Anne of Green Gables (Chapter 10, page 1 of 6)


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Chapter 10

Marilla said nothing to Matthew about the affair that
evening; but when Anne proved still refractory the next
morning an explanation had to be made to account for her
absence from the breakfast table. Marilla told Matthew
the whole story, taking pains to impress him with a due
sense of the enormity of Anne's behavior.

"It's a good thing Rachel Lynde got a calling down; she's a
meddlesome old gossip," was Matthew's consolatory rejoinder.

"Matthew Cuthbert, I'm astonished at you. You know that
Anne's behavior was dreadful, and yet you take her part!
I suppose you'll be saying next thing that she oughtn't
to be punished at all!"

"Well now--no--not exactly," said Matthew uneasily. I
reckon she ought to be punished a little. But don't be
too hard on her, Marilla. Recollect she hasn't ever had
anyone to teach her right. You're--you're going to give
her something to eat, aren't you?"

"When did you ever hear of me starving people into good
behavior?" demanded Marilla indignantly. "She'll have
her meals regular, and I'll carry them up to her myself.
But she'll stay up there until she's willing to apologize
to Mrs. Lynde, and that's final, Matthew."

Breakfast, dinner, and supper were very silent meals--for
Anne still remained obdurate. After each meal Marilla
carried a well-filled tray to the east gable and brought it
down later on not noticeably depleted. Matthew eyed its last
descent with a troubled eye. Had Anne eaten anything at all?

When Marilla went out that evening to bring the cows
from the back pasture, Matthew, who had been hanging
about the barns and watching, slipped into the house with
the air of a burglar and crept upstairs. As a general thing
Matthew gravitated between the kitchen and the little
bedroom off the hall where he slept; once in a while he
ventured uncomfortably into the parlor or sitting room when
the minister came to tea. But he had never been upstairs
in his own house since the spring he helped Marilla paper
the spare bedroom, and that was four years ago.

He tiptoed along the hall and stood for several minutes
outside the door of the east gable before he summoned
courage to tap on it with his fingers and then open the
door to peep in.

Anne was sitting on the yellow chair by the window
gazing mournfully out into the garden. Very small and
unhappy she looked, and Matthew's heart smote him.
He softly closed the door and tiptoed over to her.

"Anne," he whispered, as if afraid of being overheard,
"how are you making it, Anne?"

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