en-de  Anne of Green Gables /Chapter VI Medium
Kapitel 6


Marilla entscheidet sich.


Sie kamen jedoch dort rechtzeitig an. Mrs. Spencer wohnte in einem großen, gelben Haus bei White Sands Cove, und mit Überraschung und Willkommen, die sich auf ihrem gütigen Gesicht vermischten ,kam sie an die Tür .

"Meine Lieben," rief sie aus, " ihr seid die Letzten , die ich heute erwartet habe, aber ich bin wirklich froh, euch zu sehen. Wollen Sie Ihr Pferd unterstellen? Und wie geht's dir, Anne?

"Mir geht es so gut wie es erwartet werden kann, danke", sagte Anne ohne Lächeln. Ein Schatten schien auf sie herabgesunken zu sein.

"Ich nehme an, dass wir eine Weile bleiben werden, damit die Stute sich erholt", sagte Marilla, "aber ich habe Matthew versprochen, dass ich früh zu Hause sein würde. Tatsache ist, Mrs. Spencer, es gab irgendwo einen eigenartigen Fehler, und ich bin gekommen, um zu sehen, wo er steckt.. Wir, Matthew und ich, haben Sie benachrichtigt, uns einen Jungen aus dem Waisenhaus zu bringen. Wir haben Ihrem Bruder Robert gesagt, er soll Ihnen sagen, dass wir einen Jungen von zehn oder elf Jahren wollen."

"Marilla Cuthbert, was Sie nicht sagen!" sagte Mrs.Spencer in Verzweiflung. "Na, Robert schickte die Nachricht durch seine Tochter Nancy und sie sagte, ihr wünschtet ein Mädchen, nicht wahr, Flora Jane?" appellierte sie an ihre Tochter, die zu den Stufen herausgekommen war.

"Das hat sie in der Tat getan, Miss Cuthbert", bestätigte Flora Jane ernsthaft.

"Es tut mir schrecklich leid", sagte Mrs Spencer. "Es ist zu dumm, aber es war sicher nicht meine Schuld, wie Sie sehen, Miss Cuthbert. Ich gab mein Bestes und dachte, ich würde Ihre Anweisungen befolgen. Nancy ist ein schrecklich flatterhaftes Ding. Ich habe sie oft genug wegen ihrer Achtlosigkeit ausschimpfen müssen."

"Es war unsere eigene Schuld", sagte Marilla resignierend. "Wir hätten selber zu Ihnen kommen sollen und keine wichtige Nachricht hinterlassen sollen, die auf diese Art mündlich weitergegeben werden sollte. Wie auch immer, der Fehler ist gemacht worden und es richtig zu stellen, ist das Einzige, was wir jetzt tun müssen. Können wir das Kind zurück ins Heim schicken? Ich vermute, sie werden es zurücknehmen, nicht wahr?"

"Ich nehme es an",sagte Mrs. Spencer nachdenklich, "aber ich glaube nicht, dass es notwendig ist, sie zurückzuschicken. Mrs. Peter Blewett war gestern hier oben und sie teilte mir mit, wie sehr sie wünschte, sie hätte durch mich nach einem kleinen Mädchen geschickt, um ihr zu helfen. Mrs. Peter hat eine große Familie, wissen Sie, und sie findet es schwer, Hilfe zu bekommen. Anne wird für sie das richtige Mädchen sein. Ich nenne es eine sehr glückliche Fügung."

Marilla schaute nicht so aus, als ob sie dächte, die Vorsehung hätte viel mit der Angelegenheit zu tun. Hier war eine unerwartet gute Gelegenheit, diese unwillkommene Waise loszuwerden, und sie fühlte sich noch nicht einmal dankbar dafür...

Sie kannte Mrs. Peter Blewett nur vom Sehen als eine kleine, spitzgesichtige Frau ohne eine Unze überflüssiges Fleisch auf ihren Knochen... Aber sie hatte von ihr gehört. "Eine schreckliche Arbeiterin und Fahrerin", sollte Mrs. Peter sein; und entlassene Dienstbotinnen erzählten fürchterliche Geschichten von ihrem Temperament und Geiz und von ihrer Familie vorlauter und zänkischer Kinder.... Marilla hatte Gewissensbisse bei dem Gedanken, Anne in ihre Obhut zu übergeben.

