en-fr  Anne of Green Gables (1908)/Chapter XXV Medium
CHAPITRE XXV.

MATTHEW EXIGE DES MANCHES BOUFFANTES.


Matthew passait un mauvais quart d'heure. Il était venu dans la cuisine, au crépuscule d'une soirée de décembre froide et grise, et s'était assis dans le coin de la boîte à bois pour enlever ses souliers, inconscient du fait qu'Anne et un groupe de ses camarades d'école répétaient "La Reine des fées" dans le salon. À cet instant, elles traversèrent en bande le corridor pour entrer dans la cuisine, riant et bavardant gaiement. Elles ne virent pas Matthew qui se recroquevilla craintivement dans l'ombre derrière la boîte à bois, un soulier dans une main et le tire-botte dans l'autre, et il les observa timidement pendant ces quinze minutes tandis qu'elles mettaient leurs bonnets et leurs vestes, et discutaient du texte et du spectacle. Anne se tenait parmi elles, les yeux brillants et pleins de vie à leur instar ; mais Matthew s'aperçut brusquement que quelque chose la démarquait de ses amies. Et ce qui inquiéta Matthew fut que cette différence lui semblait être un fait qui n'aurait pas dû exister. Anne avait un visage plus lumineux, des yeux plus grands et plus éclatants, et des traits plus délicats que les autres ; même le timide et distrait Matthew avait appris à noter ces choses ; mais la différence qui le dérangeait ne tenait à aucun de ces aspects. Alors en quoi consistait-elle ?

Matthew resta hanté par cette question longtemps après que les fillettes furent parties, main dans la main, le long chemin gelé et qu'Anne fut retournée à ses livres. Il ne pouvait en parler avec Marilla qui, il le sentait, ne manquerait pas de renifler et de remarquer que la seule différence qu'elle voyait entre Anne et les autres filles était que celles-ci gardaient parfois la bouche fermée, alors qu'Anne ne le faisait jamais. Matthew sentait que ça ne serait pas d'une grande aide.

Ce soir-là, afin de l'aider dans sa réflexion, il fuma sa pipe le temps d'examiner la question, au grand déplaisir de Marilla. Après avoir fumé et réfléchi intensément pendant deux heures, Matthew trouva la solution à son problème. Anne n'était pas habillée comme les autres fillettes.

Plus Matthew réfléchissait à la question, plus il était convaincu qu'Anne n'avait jamais été habillée comme les autres filles... jamais depuis son arrivée aux Pignons Verts. Marilla continuait à l'habiller avec des robes uniformes et sombres, toutes faites du même modèle. Si Matthew savait qu'il existait des modes en ce qui concerne les robes, sans vraiment les connaitre, du moins était-il définitivement certain que les manches d'Anne ne ressemblaient pas du tout aux manches que les autres fillettes arboraient. Il se remémora la bande de petites filles qu'il avait vues autour d'elle ce soir-là, toutes gaiement parées de rouge, de bleu, de rose et de blanc, et il se demanda pourquoi Marilla la gardait toujours si simplement et si sobrement vêtue.

Évidemment, c'était bien ainsi. Marilla s'y connaissait mieux que lui et c'est elle qui élevait la petite. Des raisons sages et impénétrables devaient sûrement motiver sa conduite. Mais cela ne pourrait faire aucun tort à l'enfant de lui permettre d'avoir une jolie robe... dans le genre de celles que portait toujours Diana Barry. Matthew décida qu'il allait lui en offrir une, on ne pourrait pas lui reprocher de marcher sur les plates-bandes de Marilla. Dans seulement quinze jours, ce serait Noël. Une jolie nouvelle robe ferait un cadeau idéal. Avec un soupir de satisfaction, Matthew déposa sa pipe et alla se coucher, pendant que Marilla ouvrait toutes les portes pour aérer la maison.

Dès le lendemain, en fin d'après-midi, Matthew se rendit à Carmody pour acheter la robe, bien décidé à surmonter cette épreuve et à en finir avec cette histoire. Il en était convaincu, ce ne serait pas une mince affaire. Matthew pouvait acheter certaines choses et se révéler un excellent marchandeur mais il savait qu'il serait à la merci des commerçants pour l'achat d'une robe de fillette.

