Verso Pages

These back-of-page seemingly random, out-of-order scrap pieces are drafts of Montgomery’s early short stories and poems. Some were already published when she drafted Anne in 1905 and 1906, and others were probably typed up and kept elsewhere. Some verso scrap sheets show early experiments: “A Baking of Gingersnaps” (1895) was her first published short story; she tests the pen names Maud Cavendish and Maud Eglinton. After Chapter 15, she started writing Anne front-to-back. Why did she switch from scrap pages to fresh sheets?

View an index of the verso contents here, or explore the full collection of Verso pages below:

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of them in the spring. Oh, Marilla, can’t you just imagine you see them? It actually takes away my breath. I named it Violet Vale. Diana says she never saw the beat of me for hitting on fancy names for places. It’s nice to be clever at something, isn’t it? But Diana named the Birch Path. She wanted to, so I let her; but I’m sure I could have found something more poetical than plain Birch Path. Anybody can think of a name like that. But the Birch Path is one of the prettiest places in the world, Marilla.”

It was. Other people besides Anne thought so when they stumbled on it. It was a little narrow, twisting path, winding down over a long hill


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eaves and wide in the windows, furnished inside with comfortable, substantial, old-fashioned desks that opened and shut ^L8 The schoolhouse was set back from the road and behind it was a brook dusky fir wood and a brook where all the children put their milk bottles of milk in the morning to keep cool and sweet until diin dinner hour.

Marilla had seen Anne start off to school with on the first day of September with many secret misgivings. Anne was such an queer odd girl. How would she get on with the other children? And how on earth would she ever manage to hold her tongue during school hours?

Things went better than Marilla feared, however. Anne came home that evening in high spirits.

“I think I’m going to like school here,”


Address:-                                                         At usual rates
Miss L.M. Montgomery

P.E. Island Can.

Wading in the Brook

L.M. Montgomery


Say, Jim, do you remember it, the meadow brook that flowed
Adown the little valley and below the old hill road?
And how we always hastened there when spring came out-at-noon,
Lured by the magic rhythm of the streamlets’ rippling croon?

What rare delight it was to wade adown its pebbly bed
Where glittering sunbeams o’er the sands their net of silver spread,



And help me fill these tarts. That’s all we have to cook, isn’t it?”

“Yes, unless Aunt Clem takes the notion to have something else made for those old frumps. If they eat half of what we’ve cooked for them, they’ll have dyspepsia for a year.”

“If Aunt Clem was to hear you,” said Bessie, with a half-frightened gigg giggle of sly delight as she went back to her tarts.

The kitchen, though small, was immaculately clean. The floor was spotless, the stove shining and the dishes in the small open cupboard were neatly arranged in polished rows. A long banner of sunshine fell in through the doorway and on the doorstep itself, shaded by a wide-boughed maple, sat a grave white cat. The open window was screened on the outside by hop-vines whose encroaching green tendrils


Address:-                                                                         At usual rates
Miss L.M. Montgomery

P.E. Island.


The Pot of Gold At the Rainbows End.

L.M. Montgomery

The sun shone out on the passing cloud
Through a crystal fringe of glittering rain,
And over its darkness a rainbow arched
The shimmering hues of its span again,
And afar in the dreamy distance dipped
It seemed to rest on a fair green hill,
We saw it there with our childish eyes
And our hearts with a wonderful hope athrill.

For we had been told and believed it true
That could we but follow that shining bend
To its meeting spot with earth we’d find
A pot of gold at the rainbow’s end.


Address: –                             1                                      At usual rates
Miss L.M. Montgomery

P.E. Island

A Baking of Gingersnaps
Maud Cavendish

“I believe this plum cake must be done – there’s nothing comes off on the straw anyhow. Bessie, come and see what you think.”

The speaker held the oven door partly open and a warm plummy odor steamed out and filled the kitchen. The girl, who was sitting on the edge of the table, filling a plate of thin, fluted tart shells with spoonfuls of a trembling red jelly, slipped down, and, coming over, peered in with a pretty expression of perplexity on her face.

