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CHAPTER 37: The Reaper Whose Name Is Death (continued)
Anne hoped that the tears would come in solitude. It seemed to her a terrible thing that she could not shed a tear for Matthew, whom she had loved so much and who had been so kind to her, Matthew who had walked with her last evening at sunset and was now lying in the dim room below with that awful peace on his brow. But no tears came at first, even when she knelt by her window in the darkness and prayed, looking up to the stars beyond the hills--no tears, only the same horrible dull ache of misery that kept on aching until she fell asleep, worn out with the day's pain and excitement.
In the night she awakened, with the stillness and the darkness about her, and the recollection of the day came over her like a wave of sorrow. She could see Matthew's face smiling at her as he had smiled when they parted at the gate that last evening--she could hear his voice saying, "My girl--my girl that I'm proud of." Then the tears came and Anne wept her heart out. Marilla heard her and crept in to comfort her.
"There--there--don't cry so, dearie. It can't bring him back. It--it--isn't right to cry so. I knew that today, but I couldn't help it then. He'd always been such a good, kind brother to me--but God knows best."
"Oh, just let me cry, Marilla," sobbed Anne. "The tears don't hurt me like that ache did. Stay here for a little while with me and keep your arm round me--so. I couldn't have Diana stay, she's good and kind and sweet--but it's not her sorrow--she's outside of it and she couldn't come close enough to my heart to help me. It's our sorrow-- yours and mine. Oh, Marilla, what will we do without him?"
"We've got each other, Anne. I don't know what I'd do if you weren't here--if you'd never come. Oh, Anne, I know I've been kind of strict and harsh with you maybe-- but you mustn't think I didn't love you as well as Matthew did, for all that. I want to tell you now when I can. It's never been easy for me to say things out of my heart, but at times like this it's easier. I love you as dear as if you were my own flesh and blood and you've been my joy and comfort ever since you came to Green Gables."
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