Anne of Green Gables (Chapter 6, page 2 of 5)

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Chapter 6

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 parlor, 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 wiggle. 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."

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