“Do you know, brother,” began Miss Daphne, in the bright, abrupt little way she had, “I think it would be the right thing if we took one of the Robbins’ children. There are four or five of them——”
“Boys or girls?” interrupted the Dean.
“Well, now I’m not quite sure, but if my memory serves me, I think there’s a boy amongst them. I know the eldest girl is named Jean Daphne, because I’ve always sent her a silver spoon on her birthday since she was born. They’re all of them over ten, I am sure. Why don’t you just write to Jerrold and make known your willingness? I am sure they would take it in the spirit in which it was offered.”
So this was how it happened that the Dean’s letter went forth to Gilead, and produced the hour when Kit stood on the platform of the Union Station in Chicago, looking around her to discover any one who might appear to be seeking a small boy.
Gradually the long platform that led up to the concourse cleared. Kit went leisurely on, following the porter who carried her suit-case. She was looking for some one who might resemble either the Dean or Miss Daphne from her mother’s description of them.
“As I remember him,” Mrs. Robbins had said, “the Dean was very tall, rather sparely built, but broad-shouldered and always with his head up to the wind. His hair was gray, worn rather long and curly at the ends, and he had the old-fashioned Gladstone whiskers. Miss Daphne was like a little bird, a gentle, plump, busy Jenny Wren, with bright brown eyes and a little smile that never left her lips. I am sure you can’t mistake them, Kit, for in their way they are very distinctive.”
Yet Kit was positive now that neither the Dean nor his sister had come to meet her. She stood in the waiting-room quite unconscious of the attention she attracted, for Kit would have been singled out from the multitude anywhere by reason of what Jean called “her unique individuality.”
She wore a dark tan serge traveling coat with a brown service cap to match that set a bit rakishly on her red curls. There was about her an air of buoyant and friendly self-possession, which always ingratiated her with any casual acquaintances. Therefore it was no wonder that Mr. Bellamy glanced at her several times with interest, even while his gaze sought through the crowd for a young New England type of boy, bound for Delphi, Wis.
But Kit noticed Mr. Bellamy. Noticed his alert anxiety as he walked up and down, eyeing every newcomer. He was eighteen or nineteen, and unmistakably looking for some one. Even while Kit watched him, she saw a girl of about her own age hurry up to him. Her voice reached her plainly, as she said:
“I’ve looked up and down that end, and I’m positive he isn’t there. Oh, but the Dean will lecture you, Rex, if you miss him.”