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Anne of Green Gables
All Characters are the property of LM Montgomery and her heirs and Sullivan Entertainment.
These are for entertainment purpose only. Others may have their own opinions as
to how these fan fiction stories should take place. If you have a better
idea we would like to read about them.
The First Bride of Green Gables
The fiery sun dipped low on the horizon, creating a shimmering diamond-strewn
path across the wide blue gulf. A little dusky breeze whispered among the tall
sea grasses, danced across the red-gold sand, and sent gulls soaring into the
majestic sunset. The very air held romance, even for the unimaginative-- which
was certainly not the case of the silhouetted figure on the shore just out of
reach of the crashing waves.
Upon closer look we find a pretty young girl, knees drawn up to a petite chin,
eyes wide and gray and sparkling with the wonder of the magical evening.
Red-gold tendrils curled around a small, white face, drawn loose from a thick
braid by the playful breeze. A wide-brim straw hat was tossed aside in the sand
beside a pair of pointed leather boots and a light woven shawl. A sharpened
pencil was held in the slim white fingers of the right hand, small leather bound
journal propped on the bent knees.
The girl's lips moved in a whisper as she wrote, a rosy blush of pleasure
tinting the pale features but a saddened shadow in the deep gray eyes. "I
suppose we have come to another bend in our roads, dearest of Gilberts. This
summer has been hard, with you being so horribly far away in New York. But at
the end of this week we will be together, forever. No more living from vacation
to vacation, hardly knowing when we will see each other again. Just think of it,
darling-- being together, eating, sleeping, walking, talking, laughing, just
being It hardly seems possible after such a long five years, but I'm so glad
because I miss you so desperately."
She paused a moment to look out over the ocean with a passion hardly hidden in
the lengthening shadows. "Five years sounded so endless at the beginning,
dearest. And now they are gone like a watch in the night. I'm a wee bit tired
from all the last things, and for a week I'm going to be lazy do absolutely
nothing except roam free in a green world of summer loveliness and just enjoy
being Anne Shirley-- Anne of Green Gables. And when the week is ended you will
be home and I won't want anything else."
Anne's eyes again lifted to the beauty playing out before her. The pencil was
forgotten as fingers unconsciously rubbed the circlet of pearls gracing her left
hand. In the reflection of the sun on the water she was taken back to the years
past where two young girls, one red-headed and one raven, were running gleefully
through the blowing grasses, their laughter joining the rhythmic rolling of the
waves. Then a vision of a young man was standing in the golden fields, tall and
strong and handsome with dark brown hair curling to his head and deep brown eyes
that told a story. With a special tenderness only he could possess, his hand
reached out to her...
A wave of loneliness swept over Anne's features and she penned a few sentences
in silence. Then she began to murmur again as the pencil scratched along the
paper. "The sunset tonight will be beautiful, and I find it in my heart to wish
I was here with-- guess who? Do you know, Gilbert, there are times that I
strongly suspect I love you!"
The deep whistle blew two long shrieks as the stately, stark-white ship steamed
into the harbor. The beginnings of a stunning sunset turned the shoreline an
amber gold, reflecting against the tidy township nestled into the rolling hills.
Aboard the ship, the wide deck was awash in khaki and the empire flag, boasting
for some and reminding for others of the war in far off France. Leaning forward
into the salty wind and posing a striking difference to the masses was a
sturdily built young man, handsome in the sharp gray tweed suit and hat. Two
brown suitcases were at his feet, ready to be picked up and hurried off the ship
as soon as the dock was reached and the plank was lowered.
The man had the faint beginnings of creases in his tanned face, but they were
mostly from years of laughter rather than hardship. The lips still displayed
that irresistible grin and eyes still twinkled merrily with the joy found in his
journey. Propping hands against the sturdy railing, he leaned further into the
wind, lost for a moment in the beauty that no other eyes saw but his.
In the midst of the sun-streaked sky he saw the face of a certain waif of an
orphan, pale and freckled, with a shapely nose, pointed chin, and eyes and hair
of gray and red that was unlike any other girl Prince Edward Island had ever
borne. A sorrowful smile, tinged with years of love and doubt, was on his
youthful face. The next thing he knew he was being pressed along with the crowds
of uniforms heading for the shore; upon realizing the ship had been docked the
two suitcases were promptly scooped up and the gray tweed suit was momentarily
lost in the throngs of people.
"Gilbert! Gilbert Blythe!" the voice, belonging to a matronly and somewhat plump
black haired woman, carried above the dock's noise and reached our gray-suited
traveler. He emerged from the flow of the soldiers with some difficulty and
raised a suitcase in acknowledgement.
"Really, Gilbert, five years is quite enough," said Diana Wright indulgently as
Gilbert greeted her with an embrace and a quick kiss on her rosy cheek.
"Too long," echoed her husband Fred, extending his hand to meet his long-time
"I agree," said Gilbert with laughter in his voice. "And I promise it will never
be so long again."
Diana shook her head in good-natured response. "God only knows, Gilbert."
Gilbert only grinned, letting Fred take one suitcase and following the shorter
man over to the waiting automobile with the other.
"Thank you both for meeting me today," he said gratefully as he climbed in the
back seat. "I really appreciate it."
