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of Green Gables, by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Solemn Vow and Promise
was not until the next Friday that Marilla heard the story of the
flower-wreathed hat. She came
home from Mrs. Lynde's and called Anne to account.
Mrs. Rachel says you went to church last Sunday with your hat rigged out
ridiculous with roses and buttercups.
What on earth put you up to such a caper? A pretty-looking object
you must have been!"
I know pink and yellow aren't becoming to me," began Anne.
fiddlesticks! It was putting
flowers on your hat at all, no matter what color they were, that was
ridiculous. You are the most aggravating child!"
don't see why it's any more ridiculous to wear flowers on your hat than on
your dress," protested Anne. "Lots
of little girls there had bouquets pinned on their dresses. What's the
was not to be drawn from the safe concrete into dubious paths of the
answer me back like that, Anne. It
was very silly of you to do such a thing.
Never let me catch you at such a trick again.
Mrs. Rachel says she thought she would sink through the floor when
she come in all rigged out like that.
She couldn't get near enough to tell you to take them off till it
was too late. She says people talked about it something dreadful.
Of course they would think I had no better sense than to let you go
decked out like that."
I'm so sorry," said Anne, tears welling into her eyes. "I never
thought you'd mind. The roses
and buttercups were so sweet and pretty I thought they'd look lovely on my
hat. Lots of the little girls
had artificial flowers on their hats. I'm
afraid I'm going to be a dreadful trial to you.
Maybe you'd better send me back to the asylum. That would be
terrible; I don't think I could endure it; most likely I would go into
consumption; I'm so thin as it is, you see.
But that would be better than being a trial to you."
said Marilla, vexed at herself for having made the child cry.
"I don't want to send you back to the asylum, I'm sure. All I want is that you should behave like other little girls
and not make yourself ridiculous. Don't
cry any more. I've got some
news for you. Diana Barry came
home this afternoon. I'm going
up to see if I can borrow a skirt pattern from Mrs. Barry, and if you like
you can come with me and get acquainted with Diana."
rose to her feet, with clasped hands, the tears still glistening on her
cheeks; the dish towel she had been hemming slipped unheeded to the floor.
Marilla, I'm frightened--now that it has come I'm actually frightened.
What if she shouldn't like me! It
would be the most tragical disappointment of my life."
don't get into a fluster. And I
do wish you wouldn't use such long words.
It sounds so funny in a little girl. I guess Diana'll like you well
enough. It's her mother you've
got to reckon with. If she doesn't like you it won't matter how much Diana does.
If she has heard about your outburst to Mrs. Lynde and going to
church with buttercups round your hat I don't know what she'll think of you.
You must be polite and well behaved, and don't make any of your
startling speeches. For pity's
sake, if the child isn't actually trembling!"
WAS trembling. Her face was
pale and tense.
Marilla, you'd be excited, too, if you were going to meet a little girl you
hoped to be your bosom friend and whose mother mightn't like you," she
said as she hastened to get her hat.
went over to Orchard Slope by the short cut across the brook and up the
firry hill grove. Mrs. Barry
came to the kitchen door in answer to Marilla's knock.
She was a tall black-eyed, black-haired woman, with a very resolute
mouth. She had the reputation
of being very strict with her children.
do you do, Marilla?" she said cordially.
"Come in. And this is the little girl you have adopted, I
this is Anne Shirley," said Marilla.
with an E," gasped Anne, who, tremulous and excited as she was, was
determined there should be no misunderstanding on that important point.
Barry, not hearing or not comprehending, merely shook hands and said kindly:
am well in body although considerable rumpled up in spirit, thank you
ma'am," said Anne gravely. Then
aside to Marilla in an audible whisper, "There wasn't anything
startling in that, was there, Marilla?"
was sitting on the sofa, reading a book which she dropped when the callers
entered. She was a very pretty
little girl, with her mother's black eyes and hair, and rosy cheeks, and the
merry expression which was her inheritance from her father.
is my little girl Diana," said Mrs. Barry.
"Diana, you might take Anne out into the garden and show her
your flowers. It will be better
for you than straining your eyes over that book.
She reads entirely too much--" this to Marilla as the little
girls went out--"and I can't prevent her, for her father aids and abets
her. She's always poring over a
book. I'm glad she has the
prospect of a playmate-- perhaps it will take her more out-of-doors."
in the garden, which was full of mellow sunset light streaming through the
dark old firs to the west of it, stood Anne and Diana, gazing bashfully at
each other over a clump of gorgeous tiger lilies.
Barry garden was a bowery wilderness of flowers which would have delighted
Anne's heart at any time less fraught with destiny.
It was encircled by huge old willows and tall firs, beneath which
flourished flowers that loved the shade.
