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´╗┐Title: Pollyanna Grows Up
Author: Porter, Eleanor H. (Eleanor Hodgman), 1868-1920
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Pollyanna Grows Up" ***

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POLLYANNA GROWS UP


The Second Glad Book
      Trade----Mark


By Eleanor H. Porter

Author of "Pollyanna: The Glad Book." "Miss Billy,"
                     Trade----Mark
"Miss Billy's Decision," "Miss Billy--Married,"
"Cross Currents," "The Turn of the Tide," etc.


Illustrated by

H. Weston Taylor



To My Cousin Walter



CONTENTS

I. Della Speaks Her Mind
II. Some Old Friends
III. A Dose Of Pollyanna
IV. The Game And Mrs. Carew
V. Pollyanna Takes A Walk
VI. Jerry To The Rescue
VII. A New Acquaintance
VIII. Jamie
IX. Plans And Plottings
X. In Murphy's Alley
XI. A Surprise For Mrs. Carew
XII. From Behind A Counter
XIII. A Waiting And A Winning
XIV. Jimmy And The Green-Eyed Monster
XV. Aunt Polly Takes Alarm
XVI. When Pollyanna Was Expected
XVII. When Pollyanna Came
XVIII. A Matter Of Adjustment
XIX. Two Letters
XX. The Paying Guests
XXI. Summer Days
XXII. Comrades
XXIII. "Tied To Two Sticks"
XXIV. Jimmy Wakes Up
XXV. The Game And Pollyanna
XXVI. John Pendleton
XXVII. The Day Pollyanna Did Not Play
XXVIII. Jimmy And Jamie
XXIX. Jimmy And John
XXX. John Pendleton Turns The Key
XXXI. After Long Years
XXXII. A New Aladdin



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

"Jimmy looked down at the wistful, eager face"
"'Oh, my! What a perfectly lovely automobile!'"
"Twice again, after short intervals, she trod the fascinating way"
"It was a wonderful hour"
"'I don't know her name yet, but I know HER, so it's all right'"
"'The instrument that you play on, Pollyanna, will be the great
    heart of the world'"
"Involuntarily she turned as if to flee"
"'I'm glad, GLAD, _GLAD_ for--everything now!'"



CHAPTER I

DELLA SPEAKS HER MIND


Della Wetherby tripped up the somewhat imposing steps of her sister's
Commonwealth Avenue home and pressed an energetic finger against the
electric-bell button. From the tip of her wing-trimmed hat to the toe
of her low-heeled shoe she radiated health, capability, and alert
decision. Even her voice, as she greeted the maid that opened the
door, vibrated with the joy of living.

"Good morning, Mary. Is my sister in?"

"Y-yes, ma'am, Mrs. Carew is in," hesitated the girl; "but--she gave
orders she'd see no one."

"Did she? Well, I'm no one," smiled Miss Wetherby, "so she'll see me.
Don't worry--I'll take the blame," she nodded, in answer to the
frightened remonstrance in the girl's eyes. "Where is she--in her
sitting-room?"

"Y-yes, ma'am; but--that is, she said--" Miss Wetherby, however, was
already halfway up the broad stairway; and, with a despairing backward
glance, the maid turned away.

In the hall above Della Wetherby unhesitatingly walked toward a
half-open door, and knocked.

"Well, Mary," answered a "dear-me-what-now" voice. "Haven't I--Oh,
Della!" The voice grew suddenly warm with love and surprise. "You dear
girl, where did you come from?"

"Yes, it's Della," smiled that young woman, blithely, already halfway
across the room. "I've come from an over-Sunday at the beach with two
of the other nurses, and I'm on my way back to the Sanatorium now.
That is, I'm here now, but I sha'n't be long. I stepped in for--this,"
she finished, giving the owner of the "dear-me-what-now" voice a
hearty kiss.

Mrs. Carew frowned and drew back a little coldly. The slight touch of
joy and animation that had come into her face fled, leaving only a
dispirited fretfulness that was plainly very much at home there.

"Oh, of course! I might have known," she said. "You never stay--here."

"Here!" Della Wetherby laughed merrily, and threw up her hands; then,
abruptly, her voice and manner changed. She regarded her sister with
grave, tender eyes. "Ruth, dear, I couldn't--I just couldn't live in
this house. You know I couldn't," she finished gently.

Mrs. Carew stirred irritably.

"I'm sure I don't see why not," she fenced.

Della Wetherby shook her head.

"Yes, you do, dear. You know I'm entirely out of sympathy with it all:
the gloom, the lack of aim, the insistence on misery and bitterness."

"But I AM miserable and bitter."

"You ought not to be."

"Why not? What have I to make me otherwise?"

Della Wetherby gave an impatient gesture.

"Ruth, look here," she challenged. "You're thirty-three years old. You
have good health--or would have, if you treated yourself properly--and
you certainly have an abundance of time and a superabundance of money.
Surely anybody would say you ought to find SOMETHING to do this
glorious morning besides sitting moped up in this tomb-like house with
instructions to the maid that you'll see no one."

"But I don't WANT to see anybody."

"Then I'd MAKE myself want to."

Mrs. Carew sighed wearily and turned away her head.

"Oh, Della, why won't you ever understand? I'm not like you. I
can't--forget."

A swift pain crossed the younger woman's face.

"You mean--Jamie, I suppose. I don't forget--that, dear. I couldn't,
of course. But moping won't help us--find him."

"As if I hadn't TRIED to find him, for eight long years--and by
something besides moping," flashed Mrs. Carew, indignantly, with a sob
in her voice.

"Of course you have, dear," soothed the other, quickly; "and we shall
keep on hunting, both of us, till we do find him--or die. But THIS
sort of thing doesn't help."

"But I don't want to do--anything else," murmured Ruth Carew,
drearily.

For a moment there was silence. The younger woman sat regarding her
sister with troubled, disapproving eyes.

"Ruth," she said, at last, with a touch of exasperation, "forgive me,
but--are you always going to be like this? You're widowed, I'll admit;
but your married life lasted only a year, and your husband was much
older than yourself. You were little more than a child at the time,
and that one short year can't seem much more than a dream now. Surely
that ought not to embitter your whole life!"

"No, oh, no," murmured Mrs. Carew, still drearily.

"Then ARE you going to be always like this?"

"Well, of course, if I could find Jamie--"

"Yes, yes, I know; but, Ruth, dear, isn't there anything in the world
but Jamie--to make you ANY happy?"

"There doesn't seem to be, that I can think of," sighed Mrs. Carew,
indifferently.

"Ruth!" ejaculated her sister, stung into something very like anger.
Then suddenly she laughed. "Oh, Ruth, Ruth, I'd like to give you a
dose of Pollyanna. I don't know any one who needs it more!"

Mrs. Carew stiffened a little.

"Well, what pollyanna may be I don't know, but whatever it is, I don't
want it," she retorted sharply, nettled in her turn. "This isn't your
beloved Sanatorium, and I'm not your patient to be dosed and bossed,
please remember."

Della Wetherby's eyes danced, but her lips remained unsmiling.

"Pollyanna isn't a medicine, my dear," she said demurely, "--though I
have heard some people call her a tonic. Pollyanna is a little girl."

"A child? Well, how should I know," retorted the other, still
aggrievedly. "You have your 'belladonna,' so I'm sure I don't see why
not 'pollyanna.' Besides, you're always recommending something for me
to take, and you distinctly said 'dose'--and dose usually means
medicine, of a sort."

"Well, Pollyanna IS a medicine--of a sort," smiled Della. "Anyway, the
Sanatorium doctors all declare that she's better than any medicine
they can give. She's a little girl, Ruth, twelve or thirteen years
old, who was at the Sanatorium all last summer and most of the winter.
I didn't see her but a month or two, for she left soon after I
arrived. But that was long enough for me to come fully under her
spell. Besides, the whole Sanatorium is still talking Pollyanna, and
playing her game."

"GAME!"

"Yes," nodded Della, with a curious smile. "Her 'glad game.' I'll
never forget my first introduction to it. One feature of her treatment
was particularly disagreeable and even painful. It came every Tuesday
morning, and very soon after my arrival it fell to my lot to give it
to her. I was dreading it, for I knew from past experience with other
children what to expect: fretfulness and tears, if nothing worse. To
my unbounded amazement she greeted me with a smile and said she was
glad to see me; and, if you'll believe it, there was never so much as
a whimper from her lips through the whole ordeal, though I knew I was
hurting her cruelly.

"I fancy I must have said something that showed my surprise, for she
explained earnestly: 'Oh, yes, I used to feel that way, too, and I did
dread it so, till I happened to think 'twas just like Nancy's
wash-days, and I could be gladdest of all on TUESDAYS, 'cause there
wouldn't be another one for a whole week.'"

"Why, how extraordinary!" frowned Mrs. Carew, not quite comprehending.
"But, I'm sure I don't see any GAME to that."

"No, I didn't, till later. Then she told me. It seems she was the
motherless daughter of a poor minister in the West, and was brought up
by the Ladies' Aid Society and missionary barrels. When she was a tiny
girl she wanted a doll, and confidently expected it in the next
barrel; but there turned out to be nothing but a pair of little
crutches.

"The child cried, of course, and it was then that her father taught
her the game of hunting for something to be glad about, in everything
that happened; and he said she could begin right then by being glad
she didn't NEED the crutches. That was the beginning. Pollyanna said
it was a lovely game, and she'd been playing it ever since; and that
the harder it was to find the glad part, the more fun it was, only
when it was too AWFUL hard, like she had found it sometimes."

"Why, how extraordinary!" murmured Mrs. Carew, still not entirely
comprehending.

"You'd think so--if you could see the results of that game in the
Sanatorium," nodded Della; "and Dr. Ames says he hears she's
revolutionized the whole town where she came from, just the same way.
He knows Dr. Chilton very well--the man that married Pollyanna's aunt.
And, by the way, I believe that marriage was one of her ministrations.
She patched up an old lovers' quarrel between them.

"You see, two years ago, or more, Pollyanna's father died, and the
little girl was sent East to this aunt. In October she was hurt by an
automobile, and was told she could never walk again. In April Dr.
Chilton sent her to the Sanatorium, and she was there till last
March--almost a year. She went home practically cured. You should have
seen the child! There was just one cloud to mar her happiness: that
she couldn't WALK all the way there. As near as I can gather, the
whole town turned out to meet her with brass bands and banners.

"But you can't TELL about Pollyanna. One has to SEE her. And that's
why I say I wish you could have a dose of Pollyanna. It would do you a
world of good."

Mrs. Carew lifted her chin a little.

"Really, indeed, I must say I beg to differ with you," she returned
coldly. "I don't care to be 'revolutionized,' and I have no lovers'
quarrel to be patched up; and if there is ANYTHING that would be
insufferable to me, it would be a little Miss Prim with a long face
preaching to me how much I had to be thankful for. I never could
bear--" But a ringing laugh interrupted her.

"Oh, Ruth, Ruth," choked her sister, gleefully. "Miss Prim,
indeed--POLLYANNA! Oh, oh, if only you could see that child now! But
there, I might have known. I SAID one couldn't TELL about Pollyanna.
And of course you won't be apt to see her. But--Miss Prim, indeed!"
And off she went into another gale of laughter. Almost at once,
however, she sobered and gazed at her sister with the old troubled
look in her eyes.

"Seriously, dear, can't anything be done?" she pleaded. "You ought not
to waste your life like this. Won't you try to get out a little more,
and--meet people?"

"Why should I, when I don't want to? I'm tired of--people. You know
society always bored me."

"Then why not try some sort of work--charity?"

Mrs. Carew gave an impatient gesture.

"Della, dear, we've been all over this before. I do give money--lots
of it, and that's enough. In fact, I'm not sure but it's too much. I
don't believe in pauperizing people."

"But if you'd give a little of yourself, dear," ventured Della,
gently. "If you could only get interested in something outside of your
own life, it would help so much; and--"

"Now, Della, dear," interrupted the elder sister, restively, "I love
you, and I love to have you come here; but I simply cannot endure
being preached to. It's all very well for you to turn yourself into an
angel of mercy and give cups of cold water, and bandage up broken
heads, and all that. Perhaps YOU can forget Jamie that way; but I
couldn't. It would only make me think of him all the more, wondering
if HE had any one to give him water and bandage up his head. Besides,
the whole thing would be very distasteful to me--mixing with all sorts
and kinds of people like that."

"Did you ever try it?"

"Why, no, of course not!" Mrs. Carew's voice was scornfully indignant.

"Then how can you know--till you do try?" asked the young nurse,
rising to her feet a little wearily. "But I must go, dear. I'm to meet
the girls at the South Station. Our train goes at twelve-thirty. I'm
sorry if I've made you cross with me," she finished, as she kissed her
sister good-by.

"I'm not cross with you, Della," sighed Mrs. Carew; "but if you only
would understand!"

One minute later Della Wetherby made her way through the silent,
gloomy halls, and out to the street. Face, step, and manner were very
different from what they had been when she tripped up the steps less
than half an hour before. All the alertness, the springiness, the joy
of living were gone. For half a block she listlessly dragged one foot
after the other. Then, suddenly, she threw back her head and drew a
long breath.

"One week in that house would kill me," she shuddered. "I don't
believe even Pollyanna herself could so much as make a dent in the
gloom! And the only thing she could be glad for there would be that
she didn't have to stay."

That this avowed disbelief in Pollyanna's ability to bring about a
change for the better in Mrs. Carew's home was not Della Wetherby's
real opinion, however, was quickly proved; for no sooner had the nurse
reached the Sanatorium than she learned something that sent her flying
back over the fifty-mile journey to Boston the very next day.

So exactly as before did she find circumstances at her sister's home
that it seemed almost as if Mrs. Carew had not moved since she left
her.

"Ruth," she burst out eagerly, after answering her sister's surprised
greeting, "I just HAD to come, and you must, this once, yield to me
and let me have my way. Listen! You can have that little Pollyanna
here, I think, if you will."

"But I won't," returned Mrs. Carew, with chilly promptness.

Della Wetherby did not seem to have heard. She plunged on excitedly.

"When I got back yesterday I found that Dr. Ames had had a letter from
Dr. Chilton, the one who married Pollyanna's aunt, you know. Well, it
seems in it he said he was going to Germany for the winter for a
special course, and was going to take his wife with him, if he could
persuade her that Pollyanna would be all right in some boarding school
here meantime. But Mrs. Chilton didn't want to leave Pollyanna in just
a school, and so he was afraid she wouldn't go. And now, Ruth, there's
our chance. I want YOU to take Pollyanna this winter, and let her go
to some school around here."

"What an absurd idea, Della! As if I wanted a child here to bother
with!"

"She won't bother a bit. She must be nearly or quite thirteen by this
time, and she's the most capable little thing you ever saw."

"I don't like 'capable' children," retorted Mrs. Carew perversely--but
she laughed; and because she did laugh, her sister took sudden courage
and redoubled her efforts.

Perhaps it was the suddenness of the appeal, or the novelty of it.
Perhaps it was because the story of Pollyanna had somehow touched Ruth
Carew's heart. Perhaps it was only her unwillingness to refuse her
sister's impassioned plea. Whatever it was that finally turned the
scale, when Della Wetherby took her hurried leave half an hour later,
she carried with her Ruth Carew's promise to receive Pollyanna into
her home.

"But just remember," Mrs. Carew warned her at parting, "just remember
that the minute that child begins to preach to me and to tell me to
count my mercies, back she goes to you, and you may do what you please
with her. _I_ sha'n't keep her!"

"I'll remember--but I'm not worrying any," nodded the younger woman,
in farewell. To herself she whispered, as she hurried away from the
house: "Half my job is done. Now for the other half--to get Pollyanna
to come. But she's just got to come. I'll write that letter so they
can't help letting her come!"



CHAPTER II

SOME OLD FRIENDS


In Beldingsville that August day, Mrs. Chilton waited until Pollyanna
had gone to bed before she spoke to her husband about the letter that
had come in the morning mail. For that matter, she would have had to
wait, anyway, for crowded office hours, and the doctor's two long
drives over the hills had left no time for domestic conferences.

It was about half-past nine, indeed, when the doctor entered his
wife's sitting-room. His tired face lighted at sight of her, but at
once a perplexed questioning came to his eyes.

"Why, Polly, dear, what is it?" he asked concernedly.

His wife gave a rueful laugh.

"Well, it's a letter--though I didn't mean you should find out by just
looking at me."

"Then you mustn't look so I can," he smiled. "But what is it?"

Mrs. Chilton hesitated, pursed her lips, then picked up a letter near
her.

"I'll read it to you," she said. "It's from a Miss Della Wetherby at
Dr. Ames' Sanatorium."

"All right. Fire away," directed the man, throwing himself at full
length on to the couch near his wife's chair.

But his wife did not at once "fire away." She got up first and covered
her husband's recumbent figure with a gray worsted afghan. Mrs.
Chilton's wedding day was but a year behind her. She was forty-two
now. It seemed sometimes as if into that one short year of wifehood
she had tried to crowd all the loving service and "babying" that had
been accumulating through twenty years of lovelessness and loneliness.
Nor did the doctor--who had been forty-five on his wedding day, and
who could remember nothing but loneliness and lovelessness--on his
part object in the least to this concentrated "tending." He acted,
indeed, as if he quite enjoyed it--though he was careful not to show
it too ardently: he had discovered that Mrs. Polly had for so long
been Miss Polly that she was inclined to retreat in a panic and dub
her ministrations "silly," if they were received with too much notice
and eagerness. So he contented himself now with a mere pat of her hand
as she gave the afghan a final smooth, and settled herself to read the
letter aloud.

"My dear Mrs. Chilton," Della Wetherby had written. "Just six times I
have commenced a letter to you, and torn it up; so now I have decided
not to 'commence' at all, but just to tell you what I want at once. I
want Pollyanna. May I have her?

"I met you and your husband last March when you came on to take
Pollyanna home, but I presume you don't remember me. I am asking Dr.
Ames (who does know me very well) to write your husband, so that you
may (I hope) not fear to trust your dear little niece to us.

"I understand that you would go to Germany with your husband but for
leaving Pollyanna; and so I am making so bold as to ask you to let us
take her. Indeed, I am begging you to let us have her, dear Mrs.
Chilton. And now let me tell you why.

"My sister, Mrs. Carew, is a lonely, broken-hearted, discontented,
unhappy woman. She lives in a world of gloom, into which no sunshine
penetrates. Now I believe that if anything on earth can bring the
sunshine into her life, it is your niece, Pollyanna. Won't you let her
try? I wish I could tell you what she has done for the Sanatorium
here, but nobody could TELL. You would have to see it. I long ago
discovered that you can't TELL about Pollyanna. The minute you try to,
she sounds priggish and preachy, and--impossible. Yet you and I know
she is anything but that. You just have to bring Pollyanna on to the
scene and let her speak for herself. And so I want to take her to my
sister--and let her speak for herself. She would attend school, of
course, but meanwhile I truly believe she would be healing the wound
in my sister's heart.

"I don't know how to end this letter. I believe it's harder than it
was to begin it. I'm afraid I don't want to end it at all. I just want
to keep talking and talking, for fear, if I stop, it'll give you a
chance to say no. And so, if you ARE tempted to say that dreadful
word, won't you please consider that--that I'm still talking, and
telling you how much we want and need Pollyanna.

                                    "Hopefully yours,

                                    "DELLA WETHERBY."

"There!" ejaculated Mrs. Chilton, as she laid the letter down. "Did
you ever read such a remarkable letter, or hear of a more
preposterous, absurd request?"

"Well, I'm not so sure," smiled the doctor. "I don't think it's absurd
to want Pollyanna."

"But--but the way she puts it--healing the wound in her sister's
heart, and all that. One would think the child was some sort of--of
medicine!"

The doctor laughed outright, and raised his eyebrows.

"Well, I'm not so sure but she is, Polly. I ALWAYS said I wished I
could prescribe her and buy her as I would a box of pills; and Charlie
Ames says they always made it a point at the Sanatorium to give their
patients a dose of Pollyanna as soon as possible after their arrival,
during the whole year she was there."

"'Dose,' indeed!" scorned Mrs. Chilton.

"Then--you don't think you'll let her go?"

"Go? Why, of course not! Do you think I'd let that child go to perfect
strangers like that?--and such strangers! Why, Thomas, I should expect
that that nurse would have her all bottled and labeled with full
directions on the outside how to take her, by the time I'd got back
from Germany."

Again the doctor threw back his head and laughed heartily, but only
for a moment. His face changed perceptibly as he reached into his
pocket for a letter.

"I heard from Dr. Ames myself, this morning," he said, with an odd
something in his voice that brought a puzzled frown to his wife's
brow. "Suppose I read you my letter now."

"Dear Tom," he began. "Miss Della Wetherby has asked me to give her
and her sister a 'character,' which I am very glad to do. I have known
the Wetherby girls from babyhood. They come from a fine old family,
and are thoroughbred gentlewomen. You need not fear on that score.

"There were three sisters, Doris, Ruth, and Della. Doris married a man
named John Kent, much against the family's wishes. Kent came from good
stock, but was not much himself, I guess, and was certainly a very
eccentric, disagreeable man to deal with. He was bitterly angry at the
Wetherbys' attitude toward him, and there was little communication
between the families until the baby came. The Wetherbys worshiped the
little boy, James--'Jamie,' as they called him. Doris, the mother,
died when the boy was four years old, and the Wetherbys were making
every effort to get the father to give the child entirely up to them,
when suddenly Kent disappeared, taking the boy with him. He has never
been heard from since, though a world-wide search has been made.

"The loss practically killed old Mr. and Mrs. Wetherby. They both died
soon after. Ruth was already married and widowed. Her husband was a
man named Carew, very wealthy, and much older than herself. He lived
but a year or so after marriage, and left her with a young son who
also died within a year.

"From the time little Jamie disappeared, Ruth and Della seemed to have
but one object in life, and that was to find him. They have spent
money like water, and have all but moved heaven and earth; but without
avail. In time Della took up nursing. She is doing splendid work, and
has become the cheerful, efficient, sane woman that she was meant to
be--though still never forgetting her lost nephew, and never leaving
unfollowed any possible clew that might lead to his discovery.

"But with Mrs. Carew it is quite different. After losing her own boy,
she seemed to concentrate all her thwarted mother-love on her sister's
son. As you can imagine, she was frantic when he disappeared. That was
eight years ago--for her, eight long years of misery, gloom, and
bitterness. Everything that money can buy, of course, is at her
command; but nothing pleases her, nothing interests her. Della feels
that the time has come when she must be gotten out of herself, at all
hazards; and Della believes that your wife's sunny little niece,
Pollyanna, possesses the magic key that will unlock the door to a new
existence for her. Such being the case, I hope you will see your way
clear to granting her request. And may I add that I, too, personally,
would appreciate the favor; for Ruth Carew and her sister are very
old, dear friends of my wife and myself; and what touches them touches
us. As ever yours, CHARLIE."

The letter finished, there was a long silence, so long a silence that
the doctor uttered a quiet, "Well, Polly?"

Still there was silence. The doctor, watching his wife's face closely,
saw that the usually firm lips and chin were trembling. He waited then
quietly until his wife spoke.

"How soon--do you think--they'll expect her?" she asked at last.

In spite of himself Dr. Chilton gave a slight start.

"You--mean--that you WILL let her go?" he cried.

His wife turned indignantly.

"Why, Thomas Chilton, what a question! Do you suppose, after a letter
like that, I could do anything BUT let her go? Besides, didn't Dr.
Ames HIMSELF ask us to? Do you think, after what that man has done for
Pollyanna, that I'd refuse him ANYTHING--no matter what it was?"

"Dear, dear! I hope, now, that the doctor won't take it into his head
to ask for--for YOU, my love," murmured the husband-of-a-year, with a
whimsical smile. But his wife only gave him a deservedly scornful
glance, and said:

"You may write Dr. Ames that we'll send Pollyanna; and ask him to tell
Miss Wetherby to give us full instructions. It must be sometime before
the tenth of next month, of course, for you sail then; and I want to
see the child properly established myself before I leave, naturally."

"When will you tell Pollyanna?"

"To-morrow, probably."

"What will you tell her?"

"I don't know--exactly; but not any more than I can't help, certainly.
Whatever happens, Thomas, we don't want to spoil Pollyanna; and no
child could help being spoiled if she once got it into her head that
she was a sort of--of--"

"Of medicine bottle with a label of full instructions for taking?"
interpolated the doctor, with a smile.

"Yes," sighed Mrs. Chilton. "It's her unconsciousness that saves the
whole thing. YOU know that, dear."

"Yes, I know," nodded the man.

"She knows, of course, that you and I, and half the town are playing
the game with her, and that we--we are wonderfully happier because we
ARE playing it." Mrs. Chilton's voice shook a little, then went on
more steadily. "But if, consciously, she should begin to be anything
but her own natural, sunny, happy little self, playing the game that
her father taught her, she would be--just what that nurse said she
sounded like--'impossible.' So, whatever I tell her, I sha'n't tell
her that she's going down to Mrs. Carew's to cheer her up," concluded
Mrs. Chilton, rising to her feet with decision, and putting away her
work.

"Which is where I think you're wise," approved the doctor.

Pollyanna was told the next day; and this was the manner of it.

"My dear," began her aunt, when the two were alone together that
morning, "how would you like to spend next winter in Boston?"

"With you?"

"No; I have decided to go with your uncle to Germany. But Mrs. Carew,
a dear friend of Dr. Ames, has asked you to come and stay with her for
the winter, and I think I shall let you go."

Pollyanna's face fell.

"But in Boston I won't have Jimmy, or Mr. Pendleton, or Mrs. Snow, or
anybody that I know, Aunt Polly."

"No, dear; but you didn't have them when you came here--till you found
them."

Pollyanna gave a sudden smile.

"Why, Aunt Polly, so I didn't! And that means that down to Boston
there are some Jimmys and Mr. Pendletons and Mrs. Snows waiting for me
that I don't know, doesn't it?"

"Yes, dear."

"Then I can be glad of that. I believe now, Aunt Polly, you know how
to play the game better than I do. I never thought of the folks down
there waiting for me to know them. And there's such a lot of 'em, too!
I saw some of them when I was there two years ago with Mrs. Gray. We
were there two whole hours, you know, on my way here from out West.

"There was a man in the station--a perfectly lovely man who told me
where to get a drink of water. Do you suppose he's there now? I'd like
to know him. And there was a nice lady with a little girl. They live
in Boston. They said they did. The little girl's name was Susie Smith.
Perhaps I could get to know them. Do you suppose I could? And there
was a boy, and another lady with a baby--only they lived in Honolulu,
so probably I couldn't find them there now. But there'd be Mrs. Carew,
anyway. Who is Mrs. Carew, Aunt Polly? Is she a relation?"

"Dear me, Pollyanna!" exclaimed Mrs. Chilton, half-laughingly,
half-despairingly. "How do you expect anybody to keep up with your
tongue, much less your thoughts, when they skip to Honolulu and back
again in two seconds! No, Mrs. Carew isn't any relation to us. She's
Miss Della Wetherby's sister. Do you remember Miss Wetherby at the
Sanatorium?"

Pollyanna clapped her hands.

"HER sister? Miss Wetherby's sister? Oh, then she'll be lovely, I
know. Miss Wetherby was. I loved Miss Wetherby. She had little
smile-wrinkles all around her eyes and mouth, and she knew the NICEST
stories. I only had her two months, though, because she only got there
a little while before I came away. At first I was sorry that I hadn't
had her ALL the time, but afterwards I was glad; for you see if I HAD
had her all the time, it would have been harder to say good-by than
'twas when I'd only had her a little while. And now it'll seem as if I
had her again, 'cause I'm going to have her sister."

Mrs. Chilton drew in her breath and bit her lip.

"But, Pollyanna, dear, you must not expect that they'll be quite
alike," she ventured.

"Why, they're SISTERS, Aunt Polly," argued the little girl, her eyes
widening; "and I thought sisters were always alike. We had two sets of
'em in the Ladies' Aiders. One set was twins, and THEY were so alike
you couldn't tell which was Mrs. Peck and which was Mrs. Jones, until
a wart grew on Mrs. Jones's nose, then of course we could, because we
looked for the wart the first thing. And that's what I told her one
day when she was complaining that people called her Mrs. Peck, and I
said if they'd only look for the wart as I did, they'd know right off.
But she acted real cross--I mean displeased, and I'm afraid she didn't
like it--though I don't see why; for I should have thought she'd been
glad there was something they could be told apart by, 'specially as
she was the president, and didn't like it when folks didn't ACT as if
she was the president--best seats and introductions and special
attentions at church suppers, you know. But she didn't, and afterwards
I heard Mrs. White tell Mrs. Rawson that Mrs. Jones had done
everything she could think of to get rid of that wart, even to trying
to put salt on a bird's tail. But I don't see how THAT could do any
good. Aunt Polly, DOES putting salt on a bird's tail help the warts on
people's noses?"

"Of course not, child! How you do run on, Pollyanna, especially if you
get started on those Ladies' Aiders!"

"Do I, Aunt Polly?" asked the little girl, ruefully. "And does it
plague you? I don't mean to plague you, honestly, Aunt Polly. And,
anyway, if I do plague you about those Ladies' Aiders, you can be kind
o' glad, for if I'm thinking of the Aiders, I'm sure to be thinking
how glad I am that I don't belong to them any longer, but have got an
aunt all my own. You can be glad of that, can't you, Aunt Polly?"

"Yes, yes, dear, of course I can, of course I can," laughed Mrs.
Chilton, rising to leave the room, and feeling suddenly very guilty
that she was conscious sometimes of a little of her old irritation
against Pollyanna's perpetual gladness.

During the next few days, while letters concerning Pollyanna's winter
stay in Boston were flying back and forth, Pollyanna herself was
preparing for that stay by a series of farewell visits to her
Beldingsville friends.

Everybody in the little Vermont village knew Pollyanna now, and almost
everybody was playing the game with her. The few who were not, were
not refraining because of ignorance of what the glad game was. So to
one house after another Pollyanna carried the news now that she was
going down to Boston to spend the winter; and loudly rose the clamor
of regret and remonstrance, all the way from Nancy in Aunt Polly's own
kitchen to the great house on the hill where lived John Pendleton.

Nancy did not hesitate to say--to every one except her mistress--that
SHE considered this Boston trip all foolishness, and that for her part
she would have been glad to take Miss Pollyanna home with her to the
Corners, she would, she would; and then Mrs. Polly could have gone to
Germany all she wanted to.

On the hill John Pendleton said practically the same thing, only he
did not hesitate to say it to Mrs. Chilton herself. As for Jimmy, the
twelve-year-old boy whom John Pendleton had taken into his home
because Pollyanna wanted him to, and whom he had now adopted--because
he wanted to himself--as for Jimmy, Jimmy was indignant, and he was
not slow to show it.

"But you've just come," he reproached Pollyanna, in the tone of voice
a small boy is apt to use when he wants to hide the fact that he has a
heart.

"Why, I've been here ever since the last of March. Besides, it isn't
as if I was going to stay. It's only for this winter."

"I don't care. You've just been away for a whole year, 'most, and if
I'd s'posed you was going away again right off, the first thing, I
wouldn't have helped one mite to meet you with flags and bands and
things, that day you come from the Sanatorium."

"Why, Jimmy Bean!" ejaculated Pollyanna, in amazed disapproval. Then,
with a touch of superiority born of hurt pride, she observed: "I'm
sure I didn't ASK you to meet me with bands and things--and you made
two mistakes in that sentence. You shouldn't say 'you was'; and I
think 'you come' is wrong. It doesn't sound right, anyway."

"Well, who cares if I did?"

Pollyanna's eyes grew still more disapproving.

"You SAID you did--when you asked me this summer to tell you when you
said things wrong, because Mr. Pendleton was trying to make you talk
right."

"Well, if you'd been brought up in a 'sylum without any folks that
cared, instead of by a whole lot of old women who didn't have anything
to do but tell you how to talk right, maybe you'd say 'you was,' and a
whole lot more worse things, Pollyanna Whittier!"

"Why, Jimmy Bean!" flared Pollyanna. "My Ladies' Aiders weren't old
women--that is, not many of them, so very old," she corrected hastily,
her usual proclivity for truth and literalness superseding her anger;
"and--"

"Well, I'm not Jimmy Bean, either," interrupted the boy, uptilting his
chin.

"You're--not-- Why, Jimmy Be-- --What do you mean?" demanded the little
girl.

"I've been adopted, LEGALLY. He's been intending to do it, all along,
he says, only he didn't get to it. Now he's done it. I'm to be called
'Jimmy Pendleton' and I'm to call him Uncle John, only I ain't--are
not--I mean, I AM not used to it yet, so I hain't--haven't begun to
call him that, much."

The boy still spoke crossly, aggrievedly, but every trace of
displeasure had fled from the little girl's face at his words. She
clapped her hands joyfully.

"Oh, how splendid! Now you've really got FOLKS--folks that care, you
know. And you won't ever have to explain that he wasn't BORN your
folks, 'cause your name's the same now. I'm so glad, GLAD, GLAD!"

The boy got up suddenly from the stone wall where they had been
sitting, and walked off. His cheeks felt hot, and his eyes smarted
with tears. It was to Pollyanna that he owed it all--this great good
that had come to him; and he knew it. And it was to Pollyanna that he
had just now been saying--

He kicked a small stone fiercely, then another, and another. He
thought those hot tears in his eyes were going to spill over and roll
down his cheeks in spite of himself. He kicked another stone, then
another; then he picked up a third stone and threw it with all his
might. A minute later he strolled back to Pollyanna still sitting on
the stone wall.

"I bet you I can hit that pine tree down there before you can," he
challenged airily.

"Bet you can't," cried Pollyanna, scrambling down from her perch.

The race was not run after all, for Pollyanna remembered just in time
that running fast was yet one of the forbidden luxuries for her. But
so far as Jimmy was concerned, it did not matter. His cheeks were no
longer hot, his eyes were not threatening to overflow with tears.
Jimmy was himself again.



CHAPTER III

A DOSE OF POLLYANNA


As the eighth of September approached--the day Pollyanna was to
arrive--Mrs. Ruth Carew became more and more nervously exasperated
with herself. She declared that she had regretted just ONCE her
promise to take the child--and that was ever since she had given it.
Before twenty-four hours had passed she had, indeed, written to her
sister demanding that she be released from the agreement; but Della
had answered that it was quite too late, as already both she and Dr.
Ames had written the Chiltons.

Soon after that had come Della's letter saying that Mrs. Chilton had
given her consent, and would in a few days come to Boston to make
arrangements as to school, and the like. So there was nothing to be
done, naturally, but to let matters take their course. Mrs. Carew
realized that, and submitted to the inevitable, but with poor grace.
True, she tried to be decently civil when Della and Mrs. Chilton made
their expected appearance; but she was very glad that limited time
made Mrs. Chilton's stay of very short duration, and full to the brim
of business.

It was well, indeed, perhaps, that Pollyanna's arrival was to be at a
date no later than the eighth; for time, instead of reconciling Mrs.
Carew to the prospective new member of her household, was filling her
with angry impatience at what she was pleased to call her "absurd
yielding to Della's crazy scheme."

Nor was Della herself in the least unaware of her sister's state of
mind. If outwardly she maintained a bold front, inwardly she was very
fearful as to results; but on Pollyanna she was pinning her faith, and
because she did pin her faith on Pollyanna, she determined on the bold
stroke of leaving the little girl to begin her fight entirely unaided
and alone. She contrived, therefore, that Mrs. Carew should meet them
at the station upon their arrival; then, as soon as greetings and
introductions were over, she hurriedly pleaded a previous engagement
and took herself off. Mrs. Carew, therefore, had scarcely time to look
at her new charge before she found herself alone with the child.

"Oh, but Della, Della, you mustn't--I can't--" she called agitatedly,
after the retreating figure of the nurse.

But Della, if she heard, did not heed; and, plainly annoyed and vexed,
Mrs. Carew turned back to the child at her side.

"What a shame! She didn't hear, did she?" Pollyanna was saying, her
eyes, also, wistfully following the nurse. "And I didn't WANT her to
go now a bit. But then, I've got you, haven't I? I can be glad for
that."

"Oh, yes, you've got me--and I've got you," returned the lady, not
very graciously. "Come, we go this way," she directed, with a motion
toward the right.

Obediently Pollyanna turned and trotted at Mrs. Carew's side, through
the huge station; but she looked up once or twice rather anxiously
into the lady's unsmiling face. At last she spoke hesitatingly.

"I expect maybe you thought--I'd be pretty," she hazarded, in a
troubled voice.

"P--pretty?" repeated Mrs. Carew.

"Yes--with curls, you know, and all that. And of course you did wonder
how I DID look, just as I did you. Only I KNEW you'd be pretty and
nice, on account of your sister. I had her to go by, and you didn't
have anybody. And of course I'm not pretty, on account of the
freckles, and it ISN'T nice when you've been expecting a PRETTY little
girl, to have one come like me; and--"

"Nonsense, child!" interrupted Mrs. Carew, a trifle sharply. "Come,
we'll see to your trunk now, then we'll go home. I had hoped that my
sister would come with us; but it seems she didn't see fit--even for
this one night."

Pollyanna smiled and nodded.

"I know; but she couldn't, probably. Somebody wanted her, I expect.
Somebody was always wanting her at the Sanatorium. It's a bother, of
course, when folks do want you all the time, isn't it?--'cause you
can't have yourself when you want yourself, lots of times. Still, you
can be kind of glad for that, for it IS nice to be wanted, isn't it?"

There was no reply--perhaps because for the first time in her life
Mrs. Carew was wondering if anywhere in the world there was any one
who really wanted her--not that she WISHED to be wanted, of course,
she told herself angrily, pulling herself up with a jerk, and frowning
down at the child by her side.

Pollyanna did not see the frown. Pollyanna's eyes were on the hurrying
throngs about them.

"My! what a lot of people," she was saying happily. "There's even more
of them than there was the other time I was here; but I haven't seen
anybody, yet, that I saw then, though I've looked for them everywhere.
Of course the lady and the little baby lived in Honolulu, so probably
THEY WOULDN'T be here; but there was a little girl, Susie Smith--she
lived right here in Boston. Maybe you know her though. Do you know
Susie Smith?"

"No, I don't know Susie Smith," replied Mrs. Carew, dryly.

"Don't you? She's awfully nice, and SHE'S pretty--black curls, you
know; the kind I'm going to have when I go to Heaven. But never mind;
maybe I can find her for you so you WILL know her. Oh, my! what a
perfectly lovely automobile! And are we going to ride in it?" broke
off Pollyanna, as they came to a pause before a handsome limousine,
the door of which a liveried chauffeur was holding open.

[Illustration: "'Oh, my! What a perfectly lovely automobile!'"]

The chauffeur tried to hide a smile--and failed. Mrs. Carew, however,
answered with the weariness of one to whom "rides" are never anything
but a means of locomotion from one tiresome place to another probably
quite as tiresome.

"Yes, we're going to ride in it." Then "Home, Perkins," she added to
the deferential chauffeur.

"Oh, my, is it yours?" asked Pollyanna, detecting the unmistakable air
of ownership in her hostess's manner. "How perfectly lovely! Then you
must be rich--awfully--I mean EXCEEDINGLY rich, more than the kind
that just has carpets in every room and ice cream Sundays, like the
Whites--one of my Ladies' Aiders, you know. (That is, SHE was a
Ladies' Aider.) I used to think THEY were rich, but I know now that
being really rich means you've got diamond rings and hired girls and
sealskin coats, and dresses made of silk and velvet for every day, and
an automobile. Have you got all those?"

"Why, y-yes, I suppose I have," admitted Mrs. Carew, with a faint
smile.

"Then you are rich, of course," nodded Pollyanna, wisely. "My Aunt
Polly has them, too, only her automobile is a horse. My! but don't I
just love to ride in these things," exulted Pollyanna, with a happy
little bounce. "You see I never did before, except the one that ran
over me. They put me IN that one after they'd got me out from under
it; but of course I didn't know about it, so I couldn't enjoy it.
Since then I haven't been in one at all. Aunt Polly doesn't like them.
Uncle Tom does, though, and he wants one. He says he's got to have
one, in his business. He's a doctor, you know, and all the other
doctors in town have got them now. I don't know how it will come out.
Aunt Polly is all stirred up over it. You see, she wants Uncle Tom to
have what he wants, only she wants him to want what she wants him to
want. See?"

Mrs. Carew laughed suddenly.

"Yes, my dear, I think I see," she answered demurely, though her eyes
still carried--for them--a most unusual twinkle.

"All right," sighed Pollyanna contentedly. "I thought you would;
still, it did sound sort of mixed when I said it. Oh, Aunt Polly says
she wouldn't mind having an automobile, so much, if she could have the
only one there was in the world, so there wouldn't be any one else to
run into her; but--My! what a lot of houses!" broke off Pollyanna,
looking about her with round eyes of wonder. "Don't they ever stop?
Still, there'd have to be a lot of them for all those folks to live
in, of course, that I saw at the station, besides all these here on
the streets. And of course where there ARE more folks, there are more
to know. I love folks. Don't you?"

"LOVE FOLKS!"

"Yes, just folks, I mean. Anybody--everybody."

"Well, no, Pollyanna, I can't say that I do," replied Mrs. Carew,
coldly, her brows contracted.

Mrs. Carew's eyes had lost their twinkle. They were turned rather
mistrustfully, indeed, on Pollyanna. To herself Mrs. Carew was saying:
"Now for preachment number one, I suppose, on my duty to mix with my
fellow-men, a la Sister Della!"

"Don't you? Oh, I do," sighed Pollyanna. "They're all so nice and so
different, you know. And down here there must be such a lot of them to
be nice and different. Oh, you don't know how glad I am so soon that I
came! I knew I would be, anyway, just as soon as I found out you were
YOU--that is, Miss Wetherby's sister, I mean. I love Miss Wetherby, so
I knew I should you, too; for of course you'd be alike--sisters,
so--even if you weren't twins like Mrs. Jones and Mrs. Peck--and they
weren't quite alike, anyway, on account of the wart. But I reckon you
don't know what I mean, so I'll tell you."

And thus it happened that Mrs. Carew, who had been steeling herself
for a preachment on social ethics, found herself, much to her surprise
and a little to her discomfiture, listening to the story of a wart on
the nose of one Mrs. Peck, Ladies' Aider.

By the time the story was finished the limousine had turned into
Commonwealth Avenue, and Pollyanna immediately began to exclaim at the
beauty of a street which had such a "lovely big long yard all the way
up and down through the middle of it," and which was all the nicer,
she said, "after all those little narrow streets."

"Only I should think every one would want to live on it," she
commented enthusiastically.

"Very likely; but that would hardly be possible," retorted Mrs. Carew,
with uplifted eyebrows.

Pollyanna, mistaking the expression on her face for one of
dissatisfaction that her own home was not on the beautiful Avenue,
hastened to make amends.

"Why, no, of course not," she agreed. "And I didn't mean that the
narrower streets weren't just as nice," she hurried on; "and even
better, maybe, because you could be glad you didn't have to go so far
when you wanted to run across the way to borrow eggs or soda, and--Oh,
but DO you live here?" she interrupted herself, as the car came to a
stop before the imposing Carew doorway. "Do you live here, Mrs.
Carew?"

"Why, yes, of course I live here," returned the lady, with just a
touch of irritation.

"Oh, how glad, GLAD you must be to live in such a perfectly lovely
place!" exulted the little girl, springing to the sidewalk and looking
eagerly about her. "Aren't you glad?"

Mrs. Carew did not reply. With unsmiling lips and frowning brow she
was stepping from the limousine.

For the second time in five minutes, Pollyanna hastened to make
amends.

"Of course I don't mean the kind of glad that's sinfully proud," she
explained, searching Mrs. Carew's face with anxious eyes. "Maybe you
thought I did, same as Aunt Polly used to, sometimes. I don't mean the
kind that's glad because you've got something somebody else can't
have; but the kind that just--just makes you want to shout and yell
and bang doors, you know, even if it isn't proper," she finished,
dancing up and down on her toes.

The chauffeur turned his back precipitately, and busied himself with
the car. Mrs. Carew, still with unsmiling lips and frowning brow led
the way up the broad stone steps.

"Come, Pollyanna," was all she said, crisply.


It was five days later that Della Wetherby received the letter from
her sister, and very eagerly she tore it open. It was the first that
had come since Pollyanna's arrival in Boston.

"My dear Sister," Mrs. Carew had written. "For pity's sake, Della, why
didn't you give me some sort of an idea what to expect from this child
you have insisted upon my taking? I'm nearly wild--and I simply can't
send her away. I've tried to three times, but every time, before I get
the words out of my mouth, she stops them by telling me what a
perfectly lovely time she is having, and how glad she is to be here,
and how good I am to let her live with me while her Aunt Polly has
gone to Germany. Now how, pray, in the face of that, can I turn around
and say 'Well, won't you please go home; I don't want you'? And the
absurd part of it is, I don't believe it has ever entered her head
that I don't WANT her here; and I can't seem to make it enter her
head, either.

"Of course if she begins to preach, and to tell me to count my
blessings, I SHALL send her away. You know I told you, to begin with,
that I wouldn't permit that. And I won't. Two or three times I have
thought she was going to (preach, I mean), but so far she has always
ended up with some ridiculous story about those Ladies' Aiders of
hers; so the sermon gets sidetracked--luckily for her, if she wants to
stay.

"But, really, Della, she is impossible. Listen. In the first place she
is wild with delight over the house. The very first day she got here
she begged me to open every room; and she was not satisfied until
every shade in the house was up, so that she might 'see all the
perfectly lovely things,' which, she declared, were even nicer than
Mr. John Pendleton's--whoever he may be, somebody in Beldingsville, I
believe. Anyhow, he isn't a Ladies' Aider. I've found out that much.

"Then, as if it wasn't enough to keep me running from room to room (as
if I were the guide on a 'personally conducted'), what did she do but
discover a white satin evening gown that I hadn't worn for years, and
beseech me to put it on. And I did put it on--why, I can't imagine,
only that I found myself utterly helpless in her hands.

"But that was only the beginning. She begged then to see everything
that I had, and she was so perfectly funny in her stories of the
missionary barrels, which she used to 'dress out of,' that I had to
laugh--though I almost cried, too, to think of the wretched things
that poor child had to wear. Of course gowns led to jewels, and she
made such a fuss over my two or three rings that I foolishly opened
the safe, just to see her eyes pop out. And, Della, I thought that
child would go crazy. She put on to me every ring, brooch, bracelet,
and necklace that I owned, and insisted on fastening both diamond
tiaras in my hair (when she found out what they were), until there I
sat, hung with pearls and diamonds and emeralds, and feeling like a
heathen goddess in a Hindu temple, especially when that preposterous
child began to dance round and round me, clapping her hands and
chanting, 'Oh, how perfectly lovely, how perfectly lovely! How I would
love to hang you on a string in the window--you'd make such a
beautiful prism!'

