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Chapter 2 Salad Days

  • This book is not going to be wholly, or even mainly, made up of extracts fro_mily's diary; but, by way of linking up matters unimportant enough for _hapter in themselves, and yet necessary for a proper understanding of he_ersonality and environment, I am going to include some more of them. Besides, when one has material ready to hand, why not use it? Emily's "diary," with al_ts youthful crudities and italics, really gives a better interpretation o_er and of her imaginative and introspective mind, in that, her fourteent_pring, than any biographer, however sympathetic, could do. So let us tak_nother peep into the yellowed pages of that old "Jimmy-book," written lon_go in the "look-out" of New Moon.
  • ********
  • "February 15, 19—
  • "I have decided that I will write down, in this journal, every day, all m_ood deeds and all my bad ones. I got the idea out of a book, and it appeal_o me. I mean to be as honest about it as I can. It will be easy, of course, to write down the good deeds, but not so easy to record the bad ones.
  • "I did only one bad thing to-day—only one thing I think bad, that is. I wa_mpertinent to Aunt Elizabeth. She thought I took too long washing the dishes.
  • I didn't suppose there was any hurry and I was composing a story called  _Th_ecret of the Mill._ Aunt Elizabeth looked at me and then at the clock, an_aid in her most disagreeable way,
  • "'Is the snail your sister, Emily?'
  • "'No! Snails are no relation to  _me_ ,' I said  _haughtily._
  • "It was not what I said, but the way I said it that was impertinent.  _And _eant it to be._  I was very angry—sarcastic speeches always aggravate me.
  • Afterwards I was very sorry that I had been in a temper—but I was sorr_ecause it was  _foolish_  and _undignified,_  not because it was  _wicked._o I suppose that was not true repentance.
  • "As for my good deeds, I did two to-day. I saved two little lives. Saucy Sa_ad caught a poor snowbird and I took it from her. It flew off quite briskly, and I am sure it felt wonderfully happy. Later on I went down to the cella_upboard and found a mouse caught in a trap by its foot. The poor thing la_here, almost exhausted from struggling, with  _such_  a look in its blac_yes. I  _couldn't_  endure it so I set it free, and it managed to get awa_uite smartly in spite of its foot. I do not feel  _sure_  about  _this_ deed.
  • I know it was a good one from the mouse's point of view, but what about Aun_lizabeth's?
  • "This evening Aunt Laura and Aunt Elizabeth read and burned a boxful of ol_etters. They read them aloud and commented on them, while I sat in a corne_nd knitted my stockings. The letters were very interesting and I learned _reat deal about the Murrays I had never known before. I feel that it is quit_onderful to belong to a family like this. No wonder the Blair Water folk_all us 'the Chosen People'—though  _they_  don't mean it as a compliment. _eel that I must live up to the traditions of my family.
  • "I had a long letter from Dean Priest to-day. He is spending the winter i_lgiers. He says he is coming home in April and is going to take rooms wit_is sister, Mrs. Fred Evans, for the summer. I am so glad. It will be splendi_o have him in Blair Water all summer. Nobody ever talks to me as Dean does.
  • He is the nicest and most interesting old person I know. Aunt Elizabeth say_e is selfish, as all the Priests are. But then she does not like the Priests.
  • And she always calls him Jarback, which somehow sets my teeth on edge. One o_ean's shoulders  _is_  a little higher than the other, but that is not hi_ault. I told Aunt Elizabeth once that I wished she would not call my frien_hat, but she only said,
  • "' _I_  did not nickname  _your friend,_  Emily. His own clan have alway_alled him Jarback. The Priests are not noted for delicacy!"
  • "Teddy had a letter from Dean, too, and a book— _The Lives of Great Artists_ —Michael Angelo, Raphael, Velasquez, Rembrandt, Titian. He says he dare no_et his mother see him reading it—she would burn it. I am sure if Teddy coul_nly have his chance he would be as great an artist as any of them.
  • ********
  • "February 18, 19—
  • "I had a lovely time with myself this evening, after school, walking on th_rook road in Lofty John's bush. The sun was low and creamy and the snow s_hite and the shadows so slender and blue. I think there is nothing s_eautiful as tree shadows. And when I came out into the garden my own shado_ooked so funny—so long that it stretched right across the garden. _mmediately made a poem of which two lines were,
  • > "If we were as tall as our shadows > How tall our shadows would be.
  • "I think there is a good deal of  _philosophy_  in that.
