Pollyanna did not see the boy "to-morrow." It rained, and she could not go t_he Garden at all. It rained the next day, too. Even on the third day she di_ot see him, for, though the sun came out bright and warm, and though she wen_ery early in the afternoon to the Garden and waited long, he did not come a_ll. But on the fourth day he was there in his old place, and Pollyann_astened forward with a joyous greeting.
"Oh, I'm so glad, GLAD to see you! But where've you been? You weren't her_esterday at all."
"I couldn't. The pain wouldn't let me come yesterday," explained the lad, wh_as looking very white.
"The PAIN! Oh, does it—ache?" stammered Pollyanna, all sympathy at once.
"Oh, yes, always," nodded the boy, with a cheerfully matter-of-fact air. "Mos_enerally I can stand it and come here just the same, except when it gets TO_ad, same as 'twas yesterday. Then I can't."
"But how can you stand it—to have it ache—always?" gasped Pollyanna.
"Why, I have to," answered the boy, opening his eyes a little wider. "Thing_hat are so are SO, and they can't be any other way. So what's the us_hinking how they might be? Besides, the harder it aches one day, the nicer
'tis to have it let-up the next."
"I know! That's like the ga—" began Pollyanna; but the boy interrupted her.
"Did you bring a lot this time?" he asked anxiously. "Oh, I hope you did! Yo_ee I couldn't bring them any to-day. Jerry couldn't spare even a penny fo_eanuts this morning and there wasn't really enough stuff in the box for m_his noon."
Pollyanna looked shocked.
"You mean—that you didn't have enough to eat—yourself?—for YOUR luncheon?"
"Sure!" smiled the boy. "But don't worry. Tisn't the first time—and 'twon't b_he last. I'm used to it. Hi, there! here comes Sir Lancelot."
Pollyanna, however, was not thinking of squirrels.
"And wasn't there any more at home?"
"Oh, no, there's NEVER any left at home," laughed the boy. "You see, mumse_orks out—stairs and washings—so she gets some of her feed in them places, an_erry picks his up where he can, except nights and mornings; he gets it wit_s then—if we've got any."
Pollyanna looked still more shocked.
"But what do you do when you don't have anything to eat?"
"Go hungry, of course."
"But I never HEARD of anybody who didn't have ANYTHING to eat," gaspe_ollyanna. "Of course father and I were poor, and we had to eat beans and fis_alls when we wanted turkey. But we had SOMETHING. Why don't you tel_olks—all these folks everywhere, that live in these houses? "
"What's the use?"
"Why, they'd give you something, of course!"
The boy laughed once more, this time a little queerly.
"Guess again, kid. You've got another one coming. Nobody I know is dishin' ou_oast beef and frosted cakes for the askin'. Besides, if you didn't go hungr_nce in a while, you wouldn't know how good 'taters and milk can taste; an_ou wouldn't have so much to put in your Jolly Book."
The boy gave an embarrassed laugh and grew suddenly red.
"Forget it! I didn't think, for a minute, but you was mumsey or Jerry."
"But what IS your Jolly Book?" pleaded Pollyanna. "Please tell me. Are ther_nights and lords and ladies in that?"
The boy shook his head. His eyes lost their laughter and grew dark an_athomless.
"No; I wish't there was," he sighed wistfully. "But when you—you can't eve_ALK, you can't fight battles and win trophies, and have fair ladies hand yo_our sword, and bestow upon you the golden guerdon." A sudden fire came to th_oy's eyes. His chin lifted itself as if in response to a bugle call. Then, a_uddenly, the fire died, and the boy fell back into his old listlessness.
"You just can't do nothin'," he resumed wearily, after a moment's silence.
"You just have to sit and think; and times like that your THINK gets to b_omething awful. Mine did, anyhow. I wanted to go to school and lear_hings—more things than just mumsey can teach me; and I thought of that. _anted to run and play ball with the other boys; and I thought of that. _anted to go out and sell papers with Jerry; and I thought of that. I didn'_ant to be taken care of all my life; and I thought of that."
"I know, oh, I know," breathed Pollyanna, with shining eyes. "Didn't I lose M_egs for a while?"
"Did you? Then you do know, some. But you've got yours again. I hain't, yo_now," sighed the boy, the shadow in his eyes deepening.
"But you haven't told me yet about—the Jolly Book," prompted Pollyanna, afte_ minute.
The boy stirred and laughed shamefacedly.
"Well, you see, it ain't much, after all, except to me. YOU wouldn't see muc_n it. I started it a year ago. I was feelin' 'specially bad that day. Nothin'
was right. For a while I grumped it out, just thinkin'; and then I picked u_ne of father's books and tried to read. And the first thing I see was this: _earned it afterwards, so I can say it now.
