“Why,” she thought, with something like a feeling of remorse, “I haven’t even missed Beautiful Beulah. I—I wonder if I am really growing up? Oh, dear!”
Mr. Sherwood thought her a very much composed and sophisticated little body, indeed, when he met her on the great concourse of the railway station.
“Goodness me, Nan!” he declared, when he had greeted her. “How you do grow. Your mother and I have seen so little of you since we came back from Scotland, that we haven’t begun to realize that you are a big, big girl.”
“Don’t make me out too big, Papa Sherwood!” she cried, clinging to his arm. “I—I don’t want to grow up entirely. I want for a long time to be your little girl.
“I know what we’ll do,” cried Nan, delightedly. “You have plenty of time before your business conference. We’ll walk along together to see how Jennie Albert is—it isn’t far from here—and you shall buy me a bag of peanuts, just as you used to do, and we’ll eat ’em right on the street as we go along.”
“Is that the height of your ambition?” laughed Mr. Sherwood. “If so, you are easily satisfied.”
Nan told her father all about the search for the runaway girls, and about little Inez and Jennie Albert. She wanted to see how the latter was. The comforts she and her friends had left the sick girl the day before, and the ministrations of the physician, should have greatly improved Jennie’s condition.
Nan left her father at the entrance to the alley leading back to Jennie’s lodging; but in a few minutes she came flying back to Mr. Sherwood in such excitement that at first she could scarcely speak connectedly.
“Why, Nan! What is the matter?” her father demanded.
“Oh! come up and see Jennie! Do come up and see Jennie!” urged Nan.
“What is the matter with her? Is she worse?”
“Oh, no! Oh, no!” cried the excited girl. “But she has got such a wonderful thing to tell you, Papa Sherwood!”
“To tell me?” asked her father wonderingly.
“Yes! Come!” Nan seized his hand and pulled him into the alley. On the way she explained a little of the mystery.
“Dear me! it’s the most wonderful thing, Papa Sherwood. You know, I told you Jennie was working for a moving picture company that was making a film at Tillbury. She had a boy’s part; she looks just like a boy with a cap on, for her hair is short.
“Well! Now listen! They took those pictures the day before, and the very day that you came back from Chicago to Tillbury and that awful Mr. Bulson lost his money and watch.”
“What’s that?” demanded Mr. Sherwood, suddenly evincing all the interest Nan expected him to in the tale.
As they mounted the stairs Nan retailed how the company had gone to the railroad yards early in the morning, obtaining permission from the yardmaster to film a scene outside the sleeping car standing there on a siding, including the entrance of Jennie as the burglars’ helper through the narrow ventilator.