The great gray pile of masonry looked very different to Pollyanna when she made her second visit to the house of Mr. John Pendleton. Windows were open, an elderly woman was hanging out clothes in the back yard, and the doctors gig stood under the porte-cochère.
As before Pollyanna went to the side door. This time she rang the bellher fingers were not stiff today from a tight clutch on a bunch of keys.
A familiar-looking small dog bounded up the steps to greet her, but there was a slight delay before the woman who had been hanging out the clothes opened the door.
If you please, Ive brought some calfs-foot jelly for Mr. Pendleton, smiled Pollyanna.
Thank you, said the woman, reaching for the bowl in the little girls hand. Who shall I say sent it? And its calfs-foot jelly?
The doctor, coming into the hall at that moment, heard the womans words and saw the disappointed look on Pollyannas face. He stepped quickly forward.
Ah! Some calfs-foot jelly? he asked genially. That will be fine! Maybe youd like to see our patient, eh?
Oh, yes, sir, beamed Pollyanna; and the woman, in obedience to a nod from the doctor, led the way down the hall at once, though plainly with vast surprise on her face.
Behind the doctor, a young man (a trained nurse from the nearest city) gave a disturbed exclamation.
But, Doctor, didnt Mr. Pendleton give orders not to admitany one?
Oh, yes, nodded the doctor, imperturbably. But Im giving orders now. Ill take the risk. Then he added whimsically: You dont know, of course; but that little girl is better than a six-quart bottle of tonic any day. If anything or anybody can take the grouch out of Pendleton this afternoon, she can. Thats why I sent her in.
Who is she?
For one brief moment the doctor hesitated.
Shes the niece of one of our best known residents. Her name is Pollyanna Whittier. II dont happen to enjoy a very extensive personal acquaintance with the little lady as yet; but lots of my patients doIm thankful to say!
The nurse smiled.
Indeed! And what are the special ingredients of this wonder-workingtonic of hers?
The doctor shook his head.
I dont know. As near as I can find out it is an overwhelming, unquenchable gladness for everything that has happened or is going to happen. At any rate, her quaint speeches are constantly being repeated to me, and, as near as I can make out, just being glad is the tenor of most of them. All is, he added, with another whimsical smile, as he stepped out on to the porch, I wish I could prescribe herand buy heras I would a box of pills;though if there gets to be many of her in the world, you and I might as well go to ribbon-selling and ditch-digging for all the money wed get out of nursing and doctoring, he laughed, picking up the reins and stepping into the gig.
|Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Bibliomania.com Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.|