compared with that
"It's been accumulating for a long while," said Cap-
tain Jim, with a deprecating smile. "I thought I was
only a moderate Grit, but when the news came that we
were in I found out how Gritty I really was."
"You know the doctor and I are Conservatives."
"Ah, well, it's the only bad thing I know of either
of you, Mistress Blythe. Cornelia is a Tory, too. I
called in on my way from the Glen to tell her the
"Didn't you know you took your life in your
"Yes, but I couldn't resist the temptation."
"How did she take it?"
"Comparatively calm, Mistress Blythe, compara-
tively calm. She says, says she, 'Well, Providence
sends seasons of humiliation to a country, same as to
individuals. You Grits have been cold and hungry
for many a year. Make haste to get warmed and fed,
for you won't be in long.' 'Well, now, Cornelia/ I
says, 'mebbe Providence thinks Canada needs a real
long spell of humiliation.' Ah, Susan, have you
heard the news? The Liberals are in."
Susan had just come in from the kitchen, attended
298 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
by the odour of delectable dishes which always seemed
to hover around her.
"Now, are they?" she said, with beautiful uncon-
cern. "Well, I never could see but that my bread rose
just as light when Grits were in as when they were
not. And if any party, Mrs. Doctor, dear, will make
it rain before the week is out, and save our kitchen
garden from entire ruination, that is the party Susan
will vote for. In the meantime, will you just step
out and give me your opinion on the meat for dinner?
I am fearing that it is very tough, and I think that we
had better change our butcher as well as our govern-
One evening, a week later, Anne walked down to
the Point, to see if she could get some fresh fish from
Captain Jim, leaving Little Jem for the first time. It
was quite a tragedy. Suppose he cried? Suppose
Susan did not know just exactly what to do for him?
Susan was calm and serene.
"I have had as much experience with him as you,
Mrs. Doctor, dear, have I not?"
"Yes, with him but not with other babies. Why,
I looked after three pairs of twins, when I was a
child, Susan. When they cried, I gave them pepper-
mint or castor oil quite coolly. It's quite curious
now to recall how lightly I took all those babies and
"Oh, well, if Little Jem cries, I will just clap a
water bag on his little stomach," said Susan.
POLITICS AT FOUR WINDS 299
"Not too hot, you know," said Anne anxiously.
Oh, was it really wise to go?
"Do not you fret, Mrs. Doctor, dear. Susan is
not the woman to burn a wee man. Bless him, he
has no notion of crying."
Anne tore herself away finally and enjoyed her
walk to the Point after all, through the long shadows
of the sun-setting. Captain Jim was not in the living
room of the lighthouse, but another man was a hand-
some, middle-aged man, with a strong, clean-shaven
chin, who was unknown to Anne. Nevertheless,
when she sat down, he began to talk to her with all
the assurance of an old acquaintance. There was
nothing amiss in what he said or the way he said it,
but Anne rather resented such a cool taking-for-
granted in a complete stranger. Her replies were
frosty, and as few as decency required. Nothing
daunted, her companion talked on for several minutes,
then excused himself and went away. Anne could
have sworn there was a twinkle in his eye and it an-
noyed her. Who was the creature ? There was some-
thing vaguely familiar about him but she was certain
she had never seen him before.
"Captain Jim, who was that who just went out?"
she asked, as Captain Jim came in.
"Marshall Elliott," answered the captain.
"Marshall Elliott !" cried Anne. "Oh, Captain Jim
it wasn't yes, it was his voice oh, Captain Jim,
I didn't know him and I was quite insulting to him !
300 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
Why didn't he tell me? He must have seen I didn't
"He wouldn't say a word about it he'd just enjoy
the joke. Don't worry over snubbing him he'll think
it fun. Yes, Marshall's shaved off his beard at last
and cut his hair. His party is in, you know. I didn't
know him myself first time I saw him. He was up in
Carter Flagg's store at the Glen the night after elec-
tion day, along with a crowd of others, waiting for
the news. About twelve the 'phone came through
the Liberals were in. Marshall just got up and
walked out he didn't cheer or shout he left the
others to do that, and they nearly lifted the roof off
Carter's store, I reckon. Of course, all the Tories
were over in Raymond Russell's store. Not much
cheering there. Marshall went straight down the
street to the side door of Augustus Palmer's barber
shop. Augustus was in bed asleep, but Marshall
hammered on the door until he got up and come down,
wanting to know what all the racket was about.
" 'Come into your shop and do the best job you
ever did in your life, Gus,' said Marshall. The
Liberals are in and you're going to barber a good
Grit before the sun rises.'
"Gus was mad as hops partly because he'd been
dragged out of bed, but more because he's a Tory.
He vowed he wouldn't shave any man after twelve
POLITICS AT FOUR WINDS 301
" 'You'll do what I want you to do, sonny/ said
Marshall, 'or I'll jest turn you over my knee and give
you one of those spankings your mother forgot.'
"He'd have done it, too, and Gus knew it, for Mar-
shall is as strong as an ox and Gus is only a midget
of a man. So he gave in and towed Marshall in to
the shop and went to work. 'Now/ says he, 'I'll
barber you up, but if you say one word to me about
the Grits getting in while I'm doing it I'll cut your
throat with this razor/ says he. You wouldn't have
thought mild little Gus could be so bloodthirsty, would
you? Shows what party politics will do for a man.
Marshall kept quiet and got his hair and beard dis-
posed of and went home. When his old housekeeper
heard him come upstairs she peeked out of her bed-
room door to see whether 'twas him or the hired
boy. And when she saw a strange man striding down
the hall with a candle in his hand she screamed blue
murder and fainted dead away. They had to send
for the doctor before they could bring her to, and it
was several days before she could look at Marshall
without shaking all over."
'Captain Jim had no fish. He seldom went out in
his boat that summer, and his long tramping expedi-
tions were over. He spent a great deal of his time
sitting by his seaward window, looking out over the
gulf, with his swiftly- whitening head leaning on his
hand, He sat there tonight for many silent minutes,
302 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
keeping some tryst with the past which Anne would
not disturb. Presently he pointed to the iris of the
"That's beautiful, isn't it, Mistress Blythe? But I
wish you could have seen the sunrise this morning.
It was a wonderful thing wonderful. I've seen all
kinds of sunrises come over that gulf. I've been all
over the world, Mistress Blythe, and take it all in
all, I've never seen a finer sight than a summer sun-
rise over the gulf. A man can't pick his time for
dying, Mistress Blythe jest got to go when the Great
Captain gives His sailing orders. But if I could I'd
go out when the morning comes across that water.
I've watched it many a time and thought what a thing
it would be to pass out through that great white glory
to whatever was waiting beyant, on a sea that ain't
mapped out on any airthly chart. I think, Mistress
Blythe, that I'd find lost Margaret there."
Captain Jim had often talked to Anne of lost Mar-
garet since he had told her the old story. His love for
her trembled in every tone that love that had never
grown faint or forgetful.
