AN UNFORTUNATE LILY MAID 289
might be as laughable as its cause, was in no whit allayed and softened by time seemingly. She hated Gilbert Blythe 1 She would never forgive him!
"No," she said coldly, "I shall never be friends with you, Gilbert Blythe; and I don't want to be 1"
"All right!" Gilbert sprang into his skiff with an angry colour in his cheeks. "I'll never ask you to be friends again, Anne Shirley. And I don't care either!"
He pulled away with swift defiant strokes, and Anne went up the steep, ferny little path under the maples. She held her head very high, but she was conscious of an odd feeling of regret. She almost wished she had answered Gilbert differently. Of course, he had insulted her terribly, but stilló! Altogether, Anne rather thought it would be a relief to sit down and have a good cry. She was really quite unstrung, for the reaction from her fright and cramped clinging was making itself felt.
Half-way up the path she met Jane and Diana rushing back to the pond in a state narrowly re≠moved from positive frenzy. They had found no≠body at Orchard Slope, both Mr. and Mrs. Barry being away. Here Ruby Gillis had succumbed to hysterics, and was left to recover from them as best she might, while Jane and Diana flew through the Haunted Wood and across the brook to Green Gables. There they had found nobody either, for Marilla had gone to Carmody and Matthew was making hay in the back field.
"Oh, Anne," gasped Diana, fairly falling on the former's neck and weeping with relief and delight,