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Title: Brenda's Cousin at Radcliffe - A Story for Girls
Author: Reed, Helen Leah
Language: English
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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.

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                           _Copyright, 1902_,
                     By Little, Brown, and Company.
                         _All rights reserved._

                        Published October, 1902

      UNIVERSITY PRESS · JOHN WILSON AND SON · CAMBRIDGE, U. S. A.


                                   TO
                          MRS. LOUIS AGASSIZ,
           THE HONORED FIRST PRESIDENT OF RADCLIFFE COLLEGE,
                WHO HAS HAD NO SUCCESSOR IN OFFICE, AND
                       WHO CAN HAVE NO SUCCESSOR
                IN THE AFFECTION OF RADCLIFFE GRADUATES

  [Illustration: “One morning half a dozen girls clustered before the
                            bulletin board”]



                      Brenda’s Cousin at Radcliffe
                          _A Story for Girls_


                                   BY
                            HELEN LEAH REED
              Author of “Brenda, Her School and Her Club”
                   “Brenda’s Summer at Rockley,” etc.


                  ILLUSTRATED BY ALICE BARBER STEPHENS


                                 BOSTON
                       LITTLE, BROWN, AND COMPANY
                                  1903


That the young girls for whom it is written may see in “Brenda’s Cousin”
a clear picture of Radcliffe College undergraduate life is the sincere
wish of the author, who hopes also that her fellow-graduates may
overlook the one or two slight anachronisms necessary to a contemporary
picture.



                                CONTENTS


                                                            Chapter Page
  I. New Acquaintances                                                 1
  II. The Freshman Reception                                          12
  III. The First “Idler”                                              22
  IV. Pamela’s Perseverance                                           29
  V. College Callers                                                  38
  VI. Setting to Work                                                 47
  VII. All Kinds of Girls                                             56
  VIII. The Mid-years                                                 66
  IX. Two Catastrophes                                                76
  X. Discussions and Discussions                                      90
  XI. Efforts to Help                                                100
  XII. Harvard Class Day                                             115
  XIII. Various Ambitions                                            130
  XIV. In Disguise                                                   143
  XV. Angelina                                                       157
  XVI. Who Wrote It?                                                 168
  XVII. A Private Detective                                          180
  XVIII. Work and Play                                               189
  XIX. The Operetta                                                  201
  XX. Juniors                                                        211
  XXI. A Fortunate Accident                                          222
  XXII. Annabel and Clarissa                                         233
  XXIII. Clouds Cleared Away                                         243
  XXIV. Seniors All                                                  255
  XXV. A Strange Meeting                                             268
  XXVI. The House Party                                              280
  XXVII. Nearing Class Day                                           293
  XXVIII. Commencement—and the End                                   311



                             ILLUSTRATIONS
                _From Drawings by Alice Barber Stephens_


  “One morning half a dozen girls clustered before the bulletin
          board”                                          _Frontispiece_
  “‘An American girl’—she spoke with emphasis—‘is her own best
          chaperon’”                                           _Page_ 85
  “Clarissa moved about the room, explaining”                      ″ 174
  “Lois made the bandage and put it on with a professional air”    ″ 225
  “‘Julia,’ said Ruth the next morning, as the two sat in the
          conversation room”                                       ″ 274



                      BRENDA’S COUSIN AT RADCLIFFE



                                   I
                           NEW ACQUAINTANCES


A drop of ink splashed on the cover of Julia Bourne’s blue-book.

“Oh, I beg your pardon, I wasn’t thinking,” murmured an apologetic
voice, as Julia glanced up in surprise. A small, pale girl standing
beside her desk had evidently held her fountain pen point down with
disastrous result.

“Oh, it did no great harm,” responded Julia, dexterously applying her
blotter. Like the other girl, she spoke in an undertone, for silence was
still the rule of the room.

“I’m thankful, however, that my book was closed,” she said to herself,
as the other passed on. “A blot on an inner page might prejudice the
examiner, and I shall need all his good-will.”

It was the Tuesday before the opening of college, and examinations were
going on to enable some students to take off conditions imposed by the
June finals, or to permit others—like Julia—to anticipate some study of
the Freshman year.

Before handing in her book Julia corrected some errors, for there still
lacked ten minutes of the close of the examination hour. As she sat
there reading the printed questions, one by one, she was thankful for
the cool day. How insufferably hot had been those two Junes when she had
taken her preliminaries and her finals! Old Fay House then had swarmed
with girls, lively, solemn, silent, chattering, short, tall, thin,
stout, dowdy, attractive,—but why enumerate? They were as varied in
aspect, and probably in disposition, as those other girls who never
think of college. In comparison with the spring crowds, the girls to-day
were but a handful.

Julia, glancing toward the window, caught a glimpse of the yellowing
elms of Garden Street, and a soft September breeze blew across her
cheek. Then her eye wandered to the photograph over the old-fashioned
mantle-piece, and she thought that the class-room, except for its chairs
and desks, was like the sitting-room of a private house.

Julia handed in her book promptly, but some of the others gave theirs up
reluctantly, as if to say, “Oh, for ten minutes more, or even five
minutes. It would make all the difference in the world to me.” One of
these girls, who was tall and strong-looking, with short, curling hair,
expressed her feelings emphatically.

“I don’t see,” she said, as Julia and she left the room together, “how
you got through so soon. You haven’t been writing for ten minutes. Why,
if we had five hours instead of two, I should still need an hour more.
Weren’t you frightened to death at the preliminaries?”

“I barely survived,” replied Julia, entering into the other’s mood.
“There’s an art in taking examinations that I’m only beginning to
learn.”

“Well, the worst is over! Harvard, they say (and of course it’s the same
with Radcliffe), is the hardest college to enter and the easiest to
graduate from. That’s why I left my happy Western home. I don’t mind
struggling to get in, but I want an easy time after I’ve once entered
college.”

“You’re from the West?” queried Julia.

“Oh, yes, from ‘the wild and woolly West’ as you call it here. I took my
preliminaries in Chicago, although my home’s farther off. Our colleges
are just as good as any East, at least Pa says so. But I said ‘the best
isn’t too good for me, and if Harvard’s the best of all for men, why
Radcliffe must be the best for women.’ As soon as I’d thought it out I
made up my mind to come here. I couldn’t have done better, could I?”

“Why, Radcliffe has a pretty good standing in this part of the world.”

“You don’t speak with enthusiasm.”

“Oh, I was only thinking that a good education can be obtained in a
Western college. I’ve lived in the West myself,” she explained.

“Let me embrace you,” cried the Western girl, impulsively, fortunately
without suiting the action to the word.

“You see it makes me tired the way people here pretend not to know
anything about the West; but I honestly believe that you realize where
Kansas is, and that St. Louis and Chicago are a few miles apart, and
that the Mississippi is east of the Rocky Mountains.”

“Oh, you could probably give me points in Western geography.”

“Perhaps, but let me introduce myself. My name is Clarissa Herter, and
my home is Kansas. My age is a little more than it ought to be—for a
Freshman—for I’ve wasted a year at college elsewhere.”

Julia smiled at this frank inventory, and she felt that she could do no
less than tell Clarissa something about herself.

“So you’re an orphan!” cried Clarissa, “and you’ve lived with relatives
for two years or more. Well, you must have had a pretty good disposition
to stand all the wear and tear. There’s nothing so hard as living with
relatives—except one’s parents. As to your personal appearance, it suits
me right down to the ground—don’t look at your boots,” she added. “I
include them in the list.”

Just then a proctor approaching introduced to the two the timid girl who
had blotted Julia’s book.

“I asked for the introduction,” said the newcomer, whose name was
Northcote, “because I wished to apologize for my carelessness.”

“Now, really,” responded Julia, “the blot did no harm.”

“But if it had gone through the cover?”

“Oh, that would have been nothing.”

“But I fear that I did more mischief than you think. There’s a little
ink spot on the side breadth of your skirt, and I’m sure that it came
from my pen.”

“Oh,” cried Julia, looking where Pamela pointed, “that spot may have
come from my own pen; and besides, the gown has seen its best days.”

“Well, I’m very sorry,” continued Miss Northcote.

In the meantime Clarissa had risen from the low, red couch, on which
they had been sitting. “You must be a New Englander.”

“I’m from Vermont.”

“I thought so,” cried Clarissa. “You have a well-developed conscience.
You seem to be apologizing for something that perhaps you didn’t do.”

“Let us go upstairs to the library,” interposed Julia, noticing that
Miss Northcote was made uncomfortable by Clarissa’s badinage.

“Isn’t it pleasant! I had no idea it was so homelike!” exclaimed Julia
on the threshold of the library.

“Do you mean you haven’t been here before? Why, I explored the whole
building from top to bottom last June. I didn’t wait for a special
invitation,” cried Clarissa.

“It was so warm then!” Julia felt almost bound to apologize.

The room that they had entered justified the term “homelike” to the
fullest extent. It had none of the stiffness of a college hall, although
shelves of books were everywhere, always invitingly within reach. The
deep-mullioned windows, the high mantle-piece and broad fireplace all
had a decided charm. From the window that Julia approached, through the
elms that shaded Fay House, there was a glimpse of the Soldiers’
Monument on the Common, and nearer at hand the time-scarred Washington
Elm. After looking into one or two smaller rooms filled with books,
Clarissa suggested that they go into the open air.

“There must be something of the gypsy in my blood, for I begrudge every
minute spent indoors at this season. Clarissa! Clarissa!” she cried
dramatically, “you must out and walk.”

“Is your name Clarissa?” asked the Vermont girl.

“Why not? Doesn’t it suit me?”

“Well, it’s strange,” responded the other, “for I am called Pamela.”

“How odd! Why, people may begin to call us ‘the heroines,’ unless we
show them that we’re made of stronger stuff than Richardson admired.”

“Poor Richardson! How he would be horrified to see us modern girls going
to college! You must belong to sentimental families to have those
names.”

“I was named for my aunt,” explained Pamela with dignity.

“Well, I’m afraid that my mother took ‘Clarissa’ from a novel,” admitted
the Western girl.

After leaving Fay House, the two others walked with Julia toward Brattle
Street. They had gone but a short distance when Clarissa exclaimed with
surprise that it was nearly one o’clock.

“My luncheon is at half-past one,” said Julia, “but perhaps yours is
earlier.”

“Yes, at my boarding-house we are very plebeian. At one o’clock we have
dinner, not luncheon, while you, I dare say, have dinner at half-past
six.”

“Of course,” replied Julia, while Clarissa, echoing “of course,” added,
“Then you must be a regular swell. But I thought that I’d feel better to
find a boarding-place in Cambridge, where their manners and customs are
like ours at home.”

Not to leave Pamela out of the conversation, Julia asked her if she had
found a boarding-place, and Pamela replied that she had not yet decided
on a house. She might have added that all the rooms that thus far she
had seen were beyond her slender purse. Before they reached Julia’s
door, Pamela bade the others good-bye.

“She’s almost too good, isn’t she?” was Clarissa’s comment as Pamela
disappeared in the distance.

“I like her,” returned Julia, begging the question.

“Oh, so do I; with that neat little figure, and those melancholy gray
eyes, she is my very idea of a Puritan maiden. You are something like
one yourself,” she concluded, “and I hope that you’ll let me call on you
occasionally.”

“Why, of course, and I will call on you, too, if I may.”

Thus with the feeling that each had made a friend, the two Freshmen
parted, both looking forward with interest to the college year.

Julia went to Rockley that same Tuesday afternoon, and was warmly
welcomed by Brenda at the station. The younger girl, it is true, teased
her cousin about being a Freshman, yet at the same time she showed so
much affection, despite her teasing, that she hardly seemed the same
Brenda who not long before had found in every act of Julia’s some cause
for dissatisfaction.

Rockley was the summer place of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Barlow, the uncle
and aunt with whom, for two years, Julia Bourne had made her home. It
was on the seashore, little more than twenty miles from Boston, and
Julia had passed two happy vacations there. She had gone to live with
her uncle and aunt soon after her father’s death, and had completed her
preparation for college at Miss Crawdon’s school, the same school that
Brenda and her intimate friends attended. Brenda, Edith, Nora, and Belle
were inseparables, while Julia had been more intimate with Ruth Roberts,
the Roxbury girl who was now her room-mate at Cambridge.

The Barlows were to stay at Rockley until late October, and Mrs. Barlow
regretted that Julia must spend that beautiful autumn month in
Cambridge. She remarked at dinner that Julia looked pale, and said that
she and Brenda had decided that this resulted from examinations.

“Why, you can’t imagine how weak _I_ feel,” Brenda had added, “after an
examination. You know that Miss Crawdon makes us have them, though few
of us are going to college.”

“It pleases me,” Mr. Barlow had interposed, “that you and your friends
should get even this indirect advantage from Radcliffe. In time the
average private schoolgirl may have an equal chance with boys.”

“Why, papa, you never have wished me to go to college.”

“No, my dear, but I often have thought that you suffered at school—”

“Yes, papa, I _have_ suffered at school, often.”

“My idea of suffering probably differs from yours. I mean that you
suffer from a lack of thoroughness. Thoroughness is the first essential
of college preparation.”

“Why, papa, girls can fit for college at Miss Crawdon’s. Julia and Ruth
and several others prepared for the examinations. But let us change the
subject,” said Brenda, adding, “What are those Radcliffe girls like? Are
they very queer?”

“Why, no indeed,” replied Julia loyally. Yet even as she spoke she had a
vision of Pamela and Clarissa, to whom Brenda might apply her adjective,
although to each in a different way.

“After all,” interposed Mr. Barlow, “thirty-five years ago who would
have imagined girls in college? Why, even twenty years ago a man would
have been thought foolish to prophesy that within his lifetime girls
would be admitted to full Harvard privileges.”

“Oh, but papa, it isn’t really the same as Harvard. The boys say that it
is quite different.”

“Then it’s a difference without much distinction. Professor Dummer the
other day told me that Harvard and Radcliffe students have identical
examinations in all subjects, as well as the same courses of study. But
I will grant that in athletics and that kind of thing they haven’t the
same chance as Harvard boys.”

At this moment the long glass door was pushed open, and Philip stood
within the room. The whole family greeted him heartily, for they had not
seen him since his return from Europe. He told them that his mother and
Edith had decided to stay a month longer abroad, and that he was
spending a day or two on his yacht in Marblehead Harbor.

“On Thursday I must be in Cambridge, and after that the ‘Balloon’ goes
out of commission for the season.”

The young people soon went out on the piazza, where they made themselves
comfortable with cushions and wraps.

“It’s a great thing to be young,” said Mr. Barlow, as their laughter
rippled through the open window. Two girls from a neighboring cottage
had joined them, and with them was their brother, also a Harvard
undergraduate. They had more in common with Brenda than with Julia, and
thus the latter was free to answer Philip’s many questions about
Radcliffe.

Although two or three years Julia’s senior, Philip had of late acquired
the habit of turning to her for advice. To himself he admitted that her
level-headedness had more than once saved him from making a fool of
himself. Philip Blair had just escaped being spoiled after the fashion
of most only sons with plenty of money. His parents had always been so
ready to consider his wishes that he had come to think the quick
gratification of his tastes a necessity. Because he was good-looking and
had agreeable manners, older men and women were apt to flatter him, and
his schoolmates fed his vanity in their eagerness for his friendship.
Without being really weak, Philip was easily influenced; and though in
school he never had been in disgrace, more than once he had been near
suspension from college. A certain indolence made it hard to shake off
his undesirable associates. But even the slow-thinking Edith had
discovered that Philip had a real regard for Julia’s opinion.

“Mamma and I are very glad that Philip likes to talk to a sensible girl
like Julia, for we were afraid that his head might be turned, with so
many silly girls always running after him.” Philip’s college
friends—those whom he asked to dine with him sometimes, or took to call
on Edith’s friends—were afraid of Julia.

Hearing that she was fitted for college, they could not understand how
Philip had the courage to talk with her, or even to dance with her. They
supposed that he was polite to her simply because she was a friend of
Edith’s. “Not that she isn’t a nice-looking girl, but she must be
frightfully strong-minded to think of going to college.”

Knowing the Harvard sentiment toward Radcliffe, therefore, Julia was
prepared for more or less teasing from Philip, and yet as she bade him
good-bye she was pleased to be able to remind him that he had said
hardly a thing to discourage her about her college career.



                                   II
                         THE FRESHMAN RECEPTION


When Julia approached Fay House on Thursday, the opening of the term,
there were girls on the steps, girls in the halls, girls besieging the
Secretary’s office with questions; old students stood about discussing
all kinds of things, from their summer experiences to their proposed
courses of study. But the Freshmen were less often in groups. In single
file they waited their turn at the office, or sat in the conversation
room, catching scraps of wisdom from the lips of the older girls who
passed by.

“Oh, last year I had five and a half courses, but I’ve promised papa to
be more sensible and limit myself to four, so as to have some time for
other things.”

This from a serious-looking girl, and then from another more frivolous,
“Well, I tried to forget everything this summer, except how to have a
good time. It was delightful not to have even a theme or a forensic on
my mind. I was a walking encyclopedia last June, but now I feel
absolutely empty-headed.”

“What in the world,” came from another group, “possessed you to take
Pol. Econ. this year? I thought you were trying for honors in classics.”

“So I am,” in a rather melancholy tone; “but I’m tired of having nothing
but Greek and Latin. My future bread and butter may depend on them, as
I’m to be a teacher of the classics, but I’m indulging in Pol. Econ. as
a luxury.”

“A luxury! Well, you’ll pay for it.”

Julia, seated at the reading table, was not only amused by these bits of
conversation, but was interested in watching the passing girls.

“Isn’t it great?” cried Ruth, joining her. “It’s a little like the first
day at school, and yet it’s different. Who is that queer-looking girl,
she’s actually bowing to you,” with an intonation of disapproval; “why,
you don’t know her, do you?”

“Yes, I met her yesterday. She’s a Freshman from the West.”

Clarissa now reached them, grasping Julia’s hand with a hearty “Well, I
_am_ glad to see you!”

“Have you chosen your electives yet?” asked Julia, after a minute or
two. “Aren’t they bewildering?”

“It isn’t the elective, I’ve been told,” responded Clarissa, “but the
man who gives them that makes the difference. The younger the
instructor, the worse his marks. He thinks that he shows his own
importance by making ‘A’ and ‘B’ marks few and far between. I’m going in
for all the starred courses I can get, for then there’ll be more chance
of my having real professors to teach me.”

Ruth hurried Julia away from Clarissa to an appointment with a history
professor. He had wished to talk with them before consenting to their
entering his class. He was pleased to find them so interested, adding,
as he gave his consent:

“You must be prepared for hard work, as Freshmen are rarely permitted to
take this course. I hope that you read Latin at sight, for you may have
to make researches in some old books.”

Then he bowed and left them, and Ruth looked at Julia, and the latter,
understanding the question that Ruth would ask, replied, “Of course I’ll
help you;” while Ruth, whose Latin was weaker than Julia’s, responded,
“You always were a dear.”

Julia and Ruth had arranged to board in the same house, having separate
bedrooms, but sharing a large study. This was a square, corner room,
with three windows. One looked down on a bit of old-fashioned garden,
and the other two gave a view of some of the stately houses on Brattle
Street. Their landlady, or hostess, as she liked to be called, was the
widow of a Harvard instructor, who, besides a widow and two children,
had left a slim little book on the Greek accusative. Mrs. Colton always
had the book in plain sight on her library table, and she believed that
had her husband lived he would have been one of the most distinguished
of the faculty. She had long refused to open her house to Annex, or
Radcliffe, students. Like many other conservative people, she did not
approve of the presence of women students in Cambridge, and she did not
care to encourage the new woman’s college by taking its students to
board. But when the new Harvard dormitories made it harder for her to
get the right kind of students to take her rooms, she began to think
about the possibilities of Radcliffe. When she happened to hear that
Mrs. Robert Barlow was looking for a home for her niece, she immediately
sent word that she would be very glad to have her consider her rooms.
She saw that it would give her house prestige to have Julia and Ruth her
first Radcliffe boarders. Mrs. Barlow and the girls were well pleased
with the rooms, especially as Mrs. Colton was to take no other boarders.

Ruth and Julia would hardly have been girls, however, had they been
perfectly satisfied with the arrangement of the furniture as planned by
Mrs. Colton and Mrs. Barlow. With the exception of a few pictures, the
study was supposed to be in perfect order on that first Thursday of the
term. But Julia, when they went upstairs after luncheon, decided that
the divan must be moved from the windows to the corner opposite the
fireplace, and Ruth suggested that the library table should go from the
centre to a recess near the mantle-piece. Chairs ranged stiffly against
the wall they pulled out into more inviting positions, and moved many
other things. They both agreed that several pictures must be rehung, and
Ruth began to jump about from mantle-piece to table to make the changes.

“Oh, do be careful!” cried Julia, as Ruth stepped from a chair to the
table, with a framed Braun photograph under her arm, and a half-dozen
picture nails in her hand. “Do wait,” she added, “until we can find some
one.”

“Wait for whom? We can’t call the chambermaid, and Mrs. Colton would be
of no more use than—well, than you, Julia. Besides, I’ve hung more
pictures than you could count; and—why, what’s that?” she concluded, as
a very loud knocking at the door sounded through the rooms. Forgetting
the picture under her arm, as she turned she let it fall with a crash to
the floor.

“Gracious!” cried Master Percival Colton, astonished at the sight of one
Radcliffe girl standing on a narrow mantle-piece with another sitting on
the floor picking up fragments of broken glass.

“I hope nothing’s hurt,” said Percival politely, though hardly
concealing his curiosity as he handed Julia two letters. Then he turned
away rather sadly, as the girls neither explained what had happened nor
what they intended to do about it.

“Come down, Ruth,” cried Julia, as Percy disappeared. “Clarissa Herter,
that Kansas girl, has sent her card with these letters that she found on
the bulletin board. She thought that we might like to have them. Oh,
they’re invitations!” she added, as she opened her envelope.

“The Senior, Junior, and Sophomore classes at home in the Auditorium,
Saturday, September 30.    4 to 6.”

“Our first college invitation, and from the upper classes, too! Well,
it’s evident that they don’t intend to haze us.”


Hardly had Julia and Ruth stepped into the Auditorium that Saturday
afternoon when a girl with a ribbon badge greeted them warmly. From a
table near the door she took two slips of paper, and, pinning one on
Julia’s dress, said pleasantly, “You must excuse my being so
unceremonious, but we find that this is the best way of making girls
acquainted with one another, by giving them slips of paper with their
names written on them. I honestly think that you feel more like talking
to a girl if you know her name. Your slips are white, but we old girls
wear blue.”

“But how did you know which slips of paper to give us?” asked Ruth, as
she received a decoration like Julia’s.

“Oh, I was interested, that is, I asked particularly who you were the
other day,” replied the older girl in a flattering tone. “But now I must
find your Senior for you,” she concluded; “perhaps you haven’t met her.”

“My Senior?” asked Julia. “Why, how in the world do I happen to have
one?”

“Excuse me, then, until I find her. She will tell you all about it.”

Soon Julia found herself standing before a tall, plain girl with
glasses, who wore her Senior’s gown ungracefully.

“This is your Senior adviser, Miss Townall, Miss Bourne. I am sure that
you will like each other;” and the vivacious usher, asking Ruth to
accompany her, turned away to find Ruth’s Senior.

“Miss Darcy is always bright and cheerful,” said Miss Townall, making an
effort to talk to Julia.

“Yes, indeed, I like her immensely. She’s a Sophomore, I suppose?”

“Yes, and very popular.” Jane looked at Julia, as if at an utter loss
for a subject of conversation, until Julia asked her to explain the
system of assigning Senior adviser. In giving information Jane waxed
eloquent, and explained that the Emmanuel Society made the arrangements,
bringing it about that each Senior should take charge of one Freshman,
holding herself ready to give her any needed advice.

“Some of them have two,” added Ruth, who had rejoined them.

“Oh, naturally, for there are always more Freshmen than Seniors; but
dear me, it’s bad enough to have one on your mind,” said Jane
tactlessly.

“There, I didn’t mean that,” she apologized, at once conscious of her
own awkwardness. “Of course I’m delighted to be of help to any Freshman,
but there is so much danger of giving the wrong advice, and—” so Jane
went on explaining and explaining, as people are apt to when once they
have made a mistake, without greatly improving the state of affairs.

“But where is your Senior, Ruth?” asked Julia, to put Jane more at ease.

“Oh, I left her talking to that Western girl. She seemed so deeply
interested in her that I thought I might be in the way. We have been
introduced, however, and if she wishes to speak to me again, she may
take the trouble to find me.”

Julia wondered if Ruth’s annoyance had come from anything said or done
by Clarissa. Already she had seen that Ruth did not like the Western
girl.

As the rooms began to fill with girls, Julia and Ruth recognized many
whom they had seen at examination time, and among them a number from
their own classes. Coffee and chocolate and sherbets were served from
small tables, and the girls who served and the ushers who helped them
were kept busy.

“Not sherbet, but college ice,” corrected a girl at one of the tables.
“You’ll grow heartily sick of it in the next four years.”

Then Clarissa, to whom she spoke, replied, “Oh, a rose by any other name
would smell as sweet; and therefore, as a Freshman I’ll ask for another
glass. I suppose that our class will never again be as important as
now.”

“Probably never again at Radcliffe, at least until the end of your
Senior year. We take the Freshmen up tenderly, treat them very kindly on
the first Saturday of the term, and then drop them suddenly. Unless a
Freshman shows unusual ability, we are apt to forget all about her.”

“Then I’ll see what I can do to make myself remembered,” retorted
Clarissa, as if accepting a challenge.

In the meantime Julia and Ruth had again run across Miss Darcy, and the
latter had inquired if it would be an unheard-of thing for her to change
her Freshman adviser.

“You can do it, of course. It has been done occasionally, but if I were
you I’d wait. So few girls do make a change.”

“I fear that you think me notional.”

“Oh, no,” responded Miss Darcy. “I feel that you are going to be—that
is, that you _are_—the typical Radcliffe girl, and that naturally means
everything agreeable.”

“Yes, indeed, if we may judge by those who are here to-day.”

“Ah! we are in holiday attire now, but you will like us even at our
worst.” And Julia and Ruth, looking about them, agreed that Radcliffe in
holiday attire was well worth seeing. The rooms were prettily decorated,
and most of the girls wore light and becoming colors. There was little
formality, and each girl was not only at liberty to speak to her
neighbor, but was sure to be met more than halfway.

Finally, before they separated, the Glee Club girls gathered around the
grand piano, and one merry song after another was sung, to the great
delight of the Freshmen. One that made the most impression was “The Only
Man,” which, although unfamiliar to many of the new girls, was already
counted a classic of its kind. Even Jane Townall had been known to laugh
at its merry strains.

The song told of a young man who was invited to a Radcliffe tea, who,
when he reached Fay House, saw only women in sight:

  “The poor young man stood trembling there,
  And looked about for aid,
  He’d never been afraid before,
  But now he was afraid.
  He gave one long, last lingering look,
  Then rushed out at the door.
  I think that he’ll think twice before
  He comes here any more-ore-ore.

  “Now all you Harvard men attend!
  If ever you get a bid
  To a Radcliffe tea, be sure and see
  If any others did.
  Do you think that you could face the fate,
  From which our hero ran,
  Among four hundred Radcliffe girls,
  To be the only man-an-an?”

There were several other stanzas, and as the hero was described as a
particularly brave athlete, the refrain following each stanza was
particularly entertaining, for it went somewhat in this fashion:

  “He could face the Yale rush line,
  He’d been captain of the nine,
  He was not afraid to dine
  On the new Memorial plan;
  But he’d never thought to be,
  At a full-fledged Radcliffe tea,
  The only—only—only—only—man.”



                                  III
                           THE FIRST “IDLER”


“Who’s going to the Idler?” cried Clarissa one morning to a group around
the bulletin board.

Then a little Freshman spoke up timidly, “Why, can any of us go? I
thought that it was a club meeting.”

“Oh, the Idler is the only unexclusive institution that I’ve struck in
this part of the world. Just sign the constitution and you’re in it for
life. Come, you must join; we must make our class felt.”

Pressing nearer the board, one of the group read aloud that all
Radcliffe students, regular or special, were invited to a meeting of the
Idler Club on Friday afternoon at half-past four in the Auditorium.

Accordingly, they were all in their places before the appointed hour.
The Auditorium was overflowing, and some girls even had chairs in the
aisles. Ruth and Julia leaned on the ledge of the window opening from
the conversation room.

“Why don’t they begin?” asked Ruth impatiently, at quarter of five. But
even as she spoke there was a lull in the conversation, and a rather
commanding figure rose on the platform.

“That is the President of the Idler,” whispered Ruth, “Mary Witherspoon.
I had her pointed out to me the other day.”

Miss Witherspoon made an address that was clear and to the point. She
congratulated the old students on the prospect of a successful year for
the Idler; she welcomed the new students very heartily, and expressed
the hope that all present would at the close of the meeting enroll
themselves on the Idler’s membership list. She alluded to the fact that
nothing was imposed on them beyond signing the club’s very simple
constitution and paying the small annual dues.

“I hope, however, that all Radcliffe girls who can do anything to
entertain us, who are willing to act or sing, or even write plays, will
speak with me or with some of the Idler officers on the subject. We
cannot afford to let any talent lie hidden; and if a girl is too modest
to let us know what she can do, some one else will be sure to tell us,
and then we shall be obliged to issue some kind of a mandamus to compel
her to be amusing.”

All laughed at this, and when quiet was restored Miss Witherspoon
announced as the entertainment of the afternoon a farce written by two
Idler members, who for the present preferred to be anonymous. Thereupon
the curtain rose on a pretty stage set for a drawing-room scene. In the
background were two tall plants and a bookcase and a fine water-color on
an easel; in the foreground a tea-table, daintily spread, and beside it
two young girls drinking tea, and discussing the advantages and
disadvantages of a college education.

It was clear as the dialogue proceeded why the authors wished to be
anonymous; for there were many local hits, and the applause showed that
the audience recognized the college types depicted. The college partisan
also created much amusement by describing the homeless creature
constantly roaming the world in search of culture.

Julia and Ruth, moving about after the play, saw many of the ushers of
the Freshman reception. Now, as then, Elizabeth Darcy was one of the
most conspicuous. The refreshments served were very simple,—a punch bowl
filled with lemonade stood on a table in the conversation room,
surrounded by plates of cakes.

Ruth was soon seized by some of her own special friends, and Julia
wandered over toward the Garden Street windows. She probably would not
have noticed the girl sitting in a corner behind the periodical case had
not a nervous voice exclaimed, “Oh, I am so glad to see you!”

As she recognized Pamela, Julia felt a pang of conscience. Absorbed in
her own affairs, she had hardly remembered the Vermont girl. Now she
greeted her most cordially, and as Pamela came out of her corner she saw
that her face as well as her clothes had a dejected expression. Her
dull-brown hair was brushed back tightly, her linen collar was fastened
with an old-fashioned brooch. There was no useless furbelow about her
non-descript grayish gown, and she wore an expression to match her
attire.

But Pamela brightened as Julia held her hand. “Oh, I’m so glad to see
you,” she repeated; “I have been very lonely.”

“Lonely! with all these girls about you?” and Julia glanced toward the
girls swarming over the lemonade table, and toward the hall where there
were still girls, and girls, and girls.

“I’m lonely because there _are_ so many girls here,” responded Pamela.
“I know so few, and every one else seems to have a special friend.”

Again Julia felt that twinge of conscience. She herself had not been
altogether guiltless.

“Why, I am your friend, and I’m going to call on you at once, and you
must come to see us some Monday soon. We are to be at home Mondays after
four.”

This cordial invitation was cordially accepted, but Julia noticed that
Pamela did not give her own address.

“You know every one,” the latter exclaimed, as she and Julia walked
toward the Auditorium.

“Well, between us Ruth and I have met most of our class. But you ought
to know them, too.”

“Oh, I never dare speak first to a girl.”

“But you ought not to feel timid in the presence of mere Freshmen, like
yourself or myself.”

“I never can make up my mind to speak to them. I don’t see how I ever
dared speak to you.”

“A drop of ink, don’t you remember? That did it”

“Oh, of course it was my duty to apologize.”

“Well, then, just spill a glass of lemonade over one or two of those
pretty gowns, and you’ll be justified in speaking to the wearers of
them.”

Though Pamela wondered if Julia was quizzing her she was not offended.
Julia, realizing that Pamela was more serious than most Freshmen,
thought that she might enjoy meeting some of the older and more studious
girls. Looking around to see whom among them she could introduce to her,
she quickly saw Elizabeth Darcy. But Elizabeth was a conscientious
usher, and as soon as she had attended to the wants of one girl she flew
toward another. Her eye fell on Julia just when the latter, after
following her across the room, had half despaired of a chance to speak
to her.

“Good afternoon, Miss Bourne,” she said, holding out her hand. “Won’t
you let me get you something, lemonade or chocolate?”

“Oh, thank you,” responded Julia, “but I wish to ask a favor. May I not
introduce you to a Freshman who has not many friends? She is near the
door.”

Elizabeth glanced toward Pamela, standing in a limp and uninteresting
attitude. Her quick eye undoubtedly noted every detail of clothes that
showed unmistakably the stamp of the country dressmaker.

Elizabeth smiled sweetly, as she would have smiled under even more
trying circumstances.

“I am ever so sorry, but I am frightfully busy this afternoon. Some
other time, Miss Bourne, but now I could not give a minute to your—your
friend; and besides, I haven’t time for any new girl unless I should
happen to take a very great fancy to her as I have to you.”

In spite of the touch of this flattery, Julia justly felt annoyed with
Elizabeth. “After all,” she reflected, “ushers ought to make themselves
as agreeable as possible to all Freshmen, and it isn’t quite right for
one of them to decline an introduction.”

Elizabeth had hastened off with polite excuses, and Julia saw her join a
group of lively girls at the other side of the room. “She is not working
very hard now,” she thought, moving toward Pamela. She had gone only a
few steps when a rather shrill voice called her by name. Turning, she
recognized a bright little Southerner who sat near her in English.

“Where are you bound? You look like you had something on your mind,”
cried the Southerner, whose name, Julia vaguely remembered, was Porson.

“Why, I have a fellow Freshman on my hands; she knows hardly any one,
and I would like to introduce her, and—”

“Well, I am at your service if you think that I will fill in the blank.
You know this is my second year, though my first as a Freshman, and I
always like to meet new girls.”

“Why, thank you,” responded Julia, “I should be delighted. She is in
English ‘A,’ too, so you will have one bond of interest with her.”

Pamela was still standing where Julia had left her, but as the two girls
approached she held out her hand with a “Good-bye” to Julia.

“I must go now, it is past five o’clock,” she said.

“But that is early,” responded Julia. “I wish that you could stay
longer, for I have brought Miss Porson to meet you. She is in our
English class.”

But even after the introduction Pamela would not linger.

“I really must go,” she said nervously. “It is past five o’clock.”

“Why, you speak like Cinderella,” cried Miss Porson gaily; “she had to
go home at some unheard-of early hour—or was it a late hour? At any
rate, nobody ought to be a slave to time.”

The little Southerner with her allusion to Cinderella did not know how
nearly she hit the truth. But Pamela, unduly sensitive, winced at the
comparison. After bidding the two good-bye, she hastened up North Avenue
toward Miss Batson’s.

“Isn’t she a little—just a little odd?” inquired Miss Porson, after
Pamela had gone away.

“I cannot say,” responded Julia, “I know her so slightly. I ran across
her a day or two before college opened, and in some way I feel drawn
toward her, although I have seen little of her.”



                                   IV
                         PAMELA’S PERSEVERANCE


When Pamela Northcote first found herself in Cambridge it seemed, as the
children say, “too good to be true.” It had long been her dream to study
some day under Harvard professors, but in this world dreams so seldom
are realized that she was genuinely surprised that her dream had come to
pass. Yet Pamela herself had been her own fairy godmother, and to her
own efforts she owed her appearance at Radcliffe.

Pamela had been but a little girl when women first began to study at
Cambridge. Even then she made up her mind that if she could she would
sometime be an Annex student. The road had been a hard one, but here she
was. “It’s worth all I’ve been through to come here, worth it all.” Yet
she sighed, thinking of her difficulties in getting enough money to
warrant her entering Radcliffe.

Pamela had been early left an orphan, and an uncle and aunt had given
her a home, if not grudgingly, at least not always cheerfully. They did
what they could for her physical comfort, but they would not encourage
her in her desire to go to college; and had they been willing to
encourage her, they could not have helped her. They had no money to
spare for superfluous things, and a college education—at least for a
woman—was certainly a superfluity.

That she should go to college had seemed to Pamela a filial duty. Her
father, whom she remembered but dimly, had worked his way through a
small New England college and later through the Harvard Divinity School.
In a trunk of old letters Pamela had found one of her father’s written
to her mother when Pamela was a baby. “If our boy had lived I should
count no sacrifice too great that would enable me to send him to
college.” A diary of her father’s in the same trunk showed Pamela how
prayerfully he had dedicated his baby boy to the ministry. But the boy
had lived only a year, and Pamela knew that he felt this loss keenly.
“If my father had lived he would have wished me to go to college; he
would have had me study with him until I was ready. It is my duty to
make the most of myself, to be as nearly as I can like what his son
might have been.” So Pamela worked and struggled to get a little money
together for her college education. Although her desire for a Harvard
course seemed presumptuous, Cambridge was her goal. There was a good
academy in the town where she lived, and this simplified her
preparation. In the vacations she taught a country school, and she
decided that when she had three hundred dollars she would venture it all
on a year at Cambridge,—provided, of course, that she could pass the
examinations. Now it happened that the very year in which she was to be
graduated from the academy, a prize was offered by a rich townswoman to
be awarded to the student, boy or girl, in the Classical Department who
should pass the best examination. Pamela wore herself almost to a shadow
studying. She won the prize, a scholarship of two hundred dollars, given
on the condition that the winner should spend the money on a college
course. Colleges were recommended to Pamela in which this sum would have
paid almost the whole cost of tuition and board, but the young girl
would have none of these. She saw in the winning of the prize a
dispensation that she was to attain her long-cherished hope of going to
Cambridge. She passed most of her entrance examinations that spring,
drawing somewhat on her slender capital for the journey to Boston, and
in September she passed the remainder. On entering Radcliffe, therefore,
her assets consisted of three honors from the examinations and three
hundred dollars in money. Two-thirds of this money was the academy prize
and one-third was her savings of several years. The brain that she had
inherited from her father and the courage that had come to her from her
mother were not backed by great physical strength. She was stronger,
however, than she looked, and she did not fear her course at Radcliffe.

Yet Radcliffe does not offer unalloyed bliss even to a girl as earnest
as Pamela, if she has to cogitate too long on the best way of making
both ends meet. Out of her three hundred dollars Pamela knew that she
must spend two hundred dollars for tuition, and she wondered how she was
to make one hundred dollars cover board, lodgings, and incidentals for
the year. She made no account of clothes, as she did not intend to add
to her slender wardrobe for another twelve months. Half of her tuition
would not be due until February, and if worse came to worse she thought
that she might draw on her tuition money for her board of the first
half-year. Yet this was a resource only if everything else failed. She
felt that if she could carry herself through the first half-year, some
way of earning the money to make up the deficit would present itself in
the second half-year.

The day before college opened Pamela went to see an elderly woman who
had been a friend of her mother’s who kept a small millinery shop in one
of the northern suburbs of Boston.

“I admire your spirit,” said Mrs. Dorkins when Pamela had described her
efforts to find a cheap boarding-place. “I knew you’d have a hard time
to find a place you could afford; and if you won’t be offended, I’ll
tell you how you might be comfortable without its costing you much.”

“Why should I be offended, Mrs. Dorkins? I know that you wouldn’t
propose anything that wasn’t right.”

“Well, a thing may be right without being exactly what you’d like. I
can’t forget that your father was my minister; and when I remember what
a good man he was it seems’s if you ought to have everything you want
and not humble yourself.”

“But you haven’t told me, Mrs. Dorkins, what it is that you have in
mind.”

“Well, a cousin of my late husband’s lives in North Cambridge; she takes
young women lodgers, who get their breakfast with her and their tea.
They have dinner in the City in the middle of the day, for they are all
of them employed—bookkeepers, or sales-ladies, or something of that
kind. There’s only four or five and they’re real nice girls, and steady
pay, though they can’t afford big prices. Now she wants some one to help
her with her work—my cousin does. Not a regular servant, for she does
the cooking and hard work herself. But she’d like some one to set the
table and wait on them morning and evening a little. She said that if
she could get some one that didn’t want much pay, she’d give them a good
home, and they could have all the day to themselves and most of the
evenings. Now Pamela, if you was willing to do this you wouldn’t have to
pay board and—”

Pamela’s heart beat violently while Mrs. Dorkins talked. This was just
the kind of thing she wanted. Her subconsciousness immediately set down
as wrong the feeling of pride which at first threatened to stand in the
way of her accepting it.

“Oh, Mrs. Dorkins, you are very kind; that is really the kind of thing I
have been looking for, only—only—”

“Yes, I know just how you feel, Pamela, but remember what Holy Writ says
about pride. Not that I don’t think you’ve a right to feel as you do.
Your father was a perfect gentleman, though he never had much money, and
was born at Bearfield where I was born, too.”

“Oh, it really isn’t that, Mrs. Dorkins, it really isn’t pride,” and
Pamela meant what she said. “Only—”

“Well, then,” said the practical Mrs. Dorkins, “I’ll go over to
Cambridge to-morrow and take you to Miss Batson’s. I’m sure you’ll suit,
and I hope that you’ll like her. She has a neat little place, and she’ll
treat you well.”

It happened, therefore, that on the very day after the opening of
college Pamela found herself moving her possessions to Miss Batson’s
French-roof cottage. She was to do certain work in consideration of room
and board, and she was to have a fair amount of time to herself. Miss
Batson did not offer her, nor did she desire, any money payment for her
services. Indeed, she considered herself almost rich. She had room and
board provided for her for the year, and after paying her tuition fees
of two hundred dollars she would have one hundred dollars left for
books, clothes, and incidentals. This to her seemed a very large sum.

Yet there was one thing that troubled her. She would have liked a room
to herself, and she found it hard instead to regard as a bedroom the
sofa-bed in Miss Batson’s little plush-trimmed parlor. But in a few days
she became fairly contented with this arrangement, and toward nine
o’clock each evening would close the folding-doors so that she might go
to bed without disturbing Miss Batson’s boarders, who often entertained
visitors in the little front room.

For her study she had a corner of the dining-room table; and though her
work was often interrupted by questions and comments from Miss Batson,
who would look in upon her occasionally, she still reflected that she
might have been much worse off. Yet sometimes she sincerely pitied
herself. “It isn’t exactly pleasant to be living in a house without a
single corner that I can call my own. I can never invite any one here to
see me. For although Miss Batson is very kind, I know that she regards
me as ‘help,’ a refined species of ‘help’ to be sure, but still only
‘help.’”

She had felt strongly drawn to Julia Bourne, and she hoped that she
might be able to see much more of her. Yet she reddened as she thought
of Julia in much the same way that she reddened whenever the subject of
her boarding-place came up. Although she was a minister’s daughter,
although she realized the sin as well as the folly of false pride, she
yet felt uncomfortable whenever she reflected that to the unprejudiced
observer, indeed to any one except Mrs. Dorkins, she might seem to be
only Miss Batson’s “help.”

Miss Batson’s boarders could not understand her. They were young women
who earned fairly good pay, as expert bookkeepers or clerks. They knew
that Pamela was a student, and one or two of them were sorry that so
delicate a looking girl should be obliged both to work and to study.

“It isn’t that the work is so hard,” said the youngest of the
bookkeepers, “but to think of a little thing like her studying those
great books. I’ve noticed her coming in in the evenings, and she’s
always loaded down with books. Anybody’d have to wear glasses if they
spent all their time looking into books. I wouldn’t do it myself. Why,
it must be most as hard as school teaching, and I always thought that
that was dreadful.” Yet Miss Batson’s young ladies (for in this way did
their landlady always speak of them) in spite of these occasional
criticisms were proud to have a college student living in the house.
They were inclined to be very friendly, and Pamela sometimes reproached
herself for keeping them at a distance. Their well-meant familiarities
annoyed her, and she found it hard to conceal her feeling. In
consequence she was much lonelier at Miss Batson’s than she need have
been.

It was rather an understanding than an arrangement that she should be at
home in the afternoon in time to help Miss Batson prepare her half-past
six tea. This meant that Pamela should be at home by half-past five; and
as she always walked home from the Square, she had to leave Fay House by
five o’clock. There was really no hardship in this, since all
recitations were over by half-past four. On the other hand, Pamela had
decided that to do her duty by Miss Batson she ought to refrain from any
part in the social life of the college, for she had learned that nearly
all the clubs and receptions were held between half-past four o’clock
and six.

It was on this account that she had given up the Freshman reception. In
spite of her Spartan resolve, Pamela had just a little longing for the
fun that certainly formed a legitimate part of college life. Although
she had had more than her share of care, although of a more serious
temperament than many of her classmates, she was still girl enough to
see the possibility that Radcliffe offered for social enjoyment. Yet
with this perception came a sense of her own lack of adaptability to
people; instead of attracting them, she felt that she rather repelled
those whom she met.



                                   V
                            COLLEGE CALLERS


One afternoon as Julia and Ruth were walking toward Elmwood a human
whirlwind stormed past them, composed, as it seemed, chiefly of woollen
sweaters and legs in knee breeches.

“There,” said Ruth, “what geese boys can make of themselves! Actually, I
think that I recognized Philip among them.”

“Yes, I believe he’s in training.”

“Well, I’m glad that he has something to do. But I wonder that he and
Will haven’t called on us.”

“Seeing us may remind them. I know that they have been intending to
call.”

Julia’s surmise proved correct, and that very evening the cards of the
two Seniors were brought to them. When Julia and Ruth went downstairs to
see them, Philip said in half apology:

“We’ve often wandered in this direction in our evening strolls, but we
have never had the courage to come in.”

“What in the world made you so courageous tonight?”

“Well, you see,” said Will, “Philip came back to the club after dinner
with glowing accounts of you both. He said that he could not see that
you had changed a hair since coming to Radcliffe.”

“What in the name of common sense did he expect?” Ruth’s voice had a
note of indignation.

“Why, we expected a great alteration. In the first place, to be typical
Radcliffe girls you ought to wear glasses. Then I am sure that you ought
to have had a huge bundle of books under your arm, and your clothes—it
gets on my nerves to see the clothes most of the Cambridge girls wear; I
suppose they are Radcliffe girls. But I could see that you looked as
up-to-date as Edith.”

Philip, almost out of breath with the exertion of explaining himself,
was disconcerted by the laughter that greeted his words.

