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:

323 to me from her window. We have arranged a way to signal with our candles and cardboard. We set the candle on the window sill and make flashes by passing the cardboard back and forth. So many flashes mean a certain thing. It was my idea, Marilla.” “I’ll warrant you it was,” said Marilla emphatically. “And the next thing you’ll be setting fire to the curtains with your signaling nonsense.” “Oh, we’re very careful, Marilla. And it’s so interesting. Two flashes mean, ‘Are you there”? Three mean ‘yes’ and four ‘no”. Five mean ‘come over as soon as possible because I have something important to reveal.’ Diana has just signaled five flashes and I’m really suffering to know what

her she could ask me to go home with her from school and stay all night with her. And her cousins are coming over from Newbridge in a big pung sleigh to go to the Debating Club concert at the hall tomorrow night. And they are going to take Diana and me to the concert—if you’ll let me go, that is. You will, won’t you, Marilla? Oh, I feel so excited.”

“You can calm down then because you’re not going. You’re better at home in your own bed, and as for that club concert it’s all nonsense, and little girls should not be allowed to go out to such places at all.”


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Matthew, you or me?”

“Well now, you,” admitted Marilla Matthew.

“Don’t interfere then.”

“Well now, I ain’t interfering. It ain’t interfering to have your own opinion. And my opinion is that you ought to let Anne go.”

“You’d think I ought to let Anne go to the moon if she took the notion, I’ve no doubt,” was Marilla’s amiable rejoinder. “I might have let her spend the night with Diana if that was all. But I don’t approve of this concert plan. She’d go there and catch cold as like as not and have her head filled up with nonsense and excitement. A11

“I think you ought to let Anne go,” re-


“Oh, Marilla, Marilla, say those blessed words again.”

“I guess once is enough to say them. This is Matthew’s doings and I wash my hands of it. B11 Anne Shirley, you’re dripping greasy water all over the floor. I never saw such a careless child.”

“Oh, I know I’m a great trial to you, Marilla,” said Anne repentantly. “I make so many mistakes.^C11 I’ll get some sand and scrub up the spots before I go to school. D11

Anne was too excited to do herself justice as to lessons that morning in school. Gilbert Blythe spelled her down in class and left her clear out of sight in mental arithmetic.


for weeks, and all the older scholars were especially interested in it by reason of older brothers and sisters who were going to take part. Everybody in school over nine years of age expected to go. E11

For Anne the real excitement began with the dismissal of school and increased therefrom in crescendo until it reached to a crash of positive ecstasy in the concert itself. They had a “perfectly elegant” tea; and then came the delicious occupation of dressing in Diana’s little room upstairs. Diana did Anne’s front hair in the new pompadour style and Anne tied Diana’s bows with the especial knack she possessed. ^F11 At last they were ready, cheeks scarlet and eyes glowing with excitement.


to rim in the splendor like a ^huge bowl brimmed with wine and far fire. G11

“Oh, Diana,” breathed Anne, “isn’t it squeezing Diana’s mittened hand und under the fur robe, “isn’t it all like a beautiful dream? Do I really look the same as usual? I feel so different that it seems to me it must show in my looks.”
“You look awfully nice,” said Diana who, having just received a compliment from one of her cousins felt that she ought to pass it on. “You’ve got the loveliest colour.”

The programme that night was a series of “thrills” for at least one listener in the audience and, as Anne assured Diana, every suc succeeding thrill was thrillier


3236 336
with her than with amusement at a selection that was rather threadbare even in Avonlea ^H11 ¶ Only one number on the programme failed to interest her. When Gilbert Blythe recited “Bingen on the Rhine,” Anne picked up Rhoda Murray’s library book and read it until he had finished, when she sat rigidly stiff and motionless while Diana clapped her hands until they tingled.

It was eleven when they got home, sated with dissipation, but with the exceeding sweet pleasure of talking it all over still to come. Everybody seemed asleep and the house was dark and silent. Anne and Diana tiptoed into the parlour, a long,


338 accents,

“Merciful goodness!”