"Think nothing of it," asserted Diana from the seat beside her husband, her
cheeks dimpling as they did in the old Avonlea school days. "It is worth it just
to think of how Anne will be surprised."
With that comment, Gilbert finally voiced the thought that had not left his mind
since New York. Leaning forward anxiously, he asked in a soft tone, "How-- how
"Fine. Just fine," was Fred's casual non-lover observation.
Diana frowned at her oblivious husband, then turned to beam at Gilbert with the
secret insight of Anne's 'well-being.' "You mustn't take our word for it,
Gilbert. You'll see for yourself in just a few moments."
Gilbert nodded, settling down in the seat with a resigned sigh. After so long,
why should the last few minutes seem so unendurable? The sun was continuing to
sink as he looked longingly out over the rippling gulf. He would just have to
With shy Fred not much for conversation, Diana was the one to inquire politely
of all Gilbert's latest news. Gilbert, his anxious mind on other thoughts,
replied just as politely. Since brief answers were all Diana received, she was
ready to give up and lapse into silence when the automobile was suddenly halted
by a stampede of sheep. The nervous shepherds were running around, trying their
best to get the herd back under control. Sheep dogs barked excitedly, only
adding to the loud clamor filling the streets.
"Can you believe this? And right on the main road!" exclaimed Diana, although
there was laughter in her voice.
"Only in Avonlea," was Fred's remark as he had no choice but to stop the car.
The wide road was completely impassible.
"It's quite all right." Gilbert had to raise his voice to be heard over the
chaos of the shouting shepherds and bleating herds. "I've been dying to walk
after being cooped up on the steamboat so long," he explained hurriedly,
although that was not the true reason for his restlessness.
"But, Gil--" Diana's protest was ended as he jumped over the door and hopped to
the ground. An excited grin lit Gilbert's features and eagerness sparkled in his
eyes as he called over his shoulder to the surprised couple, "I'll cut around by
the shore and meet you at Green Gables!" And he was gone, one-handedly leaping
the nearby fence and heading off by the ocean, destination clear in his mind.
A few moments later, Gilbert crested the last hill before the crashing sea. Hot
and winded by the headlong run, he paused only to remove his coat and hat. Then
he resumed his walk at a slightly slower pace, rolling his shirtsleeves to his
elbows as he went. His intent was on the shorter bypass across the sands to
Green Gables, but a lone figure far away on the beach halted him.
"Anne..." he murmured, almost to himself. He was still too far away to see
clearly, but surely the pounding of his heart would not tell him wrong.
He began to run again, suddenly finding the breath to shout aloud. "Anne!"
As the sun drew closer to the horizon, Anne laid aside her pencil and paper and
let her whole being absorb the ethereal beauty. She had not moved from her
earlier position, except to wrap her arms around her knees and curl up tighter
against the balmy breeze.
Suddenly an odd cry reached her ears, enough to bring her head up and listen
closely for a moment, but it was so distant she soon dismissed it as the wind
and seagulls circling high above. She lowered her chin to touch her knees,
soaking in the fiery glow, when she heard the sound closer and more clearly.
Anne cocked her head to one side; instinctively knowing it was not her
imagination but a human shout. A thousand feasible possibilities raced across
her mind, but it was at the most impossible one her heart began to race.
"Gil--" whispered Anne, suddenly breathless with anticipation. Closing her eyes
tight and hoping against all hope, she turned her head in the direction of the
cry. When she finally dared to peek, there was a figure running across the sandy
beach toward her. Even from the distance she could make out the familiar
silhouette of the young man, tall and handsome, with jacket and hat in hand.
Anne was on her feet in an instant, a joyful shriek escaping her lips. "Gil...
Gil!" she cried, taking off for him, barefoot and with reckless abandon.
She was nearly to the welcome embrace of his arms when she tripped, sprawling
headlong into the sand with a very unladylike grace and squeal.
"Anne!" Gilbert threw aside hat and coat as he fell to his knees beside her.
"Are you all right, darling?"
"All right?" Laughter bubbled from the face still buried in the sand. "I'm
wonderful-wonderfully wonderful," giggled Anne, picking herself from the ground
with the help of Gilbert's strong arms.
"Nothing bent or broken, I'm glad to see," was the young doctor's teasing
"Only blind as a bat and a fool to boot!" Anne said giddily and turned her
smiling face to him, eyes still closed.
To this Gilbert said nothing, captivated by holding her face in his hands and
brushing the sand away from her eyes with quiet tenderness.
"My beloved Gil," Anne murmured, suddenly serious as her hand found his face.
Her eyes still closed, she felt his cheek, his eyes, then ran her fingers
through his hair. "Oh, that I were blind, I would never forget your face."
With one last brush, Gilbert removed enough sand so Anne could open her eyes.
His heart skipped a beat as the shining grayness openly met his gaze.
"It really is you. You're really here," she whispered with the wonderment of a
child. A line she had just penned came to her lips, "And I won't want anything
Anne's face was tipped adoringly upwards, and Gilbert suddenly couldn't help
himself. Not caring a bit what wayward eyes might be watching or how horrified
Mrs. Rachel Lynde would be if she ever knew, he leaned forward and met Anne's
lips with his own.