“Well, I should say it was, Alma. You’d better take it out and then come


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Miss L.M. Montgomery

P.E. Island

On the Gulf Shore
Maud Eglinton

Lap softly on the curving shore,
Where sand peeps leave their footprints small,
Lap softly, purple waves where o’er
The gleaming sand the ripples fall.
Aloft the sky is blue; the clouds
Are soft and white above the sea,
The seagulls fly in snowy clouds,
The boats are floating lazily.

Then lap, lap softly, purple waves,
No tempests cross your crests today,
Your azure dimples are the graves
Where millions buried sunbeams play.


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Miss . L.M. Montgomery

P.E. Island

When the Apple Blossoms Blow.
Maud Cavendish

When the wheat on the hillsides is growing green,
And the violets bud on the brooks green rim,
Then the orchards hang out their sweet white screen,
In the time of blossoming.
The mornings break through a creamy mist,
The evenings die in a dreamful glow
The frogs sing down in the mere reed-kissed
When the apple blossoms blow.


the long yellow braid of Ruby Gillis, who sat in front of him, to the back of her seat. He was a tall boy with curly brown hair, roguish hazel eyes and a mouth twisted into a teasing smile. Presently Ruby Gillis started up to take a sum to the master; she fell back into her seat with a little shriek, believing that her hair was being pulled out by the roots. Everybody looked at her and Mr. Phillips glared so sternly that Ruby began to cry. Gilbert had whisked the pin out of sight and was studying his history with the soberest face in the world; but when the commotion subsided he looked at Anne and winked with inexpressible drollery.

“I think your Gilbert Blythe is handsome,” confided Anne to Diana, “but I think he’s very bold. It isn’t good manners to wink at a strange girl.[“]

But it was not until the afternoon


He Gilbert reached across the aisle, picked up the end of Anne’s long red braid, held it out at arms length and said in a piercing whisper:

“Carrots! Carrots!”

Then Anne looked at him with a vengeance. She sprang “ did more than look. She sprang to her feet, and flash her bright fancies fallen into cureless ruin. She flashed one indignant glance at Gilbert from eyes whose angry sparkle was swiftly quenched in tears. equally angry tears.

“You mean, hateful boy!” she exclaimed passionately. “How dare you!”

And then—Thwack! Anne had brought her slate down on Gilbert’s head and


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alike Diana’s sympathetic gaze and Charlie Sloane’s indignant nods and Josie Pye’s malicious smiles. As for Gilbert Blythe, she would not even look at him. She would never look at him again! She would never speak to him!! When school was dismissed Anne marched out with her red head held high. Gilbert Blythe tried to intercept her at the porch door.

“I’m awfully sorry I made fun of your hair, Anne,” he whispered contritely. “Honest I am. Don’t be mad for keeps now.”

Anne swept by disdainfully, without look or sign of hearing. “Oh, how could you, Anne?” breathed Diana as they went down the road, ^half reproachfully, half admiringly. Diana felt that she could never have


on Eben Wright’s house, where the master boarded. When they saw Mr. Phillips emerging therefrom they race for the schoolhouse; but the distance being about twice as long three times longer than Mr. Wright’s lane, they were very apt to arrive there, breathless + gasping, some three minutes too late.

On the following day Mr. Phillips was seized with one of his spasmodic fut fits of reform and announced before going home to dinner that he should expect to see all the scholars in their seats when he returned. Anyone who came in late would be punished.

All the boys and some of the girls went to Mr. Bell’s spruce grove as usual, fully intending to stay only long enough to “pick a chew.” But spruce groves are seductive and ^yellow nuts of gum beguiling; they picked and loitered


house among them just as Mr. Phillips was in the act of hanging up his hat.

