/ Pollyanna

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Chapter I. Miss Polly

Miss Polly Harrington entered her kitchen a little hurriedly this June morning. Nancy, who was washing dishes at the sink, looked up in surprise.


Yes, maam.[1]1
maam ( ; )

Nancy answered cheerfully, but she still continued to wipe a pitcher in her hand.

Nancy, when Im talking to you, I wish you to stop your work and listen to what I say.

Nancy flushed. She set the pitcher down at once.

Yes, maam. Nancy said. She was wondering if she could ever please this woman. Nancy had never worked for anybody before;[2]2
Nancy had never worked for anybody before

but her mother was a widow with three younger children besides Nancy herself. So she was very pleased when she found a place in the kitchen of the great house on the hill. Nancy came from The Corners, six miles away, and she knew Miss Polly Harrington only as the mistress of the old Harrington homestead. That was two months before. She knew Miss Polly now as a stern woman who frowned if a knife clattered to the floor, or if a door banged.

Finish your morning work, Nancy, Miss Polly said, and clear the little room in the attic and make up the cot bed. Sweep the room and clean it, of course, after you clear out boxes.

Miss Polly hesitated, then went on: I suppose I may as well tell you now, Nancy. My niece, Miss Pollyanna Whittier, will soon live with me. She is eleven years old, and she will sleep in that room.

A little girl will soon be here, Miss Harrington? Oh, wont that be nice![3]3
Oh, wont that be nice! !

cried Nancy.

Nice? Well, that isnt exactly the word I should use, said Miss Polly, stiffly.

However, I am a good woman, I hope; and I know my duty.

Dont forget to clean the corners, Nancy, she finished sharply, as she left the room.

Yes, maam, sighed Nancy.

In her own room, Miss Polly took out once more the letter which she had received[4]4
she had received

two days before. The letter was addressed to Miss Polly Harrington, Beldingsville, Vermont; and it read as follows:

Dear Madam: I regret to inform you that the Rev. John Whittier died two weeks ago, leaving one child, a girl eleven years old.

I know he was your sisters husband, but he gave me to understand the families were not on the best of terms[5]5
were not on the best of terms

. He thought, however, that you might wish to take the child and bring her up. Hence I am writing to you.

Hoping to hear favorably from you soon, I remain,

Respectfully yours,

Jeremiah O. White.

Miss Polly answered the letter the day before, and she had said she would take the child,[6]6
she had said she would take the child ,

of course.

As she sat now, with the letter in her hands, her thoughts went back to her sister, Jennie, Polliannas mother, and to the time when Jennie, as a girl of twenty, married the young minister and went south with him. The family had little more to do with the missionarys wife.

In one of her letters Jennie wrote about Pollyanna, her last baby, the other babies had all died. She named her Pollyanna for her two sisters, Polly and Anna.

A few years later they received the news of her death, told in a short, but heart-broken little note from the minister himself.

Miss Polly, looking out at the valley below, thought of the changes those twenty-five years had brought to her. She was forty now, and quite alone in the world. Father, mother, sisters all were dead. She was mistress of the house and of the thousands left to her by her father. There were people who pitied her lonely life.

Miss Polly rose with frowning face. She was glad, of course, that she was a good woman, and that she not only knew her duty, but had strength of character to perform it. But POLLYANNA! what a ridiculous name!

Chapter II. Old Tom and Nancy

In the garden that afternoon, Nancy found a few minutes in which to interview Old Tom, the gardener.

Mr. Tom, do you know that a little girl will soon come here to live with Miss Polly?

A what? demanded the old man.

A little girl to live with Miss Polly. She told me so herself, said Nancy. Its her niece; and shes eleven years old.

The mans jaw fell.[7]7
The mans jaw fell. .


Oh, it must be Miss Jennies little girl!

Who was Miss Jennie?

She was an angel, breathed the man; but the old master and mistress knew her as their oldest daughter. She was twenty when she married and went away from here long years ago. Her babies all died, I heard, except the last one; and that must be her.

And shes going to sleep in the attic more shame to HER! scolded Nancy.