"Anyway, I hope when my time comes I'll go quick
and easy. I don't think I'm a coward, Mistress Blythe
I've looked an ugly death in the face more than
once without blenching. But the thought of a linger-
ing death does give me a queer, sick feeling of
"Don't talk about leaving us, dear, dear Captain
POLITICS AT FOUR WINDS 303
Jim," pleaded Anne, in a choked voice, patting the old
brown hand, once so strong, but now grown very
feeble. "What would we do without you?"
Captain Jim smiled beautifully.
"Oh, you'd get along nicely nicely but you
wouldn't forget the old man altogether, Mistress
Blythe no, I don't think you'll ever quite forget
him. The race of Joseph always remembers one
another. But it'll be a memory that won't hurt I
like to think that my memory won't hurt my friends
it'll always be kind of pleasant to them, I hope and
believe. It won't be very long now before lost Mar-
garet calls me, for the last time. I'll be all ready to
answer. I jest spoke of this because there's a little
favour I want to ask you. Here's this poor old Matey
of mine" Captain Jim reached out a hand and poked
the big, warm, velvety, golden ball on the sofa. The
First Mate uncoiled himself like a spring with a nice,
throaty, comfortable sound, half purr, half, meow,
stretched his paws in air, turned over and coiled
himself up again. "He'll miss me when I start
on the Long V'yage. I can't bear to think of leaving
the poor critter to starve, like he was left before. If
anything happens to me will you give Matey a bite
and a corner, Mistress Blythe?"
"Indeed I will."
"Then that is all I had on my mind. Your Little
Jem is to have the few curious things I picked up
I've seen to that. And now I don't like to see tears
304 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
in those pretty eyes, Mistress Blythe. I'll mebbe hang
on for quite a spell yet. I heard you reading a piece
of poetry one day last winter one of Tennyson's
pieces. I'd sorter like to hear it again, if you could
recite it for me."
Softly and clearly, while the seawind blew in on
them, Anne repeated the beautiful lines of Tennyson's
wonderful swan song "Crossing the Bar." The old
captain kept time gently with his sinewy hand.
"Yes, yes, Mistress Blythe," he said, when she had
finished, "that's it, that's it. He wasn't a sailor, you
tell me I dunno how he could have put an old sailor's
feelings into words like that, if he wasn't one. He
didn't want any 'sadness o' farewells' and neither do
I, Mistress Blythe for all will be well with me and
mine beyant the bar."
BEAUTY FOR ASHES
ANY news from Green Gables, Anne?"
"Nothing very especial," replied Anne, fold-
ing up Manila's letter. "Jake Donnell has been there
shingling the roof. He is a full-fledged carpenter
now, so it seems he has had his own way in regard
to the choice* of a life-work. You remember his
mother wanted him to be a college professor. I shall
never forget the day she came to the school and rated
me for failing to call him St. Clair."
"Does anyone ever call him that now?"
"Evidently not. It seems that he has completely
lived it down. Even his mother has succumbed. I
always thought that a boy with Jake's chin and mouth
would get his own way in the end. Diana writes me
that Dora has a beau. Just think of it that child!"
"Dora is seventeen," said Gilbert. "Charlie Sloane
and I were both mad about you when you were seven-
"Really, Gilbert, we must be getting on in years,"
said Anne, with a half-rueful smile, "when children
who were six when we thought ourselves grown up
3o6 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
are old enough now to have beaux. Dora's is Ralph
Andrews Jane's brother. I remember him as a little,
round, fat, white-headed fellow who was always at
the foot of his class. But I understand he is quite a
fine-looking young man now."
"Dora will probably marry young. She's of the
same type as Charlotta the Fourth she'll never miss
her first chance for fear she might not get another."
"Well, if she marries Ralph I hope he will be a
little more up-and-coming than his brother Billy,"
"For instance," said Gilbert, laughing, "let us hope
he will be able to propose on his own account. Anne,
would you have married Billy if he had asked you
himself, instead of getting Jane to do it for him?"
"I might have." Anne went off into a shriek of
laughter over the recollection of her first proposal.
"The shock of the whole thing might have hypnotised
me into some such rash and foolish act. Let us be
thankful he did it by proxy."
"I had a letter from George Moore yesterday," said
Leslie, from the corner where she was reading.
"Oh, how is he?" asked Anne interestedly, yet
with an unreal feeling that she was inquiring about
some one whom she did not know.
"He is well, but he finds it very hard to adapt him-
self to all the changes in his old home and friends.
He is going to sea again in the spring. It's in his
BEAUTY FOR ASHES 307
blood, he says, and he longs for it. But he told me
something that made me glad for him, poor fellow.
Before he sailed on the Four Sisters he was engaged
to a girl at home. He did not tell me anything about
her in Montreal, because he said he supposed she
would have forgotten him and married someone else
long ago, and with him, you see, his engagement and
love was still a thing of the present. It was pretty
hard on him, but when he got home he found she had
never married and still cared for him. They are to
be married this fall. I'm going to ask him to bring
her over here for a little trip; he says he wants to
come and see the place where he lived so many years
without knowing it."
"What a nice little romance," said Anne, whose love
for the romantic was immortal. "And to think," she
added with a sigh of self-reproach, "that if I had
had my way George Moore would never have come up
from the grave in which his identity was buried. How
1 did fight against Gilbert's suggestion! Well, I am
punished: I shall never be able to have a different
opinion from Gilbert's again! If I try to have, he
will squelch me by casting George Moore's case up
"As if even that would squelch a woman!" mocked
Gilbert. "At least do not become my echo, Anne. A
little opposition gives spice to life. I do not want a
wife like John MacAllister's over the harbour. No
3o8 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
matter what he says, she at once remarks in that drab,
lifeless little voice of hers, That is very true, John,
Anne and Leslie laughed. Anne's laughter was
silver and Leslie's golden, and the combination of the
two was as satisfactory as a perfect chord in music.
Susan, coming in on the heels of the laughter,
echoed it with a resounding sigh.
"Why, Susan, what is the matter?" asked Gilbert.
"There's nothing wrong with Little Jem, is there,
Susan?" cried Anne, starting up in alarm.
"No, no, calm yourself, Mrs. Doctor, dear. Some-
thing has happened, though. Dear me, everything
has gone catawampus with me this week. I spoiled
the bread, as you know too well and I scorched the
doctor's best shirt bosom and I broke your big
platter. And now, on the top of all this, comes word
that my sister Matilda has broken her leg and wants
me to go and stay with her for a spell."
"Oh, I'm very sorry sorry that your sister has
met with such an accident, I mean," exclaimed Anne.
"Ah, well, man was made to mourn, Mrs. Doctor,
dear. That sounds as if it ought to be in the Bible,
but they tell me a person named Burns wrote it. And
there is no doubt that we are born to trouble as the
sparks fly upward. As for Matilda, I do not know
what to think of her. None of our family ever broke
their legs before. But whatever she has done she is
BEAUTY FOR ASHES 309
still my sister, and I feel that it is my duty to go and
wait on her, if you can spare me for a few weeks,
Mrs. Doctor, dear."