"Nun, ich werde hineingehen und wir werden die Sache besprechen", sagte sie.

"Und wenn da nicht gerade in dieser gesegneten Minute Mrs. Peter die Gasse hochkommt !" rief Mrs. Spencer aus, während sie ihre Gäste durch die Halle in den Salon drängte, wo ihnen eine tödliche Kälte entgegenschlug, als ob die Luft so lange durch dunkelgrüne, zugezogene Jalousien gezogen worden wäre, so dass sie jeden noch so kleinen Hauch an Wärme verloren hatte, die sie je besessen hatte. " Das ist wirklich Glück, weil wir die Angelegenheit sofort regeln können. Nehmen Sie den Sessel. Miss Cuthbert. Anne, setz' dich auf die Ottomane und zapple nicht. Gestatten Sie mir, Ihre Hüte zu nehmen. Flora Jane, gehe hinaus und setze Wasser auf. Guten Tag, Mrs. Blewett. Wir sagten gerade, wie glücklich es war, dass Sie zufällig vorbeikamen. Lassen Sie mich Ihnen zwei Damen vorstellen. Mrs. Blewett, Miss Cuthbert. Bitte entschuldigen Sie mich für einen Moment. Ich vergaß Flora Jane zu sagen, die Brötchen aus dem Ofen zu nehmen."

Nachdem sie die Jalousien hochgezogen hatte, entfernte sich Mrs. Spencer schnell. Anne saß stumm auf der Ottomane, die Hände fest in ihrem Schoß verschränkt und starrte Mrs. Blewett wie fasziniert an... Sollte sie in die Obhut dieser spitzgesichtigen, scharfäugigen Frau gegeben werden? Sie fühlte einen Kloß im Hals und ihre Augen brannten schmerzhaft. Sie fing an zu befürchten, dass sie die Tränen nicht zurückhalten könnte, wenn Mrs. Spencer zurückkäme, mit rotem Kopf und freudestrahlend, ganz in der Lage, jegliche Schwierigkeit, körperlich, geistig oder seelisch zu berücksichtigen und kurzerhand zu regeln.

"Es scheint, dass es einen Fehler wegen dieses kleinen Mädchens gab, Mrs. Blewett", sagte sie. "Ich war der Meinung, dass Mr. und Miss Cuthbert ein kleines Mädchen adoptieren wollten. Das hat man mir in der Tat gesagt. Aber wie es scheint, wollten sie einen Jungen. Wenn Sie also noch derselben Meinung sind wie gestern, dann wird sie genau die Richtige für Sie sein."

Mrs. Blewett musterte Anne von Kopf bis Fuß.

"Wie alt bist du und wie heißt du?" wollte sie wissen.

"Anne Shirley", sagte das immer kleiner werdende Kind zögernd und traute sich nicht, irgendwelche Bedungungen bezüglich der Schreibweise zu stellen, " und ich bin 11 Jahre alt."

"Hm! Du siehst nicht so aus, als ob viel mit dir los wäre. Aber du bist drahtig. Ich weiß nicht, aber die Drahtigen sind doch die Besten. Gut, wenn ich dich nehme, musst du ein braves Mädchen sein, weißt du - brav, schlau und respektvoll. Ich erwarte, dass du deinen Unterhalt verdienst, damit das klar ist. Ja, ich denke, ich könnte Sie Ihnen auch abnehmen, Miss Cuthbert. Das Baby ist schrecklich quengelig und ich bin völlig erschöpft, darauf aufzupassen. Wenn Sie möchten, kann ich sie sofort mit nach Hause nehmen."

Marilla sah Anne an und wurde beim Anblick des blassen Gesichts des Kindes mit seinem Aussehen stummen Elends weich - dem Elend einer hilflosen kleinen Kreatur, die sich einmal mehr in der Falle wiederfindet, aus der sie entkommen war. ... Marilla hatte das unangenehme Gefühl, wenn sie sich der Wirkung dieses Anblicks verweigerte, würde sie dieser bis zu ihrem Tod verfolgen. ... Außerdem mochte sie Mrs. Blewett nicht. Ein sensibles , "übernervöses" Kind einer solchen Frau übergeben! Nein, sie konnte dafür keine Verantwortung übernehmen!

