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Anne of Green Gables
Fan Fiction

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.

Paperclippings.com

Lost Hearts

By Steffi
See also: www.anne-fans.de

Over the hills in the west, the sun was slowly setting, dipping the fields and meadows in soft reddish light. A light breeze blew from the ocean taking the smell of the blooming cherry-trees with it. An image of harmony and idyll, the small village of Avonlea nestled peacefully on the road to Carmody. It seemed that nothing could disturb this peaceful mood.

But in the heart of the dark-haired young woman, standing at the churchyard, there was no silence or peace. Marilla Cuthbert was tall with her thick black hair was carefully pined up in a knot. She wore a simple grey cotton dress, with a high closed collar, and a dark hat. Her clothes were not stylish, but practical. No woman, who must work on a farm, would wear a dress with frills or lace. Marilla stroked a lock of hair away from her face and looked down at the small tombstone in front of her. She carefully laid the white lilies onto the grave. Many of those pretty flowers grew at Green Gables. Belinda Cuthbert herself had planted them once, and they were still thriving and gorgeous. And now, they decorate her grave. Marilla sighed, it had been 5 years since her other died. Every spring Marilla picked some lilies and brought them to the churchyard. Pneumonia had taken Belinda Cuthbert away, the otherwise strong woman had lost the fight with the high fever. Since that day, Marilla's life had changed a lot. Suddenly, the young happy girl had to keep house for her father and brother. When she was young, Marilla had always dreamed of traveling around the world. She had inherited this dream from her mother. Belinda had had that dream, too. And her brother, Marilla's uncle had gone to sea, many years ago. But with Belinda's early death everything had changed. Marilla had to give up her dreams. She knew she would never leave Avonlea. The happy young girl was turned into an earnest young woman. Marilla wasn't really beautiful. But everyone who knew her knew that her heart was in the right place. She was smart and self-confident, but also very stubborn.

For a short while, standing at the grave, Marilla, had forgotten the time. Startled she noticed that it was now almost dark. Hastily she made her way home and entered the clean swept yard of Green Gables.

Up until 8 years ago the Cuthberts had lived in North Rustic, where her father worked at a sawmill. Elias Cuthbert has always dreamed of owning a farm. Finally he saved enough money to buy this one. And where only a small shack had stood before Marilla's father had built this beautiful house. It was named after its green gables. People said Green Gables was the most beautiful place on the island, and that it was. The house itself wasn't entirely what made the farm so beautiful; the old orchard, the beautiful lilies, and the enormous cherry- tree in the front of the house, and the peaceful silence makes the place perfect. Elias Cuthbert felt he belonged here, since he first stepped foot into his new home. The shy man loved the retirement of Green Gables. Marilla's older brother, Matthew was just like her father. Marilla was sure Matthew would never marry. He was too shy to look at or speak to a girl. Marilla began to hurry, as she entered the simple kitchen. Supper needed to be ready before Matthew and her father come back from the field. She cooked quickly the meal and laid the table skillfully. Marilla was an ideal housewife. She had learned everything from her mother. As she was finishing, she heard the men on the porch. Matthew looked like his father. Both were tall and their muscles were strong from hard work. They both had a mustache. The only difference was that her father's hair was grey, while Matthew's was still black like Marilla's. Elias nodded to his daughter and sat down silently. He never spoke a great deal and because of this many people said he was taciturn and peculiar. "Did you go to the post-office, today?" Elias asked Marilla. "Yes," Marilla answered. "And I spoke with Mr. Sadler. He wants to buy some hay for his horses from you. He said he would pay the same as last year." "Good," Elias answered shortly.

