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Title: Judy of York Hill
Author: Bennett, Ethel Hume, 1881-
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Judy of York Hill" ***

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With Illustrations by Harold Cue

LED THE WAY (_page_ 59)]


Boston and New York
Houghton Mifflin Company
The Riverside Press Cambridge


Copyright, 1922, by Ethel Hume Bennett
All Rights Reserved

The Riverside Press
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Printed in the U.S.A.

                TO YOU WHO IN

        _"To set the cause above renown,
          To love the game beyond the prize,
          To honour, while you strike him down,
          The foe that comes with fearless eyes;
          To count the life of battle good,
          And dear the land that gave you birth,
          And dearer yet the brotherhood
          That binds the brave of all the earth._

        .     .     .     .     .     .     .

         _To-day and here the fight's begun
          Of the great fellowship you're free;
          Henceforth the School and you are one,
          And what You are, the race shall be."_

                                    HENRY NEWBOLT


           I. BEGINNINGS                           3

          II. IMPORTANT THINGS                    21

         III. DRESSING UP                         37

          IV. A SUPPER PARTY                      47

           V. "ENOUGH IS AS GOOD AS A FEAST"      54

          VI. PUTTING IT THROUGH                  65

         VII. CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS                  87

        VIII. CASTLES IN THE AIR                 100

          IX. THE ANONYMOUS LETTER               115

           X. JUDITH PLAYS DETECTIVE             133

          XI. FRIENDS                            148

         XII. EASTER HOLIDAYS                    169

        XIII. THE MESSENGER                      186

         XIV. JUDITH WINS THE TENNIS CUP         203

          XV. JUNE SHOWERS                       218

         XVI. A TOAST TO THE SCHOOL              239

        XVII. PRIZE-GIVING                       259


    LED THE WAY                                         _Frontispiece_

    OFF THEY WENT                                             102

    TO NANCY SINCE THEY PARTED                                182





"YES, we're nearly in," said Uncle Tom, glancing out at the flying
landscape. "There's the lake, and here comes the porter to stir up the

Judith's heart beat a little more quickly. Toronto and York Hill School
had been the centre of her thoughts for months past, and now she was
almost there and a new life ahead of her!

"I suppose you've read your 'Tom Brown,' Judy, eh? 'Like young bears
with all your troubles to come,'" quoted Uncle Tom as he left her a few
minutes later with Aunt Nell who had come to the station to meet them.
"Can't help having trouble, I'm afraid, but when you're going to be
expelled for not having solved your geometry problem, just drown your
grief in an ice-cream soda in the tuck shop"--and he dexterously
inserted a crisp bank-note into Judith's bag.

"Don't mind him, Judy, darling, he's always teasing. We'll do our
shopping first of all. I've arranged for a fitting at Madame's for you."

"Mother and Daddy sent their love," said Judith a little soberly as they
got into the waiting motor. "Yes, I think Mother seemed a little
better--and she's just sure that Florida will make her perfectly well."

Her lips quivered ever so slightly as she remembered how every hour was
taking her mother farther away from her.

But Aunt Nell, who had promised her sister to finish Judith's shopping,
made haste to introduce the fascinating question as to whether taffeta
or crêpe would be best for the afternoon frock, and how many sweater
coats would she need.

They spent a busy and a delightful morning. Who doesn't like to get a
new outfit? And then, after luncheon at Aunt Nell's club, they motored
out to York, for they had an appointment with the Head Mistress at three

"Just around this curve and then we can see the School--there!" said
Aunt Nell, and Judith leaned forward, her eyes shining with excitement.

"Blessed old York! I can't have quite the same affection, of course,
for these new buildings as I had for the old School in town--York
Ladies' College it was then; but this certainly is handsomer, and we've
still got Miss Meredith and some of the old staff, so it's the same

Judith looked eagerly at the great pile of grey stone vine-clad

"That's the main school with the bell-tower," continued Aunt Nell in her
character of guide. "The classrooms and offices are there, the two wings
are East and West Houses, farther to the north--there, you see--is North
House, and here is South where you are to be. That's Miss Meredith's
house over there by the maple trees, and back of the main school are the
gymnasium and the tennis courts. I hope you've brought your tennis
racquet; you'll get excellent practice."

Aunt Nell paused for a moment, and then she laughed a little ruefully.

"I'd love to give you a bit of advice or guidance that would help, Judy;
but honestly I don't know how to do it. Fathers and uncles in the school
stories always seem to know what to say. I do know that you're going to
have a splendid time--I wish _I_ were sixteen again and my first year
at York before me." Aunt Nell looked reminiscent for a moment, and then
added, "One thing--York is going to help you to grow; and if I didn't
feel rather like a very heavy uncle who was being listened to for the
tip he was to bestow, I'd conclude by quoting from 'Hamlet'--yes, I
will--it's the soundest piece of advice I know.

                        'To thine own self be true,
        And it shall follow as the night the day,
        Thou canst not then be false to any man.'

There, that's my last will and testament. York is going to show you how
to be true to the best that's in you; perhaps the girls will teach you
as much as the staff will--you've got some very important things to
learn from them."

Judith looked politely astonished, but not very deeply interested. Fancy
having to listen to "Hamlet" when a perfectly fascinating new world lay
just a few yards away! But Aunt Nell really was a dear--that new blue
taffeta was going to be stunning.

Judith had dreaded a little the interview with Miss Meredith; she was
sure that the Head of this great School must be an awe-inspiring
person, stern and somewhat like a judge. But Miss Meredith's welcome was
so warm and gracious that Judith felt surprisingly at her ease. She was
conscious of a dignified presence, kind yet keen blue eyes, a beautiful,
low-pitched voice, and a personality, which, even in that first short
interview, Judith recognized as strong and powerful.

Judith's course of study was discussed, and then a charming-looking
girl--who was apparently waiting in the corridor for the purpose--was
summoned and introduced as Nancy Nairn, a classmate, and member of the
same house.

They made way for another newcomer and her mother, and the moment Judith
had dreaded was come. She kept Aunt Nell a few minutes in the hall
sending messages to Doris and Bobby and Uncle Tom, and a miserable
aching lump rose in her throat, though she swallowed hard.

"Head up, honey," whispered Aunt Nell, holding Judith's hands firmly.
"Ask Miss Marlowe to let you 'phone me if you need anything, and on
Friday I'll come for you. What a lot you'll have to tell me!"

For one desperate instant Judith felt that she must follow her or else
let the wretched lump, which was growing larger and larger, compel her
to tears, but there at her elbow was Nancy whose blue eyes were dancing
and who apparently had no sympathy for tears.

"Let's go over to South and see about your room," she began. "Do you
know any one here?"

Judith shook her head.

"Oh, well, you'll soon know heaps. What a perfectly sweet bag," she
added tactfully, surveying Judith's beaded treasure from Paris. "Do let
me see it."

Judith wondered if she could speak, but Nancy didn't wait. Her soldier
brother had brought her a bag from Liberty's. Would Judith come and see
it? She did hope Judith's room was near hers; at least hers was not a
room, but a cubicle. Judith's eyes questioned. Cubicle had to be
explained as a room with low walls about six feet high, such a friendly
place to live in, "five or six of us in a row and we're never lonely,"
finished Nancy; "but then no one is lonely at York."

By this time they had crossed by a cloister to South House and were
standing at the House Mistress's door.

"Miss Marlowe must be a very popular person," thought Judith. Outside
the green baize door was a chattering mob of girls, all apparently
talking at the top of their voices. Indeed, it seemed to Judith that
they were screaming.

"Nancy, _darling_!" cried one, and Nancy was literally dragged from
Judith by several impetuous young persons who all talked at once.

"Glorious time" . . . "Did you?" . . . "Temagami" . . . "camped out for
three weeks" . . . "Indian guides" . . . "_Such_ diving" . . . "Heavenly
time" . . . "Murray Bay" . . .

Then a louder voice--

"Miss Marlowe wants Peggy Forrest."

"Here, Piggy, hurry along"--and a fat girl was propelled through the

"Jane, my dear, I thought you were never coming," heralded a new

"Miss Marlowe is a brick; we are to have thirty-three."

Squeals of delight and the retreat of three inseparables.

Judith began to feel that she would drown amidst all the noise, but
Nancy had a tight grip of her arm again, and at last it was her turn at
the door.

Judith never lost that first picture of Miss Marlowe in her study, a
pleasant, sun-flooded room, low bookcases, the gleam of brass, colorful
pictures, a cosy fire, and Miss Marlowe herself, grey-eyed,
ruddy-haired, and low-voiced. The quiet voice began to work a magic, and
after a few minutes' chat Judith felt less like a lost soul and more
like a normal girl again. Then Nancy was summoned from without.

"Judith is to be in number twenty-five, Nancy; will you take her up and
see that she is settled? Her trunk is there already; it came this
morning. You can be very busy at once, Judith"--and Miss Marlowe's smile
was friendly and comforting.

Nancy squeezed Judith's hand impulsively as they left the room to make
way for other girls.

"Twenty-five! I _am_ glad you are in our set of cubicles."

Twenty-five proved to be the tiniest room Judith had ever seen, more
like a ship's cabin than a room, she thought, surveying her new abode
with disfavour. A couch-bed, writing-desk and bookcase, a bureau, a
wicker chair--how was there room for them all? And how dreadful to have
only half a wall--well, three quarters of a wall between you and your

There were five of these little cubicles in a row, she saw; then a
closed door evidently opening into a bedroom at the end, and the six
rooms had their own hall which was closed off from the main corridor by
a big door.

Judith unlocked her trunk and began to unpack her treasures. Wherever
was the clothes-closet? Surely there was one?

In a few moments Nancy's voice was heard again--

"Come and see my new evening frock before I put it away."

Judith began to realize the advantages of a cubicle. How nice to be able
to talk to one's neighbours in this friendly fashion--and a new frock!
Judith adored clothes, and she was soon admiring Nancy's pet frock.

The cupboard was discovered, one of a row in the hall, and the two spent
a happy hour, unpacking.

Nancy explained the use of the shelf on the inside of the cupboard door
to hold toilet articles, and pointed out the towel bars and a wooden
locker for hats on the cupboard shelf.

"It's great luck," said Nancy, "to have our trunks up so soon; we can
get our things put away before the others come, and then we'll have
plenty of time for visiting.

"I wonder who is coming to the other rooms! I know Josephine Burley is
trying to get into this set of cubicles, but Miss Marlowe has her own
ideas about which rooms we're to have.

"You'll love Miss Marlowe. She's a dear--strict, you know, but just--and
she helps with the plays--she can act anything. Aren't you glad you're
in South? Of _course_ South is the crack house! We won the basket-ball
cup last year and our captain is School Captain this year."

While they talked, they finished their unpacking, and Judith, who was
naturally very orderly, soon had everything in its place. Her mother's
parting gift had been couch-cover, cushions, and hangings for the new
room--homespun of a lovely deep blue for cover and cushions, and a
delightful rosy chintz for hangings.

Judith was eager to see how her room would look and worked quickly and
deftly. She was hanging her curtains when she heard excited voices in
the corridor, then a banging of doors and screams of delight as the
newcomers found Nancy.

"Good work, Nancy," said some one in a gruff voice. "How did you do it?
I never thought Miss Marlowe would let us three be together again."

"My blameless character, Miss Josephine Burley, did the trick," retorted
Nancy. "I pointed out to Miss Marlowe the good influence living with me
would have on a reprobate like you."

"Reprobate! I like that," said the owner of the deep, boyish voice, and
sounds of scuffling feet, the creaking of the bed, and bursts of
laughter proclaimed a tussle.

Nancy apparently had the worst of it, and she was sat upon literally and
heavily and then fed with chocolates.

Scraps of conversation floated over the walls:

"Rosamond's in thirty-seven--very, very mad is Rosamond. Hope we'll have
Pat as prefect."

"No such luck. Pat is in number ten."

"There's a new girl in twenty-five"--this from Nancy in a lowered

In a moment there was a knock at the door and Judith was introduced to
the owner of the deep voice, Josephine Burley, and her satellite, Jane

"Why, you've got your room fixed already," said Josephine admiringly.
"Somebody's been working hard! Look at her lovely curtains! I wish I'd
had rose now, instead of yellow."

"'T wouldn't have made a speck of difference, Jo, and you know it,"
commented Jane with a wicked twinkle. "You know you say you were made
untidy, and untidy you'll stay."

"I promised Miss Marlowe I'd reform. I'm not going to forget anything,
and I'm going to get a _beautiful_ record for my room, and my hair and
clothes are going to be so irreproachable that Miss Watson will have
nothing to do but create masterpieces all term."

"Are we going to have Miss Marlowe for English, by the way?" asked Jane.
"I hope so. And is Eleanor here yet? I've got to see her about a new

"I never saw three girls so different," thought Judith as she sat eating
chocolates and listening to School gossip. "Nancy's much the
prettiest--I love gold hair, and she has such aristocratic hands and
feet--she's lovely--I do hope we'll be friends. Josephine's almost
rough--and what an untidy mop of hair! I wonder if her eyes are
brown--she shuts them up so tight when she laughs I can't see--and she
seems to be laughing most of the time. She's awfully big--I don't think
I'd like to be quite so tall. Jane's funny--she's almost square--fair
and solid--and how straight her hair is; she's got a wicked grin--she's
a monkey, I do believe."

The dressing-bell rang before the three friends had caught up on the
latest news, but thanks to the low walls conversation could proceed even
while they dressed. Nancy remembered to ask Judith if she needed any
help with dome fasteners, and then they went down to the dining-room

The tables were laid for six, each headed by a sixth-form girl.

"At dinner we usually have a teacher at each table," explained Nancy,
"but this being first night the staff are by themselves."

Judith was introduced to the prefect, Esther Harriman, a tall,
black-haired girl who enquired at once what games Judith played, and
learning that she preferred tennis assured her that she could have a
game the next day.

Nancy continued to point out notables: the brown-haired prefect at the
next table with the frank, boyish look was Eleanor Ormsby, the Captain
of the School, and next to her was Rosamond--

Esther interrupted them in order to introduce a newcomer who had arrived
late, evidently just from a journey.

"This is Sally May Forsythe, Nancy, from Richmond, Virginia, and she's
going to be in your set of cubicles, Miss Marlowe says."

Sally May was almost as pretty as Nancy, Judith decided, but not quite,
though her eyes were big and brown, and her soft Southern voice wholly

"We're to go back to Miss Marlowe's room so she can talk over your
schedule of lessons with you," announced Nancy as they left the
dining-room, "and then we'll go over to the gymnasium."

"Gymnasium?" gasped Judith.

"Oh, just for a dance," said Nancy, "It'll be good fun. Wait for me in
the corridor outside Miss Marlowe's room."

It _was_ good fun, Judith decided a little later as she had her first
dance with Nancy, and then with Sally May--but bewildering. There had
been only about fifty girls in the dining-room at South, and even there
she had been confused by the number of voices, but here the whole
School, some two hundred girls, were gathered, and there was a perfect
Babel of sound.

Nancy piloted them back to South, and as Sally May's luggage had not
come she was fitted out with what she needed. Nancy went to the
housekeeper's room for soap and a toothbrush--Mrs. Bronson kept a supply
for such emergencies; Josephine donated her best crêpe nightie--in which
Sally May was presently to look quite lost, so large was it; and Judith
got out her newest and prettiest kimono.

"You'll feel as if you'd been here all your life by the time you get all
these and my old bath slippers on," said Jane saucily. "Come into my
room as soon as you're arrayed in all this glory--there's a little cake
left and I'm going to do my best to find some ginger-ale."

Judith was brushing out her pretty brown hair and looking rather
solemnly at her reflection in the mirror when shrieks of delight
testified to the arrival of some one, who, to judge by the commotion,
must be very popular.

"Cathy, you darling, are you _really_ to be ours? What precious
luck!--Josephine and Jane, and--yes--two new girls--Judith Benson in
twenty-five and Sally May Forsythe in twenty-one."

There was a knock at the door and a clear voice said, "May I come in?"

Judith opened her door and straightway lost her heart when the newcomer
smiled a welcome. Catherine was adored by every beauty-loving girl in
the School, for she had beauty of a rare type--a slender, graceful body,
a well-set little head crowned with a big braid of softly waving dark
brown hair, and haunting, black-lashed Irish blue eyes.

"Isn't she simply lovely?" whispered Nancy after Catherine had gone to
her own room. "And she's just as good as she looks. Oh, goody, I'm _so_
glad she's our prefect!"

Miss Marlowe put her head in the door to say good-night just before the
"Lights out" bell rang, and then Judith was at last alone. She was
bewildered by the mass of new impressions; the twinkling of the
trainman's lanterns as she looked out of her berth in the early
morning; the cold, chilly touch of homesickness when she followed the
porter out of the Pullman; Aunt Nell's welcome; the exciting shopping;
the first glimpse of the school set high on the hill; Aunt Nell's little
sermon; Nancy's merry eyes; the Babel of voices in the gymnasium;
Catherine Ellison's beautiful face; her mother's proud good-bye, "I can
trust you, Judy, darling--"

Suddenly Judith realized that Mother and Daddy were many hundreds of
miles away, that Aunt Nell had gone, and that she was alone, alone with
these hundreds of strangers. The thought terrified her: the ache in her
throat grew intolerable: she would have to sob and disgrace herself.

There was a rustling of paper on the other side of the partition, and

"Catch," said Josephine in a hoarse whisper, and something dropped on to
Judith's bed.

"Catch," came in a shriller whisper from the other side, and a second
something followed.

Judith groped for them in surprise and discovered a chocolate bar and a
huge sticky Chelsea bun wrapped in tissue paper.

"Promised Cathy we wouldn't have a picnic to-night," said Nancy, "but we
didn't say that we wouldn't sit up in bed like little ladies and partake
of some light refreshment."

Sheer surprise made it possible for Judith to say, "Thank you." A moment
ago she would have felt one word was an impossibility and then--oh,
blessed bun!--one cannot sob and eat a large Chelsea bun at the same

Judith ate slowly and carefully, set her lips, and kept back the
miserable lump. The chocolate was still to finish, and Jane began an
interminable story of a canoe trip in Algonquin Park, but before it was
nearly ended, tired Judith was fast asleep.



JUDITH never forgot morning prayers on the first day of school at York
Hill. In some miraculous way the throng of girls, who crowded the
corridors before nine o'clock, formed in lines at the doors of their old
classrooms, new girls were piloted to a special position, and when the
prayer-bell rang, an orderly procession, beginning with the little
"Removes" and ending with the serious and important-looking Sixth Form,
filed into Big Hall and took their places.

The beautiful arching Gothic windows, the soft music from the pipe
organ, the dignity of the high, oak-beamed ceiling, all this to Judith's
beauty-loving mind was curiously satisfying. The service was short but
reverent; a hymn, the reading of the lesson, the prayers for the day,
and then the Head Mistress was reading out the promotion of old girls
and the placing of new girls.

Form Five A was announced; "Judith Benson, Josephine Burley, Sally May
Forsythe, Joyce Hewson, Nancy Nairn, Frances Purdy"--Judith's cheeks
glowed as the list was read. Five A! How pleased Daddy would be, and how
glad she was that she had stuck to the hated mathematics this summer!
And to be in Nancy's form, what joy!

Then followed a busy morning; new books piled high on the waiting desk,
new teachers, each seemingly more interesting than the last, new rules
to be learned, new girls to meet.

Judith was quite ready for buns and milk at eleven-thirty and enjoyed
her fifteen minutes in the open, and by the end of the morning she was
both tired and stimulated, for she found that she was required to think
for herself in order to take part in the discussions. There was to be a
written test to-morrow on the books which had been set for Form Five A's
summer reading and Judith had thought that she was prepared for it. But
as Miss Marlowe proceeded with her keen questioning, Judith began to
wonder if she knew anything at all about "The Idylls of the King." Miss
Marlowe had a way of saying, when answers were given, "Yes--yes--what do
_you_ yourself think?" which Judith, accustomed to teachers who had
spoken with a voice of authority, found disconcerting but highly

After luncheon and a rest period, Nancy took Judith for a tour of
inspection; tennis courts, cricket field, gymnasium, common room, and
library were visited in turn, the etiquette of the stairs
explained--Judith learned that it was considered fearful "side" for a
Fifth-Form girl to use the front stairway to the entrance hall--and the
round ended in the tuck shop where Judith was introduced to the
presiding genius--Mrs. Wilcox, the housekeeper's sister--a bright-eyed,
cheerful little Englishwoman, who, to judge by the way the girls greeted
her, was immensely popular.

Sally May and Josephine hailed them from a coveted table by the west
window, and the four of them were soon busily and happily engaged with
peach sundaes and the foibles and peculiarities of teachers new and old.

The four-thirty bell caused a hasty scattering: Judith was enrolled in
music and studio classes and introduced to study hour in the library.

It _was_ a busy day. Judith, as she drifted off into the sleep that
claimed her before she had time to think over the events of the last
twenty-four hours, wondered drowsily whether she had been at York a day
or a week, and however was she going to tell Mother and Daddy _all_
about it as she had promised!

By the end of the week the new girls had been so well shepherded by the
old that Judith had lost her first shyness and bewilderment at living
with so many new people, and was beginning to feel that she herself was
an old girl and ready to uphold and defend York Hill traditions.
Everything had so far been made so easy for her that she had lost sight
of Aunt Nell's cryptic remarks concerning the important things that the
girls were to teach her. But the week was not to end without the
beginning of the discipline Aunt Nell had been thinking about.

When Nancy and Judith ran upstairs after luncheon on Friday, Judith was
surprised to find on her bedroom door a card. There was one on
Josephine's too.

"Oh, dear," groaned that young person, "bedroom inspection already! And
I left my boots under my bed last night. 'C,' of course, and I did want
to have at least 'B's' this term. What've you got, Judy?" And looking
over Judith's shoulder she read aloud, "A. Excellent. A pretty room in
exquisite order."

"My word, Judy, you're in Miss Watson's good books all right. Did you
hear that, Cathy?"--as their prefect appeared in her door dressed for
going out, "Judy has 'A' on her card."

"Splendid," said Catherine approvingly; "I wish the rest of you would
take Judith's room as a model. You may thank your lucky star, Sally
May," she continued as Sally May joined them, "that Miss Watson hadn't
time to inspect your room. It's in a shocking state. Run along now and
have things ship-shape by dinner-time."

"Isn't she simply lovely?" breathed Sally May when Catherine had gone;
"I'd do _anything_ in this world for her. But I don't see how I could
_ever_ be tidy. I never looked after my things before and there's _so_
little space in these tiny rooms."

"They certainly are tiny," agreed Judith. "I couldn't think of anything
but a cabin on board ship when I saw mine."

"Well, if Cathy wants us to be tidy, we've just got to be," said Nancy
with finality, and Josephine and Jane were summoned to help eat the
last of Judith's chocolates, and lend their brains to a scheme "for
furthering extreme and painful neatness," as Sally May put it.

"We might have a box for fines," suggested Josephine hopefully.

"I have it!" cried Nancy. "Judith's idea of the cabin was an
inspiration. Let's pretend we _are_ a ship. Cathy'll be the captain and
we'll be the crew and we'll have to be disciplined if we're not

Nancy's plan was received with enthusiasm, chiefly because, since
sororities were not permitted in the school, it gave them a chance to
band themselves together. They had great fun discussing a name before
they finally settled on Josephine's suggestion of the "Jolly Susan."
"'Jolly,' because we _are_ jolly, and 'Susan,' because, well--don't you
think of 'Susan' as tidy, and a ship?"

So the cubicles were formally christened the "Jolly Susan" by Jane, who
donated a bottle of ginger-ale for the purpose, and Judith's empty
candy-box was hung up beside Catherine's door to hold the fines which
were to be used "for the sustenance of disabled (or dejected) seamen."

Sally May entreated Judith to show her how she managed to stow away all
her belongings so neatly, and when the half-past two bell rang for
outdoor recreation, the "Jolly Susan" was ready for Captain Catherine's

A basket-ball practice for South House had been posted on the bulletin
board, but Judith felt lazy and wanted to finish "The Scarlet
Pimpernel," so, taking her book, she went across the quadrangle to a
sheltered spot under the big beech tree where she meant to spend a
blissful hour reading and lying at her ease on the soft warm grass.

The story would be sure to be interesting, but she postponed the treat
and lay watching the big white clouds sailing lazily across the blue of
the sky, and enjoying the brilliant splashes of colour in the maples at
the foot of the garden.

It had been a very happy week, Judith decided, reviewing the events
which she planned to chronicle in her letter to her mother to-night. How
nice everybody had been to her! No one could have a better chum than
Nancy! How pleased Mother would be that she had received such an
excellent mark for her room; and Daddy would be delighted at the high
mark Miss Marlowe had given her on that initial literature test; Nancy
and Josephine were loud in their admiration of the way she had
translated for Miss Langton in Latin class. Altogether, as Judith rolled
over on to her elbows and found the place in her book, she was feeling
happy and a bit too complacent. Only a page or two had been turned when
a shadow blotted out the flickering tracings of the beech leaves, and a
surprised voice said--

"Hullo, aren't you Judith Benson of South?"

"Yes," said Judith, sitting up and smiling politely, unconsciously ready
for a little more praise: she knew that this was Catherine's friend,
Patricia Caldwell, another South House prefect.

"Well, then, why aren't you playing basket-ball?"

"Because I don't want to play," said Judith calmly; "I prefer tennis."

Patricia almost gasped; this from a new girl--"She didn't want to!"

"Every girl is expected to join in the first practice matches so we can
pick our players for South," she said pleasantly but firmly. "Weren't
you at the Athletic Union meeting on Wednesday? I suppose you didn't
understand. However, you can join in the second half."

Patricia was Senior basket-ball captain and secretary of the Athletic
Union, and basket-ball was to her at present the most important thing in
the School. Judith felt rebellious, but made no reply. She watched
Patricia's retreating figure and wondered whether she dare skip the

Nancy, who had come to look for her, was questioned.

"Skip it? You had better not!" she exclaimed in horrified tones.

"But it isn't on my time-table," objected Judith. "Mayn't I do as I
please in spare time?"

"Why, but Patricia said you must," said Nancy.

Nancy, brought up in the traditions of York Hill, felt that it was
almost sacrilegious to question the authority of a senior prefect.

Judith was aggrieved and a bit defiant. She wanted to finish her story.
It was extremely pleasant out under the beech trees. She didn't want to
get up and dash about getting all hot and untidy, and making all kinds
of mistakes in a silly old game that did nobody any good as far as she
could see. Anyhow, her afternoon was spoiled now, and she began to wish
that basket-ball had never been invented. The very idea of action grew
more and more distasteful, but at the sound of the three o'clock bell
she got up very reluctantly and crossed over to the basket-ball court.
Fortunately she was dressed ready for the game, since at four o'clock
she was due at a gymnasium class.

Esther Harriman, who was umpiring, gave her a red scarf to tie on her
arm and briefly explained where she was to play and what she was to do.
Unfortunately the girl she was to check was Georgia Fisher for whom
Judith had taken an unreasonable dislike; partly because she disliked
the way Georgia giggled, and partly because she thought her impossibly
stupid. Judith hadn't much patience with stupid people!

"No, I haven't played much," Judith said loftily in answer to Georgia's
question. "I don't care about basket-ball--I'd sooner play tennis. Last
year I won the tennis prize." Georgia wasn't to think that she, Judith,
couldn't play games if she wanted to.

Esther blew her whistle, and instantly the two centres were leaping for
the ball, and before Judith could remember that she was supposed to be
on guard Georgia quite easily caught the ball, and passed it neatly to
Josephine who threw for the basket and made the first score for the Blue

Judith looked annoyed and Georgia giggled, sympathetically.

"You got to keep your eye on me, _and_ on the ball," she explained
good-humouredly, and proceeded to take the ball again in spite of
Judith's utmost endeavors to prevent her.

An exhausting half-hour followed. Georgia seemed to be _all_ arms,
thought Judith despairingly, trying in vain to check her. Once she did
get the coveted ball, and in the excitement of at last outwitting
Georgia, she threw it straight into the outstretched arms of Josephine
who wore the enemy's Blue scarf. Josephine threw her a kiss of thanks
when the ball was safely landed in the net, and Georgia's unfailing
giggle helped to heighten the colour in Judith's cheeks.

Up went the ball again and then swiftly it came, passed from one Red
scarf to another. "I _will_ have it this time," said Judith fiercely to
herself, too engrossed in a desire to win from the Blues to remember the
most elementary rules of the game; she caught the ball and ran, yes,
just ran to the goal and threw. The proverbial good luck which attends
the beginner was hers, but instead of the applause which Judith expected
there was a burst of good-natured laughter. She had run with the ball
and all in order to throw it into the Blues' goal!

Poor Judith, it was all she could do to smile feebly when Georgia met
her with a grin, and, "This ain't football, you know." She hated being
laughed at, and when the practice was finally over, left the campus
humiliated, cross, and hardly able to bear herself or any one else.

On the way back to the beech tree and the story-book, she consulted her
time-table to make sure of the time of the gymnasium class. Yes! thank
goodness, she was free until four o'clock--there was just time to finish
the chapter.

Four o'clock found Judith in line, a pair of dumb-bells tucked under her
arms, ready to march into the gymnasium as the three-thirty class
marched out. She had had two lessons already and was beginning to like
her class. Last year's instructor had been adored by the girls and
consequently their work was excellent. Miss Evans, a young teacher, new
to York Hill, busy finding out what her new classes could do, scarcely
realized how much _she_ was on trial. This afternoon she called out a
last year's girl to lead the class while she stood aside to watch and

"Wrong, wrong," she cried, and held up her hand as figure five was
concluded. Now Miss Evans, as we said, was young and new at her job, and
did not count on the adoration which the girls had given her

"Quite wrong," she said again.

"That is the way we did last year, Miss Evans," stiffly replied Jane who
was leading.

"Indeed!" said Miss Evans, who did not like Jane's tone; "that doesn't
make it right. Is there any one here who belonged to another class who
can do this figure correctly?"

Alas, Miss Evans, your Irish impetuosity will cost you dear!
Condemnation shone forth from thirty pairs of eyes, the hot, unreasoning
condemnation of the young. Alas, Miss Evans, it will take you many a day
to recapture what you have just lost! Alas, poor Judith, here was the
opportunity to regain her lost self-complacency. It happened that she
had been taught figure five in a different fashion, and, eager to show
that she at least knew how, her hand went up.

"Ah, Judith knows how? Judith, stand out and do the figure."

The music began and Judith went through it accurately and perfectly,
entirely to her own satisfaction and to that of Miss Evans.

"Good," said Miss Evans, "that's right. Now once more, Judith, so that
the others may follow."

Judith's eyes flew to Nancy's. She loved to see the admiring affection
which she had been finding there. But Nancy's eyes were cold and
unseeing. Judith, like most clever little girls, was extremely sensitive
to public opinion, and she almost dropped her dumb-bells in an agony of
shame and humiliation as she saw the coldness of Nancy's eyes faithfully
repeated in all the eyes about her. Alas, poor Judith! "Teacher's pet,"
terrible phrase, was whispered as the class filed out, and when Nancy
and Josephine rushed down to the tuck shop for an ice-cream cone they
affected not to see Judith, who at first followed disconsolately, and
then fled to her room, where, with head buried under the pillows, she
sobbed herself into a misery of self-pity and supposed homesickness.

Five o'clock bell rang. Horrors! She had forgotten that Aunt Nell was to
be here at five o'clock to take her out for dinner. Aunt Nell would be
cross at being kept waiting. Oh, dear! Oh, dear! Would she never find
her gloves? Where was her new scarf? She must have left them down in the
cloakroom after morning walk. A hurried flight to the cloakroom, another
search, and an entirely discomfited Judith presented herself in the

Aunt Nell would look displeased, she thought, as she entered. Judith
really did not care that Aunt Nell had been inconvenienced, but merely
that disapproval, instead of the approbation for which she thirsted,
would be her portion. But Aunt Nell looked amused. Indeed, when they
were once in the motor she laughed outright.

"I must say, Judy, considering that you have been in school only a week,
you seem to have got rid of any superfluous neatness very quickly." And
she pointed to a mirror at the side of the car.