Any other thought was chased from Anne's mind as she melted into Gilbert's arms
and let herself be thoroughly kissed. When he finally pulled away, tender hazel
eyes stared deep into hers. "I have something to ask you," he murmured, pushing
the windblown red curls back from her face while not tearing his gaze away.
But Anne was not to be brought back to the harsh prosaic reality of earth just
yet. "I do," she whispered meaningfully, pretending they were saying vows.
A smile played on Gilbert's lips as he gathered her closer and kissed her again.
The sun had given up its watch over the earth, finally willing to dip into the
land of dreams just beyond the horizon and leave the last golden rays for the
two people strolling dreamily along a little path known not by its actual name,
but by the more poetic and appropriate title of Lover's Lane. The moon was
slipping big and full over the gulf, ready to take over its shift, and together
with the dying sun created just enough light to dance through the boughs
overhead and play with the shadows across the lane.
Here underneath the canopy of birch our reunited lovers are walking leisurely
along. Anne, shoes replaced, hat in hand, and her customary dreamy smile in
place, was marveling in the evening's beauty and thrilling at the young man by
her side. Gilbert, coat still in his hand, was vaguely aware there had been a
sunset but was far more enraptured by the girl whose arm was tucked in his and
whose red head was resting contentedly against his shoulder.
"Thanks be I'm done with geometry, whether learning or teaching it," smiled Anne
as they strolled along. "Gil, I can't tell you how glad I am to be through."
Gilbert grinned down at his redheaded wife-to-be. "Girl's school couldn't be as
rough on you as we used to be on poor Mr. Phillips," he said with teasing in his
Anne laughed richly, it echoing silvery in the twilight air. "I'm afraid not,"
she agreed, squeezing his arm meaningfully. "At least I don't have to deal with
the unruly boys calling the girls horrible names."
"Better for them," said Gilbert staunchly, kissing the top of Anne's carroty-red
tresses. "Maybe they'll never know the bitter punishment that I did."
Anne tucked her hand deeper in Gilbert's arm and gave him a smile that once
again carried the sweetened regret. To change the subject, she asked softly,
"Wasn't there something you had to ask me, darling?"
"Yes." A tiny sigh escaped Gilbert's lips, knowing he couldn't put off the
inevitable. He took a deep breath and squeezed the small white hand that wore
his ring. "Anne, I've been extended an offer-- a very impressive offer at that,
at least for a young doctor such as myself--"
"Why, Gil, that's absolutely wonderful!" interrupted Anne with excitement.
Her outburst only made it worse for him. "If-- if only that were so, Anne," he
said, very slowly. "To tell you the truth, I don't know what I'm to do about
"Gil-- what is it?"
Gilbert looked deep into the wide gray eyes. "My uncle, Doctor Dave Blythe, is
getting along in years, and is ready for someone to come alongside of him-- and
eventually inherit his entire practice. No one would be good enough for Uncle
Dave except a Blythe, and-- well, he's offered that position to me. Anne, it's
just what I've always wanted to be-- a respected country doctor-- but..."
Anne's gray eyes were sparkling with pride in this tall young man beside her.
"Gil, it's wonderful! Everything we ever dreamed of together what's wrong?
Gilbert stopped in his stride and turned Anne to face him. "Anne, I have to give
my answer by the end of this week. This week, Anne. And it's not everything we
dreamed" He tenderly brushed the hair from her face and stroked her cheek. "The
practice is in Glen Saint Mary, over sixty miles away. We wanted to settle right
here on the Island." Suddenly the hand dropped and Gilbert sighed, stuffing his
hands in his pockets and resuming his pace down the lane.
Anne stood rooted to the spot, trying to fully understand and absorb what
Gilbert was saying. A play of emotions crossed her face, but none were strong
enough to claim the pretty features. She ran to catch up with him. "Gil--"
"Don't worry, Anne," said Gilbert before she could finish. "I'm not taking it.
You don't have to worry."
"Why ever wouldn't you take it?" demanded Anne, nearly running to keep up with
Gilbert's long thoughtful strides.
Gilbert suddenly stopped, taking Anne's hand and drawing her close again. He
smiled gently as he gazed down at her. "Because I love you, Anne Shirley. I love
you more than anything else in this world and I want to marry you. The last five
years have been murder enough. I wouldn't ever think of leaving you for my
Laughter bubbled up in Anne as she grabbed Gilbert's other hand and squeezed
them both. "Don't be a goose, Gilbert," she said indulgently. "Why would you
have to leave me behind?"
"Because all I want is for you to be happy, and you've said you could never be
happy anywhere but here."
"Oh, Gil," whispered Anne, instantly contrite. "I used to think I could never be
happy anywhere but this beloved place, but I know now I was wrong. Place or time
doesn't matter anymore, darling, honest it doesn't. All I know is I love you
more than I ever thought I could love anyone, and I'll be happy-- wonderfully
happy-- so long as I have you, whether Glen Saint Mary or the moon. Gil, we
belong to each other; and, no matter what life might hold for us, it can never
Gilbert hadn't moved, staring at her as if he were in a daze. "You mean you'll
go?" he asked softly, incredulously.
Anne nodded, a small smile tugging at her lips. "I'll go."