Après beaucoup de réflexion, Matthew résolut d'aller au magasin de Samuel Lawson plutôt qu'à celui de William Blair. Certes, les Cuthbert étaient toujours allés chez William Blair; c'était presque une question de morale pour eux comme de fréquenter l'église presbytérienne et de voter conservateur. Mais les deux filles de William Blair servaient souvent les clients là-bas et Matthew avait une peur bleue de ces dernières. Il pouvait se débrouiller avec elles quand il savait exactement ce qu'il voulait et pouvait le montrer, mais dans une affaire comme celle-ci, exigeant des explications et des consultations, Matthew sentit qu'il devait être sûr qu'un homme fût derrière le comptoir. Alors il irait chez Lawson, où Samuel ou son fils le serviraient.

Hélas ! Matthew ne savait pas que Samuel, à cause de la récente extension de son magasin, avait aussi engagé une vendeuse. C'était en effet une nièce de sa femme et une jeune personne très fringante, avec un énorme chignon cascadant à la Pompadour, de grands yeux bruns expressifs, et un très large sourire ravageur. Elle était habillée avec une élégance extrême et portait plusieurs bracelets fantaisie qui scintillaient, ballotaient et tintaient à chaque mouvement de ses mains. Matthew fut rempli de confusion de la trouver là, comme ça ; et ces bracelets lui chamboulèrent complètement l'esprit en un instant.

— Que puis-je pour votre service ce soir, monsieur Cuthbert ? s'enquit rondement Mlle Lucilla Harris, d'une voix doucereuse, en tapotant le comptoir du bout des doigts.

— Avez-vous des... des... des... euh, dites-moi, des râteaux ? bégaya Matthew.

Mademoiselle Harris fut un peu décontenancée, comme on s'en douterait, d'entendre un homme réclamer des râteaux en plein milieu de décembre.

— Je crois qu'il nous en reste un ou deux, dit-elle, mais ils sont en haut dans le débarras. Je vais aller voir.

Pendant son absence, Matthew fit un nouvel effort pour rassembler ses esprits..

Quand Mlle Harris revint avec le râteau, elle demanda avec un grand sourire : — Rien d'autre pour ce soir, monsieur Cuthbert ? Matthew prit son courage à deux mains et répondit : — Eh bien maintenant, puisque vous le suggérez, je pourrais tout aussi bien... prendre... c'est-à-dire... acheter... acheter de la semence pour fourrage.

Mlle Harris avait entendu dire que Matthew Cuthbert était bizarre. À présent, elle concluait qu'il était totalement cinglé.

Nous n'avons de semence pour fourrage qu'au printemps, expliqua-t-elle dédaigneusement. Nous n'en avons sous la main pour l'instant.

— Oh, certainement... certainement... vous avez raison, balbutia le malheureux Matthew, saisissant le râteau et se dirigeant vers la porte. Sur le seuil de la porte, il réalisa qu'il ne l'avait pas réglé et il revint misérablement sur ses pas. Tandis que Mlle Harris comptait sa monnaie, il rassembla ses forces pour une ultime tentative désespérée.

— Eh bien... si cela ne vous pose pas trop de problèmes... je pourrais aussi bien... je voudrais voir...pour...du sucre.

— Blanc ou brun ? demanda Mlle Harris avec patience.

— Oh... eh bien... brun, dit faiblement Matthew

— Il y a un baril de sucre là-bas, indiqua Mlle Harris en agitant ses bracelets. Nous n'avons que cette sorte.

— Je vais en prendre vingt livres, dit-il, le front constellé de perles de transpiration.

Ce n'est qu'après avoir effectué la moitié du chemin de retour que Matthew fut capable de recouvrer ses esprits. Cela avait été une expérience horrible, mais c'était, pensait-il, une bonne leçon pour avoir eu l'hérésie d'aller dans un magasin inconnu. Quand il parvint à la maison, il cacha le râteau dans la remise mais donna le sucre à Marilla.

— Du sucre brun ! s'exclama Marilla. Quelle mouche t'a piqué d'en acheter autant ? Tu sais bien que je n'en utilise jamais sauf pour le porridge du journalier ou pour le gâteau aux fruits. Jerry est parti et j'ai fait mon cake depuis un bon moment. En plus, ce n'est pas du bon sucre — il est grossier et foncé — William Blair ne conserve généralement pas du sucre comme ça.

