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Anne 1

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Sequel Script: Part 6

SCENE: Emmeline's room

EMMELINE: [thinking] "Dear Papa, I want so much to return to K.L.C. I'd like to ask you to allow me to go back to K.L.C. next term. I was at the top of my class before I left and hoped you'd be proud of my grades. Please understand it was all a mistake. I tried to reach you in Baltimore, but I suppose you never received the letter." [knocking on door]

MAID: Miss Shirley is here for your tutorial, Miss.

EMMELINE: Thank you.

SCENE: Harris parlor

EMMELINE: Miss Shirley! Grandmama will eat you alive!

ANNE: We're to have our studies in this room. I simply cannot tolerate the gloominess any longer. I have a wonderful surprise for you. Miss Stacey has lent me a Royal Conservatory program and you can begin today.

EMMELINE: I can't. Grandmama has forbidden me--

ANNE: Fiddlesticks! It's high time someone reminded your grandmama what a piano sounds like. [she tries to play] Uh, and it shouldn't be me. You can start with these elementary exercises as a refresher course. You will be on your own, though. But, it is a step in the right direction. I'll get your textbooks. Play. [Emmeline plays]

MRS. HARRIS: [from other room] Pauline! Come in here, girl. We will answer and we will tell them we cannot accept.

PAULINE HARRIS: Mama wants her stationary, Abigail.

MRS. HARRIS: Who on earth is making that confounded racket? That piano isn't meant to be played! [entering] Get away from there, child! Who gave you permission to play that piano?

ANNE: I'm sorry, Mrs. Harris, but Emmeline must be allowed to devote some time to musical studies.

MRS. HARRIS: I don't believe in young girls playing the piano in public. It tends to make them bold and forward.

ANNE: Why, I think perhaps you are wise, Mrs. Harris. However, I am told that most of the young Pringle girls in Kingsport have private lessons.

MRS. HARRIS: Oh?

ANNE: I just wouldn't want to be accused of negligence in Emmeline's proper upbringing.

MRS. HARRIS: Well, who gave you permission to open those windows?

ANNE: I just wanted your staff to see how dusty this room is. It needs a thorough going over.

MRS. HARRIS: Well, have it your way. You young people are all so giddy. Pauline wants to go away and leave me.

PAULINE HARRIS: It's only for the day, mama.

MRS. HARRIS: "Only for the day," says she. It never seems to occur to anyone that I'd like a day out of this confounded wheelchair.

EMMELINE: You may not have the use of you legs, grandmama, but there's nothing the matter with your tongue.

MRS. HARRIS: Don't you dare to be impertinent, child! I know a girl who died in her sleep after being impertinent.

ANNE: Pauline, what is it?

PAULINE HARRIS: Uh, my cousin Louisa is celebrating her wedding anniversary in Fredericton next week. Now, I was her bridesmaid fifteen years ago and I'd do anything to be there.

MRS. HARRIS: Well, if I die alone while you're away, Pauline, I'll leave it to your conscience. I know what a burden I can be.

PAULINE HARRIS: Mama, please don't excite yourself. I'm not going to go if you're not--

MRS. HARRIS: I will excite myself. Can't I have a little excitement to brighten my dull life? Oh! Oh! Oh, my back. My back, it hurts. Close that confounded window, girl. I can feel the draft. Pauline, get my Afghan and a cushion for my feet. Oh!

ANNE: Well, you know how people will talk, Mrs. Harris, if Pauline doesn't go to the anniversary.

MRS. HARRIS: What?

ANNE: Oh, I'm sure in your long lifetime you've learned what idle tongues can say.

MRS. HARRIS: Well, there's no need to throw my age up in my face, girl. This town is full of tattling toadies, and don't I know it. Well, I'm not stopping her. I left it to her own conscience.

ANNE: No one would ever believe that excuse.

EMMELINE: Miss Shirley and I can even stay with you, grandmama.

ANNE: Why, Pauline could probably be there and back in a day.

MRS. HARRIS: There's something behind all this, isn't there? Why are you so set on her going?

ANNE: Because she's a good, kind daughter who needs a day off now and then.

MRS. HARRIS: Never mind her weedily ways. Have a peppermint. Oh. Oh, my head. Oh, I've got such a pain in my head and I'm so tired I can't argue anymore. I suppose that means I'm going to have a stroke. Oh... Alright, you can go. But, if you catch flu and get sick, don't blame me.

PAULINE HARRIS: Oh, thank you, mama! Thank you! You're so good to me. I wanted to go to cousin Louisa's so much, and-- Oh, mama, I only have this old black taffeta to wear. Do you think--

MRS. HARRIS: Black taffeta is quite good enough for Louisa Hilton's wedding. She'd dress in scarlet, that one, if I'd let her and she's only waiting till I'm dead to do it. As long as I'm alive you will be decent, Pauline Harris.

PAULINE HARRIS: Alright, mama. I'm just going to be glad inside and not even think about what I'm wearing. And I'm sure that you'll get along with Miss Shirley splendidly, mama.