Judith's eyes rounded with horror; she had washed her face, but a grimy
streak still outlined one side of her chin, her hair was rough in spite
of a hasty brushing, and her hat was comically askew.

"I have been so busy," said Judith, turning scarlet and blinking to keep
back the tears of mortification at this last straw.

"Busy!" said Aunt Nell quizzically; "busy learning important things?"

"Very important things," said Judith.



"GOT your costume ready for to-night, Judy?" asked Nancy one glorious
sunshiny morning a few weeks later.

"I have _not_," came from Judith in dismayed tones; "I absolutely forgot
about it. Why didn't you remind me? I haven't heard any one mention it
all week."

"Well, there hasn't really been time to do anything, has there? And,
anyway, we usually concoct something at the last minute. I do love
dressing up, don't you?"

"I do if I don't have to make up the dress," said Judith honestly, as
she finished making her bed and leaned out of the window to take deep
breaths of the glorious October air. "Nancy, do come and look at the
maple grove, and the oaks and the beeches against that lovely sky, and
isn't the vine on Miss Meredith's house simply a gorgeous colour? I
could almost eat the sunshine, it's so good. Tell me what to wear
to-night. I don't know what I should have done without your help last

"Let's think it over," said Nancy, pulling on a sweater and cap and
running off to play tennis with Jane; "see you at recess and we'll
decide then."

But when recess came Judith confessed to not having given it a thought,
she had been kept too busy for the consideration of such frivolities as
a Friday party, and Nancy on her part had a doleful tale of returned
lessons to be made up during the afternoon.

"Oh, _why_ didn't I prepare that French prose?" she wailed when the crew
of the "Jolly Susan" foregathered after luncheon in her room. "I begged
Madame to let me make it up _any_ other time, but of course she

"Oh, well, we're not going to dress alike this time," said Sally May,
"so it doesn't matter. It _was_ fun, though, wasn't it, making
sailor-boy costumes out of sheets and pillowcases, and I never laughed
so hard in my life as when North House came in. You really ought to have
seen them"--this to Jane who had been away for the week-end--"not one of
them looked more than six months old--they pasted paper over their teeth
and had on the cutest little bonnets and long dresses and carried
bottles--really cold-cream bottles with a glove finger on top--"

"I think the Hindus were the cleverest," said Judith.

"The question before the house is, what are we going to do to-night?"
observed Josephine. "Now my idea"--

But what Josephine's idea was the rest never knew, for Rosamond put her
head in at the door and called, "Long distance 'phone for you, Jo; Miss
Martin says hurry"--

Judging by the speed with which Josephine vanished down the corridor she
was anxious to oblige Miss Martin.

The half-past two bell rang and Nancy and Judith went off to music
lessons without deciding anything about the costume for the party, and
when Judith came upstairs after an early dinner she was still as
undecided as ever. The corridor was as busy as the proverbial beehive,
for the "borrowing-rule" had been suspended for the day, and everybody
seemed to be making the most of the opportunity.

Judith was besieged with requests the moment she appeared.

"I bag your white slippers, Judy, if _you_ don't want them," called

"And I want your black beads--"

"Your blue scarf, please, Judy," called Catherine from her room, "I'll
be awfully careful of it."

Squeals of delight came from the various rooms where tryings-on were
proceeding. "Every one seems happy but me," thought Judith dismally when
the borrowers had departed.

What would a Southern costume be like, anyway? Africa? No that would be
too hard and she hadn't the least idea how the Australians dressed.
South America? India? Was India south? No, it couldn't be, because she
had heard Audrey Green of East House describing a perfectly sweet Hindu
costume which her roommate was going to wear. Southerner? How stupid of
her! Why not a Virginian lady of the Colonial period? Why not? That's
settled. Now as to the how; whom could she ask? But no sympathetic
friend presented herself and Judith again began to feel aggrieved.

"Hurrah! hurrah!" cried Josephine excitedly rushing into the room.
"Jim--my brother--arrives to-night from Alberta and he'll call here
to-morrow first thing. I believe," she added in a lower, confidential
tone, "I believe I must have been a bit homesick and didn't know
it--there'll be letters and messages, and probably a box, too, from
home. Oh, I can hardly wait till to-morrow! Jim says Mother is all
right, though she misses me dreadfully--you see our nearest neighbour
lives fifty miles away, and sometimes she doesn't see a white woman all

"Fifty miles!" repeated Judith in amazement.

"Yes, we have to have a lot of land for the horses, and sometimes Dad is
away for several days visiting the outlying parts and Mother gets pretty

"You're joking, Jo--your father couldn't spend several days travelling
on his own farm."

"Not farm, Judibus," said Josephine, laughing, "it's a ranch, and it has
to be big, as I said, for the horses."

"How big?" demanded Judith, still thinking of the farms she had seen in
Ontario and Quebec.

"We had twenty-five thousand acres last year, but Dad has leased another
ten thousand on the other side of the river. Oh, Judy, my dear, if ever
you come to the West I'll show you what real fun is! Sometimes I ride
all day--and such riding! I've a gem of a little mare--Patsy's her
name--she's as good a chum as I ever had until I came here last year.
Aren't mothers bricks?" she added with a little catch in her voice.
"Mother really needs me, but she just insisted on my coming--she taught
me in her spare time until I came here last year, and because spare time
wasn't plentiful there are big gaps in what I know, and as I'm stupid to
begin with, the lessons sometimes seem so hard that I just want to give
up and run home. But of course I'm not going to," she finished, laughing
at Judith's sober face; "that _would_ be a poor way to say 'thank you'
to my blessed little mother. What are you going to be to-night?"

"A Colonial lady from Virginia," answered Judith superbly.

"Good--isn't that funny? I'm going to be be a Virginian Colonel. Let's
be partners. Molly was to be mine, but she certainly can't go with a
sprained ankle. We'd better get busy--there isn't much time left." And
Josephine disappeared into her own cubicle where Judith could hear her
opening and closing drawers and singing in her funny boyish voice their
new nonsense song:

        "Of all the ships that sail on land,
         There's none like 'Jolly Susan.'
         Her crew works well with heart and hand,
         And sometimes they're amusin'."

Sally May and Jane whirled into the "Jolly Susan" like small hurricanes
in time to sing the verse over again, and then the snatches of talk she
could hear told Judith that her neighbours were thoroughly enjoying the
fascinating business of dressing up, and had evidently forgotten all
about her.

Perhaps it was a little reaction after several weeks of new and exciting
experiences; perhaps Josephine's reference to mothers being "bricks";
whatever it was Judith felt lonely and homesick. She didn't know how to
make her costume; she didn't think of Sally May, and she hated to
confess to Josephine--to whom, it must be confessed, she had always felt
a little superior--that she hadn't a ghost of a notion how to make, out
of nothing at all, the dress of a Virginian lady of fashion.

But although Josephine had convulsed the class and enraged Madame
Phillippe by translating _hors de combat_ as "war-horse," and although
her ideas as to angles and triangles were so hazy as to be of no service
to her in a geometry class, she was not at all stupid where her fellow
humans were concerned, and she had seen the quickly restrained quiver on
Judith's lips when mothers were mentioned.

"I guess she's homesick and doesn't know it," said Josephine to herself.
"I'd better buck her up a bit and give her a good time." But because she
had a generous admiration of Judith's cleverness she never thought of
offering her any suggestions as to how to put her costume together.

A little later she appeared in Judith's doorway in black tights, blue
silk stockings, buckled shoes (cardboard buckles covered with silver
paper), a white shirt blouse buttoned high, and a long black ribbon in
her hand.

"Please wind it round my neck, Judy, several times as high up as you
can. Why, where is your dress?" she asked in surprise.

Poor, proud Judith, how she hated to confess that she simply could not
think of anything. But the despised Josephine rose to the occasion: she
took charge with an assurance which immediately dispelled Judith's

"Colonial lady--um--you will look awfully nice with your hair
powdered--let me see--your chintz curtains will do for panniers--put on
your frilliest blouse and a white skirt, pull down your curtains, and
I'll drape you in a minute or two."

Josephine was as good as her word. Blouse and skirt by means of an
overdrape of window curtain were made into the dress of a lady of
quality; Judith's pretty hair was piled high and liberally powdered with
talcum, and Josephine even produced a tiny bit of rouge and a black
patch, and insisted that to make the picture complete Judith must have
the buckled shoes, and as there wasn't time to make more buckles she'd
wear her old pumps.

Josephine was having such a good time admiring the result of her
handiwork that Judith accepted the shoes with a good grace, and off they
went to join the throng in the Big Hall. So successful had Josephine
been that Judith had quite a little triumph as she entered the hall on
her colonel's arm, for she had discarded the spectacles she wore during
school hours, and the powder and rouge had discovered a hitherto
unnoticed pair of beautiful arching eyebrows, and altogether her
appearance was so distinguished that numbers of girls turned to ask,
"Who's that pretty Virginian with Jo?"

It _was_ a thrilling evening. Indeed, it is to be doubted whether
bona-fide balls of later years would ever bring such thrills and such
intoxicating happiness to the Pierrots and Pierrettes, gypsies and
Arabs, Spanish dancers and flower girls, Elizabethan ladies and
cavaliers, Red Cross nurses and college dons, Indian chiefs and squaws,
cowboys and "habitant" girls, who were so thoroughly enjoying

Judith laughed and danced away her blues, and to all the compliments
paid her was glad to be able to say with honest admiration, "Oh, _I_
couldn't do it--Josephine did--isn't she just _wonderful_?"

And when, after "the loveliest party ever," Judith tucked up in bed and
her thoughts ran to the absent mother, instead of tears she smiled
happily and whispered, "What a _lot_ of nice people there are in the
world, mummy, dear--I've got an awful lot to learn--but I'm going to try
_hard_ to be unselfish and kind like Josephine and Nancy."



"OH, goody!" Judith heard Nancy saying, "isn't it splendid that it came
on Friday! We never have anything but buns and milk after a Friday night
lecture. Your mother is an _angel_, Sally May; she must have guessed
that this was going to be a Friday without a party."

"That you, Judy?" came in Sally May's pretty voice; "come on in." And
Judith was soon seated on Sally May's couch.

The crew of the "Jolly Susan" were invited, she learned, to partake of
an elegant cold collation consisting of roast chicken, meringues, cakes,
candies, etc., etc., which Sally May's mother was thoughtfully sending
them from a caterer in town.

"Have you asked Miss Marlowe if we may have the small sitting-room?"
asked Nancy after Judith had been informed of the feast awaiting her.

"Asked--Miss Marlowe?" gasped Sally May; "well, of all the queer
schools! Ask a teacher if we may have a midnight supper? Well, I reckon

"Why, that's the way we do," returned Nancy; "the lecture will be over
early and then we'll go up to the sitting-room and have our feed."

"Oh, that," said Sally May, "is ridiculous and no fun at all. Why, at
Knowlton Manor we always waited until twelve o'clock, at least, and had
our feasts in the loveliest places. Once we had supper in the cellar,
and the engineer caught us and we had a terrible time bribing him; and
last June, at Miss Gray's school, five of us were caught in the
teachers' own sitting-room at three A.M."

Her hearers looked horrified enough to satisfy even Sally May, who loved
to tell a story, and she related one epic after another, until the York
audience were convinced that life would not be worth living unless they
too could recount similar tales when they went home for the Christmas

Miss Marlowe and her rules were forgotten, and they laid their plans for
a midnight supper.

"But Miss Marlowe knows that your box has arrived," objected practical

"Then we'll buy some buns at tuck and have a _camouflage_ supper after
the lecture, and the real one at midnight," retorted Sally May, not to
be done out of her scheme.

"I wish we could ask Cathy, don't you?" said Josephine; "she's been such
a dear that it seems a shame to have a glorification without her."

Catherine, hard at work at her desk in her own room, caught the sound of
her name, and the next sentence in an excited voice revealed the fact
that a midnight supper was being planned for that very night. Her first
impulse, of course, was to tell the crew that she had unwittingly
overheard them, and use her influence as captain and prefect to stop the
whole proceeding; and then, because she was taking her duties as a
prefect very seriously, she stopped to consider the little escapade in a
new light.

Sally May, Catherine could see, was going to be troublesome. Already she
had chafed at several time-honoured rules and customs, for her sense of
reverence for traditions had been stifled by her ceaseless change of
residence, and Sally May was becoming exceedingly popular. Her soft
Southern voice, with its delicious inflections and its lazy drawl, was
most persuasive. The crew of the "Jolly Susan" had so far been a model
crew and Catherine had not yet had to enforce discipline, but at the
last prefects' meeting Sally May had been mentioned as the cause of two
practical jokes perpetrated in other parts of the house, and, "Such
things are not done, they are simply not done," said the School captain
severely; "Catherine, you must take Sally May in hand." Perhaps this was
her chance. She waited until the four o'clock bell scattered the
conspirators to practising and gymnasium classes and then went down to
the captain's study.

"Come in," said a clear ringing voice as Catherine knocked at Eleanor's
door; "you're just in time for tea--here, you toast the crumpets and
I'll brew the tea."

"Wait a jiffy and I'll get some jam--wild strawberry with crumpets is

Catherine was back in the specified jiffy, and in a few moments the two
friends were chatting comfortably over their tea-cups.

York Hill like most modern schools had adopted a modified form of
self-government. Each of the four Houses had its quota of prefects
appointed by the staff, and a House captain; the Senior House captain
was known as the Captain of the School, and this year South House had
the honour of providing the School Captain--Eleanor Ormsby. The
prefects, usually members of the various Sixth Forms, were girls who had
shown themselves worthy of responsibility and privilege and who could be
trusted to set the tone of the School.

Eleanor Ormsby was deservedly popular: there was a frankness and a
directness about her almost boyishly clear-cut face which inspired
confidence, and the girls who brought their difficulties to her found in
her a wise and sympathetic counsellor. Eleanor was not beautiful like
Catherine, not brilliant like Patricia--in fact it was with difficulty
that she held her place in the Sixth-Form classes, but on basket-ball
court, hockey-rink, or gymnasium floor she had no rival. Above all she
was a born leader, and having spent all her school days at York was
steeped in its traditions and ideals.

Just now Eleanor was keen upon getting the two plays given just before
the Christmas vacation well started before the busy time at the end of
term: it was the custom for the Old Girls to entertain the New Girls at
a play and for the New Girls to return the compliment.

So the absorbing topic of Queen's new hockey coach being exhausted for
the time being, "Got any good stuff for the play in your cubicles,
Cathy?" asked Eleanor; "looks to me as if they are a nice lively little
bunch. What a little witch Sally May is, and what lovely eyes Judy has!
I'm glad she and Nancy are such pals--they make a good team."

"They're darlings, all of 'em," said Catherine enthusiastically; "but
'not too good for human nature's daily food.'" And she unfolded the plan
for the midnight supper.

"Well, of course," said Eleanor, laughing reminiscently, "you couldn't
expect them to go home for the holidays without a story of some such
adventure as that. Remember the time we went down to the gym and Pat
fell over the dumb-bell rack."

"And it was such a mean supper to get punished for," added Catherine,
grinning; "only cold baked beans and apples. The trouble is that Miss
Marlowe is death on suppers since Christine Dawson caught pneumonia last
year when they climbed out on to the sun-parlour roof, and of course now
that I know--"

"Oh, of course we'll have to do something. But what?"

Various plans were discussed, but nothing satisfied their desire for
poetic justice until suddenly Catherine exclaimed: "I've got it! Let
them have their supper, and then we'll make them wish they hadn't--let's
lock the door of the common room (that's where they mean to go) and give
them a good long time in which to repent of their sins. I've got the
key--Miss Marlowe loaned it me for the dress rehearsals."

"Good," said Eleanor. "I'll see that the windows are kept shut during
the evening so that they won't catch cold, and I'll oil the lock at

And in spite of the solemnity befitting prefects, their eyes danced as
they pictured the dismay of the young sinners when they discovered
themselves caught; for prefects, notwithstanding their dignity and
general "high and mightiness," are not by any means above a bit of a
lark themselves.



THE crew of the "Jolly Susan" did little work during the evening study
hour; Judith, especially, found that she could not keep her mind on her
tasks. This was the full flavour of life at a boarding-school, surely,
to break the rules, and creep down the corridor in the dark to eat
forbidden food! She even let her mind play round the food
itself--chicken, meringues! She could hardly wait for bedtime.

If Catherine had not been in the secret, she would have been amazed at
the swiftness with which her family went to bed. Josephine was usually
incorrigibly slow, and Sally May always needed reminding that the
devotion bell would ring in two minutes' time. To-night clothes were
neatly arranged ready for the morning, rooms were in impeccable order,
hair was properly brushed, and there was no mad rush to be at one's own
door when the fatal bell sounded.

At last "Lights out" bell rang and silence descended on South House.
Ten o'clock, and the prefects put out their lights, only the tiny red
fire-escape lamps shone dimly at intervals down the corridor. Eleven
o'clock, and the night watchman had creaked by on his way to East House.
The way was clear.

Out of bed slipped the conspirators. Judith's cheeks burned with
excitement as, obedient to orders, she put on her warmest kimono, and,
carrying mug and sofa pillow, followed Josephine and Jane to the

Nancy and Sally May had already gone, Josephine informed her in a
piercing whisper, and Nancy had said to be _very_ careful of the boards
opposite Miss Marlowe's door because they sometimes squeaked horribly.

Stealthily in Indian file they crept down the corridor.

Horrors! The boards certainly did creak! Miss Marlowe's light was still
on! What if she should open her door!

Judith, with her eyes glued on the crack of light, clutched her kimono
more tightly as if to escape being seen, and in some inexplicable way
her mug slid from her cold fingers.

The fate of Sally May's party hung in the balance for just so long as it
takes a mug to fall to the ground, and Judith for a nightmare second
felt the bitterness of having betrayed her friends to the enemy; but
Jane, with a magical dexterity, caught the mug "on the fly" as Judith
described it later, and for the time being they were saved.

Judith's heart was still thumping from their narrow escape when they
joined the rest of the party in the common room at the head of the
stairs. The blinds had been pulled up to let in the pale moonlight, and
in the semi-darkness Judith could see five shadowy forms seated on their
pillows around the precious box.

"Are we all here?" said Sally May in a sepulchral whisper.

"We are--thanks to Jane," said Judith, and the episode of the mug was
told to appreciative listeners.

"Put on your flash, Nancy," commanded Sally May; "no one is going to
pass this door and we'll never manage to carve the chicken with this
miserable knife unless we have more light."

With infinite precautions the papers were unwrapped, and mouths began to
water as certain favorite goodies appeared.

"Who's going to carve?" asked Sally May surveying with a certain dismay
a plump brown bird and a seemingly inadequate pocketknife.

"Draw lots," suggested Rosamond.

        "Uggledy wuggledy doo,
          Rackety wackety boo,
          Out goes you!"

"Here, Jane, you're it." And Jane lost no time in attacking her job.

"My children! what _do_ you think? Here's a jelly or a mousse or
something--it's all creamy and quivery, anyway, and we haven't any

"I asked you--" began Jane reproachfully.

"Yes, I know you did, but Mother never mentioned a jelly and I thought
spoons would make a noise."

"Well, we'll have to have some," said Nancy practically.

        "Uggledy wuggledy doo,"

Judith felt in her bones she was going to be _it_. And she was.

"Let me go," said Nancy generously.

"No," said Judith, "Certainly _not_. Where'll I get spoons?"

"Oh, just collect what you can," said Sally May, handing round rolls
and sandwiches. "I've got a shoe-horn and a medicine spoon, and so has
Jane. Watch out for Miss Marlowe."

Fear and the desire to partake of the "eats" speeded Judith on her way,
and she lost no time in gathering up what utensils the "Jolly Susan"
could offer. Her thoughts flew to Catherine for a moment as she passed
her door and she wished their beloved captain could be with them. She
little knew how nearly her wish was fulfilled.

On the return journey as she hurried up the corridor, having safely
passed Miss Marlowe's door, she suddenly heard a soft footfall or the
swish of a kimono, and then discovered a dark form bearing down upon
her. Could it be Miss Marlowe? No, it wasn't tall enough. It must be
Miss Ashwell. Judith flattened herself against the wall, which was
fortunately in the shadow, in the hope that she would not be seen. But
it was a very slender little hope, and for the second time that evening
Judith was sure that their plans for a good time were ruined, when, just
as she had given herself up for lost, the figure turned about and a
voice, unmistakably Miss Ashwell's, said, "Bother! I've forgotten my
sponge again."

Another disaster averted!

What a _gorgeous_ time they had! What a heavenly chicken!

What luscious meringues! And if you have never in semi-darkness balanced
a precious morsel of jelly on the end of a nail-file, you have missed
one of thrills of _real_ living.

"The spiffingest feed I ever had," declared Judith as they began to pack
up the remains and remove all traces of their feast.

"Well, we haven't had all the thrills that you've had to-night, Judibus,
but for once I've had a perfectly good meal," confessed Rosamond, who
was holding the useful little flashlight, "and now I'm good and ready
for my perfectly good bed." She was voicing a unanimous thought--they
had had a jolly time, but their feet had gone to sleep and their eyes
were beginning to feel drowsy--yes, certainly bed would be good.

Pillows were sorted out, and Nancy with the tiny light led the way. She
tried to open the door; it would not budge! She pulled hard. Josephine
pulled harder; Sally May tried; and then consternation took possession
of their souls. Some one _had them_, had them with a vengeance! Whatever
would they do now?

Sally May was not in the least daunted, whatever the others might feel.
"I'll tell you," she said; "it's some one who wanted to come to the
party doing it for a joke"--but that brought little comfort. The party
was a secret, and who would know where to find them? Forebodings as to
to-morrow's punishment filled their minds.

Sally May, however, was accustomed to punishments. "Sufficient unto the
day" was evidently her motto. "Come on, let's tell ghost stories," she
said, and the others obediently seated themselves on the floor again.
Sally May produced a large box of chocolates which they were keeping for
another time, and began a long tale of a ghost who followed, and
followed, and followed a man up and down, up and down, the corridors of
an old manor house. The hero could hear the ghost's footsteps and its
blood-curdling laugh, but he was afraid to turn his head, and when he
did--very, very, very, slowly--the muscles of seven little necks
stiffened obedient to Sally May's suggestion--he saw a terrible--but
here Rosamond broke in with an hysterical cry, "Please, Sally May, I
can't bear any more"--and Sally May's spell was broken.

Indeed they all began to be frankly miserable, for they were chilly by
this time, and even schoolgirls' stomachs are susceptible to unlimited
cake and candy. Nancy fell asleep and leaned on Judith, making her most
uncomfortable. Sally May confessed quite openly to a feeling of
sickness, and in a steady whisper poured into Judith's ear the ghastly
details of how ill she had been at Knowlton after a lobster supper. The
night wore on. Most of them finally went to sleep in uncomfortable
attitudes, but about four o'clock in the morning, Judith, who was much
too unhappy and too uncomfortable to sleep, got up stiffly from the
floor and walking about the room, tried the door once more. To her huge
astonishment and joy it opened! Catherine had come up a couple of hours
before, but the striking of the big clock in the hall had covered the
very slight noise of the turning of the lock.

"It was open all the time," protested several unhappy voices.

"You didn't try it properly."

"We did," said other cross voices, and sulkily and stiffly they creaked
down the hall to their longed-for beds.

The rising bell rang in about an hour's time; at least so it seemed to
eight very sleepy girls. Pancakes and maple syrup, the favourite York
Hill breakfast, brought them no solace; indeed, to the surprise of their
friends, they refused them. Sally May, who demanded much sympathy,
reported to the nurse after breakfast.

"I don't feel well, Miss Anderson, I don't really. I'm tired all over. I
think if I had a little rest--" she added plaintively.

"Put out your tongue," said Miss Anderson cruelly. "Hm, blowing up for a
bilious attack. Oh, yes, you can go to morning lessons, but report at
the Infirmary this evening for a dose of calomel."

Poor Sally May! The thought of the horrid dose haunted her all day, and
when evening came her punishment was indeed complete.

Judith, Nancy, and Josephine had separately and independently resolved
by hook or by crook to escape the hated morning walk or "crocodile." A
walk after their wakeful night seemed simply impossible and the weather
was too bad for games. Many excuses were thought of and rejected, but
eventually they presented themselves to the mistress-in-charge, a
certain zealous Miss Martin.

"Too tired to go out, Nancy? Very well, early bed, of course"--and she
chalked up Nancy's name with "Bed at eight-thirty." Judith and Josephine
were treated in like manner; not that they minded very much, for bed at
eight-thirty had a soothing sound. But Madam Retribution was not done
with them yet.

For a week or more they had been expecting an invitation from Catherine
to supper in her room. It was a regular first-term institution that a
prefect should entertain her set of cubicles, and rumours of other
suppers had already reached the ears of the crew of the "Jolly Susan."
Judith, especially, had been looking forward to this treat. An evening
in Catherine's room, what a delight!

At evening prayers it was announced that to-night's lecturer would not
be able to come, and promptly afterwards Catherine gave the longed-for
invitation. "Supper in my room at eight-thirty," she whispered to each
of the five; "we'll have a jolly time." Her surprise and astonishment at
their stammered refusals were great.

"Slacking the walk?" she said coldly. "Of course, then, you can't have a
treat"--and she wasted no sympathy on them. Judith could have wept with
vexation and disappointment.

At half-past eight the crew of the "Jolly Susan" crept sadly into bed
and listened to the laughter of the prefects gathered in Catherine's
room, devouring _their_ supper. Sally May had gone to the Infirmary, but
one vow was registered by the other chastened souls in the "Jolly
Susan"--"No more midnight suppers!"



THE last two weeks had been so full of other things that lessons and
their preparation had taken a somewhat secondary place in the thoughts
of Form Five, and, in consequence, they had merited and received many

Sally May had spent two hours of a precious Saturday afternoon learning
poetry, for she had failed miserably in the last literature test;
Josephine had been her companion in disgrace, and had even had to spend
a precious Friday evening "in durance vile" because of returned lessons.

Judith's pride had been badly hurt by Miss Hilton's comment written in
her geometry exercise book, "Very poor work, indeed, untidy and
careless," and, worse still, when the lists were posted for the mid-term
Latin examination, Judith's name had been halfway down with fifty-six
marks to her credit. At Miss Graham's she had always headed the list.
Just for a moment she almost thought that there must be some mistake,
and then she realized that Five A standards were high and first-class
standing meant first-class work.

Literature and history were Judith's strong subjects, and on the morning
when she saw her Latin marks she made a mighty resolve to head the list
in at least one of these. It wouldn't be easy. Joyce Hewson and Phyllis
Lovell had been steadily piling up marks all term, and the whole form
was watching their tussle for first place. Christmas reports and class
standing for the half-year were made on class work and on the
examinations at the end of the term.

"I've just _got_ to have one 'first' on my report," said Judith to
herself as she put away her books after morning school. "I've just _got_
to--Daddy'll be awfully disappointed if I don't." And then, taking her
place in the line that was filing into Big Hall, she whispered to Nancy,
"What're we going to have this morning?"

"I'm not sure," said Nancy, "but I think Ruth Laughton's going to speak.
I saw her going into Miss Meredith's study this morning."

The last period of Friday morning school belonged to Miss Meredith.

"It's like a grab-bag," Nancy had inelegantly told Judith; "you never
know what you are going to get--sometimes it is a lecture, sometimes
Miss Meredith reads us a story, sometimes we have carol singing--I do
like that--and during the War we had talks from people who had been
there. Once we had a Polish Countess who spoke the funniest English, but
she was awfully brave, and once a man from Serbia. He was in the Red
Cross and he told us a terrible story about the state of the Serbian
children. We held form meetings the Monday following and voted to give
up candy for a whole term, all of us, and we sent the money to him for
the relief work. I think it's the nicest time of the week."

Judith too was coming to look forward to that last hour of the school
week, very often to schoolgirls a wasted hour at the fag end of things.

This Friday an Old Girl was to speak to them. Miss Meredith held that a
school like York Hill, in order to justify the time and effort, the
money and brains, the service and consecration put into it, should send
out girls who would be leaders and workers in everything which would
make for the betterment of the community in which they lived, and
unconsciously the Nancys and Judiths of the School, through these Friday
morning glimpses of the great world of service, would be steadily and
surely prepared for the part which they were to play. Social service, as
such, was not talked about; most girls dislike what they call
"preachments," but when Form Four decided to make baby clothes as a
Christmas shower for the crêche where an Old Girl worked, and when Form
Five promised a woolen sweater from every girl for the Fourteen Club at
the University Settlement, social service became a real and vital fact
in their lives. For, as Judith learned, knitted sweaters mean work, and
wool costs money, which had to be deducted from an already painfully
shrunken allowance, and baby clothes, although fascinating and cute,
represent many hours of careful stitching.

Meanwhile the seeds planted on Friday mornings grew and flourished until
"Noblesse oblige" became a natural and an actual attitude towards life.
Social service of some sort or other, after one left school, was an
established fact like unlimited tea-parties and dancing partners. And
Miss Meredith and many of her staff made it the business of their lives
to see that it should be social service of the right kind.

About once a term the Old Girls' Association provided a speaker. Miss
Meredith had entertained many distinguished guests who had spoken in Big
Hall, but none were made more welcome than the Old Girls, for the Head
Mistress knew the appeal which they alone could, and did make. To-day
the speaker was to be Ruth Laughton, a nursing sister decorated for
gallantry by the King. Catherine had been a Junior when Ruth was Captain
of South House, and she had pointed out to Judith Ruth's name on the
tablet in Big Hall where the names of House and School captains were
printed in letters of gold.

Judith considered, as Form Five marched into the Hall, what it would be
like to carry out wounded soldiers under fire. Nursing Sister Laughton
must be big and strong and brave, perhaps she was always brave and did
not really mind the explosions. What was courage, anyway? And then,
before she could decide this puzzling question, Miss Meredith was coming
down the centre aisle with her distinguished guest. The School gave a
thunderous welcome and settled back after Miss Meredith's brief
introduction to hear a thrilling story.

Form Five confessed among themselves afterwards to a distinct feeling of
disappointment when the speaker came forward. She was small, "not a bit
pretty," the girls decided, and her voice seemed tired and lacking in
vitality. The decoration on her breast appeared to be the only
significant thing about her. Evidently Ruth was nervous.

"If she is not afraid of bombs, she is afraid of us," thought Judith,
for the Sister's face grew white, her lips dry, and her assertion that
she was glad to be back at dear old York Hill seemed to be all that she
could remember of her speech. Three hundred pairs of hands had clapped
her a warm welcome, but now she confronted three hundred pairs of
critical eyes. She faltered, began again, and finally looked
appealingly, a schoolgirl once more, at her Head Mistress.

"Never mind about your own experiences just now, Ruth," said Miss
Meredith's calm, reassuring voice, "we'd like to hear a little more
about the children's hostels in the north of France. We are all
interested because we are sending clothes to Jean Warner to

And then a miracle happened, the whole School saw it. Ruth was
transformed before them, her eyes brightened, her shoulders
straightened, her voice had an inspiring ring in it as she told the
story of the heroism of other Old Girls.

She had an interesting story to tell and she told it well: even the
First-Form wrigglers sat with their eyes glued on her face as she told
of the brave fight which was being made for the life and health of the
children of Europe. "There is one thing especially I should like to tell
you," she finished, looking down into the sea of upturned faces,
"wherever I found a York girl--and you know my duties have taken me into
all sorts of queer places these last four years--whether she was a
V.A.D. ambulance driver, a nurse in hospital, a Y.W.C.A. secretary, or a
Child's Welfare worker, always the record was the same, that when a York
Hill girl undertook something, she _put it through_--especially if it
were a hard job! That's what the General said when he pinned on Gwen's
Mons Star--'Another of the ladies from Canada! They have taught you out
there to put things through with a will!' York Hill Old Girls look to
York Hill present girls to maintain the record of the School."

And if the applause meant anything, it surely stood for a determination
on the part of her listeners to maintain the York Hill tradition.

Without considering the matter overmuch, Judith was convinced that the
thing she was "to put through" during these last few weeks of term was
hard study, and she bent to her tasks with a will.

