“Who? the baggage-man?” giggled Bess.
“The puppy, of course,” returned Nan.
“We’ll feed him some of our pie,” suggested Bess.
“He ought to have some warm milk,” Nan said seriously.
“Oh, indeed!” exclaimed her chum. “Well, Nan Sherwood, I don’t think anybody’s thought to milk the cow this morning.”
“Oh, be good, Bess,” Nan admonished her. The pup began to whimper again. “Come on; let’s find the man.”
The girls ventured farther forward. When they opened the door of the car at that end, Bess screamed outright.
“Why! it’s a tunnel, Nan,” she ejaculated. “Do you see?”
“What a lot of snow there must be above us,” her chum rejoined, with gravity.
“Why, this is just the greatest adventure that ever happened,” Bess continued. “The men have tunneled through the drift from one car to the other. I wonder how thick the roof is, Nan? Suppose it falls on us!”
“Not likely,” responded her chum, and she stepped confidently out upon the platform. The door of the forward car stuck and after a moment somebody came and slid it back a crack.
“Hullo, young ladies!” exclaimed the brakeman, who looked out. “What do you want forward, here?”
“We want to speak to the baggage-man, please,” Nan said promptly.
“Hey, Jim!” shouted the brakeman. “Here’s a couple of ladies to see you. I bet they’ve got something to eat in their trunks and want to open them.”
There was a laugh in chorus from the crew in the forward baggage and express car. Then an older man came and asked the girls what they wished. Bess had grown suddenly bashful, so it was Nan who asked about the dog.
“The poor little thing should be released from that crate,” she told the man. “And I believe he’s hungry.”
“I reckon you’re right, Miss,” said the baggage-man. “I gave him part of my coffee this morning; but I reckon that’s not very satisfying to a dog.”
“He should have some milk,” Nan announced decidedly.
“Ya—as?” drawled the baggage-man. He had come into the car with the girls and now looked down at the fretting puppy. “Ya—as,” he repeated; “but where are you going to get milk?”
“From the so-called cow-tree,” said Bess soberly, “which is found quite commonly in the jungles of Brazil. You score the bark and the wood immediately beneath it with an axe, or machette, insert a sliver of clean wood, and the milky sap trickles forth into your cup—”
“How ridiculous!” interposed Nan, while the baggage-man burst into appreciative laughter.
“Well,” said Bess, “when folks are cast away like us, don’t they always find the most wonderful things all about them—right to their hands, as it were?”
“Like a cow-tree in a baggage car?” said Nan, with disgust.
“Well! how do you propose to find milk here?” demanded her chum.