THE BEGINNING OF THINGSOne night at their home in London, father, mother, Roberta(also known as Bobbie), Peter and Phyllis are talking about Peter’s broken model engine when there is a knock on the front door. Two gentlemen come to see father and talk for a long time. Father speaks briefly with mother and mysteriously leaves home. The next morning, mother leaves for London and returns in the evening, looking tired. She requests the children to be good while she is away and not to ask any question about father. Several horrid weeks pass by and one morning, mother tells the children that they are moving to a little white house near railway line in the country. They take the train and arrive at their new home in the dark.
PETER AND THE COALThe family do not get a decent supper as they think Mrs. Viney has not prepared it for them. Mother prepares what she can and off they go to bed. The next morning, the children wake up feeling excited in their new home. They discover that a nearby field backs onto a railway line but the railway station is too far to see from where they are. Before supper the children decides to go to the railway station. They have a lot to see and a large heap of coal catches Peter’s attention. When Peter steals coal from the station yard, he is caught by the Station Master. Peter thinks that taking some coals from the middle of the heap is harmless. The Station Master warns them that what they have done is stealing because the coal belongs to the railway station. It is only then they realize what they have done is wrong.
THE OLD GENTLEMAN By now the children know the time when the trains pass. Every morning, they will wave to an old gentleman who always waves back at them. They pretended that the old man knows their father and takes their love to him in London. One day, their mother becomes very ill and Bobbie resolves to do something positive to help. The children paint the words, “LOOK OUT AT THE STATION” on a large white sheet and wave it at the 9.15 train the next day. When the train is about ready to leave, Phyllis passes a letter to the Old Gentleman. In the evening, a large box of supplies is delivered to the children with all the things they have asked for.