Anne of Green Gables (Chapter 5, page 3 of 5)

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Chapter 5

"Mr. and Mrs. Thomas moved away from Bolingbroke
to Marysville, and I lived with them until I was eight
years old. I helped look after the Thomas children--there
were four of them younger than me--and I can tell you
they took a lot of looking after. Then Mr. Thomas was
killed falling under a train and his mother offered to take
Mrs. Thomas and the children, but she didn't want me.
Mrs. Thomas was at HER wits' end, so she said, what to do
with me. Then Mrs. Hammond from up the river came
down and said she'd take me, seeing I was handy with
children, and I went up the river to live with her in a
little clearing among the stumps. It was a very lonesome
place. I'm sure I could never have lived there if I hadn't
had an imagination. Mr. Hammond worked a little sawmill
up there, and Mrs. Hammond had eight children. She had
twins three times. I like babies in moderation, but twins
three times in succession is TOO MUCH. I told Mrs.
Hammond so firmly, when the last pair came. I used to get
so dreadfully tired carrying them about.

"I lived up river with Mrs. Hammond over two years,
and then Mr. Hammond died and Mrs. Hammond broke up
housekeeping. She divided her children among her relatives
and went to the States. I had to go to the asylum at
Hopeton, because nobody would take me. They didn't
want me at the asylum, either; they said they were over-
crowded as it was. But they had to take me and I was
there four months until Mrs. Spencer came."

Anne finished up with another sigh, of relief this time.
Evidently she did not like talking about her experiences in
a world that had not wanted her.

"Did you ever go to school?" demanded Marilla, turning
the sorrel mare down the shore road.

"Not a great deal. I went a little the last year I stayed
with Mrs. Thomas. When I went up river we were so far
from a school that I couldn't walk it in winter and there
was a vacation in summer, so I could only go in the spring
and fall. But of course I went while I was at the asylum.
I can read pretty well and I know ever so many pieces of
poetry off by heart--`The Battle of Hohenlinden' and
`Edinburgh after Flodden,' and `Bingen of the Rhine,' and
lost of the `Lady of the Lake' and most of `The Seasons' by
James Thompson. Don't you just love poetry that gives
you a crinkly feeling up and down your back? There is a
piece in the Fifth Reader--`The Downfall of Poland'--that
is just full of thrills. Of course, I wasn't in the Fifth
Reader--I was only in the Fourth--but the big girls used
to lend me theirs to read."

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