Gilbert tipped his head back and laughed. A joyful laugh, full of relief. The
next thing Anne knew she was up in his arms, being spun around in dizzying
gratitude. Finally he stopped, setting his breathless and incredibly happy bride
down and leaving one arm around her. With the other hand he tipped her chin up
and bent his forehead down to touch hers. "I love you, Anne Shirley," he
whispered simply, smiling into the flushed face with emotion so eloquent words
could not express its fullness.
A lone house perched atop the rolling pastures, surrounded by tall trees and
several scattered outbuildings. Once the grounds had been immaculate, but now
signs of age and unintended neglect were evident if one looked close enough. But
the June lilies still bloomed in bowers around the veranda, and, though the
white paint was pealing, the gables were just as green.
Inside the antiquated kitchen, somehow left in its rich original furnishings
despite the upheaval of so-called progress, a graying woman puttered over the
stove. Straight salt-and-peppered hair was pulled without fuss into the familiar
tight knot, a stained apron tied about the ample waist, and a face wrinkled and
marked by age and hardship-- though the latter not in any recent years.
"Tis an ill wind that blows no good," clucked a second plumpish lady dismally
from the corner where she sat, hands rhythmically knitting with the daily
newspaper spread on the table before her. Never let it be said that Mrs. Rachel
Lynde did not believe industriousness was a virtue to be praised. "These war
reports are downright harrowing to read, Marilla. I sure hope the old gossips
are right that it won't be long in resolving, but I just don't know."
Marilla Cuthbert sighed in reply. She would much rather leave the predictions
and forebodings to the old gentlemen gathered outside the apothecary than have
it in her kitchen, but she knew that Rachel was the gossip of the town and could
not, for the sake of her reputation, leave the giant subject alone. In earlier
days the comments from the corner would have brought a sharp rebuke from
Marilla, but now she chose simply to let Mrs. Rachel have her say and hope well
enough would be left alone.
Finally Rachel Lynde had enough of the gloomy news from overseas and turned her
attention to the kitchen window. Squinting in order to see the faraway road, and
upon not finding what she wanted, the tattling tongue clucked again. "Where, oh
where can those children be, Marilla?"
Marilla's faded brown eyes rolled heavenward, a habit that had strengthened over
the years of sharing her home with her closest friend and dearest rival. It was
one thing that Mrs. Rachel's keen eyes missed, since she was still intent on
figuring the fate of the two young lovers. "They'll be along, Rachel," Marilla
said easily, stirring the pot simmering on the stovetop.
"It's been nigh on an hour since the Wrights came and went," said Mrs. Rachel.
"I just don't know what could be keeping them!"
"They've a long time to catch up on," Marilla reminded.
"Humph. Likely they've run off and gotten married without a word to any of us,"
decided Mrs. Rachel gloomily. "You know how young folks are these days. I just
wouldn't be surprised, that's what."
Marilla Cuthbert had softened vastly since the day a little redheaded orphan
descended upon her life, but Rachel Lynde was the one person who could draw out
the old sharpness. "Anne wouldn't do that, Rachel," said Marilla dourly. And
Marilla could be very dour.
"Now I dunno about that, Marilla. Love can sure make a person do strange things,
that's what. Though I will haft a admit that Anne's turned right respectable of
late," Mrs. Rachel conceded rather benevolently. "Quite different from the
harum-scarum girl that treated me to such a scene the first evening I came up to
meet her. Yes, many things have changed since then, Marilla. And it's a credit
to you she's changed as much as she has, that's what."
Marilla looked thoughtfully out the window, the dishtowel turning absently in
her hands and a faint smile on the weathered face. "Oh, she hasn't changed that
much, Rachel. Not really."
"Well, thank goodness Anne and Gilbert are to be married after all. It's what
I've always prayed for," said Mrs. Rachel with a sigh and the air of one whose
prayers were sure to avail much. "It's a great relief to find she didn't take to
that rich Boston fellow after all. Gilbert is poor-- at least to begin with; but
he is an Island boy."
"He's Gilbert Blythe," said Marilla with a certain satisfaction. She would have
died the death before admitting the regret she had carried with herself for
giving up her one chance at romance so long ago, but deep down she felt that
Anne's marriage to Gilbert would somehow set something right that hadn't been
right for years.
Then her eyes lifted to the window once more and upon catching sight of two
familiar forms coming up the shadowed lane, she proceeded to make Mrs. Rachel
sure she hadn't been concerned for one moment. "Rachel, you worry far too much.
There they are now."
The needles silenced as the window curtain was whisked back for a look. Mrs.
Rachel clucked her tongue again. "Oh-h, they sure look happy, Marilla," she
"And that is exactly what they should be," Marilla said, some of the sharpness
still lingering in her voice.
"Well, I dunno. 'Tisn't good to be too happy. It tempts Providence too much. One
day the rainbow world will end-- and if Anne thinks to hold the young doctor's
infatuation forever well, I'd rather not even speak of it," said Mrs. Rachel
with impending gloom.
The eyes rolled once again, and Marilla turned to face her friend. "For goodness
sakes, Rachel, leave them and their happiness alone." She looked out the window
once more and murmured more to herself than Mrs. Rachel, "If anyone deserves it,
The week flew by on wings, and before anyone dared acknowledge time's passing it
was the eve before the wedding. A hundred things still remained to be done, and
Marilla was scurrying around a kitchen more cluttered than it had ever been. But
with the wedding looming so frightfully close, carefulness and cleanliness were
thrown to the wind and Marilla was in her element, baking every imaginable
delicacy favored by the bride and groom-to-be.