— J'ai... j'ai pensé que ça pourrait être utile à un moment donné, déclara Matthew, en se rattrapant aux branches comme il pouvait.

Quand Matthew s'était mis à bien réfléchir à la question, il avait décidé qu'il fallait une femme pour faire face à la situation. Hors de question de demander à Marilla. Matthew était sûr qu'elle doucherait son projet instantanément. Ne restait que Mme Lynde ; Matthew n'aurait osé demander conseil à aucune autre femme d'Avonlea. Par conséquent il alla trouver Mme Lynde, et cette bonne dame retira bien vite l'épine du pied du pauvre homme tourmenté.

— Choisir une robe pour que vous la donniez à Anne ? Bien sûr. J'irai à Carmody demain, et je m'en occuperai. Vous pensez à quelque chose en particulier ? Non ? Eh bien, en ce cas je suivrai mon propre avis. Je pense qu'un brun chaud lui irait, et William Blair a un nouveau tissu gloria qui est vraiment joli. Peut-être aimeriez-vous que je la confectionne, car si Marilla le faisait, Anne pourrait le découvrir trop tôt, et la surprise serait gâchée. Eh bien, je le ferai. Non, pas de peine, pas du tout. J'aime coudre. Je la ferai pour aller à ma nièce, car elle et Anne se ressemblent comme deux gouttes d'eau, par rapport à leurs formes.

— Eh bien, je vous remercie infiniment, dit Matthew. Et... et je ne sais pas, mais j'aimerais... je crois qu'on fait les manches différemment d'autrefois. S'il n’était pas trop de peine, je les aimerais à la mode.

— Manches bouffantes ? Bien sûr. Ne vous en souciez plus, Matthew. Je la ferai à la dernière mode, dit Mme Lynde. Quand Matthew fut parti, elle ajouta, pour elle-même : — Ce sera une vraie satisfaction de voir cette pauvre enfant porter quelque chose de décent pour une fois. La façon dont Marilla l'habille est absolument ridicule, c'est bien vrai, et les lèvres m'ont brûlé de le lui dire au moins une douzaine de fois. J'ai pourtant tenu ma langue, car je vois bien que Marilla ne veut pas de conseils et qu'elle pense en connaître plus sur la façon d'élever les enfants que moi bien qu'elle soit vieille fille. Mais c'est toujours comme ça. Ceux qui ont élevé des enfants savent bien qu'il n'y a pas de méthodes universells qui s'appliquent pour tous les enfants. Mais ceux qui n'en ont jamais eu s’imaginent que c'est aussi simple que la règle de trois... et qu'il suffit de mettre les chiffres au bon endroit pour obtenir le bon résultat. Mais la chair et le sang ne se comportent pas comme les chiffres et c'est là que Marilla se trompe. Je suppose qu'elle essaie d'éveiller en Anne un esprit d'humilité en l'habillant comme elle le fait, mais c'est plutôt un sentiment d'envie et de mécontentement qu'elle va faire naître. Je suis convaincue que l'enfant doit percevoir la différence entre ses vêtements et ceux des autres filles. Mais de là à imaginer que Matthew l'avait remarqué ! Cet homme se réveille après avoir été assoupi pendant soixante ans.

Pendant les deux semaines suivantes, Marilla sentit bien que Matthew était préoccupé par quelque chose, mais sans pouvoir deviner quoi, jusqu'au réveillon de Noël, quand Mme Lynde apporta la nouvelle robe. Marilla se comporta à peu près bien, bien qu'elle se méfiât de l'explication toute diplomatique de Mme Lynde, qui avait fait la robe parce que Matthew avait eu peur qu'Anne la découvrît trop tôt au cas où Marilla l'eût confecrionnée.

— Alors voilà pourquoi Matthew prenait l'air si mystérieux et souriait tout seul depuis deux semaines, n'est-ce pas ? dit-elle d'une manière un peu raide, mais avec indulgence. Je sentais qu'il préparait quelque excentricité. Hé bien, je dois dire que je ne pense pas qu'Anne ait besoin de davantage de robes Je lui en ai fait trois bonnes, chaudes et pratiques ; toute autre de plus serait pure extravagance. Il y a assez de tissu dans ces manches pour faire un corsage, je l'affirme. Tu flattes juste la futilité d'Anne, Matthew, et elle a maintenant la vanité du paon. Eh bien, j'espère qu'elle sera enfin satisfaite car je sais qu'elle a toujours eu envie de ces stupides manches depuis qu'elles sont à la mode, bien qu'elle n'en ait plus jamais reparlé depuis la première fois. Les manches bouffantes n'ont cessé de grossir et de devenir de plus en plus ridicules avec le temps, elles sont grosses comme des ballons maintenant. L'année prochaine, quiconque les portera devra franchir les portes de profil.

