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CHAPTER 17: A New Interest in Life
THE next afternoon Anne, bending over her patchwork at the kitchen window, happened to glance out and beheld Diana down by the Dryad's Bubble beckoning mysteriously. In a trice Anne was out of the house and flying down to the hollow, astonishment and hope struggling in her expressive eyes. But the hope faded when she saw Diana's dejected countenance.
"Your mother hasn't relented?" she gasped.
Diana shook her head mournfully.
"No; and oh, Anne, she says I'm never to play with you again. I've cried and cried and I told her it wasn't your fault, but it wasn't any use. I had ever such a time coaxing her to let me come down and say good-bye to you. She said I was only to stay ten minutes and she's timing me by the clock."
"Ten minutes isn't very long to say an eternal farewell in," said Anne tearfully. "Oh, Diana, will you promise faithfully never to forget me, the friend of your youth, no matter what dearer friends may caress thee?"
"Indeed I will," sobbed Diana, "and I'll never have another bosom friend--I don't want to have. I couldn't love anybody as I love you."
"Oh, Diana," cried Anne, clasping her hands, "do you LOVE me?"
"Why, of course I do. Didn't you know that?"
"No." Anne drew a long breath. "I thought you LIKED me of course but I never hoped you LOVED me. Why, Diana, I didn't think anybody could love me. Nobody ever has loved me since I can remember. Oh, this is wonderful! It's a ray of light which will forever shine on the darkness of a path severed from thee, Diana. Oh, just say it once again."
"I love you devotedly, Anne," said Diana stanchly, "and I always will, you may be sure of that."
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