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|Anne of the Island||Lucy Maud Montgomery|
"He Just Kept Coming and Coming"
|Page 2 of 2||
"No, I guess not. I was afraid to try, anyway, for fear he'd think I meant it and just go. I suppose I'm a poor-spirited creature, but that is how I feel. And I can't help it."
"Oh, you COULD help it, Janet. It isn't too late yet. Take a firm stand. Let that man know you are not going to endure his shillyshallying any longer. I'LL back you up."
"I dunno," said Janet hopelessly. "I dunno if I could ever get up enough spunk. Things have drifted so long. But I'll think it over."
Anne felt that she was disappointed in John Douglas. She had liked him so well, and she had not thought him the sort of man who would play fast and loose with a woman's feelings for twenty years. He certainly should be taught a lesson, and Anne felt vindictively that she would enjoy seeing the process. Therefore she was delighted when Janet told her, as they were going to prayer-meeting the next night, that she meant to show some "sperrit."
"I'll let John Douglas see I'm not going to be trodden on any longer."
"You are perfectly right," said Anne emphatically.
When prayer-meeting was over John Douglas came up with his usual request. Janet looked frightened but resolute.
"No, thank you," she said icily. "I know the road home pretty well alone. I ought to, seeing I've been traveling it for forty years. So you needn't trouble yourself, MR. Douglas."
Anne was looking at John Douglas; and, in that brilliant moonlight, she saw the last twist of the rack again. Without a word he turned and strode down the road.
"Stop! Stop!" Anne called wildly after him, not caring in the least for the other dumbfounded onlookers. "Mr. Douglas, stop! Come back."
John Douglas stopped but he did not come back. Anne flew down the road, caught his arm and fairly dragged him back to Janet.
"You must come back," she said imploringly. "It's all a mistake, Mr. Douglas -- all my fault. I made Janet do it. She didn't want to -- but it's all right now, isn't it, Janet?"
Without a word Janet took his arm and walked away. Anne followed them meekly home and slipped in by the back door.
"Well, you are a nice person to back me up," said Janet sarcastically.
"I couldn't help it, Janet," said Anne repentantly. "I just felt as if I had stood by and seen murder done. I HAD to run after him."
"Oh, I'm just as glad you did. When I saw John Douglas making off down that road I just felt as if every little bit of joy and happiness that was left in my life was going with him. It was an awful feeling."
"Did he ask you why you did it?" asked Anne.
"No, he never said a word about it," replied Janet dully.
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|Anne of the Island
Lucy Maud Montgomery
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