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7. CHAPTER VII. POLLYANNA AND PUNISHMENTS (continued)
Timothy disappeared suddenly down the ladder. Old Tom, with almost equal precipitation, handed his lantern to Miss Polly, and followed his son. Miss Polly bit her lip hard--until the men were gone; then she said sternly:
"Pollyanna, hand those things to me at once and come in here. Of all the extraordinary children!" she ejaculated a little later, as, with Pollyanna by her side, and the lantern in her hand, she turned back into the attic.
To Pollyanna the air was all the more stifling after that cool breath of the out of doors; but she did not complain. She only drew a long quivering sigh.
At the top of the stairs Miss Polly jerked out crisply:
"For the rest of the night, Pollyanna, you are to sleep in my bed with me. The screens will be here to-morrow, but until then I consider it my duty to keep you where I know where you are."
Pollyanna drew in her breath.
"With you?--in your bed?" she cried rapturously. "Oh, Aunt Polly, Aunt Polly, how perfectly lovely of you! And when I've so wanted to sleep with some one sometime--some one that belonged to me, you know; not a Ladies' Aider. I've HAD them. My! I reckon I am glad now those screens didn't come! Wouldn't you be?"
There was no reply. Miss Polly was stalking on ahead. Miss Polly, to tell the truth, was feeling curiously helpless. For the third time since Pollyanna's arrival, Miss Polly was punishing Pollyanna--and for the third time she was being confronted with the amazing fact that her punishment was being taken as a special reward of merit. No wonder Miss Polly was feeling curiously helpless.
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