  • "To-night I wrote a story and Aunt Elizabeth knew what I was doing and wa_ery much annoyed. She scolded me for wasting time. But it  _wasn't_  waste_ime. I  _grew_  in it—I know I did. And there was something about some of th_entences I liked. ' _I_ _am afraid of the grey wood'_ —that pleased me ver_uch. And—'white and stately she walked the dark wood like a moonbeam.' _hink that is rather fine. Yet Mr. Carpenter tells me that whenever I think _hing especially fine I am to cut it out. But oh, I _can't_  cut that out—no_et, at least. The strange part is that about three months after Mr. Carpente_ells me to cut a thing out I come round to his point of view and feel ashame_f it. Mr. Carpenter was quite merciless over my essay to-day. Nothing abou_t suited him.
  • "'Three  _alas's_  in one paragraph, Emily. One would have been too many i_his year of grace!'  _'More irresistible_ —Emily, for heaven's sake, writ_nglish! That is unpardonable.'
  • "It  _was,_  too. I saw it for myself and I felt shame going all over me fro_ead to foot like a red wave. Then, after Mr. Carpenter had blue-pencille_lmost every sentence and sneered at all my fine phrases and found fault wit_ost of my constructions and told me I was too fond of putting 'cleverisms'
  • into everything I wrote, he flung my exercise book down, tore at his hair an_aid,
  • "'You write! Jade, get a spoon and learn to cook!'
  • "Then he strode off, muttering maledictions 'not loud but deep.' I picked u_y poor essay and didn't feel very badly. I  _can_  cook already, and I hav_earned a thing or two about Mr. Carpenter. The better my essays are the mor_e rages over them. This one must have been quite good. But it makes him s_ngry and impatient to see where I might have made it  _still better_  an_idn't—through carelessness or laziness or indifference—as he thinks. And h_an't tolerate a person who  _could_  do better and doesn't. And he wouldn'_other with me at all if he didn't think I may amount to something by and by.
  • "Aunt Elizabeth does not approve of Mr. Johnson. She thinks his theology i_ot sound. He said in his sermon last Sunday that there was some good i_uddhism.
  • "'He will be saying that there is some good in Popery next,' said Aun_lizabeth indignantly at the dinner-table.
  • "There  _may_  be some good in Buddhism. I must ask Dean about it when h_omes home.
  • ********
  • "March 2, 19—
  • "We were all at a funeral to-day—old Mrs. Sarah Paul. I have always like_oing to funerals. When I said that, Aunt Elizabeth looked shocked and Aun_aura said, 'Oh, Emily  _dear!'_  I rather like to shock Aunt Elizabeth, but _ever feel comfortable if I worry Aunt Laura—she's  _such_  a darling—so _xplained—or tried to. It is sometimes very hard to explain things to Aun_lizabeth.
  • "'Funerals are interesting,' I said. 'And humorous, too.'
  • "I think I only made matters worse by saying  _that._  And yet Aunt Elizabet_new as well as I did that it was funny to see some of those relatives of Mrs.
  • Paul, who have fought with and hated her for years—she  _wasn't_  amiable, i_he is dead!—sitting there, holding their handkerchiefs to their faces an_retending to cry. I knew quite well what each and every one was thinking i_is heart. Jake Paul was wondering if the old harridan had by any chance lef_im anything in her will—and Alice Paul, who knew _she_  wouldn't ge_nything, was hoping Jake Paul wouldn't either. That would satisfy  _her._nd Mrs. Charles Paul was wondering how soon it would be decent to do th_ouse over the way she had always wanted it and Mrs. Paul  _hadn't._  An_unty Min was worrying for fear there wouldn't be enough baked meats for suc_ mob of fourth cousins that they'd never expected and didn't want, an_isette Paul was counting the people and feeling vexed because there wasn't a_arge an attendance as there was at Mrs. Henry Lister's funeral last week.
  • When I told Aunt Laura this, she said gravely,
  • "'All this may be true, Emily'—(she knew it was!)—'but somehow it doesn't see_uite right for so young a girl as you, to—to—to be able to see these things, in short.'
  • "However, I can't help seeing them. Darling Aunt Laura is always so sorry fo_eople that she can't see their humorous side. But I saw other things too. _aw that little Zack Fritz, whom Mrs. Paul adopted and was very kind to, wa_lmost broken-hearted, and I saw that Martha Paul was feeling sorry an_shamed to think of her bitter old quarrel with Mrs. Paul—and I saw that Mrs.
  • Paul's face, that looked so discontented and thwarted in life, looked peacefu_nd majestic and even beautiful—as if Death had  _satisfied_  her at last.
  • "Yes, funerals  _are_  interesting.
  • ********
  • "March 5, 19—
  • "It is snowing a little to-night. I love to see the snow coming down i_lanting lines against the dark trees.
  • "I  _think_  I did a good deed to-day. Jason Merrowby was here helping Cousi_immy saw wood—and I  _saw him sneak into the pighouse, and take a swig from _hisky bottle._  But I did not say one word about it to anyone—that is my goo_eed.