SCENE: School auditorium

JEN PRINGLE: "I will not take Death's hand with any soil of hate or wrath or wrong about me. But being friends with this past world, pass from it in the general peace of love." [lights down; applause]

ANNE: Well, you've all done remarkably well and deserve multitudes of praise. Now make sure you have your lines down packed for next Friday's rehearsal. And, before you all go, I have one announcement to make: Mrs. Capt. Josiah Harris and her granddaughter Emmeline would be pleased to invite you to a fall picnic tomorrow morning. [girls squeal with joy] Now, if you care to attend, we'll be meeting at Maplehurst at 10am. Oh, please bring a small gift for Mrs. Harris out of politeness for her generosity in hosting this event. You can go home, now, girls.

MISS STACEY: It's coming. Coming.

ANNE: They look wonderful.

MISS STACEY: Quite a reaction from those old diaries, Anne. It goes to show you how my old students always pull through.

ANNE: Don't speak too loudly, yet.

MISS STACEY: I just received a letter from Gilbert Blythe. It seems he's finally in medical school.

ANNE: I know. Well, how's he doing?

MISS STACEY: Well, you know Gilbert's so modest. But reading between the lines, I'd say he's top of his class. He wanted to know how you are doing, as well.

ANNE: Well, you may tell him I'm keeping out of mischief.

SCENE: Pauline's room

[knocking at door]

PAULINE HARRIS: [cautiously] Come in.

ANNE: It's only me, Pauline.

PAULINE HARRIS: Oh, Miss Shirley. How do I look?

ANNE: Dreadful! You simply cannot go in that old thing. I'm going to lend you my best dress.

PAULINE HARRIS: Oh, my dear. No, no, no. I'm on tender hooks as it is. Mama might change her mind.

ANNE: Don't be silly. Get up, and take this black taffeta off. You can put this on underneath and change at the party.

PAULINE HARRIS: Oh, but-- but-- but to deceive mama, I--

ANNE: You wouldn't want to bring bad luck to a wedding anniversary wearing that black thing, would you?

PAULINE HARRIS: No.

ANNE: Good. [Anne sprays perfume on her]

PAULINE HARRIS: Oh, oh, oh, no.

ANNE: Now, just a whiff.

PAULINE HARRIS: Mama won't approve of this. Oh, apple blossom. Oh, how this reminds me of Adelaide Pringle when she--!

ANNE: Who?

PAULINE HARRIS: Morgan's wife. Mother of the child. She was my first cousin on mama's side.

ANNE: I see. Pauline, why does your brother never visit?

PAULINE HARRIS: Oh, Morgan, he's become just become just like papa, always ordering people about, no time for anyone else. Morgan used to be so robust and handsome, and Adelaide used to love music and parties...

ANNE: What happened?

PAULINE HARRIS: Well, it's not Christian to speak of the dead.

ANNE: Well, how did she die, then?

PAULINE HARRIS: She ran off shortly after the child was born, and died of consumption. The Pringles all blamed Morgan, including mama. But it wasn't Morgan's fault. Now mama won't have anything about that reminds her of what happened to Adelaide.

ANNE: But that's wrong, Pauline. What make people on this town hold such grudges against one other?

PAULINE HARRIS: Oh, the Pringles have always bickered a great deal amongst themselves. We're very polite to each other in public.

ANNE: I've never seen such ridiculous behavior. It is absolutely Byzantine. Well, in any case, Pauline Harris, you are going to have the day off of your life.

SCENE: Harris sitting room

ANNE: Good morning, Mrs. Harris.

MRS. HARRIS: Walking as if we owned the world, are we?

ANNE: So I do. Come along, Pauline.

PAULINE HARRIS: I'm ready to go, mama.

MRS. HARRIS: Too much color, girl. You look painted.

PAULINE HARRIS: Oh, no it's just, I'm flushed.

MRS. HARRIS: And you don't smell respectable drenched in scent.

PAULINE HARRIS: It's just the tiniest little bit of--

MRS. HARRIS: I said drenched and I meant drenched. Turn around. Is that a rip under that sleeve?

PAULINE HARRIS: No, mama.

MRS. HARRIS: Oh. Remember your manners. And don't forget to cross your ankles decently when you sit down. And don't sit in a draft, either. And don't slide down the banisters.

PAULINE HARRIS: Mama!

MRS. HARRIS: Well, you did it at Nancy Pringle's wedding.

PAULINE HARRIS: Mama, that was 25 years ago! What do you think I am?

MRS. HARRIS: Go on, girl. Don't stand there jabbering. Do you want to miss your train?

PAULINE HARRIS: Uh. No, mama.

MRS. HARRIS: And if I'm not here when you come back, remember, leave me out in my wedding dress and mind my hair is crimped.

PAULINE HARRIS: I don't know how you'll manage her, Miss Shirley. She's such a baby.

SCENE: Maplehurst

GIRL: I never thought I'd ever get a chance to visit Maplehurst.

