Rainbow Valley eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 321 pages of information about Rainbow Valley.

“Oh, that may very well be,” said Miss Cornelia.  “But the matter has made an awful lot of talk and the Meads being Methodists makes it that much worse.  What is going to become of those children?  Sometimes I can’t sleep at nights for thinking about them, Anne dearie.  I really do question if they get enough to eat, even, for their father is so lost in dreams that he doesn’t often remember he has a stomach, and that lazy old woman doesn’t bother cooking what she ought.  They are just running wild and now that school is closing they’ll be worse than ever.”

“They do have jolly times,” said Anne, laughing over the recollections of some Rainbow Valley happenings that had come to her ears.  “And they are all brave and frank and loyal and truthful.”

“That’s a true word, Anne dearie, and when you come to think of all the trouble in the church those two tattling, deceitful youngsters of the last minister’s made, I’m inclined to overlook a good deal in the Merediths.”

“When all is said and done, Mrs. Dr. dear, they are very nice children,” said Susan.  “They have got plenty of original sin in them and that I will admit, but maybe it is just as well, for if they had not they might spoil from over-sweetness.  Only I do think it is not proper for them to play in a graveyard and that I will maintain.”

“But they really play quite quietly there,” excused Anne.  “They don’t run and yell as they do elsewhere.  Such howls as drift up here from Rainbow Valley sometimes!  Though I fancy my own small fry bear a valiant part in them.  They had a sham battle there last night and had to ‘roar’ themselves, because they had no artillery to do it, so Jem says.  Jem is passing through the stage where all boys hanker to be soldiers.”

“Well, thank goodness, he’ll never be a soldier,” said Miss Cornelia.  “I never approved of our boys going to that South African fracas.  But it’s over, and not likely anything of the kind will ever happen again.  I think the world is getting more sensible.  As for the Merediths, I’ve said many a time and I say it again, if Mr. Meredith had a wife all would be well.”

“He called twice at the Kirks’ last week, so I am told,” said Susan.

“Well,” said Miss Cornelia thoughtfully, “as a rule, I don’t approve of a minister marrying in his congregation.  It generally spoils him.  But in this case it would do no harm, for every one likes Elizabeth Kirk and nobody else is hankering for the job of stepmothering those youngsters.  Even the Hill girls balk at that.  They haven’t been found laying traps for Mr. Meredith.  Elizabeth would make him a good wife if he only thought so.  But the trouble is, she really is homely and, Anne dearie, Mr. Meredith, abstracted as he is, has an eye for a good-looking woman, man-like.  He isn’t so other-worldly when it comes to that, believe me.”

“Elizabeth Kirk is a very nice person, but they do say that people have nearly frozen to death in her mother’s spare-room bed before now, Mrs. Dr. dear,” said Susan darkly.  “If I felt I had any right to express an opinion concerning such a solemn matter as a minister’s marriage I would say that I think Elizabeth’s cousin Sarah, over-harbour, would make Mr. Meredith a better wife.”

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Rainbow Valley from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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