The blue dress was soon on and adjusted and Migwan pinned the collar while Veronica adjusted the cuffs.
Nyoda was checking off on her fingers the things she must take. “Handkerchiefs—did you get them in?” Veronica nodded.
“Towels, soap case, hairpins, buttonhook?”
“Everything,” replied Veronica.
“I forgot the slippers!” exclaimed Veronica, and sped after them.
The hall clock chimed half past three and Nyoda started nervously.
“Plenty of time,” said Migwan soothingly. “Come downstairs now and drink your coffee and eat something.”
Nyoda went downstairs and drank several cups of coffee and forced herself to eat some of the scorched toast, although she was not in the least hungry.
“You’ll stay here in the house until I come back, won’t you, girls?” she said between sips of coffee. “Ill leave you in full charge. You’ll be careful, won’t you?”
“Yes, Nyoda,” they all promised. “We’ll be good and see that nothing happens. Don’t worry.”
“I’ll send you my address as soon as I get there, so you can write me. Remember about lighting the gas stove in the kitchen, Hinpoha, it puffs. The bed linen is in the closet off the front room upstairs.”
“Yes, Nyoda, we’ll find everything, don’t worry.”
The long peal of an auto horn sounded outside.
“There’s the car,” said Sahwah. “The boys got it out of the garage and around the front of the house.”
“What time is it?”
“A quarter to four. We’d better start, you have to buy your ticket first. Here, let me take the suitcase.”
“Where are my gloves?”
“Here they are,” said Migwan, handing them to her.
They passed quickly down the front walk and into the waiting automobile. A swift ride through the quiet streets in the first pale glimmerings of the dawn, and they were in the little station, the only ones waiting for the train.
The Captain strode over to the blackboard while Nyoda went to buy her ticket. “Train’s on time,” he announced, coming back to the group.
In another minute they heard the whistle in the distance, and then the long train roared in and came to a panting halt. The Captain seized Nyoda’s suitcase and jumped aboard with it. Nyoda followed and stood still on the train steps to say good-bye to the Winnebagos crowding around.
“Be good, girlies,” she said, smiling bravely at them.
“Oh, Nyoda, dear Nyoda! We’ll think of you every minute. We’ll pray for you and Sherry.”
The conductor stood on the platform, watch in hand.
“If you need anything, Nyoda, telegraph and we’ll send it”
The conductor dropped his right hand in signal to the engineer, and swung aboard, the wheels began to turn, the Captain leaped down from the other end of the car.