"What a family!" Anne repeated exultantly.
"She turned away from the window. In her white gown, with her hair in its two long braids, she looked like the Anne of Green Gables days … of Redmond days … of the House of Dreams days. That inward glow was still shining through her."
The night was cool; soon the sharper, cooler nights of autumn would come; then the deep snow … the deep white snow … the deep cold snow of winter … nights wild with wind and storm. But who would care? There would be the magic of firelight in gracious rooms … hadn’t Gilbert spoken not long ago of apple logs he was getting to burn in the fireplace? They would glorify the grey days that were bound to come. What would matter drifted snow and biting wind when love burned clear and bright, with spring beyond? And all the little sweetnesses of life sprinkling the road.
She went out and down the hall to the oriel window. All her suspicions and jealousies and resentments had gone where old moons go. She felt confident and gay and blithe.
"Blythe! I feel Blythe," she said, laughing at the foolish little pun. "I feel exactly as I did that morning Pacifique told me Gilbert had ‘got de turn.’"
They were all growing so fast. In just a few short years they would be all young men and women … youth tiptoe … expectant … a-star with its sweet wild dreams … little ships sailing out of safe harbour to unknown ports. The boys would go away to their life work and the girls … ah, the mist-veiled forms of beautiful brides might be seen coming down the old stairs at Ingleside. But they would be still hers for a few years yet … hers to love and guide … to sing the songs that so many mothers had sung. Hers … and Gilbert’s.
You do love me, Gilbert? I'm not just a habit with you? You haven't said you loved me for so long.
My dear, dear love! I didn't think you needed words to know that. I couldn't live without you. Always you give me strength. There's a verse somewhere in the Bible that is meant for you . . . 'She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.'
"What was that? Somebody was coming up the stairs, three steps at a time, as Gilbert used to do long ago in the House of Dreams … as he had not done for a long time now. It couldn’t be Gilbert … it was! He burst into the room … he flung a little packet on the table … he caught Anne by the waist and waltzed her round and round the room like a crazy schoolboy, coming to rest at last breathlessly in a silver pool of moonlight.”
"What was that? Somebody was coming up the stairs, three steps at a time, as Gilbert used to do long ago in the House of Dreams … as he had not done for a long time now. It couldn’t be Gilbert … it was!
He burst into the room … he flung a little packet on the table … he caught Anne by the waist and waltzed her round and round the room like a crazy schoolboy, coming to rest at last breathlessly in a silver pool of moonlight.”
Anne got her handkerchief and sat down in her chair to torture herself luxuriantly. Gilbert didn’t love her any more. When he kissed her he kissed her absently … just “habit.” All the glamour was gone. Old jokes they had laughed together over came up in recollection, charged with tragedy now. How could she ever have thought them funny? Monty Turner who kissed his wife systematically once a week … made a memorandum to remind him. (“Would any wife want such kisses?”) Curtis Ames who met his wife in a new bonnet and didn’t know her. Mrs. Clancy Dare who had said, “I don’t care an awful lot about my husband but I’d miss him if he wasn’t round.” (“I suppose Gilbert would miss me if I weren’t around! Has it come to that with us?”) Nat Elliott who told his wife after ten years of marriage, “if you must know I’m just tired of being married.” (“And we’ve been married fifteen years!”) Well, perhaps all men were like that. Probably Miss Cornelia would say that they were. After a time they were hard to hold. (“If my husband has to be ‘held’ I don’t want to hold him.”) But there was Mrs. Theodore Clow who had said proudly at a Ladies’ Aid, “We’ve been married twenty years and my husband loves me as much as he did on our wedding day.” But perhaps she was deceiving herself or only “keeping face.” And she looked every day of her age and more. (“I wonder if I am beginning to look old.”)
A bitter east wind was snarling around Ingleside like a shrewish old woman. It was one of those chill, drizzly, late August days that take the heart out of you, one of those days when everything goes wrong … what in old Avonlea days had been called “a Jonah day.”