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:
brought from the office that morning. It contained an account of the failure of the Abbey Bank.
The news spread quickly through Avonlea and all day friends and neighbors thronged Green Gables and came and went on errands of kindness for the dead and living. For the first time shy quiet Matthew Cuthbert was a person of central importance; the white majesty of death had fallen on him and set him apart, as one crowned.
When the calm night came softly down over Green Gables the old house was hushed and tranquil. In the parlor lay Matthew Cuthbert in his coffin, his long gray hair framing his placid face on which there was a little
I want to be quite
quiet silent and quiet and try to realize it. I can’t realize it. Half the time it seems to me that Matthew can’t be dead; and the other half it seems as if he had must have been dead for a long time and I’ve had this horrible ^dull ache ever since.”
Diana did not quite understand. Marilla’s impassioned grief, breaking all the bounds of natural reserve and lifelong habit ^in its stormy rush rush, she could comprehend better than Anne’s tearless agony. But she went away kindly, leaving Anne alone to keep her first vigil with sorrow.
Anne hoped that tears would come in solitude. It seemed to her a terrible thing that she could not shed a tear for Matthew, whom
evening – she could hear his voice saying, “My girl – my girl that I’m proud of.” Then the tears came and Anne wept her heart out. Marilla heard her and crept in to comfort her.
“There, there, don’t cry so, dearie. It can’t bring him back. It—it—isn’t right to cry so. I knew that to-day but I couldn’t help it then. He’d always been such a good, kind brother to me—but God knows best.”
“Oh, just let me cry, Marilla,” implored sobbed Anne. “The tears don’t hurt me like that ache did. Stay here for a little while with me and keep your arms round me—so. ^G19 Oh, Marilla, what will we do without him?”
“We’ve got each other, Anne. I don’t know what I’d do if you weren’t
Green Gables affairs slipped into their old groove and work was done and duties fulfilled with regularity as before, although always with the aching sense of “loss in all familiar things.” Anne, new to grief, thought it almost sad that it could be so—that they could go on in the old way without Matthew. She felt something like shame when she and remorse when she discovered that the sunrises ^behind the firs and the pale pink buds opening in the garden gave her the old ^inrush of gladness when she saw them—that Diana’s visits were pleasant to her and that Diana’s merry words and ways moved her to laughter and smiles—that, in brief, the beautiful world of
to hear you laugh, ” said and he liked to know you found pleasure in the pleasant things around you,” said Mrs. Allan ^gently[.] “He is just away now; and he likes to know it just the same. I am sure we should not shut our hearts against the healing influences that nature offers us.”
“I was down to the graveyard to plant a rose-bush on Matthew’s grave this afternoon,” said Anne dreamily. “I took a slip of the little white Scotch rose-bush his mother brought out from Scotland long ago; Matthew always liked those roses the best—they were so small and sweet on their st thorny stems. It made me feel glad that I could plant
put them in her hair. She liked the delicious hint of fragrance, ab ^as of some aerial benediction, above her every time she moved.
“Dr. Spencer was here while you were away,” Marilla said. “He says that the specialist will be in town tomorrow and he insists that I must go in and have my eyes examined. I suppose I’d better go and have it over. I’ll be more than thankful if the man can give me the right kind of glasses to suit my eyes. You won’t mind staying here alone while I’m away, will you? Martin will have to drive me in and there’s ironing and baking to do.”
“I shall be all right. Diana will come over for company for me. I shall attend to the ironing and baking beautifully—you needn’t fear that I’ll starch the handkerchiefs
gone; and people are nice enough to tell me my hair is auburn now—all but Josie Pye. She informed me yesterday that she really thought it was redder than ever, and she or at least my black dress made it look redder, and she asked me if people who had red hair ever got used to having it.
“ Note J19
“Josie is a Pye,” said Marilla sharply, “so she can’t help being disagreeable. I suppose people of that kind serve some useful purpose in society but I must say I don’t know what it is any more than I know the use of thistles. Is Josie going to teach?”
“No, she is going back to Queen’s next year. So are Moody Spurgeon
happened?—why didn’t you—”
“We had a quarrel. I wouldn’t forgive him when he asked me to. I meant to, after awhile—but I was sulky and angry and I wanted to punish him first. He never came back—the Blythes were all mighty independent. But I always felt—rather sorry. I’ve always kind of wished I’d forgiven him when I had the chance.”
“So you’ve had a bit of romance in your life, too,” said Anne softly.
“Yes, I suppose you might call it that. You wouldn’t think so, to look at me, would you? ^K19 Everybody has forgot about me and John. I’d forgotten myself.
“ But it all came back to me when I saw Gilbert last Sunday.”