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17. CHAPTER XVII. "JUST LIKE A BOOK" (continued)
There was no answer. John Pendleton was not smiling now. He was looking straight ahead of him with eyes that seemed to be gazing through and beyond the object before them. After a time he drew a long sigh and turned to Pollyanna. When he spoke his voice carried the old nervous fretfulness.
"Well, well, this will never do at all! I didn't send for you to see me moping this time. Listen! Out in the library--the big room where the telephone is, you know--you will find a carved box on the lower shelf of the big case with glass doors in the corner not far from the fireplace. That is, it'll be there if that confounded woman hasn't 'regulated' it to somewhere else! You may bring it to me. It is heavy, but not too heavy for you to carry, I think."
"Oh, I'm awfully strong," declared Pollyanna, cheerfully, as she sprang to her feet. In a minute she had returned with the box.
It was a wonderful half-hour that Pollyanna spent then. The box was full of treasures--curios that John Pendleton had picked up in years of travel--and concerning each there was some entertaining story, whether it were a set of exquisitely carved chessmen from China, or a little jade idol from India.
It was after she had heard the story about the idol that Pollyanna murmured wistfully:
"Well, I suppose it WOULD be better to take a little boy in India to bring up--one that didn't know any more than to think that God was in that doll-thing--than it would be to take Jimmy Bean, a little boy who knows God is up in the sky. Still, I can't help wishing they had wanted Jimmy Bean, too, besides the India boys."
John Pendleton did not seem to hear. Again his, eyes were staring straight before him, looking at nothing. But soon he had roused himself, and had picked up another curio to talk about.
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