Un magnifique monde immaculé accueillit le matin de Noël. Le mois de décembre avait été très doux et les gens ne s'attendaient pas à un Noël blanc, mais dans la nuit, il était tombé juste assez de neige pour métamorphoser Avonlea. Depuis la fenêtre givrée du pignon, Anne contemplait ce spectacle, le regard émerveillé. Les sapins du Bois hanté étaient couverts d'un duvet merveilleux, les bouleaux et les églantiers ourlés de perles, les labours ressemblaient à des ondulations enneigées, et l'air avait un parfum enivrant. Anne dévala les escaliers en chantant jusqu'à ce que sa voix retentisse d'un bout à l'autre des Pignons verts.

— Joyeux Noël, Marilla ! Joyeux Noël, Matthew ! N'est-ce pas un merveilleux jour de Noël ? Je suis tellement contente qu'il ait neigé. Toute autre sorte de Noël ne semble pas réel, n'est-ce pas ? Je n'aime pas les Noëls verts. Ils ne sont pas verts — ils sont juste bruns et gris ternes. Qu'est-ce qui fait que les gens les qualifient de verts ? Mais...mais...Matthew, est-ce pour moi ? Oh, Matthew !

Matthew avait timidement développé la robe de son emballage de papier et l'avait tendue d'un regard désapprobateur à Marilla, qui feignait de remplir la théière avec mépris, mais qui néanmoins observait la scène du coin de l'œil avec un air plutôt intéressé.

Anne prit la robe et l'admira dans un silence religieux. Oh, comme elle était jolie, une beau tissu gloria, brun et souple avec tout le brillant de la soie ; une jupe avec des volants et des fronçages délicats ; un corsage richement nervuré à la dernière mode, avec un petite collerette de dentelle au cou. Mais les manches... c'était l'apothéose ! De longs poignets, surmontés de deux magnifiques manches bouffantes divisées par des rangées de fronces et des nœuds en ruban de soie marron.

— C'est ton cadeau de Noël, Anne, dit timidement Matthew. Mais... mais... Anne, tu ne l'aimes pas ? Eh bien... eh-bien.

Les yeux d'Anne s'étaient brusquement remplis de larmes.

Elle me plaît Oh, Matthew ! Anne posa la robe sur une chaise et joignit les mains. Matthew, elle est tout à fait exquise. Oh, je ne pourrai jamais assez vous remercier. Regardez ces manches ! Oh, j'ai l'impression d'être dans un beau rêve.

— Bien, bien, prenons le petit déjeuner, l'interrompit Marilla. Je dois dire, Anne, que je ne pense pas que tu avais besoin de cette robe, mais puisque Matthew te l'a offerte, veille à en prendre bien soin. Il y a un ruban à cheveux que Mme Lynde a laissé pour toi. il est brun, pour aller avec la robe. Viens maintenant, assieds-toi.

— Je ne sais pas comment je vais prendre mon petit-déjeuner, dit Anne avec ravissement. Un petit déjeuner semble tellement banal dans un moment aussi excitant. Je vais plutôt dévorer cette robe des yeux, je suis si heureuse que les manches bouffantes soient encore à la mode. J'ai l'impression que je ne m'en serais jamais remise si elles étaient passées de mode avant que j'aie eu une robe qui en porte. Je n'aurais jamais été complètement satisfaite, voyez-vous. C'était gentil aussi de la part de Mme Lynde de me donner ce ruban. J'ai le sentiment que je dois me comporter comme une fille extrêmement sage. C'est dans des moments comme ceux-là que je me sens désolée de ne pas être une petite fille modèle ; et je prends toujours la résolution de le devenir à l'avenir. Mais d'une certaine manière, il est difficile de tenir ses résolutions lorsque surviennent d'irrésistibles tentations. Cependant, je ferai vraiment un effort supplémentaire après ceci.

