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6

  • Jarvis Morrow walked home from the High School Commencement with Anne and
  • told her his woes.
  • "You'll have to run away with her, Jarvis. Everybody says so. As a rule I
  • don't approve of elopements" ("I said that like a teacher of forty years'
  • experience," thought Anne with an unseen grin) "but there are exceptions to
  • all rules."
  • "It takes two to make a bargain, Anne. I can't elope alone. Dovie is so
  • frightened of her father, I can't get her to agree. And it wouldn't be an
  • elopement … really. She'd just come to my sister Julia's … Mrs. Stevens, you
  • know … some evening. I'd have the minister there and we could be married
  • respectably enough to please anybody and go over to spend our honeymoon with
  • Aunt Bertha in Kingsport. Simple as that. But I can't get Dovie to chance it.
  • The poor darling has been giving in to her father's whims and crotchets so
  • long, she hasn't any will-power left."
  • "You'll simply have to make her do it, Jarvis."
  • "Great Peter, you don't suppose I haven't tried, do you, Anne? I've begged
  • till I was black in the face. When she's with me she'll almost promise it, but
  • the minute she's home again she sends me word she can't. It seems odd, Anne,
  • but the poor child is really fond of her father and she can't bear the thought
  • of his never forgiving her."
  • "You must tell her she has to choose between her father and you."
  • "And suppose she chooses him?"
  • "I don't think there's any danger of that."
  • "You can never tell," said Jarvis gloomily. "But something has to be decided
  • soon. I can't go on like this forever. I'm crazy about Dovie … everybody in
  • Summerside knows that. She's like a little red rose just out of reach … I
  • _must_ reach her, Anne."
  • "Poetry is a very good thing in its place, but it won't get you anywhere in
  • this instance, Jarvis," said Anne coolly. "That sounds like a remark Rebecca
  • Dew would make, but it's quite true. What you need in this affair is plain,
  • hard common sense. Tell Dovie you're tired of shilly-shallying and that she
  • must take you or leave you. If she doesn't care enough for you to leave her
  • father for you, it's just as well for you to realize it."
  • Jarvis groaned.
  • "You haven't been under the thumb of Franklin Westcott all your life, Anne.
  • You haven't any realization of what he's like. Well, I'll make a last and
  • final effort. As you say, if Dovie really cares for me she'll come to me … and
  • if she doesn't, I might as well know the worst. I'm beginning to feel I've
  • made myself rather ridiculous."
  • "If you're beginning to feel like that," thought Anne, "Dovie would better
  • watch out."
  • Dovie herself slipped into Windy Poplars a few evenings later to consult Anne.
  • "What shall I do, Anne? What _can_ I do? Jarvis wants me to elope …
  • practically. Father is to be in Charlottetown one night next week attending a
  • Masonic banquet … and it _would_ be a good chance. Aunt Maggie would never
  • suspect. Jarvis wants me to go to Mrs. Stevens' and be married there."
  • "And why don't you, Dovie?"
  • "Oh, Anne, do you really think I ought to?" Dovie lifted a sweet, coaxing
  • face. "Please, _please_ make up my mind for me. I'm just distracted." Dovie's
  • voice broke on a tearful note. "Oh, Anne, you don't know Father. He just hates
  • Jarvis … I can't imagine why … can you? How can _anybody_ hate Jarvis? When he
  • called on me the first time, Father forbade him the house and told him he'd
  • set the dog on him if he ever came again … our big bull. You know they never
  • let go once they take hold. And he'll never forgive me if I run away with
  • Jarvis."
  • "You must choose between them, Dovie."
  • "That's just what Jarvis said," wept Dovie. "Oh, he was so stern … I never saw
  • him like that before. And I can't … I _can't_ li . . i . . i . . ve without
  • him, Anne."
  • "Then live with him, my dear girl. And don't call it eloping. Just coming into
  • Summerside and being married among his friends isn't eloping."
  • "Father will call it so," said Dovie, swallowing a sob. "But I'm going to take
  • your advice, Anne. I'm sure _you_ wouldn't advise me to take any step that was
  • wrong. I'll tell Jarvis to go ahead and get the license and I'll come to his
  • sister's the night Father is in Charlottetown."
  • Jarvis told Anne triumphantly that Dovie had yielded at last.
  • "I'm to meet her at the end of the lane next Tuesday night … she won't have me
  • go down to the house for fear Aunt Maggie might see me … and we'll just step
  • up to Julia's and be married in a brace of shakes. All my folks will be there,
  • so it will make the poor darling quite comfortable. Franklin Westcott said I
  • should never get his daughter. I'll show him he was mistaken."