Prim, right-angled paths neatly bordered with clamshells, intersected
it like moist red ribbons and in the beds between old-fashioned flowers ran
riot. There were rosy
bleeding-hearts and great splendid crimson peonies; white, fragrant narcissi
and thorny, sweet Scotch roses; pink and blue and white columbines and
lilac-tinted Bouncing Bets; clumps of southernwood and ribbon grass and
mint; purple Adam-and-Eve, daffodils, and masses of sweet clover white with
its delicate, fragrant, feathery sprays; scarlet lightning that shot its
fiery lances over prim white musk-flowers; a garden it was where sunshine
lingered and bees hummed, and winds, beguiled into loitering, purred and
Diana," said Anne at last, clasping her hands and speaking almost in a
whisper, "oh, do you think you can like me a little--enough to be my
laughed. Diana always laughed
before she spoke.
I guess so," she said frankly. "I'm
awfully glad you've come to live at Green Gables.
It will be jolly to have somebody to play with.
There isn't any other girl who lives near enough to play with, and
I've no sisters big enough."
you swear to be my friend forever and ever?" demanded Anne eagerly.
it's dreadfully wicked to swear," she said rebukingly.
no, not my kind of swearing. There
are two kinds, you know."
never heard of but one kind," said Diana doubtfully.
really is another. Oh, it isn't
wicked at all. It just means
vowing and promising solemnly."
I don't mind doing that," agreed Diana, relieved. "How do you do
must join hands--so," said Anne gravely.
"It ought to be over running water.
We'll just imagine this path is running water.
I'll repeat the oath first. I
solemnly swear to be faithful to my bosom friend, Diana Barry, as long as
the sun and moon shall endure. Now
you say it and put my name in."
repeated the "oath" with a laugh fore and aft.
Then she said:
a queer girl, Anne. I heard
before that you were queer. But
I believe I'm going to like you real well."
Marilla and Anne went home Diana went with them as for as the log bridge.
The two little girls walked with their arms about each other. At the brook they parted with many promises to spend the next
did you find Diana a kindred spirit?" asked Marilla as they went up
through the garden of Green Gables.
yes," sighed Anne, blissfully unconscious of any sarcasm on Marilla's
part. "Oh Marilla, I'm the
happiest girl on Prince Edward Island this very moment.
I assure you I'll say my prayers with a right good-will tonight.
Diana and I are going to build a playhouse in Mr. William Bell's birch grove
tomorrow. Can I have those broken pieces of china that are out in the
woodshed? Diana's birthday is
in February and mine is in March. Don't
you think that is a very strange coincidence?
Diana is going to lend me a book to read. She says it's perfectly splendid and tremendously exciting.
She's going to show me a place back in the woods where rice lilies
grow. Don't you think Diana has
got very soulful eyes? I wish I had soulful eyes.
Diana is going to teach me to sing a song called `Nelly in the Hazel
Dell.' She's going to give me a
picture to put up in my room; it's a perfectly beautiful picture, she
says--a lovely lady in a pale blue silk dress. A sewing-machine agent gave
it to her. I wish I had
something to give Diana. I'm an
inch taller than Diana, but she is ever so much fatter; she says she'd like
to be thin because it's so much more graceful, but I'm afraid she only said
it to soothe my feelings. We're
going to the shore some day to gather shells. We have agreed to call the
spring down by the log bridge the Dryad's Bubble.
Isn't that a perfectly elegant name?
I read a story once about a spring called that.
A dryad is sort of a grown-up fairy, I think."
all I hope is you won't talk Diana to death," said Marilla.
"But remember this in all your planning, Anne. You're not going
to play all the time nor most of it. You'll
have your work to do and it'll have to be done first."
cup of happiness was full, and Matthew caused it to overflow.
He had just got home from a trip to the store at Carmody, and he
sheepishly produced a small parcel from his pocket and handed it to Anne,
with a deprecatory look at Marilla.
heard you say you liked chocolate sweeties, so I got you some," he
sniffed Marilla. "It'll
ruin her teeth and stomach. There, there, child, don't look so dismal.
You can eat those, since Matthew has gone and got them.
He'd better have brought you peppermints.
They're wholesomer. Don't
sicken yourself eating all them at once now."
no, indeed, I won't," said Anne eagerly.
"I'll just eat one tonight, Marilla.
And I can give Diana half of them, can't I?
The other half will taste twice as sweet to me if I give some to her.
It's delightful to think I have something to give her."
will say it for the child," said Marilla when Anne had gone to her
gable, "she isn't stingy. I'm
glad, for of all faults I detest stinginess in a child.
Dear me, it's only three weeks since she came, and it seems as if
she'd been here always. I can't
imagine the place without her. Now,
don't be looking I told-you-so, Matthew.
That's bad enough in a woman, but it isn't to be endured in a man. I'm perfectly willing to own up that I'm glad I consented to
keep the child and that I'm getting fond of her, but don't you rub it in,
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