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Anne of the Island Lucy Maud Montgomery

A Dream Turned Upside Down

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"I don't understand," said Anne, blankly.

Diana clapped her hands.

"Oh, I KNEW it would win the prize -- I was sure of it. _I_ sent your story into the competition, Anne."

"Diana -- Barry!"

"Yes, I did," said Diana gleefully, perching herself on the bed. "When I saw the offer I thought of your story in a minute, and at first I thought I'd ask you to send it in. But then I was afraid you wouldn't -- you had so little faith left in it. So I just decided I'd send the copy you gave me, and say nothing about it. Then, if it didn't win the prize, you'd never know and you wouldn't feel badly over it, because the stories that failed were not to be returned, and if it did you'd have such a delightful surprise."

Diana was not the most discerning of mortals, but just at this moment it struck her that Anne was not looking exactly overjoyed. The surprise was there, beyond doubt -- but where was the delight?

"Why, Anne, you don't seem a bit pleased!" she exclaimed.

Anne instantly manufactured a smile and put it on.

"Of course I couldn't be anything but pleased over your unselfish wish to give me pleasure," she said slowly. "But you know -- I'm so amazed -- I can't realize it -- and I don't understand. There wasn't a word in my story about -- about -- " Anne choked a little over the word -- "baking powder."

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"Oh, _I_ put that in," said Diana, reassured. "It was as easy as wink -- and of course my experience in our old Story Club helped me. You know the scene where Averil makes the cake? Well, I just stated that she used the Rollings Reliable in it, and that was why it turned out so well; and then, in the last paragraph, where PERCEVAL clasps AVERIL in his arms and says, `Sweetheart, the beautiful coming years will bring us the fulfilment of our home of dreams,' I added, `in which we will never use any baking powder except Rollings Reliable.'"

"Oh," gasped poor Anne, as if some one had dashed cold water on her.

"And you've won the twenty-five dollars," continued Diana jubilantly. "Why, I heard Priscilla say once that the Canadian Woman only pays five dollars for a story!"

Anne held out the hateful pink slip in shaking fingers.

"I can't take it -- it's yours by right, Diana. You sent the story in and made the alterations. I -- I would certainly never have sent it. So you must take the check."

"I'd like to see myself," said Diana scornfully. "Why, what I did wasn't any trouble. The honor of being a friend of the prizewinner is enough for me. Well, I must go. I should have gone straight home from the post office for we have company. But I simply had to come and hear the news. I'm so glad for your sake, Anne."

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Anne of the Island
Lucy Maud Montgomery

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