Quand le petit déjeuner banal fut fini, Diana apparut, une silhouette joyeuse dans son ulster cramoisi, qui franchissait le petit pont de bois blanc dans le vallon. Anne dévala la pente pour aller à sa rencontre.

— Joyeux Noël, Diana ! Et... oh ! c'est un Noël fantastique ! J'ai quelque chose de splendide à te montrer. Matthew m'a donné la plus jolie des robes, et quelles manches ! Je n'aurais rien pu imaginer de mieux.

— J'ai quelque chose en plus pour toi, dit Diana, à bout de souffle. Voici... cette boîte. Tante Joséphine nous a envoyé un grand paquet qui contenait tant de choses — et ceci est pour toi. Je te l'aurais bien amené hier soir, mais il n'est pas arrivé avant le coucher du soleil, et je ne suis pas très rassurée de traverser le Bois hanté la nuit maintenant.

Anne ouvrit la boîte et regarda à l'intérieur. D'abord une carte avec « Pour Anne, Joyeux Noël », écrit dessus ; et puis, une paire de petits chaussons des plus délicats, avec la pointe ornée de perles, de nœuds en satin et de boucles brillantes.

— Oh, Diana, c'est trop, dit Anne. Je dois être en train de rêver.

— C'est ce que j'appelle de la providence, dit Diana. Tu n'auras plus à emprunter les pantoufles de Ruby désormais, et c'est une bénédiction car elles sont deux tailles trop grandes pour toi et ce serait horrible d'entendre une fée traîner des pieds. Josie Pye serait trop contente. Tu sais que Rob Wright est rentré avec Gertie Pye après la répétition de l'avant-veille au soir. As-tu jamais rien entendu de pareil ?

Une surexcitation s'était emparée de tous les écoliers d'Avonlea ce jour-là car la salle était à décorer et une dernière grande répétition avait lieu.

Le spectacle se déroula dans la soirée et remporta un succès. La petite salle était bondée ; tous les interprètes se comportèrent extrêmement bien mais Anne fut l'étoile exceptionnellement brillante de cette occasion et même la jalousie, matérialisée sous l'apparence de Josie Pye, n'osa pas le nier.

— Oh, n'était-ce pas une soirée exceptionnelle ? soupira Anne lorsque tout fut terminé et qu'elle et Diana retournaient ensemble à la maison sous un ciel noir et étoilé.

— Tout s'est parfaitement déroulé, déclara Diana avec pragmatisme. Je suppose que nous avons récolté au moins dix dollars. Tu imagines, M. Allan va envoyer un reportage aux journaux de Charlottetown.

— Oh, Diana, allons-nous vraiment lire nos noms dans le journal ? Ça me donne des frissons rien que d'y penser. Diana, tu as exécuté ton solo avec tant d'élégance. Je me suis sentie encore plus fière que toi lorsque le public a demandé un rappel. Je me suis dit « c'est mon amie de cœur qui reçoit cet honneur ».

— Eh bien toi Anne, tu as cassé la baraque avec tes déclamations. Celle qui était triste était tout simplement merveilleuse.

— Oh, j'avais un tel trac, Diana. Quand M. Allan a appelé mon nom, je ne sais pas comment j'ai pu arriver jusqu'à cette estrade. J'avais l'impression qu'un million d'yeux me regardaient et me transperçaient et durant un terrible instant j'ai cru que je n'allais pas pouvoir commencer. J'ai alors pensé à mes jolies manches bouffantes et repris courage. Je savais que je devais être au même diapason que ces manches, Diana. Alors j'ai commencé, et il me semblait que ma voix venait de très loin. Je me sentais vraiment comme un perroquet. C'est une chance que j'aie si souvent déclamé ces récitations dans le grenier, sinon je n'y serais jamais arrivée. Ai-je gémi comme il fallait ?

— Oui, bien sûr, tu as magnifiquement gémi, confirma Diana.

— J'ai vu la vieille Mme Sloane essuyer des larmes quand je me suis rassise. C'était formidable de penser que j'avais ému le cœur de quelqu'un. C'est tellement romantique de participer à un spectacle, n'est-ce pas ? Oh, ce fut vraiment un événement formidable, oui vraiment.