Old Tom smiled.

I wonder what Miss Polly will do with a child in the house, he said.

Well, I wonder what a child will do with Miss Polly in the house! snapped Nancy.

The old man laughed.

Im afraid you arent fond of Miss Polly, he grinned.

As if ever anybody could be fond of her![8]8
As if ever anybody could be fond of her! , -, !

scorned Nancy.

I guess maybe you didnt know about Miss Pollys love affair, he said slowly.

Love affair HER! No!

You didnt know Miss Polly as I did, he said. She used to be real handsome and she would be now, if shed let herself be.[9]9
She used to be real handsome and she would be now, if shed let herself be. , , .


Handsome! Miss Polly!

Yes, she is different now, I know. It begun then at the time of the trouble with her lover, nodded Old Tom; and she is bitter and prickly to deal with.

Nancy! called a sharp voice.

Y-yes, maam, stammered Nancy; and hurried toward the house.

Chapter III. The Coming of Pollyanna

Nancy, Miss Polly said, my niece will arrive tomorrow at four oclock. You must meet her at the station. Timothy will take the open buggy and drive you over. The telegram says light hair, red-checked gingham dress, and straw hat. That is all I know.

Promptly at twenty minutes to four the next afternoon Timothy and Nancy drove off in the open buggy to meet the expected guest. Timothy was Old Toms son. He was a good-natured youth, and a good-looking one, as well. The two were already good friends.

When they got to the station, Nancy hurried to a point where she could best watch the passengers. Over and over in her mind Nancy was saying it light hair, red-checked dress, straw hat. Over and over again she was wondering just what sort of child this Pollyanna was.

At last they saw her the slender little girl in the red-checked gingham with two fat braids of flaxen hair hanging down her back. Beneath the straw hat, an eager, freckled little face turned to the right and to the left, searching for some one.

Are you Miss Pollyanna? Nancy faltered.

Oh, Im so glad, GLAD, GLAD to see you, cried an eager voice in her ear. Of course Im Pollyanna, and Im so glad you came to meet me! I hoped you would.[10]10
I hoped you would. , .


You did? stammered Nancy.

Oh, yes! cried the little girl. And Im glad you look just like you do look.

Timothy came up.

This is Timothy. Maybe you have a trunk, she stammered.

Yes, I have, nodded Pollyanna, importantly. Ive got a brand-new one. The Ladies Aid[11]11
The Ladies Aid ,

bought it for me.

The three were off at last, with Pollyannas trunk in behind, and Pollyanna herself snugly ensconced between Nancy and Timothy. During the whole process of getting started, the little girl kept up an uninterrupted stream of comments and questions.

There! Isnt this lovely? Is it far? I hope it is I love to ride, sighed Pollyanna. What a pretty street! I knew it was going to be pretty;[12]12
I knew it was going to be pretty , !

father told me

She stopped with a little choking breath. Nancy saw that her small chin was quivering, and that her eyes were full of tears. In a moment, however, she hurried on, with a brave lifting of her head.

Father has gone to Heaven to be with mother and the rest of us, you know. He said I must be glad. But its pretty hard to, because I need him, as mother and the rest have God and all the angels, while I dont have anybody but the Ladies Aid. But now Im sure itll be easier because Ive got you, Aunt Polly. Im so glad Ive got you!

Oh, but but youve made an awful mistake, dear,[13]13
youve made an awful mistake, dear ,

she faltered. Im only Nancy. Im not your Aunt Polly!

You you ARENT? stammered the little girl.

No. Im only Nancy. I never thought youre taking me for her.

Timothy chuckled softly.

But who ARE you? asked Pollyanna.

Im Nancy, the hired girl. I do all the work except the washing and ironing.

But there IS an Aunt Polly? demanded the child, anxiously.

You bet your life there is,[14]14
You bet your life there is ( )

cut in Timothy.

Pollyanna relaxed visibly.

Oh, thats all right, then. There was a moments silence, then she went on brightly: And do you know? Im glad, after all, that she didnt come to meet me; because now Ive got you besides.

