Anne of Green Gables - online book

The first Story in the Series with Anne Shirley at age 11 to 16

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MATTHEW CUTHBERT IS SURPRISED 17
worse than anything you could imagine. Mrs. Spen­cer said it was wicked of me to talk like that, but I didn't mean to be wicked. It's so easy to be wicked without knowing it, isn't it? They were good, you know—the asylum people. But there is so little scope for the imagination in an asylum— only just in the other orphans. It was pretty inter­esting to imagine things about them—to imagine that perhaps the girl who sat next to you was really the daughter of a belted earl, who had been stolen away from her parents in her infancy by a cruel nurse who died before she could confess. I used to lie awake at nights and imagine things like that, because I didn't have time in the day. I guess that's why I'm so thin—I am dreadful thin, ain't I? There isn't a pick on my bones. I do love to imagine I'm nice and plump, with dimples in my elbows."
With this Matthew's companion stopped talking, partly because she was out of breath and partly because they had reached the buggy. Not another word did she say until they had left the village and were driving down a steep little hill, the road part of which had been cut so deeply into the soft soil that the banks, fringed with blooming wild cherry-trees and slim white birches, were several feet above their heads.
The child put out her hand and broke off a branch of wild plum that brushed against the side of the buggy.
"Isn't that beautiful? What did that tree, leaning out from the bank, all white and lacy, make you think of?" she asked.
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