— Le dialogue des garçons n'était-il pas beau ? dit Diana. Gilbert Blythe était tout simplement magnifique. Anne, je trouve que la façon dont tu traites Gil est horrible. Attends que je te raconte. Quand tu es descendue de l'estrade après le dialogue des fées, une rose s'est détachée de tes cheveux. J'ai vu Gil la ramasser et la glisser dans la poche de sa chemise. Tu vois. Toi qui es si romantique, tu ne peux qu'être touchée par ce geste.

— Tout ce que fait cette personne m’indiffère, répondit Anne avec dédain. C'est simple, je n'ai jamais une pensée pour lui, Diana.

Cette nuit là, Marilla et Matthew, pour qui c'était le premier concert depuis vingt ans, s'assirent un moment près du feu dans la cuisine après qu'Anne fut couchée.

— Ma foi, je crois que notre Anne a été aussi bonne que les autres, dit fièrement Matthew.

— Oui, c'est vrai, reconnut Marilla. C'est une enfant brillante, Matthew. Et elle a vraiment été bonne, oui. J'étais un peu réticente au principe de ce concert, mais je crois qu'il n'y avait finalement rien de mal là dedans Quoi qu'il en soit, j'ai été fière d'Anne ce soir, bien que je n'aie pas l'intention de le lui dire.

Hé bien, j'ai été fier d'elle et je lui ai dit avant qu'elle monte, dit Matthew. Il nous faut envisager ce que nous pourrons faire pour elle dans quelque temps, Marilla. J'imagine qu'elle aura bientôt besoin de plus que l'école d'Avonlea.

— Nous avons largement le temps d'y penser, dit Marilla. Elle aura seulement treize ans en mars. Quoique ce soir, j'ai réalisé qu'elle commençait vraiment à devenir une grande fille. Mme Lynde a fait cette robe légèrement trop longue, et elle rend Anne si grande. Elle apprend vite et je pense que la meilleure chose que nous pouvons faire pour elle est de l'envoyer au Queen dans quelque temps. Mais il est inutile pour l'instant de parler de ça avant un an ou deux.