On the next day, Marilla went to see her friend, Rachel Lynde, who was the same age as Marilla, although she was married and had two children. She wanted to borrow a new pattern from her. Rachel was born in Avonlea and knew every person in it. Thomas, her husband, was an insignificant man who worked hard. But everyone in Avonlea knew that Rachel has the rule of their house. Some people didn't like the fact that Rachel always said exactly what she thought. But Marilla was sometimes happy about Rachel's chattering; living with two people as silent as Matthew and her father wasn't always easy. "Have you heard the news, Marilla?" Rachel asked as soon as Marilla had entered the house. However, before Marilla could answer, she continued talking. "Simone Fletcher wants to sell his farm and move to Carmody where his son lives. And it seems that he already has a purchaser, A distant relation from Brighton. But I don't know any more yet. Old Mr. Fletcher never tells anything freely." She pressed her hands against her hips angrily and Marilla knew how displeased Rachel was with this fact. "We will know more soon Rachel." Marilla said calmly. "We need to know what kind of neighbors we're going to get. I hope they are respectable and Christian persons." Rachel it was very important to have Christian neighbors. She went to church eagerly and even sang in choir. But this time it was simple curiosity that was troubling her. Soon she starts to discuss Vicar Bings' sermons, and Marilla left as soon as possible.

As she walked home, a vehement wind began to blow. It had been stormy the whole day and dark clouds covered the sky. Marilla made haste, not wanting to get caught in the rain. Suddenly a gust pulled her hat off and takes it some meters away to lie in the middle of the road. Marilla ran after it and just as she bent down to pick it up it flew away again.

A tall young man observed her unsuccessful tries to catch the hat. Smiling, he climbed agilely over the fence of the pasture, and came running to her assistance. Marilla didn't notice him; she was concentrating solely on catching the hat. Hence, she almost crushes into him, as both bent down to grab the hat at the same time. Scared Marilla looked up, and looked directly into two glittering hazelnut, brown eyes, never before had she seen such eyes. It seemed as if those eyes could see deep into her heart. For a moment she was held captive by those eyes, as if in a trance. Finally she noticed how absurd this situation must look. With blushing cheeks she looked away, her heart beating fast in her chest. "May I return to you your hat?" the man asked friendly and handed Marilla the hat. She murmured thank you, as she looked up again. He was tall, and his hair was the same hazelnut brown of his eyes. He was wearing a dark suit which fit like glove. He smiled and his mustache lifted. His presence made Marilla somehow nervous. She didn't know what to say and felt like a silly girl. "I'm John Blythe," he said interrupting the silence and Marilla politely reached for his hand, fearing he would feel her trembling. "Marilla Cuthbert," she answered finally, wondering where he comes from. No family in Avonlea was named Blythe. "You must attend to your hat, it is stormy today." Marilla smiled back and nodded. Still she starred at him. Slowly some raindrops began to fall. John looked searching up to the sky: "We had better go if we don't want to get wet." "Of course, I'm in a hurry anyhow. This hat has delayed me. Thank you again." "It was a pleasure to help you, Miss.. Miss Cuthbert." He had spoken hesitatingly. Was she really a Miss, or was she married? Marilla only nodded: "Good bye, Mr. Blythe." She turned and walked home.

John stood staring down the road after her, till he could see her no longer. Who was she? He wanted to know more about this odd girl. Somehow she was very interesting. She wasn't very pretty, but she wasn't ugly, either. Among many girls you could overlook her. "How like a grey mouse." He thought laughing. It was more her personality that interested him. Her upright bearing, the earnest looking brown eyes. He felt that behind the earnest look much more must be hidden. And he, John Blythe, wanted to meet the real Marilla. "I believe it would be worth while." He said in a low voice. Mary Sanders suddenly sprang into his mind. Mary was pretty and everyone liked her at once. She come from a good family and would be a good wife. He had been considering proposing to her for some time. He liked Mary, but he wasn't in love with her. It would be a marriage of convenience and maybe he would even love her some day. His thoughts wandered again to Marilla, he doesn't even know her yet, but his heart felt more for her than Mary. The rain began to get worse and he started to run.

Soaked Marilla arrived at Green Gables. The rain still got stronger as she turned into its narrow lane. She tries to start her work in the house, but her thoughts wandered again and again to John Blythe. Why did she keep thinking about him? He was handsome, but probably had already forgotten her. Marilla knew that she wasn't pretty and never had a boy been interested in her. After her mother's death, she hadn't had any time to meet other young people. She didn't go to parties or the yearly picnic by the Barry's. Why would John Blythe think one moment about her? "Stop this nonsense!" She scolded herself and concentrated again on her work. But as she lay in her bed that evening, she dreamed about John and his hazelnut-brown eyes.