"'Pleasures lie thickest where no pleasures seem; There's not a leaf tha_alls upon the ground But holds some joy, of silence or of sound.'
"Well, I was mad. I wished I could put the guy that wrote that in my place, and see what kind of joy he'd find in my 'leaves.' I was so mad I made up m_ind I'd prove he didn't know what he was talkin' about, so I begun to hun_or 'em—the joys in my 'leaves,' you know. I took a little old empty noteboo_hat Jerry had given me, and I said to myself that I'd write 'em down.
Everythin' that had anythin' about it that I liked I'd put down in the book.
Then I'd just show how many 'joys' I had."
"Yes, yes!" cried Pollyanna, absorbedly, as the boy paused for breath.
"Well, I didn't expect to get many, but—do you know?—I got a lot. There wa_omethin' about 'most everythin' that I liked a LITTLE, so in it had to go.
The very first one was the book itself—that I'd got it, you know, to write in.
Then somebody give me a flower in a pot, and Jerry found a dandy book in th_ubway. After that it was really fun to hunt 'em out—I'd find 'em in suc_ueer places, sometimes. Then one day Jerry got hold of the little notebook, and found out what 'twas. Then he give it its name—the Jolly Book. And—an_hat's all."
"All—ALL!" cried Pollyanna, delight and amazement struggling for the master_n her glowing little face. "Why, that's the game! You're playing the gla_ame, and don't know it—only you're playing it ever and ever so much bette_han I ever could! Why, I—I couldn't play it at all, I'm afraid, if I—I didn'_ave enough to eat, and couldn't ever walk, or anything," she choked.
"The game? What game? I don't know anything about any game," frowned the boy.
Pollyanna clapped her hands.
"I know you don't—I know you don't, and that's why it's so perfectly lovely, and so—so wonderful! But listen. I'll tell you what the game is."
And she told him.
"Gee!" breathed the boy appreciatively, when she had finished. "Now what d_ou think of that!"
"And here you are, playing MY game better than anybody I ever saw, and I don'_ven know your name yet, nor anything!" exclaimed Pollyanna, in almos_westruck tones. "But I want to;—I want to know everything."
"Pooh! there's nothing to know," rejoined the boy, with a shrug. "Besides, see, here's poor Sir Lancelot and all the rest, waiting for their dinner," h_inished.
"Dear me, so they are," sighed Pollyanna, glancing impatiently at th_luttering and chattering creatures all about them. Recklessly she turned he_ag upside down and scattered her supplies to the four winds. "There, now, that's done, and we can talk again," she rejoiced. "And there's such a lot _ant to know. First, please, what IS your name? I only know it isn't 'Si_ames.'"
The boy smiled.
"No, it isn't; but that's what Jerry 'most always calls me. Mumsey and th_est call me 'Jamie.'"
"'JAMIE!'" Pollyanna caught her breath and held it suspended. A wild hope ha_ome to her eyes. It was followed almost instantly, however, by fearful doubt.
"Does 'mumsey' mean—mother?"
Pollyanna relaxed visibly. Her face fell. If this Jamie had a mother, he coul_ot, of course, be Mrs. Carew's Jamie, whose mother had died long ago. Still, even as he was, he was wonderfully interesting.
"But where do you live?" she catechized eagerly. "Is there anybody else i_our family but your mother and—and Jerry? Do you always come here every day?
Where is your Jolly Book? Mayn't I see it? Don't the doctors say you can eve_alk again? And where was it you said you got it?—this wheel chair, I mean."
The boy chuckled.
"Say, how many of them questions do you expect me to answer all at once? I'l_egin at the last one, anyhow, and work backwards, maybe, if I don't forge_hat they be. I got this chair a year ago. Jerry knew one of them fellers wha_rites for papers, you know, and he put it in about me—how I couldn't eve_alk, and all that, and—and the Jolly Book, you see. The first thing I knew, _hole lot of men and women come one day toting this chair, and said 'twas fo_e. That they'd read all about me, and they wanted me to have it to remembe_hem by."
"My! how glad you must have been!"
"I was. It took a whole page of my Jolly Book to tell about that chair."
"But can't you EVER walk again?" Pollyanna's eyes were blurred with tears.
"It don't look like it. They said I couldn't."
"Oh, but that's what they said about me, and then they sent me to Dr. Ames, and I stayed 'most a year; and HE made me walk. Maybe he could YOU!"
The boy shook his head.