— Eh bien, ça ne fera pas de mal d'y repenser de temps en temps, dit Matthew. Il vaut mieux bien réfléchir à ce genre de choses.
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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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After two hours of smoking and hard reflection Matthew arrived at a solution of his problem.
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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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After much cogitation Matthew resolved to go to Samuel Lawson's store instead of William Blair's.
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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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"I believe we have one or two left over," she said, "but they're up-stairs in the lumber-room.
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I'll go and see."
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During her absence Matthew collected his scattered senses for another effort.
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When Miss Harris returned with the rake and cheerfully inquired: "Anything else to-night, Mr.
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Cuthbert?"
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Miss Harris had heard Matthew Cuthbert called odd.
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She now concluded that he was entirely crazy.
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We only keep hayseed in the spring," she explained loftily.
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We've none on hand just now."
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 1 week ago
unit 58
At the threshold he recollected that he had not paid for it and he turned miserably back.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 1 week ago
unit 59
While Miss Harris was counting out his change he rallied his powers for a final desperate attempt.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 1 week ago
unit 61
"White or brown?"
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 1 week ago
unit 62
queried Miss Harris patiently.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 1 week ago
unit 63
"Oh—well now—brown," said Matthew feebly.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 1 week ago
unit 64
"There's a barrel of it over there," said Miss Harris, shaking her bangles at it.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 1 week ago
unit 65
"It's the only kind we have."
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 1 week ago
unit 67
Matthew had driven half-way home before he was his own man again.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 1 week 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, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 1 week ago
unit 70
"Brown sugar!"
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 1 week ago
unit 71
exclaimed Marilla.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 1 week ago
unit 72
"Whatever possessed you to get so much?
2 Translations, 5 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 1 week ago
unit 73
You know I never use it except for the hired man's porridge or black fruit-cake.
2 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 1 week ago
unit 74
Jerry's gone and I've made my cake long ago.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 1 week ago
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, 1 week ago
unit 78
Marilla was out of the question.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 1 week ago
unit 79
Matthew felt sure she would throw cold water on his project at once.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 1 week 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, 1 week ago
unit 82
"Pick out a dress for you to give Anne?
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 1 week ago
unit 83
To be sure I will.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 1 week ago
unit 84
I'm going to Carmody to-morrow and I'll attend to it.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 1 week ago
unit 85
Have you something particular in mind?
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 1 week ago
unit 86
No?
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 1 week ago
unit 87
Well, I'll just go by my own judgment then.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 1 week ago
unit 90
Well, I'll do it.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 1 week ago
unit 91
No, it isn't a mite of trouble.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 1 week ago
unit 92
I like sewing.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 1 week ago
unit 95
If it wouldn't be asking too much I—I'd like them made in the new way."
2 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 1 week ago
unit 96
"Puffs?
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 1 week ago
unit 97
Of course.
1 Translations, 5 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 1 week ago
unit 98
You needn't worry a speck more about it, Matthew.
2 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 1 week ago
unit 99
I'll make it up in the very latest fashion," said Mrs. Lynde.
2 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 1 week ago
unit 103
But that's always the way.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 1 week ago
unit 108
I'm sure the child must feel the difference between her clothes and the other girls'.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 1 week ago
unit 109
But to think of Matthew taking notice of it!
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 1 week ago
unit 110
That man is waking up after being asleep for over sixty years."
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 1 week ago
unit 114
she said a little stiffly but tolerantly.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 1 week ago
unit 115
"I knew he was up to some foolishness.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 1 week ago
unit 116
Well, I must say I don't think Anne needed any more dresses.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 1 week ago
unit 117
I made her three good, warm, serviceable ones this fall, and anything more is sheer extravagance.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 1 week ago
unit 118
There's enough material in those sleeves alone to make a waist, I declare there is.
2 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months, 1 week ago
unit 119
You'll just pamper Anne's vanity, Matthew, and she's as vain as a peacock now.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 122
Next year anybody who wears them will have to go through a door sideways."
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 123
Christmas morning broke on a beautiful white world.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 125
Anne peeped out from her frosted gable window with delighted eyes.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 127
Anne ran down-stairs singing until her voice re-echoed through Green Gables.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 128
Merry Christmas, Marilla!
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 129
Merry Christmas, Matthew!
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 130
Isn't it a lovely Christmas?
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 131
I'm so glad it's white.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 132
Any other kind of Christmas doesn't seem real, does it?
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 133
I don't like green Christmases.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 134
They're not green—they're just nasty faded browns and grays.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 135
What makes people call them green?
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 136
Why—why—Matthew, is that for me?
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 137
Oh, Matthew!"
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 139
Anne took the dress and looked at it in reverent silence.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 141
But the sleeves—they were the crowning glory!
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 143
"That's a Christmas present for you, Anne," said Matthew shyly.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 144
Why—why—Anne, don't you like it?
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 145
Well now—well now."
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 146
For Anne's eyes had suddenly filled with tears.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 147
"Like it!
2 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 148
Oh, Matthew!"
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 149
Anne laid the dress over a chair and clasped her hands.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 150
"Matthew, it's perfectly exquisite.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 151
Oh, I can never thank you enough.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 152