  • "Perhaps I  _ought_  to tell Aunt Elizabeth, but if I did she would never hav_im again, and he needs all the work he can get, for his poor wife's an_hildren's sakes. I find it is not always easy to be sure whether your deed_re good or bad.
  • ********
  • "March 20, 19—
  • "Yesterday Aunt Elizabeth was very angry because I would not write an
  • 'obituary poem' for old Peter DeGeer who died last week. Mrs. DeGeer came her_nd asked me to do it. I wouldn't—I felt very indignant at such a request. _elt it would be  _a desecration of my art_  to do such a thing—though o_ourse I didn't say that to Mrs. DeGeer. For one thing it would have hurt he_eelings, and for another she wouldn't have had the faintest idea what _eant. Even Aunt Elizabeth hadn't when I told her my reasons for refusing, after Mrs. DeGeer had gone.
  • "'You are always writing yards of trash that nobody wants,' she said. 'I thin_ou might write something that  _is_  wanted. It would have pleased poor ol_ary DeGeer. "Desecration of your art" indeed. If you  _must_  talk, Emily, why not talk sense?'
  • "I proceeded to talk sense.
  • "'Aunt Elizabeth,' I said seriously, 'how could I write that obituary poem fo_er? I couldn't write an  _untruthful_  one to please anybody. And you kno_ourself that nothing good  _and_  truthful could be said about old Pete_eGeer!'
  • "Aunt Elizabeth did know it, and it posed her, but she was all the mor_ispleased with me for that. She vexed me so much that I came up to my roo_nd wrote an 'obituary poem' about Peter, just for my own satisfaction. It i_ertainly great fun to write a  _truthful_  obituary of some one you don'_ike. Not that I  _disliked_  Peter DeGeer; I just despised him as everybod_id. But Aunt Elizabeth had annoyed me, and when I am annoyed I can write ver_arcastically. And again I felt that  _Something_  was writing through me—bu_ very different  _Something_  from the usual one—a malicious, mockin_Something_  that  _enjoyed_  making fun of poor, lazy, shiftless, lying, silly, hypocritical, old Peter DeGeer. Ideas—words—rhymes—all seemed to dro_nto place while that  _Something_  chuckled.
  • "I thought the poem was so clever that I couldn't resist the temptation t_ake it to school to-day and show it to Mr Carpenter. I thought he would enjo_t—and I think he  _did,_  too, in a way, but after he had read it he laid i_own and looked at me.
  • "'I suppose there  _is_  a pleasure in satirizing a failure,' he said. 'Poo_ld Peter was a failure—and he is dead—and His Maker may be merciful to him, but his fellow creatures will not. When  _I_  am dead, Emily, will you writ_ike this about me? You have the power—oh, yes, it's all here—this  _is_  ver_lever. You can paint the weakness and foolishness and wickedness of _haracter in a way that is positively uncanny, in a girl of your age. But—i_t worth while, Emily?'
  • "'No—no,' I said. I was so ashamed and sorry that I wanted to get away an_ry. It was terrible to think Mr. Carpenter imagined I would ever write s_bout  _him,_  after all he has done for me.
  • "'It isn't,' said Mr. Carpenter. 'There is a place for satire—there ar_angrenes that can only be burned out—but leave the burning to the grea_eniuses. It's better to heal than hurt. We failures know that.'
  • "'Oh, Mr. Carpenter!' I began. I wanted to say  _he_  wasn't a failure—_anted to say a hundred things—but he wouldn't let me.
  • "'There—there, we won't talk of it, Emily. When  _I_  am dead say, "He was _ailure, and none knew it more truly or felt it more bitterly than himself."
  • Be merciful to the failures, Emily. Satirize wickedness if you must—but pit_eakness.'
  • "He stalked off then, and called school in. I've felt wretched ever since an_ won't sleep to-night. But here and now I record this vow, most solemnly, i_y diary,  _My pen shall heal, not hurt._  And I write it in italics, Earl_ictorian or not, because I am tremendously in earnest.
  • "I didn't tear that poem up, though—I couldn't—it really  _was_  too good t_estroy. I put it away in my literary cupboard to read over once in a whil_or my own enjoyment, but I will never show it to anybody.
  • "Oh, how I wish I hadn't hurt Mr. Carpenter!
  • ********
  • "April 1, 19—
  • "Something I heard a visitor in Blair Water say today annoyed me very much.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Alec Sawyer, who live in Charlottetown, were in the post offic_hen I was there. Mrs. Sawyer is very handsome and fashionable an_ondescending. I heard her say to her husband,  _'How_  do the natives of thi_leepy place continue to live here year in and year out?  _I_  should go mad.
  • _Nothing_  ever happens here.'
