The next time Dr. Warren entered the chamber where Pollyanna lay watching the dancing shimmer of color on the ceiling, a tall, broad-shouldered man followed close behind him.
“Dr. Chilton!–oh, Dr. Chilton, how glad I am to see you!” cried Pollyanna. And at the joyous rapture of the voice, more than one pair of eyes in the room brimmed hot with sudden tears. “But, of course, if Aunt Polly doesn’t want–”
“It is all right, my dear; don’t worry,” soothed Miss Polly, agitatedly, hurrying forward. “I have told Dr. Chilton that–that I want him to look you over–with Dr. Warren, this morning.”
“Oh, then you asked him to come,” murmured Pollyanna, contentedly.
“Yes, dear, I asked him. That is–” But it was too late. The adoring happiness that had leaped to Dr. Chilton’s eyes was unmistakable and Miss Polly had seen it. With very pink cheeks she turned and left the room hurriedly.
Over in the window the nurse and Dr. Warren were talking earnestly. Dr. Chilton held out both his hands to Pollyanna.
“Little girl, I’m thinking that one of the very gladdest jobs you ever did has been done to-day,” he said in a voice shaken with emotion.
At twilight a wonderfully tremulous, wonderfully different Aunt Polly crept to Pollyanna’s bedside. The nurse was at supper. They had the room to themselves.
“Pollyanna, dear, I’m going to tell you–the very first one of all. Some day I’m going to give Dr. Chilton to you for your–uncle. And it’s you that have done it all. Oh, Pollyanna, I’m so–happy! And so–glad!–darling!”
Pollyanna began to clap her hands; but even as she brought her small palms together the first time, she stopped, and held them suspended.
“Aunt Polly, Aunt Polly, were you the woman’s hand and heart he wanted so long ago? You were–I know you were! And that’s what he meant by saying I’d done the gladdest job of all–to-day. I’m so glad! Why, Aunt Polly, I don’t know but I’m so glad that I don’t mind–even my legs, now!”
Aunt Polly swallowed a sob.
“Perhaps, some day, dear–” But Aunt Polly did not finish. Aunt Polly did not dare to tell, yet, the great hope that Dr. Chilton had put into her heart. But she did say this–and surely this was quite wonderful enough–to Pollyanna’s mind:
“Pollyanna, next week you’re going to take a journey. On a nice comfortable little bed you’re going to be carried in cars and carriages to a great doctor who has a big house many miles from here made on purpose for just such people as you are. He’s a dear friend of Dr. Chilton’s, and we’re going to see what he can do for you!”