“It is greatly to be feared,” said Ruth, “that the typical Radcliffe
girl would be as hard to find as the average Harvard student. I haven’t
seen either of them yet. But it’s really too funny for you to have
expected Julia and me to develop our college peculiarities so soon. Give
us time and we may become typical.”

“Ah, well, of course now,” said Philip, “I did not expect to find you
entirely changed, although you know yourself that college might make a
difference.”

“Naturally we’d rather not belong to the tiresome class of persons who
are always the same, yet we do not wish our friends to find us altered.”

“No, you were well enough before,” and Will glanced toward Ruth.

“So you thought it best to let well enough alone?”

“Now, really you are severe! But not to dwell on personalities—how do
you like your rooms here? They seem very domestic.”

“These are not our special rooms,” explained Julia; “our study is
upstairs.”

“When are we to see your study, or ‘den,’ as I suppose you will come to
call it?”

“I’m afraid that you would not think it typical enough to be called a
den.”

“But when _are_ we to see it?”

“Oh, later we’ll give you a tea, with Aunt Anna or Mrs. Blair to
chaperon us. You’ll have a chance then to offer any amount of advice.”

“We’ll give you points that may be useful next year.”

“Ah! next year we’ll be Sophomores, and Sophomores know everything,”
retorted Julia.

“Yes, and sometimes more than everything. _We_ did, didn’t we, Philip?”

“I should say so! I’ve never since been so wise as I was in that
Sophomore year. I’d almost like to be a Sophomore again.”

“You may have the chance,” interposed Will, “if you drop down a class at
a time.”

Philip looked uncomfortable.

“Be careful, please; no twitting on facts.”

“On facts?” queried Ruth. “Is it as bad as that?”

“Oh, the Faculty has a wretched habit of giving a fellow warnings,
especially at the beginning of the Senior year, just to see how he will
take them.”

“Why,” said Julia, “I should take them as warnings.”

She saw by Philip’s expression that there was more than a mere
suggestion of truth in what Will had said, and she resolved at the first
favorable opportunity to have a serious talk with him. She remembered
that the preceding year he had spoken of one or two conditions to be
worked off before the close of his Senior year, and she began to fear
that he had neglected to do this. In spite of his little affectations,
Philip had a charm for Julia. At least she felt a genuine interest in
him, partly on his own account, and partly because she was so fond of
Edith. She hoped that he would make more of himself than some of the
young men in his set had thought it worth while to make of themselves.

While her thoughts were wandering, the conversation of the other three
went straight on.

“If we only knew what you would like,” Philip was saying, “we might give
you something more substantial than points for your room. I have a fine
‘To Let’ sign that was hung out originally somewhere down in the ‘Port.’
I haven’t really room for it, and—”

“Oh, that’s only black and white. When you make a present, you ought not
to be mean,” said Will. “What’s the matter with that barber’s pole that
you cherish so carefully in a corner of your room? I hear that its
former owner is still searching for it. A Radcliffe room would really be
a safer retreat for it than yours.”

“Oh, no, I wouldn’t get these girls into trouble. If I present them with
anything it must be something ennobling,—a tidy, or—or—a picture-scarf,
or something of that kind.”

“We haven’t a tidy in our room,” interposed Ruth triumphantly.

“Then it must have a very unfeminine appearance,” responded Philip. “I
am sorry that Radcliffe influences are so hardening. It wasn’t that way
when you helped in that Bazaar. Don’t you remember what work I had to
find something suitable for a college room, and there was nothing to be
had but tidies, and dolls, and things like that? Your minds were all
feminine enough then.”

“I remember that I found just what I wanted,” said Will, smiling at
Ruth. “A very beautiful sofa pillow, with a crimson ‘H’ embroidered upon
it.”

As it was Ruth who had made this pillow for the Bazaar given by the Four
Club, and as Will had insisted on buying it as soon as he learned that
it was the work of her hands, she naturally looked conscious at this
reminiscence.

Thus the conversation of the four young people flowed on; and although
the girls tried not to be too serious, they really did glean some useful
information from the two Seniors. The gossip of undergraduates about
professors, their fancied insight into the methods of their instructors
is harmless enough. Yet critical listeners might have questioned the
correctness of some of the judgments so glibly put forth by Philip and
Will.

Philip, to tell the truth, was surprised to find himself encouraging the
girls in their college career by even these scraps of information. He
liked Julia so well that he could not reconcile himself to her going to
college.

“It is different,” he had said to her magnificently one day at Brenda’s,
“it is different, of course, in the case of a man. If he doesn’t go to
college he doesn’t amount to much. People think it’s because he can’t
get in, and that kind of thing. But for a girl, why you know that it
really hurts her in the opinion of most people if she goes to college.”

Like his sister Edith, Philip was occasionally rather tactless, although
both had the best intentions in the world.

“I hope that I won’t be hurt, at least in the opinion of my friends, by
going to college,” said Julia quietly.

“Of course not,” rejoined Philip. “I might feel that way about some
other girl, but not about you.”

Julia accepted the apology, but she remembered the incident. She thought
of it again, as she sat before her fire that evening, and then her
thoughts travelled toward Brenda. Brenda, too, had never really approved
of Julia’s going to college.

“It was funny, although not exactly amusing,” reflected Julia, “when she
let Belle persuade her that it was an affront to the family when I
wished to study anything so unconventional—for a girl—as Greek. Yet
all’s well that ends well, and Brenda is so different now that I can
hardly believe that it is only two years since she was so pettish and
inconsiderate.”

Yet although Brenda had certainly improved in the past two years she was
still as far from perfection as most young girls of sixteen or
seventeen. She was still impulsive, and disinclined to receive advice.
But remembering her past mistakes, she was less ready than formerly to
find fault with Julia.

One thing that had brought the two girls together was a common interest
in a poor Portuguese family. The helpless Rosas living at the North End
had appealed very strongly to Julia, and for a time she had feared that
she might not be able to do much for them, because Brenda and her three
most intimate friends had undertaken to make the mother and children
their especial protégés. At length Julia’s opportunity had come, and she
had not only shared in the Bazaar by which “The Four” had raised money
for Mrs. Rosa, but she had also assisted in moving the family from the
North End to a healthier home in the pretty village of Shiloh.

Since then the Rosas had apparently prospered, and Julia could think of
them with satisfaction. Her interest in them had a double thread, for
besides sympathizing with their helplessness, she felt that but for the
Rosas, and the events connected with their removal to Shiloh, she could
hardly have had so complete an understanding with Brenda.

Yet in her heart Julia realized that as they grew older she and Brenda
were likely to see less rather than more of each other, their tastes
were so very different. Brenda had still a year more of school before
her, and when that was completed she would enter society. For a few
years life would be a whirl of pleasure, and she would give
comparatively little time to serious things. She was bound to be a
butterfly of fashion, though her father and mother would have encouraged
her had she wished to take life more seriously. On the other hand, they
would have been glad had Julia, their niece, shown some interest in
other things besides her studies.

“I do care for other things,” said Julia to herself, as she sat before
the fire this evening. “I do care for other things, though it is hard to
make Aunt Anna and Uncle Robert believe that I am not entirely bound up
in my studies. I really believe that I should enjoy a year of society
almost as much as Brenda. But the trouble is, I might grow to care for
it too much. I love study, too, and I should be afraid that if I were to
put aside my plans for college, even for a single year, I might in the
end regard college work as a task, and wake up too late to find society
all hollow. No, it is better as it is, although Aunt Anna feels that she
has failed in her duty to me, because she cannot introduce me formally
to society.”

To some girls situated as Julia was, the line of work that she had laid
out would have been hard to follow; for although not a great heiress,
she had inherited fortune enough to make her perfectly independent. Her
purpose in going to college was not to fit herself to earn her living.

“I should like to feel that I _could_ earn my own living if I should
ever lose my money. It is not pleasant to feel that one is only a
consumer, a cumberer of the ground, and not a helper.”

Now Julia had already discovered that not all the girls in college were
there to carry out the loftiest aims. Some were as evidently bent on
enjoying themselves as the girls of Brenda’s set. Even thus early in her
Freshman year Julia had noted the difference between the two classes,
the workers and the shirkers. Of course, in her short time at Radcliffe,
she had not attempted to put all her acquaintances into one or the other
of these classes. But she had already seen considerable difference in
the methods of her classmates. Some sat dreamily, even idly, through a
lecture, making only occasional notes. Others hung on the words of their
instructor, writing pages and seeming fearful of losing a word.

Some took down the names of any books the instructor named as useful for
further reference. Others seemed absolutely indifferent to everything of
this kind.

Julia was not really a severe critic, and she made allowances. “I must
not forget to tell Brenda that there are, at least, two or three girls
at Radcliffe who really enjoy frivolity.”



                                   VI
                            SETTING TO WORK


Pamela never for a moment felt any lack of liberty in Cambridge, in
spite of the fact that she had less of real leisure than most of her
classmates. Her life at Radcliffe was so much nearer her ideal than
anything she had previously known that she was in a state of constant
thankfulness. Clarissa, on the contrary, found the very atmosphere of
the college restraining.

So few were the rules at Radcliffe that Clarissa had a breezy way of
forgetting that any existed. She disregarded, for example, the notice in
the catalogue that students could board only in houses approved by the
Dean. She was therefore surprised when the request came that she should
call at the office to explain why she had chosen a house where several
Harvard men were boarding.

“What funny ideas they have here in Cambridge,” she had said when
describing the interview. “Why, Archibald is my third cousin, and we
grew up together. My mother and father would just as soon have him in
the same house. They’d know that he would look after me. He’s horribly
serious. I wonder if the powers that be here in Cambridge ever heard of
co-education?”

“Oh, the rule is intended for the greatest good of the greatest number,”
replied Julia, to whom she had told her tale of woe. “With fascinating
youths in every house where Radcliffe girls board, think of the hours
that might be wasted in matching wits!”

“Fascinating!” responded Clarissa disdainfully; “there’s little chance
that I would waste time over them. Of course Archibald offered to move,
but there were two other Freshman youths in the house, and so I had to
go. My present abode is most domestic with ‘Home, sweet home’ worked in
worsted on the walls, and a plush-covered album and two Radcliffe
students as the chief adornments of the parlor. That ought to suit you,
Julia—oh, I beg your pardon, Miss Bourne.”

“Why not Julia?”

“Oh, I notice that people here are so afraid to call one another by
their first names. For my part, I always think of the Christian name
first. It has so much more character.”

“So few people call me ‘Julia’ that I am always pleased to add a new
friend to the list.”

“Well, then, since you are so very kind,” responded Clarissa, smiling,
“perhaps you’ll let me give you some suggestions about the approaching
mid-years. I believe that I am on the high road to success.”

“Then do tell us,” cried Ruth, who had just entered the room.

“Well, I show a frantic interest in all the reference books mentioned,
and I’ve even bought one or two of them. I also make a special note of
any witticism—alleged witticism—of my instructor. Then I’m building up a
scholarly reputation by adorning my room with books and plaster casts.
When I have a brass tea-kettle I shall be ready for company. But it will
be tiresome to keep that tea-kettle polished.”

“It’s less trouble than you might think,” said Julia, laughing. “That’s
the advantage of owning a roommate.”

“Well, you are an angel. Miss Roberts, do you do all the polishing in
this establishment?”

“Ah! it wouldn’t be becoming to disclose how much work I do.”

“Oh, well,” said Clarissa, “it’s a fair division of labor after all for
you to do the rubbing and scrubbing, while Julia does the æsthetic and
ornamental for the two.”

Ruth colored at this remark, and Julia looked up in surprise at the
careless Clarissa. But the Western girl, unconscious of offence, was
looking at the photographs on the mantle-piece.

Before Clarissa turned around, Ruth, gathering up her books, had left
the room.

“Why did she leave us?” asked Clarissa, discovering her absence.

“Oh, she often studies in her own room. Only on Monday afternoon does
she feel perfectly free.”

“I see,” responded Clarissa, “I am a little in the way to-day.”

“Not as far as I am concerned,” responded Julia. “I’ve been studying and
I am glad to have a little rest.”

“A little intellectual rest,” responded Clarissa, “as the Bostonian says
when he goes to New York. Well, I ought to come on Mondays, only there’s
always some one else here.”

Julia was accustomed to Clarissa’s badinage, but Ruth unfortunately did
not like Clarissa as well. Julia therefore regretted her ill-considered
remark.

Clarissa spent much time bewailing the fact that she had to be a
Freshman at Radcliffe when she had already spent a year in a Western
university.

“Pa promised me,” she said, “eight hundred dollars a year for three
years, and I suppose that I ought to save out of that for my fourth
year. I never imagined that I should have to spend four years at
Radcliffe; it’s just ridiculous to have to begin all over again.
However, what can’t be cured must be endured. But Pa will always think
it was my fault in some way that I didn’t get admitted a Sophomore.”

“But you’ve made it clear to him?”

“Oh, yes; but it’s hard to make any one not on the spot understand just
how things are. I might get through in three years, just as some of the
boys do, but I can’t make up my mind to grind. There are so many
interesting things to see and do in Boston. I really can’t pin myself
down to hard study. In the first place, I can’t get used to the methods.
It seems as if there is nothing to do but listen to lectures and take
notes. I’m only beginning to understand how to take notes.”

“It’s a science in itself,” said Julia.

“I should say so,” continued Clarissa. “I shouldn’t like to have any one
see what a hodge-podge I made of my note-books the first three or four
weeks. I couldn’t make head nor tail of them until I had borrowed the
notes of one of the model girls to interpret them by.”

“It was hard for all of us,” said Julia, “at least it was for me.”

“Well, our first hour examination showed that we must remember the
instructor’s words, that it wasn’t enough to imbed them in
hieroglyphics. Allusions that I had considered mere ornaments I soon
found ought to have been taken seriously. Little innocent references to
some reserved book were of more importance than hours of lectures. Alas!
alas!”

Julia smiled at her expression of sorrow.

“You need not laugh,” said Clarissa. “I had meant to do most of my
reading next summer, and I had not even taken the trouble to note the
names of the books referred to. But I find that having electives does
not mean that you can elect to study or not, just as you please. The
mid-years will be serious enough, judging by the samples we have had.”

Clarissa was not the only Freshman to find difficulty in accustoming
herself to Radcliffe methods. Many others, unused to the lecture system,
had rested too securely in the hope that before the mid-years they could
make up all deficiencies. As the college year went on they were bound to
find, like all preceding Freshmen, that lectures in the end were far
more stimulating than recitations from even the best of text-books, and
in the course of time, too, even the dullest was likely to acquire the
art of successful note-taking.

The hour examinations at irregular intervals before Christmas were often
rude awakeners for careless girls. Others were agreeably surprised to
find their marks better than they had hoped.

“It’s uncertainty that kills one,” said Clarissa. “I mean to work so
that my mid-years will give me ‘B,’ or at any rate ‘C’ in English. The
warning, you will see, shall not have been in vain. I used to think that
I knew something about Rhetoric, but it seems that I was wrong, though I
studied it years ago in the High School.”

Although Clarissa’s rather original manner of expressing herself did not
wholly meet the approval of her English instructor, since the first
examination he had expressed a certain restrained approval of some of
her written work.

In November even the shyest Freshmen had begun to find their place at
Radcliffe, and to feel that they had some individuality. The classes,
relatively small compared with Harvard, enabled the members of each
class to know one another by sight and name, even if the acquaintance
went no further. But the new girls were impressed by the fact that
intimacies in no way followed class lines. The elective system made it
possible in many courses for Freshmen and Seniors to sit side by side,
nor did a Senior lose dignity by associating with the lower classes.
Clarissa constantly commented on this evidence of a spirit so different
from that to which she had been accustomed at her Western college.

Pamela accepted everything at Cambridge as a matter of course. Nothing
seemed strange to her because she had expected everything to be strange.
Whatever was, was right for Pamela, so far as Radcliffe and Cambridge
were concerned, and she lacked Clarissa’s bubbling energy, which
constantly sought some object to reform.

“I can’t say that I disapprove of the present state of things, though I
really cannot understand it. Here we are in the same town with
hundreds—yes, thousands—of students, and yet we see few of them at close
range, and then those we know are only our brothers or cousins or
something of that kind.”

“‘Something of that kind’ is delightfully indefinite,” said Polly
Porson, the little Georgian whose condescension as a Sophomore had won
Julia’s gratitude at the beginning of the term. “You speak like you were
disappointed,” continued Miss Porson, “but if you stop to think, it’s
well that we have so little to distract us. We are not forbidden to
cross the college yard if we really wish to. But only think what a
nuisance if they were permitted to walk about our little campus!”

“Do you suppose that there is any rule against it?” asked Clarissa
mischievously.

Polly laughed in reply. “Well, the average undergraduate would almost
rather be suspended for three months than find himself within our
grounds. Some of them make a virtue of not knowing just where Fay House
is, and you’d be surprised to find that many explain with pride that
they’ve never met a Radcliffe girl.”

“We must change all that,” cried Clarissa. “Not that we are anxious to
have the acquaintance of those callow youths,—for they must be callow to
look at us in that tone of voice,—but we must do something or have
something here that will make them anxious to know us better.”

“We can get along very well without their society,” interposed Elspeth
Gray, who happened to be passing through the conversation room where
Clarissa and Polly and one or two others were talking. “We’re not
exactly cloistered here in Cambridge, as girls are at some colleges.
Most of us have the society, more or less, of real men, and we do not
depend on undergraduates.”

“All the same,” said Clarissa, “we might have a little more fun here.
Now, Polly Porson, you must admit that it’s a trifle slow here for a
college town.”

“Most of us were not looking for fun when we undertook to come to
Radcliffe. Cambridge never had the reputation of being very amusing. But
I’ll tell you something to raise your spirits. Rumors of the charm and
wit of the Idler theatricals have begun to penetrate the brick walls of
Harvard, and last year we heard of sorrow in college halls because men
were not admitted to the performances. What we couldn’t attain through
our work we have accomplished by our play. They wouldn’t lift their
hands to read one of our examination books, but they would give more
than the admission fee to see us act.”

“Aren’t they permitted to come?”

“No, indeed, although we really ought to find some way of letting them
reciprocate our interest in the yearly Pudding theatricals.”

“We ought to be able to get up something to interest them,” said
Clarissa.

“Can you act?” asked Polly abruptly.

“Why, yes, after a fashion,” responded Clarissa.

“Well, then, do give your name to Miss Witherspoon. It isn’t the easiest
thing in the world to find girls willing to do their part. But there!
you must have heard the invitation given at the first meeting.”

“I heard it without taking it to myself. I’m not the person of talent
for whom the Idler is looking.”

Whatever her other faults, Clarissa could not be accused of vanity.



                                  VII
                           ALL KINDS OF GIRLS


Among the girls in her Latin course one had a particular charm for
Julia. She was tall, slight, and graceful, with waving brown hair. Lois
lived in Newton, and often for exercise she walked at least as far as
Watertown after lectures. Sometimes Julia walked with her; and although
Lois was not too confidential, Julia had gradually learned many things
about her. She knew that Lois made her own clothes, and that home duties
prevented her spending much time in Fay House frivolities.

So far as she could, Lois had elected studies that would count toward
her proposed medical course. She was bright and cheerful, and always
ready to help others.

“She is certainly very clever,” Ruth had said appreciatively one day
after Lois had given her a suggestion as to the proper translation of a
very difficult passage. Julia was glad that Ruth liked Lois so well, for
she had not smiled on her friendship with Clarissa and Pamela.

Polly Porson liked Lois, too, although she was in the habit of saying
that her energy tired her.

“You look as fresh as a rose!” she exclaimed one morning, as Lois, with
cheeks pink from exercise, came into one of the smaller recitation rooms
where two or three girls were studying together.

“Well, I ought to have a color,” said Lois. “I’ve walked over from
Newton.”

“Why, Lois Forsaith,” cried Polly, and “Lois Forsaith!” echoed Ruth.
“Why in the world do you walk on a day like this?”

“This is just the kind of day for a walk. I had to stay indoors
yesterday because my mother was ill, and on Sundays there is so much to
attend to. I hadn’t time even to go to church. But the walk to-day has
set me up again, and I feel equal to anything.”

“Walking is as bad as the gym.,” cried Polly Porson; “in the South we
wouldn’t think either exactly ladylike. Why, until I came North I’d
never walked a mile, really I never had, just for the sake of walking, I
mean.”

“That’s nothing to be proud of,” commented Ruth. “Besides, I’d like to
see any one try to walk on your Georgia roads—those red clay roads. I
was in Atlanta once, and I know them. We were there two days on our way
from Florida, and the roads were so bad that I wondered that feet in
Georgia hadn’t become rudimentary from disuse.”

“Now, it isn’t so bad as that,” said Polly.

“Bad!” repeated Ruth. “Why, we started to drive one afternoon and our
wheels sank deep into red clay until we were nearly buried alive.”

“Now, it isn’t so bad as that everywhere,” reiterated Polly. “You ought
to have gone out Peach Tree Street; that’s a right good road, with a
fine sidewalk, too.”

“Oh, I’ve seen Peach Tree Street, too, and I’ll admit that there’s no
excuse for your not walking there.”

Polly sank back in her chair. “I never could see the sense in walking
where a horse could carry you.”

“Or even an ox cart,” added Ruth mischievously; “that seemed to be the
favorite Atlanta vehicle.”

“I wonder that you stand her teasing,” said Lois; “you are more amiable
than I should be.”

“Well,” responded Polly, “this is my second year at Cambridge, and if I
would I could tell a tale of Cambridge mud that would make Atlanta shine
in contrast.”

“Yes, Atlanta mud is red,” murmured Ruth. But Polly took no notice of
the interruption, and the conversation drifted from Atlanta and
Cambridge mud to a more general putting forth of opinions of New England
weather, a never-failing topic when two or more persons from outside New
England are gathered together.

“Give me the bleak New England climate before any other,” cried Lois. “I
haven’t travelled, but I have seen the products of the other climates,
and ours has the greater staying power every time.”

“You’re right smart cruel,” cried Polly; “I will never lend you my
note-books again.” Whereat all the others laughed, for it was Polly and
not Lois who was ever the borrower. The note-books of Lois, were models
of conciseness and neatness, and she was ever ready to lend them to
those girls who needed, or thought that they needed, assistance. The
borrowers were not always shiftless. Some were simply careless girls,
who found it easier to sit idle during a lecture than to write. Some,
indeed, had difficulty in following the lecturer and filling their
note-books at the same time. To such girls the loan of a note-book like
that of Lois was a great boon. They could copy her work in a time that
was short compared with what would have been necessary to decipher,
expand, and rewrite their own half-intelligible notes.

As for Lois herself, she often found it hard to lend the note-book which
she liked to have by her side when preparing for the class-room. It was
equally hard to refuse when a girl asked the favor in particularly
beseeching tones. On reflection, however, it seemed selfish to Lois
generally to refuse merely because she might wish to refer to the book,
and it happened that her note-books for one or two of the courses were
travelling half the time. While Polly Porson was one of the most
persistent of the borrowers, Lois never refused her requests. She was
fond of Polly, although it would be hard to imagine two girls more
unlike than the ease-loving little Southerner and the self-restrained
Massachusetts girl. The two were, nevertheless, the best of friends,
though Lois was a girl who had few intimates. For one thing she was too
busy, and for another she had little inclination to spend all her spare
time talking or walking with other girls.

Even on this brisk, cool morning, although she had no lecture for half
an hour, Lois did not sit down with Ruth and Polly and the others. She
lingered scarcely five minutes, and almost before they had missed her
she was up in the library, with books and writing material before her,
ready for a half-hour’s work.

“Why, where’s Lois?” cried Polly, suddenly discovering her absence.

“Hard at work somewhere, I’ll warrant you. She never wastes a minute,”
replied one of the group.

“As if it would be a waste of minutes to stay here and talk with us! I’m
sure we have just finished a most enlightening discussion of the
difference between Southern and Northern mud. We might have progressed
to a discussion of the difference in Fauna, Flora, and other natural
features of the two regions.”

“You forget that _I_ am here,” retorted Ruth; “it was I with whom you
were chiefly carrying on the discussion. If the others permit it and you
still wish it, we can continue.”

“Oh, no, indeed,” answered Polly, “I assure you that I do not wish it.
You can see that I bear no malice, for I had forgotten that it was you
who had said all those dreadful things about my native State.”

“Could contempt go further?” sighed Ruth. “You would have been willing
to prolong the discussion with Miss Forsaith, but you think it isn’t
worth while with me.”

“Speaking of Lois,” responded Polly, “I wish that she would amuse
herself more. It’s only frivolous persons like me who can sing and act
and study, too.”

“Oh, but Lois can act splendidly, if she only _will_,” said one of the
Sophomore by-standers. “I do wish that she could be induced to help us
with the Emmanuel play this spring.”

“The trouble is,” said a deep voice, “that Radcliffe girls are too
indifferent to fame.”

The other girls looked up and saw Clarissa slipping into a seat beside
the table.

“It seems ridiculous that there should be such trouble to get girls for
the theatricals.”

“Perhaps many would not think it fame, even if they should distinguish
themselves on our Auditorium stage.”

“Then they look at things with a jaundiced eye. Already there are
traditions—I have heard them myself—about girls who have acted in our
college plays,” said Clarissa, “and the greatest were the girls who made
up best in men’s parts.”

“There, Polly,” cried the Sophomore, “you must be on the high road to
glory, for,” turning to Clarissa, “you have probably heard that she is
our very best man. Last year she just brought down the house. You really
ought to see her; she’s immense.”

“That’s more than you are most of the time,” and Clarissa turned to
Polly. “What do you wear, seven league boots, or something of that
kind?”

“Not exactly,” replied Polly, “though if you’ll come round to my room
sometime I’ll show you some of my properties.”

“They’d be worth seeing,” said the Sophomore, “especially if you’ve kept
that gold-laced coat, Polly, and the high boots.”

“’Deed I have,” replied Polly; “the boots are likely to be in more than
one play before summer. I’m promised for at least two.”

“I’m glad to hear that,” cried Clarissa. “You are the very kind of girl
to act well. I’ve overheard you taking people off once or twice in the
conversation room, and you hit them to the life.”

Polly reddened a trifle at Clarissa’s words. It flashed through her mind
that she had sometimes mimicked Clarissa, and she hoped that this was
not what the Western girl had overheard.

There was no trace of resentment in Clarissa’s face, though Polly made a
mental note that after this she would not entertain her friends with her
impersonations outside of her own room.

It was time, indeed, for Polly to make this resolve, for without
intending it she had gained the ill-will of several by using her powers
of mimicry too freely. “Ill-will” is perhaps too strong a word, although
it takes more than the average amount of philosophy to make a girl proof
against ridicule. Comparatively few persons really care to see
themselves as others see them, and annoyance, if nothing stronger, is
apt to be felt against the individual, whether friend or foe, who
attempts to portray us as we appear to those about us.

It was now late in December, and the greater number of Freshmen had
become known to the girls in the upper classes. Here and there was one
who, like Pamela, had little to say to her fellow-students, and had as
little to do with those in her own class as with those above her. The
majority, perhaps, were like Julia and Ruth, friendly toward all with
whom they came in touch, yet never forgetful of the fact that they were
at Radcliffe first of all to study, and that other things must be
secondary.

Clarissa was in many ways unusual. She seemed always ready for pleasure,
and she spent so much time exploring the historic streets and buildings
of Boston that her friends wondered how she contrived to keep up with
her college work. Nevertheless, although there was no ranking in the
classes at Radcliffe, and although there were no recitations to give a
girl a chance to distinguish herself, Clarissa made it perfectly evident
that she did not neglect her work. She asked intelligent questions in
the class-room, and it was rumored that her marks in the hour
examinations had been particularly good. These hour examinations, held
occasionally without much warning, were tests covering a limited ground.
They gave a girl a chance to recover herself, if she found that she had
not been thorough in her subject, before the severe mid-years.

Some girls did not care for Clarissa. They thought her too pushing; and
although partly right in this, they would have been more correct had
they said that she was merely no respecter of persons. If she wished to
speak to a girl she addressed her without hesitation, regardless of the
fact that she had not been introduced. Strange though it may seem, some
girls objected to this, preferring, as they said, “to choose their
acquaintances.” Not many, however, were so foolishly formal, and
Clarissa’s chief fault consisted in a certain harmless officiousness, a
readiness to do things which really were within the province of some
other girl. She had promptly joined the Emmanuel Society, for example,
and had been a member hardly a month when she told the President of
Emmanuel that she had invited Mrs. Skillington Squails, of Chicago, to
speak before the Society on her approaching visit to Boston.

Now it happened that both meetings of the Society that were to be held
during Mrs. Squails’ visit had been already provided with speakers whom
it was impossible to put aside. Moreover, it was decidedly out of place
for a new member like Clarissa to make a suggestion of this kind. There
was an executive committee of the Society whose duty it was to make all
arrangements regarding speakers, and Clarissa ought at least to have
consulted this committee before writing to Mrs. Squails.

“I’m awfully sorry,” she said when the matter was explained to her. “But
it seemed to be such a good chance to get Mrs. Squails, that I thought
that I ought to secure her as soon as I heard that she was coming East.
You know that she’s in great demand, and she never gets less than fifty
dollars a lecture. But she knows me very well; she stayed at our house a
week the last time she came down into our State, and she would have
spoken before our Society for nothing to oblige me, and she’d consider
it an honor to speak at Radcliffe.”

Mrs. Skillington Squails was an effective speaker, and her subject, “The
Organization of Women Workers,” might have come within the scope of the
Emmanuel programmes. But unfortunately, Mrs. Squails had recently been
speaking on the stump for a very unpopular political party, and to
invite her to address Radcliffe girls would have drawn considerable
adverse criticism on the college.

The President of the Society thought it fortunate that the other
speakers could not be put aside for the Chicagoan, and in the end
Clarissa was spared the embarrassment of having to explain that her
invitation was not official by hearing from the latter that for the time
being she had given up her visit to Boston. Although the President of
the Emmanuel and her committee had been very careful not to speak of
this officiousness of Clarissa’s, in some way, possibly through Clarissa
herself, the story had leaked out, and nearly every one who had not met
her asked to have her pointed out. They were all anxious to see the
audacious Western Freshman.

Polly Porson, when she heard the story, had entertained a group of girls
with a mock interview between Clarissa and Ernestine Dunton, the very
serious and conscientious President of the Emmanuel. She remembered that
this portrayal had taken place late one afternoon in the conversation
room; and although she had glanced out into the hall to make sure that
there were no listeners besides those whom she had undertaken to
entertain, there was the possibility that Clarissa might have passed
through the hall unobserved. The thought of such a possibility made the
careless Polly rather uncomfortable, and in consequence she was now
especially cordial to Clarissa.



                                  VIII
                             THE MID-YEARS


“It’s comical, isn’t it, to see those woe-begone faces erstwhile so gay
and cheerful?” said Clarissa, meeting Julia one morning in January at
the foot of the main stairs of Fay House. “Let us stand here and watch
the martyrs pass.”

“Laughing at your fellow sufferers!” responded Julia; “surely you are
not out of misery yourself.”

“No, indeed, I have two more; but I’d rather die with my boots on, as
the miners say, than be killed by inches. Now just look there!”

As Clarissa spoke two girls approached, one stumbling along with her
eyes fixed on a book, the other wearing dark green glasses that made her
pale face look almost ghostly.

“You can’t pass without speaking!” Clarissa’s voice compelled attention,
and the girl with the book looked up, showing the usually bright face of
Elspeth Gray, while the girl in glasses responded in the accents of
Polly Porson.

“I’m nearly dead, I really am, with one examination to-day and another
to-morrow! I had a perfectly lovely time the first week, for not one of
my mid-years came early. I went to two matinées and a Symphony Concert,
had a girl from New York over to spend the week with me; but the next
week when I began to study I found I’d lost the taste for cramming, and
I’ve sat up nights since. It was three A.M. when I went to bed last
night, or this morning—which was it?—and my eyes are nearly wrecked.”

Polly from a seat on the stairs looked up at Clarissa, who was standing
in front of her.

“I’m glad that I can’t see very well,” she continued. “I should hate to
discover that you were laughing at me, Clarissa.”

“Well, I do think that you are very silly.” Clarissa drew herself up.
“Look at me! I’ve gained two pounds since the first of January.”

“Why! haven’t you had to work? You are an exception, and this is only
your first year, too.”

“Certainly I have been working,” responded Clarissa, “but I haven’t been
worrying. There’s little difference to me ’twixt ‘A’ and ‘B’ and ‘C’ and
‘D.’”

“Very well,” said a Junior, overhearing, “we shall see. I felt that way
myself when I was a Freshman. But a change came over the spirit of my
dream when I received my marks. I’d always thought myself a pretty
bright person before that, but when I found that I had nothing higher
than a ‘B,’ and that in only one course, while ‘C’s’ were alarmingly
prevalent on my record, I made up my mind after that to take
examinations seriously. I did better in June—I really did.”

“Yes, indeed,” interposed Polly. “I mean to do better in June myself.”

“According to your own account, you did not plan well for these
mid-years. Wouldn’t it have been better to have spent an hour or two
earlier in the year in study instead of cramming it into a week?
Wouldn’t that have been more consistent?” asked Julia.

“It might have been more consistent,” responded Polly, “but it wouldn’t
have been half as pleasant. I never _did_ believe that consistency was a
diamond of the first water. Besides, it’s _much_ more exciting to leave
most of your work to the last. If I were running a race I’d always make
my greatest effort on the last round. To be sure, I’d feel a little
better now if my eyes weren’t so troublesome. But I must go on. Elspeth
and I have some German to attack—just a trifle, you know: ‘Minna von
Barnhelm,’ ‘Wilhelm Tell,’ ‘Iphigenia,’ and one or two other little
things of that kind,” and she made a gesture of affected carelessness.
“Well, good-bye! Elspeth furnishes eyes for me at present, and looks up
all the words in the dictionary, while I provide the free translations.
Free enough,” she concluded with a laugh, as she disappeared up the
stairs.

“There,” cried Clarissa, “I can see that Polly is worried. She’s been
summoned to the office once or twice for cutting, I hear. She told of it
herself,” she added, lest Julia should wonder how Clarissa had learned
this.

Many Radcliffe girls, undoubtedly, took their examinations too severely.
They withdrew to their rooms at the beginning of the mid-years, and came
out only to get books from the library or for examinations. Yet though
cramming is a bad habit, it is so firmly fixed on all students that
until examinations themselves are abolished it will last. Poor students,
who have wasted the lecture hours and neglected the prescribed reading,
cram because otherwise they might fail outright, and so bring their
college course to an untimely end. Good students, who have neglected
nothing through the term, cram to assure themselves that they have done
the very best by their chosen subjects. Between the men and the women
students of Cambridge, however, there is one marked point of difference.
With the growth of Harvard the profession of tutor is of increasing
importance. Young men of small money and large ability after their
Freshman year often defray the greater part of their expenses by
tutoring. Many, indeed, of the youths who seek the aid of tutors have
never even tried to keep up with the regular lectures. By some occult
reasoning they calculate that it requires less mental effort to wait
until the approach of the examinations for their great spurt. The gist
of the courses they desire is then given them by an expert who in a few
hours covers the work of the half-year. Lazy men, athletic men, and men
lacking the mental momentum to carry them through college are the
mainstay of numbers of impecunious students. Radcliffe as yet has had no
attractions for girls disinclined to study. The majority have had high
standing in the preparatory schools, and they go to college intending to
do their best. If the Polly Porsons have been inattentive to some
lectures, or if they have neglected part of their reading, they work
with a will in the weeks just before examinations. But they scorn the
help of tutors, or of printed notes. At the worst they borrow the
note-books of some other girl, or they meet in little groups of two or
three to put one another to the test with difficult questions. Informal
meetings of this kind are the nearest thing that Radcliffe can show to
the Seminars (disapproved by the Faculty), devised for the smoothing of
the way for Harvard students.

Clarissa was one of those who liked to study in company.

“I am twice as sure of myself when I have done a little thinking aloud.
Come on, Polly, one more hour will make us perfect in English. I need
you to hear me say the ‘Canons,’ and exercise me a little on ‘shall’ and
‘will,’ and then I shall know whole pages of the English Literature
Primer. It’s too bad that we haven’t had more courses together, for we
work together splendidly; don’t you think so?”

“Yes,” said Polly, “especially as you have eyes and I haven’t. I am
going to make up questions out of my head to test you, for I mustn’t
look much on my book.”

“Oh, that will be all right,” responded Clarissa. “Besides, I have some
examination papers—those of the past two or three years—and I am going
to use them for your especial torment. It will strengthen your mind to
answer the questions.”

“Thank you, but if my mind required strengthening I don’t believe that
cramming would help. A cup of good strong coffee would be more to the
point.”

“There,” cried Clarissa, “you’ve given yourself away. I have been
wondering how you kept yourself awake until three A.M. as you boast of
doing. If coffee does it I have only half as much respect for you as I
thought I had. If I could look in upon you some midnight soon, and find
you drinking strong coffee, with your head swathed in wet towels—for
this I am told is the habit with coffee-bibbers—I’d punish you as you
deserve.”

“I plead guilty,” cried Polly, “to the coffee drinking. Why not, since I
have a little gas-stove of my own? But the wet towels, ugh! I could not
stand anything so clammy. But come! time flies, and if you are in
earnest about that symposium, let us hasten to my rooms.”

Many girls studied wholly by themselves. Pamela was one of these, and
Lois another. Pamela in this, as in other things, was solitary from
necessity rather than from choice. She had hardly a speaking
acquaintance with most of the girls in her classes, and it occurred to
none of them to ask her to join them. She for her part was too timid to
make the first advances. Lois, on the other hand, would have been
welcomed by many a little study group. But she was of a decidedly
independent disposition, and she felt that she could accomplish more by
herself, and with a smaller expenditure of time.

Her disinclination to be one of a crowd stood in the way of Lois’
popularity. Her fellow-students admitted that she was bright and
amiable, and that she seldom said sarcastic things. But they felt that
she was not deeply interested in them as individuals, and in consequence
they were inclined to criticise her. It was harmless criticism, but it
tended to increase the feeling that Lois was not exactly popular.

Julia and Ruth, studying together, rejoiced that they had the same
electives. Ruth was unduly flurried and worried, and she and Julia sat
up until midnight many nights when they might better have been in bed.

“The worst of it is,” sighed Ruth, after her last examination, “my
cramming hasn’t helped me an atom. Not one of the four papers had a
question that I could not have answered before I began to cram.”

“Yes, and if you hadn’t sat up so late grinding you would probably have
been in a better state for work. You’ll take things more sensibly in
your Sophomore and Junior years. Only Freshmen and Seniors work
themselves into a fever. Freshmen are inexperienced and nervous, and
Seniors never feel quite sure that they are going to pass in everything;
but Sophomores and—”

“I can’t say that I agree with you, Miss Darcy,” said Jane Townall.
“I’ve always tried to do my duty by all my instructors, but I never went
into an examination, even in my Sophomore and Junior years, without an
enormous amount of preparation. It seems to me that most girls do the
same.”

“Oh,” responded Elizabeth carelessly, “it all depends on the kind of
girls one knows. _Your_ friends, of course, are more serious than mine.
But you all make a mistake. You have lost five pounds, and you look as
if you had lost your last friend, too.”

With this Elizabeth hurried off to join Polly Porson, for they both
belonged to the same clique of rather lively girls just at this time
beginning to promote theatricals, tableaux, and other frivolities,
calculated to show that Radcliffe girls had other talents besides the
purely scholastic.

“It’s easy for Miss Darcy to talk,” said Jane Townall, turning to Ruth,
as Elizabeth moved away. “The loss of a grade would not hurt her; she is
not going to teach, and it will be all the same to her whether she gets
a plain degree, or a _cum laude_.”

“She does pretty well, though,” interposed a girl who had just joined
the group. “She showed me her marks last year, and there was nothing, I
think, below ‘B.’”

“Oh, there’s an art in getting marks, just as there is in achieving
greatness of any other sort. Perhaps you are not aware, Freshmen,” and
the speaker turned toward Ruth and Julia, “that one principle in
selecting courses is to choose those demanding the least work, and at
the same time yielding the highest marks. There’s a curious relation
between the two. The easier the course and the smaller the amount of
work in it, the higher the mark. Elizabeth goes in for such things as
Semitic 12 and Fine Arts 1, and—oh, well, we know the list. They are
studies that make for culture and high marks.”

“Also,” said another girl, “Elizabeth believes in making a good
impression on her instructors. She will break into a lecture three times
in the course of the hour to ask a question which sometimes has only the
slightest connection with the subject. But often it gives the instructor
an opportunity for a series of footnotes to the lecture in the shape of
original remarks, and he ends by believing Elizabeth to be the most
intelligent girl in his class. He keeps this in mind when her blue-book
falls into his hand. This is one secret of her succeeding without
working, for _she_ says that she does not work, and _you_ say that she
gets good marks.”

“In other words, she ‘swipes’ marks,” interposed Clarissa.

Jane Townall looked uncomfortable at the tone of the discussion.
Personalities were distasteful to her.

“Miss Darcy is very pleasant,” she ventured; “every one likes her. I
envy a girl who has the faculty of making herself agreeable to every
one.”

Jane meant to pay Elizabeth a very high compliment, but the two Juniors
in the group laughed heartily.

“That’s just it,” said the taller of the two. “Elizabeth does try to
make herself agreeable to every one. She would rather be called
uneducated than unpopular. I shouldn’t wonder,” she concluded with a
smile, “if she had designs on the Idler. But then, she’d make a fairly
good President.”

“Oh, but what a change after Miss Witherspoon! Besides, I’d rather see a
girl like Lois Forsaith.”

“Oh, well, of course. By the time she is a Senior her turn may come, but
at present it’s out of the question. Indeed, I doubt that she’d ever be
elected, however strongly some of us might wish it. She’s too
independent; and though she doesn’t make enemies, she wouldn’t have
enough people to work for her at an election. She hasn’t many intimate
friends. You’ve got to belong to a clique if you want to hold office, or
else be tremendously and surpassingly beautiful or rich.”

“Well, Lois isn’t that exactly. She’s just a good all-round kind of girl
with considerable talent, and she’s so independent that nobody ever
quite appreciates her.”

“Well, I’m sure,” said Jane Townall primly, as the group broke up, “I
feel as if in some way I had done Miss Darcy an injury. I really did not
mean to make her a subject of discussion when I spoke of the ease with
which she takes her examinations. I hope that I didn’t do her any
injustice. I’m sure that I didn’t mean to.”

“Of course you didn’t, Jane; you wouldn’t hurt a fly, we all know that,”
exclaimed one of the Juniors with a surprising flippancy. Jane was
Julia’s Senior adviser, and her four months at Radcliffe hadn’t lessened
her awe of Seniors in general, and of Jane in particular. For although
Jane was awkward—unused to conventional society—and wrapped up in her
studies, she had more than once gone out of her way to help Julia; and
while she was timid about offering advice, when asked to give it she was
always logical and painstaking in what she said.



                                   IX
                            TWO CATASTROPHES


One Monday soon after the mid-years Julia and Elizabeth were walking
down Garden Street in the face of a rather sharp wind. Elizabeth, like
all who are not Boston bred, complained of the spring winds as if they
were more vicious than in her native New Jersey. Passing the old
graveyard, she laughingly reminded Julia that Longfellow’s “dust is in
her beautiful eyes,” applied to one who lay buried within the First
Parish enclosure, and that some wit had commented that dust was always
in some one’s eyes in Cambridge.

“Yet it’s an interesting old graveyard,” said Julia, “and sometime I
hope to go inside and study some of the inscriptions.”

“We all _mean_ to do those things,” responded Elizabeth, “when we are
Freshmen. I did myself last year. Christ Church is almost next door to
Fay House, and it’s one of the many that Washington honored. But I doubt
if you go within it before your Senior year, unless you make it your
regular church. But, dear me! What is that?”

A white shower was falling at their feet, and, looking up, the two saw
Pamela, the very picture of despair. The three girls were almost in
front of the old Dane Law School, now given up to the uses of the
Co-operative Society, and the sidewalk was slightly glazed with ice. The
wind, blowing strong in the faces of Julia and Elizabeth, had apparently
carried the slight figure of Pamela before it. Evidently, too, she had
been shopping at some Harvard Square grocer’s, and in her efforts to
keep herself from slipping, her black woollen bag had turned over, and
its contents were scattered. If the grocer had tied up tightly that
five-pound paper bag of granulated sugar there might have been no
catastrophe; but in some way the string had loosened, and Pamela stood
helpless, as the stream of sugar poured itself out on the sidewalk under
the very eyes of the fastidious Elizabeth Darcy. Elizabeth passed on
with a gesture of annoyance. On the steps of the Co-operative she had
seen two or three youths whom she knew, and she did not intend to make
herself one of a ridiculous group. Julia did not follow her, as she
swept up the steps of the Co-operative. Nor did the Harvard youths
accompany her. Elizabeth was accustomed to attention; and though these
three raised their hats politely, and although one stepped forward to
open the door, she noticed that the others hastened toward Julia.

Julia, too, had recognized the young men before she began to help
Pamela, and had she acted on impulse, she might have passed on with
Elizabeth, for she knew that Philip was only too ready to criticise
anything strange in the appearance of a Radcliffe girl. But Julia would
not have been Julia had she deserted Pamela.

The bag itself had slipped from the Vermont girl’s hands, and a
note-book or two, and a number of loose sheets lay on the sidewalk. To
save these papers from a coming gust, Philip and Will rushed forward.
Had Julia not been there they might have hesitated to intrude on Pamela.
Yet their natural chivalry would probably have triumphed.

“Never mind the sugar,” whispered Julia to Pamela, and the young men as
politely ignored it.

Julia, then picking up the bag, replaced the papers and note-books that
had been gathered up. Pamela, thoroughly abashed, tried to take the bag
from her friend, with a feeble “Let me do it,” but Julia, finishing her
self-imposed task, introduced Philip and Will to Pamela.

“We’re going to the car office,” she replied in answer to Philip’s
question. Therefore, across the Square, accompanied by the two young
men, Pamela and Julia threaded their way between two lines of electric
cars.

“We’re evidently dismissed,” said Philip, as Julia bade them good-bye at
the office; and after a word or two more, Will and he went back in the
direction of the Yard.

“That was rather plucky in Julia, wasn’t it?” said Will.

“What?” asked Philip, who sometimes seemed to have the obtuseness of his
sister.

“Why, the way she tried to make that girl feel comfortable—I didn’t
catch her name. But she’s evidently a shy creature, and she had got
herself into a scrape with all that sugar on the sidewalk.”

“I thought that she was rather bright-looking,” responded Philip,
“though her clothes were pretty freakish.”

“Well, I fancy we were rather in the way as long as we couldn’t help
much. Julia has probably carried the girl home with her. Did she open
her mouth to you?”

“Who, Julia?”

“No, the other girl. I didn’t hear her say a word.”

“Oh, she said ‘yes’ once and ‘no’ twice,” replied Philip, laughing.

