A Question Answered
The sky was darkening fast with what appeared to be an approaching thunder shower when Pollyanna hurried down the hill from John Pendletons house. Half-way home she met Nancy with an umbrella. By that time, however, the clouds had shifted their position and the shower was not so imminent.
Guess its goin round ter the north, announced Nancy, eyeing the sky critically. I thought twas, all the time, but Miss Polly wanted me ter come with this. She was worried about ye!
Was she? murmured Pollyanna abstractedly, eyeing the clouds in her turn.
Nancy sniffed a little.
You dont seem ter notice what I said, she observed aggrievedly. I said yer aunt was worried about ye!
Oh, sighed Pollyanna, remembering suddenly the question she was so soon to ask her aunt. Im sorry. I didnt mean to scare her.
Well, Im glad, retorted Nancy, unexpectedly. I am, I am.
Glad that Aunt Polly was scared about me! Why, Nancy, that isnt the way to play the gameto be glad for things like that! she objected.
There want no game in it, retorted Nancy. Never thought of it. You dont seem ter sense what it means ter have Miss Polly worried about ye, child!
Why, it means worriedand worried is horridto feel, maintained Pollyanna. What else can it mean?
Nancy tossed her head.
Well, Ill tell ye what it means. It means shes at last gettin down somewheres near humanlike folks; an that she aint jest doin her duty by ye all the time.
Why, Nancy, demurred the scandalized Pollyanna, Aunt Polly always does her duty. Sheshes a very dutiful woman! Unconsciously Pollyanna repeated John Pendletons words of half an hour before.
Youre right she isand she always was, I guess! But shes somethin more, now, since you came.
Pollyannas face changed. Her brows drew into a troubled frown.
There, thats what I was going to ask you, Nancy, she sighed. Do you think Aunt Polly likes to have me here? Would she mindif if I wasnt here any more?
Nancy threw a quick look into the little girls absorbed face. She had expected to be asked this question long before, and she had dreaded it. She had wondered how she should answer ithow she could answer it honestly without cruelly hurting the questioner. But now, now, in the face of the new suspicions that had become convictions by the afternoons umbrella-sendingNancy only welcomed the question with open arms. She was sure that, with a clean conscience today, she could set the love-hungry little girls heart at rest.
Likes ter have ye here? Would she miss ye if ye want here? cried Nancy, indignantly. As if that want jest what I was tellin of ye! Didnt she send me posthaste with an umbrella cause she see a little cloud
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