Dorothy Dainty at Glenmore
by Amy Brooks
I. OFF TO
CHAPTER II. THE
CHAPTER IV. A
CHAPTER V. A
CHAPTER VI. THE
CHAPTER VIII. A
BIT OF SPITE
CHAPTER IX. THE
CHAPTER X. A
CHAPTER XI. AN
CHAPTER XII. A
[Illustration: “A letter from Vera!” answered Dorothy.]
CHAPTER I. OFF TO GLENMORE
The Stone House looked as fine, and its gardens as gay with flowers,
as when the members of the household were to be at home for a season,
for it always seemed at those times as if the blossoming plants did
their best, because sure of loving admiration.
But something entirely new was about to happen; something that made
Dorothy Dainty catch her breath, while her dearest friend, Nancy
Ferris, declared that she was wildly happy, except that the whole thing
seemed so like a dream that she could hardly believe it.
“That's just it, Nancy,” said Dorothy. “It surely does seem like a
Yet it was true, and not a dream that Mr. Dainty was to be away from
home for some months, that Mrs. Dainty was to accompany him, and that
Aunt Charlotte would be with them, and that Dorothy and Nancy were to
spend those months at a fine school for girls, and Vera Vane, merry,
mischief-loving Vera, would be eagerly looking for them on the day of
their arrival. One would almost wonder that the thought of being away
at school should appeal to Dorothy and Nancy, but it was the novelty
that charmed them.
It was always delightful at the Stone House, and there had been
summer seasons at shore and country that they had greatly enjoyed, but
here was a new experience, and the “newness” was delightful.
A letter from Vera had just arrived, and Dorothy, out in the garden
when the postman had handed it to her, stood reading it.
“Her letters are just like herself,” she whispered.
She looked up. Nancy was calling to her.
“A letter from Vera!” answered Dorothy.
“We shall have to hurry a bit,” Nancy said, “James is strapping the
two trunks, the suit-cases are out in the hall, and we must be ready in
“All right!” cried Dorothy. “Give me your hand and we'll run to the
She tucked the letter into the front of her blouse, and then
promptly forgot all about it.
The “twenty minutes” sped on wings, and when at last Dorothy and
Nancy sat side by side in the car, their trunks checked, their
suit-cases, and umbrellas on the seat that had been turned over for
them, they turned, each to look into the other's eyes.
Dorothy's lip quivered, but she spoke bravely.
“It is hard, this first trip away from home without mother or Aunt
Charlotte with us,” she said. Then quickly she added:
“But it will be fine when we get used to being away from home.”
“Oh, yes, it will be fine!” Nancy said in a firm voice, but
she looked down, lest her eyes show a suspicious moisture.
As the journey progressed, their spirits rose. After all, it was not
really “good-by,” yet.
Mrs. Dainty had postponed the actual “good-by” until a week after
Dorothy and Nancy should have begun the school year at Glenmore.
She knew that Vera Vane was a host in herself, her friend and chum,
Elfreda was nearly her equal in active wit, and high spirits, and at
least a few of the other pupils would have already formed a speaking
acquaintance with the two new girls.
The girls would have been assigned places in the classes for which
they were fitted, and thus the school work would be planned, and their
time closely occupied.
Mrs. Dainty and Aunt Charlotte were also eager to know if the two
who were so dear to them were comfortable, satisfied with their
surroundings, and looking forward to a pleasant school year. Until thus
assured, they could not set out on the journey, for the trip had been
planned as a means of rest and recuperation for Mrs. Dainty. How could
she rest, or enjoy the trip unless she were sure that Dorothy was
absolutely content and happy? If Dorothy were happy, Nancy was sure to
be, because the two were inseparable, and their tastes nearly
The two girls were a bit tired of looking from the window at the
flying scenery, and Nancy expressed the wish that they had brought
something with them to read.
“I did,” Dorothy said, with a laugh, and she drew Vera's letter from
She read it aloud, while Nancy leaned against her shoulder, enjoying
it with her.
“I wish you had come the first day that school opened, but I'll be
on the lookout for you and Nancy. My! But we'll have fun and a plenty
of it this year at Glenmore,” she concluded, signed her name, and then
added a postscript.
