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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Chap 21. “A New Departure in Flavourings.”

“Dear me, there is nothing but meetings in this world, as Mrs. Lynde says,” remarked Anne, putting plaintively, putting her slate and books down on the kitchen table on the last day of June and wiping her ^red eyes with a very damp handkerchief. “Wasn’t it fortunate, Marilla, that I took an extra handkerchief to school to-day. I had a presentiment that it would be needed.[“] “I never thought you were so fond of Mr. Phillips that you’d require two handkerchiefs to dry your tears just because he was going away,” said Marilla. “I don’t think I was crying because I was really so very fond of him,” reflected Anne. “I just cried because all the others did. It was Ruby Gillis started it. Ruby Gillis has always declared she hated Mr. Phillips but just as soon as he got up to make his farewell speech she burst into tears. Then all the girls began to cry, one after the other. I tried to hold out, Marilla. I tried to re-
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two months vacation before them, can they, Marilla? And besides we met the new minister and his wife coming from the station. For all I was feeling so bad about Mr. Phillips going away I couldn’t help taking a little interest in a new minster, His wife is could I? His wife is very pretty. Not exactly regally lovely, of course—it wouldn’t do, I suppose, for a minister to have a regally lovely wife, because it might set a bad example. She was dressed Mrs. Lynde says the minister’s wife over at Newbridge sets a very bad example because she dresses so fashionably. Our new ministers wife was dressed in blue muslin with lovely puffed sleeves. Jane and a hat trimmed with roses. Jane Andrews said she thought

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where sensations were few and far between.

Old Mr. Bentley, the minister whom Anne had found lacking in imagination, had been pastor of Avonlea for 18 years. He was a widower when he came and a widower he remained, despite the fact that gossip regularly married him to this, that, or the other one, every year of his sojourn. In the preceding February he had resigned his charge and departed amid the regrets of his people, most of whom had the affection born of long intercourse for their good old minister in spite of his short-comings as an orator. Since then the Avonlea church had enjoyed a variety of religious dissipation in listening to the many and various candidates

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she made special inquiries about him, and she says it would never do to have a young unmarried minister in Avonlea, because he might marry in the congregation and that would make trouble. I’m Mrs. Lynde is a very far-seeing woman, isn’t she, Matthew. I’m very glad they’ve called Mr. Allan. I liked him because his sermon was interesting and he prayed as if he meant it and not just as if he did it because he was in the habit of it. Mrs. Lynde says he isn’t perfect but she says she supposes we couldn’t expect a perfect minister for $750 a year and anyhow his theology is sound because she questioned him thoroughly on all the points of doctrine. And she knows his wife’s people and they are most respectable and all good the women are all good housekeepers. Mrs. Lynde says that sound doctrine in

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“I believe you,” was Marilla’s com- emphatic comment.

“Nobody else asked any except Ruby Gillis, who asked and she asked if there was to be a Sunday school picnic this summer. I didn’t think that was a very proper question to ask because it hadn’t any connection with the lesson but Mrs. Allan – the lesson was about Daniel in the lion’s den – but Mrs. Allan just smiled and said she thought there would be. Mrs. Allan has a lovely smile; she has such exquisite dimples in her cheeks. I wish I had dimples in my cheeks, Marilla. I’m not half so skinny as I was when I came here but I have no dimples yet. If I had perhaps I could influence people for good. Mrs. Allan said we ought always to try to influence other people for good. She talked so nice about everything. I never

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be away that day. He’s got so used to Mr. Bentley he didn’t mind him but he’s going to find it hard to get acquainted with a new minister and a new minister’s wife will frighten him to death.”

“I’ll be as secret as the dead,” said assured Anne. “But oh, Marilla, will you let me make a cake for the occasion”? I’d love to do something for Mrs.
“You can
Allan, and you know I can make a pretty good cake by this time.”

“You can make a layer cake,” said promised Marilla.