"Of course, Susan, of course. I can get someone
to help me while you are gone."
"If you cannot I will not go, Mrs. Doctor, dear,
Matilda's leg to the contrary notwithstanding. I will
not have you worried, and that blessed child upset in
consequence, for any number of legs."
"Oh, you must go to your sister at once, Susan. I
can get a girl from the cove, who will do for a time."
"Anne, will you let me come and stay with you
while Susan is away?" exclaimed Leslie. "Do! I'd
love to and it would be an act of charity on your
part. I'm so horribly lonely over there in that big
barn of a house. There's so little to do and at night
I'm worse than lonely I'm frightened and nervous
in spite of locked doors. There was a tramp around
two days ago."
Anne joyfully agreed, and next day Leslie was in-
stalled as an inmate of the little house of dreams.
Miss Cornelia warmly approved of the arrangement
"It seems Providential," she told Anne in confi-
dence. "I'm sorry for Matilda Clow, but since she
had to break her leg it couldn't have happened at a
better time. Leslie will be here while Owen Ford is
in Four Winds, and those old cats up at the Glen
won't get the chance to meow, as they would if she
310 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
was living over there alone and Owen going to see
her. They are doing enough of it as it is, because
she doesn't put on mourning. I said to one of them,
'If you mean she should put on mourning for George
Moore, it seems to me more like his resurrection than
his funeral; and if it's Dick you mean, I confess /
can't see the propriety of going into weeds for a man
who died thirteen years ago and good riddance then!'
And when old Louisa Baldwin remarked to me that
she thought it very strange that Leslie should never
have suspected it wasn't her own husband 7 said, 'You
never suspected it wasn't Dick Moore, and you were
next-door neighbour to him all his life, and by nature
you're ten times as suspicious as Leslie.' But you
can't stop some people's tongues, Anne, dearie, and
I'm real thankful Leslie will be under your roof while
Owen is courting her."
Owen Ford came to the little house one August
evening when Leslie and Anne were absorbed in
worshipping the baby. He paused at the open door
of the living room, unseen by the two within, gazing
with greedy eyes at the beautiful picture. Leslie sat
on the floor with the baby in her lap, making ecstatic
dabs at his fat little hands as he fluttered them in the
"Oh, you dear, beautiful, beloved baby," she mum-
bled, catching one wee hand and covering it with
"Isn't him ze darlingest itty sing," crooned Anne,
BEAUTY FOR ASHES 311
hanging over the arm of her chair adoringly. "Dem
itty wee pads are ze very tweetest handles in ze whole
big world, isn't dey, you darling itty man."
Anne, in the months before Little Jem's coming,
had pored diligently over several wise volumes, and
pinned her faith to one in especial, "Sir Oracle on the
Care and Training of Children." Sir Oracle implored
parents by all they held sacred never to talk "baby
talk" to their children. Infants should invariably be
addressed in classical language from the moment of
their birth. So should they learn to speak English
undefiled from their earliest utterance. "How," de-
manded Sir Oracle, "can a mother reasonably expect
her child to learn correct speech, when she continually
accustoms its impressionable gray matter to such
absurd expressions and distortions of our noble tongue
as thoughtless mothers inflict every day on the helpless
creatures committed to their care? Can a child who
is constantly called 'tweet itty wee singie' ever attain
to any proper conception of his own being and pos-
sibilities and destiny?"
Anne was vastly impressed with this, and informed
Gilbert that she meant to make it an inflexible rule
never, under any circumstances, to talk "baby talk"
to her children. Gilbert agreed with her, and they
made a solemn compact on the subject a compact
which Anne shamelessly violated the very first
moment Little Jem was laid in her arms. "Oh, the
darling itty wee sing!" she had exclaimed. And she
312 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
had continued to violate it ever since. When Gilbert
teased her she laughed Sir Oracle to scorn.
"He never had any children of his own, Gilbert
I am positive he hadn't or he would never have written
such rubbish. You just can't help talking baby talk
to a baby. It comes natural and it's right. It would
be inhuman to talk to those tiny, soft, velvety little
creatures as we do to great big boys and girls. Babies
want love and cuddling and all the sweet baby talk
they can get, and Little Jem is going to have it, bess
his dear itty heartums."
"But you're the worst I ever heard, Anne," pro-
tested Gilbert, who, not being a mother but only a
father, was not wholly convinced yet that Sir Oracle
was wrong. "I never heard anything like the way
you talk to that child."
"Very likely you never did. Go away go away.
Didn't I bring up three pairs of Hammond twins
before I was eleven? You and Sir Oracle are nothing
but cold-blooded theorists. Gilbert, fust look at him!
He's smiling at me he knows what we're talking
about. And oo dest agwees wif evy word muzzer
says, don't oo, angel-lover ?"
Gilbert put his arm about them. "Oh you mothers !"
he said. "You mothers! God knew what He was
about when He made you."
So Little Jem was talked to and loved and cuddled :
and he throve as became a child of the house of
dreams. Leslie was quite as foolish over him as Anne
BEAUTY FOR ASHES 313
was. When their work was done and Gilbert was
out of the way, they gave themselves over to shame-
less orgies of love-making and ecstasies of adoration,
such as that in which Owen Ford had surprised them.
Leslie was the first to become aware of him. Even
in the twilight Anne could see the sudden whiteness
that swept over her beautiful face, blotting out the
crimson of lip and cheeks.
Owen came forward, eagerly, blind for a moment
"Leslie !" he said, holding out his hand. It was the
first time he had ever called her by her name; but
the hand Leslie gave him was cold; and she was
very quiet all the evening, while Anne and Gilbert
and Owen laughed and talked together. Before his
call ended she excused herself and went upstairs.
Owen's gay spirits flagged and he went away soon
after with a downcast air.
Gilbert looked at Anne.
"Anne, what are you up to? There's something
going on that I don't understand. The whole air
here tonight has been charged with electricity. Leslie
sits like the muse of tragedy; Owen Ford jokes and
laughs on the surface, and watches Leslie with the
eyes of his soul. You seem all the time to be bursting
with some suppressed excitement. Own up. What
secret have you been keeping from your deceived hus-
"Don't b, a goose, Gilbert," was Anne's conjugal
3H ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
reply. "As for Leslie, she is absurd and I'm going
up to tell her so."
Anne found Leslie at the dormer window of her
room. The little place was filled with the rythmic
thunder of the sea. Leslie sat with locked hands in
the misty moonshine a beautiful, accusing presence.
"Anne," she said in a low, reproachful voice, "did
you know Owen Ford was coming to Four Winds?"
"I did," said Anne brazenly.
"Oh, you should have told me, Anne," Leslie cried
passionately. "If I had known I would have gone
away I wouldn't have stayed here to meet him. You
should have told me. It wasn't fair of you, Anne
oh, it wasn't fair!"