  • "I would dearly have liked to tell her a few things about Blair Water. I coul_ave been sarcastic with a vengeance. But, of course, New Moon people  _do no_ake scenes in public._  So I contented myself with bowing  _very coldly_hen she spoke to me and  _sweeping past_  her. I heard Mr. Sawyer say, 'Wh_s that girl?' and Mrs. Sawyer said, 'She must be that Starr puss—she has th_urray trick of holding her head, all right.'
  • "The idea of saying 'nothing ever happens here'! Why, things are happenin_ight along— _thrilling_  things. I think life here is  _extremely_onderful. We have always so much to laugh and cry and talk about.
  • "Look at all the things that have happened in Blair Water in just the las_hree weeks—comedy and tragedy all mixed up together. James Baxter ha_uddenly stopped speaking to his wife and  _nobody knows why. She_  doesn't, poor soul, and she is breaking her heart about it. Old Adam Gillian, who hate_retence of any sort, died two weeks ago and his last words were, 'See tha_here isn't any howling and sniffling at my funeral.' So nobody howled o_niffled. Nobody wanted to, and since he had forbidden it nobody pretended to.
  • There never was such a cheerful funeral in Blair Water. I've seen wedding_hat were more melancholy—Ella Brice's, for instance. What cast a cloud ove_ers was that she forgot to put on her white slippers when she dressed, an_ent down to the parlour in a pair of old, faded, bedroom shoes with holes i_he toes. Really, people couldn't have talked more about it if she had gon_own without  _anything_  on. Poor Ella cried all through the wedding-suppe_bout it.
  • "Old Robert Scobie and his half-sister have quarrelled, after living togethe_or thirty years without a fuss, although she is said to be a very aggravatin_oman. Nothing she did or said ever provoked Robert into an outburst, but i_eems that there was just one doughnut left from supper one evening recently, and Robert is very fond of doughnuts. He put it away in the pantry for _edtime snack, and when he went to get it he found that Matilda had eaten it.
  • He went into a terrible rage, pulled her nose, called her a  _she-deviless,_nd ordered her out of his house. She has gone to live with her sister a_erry Pond, and Robert is going to bach it. Neither of them will ever forgiv_he other, Scobie-like, and neither will ever be happy or contented again.
  • "George Lake was walking home from Derry Pond one moonlit evening two week_go, and  _all at once_  he saw another  _very black_  shadow going alon_eside his, on the moonlit snow.
  • _"And there was nothing to cast that shadow._
  • He rushed to the nearest house, nearly dead with fright, and they say he wil_ever be the same man again.
  • "This is the most  _dramatic_  thing that has happened. It makes me shiver a_ write of it. Of course George  _must_  have been mistaken. But he is _ruthful man, and he doesn't drink. I don't know what to think of it.
  • "Arminius Scobie is a  _very mean man_  and always buys his wife's hats fo_er, lest she pay too much for them. They know this in the Shrewsbury stores, and laugh at him. One day last week he was in Jones and McCallum's, buying he_ hat, and Mr. Jones told him that if he would  _wear the hat_  from the stor_o the station he would let him have it for nothing. Arminius did. It was _uarter of a mile to the station and all the small boys in Shrewsbury ra_fter him and hooted him. But Arminus didn't care. He had saved three dollar_nd forty-nine cents.
  • _"And,_  one evening, right here at New Moon, I dropped a soft-boiled egg o_unt Elizabeth's second-best cashmere dress. That  _was_  a happening. _ingdom might have been upset in Europe, and it wouldn't have made such _ommotion at New Moon.
  • "So, Mistress Sawyer, you are vastly mistaken. Besides, apart from al_appenings, the folks here are interesting in themselves. I don't  _like_very one but I find every one interesting—Miss Matty Small, who is forty an_ears  _outrageous_  colours—she wore an old-rose dress and a scarlet hat t_hurch all last summer—old Uncle Reuben Bascom, who is so lazy that he held a_mbrella over himself all one rainy night in bed, when the roof began to leak, rather than get out and move the bed—Elder McCloskey, who thought it wouldn'_o to say 'pants' in a story he was telling about a missionary, at prayer- meeting, so always said politely 'the clothes of his lower parts'—Amasa Derry, who carried off four prizes at the Exhibition last fall, with vegetables h_tole from Ronnie Bascom's field, while Ronnie didn't get one prize—Jimmy Jo_elle, who came here from Derry Pond yesterday to get some lumber 'to beeld _enhouse for my leetle dog'—old Luke Elliott, who is such a systematic fien_hat he even draws up a schedule of the year on New Year's day, and chart_own all the days he means to get drunk on— _and sticks to it:_ —they're al_nteresting and amusing and delightful.
  • "There, I've proved Mrs. Alex Sawyer to be so completely wrong that I fee_uite kindly towards her, even though she did call me a puss.
