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Title: Dorothy Dale's School Rivals
Author: Penrose, Margaret
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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[Illustration:

  “DON’T BE AFRAID,” TAVIA CALLED TO THE ONE IN THE WATER.
  “IT CAN’T SINK.”      _Dorothy Dale’s School Rivals Page_ 79]



  DOROTHY DALE’S
  SCHOOL RIVALS

  BY
  MARGARET PENROSE

  AUTHOR OF “DOROTHY DALE: A GIRL OF TO-DAY,” “DOROTHY
  DALE’S GREAT SECRET,” “DOROTHY DALE’S CAMPING
  DAYS,” “THE MOTOR GIRLS,” “THE MOTOR
  GIRLS AT LOOKOUT BEACH,” “THE
  MOTOR GIRLS THROUGH NEW
  ENGLAND,” ETC.

  ILLUSTRATED

  NEW YORK
  CUPPLES & LEON COMPANY



BOOKS BY MARGARET PENROSE

  THE DOROTHY DALE SERIES
  Cloth. Illustrated.

    DOROTHY DALE: A GIRL OF TO-DAY
    DOROTHY DALE AT GLENWOOD SCHOOL
    DOROTHY DALE’S GREAT SECRET
    DOROTHY DALE AND HER CHUMS
    DOROTHY DALE’S QUEER HOLIDAYS
    DOROTHY DALE’S CAMPING DAYS
    DOROTHY DALE’S SCHOOL RIVALS

  THE MOTOR GIRLS SERIES
  Cloth. Illustrated.

  THE MOTOR GIRLS Or A Mystery of the Road
  THE MOTOR GIRLS ON A TOUR Or Keeping a Strange Promise
  THE MOTOR GIRLS AT LOOKOUT BEACH Or In Quest of the Runaways
  THE MOTOR GIRLS THROUGH NEW ENGLAND Or Held by the Gypsies
  THE MOTOR GIRLS ON CEDAR LAKE Or The Hermit of the Fern Island

_Cupples & Leon Co., Publishers, New York_



  Copyright, 1912, by
  CUPPLES & LEON COMPANY

  DOROTHY DALE’S SCHOOL RIVALS

  Printed in U. S. A.



CONTENTS


  CHAPTER                                PAGE

       I.    THE START                      1

      II.   AT STRATHAWAY BRIDGE           11

     III.  THE GET-AWAY                    20

      IV.   RIVAL RUNS                     26

       V.    SCHOOL AT LAST                32

      VI.   CHOCOLATES AND SANDWICHES      44

     VII.  RUNNING A LUNCH COUNTER         51

    VIII. DOROTHY’S WORRIES                62

      IX.   THE INTERVIEW                  69

       X.    AN UPSET CANOE                75

      XI.   THINGS THAT HAPPENED           80

     XII.  TROUBLE UPON TROUBLE            88

    XIII. NEWS AND A NEWSPAPER             98

     XIV.  A TURN IN THE TIDE             105

      XV.   THE STORY OF RAVELINGS        113

     XVI.  THE RESCUE                     120

    XVII. DEEPENING GLOOM                 124

   XVIII. LETTERS                         136

     XIX.   ZADA                          144

      XX.    A SCHEME THAT FAILED         150

     XXI.   A MISHAP                      156

    XXII.  THE THREAT OF THE “T’S”        163

   XXIII.  THE INVESTIGATION              171

    XXIV.   JEAN AGAIN                    178

     XXV.    TEACHERS                     185

    XXVI.   A SCRAP OF PAPER              194

   XXVII.  WHO STOLE THE PICTURE?         201

  XXVIII. THE ROADSIDE ROBBERY            208

    XXIX.   TEACHERS AND PUPILS           215

     XXX.    A CLIMAX                     224

    XXXI.   A MEETING OF THE BOARD        233



DOROTHY DALE’S SCHOOL RIVALS

CHAPTER I

THE START


Dorothy’s blue eyes looked out of the car window, but she saw nothing.
All her faculties were bent upon thinking--thinking of something that
evidently was not pleasant. Tavia fussed around in the next seat,
scattering books, candy boxes, wraps, gloves and such “trifles.” She
finally left the things to their fate and climbed in with Dorothy.

“We’ll soon be back to the old Glen, Doro,” she said, “and I know
you’ll be glad. As for me, I count this my last hour of freedom, and
feel as if I were going to----”

“Now, Tavia, you know perfectly well that you are just as fond of
Glenwood as I am,” replied Dorothy, with something akin to a smile.
“But of course, you have to get your fun out of growling. Really, I
think this time you won’t be able to get it out of me. I am--glum!”

“That will be the best fun ever. To have you glum! Have you been to a
fortune teller, or anything like that, Doro?”

Dorothy looked harder than ever out of the window, and did not bother
to reply.

“Because, Doro,” went on Tavia, “if she told you a friend is going to
be married it’s me. If she said you would get a letter, asking for
money, that’s from me. If she said a very dear friend was going to
get in some new kind of trouble, that will also be me, and last, if
she said you were going to cross water, it will be on account of _my_
health. I love fortune tellers, they pick out such good news,” and
Tavia glanced across the aisle at a rather good-looking young man, who
was reading a theatrical paper.

Dorothy touched Tavia’s hand. “There,” she said, “I am not going to
have any more blues. I can’t manage well with them, and I have to
manage you, Tavia.”

“Now, have you only just discovered that? Well, all I can say is that
I am glad the other girls did not get these seats. They are--ahem--so
convenient!”

“But there is one vacant place just back of the young man whom you are
watching,” said Dorothy, teasingly.

“And there comes one of our girls,” exclaimed Tavia. “I wager she flops
into it.”

The prediction was correct. A new girl, with very up-to-date apparel,
and very flashy jewelry, had taken the vacant seat. The book she
carried showed its title plainly, and was, of course, one of “the best
sellers.”

“Next she’ll drop the book under his seat, and he’ll have to speak to
her in returning it,” said Tavia. “Now, why didn’t I think of trying
that? Such a chance!”

Dorothy was interested in the new girl and paid little attention to the
talk that Tavia was making for her benefit, for, though Tavia always
loved to do absurd things, she would not have spoken to the stranger.

“She is the young lady we were introduced to on the depot platform,”
Dorothy remarked. “Her name is Jean Faval.”

“Ought to be Bean Flavor,” said Tavia, trying to pun on the name. “She
looks sort of--canned.”

“I think her very stylish, but that skirt _is_ tight. I wouldn’t wear
one like it myself,” Dorothy replied.

“And a Dutch neck on the train,” continued Tavia, looking at the very
white neck of the new girl, who wore no collar. “I believe she wears
slippers, and the very thinnest silk hose.”

“It’s warm enough for both, and I shouldn’t mind having forgotten my
heavy walking shoes,” Dorothy said.

Just then the book dropped. Tavia almost jumped out of her seat. She
actually gasped. The young lady across moved her foot, and the book
came out in the aisle.

In an instant Tavia had it in her hands, and was passing it back.

“Oh, thank you so much!” spoke the owner, in a suspicious tone. “I
could have gotten it.”

“It was not the least bit of trouble,” and Tavia uttered a false note
that caused the young man to turn and observe her.

“Anything I can do?” he asked, politely. “Have you lost anything?”

Both girls answered in the same words.

“Oh, no; thank you.”

He glanced over at Dorothy, then resumed his paper. Miss Faval found
her place in her book, and Tavia turned to her chum.

“Didn’t I tell you? Am I not a prophet? But I spoiled it, and I am
dying laughing from head to foot.”

“She will think you rude,” cautioned Dorothy.

“I hope she thinks me the entire conjugation, and the worse ones on the
last page. I can see some fun with her at Glen.”

“Please, Tavia,” begged Dorothy, “don’t try to get into trouble before
we arrive there. You have plenty of time during the term,” and she
looked bored--quite unlike the real Dorothy.

“Say, Doro,” exclaimed Tavia, “I actually believe you want to get rid
of me. I’ll run off and leave you to your dismals. I know Dick and
Ned have a brand of chocolates I am particularly fond of, and your
own Cologne always tips the porter for ice water. So be good, and,”
she added in a whisper, “don’t miss any of the circus,” nodding her
head toward the other side of the aisle. “Be sure to render me a
satisfactory and full report.”

Tavia flaunted off, and Dorothy again pressed her pale face to the
window pane. The hills and vales were rolling away, and of course
the fast train seemed to be standing still. The wonderful changes of
scenery, that had never failed before to interest her, she now scarcely
saw.

In the rear of the car were a number of her companions, but she was
really glad to be alone. There was Rose-Mary Markin, known as Cologne;
Edna Black, called Ned Ebony; Molly Richards, titled just Dick, and
others picked up along the route to Glenwood School, in the mountains
of New England.

Dorothy was not sick. She was gloomy, and whatever caused this gloom
had occurred just before the girls left for school, for up to that time
she had been the same vivacious, sprightly girl who had ever been
a favorite with her acquaintances and companions. The change in her
manner was, therefore, so marked that even the reckless Tavia noticed
it instantly, as did the other girls, who were wise enough (on advice
of Cologne, Dorothy’s most intimate friend after Tavia) to let Dorothy
alone, and not bother her.

The sun was fading into shadows, and soon the train would pull into
the familiar little Glenwood station. Then what a time there would be!
Dorothy thought of it, and again determined to be cheerful. Tavia would
be, as Tavia herself had declared, “on top of the heap,” for while
there was no hazing allowed, something that made a splendid imitation
was ever practiced on the first night, the “fun” not being confined to
new scholars, either.

The car attendant came through the train, and turned on the lights. The
strange gentleman with the paper across the aisle asked him if they
would get in on schedule and he replied they had lost a little time,
but were making it up now.

“Thought you had an extra clip on,” commented the stranger.

Scarcely were the words uttered than Dorothy and everyone else was
thrown from their seats, and then there was a terrific crash.

Instantly there followed screams and commotion. The lights went out,
and many passengers rushed for the doors. Dorothy realized she was
not hurt. Next, the other girls from the rear of the car were hanging
around her, displaying very little of the common sense that had been
drilled into them at Glenwood.

“Oh, Dorothy, what is it?”

“Oh, Dorothy, my arm is broken!”

“Oh, Dorothy, I am sure we will all be killed!”

“Doro, are you all right?”

This last was from Tavia, while the other gasps came from various
girls, too intermixed to separate.

It seemed a long time, but was, in reality, only a few seconds, until
the conductor and porter made their way to the girls’ car, and assured
them that nothing at all had happened, more than the rather too sudden
stopping of the train, made necessary by a special and unexpected
signal. The lights were again turned on, and everyone might see that
there really had been no accident. The seats were as straight and as
smooth as ever, and most of the frightened passengers were gathering up
their trinkets from the floor, and replacing them in the holders and
seats.

Edna Black was rubbing her arm, and wincing.

“Is your hand hurt?” Dorothy asked.

“I’m afraid it is. I got quite a jolt against the seat arm. But I
guess it isn’t much,” Edna replied.

Tavia gazed across the aisle. The young man was looking at Edna. The
new girl was groaning dramatically. She was also trying to get back
into her skirt, that had, in the excitement sprung up like a deep
girdle around her waist.

“Can’t flop nicely in a skirt tight as that!” Tavia whispered to Molly
Richards. “I wish it had all ripped to pieces. Wouldn’t it be sport for
her to have to get out in a buttoned raincoat?”

“She’s pretty,” Mollie said, simply.

“That’s why I hate her,” replied Tavia. “I always hate what I can’t
have--even beauty.”

“Strange you get along so well with--well, with some people,” answered
Molly, casting an appreciative glance at Tavia, with the hazel eyes,
and the shade of hair every one loves--no color in particular but all
combined in one glow. “Every one envies you, Tavia.”

Dorothy was examining Edna’s wrist.

Meanwhile the new girl kept exclaiming, “Oh, my!” Finally the young man
turned to her.

“Are you hurt?” he asked kindly.

Tavia gripped Molly’s arm.

“Oh, I don’t know,” whimpered Miss Faval, “but I am so--nervous.”

It was the greatest wonder in the world that Tavia did not shout
“hurrah” or something equally absurd.

“You are shaken up,” said the stranger, “but nerves soon adjust
themselves, when there is not any real injury. I see some one else has
trouble.” He crossed to Dorothy and Edna. “Can I help you?” he asked.
“I know something of medicine.”

“And he was reading a theatrical paper!” Tavia managed to get in line
with Molly’s ear. “I’ll wager he turns out to be a baseball player.”

“My friend has hurt her arm,” Dorothy told the young man, who had
already taken the trembling hand of Edna in his own firm grasp. “She
fell against the arm of the seat.”

All eyes were upon them. Of course Tavia was whispering: “Wouldn’t be
_my_ luck! Just like Ned! Do you suppose he will need help to set it?
I’ll get a glass of water--that’s safe,” and off she raced, making
jolly remarks to the frightened ones, as she made her way to the water
cooler.

“I’m afraid it is sprained,” said the man, holding Edna’s hand, “but I
have some bandages in my grip.”

Tavia had returned with the glass of water before he found the bandages.

“I’m so sorry, Ned dear,” said Tavia truthfully. “I’m so sorry it is
not _my_ arm. Isn’t he handsome!”

Edna smiled, and Dorothy held the water to her lips. As the young man
with the antiseptic cloth crossed the aisle Dorothy motioned Tavia to
stand back and make room for the work to be done. Tavia stepped back,
and just then the train gave one, single jerk.

The contents of Tavia’s glass of water went over the “Dutch neck” of
Jean Faval.

“Oh, mercy!” screamed the girl.

Tavia recovered herself from the jerk and was just about to apologize
when Amy Brooks rushed up to them.

“Whatever do you think, girls?” she blurted out. “The railroad bridge
is down, and we can’t leave this spot to-night!”



CHAPTER II

AT STRATHAWAY BRIDGE


“Not leave this spot to-night!”

The exclamation came in chorus from every Glenwood girl, and there was
a low, moaning sort of echo-encore from the young man with the medicine
case.

What should they do? They could not swim, that was certain, so they
would have to wait.

To break the monotony of this wait we will tell our readers something
of the other books of this series, and thus enable them to get a keener
insight into the characters we are now following, as well as making a
little bow of introduction to those we are meeting for the first time.

In the first book, entitled “Dorothy Dale; A Girl of To-Day,” we find
the Dale family; the Major, an ideal, dear, kindly father; the two
sons, Joe and little Roger, and Dorothy, the daughter. Tavia Travers,
a girl of opposite temperament to that of Dorothy’s, is a great friend
of the prettiest girl in Dalton, Dorothy Dale. Tavia is fearless and
fearful; Dorothy is clear-minded, well balanced and capable. In this
story is related how Dorothy gets a clew to the unlawful detention
of a poor little girl, and in the parlance of those who use “quick”
English--Tavia for instance--Dorothy “rounds up” the culprit and takes
little Nellie away from a home of misery and poverty.

Our second volume was “Dorothy Dale at Glenwood School.” Glenwood
School is situated in the mountains of New England, and the pupils
there come from many parts of the country, even the South being
represented. “Glen School” is not an asylum for the refuge of young
girls whose mothers are “too busy” to bring them up. Neither are the
girls there of the type who believe that boarding school life is a
lark, with original slang at each end; and an attractive centre piece
about mid-way, devoted to the composition of verbal putty-blowers,
constructed to “get even” with teachers; nothing of the sort. But there
is time for fun, as well as for work and for adventure, and a time for
girlhood walks, and talks in the shady ways of the pretty school.

This second story deals with the peculiar complications that so readily
arise when girls and boys get on well together, in the wholesome
sports of youth, until that other element, “Jealousy” makes its grim
appearance. Then the innocent nonsense of Tavia, and the deliberate,
open-hearted ventures and adventures of Dorothy, are turned about so as
to become almost a tragedy at Glenwood.

In “Dorothy Dale’s Great Secret,” our third volume, there is a real
secret. Not a little kindergarten whisper, but a matter which so
closely affects Tavia’s career that Dorothy takes all sorts of risks to
hold that secret from others, until the opportune time for explanation
arrives.

“Dorothy Dale and Her Chums,” is the title of the fourth book. This is
a real story--a plot that deals in mystery and adventure, of a gypsy
girl in a cave, stolen goods, and so many thrilling mysteries that
Dorothy was kept busy solving them.

Then “Dorothy Dale’s Queer Holidays,” shows how very queer some
holidays may be, indeed, when girls and boys unite to discover the
mystery of an old castle, where they eventually find and rescue an
aged and demented man. But this is not accomplished without stirring
adventures, not the smallest of which was the night spent in the
old mansion, when the young folks had been overtaken by so heavy a
snowstorm that their automobile could not make its way back to North
Birchland. The two cousins of Dorothy, Nat and Ned, with other boy
friends, protected the frightened girls until rescue finally came at
almost daybreak.

The story of a mistaken identity is told of in the sixth volume of the
series, “Dorothy Dale’s Camping Days.” To be mistaken for a demented
girl, captured and held in the hot, blistering attic of a farmhouse,
then taken to a sanitarium, where Dorothy is really believed to be
the girl who escaped from that institution, was surely an ordeal for
Dorothy. But not less is the latter part of that story, where the real
sick girl is found by our friends, Dorothy and Tavia, and the joyous
conclusion of her complete recovery, and the opening of a new life to
this girl, so dear to her mother’s heart, and so loved by her friends,
make up for all the suffering.

So Dorothy Dale has had some experience, and we hope, in the present
volume, she will sustain her reputation, as that of the up-to-date
girl, with will power and ambition, “tied with a little blue bow of
sentiment.”

We left them at Strathaway Bridge, and night is coming, as it always
does come, just when there are so many daylight things to be done.

In the excitement that followed the announcement that the bridge was
down, and the train could not cross the river until morning, all the
water that Tavia had inadvertently poured down Jean Faval’s neck was
dried up in the heat of gulped exclamations. Even Jean left her seat
and joined the conversation on ways and means that were being held
in the seats on the opposite side of the car. There were so many
suggestions--some wanted to bribe the porter for sleeping quarters,
as the trip to Glenwood did not originally require such a luxury;
Rose-Mary wanted to get permission to “run” one car for the “Glens,”
and camp out in it; Tavia wanted to get up a committee on food-quest,
with time-table drinking cups apiece. Dorothy thought it might be a
good idea to consult the conductor and have an official statement.
The gentleman (“King” they called him now) excused himself, and left
the girls so forlorn, all alone there, in a heaped-up convention,
that Tavia declared he was a card sharp, and that Ned would get blood
poison from the bandages he had put on her wrist. Moreover, Tavia also
declared that he had gone forth to “trim” the scared car people at that
minute. “For,” she said, her bronze hair fairly showing electrical
sparks, “any one would do anything in a case like this. No place to
sleep, nothing to eat, just a bunch of loony girls, and--me,” and she
wound up with coming down on Ned’s box of butter cups (the candy kind),
that happened to be under the lame arm.

It was strange how much that one man had been to the Glenwood
contingent. They had fairly stopped talking since his departure. A
night on that train now seemed impossible. Tavia went to the last seat
in the car, and dared any one to follow her until she had thought it
out. This did not take long, for “out” must have been very near the
surface.

“I have it!” she shouted, going back to seat seven.

“Where?” asked Dorothy.

“What?” demanded Dick.

“Havies!” begged Ned.

“Corkies!” joked Cologne.

“We may go!” announced Tavia, now standing on Jean’s pretty dress that
happened to spread itself over the seat from which she decided to
orate. “We may go. We may walk. It is only three miles over the cove
bridge and I pity Glen to-night when jelly-round comes. We’ll lick the
plates!”

“Whatever do you mean, Tavia?” asked Dorothy. “The bridge cannot be
repaired to-night.”

“The bridge may sink or swim, but there won’t be one of us ‘waiting at
the bridge,’” and she hummed a tune gaily.

“But what shall we do?” asked little Amy Brooks. “We can’t fly?”

“More’s the pity,” answered Tavia. “Next time I take this trip I’ll
carry a box kite over the green flag. No, but this is what you _can_
do, my dears. Take up your things--every mussed paper bag of them, and
hurry with me across the meadow. The road comes out just at the Green
Edge trolley line, and that line is wound around Glenwood tower! It
crosses Strathaway River on a small bridge below this railroad one.
Come on!”

Everyone gasped. That Tavia should have thought of this!

“But, Tavia,” objected Dorothy, “how are we to know that we can cross
the meadow? It is almost dark!”

“More reason why we should hurry to find out,” answered the daring one.
“Come on, or I’m gone.”

“But our tickets, and the conductor, and all that?” inquired Nita
Brant, with ambiguous precision.

“We will all make over a total assignment to you--you may stay with the
ship, Nita, but we run!”

It was funny to see how those girls did scamper from the last car
of that train. The dainty travelling bags, gifts of “friends on
departing,” were now all tangled up in the scant skirts, that did
double service of being a part of wearing apparel--small part--and
also answering for a carryall of the old time conception. It was the
quickest way, and that was what counted. Jean Faval did drop her gold
purse just as she was alighting (she did not “get off”) but Tavia was
so anxious that all should escape that she crawled under the oily
wheels and dragged out the golden trinket. The new girl thanked her,
and, for the time, an armistice was established.

“Are we all here?” called Dorothy, who was assisting Edna because of
the lame arm.

“All but King, and he is cleaning out the other cars,” replied Tavia.
“There, look out, Dick! Land sakes alive! We won’t have thread and
needles enough in the tower to sew our tears, if this keeps up. Dick,
you have ruined your flounce on that brake.”

Molly Richards (otherwise Dick) looked hopelessly at the torn
needlework skirt. “Oh, well,” she said, making the ground, “I never
liked that anyway. The pattern was true-lover’s-knot, and I’m just glad
I----”

“Broke the knot,” put in Dorothy. “Tavia, wherever are you leading us
to? This must be a turf bog!”

“Leadin’ on to vict’ry,” replied the girl who was almost running ahead.
“I have been over this bog before.”

“But not at this season, when the water comes in,” cautioned Dorothy.
“However, girls, I am willing to take the same risk that you all
take--sink or swim,” and she ran along after Tavia, while the others
followed, like American soldiers taking their initial trip through a
rice field.

Every step was uncertain--every foot was put in the bog with a shudder
or groan, and pulled out with a shout.

“I can’t do it,” declared Nita Brant. “These are my best silk hose.”

“Hose,” yelled back Tavia, “we’ll take up a collection on repairs when
we get to Glen.”

“And my--velvet--ties!” exclaimed Jean Faval. “They feel like wooden
shoes!”

“We’ll put them up at auction,” suggested Dorothy, good humoredly. “The
only thing that really worries me is Edna’s sprained arm.”

“Why didn’t you fetch the doc then?” asked Tavia, but before an answer
could be ventured there was a scream, and even the happy girls of
Glenwood stopped.

What had happened?



CHAPTER III

THE GET-AWAY


Amy Brooks had sunk in the bog!

The weight of the soggy earth had dragged her down, until she lay
helpless, clinging to some underbrush!

And how dark it was now!

“Quick! Quick!” called Dorothy. “This may be a bog hole!”

“Team play! Team play!” shouted Tavia, and instantly every girl,
whether leading or following, was making for the spot from which Amy’s
cries came.

The girl was imbedded in the black, wet bog as if she had been cemented
there!

Even Tavia had no suggestion to offer, but stood gazing in hopeless
amazement.

Dorothy was running about, trying to find a firm footing from which to
reach out to the imperilled girl.

Although it was September, the late afternoons were damp and chilly,
and as the girls, almost feverish from the over-excitement, ran this
way and that, in hope of finding some sort of board or plank to make a
way to Amy, their shouts of fright and cries for help, rent the air,
and turned the scene, so lately one of merriment, into terror and
danger for everyone of them.

“Oh, it’s all my fault!” wailed Tavia. “I should not have risked it so
near dark.”

“It’s nobody’s fault,” replied Dorothy, “but this is the time to act.
Come Tavia, we may get a fence rail. I see some old black stuff, like
wood, over there,” and she did her best to hurry over the wet ground,
that threatened to hold her fast at every step.

In the meantime the other girls were trying to get Amy out. Molly
Richards was the oldest and strongest, and she ventured near the spring
until the others called to her that she would presently be worse off
than Amy. A pile of light travelling coats were tossed over to Amy and
she kept herself from going deeper in the bog by making these fast to
the brushwood near her.

“Here we are!” called Dorothy, and with one end of the old moss-covered
fence rail on her shoulder, and the other end upon Tavia’s, the two
girls made their way to the brink of the bog hole.

It took but a few minutes to get the rail over the swamp-like pit,
where a spring sluggishly bubbled.

“There,” called Dorothy, “now see if it will hold you, Amy.”

But there was no need to direct Amy. Her rescue was too welcome to wait
for orders. Throwing her arms firmly over the rail she dragged herself
out of the mud until she was sitting on the long piece of wood.

“Be careful,” called Tavia. “Hold tight, and we will all pull the rail
over to this side.”

In spite of the peril the situation was almost comical, and the girls
lost no opportunity of cheering and otherwise dispelling the fast
settling gloam.

“We ought to carry you to the road this way,” suggested Nita Brant,
“you are so soaking wet, and horribly muddy----”

“Thank you, but I am too anxious to walk. I doubt if I shall get the
use of my ankles for a month,” replied Amy. “My! but that was awful! I
was saying my prayers, I tell you.”

“But what shall we do now?” inquired Ned, who, on account of her
injured arm, could not help in the rail ride.

“Go directly back to the train,” said Dorothy. “Listen! That was a
train whistle! Oh, if it should start----”

“A train sure enough!” declared Jean, who had held back. “That’s what
we get for following--a leader.”

Her tone was full of contempt, and everyone noticed it.

“Too bad you came,” replied Tavia, who never cared for good manners,
when there was a chance for sarcasm, “for that is the wrecking train, I
think, and they might have taken you on the hand car. Wouldn’t it have
been fun?”

The idea of that fashionably dressed girl riding on a hand car with
train men!

“Now let me down,” insisted Amy. “I’m going to run after that whistle
even if it proves to be a fog horn!”

“Oh, don’t--go near--the water!” shouted Tavia, and, as she spoke, a
big touring automobile dashed by.

“Another life-saver lost!” declared Dorothy. “If only we could have
made them see us!”

“Oh, mercy!” gasped Nita, “There come two men with guns on their
shoulders!”

“Just snipe hunters, likely,” said Dorothy, but she was noticed to
hurry toward the road.

It was not a great distance back to the standing train, and, as the
girls came within hearing of some passengers on the rear platform,
someone called:

“Oh you Glenwood girls! You have missed it. The touring car came from
your school to get you, and is now driving all over the country
looking for strayed, lost or stolen girls.”

“The Glenwood machine! Oh, do let me cry!” begged Tavia. “If I don’t
cry within the next three minutes, I’ll die of internal deluge.”

She stepped to the platform. Dorothy was the next to mount, but she
paused to help Edna.

“Back safely?” asked the man who had bandaged the strained arm. “We
were greatly worried. I could scarcely keep mother from going after
you,” and the handsome elderly lady who had been standing aside with
him, came forward and extended her hand to Dorothy.

“My baseball player!” groaned Tavia into Molly’s ear. “Lost again, but
I think he’s an artist. I’ll get him to paint me.”

By this time the young ladies were passing into the car. When the other
passengers heard of the accident, and beheld Amy’s almost solidly
bog-cemented garments, there was no end to the excitement.

“I think,” said the young man, “that I can arrange to get this car, or
half of it, for you young ladies for the night. As there are no chairs
nor sleepers to be had it may be well to make sure of something.”

“Oh, thank you so much,” said Dorothy, who was still acting as leader,
although she hardly knew what to do or say. “This is awful! And to
think that we missed the car! The school principal, Mrs. Pangborn, will
be ill of anxiety.”

“There is no possible way of getting a message away from here,” replied
the other. “But at least they know the train is safe.”

“But they also know that we were not in it,” objected Dorothy. “Mrs.
Pangborn probably heard of the delay caused by the broken bridge, and
sent for us.”

“There’s just one way, and perhaps I can make it. May I leave mother
with you?” and the young man quickly picked up his cap, leaving the car
before anyone had time to know what he was going to do.

“I’ll be back in about an hour,” he called, and then the girls were
once more conscious of the loneliness of being “just girls.” Men know
so much better what ought to be done in emergencies.



CHAPTER IV

RIVAL RUNS


“Now young ladies,” began the elderly woman with the wonderful snowy
hair. “Of course you know I am David’s mother. I am Mrs. Armstrong,
and David is my only child. I wanted to come out here to a convention
and he insisted on accompanying me. Though it did take him from his
business.”

“His business?” Tavia repeated as nicely as she could, handing to Mrs.
Armstrong the little lace cape that had just fallen from her shoulders.

“Oh, yes indeed, his business,” repeated the lady, while Dorothy and
Edna smiled wisely at Tavia, who had not even yet found out what that
young man’s “business” might be. “And,” said the lady, “I never depend
upon dining cars when I travel, so if you can manage to put up some
sort of table here between the seats, we may have a little meal, for my
bag is pretty well stocked, I can well guess. Mabel put it up for me.”

“Splendid!” exclaimed Molly, not realizing that her remark was prompt
to greediness.

“I am sure you must all be starved, for it is past tea-time,” said Mrs.
Armstrong, getting from under the seat a good sized, matting traveling
bag. “We use this when we go auto riding, it opens up so nicely.”

Again Tavia nudged the girl nearest her, for the lady with the bag of
refreshments was becoming more interesting at every new remark she made.

“Do you suppose your son will be back in time to eat with us?” asked
Dorothy, as the girls were spreading out newspapers on the seats, and
arranging a sort of place to eat.

“I don’t know,” and the elderly lady looked very thoughtful for a
moment. Then she removed her glasses, put them on again and whispered
to Dorothy. “My son is always doing queer things--that is they are
queer from my view point. Where did he say he was going?”

“He did not say, as I understood. But it seemed as if it was something
about getting a message to town,” replied Dorothy.

The lady shook her head. “Now here are the refreshments,” she told
the girls. Tavia had procured water in an old earthen pitcher, that
she declared was perfectly clean, and that for the use of it she was
personally indebted to the brakeman, who turned on the lights. Molly
had “raided” a store-room somewhere, and from it had actually gotten
out such a splendid piece of white cardboard that with the aid of
Edna’s case knife square “dishes” were cut and served nicely for the
chicken sandwiches. Then the pickles!

“We call them School Girls’ Delight,” explained Mrs. Armstrong,
“although I had no idea I was going to fall in with such a happy crowd
of young ladies.”

“We are the ones to be grateful,” declared Dorothy. “But where is Miss
Faval!”

“Where is she?” asked more than one girl, jumping up, and glancing
about the car.

“She certainly got on the train with us,” declared Edna.

“She should have remained with us,” said Dorothy, showing some anxiety.
“That was the rule--always when we traveled this way.”

“And there are so many people about, with nothing to do,” Mrs.
Armstrong remarked. “It is not like regular traveling, when everybody
and everything is in place. We had better inquire at once.”

Dorothy had finished her sandwich, but objected to Mrs. Armstrong
leaving her lunch untouched.

“It doesn’t make a bit of difference, child,” said that lady. “David
will likely come back with more things to eat than would provide a
dinner.” She brushed the crumbs from her skirt. “I am for finding the
lost sheep.”

It must be said that those who remained to finish the feast did not
look a bit worried about Jean Faval; in fact there was something of a
scramble directly Dorothy and Mrs. Armstrong were safely out of sight.

“Where do you suppose----” began Molly.

“Don’t suppose,” interrupted Edna. “I don’t like that girl, and I hope
she got on a train that--backed up.”

“Hope she tried to walk the bridge,” put in Tavia, between a pickle and
a lady finger.

“You’re mean,” spoke Nita Brant. “She’s got lots of money, and will be
splendid at school. She even has a check book of her own.”

“We prefer cash,” said Molly, “it’s lots handier.”

“What would we have done if it had not been for what ‘Mabel’ put in the
bag?” asked Cologne, who was in a seat back of the four girls, who were
just now threatening to eat the crumbs from the cracks in the newspaper
table-cloth. “This meal has been my salvation.”

“But where do you suppose David has gone?” inquired Tavia. “I am
worried about him. I like David!”

“Here come Dorothy and Mrs. Armstrong. They evidently have not found
Lady Jean.” It was Edna who spoke.

Dorothy was very pale. Even in the uncertain light that flickered from
the gas lamp in the car center, it was plain to everyone looking at her
that Dorothy had received a shock.

“Such a girl!” said Mrs. Armstrong. “Actually refused to come with us.
Sitting in a car talking to--well, of course, I couldn’t just say who
they might be, but they looked like a small part of a big circus.”