Leslie's lips were trembling and her whole form
was tense with emotion. But Anne laughed heart-
lessly. She bent over and kissed Leslie's upturned,
"Leslie, you are an adorable goose. Owen Ford
didn't rush from the Pacific to the Atlantic from a
burning desire to see me. Neither do I believe that he
was inspired by any wild and frenzied passion for
Miss Cornelia. Take off your tragic airs, my dear
friend, and fold them up and put them away in laven-
der. You'll never need them again. There are some
people who can see through a grindstone when there
is a hole in it, even if you cannot. I am not a
prophetess, but I shall venture on a prediction. The
bitterness of life is over for you. After this you are
BEAUTY FOR ASHES 315
going to have the joys and hopes and I daresay the
sorrows, too of a happy woman. The omen of the
shadow of Venus did come true for you, Leslie. The
year in which you saw it brought your life's best
gift for you your love for Owen Ford. Now, go
right to bed and have a good sleep."
Leslie obeyed orders in so far that she went to
bed: but it may be questioned if she slept much. I
do not think she dared to dream wakingly; life had
been so hard for this poor Leslie, the path on which
she had had to walk had been so strait, that she could
not whisper to her own heart the hopes that might
wait on the future. But she watched the great re-
volving light bestarring the short hours of the summer
night, and her eyes grew soft and bright and young
once more. Nor, when Owen Ford came next day,
to ask her to go with him to the shore, did she say
Miss CORNELIA MAKES A STARTLING ANNOUNCE-
MISS CORNELIA sailed down to the little
house one drowsy afternoon, when the gulf
was the faint, bleached blue of hot August seas, and
the orange lilies at the gate of Anne's garden held
up their imperial cups to be filled with the molten gold
of August sunshine. Not that Miss Cornelia con-
cerned herself with painted oceans or sun-thirsty
lilies. She sat in her favourite rocker in unusual idle-
ness. She sewed not, neither did she spin. Nor did
she say a single derogatory word concerning any por-
tion of mankind. In short, Miss Cornelia's conversa-
tion was singularly devoid of spice that day, and
Gilbert, who had stayed home to listen to her, instead
of going a-fishing, as he had intended, felt himself
aggrieved. What had come over Miss Cornelia ? She
did not look cast down or worried. On the contrary,
there was a certain air of nervous exultation about
"Where is Leslie?" she asked not as if it mattered
A STARTLING ANNOUNCEMENT 317
"Owen and she went raspberrying in the woods
back of her farm," answered Anne. "They won't be
back before supper time if then."
"They don't seem to have any idea that there is
such a thing as a clock," said Gilbert. "I can't get
to the bottom of that affair. I'm certain you women
pulled strings. But Anne, undutiful wife, won't tell
me. Will you, Miss Cornelia?"
"No, I shall not. But," said Miss Cornelia, with
the air of one determined to take the plunge and have
it over, "I will tell you something else. I came today
on purpose to tell it. I am going to be married."
Anne and Gilbert were silent. If Miss Cornelia
had announced her intention of going out to the chan-
nel and drowning herself the thing might have been
believable. This was not. So they waited. Of course
Miss Cornelia had made a mistake.
"Well, you both look sort of kerflummexed," said
Miss Cornelia, with a twinkle in her eyes. Now that
the awkward moment of revelation was over, Miss
Cornelia was her own woman again. "Do you think
I'tfi too young and inexperienced for matrimony?"
"You know it is rather staggering," said Gilbert,
trying to gather his wits together. "I've heard you
say a score of times that you wouldn't marry the best
man in the world."
"I'm not going to marry the best man in the world,"
retorted Miss Cornelia. "Marshall Elliott is a long
way from being the best."
3i8 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
"Are you going to marry Marshall Elliott?" ex-
claimed Anne, recovering her power of speech under
this second shock.
"Yes. I could have had him any time these twenty
years if I'd lifted my finger. But do you suppose
I was going to walk into church beside a perambulat-
ing haystack like that?"
"I am sure we are very glad and we wish you all
possible happiness," said Anne, very flatly and in-
adequately, as she felt. She was not prepared for
such an occasion. She had never imagined herself
offering betrothal felicitations to Miss Cornelia.
"Thanks, I knew you would," said Miss Cornelia.
"You are the first of my friends to know it."
"We shall be so sorry to lose you, though, dear
Miss Cornelia," said Anne, beginning to be a little
sad and sentimental.
"Oh, you won't lose me," said Miss Cornelia un-
sentimentally. "You don't suppose I would live over
harbour with all those MacAllisters and Elliotts and
Crawfords, do you? 'From the conceit of the Elliotts,
the pride of the MacAllisters and the vain-glory of
the Crawfords, good Lord deliver us.' Marshall is
coming to live at my place. I'm sick and tried of
hired men. That Jim Hastings I've got this summer
is positively the worst of the species. He would
drive anyone to getting married. What do you think ?
He upset the churn yesterday and spilled a big churn-
ing of cream over the yard. And not one whit con-
A STARTLING ANNOUNCEMENT .319
cerned about it was he! Just gave a foolish laugh
and said cream was good for the land. Wasn't that
like a man ? I told him I wasn't in the habit of fertil-
ising my back yard with cream."
"Well, I wish you all manner of happiness too,
Miss Cornelia," said Gilbert, solemnly; "but," he
added, unable to resist the temptation to tease Miss
Cornelia, despite Anne's imploring eyes, "I fear your
day of independence is done. As you know, Marshall
Elliott is a very determined man."
"I like a man who can stick to a thing," retorted
Miss Cornelia. "Amos Grant, who used to be after
me long ago, couldn't. You never saw such a
weather-vane. He jumped into the pond to drown
himself once and then changed his mind and swum
out again. Wasn't that like a man? Marshall would
have stuck to it and drowned."
"And he has a bit of a temper, they tell me," per-
"He wouldn't be an Elliott if he hadn't. I'm
thankful he has. It will be real fun to make him
mad. And you can generally do something with a
tempery man when it comes to repenting time. But
you can't do anything with a man who just keeps
placid and aggravating."
"You know he's a Grit, Miss Cornelia."
"Yes, he is," admitted Miss Cornelia rather sadly.
"And of course there is no hope of making a Con-
servative of him. But at least he is a Presbyterian.
320 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
So I suppose I shall have to be satisfied yth that."
"Would you marry him if he were a*Methodist,
"No, I would not. Politics is for this world, but
religion is for both."
"And you may be a 'relict' after all, Miss Cornelia."
"Not I. Marshall will live me out. The Elliotts
are long-lived, and the Bryants are not."
"When are you to be married?" asked Anne.
"In about a month's time. My wedding dress is
to be navy blue silk. And I want to ask you, Anne,
dearie, if you think it would be all right to wear a
veil with a navy blue dress. I've always thought I'd
like to wear a veil if I ever got married. Marshall
says to have it if I want to. Isn't that like a man?"
