MATTHEW CUTHBERT IS SURPRISED 29
only a dream I'd better go on dreaming as long as I could; so I stopped pinching. But it is real and we're nearly home."
With a sigh of rapture she relapsed into silence. Matthew stirred uneasily. He felt glad that it would be Marilla and not he who would have to tell this waif of the world that the home she longed for was not to be hers after all. They drovo over Lynde's Hollow, where it was already quite dark, but not so dark that Mrs. Rachel could not see them from her window vantage, and up the hill and into the long lane of Green Gables. By the time they arrived at the house Matthew was shrinking from the approaching revelation with an energy he did not understand. It was not of Marilla or himself he was thinking or of the trouble this mistake was probably going to make for them, but of the child's disappointment. When he thought of that rapt light being quenched in her eyes he had an uncomfortable feeling that he was going to assist at murdering something—much the same feeling that came over him when he had to kill a lamb or calf or any other innocent little creature.
The yard was quite dark as they turned into it and the poplar leaves were ruetling silkily all round it
"Listen to the trees talking in their sleep," she whispered, as he lifted her to the ground. "What nice dreams they must have!"
Then, holding tightly to the carpet-bag which contained "all her worldly goods," she followed him into the house.