        "But the best laid schemes of mice and men
         Gang aft agley."

The School seemed suddenly to become very busy, though about what Judith
did not know. Much whispering was heard in the "Jolly Susan"; Nancy and
Josephine looked very mysterious, girls from all parts of the School
seemed to be in the same secret, and Judith heard tantalizing phrases,
"scenery committee"--"scene shifters"--"costume committee"--"the Play."
Very soon she herself was in a big secret, for a meeting of all New
Girls was called by the School Captain, and Eleanor explained that the
New Girls would be entertained at a play in the last week of November;
that the custom was that the New Girls should return the compliment by
an entertainment given during the last week of term; that since the New
Girls were decidedly in the minority, two of the prefects and she
herself would help in any way they could; and that, in a word, she was
now ready to receive nominations for the various committees.

An exciting hour followed. To her dismay Judith found herself on the
Costume Committee and she hated sewing. Sally May gave her little
comfort--"just be glad you don't have to paint scenery; that's a dirty
and hard job if you like," said Sally May. "Miss Ashwell makes us work
like demons. If she didn't work like a demon herself, we just wouldn't
do it," was her sage comment. Committee meetings multiplied. The play
chosen was to be kept a secret from its audience and a delicious air of
mystery pervaded the whole School.

After much discussion and help from Eleanor and Miss Marlowe, the New
Girls chose the "Christmas Carol." Many other things were suggested, but
Scrooge and Tiny Tim had apparently a warm place in their affections,
and the appropriateness of the Christmas story for the end of term was

The choosing of the cast was a difficult and a tedious job, and Miss
Marlowe and Eleanor spent much time trying out various candidates, but
at last the list was complete, and, a little to her relief, and, it must
be confessed, a little to her regret, Judith was not included. She had
never acted, and she had a firm conviction that she could not, so that
the regret was merely that she didn't like to think that other people
had the same conviction.

Her membership on the Costume Committee was no sinecure. Coveted
Saturday afternoon and evening leisure had to be given up to the
stitching of long seams. Mathilde LeBrun, who was another Josephine in
that her brain seemed to be in her fingers, was convener of the
committee, and under her direction Judith sewed and cut out, and, it
must be confessed, ripped. Tiny Tim's coat and trousers were her task,
and although the smallest of the new girls, Edith Holland by name, had
been chosen for this rôle, Judith found the utmost difficulty in making
her look like a Tiny Tim. Twice did she make and un-make that wretched
little suit, but she was nothing if not conscientious, and at last it
was finished.

"Twelfth Night," which was the Old Girls' play, was a huge success.
Nancy and Josephine had been so excited all week that Judith had found
it about impossible to keep her own attention on her lessons. Catherine
must be a chief character in the play, decided Judith, for Catherine's
room was the centre of numberless committee meetings and endless
discussions, and Genevieve Singleton--who, to Judith's envy had
established herself as Catherine's chief messenger--ran hither and
thither, bursting with importance. Nevertheless the secret was kept, and
as Judith sat with Sally May and Frances Purdy and all the other new
girls on Friday night and listened to the noise behind the green
curtain, she felt that she could bear the suspense no longer.

And then, when the curtain rose, the Master Magician waved his wand and
Judith, who had seen very few plays, was transported to a land of
beauty, romance, and sweet adventure. Helen made a noble Duke, and
Catherine an enchanting Viola. Judith had never quite recaptured the
thrill of delight she had felt when on the opening night of term she had
first seen Catherine, but now to the charm and witchery of first
impressions of beauty was added the knowledge of Catherine's sweetness
and gentleness. Nancy might be a witty Maria, and Josephine a rollicking
Sir Toby; Judith had eyes and ears for Viola only, and as the play
progressed she envied passionately the Duke who seemed criminally stupid
in his misunderstanding of Viola's love. The surprise of the play was
Genevieve Singleton's Malvolio. Even Judith was moved out of her trance
of adoration to laughter and admiration.

"That was real acting," said Sally May with the air of a theatre habitué
as Malvolio pranced off the stage in the immortal scene of the yellow
stockings and cross-garters.

After the last bravos had died away and the actors had bowed their
thanks before the footlights, both audience and players were refreshed
with lemonade and cakes, and Judith transferred her envy to the
fortunate ones who stood talking over the evening's triumph with
Catherine and Genevieve and the rest of the cast. She envied Genevieve
who had had such a success, and she wished, but did not dare, to join
the group. "Perhaps," thought silly Judith, "if I run upstairs now and
get her room ready for her, Catherine may kiss me good-night." Judith
was on the verge of what is technically known as a "crush."

Meanwhile preparations went forward in earnest for the "Christmas
Carol," and "All costumes must be finished for Monday. Full rehearsal at
eight o'clock in the Big Hall." So ran the Order-in-Council.

"I'm certainly glad Tiny Tim's costume is done," thought Judith as she
ran downstairs for the rehearsal; "four more days till the literature
exam. I'm going to work like everything."

"Come on, Judy," Sally May hailed her as she found her place behind the
curtain where she was to help shift scenery; "you're late, but who ever
heard of a rehearsal starting on time?"

"Seems to be some sort of a row on," said Judith as a distinct groan
reached their ears. "What's up?" she asked as they joined the group on
the stage.

"Marjorie Jones has measles," answered Eleanor, their stage manager:
"come here, all of you, and think _hard_. Who can take Scrooge at such
short notice? Is there any new girl with a good memory? It's the longest
part by far."

Various names were proposed and rejected for one reason or another, and
then Eleanor's eye fell on Judith, who saw her consider for a moment,
speak in a low tone to the two other prefects; then very reluctantly she
answered the summons, "Judith, come here and read this page for me, will
you, please? Perhaps you'll do."

Judith read the page and a tiny feeling of resentment began to make
itself felt. She hadn't been asked to do anything nice, or anything she
wanted, and now they weren't even asking her if she would be willing to
take Marjorie's place.

"I guess you'll do," was Eleanor's uncomplimentary comment when Judith
had finished.

"There's really no one else," she said, turning to Patricia, "and I
think Judy can be word-perfect by Friday. I'll coach her every spare
minute myself. Come along, Judy," she added, "and read over the part
before we begin."

Somewhat breathless from this prompt decision, Judith obediently took
the manuscript and seated herself at one corner of the stage. Suddenly
as she read, the full meaning of this new turn of events flashed into
her brain. The final term examination in literature was listed for
Friday morning, and Judith had planned to spend all her spare time
between now and then in the thorough revision of her work, for there was
still much to be done, and this examination would really decide whether
she or Joyce or Phyllis would head the list.

For a long ten minutes Judith read her part and at the same time debated
within herself, while Eleanor settled some difference of opinion about
exits and entrances. Self number one tried to hoodwink self number
two--"Top Self" and "Deep-Down Self," Judith as a little girl had
christened these two voices within her. "Daddy would like you to come
out first; you oughtn't to disappoint him. Lessons must be done. Just go
and tell Eleanor you can't do it and then your time will be your own."

"No," said Deep-Down Self, "be fair, Judy. You know you can't act well,
you won't be a success like Genevieve. You don't want Catherine and the
others to see you fail, and honestly, do you want to come out first for
Daddy's sake or for your own? I really believe you don't think enough
fuss has been made over you. You'd _rather_ work at your literature and
come first, perhaps, but you can memorize quickly and they need you.
Which _ought_ you to do?--never mind whether it's hard or not."

Judith had always been honest with herself and she knew quite well what
the real issue was.

The struggle was hard, the hardest, perhaps, which Judith had ever
fought. Mechanically she turned the pages while the argument continued
within her. She seemed to have no way of deciding, when suddenly she
remembered Nursing Sister Ruth's words, "York Hill girls have the
reputation overseas of being willing to tackle any job--no matter how
hard--and of _putting it through_." Top Self hadn't a chance after that.
Filling in here seemed her most immediate duty and Judith settled down
grimly to her task.

The rehearsal was long and tiring, and twenty times during the first
hour Judith was tempted to give up. But she did her best, and although
Eleanor was distracted by all the numberless things demanding attention,
she found time to stop and say at the end of the first act, "Good work,
Judy! I knew I could depend on you. You'll make a first-rate Scrooge,
and you are a brick to get to work without any fuss." And although
Judith did not believe the remark about her acting, her face flushed
with pleasure and she determined that she would not spend another moment
in questioning. This job must be put through.

And it was. She woke early in the morning and learned her part by the
light of Nancy's flashlight. She cut her recreation time and scamped her
lesson preparation. She thought and lived Scrooge, and as she had a good
memory she was word-perfect before Eleanor had thought it possible.
Eleanor and Patricia coached her whenever they could, and Miss Marlowe
gave her Wednesday evening and Thursday afternoon.

       *       *       *       *       *

Friday morning, and with it the literature examination! Judith read the
paper with a sinking heart. She would not fail, but, as she had guessed,
the extra reading which she had planned to do during these last few days
would have given her paper "The little more, and how much it is" which
would have lifted it to the first rank. Came Friday afternoon with its
last rehearsal and then the fateful night.

Judith will never forget the thrill of terror that ran through her as
the curtain rose and she saw the rows of faces staring at her out of
the semi-darkness. For an instant she was paralyzed with terror, and it
was only the audience's delight at finding Frances arrayed as Scrooge's
irrepressible nephew that covered the gap between "Merry Christmas,
Uncle," and "Bah! Humbug!"

The first short scene was wooden enough in all conscience, but Judith
remembered her words, and as the story progressed she got a better grip
on herself surprising and delighting Eleanor and those who were in the
secret by her spirited acting.

But at the end of Act Three, Nancy, who had slipped behind the scenes to
congratulate her chum, and to tell her that her wig was the least bit
askew, was surprised and alarmed to find Judith almost in tears.

"I can't do the last act, Nancy, I simply can't. My face feels all stiff
and solemn. I can't laugh and joke, I can't, no matter how I try"--and
two tears actually rolled down her cheeks. She was tired out, and the
very imagination which had made it possible for her to be for the moment
the gloomy old miser, now made it seem impossible for her to change him
in a few minutes into a jolly, generous, incarnation of old Father

Nancy was horrified and distracted. She did her best, but with seemingly
no avail, and then she had one of those inspirations, which seem almost
heaven-sent. Hurrying back and learning that there were still four or
five minutes before the curtain would rise, she sought Catherine, who
luckily had left her seat during the interlude.

"Captain," she said, saluting, "there is one of the crew who needs your
help; can you come at once?"

And then, as they neared the stage--

"It's Judy, Cathy," she whispered; "do buck her up. She has been such a
brick, but she is so tired that she feels that she can't do the last

Catherine waited for no more explanations, but went swiftly behind the
curtain, where she found Judith trying to look cheerful, but making a
dismal failure of it. "Careful," said Cathy to herself. "I mustn't be
sympathetic or she will break down."

Judith looked up, and instead of the dreaded warning that the curtain
was going up, here was Catherine saluting her merrily.

"Good work, Judy! The 'Jolly Susan' needs a first mate; can I induce you
to accept the job?" And she put a steadying arm round the new mate's
shoulders. "You've been splendid; we're all proud of you, and especially
we of the 'Jolly Susan.'"

No more question of can or can't. Judith felt that she could do anything
for her captain and here was a chance. She threw herself into the
unforgettable scene of Scrooge's awakening, and the whole school was
infected with the joyousness of her declaration: "I am as light as a
feather. I am as happy as an angel. I am as merry as a schoolboy. A
Merry Christmas to everybody, a Happy New Year to all the world. Hullo,
here, whoop! Hullo."

And every one was quite ready to agree with Scrooge's declaration at the
end of the scene, "Wonderful party, wonderful games, wonderful
unanimity, won-der-ful happiness!"

The New Girls were cheered to the echo by the School, and the party
which was voted a great success ended with cake and lemonade and a
delightful Sir Roger de Coverly in which every one took part.

Judith, dancing with Bob Cratchit, felt supremely happy, and her cup was
filled to overflowing by Miss Meredith's words as she said good-night.

"Congratulations on your success, Judith, you gave us a fine
presentation of Scrooge, and Eleanor tells me you had very little time
for preparation."

And then the delightful whispered conferences upstairs after "Lights
Out" bell had rung--Catherine turned a deaf ear, for discipline must
occasionally be relaxed.

"Did you see Mr. Fezziwig's coat, Judy?"

"Wasn't Mrs. Cratchit too funny for words?"

"Wasn't the ghost splendid?"

"I shivered all over when he was speaking," Nancy declared; and so on
and so on, until Judith fell asleep and dreamed that she was dancing the
Sir Roger with Miss Meredith arrayed as Mrs. Cratchit, and that, so
arrayed, Miss Meredith had proceeded to the platform and had read out
the term's marks beginning with Five A. First, Judith Benson; second,
Joyce Hewson; third, Nancy Nairn.

It was a good thing that Judith had the fun of her dream because in the
lists read out after prayers next morning our heroine stood fourth, in
Five A, but that didn't spoil her morning, such a happy morning. Desks
were tidied, Christmas presents tied up, suitcases packed, and at
twelve o'clock a short Christmas service was held in Big Hall.

The carols which they had been learning the last few weeks at morning
prayers were sung now with a right good will to the accompaniment of the
School orchestra. And then Miss Meredith, having read the beautiful
Christmas story, explained the meaning of its message so clearly, so
simply, and yet so earnestly, and with such a passionate longing that
from York Hill there should indeed radiate "Peace and good will towards
all men," that not the stupidest nor the most frivolous girl but was
touched to a sense of higher ideals and nobler living.

Every girl in the School knew that the Head Mistress was humbly striving
to embody in her own life the high ideals she held before her pupils,
and because of this they listened. Doubtless some of the seed fell by
the wayside, some into hard and stony ground, some was choked by the
deceit and riches of this world, but other seed fell into good ground
and brought forth abundantly, "some thirty, some sixty, and some an



THE Christmas holidays brought a much-needed rest.

"No parties these holidays," said Aunt Nell firmly, as she ushered
Judith into a pretty sunshiny room; "bed at nine o'clock, breakfast at
nine o'clock, and any amount of skating and tobogganing in between. I
promised your mother that you should have a very quiet time."

But a very quiet time was not just the holiday that Judith had planned
to have, and after a long night's sleep and a peaceful day devoted to
letter-writing she was lively as a cricket and ready for anything.

Christmas shopping absorbed the first two days: Aunt Nell found it
tiring, but to Judith the shops all glittering with Yuletide gaiety were
wholly fascinating. There were toys to be bought for six-year-old Doris
and little Bobbie and Baby Hugh, and something very nice for Nancy.
Nothing seemed good enough for Nancy, but at last she found a little
string of white coral faintly touched with rose which she was certain
would look "just perfectly lovely" with Nancy's roseleaf complexion,
and, after much anxious calculating as to what money would be left for
pocket money during the holidays, the corals were finally bought and
sent off to Quebec.

Up to the day before Christmas the weather had been very uncertain, and
Judith, who had bought Bobbie a new sled was afraid that she would have
to pull him on bare sidewalks, and that the stories of Santa Claus and
his reindeer would fall rather flat if there were no snow on the ground
to add a touch of reality to the tale.

But on Christmas Eve to every one's joy the snow fell softly but
steadily all day, and next morning the sky was so blue, the sun so
bright, and the ground so dazzling white in its snowy covering, that
Judith running out to the verandah fairly danced with joy.

"Do come out and see!" she cried to Aunt Nell; "it's exactly like a
Christmas-card Christmas if only a little English robin would hop into
the picture."

Stockings had already been emptied and their contents exclaimed over,
and no wonder Judith was happy. Perhaps Santa Claus had an especially
soft corner in his heart for schoolgirls whose mothers were far away at
Christmas-time. Judith had never had such enchanting presents--a string
of beautiful amber beads from Daddy; the daintiest of shell-pink crêpe
kimonos with satin slippers and cap to match from mother; a pretty
camisole from Nancy; a woolen skating-set of palest primrose from Uncle
Tom; and--joy of joys! a new white and silver evening frock from Aunt

Judith promised to take Bobbie for a sleigh-ride, but ran upstairs to
have another peep at the new frock first, and Aunt Nell found her
gloating over it.

"I know," she said, smiling at Judith's raptures; "I've been there
myself. I'm sure your mother thought two frocks ample for a
sixteen-year-old, and I expect you have worn them so often already that
you never want to see them again. Hannah shall help you freshen them up
with a new flower or a bit of gauze, and I hope you will have jolly
times in the new one."

Judith folded away the delicious bit of finery in its tissue wrappings,
and then, standing at her dressing-table and looking dreamily and
happily into the mirror, she made a picture of herself dancing in her
silver frock with Catherine, admired by Nancy and Josephine, and envied
by all the girls of South House, and she privately resolved at once to
save enough out of her allowance for silver shoes.

"Hurry, hurry!" shouted Uncle Tom, and hastily donning her new skating
outfit Judith joined the group in the hall.

They had glorious fun in the snow. Doris and Bobbie, rolled up in furs
so that they looked like little 'possums, had turns riding in the new
sled to the park, and then the whole family were packed into the big
toboggan and Uncle Tom had more fun even than Bobbie. Oh, it was good to
be alive!

Next morning brought a welcome letter from Sally May who was spending
the holidays with Nancy in Quebec. Judith had just been thinking about
them and wishing she could compare notes about Christmas presents, and
have a really good gossip.

"Quebec is the most enchanting place," wrote Sally May; "you know how
I've hated learning Canadian and British history--well, here the history
is _real_--Nancy's father is awfully keen about the monuments and
things and I'm getting to be keen myself. Jack has a couple of R. M. C.
boys here for the holidays, and then there's His Lordship Brother
Tim--Mrs. Nairn is a dear and is giving us an awfully good time. If only
you were here, Judy, it would be perfect."

If only she were! Judith sighed and wished _she_ had two big
brothers--or at least that Nancy had included her in the invitation. She
was right in her surmise that Sally May had been chosen because she was
so far from home, but she couldn't help wishing--

Judith had heard Aunt Nell talking to a gentleman in the drawing-room
across the hall, and now, to her surprise, Aunt Nell left him and came
into the library looking somewhat puzzled.

"Mr. Nairn, Nancy's father, is here, Judith. I find that Mrs. Nairn and
I are old friends. I hadn't guessed that your Nancy's mother was the
Elizabeth Dalton I knew years ago. She has sent a very kind invitation
for you to spend the New Year's week-end with them. Mr. Nairn is going
to Quebec by to-night's train, and could take you with him and bring you
back on Tuesday. I don't know whether I ought"--but at the sight of the
ecstatic joy on Judith's face she did not finish her sentence. "Run
along, dear, and pack the new frock. I don't need to ask you if you want
to go. You have been a good child and I think you have had enough rest.
Come first and be introduced to Mr. Nairn. It _is_ kind of him to take

A radiant Judith packed a club bag and suitcase. Could Uncle Tom and
Mother have guessed that such a fairy-tale was going to happen when they
planned their gifts?--But, of course not. Where were her skates and
plenty of handkerchiefs? Silver shoes she must have sometime, but here
were the old white ones in the meantime.

Nancy and Sally May were in the limousine waiting for the travellers at
the station next day, and as Judith caught sight of them she realized
with a joyous leap of her heart how homesick she had been for the sound
of Sally May's pretty voice and the sight of Nancy's dear, merry face.

Ever so many things had happened, and better still were going to happen.
Sally May had had her hair bobbed, and very _chic_ it looked curling
under the rim of her little fur hat. Nancy had a thrilling tale of
Christmas presents to tell, and they had not reached the end of the
Christmas happenings when the car drew up before a comfortable-looking,
rather old-fashioned house surrounded by what was evidently a big garden
under a thick mantle of snow.

Mrs. Nairn's welcome made Judith feel at home at once, and she gave her
aunt's messages to her hostess so prettily and so modestly that Mrs.
Nairn was quite charmed with Nancy's new friend.

At dinner the sons of the house appeared, and with them Tom Southam,
Jack's roommate at college. Jack had the same merry blue eyes and sunny
smile as his sister, and Judith forgot to be shy with him. Thomas was a
cheery youth, whose chief interest at the dinner-table was the food, and
Judith gave him scant attention. But Tim, the elder brother, who had
been in the Flying Corps and had several enemy machines to his credit,
who still limped from injuries received during an air-fight, and whose
grey eyes had the keen, piercing, and yet dreamy look of the genuine
bird-man, was sufficiently a hero to prove undeniably attractive. Tim
was courteous and kind, but from the height of his five-and-twenty
years a trifle condescending, and indeed he was wishing within himself
that "Mum wouldn't fill the house with such kids."

The boys had planned to go skiing next day and after some private
suggestions from Mrs. Nairn, they asked the girls to come and watch the
fun. Neither Sally May nor Judith had ever been on skis, but here was a
splendid chance to try.

"Drive us over to the Ramparts, Tim, please," said Nancy as they started
off. "I don't want Judith to be in Quebec another hour without seeing
our view."

"Right you are," answered Tim, "we'd better go while it's clear--though,
of course, the only way to see Quebec is from the river."

"I always get thrills," said Nancy, "when I come down the river and see
the big rock and the town. Think of being Jacques Cartier--the first to
see it. For a while, you know, I used to put at the top of my letters,
'Quebec--the Rock Fortress of New France.'"

"Cheek, that's what," said Jack; "I hope you apologize to Wolfe when you
do it--there, by the way, is the Wolfe-Montcalm Monument--see, shining
over the tops of the trees--I bet you can't recite the inscription,
Nan, for Judith, who ought to improve her mind."

"Lost your bet," returned Nancy promptly--"a pound box, if you
please--no, half a pound will do, for I can't say it in Latin, but I
certainly can in English.

        "'Valour Gave Them a Common Death,
                History a Common Fame,
          And Posterity a Common Monument.'"

"Bravo--I'll make it a pound--but of course you looked it up to show off
to Sally May."

"Well, I did look it up," confessed Nancy, "but Father promised to take
us to see the sights as soon as Judy came and he would have disowned me
if I didn't know that much."

They had reached the Ramparts and Judith caught her breath in amazement
at the wonderful scene. Away below them flowed the majestic St.
Lawrence, its snow-clad banks pierced here and there by tiny villages
each with its heavenward-pointing spire; to the north were the
Laurentian Hills, now glistening in a dazzling white mantle; at their
feet was the town, quaint and picturesque, its spires and monuments
reminders of its romantic past.

"There's the Ursuline convent, Judy," said Sally May, eagerly pointing
out the group of buildings. "Mr. Nairn told me the most interesting
thing about it--there's a lamp there that was lighted over two hundred
years ago by a girl, Marie de Repentigny--just imagine all the things
that have happened since that flame was lit."

"En avant--forward march," said Jack; "this is not Mr. Nairn's
personally conducted tour--we, I might observe parenthetically, intend
to ski this afternoon."

They bundled into the motor once more and were soon on the slopes a
little lower down where several flying figures could already be seen. It
was an ideal place for the thrilling sport--for there were a number of
high places where experts could take high jumps, and lower slopes in
plenty for the learners and the more timid, and great snowy fields
beyond where the whiteness was broken by the gay-coloured caps and
scarves of tobogganers and skaters.

Tom took Nancy down to one of the ponds to skate, while Tim and Jack
gave Judith and Sally May their first lesson.

Tim proved a splendid teacher and Judith made such progress in the
management of the long clumsy skis that at the end of an hour the boys
left Nancy in charge of their pupils, and went off to try some of the
higher jumps.

Judith found that she couldn't do as well without Tim's precept and
example, and neither she nor Sally May was sorry when Nancy declared
they could have just one more jump--they had no idea how stiff they
would be to-morrow.

Judith stood for a moment enjoying the scene. The sky was still blue,
but there were bands of colour in the west and the shadows of the pine
trees had lengthened considerably. She drew a deep breath of unconscious
enjoyment drinking in the wonderful air that tasted like clear spring
water, and then, making sure that both skis were quite straight, she
pushed off.

For a moment like a bird she felt herself flying through the air. How
glorious! Then quite suddenly came a sense of suffocation and thick
darkness. In some way the long curved wings on her feet had tripped her
and she had pitched head foremost into a deep snow-bank. Nancy, who saw
her disappear, halloed to the boys as she sped to the place where Judith
was buried, and they appeared with magical swiftness.

They pulled Judith out--not without difficulty--and wiped the snow off
her face.

"Are you hurt?" said Jack anxiously.

Judith struggled to get her breath.

"It's--too--beautiful," she said, without opening her eyes, her mind
evidently still on the river view,--"perfectly glorious!"

Jack burst into relieved laughter.

"Judith's a game little thing," he said to his mother later on; "I
suppose we shouldn't have left them so soon, but she seemed to get the
hang of it very quickly--she slid into that bank as neatly as an
arrow--I'm mighty glad she isn't hurt."

       *       *       *       *       *

Judith could hardly keep her eyes open at the dinner-table, and she was
glad enough to accept Mrs. Nairn's suggestion that she go to bed early.

Nancy and Sally May perched on the foot of the bed ready to talk over
the day's happenings, but found to their astonishment that Judy seemed
asleep almost as soon as her head touched the pillow. They tiptoed
gently away, but they need not have been afraid of wakening her.

"Doesn't she look sweet?" whispered loyal Nancy to Sally May as she
turned off the bedside lamp. Judith was smiling happily, for in her
dreams she was flying, flying through sunlit skies, and Tim, of the grey
eyes and the half friendly, half quizzical smile, was flying beside



NEXT morning Judith could scarcely move; her limbs were stiff from the
unaccustomed exercise and one shoulder was bruised and wrenched from her
fall, so Mrs. Nairn kept her in bed all morning and gave her much
petting and mothering.

The plans for the afternoon had included a skating party on the river,
ending with a drive out to the Nairns' summer cottage, which had been
opened in preparation for this week of winter sports. A neighbouring
farmer's wife had promised to have a roaring fire ready for the skaters
when they should appear about five o'clock, and the farmer himself was
to meet them at the river with his big sleigh. Clearly Judith could not
skate to-day, so other plans were made for her. Nancy, of course, must
be with the skaters, since she was the hostess, but Sally May insisted
on staying at home with Judith. Naturally this embarrassed Judith, for
she knew that Sally May loved skating, and an outdoor party of this
kind would be a novelty to a Southerner. Finally Jack talked things over
with his mother, and, as Judith declared that she was well enough to go,
Mrs. Nairn agreed that she should drive with Jack to the cottage and he
would leave her there with Mme. Berthier, while he rejoined the skaters
on the river.

Tim, to Judith's disappointment, declared that he had an engagement and
couldn't come.

"I can't think what's happening to Tim," grumbled Nancy as they changed
into warm clothes for their long drive; "usually he's a dear about
helping to entertain, but he's not a bit like himself, he looks so glum
and 'grouchy.'"

"Oh, Nancy!" Judith protested, "I don't see how you can say such a
thing! I think he looks just lovely!"

"Just lovely," Nancy laughed wickedly; "he'll be pleased when I tell

Poor Judith crimsoned.

"Oh, Nancy," she begged, "you wouldn't, surely you wouldn't. I just
meant that he had nice eyes."

But Nancy would make no promises.

Promptly after an early lunch the skaters set off, and Jack appeared
with a horse and a little old-fashioned cutter which he had borrowed
from an uncle who scorned motors and still clung to his horse. Judith
was tucked up in a fur robe in the cutter and off they went.


"It's almost as good as skiing or flying," laughed Judith as the light
sleigh flew over the snow and the bells on the horse jingled a merry
accompaniment to their talk. It was another day of magical
colouring--all blue and gold and dazzling white, and "Little Oaks" was
reached all too soon in Judith's opinion. To their dismay there was no
friendly column of smoke announcing the fire that Mme. Berthier had

"It's a good thing the Berthiers are only a mile away," said Jack;
"whatever can have happened?"

He came out of the little whitewashed cottage with a grave face.
"Jacques is away at the lumber camp and Toinette and the two younger
children are down with flu--Toinette seems very ill; luckily Jeanne is
old enough to do the nursing, but they need a doctor, and I'm afraid
I'll have to go off at once. Nancy will be disappointed, but it can't be
helped. We'll pin a note on the door for her as we go back--it would
take too long to open the house and get a good fire going--and a wood
fire wouldn't keep in all afternoon anyway--and I couldn't leave you

"Oh, please, please," begged Judith, "do let me stay--couldn't that
small boy by the door be coaxed to stay with me for company--I couldn't
bear to have Nancy's party spoilt."

Judith knew how to be very persuasive and Jack finally gave in. Little
Pierre came with them to carry the wood, he was told.

Jack opened up the house, carried in the baskets of provisions, and lit
a fire of blazing logs.

"I'll 'phone to you when I get in, and if you should need anything, or
if you feel lonely, ring up Mother in the meantime."

"I shan't have a minute to spare for feelings," declared Judith, "Pierre
and I have plenty to do."

She didn't quite realize how much was to be done when she watched Jack
drive off. The living-room to be swept and dusted--that would come
first--and no small task when one's arms and back are bruised and
aching; then to the kitchen, and judge of her dismay when on opening
the baskets she found that, though there were cakes and fruit and salad
stuff in plenty, of bread there was only one small loaf. Whatever
could--oh, here was a small bag of flour and a tin of baking powder.
Judith groaned as she remembered hearing Nancy tell Sally May that Mme.
Berthier was a splendid cook and had promised to make heaps of waffles
and hot biscuits for them to eat with their baked beans and salad.

Twenty hungry skaters appearing in an hour and one small loaf to feed
them! Judith had never made waffles, but she had made baking-powder
biscuits once or twice, though only, of course, in small quantities. Her
first thought was to walk to Mme. Berthier's cottage and ask for
directions. No, that wouldn't do--the precious hour would be gone. And
Nancy must _not_ be disappointed.

"Put on some more wood, Pierre, please. I want a good hot oven," she
called to her little helper, and then as he looked blank she tried first
her scanty stock of French words and then showed him what to do.

While she was thinking, she was rapidly unpacking the baskets and
setting the table, disregarding meanwhile the twinges of pain from her
hurt shoulders. At last everything was ready but the biscuits--she
couldn't remember, try as she might, the proportion of baking-powder and
flour and milk. A mistake would be such a tragedy! Then just as she had
decided to make three or four batches and hope that one or two might be
good, she suddenly thought of the telephone.

"Well, I am a silly, petit Pierre, now we'll be all right--Yes, Mrs.
Nairn, it's Judith--Jack will explain--please tell me how to make

The explanation must have been easy to follow, for when Nancy and her
party arrived a little later three pans of beautifully browned fluffy
tea-biscuits were ready to put on the table. Judith had never been as
proud of anything in her life as of those same biscuits, and when later
the company toasted her in hot cocoa and sang, "For she's a Jolly Good
Fellow," with Nancy and Jack looking their special thanks, Judith
decided she could never be any happier than she felt right then.

Mr. Nairn was as good as his word next day and took them on a
sight-seeing tour ending with a delightful luncheon at the Château
Frontenac. Judith had never lunched in such a big hotel and felt very
important and grown-up. Jack and Tim refused to be instructed on
historical matters, but were on hand for the luncheon.

"I guess you two have won Dad's hard heart and no mistake," Jack
confided to Judith while they waited for Mr. Nairn, who was speaking to
an acquaintance. "I see the favors are 'chien d'or' bonbon dishes,"
pointing to the quaint little china dishes. "He always presents a copy
of 'The Golden Dog' to highly honored visitors."

"Your father has been telling us about it," said Judith, "and he
promised me a copy when we get home."

"I'm coming back to sketch here some summer," announced Sally May;
"Quebec's simply full of places wanting to be painted."

After the luncheon the boys took them home, and as Judith was still
tired from her exertions of the last two days, they voted to spend the
afternoon at home, and curled themselves up in comfortable chairs in the
sitting-room prepared to discuss a box of chocolates and the universe in

"What're you going to do after school, Judy?" demanded Nancy; and then
without waiting for an answer--"I believe Mother is going to let me
train to be a nurse. I've just been crazy to be a nurse ever since I was
about ten. Mother has laughed at me and said I would get over it, but
she sees that I really mean it, and I think she is willing now. I don't
know where I'll go. Florence Matthews says you can get the best training
in New York, but Mother thinks New York is too far away, and anyway I
have to take a Domestic Science course first."