As for Anne, she and Diana Wright had spent the day in the corner gable with a
mysterious white bundle of fabric slowly taking its intended shape. Despite
cautions that she wouldn't have the time to complete it, Anne had girded up her
old stubbornness and insisted on sewing her wedding gown with her own hands, and
thus Diana was called upon for some measuring and clippings and such to hurry
the process along. The two girls were obviously having a grand time of it, for
laughter often traced down the back stairs and filled the kitchen along with its
Suddenly and surreptitiously the giggles were replaced by a squeak of the old
phonograph, then the tinny rendition of the wedding march invaded the air. Anne,
gowned, veiled, and happily humming along, descended the stairs regally with
Diana right behind.
"Marilla, look!" she entreated, gleefully spinning around to show off the fine
handiwork. "Isn't it absolutely the most beautiful dress you've ever seen? Oh,
I'm ever so glad I decided to make it myself! That way it's so much more
meaningful than a store-bought one from Eaton's."
All this had been chattered as Marilla turned from the stove. Upon seeing Anne,
her breath caught in her throat and she had to blink away sudden unexpected
tears. It hadn't been so long ago since she had descended upon Green Gables a
small orphan with brilliantly wild red hair and those vivid gray eyes that told
tales even her tongue could not express had it?
You don't want me? Marilla could once again hear the utter heartbreak in the
little girl's voice upon discovering the dreadful mistake that had brought her
to the family of her dreams. You don't want me because I'm not a boy? If I were
very beautiful, and had nut-brown hair, would you keep me?
Then Marilla envisioned a younger account of herself, a husky voice saying the
words that she had felt but had been so difficult to murmur. You might just be a
kindred spirit after all.
The sudden memory of the spirited youngster that had captured the hearts of
Avonlea was enough to lend Marilla a mood of melancholy despite the happy
occasion approaching. She fought quickly for control and smothered the
homesickness enough to blink away misty eyes and set about assuring Anne hers
was the dress of all dresses.
"Oh, you needn't be convincing me, dearest of Marillas," sang Anne gaily,
clasping girlish hands and twirling once more for good measure. "I get my old
achy thrill just thinking of the dress!"
"It's not the dress you should be so concerned about, Anne," scolded Marilla
gently, determined to instill one last lesson of virtue.
"Oh, dear me, no, Marilla!" Anne exclaimed. "I only get achy thinking how Gil
will love me in it."
At that moment Mrs. Rachel entered the kitchen and gasped in horror at the scene
to which she was treated. "You really oughtn't to be gallivanting around in your
wedding dress, Anne Shirley! What if Gilbert was to see you in it? Why, that's
the worst luck on a wedding you could imagine!" The solitary thought was enough
to evoke a moan and cause Mrs. Rachel to clasp trembling hands over her heart.
But even Mrs. Rachel's pessimism wasn't to spoil Anne's moment. "It's quite all
right, Rachel," she assured. "I only tried it on for a final fitting anyway."
"And you know Gilbert is staying over at our house," Diana spoke up from the
"You mustn't count on that too much, dear. The young doctor does far too much
popping in and out without so much as a 'phone these days."
"You needn't worry, Rachel. I'm 'biding me-self away' now." The happy
bride-to-be gave Marilla one last beaming smile and turned for the stairwell.
However, Anne and Diana were only at the foot of the stairs when a knock on the
door confirmed Mrs. Rachel's worst fears. Diana's shrieks rang through the house
and her frantic effort to hustle Anne up the stairs only ended with both of them
tumbling into a heap on the floor and nearly causing Mrs. Rachel a heart attack.
Gilbert suddenly realized the havoc he had wreaked and turned swiftly away,
though more to escape a wild fit of laughter than to spare his marriage bad
luck. Anne had no such escape, however, and it was a mirthful bride that Diana
safely tucked away in the hall closet.
"Gilbert Blythe, have you no shame?" demanded Diana unmercifully through the
The accused back was still turned, the shaking shoulders trying to muster
dignity. "I-I'm sorry," Gilbert stammered through smothered chuckles.
"Oh, now you've done it!" wailed Mrs. Rachel despairingly. "The whole make of
the dress will have to be changed, that's what."
"Oh, you two, really!" giggled Anne through a crack in the door. "Surely it's
not as bad as all that."
"I'm quite certain it isn't," assured Marilla calmly, speaking up for the first
time since the escapade. "You just come back in half an hour, Gilbert, and we'll
have your Anne ready and proper to see you."
In exactly the correct amount of time, Gilbert came again to claim his fiancé.
This time Green Gables was returned to order, and Anne was suitably clothed and
eagerly waiting. Even though there were dozens of impending chores to be done,
Marilla allowed Gilbert to steal Anne away as long as he promised to return her
in a respectable hour.
Gilbert was nearly to burst with his news by the time he got Anne out of the
house, but he insisted on waiting for the privacy of Lover's Lane and no amount
of imploring, goading, or dragging of wild horses could force it otherwise.
Finally Anne declared his stubbornness to the world and settled in for a
resignedly long and quiet walk.
