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27. CHAPTER XXVII. TWO VISITS
It was Nancy who was sent to tell Mr. John Pendleton of Dr. Mead's verdict. Miss Polly had remembered her promise to let him have direct information from the house. To go herself, or to write a letter, she felt to be almost equally out of the question. It occurred to her then to send Nancy.
There had been a time when Nancy would have rejoiced greatly at this extraordinary opportunity to see something of the House of Mystery and its master. But to-day her heart was too heavy to, rejoice at anything. She scarcely even looked about her at all, indeed, during the few minutes, she waited for Mr. John Pendleton to appear.
"I'm Nancy, sir," she said respectfully, in response to the surprised questioning of his eyes, when he came into the room. "Miss Harrington sent me to tell you about--Miss Pollyanna."
In spite of the curt terseness of the word, Nancy quite understood the anxiety that lay behind that short "well?"
"It ain't well, Mr. Pendleton," she choked.
"You don't mean--" He paused, and she bowed her head miserably.
"Yes, sir. He says--she can't walk again--never."
For a moment there was absolute silence in the room; then the man spoke, in a voice shaken with emotion.
Nancy glanced at him, but dropped her eyes at once. She had not supposed that sour, cross, stern John Pendleton could look like that. In a moment he spoke again, still in the low, unsteady voice.
"It seems cruel--never to dance in the sunshine again! My little prism girl!"
There was another silence; then, abruptly, the man asked:
"She herself doesn't know yet--of course--does she?"
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