H ANNE OF GREEN GABLES
Alexander Spencer was to bring him over from Nova Scotia for me."
The station-master 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.