MISS KERR: Hattie! Hattie Pringle, get away from there! That's Mrs. Harris' carriage.

SCENE: Harris mansion

MRS. HARRIS: This is outrageous! I haven't been outside. If I catch a cold, girl, I shall hold you responsible.

ANNE: Nonsense. I want you to enjoy the sunshine and all the beautiful autumn colors. We'll have a lovely carriage ride. And you can criticize everyone as you pass by.

MRS. HARRIS: Criticize? That's a very strange idea, Miss Shirley. That is not Christian. It's simply not Christian. [seeing all the carriages] What is the meaning of this, Miss Shirley? I won't stand anymore of your monkeyshines.

ANNE: They're such handsome carriages and you never use them.

MRS. HARRIS: You put them back, you hear? They've not been out for seven years.

ANNE: All the more reason to bring them out and use them. Stop being so selfish. Good morning, girls! You look lovely.

GIRLS: Good morning!

MRS. HARRIS: You wheel me back in, you hear? This is anarchy! Who are these rabble rousers? Oh, dear saints above, I shall swoon. I can't stand all this fresh air.

ANNE: It's such a pretty day. I thought you could host a picnic for the school.

MRS. HARRIS: I don't eat my lunch outside with anyone, girls. I'm not a raggle-taggle gypsy! Take me in! Take me in!

ANNE: Hush, Mrs. Harris. Some of these girls are Pringles.

MRS. HARRIS: Pringles?

ANNE: Yes, and you don't want them running home and telling tales.

MRS. HARRIS: You'll pay for this.

GIRLS: Good morning, Mrs. Harris.

MRS. HARRIS: If I catch a chill....

EMMELINE: You said you wanted a day off from your wheelchair, anyway, grandmama.

MRS. HARRIS: Be quiet!

MR. McGUINESS: Good morning, Mrs. Harris. You look awfully chipper.

MRS. HARRIS: Thank you, Alex McGuiness. Thank you. Well, what does it matter if I die anyway? I've been living on borrowed time for too long as it is.

SCENE: Maplehurst

MRS. HARRIS: Such friendly people. Charming neighbors. You know, I don't approve of criticizing people, my dear. No. May I ask, is that all your own hair?

ANNE: Yes, every bit.

MRS. HARRIS: Hmm. Pity it's red. But I believe red is becoming quite popular again.

ANNE: Thank you.

GIRL: You girls are late.

ESSIE: What happened, Jen? Was your maid sick again?

SCENE: Park

MRS. HARRIS: And another one? Oh, how delightful. Thank you, my dear.

ANNE: This is my gift to you, Emmeline.

EMMELINE: Oh, Miss Shirley. However did you pay for this?

ANNE: I had some lucky savings put aside.

EMMELINE: Oh, thank you a million times over. Someday I'll make it up to you.

MRS. HARRIS: Now, wasn't that sweet of all these girls to give me gifts?

ANNE: Yes, it was.

MRS. HARRIS: I rather like your laugh, Miss Shirley. That nervous giggle of Pauline's gets on my nerves.

ANNE: Well, I hope she has a wonderful time at the party.

MRS. HARRIS: She's probably overeaten and made herself ill. Like her father, that girl. Hmph. He never knew when he had enough. Hmph. Did I ever show you Josiah's picture, Miss Shirley?

ANNE: Why, he was very handsome. Full of heroic spirit, I'd say.

MRS. HARRIS: Yes, he was the handsomest man in Kingsport. And he adored me. We consulted each other about absolutely everything. Mind you, we didn't always agree. No. He had his fits of temper. Oh, yes. And so did I. [laughs] Do you know what he did when I bought a daycap he didn't like?

ANNE: I can't imagine.

MRS. HARRIS: He ate it. It gave him a terrible stomach pain. Yes, serves him right. He was so irked that I had neglected to consult him. [laughs/cries] How could he go away and leave me alone and crippled like this? Dying was the only thing that he ever dared to do without consulting me. Won't be long before we're together again. There's no one--no man like him. No. This is a degenerate age, Miss Shirley.

ANNE: What about your son?

MRS. HARRIS: Morgan. Well, he managed his money successfully, if that's any merit. His father spoiled him. Well, he should never have married his cousin. It's a blessing that poor Adelaide Pringle died, poor soul. Morgan got what he deserved, I suppose.

ANNE: That's a very inhuman attitude for a mother, Mrs. Harris.

MRS. HARRIS: Yes. Well, we're not exactly famous for compassion, Miss Shirley, especially among ourselves. No. Anyway. They're all waiting for me to die so they can get their hands on the money.

ANNE: Perhaps you ought to realize that Emmeline only wants to be cared for.

MRS. HARRIS: Well.

ANNE: If you have any compassion left in your soul, you might spend it on her.

MRS. HARRIS: Children should be seen and not heard. [Anne starts to leave] You seem to be very broad-minded in your opinions, Miss Shirley.

ANNE: That's the nicest compliment anyone's ever paid me, Mrs. Harris.


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