The Little Attic Room
Miss Polly Harrington did not rise to meet her niece. She looked up from her book, it is true, as Nancy and the little girl appeared in the sitting-room doorway, and she held out a hand with duty written large on every coldly extended finger.
How do you do, Pollyanna? I She had no chance to say more. Pollyanna, had fairly flown across the room and flung herself into her aunts scandalized, unyielding lap.
Oh, Aunt Polly, Aunt Polly, I dont know how to be glad enough that you let me come to live with you, she was sobbing. You dont know how perfectly lovely it is to have you and Nancy and all this after youve had just the Ladies Aid!
Very likelythough Ive not had the pleasure of the Ladies Aids acquaintance, rejoined Miss Polly, stiffly, trying to unclasp the small, clinging fingers, and turning frowning eyes on Nancy in the doorway. Nancy, that will do. You may go. Pollyanna, be good enough, please, to stand erect in a proper manner. I dont know yet what you look like.
Pollyanna drew back at once, laughing a little hysterically.
No, I suppose you dont; but you see Im not very much to took at, anyway, on account of the freckles. Oh, and I ought to explain about the red gingham and the black velvet basque with white spots on the elbows. I told Nancy how father said
Yes; well, never mind now what your father said, interrupted Miss Polly, crisply. You had a trunk, I presume?
Oh, yes, indeed, Aunt Polly. Ive got a beautiful trunk that the Ladies Aid gave me. I havent got so very much in itof my own, I mean. The barrels havent had many clothes for little girls in them lately; but there were all fathers books, and Mrs. White said she thought I ought to have those. You see, father
Pollyanna, interrupted her aunt again, sharply, there is one thing that might just as well be understood right away at once; and that is, I do not care to have you keep talking of your father to me.
The little girl drew in her breath tremulously.
Why, Aunt Polly, youyou mean She hesitated, and her aunt filled the pause.
We will go upstairs to your room. Your trunk is already there, I presume. I told Timothy to take it upif you had one. You may follow me, Pollyanna.
Without speaking, Pollyanna turned and followed her aunt from the room. Her eyes were brimming with tears, but her chin was bravely high.
After all, II reckon Im glad she doesnt want me to talk about father, Pollyanna was thinking. Itll be easier, maybeif I dont talk about him. Probably, anyhow, that is why she told me not to talk about him. And Pollyanna, convinced anew of her aunts kindness, blinked off the tears and looked eagerly about her.
She was on the stairway now. just ahead, her aunts black silk skirt rustled luxuriously. Behind her an open door allowed a glimpse of soft-tinted rugs and satin-covered chairs. Beneath her feet a marvellous carpet was like green moss to the tread. On every side the gilt of picture frames or the glint of sunlight through the filmy mesh of lace curtains flashed in her eyes.
Oh, Aunt Polly, Aunt Polly, breathed the little girl, rapturously; what a perfectly lovely, lovely house! How awfully glad you must be youre so rich!
Pollyanna! ejaculated her aunt, turning sharply about as she reached the head of the stairs. Im surprised at youmaking a speech like that to me!
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