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|Anne's House of Dreams||Lucy Maud Montgomery|
On The Sand Bar
|Page 3 of 3||
"Oh, I wish Gilbert would come," thought Anne. She was racked between her sympathy for Leslie and the necessity of avoiding anything that would betray Owen's confidence. She knew why his good-bye had been so cold--why it could not have the cordiality that their good-comradeship demanded--but she could not tell Leslie.
"I couldn't help it, Anne--I couldn't help it," said poor Leslie.
"I know that."
"Do you blame me so very much?"
"I don't blame you at all."
"And you won't--you won't tell Gilbert?"
" Leslie! Do you think I would do such a thing?"
"Oh, I don't know--you and Gilbert are such CHUMS. I don't see how you could help telling him everything."
"Everything about my own concerns--yes. But not my friends' secrets."
"I couldn't have HIM know. But I'm glad YOU know. I would feel guilty if there were anything I was ashamed to tell you. I hope Miss Cornelia won't find out. Sometimes I feel as if those terrible, kind brown eyes of hers read my very soul. Oh, I wish this mist would never lift--I wish I could just stay in it forever, hidden away from every living being. I don't see how I can go on with life. This summer has been so full. I never was lonely for a moment. Before Owen came there used to be horrible moments--when I had been with you and Gilbert--and then had to leave you. You two would walk away together and I would walk away ALONE. After Owen came he was always there to walk home with me--we would laugh and talk as you and Gilbert were doing--there were no more lonely, envious moments for me. And NOW! Oh, yes, I've been a fool. Let's have done talking about my folly. I'll never bore you with it again."
"Here is Gilbert, and you are coming back with us," said Anne, who had no intention of leaving Leslie to wander alone on the sand-bar on such a night and in such a mood. "There's plenty of room in our boat for three, and we'll tie the flat on behind."
"Oh, I suppose I must reconcile myself to being the odd one again," said poor Leslie with another bitter laugh. "Forgive me, Anne--that was hateful. I ought to be thankful--and I AM--that I have two good friends who are glad to count me in as a third. Don't mind my hateful speeches. I just seem to be one great pain all over and everything hurts me."
"Leslie seemed very quiet tonight, didn't she?" said Gilbert, when he and Anne reached home. "What in the world was she doing over there on the bar alone?"
"Oh, she was tired--and you know she likes to go to the shore after one of Dick's bad days."
"What a pity she hadn't met and married a fellow like Ford long ago," ruminated Gilbert. "They'd have made an ideal couple, wouldn't they?"
"For pity's sake, Gilbert, don't develop into a match-maker. It's an abominable profession for a man," cried Anne rather sharply, afraid that Gilbert might blunder on the truth if he kept on in this strain.
"Bless us, Anne-girl, I'm not matchmaking," protested Gilbert, rather surprised at her tone. "I was only thinking of one of the might-have-beens."
"Well, don't. It's a waste of time," said Anne. Then she added suddenly:
"Oh, Gilbert, I wish everybody could be as happy as we are."
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|Anne's House of Dreams
Lucy Maud Montgomery
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