In the sick-room, after the girl had ushered her in and closed the door, Pollyanna blinked a little before she could accustom her eyes to the gloom. Then she saw, dimly outlined, a woman half-sitting up in the bed across the room. Pollyanna advanced at once.
How do you do, Mrs. Snow? Aunt Polly says she hopes you are comfortable today, and shes sent you some calfs-foot jelly.
Dear me! jelly? murmured a fretful voice,
Of course Im very much obliged, but I was hoping twould be lamb broth today.
Pollyanna frowned a little.
Why, I thought it was chicken you wanted when folks brought you jelly, she said.
What? The sick woman turned sharply.
Why, nothing, much, apologized Pollyanna, hurriedly; and of course it doesnt really make any difference. Its only that Nancy said it was chicken you wanted when we brought jelly, and lamb broth when we brought chickenbut maybe twas the other way, and Nancy forgot.
The sick woman pulled herself up till she sat erect in the beda most unusual thing for her to do, though Pollyanna did not know this.
Well, Miss Impertinence, who are you? she demanded.
Pollyanna laughed gleefully.
Oh, that isnt my name, Mrs. Snowand Im so glad tisnt, too! That would be worse than Hephzibah, wouldnt it? Im Pollyanna Whittier, Miss Polly Harringtons niece, and Ive come to live with her. Thats why Im here with the jelly this morning.
All through the first part of this sentence, the sick woman had sat interestedly erect; but at the reference to the jelly she fell back on her pillow listlessly.
Very well; thank you. Your aunt is very kind, of course, but my appetite isnt very good this morning, and I was wanting lamb She stopped suddenly, then went on with an abrupt change of subject. I never slept a wink last nightnot a wink!
O dear, I wish I didnt, sighed Pollyanna, placing the jelly on the little stand and seating herself comfortably in the nearest chair. You lose such a lot of time just sleeping! Dont you think so?
Lose timesleeping! exclaimed the sick woman.
Yes, when you might be just living, you know. It seems such a pity we cant live nights, too.
Once again the woman pulled herself erect in her bed.
Well, if you aint the amazing young one! she cried. Here! do you go to that window and pull up the curtain, she directed. I should like to know what you look like!
Pollyanna rose to her feet, but she laughed a little ruefully.
O dear! then youll see my freckles, wont you? she sighed, as she went to the window; and just when I was being so glad it was dark and you couldnt see em. There! Now you canoh! she broke off excitedly, as she turned back to the bed; Im so glad you wanted to see me, because now I can see you! They didnt tell me you were so pretty!
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