Next Sunday, Marilla went as usual to church. And as she entered Rachel pulled her inside. "Marilla," she chattered excitedly. "I know who bought Simon Fletcher's farm. His name is John Blythe and he is Fletcher's grand nephew. He's standing over there next to Vicar Bings. Look." She points over to the big chestnut-tree. Marilla looked over, and there stood John Blythe, next to Mr. Fletcher and the vicar. Suddenly John turned his head and looked at Marilla. Her heart starts to beat wildly, and hastily she looked away. "I can't wait to meet him." Rachel said eagerly. "Sure," Marilla answered shortly. "I must go to father and Matthew now, they're still standing next to our buggy."
The Cuthbert's church bench was almost the last behind the others, because the shy Elias Cuthbert didn't want to sit where someone could watch him. He would rather not visit the church at all, but decency forced him to go. From her place Marilla could see John's figure and she caught herself, as she observed him. "Marilla," Matthew whispered and pushed her elbow. "You're holding your hymn-book upside down." Marilla straightened and blushed. For rest of the service, she ashamed attends to her prayers, without looking again at John.

After the service, the crowd left the church and began chattering in groups. Today most of them stood near Simon Fletcher, to meet his grand nephew. "Let's go over there, too." Rachel said, as she walked suddenly up to Marilla's side. "No, father and Matthew want go home." Marilla murmured. "Look, they are talking with Mr. Sadler." Rachel takes her arm and pulled her through the crowd towards Mr. Fletcher. "Mr. Fletcher," Rachel called. "What's this I here; You're selling your farm? You can't leave Avonlea!" Rachel pretended as if she had heard the news at this moment, but everyone knew she had spread the gossip. "Yes, it is true Mrs. Lynde." Simon Fletcher answered. "But may I introduce to you my grand nephew John Blythe? He's buying my farm. John this is Mrs. Lynde and this." Mr. Fletcher looked to Marilla. ". is Miss Cuthbert." John completed the sentence and reached, smiling, for her hand, after he had let go of Rachel's. "We've had the pleasure of meeting already. Is your hat all right Miss?" "Yes, of course." Marilla answered embarrassed. Without seeing Rachel's face she knew her to be starring. Marilla knew Rachel would be very curious, now. Still the next people wanted to be introduced and John couldn't speak any more with her. "You've met him already?" Rachel hissed impatiently, as they walked away. "I met him accidentally last week." "Accidentally? And why haven't you told me anything?" Rachel said angrily. But as Thomas and the children were walking towards Rachel now, they were forced to stop talking. Marilla was glad; she didn't want to quarrel with Rachel, now.

Matthew and her father were still speaking with Mr. Sadler, and Marilla sat waiting in the shadow of a birch. Suddenly, she noticed someone standing behind her, she turned round and saw John Blythe. "I'm pleased to meet you again Miss Cuthbert. Did you get very wet?" He asked smiling. "Not very, the weather surprised me that day. Do you like the Island?" "Very much, I'm happy to be living here. It's lovely here: Just the right place for a successful farm. Only the people are very nosy, aren't they?" He grinned and looked across at Rachel Lynde, who was observing them both. "A little bit," Marilla laughed. "I have heard there's a picnic next Saturday." "Yes at Barry's pond." "Will you come, too?" He asked and looked expectant. "Actually, I won't" "That's a pity, can't I persuade you? It would be nice to have more time to talk with you." Marilla's heart beat fast. She didn't know what to say. "I will think it over." She answered finally, and she was glad that Matthew made a sign to come over now. "I must go now. Good bye Mr. Blythe." "I hope I will see you soon Miss Cuthbert." He taps his hat and Marilla walked to the buggy.

Marilla pondered often over John's request in the following days. Should she go to the picnic? She liked him and it was so easy to talk with him. Marilla sighed and put the tea towel aside, as Matthew entered the kitchen. "What is the matter?" He asked sympathetically, as he heard his sister's sigh. While Matthew was shy with strangers, he had a great deal of sympathetic understanding and brotherliness for Marilla. Marilla often thought she couldn't have a better brother: "Nothing I.. I only don't know if I should go to the picnic next Saturday." Marilla answered and put some plates into the cupboard. "I thought you weren't going." Matthew said wondering. "I'm only thinking over it, because.. Someone has asked me." "Who?" Marilla hesitated before she answered: "John Blythe." "I met him yesterday on the road. You know I can't speak easy with strangers, but I liked him at once. Why don't you go? Since the death of our mother you do nothing for yourself. You shouldn't only work, enjoy your life a bit too Marilla." Smiling he touched her arm softly. Marilla smiled, too, and started to work again.