"Nun, ich weiß nicht", sagte sie langsam. " Ich sagte nicht, dass Matthew und ich grundsätzlich entschieden hätten, dass wir sie nicht nehmen wollen. Tatsächlich möchte ich sagen, dass Matthew bereit ist, sie zu nehmen. Ich kam nur hierher, um herauszufinden, wie der Fehler entstanden ist. Ich denke, ich nehme sie wieder mit nach Hause und bespreche es mit Matthew. Ich glaube, es sollte nichts entschieden werden, ohne ihn hinzuzuziehen. Wenn wir uns entscheiden, sie nicht zu behalten, werden wir sie morgen Abend bringen oder zu Ihnen hinüberschicken . Wenn wir es nicht tun, werden Sie wissen, dass sie bei uns bleiben wird. Passt Ihnen das, Mrs. Blewett?"

"Ich nehme an, es muss", sagte Mrs. Blewett ungnädig.

Während Marillas Rede war die Sonne auf Annes Gesicht erwacht. Zuerst verschwand der Ausdruck der Hoffnungslosigkeit; dann erschien ein schwaches, hoffnungsvolles Erröten; ihre Augen wurden groß und leuchtend wie Morgensterne. Das Kind war ganz verwandelt; und einen Augenblick später, als Mrs. Spencer und Mrs. Blewett wegen eines Rezepts hinausgingen, das Letztere ausborgen wollte, sprang sie auf und flog durch den Raum auf Marilla zu.

"Oh, Miss Cuthbert, haben Sie wirklich gesagt, dass Sie mich vielleicht auf Green Gables bleiben lassen?" sagte sie in atemlosem Flüstern, also ob lautes Sprechen die herrliche Möglichkeit zunichte machen könnte. "Haben Sie das wirklich gesagt? Oder bildete ich mir nur ein, dass Sie es taten?

" Ich denke, du solltest deine Fantasie besser kontrollieren, Anne, wenn du nicht unterscheiden kannst, was wirklich ist und was nicht " sagte Marilla verärgert, " Ja, du hast mich genau das sagen gehört und sonst nichts. Es ist noch nicht entschieden und vielleicht werden wir doch beschließen, dass Mrs. Blewett dich letztendlich nehmen soll. Sie braucht dich sicher mehr als ich."

"Ich würde lieber ins Heim zurückgehen, als bei ihr zu leben," sagte Anne heftig. "Sie schaut genauso aus wie ein -- wie ein Holzbohrer."

Marilla unterdrückte ein Lächeln auf Grund der Überzeugung, dass Anne wegen solcher Äußerungen zurechtgewiesen werden musste.

" Ein kleines Mädchen wie du sollte sich schämen, so über eine Dame und Fremde zu sprechen" sagte sie streng. "Geh zurück und setz dich ruhig hin und halte deine Zunge im Zaun und benimm dich, wie ein ein braves Mädchen es sollte."

"Ich werde versuchen alles zu tun und zu sein, was Sie von mir möchten, wenn Sie mich nur behalten, " sagte Anne und kehrte unterwürfig zu ihrer Ottomane zurück.

Als sie am Abend nach Green Gables zurückkamen, traf Matthew sie auf dem Weg. Marilla hatte aus der Ferne bemerkt, dass er auf ihm herumlungerte und erriet seinen Beweggrund. Sie war auf die Erleichterung vorbereitet, die sie in seinem Gesicht las, als er sah, dass sie Anne jedenfalls wieder mit zürückgebracht hatte. Aber sie sagte nichts zu ihm, im Verhältnis zu der Gelegenheit, als sie beide draußen im Hof hinter der Scheune die Kühe molken. Dann erzählte sie kurz Annes Geschichte und das Ergebnis des Gespräches mit Mrs. Spencer.

" Ich würde dieser Blewett keinen Hund geben, den ich mag," sagte Matthew ungewöhnlich schwungvoll.

