en-de  Anne of Green Gables (1908)/Chapter XXV Medium
Kapitel 25

MATTHEW BESTEHT AUF PUFFÄRMEL


Matthew hatte zehn schlechte Minuten hinter sich. Er war im Zwielicht eines kalten, grauen Dezemberabends in die Küche gekommen und hatte sich in die Ecke mit der Holzkiste gesetzt, um seine schweren Stiefel auszuziehen, dabei war er sich der Tatsache, dass Anne und ein Schwarm ihrer Klassenkameradinnen im Wohnzimmer eine Probe der "Feenkönigin" abhielten, nicht bewusst. In diesem Moment strömten sie durch den Flur in die Küche, lachend und fröhlich plappernd. Sie sahen Matthew nicht, der schüchtern in den Schatten hinter der Holzkiste zurückschreckte, mit einem Stiefel in der einen Hand und einem Stiefelknecht in der anderen, und er betrachtete sie scheu während der bereits oben erwähnten zehn Minuten, als sie ihre Kappen und Jacken anzogen und über den Dialog und das Konzert sprachen. Anne stand unter ihnen, mit strahlenden Augen und lebhaft wie sie; aber Matthew wurde sich plötzlich bewusst, dass irgendetwas an ihr anders war als an ihren Kameradinnen. Und was Matthew beunruhigte, war, dass der Unterschied ihn als etwas beeindruckte, das nicht existieren sollte. Anne hatte ein strahlenderes Gesicht, größere, sternenhellere Augen und ein grazileres Erscheinungsbild als die anderen, selbst der scheue, unaufmerksame Matthew hatte gelernt, von diesen Dingen Kenntnis zu nehmen. Aber der Unterschied, der ihn störte, lag in keinem dieser Gesichtspunkte. Worin bestand er dann?

Matthew wurde von dieser Frage verfolgt, lange nachdem die Mädchen, Arm in Arm, die lange, hartgefrorene Gasse hinunter gegangen waren und Anne sich an ihre Bücher begeben hatte. Er konnte sich nicht an Marilla wenden, die, so meinte er, ganz sicher verächtlich schniefen und anmerken würde, dass der einzige Unterschied, den sie zwischen Anne und den anderen Mädchen sehe, der wäre, dass sie manchmal schwiegen, während Anne es nie täte. Das, so spürte Matthew, wäre keine große Hilfe.

Er nahm an diesem Abend Zuflucht zu seiner Pfeife, um es herauszufinden, sehr zu Marillas Abscheu. Nach zwei Stunden Rauchen und harten Überlegungen gelangte Matthew zu einer Lösung seines Problems. Anne war nicht wie die anderen Mädchen gekleidet!

Je mehr Matthew über die Sache nachdachte, desto mehr war er überzeugt, dass Anne nie so gekleidet wie die anderen Mädchen war - nie, seit sie nach Green Gables gekommen war. Marilla kleidete sie in schlichter Kleidung, dunkle Kleider, alle nach dem selben gleichbleibenden Muster gemacht. Falls Matthew wusste, dass es so etwas wie Mode bei Kleidern gab, dann war es schon eine Menge für ihn, aber er war sich ziemlich sicher, dass Annes Ärmel nicht so aussahen, wie die Ärmel, die die anderen Mädchen trugen. Er erinnerte sich an die Gruppe kleiner Mädchen, die er heute abend um sie herum gesehen hatte - alle fröhlich in roten, blauen, rosafarbenen und weißen Kleidungsstücken - und er fragte sich, warum Marilla sie immer so einfach und nüchtern kleidete.

Natürlich muss es in Ordnung sein. Marilla wusste es am besten und Marilla zog sie groß. Wahrscheinlich sollte damit ein kluger, unergründlicher Beweggrund herhalten. Aber es würde sicher nicht abträglich sein, das Kind ein hübsches Kleid tragen zu lassen - etwas, das Diana Barry immer trug. Matthew entschied, ihr eines zu geben, dagegen konnte man nicht den Einspruch erheben, es sei eine unangebrachte Einmischung. Weihnachten war nur zwei Wochen entfernt. Ein schönes neues Kleid wäre genau das Richtige als Geschenk. Matthew legte mit einem Seufzer der Zufriedenheit seine Pfeife weg und ging ins Bett, während Marilla alle Türen öffnete und das Haus lüftete.

Schon am nächsten Abend begab sich Matthew nach Carmody, um das Kleid zu kaufen, fest entschlossen, das Schlimmste hinter sich zu lassen und damit zum Schluss zu kommen. Es würde, da war er sich sicher, keine unbedeutende Prüfung sein. Es gab einige Dinge, die Matthew kaufen konnte und sich dabei beachtlich beim Handeln schlug, aber er wusste, dass er der Gnade eines Ladenbesitzers ausgeliefert war, wenn es darum ging, ein Mädchenkleid zu kaufen.

Nach vielem Nachdenken entschloss sich Matthew in Samuel Lawsons Geschäft zu gehen anstatt in das von William Blair. Zwar waren die Cuthberts immer zu William Blair gegangen, es war fast eine Gewissensfrage wie die presbyterianische Kirche zu besuchen und die Konservativen zu wählen. Aber die zwei Töchter von William Blair bedienten Kunden dort häufig und Matthew hatte fürchterlich Angst vor ihnen. Er könnte es schaffen, mit ihnen fertig zu werden, wenn er genau wüsste, was er wollte und es aufzeigen könnte; aber in einer solchen Angelegenheit wie dieser, die einer Erklärung und Beratung bedurfte, fühlte Matthew, dass er sich eines Mannes hinter der Theke sicher sein musste. So würde er zu Lawsons gehen, wo Samuel oder sein Sohn ihn bedienen würden.

Leider! Matthew wusste nicht, dass Samuel bei der jüngsten Expansion seines Unternehmens auch eine Verkäuferin eingestellt hatte; sie war die Nichte seiner Frau und in der Tat eine sehr schneidige, junge Person mit einer riesigen, herabhängenden Schmalzlocke, großen, rollenden, braunen Augen und einem umfassenden, verwirrenden Lächeln. Sie war mit außerordentlicher Eleganz gekleidet und trug mehrere Armreifen, die bei jeder Bewegung ihrer Hände sowohl glitzerten als auch rasselten und klimperten. Matthew war verwirrt, als er sie dort überhaupt vorfand, und diese Armreifen zerstörten seine Sinne auf einen Schlag.

"Was kann ich diesen Abend für Sie tun, Mr. Cuthbert?" fragte Miss Lucilla Harris lebhaft und einschmeichelnd und klopfte mit beiden Händen auf die Theke.

"Haben Sie irgendwelche- nun ja, sagen wir mal- irgendwelche Gartenrechen?" stammelte Matthew.

