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|Anne Of Green Gables||Lucy Maud Montgomery|
Chapter III Marilla Cuthbert Is Surprised
|Page 4 of 4||
She deliberately picked up Anne's clothes, placed them neatly on a prim yellow chair, and then, taking up the candle, went over to the bed.
"Good night," she said, a little awkwardly, but not unkindly.
Anne's white face and big eyes appeared over the bedclothes with a startling suddenness.
"How can you call it a GOOD night when you know it must be the very worst night I've ever had?" she said reproachfully.
Then she dived down into invisibility again.
Marilla went slowly down to the kitchen and proceeded to wash the supper dishes. Matthew was smoking--a sure sign of perturbation of mind. He seldom smoked, for Marilla set her face against it as a filthy habit; but at certain times and seasons he felt driven to it and them Marilla winked at the practice, realizing that a mere man must have some vent for his emotions.
"Well, this is a pretty kettle of fish," she said wrathfully. "This is what comes of sending word instead of going ourselves. Richard Spencer's folks have twisted that message somehow. One of us will have to drive over and see Mrs. Spencer tomorrow, that's certain. This girl will have to be sent back to the asylum."
"Yes, I suppose so," said Matthew reluctantly.
"You SUPPOSE so! Don't you know it?"
"Well now, she's a real nice little thing, Marilla. It's kind of a pity to send her back when she's so set on staying here."
"Matthew Cuthbert, you don't mean to say you think we ought to keep her!"
Marilla's astonishment could not have been greater if Matthew had expressed a predilection for standing on his head.
"Well, now, no, I suppose not--not exactly," stammered Matthew, uncomfortably driven into a corner for his precise meaning. "I suppose--we could hardly be expected to keep her."
"I should say not. What good would she be to us?"
"We might be some good to her," said Matthew suddenly and unexpectedly.
"Matthew Cuthbert, I believe that child has bewitched you! I can see as plain as plain that you want to keep her."
"Well now, she's a real interesting little thing," persisted Matthew. "You should have heard her talk coming from the station."
"Oh, she can talk fast enough. I saw that at once. It's nothing in her favour, either. I don't like children who have so much to say. I don't want an orphan girl and if I did she isn't the style I'd pick out. There's something I don't understand about her. No, she's got to be despatched straight-way back to where she came from."
"I could hire a French boy to help me," said Matthew, "and she'd be company for you."
"I'm not suffering for company," said Marilla shortly. "And I'm not going to keep her."
"Well now, it's just as you say, of course, Marilla," said Matthew rising and putting his pipe away. "I'm going to bed."
To bed went Matthew. And to bed, when she had put her dishes away, went Marilla, frowning most resolutely. And up-stairs, in the east gable, a lonely, heart-hungry, friendless child cried herself to sleep.
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|Anne Of Green Gables
Lucy Maud Montgomery
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