"Ich mag ihre Art selber nicht," gab Marilla zu, "aber entweder so oder wir betreuen sie selber, Matthew. Und da es scheint, dass du sie haben willst, nehme ich an, dass ich dazu bereit bin - oder bereit sein muss. Ich habe über die Idee nachgedacht bis ich mich irgendwie daran gewöhnt habe. Es scheint eine Art Pflicht zu sein. Ich habe niemals ein Kind großgezogen, besonders ein Mädchen und ich wage zu behaupten, dass ich es schrecklich verpfuschen werde. Aber ich werde mein Bestes tun. Soweit es mich betrifft, Matthew, kann sie bleiben."

Matthews schüchternes Gesicht glühte vor Freude.

Also, ich habe damit gerechnet, dass du es genauso sehen würdest, Marilla ", sagte er. "Sie ist so ein interessantes kleines Ding."

"Es wäre wesentlicher, wenn du sagen könntest, sie sei ein nützliches, kleines Ding", entgegnete Marilla, " aber ich werde es zu meiner Aufgabe machen, dafür zu sorgen, dass sie darin geschult wird, es zu sein. ... Und merke dir, Matthew, du wirst dich nicht in meine Methoden einmischen. Vielleicht weiß eine alte Jungfer nicht, wie man ein Kind großzieht, aber ich vermute, sie weiß mehr als ein alter Junggeselle. Also überlass' es einfach mir, sie anzuleiten. Wenn es mir misslingt, wird Zeit genug sein, dass du deinen Senf dazu gibst."

"Na also, Marilla, du kannst es auf deine Art machen", sagte Matthew beruhigend. " Sei nur so gut und freundlich zu ihr wie du sein kannst ohne sie zu verwöhnen. Ich denke, dass sie eine von der Sorte ist, mit der du alles machen kannst, wenn du sie nur dazu bringst, dich zu lieben."

Marilla schniefte, um ihre Verachtung für Matthews Ansichten über alles Weibliche auszudrücken und ging fort zur Milch und ihren Eimern.