Miss Harris sah berechtigterweise etwas überrascht aus, einen Mann Mitte Dezember nach Gartenrechen fragen zu hören.

"Ich glaube, wir haben einen oder zwei Übriggebliebene", sagte sie, "aber sie sind oben im Abstellraum. Ich werde nachsehen."

Während ihrer Abwesenheit sammelte Matthew seine verstreuten Sinne für einen weiteren Versuch.

Als Miss Harris mit dem Rechen zurückkam und fröhlich fragte: "Noch etwas heute Abend, Mr. Cuthbert?" nahm Matthew seinen ganzen Mut zusammen und antwortete: "Nun ja, weil Sie es vorschlagen, ich könnte noch - nehmen- also- schauen nach- etwas kaufen- etwas Grassamen kaufen."

Miss Harris hatte gehört, dass Matthew Cuthbert seltsam genannt wurde. Nun kam sie zu dem Schluss, dass er völlig verrückt war.

"Wir haben Grassamen nur im Frühling", erklärte sie hochmütig. Wir haben gerade keinen vorrätig."

"Oh, es ist sicher - sicher - genau, wie Sie sagen", stammelte der unglückliche Matthew, als er den Rechen ergriff und zur Tür ging. An der Türschwelle besann er sich darauf, dass er nicht dafür bezahlt hatte und kehrte kläglich um. Während Miss Harris sein Wechselgeld abzählte, sammelte er seine Kräfte für einen letzten verzweifelten Versuch.

"Nun gut - wenn es nicht zuviel Mühe macht - könnte ich wohl - also - ich würde gern - nach - nach - etwas Zucker schauen. "

„Weiß oder braun?“ , fragte Miss Harris geduldig.

"Oh - ja nun - braunen", sagte Matthew kläglich.

"Da drüben ist ein Fass davon", sagte Miss Harris und schüttelte ihre Armreifen dabei. "Es ist die einzige Sorte, die wir haben. "

"Ich - ich nehme 20 Pfund davon", sagte Matthew, mit Schweißtropfen auf der Stirn.

Matthew war auf halbem Weg nach Hause gefahren, bevor er wieder ganz er selbst war. Es war eine grausame Erfahrung gewesen, aber es geschah ihm recht, dachte er, weil er die Ketzerei begangen hatte, in ein fremdes Geschäft zu gehen. Als er zuhause ankam, versteckte er den Rechen im Werkzeughaus, aber den Zucker brachte er Marilla.

„Brauner Zucker!“ rief Marilla aus. "Was ist in dich gefahren, so viel zu besorgen? Du weißt, dass ich ihn nie verwende, außer für den Brei des Tagelöhners oder für den Plumpudding. Jerry ist nicht mehr da und es ist schon lange her, das ich meinen Kuchen gemacht habe. Es ist auch kein guter Zucker - er ist grob und dunkel - William Blair hat so einen Zucker gewöhnlich nicht."

"Ich - ich dachte, er könnte irgendwann nützlich sein", sagte Matthew, und machte sich aus dem Staub.

Als Matthew darüber nachdachte, entschied er, dass es einer Frau bedurfte, um mit der Situation fertig zu werden. Marilla kam nicht in Frage. Matthew war sich sicher, sie würde seinem Projekt sofort ein kalte Dusche verpassen. Übrig blieb nur Mrs. Lynde, weil Matthew sich nicht trauen würde, eine andere Frau in Avonlea um Rat zu fragen. Dementsprechend ging er zu Mrs. Lynde und die gute Frau nahm die Angelegenheit umgehend aus den Händen des geplagten Mannes.

"Ein Kleid aussuchen, damit du es Anne geben kannst? Das werde ich auf jeden Fall tun. Ich werde morgen nach Carmody gehen und mich darum kümmern. Hast du etwas Spezielles im Sinn? Nein? Gut, dann richte ich mich eben nach meinen eigenen Vorstellungen. Ich denke, ein nettes sattes Braun wird Anne gut stehen und William Blair hat neuen Gloriastoff da, der wirklich hübsch ist. Möchtest du vielleicht auch, dass ich es für sie schneidere, da ich denke, wenn Marilla es machen würde, würde es Anne vermutlich erfahren, bevor es fertig ist, und die Überraschung verderben? Ja, ich werde es tun. Nein, es ist überhaupt kein Problem. Ich nähe gerne. Ich werde es so schneidern, dass es meiner Nichte, Jenny Gillis, passt, denn sie und Anne gleichen sich, was die Figur betrifft, wie ein Ei dem anderen."

"Also ich bin sehr dankbar", sagte Matthew, "und - ich weiß nicht - aber ich würde gerne - ich denke, sie machen die Ärmel heutzutage anders als früher. Wenn es nicht zu viel verlangt wäre, möchte ich, dass sie auf die neue Art angefertigt werden."

"Puffärmel? Natürlich. Du brauchst dir keine Sorgen mehr darüber zu machen, Matthew. Ich werde es nach der allerneusten Mode schneidern", sagte Mrs. Lynde. Zu sich selbst fügte sie hinzu, als Matthew gegangen war: "Es wird eine echte Genugtuung sein, zu sehen, dass das arme Kind einmal etwas Anständiges trägt. Die Art, wie Marilla sie anzieht, ist auf jeden Fall absolut lächerlich, und ich habe mich dutzendmal danach gesehnt, es ihr so offen zu sagen. Ich habe meine Zunge zwar im Zaum gehalten, da ich einsehe, dass Marilla keinen Rat wünscht, und sie denkt, sie wisse mehr über Kindererziehung als ich, vor allem ist sie ein altes Mädchen . Aber das ist immer so. Leute, die Kinder großgezogen haben, wissen, dass es keine harte und schnelle Methode auf der Welt gibt, die für jedes Kind geeignet ist. Auch haben sie nie gedacht, dass alles so schlicht und einfach wie der Dreisatz ist - schreibe deine drei Bedingungen auf diese Weise auf, und die Summe wird genau erarbeitet. Aber Fleisch und Blut ordnen sich nicht der Arithmetik unter und hier macht Marilla ihren Fehler. Ich vermute, sie versucht dadurch, wie sie sie kleidet, eine demütige Einstellung bei Anne zu fördern; aber es ist wahrscheinlicher, dadurch Neid und Unzufriedenheit zu fördern. Ich bin sicher, das Kind muss den Unterschied zwischen seiner und der Kleidung der anderen Mädchen spüren. Wer hätte gedacht, dass Matthew das bemerkt! Dieser Mann wacht auf, nachdem er über 60 Jahre geschlafen hat."