“Ah!” sighed Pamela, standing beside Julia, “I hope I’ll never see any
sugar again. I’m not bound to do errands for Miss Batson.” Then, as
Julia looked puzzled, she began to explain. “Miss Batson is my—” she
hesitated. She could not truthfully say “landlady,” so she tried again.
“She has the house where I live. She has boarders, and sometimes I do
errands for her. It seems easy to carry her things in my bag, but
to-day—”

“Were you on your way home?” interposed Julia, to draw her mind from the
recent catastrophe.

“No, I was going to Fay House to study.”

“Well, then, please come home with me. Ruth and I are always at home
Mondays, but you have never called on us.”

Pamela hesitated. Every hour counted in her scheme of work. But the
temptation was strong, and she went on with Julia. Although the latter
remembered that Pamela had never invited her to call, she realized that
she herself might have done various little things to make the way
pleasanter for one who was so evidently alone. She could see that Pamela
would not make friends easily, and she had noticed her at none of the
college affairs since that first Idler.

“College ought to be broadening,” thought Julia, “and yet I believe that
it has made me extraordinarily selfish. I haven’t the least excuse to
offer for neglecting Pamela, for I saw at the beginning of the term that
she would need a friend.”

Pamela’s eye brightened as she stood on the threshold of Julia’s pretty
room. “How lovely it is!” she exclaimed.

The open fire blazing on the hearth certainly gave the room a cheerful
aspect, and the little tea-table added to the homelikeness of the scene.
Poor Pamela sighed, the comfort appealed to her. There on the table lay
several of the newest books,—one a volume of criticism that had
attracted great attention; another, and the best of all in Pamela’s
eyes, a history of Italian Art, very fully illustrated. She recognized
the cover, and could hardly keep her hands from it.

The general tone of the draperies was old blue, always a restful color
when not used in excess. The curtains were of a soft rep in this shade,
and beneath them were spotted muslin short blinds. Two of the
easy-chairs were covered in old blue corduroy, and a third, of soft
brown ooze leather, was particularly inviting. There were two or three
small water-colors hanging there, but the pictures on the wall were
chiefly photographs from the old masters. There were three Rembrandt
heads, life-size, and a Madonna of Botticelli, as well as his head of a
Florentine lady. A Turner etching hung on the little space at the edge
of the mantle, and two or three etchings of minor importance closed the
list of pictures. Julia’s piano filled one recess, and a bookcase that
she had had made especially for the room filled the other.

Before Pamela could protest that she intended to stay but a few minutes,
she found herself with hat and coat off, cosily seated before the fire.
Julia flung herself on the divan between the windows.

“I really feel tired! That wind was very wearing. After all, home is a
good place on a day like this. I will have the tea sent up before four
o’clock, or rather the hot water, for I make the tea myself. Oh, here is
Ruth! Do like a good girl touch the bell. I like to start with the water
hot,” explained Julia, filling her kettle with water from Mrs. Colton’s
kitchen. With the aid of the alcohol lamp the water soon boiled. Then
putting three coverfuls of tea from the caddy into a china teapot, she
covered the teapot with an embroidered cozy.

“Please notice,” cried Ruth, “our silver caddy. An old grand-aunt of
mine presented it to me in her delight that we were to have a tea-table.
She had feared that college would destroy our domestic tastes.”

“Yes,” added Julia, “we have made a great impression on our relatives by
demanding things for our tea-table. When they asked what we wished for
our rooms they evidently expected us to say dictionaries or other books.
But here is a fascinating set of spoons from my cousin Brenda—every
handle different; and Aunt Anna gave me this biscuit jar, and Edith
Blair worked these doilies.”

“Is that a Tanagra figure?” asked Pamela abruptly, pointing to the
bookcase. “How I envy you!”

“Take it down,” said Julia, “if you wish to examine it close at hand,
although it’s only a replica,” she added apologetically.

“Oh, _may_ I?” exclaimed Pamela, lifting it from the broad top of the
bookcase. And while the conversation flowed on she examined the
figurine, fondly noting every graceful line.

No one who looked at Pamela could fail to comprehend that she must be
more or less stinted for money. She herself would have told you, had you
asked her, that she knew that her gray gown was of rather dowdy make,
although she might not have realized as clearly as the onlooker just
where the seams were crooked, or in what particular places the skirt
hung unevenly. Pamela had at the best a limited wardrobe, and her
village dressmaker had not kept pace with city styles. Pamela herself,
unskilled with the needle, even when she knew that a garment might be
improved, had not the ability to make the change. She consoled herself
with the thought that no one in Cambridge was likely to notice her. She
was too obscure to be criticised. She had always admired Julia’s gowns,
so pretty and so simple, yet with the hall-mark of good workmanship.
Pamela was a lover of beauty in every form, and she now wished vaguely,
as she watched Ruth moving about the room, that she herself possessed at
least one gown that she could wear as gracefully as Ruth wore hers. Ruth
was giving little touches to the furniture, moving one chair farther
from the fire, pulling another out of a corner. Julia had excused
herself for a moment to rearrange her hair in the inner room, “in case,”
she said, “that we should have some more critical callers.”

Hardly had she left when there came a loud rapping at the door.

“Come in!” cried Ruth. “It must be Percy Colton. He often runs up after
school,” she added in an aside to Pamela.

The door was thrown open with a bang, and there on the threshold stood
Clarissa, tall, almost overpoweringly tall, with a smile on her face, a
flush of crimson on her cheeks, and a winter coat of a much brighter
crimson on her back. Two other girls were with her, whom she immediately
introduced to Ruth as Miss Burlap, of Kansas, and Miss Creighton, of
Maine.

“It is so much better,” she said, immediately explaining, “to know from
just what State a girl comes. You know what to talk about from the
start, and you can account sooner for her peculiarities.”

Ruth smiled at this sally, although she was not inclined to approve much
that Clarissa said or did, and she was glad to see Julia emerging from
the bedroom. Julia’s greeting was very cordial to Clarissa and her
companions, and Clarissa when she caught sight of Pamela greeted her as
a long-lost friend.

Hardly, however, was the interchange of greetings over when the
half-open door was pushed open wider. “More visitors!” exclaimed Ruth.
“How exciting!”

Mrs. Blair entered Julia’s study with lorgnette raised. The action was
involuntary. She had found the stairway at Mrs. Colton’s rather narrower
than stairways she was accustomed to, and had used the lorgnette to help
her find her way. Julia hastened forward to greet her, while Edith and
Brenda, with less ceremony, pushed past Mrs. Blair into the centre of
the room.

“Why, how perfectly delightful!” cried Ruth, and “What a surprise!” said
Julia; and the room which a few minutes before had seemed large and
comparatively quiet now appeared small, crowded, and bustling. The four
girls who knew one another best were chattering, and the four other
girls, Pamela, Clarissa, and the two friends of the latter, tried not to
show too much interest in the trio that had just entered. Mrs. Blair
continued to survey the scene through her lorgnette until she had seated
herself in an easy-chair.

“Why, it’s even prettier than when I was here before,” cried Brenda in
her rather high-pitched voice. “You have two new chairs and a new
etching and several cups,—at least there are certainly two new ones.”

“I dare say,” responded Julia; “you must remember that you have been
here only once this year.”

“It is really a very pleasant room,” added Mrs. Blair, looking about
her; “not nearly as unconventional as I had supposed.” Mrs. Blair had
hesitated a little before the last word. “Feared” was what she would
have said had she not corrected herself in time.

 [Illustration: “‘An American girl’—she spoke with emphasis—‘is her own
                            best chaperon’”]

“Ever since you’ve been at Radcliffe,” said Edith, “mamma has been
awfully afraid that you would turn into something unconventional. That’s
one reason we brought her out here to-day. We wished her to see that
even in a college room you could still be yourself.”

“Now Edith,” cried Mrs. Blair, “I knew that Julia could not change, but
of course I can’t quite get used to a girl’s having rooms just like a
Harvard student.”

“Well now, Mrs. Blair, you can see that ours are not just like theirs. I
only wish that they were. There’s no such luck in sight as yet for
Radcliffe students as a fine dormitory for our own use like Claverly or
Hastings—or even Holworthy. We can’t have suites of rooms and private
bath-rooms, and all the fine things that Philip and his friends have.”

“No,” added Ruth, “we haven’t any proctor, even, to keep watch over us.”

“That’s one of the things that would trouble me a little. _Whom_ do you
have for chaperons?”

Clarissa could no longer keep silent.

“An American girl”—she spoke with emphasis—“is her own best chaperon.
I’ve travelled hundreds of miles alone myself. I’ve even gone to
lectures alone—at night—and no one ever was rude to me. Indeed, I’d like
to see any one try to be! He wouldn’t try it a second time.”

Julia and Ruth looked slightly uncomfortable during this outburst.
Brenda and Edith began to giggle, and the others discreetly kept their
eyes cast down.

Mrs. Blair unconsciously raised her lorgnette again.

“Why, certainly,” she said, “a young girl need not look for rudeness. I
was merely thinking that she would be better with her own family.”

“Oh, but if she can’t have her own family, isn’t it the next best thing
for some other person’s family to offer her a home?”

“But I do not like the idea,” said Mrs. Blair, “of your living outside
of dormitories.”

“But the great charm of our life here is its independence,” said Julia
politely. “You know, too, that our boarding-places must be approved by
the Dean; and if we are very hard to manage, we can be reported by our
landladies.”

“But do they ever do it?”

“Well, I have heard that no Radcliffe girl has ever had to be
reprimanded severely. For my own part, I feel bound to behave even
better here than I would at home.” In her eagerness to do her college
justice, Ruth forgot that she was taking Clarissa’s side of the
argument.

“Besides,” added Julia, “many Radcliffe girls live at home in Boston, or
Cambridge, or the suburbs, coming to the college only for lectures, so
that we ought not to be under more restrictions than they.”

“I did not mean to start so serious a discussion,” said Mrs. Blair. “I’m
glad to see your piano here, Julia; music is so womanly an
accomplishment;” and Mrs. Blair sipped her tea with satisfaction. “You
make a good cup of tea, too.”

“Then you can report that we are fairly feminine?”

“Yes, indeed, Julia. But come, girls, we promised to look in on Philip
toward five o’clock.”

While Brenda and Edith were saying their last words Pamela in her corner
sat unnoticed with the Tanagra figure in her lap. Clarissa, meanwhile,
talked to Mrs. Blair with surprising ease.

Mrs. Blair was accustomed to deference even from her special friends,
and it seemed strange to have this young person meet her on impersonal
grounds, and talk to her merely as any girl might to any woman. Mrs.
Blair looked at Clarissa intently, without the lorgnette. She had always
heard that there was something queer about college girls. Here was one
of the species close at hand, and those other girls in the corner, who
had had so little to say to her. They were all rather badly dressed, at
least one could see that their gowns were not tailor-made. Julia, of
course, was not an ordinary college girl. She was Mr. Barlow’s niece who
had chosen to go to college, and it did seem a pity that she had to know
all kinds of people. These were the thoughts flitting through Mrs.
Blair’s mind as she stood there waiting for Brenda and Edith. As they
stood there the handle of her umbrella became entangled in her lorgnette
chain. “Permit me,” said Clarissa, trying to help her. But after a
little effort a sudden jerk sent the umbrella against the brass fender,
and a bit of the delicate ivory carving was broken.

“Now, it’s of no consequence,” protested Mrs. Blair, as Clarissa
apologized for her carelessness. Then with a farewell that was as
cordial for Clarissa as for the others, Mrs. Blair, with her furs and
rustling skirts and polished manner, had departed, and the room seemed
large and quiet again.

“After all,” sighed Clarissa, “there is something in a society manner,
for I suppose that’s what you’d call Mrs. Blair’s pleasant way of saying
things that she doesn’t exactly mean. Though I must have seemed a clumsy
creature, she almost made me believe that I’d done right in breaking
that bit of ivory. It’s the first time I’ve seen a grande dame at close
range, and it’s refreshing—for a change. Dear me!” and Clarissa turned
to Pamela, “nursing a doll? I hadn’t noticed before just what you were
doing.”

Pamela reddened under this chaffing, for at Clarissa’s words Miss
Burlap, of Kansas, and Miss Creighton, of Maine, turned their eyes
toward her.

“It’s a Tanagra figure,” said Pamela; “it belongs to Miss Bourne.”

“Oh, I’m just as wise as I was before. It looks like some kind of a
heathen idol, and you gaze at it as if you adored it.”

“Come, Miss Herter,” said Julia, hastening to the relief of Pamela.
“Even Freshmen in Cambridge are expected to know something about Greek
Art. You’d better get a catalogue of the Boston Art Museum, and the next
time you go there you can study the Tanagra figures.”

“Well,” replied Clarissa, “I’ll take your advice. But now I must be off.
‘Answers to Correspondents’ always declare that it’s rude to outstay an
earlier caller, but Mrs. Blair and your cousin so fascinated me that I
forgot my manners.”

So Clarissa and her friends went away, but Pamela, at Julia’s request,
stayed a little longer. Two or three other pleasant Radcliffe girls
dropped in, and she enjoyed their bright, informal conversation. She
found afterwards that to meet any one at Miss Bourne’s was sure to open
a pleasanter acquaintance than any casual introduction.

The memory of this Monday afternoon cheered her as she set the table
that evening, and waited on Miss Batson, and washed the dishes. Fate,
indeed, had been particularly kind to her, for Miss Batson, who was apt
to be absent-minded, had herself bought sugar that afternoon, forgetting
entirely that she had asked Pamela to get it.



                                   X
                      DISCUSSIONS AND DISCUSSIONS


The Easter vacation had come and passed, and Pamela was pleased to find
herself again attending lectures. She had been a little lonely, for
almost all of her classmates had been away somewhere “for fun or for
clothes,” as Polly Porson put it. Polly and Clarissa had gone together
to New York, where the former had an aunt, and their talk now turned on
Art exhibitions, Waldorf musicales, and things of that kind. Julia,
yielding to her aunt’s entreaties, had fixed her mind more or less
attentively on clothes. Lois had had to put her own time and strength
into remodelling and shaping the lighter summer clothes. Whereas in
Julia’s case her greatest sacrifice of time came in the unescapable
“fittings” which she had to undergo at the dressmaker’s. Pamela had had
neither fun nor new clothes to console her in the vacation. She had been
unable to afford the trip to Vermont, and indeed she did not intend to
return home for the summer holidays, unless she should fail to find some
employment in vacation that would help her pay her expenses during the
next college year. Her one luxury through the recess had been frequent
trips to Boston. She had wandered to her heart’s content through the Art
shops, and she had spent many hours in the Art Museum. She had saved
car-fare by walking one way to Boston, and this exercise in itself had
probably been an advantage to her, as in winter she had had little time
for long walks. The fresh spring air as she walked along blew many
cobwebs from her brain. For Pamela was not of a hopeful temperament, and
she could not help wondering where she should get her income for the
coming year. Her aunt’s letters were not altogether cheerful. Between
the lines she could read that continued disapproval of her ambition for
a college degree. “If you had gone to the Normal School,” read one of
the letters, “you’d be almost ready now to take a school. Perhaps you
might have had a chance at the Academy. They say that Miss Smith is
going to be married.”

“They’ll feel better if I tell them that I’m likely to get a scholarship
at the end of another year. Oh, I do hope that I shall take second-year
honors! That will make the scholarship almost certain. If I could earn
fifty dollars above my expenses this summer, and if Miss Batson will
give me the same chance next year, why, I can certainly hold on until I
get a scholarship. Ah, me!”

The sigh was perhaps not to be wondered at, for Pamela saw clearly the
uphill road that lay before her. Sometimes she could not help
contrasting herself with Julia and Clarissa, and the others before whom
life seemed to spread out so delightfully. She listened with interest to
all that these lighter-hearted girls had to tell of their vacation
experiences, and she bent with redoubled energy to her work. May was at
hand, and nobody can be utterly down-hearted in May, with the trees
bursting into bloom, and the air growing softer and sweeter, and the
bright spring sun touching everything with gold, making even literary
Cambridge a pleasant place for the hundreds of students who cross the
Yard to the halls of Harvard, or walk through Garden Street to Fay
House. Yet despite spring sunshine, Pamela shrank into herself, and even
Julia could not drag her out of her routine.

“It isn’t right,” Clarissa remonstrated, “to think so much of Xenophon,
Plato, and Euripides. They may have been very able men, but to think of
them alone will make you one-sided.”

“If you had studied Greek you’d be less frivolous,” remarked Julia, as
Clarissa picked up a slip of paper with printed questions that fluttered
from one of Pamela’s books. Clarissa read aloud from the paper:

“‘IX. Write on the results, to logic and ethics, of the work of
Socrates, and the impression which it made on his contemporaries as
illustrated in “The Clouds.”’ Is it strange,” she commented, “that
Pamela is half in the clouds and here? ‘Write an account of the life and
professional activity of Lysias.’ It would be more seasonable to write
an account of the professional activity of the catcher on the Harvard
nine. Throw aside this foolish paper, Pamela! Why, the heading says,
‘Divide your time equally between Lysias and Plato.’ Your aunt in
Vermont ought to know about this.”

“Don’t crumple it,” cried Pamela, flushing under this badinage. “I save
all my examination papers; that was a mid-year.”

“To make a scrap-book?” queried Polly, who had joined the group. “Excuse
my smiles, but it seems so comical to care tenderly for examination
papers. Why, I tear mine up, and throw my blue-books into the fire.
Lecture notes are more entertaining. Clarissa’s, for example! Clarissa,
if your notes in History 100 should be published, they would contribute
greatly to the gaiety of nations. You must not let them fall into the
hands of the profane.”

The lecturer in History 100 had a rather original method in dealing with
his subject. His style was colloquial, and when in his opinion the
occasion demanded it, he used expressions that bordered pretty closely
on slang. Nevertheless, he had a fine command of his subject, and that
he was a valued member of the Faculty was shown by his standing near the
head of his department. That he shattered some of the idols that his
students had worshipped did not lessen the value of his teaching. After
expressing his own views fully (and sometimes jocosely), he would always
refer them to numerous books, by reading which they could inform
themselves on the other side of the subject. Although open, perhaps, to
some criticism from an academic point of view, Professor Z (for so he
was nicknamed from one of his most popular courses) was a stimulating
instructor, and his Radcliffe students set a high value on what they
learned from him.

Nevertheless, Polly and even the sedate Pamela were almost convulsed
with laughter as Clarissa read from her note-book what she claimed to be
one of Professor Z’s lectures. “Stage directions,” as Clarissa called
them, had been used very freely. “Here he frowned.” “At this point he
stroked his moustache and looked inexpressibly bored.” “At quarter-past
three he told us that he thought that Cromwell did not deserve any
further attention, at least from him, and that we’d all be happier for a
little respite from Puritanism. Whereupon he left us—fifteen minutes to
the better.”

“How would you like Professor Z to see your note-book?” asked Polly
mischievously.

“Why, I shouldn’t care. I never do behind any one’s back what I could
not just as well do before his face. The worst, I suppose, that he could
give me would be a ‘D;’ but I think, on the whole, that he would be
rather amused that I had had sufficient interest to take notes at once
so literal and so copious.”

“Yes, but don’t let that book fall into the hands of outsiders. They
might feel that we were not under sufficiently serious influences. You
New Englanders are so serious.”

“Julia’s the only New Englander here. You mustn’t be too severe,” said
Polly.

“No, indeed,” rejoined Clarissa; “but speaking of Jane—”

“Who spoke of Jane?”

“Well, _if_ we were speaking of Jane, it seems to me that we should all
say that she looks tired—too much work and no play. She’s something like
you, Pamela, only more so, though she has the excuse of being a Senior.
But speaking of Seniors (we really _were_ speaking of Seniors this
time), there’s Jane herself. Come, Jane,” and Polly raised her voice
slightly, that Jane, who was passing the door, might hear her.

It was after half-past four, and Polly, Pamela, and the others were
sitting in one of the vacant recitation rooms.

“Come, Jane,” said Polly, “we wish you to tell us why you have abjured
society of late. There have been several teas lately where you were
especially expected, which were remarkably desolate on account of your
absence.”

At this Jane looked uncomfortable. Was Polly making fun of her?

Julia’s more serious tones reassured her.

“Yes, tell us, Jane. Ruth and I had the special honor the other evening
of pouring chocolate at Professor Judson’s; his wife is some kind of a
cousin of Uncle Robert’s. But why weren’t you there? You belong to the
Philosophical Club.”

“Yes,” added Polly. “You _would_ have enjoyed meeting some of your
fellow sufferers from Harvard; there were several sedate youths among
them, Jane, exactly your style. The paper was most improving; every
social gathering in Cambridge has to be opened with a paper. Why weren’t
you there?”

“Clothes,” replied Jane laconically, smoothing the folds of her black
student gown.

“Oh, I suppose that you do not care to go where you cannot wear that
becoming cap and gown.

  “Oh, Jane! oh, Jane! oh, Jane! oh, Jane!
  Never did I think that you were so vain.”

Jane’s discomfort increased under Polly’s fusillade.

“I might be more comfortable in my cap and gown,” she retorted, “but
they would be as unsuitable as my brown merino in some places, and that
is the only best gown that I own.”

“I’m sure that it’s, it’s—”

“No,” said Jane gravely, as Julia stumbled; “no, it is neither beautiful
nor becoming. But it has been very useful to me this winter. I wear it
at our college functions with few qualms. It is only when I am invited
outside that I am disinclined to wear it.”

“Isn’t that rather foolish? In these days woman can be perfectly
independent about her clothes.” And Clarissa gave her curly head the
toss of independent “Young America.”

“No one can live entirely to herself, even in the matter of clothes,”
Jane explained. “If a hostess goes to the trouble and expense of
providing a pleasant evening for her friends, her guests should wear
festival attire. You are ‘asserting a false mood.’ Isn’t that what
Shaftesbury would say?” And she turned to Polly, who of all present
alone happened to be in her Philosophy class.

“Yes,” said Clarissa, “I agree with you there. I never could understand
why people in the East wear ugly clothes at times when they ought to be
in their best bib and tucker. When I am invited anywhere—which isn’t
often—I always try to wear something bright and cheerful.”

“The poster girl!” murmured Polly under her breath.

“I’d rather be called a poster girl than a mummy,” said Clarissa,
“though you, Jane, in your brown merino would be more welcome at some
functions than others I could name in purple and fine linen.”

“And I will wear my brown dress and never look too fine,” hummed Polly.
“You remember that Jennie Wren married Cock Robin, who seems to have
been a fairy prince among the birds. Every one knows that you are sure
of a _summa cum_, Jane Townall, so that you ought to be able to wear
what you like at any time.”

“I can’t speak for Jane,” interposed Julia, “but I am sure that in
accepting invitations we ought to think of what the hostess would like.
Don’t frown, Clarissa.”

“Oh, of course you are more in society than we are.”

“Nonsense, that isn’t fair,” replied Julia. “But college girls ought to
place themselves above the criticisms of those who do not look below the
surface.”

“One shouldn’t think too much of appearances. Who cares for
narrow-minded people? We must take the world as we find it.”

“I suppose so,” sighed Clarissa. “If I had worn a conventional Boston
costume, perhaps Mrs. Blair would not have gazed at me the other day as
if I were some newly discovered species. Next year I’ll appear out in—”

“Excuse me for interrupting,” cried Polly, “but let us do the proper
thing by putting the matter to the vote.”

“Resolved, that no Radcliffe student shall accept an invitation to a
festivity in Cambridge, or the adjoining suburb Boston, unless arrayed
in a becoming light gown.”

“Low-necked?” questioned Clarissa.

“Cream-white?” asked Jane with unwonted levity.

“Color and style to suit the complexion of the wearer,” replied Polly.
“Only no more dingy street gowns and hats at evening receptions.”

Though there wasn’t a dissenting voice, all knew that they were in
earnest to only a limited extent. Yet the discussion showed that dress
was a subject demanding some attention from even the busiest college
girl. It could not be dismissed with a word. “If a hostess fears that I
shall mortify her she needn’t invite me.” A busy girl naturally cannot
give much time to shopping and dressmakers. Often she has little money
to give to either. Yet by exercising care and taste, the girl with a
small purse can often work wonders. The world of college undergraduates
long since decided that there is no real connection between genius and
dowdy dress, and that the wearer of a well-fitting gown need not lack
mental ability.

There was some point to this discussion because invitations to affairs
outside of the immediate college now came occasionally to even the
quietest of the Freshmen. One or two of their professors invited them to
receptions. Some of the girls living at home in Cambridge or Boston
entertained more or less. In addition there were various college affairs
to which the outside world was invited, and those students who acted as
hostesses or ushers were especially conspicuous.

Simplicity was the keynote of most of the entertainments offered outside
of Radcliffe, as well as in the college itself. This was disappointing
sometimes to the occasional girl, conscious of her father’s wealth, who
had come to Cambridge expecting this wealth to count for as much in her
college life as it had counted at her own home. Yet no girl at Radcliffe
was ever so dull as not to discover speedily that plain living really
set the standard in Cambridge, and that any departure from simplicity
was really regarded as blamable rather than praiseworthy.



                                   XI
                            EFFORTS TO HELP


Julia, one spring afternoon, waiting in Edith’s library for Edith to
return from down town, was in the midst of a conversation with Philip.
His woe-begone face might have made her laugh had she not fortunately
realized that one cannot long retain her influence over the person she
has laughed at.

“If she hadn’t written me herself,” Philip was saying, “I couldn’t have
believed it. It seems he’s a member of Parliament, too. Well, I may be
something myself sometime. She might have waited. I can’t fix my mind on
anything now, and I fancy mother and Edith will be disappointed when I
can’t get my degree.”

“What have they to do with it?” cried Julia. “I’m sure that they have
always encouraged you.”

“Why, if they hadn’t disapproved of Adelaide Cain, she might not have
been so heartless, and then I should be in better spirits now.”

“You can’t imagine,” said Julia, “that Adelaide Cain threw you over just
because your mother disapproved of her? She hasn’t the reputation of
being so conscientious.”

“How hard girls are to one another!” exclaimed Philip in his most
cynical tone.

“Nonsense! nonsense!” and Julia laughed. “I’m positive that in three
months you will rejoice that Miss Cain preferred some one else. But did
you mean what you just said about your degree?”

“Well, my degree is certainly awfully shaky. There was a scrape I was in
in my Freshman year. They kept me on probation, and they do not seem to
think that I have lived it down. Then I have two exams. to make up, one
I lost when I was sick and another I failed on, and some of my work this
year is a little uncertain. I’ve a good mind to cut it all now and
quit.”

“What! leave everything, without taking your degree? No, indeed, Philip,
you mustn’t do it!”

“Well, I’ve only a few weeks, and—and—well, I suppose that I might as
well make a full confession. I have a lot of debt hanging over me, and I
cannot tell my father.”

“Oh, Philip!” Julia threw a great deal of feeling into her tone. This
last trouble seemed much more serious than either of the other things of
which Philip had spoken. She felt that it was to his advantage that Miss
Cain had set him aside, and she knew that if he applied himself he could
make up his deficiencies in his studies. But a matter of money—she
hardly knew how to advise him.

“It’s three thousand dollars.”

“Three thousand dollars! An enormous sum for an undergraduate to owe.”
Although Philip had lately come of age, Julia knew that he had no money
of his own. She knew, too, that although Mr. Blair was liberal to his
children he had a strong dislike for debt. She wondered if he would come
forward and pay this for Philip.

“It’s an old debt,” said Philip. “It was made last year. Part of it is
money I really owe, but the greater part is on notes I endorsed for
Farlong.”

Julia had heard of Farlong. He was a law student from a distance, who
had made a great display for a year or two. Then the failure of his
father—a rather notorious stockbroker—had brought his college career to
a close.

“Yes,” continued Philip, “I was so foolish as to let Farlong invest a
little money for me. Of course I lost it, and more, too, than I put in.
Then Farlong lent me some money, and when the crash came I was
considerably in his debt. I’ve been able to renew the notes, but now
they have to be paid, and with interest the whole sum is three thousand
dollars. So you can see that I have enough on my mind just at present.”

As he talked Julia realized that she could not help him.

“The very best thing,” she said, “is for you to go at once to your
father. It’s a large sum, but for a year or two you can economize, and
it will be worth a great deal to get this load off your mind.”

“I don’t know,” and Philip sighed heavily, at the same time closing with
a snap the watch-case in which he carried the picture of Adelaide Cain.

Except for the danger of offending Philip, Julia would have liked to
laugh at his feeling for Adelaide Cain. Adelaide was a distant cousin of
his, several years his senior, who had been engaged several times. She
was fond of attention; and as her latest engagement had been broken off
the past summer, she had let Philip dance attendance upon her while she
was travelling with Mrs. Blair’s party in Europe. Philip had imagined
that she really cared for him, and had written her many letters after
his return. At last Miss Cain had announced her engagement to another.
Philip felt greatly aggrieved by this news. His self-love had been
injured. Yet, if he had been willing to admit it, his present discomfort
was caused by his money loss rather than by the loss of the friendship
of Adelaide Cain. But it relieved his feelings a little to complain of
the unkindness of this fickle young lady.

“Now make a clean breast of it to your father,” cried Julia in parting.
But Philip merely shrugged his shoulders.


June came in as a hot month, making harder the final examinations of the
year. There was hardly a Radcliffe girl who did not go about with a
wilted air, as if life had lost all its charm. The cool corners of Fay
House were occupied by students, and the beauty of the tree-shaded
streets and the flower-laden gardens was wasted on them.

Julia, Ruth, and even the discreet Pamela herself were no better than
their fellows in this matter of examinations. Pamela, indeed, was
especially nervous in her dread of falling below “A” in something. With
the hope of a scholarship before her, she felt that she could afford
nothing less than perfection. Julia and Ruth, coaching each other in
Latin and English, studied throughout long, fragrant evenings, when they
would infinitely have preferred sitting idly on Mrs. Colton’s little
piazza.

On her way from town one day as she stepped on the open car, Julia saw
Philip upon the running-board. He carried his dress-suit case, and in a
hurried glance Julia saw that he looked worn and tired.

“Why, what is it?” she asked, as he took a seat beside her.

“What is what?”

“Why, you have a very melancholy air.”

“I thought I told you that I had several things to worry me.”

“And I advised you to tell your father.”

“Well, I’ve told him. I’m going in town to tell him something else now,
and also to bid my mother and Edith good-bye. They sail for Europe
to-morrow.”

“To sail to-morrow? Why, how strange! They will miss your Class Day.”

“_My_ Class Day!” Philip laughed sharply. “_My_ Class Day! Why, I
haven’t any Class Day. I haven’t any Class, for that matter.”

Julia was almost overcome by what he had said. In the first place, she
found it almost impossible to realize that Edith was starting for Europe
without letting her know her plans—without bidding her good-bye. At
least at the first moment it had been very hard to understand this; if
Philip’s second statement should prove true, that he was to have no
Class Day, it threw some light on Edith’s departure. The car thundered
over Harvard Bridge; a fresh breeze blew from the river, and life seemed
a little better worth living than it had a half-hour before. Julia
looked down the river toward the city. Her eyes fixed themselves on the
tower of the old gaol, and on the streets that ran up the hill, until at
last they rested on the golden dome of the State House. The golden dome
seemed to burn itself into her brain, and whenever again she thought of
this interview with Philip it seemed to dance before her eyes.

“What do you mean, Philip, about your Class Day?”

“Why, just what I said. I’m going to throw it all up. I told you that if
I couldn’t straighten things out I wouldn’t stay. Well, I’ve slipped up
entirely on one of my examinations, and that has settled the question of
my degree. My father is beside himself, he is so disappointed. He’s
making a great fuss about that money, too. I suppose that he’ll pay it,
but I’m pretty sure that he wouldn’t pay any Class Day bills, too. So
that even if I could stay for my degree, I couldn’t have much fun Class
Day. I’m going to cut it all.”

“What do you mean?”

“Why, I’m going to cut it all—Cambridge, College, everything.”

“But the Law School—you are coming back to the Law School?”

“No, indeed, I’ve had enough of study.”

Had Philip looked closely at Julia he might have noticed an involuntary
smile. It did not seem to Julia as if in the past few months Philip had
been overworked.

“Yes,” he continued, “I’m going on a ranch, or something of that kind.
Jim Devereux is out in Dakota, and he has always been asking me to come
out. I’ll go for the summer and see what chance there is for a fellow
out there.”

“But I can’t help thinking how disappointed your mother and Edith will
be. I know that Edith has set her heart on your Class Day. Why, her
dress is all ready. She wrote me about it the other day.”

“Well, she could wear it just the same if she weren’t going away. There
are others in the Class, and she has had invitations. But my mother
won’t stay. They’re going straight to London. Anyway, Edith isn’t really
out yet, and next year will be time enough for her Class Day.”

Philip’s tone made Julia think of the boy who whistled to keep his
courage up. They were near the Square.

“I hope I’ll see you soon,” she said, as Philip began to gather up his
belongings preparatory to leaving the car.

Philip paused for a moment, bending down to shake hands with her before
jumping off. “I am not quite sure,” he said hesitatingly. “I should like
to have a talk with you, but I am really going away at once.” Before she
could ask him when, he had swung himself down and was hastening toward
the Yard. He had murmured an explanation about an engagement, and Julia
had taken this as an apology for his leaving her so abruptly. As she
recalled the interview word by word, she wished that she might have had
a good talk with Edith. The next day was so hot that Julia went down to
Rockley for Sunday, and there, naturally enough, she found them all
talking of Philip’s failure to get his degree. “It all comes,” said Mr.
Barlow, “from letting a boy have his own way in everything. I suppose
that Philip has never had an ungratified wish. When his father was in
college students had to study. I know how it was, for we were in the
same class. But now—why, study is merely incidental. They elect this or
they elect that, and it is all a matter of whim.”

“So students were altogether perfect in your day, Uncle Robert,” said
Julia a little mischievously. “Then it wasn’t you who told me of a whole
class that was at least half expelled?”

“Rusticated, my dear, or suspended; not expelled,” responded Mr. Barlow
with a smile. “Oh, I dare say that we were not exactly perfect, but
then, you know boys will be boys.”

“Yes, but as I understand it, Philip hasn’t even been rusticated, and
still less expelled. It’s only that he can’t get his degree this year.”

“Well, well,” said Mr. Barlow, “it seems to me that that is bad enough.”

“Oh,” interposed Brenda, “I shouldn’t wonder if he’d get it next year.
Philip always could get anything he wanted if he’d take the trouble.”

“It’s a pity that he hadn’t taken the trouble this year. Really, I
sympathize with his father. He has spent much money on Philip, and here
he sees him leave Cambridge with a kind of stigma, for that is what it
amounts to. I doubt that that ever happened to a Blair before. They may
never have been brilliant, but they’ve always had a respectable standing
in college. I don’t wonder that Mr. Blair is annoyed.”

“But Edith,” cried Brenda, “just think of Edith! She told me when she
came home last autumn that she was very tired of Europe, and here she is
dragged off again at a few days’ notice, and she wanted so much to have
a jolly Class Day. Even if Philip isn’t there she might manage to have a
good time. She has as many invitations as I have, and there are Tom
Hearst and Will Hardon and all the others whom she knows so well.”

“Remember, Brenda,” cried Mrs. Barlow warningly, “that you are going
this year only by special favor. You are a year younger than you ought
to be on your first Class Day.”

“I know it, I know it, mamma, but I shall enjoy it just as well as if I
were a year older. Besides, I shall go next year, too,” and Brenda
pirouetted several times around the piazza.

Later in the evening, as Julia sat on the piazza looking out at sea, at
the lamps revolving in the distant lighthouse and the moon rising from
the water, her thoughts still lingered with Philip. The moon, at first a
large crimson disk near the horizon, had been transformed into a smaller
golden sphere nearer the zenith, and still Julia sat there wondering if
Philip had left Cambridge, wondering if he would become a ranchman,
wondering if he would think it worth while ever to come back for his
degree.

Fay House, when Julia returned to it, had begun to take on its summer
expression. The finals were over, and the entrance examinations had not
begun. Very few girls were visible in the house, although there was a
double set on the tennis ground and a group watching the game. But
within there was an almost deathly stillness. The conversation room no
longer re-echoed to undergraduate quips and jokes, and the little brass
figures, appliquéed to the black wooden pillars of the mantle-piece as
Polly had described them, gazed on deserted chairs. The magazines and
periodicals were strewn untidily on the tables. Into this room Julia
wandered this Monday afternoon. She fingered some of the magazines idly
and then she turned toward the window. As she did so she gave a start,
for there in a chair with her handkerchief over her face was a girl.
Evidently she was asleep, for she did not stir as Julia drew near. The
sight of the Vermont girl there—for it was Pamela—seemed to Julia like
an echo of something that had happened. She remembered that it was in
this very corner of this very room she had found Pamela looking so
forlorn on the day of the first Idler reception. As she gazed at her
now, Julia realized that in her absorption of the past few weeks, with a
kind of unintentional selfishness, she had really hardly seen Pamela.
Indeed, she had scarcely thought of her. Julia’s approach wakened
Pamela, and as she pulled the handkerchief from her face, Julia noticed
that she looked worn and thinner than usual.

“How cool you look!” Pamela exclaimed, as Julia took her hand. Pamela
herself wore a stiffly starched shirt waist of rather clumsy cut, a high
linen collar, and a heavy woollen skirt. Julia, in an écru muslin
finished with a ruffle at the wrist and a soft ribbon at the neck,
appeared in contrast the picture of comfort.

“What are you going to do this summer, Pamela?” asked Julia suddenly.
She wondered if Pamela might not be worrying about the future. As the
latter seemed to hesitate over her reply, she added, “Why couldn’t you
come home with me to dinner, and then ride somewhere with me on the
electric cars, to Newton, or to Arlington, if that would suit you
better?”

“Oh, I wish that I could!” cried Pamela. “But you know I am busy still
at Miss Batson’s. Couldn’t you call for me after tea?”

“Yes, indeed. Will seven o’clock be too early?”

“Oh, I can be ready then, easily.”

Julia was prompt at the appointed hour, and before Pamela could
interpose she was warmly greeted by Miss Batson and introduced to three
of the boarders who were seated on the steps.

As they reached the car, Julia, with her arm in Pamela’s, said rather
brusquely, “You haven’t failed in your finals, have you?”

“Why, no! But why do you ask?” Pamela’s tone was one of extreme
surprise.

“Oh, I wished to startle you into telling me what troubles you.”

“Perhaps I am foolish,” responded Pamela, “but I’ve been wondering
whether it’s really worth while to go on. Perhaps I oughtn’t to come
back next year.”

“I suppose you haven’t had a mark below ‘B.’”

“I’ve had only one ‘B.’”

“And everything else was an ‘A’?”

“Yes,” she replied, “but I am afraid that you think me very conceited to
tell you.”

“Not when I asked you. Well, if the trouble isn’t marks, it must be
money. I should think that you might tell me just _what_ it is. You do
not look as well as you did when you entered, and you were not exactly
robust then.”

“I suppose it’s partly the hot weather,” responded Pamela, sighing.
“Then, besides, I’m pretty tired of Miss Batson and her household. I’m
glad that she is going to close her house this summer. Otherwise I might
be tempted to stay on—to save expense. She’s going to take the first
vacation she has had in years, and visit some relations in the West, and
she has been able to rent her house for three months.”

“Then I suppose that you will go up to Vermont for the summer?”

Pamela received this question in silence, and Julia saw that it had been
ill-advised. Thus for several minutes they rode on without speaking. The
cool air was refreshing; the electric lights here and there at the side
of the road threw strange shadows from the trees. There was a certain
pleasant weirdness in the scene.

Pamela was the first to speak. “I do not really wish to go up to
Vermont. They think that I ought to teach. They think that it is foolish
for me to continue at college when I might be earning. Besides, my
aunt’s house is crowded now, and there isn’t a room that I could have.
If I knew what I ought to do next year, I could tell better about this
summer.”

“Do next year?” repeated Julia. “Why, you wouldn’t think of doing
anything but come back to college—with _your_ record.”

If Julia had noticed Pamela’s smile, she would have known that its
wanness was not entirely the result of the flickering electric light.
Her voice, however, betrayed her.

“It may not be wholly a matter of choice.”

“But you’ve applied for a scholarship?” Julia realized now that the
question was a question of money.

“Yes, but I can’t know about it until the autumn. There are so few
scholarships and so many applicants.”

“I suppose that we ought to turn our faces homeward. It’s getting late,”
said Julia.

Then as they waited by the side of the road for the car bound
Cambridge-ward, Julia saw what she ought to do. During the ride she had
been pondering, and had it been any one but Pamela she would have made
an offer of direct help for the next college year. This would have meant
so little to her, and so much to the Vermont girl. But there was
something in Pamela—an independence of spirit in spite of her shrinking
demeanor—that prevented her doing this. Yet now as from a clear sky she
seemed to hear the echo of a speech that had actually fallen unheeded on
her ears a week or two before. It was the lamentation of a friend of
Mrs. Barlow’s who bewailed her young son’s deficiencies in Greek.

“It’s disgraceful that Teddy is so unwilling to study, and his father is
determined to have him enter with Greek. If I had my way he’d give it
up. Now I suppose that we shall have to have a tutor. It will be a
nuisance to have an extra man in the house, but I suppose it can’t be
helped. If it were anything but Greek I suppose that we might have a
woman, but as it is, I suppose that we must make the best of it.”

As this conversation came back to her, Julia wondered that at the time
she had not thought of Pamela. Possibly it was because the words had not
been addressed to her directly that they had made so little impression.
That very night she would write to Mrs. Hadwin, and if it was not too
late, she would do her best to get the position for Pamela.

“Pamela,” she whispered, after they had taken their seats in the
returning car, “Pamela, I feel almost certain that I can find something
for you to do this summer. If it isn’t the thing that I have in mind
this minute it will be something similar. I can’t say more at present,
but I wish that you would trust me and believe me entirely your friend.”

“Thank you, of course I trust you. You have been so kind ever since the
very first day. You remember my fountain pen?”

Both girls laughed at the remembrance.

“Because I’ve been so despondent this evening you mustn’t think that I
am always forlorn,” said Pamela, “only it is very hard sometimes for a
girl to work out things all alone, and I really have no one to advise
me.”

“Sometimes I feel very lonely, too,” said Julia; and as Pamela’s hand
touched hers in a mute response, she felt that they were now really
going to understand each other.

That very evening Julia wrote to Mrs. Hadwin, and so strong did she make
her case that before the end of the week all the arrangements had been
made, and Pamela was the engaged tutor for Teddy. Her term was to last
three months from the last week in June, and Pamela was to accompany the
family to the seashore. The change of air was in itself likely to be
good for Pamela, and Julia congratulated herself on the sudden thought
that had brought this piece of good luck to her friend.

“Yet if Pamela had not been able to show such a fine record for her work
in the classics, any effort of mine might have been perfectly useless.”



                                  XII
                           HARVARD CLASS DAY


Had Jane Townall stayed in Cambridge until Commencement, Julia might
have had more interest in the Radcliffe Class Day. But illness in her
family had called Jane home as soon as her examinations ended.

“I am sorry not to get my degree from the hands of the President at
Commencement, but I’m glad to escape the flurry of Class Day. I really
could not afford the expense. I’m coming back, though, for my Ph.D.
sometime. I’ll take that in person.”

“There’ll be no Radcliffe Ph.D. next year, nor yet the year after,” said
Polly, shaking her head.

“Oh, it will be years before I return,” responded Jane cheerfully. “I
must save the money first. By that time women will be receiving the
Ph.D. from Harvard itself.”

“Doubt it!” cried Polly.

“Well, I’d come back cheerfully for the two years of graduate study,
even without the Ph.D. at the end.”

“I’m not with you there,” interposed Clarissa, who had joined the group.
“When I’ve earned a Ph.D. I’ll try to get it.”

“Then you wouldn’t have been a contented Annex graduate, with a
certificate instead of a degree, stating that you had received an
education the equivalent of that for which the degree of A.B. is given
at Harvard College.”

“Poor things!” replied Clarissa. “No, I couldn’t have borne all that
they bore. I’m not that kind of a pioneer.”

Jane had secured a fine position in an Indiana High School for the
coming year, and her regrets at leaving Cambridge were mingled with
pleasure at the prospect opening before her of having a fair income.

Julia and Ruth returned to Cambridge the day before Harvard Class Day.
As evening came they worried about a few overhanging clouds, yet when
Friday came, the girls, looking through the trees shading their window,
saw that it was a regular Class Day sky, blue, cloudless, while the air
coming in over the casement was warm and sultry.

“Julia,” cried Ruth at breakfast, “how _can_ you be so calm? I feel as
if I might be Brenda, I am so excited. I’ve always longed for a real
Harvard Class Day. I was only a little girl when my cousin Augustus was
a Senior, and I remember how I stood about and watched his sisters
dressing for his spread. Even a year in Cambridge hasn’t destroyed the
glamour surrounding the day. Yesterday, when I saw that the seats had
been put up around the Tree, I felt that the curtain was about to be
lifted from the show. You are too calm, Julia, you really are, and you
have such a lovely dress!”

“It is no lovelier than yours, Ruth. Come to my room when you are
dressed; I am very anxious to see it on you.”

The girls were now on their way upstairs, and when a half-hour later
Ruth entered Julia’s room, each girl gave an exclamation of delight. A
third person might have found it hard to tell which dress was the more
beautiful, Julia’s white organdy, with its rows and rows of tiny
lace-edged ruffles, or Ruth’s yellow muslin worn over a pale yellow
slip. Ruth was a brunette with Irish blue eyes, and her yellow gown and
leghorn hat with yellow crush roses was very becoming. Julia’s white hat
had a pink lining, and was very becoming to her rather colorless type.
“You look like a white rose just touched with pink,” exclaimed Ruth, in
a rather unwonted vein of poetry.

The two girls walked in a leisurely fashion to Fay House, where,
according to the arrangements made by Mrs. Barlow, Toby Gostar, Nora’s
younger brother, met them to escort them to Memorial Hall. Here in the
Chapel Brenda and Nora and Mrs. Barlow were waiting.

“We were so afraid that you would be late,” cried Brenda as they
approached. “You know that our tickets won’t be good for anything after
half-past ten. The doors are opened to the public then.”

“As it is now only quarter-past ten, Brenda, your anxiety was rather
misplaced, but as we are now all here we can hasten to our seats.”

Mrs. Barlow, gathering up her voluminous skirts, marshalled her
quartette to the narrow wicket gate through which so many, many
thousands of persons have entered Sanders Theatre, and up the broad
stairs into the great amphitheatre. Toby stayed behind to take his
chances with the ticketless throng, crowding around the outer door.

“It’s like a garden,” said Ruth, gazing about on the rows of seats
rising tier above tier, filled for the most part with young women and
girls, whose light gowns and flower-trimmed hats gave the place the
aspect of a flower garden.

