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HOME > Short Stories > Sue, A Little Heroine > CHAPTER XXXVII. THE HAPPY GATHERING.
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 There came a day in the early spring of that year when a great many pleasant things happened to the people who have been mentioned in this story.  
Connie's room was very bright with flowers—spring flowers—which had been sent to her all the way from Eastborough by Mrs. Cricket. Quantities of primroses were placed in a huge bowl, and the sun came feebly in at the window and seemed to kiss and bless the flowers. There were also some early buttercups and quantities of violets.
Giles was neither better nor worse, but perhaps on this day he was a little bit on the side of better. It was so beautiful to think that Sue was coming back!
Oh, this was a wonderful day! Sue was well again; Connie was happy; Harris was never tired of doing all he could both for Connie and Giles; and other people were happy too, for Sue's return was to be marked by a sort of holiday—a sort of general feast.
To this feast was invited—first, Mrs. Anderson; then Ronald, who happened to be staying in London and was deeply excited at the thought of seeing Connie once more; and also dear Father John, who would not have missed such an occasion for the wide world. Of course, Pickles could not be left out of such a gathering; but he could scarcely be considered a guest, for did he not belong, so to speak, to the family, and was not dear Sue, in particular, his special property?
Mrs. Anderson supplied the good things for the feast. This she insisted upon. So Connie spread quite a lordly board—cold meats not a few, some special delicacies for Giles, and a splendid frosted cake with the word "Cinderella" written in pink fairy writing across the top. This special cake had been made by Mrs. Price, and Pickles had brought it and laid it with immense pride on a dish in the centre of the table.
"Yus," said Connie, "it do look purty, don't it? Wot with good things to eat, and wot with flowers, it's quite wonderful."
When everything was arranged, Connie went into a little room to put on once again her dark-blue dress, and to unplait her thick hair and allow it to fall over her shoulders.
"It's for Ronald," she said. "Ronald wouldn't know me without my hair down."
Then, one by one, the visitors made their appearance—Father John, who sat down by Giles's side and held his hand, and by his mere presence gave the boy the greatest possible comfort; and Pickles, whose face was shining with hard rubbing and soap and water, and whose red hair stuck upright all over his head. Then Mrs. Anderson came in and sat down, and gave a gentle look first at Giles and then at Connie; and152 Connie felt that she loved her better than ever, and Giles wondered if he would meet many with faces like hers in heaven.
In short, every one had arrived at last except the little heroine. But hark! there was a sound outside as though some vehicle had stopped at the door. Giles's breath came fast. There were steps on the stairs, and two porters from the hospital carried Sue in between them.
"Oh, I can really walk," she said. "And oh, Giles—Giles!—Please put me down, porter; I really, really can walk."
"Jest as himpatient as ever, Cinderella!" said Pickles, who always tried, as was his custom, to be specially funny in pathetic times.
Sue glanced at him, but could not speak just then. There are moments in our lives when no words will come. She went up to Giles and hid her face on his pillow. Poor little Sue had a bitterly hard fight with herself, for that face, which belonged not to earth, unnerved her, notwithstanding the rapture of seeing it once again. But Giles himself was the first to recover composure.
"We are 'avin' such a feast!" he said. "An' it's all so beautiful! Now then, Sue I do 'ope as ye're 'ungry."
After that Ronald s............
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