“No-o-o, I guess not. But I think they were sometimes spanked when they were small.”
“A spanking doesn’t amount to anything,” said Mary contemptuously. “If my folks had just spanked me I’d have thought they were petting me. Well, it ain’t a fair world. I wouldn’t mind taking my share of wallopings but I’ve had a darn sight too many.”
“It isn’t right to say that word, Mary,” said Una reproachfully. “You promised me you wouldn’t say it.”
“G’way,” responded Mary. “If you knew some of the words I could say if I liked you wouldn’t make such a fuss over darn. And you know very well I hain’t ever told any lies since I come here.”
“What about all those ghosts you said you saw?” asked Faith.
“That was diff’runt,” she said defiantly. “I knew you wouldn’t believe them yarns and I didn’t intend you to. And I really did see something queer one night when I was passing the over-harbour graveyard, true’s you live. I dunno whether ’twas a ghost or Sandy Crawford’s old white nag, but it looked blamed queer and I tell you I scooted at the rate of no man’s business.”
Rilla Blythe walked proudly, and perhaps a little primly, through the main “street” of the Glen and up the manse hill, carefully carrying a small basketful of early strawberries, which Susan had coaxed into lusciousness in one of the sunny nooks of Ingleside. Susan had charged Rilla to give the basket to nobody except Aunt Martha or Mr. Meredith, and Rilla, very proud of being entrusted with such an errand, was resolved to carry out her instructions to the letter.
Susan had dressed her daintily in a white, starched, and embroidered dress, with sash of blue and beaded slippers. Her long ruddy curls were sleek and round, and Susan had let her put on her best hat, out of compliment to the manse. It was a somewhat elaborate affair, wherein Susan’s taste had had more to say than Anne’s, and Rilla’s small soul gloried in its splendours of silk and lace and flowers. She was very conscious of her hat, and I am afraid she strutted up the manse hill. The strut, or the hat, or both, got on the nerves of Mary Vance, who was swinging on the lawn gate. Mary’s temper was somewhat ruffled just then, into the bargain. Aunt Martha had refused to let her peel the potatoes and had ordered her out of the kitchen.
“Yah! You’ll bring the potatoes to the table with strips of skin hanging to them and half boiled as usual! My, but it’ll be nice to go to your funeral,” shrieked Mary. She went out of the kitchen, giving the door such a bang that even Aunt Martha heard it, and Mr. Meredith in his study felt the vibration and thought absently that there must have been a slight earthquake shock. Then he went on with his sermon.
Mary slipped from the gate and confronted the spick-and-span damsel of Ingleside.