Tom sat back in her seat and enjoyed the prospect from the windows, as the train sped along. She felt in unusually good spirits, knowing that she had put granny entirely off the track, and that there was no immediate chance of her recapture. “If I only had that money granny took from me, I'd be all right,” she said to herself. However, her board and lodging were paid at Mrs. Murphy's for a week in advance, and that was something.
About forty miles from New York a number of passengers got into the cars. The seats were mostly occupied, but the one beside Tom was untaken. A gentleman advanced up the aisle with a lady, looking about him for a seat.
“Is this seat engaged?” he inquired of Tom.
“No,” answered Tom.
“Then you had better sit here, Rebecca,” said the 262gentleman. “I think you will have no trouble. You won't forget where you are to go,Mrs. Thurston's, West Twenty-Fifth Street. I can't recall the number, but a glance in the Directory will settle that.”
“I wish you knew the number,” said the lady.
“It was very careless of me to lose it, I confess. Still, I think you will have no trouble. But good-by, I must hurry out, or I shall be left.”
“Good-by. Let me see you soon.”
The gentleman got out, and the lady settled down into her seat, and looked about her. Finally her glance rested on her young companion. She was inclined to be social, and accordingly opened a conversation with Tom.
“Are you going to New York?” she inquired.
“I suppose you live there?”
“I have never been there, and know nothing at all about the city.”
“It's a big place,” remarked Tom.
“Yes, I suppose so. I have always lived in the country, and I am afraid I shan't feel at home there. 263But my sister, who is boarding with a Mrs. Thurston, who keeps a large boarding-house on West Twenty-Fifth Street, has invited me to come up and spend a few weeks, and so I have got star