“Castaways ought to find treasure buried on their island to make it really interesting,” she told her chum. “Think of poor Robinson Crusoe and his man Friday. Wouldn’t they have been just tickled to death to have found anything like this for their Sunday dinner, say?”
“I don’t believe Friday would have cared much about railroad lunch apple pies,” said Nan. “One’s palate has to become accustomed to such delicacies.”
“Now, don’t be critical, Nan Sherwood, or I sha’n’t give you any more pie,” cried Bess. “B-r-r-r! isn’t it cold in here?”
“We really ought to speak to the janitor about it,” said Nan, demurely. “He isn’t giving us enough steam. I shall move into another apartment before next winter if they can’t heat this one any better.”
They whiled away the morning in conversation and reading. They had to sit with their furs on. Nan looked like a little Esquimaux in hers, for her Uncle Henry Sherwood had bought them for her to wear in the Big Woods the winter before. Finally Bess declared she was too fidgety to sit still any longer.
“I’ve just got to do something. Here’s the conductor again. Let’s stir him up about the heat.”
“I wouldn’t,” said more thoughtful Nan. “He looks as though he had his own troubles.”
“I don’t care! We can’t sit here and freeze to death. Say, Mr. Conductor, can’t we have any more heat? We’re really almost frozen.”
“Can’t help it, little ladies,” responded the man, rather gruffly. “You’ll find it worse when the coal gives out entirely.”
“Oh, mercy!” Bess exclaimed, when he had gone on. “What a bear!”
But Nan looked suddenly disturbed. “Do you suppose that is possible?” she asked.
“That the coal may give out?”
“What if it does?” queried her chum, blankly.
“Goodness me! How will they make steam if there’s no fuel for the fire?”
“Oh!” gasped Bess, “I never thought of that. Goodness, Nan, we’ll be frozen to icicles!”
“Not yet, I hope,” said Nan, getting up briskly. “Let’s see if we can’t stick our heads out of doors. I’m aching for a breath of fresh air.”
They went forward and opened the vestibule door. The outside doors were locked and the snow was piled against the little windows, high up in the door panels.
“I believe this snow is piled completely over the cars,” declared Nan.
“Isn’t that funny?” said Bess. “How do you s’pose they’ll ever dig us out?”
“I wonder if it has stopped snowing?”
“I hope so!”
“We can’t hear anything down here,” continued Nan. “But we naturally couldn’t, if the train is buried in the snow.”
“Dear me, Nan!” said her chum, in a really worried tone. “What do you s’pose will happen to us?”
“And our folks! They’ll be awfully worried. Why! we should have been at Tillbury by eight o’clock, and here it is noon!”