"I was just going to ask her what on earth she meant by that when down
she dropped in the middle of the floor and began to cry. And what do
you suppose she was crying for? Because she was so glad she'd got eyes
that could see! Now what do you think of that?

"Of course this isn't all. It's only the beginning. Pollyanna has been
here four days, and she's filled every one of them full. She already
numbers among her friends the ash-man, the policeman on the beat, and
the paper boy, to say nothing of every servant in my employ. They seem
actually bewitched with her, every one of them. But please do not
think _I_ am, for I'm not. I would send the child back to you at once
if I didn't feel obliged to fulfil my promise to keep her this winter.
As for her making me forget Jamie and my great sorrow--that is
impossible. She only makes me feel my loss all the more
keenly--because I have her instead of him. But, as I said, I shall
keep her--until she begins to preach. Then back she goes to you. But
she hasn't preached yet.

                                    "Lovingly but distractedly yours,

                                    "RUTH."

"'Hasn't preached yet,' indeed!" chuckled Della Wetherby to herself,
folding up the closely-written sheets of her sister's letter. "Oh,
Ruth, Ruth! and yet you admit that you've opened every room, raised
every shade, decked yourself in satin and jewels--and Pollyanna hasn't
been there a week yet. But she hasn't preached--oh, no, she hasn't
preached!"



CHAPTER IV

THE GAME AND MRS. CAREW


Boston, to Pollyanna, was a new experience, and certainly Pollyanna,
to Boston--such part of it as was privileged to know her--was very
much of a new experience.

Pollyanna said she liked Boston, but that she did wish it was not
quite so big.

"You see," she explained earnestly to Mrs. Carew, the day following
her arrival, "I want to see and know it ALL, and I can't. It's just
like Aunt Polly's company dinners; there's so much to eat--I mean, to
see--that you don't eat--I mean, see--anything, because you're always
trying to decide what to eat--I mean, to see.

"Of course you can be glad there IS such a lot," resumed Pollyanna,
after taking breath, "'cause a whole lot of anything is nice--that is,
GOOD things; not such things as medicine and funerals, of course!--but
at the same time I couldn't used to help wishing Aunt Polly's company
dinners could be spread out a little over the days when there wasn't
any cake and pie; and I feel the same way about Boston. I wish I could
take part of it home with me up to Beldingsville so I'd have SOMETHING
new next summer. But of course I can't. Cities aren't like frosted
cake--and, anyhow, even the cake didn't keep very well. I tried it,
and it dried up, 'specially the frosting. I reckon the time to take
frosting and good times is while they are going; so I want to see all
I can now while I'm here."

Pollyanna, unlike the people who think that to see the world one must
begin at the most distant point, began her "seeing Boston" by a
thorough exploration of her immediate surroundings--the beautiful
Commonwealth Avenue residence which was now her home. This, with her
school work, fully occupied her time and attention for some days.

There was so much to see, and so much to learn; and everything was so
marvelous and so beautiful, from the tiny buttons in the wall that
flooded the rooms with light, to the great silent ballroom hung with
mirrors and pictures. There were so many delightful people to know,
too, for besides Mrs. Carew herself there were Mary, who dusted the
drawing-rooms, answered the bell, and accompanied Pollyanna to and
from school each day; Bridget, who lived in the kitchen and cooked;
Jennie, who waited at table, and Perkins who drove the automobile. And
they were all so delightful--yet so different!

Pollyanna had arrived on a Monday, so it was almost a week before the
first Sunday. She came downstairs that morning with a beaming
countenance.

"I love Sundays," she sighed happily.

"Do you?" Mrs. Carew's voice had the weariness of one who loves no
day.

"Yes, on account of church, you know, and Sunday school. Which do you
like best, church, or Sunday school?"

"Well, really, I--" began Mrs. Carew, who seldom went to church and
never went to Sunday school.

"'Tis hard to tell, isn't it?" interposed Pollyanna, with luminous but
serious eyes. "But you see _I_ like church best, on account of father.
You know he was a minister, and of course he's really up in Heaven
with mother and the rest of us, but I try to imagine him down here,
lots of times; and it's easiest in church, when the minister is
talking. I shut my eyes and imagine it's father up there; and it helps
lots. I'm so glad we can imagine things, aren't you?"

"I'm not so sure of that, Pollyanna."

"Oh, but just think how much nicer our IMAGINED things are than our
really truly ones--that is, of course, yours aren't, because your REAL
ones are so nice." Mrs. Carew angrily started to speak, but Pollyanna
was hurrying on. "And of course MY real ones are ever so much nicer
than they used to be. But all that time I was hurt, when my legs
didn't go, I just had to keep imagining all the time, just as hard as
I could. And of course now there are lots of times when I do it--like
about father, and all that. And so to-day I'm just going to imagine
it's father up there in the pulpit. What time do we go?"

"GO?"

"To church, I mean."

"But, Pollyanna, I don't--that is, I'd rather not--" Mrs. Carew
cleared her throat and tried again to say that she was not going to
church at all; that she almost never went. But with Pollyanna's
confident little face and happy eyes before her, she could not do it.

"Why, I suppose--about quarter past ten--if we walk," she said then,
almost crossly. "It's only a little way."

Thus it happened that Mrs. Carew on that bright September morning
occupied for the first time in months the Carew pew in the very
fashionable and elegant church to which she had gone as a girl, and
which she still supported liberally--so far as money went.

To Pollyanna that Sunday morning service was a great wonder and joy.
The marvelous music of the vested choir, the opalescent rays from the
jeweled windows, the impassioned voice of the preacher, and the
reverent hush of the worshiping throng filled her with an ecstasy that
left her for a time almost speechless. Not until they were nearly home
did she fervently breathe:

"Oh, Mrs. Carew, I've just been thinking how glad I am we don't have
to live but just one day at a time!"

Mrs. Carew frowned and looked down sharply. Mrs. Carew was in no mood
for preaching. She had just been obliged to endure it from the pulpit,
she told herself angrily, and she would NOT listen to it from this
chit of a child. Moreover, this "living one day at a time" theory was
a particularly pet doctrine of Della's. Was not Della always saying:
"But you only have to live one minute at a time, Ruth, and any one can
endure anything for one minute at a time!"

"Well?" said Mrs. Carew now, tersely.

"Yes. Only think what I'd do if I had to live yesterday and to-day and
to-morrow all at once," sighed Pollyanna. "Such a lot of perfectly
lovely things, you know. But I've had yesterday, and now I'm living
to-day, and I've got to-morrow still coming, and next Sunday, too.
Honestly, Mrs. Carew, if it wasn't Sunday now, and on this nice quiet
street, I should just dance and shout and yell. I couldn't help it.
But it's being Sunday, so, I shall have to wait till I get home and
then take a hymn--the most rejoicingest hymn I can think of. What is
the most rejoicingest hymn? Do you know, Mrs. Carew?"

"No, I can't say that I do," answered Mrs. Carew, faintly, looking
very much as if she were searching for something she had lost. For a
woman who expects, because things are so bad, to be told that she need
stand only one day at a time, it is disarming, to say the least, to be
told that, because things are so good, it is lucky she does not HAVE
to stand but one day at a time!

On Monday, the next morning, Pollyanna went to school for the first
time alone. She knew the way perfectly now, and it was only a short
walk. Pollyanna enjoyed her school very much. It was a small private
school for girls, and was quite a new experience, in its way; but
Pollyanna liked new experiences.

Mrs. Carew, however, did not like new experiences, and she was having
a good many of them these days. For one who is tired of everything to
be in so intimate a companionship with one to whom everything is a
fresh and fascinating joy must needs result in annoyance, to say the
least. And Mrs. Carew was more than annoyed. She was exasperated. Yet
to herself she was forced to admit that if any one asked her why she
was exasperated, the only reason she could give would be "Because
Pollyanna is so glad"--and even Mrs. Carew would hardly like to give
an answer like that.

To Della, however, Mrs. Carew did write that the word "glad" had got
on her nerves, and that sometimes she wished she might never hear it
again. She still admitted that Pollyanna had not preached--that she
had not even once tried to make her play the game. What the child did
do, however, was invariably to take Mrs. Carew's "gladness" as a
matter of course, which, to one who HAD no gladness, was most
provoking.

It was during the second week of Pollyanna's stay that Mrs. Carew's
annoyance overflowed into irritable remonstrance. The immediate cause
thereof was Pollyanna's glowing conclusion to a story about one of her
Ladies' Aiders.

"She was playing the game, Mrs. Carew. But maybe you don't know what
the game is. I'll tell you. It's a lovely game."

But Mrs. Carew held up her hand.

"Never mind, Pollyanna," she demurred. "I know all about the game. My
sister told me, and--and I must say that I--I should not care for it."

"Why, of course not, Mrs. Carew!" exclaimed Pollyanna in quick
apology. "I didn't mean the game for you. You couldn't play it, of
course."

"I COULDN'T play it!" ejaculated Mrs. Carew, who, though she WOULD not
play this silly game, was in no mood to be told that she COULD not.

"Why, no, don't you see?" laughed Pollyanna, gleefully. "The game is
to find something in everything to be glad about; and you couldn't
even begin to hunt, for there isn't anything about you but what you
COULD be glad about. There wouldn't BE any game to it for you! Don't
you see?"

Mrs. Carew flushed angrily. In her annoyance she said more than
perhaps she meant to say.

"Well, no, Pollyanna, I can't say that I do," she differed coldly. "As
it happens, you see, I can find nothing whatever to be--glad for."

For a moment Pollyanna stared blankly. Then she fell back in
amazement.

"Why, MRS. CAREW!" she breathed.

"Well, what is there--for me?" challenged the woman, forgetting all
about, for the moment, that she was never going to allow Pollyanna to
"preach."

"Why, there's--there's everything," murmured Pollyanna, still with
that dazed unbelief. "There--there's this beautiful house."

"It's just a place to eat and sleep--and I don't want to eat and
sleep."

"But there are all these perfectly lovely things," faltered Pollyanna.

"I'm tired of them."

"And your automobile that will take you anywhere."

"I don't want to go anywhere."

Pollyanna quite gasped aloud.

"But think of the people and things you could see, Mrs. Carew."

"They would not interest me, Pollyanna."

Once again Pollyanna stared in amazement. The troubled frown on her
face deepened.

"But, Mrs. Carew, I don't see," she urged. "Always, before, there have
been BAD things for folks to play the game on, and the badder they are
the more fun 'tis to get them out--find the things to be glad for, I
mean. But where there AREN'T any bad things, I shouldn't know how to
play the game myself."

There was no answer for a time. Mrs. Carew sat with her eyes out the
window. Gradually the angry rebellion on her face changed to a look of
hopeless sadness. Very slowly then she turned and said:

"Pollyanna, I had thought I wouldn't tell you this; but I've decided
that I will. I'm going to tell you why nothing that I have can make
me--glad." And she began the story of Jamie, the little four-year-old
boy who, eight long years before, had stepped as into another world,
leaving the door fast shut between.

"And you've never seen him since--anywhere?" faltered Pollyanna, with
tear-wet eyes, when the story was done.

"Never."

"But we'll find him, Mrs. Carew--I'm sure we'll find him."

Mrs. Carew shook her head sadly.

"But I can't. I've looked everywhere, even in foreign lands."

"But he must be somewhere."

"He may be--dead, Pollyanna."

Pollyanna gave a quick cry.

"Oh, no, Mrs. Carew. Please don't say that! Let's imagine he's alive.
We CAN do that, and that'll help; and when we get him IMAGINED alive
we can just as well imagine we're going to find him. And that'll help
a whole lot more."

"But I'm afraid he's--dead, Pollyanna," choked Mrs. Carew.

"You don't know it for sure, do you?" besought the little girl,
anxiously.

"N-no."

"Well, then, you're just imagining it," maintained Pollyanna, in
triumph. "And if you can imagine him dead, you can just as well
imagine him alive, and it'll be a whole lot nicer while you're doing
it. Don't you see? And some day, I'm just sure you'll find him. Why,
Mrs. Carew, you CAN play the game now! You can play it on Jamie. You
can be glad every day, for every day brings you just one day nearer to
the time when you're going to find him. See?"

But Mrs. Carew did not "see." She rose drearily to her feet and said:

"No, no, child! You don't understand--you don't understand. Now run
away, please, and read, or do anything you like. My head aches. I'm
going to lie down."

And Pollyanna, with a troubled, sober face, slowly left the room.



CHAPTER V

POLLYANNA TAKES A WALK


It was on the second Saturday afternoon that Pollyanna took her
memorable walk. Heretofore Pollyanna had not walked out alone, except
to go to and from school. That she would ever attempt to explore
Boston streets by herself, never occurred to Mrs. Carew, hence she
naturally had never forbidden it. In Beldingsville, however, Pollyanna
had found--especially at the first--her chief diversion in strolling
about the rambling old village streets in search of new friends and
new adventures.

On this particular Saturday afternoon Mrs. Carew had said, as she
often did say: "There, there, child, run away; please do. Go where you
like and do what you like, only don't, please, ask me any more
questions to-day!"

Until now, left to herself, Pollyanna had always found plenty to
interest her within the four walls of the house; for, if inanimate
things failed, there were yet Mary, Jennie, Bridget, and Perkins.
To-day, however, Mary had a headache, Jennie was trimming a new hat,
Bridget was making apple pies, and Perkins was nowhere to be found.
Moreover it was a particularly beautiful September day, and nothing
within the house was so alluring as the bright sunlight and balmy air
outside. So outside Pollyanna went and dropped herself down on the
steps.

For some time she watched in silence the well-dressed men, women, and
children, who walked briskly by the house, or else sauntered more
leisurely through the parkway that extended up and down the middle of
the Avenue. Then she got to her feet, skipped down the steps, and
stood looking, first to the right, then to the left.

Pollyanna had decided that she, too, would take a walk. It was a
beautiful day for a walk, and not once, yet, had she taken one at
all--not a REAL walk. Just going to and from school did not count. So
she would take one to-day. Mrs. Carew would not mind. Had she not told
her to do just what she pleased so long as she asked no more
questions? And there was the whole long afternoon before her. Only
think what a lot one might see in a whole long afternoon! And it
really was such a beautiful day. She would go--this way! And with a
little whirl and skip of pure joy, Pollyanna turned and walked
blithely down the Avenue.

Into the eyes of those she met Pollyanna smiled joyously. She was
disappointed--but not surprised--that she received no answering smile
in return. She was used to that now--in Boston. She still smiled,
however, hopefully: there might be some one, sometime, who would smile
back.

Mrs. Carew's home was very near the beginning of Commonwealth Avenue,
so it was not long before Pollyanna found herself at the edge of a
street crossing her way at right angles. Across the street, in all its
autumn glory, lay what to Pollyanna was the most beautiful "yard" she
had ever seen--the Boston Public Garden.

For a moment Pollyanna hesitated, her eyes longingly fixed on the
wealth of beauty before her. That it was the private grounds of some
rich man or woman, she did not for a moment doubt. Once, with Dr. Ames
at the Sanatorium, she had been taken to call on a lady who lived in a
beautiful house surrounded by just such walks and trees and
flower-beds as these.

Pollyanna wanted now very much to cross the street and walk in those
grounds, but she doubted if she had the right. To be sure, others were
there, moving about, she could see; but they might be invited guests,
of course. After she had seen two women, one man, and a little girl
unhesitatingly enter the gate and walk briskly down the path, however,
Pollyanna concluded that she, too, might go. Watching her chance she
skipped nimbly across the street and entered the Garden.

It was even more beautiful close at hand than it had been at a
distance. Birds twittered over her head, and a squirrel leaped across
the path ahead of her. On benches here and there sat men, women, and
children. Through the trees flashed the sparkle of the sun on water;
and from somewhere came the shouts of children and the sound of music.

Once again Pollyanna hesitated; then, a little timidly, she accosted a
handsomely-dressed young woman coming toward her.

"Please, is this--a party?" she asked.

The young woman stared.

"A party!" she repeated dazedly.

"Yes'm. I mean, is it all right for me--to be here?"

"For you to be here? Why, of course. It's for--for everybody!"
exclaimed the young woman.

"Oh, that's all right, then. I'm glad I came," beamed Pollyanna.

The young woman said nothing; but she turned back and looked at
Pollyanna still dazedly as she hurried away.

Pollyanna, not at all surprised that the owner of this beautiful place
should be so generous as to give a party to everybody, continued on
her way. At the turn of the path she came upon a small girl and a doll
carriage. She stopped with a glad little cry, but she had not said a
dozen words before from somewhere came a young woman with hurrying
steps and a disapproving voice; a young woman who held out her hand to
the small girl, and said sharply:

"Here, Gladys, Gladys, come away with me. Hasn't mama told you not to
talk to strange children?"

"But I'm not strange children," explained Pollyanna in eager defense.
"I live right here in Boston, now, and--" But the young woman and the
little girl dragging the doll carriage were already far down the path;
and with a half-stifled sigh Pollyanna fell back. For a moment she
stood silent, plainly disappointed; then resolutely she lifted her
chin and went forward.

"Well, anyhow, I can be glad for that," she nodded to herself, "for
now maybe I'll find somebody even nicer--Susie Smith, perhaps, or even
Mrs. Carew's Jamie. Anyhow, I can IMAGINE I'm going to find them; and
if I don't find THEM, I can find SOMEBODY!" she finished, her wistful
eyes on the self-absorbed people all about her.

Undeniably Pollyanna was lonesome. Brought up by her father and the
Ladies' Aid Society in a small Western town, she had counted every
house in the village her home, and every man, woman, and child her
friend. Coming to her aunt in Vermont at eleven years of age, she had
promptly assumed that conditions would differ only in that the homes
and the friends would be new, and therefore even more delightful,
possibly, for they would be "different"--and Pollyanna did so love
"different" things and people! Her first and always her supreme
delight in Beldingsville, therefore, had been her long rambles about
the town and the charming visits with the new friends she had made.
Quite naturally, in consequence, Boston, as she first saw it, seemed
to Pollyanna even more delightfully promising in its possibilities.

Thus far, however, Pollyanna had to admit that in one respect, at
least, it had been disappointing: she had been here nearly two weeks
and she did not yet know the people who lived across the street, or
even next door. More inexplicable still, Mrs. Carew herself did not
know many of them, and not any of them well. She seemed, indeed,
utterly indifferent to her neighbors, which was most amazing from
Pollyanna's point of view; but nothing she could say appeared to
change Mrs. Carew's attitude in the matter at all.

"They do not interest me, Pollyanna," was all she would say; and with
this, Pollyanna--whom they did interest very much--was forced to be
content.

To-day, on her walk, however, Pollyanna had started out with high
hopes, yet thus far she seemed destined to be disappointed. Here all
about her were people who were doubtless most delightful--if she only
knew them. But she did not know them. Worse yet, there seemed to be no
prospect that she would know them, for they did not, apparently, wish
to know her: Pollyanna was still smarting under the nurse's sharp
warning concerning "strange children."

"Well, I reckon I'll just have to show 'em that I'm not strange
children," she said at last to herself, moving confidently forward
again.

Pursuant of this idea Pollyanna smiled sweetly into the eyes of the
next person she met, and said blithely:

"It's a nice day, isn't it?"

"Er--what? Oh, y-yes, it is," murmured the lady addressed, as she
hastened on a little faster.

Twice again Pollyanna tried the same experiment, but with like
disappointing results. Soon she came upon the little pond that she had
seen sparkling in the sunlight through the trees. It was a beautiful
pond, and on it were several pretty little boats full of laughing
children. As she watched them, Pollyanna felt more and more
dissatisfied to remain by herself. It was then that, spying a man
sitting alone not far away, she advanced slowly toward him and sat
down on the other end of the bench. Once Pollyanna would have danced
unhesitatingly to the man's side and suggested acquaintanceship with a
cheery confidence that had no doubt of a welcome; but recent rebuffs
had filled her with unaccustomed diffidence. Covertly she looked at
the man now.

He was not very good to look at. His garments, though new, were dusty,
and plainly showed lack of care. They were of the cut and style
(though Pollyanna of course did not know this) that the State gives
its prisoners as a freedom suit. His face was a pasty white, and was
adorned with a week's beard. His hat was pulled far down over his
eyes. With his hands in his pockets he sat idly staring at the ground.

For a long minute Pollyanna said nothing; then hopefully she began:

"It IS a nice day, isn't it?"

The man turned his head with a start.

"Eh? Oh--er--what did you say?" he questioned, with a curiously
frightened look around to make sure the remark was addressed to him.

"I said 'twas a nice day," explained Pollyanna in hurried earnestness;
"but I don't care about that especially. That is, of course I'm glad
it's a nice day, but I said it just as a beginning to things, and I'd
just as soon talk about something else--anything else. It's only that
I wanted you to talk--about something, you see."

The man gave a low laugh. Even to Pollyanna the laugh sounded a little
queer, though she did not know (as did the man) that a laugh to his
lips had been a stranger for many months.

"So you want me to talk, do you?" he said a little sadly. "Well, I
don't see but what I shall have to do it, then. Still, I should think
a nice little lady like you might find lots nicer people to talk to
than an old duffer like me."

"Oh, but I like old duffers," exclaimed Pollyanna quickly; "that is, I
like the OLD part, and I don't know what a duffer is, so I can't
dislike that. Besides, if you are a duffer, I reckon I like duffers.
Anyhow, I like you," she finished, with a contented little settling of
herself in her seat that carried conviction.

"Humph! Well, I'm sure I'm flattered," smiled the man, ironically.
Though his face and words expressed polite doubt, it might have been
noticed that he sat a little straighter on the bench. "And, pray, what
shall we talk about?"

"It's--it's infinitesimal to me. That means I don't care, doesn't it?"
asked Pollyanna, with a beaming smile. "Aunt Polly says that, whatever
I talk about, anyhow, I always bring up at the Ladies' Aiders. But I
reckon that's because they brought me up first, don't you? We might
talk about the party. I think it's a perfectly beautiful party--now
that I know some one."

"P-party?"

"Yes--this, you know--all these people here to-day. It IS a party,
isn't it? The lady said it was for everybody, so I stayed--though I
haven't got to where the house is, yet, that's giving the party."

The man's lips twitched.

"Well, little lady, perhaps it is a party, in a way," he smiled; "but
the 'house' that's giving it is the city of Boston. This is the Public
Garden--a public park, you understand, for everybody."

"Is it? Always? And I may come here any time I want to? Oh, how
perfectly lovely! That's even nicer than I thought it could be. I'd
worried for fear I couldn't ever come again, after to-day, you see.
I'm glad now, though, that I didn't know it just at the first, for
it's all the nicer now. Nice things are nicer when you've been
worrying for fear they won't be nice, aren't they?"

"Perhaps they are--if they ever turn out to be nice at all," conceded
the man, a little gloomily.

"Yes, I think so," nodded Pollyanna, not noticing the gloom. "But
isn't it beautiful--here?" she gloried. "I wonder if Mrs. Carew knows
about it--that it's for anybody, so. Why, I should think everybody
would want to come here all the time, and just stay and look around."

The man's face hardened.

"Well, there are a few people in the world who have got a job--who've
got something to do besides just to come here and stay and look
around; but I don't happen to be one of them."

"Don't you? Then you can be glad for that, can't you?" sighed
Pollyanna, her eyes delightedly following a passing boat.

The man's lips parted indignantly, but no words came. Pollyanna was
still talking.

"I wish _I_ didn't have anything to do but that. I have to go to
school. Oh, I like school; but there's such a whole lot of things I
like better. Still I'm glad I CAN go to school. I'm 'specially glad
when I remember how last winter I didn't think I could ever go again.
You see, I lost my legs for a while--I mean, they didn't go; and you
know you never know how much you use things, till you don't have 'em.
And eyes, too. Did you ever think what a lot you do with eyes? I
didn't till I went to the Sanatorium. There was a lady there who had
just got blind the year before. I tried to get her to play the
game--finding something to be glad about, you know--but she said she
couldn't; and if I wanted to know why, I might tie up my eyes with my
handkerchief for just one hour. And I did. It was awful. Did you ever
try it?"

"Why, n-no, I didn't." A half-vexed, half-baffled expression was
coming to the man's face.

"Well, don't. It's awful. You can't do anything--not anything that you
want to do. But I kept it on the whole hour. Since then I've been so
glad, sometimes--when I see something perfectly lovely like this, you
know--I've been so glad I wanted to cry;--'cause I COULD see it, you
know. She's playing the game now, though--that blind lady is. Miss
Wetherby told me."

"The--GAME?"

"Yes; the glad game. Didn't I tell you? Finding something in
everything to be glad about. Well, she's found it now--about her eyes,
you know. Her husband is the kind of a man that goes to help make the
laws, and she had him ask for one that would help blind people,
'specially little babies. And she went herself and talked and told
those men how it felt to be blind. And they made it--that law. And
they said that she did more than anybody else, even her husband, to
help make it, and that they didn't believe there would have been any
law at all if it hadn't been for her. So now she says she's glad she
lost her eyes, 'cause she's kept so many little babies from growing up
to be blind like her. So you see she's playing it--the game. But I
reckon you don't know about the game yet, after all; so I'll tell you.
It started this way." And Pollyanna, with her eyes on the shimmering
beauty all about her, told of the little pair of crutches of long ago,
which should have been a doll.

When the story was finished there was a long silence; then, a little
abruptly the man got to his feet.

"Oh, are you going away NOW?" she asked in open disappointment.

"Yes, I'm going now." He smiled down at her a little queerly.

"But you're coming back sometime?"

He shook his head--but again he smiled.

"I hope not--and I believe not, little girl. You see, I've made a
great discovery to-day. I thought I was down and out. I thought there
was no place for me anywhere--now. But I've just discovered that I've
got two eyes, two arms, and two legs. Now I'm going to use them--and
I'm going to MAKE somebody understand that I know how to use them!"

The next moment he was gone.

"Why, what a funny man!" mused Pollyanna. "Still, he was nice--and he
was different, too," she finished, rising to her feet and resuming her
walk.

Pollyanna was now once more her usual cheerful self, and she stepped
with the confident assurance of one who has no doubt. Had not the man
said that this was a public park, and that she had as good a right as
anybody to be there? She walked nearer to the pond and crossed the
bridge to the starting-place of the little boats. For some time she
watched the children happily, keeping a particularly sharp lookout for
the possible black curls of Susie Smith. She would have liked to take
a ride in the pretty boats, herself, but the sign said "Five cents" a
trip, and she did not have any money with her. She smiled hopefully
into the faces of several women, and twice she spoke tentatively. But
no one spoke first to her, and those whom she addressed eyed her
coldly, and made scant response.

After a time she turned her steps into still another path. Here she
found a white-faced boy in a wheel chair. She would have spoken to
him, but he was so absorbed in his book that she turned away after a
moment's wistful gazing. Soon then she came upon a pretty, but
sad-looking young girl sitting alone, staring at nothing, very much as
the man had sat. With a contented little cry Pollyanna hurried
forward.

"Oh, how do you do?" she beamed. "I'm so glad I found you! I've been
hunting ever so long for you," she asserted, dropping herself down on
the unoccupied end of the bench.

The pretty girl turned with a start, an eager look of expectancy in
her eyes.

"Oh!" she exclaimed, falling back in plain disappointment. "I
thought-- Why, what do you mean?" she demanded aggrievedly. "I never
set eyes on you before in my life."

"No, I didn't you, either," smiled Pollyanna; "but I've been hunting
for you, just the same. That is, of course I didn't know you were
going to be YOU exactly. It's just that I wanted to find some one that
looked lonesome, and that didn't have anybody. Like me, you know. So
many here to-day have got folks. See?"

"Yes, I see," nodded the girl, falling back into her old listlessness.
"But, poor little kid, it's too bad YOU should find it out--so soon."

"Find what out?"

"That the lonesomest place in all the world is in a crowd in a big
city."

Pollyanna frowned and pondered.

"Is it? I don't see how it can be. I don't see how you can be lonesome
when you've got folks all around you. Still--" she hesitated, and the
frown deepened. "I WAS lonesome this afternoon, and there WERE folks
all around me; only they didn't seem to--to think--or notice."

The pretty girl smiled bitterly.

"That's just it. They don't ever think--or notice, crowds don't."

"But some folks do. We can be glad some do," urged Pollyanna. "Now
when I--"

"Oh, yes, some do," interrupted the other. As she spoke she shivered
and looked fearfully down the path beyond Pollyanna. "Some notice--too
much."

Pollyanna shrank back in dismay. Repeated rebuffs that afternoon had
given her a new sensitiveness.

"Do you mean--me?" she stammered. "That you wished I
hadn't--noticed--you?"

"No, no, kiddie! I meant--some one quite different from you. Some one
that hadn't ought to notice. I was glad to have you speak, only--I
thought at first it was some one from home."

"Oh, then you don't live here, either, any more than I do--I mean, for
keeps."

"Oh, yes, I live here now," sighed the girl; "that is, if you can call
it living--what I do."

"What do you do?" asked Pollyanna interestedly.

"Do? I'll tell you what I do," cried the other, with sudden
bitterness. "From morning till night I sell fluffy laces and perky
bows to girls that laugh and talk and KNOW each other. Then I go home
to a little back room up three flights just big enough to hold a lumpy
cot-bed, a washstand with a nicked pitcher, one rickety chair, and me.
It's like a furnace in the summer and an ice box in the winter; but
it's all the place I've got, and I'm supposed to stay in it--when I
ain't workin'. But I've come out to-day. I ain't goin' to stay in that
room, and I ain't goin' to go to any old library to read, neither.
It's our last half-holiday this year--and an extra one, at that; and
I'm going to have a good time--for once. I'm just as young, and I like
to laugh and joke just as well as them girls I sell bows to all day.
Well, to-day I'm going to laugh and joke."

Pollyanna smiled and nodded her approval.

"I'm glad you feel that way. I do, too. It's a lot more fun--to be
happy, isn't it? Besides, the Bible tells us to;--rejoice and be glad,
I mean. It tells us to eight hundred times. Probably you know about
'em, though--the rejoicing texts."

The pretty girl shook her head. A queer look came to her face.

"Well, no," she said dryly. "I can't say I WAS thinkin'--of the
Bible."

"Weren't you? Well, maybe not; but, you see, MY father was a minister,
and he--"

"A MINISTER?"

"Yes. Why, was yours, too?" cried Pollyanna, answering something she
saw in the other's face.

"Y-yes." A faint color crept up to the girl's forehead.

"Oh, and has he gone like mine to be with God and the angels?"

The girl turned away her head.

"No. He's still living--back home," she answered, half under her
breath.

"Oh, how glad you must be," sighed Pollyanna, enviously. "Sometimes I
get to thinking, if only I could just SEE father once--but you do see
your father, don't you?"

"Not often. You see, I'm down--here."

"But you CAN see him--and I can't, mine. He's gone to be with mother
and the rest of us up in Heaven, and-- Have you got a mother, too--an
earth mother?"

"Y-yes." The girl stirred restlessly, and half moved as if to go.

"Oh, then you can see both of them," breathed Pollyanna, unutterable
longing in her face. "Oh, how glad you must be! For there just isn't
anybody, is there, that really CARES and notices quite so much as
fathers and mothers. You see I know, for I had a father until I was
eleven years old; but, for a mother, I had Ladies' Aiders for ever so
long, till Aunt Polly took me. Ladies' Aiders are lovely, but of
course they aren't like mothers, or even Aunt Pollys; and--"

On and on Pollyanna talked. Pollyanna was in her element now.
Pollyanna loved to talk. That there was anything strange or unwise or
even unconventional in this intimate telling of her thoughts and her
history to a total stranger on a Boston park bench did not once occur
to Pollyanna. To Pollyanna all men, women, and children were friends,
either known or unknown; and thus far she had found the unknown quite
as delightful as the known, for with them there was always the
excitement of mystery and adventure--while they were changing from the
unknown to the known.

To this young girl at her side, therefore, Pollyanna talked
unreservedly of her father, her Aunt Polly, her Western home, and her
journey East to Vermont. She told of new friends and old friends, and
of course she told of the game. Pollyanna almost always told everybody
of the game, either sooner or later. It was, indeed, so much a part of
her very self that she could hardly have helped telling of it.

As for the girl--she said little. She was not now sitting in her old
listless attitude, however, and to her whole self had come a marked
change. The flushed cheeks, frowning brow, troubled eyes, and
nervously working fingers were plainly the signs of some inward
struggle. From time to time she glanced apprehensively down the path
beyond Pollyanna, and it was after such a glance that she clutched the
little girl's arm.

"See here, kiddie, for just a minute don't you leave me. Do you hear?
Stay right where you are? There's a man I know comin'; but no matter
what he says, don't you pay no attention, and DON'T YOU GO. I'm goin'
to stay with YOU. See?"

Before Pollyanna could more than gasp her wonderment and surprise, she
found herself looking up into the face of a very handsome young
gentleman, who had stopped before them.

"Oh, here you are," he smiled pleasantly, lifting his hat to
Pollyanna's companion. "I'm afraid I'll have to begin with an
apology--I'm a little late."

"It don't matter, sir," said the young girl, speaking hurriedly.
"I--I've decided not to go."

The young man gave a light laugh.

"Oh, come, my clear, don't be hard on a chap because he's a little
late!"

"It isn't that, really," defended the girl, a swift red flaming into
her cheeks. "I mean--I'm not going."

"Nonsense!" The man stopped smiling. He spoke sharply. "You said
yesterday you'd go."

"I know; but I've changed my mind. I told my little friend here--I'd
stay with her."

"Oh, but if you'd rather go with this nice young gentleman," began
Pollyanna, anxiously; but she fell back silenced at the look the girl
gave her.

"I tell you I had NOT rather go. I'm not going."

"And, pray, why this sudden right-about face?" demanded the young man
with an expression that made him suddenly look, to Pollyanna, not
quite so handsome. "Yesterday you said--"

"I know I did," interrupted the girl, feverishly. "But I knew then
that I hadn't ought to. Let's call it--that I know it even better now.
That's all." And she turned away resolutely.

It was not all. The man spoke again, twice. He coaxed, then he sneered
with a hateful look in his eyes. At last he said something very low
and angry, which Pollyanna did not understand. The next moment he
wheeled about and strode away.

The girl watched him tensely till he passed quite out of sight, then,
relaxing, she laid a shaking hand on Pollyanna's arm.

"Thanks, kiddie. I reckon I owe you--more than you know. Good-by."

"But you aren't going away NOW!" bemoaned Pollyanna.

The girl sighed wearily.

"I got to. He might come back, and next time I might not be able to--"
She clipped the words short and rose to her feet. For a moment she
hesitated, then she choked bitterly: "You see, he's the kind
that--notices too much, and that hadn't ought to notice--ME--at all!"
With that she was gone.

"Why, what a funny lady," murmured Pollyanna, looking wistfully after
the vanishing figure. "She was nice, but she was sort of different,
too," she commented, rising to her feet and moving idly down the path.



CHAPTER VI

JERRY TO THE RESCUE


It was not long before Pollyanna reached the edge of the Garden at a
corner where two streets crossed. It was a wonderfully interesting
corner, with its hurrying cars, automobiles, carriages and
pedestrians. A huge red bottle in a drug-store window caught her eye,
and from down the street came the sound of a hurdy-gurdy. Hesitating
only a moment Pollyanna darted across the corner and skipped lightly
down the street toward the entrancing music.

Pollyanna found much to interest her now. In the store windows were
marvelous objects, and around the hurdy-gurdy, when she had reached
it, she found a dozen dancing children, most fascinating to watch. So
altogether delightful, indeed, did this pastime prove to be that
Pollyanna followed the hurdy-gurdy for some distance, just to see
those children dance. Presently she found herself at a corner so busy
that a very big man in a belted blue coat helped the people across the
street. For an absorbed minute she watched him in silence; then, a
little timidly, she herself started to cross.

It was a wonderful experience. The big, blue-coated man saw her at
once and promptly beckoned to her. He even walked to meet her. Then,
through a wide lane with puffing motors and impatient horses on either
hand, she walked unscathed to the further curb. It gave her a
delightful sensation, so delightful that, after a minute, she walked
back. Twice again, after short intervals, she trod the fascinating way
so magically opened at the lifting of the big man's hand. But the last
time her conductor left her at the curb, he gave a puzzled frown.

[Illustration: "Twice again, after short intervals, she trod the
fascinating way"]

"See here, little girl, ain't you the same one what crossed a minute
ago?" he demanded. "And again before that?"

"Yes, sir," beamed Pollyanna. "I've been across four times!"

"Well!" the officer began to bluster; but Pollyanna was still talking.

"And it's been nicer every time!"

"Oh-h, it has--has it?" mumbled the big man, lamely. Then, with a
little more spirit he sputtered: "What do you think I'm here for--just
to tote you back and forth?"

"Oh, no, sir," dimpled Pollyanna. "Of course you aren't just for me!
There are all these others. I know what you are. You're a policeman.
We've got one of you out where I live at Mrs. Carew's, only he's the
kind that just walks on the sidewalk, you know. I used to think you
were soldiers, on account of your gold buttons and blue hats; but I
know better now. Only I think you ARE a kind of a soldier, 'cause
you're so brave--standing here like this, right in the middle of all
these teams and automobiles, helping folks across."

"Ho--ho! Brrrr!" spluttered the big man, coloring like a schoolboy and
throwing back his head with a hearty laugh. "Ho--ho! Just as if--" He
broke off with a quick lifting of his hand. The next moment he was
escorting a plainly very much frightened little old lady from curb to
curb. If his step were a bit more pompous, and his chest a bit more
full, it must have been only an unconscious tribute to the watching
eyes of the little girl back at the starting-point. A moment later,
with a haughtily permissive wave of his hand toward the chafing
drivers and chauffeurs, he strolled back to Pollyanna.

"Oh, that was splendid!" she greeted him, with shining eyes. "I love
to see you do it--and it's just like the Children of Israel crossing
the Red Sea, isn't it?--with you holding back the waves for the people
to cross. And how glad you must be all the time, that you can do it! I
used to think being a doctor was the very gladdest business there was,
but I reckon, after all, being a policeman is gladder yet--to help
frightened people like this, you know. And--" But with another
"Brrrr!" and an embarrassed laugh, the big blue-coated man was back in
the middle of the street, and Pollyanna was all alone on the
curbstone.

For only a minute longer did Pollyanna watch her fascinating "Red
Sea," then, with a regretful backward glance, she turned away.

"I reckon maybe I'd better be going home now," she meditated. "It must
be 'most dinner time." And briskly she started to walk back by the way
she had come.

Not until she had hesitated at several corners, and unwittingly made
two false turns, did Pollyanna grasp the fact that "going back home"
was not to be so easy as she had thought it to be. And not until she
came to a building which she knew she had never seen before, did she
fully realize that she had lost her way.

She was on a narrow street, dirty, and ill-paved. Dingy tenement
blocks and a few unattractive stores were on either side. All about
were jabbering men and chattering women--though not one word of what
they said could Pollyanna understand. Moreover, she could not help
seeing that the people looked at her very curiously, as if they knew
she did not belong there.

Several times, already, she had asked her way, but in vain. No one
seemed to know where Mrs. Carew lived; and, the last two times, those
addressed had answered with a gesture and a jumble of words which
Pollyanna, after some thought, decided must be "Dutch," the kind the
Haggermans--the only foreign family in Beldingsville--used.

On and on, down one street and up another, Pollyanna trudged. She was
thoroughly frightened now. She was hungry, too, and very tired. Her
feet ached, and her eyes smarted with the tears she was trying so hard
to hold back. Worse yet, it was unmistakably beginning to grow dark.

"Well, anyhow," she choked to herself, "I'm going to be glad I'm lost,
'cause it'll be so nice when I get found. I CAN be glad for that!"

It was at a noisy corner where two broader streets crossed that
Pollyanna finally came to a dismayed stop. This time the tears quite
overflowed, so that, lacking a handkerchief, she had to use the backs
of both hands to wipe them away.

"Hullo, kid, why the weeps?" queried a cheery voice. "What's up?"

With a relieved little cry Pollyanna turned to confront a small boy
carrying a bundle of newspapers under his arm.

"Oh, I'm so glad to see you!" she exclaimed. "I've so wanted to see
some one who didn't talk Dutch!"

The small boy grinned.

"Dutch nothin'!" he scoffed. "You mean Dago, I bet ye."

Pollyanna gave a slight frown.

"Well, anyway, it--it wasn't English," she said doubtfully; "and they
couldn't answer my questions. But maybe you can. Do you know where
Mrs. Carew lives?"

"Nix! You can search me."

"Wha-at?" queried Pollyanna, still more doubtfully.

The boy grinned again.

"I say not in mine. I guess I ain't acquainted with the lady."

"But isn't there anybody anywhere that is?" implored Pollyanna. "You
see, I just went out for a walk and I got lost. I've been ever and
ever so far, but I can't find the house at all; and it's supper--I
mean dinner time and getting dark. I want to get back. I MUST get
back."

"Gee! Well, I should worry!" sympathized the boy.

"Yes, and I'm afraid Mrs. Carew'll worry, too," sighed Pollyanna.

"Gorry! if you ain't the limit," chuckled the youth, unexpectedly.
"But, say, listen! Don't ye know the name of the street ye want?"

"No--only that it's some kind of an avenue," desponded Pollyanna.

"A avenOO, is it? Sure, now, some class to that! We're doin' fine.
What's the number of the house? Can ye tell me that? Just scratch your
head!"

"Scratch--my--head?" Pollyanna frowned questioningly, and raised a
tentative hand to her hair.

The boy eyed her with disdain.

"Aw, come off yer perch! Ye ain't so dippy as all that. I say, don't
ye know the number of the house ye want?"

"N-no, except there's a seven in it," returned Pollyanna, with a
faintly hopeful air.

"Won't ye listen ter that?" gibed the scornful youth. "There's a seven
in it--an' she expects me ter know it when I see it!"

"Oh, I should know the house, if I could only see it," declared
Pollyanna, eagerly; "and I think I'd know the street, too, on account
of the lovely long yard running right up and down through the middle
of it."

This time it was the boy who gave a puzzled frown.

"YARD?" he queried, "in the middle of a street?"

"Yes--trees and grass, you know, with a walk in the middle of it, and
seats, and--" But the boy interrupted her with a whoop of delight.

"Gee whiz! Commonwealth Avenue, sure as yer livin'! Wouldn't that get
yer goat, now?"

"Oh, do you know--do you, really?" besought Pollyanna. "That sounded
like it--only I don't know what you meant about the goat part. There
aren't any goats there. I don't think they'd allow--"

"Goats nothin'!" scoffed the boy. "You bet yer sweet life I know where
'tis! Don't I tote Sir James up there to the Garden 'most ev'ry day?
An' I'll take YOU, too. Jest ye hang out here till I get on ter my job
again, an' sell out my stock. Then we'll make tracks for that 'ere
Avenue 'fore ye can say Jack Robinson."

"You mean you'll take me--home?" appealed Pollyanna, still plainly not
quite understanding.

"Sure! It's a cinch--if you know the house."

"Oh, yes, I know the house," replied the literal Pollyanna, anxiously,
"but I don't know whether it's a--a cinch, or not. If it isn't, can't
you--"

But the boy only threw her another disdainful glance and darted off
into the thick of the crowd. A moment later Pollyanna heard his
strident call of "paper, paper! Herald, Globe,--paper, sir?"

With a sigh of relief Pollyanna stepped back into a doorway and
waited. She was tired, but she was happy. In spite of sundry puzzling
aspects of the case, she yet trusted the boy, and she had perfect
confidence that he could take her home.

"He's nice, and I like him," she said to herself, following with her
eyes the boy's alert, darting figure. "But he does talk funny. His
words SOUND English, but some of them don't seem to make any sense
with the rest of what he says. But then, I'm glad he found me,
anyway," she finished with a contented little sigh.

It was not long before the boy returned, his hands empty.

"Come on, kid. All aboard," he called cheerily. "Now we'll hit the
trail for the Avenue. If I was the real thing, now, I'd tote ye home
in style in a buzzwagon; but seein' as how I hain't got the dough,
we'll have ter hoof it."

It was, for the most part, a silent walk. Pollyanna, for once in her
life, was too tired to talk, even of the Ladies' Aiders; and the boy
was intent on picking out the shortest way to his goal. When the
Public Garden was reached, Pollyanna did exclaim joyfully:

"Oh, now I'm 'most there! I remember this place. I had a perfectly
lovely time here this afternoon. It's only a little bit of a ways home
now."

"That's the stuff! Now we're gettin' there," crowed the boy. "What'd I
tell ye? We'll just cut through here to the Avenue, an' then it'll be
up ter you ter find the house."

"Oh, I can find the house," exulted Pollyanna, with all the confidence
of one who has reached familiar ground.

It was quite dark when Pollyanna led the way up the broad Carew steps.
The boy's ring at the bell was very quickly answered, and Pollyanna
found herself confronted by not only Mary, but by Mrs. Carew, Bridget,
and Jennie as well. All four of the women were white-faced and
anxious-eyed.

"Child, child, where HAVE you been?" demanded Mrs. Carew, hurrying
forward.

"Why, I--I just went to walk," began Pollyanna, "and I got lost, and
this boy--"

"Where did you find her?" cut in Mrs. Carew, turning imperiously to
Pollyanna's escort, who was, at the moment, gazing in frank admiration
at the wonders about him in the brilliantly-lighted hall.

"Where did you find her, boy?" she repeated sharply.

For a brief moment the boy met her gaze unflinchingly; then something
very like a twinkle came into his eyes, though his voice, when he
spoke, was gravity itself.

"Well, I found her 'round Bowdoin Square, but I reckon she'd been
doin' the North End, only she couldn't catch on ter the lingo of the
Dagos, so I don't think she give 'em the glad hand, ma'am."

"The North End--that child--alone! Pollyanna!" shuddered Mrs. Carew.

"Oh, I wasn't alone, Mrs. Carew," fended Pollyanna. "There were ever
and ever so many people there, weren't there, boy?"

But the boy, with an impish grin, was disappearing through the door.

Pollyanna learned many things during the next half-hour. She learned
that nice little girls do not take long walks alone in unfamiliar
cities, nor sit on park benches and talk to strangers. She learned,
also, that it was only by a "perfectly marvelous miracle" that she had
reached home at all that night, and that she had escaped many, many
very disagreeable consequences of her foolishness. She learned that
Boston was not Beldingsville, and that she must not think it was.

