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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little girls he had seen around her that evening—all gay in waists of red and blue and pink and white—and he wondered why Marilla always kept her so plainly and soberly dressed. gowned.
Of course, it must be all right. Marilla knew best and Marilla was bringing her up. Likely Probably some wise, inscrutal inscrutable motive was to be served thereby. But surely it would do no harm to let the child have one pretty dress—something like Diana Barry always wore. Matthew decided that he would give her one ^T14 Christmas was only a fortnight off. A nice new dress would be the very thing for a present. Math Matthew, with a sigh of satisfaction, put away his pipe and went to bed, while Marilla opened all the doors and aired the house.
The very next evening, Matthew
requiring explanation and consultation, Matthew felt that he must be sure of a man behind the counter. So he would go to Lawson’s, where Samuel ^or his son would wait on him.
Alas! Matthew did not know that Samuel, in the recent expansion of his business, had set up a lady clerk also; she was a niece of his wife’s and a very dashing young person indeed. ^V14 She was dressed with exceeding smartness and wore several bangle bracelets that glittered and rattled and tinkled with every movement of her hands. Matthew was covered with confusion at finding her there at all; and those bangles completely wrecked his wits at one fell swoop.
“What can I do for you this evening, Mr. Cuthbert?” Miss Lucilla Harris
Miss Harris had heard Matthew Cuthbert called odd. She now concluded he was entirely crazy.
“We only keep hayseed in the spring,” she explained loftily. “We’ve none on hand just now.”
“Oh, certainly—certainly—just as you say,” stammered unhappy Matthew, seizing the rake and making for the door. At the threshold he recollected that he had not paid for it and he turned miserably back. While Miss Harris was counting out his change he rallied his powers for a final desperate attempt.
“Well, now, if it isn’t too much trouble—I might as well—that is—I’d like to look at—at—some sugar.”
“White or brown?” queried Miss Harris, patiently.
“Oh,—well now,—brown,” said Matthew feebly.
good sugar either—it’s course and dark—William Blair doesn’t generally keep sugar like that.”
“I—I thought it might come in handy sometime,” said Matthew, making good his escape.
When Matthew came to think the matter over he decided that a woman was required to cope with the situation. Marilla was out of the question. ^W14 Remained only Mrs. Lynde; for of no other woman in Avonlea would Matthew have dared to ask advice. To Mrs. Lynde he went accordingly, and that good lady promptly took the matter out of the harassed man’s hands.
“Pick out a dress for you to give Anne? To be sure I will. I’m going to Carmody to-morrow and I’ll attend to it. Have you anything particular in mind?
Marilla knew all the following fortnight that Matthew had something on his mind, but what it was she could not guess, until Chrst Christmas Eve, when Mrs. Lynde brought up the new dress. Marilla behaved pretty well on the whole, although it is very + lik likely she distrusted Mrs. Lynde’s ^diplomatic explanation that she had made the dress because Matthew was afraid Anne would find out about it too soon if Marilla made it.
“So this is what Matthew has been looking so mysterious over and grinning about to himself for two weeks, is it?” she said ^a little stiffly but tolerantly. “I knew he was up to some foolishness[.] Well, I must say I don’t think Anne needed any more dresses. I made her three good, warm, serviceable ones this fall and anything more is sheer extravagance. ^Z14 You’ll just pamper Anne’s
lovely Christmas? I’m so glad it’s white. Any other kind of Christmas doesn’t seem real, does it? ^C15 Why—why—Matthew, is that for me? Oh, Matthew!”
Matthew had sheepishly unfolded the dress from its paper swathing and held it out with a ^deprecatory glance at Marilla, who feigned to be contemptuously filling the teapot, but nevertheless watched the scene out of the corner of her eye with a rather interested air.
Anne took the dress and looked at [it] in ^reverent silence. Oh, how pretty it was—a lovely soft brown gloria with all the gloss of silk; a skirt with dainty frills and shirrings; a waist elaborately pin-tucked in the most fashionable way, with a little ruffle of filmy lace at the neck. But the sleeves—they were the crowning glory! Long elbow cuffs and above them two beautiful puffs
match the dress. Come now, st sit in.”
“I don’t see how I’m going to eat breakfast,” said Anne rapturously. “E15 I’d rather feast my eyes on that dress. I’m so glad puffed sleeves are still fashionable. It did seem to me that I’d never get over it if they went out before I had a dress with them. ^I’d never have felt quite satisfied, you see. It was lovely of Mrs. Lynde to give me the ribbon, too. I feel that I ought to be a very good girl indeed. It’s at times like this I’m sorry I’m not a model little girl; and I always resolve that I will be in future. But somehow it’s hard to carry out keep carry out your resolutions when irresistible temptations come. Still, I really will make an extra effort after this.”
When the commonplace breakfast
on it; and then, a pair of the daintiest little kid slippers, with beaded toes and satin bows and glistening buckles.
“Oh!” said Anne, “Diana, this is too much. I must be dreaming.”
“I call it providential,” said Diana. “You won’t have to borrow Ruby’s slippers now and that’s a blessing, for they’re two sizes too big for you.” G15
All the Avonlea scholars were in a fever of excitement that day, for the hall had to be decorated and a last ^grand rehearsal held.
The concert came off in the evening and was a pronounced success. The little hall was crowded; all the performers did excellently well, but Anne was the bright particular star of the occasion as even envy, in the shape of Josie Pye, dared not deny.
“Oh, hasn’t it been a wonderful brilliant evening?”
Mr. Allan called out my name. I really cannot tell how I ever got up on that platform. I felt as if a million eyes were looking at me and for one dreadful moment I was sure I couldn’t begin at all. Then I thought of my lovely puffed sleeves and took courage. H15 So I started in, and my voice seemed to be coming from ever so far away. I just felt like a parrot. It’s providential that I practiced those recitations so often up in the garret, or I’d never have been able to get through. Did I groan all right?”
“Yes. Indeed, you groaned lovely,” assured Diana.
“I saw Mrs Old Mrs. Sloane wiping away tears when I sat down. It was splendid to think I had touched
thought on him, Diana.”
That night Marilla and Matthew ^I15 sat for awhite awhile by the kitchen fire after Anne had gone to bed.
“Well, now, I guess our Anne did as well as anyone any of them,” said Matthew proudly.
“Yes, she did,” admitted Marilla. “She’s a bright child, Matthew. I’ve been kine kind of opposed to this concert scheme but I suppose there’s no real harm in it after all. Anyhow, I was proud of Anne to-night; although I’m not going to tell her so.”
“Well, now, I was proud of her and I did tell her so ‘fore she went upstairs,” said Matthew. “We must see what we can do for her some of these days, Marilla. I guess she’ll need something more than Avonlea school by and by.”