Thursday, August 11, 2011

Chapter 18: Anne saves the day

Who else grew up on the American Girl books? Each girl's series included a Saves the Day book -- Kirsten Saves the Day, Samantha Saves the Day, and so on. Well, this is Anne's version.

Anne and Matthew are left home while Marilla, Rachel Lynde, and various other Avonlea adults go off to play politics.
"It was a January the Premier came, to address his loyal supporters and such of his nonsupporters as chose to be present at the monster mass meeting held in Charlottetown."
At the time Montgomery was writing, the Premier in question was Sir John MacDonald.
"Mrs. Rachel Lynde was a red-hot politician and couldn't have believed that the political rally could be carried through without her, although she was on the opposite side of politics. So she went to town and took her husband—Thomas would be useful in looking after the horse—and Marilla Cuthbert with her. Marilla had a sneaking interest in politics herself, and as she thought it might be her only chance to see a real live Premier, she promptly took it, leaving Anne and Matthew to keep house until her return the following day."
Anne and Matthew are enjoying a cozy afternoon at Green Gables (which in this case means Anne's doing just about all the talking):
"I learn the proposition off by heart and then he draws it on the blackboard and puts different letters from what are in the book and I get all mixed up."

"Ruby Gillis says when she grows up she's going to have ever so many beaus on the string and have them all crazy about her; but I think that would be too exciting. I'd rather have just one in his right mind."
... when Diana bursts in. Little sister Minnie May has come down with a bad case of croup, and the senior Barrys have also gone to see the Premier. As has the doctor. This gives Anne an opportunity to draw on the experience of taking care of "twins three times" -- she knows what to do, and she does it.
"Anne, although sincerely sorry for Minnie May, was far from being insensible to the romance of the situation and to the sweetness of once more sharing that romance with a kindred spirit."
Also, it provides Montgomery with another opportunity to disdain French Canadians.
"Young Mary Joe, a buxom, broad-faced French girl from the creek, whom Mrs. Barry had engaged to stay with the children during her absence, was helpless and bewildered, quite incapable of thinking what to do, or doing it if she thought of it."
Anne's nursing gets Minnie May turned around by the time the doctor arrives, and she's the hero of the day.

But aside from the drama and romance of it all, the best part, as far as Anne's concerned, is that Mrs. Barry decides this is a decent reason to forgive her for letting Diana intoxicate herself, so the girls are allowed to be friends again.

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