At one station a woman entered carrying an infant whose pudgy face lay upon her shoulder, and about whose tiny body her right arm was tightly clasped. In her left hand she carried a large and apparently heavy bag. Four other children trotted after her down the aisle, and like a rear guard a burly looking man followed the children carrying a tiny parcel.
“What a horrid man,” thought Randy, as he proceeded immediately to make himself comfortable by occupying the larger part of a seat.
He did permit one child to sit beside him, but he allowed the other three to crowd around his wife who held the sleeping infant in her arms, and kept a watchful eye upon the big bag which sat on the floor at her feet.
Randy’s attention was about evenly divided between watching the passengers and enjoying the beauties of the autumn landscape as the flying train passed first a village nestling at the foot of a mountain, then a forest, then a lake whose surface reflected the gorgeous coloring of the trees upon its shore, then another village, then a winding river which, mirror-like, repeated the blue sky and the floating clouds. This endless panorama was to Randy a most wonderful thing, and the beauty of it all as it passed before her, filled her with delight.
At noon the train stopped at a large depot which was far more pretentious than any which she had yet seen, and Randy wondered why nearly everyone left the car. When she noticed that many of the passengers had left their parcels in their seats, she was amazed at what seemed to be gross carelessness. That they went forth in search of lunch never occurred to her, but realizing that she was hungry and that nearly all the seats were vacant, she opened her basket and was touched when she saw that her mother had remembered her little freaks of taste, and had made up a lunch of what she knew would tempt her. In one corner was a tiny paper bag on which was printed in little Prue’s best manner,
“For my Randy.”
Poor little Prue! The bag of candy which her father had brought from the Centre to cheer the little girl and help to turn her attention from the thought of loneliness when Randy should say “good-bye,” proved inefficient. Nothing could make Randy’s departure less hard for little Prue, and she had evidently found a bit of comfort in tucking the little bag into a corner of the lunch basket, thus contributing her mite toward Randy’s pleasure.
“Dear little Prue,” murmured Randy, “she shall have the loveliest doll I can find in Boston.”
The afternoon ride seemed longer and less amusing than that of the morning. The novelty was wearing off, and Randy was beginning to feel weary.
When it grew dusky and in the towns along the way bright lights appeared, a sudden fear took possession of her. What if she should be unable to see Miss Dayton when she stepped from the train at Boston?