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HOME > Short Stories > Light O' The Morning > CHAPTER XXVII. — ADVENTURES—AND HOME AGAIN.
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 The girls now went straight to the railway station; the hour was a quarter to twelve. They entered and asked at once if there was a train up to town. Yes; the last train would be due in ten minutes. Molly now took the management of affairs; she purchased a third-class ticket for herself and another for Nora.  
“If we go third-class we shall not be specially remarked,” she said. “People always notice girls who travel first-class.”
The tickets being bought, the girls stood side by side on the platform. Molly had put on her shabbiest hat and oldest jacket; her gloves had some holes in them; her umbrella was rolled up in such a thick, ungainly fashion that it looked like a gamp. Nora, however, exquisitely neat and trim, stood by her companion's side, betraying as she did so traces of her good birth and breeding.
“You must untidy yourself a bit when we get into the train,” said Molly. “I'll manage it.”
“Oh, never mind about my looks; the thing is to get off,” said Nora. “I'm not a scrap afraid,” she added; “if Aunt Grace came to me now she could not induce me to turn back; nothing but force would make me. I have got the money, and to Ireland I will go.”
“I admire you for your determination,” said Molly. “I never knew that an Irish girl could have so much spunk in her.”
“And why not? Aren't we about the finest race on God's earth?”
“Oh, come, come,” said Molly; “you mustn't overdo it. Even you sometimes carry things a trifle too far.”
Just then the train came in. There was the usual bustle of passengers alighting and others getting in; the next moment the girls had taken their seats in a crowded compartment and were off to town. They arrived in London between twelve and one o'clock, and found themselves landed at Waterloo. Now, Waterloo is not the nicest station in the world for two very young girls to arrive at midnight, particularly when they have not the faintest idea where to go.
“Let us go straight to the waiting room and ask the woman there what we had best do,” said Molly, who still immensely enjoyed taking the lead.
Nora followed her companion quite willingly. Her worst fears about her father were held in abeyance, now that she was really on her way to him. The girls entered the waiting room. A tired-looking woman was busy putting out the gas, and reducing the room to darkness for the night. She turned round as the girls came in.
“I'm shutting up, ladies,” she said.
“Oh, but please advise us,” said Molly.
“How so, miss? What am I to do?”
“You'll be paid well,” said Molly, “so you need not look so angry. Can you take us home to your place until the morning?”
“What does this mean?” said the woman.
“Oh, I'll explain,” said Molly. “We're two runaways. I don't mind telling you that we are, because it's a fact. It is important that we should leave home. We don't want to be traced. Will you give us lodging?—any sort. We don't mind how small the room is. We want to be at Euston at an early hour in the morning; we are going to Holyhead.”
“Dear, dear!” said the woman; “and does this really mean money?”
“It means five shillings,” said Molly.
“Ten” was on Nora's lips; but Molly silenced her with a look.
“There's no use in overpaying her; she won't be half as civil,” whispered Molly to Nora.
“It's five shillings you'll get,” she repeated in a firm voice. “Here, I have got the change; you can look in my purse.”
“Molly opened her purse as she spoke. The woman, a Mrs. Terry by name, did look in. She saw the shine of gold and several half-crowns.
“Well, to be sure!” she said. “But you'll promise not to get me into a scrape?”
“We won't even ask you your name. You can let us out of the house in time for us to catch the first train from Euston. We shall be off and away before we are discovered.”
“And we'll remember you all our lives if you'll help us,” said Nora. Then she added, tears filling her pretty eyes, “It's my father, please, kind woman; he has been shot at and is very ill.”
“And who wants to keep you from your father, you poor thing?” said the woman. “Oh, if it's that, and there's no lovers in the question, I don't mind helping you both. It don't do for young girls to be wandering about the streets alone at night. You come with me, honeys. I can't take you for nothing, but I'll give you supper and breakfast, and the best bed I can, for five shillings.”
Accordingly, in Mrs. Terry's company, the two girls left Waterloo Station. She walked down a somewhat narrow side-street, crossed another, and they presently found themselves in a little, old-fashioned square. The square was very old indeed, belonging to quite a dead-and-gone period of the world. The woman stopped at a house which once had been large and stately; doubtless in days gone by it had sheltered goodly personages and had listened to the laughter of the rich and well-to-do; but in its old age the house was let out in tenements, and Mrs. Terry owned a couple of rooms at the very top.
She took the girls up the dirty stairs, opened the door of a not uncomfortable sitting room, and ushered them in.
“There now, honeys,” she said; “the best I can do for you both is the sofa for one and my bed for the other.”
“No, no,” said Nora, “we would not dream of taking your bed; and, for that matter, I could not sleep,” she added. “If you will let me have a couple of chairs I shall lie down on them and wait as best I can until the morning. Oh, I have often done it at home and thought it great fun.”
“Well, you must each have a bit of supper first; it don't do for young girls to go to bed hungry, more particularly when they have a journey before them. I'll get you some bread and cheese and a glass of milk each—unless, indeed, you would prefer beer?”
“Oh, no, we would much rather have milk,” said Molly.
The woman bustled about, and soon came in with a jug of milk, a couple of glasses, some bread, and some indifferent butter.
“You can have the cheese if you really want it,” she said.
“No; this will do beautifully,” answered Nora.
“Well then, my dears, I'll leave you now for the night. The lamp will burn all night. It will be lonely for young girls to be in the dark; and............
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