"But, Mrs. Carew," she finally argued despairingly, "I AM here, and I
didn't get lost for keeps. Seems as if I ought to be glad for that
instead of thinking all the time of the sorry things that might have
happened."

"Yes, yes, child, I suppose so, I suppose so," sighed Mrs. Carew; "but
you have given me such a fright, and I want you to be sure, SURE, SURE
never to do it again. Now come, dear, you must be hungry."

It was just as she was dropping off to sleep that night that Pollyanna
murmured drowsily to herself:

"The thing I'm the very sorriest for of anything is that I didn't ask
that boy his name nor where he lived. Now I can't ever say thank you
to him!"



CHAPTER VII

A NEW ACQUAINTANCE


Pollyanna's movements were most carefully watched over after her
adventurous walk; and, except to go to school, she was not allowed out
of the house unless Mary or Mrs. Carew herself accompanied her. This,
to Pollyanna, however, was no cross, for she loved both Mrs. Carew and
Mary, and delighted to be with them. They were, too, for a while, very
generous with their time. Even Mrs. Carew, in her terror of what might
have happened, and her relief that it had not happened, exerted
herself to entertain the child.

Thus it came about that, with Mrs. Carew, Pollyanna attended concerts
and matinees, and visited the Public Library and the Art Museum; and
with Mary she took the wonderful "seeing Boston" trips, and visited
the State House and the Old South Church.

Greatly as Pollyanna enjoyed the automobile, she enjoyed the trolley
cars more, as Mrs. Carew, much to her surprise, found out one day.

"Do we go in the trolley car?" Pollyanna asked eagerly.

"No. Perkins will take us," answered Mrs. Carew. Then, at the
unmistakable disappointment in Pollyanna's face, she added in
surprise: "Why, I thought you liked the auto, child!"

"Oh, I do," acceded Pollyanna, hurriedly; "and I wouldn't say
anything, anyway, because of course I know it's cheaper than the
trolley car, and--"

"'Cheaper than the trolley car'!" exclaimed Mrs. Carew, amazed into an
interruption.

"Why, yes," explained Pollyanna, with widening eyes; "the trolley car
costs five cents a person, you know, and the auto doesn't cost
anything, 'cause it's yours. And of course I LOVE the auto, anyway,"
she hurried on, before Mrs. Carew could speak. "It's only that there
are so many more people in the trolley car, and it's such fun to watch
them! Don't you think so?"

"Well, no, Pollyanna, I can't say that I do," responded Mrs. Carew,
dryly, as she turned away.

As it chanced, not two days later, Mrs. Carew heard something more of
Pollyanna and trolley cars--this time from Mary.

"I mean, it's queer, ma'am," explained Mary earnestly, in answer to a
question her mistress had asked, "it's queer how Miss Pollyanna just
gets 'round EVERYBODY--and without half trying. It isn't that she DOES
anything. She doesn't. She just--just looks glad, I guess, that's all.
But I've seen her get into a trolley car that was full of
cross-looking men and women, and whimpering children, and in five
minutes you wouldn't know the place. The men and women have stopped
scowling, and the children have forgot what they're cryin' for.

"Sometimes it's just somethin' that Miss Pollyanna has said to me, and
they've heard it. Sometimes it's just the 'Thank you,' she gives when
somebody insists on givin' us their seat--and they're always doin'
that--givin' us seats, I mean. And sometimes it's the way she smiles
at a baby or a dog. All dogs everywhere wag their tails at her,
anyway, and all babies, big and little, smile and reach out to her. If
we get held up it's a joke, and if we take the wrong car, it's the
funniest thing that ever happened. And that's the way 'tis about
everythin'. One just can't stay grumpy, with Miss Pollyanna, even if
you're only one of a trolley car full of folks that don't know her."

"Hm-m; very likely," murmured Mrs. Carew, turning away.

October proved to be, that year, a particularly warm, delightful
month, and as the golden days came and went, it was soon very evident
that to keep up with Pollyanna's eager little feet was a task which
would consume altogether too much of somebody's time and patience;
and, while Mrs. Carew had the one, she had not the other, neither had
she the willingness to allow Mary to spend quite so much of HER time
(whatever her patience might be) in dancing attendance to Pollyanna's
whims and fancies.

To keep the child indoors all through those glorious October
afternoons was, of course, out of the question. Thus it came about
that, before long, Pollyanna found herself once more in the "lovely
big yard"--the Boston Public Garden--and alone. Apparently she was as
free as before, but in reality she was surrounded by a high stone wall
of regulations.

She must not talk to strange men or women; she must not play with
strange children; and under no circumstances must she step foot
outside the Garden except to come home. Furthermore, Mary, who had
taken her to the Garden and left her, made very sure that she knew the
way home--that she knew just where Commonwealth Avenue came down to
Arlington Street across from the Garden. And always she must go home
when the clock in the church tower said it was half-past four.

Pollyanna went often to the Garden after this. Occasionally she went
with some of the girls from school. More often she went alone. In
spite of the somewhat irksome restrictions she enjoyed herself very
much. She could WATCH the people even if she could not talk to them;
and she could talk to the squirrels and pigeons and sparrows that so
eagerly came for the nuts and grain which she soon learned to carry to
them every time she went.

Pollyanna often looked for her old friends of that first day--the man
who was so glad he had his eyes and legs and arms, and the pretty
young lady who would not go with the handsome man; but she never saw
them. She did frequently see the boy in the wheel chair, and she
wished she could talk to him. The boy fed the birds and squirrels,
too, and they were so tame that the doves would perch on his head and
shoulders, and the squirrels would burrow in his pockets for nuts. But
Pollyanna, watching from a distance, always noticed one strange
circumstance: in spite of the boy's very evident delight in serving
his banquet, his supply of food always ran short almost at once; and
though he invariably looked fully as disappointed as did the squirrel
after a nutless burrowing, yet he never remedied the matter by
bringing more food the next day--which seemed most short-sighted to
Pollyanna.

When the boy was not playing with the birds and squirrels he was
reading--always reading. In his chair were usually two or three worn
books, and sometimes a magazine or two. He was nearly always to be
found in one especial place, and Pollyanna used to wonder how he got
there. Then, one unforgettable day, she found out. It was a school
holiday, and she had come to the Garden in the forenoon; and it was
soon after she reached the place that she saw him being wheeled along
one of the paths by a snub-nosed, sandy-haired boy. She gave a keen
glance into the sandy-haired boy's face, then ran toward him with a
glad little cry.

"Oh, you--you! I know you--even if I don't know your name. You found
me! Don't you remember? Oh, I'm so glad to see you! I've so wanted to
say thank you!"

"Gee, if it ain't the swell little lost kid of the AveNOO!" grinned
the boy. "Well, what do you know about that! Lost again?"

"Oh, no!" exclaimed Pollyanna, dancing up and down on her toes in
irrepressible joy. "I can't get lost any more--I have to stay right
here. And I mustn't talk, you know. But I can to you, for I KNOW you;
and I can to him--after you introduce me," she finished, with a
beaming glance at the lame boy, and a hopeful pause.

The sandy-haired youth chuckled softly, and tapped the shoulder of the
boy in the chair.

"Listen ter that, will ye? Ain't that the real thing, now? Just you
wait while I introDOOCE ye!" And he struck a pompous attitude. "Madam,
this is me friend, Sir James, Lord of Murphy's Alley, and--" But the
boy in the chair interrupted him.

"Jerry, quit your nonsense!" he cried vexedly. Then to Pollyanna he
turned a glowing face. "I've seen you here lots of times before. I've
watched you feed the birds and squirrels--you always have such a lot
for them! And I think YOU like Sir Lancelot the best, too. Of course,
there's the Lady Rowena--but wasn't she rude to Guinevere
yesterday--snatching her dinner right away from her like that?"

Pollyanna blinked and frowned, looking from one to the other of the
boys in plain doubt. Jerry chuckled again. Then, with a final push he
wheeled the chair into its usual position, and turned to go. Over his
shoulder he called to Pollyanna:

"Say, kid, jest let me put ye wise ter somethin'. This chap ain't
drunk nor crazy. See? Them's jest names he's give his young friends
here,"--with a flourish of his arms toward the furred and feathered
creatures that were gathering from all directions. "An' they ain't
even names of FOLKS. They're just guys out of books. Are ye on? Yet
he'd ruther feed them than feed hisself. Ain't he the limit? Ta-ta,
Sir James," he added, with a grimace, to the boy in the chair. "Buck
up, now--nix on the no grub racket for you! See you later." And he was
gone.

Pollyanna was still blinking and frowning when the lame boy turned
with a smile.

"You mustn't mind Jerry. That's just his way. He'd cut off his right
hand for me--Jerry would; but he loves to tease. Where'd you see him?
Does he know you? He didn't tell me your name."

"I'm Pollyanna Whittier. I was lost and he found me and took me home,"
answered Pollyanna, still a little dazedly.

"I see. Just like him," nodded the boy. "Don't he tote me up here
every day?"

A quick sympathy came to Pollyanna's eyes.

"Can't you walk--at all--er--Sir J-James?"

The boy laughed gleefully.

"'Sir James,' indeed! That's only more of Jerry's nonsense. I ain't a
'Sir.'"

Pollyanna looked clearly disappointed.

"You aren't? Nor a--a lord, like he said?"

"I sure ain't."

"Oh, I hoped you were--like Little Lord Fauntleroy, you know,"
rejoined Pollyanna. "And--"

But the boy interrupted her with an eager:

"Do YOU know Little Lord Fauntleroy? And do you know about Sir
Lancelot, and the Holy Grail, and King Arthur and his Round Table, and
the Lady Rowena, and Ivanhoe, and all those? DO you?"

Pollyanna gave her head a dubious shake.

"Well, I'm afraid maybe I don't know ALL of 'em," she admitted. "Are
they all--in books?"

The boy nodded.

"I've got 'em here--some of 'em," he said. "I like to read 'em over
and over. There's always SOMETHING new in 'em. Besides, I hain't got
no others, anyway. These were father's. Here, you little rascal--quit
that!" he broke off in laughing reproof as a bushy-tailed squirrel
leaped to his lap and began to nose in his pockets. "Gorry, guess we'd
better give them their dinner or they'll be tryin' to eat us,"
chuckled the boy. "That's Sir Lancelot. He's always first, you know."

From somewhere the boy produced a small pasteboard box which he opened
guardedly, mindful of the numberless bright little eyes that were
watching every move. All about him now sounded the whir and flutter of
wings, the cooing of doves, the saucy twitter of the sparrows. Sir
Lancelot, alert and eager, occupied one arm of the wheel chair.
Another bushy-tailed little fellow, less venturesome, sat back on his
haunches five feet away. A third squirrel chattered noisily on a
neighboring tree-branch.

From the box the boy took a few nuts, a small roll, and a doughnut. At
the latter he looked longingly, hesitatingly.

"Did you--bring anything?" he asked then.

"Lots--in here," nodded Pollyanna, tapping the paper bag she carried.

"Oh, then perhaps I WILL eat it to-day," sighed the boy, dropping the
doughnut back into the box with an air of relief.

Pollyanna, on whom the significance of this action was quite lost,
thrust her fingers into her own bag, and the banquet was on.

It was a wonderful hour. To Pollyanna it was, in a way, the most
wonderful hour she had ever spent, for she had found some one who
could talk faster and longer than she could. This strange youth seemed
to have an inexhaustible fund of marvelous stories of brave knights
and fair ladies, of tournaments and battles. Moreover, so vividly did
he draw his pictures that Pollyanna saw with her own eyes the deeds of
valor, the knights in armor, and the fair ladies with their jeweled
gowns and tresses, even though she was really looking at a flock of
fluttering doves and sparrows and a group of frisking squirrels on a
wide sweep of sunlit grass.

[Illustration: "It was a wonderful hour"]

The Ladies' Aiders were forgotten. Even the glad game was not thought
of. Pollyanna, with flushed cheeks and sparkling eyes was trailing
down the golden ages led by a romance-fed boy who--though she did not
know it--was trying to crowd into this one short hour of congenial
companionship countless dreary days of loneliness and longing.

Not until the noon bells sent Pollyanna hurrying homeward did she
remember that she did not even yet know the boy's name.

"I only know it isn't 'Sir James,'" she sighed to herself, frowning
with vexation. "But never mind. I can ask him to-morrow."



CHAPTER VIII

JAMIE


Pollyanna did not see the boy "to-morrow." It rained, and she could
not go to the Garden at all. It rained the next day, too. Even on the
third day she did not see him, for, though the sun came out bright and
warm, and though she went very early in the afternoon to the Garden
and waited long, he did not come at all. But on the fourth day he was
there in his old place, and Pollyanna hastened forward with a joyous
greeting.

"Oh, I'm so glad, GLAD to see you! But where've you been? You weren't
here yesterday at all."

"I couldn't. The pain wouldn't let me come yesterday," explained the
lad, who was looking very white.

"The PAIN! Oh, does it--ache?" stammered Pollyanna, all sympathy at
once.

"Oh, yes, always," nodded the boy, with a cheerfully matter-of-fact
air. "Most generally I can stand it and come here just the same,
except when it gets TOO bad, same as 'twas yesterday. Then I can't."

"But how can you stand it--to have it ache--always?" gasped Pollyanna.

"Why, I have to," answered the boy, opening his eyes a little wider.
"Things that are so are SO, and they can't be any other way. So what's
the use thinking how they might be? Besides, the harder it aches one
day, the nicer 'tis to have it let-up the next."

"I know! That's like the ga--" began Pollyanna; but the boy
interrupted her.

"Did you bring a lot this time?" he asked anxiously. "Oh, I hope you
did! You see I couldn't bring them any to-day. Jerry couldn't spare
even a penny for peanuts this morning and there wasn't really enough
stuff in the box for me this noon."

Pollyanna looked shocked.

"You mean--that you didn't have enough to eat--yourself?--for YOUR
luncheon?"

"Sure!" smiled the boy. "But don't worry. Tisn't the first time--and
'twon't be the last. I'm used to it. Hi, there! here comes Sir
Lancelot."

Pollyanna, however, was not thinking of squirrels.

"And wasn't there any more at home?"

"Oh, no, there's NEVER any left at home," laughed the boy. "You see,
mumsey works out--stairs and washings--so she gets some of her feed in
them places, and Jerry picks his up where he can, except nights and
mornings; he gets it with us then--if we've got any."

Pollyanna looked still more shocked.

"But what do you do when you don't have anything to eat?"

"Go hungry, of course."

"But I never HEARD of anybody who didn't have ANYTHING to eat," gasped
Pollyanna. "Of course father and I were poor, and we had to eat beans
and fish balls when we wanted turkey. But we had SOMETHING. Why don't
you tell folks--all these folks everywhere, that live in these houses?"

"What's the use?"

"Why, they'd give you something, of course!"

The boy laughed once more, this time a little queerly.

"Guess again, kid. You've got another one coming. Nobody I know is
dishin' out roast beef and frosted cakes for the askin'. Besides, if
you didn't go hungry once in a while, you wouldn't know how good
'taters and milk can taste; and you wouldn't have so much to put in
your Jolly Book."

"Your WHAT?"

The boy gave an embarrassed laugh and grew suddenly red.

"Forget it! I didn't think, for a minute, but you was mumsey or
Jerry."

"But what IS your Jolly Book?" pleaded Pollyanna. "Please tell me. Are
there knights and lords and ladies in that?"

The boy shook his head. His eyes lost their laughter and grew dark and
fathomless.

"No; I wish't there was," he sighed wistfully. "But when you--you
can't even WALK, you can't fight battles and win trophies, and have
fair ladies hand you your sword, and bestow upon you the golden
guerdon." A sudden fire came to the boy's eyes. His chin lifted itself
as if in response to a bugle call. Then, as suddenly, the fire died,
and the boy fell back into his old listlessness.

"You just can't do nothin'," he resumed wearily, after a moment's
silence. "You just have to sit and think; and times like that your
THINK gets to be something awful. Mine did, anyhow. I wanted to go to
school and learn things--more things than just mumsey can teach me;
and I thought of that. I wanted to run and play ball with the other
boys; and I thought of that. I wanted to go out and sell papers with
Jerry; and I thought of that. I didn't want to be taken care of all my
life; and I thought of that."

"I know, oh, I know," breathed Pollyanna, with shining eyes. "Didn't I
lose MY legs for a while?"

"Did you? Then you do know, some. But you've got yours again. I
hain't, you know," sighed the boy, the shadow in his eyes deepening.

"But you haven't told me yet about--the Jolly Book," prompted
Pollyanna, after a minute.

The boy stirred and laughed shamefacedly.

"Well, you see, it ain't much, after all, except to me. YOU wouldn't
see much in it. I started it a year ago. I was feelin' 'specially bad
that day. Nothin' was right. For a while I grumped it out, just
thinkin'; and then I picked up one of father's books and tried to
read. And the first thing I see was this: I learned it afterwards, so
I can say it now.

  "'Pleasures lie thickest where no pleasures seem;
  There's not a leaf that falls upon the ground
  But holds some joy, of silence or of sound.'

[Footnote: Blanchard. Lyric Offerings. Hidden Joys.]

"Well, I was mad. I wished I could put the guy that wrote that in my
place, and see what kind of joy he'd find in my 'leaves.' I was so mad
I made up my mind I'd prove he didn't know what he was talkin' about,
so I begun to hunt for 'em--the joys in my 'leaves,' you know. I took
a little old empty notebook that Jerry had given me, and I said to
myself that I'd write 'em down. Everythin' that had anythin' about it
that I liked I'd put down in the book. Then I'd just show how many
'joys' I had."

"Yes, yes!" cried Pollyanna, absorbedly, as the boy paused for breath.

"Well, I didn't expect to get many, but--do you know?--I got a lot.
There was somethin' about 'most everythin' that I liked a LITTLE, so
in it had to go. The very first one was the book itself--that I'd got
it, you know, to write in. Then somebody give me a flower in a pot,
and Jerry found a dandy book in the subway. After that it was really
fun to hunt 'em out--I'd find 'em in such queer places, sometimes.
Then one day Jerry got hold of the little notebook, and found out what
'twas. Then he give it its name--the Jolly Book. And--and that's all."

"All--ALL!" cried Pollyanna, delight and amazement struggling for the
mastery on her glowing little face. "Why, that's the game! You're
playing the glad game, and don't know it--only you're playing it ever
and ever so much better than I ever could! Why, I--I couldn't play it
at all, I'm afraid, if I--I didn't have enough to eat, and couldn't
ever walk, or anything," she choked.

"The game? What game? I don't know anything about any game," frowned
the boy.

Pollyanna clapped her hands.

"I know you don't--I know you don't, and that's why it's so perfectly
lovely, and so--so wonderful! But listen. I'll tell you what the game
is."

And she told him.

"Gee!" breathed the boy appreciatively, when she had finished. "Now
what do you think of that!"

"And here you are, playing MY game better than anybody I ever saw, and
I don't even know your name yet, nor anything!" exclaimed Pollyanna,
in almost awestruck tones. "But I want to;--I want to know
everything."

"Pooh! there's nothing to know," rejoined the boy, with a shrug.
"Besides, see, here's poor Sir Lancelot and all the rest, waiting for
their dinner," he finished.

"Dear me, so they are," sighed Pollyanna, glancing impatiently at the
fluttering and chattering creatures all about them. Recklessly she
turned her bag upside down and scattered her supplies to the four
winds. "There, now, that's done, and we can talk again," she rejoiced.
"And there's such a lot I want to know. First, please, what IS your
name? I only know it isn't 'Sir James.'"

The boy smiled.

"No, it isn't; but that's what Jerry 'most always calls me. Mumsey and
the rest call me 'Jamie.'"

"'JAMIE!'" Pollyanna caught her breath and held it suspended. A wild
hope had come to her eyes. It was followed almost instantly, however,
by fearful doubt.

"Does 'mumsey' mean--mother?"

"Sure!"

Pollyanna relaxed visibly. Her face fell. If this Jamie had a mother,
he could not, of course, be Mrs. Carew's Jamie, whose mother had died
long ago. Still, even as he was, he was wonderfully interesting.

"But where do you live?" she catechized eagerly. "Is there anybody
else in your family but your mother and--and Jerry? Do you always come
here every day? Where is your Jolly Book? Mayn't I see it? Don't the
doctors say you can ever walk again? And where was it you said you got
it?--this wheel chair, I mean."

The boy chuckled.

"Say, how many of them questions do you expect me to answer all at
once? I'll begin at the last one, anyhow, and work backwards, maybe,
if I don't forget what they be. I got this chair a year ago. Jerry
knew one of them fellers what writes for papers, you know, and he put
it in about me--how I couldn't ever walk, and all that, and--and the
Jolly Book, you see. The first thing I knew, a whole lot of men and
women come one day toting this chair, and said 'twas for me. That
they'd read all about me, and they wanted me to have it to remember
them by."

"My! how glad you must have been!"

"I was. It took a whole page of my Jolly Book to tell about that
chair."

"But can't you EVER walk again?" Pollyanna's eyes were blurred with
tears.

"It don't look like it. They said I couldn't."

"Oh, but that's what they said about me, and then they sent me to Dr.
Ames, and I stayed 'most a year; and HE made me walk. Maybe he could
YOU!"

The boy shook his head.

"He couldn't--you see; I couldn't go to him, anyway. 'Twould cost too
much. We'll just have to call it that I can't ever--walk again. But
never mind." The boy threw back his head impatiently. "I'm trying not
to THINK of that. You know what it is when--when your THINK gets to
going."

"Yes, yes, of course--and here I am talking about it!" cried
Pollyanna, penitently. "I SAID you knew how to play the game better
than I did, now. But go on. You haven't told me half, yet. Where do
you live? And is Jerry all the brothers and sisters you've got?"

A swift change came to the boy's face. His eyes glowed.

"Yes--and he ain't mine, really. He ain't any relation, nor mumsey
ain't, neither. And only think how good they've been to me!"

"What's that?" questioned Pollyanna, instantly on the alert. "Isn't
that--that 'mumsey' your mother at all?"

"No; and that's what makes--"

"And haven't you got any mother?" interrupted Pollyanna, in growing
excitement.

"No; I never remember any mother, and father died six years ago."

"How old were you?"

"I don't know. I was little. Mumsey says she guesses maybe I was about
six. That's when they took me, you see."

"And your name is Jamie?" Pollyanna was holding her breath.

"Why, yes, I told you that."

"And what's the other name?" Longingly, but fearfully, Pollyanna asked
this question.

"I don't know."

"YOU DON'T KNOW!"

"I don't remember. I was too little, I suppose. Even the Murphys don't
know. They never knew me as anything but Jamie."

A great disappointment came to Pollyanna's face, but almost
immediately a flash of thought drove the shadow away.

"Well, anyhow, if you don't know what your name is, you can't know it
isn't 'Kent'!" she exclaimed.

"'Kent'?" puzzled the boy.

"Yes," began Pollyanna, all excitement. "You see, there was a little
boy named Jamie Kent that--" She stopped abruptly and bit her lip. It
had occurred to Pollyanna that it would be kinder not to let this boy
know yet of her hope that he might be the lost Jamie. It would be
better that she make sure of it before raising any expectations,
otherwise she might be bringing him sorrow rather than joy. She had
not forgotten how disappointed Jimmy Bean had been when she had been
obliged to tell him that the Ladies' Aid did not want him, and again
when at first Mr. Pendleton had not wanted him, either. She was
determined that she would not make the same mistake a third time; so
very promptly now she assumed an air of elaborate indifference on this
most dangerous subject, as she said:

"But never mind about Jamie Kent. Tell me about yourself. I'm SO
interested!"

"There isn't anything to tell. I don't know anything nice," hesitated
the boy. "They said father was--was queer, and never talked. They
didn't even know his name. Everybody called him 'The Professor.'
Mumsey says he and I lived in a little back room on the top floor of
the house in Lowell where they used to live. They were poor then, but
they wasn't near so poor as they are now. Jerry's father was alive
them days, and had a job."

"Yes, yes, go on," prompted Pollyanna.

"Well, mumsey says my father was sick a lot, and he got queerer and
queerer, so that they had me downstairs with them a good deal. I could
walk then, a little, but my legs wasn't right. I played with Jerry,
and the little girl that died. Well, when father died there wasn't
anybody to take me, and some men were goin' to put me in an orphan
asylum; but mumsey says I took on so, and Jerry took on so, that they
said they'd keep me. And they did. The little girl had just died, and
they said I might take her place. And they've had me ever since. And I
fell and got worse, and they're awful poor now, too, besides Jerry's
father dyin'. But they've kept me. Now ain't that what you call bein'
pretty good to a feller?"

"Yes, oh, yes," cried Pollyanna. "But they'll get their reward--I know
they'll get their reward!" Pollyanna was quivering with delight now.
The last doubt had fled. She had found the lost Jamie. She was sure of
it. But not yet must she speak. First Mrs. Carew must see him.
Then--THEN--! Even Pollyanna's imagination failed when it came to
picturing the bliss in store for Mrs. Carew and Jamie at that glad
reunion.

She sprang lightly to her feet in utter disregard of Sir Lancelot who
had come back and was nosing in her lap for more nuts.

"I've got to go now, but I'll come again to-morrow. Maybe I'll have a
lady with me that you'll like to know. You'll be here to-morrow, won't
you?" she finished anxiously.

"Sure, if it's pleasant. Jerry totes me up here 'most every mornin'.
They fixed it so he could, you know; and I bring my dinner and stay
till four o'clock. Jerry's good to me--he is!"

"I know, I know," nodded Pollyanna. "And maybe you'll find somebody
else to be good to you, too," she caroled. With which cryptic
statement and a beaming smile, she was gone.



CHAPTER IX

PLANS AND PLOTTINGS


On the way home Pollyanna made joyous plans. To-morrow, in some way or
other, Mrs. Carew must be persuaded to go with her for a walk in the
Public Garden. Just how this was to be brought about Pollyanna did not
know; but brought about it must be.

To tell Mrs. Carew plainly that she had found Jamie, and wanted her to
go to see him, was out of the question. There was, of course, a bare
chance that this might not be her Jamie; and if it were not, and if
she had thus raised in Mrs. Carew false hopes, the result might be
disastrous. Pollyanna knew, from what Mary had told her, that twice
already Mrs. Carew had been made very ill by the great disappointment
of following alluring clues that had led to some boy very different
from her dead sister's son. So Pollyanna knew that she could not tell
Mrs. Carew why she wanted her to go to walk to-morrow in the Public
Garden. But there would be a way, declared Pollyanna to herself as she
happily hurried homeward.

Fate, however, as it happened, once more intervened in the shape of a
heavy rainstorm; and Pollyanna did not have to more than look out of
doors the next morning to realize that there would be no Public Garden
stroll that day. Worse yet, neither the next day nor the next saw the
clouds dispelled; and Pollyanna spent all three afternoons wandering
from window to window, peering up into the sky, and anxiously
demanding of every one: "DON'T you think it looks a LITTLE like
clearing up?"

So unusual was this behavior on the part of the cheery little girl,
and so irritating was the constant questioning, that at last Mrs.
Carew lost her patience.

"For pity's sake, child, what is the trouble?" she cried. "I never
knew you to fret so about the weather. Where's that wonderful glad
game of yours to-day?"

Pollyanna reddened and looked abashed.

"Dear me, I reckon maybe I did forget the game this time," she
admitted. "And of course there IS something about it I can be glad
for, if I'll only hunt for it. I can be glad that--that it will HAVE
to stop raining sometime 'cause God said he WOULDN'T send another
flood. But you see, I did so want it to be pleasant to-day."

"Why, especially?"

"Oh, I--I just wanted to go to walk in the Public Garden." Pollyanna
was trying hard to speak unconcernedly. "I--I thought maybe you'd like
to go with me, too." Outwardly Pollyanna was nonchalance itself.
Inwardly, however, she was aquiver with excitement and suspense.

"_I_ go to walk in the Public Garden?" queried Mrs. Carew, with brows
slightly uplifted. "Thank you, no, I'm afraid not," she smiled.

"Oh, but you--you wouldn't REFUSE!" faltered Pollyanna, in quick
panic.

"I have refused."

Pollyanna swallowed convulsively. She had grown really pale.

"But, Mrs. Carew, please, PLEASE don't say you WON'T go, when it gets
pleasant," she begged. "You see, for a--a special reason I wanted you
to go--with me--just this once."

Mrs. Carew frowned. She opened her lips to make the "no" more
decisive; but something in Pollyanna's pleading eyes must have changed
the words, for when they came they were a reluctant acquiescence.

"Well, well, child, have your own way. But if I promise to go, YOU
must promise not to go near the window for an hour, and not to ask
again to-day if I think it's going to clear up."

"Yes'm, I will--I mean, I won't," palpitated Pollyanna. Then, as a
pale shaft of light that was almost a sunbeam, came aslant through the
window, she cried joyously: "But you DO think it IS going to--Oh!" she
broke off in dismay, and ran from the room.

Unmistakably it "cleared up" the next morning. But, though the sun
shone brightly, there was a sharp chill in the air, and by afternoon,
when Pollyanna came home from school, there was a brisk wind. In spite
of protests, however, she insisted that it was a beautiful day out,
and that she should be perfectly miserable if Mrs. Carew would not
come for a walk in the Public Garden. And Mrs. Carew went, though
still protesting.

As might have been expected, it was a fruitless journey. Together the
impatient woman and the anxious-eyed little girl hurried shiveringly
up one path and down another. (Pollyanna, not finding the boy in his
accustomed place, was making frantic search in every nook and corner
of the Garden. To Pollyanna it seemed that she could not have it so.
Here she was in the Garden, and here with her was Mrs. Carew; but not
anywhere to be found was Jamie--and yet not one word could she say to
Mrs. Carew.) At last, thoroughly chilled and exasperated, Mrs. Carew
insisted on going home; and despairingly Pollyanna went.

Sorry days came to Pollyanna then. What to her was perilously near a
second deluge--but according to Mrs. Carew was merely "the usual fall
rains"--brought a series of damp, foggy, cold, cheerless days, filled
with either a dreary drizzle of rain, or, worse yet, a steady
downpour. If perchance occasionally there came a day of sunshine,
Pollyanna always flew to the Garden; but in vain. Jamie was never
there. It was the middle of November now, and even the Garden itself
was full of dreariness. The trees were bare, the benches almost empty,
and not one boat was on the little pond. True, the squirrels and
pigeons were there, and the sparrows were as pert as ever, but to feed
them was almost more of a sorrow than a joy, for every saucy switch of
Sir Lancelot's feathery tail but brought bitter memories of the lad
who had given him his name--and who was not there.

"And to think I didn't find out where he lived!" mourned Pollyanna to
herself over and over again, as the days passed. "And he was Jamie--I
just know he was Jamie. And now I'll have to wait and wait till spring
comes, and it's warm enough for him to come here again. And then,
maybe, _I_ sha'n't be coming here by that time. O dear, O dear--and he
WAS Jamie, I know he was Jamie!"

Then, one dreary afternoon, the unexpected happened. Pollyanna,
passing through the upper hallway heard angry voices in the hall
below, one of which she recognized as being Mary's, while the
other--the other--

The other voice was saying:

"Not on yer life! It's nix on the beggin' business. Do yer get me? I
wants ter see the kid, Pollyanna. I got a message for her from--from
Sir James. Now beat it, will ye, and trot out the kid, if ye don't
mind."

With a glad little cry Pollyanna turned and fairly flew down the
stairway.

"Oh, I'm here, I'm here, I'm right here!" she panted, stumbling
forward. "What is it? Did Jamie send you?"

In her excitement she had almost flung herself with outstretched arms
upon the boy when Mary intercepted a shocked, restraining hand.

"Miss Pollyanna, Miss Pollyanna, do you mean to say you know
this--this beggar boy?"

The boy flushed angrily; but before he could speak Pollyanna
interposed valiant championship.

"He isn't a beggar boy. He belongs to one of my very best friends.
Besides, he's the one that found me and brought me home that time I
was lost." Then to the boy she turned with impetuous questioning.
"What is it? Did Jamie send you?"

"Sure he did. He hit the hay a month ago, and he hain't been up
since."

"He hit--what?" puzzled Pollyanna.

"Hit the hay--went ter bed. He's sick, I mean, and he wants ter see
ye. Will ye come?"

"Sick? Oh, I'm so sorry!" grieved Pollyanna. "Of course I'll come.
I'll go get my hat and coat right away."

"Miss Pollyanna!" gasped Mary in stern disapproval. "As if Mrs. Carew
would let you go--ANYWHERE with a strange boy like this!"

"But he isn't a strange boy," objected Pollyanna. "I've known him ever
so long, and I MUST go. I--"

"What in the world is the meaning of this?" demanded Mrs. Carew icily
from the drawing-room doorway. "Pollyanna, who is this boy, and what
is he doing here?"

Pollyanna turned with a quick cry.

"Oh, Mrs. Carew, you'll let me go, won't you?"

"Go where?"

"To see my brother, ma'am," cut in the boy hurriedly, and with an
obvious effort to be very polite. "He's sort of off his feed, ye know,
and he wouldn't give me no peace till I come up--after her," with an
awkward gesture toward Pollyanna. "He thinks a sight an' all of her."

"I may go, mayn't I?" pleaded Pollyanna.

Mrs. Carew frowned.

"Go with this boy--YOU? Certainly not, Pollyanna! I wonder you are
wild enough to think of it for a moment."

"Oh, but I want you to come, too," began Pollyanna.

"I? Absurd, child! That is impossible. You may give this boy here a
little money, if you like, but--"

"Thank ye, ma'am, but I didn't come for money," resented the boy, his
eyes flashing. "I come for--her."

"Yes, and Mrs. Carew, it's Jerry--Jerry Murphy, the boy that found me
when I was lost, and brought me home," appealed Pollyanna. "NOW won't
you let me go?"

Mrs. Carew shook her head.

"It is out of the question, Pollyanna."

"But he says Ja-- --the other boy is sick, and wants me!"

"I can't help that."

"And I know him real well, Mrs. Carew. I do, truly. He reads
books--lovely books, all full of knights and lords and ladies, and he
feeds the birds and squirrels and gives 'em names, and everything. And
he can't walk, and he doesn't have enough to eat, lots of days,"
panted Pollyanna; "and he's been playing my glad game for a year, and
didn't know it. And he plays it ever and ever so much better than I
do. And I've hunted and hunted for him, ever and ever so many days.
Honest and truly, Mrs. Carew, I've just GOT to see him," almost sobbed
Pollyanna. "I can't lose him again!"

An angry color flamed into Mrs. Carew's cheeks.

"Pollyanna, this is sheer nonsense. I am surprised. I am amazed at you
for insisting upon doing something you know I disapprove of. I CAN NOT
allow you to go with this boy. Now please let me hear no more about
it."

A new expression came to Pollyanna's face. With a look half-terrified,
half-exalted, she lifted her chin and squarely faced Mrs. Carew.
Tremulously, but determinedly, she spoke.

"Then I'll have to tell you. I didn't mean to--till I was sure. I
wanted you to see him first. But now I've got to tell. I can't lose
him again. I think, Mrs. Carew, he's--Jamie."

"Jamie! Not--my--Jamie!" Mrs. Carew's face had grown very white.

"Yes."

"Impossible!"

"I know; but, please, his name IS Jamie, and he doesn't know the other
one. His father died when he was six years old, and he can't remember
his mother. He's twelve years old, he thinks. These folks took him in
when his father died, and his father was queer, and didn't tell folks
his name, and--"

But Mrs. Carew had stopped her with a gesture. Mrs. Carew was even
whiter than before, but her eyes burned with a sudden fire.

"We'll go at once," she said. "Mary, tell Perkins to have the car here
as soon as possible. Pollyanna, get your hat and coat. Boy, wait here,
please. We'll be ready to go with you immediately." The next minute
she had hurried up-stairs.

In the hall the boy drew a long breath.

"Gee whiz!" he muttered softly. "If we ain't goin' ter go in a
buzz-wagon! Some class ter that! Gorry! what'll Sir James say?"



CHAPTER X

IN MURPHY'S ALLEY


With the opulent purr that seems to be peculiar to luxurious
limousines, Mrs. Carew's car rolled down Commonwealth Avenue and out
upon Arlington Street to Charles. Inside sat a shining-eyed little
girl and a white-faced, tense woman. Outside, to give directions to
the plainly disapproving chauffeur, sat Jerry Murphy, inordinately
proud and insufferably important.

When the limousine came to a stop before a shabby doorway in a narrow,
dirty alley, the boy leaped to the ground, and, with a ridiculous
imitation of the liveried pomposities he had so often watched, threw
open the door of the car and stood waiting for the ladies to alight.

Pollyanna sprang out at once, her eyes widening with amazement and
distress as she looked about her. Behind her came Mrs. Carew, visibly
shuddering as her gaze swept the filth, the sordidness, and the ragged
children that swarmed shrieking and chattering out of the dismal
tenements, and surrounded the car in a second.

Jerry waved his arms angrily.

"Here, you, beat it!" he yelled to the motley throng. "This ain't no
free movies! CAN that racket and get a move on ye. Lively, now! We
gotta get by. Jamie's got comp'ny."

Mrs. Carew shuddered again, and laid a trembling hand on Jerry's
shoulder.

"Not--HERE!" she recoiled.

But the boy did not hear. With shoves and pushes from sturdy fists and
elbows, he was making a path for his charges; and before Mrs. Carew
knew quite how it was done, she found herself with the boy and
Pollyanna at the foot of a rickety flight of stairs in a dim,
evil-smelling hallway.

Once more she put out a shaking hand.

"Wait," she commanded huskily. "Remember! Don't either of you say a
word about--about his being possibly the boy I'm looking for. I must
see for myself first, and--question him."

"Of course!" agreed Pollyanna.

"Sure! I'm on," nodded the boy. "I gotta go right off anyhow, so I
won't bother ye none. Now toddle easy up these 'ere stairs. There's
always holes, and most generally there's a kid or two asleep
somewheres. An' the elevator ain't runnin' ter-day," he gibed
cheerfully. "We gotta go ter the top, too!"

Mrs. Carew found the "holes"--broken boards that creaked and bent
fearsomely under her shrinking feet; and she found one "kid"--a
two-year-old baby playing with an empty tin can on a string which he
was banging up and down the second flight of stairs. On all sides
doors were opened, now boldly, now stealthily, but always disclosing
women with tousled heads or peering children with dirty faces.
Somewhere a baby was wailing piteously. Somewhere else a man was
cursing. Everywhere was the smell of bad whiskey, stale cabbage, and
unwashed humanity.

At the top of the third and last stairway the boy came to a pause
before a closed door.

"I'm just a-thinkin' what Sir James'll say when he's wise ter the
prize package I'm bringin' him," he whispered in a throaty voice. "I
know what mumsey'll do--she'll turn on the weeps in no time ter see
Jamie so tickled." The next moment he threw wide the door with a gay:
"Here we be--an' we come in a buzz-wagon! Ain't that goin' some, Sir
James?"

It was a tiny room, cold and cheerless and pitifully bare, but
scrupulously neat. There were here no tousled heads, no peering
children, no odors of whiskey, cabbage, and unclean humanity. There
were two beds, three broken chairs, a dry-goods-box table, and a stove
with a faint glow of light that told of a fire not nearly brisk enough
to heat even that tiny room. On one of the beds lay a lad with flushed
cheeks and fever-bright eyes. Near him sat a thin, white-faced woman,
bent and twisted with rheumatism.

Mrs. Carew stepped into the room and, as if to steady herself, paused
a minute with her back to the wall. Pollyanna hurried forward with a
low cry just as Jerry, with an apologetic "I gotta go now; good-by!"
dashed through the door.

"Oh, Jamie, I'm so glad I've found you," cried Pollyanna. "You don't
know how I've looked and looked for you every day. But I'm so sorry
you're sick!"

Jamie smiled radiantly and held out a thin white hand.

"I ain't sorry--I'm GLAD," he emphasized meaningly; "'cause it's
brought you to see me. Besides, I'm better now, anyway. Mumsey, this
is the little girl, you know, that told me the glad game--and mumsey's
playing it, too," he triumphed, turning back to Pollyanna. "First she
cried 'cause her back hurts too bad to let her work; then when I was
took worse she was GLAD she couldn't work, 'cause she could be here to
take care of me, you know."

At that moment Mrs. Carew hurried forward, her eyes half-fearfully,
half-longingly on the face of the lame boy in the bed.

"It's Mrs. Carew. I've brought her to see you, Jamie," introduced
Pollyanna, in a tremulous voice.

The little twisted woman by the bed had struggled to her feet by this
time, and was nervously offering her chair. Mrs. Carew accepted it
without so much as a glance. Her eyes were still on the boy in the
bed.

"Your name is--Jamie?" she asked, with visible difficulty.

"Yes, ma'am." The boy's bright eyes looked straight into hers.

"What is your other name?"

"I don't know."

"He is not your son?" For the first time Mrs. Carew turned to the
twisted little woman who was still standing by the bed.

"No, madam."

"And you don't know his name?"

"No, madam. I never knew it."

With a despairing gesture Mrs. Carew turned back to the boy.

"But think, think--don't you remember ANYTHING of your name
but--Jamie?"

The boy shook his head. Into his eyes was coming a puzzled wonder.

"No, nothing."

"Haven't you anything that belonged to your father, with possibly his
name in it?"

"There wasn't anythin' worth savin' but them books," interposed Mrs.
Murphy. "Them's his. Maybe you'd like to look at 'em," she suggested,
pointing to a row of worn volumes on a shelf across the room. Then, in
plainly uncontrollable curiosity, she asked: "Was you thinkin' you
knew him, ma'am?"

"I don't know," murmured Mrs. Carew, in a half-stifled voice, as she
rose to her feet and crossed the room to the shelf of books.

There were not many--perhaps ten or a dozen. There was a volume of
Shakespeare's plays, an "Ivanhoe," a much-thumbed "Lady of the Lake,"
a book of miscellaneous poems, a coverless "Tennyson," a dilapidated
"Little Lord Fauntleroy," and two or three books of ancient and
medieval history. But, though Mrs. Carew looked carefully through
every one, she found nowhere any written word. With a despairing sigh
she turned back to the boy and to the woman, both of whom now were
watching her with startled, questioning eyes.

"I wish you'd tell me--both of you--all you know about yourselves,"
she said brokenly, dropping herself once more into the chair by the
bed.

And they told her. It was much the same story that Jamie had told
Pollyanna in the Public Garden. There was little that was new, nothing
that was significant, in spite of the probing questions that Mrs.
Carew asked. At its conclusion Jamie turned eager eyes on Mrs. Carew's
face.

"Do you think you knew--my father?" he begged.

Mrs. Carew closed her eyes and pressed her hand to her head.

"I don't--know," she answered. "But I think--not."

Pollyanna gave a quick cry of keen disappointment, but as quickly she
suppressed it in obedience to Mrs. Carew's warning glance. With new
horror, however, she surveyed the tiny room.

Jamie, turning his wondering eyes from Mrs. Carew's face, suddenly
awoke to his duties as host.

"Wasn't you good to come!" he said to Pollyanna, gratefully. "How's
Sir Lancelot? Do you ever go to feed him now?" Then, as Pollyanna did
not answer at once, he hurried on, his eyes going from her face to the
somewhat battered pink in a broken-necked bottle in the window. "Did
you see my posy? Jerry found it. Somebody dropped it and he picked it
up. Ain't it pretty? And it SMELLS a little."

But Pollyanna did not seem even to have heard him. She was still
gazing, wide-eyed about the room, clasping and unclasping her hands
nervously.

"But I don't see how you can ever play the game here at all, Jamie,"
she faltered. "I didn't suppose there could be anywhere such a
perfectly awful place to live," she shuddered.

"Ho!" scoffed Jamie, valiantly. "You'd oughter see the Pikes'
down-stairs. Theirs is a whole lot worse'n this. You don't know what a
lot of nice things there is about this room. Why, we get the sun in
that winder there for 'most two hours every day, when it shines. And
if you get real near it you can see a whole lot of sky from it. If we
could only KEEP the room!--but you see we've got to leave, we're
afraid. And that's what's worrin' us."

"Leave!"

"Yes. We got behind on the rent--mumsey bein' sick so, and not earnin'
anythin'." In spite of a courageously cheerful smile, Jamie's voice
shook. "Mis' Dolan down-stairs--the woman what keeps my wheel chair
for me, you know--is helpin' us out this week. But of course she can't
do it always, and then we'll have to go--if Jerry don't strike it
rich, or somethin'."

"Oh, but can't we--" began Pollyanna.

She stopped short. Mrs. Carew had risen to her feet abruptly with a
hurried:

"Come, Pollyanna, we must go." Then to the woman she turned wearily.
"You won't have to leave. I'll send you money and food at once, and
I'll mention your case to one of the charity organizations in which I
am interested, and they will--"

In surprise she ceased speaking. The bent little figure of the woman
opposite had drawn itself almost erect. Mrs. Murphy's cheeks were
flushed. Her eyes showed a smouldering fire.

"Thank you, no, Mrs. Carew," she said tremulously, but proudly. "We're
poor--God knows; but we ain't charity folks."

"Nonsense!" cried Mrs. Carew, sharply. "You're letting the woman
down-stairs help you. This boy said so."

"I know; but that ain't charity," persisted the woman, still
tremulously. "Mrs. Dolan is my FRIEND. She knows I'D do HER a good
turn just as quick--I have done 'em for her in times past. Help from
FRIENDS ain't charity. They CARE; and that--that makes a difference.
We wa'n't always as we are now, you see; and that makes it hurt all
the more--all this. Thank you; but we couldn't take--your money."

Mrs. Carew frowned angrily. It had been a most disappointing,
heart-breaking, exhausting hour for her. Never a patient woman, she
was exasperated now, besides being utterly tired out.

"Very well, just as you please," she said coldly. Then, with vague
irritation she added: "But why don't you go to your landlord and
insist that he make you even decently comfortable while you do stay?
Surely you're entitled to something besides broken windows stuffed
with rags and papers! And those stairs that I came up are positively
dangerous."

Mrs. Murphy sighed in a discouraged way. Her twisted little figure had
fallen back into its old hopelessness.

"We have tried to have something done, but it's never amounted to
anything. We never see anybody but the agent, of course; and he says
the rents are too low for the owner to put out any more money on
repairs."

"Nonsense!" snapped Mrs. Carew, with all the sharpness of a nervous,
distraught woman who has at last found an outlet for her exasperation.
"It's shameful! What's more, I think it's a clear case of violation of
the law;--those stairs are, certainly. I shall make it my business to
see that he's brought to terms. What is the name of that agent, and
who is the owner of this delectable establishment?"

