<SPAN name="link2H_4_0016" id="link2H_4_0016">
<!-- H2 anchor --> </SPAN>
<div style="height: 4em;">
<br /><br /><br /><br />
The Substance of Things Hoped For
"Anne," said Davy appealingly, scrambling up on the shiny, leather-covered
sofa in the Green Gables kitchen, where Anne sat, reading a letter, "Anne,
I'm AWFUL hungry. You've no idea."
"I'll get you a piece of bread and butter in a minute," said Anne
absently. Her letter evidently contained some exciting news, for her
cheeks were as pink as the roses on the big bush outside, and her eyes
were as starry as only Anne's eyes could be.
"But I ain't bread and butter hungry," said Davy in a disgusted tone. "I'm
plum cake hungry."
"Oh," laughed Anne, laying down her letter and putting her arm about Davy
to give him a squeeze, "that's a kind of hunger that can be endured very
comfortably, Davy-boy. You know it's one of Marilla's rules that you can't
have anything but bread and butter between meals."
"Well, gimme a piece then . . . please."
Davy had been at last taught to say "please," but he generally tacked it
on as an afterthought. He looked with approval at the generous slice Anne
presently brought to him. "You always put such a nice lot of butter on it,
Anne. Marilla spreads it pretty thin. It slips down a lot easier when
there's plenty of butter."
The slice "slipped down" with tolerable ease, judging from its rapid
disappearance. Davy slid head first off the sofa, turned a double
somersault on the rug, and then sat up and announced decidedly,
"Anne, I've made up my mind about heaven. I don't want to go there."
"Why not?" asked Anne gravely.
"Cause heaven is in Simon Fletcher's garret, and I don't like Simon
"Heaven in . . . Simon Fletcher's garret!" gasped Anne, too amazed even to
laugh. "Davy Keith, whatever put such an extraordinary idea into your
"Milty Boulter says that's where it is. It was last Sunday in Sunday
School. The lesson was about Elijah and Elisha, and I up and asked Miss
Rogerson where heaven was. Miss Rogerson looked awful offended. She was
cross anyhow, because when she'd asked us what Elijah left Elisha when he
went to heaven Milty Boulter said, 'His old clo'es,' and us fellows all
laughed before we thought. I wish you could think first and do things
afterwards, 'cause then you wouldn't do them. But Milty didn't mean to be
disrespeckful. He just couldn't think of the name of the thing. Miss
Rogerson said heaven was where God was and I wasn't to ask questions like
that. Milty nudged me and said in a whisper, 'Heaven's in Uncle Simon's
garret and I'll esplain about it on the road home.' So when we was coming
home he esplained. Milty's a great hand at esplaining things. Even if he
don't know anything about a thing he'll make up a lot of stuff and so you
get it esplained all the same. His mother is Mrs. Simon's sister and he
went with her to the funeral when his cousin, Jane Ellen, died. The
minister said she'd gone to heaven, though Milty says she was lying right
before them in the coffin. But he s'posed they carried the coffin to the
garret afterwards. Well, when Milty and his mother went upstairs after it
was all over to get her bonnet he asked her where heaven was that Jane
Ellen had gone to, and she pointed right to the ceiling and said, 'Up
there.' Milty knew there wasn't anything but the garret over the ceiling,
so that's how HE found out. And he's been awful scared to go to his Uncle
Simon's ever since."
Anne took Davy on her knee and did her best to straighten out this
theological tangle also. She was much better fitted for the task than
Marilla, for she remembered her own childhood and had an instinctive
understanding of the curious ideas that seven-year-olds sometimes get
about matters that are, of course, very plain and simple to grown up
people. She had just succeeded in convincing Davy that heaven was NOT in
Simon Fletcher's garret when Marilla came in from the garden, where she
and Dora had been picking peas. Dora was an industrious little soul and
never happier than when "helping" in various small tasks suited to her
chubby fingers. She fed chickens, picked up chips, wiped dishes, and ran
errands galore. She was neat, faithful and observant; she never had to be
told how to do a thing twice and never forgot any of her little duties.
Davy, on the other hand, was rather heedless and forgetful; but he had the
born knack of winning love, and even yet Anne and Marilla liked him the
While Dora proudly shelled the peas and Davy made boats of the pods, with
masts of matches and sails of paper, Anne told Marilla about the wonderful
contents of her letter.
"Oh, Marilla, what do you think? I've had a letter from Priscilla and she
says that Mrs. Morgan is on the Island, and that if it is fine Thursday
they are going to drive up to Avonlea and will reach here about twelve.
They will spend the afternoon with us and go to the hotel at White Sands
in the evening, because some of Mrs. Morgan's American friends are staying
there. Oh, Marilla, isn't it wonderful? I can hardly believe I'm not
"I daresay Mrs. Morgan is a lot like other people," said Marilla drily,
although she did feel a trifle excited herself. Mrs. Morgan was a famous
woman and a visit from her was no commonplace occurrence. "They'll be here
to dinner, then?"
"Yes; and oh, Marilla, may I cook every bit of the dinner myself? I want
to feel that I can do something for the author of 'The Rosebud Garden,' if
it is only to cook a dinner for her. You won't mind, will you?"
"Goodness, I'm not so fond of stewing over a hot fire in July that it
would vex me very much to have someone else do it. You're quite welcome to
"Oh, thank you," said Anne, as if Marilla had just conferred a tremendous
favor, "I'll make out the menu this very night."
