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By L. M. MONTGOMERY
Author of "Anne of Green Gables," "Anne of the Island," "Anne's House of Dreams," "The Story Girl," "The Watchman," etc.
"The thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts." --LONGFELLOW
TO THE MEMORY OF
GOLDWIN LAPP, ROBERT BROOKES AND MORLEY SHIER
WHO MADE THE SUPREME SACRIFICE THAT THE HAPPY VALLEYS OF THEIR HOME LAND MIGHT BE KEPT SACRED FROM THE RAVAGE OF THE INVADER
I. Home Again II. Sheer Gossip III. The Ingleside Children IV. The Manse Children V. The Advent of Mary Vanse VI. Mary Stays at the Manse VII. A Fishy Episode VIII. Miss Cornelia Intervenes IX. Una Intervenes X. The Manse Girls Clean House XI. A Dreadful Discovery XII. An Explanation and a Dare XIII. The House on the Hill XIV. Mrs. Alec Davis Makes a Call XV. More Gossip XVI. Tit for Tat XVII. A Double Victory XVIII. Mary Brings Evil Tidings XIX. Poor Adam! XX. Faith Makes a Friend XXI. The Impossible Word XXII. St. George Knows All About It XXIII. The Good-Conduct Club XXIV. A Charitable Impulse XXV. Another Scandal and Another "Explanation" XXVI. Miss Cornelia Gets a New Point of View XXVII. A Sacred Concert XXVIII. A Fast Day XXIX. A Weird Tale XXX. The Ghost on the Dyke XXXI. Carl Does Penance XXXII. Two Stubborn People XXXIII. Carl Is--not--whipped XXXIV. Una Visits the Hill XXXV. "Let the Piper Come"
CHAPTER I. HOME AGAIN
It was a clear, apple-green evening in May, and Four Winds Harbour was mirroring back the clouds of the golden west between its softly dark shores. The sea moaned eerily on the sand-bar, sorrowful even in spring, but a sly, jovial wind came piping down the red harbour road along which Miss Cornelia's comfortable, matronly figure was making its way towards the village of Glen St. Mary. Miss Cornelia was rightfully Mrs. Marshall Elliott, and had been Mrs. Marshall Elliott for thirteen years, but even yet more people referred to her as Miss Cornelia than as Mrs. Elliott. The old name was dear to her old friends, only one of them contemptuously dropped it. Susan Baker, the gray and grim and faithful handmaiden of the Blythe family at Ingleside, never lost an opportunity of calling her "Mrs. Marshall Elliott," with the most killing and pointed emphasis, as if to say "You wanted to be Mrs. and Mrs. you shall be with a vengeance as far as I am concerned."
Miss Cornelia was going up to Ingleside to see Dr. and Mrs. Blythe, who were just home from Europe. They had been away for three months, having left in February to attend a famous medical congress in London; and certain things, which Miss Cornelia was anxious to discuss, had taken place in the Glen during their absence. For one thing, there was a new family in the manse. And such a family! Miss Cornelia shook her head over them several times as she walked briskly along.
Susan Baker and the Anne Shirley of other days saw her coming, as they sat on the big veranda at Ingleside, enjoying the charm of the cat's light, the sweetness of sleepy robins whistling among the twilit maples, and the dance of a gusty group of daffodils blowing against the old, mellow, red brick wall of the lawn.
Anne was sitting on the steps, her hands clasped over her knee, looking, in the kind dusk, as girlish as a mother of many has any right to be; and the beautiful gray-green eyes, gazing down the harbour road, were as full of unquenchable sparkle and dream as ever. Behind her, in the hammock, Rilla Blythe was curled up, a fat, roly-poly little creature of six years, the youngest of the Ingleside children. She had curly red hair and hazel eyes that were now buttoned up after the funny, wrinkled fashion in which Rilla always went to sleep.
Shirley, "the little brown boy," as he was known in the family "Who's Who," was asleep in Susan's arms. He was brown-haired, brown-eyed and brown-skinned, with very rosy cheeks, and he was Susan's especial love. After his birth Anne had been very ill for a long time, and Susan "mothered" the baby with a passionate tenderness which none of the other children, dear as they were to her, had ever called out. Dr. Blythe had said that but for her he would never have lived.