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:
His neighbors laughed at him, and said that the fruit of an orchard so far away from the house would all be stolen. But as yet there was no fruit, and when the time came for bearing there would be enough and to spare.
“Blossom and we’ll get all we want, and the boys can have the rest, if they want ’em worse’n they want a good conscience,” said that unworldly, unbusiness-like Old Man Shaw.
On his way back home from his darling orchard he found a rare fern in the woods and dug
had wanted to take the child, but Old Man Shaw grew almost fierce over the suggestion. He would give his baby to no one. A woman was hired to lo look after the house, but it was the father who cared for the baby in the main. He was as tender and faithful and deft as a woman. Sara never missed a mother’s care, and she grew up into a creature of life and light and beauty, a constant delight to all who knew her. She had a way of embroidering life with stars. She posse was dowered with all the charming characteristics
of both parents, with a resilient vitality and activity which had pertained to neither of them. When she was ten years old she had packed all hirelings off, and kept house for her father for six delightful years—years in which they were father and daughter, brother and sister, and “chums.” Sara never went to school, but her father saw to her education after a fashion of his own. When their work was done they lived in the woods and fields, in the little garden they had made on the sheltered side of the house, or on the slope, where sunshine and
mind—”This is the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.”
Felix lowered the violin and dropped wearily on a chair by the bed. The inspired light faded from his face; once more he was only a tired boy. But
Mr. Leon Stephen Leonard was on his knees, sobbing like a child; and Naomi Clark was lying still, with her hands clasped over her breast.
“I understand now,” she said very softly. “I couldn’t see it before—and now it’s so plain. I just feel it. God is a God of love. He can forgive anybody—even me—even me. He knows all about it. I ain’t skeered anymore. He just loves me and forgives me as I’d have loved and
when her “schooling” was done. It was only on having this most clearly understood that Sara would consent to go at all. Her last words, called back to her father out though her tears as she and her aunt drove down the lane, were,
“I’ll be back, daddy. In three years I’ll be back. Don’t cry, but just look forward to that.”
He had looked forward to it through the three long, lonely years that followed, in all of which he never saw his darling. Half a continent was between them and Mrs. Adair had vetoed
she was not to be hurt by changes. It never occurred to him that she might be changed herself.
And now those three interminable years were gone, and Sara was coming home. She wrote him nothing of her aunt’s pleadings and reproaches and ready, futile tears; she wrote only that she would graduate in June and start for home a week later. Thenceforth Old Man Shaw went about in a state of beatitude, making ready for her homecoming. As he sat on the bench in the sunshine, with the blue
house where she was born would seem a poor abode after the splendours of her aunt’s home. Old Man Shaw walked through his little garden and looked at everything with new eyes. How poor and simple everything was! How sagging and weather-beaten the old house! He went in, and up-stairs to Sara’s room. It was neat and clean, just as she had left it ye three years ago. But it was small and dark; the ceiling was discoloured th discoloured, the furniture old-fashioned and shabby.; she would think it a poor, mean place. Even the
girl, and had not been of enough account to keep her.
“Oh, Blossom, Blossom!” he said. And when he spoke her name it sounded as if he spoke the name of one dead.
But aAfter a little the worst sting passed away. He refused to believe long that Blossom would be ashamed of him; he knew she would not. Three years could not so alter her loyal nature—no, nor ten times three years. But she would be changed—she would have grown away from him in those three busy, brilliant years. His companionship could no longer satisfy her. How simple and childish he
was warm in the sunshine. Old Man Shaw sat down with a long sigh, and dropped his white head wearily on his breast. He had decided what he must do. He would tell Blossom that she might go back to her aunt and never mind about him—he would do very well by himself and he did not blame her in the least.
He was still sitting broodingly there when a girl came up the lane. She was tall and straight, and walked with a kind of uplift in her motion, as if it would be rather easier to fly than not. She was dark,
his neck, and a pair of warm red lips were on his; girlish eyes, full of love, were looking up into his, and a never-forgotten voice, tingling with laughter and tears blended into one delicious chord, was crying,
“Oh, daddy, is it really you? Oh, I can’t tell you how good it is to see you again!”
Old Man Shaw held her tightly in a silence of amazement and joy too deep for wonder. Why, this was his Blossom—the very Blossom who had gone away three days years ago! A little taller, a little more womanly,
but his own dear Blossom, and no stranger. There was a new heaven and a new earth for him in the realization. “Oh, Baby Blossom!
“Oh, Baby Blossom!” he murmured, “Little Baby Blossom!”
Sara rubber her cheek against the faded coat sleeve.
“Daddy darling, this moment makes up for everything, doesn’t it?”
“But – but – where did you come from?” he asked, his senses beginning to struggle out of their bewilderment and of surprise. “I didn’t expect you till tomorrow.
You didn’t have to walk from the station, did you? And your old daddy not there to welcome you!”
Sara laughed, swung herself back by the tips of his fingers and danced around him in the childish fashion of long ago.
“I found I could make an earlier connection with the C.P.R. yesterday and get to the Island last night. I was in such a fever to get home that I jumped at the chance. Of course I walked from the station—it’s only two miles and every step was a benediction. My trunks are over there. We’ll go after them to-morrow,
“I haven’t anything new, I’m afraid,” said Old Man Shaw, rather ruefully.
Sara clapped her hands.
“Oh, I’m so glad. Come—there are four hours yet before sunset, and I want to cram into them all I’ve missed out of these three years. Let us begin right here with the garden. Oh, daddy, by what witchcraft have you coaxed the sulky rosebush into bloom?”
“No witchcraft at all—it just bloomed because you were coming home, baby,” said her father.
They had a glorious afternoon of it, those two children. They explored
the garden and then the house. Sara danced through every room, and then up to her own, holding fast to her father’s hand.
“Oh, it’s lovely to see my little room again, daddy. I’m sure all my old hopes and dreams are waiting here for me.”
She ran to the window and threw it open, leaning out.
“Daddy, there’s no view in the world so beautiful as that curve of sea between the headlands. I’ve looked at magnificent scenery—and then I’d shut my eyes and conjure up that picture. Oh, listen to the wind keening in the trees! How I’ve
longed for that music!”
He took her to the orchard and followed out his crafty plan of surprise perfectly. She rewarded him by doing exactly what he had dreamed of her doing, clapping her hands and crying out:
“Oh, daddy! Why, daddy!”
They finished up with the shore, and then at sunset they came back and sat down on the old garden bench. Before them a sea of splendor,^bu burning like a great jewel stretched burned stretched to the gateways of the west. The great long
headlands on either side were darkly purple, and the sun left behind him a vast, cloudless arc of fiery fiery daffodil and elusive rose. Back over the orchard in a cool, green sky glimmered a crystal planet, and the night poured over them a clear wine of dew from her airy chalice. The spruces were rejoicing in the wind, and even the battered firs were singing of the sea. Old memories trooped into their hearts like shining spirits.
“Baby Blossom,” said Old Man Shaw falteringly, “are you quite sure you’ll be contented
it hard to believe—as we did at other times—that Aunt Olivia had once been a girl herself.
This day she picked the roses absently, and shook the fairy petals into her little sweet-grass basket with the air of a woman whose thoughts were far away. We said nothing, knowing that Aunt Olivia’s secrets always came our way in time. When the rose-leaves were picked, we carried them in and upstairs in single file, Aunt Olivia bringing up the rear to pick up any stray rose-leaf we might drop. In the south-west room, where there was no carpet to fade, we spread them on newspapers on the floor. Then we put our sweet-grass