Her eyes flashed, and she fanned herself nervously.

Dorothy quietly sat down beside Cologne.

“What has happened, Doro?” asked her friend--for next to Tavia, Cologne
ranked first in favor with the little leader.

“Nothing much. But I was so surprised. I suppose I should not have
shown how I felt,” replied Dorothy, biting her lip.

“She was positively rude,” went on Mrs. Armstrong, “and if I get a
chance to find your Glenwood school I shall report her conduct.”

“What did she say?” demanded Tavia.

“She said--that she would not tag around with a parcel of kindergarten
babies,” responded the indignant lady, “and I felt that it was I who
had exposed Miss Dale to that insult.”

“Oh, she was not insulting,” interposed Dorothy. “Of course, I was
surprised, because I usually have----”

“Been our policeman,” finished Tavia. “Well don’t you worry. I’ll be a
whole police force when I get there--meaning to Glen.” She swung around
to Dorothy. “What is it, dear?” she demanded. “You have that same
worried look you wore when we left home. Can’t I help you?”

“Perhaps you can, Tavia,” replied Dorothy, “and I promise to tell you
all about it when we get to school. It was really not what the girl
said to me that--made me feel so. It was what I overheard her saying
to someone else. There, don’t let them see us talking. I thought I
heard----”

“Why, David!” exclaimed Mrs. Armstrong, “Wherever have you been?”

David had just entered the car, with all the bags and bundles that his
mother had promised he would fetch.

“Had the time of my life,” he exclaimed quite breathlessly, “riding on
a hand car into town. But I came back _de luxe a la auto_. I got the
message to Glenwood School, and the big car is here again.”

“Oh, glorious!” declared Tavia, but she was interrupted in her effusion
by the conductor’s cry:

“Special car for Glenwood School!”

Then the grand scramble commenced.



CHAPTER V

SCHOOL AT LAST


“We just should have left her there,” growled Edna. “I can’t understand
why any girl would prefer staying up all night in a stuffy car, to
getting this grand ride, and a night’s sleep in bed to boot. Dorothy is
too--conscientious.”

“That’s just what I say,” chimed in Tavia, who was next to Edna in the
rear of the big three-seated closed touring car, that flaunted the
Glenwood flag. “And that she would deliberately refuse to come until
the conductor read the list; like a funeral!”

“I was so sorry Mrs. Armstrong couldn’t come with us,” continued Edna.
“But her son had the little runabout for her, of course.”

“I should not have minded so much if the son could have come,” teased
Tavia. “This is a lovely ride, but fancy talking to Jacob! He’s been
the Glenwood runner ever since cars came in, and he thinks he just
knows all there is about machines.”

“Glad he does, for it’s some dark,” reflected Molly. “I suppose that
Jean girl took the outside seat, thinking she could make Jake talk.”

“Or that she would avoid talking to us,” Edna moved her injured arm
carefully. “Well, I can see that Nita and Lena, and some of the others
are talking to Jean. We’ll have some trouble keeping our club up even.
But Tavia, what is the matter with Dorothy? She is not a bit like
herself.”

“No, she isn’t. But I think her father is not well, and he is getting
old--prematurely old, for his hair is white as snow. You see, it must
worry Dorothy to leave him and the two boys alone. Seems to me that
veterans always get old--young,” said Tavia evasively.

“Do you really think that is all that is the matter with her?” went on
Edna. “It seems to me that it is something more serious.”

“Well, maybe it is,” replied Tavia. “But I’m sure I hope not. Dear Doro
does so much for every one else that it would be almost a shame to have
her have troubles.”

“It surely would,” came from the other. “Do you suppose she would mind
if I asked her?” and Edna looked back to where Dorothy was talking to
Cologne. “Or perhaps you had better do it, Tavia. You know her so much
better than the rest of us, and she won’t mind it--coming from you.”

“That’s right!” cried Tavia with a little laugh. “Blame it all on me!
No one minds what I do. I’m the goat, of course. If there’s something
unpleasant to be done, let Tavia do it.”

“Oh, I didn’t mean it that way at all!” exclaimed Edna. “You took me up
so short----”

“Better be short than long!” went on Tavia, laughing. They could talk
rather louder now, as the machine, chugging along, made so much noise
that there was no danger of Dorothy hearing.

“No, but seriously,” proceeded Edna. “I do think Doro has some secret
trouble. She isn’t at all like her jolly self, and though she has been
just as nice as she could be in this trouble, still----”

“Still waters run deep!” interrupted Tavia. “I’m sure I can’t say what
it is.”

“Then why don’t you ask?”

“Simply because if Dorothy wanted me to know she’d tell me.”

“She might not. She might be too sensitive. It would be just like her
to hold back and not want to tell anyone. Oh, Tavia, I’m almost going
to ask her myself if you won’t.”

“Well, I won’t, that’s all there is to it. Let’s start a song. I’m
getting dry and lonesome.”

“Oh, Tavia, there’s no use trying to do anything with you,” sighed her
companion. “Why can’t you be serious for once?”

“I just can’t--that’s all. It isn’t in me. I’m a hopeless case, I’m
afraid. But don’t worry so much. Let Doro alone and if she wants help
she’ll ask for it. Then we’ll all pitch in, and do all we can for her.”

“Indeed yes,” agreed Edna heartily. “Dear Doro does so much for others
that it would be a pity if we could not aid her in some way. Oh dear!”

“What is it now?” asked Tavia, glancing out into the gathering
darkness. “Something hurt you? Is it the arm?”

“Yes, a little. I wish Jake wouldn’t drive so fast. It makes me
nervous. I’m all unstrung, anyhow, I guess, over what has happened. He
seems quite reckless, I think.”

“Nonsense,” retorted Tavia. “This is great, I say! I like to go fast.
The faster the better.”

“You always did,” commented Edna, “but I think----”

She did not finish the sentence, for the auto gave a sudden jolt, and
came to a quick stop, while Jake, the driver, uttered an exclamation of
annoyance.

“What is it?” called out Dorothy. “Has anything happened?”

“Something surely has,” voiced Tavia. “This trip is a hoodoo from the
start.”

There were a few half-suppressed screams, many alarmed inquiries, and
any numbers of “Ohs!”

“What is it, Jake?” asked Dorothy again.

“Tire’s gone back on me,” replied the driver with characteristic
brevity. “I was afraid it would play out, and I wanted to stop and put
on a new one, but Mrs. Pangborn told me to hurry, and I did. Now I’ve
got to go slow. Hum! No fun, either, putting on one of these tires.”

“More haste the less speed,” commented Tavia. “Pile out, girls, and
we’ll walk in the woods while Jake puts a new rubber shoe on this duck
of an auto. It can’t go out without rubbers you know, or it might catch
cold in its gasolene tank!”

“What talk!” cried Molly Richards, with pretended horror to Dorothy.

“Yes, I’m afraid she’ll never get over it,” agreed our heroine. “Still,
it’s like most of what Tavia does--harmless, for she really has a kind
heart.”

“Which is more than a coronet or even a violin,” commented Molly with a
laugh. “But she is getting out.”

“Come on!” cried Tavia again. “No use sitting still and waiting for
Jake. Besides, we’ll make the machine lighter if we get out; won’t we
Jake?”

“Oh, well, I’ve got to jack the wheel up anyhow,” spoke the driver,
“and one or more young ladies like you, Miss Travers, won’t make much
difference. Stay in if you like.”

“Thank you! Glad to know I’m light!” cried the irrepressible Tavia.
“Hope it wasn’t my head you referred to.”

“No--er--not exactly--that is--Oh, well, get out if you like, miss,”
said the puzzled Jake, who did not exactly understand Tavia’s
chattering.

“I’m going to,” she retorted, “come on, girls.”

“In those dark woods, with horrid, creepy, crawling things!” cried
Edna. “Never. I can almost see a snake now! Oh!”

“Silly!” snapped Tavia, as she made her way out of the car. She stood
watching Jake make his preparations for replacing the damaged tire, and
even offered to help him work the lifting jack.

“I wonder why she likes to do that?” asked Nita of Dorothy.

“I don’t know, I’m sure,” was the answer, while Tavia actually did work
the handle of the implement that raised the auto wheel clear from the
ground.

“I guess it’s because ‘Jake’ is a boy’s name, and Tavia is so fond of
the boys--in a nice way, of course,” Nita made haste to add. “You know
what I mean, Doro.”

“Yes, of course,” laughed Dorothy. “You needn’t have explained. Tavia
is such a--problem.”

“I fancy we all are--in different ways,” came the remark. “I know my
people say I am. But Tavia!”

“There is only one!” laughed Dorothy softly.

“And a good thing there are no more,” spoke Nita, as she looked closely
at her chum, wondering, as others had done that day, what was troubling
Dorothy.

For that something was troubling our heroine was evident. It plainly
showed on her face, though she tried to hide it and be her usually
jolly self--jolly, however, in a way different from Tavia.

“Want me to hold the jack?” came from Tavia, in business-like tones, as
she watched Jake deftly go about the work.

“No, thank you, miss. It’s a self-regulating one,” he replied. “It’ll
hold itself. But you might hold one of the oil lanterns so I can see to
unscrew these lugs.”

“I knew there was something queer about this auto,” came from Tavia
with a laugh. “It’s been putting on ‘lugs,’ as the boys say. It got too
gay, and had a puncture. Isn’t that it, Jake?”

“Yes, miss, I guess so, but if you wouldn’t mind, please, holding that
light a little more over this way, I could see better.”

“That’s the time Tavia got a ‘call-down,’ to use some of her own
slang,” commented Molly. “But, Doro, what are ‘lugs,’ pray tell?”

“I guess Tavia used it meaning ‘airs,’ or something like that,” was the
reply. “Will you be much longer, Jake?”

“No, I’ll soon have it on,” the man said, and he was as good as his
word. Then Tavia scrambled up to her seat, after insisting on helping
Jake to put away his tools, and the car started off again, amid
heart-felt murmurs of thanks from the rather tired young ladies.

The machine was gliding over the hills through the moonlight, and soon
the towers of Glenwood would be seen. The “Light House,” the girls
always called the big light in the tower that gleamed until the village
bell struck midnight.

Cologne was in the rear seat with Dorothy. Molly Richards made the
trio, while next came Nita, Lena, and a little frightened girl, all the
way from Georgia. It was her first term, and all the escapades did not
help to make her impression of school life in the North any the less
mystifying.

“What’s up now?” asked Molly, as the big machine came to another sudden
stop.

“Jake sees something,” replied Dorothy. “He has the queerest habit of
seeing things that no one else can see.”

“Yes, there he is getting out. A chicken likely,” put in Nita.

For a few moments the girls waited rather anxiously. Then the chauffeur
came back to the car.

“What is it?” called a chorus.

“Can’t just say yet,” answered Jacob, “but I think it’s one of them
velvet poodles that someone has dropped out of a car.”

“Oh, do let me have it,” begged Jean, who, being with Jake naturally
felt the best right to his find.

“I’ve got to look him over, and see as he isn’t hurt,” replied the
driver. “A little fluff of a thing like this doesn’t lie in the road,
when he’s got the use of his legs.”

“Let us see him, Jake,” implored Tavia. “You know I always take good
care of the Glen dogs--when there are any.”

“So you do--so you do. Well, here it is, as I must be getting on. But
be careful he doesn’t snap. Can’t tell about toy dogs. They’re not
hounds, you know,” and he handed first to Dorothy and she in turn
handed back to Tavia, the little, silken animal that Jake had picked up
on the lonely road.

Jean was piqued. She intended to conquer even Jake, and she really did
like a white toy dog. First she had been obliged to go to Glenwood in
the motor, when she had been all settled for the night, and wanted to
wait for the morning train. Next, she sat outside with the driver and
he refused her simplest request.

“It’s all because of that Dale girl,” she muttered to herself, while
she smiled at Jake. “Won’t you let me drive the car a little way,
please?” she asked. “I am used to motors, and I love to drive on these
hard clean roads.”

Jake looked at her keenly. “I’ve no doubt but you can drive,” he
replied, “but you see I’m responsible to Mrs. Pangborn, and it would be
a queer story for me to tell, if anything happened, that I had let a
school-girl run the big car at this hour of the night.”

Of course the front windows being down, and Jake speaking with
unmistakable distinctness, everyone in the car heard the reply to Jean.

Tavia was too busy with the poor little white dog to notice. She had
made a bed for him, and indeed the little thing unmistakably needed
rest. He sighed and panted, then he licked the girl’s hands.

“Poor, little thing,” said Edna, “do you suppose some chauffeur dropped
him, and never missed him?”

“They go so fast, over country roads at night that there is no telling
what happens,” replied Tavia. “But he’s mine, or Doro’s. She has a dog
so much like him at home that he may help to cheer her.”

“But won’t Jake want him?” whispered Edna.

“Jake would eat out of Doro’s hands,” answered Tavia in low tones.
“Don’t you remember, last Winter, how she saved his children from that
fire in the auto house? How she went up the ladder----”

“Oh, of course, but we all helped,” objected Edna.

“We helped when Dorothy showed us how. Now look here Edna. I don’t want
you to think that I believe Dorothy Dale to be perfect, but the fact
is--I have my first flaw to discover.”

“Hurrah! Hurray! Horroo!” Edna said quietly. “Tavia, you have, after
all, something tangible. It’s love!”

“If you wake my dog it will not be love for you,” threatened the other.

“Say, look at Jean! I think she’s asleep on Jake’s shoulder. Won’t that
be a leader for our--hazing!”

“There’s the lights!” called a quartette, for indeed the tower light of
Glenwood shone brightly at the next turn.

Suddenly all the balcony lights were flashed on!

Then such cheers! Jake clung to the wheel as if the car might shy at
the noise.

  “Glenwood! Glenwood! Rah! Rah! Rah!
   Back again, back again, Margery Daw!
   Left the boys behind us! Hah! Hah! Hah!”

It was a school cry.

“Careful, careful!” cautioned Jake. But Mrs. Pangborn was there to
welcome one and all.



CHAPTER VI

CHOCOLATES AND SANDWICHES


It was past nine o’clock when the Glenwood girls reached the hall,
and was, therefore, too late to go in for any of the pranks usually
indulged in on the first night. To be sure there was some fun. Cologne
managed to lay hold of some small boxes, that looked surprisingly like
confections. They were placed on a table, waiting to be claimed, and it
seemed no harm for her to claim them. Dorothy refused to take part in
the “raid,” but Tavia and Edna did not have to be coaxed.

“They’re Jean’s, I’ll wager,” whispered Tavia, “but the wrapper is off,
and we can easily prove an _alibi_. Let’s see where they’re from, any
way.”

“Oh, there’s a note,” declared Cologne. “I’m going to put them back.
I’ll have nothing to do with robbing the mails.”

A piece of paper fell from between two of the boxes, as Tavia cut a
pink cord that held them together.

“All the more fun,” said Tavia hiding the ill-gotten goods in the fold
of her blouse as a teacher passed, and said good-night.

“Better get it hid in some place,” suggested Edna. “If Dick comes along
she’ll smell the stuff.”

“Put it back! Put it back,” begged Cologne. “Somehow I feel we had
better not try to have fun on Jean’s account. She might make trouble
for us.”

“Who cares about her trouble,” snapped Tavia. “Besides, we don’t know
to whom the stuff belongs. There, I’ll put the note on the table, I
guess that’ll be sweet enough for her.”

Scarcely had this speech been finished when a gliding figure, in a
gorgeous red kimono, turned into the corridor where the three girls
stood. It was Jean Faval. She came directly up to the table, smiled
pleasantly, said something about being tired, picked up the note and
turned away, with a most surprisingly pleasant and affable good night.

The girls were speechless!

“What do you think of that?” exclaimed Edna, as soon as she could
command her tongue.

Tavia carefully took the boxes out of her blouse, and very gingerly set
them down again on the table.

“There,” she said, “Miss Jean Faval there’s your candy! I believe it’s
poisoned!”

“Why Tavia----”

“Yes, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if she had fixed up those boxes
herself, with the idea that we, or my little dog might bite. But we
won’t. Let them stay there,” and the three sauntered off to room
nineteen--the one occupied by Dorothy and Tavia.

They found Dorothy ready for bed, but Tavia insisted on telling the
story of the “poisoned candy.”

“What utter nonsense!” declared Dorothy. “Perhaps it did not belong to
Jean Faval at all.”

“But the note,” insisted Cologne. “That seemed to belong to her, and it
was in the boxes.”

“At any rate,” spoke Dorothy, “I want to go to bed, and I’ll be glad to
excuse the invaders. Tavia, if you so much as drop a handkerchief, I
shall report you, for I am not only tired, but have a headache.”

Edna and Cologne got up from the rug they had been sitting on. Cologne
had allowed her heavy brown hair to fall to her waist, and Edna had
likewise made that same preparation for retiring.

Tavia stifled a yawn. “I’m not a bit sleepy,” she declared. “And I
think, after all, I’ll just take a chance at those chocolates. I’m
starved for sweets.”

“Oh, Tavia! Don’t!” implored Edna. “I think we got off well enough to
leave well enough alone.”

But Tavia was already poking her head out of the door.

“There she goes,” she whispered, “I just caught a flash of that
fire-alarm kimono. Now wait till we hear her shut her door, and then
for the sweets.”

Cologne made a move to grasp Tavia’s skirt but failed. Dorothy sat up
and shook her head helplessly. “I may as well give up sleep until that
girl knows all about those plagued chocolates,” she said with a sigh.
“I can’t see why she is so interested.”

Tavia was back almost instantly.

“They’re gone!” she gasped. “They’re haunted I think--unless the Jean
changed her mind and is now howling in throes of suicide. There I heard
a howl. You two better not be caught in the corridors, or you may be
implicated,” and with this, she, in her careless way, almost brushed
the two girls out and locked the door.

But over in her own corner, under her own lamp, Tavia read a name on a
slip of paper. Then she put it in her letter box, and turned out the
lights.

Two more days and school would formally open. That which followed the
arrival of some belated girls from the West dawned as perfect as a
September day could blaze, and Dorothy was at her window, looking over
the hills before Tavia had so much as given a first yawning signal of
waking.

A soft, misty atmosphere made the world wonderful under the iridescent
blades of light that fell from the sunrise.

“It seems a shame to stay indoors,” reflected Dorothy, “and it will be
two hours before breakfast. I’ll just slip into a gingham, and take a
walk over to the barns. Jacob will be out with the horses and dogs.”

Few of the girls were awake as she passed lightly through the halls.
Maids were already busy with sweepers and brushes.

Dorothy knew many of the help, and bade them a pleasant good morning.
From the broad veranda she stopped to look at the growing day.

“I think I won’t go to the stables,” she decided. “I’ll go out and get
a bunch of late flowers. Mrs. Pangborn is so fond of them.”

Down the roadway she ran. The whistle of an engine attracted her
attention.

“Why,” she mused, “there is the new station, and a train stopping! What
an innovation for Glenwood! I must go over and see what the station
looks like.”

A narrow path led through the elders and birches. Bluejays were
out-doing one another with their screeching, while birds that could
sing kept a scornful silence. Everything was so heavy with nature.
Dorothy almost forgot that it was to-day she had promised to tell Tavia
of her troubles!

Passing through the lane brought her out into an open roadway, newly
made. A pretty little stone station, the rural and artistic kind,
filled in the space beyond, and a high terrace, unfinished, showed that
Glenwood station was to be carefully kept.

The train that Dorothy had heard whistling was just coming in. The
new station was not yet opened, but a short distance from it was an
improvised lunch room, a sort of shack made of unpainted boards,
and thin awnings. The train stopped, and the conductor hurried to
the little lunch room. Dorothy saw that a girl, alone, stood behind
the queer, long, board table, and that beside her was a telegraph
instrument. Seeing Dorothy she called to her.

“Could you come here for a few minutes?” she asked. “I have an
important train message and no one to leave the shop to.”

“Of course,” replied Dorothy, not comprehending just what was wanted,
but hurrying across the tracks to the shanty.

“You see,” began the girl, “father is sick, but we have to keep our
contract with the road, or lose the privilege in the new station.
We have to have a lunch room, and a newspaper stand and also attend
to messages. This I just received. I will have to deliver it on my
bicycle. I am so glad you came along. No one is apt to be out so early.
If any one wants coffee could you serve it?”

Dorothy was taken by surprise. To be left in charge of a country
railroad lunch counter!

“I’ll do the best I can,” she answered, noticing that the black-haired
girl had a deep line across her brow. “But I’m afraid----”

“Oh, don’t be afraid of anything,” interrupted the girl, who was
already mounting her wheel, and handing a bunch of keys to Dorothy.
“There’s another train due soon, but I’ll try to be back. In the shed,
at the rear, is our dog. He will know you all right when he sees you
behind the counter, but he won’t let any one else in. Good-bye for a
few minutes, and I can’t tell you how glad I am you came along. I just
feel that you have saved the depot for us,” and with one strong stroke
her wheel glided down the hill, and a bit of yellow paper, the train
message, showed in the small pocket of her red jacket. The first train
had already pulled out.

Then Dorothy was alone in the lunch house at 6:15 A. M.



CHAPTER VII

RUNNING A LUNCH COUNTER


For some minutes the absurdity of the situation scarcely dawned upon
Dorothy. But the screeching of an approaching train promptly reminded
her of her newly-acquired duties.

“Suppose the passengers should want papers,” she thought. “I had better
look at the bundles.”

An old man thrust his face in under the wooden flap that was up in the
day time, and put down at night.

“A good cup of coffee, and quick there!” he demanded. “I have got to
get away ahead of that train.”

Dorothy turned to the big coffee urn, and for the first time noticed
that there was a fire under it.

The next thing Dorothy did was to look at the man who had given her
the first order at the improvised restaurant. He was smiling at her--a
frank, pleasant smile, that had in it not the least suggestion of
familiarity.

“Well?” he asked questioningly. “Did I startle you?”

“Not exactly,” was her answer. “That is--well, I’m not really used to
this sort of work, and----”

“You don’t know how to run that machine--isn’t that it?” he asked,
nodding brightly. “Confess now, that you don’t know how to get coffee
out of it.”

“That’s it,” said Dorothy with an air of relief that he had divined her
trouble. “There are so many attachments to it that I really don’t know
which one to turn to get the coffee out.”

“In the first place,” spoke the man, “is there coffee in it?”

“I think so.”

“I mean coffee with water on it--coffee to drink?”

“Yes, the young lady who runs it, and who had to get off in a hurry to
deliver a message, said so.”

“Good! That’s one point solved. Now then, there is no question but what
the coffee is hot. I can see the alcohol flame under it. The next thing
is how to get it out.”

“I believe so,” agreed Dorothy with a smile. “Suppose I turn this
faucet.”

“No, don’t!” cried the man suddenly. “It may not be the right one, and
you might scald yourself. Let me come in and maybe I can find the right
thing to twist.”

“No! Don’t!” exclaimed Dorothy.

“Why not? ’Fraid I might get burned? I don’t mind.”

“No, it isn’t that,” and she was conscious of a movement under the
counter.

“Well, then, is it because you think I don’t know how to run that
machine? I confess that I haven’t a working knowledge of it. A planing
mill is more in my line. Now if you were to ask me to get you out so
many feet of inch pine, tongue and groove, or something like that, I
could do it in no time, but I will admit that getting coffee out of a
contraption like that is a little beyond me. An old fashioned pot is
simpler. Still, if I came behind, I might help you.”

He made a motion as if he were coming in.

“Don’t!” cried Dorothy again, and the dog growled.

“Oh, I see,” said the man. “He doesn’t like strangers. Well, maybe
I can help you from outside here. I’ve no desire to be made into
mincemeat so early in the morning.”

“What shall I do?” asked Dorothy, rather helplessly.

“About the dog?”

“No, about this coffee urn. What shall I turn first?”

“Try that faucet there,” suggested the man, pointing to the largest
one, of a number that adorned the shining bit of machinery.

Dorothy did so, forgetting to hold a cup under it. A stream of cold
water spurted out.

“Wrong guess!” exclaimed the man. “I might have known, too. There’s a
glass gage there, and I can see water in it now. I should have looked
at that first. You might have been wet.”

“I’m not salt,” returned Dorothy, laughingly.

“More like sugar, I should say,” spoke the man. “Tut! Tut!” he
exclaimed, as he saw a frown pass over Dorothy’s face. “No harm
intended. Besides, I’m nearly old enough to be your father. Now about
the coffee. I really need some and I haven’t much time to spare.”

“Suppose I try this faucet?” suggested Dorothy, and she put her hand on
a second shining handle.

“Do,” begged the hungry man.

With a menacing hiss some hot water spurted out.

“Look out!” the hungry one called. “You’ll be burned!”

Dorothy got back out of the way just in time.

“There’s the right one!” the first customer exclaimed, as he pointed
to the lowest faucet of all. “If I had kept my wits about me I’d have
seen. The coffee shows in the gage glass. Besides, it’s the lowest one
down, and, naturally, the coffee goes to the bottom of the urn. Try
that one.”

Dorothy did, but there was no welcoming stream of the juice of the
aromatic berry. She was beginning to get nervous.

“The other way,” directed the man. “It’s one of those patent faucets, I
guess. Turn it the other way.”

She did so, and a brown stream, hot and fragrant, trickled out. It
splashed on the board counter.

“I guess you’d better take a cup,” said the man with a smile. “We’ve
found the right place this time, and there’s no use wasting the coffee.
Sorry I’ve been such a bother, but I really would use a cup.” Dorothy
laughed frankly. Her nervousness was passing away.

On a side shelf of the queer little restaurant she saw that the
iron-china cups were piled up. She reached for one, filled it with the
smoking coffee, and handed it to the man outside the flap.

“Sandwich!” he demanded. “This coffee makes a fellow want to eat,
instead of quenching his appetite.”

Dorothy looked around and smelled ham. The bread was in a box, and
almost fell at her feet as she searched for it.

“Plenty of mustard,” demanded the customer, and this time the strange
waitress began to think she would fail to fill the order.

“I can’t seem to find the mustard,” she said lamely.

“You’re a stranger here then? I thought the other one had a different
head on her,” replied the man, who was now helping himself to the loaf
of bread that Dorothy had laid down preparing to cut it. “Well, I think
I can find that mustard,” and he turned to the little side door. As he
did so the big black dog growled again and barred his way inside the
shanty.

“He’s tied,” said Dorothy, “but I think it will be best for me to look
on the shelf there, where the canned goods are. Yes, it’s here,” and
she brought down a big yellow bottle of sandwich-flavoring stuff.

“Here, I’ll cut the ham. I’ve got to get away. I’m late now,” and he
proceeded to “cut the ham” after the manner in which he had attacked
the bread. Dorothy was afraid she had made a great mistake. There would
be nothing left for the train people if he kept on.

Finally he managed to get another cup of coffee, he poured the
condensed milk into it thick and fast, then he asked;

“How much?”

“I really don’t know,” Dorothy replied, “but if you have been in the
habit of eating here just whatever you always pay will do.”

“Guess you had better charge it then,” he said, and before she had
time to reply he was off down the track, wiping his mouth with his red
handkerchief as he went.

“This is not just my sort of position,” mused Dorothy, cleaning up the
refuse left on the counter. “I hope I won’t have to pay the damages.”

The incoming train left her no further time for reflection, for, as it
pulled in and stopped at the station, a crowd of men, evidently night
workers, scrambled for the lunch counter.

“Coffee and rolls!”

“Coffee and cheese cake!”

“Coffee and franks for me!”

“Coffee! coffee! coffee!”

Dorothy was actually frightened. These men wanted breakfast, and had
only a few minutes in which to get it. How could she wait on them?

Long arms were reached inside the open window, and cups and saucers
brought down to wait for the coffee.

“I’m not the girl who--who--runs this place,” Dorothy said, timidly,
as one very rough-looking man shouted again his order. “I only stepped
in to--watch the place, until the other girl gets back. I do wish she
would come,” and, filling a big pitcher with the coffee from the urn
she placed it before the hungry men.

“But we can’t eat again until noon,” declared a big fellow, who spoke
with the unmistakable Maine tang, “and this joint is run special for
car men. I’ll have them folks reported,” and he brought his hand down
on the counter so that the heavy cups danced.

“Oh, please don’t do that!” begged Dorothy, “for the young lady said
her father was ill, and I am sure something important has detained her.
I will do the very best I can.”

The train blew a warning whistle. Dorothy put everything she could
find on the counter. “I’ll pay for it if I have to,” she was thinking.
“Certainly I must avoid--a panic.”

A young man, well dressed, was coming along now. Her heart gave a great
bound. What would he want?

She turned to put more water in the coffee urn.

“Have you the morning papers?” asked the newcomer.

His voice made her start. She turned and faced--Mr. Armstrong!

“I’m afraid I won’t be able to unwrap the papers,” she said, blushing
furiously. “Isn’t this dreadful, Mr. Armstrong?”

“Surprising, I’m sure,” he replied, smiling. “You have more than your
hands full.”

Dorothy tried to explain, but her confusion was now more than
excitement--it was akin to collapse.

“Perhaps I could help you,” suggested her friend of the bridge-bound
train. “I am not in a hurry. Mother is on ahead, and I can wait for the
next accommodation.”

“Oh, if you only would! I cannot find anything more to eat,” and she
brushed back her hair, in lieu of rolling up her sleeves.

“You can’t go in there,” growled one of the train men. “There’s a dog
that don’t like dudes.”

Another toot, and the men rushed off, half emptied cups in hand,
sandwiches in pocket, and the rack of pastry left empty, inside the
counter, where it had fallen as the last pie was grabbed from its wires.

“The cups,” called Dorothy. “They are taking them away!”

“Don’t worry about that,” Mr. Armstrong told her. “Likely they will
toss them out the car windows. They’re that sort that never breaks. But
I’m glad they’re gone. You look quite done out.”

“And just think! I have been away from the hall for the past hour. They
will think I’m drowned, or lost or----”

“Eloped,” finished the young man. “Well, I’m sure you did this to help
someone, and if your success as a lunch counter manager is doubtful,
no one could criticise your courage. Now, you had better shut this
place up, before another avalanche swoops down, and, if you don’t mind,
I’ll walk along with you. I can get the seven-ten easily, and have the
pleasure of an early walk. To be honest, travelling on that train was
not altogether pleasant.”

“I certainly must get back,” Dorothy replied. “But how am I to lock
this place up? I do wish that girl would come back.”

She looked anxiously over the hills. There was a wheel coming. Yes, and
that was the girl, with the blue suit.

“Oh, there she comes!” went on Dorothy. “Whatever will she think of
this wreck and ruin?”

“From remarks I heard among the trainmen she may be glad they got
coffee,” said Mr. Armstrong.

The bicycle had stopped now. The girl jumped off, and hurried to
Dorothy.

“Oh,” she sighed, “I am so sorry I kept you so long, but father is so
ill!” and they noticed that, in spite of the exertion of riding, she
was very pale.

“I’m afraid I didn’t do very well,” ventured Dorothy.

“That train was the track foreman’s. It was all right; no matter what
you did as long as you kept the window open,” said the girl gratefully.
“But I am afraid I have gotten you into trouble. Do you go to Glenwood?”

“Yes,” replied Dorothy.

“I thought so. Well, the young ladies are looking for you. I heard one
say----”

She stopped suddenly, looking at Mr. Armstrong.

“What?” asked Dorothy, but no direct answer was given, for school girls
were seen coming over the hill, and it was Jean Faval who was first to
hail the finding of Dorothy, and she, also, who first reported that she
was in the company of a young man!



CHAPTER VIII

DOROTHY’S WORRIES


It did look strange. Dorothy had gone out before any of her companions
were about, and now, after being away two hours she was found returning
in the company of a young man.

It might have been different if Tavia, and the girls who had met Mr.
Armstrong on the train, had chosen to go toward the depot instead of
seeking Dorothy in the opposite direction; but when Jean Faval met
her, there were with Jean three of the new girls, and of course, they
neither knew Dorothy nor her companion.

Small things grow quickly when they have plenty of room, and Dorothy’s
escapade, being the one thing worth talking of at Glenwood, soon
amounted to a sensational story, fanned by the gossips and nurtured by
her rival in the school.

What girl has gone through school without some such similar experience?
And does it not always occur at the most unexpected times?

Are there always, and everywhere, “school rivals?”

Mr. Armstrong said good-bye to Dorothy at the tanbark path that led
to Glenwood Hall. Excited over her strange experience, Dorothy had no
thought of what others might wonder! Where had she been? Why did she
leave the grounds so early? What was Dorothy worrying about?