"I don't know the name of the owner, madam; but the agent is Mr.
Dodge."

"Dodge!" Mrs. Carew turned sharply, an odd look on her face. "You
don't mean--Henry Dodge?"

"Yes, madam. His name is Henry, I think."

A flood of color swept into Mrs. Carew's face, then receded, leaving
it whiter than before.

"Very well, I--I'll attend to it," she murmured, in a half-stifled
voice, turning away. "Come, Pollyanna, we must go now."

Over at the bed Pollyanna was bidding Jamie a tearful good-by.

"But I'll come again. I'll come real soon," she promised brightly, as
she hurried through the door after Mrs. Carew.

Not until they had picked their precarious way down the three long
flights of stairs and through the jabbering, gesticulating crowd of
men, women, and children that surrounded the scowling Perkins and the
limousine, did Pollyanna speak again. But then she scarcely waited for
the irate chauffeur to slam the door upon them before she pleaded:

"Dear Mrs. Carew, please, please say that it was Jamie! Oh, it would
be so nice for him to be Jamie."

"But he isn't Jamie!"

"O dear! Are you sure?"

There was a moment's pause, then Mrs. Carew covered her face with her
hands.

"No, I'm not sure--and that's the tragedy of it," she moaned. "I don't
think he is; I'm almost positive he isn't. But, of course, there IS a
chance--and that's what's killing me."

"Then can't you just THINK he's Jamie," begged Pollyanna, "and play he
was? Then you could take him home, and--" But Mrs. Carew turned
fiercely.

"Take that boy into my home when he WASN'T Jamie? Never, Pollyanna! I
couldn't."

"But if you CAN'T help Jamie, I should think you'd be so glad there
was some one like him you COULD help," urged Pollyanna, tremulously.
"What if your Jamie was like this Jamie, all poor and sick, wouldn't
you want some one to take him in and comfort him, and--"
"Don't--don't, Pollyanna," moaned Mrs. Carew, turning her head from
side to side, in a frenzy of grief. "When I think that maybe,
somewhere, our Jamie is like that--" Only a choking sob finished the
sentence.

"That's just what I mean--that's just what I mean!" triumphed
Pollyanna, excitedly. "Don't you see? If this IS your Jamie, of course
you'll want him; and if it isn't, you couldn't be doing any harm to
the other Jamie by taking this one, and you'd do a whole lot of good,
for you'd make this one so happy--so happy! And then, by and by, if
you should find the real Jamie, you wouldn't have lost anything, but
you'd have made two little boys happy instead of one; and--" But again
Mrs. Carew interrupted her.

"Don't, Pollyanna, don't! I want to think--I want to think."

Tearfully Pollyanna sat back in her seat. By a very visible effort she
kept still for one whole minute. Then, as if the words fairly bubbled
forth of themselves, there came this:

"Oh, but what an awful, awful place that was! I just wish the man that
owned it had to live in it himself--and then see what he'd have to be
glad for!"

Mrs. Carew sat suddenly erect. Her face showed a curious change.
Almost as if in appeal she flung out her hand toward Pollyanna.

"Don't!" she cried. "Perhaps--she didn't know, Pollyanna. Perhaps she
didn't know. I'm sure she didn't know--she owned a place like that.
But it will be fixed now--it will be fixed."

"SHE! Is it a woman that owns it, and do you know her? And do you know
the agent, too?"

"Yes." Mrs. Carew bit her lips. "I know her, and I know the agent."

"Oh, I'm so glad," sighed Pollyanna. "Then it'll be all right now."

"Well, it certainly will be--better," avowed Mrs. Carew with emphasis,
as the car stopped before her own door.

Mrs. Carew spoke as if she knew what she was talking about. And
perhaps, indeed, she did--better than she cared to tell Pollyanna.
Certainly, before she slept that night, a letter left her hands
addressed to one Henry Dodge, summoning him to an immediate conference
as to certain changes and repairs to be made at once in tenements she
owned. There were, moreover, several scathing sentences concerning
"rag-stuffed windows," and "rickety stairways," that caused this same
Henry Dodge to scowl angrily, and to say a sharp word behind his
teeth--though at the same time he paled with something very like fear.



CHAPTER XI

A SURPRISE FOR MRS. CAREW


The matter of repairs and improvements having been properly and
efficiently attended to, Mrs. Carew told herself that she had done her
duty, and that the matter was closed. She would forget it. The boy was
not Jamie--he could not be Jamie. That ignorant, sickly, crippled boy
her dead sister's son? Impossible! She would cast the whole thing from
her thoughts.

It was just here, however, that Mrs. Carew found herself against an
immovable, impassable barrier: the whole thing refused to be cast from
her thoughts. Always before her eyes was the picture of that bare
little room and the wistful-faced boy. Always in her ears was that
heartbreaking "What if it WERE Jamie?" And always, too, there was
Pollyanna; for even though Mrs. Carew might (as she did) silence the
pleadings and questionings of the little girl's tongue, there was no
getting away from the prayers and reproaches of the little girl's
eyes.

Twice again in desperation Mrs. Carew went to see the boy, telling
herself each time that only another visit was needed to convince her
that the boy was not the one she sought. But, even though while there
in the boy's presence, she told herself that she WAS convinced, once
away from it, the old, old questioning returned. At last, in still
greater desperation, she wrote to her sister, and told her the whole
story.

"I had not meant to tell you," she wrote, after she had stated the
bare facts of the case. "I thought it a pity to harrow you up, or to
raise false hopes. I am so sure it is not he--and yet, even as I write
these words, I know I am NOT sure. That is why I want you to come--why
you must come. I must have you see him.

"I wonder--oh, I wonder what you'll say! Of course we haven't seen our
Jamie since he was four years old. He would be twelve now. This boy is
twelve, I should judge. (He doesn't know his age.) He has hair and
eyes not unlike our Jamie's. He is crippled, but that condition came
upon him through a fall, six years ago, and was made worse through
another one four years later. Anything like a complete description of
his father's appearance seems impossible to obtain; but what I have
learned contains nothing conclusive either for or against his being
poor Doris's husband. He was called 'the Professor,' was very queer,
and seemed to own nothing save a few books. This might, or might not
signify. John Kent was certainly always queer, and a good deal of a
Bohemian in his tastes. Whether he cared for books or not I don't
remember. Do you? And of course the title 'Professor' might easily
have been assumed, if he wished, or it might have been merely given
him by others. As for this boy--I don't know, I don't know--but I do
hope YOU will!

                                    "Your distracted sister,

                                    "RUTH."

Della came at once, and she went immediately to see the boy; but she
did not "know." Like her sister, she said she did not think it was
their Jamie, but at the same time there was that chance--it might be
he, after all. Like Pollyanna, however, she had what she thought was a
very satisfactory way out of the dilemma.

"But why don't you take him, dear?" she proposed to her sister. "Why
don't you take him and adopt him? It would be lovely for him--poor
little fellow--and--" But Mrs. Carew shuddered and would not even let
her finish.

"No, no, I can't, I can't!" she moaned. "I want my Jamie, my own
Jamie--or no one." And with a sigh Della gave it up and went back to
her nursing.

If Mrs. Carew thought that this closed the matter, however, she was
again mistaken; for her days were still restless, and her nights were
still either sleepless or filled with dreams of a "may be" or a "might
be" masquerading as an "it is so." She was, moreover, having a
difficult time with Pollyanna.

Pollyanna was puzzled. She was filled with questionings and unrest.
For the first time in her life Pollyanna had come face to face with
real poverty. She knew people who did not have enough to eat, who wore
ragged clothing, and who lived in dark, dirty, and very tiny rooms.
Her first impulse, of course, had been "to help." With Mrs. Carew she
made two visits to Jamie, and greatly did she rejoice at the changed
conditions she found there after "that man Dodge" had "tended to
things." But this, to Pollyanna, was a mere drop in the bucket. There
were yet all those other sick-looking men, unhappy-looking women, and
ragged children out in the street--Jamie's neighbors. Confidently she
looked to Mrs. Carew for help for them, also.

"Indeed!" exclaimed Mrs. Carew, when she learned what was expected of
her, "so you want the whole street to be supplied with fresh paper,
paint, and new stairways, do you? Pray, is there anything else you'd
like?"

"Oh, yes, lots of things," sighed Pollyanna, happily. "You see, there
are so many things they need--all of them! And what fun it will be to
get them! How I wish I was rich so I could help, too; but I'm 'most as
glad to be with you when you get them."

Mrs. Carew quite gasped aloud in her amazement. She lost no
time--though she did lose not a little patience--in explaining that
she had no intention of doing anything further in "Murphy's Alley,"
and that there was no reason why she should. No one would expect her
to. She had canceled all possible obligations, and had even been
really very generous, any one would say, in what she had done for the
tenement where lived Jamie and the Murphys. (That she owned the
tenement building she did not think it necessary to state.) At some
length she explained to Pollyanna that there were charitable
institutions, both numerous and efficient, whose business it was to
aid all the worthy poor, and that to these institutions she gave
frequently and liberally.

Even then, however, Pollyanna was not convinced.

"But I don't see," she argued, "why it's any better, or even so nice,
for a whole lot of folks to club together and do what everybody would
like to do for themselves. I'm sure I'd much rather give Jamie a--a
nice book, now, than to have some old Society do it; and I KNOW he'd
like better to have me do it, too."

"Very likely," returned Mrs. Carew, with some weariness and a little
exasperation. "But it is just possible that it would not be so well
for Jamie as--as if that book were given by a body of people who knew
what sort of one to select."

This led her to say much, also (none of which Pollyanna in the least
understood), about "pauperizing the poor," the "evils of
indiscriminate giving," and the "pernicious effect of unorganized
charity."

"Besides," she added, in answer to the still perplexed expression on
Pollyanna's worried little face, "very likely if I offered help to
these people they would not take it. You remember Mrs. Murphy
declined, at the first, to let me send food and clothing--though they
accepted it readily enough from their neighbors on the first floor, it
seems."

"Yes, I know," sighed Pollyanna, turning away. "There's something
there somehow that I don't understand. But it doesn't seem right that
WE should have such a lot of nice things, and that THEY shouldn't have
anything, hardly."

As the days passed, this feeling on the part of Pollyanna increased
rather than diminished; and the questions she asked and the comments
she made were anything but a relief to the state of mind in which Mrs.
Carew herself was. Even the test of the glad game, in this case,
Pollyanna was finding to be very near a failure; for, as she expressed
it:

"I don't see how you can find anything about this poor-people business
to be glad for. Of course we can be glad for ourselves that we aren't
poor like them; but whenever I'm thinking how glad I am for that, I
get so sorry for them that I CAN'T be glad any longer. Of course we
COULD be glad there were poor folks, because we could help them. But
if we DON'T help them, where's the glad part of that coming in?" And
to this Pollyanna could find no one who could give her a satisfactory
answer.

Especially she asked this question of Mrs. Carew; and Mrs. Carew,
still haunted by the visions of the Jamie that was, and the Jamie that
might be, grew only more restless, more wretched, and more utterly
despairing. Nor was she helped any by the approach of Christmas.
Nowhere was there glow of holly or flash of tinsel that did not carry
its pang to her; for always to Mrs. Carew it but symbolized a child's
empty stocking--a stocking that might be--Jamie's.

Finally, a week before Christmas, she fought what she thought was the
last battle with herself. Resolutely, but with no real joy in her
face, she gave terse orders to Mary, and summoned Pollyanna.

"Pollyanna," she began, almost harshly, "I have decided to--to take
Jamie. The car will be here at once. I'm going after him now, and
bring him home. You may come with me if you like."

A great light transfigured Pollyanna's face.

"Oh, oh, oh, how glad I am!" she breathed. "Why, I'm so glad I--I want
to cry! Mrs. Carew, why is it, when you're the very gladdest of
anything, you always want to cry?"

"I don't know, I'm sure, Pollyanna," rejoined Mrs. Carew,
abstractedly. On Mrs. Carew's face there was still no look of joy.

Once in the Murphys' little one-room tenement, it did not take Mrs.
Carew long to tell her errand. In a few short sentences she told the
story of the lost Jamie, and of her first hopes that this Jamie might
be he. She made no secret of her doubts that he was the one; at the
same time, she said she had decided to take him home with her and give
him every possible advantage. Then, a little wearily, she told what
were the plans she had made for him.

At the foot of the bed Mrs. Murphy listened, crying softly. Across the
room Jerry Murphy, his eyes dilating, emitted an occasional low "Gee!
Can ye beat that, now?" As to Jamie--Jamie, on the bed, had listened
at first with the air of one to whom suddenly a door has opened into a
longed-for paradise; but gradually, as Mrs. Carew talked, a new look
came to his eyes. Very slowly he closed them, and turned away his
face.

When Mrs. Carew ceased speaking there was a long silence before Jamie
turned his head and answered. They saw then that his face was very
white, and that his eyes were full of tears.

"Thank you, Mrs. Carew, but--I can't go," he said simply.

"You can't--what?" cried Mrs. Carew, as if she doubted the evidence of
her own ears.

"Jamie!" gasped Pollyanna.

"Oh, come, kid, what's eatin' ye?" scowled Jerry, hurriedly coming
forward. "Don't ye know a good thing when ye see it?"

"Yes; but I can't--go," said the crippled boy, again.

"But, Jamie, Jamie, think, THINK what it would mean to you!" quavered
Mrs. Murphy, at the foot of the bed.

"I am a-thinkin'," choked Jamie. "Don't you suppose I know what I'm
doin'--what I'm givin' up?" Then to Mrs. Carew he turned tear-wet
eyes. "I can't," he faltered. "I can't let you do all that for me. If
you--CARED it would be different. But you don't care--not really. You
don't WANT me--not ME. You want the real Jamie, and I ain't the real
Jamie. You don't think I am. I can see it in your face."

"I know. But--but--" began Mrs. Carew, helplessly.

"And it isn't as if--as if I was like other boys, and could walk,
either," interrupted the cripple, feverishly. "You'd get tired of me
in no time. And I'd see it comin'. I couldn't stand it--to be a burden
like that. Of course, if you CARED--like mumsey here--" He threw out
his hand, choked back a sob, then turned his head away again. "I'm not
the Jamie you want. I--can't--go," he said. With the words his thin,
boyish hand fell clenched till the knuckles showed white against the
tattered old shawl that covered the bed.

There was a moment's breathless hush, then, very quietly, Mrs. Carew
got to her feet. Her face was colorless; but there was that in it that
silenced the sob that rose to Pollyanna's lips.

"Come, Pollyanna," was all she said.

"Well, if you ain't the fool limit!" babbled Jerry Murphy to the boy
on the bed, as the door closed a moment later.

But the boy on the bed was crying very much as if the closing door had
been the one that had led to paradise--and that had closed now
forever.



CHAPTER XII

FROM BEHIND A COUNTER


Mrs. Carew was very angry. To have brought herself to the point where
she was willing to take this lame boy into her home, and then to have
the lad calmly refuse to come, was unbearable. Mrs. Carew was not in
the habit of having her invitations ignored, or her wishes scorned.
Furthermore, now that she could not have the boy, she was conscious of
an almost frantic terror lest he were, after all, the real Jamie. She
knew then that her true reason for wanting him had been--not because
she cared for him, not even because she wished to help him and make
him happy--but because she hoped, by taking him, that she would ease
her own mind, and forever silence that awful eternal questioning on
her part: "What if he WERE her own Jamie?"

It certainly had not helped matters any that the boy had divined her
state of mind, and had given as the reason for his refusal that she
"did not care." To be sure, Mrs. Carew now very proudly told herself
that she did not indeed "care," that he was NOT her sister's boy, and
that she would "forget all about it."

But she did not forget all about it. However insistently she might
disclaim responsibility and relationship, just as insistently
responsibility and relationship thrust themselves upon her in the
shape of panicky doubts; and however resolutely she turned her
thoughts to other matters, just so resolutely visions of a
wistful-eyed boy in a poverty-stricken room loomed always before her.

Then, too, there was Pollyanna. Clearly Pollyanna was not herself at
all. In a most unPollyanna-like spirit she moped about the house,
finding apparently no interest anywhere.

"Oh, no, I'm not sick," she would answer, when remonstrated with, and
questioned.

"But what IS the trouble?"

"Why, nothing. It--it's only that I was thinking of Jamie, you
know,--how HE hasn't got all these beautiful things--carpets, and
pictures, and curtains."

It was the same with her food. Pollyanna was actually losing her
appetite; but here again she disclaimed sickness.

"Oh, no," she would sigh mournfully. "It's just that I don't seem
hungry. Some way, just as soon as I begin to eat, I think of Jamie,
and how HE doesn't have only old doughnuts and dry rolls; and then
I--I don't want anything."

Mrs. Carew, spurred by a feeling that she herself only dimly
understood, and recklessly determined to bring about some change in
Pollyanna at all costs, ordered a huge tree, two dozen wreaths, and
quantities of holly and Christmas baubles. For the first time in many
years the house was aflame and aglitter with scarlet and tinsel. There
was even to be a Christmas party, for Mrs. Carew had told Pollyanna to
invite half a dozen of her schoolgirl friends for the tree on
Christmas Eve.

But even here Mrs. Carew met with disappointment; for, though
Pollyanna was always grateful, and at times interested and even
excited, she still carried frequently a sober little face. And in the
end the Christmas party was more of a sorrow than a joy; for the first
glimpse of the glittering tree sent her into a storm of sobs.

"Why, Pollyanna!" ejaculated Mrs. Carew. "What in the world is the
matter now?"

"N-n-nothing," wept Pollyanna. "It's only that it's so perfectly,
perfectly beautiful that I just had to cry. I was thinking how Jamie
would love to see it."

It was then that Mrs. Carew's patience snapped.

"'Jamie, Jamie, Jamie'!" she exclaimed. "Pollyanna, CAN'T you stop
talking about that boy? You know perfectly well that it is not my
fault that he is not here. I asked him to come here to live. Besides,
where is that glad game of yours? I think it would be an excellent
idea if you would play it on this."

"I AM playing it," quavered Pollyanna. "And that's what I don't
understand. I never knew it to act so funny. Why, before, when I've
been glad about things, I've been happy. But now, about Jamie--I'm so
glad I've got carpets and pictures and nice things to eat, and that I
can walk and run, and go to school, and all that; but the harder I'm
glad for myself, the sorrier I am for him. I never knew the game to
act so funny, and I don't know what ails it. Do you?"

But Mrs. Carew, with a despairing gesture, merely turned away without
a word.

It was the day after Christmas that something so wonderful happened
that Pollyanna, for a time, almost forgot Jamie. Mrs. Carew had taken
her shopping, and it was while Mrs. Carew was trying to decide between
a duchesse-lace and a point-lace collar, that Pollyanna chanced to spy
farther down the counter a face that looked vaguely familiar. For a
moment she regarded it frowningly; then, with a little cry, she ran
down the aisle.

"Oh, it's you--it IS you!" she exclaimed joyously to a girl who was
putting into the show case a tray of pink bows. "I'm so glad to see
you!"

The girl behind the counter lifted her head and stared at Pollyanna in
amazement. But almost immediately her dark, somber face lighted with a
smile of glad recognition.

"Well, well, if it isn't my little Public Garden kiddie!" she
ejaculated.

"Yes. I'm so glad you remembered," beamed Pollyanna. "But you never
came again. I looked for you lots of times."

"I couldn't. I had to work. That was our last half-holiday, and--Fifty
cents, madam," she broke off, in answer to a sweet-faced old lady's
question as to the price of a black-and-white bow on the counter.

"Fifty cents? Hm-m!" The old lady fingered the bow, hesitated, then
laid it down with a sigh. "Hm, yes; well, it's very pretty, I'm sure,
my dear," she said, as she passed on.

Immediately behind her came two bright-faced girls who, with much
giggling and bantering, picked out a jeweled creation of scarlet
velvet, and a fairy-like structure of tulle and pink buds. As the
girls turned chattering away Pollyanna drew an ecstatic sigh.

"Is this what you do all day? My, how glad you must be you chose
this!"

"GLAD!"

"Yes. It must be such fun--such lots of folks, you know, and all
different! And you can talk to 'em. You HAVE to talk to 'em--it's your
business. I should love that. I think I'll do this when I grow up. It
must be such fun to see what they all buy!"

"Fun! Glad!" bristled the girl behind the counter. "Well, child, I
guess if you knew half--That's a dollar, madam," she interrupted
herself hastily, in answer to a young woman's sharp question as to the
price of a flaring yellow bow of beaded velvet in the show case.

"Well, I should think 'twas time you told me," snapped the young
woman. "I had to ask you twice."

The girl behind the counter bit her lip.

"I didn't hear you, madam."

"I can't help that. It is your business TO hear. You are paid for it,
aren't you? How much is that black one?"

"Fifty cents."

"And that blue one?"

"One dollar."

"No impudence, miss! You needn't be so short about it, or I shall
report you. Let me see that tray of pink ones."

The salesgirl's lips opened, then closed in a thin, straight line.
Obediently she reached into the show case and took out the tray of
pink bows; but her eyes flashed, and her hands shook visibly as she
set the tray down on the counter. The young woman whom she was serving
picked up five bows, asked the price of four of them, then turned away
with a brief:

"I see nothing I care for."

"Well," said the girl behind the counter, in a shaking voice, to the
wide-eyed Pollyanna, "what do you think of my business now? Anything
to be glad about there?"

Pollyanna giggled a little hysterically.

"My, wasn't she cross? But she was kind of funny, too--don't you
think? Anyhow, you can be glad that--that they aren't ALL like HER,
can't you?"

"I suppose so," said the girl, with a faint smile, "But I can tell you
right now, kiddie, that glad game of yours you was tellin' me about
that day in the Garden may be all very well for you; but--" Once more
she stopped with a tired: "Fifty cents, madam," in answer to a
question from the other side of the counter.

"Are you as lonesome as ever?" asked Pollyanna wistfully, when the
salesgirl was at liberty again.

"Well, I can't say I've given more'n five parties, nor been to more'n
seven, since I saw you," replied the girl so bitterly that Pollyanna
detected the sarcasm.

"Oh, but you did something nice Christmas, didn't you?"

"Oh, yes. I stayed in bed all day with my feet done up in rags and
read four newspapers and one magazine. Then at night I hobbled out to
a restaurant where I had to blow in thirty-five cents for chicken pie
instead of a quarter."

"But what ailed your feet?"

"Blistered. Standin' on 'em--Christmas rush."

"Oh!" shuddered Pollyanna, sympathetically. "And you didn't have any
tree, or party, or anything?" she cried, distressed and shocked.

"Well, hardly!"

"O dear! How I wish you could have seen mine!" sighed the little girl.
"It was just lovely, and--But, oh, say!" she exclaimed joyously. "You
can see it, after all. It isn't gone yet. Now, can't you come out
to-night, or to-morrow night, and--"

"PollyANNA!" interrupted Mrs. Carew in her chilliest accents. "What in
the world does this mean? Where have you been? I have looked
everywhere for you. I even went 'way back to the suit department."

Pollyanna turned with a happy little cry.

"Oh, Mrs. Carew, I'm so glad you've come," she rejoiced. "This
is--well, I don't know her name yet, but I know HER, so it's all
right. I met her in the Public Garden ever so long ago. And she's
lonesome, and doesn't know anybody. And her father was a minister like
mine, only he's alive. And she didn't have any Christmas tree only
blistered feet and chicken pie; and I want her to see mine, you
know--the tree, I mean," plunged on Pollyanna, breathlessly. "I've
asked her to come out to-night, or to-morrow night. And you'll let me
have it all lighted up again, won't you?"

[Illustration: "'I don't know her name yet, but I know HER, so it's
all right'"]

"Well, really, Pollyanna," began Mrs. Carew, in cold disapproval. But
the girl behind the counter interrupted with a voice quite as cold,
and even more disapproving.

"Don't worry, madam. I've no notion of goin'."

"Oh, but PLEASE," begged Pollyanna. "You don't know how I want you,
and--"

"I notice the lady ain't doin' any askin'," interrupted the salesgirl,
a little maliciously.

Mrs. Carew flushed an angry red, and turned as if to go; but Pollyanna
caught her arm and held it, talking meanwhile almost frenziedly to the
girl behind the counter, who happened, at the moment, to be free from
customers.

"Oh, but she will, she will," Pollyanna was saying. "She wants you to
come--I know she does. Why, you don't know how good she is, and how
much money she gives to--to charitable 'sociations and everything."

"PollyANNA!" remonstrated Mrs. Carew, sharply. Once more she would
have gone, but this time she was held spellbound by the ringing scorn
in the low, tense voice of the salesgirl.

"Oh, yes, I know! There's lots of 'em that'll give to RESCUE work.
There's always plenty of helpin' hands stretched out to them that has
gone wrong. And that's all right. I ain't findin' no fault with that.
Only sometimes I wonder there don't some of 'em think of helpin' the
girls BEFORE they go wrong. Why don't they give GOOD girls pretty
homes with books and pictures and soft carpets and music, and somebody
'round 'em to care? Maybe then there wouldn't be so many--Good
heavens, what am I sayin'?" she broke off, under her breath. Then,
with the old weariness, she turned to a young woman who had stopped
before her and picked up a blue bow.

"That's fifty cents, madam," Mrs. Carew heard, as she hurried
Pollyanna away.



CHAPTER XIII

A WAITING AND A WINNING


It was a delightful plan. Pollyanna had it entirely formulated in
about five minutes; then she told Mrs. Carew. Mrs. Carew did not think
it was a delightful plan, and she said so very distinctly.

"Oh, but I'm sure THEY'LL think it is," argued Pollyanna, in reply to
Mrs. Carew's objections. "And just think how easy we can do it! The
tree is just as it was--except for the presents, and we can get more
of those. It won't be so very long till just New Year's Eve; and only
think how glad she'll be to come! Wouldn't YOU be, if you hadn't had
anything for Christmas only blistered feet and chicken pie?"

"Dear, dear, what an impossible child you are!" frowned Mrs. Carew.
"Even yet it doesn't seem to occur to you that we don't know this
young person's name."

"So we don't! And isn't it funny, when I feel that I know HER so
well?" smiled Pollyanna. "You see, we had such a good talk in the
Garden that day, and she told me all about how lonesome she was, and
that she thought the lonesomest place in the world was in a crowd in a
big city, because folks didn't think nor notice. Oh, there was one
that noticed; but he noticed too much, she said, and he hadn't ought
to notice her any--which is kind of funny, isn't it, when you come to
think of it. But anyhow, he came for her there in the Garden to go
somewhere with him, and she wouldn't go, and he was a real handsome
gentleman, too--until he began to look so cross, just at the last.
Folks aren't so pretty when they're cross, are they? Now there was a
lady to-day looking at bows, and she said--well, lots of things that
weren't nice, you know. And SHE didn't look pretty, either,
after--after she began to talk. But you will let me have the tree New
Year's Eve, won't you, Mrs. Carew?--and invite this girl who sells
bows, and Jamie? He's better, you know, now, and he COULD come. Of
course Jerry would have to wheel him--but then, we'd want Jerry,
anyway."

"Oh, of course, JERRY!" exclaimed Mrs. Carew in ironic scorn. "But why
stop with Jerry? I'm sure Jerry has hosts of friends who would love to
come. And--"

"Oh, Mrs. Carew, MAY I?" broke in Pollyanna, in uncontrollable
delight. "Oh, how good, GOOD, GOOD you are! I've so wanted--" But Mrs.
Carew fairly gasped aloud in surprise and dismay.

"No, no, Pollyanna, I--" she began, protestingly. But Pollyanna,
entirely mistaking the meaning of her interruption, plunged in again
in stout championship.

"Indeed you ARE good--just the bestest ever; and I sha'n't let you say
you aren't. Now I reckon I'll have a party all right! There's Tommy
Dolan and his sister Jennie, and the two Macdonald children, and three
girls whose names I don't know that live under the Murphys, and a
whole lot more, if we have room for 'em. And only think how glad
they'll be when I tell 'em! Why, Mrs. Carew, seems to me as if I never
knew anything so perfectly lovely in all my life--and it's all your
doings! Now mayn't I begin right away to invite 'em--so they'll KNOW
what's coming to 'em?"

And Mrs. Carew, who would not have believed such a thing possible,
heard herself murmuring a faint "yes," which, she knew, bound her to
the giving of a Christmas-tree party on New Year's Eve to a dozen
children from Murphy's Alley and a young salesgirl whose name she did
not know.

Perhaps in Mrs. Carew's memory was still lingering a young girl's
"Sometimes I wonder there don't some of 'em think of helpin' the girls
BEFORE they go wrong." Perhaps in her ears was still ringing
Pollyanna's story of that same girl who had found a crowd in a big
city the loneliest place in the world, yet who had refused to go with
the handsome man that had "noticed too much." Perhaps in Mrs. Carew's
heart was the undefined hope that somewhere in it all lay the peace
she had so longed for. Perhaps it was a little of all three combined
with utter helplessness in the face of Pollyanna's amazing twisting of
her irritated sarcasm into the wide-sweeping hospitality of a willing
hostess. Whatever it was, the thing was done; and at once Mrs. Carew
found herself caught into a veritable whirl of plans and plottings,
the center of which was always Pollyanna and the party.

To her sister, Mrs. Carew wrote distractedly of the whole affair,
closing with:

"What I'm going to do I don't know; but I suppose I shall have to keep
right on doing as I am doing. There is no other way. Of course, if
Pollyanna once begins to preach--but she hasn't yet; so I can't, with
a clear conscience, send her back to you."

Della, reading this letter at the Sanatorium, laughed aloud at the
conclusion.

"'Hasn't preached yet,' indeed!" she chuckled to herself. "Bless her
dear heart! And yet you, Ruth Carew, own up to giving two
Christmas-tree parties within a week, and, as I happen to know, your
home, which used to be shrouded in death-like gloom, is aflame with
scarlet and green from top to toe. But she hasn't preached yet--oh,
no, she hasn't preached yet!"

The party was a great success. Even Mrs. Carew admitted that. Jamie,
in his wheel chair, Jerry with his startling, but expressive
vocabulary, and the girl (whose name proved to be Sadie Dean), vied
with each other in amusing the more diffident guests. Sadie Dean, much
to the others' surprise--and perhaps to her own--disclosed an intimate
knowledge of the most fascinating games; and these games, with Jamie's
stories and Jerry's good-natured banter, kept every one in gales of
laughter until supper and the generous distribution of presents from
the laden tree sent the happy guests home with tired sighs of content.

If Jamie (who with Jerry was the last to leave) looked about him a bit
wistfully, no one apparently noticed it. Yet Mrs. Carew, when she bade
him good-night, said low in his ear, half impatiently, half
embarrassedly:

"Well, Jamie, have you changed your mind--about coming?"

The boy hesitated. A faint color stole into his cheeks. He turned and
looked into her eyes wistfully, searchingly. Then very slowly he shook
his head.

"If it could always be--like to-night, I--could," he sighed. "But it
wouldn't. There'd be to-morrow, and next week, and next month, and
next year comin'; and I'd know before next week that I hadn't oughter
come."


If Mrs. Carew had thought that the New Year's Eve party was to end the
matter of Pollyanna's efforts in behalf of Sadie Dean, she was soon
undeceived; for the very next morning Pollyanna began to talk of her.

"And I'm so glad I found her again," she prattled contentedly. "Even
if I haven't been able to find the real Jamie for you, I've found
somebody else for you to love--and of course you'll love to love her,
'cause it's just another way of loving Jamie."

Mrs. Carew drew in her breath and gave a little gasp of exasperation.
This unfailing faith in her goodness of heart, and unhesitating belief
in her desire to "help everybody" was most disconcerting, and
sometimes most annoying. At the same time it was a most difficult
thing to disclaim--under the circumstances, especially with
Pollyanna's happy, confident eyes full on her face.

"But, Pollyanna," she objected impotently, at last, feeling very much
as if she were struggling against invisible silken cords,
"I--you--this girl really isn't Jamie, at all, you know."

"I know she isn't," sympathized Pollyanna quickly. "And of course I'm
just as sorry she ISN'T Jamie as can be. But she's somebody's
Jamie--that is, I mean she hasn't got anybody down here to love her
and--and notice, you know; and so whenever you remember Jamie I should
think you couldn't be glad enough there was SOMEBODY you could help,
just as you'd want folks to help Jamie, wherever HE is."

Mrs. Carew shivered and gave a little moan.

"But I want MY Jamie," she grieved.

Pollyanna nodded with understanding eyes.

"I know--the 'child's presence.' Mr. Pendleton told me about it--only
you've GOT the 'woman's hand.'"

"'Woman's hand'?"

"Yes--to make a home, you know. He said that it took a woman's hand or
a child's presence to make a home. That was when he wanted me, and I
found him Jimmy, and he adopted him instead."

"JIMMY?" Mrs. Carew looked up with the startled something in her eyes
that always came into them at the mention of any variant of that name.

"Yes; Jimmy Bean."

"Oh--BEAN," said Mrs. Carew, relaxing.

"Yes. He was from an Orphan's Home, and he ran away. I found him. He
said he wanted another kind of a home with a mother in it instead of a
Matron. I couldn't find him the mother-part, but I found him Mr.
Pendleton, and he adopted him. His name is Jimmy Pendleton now."

"But it was--Bean?"

"Yes, it was Bean."

"Oh!" said Mrs. Carew, this time with a long sigh.

Mrs. Carew saw a good deal of Sadie Dean during the days that followed
the New Year's Eve party. She saw a good deal of Jamie, too. In one
way and another Pollyanna contrived to have them frequently at the
house; and this, Mrs. Carew, much to her surprise and vexation, could
not seem to prevent. Her consent and even her delight were taken by
Pollyanna as so much a matter of course that she found herself
helpless to convince the child that neither approval nor satisfaction
entered into the matter at all, as far as she was concerned.

But Mrs. Carew, whether she herself realized it or not, was learning
many things--things she never could have learned in the old days, shut
up in her rooms, with orders to Mary to admit no one. She was learning
something of what it means to be a lonely young girl in a big city,
with one's living to earn, and with no one to care--except one who
cares too much, and too little.

"But what did you mean?" she nervously asked Sadie Dean one evening;
"what did you mean that first day in the store--what you said--about
helping the girls?"

Sadie Dean colored distressfully.

"I'm afraid I was rude," she apologized.

"Never mind that. Tell me what you meant. I've thought of it so many
times since."

For a moment the girl was silent; then, a little bitterly she said:

"'Twas because I knew a girl once, and I was thinkin' of her. She came
from my town, and she was pretty and good, but she wa'n't over strong.
For a year we pulled together, sharin' the same room, boiling our eggs
over the same gas-jet, and eatin' our hash and fish balls for supper
at the same cheap restaurant. There was never anything to do evenin's
but to walk in the Common, or go to the movies, if we had the dime to
blow in, or just stay in our room. Well, our room wasn't very
pleasant. It was hot in summer, and cold in winter, and the gas-jet
was so measly and so flickery that we couldn't sew or read, even if we
hadn't been too fagged out to do either--which we 'most generally was.
Besides, over our heads was a squeaky board that some one was always
rockin' on, and under us was a feller that was learnin' to play the
cornet. Did you ever hear any one learn to play the cornet?"

"N-no, I don't think so," murmured Mrs. Carew.

"Well, you've missed a lot," said the girl, dryly. Then, after a
moment, she resumed her story.

"Sometimes, 'specially at Christmas and holidays, we used to walk up
here on the Avenue, and other streets, huntin' for windows where the
curtains were up, and we could look in. You see, we were pretty
lonesome, them days 'specially, and we said it did us good to see
homes with folks, and lamps on the center-tables, and children playin'
games; but we both of us knew that really it only made us feel worse
than ever, because we were so hopelessly out of it all. 'Twas even
harder to see the automobiles, and the gay young folks in them,
laughing and chatting. You see, we were young, and I suspect we wanted
to laugh and chatter. We wanted a good time, too; and, by and by--my
chum began to have it--this good time.

"Well, to make a long story short, we broke partnership one day, and
she went her way, and I mine. I didn't like the company she was
keepin', and I said so. She wouldn't give 'em up, so we quit. I didn't
see her again for 'most two years, then I got a note from her, and I
went. This was just last month. She was in one of them rescue homes.
It was a lovely place; soft rugs, fine pictures, plants, flowers, and
books, a piano, a beautiful room, and everything possible done for
her. Rich women came in their automobiles and carriages to take her
driving, and she was taken to concerts and matinees. She was learnin'
stenography, and they were going to help her to a position just as
soon as she could take it. Everybody was wonderfully good to her, she
said, and showed they wanted to help her in every way. But she said
something else, too. She said:

"'Sadie, if they'd taken one half the pains to show me they cared and
wanted to help long ago when I was an honest, self-respectin',
hard-workin' homesick girl--I wouldn't have been here for them to help
now.' And--well, I never forgot it. That's all. It ain't that I'm
objectin' to the rescue work--it's a fine thing, and they ought to do
it. Only I'm thinkin' there wouldn't be quite so much of it for them
to do--if they'd just show a little of their interest earlier in the
game."

"But I thought--there were working-girls' homes, and--and
settlement-houses that--that did that sort of thing," faltered Mrs.
Carew in a voice that few of her friends would have recognized.

"There are. Did you ever see the inside of one of them?"

"Why, n-no; though I--I have given money to them." This time Mrs.
Carew's voice was almost apologetically pleading in tone.

Sadie Dean smiled curiously.

"Yes, I know. There are lots of good women that have given money to
them--and have never seen the inside of one of them. Please don't
understand that I'm sayin' anythin' against the homes. I'm not.
They're good things. They're almost the only thing that's doing
anything to help; but they're only a drop in the bucket to what is
really needed. I tried one once; but there was an air about
it--somehow I felt-- But there, what's the use? Probably they aren't
all like that one, and maybe the fault was with me. If I should try to
tell you, you wouldn't understand. You'd have to live in it--and you
haven't even seen the inside of one. But I can't help wonderin'
sometimes why so many of those good women never seem to put the real
HEART and INTEREST into the preventin' that they do into the rescuin'.
But there! I didn't mean to talk such a lot. But--you asked me."

"Yes, I asked you," said Mrs. Carew in a half-stifled voice, as she
turned away.

Not only from Sadie Dean, however, was Mrs. Carew learning things
never learned before, but from Jamie, also.

Jamie was there a great deal. Pollyanna liked to have him there, and
he liked to be there. At first, to be sure, he had hesitated; but very
soon he had quieted his doubts and yielded to his longings by telling
himself (and Pollyanna) that, after all, visiting was not "staying for
keeps."

Mrs. Carew often found the boy and Pollyanna contentedly settled on
the library window-seat, with the empty wheel chair close by.
Sometimes they were poring over a book. (She heard Jamie tell
Pollyanna one day that he didn't think he'd mind so very much being
lame if he had so many books as Mrs. Carew, and that he guessed he'd
be so happy he'd fly clean away if he had both books and legs.)
Sometimes the boy was telling stories, and Pollyanna was listening,
wide-eyed and absorbed.

Mrs. Carew wondered at Pollyanna's interest--until one day she herself
stopped and listened. After that she wondered no longer--but she
listened a good deal longer. Crude and incorrect as was much of the
boy's language, it was always wonderfully vivid and picturesque, so
that Mrs. Carew found herself, hand in hand with Pollyanna, trailing
down the Golden Ages at the beck of a glowing-eyed boy.

Dimly Mrs. Carew was beginning to realize, too, something of what it
must mean, to be in spirit and ambition the center of brave deeds and
wonderful adventures, while in reality one was only a crippled boy in
a wheel chair. But what Mrs. Carew did not realize was the part this
crippled boy was beginning to play in her own life. She did not
realize how much a matter of course his presence was becoming, nor how
interested she now was in finding something new "for Jamie to see."
Neither did she realize how day by day he was coming to seem to her
more and more the lost Jamie, her dead sister's child.

As February, March, and April passed, however, and May came, bringing
with it the near approach of the date set for Pollyanna's home-going,
Mrs. Carew did suddenly awake to the knowledge of what that home-going
was to mean to her.

She was amazed and appalled. Up to now she had, in belief, looked
forward with pleasure to the departure of Pollyanna. She had said that
then once again the house would be quiet, with the glaring sun shut
out. Once again she would be at peace, and able to hide herself away
from the annoying, tiresome world. Once again she would be free to
summon to her aching consciousness all those dear memories of the lost
little lad who had so long ago stepped into that vast unknown and
closed the door behind him. All this she had believed would be the
case when Pollyanna should go home.

But now that Pollyanna was really going home, the picture was far
different. The "quiet house with the sun shut out" had become one that
promised to be "gloomy and unbearable." The longed-for "peace" would
be "wretched loneliness"; and as for her being able to "hide herself
away from the annoying, tiresome world," and "free to summon to her
aching consciousness all those dear memories of that lost little
lad"--just as if anything could blot out those other aching memories
of the new Jamie (who yet might be the old Jamie) with his pitiful,
pleading eyes!

Full well now Mrs. Carew knew that without Pollyanna the house would
be empty; but that without the lad, Jamie, it would be worse than
that. To her pride this knowledge was not pleasing. To her heart it
was torture--since the boy had twice said that he would not come. For
a time, during those last few days of Pollyanna's stay, the struggle
was a bitter one, though pride always kept the ascendancy. Then, on
what Mrs. Carew knew would be Jamie's last visit, her heart triumphed,
and once more she asked Jamie to come and be to her the Jamie that was
lost.

What she said she never could remember afterwards; but what the boy
said, she never forgot. After all, it was compassed in six short
words.

For what seemed a long, long minute his eyes had searched her face;
then to his own had come a transfiguring light, as he breathed:

"Oh, yes! Why, you--CARE, now!"



CHAPTER XIV

JIMMY AND THE GREEN-EYED MONSTER


This time Beldingsville did not literally welcome Pollyanna home with
brass bands and bunting--perhaps because the hour of her expected
arrival was known to but few of the townspeople. But there certainly
was no lack of joyful greetings on the part of everybody from the
moment she stepped from the railway train with her Aunt Polly and Dr.
Chilton. Nor did Pollyanna lose any time in starting on a round of
fly-away minute calls on all her old friends. Indeed, for the next few
days, according to Nancy, "There wasn't no putting of your finger on
her anywheres, for by the time you'd got your finger down she wa'n't
there."

And always, everywhere she went, Pollyanna met the question: "Well,
how did you like Boston?" Perhaps to no one did she answer this more
fully than she did to Mr. Pendleton. As was usually the case when this
question was put to her, she began her reply with a troubled frown.

"Oh, I liked it--I just loved it--some of it."

"But not all of it?" smiled Mr. Pendleton.

"No. There's parts of it--Oh, I was glad to be there," she explained
hastily. "I had a perfectly lovely time, and lots of things were so
queer and different, you know--like eating dinner at night instead of
noons, when you ought to eat it. But everybody was so good to me, and
I saw such a lot of wonderful things--Bunker Hill, and the Public
Garden, and the Seeing Boston autos, and miles of pictures and statues
and store-windows and streets that didn't have any end. And folks. I
never saw such a lot of folks."

"Well, I'm sure--I thought you liked folks," commented the man.

"I do." Pollyanna frowned again and pondered. "But what's the use of
such a lot of them if you don't know 'em? And Mrs. Carew wouldn't let
me. She didn't know 'em herself. She said folks didn't, down there."

There was a slight pause, then, with a sigh, Pollyanna resumed.

"I reckon maybe that's the part I don't like the most--that folks
don't know each other. It would be such a lot nicer if they did! Why,
just think, Mr. Pendleton, there are lots of folks that live on dirty,
narrow streets, and don't even have beans and fish balls to eat, nor
things even as good as missionary barrels to wear. Then there are
other folks--Mrs. Carew, and a whole lot like her--that live in
perfectly beautiful houses, and have more things to eat and wear than
they know what to do with. Now if THOSE folks only knew the other
folks--" But Mr. Pendleton interrupted with a laugh.

"My dear child, did it ever occur to you that these people don't CARE
to know each other?" he asked quizzically.

"Oh, but some of them do," maintained Pollyanna, in eager defense.
"Now there's Sadie Dean--she sells bows, lovely bows in a big
store--she WANTS to know people; and I introduced her to Mrs. Carew,
and we had her up to the house, and we had Jamie and lots of others
there, too; and she was SO glad to know them! And that's what made me
think that if only a lot of Mrs. Carew's kind could know the other
kind--but of course _I_ couldn't do the introducing. I didn't know
many of them myself, anyway. But if they COULD know each other, so
that the rich people could give the poor people part of their money--"

But again Mr. Pendleton interrupted with a laugh.

"Oh, Pollyanna, Pollyanna," he chuckled; "I'm afraid you're getting
into pretty deep water. You'll be a rabid little socialist before you
know it."

"A--what?" questioned the little girl, dubiously. "I--I don't think I
know what a socialist is. But I know what being SOCIABLE is--and I
like folks that are that. If it's anything like that, I don't mind
being one, a mite. I'd like to be one."

"I don't doubt it, Pollyanna," smiled the man. "But when it comes to
this scheme of yours for the wholesale distribution of wealth--you've
got a problem on your hands that you might have difficulty with."

Pollyanna drew a long sigh.

"I know," she nodded. "That's the way Mrs. Carew talked. She says I
don't understand; that 'twould--er--pauperize her and be
indiscriminate and pernicious, and--Well, it was SOMETHING like that,
anyway," bridled the little girl, aggrievedly, as the man began to
laugh. "And, anyway, I DON'T understand why some folks should have
such a lot, and other folks shouldn't have anything; and I DON'T like
it. And if I ever have a lot I shall just give some of it to folks who
don't have any, even if it does make me pauperized and pernicious,
and--" But Mr. Pendleton was laughing so hard now that Pollyanna,
after a moment's struggle, surrendered and laughed with him.

"Well, anyway," she reiterated, when she had caught her breath, "I
don't understand it, all the same."

"No, dear, I'm afraid you don't," agreed the man, growing suddenly
very grave and tender-eyed; "nor any of the rest of us, for that
matter. But, tell me," he added, after a minute, "who is this Jamie
you've been talking so much about since you came?"

And Pollyanna told him.

In talking of Jamie, Pollyanna lost her worried, baffled look.
Pollyanna loved to talk of Jamie. Here was something she understood.
Here was no problem that had to deal with big, fearsome-sounding
words. Besides, in this particular instance--would not Mr. Pendleton
be especially interested in Mrs. Carew's taking the boy into her home,
for who better than himself could understand the need of a child's
presence?

