“And where, for goodness’ sake, are they?” cried the impatient Bess.
“Miss Montague and her friend?”
“Yes,” Nan explained. “We are very anxious to find them, and have been looking for them ever since we came to Chicago. You see, they have run away from home, Jennie, and their parents are terribly worried about them.”
“Maybe they were ill-treated at home,” Jennie Albert said, gloomily.
“Oh, they were not!” cried Bess, eagerly. “We know better. Poor old Si Snubbins thinks just the world and all of Celia.”
“And Mrs. Morton is one of the loveliest women I ever met,” Nan added. “The girls have just gone crazy over the movies.”
“Over acting in them, do you mean?” asked the girl who “did stunts.”
“Yes. And they can’t act. Mr. Gray says so.”
“Oh, if they were no good he’d send them packing in a hurry,” groaned the sick girl, holding her head with both hands. “I sent them over to him because I knew he wanted at least one extra.”
“And he did not even take their address,” Nan explained. “Do you know where they live?”
“No, I don’t. They just happened in here. I know that they recently moved from a former lodging they had on the other side of town. That is really all I know about them,” said Jennie Albert.
Meanwhile Walter had been quietly handing in the packages to his sister and Bess. The oil stove was deftly filled by the good-hearted boy before he lifted it and the can of oil inside.
When the big lamp was lit the chill of the room was soon dispelled. Little Inez opened the packages eagerly, chattering all the time to Jennie Albert about the good things the young folks from Washington Park had brought.
But the sick girl, after her little show of interest in Nan’s questioning, quickly fell back into a lethargic state. Nan whispered to Inez and asked her about the doctor she had seen for Jennie.
“Is he a good one?” she asked the child. “And will he come here if we pay him?”
“He’s a corker!” exclaimed the street waif. “But he’s mighty busy. You got to show him money in your hand to get him to come to see anybody. You know how these folks are around here. They don’t have no money for nothin’—least of all for doctors.”
She told Nan where the busy physician was to be found, and Nan whispered to Walter the address and sent him hurrying for the man of pills and powders.
Until the doctor returned with Walter the girls busied themselves cleaning up the room, undressing the patient, and putting her into bed between fresh sheets, and making her otherwise more comfortable. There was a good woman on this same floor of the old tenement house, and Grace paid her out of her own purse to look in on Jennie Albert occasionally and see that she got her medicine and food.
For they were all determined not to leave little Inez in these poor lodgings. “Goodness knows,” Bess remarked, “if she gets out of our sight now we may never find her again. She’s just as elusive as a flea!”