me to enter it, I might take it that she was begging my pardon, and that all would be as before—which meant that she’d marry me. Perhaps you see her summoning me now—but I don’t!”

“But couldn’t you go—without a summons?”

The doctor frowned.

“Well, hardly. I have some pride, you know.”

“But if you’re so anxious—couldn’t you swallow your pride and forget the quarrel—”

“Forget the quarrel!” interrupted the doctor, savagely. “I’m not talking of that kind of pride. So far as that is concerned, I’d go from here there on my knees—or on my head—if that would do any good. It’s professional pride I’m talking about. It’s a case of sickness, and I’m a doctor. I can’t butt in and say, ‘Here, take me!’ can I?”

“Chilton, what was the quarrel?” demanded Pendleton.

The doctor made an impatient gesture, and got to his feet.

“What was it? What’s any lovers’ quarrel after it’s over?” he snarled, pacing the room angrily. “A silly wrangle over the size of the moon or the depth of a river, maybe—it might as well be, so far as its having any real significance compared to the years of misery that follow them! Never mind the quarrel! So far as I am concerned, I am willing to say there was no quarrel. Pendleton, I must see that child. It may mean life or death. It will mean—I honestly believe—nine chances out of ten that Pollyanna Whittier will walk again!”

The words were spoken clearly, impressively; and they were spoken just as the one who uttered them had almost reached the open window near John Pendleton’s chair. Thus it happened that very distinctly they reached the ears of a small boy kneeling beneath the window on the ground outside.

Jimmy Bean, at his Saturday morning task of pulling up the first little green weeds of the flowerbeds, sat up with ears and eyes wide open.

“Walk! Pollyanna!” John Pendleton was saying. “What do you mean?”

I mean that from what I can hear and learn—a mile from her bedside—that her case is very much like one that a college friend of mine has just helped. For years he’s been making this sort of thing a special study. I’ve kept in touch with him, and studied, too, in a way. And from what I hear—but I want to see the girl!”

John Pendleton came erect in his chair.

“You must see her, man! Couldn’t you—say, through Dr. Warren?”

The other shook his head.

“I’m afraid not. Warren has been very decent, though. He told me himself that he suggested consultation with me at the first, but—Miss Harrington said no so decisively that he didn’t dare venture it again, even though he knew of my desire to see the child. Lately, some of his best patients have come over to me—so of course that ties my hands still more effectually. But, Pendleton, I’ve got to see that child! Think of what it may mean to her—if I do!”

“Yes, and think of what it will mean—if you don’t!” retorted Pendleton.

“But how can I—without a direct request from her aunt?—which I’ll never get!”

  By PanEris using Melati.

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