Mr. Richard Gordon sent several telegrams
before the train arrived, and they were all of importance.
One recovered Betty’s locket, for, informed
of the circumstances by this telegram, the lawyer in
Washington sent his clerk to Mrs. Staples and showed
her in a very few words that she was coasting very
close to the law by keeping the little platinum and
“So,” said Betty to Bobby,
“if the lawyer gets it and Uncle Dick
says he will I can wear the locket to parties
at the school.”
“If Mrs. Eustice allows it,”
said her chum grimly. “You know, she’s
down on jewelry. Remember how she got after Ada
Nansen and Ruth Gladys Royal for wearing so much junk?”
“My goodness!” giggled
Betty, “what would she say to you if she heard
you use such an expression? Anyway, I am going
to show her Uncle Dick’s present and ask her.
I know the beautiful diamond earrings Doctor and Mrs.
Guerin sent me can’t be worn till I grow up a
bit. But my locket is just right.”
It was a noisy crowd that boarded
the train; and it continued to be a noisy crowd to
the junction where it broke up. All the young
folks would have been glad to go with Uncle Dick and
Ida Bellethorne to New York; but he sent all but Betty
and Bob on to school. They would reach the Shadyside
station soon after daybreak the next morning, and Mr.
Gordon had telegraphed ahead for the school authorities
to be on the look-out for them.
Betty and Bob, with Uncle Dick and
the English girl, left the train at the junction and
boarded another for New York City in some confidence
of reaching their destination in good season.
The train, however, was late.
It seemed merely to creep along for miles and miles.
Luckily they had secured berths, and while they slept
the delayed train did most of its creeping.
But in the morning they were dismayed
to find that they were already two hours late and
that it would be impossible for the train to pick up
those two hours before reaching the Grand Central
Terminal in New York City.
“Now, hold your horses, young
people!” advised Mr. Gordon. “We are
not beaten yet. The San Salvador does
not leave her dock until eleven at the earliest.
It may be several hours later. I have wired to
Miss Bellethorne aboard the ship and in care of the
Toscanelli Opera Company as well. I do not know
the hotel at which Miss Bellethorne has been staying.”
“But, Uncle Dick!” cried
Betty, who seemed to have thought of every chance
that might arise, “suppose Ida’s aunt wants
to take her along to Brazil? Her passport ”
“Can be vised at the British
consulate on Whitehall Street in a very few minutes.
I have examined Ida’s passport, and there is
no reason why there should be any trouble over it
at all. She is a minor, you see, and if her aunt
wishes to assume responsibility for her no effort will
be made to keep her in the country, that is sure.”
“Then it all depends upon Ida’s aunt,”
“And our reaching the dock in
time,” amended Uncle Dick. “I would
not wish to interfere with Miss Bellethorne’s
business engagement in Rio Janeiro; but I am anxious
for her to authorize me, on behalf of her niece, to
get legal matters in train for the recovery of that
beautiful mare. I believe that she belongs every
hair and hoof of her to our young friend
here. There has been some trickery in the case.”
“Oh, Uncle Dick!” shrieked Betty.
“When I went to see that poor
little cripple Hunchie Slattery he told me that the
very papers that were given to Mr. Bolter with the
horse must prove Ida’s ownership at one time
of the mare. There was some kind of a quit-claim
deed signed by her name, and that signature must be
“The horse could never have
been sold in England, for the Bellethorne stable was
too well known there. The men who grabbed the
string of horses left when Ida’s father died
are well-to-do, and Mr. Bolter will be able to get
his money back, even if he has already paid the full
price agreed upon for Ida Bellethorne.
“I am convinced,” concluded
Uncle Dick, “that the girl has something coming
to her. And it may even pay Miss Bellethorne to
remain in the United States instead of going to Rio
Janeiro until the matter of the black mare’s
ownership is settled beyond any doubt.”
When the train finally reached New
York, Uncle Dick did not even delay to try to reach
the dock by telephone. He bundled his party into
a taxicab and they were transported to the dock where
the San Salvador lay.
A steward seemed to be on the look-out
for the party, and addressed Uncle Dick the moment
he alighted from the cab.
“Mr. Gordon, sir? Yes,
sir. Madam Bellethorne has received your wire
and is waiting for you. I have arranged for you
all to be passed through the inspection line.