The weather on Saturday was perfect for a picnic. The merry twitter of the birds accompanied Marilla on her way to the Barry's. She wore a tan dress and a light hat. The people were already standing and chattering among the trees, eating cake, as Marilla arrived. Rachel gestured to Marilla. Clara Pye started whispering to Sara Sloane as soon as she noticed Marilla.

"Marilla comes to picnics?" She said in a low voice, but Marilla heard it. She tried to ignore her and smiled at Rachel. She knew her appearance would be a topic of conversation. "Marilla, how nice to see you." The old Mrs. Barry smiled handing her a piece cake. As inconspicuously as possible Marilla looked around for John. But she couldn't see him. So he hadn't come. Has she really thought John Blythe would spend this afternoon with her? Never before had Marilla felt so foolish and na´ve. She stood a little bit apart from the others and stared toward the pond.

"So, you came after all!" Suddenly she heard a familiar voice next to herself and she looked up into John Blythe`s smiling face. "I thought you hadn't come." She answered. John laughed and looked over at Mrs. Hiram Sloane. "I want to be polite and talk with Mrs. Sloane, but that woman wouldn't let me go again until she had told me her complete family history. I tried to leave five times, but without any success. Finally Vicar Bings came and Mrs. Sloane started to chat with him. I walked away as quickly as possible." Marilla looked over at Mrs. Sloane, her matronly figure almost hid vicar Bings figure, and Marilla knew now, why she hadn't seen John before. She hadn't been able to see around Mrs. Sloane. Now, she started to laugh:" Someone should have warned you. Everyone in Avonlea tries to get out of her way." "I will bear that in mind in the future. It will not happen again." John laughed. "If I had known how much misery you were in, I would have tried to help you. Especially after you helped me with my hat, too." "I was a pleasure to help you Miss Cuthbert. But I would have been very thankful for help with Mrs. Sloane. I felt like a victim." Marilla laughed aloud at this remark. Clara Pye, who was standing not far away looked with wide eyes at Marilla, then she walked hastily to Sara Sloane, obviously with the intention of talking about Marilla's impossible behavior. Startled Marilla brought her hand to her mouth: "Now, she will gossip over my behavior for the next week." John shrugged his shoulders:" Would that really upset you?" Marilla looked into his face: "No, not really. Why shouldn't I enjoy this afternoon? Let them gossip." "Well will you walk around the pond with me?" He asked smiling and offering his arm to her. Without a word, she took his arm. And for the first time it wasn't really important to her if the others were speaking about her. The rest of the afternoon went well and that evening Marilla lay smiling in her bed thinking about John.

Marilla and John met often in the following weeks. To an outsider they may have seemed like accidental meetings, but it was striking, how often John worked on the field next to the field of Green Gables. Neither of them ever ran out of topics to speak about. Marilla told him about her dreams of traveling the world and John listened intently. Marilla had not even told Rachel this secret, but she had the feeling she could tell John anything. It was so easy to speak with him, and John felt the same way. Of course, the people started to gossip slowly. In secret they said John Blythe was Marilla's beau.

Matthew also noticed that something changed his sister. One evening she walked smiling into the barn; Matthew looked up from his work and smiled, too. "Have you seen John Blythe today?" Marilla stopped and looked wondering at her brother: "Why do you say that?"

"You are so merry, I thought.." He stammered suddenly confused. "I'm merry when ever I will, Matthew Cuthbert. I can be merry without John Blythe, too." Angrily she starts to pour the milk into a big pot. Suddenly she felt Matthew's hand touching her arm: "Marilla, why don't you admit that you like him? It is important to avow your feelings to yourself. Don't hide them Marilla. Be happy, if you like him." She smiled softly: "Yes, I like him Matthew. But I don't want everyone speaking about it. They speak enough anyhow." "I don't gossip. I only saw that you liked him, and I like him, too. And let the people speak, you know they always need to gossip." Then he started to milk the cow again. They didn't speak again about it. But Marilla started seriously thinking about her feelings for John.

