“We certainly won’t,” Bessie answered.
Then they went inside, and sank gratefully and happily into the first empty seat they saw. They were still hungry, but at least they were safe now from the pursuit of Holmes and Jake Hoover, and they were so grateful for that that they were entirely willing to let their hunger be forgotten.
And they had not been seated more than a minute, when Bessie, at least, had new cause for feeling happy, for a man’s voice sounded in her ear, and she looked up in surprise to see Charlie Jamieson, the lawyer, bending over them.
“Well, what are you doing here?” he exclaimed.
They told him as quickly as they could, both girls joining in the story, and his eyes grew grave as he listened.
“Well, I owe you an apology, Bessie,” he said, when they had finished their tale. “I certainly thought you were all off about Holmes, and I’m still puzzled to account for his being mixed up in this. But there’s no doubt that he is, from what you tell me—none at all! He’s a hard man to have to fight, too. You did mighty well to get rid of him as well as you did. You left him back there at Tecumseh, eh? Well, I’ll just have a look, in case he got on the train when you weren’t looking.”
He walked through the train, and in a few minutes he was back, looking more serious than ever.
“That’s just what he did,” he said. “He’s up there in the smoking car, looking as if he’d lost his last friend this morning. He’s a hard man to shake off, and a bad man to have against you. That’s always been his reputation, and I guess you two will be ready to believe that after what you’ve seen of him today. I’m going to sit down and do some thinking now, before we get to Deer Crossing. It’s a lucky thing I happened to decide to run out this afternoon, and it was just accident. I found I had a little time to myself, and I wired to Miss Mercer that I would come out and spend the night and see how the Camp Fire Girls were getting along.”
“I thought maybe she’d sent word to you when Dolly and I weren’t at the farm for lunch,” said Bessie. “I’m afraid she’s worried about us.”
“She probably is, and if she hadn’t known I was coming anyhow she would probably have sent for me. Well, you’d better rest up a bit now, Bessie. We may not be through with Mr. Holmes yet.”
“He wouldn’t dare try to do anything to me now, when you’re here, Mr. Jamieson!”
“No, I don’t believe he would. But that’s not exactly what I meant, He’s through with us—for the day. But we’re not through with him. We may have a chance to get even and do something to him, just by way of a change. I think he needs a lesson to show him that we’re a match for him, after all.” Then he went off, explaining that he had to be alone to think out a problem.
But they hadn’t figured out what his plan might be when he returned to them, chuckling mightily.