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The Golden Road Lucy Maud Montgomery

Great-aunt Eliza's Visit

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Accordingly we all filed in rather reluctantly. Great-aunt Eliza was toasting her toes--clad, as we noted, in very smart and shapely shoes--at the stove and looking quite at her ease. Cecily, determined to do her duty even in the face of such fearful odds as Great-aunt Eliza's deafness, dragged a ponderous, plush-covered album from its corner and proceeded to display and explain the family photographs. She did her brave best but she could not shout like Felicity, and half the time, as she confided to me later on, she felt that Great-aunt Eliza did not hear one word she said, because she didn't seem to take in who the people were, though, just like all deaf folks, she wouldn't let on. Great-aunt Eliza certainly didn't talk much; she looked at the photographs in silence, but she smiled now and then. That smile bothered me. It was so twinkly and so very un-great-aunt-Elizaish. But I felt indignant with her. I thought she might have shown a little more appreciation of Cecily's gallant efforts to entertain.

It was very dull for the rest of us. The Story Girl sat rather sulkily in her corner; she was angry because Felicity would not let her make the rusks, and also, perhaps, a little vexed because she could not charm Great-aunt Eliza with her golden voice and story-telling gift. Felix and I looked at each other and wished ourselves out in the hill field, careering gloriously adown its gleaming crust.

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But presently a little amusement came our way. Dan, who was sitting behind Great-aunt Eliza, and consequently out of her view, began making comments on Cecily's explanation of this one and that one among the photographs. In vain Cecily implored him to stop. It was too good fun to give up. For the next half-hour the dialogue ran after this fashion, while Peter and Felix and I, and even the Story Girl, suffered agonies trying to smother our bursts of laughter--for Great-aunt Eliza could see if she couldn't hear:

CECILY, SHOUTING:--"That is Mr. Joseph Elliott of Markdale, a second cousin of mother's."

DAN:--"Don't brag of it, Sis. He's the man who was asked if somebody else said something in sincerity and old Joe said 'No, he said it in my cellar.'"

CECILY:--"This isn't anybody in our family. It's little Xavy Gautier who used to be hired with Uncle Roger."

DAN:--"Uncle Roger sent him to fix a gate one day and scolded him because he didn't do it right, and Xavy was mad as hops and said 'How you 'spect me to fix dat gate? I never learned jogerfy.'"

CECILY, WITH AN ANGUISHED GLANCE AT DAN:--"This is Great-uncle Robert King."

DAN:--"He's been married four times. Don't you think that's often enough, dear great-aunty?"

CECILY:--"(Dan!!) This is a nephew of Mr. Ambrose Marr's. He lives out west and teaches school."

DAN:--"Yes, and Uncle Roger says he doesn't know enough not to sleep in a field with the gate open."

CECILY:--"This is Miss Julia Stanley, who used to teach in Carlisle a few years ago."

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The Golden Road
Lucy Maud Montgomery

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