There were mothers there, of course, or an occasional father; but on the
whole the great interior was given up to girls, who fanned themselves
and listened to the orchestra, and wondered if it wasn’t almost time for
the Class to appear. Very promptly at eleven o’clock the Class _did_
appear, fresh from the service in Appleton Chapel and the breakfast at
the President’s. The Marshals led the way, one of whom was Philip’s
friend, Tom Hearst; and as the rest of the Seniors in cap and gown
followed closely and took their places in the seats on the floor, every
girl in the theatre tried to identify her own brother or cousin or
friend.

“It does seem too bad about Philip,” and Nora leaned over toward Julia;
“besides, if he hadn’t failed so, Edith would have been here. Just think
of her near England at this very minute, when she ought to have been
here.”

“I dare say that she is more comfortable at this very minute than we
are. Only imagine how refreshing an ocean breeze would be blowing over
our heads.”

“Oh, Julia, how terribly matter of fact you are!”

Julia’s feelings, however, were deeper than her jesting words implied.
In the group below, as she recognized one after another of Philip’s
friends, she realized how much he was losing. There is only one Class
Day for each undergraduate; and although he may make up scholastic
deficiencies, and get his degree with some other class, if he loses his
Class Day, something has gone that can never be made up to him.

So although Julia listened to the Oration with its review of the Class
history and its promises for the future, although she gazed with
admiration at the fluent Poet whose lofty lines were delivered in a
rather feeble voice, although she laughed at the witticisms and local
hits of the Ivy Oration (without always seeing the force of the joke),
her thoughts sometimes were wandering far away. Indeed, it is to be
feared that the last part of the Oration was lost upon her, for when the
Class rose in a body to sing the Class Ode to the air of “Fair Harvard,”
she was surprised to find that the first part of the Class Day programme
was ended. Of course, like many others, Nora and Brenda and Julia and
Ruth lingered to scan the scattering throng for familiar faces.
Naturally, too, Tom and Will and other Seniors whom they knew came up to
shake hands with them, and receive their congratulations on having
reached this point in their career; and naturally, too, these same young
men escorted Mrs. Barlow and her charges first to the “Pudding” spread
(where nothing resembling pudding was to be had, except, perhaps, the
ice called frozen pudding), and then from the “Pudding” to one or two
private spreads, and then—why, then before they knew it it was four
o’clock, and every one was wondering if it wasn’t almost time to go to
the Tree. Where had the day gone?

“Ah, here you are!” exclaimed a cheerful voice, as Nora and Julia stood
on the lawn of Wadsworth House, a little tired, a little the worse for
wear, holding their empty plates, and wondering how they had managed to
lose sight of Mrs. Barlow and Brenda and Ruth.

“Oh, papa!” cried Nora, for the cheerful voice belonged to Dr. Gostar.
“Oh, papa, I didn’t know that you were coming out. How delightful! Are
you going to the Tree? But there, I suppose that you haven’t a ticket;
they’re so very hard to get.”

“Ticket!” and there was genuine merriment in Dr. Gostar’s laugh. “Why,
you are forgetting who I am. I’m a graduate, and Class Day belongs
partly to the graduates. At least, the Tree part of it does.”

“Oh, then we’ll see you there. What fun!”

“You’ll hear me certainly. Really, I ought to be saving myself now for
the cheering. But I met Mrs. Barlow just outside; she had to go with
Brenda and Ruth to Matthews for a little while. Elmer Robson was with
them; there was something in his room that he was anxious to show
Brenda. Mrs. Barlow felt that she could go when I promised to take you
under my wing. We are to meet in Stoughton, where Will Hardon has a room
looking out on the Tree.”

“But I thought that his rooms were in Holworthy?”

“So they are. But he thought that it would be pleasant for his guests to
have a room to rest in before going to the Tree and near it. By the way,
we have no time to spare,” looking at his watch. “If you are ready,
young ladies, I shall be happy to escort you, although I’m rather
surprised that you haven’t some younger cavalier.”

“Well, papa, we have had, but you see the Seniors have all gone off now
to dress for the Tree, and even Toby, after he had gone with us to one
or two spreads, seemed to grow restless. I suppose he thinks there’d be
more fun with some of his classmates. There are a few undergraduates
hanging about on the outskirts of things.”

“I hope that he hasn’t neglected you.”

“Oh, no, indeed”—Julia was the speaker—“oh, no indeed, he has been
remarkably entertaining. He pointed out all kinds of amusing college
personages, and cleared the way for us through several crowds, and saw
that our plates were heaped with ices, and altogether has been very
helpful.”

“He really has, papa,” added Nora. “You see the Seniors can pay little
attention to any single person, they have so many to look after. It’s
the greatest fun to see them trying to be equally attentive to half a
dozen persons at once when all the time they’re dying to talk to some
one person by herself. Even Will Hardon, who seldom is disturbed, was
half beside himself. He hadn’t had a chance for a word with Ruth, and
wherever he was to-day there were three tall, thin cousins of his from
New York who wished to know about everything and to see everything, and
who hardly left his side for a moment. I think that Ruth was
disappointed, too.”

“Why, Nora!” and Julia shook her head in disapproval. But Dr. Gostar was
too much absorbed in the scenes in the Yard to notice this speech of
Nora’s.

“Why, papa, you seem to see a great many people you know.”

“I certainly do, daughter; that is one of the charms of Class Day.
Presently I may run upon some old classmate whom I have not seen for
twenty-five years. He is here escorting his daughters; and although my
head is gray, and his may be bald, we shall rush into each other’s arms
and—”

“Why, who is he, papa?” cried Nora, without realizing that she was
interrupting.

“Oh, I haven’t the least idea; the particular man does not matter. It
will be some one with whom I can renew my youth. Why, if it wasn’t for
Class Day some of us old fellows would forget that we had ever been
young.”

“Why, papa, nobody considers you old. I heard Mrs. Everlie the other day
call you a perfect boy.”

“I certainly feel like one to-day, escorting two fair damsels through
the College Yard.”

“Oh, listen! listen!” cried Julia, as the sound of gruff huzzas came to
them.

“They have begun to cheer the buildings; you know that that is the
ceremony,—a pause before each old building, and a loud cheer for it,—the
Seniors’ farewell to Harvard.”

They had now almost reached Stoughton, pushing their way through the
crowd. On the steps of University Hall and other buildings, rows of
people were seated, who evidently were mere sight-seers, without any
real connection with the Class. There were small boys and girls among
them, and men and women in holiday dress, evidently sight-seers from the
City. In the throng hurrying across the Yard there were now a good many
undergraduates, and anxious chaperons trying to collect their charges,
and pretty girls in delicate dresses hurrying toward the Tree enclosure.

From the door of Stoughton Dr. Gostar and his party hastened upstairs to
the upper room which had been secured for them. It was a large, square,
old-fashioned room, furnished rather more simply than those occupied by
Philip and Will in Holworthy, and it was far plainer than the elegant
apartments of Tom Hearst in Claverly.

As the others had not yet arrived, Julia and Nora tiptoed around,
looking at the curious gray and blue steins on the mantle-piece, the
fencing foils and masks on the wall, the two or three old colored prints
of stage coach and sporting scenes.

“Hm, hm,” cried Nora, “whoever he is, the classics do not occupy all his
time. Just look at those membership certificates; he seems to belong to
every athletic society in the college. And his books, where are his
books?”

“Why, here,” cried Julia, “on this shelf behind the door. There are a
whole dozen of them;” and Nora, stepping forward, read off their titles,
which proved, by the way, to be the titles almost entirely of college
text-books.

“But, my dear, you mustn’t expect them all to be book worms; it takes
every kind of individual to make up a college, just as in the outside
world,” remonstrated Dr. Gostar in answer to Nora’s gibes at the
non-literary taste of the owner of this room.

Before more could be said, Mrs. Barlow and Ruth and Brenda appeared,
attended by Toby and another undergraduate, who was introduced as the
owner of the room. The latter was a mild-mannered, young-looking Junior,
not at all the athletic individual—at least in appearance—whom the girls
had pictured from the trophies and other adornments of the room.

“There, Mrs. Barlow, I hand my charges over to you,” and Dr. Gostar
hurried off to join the Alumni around the Tree. In a few minutes Mrs.
Barlow and the others followed, leaving the room in Stoughton to some
other guests of Will’s, who were to watch the Tree exercises from the
windows.

Already the throng in the Yard was crowding toward the Tree enclosure,
and the ticket holders had hard work to thread their way among curious
by-standers. Within the enclosure the sun beat down hotly, except in one
corner where the brick walls of the neighboring buildings cast a shade.
Following the boys, Mrs. Barlow and the girls scrambled up over the
rough wooden benches,—“just like circus seats,” said Nora,—and at last,
a little out of breath, and with many apologies to those whom they
disturbed in their progress, they reached their own places.

Now, although Brenda and her friends did not then realize it, these Tree
exercises were to have a peculiar interest from being almost the last
under the walls of Stoughton. The space was too limited for the
thousands who felt that they had a right to be spectators, and already
plans were making for a change of place and a somewhat different
performance.

As the Alumni came in, taking position some distance from the Tree, the
girls caught sight of Dr. Gostar and two or three sedate Bostonians of
his age seating themselves on the grass, and looking as cheerful and
merry as the youngest undergraduate there. The Alumni had marched within
the enclosure with a band of music at the head, and then had followed
the Freshmen, with the Sophomores second and the Juniors last. Each
formed a separate circle around the Tree, and when the signal was given
all rose and cheered lustily for every college official from the
President to John the Orangeman. The Chief Marshal, a tall, handsome
fellow, led the cheering, and at last at a given signal the students in
each circle, joining hands, whirled at a mad rate around the Tree. When
they had sung the Class Ode, the Marshal threw his hat against the Tree,
and then the wild scramble for the flowers began. It was difficult for
those who knew them best to recognize their especial Seniors in the
shocking bad clothes and old hats that they wore. But many a mother,
when she discovered her boy, was sure that he must come away with broken
limbs, if he escaped alive from the wild scrimmage. They pommeled one
another, formed themselves into human ladders, flung one another off
from the sides of the Tree. Yet strange to say, no one received serious
injury, and the few who reached the glowing wreath were loudly cheered,
even by those who thought the whole affair rather brutal. Those who
stripped the wreath from the Tree flung the fragments down among their
classmates, and in the end nearly every one had a flower or two as a
memento. As Tom and Will pressed through the crowd with fairly large
bouquets—at least they could be seen by Brenda and her friends—the girls
wondered if any of the trophies should pass to them. While they stood
for a moment waiting a chance to pass down to the Yard, Mrs. Barlow
pointed out one distinguished person after another among the spectators
at the Tree, including the British Minister, the Secretary of the Navy,
the Governor of New York, and innumerable literary and professional men
of note. Many of them undoubtedly were there as relatives of Seniors,
and some probably found it a distinction to be the father of a boy who
was the idol of his class for this thing or that,—athletics and social
graces sometimes ranking ahead of scholarship.

When Will and Tom reached Mrs. Barlow’s group their flowers were rather
impartially distributed among the four, and the boys hurried on to array
themselves in proper Senior garb. They all met again at the Beck spread,
and from that they went to one or two smaller teas, sitting in windows
that overlooked the quadrangle until the Yard had been illuminated.

“Fairyland only faintly describes it,” said Julia, looking at the
wonderful labyrinth of lanterns and colored lights shining above the
crowds in gay attire threading the paths, or seated on the grass.

Julia was loath to leave the scene even for a glimpse of the dancers in
Memorial and the Gymnasium. When an opportunity therefore came for her
to go back to the rooms in Holworthy under Toby’s protection, she was
glad enough to go. She was a little tired now, and did not sit in the
window, and when Toby seemed restless, she advised him to go back to
Memorial, as she would be perfectly comfortable in the easy-chair that
he had drawn up for her. She added that she would not be at all lonely.

Hardly had Toby left her when a familiar voice fell on her ear.

“Toby told me that you were in here, Julia, but where are you?”

Julia rose from the easy-chair, the deep back of which hid her from
view.

“Why, Philip! How in the world do you happen to be here? I thought—”

“No, I haven’t actually left this part of the world. I’ve been down to
the shore for a day or two getting my things together. I’m off to-night
by the midnight train. But I couldn’t resist a glance at Class Day.
Besides,” a trifle less defiantly, “I thought that I might see you,
Julia.”

“Oh, yes,” replied Julia, “we’re all here, Ruth and Brenda and Nora;
they’ll be coming back from Memorial after a while.”

“Oh, I’ll be out of the way before that. I made Toby swear not to say a
word about me. No, I didn’t expect really to see any one, though I hoped
that I might run across you.”

“I’m awfully sorry that things have gone badly with you, but next year—”

“No, I’m not coming back next year, nor am I going to cry about spilled
milk. What’s the good? Nobody really cares what becomes of a fellow. Of
course a family is mortified when he doesn’t get his degree, and I’ve
had it heavy enough from my father for the money he’s had to put up for
me. But you are a sensible girl, Julia, and I’ve wanted to tell you that
in many ways you’ve done me a lot of good. Sometime, perhaps, I may show
you that I’ve profited by some of your advice.”

“I’ve never given you any real advice.”

“Indeed you have. Of course I’ve had it from other people, too. But
you’ve said some things that really have made an impression. But there,
what’s the use of talking? Sometime you’ll see that I’m not as black as
I’m painted. So now I must be off, for I’ve some things to attend to in
the Square, and I don’t want the others to find me here. There’d be such
a beastly lot of explaining,” and so with a sudden farewell, Philip
hurried out of the room. Julia, looking from the window, followed him
for a moment until he was lost in the crowd. At this moment the Glee
Club, stationed on the green, sang “Fair Harvard,” and Julia wondered if
the pathetic music struck Philip’s ears with the sadness with which it
fell on hers.

Not long after this Mrs. Barlow and the girls appeared. The latter were
by no means ready to go home, tired though they were after their long
day. But Mrs. Barlow was firm; and in spite of the protests of Tom and
Will and one or two others, they left the Yard before half-past ten.



                                  XIII
                           VARIOUS AMBITIONS


The summer passed quickly away, as vacations have a fashion of doing,
even when one is young, and Julia and Ruth and Polly and Clarissa and
Lois and all the other college friends met again in October, well and
happy. Polly had been at Atlantic City, Clarissa had joined her family
at the White Mountains, Pamela had been on the South Shore with her
pupil, Nora had spent the summer in Maine. Lois alone of this group of
friends had had practically no change of scene; she had stayed in Newton
all summer, and yet she returned to college looking as bright as any of
the others. Julia’s summer does not form properly a part of her
Radcliffe days, and yet it is only fair to say that Julia’s summer had
been somewhat different from what might have been prophesied in June.
The first weeks had been spent in attendance on her Aunt Anna, who had
fallen ill with a slow fever in the early spring. When she was better
the doctor had ordered a complete change of air, with the result that
Mr. and Mrs. Barlow and the two girls had made a tour of the British
Provinces. Coming back to college from so many points of the compass,
the Sophomores all had naturally much to tell. They registered
themselves promptly on the first Thursday of the term; they chose their
electives and changed their minds as often as the authorities would
permit. They studied the notices on the bulletin board and the schedule
of recitations, and advised one another in tones much more confident
than a year ago. They did their part at the Freshman reception to make
the incoming class feel perfectly at home, and they began to develop a
class spirit. Now “class spirit” is something which had only just begun
to develop at Radcliffe, and indeed at this time some of the upper class
girls, absorbed in their work, were disinclined to believe that it had
an existence. Different things were contributing to this class feeling.
One was the increasing interest in athletics. Each class had its basket
ball team and its own athletes, or gymnasts as perhaps we ought to say,
in whose triumphs it took a genuine pride. Clarissa had come to the
front as one of the best athletes of her class, and the Sophomores with
her help expected to lead in the spring meet. Julia, too, found herself
suddenly conspicuous from a very simple thing, or at least it seemed
simple to her. She had always had some talent for musical composition,
and had studied Composition before entering Radcliffe. But the course in
Harmony under the distinguished head of the Music Department had been a
revelation to her, and she had begun to venture on little flights of her
own. One of her songs, a setting of William Watson’s, “Tell me not now,”
Polly had picked up as it lay in manuscript on her desk. Now Polly had a
sweet, bird-like voice, and she rushed to the piano and trilled off:

  “Tell me not now, if love for love
    Thou canst return,
  Now while around us and above
    Day’s flambeaux burn.
  Not in clear noon, with speech as clear,
    Thy heart avow,
  For every gossip wind to hear;
    Tell me not now.”

Julia herself, as she listened, found her own music more interesting
than she had imagined it. Polly, when she had finished, turned around
with an amused expression:

“Well, well, I am perfectly surprised that you are so sentimental, Julia
Bourne.”

“Oh, nonsense!” responded Julia, “but you sing it like an angel.”

“Yes,” said Polly, “this time I’ll accept the compliment without
protest, for with your leave (or without it) I’m going to sing this at
the next Idler. I’ve been asked to sing something, and I’ll take care to
let every one know that you are the composer of this sentimental ode.
You! the stern person who used to frown on me last spring when I wanted
to go to Riverside on canoe expeditions that meant a _solitude à deux_.
Ah, Julia, this song shows that you are human like the rest of us;” and
Polly held high above her head the manuscript that Julia tried to seize.

Thus Julia made her first appearance before her fellow-students as a
composer, for Polly sang “Tell me not now” with great effect that Friday
afternoon; and Julia, who hitherto had had comparatively few
acquaintances outside of her special set, now found herself an object of
interest to the whole club.

“The next thing,” said Ruth, with genuine pride in Julia’s triumph, “the
next thing we’ll have you composing an operetta.”

“Nonsense!” cried Julia. “An operetta! I couldn’t do it.”

“Why not? Three or four operettas have been composed and given by
Radcliffe girls with great success. Why, I came out with my mother the
year ‘A Copper Complication’ was given, and I never saw anything more
entertaining in my life. What one girl can accomplish another can, I
mean if she has the same kind of talent. Why, there have been several
Radcliffe operettas—‘Princess Perfection,’ ‘A Copper Complication.’”

The urgings of Polly and Ruth, however, might not have led Julia to take
up the work had not the Emmanuel Society needed funds. It had committed
itself to assist in maintaining a reading-room at the North End for
working girls, and its expenses had been heavier than the first
estimates. In no way could money be so readily raised as through an
operetta, and as Julia was especially interested in this Society, she at
last consented to see what she could do.

“For any one with talent like yours it isn’t so very hard,” said Polly
persuasively. “Ruth and I will help you with the book, and then you must
have some good soprano solos—for me—and some manly contralto solos,
probably for Clarissa, if we can only get her to take them; and then
there must be a soubrette song or two—we’ll find the soubrette, and
there must be a man’s funny part, like Charles River, the ‘winter man’
in ‘A Copper Complication,’” and Polly spun round the room, singing:

  “Now since men are always busy in this lovely summer time,
  I get my little innings when I can,
  As I wanted to offset a bit the summer girl’s éclat,
  I call myself a winter man.
  I drive out, I dine out at functions divine,
  At parties I dance with the belle of the ball.
  It is in the winter I have my good time.”

“Oh, no indeed!” interrupted Ruth. “Julia’s opera will have no frivolous
Charles River. Her hero, I’m sure, will be a most serious person with
high purpose.”

“And a low voice, that is, low for an alto,” cried the irrepressible
Polly.

“There,” said Julia, smiling, “as my part is to be so small, I need not
have hesitated about undertaking it. You are arranging for the words and
the speakers, and the music is only—”

“Now, Julia, of _course_ the _music’s_ the thing, the chief thing, but
there’s a certain type of song that’s taking, and we have to think what
will best suit our prima donnas, when once we have secured them. You
have no idea how shy they are. I shouldn’t care to be the business
manager of this affair,” and Polly flung herself on the couch, while the
others laughed at her affected melancholy.

Yet in spite of this badinage, the girls of Julia’s group, as well as
some others with special literary or dramatic talent, began to work for
the success of the operetta. The music was left entirely to Julia; but
the libretto, or “book” as they all preferred to call it, was to be a
composite production. The sentimental lyrics were nearly all assigned to
Ruth; the comic words for the most part grew. Girls are more considerate
than boys. Their jokes are seldom “grinds” on the professors, and they
are even fairly tender toward the various branches of a college
curriculum. The gibes, therefore, of Radcliffe plays were more apt to be
directed toward local faults, such as muddy sidewalks and dusty streets.

Yet after all, the operetta was entirely secondary to regular college
work. Hardly a girl in Julia’s class sought the name of “grind,” and few
deserved it. The absence of the dormitory system, the very fact that
many Radcliffe students reside with their parents while attending
college, makes for a normal life in which home interests and society
have their place as well as study. This is as it should be, and is not
to be criticised unless a girl assumes too many social duties in
addition to her college obligations.

The autumn calendar was marked by several events of special significance
to the Sophomores. Not the least of these was the class election, in
which Julia and Ruth took more part than in that of the preceding year.
There happened to be in their class about twenty girls from a large
preparatory school,—a public High School,—and these girls had been a
power at the Freshman elections. Indeed, so certain was their ticket to
be elected that the rest of the class had put up few candidates. By this
second autumn, however, the situation had changed somewhat. Girls like
Julia and Ruth, who had entered with none of the advantages of a backing
of comrades, were now pretty well known. The Freshman Class President
proved unpopular, and had shown so little special ability that not even
her personal friends favored her re-election. Several were anxious to
have Clarissa a candidate, and the friends of Annabel Harmon intended to
put her up. Somewhat to Julia’s surprise she found Ruth favoring
Annabel. The latter had been a Special, until late in the year she had
become a Freshman. Annabel was a pleasing girl, able to talk eloquently
on any subject,—so eloquently that those who looked beneath the surface
sometimes doubted her knowledge of the things she talked the most about.
Julia, reproaching herself for unfairness, disliked having Ruth so
intimate with Annabel.

Julia championed Clarissa as a candidate, because she saw that the
Western girl was a born leader, and because she admired her frank, open
nature.

“I object to Clarissa,” Ruth had said, “because she makes so many
foolish jokes. She doesn’t seem to me to represent the class properly.
Now, Annabel is always dignified, and college girls are so criticised
that one who is conspicuous ought to be conventional.”

Julia perceived that Ruth was already under Annabel’s influence. She was
a year or two older than the average Freshman. This was not due to lack
of ability, but to her having decided rather late on a college course.
She had entered at the beginning of February—just after the mid-years in
the winter before Ruth and Julia entered Radcliffe. She was rather proud
of having become a regular Sophomore: and indeed for a girl of Annabel’s
rather indolent disposition, this was something to be proud of. Only a
girl of her egotism would have aspired so early in her career to become
Class President. Julia felt almost positive that Annabel could not
succeed, but Annabel herself knew better. She had begun to work for the
office the preceding year. What had been the meaning of the little
luncheons that she had given from time to time, to which she had bidden
not only her intimates, but those girls most likely to be of use to her?
As she was not a Freshman then, they may not have suspected her motives;
but the little luncheons, and the lending of valuable books, and the
flattering letters written at just the right time, and, above all, a
manner which said to each one to whom she was talking, “You really are
the cleverest girl in the class, and I wish that other people had the
good sense to find it out,”—all these things had done their work; and
when the ballots were counted, Miss Harmon was President, and Clarissa
Herter had no office. Ruth had been the only candidate for Secretary,
and the office of Vice-President had gone to a Latin School girl. It
couldn’t be said that there was much feeling over the election, or
anything approaching dissension. Yet two or three who, like Julia, were
dissatisfied felt that Annabel did not deserve so marked an honor. The
sharper-sighted had seen too much of her wire pulling. Nevertheless, a
little later when the Sophomores had their class luncheon, even those
who did not especially like her had to admit that Annabel made a
charming presiding officer, and as toast mistress (though the toasts
were drunk only in cold water) she was, as the newspapers might have
said, “particularly felicitous.”

Soon after the class luncheon the Sophomores gave the Freshmen a dance
in the Auditorium. Although girls danced with girls and no masculine
person was present (except the youth who assisted in moving the
furniture), all said that they had enjoyed it as much as if it had been
a co-educational affair (this was Clarissa’s general term for the
occasional affairs in which Harvard and Radcliffe students mingled).
Even Pamela was seen in some of the square dances, with a pretty little
Freshman. The principles of the little Freshman as well as her ignorance
of waltzing prevented her dancing anything but the lancers and Portland
fancy. So while the others were whirling in the waltz, or leaping
through some of the more modern dances, Pamela and the Freshman, in
Clarissa’s words, “carried on a desperate flirtation.”

Prosperity had agreed with Pamela; she looked stronger, and her cheeks
had more color than formerly. Although she still lived at Miss Batson’s,
and although the loud colors of the furniture and the loud manners of
the boarders still grated on her nerves, she found the work that she had
to do less burdensome than in her Freshman year. The money earned by her
summer of tutoring sufficed to pay more than half the tuition fee of her
Sophomore year; and to keep her young pupil up to the mark, she had been
engaged to go to him twice a week during the school year. Thus all her
tuition fees were more than provided for. Although she had not secured
the scholarship on account of the number of competitors, an allowance
had been made her by the Students’ Aid Society. She could thus see that
she could make both ends meet for the year, and as to the future, she
felt sure that she could provide for that when the time came. Pamela,
though always independent and persevering, since coming to Cambridge had
acquired a hopefulness formerly unknown. To this extent, if in no other
way, she had felt the broadening influence of Radcliffe,—or shall we say
of the great University under whose shadow lies the woman’s college?

At the Open Idler, Pamela wore a pretty pale pink gown of soft veiling,
simply made, but extremely becoming. Julia found it hard to get Pamela
to accept this simple gift. She had thought at first of a subterfuge, of
pretending that the gown had been made for her, and that because of the
dressmaker’s mistake she had had to discard it. But on second thought
she decided that frankness was the best. When she found that Pamela had
decided not to go to the Idler because she had no suitable gown, she
brought forward the one that she had had made.

“How pretty it is! What an exquisite color, and so simple!”

“Yes,” Julia had responded, “and it is for you! I had it made because I
knew that you couldn’t possibly attend to anything so frivolous, with
all that you have to do this year. If you do not wear it, it shall hang
in my closet until the moths eat it. Come try it on!”

So almost before she realized what she was doing, Pamela had arrayed
herself in the pretty, soft, clinging gown, and as she looked in the
long mirror she hardly recognized herself. “If I could pay for it,” she
murmured, “if you would let me.”

“Why, yes,” responded Julia, “certainly, in five years or twenty years,
whenever you can do it as well as not, I shall be happy to let you pay
for it. Of course I would rather make it a present. But if you prefer, I
will accept payment for it any time after five years—not before. That
will be so much clear gain for me. For if you should not take the gown
it would hang in my closet until the moths had made way with it.”

“Oh, Julia, what nonsense!” And then Pamela, though seldom voluble,
expressed her gratitude very warmly. Hoping to pay for it in the future,
she was very glad to accept the gown; and Julia, observing Pamela so
perfectly at ease,—such wonders will good clothes work,—felt more than
repaid for her forethought.

This Open Idler of their Sophomore year happened to be the first one for
Julia and Ruth. They had not sent many cards of invitation, but a few of
their friends came out from Boston, and pushed their way through crowds
of gaily gowned girls to the large room where the Sophomores received
their friends. Among these were Nora and her mother.

“I’m not sure, Julia, that it is safe to bring Nora here. Already she
has begun to talk about coming to college, and what I have seen here
to-night makes college life seem too attractive.”

“But why ‘too attractive’?”

“Ah, Julia, I am one of those old-fashioned persons who cannot quite see
the wisdom of a college education for girls. Of course I would not wish
Nora to consider her education finished simply because she has left
school. Indeed, I have had her continue several of her studies; but she
owes something to society, and college cuts a girl off so from social
life.”

“But we have social life here—and masculine society, too,” she concluded
with a smile.

“Yes, indeed,” responded Mrs. Gostar, glancing around the room, in which
Harvard students were almost as numerous as Radcliffe girls. Standing in
corners, seated on divans, walking toward the refreshment tables, were
youths and maidens enjoying one another’s society to the same extent as
if in a crowded ball-room. The walls were bright with orange and white
festoons,—the class colors. A touch of crimson twined across the end of
the room where the year of the class was inscribed showed the connection
with Harvard. Rugs on the floor, tall palms in the corners, great vases
of primroses, and bands of yellow ribbon on the refreshment tables, had
transformed the plain recitation room into a bower of beauty. Each class
had a room to itself, similarly decorated, and there was one for the
Specials. Downstairs the officers of the Idler, the Dean of the college,
and the Secretary received the guests, who were introduced individually
by ushers. There was a table with refreshments in the parlor; there were
refreshments and an orchestra in the Auditorium; there were, as Polly
said, “tête-à-têtes unlimited” in the Library and in the recitation
rooms; and any one whose knowledge of Radcliffe was obtained first
through an “Open Idler” would have pronounced it the most frivolous of
institutions.

Tom Hearst, now in the Law School, and one or two other friends of
Philip’s accepted the invitations sent them by Ruth and Julia. The
latter would have liked to ask some questions about Philip, for not a
word had come to her directly since that Class Day evening. He was in
her thoughts constantly, but she would not say a word.



                                  XIV
                              IN DISGUISE


  “Learned Sophomores! full of information,
    ‘Yes, we know it all,’ your manner seems to say.
  Learned Sophomores! In each generation,
    Sophomores will be Sophomores in the same old way.”

Thus under her breath Clarissa, from her seat in the Auditorium, hummed
a strain from a Radcliffe song. Girls were gathering in the room to
witness an Idler play.

“Sometime,” said Clarissa, “I’ll be a Senior, and have a front seat. But
if you can’t have the first, the fifth row isn’t so very bad.”

While waiting for the play to begin, the girls in Clarissa’s
neighborhood chatted gaily. The play had attracted many of the Alumnæ,
because it was the work of a Radcliffe girl who had been out of college
a year or two. They waited a little impatiently, for the Auditorium was
really overcrowded, with girls sitting on the steps and leaning on the
ledges of the windows leading into the conversation room.

“Oh, I do wish that they would begin!”

“Why can’t girls ever do anything on time? It is _so_ uncomfortable
sitting in this stuffy room!”

These and other murmurs came from various parts of the Auditorium. It
was certainly much past the hour, and yet the curtain did not rise. At
last the President came forward. “I must ask your indulgence,” she said,
as she stood in front of the curtain. “Something has gone wrong with the
curtain, we cannot raise it; but while we are waiting for a carpenter,
Miss Harmon has kindly consented to read.” At this there was much
applause, for Annabel had a well-trained voice, and sufficient
self-confidence to make whatever she did very effective. Accordingly,
she came forward attired in a white muslin gown, pale blue sash, and a
leghorn hat lined with blue. She was to wear the costume in the play,
and no one could deny that it was most becoming. Annabel read in a
plaintive tone. She read old ballads and modern love songs, two of each,
and the audience applauded most heartily. Then she tried a bolder
flight, a dramatic monologue, and still her hearers were enthusiastic.
She bowed her thanks, smiled, and then a movement of the curtain was
seen. Annabel stood there unconscious of anything but the audience
before her. There was a vigorous clapping of hands from a distant
corner.

“Why, that sounds like a man, doesn’t it?” said a girl behind Julia,
leaning over toward her. Just then a huge bunch of carnations fell at
Annabel’s feet with a heavy thud, as if thrown by some one used to
handling missiles. Again Annabel smiled and courtesied, and again the
audience applauded, with one pair of hands sounding louder than the
rest.

Clarissa looked at her watch, and closed the cover with a snap.

“It wouldn’t be a bad idea to have the play begin; we didn’t come to a
reading.”

The Idler President again appeared in front of the curtain and said
something to Annabel. The latter, smiling pleasantly, opened a book. The
curtain rose behind her, with the stage set for the play; but she began
to read again, slowly and with great expression, while in the background
the heads of various girls were seen peering from behind the scenes,
evidently impatient for Annabel to stop.

Some of the audience, with a sense of the ridiculous, began to laugh,
but Annabel was unconscious of everything but the applause. She stood as
if waiting an encore.

“Is it a wonder,” whispered Julia to Clarissa, “that she got the Class
Presidency? I believe that she hypnotizes people.”

“Ah, she reads like—like—a bird,” said Clarissa magnanimously.

“You couldn’t honestly say ‘like an angel,’” said Julia, and Clarissa
shook her head.

How long this unpremeditated performance might have continued no one can
say. Before Annabel could recite again the President came forward,
announcing firmly that the play was to begin. On Annabel’s face as she
withdrew there was a decidedly aggrieved expression. Nevertheless, when
she appeared in the play she looked as cheerful as her wont, and said
her lines in a melodious voice. Ruth was a middle-aged Englishwoman,
with a becoming lace cap. The girl who played a man’s part wore high
boots and a long drab coat, the skirts of which came below the tops of
her boots.

The setting was good, the dialogue bright, and the audience at last
dispersed with the feeling that the whole performance had been a great
success.

“Who was that tall girl who passed us?” asked Julia, when the play was
over.

“I am sure I do not know, at least I did not notice her.”

“I always feel,” Julia continued, “as if all the Alumnæ are acquainted.
But I can see that it would be hard for them all to know one another.
The girl that I speak of was tall and rather awkward, and she pushed her
way through the crowd without speaking to a soul.”

“Oh, she may have been a friend of some one in the play. Each was
allowed to invite a guest from outside. Somebody told me that Annabel
Harmon thought that they might have been permitted to ask men.”

“Yes, because she thought that she would look particularly fetching. For
a sensible girl, she is certainly almost as vain as they make them.”

“What is the objection to men spectators? The costumes are harmless
enough, compared with what they were in my day,” said the graduate.

“Only that it’s against the rule,” replied a Junior. “But in _your_ day
the girls who played men’s parts used to wear real clothes, didn’t
they?”

“Yes, _real_ clothes,” and all laughed at the undergraduate’s slip.

“Yes, men’s real clothes,” the graduate added, “borrowed usually from
some brother or cousin at the University. Really, some girls made up
wonderfully like Harvard men.”

“I should like to have seen them. I hate our present stage dress for
men; it is neither ancient nor modern.”

“Yet it’s very _proper_!” interposed Clarissa sarcastically. She had
just joined the group.

“But why was manly attire given up? Since only girls saw the plays, it
couldn’t have done any great harm.”

“Oh, it was a man who spoiled it all, you know; they deserve their
reputation of marplots. I can’t vouch for the story, but they say that a
Senior who came once to an Open Idler thought it necessary to express
his gratification to some one in authority.”

“No one could find fault with that.”

“No, but he was awkward. ‘I’m delighted to be here,’ he said, ‘for I’ve
often hoped to visit Radcliffe. My clothes have been here many times at
the Idler dramatics, but this is the first opportunity that I have had
for coming myself.’”

“What a stupid creature!”

“Well, it seems he had a sister in Radcliffe who was in the habit of
borrowing his clothes. He had a rather small and neat figure, and a
large wardrobe, so that he could be drawn upon for almost any kind of
dress. The rule, however, was made immediately after this speech of his
that men’s costumes were not to be worn at our performances, and great
was the lamentation.”

“It isn’t as bad as it used to be,” said another; “we can wear a kind of
man’s dress now, provided that the coat has a skirt effect. It isn’t
exactly an up-to-date costume, but it is fairly picturesque.”

“And to think,” interposed Clarissa, in a tragic tone, “that at the
Pudding plays, or indeed at the Cercle Française, or anything else at
Harvard, the boys can put on ballet costumes or any dress that a woman
might or mightn’t wear.”

“There’s no equality of rights, even in so frivolous a thing as
theatricals,” cried one of the girls in mock sorrow. “Why, Polly, why
are you so late? You’ve missed some fun.”

“I’m sorry, but I had to go to the City this afternoon. I suppose the
play _was_ fun. But I’ve just seen something quite as funny,” and Polly
began to smile at the remembrance.

“Oh, tell us, Polly, for if there is anything funny to be seen, you are
sure to see it.”

“Well, I met a girl at the head of Garden Street smoking a big
meerschaum pipe.”

“That isn’t funny, it’s pathetic!”

“She must have been ashamed, for when she saw me she tried to put the
pipe in her pocket.”

“How ridiculous!”

“Then she couldn’t find the pocket, and so she started to put the pipe
back in her mouth. It was clear that either she wasn’t used to pipes—or
to dresses.”

“Why, Polly!”

“So I asked Frank Everton, who was with me—no, he hadn’t been in town
with me, I only met him in the Square—I asked him to follow her into the
college grounds. She crossed the street at a trot when she saw us
coming, and it seemed to me that she was making for Weld Hall.”

All the girls in the group were now thoroughly interested.

“Consequently I stood at the corner of Appian Way until Frank came back
with his report, and—”

Here Polly paused to note the effect of her words.

“Well, well, what was it?” asked the impatient listeners.

“Well, it was Loring Bradshaw. Frank followed him to his room, where he
tore off his skirts. He had forgotten that he was masquerading as a
woman when he lit his pipe. You see it was in the pocket of the
waistcoat which he wore beneath his cape. I had recognized him almost
immediately; you know he has a funny little scar under his eye, and then
that manly stride! Even in Cambridge you wouldn’t see a girl with a gait
like that.”

“But why was he parading in woman’s clothes? Was it a college bet?”

“Oh, I haven’t heard the whole story yet. Frank came back in a hurry
because he had left me standing there.”

“What kind of a hat did he wear?” asked Julia with interest. “Was it
large and drooping, with yellow roses?”

“The very hat. But I never knew you to take so much interest in a mere
hat!”

“And was the cape a black one, with a chenille collar?”

“Yes, I think so.”

“Then he was here at the play. I wondered who she was. But why in the
world did he do it?”

One afternoon soon after this, as Polly and Ruth loitered in the hall
they noticed a young man entering the Secretary’s office.

“He’ll find no one there,” said Polly, “for I’ve just been in myself.”

Stepping out of the office door, the visitor happened to see Annabel
Harmon crossing his path, and he stopped her, apparently to ask a
question.

“I wonder who he is,” said Polly. “Annabel will think herself in luck if
he asks her to show him the building. She loves to act as guide,
philosopher, and friend to strangers.”

Apparently some such duty had fallen on Annabel, for she and the
stranger ascended the stairs toward the Library.

“There,” cried Polly, “I don’t mind Annabel’s being the chief usher at
all our social functions, and presenting herself everywhere as the
typical Radcliffe girl. But the rest of us know something about the
building and its contents—including the students. Why didn’t that youth
ask us to show him over the building? In the Secretary’s absence,
Annabel will be able to say whatever comes into her head.”

“Aren’t you a little unfair?”

“Perhaps, but I’ll run upstairs. Annabel might not give us a perfectly
impartial account. Won’t you come?”

“No, thank you,” replied Ruth, “I was on the point of going home.” So
Ruth went home, and Polly mischievously hastened up to the Library. She
found Annabel and the stranger looking apparently for some book.

“Oh, Polly,” cried Annabel, “_couldn’t_ you find the Librarian? Mr.
Radcliffe, excuse me. Mr. Radcliffe, let me introduce you to Miss
Porson.” Polly started at the name, while acknowledging the
introduction, and Annabel continued: “Mr. Radcliffe is deeply interested
in our college on account of the name. You see he is descended from the
same family as our foundress, and he thinks that it would be most
interesting to establish some memorial of the family here. Didn’t I
understand you to say that you thought of giving a collection of books,
or something of that kind?”

Mr. Radcliffe modestly bowed his assent, for Polly broke in before he
had time to reply in words. “I shouldn’t exactly call Anne Radcliffe our
foundress.”

“Oh, well,” and Annabel’s smile was sweeter than ever, “the college
certainly took its name from her, and it seems so interesting to have
one of her descendants here.”

“Not exactly a descendant,” interposed Mr. Radcliffe, “but—”

“Oh, one of the family—it’s almost the same thing in these days when
every one is so interested in genealogy.”

Although Annabel was always fluent, Polly looked at her in surprise, for
she was soon launched on a long account of the origin, rise, and present
condition of Radcliffe. Mr. Radcliffe listened attentively, apparently
with no inclination to say more than “Yes,” “No,” “Indeed,” “Only
fancy,” and the other little things that keep conversation from becoming
entirely a monologue. Polly had moved to one side, and from time to time
she gave the two a curious glance. Was it imagination, or did she really
see a smile on the young man’s face?

Presently as they strolled into the hall, Polly heard Annabel say, “I am
really sorry, Mr. Radcliffe, that we have no books relating to your
family. To-morrow, however, when the Librarian is here she may find
something. Her assistant is rather new to the work.”

“Oh, I can assure you,” the young man responded effusively, “I have been
more than repaid for coming. To see the interior of this building is
indeed an experience, and under such auspices!” Annabel accepted the
compliment with a becoming blush. “She always can blush to order,” one
of her critics had been known to say.

Mr. Radcliffe’s next remark was inaudible to Polly, but Annabel’s, “Why,
certainly, I will see what I can do,” rang out quite distinctly. Leaving
the young man alone for a moment, Annabel went into one of the smaller
rooms leading off the hall. In a few minutes she returned.

“Excuse me for keeping you so long. I had some difficulty in getting
it,” and she held out to Mr. Radcliffe a slip of white paper.

“Oh, thank you, thank you a thousand times; no book-plate in my
collection will be more valued than this.”

“Well, I declare,” thought Polly, “a book-plate for a souvenir! Perhaps
it’s all right to give it to a descendant of the Radcliffes as we
haven’t any relics of the immortal Anne Radcliffe to show; but really, I
wonder if Mr. Radcliffe thinks that Annabel is President, Dean, and
Secretary all combined? It’s a pity that he couldn’t have come at an
hour when more of the powers could have been seen.”

When Polly reached the first floor of Fay House, Mr. Radcliffe was no
longer there, and Annabel, seated in the conversation room, with a
magazine before her on the table, had her eyes fixed dreamily on space.

“Thinking of Anne Radcliffe?” queried Polly, as she went by. But Annabel
did not answer, and, passing on, Polly met Clarissa at the outer door.

“Such fun!” she exclaimed. “I’ve been laughing for five minutes.”

“Tell me,” responded Polly, “that I may laugh, too.”

“As I was crossing the Common I met my cousin Archibald apparently
waiting for some one. I stopped for a second to speak to him, and of
course I asked whom he was waiting for.”

“Of course.”

“Well, it seems that Somers Brown is up for one of those Greek letter
societies,—I’ve forgotten which, and part of the programme, the
novitiate, or whatever they call it, is for him to bring a book-plate
away from the Radcliffe Library by means of some bluff. He wasn’t to get
it by breaking and entering, but he was to have it freely given to him
by some one in the college. So he decided to rig up as an Englishman,
and call himself a descendant of Anne Radcliffe’s family, and—”

“I know,” said Polly, smiling.

“Oh, then you saw him? Perhaps it was you who gave him the book-plate?”

“Not I,” replied Polly, “although I had the pleasure of meeting Mr.
Radcliffe.”

“Surely neither the Dean nor the Librarian gave it to him.”

“No, indeed! It was Annabel. He ran across her when he started on his
search for information. Poor Annabel, she believed every word he said,
although she prides herself so on her insight. She gave him any amount
of information about Harvard as well as about Radcliffe. But then, he
really had an English accent.”

“Oh, yes, but imagine Annabel’s rage when she finds that she has been
imposed on! I shouldn’t like to break the news to her.”

“But she ought to know.”

“Well, it isn’t our duty to tell her. Let us see what happens.”

The outcome was that Annabel the next morning was ready to tell the Dean
of the honor paid the college by the visit of Mr. Radcliffe. “He is
willing to make researches in England regarding Lady Moulson herself,
and I should not be surprised if he should found a scholarship for us.
From what he said I judge that he has a large estate in England, and he
seems deeply interested in Radcliffe, especially after hearing my
account of things.”

Julia happened to be the girl to whom Annabel had begun to unfold her
great expectations from Mr. Radcliffe.

“But haven’t you heard the true story?” she asked.

“Why, no, what do you mean? What true story?”

“Why, Polly told me, she and Clarissa.”

Annabel began to lose her usual placidity. She suspected a practical
joke.

“Why, who was—that is, wasn’t he—”

“No,” replied Julia, “at least as I understand it, he wasn’t a
Radcliffe. It was a test quiz, you know, for one of the college
societies.”

“Then who was the man?”

“His name was Brown, Somers Brown. He was ordered to get some girl he
didn’t know to show him through Fay House, and to bring away a new
book-plate to prove that he had been in the Library. At least that is as
I understood the story from Clarissa.”

It would have been better had Julia not mentioned Clarissa’s name.
Annabel turned from white to red and from red to white. Like most
persons with a fair amount of self-love, she regarded a practical joke
as almost unbearable. She remembered how Polly had stood about in the
hall while she was talking with the Englishman, and she felt not
unnaturally aggrieved. Beyond the change of color and a certain increase
of dignity, Annabel did not express her feelings. “When there is any
mischief brewing Polly and Clarissa are pretty sure to be in it,” she
said. Then she moved off with a smile hardly less amiable than the one
she usually wore, before Julia could explain that Polly and Clarissa had
really had nothing to do with the visit of the pseudo Mr. Radcliffe, to
Fay House. The story, however, had widely circulated, and most of those
who knew Annabel, even her friends, were highly entertained that one who
so prided herself on her insight should have been thus imposed upon.

“I saw Somers Brown walking about with Annabel yesterday, and I wondered
why he held up his hand as if to enjoin silence on me. I had no idea
that he was moving about under false colors. I can see, though, how he
might impose on any one as an Englishman. He has lived abroad a great
deal, and he really has an accent. Now that I think of it, his get-up
yesterday was rather amusing, the plaids in his suit were so very plaid,
and he used his monocle so steadily—and that cane!”

“He is so well known in Boston and Cambridge society that I wonder
Annabel did not recognize him. I supposed that she knew everybody—at
least by sight,” said one girl, sarcastically.

But so far as words were concerned, no one ever knew exactly how Annabel
felt. An observer, however, might have noticed that from this time her
demeanor toward Clarissa and Polly was far less cordial.

The book-plate episode led to a revival of interest in the story of Anne
Radcliffe. Girls who had never heard just how the name came to be chosen
for their college began to inform themselves more exactly.



                                   XV
                                ANGELINA


Late one afternoon as Julia sat in her study, the maid, rapping at her
door, announced, “A young girl to see you.”

“Didn’t she give her name?”

“No, she is—well, she is a young person.”

“Show her up, please,” and Julia, stepping outside, soon saw Angelina
coming up the stairs.

“Why, what brought you so far this cold day, Angelina?” she asked in
greeting her.

“Well, Miss Julia,” she replied from the depths of an easy-chair in
which she had immediately seated herself, “well, I did have a time
getting here. You see I started this morning, and I told my mother not
to worry if I didn’t come home to-night. I knew you’d make room for me,
and there’s things I want to talk over that I couldn’t write.”

Julia had not heard from the Rosas since the Christmas vacation, when
she had spared a day to visit them and take a basket of presents.

“I wasn’t sure that you wanted me to come to Cambridge,” said Angelina.
“I don’t remember your ever inviting me, but ever since I heard you were
at college I’ve been anxious to see what it was like. I thought that
colleges were just for men?”