  • "Why don't I like being called a puss, when cats are such nice things? And _ike being called  _pussy._
  • ********
  • "April 28, 19—
  • "Two weeks ago I sent my very best poem,  _Wind Song,_  to a magazine in Ne_ork, and to-day it came back with just a little  _printed slip_  saying, 'W_egret we cannot use this contribution.'
  • "I feel dreadfully. I suppose I can't really write anything that is any good.
  • "I  _can._  That magazine will be  _glad_  to print my pieces some day!
  • "I didn't tell Mr. Carpenter I sent it. I wouldn't get any sympathy from him.
  • _He_  says that five years from now will be time enough to begin pesterin_ditors. But I  _know_  that some poems I've read in that very magazine wer_ot a bit better than  _Wind Song._
  • "I feel more like writing poetry in spring than at any other time. Mr.
  • Carpenter tells me to fight against the impulse. He says spring has bee_esponsible for more trash than anything else in the universe of God.
  • "Mr. Carpenter's way of talking has a  _tang_  to it.
  • ********
  • "May 1, 19—
  • "Dean is home. He came to his sister's yesterday and this evening he was her_nd we walked in the garden, up and down the sundial walk, and talked. It wa_plendid to have him back, with his mysterious green eyes and his nice mouth.
  • "We had a long conversation. We talked of Algiers and the transmigration o_ouls and of being cremated and of profiles—Dean says I have a goo_rofile—'pure Greek.' I always like Dean's compliments.
  • "'Star o' Morning, how you have grown!' he said. 'I left a child las_utumn—and I find a woman!'
  • "(I will be fourteen in three weeks, and I am tall for my age. Dean seems t_e glad of this—quite unlike Aunt Laura who always sighs when she lengthens m_resses, and thinks children grow up too fast.)
  • "'So goes time by,' I said, quoting the motto on the sundial, and feelin_quite sophisticated._
  • "'You are almost as tall as I am,' he said; and then added  _bitterly,_  't_e sure Jarback Priest is of no very stately height.'
  • "I have always shrunk from referring to his shoulder in any way, but now _aid,
  • "'Dean, please don't sneer at yourself like that—not with me, at least. _never_  think of you as Jarback.'
  • "Dean took my hand and looked right into my eyes as if he were trying t_read my very soul._
  • "'Are you sure of that, Emily? Don't you often wish that I wasn't lame—an_rooked?'
  • "'For your sake I do,' I answered, 'but as far as I am concerned it doesn'_ake a bit of difference—and never will.'
  • "'And never will!' Dean repeated the words emphatically. 'If I were sure o_hat, Emily—if I were only sure of that.'
  • "'You  _can_  be sure of it,' I declared quite warmly. I was vexed because h_eemed to doubt it—and yet something in his expression made me feel a littl_ncomfortable. It suddenly made me think of the time he rescued me from th_liff on Malvern Bay and told me my life belonged to him since he had save_t. I don't like the thought of my life belonging to any one but myself—no_any one,_  even Dean, much as I like him. And  _in some ways_  I like Dea_etter than any one in the world.
  • "When it got darker the stars came out and we studied them through Dean'_plendid new field-glasses. It was very fascinating. Dean knows all about th_tars—it seems to me he knows all about everything. But when I said so, h_aid,
  • "'There is one secret I do not know—I would give everything else I  _do_  kno_or it—one secret—perhaps I shall never know it. The way to win—the way t_in—'
  • "'What?' I asked curiously.
  • "'My heart's desire,' said Dean dreamily, looking at a shimmering star tha_eemed to be hung on the very tip of one of the Three Princesses. 'It seem_ow as desirable and unobtainable as that gem-like star, Emily. But—wh_nows?'
  • "I wonder what it is Dean wants so much.
  • ********
  • "May 4, 19—
  • "Dean brought me a lovely portfolio from Paris, and I have copied my favourit_erse from  _The Fringed Gentian_  on the inside of the cover. I will read i_ver every day and remember my vow to 'climb the Alpine Path.' I begin to se_hat I will have to do a good bit of scrambling, though I once expected, _hink, to soar right up to 'that far-off goal' on shining wings. Mr. Carpente_as banished that fond dream.
  • "'Dig in your toes and hang on with your teeth—that's the only way,' he says.
  • "Last night in bed I thought out some lovely titles for the books I'm going t_rite in the future— _A Lady of High Degree, True to Faith and Vow, Oh, Rar_ale Margaret_  (I got that from Tennyson),  _The Caste of Vere de Vere_ (ditto) and  _A Kingdom by the Sea._
  • "Now, if I can only get ideas to match the titles!
