سال اول - فصل 17

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آن شرلی با موهای قرمز

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سال اول - فصل 17

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17

(Extract from letter to Gilbert.)

“School closed today. Two months of Green Gables and dew-wet, spicy ferns ankle-deep along the brook and lazy, dappling shadows in Lover’s Lane and wild strawberries in Mr. Bell’s pasture and the dark loveliness of firs in the Haunted Wood! My very soul has wings.

“Jen Pringle brought me a bouquet of lilies of the valley and wished me a happy vacation. She’s coming down to spend a week-end with me some time. Talk of miracles!

“But little Elizabeth is heart-broken. I wanted her for a visit, too, but Mrs.

Campbell did not ‘deem it advisable.’ Luckily, I hadn’t said anything to Elizabeth about it, so she was spared that disappointment.

“‘I believe I’ll be Lizzie all the time you’re away, Miss Shirley,’ she told me.

‘I’ll feel like Lizzie anyway.’

“‘But think of the fun we’ll have when I come back,’ I said. ‘Of course you won’t be Lizzie. There’s no such person as Lizzie in you. And I’ll write you every week, little Elizabeth.’

“‘Oh, Miss Shirley, will you! I’ve never had a letter in my life. Won’t it be fun!

And I’ll write you if they’ll let me have a stamp. If they don’t, you’ll know I’m thinking of you just the same. I’ve called the chipmunk in the back yard after you . . . Shirley. You don’t mind, do you? I thought at first of calling it Anne Shirley . . . but then I thought that mightn’t be respectful . . . and, anyway, Anne doesn’t sound chipmunky. Besides, it might be a gentleman chipmunk. Chipmunks are such darling things, aren’t they? But the Woman says they eat the rosebush roots.’

“‘She would!’ I said.

“I asked Katherine Brooke where she was going to spend the summer and she briefly answered, ‘Here. Where did you suppose?’

“I felt as if I ought to ask her to Green Gables, but I just couldn’t. Of course I don’t suppose she’d have come, anyway. And she’s such a kill-joy. She’d spoil107 everything. But when I think of her alone in that cheap boarding-house all summer, my conscience gives me unpleasant jabs.

“Dusty Miller brought in a live snake the other day and dropped it on the floor of the kitchen. If Rebecca Dew could have turned pale she would have.

‘This is really the last straw!’ she said. But Rebecca Dew is just a little peevish these days because she has to spend all her spare time picking big gray-green beetles off the rose trees and dropping them in a can of kerosene. She thinks there are entirely too many insects in the world.

“‘It’s just going to be eaten up by them some day,’ she predicts mournfully.

“Nora Nelson is to be married to Jim Wilcox in September. Very quietly . . . no fuss, no guests, no bridesmaids. Nora told me that was the only way to escape Aunt Mouser, and she will not have Aunt Mouser to see her married. I’m to be present, however, sort of unofficially. Nora says Jim would never have come back if I hadn’t set that light in the window. He was going to sell his store and go west. Well, when I think of all the matches I’m supposed to have made . . . “Sally says they’ll fight most of their time but that they’ll be happier fighting with each other than agreeing with anybody else. But I don’t think they’ll fight . . . much. I think it is just misunderstanding that makes most of the trouble in the world. You and I for so long, now . . .

“Good night, belovedest. Your sleep will be sweet if there is any influence in the wishes of

“YOUR OWN.

“P.S. The above sentence is quoted verbatim from a letter of Aunt Chatty’s grandmother.”

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