"Ich werde ihr nicht heute Abend sagen, dass sie bleiben kann", überlegte sie, als sie die Milch in die Kannen seihte. "Sie wäre so aufgeregt, dass sie nicht einen Augenblick schlafen würde. Marilla Cuthbert, du bist dir dessen ziemlich sicher. Hast du jemals vermutet, dass du den Tag erleben würdest, an dem du ein Waisenkind adoptierst? Es ist überraschend genug; aber nicht so überraschend, als dass Matthew der Grund dafür sein sollte, er, der immer solch eine tödliche Furcht vor kleinen Mädchen zu haben schien. Jedenfalls haben wir uns für das Experiment entschieden und nur der Himmel weiß, was dabei herauskommen wird."
unit 1
CHAPTER VI.
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MARILLA MAKES UP HER MIND.
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Get there they did, however, in due season.
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You'll put your horse in?
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And how are you, Anne?"
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"I'm as well as can be expected, thank you," said Anne smilelessly.
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A blight seemed to have descended on her.
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We sent word, Matthew and I, for you to bring us a boy from the asylum.
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We told your brother Robert to tell you we wanted a boy ten or eleven years old."
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"Marilla Cuthbert, you don't say so!"
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said Mrs. Spencer in distress.
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appealing to her daughter who had come out to the steps.
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"She certainly did, Miss Cuthbert," corroborated Flora Jane earnestly.
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"I'm dreadful sorry," said Mrs. Spencer.
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"It is too bad; but it certainly wasn't my fault, you see, Miss Cuthbert.
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I did the best I could and I thought I was following your instructions.
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Nancy is terrible flighty thing.
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I've often had to scold her well for her heedlessness."
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"It was our own fault," said Marilla resignedly.
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Anyhow, the mistake has been made and the only thing to do now is to set it right.
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Can we send the child back to the asylum?
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I suppose they'll take her back, won't they?"
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Mrs. Peter has a large family, you know, and she finds it hard to get help.
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Anne will be the very girl for her.
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I call it positively providential."
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Marilla did not look as if she thought Providence had much to do with the matter.
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But she had heard of her.
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"Well, I'll go in and we'll talk the matter over," she said.
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"And if there isn't Mrs. Peter coming up the lane this blessed minute!"
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"That is real lucky, for we can settle the matter right away.
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Take the armchair.
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Miss Cuthbert.
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Anne, you sit here on the ottoman and don't wriggle.
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Let me take your hats.
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Flora Jane, go out and put the kettle on.
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Good afternoon, Mrs. Blewett.
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We were just saying how fortunate it was you happened along.
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Let me introduce you two ladies.
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Mrs. Blewett, Miss Cuthbert.
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Please excuse me for just a moment.
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I forgot to tell Flora Jane to take the buns out of the oven."
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Mrs. Spencer whisked away, after pulling up the blinds.
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Was she to be given into the keeping of this sharp-faced, sharp-eyed woman?
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She felt a lump coming up in her throat and her eyes smarted painfully.
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"It seems there's been a mistake about this little girl, Mrs. Blewett," she said.
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I was certainly told so.
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But it seems it was a boy they wanted.
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Mrs. Blewett darted her eyes over Anne from head to foot.
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"How old are you and what's your name?"
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she demanded.
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"Humph!
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You don't look as if there was much to you.
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But you're wiry.
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I don't know but the wiry ones are the best after all.
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I'll expect you to earn your keep, and no mistake about that.
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Yes, I suppose I might as well take her off your hands, Miss Cuthbert.
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The baby's awful fractious, and I'm clean worn out attending to him.
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If you like I can take her right home now."
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Moreover, she did not fancy Mrs. Blewett.
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To hand a sensitive, "high-strung" child over to such a woman!
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No, she could not take the responsibility of doing that!
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"Well, I don't know," she said slowly.
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"I didn't say that Matthew and I had absolutely decided that we wouldn't keep her.
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In fact, I may say that Matthew is disposed to keep her.
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I just came over to find out how the mistake had occurred.
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I think I'd better take her home again and talk it over with Matthew.
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I feel that I oughtn't to decide on anything without consulting him.
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If we don't you may know that she is going to stay with us.
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Will that suit you, Mrs.
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Blewett?"
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"I suppose it'll have to," said Mrs. Blewett ungraciously.
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During Marilla's speech a sunrise had been dawning on Anne's face.
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"Did you really say it?
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Or did I only imagine that you did?"
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She certainly needs you much more than I do."
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"She looks exactly like a—like a gimlet."
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When they arrived back at Green Gables that evening Matthew met them in the lane.
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Marilla from afar had noted him prowling along it and guessed his motive.
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And, since you seem to want her, I suppose I'm willing—or have to be.
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I've been thinking over the idea until I've got kind of used to it.
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It seems a sort of duty.
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But I'll do my best.
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So far as I'm concerned, Matthew, she may stay."
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Matthew's shy face was a glow of delight.
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"Well now, I reckoned you'd come to see it in that light, Marilla," he said.
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"She's such an interesting little thing."
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And mind, Matthew, you're not to go interfering with my methods.
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So you just leave me to manage her.
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When I fail it'll be time enough to put your oar in."
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"There, there, Marilla, you can have your own way," said Matthew reassuringly.
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"Only be as good and kind to her as you can be without spoiling her.
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"She'd be so excited that she wouldn't sleep a wink.
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Marilla Cuthbert, you're fairly in for it.
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Did you ever suppose you'd see the day when you'd be adopting an orphan girl?
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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 1 year ago

CHAPTER VI.

MARILLA MAKES UP HER MIND.

Get there they did, however, in due season. Mrs. Spencer lived in a big yellow house at White Sands Cove, and she came to the door with surprise and welcome mingled on her benevolent face.

"Dear, dear," she exclaimed, "you're the last folks I was looking for to-day, but I'm real glad to see you. You'll put your horse in? And how are you, Anne?"

"I'm as well as can be expected, thank you," said Anne smilelessly. A blight seemed to have descended on her.

"I suppose we'll stay a little while to rest the mare," said Marilla, "but I promised Matthew I'd be home early. The fact is, Mrs. Spencer, there's been a queer mistake somewhere, and I've come over to see where it is. We sent word, Matthew and I, for you to bring us a boy from the asylum. We told your brother Robert to tell you we wanted a boy ten or eleven years old."

"Marilla Cuthbert, you don't say so!" said Mrs. Spencer in distress. "Why, Robert sent the word down by his daughter Nancy and she said you wanted a girl—didn't she, Flora Jane?" appealing to her daughter who had come out to the steps.

