A Waiting Game
On the day after John Pendletons call at the Harrington homestead, Miss Polly set herself to the task of preparing Pollyanna for the visit of the specialist.
Pollyanna, my dear, she began gently, we have decided that we want another doctor besides Dr. Warren to see you. Another one might tell us something new to doto help you get well faster, you know.
A joyous light came to Pollyannas face.
Dr. Chilton! Oh, Aunt Polly, Id so love to have Dr. Chilton! Ive wanted him all the time, but I was afraid you didnt, on account of his seeing you in the sun parlor that day, you know; so I didnt like to say anything. But Im so glad you do want him!
Aunt Pollys face had turned white, then red, then back to white again. But when she answered, she showed very plainly that she was trying to speak lightly and cheerfully.
Oh, no, dear! It wasnt Dr. Chilton at all that I meant. It is a new doctora very famous doctor from New York, whowho knows a great deal aboutabout hurts like yours.
Pollyannas face fell.
I dont believe he knows half so much as Dr. Chilton.
Oh, yes, he does, Im sure, dear.
But it was Dr. Chilton who doctored Mr. Pendletons broken leg, Aunt Polly. Ifif you dont mind very much, I would like to have Dr. Chiltontruly I would!
A distressed color suffused Miss Pollys face. For a moment she did not speak at all; then she said gentlythough yet with a touch of her old stern decisiveness:
But I do mind, Pollyanna. I mind very much. I would do anythingalmost anything for you, my dear; but Ifor reasons which I do not care to speak of now, I dont wish Dr. Chilton called in onon this case. And believe me, he can not know so much aboutabout your trouble, as this great doctor does, who will come from New York tomorrow.
Pollyanna still looked unconvinced.
But, Aunt Polly, if you loved Dr. Chilton
What, Pollyanna? Aunt Pollys voice was very sharp now. Her cheeks were very red, too.
I say, if you loved Dr. Chilton, and didnt love the other one, sighed Pollyanna, seems to me that would make some difference in the good he would do; and I love Dr. Chilton.
The nurse entered the room at that moment, and Aunt Polly rose to her feet abruptly, a look of relief on her face.
I am very sorry, Pollyanna, she said, a little stiffly; but Im afraid youll have to let me be the judge, this time. Besides, its already arranged. The New York doctor is coming tomorrow.
As it happened, however, the New York doctor did not come tomorrow. At the last moment a telegram told of an unavoidable delay owing to the sudden illness of the specialist himself. This led Pollyanna into a renewed pleading for the substitution of Dr. Chilton which would be so easy now, you know.
But as before, Aunt Polly shook her head and said no, dear, very decisively, yet with a still more anxious assurance that she would do anythinganything but thatto please her dear Pollyanna.
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