Anne sets out to cultivate the imaginations of her classmates, and spread a little joy.
“I’m positively certain, Diana, that life can never be quite the same again as it was in those olden days,” [Anne] said mournfully, as if referring to a period at least fifty years back. “Perhaps after a while I’ll get used to it, but I’m afraid concerts spoil people far everyday life. I suppose that is why Marilla disapproves of them. Marilla is such a sensible woman. It must be a great deal better to be sensible; but still, I don’t believe I’d really like to be a sensible person, because they are so unromantic. Mrs. Lynde says there is no danger of my ever being one, but you can never tell. I feel just now that I may grow up to be sensible yet.”
But of course, they do eventually get back to normal.
“I won’t mind writing that composition when its time comes,” sighed Diana, “I can manage to write about the woods, but the one we’re to hand in Monday is terrible. The idea of Miss Stacy telling us to write a story out of our own heads!”
“Why it’s as easy as a wink,” said Anne.
“It’s easy for you because you have an imagination,” retorted Diana, “but what would you do if you had been born without one?”
Anne admits that she already finished her story, all about Geraldine and Cordelia who were best friends until a man came between them. Long story short, the lovers died in each other’s arms, killed by the jealous friend.
“They were buried in the one grave and their funeral was most imposing, Diana. It’s so much more romantic to end a story up with a funeral than a wedding. As for Cordelia, she went insane with remorse and was shut up in a lunatic asylum, I thought that was a poetical retribution for her crime.”
“How perfectly lovely!” sighed Diana […]. “I don’t see how you can make up such thrilling things out of your own head, Anne. I wish my imagination was as good as yours.”
“It would be if you’d only cultivate it,” said Anne cheeringly. “I’ve just thought of a plan, Diana. Let you and I have a story club all our own and write stories for practice. I’ll help you along until you can do them by yourself. You ought to cultivate your imagination, you know. Miss Stacy says so. Only we must take the right way. I told her about the Haunted Wood, and but she said we went the wrong way about it in that.
Ruby Gillis and Jane Andrews join the club as well, writing a story a week (even if Anne has to give them ideas first). Ruby always writes romance, Jane is more “sensible” (because she feels silly reading romantic stories aloud), and Diana has a problem with writing so many murders, because she always solves story issues by just killing off characters.
Marilla says that she disapproves, naturally, but doesn’t put a stop to it,
Diana eventually writes about the story club to her Aunt Josephine, who responds by requesting samples of their work, and deems them most amusing.
“I’m glad Miss Barry liked them. It shows our club is doing some good in the world. Mrs. Allen says that ought to be our object in everything. I really do try make it my object but I forget so often when I’m having fun.”
Next time: Vanity and vexation of spirit…