  • "I am writing a story called  _The House Among the Rowans_ —also a very goo_itle, I think. But the love talk still bothers me. Everything of the kind _rite seems so stiff and silly the minute I write it down that it infuriate_e. I asked Dean if he could teach me how to write it properly because h_romised long ago that he would, but he said I was too young yet—said it i_hat mysterious way of his which always seems to convey the idea that there i_o much more in his words than the mere sound of them expresses. I wish _ould speak so  _significantly,_  because it makes you  _very interesting._
  • "This evening after school Dean and I began to read  _The Alhambra_  ove_gain, sitting on the stone bench in the garden. That book always makes m_eel as if I had opened a little door and stepped straight into fairyland.
  • "'How I would love to see the Alhambra!' I said.
  • "'We will go to see it sometime—together,' said Dean.
  • "'Oh, that would be  _lovely,'_  I cried. 'Do you think we can ever manage it, Dean?'
  • "Before Dean could answer I heard Teddy's whistle in Lofty John's bush—th_ear little whistle of two short high notes and one long low one, that i_our signal._
  • "'Excuse me—I must go—Teddy's calling me,' I said.
  • "'Must you always go when Teddy calls?' asked Dean.
  • "I nodded and explained,
  • "'He only calls like that when he wants me  _especially_  and I have promise_ will always go if I possibly can.'
  • "' _I_  want you  _especially!'_  said Dean. 'I came up this evening o_urpose to read  _The Alhambra_  with you.'
  • "Suddenly I felt very unhappy. I wanted to stay with Dean dreadfully, and ye_ felt as if I must go to Teddy. Dean looked at me piercingly. Then he shut u_The Alhambra._
  • "'Go,' he said.
  • "I went—but things seemed spoiled, somehow.
  • ********
  • "May 10, 19—
  • "I have been reading three books Dean lent me this week. One was like a ros_arden—very pleasant, but just a little too sweet. And one was like a pin_ood on a mountain—full of balsam and tang—I loved it, and yet it filled m_ith a sort of despair. It was written so beautifully—I can  _never_  writ_ike that, I feel sure. And one—it was just like a pigsty. Dean gave me tha_ne by mistake. He was very angry with himself when he found it out—angry an_istressed.
  • "'Star—Star—I would  _never_  have given you a book like that—my confounde_arelessness—forgive me. That book is a faithful picture of one world—but no_our world, thank God—nor any world you will ever be a citizen of. Star, promise me you will forget that book.'
  • "'I'll forget it if I can,' I said.
  • "But I don't know if I can. It was so ugly. I have not been so happy since _ead it. I feel as if my hands were soiled somehow and I couldn't wash the_lean. And I have another queer feeling, as if  _some gate had been shu_ehind me,_  shutting me into a new world I don't quite understand or like, but through which I must travel.
  • "To-night I tried to write a description of Dean in my Jimmy-book of characte_ketches. But I didn't succeed. What I wrote seemed like a photograph—not _ortrait. There is something in Dean that is beyond me.
  • "Dean took a picture of me the other day with his new camera, but he wasn'_leased with it.
  • "'It doesn't look like you,' he said, 'but of course one can never photograp_tarlight.'
  • "Then he added, quite sharply, I thought,
  • "'Tell that young imp of a Teddy Kent to keep your face out of his pictures.
  • He has no business to put  _you_  into every one he draws.'
  • "'He doesn't!' I cried. 'Why, Teddy never made but the one picture of me—th_ne Aunt Nancy  _stole.'_
  • "I said it quite viciously and unashamed, for I've never forgiven Aunt Nanc_or keeping that picture.
  • "'He's got  _something_  of you in every picture,' said Dean stubbornly—'you_yes—the curve of your neck—the tilt of your head—your personality. That's th_orst—I don't mind your eyes and curves so much, but I won't have that cu_utting a bit of your soul into everything he draws. Probably he doesn't kno_e's doing it—which makes it all the worse.'
  • "'I don't understand you,' I said,  _quite haughtily._  'But Teddy i_wonderful_ —Mr. Carpenter says so.'
  • "'And Emily of New Moon echoes it! Oh, the kid has talent—he'll do somethin_ome day if his morbid mother doesn't ruin his life. But let him keep hi_encil and brush off  _my_  property.'
  • "Dean laughed as he said it. But I held my head high. I am not anybody's
  • 'property,' not even in fun. And I  _never_  will be.
  • ********
  • "May 12, 19—
  • "Aunt Ruth and Uncle Wallace and Uncle Oliver were all here this afternoon. _ike Uncle Oliver, but I am not much fonder of Aunt Ruth and Uncle Wallac_han I ever was. They held some kind of family conclave in the parlour wit_unt Elizabeth and Aunt Laura. Cousin Jimmy was allowed in but I was excluded, although I feel perfectly certain that it had something to do with me. I thin_unt Ruth didn't get her own way, either, for she snubbed me continually al_hrough supper, and said I was growing weedy! Aunt Ruth generally snubs me an_ncle Wallace patronizes me. I prefer Aunt Ruth's snubs because I don't hav_o look as if I liked them. I endured them to a certain point, and then th_id flew off. Aunt Ruth said to me,
  • "'Em'ly, don't contradict,' just as she might have spoken to a  _mere child._ looked her right in the eyes and said  _coldly,_
  • "'Aunt Ruth, I think I am too old to be spoken to in that fashion now.'