"You'll look perfectly sweet in a uniform, Nancy," said Sally May; "I
simply adore the kerchiefs the nurses wear in some of the hospitals.
It's too bad the war is over. Wouldn't it have been thrilling to nurse

"I'm going to be an artist," Sally May continued, "with a studio in New
York. I'm going to buy all sorts of lovely embroidery and pottery in the
East--I know a perfectly lovely shop in Shanghai--and I'll make a
gorgeous room. I'm sure I could make it perfectly fascinating, full of
atmosphere, you know," she continued vaguely. "I'll have afternoon tea
every day and invite heaps of people, interesting people, who do
out-of-the-ordinary things. Patricia Caldwell's cousin had the
loveliest time. Patricia says her studio is just like an old-fashioned
French salon."

"What about your pictures?" asked Judith slyly.

"Oh, of course I'll work hard," said Sally May happily. "I simply love
to draw."

"What are you going to be, Judy?"

"I'm not sure," said Judith slowly, "but I think I'd like to be a

"A teacher?" chorused the other two in surprise. "Why, Judy, what a
funny idea!" said Sally May.

"I don't see why it's funny," Judith objected. "I think it would be
splendid to be like Miss Marlowe or head of a school like Miss

"Well, you'll never get married if you are a teacher," said Sally May
with finality; "at any rate, not for ages and ages."

"Why not?" said Judy.

This was a poser.

"W-e-l-l--you'd have to learn so much, you see."

Judith laughed. "I hadn't thought of that, but I thought you were going
to be an artist," she added teasingly.

"But not all my life," expostulated Sally May, and Judith and Nancy
laughed to think of Sally May's picture of a hard-working artist.

Judith considered the matter of her future seriously as she dressed for

It might be nice to be married--think how lonely she and Mummy would be
without Daddy--but of course she couldn't marry Daddy; and then she
laughed at herself as she remembered Daddy's story of the small girl who
sobbed that she didn't ever want to get married because, as she couldn't
have daddy, she'd have to marry a perfect stranger.

"Perhaps some one like Tim would be nice," thought Judith, and after the
fashion of most sixteen-year-olds she began to weave a shadowy romance
with a Prince Charming as its central figure. Tim had walked to the
Château with them this morning, and although he had not condescended to
talk beyond the merest civilities, this silence had merely served to
enhance his romantic value in Judith's eyes. She wondered what he was
thinking of. Perhaps he was living over again a battle in the clouds--as
a matter of fact, Tim was wondering why he hadn't received a certain
letter which he had hoped for on Christmas Day. Judith hoped he would
like her new frock, and wondered how many dances he would ask her for on
New Year's night.

The Nairns were a musical family. Nancy always went to the piano and
played for her father after dinner, sometimes Mrs. Nairn joined in with
her violin, and to-night Tim appeared with his 'cello.

Judith loved to attend symphony concerts and the tuning-up of the
orchestra never failed to give her delicious thrills, but she had never
had a speaking acquaintance--so to speak--with a 'cello before this, and
the beautiful mellow tones delighted her more than anything she had ever
heard before. As she undressed that night she revised her plans for the
future. She would devote herself to music and study hard so that when
they were married she might be her husband's accompanist. "On wings of
music" they would soar, and when they did come back to earth it must be
to a bungalow, a dear little grey-stone bungalow. She spent a happy time
planning the furnishing of her music-room and fell asleep before she had
decided on the respective merits of old oak and mahogany.

Next day began with "Happy New Year" and ended with the jolliest of
family parties. All the members of the house-party spent a busy day, for
Mrs. Nairn had plenty for the two maids to do in the kitchen. Sally May
was discovered to have a talent for decorating, so she and Jack and Tim
hung evergreens and holly and placed ferns and flowers where they would
show to the best advantage, while Nancy and Judith whisked about with
dusters and brushes.

"Music in the living-room, dancing in the drawing-room and hall, and
cards upstairs in Mother's sitting-room," said Nancy as they set the
small tables. "That's what we always have, and then everybody dances a
Sir Roger de Coverly--you should see Uncle Phil and Aunt Maria
dancing--and afterwards we have supper."

They had a picnic tea at six o'clock in the sitting-room as the maids
were arranging the supper-table in the dining-room, and then came the
fun of dressing.

Judith had kept her new silver frock as a great surprise, and now it was
thrilling to burst into Nancy's room in all her new finery. Nancy and
Sally May said it was "perfectly sweet," and even Jack, "who never
notices" (according to Nancy), looked and whistled his admiration as
Judith came downstairs, her eyes shining, her cheeks glowing with
excitement, and her pretty frock swishing about her in a highly
gratifying manner.

Guests were arriving at an unfashionably early hour, since it was
largely a family party, and Judith was introduced to a bewildering
number of cousins and cousins' cousins and aunts and uncles.

But where was Tim? He had not been home for tea, and although Judith
listened and watched there was no sign of him.

"Tim went out early this afternoon to pay calls and he isn't back yet,"
Sally May informed Judith. "I think Mrs. Nairn is rather worried about

The younger set had been dancing for an hour or more and Jack had proved
an attentive host, but Judith was still half unconsciously looking for
Tim when suddenly she saw him in the doorway with an exquisitely pretty
girl beside him. Perhaps it was Tim's radiant look which he was making
no effort to hide, perhaps it was his partner's radiant looks which she
was trying to hide, but however it was Judith had the quick conviction
that this was a very special partner. The newcomer was slim and
graceful, and Judith saw with sudden envy that her hair was like spun
gold and her eyes as blue as forget-me-nots.

Tim danced with no one else, and in spite of Jack's attentions and no
lack of interesting partners, Judith began to feel a little
disconsolate. However, it was hard not to be merry at such a merry
party; there was happiness in the very air.

The Sir Roger was a great success, and Uncle Phil, aged seventy-two,
upheld his reputation as the gayest dancer of them all.

At supper-time Nancy and Judith were helping to serve the little tables
in the library when Judith saw Tim with his partner come in and go over
to Mr. and Mrs. Nairn. Nancy suddenly squeezed Judith's arm.

"Oh, Judy, Judy, they're engaged! I'm sure they are! Look at Tim! We
were pretty sure he was in love with her, and Lois is such a darling!"

Then she rushed over to put her arms around Lois, and Judith was left
alone feeling bereaved of husband, home, and career at one cruel

"The nicest party I ever was at," said Sally May enthusiastically as the
three said good-night after a long discussion of the evening's fun, "and
I think you looked nicer than anybody else, Judy. I do hope you won't
get conceited about the way you look in that new frock. I know I

"The nicest party I ever was at," thought Judith before she fell asleep,
"and the very nicest people. Jack is a brick--he's been awfully kind to
me. I wish I was half as pretty as Lois Selkirk. What _would_ it feel
like to be engaged?--I guess it would be exciting! However, then I
wouldn't be going back to York Hill--and that will be exciting next term
and no mistake. Oh, how glad I am that I've got Nancy!"



WHAT fun it was to get back to York Hill!

As Judith stood in the front hall waiting her turn to sign the register,
she almost laughed aloud as she remembered how, standing in this very
spot, she had clung desperately to Aunt Nell five short months ago. How
different it was now! She could hardly wait to get over to South, and
see Nancy, and Catherine, and Jane, and Josephine, and all the rest of

She peeped into the drawing-room, and there sat a stiff, solemn little
figure--a new girl, no doubt--and, yes, here was Eleanor bringing Peggy
Forrest to introduce to the newcomer. And as Judith ran across to her
own house, she felt a warm glow of gratitude that Miss Meredith had
chosen Nancy to be her "pilot" during those first difficult days.

Cries of welcome greeted her in the corridor.

"Hi, there, Judibus! Had a good time?"

"Sally May was looking for you, Judy."

"Good old Scrooge!"

"Merry Christmas, everybody--Happy New Year to all the world," quoted
Judith promptly, seizing her letters and making her way through the
crowd around Miss Marlowe's door down to the good old "Jolly Susan" and

Yes, there was Nancy's pretty yellow head, and in another minute she was
looking into Nancy's merry eyes and trying to answer three questions at
once and say "hullo" to Josephine and Jane and Sally May.

Judith was the last to arrive, so they all crowded into her room and
sampled Aunt Nell's Christmas cake--thoughtfully provided for the
occasion--and the big box of chocolates which Josephine's brother had

Five tongues wagged merrily in spite of cake and candy, for there were
endless things to tell--Josephine had been to her first real dance, and
Jane had been down to New York with Phyllis Lovell, and you may be sure
that Nancy and Judith were not behind the others in their accounts of
"perfectly gorgeous" times. And when Catherine joined them and added her
tale of a gay winter fête in Winnipeg, Judith felt that no home-coming
_could_ be happier.

"Oh, isn't it nice to _belong!_" said Judith to herself as she dressed
for supper. "I wonder how that new girl is getting on--I guess she's in
our form when Eleanor got Peggy for her--I wish I could do something to
make her feel at home--"

Josephine's head appeared in the door and she whispered mysteriously,
"Come on down to the common room when you've finished."

"What _do_ you think," she said when Judith joined her, "that mean
Genevieve Singleton has been trying to get in here in Jane's room! Jane
said once at the beginning of last term that she wished she was down in
Peggy Forrest's cubicles, but that was ages ago. Genevieve went to Miss
Marlowe and said that Jane wanted to change her room, and may she please
have Jane's room, as she hasn't been very well during the holidays and
her mother doesn't want her to climb stairs. Miss Marlowe sent for Jane,
and you should have heard her when she came back! Genevieve is in
Catherine's room now telling her how heartbroken she is, I suppose.
Silly thing, I wish she would try holding _my_ hand."

Judith laughed at Josephine's disgusted expression, and blushed a little
as she remembered her own foolishness about Catherine.

"Genevieve's queer, isn't she? I can't make her out--you remember how
crazy she was about Helen, and Helen didn't seem to like her a bit."

"She's a silly owl," said Josephine decidedly, "but--my word--wasn't she
a dandy Malvolio?"

At supper Judith, who was talking as hard as any one else, realized what
a Babel of sound they were making when she saw the bewildered look on
the face of the new girl whose name she learned was Florence Newman. She
smiled across at Florence in a friendly manner and said, "Did you know
that we're going to dance afterwards--give me the first spare one you
have, will you--and I want to introduce you to Josephine Burley--she's
from Alberta, too--and she's a perfect dear, although she doesn't look

The talk about Christmas presents and parties and new frocks and next
term's doings buzzed on, but Florence felt less lonely and frightened.
The "girl from Alberta" sounded friendly and comforting: _she_ would
know what this turmoil meant after the silence of the prairies.

Judith was as good as her word and shared with Peggy the duty of
"piloting" the new member of Form Five. But she found Florence very
quiet and unresponsive, and gradually the excitement of the new class in
figure-skating and the inter-form and house hockey matches absorbed her

There was plenty of hard work done in the various classes, and the staff
congratulated themselves that the School was in good working form, but,
judging from the conversation in the sitting-room and at table, the
girls apparently did nothing but think and talk and play hockey and

Judith did not join a hockey team, but Josephine was one of the Junior
captains, and as she kept the crew of the "Jolly Susan" well informed as
to the "points" of her team, Judith was an interested "fan" at all the

There were two cups given for the fancy skating and Judith and Nancy
resolved to enter the competition. After a long morning in the classroom
they could hardly wait to get out to the rink to begin again on the
figure eight. A beautiful curve seemed the most important thing in the

The rink these zero days was a pretty sight. Miss Meredith, on her way
out for a walk, used to love to stand for a few minutes and watch the
charming scene. "What lovely things girls are," she would murmur to
herself as they flashed by in their bright-coloured caps and coats,
their cheeks glowing and eyes bright from the wholesome exercise in the
ozone-laden air.

Judith did not win a cup, "but it was great fun trying for it, Mummy,"
she wrote to her mother, "and Patricia did beautifully. Aunt Nell says I
have lost my stoop, so perhaps that's my reward instead of the cup, and
I think I must have gained another five pounds. We're so hungry when we
come in for supper that I believe we'd eat our books--if there were
nothing more appetising!

"We had great fun last night at a sleighing party--the Domestic Science
Form invited forty of us and you may be sure we accepted. We were
bundled up in all the warm clothes we owned, and there was lots of straw
in the bottom of the sleigh. We packed into two big sleighs, and as soon
as we got out into the country we sang songs, and tooted horns, and had
an awfully good time. Josephine said she was 'glad to goodness' it was a
Domestic Science party, for the eats were sure to be good, and they sure
were! I never was so hungry in my life."

Then it was Five A's turn to entertain, and after an enormous amount of
talking they decided on a skating party. The invitation list gave the
committee a great deal of trouble. It grew and grew until they realized
that they never could afford to feed such a large and hungry mob. Nancy,
who had been elected Form President on her return, took the difficulty
to Miss Marlowe and she came out of the study with a beaming face.

"Miss Marlowe's a brick," she announced. "She says that if we are going
to have a hurdy-gurdy and coloured lanterns and a moonlight night, why
not ask everybody; the House'll provide cocoa and Chelsea buns, and we
can get any extra cakes we like ourselves." And so it was happily

Nancy proved herself a born organizer, and on Friday evening each Five A
girl shared in the duty of being hostess. Even Florence, who remained
persistently quiet and difficult to know, was given her share of work
to do. Sally May and her committee were responsible for decorating the
supper-room, Peggy Forrest was to look after the coloured lanterns,
Judith was to see that the smiling Italian and his wife, who took turns
at the hurdy-gurdy, each had a rest in the warm kitchen and some supper,
"and be sure," cautioned wise Nancy, "that the maids keep back enough
for our own supper afterwards."

Friday afternoon saw Form Five A hard at work getting ready for their
guests. Nancy flew hither and thither; she worked out on the rink
helping with the lanterns, and down in the supper-room with the
decorations, and then she was off to the housekeeper's room with a list
of special requests. She was making a splendid Form President, every one
agreed, and that was very high praise, for the post was by no means an
easy one to fill.

So far Nancy's chief difficulty had been in keeping silence when the
form was lined up ready to lead into morning prayers, but later on in
the year she was to tackle the problem of how to deal with persistent
petty cheating which remained undiscovered by the authorities. The Form
Mistress may be a wise counsellor and a constant friend, but the Form
President is often--as Nancy was later on--kept from seeking advice by
the schoolgirl's horror of "telling tales."

By six o'clock everything was ready for the skating party, and Five A
went in to supper with a good appetite and the happy consciousness that
they were going to have a good time.

"Glistening snow, tingling air, glittering stars, shining moon," said
Judith gleefully, as she and Sally May waltzed on the ice, while Peggy
was turning on the coloured lights. "It's going to be a perfectly
blissful party."

And it was. The night was perfect to begin with, and the Chinese
lanterns and the music of the hurdy-gurdy all combined to form a scene
of magic enchantment that fairly entranced beauty-loving Judith.

The snow lay about the rink in a great glistening white bank, splashed
here and there by a pool of coloured light, far away glittered the stars
in a dark blue winter sky, and over all the moon shed a pure, cold,
white light.

Form Five didn't stop to think about the beauty around them, but they
enjoyed it nevertheless. What a good time they had! They waltzed--those
who could--and they "cracked the whip," and they hummed the tunes the
Italian was industriously grinding out, and they laughed and shouted and
were perfectly happy. Judith had three "bands" with Nancy, and two with
Catherine who looked exquisitely lovely, and what more could heart
desire? Indeed, as she and Nancy drank their third cup of cocoa and
divided the last piece of chocolate cake, she agreed enthusiastically
that she had never had such a "perfectly gorgeous time in all her born

The fine cold weather lasted for almost six weeks, and then quite
suddenly came an unmistakable thaw.

"If only it had come in January," sighed Miss Evans as she surveyed the
dirty pond, which had once been a rink, "but it is too late in the
season now to hope for steady skating again."

She was justified in her pessimism; the skating season was over. Every
girl in the School regarded the dull weather almost as a personal
insult, and every teacher in the School realized that the most difficult
weeks of the year had now to be faced, for unless precautions were
taken, sickness and mischief were bound to flourish in this
in-between-seasons time. Wise Miss Meredith marshalled her forces and
took counsel with the Heads of Houses; the gymnasium staff put on extra
dancing classes, and indoor basket-ball matches, but in spite of all
their efforts many of the girls seemed languid and uninterested.

Nancy, who seemed to hear more news than her mates in the "Jolly Susan,"
burst into Judith's room late next afternoon during the dressing hour.

"What do you think? Genevieve Singleton got an anonymous letter in the
evening mail and she is upstairs now crying in her room."

"An anonymous letter," repeated Josephine from the next room. "I'd like
to know what sort?--"

"Yes," said Nancy excitedly, paying no attention to Josephine, "nobody
knows who wrote it, and it was about Catherine." She paused to enjoy the
full effect of this mysterious bit of gossip.

Judith, whose hair was only half-done, put down her brush and demanded

"What about Catherine?"

"Well, you know very well, Judy, that Genevieve has a crush on
Catherine. Why, Cathy had fairly to put her out of her room the other
day, and on Wednesday evening, when we were dancing after evening prep.,
I heard her tell Genevieve that she wouldn't dance with her again until
she stopped being such a goose."

"But the letter?" said Judith.

"I'm coming to that. It was printed and I can't remember it exactly, but
it was something like this:

        Don't hang around Catherine Ellison any more,
        Genevieve Singleton, she can't bear the sight
        of you. A word to the wise is sufficient.

She is crying like anything and Peggy Forrest says it is a perfect

"What's a perfect shame?" asked Josephine pointedly.

"Why, the meanness of the person who sent that letter," said Nancy;
"whoever did it, is a mean horrid thing, every one says so."

Every one was having one opinion or another, for the news spread like
wildfire throughout the house, and at tea-time poor Catherine knew that
this choice piece of gossip was being discussed at every table. She was
not long left in ignorance as to the fact that some of the girls thought
that she herself had written the note in order to get rid of an
unwelcome visitor, who was very difficult to snub. Other girls, who had
resented the prefect's attitude towards crushes, expressed great
sympathy for Genevieve, and there was much speculation as to the
probable author of the letter.

Catherine took counsel with Eleanor and they decided that it was a
tempest in a teapot and that Genevieve would be quite all right by
to-morrow. However, next day Genevieve's eyes were still red and she
began to assume the attitude of an early Christian martyr.

Catherine, who had been very much vexed by the whole affair, felt
remorseful. "Poor Genevieve," she thought, "she's feeling very badly. I
can't help wondering why she let the others see the note; but there is
no use judging; I'd better go and say good-night to her." This last was
looked upon as an act of special favour and condescension on the part of
a prefect, and Catherine felt that she was being very magnanimous.

In the visiting time before "lights out" bell, she tapped at Genevieve's
door and to her dismay Genevieve flung her arms round her neck.

"Oh, Catherine, say you didn't mean it."

"Mean what, you silly?" replied Catherine, crossly realizing that every
girl within hearing distance was pricking up her ears. "Surely you don't
imagine that I would stoop to write an anonymous letter."

"No-o," stammered Genevieve, "but I am sure you don't like me"--and she
began to sob afresh. "I can't bear you to dislike me. Do say that I may
still come to your room sometimes."

Catherine was only human, if she _was_ eighteen and a prefect, and
although annoyed with Genevieve, she was touched by the genuine distress
on the girl's face.

"Of course you may come, silly," she said. "Dry your eyes and do try to
be sensible and don't talk that way any more," she added, sitting down
on the edge of the bed, where to Genevieve's delight she sat and
gossiped about sundry School matters--to the great edification of the
surrounding cubicles--until the bell rang.

Next day, to the astonishment of the inmates of the "Jolly Susan,"
Genevieve simply haunted Catherine's room, and on the following day they
could hear poor Catherine getting rid of her.

"Really, Genevieve," they heard her say as she opened the door, "you are
too foolish. Do run along; I must finish my essay for Miss Marlowe, and
I dare say you have _something_ to do," with a sarcasm not lost upon her
hearers, who grinned appreciatively, for Genevieve was noted for the
ingenuity with which she escaped anything like work.

Next day when the girls hurried out of afternoon study as the five
o'clock bell rang, they made their usual wild rush for the mail-box. One
would have thought that every girl in the school expected most important
news. Suddenly a little choking cry was heard, and Genevieve, who had
taken out her letter and was standing at one side of the group, turned
white, as she drew out from its envelope another printed letter. Here
was sensation, indeed! Several of her friends pressed closely around her
to read it.

        Can't you take a hint, Genevieve Singleton?
        Stay in your own part of the house. Catherine
        simply hates the sight of you.

Tears ran down Genevieve's face as she re-read this precious epistle and
then crumpling the paper in her hands she ran to her room. Sympathizing
friends followed, and "Poor Genevieve!" was heard on all sides.

Judith had been a distressed spectator of this scene. How sorry
Catherine would be! How sorry she was for Catherine! Whoever could be
writing the letters?

This, indeed, was the sole topic of conversation in the "Jolly Susan"
during the dressing-hour, and before the evening was over the School was
enjoying a thoroughly good gossip. One amateur detective had suggested
that jealousy must be the motive of the unknown writer, for most of the
girls dismissed the suggestion that Catherine was the author. Some one
else contributed the story of Genevieve's unsuccessful attempt to obtain
a room in the "Jolly Susan," and then some one, who had overheard Sally
May's indignation thereat, suggested Sally May as a likely culprit.

As was inevitable these mere suppositions grew by their many tellings
into "facts," and by the next evening many of the girls were convinced
that Sally May, "who is absolutely devoted to Catherine, my dear," was
"wildly jealous of Genevieve," and was actually "seen putting a letter
into the box."

Miss Marlowe, who remains in the background in this story, but whom we
must never forget, sits in the midst of South House like some omniscient
and benevolent providence, decided that something must be done to stop
these mischievous wagging tongues, so she summoned her prefects and said

"A little bird has told me something about these anonymous letters. I
know they are very trivial and silly, but when one girl begins to be
accused by the others, it is time to clean up the matter. From what I
know of Sally May, I cannot believe that she has written them. Don't
tell me anything more about it. I leave it to you; please do your best
to get them stopped." And she left them to solve the puzzle.

The prefects held a meeting at once and decided that the matter was not
serious enough to call a special house meeting. Such meetings called and
addressed by the captain were held on very special occasions, and
this--"Well, this is _too_ silly," said Patricia Caldwell, giggling.
"Poor Cathy! its a pity you are so bewitching. I don't know how you will
manage your affairs after you leave school," she added teasingly. "I'm
afraid the morning papers will have to devote front-page space to the
duels fought in Miss Catherine Ellison's honour."

Catherine could stand being chaffed by her peers and equals, but she
really hated the gossip of the younger girls.

It was decided that every prefect was to keep ears and eyes open and
report to Eleanor anything suspicious. A special watch was to be kept on
the mail-box. Two prefects were to make it their business to saunter
past the box whenever they could and keep an eye on pigeon-hole "S."
Perhaps they might catch the criminal at the box.

There was much laughter about it, and with the exception of Catherine
they rather enjoyed the importance and the mystery. They realized,
however, that so much gossiping was bad for the tone of the house. "It
must be stopped."



WHILE the prefects were sitting in solemn conclave, Judith at her desk,
writing to her mother, found that the story of the week's doings centred
about Genevieve and the mysterious letter.

"She is hard to describe, Mummy," she wrote; "she isn't exactly pretty,
but her face changes so often when she is talking that she is
interesting to listen to. She doesn't play many games and I don't see
very much of her, but you remember I told you how clever she was as
Malvolio in 'Twelfth Night.' She acts awfully well and she just loves
doing it. And she's always getting frightfully fond of somebody and
feeling badly if they don't like her." Judith sat rolling her pen
absent-mindedly up and down her blotter as the picture of Genevieve
filled her mind.

Perhaps it was a matter of "thinking of angels and hearing their wings";
at any rate, just at this moment, Genevieve, returning from a fruitless
attempt to catch Catherine in her room, knocked at Judith's door.

"Come on down and see me, Judy," she begged; "I've got some biscuits and
some Washington coffee and I'll beg some hot water from Mrs. Bronson."

Judith who loved coffee needed no second bidding, and was soon enjoying
a steaming cup and listening to Genevieve's woes; but Genevieve was
scarcely well started on the subject of the letters when a heavy step
was heard in the corridor and she jumped up in alarm.

"Throw the coffee out the window, Judy," she begged--"that's Miss Watson
doing laundry--she's in Joan's room now." And with amazing swiftness she
emptied her laundry bag on the bed, covered the contents with her
eiderdown, spread out two dainty sets of immaculate French underwear,
and was seated with a darning-basket and a pair of stockings in her
hand, before the astonished Judith could take in the significance of her

"Come in," said Genevieve sweetly as Miss Watson knocked. "Oh, is that
you, Miss Watson? I'm just finishing my stockings."

Miss Watson, who was short-sighted and a bit indolent, hated the weekly
task of inspecting the newly returned laundry in search of missing
buttons and rents, all of which were to be recorded in her little black
book and checked off when the owners testified that the said garments
had been made whole. So remembering the immaculate clothes which awaited
her each week in Genevieve's room, she made a cursory examination of the
dainty undies and checked O.K. opposite Genevieve's name.

"There's a funny odor in here," she commented as she turned to go; "you

"Yes," said Genevieve politely, "I've just had a hot drink. Mrs. Bronson
thought I'd better have one because I felt so tired."

And Judith, watching with wide-open eyes, to her amazement saw
Genevieve's sensitive mobile face actually grow tired and sad-looking
while she watched, and then the moment Miss Watson was safely out of
sight, with a slight grimace and shrug Genevieve was smiling
triumphantly at her own cleverness, and slyly watching the effect of it
all on Judith.

"You'll keep it dark?" she asked, realizing that wholesale neatness
would arouse Miss Watson's suspicions and that the game would be up.

"Certainly," said Judith a little stiffly, wondering that Genevieve
would ask her--Nancy wouldn't have, nor Josephine; but then neither
would Nancy have taken advantage of Miss Watson's short sight in order
to present each week the same set of underwear kept especially for the

"Yes; certainly she's clever, but she's got queer ideas about some
things," thought Judith as Genevieve began again on the meanness of the
person who wrote the anonymous letter.

"I'd give anything I've got," was Genevieve's parting word, "if I could
find out who did it."

"So would I," was Judith's thought as she dressed for a walk. "We've
just _got_ to find out, for Sally May and Catherine look perfectly
wretched--as if Sally May _would_; but some of them believe it. _How_
Genevieve can act! She just hoodwinked Miss Watson completely; looked
like a good little prig who'd done everything she ought to do--and she
was thoroughly enjoying herself. I guess she'll go on the stage when she
leaves school--it would be interesting to have people applauding. I
believe she was glad I was there to see her do it--and I believe--she
was glad the girls were round to sympathize when she got the letter--"

Perhaps it was because of her determination to help Sally May and
Catherine, perhaps because of the little scene she had just witnessed,
or perhaps for no particular reason at all, suddenly a new, and at first
glance a crazy, idea popped into her mind.

What if Genevieve enjoyed an audience so much that she wrote the
anonymous letter herself!

"Well that _is_ a silly idea--think how she cried and cried--yes, but
she had Cathy sympathizing with her--"

Judith started out to find Nancy to share her idea, but before she found
her she decided she'd say nothing about it--it was too far-fetched.
Nevertheless, she determined to keep an eye on Miss Genevieve.

Next morning, according to the prefects' plans, Patricia and Catherine
haunted the front corridor. Patricia even took up a post just inside the
sitting-room door and watched through the crack, but the corridor was
deserted all morning. Helen and Esther took the afternoon watch and had
no better luck.

Esther saw the mistress distribute the evening mail, putting several
letters into pigeon-hole "S," which had been empty until now, and then
came a rush of fifty girls crowding round the box. Esther reported
afterwards to Eleanor that whoever did it managed very quickly, for she
was watching all the time. Genevieve put up her hand, drew out of
pigeon-hole "S" another printed letter, and with a faint cry collapsed
in a dead faint. At least so her condition was described to those few
who were not privileged to be present. Ambulance classes had not been
held in vain at York Hill, and in less time than it takes to tell
Genevieve found herself on the sofa in the housekeeper's room, where she
proceeded to indulge in an old-fashioned fit of hysterics.

Judith, who had helped carry her in, wanted to stay and see, if
possible, whether Genevieve were shamming, but Mrs. Bronson shooed them
all out saying that Genevieve must have an hour's rest and then she
could go to the Infirmary.

Judith returned to the corridor where she found excited groups
discussing this third terrible letter. Some of the girls talked with
lowered voices and several looked almost as white as Genevieve had, and
when our heroine entered the "Jolly Susan," it was as little like its
name as possible. Sally May was sobbing audibly and Nancy was trying in
vain to comfort her.

"Horrid things! I hate them all. Why should they think I would do such a
nasty trick?" she heard between the sobs.

Josephine appeared in Judith's doorway.

"It's a shame, isn't it?" she whispered. "I would like to knock their
silly heads together. I don't wonder Sally's mad, and I believe that
Catherine is crying, too."

Judith was horrified.

"Catherine crying! Why in the world should she cry?"

"Well, you know," said Josephine, "it's rotten for her, and probably she
believes that Miss Marlowe thinks she has been silly, too. I don't know
for sure, but she wouldn't let Eleanor in a few minutes ago, and her
voice sounded shaky."

This was awful! A prefect weeping!

Two days passed without any further development and Eleanor was
beginning to hope that the nine days' wonder was at an end. On Wednesday
evening, however, Judith heard Genevieve's protest when Catherine
hurried off to a gymnasium class, after a vain effort to get rid of a
now increasingly unwelcome visitor.

"You don't have to go yet, Cathy. It's five minutes before the bell will
ring. Do stay and talk to me; I'm awfully miserable."

But Catherine was evidently exasperated and held the door open for
Genevieve, who had no choice but to go too.

"Now," said Judith inelegantly to Nancy, "Genevieve will have another

Privately she resolved to play the detective.

She awoke next morning to hear the rain falling steadily. "Ugh," she
thought, "a rainy day and my Latin isn't finished--two horrid things to
begin with." And then she remembered her plans of the night before.
Instantly she was out of bed; she wouldn't try to keep her secret any
longer. Nancy should share it, but she wouldn't tell Sally May until she
had caught Genevieve. Nancy was impressed by Judith's cleverness in
thinking of such a thing, but doubtful about Genevieve's guilt.

"Why, she cried and cried; I saw her," Nancy kept repeating. "She
couldn't have done it herself."

But Judith was not to be shaken in her resolve, and leaving the study
room a little before one o'clock she settled herself in Helen Richard's
cupboard to watch. Fortunately for Judith's plan Helen was in the
Infirmary with a sore throat and through the keyhole of her cupboard
Judith had a clear view of the letter-box.

At a quarter-to-one Miss Marlowe put out the mail, but no one else came
near the box until one o'clock when every one came as usual. Then, when
everything was quiet again, Judith slipped out and caught up with the
others as they went down to the dining-room. Before dinner was quite
over, she asked permission to leave early, and she hid herself once more
in the cupboard.

The afternoon seemed interminably long, and as the cupboard was stuffy
and close, if it had not been for Nancy's chocolates Judith felt that
she could not have kept awake. Her knees ached horribly, for she was in
a cramped position, but she never dreamed of giving up, so sure was she
that something would happen.

And something did happen.

At a quarter-to-five the mail was put out, and as no one had appeared,
Judith was beginning to think that she would have to watch another day,
when suddenly she saw Genevieve come swiftly down the corridor, pause
for an instant at the box, slip in a letter, and then vanish as quickly
as she had come.

Judith could hardly wait to get the letter into her own hands. Yes, it
was the now familiar printed envelope.

        "Genevieve Singleton."

What should she do? Whom should she tell? Nancy? Eleanor? Miss Marlowe?
No; Catherine was the one most concerned. Judith fairly ran with the
precious missive to Catherine's room and fortunately found Catherine
there studying. Her story was soon told and Catherine was scarcely less
excited than Judith.

