Pollyanna Pays a Visit
It was not long before life at the Harrington homestead settled into something like orderthough not exactly the order that Miss Polly had at first prescribed. Pollyanna sewed, practised, read aloud, and studied cooking in the kitchen, it is true; but she did not give to any of these things quite so much time as had first been planned. She had more time, also, to just live, as she expressed it, for almost all of every afternoon from two until six oclock was hers to do with as she likedprovided she did not like to do certain things already prohibited by Aunt Polly.
It is a question, perhaps, whether all this leisure time was given to the child as a relief to Pollyanna from workor as a relief to Aunt Polly from Pollyanna. Certainly, as those first July days passed, Miss Polly found occasion many times to ejaculate What an extraordinary child! and certainly the reading and sewing lessons found her at their conclusion each day somewhat dazed and wholly exhausted.
Nancy, in the kitchen, fared better. She was not dazed nor exhausted. Wednesdays and Saturdays came to be, indeed, red-letter days to her.
There were no children in the immediate neighborhood of the Harrington homestead for Pollyanna to play with. The house itself was on the outskirts of the village, and though there were other houses not far away, they did not chance to contain any boys or girls near Pollyannas age. This, however, did not seem to disturb Pollyanna in the least.
Oh, no, I dont mind it at all, she explained to Nancy. Im happy just to walk around and see the streets and the houses and watch the people. I just love people. Dont you, Nancy?
Well, I cant say I doall of em, retorted Nancy, tersely.
Almost every pleasant afternoon found Pollyanna begging for an errand to run, so that she might be off for a walk in one direction or another; and it was on these walks that frequently she met the Man. To herself Pollyanna always called him the Man, no matter if she met a dozen other men the same day.
The Man often wore a long black coat and a high silk hattwo things that the just men never wore. His face was clean shaven and rather pale, and his hair, showing below his hat, was somewhat gray. He walked erect, and rather rapidly, and he was always alone, which made Pollyanna vaguely sorry for him. Perhaps it was because of this that she one day spoke to him.
How do you do, sir? Isnt this a nice day? she called cheerily, as she approached him.
The man threw a hurried glance about him, then stopped uncertainly.
Did you speakto me? he asked in a sharp voice.
Yes, sir, beamed Pollyanna. I say, its a nice day, isnt it?
Eh? Oh! Humph! he grunted; and strode on again.
Pollyanna laughed. He was such a funny man, she thought.
The next day she saw him again.
Tisnt quite so nice as yesterday, but its pretty nice, she called out cheerfully.
Eh? Oh! Humph! grunted the man as before; and once again Pollyanna laughed happily.
When for the third time Pollyanna accosted him in much the same manner, the man stopped abruptly.
See here, child, who are you, and why are you speaking to me every day?
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