Marilla wusste die folgenden 14 Tage, dass Matthew etwas auf dem Herzen hatte, aber was es war, konnte sie nicht vor Heiligabend erraten, als Mrs. Lynde das neue Kleid heraufbrachte. Marilla verhielt sich im Großen und Ganzen recht gut, obwohl sie sehr wahrscheinlich Mrs. Lyndes diplomatischer Erklärung misstraute, dass sie das Kleid genäht habe, weil Matthew befürchtete, dass Anne es zu früh herausfinden würde, wenn es Marilla genäht hätte.

"Das ist es also, warum Matthew seit zwei Wochen so geheimnisvoll tat und vor sich hingrinste, oder?" sagte sie ein wenig steif, aber tolerant. " Ich wusste, er hatte etwas Dummes vor. Nun, ich muss sagen, ich glaube nicht, dass Anne noch mehr Kleider braucht. Ich nähte ihr in diesem Herbst drei gute, warme, praktische Kleider und alles weitere ist reine Extravaganz. Allein in diesen Ärmeln steckt genug Material, um eine Taille zu nähen, stelle ich fest, dass ist es. Du wirst Annes Eitelkeit fördern, Matthew, und sie ist jetzt schon wie ein Pfau. Nun, ich hoffe, sie wird endlich zufrieden sein, denn ich weiß, dass sie sich nach diesen dummen Ärmeln sehnt, seit sie in Mode gekommen sind, obwohl sie kein Wort gesagt hat, nach dem ersten Mal. Die Puffärmel sind immer größer und absurder geworden; sie sind jetzt so groß wie Luftballons. Nächstes Jahr muss jede, die sie trägt, seitwärts durch eine Tür gehen."

In einer wunderbaren, weißen Welt brach der Weihnachtsmorgen an. Es war ein sehr milder Dezember gewesen und die Leute hatten einer grünen Weihnacht entgegen gesehen, aber in der Nacht fiel sanft gerade genug Schnee, um Avonlea zu verwandeln. Anne schaute aus ihrem vereisten Giebelfenster mit hocherfreuten Augen. Die Tannen im Geisterwald waren alle zart und wundervoll, die Konturen der Birken und wilden Kirschbäume waren mit Perlen besetzt, die gepflügten Felder waren Strecken von verschneiten Grübchen und es lag ein frischer Geruch in der Luft, der war herrlich. Anne rannte die Treppe hinunter und sang, bis ihre Stimme durch Green Gables widerhallte.

Frohe Weihnachten, Marilla! Frohe Weihnachten, Matthew! Sind das nicht schöne Weihnachten? Ich bin so froh, dass es weiß ist. Jede andere Art von Weihnachten scheint nicht das Wahre zu sein, oder? Ich mag keine grünen Weihnachten. Sie sind nicht grün - sie sind einfach nur in fiesen, ausgebleichten Braun- und Grautönen. Was bringt die Menschen dazu, sie grün zu nennen? Oh - oh- Matthew, ist das für mich? Oh, Matthew!“

Matthew hatte das Kleid verlegen aus dem umwickelten Papier genommen und breitete es aus, Marilla einen warnenden Blick zuwerfend, die verächtlich vorgab die Teekanne zu füllen, aber nichtsdestotrotz beobachtete sie die Szene aus ihrem Augenwinkel mit einem ziemlich interessierten Aussehen.

Anne nahm das Kleid und schaute es mit ehrfürchtiger Ruhe an. Oh, wie hübsch es war - eine reizender, zartbrauner Gloriastoff mit dem Glanz von Seide; ein Rock mit niedlichen Rüschen und Kräuselungen; eine Taille, kunstvoll auf modischste Art mit Biesen verziert, mit einer kleinen Halskrause aus hauchdünner Spitze am Ausschnitt. Aber die Ärmel - sie waren die krönende Pracht! Lange Ellbogenstulpen und darüber zwei wunderschöne mit Kräuselreihen und Schleifen aus braunen Seidenbändern unterteilte Bäusche.

"Das ist ein Weihnachtsgeschenk für dich, Anne", sagte Matthew scheu. Aber, aber Anne, magst du es nicht? Also - also.“

Denn Annes Augen waren auf einmal voller Tränen.

„Ob es mir gefällt! Oh, Matthew!“ Anne legte das Kleid über einen Stuhl und verschränkte ihre Hände. "Matthew, es ist vollkommen exquisit. Oh, ich kann dir gar nicht genug danken. Schau dir diese Ärmel an! Oh, es scheint mir, als wäre das ein schöner Traum."

"Na ja, lasst uns frühstücken", unterbrach Marilla. Ich muss sagen, Anne, ich denke nicht, dass du ein Kleid brauchst, aber da Matthew es für dich geholt hat, sieh zu, dass du gut darauf aufpasst. Es gibt ein Haarband, das Mrs. Lynde für dich hier gelassen hat. Es ist braun, damit es zum Kleid passt. Nun komm, setz dich dazu."

"Ich sehe nicht, wie ich frühstücken soll", sagte Anne verzückt. "Frühstück erscheint so banal in solch einem aufregenden Augenblick. Ich würde lieber meine Augen an diesem Kleid erfreuen, ich bin so froh, dass Puffärmel noch in Mode sind. Es schien mir, ich würde niemals darüber hinwegkommen, wenn sie ausgehen würden, bevor ich ein Kleid wie sie hätte. Ich hätte mich nie ganz zufrieden gefühlt, weißt du. Es war reizend von Mrs. Lynde, mir auch das Haarband zu geben. Ich glaube, ich sollte wirklich ein sehr braves Mädchen sein. In Zeiten wie diesen tut es mir leid, dass ich kein vorbildliches kleines Mädchen bin und immer beschließe ich, es in Zukunft zu sein. Aber es ist irgendwie schwierig, sich an seine Vorsätze zu halten, wenn unwiderstehliche Verlockungen auftauchen. Doch nach dem hier werde ich mich wirklich besonders anstrengen."

Als das banale Frühstück vorbei war, erschien Diana, sie kam über die weiße Baumstammbrücke in der Vertiefung, eine fröhliche, kleine Gestalt in ihrem dunkelroten Mantel, einem Ulster. Anne sauste den Hang hinunter, um sie zu treffen.

"Frohe Weihnachten, Diana! Und oh, es ist ein wunderbares Weihnachten. Ich muss dir etwas Herrliches zeigen. Matthew hat mir das allerschönste Kleid geschenkt, mit solchen Puffärmeln. Ich könnte mir überhaupt kein schöneres vorstellen."

"Ich habe noch etwas für dich", sagte Diana atemlos. "Hier - diese Kiste. Tante Josephine hat uns eine große Kiste geschickt wie immer mit so vielen Dingen darin - und das ist für dich. Ich hätte es letzte Nacht gebracht, aber es kam nicht bevor es dunkel wurde und ich fühle mich nie sehr wohl, wenn ich jetzt im Dunkeln durch den Geisterwald gehe."