Slowly Marilla admitted to herself that she liked John. The whole summer, the two met again and again. And it was no longer important to her, what people said. John was more important to Marilla than the gossip.

During the summer Elias Cuthbert's health wasn't very good. He had some trouble with his heart, and as the time for harvest began, he caught a bad cold in addition. Matthew and Marilla worked hard, trying to get the harvest in before the weather changed. Some days Marilla worked in the field or drove the cattle home. For that reason she didn't see John in the following weeks. Marilla missed talking with him and longed for calmer times. Soon it would be winter.

Their father's illness was persistent. It was already November and Mr. Cuthbert still didn't feel better. Every time, Dr.Blair came he looked more worried. One day he took the siblings aside and looked very earnest. "Matthew, Marilla; I'm sorry but your father's health is very bad. He isn't recovering well. We'll be fortunate, if.. well, if he lives this winter out."
Marilla nursed her father the whole winter. She hadn't time to meet John, she couldn't visit Rachel Lynde, and she couldn't go to church. Rachel offered to help with the care. But Marilla knowing how shy her father was decided she would care for him herself herself. Only Marilla, Matthew, and Dr. Blair entered Elias Cutherbert`s room regularly.

One afternoon Rachel came and brought some of her preserved pumpkins. "I thought you might like some," she said as shesat down in the kitchen. "Thank you. That was very nice Rachel. What is the news in Avonlea?" Marilla asked she knew Rachel would only make the long trip to Green Gables if she had interesting gossip. "A lot, Marilla. And I believe there is some news you should know." She starts eagerly. "Reverend Bings will leave our parish at the end of the year. He says, he wants to go to Halifax. But, it is rumored that he must go, because of the affair that happened four weeks ago. You know." "Mhmmm," Marilla nodded. Although she didn't really know, what happened four weeks ago. And it didn't matter. She hadn't liked Reverend Bings anyhow. "In any case the new Reverend comes in January. You can imagine how curious everyone is." Rachel said. "But I have more news Marilla. I'm sure this will interest you. John Blythe has had guests from Brighton for the last week." Marilla looked up and listen more intensely. "It is his old neighbor Mr. Sanders, and his daughter, her name is Mary, a young, pretty thing. Maybe a little bit too rosy, but still pretty." Suddenly Marilla's heart began to beat faster. What did this mean? "It is rumored John Blythe was almost engaged to Mary Sanders when he lived in Brighton. And Mr. Sanders was in the Lawson's store and said he must buy some things for his daughter's trousseau. It all seems like they'll be engaged, soon. Don't you think?" During her talk, Rachel was putting the glasses with the pumpkins into her basket, and therefore she didn't notice Marilla's pale face. Marilla stood there frozen and a big knot formed in her throat. Was this true? Had John Blythe duped her? Was she really so na´ve as to fall in love with him, while he was almost engaged? "Marilla what is?" Rachel asked now. "Nothing. I. I must bring father the tea, now. Thank you for the pumpkins Rachel." As fast as possible she guided Rachel to the door. As Rachel finally left the house, Marilla leaned against the door and took a deep breath. Tears filled her eyes and she wanted to sit down and cry. How could this happen? How could she have been so mistaken in John? How could she believe that he loved her, too? "Oh Marilla Cuthbert, you are a silly goose," she scolded herself, with the tears rolling down her cheeks. "Marilla.. Marilla." The call from her father brought her back to reality. "I'm coming Dad," she called and hastily wiped the tears away.
Matthew noticed that evening that something was wrong. But Marilla looked so hardened and angry that he didn't ask. So they ate their super in silence.

Marilla's heart was deeply hurt. She had allowed herself to fall in love, and now she suffering anguish. During the day she hadn't time to think about it, but at night she cried into her pillows.

The snow falling over Avonlea and Green Gables almost completely isolated them from the small village. No one walked the difficult way to them. Only Dr. Blair came to look after Elias Cuthbert. His state of health was growing worse, and one day before Christmas he died easily and quietly. The burial was on a frosty day and the cold weather brought only some neighbors to the funeral of Elias Cuthbert. The silent, shy man was gone and no one had known him well. John came to burial, too; he went to Marilla and Matthew to offer his condolences. Marilla was very reserved and thanked him shortly. This confused John. He couldn't understand why she was so unfriendly. He went home with the feeling that something was terribly wrong.

