Mrs. Andrews sat perfectly still. She had stayed this way for over an hour. The servants had all asked her is she was well and she had brushed them off. Marilla Cuthbert's words still ringing in her head. She felt extreme mortification. And pity. Pity for the young orphan girl who should not now of such horrible things. She may have not had a great childhood, but that was changing. There was no excusing what had been said about her daughter. But every rumor has a form of truth.
She heard the front door open and in came Jane and Prissy. Billy had stayed behind to mess around with his friends in the forest.
"Mother, you will never believe what happened today," Jane giggled. "It was quite the sight to see."
"Mr. Phillips was actually quite scary, don't you think? He's never been so upset before," Prissy agreed.
"Can you believe Anne's nerve?" Jane gasped. "Whacking Gilbert like she did. I could never."
"She's basically a barbarian,"Prissy laughed.
"Enough! Not one more word about Anne!" Mrs. Andrews admonished. "I will not have two gossips as daughters!"
"Mother are you alright," Prissy said. She went to her mother. "Why are you defending that orphan?"
"Prissy, why is it that you think that rumor started about you and your teacher?" her mother asked suddenly.
Prissy was taken aback. "I-I don't know mother."
Prissy gave a threatening glance towards Jane. Jane swallowed. "Um, well, you see, the girls had said that Anne and Diana saw Prissy and Mr. Phillips alone together in the supply room."
"Jane!" Prissy glared.
"Is this true, Prissy?" Mrs. Andrews asked.
"Tell me the truth."
"Yes, but all we did is talk," Prissy defended. "There was no need for what Anne had said."
"Maybe so, but you shouldn't have been alone with him in the first place, for propriety's sake," Mrs. Andrews said. "Now as for what Anne said, Miss Cuthbert came by this afternoon to apologize for her behavior and she made me realize something. Anne made assumptions based on what she saw."
"That's hardly an excuse, mother," Prissy said.
"Yes I suppose not, but we must make allowances for her, dear, " Mrs. Andrews said. Lord knows what that child has been exposed to. You two are fortunate enough to say you grew up with both parents teaching you right from wrong. That poor child didn't have that luxury. We should all be grateful that she's finally been adopted and getting a proper education. We must make an effort to aid her in her learning."
"Does that mean we can be friends with her when she returns to school?" Jane asked.
"If she returns to school," Prissy quipped.
"I suppose that's the best way to ensure that something like what happened yesterday doesn't occur again," Mrs. Andrew's smiled. "Now tell me more about this whacking of Gilbert Blythe."