  • "'You are not too old to be very rude and impertinent,' said Aunt Ruth, with _niff, 'and if  _I_  were in Elizabeth's place I would give you a sound box o_he ear, Miss.'
  • "I hate to be Em'ly'd and Miss'd and sniffed at! It seems to me that Aunt Rut_as  _all_  the Murray faults, and  _none_  of their virtues.
  • "Uncle Oliver's son Andrew came with him and is going to stay for a week. H_s four years older than I am.
  • ********
  • "May 19, 19—
  • "This is my birthday. I am fourteen years old today. I wrote a letter 'Fro_yself at fourteen to myself at twenty-four,' sealed it up and put it away i_y cupboard, to be opened on my twenty-fourth birthday. I made som_redictions in it. I wonder if they will have come to pass when I open it.
  • "Aunt Elizabeth gave me back all Father's books today. I was so glad. It seem_o me that a part of Father is in those books. His name is in each one in hi_wn handwriting, and the notes he made on the margins. They seem like littl_its of letters from him. I have been looking over them all the evening, an_ather seems so  _near_  to me again, and I feel both happy and sad.
  • "One thing spoiled the day for me. In school, when I went up to the blackboar_o work a problem, everybody suddenly began to titter. I could not imagin_hy. Then I discovered that some one had pinned a sheet of foolscap to m_ack, on which was printed in big, black letters:  _'Emily Byrd Starr, Authoress of The Four-Legged Duck.'_  They laughed more than ever when _natched it off and threw it in the coal-scuttle. It infuriates me when anyon_idicules my ambitions like that. I came home angry and sore. But when I ha_at on the steps of the summer-house and looked at one of Cousin Jimmy's bi_urple pansies for five minutes all my anger went away. Nobody can keep o_eing angry if she looks into the heart of a pansy for a little while.
  • "Besides,  _the time will come when they will not laugh at me!_
  • "Andrew went home yesterday. Aunt Elizabeth asked me how I liked him. Sh_ever asked me how I liked anyone before—my likings were not important enough.
  • I suppose she is beginning to realize that I am no  _longer a child._
  • "I said I thought he was good and kind and stupid and uninteresting.
  • "Aunt Elizabeth was so annoyed she would not speak to me the whole evening.
  • Why? I had to tell the truth. And Andrew  _is._
  • ********
  • "May 21, 19—
  • "Old Kelly was here to-day for the first time this spring, with a load o_hining new tins. He brought me a bag of candies as usual—and teased me abou_etting married, also as usual. But he seemed to have something on his mind, and when I went to the dairy to get him the drink of milk he had asked for, h_ollowed me.
  • "'Gurrl dear,' he said mysteriously. 'I met Jarback Praste in the lane. Doe_e be coming here much?'
  • "I cocked my head at the Murray angle.
  • "'If you mean Mr. Dean Priest,' I said, 'he comes often. He is a particula_riend of mine.'
  • "Old Kelly shook his head.
  • "'Gurrl dear—I warned ye—niver be after saying I didn't warn ye. I towld y_he day I took ye to Praste Pond niver to marry a Praste. Didn't I now?'
  • "'Mr. Kelly, you're too ridiculous,' I said—angry and yet feeling it wa_bsurd to be angry with Old Jock Kelly. 'I'm not going to marry anybody. Mr.
  • Priest is old enough to be my father, and I am just a little girl he helps i_er studies.'
  • "Old Kelly gave his head another shake.
  • "'I know the Prastes, gurrl dear—and when they do be after setting their mind_n a thing ye might as well try to turn the wind. This Jarback now—they tel_e he's had his eye on ye iver since he fished ye up from the Malver_ocks—he's just biding his time till ye get old enough for coorting. They tel_e he's an infidel, and it's well known that whin he was being christened h_ached up and clawed the spectacles off av the minister. So what wud y_xpect? I nadn't be telling ye he's lame and crooked—ye can see that fo_erself. Take foolish Ould Kelly's advice and cut loose while there's time.
  • Now, don't be looking at me like the Murrays, gurrl dear. Shure, and it's fo_our own good I do be spaking.'
  • "I walked off and left him. One  _couldn't_  argue with him over such a thing.
  • I  _wish_  people wouldn't put such ideas into my mind. They stick there lik_urrs. I won't feel as comfortable with Dean for weeks now, though I kno_erfectly well every word Old Kelly said was nonsense.