“See here, Doro,” Tavia confronted her, as together they prepared
for breakfast--late at that. “What ails you? You promised to tell me
to-day.”

“What ailed me, Tavia, does not exactly ail me now. I have just learned
how some girls have to make a living.”

Saying this Dorothy sank back, rather unlike herself, for the morning
had been warm, and her duties anything but refreshing.

“Dorothy, tell me, what is it?” demanded Tavia.

“You look at me as if I were a criminal,” replied the blonde Dalton
girl. “I can never be coerced,” she finished.

“Dorothy, you are so unlike yourself. And you have no idea how much
trouble that Jean Faval can make,” insisted Tavia, with more spirit
than she usually showed.

Dorothy stopped in her hair-fixing. “Tavia,” she said, emphatically,
“I have friends enough here,” and she glanced at the school-girl
picture-lined wall, “and I am not afraid of Jean Faval.”

Dorothy was always pretty, sometimes splendid, and again tragic--Tavia
decided she was one in all at that moment.

“Good!” declared her champion. “Don’t worry, Dorothy, but if you could
just tell me----”

Dorothy stopped and looked into the glass without seeing anything.

She was worried, but since she had tried to run a lunch room, and had
discovered how hard some girls, as young as herself, had to work, the
thought that some day she too, might have to do something to earn
money, did not seem so appalling. Should she tell Tavia?

“I am waiting, Doro,” Tavia said. “Now confess.”

“It’s really nothing so very serious, dear,” she replied, “but you
know father is getting old and--he has put all his money into the
Marsall Investment Company, of New York. Just before I left home father
heard--that the money may be--lost!”

“All your money?”

“Yes, isn’t that dreadful? Of course, if it is lost we could never live
with Aunt Winnie. We would be too proud, although she and the boys have
always been so lovely to us. Yet to have no home makes it different.”

“But, Dorothy, I can’t believe that will happen. Your father has always
been so wise,” and Tavia smoothed the ribbon on Dorothy’s light hair.
“If it should happen----”

“If it should, I would certainly go to work,” Dorothy declared,
firmly. “I should never let Joe leave school, and stay on here myself.
Besides, Joe could not do very much,” she sighed. “I am so afraid for
father--afraid the crash would----”

“Now, Doro, it is not like you to plan trouble,” Tavia interrupted, “so
let us forget it. I am afraid you will have some queer eyes made at you
when you go down to breakfast,” Tavia finished.

“It certainly was rather an unfortunate start for the first morning,”
Dorothy agreed. “But, Tavia, I wish you could have seen me. If Mr.
Armstrong had not just come along then, I would have run away, and left
the whole place to those greedy men. I could not have stood it five
minutes longer.”

“It must have been funny. I’ll have to take my lunch down there some
early morning. Maybe another nice Mr. Armstrong might come along. But
say, Doro, did you hear about the hall table candy?”

“No; what happened to it?”

“It seems that Jean got it mixed up in her satchel with some hair
tonic that leaked from a bottle. She says she left it on the table,
because there was no scrap basket there--in the hall, and she didn’t
know where to put it. When I took the hair tonic-soaked candy away Jean
declares she thought one of the maids had thrown it out, as you could
easily smell the hair tonic. I didn’t smell it, neither did Ned, but
there was quite a time about it, as Jean got worried when she thought
it over. That was why she came out the second time. But then they were
gone--perhaps some of the girls took them. You never heard so much talk
over a little spill of hair tonic.”

“Did Jean ask Mrs. Pangborn about it?”

“Of course, and Mrs. Pangborn was more frightened than Jean, for she
said the stuff might have a poison in it. Now everyone is waiting to
see who will drop dead,” and Tavia laughed as if such an occurrence
would be very funny.

“Let’s hurry. We will get the second table now, and it’s such a
beautiful day to be out,” Dorothy said. “I feel better, really, for
having told you about my worries. Perhaps I will get a letter with good
news.”

“I hope so. But let me tell you something. If we really need money I’ll
advertise the little dog. Jake says he’s a thoroughbred.”

“He may be some child’s pet, and you ought to advertise him, anyhow,”
Dorothy said. “There are Cologne and Edna. They have finished.”

They stopped at the door of the breakfast room.

“Oh you little runaway!” exclaimed Cologne to Dorothy. “We thought you
were on your honeymoon by this time.”

“That was a neat trick,” Edna added jokingly, “to go out before
daylight, and come back with such a yarn! You ought to hear what the
girls are saying about you!”

“Let’s eat, at any rate,” Tavia suggested. “I’m starved!”

“Didn’t happen to see anyone taken sick yet; did you?” asked Edna. “I
hope the medicine fell into the other camp. You know Jean is already
organizing.”

As Tavia and Dorothy entered the room Jean Faval and several girls
passed out. Some of them said good morning, and some of them did not.
But Jean was heard to remark something about “cooks and classes.”

“She means the lunch wagon,” Dorothy whispered to Tavia.

“She’s mean enough to mean anything,” replied Tavia. “I can’t see why
she has such a grudge against you, Doro.”

“Never mind. We can get our club together and then our rivals may club
by themselves,” said Dorothy.

As they finished breakfast, a waitress handed Dorothy a note.

“Mrs. Pangborn wants to see me,” said Dorothy, rising.

Then Tavia’s hope, that the morning’s gossip had escaped the ears of
the school principal, vanished.

“Don’t mind if she asks queer questions,” Tavia remarked, as Dorothy
left. “You know those new girls have to be kept busy.”



CHAPTER IX

THE INTERVIEW


Mrs. Pangborn was sitting in her pretty little office when Dorothy
entered. On her desk were some late, purple daisies, or iron-weed, and
their purple seemed to make the white-haired lady look regal, Dorothy
thought.

After exchanging greetings the principal began with her rather painful
discourse.

“I have sent for you, Dorothy,” she said, “on account of some rather
surprising stories that have come to my ears. I can scarcely credit
them. At the same time I must make sure that these rumors are
groundless. Did you--take charge of that lunch counter at the new
depot, this morning?”

“Why, yes; I did,” replied Dorothy, coloring to the eyes, “but I only
did so to help the young girl who has charge of it. She had to leave,
and called to me to go over there for a few minutes.”

“It seems incredible that a Glenwood young lady should do such a
thing,” Mrs. Pangborn said. “But I have no doubt your motive was
innocent enough. Then about the young gentleman with whom you were seen
walking?”

Dorothy felt like crying. Who could have tattled these stories? And
what a construction to put on her actions!

“He merely walked this way because----”

She hesitated. What was his reason? And how would it sound?

“Was he a personal acquaintance?” asked the inquisitor.

Again Dorothy hesitated. “I know his mother,” she said finally, “and he
has been very kind. It was he who sent you the message from the train
when we could not get here.”

“Oh, the young man who ’phoned from the station for our car? He
certainly was kind, and I can’t see----”

It was then Mrs. Pangborn’s time to hesitate. She had no idea of
letting Dorothy know that some one had notified her that Dorothy Dale
was out walking with a young man whom she had met on the train--a
perfect stranger!

“It is a pity,” the principal went on, “that these first days must
be marred with such tattle, but you can readily understand that I am
responsible, not only for the reputation of my pupils, but also for my
school. I must warn you against doing rash things. One’s motives will
not always excuse public criticism.”

Dorothy was too choked to make an answer. She turned to the door.

“One word more,” spoke Mrs. Pangborn, “you know we have a number of new
girls this term, and I would ask you and your friends, as you are so
well acquainted with Glenwood, to do all you can to make them happy and
contented. I don’t like seeing the strangers gathered in little knots
alone. It is not friendly, to say the least.”

“But, Mrs. Pangborn, those girls seem to want to keep by themselves.
They have refused every effort we have made to be friendly,” Dorothy
answered.

“They may be shy. That little one from the South is the daughter of a
friend of mine. Her name is Zada Hillis, and I am most anxious that she
shall not get homesick,” insisted Mrs. Pangborn.

“I will do all I can to make her contented,” Dorothy replied, “but she
seems on such friendly terms with some of the other girls--in fact
Jean Faval has taken her up quite exclusively, and Jean refuses to be
friends with me.”

Dorothy was glad she had said that much, for, somehow, she traced her
unpleasant interview to the sly work of Jean and her chums.

Mrs. Pangborn turned to her books, indicating that was all she wished
to say, and Dorothy left the room.

Tavia was outside waiting for her.

“All right, sis?” she asked, noting that Dorothy was trembling with
suppressed emotion.

Dorothy merely pressed Tavia’s arm. She could not just then trust
herself to speak.

“Come on,” Tavia said. “We’ll go back to our room. Perhaps I can make
you feel better by telling how that thing happened.”

The other girls all seemed to be out of doors--the morning was too
delightful to spend time unpacking and hanging up clothes.

Once in her room Dorothy buried her face in the couch cushions. The
previous excitement had been enough--this new phase of the trouble was
too much.

“Now see here,” began Tavia, “don’t you mind one thing which that crowd
says or does. Jean Faval, of course, is at the bottom of the whole
thing, and she has organized a club they call the ‘T’s.’ It’s secret,
of course, and no one knows what the ‘T’ is for, except the members.
She met you this morning with Mr. Armstrong, and that was just pie for
her. They’re out under the buttonball tree now, planning and plotting.
I’ll wager they are after my scalp,” and she shook her head of bronze
hair significantly. “Failing with the hair tonic, they want the whole
head.”

“But to be accused of--why, Tavia! I cannot see how the little incident
could be made into such a story,” sobbed Dorothy.

“Little incident! You running a lunch cart! Why it’s the very biggest
thing that ever happened in Glen. I am going to apply for the position
permanently.”

Tavia went over to her dresser, and “slicked” things up some. She
missed something, but did not at once speak of it, thinking it had been
mislaid.

“I feel as if my reputation had been run over with a big six cylinder
car,” Dorothy said, trying to cheer up. “It hurts all over.”

“Say,” Tavia broke out, “did you take your picture from here? Now own
up. Did you give it to David Armstrong?”

“Tavia, don’t be a goose,” Dorothy said. “What would I want with my own
picture, after I had given it to you?”

“Well, it’s gone, and I could have sworn I put it right here,”
indicating a spot on the dresser. “If I don’t find it----”

Tavia made a more frantic search among the things on the dresser. She
opened and shut drawers rapidly. Dorothy watched her chum curiously.

Suddenly, as Tavia paused, rather disheveled and warm, there sounded a
footstep out in the corridor. It seemed to pause at the door.

“Listen!” whispered Dorothy.

Tavia tiptoed to the portal.



CHAPTER X

AN UPSET CANOE


After a moment of silence--a tense moment--the footsteps passed on
again. The two chums looked at each other.

“Who could it have been?” whispered Dorothy.

“Give it up,” replied Tavia, recklessly. “None of our friends, or they
would have come in.”

Softly she opened the door and peered out.

“Whoever it was, they’re out of sight, and I don’t mean that for slang,
either,” she announced. “But say, Doro, dear, I don’t see why I can’t
find that picture. It’s disappeared most mysteriously. I don’t like it.”

“But you will find it. Perhaps it blew out of the window,” Dorothy
suggested.

“Maybe,” Tavia replied, “but I have lost something else.”

“What?”

“A slip of paper I took out of the candy box. It had an address on it,
and I wanted it.”

“But it was not yours, if you took it from Jean’s box.”

“That’s the very reason I wanted it. Well, never mind. Wash up and
we’ll go out in the woods. Maybe we’ll dig up some more lunch carts.”

“I don’t believe I care to,” Dorothy answered. “I want to wait for the
mail. Besides, my eyes would betray me,” and she glanced in the mirror
to confirm her suspicion.

“All right. I’ll go out, hunt up the news, and fetch it back to you. In
the meantime you might be hunting up your photo for me. I feel lonely
without it,” and Tavia, without making any other preparation than
picking up a parasol, was gone.

Dorothy did not sit down and cry, although she felt gloomy indeed, but,
as her trunk had arrived, she buried her “blues” in the work of getting
things in order.

Tavia met her “cronies” in the cedar clump. They were planning for the
“rumpus,” and as the two factions were rivals, each would, of course,
try to “perpetrate” the greatest surprise.

Cologne and Ned asked about Dorothy, but Tavia managed to reply without
really answering.

“The rumpus this year must be classic,” declared Molly Richards. “We
are growing up, and Mrs. Pangborn won’t allow any tom-boying.”

“Then count me out,” announced Tavia, “for I couldn’t have a smitch of
fun classicing.”

“You don’t know how much fun it is to try to look in a pool like
Psyche, and have a real frog jump out at you. However, if you have no
suggestions to make there is no use in telling all ours,” and Molly, or
Dick, as they called her, put up her note book.

“I suggest refreshments,” Tavia volunteered, “but I will have to
calendar my fee. I am, as usual, penniless.”

“And we are to re-name our club,” said Edna. “What do you think of the
Tarts--meaning tarters, of course.”

“I’ll just wager that’s what the ‘T’s’ stand for! Fancy us hitting the
same name. Wouldn’t it be a joke,” and, in anticipation, Tavia tossed a
ball of grass in Nita Brant’s ear.

“I wouldn’t have that,” declared Ned. “They would call us copy cats!”

“There’s nothing better than the Glens,” Cologne proclaimed. “And,
since we are the seniors, I believe we ought to keep to that.”

“Let’s vote then,” Nita suggested. “We are sure to be satisfied if we
all have our say.”

“Being chairman of the executive committee,” said Cologne, “I call for
a vote.”

“Make it a straw vote,” Tavia said. “I’ll get the straws. Long will be
_for_, and short _against_.”

When the straws were counted the decision was for Glens; and so that
matter was disposed of.

It took a full hour to make all the plans, and Dorothy’s ready
originality was greatly missed. It was the first time in her days at
Glenwood that she had not helped plan the “rumpus.”

Finally the group scattered, most of the girls taking to the pretty
lake for either canoeing or rowing. Ned and Tavia went in the canoe
with the closed ends, or air compartments, while Dick took a party of
the newcomers out in the big, red rowboat, with the golden “G’s” on
either side.

In the narrows, a part of the stream so called because the trees leaned
over there, Tavia’s canoe passed Jean Faval’s.

“She ought to learn to paddle,” Tavia remarked. “See how she digs.”

“But she looks pretty--I guess that’s the main point--with Jean,”
replied Ned.

“She’s going to turn,” Tavia said. Scarcely were the words uttered than
Jean did turn--right out of her canoe into the waters of Sunshine Lake.

“Oh, it’s deep there!” called Ned. “Let’s get to her.”

Tavia paddled quickly, and soon reached the spot where Jean was holding
on to the upturned canoe.

“Don’t be afraid,” Tavia called to the one in the water. “It can’t
sink.”

“But I can,” came the frightened reply. “Oh, do help me in!”

“We couldn’t get the water out of it,” answered Tavia. “It isn’t far to
shore. Can you swim any?”

“A little!” gasped Jean.

“Then just get a hold of our canoe and keep exactly in line with us. In
that way we can tow you to shore.”

Frightened as Jean was, she was still more afraid to be trailed through
the water. But when both girls assured her that there was no other way,
as she could not get her canoe righted, neither could she get in with
them, she finally consented to the plan.

It took some skill to guide the canoe just right, but Ned balanced the
craft while Tavia paddled straight and directly for shore.

Indeed, the proud girl was a sorry sight when she was landed, and
scarcely thanking the rescuers, she dashed across the fields for her
room in Glenwood Hall.



CHAPTER XI

THINGS THAT HAPPENED


“Rumpus night” came at last. Little time was taken for the dining room
ceremonies, for everyone had her share to get ready for the initiation
of new members of the school, and for merry-making for those who had
gone through the same ordeals, two or three years before.

The corridors seemed alive with whispers, the rooms fairly quaked with
secrets, and if there was one girl not on a committee, she must have
been the manager of one.

The “T’s” were all new members, and Jean Faval was their leader. The
“Glens” depended upon Cologne, or more properly speaking for this
important occasion, she was Miss Rose-Mary Markin.

Dorothy had overcome her embarrassment and was, as usual, helping
Tavia, who, instead of remaining in during the afternoon, to arrange
her things, had found more pleasure and mischief in training for the
boat race in her canoe.

At seven o’clock the big gong sounded in the hall, and the lights were
turned on in the recreation room. Everybody got in there, although
just how, it would have been hard to tell, for there seemed to be no
confusion, nor excitement.

Mrs. Pangborn opened the ceremonies with a greeting to her pupils, and
her kindest wishes for a happy and successful term at Glenwood.

Then came the school chorus. Somewhere there were mandolins, banjos,
and other stringed instruments, and their chords came sweetly from
various corners and nooks, while the girls sang the tribute to their
school. After that two new teachers were introduced, Miss Cummings and
Miss Denton.

“Now, young ladies,” said Mrs. Pangborn, “we leave you to your
merry-making, and we trust you will be as discreet and thoughtful to
one another’s feelings as you have always been. Remember, we have some
young strangers with us, and there may be a great difference in their
ideas of fun, and ours.”

When the applause died out the lights went with it. Only a flickering
gas jet over the “throne” gave the location of the room, so that while
figures moved around, and voices buzzed, the programme could not be
guessed at.

Five minutes of suspense passed, then the lights were flashed on again.

The “throne,” a big couch covered with umbrellas and parasols
supporting all sorts of colored divan covers, gave the effect of an
ancient chair of state, or royal seat.

Cologne reclined there as if she had been wafted from Greece, all the
way through these common centuries. She seemed made to be a queen. Her
costume was as wonderful as it was gorgeous, the most prominent feature
being the beaded portiers from Edna’s room, and they fell so gracefully
over the robe of cheese cloth, donated by Molly Richards. Her crown was
golden, real, good paper-of-gold, and this was studded with as many gem
hatpins as could be purloined, or borrowed.

It was at once suspected that the very dark “slave,” who waved a
feather duster over the queen’s head was Tavia, because there were no
sleeves in her wrappings, and she wore on her feet a pair of grass
slippers, taken from the wall of a stranger. This costume, indicating
comfort, betrayed Tavia, while, on the other side of the royal seat,
Ned could be discerned, because her brown grease paint, or salve, was
carelessly left off over one eye.

The chief slave was tall and masterful. In “his” hands he held the
numbers of the “victims,” written on slips of paper, ready to call them
off to the queen. “His” costume was another of those draperies, the
absence of which from windows and doors, left rooms drafty that night,
and “his” helmet was a rubber hat, of the rain order, that went down
under the chin, and covered the ears and which, incidentally, belonged
to the bell boy.

To describe all the “get-ups” and “make-ups” would bring the affairs
far into the night, whereas the fun should be over by ten sharp,
according to school rules, so we proceed.

“Enter!” called the slave, and then the vestal virgins trouped in,
doing their best not to trip up in the bed sheets they trailed.

The waving feather dusters rested. The queen lolled effectively.

A “classic” speech was made that didn’t mean anything, then “number
one” was called. The first vestal stepped up to the throne.

“Prostrate thyself!” ordered she, who did not dare to turn, lest the
beaded portiers should scatter.

The aspirant did as she was commanded, but alas! she was heard to
giggle.

This was a real offense, and it is a wonder she did not at once turn
into a cyclops, or a goat, for the queen was really displeased.

“Take thyself to the rocks, and join the maids there who sing forever.
See that thy song shall bring riches to my kingdom or----”

The queen paused, but was taken up by one of the feather duster girls.
“Make it crabs,” she said. “Crabs are getting scarce, and the other
fishermen wear smelly clothes. Our Lorelei always go for the crabbers,
or lobster men.”

The absurd comparison brought forth applause. But the stage folks did
not smile.

The next called was plainly little Zada Hillis, for even the long
trailing sheet could not disguise her. She was nervous, and tripped as
she stepped on the platform.

“Child of the sea,” spoke the queen, “we shall show you the wonders of
our land-home. Tell me what lights the depths?”

Zada hesitated. Then she ventured. “The gleam of our mermaids’
eyes--the light of purity, and the glow cleanliness.”

This was applauded, for indeed it was not a bad speech for a frightened
novice.

“Thou shalt sit near my throne,” spoke the queen, “and thou shalt be my
handmaid!”

This was an honor, and was interpreted to mean that the little stranger
would be taken into the “Glens” with open arms. Some of the others
awaiting their sentence moved uneasily, but one slave (Tavia of course)
asked if the handmaid knew where the spring was, as she would like a
good drink of real water.

Truly the brown coffee on her face was running down, looking for cups,
and sugar, and the evening was not so cool but that the hangings over
the throne caused air congestion.

There was no mistaking the next number called. Only Jean Faval walked
that way--with the fashionable stride--and only Jean held her head so
high.

“Circe,” called the queen, “mix thy cup.”

The slave fetched a bowl, with a whole bunch of lighted Chinese “punks”
smoldering into incense.

Jean looked at it disdainfully. Evidently she did not enjoy this form
of initiation, and made no move to comply. Her manner caused surprise,
as the “haze” was most innocent, and in no way stronger than that given
the others.

“Dost not comply?” called the queen.

Jean put a whistle to her lips and blew it. Immediately all her club,
some ten or twelve, rushed to the throne, tore down the hangings, and
paraded off with the paraphernalia, singing something about “T’s and
turn-outs, the real Glenwood scouts!”

For some moments a panic threatened. The senior “Glens,” who by rule
and right, had always conducted this little affair, were indignant to
the point of battle.

A teacher on guard in the outer hall heard the confusion and entered.
She called to the “mutineers” to stop, but they sang and yelled, as if
it were a victory to break up the night’s entertainment.

Suddenly one of the raised paper parasols touched an open gas light. It
was carried by a stranger, named Cecilia Reynolds. Seeing it blaze she
frantically tossed it away, and it fell on the prompter’s chair where
Dorothy still sat waiting for the trouble to be over.

Everyone screamed! Dorothy jumped up, and grasping the blazing thing,
threw it out of an open window.

In her costume, of prompter, Dorothy affected the pure white robes of
Clio, and in her hand she held the scroll of history. It was this open
paper that caught a spark, and in stamping it out Dorothy knew the risk
to her thin white dress.

Tavia and Edna, besides the teacher and Cologne, rushed to her, while
the others, filled with terror at the thought of fire, fled from the
room.

It all happened so quickly--Dorothy’s skirt was torn from her and that,
with the piece of parchment, were soon on the ground below the open
window, where the burning paper umbrella still smoldered.

“Are you burned, Dorothy?” Tavia asked, anxiously.

“Oh, no. I don’t think so, but my head--feels queer. I guess I
was--frightened,” Dorothy said, haltingly.

“You must go to your room at once,” advised the teacher, who happened
to be Miss Cummings. “If you keep very quiet you may not feel the shock
so much. It was most unfortunate,” and she, in leading Dorothy away,
motioned to her companions that they were not to follow.



CHAPTER XII

TROUBLE UPON TROUBLE


Nine days had passed since our friends arrived at Glenwood Hall, and
the first week of school days had been covered.

Dorothy’s troubles seemed most unusual, even for an active girl, who
is sure to find more worries than her friends from the reason that her
interests, being more widely scattered, cause more dangers and more
gossip.

For a whole day after the initiation night she had been obliged to stay
in her room, the shock affecting her nerves, and the slight scorching
of her hands requiring bandages.

Tavia brought her all the news of the investigation, punctuating it
appropriately with “slings” at Jean Faval. Warning had been given by
Mrs. Pangborn that the next mistake would not be so easily condoned,
but Tavia put it that the next time Jean Faval made any trouble for
Dorothy she would be dipped in the lake, and held down for a while to
“cool her off.” Tavia even expressed regret that she had not allowed
the black eyed Jean to stay in the lake, when the chance was so handy
to punish her, and when, out of sheer good will, she and Ned had
dragged her out.

It was Saturday morning, and Dorothy was going out, with a half dozen
girls, to take a long walk into town to buy such little articles as
were always needed during the first week of school.

“I have simply got to get some letter paper,” Tavia remarked. “You
know, Doro, I never write to Nat on anything but nice paper.”

Nat White was one of Dorothy’s two splendid boy cousins, and was a firm
friend of Tavia’s. It was at their home, that of Mrs. White, Dorothy’s
Aunt Winnie, that both girls had passed such delightful vacations, and
spent such jolly holidays.

“Well, I must write to Ned to-night,” Dorothy said, following Tavia’s
remark. “He has promised to let me know about father’s troubles.”

The other girls were somewhat in advance of Tavia and Dorothy, so that
their remarks could not be overheard.

“Haven’t you had any good news yet?” asked Tavia.

“They say no news is good news, and I have had but one letter since
I came away. That was from Joe, and of course he did not mention the
matter. But I am sure father is very busy, and that is why I have
not heard from him directly. Here is our stationery store,” finished
Dorothy.

Inside the store some of the girls had already made purchases. Tavia
and Dorothy joined in their conversation, and agreed upon the “long
monogram” letter paper as being the most dainty.

Zada Hillis wanted to buy some pretty birthday cards to send to her
home in the South, and in the selection Dorothy took pleasure in
getting the cards that showed the Glenwood School, and the pretty lake
at the foot of the highest hill.

“Mother will be delighted to really see a picture of the hall,” Zada
told Dorothy, “and the verses are descriptive, too.”

It took Tavia quite a while to get just what she wanted, and before
they had left the store Jean Faval came in with the Glenwood _Gleaner_
in her hand--the little weekly paper that gave the news of the town,
and a lot of other reading matter that had no particular bearing on any
particular place.

With Jean were Cecilia Reynolds, Maude Townley and Grace Fowler. They
were all very much engaged in reading something in the _Gleaner_, so
much so that they scarcely noticed the other Glenwood girls at the card
counter.

“Isn’t that awful!” exclaimed Grace.

“Serves one right for liking notoriety,” replied Jean.

“What will ever happen when the faculty see it?” put in Cecilia.

“Mrs. Pangborn will be furious,” declared Grace.

Then they saw Dorothy and Tavia. Quickly the paper was thrust into the
pocket of Jean’s jacket, and with a rather doubtful “good morning,” the
different factions passed in and out, as those who had finished buying,
and those who had not yet begun.

On her way out Tavia got near enough to Cologne to speak to her
privately.

“Say,” she began, “did you see that paper that Jean had?”

“Yes,” replied Cologne, in the same important tone.

“Well, I think there was something in that about--school matters.”

“Yes, I heard one of the remarks about Mrs. Pangborn.”

“We must get a paper on our way, but let us be careful not to have
Dorothy see it. It--might--concern her.”

“Why?” asked Cologne, in surprise.

“Oh, I don’t exactly know, but I do know that those girls are bitter
rivals of hers, lands knows one could never guess why.”

“Jealous I guess,” replied Cologne. “But I do hope Dorothy will not
be pestered any more--for a while at least. She has had her share of
trouble lately.”

“Her share and then some of the others’,” replied Tavia. “I have made
trouble for Dorothy myself, but I never meant to do so. And just now
when----”

She checked herself. The fact that Dorothy came up made an excuse for
the halt in her conversation.

“What are you two plotting now?” asked Dorothy pleasantly.

“A little roller skating bout,” replied Tavia lightly. “Want to join?
It’s just the weather for the boulevard.”

“It would be pleasant after lunch,” Dorothy agreed. “But about our
walk?”

“We can turn it into a skate,” insisted Cologne. “I think we get enough
walking, anyhow.”

“All right,” returned Dorothy, “but, Tavia, please see that your skates
are all right, and that you won’t have to stop every one you meet to
fix a clamp or a strap.”

They were nearing the paper stand, and Cologne was giving a signal
to Tavia. Tavia shook her head. They would not risk getting a paper
much as they wanted to see it, if there was any chance of it upsetting
Dorothy. Tavia was deciding she could run out again, directly after
lunch, while the skating club was getting ready for their “bout.”

“We ought to get a paper,” said Dorothy, unexpectedly. “The girls in
the book store seemed to find something very interesting in it.”

“The Sunday School convention programme,” replied Tavia, with a smile.
“I beg of you, Dorothy, not to get it, for it gives me what they call
qualms of conscience, and any dictionary will tell you that the disease
is sometimes fatal. Please, Doro, for my sake, forego that sheet,” and
twining her arms about Dorothy, she and Cologne had the unsuspecting
one past the stand before she had time to think the attack intentional.

But things always will turn awry when it’s just girls. Somehow boys
have a way of diverting trouble, but according to the Glens, girls are
sticklers for disturbances.

Before the trio had entered the Glenwood gate, another bevy of girls
ran along, _Gleaner_ in hand, almost flaunting it under Dorothy’s nose.

Tavia saw it, and recognized something else. Quick as a flash she
grasped the sheet, tossed it high in the air and it landed in the lake.

Then it was lunch time.

All during the meal Dorothy was conscious of some unpleasant attention
for which she could not account. At her table were her friends, Tavia,
Cologne and the others, and, as they tried to divert her, she became
more and more suspicious.

That weekly paper was also in evidence, although the girls, who were
trying to get a glimpse at it, had to do so covertly. Finally the meal
was ended, and the roller skating match arranged. The rival teams, of
course, picked their best skaters for leaders, and the run was to be
two miles in length. Molly Richards was to “make the pace” for the
Glens, while Cecilia Reynolds qualified for the “T’s.”

It was a delightful afternoon, just cool enough to make the sport
enjoyable, and the fine stretch of firm macadam road from Glenwood to
Little Valley could not be better had it been city asphalt.

There were ten girls in each team, while as many others as cared to
skate, and watch the match, were allowed to do so. They all wore the
Glenwood costume, the uniform of garnet and black, and as they started
off they made a pretty sight--something like what one might expect
to see in Holland--with ice, instead of road, and coats instead of
sweaters.

Zada Hillis was timid, and confessed to being a novice at the sport,
but Tavia guaranteed to protect her, and she finally consented to risk
going.

Finally, when Mrs. Pangborn had cautioned every one to be careful, and
to be back at the hall at five o’clock, the merry party started off,
three in line.

But the line was soon broken, for this one and that one would dash
ahead, out-pacing those who were expected to do the best skating. When
Tavia got the lead she made such a fuss over it, that, in raising her
arms triumphantly in the air, she just gave one of her opponents the
chance to pass her.

Dorothy did not care to try for the finals, and only rolled along in an
easy way, allowing herself a chance to talk with Zada, whom Tavia had
deserted as soon as she saw an opportunity to break the line.

On the outgoing run there was practically no mishaps, beyond a couple
of “spills” that were quickly picked up, without damage, other than the
loss of some gorgeous red hair ribbons, that were left in the dust.

Then at the bridge, the entrance to Little Valley, a rest of half an
hour was taken, but there was not much rest involved, for not a girl in
all the party but found something to do with skates and straps.

Dorothy could not cheer up. That suspicious whispering at lunch time
kept her mind occupied, and although her friends did all they could to
make her take a more active part in the race, she declined.

“Tavia,” she whispered, when she had an opportunity, “won’t you tell
me what it is all about? You know perfectly well there is something on
that concerns me, and I am being kept in ignorance of it.”

“Doro, there is always so much going on about you that if I should tell
you it would turn your buttercup head away. You know the strangers,
and also our rivals of other years, lie awake at night plotting our
destruction.”

“But this particular instance? It is certainly aimed at me,” she
insisted.

“Then their aim is not true,” said Tavia, “for I haven’t heard as much
as a buzz come your way. There, they are going back. My! I won’t be
able to kick for a week, I’m that lame now.”

Going back was not as uneventful as the run out. Feet not used to
skating, were tired and sore, girls who laughed loudest were now bent
on making the line first, and altogether it had by this time developed
into a real, lively race.

Molly Richards and Edna Black were first for the Glens, and they stuck
the run out faithfully. Cecilia Reynolds gave way to Jean Faval, who on
the out-run had gained first place, which entitled her to the lead for
final.

Suddenly Molly’s ankle turned, and she called to Tavia to take her
place. Tavia said she couldn’t win that race if her future happiness
depended upon it. At this Dorothy forgot every thing but the glory of
her team, and she dashed ahead in line with Jean.

For some time they raced like human greyhounds, then suddenly something
happened and Jean lay in a heap in the dust.

“You tripped me,” she shouted angrily at Dorothy, “and the race is
ours. It’s a foul!”

“I never went near you,” declared Dorothy, hotly, “why there are my
tracks. Any one can see them.”

But the “T’s” of course sided with their leader, and there was more
than a mere discussion there in the road.

No one could doubt, in justice that, whatever had happened to Jean, it
was purely accidental, and that, as Dorothy said, the traces of her
skates could plainly be seen far away from the spot where the girl had
fallen.

At last the race was abandoned, but, as Jean left, and went ahead with
her contingent, she slurred back at Dorothy:

“Perhaps when you look over the Glenwood _Gleaner_ you won’t carry your
head so high!”