Anne öffnete die Kiste und spähte hinein. Zuerst eine Karte, worauf "Für das Anne-Mädchen und frohe Weihnachten" geschrieben war, und dann ein Paar der zierlichsten kleinen Kinderslipper mit perlenbesetzten Schuhspitzen, Satinbögen und glitzernden Schnallen.

"Oh", sagte Anne, "Diana, das ist zu viel. Ich muss träumen."

"Ich nenne es Glück haben", sagte Diana. "Du musst jetzt nicht mehr Rubys Slipper borgen und das ist ein Segen, weil sie zwei Nummern zu groß für dich sind und es wäre schrecklich, zu hören, dass eine Fee schlurft. Josie Pye wäre hocherfreut. Stell dir vor, Rob Wright ging nach dem vorletzten Probeabend mit Gertie Pye nach Hause. Hast du so etwas schon einmal gehört?"

Alle Schüler von Avonlea waren an diesem Tag im fieberhaften Aufregung, denn der Saal musste dekoriert und eine große Abschlussprobe abgehalten werden.

Das Konzert am Abend schnitt gut ab und war ein voller Erfolg. Die kleine Halle war voll, alle Darsteller waren ausgezeichnet, aber Anne war der helle, besondere Star der Veranstaltung, was sogar der Neid in Gestalt von Josie Pye nicht zu leugnen wagte.

"Oh, war es nicht ein glänzender Abend?" seufzte Anne, als alles vorbei war, und sie und Diana zusammen unter einem dunklen Himmel voller Sterne nach Hause gingen.

"Alles ist sehr gut gelaufen", sagte Diana praktisch. "Ich denke, wir müssen mehr als zehn Dollar eingenommen haben. Stell dir vor, Mr. Allan wird einen Bericht darüber an die Zeitungen in Charlottetown schicken."

"Oh, Diana, werden wir unsere Namen wirklich gedruckt sehen?" Es lässt mich erschauern, daran zu denken. Dein Solo war perfekt, Diana. Ich war stolzer als du, als eine Zugabe verlangt wurde. Ich sagte zu mir, "es ist meine liebe Busenfreunding, die so geehrt wird."

"Also, deine Vorträge haben stürmischen Beifall bekommen, Anne. Der traurige war einfach super."

"Oh, ich war so nervös, Diana. Ich weiß wirklich nicht, wie ich überhaupt auf diese Bühne gekommen bin, als Mr. Allan meinen Namen aufrief. Ich hatte das Gefühl, als ob mich Millionen Augen anschauten und betrachteten, und für einen schrecklichen Augenblick war ich mir sicher, ich könnte garnicht anfangen. Dann dachte ich an meine hübschen Puffärmel und fasste Mut. Ich wusste, dass ich diesen Ärmeln Ehre machen musste, Diana. So fing ich an und meine Stimme schien so fürchterlich weit her zu kommen. Ich fühlte mich einfach wie ein Papagei. Es ist ein Glück, dass ich diese Vorträge so oft im Dach geübt habe, sonst hätte ich nie geschafft, sie durchzustehen. Habe ich gut gestöhnt?"

"Ja, tatsächlich, du hast herrlich gestöhnt", versicherte Diana.

"Ich sah, wie die alte Mrs. Sloane sich die Tränen von den Augen wischte, als ich mich hinsetzte. Es war großartig, das Gefühl zu haben, ich hätte das Herz von jemand berührt. Es ist so romantisch, an einem Konzert mitzuwirken, nicht wahr? Oh, es ist in der Tat ein wirklich unvergessliches Ereignis gewesen.“

"War der Dialog der Jungs nicht herrlich?" sagte Diana. "Gilbert Blythe war einfach brillant." Anne, ich denke wirklich, es ist schrecklich gemein, wie du Gil behandelst. Warte, bis ich dir was erzähle. Als du nach dem Feen-Dialog von der Bühne gerannt bist, fiel eine der Rosen aus deinem Haar. Ich sah, dass Gil sie aufhob und in seine Brusttasche steckte. Da siehst du es jetzt. Du bist so romantisch, dass ich mir sicher bin, du müsstest dich darüber freuen."

"Was diese Person tut, interessiert mich nicht", sagte Anne hochmütig. "Ich verschwende einfach nie einen Gedanken an ihn, Diana."

In dieser Nacht saßen Marilla und Matthew, die seit den letzten zwanzig Jahren zum ersten Mal in ein Konzert gegangen waren, noch ein Weile am Küchenfeuer, nachdem Anne zu Bett gegangen war.

"Also, ich schätze, unsere Anne war genauso gut wie alle anderen", sagte Matthew stolz.

"Ja, das war sie", gab Marilla zu. "Sie ist ein kluges Kind, Matthew. Und sie sah auch wirklich nett aus. Ich war irgendwie gegen dieses Konzertprogramm, aber ich nehme an, dass es doch nicht wirklich schadet. Jedenfalls war ich heute Abend stolz auf Anne, obwohl ich es ihr nicht sagen werde."

"Also, ich war stolz auf sie und sagte es ihr, bevor sie nach oben ging", sagte Matthew. "Wir müssen sehen, was wir in Zukunft für sie tun können, Marilla. Ich schätze, sie wird nach und nach etwas mehr als die Avonleaschule brauchen."

"Es ist genug Zeit, um darüber nachzudenken", sagte Marilla. "Im März ist sie erst dreizehn. Obwohl es mir heute Abend auffiel, dass sie sich zu einem ganz schön großen Mädchen entwickelt hat. Mrs. Lynde hat das Kleid ein wenig zu lang gemacht, und es lässt Anne so groß aussehen. Sie lernt sehr schnell und ich schätze, was wir für sie tun können, ist, sie nach einer kurzen Periode in die Queens zu schicken. Aber darüber muss noch ein oder zwei Jahre nichts gesagt werden."