Monday and Tuesday great preparations went on at Green Gables. Having the minister and his wife to tea was a serious and important event undertaking and Marilla was determined not to be eclipsed by any of the Avonlea housekeepers. Anne was wild with excitement ^and delight. She talked it all over

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especially for ministers and pound cake and layer cake, and biscuits, and new as aforesaid; and new bread and old both, in case the minister is dyspeptic and can’t eat new. Mrs. Lynde says they ministers mostly are dyspeptic but I don’t think Mr. Allan has been a minister long enough for it to have had a bad effect on him. I just grow cold when I think of my layer cake. Oh, Diana, what if it shouldn’t be good? I dreamed last night that I was chased all round by a fearful goblin with a big layer cake for a head.”

“It’ll be good, all right,” assured Diana, I’m sure who was a very comfortable sort of friend. “I’m sure that piece of the one you made that we had for lunch in Idlewild two weeks ago was perfectly elegant[.]”

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Wednesday morning came. Anne got up at sunrise because she was too excited to sleep. She had caught a severe cold in the head by reason of her dabbling in the spring on the preceding evening; but nothing short of absolute pneumonia could have quenched her interest in culinary matters that morning. After breakfast she proceeded to make her cake. When she finally shut the oven door upon it she drew a long breath.

“I’m sure I haven’t forgotten anything this time, Marilla. But do you think it will rise? Just suppose the baking powder isn’t good? I used it out of the new can. Y12 Marilla,

“We’ll have plenty without it,” was Marilla’s unimpassioned way of looking at the subject.

The cake did rise, however, and came

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enough room for the dishes and the food.”

Anne laid herself out to decorate in a manner and after a fashion that should leave Mrs. Barry’s nowhere. Having abundance of roses and ferns and a very artistic taste of her own, she made that tea-table such a thing of beauty that when the minister and his wife sat down to it they exclaimed in chorus over its loveliness.

“It’s Anne’s doings,” said Marilla, grimly just; and Anne felt that Mrs. Allan’s approving smile was almost too much happiness for this world.

Matthew was there, having been

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“In that case I must sample it,” laughed Mrs. Allan, helping herself to a plump triangle, as did also the minister and Marilla.

Mrs. Allan took a mouthful of hers and a most peculiar expression crossed her face; not a word did she say however, but ate steadily away at it. Marilla saw the expression and hastened to taste the cake.

“Anne Shirley!” she exclaimed, “what on earth did you put into that cake?”

“Nothing but what the recipe said, Marilla,” said Anne, with a look of anguish. “Oh, isn’t it all right?”

“All right! It’s simply horrible. Mrs. Allan, don’t try to eat it. Anne, taste it yourself. What

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pity’s sake why couldn’t you have smelled it?”

Anne dissolved into tears at this double disgrace.

“I couldn’t—I had such a cold!” and with this she fairly fled to the gable chamber, where she cast herself on the bed and wept as one who refuses to be comforted.

Presently a light step sounded on the stairs and somebody entered the room.

“Oh, Marilla,” sobbed Anne, without looking up. “I’m disgraced forever. I shall never be able to live this down. It will get out—things always do get out in Avonlea ^C13 I shall always be pointed at as the girl who flavoured a cake with anodyne liniment. Gil—the boys in school will never get over laughing at

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“Oh, no, it takes me to make such a mistake,” said Anne forlornly. “And I wanted to have that cake so nice for you, Mrs. Allan.”

“Yes, I know, dear. And I assure you I appreciate your kindness ^and thoughtfulness just as much as if it had turned out all right. Now, you mustn’t cry any more, but come down with me and show me your flower garden. Miss Cuthbert tells me you have a little flower plot all your own. I want to see it, for I’m very much interested in flowers.”

Anne permitted herself to be led down and comforted, ^F13 Nothing more was said about the liniment cake and when the guests went away Anne found that she had enjoyed the evening

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