The man shook his head in annoyance and hurried on his way.
Collin followed Morgan's lead, running from person to person, from strange looking motor vehicle to horse-drawn carriage, asking the same question. Finally, Morgan saw someone pointing toward a distant street. Collin waved at her and smiled.
"Come on, Morg. We've got a ways to go, and it's getting late."
Morgan and Collin ran through the broad streets of the "City of Lights" that were illuminated with that new invention, Edison's electric lamp. They ran through narrower streets and alleyways that were still lit by the dim glow of gaslights.
Snow fell more heavily, sticking to their hair, their eyelashes and their clothes. Still they ran past old buildings, under clothes lines strewn with underwear and other garments. Peering through the window of a restaurant, Collin saw coats hanging on a rack and was tempted to step inside to "borrow" one. Instead, the two ran faster, hoping the exercise would keep them warm.
"There," Collin yelled, pointing to a street sign. "That's the street where the Curies live. The man didn't know the address, but he said it shouldn't be too hard to locate."
Collin stopped a young woman clutching a scarf around her head and asked again for help. The woman pointed to an old door at the far end of the alley and once again, Morgan and Collin ran.
Soon Morgan was rubbing the grime from a dirty window with the sleeve of her windbreaker. Without much success she tried to peer into the dim interior of a room that looked little better than a crude stable. A small, thin woman with her hair gathered into a bun at the back of her head stood over a stove, stirring something in several large pots.
"Do you think that's soup?" Collin asked, and Morgan could hear his stomach rumble. She was hungry, too, but she had the feeling it wasn't food Marie Curie was laboring over.
"I think it's some kind of experiment," Morgan told Collin. "Let's knock. Hopefully she'll let us in where it's warm."
The woman who opened the door looked very tired. She pulled her worn, dirty sweater around her against the cold. "Yes?" she asked.
"We're looking for my sister," Collin said quickly, peering past the scientist into the darkened laboratory. "Her name's Courtney, and we thought she was coming to visit the Curies."
"I'm afraid I've seen no one, child," the woman said in a quiet, apologetic voice. She began to close the door.
"We're sure she'll be here any minute now," pleaded Morgan. "Do you think we could come in and wait for her? Just to get out of the cold?"