Again that spasm of something crossed the mans face; but this time, when he spoke, his voice was low and very sad.
Pollyanna, long years ago I loved somebody very much. I hoped to bring her, some day, to this house. I pictured how happy wed be together in our home all the long years to come.
Yes, pitied Pollyanna, her eyes shining with sympathy.
Butwell, I didnt bring her here. Never mind why. I just didnt thats all. And ever since then this great gray pile of stone has been a housenever a home. It takes a womans hand and heart, or a childs presence, to make a home, Pollyanna; and I have not had either. Now will you come, my dear?
Pollyanna sprang to her feet. Her face was fairly illumined.
Mr. Pendleton, youyou mean that you wish youyou had had that womans hand and heart all this time?
Why, y-yes, Pollyanna.
Oh, Im so glad! Then its all right, sighed the little girl. Now you can take us both, and everything will be lovely.
Takeyouboth? repeated the man, dazedly.
A faint doubt crossed Pollyannas countenance.
Well, of course, Aunt Polly isnt won over, yet; but Im sure she will be if you tell it to her just as you did to me, and then wed both come, of course.
A look of actual terror leaped to the mans eyes.
Aunt Polly comehere!
Pollyannas eyes widened a little.
Would you rather go there? she asked. Of course the house isnt quite so pretty, but its nearer
Pollyanna, what are you talking about? asked the man, very gently now.
Why, about where were going to live, of course, rejoined Pollyanna, in obvious surprise. I thought you meant here, at first. You said it was here that you had wanted Aunt Pollys hand and heart all these years to make a home, and
An inarticulate cry came from the mans throat. He raised his hand and began to speak; but the next moment he dropped his hand nervelessly at his side.
The doctor, sir, said the maid in the doorway.
Pollyanna rose at once.
John Pendleton turned to her feverishly.
Pollyanna, for Heavens sake, say nothing of what I asked youyet, he begged, in a low voice. Pollyanna dimpled into a sunny smile.
Of course not! Just as if I didnt know youd rather tell her yourself! she called back merrily over her shoulder.
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