Thursday, August 4, 2011

Chapter 12: Bosom friends

I had such lofty dreams of illustrating this post with images of all the flowers Montgomery lists in Mrs. Barry's garden:
"There were rosy bleeding-hearts and great splendid crimson peonies; white, fragrant narcissi and thorny, sweet Scotch roses; pink and blue and white columbines and lilac-tinted Bouncing Bets; clumps of southernwood and ribbon grass and mint; purple Adam-and-Eve, daffodils, and masses of sweet clover white with its delicate, fragrant, feathery sprays; scarlet lightning that shot its fiery lances over prim white musk-flowers"
Which would be lovely. But I also thought it might be nice to get this post published before Christmas.

So. This is the chapter in which we meet one of the other key players in Anne's life. It takes about two minutes for Anne and Diana Barry to become fast friends.

But first we meet Mrs. Barry, and if you know what comes later, you'll see that she's very deliberately being set up as an unsympathetic character here.
"She reads entirely too much—" this to Marilla as the little girls went out—"and I can't prevent her, for her father aids and abets her."
So things are good in Avonlea, on many levels. Which is something Marilla comes very close to admitting herself:
"I will say it for the child," said Marilla when Anne had gone to her gable, "she isn't stingy. I'm glad, for of all faults I detest stinginess in a child. Dear me, it's only three weeks since she came, and it seems as if she'd been here always. I can't imagine the place without her. Now, don't be looking I told-you-so, Matthew. That's bad enough in a woman, but it isn't to be endured in a man. I'm perfectly willing to own up that I'm glad I consented to keep the child and that I'm getting fond of her, but don't you rub it in, Matthew Cuthbert."

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