October 10th, 1899

 

Doc,

 

I’ve just reread your letter, just to make sure the news it contains is as you wrote it. I got the letter a few weeks back, and in my mind, I have replied, often. I’ve taken these weeks to absorb it and now I am finally writing to you. It seems as if the whole of Avonlea knows about the events that unfolded in Charlottetown that beautiful day. For me, the joy and the relief in your letter are what I can feel. And yes, Blythe! There will be teasing, laughter, and a whole lot of “I knew it” when you get home, make no mistake, you moke. I always knew you loved her, and now you know she loves you. Gilbert, I want to tell you that I am full of joy for you both. Mary is happy too, I know it in my heart. She and Anne shared a very special bond, one that I know will extend to Delly. Your news helps my heart heal a bit, and I need that. 

 

You and Anne. I like the sound of that. Very much, brother. Very much. I knew it, I knew it! It was always Anne! Your friend that makes you smile and act like a moke. (I had to.) Blythe, the letters and all the misunderstandings between you and Anne have me thinking—we are a pair, aren’t we? We don’t make it very easy on ourselves. But, we also don’t shy away from our feelings and that makes us fellas that our women can count on. 

 

Mother was really pleased to hear the news. The Cuthberts are already like family. They have always been nothing but kind. Since you left for U of T, Mother and Marilla have already had a few afternoons together. I thought it was an unlikely friendship, more because of how my mother is, but you know Marilla. Her plum puffs won over even the unyielding Hazel Lacroix! Matthew has visited as well and has kindly helped with odds and ends. He and Marilla miss Anne something fierce, so Delly has been over to Green Gables a few times to visit for the day. I saw them earlier today and I know they have received your letter. Marilla was just beaming and bursting to tell me. They both knew Anne loves you (Marilla’s choice of words, not mine) and they feel such joy for you both. Nicely done, Doc. Nicely done. That must have been quite a letter. All this writing gives me a headache.

 

I asked Mother, in passing, about Anne’s lost letter and she recalled it was left here the day she met Anne. Anne had come looking for you and left the letter on the kitchen table. She reminded me that she met Muriel that day too. Muriel has also visited us a few times since you’ve left. These Avonlea womenfolk (well, certain women) have helped to improve my mother’s ways. She’s softened somewhat, and you’ll be glad to hear there are fewer arguments at home. Anyway, Doc, the long and the short of it is that we don’t know where that letter is! What happened to the letter you wrote Anne? You never said. You’ll be pen pals now for a long while, so let’s make sure it’s smooth sailing from here on out.

 

To end off, I’m sure you are wondering about Elijah. We’ve been getting better acquainted over the last weeks and, truth be told, he often reminds me of my beloved Mary. (My heart aches Blythe. I love and miss her every day. Every day.) Delly loves him, which warms my heart as it was Mary’s wish for them to be close. He’s enjoying caring for the bees as you showed him, preparing them for the winter, and feeding them with that sugar syrup. It’s like watching him being reborn on the farm, a little more each day. I’m not looking forward to the time when the real sun disappears… winter. I’m likely to hibernate, so Elijah will be a useful hand around the farm, no doubt about it. 

 

We’ll be glad to see you at Christmas Gilbert, and it’s likely Delly will be close to walking by then. I’m teaching her to say “Papa,” so you’ll have to play catch up with lessons on how to say Uncle Gilby-Goo (I might have started the lessons). We’ll have to teach Anne the “I-knew-it” jig. Or, recalling a certain conversation after a certain dance practice, perhaps both of you will have to show me that dance that made you realize all of your “feelings.” I know it was Anne, don’t lie. Something to look forward to, even if it’s our first Christmas without the light and love of my life. I will be glad to have you and Anne here to help me through it.

 

Don’t forget to eat Blythe. We don’t want you turning to skin and bone like on the ship! And use the spices I put in your bag. I’ve said it before. Don’t live life bland with salt being the only secret ingredient… Remember the mango tasting?

 

Your brother,

 

Bash (the one who called it and wins)

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