been kept busy assisting Mr. Basswood in turning the vacant land on the outskirts of Crumville into 鏉窞妗戞嬁浣撻獙 building plots and offering them for sale. But since the unexpected and mysterious disappearance of the two girls all thoughts of business had been brushed aside.
鈥淒ave and Roger ought to be here almost any time now,鈥?remarked Dunston Porter. 鈥淏ut what good their coming on the scene is going to do, I can鈥檛 surmise.鈥?
鈥淵ou can鈥檛 blame them for wanting to come after receiving 鏉窞榫欏嚖璁哄潧vip such news,鈥?remarked Mr. Wadsworth. 鈥淒ave, I know, thinks a great deal of his sister, and you all know that he and Jessie think a great deal of each other.鈥?
鈥淵es. And I know that Roger has his eye on Laura,鈥?answered the girl鈥檚 father. 鈥淎nd she thinks a great deal of the young man.鈥?
At that moment the telephone rang, and Dunston 197Porter went to answer it. A
telegram was telephoned to him.
鈥淒ave and Roger are now on their way from Albany,鈥?he announced. 鈥淭hey 鏉窞涓嶆瑙勬礂娴?will be here in about an hour. I think I鈥檒l run down to the depot in the auto and meet them.鈥?And so it was arranged.
There were no passengers as eager as Dave and Roger to leave the train when it rolled into the little station at Crumville. Dunston Porter was on hand, and they gazed eagerly at his face to see if it bore any signs of good news.
鈥淣o, I鈥檝e got nothing to 鏉窞鎸夋懇鍦板潃 cheer you with,鈥?he announced, after shaking hands and conducting them to the auto, into the tonneau 鏉窞娌瑰帇璁哄潧 of which they pitched their suit-cases. 鈥淲e haven鈥檛 the least idea where they are or how they disappeared.鈥?
鈥淏ut, Uncle Dunston, you must have some news!鈥?pleaded Dave.
鈥淎t least you can tell us how and when they left home and what was the last
word you had from them,鈥?said Roger.
鈥淭hey made up their minds to go to Boston to visit Jessie鈥檚 aunt, Mrs. Brightling, 鏉窞姘寸枟浼氭墍璁哄潧 just about two weeks ago,鈥?answered Dave鈥檚 uncle. 鈥淭hey spent two or three days in getting ready; and then a week ago this Wednesday they started on the trip, Mrs. Wadsworth and the chauffeur taking them down to the depot. They carried one 198trunk, which was checked through to Boston, and Laura had a suit-case, and both of the girls had handbags. They had through tickets to Boston, and got on the train; and that was the last we saw or heard of them.
鈥淲e had expected 鏉窞姘寸（鎸夋懇浼氭墍 to get a letter from Laura, and the Wadsworths expected a letter from Jessie, stating that they had arrived safely. When no letters came, Mrs. Wadsworth got nervous, and as a result she asked her husband to send a telegram to find out what was wrong.
鈥淭he telegram had just been sent when a telegram was received from Mrs. Brightling, asking how it was that the girls had 鏉窞涓嬫矙澶у鐢熷吋鑱屽枬鑼?not come on as expected. Then she telegraphed a little later that she had not seen them nor heard from them.
鈥淎 search was made at the depot in Boston, and the trunk was found just as it had been checked from here. The suit-case the girls had kept with them on the train.鈥?
鈥淏ut didn鈥檛 they meet anybody on the train who knew them?鈥?questioned Dave.
鈥淣o one that we