Once they reached the shelter and solitude of the birch trees by the brook,
Gilbert grabbed both of Anne's hands and twirled her around to face him. A wide
grin claimed his handsome features, but he forced his voice to be relatively
calm as he announced his secret. "Anne, I've found us a home."
Instantly Anne bubbled with a thousand excited questions, each tumbling out
right on the heels of the one before and none of it making a bit of sense. "Oh,
where, Gil, where? What's it like? Is there a garden? Trees? Does it have a
brook? Oh, I suppose asking for a brook would be too much, but"
"Whoa there." Gilbert placed a finger to Anne's lips to quiet her. When the
animated chatter ceased and he held her full attention, he began to speak slowly
and easily. "It's a small cottage outside of the Glen, a little hamlet called
Four Winds Harbour. We won't have many neighbors, but we are right near the sea.
Yes, there's a garden; and you won't believe it, but there is a small brook
running through the corner of our property."
"Oh, Gil!" exclaimed Anne in delight, then turned serious for one more moment.
"The house, Gil-- is it, well, pretty?"
Gilbert smiled in his easy manner. "Anne, I do believe we've got the prettiest
spot on the whole shore." He could see the pleasure in her eyes again, but also
the questions that accompanied it and so declared before she could begin, "But
that's all I'm telling. I want you to wait and see for yourself."
Anne sighed with resignation, but her face was happy. "I don't have to wait,
Gil. I'm quite sure you've truly found my house o' dreams."
They stretched every minute of their allotted hour, strolling along and talking
in lover fashion of their new life together. No foreboding thoughts planted by
either Rachel Lynde or the world as a whole could not enter their minds tonight.
For on the morrow they would be husband and wife, and it was a joy no one could
steal from them.
Green Gables was nearly full to bursting from all the excitement from the very
moment the sun peeked above the eastern horizon. Anne came bounding down the
stairs as soon as she woke, carelessly tossing any "grown-up" ways to the wind.
It was her day of days, and once again she was the old Anne, her eyes sparkling
and her happiness infectious.
The sound of Anne's laughter echoed through the old house, memories of it being
etched into the very woodwork to haunt as years went by. At long last Marilla
was touched by the unspeakable pain a true mother must feel, all the emotions
crowding in and threatening to spill over if not guarded with carefully
practiced ways. She longed for the eloquence Anne possessed, that somehow she
might discover the perfect words to convey her intense feelings. But Marilla had
never been much on confession of that sort, and was forced to endure the morning
in sad silence, wishing she could do what she knew she could not.
She had her work cut out for her, however, making all the last minute
preparations with Rachel Lynde and Diana's small fry under foot. For upon
arrival Diana had been whisked away to the garret and the pleasurable job of
gowning the happy bride.
The garret was shadowy and suggestive, as all garrets should be. And on this
particular day it was filled with laughter as it worked its magic over two
women, transforming them once again into girls as they shared the most sacred
memory of womanhood.
"Can I peek now?" asked Anne, curious but not impatient. She had set her head on
enjoying and savoring every moment of this long-awaited day, so impatient she
simply could not be.
"Uh-uhm," rebuked Diana around the pins pressed between her lips. Busy hands
tucked and braided and coiled the long copper tresses expertly.
Anne allowed herself a little sigh. She wouldn't have admitted it for anything,
but she had some doubts over letting Diana set her hair in the latest style. But
Diana had implored with her wide brown eyes and Anne hadn't the heart to deny
her the pleasure.
"Almost done" Diana reached for the waiting veil. She nestled it down into
Anne's coiffed hair and used the last two pins to fasten it securely. "There
now, and you're the most fashionable bride poky old Avonlea's ever seen!"
Anne took a deep breath and turned toward the mirror. Any distrust she might
have had in being "fashionable" was erased as she peeked at her reflection. "Oh,
Diana!" she gasped in delight.
Diana smiled satisfactorily, having all the praise she needed in that gasp.
Frosted over with the lacy veil, Anne's long reddish hair was wound up very
becomingly with little lovelocks curling around her slender neck. Diana knew it
suited her old-fashioned friend just perfectly, and she was happy to know that
Anne felt the same way.
"I'm glad you like it, Anne," she said, and meant it with all her heart.
Anne was still peacocking before the mirror when the sound of an automobile
reached Diana's ears. "Oh, dear me, it's the minister. I'll be right back,
Anne," she called over her shoulder, slipping down the back stairs and leaving
the bride alone.
Anne tiptoed over the window, lest she break the shadowy silence filling the
garret. The wide lawns of Green Gables were a hubbub of people, so she let her
gaze search for beauty elsewhere. Red-gold birches glistened on the horizon;
gulls swooped and soared among the feathery white clouds; the Lake of Shining
Waters rippled with sunshiny diamonds. Or at least what diamonds should be if
they were not the purpled dreaminess she once thought.
Anne sighed. Not out of disappointment, but out of sheer blissful happiness as
she reveled in the beauty of her day of days. She reached out a slender, white
hand; fingertips gently touching her reflection in the windowpane.
"You're only Anne, Anne of Green Gables," she whispered tremulously, just as she
had done so long ago. But this time the words were filled with love instead of
The tender face turned upwards, lips stilled but heart whispering out a prayer
of thanksgiving. The sun shone with softness atypical to the season, flooding in
its warmth and paling in contrast to the radiant bride.