Then she hurried on with her particular chums.



CHAPTER XIII

NEWS AND A NEWSPAPER


“Tavia!” gasped Dorothy, “I knew it! We must get a paper.”

“We shall,” assented Tavia. “I must see one, myself. But please,
Dorothy, do not distress yourself so. It may only be some idle gossip,
among the school notes.”

“Did you see the reporter, when he came up for the opening notices?”
asked Dorothy.

“No,” was the slow reply, “I guess we were out. We can stop at the
paper store now. The others are on ahead.”

Tavia and Dorothy were skating slowly back to Glenwood. Jean Faval’s
cutting remark had exactly the effect she intended it should--it had
shocked Dorothy.

Her first thought was of her father. Had he lost all? Would she have to
leave Glenwood, and go to work?

But Tavia’s suspicions were of a different character. She feared some
blow had been aimed at Dorothy, directly through the public prints.

“Here’s the stand,” Tavia said, “but it’s closed!”

“Is there no other place?” asked Dorothy in distress.

“The one at the depot, but that, too, may be closed between trains,”
replied Tavia. “Had we better try it?”

“Oh, yes; we must. I can never go in the school building, until I know
what it all means.”

“We cannot skate over there. Let us call to Ned that we will be back
presently. Better not excite any more suspicion.”

Tavia funnelled her hands to her lips, and gave the message to those on
ahead, and, with the order to “fetch them some good things” the ways
parted.

Skates over their arms the two girls hurried along. Neither spoke for
some moments. Then Dorothy broke the silence.

“Of course you have not heard yet from Nat, Tavia?”

“Only that first letter that I showed you. Surely if anything were
wrong he wouldn’t have written in that monkey-strain.”

“And I have not heard from father. Well, if it is only money, it cannot
be such a great disgrace,” and Dorothy’s sigh belied her words.

They were within sight of the depot newsstand now.

“Closed!” exclaimed Dorothy. “The shutter is down!”

“Well, then,” said Tavia desperately; “I’ll get a _Gleaner_ from
Cecilia Reynolds. I saw her have one at lunch.”

Dorothy was getting more and more nervous as they neared the hall.
She slipped her arm in Tavia’s, and the latter gave her a reassuring
press. Truly these two, who all their girlhood days had shared each
others’ joys, and sorrows, were best fitted now to face the new trouble
together, whatever it might be.

The afternoon was shading, but the air was delightful and the red
maples were already losing their leaves.

“Suppose you sit here on the bench, Doro,” suggested Tavia, “while I go
get the paper.”

Only too glad Dorothy assented, and Tavia ran off.

The time seemed hours to Dorothy before Tavia returned, and, when
she did so, the color, that very rarely left her healthy cheeks, was
missing.

“What is it?” asked Dorothy.

“A meeting of the entire school has been called--suddenly,” replied
Tavia, “and I have been asked to have you come up at once. There is
nothing but excitement. Even the new teachers are in the assembly room.
I could not get a word from anyone, but was met at the door with the
order to go and get you. We had better go.”

Then as Tavia’s color faded Dorothy’s rushed to her cheeks. There must
be something very serious, indeed, when a school meeting was called for
that hour in the afternoon.

In the assembly room Mrs. Pangborn sat at her desk, and, as Tavia and
Dorothy entered, there was a subdued murmur of surprise.

“Be seated,” said the principal, “and Miss Cummings will please read
that--article.”

It was the Glenwood _Gleaner_!

The teacher began. The heading was enough:

  “PLUCKY GLENWOOD GIRL SAVES THE
  DAY FOR TRAINMEN.”

Dorothy shrank as if she had been struck!

Then the teacher continued:

  “RUSH AT THE LUNCH WAGON, DUE
  TO PRETTY GIRL’S ATTRACTIONS--DO
  YOU BLAME THEM--SEE
  HER PICTURE.”

“Picture!” exclaimed Tavia without waiting to ask permission to speak.
“That is _my_ picture of Dorothy! It was stolen from my dresser!”

“Be silent,” commanded the principal. “Miss Dale, if this ordeal is too
much for you--you may leave the room!”

Dorothy was shaking and sobbing. Even permission to leave the room
sounded to her like her expulsion in disgrace from Glenwood.

Miss Higley, one of the teachers, saw Dorothy’s plight, and took her
arm as she left the room. Then the investigation was continued. The
article was read through, and at each new paragraph Tavia gasped
audibly. Who could have written, or said such things about dear, quiet,
kind Dorothy? The article fairly reeked with flashy insinuations.

When the teacher finished Mrs. Pangborn arose from her chair. Her face
was paler than ever.

“I feel,” she began, “that the honor of Glenwood has been besmirched,
and I demand to know at once who is responsible in any way for the
publication of such libelous nonsense!”

There was no answer made to the peremptory order.

“Octavia Travers, as you are Dorothy’s most intimate friend, I will
call upon you first to ask if you know anything of this?”

“All I know,” replied Tavia in a trembling voice, “is that when I
unpacked, I had a picture of Dorothy. I placed it directly back of a
cushion on my bureau. When I went out of the room it was there; when I
came back half an hour later it was gone.”

“And you think this,” showing Tavia the likeness in the paper, “is
taken from that?” asked Mrs. Pangborn.

“I am sure of it, for it is the only picture in that pose that Dorothy
had. She had three taken and two were sent to relatives at a distance.”

“You heard no one ask questions about it that morning at the station?”

“No, Mrs. Pangborn,” said Tavia bravely. “Had I any suspicion that such
a thing as this could have happened I should have gone to you at once,
both to save my best friend, who is now all but prostrate, and to save
you this great annoyance.”

The ring in her voice was unmistakable. Not one who heard her doubted
the sincerity of her remarks.

“Thank you,” said Mrs. Pangborn, thus dismissing her questions.

“Now I must call upon those who are known to oppose the club known as
the Glens,” she said further. “I believe Miss Faval is their leader?”

Jean Faval stood up.

“I know nothing about it,” she declared, “and the first time I ever saw
a picture of Miss Dale was in the paper you have there. I can prove to
anyone that the morning Miss Travers claimed that picture was taken
from her room I was not in the hall from dressing time until luncheon.”

There was a murmur as she sat down. Evidently something else was
expected when the rival leader underwent her questioning.

“This need go no further,” said Mrs. Pangborn, “unless anyone will
volunteer information.”

She waited, but no one spoke.

“The meeting is dismissed,” she said wearily, and in five minutes the
big room was emptied.



CHAPTER XIV

A TURN IN THE TIDE


For two weeks after this excitement, things ran rather steadily at
Glenwood. The pupils had been given their work to do, and after
vacation it was not so easy to get minds back to study and to
discipline.

The Glenwood _Gleaner_ apologized in its next issue for the trashy
report of Dorothy’s lunch-counter experience, and attributed the error
to a new reporter, who had gotten in conversation with some of the “new
pupils,” the combination resulting in what seemed to the reporter to be
a “good story.” But he was not acquainted with the exclusiveness of the
territory where the paper circulated.

One matter remained unexplained. How did the paper get Dorothy’s
picture off Tavia’s dresser? On this question the paper and its editor
had nothing to say.

In spite of the shock that the reading of the article caused Dorothy,
when she recovered her poise she was almost relieved that it was all
about herself, and had nothing to do with her father’s business. It
was this last which caused her the most severe anxiety.

But now two letters had come from home. Each was from Major Dale,
Dorothy’s father, and each was in a cheerful strain, one even inclosing
a five dollar note for “some extras she might need.” So that Dorothy
was now comparatively happy. Her old-time smile had come back to her,
and she was willing, and ready, to take part in all the school affairs,
whether in the regular, or improvised course.

To-day there was only half the usual amount of study to be finished,
and, of course, in the other part of the day, there were to be so many
things done that each girl planned about what would normally fit into a
week’s time. Tavia, Cologne and Ned had much whispering to do, and they
did not seem to want Dorothy to guess its purport.

The village post-office was not far from the school, but, as the mail
was always delivered at the hall, the girls only went over there for
recreation and post cards. On this half-holiday, however, it seemed
that Tavia had much business at the post-office. She had been down
twice, once for each mail, and besides this she made a trip somewhere
else to parts unknown to Dorothy.

“I got it,” Dorothy heard her tell Ned. “Now if we can manage the
rest.”

After that the two girls disappeared in the direction of the stables,
where Jacob was busy with the bus and horses.

Dorothy felt very much like following them, for she knew, of old,
Tavia’s proclivities for mischief, but the way Ned looked at her as
they said: “We’ll be back directly, Dorothy,” debarred that attempt.

Perhaps an hour passed, and the girls did not return. Then Dorothy
walked to the stable.

“Good afternoon, Jacob,” she said pleasantly, to the man who was
polishing harness. “I thought some of the girls came up this way.”

“They did, miss, but it was them two that I can’t watch, so I told them
I was busy in a way that meant they were not welcome,” replied Jacob.
“Them two are always up to some mischief. Not but they’re jolly enough,
and good company, but sometimes I’m afraid they’ll steal out after dark
and hitch up a team. I believe they would!”

“Oh hardly that,” said Dorothy, laughing, “but I can’t imagine where
they have gone, for I have been at the other path, and they could not
have gotten out through the big gate.”

“Likely they would find a hole in the fence somewhere,” he said.
“But that they are gone is all I care about. Would you like to see
the little white dog? The one we picked up on the road? I call him
Ravelings, for he is just like a spool of white silk unraveled.”

“Yes, I would like to see him,” Dorothy replied. “I suppose you are so
careful of him you don’t let him run too far from your sight.”

“I don’t dare to, for he’s a valuable dog. I may get him in at the show
in November,” and the man led the way to the corner that was fixed up
for Ravelings.

There was a box, with the side cut down, and in this was a bed of
perfectly fresh straw. Then, beside the bed, was a white dish of milk,
and some crackers; in fact the dog had quite a little home of his own
in Jake’s stable.

“He’s in hiding, I suppose,” said Jacob, searching about under the
straw. “But he’s a rascal--I ought to call him Rascal, instead of
Ravelings, I guess.”

He whistled, pulled all the straw out, looked in every corner, but no
little white dog appeared. A sudden fear overcame Dorothy. What if the
girls had taken the dog?

“Do you ever let anyone take him out?” she asked timidly.

“Never, but once I let that Tavia girl. Of course, I did sort of half
give him to her, but I claim him now, as I’ve brought him up, and no
little time I had curing the lame leg that some car went over, too.”

“He does not seem to be here,” Dorothy said finally. “It might be
that Tavia and Edna took him out just for fun. I am sure if they did,
however, they will bring him back all right.”

Jacob shook his head, and refused to talk. His pet, his chum, really,
was gone. “Could he have been stolen?” he was thinking.

“The grain man was in here to-day,” he said finally, “but I’ve known
him for years.”

“I’ll just run along, and see if I can find the girls,” Dorothy
offered. “If I find Ravelings I’ll let you know at once, Jacob.”

The hostler shook his head. Evidently he feared he had lost his pet.

Dorothy turned to the roadway. She must find Edna and Tavia, and learn
if they had taken that little dog.

Along the leaf-strewn roads she met numbers of the other students. She
feared to ask them if they had seen Tavia, for it was now not easy to
tell friend from foe, and the least hint of suspicion might lead to
unpleasant gossip.

Once she stopped and called, for she was almost sure she had heard
Edna’s bubbling laugh, but no answer was sent back. On towards the
village she hurried. Yes, there they were, coming along, heads very
close together, but there was no Ravelings in sight.

Dorothy drew a breath of relief. She was glad they had played no
trick on poor Jacob, for he was a good friend to the girls, and always
willing to take a message to town, or to do any little service that
often meant much to them.

“Where have you been?” Dorothy confronted Tavia and Edna.

“To the post-office,” replied Tavia innocently.

Edna was laughing. This made Dorothy suspicious.

“One would think it was Valentine’s day,” she said. “Whose birthday is
it, Tavia?”

“Nobody’s. But you know, Doro, I did owe a lot of letters, and I’ve
now gotten them off my mind--my poor, over-burdened mind!” she sighed,
mockingly.

“Do you girls know anything about the little white dog?” Dorothy asked
bluntly.

“Not a thing,” replied Tavia, before Edna could speak.

“Well, _did_ you know anything about him an hour ago?” persisted
Dorothy, realizing that Tavia might be “hanging” on what she termed a
technical truth.

“Oh, that’s different. Yes, we did see him about that time,” replied
Tavia calmly.

“Now Tavia,” said Dorothy severely, “if you have done anything with
that little dog there will be trouble. You know how much Jacob thought
of him.”

“Dost not remember, Dorothy Dale, that thou didst suggest that I
advertise that ‘dorg,’ and find the weeping and wailing kid who dropped
him out of the auto?” and Tavia stepped up on a big stone to make her
remarks more impressive. “Well, I have done so, and behold the chink!”

She held in her hand a five dollar bill!

“Tavia! Is it possible?”

“Not only, but probable. I asked Jake if I could do so and he
absolutely refused. Now that dog was mine temporarily, and the owner’s
permanently. He’s off our hands now and if you give us away to Jake,
Doro, woe unto you!”

“Tavia, I cannot believe it! And you helped her, Edna?”

“We found the real owner, and I do not see why she shouldn’t have her
dog,” replied Edna, without raising her eyes.

“How do you know she was the real owner?” continued Dorothy.

“You should have seen the dog fly to her,” replied Tavia. “Say, Doro,
if you are worried I’ll buy Jake a new pipe, and give it to him for
conscience money. But he must never know about Ravelings. What do you
suppose his mistress called him? ‘Cyrus,’ because, she told us, he was
the sun of her life. Likely she would have died without the sun if I
had not restored him to her.”

Dorothy looked troubled. She fully realized what a time there would be
when it was found out that the dog was gone.

“Did you advertise it?” she asked, as they now walked back toward the
school.

“It’s such a pretty story, Doro, that I want to give it to you whole.
Besides,” and Tavia lowered her voice, “echoes have ears.”



CHAPTER XV

THE STORY OF RAVELINGS


“This was how it was,” began Tavia, when, as she said, she and Dorothy
were behind closed doors that were locked. “I heard a little lady with
glasses on a stick, ask the postman if he had ever heard of a dog. I
knew at once it was our dog, because she said she had come all the way
from some place, because she fancied her pet had been lost out of her
car, in a place on the road near here somewhere. Then I knew the whole
story, and I waited until I got her outside. I told her I _might_ be
able to find the pup, but the person who had him loved him dearly.
Then she fell on my neck, and it was all over. Of course I had to take
Ned in on the kidnapping part, to help decide where the money would be
left, and where and how the lady would get her Cyrus back. That’s how
Ned happened. It all has gone off so splendidly, I feel quite qualified
to go into the dog-snatching business,” and Tavia helped herself to one
of Dorothy’s wafers.

“But Jake will surely find it out,” Dorothy insisted, “besides, it
seems a shame to have him posting notices all over, when----”

“The best thing that ever happened to Jake,” interrupted Tavia. “I have
heard it is the first time in ten years that he tried to write his
name.”

“Tavia, you know poor Jake has always been kind to us, and I feel this
is a shame.”

“Then I’ll write him an anonymous letter, and tell him his dog has gone
home, and is much obliged for his attention, etc,” Tavia went on.

“You should have done it openly--told the lady where her dog was, and
let her come and claim him----”

“And lose the five? Dorothy, you have no more business tact than a
kitten. Now do let us change the subject. Be assured if I am hauled up
for dog-kidnapping I’ll get out of it as gracefully as I got into it.
Will you help me select Jake’s pipe? He’s quite particular I know, for
he left his on the fence one night, and I heard--of course I cannot be
sure of it--but I just _heard_, that he put a cross of red paint on the
fence, to mark the spot where he found it.”

A knock at the door interrupted them. Dorothy opened the portal and
faced one of the maids.

“Miss Dale,” she said timidly, “Jake’s outside, and wants to speak with
you. He would not ask at the office, but got me to come in for him.”

“All right, Ellen, and thank you,” Dorothy said. “I’ll be out directly.”

“He’s on the west porch,” went on the maid. “Jake’s not himself since
he lost that dog,” and with that remark echoing she went down the red
carpeted halls.

“Now, Tavia,” demanded Dorothy, “I know it’s about the dog, and I feel
I should tell him the truth.”

“You dare!” snapped Tavia. “Doro, let me tell him the truth,” she
added, in a pleasanter tone.

“Oh, will you? Then do come along with me! You can wait off a little
way, and I’ll let you know if you can help any. Really, of all our
difficulties, I feel worse about this. It is so hard to deceive a good,
honest man,” and Dorothy went out after the maid.

“Thanks,” said Tavia following. “I suppose it’s fun to fool foolish
girls. Now let me show you the difference. I choose the good, honest
men.”

It was plain that the girls would not agree. Tavia stopped in the
wisteria corner, and Dorothy went on to the man standing near the steps.

“What is it, Jake?” she asked kindly.

He lifted his cap, and ran his fingers through his hair.

“I don’t know as I should trouble you, miss,” he said hesitatingly,
“but I do feel that them girls know about my dog, and I’ve come to ask
you if you--if you couldn’t get them to tell.”

This was a difficult situation for Dorothy. Why did those girls do the
absurd thing?

“Jacob,” she began seriously, “if you knew that the real owner of the
dog had him, would you be satisfied?”

He did not answer. His long brown fingers went over the balcony rail
nervously.

“If I saw the owner have him, I would,” he said with a choke. “But
there’s owners, and--thieves.”

“I am quite sure he was not stolen,” Dorothy ventured. “And I do feel
that he is with his real owner. Here comes one of the teachers. If you
like I’ll run over to the stable to-morrow morning, and see what I can
find out in the mean time.”

With a bow of his head he went off, knowing that the teacher
approaching would criticize his presence there.

Tavia was laughing when Dorothy joined her. “Well, he didn’t eat you
did he, dear?” she asked. “I rather thought he enjoyed talking to you”;
this with a teasing toss of her head.

“Now Tavia, Jake has simply got to know that story. I cannot see how we
are to go about it, and save the--honor of--our clan, but we have got
to think it up. We have got until to-morrow morning, and you and Ned
must help. Personally I am ashamed of the whole proceedings.”

Dorothy went inside without waiting for her companion. She was in no
mood for laughing over the matter, and it seemed impossible to get
Tavia to realize how serious it had turned out to be. If Jacob went to
Mrs. Pangborn with the story, after all the other annoyances that had
occurred, in so short a time of the school term, Dorothy feared that
even that mild and sweet-tempered lady might find the girls from Dalton
too troublesome.

Tavia hurried to look for Edna. She found her with Molly Richards and
Nita Brant, trying to solve the problem of making a slipper bag out of
a raffia hat.

“See here, Ned,” began Tavia, “I have got to speak to you alone at
once.”

“The sheriff this time?” asked Molly, laughing, and pricking her finger
with the long needle she was trying to use.

“Worse, I’m afraid it will be the undertaker, if we are not
miraculously careful and clever. Come along, Ned,” dragging her from
her chair, “you are in on this autopsy.”

But the clever plans hoped for did not develop. All Edna did was to
blame Tavia for getting into the scrape, and Tavia’s arguments ran
along the same line. After study hour Dorothy called the girls to her
room.

“Well,” she said, “what are you going to tell Jake? Don’t you think it
will be best to tell it all, and have it over? If you don’t you will be
in constant dread of it popping out, and spoiling something better than
can be hurt just now.”

“Well, we have been in so much trouble,” sighed Ned, “it does not seem
that another stroke would be much worse. All I care about is that we
took the money.”

“Why not hand that over to Jake?” suggested the wise little Dorothy,
who was really assuming more sense than she felt she rightfully knew
how to handle. The other girls were so devoid of anything like sense
that she appeared almost like the proverbial Minerva, and her aviary,
besides Tavia and Edna.

“Oh, I never could stand Jake’s scorn on that,” declared Tavia. “It
would be worse than owning up to dog-snatching.”

“Did you find out where the lady lives? She who claimed the dog?”
Dorothy questioned.

“Nope,” said Tavia, “I was so scared when I took the five dollars that
I almost ran. Ned stood just twenty feet away. She feared the usual
bomb.”

“Then all we can do is to go to bed early, and think it over,” decided
Dorothy. “Sometimes an inspiration comes in the dark you know.”

“Yes, that’s how I got the inspiration to get Ravelings out through a
hole in the fence back of the stables,” said Tavia. “And I think the
ghost that got me into the trouble can do no less than help me out.
Besides I’m that tired,” and she yawned. “I feel if I do not soon get
sleep I shall turn somnambulist.”

“And that’s how you are going to think it out,” finished Dorothy.
“Well, I am going to see Jake early in the morning. See that you are
ready to go with me.”

“I’ll do all I can,” volunteered Edna. “But I never imagined it would
be as bad as this. Mercy, dog-snatching!” and she went off with the
words sissing on her lips.

“Say, Doro,” said Tavia between yawns, “I got your picture back to-day.”

“You did!”

“Yep, it came by mail, and was in the envelope of the _Gleaner_. I’ve
got that to clear up, and I like it better than Jake’s little fuzzy
dog.”



CHAPTER XVI

THE RESCUE


“Tavia, get up! It’s seven o’clock, and I must go up to the stables!”

So Dorothy called the next morning, but whether Tavia was too much
awake to do anything so “foolish” as to get up, and interview Jake,
or whether she was still sleeping, Dorothy took no further time to
inquire, for if she did so her own time would go with the effort.
Instead, she dressed hastily, and, slipping a coat on, for the morning
was heavy with dew, she quietly went up the gravel path toward the
stable. There was a wind and a turn in the road, and from this spot,
where big white stone marked “danger” for auto or carriage, the public
road opened in a short, sharp “V.”

On either side was heavy shrubbery, the pride of the gardener, and the
pleasure of the girls who loved late or early blossoms, for the hedge
was composed of such shrubs as sent forth both.

The soft, lavender, feather-blossom was plentiful now, and as Dorothy
passed along she stopped to gather a spray. As she did so she heard
something like a whine.

She listened! It could not be a cat. There was Jake waiting at the
stable door. What should she say to him? She did not hurry off, for
that cry certainly came from the bush.

Carefully she pushed back the brambles. Then she called softly, as to
some animal.

The answer came. It was a faint bark! A dog surely. She glanced up to
the stable, to see if Jake was still there so that she might call him;
but he had gone.

Then she whistled the call for a dog, but could see nothing but a
movement of the briars.

“He must be in there,” she told herself, “and I will have to crawl in
and get him. Something must have him fast.”

Tucking her skirts about her as best she could, she raised bush after
bush, until she was well within the hedge. Then she could see where the
sound came from.

It was under a hawthorn!

She raised that, and there beheld little Ravelings!

“Oh, you poor little thing!” she said aloud. “How ever did you get
there?”

In spite of her anxiety that the precious animal might be injured, it
must be admitted that Dorothy was glad to see him.

Now she would have to tell nothing to Jacob. She would just hand him
his dog.

“Come, Ravelings,” she coaxed, and the white fuzzy head moved but the
legs refused to do so.

“Not a trap, I hope,” she murmured.

One more perilous forward motion, for at every move she was being
scratched and torn with the briars, then she had her hand on Ravelings.

His long shaggy fur was completely wound up in a wiry bramble, and the
little creature could no more move than if he had been in a trap.

My, how dirty and bedraggled he was! However could he have gotten back
to Glenwood?

“Wait,” she said as if he might understand, “I’ll get you out without
hurting you.”

Making her way clear of the shrubs, through the path she had made
crawling in, Dorothy ran back to the hall, and up the outside stairs to
her room.

“Tavia! Quick!” she called. “Give me the scissors!”

“Mercy sakes! What’s this? Suicide!” exclaimed the lazy one, not yet
dressing. “Wait. I’ll get you something easier.”

Too impatient to talk with her, Dorothy got to her own work basket
and procured the scissors. Then back she went to the damp nest where
Ravelings waited.

“It’s a shame to cut your pretty fur so,” she talked as she snipped
and snipped each knot of curly silk--the pride of Jake. “But you have
got to get out. I just hope it is only your fur, and that there are no
bones broken.”

It took some time to get him entirely free, but as Dorothy worked the
grateful animal licked her hand and tried to “kiss” her, so that she
felt quite as happy to release him as he must have been to be free. At
last she had him in her arms.

She must not let him run, and it was not easy to hold him, and get out
herself.

“There,” she exclaimed, when on the path, “now we will go to Jake.”

She could scarcely hold him when he saw the barn. And what a big, muddy
blue bow of ribbon was around his neck! Wait until she told the girls!
They would be afraid to go up to the stable to make certain, and they
would surely not believe her.

Dorothy was flushed with pleasure and excitement.

“Jake!” she called at the barn door.

The man came out.

“Here he is! Here is Ravelings!”

“Where on earth----”

But the dog had leaped from her, and was “kissing” Jake so eagerly that
he could not say another word.



CHAPTER XVII

DEEPENING GLOOM


After the rescue of Ravelings, Dorothy hurried back to the hall. As she
was met at the door by Tavia and Edna she was too excited and exhausted
to proffer any information. In fact she considered it was due the girls
that they look around, and hunt up things on their own account. Why
should she be their mediator? They should learn a lesson, and it might
be just as well to learn it at this time.

“Where on earth have you been? Crawling through a knot hole?” asked
Tavia, noting Dorothy’s disheveled appearance.

“No, I crawled under a knot hole,” she replied, going toward the door.

“But what did you tell Jake? You are not going away that way--leaving
us in suspense; are you?” asked Edna.

“Oh, if you want to see the dog you can just go up to the stables,”
replied Dorothy easily. “Jake is giving him his bath.”

“What? Dorothy Dale! You to tell such a fib!” exclaimed Tavia.

“No, I am telling no fib. I have just left Ravelings in Jake’s arms!”

The two girls were dumbfounded. Dorothy really meant what she was
saying, and however could that dog have been found? Edna looked at
Tavia, and Tavia glared at Edna.

“And,” gasped Tavia, “the five dollars are all spent! Do you suppose
the lady with the sticked-glasses will come up to the hall? Ned, we had
better flee!”

“I can’t believe it, and I’m afraid to go up to find out,” said Edna.
“Dorothy, please tell us about it, or we shall die of--a new disease.
We might call it rabies junior.”

“I can’t tell you anything more,” insisted Dorothy, “but I am sure Jake
would be glad to tell you all about it,” this last with a meaning not
to be misunderstood.

So Dorothy left them, and proceeded to get ready for her school day.

“What!” asked Edna, all but speechless.

“Which?” gasped Tavia, the one word taking all her breath.

“Could we go up, and peek through the hole in the fence?”

“We could, but it would be very unwise from my view point,” answered
the other. “A better way would be to crawl around when Jake goes out
for the train stuff. He won’t likely take Ravelings with him now. Might
lose him again.”

“I don’t feel as if I could live all day, and not know,” Edna insisted.
“Couldn’t we bribe someone else to go up? Dick is safe.”

“No one is safe with such a secret,” objected Tavia, “though Dick is
nearest to it, she loves news, and just fancy that story getting out.
Talk about a _Gleaner_ story! This would get in the big city papers.
But, though I am a good guesser, I cannot guess how the dog got back.
Of course Dorothy had to do with it. I shouldn’t wonder if she went
down to the post-office, laid in wait for our benefactress, and told
her Jake was dying, and wanted to see the animal just once more.
Something like that, you will find.”

“Well, we have got to get to business,” said Edna with a sigh. “Jean
beat me in algebra yesterday, and I can’t let it happen again. By the
way, I wonder where she gets all her money?”

“A rich uncle. I heard her tell of him. I don’t believe her own folks
are any better off than mine, and land knows where we would have been,
if my foreign grandmother did not die, and make it a point to find out
where we were before doing so. I cannot never thank her enough,” and
Tavia looked heavenward.

“Jean is certainly well off with small change,” went on Edna. “I am
afraid if some one does not check her, she will turn chocolate color.
She just wallows in them.”

“And doesn’t she hate Dorothy? I can’t see why, unless it is she sees
herself in the mirror of Dorothy’s goodness. There! Wasn’t that lovely?
And from me! I hate to see Jean toting that baby Zada around. She is so
innocent she would do anything Jean might suggest--when Jean would be
too cute to do it herself. She keeps fixing her up with sweets all the
time, and Zada thinks she loves her.”

“And Cecilia Reynolds is another who would not cry if anything
unpleasant should happen to Dorothy. Well, we have got to keep our team
close, and stick together,” declared Edna, “and I do hope this dog
business will not spoil us again.”

“‘Let sleeping dogs lie,’” quoted Tavia. “And, speaking of dogs, there
come the Jean set now. They have been to the woods, ostensibly, but
really have been down to the lunch cart. Jean never could get along
till noon on a Glen breakfast.”

“Did you see her white tennis suit?” asked Edna. “Isn’t it a startler?
She’s going to wear it at the match. That’s like her. I suppose she
will not even have a ‘G’ on her arm. Well, white or black, we can beat
them. Did you see how Dick played yesterday?”

“Oh, we’re not afraid of them at tennis,” replied Tavia. “They might do
us at the lunch cart, but tennis? Never!”

A few hours later even the returned dog was forgotten in the depths
of school work. Dorothy kept her eyes on her books more intently than
was necessary, for in doing so she avoided the glances that Tavia was
covertly turning on her. She was determined that the two culprits
should make their own discoveries, and she was quite correct in her
ideas of what Jake would say if they (the girls) happened around the
stable again while he was on duty.

The morning went quickly, and at lunch hour Cologne tried to rally
the Glen forces to prepare for the tennis match. There would be
visitors, and as it was the first big match of the season every one was
interested. Some of the new girls proved excellent players, and there
was considerable rivalry in the “pick.”

The short session of afternoon study was hardly given the attention
that the teachers wanted, for the girls were anxious to get out to
practice.

But Dorothy did not seem inclined to take her place. Tavia, always
anxious to know her friend’s troubles, asked if there had been any news
from home.

“Yes,” replied Dorothy slowly, “and if you don’t mind walking to the
post-office with me, I would like to mail a reply at once.”

“No sickness? Nothing really serious?” again questioned Tavia.

“Serious it may be, but fortunately not sickness. The girls will have
such a time to-day at the practice, making arrangements (most of which
will be the others made over), I thought we could get off. You know I
don’t like to walk through the woods alone.”

“But the trouble?”

“Joe--has gone to work,” replied Dorothy choking.

“Perhaps he wanted to?”

“Oh, no; I know it is that trouble,” and she sighed deeply. “I have
written to say that I--shall----”

“You shall not. It is much easier for a boy to go in an office, even in
an emergency, than for you to leave this year,” declared Tavia. “Could
I see your letter?”

“Of course,” and Dorothy took a slip of paper from her pocket. “Of
course you know dad. He would not tell me more than he had to.”

Tavia glanced over the note. “Why,” she exclaimed, “that’s nothing. Joe
had a good chance to get in the bank, and he wanted to try it. I can’t
see the need of you taking _that_ so seriously.”

“Oh, I know I may be too anxious, but, at the same time, I feel, being
the oldest, that I should be there to help in some way,” finished
Dorothy dolefully.

“Yes, you might pose as a beauty. I believe there is a great demand for
the sylph,” Tavia said facetiously.

Dorothy did not reply. She stood there in her pretty white linen dress,
with her unruly hair getting into ringlets in spite of the braids that
tried to restrain it.

“Don’t mail your letter,” begged Tavia. “Come over to the court. I
expect trouble between Cologne and Cecilia, and if there is anyone in a
scrap, I would hate to miss it.”

“All right, you run along. I’ll join you later,” Dorothy conceded, and
Tavia left her.

“She may be right,” thought Dorothy, “but I must tell the folks that I
am willing to do all I can. I _have_ to mail the letter.”

The girls on the tennis court were all too busy to notice her as she
walked out of the grounds, and made her way to the post-office. Through
the woods, she was so occupied with the thoughts of home, that she
reached the office before she realized the lonely part of her walk had
been covered.

At the window, waiting for stamps were a number of persons, and taking
her place Dorothy looked about at the written notices, such as usually
decorate the walls of a country post-office.

One, written differently from the others, attracted her. It was this:

  “REWARD. One hundred dollars, for the return of a small, white
  dog, answers to the name of Cyrus. Lost from an automobile on
  the main road, some time yesterday. The dog is a thoroughbred
  St. Charles, and the only companion of a lonely woman. When he
  left the car he wore a bow of Paris blue ribbon. Leave word with
  postmaster.”

Dorothy read in wonderment! That was surely Ravelings! And Jake would
get that reward!

She dropped her letter in the box, and hurried away never stopping to
speak to the girls, who were now well on in their tennis game, but
going straight up to the stables to tell Jake.