  • "After Old Kelly went away I came up to my room and wrote a full descriptio_f him in a Jimmy-book.
  • "Ilse has got a new hat trimmed with clouds of blue tulle, and red cherries, with big blue tulle bows under the chin. I did not like it and told her so.
  • She was furious and said I was jealous and hasn't spoken to me for two days. _hought it all over. I knew I was not jealous, but I concluded I had made _istake. I will never again tell anyone a thing like that. It was true but i_as not tactful.
  • "I hope Ilse will have forgiven me by to-morrow. I miss her horribly when sh_s offended with me. She's such a dear thing and so jolly, and splendid, whe_he isn't vexed.
  • "Teddy is a little squiffy with me, too, just now. I  _think_  it is becaus_eoff North walked home with me from prayer-meeting last Wednesday night. _hope_  that is the reason. I like to feel that I  _have that much power_ver Teddy.
  • "I wonder if I ought to have written that down. But it's  _true._
  • "If Teddy only knew it, I have been very unhappy and ashamed over that affair.
  • At first, when Geoff singled me out from all the girls, I was quite proud o_t. It was the very first time I had had an  _escort home,_  and Geoff is _own boy,  _very handsome and polished,_  and all the older girls in Blai_ater are quite foolish about him. So I sailed away from the church door wit_im, feeling as if I had grown up all at once. But we hadn't gone far before _as hating him. He was so  _condescending._  He seemed to think I was a simpl_ittle country girl who must be quite overwhelmed with the  _honour_  of hi_ompany.
  • "And that was true at first!  _That_  was what stung me. To think I had bee_uch a little fool!
  • "He kept saying, 'Really, you surprise me,' in an affected, drawling kind o_ay, whenever I made a remark. And he  _bored_  me. He couldn't talk sensibl_bout anything. Or else he wouldn't try to with me. I was quite savage by th_ime we got to New Moon. And then  _that insufferable creature_  asked me t_iss him!
  • "I drew myself up—oh, I was Murray clear through at that moment, all right. _felt_  I was looking exactly like Aunt Elizabeth.
  • "'I do not kiss young men,' I said disdainfully.
  • "Geoff laughed and caught my hand.
  • "'Why, you little goose, what do you suppose I came home with you for?' h_aid.
  • "I pulled my hand away from him, and walked into the house. But before I di_hat, I did something else.
  • _"I slapped his face!_
  • "Then I came up to my room and cried with shame over being insulted, an_aving been so undignified in resenting it. Dignity is a tradition of Ne_oon, and I felt that I had been false to it.
  • "But I think I 'surprised' Geoff North in right good earnest!
  • ********
  • "May 24, 19—
  • "Jennie Strang told me to-day that Geoff North told her brother that I was '_egular spitfire' and he had had enough of me.
  • "Aunt Elizabeth has found out that Geoff came home with me, and told me to-da_hat I would not be 'trusted' to go alone to prayer-meeting again.
  • ********
  • "May 25, 19—
  • "I am sitting here in my room at twilight. The window is open and the frog_re singing of something that happened very long ago. All along the middl_arden walk the Gay Folk are holding up great fluted cups of ruby and gold an_earl. It is not raining now, but it rained all day—a rain scented wit_ilacs. I like all kinds of weather and I like rainy days—soft, misty, rain_ays when the Wind Woman just shakes the tops of the spruces gently; and wild, tempestuous, streaming rainy days. I like being shut in by the rain—I like t_ear it thudding on the roof, and beating on the panes and pouring off th_aves, while the Wind Woman skirls like a mad old witch in the woods, an_hrough the garden.
  • "Still, if it rains when I want to go anywhere I growl just as much a_nybody!
  • "An evening like this always makes me think of that spring Father died, thre_ears ago, and that dear little, old house down at Maywood. I've never bee_ack since. I wonder if anyone is living in it now. And if Adam-and-Eve an_he Rooster Pine and the Praying Tree are just the same. And who is sleepin_n my old room there, and if anyone is loving the little birches and playin_ith the Wind Woman in the spruce barrens. Just as I wrote the words 'spruc_arrens' an old memory came back to me. One spring evening, when I was eigh_ears old, I was running about the barrens playing hide-and-seek with the Win_oman, and I found a little hollow between two spruces that was just carpete_ith tiny, bright-green leaves, when everything else was still brown an_aded. They were so beautiful that  _the flash_  came as I looked at them—i_as the very first time it ever came to me. I suppose that is why I remembe_hose little green leaves so distinctly. No one else remembers them—perhaps n_ne else ever saw them. I have forgotten other leaves, but I remember the_very spring and with each remembrance I feel again the wonder-moment the_ave me."