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CHAPTER XXXIII VICTORY!
 "A day 'of chilling winds and gloomy skies,'" Rilla quoted one Sunday afternoon—the sixth of October to be exact. It was so cold that they had lighted a fire in the living-room and the merry little flames were doing their best to counteract1 the outside dourness2. "It's more like November than October—November is such an ugly month."  
Cousin Sophia was there, having again forgiven Susan, and Mrs. Martin Clow, who was not visiting on Sunday but had dropped in to borrow Susan's cure for rheumatism—that being cheaper than getting one from the doctor. "I'm afeared we're going to have an airly winter," foreboded Cousin Sophia. "The muskrats3 are building awful big houses round the pond, and that's a sign that never fails. Dear me, how that child has grown!" Cousin Sophia sighed again, as if it were an unhappy circumstance that a child should grow. "When do you expect his father?"
 
"Next week," said Rilla.
 
"Well, I hope the stepmother won't abuse the pore child," sighed Cousin Sophia, "but I have my doubts—I have my doubts. Anyhow, he'll be sure to feel the difference between his usage here and what he'll get anywhere else. You've spoiled him so, Rilla, waiting on him hand and foot the way you've always done."
 
Rilla smiled and pressed her cheek to Jims' curls. She knew sweet-tempered, sunny, little Jims was not spoiled. Nevertheless her heart was anxious behind her smile. She, too, thought much about the new Mrs. Anderson and wondered uneasily what she would be like.
 
"I can't give Jims up to a woman who won't love him," she thought rebelliously4.
 
"I b'lieve it's going to rain," said Cousin Sophia. "We have had an awful lot of rain this fall already. It's going to make it awful hard for people to get their roots in. It wasn't so in my young days. We gin'rally had beautiful Octobers then. But the seasons is altogether different now from what they used to be." Clear across Cousin Sophia's doleful voice cut the telephone bell. Gertrude Oliver answered it. "Yes—what? What? Is it true—is it official? Thank you—thank you."
 
Gertrude turned and faced the room dramatically, her dark eyes flashing, her dark face flushed with feeling. All at once the sun broke through the thick clouds and poured through the big crimson5 maple6 outside the window. Its reflected glow enveloped7 her in a weird8<............
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