"She certainly did, Miss Cuthbert," corroborated Flora Jane earnestly.

"I'm dreadful sorry," said Mrs. Spencer. "It is too bad; but it certainly wasn't my fault, you see, Miss Cuthbert. I did the best I could and I thought I was following your instructions. Nancy is terrible flighty thing. I've often had to scold her well for her heedlessness."

"It was our own fault," said Marilla resignedly. "We should have come to you ourselves and not left an important message to be passed along by word of mouth in that fashion. Anyhow, the mistake has been made and the only thing to do now is to set it right. Can we send the child back to the asylum? I suppose they'll take her back, won't they?"

"I suppose so," said Mrs. Spencer thoughtfully, "but I don't think it will be necessary to send her back. Mrs. Peter Blewett was up here yesterday, and she was saying to me how much she wished she'd sent by me for a little girl to help her. Mrs. Peter has a large family, you know, and she finds it hard to get help. Anne will be the very girl for her. I call it positively providential."

Marilla did not look as if she thought Providence had much to do with the matter. Here was an unexpectedly good chance to get this unwelcome orphan off her hands, and she did not even feel grateful for it.

She knew Mrs. Peter Blewett only by sight as a small, shrewish-faced woman without an ounce of superfluous flesh on her bones. But she had heard of her. "A terrible worker and driver," Mrs. Peter was said to be; and discharged servant girls told fearsome tales of her temper and stinginess, and her family of pert, quarrelsome children. Marilla felt a qualm of conscience at the thought of handing Anne over to her tender mercies.

"Well, I'll go in and we'll talk the matter over," she said.

"And if there isn't Mrs. Peter coming up the lane this blessed minute!" exclaimed Mrs. Spencer, bustling her guests through the hall into the parlour, where a deadly chill struck on them as if the air had been strained so long through dark green, closely drawn blinds that it had lost every particle of warmth it had ever possessed. "That is real lucky, for we can settle the matter right away. Take the armchair. Miss Cuthbert. Anne, you sit here on the ottoman and don't wriggle. Let me take your hats. Flora Jane, go out and put the kettle on. Good afternoon, Mrs. Blewett. We were just saying how fortunate it was you happened along. Let me introduce you two ladies. Mrs. Blewett, Miss Cuthbert. Please excuse me for just a moment. I forgot to tell Flora Jane to take the buns out of the oven."

Mrs. Spencer whisked away, after pulling up the blinds. Anne, sitting mutely on the ottoman, with her hands clasped tightly in her lap, stared at Mrs. Blewett as one fascinated. Was she to be given into the keeping of this sharp-faced, sharp-eyed woman? She felt a lump coming up in her throat and her eyes smarted painfully. She was beginning to be afraid she couldn't keep the tears back when Mrs. Spencer returned, flushed and beaming, quite capable of taking any and every difficulty, physical, mental or spiritual, into consideration and settling it out of hand.

"It seems there's been a mistake about this little girl, Mrs. Blewett," she said. "I was under the impression that Mr. and Miss Cuthbert wanted a little girl to adopt. I was certainly told so. But it seems it was a boy they wanted. So if you're still of the same mind you were yesterday, I think she'll be just the thing for you."

Mrs. Blewett darted her eyes over Anne from head to foot.

"How old are you and what's your name?" she demanded.

"Anne Shirley," faltered the shrinking child, not daring to make any stipulations regarding the spelling thereof, "and I'm eleven years old."

"Humph! You don't look as if there was much to you. But you're wiry. I don't know but the wiry ones are the best after all. Well, if I take you you'll have to be a good girl, you know—good and smart and respectful. I'll expect you to earn your keep, and no mistake about that. Yes, I suppose I might as well take her off your hands, Miss Cuthbert. The baby's awful fractious, and I'm clean worn out attending to him. If you like I can take her right home now."

Marilla looked at Anne and softened at sight of the child's pale face with its look of mute misery—the misery of a helpless little creature who finds itself once more caught in the trap from which it had escaped. Marilla felt an uncomfortable conviction that, if she denied the appeal of that look, it would haunt her to her dying day. Moreover, she did not fancy Mrs. Blewett. To hand a sensitive, "high-strung" child over to such a woman! No, she could not take the responsibility of doing that!