“Oh, no, for girls, too, in these days.”

“I think I’d like to go to college myself,” said Angelina, with a
sidelong glance at Julia, “but I don’t suppose that I’ll have the
chance.”

Julia shook her head. “Angelina, you may not go to college, but you know
that we wish you to go on with your studies. I am sorry that there is no
evening school at Shiloh.”

“That’s just it,” responded Angelina, “that’s just what I wanted to talk
about. I don’t feel as if I cared much for Shiloh; it’s terribly quiet
there in the winter after the summer people are gone. I can’t seem to
think that I want to stay there all the time.”

“Your mother must decide that. Are you not needed at home?” asked Julia
weakly, knowing that Mrs. Rosa had very little authority over her
children, and that she was only too ready to refer all difficult
questions to Julia and Miss South.

“Well, my mother _does_ kind of depend on me,” said Angelina. She did
not care to admit that she was of too little consequence in the
household. “But still she _could_ get along without me. The boys help
considerable after school. I don’t think I’m appreciated; I’m not
perfectly happy,” and Angelina drew out her handkerchief, to be ready
for any tears that her self-pity might start.

“I cannot encourage you to leave Shiloh,” said Julia. “You are not
sixteen, and you are not strong enough, I am sure, to go out to work.
You would not find it half as pleasant to work in a strange family as
you find it now at home; and should you get a place in town, you could
not possibly earn enough to pay your board.”

Angelina applied the handkerchief to two or three invisible tears.

“Now, Angelina,” added Julia, “I will do what I can. I will write to
Miss South. She can tell much better than I what is best. You spoke
about going to college. That, at present, is out of the question. But is
there any special thing that you would like to study?”

At first Angelina made no reply. Then she replied rather petulantly, “I
hadn’t thought of studying anything in particular, only I don’t care
much to stay in Shiloh this winter, and that’s the truth.”

By her manner as well as by her words, Julia saw that Angelina was
likely to give her and Miss South more or less trouble. They had assumed
a certain responsibility in regard to the Rosas, and they could not
easily shake it off.

During their two years in Shiloh the Rosas had seemed to be contented.
They had never before been so prosperous. Instead of the two crowded
tenement rooms they had a neat little cottage, which had been put in
perfect order for them. In the course of the two years, to be sure, the
newness and freshness had decidedly worn off, as Julia had observed to
her regret when she called there in December. But their Shiloh home was
infinitely more comfortable than any home they could have had in Boston.
Mrs. Rosa’s health had failed in the city, but she had so improved now
that she was able to earn a fair part of the family income. The rest of
it was made up in various ways. Miss South and Julia paid the rent of
the little house. Nora and Brenda and Edith had charge of a fund made up
of their own savings and contributions from their friends. Since she had
so cleverly recovered the money stolen from Mrs. Rosa by Miguel Silva,
Brenda felt that she could be very liberal to the Rosas.

The fund was Mrs. Rosa’s dependence for food and fuel. Part of her fuel
was gathered by the older children in the woods, and a small vegetable
garden supplied not only summer vegetables, but something towards their
winter needs.

In season Angelina earned her board and a dollar a week at a summer
boarding-house. This she was allowed to handle under Miss South’s
supervision, and she had already started a bank-book. The sum in the
bank, however, was very small, for Angelina had availed herself to the
utmost of Miss South’s permission to use part of her own money for
clothes. Suitable garments were chosen each year by Brenda and her
friends from their own stock of discarded clothes, which, altered,
answered for Angelina. But shoes and hats and some other things Angelina
insisted on buying from her own savings, and in consequence the amount
in the bank showed small increase. Mrs. Rosa herself had once worked at
tailoring, and so she was able to remodel the garments given her for her
boys. In the case of so helpless a family, neither Miss South nor Julia
felt that they were likely to do harm by fairly liberal gifts. They had
removed Mrs. Rosa from the city where she might have had regular relief
from various charitable societies, from her church and from the
Overseers if from no more. They had made her understand that all that
she received from private individuals was conditioned on the care she
showed in bringing up her family,—that it was a kind of reward of merit.
Thus far all the people interested in the Rosas had been gratified by
their progress, and Julia knew that Miss South had some plans for
Angelina which might make the girl more contented. Ever since summer,
however, Miss South had been occupied with the care of her aged
grandmother, Madame Dulaunay, and she had been unable to do more for the
Rosas than write to them and see that they received their money
regularly. That very week she had started for Florida with Madame
Dulaunay, and Julia saw she must make plans for Angelina. She was
beginning to be so busy now preparing for the examinations that she
hardly saw how she could spare much thought or energy for the young
girl. Behind these thoughts was a background of disappointment that
Angelina had so quickly tired of Shiloh.

“You must tell me what you especially wish to do, or to study,” she
said.

“Yes’m,” responded Angelina, too much interested in a box of photographs
on the table to reply with her usual loquacity.

“Then there _is_ something?” Julia questioned.

“Well, nothing in particular. I wouldn’t mind living at the North End
again. It’s livelier than Shiloh.”

“But surely,” said Julia, “you are all much more comfortable at Shiloh
than you could possibly be at the North End.”

“I don’t know,” rejoined Angelina. “I don’t feel so very comfortable at
Shiloh. I ain’t busy enough, and I ain’t idle enough really to enjoy
it.”

Julia understood Angelina, poorly though she had expressed her meaning.

“Does your mother know where you are to-night? Won’t she be worried if
you stay away so late?”

“I told her that I was coming to Cambridge to see you. She’ll know that
you will look out for me.”

“When you next come to Cambridge you must start earlier. It is
altogether too late for you to go home now. I will have a bed made for
you on this divan, and to-morrow you can go back to Shiloh.”

“Oh, thank you,” cried Angelina, her face beaming at the thought of a
night away from Shiloh.

“Now, I’ll tell you, Angelina, what I propose to do. I will see if your
mother will let you come to Cambridge once a week. There is one day when
I am not very busy. I can probably arrange to have you sleep in this
house. I will pay your way over here and give you your meals. In return
I shall expect you to do whatever mending Miss Roberts and I have ready
for you. Besides, I will give you a lesson to study at home, and each
Wednesday I will hear you recite it and show you how to study.”

Angelina both looked and spoke her thanks. “I don’t see how you ever
came to think of anything so beautiful.”

“I am glad that you like it,” responded Julia, “and I hope that you will
do your best to help carry it out.”

Angelina chose history as her subject of study, and as she had had
American History at school, Julia began with a little outline of the
World’s History.

It was a good plan and it worked very well. Shiloh evidently had not
given Angelina enough to do in winter, and it was well for her to have
an interest outside her home. Yet her mother needed her help to a
certain extent, and it would have been a mistake to encourage Angelina
to work entirely outside of the house. The weekly visit kept Julia in
closer touch with the Rosa family than would otherwise have been
possible, and this in itself was a good thing. Then, too, she gained
deeper insight into Angelina’s character than she could have gained in
any other way.

She engaged a small room from Mrs. Colton where Angelina slept when in
Cambridge, and in it she placed a wicker-work table with a large basket
and all the appliances for mending stockings, sewing on buttons, and the
simple repairing of which Angelina was capable.

“I have always heard,” said Ruth, who shared in the advantages of
Angelina’s services, “that lazy people take the most pains; for,
honestly, it would save you time and money to do your own mending, and
let me do mine, rather than have all this bother with Angelina.”

“Oh, it’s a good thing for me, too,” replied Julia. “Our great danger
here in college is in thinking that we have no duties except those
connected with our studies, as if the only thing worth living for were
to get ‘A’ or ‘B’ in some course.”

“I know girls who wouldn’t think ‘B’ worth living for,” retorted Ruth,
“but I agree with you that there is always a danger that we may be too
narrow in our interests. That’s why I am glad that so many girls are
taking an interest in the operetta. In doing it they will be assisting
the fund for the North End reading-room, which is calculated to do an
immense amount of good. You have no idea, Julia, what a success the
operetta will be.”

“I hope so.” Julia spoke absent-mindedly. A plan that Miss South had
suggested for Angelina and girls of her kind was running through her
mind. But she knew that until she should leave college there would be
little chance of carrying it into effect. She would have been glad to
work with some of the organized charities, but she felt that college
must claim the most of her time. Comparatively few of her classmates,
however, were without some bit of philanthropic work. Several taught
Sunday-school classes. Several others gave an evening a week to some
Boys’ or Girls’ Club in Boston or Cambridge. The Emmanuel Society, so
named for John Harvard’s College, had regular meetings before which
appeared various organizations, who made clear their claims to the
support of thoughtful young women. The College Settlements appealed
strongly to the undergraduate, and a chapter to raise money for the work
had been formed at Radcliffe. The Emmanuel Society supported an annual
scholarship, and maintained a library of text-books to be lent to
students who could not afford to buy all the expensive books needed in
their courses.

Julia and Ruth and Clarissa, and even Pamela, contributed something to
the various causes that appealed to Radcliffe girls, for time as well as
money was asked for.

When her aunt remonstrated with Julia for giving too much thought and
time to Angelina, Julia replied that she believed that the time would
not be altogether thrown away.

“Now that I know that Angelina needs help and advice, I should feel it
wrong to give her up.”

“If she appreciates it,” said Mrs. Barlow doubtfully.

“Oh, I’m sure that she will,” responded Julia cheerfully. “Besides, she
really is of some use to me and Ruth.”

Yet there were times when Angelina’s little vagaries were hard to
overcome. She was, for example, very fond of newspaper reading, and the
advertisements seemed to have a special charm for her.

“Oh, Miss Julia,” she said one day, “I do wish that I could have a
bottle of this,” and she pointed to an advertisement of “The Pearl of
Beauty.” “They say,” continued Angelina, “that it will make the
sallowest complexion a delicate pink. Now, Miss Julia, you know that I’m
as sallow as most Portuguese, and I do wish that ‘The Pearl of Beauty’
did not cost so much; it’s a dollar a bottle. But one of the boarders at
Shiloh asked me last summer if I wasn’t a colored person—kind of
light-colored, and that wasn’t pleasant.”

But Julia, unmoved by this, explained that it was unwise to believe
every newspaper advertisement.

“But look at this,” pointing to the lithographed lady who held a placard
in her hands on which were printed words of praise of the beautifier.
“‘Look at me, please. I once was dark as night, but now am fair as a
lily of the valley.’ That shows that she must have improved,” said the
confiding Angelina, reading the closing words: “‘Beauty is a duty.’ Oh!
I wish that I could have a bottle.”

“It would be throwing money away, and I should be very much displeased
with you. Remember,” added Julia, “that advertisements are written
simply to induce people to buy the thing advertised.”

“Don’t they tell the truth?” and Angelina looked utterly surprised. “I
always believe every word I read.”

“You have a great deal to learn, Angelina, and I do hope that you will
remember what I have said about patent medicines.”

One Wednesday, a week or two later, Julia found Angelina standing before
the mirror in the little room with a bottle in her hand.

“What are you doing?” she asked, suspecting the truth, and Angelina,
starting guiltily, dropped the bottle, and a pinkish fluid poured out on
the light carpet. As the bottle lay there, Julia read the words “Pearl
of Beauty” on the outside. Angelina shamefacedly seized a towel and
began to mop up the carpet, murmuring as she did so, “I bought it with
my own money.”

Realizing that she had little authority over Angelina, Julia could only
say, “I am sorry that you have so little regard for my opinion.” Yet
neither then nor at any other time did Angelina apologize for what she
had done. When Julia, consequently, reflected on the matter, she
wondered if, after all, she might not have made a mistake in showing so
much confidence in Angelina.



                                  XVI
                             WHO WROTE IT?


“It’s bad taste, anyway,” said Annabel Harmon.

“To call it by no worse name,” responded Elizabeth Darcy.

“Almost nothing can be worse than bad taste,” rejoined Annabel.

The two girls, at a table in the conversation room, were looking eagerly
at the page of a newspaper.

“Why, what’s the trouble?” asked Polly, who had been standing near the
window. “Has anybody had the bad taste to commit a murder, or burglary,
or some other crime? I see that you have a yellowish journal there.”

The two, absorbed in their paper, did not reply, and Polly drew near
them until she could read the headlines: “Is a College Education Worth
While for Girls?” “Lowering of the Standard by a University Professor to
meet the Demands of Woman.”

“Dear me!” cried Polly, “this does look interesting.”

“Yes,” responded Annabel, “read further and you will find it more so.
You can take the paper for a few minutes. I’m glad that I happened to
buy one in the Square when I came out from town.”

Polly sat down with the newspaper. Under the large headlines were others
in smaller type that showed that the professor to whom reference was
made was a Harvard professor, and then she began to read. Surely there
was something very familiar in what followed. It purported to be the
transcript of a few pages from the history note-book of a student at
Radcliffe. It was all very familiar. Why, of course! Clarissa’s notes!
No one who had ever gazed upon them could mistake the style. She
remembered having read this very lecture last year when preparing for
her examinations. Clarissa was always generous in lending her
note-books, and Polly had had the use of this for a day or two. But what
had seemed only funny within the covers of a note-book seemed very
impertinent thus exposed to the gaze of every one who cared to buy a
penny paper. Reading further, Polly learned that the article was copied
from an obscure magazine to which the Radcliffe notes had been sent with
a plaintive inquiry whether such lectures could greatly benefit woman.

“Poor Professor Z!” sighed Polly. “He certainly lectures in this style
sometimes. For my own part, I used to enjoy the colloquialisms, and he
used to give us so much besides that it isn’t fair to pillory him.”

“What do you think of Clarissa now?” asked Elizabeth Darcy.

“Clarissa?” repeated Polly. “What has she to do with it?”

Elizabeth shrugged her shoulders. “Most of us have seen Clarissa’s
note-books; if she didn’t write this, who did?”

“I won’t say that this is not Clarissa’s style, I won’t even say that
these are not her notes; but I will say that she didn’t print them.”

“I wish that I had your confidence in Clarissa.” Elizabeth spoke with an
accent of pity. “You must admit that she loves to make fun of people.”

“She is not half as bad as I am,” rejoined Polly, stoutly defending her
friend. “Why, I have even made fun of her,—that was before I knew her so
well. But she bore me no malice. In fact, she never takes revenge, and
there is malice in this article.”

“You admit that these are Clarissa’s notes, and yet you don’t think them
malicious.”

The last speaker was Annabel, who had joined the group.

“Come, Miss Harmon, be fair; it is one thing to write nonsense intended
only for one’s own eyes, and another to put it before the public.
Clarissa, I know, did not have the notes published.” Then Polly turned
away.

Polly was by no means comfortable as she left Fay House, and the better
to disprove the accusation made by Elizabeth, she went to the
stationer’s in the Square to buy a copy of the newspaper. It was the
last one to be had. “It’s been in the greatest demand,” explained the
attendant. “Some kind of a college article, I believe; I haven’t had
time to look at it myself.”

Polly folded the paper and walked down Brattle Street. “I believe I’ll
ask Clarissa point blank.” Polly had a slightly uncomfortable doubt as
she thought of the article, and it happened, as it so often does happen
in such cases, that when she met Clarissa she could not ask the
question. “If she hasn’t heard, it would only disturb her,” was her
excuse. Afterwards she was sorry that she had not at once gone to her.

Within twenty-four hours almost every one at Radcliffe had read the
article. Those who did not own papers borrowed them, and the critics and
partisans of Clarissa ranged themselves strongly on one side or the
other. Some, while blaming Clarissa for letting her notes get into
print, said that it was no more than Professor Z deserved, since the
tone of his lectures had never been sufficiently academic. Others were
glad that he was now absent on his Sabbatical year, for if he were
lecturing in Cambridge they were sure that his wrath would have been
pretty keenly felt. Ruth, of course, took Annabel Harmon’s view of the
affair. Julia, while loath to think that Clarissa had done this in a
spirit of malice, thought that she had allowed herself to be carried
away by the spirit of fun, without realizing that the whole thing was a
deflection from the straight line of honor. She and Pamela discussed the
matter at some length, and very quickly agreed that the relation of a
professor to a small class was a confidential relation, and that only an
instructor who was on very good terms with his class would talk to them
after the fashion of Professor Z. Consequently, to quote his direct
language was like telling family secrets.

Yet with it all nobody dared speak to Clarissa. They quoted what this
professor or that professor’s wife had said; how one had declared that
nothing would induce him to lecture at Radcliffe, how another had termed
this the natural result of trying to benefit women,—they would merely
hold up their benefactors to ridicule,—and still no one dared reprove
Clarissa. The Western girl wrapped herself in a forbidding manner, and
not even Polly dared speak of the article or its effects.

But one day, turning the matter over in her mind, she came to a
decision. “A party will be the very thing,” she said to herself, “and
Clarissa shall give it. Ruth and Julia and Lois Forsaith, oh, yes, and
Pamela, and two or three others,—as many as she can afford chairs
for,—it will be the very thing.”

Clarissa’s room was in a small, neat house in a neat side street. Her
landlady had other boarders, but she took a real interest in them all.

Clarissa’s room looked on a little yard filled with pear trees, and the
children of the neighborhood played constantly under her windows. This
did not disturb her, for her nerves were not near the surface. Sometimes
she called the children to her room and gave them a treat of fruit or
sweet things. Mrs. Freeman’s other boarders thought Clarissa rather
frivolous. One of them was a timid Freshman who studied unremittingly.
Two of the others were graduate students, delving into zoölogy, and
other “mussy sciences” (Clarissa’s phraseology), and the fifth was an
inoffensive Sophomore. The two graduates roomed together. Clarissa had
the best room in the house, but the Freshman had a small room under the
eaves. The Freshman sometimes complained that she had made a mistake,
and that she should have had a room in a lodging-house where she could
have boarded herself with the aid of a chafing-dish and gas stove.

“And starve to death, with nobody nigh to hinder,” said Clarissa. “I’m
glad that kind of thing is not encouraged at Radcliffe. But I wish that
you had the room on my floor, instead of those zoölogists. Often about
ten P.M. when I’ve finished studying I’d slip in and talk with you.
Sometimes I knock on the zoölogical door, but if they let me in I feel
like a criminal, for I can see that they are making a great effort to be
polite, while they wish me a thousand miles away. They like to study
well into the small hours, but as they pay for their own oil nobody can
well object. I’m not half as entertaining to them as those squirmy
things they keep in bottles. The only real gaiety in which they ever
indulge is an ethical discussion with Pamela; just imagine the
combination, ethics and zoölogy!”

The other girl laughed. “You might start a discussion at your party.”

“No, thank you, it’s to be a poster party, nothing more nor less
improving than posters will be considered worthy of mention.”

Clarissa had yielded to Polly’s plans for the party, understanding the
spirit in which it had been arranged. It had been talked of indefinitely
before the affair of the newspaper; and although Polly did not now
explain why she was so anxious to have her friend turn entertainer at
this particular time, Clarissa understood, and Polly knew that she
understood.

Nearly all who had been invited responded to Clarissa’s invitation, and
one windy evening they gathered very contentedly around the open fire in
her room. Clarissa’s room was as different as possible from Julia’s. To
its rather homely furnishings she had added various things that had
caught her fancy without regard to any scheme of art. There was a vivid
Navajo blanket over her couch, and two Indian baskets from the Southwest
on a bracket in a corner. Some Japanese fans were displayed over the
mantle-piece, and just above them hung in a black frame a fine
photograph of the Arch of Titus. But the other three walls, whether
beautiful or ugly in the matter of their everyday decorations, for this
evening were hidden by posters—posters large, small, ugly, beautiful,
covered every spot.

“I know,” said Clarissa, in explanation, after welcoming her guests, “I
know that posters have gone out of fashion. That is partly why I’ve
taken them up. I had thought of offering prizes to the girl who could
guess the artist of the largest number, but instead of that I’m going to
explain them myself. Lo! here is a pointer that I brought over from Fay
House this very afternoon.” So armed with the long wooden stick,
Clarissa moved about the room, explaining much after the fashion of an
auctioneer who has something to dispose of.

      [Illustration: “Clarissa moved about the room, explaining”]

“This you will see is undoubtedly French. You could tell it by the
anatomy of the cats, if in no other way. Such creatures were never seen
on this side of the Atlantic. Jim got it for me. The real name of the
work of art is ‘Lait Pur Sterilisé;’” and as she paused for a moment,
they all gazed with fitting admiration on the child in a red dress
drinking from a bowl under the envious eyes of three cats.

“Well, it’s better,” said Polly, “than some of those greenery yallery
things. No wonder Aubrey Beardsley died young.”

“Oh, Polly, you artless creature, didn’t you dote on the Yellow Book?”

“Not I,” replied Polly. “I measured Mrs. Patrick Campbell as once
portrayed there, and in proportion to the length of her head as there
shown she must be about ten feet tall.”

“Why, Polly, I didn’t realize that you knew so much about Art.”

“Oh, I know more things than I am sometimes credited with,” and there
was an undertone of deeper meaning in Polly’s voice.

“Here’s a Grasset,” continued Clarissa, resuming her explanations.
“Isn’t it a beauty?”

“No, no, Clarissa,” said Julia, “I like this better;” and rising, she
put her hand on a poster with a Puritan maiden carrying mistletoe.

“You show your taste,” said Clarissa, “that’s a Rhead.” Though hung near
Dudley Hardy’s “Gaiety Girl” in poster land, the two did not seem
inharmonious neighbors. Not far from them was Bemliardt’s Jeanne d’Arc,
and for fifteen minutes or more Clarissa kept her friends amused with
the poster show. Before her art lecture was quite at an end, Julia as
assistant hostess had lit the lamp under the chafing-dish, and then when
the others found that fudge-making was the next thing on the programme,
each one wished to offer her own receipt, and to the great surprise of
the company it was found that each receipt varied a little from the
others.

“First you grate a pound of chocolate into the chafing-dish,” began
Polly.

“Oh, not a pound—half a pound at first,” interrupted Julia.

“It’s a great deal better to begin by melting your butter, and then put
in a pint of milk,” added Ruth.

“I never use any milk,” interposed Clarissa.

“Then you let it simmer half an hour,” resumed Polly.

“Oh, there isn’t any fixed length of time,” cried Ruth again; “just let
it cook until it’s done.”

“How do you know when it’s done?”

Then followed a Babel of voices, as each one told what she thought the
proper test; and a listener, I fear, who knew nothing of fudge-making,
would have had hard work to select a working receipt from the directions
given by these merry girls.

By the time the fudge was ready the ball had been set rolling, and it
was evident that Clarissa’s party was a success. While Ruth and Lois
were superintending a second chafing-dish, in which a rarebit was
preparing, Polly picked up a guitar and began to accompany herself, as
she sang the opening lines of one of the Radcliffe classics, “The
Mermaid.”

“That’s just the thing to cheer us up.”

“As if you needed cheering! But here it is!” And Polly struck the chords
with a firm hand, as she sang about the little mermaid who

  “Could not even speak Acroparthianic Greek,
  And she’d no instruction in Theology.
  One day she found, as she swam around,
  A Radcliffe catalogue,
  Which shone afar like an evening star
  From out the mist and fog.
  She paused to rest on a billow’s crest,
  In a wreath of sparkling foam,
  And when she had read what the catalogue said,
  She decided to leave her home.
  She saw at once that she was a dunce
  And ought to go to college.
  So dressed in her best with a hat from Céleste,
  She set out for the shrine of knowledge.
  The cars were so filled she was almost killed,
  But she found she could easily swim
  Up Garden Street, that road so neat
  That has Radcliffe on its brim.”

The last two lines were loudly applauded, for the mud of Garden Street
was constantly ridiculed by the college girls to be beyond description.
The song proceeded to describe the advent of the mermaid at Fay House:

  “She told her race, and her boarding-place,
  And her age (less a year, maybe),
  But when the question came,
  ‘What’s your grandma’s middle name?’
  She wept and turned to flee.”

“The regular Boston question,” said Clarissa, with an expression of
scorn.

“Don’t interrupt,” cried Ruth, as Polly sang the chorus of each verse.

  “Oh, the ocean swell is all very well
  For frivolous sport and play,
  But the cultured mind you’ll seldom find
  Beneath the salt sea spray.”

Other songs followed this,—the “Hunting Song” from the “Princess
Perfection,” snatches from one or two real operas; and at last as they
sat around the open fire drinking lemonade—for the rarebit was now a
thing of the past—Clarissa turned down the lights, and proposed that
they should tell weird stories. No one of the eight or nine present was
excused. Even Ernestine Dunton had to do her part, and she had unbent to
an extent that was astonishing to Ruth and Clarissa; for in the
preceding year when she had been their Senior adviser, she had seemed
the personification of seriousness. She was now back at Radcliffe as a
graduate student, and in certain ways she had begun to unbend.

As her friends bade her good-night, Clarissa knew that her party had
been a success; for Polly, lingering a little behind the others, put out
her hand and whispered, “You know that we don’t believe that you did
that foolish thing, don’t you?” and Clarissa, returning the pressure,
replied, “Of course you could not believe it.”



                                  XVII
                          A PRIVATE DETECTIVE


In spite of the surface frivolity, there was in Polly a strong vein of
common sense. Therefore, as she thought more and more deeply about the
newspaper article she became convinced that great injustice had been
done Clarissa. She was naturally puzzled, for the notes so unkindly
quoted were certainly from the Kansas girl’s note-book. Only too well
she remembered having read them herself, and having laughed at some of
the hits. But how had the newspaper obtained them? Without having talked
with Clarissa directly, without having had more than the whispered word
at the party, she yet knew that the Kansas girl was not to blame. She
began to set her wits at work. To solve the mystery she must turn
private detective.

One Wednesday afternoon she dropped into the pleasant drawing-room at
Fay House; “the most homelike place,” she often said, “this side of
Atlanta.” Indeed, many other Radcliffe girls were in the habit of saying
the same thing, only instead of Atlanta they named Pittsburg, or Topeka,
or Kalamazoo, or, in short, the particular city or town which each
called her home.

“The first month I was in Cambridge,” Polly had said to the President,
“I was right smart homesick and miserable. I felt like I couldn’t stand
it. But when I came in here, and saw you seated at the tea-table, beside
the open fire, I felt like I were with my grandmother, and that this was
a place where I could lay aside all my forlornness. You don’t mind my
comparing you to my grandmother? I reckon it isn’t perfectly polite.”

But the widow of the great scientist, who was proud to admit her
threescore years and ten, smiled with her accustomed grace, saying in
reply:

“No, indeed, my dear, I am only complimented by the comparison.”

Nor was Polly the only one who felt the restful influence of the
drawing-room at Fay House; the quaint old-fashioned room, with its oval
ends, curving outward, with its dull green satiny wall-paper, and the
old-time couch and easy-chairs covered in flowered crimson.

Girls who entered it for the first time were impressed by the dainty
silver and china of the tea-table, and they would turn from the
life-size portrait of Mrs. Agassiz between the windows to the majestic
figure of the President herself presiding over the teacups, and neither
picture nor living figure suffered by the comparison.

On this particular Wednesday afternoon, not so very long after the
publication of the alleged lecture of Professor Z in the yellow journal,
Polly, after paying her respects to Mrs. Agassiz, seated herself at the
further side of the room. She did not linger as was her wont around the
tea-table, for two distinguished guests had entered just behind her. One
was a Frenchwoman, of international reputation, and the other a
distinguished Englishman, making a study of our institutions. The former
was accompanied by a well-known member of the Harvard Faculty, and the
latter by two Bostonians whom he was visiting.

“Isn’t it just lovely,” said a little Freshman seated near Polly, “to
see such great people? That’s what I like about Boston and Cambridge.
You’re always meeting people who seem to belong in books.”

“Yes,” replied Polly mockingly, “it’s a liberal education just to look
at them. Let’s talk French, and see if our accent improves through
breathing the same atmosphere with Madame X.”

“Oh, I didn’t mean exactly that,” replied the Freshman, “only we
certainly _do_ learn things here that we couldn’t get out of books.”

“Yes, yes, dear, you’re certainly right, and I only wish that we could
get yon Englishman to tell us how he manages to wear that monocle, and
yet look perfectly happy.”

The Freshman glanced at Polly to see if she was in earnest, and made
some remark to which Polly returned no answer.

Polly’s thoughts indeed had begun to wander, sent off by a word or two
from a girl standing with her back to her.

“She hasn’t found it out yet, or she wouldn’t speak to her,” were the
words that fell on her ear. Looking toward the door she saw that
Clarissa had just entered, and had paused for a moment to say a word to
Annabel, who as usual was the centre of an admiring group.

Clarissa passed on to pay her respects to the President; and while Polly
was reflecting on what she had heard, she saw the girls in the group
leave Annabel one by one to join Clarissa, standing at the other side of
the fireplace. Annabel frowned as she moved toward Polly’s corner. She
and the girl with her did not notice Polly, for they stood with their
backs to her.

“Yes, it is rather bold—really very bold, but she never cares what any
one thinks. She has so much—so much—”

“Effrontery, I should call it,” replied the other, who was well known to
be a worshipper of a rising star, such as Annabel was now supposed to
be. “But I know that you never like to say anything disagreeable.”

“Well, of course, one should be very careful;” and Annabel sighed the
sigh of the needlessly perfect person.

Upon this, Polly, rising suddenly, faced around, and with a hasty nod to
Annabel joined Clarissa at the other side of the room.

The few apparently unimportant words that she had heard had helped her
far along with her detective work. She could not, however, altogether
conceal her feelings, and slipping her arm through Clarissa’s, she led
her back toward Annabel and her friends.

“Behold the rising star!” she exclaimed; “for of course,” she added in
explanation, “you’ve heard that Clarissa is to have leading part in
Julia’s operetta.”

“Why, Polly,” said Clarissa, “I had not—”

“Don’t contradict,” responded Polly, “our plans are made, and there
isn’t a question but that you have the most manly tone, and gait, and—”

“Why, Annabel, I thought that you were to have the chief part!”
interposed her friend.

“Oh, she’ll be in it,” rejoined Polly, in a somewhat patronizing tone,
assumed for the occasion, “if not in the chief part.”

Then she moved away, still leaning on Clarissa’s arm, and Annabel had no
chance to retort. The foreign guests had gone to inspect the other parts
of Fay House, and the drawing-room was filling with girls whose lectures
for the day had ended.

“Oh, Polly,” cried Clarissa, as the two friends left the room, after
paying their respects to the President and Dean. “Why, Polly, I can’t
act; I don’t belong with those girls at all. Ruth Roberts, you know,
barely tolerates me, and she’s to be the manager.”

“Nonsense, she isn’t the whole thing. Besides, I happen to know that she
_does_ want you.”

“What about Annabel?”

“Well, we can’t really leave her out. Her voice isn’t remarkable, but
she acts pretty well; and since she’s been playing with the Cambridge
Dramatic Club, she’s been considered our representative actor. Besides,
she’s a great friend of Ruth’s.”

“I know it,” responded Clarissa. “You surely ought to have Annabel; but
can I pull all right with those girls?”

“Of course, and I am to be a dapper little dandy. Though we are to be
rivals in love, we can support each other.”

So at last Clarissa yielded, and after the mid-years, rehearsals went on
pretty rapidly. There were, after all, several good parts in the
operetta; and Ruth, viewing everything with the critical eye of a
business manager, was certain that the performance would bring even more
than she had hoped.

“Clarissa herself wouldn’t be so bad,” said Ruth one evening, as she and
Julia sat in the study after dinner, “but I can’t say that I like her
friends. She has a rather scrubby lot of hangers-on. Look at those two
this afternoon!”

“Why, I saw nothing to criticise.”

“You never do, Julia, but they certainly hadn’t a word to say for
themselves, and their clothes were frightful. Clarissa’s red coat is bad
enough, but she is rather fine-looking, and she is so decidedly unlike
any one else that you don’t have to apologize for her. But those others
were so—so nondescript.”

“Ruth,” exclaimed Julia, with a shade of reproach, “you have changed
very much the past year. You used to think Belle’s exclusiveness silly,
but you are tending that way yourself.”

“You are not in earnest!”

“Of course, you’ll never be just like Belle. But you have begun to think
too much about appearances.”

“But you are too amiable, Julia. As we can’t be intimate with all the
girls we meet, we might as well choose the most congenial. We can’t let
all kinds of girls take up our time.”

“My time isn’t so valuable. I can spare a little even to all kinds of
girls.”

“Yes, but even on Mondays, sometimes, there are such queer girls. They
make an unfavorable impression on people from town who call. Don’t you
remember when Mrs. Blair came out? Now, if she had only met Annabel
Harmon or Elizabeth Darcy, how different it would have been!”

“Annabel Harmon!” Julia wondered why she so disliked Ruth’s intimacy
with Annabel, for Annabel was a popular girl, hardly less so than
Elizabeth Darcy. She was well-bred and interesting. “I never can
thoroughly trust any one who spends her spare time reading French
books,” Clarissa had said laughingly, although Julia would have
hesitated to put it quite so definitely.

Ruth, however, was apparently fascinated by Annabel, and constantly
quoted her with admiration. Annabel had a dislike for plain things and
plain people. By this, she was careful to explain, she did not mean
necessarily things that were ugly or people who were poor. “_Some_ ugly
things are really very beautiful, and some poor people are far from
plain. The only kind of plainness that I object to is commonness; I hate
ordinary things.”

Yet if any one had taken the trouble to note down the things that
Annabel called “common,” it would have been found that in her eyes these
were the inexpensive things, and the girls whom she described as
ordinary were usually those who were not rich either in money or
influential connections.

Julia saw that Ruth’s intimacy with Annabel had made a change in her,
not altogether to be commended.

“I wish you liked Lois Forsaith as well as you like Annabel. I do wish
that she had a little more fun. She takes life so seriously. Really, I
can’t understand it. I should die, or at least I should want to, if I
had as much to do.”

“She has only four courses this year.”

“Oh, I do not mean her studies entirely, but at home. She has a certain
amount of housework to do. She helps her two younger brothers with their
lessons, and she always has some regular sewing on hand.”

“Really!” exclaimed Ruth in some surprise. Julia had never said much to
her about Lois’ family.

“They say that Lois would have had the highest record in the class last
year if she hadn’t stayed out to nurse her little sister. It was just
before the finals, and she had to lose one of her examinations.”

“Couldn’t she make it up?” asked Ruth.

“Oh, she will have a chance, but of course it makes a difference in her
year’s record.”

“I never feel quite sure of Lois,” said Ruth. “She always has that
far-away manner, as if she were looking right over your head. I am never
sure that she remembers me.”

“Why, I have not noticed that,” responded Julia. “I think her
delightful. She shakes hands so warmly, and she always says something
worth hearing.”

“But I don’t think that she’s a really popular girl.”

“That’s not to her discredit. Popularity is no evidence of—of—”

And Julia hesitated, seemingly at a loss for a word.

“True greatness,” interposed Ruth. “No, popularity is not a test of true
greatness. But I would not say that Lois is unpopular.”

“If Lois could, she would take a larger part in our social life,” added
Julia. “It’s very hard for a girl to live at home while she’s going to
college. It’s like serving two masters, and one of them has to suffer.
Lois will get the most possible out of her studies, but she can’t be
interested in every little thing.”

“You’re a regular champion,” and Ruth threw a kiss to Julia, as she
turned to leave the room.



                                 XVIII
                             WORK AND PLAY


The added strain of rehearsals was more, perhaps, than some of the
performers ought to have had. But few of them neglected lectures, and
they buoyed themselves with the hope that all this work would be over
before the middle of May, when they could devote themselves wholly to
study.

Julia, perhaps, felt the strain more than the others. To do the operetta
justice she gave up many things that she would have enjoyed. Rehearsals
came so often on Fridays that she was rather glad that this year she had
not attempted to attend the Symphony rehearsals in the City. She had
taken four tickets for the Cambridge course, and Ruth and Mrs. Colton
regularly accompanied her. The use of the fourth ticket she offered from
time to time to various girls who had not subscribed for the course.

She had had to draw the line at social gaieties, although she made
occasional exceptions, as, for instance, in the case of the coming-out
parties of Brenda and Nora. She entered into both of these affairs with
the zest of a débutante, and was greeted cordially by a number of those
of whom she had seen so much during her first year in Boston. But she
noticed that some of Brenda’s special friends either avoided her or
treated her with a deference that made her uncomfortable, since her
years did not seem to warrant it.

“It’s because you know so much,” Brenda had explained. “They’re afraid
of you.”

“Well, they needn’t be. I’m sure that I never display my knowledge, and
besides, I haven’t much to display. They’d find it out if they’d talk
with me.”

“Oh, Julia! You do know a tremendous amount. I feel all shrivelled up
when I think of it. Besides, every one has heard about the operetta. I
feel proud enough, I can tell you, when any one speaks to me about it.”

“You used to object to a learned cousin.”

“I don’t now, as long as she doesn’t make her learning a reproach to me.
That’s one thing very nice about you, Julia, you never scold me for not
going to college.”

“You may come to it yet. Besides, you are studying this winter, are you
not?”

“Now, Julia, don’t ask me how many times I’ve gone to my Literature
class. There’s so often a luncheon or something more interesting that
comes the same day, and when there isn’t I’m too tired to enjoy it. So
I’ve missed more or less, but there’s a Current Events on Mondays and
I’m always there. It gives me something to talk about, and I’m thankful
enough, with a stupid partner, to fall back on Armenian atrocities, or
the Abolition of the House of Lords, or even the Silver Question.”

“A little learning is a dangerous thing,” quoted Julia, and Brenda
replied brightly:

“But less is more dangerous, and Nora says—there, that reminds me, have
you heard of the engagement?”

“Not Nora’s?” queried Julia.

“No, indeed. Nora says that she’s going to Radcliffe next year, and she
isn’t likely to let herself be interfered with by anything so frivolous
as an engagement. But I should think that you might have guessed. It’s
Frances.”

“I’ve had suspicions,” responded Julia, “from a letter Frances wrote me
some time ago.”

“Yes, she’s always been so chummy with you since that time she thinks
you saved her life. But I was surprised, and isn’t it funny that he’s a
minister, at least he’s going to be? This is his last year in the
Divinity School. Just imagine Frances a minister’s wife!”

“It would have been harder to imagine a year or two ago.”

“Yes, Frances has changed since that accident, and then, of course, he’s
her second cousin—or third—and she can do lots of good with her money,”
Brenda concluded somewhat incoherently.

Although Julia did not go to many parties, she yet had more or less
enjoyment from certain phases of Boston life. Her aunt’s house was still
“home,” and thither she went every Saturday. Many Radcliffe students,
like their fellow-students at the University, were surprised to find
that Saturday was not a holiday, and that only by a skilful arrangement
of courses could one have the day free. But on Saturday afternoon, all
who could went home or paid visits. At her aunt’s behest Julia often
took with her one guest or another to the Beacon Street house, and often
after dinner a little party went to a reading, or a lecture by some
great authority, or to a musicale. Julia always regretted that Pamela
could so seldom be one of her Saturday guests. But Pamela, who, in this
her second year at Miss Batson’s, was less sensitive than formerly about
her position, was apt to say laughingly that Sunday was her busy day,
since all the young ladies were then at home.

She might have added that she never liked to miss the Sunday morning
service in the little Memorial Chapel beyond the Washington Elm. There,
as in other churches, seats were reserved for Radcliffe students. The
music and the liturgy, so unlike the simple Congregational service to
which she had been accustomed, rested and helped her, and she atoned for
departing from the rigid forms of her father’s church by holding a
little Bible Class at Miss Batson’s on Sunday afternoon. There in the
dining-room she collected three or four small girls from the quarry
district some distance away, and gave them a helping hand, and taught
them many things that they could hardly have learned from books. No
wonder that she could not accept Julia’s invitations! If she had had no
other reasons she would have plead that she was not in touch with the
young circle that gathered in Mrs. Barlow’s hospitable house.
Occasionally she went there to dine on Saturday. This was usually after
she had paid a visit to the Art Museum, where her beloved Tanagra
figures and the Parthenon friezes still charmed her. She had had some
scruples this year in electing Fine Arts, for she knew that it was
considered one of the soft courses chosen by certain students more
anxious to get marks than to learn. But if many other students had taken
Fine Arts in Pamela’s spirit, it would soon have ceased to be a
reproach. For she verified every statement in her text-book, and looked
up every reference made by her professor, and some of her friends
laughingly plead with her not to set the standard so high, as henceforth
every student taking the course would be expected to do equally well.

Pamela was not in the operetta, for the artistic side of her nature had
not been developed in the direction of music. Yet from time to time she
looked in at rehearsals. She was proud of Julia’s work, for she felt as
if no success could be too great for one who had been so kind to her.
She was fond of Polly, too, and she had enough good sense not to be
offended even when the laugh was directed against the class of girls of
which she herself was a type. For though she was only one of many who
were at Radcliffe for study exclusively, she felt that she could bear a
little ridicule, since the butterflies themselves were sure to come in
for a share.

She was interested, too, in Clarissa’s part in the operetta; and
although she knew that many otherwise charitable girls had held Clarissa
in suspicion since the publication of the newspaper article, she, too,
like Polly, had more faith in the Western girl. She even thought of
doing a little detective work herself, in a quiet way.

One mild morning in early May a group of girls stood at the foot of the
side entrance to Fay House. “Get your hats! get your hats!” cried Polly,
approaching the group from the house. “I’m going home for the largest
hat I own, and I intend to tie it on with a veil.”

Clarissa and one or two of the other hatless girls began to ask Polly
her meaning. But Polly, declining to answer, walked off with a paper,
apparently a letter, held dramatically to her heart.

Clarissa followed her to the shade of a tree at the edge of the tennis
ground, and there Polly read the note to her:

  “My dear Miss Porson,—May I see you Friday or Saturday between nine
  and eleven o’clock.”

And the signature was that of the Dean.

“Yes,” said Polly reminiscently, “it’s true that I’ve been walking
hatless to the Square,—like several others I could mention,” and she
glanced significantly toward Clarissa.

“But you ought to know,” said Elspeth Gray, who had joined them, “that
that isn’t the thing in a conventional place like Cambridge.”

“Yes, but going without a hat seems to be in the direction of the plain
living and high thinking toward which we’re always encouraged.”

“But what did the Dean say to you, Polly? I cannot imagine her being
unduly severe.”

“She wasn’t severe. She couldn’t be. I left her feeling not that I had
been reproved, but simply advised.”

“Was nothing said about sitting on the stairs? I saw you on the landing
yesterday, and some of our instructors complain bitterly of this. They
say that it is too much like the behavior of schoolgirls, and—”

“As long as they express their feelings merely in words,” responded
Clarissa, “I can bear it. I wish that they would bestow our marks upon
us in words. A postal card is so much harder to bear when it is stamped
officially, ‘French Department. Your mark in French 11 is C.’ The big,
blue ‘C’ that they make of such an enormous size, sprawled across the
card.”

“I never mind,” said Elizabeth, who had joined the others.

“Nor would we,” responded Clarissa politely, “if our marks, like yours,
were most likely ‘A.’ You see the postmen, like the policemen and the
car conductors in this cultured community, set a value on real
intellect, and I hate to have them know that I am not at the very head
of my class. I don’t wish to sail under false pretences, but I should be
happier if my instructors would only spare me the big, blue ‘C.’ It
always makes me feel giddy, as the English say.”

“Oh, Clarissa, you’d pun if you were dying.”

“Well, I can afford to be cheerful, for I’ve had an invitation,” and she
read from a card that she drew from a note-book, “Le Cercle Français de
l’Université Harvard requests the pleasure of your presence on Tuesday
evening, May 17.”

“You are in luck. I hear that it is to be a delightful affair; but now
before we go home for our hats, let us stroll over to Vaughan House, and
patronize Mrs. Hogan and her buns.”

A luncheon-room had been fitted up in Vaughan House, a dwelling recently
bought by the Radcliffe Corporation. It was only a step from Fay House,
across the little campus, and both inside and out it preserved the
aspect of a comfortable dwelling. The lunch-room, to be sure, had small
wood tables of true restaurant style and a counter; and the coffee and
chocolate were drawn from metal reservoirs, with spigots, in true
restaurant fashion.

The three friends, for Elizabeth had not come with them, sat at a table
beside an old graduate, who was spending the year in Cambridge for
post-graduate work.

“Why, it doesn’t seem long,” she said, “since we used to carry our own
sandwiches to Fay House in a little pasteboard box, and feel extremely
thankful for the cup of hot tea or chocolate brought by the housekeeper
to the little room back of the conversation room. If she went off before
we could pay her, we would hide our dimes or half-dimes in the sugar
bowl, and she always trusted us as we trusted her.”

“Can you remember the very beginning of Radcliffe?” asked Polly, “when
it was called ‘The Annex’?”

“I wasn’t here myself, then,” said the other, smiling; “that was in
1879, but my sister came a year or two later, when the classes met
either at the houses of the professors or in the little house in Appian
Way. The library, I believe, comprised two or three shelves of books in
another house, and a course with half a dozen students was considered
extremely large.”

“Just think of it!”

“My own experience goes back to 1886 when we moved into Fay House. But
it was so different then. I sometimes wonder if you students of to-day
realize your advantages.”

“I rather think that we have more fun,” said Polly. “I am afraid that
you used to take life too seriously.”

The older girl smiled.

“We had to be very much in earnest because we felt that if we made our
college work secondary to social interests we were likely to be
criticised. The college girl was not so numerous then as she is now, and
she was a target for almost any one who wished to criticise her. But I
don’t blame you undergraduates for getting all the fun you can, and your
music and your athletics in many ways must be very beneficial.”

“She means you, Clarissa. She has heard what an ornament you are to the
R. A. A.,” cried Polly.

“Oh, no; you mean Polly, do you not?” asked Clarissa of the graduate.
“You have heard of her prowess as an actor, and then you know she’s
written nearly all the book for the operetta. The rest of us have just
put in a few jokes.”

“I have had my eye on you both,” responded the older girl, “and I
approve of you, for you have not yet begun to make study secondary to
fun.”

Nor was the graduate wrong in her criticism. While work may have been to
a certain extent neglected by the actors and singers in the operetta in
the weeks immediately preceding the performance, they all knew that when
the rehearsals were over they would work with redoubled energy.

The advance sale of tickets was so good that Ruth went about with a
beaming face. She was interested in the North End reading-room to a
rather unusual extent, and had set her heart on their clearing five
hundred dollars from the two performances.

A week before the last rehearsal Julia had asked Angelina to spend all
her time in Cambridge. There were so many little things that she could
do in helping the girls about their costuming that it seemed as well to
have her near for a week or two. Angelina could be spared, and Julia
knew that the week or two in Cambridge would be almost as thoroughly a
treat to her as a trip to New York to many another girl. Angelina had
become more reconciled to her life at Shiloh, although she still
continued to say frankly that she would prefer the city. Yet she had so
enjoyed being of acknowledged use to her mother, and Julia had so
praised her for her growing skill in housekeeping, that she was almost
reconciled to her quiet life. All “The Four” had continued their
interest in the Rosas. Brenda and Nora had provided their Christmas
tree, with assistance, of course, from Julia. Julia had planned a little
collection of books arranged in two or three small travelling libraries
for the use of the Rosas and their neighbors, and when a check of good
size came from Edith, to be applied to the use of the family, there was
hardly any evident need to supply.