For that matter, Pollyanna talked to everybody about Jamie. She
assumed that everybody would be as interested as she herself was. On
most occasions she was not disappointed in the interest shown; but one
day she met with a surprise. It came through Jimmy Pendleton.

"Say, look a-here," he demanded one afternoon, irritably. "Wasn't
there ANYBODY else down to Boston but just that everlasting 'Jamie'?"

"Why, Jimmy Bean, what do you mean?" cried Pollyanna.

The boy lifted his chin a little.

"I'm not Jimmy Bean. I'm Jimmy Pendleton. And I mean that I should
think, from your talk, that there wasn't ANYBODY down to Boston but
just that loony boy who calls them birds and squirrels 'Lady
Lancelot,' and all that tommyrot."

"Why, Jimmy Be--Pendleton!" gasped Pollyanna. Then, with some spirit:
"Jamie isn't loony! He is a very nice boy. And he knows a lot--books
and stories! Why, he can MAKE stories right out of his own head!
Besides, it isn't 'Lady Lancelot,'--it's 'Sir Lancelot.' If you knew
half as much as he does you'd know that, too!" she finished, with
flashing eyes.

Jimmy Pendleton flushed miserably and looked utterly wretched. Growing
more and more jealous moment by moment, still doggedly he held his
ground.

"Well, anyhow," he scoffed, "I don't think much of his name. 'Jamie'!
Humph!--sounds sissy! And I know somebody else that said so, too."

"Who was it?"

There was no answer.

"WHO WAS IT?" demanded Pollyanna, more peremptorily.

"Dad." The boy's voice was sullen.

"Your--dad?" repeated Pollyanna, in amazement. "Why, how could he know
Jamie?"

"He didn't. 'Twasn't about that Jamie. 'Twas about me." The boy still
spoke sullenly, with his eyes turned away. Yet there was a curious
softness in his voice that was always noticeable whenever he spoke of
his father.

"YOU!"

"Yes. 'Twas just a little while before he died. We stopped 'most a
week with a farmer. Dad helped about the hayin'--and I did, too, some.
The farmer's wife was awful good to me, and pretty quick she was
callin' me 'Jamie.' I don't know why, but she just did. And one day
father heard her. He got awful mad--so mad that I remembered it
always--what he said. He said 'Jamie' wasn't no sort of a name for a
boy, and that no son of his should ever be called it. He said 'twas a
sissy name, and he hated it. 'Seems so I never saw him so mad as he
was that night. He wouldn't even stay to finish the work, but him and
me took to the road again that night. I was kind of sorry, 'cause I
liked her--the farmer's wife, I mean. She was good to me."

Pollyanna nodded, all sympathy and interest. It was not often that
Jimmy said much of that mysterious past life of his, before she had
known him.

"And what happened next?" she prompted. Pollyanna had, for the moment,
forgotten all about the original subject of the controversy--the name
"Jamie" that was dubbed "sissy."

The boy sighed.

"We just went on till we found another place. And 'twas there
dad--died. Then they put me in the 'sylum."

"And then you ran away and I found you that day, down by Mrs. Snow's,"
exulted Pollyanna, softly. "And I've known you ever since."

"Oh, yes--and you've known me ever since," repeated Jimmy--but in a
far different voice: Jimmy had suddenly come back to the present, and
to his grievance. "But, then, I ain't 'JAMIE,' you know," he finished
with scornful emphasis, as he turned loftily away, leaving a
distressed, bewildered Pollyanna behind him.

"Well, anyway, I can be glad he doesn't always act like this," sighed
the little girl, as she mournfully watched the sturdy, boyish figure
with its disagreeable, amazing swagger.



CHAPTER XV

AUNT POLLY TAKES ALARM


Pollyanna had been at home about a week when the letter from Della
Wetherby came to Mrs. Chilton.

"I wish I could make you see what your little niece has done for my
sister," wrote Miss Wetherby; "but I'm afraid I can't. You would have
to know what she was before. You did see her, to be sure, and perhaps
you saw something of the hush and gloom in which she has shrouded
herself for so many years. But you can have no conception of her
bitterness of heart, her lack of aim and interest, her insistence upon
eternal mourning.

"Then came Pollyanna. Probably I didn't tell you, but my sister
regretted her promise to take the child, almost the minute it was
given; and she made the stern stipulation that the moment Pollyanna
began to preach, back she should come to me. Well, she hasn't
preached--at least, my sister says she hasn't; and my sister ought to
know. And yet--well, just let me tell you what I found when I went to
see her yesterday. Perhaps nothing else could give you a better idea
of what that wonderful little Pollyanna of yours has accomplished.

"To begin with, as I approached the house, I saw that nearly all the
shades were up: they used to be down--'way down to the sill. The
minute I stepped into the hall I heard music--Parsifal. The
drawing-rooms were open, and the air was sweet with roses.

"'Mrs. Carew and Master Jamie are in the music-room,' said the maid.
And there I found them--my sister, and the youth she has taken into
her home, listening to one of those modern contrivances that can hold
an entire opera company, including the orchestra.

"The boy was in a wheel chair. He was pale, but plainly beatifically
happy. My sister looked ten years younger. Her usually colorless
cheeks showed a faint pink, and her eyes glowed and sparkled. A little
later, after I had talked a few minutes with the boy, my sister and I
went up-stairs to her own rooms; and there she talked to me--of Jamie.
Not of the old Jamie, as she used to, with tear-wet eyes and hopeless
sighs, but of the new Jamie--and there were no sighs nor tears now.
There was, instead, the eagerness of enthusiastic interest.

"'Della, he's wonderful,' she began. 'Everything that is best in
music, art, and literature seems to appeal to him in a perfectly
marvelous fashion, only, of course, he needs development and training.
That's what I'm going to see that he gets. A tutor is coming
to-morrow. Of course his language is something awful; at the same
time, he has read so many good books that his vocabulary is quite
amazing--and you should hear the stories he can reel off! Of course in
general education he is very deficient; but he's eager to learn, so
that will soon be remedied. He loves music, and I shall give him what
training in that he wishes. I have already put in a stock of carefully
selected records. I wish you could have seen his face when he first
heard that Holy Grail music. He knows all about King Arthur and his
Round Table, and he prattles of knights and lords and ladies as you
and I do of the members of our own family--only sometimes I don't know
whether his Sir Lancelot means the ancient knight or a squirrel in the
Public Garden. And, Della, I believe he can be made to walk. I'm going
to have Dr. Ames see him, anyway, and--'

"And so on and on she talked, while I sat amazed and tongue-tied, but,
oh, so happy! I tell you all this, dear Mrs. Chilton, so you can see
for yourself how interested she is, how eagerly she is going to watch
this boy's growth and development, and how, in spite of herself, it is
all going to change her attitude toward life. She CAN'T do what she is
doing for this boy, Jamie, and not do for herself at the same time.
Never again, I believe, will she be the soured, morose woman she was
before. And it's all because of Pollyanna.

"Pollyanna! Dear child--and the best part of it is, she is so
unconscious of the whole thing. I don't believe even my sister yet
quite realizes what is taking place within her own heart and life, and
certainly Pollyanna doesn't--least of all does she realize the part
she played in the change.

"And now, dear Mrs. Chilton, how can I thank you? I know I can't; so
I'm not even going to try. Yet in your heart I believe you know how
grateful I am to both you and Pollyanna.

                                    "DELLA WETHERBY."

"Well, it seems to have worked a cure, all right," smiled Dr. Chilton,
when his wife had finished reading the letter to him.

To his surprise she lifted a quick, remonstrative hand.

"Thomas, don't, please!" she begged.

"Why, Polly, what's the matter? Aren't you glad that--that the
medicine worked?"

Mrs. Chilton dropped despairingly back in her chair.

"There you go again, Thomas," she sighed. "Of COURSE I'm glad that
this misguided woman has forsaken the error of her ways and found that
she can be of use to some one. And of course I'm glad that Pollyanna
did it. But I am not glad to have that child continually spoken of as
if she were a--a bottle of medicine, or a 'cure.' Don't you see?"

"Nonsense! After all, where's the harm? I've called Pollyanna a tonic
ever since I knew her."

"Harm! Thomas Chilton, that child is growing older every day. Do you
want to spoil her? Thus far she has been utterly unconscious of her
extraordinary power. And therein lies the secret of her success. The
minute she CONSCIOUSLY sets herself to reform somebody, you know as
well as I do that she will be simply impossible. Consequently, Heaven
forbid that she ever gets it into her head that she's anything like a
cure-all for poor, sick, suffering humanity."

"Nonsense! I wouldn't worry," laughed the doctor.

"But I do worry, Thomas."

"But, Polly, think of what she's done," argued the doctor. "Think of
Mrs. Snow and John Pendleton, and quantities of others--why, they're
not the same people at all that they used to be, any more than Mrs.
Carew is. And Pollyanna did do it--bless her heart!"

"I know she did," nodded Mrs. Polly Chilton, emphatically. "But I
don't want Pollyanna to know she did it! Oh, of course she knows it,
in a way. She knows she taught them to play the glad game with her,
and that they are lots happier in consequence. And that's all right.
It's a game--HER game, and they're playing it together. To you I will
admit that Pollyanna has preached to us one of the most powerful
sermons I ever heard; but the minute SHE knows it--well, I don't want
her to. That's all. And right now let me tell you that I've decided
that I will go to Germany with you this fall. At first I thought I
wouldn't. I didn't want to leave Pollyanna--and I'm not going to leave
her now. I'm going to take her with me."

"Take her with us? Good! Why not?"

"I've got to. That's all. Furthermore, I should be glad to plan to
stay a few years, just as you said you'd like to. I want to get
Pollyanna away, quite away from Beldingsville for a while. I'd like to
keep her sweet and unspoiled, if I can. And she shall not get silly
notions into her head if I can help myself. Why, Thomas Chilton, do we
want that child made an insufferable little prig?"

"We certainly don't," laughed the doctor. "But, for that matter, I
don't believe anything or anybody could make her so. However, this
Germany idea suits me to a T. You know I didn't want to come away when
I did--if it hadn't been for Pollyanna. So the sooner we get back
there the better I'm satisfied. And I'd like to stay--for a little
practice, as well as study."

"Then that's settled." And Aunt Polly gave a satisfied sigh.



CHAPTER XVI

WHEN POLLYANNA WAS EXPECTED


All Beldingsville was fairly aquiver with excitement. Not since
Pollyanna Whittier came home from the Sanatorium, WALKING, had there
been such a chatter of talk over back-yard fences and on every street
corner. To-day, too, the center of interest was Pollyanna. Once again
Pollyanna was coming home--but so different a Pollyanna, and so
different a homecoming!

Pollyanna was twenty now. For six years she had spent her winters in
Germany, her summers leisurely traveling with Dr. Chilton and his
wife. Only once during that time had she been in Beldingsville, and
then it was for but a short four weeks the summer she was sixteen. Now
she was coming home--to stay, report said; she and her Aunt Polly.

The doctor would not be with them. Six months before, the town had
been shocked and saddened by the news that the doctor had died
suddenly. Beldingsville had expected then that Mrs. Chilton and
Pollyanna would return at once to the old home. But they had not come.
Instead had come word that the widow and her niece would remain abroad
for a time. The report said that, in entirely new surroundings, Mrs.
Chilton was trying to seek distraction and relief from her great
sorrow.

Very soon, however, vague rumors, and rumors not so vague, began to
float through the town that, financially, all was not well with Mrs.
Polly Chilton. Certain railroad stocks, in which it was known that the
Harrington estate had been heavily interested, wavered uncertainly,
then tumbled into ruin and disaster. Other investments, according to
report, were in a most precarious condition. From the doctor's estate,
little could be expected. He had not been a rich man, and his expenses
had been heavy for the past six years. Beldingsville was not
surprised, therefore, when, not quite six months after the doctor's
death, word came that Mrs. Chilton and Pollyanna were coming home.

Once more the old Harrington homestead, so long closed and silent,
showed up-flung windows and wide-open doors. Once more Nancy--now Mrs.
Timothy Durgin--swept and scrubbed and dusted until the old place
shone in spotless order.

"No, I hain't had no instructions ter do it; I hain't, I hain't,"
Nancy explained to curious friends and neighbors who halted at the
gate, or came more boldly up to the doorways. "Mother Durgin's had the
key, 'course, and has come in regerler to air up and see that things
was all right; and Mis' Chilton just wrote and said she and Miss
Pollyanna was comin' this week Friday, and ter please see that the
rooms and sheets was aired, and ter leave the key under the side-door
mat on that day.

"Under the mat, indeed! Just as if I'd leave them two poor things ter
come into this house alone, and all forlorn like that--and me only a
mile away, a-sittin' in my own parlor like as if I was a fine lady an'
hadn't no heart at all, at all! Just as if the poor things hadn't
enough ter stand without that--a-comin' into this house an' the doctor
gone--bless his kind heart!--an' never comin' back. An' no money, too.
Did ye hear about that? An' ain't it a shame, a shame! Think of Miss
Polly--I mean, Mis' Chilton--bein' poor! My stars and stockings, I
can't sense it--I can't, I can't!"

Perhaps to no one did Nancy speak so interestedly as she did to a
tall, good-looking young fellow with peculiarly frank eyes and a
particularly winning smile, who cantered up to the side door on a
mettlesome thoroughbred at ten o'clock that Thursday morning. At the
same time, to no one did she talk with so much evident embarrassment,
so far as the manner of address was concerned; for her tongue stumbled
and blundered out a "Master Jimmy--er--Mr. Bean--I mean, Mr.
Pendleton, Master Jimmy!" with a nervous precipitation that sent the
young man himself into a merry peal of laughter.

"Never mind, Nancy! Let it go at whatever comes handiest," he
chuckled. "I've found out what I wanted to know: Mrs. Chilton and her
niece really are expected to-morrow."

"Yes, sir, they be, sir," courtesied Nancy, "--more's the pity! Not
but that I shall be glad enough ter see 'em, you understand, but it's
the WAY they're a-comin'."

"Yes, I know. I understand," nodded the youth, gravely, his eyes
sweeping the fine old house before him. "Well, I suppose that part
can't be helped. But I'm glad you're doing--just what you are doing.
That WILL help a whole lot," he finished with a bright smile, as he
wheeled about and rode rapidly down the driveway.

Back on the steps Nancy wagged her head wisely.

"I ain't surprised, Master Jimmy," she declared aloud, her admiring
eyes following the handsome figures of horse and man. "I ain't
surprised that you ain't lettin' no grass grow under your feet 'bout
inquirin' for Miss Pollyanna. I said long ago 'twould come sometime,
an' it's bound to--what with your growin' so handsome and tall. An' I
hope 'twill; I do, I do. It'll be just like a book, what with her
a-findin' you an' gettin' you into that grand home with Mr. Pendleton.
My, but who'd ever take you now for that little Jimmy Bean that used
to be! I never did see such a change in anybody--I didn't, I didn't!"
she answered, with one last look at the rapidly disappearing figures
far down the road.

Something of the same thought must have been in the mind of John
Pendleton some time later that same morning, for, from the veranda of
his big gray house on Pendleton Hill, John Pendleton was watching the
rapid approach of that same horse and rider; and in his eyes was an
expression very like the one that had been in Mrs. Nancy Durgin's. On
his lips, too, was an admiring "Jove! what a handsome pair!" as the
two dashed by on the way to the stable.

Five minutes later the youth came around the corner of the house and
slowly ascended the veranda steps.

"Well, my boy, is it true? Are they coming?" asked the man, with
visible eagerness.

"Yes."

"When?"

"To-morrow." The young fellow dropped himself into a chair.

At the crisp terseness of the answer, John Pendleton frowned. He threw
a quick look into the young man's face. For a moment he hesitated;
then, a little abruptly, he asked:

"Why, son, what's the matter?"

"Matter? Nothing, sir."

"Nonsense! I know better. You left here an hour ago so eager to be off
that wild horses could not have held you. Now you sit humped up in
that chair and look as if wild horses couldn't drag you out of it. If
I didn't know better I'd think you weren't glad that our friends are
coming."

He paused, evidently for a reply. But he did not get it.

"Why, Jim, AREN'T you glad they're coming?"

The young fellow laughed and stirred restlessly.

"Why, yes, of course."

"Humph! You act like it."

The youth laughed again. A boyish red flamed into his face.

"Well, it's only that I was thinking--of Pollyanna."

"Pollyanna! Why, man alive, you've done nothing but prattle of
Pollyanna ever since you came home from Boston and found she was
expected. I thought you were dying to see Pollyanna."

The other leaned forward with curious intentness.

"That's exactly it! See? You said it a minute ago. It's just as if
yesterday wild horses couldn't keep me from seeing Pollyanna; and now,
to-day, when I know she's coming--they couldn't drag me to see her."

"Why, JIM!"

At the shocked incredulity on John Pendleton's face, the younger man
fell back in his chair with an embarrassed laugh.

"Yes, I know. It sounds nutty, and I don't expect I can make you
understand. But, somehow, I don't think--I ever wanted Pollyanna to
grow up. She was such a dear, just as she was. I like to think of her
as I saw her last, her earnest, freckled little face, her yellow
pigtails, her tearful: 'Oh, yes, I'm glad I'm going; but I think I
shall be a little gladder when I come back.' That's the last time I
saw her. You know we were in Egypt that time she was here four years
ago."

"I know. I see exactly what you mean, too. I think I felt the same
way--till I saw her last winter in Rome."

The other turned eagerly.

"Sure enough, you have seen her! Tell me about her."

A shrewd twinkle came into John Pendleton's eyes.

"Oh, but I thought you didn't want to know Pollyanna--grown up."

With a grimace the young fellow tossed this aside.

"Is she pretty?"

"Oh, ye young men!" shrugged John Pendleton, in mock despair. "Always
the first question--'Is she pretty?'!"

"Well, is she?" insisted the youth.

"I'll let you judge for yourself. If you--On second thoughts, though,
I believe I won't. You might be too disappointed. Pollyanna isn't
pretty, so far as regular features, curls, and dimples go. In fact, to
my certain knowledge the great cross in Pollyanna's life thus far is
that she is so sure she isn't pretty. Long ago she told me that black
curls were one of the things she was going to have when she got to
Heaven; and last year in Rome she said something else. It wasn't much,
perhaps, so far as words went, but I detected the longing beneath. She
said she did wish that sometime some one would write a novel with a
heroine who had straight hair and a freckle on her nose; but that she
supposed she ought to be glad girls in books didn't have to have
them."

"That sounds like the old Pollyanna."

"Oh, you'll still find her--Pollyanna," smiled the man, quizzically.
"Besides, _I_ think she's pretty. Her eyes are lovely. She is the
picture of health. She carries herself with all the joyous springiness
of youth, and her whole face lights up so wonderfully when she talks
that you quite forget whether her features are regular or not."

"Does she still--play the game?"

John Pendleton smiled fondly.

"I imagine she plays it, but she doesn't say much about it now, I
fancy. Anyhow, she didn't to me, the two or three times I saw her."

There was a short silence; then, a little slowly, young Pendleton
said:

"I think that was one of the things that was worrying me. That game
has been so much to so many people. It has meant so much everywhere,
all through the town! I couldn't bear to think of her giving it up and
NOT playing it. At the same time I couldn't fancy a grown-up Pollyanna
perpetually admonishing people to be glad for something. Someway,
I--well, as I said, I--I just didn't want Pollyanna to grow up,
anyhow."

"Well, I wouldn't worry," shrugged the elder man, with a peculiar
smile. "Always, with Pollyanna, you know, it was the 'clearing-up
shower,' both literally and figuratively; and I think you'll find she
lives up to the same principle now--though perhaps not quite in the
same way. Poor child, I fear she'll need some kind of game to make
existence endurable, for a while, at least."

"Do you mean because Mrs. Chilton has lost her money? Are they so very
poor, then?"

"I suspect they are. In fact, they are in rather bad shape, so far as
money matters go, as I happen to know. Mrs. Chilton's own fortune has
shrunk unbelievably, and poor Tom's estate is very small, and
hopelessly full of bad debts--professional services never paid for,
and that never will be paid for. Tom could never say no when his help
was needed, and all the dead beats in town knew it and imposed on him
accordingly. Expenses have been heavy with him lately. Besides, he
expected great things when he should have completed this special work
in Germany. Naturally he supposed his wife and Pollyanna were more
than amply provided for through the Harrington estate; so he had no
worry in that direction."

"Hm-m; I see, I see. Too bad, too bad!"

"But that isn't all. It was about two months after Tom's death that I
saw Mrs. Chilton and Pollyanna in Rome, and Mrs. Chilton then was in a
terrible state. In addition to her sorrow, she had just begun to get
an inkling of the trouble with her finances, and she was nearly
frantic. She refused to come home. She declared she never wanted to
see Beldingsville, or anybody in it, again. You see, she has always
been a peculiarly proud woman, and it was all affecting her in a
rather curious way. Pollyanna said that her aunt seemed possessed with
the idea that Beldingsville had not approved of her marrying Dr.
Chilton in the first place, at her age; and now that he was dead, she
felt that they were utterly out of sympathy in any grief that she
might show. She resented keenly, too, the fact that they must now know
that she was poor as well as widowed. In short, she had worked herself
Into an utterly morbid, wretched state, as unreasonable as it was
terrible. Poor little Pollyanna! It was a marvel to me how she stood
it. All is, if Mrs. Chilton kept it up, and continues to keep it up,
that child will be a wreck. That's why I said Pollyanna would need
some kind of a game if ever anybody did."

"The pity of it!--to think of that happening to Pollyanna!" exclaimed
the young man, in a voice that was not quite steady.

"Yes; and you can see all is not right by the way they are coming
to-day--so quietly, with not a word to anybody. That was Polly
Chilton's doings, I'll warrant. She didn't WANT to be met by anybody.
I understand she wrote to no one but her Old Tom's wife, Mrs. Durgin,
who had the keys."

"Yes, so Nancy told me--good old soul! She'd got the whole house open,
and had contrived somehow to make it look as if it wasn't a tomb of
dead hopes and lost pleasures. Of course the grounds looked fairly
well, for Old Tom has kept them up, after a fashion. But it made my
heart ache--the whole thing."

There was a long silence, then, curtly, John Pendleton suggested:

"They ought to be met."

"They will be met."

"Are YOU going to the station?"

"I am."

"Then you know what train they're coming on."

"Oh, no. Neither does Nancy."

"Then how will you manage?"

"I'm going to begin in the morning and go to every train till they
come," laughed the young man, a bit grimly. "Timothy's going, too,
with the family carriage. After all, there aren't many trains, anyway,
that they can come on, you know."

"Hm-m, I know," said John Pendleton. "Jim, I admire your nerve, but
not your judgment. I'm glad you're going to follow your nerve and not
your judgment, however--and I wish you good luck."

"Thank you, sir," smiled the young man dolefully. "I need 'em--your
good wishes--all right, all right, as Nancy says."



CHAPTER XVII

WHEN POLLYANNA CAME


As the train neared Beldingsville, Pollyanna watched her aunt
anxiously. All day Mrs. Chilton had been growing more and more
restless, more and more gloomy; and Pollyanna was fearful of the time
when the familiar home station should be reached.

As Pollyanna looked at her aunt, her heart ached. She was thinking
that she would not have believed it possible that any one could have
changed and aged so greatly in six short months. Mrs. Chilton's eyes
were lusterless, her cheeks pallid and shrunken, and her forehead
crossed and recrossed by fretful lines. Her mouth drooped at the
corners, and her hair was combed tightly back in the unbecoming
fashion that had been hers when Pollyanna first had seen her, years
before. All the softness and sweetness that seemed to have come to her
with her marriage had dropped from her like a cloak, leaving uppermost
the old hardness and sourness that had been hers when she was Miss
Polly Harrington, unloved, and unloving.

"Pollyanna!" Mrs. Chilton's voice was incisive.

Pollyanna started guiltily. She had an uncomfortable feeling that her
aunt might have read her thoughts.

"Yes, auntie."

"Where is that black bag--the little one?"

"Right here."

"Well, I wish you'd get out my black veil. We're nearly there."

"But it's so hot and thick, auntie!"

"Pollyanna, I asked for that black veil. If you'd please learn to do
what I ask without arguing about it, it would be a great deal easier
for me. I want that veil. Do you suppose I'm going to give all
Beldingsville a chance to see how I 'take it'?"

"Oh, auntie, they'd never be there in THAT spirit," protested
Pollyanna, hurriedly rummaging in the black bag for the much-wanted
veil. "Besides, there won't be anybody there, anyway, to meet us. We
didn't tell any one we were coming, you know."

"Yes, I know. We didn't TELL any one to meet us. But we instructed
Mrs. Durgin to have the rooms aired and the key under the mat for
to-day. Do you suppose Mary Durgin has kept that information to
herself? Not much! Half the town knows we're coming to-day, and a
dozen or more will 'happen around' the station about train time. I
know them! They want to see what Polly Harrington POOR looks like.
They--"

"Oh, auntie, auntie," begged Pollyanna, with tears in her eyes.

"If I wasn't so alone. If--the doctor were only here, and--" She
stopped speaking and turned away her head. Her mouth worked
convulsively. "Where is--that veil?" she choked huskily.

"Yes, dear. Here it is--right here," comforted Pollyanna, whose only
aim now, plainly, was to get the veil into her aunt's hands with all
haste. "And here we are now almost there. Oh, auntie, I do wish you'd
had Old Tom or Timothy meet us!"

"And ride home in state, as if we could AFFORD to keep such horses and
carriages? And when we know we shall have to sell them to-morrow? No,
I thank you, Pollyanna. I prefer to use the public carriage, under
those circumstances."

"I know, but--" The train came to a jolting, jarring stop, and only a
fluttering sigh finished Pollyanna's sentence.

As the two women stepped to the platform, Mrs. Chilton, in her black
veil, looked neither to the right nor the left. Pollyanna, however,
was nodding and smiling tearfully in half a dozen directions before
she had taken twice as many steps. Then, suddenly, she found herself
looking into a familiar, yet strangely unfamiliar face.

"Why, it isn't--it IS--Jimmy!" she beamed, reaching forth a cordial
hand. "That is, I suppose I should say 'MR. PENDLETON,'" she corrected
herself with a shy smile that said plainly: "Now that you've grown so
tall and fine!"

"I'd like to see you try it," challenged the youth, with a very
Jimmy-like tilt to his chin. He turned then to speak to Mrs. Chilton;
but that lady, with her head half averted, was hurrying on a little in
advance.

He turned back to Pollyanna, his eyes troubled and sympathetic.

"If you'd please come this way--both of you," he urged hurriedly.
"Timothy is here with the carriage."

"Oh, how good of him," cried Pollyanna, but with an anxious glance at
the somber veiled figure ahead. Timidly she touched her aunt's arm.
"Auntie, dear, Timothy's here. He's come with the carriage. He's over
this side. And--this is Jimmy Bean, auntie. You remember Jimmy Bean!"

In her nervousness and embarrassment Pollyanna did not notice that she
had given the young man the old name of his boyhood. Mrs. Chilton,
however, evidently did notice it. With palpable reluctance she turned
and inclined her head ever so slightly.

"Mr.--Pendleton is very kind, I am sure; but--I am sorry that he or
Timothy took quite so much trouble," she said frigidly.

"No trouble--no trouble at all, I assure you," laughed the young man,
trying to hide his embarrassment. "Now if you'll just let me have your
checks, so I can see to your baggage."

"Thank you," began Mrs. Chilton, "but I am very sure we can--"

But Pollyanna, with a relieved little "thank you!" had already passed
over the checks; and dignity demanded that Mrs. Chilton say no more.

The drive home was a silent one. Timothy, vaguely hurt at the
reception he had met with at the hands of his former mistress, sat up
in front stiff and straight, with tense lips. Mrs. Chilton, after a
weary "Well, well, child, just as you please; I suppose we shall have
to ride home in it now!" had subsided into stern gloom. Pollyanna,
however, was neither stern, nor tense, nor gloomy. With eager, though
tearful eyes she greeted each loved landmark as they came to it. Only
once did she speak, and that was to say:

"Isn't Jimmy fine? How he has improved! And hasn't he the nicest eyes
and smile?"

She waited hopefully, but as there was no reply to this, she contented
herself with a cheerful: "Well, I think he has, anyhow."

Timothy had been both too aggrieved and too afraid to tell Mrs.
Chilton what to expect at home; so the wide-flung doors and
flower-adorned rooms with Nancy courtesying on the porch were a
complete surprise to Mrs. Chilton and Pollyanna.

"Why, Nancy, how perfectly lovely!" cried Pollyanna, springing lightly
to the ground. "Auntie, here's Nancy to welcome us. And only see how
charming she's made everything look!"

Pollyanna's voice was determinedly cheerful, though it shook audibly.
This home-coming without the dear doctor whom she had loved so well
was not easy for her; and if hard for her, she knew something of what
it must be for her aunt. She knew, too, that the one thing her aunt
was dreading was a breakdown before Nancy, than which nothing could be
worse in her eyes. Behind the heavy black veil the eyes were brimming
and the lips were trembling, Pollyanna knew. She knew, too, that to
hide these facts her aunt would probably seize the first opportunity
for faultfinding, and make her anger a cloak to hide the fact that her
heart was breaking. Pollyanna was not surprised, therefore, to hear
her aunt's few cold words of greeting to Nancy followed by a sharp:
"Of course all this was very kind, Nancy; but, really, I would have
much preferred that you had not done it."

All the joy fled from, Nancy's face. She looked hurt and frightened.

"Oh, but Miss Polly--I mean, Mis' Chilton," she entreated; "it seemed
as if I couldn't let you--"

"There, there, never mind, Nancy," interrupted Mrs. Chilton. "I--I
don't want to talk about it." And, with her head proudly high, she
swept out of the room. A minute later they heard the door of her
bedroom shut up-stairs.

Nancy turned in dismay.

"Oh, Miss Pollyanna, what is it? What have I done? I thought she'd
LIKE it. I meant it all right!"

"Of course you did," wept Pollyanna, fumbling in her bag for her
handkerchief. "And 'twas lovely to have you do it, too,--just lovely."

"But SHE didn't like it."

"Yes, she did. But she didn't want to show she liked it. She was
afraid if she did she'd show--other things, and--Oh, Nancy, Nancy, I'm
so glad just to c-cry!" And Pollyanna was sobbing on Nancy's shoulder.

"There, there, dear; so she shall, so she shall," soothed Nancy,
patting the heaving shoulders with one hand, and trying, with the
other, to make the corner of her apron serve as a handkerchief to wipe
her own tears away.

"You see, I mustn't--cry--before--HER," faltered Pollyanna; "and it
WAS hard--coming here--the first time, you know, and all. And I KNEW
how she was feeling."

"Of course, of course, poor lamb," crooned Nancy. "And to think the
first thing _I_ should have done was somethin' ter vex her, and--"

"Oh, but she wasn't vexed at that," corrected Pollyanna, agitatedly.
"It's just her way, Nancy. You see, she doesn't like to show how badly
she feels about--about the doctor. And she's so afraid she WILL show
it that she--she just takes anything for an excuse to--to talk about.
She does it to me, too, just the same. So I know all about it. See?"

"Oh, yes, I see, I do, I do." Nancy's lips snapped together a little
severely, and her sympathetic pats, for the minute, were even more
loving, if possible. "Poor lamb! I'm glad I come, anyhow, for your
sake."

"Yes, so am I," breathed Pollyanna, gently drawing herself away and
wiping her eyes. "There, I feel better. And I do thank you ever so
much, Nancy, and I appreciate it. Now don't let us keep you when it's
time for you to go."

"Ho! I'm thinkin' I'll stay for a spell," sniffed Nancy.

"Stay! Why, Nancy, I thought you were married. Aren't you Timothy's
wife?"

"Sure! But he won't mind--for you. He'd WANT me to stay--for you."

"Oh, but, Nancy, we couldn't let you," demurred Pollyanna. "We can't
have anybody--now, you know. I'm going to do the work. Until we know
just how things are, we shall live very economically, Aunt Polly
says."

"Ho! as if I'd take money from--" began Nancy, in bridling wrath; but
at the expression on the other's face she stopped, and let her words
dwindle off in a mumbling protest, as she hurried from the room to
look after her creamed chicken on the stove.

Not until supper was over, and everything put in order, did Mrs.
Timothy Durgin consent to drive away with her husband; then she went
with evident reluctance, and with many pleadings to be allowed to come
"just ter help out a bit" at any time.

After Nancy had gone, Pollyanna came into the living-room where Mrs.
Chilton was sitting alone, her hand over her eyes.

"Well, dearie, shall I light up?" suggested Pollyanna, brightly.

"Oh, I suppose so."

"Wasn't Nancy a dear to fix us all up so nice?"

No answer.

"Where in the world she found all these flowers I can't imagine. She
has them in every room down here, and in both bedrooms, too."

Still no answer.

Pollyanna gave a half-stifled sigh and threw a wistful glance into her
aunt's averted face. After a moment she began again hopefully.

"I saw Old Tom in the garden. Poor man, his rheumatism is worse than
ever. He was bent nearly double. He inquired very particularly for
you, and--"

Mrs. Chilton turned with a sharp interruption.

"Pollyanna, what are we going to do?"

"Do? Why, the best we can, of course, dearie."

Mrs. Chilton gave an impatient gesture.

"Come, come, Pollyanna, do be serious for once. You'll find it is
serious, fast enough. WHAT are we going to DO? As you know, my income
has almost entirely stopped. Of course, some of the things are worth
something, I suppose; but Mr. Hart says very few of them will pay
anything at present. We have something in the bank, and a little
coming in, of course. And we have this house. But of what earthly use
is the house? We can't eat it, or wear it. It's too big for us, the
way we shall have to live; and we couldn't sell it for half what it's
really worth, unless we HAPPENED to find just the person that wanted
it."

"Sell it! Oh, auntie, you wouldn't--this beautiful house full of
lovely things!"

"I may have to, Pollyanna. We have to eat--unfortunately."

"I know it; and I'm always SO hungry," mourned Pollyanna, with a
rueful laugh. "Still, I suppose I ought to be glad my appetite is so
good."

"Very likely. You'd find something to be glad about, of course. But
what shall we do, child? I do wish you'd be serious for a minute."

A quick change came to Pollyanna's face.

"I am serious, Aunt Polly. I've been thinking. I--I wish I could earn
some money."

"Oh, child, child, to think of my ever living to hear you say that!"
moaned the woman; "--a daughter of the Harringtons having to earn her
bread!"

"Oh, but that isn't the way to look at it," laughed Pollyanna. "You
ought to be glad if a daughter of the Harringtons is SMART enough to
earn her bread! That isn't any disgrace, Aunt Polly."

"Perhaps not; but it isn't very pleasant to one's pride, after the
position we've always occupied in Beldingsville, Pollyanna."

Pollyanna did not seem to have heard. Her eyes were musingly fixed on
space.

"If only I had some talent! If only I could do something better than
anybody else in the world," she sighed at last. "I can sing a little,
play a little, embroider a little, and darn a little; but I can't do
any of them well--not well enough to be paid for it.

"I think I'd like best to cook," she resumed, after a minute's
silence, "and keep house. You know I loved that in Germany winters,
when Gretchen used to bother us so much by not coming when we wanted
her. But I don't exactly want to go into other people's kitchens to do
it."

"As if I'd let you! Pollyanna!" shuddered Mrs. Chilton again.

"And of course, to just work in our own kitchen here doesn't bring in
anything," bemoaned Pollyanna, "--not any money, I mean. And it's
money we need."

"It most emphatically is," sighed Aunt Polly.

There was a long silence, broken at last by Pollyanna.

"To think that after all you've done for me, auntie--to think that
now, if I only could, I'd have such a splendid chance to help! And
yet--I can't do it. Oh, why wasn't I born with something that's worth
money?"

"There, there, child, don't, don't! Of course, if the doctor--" The
words choked into silence.

Pollyanna looked up quickly, and sprang to her feet.

"Dear, dear, this will never do!" she exclaimed, with a complete
change of manner. "Don't you fret, auntie. What'll you wager that I
don't develop the most marvelous talent going, one of these days?
Besides, _I_ think it's real exciting--all this. There's so much
uncertainty in it. There's a lot of fun in wanting things--and then
watching for them to come. Just living along and KNOWING you're going
to have everything you want is so--so humdrum, you know," she
finished, with a gay little laugh.

Mrs. Chilton, however, did not laugh. She only sighed and said:

"Dear me, Pollyanna, what a child you are!"



CHAPTER XVIII

A MATTER OF ADJUSTMENT


The first few days at Beldingsville were not easy either for Mrs.
Chilton or for Pollyanna. They were days of adjustment; and days of
adjustment are seldom easy.

From travel and excitement it was not easy to put one's mind to the
consideration of the price of butter and the delinquencies of the
butcher. From having all one's time for one's own, it was not easy to
find always the next task clamoring to be done. Friends and neighbors
called, too, and although Pollyanna welcomed them with glad
cordiality, Mrs. Chilton, when possible, excused herself; and always
she said bitterly to Pollyanna:

"Curiosity, I suppose, to see how Polly Harrington likes being poor."

Of the doctor Mrs. Chilton seldom spoke, yet Pollyanna knew very well
that almost never was he absent from her thoughts; and that more than
half her taciturnity was but her usual cloak for a deeper emotion
which she did not care to show.

Jimmy Pendleton Pollyanna saw several times during that first month.
He came first with John Pendleton for a somewhat stiff and ceremonious
call--not that it was either stiff or ceremonious until after Aunt
Polly came into the room; then it was both. For some reason Aunt Polly
had not excused herself on this occasion. After that Jimmy had come by
himself, once with flowers, once with a book for Aunt Polly, twice
with no excuse at all. Pollyanna welcomed him with frank pleasure
always. Aunt Polly, after that first time, did not see him at all.

To the most of their friends and acquaintances Pollyanna said little
about the change in their circumstances. To Jimmy, however, she talked
freely, and always her constant cry was: "If only I could do something
to bring in some money!"

"I'm getting to be the most mercenary little creature you ever saw,"
she laughed dolefully. "I've got so I measure everything with a dollar
bill, and I actually think in quarters and dimes. You see, Aunt Polly
does feel so poor!"

"It's a shame!" stormed Jimmy.

"I know it. But, honestly, I think she feels a little poorer than she
needs to--she's brooded over it so. But I do wish I could help!"

Jimmy looked down at the wistful, eager face with its luminous eyes,
and his own eyes softened.

[Illustration: See Frontispiece: "Jimmy looked down at the wistful,
eager face"]

"What do you WANT to do--if you could do it?" he asked.

"Oh, I want to cook and keep house," smiled Pollyanna, with a pensive
sigh. "I just love to beat eggs and sugar, and hear the soda gurgle
its little tune in the cup of sour milk. I'm happy if I've got a day's
baking before me. But there isn't any money in that--except in
somebody else's kitchen, of course. And I--I don't exactly love it
well enough for that!"

"I should say not!" ejaculated the young fellow.

Once more he glanced down at the expressive face so near him. This
time a queer look came to the corners of his mouth. He pursed his
lips, then spoke, a slow red mounting to his forehead.

"Well, of course you might--marry. Have you thought of that--Miss
Pollyanna?"

Pollyanna gave a merry laugh. Voice and manner were unmistakably those
of a girl quite untouched by even the most far-reaching of Cupid's
darts.

"Oh, no, I shall never marry," she said blithely. "In the first place
I'm not pretty, you know; and in the second place, I'm going to live
with Aunt Polly and take care of her."

"Not pretty, eh?" smiled Pendleton, quizzically. "Did it
ever--er--occur to you that there might be a difference of opinion on
that, Pollyanna?"

Pollyanna shook her head.

"There couldn't be. I've got a mirror, you see," she objected, with a
merry glance.

It sounded like coquetry. In any other girl it would have been
coquetry, Pendleton decided. But, looking into the face before him
now, Pendleton knew that it was not coquetry. He knew, too, suddenly,
why Pollyanna had seemed so different from any girl he had ever known.
Something of her old literal way of looking at things still clung to
her.

"Why aren't you pretty?" he asked.

Even as he uttered the question, and sure as he was of his estimate of
Pollyanna's character, Pendleton quite held his breath at his
temerity. He could not help thinking of how quickly any other girl he
knew would have resented that implied acceptance of her claim to no
beauty. But Pollyanna's first words showed him that even this lurking
fear of his was quite groundless.

"Why, I just am not," she laughed, a little ruefully. "I wasn't made
that way. Maybe you don't remember, but long ago, when I was a little
girl, it always seemed to me that one of the nicest things Heaven was
going to give me when I got there was black curls."

"And is that your chief desire now?"

"N-no, maybe not," hesitated Pollyanna. "But I still think I'd like
them. Besides, my eyelashes aren't long enough, and my nose isn't
Grecian, or Roman, or any of those delightfully desirable ones that
belong to a 'type.' It's just NOSE. And my face is too long, or too
short, I've forgotten which; but I measured it once with one of those
'correct-for-beauty' tests, and it wasn't right, anyhow. And they said
the width of the face should be equal to five eyes, and the width of
the eyes equal to--to something else. I've forgotten that, too--only
that mine wasn't."

"What a lugubrious picture!" laughed Pendleton. Then, with his gaze
admiringly regarding the girl's animated face and expressive eyes, he
asked:

"Did you ever look in the mirror when you were talking, Pollyanna?"

"Why, no, of course not!"

"Well, you'd better try it sometime."

"What a funny idea! Imagine my doing it," laughed the girl. "What
shall I say? Like this? 'Now, you, Pollyanna, what if your eyelashes
aren't long, and your nose is just a nose, be glad you've got SOME
eyelashes and SOME nose!'"

Pendleton joined in her laugh, but an odd expression came to his face.

"Then you still play--the game," he said, a little diffidently.

Pollyanna turned soft eyes of wonder full upon him.

"Why, of course! Why, Jimmy, I don't believe I could have lived--the
last six months--if it hadn't been for that blessed game." Her voice
shook a little.

"I haven't heard you say much about it," he commented.

She changed color.

"I know. I think I'm afraid--of saying too much--to outsiders, who
don't care, you know. It wouldn't sound quite the same from me now, at
twenty, as it did when I was ten. I realize that, of course. Folks
don't like to be preached at, you know," she finished with a whimsical
smile.

"I know," nodded the young fellow gravely. "But I wonder sometimes,
Pollyanna, if you really understand yourself what that game is, and
what it has done for those who are playing it."

"I know--what it has done for myself." Her voice was low, and her eyes
were turned away.

"You see, it really WORKS, if you play it," he mused aloud, after a
short silence. "Somebody said once that it would revolutionize the
world if everybody would really play it. And I believe it would."

"Yes; but some folks don't want to be revolutionized," smiled
Pollyanna. "I ran across a man in Germany last year. He had lost his
money, and was in hard luck generally. Dear, dear, but he was gloomy!
Somebody in my presence tried to cheer him up one day by saying,
'Come, come, things might be worse, you know!' Dear, dear, but you
should have heard that man then!

"'If there is anything on earth that makes me mad clear through,' he
snarled, 'it is to be told that things might be worse, and to be
thankful for what I've got left. These people who go around with an
everlasting grin on their faces caroling forth that they are thankful
that they can breathe, or eat, or walk, or lie down, I have no use
for. I don't WANT to breathe, or eat, or walk, or lie down--if things
are as they are now with me. And when I'm told that I ought to be
thankful for some such tommyrot as that, it makes me just want to go
out and shoot somebody!'"

"Imagine what I'D have gotten if I'd have introduced the glad game to
that man!" laughed Pollyanna.

"I don't care. He needed it," answered Jimmy.

"Of course he did--but he wouldn't have thanked me for giving it to
him."

"I suppose not. But, listen! As he was, under his present philosophy
and scheme of living, he made himself and everybody else wretched,
didn't he? Well, just suppose he was playing the game. While he was
trying to hunt up something to be glad about in everything that had
happened to him, he COULDN'T be at the same time grumbling and
growling about how bad things were; so that much would be gained. He'd
be a whole lot easier to live with, both for himself and for his
friends. Meanwhile, just thinking of the doughnut instead of the hole
couldn't make things any worse for him, and it might make things
better; for it wouldn't give him such a gone feeling in the pit of his
stomach, and his digestion would be better. I tell you, troubles are
poor things to hug. They've got too many prickers."

Pollyanna smiled appreciatively.

"That makes me think of what I told a poor old lady once. She was one
of my Ladies' Aiders out West, and was one of the kind of people that
really ENJOYS being miserable and telling over her causes for
unhappiness. I was perhaps ten years old, and was trying to teach her
the game. I reckon I wasn't having very good success, and evidently I
at last dimly realized the reason, for I said to her triumphantly:
'Well, anyhow, you can be glad you've got such a lot of things to make
you miserable, for you love to be miserable so well!'"

"Well, if that wasn't a good one on her," chuckled Jimmy.

Pollyanna raised her eyebrows.

"I'm afraid she didn't enjoy it any more than the man in Germany would
have if I'd told him the same thing."

"But they ought to be told, and you ought to tell--" Pendleton stopped
short with so queer an expression on his face that Pollyanna looked at
him in surprise.

"Why, Jimmy, what is it?"

"Oh, nothing. I was only thinking," he answered, puckering his lips.
"Here I am urging you to do the very thing I was afraid you WOULD do
before I saw you, you know. That is, I was afraid before I saw you,
that--that--" He floundered into a helpless pause, looking very red
indeed.

"Well, Jimmy Pendleton," bridled the girl, "you needn't think you can
stop there, sir. Now just what do you mean by all that, please?"

"Oh, er--n-nothing, much."

"I'm waiting," murmured Pollyanna. Voice and manner were calm and
confident, though the eyes twinkled mischievously.

The young fellow hesitated, glanced at her smiling face, and
capitulated.

"Oh, well, have it your own way," he shrugged. "It's only that I was
worrying--a little--about that game, for fear you WOULD talk it just
as you used to, you know, and--" But a merry peal of laughter
interrupted him.

"There, what did I tell you? Even you were worried, it seems, lest I
should be at twenty just what I was at ten!"

"N-no, I didn't mean--Pollyanna, honestly, I thought--of course I
knew--" But Pollyanna only put her hands to her ears and went off into
another peal of laughter.



CHAPTER XIX

TWO LETTERS


It was toward the latter part of June that the letter came to
Pollyanna from Della Wetherby.