II was thinking about Miss Polly, faltered Nancy.

Pollyanna sighed contentedly.

I was, too. Im so interested in her. You know shes all the aunt Ive got, and I didnt know I had her for ever so long. Then father told me. He said she lived in a lovely great big house on top of a hill.

She does. You can see it now, said Nancy. Its that big white one with the green blinds.

Oh, how pretty! and what a lot of trees and grass all around it! I never saw such a lot of green grass. Is my Aunt Polly rich, Nancy?

Yes, Miss.

Im so glad. It must be perfectly lovely to have lots of money. Does Aunt Polly have ice-cream Sundays?

No, Miss. Your aunt doesnt like ice-cream.

Pollyannas face fell.[15]15
face fell


Oh, doesnt she? Im so sorry! Maybe Aunt Polly has got the carpets, though.

Yes, shes got the carpets.

In every room?

Well, in almost every room, answered Nancy, thinking about the attic room where there was no carpet.

Oh, Im so glad, exulted Pollyanna. I love carpets. And Mrs. White had pictures, too, perfectly beautiful ones of roses and little girls kneeling and a kitty and some lambs and a lion. Dont you just love pictures?

I dont know, answered Nancy.

I do. But we didnt have any pictures. My![16]16
My! !

but isnt this a perfectly beautiful house? she broke off.

Chapter IV. The Little Attic Room

Miss Polly Harrington did not rise to meet her niece.

How do you do, Pollyanna? I .

Oh, Aunt Polly, Aunt Polly, I dont know how to be glad enough that you let me come to live with you, she was sobbing. You dont know how perfectly lovely it is to have you and Nancy and all this!

Nancy, you may go, Aunt Polly said.

We will go upstairs to your room, Pollyanna. Your trunk is already there, I presume. I told Timothy to take it up if you had one. You may follow me.

Without speaking, Pollyanna turned and followed her aunt from the room. Her eyes were filled with tears, but her chin was bravely high.

She was on the stairway now.

Oh, Aunt Polly, Aunt Polly, breathed the little girl; what a perfectly lovely, lovely house! How awfully glad you must be youre so rich!

PollyANNA! ejaculated her aunt. Im surprised at you making a speech like that to me!

Why, Aunt Polly, ARENT you? asked Pollyanna, in wonder.

Certainly not, Pollyanna. How can I be proud of any gift the Lord has sent me?[17]17
How can I be proud of any gift the Lord has sent me? , ?

declared the lady.

Miss Polly turned and walked down the hall toward the attic stairway door. At the top of the stairs there were innumerable trunks and boxes. It was hot. Pollyanna lifted her head higher it seemed so hard to breathe. Then she saw that her aunt threw open a door at the right.

There, Pollyanna, here is your room, and your trunk is here. Do you have your key?

Pollyanna nodded. Her eyes were a little wide and frightened.

Her aunt frowned.

When I ask a question, Pollyanna, I prefer that you should answer aloud not merely with your head.

Yes, Aunt Polly.

Thank you; that is better. I believe you have everything that you need here, she added. I will send Nancy to help you unpack your truck. Supper is at six oclock, she finished and left the room.

For a moment Pollyanna stood quite still. Then she turned her wide eyes to the bare wall, the bare floor, the bare windows and fell on her knees, covering her face with her hands.

Nancy found her there when she came up a few minutes later.

There, there, you, poor lamb,[18]18
There, there, you, poor lamb -,

she crooned, drawing the little girl into her arms.

Oh, Nancy, Im so wicked, she sobbed. I just cant understand why God and the angels need my father more than I do.

There, there, child, lets have your key and well get inside this trunk and take out your dresses.

Pollyanna produced the key.

There arent very many there, she faltered.

Then theyre all soon be unpacked, declared Nancy.

Its such a nice room! Dont you think so? Pollyanna stammered.

There was no answer. Nancy was very busy with the trunk.

And I can be glad there isnt any looking-glass here, too, because where there ISNT any glass I cant see my freckles.

A few minutes later, Pollyanna clapped her hands joyously.