“One hundred dollars!” he gasped. “If I get that miss, I’ll go halves
with you, for it was you who found him.”

“Oh, I don’t want any share,” said Dorothy. “But you had better take
the dog right down to the post-office, for as soon as people read of
that reward they will fetch all sorts of dogs to make claims. Likely
the woman will come to enquire just about mail time.”

Jake was a man of few words, and he turned with a pull at his cap as a
salute to Dorothy, and was soon getting himself and the dog ready for
the trip to the post-office.

Dorothy called “good luck,” as she left him, and said she hoped her
news would not be disappointing. But even the excitement of this did
not cause her to forget her worries of home, and when Tavia came in
from the tennis court, she found Dorothy sitting dejectedly in her room.

“I knew there would be trouble,” cried Tavia. “Dick and Cecilia almost
came to blows. Sissy declared the ball had not bounded, and every one
could see that it had, and it was our score----”

She stopped suddenly. Edna was calling her. “I have to go I suppose,”
she said finally. “Dear me. I am all ashake,” and without any further
explanation she ran off again.

A half hour later she returned, with a very broad smile on her flushed
face.

“Dorothy Dale!” she exclaimed. “How ever could you have played such a
trick on us. There is no more white dog in the barn than there is in
this room!”

“Isn’t there?” asked Dorothy, realizing that Jake had taken Ravelings
off before the girls had a chance to see him. “Then he must have been
spirited away. That dog has had a great time of it.”

“Spirited away, indeed!” said Tavia indignantly. “I have almost gone
gray over the thing, and it was all a----”

“Mistake,” finished Dorothy for her. “Well, then you feel better I
suppose,” and she determined not to tell the story of the dog’s second
return to its owner. It was too good a joke to spoil now.

“Well, at any rate, I’ll sleep to-night,” Tavia went on. “I have been
expecting to go to jail for that five dollars.”

“And you won’t be afraid to go to the post-office?” Dorothy asked. “I
am glad of that, for I hate to go alone.”

“And I’m going to the _Gleaner_ office first chance I get, and see if I
can’t clear up the picture mystery. I have a faint suspicion, now, how
that got off my dresser. But don’t ask me about it, for it is the very
merest suspicion.”

“Just as you like, but I would love to know,” Dorothy said. “If I go
away----”

“You are _not_ going away! I’d do the whole of Glenwood darning to save
you that.”

“Thank you, my dear,” Dorothy said, “but I am afraid I will have to
do _your_ darning. I noticed quite a bunch of something very like
stockings in your bag.”

“Say, Doro, you have got to cheer up. Really, everything in the club is
going to pieces, and Cologne says she will resign if someone does not
help her keep the place,” Tavia declared.

“Oh, I’ll do all I can,” Dorothy agreed, “but don’t ask me just yet.”

“And Jean Faval is flaunting around, as if she owned the earth and
Mars. Even some of her own friends are getting too much of it. Zada
won’t look at her.”

“Poor little Zada! She is such a baby. I have noticed her eyes very
red, lately,” Dorothy remarked.

“Yes, but I don’t believe it’s homesickness altogether,” Tavia said. “I
think it’s something on her mind.”

“What could she be worrying about?” Dorothy questioned.

“Why don’t you ask her? She thinks a lot of you,” suggested Tavia.

“I will,” replied the other, “the first chance I get. Mrs. Pangborn
wants her to be happy. She’s a friend of her family’s, you know.”

Tavia pulled out her dresser drawer in search of something, and there
dropped to the floor a torn envelope. She picked it up quickly.

“There!” she exclaimed, “that’s the piece of paper I lost the day my
picture went. Do you want to see it?” handing it to Dorothy.

“The Marsall Investment Company!” Dorothy gasped. “Where ever did that
come from?”

“That’s the company your father has his money in; isn’t it?” Tavia
questioned.

“Yes,” Dorothy replied, her eyes still on the envelope.

“Well, my dear I found that in the memorable box of poisoned
chocolates, that Jean Faval wasted her hair tonic on the day we
arrived,” Tavia said.



CHAPTER XVIII

LETTERS


What could Jean Faval have to do with that investment company?

Dorothy wondered, bewildered at the sudden discovery. Perhaps this was
why Jean showed such hatred for her. Perhaps--but Major Dale could
never do anything to defraud one--he could have nothing to do with the
possibility of a Faval’s loss, if the family did lose.

Tavia bounded around the room as if in high glee. “Now Doro, we’ve got
it,” she declared. “Jean knows about the company, and, my word for it
if there is anything wrong it’s among her folks, not with your father.
Makes me feel more positive than ever that it will come right for the
Major, for they have got to come to light. I am just waiting for Jean
to be lighted up here. Wait!” and Tavia gave Dorothy a hug, “wait until
her uncle stops sending money. Then we will see where the haughty Jean
will be!”

But Dorothy was stunned. “She knows my position,” she said dolefully.
“Perhaps she has already begun to shun me as one too poor to be in her
set.”

“Doro!” Tavia was determined to turn the matter into hope instead of
anxiety. “You know perfectly well that she never had a set. Also you
know that she--couldn’t even use the single letter ‘D’ that belongs to
a Dale.”

Dorothy smiled. “You are improving, Tavia. By essay day you will be
able to do something surprising. But I cannot sit moping. There’s study
to do.”

Turning to her little table, Dorothy got out her books and note book.
Her head was not very clear for her work, but it would work when she
wanted it to, and she set about her task willingly. Not so with Tavia.
Anything but to do a thing on time. Always that just one minute more,
for Tavia.

“I’ll run out for a few minutes,” she said. “I am afraid Ned has gone
into joyful hysterics over the doggie.”

Closing the door, Tavia noticed a bit of paper in plain sight on the
floor outside. She never could resist reading another person’s letters.
Picking it up she saw it was a torn envelope addressed to Jean Faval.

“Whew!” she breathed. “More news!” and she crushed it in her hand.

In a safe spot she looked at the contents of the torn envelope. What
she read caused her to gasp.

There was no beginning, neither was there an end, for the
superscription as well as the signature had been torn off.

But the few sentences were legible!

She read.

“Everything’s gone, but we’ll have Dale----” Then there was a break,
and another bit could be read.

“In court within a few days!”

“In court! Major Dale!” gasped Tavia. “It’s an outrage!” and she
breathed hard, as if to control the emotion she felt.

“I won’t tell Dorothy,” she concluded. “Talk about school rivals! Ugh!
That Jean!”

Dorothy had helped Tavia through many a hard problem in her life. In
fact whatever was reasonable in the girl had been developed through
Dorothy’s efforts, or Tavia’s love for Dorothy, since it is said
nothing new can be put into a character, but the good or bad there
simply developed. Now it was Tavia’s turn. She knew exactly what
Dorothy would do had she been in the other’s place.

“I’ll look this up,” decided Tavia, in true detective fashion. “That
Jean might be writing letters to herself.”

Then it occurred to her that Dorothy’s mail might bring the same news.
Could she intercept that?

Quick as a flash she thought of the evening post. She could get Ned to
go with her, and reach the office before the carrier started out. Ned
would have to go, or Tavia would tell all about the dog. Tavia didn’t
care, but Ned did.

Without any explanation, she physically dragged the other girl from the
porch and started her along the path.

“Come on! You have got to go. Why? Because you must!” was the way she
accomplished the feat, all but the dragging. That she did with a strong
and determined arm.

“What on earth----” began Edna, as soon as they were out of hearing
distance of the others.

“No, it isn’t the dog. He’s gone, and good riddance! But it’s Jean.
She is not gone, and _bad_ riddance,” said Tavia. “I’m not afraid to
go to the post-office now for I know the woman won’t be there with the
sheriff. All the same, Ned,” and she lowered her voice appropriately,
“I do think there is some mystery in that miniature hound. Dorothy
never jokes that far.”

“No,” said Ned, in her economical way.

“I’d love to tell you, Neddie,” said Tavia excitedly, “but you are such
a dunce.”

“Thanks,” said Ned. “I’m a dunce, surely, for getting into your
scrapes. Now I’m going back. I know it’s another hold-up, or
kidnapping, and I refuse----”

“Oh, Ned dear, you know I did not mean that. But one does get so tired
of using good language in school, that’s it’s a positive comfort to
‘slang’ once in a while, and nobody appreciates my mental efforts in
that direction as you do.” She slipped her hand into that of Edna with
a meaning pressure.

“All right Tave, but mind you keep your word! My folks would never go
my bail. That is a family motto. ‘Right for right and----’”

“‘Bad for bad,’” finished the facetious one. “What would have happened
to me if that had been our coat of arms? But here we are. Just peek, so
as we don’t run into the woman of the doggie!”

In spite of her protests, Edna was sure to do exactly as Tavia asked
her to, and she did peek through the dingy window of the post-office.

“Clear coast,” she announced, and, lest anything should obstruct the
coast, Tavia instantly darted in. The Glenwood box was private, of
course, and Tavia did not have the key. The old post-master looked at
her keenly before he handed her one letter for herself, and two for
Dorothy.

Neither of Dorothy’s was from home, and as Tavia saw this she gave a
skip of relief. It may be noticed that when a school girl is happy she
gives a little skip--that was Tavia’s way.

“What was so important?” demanded Edna. “I hope you got it, Tavia.”

“I did. This is an invitation, I am sure,” and she opened her mail.
“No, it’s a bill. Well, it will have to wait a day or two.”

“Tell me, what did you expect?” asked Edna. “Dragging me off this way,
and then keeping all the news to yourself,” and she pouted prettily.

“Hush! There’s Jake. Let’s wait till he is past. I’m afraid of him.
Aren’t you?”

“A little,” admitted Edna. “But see. He is coming right for us.”

“Say there,” Jake called, almost forgetting he was addressing two
Glenwood young ladies. “Wait a minute! I have something to say to you.”

Tavia wanted to run, and so did Edna, but there was no escape.

“Well, what is it?” asked the latter.

“Did you take that little dog?” he asked.

Neither girl answered.

“If you did, don’t be afraid to own up, for it’s all right now. Look at
that.”

The man held out a slip of paper. It was the check he had just received
in reward for the return of Ravelings!

“One hundred dollars!” exclaimed both girls.

“Yes, and never was it more needed. The woman who owned the dog told
me all about his pranks. It seems he always wants to jump out of the
automobile, and this is his third try at it. She says he jumped when he
got on the hill.”

“And that was the secret!” Tavia exclaimed. “Dorothy didn’t tell us!”

“It was she who fetched him back though. I never knew what happened to
the creature, but I suspected you two,” and he shook his head. “Then,
when I saw her come up to the stable, with him in her arms----”

“And now we have a joke on her,” Edna put in. “We know about the
reward, and she doesn’t.”

“She doesn’t? Why she saw the sign in the post-office, and told me
about it. This is a great tangle anyway,” and Jake laughed heartily.

“I should say it was,” Tavia remarked. “But since it ended so well, we
won’t complain.”

“Not me,” finished Jake, just as they entered the school grounds. “But
it seems to me your friend Dorothy does not look as she did. Is she
sick?”

“No,” Tavia replied, “just too busy with books, I guess.”

The thought of Jean’s letter, that one found at Dorothy’s door, took
the smile from Tavia’s face.

“Seems as if all the girls are losing interest in sports just now,”
said Edna. “Even our tennis game ended in a frizzle.”

“It’ll all come back to you,” Jake assured them. “Young girls don’t
hold to troubles long. Tell Miss Dorothy to run up to see me when she
can. I want to show her this check before it gets soiled.”

“Oh, we’ll tell her,” Tavia answered, glad to think that she would
really have the good news for her.

“But I don’t think we should,” said Edna. “She wouldn’t tell us.”

Tavia wondered how she could find out the truth about the torn letter.
Could it be possible that Major Dale was really in danger of being
arrested? If so perhaps she ought to tell Dorothy.

But, somehow, it did seem like a trick--to find the letter directly at
their door.

“I’ll wait, at any rate,” she concluded, and then she left Edna to give
Dorothy the mail that she hoped would bring her chum cheering news.



CHAPTER XIX

ZADA


When Tavia reached Dorothy in her room she found her chum in a state of
excitement.

“Whatever is the matter?” Tavia asked in surprise.

“Why, Zada has been in here, and you never saw such a time,” replied
Dorothy. “I cannot imagine what ails the child. She came to the door,
looked in, and finally came in. Then she burst into tears, and declared
she had done something dreadfully wrong. As if that baby could do
wrong,” and Dorothy closed her books that had been lying on her table
evidently not much used within this study hour.

“Why didn’t you ask her what was the matter?” Tavia inquired. “I know
that something has been worrying her, and she thinks so much of you she
surely would have told you.”

“She wanted to do so. Then, when I saw how much it was going to cost
her, I determined to quiet her nerves by showing her I did not believe
she had done anything wrong. She said if she did tell me she would
leave school, and I am sure I don’t want her to do that.”

“Perhaps you are right,” Tavia answered. “Here is your mail. I was at
the office and brought it up.”

Dorothy glanced over the two missives. “One is from Nellie Burke, in
Dalton, and the other is from Aunt Winnie. I did hope to hear from
father,” she said. “Aunt Winnie says all are well, and the boys send
regards to you. Strange she does not mention the financial trouble,”
Dorothy said folding up the papers.

“‘No news is good news,’” quoted Tavia. “I got a bill from the paper
store for that old crepe paper we used on ‘rumpus night’. I had almost
forgotten it.”

The crumpled piece of paper that held tidings of Dorothy’s trouble
Tavia thrust deeper into her pocket. Surely, she concluded, if
Dorothy’s own aunt, the Major’s sister, did not wish to tell her about
the investment company Tavia would not do so. At least not just then.

“Let’s go hunt up some of the girls,” Tavia suggested. “Cologne says
you have almost given her up, and Dick is so hurt about our neglect of
the Glens, that she refused my fudge this noon. That dog business--Oh,
my Dorothy Dale!” she broke in suddenly, “sit right down there, and
tell me that dog story. Jake got the reward!”

“I’m glad of it----”

“And I only had five dollars!”

“But I warned you to do that openly, and not steal the little thing,
as you did. I think five dollars was quite a good sum for that sort of
thing.”

“But if you had only told me I might have shared the big one hundred,”
persisted Tavia.

“Tavia,” said Dorothy quite severely, “when you do things that
seriously concern people, as that did Jake, I can’t see why you expect
anything but trouble to come from it. I tell you, it gave _me_ a lot
of worry. Suppose Jean, or Cecilia, or some of the other girls, heard
about it? You know what they would do, and say.”

“Oh, yes. I would surely have _my_ picture in the _Gleaner_,” Tavia
admitted. “Well, Doro, you got Ned and me out of the scrape, and I
thank you for it. I never want to see a small, white silky dog again
as long as I live. But will you come over to room ten, and break in?
I know Cologne and Annette are conspiring. Jean has her crowd in the
music room, no less. She has an idea she can play the banjo. But it
sounds to me like one of the things you might hear in a laundry--I mean
the tink--tink--tink that the chink--chink--chink plays.”

“Well, they are determined to do something at any rate, and it occurs
to me that you might pick up your piano work a little closer. We have
to take part in the musicale as well as they.”

“No, indeed,” Tavia answered, shaking her already tossed head. “I read
the other day that more children become deaf from piano work than from
any other cause, and I’ll take no chance. Besides that, I knew a man in
Dalton who was almost stone deaf from working in a boiler factory, and
if that music room isn’t worse than a boiler factory I’d like to know
it. Well, if you won’t go, I must. I know I’m missing something now,”
and she flitted off as if there was but one thing for a girl to do, and
that was to enjoy herself.

When there was no danger of her being discovered Dorothy made her way
to Zada’s room, and listened at the door. Yes, she was still sobbing
bitterly, and with a whisper, and a slight knock, Dorothy asked to be
admitted.

There was the little one--the smallest girl in the school--packing up
her things!

“What are you doing, Zada?” asked Dorothy in surprise. “You must not
think of leaving school!”

“But I can’t stay,” she sobbed. “I am going to write a letter to Mrs.
Pangborn and--I--am going--to run away!”

“Zada! Run away!”

“Yes. I know how to get home if it is away down South. And I never
would have believed,” she rubbed her eyes, “that there could be such
treacherous school girls! If only I had known you better, first.”

It flashed before Dorothy’s mind that the Jean Faval club had perhaps
made a tool of this child. But how to remedy it now? How to convince
her that even at Glenwood all things might be made right? Had not
Dorothy studied to save Tavia from serious trouble through a number
of terms? Now Tavia was able, or ought to be able, to take care of
herself, and here was poor little Zada rubbing her eyes out!

“I’ll tell you, dear,” Dorothy began, “I have found that some girls
cannot get along away from home without keeping up trouble for other
girls. They do not mean to have things go so wrong. It’s almost a
habit--this plotting and scheming against those of the other sets. Do
be sensible, and just rest your head down there, while I hang up your
things again. You will feel entirely different in the morning.”

The small, dark head did fall back on the pillow, and Dorothy talked
cheerily as she put the things in the closet, and closed the trunk.

“Perhaps if I told you,” began Zada, starting to sob again.

“No, you are not to tell me,” insisted Dorothy. “You have worried
enough. If necessary I will ask to have you excused from class
to-morrow, so don’t think about your lessons.”

[Illustration:

  “WHAT ARE YOU DOING, ZADA?” ASKED DOROTHY IN SURPRISE.
  _Dorothy Dale’s School Rivals      Page_ 147]

There was something so comforting about Dorothy. Perhaps a great deal
of charm came from her pretty personality, for Dorothy was not the sort
of girl to “peach,” in the usual sense of the word, and, in spite of
that, she did help so much.

“Oh, I do feel better,” admitted Zada. “I guess I was lonely. I can’t
bear to go with the other girls, and since I started in with them, I
feel I have no right to be with the Glens.”

“Indeed you have, and I am going to see that you join at the very next
meeting. The Glens are the originals--the others ‘break out’ every
year, as Tavia would say.”

The eyes that were red from tears now looked weary, and Dorothy knew
that in a little while perhaps even dreams of her trouble would not
disturb Zada. She waited until the Southern girl was ready to retire,
and then left her, wondering what could be the worry that would work
such havoc in her friend’s mind.



CHAPTER XX

A SCHEME THAT FAILED


A whole week had passed, when, one evening, there was noticeably a
great hurry among the girls to finish supper. Whispering was more
popular than dessert, and glances were being shot like hot fire from
one to another of those near enough to interpret them.

“Oh, she won’t go,” Tavia told Ned. “Better not tell her anything about
it, or we won’t get there either.”

“But she has been so blue----”

“Ned,” interrupted Tavia, “if you are going to be on my staff do not
argue. I cannot stand insubordination.”

“That means that you are going to get me into more trouble, Tavia,”
Edna got a chance to say. “Really I don’t like the thing at all.”

“Miss it then,” replied Tavia tersely. “But it’s a chance of a
lifetime.”

“And Dorothy not to know----”

“I tell you that would spoil it all. You know Dorothy’s idea of a
thing like that. Now I’m going upstairs. The ‘T’s’ are making eyes at
one another, until there is danger of eye-lock and that’s as bad as
lock-jaw. Be sure to leave as soon as you seen Jean look at her watch.
I’ll be there.”

It was almost dark, and against the rules for the girls to leave the
grounds at that time, but, in spite of that, a shuffling of feet down
the outside stairway told of a venture unusual.

Not a word was spoken until some of the girls had safely passed outside
the gate.

“Oh, I’m just scared to death,” breathed one.

“Nothing to be afraid of,” came in Jean’s voice. “If you don’t want the
fun you may go back.”

“Oh! what was that?” exclaimed another. “I saw something dart across
the street!”

“Rabbits,” replied the girl in the raincoat.

“Don’t you suppose she will ever tell?” asked Cecilia Reynolds.

“And lose her trade? It isn’t likely,” and they scurried along.

“How do you know she’s good?” asked one as she stumbled over a string
of bushes.

“She has a crystal ball,” said Jean. “_They_ are all good!”

“We’ll be good if we get back before study hour is over. It’s all right
though, when Dorothy Dale did not get to hear of it. I’m just crazy to
know something.”

“We all are--you goose. That’s why we are risking our reports.”

A few minutes later the girls were crowded into a dingy little room
where Madame Shebad had arranged to tell their fortunes.

It was, of course, Jean’s idea, for Glenwood was rather dull for a
girl who had been accustomed to the city life that Jean Faval left to
“finish up” at a fashionable school. Only a musty curtain divided the
parts of the fortune teller’s cabin, and, one at a time of course, the
girls were to go behind this and get dizzy, gazing into the big, glass
ball, made in an Ohio glass factory, but supposed to come from some
other mysterious place, not on the maps of this good government.

“You go first,” begged a girl who was really first in line.

“Come in proper turns, please,” said a voice from inside the curtain,
and the timid one started.

“Let me have your hand,” commanded the same, lazy voice.

The hand trembled visibly, and the fortune teller was clever enough to
say that the girl had a very nervous temperament!

“But you are talented,” she added shrewdly, “and you will get on in
life. I see you on a ship--you are going on a long journey, and when
you return you will be strong and well.”

So she went on, while Tillie (for it was she) shook more every moment,
not alone because of the strained position she sat in, with her hand in
that of the woman’s, and her eyes glued to the ball, but because she
was worrying about getting back to school.

Several other girls went through the same sing-song fortune telling
with the slight variations of letters coming, and light and dark
friends of different grades and different shades.

Then it was Cecilia Reynolds’ turn.

“You are a leader,” the fortune teller told Cissy, noting that she
carried a small purse, “but beware of a very light and pretty girl
(Dorothy, of course). She has a way of making people think she is fond
of them, but this is all for her own ends. I see----” and she paused
significantly, “a child--a little dark girl. She cries! What is the
matter with her? What has she done?”

Zada! Those who listened back of the curtains were dumbfounded.

“She has done something she regrets very much, and she wants to tell
this light girl. Her home is far away, and she will soon return to it.
Who told her to do that thing?”

The woman gave this chance to take effect, and, while doing so, took a
fresh stick of gum. Cecilia looked on the glass. The woman came back
to it, and almost kissed it, as she pretended to look deeper into its
depths.

“Yes, and there is trouble,” she rumbled, “much trouble. But it isn’t
well to foresee trouble,” and she sighed as if that “trouble” would
break her own heart.

Cecilia was very restless. It would get late in spite of all
calculations.

It was now Jean Faval’s turn. She walked in as if used to such scenes,
had her glove off in advance, and handed out her hand as mechanically
as if offering it to a manicurist.

The woman looked at her very sharply, and it was some moments before
she spoke.

“The lines are crossed,” she said finally, “and so is your life to
be. You have a great will, but you do not allow it to have its proper
control. Your ambition is--money, and what about a letter? Who wrote
the torn letter?”

She looked from the glass ball straight into Jean’s eyes, but the
latter never flinched.

“Have you any questions to ask?” the woman inquired.

Jean hesitated. Then she said: “When will I get my answer to that
letter? Is there anything in it?”

“No,” said the teller sharply. “The answer will surprise you very much.
Don’t be too sure (common advice). But this very night you will dream.
That dream is the answer to your letter.”

There was a perceptible titter from some place.

Then the seance was over!

Such a prattle, and such confusion as reigned among that party of girls
as they hurried back to Glenwood!

Jean alone was silent. How did that woman guess about her letter? And
she had warned her to be careful. Well, she would wait for a time at
least. She would say nothing at school about Major Dale!



CHAPTER XXI

A MISHAP


“For once we did something without being found out,” one of the “T’s”
remarked, trying to get her breath as they reached the hall.

“Humph!” sniffed Jean. “It’s easy enough to have a little fun once in a
while. Boys always manage it.”

“And to think that not one of the Glens knew about it! That’s what
makes me feel good,” said Tillie.

“They don’t know everything,” again retorted Jean. “If they did----”
she stopped short. The words on her lips she felt she should not speak.
The influence of the crafty fortune teller was too strong for her.

Recreation hour, as well as study hour, had passed, and some of the
more timid truants began to fear for the next day’s work. What happened
when they reached their own rooms was that lights were kept burning
very late, and the fun of running away began to dwindle.

Dorothy had been writing letters when suddenly Edna almost burst into
her room.

“Oh, Dorothy!” she gasped, “the awfulest thing has happened. Tavia is
hurt!”

“Hurt! How? Where?” and Dorothy turned pale.

“She is out on the road and I cannot get her in. If we are found to
have been off the grounds, and it’s so dark now----”

She stopped, panting and frightened.

“Why were you off the grounds?” demanded Dorothy, while she hastily got
into a sweater to go to the rescue of Tavia.

“Oh, I can’t tell you! It’s a real secret, not a foolish one. If only
we could get Jake to carry her in! But I couldn’t go to the barn alone.”

“Come and show me where she is,” commanded Dorothy, “and I do hope you
girls will get a little sense soon,” she added. There was no anger in
her voice, but it shook with apprehension.

It was not easy to get through the hall unnoticed, and, when at last
the grounds were reached, both girls drew a breath of relief.

“What happened?” Dorothy asked.

“We were hurrying back, and she tripped over something. Maybe she only
turned her ankle, but she cannot move.”

It was just outside the gate that they found the suffering girl. She
seemed to be in great pain, and begged to be taken to her room quickly,
“even if she had to be expelled for going out.”

“If you will stay two minutes here with Edna,” said Dorothy, “I’ll get
Jake. I saw a light in the stable a moment ago.”

“But you won’t go up that path alone!” cried Edna. “Through all those
bushes!”

“I’m not afraid of bushes,” replied Dorothy. “I am only afraid that you
will both be found out. There’s a faculty meeting to-night. That’s one
blessing.”

Edna took Tavia’s hand in hers, and tried to soothe her while Dorothy
was away. Presently the latter returned with Jake.

“You won’t tell on us, Jake, will you?” Dorothy asked before the man
had a chance to see what he could do for Tavia.

“Tell on you? No, young ones must have a lark once in a while, and as
long as you were not stealing any more dogs----”

“Can you carry her?” Dorothy interrupted, more practically.

“As easy as a bundle of hay,” replied he. “Only show me what’s hurt, so
I can keep away from it.”

“It’s my ankle,” groaned Tavia. “Oh my, what luck! And just when I
wanted to be spry!”

Why she wanted to be spry was not apparent, but it was taken for
granted that Tavia always wanted to be that way. Jake picked her up in
the dark, for a lantern was out of the question in keeping secrecy.

Dorothy and Edna led the way, and kept watch that no one appeared along
the path. Finally they got safely to the side stairway. As Dorothy
said, the teachers were at a meeting, and Edna knew, but did not tell,
that the girls to be feared were too busy making up lost time to be
outside.

“Here we are,” Dorothy whispered, as, at last, Room Nineteen was
reached.

Jake laid Tavia down carefully on the couch, and with his finger on his
lips to indicate the good-night he feared to express, he took himself
off.

Tavia suppressed her groans with difficulty. That foot did hurt!

“Let me see,” said Dorothy. “Edna, get out the witch-hazel. And you
will find a bandage in the little box at the side of the closet.”

Edna obeyed, while Dorothy undertook to make the necessary examination.

“I think you just turned on it,” she said, “but that’s bad enough. I’ll
bind it up tight, and perhaps it will be all right, or nearly so, in
the morning. But what took you out? I heard a lot of the girls coming
in late.”

“That was what took us out,” answered Tavia evasively. “We didn’t care
to be in all alone.”

She might have winked at Edna, but Dorothy had just turned to get the
bandage and so the wink was safe if it was there.

“Ned, you had better clear out,” Tavia suggested, as the ankle was done
up like a bobbin. “We might be discovered yet. I heard Cummings cough,
and that always means trouble.”

“All right. I’m glad enough to do so,” said Edna, “I may have nervous
prostration as a result of this, but that’s more respectable than
an ankle hurt, and does not have to be hidden,” and with a word to
Dorothy, to call her if Tavia went into any more trouble, Edna was
stepping through the hall as lightly as a professional nurse.

“You seem to have a great many secrets lately,” Dorothy said to Tavia
when they were alone. “Is Edna so much more than I?”

“Now, Doro,” and Tavia turned her brown eyes full upon the blue ones.
“You know better. But Ned is a sport, and you are too careful. I just
have to watch the ‘T’s’ or they would swoop down on us in the night,
and at least carry _you_ off.”

“If I do not hear from father in the morning,” said Dorothy, turning
the subject abruptly, “I am going to telegraph. I can’t rest thinking
what may be happening. And little Joe in an office!”

“Am I not trouble enough for to-night?” asked Tavia. “Surely you can
let the Investment company go, in the sight of my agony. But wasn’t
Jake good, after all the dog business?”

“Yes, Jake _is_ good, and I tell you he saved you a lot of trouble.
Only to-day Mrs. Pangborn had new notices put up in the hall warning
the girls not to leave the grounds after dark, as there are many
strangers in the village. But I suppose you never took the trouble to
notice them.”

“I know better than to do so. If I read the rules I’d be gray. They are
purely ornamental to me.”

“And you won’t tell me where you went? This may come up, you know,”
Dorothy cautioned, “and, like a lawyer, if you expect help from me, I
have to understand the case.”

“I’ll tell you some day--not far off Doro,” replied the other, “but I
don’t mind saying I never had a better hour’s fun in my life.”

“Glad you enjoyed yourself,” Dorothy retorted. “I had to write to the
Dalton folks, and, of course, make my letter both yours and mine. I
can’t bear them to think that you never remember them.”

“But I do! I am worried to death about answering their letters. Did you
tell them to cease corresponding with me?”

“Not in so many words,” said Dorothy, “but I _did_ say you were awfully
busy trying to have a good time, getting into mischief. Well, if you
want me to pour some more witch-hazel on that ankle I will do so. Then
I would like to go to bed.”

“Pour away; only be careful not to have it go through the mattress. I
hid a red box under it and the color might rub off.”

“A red box?”

“Yes, I just took it from Cologne because she wouldn’t share. I’m going
to give it back in the morning, so you needn’t look so shocked. It was
almost empty, and I guess she wanted the box. I took the few scraps of
mints that were in it,” and Tavia pulled off her hair ribbon, which
sign meant she intended to go to sleep.

Tavia was soon sleeping, and Dorothy gently took the box from under the
mattress, and opening it she found a note, with the name “Madam Shebad”
scrawled across the corner.

Dorothy was perplexed, but carefully returned the box to its hiding
place, sorry she had touched it.

The witch-hazel would not go through--and she had supposed the box
empty as Tavia had said.



CHAPTER XXII

THE THREAT OF THE “T’S”


A very early morning caller at Room Nineteen was Cologne, the president
of the Glens. She carried a note for Dorothy to read. It was from the
“T’s.”

Cologne was surprised at seeing Tavia not able to be up, for the hope
of recovery was not fulfilled.

“Why!” she exclaimed, “whatever is the matter, Tavia?” Tavia stuck out
the bandaged foot. “How did it happen?”

“It occurred,” said Tavia, “and you are never to think of it again.
The trouble is limited to me, and I am bound to see it through without
worrying others.”

“Noble sentiments,” said Cologne, “but involved. If that foot could but
speak----”

“I would choke it,” said Tavia. “_I_ do the talking for this concern.
But what is your note about? The letter?”

“Yes. It was slipped under my door, sometime between night and
morning,” said Cologne. “Let me read it.”

Dorothy sat down to listen. She had been busy tidying up--doing the
“upstairs work” as Tavia said.

“It is signed like a threat,” began Cologne, “for there is some sort of
foolish mark, with a lot of others tagged on. It says:

  “You are hereby warned to make no reports to the teachers
  about the members of the ‘T’s.’ We have in our possession such
  knowledge as would send the pet of the Glens home sick, but are
  willing to withhold it if you will promise us immunity.”

“Now what do you think of that?” burst out Tavia. “Immunity! Aren’t
they deep-dyed!”

“But send--the pet home----” and Dorothy turned pale. “They call _me_
that in sarcasm!”

“As if they could know anything against you,” said Cologne loyally. “I
will answer that, and tell them we will promise them nothing, but will
add the threat to our report if they make any further insinuations.”

Dorothy looked very serious. She said--thinking of Jean Faval’s letter
in a Marsall Investment Company envelope: “Perhaps it would be best
not to antagonize them. It won’t cost us anything to wait.”

“It costs us this slur at you,” said Cologne defiantly. “And not one of
the committee will have it so.”

“If you say I wish it?” pleaded Dorothy. And something in her voice
told Cologne that all was not right.

“Why, Dorothy, is there really anything wrong? Tell me?” she begged,
and she took up the trembling hand that lay on the chair arm.

