82 ANNE OF GREEN GABLES
sations. When details were exhausted Mrs. Rachel introduced the real reason of her call.
"I've been hearing some surprising things about you and Matthew."
"I don't suppose you are any more surprised than I am myself," said Marilla. "I'm getting over my surprise now."
"It was too bad there was such a mistake," said Mrs. Rachel sympathetically. "Couldn't you have sent her back?"
"I suppose we could, but we decided not to. Matthew took a fancy to her. And I must say I like her myself—although I admit she has her faults. The house seems a different place already. She's a real bright little thing."
Marilla said more than she had intended to say when she began, for she read disapproval in Mrs. Rachel's expression.
"It's a great responsibility you've taken on yourself," said that lady gloomily, "especially when you've never had any experience with children. You don't know much about her or her real disposition, I suppose, and there's no guessing how a child like that will turn out. But I don't want to discourage you I'm sure, Marilla."
"I'm not feeling discouraged," was Manila's dry response. "When I make up my mind to do a thing it stays made up. I suppose you'd like to see Anne. I'll call her in."
Anne came running in presently, her face sparkling with the delight of her orchard rovings; but, abashed at finding herself in the unexpected presence