“Would you like to see them?” he asked genially, his eye lingering on Hinpoha’s glory-crowned head with artistic appreciation.
He himself looked like the typical artist one sees in pictures. His hair was long and wavy and his blond beard was trimmed in Van Dyke fashion. Hinpoha nearly burst with admiration of him, and when he became aware of her existence and offered to show his sketches she was in a flutter of joy.
“Oh, may we?” she exclaimed delightedly, taking the book from his hand.
“Oh, lookee!” she squealed in rapture to the other girls. “Did you ever see anything so quaint?”
The others looked and also exclaimed in wonder and delight. There were pictures of trains running along on legs instead of wheels, of houses and barns whose windows and doors were cunningly arranged to form features, of buildings that sailed through the air with wings like birds’; of drawbridges with one end sticking up in the air while an enormously fat man sat on the other end; of ships walking along on stilts that reached clear to the bottom of the ocean!
“Oh, aren’t they the most fascinating things you ever saw?” cried Sahwah, enraptured.
Utterly absorbed, she did not see the lieutenant of aviation gather up his things to leave the train at one of the way stations; was not aware that he paused on his way out and looked at her for a long, irresolute minute and then went hastily on.
The last page in the book of sketches had not been reached when the train came to a stop right out in the hills, between stations.
“What’s the matter?” everybody was soon asking.
Heads were popped out of windows and there was a general rush for the platforms, as the sounds outside indicated excitement of some kind.
“Two freight trains collided on the bridge and broke it down,” was the word that passed from mouth to mouth. “The train will be delayed for hours.”
Dismayed at the long wait in store for them, the Winnebagos sat down in their seats again, prepared to make the best of it, when the judicial-looking gentleman who had been sitting in front of them came up and said, “Pardon me, but I couldn’t help overhearing you girls talking about going to Oakwood. I am going to Oakwood myself—I live there—and I know how we can get there without waiting hours and hours for this train to go on. We are only about twenty miles from Oakwood now and right near an interurban car line. We can go in on the electric car and not lose much time. I will be glad to assist you in any way possible. My name is Wing, Mr. Ira B. Wing.”
“Not Agony and Oh-Pshaw’s father!” exclaimed Hinpoha. “I knew they lived in Oakwood, but——”
“The same,” interrupted Mr. Wing, smiling broadly. “Are you acquainted with my girls?”