"I am writing to ask you a favor," Miss Wetherby wrote. "I am hoping
you can tell me of some quiet private family in Beldingsville that
will be willing to take my sister to board for the summer. There would
be three of them, Mrs. Carew, her secretary, and her adopted son,
Jamie. (You remember Jamie, don't you?) They do not like to go to an
ordinary hotel or boarding house. My sister is very tired, and the
doctor has advised her to go into the country for a complete rest and
change. He suggested Vermont or New Hampshire. We immediately thought
of Beldingsville and you; and we wondered if you couldn't recommend
just the right place to us. I told Ruth I would write you. They would
like to go right away, early in July, if possible. Would it be asking
too much to request you to let us know as soon as you conveniently can
if you do know of a place? Please address me here. My sister is with
us here at the Sanatorium for a few weeks' treatment.

"Hoping for a favorable reply, I am,

                                    "Most cordially yours,

                                    "DELLA WETHERBY."

For the first few minutes after the letter was finished, Pollyanna sat
with frowning brow, mentally searching the homes of Beldingsville for
a possible boarding house for her old friends. Then a sudden something
gave her thoughts a new turn, and with a joyous exclamation she
hurried to her aunt in the living-room.

"Auntie, auntie," she panted; "I've got just the loveliest idea. I
told you something would happen, and that I'd develop that wonderful
talent sometime. Well, I have. I have right now. Listen! I've had a
letter from Miss Wetherby, Mrs. Carew's sister--where I stayed that
winter in Boston, you know--and they want to come into the country to
board for the summer, and Miss Wetherby's written to see if I didn't
know a place for them. They don't want a hotel or an ordinary boarding
house, you see. And at first I didn't know of one; but now I do. I do,
Aunt Polly! Just guess where 'tis."

"Dear me, child," ejaculated Mrs. Chilton, "how you do run on! I
should think you were a dozen years old instead of a woman grown. Now
what are you talking about?"

"About a boarding place for Mrs. Carew and Jamie. I've found it,"
babbled Pollyanna.

"Indeed! Well, what of it? Of what possible interest can that be to
me, child?" murmured Mrs. Chilton, drearily.

"Because it's HERE. I'm going to have them here, auntie."

"Pollyanna!" Mrs. Chilton was sitting erect in horror.

"Now, auntie, please don't say no--please don't," begged Pollyanna,
eagerly. "Don't you see? This is my chance, the chance I've been
waiting for; and it's just dropped right into my hands. We can do it
lovely. We have plenty of room, and you know I CAN cook and keep
house. And now there'd be money in it, for they'd pay well, I know;
and they'd love to come, I'm sure. There'd be three of them--there's a
secretary with them."

"But, Pollyanna, I can't! Turn this house into a boarding house?--the
Harrington homestead a common boarding house? Oh, Pollyanna, I can't,
I can't!"

"But it wouldn't be a common boarding house, dear. 'Twill be an
uncommon one. Besides, they're our friends. It would be like having
our friends come to see us; only they'd be PAYING guests, so meanwhile
we'd be earning money--money that we NEED, auntie, money that we
need," she emphasized significantly.

A spasm of hurt pride crossed Polly Chilton's face. With a low moan
she fell back in her chair.

"But how could you do it?" she asked at last, faintly. "You couldn't
do the work part alone, child!"

"Oh, no, of course not," chirped Pollyanna. (Pollyanna was on sure
ground now. She knew her point was won.) "But I could do the cooking
and the overseeing, and I'm sure I could get one of Nancy's younger
sisters to help about the rest. Mrs. Durgin would do the laundry part
just as she does now."

"But, Pollyanna, I'm not well at all--you know I'm not. I couldn't do
much."

"Of course not. There's no reason why you should," scorned Pollyanna,
loftily. "Oh, auntie, won't it be splendid? Why, it seems too good to
be true--money just dropped into my hands like that!"

"Dropped into your hands, indeed! You still have some things to learn
in this world, Pollyanna, and one is that summer boarders don't drop
money into anybody's hands without looking very sharply to it that
they get ample return. By the time you fetch and carry and bake and
brew until you are ready to sink, and by the time you nearly kill
yourself trying to serve everything to order from fresh-laid eggs to
the weather, you will believe what I tell you."

"All right, I'll remember," laughed Pollyanna. "But I'm not doing any
worrying now; and I'm going to hurry and write Miss Wetherby at once
so I can give it to Jimmy Bean to mail when he comes out this
afternoon."

Mrs. Chilton stirred restlessly.

"Pollyanna, I do wish you'd call that young man by his proper name.
That 'Bean' gives me the shivers. His name is 'Pendleton' now, as I
understand it."

"So it is," agreed Pollyanna, "but I do forget it half the time. I
even call him that to his face, sometimes, and of course that's
dreadful, when he really is adopted, and all. But you see I'm so
excited," she finished, as she danced from the room.

She had the letter all ready for Jimmy when he called at four o'clock.
She was still quivering--with excitement, and she lost no time in
telling her visitor what it was all about.

"And I'm crazy to see them, besides," she cried, when she had told him
of her plans. "I've never seen either of them since that winter. You
know I told you--didn't I tell you?--about Jamie."

"Oh, yes, you told me." There was a touch of constraint in the young
man's voice.

"Well, isn't it splendid, if they can come?"

"Why, I don't know as I should call it exactly splendid," he parried.

"Not splendid that I've got such a chance to help Aunt Polly out, for
even this little while? Why, Jimmy, of course it's splendid."

"Well, it strikes me that it's going to be rather HARD--for you,"
bridled Jimmy, with more than a shade of irritation.

"Yes, of course, in some ways. But I shall be so glad for the money
coming in that I'll think of that all the time. You see," she sighed,
"how mercenary I am, Jimmy."

For a long minute there was no reply; then, a little abruptly, the
young man asked:

"Let's see, how old is this Jamie now?"

Pollyanna glanced up with a merry smile.

"Oh, I remember--you never did like his name, 'Jamie,'" she twinkled.
"Never mind; he's adopted now, legally, I believe, and has taken the
name of Carew. So you can call him that."

"But that isn't telling me how old he is," reminded Jimmy, stiffly.

"Nobody knows, exactly, I suppose. You know he couldn't tell; but I
imagine he's about your age. I wonder how he is now. I've asked all
about it in this letter, anyway."

"Oh, you have!" Pendleton looked down at the letter in his hand and
flipped it a little spitefully. He was thinking that he would like to
drop it, to tear it up, to give it to somebody, to throw it away, to
do anything with it--but mail it.

Jimmy knew perfectly well that he was jealous, that he always had been
jealous of this youth with the name so like and yet so unlike his own.
Not that he was in love with Pollyanna, he assured himself wrathfully.
He was not that, of course. It was just that he did not care to have
this strange youth with the sissy name come to Beldingsville and be
always around to spoil all their good times. He almost said as much to
Pollyanna, but something stayed the words on his lips; and after a
time he took his leave, carrying the letter with him.

That Jimmy did not drop the letter, tear it up, give it to anybody, or
throw it away was evidenced a few days later, for Pollyanna received a
prompt and delighted reply from Miss Wetherby; and when Jimmy came
next time he heard it read--or rather he heard part of it, for
Pollyanna prefaced the reading by saying:

"Of course the first part is just where she says how glad they are to
come, and all that. I won't read that. But the rest I thought you'd
like to hear, because you've heard me talk so much about them.
Besides, you'll know them yourself pretty soon, of course. I'm
depending a whole lot on you, Jimmy, to help me make it pleasant for
them."

"Oh, are you!"

"Now don't be sarcastic, just because you don't like Jamie's name,"
reproved Pollyanna, with mock severity. "You'll like HIM, I'm sure,
when you know him; and you'll LOVE Mrs. Carew."

"Will I, indeed?" retorted Jimmy huffily. "Well, that IS a serious
prospect. Let us hope, if I do, the lady will be so gracious as to
reciprocate."

"Of course," dimpled Pollyanna. "Now listen, and I'll read to you
about her. This letter is from her sister, Della--Miss Wetherby, you
know, at the Sanatorium."

"All right. Go ahead!" directed Jimmy, with a somewhat too evident
attempt at polite interest. And Pollyanna, still smiling
mischievously, began to read.

"You ask me to tell you everything about everybody. That is a large
commission, but I'll do the best I can. To begin with, I think you'll
find my sister quite changed. The new interests that have come into
her life during the last six years have done wonders for her. Just now
she is a bit thin and tired from overwork, but a good rest will soon
remedy that, and you'll see how young and blooming and happy she
looks. Please notice I said HAPPY. That won't mean so much to you as
it does to me, of course, for you were too young to realize quite how
unhappy she was when you first knew her that winter in Boston. Life
was such a dreary, hopeless thing to her then; and now it is so full
of interest and joy.

"First she has Jamie, and when you see them together you won't need to
be told what he is to her. To be sure, we are no nearer knowing
whether he is the REAL Jamie, or not, but my sister loves him like an
own son now, and has legally adopted him, as I presume you know.

"Then she has her girls. Do you remember Sadie Dean, the salesgirl?
Well, from getting interested in her, and trying to help her to a
happier living, my sister has broadened her efforts little by little,
until she has scores of girls now who regard her as their own best and
particular good angel. She has started a Home for Working Girls along
new lines. Half a dozen wealthy and influential men and women are
associated with her, of course, but she is head and shoulders of the
whole thing, and never hesitates to give HERSELF to each and every one
of the girls. You can imagine what that means in nerve strain. Her
chief support and right-hand man is her secretary, this same Sadie
Dean. You'll find HER changed, too, yet she is the same old Sadie.

"As for Jamie--poor Jamie! The great sorrow of his life is that he
knows now he can never walk. For a time we all had hopes. He was here
at the Sanatorium under Dr. Ames for a year, and he improved to such
an extent that he can go now with crutches. But the poor boy will
always be a cripple--so far as his feet are concerned, but never as
regards anything else. Someway, after you know Jamie, you seldom think
of him as a cripple, his SOUL is so free. I can't explain it, but
you'll know what I mean when you see him; and he has retained, to a
marvelous degree, his old boyish enthusiasm and joy of living. There
is just one thing--and only one, I believe--that would utterly quench
that bright spirit and cast him into utter despair; and that is to
find that he is not Jamie Kent, our nephew. So long has he brooded
over this, and so ardently has he wished it, that he has come actually
to believe that he IS the real Jamie; but if he isn't, I hope he will
never find it out."

"There, that's all she says about them," announced Pollyanna, folding
up the closely-written sheets in her hands. "But isn't that
interesting?"

"Indeed it is!" There was a ring of genuineness in Jimmy's voice now.
Jimmy was thinking suddenly of what his own good legs meant to him. He
even, for the moment, was willing that this poor crippled youth should
have a PART of Pollyanna's thoughts and attentions, if he were not so
presuming as to claim too much of them, of course! "By George! it is
tough for the poor chap, and no mistake."

"Tough! You don't know anything about it, Jimmy Bean," choked
Pollyanna; "but _I_ do. _I_ couldn't walk once. _I_ KNOW!"

"Yes, of course, of course," frowned the youth, moving restively in
his seat. Jimmy, looking into Pollyanna's sympathetic face and
brimming eyes was suddenly not so sure, after all, that he WAS willing
to have this Jamie come to town--if just to THINK of him made
Pollyanna look like that!



CHAPTER XX

THE PAYING GUESTS


The few intervening days before the expected arrival of "those
dreadful people," as Aunt Polly termed her niece's paying guests, were
busy ones indeed for Pollyanna--but they were happy ones, too, as
Pollyanna refused to be weary, or discouraged, or dismayed, no matter
how puzzling were the daily problems she had to meet.

Summoning Nancy, and Nancy's younger sister, Betty, to her aid,
Pollyanna systematically went through the house, room by room, and
arranged for the comfort and convenience of her expected boarders.
Mrs. Chilton could do but little to assist. In the first place she was
not well. In the second place her mental attitude toward the whole
idea was not conducive to aid or comfort, for at her side stalked
always the Harrington pride of name and race, and on her lips was the
constant moan:

"Oh, Pollyanna, Pollyanna, to think of the Harrington homestead ever
coming to this!"

"It isn't, dearie," Pollyanna at last soothed laughingly. "It's the
Carews that are COMING TO THE HARRINGTON HOMESTEAD!"

But Mrs. Chilton was not to be so lightly diverted, and responded only
with a scornful glance and a deeper sigh, so Pollyanna was forced to
leave her to travel alone her road of determined gloom.

Upon the appointed day, Pollyanna with Timothy (who owned the
Harrington horses now) went to the station to meet the afternoon
train. Up to this hour there had been nothing but confidence and
joyous anticipation in Pollyanna's heart. But with the whistle of the
engine there came to her a veritable panic of doubt, shyness, and
dismay. She realized suddenly what she, Pollyanna, almost alone and
unaided, was about to do. She remembered Mrs. Carew's wealth,
position, and fastidious tastes. She recollected, too, that this would
be a new, tall, young-man Jamie, quite unlike the boy she had known.

For one awful moment she thought only of getting away--somewhere,
anywhere.

"Timothy, I--I feel sick. I'm not well. I--tell 'em--er--not to come,"
she faltered, poising as if for flight.

"Ma'am!" exclaimed the startled Timothy.

One glance into Timothy's amazed face was enough. Pollyanna laughed
and threw back her shoulders alertly.

"Nothing. Never mind! I didn't mean it, of course, Timothy.
Quick--see! They're almost here," she panted. And Pollyanna hurried
forward, quite herself once more.

She knew them at once. Even had there been any doubt in her mind, the
crutches in the hands of the tall, brown-eyed young man would have
piloted her straight to her goal.

There were a brief few minutes of eager handclasps and incoherent
exclamations, then, somehow, she found herself in the carriage with
Mrs. Carew at her side, and Jamie and Sadie Dean in front. She had a
chance, then, for the first time, really to see her friends, and to
note the changes the six years had wrought.

In regard to Mrs. Carew, her first feeling was one of surprise. She
had forgotten that Mrs. Carew was so lovely. She had forgotten that
the eyelashes were so long, that the eyes they shaded were so
beautiful. She even caught herself thinking enviously of how exactly
that perfect face must tally, figure by figure, with that dread
beauty-test-table. But more than anything else she rejoiced in the
absence of the old fretful lines of gloom and bitterness.

Then she turned to Jamie. Here again she was surprised, and for much
the same reason. Jamie, too, had grown handsome. To herself Pollyanna
declared that he was really distinguished looking. His dark eyes,
rather pale face, and dark, waving hair she thought most attractive.
Then she caught a glimpse of the crutches at his side, and a spasm of
aching sympathy contracted her throat.

From Jamie Pollyanna turned to Sadie Dean.

Sadie, so far as features went, looked much as she had when Pollyanna
first saw her in the Public Garden; but Pollyanna did not need a
second glance to know that Sadie, so far as hair, dress, temper,
speech, and disposition were concerned, was a very different Sadie
indeed.

Then Jamie spoke.

"How good you were to let us come," he said to Pollyanna. "Do you know
what I thought of when you wrote that we could come?"

"Why, n-no, of course not," stammered Pollyanna. Pollyanna was still
seeing the crutches at Jamie's side, and her throat was still
tightened from that aching sympathy.

"Well, I thought of the little maid in the Public Garden with her bag
of peanuts for Sir Lancelot and Lady Guinevere, and I knew that you
were just putting us in their places, for if you had a bag of peanuts,
and we had none, you wouldn't be happy till you'd shared it with us."

"A bag of peanuts, indeed!" laughed Pollyanna.

"Oh, of course in this case, your bag of peanuts happened to be airy
country rooms, and cow's milk, and real eggs from a real hen's nest,"
returned Jamie whimsically; "but it amounts to the same thing. And
maybe I'd better warn you--you remember how greedy Sir Lancelot
was;--well--" He paused meaningly.

"All right, I'll take the risk," dimpled Pollyanna, thinking how glad
she was that Aunt Polly was not present to hear her worst predictions
so nearly fulfilled thus early. "Poor Sir Lancelot! I wonder if
anybody feeds him now, or if he's there at all."

"Well, if he's there, he's fed," interposed Mrs. Carew, merrily. "This
ridiculous boy still goes down there at least once a week with his
pockets bulging with peanuts and I don't know what all. He can be
traced any time by the trail of small grains he leaves behind him; and
half the time, when I order my cereal for breakfast it isn't
forthcoming, because, forsooth, 'Master Jamie has fed it to the
pigeons, ma'am!'"

"Yes, but let me tell you," plunged in Jamie, enthusiastically. And
the next minute Pollyanna found herself listening with all the old
fascination to a story of a couple of squirrels in a sunlit garden.
Later she saw what Della Wetherby had meant in her letter, for when
the house was reached, it came as a distinct shock to her to see Jamie
pick up his crutches and swing himself out of the carriage with their
aid. She knew then that already in ten short minutes he had made her
forget that he was lame.

To Pollyanna's great relief that first dreaded meeting between Aunt
Polly and the Carew party passed off much better than she had feared.
The newcomers were so frankly delighted with the old house and
everything in it, that it was an utter impossibility for the mistress
and owner of it all to continue her stiff attitude of disapproving
resignation to their presence. Besides, as was plainly evident before
an hour had passed, the personal charm and magnetism of Jamie had
pierced even Aunt Polly's armor of distrust; and Pollyanna knew that
at least one of her own most dreaded problems was a problem no longer,
for already Aunt Polly was beginning to play the stately, yet gracious
hostess to these, her guests.

Notwithstanding her relief at Aunt Polly's change of attitude,
however, Pollyanna did not find that all was smooth sailing, by any
means. There was work, and plenty of it, that must be done. Nancy's
sister, Betty, was pleasant and willing, but she was not Nancy, as
Pollyanna soon found. She needed training, and training took time.
Pollyanna worried, too, for fear everything should not be quite right.
To Pollyanna, those days, a dusty chair was a crime and a fallen cake
a tragedy.

Gradually, however, after incessant arguments and pleadings on the
part of Mrs. Carew and Jamie, Pollyanna came to take her tasks more
easily, and to realize that the real crime and tragedy in her friends'
eyes was, not the dusty chair nor the fallen cake, but the frown of
worry and anxiety on her own face.

"Just as if it wasn't enough for you to LET us come," Jamie declared,
"without just killing yourself with work to get us something to eat."

"Besides, we ought not to eat so much, anyway," Mrs. Carew laughed,
"or else we shall get 'digestion,' as one of my girls calls it when
her food disagrees with her."

It was wonderful, after all, how easily the three new members of the
family fitted into the daily life. Before twenty-four hours had
passed, Mrs. Carew had gotten Mrs. Chilton to asking really interested
questions about the new Home for Working Girls, and Sadie Dean and
Jamie were quarreling over the chance to help with the pea-shelling or
the flower-picking.

The Carews had been at the Harrington homestead nearly a week when one
evening John Pendleton and Jimmy called. Pollyanna had been hoping
they would come soon. She had, indeed, urged it very strongly before
the Carews came. She made the introductions now with visible pride.

"You are such good friends of mine, I want you to know each other, and
be good friends together," she explained.

That Jimmy and Mr. Pendleton should be clearly impressed with the
charm and beauty of Mrs. Carew did not surprise Pollyanna in the
least; but the look that came into Mrs. Carew's face at sight of Jimmy
did surprise her very much. It was almost a look of recognition.

"Why, Mr. Pendleton, haven't I met you before?" Mrs. Carew cried.

Jimmy's frank eyes met Mrs. Carew's gaze squarely, admiringly.

"I think not," he smiled back at her. "I'm sure I never have met you.
I should have remembered it--if _I_ had met YOU," he bowed.

So unmistakable was his significant emphasis that everybody laughed,
and John Pendleton chuckled:

"Well done, son--for a youth of your tender years. I couldn't have
done half so well myself."

Mrs. Carew flushed slightly and joined in the laugh.

"No, but really," she urged; "joking aside, there certainly is a
strangely familiar something in your face. I think I must have SEEN
you somewhere, if I haven't actually met you."

"And maybe you have," cried Pollyanna, "in Boston. Jimmy goes to Tech
there winters, you know. Jimmy's going to build bridges and dams, you
see--when he grows up, I mean," she finished with a merry glance at
the big six-foot fellow still standing before Mrs. Carew.

Everybody laughed again--that is, everybody but Jamie; and only Sadie
Dean noticed that Jamie, instead of laughing, closed his eyes as if at
the sight of something that hurt. And only Sadie Dean knew how--and
why--the subject was so quickly changed, for it was Sadie herself who
changed it. It was Sadie, too, who, when the opportunity came, saw to
it that books and flowers and beasts and birds--things that Jamie knew
and understood--were talked about as well as dams and bridges which
(as Sadie knew), Jamie could never build. That Sadie did all this,
however, was not realized by anybody, least of all by Jamie, the one
who most of all was concerned.

When the call was over and the Pendletons had gone, Mrs. Carew
referred again to the curiously haunting feeling that somewhere she
had seen young Pendleton before.

"I have, I know I have--somewhere," she declared musingly. "Of course
it may have been in Boston; but--" She let the sentence remain
unfinished; then, after a minute she added: "He's a fine young fellow,
anyway. I like him."

"I'm so glad! I do, too," nodded Pollyanna. "I've always liked Jimmy."

"You've known him some time, then?" queried Jamie, a little wistfully.

"Oh, yes. I knew him years ago when I was a little girl, you know. He
was Jimmy Bean then."

"Jimmy BEAN! Why, isn't he Mr. Pendleton's son?" asked Mrs. Carew, in
surprise.

"No, only by adoption."

"Adoption!" exclaimed Jamie. "Then HE isn't a real son any more than I
am." There was a curious note of almost joy in the lad's voice.

"No. Mr. Pendleton hasn't any children. He never married. He--he was
going to, once, but he--he didn't." Pollyanna blushed and spoke with
sudden diffidence. Pollyanna had never forgotten that it was her
mother who, in the long ago, had said no to this same John Pendleton,
and who had thus been responsible for the man's long, lonely years of
bachelorhood.

Mrs. Carew and Jamie, however, being unaware of this, and seeing now
only the blush on Pollyanna's cheek and the diffidence in her manner,
drew suddenly the same conclusion.

"Is it possible," they asked themselves, "that this man, John
Pendleton, ever had a love affair with Pollyanna, child that she is?"

Naturally they did not say this aloud; so, naturally, there was no
answer possible. Naturally, too, perhaps, the thought, though
unspoken, was still not forgotten, but was tucked away in a corner of
their minds for future reference--if need arose.



CHAPTER XXI

SUMMER DAYS


Before the Carews came, Pollyanna had told Jimmy that she was
depending on him to help her entertain them. Jimmy had not expressed
himself then as being overwhelmingly desirous to serve her in this
way; but before the Carews had been in town a fortnight, he had shown
himself as not only willing but anxious,--judging by the frequency and
length of his calls, and the lavishness of his offers of the Pendleton
horses and motor cars.

Between him and Mrs. Carew there sprang up at once a warm friendship
based on what seemed to be a peculiarly strong attraction for each
other. They walked and talked together, and even made sundry plans for
the Home for Working Girls, to be carried out the following winter
when Jimmy should be in Boston. Jamie, too, came in for a good measure
of attention, nor was Sadie Dean forgotten. Sadie, as Mrs. Carew
plainly showed, was to be regarded as if she were quite one of the
family; and Mrs. Carew was careful to see that she had full share in
any plans for merrymaking.

Nor did Jimmy always come alone with his offers for entertainment.
More and more frequently John Pendleton appeared with him. Rides and
drives and picnics were planned and carried out, and long delightful
afternoons were spent over books and fancy-work on the Harrington
veranda.

Pollyanna was delighted. Not only were her paying guests being kept
from any possibilities of ennui and homesickness, but her good
friends, the Carews, were becoming delightfully acquainted with her
other good friends, the Pendletons. So, like a mother hen with a brood
of chickens, she hovered over the veranda meetings, and did everything
in her power to keep the group together and happy.

Neither the Carews nor the Pendletons, however, were at all satisfied
to have Pollyanna merely an onlooker in their pastimes, and very
strenuously they urged her to join them. They would not take no for an
answer, indeed, and Pollyanna very frequently found the way opened for
her.

"Just as if we were going to have you poked up in this hot kitchen
frosting cake!" Jamie scolded one day, after he had penetrated the
fastnesses of her domain. "It is a perfectly glorious morning, and
we're all going over to the Gorge and take our luncheon. And YOU are
going with us."

"But, Jamie, I can't--indeed I can't," refused Pollyanna.

"Why not? You won't have dinner to get for us, for we sha'n't be here
to eat it."

"But there's the--the luncheon."

"Wrong again. We'll have the luncheon with us, so you CAN'T stay home
to get that. Now what's to hinder your going along WITH the luncheon,
eh?"

"Why, Jamie, I--I can't. There's the cake to frost--"

"Don't want it frosted."

"And the dusting--"

"Don't want it dusted."

"And the ordering to do for to-morrow."

"Give us crackers and milk. We'd lots rather have you and crackers and
milk than a turkey dinner and not you."

"But I can't begin to tell you the things I've got to do to-day."

"Don't want you to begin to tell me," retorted Jamie, cheerfully. "I
want you to stop telling me. Come, put on your bonnet. I saw Betty in
the dining room, and she says she'll put our luncheon up. Now hurry."

"Why, Jamie, you ridiculous boy, I can't go," laughed Pollyanna,
holding feebly back, as he tugged at her dress-sleeve. "I can't go to
that picnic with you!"

But she went. She went not only then, but again and again. She could
not help going, indeed, for she found arrayed against her not only
Jamie, but Jimmy and Mr. Pendleton, to say nothing of Mrs. Carew and
Sadie Dean, and even Aunt Polly herself.

"And of course I AM glad to go," she would sigh happily, when some
dreary bit of work was taken out of her hands in spite of all
protesting. "But, surely, never before were there any boarders like
mine--teasing for crackers-and-milk and cold things; and never before
was there a boarding mistress like me--running around the country
after this fashion!"

The climax came when one day John Pendleton (and Aunt Polly never
ceased to exclaim because it WAS John Pendleton)--suggested that they
all go on a two weeks' camping trip to a little lake up among the
mountains forty miles from Beldingsville.

The idea was received with enthusiastic approbation by everybody
except Aunt Polly. Aunt Polly said, privately, to Pollyanna, that it
was all very good and well and desirable that John Pendleton should
have gotten out of the sour, morose aloofness that had been his state
for so many years, but that it did not necessarily follow that it was
equally desirable that he should be trying to turn himself into a
twenty-year-old boy again; and that was what, in her opinion, he
seemed to be doing now! Publicly she contented herself with saying
coldly that SHE certainly should not go on any insane camping trip to
sleep on damp ground and eat bugs and spiders, under the guise of
"fun," nor did she think it a sensible thing for anybody over forty to
do.

If John Pendleton felt any wound from this shaft, he made no sign.
Certainly there was no diminution of apparent interest and enthusiasm
on his part, and the plans for the camping expedition came on apace,
for it was unanimously decided that, even if Aunt Polly would not go,
that was no reason why the rest should not.

"And Mrs. Carew will be all the chaperon we need, anyhow," Jimmy had
declared airily.

For a week, therefore, little was talked of but tents, food supplies,
cameras, and fishing tackle, and little was done that was not a
preparation in some way for the trip.

"And let's make it the real thing," proposed Jimmy, eagerly, "--yes,
even to Mrs. Chilton's bugs and spiders," he added, with a merry smile
straight into that lady's severely disapproving eyes. "None of your
log-cabin-central-dining-room idea for us! We want real camp-fires
with potatoes baked in the ashes, and we want to sit around and tell
stories and roast corn on a stick."

"And we want to swim and row and fish," chimed in Pollyanna. "And--"
She stopped suddenly, her eyes on Jamie's face. "That is, of course,"
she corrected quickly, "we wouldn't want to--to do those things all
the time. There'd be a lot of QUIET things we'd want to do, too--read
and talk, you know."

Jamie's eyes darkened. His face grew a little white. His lips parted,
but before any words came, Sadie Dean was speaking.

"Oh, but on camping trips and picnics, you know, we EXPECT to do
outdoor stunts," she interposed feverishly; "and I'm sure we WANT to.
Last summer we were down in Maine, and you should have seen the fish
Mr. Carew caught. It was--You tell it," she begged, turning to Jamie.

Jamie laughed and shook his head.

"They'd never believe it," he objected; "--a fish story like that!"

"Try us," challenged Pollyanna.

Jamie still shook his head--but the color had come back to his face,
and his eyes were no longer somber as if with pain. Pollyanna,
glancing at Sadie Dean, vaguely wondered why she suddenly settled back
in her seat with so very evident an air of relief.

At last the appointed day came, and the start was made in John
Pendleton's big new touring car with Jimmy at the wheel. A whir, a
throbbing rumble, a chorus of good-bys, and they were off, with one
long shriek of the siren under Jimmy's mischievous fingers.

In after days Pollyanna often went back in her thoughts to that first
night in camp. The experience was so new and so wonderful in so many
ways.

It was four o'clock when their forty-mile automobile journey came to
an end. Since half-past three their big car had been ponderously
picking its way over an old logging-road not designed for six-cylinder
automobiles. For the car itself, and for the hand at the wheel, this
part of the trip was a most wearing one; but for the merry passengers,
who had no responsibility concerning hidden holes and muddy curves, it
was nothing but a delight growing more poignant with every new vista
through the green arches, and with every echoing laugh that dodged the
low-hanging branches.

The site for the camp was one known to John Pendleton years before,
and he greeted it now with a satisfied delight that was not unmingled
with relief.

"Oh, how perfectly lovely!" chorused the others.

"Glad you like it! I thought it would be about right," nodded John
Pendleton. "Still, I was a little anxious, after all, for these places
do change, you know, most remarkably sometimes. And of course this has
grown up to bushes a little--but not so but what we can easily clear
it."

Everybody fell to work then, clearing the ground, putting up the two
little tents, unloading the automobile, building the camp fire, and
arranging the "kitchen and pantry."

It was then that Pollyanna began especially to notice Jamie, and to
fear for him. She realized suddenly that the hummocks and hollows and
pine-littered knolls were not like a carpeted floor for a pair of
crutches, and she saw that Jamie was realizing it, too. She saw, also,
that in spite of his infirmity, he was trying to take his share in the
work; and the sight troubled her. Twice she hurried forward and
intercepted him, taking from his arms the box he was trying to carry.

"Here, let me take that," she begged. "You've done enough." And the
second time she added: "Do go and sit down somewhere to rest, Jamie.
You look so tired!"

If she had been watching closely she would have seen the quick color
sweep to his forehead. But she was not watching, so she did not see
it. She did see, however, to her intense surprise, Sadie Dean hurry
forward a moment later, her arms full of boxes, and heard her cry:

"Oh, Mr. Carew, please, if you WOULD give me a lift with these!"

The next moment, Jamie, once more struggling with the problem of
managing a bundle of boxes and two crutches, was hastening toward the
tents.

With a quick word of protest on her tongue, Pollyanna turned to Sadie
Dean. But the protest died unspoken, for Sadie, her finger to her
lips, was hurrying straight toward her.

"I know you didn't think," she stammered in a low voice, as she
reached Pollyanna's side. "But, don't you see?--it HURTS him--to have
you think he can't do things like other folks. There, look! See how
happy he is now."

Pollyanna looked, and she saw. She saw Jamie, his whole self alert,
deftly balance his weight on one crutch and swing his burden to the
ground. She saw the happy light on his face, and she heard him say
nonchalantly:

"Here's another contribution from Miss Dean. She asked me to bring
this over."

"Why, yes, I see," breathed Pollyanna, turning to Sadie Dean. But
Sadie Dean had gone.

Pollyanna watched Jamie a good deal after that, though she was careful
not to let him, or any one else, see that she was watching him. And as
she watched, her heart ached. Twice she saw him essay a task and fail:
once with a box too heavy for him to lift; once with a folding-table
too unwieldy for him to carry with his crutches. And each time she saw
his quick glance about him to see if others noticed. She saw, too,
that unmistakably he was getting very tired, and that his face, in
spite of its gay smile, was looking white and drawn, as if he were in
pain.

"I should think we might have known more," stormed Pollyanna hotly to
herself, her eyes blinded with tears. "I should think we might have
known more than to have let him come to a place like this. Camping,
indeed!--and with a pair of crutches! Why couldn't we have remembered
before we started?"

An hour later, around the camp fire after supper, Pollyanna had her
answer to this question; for, with the glowing fire before her, and
the soft, fragrant dark all about her, she once more fell under the
spell of the witchery that fell from Jamie's lips; and she once more
forgot--Jamie's crutches.



CHAPTER XXII

COMRADES


They were a merry party--the six of them--and a congenial one. There
seemed to be no end to the new delights that came with every new day,
not the least of which was the new charm of companionship that seemed
to be a part of this new life they were living.

As Jamie said one night, when they were all sitting about the fire:

"You see, we seem to know each other so much better up here in the
woods--better in a week than we would in a year in town."

"I know it. I wonder why," murmured Mrs. Carew, her eyes dreamily
following the leaping blaze.

"I think it's something in the air," sighed Pollyanna, happily.
"There's something about the sky and the woods and the lake
so--so--well, there just is; that's all."

"I think you mean, because the world is shut out," cried Sadie Dean,
with a curious little break in her voice. (Sadie had not joined in the
laugh that followed Pollyanna's limping conclusion.) "Up here
everything is so real and true that we, too, can be our real true
selves--not what the world SAYS we are because we are rich, or poor,
or great, or humble; but what we really are, OURSELVES."

"Ho!" scoffed Jimmy, airily. "All that sounds very fine; but the real
common-sense reason is because we don't have any Mrs. Tom and Dick and
Harry sitting on their side porches and commenting on every time we
stir, and wondering among themselves where we are going, why we are
going there, and how long we're intending to stay!"

"Oh, Jimmy, how you do take the poetry out of things," reproached
Pollyanna, laughingly.

"But that's my business," flashed Jimmy. "How do you suppose I'm going
to build dams and bridges if I don't see something besides poetry in
the waterfall?"

"You can't, Pendleton! And it's the bridge--that counts--every time,"
declared Jamie in a voice that brought a sudden hush to the group
about the fire. It was for only a moment, however, for almost at once
Sadie Dean broke the silence with a gay:

"Pooh! I'd rather have the waterfall every time, without ANY bridge
around--to spoil the view!"

Everybody laughed--and it was as if a tension somewhere snapped. Then
Mrs. Carew rose to her feet.

"Come, come, children, your stern chaperon says it's bedtime!" And
with a merry chorus of good-nights the party broke up.

And so the days passed. To Pollyanna they were wonderful days, and
still the most wonderful part was the charm of close companionship--a
companionship that, while differing as to details with each one, was
yet delightful with all.

With Sadie Dean she talked of the new Home, and of what a marvelous
work Mrs. Carew was doing. They talked, too, of the old days when
Sadie was selling bows behind the counter, and of what Mrs. Carew had
done for her. Pollyanna heard, also, something of the old father and
mother "back home," and of the joy that Sadie, in her new position,
had been able to bring into their lives.

"And after all it's really YOU that began it, you know," she said one
day to Pollyanna. But Pollyanna only shook her head at this with an
emphatic:

"Nonsense! It was all Mrs. Carew."

With Mrs. Carew herself Pollyanna talked also of the Home, and of her
plans for the girls. And once, in the hush of a twilight walk, Mrs.
Carew spoke of herself and of her changed outlook on life. And she,
like Sadie Dean, said brokenly: "After all, it's really you that began
it, Pollyanna." But Pollyanna, as in Sadie Dean's case, would have
none of this; and she began to talk of Jamie, and of what HE had done.

"Jamie's a dear," Mrs. Carew answered affectionately. "And I love him
like an own son. He couldn't be dearer to me if he were really my
sister's boy."

"Then you don't think he is?"

"I don't know. We've never learned anything conclusive. Sometimes I'm
sure he is. Then again I doubt it. I think HE really believes he
is--bless his heart! At all events, one thing is sure: he has good
blood in him from somewhere. Jamie's no ordinary waif of the streets,
you know, with his talents; and the wonderful way he has responded to
teaching and training proves it."

"Of course," nodded Pollyanna. "And as long as you love him so well,
it doesn't really matter, anyway, does it, whether he's the real Jamie
or not?"

Mrs. Carew hesitated. Into her eyes crept the old somberness of
heartache.

"Not so far as he is concerned," she sighed, at last. "It's only that
sometimes I get to thinking: if he isn't our Jamie, where is--Jamie
Kent? Is he well? Is he happy? Has he any one to love him? When I get
to thinking like that, Pollyanna, I'm nearly wild. I'd give--everything
I have in the world, it seems to me, to really KNOW that this boy is
Jamie Kent."

Pollyanna used to think of this conversation sometimes, in her after
talks with Jamie. Jamie was so sure of himself.

"It's just somehow that I FEEL it's so," he said once to Pollyanna. "I
believe I am Jamie Kent. I've believed it quite a while. I'm afraid
I've believed it so long now, that--that I just couldn't bear it, to
find out I wasn't he. Mrs. Carew has done so much for me; just think
if, after all, I were only a stranger!"

"But she--loves you, Jamie."

"I know she does--and that would only hurt all the more--don't you
see?--because it would be hurting her. SHE wants me to be the real
Jamie. I know she does. Now if I could only DO something for her--make
her proud of me in some way! If I could only do something to support
myself, even, like a man! But what can I do, with--these?" He spoke
bitterly, and laid his hand on the crutches at his side.

Pollyanna was shocked and distressed. It was the first time she had
heard Jamie speak of his infirmity since the old boyhood days.
Frantically she cast about in her mind for just the right thing to
say; but before she had even thought of anything, Jamie's face had
undergone a complete change.

"But, there, forget it! I didn't mean to say it," he cried gaily. "And
'twas rank heresy to the game, wasn't it? I'm sure I'm GLAD I've got
the crutches. They're a whole lot nicer than the wheel chair!"

"And the Jolly Book--do you keep it now?" asked Pollyanna, in a voice
that trembled a little.

"Sure! I've got a whole library of jolly books now," he retorted.
"They're all in leather, dark red, except the first one. That is the
same little old notebook that Jerry gave me."

"Jerry! And I've been meaning all the time to ask for him," cried
Pollyanna. "Where is he?"

"In Boston; and his vocabulary is just as picturesque as ever, only he
has to tone it down at times. Jerry's still in the newspaper
business--but he's GETTING the news, not selling it. Reporting, you
know. I HAVE been able to help him and mumsey. And don't you suppose I
was glad? Mumsey's in a sanatorium for her rheumatism."

"And is she better?"

"Very much. She's coming out pretty soon, and going to housekeeping
with Jerry. Jerry's been making up some of his lost schooling during
these past few years. He's let me help him--but only as a loan. He's
been very particular to stipulate that."

"Of course," nodded Pollyanna, in approval. "He'd want it that way,
I'm sure. I should. It isn't nice to be under obligations that you
can't pay. I know how it is. That's why I so wish I could help Aunt
Polly out--after all she's done for me!"

"But you are helping her this summer."

Pollyanna lifted her eyebrows.

"Yes, I'm keeping summer boarders. I look it, don't I?" she
challenged, with a flourish of her hands toward her surroundings.
"Surely, never was a boarding-house mistress's task quite like mine!
And you should have heard Aunt Polly's dire predictions of what summer
boarders would be," she chuckled irrepressibly.

"What was that?"

Pollyanna shook her head decidedly.

"Couldn't possibly tell you. That's a dead secret. But--" She stopped
and sighed, her face growing wistful again. "This isn't going to last,
you know. It can't. Summer boarders don't. I've got to do something
winters. I've been thinking. I believe--I'll write stories."

Jamie turned with a start.

"You'll--what?" he demanded.

"Write stories--to sell, you know. You needn't look so surprised! Lots
of folks do that. I knew two girls in Germany who did."

"Did you ever try it?" Jamie still spoke a little queerly.

"N-no; not yet," admitted Pollyanna. Then, defensively, in answer to
the expression on his face, she bridled: "I TOLD you I was keeping
summer boarders now. I can't do both at once."

"Of course not!"

She threw him a reproachful glance.

"You don't think I can ever do it?"

"I didn't say so."

"No; but you look it. I don't see why I can't. It isn't like singing.
You don't have to have a voice for it. And it isn't like an instrument
that you have to learn how to play."

"I think it is--a little--like that." Jamie's voice was low. His eyes
were turned away.

"How? What do you mean? Why, Jamie, just a pencil and paper, so--that
isn't like learning to play the piano or violin!"

There was a moment's silence. Then came the answer, still in that low,
diffident voice; still with the eyes turned away.

"The instrument that you play on, Pollyanna, will be the great heart
of the world; and to me that seems the most wonderful instrument of
all--to learn. Under your touch, if you are skilful, it will respond
with smiles or tears, as you will."

[Illustration: "'The instrument that you play on, Pollyanna, will be
the great heart of the world'"]

Pollyanna drew a tremulous sigh. Her eyes grew wet.

"Oh, Jamie, how beautifully you do put things--always! I never thought
of it that way. But it's so, isn't it? How I would love to do it!
Maybe I couldn't do--all that. But I've read stories in the magazines,
lots of them. Seems as if I could write some like those, anyway. I
LOVE to tell stories. I'm always repeating those you tell, and I
always laugh and cry, too, just as I do when YOU tell them."

Jamie turned quickly.

"DO they make you laugh and cry, Pollyanna--really?" There was a
curious eagerness in his voice.

"Of course they do, and you know it, Jamie. And they used to long ago,
too, in the Public Garden. Nobody can tell stories like you, Jamie.
YOU ought to be the one writing stories; not I. And, say, Jamie, why
don't you? You could do it lovely, I know!"

There was no answer. Jamie, apparently, did not hear; perhaps because
he called, at that instant, to a chipmunk that was scurrying through
the bushes near by.

It was not always with Jamie, nor yet with Mrs. Carew and Sadie Dean
that Pollyanna had delightful walks and talks, however; very often it
was with Jimmy, or John Pendleton.

Pollyanna was sure now that she had never before known John Pendleton.
The old taciturn moroseness seemed entirely gone since they came to
camp. He rowed and swam and fished and tramped with fully as much
enthusiasm as did Jimmy himself, and with almost as much vigor. Around
the camp fire at night he quite rivaled Jamie with his story-telling
of adventures, both laughable and thrilling, that had befallen him in
his foreign travels.

"In the 'Desert of Sarah,' Nancy used to call it," laughed Pollyanna
one night, as she joined the rest in begging for a story.

Better than all this, however, in Pollyanna's opinion, were the times
when John Pendleton, with her alone, talked of her mother as he used
to know her and love her, in the days long gone. That he did so talk
with her was a joy to Pollyanna, but a great surprise, too; for, never
in the past, had John Pendleton talked so freely of the girl whom he
had so loved--hopelessly. Perhaps John Pendleton himself felt some of
the surprise, for once he said to Pollyanna, musingly:

"I wonder why I'm talking to you like this."

"Oh, but I love to have you," breathed Pollyanna.

"Yes, I know--but I wouldn't think I would do it. It must be, though,
that it's because you are so like her, as I knew her. You are very
like your mother, my dear."

"Why, I thought my mother was BEAUTIFUL!" cried Pollyanna, in
unconcealed amazement.

John Pendleton smiled quizzically.

"She was, my dear."

Pollyanna looked still more amazed.

"Then I don't see how I CAN be like her!"

The man laughed outright.

"Pollyanna, if some girls had said that, I--well, never mind what I'd
say. You little witch!--you poor, homely little Pollyanna!"

Pollyanna flashed a genuinely distressed reproof straight into the
man's merry eyes.

"Please, Mr. Pendleton, don't look like that, and don't tease
me--about THAT. I'd so LOVE to be beautiful--though of course it
sounds silly to say it. And I HAVE a mirror, you know."

"Then I advise you to look in it--when you're talking sometime,"
observed the man sententiously.

Pollyanna's eyes flew wide open.

"Why, that's just what Jimmy said," she cried.

"Did he, indeed--the young rascal!" retorted John Pendleton, dryly.
Then, with one of the curiously abrupt changes of manner peculiar to
him, he said, very low: "You have your mother's eyes and smile,
Pollyanna; and to me you are--beautiful."

And Pollyanna, her eyes blinded with sudden hot tears, was silenced.

Dear as were these talks, however, they still were not quite like the
talks with Jimmy, to Pollyanna. For that matter, she and Jimmy did not
need to TALK to be happy. Jimmy was always so comfortable, and
comforting; whether they talked or not did not matter. Jimmy always
understood. There was no pulling on her heart-strings for sympathy,
with Jimmy--Jimmy was delightfully big, and strong, and happy. Jimmy
was not sorrowing for a long-lost nephew, nor pining for the loss of a
boyhood sweetheart. Jimmy did not have to swing himself painfully
about on a pair of crutches--all of which was so hard to see, and
know, and think of. With Jimmy one could be just glad, and happy, and
free. Jimmy was such a dear! He always rested one so--did Jimmy!



CHAPTER XXIII

"TIED TO TWO STICKS"


It was on the last day at camp that it happened. To Pollyanna it
seemed such a pity that it should have happened at all, for it was the
first cloud to bring a shadow of regret and unhappiness to her heart
during the whole trip, and she found herself futilely sighing:

"I wish we'd gone home day before yesterday; then it wouldn't have
happened."

But they had not gone home "day before yesterday," and it had
happened; and this was the manner of it.

Early in the morning of that last day they had all started on a
two-mile tramp to "the Basin."

"We'll have one more bang-up fish dinner before we go," Jimmy had
said. And the rest had joyfully agreed.

With luncheon and fishing tackle, therefore, they had made an early
start. Laughing and calling gaily to each other they followed the
narrow path through the woods, led by Jimmy, who best knew the way.

At first, close behind Jimmy had walked Pollyanna; but gradually she
had fallen back with Jamie, who was last in the line: Pollyanna had
thought she detected on Jamie's face the expression which she had come
to know was there only when he was attempting something that taxed
almost to the breaking-point his skill and powers of endurance. She
knew that nothing would so offend him as to have her openly notice
this state of affairs. At the same time, she also knew that from her,
more willingly than from any one else, would he accept an occasional
steadying hand over a troublesome log or stone. Therefore, at the
first opportunity to make the change without apparent design, she had
dropped back step by step until she had reached her goal, Jamie. She
had been rewarded instantly in the way Jamie's face brightened, and in
the easy assurance with which he met and conquered a fallen tree-trunk
across their path, under the pleasant fiction (carefully fostered by
Pollyanna) of "helping her across."

Once out of the woods, their way led along an old stone wall for a
time, with wide reaches of sunny, sloping pastures on each side, and a
more distant picturesque farmhouse. It was in the adjoining pasture
that Pollyanna saw the goldenrod which she immediately coveted.

"Jamie, wait! I'm going to get it," she exclaimed eagerly. "It'll make
such a beautiful bouquet for our picnic table!" And nimbly she
scrambled over the high stone wall and dropped herself down on the
other side.