"Judy, you are the brickiest brick, and the trumpest trump! Come here
and let me shake you. Hasn't it been horrid--such a little thing, but
everybody in such a stew," she added in a confidential tone, which was
ample reward to Judith. "And now we can be rid of her, the little
wretch! Three cheers for the first mate of the 'Jolly Susan!'"

The two of them went arm in arm down to the Captain's room. Judith told
her story but so modestly and so simply that Eleanor forgot the
necessity of "keeping a fifth-form new girl in her place."

The six o'clock dressing-bell rang before they could do more than decide
to have a formal prefects' meeting at which they would confront
Genevieve with the letter.

"She'll confess, of course, right away," whispered Catherine scornfully
to Judith as they went down to tea; "she's that sort."

And this proved to be a true prophecy. Confronted by the prefects,
sitting like judges at their study table, Genevieve turned pale and
looked unmistakably guilty, and when Eleanor said in her sternest voice:
"You were seen putting this letter, which you addressed to yourself, in
the letter-box," Genevieve made no denials; she broke down and confessed
to all four letters. Her misery and humiliation were so genuine and so
overwhelming that Eleanor wisely sent her to her room in the care of
Patricia, who could be trusted not to give Genevieve too much sympathy.

Then the prefects faced the difficult question of the culprit's
punishment. Esther wanted a special house meeting called at which
Genevieve and her ways could be denounced; Catherine thought that a
public apology should be made to Sally May, for Genevieve, it seemed,
was responsible for the spreading of the false accusation; Helen
remarked that Genevieve would like nothing better than to be the centre
of such a romantic picture, and she added shrewdly, "Half the girls
would make a martyr of her and think we had been awfully cruel and

Finally, after much discussion it was decided that Eleanor should
consult Miss Marlowe, who must be informed that the culprit had been
discovered. Miss Marlowe was interested and sympathetic.

"I'll send her to the Infirmary for a few days," she said; "the child is
really not well. She is growing too fast and she is morbid and
self-centred. Every one thinks of her as seventeen and she has just
turned fifteen. Then after she is back again let the facts be made known
about the letters; that's only fair to Sally May and to Catherine; but
do it as casually as possible. Nothing is so bad for Genevieve as too
much attention--and keep an eye on Judith," she added; "she is worth
watching, Eleanor. She and Nancy ought to be prefects next year, so we
mustn't let Judith be spoiled over this."

Genevieve was safely tucked up in one of the cheerful Infirmary rooms,
and for the time she suffered as only a sensitive, highstrung girl of
fifteen can suffer. Her one interest in life at the present time was her
emotions; her passionate attachments were usually short-lived, but for
the time being they blotted out everything else. Just now she desired
Catherine's love and approval with all the force of her undisciplined
nature, and, born actress that she was, it was the wish to attract
Catherine's admiration, or at least her attention, which had made her
Malvolio last term so outstandingly good. She lacked a sense of
proportion in all her thinking, and even now that she had been found
out, and knew that she would be shamed in the eyes of the whole school,
the only thing that mattered to her was that Catherine would have even
less to do with her than before. Eleanor's stern voice might have been
the buzzing of a fly; Genevieve's eyes had been fixed on Catherine's
face and she had read her sentence there.

For two whole days she wanted to die, and then quite suddenly she
transferred her affections to a young nurse who was temporarily
assisting the school nurse. She made Miss Burton promise her at least
three dances for the prefects' dance on Friday night, and she did
frantic sums in mental arithmetic trying to calculate whether she had
enough in the bank to buy a posy of sweetheart roses for her new idol's

Genevieve returned to school to find every one discussing the dance, and
the anonymous letters seemed entirely forgotten. But Eleanor found her
opportunity a day or two later. The usual crowd was about the letter-box
at five o'clock, and Eleanor noted with satisfaction that both Sally May
and Catherine were there.

"Any for me?" she called to Sally May, who was at the box.

"Not one," was the answer.

"Oh, well," said Eleanor, clearly and distinctly, "of course I can
always follow Genevieve's example and _write one to myself_, a printed
one, I mean; but no, on second thoughts I don't believe I shall, they
are rather horrid things, don't you think?" And she walked quietly away.

For days afterwards at mail-time Jane, who loved to ride a joke--"till
it died of sheer exhaustion," as Peggy said--could always raise a laugh
at Genevieve's expense. "Any a-non-y-mous letters for me?" she would
inquire plaintively. "No? I really must see about it. I suppose I must
attend to it myself."



EASTER examinations, although a month away, were already looming darkly
on the horizon and Judith settled down to a long and hard pull.

"So much to learn and so little time," she groaned to Nancy. "I'd like
to spend all my time on my essay for Miss Marlowe, but there are French
and geometry tests next week, which need every minute of study time I
have. Why can't the days be forty hours long?"

However, most of the school thought the days quite long enough, and in
fact some happy souls had already counted up the number of hours until
the holidays began and were ticking them off with great glee.

Judith's delight in lesson hours was steadily increasing. Even in
mathematics classes which she disliked, she was beginning to feel the
joy of triumphing over difficulties, and she looked forward to her
literature lessons as the happiest hours of the week. Loving Nancy as
she did, Judith was always trying to share her enjoyment of some
beautiful lines of poetry or an interesting scene in the play they were
studying, and not always with pronounced success. Nancy's mind was of a
practical turn; she was very lukewarm about poetry.

"Listen to this," Judith had commanded one day as she sat waiting for
Nancy to finish dressing for dinner:

        "How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank:
         Here will we sit, and let the sounds of music
         Creep in our ears; soft stillness and the night
         Become the touches of sweet harmony.
         Sit, Jessica. Look how the floor of heaven
         Is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold;
         There's not the smallest orb which thou beholdest
         But in his motion like an angel sings,
         Still quiring to the young-eyed cherubims;

"Isn't that beautiful?"

"Y-e-s," said Nancy, "I suppose it is. The words sound nice when you
read them, but I'm sure I haven't a ghost of an idea what it means. Why
does he put his ideas into poetry? Why doesn't he say it out plainly so
we could all understand it without studying? It's an interesting play,
though I believe it is Miss Marlowe who has made it so interesting," she
added shrewdly; "I mean if any one had given me the 'Merchant of
Venice' to read just like any other book, I'd never have gotten through
it. Why can't Shakespeare say things right out plain?"

This was a poser for Judith. "But," she stammered, "it's like--like
music. Music isn't right out plain; it's _meant_ to be beautiful."

"Nancy must be joking," thought Judith as she tried to decide why the
cherubims were "young-eyed." But no; a few days later Nancy was quite
pettish about the preparation Miss Marlowe had set them.

"Find three stanzas of poetry which you could say are 'A joy forever.'"

"How do I know whether they are a joy forever?" she demanded irately of
Judith; "I've been hunting for an hour and I can't find any. I don't
know what it's all about most of the time."

"But didn't you like 'The Skylark,' and 'The Forsaken Merman,' and 'The
Lotus-Eaters,' and 'Ulysses,' and 'The Lady of Shalott' and--oh, Nancy,
there are lots to choose from. Let's find some that sound nice and some
that have beautiful pictures in them."

They spent a happy hour together, for Judith loved poetry, and it was
nice to share it with Nancy.

Looking back afterwards that seemed to Judith to be the last happy hour
she had with Nancy for some time. Judith hardly noticed just when it
began, but for some reason or other Nancy and Sally May were together
now a great deal of their time.

"Choosing partners" was a sacred rite at York Hill, and now it seemed
that Nancy and Sally May were always partners for walks, for church, for
the symphony concert, and for Miss Meredith's dinner-party.

This last was a great disappointment to Judith. Miss Meredith's
dinner-parties were very special treats; about once a fortnight she
entertained half a dozen girls at her own dinner-table and, when Nancy
had told Judith about these parties, Judith had taken it for granted
that they would be partners if they happened to be invited together. And
now Sally May was going with Nancy! An ugly little spirit of jealousy
began to whisper in Judith's mind. Top Self listened to his hints and
surmises: "Nancy doesn't care about you any more; she and Sally May have
secrets from you; perhaps they were laughing at you last night when you
heard them whispering." Deep-Down Self made protests, "Why couldn't
Nancy have two good friends? Of course she still loves you; you can't
expect her to be always with you."

But Judith's heart was sore, and a teasing remark of Sally May's as they
were dressing for the dinner entirely spoilt the evening for her. Sally
May came in to ask Judith to help her with a difficult fastener, and she
surveyed Judith's reflection in the mirror while Judith snapped the
refractory dome.

"You look stunning, Judy; I'm sure that if Tim could see you he would
return the compliment and say that you looked 'just lovely,'" she added

The colour flowed over Judith's face and then receded leaving her quite
white. So Nancy had told Sally May about her foolish speech in the
Christmas holidays! How horrid of her! How mean! Judith had almost
forgotten about Tim by this time, but her love for Nancy had steadily
grown, and Nancy had been making fun of her behind her back! Judith gave
herself up to angry thoughts; almost she hated Nancy; she wanted to go
away, to be alone, to hide some place; and instead she must go to this
miserable dinner and perhaps sit just across the table from Nancy. The
thought of Nancy's disloyalty hurt; it hurt horribly.

Judith finished dressing, put on her wraps, and went down to the
sitting-room to wait for the others. To her disgust she found Georgia
Fiske there, Georgia whom she positively disliked for no reason at all
and who looked up at her now with a beaming smile.

"I was just thinking about you, Judy," she said, "and wondering if you
had a partner. Do sit beside me. I'd have asked you before, but I didn't
know you were going till just a few minutes ago."

Poor Judith!--there was apparently no escape; she must sit beside
Georgia, and listen to her silly remarks. Judith was in no mood to be
fair to any one; she hated Georgia, she hated Sally May, she hated

The dinner-party was a failure as far as Judith was concerned. Miss
Meredith, stately and dignified in black velvet and beautiful old lace,
was a charming hostess, and the girls were soon talking naturally and
easily. Judith looked down the table at Nancy; she didn't want to look
at her and yet she must. Nancy, radiating friendliness and good-humor,
smiled at Judith as much as to say, "Isn't it jolly?" But Judith
hardened her heart and pretended that she didn't see her. The ice-cream
was delicious and the tiny cups of black coffee afterwards made them
feel very grown-up, and every one but Judith seemed perfectly happy.

"What's the matter, Judy?" whispered Nancy, as they went into the
drawing-room, for Judith not only felt miserable, she looked
miserable--so much so that Miss Meredith made a mental note to ask Miss
Marlowe to keep an eye on her and find out if anything were troubling

"Nothing's the matter," said Judith coldly, turning away and calling out
to Frances to wait for her.

Nancy felt rebuffed, but loyally sought to find excuses for her friend.
"She's been working too hard over that Jessica essay," she said to
herself; "she looks awfully tired."

Then followed a miserable week. Judith was both jealous and angry; she
felt that in telling Sally May what she had said about Tim, Nancy had
betrayed their friendship. It was true that Nancy and Sally May were
much together; they were making scenery for the Studio Play and were
spending many spare hours upstairs working under Miss Ashwell's
direction. Judith knew about the play, but she was too angry to be
reasonable, so she shut herself up in her books and avoided Nancy as
much as possible.

Nancy knew quite well now that something had come between Judith and
her, and she made two more attempts to find out what was wrong so that
if possible things might be righted, but each time Judith rebuffed her,
and Nancy was too busy to spend much time coaxing. Sally May, who was
held to be a wise little person, told Nancy not to worry.

"Judy'll be all right; she is just cross and tired. I really can't see
why she works so hard."

Sally May, it may be remarked, would never work very hard as long as she
lived: she wasn't that kind.

"Did you hear Judith give Jane what-for the other day?" she continued.
"Jane went into Judy's cubicle with an orange peel and an old piece of
rubber cut in the shape of a heart, and called out, 'What price for
these personal relics of our beloved Captain Catherine? Her pretty foot
has pressed this piece of rubber; it can be conveniently sewed to the
camisole and worn next the heart. Her pretty lips once touched this
piece of peel'--and she dangled the peel right in front of Judy's eyes.
'Get out of my room quick,' said our polite little Judy, 'and take your
garbage with you!' Jane said it gave her a nasty turn. It's my belief
that Judy wants to come first in history or something, and she wants to
be left alone to study."

Nancy was only half-convinced, but the easiest thing was to accept Sally
May's explanation. Nancy had many friends and she was able to love them
all. She found it hard to understand Judith's exclusive attitude. Judith
wanted but one friend at a time; she might admire Josephine and Sally
May and enjoy Jane's pertness and Joyce's cleverness and adore
Catherine's beauty, but Nancy was her friend, her pal, and she wanted
Nancy to feel the same about her. But Nancy was differently made, and
although Judith had come to be perhaps her best friend in the school,
she was able to feel genuine affection for many other girls and would
have been incapable of Judith's passionate jealousy because of her
affection for some one else.

Meanwhile Judith's hurt decreased not at all. It may take a poet to sing
adequately of "the wounds by friendship made," but a sixteen-year-old
schoolgirl, if she be blessed or cursed by her fairy godmothers with a
sensitive soul, can feel those wounds and feel them bitterly.

The after-dinner half-hour of rest had been a time when the crew of the
"Jolly Susan" had shut their door on the outside world and had taken
their ease. Visiting without permission at this hour was not usually
allowed, but Catherine was often quite willing that Judith and Nancy
should be in each other's rooms, for they could talk quite quietly and
made no disturbance. Now Judith could hear Nancy in Sally's room, and
this was more than she could bear. Instead of coming up to her room
directly after lunch, she asked to have a practising period put on her
time-table from two to two-thirty, and the odd fifteen minutes before
the two o'clock bell rang, which was legitimate time for visiting, she
was spending in other girls' rooms; in fact Judith was beginning to find
out that there were other interesting and lovable girls in the school
besides those select few in the "Jolly Susan."

There was Rosamond, for instance, whom Judith had at first regarded with
mild contempt because she was greedy, but Rosamond, she found out, was
aware of her besetting sin and this Lenten season was disciplining
herself strictly, and no one could be more sympathetic if one were in
trouble than the same Rosamond; and there was Joyce Hewson whom Judith
had thought proud, but who seemed unapproachable because she was really
shy and very conscious of her unusual height; and then there was
Florence Newman who had seemed at the beginning of the term so
unresponsive and dull. Florence and Josephine had become friends, drawn
together by love for their far-away Western homes, and dropping into
Florence's room one day with Josephine, Judith had been entranced by the
tales of mountain climbing and hunting which Florence had to tell.
Florence had scarcely seen a girl of her own age until she dropped
suddenly into the hurly-burly of York Hill, and it was no wonder that a
painful shyness had made her seem ungracious and almost rude. She simply
hadn't known how to meet the advances of these kind, jolly girls.

And then there was Miss Ashwell. Miss Ashwell had slipped on the ice a
couple of months before and had sprained her ankle so badly that,
although she was able now to get up and down to the studio, she walked
slowly and with a cane. Judith got into the way of knocking at Miss
Ashwell's door after lunch to see if she could do any errand for her.
Sometimes she carried her books up to the studio, or ran downstairs to
see if there were any word of the model who was to come for the
two-thirty class, and sometimes she went in and sat in Miss Ashwell's
comfortable chair and felt rested and happy, for Miss Ashwell seemed to
possess some curious secret of healing.

Judith was a beauty-lover, and if any one had asked her why she liked
Miss Ashwell, she would probably have replied promptly, "Because she is
so pretty." Miss Ashwell _was_ pretty, with her clear blue eyes,
gold-brown hair, and a skin so fair and soft, that it made one think of
apple-blossoms; and she had charm, that indefinable something, which
like a magnet drew others to her.

The week after the miserable dinner-party was rainy and cold, and
something of the grey dulness out-of-doors seemed to have penetrated
within. For Judith, at least, the mornings dragged heavily; everything
seemed to have lost its flavour. At recess she would look over at Nancy,
who seemed to be having a jolly time with Sally May and Joyce, and want
to join them and laugh, too. There wasn't any reason in the world why
she shouldn't do so except the nasty little spirit which had taken
possession of her. But she hardened her heart--and was quite miserable
in consequence.

Towards the end of the week, one day after lunch she stood hesitating
for a moment at the head of the stairs. Should she go down to the "Jolly
Susan," or visit with Florence or Miss Ashwell. The thought of Miss
Ashwell was comforting, her room was the "homiest" place Judith knew, so
she tapped at the door of the pleasant little brown room at the end of
the corridor.

Miss Ashwell was knitting to-day. She was nearly always knitting for
some one else, thought Judith, as she idly watched the needles flashing.
Knitting made her think of Red Cross work, and that led straight to the
awful thought of a Current Events test shortly coming off. While they
were to be examined on the whole term's work, part of the test was the
writing of an essay on a subject chosen from a list of three. Judith
had decided to write on "Red Cross Work in Italy." Her father's brother,
Brian, was a brilliant engineer who had been loaned to Italy by the
British Government, and Judith naturally knew more about the war in
Italy than anywhere else. She would have to get Uncle Brian's letters
out and piece together the bits of information he had given her. She and
her father had read several magazine articles last summer, but she
couldn't even remember what magazines they were. Oh, dear, what a lot of
work it would be! How tired she was! If she could just stay here and
sleep all afternoon! She heaved a big gusty sigh. Miss Ashwell looked up

"What's wrong, Judy, dear?" Miss Ashwell never seemed to be in a hurry
herself, a miraculous achievement at York Hill. Judith told her tale of
woe, sure of sympathy.

Miss Ashwell seemed even more interested than usual.

"I believe I can help you, Judy," she said, her cheeks flushing; "just
hand me my despatch-case from the table." She opened it and took out
snapshots, pictures cut from magazines, and several descriptive articles
dealing with the subject in hand.

Judith looked her amazement. It seemed almost too good to be true. Miss
Ashwell smiled and her cheeks grew pinker than ever.

"I'm especially interested in Italian work, Judy--because I had a friend
out there during the war. He sent me these snapshots. I'll show them to
you now and you may take the magazine articles with you. The Red Cross
did such magnificent work there that I don't wonder Miss Kingston chose
that as one of your subjects."

"Oh, Miss Ashwell, it's just like the manna in the wilderness," gasped
Judith,--"I mean I'm so grateful," she explained incoherently, "although
the Jews were not always properly grateful, were they? But I am. I
didn't see _how_ I could hunt up all those references with all I have to

Miss Ashwell showed her the pictures, but Judith's mind was divided
between interest at the skilful ways in which difficulties of transit in
the mountains had been overcome and interest in Miss Ashwell. Was it
possible that Miss Ashwell was interested in a soldier-man the way girls
were? Of course, she wasn't so _very_ old, perhaps twenty-two, and as
Judith ran off with her treasure she kept saying to herself, "Wouldn't
it be funny--he looks awfully nice in the snaps--she's a perfect dear,
anyway, and I'll get at that Current Events prep. right away."

Next day Miss Marlowe handed back the "Jessica" essays to her Five A
class in English composition. Five A looked glum as they read their
marks and the somewhat caustic comments written in their exercise books.
Judith flushed as she read: "Neatly and carefully written, Judith, but
hardly interesting. You were not asked to give a résumé of the play, but
a character sketch of Jessica. What do you know about Jessica now that
you didn't know before you wrote your essay? How have you enlarged your
knowledge of human nature?"

How, indeed? Judith felt distinctly aggrieved. What impossibly hard
things Miss Marlowe expected them to do! She had worked hard over that
essay and had looked for a little praise, but instead here was Miss
Marlowe thumping the desk and telling them they never used their brains.
Five A sat at attention. Miss Marlowe, indignant, was apt to be
interesting, but no one desired to be the luckless offender against whom
her Irish wit might be directed.

She gave them a lively two minutes on the foolishness of not using the
brains they had, and then came down to the subject in hand.

"You didn't try to _understand_ Jessica; you knew that her conduct was
unfilial, to say the least, and don't imagine that I am forgetting the
wrong things she did, or that I want you to approve of her. I _don't_,
but I do want you to try to understand. That's just the reason why you
were assigned this lesson. Only one of you made the effort to re-create
Shylock's home. Read your essay, Florence, please."

The class looked surprised as Florence, white with shyness, began to
read, falteringly at first and then more convincingly. Every one, with
the exception perhaps of Judith, was surprised at the excellence of the
essay. Florence Newman, that quiet, shy, stiff, little thing! They had
expected that Joyce or Phyllis or Judith, or even Frances, would be held
up to them as models, but not Florence.

"Run down to the common room, Nancy. You're nearest the door; and bring
me Lamb's 'Life and Letters,' a big red book lying on my table." And
then, turning to the class, "Now, never mind about Jessica, though I
hope you see the difference between your way of approach and
Florence's, but remember this, it's far, far easier to criticize, to
judge, and to condemn, than it is to sympathize and to understand; it's
the little people of the world who do the judging; it's the big people
who do the understanding.

"Thank you, Nancy. Now listen to the words of a wise woman, Mary Lamb.
What do you know about Mary Lamb, Frances? Yes, she wrote many of the
'Tales from Shakespeare,' and she lived with her brother Charles and was
his greatest friend, and the friend of his friends. She is writing to a
friend of hers who has been confessing to actions which Mary might just
as easily have condemned as you condemned Jessica's. But this is what
she writes:

        You will smile when I tell you I think myself
        the only woman in the world who could live with
        a brother's wife and make a real friend of
        her--partly from a knack I know I have of
        looking into people's real characters and never
        expecting them to act out of it. Never
        expecting another to do as I would in the same
        case. I do not expect you or want you to be
        otherwise than you are. I love you for the good
        that is in you.

"There's wisdom," concluded Miss Marlowe, "and next time you find
yourselves saying, '_I_ wouldn't have been so mean or horrid or
selfish,' just ask yourself, how do you know you wouldn't, and what has
that got to do with it, and what do you know about it, anyway? Are you
showing sympathetic insight or merely conceit? You'll meet plenty of
Jessicas who are easier to condemn than to understand. Don't lose your
friends by a lack of loving understanding. Be grateful for them; they
are your most precious possessions. Love them for the best that is in

"There, that's a longer sermon than usual. Take your pens now and write
that sentence from Mary Lamb's letter at the bottom of your essay, and
after I have dictated it make your corrections and jot down the new
things about Jessica that you haven't noted before."

Five A heaved a sigh of relief. Miss Marlowe was through with them once
more. There was the usual clattering of inkwells and requests for new
pens, and then Miss Marlowe went to her desk, and according to custom
one by one the class brought up their books to receive her suggestions
and criticisms.

Judith wrote her corrections mechanically and slowly, but her mind was
working swiftly. That's what she had been doing, judging Nancy, saying,
'_I_ wouldn't have done it'; criticizing, not trying to understand, and
she had judged herself, condemned herself to do without Nancy and the
precious possession of Nancy's friendship. Darling Nancy! She might have
been loving her all this time for the good in her, her sweetness, her
unfailing kindness, her absolute squareness, her dearness.

Judith's eyes were shining as she carried up her book to Miss Marlowe,
and the fervency with which she said, "Thank you," when Miss Marlowe had
finished her criticism, brought a happy smile to Miss Marlowe's own

"That child's got the idea," she said to herself; "Well, if _one_ seed
falls into good ground it's worth while--splendidly worth while."

The recess bell rang and Five A lost no time filing out to the corridor
and thence to tuck shop and gymnasium, but Judith was delayed by her
duties as monitress and Nancy was not to be seen when she reached the
corridor. Down to the tuck shop sped Judith.

"Seen Nancy?" she asked Jane who was rapidly consuming two large buns
and an ice-cream cone.

"Gone up to her room, I think," said Jane.

Upstairs fled Judith without waiting for permission and found Nancy
just leaving the "Jolly Susan."

"Oh, Nancy, I have been hunting for you everywhere."

"Oh, Judy, I was just looking for you. After what Miss Marlowe
said--about our friends--I didn't want to wait another minute feeling
that you were still angry with me. Do tell me what I did and let me tell
you how sorry I am."

"And I was looking for you, Nancy, dear--to tell you how horrid I'd
been. It was just a little thing not worth mentioning now, but I didn't
wait to try to understand. Oh, Nancy, I've missed you so!"

And they kissed and were friends.

"I wouldn't teach English composition for all the world," said Miss
Hilton, eyeing the big pile of sixth-form books which Miss Marlowe was
attacking late that evening.

"And _I_ wouldn't take all the world _not_ to teach English
composition," retorted Miss Marlowe proudly. "Besides," she added with
true Irish lucidity, "it isn't English composition I'm teaching. It's
Life, and it's the biggest job in the world."



THE last two weeks of the Easter term were a long and a hard pull. Some
of the girls were spurred to study by a remembrance of the reception of
the Christmas report at home; father's sarcastic remarks, and mother's
distress. In Five A, which was considered a good working form,
competition was very keen, and most of the form were putting forth their
best efforts to stand high in the term's examination lists. Judith
coveted a first place in English literature, partly because of the joy
of triumphing, partly because of the pleasure her success would give her
parents, and partly because she wanted to show Miss Marlowe how much she
had appreciated her classes.

This term-end there was no distracting play to interfere with studying,
and Judith had a chance to do her best. She tried to look unconcerned
when on breaking-up day Form Five A stood up in Big Hall while Miss
Meredith read their general proficiency list. "First, Joyce Hewson;
Second, Judith Benson." There was such a buzzing in Judith's ears that
she didn't hear the next few names. Second! Wouldn't Daddy be pleased!
Nancy squeezed her hand. Dear Nancy! and she wasn't even listening to
hear where Nancy was placed. "Tenth, Nancy Nairn," read Miss Meredith.

"Bully for you and pretty good for me," said Nancy when they had led out
of Hall.

"Congrats., Judy," said Phyllis heartily. "Joyce had better watch out
next term."

Judith glowed--fancy being ahead of Phyllis. There was a crowd around
the bulletin board: "The subject lists," said Phyllis excitedly, and she
and Judith fairly ran down the corridor and eagerly scanned the board.
"Five A, English Literature, 1. Judith Benson, Phyllis Lovell, equal. 2.
Joyce Hewson." No need to congratulate each other, but you may be sure
they did.

"It _is_ nice to get what one wants," philosophized a very happy Judith
as she finished packing her suitcase. "I wonder if anything is nicer."

Aunt Nell had sent her a little note the day before telling her to ask
several of the girls to tea who were staying in school for the
holidays. "The first afternoon is a horrid time for the girls who are
left in," she wrote; "perhaps we can save a few of them from
homesickness. I'll come for you in the car at two-thirty."

Judith had a delightful time choosing her guests; Josephine and Sally
May, of course--Nancy had gone home--and Florence and Joyce; but what
about Genevieve Singleton? Judith knew that Genevieve was disappointed
about an expected invitation for Easter week, for she had been loud in
her lamentations. "I'd better ask her," thought Judith; "she doesn't
know that I played detective, and she's sure to feel badly when she sees
the others going; her pride'll be hurt."

So Genevieve was invited, and it was a merry little party that gathered
in the front hall. They weren't going very far, to be sure, but they
were going away anyhow, if it was only for the afternoon. Aunt Nell took
them for a run through the park and out into the country before they
went home for tea.

They had a jolly tea-party; Aunt Nell poured tea for them, supplied them
with plenty of toast and muffins, sandwiches and cake, and then very
soon vanished.

"I knew they would talk more freely if I were not there," she said
afterwards to Judith, "and unless things have changed very much since I
was at York, I can give a pretty good guess as to what you talked about.
Confess now," as Judith blushed a little under Aunt Nell's laughing
quizzical eyes, "didn't you discuss every teacher on the staff from the
cut of her Sunday coat to the cut of her Monday temper? Of course you

And of course they had. Genevieve convulsed them by a dramatic
representation of a stormy scene between herself and Madame Philippe;
then Miss Evans's new evening frock, Miss Marlowe's incomprehensible
taste in preferring Jane Austen to Dickens, Miss Langton's terrifying
sarcasm, Miss Ashwell's sweet new sweater coat, all were discussed with
an enormous amount of interest and delight.

Next day life was "flat, stale, and unprofitable." Judith didn't realize
how tired she was; mentally and emotionally she had been keyed up to a
very high pitch during the last two or three months and now had come the
inevitable reaction. No wonder she was dull and miserable. But next
morning the sun was shining brightly, there was a fresh, clean-washed
feeling in the air, and as Judith stood at the open casement window in
the dining-room waiting for the others to come down to breakfast, she
saw to her joy that the maple trees in the garden were beginning to put
out their tiny red flowers. Was spring really coming after all this
dismal weather? Judith's spirits went up with a bound. Oh, if summer
were only here and one could stay out-of-doors!

The others came in to breakfast; Uncle Tom buried himself in his
newspaper and ate at intervals; Doris, as pretty as a picture in her
pink gingham frock, began a long monologue about a dolls' tea-party she
had had in a dream last night; Bobby busied himself with his porridge;
Aunt Nell cooked the eggs in a little electric grill; and Judith found
she had plenty to do attending to the electric toaster and her porridge
at the same time. Usually Lizzie brought in a plate of hot toast and
then some one at the table made additional pieces on the toaster, but
this morning there was no supply to begin with.

Judith chatted happily about the plans for the week: Aunt Nell mustn't
forget that she had promised to take her to do her spring shopping;
Daddy had sent a cheque; she did hope there would be a letter from Nancy
this morning saying that she could come for the last week-end; and did
Aunt Nell remember, too, that she had invited Miss Ashwell for dinner on
Thursday? Judith noticed that Aunt Nell's smile was somewhat forced. Was
anything wrong? Didn't Aunt Nell want Nancy, after all? How dreadful!
She would have to ask her after breakfast.

Uncle Tom finished his breakfast with a rush and then, gathering up
letters and papers, made for the hall. Aunt Nell, Bobby, and Doris were
kissed good-bye, and he was gone with a great banging of doors.

Aunt Nell came back rather slowly into the dining-room, folded up Uncle
Tom's table napkin, pushed back Bobby's chair and then said tersely,
"Lizzie has gone."

"Gone!" said Judith stupidly; "gone where?"

"I don't know that I care very much where," said Aunt Nell; "the point
is that she has gone. She gave me notice a week ago, and I've been
trying desperately hard ever since to get some one else, but I've had no
answers to advertisements. Lizzie just sent a note saying that she had
decided to get married at once and that she and 'her friend' had gone to
Buffalo for the holiday and she wouldn't be coming back here. I did
think she'd stay her month, at least, after all the time she's been
here--but I suppose he had a holiday and overpersuaded her. I don't feel
that virtue has been rewarded either," she added ruefully, "for if I
hadn't given her all of Easter Monday for herself she might be here to
wash the breakfast dishes, instead of which you and I must do them."

"Instead of which _I'll_ do them Aunt Nell," Judith said laughingly.
"Dishes aren't anything. Come on, Doris, let's see how quickly we can do
them. Don't worry, Aunt Nell. I'm not Lizzie, of course, but I'm just
spoiling for something to do." And she gave Aunt Nell a reassuring hug
and kiss.

"You're a little brick, Judy--of course we'll manage. I'll 'phone for
Mrs. Webster to come this morning instead of this afternoon to look
after Hugh, and then you and I can do the rest."

But alack! Mrs. Webster's sister answered the 'phone--she was very
sorry, her sister was in bed with tonsillitis and she had just sent for
the doctor--it would be a week or two, anyway, before she could come
back to look after the baby.

Here was news, indeed--Bobby and Hugh were work enough for one person at
any time. Baby Hugh had a cold, and was cross and fretful because a
certain tooth was reluctant about making its first appearance.

They had a busy day. Aunt Nell went out in the afternoon to try her luck
at various employment agencies and Judith took the children for a walk.
She rather enjoyed it at first, but after three-year-old Bobby had
demanded the repetition of the story of "The Three Bears" for the sixth
time, and had fiercely resented the changing of a phrase with "Dat's not
in the tory," Judith began to feel tired and cross.

Doris was very little trouble, for she was, as usual, entirely engrossed
in an endless game of her own invention. She furnished each house they
passed with a large family and gave every member a name and occupation:
thus the big white house at the corner where Judge Wilton lived was
peopled in Doris's imagination with Mr. and Mrs. Black and their eight
children, Mary and Martha, Robert and Thomas, Geoffrey and Susan, Billy
and Minnie. Judith could hear her describing them. "Mary is a cook, she
writes nice letters and makes lemon pies; Martha is a nice girl, she has
yellow hair and blue eyes; Robert is tall and strong, he is a coachman
and squints with his left eye"; and so on and so on. A few families of
this size absorbed Doris's attention for hours at a time.