“Not wrong?” she answered, “but we--have some financial dangers at
home. Here, it seems, _that_--is wrong!”

Tavia was winking and blinking at Cologne, but could not get her
attention. Finally, under pretense of stretching her well foot, she
managed to reach Cologne with it.

“Let them alone, and they’ll come home,” she whispered. “They have
troubles enough, poor lambs. But what’s to be done about this hoof? I
can’t get to class?”

Dorothy seemed to have lost interest in the sore ankle. She was looking
blankly at the rug.

“Why, you have a good excuse,” Cologne said to Tavia. “You can’t get to
class.”

“If you know of a good excuse, will you please produce it? Remember I
am a member of the Glens in good standing,” said Tavia.

“Your foot,” replied Cologne.

“But what happened to my foot?” went on Tavia.

“Oh, I see. Something happened that did not happen. Well, there’s a
hole in the rug just at your door. How’s that?”

“The cream!” exclaimed Tavia, “if you will pardon the slang. Dorothy, I
did trip in that hole, when I went out.”

“Send your own excuse,” replied Dorothy. “I am busy with my personal
worries to-day.”

This was very unlike Dorothy, but Tavia understood it.

“Well, I must go,” said Cologne. “And I am sorry, Doro, that you
refuse to sanction our terms of war. Cecilia Reynolds has been simply
unbearable these last few days, and Jean Faval is getting wrinkled from
spite. However, I’ll report, and let you know. By the way, will you
fetch Zada to-night? She has been nominated?”

“If I go,” said Dorothy, “but I--may not. It depends.”

“And Cologne,” said Tavia, “will you send Ned to me at noon? I have
some instructions for her.”

“Of course,” said the president of the Glens. “But don’t be too hard
on Ned. She is not as reckless as you,” with a sharp glance at the girl
on the bed.

When she had gone Dorothy turned to Tavia.

“I am sure,” she said, “that threat from the ‘T’s’ means father’s
trouble. I will have to leave you to take care of yourself, while I go
to the station. I must know.”

“Why don’t you wait for the mail?” suggested Tavia. “You may get word
that everything is all right.”

“I have been waiting for mail after mail, and I feel now that Jean
Faval knows more of the affair than I do. I cannot stand this suspense
longer.”

“Well, if you run across Ned, be sure to send her to me. I am scared
to death that Cummings will come in and find me. I have got to get my
excuse ready, and you know what a beauty I am at fixing a clear story.
I am going to make Ned do it for me, since you won’t.”

“If you told me how it happened, I might be able to do so, but, since
you and Edna wish to keep the secret, of course I won’t interfere,”
said Dorothy.

“Just as you like, but----”

Tavia was interrupted by a slight knock at the door, and the next
moment Edna was in the room.

“Oh, there is a dreadful time downstairs!” she began, without a good
morning. “An investigation! Every girl who left the grounds last night
has been called to the court room!”

“I knew something was going on last night,” Dorothy said. “I do hope
none of our girls are to blame.”

“They are not,” said Tavia, in a most positive way, “and I hope the
‘T’s’ get all that’s coming to them.”

“But you were out,” said Dorothy.

“We can prove an _alibi_,” went on Tavia. “I hurt my foot in the
hall--that hole that Cologne spoke of.”

“Tavia!” Dorothy reproved.

“Oh, if it will make you feel better, Ned will drag me to the hole and
I will fall over it now, but really I cannot see the necessity. Do they
miss me, Ned?”

“If you would give me a chance to speak I’d be glad to tell you that
Mrs. Pangborn sent me up here to summon you at once with the others.
She does seem to suspect us, somehow.”

“That’s her wicked mind,” said Tavia jokingly. “But, Ned, you have got
to go and tell her about my accident. Dorothy refuses.”

“Tavia, I have told you I would do all I could for you, if I really
understood what to do.”

“Then listen. This is the real truth. Edna--note I only say Edna when
I am deadly in earnest--she and I went off the grounds last night, on
an errand of mercy. Honest, Dorothy, we were not with the others, and
we went out to help a girl who needed our help. Now will you make my
excuse?”

“I believe you, girls, complicated as the matter is,” declared Dorothy.
“And I will go to Mrs. Pangborn. But I insist on telling her how your
foot was hurt. If she wants to know more of it you will have to tell it
all, I suppose,” she finished desperately.

Edna sat there trembling with excitement. She would be all right if
only Tavia were able to lead her, but alone, Edna was very timid.

“Oh, I can trust you to fix it, Doro,” Tavia said, with relief in her
voice, “Ned would be sure to spoil it.”

“Thanks,” said Edna, “and I have to get back. What shall I say?”

“Don’t say a word until you are quizzed,” Tavia advised. “They might
get tired, or sick, or something, before they get to you.”

With the new perplexities Dorothy again felt obliged to put off the
message to her father. “Perhaps,” she thought, “it is as well. I might
only alarm them. But that threat to our club----”

Edna went with her to the office, where the investigation was to be
conducted.

“Isn’t it awful!” she said. “But really, Dorothy, we are _not_ in the
scrape with the others, although we seem to be in a scrape of our own!”



CHAPTER XXIII

THE INVESTIGATION


Mrs. Pangborn, stately and handsome, occupied the chair at her desk in
front of which were assembled her pupils. Her secretary was with her,
as were the teachers of the higher grades. Everyone felt the solemn
moment when Miss Eastbrook was asked to call the roll.

Of the two higher grades every girl responded to her name except Tavia.

Then the principal said:

“I have been notified that a number of you young ladles visited a
fortune teller last evening for the purpose of having your fortunes
told. Now, let everyone who was off these grounds after tea time stand
up.”

Poor Edna was with the “standers.”

“Please, Miss Eastbrook, mark these names as I put the question,” said
Mrs. Pangborn.

Then came the examination. Ten of the girls answered to the question:
“Did you go to that place to have your fortune told?”

When this query was put to Edna, of course, she answered in the
negative. Dorothy was greatly relieved, for, in spite of Tavia’s
affirmation, she feared the girls had been up to some trick.

The affair was one of the most serious of escapades that had ever
occurred at Glenwood, and, when Jean Faval and her crowd owned to the
offence, the face of Mrs. Pangborn might easily be read as suppressing
deep indignation.

“The young ladies will go to their rooms,” she said, “and positively
remain there until this matter is settled.”

That of course meant the culprits--all others were exonerated.

It took but a short time for the girls to leave, and when the room was
practically cleared Dorothy approached the much-troubled principal.

“I must speak for Tavia Travers, Mrs. Pangborn,” she said. “She was
off the grounds, too, but did not have her fortune told. She turned
her ankle, and is not able to stand on it. The accident kept her from
getting in on time.”

“Very well, Dorothy,” replied the lady. “I am really glad that none
of the older pupils--those who have been here longest--have been so
unruly. Tell Tavia she may have a doctor if she needs one, and I will
send a teacher to attend to her, as soon as it is possible for me to
collect my thoughts. I cannot tolerate such an unruly element. And
only yesterday I had special notices posted in the corridors,” and the
principal pressed her hand to her head.

“I am very sorry,” Dorothy said, “but perhaps these new girls did not
realize the discipline of our school.”

“That is the difficulty--to _make_ them realize it. By the way, how
is my little friend, Zada? I have not had a chance to talk with her
lately.”

Dorothy hesitated. Then she said: “Zada is happier now than she has
been for some time. She is so sensitive--and the new girls seemed to
claim her.”

“Well, dear,” Mrs. Pangborn replied, “I would rather she would
associate with those who know the school better. But if she is happy
I am satisfied. Her mother is very ill, and it is important that Zada
shall be away from home for a while.”

It was quite like the old days for Dorothy to be alone, talking with
Mrs. Pangborn, for many a time she had before approached her in some
one’s behalf. For the moment Dorothy’s fears of leaving Glenwood were
forgotten. The school was a second home to her, and to finish its
course one of the hopes of her young life.

“Tell Tavia not to worry,” said the principal in finishing the
interview. “Also say to her, that I am glad she was not with those
silly girls who went to have their fortunes told,” this last with a
scornful smile at the idea of “fortune telling.”

Dorothy went back to Tavia, and found Edna with her. The two were so
happy over their escape, and likely a little happy that the others did
not escape, that Tavia had ventured to stand on the strained foot, and
make her way to the box where the sweets were kept.

“Doro, you are a brick,” she said with more meaning than English. “I
never could have gotten out of it. You ought to take up law. You are a
born Portia.”

“Thank you,” said Dorothy quietly. “Mrs. Pangborn said she will send up
some one to see how much you are hurt. She also said----”

“Back to bed,” Tavia interrupted quickly. “I am so ill I shall not
be able to go to class for days. And that will cover the first exam
nicely. Now, Ned, why didn’t you break your neck, so you could be laid
up?”

“What do you suppose will happen to the others?” asked Edna, not
noticing Tavia’s remark. “Do you suppose they will be suspended?”

“I am sure I don’t know,” Dorothy said, “but Mrs. Pangborn feels
dreadfully. That fortune teller is a woman of very low character.”

“She certainly is,” said Tavia, with a pronounced wink at Edna. “I
would not let her tell _my_ fortune.”

“And the girls are all so excited over the things she did tell them,”
Dorothy continued. “Why, some of them say she told the positive truth.”

“Good for her!” exclaimed Tavia. “She really ought to tell the truth,
once in a while. I find it that way myself. But I wish I could have
seen Jean, when the court-martial was in progress. I shouldn’t wonder
but she will suggest that the girls jump out of their windows. She
can’t stand Glenwood. I wonder where she was brought up, anyhow? I
can’t say anything about woods, but our woods were--green, I fancy
she used to ride a bronco in Arizona. Not that I wouldn’t like that,
either.”

“There’s the mail,” said Dorothy anxiously, “I hope I have a letter.”

“Oh, you will--you always do. I am the one neglected,” Tavia said as
Dorothy left the room. “Now, Ned, be careful. Doro is not to know.
Didn’t fate favor us? That’s because, I suppose, that for once we were
on the right side. And the others in chains! And me with a limp! Ned,
couldn’t you pour some of that stuff on my foot? It gets very hot when
I get gay.”

“You will have to have the doctor,” Edna declared, “and I shouldn’t be
surprised if a committee of the Glens came to wait on you at recess.
They simply cannot get over the fact that you and I were not in the
scrape.”

“Don’t blame them, but we were not. Where we were is not for them to
know. Can I trust you, Ned, when I am not along?”

“Indeed I am only too glad to get off this far, but I keep thinking it
will all come out. If it does----”

“We’ll load it on poor Doro. She’ll get us out of it, as she always
does. With my brain, if I only had a trace of Doro’s character, I would
make the world stand up and ignore the sun,” said Tavia.

By this time Dorothy had returned with her mail. Her pretty face was
clouded, and she avoided the gaze of Tavia and Edna.

“What’s the news?” asked Tavia.

“Nothing very special,” she replied, putting her letter away. “There’s
the bell. Edna, you and I, and the other good ones, are expected to
answer questions as usual,” she said, whereat Edna jumped up and left
the room.

“Father wrote,” said Dorothy to Tavia, when they were alone, “that I
was not to worry, that things would surely straighten themselves out.
Now is that not the very thing to make one worry?”

“It would put me fast to sleep,” declared Tavia, “but of course, I have
not your fine instinct to scent danger. You ought to go stealing dogs
with me, or breaking your ankles. That’s the sort of thing that knocks
nerves out of joint. Doro, I am sure I hear Jean jumping out of the
window!”

“Don’t be absurd,” Dorothy said. “I guess Jean has better sense than to
get further into trouble. Well, I must go to class. Be sure, whoever
comes to look after you, that you are at least civil.”

“That depends,” sauced Tavia. “If Higley comes I’ll plead smallpox to
scare her off. She would sprain my other ankle.”

Dorothy went down the hall, and, as she passed Room Ten, Cologne was
just coming out of her door.

“What do you think?” exclaimed the latter. “That Jean Faval blames
us for telling about last night! Why, we never even knew about it,
Dorothy! Can’t we do something to squelch her? She is ringleader of a
crowd of insurgents, and they are all against us.”

“Or against me,” said Dorothy with a mock smile. “I think, Cologne, if
we let them go for a while, it will be better for me at least.”

And her friends wondered what could have come over Dorothy Dale.



CHAPTER XXIV

JEAN AGAIN


A week passed, and Dorothy heard nothing further about her father’s
business troubles. Tavia’s ankle mended, and she declared that she had
never missed a foot so much in all her life.

The disgrace of Jean and her friends, in having been disciplined for
their escapade, also vanished, and the ringleader was now as fearless
as ever.

Occasionally Tavia would pat herself on her back, and say to Dorothy:

“You can’t imagine our luck! I will never get over it.”

But Dorothy knew no more than before what Tavia referred to, although
she did suggest that Tavia might go up to the stable, and thank Jake
for his part in her escape.

It was one rainy morning, when the girls would not reasonably think
of venturing out of doors, that Jean fixed herself for the storm and
started for the post-office. This meant that she had mail which she did
not wish to go in with that of the school.

She rushed along and in the gully, as she took the shortest cut across
the woods, she saw approaching her a woman--the fortune teller!

In spite of Jean’s hurry the woman overtook her, and, slouching up to
the narrow path, demanded Jean to stop.

“I can’t,” Jean replied, “I have only a few minutes in which to get to
the post-office.”

“But my business is more important than mailing a letter,” said the
woman. “I know you--I know all about you, and if you do not pay me well
with the money which you spend so easily on candy, I will expose you at
your school!”

For a moment Jean was startled, then, recovering her presence of mind,
she said:

“There is nothing that anyone can know of me that would injure my
reputation. Let me pass!”

“No, my fine young lady; I will not let you pass until you give me a
dollar out of that shiny purse,” sneered the woman. “Do you suppose I
do not know enough to have you expelled from Glenwood?”

“I don’t care what you know,” exclaimed Jean with ill temper. “But if
you detain me longer I will let the town officer know what sort of
place _you_ conduct. How did you know about me and my letter? How did
you tell my fortune?”

“From my ball, of course,” said the woman. “How else could I tell? And
I remember it. You are to be careful about the girl you hate. If you
say one word against her, you will be the one who will suffer. Give me
my dollar.”

Jean was now perplexed. Plainly if she did not humor the woman she
would be late for class, and she could not well risk a second offence
after that which had caused her so much indignity.

“Will you promise to tell me how you knew about that letter if I give
you a dollar?” she asked.

“Yes, indeed, I will,” the woman answered.

Jean opened her purse, and handed out a dollar bill.

“Now tell me,” she demanded.

The fortune teller fingered the dollar greedily.

“I knew about it--because I saw it in my ball. Tell the other girls
that and Shebad’s luck will turn.”

Jean scowled at her, but did not deign to answer. She ran on quickly
to the post-office, but her mind went faster than her steps. Somehow,
the woman held an influence over her. She could tell nothing of Dorothy
Dale’s father’s business! What could it matter? What could happen if
she did? Yet she feared to do so.

At the post-office she found, as she expected, a registered letter
awaiting her. She signed the book nervously, and without opening the
missive, raced back through the woods.

If only she could find out where Edna and Tavia were on the night of
the fortune telling! And how had Tavia hurt her foot? Perhaps the
fortune teller knew!

There she was--across the marsh. Jean would just run over and ask her.
She glanced at her watch. Yes, she had fifteen minutes. Picking her
steps through the damp woods Jean hurried to the woman who was sitting
down, evidently nursing that dollar.

The old fortune teller glanced up, as she saw the girl coming.

“What now?” she asked indifferently.

“I want to ask you a question,” replied Jean nervously.

“I have not my ball,” demurred the woman.

“But it is not about myself,” said Jean. “I want to know can you tell
me, how a girl--a brown-haired and brown-eyed girl--hurt her foot on
the night that we--came to your place?”

This was news to Madam Shebad--news that she might turn into money!

“What are her initials?” she asked.

“T. T.,” replied Jean.

The woman looked serious. “Let me see your hand,” she said.

“But it has nothing to do with me,” insisted Jean. “And I have to hurry
back, or I shall be late.”

“Can’t you induce the girl to come to me?” the pretender asked.

“I am afraid not,” said Jean. “She is not a friend of mine.”

“Then I will tell you this. If you come to me any time before nightfall
I will look into my ball, and find out what you want to know. It never
fails.”

Jean ran off without replying. If she should be late!

So many things seemed to detain her. There was that cripple paper-boy.
She had to take his paper, and wait for change. Then, at the little
bridge, there was the cowboy with his cows, and they were so slow in
crossing. After all it was a very nervous thing to do, to disobey
rules. She would not risk it again.

The bell rang as she turned into the gate. She was breathless, and
could not hide her confusion. Cologne had been out getting some
berries. She saw Jean, and, Jean thought, looked at her rather
suspiciously. That is the price of wrong-doing--always suspecting
others.

“Hello! there!” called out Cologne defiantly. “Been out doing
nature-work?”

It was cruel of Cologne, but she could not resist.

“Yes, human nature,” replied Jean sarcastically. “And I found a fine
specimen.”

“Good,” said Cologne. “Be sure to produce it at class for we have gone
stone dry.”

Jean was getting desperate. Everything went wrong with her, and all
her plans to make a great “splurge” at school were falling flat. Her
secret club could not be depended upon--she suspected everyone. While
never the brightest of scholars, she had lately been so distracted that
her lessons were not only neglected, but seemed to be too much for her
tortured mind.

One thing only she never failed in, and that was in the matter of
dress. Her pride in her personal appearance was a part of her very
nature, but Jean, to-day, wished heartily that she could go home!

Home! She rarely thought of that. Her mother--Jean sighed heavily when
the thought pressed itself upon her. Somehow, that fortune teller
always made her gloomy. She would never see her again. With such a
confusion of thoughts she entered the classroom.

Tavia had gotten back, and could not resist giving her a sharp glance.
Dorothy was busy with her books--she was pale, but the sun shone
through her hair, and cast a beautiful glow about her.

Little Zada was so bent over that she seemed a part of her desk. She
had to work hard now to make up for the time lost in worry.

All the girls were in their seats when Jean entered the room. Why did
they all seem to question her with looks?

“Miss Faval,” said Miss Cummings, the English teacher, “you are ten
minutes late. This is a day for hard work, and we cannot afford to lose
a moment. Please get to your lesson at once.”

Jean looked obediently at the teacher’s desk. Yes, she would get to
work at once.

But somehow her head did not feel just right. She took out her books,
and bravely tried to conquer her stupid feelings.

Suddenly the floor moved--her desk moved--and then--Jean Faval fell in
a dead faint!



CHAPTER XXV

TEACHERS


Mrs. Pangborn was not a woman to allow her pupils too much liberty--she
felt the very responsibility of a mother, and, following Jean’s
break-down, she at once started a personal investigation of the girl’s
doings on the morning when she came late into the classroom.

She found out that Jean had gone to the post-office. One of the
gardeners had seen her cross to where the fortune teller sat in the
woods. Then, someone else remembered that she had seen her run all the
way up the path. Mrs. Pangborn determined that this fortune teller
should be put out of the place, as she was plainly an evil influence.

Taking the simplest and most reasonable course first, the principal of
Glenwood found her way to the cabin of the alleged fortune teller.

Her dignity seemed offended, as she stepped into the ill-smelling
room. Madam Shebad was not so stupid as to think that she had, in the
white-haired woman, a customer, but, nevertheless, she was equal to
the occasion.

“I have come to complain,” began Mrs. Pangborn without preliminaries,
“about your receiving my pupils here for the purpose of telling
fortunes. Those young ladies are in my charge. I am responsible for
them to their parents, and if you again allow them to come here I shall
have to make known your business to the proper officials. I suppose you
know it is against the law.”

“I never told any fortunes to your girls,” said the woman. “I told them
the truth. If they would tell you the truth, they would bear me out.”

“I did not come to discuss your methods,” said the principal, “but just
to say to you that I will not allow my girls to visit this place----”

“But I would like to tell you,” interrupted the woman, “that I only
told those girls what I really knew. I did not tell any fortunes.”

Mrs. Pangborn stopped to realize what the woman meant. How could
she know, this stranger, such things as she had told those girls,
for, since the happening, bit by bit, information was coming to the
principal that aroused her suspicion. She had heard, for instance, that
the torn letter was mentioned to Jean Faval. Mrs. Pangborn had handled
that letter when it came to Jean, in the regular mail. A maid had
reported that she had seen a letter at Dorothy’s door, but, believing
it to be left there for some one, she had not carried it off in her
cleaning. That was how Tavia came to get it.

“Will you tell me who informed you of my pupils’ affairs?” Mrs.
Pangborn asked.

“No, I cannot do that,” replied the woman, “but you may know that some
one did tell me of them.”

Here was a new problem--some one had come to this woman, and told her
what to tell the girls! Who could it be, and what could have been their
motive in doing so?

“You see,” said the woman, “you have no charge against me. I did _not
tell any fortunes_!”

As she understood that this was why the woman had argued simply to
clear herself, Mrs. Pangborn left the place.

It would not be well, she decided, to make any inquiry just then,
as the girls had been through so many little troubles in the short
term. But she, of course, would have to have them guarded--especially
Jean, Zada and Tavia. She had no fear that Dorothy would do anything
dishonorable.

Entering the classroom, the greatly respected principal looked about
her. She saw Dorothy busy at her work, she saw Tavia bent over her
books, with one eye on them and the other roaming about.

The visit of the principal was always regarded as a matter of
importance. Now every pupil sat up straight, and took that opportunity
of resting her eyes from letters.

“I just want to say, young ladies,” began Mrs. Pangborn, “that I have
been surprised at the liberty some of you have taken, from this school.
I have never felt it necessary before to give out such positive orders.
I do not know who may be to blame, but I will not again excuse any
girl for such lax order and discipline, as might seem to her a fitting
reason for her to visit a common fortune teller!

“You must all know that there is no such thing as the possibility
of any human being telling of future events. If such a thing were
possible do you not see what a wonderful advantage it would be in the
world’s greatest happenings? I do not think I need go further into
this subject, other than to say that I positively forbid any member of
Glenwood Hall from going to any fortune teller. If I find that any girl
has disobeyed this rule I shall be obliged to dismiss her.”

A dead silence followed these few words. Tavia’s eyes only might be
seen to show a glow of satisfaction. And yet Tavia had under her
mattress a letter with this Madam Shebad’s name on the corner!

And no one had yet found out where Tavia and Edna had been when Tavia
sprained her ankle.

Dorothy’s eyes glowed nervously. Zada looked directly out of the
window, and, as she bit her lips, Mrs. Pangborn wondered why she should
seem so strained. Edna settled all her movements on Tavia, and if the
teachers had called a fire drill, likely Edna would have asked Tavia
what to do before she did anything.

Jean was still suffering from her collapse, and was not in the
classroom.

It was a beautiful autumn day, and when she had given her positive
instructions, Mrs. Pangborn thought it might be as well for her classes
to go out into the woods, for the last of the season’s nature work, as
to remain in the room struggling with technicalities.

Miss Cummings, Miss Hays and Miss Boylan were told to take the classes
to the woods. They were to bring back specimens of the dogwood, the
late flowers of the underbrush, and such varieties of outdoor life as
make the Autumn famous.

Dorothy was with Zada, Tavia of course was with Edna, and Cologne was
so close to Molly Richards that one could scarcely tell whose sleeves
were blue or whose white.

“Does any young lady know where to find iron-weed?” asked Miss
Cummings, who was leading the party.

Iron-weed was as common in Glenwood as the grass itself, and therefore
every girl wanted to go for it in a different direction. Finally it
was agreed that the swamp, near the station, might furnish the best
specimens.

Cecilia Reynolds and Hazel Mason rushed on ahead, without any regard to
the teacher’s talk, as she tried to instruct the class on varieties of
vegetation, and its relation to humanity.

Reaching the swamp, all sorts of nature “weeds” were discovered. The
girls, glad to be entirely free from the schoolroom for that beautiful
day, set to digging up roots and bulbs, hunting out frogs and snails,
and doing all the absurd things that students usually do when allowed a
day in the woods.

“Isn’t it too bad Jean could not be with us,” said Cecilia to Hazel.

“Yes,” replied Hazel rather doubtfully. “But what makes Jean so bitter
toward the Glens? I think the best girls are in the older club.”

“Then why don’t you go with them,” replied Cecilia sarcastically.

“I would if I were eligible. I think Rose,--Mary and Dorothy the very
nicest girls in the school,” said Hazel, just as Molly Richards found a
little red lizard, not more than an inch long, and just cute enough for
a stick pin.

The lizard was placed upon a flat stone and was, for the time being,
the centre of all attraction. So beautifully red, so small, so
perfect, and just like a pattern for an alligator!

“It must not be killed,” said Miss Cummings. “We will put it in our
aquarium.”

“I’ll take it,” offered Tavia, for whom a bug, that could crawl, creep
or fly, had no terrors.

“Thank you,” said Miss Cummings frigidly, “but I prefer to take care of
it myself.”

With this she took the tiny terra-cotta crawler on a bit of paper, and
carefully placed it in her handbag.

Fearful that the insect might die the teacher did not close the bag.

Have you ever seen a lizard in the woods in Autumn? Do you think you
could keep one in an open handbag?

The woods were explored to the satisfaction of the teachers, and the
delight of their pupils. Then they all started for the Hall.

At a little spring house, a shed built over a crystal spring, they
stopped for a drink. Tavia, of course dipped her very nose in the
water; and those who did not intend to do likewise did so without
intending.

But how beautiful that little strip of woodland road was! No wonder
teachers and pupils lingered.

Just at the old water-wheel, every one stopped again. Falling leaves
made the spot a painting, and Miss Cummings undertook to explain what
the wheel had been, and what its ruins meant.

Suddenly she squirmed. Dorothy was nearest her and asked if she could
help her.

“It’s the lizard!” the instructor declared. “He has gotten out of my
bag and is just now crawling up my arm, inside my sleeve to my collar
bone!”

“Mercy!” exclaimed Dorothy instinctively! “Do you suppose we can catch
him?”

“If you do not,” said Miss Cummings, “I shall have a spasm of nerves. I
have heard of fleas, but a lizard----!”

Her remarks were cut short by the necessity for tracing the progress of
the reptile. He was just under her left arm now.

“We will have to take your waist off,” said Tavia, overjoyed at the
prospect.

“Do it quickly,” begged the teacher. “The thing is eating my cuticle.”

“Which part is that?” asked Tavia, as if she didn’t know.

They sat the teacher on a tree stump, and it did seem as if more girls
wanted to help get that lizard than could possibly handle just one
woman.

“Here it is!” shouted Cologne, grabbing something small and soft.

Miss Cummings was now almost hysterical.

“It’s worse than a mouse,” muttered Zada.

“Much worse,” sobbed the afflicted one.

“Did you get it, Cologne?” asked Dorothy.

“No, that was a sachet bag. I thought I had it though,” Cologne
answered.

“Here!” yelled Tavia, as she held out, on the palm of her hand, the
pretty little red lizard.

“_You_ may bring it back to the aquarium,” said Miss Cummings calmly,
as the three girls tried to hook up her waist.



CHAPTER XXVI

A SCRAP OF PAPER


“Tavia!” pleaded Dorothy, “Do tell me about that letter father has
written--” she hesitated, “there is grave danger of a great loss to
him. Tell me all you know about it.”

“All I know about it? Why, Dorothy!”

“Yes. You did find a letter! It was written to Jean. Tell me Tavia. I
will not wait to know that I must leave school--I am going to-morrow!”

“Going to-morrow! Then I will go with you,” declared Tavia. “I would
never have seen Glenwood if it had not been for you.”

The girls were looking over their lessons for the day. Dorothy had just
received a letter from home. Brave as she wished to be, and fearful as
she had been, of that investment company, when her father wrote, in his
careful way, that there might be trouble, Dorothy at once prepared to
go to him, and to her two small brothers.

“Dorothy, I would have told you but really I felt it was a trick.”

“A trick! On such a serious matter?”

“You believe every one to be as noble as yourself,” said Tavia, “but
there are people in this world born without the sense of kindness, or
the instinct of charity. We seem to have a few such girls around here.”

Dorothy looked fondly at her friend. There was no use trying to use
logic on the subject on which her head and heart were now centered.

“Tavia, tell me what was in the letter you found at my door! Or I shall
go to Jean, and demand to know.”

“Never,” said Tavia. “I’ll give you the old letter. It isn’t worth
looking at, and I am sure the writer is a--cheerful--well you would not
let me say fabricator; would you?”

Tavia went to her desk and soon found the torn script that had so
disturbed her, until she made herself believe that it was some sort of
a forgery.

“There,” she said, “if Jean did not write that to herself she got
someone else to write it.”

Dorothy took the paper with trembling hands. Unfortunately Tavia
did not think to cross out the words concerning Major Dale, and the
possibility of his arrest.

Nerving herself to know all she should know, Dorothy sat down to
decipher the note. Suddenly her eyes fell upon these words:

“We may have the proud Major in the toils within a short time.”

Dorothy glanced for a moment at Tavia, and then fled from the room, her
head held high, and her eyes flashing.

“Goodness!” exclaimed Tavia, “I wonder what she is going to do? I have
always heard that a quiet girl ‘riled’ is worse than I am. But I don’t
believe I will follow her. Dear Doro!” and the frivolous one’s eyes
filled. “I would give anything to save her from all of this.”

Dorothy, leaving her room, had gone straight to the office of the
principal. Delicate girl that she was, when a question of family honor
arose, she had more courage than some who might boast of power.

She found Mrs. Pangborn looking over papers.

“Good morning, Dorothy,” she was kindly greeted. “What’s the trouble
now? For I see trouble in your face.”

“Yes, Mrs. Pangborn, this is trouble. I fear I shall have to leave
Glenwood.”

“Leave Glenwood!” exclaimed Mrs. Pangborn. “Why?”

Then Dorothy told what she could of the tangled affair. Told how the
Major had written that it was now a serious financial question, but for
her to keep up her courage.

[Illustration:

  DOROTHY TOOK THE PAPER WITH TREMBLING HANDS.
  _Dorothy Dale’s School Rivals      Page_ 195]

“It cannot be possible that my old friend Major Dale would do anything
unwise,” said the teacher. “You must have patience child, and not think
of such a thing as leaving school. Why, you are just getting to be one
of our best pupils.”

In spite of herself Dorothy’s eyes filled.

“Yes, and I love it here, but I feel it is my duty to be ready to help
father, and I have no idea what I should be able to do in business,”
she replied.

“Go to business! Your Aunt Winnie would never allow it,” declared the
other.

“But Aunt Winnie has had a great deal to do lately. She has had to make
a long trip abroad, and then the boys have not finished college yet. I
would insist upon doing my part,” answered the girl very seriously.

“But if that is all the information you have--that in your father’s
letter----”

“It is not,” Dorothy admitted. “A letter was found at my door. It was
evidently intended that I should find it. This letter said--father
was--threatened with--arrest!”

“Arrest! Impossible! What could he have done to deserve such an
indignity?”

Dorothy drew her hand across her eyes, but did not reply.

“To whom was the letter addressed?” asked Mrs. Pangborn.

“To Miss Faval,” replied Dorothy, “and I should not have looked at it
except--I overheard--a remark. Then I knew it contained some serious
news.”

“Who has that letter now?”

“I have it. I could not return it to her. I could not risk having it
shown to anyone else.”

“Will you go and bring it to me? I must see about this. What could Miss
Faval know of your family affairs?”

“I cannot tell,” replied Dorothy. “But she seems to know a great deal.
Tavia first found an envelope with the name of father’s company on the
corner. Then--this comes.”

“Well, get me the letter, dear. I shall do all I can, both to help you,
and to help Major Dale. This is certainly a remarkable affair.”

Dorothy went to her room, and soon returned with the scrap of paper.
She left it with Mrs. Pangborn without further conversation, except
that the principal assured her that there was no need to worry, as
Dorothy had been doing.

But that word “arrest” would neither leave the heart, head, nor eyes of
the discouraged girl. Tavia did all she could to reassure her, but the
facts were now too apparent to hide, and Dorothy was determined to be
prepared for the worst.

It took some time for her to feel that she could enter the classroom.
As she took her place, her eyes met those of Jean Faval, and in the
latter’s was a glance so scornful, and so full of meaning that a shiver
ran through Dorothy.

Little Zada tugged at Dorothy’s skirt, and, with eyes almost pleading,
whispered:

“I want to see you at recess. Come out by the lake.”

Cologne and Molly Richards were late, and entered with flushed faces.
They had evidently been running.

“Young ladies, you must be punctual,” warned the English teacher.
“There is no excuse for this tardiness.”