"Why shouldn't you wear it if you want to?" asked
"Well, one doesn't want to be different from other
people," said Miss Cornelia, who was not noticeably
like anyone else on the face of the earth. "As I say,
I do fancy a veil. But maybe it shouldn't be worn with
any dress but a white one. Please tell me, Anne,
dearie, what you really think. I'll go by your ad-
"I don't think veils are usually worn with any but
white dresses," admitted Anne, "but that is merely
a convention; and I am like Mr. Elliott, Miss Cor-
nelia. I don't see any good reason why you shouldn't
have a veil if you want one."
A STARTLING ANNOUNCEMENT 321
But Miss Cornelia, who made her calls in calico
wrappers, ^pok her head.
"If it isn't the proper thing I won't wear it," she
said, with a sigh of regret for a lost dream.
"Since you are determined to be married, Miss
Cornelia," said Gilbert solemnly, "I shall give you
the excellent rules for the management of a husband
which my grandmother gave my mother when she
married my father."
"Well, I reckon I can manage Marshall Elliott,"
said Miss Cornelia placidly. "But let us hear your
"The first one is, catch him."
"He's caught. Go on."
"The second one is, feed him well."
"With enough pie. What next?"
"The third and fourth are keep your eye on him."
"I believe you," said Miss Cornelia emphatically.
THE garden of the little house was a haunt
beloved of bees and reddened by late roses
that August. The little house folk lived much in it,
and were given to taking picnic suppers in the grassy
corner beyond the brook and sitting about in it through
the twilights when great night moths sailed athwart
the velvet gloom. One evening Owen Ford found
Leslie alone in it. Anne and Gilbert were away, and
Susan, who was expected back that night, had not yet
The northern sky was amber and pale green over
the fir tops. The air was cool, for August was near-
ing September, and Leslie wore a crimson scarf over
her white dress. Together they wandered through
the little, friendly, flower-crowded paths in silence.
Owen must go soon. His holiday was nearly over.
Leslie found her heart beating wildly. She knew that
this beloved garden was to be the scene of the binding
words that must seal their as yet unworded under-
RED ROSES 323
"Some evenings a strange odour blows down the air
of this garden, like a phantom perfume," said Owen.
"I have never been able to discover from just what
flower it comes. It is elusive and haunting and
wonderfully sweet. I like to fancy it is the soul of
Grandmother Selwyn passing on a little visit to the
old spot she loved so well. There should be a lot of
friendly ghosts about this little old house."
"I have lived under its roof only a month," said
Leslie, "but I love it as I never loved the house over
there where I have lived all my life."
"This house was builded and consecrated by love,"
said Owen. "Such houses must exert an influence
over those who live in them. And this garden it
is over sixty years old and the history of a thousand
hopes and joys is written in its blossoms. Some of
those flowers were actually set out by the school-
master's bride, and she has been dead for thirty years.
Yet they bloom on every summer. Look at those
red roses, Leslie how they queen it over everything
"I love the red roses," said Leslie. "Anne likes
the pink ones best, and Gilbert likes the white. But
I want the crimson ones. They satisfy some craving
in me as no other flower does."
"These roses are very late they bloom after all
the others have gone and they hold all the warmth
and soul of the summer come to fruition," said Owen,
plucking some of the glowing, half-opened buds.
'The rose is the flower of love the world has ac-
claimed it so for centuries. The pink roses are love
hopeful and expectant the white roses are love dead
or forsaken but the red roses ah, Leslie, what are
the red roses?"
"Love triumphant," said Leslie in a low voice.
"Yes love triumphant and perfect. Leslie, you
know you understand. I have loved you from the
first. And I know you love me I don't need to ask
you. But I want to hear you say it my darling
Leslie said something in a very low and tremulous
voice. Their hands and lips met; it was life's supreme
moment for them and as they stood there in the old
garden, with its many years of love and delight and
sorrow and glory, he crowned her shining hair with
the red, red rose of a love triumphant.
Anne and Gilbert returned presently, accompanied
by Captain Jim. Anne lighted a few sticks of drift-
wood in the fireplace, for love of the pixy flames,
and they sat around it for an hour of good fellowship.
"When I sit looking at a driftwood fire it's easy to
believe I'm young again," said Captain Jim.
"Can you read futures in the fire, Captain Jim?"
Captain Jim looked at them all affectionately, ant
then back again at Leslie's vivid face and glowing
RED ROSES 325
"I don't need the fire to read your futures," he said.
"I see happiness for all of you all of you for
Leslie and Mr. Ford and the Doctor here and Mis-
tress Blythe and Little Jem and children that ain't
born yet but will be. Happiness for you all though,
mind you, I reckon you'll have your troubles and
worries and sorrows, too. They're bound to come
and no house, whether it's a palace or a little house
of dreams, can bar 'em out. But they won't get the
better of you if you face 'em together with love and
trust. You can weather any storm with them two
for compass and pilot."
The old man rose suddenly and placed one hand on
Leslie's head and one on Anne's.
"Two good, sweet women," he said. "True and
faithful and to be depended on. Your husbands will
have honour in the gates because of you your children
will rise up and call you blessed in the years to come."
There was a strange solemnity about the little
scene. Anne and Leslie bowed as those receiving a
benediction. Gilbert suddenly brushed his hand over
his eyes; Owen Ford was rapt as one who can see
visions. All were silent for a space. The little house
of dreams added another poignant and unforgettable
moment to its store of memories.
"I must be going now," said Captain Jim slowly
at last. He took up his hat and looked lingeringly
about the room.
326 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
"Good night, all of you," he said, as he went out.
Anne, pierced by the unusual wistfulness of his
farewell, ran to the door after him.
"Come back soon, Captain Jim," she called, as he
passed through the little gate hung between the firs.
"Ay, ay," he called cheerily back to her. But
Captain Jim had sat by the old fireside of the house
of dreams for the last time.
Anne went slowly back to the others.
"It's so so pitiful to think of him going all alone
down to that lonely Point," she said. "And there is
no one to welcome him there."
"Captain Jim is such good company for others that
one can't imagine him being anything but good com-
pany for himself," said Owen. "But he must often
be lonely. There was a touch of the seer about him
tonight he spoke as one to whom it had been given
to speak. Well, I must be going, too."
Anne and Gilbert discreetly melted away ; but when
Owen had gone Anne returned, to find Leslie stand-
ing by the hearth.
"Oh, Leslie I know and I'm so glad, dear," she
said, putting her arms about her.
"Anne, my happiness frightens me," whispered
Leslie. "It seems too great to be real I'm afraid to
speak of it to think of it. It seems to me that it
must just be another dream of this house of dreams
and it will vanish when I leave here."
"Well, you are not going to leave here until Owen
RED ROSES 327
takes you. You are going to stay with me until that
time comes. Do you think I'd let you go over to that
lonely, sad place again?"
"Thank you, dear. I meant to ask you if I might
stay with you. I didn't want to go back there it
would seem like going back into the chill and dreari-
ness of the old life again. Anne, Anne, what a friend
you've been to me 'a good, sweet woman true and
faithful and to be depended on' Captain Jim summed
"He said 'women/ not 'woman,' " smiled Anne.
"Perhaps Captain Jim sees us both through the rose-
coloured spectacles of his love for us. But we can try
to live up to his belief in us, at least."
