Diana Comes to Tea
«Anne, I’m going out this afternoon,» said Marilla one Saturday.
«You can invite Diana here for tea. There’s cake-and a bottle of fruit cordial on a shelf in the kitchen closet.»
When Diana arrived, the two little girls played outside.
«I’m very thirsty,» said Diana after a time.
«Would you like some fruit cordial?» asked Anne.
She went to the kitchen closet and got the bottle. The cordial was a dark red color. Anne wasn’t thirsty, but Diana drank a big glass of it.
«This is very nice,» she said. «Can I have another glass?»
After three glasses of cordial, Diana put her hands to her head.
«I’m not feeling very well,» she said. «I have to go home.»
«But, Diana!» cried Anne sadly. «Don’t you want any cake?»
«No,» said Diana. «I have to go home now.»
The next day, Sunday, it rained all day and Anne stayed at home. On Monday, Marilla sent Anne to Mrs. Lynde’s house. But Anne came back very quickly, and ran into the kitchen.
«Anne, what’s wrong?» asked Marilla. «Why are you crying?»
«Mrs. Barry was at Mrs. Lynde’s house today,» said Anne. «She said very bad things about me. When Diana left here on Saturday, she was drunk!»
«Drunk!» cried Marilla in surprise. «What did you give her?»
«Only the fruit cordial,» answered Anne unhappily.
Marilla went to the kitchen closet and found the bottle of cordial. She looked at it. It wasn’t fruit cordial. It was red wine!
«Oh, no!» she thought. «I remember now. The fruit cordial is in the other closet.»
Marilla went to see Mrs. Barry. She tried to tell Mrs. Barry about the mistake, but Mrs. Barry didn’t want to listen.
«That Anne Shirley is a very bad little girl,» she said. «I don’t want Diana to play with her again.»
Anne was very sad. She loved Diana very much. Some days later, she went back to school. «I can’t be Diana’s friend now,» Anne told Marilla. «But I can look at her in school.»
Anne worked hard. The other girls liked her, and she had a lot of friends. But she was very unhappy about Diana.
One evening some weeks later, Marilla went to a meeting in Charlottetown, the most important town on Prince Edward Island. Mrs. Lynde and Diana’s parents went to the meeting, too. They all slept in Charlottetown that night.
Anne and Matthew stayed at home. They sat in the kitchen. Anne studied her lessons at the table. Suddenly, Diana ran through the door. Her face was very white.
«Oh, Anne, please come quickly!» she said. «Minnie May is very sick. She has croup. Maybe she’s going to die.»
Matthew got up quietly and put on his coat. «I’ll go for the doctor,» he said, and went out.
«Don’t be afraid, Diana,» said Anne. «I know about croup. Mrs. Hammond had eight children and they all had it. Wait! Marilla has some medicine. I’ll bring it with me.»
Anne went with Diana to the Barry’s house. The ground was white with snow. When they arrived at the house, Anne went to Minnie May. She was very sick.
«Now, Diana, bring me hot water,» said Anne.
She undressed Minnie May and put her to bed. Then she gave her some medicine. All night Minnie May was very sick, but in the early morning she slept quietly.
Matthew arrived with the doctor. «I’m sorry we’re late,» he said. «The doctor wasn’t at home. I had to wait for a long time.»
The doctor looked at Minnie May. «You did very well, Anne,» he said.
Anne drove home with Matthew in the snow. When they arrived at Green Gables, Anne went to bed.
That afternoon, Marilla was downstairs in the kitchen.
«How was the meeting, Marilla?» asked Anne.
«Fine,» answered Marilla. «Listen, Anne, Mrs. Barry was here this morning and told me about Minnie May’s croup. She wanted to say ‘thank you’ to you. And she’s very sorry about the fruit cordial. She wants you and Diana to be friends again.»
«Oh, Marilla, that’s wonderful!» cried Anne. «Can I go and see Diana now?»
«Yes,» said Marilla, and smiled.
Anne ran quickly to Diana’s house. It was cold, and she had no coat or hat. But she was the happiest girl in Avonlea.