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29. CHAPTER XXIX. THROUGH AN OPEN WINDOW (continued)
Beldingsville, of course, kept itself informed concerning Pollyanna; and of Beldingsville, one man in particular fumed and fretted himself into a fever of anxiety over the daily bulletins which he managed in some way to procure from the bed of suffering. As the days passed, however, and the news came to be no better, but rather worse, something besides anxiety began to show in the man's face: despair, and a very dogged determination, each fighting for the mastery. In the end, the dogged determination won; and it was then that Mr. John Pendleton, somewhat to his surprise, received one Saturday morning a call from Dr. Thomas Chilton.
"Pendleton," began the doctor, abruptly, "I've come to you because you, better than any one else in town, know something of my relations with Miss Polly Harrington."
John Pendleton was conscious that he must have started visibly--he did know something of the affair between Polly Harrington and Thomas Chilton, but the matter had not been mentioned between them for fifteen years, or more.
"Yes," he said, trying to make his voice sound concerned enough for sympathy, and not eager enough for curiosity. In a moment he saw that he need not have worried, however: the doctor was quite too intent on his errand to notice how that errand was received.
"Pendleton, I want to see that child. I want to make an examination. I MUST make an examination."
"CAN'T I! Pendleton, you know very well I haven't been inside that door for more than fifteen years. You don't know--but I will tell you--that the mistress of that house told me that the NEXT time she ASKED me to enter it, I might take it that she was begging my pardon, and that all would be as before--which meant that she'd marry me. Perhaps you see her summoning me now--but I don't!"
"But couldn't you go--without a summons?"
The doctor frowned.
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