"You'd better not try to put on too much style," warned Marilla, a little
alarmed by the high-flown sound of 'menu.' "You'll likely come to grief if
"Oh, I'm not going to put on any 'style,' if you mean trying to do or have
things we don't usually have on festal occasions," assured Anne. "That
would be affectation, and, although I know I haven't as much sense and
steadiness as a girl of seventeen and a schoolteacher ought to have, I'm
not so silly as THAT. But I want to have everything as nice and dainty as
possible. Davy-boy, don't leave those peapods on the back stairs . . .
someone might slip on them. I'll have a light soup to begin with . . . you
know I can make lovely cream-of-onion soup . . . and then a couple of
roast fowls. I'll have the two white roosters. I have real affection for
those roosters and they've been pets ever since the gray hen hatched out
just the two of them . . . little balls of yellow down. But I know they
would have to be sacrificed sometime, and surely there couldn't be a
worthier occasion than this. But oh, Marilla, <i>I</i> cannot kill them .
. . not even for Mrs. Morgan's sake. I'll have to ask John Henry Carter to
come over and do it for me."
"I'll do it," volunteered Davy, "if Marilla'll hold them by the legs,
'cause I guess it'd take both my hands to manage the axe. It's awful jolly
fun to see them hopping about after their heads are cut off."
"Then I'll have peas and beans and creamed potatoes and a lettuce salad,
for vegetables," resumed Anne, "and for dessert, lemon pie with whipped
cream, and coffee and cheese and lady fingers. I'll make the pies and lady
fingers tomorrow and do up my white muslin dress. And I must tell Diana
tonight, for she'll want to do up hers. Mrs. Morgan's heroines are nearly
always dressed in white muslin, and Diana and I have always resolved that
that was what we would wear if we ever met her. It will be such a delicate
compliment, don't you think? Davy, dear, you mustn't poke peapods into the
cracks of the floor. I must ask Mr. and Mrs. Allan and Miss Stacy to
dinner, too, for they're all very anxious to meet Mrs. Morgan. It's so
fortunate she's coming while Miss Stacy is here. Davy dear, don't sail the
peapods in the water bucket . . . go out to the trough. Oh, I do hope it
will be fine Thursday, and I think it will, for Uncle Abe said last night
when he called at Mr. Harrison's, that it was going to rain most of this
"That's a good sign," agreed Marilla.
Anne ran across to Orchard Slope that evening to tell the news to Diana,
who was also very much excited over it, and they discussed the matter in
the hammock swung under the big willow in the Barry garden.
"Oh, Anne, mayn't I help you cook the dinner?" implored Diana. "You know I
can make splendid lettuce salad."
"Indeed you, may" said Anne unselfishly. "And I shall want you to help me
decorate too. I mean to have the parlor simply a BOWER of blossoms . . .
and the dining table is to be adorned with wild roses. Oh, I do hope
everything will go smoothly. Mrs. Morgan's heroines NEVER get into scrapes
or are taken at a disadvantage, and they are always so selfpossessed and
such good housekeepers. They seem to be BORN good housekeepers. You
remember that Gertrude in 'Edgewood Days' kept house for her father when
she was only eight years old. When I was eight years old I hardly knew how
to do a thing except bring up children. Mrs. Morgan must be an authority
on girls when she has written so much about them, and I do want her to
have a good opinion of us. I've imagined it all out a dozen different ways
. . . what she'll look like, and what she'll say, and what I'll say. And
I'm so anxious about my nose. There are seven freckles on it, as you can
see. They came at the A.V.I S. picnic, when I went around in the sun
without my hat. I suppose it's ungrateful of me to worry over them, when I
should be thankful they're not spread all over my face as they once were;
but I do wish they hadn't come . . . all Mrs. Morgan's heroines have such
perfect complexions. I can't recall a freckled one among them."
"Yours are not very noticeable," comforted Diana. "Try a little lemon
juice on them tonight."
The next day Anne made her pies and lady fingers, did up her muslin dress,
and swept and dusted every room in the house . . . a quite unnecessary
proceeding, for Green Gables was, as usual, in the apple pie order dear to
Marilla's heart. But Anne felt that a fleck of dust would be a desecration
in a house that was to be honored by a visit from Charlotte E. Morgan. She
even cleaned out the "catch-all" closet under the stairs, although there
was not the remotest possibility of Mrs. Morgan's seeing its interior.
"But I want to FEEL that it is in perfect order, even if she isn't to see
it," Anne told Marilla. "You know, in her book 'Golden Keys,' she makes
her two heroines Alice and Louisa take for their motto that verse of
'In the elder days of art
Builders wrought with greatest care
Each minute and unseen part,
For the gods see everywhere,'
and so they always kept their cellar stairs scrubbed and never forgot to
sweep under the beds. I should have a guilty conscience if I thought this
closet was in disorder when Mrs. Morgan was in the house. Ever since we
read 'Golden Keys,' last April, Diana and I have taken that verse for our
That night John Henry Carter and Davy between them contrived to execute
the two white roosters, and Anne dressed them, the usually distasteful
task glorified in her eyes by the destination of the plump birds.
"I don't like picking fowls," she told Marilla, "but isn't it fortunate we
don't have to put our souls into what our hands may be doing? I've been
picking chickens with my hands but in imagination I've been roaming the
"I thought you'd scattered more feathers over the floor than usual,"
Then Anne put Davy to bed and made him promise that he would behave
perfectly the next day.
"If I'm as good as good can be all day tomorrow will you let me be just as
bad as I like all the next day?" asked Davy.
"I couldn't do that," said Anne discreetly, "but I'll take you and Dora
for a row in the flat right to the bottom of the pond, and we'll go ashore
on the sandhills and have a picnic."
"It's a bargain," said Davy. "I'll be good, you bet. I meant to go over to
Mr. Harrison's and fire peas from my new popgun at Ginger but another
day'll do as well. I espect it will be just like Sunday, but a picnic at
the shore'll make up for THAT."