The great hold of the ship was a dark place. Usually it was
still also, except for the noises of the straining ship, the creaking of
timbers, and the slap, slap of the water rushing past outside. But on this
trip there was a queer, whispering, bustling sound to be heard all the time.
For, contrary to the usual method, the hold of the ship was filled with
passengers. If you listened you could hear them talking back and forth.
"I come from Maine," whispered a little laughy voice. "Who else
is here from Maine?" "I am," "And I," called
thousands of bell-like voices.
"We are from Louisiana." "And we from
Texas." "Ohio is here." "And here is Virginia." Voice
after voice took up the message until every state had been claimed by a voice.
It sounded as though all the bells of fairyland were ringing at once. For, do
you know, every one of the hundreds and hundreds of big boxes which filled the
hold of that ship was filled with the doll messengers of friendship on their
way to Japan.