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|Anne's House of Dreams||Lucy Maud Montgomery|
|Page 4 of 5||
"And you are never lonely?" asked Leslie abruptly. "Never-- when you are alone?"
"No. I don't think I've ever been really lonely in my life," answered Anne. "Even when I'm alone I have real good company-- dreams and imaginations and pretendings. I LIKE to be alone now and then, just to think over things and TASTE them. But I love friendship-- and nice, jolly little times with people. Oh, WON'T you come to see me--often? Please do. I believe," Anne added, laughing, "that you'd like me if you knew me."
"I wonder if YOU would like ME," said Leslie seriously. She was not fishing for a compliment. She looked out across the waves that were beginning to be garlanded with blossoms of moonlit foam, and her eyes filled with shadows.
"I'm sure I would," said Anne. "And please don't think I'm utterly irresponsible because you saw me dancing on the shore at sunset. No doubt I shall be dignified after a time. You see, I haven't been married very long. I feel like a girl, and sometimes like a child, yet."
"I have been married twelve years," said Leslie.
Here was another unbelievable thing.
"Why, you can't be as old as I am!" exclaimed Anne. "You must have been a child when you were married."
"I was sixteen," said Leslie, rising, and picking up the cap and jacket lying beside her. "I am twenty-eight now. Well, I must go back."
"So must I. Gilbert will probably be home. But I'm so glad we both came to the shore tonight and met each other."
Leslie said nothing, and Anne was a little chilled. She had offered friendship frankly but it had not been accepted very graciously, if it had not been absolutely repelled. In silence they climbed the cliffs and walked across a pasture-field of which the feathery, bleached, wild grasses were like a carpet of creamy velvet in the moonlight. When they reached the shore lane Leslie turned.
"I go this way, Mrs. Blythe. You will come over and see me some time, won't you?"
Anne felt as if the invitation had been thrown at her. She got the impression that Leslie Moore gave it reluctantly.
"I will come if you really want me to," she said a little coldly.
"Oh, I do--I do," exclaimed Leslie, with an eagerness which seemed to burst forth and beat down some restraint that had been imposed on it.
"Then I'll come. Good-night--Leslie."
"Good-night, Mrs. Blythe."
Anne walked home in a brown study and poured out her tale to Gilbert.
"So Mrs. Dick Moore isn't one of the race that knows Joseph?" said Gilbert teasingly.
"No--o--o, not exactly. And yet--I think she WAS one of them once, but has gone or got into exile," said Anne musingly. "She is certainly very different from the other women about here. You can't talk about eggs and butter to HER. To think I've been imagining her a second Mrs. Rachel Lynde! Have you ever seen Dick Moore, Gilbert?"
"No. I've seen several men working about the fields of the farm, but I don't know which was Moore."
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|Anne's House of Dreams
Lucy Maud Montgomery
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