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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Chapter 23 Anne comes to grief in an affair of Honour

Anne had to live through more than two weeks as it happened. Almost a month having elapsed since the linment liniment cake accident episode, it was high time for her to get into fresh trouble of some sort. T13 A week after the tea at the manse, Diana Barry gave a party.¶ “Small and she select,” Anne assured Marilla. “Just the girls in our class.” They had a very good time and nothing untoward happened until after tea; when they found themselves in the Barry garden, a little tired of all their games and ripe for any enticing form of mischief which might present itself. This presently took the form of “daring.” Daring was the fashionable amusement among in Avonlea among the Avonlea

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Josie’s triumph being rather more pronounced than good taste permitted, Anne Shirley dared her to walk along the top of the board fence which bounded the garden to the east. Now, to “walk” board fences requires more skill ^and steadiness of head and heel than one might suppose who has never tried it. Josie Pye, if deficient in some qualities that make for po popularity had at least a natural ^and inborn gift, duly cultivated, for walking board fences. Josie walked the Barry fence with an airy unconcern which seemed to imply that a little thing like that wasn’t worth a “dare.” Reluctant admiration greeted her exploit, for most of the other girls had suffered could appreciate it, having suffered many things themselves in their


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walked towards the house, where a ladder was leaning against the kitchen roof. V13

“Don’t you do it, Anne,” said entreated Diana. “You’ll fall off and be killed. Never mind Josie Pye. It isn’t fair to do a dare anybody to do anything so dangerous.”

“I must do it. My honour is at stake,” said Anne solemnly. “I shall walk that ridge-pole, Diana, or perish in the att attempt.” W13

Anne climbed the ladder amid breathless silence, gained the ridge-pole, balanced herself uprightly on that precarious footing and started to walk along it, dizzly dizzily conscious that she was uncomfortably high-up in the world and that walking ridge-poles was not a thing in which your imagination helped you out much. Nevertheless,


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the house ^Y13 they found Anne lying all white and limp among the wreck and ruin of the Virginia creeper.

“Anne, are you killed?” shrieked Diana, “Oh, Anne” throwing herself on her knees beside her friend. “Oh, Anne, dear Anne, speak just one word to me and tell me if you’re killed.”

To the immense relief of all the girls, Anne sat and especially of Josie Pye, who ^in spite of lack of imagination, had been seized with horrible visions of a future branded as the girl who was the cause of Anne Shirley’s early and tragic death, Anne sat dizzily up and answered uncertainly,


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his shoulder.

At that moment Marilla had a revelation. In the sudden stab of fear that pierced to her very heart she realized what Anne had come to mean to her. She would have admitted that she liked Anne— na nay, that she was very fond of Anne. But now she knew as she hurried wildly down the slop slope that Anne was dearer to her than anything on earth.

“Mr. Barry, what has happened ^to her?” she gasped, more white and shaken than the self-contained, sensible Marilla had been for many years. Anne herself answered, lifting her head.

“Don’t be frightened, Marilla. I was walking the ridge-pole and I fell off. I expect I have sprained my ankle. But, Marilla, I might have broken my neck. Let us look on the bright side of things.”

“I might have known you’d go and do something of the sort when I let


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“And that is just why you should be sorry for me,” said Anne, “because the thought that it is all my own fault is what makes it so hard. If I could blame it on anybody else I would feel so much better. But what would you have done, Marilla, if you had been dared to walk a ridge-pole?”

“I’d have stayed on good firm ground and let them dare away. Such absurdity!” said Marilla.

Anne sighed.

“But you have such strength of mind, Marilla. I haven’t. I just felt that I couldn’t bear Josie Pye’s scorn. ^A14 And I think I have been punished so much that you needn’t be very cross with me, Marilla. It’s not a bit nice to faint, after all. And the doctor hurt me dreadfully when he was setting my ankle. I won’t be able to go around


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tell her all the happenings in the juvenile world of Avonlea.

“Everybody has been so good and kind, Marilla,” said Anne happily, on the day when she could first limp across the floor. “It isn’t very pleasant to be laid up; but there is a bright side to it, Marilla. You find out how many friends you have. Why, even Superintendent Bell came to see me and he’s really a very fine man. ^D14 He told me all about the time he broke his ankle when he was a boy. It does seem so strange to think of Superintendent Bell ever being a boy. Even my imagination has its limits for I can’t imagine that. When I try to imagine him as a boy I see him with gray whiskers and spectacles, just as he looks in Sunday School, only small. Now, it’s so easy to imagine Mrs. Allan as a little girl. Mrs.


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bigger than anybody else’s in Avonlea. Every Friday other Friday afternoon she has recitations and everybody has to say a piece or take part in a dialogue. Oh, it’s just glorious to think of it. Josie Pye says she hates it but that is just because Josie has so little imagination. ^H14 And the Friday afternoons they don’t have recitations Miss Stacy takes them all to the woods for a “field” day and they study ferns and flowers and birds. And they have physical culture exercises morning and evening. Mrs. Lynde says she never heard of such goings-on and it all comes of having a lady teacher. But I think it must be splendid and I believe I shall find that Miss Stacy is a kindred spirit.”

“There’s one plain thing to be seen, Anne,” said Marilla, “and that is