"He couldn't—you see; I couldn't go to him, anyway. 'Twould cost too much.
We'll just have to call it that I can't ever—walk again. But never mind." Th_oy threw back his head impatiently. "I'm trying not to THINK of that. Yo_now what it is when—when your THINK gets to going."
"Yes, yes, of course—and here I am talking about it!" cried Pollyanna, penitently. "I SAID you knew how to play the game better than I did, now. Bu_o on. You haven't told me half, yet. Where do you live? And is Jerry all th_rothers and sisters you've got?"
A swift change came to the boy's face. His eyes glowed.
"Yes—and he ain't mine, really. He ain't any relation, nor mumsey ain't, neither. And only think how good they've been to me!"
"What's that?" questioned Pollyanna, instantly on the alert. "Isn't that—that
'mumsey' your mother at all?"
"No; and that's what makes—"
"And haven't you got any mother?" interrupted Pollyanna, in growin_xcitement.
"No; I never remember any mother, and father died six years ago."
"How old were you?"
"I don't know. I was little. Mumsey says she guesses maybe I was about six.
That's when they took me, you see."
"And your name is Jamie?" Pollyanna was holding her breath.
"Why, yes, I told you that."
"And what's the other name?" Longingly, but fearfully, Pollyanna asked thi_uestion.
"I don't know."
"YOU DON'T KNOW!"
"I don't remember. I was too little, I suppose. Even the Murphys don't know.
They never knew me as anything but Jamie."
A great disappointment came to Pollyanna's face, but almost immediately _lash of thought drove the shadow away.
"Well, anyhow, if you don't know what your name is, you can't know it isn't
'Kent'!" she exclaimed.
"'Kent'?" puzzled the boy.
"Yes," began Pollyanna, all excitement. "You see, there was a little boy name_amie Kent that—" She stopped abruptly and bit her lip. It had occurred t_ollyanna that it would be kinder not to let this boy know yet of her hop_hat he might be the lost Jamie. It would be better that she make sure of i_efore raising any expectations, otherwise she might be bringing him sorro_ather than joy. She had not forgotten how disappointed Jimmy Bean had bee_hen she had been obliged to tell him that the Ladies' Aid did not want him, and again when at first Mr. Pendleton had not wanted him, either. She wa_etermined that she would not make the same mistake a third time; so ver_romptly now she assumed an air of elaborate indifference on this mos_angerous subject, as she said:
"But never mind about Jamie Kent. Tell me about yourself. I'm SO interested!"
"There isn't anything to tell. I don't know anything nice," hesitated the boy.
"They said father was—was queer, and never talked. They didn't even know hi_ame. Everybody called him 'The Professor.' Mumsey says he and I lived in _ittle back room on the top floor of the house in Lowell where they used t_ive. They were poor then, but they wasn't near so poor as they are now.
Jerry's father was alive them days, and had a job."
"Yes, yes, go on," prompted Pollyanna.
"Well, mumsey says my father was sick a lot, and he got queerer and queerer, so that they had me downstairs with them a good deal. I could walk then, _ittle, but my legs wasn't right. I played with Jerry, and the little gir_hat died. Well, when father died there wasn't anybody to take me, and som_en were goin' to put me in an orphan asylum; but mumsey says I took on so, and Jerry took on so, that they said they'd keep me. And they did. The littl_irl had just died, and they said I might take her place. And they've had m_ver since. And I fell and got worse, and they're awful poor now, too, beside_erry's father dyin'. But they've kept me. Now ain't that what you call bein'
pretty good to a feller?"
"Yes, oh, yes," cried Pollyanna. "But they'll get their reward—I know they'l_et their reward!" Pollyanna was quivering with delight now. The last doub_ad fled. She had found the lost Jamie. She was sure of it. But not yet mus_he speak. First Mrs. Carew must see him. Then—THEN—! Even Pollyanna'_magination failed when it came to picturing the bliss in store for Mrs. Care_nd Jamie at that glad reunion.
She sprang lightly to her feet in utter disregard of Sir Lancelot who had com_ack and was nosing in her lap for more nuts.
"I've got to go now, but I'll come again to-morrow. Maybe I'll have a lad_ith me that you'll like to know. You'll be here to-morrow, won't you?" sh_inished anxiously.
"Sure, if it's pleasant. Jerry totes me up here 'most every mornin'. The_ixed it so he could, you know; and I bring my dinner and stay till fou_'clock. Jerry's good to me—he is!"
"I know, I know," nodded Pollyanna. "And maybe you'll find somebody else to b_ood to you, too," she caroled. With which cryptic statement and a beamin_mile, she was gone.