A gleam of hope came into Mr. Evringham’s cold eyes and he looked down on his companion doubtfully.
“We have to go out on the train,” he said.
“Yes,” returned the child, “but you could put me on it, and every time it stops I would ask somebody if that was Bel-Air.”
The prospect this offered was very pleasing to the broker.
“You wouldn’t be afraid, eh?”
“Be what?” asked Jewel, looking up at him with a certain reproachful surprise.
“You wouldn’t, eh?”
“Well, I believe it would do well enough, since you don’t mind. Zeke is going to meet this train. I’ll tell the conductor to see that you get off at Bel-Air, and when you do, ask for Mr. Evringham’s coachman. You’ll see Zeke, a light-haired man driving a brown horse in a brougham. He’ll take you home to his mother, Mrs. Forbes. She is my housekeeper. Now, do you think you’ll understand?”
“It sounds very easy,” returned Jewel.
Mr. Evringham’s long legs and her short skipping ones lost no time in boarding the train, which they found made up. The relieved man saw the conductor, paid the child’s fare, and settled her on the plush seat.
She sat there, contentedly swinging her feet.
“Now I can just catch a boat if I leave you immediately,” said Mr. Evringham consulting his watch. “You’ve only a little more than five minutes to wait before the train starts.”
“Then hurry, grandpa, I’m all right.”
“Very well. Your fare is paid, and the conductor understands. You might ask somebody, though. Bel-Air, you know. Good-by.”
Hastily he strode down the aisle and left the train. Having to pass the window beside which Jewel sat, he glanced up with a half uneasy memory of how far short of the floor her feet had swung.
She was watching for him. On her lips was the sweet gay smile and—yes, there was no mistake—Anna Belle’s countenance was beaming through the glass, and she was wafting kisses to Mr. Evringham from a stiff and chubby hand. The stockbroker grew warm, cleared his throat, lifted his hat, and hurried his pace.
When her grandfather had disappeared, Jewel placed Anna Belle on the seat beside her, where she toed in, in a state of the utmost complacence.
“I have my work to do, Anna Belle,” she said, “and this will be a good time, so don’t disturb me till the train starts.” She put her hand over her eyes, and sat motionless as the people met and jostled in the aisle.
Minutes passed, and then some one brushed the child’s arm in taking the seat beside her. “Oh, please don’t sit on Anna Belle!” she cried suddenly, and looked up into a pair of clear eyes that were regarding her with curiosity.
They belonged to a man with a brown mustache and dark, short, pointed beard, who carried a small square black case and had altogether a very clean, fresh, agreeable appearance.