The Coming of Pollyanna
In due time came the telegram announcing that Pollyanna would arrive in Beldingsville the next day, the twenty-fifth of June, at four oclock. Miss Polly read the telegram, frowned, then climbed the stairs to the attic room. She still frowned as she looked about her.
The room contained a small bed, neatly made, two straight-backed chairs, a washstand, a bureauwithout any mirrorand a small table. There were no drapery curtains at the dormer windows, no pictures on the wall. All day the sun had been pouring down upon the roof, and the little room was like an oven for heat. As there were no screens, the windows had not been raised. A big fly was buzzing angrily at one of them now, up and down, up and down, trying to get out.
Miss Polly killed the fly, swept it through the window (raising the sash an inch for the purpose), straightened a chair, frowned again, and left the room.
Nancy, she said a few minutes later, at the kitchen door, I found a fly upstairs in Miss Pollyannas room. The window must have been raised at some time. I have ordered screens, but until they come I shall expect you to see that the windows remain closed. My niece will arrive tomorrow at four oclock. I desire you to meet her at the station. Timothy will take the open buggy and drive you over. The telegram says light hair, red-checked gingham dress, and straw hat. That is all I know, but I think it is sufficient for your purpose.
Yes, maam; butyou
Miss Polly evidently read the pause aright, for she frowned and said crisply:
No, I shall not go. It is not necessary that I should, I think. That is all. And she turned awayMiss Pollys arrangements for the comfort of her niece, Pollyanna, were complete.
In the kitchen, Nancy sent her flatiron with a vicious dig across the dish-towel she was ironing.
Light hair, red-checked gingham dress, and straw hatall she knows, indeed! Well, Id be ashamed ter own it up, that I would, I wouldand her my onliest niece what was a-comin from way across the continent!
Promptly at twenty minutes to four the next afternoon Timothy and Nancy drove off in the open buggy to meet the expected guest. Timothy was Old Toms son. It was sometimes said in the town that if Old Tom was Miss Pollys right-hand man, Timothy was her left.
Timothy was a good-natured youth, and a good-looking one, as well. Short as had been Nancys stay at the house, the two were already good friends. To-day, however, Nancy was too full of her mission to be her usual talkative self; and almost in silence she took the drive to the station and alighted to wait for the train.
Over and over in her mind she was saying it light hair, red-checked dress, straw hat. Over and over again she was wondering just what sort of child this Pollyanna was, anyway.
I hope for her sake shes quiet and sensible, and dont drop knives nor bang doors, she sighed to Timothy, who had sauntered up to her.
Well, if she aint, nobody knows whatll become of the rest of us, grinned Timothy. Imagine Miss Polly and a noisy kid! Gorry! there goes the whistle now!
Oh, Timothy, II think it was mean ter send me, chattered the suddenly frightened Nancy, as she turned and hurried to a point where she could best watch the passengers alight at the little station.
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