Anne of Green Gables (Chapter 2, page 2 of 11)


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Chapter 2

"I'm not expecting a girl," said Matthew blankly. "It's a boy
I've come for. He should be here. Mrs. Alexander Spencer was
to bring him over from Nova Scotia for me."

The stationmaster whistled.

"Guess there's some mistake," he said. "Mrs. Spencer
came off the train with that girl and gave her into my
charge. Said you and your sister were adopting her from an
orphan asylum and that you would be along for her presently.
That's all I know about it--and I haven't got any more
orphans concealed hereabouts."

"I don't understand," said Matthew helplessly, wishing that
Marilla was at hand to cope with the situation.

"Well, you'd better question the girl," said the station-
master carelessly. "I dare say she'll be able to explain--
she's got a tongue of her own, that's certain. Maybe they
were out of boys of the brand you wanted."

He walked jauntily away, being hungry, and the unfortunate
Matthew was left to do that which was harder for him than
bearding a lion in its den--walk up to a girl--a strange
girl--an orphan girl--and demand of her why she wasn't a boy.
Matthew groaned in spirit as he turned about and shuffled
gently down the platform towards her.

She had been watching him ever since he had passed her and
she had her eyes on him now. Matthew was not looking at her
and would not have seen what she was really like if he had
been, but an ordinary observer would have seen this:
A child of about eleven, garbed in a very short, very tight,
very ugly dress of yellowish-gray wincey. She wore a faded
brown sailor hat and beneath the hat, extending down her
back, were two braids of very thick, decidedly red hair.
Her face was small, white and thin, also much freckled; her
mouth was large and so were her eyes, which looked green in
some lights and moods and gray in others.

So far, the ordinary observer; an extraordinary observer
might have seen that the chin was very pointed and
pronounced; that the big eyes were full of spirit and
vivacity; that the mouth was sweet-lipped and expressive;
that the forehead was broad and full; in short, our
discerning extraordinary observer might have concluded that
no commonplace soul inhabited the body of this stray woman-
child of whom shy Matthew Cuthbert was so ludicrously afraid.

Matthew, however, was spared the ordeal of speaking first,
for as soon as she concluded that he was coming to her she
stood up, grasping with one thin brown hand the handle of a
shabby, old-fashioned carpet-bag; the other she held out to him.

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