Oh, Nancy, look at these trees and the houses and that lovely church spire, and the river. Oh, Im so glad now she let me have this room!

To Pollyannas surprise, Nancy burst into tears.

Why, Nancy what is it? she cried; This wasnt YOUR room, was it?

My room! stormed Nancy. You are a little angel straight from Heaven!

After that Nancy sprang to her feet and went down the stairs.

Left alone, Pollyanna went back to her picture, as she mentally designated the beautiful view from the window. The next moment she opened the window. She ran then to the other window and opened it too. Then Pollyanna made a wonderful discovery against this window there was a huge tree. Suddenly she laughed aloud.

I believe I can do it, she chuckled. The next moment she climbed to the window ledge. From there it was easy to step to the nearest tree-branch. Then she reached the lowest branch and dropped to the ground.

She was at the back of the house. Then Pollyanna reached the path that ran through the open field.

Fifteen minutes later the great clock struck six. At the last stroke Nancy sounded the bell for supper.

One, two, three minutes passed. Miss Polly frowned. She rose to her feet, went into the hall, and looked upstairs. For a minute she listened; then she turned and went to the dining room.

Nancy, she said, my niece is late. You need not call her, she added. I told her what time supper was, and now she will have to suffer the consequences.[19]19
she will have to suffer the consequences

She must learn to be punctual. When she comes she may have bread and milk in the kitchen.

Yes, maam.

At the possible moment after supper, Nancy crept up to the attic room.

She softly pushed open the door. The next moment she gave a frightened cry. Where are you? she panted, and flew to Old Tom in the garden.

Mr. Tom, Mr. Tom, that blessed childs gone,[20]20
that blessed childs gone

she cried.

The old man stopped, straightened up and pointed at the slender figure on top of a huge rock.

Chapter V. The Game

Miss Pollyanna, what a scare you did give me,[21]21
what a scare you did give me

panted Nancy, hurrying up to the big rock.

Scare? Oh, Im so sorry; but you mustnt, really, ever get scared about me, Nancy, said Pollyanna and slid down the rock.

I didnt see you go, and nobody didnt. I guess you flew right up through the roof; I do, I do. Poor little lamb, you must be hungry, too. IIm afraid youll have to have bread and milk in the kitchen with me. Your aunt didnt like it because you didnt come down to supper.

But I couldnt. I was up here. But Im glad.

Glad! Why?

I like bread and milk, and Id like to eat with you. I dont see any trouble about being glad about that.

You dont seem to see any trouble being glad about everything, retorted Nancy.

Pollyanna laughed softly.

Well, thats the game, you know, anyway.


Yes; the just being glad game.[22]22
Yes; the just being glad game. , , , .


Whatever in the world are you talking about?

Why, its a game. Father told it to me, and its lovely. Weve played it always, ever since I was a little, little girl. I told the Ladies Aid, and they played it some of them Only sometimes its almost too hard especially when your father goes to Heaven I suppose, though, itll be a little harder now, as long as I havent anybody to play it with. Maybe Aunt Polly will play it, though, she added.

See here, Miss Pollyanna, Im not sure that Ill play it very well, and I dont know how but Ill play it with you, I will!

Oh, Nancy! Thatll be splendid!

Maybe, said Nancy, in open doubt. You mustnt count too much[23]23
You mustnt count too much

on me but Ill try to play it with you, she finished, as they entered the kitchen together.

Pollyanna ate her bread and milk with good appetite and went into the sitting room, where her aunt sat reading. Miss Polly looked up coldly.

Have you had your supper, Pollyanna?

Yes, Aunt Polly.

Im very sorry, Pollyanna, to have been obliged so soon to send you into the kitchen to eat bread and milk.[24]24
Im very sorry, Pollyanna, to have been obliged so soon to send you into the kitchen to eat bread and milk. , .


But I was really glad you did it, Aunt Polly. I like bread and milk, and Nancy, too. You mustnt feel bad about that.

Aunt Polly sat suddenly a little more erect in her chair.

Pollyanna, go to bed. It was a hard day, and tomorrow we must plan your hours and go over your clothing to see what it is necessary to get for you. Nancy will give you a candle. Breakfast will be at half-past seven. Good night.

