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Title: Elvie’s Necklace

Date of first publication: 1906

Author: L. M. (Lucy Maud) Montgomery (1874-1942)

Date first posted: Oct. 16, 2017

Date last updated: Oct. 16, 2017

Faded Page eBook #20171015

This ebook was produced by: Alex White & the online Distributed Proofreaders Canada team at http://www.pgdpcanada.net

Elvie’s Necklace


L. M. Montgomery.


Published in The Western Christian Advocate, May 9, 1906.

Elvie Floyd was dressing to go to Nellie Howard’s birthday party, and Mrs. Floyd had permitted her, as it was a special occasion, to wear her gold chain necklace.

Elvie was not often allowed to wear it because she was only a little girl and the necklace was very beautiful. It was a finely chased gold chain of exquisite workmanship. Elvie’s globe-trotting Uncle Raymond had brought it home for his little niece from his last trip to Europe.

Elvie stood before the glass, looking very dainty and pretty in her white dress, with her long brown curls tied back from her face in the very latest fashion for twelve-year-old misses. The chain was lying in its silk-lined box on her dressing table, and Elvie picked it up and ran it admiringly through her fingers. It was a lovely afternoon for a party. So thought Elvie, as she moved over to the window and looked out into the garden where Dannie Haven was just finishing weeding the onion bed.

Dannie was a boy of twelve. His mother was a widow, and she and Dannie lived in a little house down the village street. There were always little jobs to be done that people were glad to have Dannie do and just now it looked as if Mr. Floyd had a good deal of work for him in his garden. Dannie straightened up and bowed as Elvie came to the window.

Just then Aunt Anna called “Elvie” from upstairs. Elvie knew Aunt Anna did not like to be kept waiting. She hastily laid her chain on the broad window-sill and ran upstairs to her aunt’s room. Aunt Anna was an invalid and needed a good deal of waiting on. This time she wanted Elvie to hold a skein of yarn for her while she wound it. When that was done it was time to go to the party, and Elvie suddenly remembered the chain which she had left lying on the window-sill. She ran down to her own room. The chain was gone!

Elvie stared at the bare sill in dismay. It had not fallen on the floor; it could not have fallen out of the window, for the sill was fenced in by her mignonnette box. Yet gone it was, and all Elvie’s searching failed to discover it.

Elvie burst into tears, forgetting all about the party. Her lovely chain was gone; somebody must have taken it, but who could it be? Mrs. Floyd was out; there was nobody in the house but Aunt Anna and Elvie.

Suddenly Elvie remembered Dannie Haven. He had been there when she was at the window; he must have seen her lay her chain down; and when she came back he was gone. Elvie’s eyes sparkled and her cheeks flushed with indignation.

It was one of Elvie’s faults that she was too quick at jumping to a conclusion and acting upon it. She did not pause to consider that Dannie had always been looked upon as an honest and reliable boy, and that she ought to be very careful about casting suspicion on him. She felt too worried and troubled to go to the party, and when Mrs. Floyd came home she was met by a very woe-begone little maid and a sobbing tale of the lost necklace.

“And I’m sure Dannie Haven must have taken it, mamma,” said Elvie. “It couldn’t have fallen off the sill. There was nobody else near, and he saw me put it there.”

Mrs. Floyd was troubled, but warned Elvie that they must not be too ready to accuse Dannie. In her heart she thought it very strange, and so did her husband when he heard the story. He was a quick, impulsive man, and, like Elvie, he at once believed in Dannie Haven’s guilt.

“I’ll go right down and see Dan and his mother about this,” he declared. “I never thought it of the boy—he always seemed so honest and obliging.”

Mr. Floyd’s visit to the Haven’s did not result very satisfactorily. Dannie listened to the accusation like a boy turned to stone. Then he grew crimson and straightened up his shoulders indignantly.

“Mr. Floyd, I never touched Elvie’s chain,” he cried. “I never even saw it. I’m poor, sir, but I’m honest, and always have been.”

Mrs. Haven cried bitterly, and assured Mr. Floyd that Dannie would never do such a thing. Mr. Floyd was distressed but not convinced. He believed that Dannie was guilty, but he would not be too hard on him.