"Also, es wird nicht schaden, immer wieder darüber nachzudenken", sagte Matthew. "Solche Dinge sind umso besser, wenn man viel darüber nachdenkt."
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CHAPTER XXV.
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MATTHEW INSISTS ON PUFFED SLEEVES.
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Matthew was having a bad ten minutes of it.
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Then in what did it consist?
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This, Matthew felt, would be no great help.
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He had recourse to his pipe that evening to help him study it out, much to Marilla's disgust.
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Anne was not dressed like the other girls!
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Marilla kept her clothed in plain, dark dresses, all made after the same unvarying pattern.
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Of course, it must be all right.
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Marilla knew best and Marilla was bringing her up.
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Probably some wise, inscrutable motive was to be served thereby.
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Christmas was only a fortnight off.
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A nice new dress would be the very thing for a present.
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It would be, he felt assured, no trifling ordeal.
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So he would go to Lawson's, where Samuel or his son would wait on him.
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Alas!
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"What can I do for you this evening, Mr.
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Cuthbert?"
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Miss Lucilla Harris inquired, briskly and ingratiatingly, tapping the counter with both hands.
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"Have you any—any—any—well now, say any garden rakes?"
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stammered Matthew.
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unit 47
"I believe we have one or two left over," she said, "but they're up-stairs in the lumber-room.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 48
I'll go and see."
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 49
During her absence Matthew collected his scattered senses for another effort.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 50
When Miss Harris returned with the rake and cheerfully inquired: "Anything else to-night, Mr.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 51
Cuthbert?"
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 53
Miss Harris had heard Matthew Cuthbert called odd.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 54
She now concluded that he was entirely crazy.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 55
We only keep hayseed in the spring," she explained loftily.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 56
We've none on hand just now."
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 58
At the threshold he recollected that he had not paid for it and he turned miserably back.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 59
While Miss Harris was counting out his change he rallied his powers for a final desperate attempt.
1 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 61
"White or brown?"
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 62
queried Miss Harris patiently.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 63
"Oh—well now—brown," said Matthew feebly.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 64
"There's a barrel of it over there," said Miss Harris, shaking her bangles at it.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 65
"It's the only kind we have."
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 67
Matthew had driven half-way home before he was his own man again.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 69
When he reached home he hid the rake in the tool-house, but the sugar he carried in to Marilla.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 70
"Brown sugar!"
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 71
exclaimed Marilla.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 72
"Whatever possessed you to get so much?
2 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 73
You know I never use it except for the hired man's porridge or black fruit-cake.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 74
Jerry's gone and I've made my cake long ago.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 75
unit 76
"I—I thought it might come in handy sometime," said Matthew, making good his escape.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 78
Marilla was out of the question.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 79
Matthew felt sure she would throw cold water on his project at once.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 80
Remained only Mrs. Lynde; for of no other woman in Avonlea would Matthew have dared to ask advice.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 82
"Pick out a dress for you to give Anne?
2 Translations, 5 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 83
To be sure I will.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 84
I'm going to Carmody to-morrow and I'll attend to it.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 85
Have you something particular in mind?
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 86
No?
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 87
Well, I'll just go by my own judgment then.
2 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 90
Well, I'll do it.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 91
No, it isn't a mite of trouble.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 92
I like sewing.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 95
If it wouldn't be asking too much I—I'd like them made in the new way."
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 96
"Puffs?
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 97
Of course.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 98
You needn't worry a speck more about it, Matthew.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 99
I'll make it up in the very latest fashion," said Mrs. Lynde.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 103
But that's always the way.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 108
I'm sure the child must feel the difference between her clothes and the other girls'.
2 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 109
But to think of Matthew taking notice of it!
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 110
That man is waking up after being asleep for over sixty years."
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 114
she said a little stiffly but tolerantly.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 115
"I knew he was up to some foolishness.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 116
Well, I must say I don't think Anne needed any more dresses.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 117
I made her three good, warm, serviceable ones this fall, and anything more is sheer extravagance.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 118
There's enough material in those sleeves alone to make a waist, I declare there is.
1 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 119
You'll just pamper Anne's vanity, Matthew, and she's as vain as a peacock now.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 121
The puffs have been getting bigger and more ridiculous right along; they're as big as balloons now.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 122
Next year anybody who wears them will have to go through a door sideways."
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 123
Christmas morning broke on a beautiful white world.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 125
Anne peeped out from her frosted gable window with delighted eyes.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 127
Anne ran down-stairs singing until her voice re-echoed through Green Gables.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 128
Merry Christmas, Marilla!
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 129
Merry Christmas, Matthew!
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 130
Isn't it a lovely Christmas?
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 131
I'm so glad it's white.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 132
Any other kind of Christmas doesn't seem real, does it?
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 133
I don't like green Christmases.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 134
They're not green—they're just nasty faded browns and grays.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 135
What makes people call them green?
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 136
Why—why—Matthew, is that for me?
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 137
Oh, Matthew!"
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 139
Anne took the dress and looked at it in reverent silence.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 141
But the sleeves—they were the crowning glory!
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 143
"That's a Christmas present for you, Anne," said Matthew shyly.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 144
Why—why—Anne, don't you like it?
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 145
Well now—well now."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 146
For Anne's eyes had suddenly filled with tears.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 147
"Like it!
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 148
Oh, Matthew!"
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 149
Anne laid the dress over a chair and clasped her hands.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 150
"Matthew, it's perfectly exquisite.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 151
Oh, I can never thank you enough.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 152
Look at those sleeves!
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 153
Oh, it seems to me this must be a happy dream."
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 154
"Well, well, let us have breakfast," interrupted Marilla.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 156
There's a hair ribbon Mrs. Lynde left for you.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 157
It's brown, to match the dress.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 158
Come now, sit in."
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 159
"I don't see how I'm going to eat breakfast," said Anne rapturously.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 160
"Breakfast seems so commonplace at such an exciting moment.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 161
I'd rather feast my eyes on that dress, I'm so glad that puffed sleeves are still fashionable.
3 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 162
It did seem to me that I'd never get over it if they went out before I had a dress with them.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 163
I'd never have felt quite satisfied, you see.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 164
It was lovely of Mrs. Lynde to give me the ribbon, too.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 165
I feel that I ought to be a very good girl indeed.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 167
But somehow it's hard to carry out your resolutions when irresistible temptations come.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 168
Still, I really will make an extra effort after this."
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 170
Anne flew down the slope to meet her.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 171
"Merry Christmas, Diana!
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 172
And oh, it's a wonderful Christmas.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 173
I've something splendid to show you.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 174
Matthew has given me the loveliest dress, with such sleeves.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 175
I couldn't even imagine any nicer."
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 176
"I've got something more for you," said Diana breathlessly.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 177
"Here—this box.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 178
Aunt Josephine sent us out a big box with ever so many things in it—and this is for you.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 180
Anne opened the box and peeped in.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 182
"Oh," said Anne, "Diana, this is too much.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 183
I must be dreaming."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 184
"I call it providential," said Diana.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 186
Josie Pye would be delighted.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 187
Mind you, Rob Wright went home with Gertie Pye from the practice night before last.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 188
Did you ever hear anything equal to that?"
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 190
The concert came off in the evening and was a pronounced success.
1 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 192
"Oh, hasn't it been a brilliant evening?"
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 193
unit 194
"Everything went off very well," said Diana practically. "
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 195
I guess we must have made as much as ten dollars.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 196
Mind you, Mr. Allan is going to send an account of it to the Charlottetown papers."
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 197
"Oh, Diana, will we really see our names in print?
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 198
It makes me thrill to think of it.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 199
Your solo was perfectly elegant, Diana.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 200
I felt prouder than you did when it was encored.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 201
I just said to myself, 'It is my dear bosom friend who is so honoured.'"
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 202
"Well, your recitations just brought down the house, Anne.
3 Translations, 6 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 203
That sad one was simply splendid."
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 204
"Oh, I was so nervous, Diana.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 205
When Mr. Allan called out my name I really cannot tell how I ever got up on that platform.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 207
Then I thought of my lovely puffed sleeves and took courage.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 208
I knew that I must live up to those sleeves, Diana.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 209
So I started in, and my voice seemed to be coming from ever so far away.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 210
I just felt like a parrot.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 212
Did I groan all right?"
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 213
"Yes, indeed, you groaned lovely," assured Diana.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 214
"I saw old Mrs. Sloane wiping away tears when I sat down.
1 Translations, 5 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 215
It was splendid to think I had touched somebody's heart.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 216
It's so romantic to take part in a concert, isn't it?
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 217
Oh, it's been a very memorable occasion indeed."
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 218
"Wasn't the boys' dialogue fine?"
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 219
said Diana.
1 Translations, 5 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 220
"Gilbert Blythe was just splendid.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 221
Anne, I do think it's awful mean the way you treat Gil.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 222
Wait till I tell you.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 223
When you ran off the platform after the fairy dialogue one of your roses fell out of your hair.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 224
I saw Gil pick it up and put it in his breast-pocket.
1 Translations, 5 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 225
There now.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 226
You're so romantic that I'm sure you ought to be pleased at that."
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 227
"It's nothing to me what that person does," said Anne loftily.
1 Translations, 5 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 228
"I simply never waste a thought on him, Diana."
1 Translations, 5 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 230
"Well now, I guess our Anne did as well as any of them," said Matthew proudly.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 231
"Yes, she did," admitted Marilla.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 232
"She's a bright child, Matthew.
2 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 233
And she looked real nice, too.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 234
unit 235
Anyhow, I was proud of Anne to-night, although I'm not going to tell her so."
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 236
"Well now, I was proud of her and I did tell her so 'fore she went up-stairs," said Matthew.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 237
"We must see what we can do for her some of these days, Marilla.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 238
I guess she'll need something more than Avonlea school by and by."
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 239
"There's time enough to think of that," said Marilla.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 240
"She's only thirteen in March.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 241
Though to-night it struck me she was growing quite a big girl.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 242
Mrs. Lynde made that dress a mite too long, and it makes Anne look so tall.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 244
But nothing need be said about that for a year or two yet."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 245
"Well now, it'll do no harm to be thinking it over off and on," said Matthew.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 246
"Things like that are all the better for lots of thinking over."
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 3 weeks ago
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gaelle044 • 0  commented  6 months ago