Pollyanna came straight to her aunts side and gave her an affectionate hug.[25]25
gave her an affectionate hug


I know Im going to just love living with you but then. Good night, she said cheerfully, as she ran from the room.

What a most extraordinary child! Aunt Polly said. Then she frowned. Shes glad I punished her, and I mustnt feel bad about that, and shes going to love to live with me! Well, upon my soul!

Fifteen minutes later, in the attic room, a lonely little girl sobbed into the sheet:

I know, father-among-the-angels, Im not playing the game; I dont believe even you could find anything to be glad about sleeping all alone in the dark. If only I was near Nancy or Aunt Polly, or even a Ladies Aider, it would be easier![26]26
If only I was near Nancy or Aunt Polly, or even a Ladies Aider, it would be easier! , - , .


Chapter VI. A Question of Duty

It was nearly seven oclock when Pollyanna awoke that first day after her arrival. Her windows faced the south and the west, so she could not see the sun yet; but she could see the morning sky, and she knew that the day promised to be a fair one.

Pollyanna ran to the garden where she saw Aunt Polly with an old man.

Oh, Aunt Polly, Aunt Polly, I am glad this morning just to be alive![27]27
I am glad this morning just to be alive! , !


PollyANNA! said Aunt Polly, is this the usual way you say good morning?

I saw you from my window and I decided to hug you!

The old man turned his back suddenly.

Do you always work in the garden, Mister? asked Pollyanna.

The man turned. His eyes were filled with tears.

Yes, Miss. Im Old Tom, the gardener, he answered. You are so like your mother, little Miss! I used to know her when she was a young girl. You see, I used to work in the garden then.

You did? And you knew my mother, really? Oh, please tell me about her!

A bell sounded from the house. The next moment Nancy appeared.

Miss Pollyanna, that bell means breakfast, she said, pulling the little girl to her feet and hurrying her back to the house; and other times it means other meals. But it always means that you must run when you hear it, no matter where you are. she finished, shooing Pollyanna into the house.

Half an hour after breakfast Miss Polly entered Pollyannas room.

Pollyanna, you may bring out your clothes now, and I will look them over. What are not suitable for you I shall give to the Sullivans, of course.

Pollyanna dived into her closet then, hurriedly, and brought out all the poor little dresses in both her arms.

With the tips of her fingers Miss Polly turned over the garments, so obviously made for anybody but Pollyanna.

Aunt Polly turned to Pollyanna abruptly.

You have been to school, of course, Pollyanna?[28]28
You have been to school, of course, Pollyanna? , , , ?


Oh, yes, Aunt Polly. Besides, I was taught at home, too.

Miss Polly frowned.

Very good. In autumn you will enter school here, of course. Mr. Hall, will doubtless settle in which grade you belong.

I love to read; but if you dont want to hear me I will be glad to read to myself, Aunt Polly.

I dont doubt it, rejoined Miss Polly. Have you studied music?[29]29
Have you studied music? ?


Not much. I dont like my music. Though I learned to play the piano a little.

Nevertheless I think it is my duty to see that you are properly instructed in at least the rudiments of music. You sew, of course.

Yes, maam. Pollyanna sighed. The Ladies Aid taught me that.

I shall teach you sewing myself, of course. You do not know how to cook, I presume.

Pollyanna laughed suddenly.

They were just beginning to teach me that this summer, but I hadnt got far.[30]30
They were just beginning to teach me that this summer, but I hadnt got far. , - .


At nine oclock every morning you will read aloud one half-hour to me. Before that you will use the time to put this room in order. Wednesday and Saturday, after half-past nine, you will spend with Nancy in the kitchen, learning to cook. Other mornings you will sew with me. That will leave the afternoons for your music, she finished.

Pollyanna cried out in dismay.

Oh, but Aunt Polly, Aunt Polly, you havent left me any time at all just to to live.[31]31
Aunt Polly you havent left me any time at all just to to live , - ?


To live, child! What do you mean? As if you werent living all the time!

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