Tavia pulled a wry face for the girls to see, but not intended for the
teacher. Miss Cummings, however, noticed it, and asked Tavia to report
to her at recess.

That almost settled Tavia’s work for the morning, as she, with a number
of others, had planned how they were going to spend the hour of this
beautiful day, when the frost was already in the air, and the leaves
almost all off the trees.

And there were Tavia, Molly and Cologne to remain in, at least for a
“lecture” which meant that the hour would be passed listening to their
“sins,” as Tavia would have put it.

Whenever any of the original Glens were under the ban the “T’s” were
jubilant, and Jean could now scarcely repress her smiles.

The morning had almost passed, when there came a summons for Jean to
report to the office!

Then the tables were turned.



CHAPTER XXVII

WHO STOLE THE PICTURE?


As Dorothy had promised, she met Zada at the lakeside, when the class
was dismissed.

The Southern girl seemed so nervous, and so frightened, that Dorothy
took her to the little nook that was sheltered by a rustic, summer
house.

“The others will not see us here,” Dorothy said, “and I, too, feel as
if I want to get away from all eyes.”

“You!” repeated Zada, “you have no reason to want to--hide. Oh,
Dorothy, I don’t know how to tell you, but I _must_ do so.”

“Now, Zada, you are just nervous, and I know perfectly well it is that
old matter that you wanted to tell me of some time ago. Whatever it is
I do not want you to distress yourself about it. It is all past and
gone, I am sure.”

“No,” sobbed Zada, “it will never be passed while it is on my mind. It
is like a terrible nightmare, and it just haunts me.” Tears began to
roll down her cheeks.

“There now, if you go on so you will have a nervous breakdown,”
cautioned Dorothy. “I am sure you are over-rating it.” Dorothy took
the little, trembling hand in hers. “If you had my troubles,” she
suggested, and paused.

“_Your_ troubles must be honorable,” replied the other, between her
sobs, and the thought of that word “arrest” gave Dorothy a start.
“But,” continued Zada, “mother always told me one can stand anything
better than--disgrace.”

“Disgrace!” exclaimed Dorothy. “Why do you speak that way? You could do
nothing to disgrace yourself!”

“I shouldn’t, but I did. But I didn’t know it was so wrong!”

“There, that entirely alters the case. It could not have been so wrong,
if you did not think so,” declared Dorothy.

Two of the girls on the path, hearing even the whispering voices, at
that moment stood before the entrance to the little summer house. They
were Dick and Ned.

“Land sakes!” exclaimed Dick, “are you two thinking of jumping into the
lake? Did one ever see such faces!”

Zada turned her head to avoid their eyes. Dorothy did not know what to
answer.

“Whatever is the matter?” demanded Edna. “I will go and fetch Tavia,
and we will appoint a board of inquiry. This looks serious.”

“Don’t joke,” Dorothy finally said. “Sometimes jokes are painful.”

“Oh, my dear! I _beg_ your pardon. I did not mean to annoy you,”
apologized Edna, sincerely.

“I know you did not, Edna,” said Dorothy, “but we seem to have trouble,
in spite of our very good friends.” She sighed, and glanced at Zada.
The latter had almost dried her eyes. “Zada, I am afraid, is homesick,
and I am trying to cure her----”

“Homesick!” interrupted Dick. “I had that so bad the first year, that
I broke out in shingles. But even that did not get me free. I had to
stay, and I am glad of it. Don’t you worry, Zada. There are worse
places than Glenwood,” she finished cheeringly.

“Oh, I know that,” said Zada sniffling, “but it is very different here
than at home.”

“Of course it is. That’s why we are here. If home were like this my
mother would go crazy,” said the girl laughing. “Just imagine us
tearing around as we do here! Why, my father would be so shocked he
would put me in close confinement. At the same time, here we think we
are very nice and proper. Well, there goes the bell, and we haven’t had
a bit of fun. I wonder what happened to Jean? She did not come out at
all.”

“And where is Tavia?” asked Dorothy, rising in answer to the bell, and
pressing Zada’s hand kindly. “She must have had to do her work over.”

“Oh, worse than that. She had to apologize. Poor Tavia! She never makes
a face but she is caught at it, I guess. Cummings does not love her as
a sister,” said Molly Richards.

“Well, we had better hurry, or we will be tardy,” suggested Dorothy. “I
have a lot to do--I did not study much last night.”

As they walked along Dorothy fell in step with Zada.

“Now don’t worry, dear,” she insisted. “I am sure everything will be
all right.”

“But I must see you this afternoon,” said Zada. “I have made up my mind
not to go to bed to-night until I have----”

“Hush,” cautioned Dorothy, for the others had turned around. Then they
all reluctantly went back to the classroom.

Jean was sitting at her desk as they entered. She kept her head well
bent over her books, but it could be seen that her face was flushed.

Tavia sat back defiantly, as if to say “she couldn’t scare me.”
Meaning, of course, that Miss Cummings’ remarks had little, if any,
effect upon her. She had missed her entire recreation, because she
refused to “apologize politely.”

Altogether the class was rather upset. An atmosphere of disquiet
pervaded the room, and when the teachers changed classes, Miss Cummings
left the room with a sigh of relief.

Miss Higley, the teacher of mathematics, was not one to be trifled
with. She was one of the oldest of the faculty both in years, and in
point of service, and when she came in every one sat up straight.

But the day wore on, and finally the work was over. Dorothy was
wondering what could have happened, as the result of Mrs. Pangborn’s
talk with Jean--wondering if the report about her father could be
false. But no look, or word told her.

By a strange coincidence, however, Mrs. Pangborn asked Zada to ride to
the village with her, and this again separated Zada from Dorothy. Of
course the teacher had noticed the girl’s nervous manner, and “took
her out,” hoping the ride would improve her spirits. But Zada would
much rather not have gone. In fact every time Mrs. Pangborn asked her a
question she shook--shook lest the question might be a dreaded one.

So that it was after tea before Zada sought Dorothy again, with the
avowed intention of “confessing the terrible thing that was on her
mind.”

She was indeed tired out, and when Dorothy insisted that she take the
best chair, and rest back, Zada sighed and did as she had been invited
to do.

“Dorothy,” began Zada, “when I did it, I never knew what trouble it
meant, but I _stole your picture_!”

“Stole my picture! The one that was in the paper?”

“Yes,” and Zada gasped in relief, as if a terrible thing, indeed,
had been lifted off her mind. “I was asked to do it. It was part of
our club plan--the old club,” and she bit her lips at the memory. “I
promised never to tell who asked me, or how I was asked, and I don’t
feel yet I should tell. But when I found out all the trouble it made
for you----”

She stopped, and Dorothy looked horrified. That this little harmless
child could have been the one to steal into her room, and get that
picture from Tavia’s dresser!

“Can you ever forgive me, Dorothy?” pleaded the girl.

“I am sure,” said Dorothy with hesitation, “you could never have
realized what it would mean.”

“I thought it was one of the club jokes. I never had an idea it was to
go to that horrible paper. Oh dear! What I have suffered! I wanted to
tell Mrs. Pangborn, but she is such a friend to mamma----” and the girl
sobbed beyond words.

“She need not know it,” said Dorothy. “Neither need anyone else. It
was I who was affected, and now I am willing to let it rest, as it has
rested.”

“Oh, you dear, noble girl!” exclaimed Zada, putting her arms around
Dorothy’s neck. “I knew if I told you it would be all right, and I
wanted to tell you before, but you would not let me. Now, I can rest,”
and she breathed a sigh of relief. “But I must try to forgive the
others, as you have been so good to me, I suppose.”

“I never knew I had such enemies,” said Dorothy. “Or perhaps they,
too, thought it would be only a joke,” and Dorothy Dale endeavored,
for her own peace of mind, and for the hope that her rivals might be
friends--she tried to think it was intended for--a joke.



CHAPTER XXVIII

THE ROADSIDE ROBBERY


Two whole weeks passed and Dorothy heard nothing but indefinite news
from her father. The legal “hearing” had been postponed, he wrote, on
account of some of the stockholders being away from the city. Just what
“hearing” meant Dorothy did not know, but she did know that at least
her father had not been deprived of his liberty.

Meanwhile Jean Faval became morose. All her defiance seemed to have
turned into sulkiness, and except for Cecilia Reynolds, who was her
very close friend, she scarcely noticed any of the girls.

Tavia she absolutely refused to speak to, much to the delight of the
Dalton pupil, who said that was a positive evidence of guilt.

One afternoon, when Winter first showed its power, Jean again made her
way to the post-office. She was thinking of what Mrs. Pangborn had said
about the contents of the torn letter. She was thinking that, after
all, it might have been as well for her to have paid no attention to
that fortune teller, and to have told what she knew about the troubles
of the Dales.

But the threat hung about her. She was somewhat superstitious, and,
although she had only told it to Cecilia (who was so much a part of
herself, that Jean denied to Mrs. Pangborn that she had told “anyone”),
still now, that she had been blamed, and realizing that Dorothy still
held her high place, a spirit of jealousy again made itself felt within
Jean’s heart.

“If I could only find out how that old witch knew all she told me--if I
could only induce her to tell,” Jean was thinking.

As was her custom, the fortune teller did not miss sight of anyone
going to or from the post-office, and when she espied Jean she smiled
sardonically.

“Now,” she muttered, “we will look for trade.”

Jean did not see her, as the fortune teller pulled her scarf over her
head, and got into a position in the roadway where she might startle
the girl as she passed along.

Two letters were in Jean’s hand--one of which she was reading with
wrapt attention.

As she reached the white rock, the woman spoke, and as she expected,
Jean gave a start.

“My dear,” began the imposter, “I have news for you. I have been
waiting to see you for a whole week.”

“News for me?” repeated Jean.

“Yes. The other night, at the full of the moon, I took my crystal out,
and asked the moon to tell who your enemies were. A flash came from the
sky, and almost blinded me.” Here she stopped for effect. “But I can
not give in to the planets. So I again asked.”

“What answer did you get?” inquired Jean.

“I saw the letters ‘T. T.,’” replied the woman.

“Tavia Travers!” exclaimed the foolish Jean aloud.

“And she is rather dark, roguish, full of mischief, but a dangerous
enemy!” This last was said in the most dramatic way, and had the
desired effect upon Jean.

“How could she do me harm?” asked the startled girl.

“In many ways. Already she has done you harm by----”

“By what?”

“I cannot tell you all this for nothing. Shebad has to live.”

So interested was the girl that she took out her purse, and handed the
woman a silver quarter. The latter fingered it gleefully, and then
looked deep into the girl’s dark eyes.

“You are anxious about something.” What news that is to any mortal!
“But do not worry. Shebad will watch the ball, and when a danger comes
she will let you know in time. The other girl--your best friend--she
has short, thick hair” (this was Cecilia). “Why does _she_ not come?”

“We are not allowed to visit your place,” replied Jean. “We would be
expelled from school.”

“Bah!” sneered the woman. “That’s all because the white-haired woman
wants all your money. She does not want an honest truth-seeker to live.
For years she has threatened her girls. But they come, for they know
Shebad tells the truth.”

“I must go,” exclaimed Jean, realizing that the time was not waiting
for fortunes. “I thank you, and will remember your kindness.”

“You are a good girl--one who will be famous some day,” and, with these
flattering words, the fortune teller bowed as Jean hurried off.

“So my enemy was Tavia,” thought Jean. “Well, I have always known that
Tavia spilled that glass of water down my neck purposely. I’ll show
her, however, that I’m no coward, and won’t be interfered with by a
giggling country girl.”

So deep in thought was Jean that she did not notice, in the thicket
that lined the path, a villainous looking man. As she reached him he
stepped out in front of her.

“Oh!” she screamed. “What do you want?”

“Your purse,” he replied calmly, placing a dirty hand on her arm.

“My purse? There is nothing in it! I have no money!”

“Gave it all to the old woman?” he sneered. “Well, I’ll be satisfied
with the purse, and the money order you have in that letter. I need it
all.”

“You cannot have it,” cried the girl. “Let me go or----”

“Take it easy,” he said in that mocking way. “_I_ might tell your
fortune too. You--you won’t _always_ get checks from--the investment
company!”

At this Jean shrank back. Did every one know about that? As he
tightened his hold on her she pulled the purse from her belt, and held
it out to him.

“Here, take it,” she said. “It is solid gold, and worth a lot of money.”

“Then that check?” he demanded.

“What check?”

“The one you took out of the yellow envelope. Can’t let that go. It’s
too handy,” and he attempted to snatch the letter from her free hand.

[Illustration:

  “OH!” SHE SCREAMED. “WHAT DO YOU WANT?”
  _Dorothy Dale’s School Rivals      Page_ 212]

With a scream the girl flung the letter into the roadway, and, as she
did so, the man, still sneering, allowed her to go free.

Almost too frightened to move, Jean forced herself to run, but when
she reached the hill--Glenwood hill, she could go no farther. Feeling
a sudden faintness, she managed to reach a spot where a roadside bench
was constructed. Here she threw herself down, moaning and sobbing.

“Oh, my letter,” she cried, “he has all--my letter!”

How long she lay there seemed of no importance to one so weak. At that
moment she did not care whether she lived or died. She hated Glenwood!
She hated the girls! She hated everything as she sobbed hysterically.

Jake came out to gather up some leaves. He saw the girl lying there.
At first he thought it was only some prank, but, as he looked into her
face, he knew something was wrong.

“What is it, miss?” he asked kindly.

“I have been robbed--robbed of my purse, of my check, of my letter!”
she moaned.

“And who did it?” inquired the man in astonishment.

“A ruffian in the woods. Oh, this horrible place!” and again she burst
into tears.

“’Taint horrible at all,” objected Jake. “The young ladies have been
going that path for years, and have never even been spoken to. Could
it be any one who knew--you had money?”

“How would any one know?” Jean asked, and now she sat up. “Can’t you go
and catch him? He’s in a thicket by the elm. Oh, I shall die!”

“Just you come right up to the hall with me, miss, and they’ll attend
to you. Then, I look after the fellow. No tramps around here. Never saw
one yet, but never mind. Come,” and he got her on her feet.

Staggering and leaning on Jake’s arm she managed to reach the school--a
very much frightened girl.

Jake had his suspicions as to who her assailant might be, but he was
too cautious to make them known just yet.



CHAPTER XXIX

TEACHERS AND PUPILS


The excitement following Jean’s encounter brought up no end of surmises
for the girls at school. Some said she made up the story, others
declared she knew who took her purse, and check, while her friends, of
course, were in deepest sympathy. For the shock really took the color
from her cheeks, took all her courage, and it was difficult even for
Mrs. Pangborn to interest her in anything.

Dorothy tried to show Jean that she bore her no ill feelings, and even
brought some books to her room, when she was unable to attend class,
but Jean would never make friends with Dorothy.

Then it became noised about that some one had seen Jean leave the
post-office, had later seen her talking to the Shebad woman, and to
this last fact was finally attributed, in some way, the robbery.

It was one week later, that Jake was at the general store, at Stone
Bridge, when a man came in and asked the proprietor to cash a check
for him.

Jake knew that checks were scarce among men of this type--for the man
was none other than the husband of Madam Shebad--so he stepped close to
the little office window, and watched while he listened.

“Fine day,” said Jake carelessly.

“Yep,” growled the other, turning his back directly on the Glenwood man.

“Been speculating?” persisted Jake.

“Old woman fell into luck,” replied the other sullenly.

Meanwhile the girl at the desk was scrutinizing the check which was
made out to “Cash” so that any one could endorse it.

“You had better wait until Mr. Johnson comes in,” said the young
bookkeeper cautiously. “He does not like to cash strange checks.”

“That check’s all right,” insisted the man uneasily. “Wish I had more
like it.”

“Let’s see it?” asked Jake, as if to verify the man’s statement that it
was all right.

“Oh, I guess I’ll wait,” said the man, folding up the blue slip, and
preparing to leave the place.

Jake was disappointed. He wanted to see who had made out that check.

“Here’s Mr. Johnson now,” called the bookkeeper before the slouching
figure had reached the door.

Jake stepped back and pretended to be in no way interested.

Mr. Johnson, the proprietor of the store, rubbed his glasses on the end
of his coat, and took the check as it was offered. He scrutinized the
signature.

“The--what’s that?” he asked. “The Marsall Investment Company? What in
thunder is that?”

Then Jake almost jumped to the counter where the other man stood.

“Here!” he shouted. “That’s a stolen check! That was stolen from a girl
at our school! Johnson, you’re a constable, arrest this man!” and Jake
did not wait for anything as slow as the constable to make sure of the
prisoner, but, with all his splendid, muscular power he grabbed him,
and held him securely as any regular police officer might do.

By this time the other men, who were lounging about the store, realized
that something interesting was happening, and they, too, “gave a hand.”

Binns, for that was the name by which the husband of the fortune teller
was known, was too ugly to know how to help himself. He growled and
squirmed and demanded his freedom, but shuffling of feet, and the use
of strong words will never help a person in captivity to free himself,
and the consequence was that he was taken off to the town lock-up,
while Jake, claiming the check, actually took it from Mr. Johnson, and
hurried back to Glenwood.

“I did it,” he explained to Mrs. Pangborn, when he had turned the paper
over to her--“to save the girl from any of their nonsense about legal
stuff. They’ll let the fellow off, but I’ll try to find out about the
purse first. He’s got that, somewhere.”

Mrs. Pangborn knew of this man Binns, but had never heard of him
attempting robbery before, and it now occurred to her that there was
some mystery about the whole affair.

“How could he have known that there was a check in the letter he
demanded of Jean?” she thought.

She thanked Jake heartily, but he only laughed, and said it was a
pleasure to do anything for the “honor of Glenwood.”

“But,” he cautioned, “I would suggest that you say nothing to the young
lady about it, just yet. Wait ’till we find out about that purse.”

Mrs. Pangborn willingly agreed, and, glancing at the check, she
instantly thought of Dorothy’s story of the failure of the Marsall
firm. How then could they be sending out checks? Why should Jean be
profiting when Dorothy was evidently losing?

Mrs. Pangborn had already written a letter of sympathy to Major Dale,
and expressed the hope that everything would come out well, finally.

In his reply, the Major stated his grave fears--fears that he would not
have Dorothy know of. It seemed strange, indeed, that a purely business
matter should so affect two of her pupils, but in her hand was the
check stolen from Jean, made out by the company, and Dorothy’s fate, as
to her very standing in the world seemed in the balance, held there by
the same firm!

No wonder Dorothy could not hide her suspense!

Then, if Major Dale should really be arrested, accused of fraud----

The principal put the blue slip away carefully, but not without a sigh.

“If we all did not have to be so dependent upon mere money,” she
thought. “But perhaps it is well we have to struggle for something.”

A light tap at her door interrupted these thoughts. It was Miss
Cummings.

“Mrs. Pangborn,” she began, “I feel it my duty to inform you that there
is an element of discord among certain cliques in your school. I made
up a skating party yesterday, and in a race there was the grossest
violation of rules. Simply a defiance of principles.”

“Who are the offenders?” asked the head of Glenwood calmly.

“There is a club they call the ‘T’s’.”

“The ‘T’s,’” repeated Mrs. Pangborn.

“Yes, and I am told that the letters stands for Tarters!”

“Tarters!” again repeated the principal.

“Yes. Such a choice of name might easily signify the character of the
members,” said Miss Cummings frigidly.

“How long has this been going on?” asked the other.

“It seems the club was formed at the opening of the term, but when the
regular sports of the classes came in vogue, the animosity between the
different sets became serious. I hesitated to tell you before--I really
thought the young ladies would find out their own error--but it seems
they intend to carry things on to suit themselves,” added Miss Cummings.

“I cannot see how such an element got into Glenwood,” demurred Mrs.
Pangborn, with a sigh, “but, of course, it is our business to curb it.
We shall be obliged to stop all private meetings of the clubs, however
innocent, they may be. Then we must endeavor to discover the one who
instigates these enmities.”

“One young lady--Miss Travers is very mischievous,” went on Miss
Cummings, “but I really have not discovered her in any particular
wrong, or direct infringement of the rules.”

“I am glad to hear that,” replied Mrs. Pangborn, “for in her first
season here she was too reckless. But her associations with some of our
best pupils have, of course, helped her greatly.”

Following this conversation Mrs. Pangborn sent for Cecilia Reynolds.
She knew her to be one of the most bitter opponents of the original
Glenwood club, and she determined to question her.

Cecilia entered the office with a nervous look on her round, and rather
pretty, face. Her eyes did not directly seek those of her superior,
but, instead, looked at the Persian rug upon the polished floor.

“Cecilia,” began the principal, “I have sent for you to ask you
about the club you call the ‘T’s’! I understand there have been
some infringements of our rules--in fact that there have been some
happenings, lately, not to be expected from polite young ladies. Now,
will you tell me what your club stands for? That letter T, I mean.”

“Tarters,” replied Cecilia quietly.

“And why should young ladies choose such a name for a seminary club?”

“We thought it would show--it might stand for--our courage,” she
replied again.

“Well, there can be no harm in a name,” said Mrs. Pangborn, “however
ill-chosen it may be. But I should like to see a copy of your rules, if
you have any.”

“I have none,” replied the girl, now nervous to the point of tears.
“We would not have gone against the others, if they had not opposed us
first.”

“In what way?”

“Even on the train coming here,” almost snapped Cecilia. “Tavia Travers
and Dorothy Dale’s set showed they hated us!”

“Hush!” demanded the teacher. “That is no language for a pupil of mine
to use. Why should they dislike almost perfect strangers? I have heard
of the doings of some of you in the train. How Miss Faval refused to go
with her companions and--other improper conduct. But I have not heard
anything against the girls you mention.”

“Then ask Tavia Travers how she sprained her foot the night--the night
we were out,” Cecilia stammered. “We were blamed for going to the
fortune teller, and she and Edna Black got off free. No one knows where
_they_ went that night.”

It was a bold stroke, but Cecilia took courage quickly when she heard
her friends blamed, and her enemies praised.

“I am quite satisfied with an explanation I have had of that
occurrence, but it is useless for me to discuss matters with a pupil
who argues. You may go,” and Mrs. Pangborn showed she meant dismissal.

Cecilia turned, glad to get away.

Immediately she sought Jean. This last humiliation was too much for the
new girls, and they now determined to “strike,” as they termed it.



CHAPTER XXX

A CLIMAX


In order to carry out their plans to “strike,” the dissatisfied ones
decided they would tell all they knew about those who were held in high
favor with the teachers. But in this they were forestalled by events
unexpected.

Jean received a letter that seemed to crush her to the very earth. She
would take no part in anything, but simply went through her routine
work like one in a dream.

It was on this same day, very close to the closing exercises for the
holiday term, that Tavia and Dorothy (the latter more despondent than
ever about her father’s business), also received news that changed
their despondency into gladness.

It was Dorothy’s letter from home. As she finished reading it she
exclaimed:

“Tavia! whatever do you think? Mr. Armstrong--our Mr. Armstrong--is
father’s lawyer!”

“_Our_ Mr. Armstrong,” repeated Tavia, “you mean _your_ Mr. Armstrong,”
Tavia finished teasingly.

“Well, father says this case has taken a new turn. That Mr. Armstrong
has discovered some flaws somewhere in the case of the other side. I
could not understand just what they are, but, at any rate, it makes
things look much brighter for father.”

“Good! May his brightness increase with the days,” replied Tavia. “Of
course I knew it would come all right----”

“But it is not all right yet. It is only brightening up. But a ray of
hope is a great thing, when one is really blue,” admitted Dorothy.

“Then Zada must have had several rays, for I never saw such a changed
girl. She actually went skating with us yesterday. That child was
creepy last Fall,” said Tavia.

Dorothy smiled when she thought of the reason for Zada’s improvement,
but much as Tavia wanted to know the story of the lost picture, Dorothy
could not dream of telling her of Zada’s confession.

“Father knows that we met Mr. Armstrong, and says he wishes to be
remembered to us,” added Dorothy.

“He shall never be forgotten,” said Tavia. “If I really ever felt
foolish enough to marry, I would advertise for a man like him. He is
so real. And how he rode on the hand car! I call that inspiring!”

Dorothy smiled. The relation between riding on a hand car and
inspiration seemed remote.

“Did they find out who took Jean’s purse?” asked Tavia. “I believe Jake
said he would do so, and Jake usually does what he says.”

“Haven’t you heard? Is it possible I have any news that you have been
deprived of?” said Dorothy. “Why, it was the husband of that fortune
teller!”

“Whew!” whistled Tavia. “Bad as that! Jean had better be careful or
they will get _her_ inside that crystal ball.”

“But I do wonder how that woman ever told her the things she did? I
know she told her about the torn letter,” said Dorothy.

Tavia laughed merrily. “Don’t you ever wonder how I strained my foot?”
she questioned in answer.

“Well, yes, of course, but then you did not want to tell me,” Dorothy
replied.

“I will, some day, but just now I want to tell you I had the best time
I ever had in my life that night. But about your father. Dear Major
Dale! How kind he always was to me, and I was such a problem to be kind
to,” said Tavia gratefully.

“We always liked you, Tavia,” added Dorothy equally moved. “But about
father. He says that Mr. Armstrong is a wonderful young lawyer.”

“All things come to her who waits,” put in Tavia. “Now I know what
that chap’s business is. It was really worth while for the investment
company to fail, to get me that news.”

“Don’t joke about so serious a matter,” objected Dorothy. “But you have
no idea how much better I feel. I could sing and dance.”

“That’s Mr. Armstrong,” again teased Tavia. “He made me feel like that
first--before I saw how you made _him_ feel----”

“Now stop, Tavia,” begged Dorothy, blushing. “Mr. Armstrong has really
proven himself a good friend. First he helped us so much the night we
were traveling; then he came to my assistance at the lunch counter, and
now he is assisting father.”

“You have overlooked the fact that he bound up the sprained arm--whose
was it?”

“I wonder how he came to have a medicine case along?” reflected Dorothy.

“Likely feeling he would need it,” suggested Tavia. “That would be
right in line with his other saintly characteristics.”

“No, I believe he was carrying it for some friend. However, we have our
tests to-day. Oh, I am so glad this term is nearly finished. Not that
I dislike the work so much, but everything has been so upset.”

“I am glad, too,” agreed Tavia. “I suppose you are going to North
Birchland for the holidays?”

“Aunt Winnie may not be home, but, of course, the boys will be, and we
always have Christmas together,” replied Dorothy.

Tavia fell to thinking. It was rarely she ever looked quite so serious.
“I will stay on here,” she said. “I can’t afford to go to Dalton. And
besides, home is so changed----”

“You will do nothing of the sort,” exclaimed Dorothy. “You can depend
upon it if I can afford to travel, something will turn up to give you
the same privilege. And here I am talking--how do I know but that
failure may come yet? Then I would have to go--and stay!”

“You are forgetting about David Armstrong,” Tavia said quickly, to
dispel the little blot of gloom. “‘Dave’ will surely win out.”

There was not more time for talking, for, as Dorothy said some of the
mid-year tests were to be prepared for that very day.

Tavia, never fond of study, but doing better than she had expected to
do, worked uneasily over her geometry. Dorothy was making an outline
for a thesis. The morning was dark, and it was plain that the upper
world was burdened with snow.

One more week and Glenwood would be in an uproar, with girls leaving
for home for the Christmas holidays. Everyone seemed happy that
morning, when the classes were called--everyone except Jean. Dorothy
pitied her in her heart, for, though she might have made some mistakes,
still, thought Dorothy, “we all make mistakes in different ways.”

When the day’s work was done and the papers had been examined Dorothy’s
thesis was pronounced the most perfect, and for it she would receive
the usual holiday prize, a gold pin, the gift of the faculty. This was
one of the most desirable tributes that could be bestowed upon a pupil
of Glenwood. It was enamelled with the Glenwood flag and the school
motto.

The next evening, with some pleasant exercises, it was presented, and
every girl, even the “T’s” cheered, for no one could honestly dispute
Dorothy’s right to popularity. Little Zada stole up to her, as they
were leaving the assembly room, and reaching high, put her arms about
Dorothy’s neck, and kissed her affectionately.

Then the Glens held a meeting, and gave her a “shower.” What was not
in that shower could hardly be imagined. Cologne, of course, gave her
a box of perfume, Edna, a silk flag, Tavia, a shoe bag with a little
white dog “Ravelings” painted on. (Tavia did not paint it but that
was of no account.) Other trifles and pretty trinkets came in a real
shower, so that the evening, so close to the end of the mid-year term,
ended most happily.

As there was still some school work to be done this part of the program
had to be “inserted” so to speak, early.

First, because as the holidays drew nearer, the excitement of going
home obscured every other occurrence, and second, because the records
to be made by the teachers for the beginning of the next term occupied
all their time.

“Where is Jean?” asked Dorothy thoughtfully, when, after all the
confusion, she was alone in her room with Tavia.

“I don’t know. No one has seen her to-day. What could have happened, I
wonder? She came out well, and would have received a certificate.”

“I heard Cecilia say she was not well. I wonder should we go over
and see if she is all right? We are her nearest neighbors,” proposed
Dorothy.

“Well, we couldn’t go to-night,” replied Tavia. “But honestly, Doro, I
do feel sorry for her. She seems to have had nothing but scrapes since
she came here. I don’t usually feel that way for a rebel, but maybe
Jean was born that way.”

“It is an unhappy thing to have such a disposition,” said Dorothy, “and
as you say it may be lack of home making--or training. She appears like
a girl who sprang up suddenly.”

“I can sympathize with her in that,” replied Tavia with a sigh. “See
all the trouble I have had! Just because I got to be someone else. I
mean that I had to be made over.”

“Oh, nonsense, Tavia. You were always the best girl in the world. We
were not speaking of polish, but disposition,” insisted Dorothy.

“Well, we will see about Jean in the morning. It appears to be our
duty, since you and I have given her the most cause to be mean,”
decided Tavia, in her queer way of reasoning.

Dorothy smiled as she looked fondly again at the riot of pretty things
about her dresser. “I think it was too much for the girls to give me
all these things,” she remarked. “I wonder how they could spare them
from their home presents?”

“Oh, they were the things they could not get in their boxes,” said
Tavia, plaguing her companion. “But say, let’s snooze. Ned and I walked
all the way to town to-day and I am almost dead.”

“What did you go away in there for?”

“To ask the _Gleaner_ man who gave him your picture.”

“Did he tell you?”

“He said it came by mail, anonymously.”

Then Dorothy smiled as she touched the button that extinguished the
light.



CHAPTER XXXI

A MEETING OF THE BOARD


“Jean is gone!”

It was Dorothy who gave this news to Tavia.

“Gone where?”

“Gone home!”

“So early?”

“Gone, not to come back? Poor Jean!”

“Don’t cry over it. Likely she was glad to get away from the work,”
said Tavia, although she knew that something unexpected must have
happened.

“She left a note for me and said I might read it to you,” Dorothy
continued. “In fact she said she would be glad if I would tell all the
girls that she--had done--foolish things--through jealousy. But, of
course, I won’t. She seems to be heartbroken.”

A messenger appeared at the open door. It was the boy from the
post-office, and he held in his hand a special delivery letter for
Dorothy. This interrupted the story of Jean.

Dorothy opened it nervously. She had been hoping for good news that
might come before the courts closed for the holidays.

Tavia watched her closely as she read. Then she saw the change in her
expression, and there was scarcely need to tell her that the good news
had come.

“Oh Tavia! It is all right! Father has recovered all his money!
And--what do you think? It was Jean’s uncle who was at fault! He had
committed a forgery, and was keeping the funds for his own use! That is
why Jean left!”

Both girls were speechless with excitement after this startling
information was realized. It was Dorothy who spoke first.

“I am so sorry for her,” she said. “Think, if it had been _father_ who
lost all!”

“But your father would not commit a forgery,” said Tavia, in her own
way.

“Yes, but neither did Jean,” objected Dorothy.

“Well, at any rate, let us be glad,” insisted Tavia. “Here is the first
act,” and she tried to do a tom-boyish somersault over Dorothy’s hat
box.

Then there was a rush through the hall. It meant that the girls were
coming to Room Nineteen. The rush continued until Dorothy was placed on
the floor, and Cologne occupied her chair while Tavia had been, not too
carefully, lifted to the top of the chiffonier, from which all things
had previously been removed.

The “T’s” were there as well as the Glens, but Cologne was “spokesman.”

“We have come----” she began.

“You don’t say,” interrupted Tavia.

“For that you shall be gagged--if you do it again,” threatened Cologne.

Molly Richards, or Dick as we know her, fell off the upturned
jardiniere upon which she had been vainly trying to balance herself.