"Do you remember, Anne," said Leslie slowly,
"that I once said that night we met on the shore
that I hated my good looks? I did then. It always
seemed to me that if I had been homely Dick would
never have thought of me. I hated my beauty because
it had attracted him, but now oh, I'm glad that I
have it. It's all I have to offer Owen, his artist
soul delights in it. I feel as if I do not come to him
"Owen loves your beauty, Leslie. Who would not ?
But it's foolish of you to say or think that that is all
you bring him. He will tell you that I needn't.
And now I must lock up. I expected Susan back
tonight, but she has not come."
"Oh, yes, here I am, Mrs. Doctor, dear," said
328 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
Susan, entering unexpectedly from the kitchen, "and
puffing like a hen drawing rails at that! It's quite
a walk from the Glen down here."
"I'm glad to see you back, Susan. How is your
"She is able to sit up, but of course she cannot
walk yet. However, she is very well able to get on
without me now, for her daughter has come home for
her vacation. And I am thankful to be back, Mrs.
Doctor, dear. Matilda's leg was broken and no mis-
take, but her tongue was not. She would talk the
legs off an iron pot, that she would, Mrs. Doctor,
dear, though I grieve to say it of my own sister. She
was always a great talker and yet she was the first
of our family to get married. She really did not
care much about marrying James Clow, but she could
not bear to disoblige him. Not but what James is a
good man the only fault I have to find with him is
that he always starts in to say grace with such an
unearthly groan, Mrs. Doctor, dear. It always
frightens my appetite clear away. And speaking of
getting married, Mrs. Doctor, dear, is it true that
Cornelia Bryant is going to be married to Marshall
"Yes, quite true, Susan."
"Well, Mrs. Doctor, dear, it does not seem to me
fair. Here is me, who never said a word against the
men, and I cannot get married nohow. And there is
Cornelia Bryant, who is never done abusing them,
RED ROSES 329
and all she has to do is to reach out her hand and pick
one up, as it were. It is a very strange world, Mrs.
"There's another world, you know, Susan."
"Yes," said Susan with a heavy sigh, "but, Mrs.
Doctor, dear, there is neither marrying nor giving in
CAPTAIN JIM CROSSES THE BAR
ONE day in late September Owen Ford's book
came at last. Captain Jim had gone faithfully
to the Glen post-office every day for a month, expect-
ing it. This day he had not gone, and Leslie brought
his copy home with hers and Anne's.
"We'll take it down to him this evening," said
Anne, excited as a schoolgirl.
The walk to the Point on that clear, beguiling even-
ing along the red harbour road was very pleasant.
Then the sun dropped down behind the western hills
into some valley that must have been full of lost
sunsets, and at the same instant the big light flashed
out on the white tower of the point.
"Captain Jim is never late by the fraction of a
second," said Leslie.
Neither Anne nor Leslie ever forgot Captain Jim's
face when they gave him the book his book, trans-
figured and glorified. The cheeks that had been
blanched of late suddenly flamed with the colour of
boyhood; his eyes glowed with all the fire of youth;
but his hands trembled as he opened it.
CAPTAIN JIM CROSSES 331
It was called simply The Life-Book of Captain
Jim, and on the title page the names of Owen Ford
and James Boyd were printed as collaborators. The
frontispiece was a photograph of Captain Jim him-
self, standing at the door of the lighthouse, looking
across the gulf. Owen Ford had "snapped" him one
day while the book was being written. Captain Jim
had known this, but he had not known that the picture
was to be in the book.
"Just think of it," he said, "the old sailor right
there in a real printed book. This is the proudest
day of my life. I'm like to bust, girls. There'll be
no sleep for me tonight. I'll read my book clean
through before sun-up."
"We'll go right away and leave you free to begin
it," said Anne.
Captain Jim had been handling the book in a kind
of reverent rapture. Now he decidedly closed it and
laid it aside.
"No, no, you're not going away before you take a
cup of tea with the old man," he protested. "I
couldn't hear to that could you, Matey? The life-
book will keep, I reckon. I've waited for it this many
a year. I can wait a little longer while I'm enjoying
Captain Jim moved about getting his kettle on to
boil, and setting out his bread and butter. Despite
his excitement he did not move with his old brisk-
ness. His movements were slow and halting. But
332 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
the girls did not offer to help him. They knew it
would hurt his feelings.
"You just picked the right evening to visit me,"
he said, producing a cake from his cupboard. "Leetle
Joe's mother sent me down a big basket full of cakes
and pies today. A blessing on all good cooks, says I.
Look at this purty cake, all frosting and nuts. 'Tain't
often I can entertain in such style. Set in, girls, set
in! We'll 'tak a cup o' kindness yet for auld lang
The girls "set in" right merrily. The tea was up
to Captain Jim's best brewing. Little Joe's mother's
cake was the last word in cakes; Captain Jim was
the prince of gracious hosts, never even permitting his
eyes to wander to the corner where the life-book
lay, in all its bravery of green and gold. But when
his door finally closed behind Anne and Leslie they
knew that he went straight to it, and as they walked
home they pictured the delight of the old man poring
over the printed pages wherein his own life was por-
trayed with all the charm and colour of reality itself.
"I wonder how he will like the ending the ending
I suggested," said Leslie.
She was never to know. Early the next morning
Anne awakened to find Gilbert bending over her,
fully dressed, and with an expression of anxiety on
-"Are you called out?" she asked drowsily.
CAPTAIN JIM CROSSES 333
"No. Anne, I'm afraid there's something wrong
at the Point. It's an hour after sunrise now, and
the light is still burning. You know it has always
been a matter of pride with Captain Jim to start the
light the moment the sun sets, and put it out the
moment it rises."
Anne sat up in dismay. Through her window she
saw the light blinking palely against the blue skies
"Perhaps he has fallen asleep over his life-book,"
she said anxiously, "or become so absorbed in it that
he has forgotten the light."
Gilbert shook his head.
"That wouldn't be like Captain Jim. Anyway, I'm
going down to see."
"Wait a minute and I'll go with you," exclaimed
Anne. "Oh, yes, I must Little Jem will sleep for
an hour yet, and I'll call Susan. You may need a
woman's help if Captain Jim is ill."
It was an exquisite morning, full of tints and
sounds at once ripe and delicate. The harbour was
sparkling and dimpling like a girl; white gulls were
soaring over the dunes ; beyond the bar was a shining,
wonderful sea. The long fields by the shore were
dewy and fresh in that first fine, purely-tinted light.
The wind came dancing and whistling up the channel
to replace the beautiful silence with a music more
beautiful still. Had it not been for the baleful star
334 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
on the white tower that early walk would have been
a delight to Anne and Gilbert. But they went softly
Their knock was not responded to. Gilbert opened
the door and they went in.
The old room was very quiet. On the table were
the remnants of the little evening feast. The lamp
still burned on the corner stand. The First Mate was
asleep in a square of sunshine by the sofa.
