“They must come and see me soon. Tell them the doughnut jar is always full.”
“Oh, at supper they were planning a descent on you. They’ll go soon; but they must settle down to school again now. And the twins are going to take music lessons.”
“Not from the Methodist minister’s wife, I hope?” said Miss Cornelia anxiously.
“No—from Rosemary West. I was up last evening to arrange it with her. What a pretty girl she is!”
“Rosemary holds her own well. She isn’t as young as she once was.”
“I thought her very charming. I’ve never had any real acquaintance with her, you know. Their house is so out of the way, and I’ve seldom ever seen her except at church.”
“People always have liked Rosemary West, though they don’t understand her,” said Miss Cornelia, quite unconscious of the high tribute she was paying to Rosemary’s charm. “Ellen has always kept her down, so to speak. She has tyrannized over her, and yet she has always indulged her in a good many ways. Rosemary was engaged once, you know—to young Martin Crawford. His ship was wrecked on the Magdalens and all the crew were drowned. Rosemary was just a child—only seventeen. But she was never the same afterwards. She and Ellen have stayed very close at home since their mother’s death. They don’t often get to their own church at Lowbridge and I understand Ellen doesn’t approve of going too often to a Presbyterian church. To the Methodist she never goes, I’ll say that much for her. That family of Wests have always been strong Episcopalians. Rosemary and Ellen are pretty well off. Rosemary doesn’t really need to give music lessons. She does it because she likes to. They are distantly related to Leslie, you know. Are the Fords coming to the harbour this summer?”
“No. They are going on a trip to Japan and will probably be away for a year. Owen’s new novel is to have a Japanese setting. This will be the first summer that the dear old House of Dreams will be empty since we left it.”
“I should think Owen Ford might find enough to write about in Canada without dragging his wife and his innocent children off to a heathen country like Japan,” grumbled Miss Cornelia. “The Life Book was the best book he’s ever written and he got the material for that right here in Four Winds.”
“Captain Jim gave him the most of that, you know. And he collected it all over the world. But Owen’s books are all delightful, I think.”
“Oh, they’re well enough as far as they go. I make it a point to read every one he writes, though I’ve always held, Anne dearie, that reading novels is a sinful waste of time. I shall write and tell him my opinion of this Japanese business, believe me. Does he want Kenneth and Persis to be converted into pagans?”
With which unanswerable conundrum Miss Cornelia took her departure. Susan proceeded to put Rilla in bed and Anne sat on the veranda steps under the early stars and dreamed her incorrigible dreams and learned all over again for the hundredth happy time what a moonrise splendour and sheen could be on Four Winds Harbour.