Edith and her parents were in Europe. They had felt keenly the fact that
Philip had left college under a cloud, and it was even rumored that they
might stay away another year. Julia, naturally enough, thought often of
Philip, for that last interview with him had been rather thrilling, and
while many of her friends were planning for the coming Class Day, she
had made up her mind to leave Cambridge as soon as she could after the
examinations. “If I live through the operetta,” she said to herself, for
she felt the strain of the last rehearsals. When she thought of Philip,
putting even the most charitable construction on his silence, it seemed
as if he might have written to her.

Indeed it was only by a chance word dropped by Nora and other girls that
she heard anything about him. They had their information from their
brothers or some of their friends. Julia herself might have heard more
directly had she been willing to bring up Philip’s name to Tom Hearst or
some of his friends. But she would not ask questions, feeling as she did
that Philip might have kept her informed of his whereabouts. Yet she
knew that he had spent the most of the winter on a ranch in South
Dakota, not so very far from the Black Hills; and when reports of the
extreme cold in that region came to Eastern readers, who wondered how
Philip enjoyed this rather hard life—Philip who had been used to all the
luxuries provided for a rich man’s son at Harvard. But Philip did not
write, and Julia would not ask even Ruth about him, although Ruth and
Will Hardon were great friends.



                                  XIX
                              THE OPERETTA


It was the last rehearsal but one, not the dress rehearsal, but the
“half-dressed rehearsal,” as Clarissa called it. At the dress rehearsal
a large number of undergraduates, and special friends of the performers
were to be admitted, and then was to come the performance from which so
much was hoped. But the dress rehearsal would be so much like a real
performance that the present occasion was regarded as something very
important.

Nearly all the chorus were wearing the short peasant skirt, and strutted
about seeming on the whole well pleased with their own appearance. But
the prima donnas were in ordinary attire, for their bespangled robes
were too elaborate to be dragged about on the dusty stage. Polly and
Ruth in bicycle skirts were rushing among the players, now giving
directions to this one, then to that.

“You must stand better, and do come nearer to the front; and when Miss
Harmon is singing, look toward her. You are supposed to be hanging on
every word of hers (which we’re not usually in reality).”

The last words, of course, were _sotto voce_, and the chorus for the
time being made a great effort to obey the energetic Ruth. Occasionally
some girl, forgetting how much depended on her, would draw her neighbor
aside for a tête-à-tête, to the great annoyance of the energetic
managers.

Julia, in her chair in the centre of the floor below the stage, held the
score, and from time to time contributed her word of criticism. But she
was glad enough to have Clarissa and Annabel and Polly and Ruth bear the
most responsibility, as it troubled her to have to pay too much
attention to details. Clarissa and Annabel were lovers in the play, and
to Polly this seemed rather ridiculous, feeling as she did that she had
special insight into the dislike of Annabel for Clarissa. Clarissa,
however, seemed unaware that Annabel was less than friendly; and
although the latter was not always as perfectly amiable as the Princess
in a light opera ought to be, the rehearsals had, on the whole, passed
off pretty well. Polly herself, as it happened, was almost the centre of
interest in the play. This had come about by accident rather than by
actual intention on the part of Julia. She was a disguised Queen,
disguised as a youth of humble birth, who had escaped from court for a
frolic, whose grace and wit carried everything before her. Although she
was apparently Clarissa’s rival for a while, everything was explained
when at the very end her disguise was revealed. The operetta abounded in
pleasing duets, bright dialogues, and witty hits and gibes. But the
jokes and hits were never bitter nor purely personal. They were directed
against the peculiarities of certain groups of students rather than
against the students themselves. Cambridge, too, came in for its share
of ridicule, although the jokes on this subject were rather threadbare,
as they had all been used in other years by Harvard or Radcliffe
undergraduates, in their dramatic performances or college publications.

On the whole, it was a composite production rather than the work of any
one individual. Even in the matter of the music, Julia had accepted more
than one suggestion made by her friends, and in one or two instances she
had composed the words of the lyric, while Polly had composed the music.
In the work of composing and arranging the operetta there had been
really no friction, and all had been eager to make the affair a success.
On this day, when the final performances were so near, there was hardly
a girl who did not rejoice that they had come to the end of their weeks
of work. Ruth was particularly gratified as they turned away from the
hall. She gave a hop, skip, and a jump, undignified, perhaps, for a
Sophomore, though expressive of her feeling.

“Hundreds of dollars!” she cried. “My dreams have been filled with them
since yesterday, and we have sold nearly all our tickets.”

“But there will be expenses, dear child. You mustn’t forget that,” said
Polly, who was one of the group.

“Oh, of course, but there will be enough left. I’m glad, too, that the
whole performance will be so creditable, and we ought to be thankful
enough that no one has been ill, or for any other reason obliged to give
up her part. Anything like that would drive me to distraction, for we
have no understudies.”

“Oh,” said Julia, “every one has given every one else so much advice
that I am sure that any one who has watched the rehearsals could take
the part of some other girl at a moment’s notice.”

“I’m not so sure,” responded Ruth, accepting her friend more seriously
than the latter intended. “One or two of the parts might, perhaps, be
taken, but not Polly’s. She puts a new touch in at almost every
rehearsal, and honestly, I think that she has made the thing the success
that it is. Excuse me, Julia, I didn’t mean that we owe more to the
performers than to the composer.”

“Why, indeed,” replied Julia, “I understand exactly what you mean, and
it is fortunate that Polly’s father was not as ill as she feared a week
or two ago, for if she had had to go South it would have made a great
difference to us.”

Nor were the girls wrong in their expectations. The dress rehearsal went
off with all the sparkle and life that they had hoped. The regular
performance they felt to be a more trying occasion than the rehearsal,
for the audience included so many persons from Boston, as well as from
Cambridge, whose judgment carried great weight. But critical or not,
they were thoroughly appreciative of the pretty operetta. More than once
were the singers and actors called before the curtain; and had Julia not
been too modest, she, too, would have answered the calls that were made
for her. Some of those who were not ardent admirers of Annabel were
pleased that she did not—apparently could not—eclipse Polly and
Clarissa. Sweet though her voice was, it was not powerful, and her
self-consciousness often spoiled the effect of her acting. Brenda, of
course, was at the play, and a large party of her gay young friends from
the City. In the party were Tom and Will and a number of college men,
and Julia, sitting among them, felt that she was almost as merry in
spirit as they. Yet more than the praises of these young people, Julia
appreciated those of her uncle and aunt who sat in the tier of seats
just behind; for her aunt was apparently satisfied by the commendation
she received for the operetta that her devotion to her work was not
going to separate her entirely from young people of her own age.

“But this operetta, my dear, is on the whole so frivolous that I have
some hope that college is not going to deprive you entirely of your
interest in society.”

At the close of the performance, as the actors stood behind the scenes
listening to the commendations of their friends, a telegraph messenger
pushed his way among them with a dispatch for Polly.

Polly’s color faded as she heard him ask for her, and she turned to
Julia with an appealing “Read it” as she laid the slip of yellow paper
in her hand.

Quickly grasping its contents, Julia threw her arms around her friend.

“Come, my carriage is ready.”

But the carriage did not appear for more than five minutes, during which
Polly’s sobs were painful to hear.

“It’s her father,” explained Clarissa to a group of girls who had
withdrawn some distance from the weeping Polly. “He died this morning,
according to the telegram.”

“This morning!” cried one of the girls. “Then it’s a wonder that she
wasn’t notified earlier. Why, it takes no time for a telegram to travel
from Atlanta to Boston.”

“A telegram!” cried Ruth, who had just come behind the scenes; “why,
that reminds me. But what’s the matter with Polly?”

“Why, she’s just had news of her father’s death, and she must feel
dreadfully to think that she has been acting this evening, for he died,
they say, this morning.”

While Elspeth was speaking Ruth had turned very pale. She put her hand
in her little velvet chatelaine and drew out a yellow envelope,
apparently another telegram. Without a word to the others she walked up
to Polly and Julia.

“This is a telegram that came early in the evening, before we began; you
ought to have had it.”

But Polly did not wait for further explanation; she tore open the
envelope. Then after reading the telegram, she thrust it inside her
dress.

“I cannot forgive you,” she cried. “How could you let me sing? My father
died to-day, and what will they think of me when they hear that I sang
just the same! I will not forgive you.”

The stern words were followed by violent sobs.

This outburst was so unlike the lively, amiable Polly that her friends
were only too glad when Julia’s carriage was announced; and leaning on
Clarissa’s arm, she was led away, closely followed by Julia.

The girls who were left behind speculated as to what Polly would do;
whether she would start for home immediately; whether her feeling would
continue to be bitter toward Ruth for withholding the telegram.

“Yet it doesn’t seem altogether like Ruth,” said Elspeth. “Fond as I am
of Polly, I feel that there may be some mistake. I am sure that Ruth
could not have known about the telegram; could not possibly have held it
from Polly if she knew what was in it.”

But unluckily among those whose thoughts were favorable to Ruth, Julia
was not to be counted. Her disapproval of Ruth’s intimacy with Annabel
now seemed to have been well founded. She felt sure that unintentionally
Ruth had adopted Annabel’s rather easy standards of duty to others. “The
greatest good of the greatest number,” Annabel was apt to offer as an
excuse for some action which other girls called selfish. For when
criticised she would try to prove that while one or perhaps two girls
were injured by something that she had said or done, an indefinite
number of indefinite people would approve, and therefore might be
benefited by it. Annabel had a smattering of philosophy, as she had of
other subjects, obtained before studying them; and had she learned more
of the philosopher whom she quoted almost unconsciously, she would have
known that above all other rules he set the Golden Rule. To do unto
others as she would have others do to her was certainly not a guiding
star of Annabel’s conduct.

Thus, after all, there had been an element of tragedy in the operetta
that had once meant only sunshine to those who were working and planning
for it. Polly Porson, speeding Southward, would have felt doubly forlorn
had not Clarissa been with her. For the Western girl had insisted on
going with her friend, and though her absence from Cambridge at this
time meant some loss in the coming examinations, she would not have
listened had any one attempted to dissuade her from going. She did her
part, too, in softening Polly’s feeling toward Ruth, and she was
surprised to find how earnestly she could champion the cause of a girl
who had so often seemed anything but friendly toward her. But while she
knew that Ruth had taken no pains to conceal a certain dislike for her,
she realized that it was a case of mere personal antipathy,
unaccountable, perhaps, as such things often are, or to be accounted for
by the fact that in every way the two girls had received a very
different training.

“But I’m sure that Ruth wouldn’t do a mean thing, and to have kept that
telegram from you would have been mean beyond description.”

Polly, absorbed in her sorrow, and thinking more about the meeting with
her mother and little sisters, had little to say, although firmly fixed
in her mind was the thought that Ruth really had served her own ends by
holding the telegram from her.

Clarissa was soon back at Cambridge, and by good luck lost not a single
examination through her absence. She would not even admit that her
sudden trip, by interfering with her study, had lowered her standing.
When the blue-books were all in she was able to announce triumphantly
that her average was higher than ever before. “Which proves,” she had
said to Elspeth, “that cramming is a luxury and not a necessity.”

Julia did not stay in Cambridge this spring for either the Radcliffe or
the Harvard Class Days. She went with her aunt and Brenda to New Haven
for the ball game, where Arthur Weston was their host; and although he
was as polite as he could be, Julia knew that all his interest was
really in Brenda. Arthur, whose brother had married Brenda’s sister, was
fond of calling Brenda sister-in-law, and for the same reason he had
adopted Julia as a cousin. By a strange coincidence, he, like Philip,
had failed to take his degree the preceding June. This was due to
ill-health, which had kept him from college part of the year. But unlike
Philip, he had been willing to take his place with the next class, and
indeed seemed as well pleased as if graduating with his own class.
Brenda’s disposition, too, was as volatile as Arthur’s, and she carried
a blue parasol, wore blue flowers, and altogether seemed to have
forgotten the existence of Harvard and her former love for Harvard red.
It was hard for Julia to understand such heartlessness as this,—for so
she had to regard it,—as until very lately all Brenda’s college feeling
had been for Harvard. Yet Brenda herself would not admit that it was
really a strong personal preference for Arthur that had made her forego
her Harvard allegiance. She fell back on the excuse of relationship, and
on the fact that she had caused the accident which had finally resulted
in Arthur’s losing a year at college.

“For although he knows that it was an accident, still it certainly was
my bicycle that hurt his foot, and I ought to make up by showing all the
interest I can in his college. Between us,” she added confidentially, “I
think that Harvard Class Day is really more fun; still, I’m having about
the best time of my life here at New Haven, although I do not quite see
why it should be.”

But Julia understood, and Mrs. Barlow understood, and they smiled
indulgently when they saw the two young people strolling off under the
New Haven elms.

When the gaiety of the late spring was over, Julia was glad to be back
again at Rockley. She needed rest, and she had the good sense to spend
her summer quietly. In the early autumn, with her aunt and uncle, she
made a tour of the mountains, and the keen air put her in even better
trim for her autumn’s work.



                                   XX
                                JUNIORS


To follow all the happenings in the college course would take more time
than may well be given now. The beginning of the Junior year found Julia
and her friends all so accustomed to college life that they could hardly
imagine themselves existing without a well-planned scheme of work. As
Juniors, they were more constantly deferred to by the girls in the two
lower classes, and they could not but realize that they were near the
Senior class, and that at the end of another year they would be almost
at the end of their college course. Many new girls wandered about the
halls of Fay House, and among them Julia was delighted to have Nora
included, for Ruth and Julia had not fully made up their
misunderstanding of the spring. If they had spent the summer together,
things might have been different. But they had been separated for a
longer time than ever before since their friendship began; and while
neither reproached the other, both realized the coolness between them.

Nora was only a Special student, and she always referred to her studies
in rather humble tones. But she worked zealously, and confided to Julia
that she might possibly enter the regular course, and end by studying
medicine, if her parents would only consent. But Julia, though she did
not doubt Nora’s sincerity, still realized that there were many things
that might prevent her carrying out these rather impossible plans.

Polly, in sombre black and somewhat quieter in manner, was still Polly,
and she and Clarissa were constantly together. With Julia and Lois she
was always cordial, and she still continued to tease Pamela whenever the
occasion presented. But at sight of Ruth her flow of words always
ceased. It was plain that she found it very hard to forgive.

This year Annabel and Ruth were a little less intimate than formerly.
Yet this did not bring Julia and Ruth any nearer. They still roomed
together, still went back and forth to Fay House together. Those who
knew them best did not realize that anything had come between them. But
they themselves, while realizing the change, would not touch on the
subject that lay so near their hearts. The spot on the apple, the rift
in the lute, of these and many other similes Julia often thought, but
she would not take the first step to mend the breach. She waited for
Ruth’s explanation, and Ruth waited for Julia’s apology, and each day
the two moved farther away from each other.

As to Polly, in some way she and Ruth contrived never to meet face to
face, a feat not impossible, since they happened to have none of the
same courses, and since Polly’s mourning for her father kept her from
taking an active part in the social life of the college.

There were various changes in the grouping of those girls who had been
most together in their first two years.

Pamela alone, among those whom we have known the best, went on her way
undisturbed. She had not been present at the little outbreak at the
close of the operetta. In a general way she knew that there had been
trouble, but she had asked no questions about it. In any case, she would
have been sure that Julia was entirely right. Her summer, spent as
before in tutoring, had helped greatly to free her from care. The
scholarship, again awarded to her, the two Boston boys whom she was to
tutor twice a week in Greek, had made her third year at Radcliffe a
certainty. She continued to live at Miss Batson’s; and although her
duties were lighter and she had a room to herself, the good
boarding-house keeper declined the weekly payment that Pamela
conscientiously offered.

“If you had a room twice as big as that little attic, and on the first
floor front, it would just be a comfort to have you here, without your
paying a cent. All my young ladies say they have just been getting
culture ever since you came here, and that’s worth more than money to
all of us.”

So Pamela felt herself to be almost rich, as she gathered her treasures
about her in the little French-roofed chamber. Chief among them was a
Tanagra figurine, a replica of the lady with the hat that Julia had
insisted on her accepting the year before. On the shelf below were her
Dante books, and near them some of her father’s Greek books, as well as
those that she used in her own classes.

Under the great professor, who in this country stands for the study of
Dante, she was reaching heights even more blissful than those reached
through her study of Greek.

As to Clarissa, she and Polly each had a grievance, and each was bound
to help the other right a wrong—or perhaps I should say, each meant to
help right the other’s wrong. Polly kept her eye on Annabel, and
Clarissa—well, Clarissa had a theory that in time she hoped to prove
true.

There were many girls, unluckily, who looked on Clarissa with decided
disfavor, believing her the author of the objectionable article; or at
the best, they thought that she had unwisely let others use her
note-book improperly. Two or three little coteries, therefore, some of
them made up of very agreeable girls, were inclined to avoid Clarissa.
So Polly, realizing this state of affairs, was all the more anxious to
prove that her friend had been wronged. But how prove it?

One morning half a dozen girls clustered before the bulletin board. The
assortment of notices touched every side of college life. One in which
Polly Porson had had a large part read:

                       Freshmen and New Specials
                                  are
Cordially invited by the Juniors to a reception, Wednesday, October 31,
                    in the Auditorium, at 4.30 P.M.

Polly’s part had consisted of the dainty pen-and-ink drawing showing at
the top a vivacious girl with arms extended, while at the side was a
troop of smaller girls, presumably the Freshmen and Specials, with
accompanying verses:

  “School is over, oh, what fun!
  Lessons finished, work begun.
  Who’ll laugh gayest? Let us try.
  Who’ll talk loudest, you or I?”

Near by was a card giving information about the College Settlement
Association, and others announcing a trial of voices for the Glee and
Choral Clubs. But most conspicuous of all were the notices of the
various athletic clubs, and these notices seemed to awaken a lively
discussion among the girls standing before the board.

  “R. A. A.—Will all who wish to join please pay,”

read one of them, adding, “Oh, I’ve joined and paid, too. I’m more
interested in the basket ball.”

“Well, the managers mean business,” added another, pointing to a notice:

                            “Basket Ball, 189—

  “Great need of candidates. All that can, come out and try for the
  teams, whether they played last year or not.”

“That isn’t for me,” said one of the girls, who happened to be a
Sophomore.

“We’re going to have a strong team this year.”

“Oh, yes,” continued a classmate, “the Juniors can’t do a thing to us
unless Miss Hert—”

“Hush!” exclaimed the first speaker, and turning her head slightly, the
second girl saw Clarissa and Pamela approaching, arm in arm.

But as the two friends disappeared in the distance, a third girl, a
Junior, said, “Yes, Clarissa’s the girl we want but Alma Stacey is
determined—”

“I know that she’s been pretty severe toward Clarissa.”

“Well, Annabel says—”

“Oh, Annabel—”

“Well, Annabel says that she believes that Clarissa would do almost
anything after playing that trick on her.”

“What, about Mr. Radcliffe, the so-called Mr. Radcliffe?”

Polly at this moment had passed them a second time, although now without
Clarissa.

Quickly guessing the subject of their conversation, she interposed.

“Oh, breathes there a Radcliffe girl so silly as to think that Clarissa
had anything to do with that book-plate affair?”

Whereupon the others, Juniors and Sophomores, admitted that they had not
wholly believed Clarissa responsible for Annabel’s discomfiture,
although one of them added that there seemed little doubt that Clarissa
had sanctioned the newspaper article. Yet, if Polly could not make an
adequate reply to this (for not yet had she completed her detective
work), she assured them that Clarissa was so popular that she had been
urged to join the basket ball team, and that through her the class was
to reach a pinnacle of fame in athletics.

Indeed, during this year it seemed as if athletic rather than scholastic
glory was the thing most sought for. The new Gymnasium had given an
impetus to all kinds of athletics, and with the increasing size of the
classes, the long-delayed class spirit was beginning to develop.

Julia was a spectator at the Athletic Reception given by the Freshmen,
and she laughed and applauded all the sports from the potato races to
some of those trials of skill that required great proficiency. She had
sprained her ankle very slightly soon after college opened, and this
prevented her usual gymnasium work.

It was natural that there should be many little coteries at Radcliffe,
and that some should be more devoted than others to study, and others
more devoted to the lighter side of college life. Julia, now that she
and Ruth were less inseparable, found herself turning more and more to
Lois, and for Lois she began to feel even more sympathy than for Pamela.
Although Pamela had had to struggle, she still had been able on the
whole to carry out her plans. Lois, on the other hand, had constantly
been obliged to contend with an unsympathetic family. Her mother thought
that on leaving the High School she ought to have been contented with a
year in a training school. This would at once have fitted her for public
school teaching. Money certainly was needed in the family, and Lois was
not selfish. Yet when a relative, appreciative of her talent and
ambition, offered her the money for the four years’ tuition at
Radcliffe, she felt it to be not only a privilege, but a duty to accept.
Lois in accepting, however, in the midst of her college work had
constantly the feeling that she ought to consider her family more. It
was indeed a difficult task to which she had set herself, to be both the
dutiful daughter at home and the college student keeping her studies of
first importance. It was the old story of trying to serve two masters;
she was unable completely to please her family, and she lost much of the
joy of college life because she could give so little time to the
pleasant idling in which a girl must indulge if she wishes to be
popular.

Even to herself, Lois perhaps never said that she wished to be popular.
Yet she had an inborn spirit of leadership; and if she had listened to
the urgings of her friends, she would have allowed herself to be a
candidate for the Idler Presidency.

“It’s perfectly useless,” she remonstrated. “I haven’t the time, I
haven’t the least chance of success. Besides, a great many other girls
are much better fitted for the office. Honestly, I don’t think that I
have a single qualification.”

“Ah, but you’d make such an ornamental President,” said Polly teasingly,
knowing that this was the least sensible argument to use, for Lois not
only seemed quite unconscious of her own attractiveness, but disliked
these frivolous remarks. Yet although Polly spoke thus teasingly, she
was in earnest in what she said.

“I haven’t enough energy myself to electioneer,” she had said to Julia,
“but I’m going to make myself as agreeable as I can to everybody; and if
you will help, and if Clarissa will help, and in fact if every one will
help, why, Lois shall be the Idler President.”

“Naturally, if every one helps,” and Julia smiled; “but of course you
can count on me, for I should be only too glad to see Lois loaded with
honors. I consider her the very ablest girl in the class. What a credit
she’ll be to us on the Commencement platform, with second-year honors,
and a _summa cum_, and probably with a prize or two thrown in!”

Polly, if the truth were known, was perhaps more anxious to have Lois
regarded as a probable candidate because she had heard that Annabel was
also turning her thoughts in the direction of this office. Therefore,
early and late, and without making her efforts too evident, she tried to
create a sentiment in favor of Lois, so that when the election should
come, it would seem the most natural thing in the world for her to be
chosen.

On the whole, in this its Junior year the class was more united than
ever before. At the Junior luncheon, more than one of those who
responded to the toasts called attention to this fact. Annabel was still
Class President, and indeed most of the class officers remained the
same. But I am not sure that Polly would have admitted that this was a
real sign of class unity. Annabel was still a conspicuous figure at the
Idler theatricals, and she had even written a little play herself. Some
of her admirers said that it contained passages that were wittier than
anything in the operetta. But the authors of the operetta, composer and
librettist, were not disturbed when this was repeated to them. Julia was
not ambitious to shine again as a composer, at least for the present.
Her very success had made her realize her own limitations, and she
decided to make no further effort in this direction until she had
perfected herself in the underlying principles. Nor did Polly intend to
appear before the world as a full-fledged author. So the praise of
Annabel, as sung by her special admirers, did not disturb her.

A few of the girls who were especially fond of society went out more
than during the first two years. Some attended the Cambridge Assemblies,
and an energetic group arranged a series of Junior dances, which,
sanctioned by those in authority, proved altogether delightful. Julia
attended the Assemblies largely because Brenda urged her to, and Brenda
and a crowd of young people from town came out to them.

Clarissa went to the Junior dances, but she was not sufficiently in
society to be asked to the Assemblies. Clarissa, however, had a faculty
of enjoying herself at all times, and she did not show that she felt
certain slights offered her, notably that of keeping her off the team.

In the natural course of events, she should have been chosen captain,
but the influence of Alma Stacey was strong, and Clarissa was not even
on the team.

But college festivities were not the only pleasures offered the girls.
Not a few of the class who lived at home in Boston or Cambridge or the
suburbs entertained at their own houses. An occasional tea, an evening
of private theatricals, all these things relieved delightfully the
monotony of study. Yet to a popular girl they offered great temptations
for wasting time, and in college life, as in the outside world, it was
hard to draw the line between necessary and unnecessary amusements. But
when a wave of whist swept through the class, some of the more sedate
began to protest.

“Oh, but it strengthens the mind, it really does,” pleaded Polly, when
Julia remonstrated; “and you know I’m not dancing—or anything,” glancing
down at her black gown.

“Yes, but afternoon whist parties, and two or three of them a week! Why,
you will soon have no mind for anything else.”

“Oh, I’m not so sure of that, though it’s time to begin to study a
little, as the mid-years are coming. But you look so sad over it, Julia,
that I may swear off, like our old friend Rip.”

“I hope that it will be a different kind of swearing off from Rip’s.
Otherwise—”

“Well, it shall be otherwise for the rest of the year, so far as whist
is concerned, so worry no longer, fair creature,” and Polly went away
laughing.



                                  XXI
                          A FORTUNATE ACCIDENT


One morning in January Lois entered Fay House with what Clarissa would
have called a “long-drawn face,” and with traces of tears in her eyes.
She had a letter in her hand, crumpled shapelessly.

The postman had given it to her as she was leaving her house in Newton,
and she had been carrying it without realizing that she had it. Now, as
she drew off her gloves, she saw the letter, and as she smoothed it out,
again her eyes filled with tears.

To a certain extent the letter seemed like a death warrant, for it
contained news that the relative who had been paying Lois’ tuition could
do so no longer, and that not even the payment for the second half-year
would be forthcoming. This to Lois meant that with the mid-years her
Radcliffe work must end. Moreover, recent family troubles made it almost
necessary that it should end. The required sum was not so very large,
but for Lois it was absolutely unattainable. It was too late in the year
for a scholarship award, and indeed the idea of holding a scholarship
was distasteful to her. There was no one from whom she could borrow, no
one to whom she was willing to confide her private affairs. She knew
that there were schools in some of the smaller towns where she would be
accepted as a teacher even without the college degree, and immediately
she decided she would go to an agency to learn where there might be a
vacancy.

Among all her classmates Julia was the only one to whom she would have
been at all willing to confide her trouble, and yet Julia was the very
one to whom she could not go, because Julia was the one who might have
helped her. To have told Julia of her difficulty would have seemed to
her too much like asking a favor—an impossible thing to one of her proud
spirit.

Lois carried her burden without speaking of it for several days. She
meant to say nothing until the mid-years were over. She intended to keep
up her courage to the end. She studied all the harder, for she meant
these mid-year examinations to be the best that she had ever had. She
meant to reach the highest possible mark. For although she intended to
return to college when she had saved enough money, she knew that happy
day might yet be some distance away. One day soon after she had received
the letter that had so disturbed her, Lois remained rather late at Fay
House. She had been at work in the library, for the next day the
examinations would begin, and it happened that the most important was to
come on that first morning. At home that evening she would finish the
review of a certain very important book. She felt that she had not yet
given it sufficient attention, and she realized that much depended on
her understanding two or three difficult chapters. Passing through the
hall where groups of merry girls were coming out from some Freshman
celebration in the Auditorium, Lois, with a head throbbing from hard
study, decided to walk for a mile or two before taking the car. As she
walked along trying to solve a problem that touched on her examination,
forgetting for the time the more personal cares that had weighed her
down lately, she turned into a side street that took her a little out of
her course. In the spring and early autumn she was fond of this street,
because of two or three old-fashioned gardens upon whose quaint flowers
she loved to gaze. The street was lonely and the houses far apart, and
Lois began to walk more rapidly. In the faint light, for it was now
almost dark, Lois paused for a moment to look over the fence of one of
the old gardens. Near a tall tree in the corner in summer there was a
bed of lilies of the valley that she had often stopped to admire. Now as
she leaned absent-mindedly on the fence for a minute, she thought that
she heard a groan as of some one in pain. Hastily pushing open the gate
she heard the sounds growing louder as she approached the house. There
were no lights in the windows, but stepping bravely up on the little
piazza she entered the half-open door. She stumbled as she entered, and
reaching down she touched a warm, breathing face.

“Help me!” cried a faint voice, and then another deep groan. A faint
light came from a back room, and Lois, quick-witted, hurried in there,
and in a second returned with matches. When she had lit the gas-jet in
the hall, she saw that the sufferer was an elderly woman whom she had
often noticed in the garden, and had seen occasionally at Radcliffe
functions. Lois was tall and strong, and the sufferer was slight, so
without delay she lifted her to a couch in the sitting-room.

[Illustration: “Lois made the bandage and put it on with a professional
                                 air”]

“It’s my foot,” moaned the sufferer.

“I’ll go for a doctor at once,” said Lois, “but first I must put on a
cold compress. It’s evidently a bad sprain. There seem to be no bones
broken,” she concluded, finishing her examination.

Stripping up a cover from a pillow in an easy-chair, and finding her way
to the running water in the kitchen, Lois made the bandage and put it on
with a professional air.

Few words had passed between them, but as she left the room, “Dr.
Brown,” said the sick woman.

“Yes,” responded Lois, “I was going for him.”

It was not far to the physician’s house, and when he had examined the
foot he pronounced it, as Lois had, merely a bad sprain.

“My maid won’t be back until eleven o’clock,” said the sick woman. “I
let her go to Woburn.”

“I can get a nurse,” responded the doctor. “You mustn’t be left alone.”

“I won’t have a nurse about me. You’ve often heard me say that,” cried
Miss Ambrose petulantly.

“But you can’t be left alone,” rejoined the doctor firmly.

Miss Ambrose looked at Lois appealingly.

“Let me stay with you!” exclaimed Lois impulsively, forgetting her
examinations, forgetting the important review, forgetting everything but
the fact that before her lay a suffering human being whom she might
help.

“Would I be of use?” she asked, when the doctor did not immediately
reply.

“Of use!” he exclaimed. “I should say so; a girl who knows just what to
do with a sprained ankle.”

So it was arranged that a telegram at Miss Ambrose’s expense should be
sent to Lois’ family, saying that she would stay all night, and the
physician’s name, Lois knew, would assure her mother that it was a case
of necessity. “Illness of a friend,” he had put in the telegram, leaving
it to Lois to make explanations when she reached home.

After the doctor left, the sick woman lay silent with her eyes
closed—whether half asleep or not Lois could not tell. She had refused
Lois’ offer of assistance in putting her to bed, saying that she would
be more comfortable on the lounge until her maid should come.

As Lois watched her lying there, her regular features outlined against
the pillow, her pale face looking even paler, surrounded with a mass of
sandy, gray-streaked hair, the strangeness of the situation occurred to
her, as it had not at first. Then she began to realize that she ought
not to play Good Samaritan at this time, for it came back to her with
overpowering force that this was the eve of an examination, that she
really depended on these last few hours of review. Well! there was no
reason why she should not study here, though the light was rather dim.

As she turned toward the door to bring her books from a table in the
hall, Miss Ambrose started.

“Don’t leave me!” she cried.

“No, no, indeed.” Lois had quickly returned with the book under her arm.

“You are a student,” said the invalid, now wide awake. “I have often
seen you pass with your books under your arm. Where is your school?”

“It’s Radcliffe.”

“Oh, how I envy you!” and Miss Ambrose sighed. “When I was your age I
would have given all—”

A twinge of pain prevented her finishing the sentence. Lois laid down
the book, and, lifting the coverlid, moved the foot to an easier
position.

Again Miss Ambrose closed her eyes, and Lois, turning down the light,
sat and watched her a little longer. It was now half-past seven and Lois
felt faint. She had had nothing to eat since breakfast, except a light
luncheon. Passing to the kitchen for the water for the compress, she had
seen dishes piled on the table, and she judged that Miss Ambrose had had
an early tea. Then Miss Ambrose opened her eyes.

“Perhaps you would like to study now; the light will not disturb me.”

“Thank you,” responded Lois. “I really need all the time I can have. I
have an examination in psychology to-morrow.”

“Then pray go on without considering me. It is a great relief to me to
know that you are here. But I feel so drowsy that if I fall asleep I am
sure that you will excuse me.”

In a short time Miss Ambrose seemed to be really asleep, and Lois bent
over her books with great zeal.

The examination in psychology was one that would require a cool head.

“Explain the utility of cerebral hemispheres.” Lois turned from the test
question to her note-book. She was able to answer it satisfactorily. “In
the lectures mental life was several times described as a ‘collection of
interests.’ Explain the phrase, and give the chief reasons for holding
it to be a true description of at least a great part of mental life.”
This, too, Lois found no difficulty in answering. But occasionally she
came to a question that needed something more than either memory or her
lecture notes. She exerted herself to the utmost. But alas! the more she
studied, the more she realized that she had the greatest need of her
text-book, and this she had left at home. It was too large a book to
carry back and forward to Fay House, for she had felt that she would do
best to spend the last hours in a careful study of its pages.

It was nine o’clock when Lois made this discovery, and Miss Ambrose had
not awaked. Lois blamed herself for not giving her college work first
place in her mind when she made her offer to stay with Miss Ambrose. But
Lois, in her way, was a philosopher, and since she could not have what
she needed the most, she resolved to do the best possible with what she
had. She devoted herself, therefore, to her note-book, and tested her
knowledge of the subject with various specimen examination papers of
past years. It was brain-consuming work, and Lois was so absorbed in it
that she did not hear the maid when she opened the front door with her
key.

“Sakes alive!” exclaimed the maid, amazed at this late hour to see a
stranger seated at the centre table, while her mistress reclined on the
lounge. Her loud tone woke Miss Ambrose, who at once began to explain
the situation.

“I started upstairs, after going to the front door for my paper, and
when I reached the top I remembered that I had left the door half open.
Some way I slipped as I turned around, and fell the whole way. If it
hadn’t been for this young lady I might have been there yet with my foot
twisted under me,” and Miss Ambrose raised her hand to her eyes, greatly
disturbed by the thought of what might have been. “She’s going to stay
all night,” she added, after a moment’s pause. “See that the spare
room’s ready.”

“Yes’m, but I wonder if the young lady mightn’t like something to eat
before going to bed.”

“Bless me,” said Miss Ambrose, almost attempting to rise from her couch.
“I dare say the child hasn’t had any tea. I’d had mine before she came,
but I never thought to ask her.”

“I should think not,” responded Lois, “with your lame foot.”

But pressed for an answer, she admitted that she had eaten little since
breakfast, and when Dr. Brown returned at eleven, he found Lois at a
side table with a cup of chocolate and a plate of bread and sliced cold
beef before her. With his help Miss Ambrose was carried to her room
upstairs, and he assured her that with patience and the care that Maggie
would give her, he knew that she would soon be herself again.

“How soon?” asked Miss Ambrose anxiously.

“Well,” he replied cautiously, “it’s a matter of weeks rather than
months, but I can hardly undertake to say precisely how long it will
take.”

As Lois went to the room prepared for her the doctor gave her a word of
commendation for her kindness to Miss Ambrose. “Your bandage had a
professional touch,” he said.

“Thank you,” she responded, “you know I wish to study medicine.”

“So I’ve heard,” replied Dr. Brown, who had a slight acquaintance with
Lois’ family, “although you understand, I suppose, that it’s a long and
hard road, especially for a woman.”

“Oh, yes,” she said, less cheerfully, perhaps, than her wont. Indeed, as
she sat in Miss Ambrose’s quaintly furnished spare room, the
professional course for which she hoped seemed farther away than ever.
With one last glance at her notes before she went to bed, she heard the
clock strike twelve before she fell asleep. In the morning she woke
early, and was again at her work, with a sigh for the text-book which
she could not see until she reached Fay House, where there was a copy in
the library. It was hardly seven when Maggie knocked on the door, to say
that breakfast would be ready at eight, and that Miss Ambrose would be
glad to see her at any time.

“You have been very kind indeed to stay with me, and you must promise to
come to see me as soon as you can. I shall certainly be here for the
next two or three weeks.” Miss Ambrose smiled faintly.

“Yes, it’s too bad.” The voice of Lois had the ring of true sympathy.
“The next two or three weeks will be pretty busy for me, as all the
mid-years come then, you know. But I shall drop in, in passing, for I
shall be very anxious to see how you are getting along.”

“Thank you, it will please me so. There is so much that I wish to ask
about the college. When I was young there were no colleges for girls,
and my parents would not have let me go away from home. But I had a
brother fitting for college, and by myself I studied just the same
things that he did. How I envied him his chances! Ah! he didn’t half
appreciate them.” Then Miss Ambrose paused, as if weighed down by sad
memories. “Well, afterwards my mother tried to get permission for me to
study at Harvard, or even to have examinations on subjects that I had
studied at home. But it was useless. Nothing could be done about it,
although we had relatives in the Faculty and many influential friends.”

“Did they approve of your wishing to go?”

“Well, not altogether. In fact, some of them thought me bold to talk
about it. But—well, I’m glad that the girls of this generation have the
chance that I longed for.”

Later Lois learned from those who knew Miss Ambrose that she was really
a very accomplished woman, and that she had studied many subjects under
eminent professors. The brother, who had had the chance for which she
had vainly longed, had not turned out well, and had had to leave college
without his degree. Ill-health in later years had somewhat interfered
with Miss Ambrose’s studying, and she had a wistful expression, such as
one often notes on the faces of those who have missed their highest
ambition.

Lois, walking down to Fay House in the fresh morning air, thought of the
contrariness of Fate. Here was Miss Ambrose, who so evidently might have
afforded the luxury of a Harvard course, had this been a possibility in
her youth, and here was she, Lois, longing for it, yet likely to be
debarred from completing her work from the mere need of a little money.
But brushing these thoughts aside, as unworthy a sensible girl, Lois
returned to her psychology, and mentally worked out a problem or two
before she reached Fay House.



                                  XXII
                          ANNABEL AND CLARISSA


The skating this winter of Julia’s Junior year was unusually good, and
during late January and early February crowds went each afternoon to
Fresh Pond. Julia, Ruth, Polly, and Clarissa were particularly zealous,
and they were all fine skaters. Annabel excelled them all, and none were
unwilling to admit her superiority. During her residence abroad she had
spent a winter at Copenhagen, and she could accomplish all kinds of
wonderful feats learned there in a most graceful way.

“If she were as genuine in other things as in this, we wouldn’t
criticise her so, would we, Julia?” and Polly linked her arm in Julia’s
for another turn round the pond.

Annabel, indeed, distanced some of the Harvard youths who hung about
her. It pleased her to show that she did not need their assistance.

Skating was Annabel’s one outdoor accomplishment, for she was not
generally fond of athletics. One afternoon a dozen or more Seniors were
up at Fresh Pond. Clarissa skated almost as well as Annabel, but Polly
and Julia were less expert, although they were both better skaters than
Ruth. “Don’t go over by the ice-houses,” cried Polly, skimming past
Julia and Clarissa. “There’s a thin place there and they are just going
to rope it off. I was asked to warn everybody.”

“Oh, we know it is thin, thank you,” responded Julia.

“Yes,” added Polly, “only a goose would skate over there; any one can
see it’s thin, the ice is so dark. Only a goose would skate near it—or a
person who was absorbed in showing off,” and she pointed toward the
dangerous spot, which Annabel was approaching.

“Didn’t you warn her?” asked Clarissa, turning to Polly. “You passed her
on the way.”

“I’m afraid I didn’t. I was thinking only of you.”

“Oh, Annabel knows so much, she would have known the ice wasn’t thin,
even if you had told her.”

But even while they spoke, Clarissa had started off at full speed, and
as the others turned to watch her they saw Annabel on the very edge of
the dark ice. Polly knew that this was the dangerous place, and called
out loudly to Julia to follow her. These things take almost as long in
the telling as in the happening, and before Julia and Polly could reach
the other two, Annabel had gone through the ice just as Clarissa had
almost overtaken her. Without a moment’s hesitation Clarissa threw
herself into the chasm, and for a moment it looked as if she would only
make a bad matter worse. But Clarissa knew that they were near the
shore, and that with even a few strokes she could get herself into
shallow water. She had thrown off her coat as she ran, and her arms were
unencumbered. Moreover, she had felt justified in making the bold
plunge, because she had seen several young men approaching from the
crowd of skaters at the opposite end of the pond. Dragging Annabel
somewhat roughly then, she struggled on toward the bank, and to her
great joy she soon found her feet touching the bottom. Ready hands were
stretched out to her from the shore, where already a crowd had
assembled, and indeed two youths had plunged into the water to help her
support Annabel. The latter was altogether overcome by the shock.
Although she had not exactly fainted, she was so benumbed as to be
helpless. But for Clarissa’s quick action she might have suffered much
more. Hardly were they out of the water when a student returned with a
sleigh, whose driver he had stopped in passing. The two drenched girls
were bundled under the robes, and taken to a house not far away. Julia
and Polly drove quickly down to Cambridge for fresh clothes, and before
sunset Annabel and Clarissa were back in their own rooms. Annabel,
however, really suffered from her mishap. She had struck her head on the
ice in falling, and in consequence a slight fever set in which at first
seemed rather serious. Her friends kept her room filled with flowers,
and all her classmates showed great sympathy when it was rumored that
she might have to drop out of the class for the rest of the year.
Clarissa had never fully realized Annabel’s unfriendliness, and so when
the latter sent for her she was only too glad to go to see her. She
thought that Annabel’s thanks were warmer than they need have been, for
Clarissa assured her that she had really been in little danger, and that
even without her help, she would not have been long in the water.
Annabel in her rôle of invalid, reclining in an easy-chair, with her
room filled with flowers, was indeed picturesque.

“Some day,” she said faintly, “when I feel a little stronger I must have
a long talk with you. I feel that I have done you an injustice.”

“Nonsense,” replied Clarissa, “I am sure that you have not.”

“Well,” sighed Annabel, “I will tell you sometime. It is hard now to
explain.”

“Oh, I rather think that I can wait, if you can. You make me think of
Pamela, whose conscience is always too active to be healthy,” rejoined
Clarissa, with a smile.

“Ah!” exclaimed Annabel dramatically, “you will believe me when I tell
you all, but not now. Yet believe that I shall feel forever indebted to
you.”

“Yes, yes,” responded Clarissa, “if it makes you happier to put it that
way. But really—” Here they were interrupted by the arrival of other
callers, and Clarissa soon took her departure. She had only a vague idea
of Annabel’s meaning, although she thought that she undoubtedly had some
reference to the publication of Professor Z’s lecture.

She did not permit herself to dwell long on a subject that concerned
herself so entirely. Recitations were to begin again in a few days, and
she was very anxious to have a meeting of the class called to consider
the question of the Presidency of the Idler. It was the custom to
appoint to this office the girl who had been Vice-President in the
Junior year. It happened, however, that Regina Andrews, the girl now in
office, had announced her intention of spending the next year in Europe
instead of in the regular work of the Senior year. Polly and Clarissa,
therefore, had at once begun to work up a strong sentiment in favor of
Lois.

Lois, had she known of their well-meant efforts, would probably have
stopped them by explaining that she herself had lost not merely the
prospect of being a Senior, but even of finishing the work of her Junior
year.

She had agreed to take the position in the Village High School, twenty
miles away, and she was to go there February 15th. Until the opening of
the recitation period at the close of the mid-years, she intended to say
nothing about her changed plans.

Yet Clarissa and Polly could not help seeing that she took little
interest when they told her of Regina Andrews’ resignation from the
Vice-Presidency.

“We’re bound you shall have it, Lois. We think that you are the very
best girl for the place.”

“There’s Julia.”

“Yes, we’d all like Julia, but she says that nothing would induce her to
take it. She hates presiding, and she has made us promise not even to
let her name come up. She is particularly anxious to have you,” and
Polly’s tone would have been convincing to any one but a girl who had
put a task upon herself in which class honors had no part. There had
been times, of course, when popularity and the thought of being Idler
President would have given her a great joy. But now—ah! in a day or two
Polly and Clarissa would know just how matters stood.

On Saturday Julia invited her to luncheon, and afterwards they were
going to town to a concert. Ruth had gone home over Sunday, as had been
her habit this year.

“I’m perfectly delighted, Lois, that you are to be the next Idler
President, for Polly says that there isn’t a shadow of a doubt. She has
been so determined that the office should not go to Annabel that she has
turned into a regular wire-puller. Even Annabel’s illness has made
little difference to her, although I think that Clarissa has a more
friendly feeling toward her.”

“There!” exclaimed Lois, “I must talk seriously with Polly and Clarissa.
I have told them that I could not stand, but they won’t believe me.”

“But why, Lois, why should you not take the office if it comes to you?
You preside so well, and you are not timid, as I am, and—”

“Because, Julia”—Lois knew now that it was best to explain the whole
matter—“because I may not be here next year.”

Then in as few words as possible, Lois told Julia that loss of money and
other things made it expedient for her to take a year or more away from
college.

“I cannot bear to be counted out of this class, but there is no help for
it.”

Julia very wisely did not attempt to dissuade Lois from her purpose of
teaching, although already a little plan had begun to form in her mind.
Yet she was sympathetic, and told Lois that it was simply impossible to
think of the class as ready to graduate without her.

“Why, we’ll all have to stay out a year, just to keep up with you,” she
said.

But in her own room that evening, Julia pondered long over the
perversity of Fate, that hampered girls like Jane and Pamela and Lois,
who loved study for its own sake, while many others were able to glide
through college with no thought of the great privileges that were open
to them. “The worst of it is, the girls whom one would like to help are
always the proudest.” Then Julia put her mind on the subject, and
decided that if she could help it Lois should not leave college.

As Lois had finished her examinations in the first two weeks, she found
time for more than one brief call on Miss Ambrose. It was so easy to
drop in for a half-hour in passing, and the interest of the older woman
in all her affairs was so genuine, that it was a delight to tell all
that she could about college life. One day she stayed to luncheon, and
enjoyed the service of quaint, old-fashioned china and silver, and she
stole glances of admiration as she ate, at the massive mahogany
sideboard and the spindle-legged serving table and the delicate steel
engravings on the wall. Then in Miss Ambrose’s sitting-room she found so
much to gratify her love of antiquities. There was the cabinet, for
example, with its wedgewood vases, and the mosaics collected in Europe,
and the little book-shelf with its tiny volumes of the Italian poets,
bound in vellum, and the half-dozen miniatures on the mantle-piece of
Miss Ambrose’s parents and other relatives,—all these and many other
things claimed Lois’ attention, although most interesting of all was
Miss Ambrose herself. A well-cultivated mind has always a strong charm
for a thoughtful girl, and Miss Ambrose had certainly more culture than
belongs to the average college graduate, man or woman. She had travelled
and she had studied, yet she always seemed ready to hear Lois’ views on
any subject of general interest.