Judith took most comfort out of Baby Hugh; he was so sweet and so
kissable, his eyes so blue and his cheeks so like wild roses that
sometimes Judith felt that she would just have to take a little bite out
of the adorable crease at the back of his neck.

The first of the precious two holiday weeks was gone before either Aunt
Nell or Judith had accomplished any of the things they had meant to do,
and the good times, especially Nancy's visit, which Judith had looked
forward to with such pleasure, seemed to have vanished into thin air.

There was no doubt that Aunt Nell needed her, for there was endless
dusting and dishwashing to do, and some one always had to be with the

Judith was making gravy one evening--a task she detested--when Uncle
Tom came into the kitchen looking particularly pleased with himself.

"You're late, dear," was Aunt Nell's greeting; "please hurry; I haven't
had time to give Bobby his supper, he'll have to have it with us, and
I'm afraid Baby isn't asleep yet."

"Hurrah, hurrah!" said Uncle Tom--very irrelevantly, Judith thought
indignantly; gravy-making time was no occasion for being funny, but
Uncle Tom was like that, you never knew.

"It takes a man to tackle a job," said Uncle Tom complacently as he
carved the roast--"you wouldn't let me wait to tell you some good news I
had brought home. Perhaps we'd better wait now until dinner is over," he
continued. But of course he couldn't wait--modesty was not Uncle Tom's
strong point. "Well, if you must know, as I said it takes a man to
tackle a job. I just mentioned to Stewart that we were in a fix,
couldn't get a cook for love or money. 'This time for love and money you
can,' said Stewart. 'My wife and I are going down to Bermuda to-morrow
and we didn't quite know what to do with our Chinese boy--Mrs. S. had
promised to lend him to her sister, and quite suddenly her sister
decided to go with us.' So there you are," finished Uncle Tom
superbly--"he arrives to-morrow, tip-top cook, takes complete charge of
kitchen arrangements. Not bad, eh?"

Not bad! Aunt Nell almost wept for joy. If it hadn't been that she had
had to spend so much time hunting for help, the housekeeping would have
been nothing, she declared stoutly to Uncle Tom later, with her head
tucked under his chin. She did weep a tear or two into his favorite tie.
"Judith has been splendid, and of course we could have managed
perfectly; it was the time I spent going from one bureau to another and
following up this trail and the other that has tired us both."

"Strikes me," said Uncle Tom, "that Judy couldn't have tackled the pots
and pans last year the way she does now."

"Of course she couldn't," said Aunt Nell, trying vainly to repair the
damages Uncle Tom had done to her hair in his desire to show his
sympathy--he inevitably wound the loose strands of her hair tightly
around her ears. "Judy has had to tackle all sorts of things this year,
more things than she ever dreamed of, and she's caught the York Hill
spirit of putting through any sort of job that her hands find to do."

"Look here," said Uncle Tom, "wait until I get settled on the
Chesterfield before we begin on York Hill. I often wonder how I manage
to get on at the office without having had the inestimable privilege of
being trained at York Hill Ladies' Academy!"

Yip arrived next morning at the promised time--it seemed too good to be
true--bland, smiling, competent, and one of the first things Aunt Nell
did was to send a telegram to Nancy inviting her to come just as soon as
her mother would spare her. The answer came almost before Aunt Nell and
Judith had finished planning their shopping expedition for the next
day--Mrs. Nairn and Nancy were coming up to Toronto for a week's visit
with some relatives from Boston who were passing through on their way to
Vancouver, and Nancy "accepted with pleasure" for the last few days of
the holidays.

Judith had a happy day buying her spring "trousseau"--Nancy had
cautioned her to lay in a goodly supply of white skirts and middies for
the "sports" term--and then came the looked-for morning when she waited
for the Montreal express that was to bring her this best friend--whom
she hadn't met a short seven months before and whom now she was sure she
couldn't live without!

Seven months ago! Was it really less than a year ago that she herself
had come into this very station feeling a little bit frightened of the
new life at York Hill? Judith smiled happily. How different things were
now--but that must be the train. Her heart beat quickly as she scanned
the faces of the incoming travellers. Yes, there was Mrs. Nairn and
there was Nancy's adorable little self. Oh, how good it was to see her

Breakfast over and Mrs. Nairn escorted to her cousins' hotel, the two
chums settled down to a long morning's gossip. So many things can take
place in two weeks! Judith had to hear every single thing that had
happened to Nancy since they parted, and Nancy, every single thing that
had happened to Judith.

"Jack thinks that is one of the funniest things about girls'
friendships," observed Nancy after she had received a very full account
of the two weeks' doings, "our wanting to know _everything_ about our
friends; he thinks it's awfully queer, but I think it's queer not to.
Why, when he and Tom meet on Monday he'll say, 'Hello, Tom;' and Tom
will say, 'Hello, Jack,' and then they'll begin talking about the state
of the cricket crease very likely."


Nancy was very full of all the delightful events of next term; there
would be the Cup Matches first of all, and the teams of the various
houses were discussed "up and down and round and about"; then would come
Field Day. "I'm not sure," said Nancy, "just which is the nicest day of
all at school; sometimes I think it's the day of the Reunion suppers
when the Old Girls come back, or Prize-giving Day, or the day of the
final Cup Match, and then when Field Day comes I'm perfectly certain
it's the best of all."

Then there was the Reunion play to discuss; it was to be "Pride and
Prejudice" this year and Judith had been reading the story during the
holidays. Would Catherine be the heroine or would Eleanor be chosen, and
what about Genevieve for one of the other parts? She would make a good
Mrs. Bennet. Of course she could act splendidly, but still--Judith
expressed her astonishment at Genevieve's returning popularity. "After
what she did I don't see how some of the girls can admire her so
much," she said to Nancy.

"But popularity's queer, anyhow," said Nancy; "look at Rosamond Fraser.
I suppose some people would say that Rosamond was one of the most
popular girls in the house, and we know it's because she always has such
good 'eats' to give away. And then there's Eleanor, we know she's
popular because she is such a brick. There ought to be another word for
_her_ kind of popularity. Genevieve is clever, you know, and she's
awfully funny," she continued, smiling as she remembered Genevieve
mimicking Miss Langton in a temper; "anybody who is amusing can be
popular," she concluded sagely.

Judith was impressed with Nancy's wisdom. "Well, but--Miss Ashwell and
Miss Marlowe are popular, too, aren't they?"

"Yes," said Nancy; "but it's not the same kind of popularity as Miss
Morton's. Miss Morton is like Rosamond; the West House girls say you can
always get a special permission from her if you're sweet enough to her.
She positively likes 'slush.'"

"And Miss Marlowe is like Eleanor," assented Judith thoughtfully.
"Nancy, which do you like the best, Miss Ashwell or Miss Marlowe?"

But this was a question not to be easily settled; they spent a most
enjoyable though perhaps not highly profitable morning discussing this
and various other items of burning interest; they loved to gossip, as
all schoolgirls--and most of the rest of us--do, but it was harmless
enough and never unkind.

       *       *       *       *       *

Aunt Nell, apparently, was determined that Judith should have a gay
week-end, for after luncheon she warned them that this was to be their
last quiet morning. Yip, it seemed, was so proud of his skill in
concocting wonderful salads and ices, that he had no objection to
company--and Judith was to invite any one she liked for dinner
to-morrow, and they were to lunch with Mrs. Nairn downtown and go to a
matinee, and Aunt Nell would be delighted to give them a tea-party the
day before school opened.

They had the jolliest time possible; Judith loved playing hostess, and
carte-blanche for a dinner and a tea-party was a great treat; and to
have Nancy to discuss everything with--"just bliss" Judith confided to
Aunt Nell.

And if holidays _will_ end, it wasn't hard to go back to the "Jolly
Susan" and look forward to the good times which were promised in "the
best term of all."



"COME on, do, Nancy," urged Judith; "it's on Friday, there is nothing
else doing and it's sure to be interesting, for there are to be pictures
of the work in Italy and in Russia. Miss Ashwell's going to take us. I'm
going to be her partner," she added importantly.

"Well, that settles it," said Nancy; "you and your Miss Ashwell! I won't
go if I can't go with you. It's a long walk from the University to the
cars and I'm tired of Red Cross, anyway."

Judith and Jane were curled up on Nancy's couch eating chocolates; Nancy
had just had a birthday and Jack had sent her a gratifyingly large box
of candy with the injunction to go "fifty-fifty" with Judith and thus
save herself from a bilious attack.

"I can't see why you are so keen on another Red Cross meeting, Judy. I
should think you'd be tired of the subject after writing that long essay
for Miss Kingston--but I forgot about your Uncle Brian.--Get off my
foot, Jane, do."

Jane selected another chocolate, and said with a chuckle:

"You should have been in our French division this morning! _Dear_ Miss
Watson, how she hates me."

"I don't wonder," said Catherine, who was on the window-seat mending a
lace ruffle. "Don't tell me that you've been tormenting her again."

"Certainly; we always do at the beginning of term, though we get tired
of it after a while. We had verbs this morning with lots of _r's_ in
them--accourir and servir and reconnaître--so I winked to Althea and
Maggie and we had a dandy time. It saves lots of work," she added
reflectively. "Every time Miss Watson rolled an _r_, one of us put up a
hand and asked to have the word repeated. We just couldn't understand
her. We made it last for most of the period, and the poor dear didn't
get to the exercise at all."

"I'd have sent you packing, the whole lot of you, to Miss Meredith. You
deserve it, and then I guess you'd be sorry, you little worms!"

"Oh, would you?" retorted Jane shrewdly; "not if you had reported us all
two days ago for setting a metronome going in class. That _was_ fun!
Miss Meredith is getting tired of Miss Watson's returned lessons and bad
marks, though she gave us a jolly good scolding, I must say. No, I think
we are pretty safe for this week." And she chuckled reminiscently.

"Choose some one your own size, Jane," suggested Catherine, hunting for
a piece of chocolate ginger; "'t isn't sporting to pick on Miss Watson
like that."

"Well, why not?" demanded Jane. "She isn't on her job--she's just plain
stupid--I don't believe she ever thinks about anything."

"Well, you're wrong there--she's just crazy about reading--she reads
everything--her room is full of books, and Miss Ashwell says she knows
more about Russian literature than most people in this country. None of
you children been bothering Miss Ashwell, have you?"

There was an indignant denial, and Judith, remembering that she had seen
her friend and comforter looking very much as if she herself stood in
need of comforting, asked quickly:

"Why do you ask, Cathy?"

"Oh, well, she seems bothered," was the rather vague answer.

Judith ran down to Miss Ashwell's room at visiting time that night, and
tapping at the door put in her head and enquired, "May I come in?"

"Not just now, Judith," said Miss Ashwell, "I'm busy."

Judith with a mumbled apology disappeared at once, but not before she
had seen that Miss Ashwell's busy-ness had to do apparently with the
snapshot of a handsome soldier propped against the reading-lamp--a
despatch case lay open on the floor beside her and there were letters
strewn over the table and in Miss Ashwell's lap.

"Now, wasn't that too bad of me to rush in like that," thought Judith,
as she hurried away. "I wonder if that's the picture she showed me the
other day--she was probably going to write to him--wouldn't it be

Miss Ashwell looked complacently next day at her line of forty girls as
they were ushered into reserved seats near the front of Convocation
Hall. They might some of them look like young hoydens in middy blouses
and gymnasium bloomers--which costume most of them affected during
school hours--but now, in their trim serge suits and _chic_ little hats,
they were a credit to their chaperon, and as it was considered bad form
to misbehave "in line" at church or concert or lecture, Miss Ashwell
settled down and gave herself up to the luxury of her own thoughts.

Judith, sitting beside her and looking eagerly at the portraits of
founders and benefactors, decided that they could not be very happy
thoughts, for she heard one soft little sigh and then another. Miss
Ashwell was unhappy again! Something pathetic about the droop of her
lips made Judith feel sudden anger against the unknown cause of Miss
Ashwell's melancholy. It might, of course, have been a large millinery
bill, or indigestion, or a blouse that wouldn't fit, but Judith's
romantic soul would have none of these. It must be that man in the
Italian snapshots. How pretty Miss Ashwell had looked that day when she
had showed Judith the Italian pictures! How her eyes had deepened until
they were almost violet, and how her cheeks had glowed! Perhaps he was
an unfaithful lover, perhaps he had married an Italian girl, or even a
German in a sudden impulse of pity, and now could not come home to
Canada to face his old love. No, not married, just betrothed, because of
course he must come home, and Judith was already staging Miss Ashwell's
wedding when the President and faculty members, together with
distinguished guests and officials of the Red Cross Society, took their
places on the dais.

Judith leaned forward eagerly. How delightfully the red and blue
splashes of colour of the professors' academic hoods showed up against
the old-oak panelling. That must be an Oxford hood, and there was an
Edinburgh one. Daddy had showed her one like that--but the President was
speaking. He regretted that Dr. Johnson, who was to have lectured this
afternoon, was unavoidably absent through illness, but a distinguished
graduate of their own, who had been with the Intelligence Staff in Italy
and had won the Military Cross because of a particularly brilliant piece
of work there, who had been a prisoner in Russia for nearly a year, and
who had recently been engaged in relief work in Serbia, had been
prevailed upon to take Dr. Johnson's place. He had much pleasure in
introducing Major David Phillips.

The York Hill line bent forward eagerly--an M.C.--a Russian
prisoner--name David--David was a favourite name just then--one of their
own University boys, wounded, tall, thin, dark hair turning grey at the
temples in the most approved fashion! How satisfactorily romantic!

But just how romantic, not one of the forty guessed but Judith. She
alone heard the quick intake of Miss Ashwell's breath, she alone saw the
flood of colour sweep over Miss Ashwell's face, she could almost hear
the thumpings of Miss Ashwell's heart, and Judith guessed at once that
the here who was being enthusiastically applauded was the hero of the
Italian snapshots, and Miss Ashwell's face was sufficient confirmation.
How thrilling, how wonderful! He was home again, Miss Ashwell would be
happy, everybody would be happy! Probably they would be married right
away--she had forgotten the imaginary German bride--and maybe Miss
Ashwell would let her help her in her shopping. She could go down on
Saturday mornings. Aunt Nell knew an awfully good shop for linens, an
Irish shop.

"Say, Judy," whispered Frances, "isn't that your Uncle Tom in the back
row on the platform?"

Yes, it was. Judith blushed with vexation. Why couldn't Uncle Tom be
more careful? His tie had slipped its moorings and was gradually working
its way to the top of his collar. Really, relations ought to be less
conspicuous unless they could be more presentable; she hoped Catherine
wouldn't see him. He did look ridiculous. Whatever had he done to his
hair? It looked as if he had gone to sleep in it, thought Judy

Judith stole another glance at Miss Ashwell; the colour had faded and
her face was white; it looked almost stern. Whatever was the matter? The
lights went off for the lantern slides and Judith, greatly daring,

"Isn't that the Major Phillips you used to know, Miss Ashwell? The one
who was with Uncle Brian in Italy?"

"Yes, I used to know him, Judith, a long time ago," in stiff, cold,
dignified tones.

Judith felt dazed for a moment; then a happy inspiration came to her; a
lovers' quarrel--that's what's the matter. Now, if they could just meet
again without either of them having to give in, they would be sure to
make it up.

It was very trying having no one to talk to. She wished fervently that
Nancy or Sally May or Josephine or Joyce or some one other than Frances
were beside her; she must think hard. Miss Ashwell was in love with
Major Phillips, that was clear. Major Phillips must be in love with Miss
Ashwell, that went without saying. Miss Ashwell was unhappy. Of course
it wasn't her business at all, at all, but Judith didn't think of that.
There was something appealing about Miss Ashwell at all times, and Miss
Ashwell in trouble made Judith certain that something must be done. She
hardly heard a word the lecturer said, but sat frowning, thinking hard;
then her face cleared; she had a plan. She would make a dash for the
platform and Uncle Tom the minute the last picture was put on the
screen, and beg him to introduce her to Major Phillips, and she would
ask him if he would speak at the Arts and Letters Club, for she knew
they wanted some one for next week. Probably Miss Ashwell would be very
much annoyed and would come after her, and then--further than that
Judith didn't go, for she was immediately involved in the difficulties
of how to get away from Miss Ashwell in order to make her dash for the
platform. The York Hill girls would wait, of course, a few minutes
until some of the people had gone before they tried to leave the
building; perhaps by that time Major Phillips would have disappeared.
Judith was still struggling to think of something plausible to say to
Miss Ashwell when the lights came on again; and when the organist began
"God Save the King" and the audience rose, Judith knew that she must act
quickly if she were to to save the situation. Her heart thumped so
loudly that there was a buzzing in her ears and her hands were icy cold.
Miss Ashwell would be angry; she might even report Judith to Miss
Meredith; Judith quailed at the thought; the last note sounded.

"Excuse me, Miss Ashwell, but there's Uncle Tom. I simply _must_ speak
to him." And before an astonished and, it must be confessed, a dreaming
Miss Ashwell could say yea or nay, Judith had slipped past her down the
aisle and was making her way to the platform. The line was transfixed
with horror.

"Judith Benson! Who does she think she is, anyway, going right up there
amongst all those 'brass hats?' Is she crazy?"

Judith was lost to York Hill eyes as she disappeared into the group of
people at the back of the platform, who were apparently waiting to have
a word with the speaker. She clutched Uncle Tom's arm with both hands,
and if the warmth of her greeting astonished him he made no sign.

"Why, yes, I know him," he replied in answer to her eager questioning.
"What you doin' here by yourself? Oh, are they?"--and he turned to get a
view of the line. "Arts and Letters Club, eh? Sounds frightening. I
don't know whether he'd dare." This in Uncle Tom's facetious manner.
"Hey, Phillips"--to the hero who was making a determined effort to
escape his questioners--"Here's a young lady who is a hero-worshipper."
And as he made the necessary introduction, he added, to Judith's huge
disgust, "She wants your autograph or something."

Judith made her request politely and, as with sinking heart she saw that
he was going to refuse, she added clearly, "Miss Elizabeth Ashwell is
waiting down there for us with the others--the line I mean." Judith was
thrilled at the change in Major Phillips's face.

"Oh, then, you are Miss Ashwell's messenger," he said eagerly.

"Not exactly," stammered Judith; "but she's waiting for us," she
repeated firmly.

Major Phillips lost no time.

"In that case we had better go, not keep a lady waiting, eh, Mr. Hilton?
Perhaps I ought to say forty ladies," he continued as they made their
way down the aisle.

Judith's knees were trembling. She didn't dare lift her eyes, as Uncle
Tom greeted Miss Ashwell and she heard him say,

"Major Phillips I believe you know already."

Major Phillips had Miss Ashwell's hand in his and was clearly paying no
attention to Uncle Tom. The line was divided afterwards as to whether he
shook her hand eagerly or just held it. The majority favoured the latter
opinion, but all agreed that he looked right into her eyes and that his
voice was "as different as anything from what it was before."

Somehow or other they started on their homeward way with Miss Ashwell
and Major Phillips bringing up the rear, for Williams the janitor had
magically appeared with the latter's stick, and Uncle Tom thoughtfully
made his adieus and departed.

If Major David Phillips hadn't been too ecstatically happy to notice
anything except the curve of Miss Ashwell's pink cheek and the length of
her eyelashes and a soft little curl which hung in front of her ear, he
might have been surprised at the extreme quiet of the forty girls in
front of him; they might have been walking to a funeral. What he
wouldn't have guessed was that every ear in the line was stretched
backwards to catch his slightest word or he might have lowered his
voice. As it was at least half the line could hear him:

Yes, he was glad to be back in Canada.

Yes, two months ago.

He'd been delayed in England over the Serbian work.

No, he wasn't in town. He had a cottage, really a little old farmhouse,
about ten miles out of the city. His Aunt Joan had died while he was
away and had left him "White Cottage." He was living there with his
batman, who was awfully handy and did the cooking and everything, and
between them they had turned the parlour and the spare bedroom into a
studio. They had made a great northern window and Jennings was now
building a piazza. Elizabeth must come and see it. However, she would
have to come soon, as he was going to France in June.

"Elizabeth," said the line to itself, "and she didn't call him David?"
They felt they wouldn't have been so behind-hand.

Judith meanwhile, being partnerless, had wormed her way down to the
prefects who were leading the line.

"Cathy," she whispered urgently, "do go slow, please; he's limping, you
know, and don't stop when we get to the cars. Please, please, just walk
on slowly, and perhaps Miss Ashwell won't notice. I'll tell you why
later. It's awfully important."

"Right you are, Mr. First Mate," answered Catherine, and Judith, not
without some whispered chaffing, got back within earshot.

Major Phillips was talking about his experiences in the Russian prison
and Judy needn't have worried lest Miss Ashwell should notice when they
reached the cars; Miss Ashwell was in another world entirely; the line
did not exist for her. They walked on and on and Major Phillips's voice
became lower. The line began to feel rebellious.

"Fourteen blocks," said Frances Purdy to her neighbour. "I'm nearly
dead. I shouldn't wonder if we had to walk all the way."

And they did. Miss Ashwell didn't "notice" till they began the ascent of
the hill and Major Phillips was obliged to go very slowly, indeed. Miss
Ashwell was full of remorse. His leg must be hurting, but the school was
in sight. He must come in and rest. He had walked too far, and lines of
pain and fatigue were plain to be seen. Miss Ashwell decided that she
must take him to the common room, and then get Mrs. Bronson to make him
some hot tea. But probably he couldn't walk so far! Perhaps he would
faint. Whatever should she do? Suddenly to her great relief she saw Miss
Meredith in her car evidently returning from town. Miss Ashwell moved
over to the side of the road, Major Phillips limping after her, and the
line stood still awaiting developments. Miss Ashwell explained her
predicament to an amazed Head Mistress. Miss Meredith thought and acted
quickly. Major Phillips was welcomed with both hands and tucked into the
car. Catherine was summoned.

"My compliments to Mrs. Bronson, Catherine, and please ask her if she
can provide you all with hot cocoa and cake after your walk. Miss
Ashwell is coming home with me for tea."

The car drove off, and though the line moved on decorously towards the
much-desired rest and cocoa, Major Phillips would have been considerably
surprised if he could have heard its sudden galvanization into speech.

Catherine, who took Miss Ashwell's place at the end of the line, was
obliged to send a runner ahead with the request,

"Less noise till we reach bounds, please."

But the instant they reached the school gates the line dissolved and
Judith was surrounded by an excited mob.

"Oh, go on, tell us, Judy."

"Whatever were you doing on the platform?"

"Who is he, anyway?"

"Don't be a piker! Tell us, Judy."

"Fancy Miss Meredith whisking him off like that."

"Is he really Miss Ashwell's?"

But Judith, though triumphant, was loyally discreet. He was an old
friend of her Uncle Brian's. She had to speak to Uncle Tom, and then
Uncle Tom and Major Phillips came down to speak to Miss Ashwell.

There were some who felt that this was not all, but Catherine supported
Judith and adjured them not to go into their own houses and spread
romantic tales.

But there are some things which even a popular prefect cannot achieve.
The affair was discussed in all its details by the tired forty as they
consumed much cocoa and cake in the sitting-room, and even later, when
the running of many bath-taps proclaimed loudly the fact that forty
tired bodies were being refreshed, scraps of conversation floated over
the bath partitions.

"Good thing it's his left arm that's hurt."

"Isn't his hair lovely? I adore hair that is slightly greying!"

"Is it a V.C. he's got?"

"When do you suppose they'll be married?"

"Did you say he was an artist or an engineer?"

"Won't she look lovely in a wedding gown?"

"_I_ wouldn't be married in anything but white."

"Judith Benson thinks she's _it_. What is she doing in it anyhow?"

Judith smiled happily in her bath. She had decided on her bridesmaid's



SPRING came early this year and the school spent much time out of doors
during the last term. Many classes were held in the big sun porches and
in the sheltered spots in the grounds, and the various teams were hard
at basket-ball and cricket and tennis, even before breakfast.

It was not so hard now to get up at a quarter to seven, and Judith and
Florence even joined the B.B.B.'s--"Before Breakfast Brigade"--who
pledged themselves to get up in time for a dip in the swimming-pool or a
game before the breakfast-bell rang.

Judith was especially keen about tennis, and she improved her game so
much that, to her surprise and delight, even high and mighty prefects
like Patricia and Catherine were asking her for practice games in
preparation for the House and School Tournaments later on. Catherine was
a very busy person, indeed, just now; she had an important part in the
play given during prize-giving week and she was a member of the Senior
basket-ball team. Judith would never be a basket-ball enthusiast, but
she filled a very respectable position on the Junior team and she could
share in the excitement about the Senior match which was to be played
against Queen's School. Patricia was working her team hard; every spare
hour was devoted to goal practice, and team practice came every day as a
matter of course.

Nancy had much to tell Judith of last year's triumph when Eleanor's
brilliant play had won the coveted trophy for York Hill. This year
Queen's were reported to have a marvellous centre and school gossip held
that the York Hill team would have a hard battle to keep the shield.
Unfortunately, the very day before the match, Helen Burton, a prefect of
West House, slipped and wrenched her knee, so that her playing was out
of the question. She was not their most brilliant player by any means,
but she was steady and used her brains in the game better than most.
Althea Somerset was put in as a substitute, but it was disconcerting to
lose a tried warrior before the fight began.

Nancy was a timekeeper, and on the day of the match Judith took her
stand beside her with the lemons for the refreshment of the teams. The
whole School had lined the campus to watch the game; at one end were a
group of Old Girls and the staff; near by was a splash of scarlet
marking the visitors from Queen's School. Judith, watching the trim
figures of the players line up, Queen's with scarlet ties and bands,
York Hill with gold ties, felt a sudden rush of loyalty at the sight of
her own well-loved prefects.

"They must win--they must--there can't be a doubt of it," said Judith to

The much-talked-of Queen's centre was as wonderful as gossip had
reported. She seemed like a veritable spider, all arms and legs; try as
she would Althea could not prevent her getting the ball. And there was a
fair-haired girl--Pamela by name--who was the best shot Judith had ever

The score mounted rapidly for Queen's and at half-time, when Judith
distributed her slices of lemon, things looked rather dark for York

But Patricia had been using her brains while she played, and Judith and
Nancy ministering to the team heard her final injunctions.

"We'll beat 'em yet. Watch that right centre and Pamela Price on the
left guard; they're both dandy shots, and they both want a chance to
show off. Mark my words, we'll get some fine shots the last half. Their
weak point is team-work, and I'm glad to say we're playing
together--watch your passing--we're bound to win!"

Judith and Nancy went back to their posts in a state of great
excitement. There was an infectious courage and cheeriness about
Patricia's words. Certainly Queen's had five points to their favour, but
just as certainly York Hill would win!

Up went the ball again and up went the spider-like centre's long arms,
and away went the coveted ball in the wrong direction. Judith's heart
sank--this half was going to be just like the other--how terrible!


The whistle blew. Judith couldn't see what had happened, but evidently
there had been a foul, for Catherine had a free throw.

York Hill let themselves go for a minute. Good for Cathy! Seconds were
precious now and the play was swift.

Again the whistle.

This time Patricia took the ball.

York Hill held its breath.


Nothing succeeds like success!

The York Hill team quickened and became tense during those last few
seconds like a great orchestra for the finale of a symphony, in answer
to the conductor's baton. Patricia felt a thrill of pride. How
magnificently the team was responding--they were playing like one
person--and that person meant to win--there could be no doubt of it.

"Fifteen-fifteen," said the umpire calmly.

Judith standing quietly beside Nancy wanted to shriek and shout like a
young savage--"We're going to beat you! We're going to beat you--yah!"

Fifteen-seventeen! Good for Althea!

Ah, Pamela Price has scored!

"Good play," said York, generously applauding a neat shot.

Seventeen-all--and a minute more to play!

Althea has the ball--no, there it is--Patricia's got it--

That must be Pamela again--no, Catherine has it!

Catherine poised herself and threw.

A soft sighing sound from hundreds of lips marked the safe arrival of
the ball in the basket, and then spontaneous cheering drowned the
umpire's voice.

York Hill had the cup for another year!

       *       *       *       *       *

The cheering over, the teams departed for afternoon tea, and the
audience, breaking up into little groups, settled down to a discussion
of the points of the game.

"They've certainly a dandy centre, and that fair girl was a great
shot--but wasn't Cathy gorgeous! If we'd only had another two
minutes--one minute--we'd have beaten 'em all hollow."

"Wasn't our team-work simply splendid?" gloated Judith. "I should think
Patricia would be awfully proud. By the way, that reminds me--Patricia
said I must play off in the House Tournament to-morrow afternoon. Come
on over to the tennis court. I'll play you two--I've got a new serve I
want to try. Oh, dear! I wish there weren't any exams this term; I'd
like to play the whole time."

Next day when Judith looked at the tournament lists she was astonished
to find that she was to play against Catherine. Catherine for the last
two years had been South's choice to play in the School Tournament, and
although she had been beaten by Nelly Smith of West last year, it was
pretty generally conceded that she would win in the preliminary House
Tournament and play again in the finals.

"Rather rough on me to have to play against a champion," laughed Judith
as they tossed for counts a little later, "but I'm going to give you a
hard fight, Cathy, see if I don't."

Perhaps it was the spirit of the blue and golden May day, cool enough to
be pleasant, warm enough to be a joy, or the little breeze which came
floating across the campus carrying an intoxicating scent of lilacs, but
whatever the reason, some sprite seemed to have taken possession of
Judith, and she threw herself into the game with such enthusiasm, such
abandon, such elfin-like nimbleness that Catherine couldn't touch her

There was not a large audience, for cricket and swimming claimed many,
but the crew of the "Jolly Susan" were there, you may be sure, and most
of South House, for it had been whispered about that Judith's game was
worth watching.

"Well played," said Eleanor heartily, as Florence called out the score.
"Game and set in Judith's favour! You've improved your game
tremendously, Judy."

"Thanks, Judy," said Catherine; "hardly a good fight, I'm afraid, rather
a good beating." Try as she did to keep it out there was a little
coldness in Catherine's voice. She was tired after yesterday's match,
and it wasn't particularly pleasant to be beaten by a youngster after
she had been champion for South for two years.

Judith's quick ears had caught the note of coldness, and her gay spirits
deserted her instantly. What did winning a game matter if Catherine were
displeased with her! She was almost angry with Nancy, who remarked
gleefully after Catherine had gone, "You're almost sure to be chosen to
play for the House now, Judy, dear. What tremendous luck!"

Judith wouldn't hear of it, and when a little later Eleanor told her
that she was the choice of the Committee she begged to be let off.

"It really wasn't fair," she protested. "Cathy was awfully tired and not
in good form, and I was feeling tip-top. I'd hate to take her place."

But Eleanor was firm. "Catherine," she said, "is not playing so
well--she's had too many irons in the fire, so we'll look to you to win
for South. Patricia says she'll take you for fifteen minutes every
morning before breakfast. Your net play needs a little steadying--get in
as much practice as you can before the tournament."

Eleanor's word was final, and of course it was gratifying to be chosen,
but Judith's pleasure was spoilt by her fear that Catherine was hurt and
would never be friends with her again. That night at visiting hour she
knocked at Catherine's door with the resolve to tell her in some way or
other that she was sorry. She didn't know quite how it was to be done,
because she might only make matters worse. But instead of Catherine's
usual cheerful "Come in," a preoccupied voice said, "Who's there?" and
to Judith's answer, replied, "Will another time do, Judy? I'm awfully

Judith went off disconsolately, and when she did try to express her
regret at being chosen in place of Catherine, her endeavours, as she
feared, were not a success. Catherine merely said that of course she was
glad Judith was to play, but again her voice was cold.

"Cathy doesn't really mean it," protested Nancy, in whom Judith
confided. "She's just busy with the play--you know she's to be the
heroine--and she's writing on her diploma examination too. Cheer up,
Judy, don't look so like an owl."

