“What could you do?” asked the nurse, curiously.
“I don’t know as I can do much yet,” answered Ida, modestly; “but perhaps when I am older I can draw pictures that people will buy.”
“Have you got any of your drawings with you?”
“No, I didn’t bring any.”
“I wish you had. The lady we are going to see would have liked to see some of them.”
“Are we going to see a lady?”
“Yes; didn’t your mother tell you?”
“Yes, I believe she said something about a lady that was interested in me.”
“That’s the one.”
“And shall we come back to New York to-night?”
“No; it wouldn’t leave us any time to stay.”
“West Philadelphia!” announced the conductor.
“We have arrived,” said the nurse. “Keep close to me. Perhaps you had better take hold of my hand.”
As they were making their way slowly through the crowd, the young apple merchant came up with his basket on his arm.
“When are you going back, Ida?” he asked.
“Mrs. Hardwick says not till to-morrow.”
“Come, Ida,” said the nurse, sharply. “I can’t have you stopping all day to talk. We must hurry along.”
“Good-by, Charlie,” said Ida. “If you see Jack, just tell him you saw me.”
“Yes, I will,” was the reply.
“I wonder who that woman is with Ida?” thought the boy. “I don’t like her looks much. I wonder if she’s any relation of Mr. Harding. She looks about as pleasant as Aunt Rachel.”
The last-mentioned lady would hardly have felt flattered at the comparison.
Ida looked about her with curiosity. There was a novel sensation in being in a new place, particularly a city of which she had heard so much as Philadelphia. As far back as she could remember, she had never left New York, except for a brief excursion to Hoboken; and one Fourth of July was made memorable by a trip to Staten Island, under the guardianship of Jack.
They entered a horse car just outside the depot, and rode probably a mile.
“We get out here,” said the nurse. “Take care, or you’ll get run over. Now turn down here.”
They entered a narrow and dirty street, with unsightly houses on each side.
“This ain’t a very nice-looking street,” said Ida.
“Why isn’t it?” demanded her companion, roughly.
“Why, it’s narrow, and the houses don’t look nice.”
“What do you think of that house there?” asked Mrs. Hardwick, pointing to a dilapidated-looking structure on the right-hand side of the street.
“I shouldn’t like to live there,” answered Ida.
“You wouldn’t, hey? You don’t like it so well as the house you live in in New York?”
“No, not half so well.”
The nurse smiled.
“Wouldn’t you like to go in, and look at the house?”
“Go in and look at the house?” repeated Ida. “Why should we?”