OTHER PEOPLE’S WORRIES
Nan had written home quite fully about the presentation of the medal. It was the first her father and mother had known of the courage she had displayed so many weeks before in saving the life of the tiny girl at the Junction.
The fact that some of her fellow passengers had seen the act and considered it worthy of commemoration, of course, pleased Mr. and Mrs. Sherwood; but that Nan had been in peril herself on the occasion, naturally worried her mother.
“I hope you will not go about seeking other adventures, my dear child,” wrote her mother, with gentle raillery. “What with your announcement of the presentation of the medal, and Mrs. Mason’s enthusiastic letter, your father and I begin to believe that we have a kind of female knight errant for a daughter. I am afraid we never shall get our little Nan back again.”
Nan did not really need any bubble of self-importance pricked in this way. She was humbly thankful to have been able to save the little girl from the snake, and that the horrid creature had not harmed her, either.
She had hidden the medal away, and would not display it or talk about it. The thought that her name and her exploit were on the Roll of Honor of the National Society actually made Nan’s ears burn.
She had other worries during these brief winter days—mostly other people’s worries, however. The absolute disappearance of Inez was one; another was the whereabouts of the two runaway girls, Sallie and Celia, who should by this time have discovered that they were not destined to be great motion picture actresses.
Nan had come away from the apartment of her friend, “the Moving Picture Queen,” as Walter called her, that afternoon, with the address of the studio and a letter to Madam’s assistant, Mr. Gray. The next morning, she and Bess went to the studio to make inquiries about the runaway girls. They went alone because Grace had much to do before returning to school; and now their day of departure for Lakeview was close at hand.
“And oh! how I hate to go back to those horrid studies again,” groaned Bess.
Nan laughed. “What a ridiculous girl you are, Bess Harley,” she said. “You were just crazy to go to Lakeview in the first place.”
“Yes! wasn’t I?” interposed Bess, gloomily. “But I didn’t know I was crazy.”
When once the chums came to the motion picture studio they had no thought for anything but their errand and the interesting things they saw on every side. At a high grilled gate a man let them into the courtyard after a glance at the outside of the letter Nan carried.
“You’ll find Mr. Gray inside somewhere,” said the gatekeeper. “You’ll have to look for him.”
Nan and Bess were timid, and they hesitated for some moments in the paved yard, uncertain which of the several doors to enter. They saw a number of girls and men enter through the gate as they had, and watched the men hurry to one door, and the women and girls to another.