Anne of Green Gables - online book

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

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REAPER WHOSE NAME IS DEATH 381
what I'd do if you weren't here—if you'd never come. Oh, Anne, I know I've been kind of strict and harsh with you maybe—but you mustn't think I didn't love you as well as Matthew did, for all that. I want to tell you now when I can. It's never been easy for me to say things out of my heart, but at times like this it's easier. I love you as dear as if you were my own flesh and blood and you've been my joy and comfort ever since you came to Green Gables."
Two days afterwards they carried Matthew Cuth-bert over his homestead threshold and away from the fields he had tilled and the orchards he had loved and the trees he had planted; and then Avon-lea settled back to its usual placidity and even at Green Gables affairs slipped into their old groove and work was done and duties fulfilled with regu­larity as before, although always with the aching sense of "loss in all familiar things." Anne, new to grief, thought it almost sad that it could be so— that they could go on in the old way without Mat­thew. She felt something like shame and remorse when she discovered that the sunrises behind the firs and the pale pink buds opening in the garden gave her the old inrush of gladness when she saw them—that Diana's visits were pleasant to her ana that Diana's merry words and ways moved her to laughter and smiles—that, in brief, the beautiful world of blossom and love and friendship had lost none of its power to please her fancy and thrill her heart, that life still called to her with many insistent voices.
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