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21. CHAPTER XXI. A QUESTION ANSWERED (continued)
"You're right she is--and she always was, I guess! But she's somethin' more, now, since you came."
Pollyanna's face changed. Her brows drew into a troubled frown.
"There, that's what I was going to ask you, Nancy," she sighed. "Do you think Aunt Polly likes to have me here? Would she mind--if if I wasn't here any more?"
Nancy threw a quick look into the little girl's absorbed face. She had expected to be asked this question long before, and she had dreaded it. She had wondered how she should answer it--how she could answer it honestly without cruelly hurting the questioner. But now, NOW, in the face of the new suspicions that had become convictions by the afternoon's umbrella-sending--Nancy only welcomed the question with open arms. She was sure that, with a clean conscience to-day, she could set the love-hungry little girl's heart at rest.
"Likes ter have ye here? Would she miss ye if ye wa'n't here?" cried Nancy, indignantly. "As if that wa'n't jest what I was tellin' of ye! Didn't she send me posthaste with an umbrella 'cause she see a little cloud in the sky? Didn't she make me tote yer things all down-stairs, so you could have the pretty room you wanted? Why, Miss Pollyanna, when ye remember how at first she hated ter have--"
With a choking cough Nancy pulled herself up just in time.
"And it ain't jest things I can put my fingers on, neither," rushed on Nancy, breathlessly. "It's little ways she has, that shows how you've been softenin' her up an' mellerin' her down--the cat, and the dog, and the way she speaks ter me, and oh, lots o' things. Why, Miss Pollyanna, there ain't no tellin' how she'd miss ye--if ye wa'n't here," finished Nancy, speaking with an enthusiastic certainty that was meant to hide the perilous admission she had almost made before. Even then she was not quite prepared for the sudden joy that illumined Pollyanna's face.
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