“This is awful,” said the chairman, “and I may have to postpone----”

“Never!” came a shout. “We came for a full meeting of the board, and we
demand it.”

“Then let the Tarters elsewhere speak first. They are our--visitors,”
decided Cologne.

Cecilia Reynolds was not as merry as the others, but she had come to do
her part, and was determined not to flinch.

“Well,” she began, “we feel we made a mistake in having a club opposed
to the Glens.”

“Splendid feeling,” put in Tavia again. “Hurray!”

“And we did--some things--that now we see were not as funny--as we
thought they might be,” went on Cecilia, with an effort. “We voted, at
a meeting, to have Dorothy’s story of the lunch wagon published. We did
not think it would amount to so much, and we decided that the smallest
member--the one least to be suspected, should take the picture off
Tavia’s bureau. Zada was the smallest.”

Tavia could not stand this. She jumped up, and although she was only
joking now, since all things had turned out so well, she did throw a
scrap basket at Cecilia. It hit another member of the Tarters, Nell
Dean, and when the latter tossed it back it landed nicely over Tavia’s
head, and extinguished her, for which all were thankful.

“Then Jean,” went on Cecilia, “thought we could get ahead of the older
members, and we tried all sorts of tricks to do so.”

“We will not talk of those absent,” said Cologne, kindly. “Let us hear
from the Glens. Tavia and Ned, where were you the night of the fortune
telling racket?”

Tavia stretched out her hands in mock entreaty.

“Oh spare me!” she gasped. “Spare me the shame of my bare foot.”

“Tell us,” demanded Cologne.

“Help, Ned!” begged Tavia.

“No, we have questioned you,” insisted the chairman.

“Well, then, I will tell the story of the mystery of the crystal ball,”
said Tavia, making her way to the center of the group, and knocking
over a few girls who were squatted on the floor in doing so. “That
night we, Ned and I, heard of the fortune-telling scheme. So we made up
our minds we would have her tell the truth for once. We hurried off,
and gave the old lady a dollar. Ned chipped in, though I had to take it
from her, and we gave her all the information she needed. We had the
girls marked so she could easily tell them apart, and we, Ned and I,
had the delightful, pleasurable excitement, of listening at the broken
window, while the old lady fulfilled her contract. Then, when we were
scurrying home, I slipped----”

The uproar that followed this confession could only be described as
a human earthquake. Dorothy was supposed to have known of the fraud,
although she did not, and she was not spared in the efforts of the
fooled ones, those who had paid money to have their fortunes told--by
Tavia!

“But we had a good time,” said Ned, timidly, when some of the
excitement had subsided.

“Anything else?” asked Cologne. “Remember we are consolidating now--no
more secrets?”

“Yes. I know how that man knew about Jean having her check,” said Nita
Brant. “The old fortune teller used to wait for Jean and that day she
had seen her go to the post-office, and get the letter. She kept Jean
talking on her way back until the man got farther up in the woods, to
wait for her. Jake got her purse back yesterday from a place where the
Shebad woman had pawned it. And we learned, too, that Jean purposely
dropped that scrap of paper near Dorothy’s door to worry her.”

This was nothing to laugh at. And the bright faces turned serious.

“Now, Dorothy,” and Cologne looked into the blue eyes of her friend,
“you have a letter to read to us.”

Dorothy had not yet read Jean’s note, and she objected to doing so
first in public.

“But Jean left a note to me saying she insisted on her letter being
read,” went on Cologne.

Then Dorothy was compelled to yield.

Everyone sat up quietly while the message from Jean, like a sad note
from another world, was read.

Dorothy began:

  “_My Dear Companions_:

  “I am going away. I can no longer be a pupil of any boarding
  school, and I deeply regret that I made such poor use of my time
  while I had the chance to do better. While I had plenty of money
  I felt no responsibility, but since my uncle’s failure, and the
  showing to me of his true character, I feel more like a woman
  than a girl. I want to apologize for any disturbance I made at
  Glenwood, particularly to Dorothy Dale, whom I thought it was
  sport to distress. It is I, and not Dorothy, who will now have to
  go out into the world to work. But perhaps in that I may be able
  to give up the nonsense I have been lately plunged into, and in
  which, my own dear mother never took part. I could say much more
  but take this message and--good-bye.

                                                        “JEAN.”

There was not a dry eye when Dorothy ceased. The coming of Mrs.
Pangborn saved them from actual weeping.

“Young ladies,” she said, “I have a surprise for you. I guessed in
which room I would find you. I have received a letter from Major Dale,
Dorothy’s father, sending me a check with which to give you all a merry
time before parting. As the snow is so beautiful to-day I thought you
might like a full, school sleigh ride. So I have hired some vehicles,
and----”

“Hurrah! Hurra! Hurroo!” shouted the girls, forgetting all dignity in
face of such a treat.

And on the hills of Glenwood, in three big sleighs, with Jake leading
in the _Glenwood_, its plumes flying, let us leave our friends, to meet
them again, in another volume, to be called, “Dorothy Dale in the City.”

“Well, ‘all is well that ends well,’” murmured Tavia, as they flew
along the snowy road, the sleighbells jingling merrily.

“Yes, and I am glad of it,” answered Dorothy. “But poor Jean, I am so
sorry for her!”

“We all are,” came from Edna.

Then came a burst of song from the sleigh ahead. And with that song we
will say good-bye.


THE END



THE DOROTHY DALE SERIES

  BY MARGARET PENROSE

  Author of “The Motor Girls Series,” “Radio Girls Series,” &c.

  _12mo. Illustrated_

  _Price per volume, $1.00, postpaid_

  [Illustration]

  _Dorothy Dale is the daughter of an old Civil War veteran who is
  running a weekly newspaper in a small Eastern town. Her sunny
  disposition, her fun-loving ways and her trials and triumphs make
  clean, interesting and fascinating reading. The Dorothy Dale
  Series is one of the most popular series of books for girls ever
  published._

  DOROTHY DALE: A GIRL OF TO-DAY
  DOROTHY DALE AT GLENWOOD SCHOOL
  DOROTHY DALE’S GREAT SECRET
  DOROTHY DALE AND HER CHUMS
  DOROTHY DALE’S QUEER HOLIDAYS
  DOROTHY DALE’S CAMPING DAYS
  DOROTHY DALE’S SCHOOL RIVALS
  DOROTHY DALE IN THE CITY
  DOROTHY DALE’S PROMISE
  DOROTHY DALE IN THE WEST
  DOROTHY DALE’S STRANGE DISCOVERY
  DOROTHY DALE’S ENGAGEMENT
  DOROTHY DALE TO THE RESCUE

  _Send For Our Free Illustrated Catalogue_
  CUPPLES & LEON COMPANY, Publishers      New York



THE MOTOR GIRLS SERIES

  By MARGARET PENROSE

  Author of the highly successful “Dorothy Dale Series”

  12mo. Illustrated. Price per volume, $1.00 postpaid.

  [Illustration]

  Since the enormous success of our “Motor Boys Series,” by Clarence
  Young, we have been asked to get out a similar series for girls. No
  one is better equipped to furnish these tales than Mrs. Penrose,
  who, besides being an able writer, is an expert automobilist.

  THE MOTOR GIRLS
    _or A Mystery of the Road_

  THE MOTOR GIRLS ON A TOUR
    _or Keeping a Strange Promise_

  THE MOTOR GIRLS AT LOOKOUT BEACH
    _or In Quest of the Runaways_

  THE MOTOR GIRLS THROUGH NEW ENGLAND
    _or Held by the Gypsies_

  THE MOTOR GIRLS ON CEDAR LAKE
    _or The Hermit of Fern Island_

  THE MOTOR GIRLS ON THE COAST
    _or The Waif from the Sea_

  THE MOTOR GIRLS ON CRYSTAL BAY
    _or The Secret of the Red Oar_

  THE MOTOR GIRLS ON WATERS BLUE
    _or The Strange Cruise of the Tartar_

  THE MOTOR GIRLS AT CAMP SURPRISE
    _or The Cave in the Mountain_

  THE MOTOR GIRLS IN THE MOUNTAINS
    _or The Gypsy Girl’s Secret_

  CUPPLES & LEON CO., Publishers,      NEW YORK



THE RUTH FIELDING SERIES

  BY ALICE B. EMERSON

  _12mo. Illustrated. Jacket in full colors_

  _Price per volume, 65 cents, postpaid_

  [Illustration]

  Ruth Fielding was an orphan and came to live with her miserly uncle.
  Her adventures and travels make stories that will hold the interest
  of every reader.

  [Illustration]

  Ruth Fielding is a character that will live in juvenile fiction.

   1. RUTH FIELDING OF THE RED MILL
   2. RUTH FIELDING AT BRIARWOOD HALL
   3. RUTH FIELDING AT SNOW CAMP
   4. RUTH FIELDING AT LIGHTHOUSE POINT
   5. RUTH FIELDING AT SILVER RANCH
   6. RUTH FIELDING ON CLIFF ISLAND
   7. RUTH FIELDING AT SUNRISE FARM
   8. RUTH FIELDING AND THE GYPSIES
   9. RUTH FIELDING IN MOVING PICTURES
  10. RUTH FIELDING DOWN IN DIXIE
  11. RUTH FIELDING AT COLLEGE
  12. RUTH FIELDING IN THE SADDLE
  13. RUTH FIELDING IN THE RED CROSS
  14. RUTH FIELDING AT THE WAR FRONT
  15. RUTH FIELDING HOMEWARD BOUND
  16. RUTH FIELDING DOWN EAST
  17. RUTH FIELDING IN THE GREAT NORTHWEST
  18. RUTH FIELDING ON THE ST. LAWRENCE
  19. RUTH FIELDING TREASURE HUNTING
  20. RUTH FIELDING IN THE FAR NORTH
  21. RUTH FIELDING AT GOLDEN PASS
  22. RUTH FIELDING IN ALASKA
  23. RUTH FIELDING AND HER GREAT SCENARIO

  CUPPLES & LEON COMPANY, Publishers      New York



THE BETTY GORDON SERIES

  BY ALICE B. EMERSON

  _12mo. Cloth. Illustrated. Jacket in full colors_

  _Price per volume, 65 cents, postpaid_

  [Illustration]

   1. BETTY GORDON AT BRAMBLE FARM
        _or The Mystery of a Nobody_

      At twelve Betty is left an orphan.

   2. BETTY GORDON IN WASHINGTON
        _or Strange Adventures in a Great City_

      Betty goes to the National Capitol to find
      her uncle and has several unusual adventures.

   3. BETTY GORDON IN THE LAND OF OIL
        _or The Farm That Was Worth a Fortune_

      From Washington the scene is shifted to the great oil fields of
      our country. A splendid picture of the oil field operations of
      today.

   4. BETTY GORDON AT BOARDING SCHOOL
        _or The Treasure of Indian Chasm_

      Seeking treasures of Indian Chasm makes interesting reading.

   5. BETTY GORDON AT MOUNTAIN CAMP
      _or The Mystery of Ida Bellethorne_

      At Mountain Camp Betty found herself in the midst of a mystery
      involving a girl whom she had previously met in Washington.

   6. BETTY GORDON AT OCEAN PARK
        _or School Chums on the Boardwalk_

      A glorious outing that Betty and her chums never forgot.

   7. BETTY GORDON AND HER SCHOOL CHUMS
        _or Bringing the Rebels to Terms_

      Rebellious students, disliked teachers and mysterious robberies
      make a fascinating story.

   8. BETTY GORDON AT RAINBOW RANCH
        _or Cowboy Joe’s Secret_

      Betty and her chums have a grand time in the saddle.

   9. BETTY GORDON IN MEXICAN WILDS
        _or The Secret of the Mountains_

      Betty receives a fake telegram and finds both Bob and herself
      held for ransom in a mountain cave.

  10. BETTY GORDON AND THE LOST PEARL
        _or A Mystery of the Seaside_

      Betty and her chums go to the ocean shore for a vacation and
      there Betty becomes involved in the disappearance of a string of
      pearls worth a fortune.

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  CUPPLES & LEON COMPANY, Publishers      New York



THE BARTON BOOKS FOR GIRLS

  BY MAY HOLLIS BARTON

  _12mo. Cloth. Illustrated. With colored jacket_

  _Price per volume, 65 cents, postpaid_

  [Illustration]

  _May Hollis Barton is a new writer for girls who is bound to win
  instant popularity. Her style is somewhat of a mixture of that of
  Louise M. Alcott and Mrs. L. T. Meade, but thoroughly up-to-date in
  plot and action. Clean tales that all girls will enjoy reading._

  1. THE GIRL FROM THE COUNTRY
       _or Laura Mayford’s City Experiences_

     Laura was the oldest of five children and when daddy got sick
     she felt she must do something. She had a chance to try her
     luck in New York, and there the country girl fell in with many
     unusual experiences.

  2. THREE GIRL CHUMS AT LAUREL HALL
       _or The Mystery of the School by the Lake_

     When the three chums arrived at the boarding school they found
     the other students in the grip of a most perplexing mystery. How
     this mystery was solved, and what good times the girls had, both
     in school and on the lake, go to make a story no girl would care
     to miss.

  3. NELL GRAYSON’S RANCHING DAYS
       _or A City Girl in the Great West_

     Showing how Nell, when she had a ranch girl visit her in Boston,
     thought her chum very green, but when Nell visited the ranch in
     the great West she found herself confronting many conditions of
     which she was totally ignorant. A stirring outdoor story.

  4. FOUR LITTLE WOMEN OF ROXBY
       _or The Queer Old Lady Who Lost Her Way_

     Four sisters are keeping house and having trouble to make both
     ends meet. One day there wanders in from a stalled express train
     an old lady who cannot remember her identity. The girls take the
     old lady in, and, later, are much astonished to learn who she
     really is.

  5. PLAIN JANE AND PRETTY BETTY
       _or The Girl Who Won Out_

     The tale of two girls, one plain but sensible, the other pretty
     but vain. Unexpectedly both find they have to make their way in
     the world. Both have many trials and tribulations. A story of a
     country town and then a city.

  _Send For Our Free Illustrated Catalogue_
  CUPPLES & LEON COMPANY, Publishers      New York



BILLIE BRADLEY SERIES

  BY JANET D. WHEELER

  _12mo. Cloth. Illustrated. Jacket in full colors_

  _Price per volume, 65 cents, postpaid_

  [Illustration]

  1. BILLIE BRADLEY AND HER INHERITANCE
       _or The Queer Homestead at Cherry Corners_

     Billie Bradley fell heir to an old homestead that was
     unoccupied and located far away in a lonely section of the
     country. How Billie went there, accompanied by some of her
     chums, and what queer things happened, go to make up a story
     no girl will want to miss.

  2. BILLIE BRADLEY AT THREE-TOWERS HALL
       _or Leading a Needed Rebellion_

     Three-Towers Hall was a boarding school for girls. For a short
     time after Billie arrived there all went well. But then the
     head of the school had to go on a long journey and she left
     the girls in charge of two teachers, sisters, who believed in
     severe discipline and in very, very plain food and little of
     it--and then there was a row! The girls wired for the head to
     come back--and all ended happily.

  3. BILLIE BRADLEY ON LIGHTHOUSE ISLAND
       _or The Mystery of the Wreck_

     One of Billie’s friends owned a summer bungalow on Lighthouse
     Island, near the coast. The school girls made up a party and
     visited the Island. There was a storm and a wreck, and three
     little children were washed ashore. They could tell nothing of
     themselves, and Billie and her chums set to work to solve the
     mystery of their identity.

  4. BILLIE BRADLEY AND HER CLASSMATES
       _or The Secret of the Locked Tower_

     Billie and her chums come to the rescue of several little
     children who have broken through the ice. There is the mystery
     of a lost invention, and also the dreaded mystery of the
     locked school tower.

  5. BILLIE BRADLEY AT TWIN LAKES
       _or Jolly Schoolgirls Afloat and Ashore_

     A tale of outdoor adventure in which Billie and her chums have
     a great variety of adventures. They visit an artists’ colony
     and there fall in with a strange girl living with an old
     boatman who abuses her constantly. Billie befriended Hulda and
     the mystery surrounding the girl was finally cleared up.

  _Send For Our Free Illustrated Catalogue_
  CUPPLES & LEON COMPANY, Publishers      New York



THE LINGER-NOT SERIES

  BY AGNES MILLER

  _12mo. Cloth. Illustrated. Jacket in full colors_

  _Price per volume, 65 cents, postpaid_

  _This new series of girls’ books is in a new style of story
  writing. The interest is in knowing the girls and seeing them
  solve the problems that develop their character. Incidentally,
  a great deal of historical information is imparted._

  [Illustration]

  1. THE LINGER-NOTS AND THE MYSTERY HOUSE
       _or The Story of Nine Adventurous Girls_

     How the Linger-Not girls met and formed their club seems
     commonplace, but this writer makes it fascinating, and how
     they made their club serve a great purpose continues the
     interest to the end, and introduces a new type of girlhood.

  2. THE LINGER-NOTS AND THE VALLEY FEUD
       _or The Great West Point Chain_

     The Linger-Not girls had no thought of becoming mixed up with
     feuds or mysteries, but their habit of being useful soon
     entangled them in some surprising adventures that turned out
     happily for all, and made the valley better because of their
     visit.

  3. THE LINGER-NOTS AND THEIR GOLDEN QUEST
       _or The Log of the Ocean Monarch_

     For a club of girls to become involved in a mystery leading
     back into the times of the California gold-rush, seems
     unnatural until the reader sees how it happened, and how the
     girls helped one of their friends to come into her rightful
     name and inheritance, forms a fine story.

  4. THE LINGER-NOTS AND THE WHISPERING CHARMS
       _or The Secret from Old Alaska_

     Whether engrossed in thrilling adventures in the Far North
     or occupied with quiet home duties, the Linger-Not girls
     could work unitedly to solve a colorful mystery in a way that
     interpreted American freedom to a sad young stranger, and
     brought happiness to her and to themselves.

  _Send For Our Free Illustrated Catalogue_
  CUPPLES & LEON COMPANY, Publishers      New York



THE GIRL SCOUT SERIES

  BY LILIAN GARIS

  _12mo. Cloth. Illustrated. Jacket in full colors_

  _Price per volume, 65 cents, postpaid_

  _The highest ideals of girlhood as advocated by the foremost
  organizations of America form the background for these stories
  and while unobtrusive there is a message in every volume._

  [Illustration]

  1. THE GIRL SCOUT PIONEERS
       _or Winning the First B. C._

     A story of the True Tred Troop in a Pennsylvania town. Two
     runaway girls, who want to see the city, are reclaimed through
     troop influence. The story is correct in scout detail.

  2. THE GIRL SCOUTS AT BELLAIRE
       _or Maid Mary’s Awakening_

     The story of a timid little maid who is afraid to take part in
     other girls’ activities, while working nobly alone for high
     ideals. How she was discovered by the Bellaire Troop and came
     into her own as “Maid Mary” makes a fascinating story.

  3. THE GIRL SCOUTS AT SEA CREST
       _or The Wig Wag Rescue_

     Luna Land, a little island by the sea, is wrapt in a
     mysterious seclusion, and Kitty Scuttle, a grotesque figure,
     succeeds in keeping all others at bay until the Girl Scouts
     come.

  4. THE GIRL SCOUTS AT CAMP COMALONG
       _or Peg of Tamarack Hills_

     The girls of Bobolink Troop spend their summer on the shores
     of Lake Hocomo. Their discovery of Peg, the mysterious rider,
     and the clearing up of her remarkable adventures afford a
     vigorous plot.

  5. THE GIRL SCOUTS AT ROCKY LEDGE
       _or Nora’s Real Vacation_

     Nora Blair is the pampered daughter of a frivolous mother.
     Her dislike for the rugged life of Girl Scouts is eventually
     changed to appreciation, when the rescue of little Lucia, a
     woodland waif, becomes a problem for the girls to solve.

  _Send For Our Free Illustrated Catalogue_
  CUPPLES & LEON COMPANY, Publishers      New York



THE JANE ALLEN COLLEGE SERIES

  BY EDITH BANCROFT

  _12mo. Illustrated. With cover inlay and jacket in colors_

  _Price per volume, $1.00_

  [Illustration]

  _This series is a decided departure from the stories usually
  written of life in the modern college for young women. An
  authoritative account of the life of the college girl as it is
  lived today._

  1. JANE ALLEN OF THE SUB TEAM

     When Jane Allen left her home in Montana, to go East to
     Wellington College, she was sure that she could never learn to
     endure the restrictions of college life.

  2. JANE ALLEN: RIGHT GUARD

     Jane Allen becomes a sophomore at Wellington College, but she
     has to face a severe trial that requires all her courage and
     character. The result is a triumph for being faithful to an
     ideal.

  3. JANE ALLEN: CENTER

     Lovable Jane Allen as Junior experiences delightful days of
     work and play. Jane, and her chum, Judith, win leadership in
     class office, social and athletic circles of Sophs and Juniors.

  4. JANE ALLEN: JUNIOR

     Jane Allen’s college experiences, as continued in “Jane
     Allen, Junior,” afford the chance for a brilliant story. A
     rude, country girl forces her way into Wellington under false
     pretenses.

  5. JANE ALLEN: SENIOR

     Jane and Judith undertake Social Service, wherein they find
     actual problems more thrilling than were those of the “indoor
     sports.”

  _Send For Our Free Illustrated Catalogue_
  CUPPLES & LEON COMPANY, Publishers      New York



THE PATSY CARROLL SERIES

BY GRACE GORDON

_12mo. Illustrated. With cover inlay and jacket in colors_

_Price per volume, $1.00_

  [Illustration]

  _This fascinating series is permeated with the vibrant
  atmosphere of the great out-doors. The vacations spent by
  Patsy Carroll and her chums, the girl Wayfarers, in the
  north, east, south and west of the wonderland of our country,
  comprise a succession of tales unsurpassed in plot and action._

  PATSY CARROLL AT WILDERNESS LODGE

    Patsy Carroll succeeds in coaxing her father to lease one
    of the luxurious camps at Lake Placid, for the summer.
    Established at Wilderness Lodge, the Wayfarers, as they call
    themselves, find they are the center of a mystery which
    revolves about a missing will. How the girls solve the mystery
    makes a splendid story.

  PATSY CARROLL UNDER SOUTHERN SKIES

    Patsy Carroll and her three chums spend their Easter vacation
    in an old mansion in Florida. An exciting mystery develops. It
    is solved by a curious acrostic found by Patsy. This leads to
    very exciting and satisfactory results, making a capital story.

  PATSY CARROLL IN THE GOLDEN WEST

    The Wayfarers journey to the dream city of the Movie World
    in the Golden West, and there become a part of a famous film
    drama.

  PATSY CARROLL IN OLD NEW ENGLAND

    Set in the background of the Tercentenary of the landing of
    the Pilgrims, celebrated in the year 1920, the story of Patsy
    Carroll in Old New England offers a correct word picture of
    this historical event and into it is woven a fascinating tale
    of the adventures of the Wayfarers.

  _Send For Our Free Illustrated Catalogue_
  CUPPLES & LEON COMPANY, Publishers      New York



THE RADIO GIRLS SERIES

  BY MARGARET PENROSE

  _12mo. Cloth. Illustrated. Jacket in full colors_

  _Price per volume, 65 cents, postpaid_

  [Illustration]

  _A new and up-to-date series, taking in the activities of several
  bright girls who become interested in radio. The stories tell of
  thrilling exploits, out-door life and the great part the Radio
  plays in the adventures of the girls and in solving their
  mysteries. Fascinating books that girls of all ages will
  want to read._

  1. THE RADIO GIRLS OF ROSELAWN
       _or A Strange Message from the Air_

     Showing how Jessie Norwood and her chums became interested
     in radiophoning, how they gave a concert for a worthy local
     charity, and how they received a sudden and unexpected call
     for help out of the air. A girl wanted as witness in a
     celebrated law case disappears, and the radio girls go to the
     rescue.

  2. THE RADIO GIRLS ON THE PROGRAM
       _or Singing and Reciting at the Sending Station_

     When listening in on a thrilling recitation or a superb
     concert number who of us has not longed to “look behind
     the scenes” to see how it was done? The girls had made the
     acquaintance of a sending station manager and in this volume
     are permitted to get on the program, much to their delight. A
     tale full of action and fun.

  3. THE RADIO GIRLS ON STATION ISLAND
       _or The Wireless from the Steam Yacht_

     In this volume the girls travel to the seashore and put in a
     vacation on an island where is located a big radio sending
     station. The big brother of one of the girls owns a steam
     yacht and while out with a pleasure party those on the island
     receive word by radio that the yacht is on fire. A tale
     thrilling to the last page.

  4. THE RADIO GIRLS AT FOREST LODGE
       _or The Strange Hut in the Swamp_

     The Radio Girls spend several weeks on the shores of a
     beautiful lake and with their radio get news of a great forest
     fire. It also aids them in rounding up some undesirable folks
     who occupy the strange hut in the swamp.

  _Send For Our Free Illustrated Catalogue_
  CUPPLES & LEON COMPANY, Publishers      New York



THE CURLYTOPS SERIES

  BY HOWARD R. GARIS

  _Author of the famous “Bedtime Animal Stories”_

  _12mo. Cloth. Illustrated. Jacket in full colors_

  _Price per volume, 65 cents, postpaid_

  [Illustration]

   1. THE CURLYTOPS AT CHERRY FARM
        _or Vacation Days in the Country_

      A tale of happy vacation days on a farm.

   2. THE CURLYTOPS ON STAR ISLAND
        _or Camping out with Grandpa_

      The Curlytops camp on Star Island.

   3. THE CURLYTOPS SNOWED IN
        _or Grand Fun with Skates and Sleds_

      The Curlytops on lakes and hills.

   4. THE CURLYTOPS AT UNCLE FRANK’S RANCH
        _or Little Folks on Ponyback_

      Out West on their uncle’s ranch they have a wonderful time.

   5. THE CURLYTOPS AT SILVER LAKE
        _or On the Water with Uncle Ben_

      The Curlytops camp out on the shores of a beautiful lake.

   6. THE CURLYTOPS AND THEIR PETS
        _or Uncle Toby’s Strange Collection_

      An old uncle leaves them to care for his collection of pets.

   7. THE CURLYTOPS AND THEIR PLAYMATES
        _or Jolly Times Through the Holidays_

      They have great times with their uncle’s collection of animals.

   8. THE CURLYTOPS IN THE WOODS
        _or Fun at the Lumber Camp_

      Exciting times in the forest for Curlytops.

   9. THE CURLYTOPS AT SUNSET BEACH
        _or What Was Found in the Sand_

      The Curlytops have a fine time at the seashore.

  10. THE CURLYTOPS TOURING AROUND
        _or The Missing Photograph Albums_

      The Curlytops get in some moving pictures.

  11. THE CURLYTOPS IN A SUMMER CAMP
        _or Animal Joe’s Menagerie_

      There is great excitement as some mischievous monkeys break
      out of Animal Joe’s Menagerie.

  _Send For Our Free Illustrated Catalogue_
  CUPPLES & LEON COMPANY, Publishers      New York



TO PARENTS

  _Our Name is a Reliable Guide to Good Books_

  You want to be sure of the character of the books read by your
  boys and girls. When you see our name, Cupples & Leon Company,
  printed on a book, you can rest assured that it is a fit book for
  them in every way, that the reading matter is clean, interesting,
  inspiring and educational.

  _Send for our complete free illustrated Catalogue_

  CUPPLES & LEON COMPANY
  Publishers :: :: :: New York

  [See Inner Side of this Wrapper]



TO OUR READERS

  After you have read this book look over the different lists of our
  books on this jacket or wrapper, and see what other of these books
  you would like to read. We are sure you will like and enjoy every
  one as well as you have liked this one.

  _Send for our complete free illustrated Catalogue_

  CUPPLES & LEON COMPANY
  Publishers :: :: :: New York

  [See Inner Side of this Wrapper]



Live up-to-date stories for wide-awake boys and girls.

  Well printed on good quality of paper, illustrated.

  _$1.00 BOOKS--FOR BOYS_

    MOTOR BOYS SERIES
      By CLARENCE YOUNG

        The Motor Boys
        The Motor Boys Overland
        The Motor Boys In Mexico
        The Motor Boys Across the Plains
        The Motor Boys Afloat
        The Motor Boys On the Atlantic
        The Motor Boys In Strange Waters
        The Motor Boys On the Pacific
        The Motor Boys In the Clouds
        The Motor Boys Over the Rockies
        The Motor Boys Over the Ocean
        The Motor Boys On the Wing
        The Motor Boys After a Fortune
        The Motor Boys On the Border
        The Motor Boys Under the Sea
        The Motor Boys On Road and River
        The Motor Boys At Boxwood Hall
        The Motor Boys On a Ranch
        The Motor Boys In the Army
        The Motor Boys On the Firing Line
        The Motor Boys Bound for Home
        The Motor Boys On Thunder Mountain

    JACK RANGER SERIES
      By CLARENCE YOUNG

        Jack Ranger’s School Days
        Jack Ranger’s Western Trip
        Jack Ranger’s School Victories
        Jack Ranger’s Ocean Cruise
        Jack Ranger’s Gun Club
        Jack Ranger’s Treasure Box

    BASEBALL JOE SERIES
      By LESTER CHADWICK

        Baseball Joe of the Silver Stars
        Baseball Joe on the School Nine
        Baseball Joe at Yale
        Baseball Joe in the Central League
        Baseball Joe in the Big League
        Baseball Joe on the Giants
        Baseball Joe in the World Series
        Baseball Joe around the World
        Baseball Joe: Home Run King
        Baseball Joe Saving the League
        Baseball Joe: Captain of the Team

    COLLEGE SPORTS SERIES
      By LESTER CHADWICK

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Transcriber’s Note:

Variations in hyphenated words have been retained as they appear in the
original publication. Punctuation has been standardised. Other changes
to the original publication are as follows:

  Page 3
    I would’t wear one like it _changed to_
    I wouldn’t wear one like it

    and the very thinest silk _changed to_
    and the very thinnest silk

  Page 6
    favorite with her acquaintences _changed to_
    favorite with her acquaintances

  Page 14
    Tavia had inadvertantly poured _changed to_
    Tavia had inadvertently poured

  Page 21
    be worse off that Amy _changed to_
    be worse off than Amy

  Page 45
    in a gorgeous red kimona _changed to_
    in a gorgeous red kimono

  Page 47
    flash of that fire-alarm kimona _changed to_
    flash of that fire-alarm kimono

  Page 48
    under the irridescent blades of light _changed to_
    under the iridescent blades of light

  Page 55
    Dorothy lauged frankly _changed to_
    Dorothy laughed frankly

  Page 84
    absurb comparison brought forth _changed to_
    absurd comparison brought forth

  Page 86
    stranger, named Cecilia Reynold _changed to_
    stranger, named Cecilia Reynolds

    skirt was was torn from her _changed to_
    skirt was torn from her

  Page 95
    suspicous whispering at lunch time _changed to_
    suspicious whispering at lunch time

  Page 114
    Be assurred if I am hauled _changed to_
    Be assured if I am hauled

  Page 115
    with that remarks echoing _changed to_
    with that remark echoing

  Page 119
    I shall turn somnabulist _changed to_
    I shall turn somnambulist

  Page 143
    Jake assurred them _changed to_
    Jake assured them

  Page 146
    I known Cologne and Annette are _changed to_
    I know Cologne and Annette are

  Page 183
    she enterd the classroom _changed to_
    she entered the classroom

  Page 185
    in the white haired woman _changed to_
    in the white-haired woman

  Page 189
    and such varities of outdoor life _changed to_
    and such varieties of outdoor life

  Page 190
    instruct the class on varities of _changed to_
    instruct the class on varieties of

  Page 193
    said Miss Cumming calmly _changed to_
    said Miss Cummings calmly

  Page 209
    She was somewhat supertitious _changed to_
    She was somewhat superstitious

  Page 211
    be interferred with by a giggling _changed to_
    be interfered with by a giggling

  Page 212
    he replied camly _changed to_
    he replied calmly

  Page 221
    or direct infringment of the rules _changed to_
    or direct infringement of the rules

  Page 235
    the upturned jardinere upon which _changed to_
    the upturned jardiniere upon which

  Page 235
    let the Tartars speak first _changed to_
    let the Tarters speak first

  Page 236
    another member of the Tartars _changed to_
    another member of the Tarters

  Page 239
    saved them for actual weeping _changed to_
    saved them from actual weeping

  Book catalogue, page 3
    RUTH FIELDING AT BRIARWOODHALL _changed to_
    RUTH FIELDING AT BRIARWOOD HALL





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