Captain Jim lay on the sofa, with his hands clasped
over the life-book, open at the last page, lying on his
breast. His eyes were closed and on his face was a
look of the most perfect peace and happiness the
look of one who has long sought and found at last.
"He is asleep?" whispered Anne tremulously.
Gilbert Went to the sofa and bent over him for a
few moments. Then he straightened up.
"Yes, he sleeps well," he said quietly. "Anne,
Captain Jim has crossed the bar."
They could not know precisely at what hour he
had died, but Anne always believed that he had had
his wish, and went out when the morning came across
the gulf. Out on that shining tide his spirit drifted,
over the sunrise sea of pearl and silver, to the haven
where lost Margaret waited, beyond the storms and
FAREWELL TO THE HOUSE OF DREAMS
CAPTAIN JIM was buried in the little over-
harbour graveyard, very near to the spot where
the wee white lady slept. His relatives put up a very
expensive, very ugly "monument" a monument at
which he would have poked sly fun had he seen it in
life. But his real monument was in the hearts of
those who knew him, and in the book that was to live
Leslie mourned that Captain Jim had not lived to
see the amazing success of it.
"How he would have delighted in the reviews
they are almost all so kindly. And to have seen his
life-book heading the lists of the best sellers oh, if
he could just have lived to see it, Anne!"
But Anne, despite her grief, was wiser.
"It was the book itself he cared for, Leslie not
what might be said of it and he had it. He had read
it all through. That last night must have been one of
the greatest happiness for him with the quick, pain-
less ending he had hoped for in the morning. I am
336 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
glad for Owen's sake and yours that the book is such
a success but Captain Jim was satisfied I know"
The lighthouse star still kept its nightly vigil; a
substitute keeper had been sent to the Point, until
such time as an all-wise government could decide
which of many applicants was best fitted for the place
or had the strongest pull. The First Mate was at
home in the little house, beloved by Anne and Gilbert
and Leslie, and tolerated by a Susan who had small
liking for cats.
"I can put up with him for the sake of Captain
Jim, Mrs. Doctor, dear, for I liked the old man. And
I will see that he gets bite and sup, and every mouse
the traps account for. But do not ask me to do more
than that, Mrs. Doctor, dear. Cats is cats, and take
my word for it, they will never be anything else. And
at least, Mrs. Doctor, dear, do keep him away from
the blessed wee man. Picture to yourself how awful
it would be if he was to suck the darling's breath."
"That might be fitly called a oz/-astrophe," said
"Oh, you may laugh, doctor, dear, but it would be
no laughing matter."
"Cats never suck babies' breaths," said Gilbert.
"That is only an old superstition, Susan."
"Oh, well, it may be a superstition or it may not,
doctor, dear. All that I know is, it has happened. My
sister's husband's nephew's wife's cat sucked their
baby's breath, and the poor innocent was all but gone
when they found it. And superstition or not, if I
find that yellow beast lurking near our baby I will
whack him with the poker, Mrs. Doctor, dear."
Mr. and Mrs. Marshall Elliott were living comfort-
ably and harmoniously in the green house. Leslie
was busy with sewing, for she and Owen were to be
married at Christmas. Anne wondered what she
would do when Leslie was gone.
"Changes come all the time. Just as soon as things
get really nice they change," she said with a sigh.
"The old Morgan place up at the Glen is for sale,"
said Gilbert, apropos of nothing in especial.
"Is it?" asked Anne indifferently.
"Yes. Now that Mr. Morgan has gone, Mrs. Mor-
gan wants to go to live with her children in Van-
couver.^Bhe will sell cheaply, for a big place like
that in a small village like the Glen will not be very
easy to dispose of."
"Well, it's certainly a beautiful place, so it is likely
she will find a purchaser," said Anne, absently, won-
dering whether she should hemstitch or feather-stitch
little Jem's "short" dresses. He was to be shortened
the next week, and Anne felt ready to cry at the
thought of it.
"Suppose we buy it, Anne?" remarked Gilbert
Anne dropped her sewing and stared at him,
"You're not in earnest, Gilbert?"
"Indeed I am, dear."
338 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
"And leave this darling spot our house of
dreams?" said Anne incredulously. "Oh, Gilbert, it's
"Listen patiently to me, dear. I know just how you
feel about it. I feel the same. But we've always
known we would have to move some day."
"Oh, but not so soon, Gilbert not just yet."
"We may never get such a chance again. If we
don't buy the Morgan place someone else will and
there is no other house in the Glen we would care to
have, and no other really good site on which to build.
This little house is well, it is and has been what no
other house can ever be to us, I admit, but you know
it is out-of-the-way down here for a doctor. We
have felt the inconvenience, though we've made the
best of it. And it's a tight fit for us now. Perhaps,
in a few years, when Jem wants a room of his own,
it will be entirely too small."
"Oh, I know I know," said Anne, tears filling
her eyes. "I know all that can be said against it, but
I love it so and it's so beautiful here."
"You would find it very lonely here after Leslie
goes and Captain Jim has gone too. The Morgan
place is beautiful, and in time we would love it. You
know you have always admired it, Anne."
"Oh, yes, but but this has all seemed to come
up so suddenly, Gilbert. I'm dizzy. Ten minutes
ago I had no thought of leaving this dear spot. I
was planning what I meant to do for it in the spring
what I meant to do in the garden. And if we
leave this place who will get it? It is out-of-the-way,
so it's likely some poor, shiftless, wandering family
will rent it and over-run it and oh, that would be
desecration. It would hurt me horribly."
"I know. But we cannot sacrifice our own interests
to such considerations, Anne-girl. The Morgan place
will suit us in every essential particular we really
can't afford to miss such a chance. Think of that
big lawn with those magnificent old trees ; and of that
splendid hardwood grove behind it twelve acres of
it. What a play place for our children! There's a
fine orchard, too, and you've always admired that
high brick wall around the garden with the door in
it you've thought it was so like a story-book garden
And there is almost as fine a view of the harbour and
the dunes from the Morgan place as from here."
"You can't see the lighthouse star from it."
"Yes. You can see it from the attic window.
There's another advantage, Anne-girl you love big
"There's no brook in the garden."
"Well, no, but there is one running through the
rnaple grove into the Glen pond. And the pond itself
isn't far away. You'll be able to fancy you have
your own Lake of Shining Waters again."
"Well, don't say anything more about it just now,
Gilbert. Give me time to think to get used to the
340 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
"All right. There is no great hurry, of course.
Only if we decide to buy, it would be well to be
moved in and settled before winter."
Gilbert went out, and Anne put away Little Jem's
short dresses with trembling hands. She could not
sew any more that day. With tear-wet eyes she
wandered over the little domain where she had reigned
so happy a queen. The Morgan place was all that
Gilbert claimed. The grounds were beautiful, the
house old enough to have dignity and repose and tradi-
tions, and new enough to be comfortable and up-to-
date. Anne had always admired it; but admiring is
not loving; and she loved this little house of dreams
so much. She loved everything about it the garden
she had tended, and which so many women had tended
before her the gleam and sparkle of the little brook
that crept so roguishly across the corner the gate be-
tween the creaking fir trees the old red sandstone
step the stately Lombardies the two tiny quaint
glass cupboards over the chimney-piece in the living-
room the crooked pantry door in the kitchen the
two funny dormer windows upstairs the little jog
in the staircase why, these things were a part of
her! How could she leave them?