Update: Thank to Gaby and her watching the movie, we now know that:
1. Anne only use the formal form ("Sie") at the start, but later (we agreed for Chapter XI) she will say "du" to Marilla and Matthew, and the formal form with everybody else but her classmates. Marilla and Rachel are friends and they use "du".
2. She likes overstatements and superlatives.
3. We need to translate "green gables" as it is done in the movie.

Anne of Green Gables (1908)

Written for all ages, it has been considered a children's novel since the mid-twentieth century. It recounts the adventures of Anne Shirley, an 11-year-old orphan girl who is mistakenly sent to Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, a middle-aged brother and sister who had intended to adopt a boy to help them on their farm in Prince Edward Island. The novel recounts how Anne makes her way with the Cuthberts, in school, and within the town. Since publication, Anne of Green Gables has sold more than 50 million copies and has been translated into 20 languages. It has been adapted as film, made-for-television movies, and animated and live-action television series. — Excerpted from Anne of Green Gables (1908) on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Anne_of_Green_Gables_(1908)

by gaelle044 6 months ago

CHAPTER XXV.

MATTHEW INSISTS ON PUFFED SLEEVES.

Matthew was having a bad ten minutes of it. He had come into the kitchen, in the twilight of a cold, gray December evening, and had sat down in the wood-box corner to take off his heavy boots, unconscious of the fact that Anne and a bevy of her schoolmates were having a practice of "The Fairy Queen" in the sitting-room. Presently they came trooping through the hall and out into the kitchen, laughing and chattering gaily. They did not see Matthew, who shrank bashfully back into the shadows beyond the wood-box with a boot in one hand and a bootjack in the other, and he watched them shyly for the aforesaid ten minutes as they put on caps and jackets and talked about the dialogue and the concert. Anne stood among them, bright-eyed and animated as they; but Matthew suddenly became conscious that there was something about her different from her mates. And what worried Matthew was that the difference impressed him as being something that should not exist. Anne had a brighter face, and bigger, starrier eyes, and more delicate features than the others; even shy, unobservant Matthew had learned to take note of these things; but the difference that disturbed him did not consist in any of these respects. Then in what did it consist?

Matthew was haunted by this question long after the girls had gone, arm in arm, down the long, hard-frozen lane and Anne had betaken herself to her books. He could not refer it to Marilla, who, he felt, would be quite sure to sniff scornfully and remark that the only difference she saw between Anne and the other girls was that they sometimes kept their tongues quiet while Anne never did. This, Matthew felt, would be no great help.

He had recourse to his pipe that evening to help him study it out, much to Marilla's disgust. After two hours of smoking and hard reflection Matthew arrived at a solution of his problem. Anne was not dressed like the other girls!

The more Matthew thought about the matter the more he was convinced that Anne never had been dressed like the other girls—never since she had come to Green Gables. Marilla kept her clothed in plain, dark dresses, all made after the same unvarying pattern. If Matthew knew there was such a thing as fashion in dress it is much as he did; but he was quite sure that Anne's sleeves did not look at all like the sleeves the other girls wore. He recalled the cluster of little girls he had seen around her that evening—all gay in waists of red and blue and pink and white—and he wondered why Marilla always kept her so plainly and soberly gowned.

Of course, it must be all right. Marilla knew best and Marilla was bringing her up. Probably some wise, inscrutable motive was to be served thereby. But surely it would do no harm to let the child have one pretty dress—something like Diana Barry always wore. Matthew decided that he would give her one; that surely could not be objected to as an unwarranted putting in of his oar. Christmas was only a fortnight off. A nice new dress would be the very thing for a present. Matthew, with a sigh of satisfaction, put away his pipe and went to bed, while Marilla opened all the doors and aired the house.

The very next evening Matthew betook himself to Carmody to buy the dress, determined to get the worst over and have done with it. It would be, he felt assured, no trifling ordeal. There were some things Matthew could buy and prove himself no mean bargainer; but he knew he would be at the mercy of shopkeepers when it came to buying a girl's dress.

