Yes, sir; I saw it in your eyes, you know, and in your smile.
Humph! grunted the man, as he passed on.
The Man always spoke to Pollyanna after this, and frequently he spoke first, though usually he said little but good afternoon. Even that, however, was a great surprise to Nancy, who chanced to be with Pollyanna one day when the greeting was given.
Sakes alive, Miss Pollyanna, she gasped, did that man speak to you?
Why, yes, he always doesnow, smiled Pollyanna.
He always does! Goodness! Do you know whoheis? demanded Nancy.
Pollyanna frowned and shook her head.
I reckon he forgot to tell me one day. You see, I did my part of the introducing, but he didnt.
Nancys eyes widened.
But he never speaks ter anybody, childhe haint for years, I guess, except when he just has to, for business, and all that. Hes John Pendleton. He lives all by himself in the big house on Pendleton Hill. He wont even have any one round ter cook for himcomes down ter the hotel for his meals three times a day. I know Sally Miner, who waits on him, and she says he hardly opens his head enough ter tell what he wants ter eat. She has ter guess it moren half the timeonly itll be somethin cheap! She knows that without no tellin.
Pollyanna nodded sympathetically.
I know. You have to look for cheap things when youre poor. Father and I took meals out a lot. We had beans and fish balls most generally. We used to say how glad we were we liked beansthat is, we said it specially when we were looking at the roast turkey place, you know, that was sixty cents. Does Mr. Pendleton like beans?
Like em! What if he doesor dont? Why, Miss Pollyanna, he aint poor. Hes got loads of money, John Pendleton hasfrom his father. There aint nobody in town as rich as he is. He could eat dollar bills, if he wanted toand not know it.
As if anybody could eat dollar bills and not know it, Nancy, when they come to try to chew em!
Ho! I mean hes rich enough ter do it, shrugged Nancy. He aint spendin his money, thats all. Hes a-savin of it.
Oh, for the heathen, surmised Pollyanna. How perfectly splendid! Thats denying yourself and taking up your cross. I know; father told me.
Nancys lips parted abruptly, as if there were angry words all ready to come; but her eyes, resting on Pollyannas jubilantly trustful face, saw something that prevented the words being spoken.
Humph! she vouchsafed. Then, showing her old-time interest, she went on: But, say, it is queer, his speakin to you, honestly, Miss Pollyanna. He dont speak ter no one; and he lives all alone in a great big lovely house all full of jest grand things, they say. Some says hes crazy, and some jest cross; and some says hes got a skeleton in his closet.
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