"Well, I don't know," she said slowly. "I didn't say that Matthew and I had absolutely decided that we wouldn't keep her. In fact, I may say that Matthew is disposed to keep her. I just came over to find out how the mistake had occurred. I think I'd better take her home again and talk it over with Matthew. I feel that I oughtn't to decide on anything without consulting him. If we make up our mind not to keep her we'll bring or send her over to you to-morrow night. If we don't you may know that she is going to stay with us. Will that suit you, Mrs. Blewett?"

"I suppose it'll have to," said Mrs. Blewett ungraciously.

During Marilla's speech a sunrise had been dawning on Anne's face. First the look of despair faded out; then came a faint flush of hope; her eyes grew deep and bright as morning stars. The child was quite transfigured; and, a moment later, when Mrs. Spencer and Mrs. Blewett went out in quest of a recipe the latter had come to borrow, she sprang up and flew across the room to Marilla.

"Oh, Miss Cuthbert, did you really say that perhaps you would let me stay at Green Gables?" she said, in a breathless whisper, as if speaking aloud might shatter the glorious possibility. "Did you really say it? Or did I only imagine that you did?"

"I think you'd better learn to control that imagination of yours, Anne, if you can't distinguish between what is real and what isn't," said Marilla crossly, "Yes, you did hear me say just that and no more. It isn't decided yet and perhaps we will conclude to let Mrs. Blewett take you after all. She certainly needs you much more than I do."

"I'd rather go back to the asylum than go to live with her," said Anne passionately. "She looks exactly like a—like a gimlet."

Marilla smothered a smile under the conviction that Anne must be reproved for such a speech.

"A little girl like you should be ashamed of talking so about a lady and a stranger," she said severely. "Go back and sit down quietly and hold your tongue and behave as a good girl should."

"I'll try to do and be anything you want me, if you'll only keep me," said Anne, returning meekly to her ottoman.

When they arrived back at Green Gables that evening Matthew met them in the lane. Marilla from afar had noted him prowling along it and guessed his motive. She was prepared for the relief she read in his face when he saw that she had at least brought Anne back with her. But she said nothing to him, relative to the affair, until they were both out in the yard behind the barn milking the cows. Then she briefly told him Anne's history and the result of the interview with Mrs. Spencer.

"I wouldn't give a dog I liked to that Blewett woman," said Matthew with unusual vim.

"I don't fancy her style myself," admitted Marilla, "but it's that or keeping her ourselves, Matthew. And, since you seem to want her, I suppose I'm willing—or have to be. I've been thinking over the idea until I've got kind of used to it. It seems a sort of duty. I've never brought up a child, especially a girl, and I dare say I'll make a terrible mess of it. But I'll do my best. So far as I'm concerned, Matthew, she may stay."

Matthew's shy face was a glow of delight.

"Well now, I reckoned you'd come to see it in that light, Marilla," he said. "She's such an interesting little thing."

"It'd be more to the point if you could say she was a useful little thing," retorted Marilla, "but I'll make it my business to see she's trained to be that. And mind, Matthew, you're not to go interfering with my methods. Perhaps an old maid doesn't know much about bringing up a child, but I guess she knows more than an old bachelor. So you just leave me to manage her. When I fail it'll be time enough to put your oar in."

"There, there, Marilla, you can have your own way," said Matthew reassuringly. "Only be as good and kind to her as you can be without spoiling her. I kind of think she's one of the sort you can do anything with if you only get her to love you."

Marilla sniffed, to express her contempt for Matthew's opinions concerning anything feminine, and walked off to the dairy with the pails.

"I won't tell her to-night that she can stay," she reflected, as she strained the milk into the creamers. "She'd be so excited that she wouldn't sleep a wink. Marilla Cuthbert, you're fairly in for it. Did you ever suppose you'd see the day when you'd be adopting an orphan girl? It's surprising enough; but not so surprising as that Matthew should be at the bottom of it, him that always seemed to have such a mortal dread of little girls. Anyhow, we've decided on the experiment and goodness only knows what will come of it."