Page:Betty Gordon in the Land of Oil.djvu/69
ered at the corners from much staring in the hot sun. His face and hands were very brown, and he looked like a man who lead an outdoor life and liked it.
Bob took to him at once, and the feeling seemed to be mutual, for Mr. Gordon kept a friendly hand on the boy's shoulder while he continued to scan him smilingly.
"Began to look as though we were never going to get together, didn't it?" Mr. Gordon said. "Last week there was a rumor that I might have to go to China for the firm, and I thought if that happened Betty would be in despair. However, that prospect is not immediate. Well, young folks, what do you think of Flame City, off-hand?"
Betty stared. From the station she could see half a dozen one-story shacks and, beyond, the outline of oil-well derricks. A straggling, muddy road wound away from the buildings. Trolley cars, stores and shops, brick buildings to serve as libraries and schools—there seemed to be none.
"Is this all of it?" she ventured.
"You see before you," declared Mr. Gordon gravely, "the rapidly growing town of Flame City. Two months ago there wasn't even a station. We think we've done rather well, though I suppose to Eastern eyes the signposts of a