Anne was blissfully unaware that a world even existed at the moment, and there
is no way of telling how long she would have stood there had the sound of quiet
sobs not startled her from her reverie. She turned to find Marilla in the
doorway, calmly and stoically weeping with hands pressed firmly to her aching
heart. Not once could Anne remember the woman so openly overcome with emotion,
and immediately she swept across the floor to throw herself into Marilla's
This was the moment that Marilla had pined and prayed for. She held Anne in her
arms, stroking the coiffed copper tresses with a trembling hand. Rehearsed
speeches failed her, the silent weeping too eloquent for mere words.
"I've no right to be here, holding you like this," whispered Marilla at last,
though not relaxing her hold. "After how cold and hard I've been, here treating
you like you were my own little girl I've no right."
It was Anne who wriggled from the embrace, eyes wide as she faced Marilla's
tear-streaked face. "I am your little girl-- yours and Matthew's-- and you've
every right in the world. I-- I could never ever tell you what you mean to me--
ever," repeated with quiet vehemence. "I-- I love you."
Tears began to trace down the withered cheeks at the open acceptance and
affection. "I--" Marilla's voice cracked with intense emotion. "I-- I love you,
The simple words were spoken with such heart-wrenching sincerity they would have
invoked the hardest of souls to weeping. They were the words Anne had longed to
hear all her life. "Oh, Marilla!" she cried, and was welcomed back into the
At length Marilla blinked away tears and held Anne at arms length. "Goodness,
look at you," she said huskily, almost guiltily. "I've crumpled your dress, and
oh, you're all flushed and teary-eyed. What will Gilbert think when he sees
Anne smiled a sweet, tender smile that reached her eyes and glistened through
the tears. "He'll love me."
In the simple answer, Marilla felt she had been tried, found guilty, and
completely forgiven. She managed for a smile in return, creasing the weathered
features with gentle warmth. "Yes, he will," she agreed softly, her hand
brushing Anne's rosy cheek. "He'll love you just like he has ever since he laid
eyes on you."
However fashionable, it was a happy and radiant bride who descended the homespun
stairs-- the first bride of Green Gables. Gilbert was waiting for her on the
landing, and the sight of her was enough to steal his breath away and his heart
right along with it.
Anne was tall and slim in her bridal array, as pure and delicate as an iris with
virginal curves of rose-laden arms slipping out. Around her slender neck was a
thread-like gold chain with a tiny pink enamel heart as a pendant snuggled in
the hollow of her throat. As she drew nearer, Gilbert noticed the old trinket
and smiled. The memory it conjured up was the fatal day he called her "Carrots"
and vainly tried to make his peace with the then-lovely necklace. Other Avonlea
schoolgirls were dutifully envious, but upon his knowledge Anne had never worn
the trinket. So, she had saved it after all. It warmed his heart at the
meaningfulness of her wearing it today.
Standing there such as he was, waiting, adoring from afar; it was as if he were
but a schoolboy once again, looking upon Anne with the reverence that might be
deserving of queens. And here she was, this long evasive, sought-after Anne,
coming to him in the sweet surrender of a bride.
Anne's eyes were starry limpid pools of gray as they met his gaze, the love
reflected in them hindered not by any amount of maiden veil. She was at his side
taking his hand and giving it a meaningful squeeze that only added to the flush
that had burned in his cheeks when he first caught sight of her.
Gilbert took the small white hand, tenderly tucking it into his arm to escort
his bride through the open doors and into the realm of sunshine and happiness
beyond. They were to be married in the orchard, "'neath the dome of the great
cathedral" of whispering apple trees in accordance of long ago fancies. Bronze
leaves and stray wildflowers carpeted the bridal aisle lined with the kind and
loving faces of long-familiar friends, murmuring in general approval of the
handsome couple. Even folks that deemed Anne a lesser beauty than their own
offspring were rendered to admiration of the beaming bride.
But neither bride nor groom were aware of such whisperings as they came to stand
before the robed minister and witness the ceremony that would bind them together
for all of eternity.
“Do you, Gilbert Blythe, take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife, to
have and to hold, for better or worse, in sickness and in health, till death do
Gilbert's voice carried in strong, tender tones. "I do."
"And do you, Anne Shirley, take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband, to
have and to hold, for better or worse, in sickness and in health, till death do
"I do," low and tremulous, yet in glad certainty.
"Then with the power invested in me, I now pronounce you man and wife." The
minister bestowed on them as close to a beaming smile a man of such dignity was
allowed. "You may kiss the bride."
Larks don't often sing in September, but as Anne and Gilbert sealed their
eternal covenant with a kiss one twittered a most beautiful wedding benediction
from the lofty branches overhead. Anne heard the song and thrilled to it;
Gilbert heard and only wondered fleetingly that all the larks in the world
shouldn't burst into jubilant song.
Just as twilight was descending folks were summoned to line the front lane for a
last farewell to the departing bride and groom. Anne said tearful goodbyes to
Diana, Mrs. Rachel, and finally Marilla before she let Gilbert lift her into the
old-fashioned buggy. And then, amid showers of rice and old shoes, the newlyweds
As they pulled out of the lane, Anne turned for one last look at the house that
had been her home for fourteen happy years. A lone candle flickered wistfully in
the east gable window and Anne believed it was a symbol of her passing from
girlhood into this delightful new world of a wife. All the memories she
cherished so dearly were there, yet she was not willing to, with Lot's wife,
cast back a faithless look.
