Warning: If you have a visual impairment, use the manuscript transcript version including the Lucy Maud Montgomery’s foot notes and contextual annotation references.

Chapter 6


“She certainly did, Miss Cuthbert,” corroborated Flora Jane earnestly.

“I’m dreadfully sorry,” said Mrs. Spencer. “It is too bad; but it certainly wasn’t my fault, you see, Miss Cuthbert. I did the best I could and I thought I was following your instructions. Nancy is a terrible flighty thing. I’ve often had to scold her well for her heedlessness.”

“It was our own fault,” said Marilla, We resignedly. “We should have come to you ourselves and not left an important message to be passed along by word of mouth in that fashion. Anyhow, the mistake has been made and the only thing to do now is to set it right. Can we send the child back to the asylum? I suppose they’ll take her back, won’t they?”


"Miss Cuthbert": The formality of address here was customary for the times. Marilla is "Miss Cuthbert" not only to community members but to all children and adults, except for those few adults who have known her all their lives. The fact that "Rachel" is "Rachel" to Marilla is a clear shorthand to the reader that they are long-time friends.

Interestingly, in the first episodes of Anne with an E, the popular CBC series, Mrs. Barry is addressed by Marilla as "Mrs. Barry," but Mrs. Barry addresses Marilla familiarly as "Marilla," as though Marilla and Matthew are not of the same social standing as the Barrys. The class system in Avonlea of the novel is more subtle than that.