There are plenty of
people 12 in
Avonlea 2 and out of
it 2 , who can attend closely to ’s business by dint of neglecting
their 12 own ; but
Mrs. Rachel Lynde 0 was
those capable creatures who can manage
own concerns and those of
other folks 15
into the bargain 14
She 0 was
a notable housewife 83 ;
her 0 work was always done and well done ;
she 0 “ ran ” the Sewing Circle , helped run the Sunday-school , and was the strongest prop of the
Church Aid Society 16 and
Foreign Missions Auxiliary 17 .
Yet with all this
Mrs. Rachel 0 found abundant time to sit for hours at
kitchen 18 window , knitting “ cotton warp ” quilts --
she 0 had knitted sixteen of them , as
were wont to tell in awed voices -- and keeping a sharp eye on
the main road that crossed
the hollow 7
and wound up
the steep red hill beyond 20 1
Avonlea 2 occupied
a little triangular peninsula jutting out into
the Gulf of St. Lawrence 22
with water on two sides of
it 2 21
had to pass over
anybody who went out of
it 2 23
that hill road 1 and so run the unseen gauntlet of
Mrs. Rachel 0 ’s all-seeing eye .
She 0 was sitting there one afternoon in early June .
The sun was coming in at the window warm and bright ;
the orchard 24 on the slope below
the house 26 was in a bridal flush of pinky-white bloom , hummed over by a myriad of bees .
Thomas Lynde 25 --
-- was sowing
a meek little man whom
Rachel Lynde 0
’s husband 25
his 25 late turnip seed on
the hill field beyond
the barn 28 20
Matthew Cuthbert 29 ought to have been sowing
his 29 on
the big red brook field away over by
Green Gables 31 30
Mrs. Rachel 0 knew that
he 29 ought because
she 0 had heard
him 29 tell
Peter Morrison 32 the evening before in
William J. Blair 34
’s store 33
Carmody 35 that
he 29 meant to sow
his 29 turnip seed the next afternoon .
Peter 32 had asked
him 29 , of course , for
Matthew Cuthbert 29 had never been known to volunteer information about anything in
his 29 whole life .
And yet here was
Matthew Cuthbert 29 , at half-past three on the afternoon of a busy day , placidly driving over
the hollow 7 and up
the hill 20 ; moreover ,
he 29 wore a white collar and
his 29 best suit of clothes , which was plain proof that
he 29 was going out of
Avonlea 2 ; and
he 29 had
the buggy 36 and the sorrel mare , which betokened that
he 29 was going a considerable distance .
Now , where was
Matthew Cuthbert 29 going and why was
he 29 going there ?
Had it been
any other man in
Avonlea 2 37
Mrs. Rachel 0 , deftly putting this and that together , might have given a pretty good guess as to both questions .
Matthew 29 so rarely went from
home 31 that it must be something pressing and unusual which was taking
him 29 ;
he 29 was
the shyest man alive 85 and hated to have to go among
strangers 38 or to any place where
he 29 might have to talk .
Matthew 29 , dressed up with a white collar and driving in
a buggy 39 , was something that did n’t happen often .
Mrs. Rachel 0 , ponder as
she 0 might , could make nothing of it and
her 0 afternoon ’s enjoyment was spoiled .
I 0 ’ll just step over to
Green Gables 31 after tea and find out from
Marilla 40 where
he 29 ’s gone and why , ”
the worthy woman 0 finally concluded .
He 29 does n’t generally go to
town 41 this time of year and
he 29 _ never _ visits ; if
he 29 ’d run out of turnip seed
he 29 would n’t dress up and take
the buggy 36 to go for more ;
he 29 was n’t driving fast enough to be going for
a doctor 42 .
Yet something must have happened since last night to start
him 29 off .
I 0 ’m clean puzzled , that ’s what , and
I 0 wo n’t know a minute ’s peace of mind or conscience until
I 0 know what has taken
Matthew Cuthbert 29 out of
Avonlea 2 today . ”
Accordingly after tea
Mrs. Rachel 0 set out ;
she 0 had not far to go ;
was a scant quarter of a mile up
the big , rambling , orchard-embowered house where
the Cuthberts 6
the road 1 from
Lynde ’s Hollow 7 .
To be sure ,
the long lane 43 made
it 31 a good deal further .
, as shy and silent as after
Matthew Cuthbert 29
’s father 44
him 44 , had got as far away as
he 44 possibly could from without actually retreating into
the woods 4 when
he 44 founded .
Green Gables 31 was built at the furthest edge of and there
it 31 was to this day , barely visible from
the main road along which
all the other
were so sociably situated 1
Mrs. Rachel Lynde 0 did not call living in
such a place 31 _ living _ at all .
“ It ’s just _ staying _ , that ’s what , ”
she 0 said as
she 0 stepped along
the deep-rutted , grassy lane bordered with wild rose bushes 43 .
