“That’s a good idea, Dolly. I do think it may work.”
So, in the shadow of the trees they changed dresses, and then, while Bessie advanced toward the track cautiously and as quietly as possible, with her training in the woods, Dolly went back, and appeared presently walking carelessly along toward the trolley station.
Jake looked at her suspiciously, and she smiled at him.
“Oh, hello!” she said, cheerily. “You waiting for a car, too? How soon does the next one come along?”
“About two minutes,” said Jake. He was eyeing her clothes, and evidently suspected nothing after that scrutiny.
“That’s good! I was afraid I’d miss that car. Oh, you’re not going, are you? That’s your bicycle, isn’t it?”
“Naw, I’m not goin’—got to stay here. Say, why don’t you wait here and talk to a feller?”
“I might,” smiled Dolly. The car was really coming—it rounded a curve just then, and came in, slowing up. Dolly saw Bessie get aboard, but Jake was looking at her. “No, I guess I can’t,” she said then. And she sprang aboard, just as the car moved off.
AT THE ELEVENTH HOUR
The two girls fell into one another’s arms on the car, laughing almost hysterically as it moved away. Looking back, Dolly saw Jake Hoover, a stupid look in his round eyes, staring after them.
“Bessie! Let him see you!” she begged. “I want him to know how he was fooled! I bet he’s just the sort of boy to go around saying what poor things girls are, and how little use he has for them!”
Bessie stood up on the back platform, and Jake saw her. The sight seemed to drive him frantic. They saw him waving his arms, and faintly heard his shrieks of anger as he saw his prey slipping away. But he was helpless, of course; there was no way in which he could chase the car, and he had sense enough, at least, to realize that.
“You’re quite right about him, Dolly,” said Bessie, laughing so hard that there were tears in her eyes. “He always did go around saying that girls were no good and that he couldn’t see why any of the fellows wanted to have anything to do with them!”
“He’s the sort that always does, Bessie, and it’s because the girls won’t have anything to do with them. He was pleased enough when I started talking to him, and awfully bashful, too, just like a silly calf. That’s all he really is, anyhow, Bessie. But it’s a good thing he’s as silly as he is, because he’s so mean that if he were clever, he could make a frightful nuisance of himself.”
“I think he’ll have a bad time when Mr. Holmes and Farmer Weeks find out that he let us get away, Dolly. I don’t know what sort of a hold they’ve got on him, but it was easy to tell there was something, from the way Mr. Holmes spoke.”
“Yes, indeed! And Mr. Holmes meant just what he said when he threatened him, too. The only reason he pretended afterwards that he was joking was so that Jake wouldn’t be too frightened to do anything, don’t you think so?”