Judith refused to be comforted; the honour of the House meant less to
her than the friendship of Catherine whom she had adored from the first
day she entered York Hill. However, she practiced hard--Patricia saw to
that--and when Tournament Day came she had profited not a little by the
week's coaching.

But Patricia was worried. True, Judith's serve had improved, but she
lacked the nerve and spirit which had made her playing so irresistible
in the House match, and Nelly Smith was an old hand at the game.

The great day came. Surely Catherine would wish her luck, and while
Judith put on a fresh white skirt and blouse and made her hair as trim
as possible, she listened for the sound of Catherine's footsteps--but no
Catherine came, and Judith went off to the match with a heavy heart.

The central courts were lined with spectators, and as they tossed for
courts Judith realized that this was an occasion. The cup was to go for
a year to the winner of this one match, for Nelly Smith had already
beaten Althea Somerset of North, and East, being largely a Junior House,
had no representative.

Over by the umpire's stand Judith could see the crew of the "Jolly
Susan"--Nancy's pretty golden head and Josephine's untidy red one. Jane
seemed to be holding a flag--yes, it must be the "Susan's" flag. If only

Nelly had the first serve, and the white balls began to fly back and
forth. Nelly won her serve and then Judith hers. It was steady,
interesting playing. They were well matched. But Judith's mind was only
half on her game, for while with one half of her brain she countered
Nelly's tactics, the other half was still occupied with Catherine and
the possibility of losing Catherine's friendship if she won the game.

Suddenly in a flash Judith saw a solution. Supposing she didn't win--and
of course she mightn't--Nelly was no mean rival--would Catherine restore
her to friendship? Supposing she didn't try her very hardest?

Judith's thoughts were centred on Catherine and the full dishonour of
what she was contemplating did not occur to her. She only knew that
nothing seemed to matter if she lost Catherine. Nancy, meanwhile, who
surmised what was troubling Judith, was watching her anxiously, and
because she knew her so well she saw that Judith was not putting her
whole self into the game, although she had won the first set by a very
narrow margin. Nelly's score was climbing steadily now--five-three,

"Game and set to Nelly Smith," called the umpire as the players changed
courts, and when Nelly stooped to tighten a shoelace, Nancy made a quick
decision and whispered in Catherine's ear:

"Judy's nervous, Cathy; please say something to cheer her up the way you
did at the play."

The colour deepened ever so slightly in Catherine's cheeks, for she had
been mentally shaking herself that she had not been more generous to
Judy, so she was quick to seize her opportunity as Judith passed.

"Good for you, Judibus--you're certain to win--you're doing splendidly.
Remember we're trusting ourselves to you--but we're sure of the cup--you
_can_ play!"

Catherine's old self, all the coldness gone, spoke in the words.

They seemed to be magic words, for a miracle happened then and there.
Nelly fought hard and it was a battle worth watching, but Judith was
quite certain now that she would win. Nelly really hadn't a chance
against some one who suddenly realized that she had not been answering
up to the trust her friends had given her; some one who saw herself
restored to the favour she coveted; some one who knew now that it didn't
matter a bit whether she lost or won as long as she did her very best;
some one who was suddenly walking on air, whose eyes and cheeks were
glowing with joy, and whose feet and wits seemed so nimble that strategy
and tactics were blown to the winds.

The last set went rapidly, and it seemed afterwards to Judith only a few
exhilarating moments until the umpire was announcing, "Game and set in
favour of Judith Benson," and three cheers were being given for her and
three cheers for South. South House had the cup back again!

Judith had just sufficient presence of mind left to shake hands with
Nelly and thank her for the game, and then she was in the midst of a
happy throng of Southerners who shouted congratulations and told her she
was a brick, and a wonder, and a credit to the House.

Invitations for tea at the tuck shop poured in thick and fast, but
Catherine answered for her:

"Not a bit of it; she belongs to the 'Jolly Susan' _first_ of all, and
we've a spread of ship's rations in my room all ready for the occasion."

Judith looked so radiant at the party that Sally May, who always knew
the latest bit of gossip, said disappointedly,

"I suppose you know about Miss Ashwell, Judy?"

"What about her?" said Judith eagerly. "Is she--?"

"Yes, she--is--engaged! It's frightfully exciting--some of the girls saw
her ring this afternoon, and she said yes she was, and what _do_ you
think?" Sally May paused dramatically.


"She's going to be married in prize-giving week because the Major is
going back to France--and Miss Meredith is giving her a school
wedding--only all the Old Girls are going to be there--so they're not
sure whether we'll be invited."

Sally May paused for breath.

Here was room for discussion, indeed. A wedding! A York Hill wedding!
And their own Miss Ashwell! Surely they would be invited!

Field Day proved another exciting topic--they all decided to enter the
suitcase race and provide some merriment for the School by the costumes
they would produce. The party broke up reluctantly to dress for dinner.
But Catherine managed to detain Judith for a moment and say in an

"I've been horrid lately, Judy--too busy with the play to be decent. I
suppose you're getting busy, too, on the Properties Committee; but I
wonder if you could spare time to hear me my part to-night?"

Could she?



THE next two weeks were the busiest and the happiest that Judith had
ever known. It would have been a joy merely to be alive on such blue,
unclouded days of golden sunshine. Even examination tests, which she
still dreaded, were bringing with them a curious happiness.

"I don't know how it is," Judith confided to the crew of the "Jolly
Susan" one morning as bed-making was in progress, "but there is
something nice about exams after all."

"Nice!" came from Josephine and Jane,--"Nice!"

"Well, it may be all very well for you if you want to show off how much
ancient history you've crammed up," said Sally May rather crossly; "I
don't see anything nice about them. I hate this ancient history, silly
old names! I don't know who won one of these battles"--and she continued
to mutter to herself a list of battles of the Peloponnesian War, which
she was memorizing in preparation for the history test.

"But," Judith persisted, "there is something nice about them; it must be
measuring ourselves against others and doing our very best, just like
the high jumping on Field Day. Now you know very well you enjoyed that,"
she continued, going to Josephine's door and noting with surprise that
Josephine was actually cleaning her white shoes.

"'Course," said Josephine; "ça va sans dire. Ha! Thought I'd make you
open your eyes quoting French as to the manner born, and cleaning shoes
into the bargain! Mademoiselle made me learn five phrases--had to write
them out a hundred times. What I say is, lessons are lessons, and
jumping is jumping; one's nasty and t'other's nice if you like."

Judith was interested in Josephine's French.

"Let's have the other phrases, Josephine."

"Not me," answered Josephine elegantly. "Moi, I shall scatter them about
gracefully. Dad will probably think I'm well-educated when I go home,
and if I'm tidy, too, my mother will be perfectly satisfied."

"Well, you'd better begin on your room," said Jane who had joined them.
"I notice, Miss Burley, that you received 'C' and a disorderly mark
last week, and friend Genevieve says that Miss Watson is on the war-path
this week."

"Miss Marlowe says I'm incorrigible," said Josephine, sadly shaking her
head. "Heigho! It's hard luck being born so careless; I get blamed for
everything. 'Eh bien! mademoiselle,' I shall say gently the next time
I'm reproved, 'Je ferai mon possible!' and by means of these choice
little French phrases and a perfectly clean pair of shoes, my reputation
will improve. Voyez!"

Every spare moment was being spent out-of-doors these days, so Sally May
and Judith took their history books out under Judith's favorite acacia
trees, and Judith good-naturedly, for every moment was precious, gave
Sally May a half-hour's grind on her ancient history before morning
school. When the ten-minute bell rang, their books were closed with a
bang almost before the bell had ceased, and they were dancing and
leaping and running across the lawn and round the tennis courts, where
they ran into Nancy.

"Just think!" she cried, "Margaret Leslie is going to be house mother
for the Old Girls this year, and she says that there are about a
hundred out-of-town girls coming to the Reunion, and of course there'll
be heaps of town girls. Won't it be heavenly?"--and she hopped on one
foot for joy. Then the three had a race to the schoolroom door. Middies
and bloomers simply compel one to run and scamper.

Judith thought about the Reunion as the form filed in silently to
prayers. Nancy had talked about it all year; she thought it the happiest
time of the year, and as she had been at York Hill all her school days
she would know a number of the girls who were coming back.

"They are here for four days," Nancy had told her, "so we just pack
those days full. There's the Reunion tea, and the grandchildren's party,
and the suppers and the plays, and then Sunday and prize-giving. I get
so happy I feel that I'll burst if I'm not careful."

Form Five were already hard at work on their songs for the supper party;
Judith was to respond to a toast. The play was well under way by
Easter-time, as Judith knew, for she was a hard-working member of the
Properties Committee. What she did not know was that her name had been
seriously considered for one of the parts and Catherine and Eleanor had
strongly urged her fitness. But Miss Marlowe had cautioned them: "Judith
has had a good first year, but I'm not sure that a prominent part in
another play wouldn't spoil it for her. Remember she had an important
part at Christmas-time. Don't turn her head." Eleanor saw the point and
Judith was instead put on the committee where she was doing good work.

This year there was the added delight of the wedding. Last night Miss
Meredith had given the invitations, and the School, you may be sure,
would "accept with pleasure."

Form Five A held a meeting at recess time. They must get Miss Ashwell a
wedding present.

"Form Two and Form Four are going to give her a hankie shower," said
Joyce Hewson, "and Patricia told me that the Sixth Form is going to give
her a linen shower."

"And Domestic Science are having a kitchen shower," joined in Frances.
"I don't see what there's left for us."

Books were suggested, but voted down. "Besides, we haven't enough
money," said Nancy, "Miss Meredith said we mustn't spend much."

Nancy wanted to put the money into a lump sum and buy one nice thing, a
picture or a piece of silver or something like that. But the majority of
the girls favoured the shower idea. A tea-cup shower was discussed, and
seemed to be the most popular of all the plans yet made, when Peggy said
she believed the Staff were buying china. She and her mother had met
three of the Staff in Smith's on Saturday morning, and she guessed from
what they said that that was what they doing.

Judith had been thinking--what would Miss Ashwell like? What does she
like to do? And a picture flashed into her mind of Miss Ashwell in
garden hat and gloves snipping Miss Meredith's rosebushes and talking to
Judith about Gloire de Dijons, and Frau Druschkis and Prince Ruperts and
Lady Ursulas, as if they were intimate friends. Judith jumped up

"Madam President," she said eagerly, "why shouldn't we have a flower
shower? I mean plants, rosebushes and Canterbury bells and lilacs if
they haven't got 'em, and maybe a cherry tree," she added as the plan
grew before her eyes.

Pros and cons were discussed. Perhaps "White Cottage" already had a
good garden. No, she had heard the Major say--here Judith blushed and
stammered as she heard Jane observe, "Great friend of the Major's is
Judy"--that the garden was no good; anyway, they could find out. Perhaps
Miss Meredith would find out for them.

"But it'll be too late to plant cherry trees and lilac bushes," objected
Alicia Harris, who was a practical gardener and had been a steady worker
in the War Garden Committee. That was so!

Besides, the bride and groom were going to France and what would the
garden do in the meantime? Judith looked quite blank. Just when it had
seemed such a lovely plan! She could see the climbing rose she meant to
give and had already congratulated herself on asking for some extra
pocket money for the last term. But Nancy came to the rescue.

"I know; let's give the money and the order for the flowers or bushes to
a florist and ask him to set them out in the proper time in the fall,
and we'll give Miss Ashwell a card with the name of the flowers we have
chosen, and, oh, then we could have rhymes. We'd put 'Violets' on the
card and then--

        "'The rose is red, the violet's blue,
         Honey is sweet and so are you'--

and then our own name so she'd know who gave her the violets. I'd like
to give her violets myself," she added.

But Rosamond had a more practical suggestion still.

"Let's get the little wooden tags that the florists use and put on them
the name of the flower, and the giver's name, and then we could tie
another little paper tag to them with the rhyme on it."

This was received with applause and the resolution was put to the vote
and carried enthusiastically. Judith looked admiringly at Nancy and
Rosamond as the meeting broke up and wondered how they could think of
such clever things, and was surprised and delighted after the meeting
when Nancy slipped her arm through hers and whispered:

"Bully for you, Judy; I don't know how you think of such clever things."

Next day there was another Form meeting and a committee was
appointed--Judy was glad that she was chosen--to get permission to go
downtown and enquire prices at the florists. Five B and Five C, whose
Presidents applied to Nancy for ideas, decided to further the scheme by
buying fruit bushes, raspberries, strawberries, currants, gooseberries,
and young fruit trees, and Miss Watson, who was Five C's Form Mistress,
proved a very useful ally, for a distant relative was a partner in one
of the biggest wholesale florist establishments and she offered to take
the committee there and get the plants at the lowest possible rates. Her
sudden popularity and the feeling of importance which pervaded her at
each of the many consultations during the next few days (for it turned
out that Miss Watson had been brought up in a beautiful old garden at
home in Scotland) were to remain delectable memories for many a long

A 'phone message brought wonderful catalogues from MacIver & Watson, and
for a day or two the Fifth Form presented a very studious appearance.
Groups of two or three might be seen in sitting-room or playroom and
out-of-doors on the quadrangle poring over books, but the interested
teachers who observed this phenomenon also noticed that the books they
earnestly perused were richly and gaudily illustrated.

Judith had to give up her cherished notion of a climbing rose, because
the rest of the "Jolly Susan" were determined to give Canterbury bells.
The proposal had come from Jane. "They're blue and that's the sailor's
colour and bells are nautical too." So Judith gave in gracefully and the
five of them pooled their contributions and stipulated what they wanted,
a row of Canterbury bells in the perennial border. Nancy was strong on
perennials. "We don't want flowers that will die off," she said
emphatically, "but something that will come up every year."

"Won't it be nice!" said Judith. "One spring morning the Major will come
in to breakfast with the cheerful news, 'Spring has come, my dear, the
Peggy Forrest (her violets, you know) are coming up under the birch
tree. Come and see them.'"

"And Mrs. Major," finished Nancy, laughing, "will say, 'Please sit down,
the coffee will be cold in another minute.'"

Saturday morning saw the delegation packed into the school motor off to
town under the chaperonage of Miss Watson. No one noticed now, you may
be sure, how many _r's_ the good lady rolled and her reminiscences of
"Roses I have known" were received with the greatest respect. It took
them a long time to decide, even with their lists culled from the
catalogues and suggestions obtained from Jennings, but finally every one
was satisfied, and they carried off a box full of the little wooden tags
which Rosamond had wisely suggested.

The business in hand being disposed of, their thoughts turned with
amazing promptness to ice-cream. Now according to custom permission
might be desired (probably) and received (possibly) for ice-cream after
a special visit into town during the week, but on Saturday mornings the
shopping party were under instructions to return home promptly when the
necessary "shopping" was completed. This expedition seemed to come under
neither heading; true, it was Saturday morning, but then it was not the
regular shopping party. After some whispered coaxing, Nancy was
prevailed upon to put the delicate question to Miss Watson. She summoned
her sweetest and most guileless smile as she broached the subject, but
Miss Watson was ready for her. "I was sure you'd ask, so I got
permission from Miss Marlowe for you to have one dish at Huyler's or
Page & Shaw's. We'll have to hurry." Miss Watson's popularity was

The committee worked hard for an hour after lunch, but finally the last
of the tags was allotted and distributed, and those who were going out
were exhorted not to come back without their rhymes, as they must be
ready for Monday. Miss Meredith had issued orders that Miss Ashwell, who
was relieved of all school duties for this last week, must be quite free
after Tuesday, so the showers were to be held on Monday and Tuesday. The
staff were having a supper-party on Saturday night when the china was to
be presented, and altogether Miss Ashwell was to be a much-fêted person.

"Of course the Old Girls will do something nice," said Nancy--"trust
them. I guess Susanne is waiting until the out-of-town girls come. Miss
Ashwell has been secretary of the Old Girls for two years, so she
specially belongs to them. I wonder what they will do."

The next week was packed full to overflowing with good times. First came
the kitchen shower which the Domestic Science Form had planned as their
share in the festivities.

Judith and Nancy were not invited to the party, but they coaxed Helen to
let them see the big clothes-basket full of mysterious little parcels
looking very bride-like in their white tissue and satin ribbons.

"Miss Ashwell has got to guess what's in each one," explained Helen
importantly as she cut cake, "and if she doesn't guess right, the parcel
belongs to Major Phillips. Well, just a small piece, Nancy; here, Judy,
you can have the plate to scrape."

The two were still busily scraping chocolate icing out of a bowl when
the strains of the wedding march were heard in the next room, and,
peeping through the crack of the kitchen door, they beheld a rather
flustered-looking Miss Ashwell trying to guess the first parcel.

Helen shooed them off, declaring they had no manners at all, and that
they had better see that they were ready for their own party.

Judith and Nancy were indignant at the implication that they were not
well prepared for the morrow, but just before "Lights out" bell sounded,
Judith asked Sally May to let her see the rhyme for the Canterbury bells

"Why--I thought you and Nancy were doing it. I heard you trying to get a
rhyme for 'Susan.'"

"Well, we couldn't," said Judith weakly; "I thought you had one written

"We'll have to get up at six o'clock, every one of us," declared Nancy;
"put a pencil and paper beside your bed; each of us has got to have a
rhyme and then we'll choose the best."

There was much yawning and stifled groaning next morning, but Nancy was
firm and refused to retire to her own cubicle until she had seen each
member of the crew provided with pencil and paper.

The fires of poetic genius burned low at such an early morning hour, but
they knew, as well as Nancy did, that there would be no time after
breakfast. So after much frowning and biting of pencils, five verses
were written, and handed to Catherine to choose the best.

It was an exciting afternoon. There was a Senior cricket match being
played and the Fifth-Formers were loath to lose one minute of that.
Judith and Nancy were especially keen to watch Catherine's play. They
would dash over to the match for ten minutes, and then race off to
squeeze lemons, or see if the cakes had come, and then back again to the

Josephine and Joyce had made a huge bouquet of tea-roses interspersed
with samples of the trees and shrubs and flowers which were to be
planted in the "White Cottage" garden. Day girls had been requested to
bring samples of cherry trees and gooseberry bushes and such things as
were not to be found at York Hill. It was a somewhat curious-looking
bouquet, however, for to each spray was attached a little wooden tag
bearing the donor's name, and a bit of paper with the accompanying

Miss Ashwell looked adorably pretty, they all agreed, when she and Miss
Meredith joined them in the latter's garden after the cricket match. The
guests were escorted to the wicker chairs under the trees and the girls
seated themselves on rugs.

There was a moment's pause. Miss Ashwell confessed afterwards to a
feeling of nervousness as to what was going to happen to her, for the
day before, without a moment's notice, she had been literally showered
with hankies by the little First-Formers. However, Sally May was
discovered on her feet about to make a speech. Sally May, usually so
glib of tongue, moistened her lips several times, and then, holding out
the bouquet, she delivered at breakneck speed the little speech which
she had composed--and fortunately memorized--for the occasion.

"Had the fright of my life, my dear," she whispered to Judith
afterwards. "I felt like Alice in Wonderland growing taller and taller
every moment--expected to be lost in the tree-tops. I'll never, never,
never try to make a speech again."

Miss Meredith, who had also been presented with a bunch of lovely roses,
leaned forward to examine Miss Ashwell's.

"Yours seems to be an unusually interesting bouquet, my dear," she
observed. "May I see one of those butterflies? He seems to be on an
apple-tree bough." And unfolding the wings of the butterfly--the
butterflies were Five B's idea--she read:

       "Drifting from the apple boughs, foam of pink and white
        Rippling through the branches in the green spring light;
        All the elfin breezes in the world, you see,
        Have come to play at snowflakes in your apple tree."

"_Your_ apple tree! how charming!" said Miss Meredith; "who is the fairy
godmother who is going to give you such a fascinating tree?" And taking
up the little wooden tag she read, "St. Lawrence Apple, Frances Purdy."

"Miss Ashwell must read the next one," said Joyce after Frances's rhyme
had been applauded, and she grinned rather wickedly as Miss Ashwell
took the green branch held out to her and read the tag:

        "Black currants, you know,
         In your garden which grow,
         Have more uses than perhaps you would think;
         When hubby's in bed, with a cold in his head,
         You may give him a black-currant drink."

Miss Ashwell's cheeks were as pink as the lovely rose from whose stalk
she hurriedly took the next verse:

        "Roses pink and white and nodding,
         Roses drenched with dew;
         What would you have but roses
         By a cottage built for two?"

Rosamond's effort was the signal for a burst of merriment:

        "This bush will bring you wit and mirth,
             You'll happy be and merry,
         For in your house you'll never have
             A goose, but nice goose-berry."

"I wanted to say gooseberry pies," said Rosamond, "but it wouldn't
rhyme." And she couldn't understand why their laughter was redoubled.

The crew of the "Jolly Susan" were becoming uneasy. Would Miss Ashwell
overlook the bluebells in Five A's bouquet? Nancy held up the flowers
for Miss Ashwell to choose, and rather ostentatiously turned the
bluebells towards her, but she perversely chose Olivia's pansies. Five
o'clock had rung and the maids were crossing the lawn with trays of the
inevitable cake and lemonade. The crew felt desperate. Perhaps it was a
case of telepathy, for, with her hand hovering over Marjorie's
hollyhocks, Miss Ashwell seemed to change her mind and took up instead
the bluebells:

        "Bells from a crew of pirates bold
           That sail the 'Jolly Susan,'
         With bells the time is always told
           When our good ship's a-cruisin,'
         Heave-aho, my laddies, oh,
           All the bells are swinging,
         Flower-bells and ship bells, for your wedding ringing."

"They are to be Canterbury bells really," explained Josephine to Miss
Ashwell as the lemonade was being served and the rest of the tags were
being passed about so that they might all be read. "We hope you'll plant
them in a long row: Canterbury was an awfully hard word to put into a
poem, you know."

"It's the nicest verse of all," declared Miss Ashwell. "They'll be
lovely in a row. What a garden I'm going to have!"

Nancy and Judith lingered after the party broke up. They made themselves
very busy clearing away lemonade glasses and stray chairs just out of
earshot of Miss Ashwell and Miss Meredith, who were talking busily. They
hoped within themselves that Miss Meredith would depart, and Judith
hoped that Nancy would go, and Nancy hoped that Judith would go.

But the five-thirty bell sounded and Nancy reluctantly went off to a
music-lesson. Judith gathered up some bits of paper under a peony bush
and with a sigh of relief saw Miss Meredith hurry away. Now was her
chance. She waylaid Miss Ashwell at the door.

"Oh, Judy, it's been the loveliest party ever," said Miss Ashwell,
putting her arm round Judith and giving her a happy little hug; "the
nicest party I ever was at. However did you think of it all?"

And be it recorded in Judith's favour that she did not claim credit for
the idea.

"We're awfully glad you liked it, for we wanted to give you something
that wouldn't let you forget us." How ever was she to tell Miss Ashwell
how she was going to miss her next year. "I'm glad to be one of the
Canterbury bells, but I wanted a special flower of my own for you,
something that would be sweet and rosy and--and--dear, so please don't
let any one else give you a climbing rose because I want to give you one
that will climb up and knock at your window in the early morning and
say--" But she couldn't get any further. She had suddenly realized that
in two weeks' time Miss Ashwell would be gone, that she loved her, and
hated to think that next year some one else would be in the dear little
room at the end of the corridor where she had so often found rest and
comfort. A miserable lump swelled in her throat--she couldn't say
another word.

"I know," said Miss Ashwell; "the roses will tap at the window and say,
'Get up, lazy person, and come out and weed the garden and clip the
roses before breakfast,' or, 'Hurry, hurry, Judith and Nancy and all the
rest of them are coming down to-day for lunch, this is a gala day,' or
perhaps they'll just be fragrant and lovely and bring sweet remembrances
of York Hill and Judith."

"Thank you," said Judith rather hoarsely, but she went away brimful of
happiness because she knew that once more Miss Ashwell had understood.



JUDITH woke early Friday morning with a feeling that something was going
to happen. "What is it?" she asked herself sleepily. "An examination?
No! Thank goodness, they are all over for this year." Now she
remembered, this was the day of the Reunion--and the Wedding! No wonder
that she felt that something was going to happen. What a day it was
going to be!

She stretched lazily, and instantly Nancy, who heard her moving,

"You awake, Judy? I can't sleep. The Old Girls are coming to-day. Oh,
Goody! Goody! If the bell doesn't ring soon I'll burst. I simply must
shout a little bit."

Nancy's smiling face appeared over the wall of the cubicle.

"Let's get up and be all dressed when the bell does ring, and then we
can slip out into the garden."

"We'll have to be awfully quiet going for our baths," objected Judith,
who didn't feel as energetic as Nancy appeared to be; "you go first."

Nancy agreed, but when she came back all rosy from her bath Judith was
sound asleep. Nancy tiptoed over to the bed determined to wash the
sleeper's face with a bath-sponge, when something in the utter
relaxation of Judith's attitude struck her. Judith was tired, very
tired. "And no wonder," thought Nancy, as she stole quietly and with
infinite precautions back to her own room, "it makes me tired even to
_think_ of all we've done this week, and all there is to do yet, but
it's awfully jolly. Poor Judy! What a good thing she's got her speech
all ready for to-night. I am glad she isn't on the refreshment

There was an air of excitement in the dining-room even at
breakfast-time. Reminiscences of Old Girls were the order of the day,
and Judith learned the names of some of the more famous graduates. She
must look out for Kathryn Fleming, who had been singing in New York all
season, but she couldn't miss her, she wasn't the sort who was easily
overlooked; and Julia Weston, a judge of the Juvenile Court out West;
and Penelope Adams, who had married a millionaire and was a great
belle; and Martha Penrose, who was just "the sweetest little Virginian
you ever saw"; and her chum, Winifred Freeman, who was matron of a big
hospital; and Kitty Fisken, the artist; and Isobel Grier, who married
Professor Mitchell. Judith finally put her fingers in her ears.

"Don't tell me about any more of them," she begged. "I'm beginning to
get the same dazed feeling I had the first night I was here--I felt
smothered in people."

Breakfast was usually a rather quiet time, but to-day there was such a
clattering and chattering that Miss Langton rang the bell and asked for
"Lower voices, please." Judith's neighbour, Marjory, grinned.

"This isn't anything to what it will be by to-morrow," she said.

Even the maids seemed infected by the spirit of gaiety, but if they
moved more briskly than usual perhaps it was because they knew that
there would be many extra tables for them to serve at luncheon-time.

By nine o'clock the noise in the corridor was deafening. Old Girls could
evidently make a row when they chose. Such cries of joy on meeting
their special pals! Such questionings and laughings! Such greetings with
the Staff who forgot all about their waiting forms in their desire to
welcome So-and-So and to hear the latest news of some one else! Miss
Martin gave them ten minutes' grace before the bell rang for prayers,
and then the Old Girls joined the Sixth and took their places in Big
Hall once more. How happy Miss Meredith looked as the hymn was sung.

Judith found it difficult to listen to the reading of the lesson; she
wished she had eyes in the back of her head to see the Old Girls with
the Sixth. Nancy had told her before prayers that Evelyn Coulson, last
year's Captain, had arrived, and Penelope Adams, looking perfectly
stunning, and Dr. Mary Burgess, who had been in command of a Woman's
Hospital Unit in Serbia. Judith wanted to see her most of all, and she
wondered if Aunt Nell were with the others.

Prayers over, they went back to their form rooms, the Old Girls crowding
into the Sixth-Form room for a talk from Miss Meredith; but Miss
Meredith was detained for a few moments and they had a chance for

"Do you remember Miss Watson's plaid skirt? My dear, she has on the
identical skirt now and her hair is just the same, only more so."

"Do you remember the time, Kathryn, you had to learn the 116th Psalm for
Miss Meredith, and thought she said the 119th?" said a plump young
matron with the contented look which belongs to mothers of happy little
families. "_I_ remember if you don't for you made our nights and days
miserable hearing you, and then it was all a mistake."

"Do you remember the first debate we had on woman's rights? Gracious me,
we thought we were advanced thinkers and no mistake."

"Do you remember the time Grace Wilton tried to trick the Infirmary
nurse by pouring her dose of castor oil down a rubber tube attached to a
bottle hid in her blouse, and how she poured it down the tube all right,
but not into the bottle? She _was_ in a mess."

"And do you remember Alice Roberts, when we had the measles epidemic,
rubbing her chest with a stiff hairbrush and complaining of headache so
that when nurse looked at her she sent her off to the Isolation
House--to join her special pal?"

The Sixth hung on the outskirts of the crowd drinking in stories of the
good old days, and then there was a sudden quiet in the room; Miss
Meredith had returned and was standing by the desk looking at them so
tenderly, so understandingly, that every girl knew that the Head
Mistress had come in to them with the prayer in her heart that she might
be able to give a message of strength and inspiration.

Such prayers are answered.

After the lesson the Old Girls moved away in little groups down to the
Big Hall where they were to have their annual business meeting. A great
deal of business was despatched during the next hour; notices of motion
were given for the next meeting, the reports of various committees were
read and approved, the question of this year's administration of the
scholarship fund discussed with much interest, and suggestions made as
to the form which this year's gift to the School should take. The
President got through the business on hand as quickly as possible, for,
as she pointed out, they had a real York Hill wedding on their hands,
and the meeting adjourned to decorate Big Hall for the ceremony. They
left it a bower of beauty. Some of the Old Girls had motored out to the
country and brought great masses of white and purple lilac, and
sweet-scented syringa, and big jars held the roses that the bride loved.

Judith and the rest of the "Jolly Susan" crew had begged to be allowed
to help since they were Miss Ashwell's own cubicle girls, and they had a
joyous time unpacking flowers which kept arriving, speculating as to the
bride's gown, and wondering what they would feel like if they were going
to be married that very afternoon.

"Next year won't be a bit the same," mourned Judith as she handed
festoons of green to Nancy who was decorating the front of the platform.
"Miss Ashwell will be gone and Catherine and Eleanor. I don't see
whatever we'll do."

"Oh, it'll be up to us," laughed Nancy, stepping back to admire the

"Us?" said Judith, aghast. "Why, I never thought of that before. I
suppose we will be in the Sixth Form."

"Well, you're going to be," said Nancy with conviction. "I don't know
whether I'll manage it or not. Oh, we'll have heaps to do next year,
never fear. Let's go and dress now so we'll have plenty of time to
arrange the last things for the supper."

Jane and Josephine were discussing the possibility of the bride
appearing in a real wedding gown. To Judith's disappointment the popular
vote seemed against it, since the wedding had been so hurriedly
arranged. But when a little later Miss Ashwell looking her loveliest
came down the aisle on Miss Meredith's arm, the most romantic of her
romantic audience was satisfied with her truly bride-like appearance.
Some of the girls afterwards could tell any number of details about the
way the orange blossoms fastened her veil, and how the long train was
lined, and whether her shoe buckles were of silver or of brilliants, but
Judith had eyes only for the lovely face with its expression of serene
and radiant happiness.

Judith had hoped that she would have a chance for a last word of
good-bye, but outside on the lawn the Old Girls and Staff crowded around
the bride and monopolized her, and the School gave itself up
philosophically to an orgy of ice-cream and bride's cake. Then in some
magical way the bride was spirited away to change for the journey, and
all Judith could hope for was a word at the very end or at least a
piece of the bride's bouquet which was tossed out of the carriage. But
she seemed doomed to disappointment. Miss Ashwell was gone without a
word and Judith turned and fled to her room. To her surprise she found
Elise, Miss Meredith's maid, just leaving the "Jolly Susan."

"I have put a note and parcel for you on your dressing-table, Miss
Benson," said Elise. "Mrs. Phillips said I was to be most particular to
bring it to you the minute she was gone."

"Mrs. Phillips"--Judith looked bewildered and then caught the smile on
Elise's face--"Thank you, Elise," she said breathlessly, and rushed into
her cubicle. There lay a letter and a tiny parcel. The letter first:

        JUDY DEAR--

        If I had had bridesmaids I would have asked you
        to "stand up with me." You have been a loving,
        loyal little friend, and David and I want you
        to wear this little pin as a token of our
        gratitude to our "messenger."

