The woman turned in amazement.
«Both of them?» she demanded.
«Yes, and some calf’s-foot jelly,» triumphed Pollyanna. «You should have what you wanted for once. Oh, of course, there’s only a little of each — but there’s some of all of them! I’m so glad you want chicken,» she went on contentedly, as she lifted the three little bowls from her basket.
There was no reply. The sick woman seemed to be trying mentally to find something she had lost.
«There! I’ll leave them all,» announced Pollyanna, as she arranged the three bowls in a row on the table. «How do you do today?» she finished in polite inquiry.
«Very poorly, thank you,» murmured Mrs. Snow, falling back into her usual listless attitude. «Nellie Higgins next door has begun music lessons, and her practising drives me nearly wild. She was at it all the morning — every minute!»
Polly nodded sympathetically and then suddenly clapped her hands.
«There! I almost forgot; but I’ve thought it up, Mrs. Snow what you can be glad about.»
«Glad about! What do you mean?»
«Why, you asked me to tell you something to be glad about — glad, even though you have to lie here abed all day.»
«Oh!» scoffed the woman. «Yes, I remember that; but I didn’t suppose you were in earnest.»
«Oh, yes, I was,» nodded Pollyanna, triumphantly; «and I found It, too. But it was hard. I couldn’t think of anything for a while. Then I got it.»
«Did you, really? Well, what is it?» Mrs. Snow’s voice was sarcastically polite.
Pollyanna drew a long breath.
«I thought how glad you could be that other folks weren’t like you — all sick in bed like this, you know,» she announced impressively.
Mrs. Snow stared. Her eyes were angry.
«Well, really!» she said then, in an unagreeable tone of voice.
«And now I’ll tell you about the game,» proposed Pollyanna. «It’ll be just lovely for you to play — it’ll be so hard. And there’s so much more fun when it is hard! You see, it’s like this.» And she began to tell of the missionary barrel, the crutches, and the doll that did not come.
The story was just finished when Milly appeared at the door.
«Your aunt wants you, Miss Pollyanna,» she said. «She telephoned and said you have to hurry because you’ve got some practising to make up before dark.»
Pollyanna rose reluctantly.
«All right,» she sighed. «I’ll hurry.» Suddenly she laughed. «I suppose I ought to be glad I’ve got legs to hurry with.»
Mrs. Snow’s eyes were closed. But Milly, whose eyes were wide open with surprise, saw that there were tears on the wasted cheeks.
«Goodbye,» said Pollyanna over her shoulder, as she reached the door. «I’m awfully sorry about the hair — I wanted to do it. But maybe I can next time!»
One by one the July days passed. To Pollyanna, they were happy days, indeed. She often told her aunt how very happy they were and her aunt would usually reply, wearily:
«Very well, Pollyanna. I am pleased, of course, that they are happy; but I hope that they are profitable, as well.»
«What is being pro-fi-ta-ble?»
«Why, it’s just being profitable — having profit, Pollyanna. What an extraordinary child you are!»
«Then just being glad isn’t pro-fi-ta-ble?» questioned Pollyanna,’ a little anxiously.
«O dear! Then you wouldn’t like it, of course. Now I’m afraid you won’t play the game, Aunt Polly.»
«Game? What game?»
«Why, that father — » Pollyanna clapped her hand to her lips. «N-nothing,» she stammered. Miss Polly frowned.
«That will do for this morning, Pollyanna,» she said tersely. And the sewing lesson was over.
In the afternoon Pollyanna, coming down from her attic room, met her aunt on the stairway.
«Why, Aunt Polly, how lovely!» she cried. «You were coming up to see me! Come right in. I love company,» she finished, running up the stairs and throwing her door wide open.
Miss Polly had not intended to call on her niece. She had just planned to look for a white wool shawl in the chest near the window. But to her great surprise, she found herself not in the main attic before the chest, but in Pollyanna’s little room sitting in one of the straight-backed chairs.
«I love company,» said Pollyanna, «especially since I’ve had this room, all mine, you know. Oh, of course, I always had a room, but it was a hired room, and hired rooms aren’t half as nice as owned ones, are they? And of course now I just love this room, even if it hasn’t got the carpets and curtains and pictures -» With a painful blush Pollyanna stopped short.
«What’s that, Pollyanna?»
«N-nothing, Aunt Polly, truly. I didn’t mean to say it.»
«Probably not,» returned Miss Polly, coldly; «but you said it, so lot’s have the rest of it.»
Pollyanna blushed painfully.
«It was only because I had always wanted them and hadn’t had them, I suppose. I shouldn’t have wanted them — pretty things, I mean; but, truly, Aunt Polly, I was glad that the bureau didn’t have a looking-glass, because it didn’t show my freckles; and there couldn’t be a nicer picture than the one out my window there; and you’ve been so good to me, that -»
Miss Polly rose suddenly to her feet. Her face was very red.
«That will do, Pollyanna,» she said stiffly. «You have said quite enough, I’m sure.»
Less than twenty-four hours later, Miss Polly said to Nancy, crisply:
«Nancy, you may move Miss Pollyanna’s things downstairs this morning to the room directly beneath. My niece will sleep there.»
«Yes, madam,» said Nancy aloud.
«O glory!» said Nancy to herself.
To Pollyanna, a minute later, she cried joyously:
«Miss Pollyanna, you will sleep downstairs in the room straight under this. I’m told to take down your things and -»
Pollyanna did not stop to hear the end of this sentence. She was flying downstairs, two steps at a time. Pollyanna banged two doors and a chair before she at last reached her goal — Aunt Polly.
«Oh, Aunt Polly, did you mean it, really? Why, that room has got everything — the carpet and curtains and three pictures. Oh, Aunt Polly!»
«Very well, Pollyanna. I am pleased that you like the change, of course; but if you think so much of all those things, I trust you will take proper care of them.»
Miss Polly spoke sternly, because, for some inexplicable reason, she felt inclined to cry — and Miss Polly was not used to feeling inclined to cry.