Narrator: One fine spring afternoon in Avonlea, Mrs. Rachel Lynde sat by her kitchen window. She often sat there because she could see the Avonlea road very well from there. A man with a horse and buggy came up the road. It was Mrs. Lynde neighbor, Matthew Cuthbert.
Mrs. Lynde: Where’s Matthew going?
Narrator: Thought Mrs. Lynde in surprise.
Mrs. Lynde: It’s half pastthree in the afternoon and he has a lot of work on his farm. Where’s how going and why is he going there?
Narrator: Matthew Cuthbert lived with his sister, Marilla, in Green Gables, a large old house near Mrs. Lynde’s home. Later, Mrs. Lynde walked to Green Gables. Marilla Cuthbert was busy in kitchen. She was a tall, thin woman with gray hair. Marilla wasn’t young or pretty, and she didn’t smilevery much. But she had a kind heart. She wasn’t surprised by Mrs. Lynde visit.
Mrs. Lynde: Hello Marilla, I saw Matthew on the road. Where’s he going?
Marilla: To Bright River Station, we’re getting a little boy from an orphanage in Nova Scotia. He’s coming on the train this afternoon.
Narrator: Mrs. Lynde couldn’t speak. Then she said.
Mrs. Lynde: An orphan boy! Why do you want an orphan boy?Marilla: Matthew is sixty years old, his heart isn’t very strong. He wants a boy to help him on the farm.
Mrs. Lynde: I think you’re doing a very stupid thing, Marilla. You’re bringing a strange boy into your house. You don’t know anything about him.
Narrator: Bright River Station was about twelve kilometers from Avonlea. Matthew drove there slowly in the buggy. When he arrived at Bright River,it was late. He couldn’t see a train. There was only one person at the station, a little girl about eleven years old. She was very thin with large gray eyes and long red hair. She wore a short, ugly dress and carried an old bag.
When she saw Matthew, she smiled. Then she put out her hand.
Anne: Are you Mr. Matthew Cuthbert of Green Gables? I’m from orphanage.
Narrator: Matthew took the child’shand.
Matthew: There’s a mistake. This is a girl, not a boy!
Narrator: He thought.
Anne: When you weren’t here at the station, I thought, “I can sleep in that big tree tonight. I know he’ll come in the morning”. I know it’s a long way to your house. And I’m going to have a home with you. That’s wonderful. I never had a home.
Matthew: I was late, I’m sorry.
Narrator: He took the little girl’sbag and they walked to the buggy.
Matthew: I’ll take her back to Green Gables. Marilla can tell her about the mistake.
Narrator: The girl got into the buggy and Matthew drove home. The child talked. Matthew listened. He was a quiet man and he was usually afraid of little girls. But he liked listening to this girl’s conversation.
Anne: I love the color white and I’d like a beautiful white dress.I never had a pretty dress.
Narrator: It was evening when they arrived at Green Gables, Marilla came to the door and looked at the child in surprise.
Marilla: Who’s this, Matthew? Where’s the boy?
Matthew: (Unhappily) There wasn’t a boy. There was only her. I couldn’t leave her at the station.
Marilla: No boy! But we asked Mrs. Spencer for a boy.
Anne: You don’t want me!
Narrator: Cried thechild suddenly.
Anne: You don’t want me because I’m not a boy! Oh, what shall I do?
Marilla: Don’t cry, we can’t send you back to the orphanage tonight. You’ll have to stay here.
Narrator: The child stopped crying. Anne sat down at the table but she couldn’t eat anything. So Marilla went downstairs and washed the plates. Matthew sat in a chair. He didn’t say very much.
Marilla: I’ll drive toMrs. Spencer’s house tomorrow, and I’ll ask her about this mistake. We’ll have to send this child back.
Matthew: She’s a very nice little girl, and very interesting. She likes to talk. And she wants to stay with us.
Narrator: Marilla was very surprised.
Marilla: But, Matthew, she can’t stay here. A girl can’t help you on the farm.
Matthew: But maybe we can help her.
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