After much cogitation Matthew resolved to go to Samuel Lawson's store instead of William Blair's. To be sure, the Cuthberts always had gone to William Blair's; it was almost as much a matter of conscience with them as to attend the Presbyterian church and vote Conservative. But William Blair's two daughters frequently waited on customers there and Matthew held them in absolute dread. He could contrive to deal with them when he knew exactly what he wanted and could point it out; but in such a matter as this, requiring explanation and consultation, Matthew felt that he must be sure of a man behind the counter. So he would go to Lawson's, where Samuel or his son would wait on him.

Alas! Matthew did not know that Samuel, in the recent expansion of his business, had set up a lady clerk also; she was a niece of his wife's and a very dashing young person indeed, with a huge, drooping pompadour, big, rolling brown eyes, and a most extensive and bewildering smile. She was dressed with exceeding smartness and wore several bangle bracelets that glittered and rattled and tinkled with every movement of her hands. Matthew was covered with confusion at finding her there at all; and those bangles completely wrecked his wits at one fell swoop.

"What can I do for you this evening, Mr. Cuthbert?" Miss Lucilla Harris inquired, briskly and ingratiatingly, tapping the counter with both hands.

"Have you any—any—any—well now, say any garden rakes?" stammered Matthew.

Miss Harris looked somewhat surprised, as well she might, to hear a man inquiring for garden rakes in the middle of December.

"I believe we have one or two left over," she said, "but they're up-stairs in the lumber-room. I'll go and see."

During her absence Matthew collected his scattered senses for another effort.

When Miss Harris returned with the rake and cheerfully inquired: "Anything else to-night, Mr. Cuthbert?" Matthew took his courage in both hands and replied: Well now, since you suggest it, I might as well—take—that is—look at—buy some—some hayseed."

Miss Harris had heard Matthew Cuthbert called odd. She now concluded that he was entirely crazy.

We only keep hayseed in the spring," she explained loftily. We've none on hand just now."

"Oh, certainly—certainly—just as you say," stammered unhappy Matthew, seizing the rake and making for the door. At the threshold he recollected that he had not paid for it and he turned miserably back. While Miss Harris was counting out his change he rallied his powers for a final desperate attempt.

"Well now—if it isn't too much trouble—I might as well—that is—I'd like to look at—at—some sugar."

"White or brown?" queried Miss Harris patiently.

"Oh—well now—brown," said Matthew feebly.

"There's a barrel of it over there," said Miss Harris, shaking her bangles at it. "It's the only kind we have."

"I'll—I'll take twenty pounds of it," said Matthew, with beads of perspiration standing on his forehead.

Matthew had driven half-way home before he was his own man again. It had been a gruesome experience, but it served him right, he thought, for committing the heresy of going to a strange store. When he reached home he hid the rake in the tool-house, but the sugar he carried in to Marilla.

"Brown sugar!" exclaimed Marilla. "Whatever possessed you to get so much? You know I never use it except for the hired man's porridge or black fruit-cake. Jerry's gone and I've made my cake long ago. It's not good sugar, either—it's coarse and dark—William Blair doesn't usually keep sugar like that."

"I—I thought it might come in handy sometime," said Matthew, making good his escape.

When Matthew came to think the matter over he decided that a woman was required to cope with the situation. Marilla was out of the question. Matthew felt sure she would throw cold water on his project at once. Remained only Mrs. Lynde; for of no other woman in Avonlea would Matthew have dared to ask advice. To Mrs. Lynde he went accordingly, and that good lady promptly took the matter out of the harassed man's hands.

"Pick out a dress for you to give Anne? To be sure I will. I'm going to Carmody to-morrow and I'll attend to it. Have you something particular in mind? No? Well, I'll just go by my own judgment then. I believe a nice rich brown would just suit Anne, and William Blair has some new gloria in that's real pretty. Perhaps you'd like me to make it up for her, too, seeing that if Marilla was to make it Anne would probably get wind of it before the time and spoil the surprise? Well, I'll do it. No, it isn't a mite of trouble. I like sewing. I'll make it to fit my niece, Jenny Gillis, for she and Anne are as like as two peas as far as figure goes."

"Well now, I'm much obliged," said Matthew, "and—and—I dunno—but I'd like—I think they make the sleeves different nowadays to what they used to be. If it wouldn't be asking too much I—I'd like them made in the new way."

"Puffs? Of course. You needn't worry a speck more about it, Matthew. I'll make it up in the very latest fashion," said Mrs. Lynde. To herself she added when Matthew had gone:

"It'll be a real satisfaction to see that poor child wearing something decent for once. The way Marilla dresses her is positively ridiculous, that's what, and I've ached to tell her so plainly a dozen times. I've held my tongue though, for I can see Marilla doesn't want advice and she thinks she knows more about bringing children up than I do for all she's an old maid. But that's always the way. Folks that has brought up children know that there's no hard and fast method in the world that'll suit every child. But them as never have think it's all as plain and easy as Rule of Three—just set your three terms down so fashion, and the sum'll work out correct. But flesh and blood don't come under the head of arithmetic and that's where Marilla Cuthbert makes her mistake. I suppose she's trying to cultivate a spirit of humility in Anne by dressing her as she does; but it's more likely to cultivate envy and discontent. I'm sure the child must feel the difference between her clothes and the other girls'. But to think of Matthew taking notice of it! That man is waking up after being asleep for over sixty years."

Marilla knew all the following fortnight that Matthew had something on his mind, but what it was she could not guess, until Christmas Eve, when Mrs. Lynde brought up the new dress. Marilla behaved pretty well on the whole, although it is very likely she distrusted Mrs. Lynde's diplomatic explanation that she had made the dress because Matthew was afraid Anne would find out about it too soon if Marilla made it.

"So this is what Matthew has been looking so mysterious over and grinning about to himself for two weeks, is it?" she said a little stiffly but tolerantly. "I knew he was up to some foolishness. Well, I must say I don't think Anne needed any more dresses. I made her three good, warm, serviceable ones this fall, and anything more is sheer extravagance. There's enough material in those sleeves alone to make a waist, I declare there is. You'll just pamper Anne's vanity, Matthew, and she's as vain as a peacock now. Well, I hope she'll be satisfied at last, for I know she's been hankering after those silly sleeves ever since they came in, although she never said a word after the first. The puffs have been getting bigger and more ridiculous right along; they're as big as balloons now. Next year anybody who wears them will have to go through a door sideways."

Christmas morning broke on a beautiful white world. It had been a very mild December and people had looked forward to a green Christmas; but just enough snow fell softly in the night to transfigure Avonlea. Anne peeped out from her frosted gable window with delighted eyes. The firs in the Haunted Wood were all feathery and wonderful; the birches and wild cherry-trees were outlined in pearl; the ploughed fields were stretches of snowy dimples; and there was a crisp tang in the air that was glorious. Anne ran down-stairs singing until her voice re-echoed through Green Gables.