“Look here, Dan,” he said, kindly. “As you say, you have always been an honest boy, and I am sure this was a great temptation. Elvie had no business to leave such a valuable trinket lying carelessly about. I believe you simply yielded to a sudden wrong impulse, and if you will confess and give back the chain I’ll say no more about it.”

“I can’t give back what I haven’t got, Mr. Floyd,” said Dannie firmly—stubbornly, Mr. Floyd thought—“I never saw Elvie’s chain, and would not have touched it if I had.”

And in this statement he persisted. Mr. Floyd grew angry, and left the cottage with threatening words. When he had gone, Dannie threw himself into a chair and cried. The accusation had stung him to the heart; and he also foresaw the harm it would do him.

It all came about as Dannie feared. Mr. Floyd was firmly convinced of his guilt, and the story soon spread through the village. Dannie found himself coldly received everywhere. Nobody had any work for him, and on all sides he was treated as a “suspect.” His Sunday-school teacher looked at him with grieved eyes; his few friends refused to have anything further to do with him.

Elvie, after crying her pretty eyes half out, had resigned herself to the loss of her chain. The cherry blossoms that had bloomed when the necklace disappeared had now changed to tempting fruit. The big tree outside of Elvie’s window was loaded and haunted by piratical robins, who feasted royally on cherries all day, and grew so saucy and bold that they hopped into Elvie’s room and twittered about the window-sill as if they were old friends of hers.

One day her cousin Will came to see her, and they went out to the garden to eat cherries.

“What a splendid old tree!” exclaimed Will, when he caught sight of the one at the window. “And I say, Elvie, look at all those beauties up on the top boughs. Aren’t they big and red though! I’m going to climb up and get them.”

Will was soon high up among the topmost boughs.

“I tell you, Elvie, it’s a great place up here,” he shouted. “I can see clear over the whole village.”

Will in the tree, and Elvie on the grass below, ate cherries until they both declared they couldn’t eat another one.

“Guess I’ll come down,” said Will, with a sigh over his limited capacity. “What a time those robins must have! There’s a nest of them up here, away over on the other side of the tree. I’m going to scramble over and have a look at it, though I guess there is nothing in it.”

Will swung himself over to a big bough which hung out over the roof. The robin’s nest proved empty, and he was about to descend when something caught his eye. He peered closer, then, with a long whistle of astonishment, he tore the nest from its place and quickly scrambled down.

“Elvie, look here,” he said excitedly.

Elvie stood up with a cry of wonder. There, wound in and out among the twigs and grasses on the outside of the nest was her long-lost gold chain necklace!

“O Will,” she cried, “the robins must have taken it from the window-sill that day. And O, Will we blamed Dannie Haven for it. O, we have been dreadfully unjust to him.”

Mr. and Mrs. Floyd realized this, too, when Will and Elvie ran breathlessly into the house with the necklace and the story.

“We must go at once and apologize to Dannie,” said the former. “It is too bad—the way we have treated that boy. Elvie, you must come with me, and we will go straight to Mrs. Haven’s now.”

Dannie’s feelings can be better imagined than described when Mr. Floyd told him the story, and Elvie, with tears in her pretty blue eyes, begged him to forgive her for suspecting him.

“We will do our best to atone to you, my boy,” said Mr. Floyd. “Mr. Dille was asking me only yesterday if I knew of a boy about your age whom I could recommend for a vacant place in his factory. If you will take it, I will see that you get it.”

If he would take it! Dannie was overjoyed at his double good fortune. But things cleared themselves up some way, and when the Floyds went home they left two happy hearts behind them in the little Haven cottage.

The gold chain was quite unharmed, save for a little tarnish, and that the jeweler soon removed. And Elvie, when she once more clasped it around her neck, fingered it thoughtfully.

“I think I’ve learned a lesson, mamma,” she said, frankly. “I feel as if I could never forgive myself for all poor Dannie Haven must have suffered this summer.”


Mis-spelled words and printer errors have been fixed.

[The end of Elvie’s Necklace by L. M. (Lucy Maud) Montgomery]