Chapter 12 Summary
The next day, after returning from a visit with Mrs. Lynde, Marilla calls Anne into the kitchen. She has heard from Mrs. Lynde that Anne went to church the previous day with wildflowers stuck in her hat. Anne admits that she did this and apologizes for mixing the exotic colors. However, Marilla is not annoyed with the colors. Rather, she objects to Anne’s having put real flowers on her hat. Anne does not understand this. Other girls had real flowers pinned to their dresses, she tells Marilla. She wants to know what the difference is between having flowers on one’s dress and having them on one’s hat. Marilla cannot find a decent answer to this question, so she tells Anne that she is not to talk back. Then Marilla informs Anne that everyone thought she looked very silly and talked about her “something dreadful.” Marilla is embarrassed and fears that everyone in the community might think the flowers were her idea.
Anne is still confused. Other girls had artificial flowers on their hats, and the flowers she chose were much more beautiful. In spite of this, Anne apologizes and tells Marilla maybe it would be better if she sent her back to the orphanage. Anne is afraid that she might be too much trouble for Marilla. Marilla responds by telling Anne that what she is saying is nonsense. All Marilla wants from Anne is for her to act like other girls her age.
Then Marilla announces that Diana Barry, a young girl who lives close by, has come home. If Anne would like, she can come with her when Marilla goes to visit the family. At this announcement, Anne says she is frightened. She is worried that Diana might not like her. If that proves true, Anne says, it would be the most “tragical disappointment” of her life. Marilla says it is not Diana about whom Anne should be worrying; she should worry more about Diana’s mother. If Mrs. Barry has heard about Anne’s rude outburst over Mrs. Lynde’s assessment of her or of the buttercup flowers Anne wore around her hat to church, Anne might not get a chance to develop a friendship with Diana.
When Anne is introduced and Mrs. Barry asks her how she is, Anne says she is well physically but her spirit is quite rumpled. This is because she is so excited about meeting a new friend. Later when Anne and Diana are alone, they make an oath to be bosom friends forever. They plan to build a hideout in the woods the next day. On their way home, Anne tells Marilla that she is the happiest girl on Prince Edward Island.