It was strange how tantalizing was that goldenrod. Always just ahead
she saw another bunch, and yet another, each a little finer than the
one within her reach. With joyous exclamations and gay little calls
back to the waiting Jamie, Pollyanna--looking particularly attractive
in her scarlet sweater--skipped from bunch to bunch, adding to her
store. She had both hands full when there came the hideous bellow of
an angry bull, the agonized shout from Jamie, and the sound of hoofs
thundering down the hillside.

What happened next was never clear to her. She knew she dropped her
goldenrod and ran--ran as she never ran before, ran as she thought she
never could run--back toward the wall and Jamie. She knew that behind
her the hoof-beats were gaining, gaining, always gaining. Dimly,
hopelessly, far ahead of her, she saw Jamie's agonized face, and heard his
hoarse cries. Then, from somewhere, came a new voice--Jimmy's--shouting
a cheery call of courage.

Still on and on she ran blindly, hearing nearer and nearer the thud of
those pounding hoofs. Once she stumbled and almost fell. Then, dizzily
she righted herself and plunged forward. She felt her strength quite
gone when suddenly, close to her, she heard Jimmy's cheery call again.
The next minute she felt herself snatched off her feet and held close
to a great throbbing something that dimly she realized was Jimmy's
heart. It was all a horrid blur then of cries, hot, panting breaths,
and pounding hoofs thundering nearer, ever nearer. Then, just as she
knew those hoofs to be almost upon her, she felt herself flung, still
in Jimmy's arms, sharply to one side, and yet not so far but that she
still could feel the hot breath of the maddened animal as he dashed
by. Almost at once then she found herself on the other side of the
wall, with Jimmy bending over her, imploring her to tell him she was
not dead.

With an hysterical laugh that was yet half a sob, she struggled out of
his arms and stood upon her feet.

"Dead? No, indeed--thanks to you, Jimmy. I'm all right. I'm all right.
Oh, how glad, glad, glad I was to hear your voice! Oh, that was
splendid! How did you do it?" she panted.

"Pooh! That was nothing. I just--" An inarticulate choking cry brought
his words to a sudden halt. He turned to find Jamie face down on the
ground, a little distance away. Pollyanna was already hurrying toward
him.

"Jamie, Jamie, what is the matter?" she cried. "Did you fall? Are you
hurt?"

There was no answer.

"What is it, old fellow? ARE you hurt?" demanded Jimmy.

Still there was no answer. Then, suddenly, Jamie pulled himself half
upright and turned. They saw his face then, and fell back, shocked and
amazed.

"Hurt? Am I hurt?" he choked huskily, flinging out both his hands.
"Don't you suppose it hurts to see a thing like that and not be able
to do anything? To be tied, helpless, to a pair of sticks? I tell you
there's no hurt in all the world to equal it!"

"But--but--Jamie," faltered Pollyanna.

"Don't!" interrupted the cripple, almost harshly. He had struggled to
his feet now. "Don't say--anything. I didn't mean to make a
scene--like this," he finished brokenly, as he turned and swung back
along the narrow path that led to the camp.

For a minute, as if transfixed, the two behind him watched him go.

"Well, by--Jove!" breathed Jimmy, then, in a voice that shook a
little, "That was--tough on him!"

"And I didn't think, and PRAISED you, right before him," half-sobbed
Pollyanna. "And his hands--did you see them? They were--BLEEDING where
the nails had cut right into the flesh," she finished, as she turned
and stumbled blindly up the path.

"But, Pollyanna, w-where are you going?" cried Jimmy.

"I'm going to Jamie, of course! Do you think I'd leave him like that?
Come, we must get him to come back."

And Jimmy, with a sigh that was not all for Jamie, went.



CHAPTER XXIV

JIMMY WAKES UP


Outwardly the camping trip was pronounced a great success; but
inwardly--

Pollyanna wondered sometimes if it were all herself, or if there
really were a peculiar, indefinable constraint in everybody with
everybody else. Certainly she felt it, and she thought she saw
evidences that the others felt it, too. As for the cause of it
all--unhesitatingly she attributed it to that last day at camp with
its unfortunate trip to the Basin.

To be sure, she and Jimmy had easily caught up with Jamie, and had,
after considerable coaxing, persuaded him to turn about and go on to
the Basin with them. But, in spite of everybody's very evident efforts
to act as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened, nobody really
succeeded in doing so. Pollyanna, Jamie, and Jimmy overdid their
gayety a bit, perhaps; and the others, while not knowing exactly what
had happened, very evidently felt that something was not quite right,
though they plainly tried to hide the fact that they did feel so.
Naturally, in this state of affairs, restful happiness was out of the
question. Even the anticipated fish dinner was flavorless; and early
in the afternoon the start was made back to the camp.

Once home again, Pollyanna had hoped that the unhappy episode of the
angry bull would be forgotten. But she could not forget it, so in all
fairness she could not blame the others if they could not. Always she
thought of it now when she looked at Jamie. She saw again the agony on
his face, the crimson stain on the palms of his hands. Her heart ached
for him, and because it did so ache, his mere presence had come to be
a pain to her. Remorsefully she confessed to herself that she did not
like to be with Jamie now, nor to talk with him--but that did not mean
that she was not often with him. She was with him, indeed, much
oftener than before, for so remorseful was she, and so fearful was she
that he would detect her unhappy frame of mind, that she lost no
opportunity of responding to his overtures of comradeship; and
sometimes she deliberately sought him out. This last she did not often
have to do, however, for more and more frequently these days Jamie
seemed to be turning to her for companionship.

The reason for this, Pollyanna believed, was to be found in this same
incident of the bull and the rescue. Not that Jamie ever referred to
it directly. He never did that. He was, too, even gayer than usual;
but Pollyanna thought she detected sometimes a bitterness underneath
it all that was never there before. Certainly she could not help
seeing that at times he seemed almost to want to avoid the others, and
that he actually sighed, as if with relief, when he found himself
alone with her. She thought she knew why this was so, after he said to
her, as he did say one day, while they were watching the others play
tennis:

"You see, after all, Pollyanna, there isn't any one who can quite
understand as you can."

"'Understand'?" Pollyanna had not known what he meant at first. They
had been watching the players for five minutes without a word between
them.

"Yes; for you, once--couldn't walk--yourself."

"Oh-h, yes, I know," faltered Pollyanna; and she knew that her great
distress must have shown in her face, for so quickly and so blithely
did he change the subject, after a laughing:

"Come, come, Pollyanna, why don't you tell me to play the game? I
would if I were in your place. Forget it, please. I was a brute to
make you look like that!"

And Pollyanna smiled, and said: "No, no--no, indeed!" But she did not
"forget it." She could not. And it all made her only the more anxious
to be with Jamie and help him all she could.

"As if NOW I'd ever let him see that I was ever anything but glad when
he was with me!" she thought fervently, as she hurried forward a
minute later to take her turn in the game.

Pollyanna, however, was not the only one in the party who felt a new
awkwardness and constraint. Jimmy Pendleton felt it, though he, too,
tried not to show it.

Jimmy was not happy these days. From a care-free youth whose visions
were of wonderful spans across hitherto unbridgeable chasms, he has
come to be an anxious-eyed young man whose visions were of a feared
rival bearing away the girl he loved.

Jimmy knew very well now that he was in love with Pollyanna. He
suspected that he had been in love with her for some time. He stood
aghast, indeed, to find himself so shaken and powerless before this
thing that had come to him. He knew that even his beloved bridges were
as nothing when weighed against the smile in a girl's eyes and the
word on a girl's lips. He realized that the most wonderful span in the
world to him would be the thing that could help him to cross the chasm
of fear and doubt that he felt lay between him and Pollyanna--doubt
because of Pollyanna; fear because of Jamie.

Not until he had seen Pollyanna in jeopardy that day in the pasture
had he realized how empty would be the world--his world--without her.
Not until his wild dash for safety with Pollyanna in his arms had he
realized how precious she was to him. For a moment, indeed, with his
arms about her, and hers clinging about his neck, he had felt that she
was indeed his; and even in that supreme moment of danger he knew the
thrill of supreme bliss. Then, a little later, he had seen Jamie's
face, and Jamie's hands. To him they could mean but one thing: Jamie,
too, loved Pollyanna, and Jamie had to stand by, helpless--"tied to
two sticks." That was what he had said. Jimmy believed that, had he
himself been obliged to stand by helpless, "tied to two sticks," while
another rescued the girl that he loved, he would have looked like
that.

Jimmy had gone back to camp that day with his thoughts in a turmoil of
fear and rebellion. He wondered if Pollyanna cared for Jamie; that was
where the fear came in. But even if she did care, a little, must he
stand aside, weakly, and let Jamie, without a struggle, make her learn
to care more? That was where the rebellion came in. Indeed, no, he
would not do it, decided Jimmy. It should be a fair fight between
them.

Then, all by himself as he was, Jimmy flushed hot to the roots of his
hair. Would it be a "fair" fight? Could any fight between him and
Jamie be a "fair" fight? Jimmy felt suddenly as he had felt years
before when, as a lad, he had challenged a new boy to a fight for an
apple they both claimed, then, at the first blow, had discovered that
the new boy had a crippled arm. He had purposely lost then, of course,
and had let the crippled boy win. But he told himself fiercely now
that this case was different. It was no apple that was at stake. It
was his life's happiness. It might even be Pollyanna's life's
happiness, too. Perhaps she did not care for Jamie at all, but would
care for her old friend, Jimmy, if he but once showed her he wanted
her to care. And he would show her. He would--

Once again Jimmy blushed hotly. But he frowned, too, angrily: if only
he COULD forget how Jamie had looked when he had uttered that moaning
"tied to two sticks!" If only--But what was the use? It was NOT a fair
fight, and he knew it. He knew, too, right there and then, that his
decision would be just what it afterwards proved to be: he would watch
and wait. He would give Jamie his chance; and if Pollyanna showed that
she cared, he would take himself off and away quite out of their
lives; and they should never know, either of them, how bitterly he was
suffering. He would go back to his bridges--as if any bridge, though
it led to the moon itself, could compare for a moment with Pollyanna!
But he would do it. He must do it.

It was all very fine and heroic, and Jimmy felt so exalted he was
atingle with something that was almost happiness when he finally
dropped off to sleep that night. But martyrdom in theory and practice
differs woefully, as would-be martyrs have found out from time
immemorial. It was all very well to decide alone and in the dark that
he would give Jamie his chance; but it was quite another matter really
to do it when it involved nothing less than the leaving of Pollyanna
and Jamie together almost every time he saw them. Then, too, he was
very much worried at Pollyanna's apparent attitude toward the lame
youth. It looked very much to Jimmy as if she did indeed care for him,
so watchful was she of his comfort, so apparently eager to be with
him. Then, as if to settle any possible doubt in Jimmy's mind, there
came the day when Sadie Dean had something to say on the subject.

They were all out in the tennis court. Sadie was sitting alone when
Jimmy strolled up to her.

"You next with Pollyanna, isn't it?" he queried.

She shook her head.

"Pollyanna isn't playing any more this morning."

"Isn't playing!" frowned Jimmy, who had been counting on his own game
with Pollyanna. "Why not?"

For a brief minute Sadie Dean did not answer; then with very evident
difficulty she said:

"Pollyanna told me last night that she thought we were playing tennis
too much; that it wasn't kind to--Mr. Carew, as long as he can't
play."

"I know; but--" Jimmy stopped helplessly, the frown plowing a deeper
furrow into his forehead. The next instant he fairly started with
surprise at the tense something in Sadie Dean's voice, as she said:

"But he doesn't want her to stop. He doesn't want any one of us to
make any difference--for him. It's that that hurts him so. She doesn't
understand. She doesn't understand! But I do. She thinks she does,
though!"

Something in words or manner sent a sudden pang to Jimmy's heart. He
threw a sharp look into her face. A question flew to his lips. For a
moment he held it back; then, trying to hide his earnestness with a
bantering smile, he let it come.

"Why, Miss Dean, you don't mean to convey the idea that--that there's
any SPECIAL interest in each other--between those two, do you?"

She gave him a scornful glance.

"Where have your eyes been? She worships him! I mean--they worship
each other," she corrected hastily.

Jimmy, with an inarticulate ejaculation, turned and walked away
abruptly. He could not trust himself to remain longer. He did not wish
to talk any more, just then, to Sadie Dean. So abruptly, indeed, did
he turn, that he did not notice that Sadie Dean, too, turned
hurriedly, and busied herself looking in the grass at her feet, as if
she had lost something. Very evidently, Sadie Dean, also, did not wish
to talk any more just then.

Jimmy Pendleton told himself that it was not true at all; that it was
all falderal, what Sadie Dean had said. Yet nevertheless, true or not
true, he could not forget it. It colored all his thoughts thereafter,
and loomed before his eyes like a shadow whenever he saw Pollyanna and
Jamie together. He watched their faces covertly. He listened to the
tones of their voices. He came then, in time, to think it was, after
all, true: that they did worship each other; and his heart, in
consequence, grew like lead within him. True to his promise to
himself, however, he turned resolutely away. The die was cast, he told
himself. Pollyanna was not to be for him.

Restless days for Jimmy followed. To stay away from the Harrington
homestead entirely he did not dare, lest his secret be suspected. To
be with Pollyanna at all now was torture. Even to be with Sadie Dean
was unpleasant, for he could not forget that it was Sadie Dean who had
finally opened his eyes. Jamie, certainly, was no haven of refuge,
under the circumstances; and that left only Mrs. Carew. Mrs. Carew,
however, was a host in herself, and Jimmy found his only comfort these
days in her society. Gay or grave, she always seemed to know how to
fit his mood exactly; and it was wonderful how much she knew about
bridges--the kind of bridges he was going to build. She was so wise,
too, and so sympathetic, knowing always just the right word to say. He
even one day almost told her about The Packet; but John Pendleton
interrupted them at just the wrong moment, so the story was not told.
John Pendleton was always interrupting them at just the wrong moment,
Jimmy thought vexedly, sometimes. Then, when he remembered what John
Pendleton had done for him, he was ashamed.

"The Packet" was a thing that dated back to Jimmy's boyhood, and had
never been mentioned to any one save to John Pendleton, and that only
once, at the time of his adoption. The Packet was nothing but rather a
large white envelope, worn with time, and plump with mystery behind a
huge red seal. It had been given him by his father, and it bore the
following instructions in his father's hand:

"To my boy, Jimmy. Not to be opened until his thirtieth birthday
except in case of his death, when it shall be opened at once."

There were times when Jimmy speculated a good deal as to the contents
of that envelope. There were other times when he forgot its existence.
In the old days, at the Orphans' Home, his chief terror had been that
it should be discovered and taken away from him. In those days he wore
it always hidden in the lining of his coat. Of late years, at John
Pendleton's suggestion, it had been tucked away in the Pendleton safe.

"For there's no knowing how valuable it may be," John Pendleton had
said, with a smile. "And, anyway, your father evidently wanted you to
have it, and we wouldn't want to run the risk of losing it."

"No, I wouldn't want to lose it, of course," Jimmy had smiled back, a
little soberly. "But I'm not counting on its being real valuable, sir.
Poor dad didn't have anything that was very valuable about him, as I
remember."

It was this Packet that Jimmy came so near mentioning to Mrs. Carew
one day,--if only John Pendleton had not interrupted them.

"Still, maybe it's just as well I didn't tell her about it," Jimmy
reflected afterwards, on his way home. "She might have thought dad had
something in his life that wasn't quite--right. And I wouldn't have
wanted her to think that--of dad."



CHAPTER XXV

THE GAME AND POLLYANNA


Before the middle of September the Carews and Sadie Dean said good-by
and went back to Boston. Much as she knew she would miss them,
Pollyanna drew an actual sigh of relief as the train bearing them away
rolled out of the Beldingsville station. Pollyanna would not have
admitted having this feeling of relief to any one else, and even to
herself she apologized in her thoughts.

"It isn't that I don't love them dearly, every one of them," she
sighed, watching the train disappear around the curve far down the
track. "It's only that--that I'm so sorry for poor Jamie all the time;
and--and--I am tired. I shall be glad, for a while, just to go back to
the old quiet days with Jimmy."

Pollyanna, however, did not go back to the old quiet days with Jimmy.
The days that immediately followed the going of the Carews were quiet,
certainly, but they were not passed "with Jimmy." Jimmy rarely came
near the house now, and when he did call, he was not the old Jimmy
that she used to know. He was moody, restless, and silent, or else
very gay and talkative in a nervous fashion that was most puzzling and
annoying. Before long, too, he himself went to Boston; and then of
course she did not see him at all.

Pollyanna was surprised then to see how much she missed him. Even to
know that he was in town, and that there was a chance that he might
come over, was better than the dreary emptiness of certain absence;
and even his puzzling moods of alternating gloominess and gayety were
preferable to this utter silence of nothingness. Then, one day,
suddenly she pulled herself up with hot cheeks and shamed eyes.

"Well, Pollyanna Whittier," she upbraided herself sharply, "one would
think you were in LOVE with Jimmy Bean Pendleton! Can't you think of
ANYTHING but him?"

Whereupon, forthwith, she bestirred herself to be very gay and lively
indeed, and to put this Jimmy Bean Pendleton out of her thoughts. As
it happened, Aunt Polly, though unwittingly, helped her to this.

With the going of the Carews had gone also their chief source of
immediate income, and Aunt Polly was beginning to worry again,
audibly, about the state of their finances.

"I don't know, really, Pollyanna, what IS going to become of us," she
would moan frequently. "Of course we are a little ahead now from this
summer's work, and we have a small sum from the estate right along;
but I never know how soon that's going to stop, like all the rest. If
only we could do something to bring in some ready cash!"

It was after one of these moaning lamentations one day that
Pollyanna's eyes chanced to fall on a prize-story contest offer. It
was a most alluring one. The prizes were large and numerous. The
conditions were set forth in glowing terms. To read it, one would
think that to win out were the easiest thing in the world. It
contained even a special appeal that might have been framed for
Pollyanna herself.

"This is for you--you who read this," it ran. "What if you never have
written a story before! That is no sign you cannot write one. Try it.
That's all. Wouldn't YOU like three thousand dollars? Two thousand?
One thousand? Five hundred, or even one hundred? Then why not go after
it?"

"The very thing!" cried Pollyanna, clapping her hands. "I'm so glad I
saw it! And it says I can do it, too. I thought I could, if I'd just
try. I'll go tell auntie, so she needn't worry any more."

Pollyanna was on her feet and half way to the door when a second
thought brought her steps to a pause.

"Come to think of it, I reckon I won't, after all. It'll be all the
nicer to surprise her; and if I SHOULD get the first one--!"

Pollyanna went to sleep that night planning what she COULD do with
that three thousand dollars.

Pollyanna began her story the next day. That is, she, with a very
important air, got out a quantity of paper, sharpened up half-a-dozen
pencils, and established herself at the big old-fashioned Harrington
desk in the living-room. After biting restlessly at the ends of two of
her pencils, she wrote down three words on the fair white page before
her. Then she drew a long sigh, threw aside the second ruined pencil,
and picked up a slender green one with a beautiful point. This point
she eyed with a meditative frown.

"O dear! I wonder WHERE they get their titles," she despaired. "Maybe,
though, I ought to decide on the story first, and then make a title to
fit. Anyhow, I'M going to do it." And forthwith she drew a black line
through the three words and poised the pencil for a fresh start.

The start was not made at once, however. Even when it was made, it
must have been a false one, for at the end of half an hour the whole
page was nothing but a jumble of scratched-out lines, with only a few
words here and there left to tell the tale.

At this juncture Aunt Polly came into the room. She turned tired eyes
upon her niece.

"Well, Pollyanna, what ARE you up to now?" she demanded.

Pollyanna laughed and colored guiltily.

"Nothing much, auntie. Anyhow, it doesn't look as if it were
much--yet," she admitted, with a rueful smile. "Besides, it's a
secret, and I'm not going to tell it yet."

"Very well; suit yourself," sighed Aunt Polly. "But I can tell you
right now that if you're trying to make anything different out of
those mortgage papers Mr. Hart left, it's useless. I've been all over
them myself twice."

"No, dear, it isn't the papers. It's a whole heap nicer than any
papers ever could be," crowed Pollyanna triumphantly, turning back to
her work. In Pollyanna's eyes suddenly had risen a glowing vision of
what it might be, with that three thousand dollars once hers.

For still another half-hour Pollyanna wrote and scratched, and chewed
her pencils; then, with her courage dulled, but not destroyed, she
gathered up her papers and pencils and left the room.

"I reckon maybe I'll do better by myself up-stairs," she was thinking
as she hurried through the hall. "I THOUGHT I ought to do it at a
desk--being literary work, so--but anyhow, the desk didn't help me any
this morning. I'll try the window seat in my room."

The window seat, however, proved to be no more inspiring, judging by
the scratched and re-scratched pages that fell from Pollyanna's hands;
and at the end of another half-hour Pollyanna discovered suddenly that
it was time to get dinner.

"Well, I'm glad 'tis, anyhow," she sighed to herself. "I'd a lot
rather get dinner than do this. Not but that I WANT to do this, of
course; only I'd no idea 'twas such an awful job--just a story, so!"

During the following month Pollyanna worked faithfully, doggedly, but
she soon found that "just a story, so" was indeed no small matter to
accomplish. Pollyanna, however, was not one to set her hand to the
plow and look back. Besides, there was that three-thousand-dollar
prize, or even any of the others, if she should not happen to win the
first one! Of course even one hundred dollars was something! So day
after day she wrote and erased, and rewrote, until finally the story,
such as it was, lay completed before her. Then, with some misgivings,
it must be confessed, she took the manuscript to Milly Snow to be
typewritten.

"It reads all right--that is, it makes sense," mused Pollyanna
doubtfully, as she hurried along toward the Snow cottage; "and it's a
real nice story about a perfectly lovely girl. But there's something
somewhere that isn't quite right about it, I'm afraid. Anyhow, I don't
believe I'd better count too much on the first prize; then I won't be
too much disappointed when I get one of the littler ones."

Pollyanna always thought of Jimmy when she went to the Snows', for it
was at the side of the road near their cottage that she had first seen
him as a forlorn little runaway lad from the Orphans' Home years
before. She thought of him again to-day, with a little catch of her
breath. Then, with the proud lifting of her head that always came now
with the second thought of Jimmy, she hurried up the Snows' doorsteps
and rang the bell.

As was usually the case, the Snows had nothing but the warmest of
welcomes for Pollyanna; and also as usual it was not long before they
were talking of the game: in no home in Beldingsville was the glad
game more ardently played than in the Snows'.

"Well, and how are you getting along?" asked Pollyanna, when she had
finished the business part of her call.

"Splendidly!" beamed Milly Snow. "This is the third job I've got this
week. Oh, Miss Pollyanna, I'm so glad you had me take up typewriting,
for you see I CAN do that right at home! And it's all owing to you."

"Nonsense!" disclaimed Pollyanna, merrily.

"But it is. In the first place, I couldn't have done it anyway if it
hadn't been for the game--making mother so much better, you know, that
I had some time to myself. And then, at the very first, you suggested
typewriting, and helped me to buy a machine. I should like to know if
that doesn't come pretty near owing it all to you!"

But once again Pollyanna objected. This time she was interrupted by
Mrs. Snow from her wheel chair by the window. And so earnestly and
gravely did Mrs. Snow speak, that Pollyanna, in spite of herself,
could but hear what she had to say.

"Listen, child, I don't think you know quite what you've done. But I
wish you could! There's a little look in your eyes, my dear, to-day,
that I don't like to see there. You are plagued and worried over
something, I know. I can see it. And I don't wonder: your uncle's
death, your aunt's condition, everything--I won't say more about that.
But there's something I do want to say, my dear, and you must let me
say it, for I can't bear to see that shadow in your eyes without
trying to drive it away by telling you what you've done for me, for
this whole town, and for countless other people everywhere."

"MRS. SNOW!" protested Pollyanna, in genuine distress.

"Oh, I mean it, and I know what I'm talking about," nodded the
invalid, triumphantly. "To begin with, look at me. Didn't you find me
a fretful, whining creature who never by any chance wanted what she
had until she found what she didn't have? And didn't you open my eyes
by bringing me three kinds of things so I'd HAVE to have what I
wanted, for once?"

"Oh, Mrs. Snow, was I really ever quite so--impertinent as that?"
murmured Pollyanna, with a painful blush.

"It wasn't impertinent," objected Mrs. Snow, stoutly. "You didn't MEAN
it as impertinence--and that made all the difference in the world. You
didn't preach, either, my dear. If you had, you'd never have got me to
playing the game, nor anybody else, I fancy. But you did get me to
playing it--and see what it's done for me, and for Milly! Here I am so
much better that I can sit in a wheel chair and go anywhere on this
floor in it. That means a whole lot when it comes to waiting on
yourself, and giving those around you a chance to breathe--meaning
Milly, in this case. And the doctor says it's all owing to the game.
Then there's others, quantities of others, right in this town, that
I'm hearing of all the time. Nellie Mahoney broke her wrist and was so
glad it wasn't her leg that she didn't mind the wrist at all. Old Mrs.
Tibbits has lost her hearing, but she's so glad 'tisn't her eyesight
that she's actually happy. Do you remember cross-eyed Joe that they
used to call Cross Joe, be cause of his temper? Nothing went to suit
him either, any more than it did me. Well, somebody's taught him the
game, they say, and made a different man of him. And listen, dear.
It's not only this town, but other places. I had a letter yesterday
from my cousin in Massachusetts, and she told me all about Mrs. Tom
Payson that used to live here. Do you remember them? They lived on the
way up Pendleton Hill."

"Yes, oh, yes, I remember them," cried Pollyanna.

"Well, they left here that winter you were in the Sanatorium and went
to Massachusetts where my sister lives. She knows them well. She says
Mrs. Payson told her all about you, and how your glad game actually
saved them from a divorce. And now not only do they play it
themselves, but they've got quite a lot of others playing it down
there, and THEY'RE getting still others. So you see, dear, there's no
telling where that glad game of yours is going to stop. I wanted you
to know. I thought it might help--even you to play the game sometimes;
for don't think I don't understand, dearie, that it IS hard for you to
play your own game--sometimes."

Pollyanna rose to her feet. She smiled, but her eyes glistened with
tears, as she held out her hand in good-by.

"Thank you, Mrs. Snow," she said unsteadily. "It IS hard--sometimes;
and maybe I DID need a little help about my own game. But, anyhow,
now--" her eyes flashed with their old merriment--"if any time I think
I can't play the game myself I can remember that I can still always be
GLAD there are some folks playing it!"

Pollyanna walked home a little soberly that afternoon. Touched as she
was by what Mrs. Snow had said, there was yet an undercurrent of
sadness in it all. She was thinking of Aunt Polly--Aunt Polly who
played the game now so seldom; and she was wondering if she herself
always played it, when she might.

"Maybe I haven't been careful, always, to hunt up the glad side of the
things Aunt Polly says," she thought with undefined guiltiness; "and
maybe if I played the game better myself, Aunt Polly would play it--a
little. Anyhow I'm going to try. If I don't look out, all these other
people will be playing my own game better than I am myself!"



CHAPTER XXVI

JOHN PENDLETON


It was just a week before Christmas that Pollyanna sent her story (now
neatly typewritten) in for the contest. The prize-winners would not be
announced until April, the magazine notice said, so Pollyanna settled
herself for the long wait with characteristic, philosophical patience.

"I don't know, anyhow, but I'm glad 'tis so long," she told herself,
"for all winter I can have the fun of thinking it may be the first one
instead of one of the others, that I'll get. I might just as well
think I'm going to get it, then if I do get it, I won't have been
unhappy any. While if I don't get it--I won't have had all these weeks
of unhappiness beforehand, anyway; and I can be glad for one of the
smaller ones, then." That she might not get any prize was not in
Pollyanna's calculations at all. The story, so beautifully typed by
Milly Snow, looked almost as good as printed already--to Pollyanna.

Christmas was not a happy time at the Harrington homestead that year,
in spite of Pollyanna's strenuous efforts to make it so. Aunt Polly
refused absolutely to allow any sort of celebration of the day, and
made her attitude so unmistakably plain that Pollyanna could not give
even the simplest of presents.

Christmas evening John Pendleton called. Mrs. Chilton excused herself,
but Pollyanna, utterly worn out from a long day with her aunt,
welcomed him joyously. But even here she found a fly in the amber of
her content; for John Pendleton had brought with him a letter from
Jimmy, and the letter was full of nothing but the plans he and Mrs.
Carew were making for a wonderful Christmas celebration at the Home
for Working Girls: and Pollyanna, ashamed though she was to own it to
herself, was not in a mood to hear about Christmas celebrations just
then--least of all, Jimmy's.

John Pendleton, however, was not ready to let the subject drop, even
when the letter had been read.

"Great doings--those!" he exclaimed, as he folded the letter.

"Yes, indeed; fine!" murmured Pollyanna, trying to speak with due
enthusiasm.

"And it's to-night, too, isn't it? I'd like to drop in on them about
now."

"Yes," murmured Pollyanna again, with still more careful enthusiasm.

"Mrs. Carew knew what she was about when she got Jimmy to help her, I
fancy," chuckled the man. "But I'm wondering how Jimmy likes
it--playing Santa Claus to half a hundred young women at once!"

"Why, he finds it delightful, of course!" Pollyanna lifted her chin
ever so slightly.

"Maybe. Still, it's a little different from learning to build bridges,
you must confess."

"Oh, yes."

"But I'll risk Jimmy, and I'll risk wagering that those girls never
had a better time than he'll give them to-night, too."

"Y-yes, of course," stammered Pollyanna, trying to keep the hated
tremulousness out of her voice, and trying very hard NOT to compare
her own dreary evening in Beldingsville with nobody but John Pendleton
to that of those fifty girls in Boston--with Jimmy.

There was a brief pause, during which John Pendleton gazed dreamily at
the dancing fire on the hearth.

"She's a wonderful woman--Mrs. Carew is," he said at last.

"She is, indeed!" This time the enthusiasm in Pollyanna's voice was
all pure gold.

"Jimmy's written me before something of what she's done for those
girls," went on the man, still gazing into the fire. "In just the last
letter before this he wrote a lot about it, and about her. He said he
always admired her, but never so much as now, when he can see what she
really is."

"She's a dear--that's what Mrs. Carew is," declared Pollyanna, warmly.
"She's a dear in every way, and I love her."

John Pendleton stirred suddenly. He turned to Pollyanna with an oddly
whimsical look in his eyes.

"I know you do, my dear. For that matter, there may be others,
too--that love her."

Pollyanna's heart skipped a beat. A sudden thought came to her with
stunning, blinding force. JIMMY! Could John Pendleton be meaning that
Jimmy cared THAT WAY--for Mrs. Carew?

"You mean--?" she faltered. She could not finish.

With a nervous twitch peculiar to him, John Pendleton got to his feet.

"I mean--the girls, of course," he answered lightly, still with that
whimsical smile. "Don't you suppose those fifty girls--love her 'most
to death?"

Pollyanna said "yes, of course," and murmured something else
appropriate, in answer to John Pendleton's next remark. But her
thoughts were in a tumult, and she let the man do most of the talking
for the rest of the evening.

Nor did John Pendleton seem averse to this. Restlessly he took a turn
or two about the room, then sat down in his old place. And when he
spoke, it was on his old subject, Mrs. Carew.

"Queer--about that Jamie of hers, isn't it? I wonder if he IS her
nephew."

As Pollyanna did not answer, the man went on, after a moment's
silence.

"He's a fine fellow, anyway. I like him. There's something fine and
genuine about him. She's bound up in him. That's plain to be seen,
whether he's really her kin or not."

There was--another pause, then, in a slightly altered voice, John
Pendleton said:

"Still it's queer, too, when you come to think of it, that she
never--married again. She is certainly now--a very beautiful woman.
Don't you think so?"

"Yes--yes, indeed she is," plunged in Pollyanna, with precipitate
haste; "a--a very beautiful woman."

There was a little break at the last in Pollyanna's voice. Pollyanna,
just then, had caught sight of her own face in the mirror
opposite--and Pollyanna to herself was never "a very beautiful woman."

On and on rambled John Pendleton, musingly, contentedly, his eyes on
the fire. Whether he was answered or not seemed not to disturb him.
Whether he was even listened to or not, he seemed hardly to know. He
wanted, apparently, only to talk; but at last he got to his feet
reluctantly and said good-night.

For a weary half-hour Pollyanna had been longing for him to go, that
she might be alone; but after he had gone she wished he were back. She
had found suddenly that she did not want to be alone--with her
thoughts.

It was wonderfully clear to Pollyanna now. There was no doubt of it.
Jimmy cared for Mrs. Carew. That was why he was so moody and restless
after she left. That was why he had come so seldom to see her,
Pollyanna, his old friend. That was why--

Countless little circumstances of the past summer flocked to
Pollyanna's memory now, mute witnesses that would not be denied.

And why should he not care for her? Mrs. Carew was certainly beautiful
and charming. True, she was older than Jimmy; but young men had
married women far older than she, many times. And if they loved each
other--

Pollyanna cried herself to sleep that night.

In the morning, bravely she tried to face the thing. She even tried,
with a tearful smile, to put it to the test of the glad game. She was
reminded then of something Nancy had said to her years before: "If
there IS a set o' folks in the world that wouldn't have no use for
that 'ere glad game o' your'n, it'd be a pair o' quarrellin' lovers!"

"Not that we're 'quarrelling,' or even 'lovers,'" thought Pollyanna
blushingly; "but just the same I can be glad HE'S glad, and glad SHE'S
glad, too, only--" Even to herself Pollyanna could not finish this
sentence.

Being so sure now that Jimmy and Mrs. Carew cared for each other,
Pollyanna became peculiarly sensitive to everything that tended to
strengthen that belief. And being ever on the watch for it, she found
it, as was to be expected. First in Mrs. Carew's letters.

"I am seeing a lot of your friend, young Pendleton," Mrs. Carew wrote
one day; "and I'm liking him more and more. I do wish, however--just
for curiosity's sake--that I could trace to its source that elusive
feeling that I've seen him before somewhere."

Frequently, after this, she mentioned him casually; and, to Pollyanna,
in the very casualness of these references lay their sharpest sting;
for it showed so unmistakably that Jimmy and Jimmy's presence were now
to Mrs. Carew a matter of course. From other sources, too, Pollyanna
found fuel for the fire of her suspicions. More and more frequently
John Pendleton "dropped in" with his stories of Jimmy, and of what
Jimmy was doing; and always here there was mention of Mrs. Carew. Poor
Pollyanna wondered, indeed, sometimes, if John Pendleton could not
talk of anything--but Mrs. Carew and Jimmy, so constantly was one or
the other of those names on his lips.

There were Sadie Dean's letters, too, and they told of Jimmy, and of
what he was doing to help Mrs. Carew. Even Jamie, who wrote
occasionally, had his mite to add, for he wrote one evening:

"It's ten o'clock. I'm sitting here alone waiting for Mrs. Carew to
come home. She and Pendleton have been to one of their usual socials
down to the Home."

From Jimmy himself Pollyanna heard very rarely; and for that she told
herself mournfully that she COULD be GLAD.

"For if he can't write about ANYTHING but Mrs. Carew and those girls,
I'm glad he doesn't write very often!" she sighed.



CHAPTER XXVII

THE DAY POLLYANNA DID NOT PLAY


And so one by one the winter days passed. January and February slipped
away in snow and sleet, and March came in with a gale that whistled
and moaned around the old house, and set loose blinds to swinging and
loose gates to creaking in a way that was most trying to nerves
already stretched to the breaking point.

Pollyanna was not finding it very easy these days to play the game,
but she was playing it faithfully, valiantly. Aunt Polly was not
playing it at all--which certainly did not make it any the easier for
Pollyanna to play it. Aunt Polly was blue and discouraged. She was not
well, too, and she had plainly abandoned herself to utter gloom.

Pollyanna still was counting on the prize contest. She had dropped
from the first prize to one of the smaller ones, however: Pollyanna
had been writing more stories, and the regularity with which they came
back from their pilgrimages to magazine editors was beginning to shake
her faith in her success as an author.

"Oh, well, I can be glad that Aunt Polly doesn't know anything about
it, anyway," declared Pollyanna to herself bravely, as she twisted in
her fingers the "declined-with-thanks" slip that had just towed in one
more shipwrecked story. "She CAN'T worry about this--she doesn't know
about it!"

All of Pollyanna's life these days revolved around Aunt Polly, and it
is doubtful if even Aunt Polly herself realized how exacting she had
become, and how entirely her niece was giving up her life to her.

It was on a particularly gloomy day in March that matters came, in a
way, to a climax. Pollyanna, upon arising, had looked at the sky with
a sigh--Aunt Polly was always more difficult on cloudy days. With a
gay little song, however, that still sounded a bit forced--Pollyanna
descended to the kitchen and began to prepare breakfast.

"I reckon I'll make corn muffins," she told the stove confidentially;
"then maybe Aunt Polly won't mind--other things so much."

Half an hour later she tapped at her aunt's door.

"Up so soon? Oh, that's fine! And you've done your hair yourself!"

"I couldn't sleep. I had to get up," sighed Aunt Polly, wearily. "I
had to do my hair, too. YOU weren't here."

"But I didn't suppose you were ready for me, auntie," explained
Pollyanna, hurriedly. "Never mind, though. You'll be glad I wasn't
when you find what I've been doing."

"Well, I sha'n't--not this morning," frowned Aunt Polly, perversely.
"Nobody could be glad this morning. Look at it rain! That makes the
third rainy day this week."

"That's so--but you know the sun never seems quite so perfectly lovely
as it does after a lot of rain like this," smiled Pollyanna, deftly
arranging a bit of lace and ribbon at her aunt's throat. "Now come.
Breakfast's all ready. Just you wait till you see what I've got for
you."

Aunt Polly, however, was not to be diverted, even by corn muffins,
this morning. Nothing was right, nothing was even endurable, as she
felt; and Pollyanna's patience was sorely taxed before the meal was
over. To make matters worse, the roof over the east attic window was
found to be leaking, and an unpleasant letter came in the mail.
Pollyanna, true to her creed, laughingly declared that, for her part,
she was glad they had a roof--to leak; and that, as for the letter,
she'd been expecting it for a week, anyway, and she was actually glad
she wouldn't have to worry any more for fear it would come. It
COULDN'T come now, because it HAD come; and 'twas over with.

All this, together with sundry other hindrances and annoyances,
delayed the usual morning work until far into the afternoon--something
that was always particularly displeasing to methodical Aunt Polly, who
ordered her own life, preferably, by the tick of the clock.

"But it's half-past three, Pollyanna, already! Did you know it?" she
fretted at last. "And you haven't made the beds yet."

"No, dearie, but I will. Don't worry."

"But, did you hear what I said? Look at the clock, child. It's after
three o'clock!"

"So 'tis, but never mind, Aunt Polly. We can be glad 'tisn't after
four."

Aunt Polly sniffed her disdain.

"I suppose YOU can," she observed tartly.

Pollyanna laughed.

"Well, you see, auntie, clocks ARE accommodating things, when you stop
to think about it. I found that out long ago at the Sanatorium. When I
was doing something that I liked, and I didn't WANT the time to go
fast, I'd just look at the hour hand, and I'd feel as if I had lots of
time--it went so slow. Then, other days, when I had to keep something
that hurt on for an hour, maybe, I'd watch the little second hand; and
you see then I felt as if Old Time was just humping himself to help me
out by going as fast as ever he could. Now I'm watching the hour hand
to-day, 'cause I don't want Time to go fast. See?" she twinkled
mischievously, as she hurried from the room, before Aunt Polly had
time to answer.

It was certainly a hard day, and by night Pollyanna looked pale and
worn out. This, too, was a source of worriment to Aunt Polly.

"Dear me, child, you look tired to death!" she fumed. "WHAT we're
going to do I don't know. I suppose YOU'LL be sick next!"

"Nonsense, auntie! I'm not sick a bit," declared Pollyanna, dropping
herself with a sigh on to the couch. "But I AM tired. My! how good
this couch feels! I'm glad I'm tired, after all--it's so nice to
rest."

Aunt Polly turned with an impatient gesture.

"Glad--glad--glad! Of course you're glad, Pollyanna. You're always
glad for everything. I never saw such a girl. Oh, yes, I know it's the
game," she went on, in answer to the look that came to Pollyanna's
face. "And it's a very good game, too; but I think you carry it
altogether too far. This eternal doctrine of 'it might be worse' has
got on my nerves, Pollyanna. Honestly, it would be a real relief if
you WOULDN'T be glad for something, sometime!"

"Why, auntie!" Pollyanna pulled herself half erect.

"Well, it would. You just try it sometime, and see."

"But, auntie, I--" Pollyanna stopped and eyed her aunt reflectively.
An odd look came to her eyes; a slow smile curved her lips. Mrs.
Chilton, who had turned back to her work, paid no heed; and, after a
minute, Pollyanna lay back on the couch without finishing her
sentence, the curious smile still on her lips.

It was raining again when Pollyanna got up the next morning, and a
northeast wind was still whistling down the chimney. Pollyanna at the
window drew an involuntary sigh; but almost at once her face changed.

"Oh, well, I'm glad--" She clapped her hands to her lips. "Dear me,"
she chuckled softly, her eyes dancing, "I shall forget--I know I
shall; and that'll spoil it all! I must just remember not to be glad
for anything--not ANYTHING to-day."

Pollyanna did not make corn muffins that morning. She started the
breakfast, then went to her aunt's room.

Mrs. Chilton was still in bed.

"I see it rains, as usual," she observed, by way of greeting.

"Yes, it's horrid--perfectly horrid," scolded Pollyanna. "It's rained
'most every day this week, too. I hate such weather."

Aunt Polly turned with a faint surprise in her eyes; but Pollyanna was
looking the other way.

"Are you going to get up now?" she asked a little wearily.

"Why, y-yes," murmured Aunt Polly, still with that faint surprise in
her eyes. "What's the matter, Pollyanna? Are you especially tired?"

"Yes, I am tired this morning. I didn't sleep well, either. I hate not
to sleep. Things always plague so in the night, when you wake up."

"I guess I know that," fretted Aunt Polly. "I didn't sleep a wink
after two o'clock myself. And there's that roof! How are we going to
have it fixed, pray, if it never stops raining? Have you been up to
empty the pans?"

"Oh, yes--and took up some more. There's a new leak now, further
over."

"A new one! Why, it'll all be leaking yet!"

Pollyanna opened her lips. She had almost said, "Well, we can be glad
to have it fixed all at once, then," when she suddenly remembered, and
substituted, in a tired voice:

"Very likely it will, auntie. It looks like it now, fast enough.
Anyway, it's made fuss enough for a whole roof already, and I'm sick
of it!" With which statement, Pollyanna, her face carefully averted,
turned and trailed listlessly out of the room.

"It's so funny and so--so hard, I'm afraid I'm making a mess of it,"
she whispered to herself anxiously, as she hurried down-stairs to the
kitchen.

Behind her, Aunt Polly, in the bedroom, gazed after her with eyes that
were again faintly puzzled.

Aunt Polly had occasion a good many times before six o'clock that
night to gaze at Pollyanna with surprised and questioning eyes.
Nothing was right with Pollyanna. The fire would not burn, the wind
blew one particular blind loose three times, and still a third leak
was discovered in the roof. The mail brought to Pollyanna a letter
that made her cry (though no amount of questioning on Aunt Polly's
part would persuade her to tell why). Even the dinner went wrong, and
innumerable things happened in the afternoon to call out fretful,
discouraged remarks.

Not until the day was more than half gone did a look of shrewd
suspicion suddenly fight for supremacy with the puzzled questioning in
Aunt Polly's eyes. If Pollyanna saw this she made no sign. Certainly
there was no abatement in her fretfulness and discontent. Long before
six o'clock, however, the suspicion in Aunt Polly's eyes became
conviction, and drove to ignominious defeat the puzzled questioning.
But, curiously enough then, a new look came to take its place, a look
that was actually a twinkle of amusement.

At last, after a particularly doleful complaint on Pollyanna's part,
Aunt Polly threw up her hands with a gesture of half-laughing despair.

"That'll do, that'll do, child! I'll give up. I'll confess myself
beaten at my own game. You can be--GLAD for that, if you like," she
finished with a grim smile.

"I know, auntie, but you said--" began Pollyanna demurely.

"Yes, yes, but I never will again," interrupted Aunt Polly, with
emphasis. "Mercy, what a day this has been! I never want to live
through another like it." She hesitated, flushed a little, then went
on with evident difficulty: "Furthermore, I--I want you to know
that--that I understand I haven't played the game myself--very well,
lately; but, after this, I'm going to--to try--WHERE'S my
handkerchief?" she finished sharply, fumbling in the folds of her
dress.

Pollyanna sprang to her feet and crossed instantly to her aunt's side.

"Oh, but Aunt Polly, I didn't mean--It was just a--a joke," she
quavered in quick distress. "I never thought of your taking it THAT
way."

"Of course you didn't," snapped Aunt Polly, with all the asperity of a
stern, repressed woman who abhors scenes and sentiment, and who is
mortally afraid she will show that her heart has been touched. "Don't
you suppose I know you didn't mean it that way? Do you think, if I
thought you HAD been trying to teach me a lesson that I'd--I'd--" But
Pollyanna's strong young arms had her in a close embrace, and she
could not finish the sentence.



CHAPTER XXVIII

JIMMY AND JAMIE


Pollyanna was not the only one that was finding that winter a hard
one. In Boston Jimmy Pendleton, in spite of his strenuous efforts to
occupy his time and thoughts, was discovering that nothing quite
erased from his vision a certain pair of laughing blue eyes, and
nothing quite obliterated from his memory a certain well-loved, merry
voice.

Jimmy told himself that if it were not for Mrs. Carew, and the fact
that he could be of some use to her, life would not be worth the
living. Even at Mrs. Carew's it was not all joy, for always there was
Jamie; and Jamie brought thoughts of Pollyanna--unhappy thoughts.

Being thoroughly convinced that Jamie and Pollyanna cared for each
other, and also being equally convinced that he himself was in honor
bound to step one side and give the handicapped Jamie full right of
way, it never occurred to him to question further. Of Pollyanna he did
not like to talk or to hear. He knew that both Jamie and Mrs. Carew
heard from her; and when they spoke of her, he forced himself to
listen, in spite of his heartache. But he always changed the subject
as soon as possible, and he limited his own letters to her to the
briefest and most infrequent epistles possible. For, to Jimmy, a
Pollyanna that was not his was nothing but a source of pain and
wretchedness; and he had been so glad when the time came for him to
leave Beldingsville and take up his studies again in Boston: to be so
near Pollyanna, and yet so far from her, he had found to be nothing
but torture.