Two weeks later the weather changed and the snow started to melt a bit, and John drove to Green Gables. Marilla's unfriendly behavior hadn't let him sleep well. He didn't understand what was happening. Before her father's illness, they had met often and got on well with each other. Then they couldn't see each other, because she had to care for her father. He loved Marilla, he had noticed feelings during Mary and her father's visit. Mary couldn't compete with Marilla, and he knew what he wanted.

The snow covered Green Gables came into sight, and John thought suddenly, how beautiful this place was. People said Green Gables was the most beautiful place on the whole Island and they were right.

Matthew comes out of the barn, as John stopped his horse. "Hello Matthew," he called. "I came to visit you two. How are you?" "We are well, now that winter's come we haven't much work. But in spring, I'll need to search for a worker, now.. that father is dead." Matthew answered softly. John nodded: "Too much work for one man." Matthew nodded silently. John cleared his throat: "Where is Marilla? I wanted to speak with her." "She is inside. Go, maybe she'll speak more with you." Matthew turned around and went to the barn again.

John went to the house and knocked on the door. As Marilla opened it, he noticed how pale she was, her black mourning dress, accented her paleness. Marilla started when she saw him. "Good day Marilla." "Good day John Blythe." She answered in a cold voice. "May I come in? I want to speak with you." Without any word she let him come in. Silently he followed her into the kitchen, where she was just cooking dinner. "How are you?" He asked rubbing his cold hands near the warm stove. "What do you want John?" Marilla answered shortly. "I only want to talk with you. What has happened Marilla? Your behavior is so odd." "So, my behavior is odd?" She turned around and her cheeks were red. "If someone's behavior is odd, it must be yours Mr. Blythe." "What are you talking about?" Confused, and a little bit angry about her unfriendliness, he looked at her. "I'm talking about you taking me for a fool John Blythe." Marilla almost yelling, now. "What? What is this nonsense?" "It's not nonsense! and I want to congratulate you on your engagement and on the fact that you could fool such a silly girl like me into believing she could be important to you." "Who said this?" "Rachel Lynde has told me everything." Marilla answered snappishly. "Rachel Lynde! And you believe Rachel about everything? That gossip, twists every thing." "Don't call Rachel a gossip. She is my friend." "But it seems she's not that good a friend, if she tells you such lies. I can't believe that you are so silly and blind." "You call me silly?! How dare you?" Marilla fighting against the tears in her eyes. Suddenly John stopped: "Marilla I'm sorry I said that. It's only that you don't let me tell you my version." "If you think I'm silly, I don't need to listen to you any longer." "Marilla please, I..." He tried to touch her hand, but Marilla turned around and looked stubbornly out the window. "Well, if you want it like that." John left the house angrily. Marilla saw, him drive away, through the window. Exhausted she sat down and hid her face between her hands. Maybe Rachel was really mistaken, and John wasn't engaged to Mary Sanders. Suddenly Marilla doubted if she did the right thing. Was it wrong not to listen him? But then she remembered he had called her silly! No, she couldn't forgive him. As she had the control of her nerves again, she cooked silently.

In the follow weeks she doubts again and again her own behavior. But she was too stubborn to forgive him. Some days after the incident he came again to Green Gables, but Marilla wouldn't speak with him. The months passed, but nothing changed Marilla's stubbornness. Then people began saying that John would marry Mary Sanders next year. Had it always been his plan to marry her? Or did he only because Marilla couldn't forgive him? Marilla didn't know what was right, but she didn't say anything. She couldn't go to him. But she knew she had lost her heart, and through her stubbornness John, forever.

The years passed and Marilla and Matthew still lived together at Green Gables. Properly, Marilla hadn't a reason to lament; she and Matthew had arranged their life well, and they were happy. Sometimes Marilla thought how her life might have been with John. But this happened not so often as before. Often only if she meet him accidentally on the road and then he greeted her politely. Some time, she thought that everything was maybe a dispensation of Providence. She and John shouldn't have a future together. Of course, Marilla didn't know how right her supposition was. But some years later she would realize, for which her life was certain: To give a little, lonely orphan a home. But that is another story.

End

 

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