Pollyanna, meanwhile, in accordance with the doctors orders, was being escorted to John Pendletons rooms.
Her way led through the great library at the end of the hall, and, rapid as was her progress through it, Pollyanna saw at once that great changes had taken place. The book-lined walls and the crimson curtains were the same; but there was no litter on the floor, no untidiness on the desk, and not so much as a grain of dust in sight. The telephone card hung in its proper place, and the brass andirons had been polished. One of the mysterious doors was open, and it was toward this that the maid led the way. A moment later Pollyanna found herself in a sumptuously furnished bedroom while the maid was saying in a frightened voice:
If you please, sir, hereheres a little girl with some jelly. The doctor said I was toto bring her in.
The next moment Pollyanna found herself alone with a very cross-looking man lying flat on his back in bed.
See here, didnt I say began an angry voice. Oh, its you! it broke off not very graciously, as Pollyanna advanced toward the bed.
Yes, sir, smiled Pollyanna. Oh, Im so glad they let me in! You see, at first the lady most took my jelly, and I was so afraid I wasnt going to see you at all. Then the doctor came, and he said I might. Wasnt he lovely to let me see you?
In spite of himself the mans lips twitched into a smile; but all he said was Humph!
And Ive brought you some jelly, resumed Pollyanna; calfs-foot. I hope you like it? There was a rising inflection in her voice.
Never ate it. The fleeting smile had gone, and the scowl had come back to the mans face.
For a brief instant Pollyannas countenance showed disappointment; but it cleared as she set the bowl of jelly down.
Didnt you? Well, if you didnt, then you cant know you dont like it, anyhow, can you? So I reckon Im glad you havent, after all. Now, if you knew
Yes, yes; well, theres one thing I know all right, and that is that Im flat on my back right here this minute, and that Im liable to stay heretill doomsday, I guess.
Pollyanna looked shocked.
Oh, no! It couldnt be till doomsday, you know, when the angel Gabriel blows his trumpet, unless it should come quicker than we think it willoh, of course, I know the Bible says it may come quicker than we think, but I dont think it willthat is, of course I believe the Bible; but I mean I dont think it will come as much quicker as it would if it should come now, and
John Pendleton laughed suddenlyand aloud. The nurse, coming in at that moment, heard the laugh, and beat a hurriedbut a very silentretreat. He had the air of a frightened cook who, seeing the danger of a breath of cold air striking a half-done cake, hastily shuts the oven door.
Arent you getting a little mixed? asked John Pendleton of Pollyanna.
The little girl laughed.
Maybe. But what I mean is, that legs dont lastbroken ones, you knowlike lifelong invalids, same as Mrs. Snow has got. So yours wont last till doomsday at all. I should think you could be glad of that.
|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.|