The child looked at Bess in her sly, wondering way, and said: “Hi! I never had nobody worry over what become of me ’fore this. Seems like it’s somethin’ new.”
WHAT HAPPENED TO INEZ
Walter, who had gone downstairs to wait after he had brought the doctor, had a long wait in the cold court at the door of the lodging house in which Jennie Albert lived. A less patient and good-natured boy would have been angry when his sister and her school chums finally appeared.
He was glad that Grace took an interest in anything besides her own pleasure and comfort. His sister, Walter thought, was too much inclined to dodge responsibility and everything unpleasant.
He wanted her to be more like Nan. “But, then,” the boy thought, “there’s only one Nan Sherwood in the world. Guess I can’t expect Grace to run a very close second to her.”
However, when the girls did appear Grace was chattering just as excitedly as Bess Harley herself; and she led Inez by the hand.
“Yes, she shall! She’ll go right home with me now—sha’n’t she, Walter?” Grace cried. “You get a taxi, and we’ll all pile in—did you ever ride in a taxi, Inez?”
“Nope. But I caught on behind a jitney once,” confessed the little girl, “and a cop bawled me out for it.”
“We’re going to take her home, and dress her up nice,” Bess explained to Walter, “and give her the time of her life.”
Inez seemed a bit dazed. In her own vernacular she would probably have said—had she found her voice—that “things was comin’ too fast for her.” She scarcely knew what these girls intended to do with her; but she had a good deal of confidence in Nan Sherwood, and she looked back at her frequently.
It was to Nan, too, that Walter looked for directions as to their further movements, as well as for exact information as to what had gone on up stairs in Jennie Albert’s room.
“She’s an awfully plucky girl,” Nan said. “No; she’s not very ill now,” the doctor said, “but she does have a dreadful cough. However, the doctor has given her medicine.
“It’s odd,” Nan added thoughtfully, “but she got this cold down at Tillbury. The company she was out with were taking pictures near there. There’s a big old mansion called the Coscommon House that hasn’t been occupied for years. It’s often filmed by movie people; but never in the winter before, that I know of.”
“But, Nan!” exclaimed Walter. “What did we come over here for, anyway? How about those runaway girls?”
“I’m sorry,” Nan said, shaking her head; “but we haven’t found them. They don’t live here, and Jennie doesn’t know where they do live.”
“Goodness! What elusive creatures they are,” grumbled Walter.
“Aren’t they!” Bess exclaimed. “Jennie Albert just happened to meet them when they were looking for work, and told them where she lived. So they came around to see her the other day. That Mr. Gray we saw at the studio had just sent for Jennie, and so she told them to go around and see him. Yes! Just think! ‘Lola Montague’ and ‘Marie Fortesque’! Say! Aren’t those names the limit?”