By Eleanor H. Porter
Author of "Miss Billy," "Miss Billy's Decision,"
"Cross Currents," "The Turn of the Tides," etc.
My Cousin Belle
CHAPTER I. MISS POLLY
Miss Polly Harrington entered her kitchen a little hurriedly this June morning. Miss Polly did not usually make hurried movements; she specially prided herself on her repose of manner. But to-day she was hurrying—actually hurrying.
Nancy, washing dishes at the sink, looked up in surprise. Nancy had been working in Miss Polly's kitchen only two months, but already she knew that her mistress did not usually hurry.
"Yes, ma'am." Nancy answered cheerfully, but she still continued wiping the pitcher in her hand.
"Nancy,"—Miss Polly's voice was very stern now—"when I'm talking to you, I wish you to stop your work and listen to what I have to say."
Nancy flushed miserably. She set the pitcher down at once, with the cloth still about it, thereby nearly tipping it over—which did not add to her composure.
"Yes, ma'am; I will, ma'am," she stammered, righting the pitcher, and turning hastily.