Mr. Phillips’ brief reforming energy was over; he didn’t want the bother of punishing a dozen pupils; but it was necessary to do something to save his word, so he looked about for a scapegoat and found it in Anne, who had dropped into her seat, gasping for breath, with her forgotten “Anne Shirley, since lily wreath hanging askew over one ear and giving her a particularly disheveled rakish and diss disshevelled appearance.

“Anne Shirley, since you seem to be so fond of the boys’ company we shall indulge your taste for it this afternoon,” he said sarcastically. “Take those flowers out of your hair


It was bad enough to be singled out for punishment from among a dozen equally guilty ones; it was worse still to be sent to sit with a boy; but that that boy should be Gilbert Blythe was heaping insult on injury to a degree utterly unbearable. Anne felt that she could not bear it and it would be of no use to try. D8

At first the other scholars looked and g whispered and giggled ^and nudged. But as Anne never lifted her head they soon and as Gilbert worked fractions as if his whole soul was absorbed in them ^and them only, they soon returned to their own tasks and Anne was forgotten. When Mr. Phillips called



When school went out Anne marched to her desk, took ostentatiously took out everything therein, books and writing tablet, pen and ink, testament and arithmetic, and piled them neatly on her cracked slate.

“What are you taking all those things home for, Anne?” Diana wanted to know, as soon as they were out on the road. She had not dared to ask the question before.

“I am not coming back to school any more,” said Anne.

Diana gasped and looked at Anne to see if she meant it.

“Will Marilla let you stay home?” she

“She’ll have to,” said Anne. “I’ll never go to school to that man again.”

“Oh, Anne!” I do think Diana looked as if she were ready to cry. “I do think you’re mean. What shall I do?


so when she got home.

“Nonsense,” said Marilla.

“It isn’t nonsense at all,” said Anne, “Don’t yo gazing at Marilla with solemn reproachful eyes. “Don’t you understand, Mailla Marilla? I’ve been insulted.”

“Insulted fiddlesticks! You’ll go to school to-morrow as usual.”

Oh, no.” I’m not Anne shook her head gently. “I’m not going back, Marilla. I’ll learn my lessons at home and I’ll be as good as I can be and hold my tongue all the time if it’s possible at all. But I will not go back to school I assure you.”

Anne Marilla saw something remarkably like unyielding stubbornness looking out of Anne’s small face. She understood that


Mrs. Rachel nodded.

“About Anne’s fuss in school, I reckon,” she said. H8

“I don’t know what to do with her,” said Marilla. “She declares she won’t go back to school. I never saw a child so worked up. ^I8 What would you advise, Rachel?”

“Well, since you’ve asked my advice, Marilla,” said Mrs. Lynde amiably,. Mrs. Lynde dearly liked to be asked for advice—”I’d just humor her a little at first, that’s what I’d do. It’s my belief that Mr. Phillips was in the wrong. Of course, it doesn’t do to say so to the children, you know. And of course he did right to punish her yesterday for giving way to temper. But to-day it was different. The others who were late should have been punished as well as Anne, that’s what. J8


big scholars he’s getting ready for Queens. He’d never have got the school for another year if his uncle hadn’t been a trustee K8—I declare, I don’t know what education in this Island is coming to.”  L8

Marilla took Mrs. Rachel’s advice and not another word was said to Anne about going back to school. She learned her lessons at home, did her chores, and played with Diana in the chilly purple autumn twilights; but when she met Gilbert Blythe on the road or encountered him in Sunday School she passed him by with an icy contempt that was no whit thawed by his evident desire to appease her. Even Diana’s efforts as peacemaker were of no avail. Anne had evidently made up her mind to hate Gilbert Blythe forever to the end


361 hide her twitching face; but it was no use: she collapsed on the nearest chair and burst into such a hearty and unusual peal of laughter that Matthew, crossing the yard outside, halted in amazement. When had he heard Marilla laugh like that before?

“Well, Anne Shirley,” said Marilla, as soon as she could speak, “if you must borrow trouble, for pity’s sake, borrow it handier home. I should think you had an imagination, sure enough.”