Marilla fumes as she looks out the window and sees Anne talking to Matthew forty-five minutes after she was supposed to go inside and do chores. Marilla’s anger diminishes as Anne bursts into the room and joyfully describes the Sunday school picnic planned for the following week. She cannot wait to attend and to have her first taste of ice cream. When Marilla agrees to let her attend and says she will bake a basket of food for Anne to take along, Anne flies into her arms and kisses her cheek. Marilla flushes with warmth, though she disguises her pleasure with an injunction to Anne to be more obedient. Anne talks excitedly about her adventures with Diana and especially about their playhouse in the woods, which is composed of discarded pieces of board and china.
When Marilla tries to hush Anne and quell her excitement about the upcoming picnic, Anne replies that she would rather look forward to things and risk disappointment than follow advice from stodgy ladies like Mrs. Rachel who say, “Blessed are they who expect nothing for they shall not be disappointed.” Anne says she was disappointed when she finally saw a diamond because it was not half as beautiful as she had imagined. She envisioned that a diamond was as colorful as the best amethyst, a stone that pleases both Anne and Marilla. Marilla has an amethyst brooch, her most prized possession, which she wears to church. Anne loves it so much that she begs Marilla to let her hold it for a minute.
Two days before the picnic, Marilla notices that her brooch is missing. She asks Anne if she touched it, and Anne admits that while Marilla was out for the afternoon, she saw it in Marilla’s room and tried it on just for a moment. Marilla, after searching her room thoroughly, realizes that Anne must have lost the brooch. Anne denies she lost it, steadfastly maintaining that she put it back. Marilla, however, cannot reconcile Anne’s story with the fact that the brooch is nowhere to be found, and she sends Anne to her room, declaring that she must stay there until she confesses.
On the day of the picnic, Anne decides to confess. In poetic, theatrical language, she explains that she borrowed the brooch so that she could imagine she was Lady Cordelia and then accidentally dropped it into the Lake of Shining Waters. Marilla is furious that Anne lied and that she seems to feel no remorse. She orders Anne to stay in her room and tells her she cannot attend the picnic—a sentence Anne thinks unjust, since Marilla promised she could leave her room once she confessed. Anne throws a fit. Matthew suggests that Marilla is being a bit harsh, but he cannot think of a good defense for Anne.
Marilla, trying to busy herself with chores, goes to fetch a black shawl that needs mending. When she picks it up, she catches sight of the brooch hanging from a thread. Realizing she was at fault the whole time and that Anne was telling the truth when she said she didn’t lose it, Marilla goes to Anne to apologize. She feels sorry for treating Anne as she did and has to squelch a desire to laugh at Anne’s invented confession. She scolds Anne for confessing to a deed she did not commit but admits she forced Anne to lie. Anne goes to her picnic and comes home overjoyed, telling stories about her adventures and about the indescribable taste of ice cream.
Anne and Diana take the most scenic route to school every day, walking on roads Anne has renamed Lover’s Lane and Willowmere and Violet Vale. Anne is thrilled to have a bosom friend in Diana and is willing to overlook Diana’s average imagination. Because Anne loves Diana so much, she lets Diana call a place the Birch Path, even though the name lacks Anne’s spark of originality. Marilla had worried that Anne’s temper, talkativeness, and oddities would cause her trouble at school, but Anne turns out to be a smart pupil and quickly adjusts. The other girls include her in their potluck lunches and exchange of small gifts. Anne dislikes boys and does not like the idea of flirting with them, though she is humiliated by the thought that boys are unlikely to flirt with her.