A small sigh escaped her lips as she settled back into the seat, closer to her
husband, and tucked her arm in his.
"Are you sad?" asked Gilbert softly, perhaps a little worriedly.
Anne turned adoring eyes to him and leaned her head against his broad shoulder
in perfect contentment. "How could I be sad," she replied just as gently, "when
I'm going home."
Long after the buggy had disappeared over the horizon and the lingering guests
had dispersed, Marilla stood at the gate. One hand resting on the latch and the
other fingering absently her lace shirtwaist, her thoughts were wandering far
away from the earth on which she stood.
Rachel came to stand beside her, silent for once as she shared Marilla's
"Anne always said there would bends in the roads," whispered Marilla at last,
with great feeling. "Awful hard bewildered I was trying to understand what she
meant." Now I know, carried unspoken in the air.
"I'm not one that won't own up to a wrong, Marilla," said Mrs. Rachel. "And I
was wrong to criticize their happiness. It will last," she predicted resolutely.
Marilla blinked hard, unwilling that Rachel should see her dewy eyes. Rachel,
not seeing but understanding just the same, put an arm around her in a gesture
of true friendship. Both women turned to face the house that would seem awfully
empty without the vibrancy and laughter Anne had filled it with in her years
In just a couple of hours, the newlyweds were alighting from the train in Glen
Saint Mary. Gilbert had just retrieved their luggage when a small urchin slipped
up to them.
"Doctor and Mistress Blythe?" he questioned in a fidgety manner.
"Yes," replied Gilbert politely, though the question was rather obvious. His
bride was still gowned, veiled, and blushing at his side.
A smudged hand opened to give Gilbert two keys and from the lad's hasty gesture
he concluded one must be for the automobile waiting in the station's glow.
"Compliments of the senior Doctor Blythe," said the urchin dutifully, then
disappeared into the deepening shadows.
Although Anne was at first disappointed at the thought of traveling to her new
home in the horribly prosaic automobile, she soon forgot all about such
inconveniences as she absorbed everything about her new surroundings.
The night was radiant and the drive was all together lovely. Even lovelier
still, if possible, was the view spreading ceaselessly before them. The sea
rolled rhythmically in the distance, beckoning and alluring and yet ever eluding
from sight. Tall poplars whispered in the evening breeze, answering the gulls'
cries as they soared out over the water. Over-harbour lights gemmed the
shoreline and glittered in the mysterious sea.
"Isn't that beautiful, Anne?" asked Gilbert when they topped a hill that
commanded an even better panorama before them.
"No, 'tis not beautiful," whispered Anne dreamily. "Nor wonderful neither. They
just don't go far enough. Oh, Gilbert, I shall love Four Winds!"
Gilbert smiled into the darkness, her initial response quelling the doubt that
had tortured his mind.
"Gil?" ventured Anne a moment later. "Where is our house?"
He took special pleasure in telling her. "Not far, though we can't see it just
yet. The birch in the cove hides it from view. It's two miles from the village
and we won't have many neighbors. I hope you won't mind it when I'm gone
"Mind? Not with a garden and brook and trees for company! And the sea-- oh, the
sea is simply beyond words, Gil."
Gilbert smiled again and pointed to her right. "There's our nearest neighbor. It
doesn't look-- exactly-- like they would be kindred spirits, Anne, does it?"
Anne looked accordingly-- and laughed. The house was a large one; painted such a
vivid green the landscape seemed quite faded by contrast. The entire
establishment-- house, barns, orchard, garden, lawn, and lane-- was all
painfully neat. Marilla had been immaculate in her grounds keeping, but there
was nothing to outdo this starkness.
"No-o, Gilbert, it doesn't seem like one could be a kindred spirit with a house
Gilbert chuckled in agreement, then suddenly grew very serious and excited all
at once. "Look, Anne-- over there."
Anne didn't need to be told. "Our house," she murmured and promptly forgot
kindred spirits, neighbors, Four Winds, Canada, and the world as a whole.
The first glimpse of their new home filled her with delight. It was deliciously
nestled in a quaint fir wood along the shore, a full moon dipping near the
eastern horizon and creating a splendid aisle across the reckless sea.
Peacefulness filled the very air as they drove up the poplar-lined lane,
welcoming and accepting the new inhabitants of the little white cottage.
Gilbert was guardedly watching his bride's reaction, and he couldn't have been
more pleased with her enthrallment. He silenced the engine, lifted Anne from the
automobile and led her into the garden, through the little gate between the
ruddy-tipped firs, up the trim red path to the sandstone step.
Some understanding benefactor had left a hearth-fire for the newlyweds, so when
Gilbert opened the door they were surrounded by the glow from the dying embers.
Silhouetted in the doorway, Gilbert stopped and drew Anne to him. She melted
into his embrace as he kissed her, drew back to say I love you with his eyes,
then thoroughly kissed her again. Then in one effortless motion she was scooped
up into his arms.
"Welcome home, my love," Gilbert whispered against her cheek as he carried his
bride over the threshold of their house of dreams.
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