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:

405 479

Chapter 27. WVanity and Vexation of Spirit

Marilla, walking home one late April evening from an aid meeting, realized that the winter was over and gone with a the thrill of delight, that spring never fails to bring to the oldest and sades saddest as well as to the youngest and merriest. Marilla was not given to subjective analysis of her thoughts and feelings. She probably imagined that she was thinking about the Aids and their missionary box and the new carpet for the vestry room but under these reflections was a ^harmonious consciousness of red fields smoking into pale-purply mists in the declining sun, of long ^sharp-pointed fir shadows falling over the meadow beyond the brook, ^Note U15 of a wakening in the world and a stir of hidden pulses under the

407 481

her kitchen and found the fire black out, with no sign of Anne anywhere, she felt ^justly disappointed and irritated. She had told Anne to be sure and have tea ready at five o’clock, but now she must hurry to take off her ^second-best dress and prepare the meal herself against Matthew’s return from ploughing.

“I’ll settle Miss Anne when she comes home,” said Marilla grimly, ^V15 Matthew had come in and was waiting patiently for his tea in a corner. “She’s gadding off somewhere with Diana, and never writing stories or practicing dialogues or some such tomfoolery, and never thinking once about the time or her duties. She’s just got to be pulled up short and sudden on this sort


409 483

Lynde, just the same who’d pick faults in the Angel Gabriel himself if he lived in Avonlea. Just the same, Anne has no business to leave the house like this when I told her she was to stay home this afternoon and look after things. I must say with all her faults I never found her disobedient or untrustworthy before and I’m real sorry to find her so now.”

“Well, now, I dunno,” said Matthew, W15 “Perhaps you’re judging her too hasty, Marilla. Don’t call her untrustworthy until you’re sure she has disobeyed you. Mebbe it can all be explained—Anne’s a great hand at explaining.”

“She’s not here when I told her to stay,” retorted Mailla Marilla. “I


411 485

“Are you sick then?” demanded Marilla anxiously, going over to the bed.

Anne cowered deeper into her pillows as if desirous of hiding herself forever from mortal eyes.

“No. But please, Marilla, go away and don’t look at me. I’m in the depths of despair and I don’t care who gets head in class or writes the best composition anymore or sings in the Sunday-school choir any more. Little Little things like that are of no importance now because I don’t suppose I’ll ever be able to go anywhere again. My career is closed. Please, Marilla, go away and don’t look at me.”

“Did anyone ever hear the like?” said the mystified Marlla Marilla wanted to know. “Anne Shirley, whatever is the


413 487

“Yes, it’s green,” moaned Anne. “I thought nothing could be as bad as red hair. But now I know it’s ten times worse to have green hair. Oh, Marilla, I am so you little know how utterly wretched I am!”

“I little know how you got into this fix but I mean to find out,” said Marilla. “Come right down to the kitchen and –it’s too cold up here—and tell me just what you’ve done.
Now then, what did you do to your hair?”

“I dyed it.”

“Dyed it! ^Dyed your hair! Anne Shirley, didn’t you know it was a wicked thing to do?”

“Yes, I knew it was ^a little wicked,” admitted Anne. “But I thought it was worth while to be a little wicked to get rid of red hair. I counted the cost, Marilla.


415 489

proof now—green hair is proof enough for anybody. But I hadn’t then and I believed every word he said, implicitly.

“Who said? Who are you talking about?”

“The pedlar that was here this afternoon. I bought the dye from him.”

“Anne Shirley, how often have I told you never to let one of those Italians in the house. I don’t believe in encouraging them to come around at all.”

“Oh, I didn’t let him in the house. I remembered what you told me and I went out, ^carefully shut the door, and looked at his things on the step. ^Y15 He had a big box of very interesting things and he told me he was working hard to make enough money to bring his wife and children out from Germany. He spoke


417 491

directions said. I used up the whole bottle and oh, Marilla, when I saw the dreadful colour it turned my hair I repented of being wicked I can tell you. And I’ve been repenting ever since.”

“Well, I hope you’ll repent to good purpose,” said Marilla severely, “and that you’ve got your eyes opened to where your vanity has led you, Anne. Goodness knows what’s to be done. I suppose the first thing is to give your hair a good washing and see if that will do any good.”

Accordingly, Anne washed her hair, but for all scrubbing it vigorously with soap and water, but for all the difference it made she might as well have been scouring


419 493

“It’s no use, Anne. That is fast dye if ever there was any. Your hair must be cut off; there is no other way. You can’t go out with it looking like that.”

Anne’s lips tu quivered but she realized the ^bitter truth of Marilla’s remarks. With a doleful dismal sigh she went for the scissors.

“Please cut if off at once, Marilla, and have it over. Oh, I feel that my heart is broken. This is such an unr unromantic affliction. I’m going The girls in books lose their hair in fevers or sell it to get money for some good dead deed, But there and I’m sure I wouldn’t mind losing my hair in some such fashion. But there half so much. But


421 495


“Yes, I will, too. I’ll do penance for being wicked that way. I’ll look at myself every time I come to my room and see how ugly I am. B16 I never thought I was vain about my hair, of all things, but now I know I was, in spite of its its being red, because it was so long and thick and curly. I expect something will happen to my nose next.”

Anne’s clipped head made a sensation in school on the following Monday, but to her relief nobody guessed the real reason for it, not even Josie Pye, who, however, did not fail to inform Anne that she looked like a perfect scarecrow.

“I didn’t say anything when Josie said that to me,” Anne confided that evening to Marilla, who was lying on the sofa after one of her headaches,


423 497

terrible bad this afternoon though. These headaches of mine are getting worse and worse. I’ll have to see a doctor about them. As for your chatter, I don’t know that I mind it—I’ve got so used to it.”

Which was Marilla’s way of saying that she liked to hear it.