The steamship, sir, is delayed and will not sail until
“And that is a mighty good thing
for us,” declared Mr. Gordon to his charges.
His business card helped get them
past the inspectors. It is not easy to board
a ship nowadays to bid good-bye to a sailing friend.
But in ten minutes or so they stood before the great
She was a tall and handsome woman.
Betty at first glance saw that Ida, the niece, would
very likely grow into a very close resemblance to Madam
The woman looked swiftly from Betty
to Ida and made no mistake in her identification of
her brother’s daughter. Ida was crying just
a little, but when she realized how close and kindly
was her aunt’s embrace she shook the drops out
of her eyes and smiled.
“Father wanted I should find
you, Aunt Ida,” she said. “He wrote
a letter to you and I have it. I think it was
the principal thing he thought of during his last
illness his misunderstanding with you.”
“My fault as much as his,”
Madam Bellethorne said sadly. “We were both
proud and high-tempered. But no more of this now.
Something in this gentleman’s long telegram
to me ”
She bowed to Mr. Gordon. He quickly
stated the matter of the black mare’s ownership
to the singer.
“If you will come to the British
consulate where Ida’s passport must be vised,
and sign there a paper empowering me to act in your
behalf, you assuming the guardianship of Ida, I can
start lawyers on the trail of this swindle.”
Miss Bellethorne was a woman of prompt
decision and of a business mind, and immediately agreed.
She likewise saw that her niece had made powerful
friends during the weeks she had been in America and
she was content to allow Mr. Gordon to do the girl
It was a busy time; but the delay
in the sailing of the San Salvador made it
possible for everything necessary to be accomplished.
Uncle Dick and Betty and Bob accompanied the Bellethornes
aboard the ship again and had luncheon with them.
Ida cried when she parted with Betty; but it would
be only for the winter. When the opera company
returned to New York it was already planned that the
younger Ida Bellethorne should join the friends of
her own age she had so recently made at Shadyside School.
It was an astonishing sight for Betty
and Bob to see the great ship worried out of her dock
by the fussy little tugs. It was growing dark
by that time and the great steamship was brilliantly
lighted. They watched until she was in midstream
and was headed down the harbor under her own steam.
“There! It’s over!”
sighed Betty. “I feel as if a great load
had been lifted from my mind. Dear me, Bob! do
you suppose we can ever again have so much excitement
crowded into a few hours?”
As Betty was no seeress and could
not see into the future she of course did not dream
that in a very few weeks, and in very different surroundings,
she would experience adventures quite as interesting
as any which had already come into her life.
These will be published in the next volume of this
series, entitled: “Betty Gordon at Ocean
Park; or, Gay Doings on the Boardwalk.”
Bob shook his head at Betty’s
last observation. “Does seem as though we
manage to get hooked up to lots of strange folks and
strange happenings. Certain metals attract lightning,
Betty, and I think you attract adventures. What
do you say, Uncle Dick?”
Mr. Gordon only laughed. “I
say that you young folks had better have supper and
a long night’s rest. I shall not let you
go on to school until to-morrow. For once you
will be a day late; but I will chance explaining the
circumstances to your instructors.”
They got into the taxicab again and
bowled away up town. The lights came up like
rows of fireflies in the cross streets. When they
struck into the foot of Fifth Avenue at the Washington
Arch the globes on that thoroughfare were all alight.
It was late enough for the traffic to have thinned
out and their driver could travel at good speed save
when the red lights flashed up on the traffic towers.
“Isn’t this wonderful?”
said Betty. “Libbie is always enthusing
about pretty views and fairylike landscapes.
What would she and Timothy say to this?”
“Something silly, I bet,”
grumbled Bob. “Cricky! but I’m hungry,”
proving by this speech that he had a soul at this
moment very little above mundane things.
Uncle Dick chuckled in his corner
of the car, and made no comment. And Betty said
nothing further just then. The brilliant lights
of the avenue were shining full in her face, but her
thoughts were far away, with Ida Bellethorne on that
ocean-going steamer bound for South America. What
a wonderful winter of adventures it had been!
“And the best of it is, it all
came out right in the end,” murmured the girl
softly to herself.