Where was Matthew Cuthbert Driving?
L. M. Montgomery begins Anne of Green Gables with a tantalizing question: where was Matthew Cuthbert driving? Curious Mrs. Lynde later finds out that he’s gone to pick up an orphan at the Bright River railway station. Matthew and his elderly sister Marilla are expecting a boy orphan, but Matthew finds a girl – Anne Shirley – waiting at the station.
And yet here was Matthew Cuthbert, at half-past three on the afternoon of a busy day, placidly driving over the hollow and up the hill; moreover, he wore a white collar and his best suit of clothes, which was plain proof that he was going out of Avonlea; and he had the buggy and the sorrel mare, which betokened that he was going a considerable distance. Now, where was Matthew Cuthbert going and why was he going there?
"I’ll just step over to Green Gables after tea and find out from Marilla where he’s gone and why,” [Mrs. Lynde] finally concluded. “He doesn’t generally go to town this time of year and he never visits; if he’d run out of turnip seed he wouldn’t dress up and take the buggy to go for more; he wasn’t driving fast enough to be going for a doctor. Yet something must have happened since last night to start him off. I’m clean puzzled, that’s what, and I won’t know a minute’s peace of mind or conscience until I know what has taken Matthew Cuthbert out of Avonlea today.” (3-4)
From L. M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, L. C. Page, 1908