Anne and Diana were never able to tell just how they got off that bed and out of the room. They only knew that after one frantic rush they found themselves tiptoeing up shiveringly upstairs.

“Oh, who was it—what was it?” whispered Anne, her teeth chattering with fright cold and fright.

“It was Aunt Josephine,” said Diana, gasping with laughter. “Oh, Anne, it was Aunt Josephine, however she came to be there. Oh, and I know she will be furious. It’s dreadful but —it’s really dreadful—but did you ever know anything so funny, Anne?”

“Who is your Aunt Josephine?”


tired I fell asleep. I hope you didn’t disturb your aunt, Diana.”

Diana preserved a discreet silence, Anne J11 Anne hurried home after breakfast and so remained in blissful ignorance of the dester disturbance which presently resulted in the Barry household until the late afternoon, when she went down to Mrs. Lynde’s on an errand for Marilla.

“So you and Diana nearly frightened poor old Miss Barry to death last night?” said Mrs. Lynde severely, but with a twinkle in her eye. “Mrs. Barry was here a few minutes ago on her way to Carmody. She’s feeling real worried over it. Old Miss Barry was in a terrible temper when she got up this


lively time of it there this morning. The Barrys must feel cut up. Old Miss Barry is rich and they’d like to keep on the good side of her. Of course, Mrs. Barry didn’t say just that to me, but I’m a pretty good judge of human nature, that’s what.”

“I’m such an unlucky girl,” mourned Anne. “I’m always getting into scrapes myself and getting my best friends into into them too —people I’d shed my heart’s blood for—into them, too. Can you tell me why it is so, Mrs. Lynde?”

“It’s because you’re too heedless and impulsive, child, that’s what. You never stop to think—whatever comes into your head to say or do you say or do it without a moment’s reflection.”

“Oh, but that’s the best of it,” protested Anne. “Something just flashes


she scolded. She said I was the worst-behaved girl she ever saw ^O11 She says she won’t stay and I’m sure I don’t care. But father and mother do.

“Why didn’t you tell them it was my fault?” demanded Anne.

“It’s likely I’d do such a thing, isn’t it?” said Diana, “I’m no with just scorn. “I’m no tell-tale, Anne Shirley, and anyhow I was just as much to blame as you.”

“Well, I’m going in to tell her myself,” said Anne resolutely.

Diana stared. “Anne Shirley, you’d never! Why—she’ll eat you alive!”

“Don’t frighten me any more than I am frightened,” implored Anne. “I’d rather walk up to a cannon’s mouth. But I’ve got to do it, Diana. It was my fault and I’ve got to confess.” P11


“Confess what?”

“That it was all my fault about jumping into bed on you last night. I suggested it. Diana would never have thought of such a thing I am sure.^S11 So you must see how unjust it is to blame her.”

“Oh, I must, hey? I rather think Diana did her share in the jumping at least. Such carryings on in a respectable house!”

“But we were only in fun,” persisted Anne. “I think you ought to forgive us, Miss Barry, now that we’ve apologized. And, anyhow, please forgive Diana and let her have her music lessons. Diana’s heart is set on her music lessons, Miss Barry, and I know too well what it is to set your heart on a thing and not get it. If you must be cross with anyone, be cross with me. I’ve been so used in


promised. I suppose you are used to sleeping in spare rooms. But just imagine what you would feel like if you were a little orphan girl who had never had such an honour.”

All the snap had gone by this time. Miss Barry actually laughed—a sound which caused Diana, waiting in speechless
“I’m afraid my imagination is a little
anxiety in the kitchen outside, to give a great
rusty—it’s so long since I used it,”
gasp of relief.

she said. “I daresay your claim to sympathy is just as strong as mine. Sit It all depends on the way we look at it. Sit down here and tell me about yourself.”

“I am very sorry I can’t,” said Anne firmly. “I would like to but it, because you seem like an interesting lady and you might even be a kindred spirit, But it although you