In Boston, with all the feverishness of a restless mind that seeks
distraction from itself, he had thrown himself into the carrying out
of Mrs. Carew's plans for her beloved working girls, and such time as
could be spared from his own duties he had devoted to this work, much
to Mrs. Carew's delight and gratitude.

And so for Jimmy the winter had passed and spring had come--a joyous,
blossoming spring full of soft breezes, gentle showers, and tender
green buds expanding into riotous bloom and fragrance. To Jimmy,
however, it was anything but a joyous spring, for in his heart was
still nothing but a gloomy winter of discontent.

"If only they'd settle things and announce the engagement, once for
all," murmured Jimmy to himself, more and more frequently these days.
"If only I could know SOMETHING for sure, I think I could stand it
better!"

Then one day late in April, he had his wish--a part of it: he learned
"something for sure."

It was ten o'clock on a Saturday morning, and Mary, at Mrs. Carew's,
had ushered him into the music-room with a well-trained: "I'll tell
Mrs. Carew you're here, sir. She's expecting you, I think."

In the music-room Jimmy had found himself brought to a dismayed halt
by the sight of Jamie at the piano, his arms outflung upon the rack,
and his head bowed upon them. Pendleton had half turned to beat a soft
retreat when the man at the piano lifted his head, bringing into view
two flushed cheeks and a pair of fever-bright eyes.

"Why, Carew," stammered Pendleton, aghast, "has
anything--er--happened?"

"Happened! Happened!" ejaculated the lame youth, flinging out both his
hands, in each of which, as Pendleton now saw, was an open letter.
"Everything has happened! Wouldn't you think it had if all your life
you'd been in prison, and suddenly you saw the gates flung wide open?
Wouldn't you think it had if all in a minute you could ask the girl
you loved to be your wife? Wouldn't you think it had if--But, listen!
You think I'm crazy, but I'm not. Though maybe I am, after all, crazy
with joy. I'd like to tell you. May I? I've got to tell somebody!"

Pendleton lifted his head. It was as if, unconsciously, he was bracing
himself for a blow. He had grown a little white; but his voice was
quite steady when he answered.

"Sure you may, old fellow. I'd be--glad to hear it."

Carew, however, had scarcely waited for assent. He was rushing on,
still a bit incoherently.

"It's not much to you, of course. You have two feet and your freedom.
You have your ambitions and your bridges. But I--to me it's
everything. It's a chance to live a man's life and do a man's work,
perhaps--even if it isn't dams and bridges. It's something!--and it's
something I've proved now I CAN DO! Listen. In that letter there is
the announcement that a little story of mine has won the first
prize--$3,000, in a contest. In that other letter there, a big
publishing house accepts with flattering enthusiasm my first book
manuscript for publication. And they both came to-day--this morning.
Do you wonder I am crazy glad?"

"No! No, indeed! I congratulate you, Carew, with all my heart," cried
Jimmy, warmly.

"Thank you--and you may congratulate me. Think what it means to me.
Think what it means if, by and by, I can be independent, like a man.
Think what it means if I can, some day, make Mrs. Carew proud and glad
that she gave the crippled lad a place in her home and heart. Think
what it means for me to be able to tell the girl I love that I DO love
her."

"Yes--yes, indeed, old boy!" Jimmy spoke firmly, though he had grown
very white now.

"Of course, maybe I ought not to do that last, even now," resumed
Jamie, a swift cloud shadowing the shining brightness of his
countenance. "I'm still tied to--these." He tapped the crutches by his
side. "I can't forget, of course, that day in the woods last summer,
when I saw Pollyanna--I realize that always I'll have to run the
chance of seeing the girl I love in danger, and not being able to
rescue her."

"Oh, but Carew--" began the other huskily.

Carew lifted a peremptory hand.

"I know what you'd say. But don't say it. You can't understand. YOU
aren't tied to two sticks. You did the rescuing, not I. It came to me
then how it would be, always, with me and--Sadie. I'd have to stand
aside and see others--"

"SADIE!" cut in Jimmy, sharply.

"Yes; Sadie Dean. You act surprised. Didn't you know? Haven't you
suspected--how I felt toward Sadie?" cried Jamie. "Have I kept it so
well to myself, then? I tried to, but--" He finished with a faint
smile and a half-despairing gesture.

"Well, you certainly kept it all right, old fellow--from me, anyhow,"
cried Jimmy, gayly. The color had come back to Jimmy's face in a rich
flood, and his eyes had grown suddenly very bright indeed. "So it's
Sadie Dean. Good! I congratulate you again, I do, I do, as Nancy
says." Jimmy was quite babbling with joy and excitement now, so great
and wonderful had been the reaction within him at the discovery that
it was Sadie, not Pollyanna, whom Jamie loved. Jamie flushed and shook
his head a bit sadly.

"No congratulations--yet. You see, I haven't spoken to--her. But I
think she must know. I supposed everybody knew. Pray, whom did you
think it was, if not--Sadie?"

Jimmy hesitated. Then, a little precipitately, he let it out.

"Why, I'd thought of--Pollyanna."

Jamie smiled and pursed his lips.

"Pollyanna's a charming girl, and I love her--but not that way, any
more than she does me. Besides, I fancy somebody else would have
something to say about that; eh?"

Jimmy colored like a happy, conscious boy.

"Do you?" he challenged, trying to make his voice properly impersonal.

"Of course! John Pendleton."

"JOHN PENDLETON!" Jimmy wheeled sharply.

"What about John Pendleton?" queried a new voice; and Mrs. Carew came
forward with a smile.

Jimmy, around whose ears for the second time within five minutes the
world had crashed into fragments, barely collected himself enough for
a low word of greeting. But Jamie, unabashed, turned with a triumphant
air of assurance.

"Nothing; only I just said that I believed John Pendleton would have
something to say about Pollyanna's loving anybody--but him."

"POLLYANNA! JOHN PENDLETON!" Mrs. Carew sat down suddenly in the chair
nearest her. If the two men before her had not been so deeply absorbed
in their own affairs they might have noticed that the smile had
vanished from Mrs. Carew's lips, and that an odd look as of almost
fear had come to her eyes.

"Certainly," maintained Jamie. "Were you both blind last summer?
Wasn't he with her a lot?"

"Why, I thought he was with--all of us," murmured Mrs. Carew, a little
faintly.

"Not as he was with Pollyanna," insisted Jamie. "Besides, have you
forgotten that day when we were talking about John Pendleton's
marrying, and Pollyanna blushed and stammered and said finally that he
HAD thought of marrying--once. Well, I wondered then if there wasn't
SOMETHING between them. Don't you remember?"

"Y-yes, I think I do--now that you speak of it," murmured Mrs. Carew
again. "But I had--forgotten it."

"Oh, but I can explain that," cut in Jimmy, wetting his dry lips.
"John Pendleton DID have a love affair once, but it was with
Pollyanna's mother."

"Pollyanna's mother!" exclaimed two voices in surprise.

"Yes. He loved her years ago, but she did not care for him at all, I
understand. She had another lover--a minister, and she married him
instead--Pollyanna's father."

"Oh-h!" breathed Mrs. Carew, leaning forward suddenly in her chair.
"And is that why he's--never married?"

"Yes," avouched Jimmy. "So you see there's really nothing to that idea
at all--that he cares for Pollyanna. It was her mother."

"On the contrary I think it makes a whole lot to that idea," declared
Jamie, wagging his head wisely. "I think it makes my case all the
stronger. Listen. He once loved the mother. He couldn't have her. What
more absolutely natural than that he should love the daughter now--and
win her?"

"Oh, Jamie, you incorrigible spinner of tales!" reproached Mrs. Carew,
with a nervous laugh. "This is no ten-penny novel. It's real life.
She's too young for him. He ought to marry a woman, not a girl--that
is, if he marries any one, I mean," she stammeringly corrected, a
sudden flood of color in her face.

"Perhaps; but what if it happens to be a GIRL that he loves?" argued
Jamie, stubbornly. "And, really, just stop to think. Have we had a
single letter from her that hasn't told of his being there? And you
KNOW how HE'S always talking of Pollyanna in his letters."

Mrs. Carew got suddenly to her feet.

"Yes, I know," she murmured, with an odd little gesture, as if
throwing something distasteful aside. "But--" She did not finish her
sentence, and a moment later she had left the room.

When she came back in five minutes she found, much to her surprise,
that Jimmy had gone.

"Why, I thought he was going with us on the girls' picnic!" she
exclaimed.

"So did I," frowned Jamie. "But the first thing I knew he was
explaining or apologizing or something about unexpectedly having to
leave town, and he'd come to tell you he couldn't go with us. Anyhow,
the next thing I knew he'd gone. You see,"--Jamie's eyes were glowing
again--"I don't think I knew quite what he did say, anyway. I had
something else to think of." And he jubilantly spread before her the
two letters which all the time he had still kept in his hands.

"Oh, Jamie!" breathed Mrs. Carew, when she had read the letters
through. "How proud I am of you!" Then suddenly her eyes filled with
tears at the look of ineffable joy that illumined Jamie's face.



CHAPTER XXIX

JIMMY AND JOHN


It was a very determined, square-jawed young man that alighted at the
Beldingsville station late that Saturday night. And it was an even
more determined, square-jawed young man that, before ten o'clock the
next morning, stalked through the Sunday-quiet village streets and
climbed the hill to the Harrington homestead. Catching sight of a
loved and familiar flaxen coil of hair on a well-poised little head
just disappearing into the summerhouse, the young man ignored the
conventional front steps and doorbell, crossed the lawn, and strode
through the garden paths until he came face to face with the owner of
the flaxen coil of hair.

"Jimmy!" gasped Pollyanna, falling back with startled eyes. "Why,
where did you--come from?"

"Boston. Last night. I had to see you, Pollyanna."

"To--see--m-me?" Pollyanna was plainly fencing for time to regain her
composure. Jimmy looked so big and strong and DEAR there in the door
of the summerhouse that she feared her eyes had been surprised into a
telltale admiration, if not more.

"Yes, Pollyanna; I wanted--that is, I thought--I mean, I feared--Oh,
hang it all, Pollyanna, I can't beat about the bush like this. I'll
have to come straight to the point. It's just this. I stood aside
before, but I won't now. It isn't a case any longer of fairness. He
isn't crippled like Jamie. He's got feet and hands and a head like
mine, and if he wins he'll have to win in a fair fight. I'VE got some
rights!"

Pollyanna stared frankly.

"Jimmy Bean Pendleton, whatever in the world are you talking about?"
she demanded.

The young man laughed shamefacedly.

"No wonder you don't know. It wasn't very lucid, was it? But I don't
think I've been really lucid myself since yesterday--when I found out
from Jamie himself."

"Found out--from Jamie!"

"Yes. It was the prize that started it. You see, he'd just got one,
and--"

"Oh, I know about that," interrupted Pollyanna, eagerly. "And wasn't
it splendid? Just think--the first one--three thousand dollars! I
wrote him a letter last night. Why, when I saw his name, and realized
it was Jamie--OUR JAMIE--I was so excited I forgot all about looking
for MY name, and even when I couldn't find mine at all, and knew that
I hadn't got any--I mean, I was so excited and pleased for Jamie that
I--I forgot--er--everything else," corrected Pollyanna, throwing a
dismayed glance into Jimmy's face, and feverishly trying to cover up
the partial admission she had made.

Jimmy, however, was too intent on his own problem to notice hers.

"Yes, yes, 'twas fine, of course. I'm glad he got it. But Pollyanna,
it was what he said AFTERWARD that I mean. You see, until then I'd
thought that--that he cared--that you cared--for each other, I mean;
and--"

"You thought that Jamie and I cared for each other!" exclaimed
Pollyanna, into whose face now was stealing a soft, shy color. "Why,
Jimmy, it's Sadie Dean. 'Twas always Sadie Dean. He used to talk of
her to me by the hour. I think she likes him, too."

"Good! I hope she does; but, you see, I didn't know. I thought 'twas
Jamie--and you. And I thought that because he was--was a cripple, you
know, that it wouldn't be fair if I--if I stayed around and tried to
win you myself."

Pollyanna stooped suddenly, and picked up a leaf at her feet. When she
rose, her face was turned quite away.

"A fellow can't--can't feel square, you know, running a race with a
chap that--that's handicapped from the start. So I--I just stayed away
and gave him his chance; though it 'most broke my heart to do it,
little girl. It just did! Then yesterday morning I found out. But I
found out something else, too. Jamie says there is--is somebody else
in the case. But I can't stand aside for him, Pollyanna. I can't--even
in spite of all he's done for me. John Pendleton is a man, and he's
got two whole feet for the race. He's got to take his chances. If you
care for him--if you really care for him--"

But Pollyanna had turned, wild-eyed.

"JOHN PENDLETON! Jimmy, what do you mean? What are you saying--about
John Pendleton?"

A great joy transfigured Jimmy's face. He held out both his hands.

"Then you don't--you don't! I can see it in your eyes that you
don't--care!"

Pollyanna shrank back. She was white and trembling.

"Jimmy, what do you mean? What do you mean?" she begged piteously.

"I mean--you don't care for Uncle John, that way. Don't you
understand? Jamie thinks you do care, and that anyway he cares for
you. And then I began to see it--that maybe he did. He's always
talking about you; and, of course, there was your mother--"

Pollyanna gave a low moan and covered her face with her hands. Jimmy
came close and laid a caressing arm about her shoulders; but again
Pollyanna shrank from him.

"Pollyanna, little girl, don't! You'll break my heart," he begged.
"Don't you care for me--ANY? Is it that, and you don't want to tell
me?"

She dropped her hands and faced him. Her eyes had the hunted look of
some wild thing at bay.

"Jimmy, do YOU think--he cares for me--that way?" she entreated, just
above a whisper.

Jimmy gave his head an impatient shake.

"Never mind that, Pollyanna,--now. I don't know, of course. How should
I? But, dearest, that isn't the question. It's you. If YOU don't care
for him, and if you'll only give me a chance--half a chance to let me
make you care for me--" He caught her hand, and tried to draw her to
him.

"No, no, Jimmy, I mustn't! I can't!" With both her little palms she
pushed him from her.

"Pollyanna, you don't mean you DO care for him?" Jimmy's face
whitened.

"No; no, indeed--not that way," faltered Pollyanna. "But--don't you
see?--if he cares for me, I'll have to--to learn to, someway."

"POLLYANNA!"

"Don't! Don't look at me like that, Jimmy!"

"You mean you'd MARRY him, Pollyanna?"

"Oh, no!--I mean--why--er--y-yes, I suppose so," she admitted faintly.

"Pollyanna, you wouldn't! You couldn't! Pollyanna, you--you're
breaking my heart."

Pollyanna gave a low sob. Her face was in her hands again. For a
moment she sobbed on, chokingly; then, with a tragic gesture, she
lifted her head and looked straight into Jimmy's anguished,
reproachful eyes.

"I know it, I know it," she chattered frenziedly. "I'm breaking mine,
too. But I'll have to do it. I'd break your heart, I'd break mine--but
I'd never break his!"

Jimmy raised his head. His eyes flashed a sudden fire. His whole
appearance underwent a swift and marvelous change. With a tender,
triumphant cry he swept Pollyanna into his arms and held her close.

"Now I KNOW you care for me!" he breathed low in her ear. "You said it
was breaking YOUR heart, too. Do you think I'll give you up now to any
man on earth? Ah, dear, you little understand a love like mine if you
think I'd give you up now. Pollyanna, say you love me--say it with
your own dear lips!"

For one long minute Pollyanna lay unresisting in the fiercely tender
embrace that encircled her; then with a sigh that was half content,
half renunciation, she began to draw herself away.

"Yes, Jimmy, I do love you." Jimmy's arms tightened, and would have
drawn her back to him; but something in the girl's face forbade. "I
love you dearly. But I couldn't ever be happy with you and feel
that--Jimmy, don't you see, dear? I'll have to know--that I'm free,
first."

"Nonsense, Pollyanna! Of course you're free!" Jimmy's eyes were
mutinous again.

Pollyanna shook her head.

"Not with this hanging over me, Jimmy. Don't you see? It was mother,
long ago, that broke his heart--MY MOTHER. And all these years he's
lived a lonely, unloved life in consequence. If now he should come to
me and ask me to make that up to him, I'd HAVE to do it, Jimmy. I'd
HAVE to. I couldn't REFUSE! Don't you see?"

But Jimmy did not see; he could not see. He would not see, though
Pollyanna pleaded and argued long and tearfully. But Pollyanna, too,
was obdurate, though so sweetly and heartbrokenly obdurate that Jimmy,
in spite of his pain and anger, felt almost like turning comforter.

"Jimmy, dear," said Pollyanna, at last, "we'll have to wait. That's
all I can say now. I hope he doesn't care; and I--I don't believe he
does care. But I've got to KNOW. I've got to be sure. We'll just have
to wait, a little, till we find out, Jimmy--till we find out!"

And to this plan Jimmy had to submit, though it was with a most
rebellious heart.

"All right, little girl, it'll have to be as you say, of course," he
despaired. "But, surely, never before was a man kept waiting for his
answer till the girl he loved, AND WHO LOVED HIM, found out if the
other man wanted her!"

"I know; but, you see, dear, never before had the other man WANTED her
mother," sighed Pollyanna, her face puckered into an anxious frown.

"Very well, I'll go back to Boston, of course," acceded Jimmy
reluctantly. "But you needn't think I've given up--because I haven't.
Nor I sha'n't give up, just so long as I know you really care for me,
my little sweetheart," he finished, with a look that sent her
palpitatingly into retreat, just out of reach of his arms.



CHAPTER XXX

JOHN PENDLETON TURNS THE KEY


Jimmy went back to Boston that night in a state that was a most
tantalizing commingling of happiness, hope, exasperation, and
rebellion. Behind him he left a girl who was in a scarcely less
enviable frame of mind; for Pollyanna, tremulously happy in the
wondrous thought of Jimmy's love for her, was yet so despairingly
terrified at the thought of the possible love of John Pendleton, that
there was not a thrill of joy that did not carry its pang of fear.

Fortunately for all concerned, however, this state of affairs was not
of long duration; for, as it chanced, John Pendleton, in whose
unwitting hands lay the key to the situation, in less than a week
after Jimmy's hurried visit, turned that key in the lock, and opened
the door of doubt.

It was late Thursday afternoon that John Pendleton called to see
Pollyanna. As it happened, he, like Jimmy, saw Pollyanna in the garden
and came straight toward her.

Pollyanna, looking into his face, felt a sudden sinking of the heart.

"It's come--it's come!" she shivered; and involuntarily she turned as
if to flee.

[Illustration: "Involuntarily she turned as if to flee"]

"Oh, Pollyanna, wait a minute, please," called the man hastening his
steps. "You're just the one I wanted to see. Come, can't we go in
here?" he suggested, turning toward the summerhouse. "I want to speak
to you about--something."

"Why, y-yes, of course," stammered Pollyanna, with forced gayety.
Pollyanna knew that she was blushing, and she particularly wished not
to blush just then. It did not help matters any, either, that he
should have elected to go into the summerhouse for his talk. The
summerhouse now, to Pollyanna, was sacred to certain dear memories of
Jimmy. "And to think it should be here--HERE!" she was shuddering
frantically. But aloud she said, still gayly, "It's a lovely evening,
isn't it?"

There was no answer. John Pendleton strode into the summerhouse and
dropped himself into a rustic chair without even waiting for Pollyanna
to seat herself--a most unusual proceeding on the part of John
Pendleton. Pollyanna, stealing a nervous glance at his face found it
so startlingly like the old stern, sour visage of her childhood's
remembrance, that she uttered an involuntary exclamation.

Still John Pendleton paid no heed. Still moodily he sat wrapped in
thought. At last, however, he lifted his head and gazed somberly into
Pollyanna's startled eyes.

"Pollyanna."

"Yes, Mr. Pendleton."

"Do you remember the sort of man I was when you first knew me, years
ago?"

"Why, y-yes, I think so."

"Delightfully agreeable specimen of humanity, wasn't I?"

In spite of her perturbation Pollyanna smiled faintly.

"I--_I_ liked you, sir." Not until the words were uttered did
Pollyanna realize just how they would sound. She strove then,
frantically, to recall or modify them and had almost added a "that is,
I mean, I liked you THEN!" when she stopped just in time: certainly
THAT would not have helped matters any! She listened then, fearfully,
for John Pendleton's next words. They came almost at once.

"I know you did--bless your little heart! And it was that that was the
saving of me. I wonder, Pollyanna, if I could ever make you realize
just what your childish trust and liking did for me."

Pollyanna stammered a confused protest; but he brushed it smilingly
aside.

"Oh, yes, it was! It was you, and no one else. I wonder if you
remember another thing, too," resumed the man, after a moment's
silence, during which Pollyanna looked furtively, but longingly toward
the door. "I wonder if you remember my telling you once that nothing
but a woman's hand and heart, or a child's presence could make a
home."

Pollyanna felt the blood rush to her face.

"Y-yes, n-no--I mean, yes, I remember it," she stuttered; "but I--I
don't think it's always so now. I mean--that is, I'm sure your home
now is--is lovely just as 'tis, and--"

"But it's my home I'm talking about, child," interrupted the man,
impatiently. "Pollyanna, you know the kind of home I once hoped to
have, and how those hopes were dashed to the ground. Don't think,
dear, I'm blaming your mother. I'm not. She but obeyed her heart,
which was right; and she made the wiser choice, anyway, as was proved
by the dreary waste I've made of life because of that disappointment.
After all, Pollyanna, isn't it strange," added John Pendleton, his
voice growing tender, "that it should be the little hand of her own
daughter that led me into the path of happiness, at last?"

Pollyanna moistened her lips convulsively.

"Oh, but Mr. Pendleton, I--I--"

Once again the man brushed aside her protests with a smiling gesture.

"Yes, it was, Pollyanna, your little hand in the long ago--you, and
your glad game."

"Oh-h!" Pollyanna relaxed visibly in her seat. The terror in her eyes
began slowly to recede.

"And so all these years I've been gradually growing into a different
man, Pollyanna. But there's one thing I haven't changed in, my dear."
He paused, looked away, then turned gravely tender eyes back to her
face. "I still think it takes a woman's hand and heart or a child's
presence to make a home."

"Yes; b-but you've g-got the child's presence," plunged in Pollyanna,
the terror coming back to her eyes. "There's Jimmy, you know."

The man gave an amused laugh.

"I know; but--I don't think even you would say that Jimmy is--is
exactly a CHILD'S presence any longer," he remarked.

"N-no, of course not."

"Besides--Pollyanna, I've made up my mind. I've got to have the
woman's hand and heart." His voice dropped, and trembled a little.

"Oh-h, have you?" Pollyanna's fingers met and clutched each other in a
spasmodic clasp. John Pendleton, however, seemed neither to hear nor
see. He had leaped to his feet, and was nervously pacing up and down
the little house.

"Pollyanna," he stopped and faced her; "if--if you were I, and were
going to ask the woman you loved to come and make your old gray pile
of stone a home, how would you go to work to do it?"

Pollyanna half started from her chair. Her eyes sought the door, this
time openly, longingly.

"Oh, but, Mr. Pendleton, I wouldn't do it at all, at all," she
stammered, a little wildly. "I'm sure you'd be--much happier as--as
you are."

The man stared in puzzled surprise, then laughed grimly.

"Upon my word, Pollyanna, is it--quite so bad as that?" he asked.

"B-bad?" Pollyanna had the appearance of being poised for flight.

"Yes. Is that just your way of trying to soften the blow of saying
that you don't think she'd have me, anyway?"

"Oh, n-no--no, indeed. She'd say yes--she'd HAVE to say yes, you
know," explained Pollyanna, with terrified earnestness. "But I've been
thinking--I mean, I was thinking that if--if the girl didn't love you,
you really would be happier without her; and--" At the look that came
into John Pendleton's face, Pollyanna stopped short.

"I shouldn't want her, if she didn't love me, Pollyanna."

"No, I thought not, too." Pollyanna began to look a little less
distracted.

"Besides, she doesn't happen to be a girl," went on John Pendleton.
"She's a mature woman who, presumedly, would know her own mind." The
man's voice was grave and slightly reproachful.

"Oh-h-h! Oh!" exclaimed Pollyanna, the dawning happiness in her eyes
leaping forth in a flash of ineffable joy and relief. "Then you love
somebody--" By an almost superhuman effort Pollyanna choked off the
"else" before it left her delighted lips.

"Love somebody! Haven't I just been telling you I did?" laughed John
Pendleton, half vexedly. "What I want to know is--can she be made to
love me? That's where I was sort of--of counting on your help,
Pollyanna. You see, she's a dear friend of yours."

"Is she?" gurgled Pollyanna. "Then she'll just have to love you. We'll
make her! Maybe she does, anyway, already. Who is she?"

There was a long pause before the answer came.

"I believe, after all, Pollyanna, I won't--yes, I will, too.
It's--can't you guess?--Mrs. Carew."

"Oh!" breathed Pollyanna, with a face of unclouded joy. "How perfectly
lovely! I'm so glad, GLAD, GLAD!"

A long hour later Pollyanna sent Jimmy a letter. It was confused and
incoherent--a series of half-completed, illogical, but shyly joyous
sentences, out of which Jimmy gathered much: a little from what was
written; more from what was left unwritten. After all, did he really
need more than this?

"Oh, Jimmy, he doesn't love me a bit. It's some one else. I mustn't
tell you who it is--but her name isn't Pollyanna."

Jimmy had just time to catch the seven o'clock train for
Beldingsville--and he caught it.



CHAPTER XXXI

AFTER LONG YEARS


Pollyanna was so happy that night after she had sent her letter to
Jimmy that she could not quite keep it to herself. Always before going
to bed she stepped into her aunt's room to see if anything were
needed. To-night, after the usual questions, she had turned to put out
the light when a sudden impulse sent her back to her aunt's bedside. A
little breathlessly she dropped on her knees.

"Aunt Polly, I'm so happy I just had to tell some one. I WANT to tell
you. May I?"

"Tell me? Tell me what, child? Of course you may tell me. You mean,
it's good news--for ME?"

"Why, yes, dear; I hope so," blushed Pollyanna. "I hope it will make
you--GLAD, a little, for me, you know. Of course Jimmy will tell you
himself all properly some day. But _I_ wanted to tell you first."

"Jimmy!" Mrs. Chilton's face changed perceptibly.

"Yes, when--when he--he asks you for me," stammered Pollyanna, with a
radiant flood of color. "Oh, I--I'm so happy, I HAD to tell you!"

"Asks me for you! Pollyanna!" Mrs. Chilton pulled herself up in bed.
"You don't mean to say there's anything SERIOUS between you and--Jimmy
Bean!"

Pollyanna fell back in dismay.

"Why, auntie, I thought you LIKED Jimmy!"

"So I do--in his place. But that place isn't the husband of my niece."

"AUNT POLLY!"

"Come, come, child, don't look so shocked. This is all sheer nonsense,
and I'm glad I've been able to stop it before it's gone any further."

"But, Aunt Polly, it HAS gone further," quavered Pollyanna. "Why, I--I
already have learned to lo-- --c-care for him--dearly."

"Then you'll have to unlearn it, Pollyanna, for never, never will I
give my consent to your marrying Jimmy Bean."

"But--w-why, auntie?"

"First and foremost because we know nothing about him."

"Why, Aunt Polly, we've always known him, ever since I was a little
girl!"

"Yes, and what was he? A rough little runaway urchin from an Orphans'
Home! We know nothing whatever about his people, and his pedigree."

"But I'm not marrying his p-people and his p-pedigree!"

With an impatient groan Aunt Polly fell back on her pillow.

"Pollyanna, you're making me positively ill. My heart is going like a
trip hammer. I sha'n't sleep a wink to-night. CAN'T you let this thing
rest till morning?"

Pollyanna was on her feet instantly, her face all contrition.

"Why, yes--yes, indeed; of course, Aunt Polly! And to-morrow you'll
feel different, I'm sure. I'm sure you will," reiterated the girl, her
voice quivering with hope again, as she turned to extinguish the
light.

But Aunt Polly did not "feel different" in the morning. If anything,
her opposition to the marriage was even more determined. In vain
Pollyanna pleaded and argued. In vain she showed how deeply her
happiness was concerned. Aunt Polly was obdurate. She would have none
of the idea. She sternly admonished Pollyanna as to the possible evils
of heredity, and warned her of the dangers of marrying into she knew
not what sort of family. She even appealed at last to her sense of
duty and gratitude toward herself, and reminded Pollyanna of the long
years of loving care that had been hers in the home of her aunt, and
she begged her piteously not to break her heart by this marriage as
had her mother years before by HER marriage.

When Jimmy himself, radiant-faced and glowing-eyed, came at ten
o'clock, he was met by a frightened, sob-shaken little Pollyanna that
tried ineffectually to hold him back with two trembling hands. With
whitening cheeks, but with defiantly tender arms that held her close,
he demanded an explanation.

"Pollyanna, dearest, what in the world is the meaning of this?"

"Oh, Jimmy, Jimmy, why did you come, why did you come? I was going to
write and tell you straight away," moaned Pollyanna.

"But you did write me, dear. I got it yesterday afternoon, just in
time to catch my train."

"No, no;--AGAIN, I mean. I didn't know then that I--I couldn't."

"Couldn't! Pollyanna,"--his eyes flamed into stern wrath,--"you don't
mean to tell me there's anybody ELSE'S love you think you've got to
keep me waiting for?" he demanded, holding her at arm's length.

"No, no, Jimmy! Don't look at me like that. I can't bear it!"

"Then what is it? What is it you can't do?"

"I can't--marry you."

"Pollyanna, do you love me?"

"Yes. Oh, y-yes."

"Then you shall marry me," triumphed Jimmy, his arms enfolding her
again.

"No, no, Jimmy, you don't understand. It's--Aunt Polly," struggled
Pollyanna.

"AUNT POLLY!"

"Yes. She--won't let me."

"Ho!" Jimmy tossed his head with a light laugh. "We'll fix Aunt Polly.
She thinks she's going to lose you, but we'll just remind her that
she--she's going to gain a--a new nephew!" he finished in mock
importance.

But Pollyanna did not smile. She turned her head hopelessly from side
to side.

"No, no, Jimmy, you don't understand! She--she--oh, how can I tell
you?--she objects to--to YOU--for--ME."

Jimmy's arms relaxed a little. His eyes sobered.

"Oh, well, I suppose I can't blame her for that. I'm no--wonder, of
course," he admitted constrainedly. "Still,"--he turned loving eyes
upon her--"I'd try to make you--happy, dear."

"Indeed you would! I know you would," protested Pollyanna, tearfully.

"Then why not--give me a chance to try, Pollyanna, even if
she--doesn't quite approve, at first. Maybe in time, after we were
married, we could win her over."

"Oh, but I couldn't--I couldn't do that," moaned Pollyanna, "after
what she's said. I couldn't--without her consent. You see, she's done
so much for me, and she's so dependent on me. She isn't well a bit,
now, Jimmy. And, really, lately she's been so--so loving, and she's
been trying so hard to--to play the game, you know, in spite of all
her troubles. And she--she cried, Jimmy, and begged me not to break
her heart as--as mother did long ago. And--and Jimmy, I--I just
couldn't, after all she's done for me."

There was a moment's pause; then, with a vivid red mounting to her
forehead, Pollyanna spoke again, brokenly.

"Jimmy, if you--if you could only tell Aunt Polly something
about--about your father, and your people, and--"

Jimmy's arms dropped suddenly. He stepped back a little. The color
drained from his face.

"Is--that--it?" he asked.

"Yes." Pollyanna came nearer, and touched his arm timidly. "Don't
think--It isn't for me, Jimmy. I don't care. Besides, I KNOW that your
father and your people were all--all fine and noble, because YOU are
so fine and noble. But she--Jimmy, don't look at me like that!"

But Jimmy, with a low moan had turned quite away from her. A minute
later, with only a few choking words, which she could not understand,
he had left the house.

From the Harrington homestead Jimmy went straight home and sought out
John Pendleton. He found him in the great crimson-hung library where,
some years before, Pollyanna had looked fearfully about for the
"skeleton in John Pendleton's closet."

"Uncle John, do you remember that packet father gave me?" demanded
Jimmy.

"Why, yes. What's the matter, son?" John Pendleton had given a start
of surprise at sight of Jimmy's face.

"That packet has got to be opened, sir."

"But--the conditions!"

"I can't help it. It's got to be. That's all. Will you do it?"

"Why, y-yes, my boy, of course, if you insist; but--" he paused
helplessly.

"Uncle John, as perhaps you have guessed, I love Pollyanna. I asked
her to be my wife, and she consented." The elder man made a delighted
exclamation, but the other did not pause, or change his sternly intent
expression. "She says now she can't--marry me. Mrs. Chilton objects.
She objects to ME."

"OBJECTS to YOU!" John Pendleton's eyes flashed angrily.

"Yes. I found out why when--when Pollyanna begged if I couldn't tell
her aunt something about--about my father and my people."

"Shucks! I thought Polly Chilton had more sense--still, it's just like
her, after all. The Harringtons have always been inordinately proud of
race and family," snapped John Pendleton. "Well, could you?"

"COULD _I_! It was on the end of my tongue to tell Pollyanna that
there couldn't have been a better father than mine was; then,
suddenly, I remembered--the packet, and what it said. And I was
afraid. I didn't dare say a word till I knew what was inside that
packet. There's something dad didn't want me to know till I was thirty
years old--when I would be a man grown, and could stand anything. See?
There's a secret somewhere in our lives. I've got to know that secret,
and I've got to know it now."

"But, Jimmy, lad, don't look so tragic. It may be a good secret.
Perhaps it'll be something you'll LIKE to know."

"Perhaps. But if it had been, would he have been apt to keep it from
me till I was thirty years old? No! Uncle John, it was something he
was trying to save me from till I was old enough to stand it and not
flinch. Understand, I'm not blaming dad. Whatever it was, it was
something he couldn't help, I'll warrant. But WHAT it was I've got to
know. Will you get it, please? It's in your safe, you know."

John Pendleton rose at once.

"I'll get it," he said. Three minutes later it lay in Jimmy's hand;
but Jimmy held it out at once.

"I would rather you read it, sir, please. Then tell me."

"But, Jimmy, I--very well." With a decisive gesture John Pendleton
picked up a paper-cutter, opened the envelope, and pulled out the
contents. There was a package of several papers tied together, and one
folded sheet alone, apparently a letter. This John Pendleton opened
and read first. And as he read, Jimmy, tense and breathless, watched
his face. He saw, therefore, the look of amazement, joy, and something
else he could not name, that leaped into John Pendleton's countenance.

"Uncle John, what is it? What is it?" he demanded.

"Read it--for yourself," answered the man, thrusting the letter into
Jimmy's outstretched hand. And Jimmy read this:

"The enclosed papers are the legal proof that my boy Jimmy is really
James Kent, son of John Kent, who married Doris Wetherby, daughter of
William Wetherby of Boston. There is also a letter in which I explain
to my boy why I have kept him from his mother's family all these
years. If this packet is opened by him at thirty years of age, he will
read this letter, and I hope will forgive a father who feared to lose
his boy entirely, so took this drastic course to keep him to himself.
If it is opened by strangers, because of his death, I request that his
mother's people in Boston be notified at once, and the inclosed
package of papers be given, intact, into their hands.

"JOHN KENT."

Jimmy was pale and shaken when he looked up to meet John Pendleton's
eyes.

"Am I--the lost--Jamie?" he faltered.

"That letter says you have documents there to prove it," nodded the
other.

"Mrs. Carew's nephew?"

"Of course."

"But, why--what--I can't realize it!" There was a moment's pause
before into Jimmy's face flashed a new joy. "Then, surely now I know
who I am! I can tell--Mrs. Chilton SOMETHING of my people."

"I should say you could," retorted John Pendleton, dryly. "The Boston
Wetherbys can trace straight back to the crusades, and I don't know
but to the year one. That ought to satisfy her. As for your father--he
came of good stock, too, Mrs. Carew told me, though he was rather
eccentric, and not pleasing to the family, as you know, of course."

"Yes. Poor dad! And what a life he must have lived with me all those
years--always dreading pursuit. I can understand--lots of things, now,
that used to puzzle me. A woman called me 'Jamie,' once. Jove! how
angry he was! I know now why he hurried me away that night without
even waiting for supper. Poor dad! It was right after that he was
taken sick. He couldn't use his hands or his feet, and very soon he
couldn't talk straight. Something ailed his speech. I remember when he
died he was trying to tell me something about this packet. I believe
now he was telling me to open it, and go to my mother's people; but I
thought then he was just telling me to keep it safe. So that's what I
promised him. But it didn't comfort him any. It only seemed to worry
him more. You see, I didn't understand. Poor dad!"

"Suppose we take a look at these papers," suggested John Pendleton.
"Besides, there's a letter from your father to you, I understand.
Don't you want to read it?"

"Yes, of course. And then--" the young fellow laughed shamefacedly and
glanced at the clock--"I was wondering just how soon I could go
back--to Pollyanna."

A thoughtful frown came to John Pendleton's face. He glanced at Jimmy,
hesitated, then spoke.

"I know you want to see Pollyanna, lad, and I don't blame you; but it
strikes me that, under the circumstances, you should go first to--Mrs.
Carew, and take these." He tapped the papers before him.

Jimmy drew his brows together and pondered.

"All right, sir, I will." he agreed resignedly.

"And if you don't mind, I'd like to go with you," further suggested
John Pendleton, a little diffidently.

"I--I have a little matter of my own that I'd like to see--your aunt
about. Suppose we go down today on the three o'clock?"

"Good! We will, sir. Gorry! And so I'm Jamie! I can't grasp it yet!"
exclaimed the young man, springing to his feet, and restlessly moving
about the room. "I wonder, now," he stopped, and colored boyishly, "do
you think--Aunt Ruth--will mind--very much?"

John Pendleton shook his head. A hint of the old somberness came into
his eyes.

"Hardly, my boy. But--I'm thinking of myself. How about it? When
you're her boy, where am I coming in?"

"You! Do you think ANYTHING could put you one side?" scoffed Jimmy,
fervently. "You needn't worry about that. And SHE won't mind. She has
Jamie, you know, and--" He stopped short, a dawning dismay in his
eyes. "By George! Uncle John, I forgot--Jamie. This is going to be
tough on--Jamie!"

"Yes, I'd thought of that. Still, he's legally adopted, isn't he?"

"Oh, yes; it isn't that. It's the fact that he isn't the real Jamie
himself--and he with his two poor useless legs! Why, Uncle John, it'll
just about kill him. I've heard him talk. I know. Besides, Pollyanna
and Mrs. Carew both have told me how he feels, how SURE he is, and how
happy he is. Great Scott! I can't take away from him this--But what
CAN I do?" "I don't know, my boy. I don't see as there's anything you
can do, but what you are doing."

There was a long silence. Jimmy had resumed his nervous pacing up and
down the room. Suddenly he wheeled, his face alight.

"There IS a way, and I'll do it. I KNOW Mrs. Carew will agree. WE
WON'T TELL! We won't tell anybody but Mrs. Carew herself, and--and
Pollyanna and her aunt. I'll HAVE to tell them," he added defensively.

"You certainly will, my boy. As for the rest--" John Pendleton paused
doubtfully.

"It's nobody's business."

"But, remember, you are making quite a sacrifice--in several ways. I
want you to weigh it well."

"Weigh it? I have weighed it, and there's nothing in it--with Jamie on
the other side of the scales, sir. I just couldn't do it. That's all."

"I don't blame you, and I think you're right," declared John Pendleton
heartily. "Furthermore, I believe Mrs. Carew will agree with you,
particularly as she'll KNOW now that the real Jamie is found at last."

"You know she's always said she'd seen me somewhere," chuckled Jimmy.
"Now how soon does that train go? I'm ready."

"Well, I'm not," laughed John Pendleton. "Luckily for me it doesn't go
for some hours yet, anyhow," he finished, as he got to his feet and
left the room.



CHAPTER XXXII

A NEW ALADDIN


Whatever were John Pendleton's preparations for departure--and they
were both varied and hurried--they were done in the open, with two
exceptions. The exceptions were two letters, one addressed to
Pollyanna, and one to Mrs. Polly Chilton. These letters, together with
careful and minute instructions, were given into the hands of Susan,
his housekeeper, to be delivered after they should be gone. But of all
this Jimmy knew nothing.

The travelers were nearing Boston when John Pendleton said to Jimmy:

"My boy, I've got one favor to ask--or rather, two. The first is that
we say nothing to Mrs. Carew until to-morrow afternoon; the other is
that you allow me to go first and be your--er--ambassador, you
yourself not appearing on the scene until perhaps, say--four o'clock.
Are you willing?"

"Indeed I am," replied Jimmy, promptly; "not only willing, but
delighted. I'd been wondering how I was going to break the ice, and
I'm glad to have somebody else do it."

"Good! Then I'll try to get--YOUR AUNT on the telephone to-morrow
morning and make my appointment."

True to his promise, Jimmy did not appear at the Carew mansion until
four o'clock the next afternoon. Even then he felt suddenly so
embarrassed that he walked twice by the house before he summoned
sufficient courage to go up the steps and ring the bell. Once in Mrs.
Carew's presence, however, he was soon his natural self, so quickly
did she set him at his ease, and so tactfully did she handle the
situation. To be sure, at the very first, there were a few tears, and
a few incoherent exclamations. Even John Pendleton had to reach a
hasty hand for his handkerchief. But before very long a semblance of
normal tranquillity was restored, and only the tender glow in Mrs.
Carew's eyes, and the ecstatic happiness in Jimmy's and John
Pendleton's was left to mark the occasion as something out of the
ordinary.

"And I think it's so fine of you--about Jamie!" exclaimed Mrs. Carew,
after a little. "Indeed, Jimmy--(I shall still call you Jimmy, for
obvious reasons; besides, I like it better, for you)--indeed I think
you're just right, if you're willing to do it. And I'm making some
sacrifice myself, too," she went on tearfully, "for I should be so
proud to introduce you to the world as my nephew."

"And, indeed, Aunt Ruth, I--" At a half-stifled exclamation from John
Pendleton, Jimmy stopped short. He saw then that Jamie and Sadie Dean
stood just inside the door. Jamie's face was very white.

"AUNT RUTH!" he exclaimed, looking from one to the other with startled
eyes. "AUNT RUTH! You don't mean--"

All the blood receded from Mrs. Carew's face, and from Jimmy's, too.
John Pendleton, however, advanced jauntily.

"Yes, Jamie; why not? I was going to tell you soon, anyway, so I'll
tell you now." (Jimmy gasped and stepped hastily forward, but John
Pendleton silenced him with a look.) "Just a little while ago Mrs.
Carew made me the happiest of men by saying yes to a certain question
I asked. Now, as Jimmy calls me 'Uncle John,' why shouldn't he begin
right away to call Mrs. Carew 'Aunt Ruth'?"

"Oh! Oh-h!" exclaimed Jamie, in plain delight, while Jimmy, under John
Pendleton's steady gaze just managed to save the situation by not
blurting out HIS surprise and pleasure. Naturally, too, just then,
blushing Mrs. Carew became the center of every one's interest, and the
danger point was passed. Only Jimmy heard John Pendleton say low in
his ear, a bit later:

"So you see, you young rascal, I'm not going to lose you, after all.
We shall BOTH have you now."

Exclamations and congratulations were still at their height, when
Jamie, a new light in his eyes, turned without warning to Sadie Dean.

"Sadie, I'm going to tell them now," he declared triumphantly. Then,
with the bright color in Sadie's face telling the tender story even
before Jamie's eager lips could frame the words, more congratulations
and exclamations were in order, and everybody was laughing and shaking
hands with everybody else.

Jimmy, however, very soon began to eye them all aggrievedly,
longingly.

"This is all very well for YOU," he complained then. "You each have
each other. But where do I come in? I can just tell you, though, that
if only a certain young lady I know were here, _I_ should have
something to tell YOU, perhaps."

"Just a minute, Jimmy," interposed John Pendleton. "Let's play I was
Aladdin, and let me rub the lamp. Mrs. Carew, have I your permission
to ring for Mary?"

"Why, y-yes, certainly," murmured that lady, in a puzzled surprise
that found its duplicate on the faces of the others.

A few moments later Mary stood in the doorway.

"Did I hear Miss Pollyanna come in a short time ago?" asked John
Pendleton.

"Yes, sir. She is here."

"Won't you ask her to come down, please."

"Pollyanna here!" exclaimed an amazed chorus, as Mary disappeared.
Jimmy turned very white, then very red.

"Yes. I sent a note to her yesterday by my housekeeper. I took the
liberty of asking her down for a few days to see you, Mrs. Carew. I
thought the little girl needed a rest and a holiday; and my
housekeeper has instructions to remain and care for Mrs. Chilton. I
also wrote a note to Mrs. Chilton herself," he added, turning suddenly
to Jimmy, with unmistakable meaning in his eyes. "And I thought after
she read what I said, that she'd let Pollyanna come. It seems she did,
for--here she is."

And there she was in the doorway, blushing, starry-eyed, yet withal
just a bit shy and questioning.

"Pollyanna, dearest!" It was Jimmy who sprang forward to meet her, and
who, without one minute's hesitation, took her in his arms and kissed
her.

"Oh, Jimmy, before all these people!" breathed Pollyanna in
embarrassed protest.

"Pooh! I should have kissed you then, Pollyanna, if you'd been
straight in the middle of--of Washington Street itself," vowed Jimmy.
"For that matter, look at--'all these people' and see for yourself if
you need to worry about them."

And Pollyanna looked; and she saw:

Over by one window, backs carefully turned, Jamie and Sadie Dean; over
by another window, backs also carefully turned, Mrs. Carew and John
Pendleton.

Pollyanna smiled--so adorably that Jimmy kissed her again.

"Oh, Jimmy, isn't it all beautiful and wonderful?" she murmured
softly. "And Aunt Polly--she knows everything now; and it's all right.
I think it would have been all right, anyway. She was beginning to
feel so bad--for me. Now she's so glad. And I am, too. Why, Jimmy, I'm
glad, GLAD, _GLAD_ for--everything, now!"

[Illustration: "'I'm glad, GLAD, _GLAD_ for--everything now!'"]

Jimmy caught his breath with a joy that hurt.

"God grant, little girl, that always it may be so--with you," he
choked unsteadily, his arms holding her close.

"I'm sure it will," sighed Pollyanna, with shining eyes of confidence.



THE END





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