“ It ’s no wonder
Matthew 29 and
Marilla 40 are both a little odd , living away back here by
themselves 48 .
Trees are n’t much company , though dear knows if they were there ’d be enough of them .
I 0 ’d ruther look at
people 49 .
To be sure ,
they 48 seem contented enough ; but then ,
I 0 suppose ,
they 48 ’re used to it .
A body can get used to anything , even to being hanged , as
the Irishman 50 said . ”
this Mrs. Rachel 0 stepped out of
the lane 43 into
the backyard of
Green Gables 31 51
Very green and neat and precise was
that yard 52 , set about on one side with great patriarchal willows and the other with prim Lombardies .
Not a stray stick nor stone was to be seen , for
Mrs. Rachel 0 would have seen it if there had been .
she 0 was of the opinion that
Marilla Cuthbert 40 swept
that yard 52 over as often as
she 40 swept .
One could have eaten a meal off the ground without over-brimming the proverbial peck of dirt .
Mrs. Rachel 0 rapped smartly at the
kitchen 53 door and stepped in when bidden to do so .
The kitchen at
Green Gables 31 53
a cheerful apartment 80 -- or would have been cheerful if
it 53 had not been so painfully clean as to give
it 53 something of the appearance of
an unused parlor 54 .
Its 53 windows looked east and west ; through the west one , looking out on
the back yard 55 , came a flood of mellow June sunlight ; but the east one , whence
you 56 got a glimpse of the bloom white cherry-trees in
the left orchard 57 and nodding , slender birches down in
, was greened over by a tangle of vines .
the hollow by
the brook 3 58
Here 53 sat
Marilla Cuthbert 40 , when
she 40 sat at all , always slightly distrustful of sunshine , which seemed to
her 40 too dancing and irresponsible a thing for
a world which was meant to be taken seriously 59 ; and
she 40 sat now , knitting , and the table behind
her 40 was laid for supper .
Mrs. Rachel 0 , before
she 0 had fairly closed the door , had taken a mental note of everything that was on that table .
There were three plates laid , so that
Marilla 40 must be expecting
some one 60 home with
Matthew 29 to tea ; but the dishes were everyday dishes and there was only crab-apple preserves and one kind of cake , so that the expected company could not be any particular company .
Yet what of
Matthew 29 ’s white collar and the sorrel mare ?
Mrs. Rachel 0 was getting fairly dizzy with this unusual mystery about
quiet , unmysterious Green Gables 31 .
“ Good evening ,
Rachel 0 , ”
Marilla 40 said briskly .
“ This is a real fine evening , is n’t it ?
you 0 sit down ?
How are all ? ”
Something that for lack of any other name might be called friendship existed and always had existed between
Marilla Cuthbert 40 and
Mrs. Rachel 0 , in spite of -- or perhaps because of --
their 62 dissimilarity .
Marilla 40 was
a tall , thin woman , with angles and without curves 86 ;
her 40 dark hair showed some gray streaks and was always twisted up in a hard little knot behind with two wire hairpins stuck aggressively through it .
She 40 looked like
; but there was a saving something about
a woman of narrow experience and rigid conscience , which
her 40 mouth which , if it had been ever so slightly developed , might have been considered indicative of a sense of humor .
We 61 ’re all pretty well , ” said
Mrs. Rachel 0 .
I 0 was kind of afraid _
you 40 _ were n’t , though , when
I 0 saw
Matthew 29 starting off today .
I 0 thought maybe
he 29 was going to
the doctor 42 ’s . ”
Marilla 40 ’s lips twitched understandingly .
She 40 had expected
Mrs. Rachel 0 up ;
she 40 had known that the sight of
Matthew 29 jaunting off so unaccountably would be too much for ’s curiosity .
“ Oh , no ,
I 40 ’m quite well although
I 40 had a bad headache yesterday , ”
she 40 said .
Matthew 29 went to
Bright River 63 .
We 48 ’re getting
a little boy 64 from
Nova Scotia 67 65
he 64 ’s coming on
the train 68 tonight . ”
Marilla 40 had said that
Matthew 29 had gone to
Bright River 63 to meet a kangaroo from
Mrs. Rachel 0 could not have been more astonished .
She 0 was actually stricken dumb for five seconds .
It was unsupposable that
Marilla 40 was making fun of
her 0 , but
Mrs. Rachel 0 was almost forced to suppose it .
you 40 in earnest ,
Marilla 40 ? ”
she 0 demanded when voice returned to
her 0 .
“ Yes , of course , ” said
Marilla 40 , as if getting
boys 70 from
were part of the usual spring work on
Nova Scotia 67 72
instead of being an unheard of innovation .
Mrs. Rachel 0 felt that
she 0 had received a severe mental jolt .
She 0 thought in exclamation points .
A boy 74 !
Marilla 40 and
Matthew Cuthbert 29 of
all people 75 adopting
a boy 76 !
the world 79 was certainly turning upside down !
She 0 would be surprised at nothing after this !