“Patricia, and Arabella are here, both—no, each—oh, which
should I say? Anyway, they're acting just outrageous, and already
they've earned the name that the girls have given them. They call them
'The Freaks,' and truly the name fits. They speak of Patricia as 'the
one with the queer clothes,' and of Arabella as 'the medicine-chest.'
“She's taking more pills, I do believe, than she ever did at home,
and she wants folks to notice that.
“The idea! I'm glad there are two nice girls coming from
Merrivale, although you'd never think Patricia ever saw the
place, for she talks of nothing but 'N'York.' My brother Bob always
laughs about my long postscripts. It's lucky he can't see this one!
Dorothy folded the letter, again placing it in her blouse, and then
for a time they watched the passengers.
Opposite them was a big woman, who possessed three bird-cages, two
holding birds, and the third imprisoning a kitten.
There was a lean man with a fat little girl beside him, who ate
countless lunches, which were packed in a big basket, that seemed a
veritable horn of plenty.
Yet a bit farther up the aisle was a small boy with a large cage
that he watched closely.
A thick cloth covered it, but once, when the boy was not looking, a
long brown furry arm reached out, and snatched mischievously at his
“It's a monkey,” whispered Nancy, and the boy turned and grinned.
“'F he knew there was a monkey in that cage he'd make me put
it in the baggage car,” he said.
Dorothy was tired with the long ride, and just as she was thinking
that she could not bear much more of it, the brakeman shouted,
“Glenmore! Glenmore!” and the two girls were glad enough to get out
upon the platform.
Glenmore, the village, was a lovely little country place, quiet, and
evidently content with itself.
Glenmore, the school, was a rambling, picturesque home for the
pupils who came there.
Once it had been a private mansion, but its interior had been
remodeled to meet the requirements of a small, and select school for
A bit old-fashioned in that it was more genuinely homelike than
other private schools, it held itself proudly aloof from neighboring
It claimed that its home atmosphere was the only old-fashioned thing
about it, and that was not an idle boast, for the old house had been
equipped with every modern convenience. Its instructors were the best
that a generous salary could tempt to Glenmore, and Mrs. Marvin, owner,
promoter, and manager of the school, was an exceedingly clever woman
for the position.
As assistant, Miss Fenler, small, and wiry, did all that was
required of her, and more. She had never been appointed as a monitor,
but she chose to do considerable spying, so that the pupils had come to
speak of her as the “detective.”
One of her many duties was to see that the carryall was at the
station when new pupils were to arrive.
Accordingly when Dorothy and Nancy left the train, and found
themselves on the platform, Miss Fenler was looking for them, and she
stowed them away in the carryall much as if they had been only ordinary
Then, seating herself beside the driver, she ordered him to return.
“Home,” she said, and “home” they were driven, for “home” meant
Glenmore to the colored man, who considered himself a prominent
official of the school.
Classes were in session when they reached Glenmore, so Miss Fenler
went with them to the pretty room that was to be theirs, a maid
following with suit-cases, the colored man bringing up the rear with
one trunk, and a promise to return on the next trip with the other.
A class-room door, half open, allowed a glimpse of the new arrivals.
“See the procession with the 'Fender' ahead,” whispered a saucy
“Her name's 'Fenler,'“ corrected her chum.
“I know that, but I choose to call her 'Fender,' because she's like
those they have on engines to scoop up any one who is on the tracks.
She's just been down to the station to 'scoop' two new pupils, and I
A tap of a ruler left the sentence unfinished.
Arabella Correyville, without an idea as to what was whispered, had
seen the broad smile, and had heard the giggle.
“Who was out there?” she wrote on a bit of paper, and cautiously
passed it to Patricia Levine.
“I don't know. I didn't see them, but they must be swell.
They had ever so much luggage.” That was just like Patricia. She judged
every one thus.
That a girl could be every inch a lady, and at the same time,
possess a small, well chosen wardrobe was past understanding; but any
girl, however coarse in appearance and manner, could, with a display of
many gaudy costumes, convince Patricia that she was a young person of
Miss Fenler talked with them for a few moments, and then left them
to unpack their belongings, saying that later, when they felt rested,
they might come down to the reception hall and meet some of the girls
who would be their classmates during the year.
It was the custom, she said, for the pupils to meet for a social
half-hour before dinner, to talk over the happenings of the day, their
triumphs or failures in class-room, or at sports, or to tell what had
interested those who had been out for a tramp.