Merry Christmas, Marilla! Merry Christmas, Matthew! Isn't it a lovely Christmas? I'm so glad it's white. Any other kind of Christmas doesn't seem real, does it? I don't like green Christmases. They're not green—they're just nasty faded browns and grays. What makes people call them green? Why—why—Matthew, is that for me? Oh, Matthew!"

Matthew had sheepishly unfolded the dress from its paper swathings and held it out with a deprecatory glance at Marilla, who feigned to be contemptuously filling the teapot, but nevertheless watched the scene out of the corner of her eye with a rather interested air.

Anne took the dress and looked at it in reverent silence. Oh, how pretty it was—a lovely soft brown gloria with all the gloss of silk; a skirt with dainty frills and shirrings; a waist elaborately pin-tucked in the most fashionable way, with a little ruffle of filmy lace at the neck. But the sleeves—they were the crowning glory! Long elbow cuffs, and above them two beautiful puffs divided by rows of shirring and bows of brown silk ribbon.

"That's a Christmas present for you, Anne," said Matthew shyly. Why—why—Anne, don't you like it? Well now—well now."

For Anne's eyes had suddenly filled with tears.

"Like it! Oh, Matthew!" Anne laid the dress over a chair and clasped her hands. "Matthew, it's perfectly exquisite. Oh, I can never thank you enough. Look at those sleeves! Oh, it seems to me this must be a happy dream."

"Well, well, let us have breakfast," interrupted Marilla. "I must say, Anne, I don't think you needed the dress; but since Matthew has got it for you, see that you take good care of it. There's a hair ribbon Mrs. Lynde left for you. It's brown, to match the dress. Come now, sit in."

"I don't see how I'm going to eat breakfast," said Anne rapturously. "Breakfast seems so commonplace at such an exciting moment. I'd rather feast my eyes on that dress, I'm so glad that puffed sleeves are still fashionable. It did seem to me that I'd never get over it if they went out before I had a dress with them. I'd never have felt quite satisfied, you see. It was lovely of Mrs. Lynde to give me the ribbon, too. I feel that I ought to be a very good girl indeed. It's at times like this I'm sorry I'm not a model little girl; and I always resolve that I will be in future. But somehow it's hard to carry out your resolutions when irresistible temptations come. Still, I really will make an extra effort after this."

When the commonplace breakfast was over Diana appeared, crossing the white log bridge in the hollow, a gay little figure in her crimson ulster. Anne flew down the slope to meet her.

"Merry Christmas, Diana! And oh, it's a wonderful Christmas. I've something splendid to show you. Matthew has given me the loveliest dress, with such sleeves. I couldn't even imagine any nicer."

"I've got something more for you," said Diana breathlessly. "Here—this box. Aunt Josephine sent us out a big box with ever so many things in it—and this is for you. I'd have brought it over last night, but it didn't come until after dark, and I never feel very comfortable coming through the Haunted Wood in the dark now."

Anne opened the box and peeped in. First a card with "For the Anne-girl and Merry Christmas," written on it; and then, a pair of the daintiest little kid slippers, with beaded toes and satin bows and glistening buckles.

"Oh," said Anne, "Diana, this is too much. I must be dreaming."

"I call it providential," said Diana. "You won't have to borrow Ruby's slippers now, and that's a blessing, for they're two sizes too big for you, and it would be awful to hear a fairy shuffling. Josie Pye would be delighted. Mind you, Rob Wright went home with Gertie Pye from the practice night before last. Did you ever hear anything equal to that?"

All the Avonlea scholars were in a fever of excitement that day, for the hall had to be decorated and a last grand rehearsal held.

The concert came off in the evening and was a pronounced success. The little hall was crowded; all the performers did excellently well, but Anne was the bright particular star of the occasion, as even envy, in the shape of Josie Pye, dared not deny.

"Oh, hasn't it been a brilliant evening?" sighed Anne, when it was all over and she and Diana were walking home together under a dark, starry sky.

"Everything went off very well," said Diana practically. " I guess we must have made as much as ten dollars. Mind you, Mr. Allan is going to send an account of it to the Charlottetown papers."

"Oh, Diana, will we really see our names in print? It makes me thrill to think of it. Your solo was perfectly elegant, Diana. I felt prouder than you did when it was encored. I just said to myself, 'It is my dear bosom friend who is so honoured.'"

"Well, your recitations just brought down the house, Anne. That sad one was simply splendid."

"Oh, I was so nervous, Diana. When Mr. Allan called out my name I really cannot tell how I ever got up on that platform. I felt as if a million eyes were looking at me and through me, and for one dreadful moment I was sure I couldn't begin at all. Then I thought of my lovely puffed sleeves and took courage. I knew that I must live up to those sleeves, Diana. So I started in, and my voice seemed to be coming from ever so far away. I just felt like a parrot. It's providential that I practised those recitations so often up in the garret, or I'd never have been able to get through. Did I groan all right?"

"Yes, indeed, you groaned lovely," assured Diana.

"I saw old Mrs. Sloane wiping away tears when I sat down. It was splendid to think I had touched somebody's heart. It's so romantic to take part in a concert, isn't it? Oh, it's been a very memorable occasion indeed."

"Wasn't the boys' dialogue fine?" said Diana. "Gilbert Blythe was just splendid. Anne, I do think it's awful mean the way you treat Gil. Wait till I tell you. When you ran off the platform after the fairy dialogue one of your roses fell out of your hair. I saw Gil pick it up and put it in his breast-pocket. There now. You're so romantic that I'm sure you ought to be pleased at that."

"It's nothing to me what that person does," said Anne loftily. "I simply never waste a thought on him, Diana."

That night Marilla and Matthew, who had been out to a concert for the first time in twenty years, sat for awhile by the kitchen fire after Anne had gone to bed.

"Well now, I guess our Anne did as well as any of them," said Matthew proudly.

"Yes, she did," admitted Marilla. "She's a bright child, Matthew. And she looked real nice, too. I've been kind of opposed to this concert scheme, but I suppose there's no real harm in it after all. Anyhow, I was proud of Anne to-night, although I'm not going to tell her so."

"Well now, I was proud of her and I did tell her so 'fore she went up-stairs," said Matthew. "We must see what we can do for her some of these days, Marilla. I guess she'll need something more than Avonlea school by and by."

"There's time enough to think of that," said Marilla. "She's only thirteen in March. Though to-night it struck me she was growing quite a big girl. Mrs. Lynde made that dress a mite too long, and it makes Anne look so tall. She's quick to learn and I guess the best thing we can do for her will be to send her to Queen's after a spell. But nothing need be said about that for a year or two yet."

"Well now, it'll do no harm to be thinking it over off and on," said Matthew. "Things like that are all the better for lots of thinking over."