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CHAPTER 16: Diana Is Invited to Tea with Tragic Results (continued)
"Oh, Mrs. Barry, please forgive me. I did not mean to--to--intoxicate Diana. How could I? Just imagine if you were a poor little orphan girl that kind people had adopted and you had just one bosom friend in all the world. Do you think you would intoxicate her on purpose? I thought it was only raspberry cordial. I was firmly convinced it was raspberry cordial. Oh, please don't say that you won't let Diana play with me any more. If you do you will cover my life with a dark cloud of woe."
This speech which would have softened good Mrs. Lynde's heart in a twinkling, had no effect on Mrs. Barry except to irritate her still more. She was suspicious of Anne's big words and dramatic gestures and imagined that the child was making fun of her. So she said, coldly and cruelly:
"I don't think you are a fit little girl for Diana to associate with. You'd better go home and behave yourself."
Anne's lips quivered.
"Won't you let me see Diana just once to say farewell?" she implored.
"Diana has gone over to Carmody with her father," said Mrs. Barry, going in and shutting the door.
Anne went back to Green Gables calm with despair.
"My last hope is gone," she told Marilla. "I went up and saw Mrs. Barry myself and she treated me very insultingly. Marilla, I do NOT think she is a well-bred woman. There is nothing more to do except to pray and I haven't much hope that that'll do much good because, Marilla, I do not believe that God Himself can do very much with such an obstinate person as Mrs. Barry."
"Anne, you shouldn't say such things" rebuked Marilla, striving to overcome that unholy tendency to laughter which she was dismayed to find growing upon her. And indeed, when she told the whole story to Matthew that night, she did laugh heartily over Anne's tribulations.
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