Look at those sleeves!
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 153
Oh, it seems to me this must be a happy dream."
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 154
"Well, well, let us have breakfast," interrupted Marilla.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 156
There's a hair ribbon Mrs. Lynde left for you.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 157
It's brown, to match the dress.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 158
Come now, sit in."
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 159
"I don't see how I'm going to eat breakfast," said Anne rapturously.
2 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 160
"Breakfast seems so commonplace at such an exciting moment.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 163
I'd never have felt quite satisfied, you see.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 164
It was lovely of Mrs. Lynde to give me the ribbon, too.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 165
I feel that I ought to be a very good girl indeed.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 167
unit 168
Still, I really will make an extra effort after this."
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 170
Anne flew down the slope to meet her.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 171
"Merry Christmas, Diana!
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 172
And oh, it's a wonderful Christmas.
2 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 173
I've something splendid to show you.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 174
Matthew has given me the loveliest dress, with such sleeves.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 175
I couldn't even imagine any nicer."
2 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 176
"I've got something more for you," said Diana breathlessly.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 177
"Here—this box.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 178
unit 180
Anne opened the box and peeped in.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 182
"Oh," said Anne, "Diana, this is too much.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 183
I must be dreaming."
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 184
"I call it providential," said Diana.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 186
Josie Pye would be delighted.
2 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 187
Mind you, Rob Wright went home with Gertie Pye from the practice night before last.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 188
Did you ever hear anything equal to that?"
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 190
The concert came off in the evening and was a pronounced success.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 192
"Oh, hasn't it been a brilliant evening?"
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 194
"Everything went off very well," said Diana practically. "
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 195
I guess we must have made as much as ten dollars.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 196
Mind you, Mr. Allan is going to send an account of it to the Charlottetown papers."
2 Translations, 5 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 197
"Oh, Diana, will we really see our names in print?
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 198
It makes me thrill to think of it.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 199
Your solo was perfectly elegant, Diana.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 200
I felt prouder than you did when it was encored.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 201
I just said to myself, 'It is my dear bosom friend who is so honoured.'"
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 202
"Well, your recitations just brought down the house, Anne.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 203
That sad one was simply splendid."
2 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 204
"Oh, I was so nervous, Diana.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 205
unit 207
Then I thought of my lovely puffed sleeves and took courage.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 208
I knew that I must live up to those sleeves, Diana.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months 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 ago
unit 210
I just felt like a parrot.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 212
Did I groan all right?"
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 213
"Yes, indeed, you groaned lovely," assured Diana.
2 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 214
"I saw old Mrs. Sloane wiping away tears when I sat down.
3 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 215
It was splendid to think I had touched somebody's heart.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 216
It's so romantic to take part in a concert, isn't it?
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 217
Oh, it's been a very memorable occasion indeed."
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 218
"Wasn't the boys' dialogue fine?"
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 219
said Diana.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 220
"Gilbert Blythe was just splendid.
1 Translations, 5 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 221
Anne, I do think it's awful mean the way you treat Gil.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 222
Wait till I tell you.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 224
I saw Gil pick it up and put it in his breast-pocket.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 225
There now.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 226
You're so romantic that I'm sure you ought to be pleased at that."
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 227
"It's nothing to me what that person does," said Anne loftily.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 228
"I simply never waste a thought on him, Diana."
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 230
"Well now, I guess our Anne did as well as any of them," said Matthew proudly.
2 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 231
"Yes, she did," admitted Marilla.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 232
"She's a bright child, Matthew.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 233
And she looked real nice, too.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 235
Anyhow, I was proud of Anne to-night, although I'm not going to tell her so."
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 237
"We must see what we can do for her some of these days, Marilla.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 238
I guess she'll need something more than Avonlea school by and by."
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 239
"There's time enough to think of that," said Marilla.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 240
"She's only thirteen in March.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 241
Though to-night it struck me she was growing quite a big girl.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 242
Mrs. Lynde made that dress a mite too long, and it makes Anne look so tall.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 244
But nothing need be said about that for a year or two yet."
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 245
"Well now, it'll do no harm to be thinking it over off and on," said Matthew.
2 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
unit 246
"Things like that are all the better for lots of thinking over."
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 5 months ago
Gabrielle • 13957  commented on  unit 142  5 months, 1 week ago
spelaeus • 278  commented on  unit 89  5 months, 1 week ago
spelaeus • 278  commented on  unit 95  5 months, 1 week ago
spelaeus • 278  translated  unit 97  5 months, 1 week ago
spelaeus • 278  translated  unit 86  5 months, 1 week ago
spelaeus • 278  translated  unit 83  5 months, 1 week ago
Oplusse • 13960  translated  unit 51  5 months, 1 week ago
Oplusse • 13960  translated  unit 42  5 months, 1 week ago
gaelle044 • 5148  commented on  unit 12  5 months, 1 week ago
Oplusse • 13960  translated  unit 37  5 months, 1 week ago
francevw • 14094  commented on  unit 24  5 months, 1 week ago
gaelle044 • 5148  commented on  unit 11  5 months, 1 week ago
gaelle044 • 5148  commented  5 months, 1 week ago

Update: Thank to Gaby and her watching the movie, we now know that:
1. Anne only use the formal form ("vous") at the start, but later (we agreed for Chapter XI) she will say "tu" to Marilla and Matthew, and the formal form with everybody else but her classmates. Marilla and Rachel are friends and they use "tu".
2. She likes overstatements and superlatives.
3. We need to translate "green gables" by "les pignons verts" as it is done in the movie.
by gaelle044 2 weeks ago

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 5 months, 1 week 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."