Anne of Green Gables (Paperback)
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CHAPTER I. Mrs. Rachel Lynde is SurprisedMRS. Rachel Lynde lived just where the Avonlea main road dipped downinto a little hollow, fringed with alders and ladies' eardrops andtraversed by a brook that had its source away back in the woods of theold Cuthbert place; it was reputed to be an intricate, headlong brookin its earlier course through those woods, with dark secrets of pooland cascade; but by the time it reached Lynde's Hollow it was a quiet, well-conducted little stream, for not even a brook could run past Mrs.Rachel Lynde's door without due regard for decency and decorum; itprobably was conscious that Mrs. Rachel was sitting at her window, keeping a sharp eye on everything that passed, from brooks and childrenup, and that if she noticed anything odd or out of place she would neverrest until she had ferreted out the whys and wherefores thereof.There are plenty of people in Avonlea and out of it, who can attendclosely to their neighbor's business by dint of neglecting their own;but Mrs. Rachel Lynde was one of those capable creatures who can managetheir own concerns and those of other folks into the bargain. She was anotable housewife; her work was always done and well done; she "ran" theSewing Circle, helped run the Sunday-school, and was the strongest propof the Church Aid Society and Foreign Missions Auxiliary. Yet with allthis Mrs. Rachel found abundant time to sit for hours at her kitchenwindow, knitting "cotton warp" quilts--she had knitted sixteen of them, as Avonlea housekeepers were wont to tell in awed voices--and keepinga sharp eye on the main road that crossed the hollow and wound upthe steep red hill beyond. Since Avonlea occupied a little triangularpeninsula jutting out into the Gulf of St. Lawrence with water on twosides of it, anybody who went out of it or into it had to pass over thathill road and so run the unseen gauntlet of Mrs. Rachel's all-seeingeye.She was sitting there one afternoon in early June. The sun was coming inat the window warm and bright; the orchard on the slope below the housewas in a bridal flush of pinky-white bloom, hummed over by a myriad ofbees. Thomas Lynde--a meek little man whom Avonlea people called "RachelLynde's husband"--was sowing his late turnip seed on the hill fieldbeyond the barn; and Matthew Cuthbert ought to have been sowing his onthe big red brook field away over by Green Gables. Mrs. Rachel knewthat he ought because she had heard him tell Peter Morrison the eveningbefore in William J. Blair's store over at Carmody that he meant to sowhis turnip seed the next afternoon. Peter had asked him, of course, forMatthew Cuthbert had never been known to volunteer information aboutanything in his whole life.