        Remember I am still
                      Your friend,
                              ELIZABETH ASHWELL PHILLIPS.

For a moment a suspicious moisture blinded Judith's eyes; then curiosity
urged her to open the little white box. "What a _darling_ pin!" she
breathed as the lid flew back and disclosed three beautiful pearls
exquisitely set in a plain white gold bar. "And what a darling she
is--and if it had to be some one I'm glad it's the Major."


This ever-to-be-remembered day still held another great event--the
Reunion supper. So Judith dried her eyes and went out to the lawn again
where she found the Decorating Committee of the New Girls hard at work.
It was such a warm evening that permission had been given to have the
supper out on the board tennis court. Benches, which were to be used as
tables, were being carried from Big Hall and placed in a square on the
boards; rugs and sofa cushions were placed beside them, for Form Five
intended to sit cross-legged at their feast in true Eastern fashion. The
benches or tables were decorated with pretty paper napkins, and every
new girl had brought down anything she possessed in the way of a flower
vase, and these Marjorie and Frances were filling with flowers donated
by the day girls. Judith found that she could help here; her special
task was the pasting of a label bearing the owner's name on the bottom
of each vase. Althea and Marian with three or four helpers were tying
Chinese lanterns over the electric lights which Brodie had strung for
them across the boards. Sally May and her committee were engaged in
putting the last touches to the place cards, for true to her nature
Sally May had refused to be hurried and the cards were still to be

Judith felt her heart beginning to thump uncomfortably as she thought of
the toast she had to answer. Sally May was to be toastmistress and to
Judith had been given the honour of replying to the last toast--the
toast to "The School." Judith was glad that she had written out her
little speech last week, for the last few days had been so packed full
that she had not had a moment to herself.

The tables were finished to the satisfaction of every one, and then
Judith found Nancy, and asked her if she would hear her speech. They
found a secluded spot and Judith recited a little eulogy of York Hill.

"It's tremendously good, Judy," said Nancy admiringly. "I think that
part about the experiences of the first week is awfully funny, and I
like the ending too--'Ring out the old, ring in the new'--It makes us
think of next year, doesn't it?"

"I'm afraid you're not a severe critic," said Judith, flushing with
pleasure at Nancy's honest admiration, "but I want it to be my very

"Come on, you two," cried Sally May at this juncture. "Do come and see
the other tables."

They visited Nancy's table first.

"Oh, how sweet your flowers look!" said Judith, admiring the little
old-fashioned posies in their stiff paper frills.

"Mrs. Hewson sent us in several boxes from her country place, and Joyce
and Phyllis made the frills. They do look quaint, don't they?"

"What thrilling place cards!" cried Sally May. "Look, Judy--four
snapshots on each one--are they all the same, Nancy?"

"Oh, no, Jane and Marjorie collected eight or ten snaps from the girls
who had cameras and then they printed enough for every one to have four.
Every one has some view or other of the School, and every one has a
picture of one of the prefects."

"Here's a perfectly sweet one of Catherine," said Judith, pouncing on
one on the other side of the table; "here's Miss Meredith's house--and
what's this?" Squeals of delight from both of them.

"Oh, it's Josephine and Jane in their carnival costumes, and here's
Eleanor at the wicket. Oh, Nancy, what perfectly glorious place cards!
Wouldn't I just love to have one!"

"Wait till next year," said Nancy; "but I'll try to get some of the
snaps for you," she added in a lower tone as a dozen or more New Girls
came in to admire.

"Come on over and see ours now," said Judith hospitably. "I'm dying
myself to see our place cards. Sally May has kept them a great secret."

Nancy was appreciative and admired the lights and the paper napkins, and
then the place cards came in for their share of praise. Sally May's
cheeks grew pink with pleasure as Judith and Nancy became more and more
enthusiastic. Sally May was really very clever with her pencil and on
each card she had drawn a little sketch reminiscent of the New Girls'
Play at Christmas. Scrooge was there, of course, "before and after,"
Judith said laughingly as she ran from one place to another--and Tiny
Tim, and Bob Cratchit, and the boy with the turkey, and the ghost, and
Martha. Sally May had looked up several illustrated editions of the
"Christmas Carol" and Miss Carlton had given her and Florence permission
to work on the cards during Studio hours. They had taken ever so long,
but Florence had been a brick and they were finished at last. Edith and
Helen had printed in the toast list.

Judith shivered as she saw her name at the bottom of the list. How she
wished she had spent more time on her speech--how _could_ she put into
words at all what she felt about the School?

She felt this more keenly than ever before as she stood arm in arm with
Nancy and looked in through the windows of the dining-hall at the tables
prepared for the Old Girls. She heard Nancy and Sally May exclaiming
over the lovely irises which decked the long tables, but she was
thinking of the girls who had gathered from all over the wide Dominion
to visit again their old School. Judith had felt vaguely the same
emotion as she saw the Old Girls marching into Big Hall in the morning,
but she felt it now with a rush of warm feeling--School seemed
infinitely more dear, more worth while, bigger. There must be something
very big in York Hill, she thought, something very strong, to draw back
every year these hundreds of Old Girls.

Nancy was pointing out celebrities. "That must be Kathryn Fleming. Isn't
she simply stunning?" she said, as a tall, fair-haired woman in
gold-and-white brocade entered the Hall; "and there's Judge Weston and
Miss Fisken--what a gorgeous gown!--looks Chinese. I wonder who that
small, black-haired girl is! She looks as if she played the violin or
wrote plays or something."

"She probably stays at home and dusts the drawing-room," said Judith,

"Don't be horrid," pouted Sally May. "Oh, there's Mrs. Dexter. Wouldn't
it be thrilling to be President? You'd make a good President, Judy,
you're so tall. Come on,[1]

       *       *       *       *       *

They found numbers of the New Girls already standing about under the
Chinese lanterns admiring the work of the Decorating Committee, and some
of them, we regret to add, casting hungry glances at the rolls and salad
which were already on the table.

Judith found herself seated next to Sally May and opposite Frances, who
was to reply to the toast to "Our first days at York Hill."

How they enjoyed their supper! For once, to be able, while at School, to
have exactly what you desired to eat, limited only, of course, by the
amount of the tax levied on each member! Marjorie and Edith, who had
been responsible for the ordering of the food, had many congratulations
passed down to their end of the table, and Sally May felt amply repaid
for the trouble she and her committee had taken with the place cards
when she heard the exclamations of delight on all sides.

Judith, already excited and keyed up by the events of the day, and
susceptible as always to beauty in any shape or form, could hardly eat
at all. It was an exquisite June evening. The magic and charm of the
coloured lanterns, the warm splashes of colour made by the sweater coats
and cushions, the soft, rosy glow of the fading sunset, and the silver
of a young moon, all made for Judith a veritable fairy-land. If only she
hadn't to answer the toast she could be perfectly and absolutely happy.

But all too soon lemonade glasses were refilled for the toasts, and
Joyce fidgeted and cleared her throat preparatory to giving "The King."
"God save the King" was sung with a will, and then Frances proposed "Our
Country" and this was followed by "O Canada," and "My Country, 'tis of
Thee." Marjorie had brought her violin to accompany the songs, and the
thin, silvery notes and the clear, fresh voices of the singers sent
little shivery thrills of pleasure up and down Judith's spine.

Judith's toast was coming now. Quite suddenly she knew that she hadn't
been able to realize before what York Hill stood for--to herself, to all
these New Girls, and to all the Old Girls who had come back to pay a
tribute to the School they loved. Whatever could she do? She tried to
think of something else to say, but Frances Purdy was speaking now and
the bursts of laughter all about were too infectious to withstand.
Frances was describing the woes of her first week. She had been told
that she must say "ma'am" to all the Sixth-Form girls, and that new
girls must get up before the others and have their baths before the bell
rang, and she convulsed her audience by a description of her first
ecstatic experience in the tuck shop. She had been informed that the
School provided buns and milk at recess, and meeting a neighbour who was
consuming a particularly luscious-looking Chelsea bun at recess-time,
she enquired where they were to be found. She was directed to the tuck
shop in the gymnasium, where she spent some happy moments choosing buns
and cakes and sweets, all of which the presiding genius had asserted, in
answer to her enquiries, she might have at recess. Her admiration for a
School where this kind of thing was done was only equalled by her dismay
when she discovered her mistake and was requested to hand over
twenty-three cents!

And now came the last and most important toast of all, and the School
song was sung with a right good will. Judith stood up and found herself
in the grip of an emotion stronger than herself. She looked out through
the trees where she saw the lights streaming out from the dining-hall
where the Old Girls were gathered; away off to the right was Miss
Meredith's green-shaded lamp burning on her study table; in front she
could see the lights in the common room and the library; here beside her
was the gymnasium where most of her own particular friends were sitting
at another table--and all these people were bound together by one
thing--love and loyalty to York Hill.

The song was ended--they were waiting for her to speak; here and there
in the semi-darkness she could distinguish a puzzled face; had they
been waiting long? With an effort she opened her paper, no, it wouldn't
do--she crushed it in her hand and waited for a minute till her heart
should stop throbbing in her throat. Then she spoke, falteringly at

"Some of us were conceited--and--selfish. We thought about ourselves
mostly when we came here last September, but York Hill has made us
despise our littleness and long to be bigger and broader; some of us
didn't know how to use our bodies or our brains, but the School has
taught us how to be true sports and how to think straight; some of us
had mighty small ideals about what things really mattered; but York Hill
has shown us how 'to play the game, and be true to the best we know.'"
Judith faltered as she remembered how many times she had failed to live
up to that best, her voice broke, and tears shone on her lashes. "Some
of us are little fools--but we're going to see to it that we don't stay
fools, we're going to be women that York Hill will be proud of when we
come back to the Old Girls' Reunion."

And then she sat down feeling limp and tired and wishing that she could
run upstairs to her room and hide her head under the pillows. But the
girls were applauding whole-heartedly.

"It's awfully kind of them," thought Judith; "they know how miserable I
feel breaking down like that--in front of everybody."

"You made the speech of the evening, Judy," said Sally May as Judith
joined her a little later in the Gymnasium for the Sixth-Form Dance.

"Don't be silly, Sally May. I failed, that's what I did, and just when I
wanted badly to say 'thank you' to the School."

"Of course she made the best speech," said Nancy, putting her arm
through Judith's, "Florence has been telling me about it." And Judith
greatly comforted went off to have the first dance with Nancy.


[1] Transcriber's Note: Page 253, text ends in mid-sentence in original.



AFTER the excitement of the previous day, Saturday morning felt a little
flat and insipid. There was still plenty to do--desks to clean, trunks
to pack, the last preparations to be made for to-night's play--a hundred
and one things in fact.

The crew of the "Jolly Susan" were not particularly jolly; they were
tired, and they hated to take down pictures and curtains, and dismantle
their pretty rooms.

Next year wouldn't be the same, they assured each other; they'd never be
all together again: Sally May wasn't even sure if she were returning to
York Hill. Josephine expected to be back and Jane probably, and Nancy
and Judith. Judith was glad that there wasn't any question as to whether
Nancy would return. She was rapidly coming to the place where she felt
that she simply couldn't live without Nancy. Indeed, the summer
holidays, even with Daddy and Mother home again, had seemed long and
blank until she had received permission to invite her special friend to
spend a month at the Benson's camp in the North.

        "Of all the ships that sail on land,
           There's none like 'Jolly Susan';
         Her crew works well with heart and hand,
           And sometimes they're amusin',"

sang Josephine in her deep voice. "It's the number of things I've got to
remember that's weighing down MY young mind. Judy, do come in here and
help me--you're so supernaturally tidy, perhaps _you_ can tell me how to
separate the sheep from the goats."

"Tidy, nothing," said Judith cheerfully, surveying Josephine's wardrobe
and personal belongings spread over the entire room. "But why sheep?"

"Sheep-things I keep for prize-giving, and the play and the journey;
goats--the rest, all of which must go into the big trunk and depart in
two hours for the station. I know I'll pack my white slippers or my
toothbrush or something equally important unless some kind soul will
take me--and mine--in hand."

"Let's make a list of what you'll want for the journey," said Judith,
setting to work with a will, "then you sort and I'll pack."

"Jack and Tom are coming to-night," said Nancy, bursting into the "Jolly
Susan" a little later, holding an open letter in her hands. "Isn't Miss
Meredith a brick? She sent them special invitations when I told her Jack
was still in town."

Nancy looked excited and beckoned Judith into her room where she pointed
to two violet-coloured boxes.

"They've sent us the loveliest flowers," she said in a low tone; "it's a
shame we can't have them at prize-giving, but only the Sixth carry
flowers--let's put them in water and we'll wear them to-night at the

Judith took off the wrappings. "AREN'T they adorable? I never saw such
darling little roses--how AWFULLY nice of them!"

Judith had never had flowers sent to her before and she felt that it was
quite an occasion, and in some mysterious way marked the fact that she
was growing up and next year would be in the Sixth. It WAS exciting.

"The play's to begin at seven sharp," called Jane. "Did you see the
notice?--early lunch and an hour's quiet before prize-giving. What a

"I'll be glad of it," said Sally May. "I'm not altogether sure of some
of my speeches. I know I'm going to be fearfully nervous."

"I'll hear you after lunch," said Judith--"'I have a high respect for
your nerves, Mrs. Bennet. They are my old friends. I have heard you
mention them with consideration these twenty years at least!'"

"I believe you know at least half of 'Pride and Prejudice' by heart,"
said Nancy admiringly.

"Well, not half," Judith laughed, "but I love it. I'd rather play
Elizabeth myself than any other part I know, and so I'm just crazy glad
that Catherine's going to do it. Miss Marlowe didn't want to give
Catherine another heavy part after being Viola and she tried Helen and
Esther, but they simply couldn't do it. Catherine is too sweet for
words. You should hear her say to Mr. Collins, 'Do not consider me now
as an elegant female, intending to plague you!' Catherine an elegant
female! Mr. Collins is simply killing. I do hope Eleanor will be careful
of the coat--it's really too tight for her."

"You're a brick, Judy," said Josephine appearing in the doorway. "The
trunk is ready for Brodie. My word, what stunning roses! No, don't tell
me who sent 'em. I'll have three guesses."

"Come on," cried Judith hurriedly, "we've got to see that everything is
in place for to-night. Patricia said we were to be in the gym by eleven

And she rushed off followed more slowly by Josephine who vowed that she
wasn't going to escape a chaffing by such diplomatic exits.

Patricia and several of the Properties Committee were already at work.
Brodie and Robert had put up the extension to the platform, the
footlights and the big green curtains, and had brought over from Miss
Meredith's house some charming pieces of old mahogany; the scenery
painted by the Studio class was stacked against the wall; in fact all
the materials out of which was to be evolved an eighteenth-century
drawing-room were ready at hand.

"Josephine, you and Rosamond take this list and check it over please to
make certain that everything's ready for Edith. Be SURE you don't
forget a single thing--we'll be in a fearful rush after prize-giving.
Seven is a perfectly awful hour to begin. Now keep your wits about you,
Josephine--go over everything carefully."

"Right-o," replied Josephine; "give a dog a bad name--and hang him. No
one believes in me just because my hair is untidy. You'll live to see
the day, Patricia, when--"

"Clear out," said Patricia, laughing at Josephine's solemn indignation.
"I've got millions of things to do--now, please look after your share.
Come on, Judy, let's tackle this parlour."

"Oh, how sweet!" cried Judith as they pulled out the big awkward screen.
"Three cheers for the Studio girls! Wherever did you get such
old-fashioned wall-paper, Peggy?"

"Miss Ashwell found it in one of the shops," said Peggy, "and we painted
the border ourselves to match the chintz. Aren't those frilly little
petticoats for the chairs the cunningest things?"

They worked hard for a couple of hours, and when curtains were hung at
the windows which gave glimpses of an old-fashioned garden, and pictures
and bric-à-brac, such as our grandmothers loved, in their appointed
places, they felt that the result justified their labours.

Judith produced a list and checked it over--yes, everything was ready
but the candlesticks, and she'd get those now, and remind Patricia about
the draperies which were to transform Mrs. Bennet's parlour into a
ball-room or Lady de Burgh's drawing-room.

"It's charming," declared Miss Marlowe who had come in just before.
"Congratulations, Patricia, you've certainly done your share towards
making to-night a success. And you're ready in such good time--it's nice
not to have a rush at the end."

"That's really owing to Judy, Miss Marlowe," said Patricia quickly; "she
and the others, too, have been splendid."

"I'm glad you've had such good helpers," said Miss Marlowe, giving
Judith a special smile of approval. "I shan't give a thought to the
stage management, Patricia; I'll leave that and the properties to
you--there are one or two who still need help with their parts and I
want to give them every moment possible."

Judith fairly glowed with happiness as she watched Miss Marlowe
disappearing down the hall. Miss Marlowe's words of praise were eagerly
prized--they really meant something. Like most other people Judith loved
to be approved of, and she had lived these last few days in an
atmosphere of admiration. She was this afternoon to receive a special
prize in English, and the second prize for General Proficiency in her
Form. She had won the tennis trophy for her House, and in many little
ways latterly the Senior girls and her own friends had shown her that
they turned to her as to a leader; she knew that it was whispered about
that next year she and Nancy would probably be prefects. It would be
hard, of course, but it would be awfully nice--

Patricia broke in upon her happy musings by calling to Josephine who was
leaving the Hall.

"Is everything O.K. in the make-up room, Jo?"

"Molly Seaton's wig hasn't come yet, but Stewarts say they'll have it
here by three o'clock," answered Josephine.

"And they promised faithfully to have it here last night," said Patricia
disgustedly. "Now will you be certain sure to get it from the parcel
room and see that Molly has it in plenty of time. I'll make the two of
you responsible--Judy, you remind her--we go straight to the
drawing-room for the reception after prize-giving and--"

"Don't worry your fussy old self," said Josephine cheerfully; "nobody
really believes in me, but Judy never forgets. We'll put the wig with
our own fair hands on Molly Seaton's head. Come on, Judy, and see if
Cathy's flowers have come yet."

Upstairs everything was in delightful confusion: trunks were being
carried off, last packings attended to, every one was visiting every one
else, and every one was doing her best to make her voice heard above the
general confusion.

After luncheon white frocks were donned for prize-giving, and then the
younger girls went about in groups visiting the graduating Sixth Form
and admiring their flowers.

The crew of the "Jolly Susan" had clubbed together to buy roses for
their Captain.

"We can't get blue roses," Nancy had said regretfully, "but let's get
the palest pink we can find and tie them with blue gauze. I'm afraid
that's all we can do to suggest sailor boys. Whatever shall we do
without her next year?"

There were beautiful flowers everywhere they went, but the crew were
quite convinced when they came back to the "Jolly Susan" that none were
lovelier than theirs, and most certainly no one to compare with
Catherine herself.

Prize-giving proved even more exciting than Judith had anticipated. "If
only Daddy and Mother could have been here," she thought, as she took
her place in the long line of white-frocked girls and looked a bit
wistfully at the big audience which held the girls' fathers and mothers.
But that must be Uncle Tom--yes, it was, and Aunt Nell--bless them. She
wouldn't feel lonely now. And yes--there were Tom and Jack. Then Judith
remembered that she mustn't look about the audience, but keep her mind
on the programme. She looked down at the printed sheet in her hand, but
she knew quite well where they were sitting, and Jack's friendly smile
was the first she saw when she came down from the platform with her
prizes in her hand.

Prize-giving was an especially important event for the Sixth, who were
graduating. To them it was perhaps the greatest moment of the year, for
the receiving of diploma or certificate, seeming to mark a parting of
the ways, was bitter sweet--bright with hopes of the joys to come, but
tinged with regret for "the great glad days" that were now left behind.

The School gave them a great ovation. Judith, looking at the group of
prefects and captains who received a special pin as a badge of honour,
echoed Nancy's cry--how COULD they get along without them next year?

Miss Meredith held a reception afterwards on the lawn, for it was a
perfect June day. Judith carried her prizes proudly for Aunt Nell and
Uncle Tom to inspect.

"I didn't trip after all, Aunt Nell," she said laughingly; "if you only
knew how relieved I was to think that I had made my curtsey and was down
from the platform without mishap!"

Jack and Tom with Sally May and Nancy joined the group and
congratulations were the order of the day. Sally May had a prize for
sketching to exhibit, and Nancy one for fine sewing.

It was a gay, delightful party, and when messengers began to send round
word that actors and committee members must go in for early tea in order
to be ready in good time for the play, Judith could hardly believe that
prize-giving was really over.

Judith and Nancy had still so much to discuss concerning the day's
happenings that they refused to be separated, and Judith, who was to
help change the scenery, established Nancy in a corner beside her so
that she could share in the fun behind the scenes.

Nancy was loud in her praises of the quaintness of the stage-setting,
and Judith, feeling delightfully superior and important, enjoyed herself
enormously showing Nancy how they had contrived this and that to better
the effect.

Peeping around one corner of the curtain they could see the audience
arriving, and behind in the make-up room there was a buzz of voices and
a general feeling of excitement which was quite thrilling.

Presently the hall was full, the orchestra had finished their overture,
and had begun all over again, but the actors did not appear. Something
must have gone wrong.

"Miss Marlowe _will_ be annoyed," whispered Judith to Nancy. "She simply
hates being late." And curiosity tempted her to slip into the
dressing-room to see what was happening.

The room was humming with repressed excitement; last touches of rouge
were being added; Lady Catherine de Burgh was walking solemnly up and
down before a mirror practising the art of making her plumes "nod
majestically," Sally May was saying feverishly over and over again, "My
dear Mr. Bennet, have you heard that Netherfield Park is let at
last?"--"If I can just keep talking I won't be nervous," she confided to
Jane--"My dear Mr. Bennet, have you heard that Netherfield Park--";
Althea (Bingley) was practising bows with Josephine in a secluded corner
of the adjoining room, and Catherine was having the finishing touches
put to her pretty curls. Everything seemed as it should be--no, Mr.
Bennet (Molly Seaton) was protesting almost tearfully to Miss Marlowe,
"It was never given to me: Patricia said it was late and she'd look
after it." Judith's face flamed--Molly's wig! She had entirely forgotten

"Where is Patricia?" said Miss Marlowe in a voice whose quality made the
room suddenly become perfectly quiet. Judith tried to speak, but her
lips and throat had suddenly become quite dry. How could she tell Miss
Marlowe it was her fault!

Sally May was speaking--something about a telegram and Patricia--Judith
didn't hear her--a furious argument was raging within her--with
lightning-like speed Top Self and Deep-Down Self strove for mastery.
"How can you tell Miss Marlowe it's your fault--after the way you've
been trusted and looked up to?--It was Josephine's job, anyway--you did
yours"--"But of course you can't let Patricia be blamed"--"Miss Marlowe
will never forgive you"--"You can't let Patricia be blamed for it--you
WERE to remind--"

The silence had penetrated to the far corner and as Judith opened her
lips to speak, Josephine's horrified tones were heard.

"It's my fault, Miss Marlowe, Patricia asked me to look after it."

"You, Josephine?" Miss Marlowe's tones were icy. "Well, you have been
consistently careless all year: I wonder that you were given any

Judith could not bear that.

"Miss Marlowe," she began in a voice which sounded curiously thin and

But the words were drowned in Sally May's shout:

"Why, here's the box--it's been under this cloak all the time."

The others bent forward to see the precious wig, and Top Self was quick
to make one more effort.

"What a little thing to make such a tremendous fuss about! No one has
seen you--just slip off again to your post, and when Josephine tells you
about it you can take your share of the blame then--Miss Marlowe doesn't
want to be bothered with any one else confessing to something that's all
over with now--why, it will even look like pretending to be too honest
if you interrupt her now--"

Top Self probably had any number of arguments besides; these flashed
through her mind in a second, but Deep-Down Self answered them in a most
wonderful way and just as quickly. Thinking about it afterwards, Judith
couldn't understand how the most important thing that had happened to
her during the whole year could have occurred in a second or two, and
she found it very difficult to put into words, even for herself, just
how Deep-Down Self had conquered. It seemed as if suddenly those who
stood for the best and finest things in York Hill rose in her mind and
confronted Top Self--Catherine, Nancy, Josephine, Eleanor, Miss
Marlowe, Miss Ashwell, Miss Meredith--and when Judith had seen them she
turned again to Top Self--but Top Self had gone!

It had only taken a second of time, but even in that second fresh
tragedy had been added. The wig was a beautiful golden blonde!

"Quick, give me the powder," Miss Marlowe was saying. "Somebody get the
charcoal; we'll have to streak it a bit to make it grey."

Judith managed to get charcoal before any one else, and then said

"It's my fault as much as Josephine's, Miss Marlowe--more mine, for
Patricia told me to be sure to remind Josephine."

"You, Judith?" said Miss Marlowe coldly. "I AM surprised,"--and she
wasted no more time on Judith, who went away feeling that she could
never be happy again.

Judith didn't go back to Nancy, she wanted to be alone. Her humiliation
was very real--not because she had forgotten, though it HAD hurt her
pride to think that she had been careless. But there was a deeper hurt
than that--she had actually hesitated to take her share of the blame, in
spite of precept and example in her home, and here this year at York
Hill. She had almost done something quite dishonourable.

"They'd despise me if they knew," thought Judith, crouching down behind
some scenery and wishing that she could run away instead of waiting to
help. "Why, oh, why do I make so many mistakes and fail so often? But I
won't--I won't let that horrid little Top Self conquer"--and, interested
in the working of her own mind, she paused a moment to consider how
curious it was that all those faces should rise to aid her just when she
needed them--"Seemed almost as if they WERE Deep-Down Self--but of
course they couldn't be, because that's me--but it's queer--they seemed
like a part of me too--"

Just then Catherine on her way to the stage caught sight of Judith, a
crumpled little heap behind the screen. She hadn't a moment, but she
took one, nevertheless, to stop and pat the back of Judith's neck--her
face she couldn't see--and say affectionately, "Never mind, Judy,
dear--we all forget sometimes--you're O.K. really."

Just a moment--but it brought Judith up out of her gloom.

"Dear old Cathy," she said to herself as she scrambled up to watch the
heroine make her entrance, "she's a brick, a real brick--I'll NEVER do
anything I'd be ashamed to tell her about."

"Hullo!" whispered Nancy; "come on over here and you can see
better--what's the matter?"


"Well, you look--as if you'd had a small fortune left you."

"I--think--I have," said Judith soberly but happily.

"Sh--sh--sh," commanded Nancy, "they're beginning. Here, you watch from
this crack, and I'll take this one." And they were soon lost to all
sense of surroundings as they followed Jane Austen's delightful story.

Sally May was a delicious Mrs. Bennet--her archness, her querulousness,
and above all her talkativeness. Was it Sally May or Mrs. Bennet? Molly
Seaton, as Mr. Bennet, proved an excellent foil--reserved, quiet, full
of a delightful sarcastic humour.

Miss Marlowe sat in the shadow of the green curtain holding the
typewritten manuscript, ready to prompt any one who stumbled--the first
scene was always the difficult one; but it went without a hitch and
Judith was soon busily helping to transform the parlour into a
ball-room, and listening with great excitement to the applause on the
other side of the green curtains.

Then the stage was filled with dainty, slim, ringletted ladies in
high-waisted flowered frocks and gentlemen in tight breeches,
long-tailed coats, and high stocks, and the curtains rolled back to
disclose a prettier and statelier dance than a modern audience often

As the story progressed, Catherine as Elizabeth, and Eleanor as Mr.
Collins, divided the honours pretty equally. No one who had not seen
Catherine as Viola could have guessed what a charming Elizabeth she
would make, and Eleanor--well, Eleanor _was_ Mr. Collins, a very triumph
of imagination! Eleanor had not Catherine's gift, and to picture
Elizabeth's delicate subtleties and humours would have been quite beyond
her, but she had walked, and talked, and eaten with Mr. Collins until
she was that worthy gentleman's double.

Who could ever forget the courtship scene, with Mr. Collins's ponderous
declaration and dexterous withdrawal from Mrs. Bennet's clutches?
Contrary to Judith's fears, Mr. Collins's coat withstood the pressure
of his windy eloquence and all the seams held fast.

Scene followed scene. Jane's love-story and Lydia's and Elizabeth's
until the tangles, always tied in true lovers' garlands, were
disentangled one by one and Mrs. Bennet was able to sing her hymn of
joy. "Three daughters married! Ten thousand a year! What will become of
me? I shall go distracted."

It was a great success, of course, the Reunion Play always was, and each
one better than the last as every one said, but Judith and Nancy
privately decided that nothing could ever be better--it was perfect.

The play over, benches and chairs were piled up at the sides, the
orchestra played an entrancing tune, and every one danced; Mr. Collins
with Lady Catherine de Burgh, and Elizabeth with Judith, Mrs. Bennet
with Nancy, and Jane with Bingley.

Then by and by Miss Meredith gave a signal to the orchestra, and big
girls and little, Old and New, formed a great triple hand-clasped circle
and sang together as was the custom, "Should Auld Acquaintance be
Forgot?" And if some of the Old Girls found they couldn't sing at all
because their voices grew hoarse and husky, as they thought of what old
acquaintance in York Hill had meant to them and was going to mean to
their young sisters and daughters, what wonder!

It was over. The guests were moving slowly down to the drawing-rooms for
refreshments, and the School and the Old Girls crossed the quadrangle
and had their lemonade and cake in Big Hall. In twos and threes the
girls stood making plans for next year, or talking over the events of
the day.

Some one at the piano began to play "Forty Years On," the last song
always at York Hill on Prize Day.

Judith didn't want to sing--she slipped out through the open door. It
was a glorious sight, the moon was nearly full, and the quadrangle was
flooded with silvery light.

In front of her was the great main School building, its windows blazing
with light, the silhouette of the bell-tower etched against the sky. She
could hear the Old Girls behind her singing in the Gymnasium--

        "Forty years on, when afar and asunder
           Parted are those who are singing to-day,
         When you look back and forgetfully wonder
           What you were like in your work and your play."

Memories of the past year crowded into Judith's mind. The first days,
and this splendid last week; she could not put into words even to
herself what it had all meant to her, but deep within herself she
realized that Aunt Nell's wish had come true--York Hill was helping her
to be true to the best she knew.

The insistent rhythm of the chorus caught her and held her:

        "Follow up! Follow up!
           Till the field ring again and again
         With the tramp of twenty-two men--
           Follow up! Follow up!"

Judith had sung "Forty Years On" many times. It was a favourite for the
Saturday-night sing-songs, but never before had it gripped her like
this. Out into the night floated the golden notes of Kathryn Fleming's
glorious voice--

        "Oh, the great days in the distance enchanted,
           Days of fresh air in the rain and the sun
         How we rejoiced as we struggled and panted,
           Hardly believable forty years on.

        .     .     .     .     .     .     .

        "God give us bases to guard and beleaguer;
           Games to play out whether earnest or fun;
         Fights for the fearless and goals for the eager:
           Twenty, and thirty, and forty years on."

"Follow up" sang the beautiful voice--and then came the answering
refrain from hundreds of York Hill daughters--"Follow up! Follow up!"

A great wave of emotion shook Judith--the pent-up feeling of the last
few days must find expression; with an unconscious dramatic gesture she
turned to the School and held out her hands. "Oh, I WILL have big ideals
and not little ones--I wanted to say a big 'Thank you' the other night,
dear York Hill--and I couldn't--I hadn't the words--and I can't now--but
I will, I WILL follow up."


       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Notes:

   Obvious punctuation errors corrected.

   Page 11, "Nancy'" changed to "Nancy's" (Nancy's pet frock)

   Page 42, "litle" changed to "little" (blessed little mother)

   Page 92, "handerchiefs" changed to "handkerchiefs" (plenty of

   Page 109, "though" changed to "thought" (thought Judith, and)

   Page 144, "romatic" changed to "romantic" (such a romantic)

   Page 150, "Lotos" changed to "Lotus" (The Lotus-Eaters)

   Page 158, "scarely" changed to "scarcely" (had scarcely seen)

   Page 191, "acadamic" changed to "academic" (academic hoods showed)

   Page 192, "Johnston" changed to "Johnson" to match usage in same
   paragraph (Dr. Johnson's place)

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