And how this little house, consecrated aforetime by
love and joy, had been re-consecrated for her by her
happiness and sorrow ! Here she had spent her bridal
moon; here wee Joyce had lived her one brief day;
here the sweetness of motherhood had come again
with Little Jem; here She had heard the exquisite
music of her baby's cooing laughter; here beloved
friends had sat by her fireside. Joy and grief, birth
and death, had made sacred forever this little house
And now she must leave it. She knew that, even
while she had contended against the idea to Gilbert.
The little house was out-grown. Gilbert's interests
made the change necessary; his work, successful
though it had been, was hampered by his location.
Anne realised that the end of their life in this dear
place drew nigh, and that she must face the fact
bravely. But how her heart ached!
"It will just be like tearing something out of my
life," she sobbed. "And oh, if I could hope that some
nice folk would come here in our place or even that
it would be left vacant. That itself would be better
than having it overrun with some horde who know
nothing of the geography of dreamland, and nothing
of the history that has given this house its soul and
its identity. And if such a tribe come here the place
will go to rack and ruin in no time an old place goes
down so quickly if it is not carefully attended to.
They'll tear up my garden and let the Lombardies
get ragged and the paling will come to look like a
mouth with half the teeth missing and the roof will
leak and the plaster fall and they'll stuff pillows
and rags in broken window panes and everything
will be out-at-elbows."
342 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
Anne's imagination pictured forth so vividly the
coming degeneration of her dear little house that it
hurt her as severely as if it had already been an ac-
complished fact. She sat down on the stairs and had
a long, bitter cry. Susan found her there and en-
quired with much concern what the trouble was.
"You have not quarrelled with the doctor, have you
now, Mrs. Doctor, dear? But if you have, do not
worry. It is a thing quite likely to happen with mar-
ried couples, I am told, although I have had no ex-
perience that way myself. He will be sorry, and you
can soon make it up."
"No, no, Susan, we haven't quarrelled. It's only
Gilbert is going to buy the Morgan place, and we'll
have to go and live at the Glen. And it will break my
Susan did not enter into Anne's feelings at all. She
was, indeed, quite rejoiced over the prospect of living
at the Glen. Her one grievance against her place in
the little house was its lonesome location.
"Why, Mrs. Doctor, dear, it will be splendid. The
Morgan house is such a fine, big one."
"I hate big houses," sobbed Anne.
"Oh, well, you will not hate them by the time you
have half a dozen children," remarked Susan calmly.
"And this house is too small already for us. We have
no spare room, since Mrs. Moore is here, and that
pantry is the most aggravating place I ever tried to
work in. There is a corner every way you turn. Be-
sides, it is out-of-the-world down here. There is
really nothing at all but scenery."
"Out of your world perhaps, Susan but not out of
mine," said Anne with a faint smile.
"I do not quite understand you, Mrs. Doctor, dear,
but of course I am not well educated. But if Dr.
Blythe buys the Morgan place he will make no mis-
take, and that you may tie to. They have water in
it, and the pantries and closets are beautiful, and there
is not another such cellar in P. E. Island, so I have
been told. Why, the cellar here, Mrs. Doctor, dear,
has been a heart-break to me, as well you know."
"Oh, go away, Susan, go away," said Anne for-
lornly. "Cellars and pantries and closets don't make
a home. Why don't you weep with those who weep?"
"Well, I never was much hand for weeping, Mrs.
Doctor, dear. I would rather fall to and cheer people
up than weep with them. Now, do not you cry and
spoil your pretty eyes. This house is very well and
has served your turn, but it is high time you had a
Susan's point of view seemed to be that of most
people. Leslie was the only one who sympathised un-
derstandingly with Anne. She had a good cry, too,
when she heard the news. Then they both dried their
tears and went to work at the preparations for mov-
344 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
"Since we must go let us go as soon as we can and
have it over," said poor Anne with bitter resignation.
"You know you will like that lovely old place at the
Glen after you have lived in it long enough to have
dear memories woven about it," said Leslie. "Friends
will come there, as they have come here happiness
will glorify it for you. Now, it's just a house to you
but the years will make it a home."
Anne and Leslie had another cry the next week
when they shortened Little Jem. Anne felt the trag-
edy of it until evening when in his long nightie she
found her own dear baby again.
"But it will be rompers next and then trousers
and in no time he will be grown-up," she sighed.
"Well, you would not want him to stay a baby
always, Mrs. Doctor, dear, would you?" said Susan.
"Bless his innocent heart, he looks too sweet for any-
thing in his little short dresses, with his dear feet
sticking out. And think of the save in the ironing,
Mrs. Doctor, dear."
"Anne, I have just had a letter from Owen," said
Leslie, entering with a bright face. "And, oh ! I have
such good news. He writes me that he is going to
buy this place from the church trustees and keep it to
spend our summer vacations in. Anne, are you not
"Oh, Leslie, 'glad' isn't the word for it! It seems
almost too good to be true. I sha'n't feel half so badly
now that I know this dear spot will never be dese-
crated by a vandal tribe, or left to tumble down in
decay. Why, it's lovely! It's lovely!"
One October morning Anne wakened to the realisa-
tion that she had slept for the last time under the roof
of her little house. The day was too busy to indulge
regret and when evening came the house was stripped
and bare. Anne and Gilbert were alone in it to say
farewell. Leslie and Susan and Little Jem had gone
to the Glen with the last load of furniture. The
sunset light streamed in through the curtainless
"It has all such a heart-broken, reproachful look,
hasn't it?" said Anne. "Oh, I shall be so homesick
at the Glen tonight !"
"We have been very happy here, haven't we, Anne-
girl?" said Gilbert, his voice full of feeling.
Anne choked, unable to answer. Gilbert waited
for her at the fir-tree gate, while she went over the
house and said farewell to every room. She was
going away; but the old house would still be there,
looking seaward through its quaint windows. The
autumn winds would blow around it mournfully, and
the gray*rain would beat upon it and the white mists
would come in from the sea to enfold it; and the
moonlight would fall over it and light up the old
paths where the schoolmaster and his bride had
walked. There on that old harbour shore the charm
of story would linger; the wind would still whistle
346 ANNE'S HOUSE OF DREAMS
alluringly over the silver sand-dunes ; the waves would
still call from the red rock-coves.
"But we will be gone," said Anne through her
She went out, closing and locking the door behind
her. Gilbert was waiting for her with a smile. The
lighthouse star was gleaming northward. The little
garden, where only marigolds still bloomed, was
already hooding itself in shadows.
Anne knelt down and kissed the worn old step
which she had crossed as a bride.
"Good-bye, dear little house of dreams," she said
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