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|Anne's House of Dreams||Lucy Maud Montgomery|
|Page 2 of 5||
"You--you must think me crazy," stammered Anne, trying to recover her self-possession. To be seen by this stately girl in such an abandon of childishness--she, Mrs. Dr. Blythe, with all the dignity of the matron to keep up--it was too bad!
"No," said the girl, "I don't."
She said nothing more; her voice was expressionless; her manner slightly repellent; but there was something in her eyes--eager yet shy, defiant yet pleading--which turned Anne from her purpose of walking away. Instead, she sat down on the boulder beside the girl.
"Let's introduce ourselves," she said, with the smile that had never yet failed to win confidence and friendliness. "I am Mrs. Blythe--and I live in that little white house up the harbor shore."
"Yes, I know," said the girl. "I am Leslie Moore--Mrs. Dick Moore," she added stiffly.
Anne was silent for a moment from sheer amazement. It had not occurred to her that this girl was married--there seemed nothing of the wife about her. And that she should be the neighbor whom Anne had pictured as a commonplace Four Winds housewife! Anne could not quickly adjust her mental focus to this astonishing change.
"Then--then you live in that gray house up the brook," she stammered.
"Yes. I should have gone over to call on you long ago," said the other. She did not offer any explanation or excuse for not having gone.
"I wish you WOULD come," said Anne, recovering herself somewhat. "We're such near neighbors we ought to be friends. That is the sole fault of Four Winds--there aren't quite enough neighbors. Otherwise it is perfection."
"You like it?"
"LIKE it! I love it. It is the most beautiful place I ever saw."
"I've never seen many places," said Leslie Moore, slowly, "but I've always thought it was very lovely here. I--I love it, too."
She spoke, as she looked, shyly, yet eagerly. Anne had an odd impression that this strange girl--the word "girl" would persist-- could say a good deal if she chose.
"I often come to the shore," she added.
"So do I," said Anne. "It's a wonder we haven't met here before."
"Probably you come earlier in the evening than I do. It is generally late--almost dark--when I come. And I love to come just after a storm--like this. I don't like the sea so well when it's calm and quiet. I like the struggle--and the crash--and the noise."
"I love it in all its moods," declared Anne. "The sea at Four Winds is to me what Lover's Lane was at home. Tonight it seemed so free--so untamed--something broke loose in me, too, out of sympathy. That was why I danced along the shore in that wild way. I didn't suppose anybody was looking, of course. If Miss Cornelia Bryant had seen me she would have forboded a gloomy prospect for poor young Dr. Blythe."
"You know Miss Cornelia?" said Leslie, laughing. She had an exquisite laugh; it bubbled up suddenly and unexpectedly with something of the delicious quality of a baby's. Anne laughed, too.
"Oh, yes. She has been down to my house of dreams several times."
"Your house of dreams?"
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|Anne's House of Dreams
Lucy Maud Montgomery
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