“You look pale,” said Miss Ambrose abruptly on this particular day; “you
look pale, and if you will pardon my saying it, a trifle worried. A
young person should never show the touch of care.”

“Why, I ought not to look worried,” said Lois soberly. “I am sorry to
appear so—so stupid.”

“You could never appear stupid,” rejoined Miss Ambrose, “but you are
certainly paler. I hope that you are not working too hard.”

“Oh, no, work always agrees with me.”

“Then something is troubling you,” persisted Miss Ambrose firmly. “I
fear that you were less successful than you would have been had you not
taken care of me the night when I sprained my foot. I know that you were
to have an examination the next day.”

“Oh, no,” and Lois smiled like her usual self. “Oh, no, I came out
better than I expected in that. I had an ‘A.’”

“Then I am really puzzled,” said Miss Ambrose, adding, with a slight
touch of severity, “I should think that you might trust me sufficiently
to tell me what the trouble really is.”

Now even a fortnight earlier, Lois would hardly have believed any one
who had told her that after a brief acquaintance she could have found it
possible to open her heart to one whom she had known so short a time.
Yet although she confided comparatively little, Miss Ambrose, reading
between the lines, saw that the young girl was making a great sacrifice
in stopping her course at this stage. “Sacrifice” is not perhaps exactly
the right term, for on the part of Lois it was involuntary. Until she
could earn money, it was not possible for her to continue her course.
Yet when Lois had told Miss Ambrose all her reasons for leaving, the
older woman merely expressed the conventional words of regret. Her eyes
held rather more than their usual look of absent-mindedness.

Great, therefore, was the surprise of Lois, on reaching home on that
Saturday evening after she had been with Julia, to find a letter
awaiting her from Miss Ambrose. From between the pages a thin blue slip
fluttered to the floor.

“You must accept this,” wrote Miss Ambrose in her fine, pointed
handwriting, “as a very slight tribute of my indebtedness to you. I do
not refer merely to the sacrifice you made in staying with me the
evening when I was hurt; but you have done me a great favor in bringing
me in touch with the woman’s college. You have given me an insight into
the life of a college girl. I know that you will continue to keep me
informed about it, and thus I shall enjoy through another a little of
what I so longed for in my youth. From this time I intend to contribute
a certain amount toward the education of one or two students, and I am
sure that you will oblige me by being the first to give me the privilege
of doing something for the honor of good scholarship.”

Picking up the blue slip, Lois saw that it was a check for one hundred
and fifty dollars. The amount took her breath away. It meant not only
the payment of her tuition for the next half-year, but it gave her a
margin for other things, something even to save toward the expenses of
the next year, for Lois was a good manager, and her pulses beat to fever
heat as she thought of all that she could do with this money.

She found that her parents made no objection to her keeping the check,
and she had no hesitation in breaking her engagement with the Village
School, as she knew that another approved candidate for the position had
been sadly disappointed when it was given to her.

Lois felt that she had done nothing to deserve this good fortune, and
yet she was too sensible to decline what came in her way. She realized
that her own greatest usefulness in the world would come from finishing
her college course, and she lost no time in thanking Miss Ambrose, and
in assuring her that she would do her best to deserve her confidence.
Then Miss Ambrose smiled a contented smile. At last she had a direct
interest in the woman’s college.



                                 XXIII
                          CLOUDS CLEARED AWAY


Julia was the first person outside her own family to whom Lois told her
good fortune, and Julia, to tell the truth, was a trifle disappointed in
hearing of it, for she had formed a little plan of her own, and if Miss
Ambrose had not been ahead of her, she would have come forward to
prevent Lois’ leaving. She told Clarissa, however, how near the class
had come to losing Lois, and Clarissa, not vowed to secrecy, told
others. The disclosure was entirely to the advantage of Lois, for all
the class expressed itself fully as to its great loss, if its most
promising student had had to leave for the mere lack of a little money.
Clarissa and Polly artfully took advantage of this feeling, and talked
about Lois’ accomplishments so persistently that even the least
interested admitted that she was the very girl for the Idler Presidency.
It was hard for Annabel to count herself altogether out of the running,
but at last she submitted gracefully to what she could not help; and if
she did not try to forward Clarissa’s cause, she certainly did nothing
to hinder it. As she improved in health she did not open her heart to
Clarissa, and she made no admission of knowing more than any one else
about the publication of Professor Z’s notes. She was very friendly to
the Kansas girl, and even invited her one afternoon as guest of honor to
one of her famous little afternoon teas. Polly laughingly accused
Clarissa of permitting herself to be bribed into friendliness. But
Clarissa retorted that she had never felt unkindly toward Annabel, and
that in time wrongs generally righted themselves. It was probably
through Annabel’s influence that Alma Stacey bent all her energies
toward getting Clarissa on the basket ball team, and succeeded.

As the spring passed on, many pleasant little social events brought the
Juniors in closer contact with girls in the other classes. The students
of highest rank had been elected into the various clubs, according to
the studies in which they excelled. No one with less than two “A’s,” or
two “B’s” with two additional courses could be admitted into these
exclusive little organizations, and membership in the History or English
or Philosophy Club, or indeed in any of several others, was accounted a
great honor.

Julia was in the History and Music Clubs, Polly was in the English Club,
Lois was in half a dozen of them, and Clarissa, almost to her own
surprise, was in the Philosophy Club, having made a great impression on
her classmates, as well as on her professors, by her very original
method of interpreting various theories of philosophy. The Juniors were
admitted in season to take part in the open meetings of these clubs, to
which were invited the members of the corresponding clubs at Harvard, as
well as the teachers in the department and individual guests of honor
from outside.

The Juniors, however, felt closer in touch with the Seniors when they
planned one or two special things in honor of the class so soon to go
out.

“They treated us well when they were Sophomores, and we were nothing but
Freshmen, so now we must do our best to make them feel that they really
will be missed,” said Julia, as she and Polly and one or two others of
the committee were planning what form the Senior party should take.

“Oh, there’s no danger of their not thinking that they will be missed,”
cried Polly. “Why, I believe that Elizabeth Darcy anticipates that the
decline of Radcliffe will date from the day of her graduation. But we
won’t let a little prejudice stand in the way of our giving them a good
send-off.”

This particular affair was called a music party, and a prize was offered
by the Juniors to the Senior who should show herself most familiar with
unclassical music. The prize was a pretty little old Dutch silver
violin, and to the amusement of all it went to a girl who sang all the
lyrics from all the operettas composed by Radcliffe girls during the
past five years. She offered to play each operetta through from
beginning to end, but the judges (which meant the whole Junior class)
begged off and declared that she had sufficiently shown her ability, and
had really earned the prize. So with much laughter the tiny violin on a
crimson ribbon was slung around her neck.

In return the Seniors gave the Juniors a party, requesting in their
invitations that each girl should bring a book for the little white
bookcase in the Senior room. “As you will soon be Seniors yourselves,”
the invitations had said, “these books will really be for your own use,
and you have always been so unselfish that you wouldn’t have thought of
doing this had we not reminded you.”

The Senior rooms occupied the first floor of a pretty old-fashioned
cottage on the Fay House grounds. With good rugs, well-chosen pictures,
a piano, writing desk, lounge, and easy-chairs, they offered a pleasant
retreat for the Senior who wished to escape the noise of the larger
buildings. Once a week during the winter the Seniors were at home for an
informal afternoon tea, and it was only on this set day that an
undergraduate ventured within the precincts. The old-fashioned house had
been bought by the Radcliffe Trustees in their efforts to acquire for a
campus all the land in the immediate vicinity of Fay House, and the
little house in the natural course of events would sometime be pulled
down. But in the meantime it was a delightful place of retreat for the
Seniors. To be sure, Elspeth Gray, who had been in New York during the
spring recess, brought back glowing accounts of the Senior room at
Vassar.

“These rooms look countrified compared with the Vassar room. Why, there,
although they always have the same room, each Senior class refurnishes
it. Even the wall hangings are changed. This year instead of paper they
have put on a painted burlap, stencilled in gold, which cost nearly two
hundred dollars; and the furniture and bronzes and oil paintings,
although many of these things are simply lent by Seniors for the year,
would make your eyes open, you simple-minded Radcliffeites.”

“Plain living and high thinking is the rule at Cambridge,” responded
Ruth, who happened to be one of the group to whom she spoke. “Come,
Elspeth, don’t join the crowd that is sighing for a porter’s lodge, or a
boy in buttons, or some similar luxury here at Radcliffe.”

“Dear child,” and Elspeth drew herself to her full height, “I did not
say, did I, that I preferred the elegance of Vassar and Bryn Mawr, but
we haven’t even any palms, such as they have at Wellesley, or—”

“Well, we have historic associations. There’s the Washington Elm, almost
under our eyes, and we’re so nearly a part of Harvard that we can look
back on a long and honorable past, even if we have less than twenty
years of our own to count up.”

The spring would have been altogether perfect for Julia but for her
estrangement from Ruth. It was hard to approach Ruth on the subject,
because there had been no open break between them, and because Ruth gave
her no chance to seek or make an explanation. They still had their rooms
together, but Ruth always studied by herself in her own room.
Occasionally on Mondays Ruth appeared, but she was oftener absent when
Julia was entertaining those girls who dropped in. As Nora was only a
Special, she was in Cambridge little except for recitations. Yet she had
noticed the coolness between the two, who at Miss Crawdon’s school had
been great friends. She could not help observing, too, that Ruth was
never at Mrs. Barlow’s on Saturday and Sunday, when Julia and Brenda
were so apt to have their friends about them. Ruth, to be sure, always
pleaded that she must spend as much time as possible with her mother,
who had been abroad in search of health during Ruth’s first two college
years. She was still an invalid; and although Nora knew that Ruth
naturally wished to be with her, this explanation did not wholly account
for the coolness between Ruth and Julia.

From Julia she at last drew an account of the affair of the telegram,
and the injury done to Polly.

“It isn’t altogether what Ruth did, but it’s her indifference that has
disturbed me so,” said Julia.

“Perhaps she didn’t do it; perhaps there’s some explanation about the
telegram. Really, Julia Bourne, I did not think that you could be so
unreasonable. But I’m not altogether sorry,” she continued, smiling,
“that you have shown yourself just a little less perfect than we thought
you. I used to think you absolutely reasonable, but now—”

“Well, if you ever had so foolish an opinion of me, I’m glad that
something has happened to remove it.”

“I must tell Brenda,” added Nora, as she bade Julia good-bye. “She’ll be
pleased to hear that I’ve picked a flaw in her perfect cousin. Secretly,
I believe that she thinks you almost too perfect.”

Not long after Nora had left her, the postman put into Julia’s hands an
envelope, on which she recognized Angelina’s handwriting. Angelina had
not been in Cambridge this winter. Indeed, the day after the operetta
she had gone back to Shiloh, and in the autumn she had taken a place as
mother’s helper in a household where there were several children. It was
near enough to her own home to permit her to see her mother and the
children twice a week, and Mrs. Rosa was now so much stronger and the
young Rosas were so much older that they could manage very well without
Angelina. It was better for Angelina to have the responsibility of a
position where she could earn money. Already she had started a
bank-book, and in every way she was much more contented than a year
before. She was very fond of letter-writing, and her epistolary style
was decidedly high-flown.

“My dear Miss Julia,” the present letter began. “I have a confession to
make, though I know that you will say that I am always sinning and
repenting. But this was not exactly sin, only the kind of carelessness
that you have often reproved me for. You see I saw Miss Ruth the other
day, and I asked if that telegram did Miss Polly any harm, I mean her
not getting it at once. You know I went home the next day and never
heard about it. But I thought that next morning you didn’t look as happy
as you ought to after an enthusiastic reception of your operetta (that
was what the newspapers said), and so when I asked, Miss Ruth said that
it made a great deal of trouble for her. I wonder how that was when the
telegram was for Miss Polly? I suppose it was something about her
father, for I heard he died. I know that I ought to have given it to her
as soon as it came, for she was trying a song with you, and they sent it
over from her boarding-house. But Percy Colton asked me to come down and
pull some molasses candy in the kitchen, and I forgot all about it until
after the performance. Then Miss Ruth, when I told her, said that she
would give it to Miss Polly quick, so I don’t see why it made any
trouble for her. I’m very sorry, but that’s the way things happen in
this world—just exactly the way they oughtn’t to.”

The letter gave more information about Angelina’s personal affairs, but
only the above passage made any impression on Julia.

“Oh, Angelina!” she sighed, “you always have had a fashion of making
trouble, but luckily in this case, it’s not too late to straighten
things out.”

To decide, with Julia, was to act. Overhead she could hear Ruth moving
about in her room. Running up the stairs, two at a time, in a moment she
was with her.

“Oh, Ruth, can you ever forgive me? How mean you must have thought me!
But really, I’ve suffered more than you; even if this letter hadn’t
come, I should have told you so.”

“What letter?” asked Ruth, thoroughly bewildered.

“Oh, from Angelina; it was she who kept the telegram.”

“Of course; I always knew it.”

“But _I_ didn’t know it. There, I won’t throw blame on any one else. It
has all been my fault, and not Angelina’s.”

“‘All’s well that ends well,’” said Ruth, pinning a crimson rosette at
her belt. There was a slight stiffness in her manner, but she looked at
Julia with her old-time pleasant smile; and as they clasped hands, the
two girls knew that they were friends again. “Naturally,” she added, “it
was hard, Julia, to find you unjust—”

“But if you had only said the least little word, I should have
understood, Ruth, but when you said nothing—”

“But how could I say anything? When you so evidently had your mind made
up, what could I say?”

“Ah, but I must tell Polly. Won’t you come with me, Ruth?”

“Not this afternoon. I’m going to a ball game with Will; it’s only with
Amherst to-day. But there’s a party of a dozen going, and not a
chaperon.”

“Of course not. That’s the one delightful thing about Cambridge; we can
go to ball games without any of the trammels of an ‘artificial
etiquette,’ as Clarissa might say.”

Then Ruth departed for the ball game, with Will holding her parasol, and
Julia standing in the doorway, waving her a good-bye after a fashion
that had not been possible during the past year.

From Ruth, Julia went to Polly, and it was harder to bring up the
subject of the telegram to her, for the very mention of it recalled so
many sad memories.

“So, after all, Clarissa has been the most charitable of us all. Seems
like we have all been carried away by suspicion, while she has always
been inclined to stand up for Ruth,” said the Southern girl.

“Well, in other things besides murder trials, it isn’t worth while to
trust to circumstantial evidence. But I am the most to blame, for I
ought to have known Ruth better than to suspect her of a meanness. I
shall begin to wonder now if I haven’t been unfair to Annabel.”

“I doubt it, for I happen to know that she borrowed Clarissa’s history
note-book a few weeks before that article appeared,” rejoined Polly.

“Well,” said Julia, “until I’ve removed the beam from my own eye, I
won’t search for the mote in Annabel’s.”

“Ah!” cried Polly penitently, “as you put it, I believe that there is a
beam in my eye also. But I shall lose no time in apologizing to Ruth.”

So Polly apologized, and spread the news abroad that she had been very
unfair. Julia, too, was repentant, and that May and June of their Junior
year was much brighter than the same months had been when they were
Sophomores. Then when Lois was elected Idler President, Polly went about
beaming. She declared that she had not lived in vain, and to celebrate
the joyful event arranged a canoeing party at Riverside. There were
twenty girls in the party, and Mrs. Colton and Professor and Mrs.
Redburn went as protectors. They rowed and paddled, and listened to the
band, and consumed unlimited quantities of ginger ale and sandwiches.
They wound in and out on the curving river, and the lights of thousands
of lanterns shone upon them from the river banks and the boat-houses,
for it was a special night with the boat clubs. It was a delightful
celebration and well planned, and although some of the girls were unduly
daring and seemed to court collisions, when they were counted at the end
of the trip they were found all to be there, to the great relief of the
elders of the party. They had sung college songs until they were almost
hoarse, but Clarissa had voice enough left to propose a vote of thanks
to Polly, adding, “We haven’t a Float Day, nor a Lake Waban, but the
Charles is free to all, and where is there a stream that is half as
fascinating for canoeists?” And all the others answered, “Nowhere.”

While it was yet uncertain whether or not Clarissa would go on the team,
the Spring Meet came off in the Gymnasium, in which her name was down
for several events. The Gymnasium was crowded with friends of the
contestants and members of the R. A. A., and many were there as strong
partisans of various girls who were to compete in the many different
contests. In the horse vault and the saddle jump, some wonderful records
were made. But for some reason the greatest interest centred in the
running high jump, and Clarissa’s friends had prophesied that she was to
make the record in this. She had a formidable rival in Mary Francis, a
Senior, and an especial friend of Elizabeth Darcy’s, who had held the
record for two years. The two classes and their friends watched both
girls with the closest attention. Polly and Julia were perfectly sure of
Clarissa, and the latter fairly hugged her when with flushed cheeks and
her dark hair lying in moist little ringlets on her forehead she was
declared the victor. Not only that, but with fifty-four inches she had
made a record that was to put her and her class on a pinnacle. This,
indeed, marked the beginning of great successes for that class, and
brought out the fact that a genuine class feeling had been established.
No one in the earlier years of the Annex or Radcliffe could have
imagined that this feeling would become so strong. Each girl was
beginning to be thought of, not as an individual, but as a member of the
class, likely to reflect upon it scholastic or athletic glory.
Clarissa’s success at the meet made it seem all the more likely that she
would be captain of the team. Even had there been a faction against her,
it would have been difficult to keep her down. But there was no such
faction, for the prejudice of the year before had almost completely died
away. There was hardly a girl to take exception to the cheer when it
rang out:

  “Radcliffe, Radcliffe, Radcliffe,
        Rah, rah, rah,
        Rah, rah, rah,
        Rah, rah, rah,
  Miss Herter and the team!”

—a cheer that contained a prophecy.



                                  XXIV
                              SENIORS ALL


How quickly that summer before their Senior year passed away! Probably
hardly a girl in the class failed to regret that they were travelling so
quickly toward the end of their college course. During the summer a
dozen or more had sent a vacation round-robin about from one to another.
Clarissa had written a witty letter describing her experiences in
drinking the waters at Manitou, whither her father had been sent in
search of health. She also mentioned incidentally that she was
practising ball, “for our team is to come out the very top of the heap,
but don’t repeat my language,” she had concluded. Julia wrote of a very
quiet summer at Rockley, as her aunt’s illness had prevented a proposed
European trip. Lois had had three weeks in the White Mountains with Miss
Ambrose, where Polly had joined her for a fortnight. Instead of
tutoring, Pamela had felt warranted in giving her summer to research
work, but she had done this without suffering in health, because she had
found a delightful little village on the Maine coast where the board was
almost nothing, and where she had just the inspiration she wanted in
hearing the surf roll in upon the beach. Elspeth Gray wrote of an
encounter that she had had with—well, it is not necessary to go into
particulars—but with the graduate of a well-known college for women, who
had pitied her very much because her lot had been cast at Radcliffe. “As
if I hadn’t chosen this lot for myself with all the colleges of the
country spread out before me. She said that we had no college spirit,
and that we ought to see that there was a lack of dignity in accepting a
degree that was only a kind of imitation of a Harvard degree. But it’s
useless to argue with such people, although I did make her admit that
Harvard offered more to men than did any other college in the country,
and she was amazed to learn that we had precisely the same courses of
study, the same instructors, and the same examinations as Harvard men
have. Dear me! where have people been brought up to know so little?”
Each girl whose name was appended to the round-robin, while expressing
her anxiety to see her classmates again, added a note of sorrow that
this for the majority would be the last year at Radcliffe. A few
intended to return for higher degrees, but it was doubtful if all could
carry out their plans.

In the meantime they were getting all they could out of college life.
Those girls who came from a distance were especially anxious to make up
for lost time by going to lectures, concerts, or by visiting art
galleries and historic towns, that they might feel that they had lost
none of the special advantages that Cambridge and Boston offer the
college student. Clarissa, who had done much sight-seeing in her
Freshman year, now thought that her greatest need was for Sever Hall
lectures, and she made up a little party consisting of Polly and two or
three others of her classmates, who agreed to go with her two evenings a
week. She enjoyed whatever lectures came on those evenings, for she said
that three years at Radcliffe ought to have fitted her to understand
anything. She continued to attend lectures even when her classmates, on
one pretext or another, had dropped off, for she was so fortunate as to
run across a special student of good standing who had given up her
position in a Western High School for the sake of a year’s study at
Cambridge. A little later Pamela made one of the party, as it had been
her habit the past two years to attend all the lectures or readings
given by the Senior professor of Greek. While some Radcliffe Seniors
were to be found at all of the Sever Hall lectures, Clarissa in this
last year was really the most persistent, and she was the more
persistent, perhaps, because some of her friends tried to dissuade her
from burning the candle at both ends. They spoke in this way because
Clarissa was steadily adding to her reputation as an athlete. She was
now captain of the team—a position that many of the undergraduates
regarded as more enviable than that of President of the Idler. It was a
great grief to Polly that she could not play basket ball, but when she
presented herself for the necessary physical examination, a slight
weakness of the heart and lungs was discovered, in itself not serious,
although sufficient to render her an unfit candidate. In consequence to
assuage her disappointment she made herself an amateur coach and spent
what time she could watching the practice games. Her observation was
keen, and more than one suggestion of hers was put into practical
effect.

She was sure not only that the Senior team would vanquish all the others
at Radcliffe, but that in its outside contests it would carry all before
it. “Oh, if we could only have a chance against Bryn Mawr!” she sighed.
“Of course that day is coming, but if it would only come in our day! Was
there ever such a captain?” she concluded, with an admiring glance at
Clarissa.

“Never, I am sure,” replied Pamela. “I love to look at her. She is the
very picture of health.”

“There couldn’t be a better centre, not only because she’s so tall, but
because she has such judgment. How she managed it I don’t know, but she
contrived to get Julia for one of her forwards and Ruth for the other.
Neither intended to play this year. But there they are! They both have
cool heads, and there’s little danger of their losing their wits in an
exciting match.”

Pamela glanced for a moment toward Julia, who stood ready to make a
goal, with the ball held lightly in her finger tips. Even while they
were looking, with a little twist she threw it, and it fell into the
basket.

“I count it one of my privileges in coming here,” said Pamela in her
prim little way, “to have known Julia Bourne. Whatever she does, she
does so well, and she always has a thought for others. She is always so
encouraging.” Just at this moment Julia glanced toward her friends, and
though she did not really bow to them, she smiled pleasantly.

“There’s one lesson we can learn from basket ball,” remarked Pamela.

“Ah, Pamela,” and Polly laughed. “Sermons in stones, books in the
running brooks are nothing to your lessons. But there, don’t blush at
me, but tell me what you had in mind.”

“Oh, I was only thinking that it’s less what the individual player does
than what the team does as a whole. A girl who thinks only of her own
ability to make a wonderful throw may make a throw that will gain great
applause, but she generally sends the ball into the hands of the enemy.”

“Like Elizabeth Darcy last year. Did you see that match?”

“No,” responded Pamela.

“Well, she brought down the house with two or three brilliant throws,
but she really did more to hurt her team than any one on the other side.
If I had been Clarissa I should have been afraid to have Annabel on the
team for the same reason. She thinks of herself first, and of the
general good last.”

“Human nature according to Hobbes.”

“Oh, my dear, I never think of ethics out of the class-room. There—there
look!” and both girls turned to see a goal scored for Clarissa’s team—or
rather for their own team, since Clarissa was the embodiment of the
Senior athletic aspirations.

The match with Wellesley was one of the things of which they were sure,
and it was likely to be exciting. Brenda teased Julia when she heard of
the coming contest by saying that she was bound to be on the side of
Wellesley this year, for Amy had just entered Wellesley, and Brenda was
still very fond of her. Since their trip to Nova Scotia they had seen
little of each other except in summer, for Amy had been very hard at
work preparing for college, and society had absorbed Brenda the past two
years. Amy had felt especially tender toward Brenda the past year or
two, because the beginning of their acquaintance had seemed to mark the
beginning of prosperity for Amy and her mother. The efforts of Mrs.
Barlow and Mr. Elton had resulted in a fairly large sale of Mrs.
Redmond’s paintings. Indeed, her water-color sketches had become so much
the fashion that her income now permitted her to live in Salem. Thus Amy
for a year or two had been able to see much more than in former years of
her schoolmates out of school, and some of her little sharp corners had
been entirely rounded off. The death of Cousin Joan the past winter had
made it possible for Amy to enter college without any worry as to ways
and means; for although the money left by Cousin Joan from most points
of view would have been considered very small indeed, it was enough to
carry Amy comfortably through college. It was left to her for this
purpose, “in recognition,” as Cousin Joan wrote in a note that was found
with the will, “of her patience with a very troublesome old woman.” Amy,
wiping away a few tears, as she thought of the invalid whose life had
been so narrow, protested that it was her mother and not she who should
have the money as a reward for patience. But Mrs. Redmond reminded her
daughter that the money was really a gift to her as well as to Amy,
since she would now be saved a certain amount of financial care in
planning Amy’s college career. Therefore, Amy at Wellesley, and Julia at
Radcliffe, at odds only on the subject of some college championship,
exchanged visits and compared notes, and each ended invariably by
thinking her own college the best.

Brenda and Amy had been a little less intimate since those first Rockley
days, and in the past year the former had been away in California; at
least, she had gone for a year’s absence in the March of Julia’s Junior
year. She wrote to Amy as to Julia rapturous letters about the beauties
of California, mingled with entertaining accounts of her sister
Caroline’s children. Before Christmas Mr. and Mrs. Barlow started for
California to visit their daughter and bring Brenda home. Nora went with
them, by special invitation, as an attack of measles in the early autumn
had prevented her resuming her special work at Radcliffe, and her eyes
needed the rest.

In the absence of her relatives, therefore, Julia was naturally thrown
more in the society of her Radcliffe friends than had been the case in
other years. Edith was spending the year abroad, and the little group of
Miss Crawdon’s girls was widely scattered. Julia spent Christmas with
Ruth in Roxbury, where Pamela, Clarissa, and Polly were also invited;
for Ruth, although she had not entirely changed in her general opinion
of Pamela and Clarissa, had still changed somewhat in her feeling toward
them. She had learned to see the good points of the candid Western girl
and of the timid Vermonter.

In justice to Ruth, it should be said that her change of view was not
entirely due to the fact that the class, as a whole, had now a much
greater appreciation of these two than in their first college years. She
had seen her own mistake in attaching too much importance to Annabel’s
judgments. This, combined with her own slight prejudice against girls a
little unlike those to whom she was accustomed, had made the trouble.
Ruth, too, had suffered so much from Julia’s coldness after the affair
of the telegram that this misunderstanding had made her more charitable
toward others. Though no explanation had yet been given of the origin of
the newspaper article, she no longer believed Clarissa responsible for
it. Ruth was not a snob, and the fact that Clarissa was now the popular
captain of the basket ball team had had little to do in influencing her.
Neither was she the more anxious to be considered Pamela’s friend
because the latter was now the observed of all observers from having won
the great prize open both to Harvard and Radcliffe students for a thesis
on a classical subject by an honor student. The prize was newly
established, and besides the honor it conferred, the money value was
greater than that of any other prize offered. Pamela’s prospects had
greatly brightened. Her scholarship for the year had covered her
tuition, and she had done some tutoring. But the two hundred and fifty
dollars which the prize would give her would free her from all worry
until she could establish herself as a teacher. Very thankful was she
that she had taken the summer for the special study and research needed
for the thesis. The honor that she had won through the prize made a
great impression on her relatives in Vermont, and her aunt wrote her a
cordial letter, suggesting that after all they might let bygones be
bygones, and adding that they would be very glad to have a visit from
her as soon as her “school” was over. Pamela accepted the invitation,
for she longed for a sight of her old home. But she wrote that it must
be July before she could leave Cambridge. She had promised to stay with
Miss Batson until after the Fourth of July.

Of all the Seniors in cap and gown Lois was perhaps the happiest, for it
was the first year of her college course in which she was comparatively
free from care. She was freer than ever before to enjoy the lighter side
of college life. Whether presiding at a business meeting or receiving at
a reception, Lois was greatly admired as President of the Idler. In
fact, she filled the place so well that many wondered that she had not
been thought of a year or two earlier. Polly, hearing these comments,
was greatly amused by them, and inwardly commended herself for having
brought it about that a girl who had never been called popular should in
her last year of college be near the pinnacle of popularity. Nothing
succeeds like success, and although Lois in office was just as
independent as Lois out of office had been, yet she now was more at
liberty to mingle with her classmates. The charm of her manner was
realized, therefore, by many, whereas before it had been felt only by
the few with whom she came in immediate contact.

Polly’s literary talent which had shown itself in a rather frivolous
form in the operetta had so developed that her professors had encouraged
her to undertake more serious work. One or two of her poems had appeared
in “The Radcliffe Magazine,” and had been highly praised. But this
commendation did not mean half as much to her as the fact that the
“Advocate” had taken one of her short stories. After it was accepted,
some time passed before it was published, and at first Polly thought
that she would let no one hear of her good fortune until it was actually
in print.

But at last she had to tell Clarissa, and then Clarissa begged
permission to tell Julia, and in a short time all of Polly’s friends
knew it. “Yet, honestly,” said Clarissa, “I don’t see why you are so set
up about a little thing like that. It isn’t a bit better to have a story
in the ‘Advocate’ than in—”

“I’d rather have it there,” said Polly, “than in the ‘Atlantic Monthly,’
or in any other of the large magazines.”

“Why, Polly Porson!”

“Well, you may see that I am right, because one can have a thing in the
‘Advocate’ only during a very limited time, while she has all her life
to get into the others.”

“Yes, and sometimes it takes a person all her life to get in.”

“Then it’s well to make sure of the thing near at hand, like the
‘Advocate’”, was Polly’s response. And linking her arm in Clarissa’s,
she walked off with her friend.

“Clarissa,” she said, as they withdrew out of hearing of the girls with
whom they had been sitting, “have you ever found out about that
newspaper article, that one about Professor Z’s notes?”

“No, not exactly,” responded Clarissa. “Why do you ask?”

“Because I have always had a suspicion, and I should like to verify it,
or have it all settled before we leave college.”

“But why should you care? It’s all a thing of the past, and it does not
trouble me at all now.”

“I dare say not, but it’s a thing I’ve set myself to find out, and, in
fact, I almost think that I know who it was.”

“My dear Polly, please do not concern yourself about it on my account. I
really do not care.”

“But I care, Clarissa. So far as the class is concerned the thing has
come out all right. You’ve done so much for the team that any feeling
they might have had would be wiped away. But—” and here Polly looked
rather inquiringly at Clarissa—“you won’t be offended if I say that
there are still some professors and one or two others in authority who
have a prejudice who think that you did this,—even Professor Z
himself,—and that is why I want to clear the thing up. I must tell you
who I think it was, Clarissa. I firmly believe that it was Annabel.”

Still Clarissa was silent.

Polly looked at her suspiciously. “Upon my word, I believe that you know
who it was. Why won’t you tell?”

Clarissa laughed one of her deep, hearty laughs. “You really are the
most inquisitive little person. Surely I have a right to some secrets.”

“Then you admit that you know?”

“I have my own suspicions.”

“Then it was Annabel. You won’t say that it was she, because she is
indebted to you. You have a kind of a manly sense of honor. I don’t know
what else to call it.”

“Well, then, since you are so persistent, and since you might make
trouble for Annabel, as well as for me, by telling others of your
suspicions—”

“Then it was Annabel!”

“Not exactly, my dear. Do you remember that rehearsal performance of the
Idler when Annabel sang so long before the curtain went up?”

“Oh, yes, ages ago, when we were Sophomores.”

“Yes, well probably you remember the flowers that fell with an awful
thud on the stage.”

“I was not there myself, but I heard about them.”

“Of course you know that they were thrown by Loring Bradshaw who
attended the play dressed as a girl?”

“Yes, I have heard it.”

“Well, the affair made much trouble for him. He was a Senior, and this
was the last of several escapades that brought him into disfavor with
the college authorities. He was suspended, lost his degree, and although
he came back and took it the next year, he has felt rather bitter toward
me ever since.”

“Toward you! I did not know he was a friend of yours!”

“Neither a friend nor an enemy. But it is true that he became my enemy
because he heard that I had spread the report of his masquerade.”

“It was not you at all, Clarissa; it was I who first told who he was. I
remember that distinctly.”

“Yes, but it was I who had the most to say about that Mr. Radcliffe
affair of Somers Brown. Annabel always believed that I had something to
do with that practical joke. She still believes, doubtless, that it was
purposely played on her. Naturally, she feels annoyed. But I fear that
her suspicions have carried her too far. However that may be, I know
that my note-book was in her possession not so very long after this, and
then—”

“And then followed that newspaper article! And you believe that she had
nothing to do with publishing it?”

“I believe that she had less than you think.”

“Then you are more charitable than I could be.”

Beyond this Clarissa would say no more on the subject.



                                  XXV
                           A STRANGE MEETING


One afternoon soon after the mid-years, Julia was at work in the stack
of Gore Hall, the Harvard Library. For the past two years she had been
delving deep into American History, and in a certain research course she
felt more interest than in almost any other of her studies. She hoped
before graduating to have accumulated notes enough for the basis of a
monograph. Several such monographs had been published, under the
auspices of Radcliffe, on other subjects besides history, and they had
been praised for their originality. Julia’s chosen subject dealt with
the early history of the country, and at present she was studying the
formation of the government. A special card gave her access to the great
collection of books in the Harvard Library stack. Her professor
suggested the books to be considered each week, and she submitted her
notes to him and reported what she had read.

On this particular day, surrounded by the many volumes of “Eaton’s
Debates,” she was absorbed in tracing some difficult point. The long
windows of the wing where she sat let in so much light that she did not
realize that it was growing late. Accordingly as she pushed her way
through the doors into the Main Library she was surprised to find it
deserted of students and attendants. The silence and gloom were
disturbing. There was no doubt but that she was locked in alone in the
great building. What the possibilities were for her getting out before
morning she did not know. The accessible windows were all too high from
the ground to permit her to jump out, even if she had any way of opening
them. Figures were passing through the Yard, but she disliked to make a
disturbance by knocking on the glass. If some student should come to her
rescue, he might thoughtlessly mention her plight, and then what joy for
the “Lampoon” and the daily paper, and any other publication that
enjoyed a chance to laugh at Radcliffe girls! Julia stood there, looking
from the window rather disconsolately. She did not doubt but that before
night should set in a watchman or a janitor or some one else would
appear on the scene to free her.

But a few hours in the building would be very tiresome, especially as
she had no light, and therefore could not pass the time reading. An
hour, perhaps, went by, and still Julia saw no way of getting out of the
building. She wondered what Ruth would think when she failed to appear
for dinner. She moved restlessly around the delivery room, staying as
long as possible near the windows. She hoped that some woman might pass
this corner of the Yard, who would pay attention to her, if she tapped
on the window. But all who approached passed so far from the Library
building that she saw little chance of carrying out her plan. Had she
been there hours or weeks? The unemotional Julia was actually shedding a
tear or two, though she felt ashamed of herself for her weakness. How it
would have amused Polly to see her usually calm friend as disturbed as
any one else would have been by her misadventure. After another period
of hopeless standing by the window, Julia’s heart gave a sudden bound. A
strangely familiar figure was coming near. But no! It could not be! Yet
it was strange that any one else should walk with that long, quick step,
with head bent after a fashion that she had not seen in any one for
three years.

This person, to be sure, wore a soft hat, and he looked a little heavier
than Philip, but no one else could walk in that way, and Philip had
always been devoted to those short sack coats. Yet Philip was two
thousand miles away, and Julia began to think that her little period of
imprisonment was wearing on her brain. How she ventured to do it she
often wondered afterwards. But jumping up on the window sill she
unfastened the window, and then jumping down she managed to lift it an
inch or two. The slight noise attracted the attention of the young man
she had observed, who was now standing directly beneath the window.

“Locked in!” she called to him. “Could you find some one to let me out?”

“Why, yes,” he replied, “at least I’ll try; but couldn’t you—” here he
seemed to measure the distance with his eye—“but couldn’t you jump out?”

The sound of the stranger’s voice reassured Julia; he was certainly
Philip, but he had not recognized her. He probably thought her one of
the Library assistants. But although the distance was not too great for
safety it seemed to Julia unwise to jump. She did not like the idea of
attracting attention; there were likely to be passers-by at any minute.

“Come,” said the young man, “this would really be the best way. One foot
on my shoulder, I’ll give you the word when no one is passing, and you
must be quick, too.”

Had Julia not known the identity of her rescuer she probably would not
have accepted his offer. But the prospect of noting his amazement was
too good to refuse.

“You’ll do it?” he asked a little impatiently.

“Yes.”

She said no more, for she was not yet ready to have him recognize her.
Besides, in the dim light she might have made a mistake. Watching his
chance until there was absolutely no one in sight of the building, the
young man at last gave the word.

Julia’s gymnasium practice was of great service to her now. Opening the
window wider, she sat for a minute on the sill. Then as she put her foot
on Philip’s shoulder, by an adroit movement she maintained her balance
while he knelt low enough to permit her to jump to the ground.

In a second she was on her feet, and no one but Philip had perceived her
strange exit from the building.

Her hat had fallen off, receiving the full force of the jar of reaching
the ground; and Philip, turning to speak to her, was amazed to find that
it was Julia whom he had assisted. He gave ready answers to her
questions, wondering that she did not know of his intended return.

“I haven’t heard from Edith lately,” said Julia, “and we have all been
so busy with the mid-years that we might have failed to hear an even
greater piece of news than your coming, although this really is very
important,” she hastened to add, lest Philip should think her altogether
ungracious. “It’s nearly three years since you went away,” she continued
after a moment’s silence.

“Is it? But tell me, Julia, how did you manage to shut yourself up in
the Library? Is it the fashion for Radcliffe girls to do that kind of
thing now? In my day you used to be more conventional. But we must hurry
to a car, you are hungry.”

“Oh, indeed I am not,” returned Julia. “Please let us walk—that is, if
you have time. They must have finished dinner at Mrs. Colton’s half an
hour ago, and I’d so much rather know what you have been doing these
three years. I have only heard general rumors from Edith and the
others.”

So Philip, nothing loath, gave her a glowing account of life on the
ranch, of the various people he had met and the things he had learned.
“It was harder sometimes than studying,” he said, “the life out there.
But it did me good, and now I’m going to work in a different way. I’ve
promised my father to work for my degree. What a fool I was to cut those
examinations! I’ll have a good half-year’s work to make them up. But I
may have time for a little law, too; I’ve promised my father to try for
the bar. Even if I do not practise, it will be a good foundation for
business. The old gentleman rather wants me to look after things and
relieve him.”

Mr. Blair had never been considered an overworked man, and Julia smiled
at the thought of Philip’s relieving him. But Philip to-day was
evidently very different from the Philip of three years before. He no
longer spoke in a drawl and the note of personal vanity was lacking.
When they reached Mrs. Colton’s, Philip went indoors with Julia, and
Ruth was louder than Julia had been in her expressions of surprise at
his return to Cambridge. He told the story of the rescue in a fashion
that was amusing, if embarrassing to Julia. Looking at him as he sat by
the droplight in Mrs. Colton’s library, she could see that he had grown
stouter and browner, and that no one could now accuse him of looking too
effeminate.

Ruth and Mrs. Colton congratulated Julia on getting safely out of the
building.

“Of course it wasn’t as bad as if you had been in the Agassiz or Peabody
Museums, with stuffed animals and bottled fishes or old Indian relics to
keep you company.”

“Yes, I’m thankful enough,” responded Julia; “also that I was rescued
without being arrested as an escaped burglar.”

“That reminds me,” said Philip, starting up, “that I must return and see
that that window is fastened. I must hunt up a janitor or something of
the kind.”

So almost before they realized it, Philip went off, promising to call on
them soon.

Then Ruth and Mrs. Colton insisted on Julia’s having the dinner that
they had saved for her; and Julia, thinking over the happenings of the
past two hours, realized that Philip had neither referred to that last
Class Day interview, nor had he thanked her for her advice nor
apologized for his long silence, and yet she was sure that she and
Philip were better friends than they had ever been before.

“Julia,” said Ruth the next morning, as the two sat in the conversation
room, preparing and looking over some of the notes of their Shakespeare
lesson. “Julia, I do not wonder that Philip and his friends used to
laugh at us just a little when we were Freshmen, if we were at all like
those two meandering through the hall.”

“But, my dear, we never walked with our arms about each other’s waists,
nor scampered through the halls, nor—”

“Nor wore pigtails,” continued Ruth, gazing again at the Freshmen. “One
of those girls, by the way, Minnie Crosfut, has been confiding some of
her woes and sorrows to me. She thinks that the upper class girls are
not sufficiently devoted to prayers. She thinks that attendance should
be compulsory, and that it isn’t fair for Freshmen to have more than
Seniors.”

“What an idea! Freshmen are no more obliged to go than Seniors. We all
know that at ten minutes of nine every morning there will be prayers in
the Auditorium, and as ministers of three different denominations
officiate in turn, most girls can suit their special theological tastes,
but no one _has_ to go. There are apt to be more Freshmen there, but I’m
afraid that the whole thing turns largely on the question of
convenience. Girls who have a nine o’clock recitation are apt to come
down here early enough for prayers. Freshmen from a distance have
usually promised their families before leaving home.”

 [Illustration: “‘Julia,’ said Ruth the next morning, as the two sat in
                        the conversation room”]

“And Pamela?”

“Oh, Pamela comes because she is a minister’s daughter, and because her
conscience is always active. But most of us, I am sure, attend prayers
two or three times a week. Tell your Freshman that she should be more
observing. And now, to work; I am half sorry that we took this
Shakespeare course.”

“Julia! You to express such a sentiment! I am astonished. Why, it seems
to me the finest course we have had this year; at least it has meant
more to me. Every word now in every play that I read seems to have such
depth. I am always looking for the hidden sense. Yet I do wish that
sometimes the meaning were a little plainer. What do you make of this,
‘Oh, such a deed as from the body of contraction plucks the very soul’?
What is contraction?”

“Why, he gave us the note, ‘Power of making a contract.’”

“Yes, I should have written it on the margin, but my book is so covered
with notes that sometimes I trust to memory. I am anxious to finish this
this morning, so as to be free to enjoy the party this evening, for this
afternoon I am obliged to go to town.”

“Oh, yes, the party, the Sophomores’ farewell to us. I wonder what they
have planned? I hear that it is to be something very original. There’s
Polly with her camera; perhaps she knows.”

But Polly, although she had more than a mere idea of what the Sophomore
party would be, declared she was pledged to secrecy, and she invited
Julia and Ruth to go upstairs with her while she took a picture of the
“Fair Harvard” room.

This was a recitation room on the second floor, and Polly had been
waiting a time when it should have no classes, and when the light should
be favorable for a photograph. She meant to have a photograph of every
nook and corner of the old building for the album that she was making.
The “Fair Harvard” room deserved its name, for the author of the famous
college song had married a member of the Fay family, and in a room of
the old house he had written the well-known stanzas. His portrait and an
autograph of the poem, now hanging between the windows, gave the room
more interest than belonged to any other in the whole building.

“You will give me a print?” begged Ruth when she had finished.

“No, indeed, not one.”

“Why, Polly Porson, are you growing mean?”

“No, generous!”

“It doesn’t look like it. I have been expecting a whole set of your
photographs. Why do you refuse?”

“Come downstairs and I’ll show you.”

Julia and Ruth followed Polly to the bulletin board in the anteroom,
whereon were displayed the cards of girls who were ready to do various
things by which they could earn a little money. There was a notice from
one girl that she was prepared to paint the Radcliffe seal in water
colors, and from another that she would execute the Harvard or the
Radcliffe seals in burnt wood. Other girls advertised that they were
anxious to do mending or typewriting. One girl offered to frame
photographs in passe-partout, and others to make hand-painted picture
frames.

“There!” cried Polly, pointing to an excellent photograph of the Fay
House library, with a card stating that complete sets of Radcliffe views
could be obtained from the girl who had made this print.

“If I should give my photographs away, I should be taking money out of
her pocket. You and Julia and almost every girl in the class can easily
afford to buy Madge Burlap’s photographs, and I happen to know that she
needs the money. She’s one of the girls of whom the college is bound to
be proud. Since she’s willing to earn, she must be encouraged in her
efforts. That’s why you can’t have my photographs—for love or money.”

“I accept your apology, Polly, and now good-bye until this evening.”
Seizing Julia by the arm, Ruth hurried her off to the Shakespeare class.

When evening came, the Seniors were welcomed by the Sophomores at the
house of one of their members, whose house in Cambridge was large and
attractive. Across one side of the long drawing-room was a table covered
with a crimson cloth. When the Sophomores and their guests had all
assembled, a double quartette from the former class sang an amusing song
of greeting, and then at a given signal the cloth was lifted, and one by
one the Seniors were invited to come forward and gaze upon the
photographs that had been hidden under the cloth. Each Senior had a book
given her in which to record her guess as to the identity of the girls
whose photographs were here displayed.

“They’re all Seniors,” said Madge Burlap, “although you mightn’t think
it, Seniors at the age of ten or under; and if you don’t recognize
yourselves at that age, why we shall think that you are less clever than
you profess to be.”

The Sophomores had been at work all winter, collecting the pictures that
they now displayed. They had tried to get them, so far as they could,
from friends of the Senior rather than from the girl herself, as they
wished the class as a whole to be surprised by the collection. Besides
photographs, there were a few miniatures and daguerreotypes, while of
Pamela and one or two other girls there were only tintypes to show.

“You are not asked,” said the President of the class, “to say whether
the homeliest child has grown into the prettiest Senior, or the reverse;
we shall give the prize for plain, unvarnished guesses.”

When the books were all in, it was found that Pamela had come the
nearest to guessing the whole number, although even she had made two
mistakes. The prize was an order on the class photographer for a dozen
photographs, and everything considered, perhaps no one could have
appreciated this more than the Vermont girl.

As the spring wore on, the entertainments offered the Seniors came, as
Polly said, “fast and furious.”

Grateful though the class was for all the attentions lavished on them,
they enjoyed these various parties much less than the entertainments
given them in their Freshman year. Then four years of college life lay
before them. Now it was nearly all behind; and though they appreciated
the dignity of being Seniors, wearing the cap and gown, still not a few
of them would have given much to be at the beginning rather than at the
end.

Polly was one exception to this sentimentality, which toward the spring
recess seemed to take possession of her class.

