There’s something so stylish about you, Anne.
A big round moon, slowly deepening from her pallid lustre into burnished silver, hung over the Haunted Wood; the air was full of sweet summer sounds – sleepy birds twittering, freakish breezes, far-away voices and laughter. But in Anne’s room the blind was drawn and the lamp lighted, for an important toilet was being made.
“Toilet” here means essentially “getting dressed up”, because Anne has been invited to recite at the White Sands Hotel. Diana is helping her get dressed for her big debut.
“Do you really think the organdy will be best?” queried Anne anxiously. “I don’t think it’s as pretty as my blue-flowered muslin – and it certainly isn’t so fashionable.”
“But it suits you ever so much better,” said Diana. “It’s so soft and frilly and clinging. The muslin is stiff, and makes you look too dressed up. But the organdy seems as if it grew on you.”
Anne sighed and yielded. Diana was beginning to have a reputation for notable taste in dressing, and her advice on such subjects was much sought after.
She accessorizes with a single white rose and a pearl necklace Matthew got her.
“You hold your head with such an air. I suppose it’s your figure. I am just a dumpling. I’ve always been afraid of it, and now I know it is so. Well, I suppose I shall just have to resign myself to it.”
“But you have such dimples,” said Anne, smiling affectionately into the pretty, vivacious face so near her own. “Lovely dimples, like little dents in cream. I have given up all hope of dimples. My dimple-dream will never come true; but so many of my dreams have that I mustn’t complain.”
It’s nice to see some love for the chubby best friend! But this appears to be their last big outing before Anne leaves for Queen’s, so it’s a tad bittersweet.
This concert is much more upscale than the ones Miss Stacy or the Debating Club ever got up, so Anne is understandably intimidated by the silks and lace and diamonds sported by the wealthy ladies around her onstage, and it doesn’t help her nerves. And if that wasn’t bad enough, they prevailed upon a professional elocutionist to recite, just before poor Anne. Needless to say, she suffers an attack of stage fright.
But suddenly, as her dilated, frightened eyes gazed out over the audience, she saw Gilbert Blythe away at the back of the room, bending forward with a smile on his face – a smile which seemed to Anne at once triumphant and taunting. In reality it was nothing of the kind. Gilbert was merely smiling with appreciation of the whole affair in general and the effect produced by Anne’s slender white form and spiritual face against the palms in particular. […] She drew a long breath and flung her head up proudly, courage and determination tingling over her like an electric shock. She would not fail before Gilbert Blythe – he should never be able to laugh at her, never, never!
Ever the reliable rival!
She proceeds to enthrall the whole crowd, and they subsequently call for an encore, and the whole evening goes wonderfully from there.
“Did you see all those diamonds those ladies wore?” sighed Jane. “They were simply dazzling. Wouldn’t you just love to be rich, girls?”
“We are rich,” said Anne staunchly. Why, we have sixteen years to our credit, and we’re happy as queens, and we’ve all got imaginations, more or less. Look at that sea, girls – all silver shadow and vision of things not seen. We couldn’t enjoy its loveliness any more if we had millions of dollars and ropes of diamonds. You wouldn’t change into any of those women if you could. […] You know you wouldn’t, Jane Andrews!”
“I don’t know – exactly,” said Jane unconvinced. “I think diamonds would comfort a person a good deal.”
“Well, I don’t want to be anyone but myself, even if I go uncomforted by diamonds all my life,” declared Anne. “I’m quite content to be Anne of Green Gables, with my string of pearl beads. I know Matthew gave me as much love with them as ever went with Madame the Pink Lady’s jewels.”
Until next time…