“Four years more of examinations, a whole year of English A, a year of
daily themes, unexpected hour examinations in History I, at least two
years of superior smiles from girls who know more than we do,—no, thank
you! I am very glad to let the dead past bury its dead. But if any of
you really long for four years more, I should advise you to return for a
season of post-graduate work. Any one who distinguishes herself
sufficiently may be the sword to open the Harvard oyster from which to
extract the Ph.D.”

“Yes, if we could be Freshmen with Seniors’ experience life would indeed
be ideal, although as it is, it is real and terribly earnest, and I
wonder that we can take time even in the recess for Julia’s house
party.”



                                  XXVI
                            THE HOUSE PARTY


When Mrs. Barlow offered Julia the house at Rockley for a party during
the Easter recess, the offer was promptly accepted. “I have ordered the
house put in readiness for our return,” wrote Mrs. Barlow from
California, “although we shall not reach Boston until the first of May.
I am sure that you must have worked very hard this winter, and that the
breath of sea air will be just what you need before hot weather sets in.
There is room for a dozen girls, and everything will be arranged for
your comfort. You must not hesitate to ask for whatever you wish.”

In making the list of the girls to be invited, Julia and Ruth were long
in consultation. Clarissa and Pamela, Lois and Polly, were certainties,
and there were three or four others about whom there was no doubt.

“There’s Annabel, too,” said Julia. “We must ask her.”

Ruth looked closely at her friend. “But do you care to have her? Are you
not asking her chiefly on my account?”

“I thought you might like her, even though you and she are less intimate
than you once were. But she is Class President, and she is much more
genuine than she was a year or two ago.”

“She tries to _seem_ more genuine,” responded Ruth. “But Annabel can
never be absolutely sincere. We must take her as we find her.”

“Oh, we all understand her now,” replied Julia, “and as she certainly is
entertaining, it seems to me worth while to invite her.”

Annabel, therefore, was one of the group that sat on the broad piazzas
at Rockley or wandered on the beach in the warm April sun. Although it
was vacation, each girl had set herself some task to be done before
returning to college. Therefore, for three hours in the morning all were
allowed to bury themselves in their books. Dante, Schiller, Greek and
Latin Classics, Von Holst, Fichte, Herbert Spencer, John Stuart Mill,
Seignobos, and other awe-inspiring books were strewn over the library
table, although any girl who touched her books except in the mornings
was at once forcibly reprimanded by her classmates. An exception was
made in the case of Polly and Clarissa, who both were studying practical
Astronomy. So ardent were they in their search for variable stars that
the other girls decided that it would be cruelty to force them to give
up the opportunities afforded by Rockley. Therefore they spent nearly
every evening on a little balcony, muffled in shawls. The wide, unbroken
stretch of sky gave them the best of views, and, armed with
opera-glasses, they carried on their search with great perseverance.
Clarissa, indeed, announced that she had found almost enough material
for a thesis, and that star-gazing could be a very profitable
performance, “when carried on by a prudent person like myself,” she
added _sotto voce_.

For exercise, wheeling was the favorite diversion of the twelve, and
some to whom this part of the country was new were enthusiastic over the
pilgrimages to Salem, Marblehead, and other historic places. At Salem,
where Amy also was spending her vacation, they had a glimpse of Mrs.
Redmond and her studio. Polly, who had money for whatever she wished,
bought a pretty little water-color sketch of the beach at Rockley, and
Annabel talked about having her miniature done. Fritz Tomkins, Amy’s
great friend, came down to call while the Seniors were there. He
expressed himself as perfectly delighted to meet a group of Radcliffe
girls, explaining that although he had been a whole year at Harvard,
they were the first students from the woman’s college whom he had met.

“You ought to have called on Ruth and me,” said Julia, with a
mischievous attempt at patronizing Fritz, “and we would have introduced
you to some one of your own age. We know several girls in the Freshman
class.”

“Thanks,” said Fritz, “but you know that at Harvard we hardly realize
that there is such an institution as Radcliffe. It makes so little—”

“Yes, it makes very little disturbance in Cambridge, and we would hardly
realize the existence of Harvard had we not the advantage of knowing its
Faculty pretty well,” retorted Ruth.

“I understand that you could hardly get on without them,” and thus the
good-natured bantering between the two went on for some time longer, and
in the end it was hard to tell with whom the advantage lay.

One evening at Rockley Julia announced that she had arranged for a
“confession conference.” She would give no satisfaction as to her
meaning until the whole dozen had assembled in the library before the
open fire.

Then, producing a red-bound book, she declared that its pages were
blank, except that one page in every five had in turn the names of each
of the girls present.

“I am going,” she said, “to ask each girl to tell me what Radcliffe has
meant to her, and then I am going to beg her to tell what her real
ambition was in coming to college, or better, what she intends to be
when she leaves. Let us take an hour to collect our thoughts and write;
then another hour to read and discuss what has been written. Later, with
your permission, these confessions will be handed to the Confession
Recorder (and she laid her hand on Polly’s shoulder) to be copied into
this book. I wish that the whole class would do something of the same
kind. But at the end of ten years, how interesting it will be to see how
near we twelve have come to our ideals.”

“Or how far we have fallen below them,” murmured a voice that sounded
like that of Annabel.

Thus, with pencils and writing pads, the twelve set to work, for Julia’s
proposal had the charm of novelty, and met no opposition. But when the
time came for reading what had been written, the majority of the girls
told what they hoped or planned, without confining themselves strictly
to their notes.

Polly said that she had chosen to come to college because she was fond
of study, and because it had been her father’s pleasure to tutor her in
the classics. Out of a family of five girls, she had thought that one
ought to have as good an education as a boy. “Besides,” she added, “it
seemed rather a good joke to shock all our friends and relations, who
thought it a terrible thing for a girl to go to college. Most people in
the South still think so, although I have converted a few. Papa was a
Harvard man,” she added in an undertone, “and that’s why I came to
Radcliffe, and that’s all I have to say.”

“But what have you learned?” asked Clarissa. “That’s part of the game.”

“Oh, everything,” responded Polly, “but chiefly that I am not the very
brightest girl in the world, as some of my friends and admirers used to
try to make me believe, when I lived down South.”

“And your ideal?” asked Julia.

“Oh, I’m going to write the great novel of North and South. The subject
is a large one, still I think that I can conquer it, but it will be
years yet,” and Polly sighed heavily—for Polly.

We know how Clarissa and Pamela happened to come to Radcliffe. Clarissa
now confessed that she had learned at Cambridge that it was a good thing
to live in a conventional place for a time and get the sharp edges
rubbed off. She added that at school she had always been considered the
smartest girl, but Radcliffe, she had found, was made up of the smartest
girls from a good many schools, and the majority seemed to be able to
hold their own quite as well as she. “What’s the matter with basket
ball?” cried two voices in unison from the other side of the room, and
Clarissa hastened to declare her ideal. This was, she said, to stay
quietly at home with her parents for the next two or three years. “They
think that I’ve been away too long, but if I really wish a profession at
the end of that time, they will not interfere with my studying.”

Pamela, after a moment’s hesitation, said that she had found Radcliffe a
most encouraging place, and that instead of subduing a girl, as Clarissa
implied, she thought that it tended to make her less timid.

“Which shows,” interposed Polly, “that Radcliffe is very like the
chameleon inspected by several persons, each of whom gave a different
account of the little creature.”

Pamela added that she was going to try for a European Fellowship, and,
if possible, spend a year or more at the American School at Athens.

Lois confessed that the pure love of study had drawn her to college, and
Radcliffe had been her choice, because while attending it she could also
live at home. “Although,” she added, “I believe that there is no better
college. Yet I so love study that even without Radcliffe I should have
studied by myself. But college has been wonderfully broadening for me,
especially during the past year, when I have had so many delightful
friends. As to my ideal,” she concluded, “I am ashamed to say that my
purpose has changed somewhat. I may not study medicine—at least not at
present. I am going to teach for two years, and at the end of that time
I shall try to go abroad for special research in Philosophy. There are
certain theories that I can work out by myself while teaching and—after
that—”

“Lois,” cried Esther Haines, one of the group, “mark my words, in two
years you will be marching to the altar to the tune of ‘The Wedding
March.’”

“Nonsense,” cried Lois, “I am the last one to—” But the others, noticing
that Lois was evidently embarrassed, could not resist the temptation of
teasing her.

In time it was Annabel’s turn, and she announced that she had happened
to come to Radcliffe merely because when on shipboard on her return from
Europe she had met a Harvard man who had told her that this was the
coming college for women, and that it was the thing for every clever
girl to be educated there. “‘Clever,’” murmured Polly, “there’s nothing
bashful about Annabel.” The latter added that she wasn’t sure that she
had learned as much as she had expected, but for the present she should
rest content, as she meant to devote the next two or three years to
society, as her father had taken a house in Washington. But just as some
of those present were thinking that Annabel was as vain as ever her tone
changed a little, and she said in a somewhat more humble voice, “To be
perfectly honest, I really have learned some things at Radcliffe, and
later in the evening, if you will let me, I wish to make a little
confession of my own.”

As if with one impulse Clarissa and Polly looked at each other
significantly. Her meaning to the others was not so clear. Even Julia,
failing to understand, hesitatingly gave her impressions of Radcliffe
and her aims.

“You needn’t tell us your aims in life,” cried Clarissa; “to do so would
be tautological, as you have been telling us constantly, ever since you
came to college.”

“Why, Clarissa!” and Lois looked almost angry. “You would have us
believe that Julia is the most egotistic girl in the class.”

“I am not unfair,” retorted Clarissa, “for you must agree that Julia is
likely to have, after leaving college, much the same aim that she has
had during her college days,—that of making every one about her as happy
as possible.”

Applause followed Clarissa’s explanation, and Julia withdrew from the
room in confusion to order more logs for the fire.

Ruth had confessed that she had been led to college from her curiosity
as to how she should feel as “the new woman” of whom all the newspapers
were speaking. From their columns she judged that a college education
was a very necessary part of this new woman’s equipment, and as she was
fond of study she had persuaded her mother to let her take the Radcliffe
course.

“Everything considered, you ought to have had a course in Domestic
Economy,” said Polly with mischievous intent.

“Especially since your aims after college are so very evident to us
all,” added Clarissa.

“Oh, I dare say that she’ll make just as good a housekeeper. A
college-trained mind is really a very good possession for a minister’s
wife.”

“Oh, Polly, Polly, you are incorrigible!” exclaimed Julia, returning at
this moment, and handing Ruth a fire screen to shield her from the gaze
of the others. Yet after all it was generally known that Ruth’s
engagement would be announced on Class Day, and she and Will Hardon were
situated so fortunately that the wedding, Julia knew, might take place
within the year.

It is worth noting that almost all the party gave love of study as their
chief reason for choosing college. They had turned their faces from the
pleasantly idle life of the average American girl, and from seventeen to
twenty-one had been hard workers. Every one of them had sacrificed
something in order to achieve her end, and almost all of them intended
that their education should benefit others. Although the majority of
Julia’s guests—like the majority of the class—meant to be teachers,
several were looking forward to other useful work. Even Annabel, in her
secret soul, had an idea that she was to reduce the frothiness of the
social set into which she should be thrown in Washington. Esther Haines
was one of the few who proposed a definite career of altruism. She was
to spend her first year after graduating in the College Settlement in
the east side of New York. She said that after her year’s experience she
would know whether or not it was wise to become the agent of some
charitable organization. She had an idea that she might prefer the
foreign field. Esther was one of the class whom Julia had come to know
best in her Senior year. The latter often regretted that her
acquaintance with Esther had come so late in her course, for Esther was
not a pale, dyspeptic altruist, but one of the cheerful, rosy-cheeked
kind, and it was easy to see that her mission to the poor would be one
of joy and hopefulness.

Of the whole group Madge Burlap was the one, perhaps, who had had the
hardest time in planning her course, for early in her Sophomore year her
father had died, and at first it had seemed as if she must leave
college. Instead of wealth, she now had nothing but a few hundred
dollars in the bank and many books, pictures, and personal belongings.
These things she gradually sold—so gradually that she did not draw on
herself the pity of her classmates. It had been hard to part with that
morocco-bound edition of Stevenson, at a time when her English
instructor was urging them all to an intimacy with the great Scotchman.
But after all, with the money in her pocket and the books on Julia’s
shelves, she was not so very badly off; for in negotiating for the sale
of the Stevenson, her pleasant acquaintance with Julia had deepened into
friendship. It had been harder to part with her Ruskin, for this set had
been divided, Polly taking “The Stones of Venice,” Annabel “The Seven
Lamps of Architecture,” and one or two others taking the rest. Madge was
a good business woman, and she disposed of all her superfluous
belongings except her camera. Yet that could not be counted a
superfluity, since she made it pay for itself many times over, and her
artistic views of Cambridge and the surrounding country were beginning
to be in demand at one or two well-known stationers.

“We know that you are a business woman and a photographer, and since you
won’t tell us your exact aim, I prophesy that you will make a fortune,
Madge, in artistic photography,” said Polly.

“Well, why not?” responded Madge, thinking of the three young brothers
whom she was helping educate. “A fortune in our family would be both
useful and ornamental.”

At last each girl of Julia’s party had read her confession, and the
others had given their approval. Each in turn had promised Julia to
record what she had written or said in the crimson-covered blank-book,
as a beginning of the archives to which the exercises of Class Day and
Commencement were bound to add so much. It was then that Annabel’s clear
voice was again heard.

“You must not forget _my_ confession, although it is not for the red
book.”

“Oh, then, let’s hear it,” cried Madge Burlap, and the others echoed her
wish. It happened that the group was now sitting in a semicircle around
the fire. Annabel was in the centre, and as she spoke the others turned
instinctively toward her. It suited her to be the centre of interest,
and she began very dramatically:

“Of course every one here remembers the afternoon when I recited so many
things before the curtain went up, that afternoon two years ago when we
had to wait so long for the Idler play to begin.”

Annabel knew, naturally, that every one present _did_ remember that day,
and she continued: “You may recall, too, that there was much discussion
afterwards about a strange girl who attended the performance—who—who
threw me a very large bouquet. Well, perhaps some of you may also have
heard that the girl was Loring Bradshaw in disguise, who took that way
of seeing a Radcliffe play. I recognized him, of course, but for certain
reasons he did not wish any one else to know that he had done this. He
was a little under a cloud in college, and he thought that this wouldn’t
do him any good with the Faculty. Well, the affair _did_ get out, and he
always thought that this was the last straw that led to his suspension.
He knew that I had not told, and he was sure that no man in college
would have done so. Then, I happened to mention that you, Miss Herter,
had spoken of it at Radcliffe, and he looked on you as the cause of his
troubles with Harvard. So it happened one day that he walked home with
me as I was carrying your note-book in History 100 that I had borrowed.
Your name was in large letters on the cover, and he insisted on carrying
the book away. I could not prevent him, for he simply took it from me. I
wrote him a severe letter that night, and the book came back to me
promptly the next day. He said that it had served his purpose, but I had
no idea of his meaning until that newspaper article appeared. I did not
care to tell people that Loring was undoubtedly responsible, and
besides, just then, Miss Herter, I was perfectly willing to have it
appear that you were to blame. They were certainly your notes, and I had
no way of proving that Loring had concocted the article.”

There was silence when Annabel finished. Before any one else could
speak, she continued: “I wish to say now that I am very sorry that I let
so many hold a wrong opinion, for of course I knew that they held it.
But I was annoyed about this, although I know now that Polly and
Clarissa had nothing to do with the Mr. Radcliffe affair as I thought at
first.”

“Thank you!” cried Polly.

“Well, I’ve realized for some time that I do not deserve to be Class
President. In fact, even before Clarissa rescued me I had begun to see
that I was a mean and jealous kind of a person.”

“There! there!” exclaimed Polly, rising to her feet, “we won’t allow too
much humility in the President of the class. We’ve all made some
mistakes of judgment, and I myself have been about the worst of all.”

“Ah!” continued Annabel, “you are too good, but I have learned more than
any one else in finding out that girls can be generous to one another.”

“There!” cried Clarissa, taking her place beside Polly. “In the language
of the poet, ‘Enough said.’”

Clarissa disliked scenes.



                                 XXVII
                           NEARING CLASS DAY


As Class Day approached, the class began to feel that the end was indeed
near at hand. Thoughtful girls like Julia and Lois found a special
significance in everything that they did; “for the last time” meant a
great deal to them, and even the unsentimental Clarissa quoted Tennyson
with an approach to correctness:

  “Tears, idle tears, I know not why ye fall,—
  Tears from the depth of some divine despair.”

During May the class had had many attentions paid it by the other
undergraduates, as well as by different professors and their wives,—“a
continuous performance,” as Polly phrased it, of farewells; and that
girl would indeed have been stony-hearted who had not felt that all
these things had made her parting with Cambridge a little harder. There
had come a lull in these festivities during the examination season of
early June, for in comparison with all other examination periods this
one had an enormous importance for many Seniors. Even girls who had done
well throughout their course showed an unnecessary nervousness, and were
sincere in fearing that in some unexpected way they might lower their
records. Few of them, perhaps, expected to fail, but those girls who had
set their hearts on a degree _summa cum_, _magna cum_, or even simply
_cum laude_, felt that much depended on the marks of these final
examinations.

But when the examinations were at an end, worry, too, departed, and few
indeed were the Seniors who did not enter whole-heartedly into the
pleasures of these last days.

The work of the various class committees had been completed some weeks
before, and to the credit of the class all had worked together
harmoniously. Even in the election of the committees most little
rivalries and jealousies had disappeared, and if in all instances
precisely the right girl was not in the right place, no one criticised
or found fault. As Class President Annabel was Chairman of the General
Committee, Ruth of the Invitation Committee, Julia was Chairman of the
Committee on Class Exercises, Clarissa was chief of the Photograph
Committee, and Pamela, in spite of her protestations, had a place on the
Baccalaureate Committee.

So energetic had Clarissa been as Chairman of her committee and so
conscientious in securing the best photographs that some of her
classmates made really pathetic complaints.

“Sometimes, when I think that I am going to have an hour of leisure, an
hour when I may sink in the depths of my easy-chair and refresh myself
with Meredith,—George, not Owen,—there comes a gentle tapping at the
door, and I rise to receive a note reminding me that I am part of a
group that is to be photographed under the broiling noon sun, and that I
am especially requested to wear a pleasanter expression than usual. I
belong to so many groups,” concluded Polly sadly, “that my Senior May
has been one long noonday glare of sittings before the camera. When
there was nothing else happening, some amateur was taking a snap-shot,
to add me to her album of Radcliffe views. I cannot tell you how many
times I have been caught in unconscious attitudes, crossing the tennis
court, or leaning against a tree, or seated on the steps. I always try
to look my best at such times, because—”

“You spoke of _unconscious_ attitudes,” commented a listening Junior.

“Hush, child! When you are a Senior you will understand things better,”
replied the irrepressible Polly; “and to prevent further criticism, I
will give you a specimen of my most unconscious smile,” and the younger
girl accepted Polly’s latest photograph—a full length in cap and gown.

“My time for teasing you, Polly, will come to-morrow,” said the Junior,
“for you may be my vis-à-vis in a canoe, and if you are not careful I
may tip you—just a little way—into the river.”

But Polly refused to be frightened by this mild threat, and when the
canoe set out it was Polly who held the paddle. This excursion on the
river was the form into which the Juniors offered their hospitality to
the departing class, and a merry time they had with a picnic supper
spread in a grove on the river bank.

The Sophomores invited the Seniors to a dramatic performance in the open
air, after which—for almost the last time as undergraduates—the guests
were treated to the familiar fudge and college ice. If the fudge was
over-sweet and the ice over-watery, nobody criticised the feast. Indeed,
the affair was considered remarkably successful, since the Sophomores
were thought to have been extremely clever in having discovered that the
Radcliffe grounds were large enough for such festivity. All the
audience, to be sure, except the Seniors, had sat pretty closely
together on rugs and shawls spread on the grass. But the Seniors in
their camp chairs were not crowded; and though the setting of the mimic
stage was rather Shakespearian in its simplicity, it sufficed for the
little play. For the whole action was supposed to take place on the
links where two golfers engaged in some sentimental sparring, and a
caddie and a country maid furnished the burlesque element.

Of all the events of that last month none was more enjoyable than the
reception given by the Athletic Association to the Senior basket ball
team, as a special acknowledgment of its prowess in gaining the
championship. For Clarissa and her nine had not only vanquished the
younger classes, but had won certain victories over outside colleges
that had almost turned the heads of the athletically inclined. Indeed,
some of those girls who seldom set foot in the Gymnasium except when
obliged to exercise went to this reception to honor the team. For it was
the proud boast of the athletes that no girl on the team would have a
degree graded lower than _cum laude_, and thus the outside world would
see that mental and physical exercise could go on at the same time. As
for Clarissa—well, every one knew that she showed marked ability in
everything that she undertook, and no one, not even Annabel, grudged her
her honors. To her undoubtedly belonged the chief credit for the glory
that came to the class in bearing away the banner of championship. This
was more than a compensation for their losses in the tennis tournament.

“Few classes,” said Polly proudly, “will go out in a greater blaze of
glory. With Clarissa getting us the championship, and Pamela winning
that two hundred and fifty dollar thesis prize, all eyes will be turned
upon us.”

“They always are turned on the graduating class,” responded Julia, to
whom she spoke. “But it’s delightful, is it not, that these special
honors have come through girls to whom some of us were not inclined to
pay much attention in our Freshman year.”

“‘Some of us’ is good,” rejoined Polly, “when we remember that you
always had unlimited confidence in the two heroines.”

“I always liked them,” said Julia quietly, “as I saw that others must
when they knew them better.”

To picture the scene in the Gymnasium demands the painter’s brush rather
than the pen, for it was no formal reception such as any group of girls
could give in any house. Far from it! Though the day was fairly warm,
the star athletes did their best for the entertainment of their guests.
They performed feats that made the blood of some of the uninitiated run
cold. They went up and down ladders, and climbed ropes, and swung on
rings, and leaped over bars, and showed enormous agility, if they
undertook no difficult tests of strength.

Those girls who were not in the R. A. A. stood about in their light
muslin gowns, and clapped and cheered a steady approval; and the others
in their picturesque gymnasium suits clapped and cheered even more
loudly. They did not shriek, not they, when Clarissa at the apex of a
pyramidal arrangement of ladders seemed about to fall. They knew that
she was safe, and Clarissa was soon ready for her triumphant descent.

But some of the girls in light gowns _did_ exclaim at the critical
moment in tones loud enough to have frightened a timid gymnast, and some
thought it a pity that Clarissa should have to work so hard when she was
really the guest of honor, and some thought that she was making a
needless display of her prowess. Yet as Clarissa poised herself at the
top of the ladder before starting down, a mighty cheer went up from the
whole throng, and Clarissa, with beaming eyes and flushed cheeks, waved
them her appreciation of their appreciation before beginning the
descent.

After the banner had been duly presented, after the team had made its
acknowledgment, after every one who could make a speech had said the
proper thing, the R. A. A. returned to everyday costume, and the three
or four hundred girls wandered about the grounds until summoned to
college ice in the Auditorium.

For Julia the spring had an added charm from the fact that Philip took
so much interest in everything. Though working for his degree, he was
constantly planning little parties of eight or a dozen to see this or
that baseball game or the spring athletic meets. Whoever the others
might be, Julia was always of the party.

“I have not known so much of Harvard doings in all my four years,” she
said one day as they set out for a Princeton game, “and I feel foolishly
frivolous in my old age.” There was no sign of old age in the
bright-eyed girl who waved the Harvard flag, even up to the moment of
Princeton’s victory. The general excitement, and the fact that it was a
Princeton game, reminded Julia of that other Princeton game more than
five years before when Harvard was victorious at football, and when
Philip had shown himself just a little bored by having to escort a
“parcel of girls.”

Thus with some pleasant diversions lightening the unescapable hard work
of the examination period, the spring passed away, and the Monday before
Class Day found the whole class ready to enjoy the happenings of the
week. To Julia early that Monday morning came a note from Philip saying
that his degree was assured, and that he had nothing to trouble him now
except the fear that she might not get hers. Julia smiled as she read
the friendly little note, and thought how greatly Philip had changed
from the Philip of old.

The first event of the day was a luncheon given by the former Secretary
of the Annex and Regent of Radcliffe and his wife, at their Cambridge
house. To them more than to any others was due the credit of planning
the collegiate work for women that had finally resulted in establishing
Radcliffe College. The Secretary was always ready to answer the many
questions asked by the eager girls about the small beginnings of the
college, and to the more thoughtful it was a wonderfully interesting
story.

After the luncheon Annabel was called upon for a speech, and she was
followed by half a dozen others, each of whom were ready-witted in
responding to the impromptu toasts.

From the luncheon they went on to a reception at Craigie House. The
poet’s daughter had also been one of the founders of the college, and
the girls or classes honored with an invitation to Craigie House were
always envied by the others.

Clarissa and Pamela, on this afternoon of the class reception, in a
spirit of veneration, went almost on tiptoe into the study, now looking
just as Longfellow left it almost twenty years ago. There near a window
overlooking the Charles they saw the high writing desk at which he wrote
standing, with some of his quill pens lying on it. They noted the great
orange tree in the other window that had grown from a seed planted by
Longfellow. The portraits of Hawthorne and Emerson, and the little
water-color sketch of the village blacksmith’s shop, all came in for
their share of attention. But perhaps most interesting of all was the
portrait of the poet himself, in his fur-trimmed coat, painted by his
son, on an easel near the fireplace. The class wandered from the
quaintly furnished room known as Martha Washington’s parlor to the large
drawing-room back of the study, with its many art treasures gathered in
Europe. They strolled over the broad lawn, and each girl felt that this
reception at the Longfellow House was something that no other event of
Commencement week could surpass.

Their own Class Day was the Wednesday before that of Harvard, and in the
intervening day or two the class had little time to spare. The
invitations had been out since the end of May, and all the preparations
had been carefully made.

The literary exercises took place in the forenoon, with only the class
as audience. “Thankful enough we ought to be,” said Ruth, “that cut and
dried speeches in a hall have not yet been adopted by Radcliffe. It
would be so hard to have to explain our jokes even to our sympathetic
friends and relatives, and there would always be some present who would
think undignified any alleged witticisms that we might offer.”

Sure, therefore, of a friendly audience, Annabel gave the Class History,
and Polly the Class Prophecy. Ruth had written the words of a Class Song
for which Julia had composed the music. There was a Class Poem by
Estelle Ambler, a girl whose verses had lately appeared in several of
the magazines, and it was rumored that Clarissa was to make an original
contribution to the programme which no one was to know about until the
last moment.

Annabel’s History was even cleverer than her classmates had expected.
She reviewed brightly the various events of the undergraduate years,
scholastic and athletic, with the usual gentle gibes at History I and
English 22, and the trials offered by Junior forensics and daily themes;
and she made all laugh by the originality of her class statistics.

“We are 1,378 years old,” she read from her manuscript, “2,942 feet
high, and we weigh a little less than four tons. During our four college
years we have studied 26,134,720 minutes, and at Mrs. Agassiz’ Wednesday
afternoons we have drunk in all about 7,000 cups of tea. During our four
years we have used about 260 pints or 32.5 gallons of ink, and 5,636,250
pages of theme paper, which would cover about 5,000,000 square inches.
The actual time spent in writing examinations has been just 96 days, of
24 hours each. For this work 5,240 blue-books have been necessary, and
320 quarts of Mrs. Hogan’s beef tea. In listening to lectures we have
spent 30,000 hours, or 1,800,000 minutes. The Secretary knows that we
have been eager searchers for knowledge, for at the lowest estimate we
have asked her 2,470 questions, to which she has returned 2,470 patient
and obliging answers. Now that we are about to depart to the four
corners of the earth, we shall never forget old Radcliffe, nor the
blue-books, even though we forget what filled them. We shall always
remember the honored President and the Dean and the Secretary, and all
who have smoothed our path here for us, and we shall never forget that
we shall always belong to the Class of 189— of Radcliffe College.”

A Class Poem can never be very original, but Estelle Ambler offered one
that was extremely smooth and pleasing, and to the point. Polly followed
it with a Prophecy, in which she imagined all kinds of things likely to
happen to the rest of the class. “Prophecies contrary to fact,” many of
them might have been called, for Polly foretold the early marriage of
several of those girls who were the least devoted to society and the
most devoted to study, while for Annabel and Ruth and Clarissa she
prophesied many long years of toil as teachers or professors in school
or college. Business careers were foretold for the unpractical, and
those girls gifted with a sense of humor had a chance, in Polly’s gentle
satire, to see themselves as others had seen them; and they all smiled
at her concluding words, which she said embodied the sentiments of most
of those inclined to give advice to college girls that the main
advantage of a college education for a woman is that it fits her, or
ought to fit her, “to take up the duties and responsibilities of a
household, that by bringing her accurately trained mind to bear upon the
practical details of life, and exercising the acquired acumen of her
mind, she can make homes happier than they ever were before, and—” The
final words were lost in the applause that greeted this familiar
commonplace; and Polly, acknowledging a wreath of roses laid at her
feet, bowed gracefully as she descended from the Auditorium stage.

There was a hum of expectation as Clarissa followed Polly on the stage,
carrying a large, stiff-looking roll. Unfolding it, she announced that
she had been made Class Attorney, and that to her had been intrusted the
making of the Class Will, which she would now read.

The things that she bequeathed were chiefly the common property of the
class, such as “the superior smile when some underclass girl asks a
question that cannot be answered;” to the incoming Freshman class the
“privilege of profiting by the advice which their Senior advisers will
give upon every occasion;” and last, though not least, in the minds of
some, “the privilege of collecting on the slightest provocation sums of
money, great or small, in exchange for tickets to entertainments, or
without such consideration, to support divers good causes in Boston and
Cambridge, especially those connected with settlement and college work;
and the less ready money any girl is supposed to have, the more urgent
shall be the appeals.”

To the Sophomores among other things were given the right of assuming
“the nonchalant title of Junior,” and “the faculty and right of saying
to Seniors who are loath to depart this college life, ‘Oh, well, we have
a whole year more,’ in a way that makes a year sound an eternity.”

The Senior rights in various college officials and in certain college
properties were likewise bequeathed, and the mock solemnity of the whole
thing brought the programme to a close with a chorus of laughter. Then
after the class had sung Julia’s Class Song, there was an informal
half-hour of choruses and solos, and then a great hurrying homeward,
that each girl might have an hour of rest before the grand climax of the
day.

For some of the class, however, there could be no rest, as many, besides
those on the committees, were anxious to do their part in helping. But
beautiful though the decorations of Fay House were, they paled into
insignificance before the outdoor glories, for clever brains and skilful
hands had made the most of the opportunities afforded by the limited
area of the grounds. There were lines of lanterns between the trees, and
a wonderful pagoda that seemed to be constructed of lanterns; there were
tables on the lawns, laden with refreshments, and each Senior shook
hands with dozens of persons and answered scores of questions, and had
little opportunity to talk with the person she most wished to talk with,
and walked ten miles more or less showing each of her special guests the
points of interest in and around the college buildings. Each Senior,
too, looked her very best in her simple white gown, and the crowds of
Harvard students who were in attendance testified that socially at least
Radcliffe was in no way unpopular with the older college. So weary were
the Seniors as the evening advanced that they had little strength left
to dance in the new Gymnasium. But the undergraduates and their other
guests made up for their own lack in this respect.

Pamela had invited Miss Batson and all the young ladies who boarded with
her, and probably no guests enjoyed the day more than they. Besides her
own family and some of her younger Newton friends, Lois invited Miss
Ambrose, and those who were in the secret of Miss Ambrose’s aspirations
could see that through her interest in Lois her own youth had been
renewed. There was a rumor that she and Lois were to go to Europe that
summer, and whether that was true or not, any one seeing them together
could perceive that the feeling between them was stronger than that of
mere friendliness. Clarissa’s father and mother had come on from Kansas,
and several of her friends and relatives from the West. Annabel’s
father, a New York politician, was so pleased that his daughter had
retained the Presidency of the class that he was anxious to do all kinds
of pleasant things for her constituents, and had finally arranged a
mammoth pop concert party for Saturday evening. Julia, like the other
Boston girls, had many guests, but the Bostonians were better able to
entertain themselves than those who came from a distance.

Julia, for example, felt little responsibility for her uncle and aunt.
They had many friends on the grounds, as had Nora and Edith and the rest
of their party. She caught glimpses of Brenda constantly flitting about
in her firefly fashion, with Arthur Weston in attendance. It was an open
secret that Brenda’s engagement to Arthur was to come out before
Commencement, and those who knew them the best had already offered the
young people their congratulations. Many of the class, too, knew that
Ruth and Will Hardon were also on the verge of having their engagement
announced, and an observer might have thought that there was something
more than good comradeship in the devotion with which Philip followed
Julia from place to place. Julia had used not only the invitations to
which she was entitled as a member of the class, but she had been able
to secure many in addition from girls who did not need all their own
allotment. She was able, therefore, to invite not only her former
classmates at Miss Crawdon’s, but the teachers, too. Miss South was
there in the light mourning that she wore for Madame Dulaunay. Those who
knew her were wondering what she would do with the great house that her
grandmother had left her, which it would be hard to keep up on a
comparatively small income.

Of all those whom Julia had known best at Miss Crawdon’s school, Belle
alone was missing. By this it need not be understood that any one really
missed her, for Belle, since she had been sent to New York to
boarding-school, had really dropped out of the little set in which she
had once been a leading member. In vacations some of her new friends
visited her or she visited them, and she laughed at the ways of her
Boston contemporaries as “far behind the time.” She and Brenda always
kept up a correspondence, and her letters, though wholly about herself,
were always entertaining. She had already left Boston to stay with
friends at Mount Desert.

“But why Radcliffe College?” asked one of Polly’s guests, her cousin
from New York.

“Yes, where did you get that name?” asked another cousin, walking with
her.

“Why, from Lady Anne Moulson, of course,” responded Polly, not at all
unwilling to tell the story. “From Lady Anne Moulson, who was once Anne
Radcliffe, and who founded the first scholarship at Harvard. The fact
was unearthed just as the poor little nameless Annex was ready to appear
out as a regular institution, and so she was christened Radcliffe
College. Some did not care for the name, and would have preferred
Longfellow College or something else local, but on the whole it seemed
the best that could have been chosen.”

“I trust that Lady Moulson deserved the posthumous fame that has come to
her, for certainly your college will give her name undying glory,” said
one of the cousins gallantly in true Southern fashion, though he
modified his praise slightly lest Polly should think that he wholly
approved of a college education for girls.

To show herself impartial, Julia carried Tom Hearst’s flowers as well as
Philip’s on Class Day. But it was Philip with whom she walked about the
grounds after her duties as hostess were over, and Philip with whom she
promised to go to Memorial Hall on the evening of Harvard Class Day, and
Philip who was to be her escort at the Yale game the succeeding
Saturday. Yet though they had many little conversations, and although
what they said was largely personal, it must be admitted that there was
not a word of sentiment in it all,—of sentiment, at least, as it is
understood in its more romantic sense. They did talk, however, a great
deal about their plans for the immediate future. Philip had decided to
regard his father’s wishes, by taking his two years in the Law School,
hoping that his previous reading and some special effort would take him
through in less than three years. Julia confided to him certain ideas
that she and Miss South hoped to carry out in the form of a training
school for girls of the Angelina type. Philip’s face clouded when she
told him that she should sail for Europe in July, with her uncle and
aunt and Brenda and Miss South.

“But you’ll be back in the autumn?” urged Philip.

“Oh, possibly.”

“But I’m depending on you for advice and that kind of thing.”

“Edith is a better adviser than I.”

“Ah, but Edith isn’t a college graduate.”

“Nor am I yet,” and Julia would give Philip no further satisfaction.
Instead she wandered off, with a hasty good-bye to Philip, explaining
only that as one of the hostesses of the day, she must look after her
other guests.

Philip, following her, soon found himself in a group of which the
central figure was Pamela. The two had not met since the spring
following the sugar episode, and altogether had seen each other but two
or three times. Yet now the recognition was mutual, and both had
instantly the same thought, that each had greatly improved during the
intervening three years. He lingered to talk to Pamela, and he had no
chance to talk to Julia until later in the evening.

Although Philip felt dissatisfied, Julia had really given him more time
than most Seniors had given to any one person on that busy, busy Class
Day. Yet he kept his eye on her, and whenever he could induce her to
leave her other guests, he would get her to walk with him over the
building or through the grounds, on the pretext that there were many
things that he wished to have explained about Radcliffe ways. Together
Julia and Philip watched the gay throng of dancers in the Auditorium,
and in an interval when the latter laughed at the crowded condition of
the floor, Julia repeated the rumor that the next Senior class would
dance in the great Gymnasium, as those in authority had already given
their consent to this plan.

“That will be the proper thing, because—”

“Hush!” cried Julia, “the Glee Club is going to sing;” and as she spoke,
to the air of “Fair Harvard” floated the words:

  “Now a song for our Radcliffe, so young and so fair,
    With the light of the dawn in her eyes,
  With the garlands of May in her beautiful hair,
    Blest child of the true and the wise.”

As the song finished, Mrs. Barlow approached Julia, to remind her that
the hour was late, and that the two carriages were already waiting,—one
to take the Barlow party back to Boston, and one to convey Julia and
Ruth to Mrs. Colton’s.

As Julia and Ruth drove homeward, the former gave a sigh of relief.

“Aren’t you glad it’s over?” asked Ruth.

“Partly glad and partly sorry,” responded her friend. “It has been
tiring, of course, but then so pleasant.”

“Yes, and to-morrow when we are rested, we shall be sorry that Class Day
is past.”

“I am sorry now,” returned Julia, “for it marks the beginning of the
end.”



                                 XXVIII
                        COMMENCEMENT—AND THE END


As Julia sat in church on Baccalaureate Sunday she felt sadder than on
any occasion since the class had begun to take its farewell of Cambridge
and of college life, for now they were together for the last time before
Commencement as the Senior class in cap and gown.

The last day was near at hand, and after that final assembling in
Sanders Theatre, it was unlikely that these threescore girls would ever
be all together again in the same place. Impressive though the sermon
was, more than once Julia had to recall her thoughts from wandering in a
review of the past four years. Had she herself made the best use of her
time? Was there not some girl among the Seniors to whom she might have
been more helpful than she had been—in ways intangible if not material?
Had she herself drawn all the inspiration she might have drawn from her
classmates? She had learned much from her intimates, but had she been
sufficiently appreciative of some of the others or responsive to them?
Thoughts like these so mingled themselves with her impressions of the
sermon that she left the church in a state of abstraction.

Questions such as Julia had asked herself can never receive a definite
answer. The wisest of us makes many mistakes, and the most foolish would
be plunged in constant despair if she had to call herself to account at
every step. To do her best is the most that can be asked of any girl,
and if only she tries to learn from her errors, whatever her past
faults, she can turn hopefully to the future.

Julia, fortunately, had comparatively little occasion for self-reproach;
for if she had made the very most of her opportunities at Radcliffe—if
she had left nothing undone that should have been done—she would have
been the only one of her kind. Thoughts like these of Julia’s presented
themselves to nearly every girl in the class—from Pamela the
over-conscientious to careless Polly. Even the self-sufficient Annabel
talked in a less self-satisfied manner, as she walked homeward from
church accompanied by two or three of her best friends.

The three days intervening between Class Day and Baccalaureate Sunday
had been very full. Friday had been Harvard Class Day, and there wasn’t
a girl in the class who did not know at least one Harvard Senior. It was
the first Class Day for Julia since the year of Philip’s failure, and
the things that she did seemed a repetition of the happenings of that
other year. There was but one marked change: the Tree exercises had been
given up, and a less strenuous performance went on around the John
Harvard statue on the delta. Confetti took the place of flowers, and the
whole affair was carried on in the most gentlemanly way. Yet Julia, like
many others, thought with regret of the old struggle around the
Tree—regret that it was to be no more. Philip, although he realized
better than any one else that this was not his real Class Day, yet
managed to get a great deal of fun out of it. Tom Hearst and some of his
former classmates, now about to be graduated from the Law School, gave a
small tea in the early evening, and it proved a reunion of the group of
young people who had been together so much at Rockley and in Boston.
Brenda’s engagement had come out that very day, and she and Arthur
Weston received the congratulations showered on them in a fashion that
amused every one. They were surprised that their friends were not
surprised.

“I am sure that I have always complained of the way Arthur teased me,”
pouted Brenda, “and I never _really_ made up my mind until—”

“When?” shouted Tom Hearst, noting with delight that Brenda was
embarrassed. But Brenda refused to answer.

Ruth and Will Hardon had an equally large share of congratulations, and
they would have been astonished had their friends not taken their
engagement as a matter of course.

On Saturday the same group of young people went to the Yale-Harvard game
on Soldier’s Field, and after they had returned home from Annabel’s
concert party, Ruth and Julia were tired enough.

Kaleidoscopic visions of the past week’s festivities mingled with
Julia’s more serious thoughts that Baccalaureate Sunday, as she
scratched off the dates on her calendar that showed only two days
remaining of college life.

But at last the eventful Tuesday had come—the Commencement that was to
end the undergraduate days of the class. They had breakfasted that
morning with the Dean, and had met many of their instructors at the
informal reception that followed. Commencement was at half-past four
o’clock, and promptly at that hour, while the orchestra in the gallery
was playing, a long procession filed into Sanders Theatre. The
amphitheatre was already filled with guests who had been ushered to
their seats by Harvard Seniors. At the head of the procession walked the
President of Harvard, and on his arm leaned the President of
Radcliffe—stately and benign. Close behind were the Dean, the Secretary,
the members of the Governing Board of Radcliffe and the Overseers of
Harvard, with whose approval the degrees were granted.

All these took their seats on the platform, and at the left sat the
Radcliffe Glee Club. The Seniors in cap and gown at the end of the
procession marched to places on the floor of the theatre directly under
the stage. It was hard for them to maintain their dignity without
turning around, when they knew that in the balconies were so many of
those with whom they would have liked to exchange a glance and a nod.

After the prayer, and the singing of “Integer Vitæ” by the Glee Club,
the President of Radcliffe congratulated the class on their four years’
work, and on the special honors that had come to some of them. She told
of the improving prospects of the college, and mentioned several gifts
that had been made during the year. The most important news was the
statement that one generous donor had given the whole sum needed to
build a handsome dormitory,—the first Radcliffe dormitory,—and at this
news there was loud applause.

The address that followed by the President of Harvard—a dignified and
scholarly address—showed deep sympathy with the aims of college girls,
many of whom had gained their degrees at the cost of certain things that
most young girls might think more attractive. He called attention to the
fact that the experiment of the higher education of women had lasted now
for two generations, with satisfactory results. He added that the
degrees about to be granted had been properly won, for they represent as
hard a training as the more vigorous young men receive, and he concluded
with a hope that some at least of the women graduates might show
themselves possessed of the creative faculty, and add something to the
world’s stock of knowledge.

“Aren’t the Seniors to take any part? Isn’t there a valedictory or
something of that kind?” asked Edith of her neighbor Nora, as a little
pause followed the President’s address.

“Oh, no, that isn’t the way. I suppose it’s the only college in the
country where the class has no preparation for Commencement.”

“It’s much the best way,” said Mr. Blair, overhearing what the girls
said. “A great deal of needless effort is wasted on useless speeches for
Commencement. It’s as fatiguing to the audience as to the Seniors
themselves. This way, it seems to me, is much best. It is so simple and
dignified.”

“Yes, but some people are disappointed at not seeing the class
celebrities,” responded Edith. “Of course we know something about
Clarissa and Lois and Pamela and the others who have distinguished
themselves.”

“Not to mention Julia,” interposed Nora.

“Yes, naturally; well, we know all these girls by sight, but there must
be many here who have never seen them, and who would be very glad to
know who’s who.”

“Well, they are all there; and if we listen, we may be able to fit the
right name to the right girl.”

Of all in that great audience, perhaps no one was more disappointed than
Angelina at the simplicity of the programme. Julia had had a card of
invitation sent her, and she had come in a wonderful yellow hat covered
with large pink flowers, and a gown of the brightest pink gingham. She
had fully expected that Julia would be the centre of interest, and she
was really grieved that one who had been so kind to her had not been
given an opportunity at least to sing or play something from the
operetta. Besides, she had a personal disappointment in the fact that
she could not present to Julia the immense bouquet that she had brought
with her from Shiloh. She had had the whole scene planned. In the midst
of a burst of applause she would advance toward the stage, and, with a
curtsy that she had been practising, fling the bouquet at Julia’s feet,
at the close of her performance, whatever it was. But now Julia was no
more conspicuous than the others of the class. She had neither sung nor
made an oration, and Angelina herself had had no opportunity for a
dramatic appearance before the audience. Her curtsy had been practised
in vain; and Angelina, as she grasped the flowers, looked decidedly
woe-begone.

But at last the Seniors were passing in single file toward the platform
to receive their degrees, and each girl as her name was called received
the crimson-tied parchment from the hands of the President. Before the
Seniors several Alumnæ received their M.A. But the receiving of the
degrees in the presence of that great audience was not unalloyed bliss.
Even Lois and Pamela with _summa cum_, and Clarissa and Julia and others
with their _magnas_, and Polly and Ruth with _cum laude_, felt a thrill
of sadness as they passed down the steps in front of the dignified
statue of Josiah Quincy.

Their undergraduate days were over!

That evening as Alumnæ they were cordially welcomed to an Alumnæ dinner
by the older graduates, and if they felt uncomfortably warm wearing
their long black gowns over their white dresses, there were
compensations; for there was a satisfaction when Clarissa responded to
one of the toasts to hear her speech called the wittiest ever made by a
graduate, for Clarissa belonged to the whole class. Then, too, some of
Polly’s songs were so enthusiastically received that it was a delight to
remember that two others of the class, Julia the composer of the music
and Ruth who had written the words, shared the credit with the gay
singer.

At dusk the gay crowd wandered out on the lawn, where the Glee Club
sang, and old friends gathered in little groups to talk over the
happenings of the past year.

“In a year _we_ shall be old graduates,” said Ruth with a sigh; “already
I begin to feel the change. It seems as if everything _has_ been, as
if—”

“Nonsense,” interposed Julia, “everything is to be. Our undergraduate
days are past, and yet I doubt that any of us would really care to live
them over again. We can be thankful for what we have learned here, but
after all, the sooner we can take our places in the world, the better.
College life at the best is selfish—”

“There—there, Julia, don’t preach! Look at Fay House. It is almost
picturesque.”

As they stood at the gate, the two girls turned and gazed at the old
building, whose outlines in the dusk showed dimly through the screen of
elms. Lights shone from some of its upper windows, and it looked like a
stately palace.

This was undoubtedly the thought in Julia’s mind as she cried, turning
away, “Good-bye, Palace of Learning,” while Ruth added, “Good-bye, great
Class of 189—.”

Truly, it _had_ been a great class, but its undergraduate days were
over.

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                          Transcriber’s Notes


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we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



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