There had been an afternoon session that day for the purpose of
choosing from the list of non-compulsory studies.
“Usually,” Miss Fenler explained, “the classes meet for recitations
in the forenoon only, the afternoons being reserved for study, and when
lessons were prepared, for recreation.”
Miss Fenler left them, closing the door softly behind her.
Dorothy turned to look at Nancy.
“What do you think of her?” Nancy said, asking the question that she
knew was puzzling Dorothy.
After a second's thought Dorothy said:
“We shall get on with her, I believe, but I can't think Arabella or
Patricia would be very comfortable here. Really, they will be obliged
to study here, and Arabella won't want to, and I don't think Patricia
could. If they don't study, how can they remain?”
Nancy laughed outright.
“Don't worry about those two funny girls,” she said, “for if they
won't study, or can't study, and so are not allowed to
remain, you'll be just as happy, Dorothy dear, and for that matter, so
Later, when together they descended the quaint stairway, they found
the ever-present Miss Fenler, waiting to present them.
Vera Vane, and Elfreda Carleton, each with an arm about the other's
waist, hastened forward to greet them.
“Oh, we're so glad you and Nancy have—”
“Just a moment Miss Vane, until you have been properly presented,”
Miss Fenler said, in a cold, precise manner.
“But I've always known Dorothy—”
“That makes no difference,” the assistant said, and she presented
them in formal manner.
Vera raised her eyebrows, presented the tips of her fingers, and
told Dorothy in a high, squeaky voice that she was very glad to
know her. Elf did the same in an exact copy of Vera's manner.
Several of the pupils giggled, but to their credit, Dorothy and
Nancy managed not to laugh.
When a half-dozen girls had been presented, some one told Miss
Fenler that Mrs. Marvin wished to see her, and what had begun in a
stilted manner, became a genuine girl's social.
When the clock in the hall chimed six, and they turned toward the
long dining-room, the two new pupils had already made the acquaintance
of several girls, who sat beside, and opposite them at the table.
From a distant table Patricia and Arabella were turning to attract
It had happened that Arabella had chosen to remain in her room
during the half-hour reunion.
“I don't feel like talking to a crowd of girls to-night,” she had
“My! If you don't care to talk to girls, it must be you'd rather
talk to boys!” Patricia said, laughing.
“I would not!” Arabella remarked, with a flash in her eyes
that one rarely saw.
“Oh, do excuse me!” Patricia said, “but that's all right, for
I'll stay right here and talk to you.”
Arabella was not in much of a mood for listening, either, but she
thought it best not to say so. At any other time, Arabella would have
listened for hours to whatever Patricia might care to say, but to-night
she was in a contrary mood.
CHAPTER II. THE FIRST SOCIAL
Two weeks at Glenmore, and Dorothy and Nancy were content. Letters
from Mrs. Dainty and Aunt Charlotte assured them that the dear
travelers were well, and that already Mrs. Dainty was feeling the
benefit of the change of scene.
Mrs. Dainty had engaged a large, front room at Glenmore for the two
girls to enjoy as a sitting-room and study, from which led a tastefully
furnished chamber, and already they called it their “school home.”
Patricia and Arabella had a fair-sized room farther down the
corridor. Vera Vane and Elfreda Carleton were snugly settled in cozy
quarters a few doors beyond the one that bore Dorothy's and Nancy's
Patricia Levine had ordered a large card, elaborately lettered in
red and green, announcing that:
THIS SUITE IS OCCUPIED
MISS P. LEVINE
MISS A. CORREYVILLE
A small card was all that was necessary, indeed only a small card
was permitted, but Patricia did not know that. After her usual manner
of doing things, she had ordered a veritable placard of the village
sign painter, and when she had tacked it upon the door, it fairly
shouted, in red and green ink.
“There!” she exclaimed, “I guess when the other girls see that,
they'll think the two who have this room are pretty swell.”
“Isn't it,—rather—loud?” ventured Arabella timidly.
Patricia's eyes blazed.
“Loud?” she cried. “Well, what do you want? A card that will
“Maybe it's all right,” Arabella said quickly, to which Patricia
“Of course it's all right. It's more than all right! It's very
Arabella was no match for her room-mate, and whenever a question
arose regarding any matter of mutual interest, it was always Patricia
who settled it, and Arabella who meekly agreed that she was probably
Arabella was not gentle, indeed she possessed a decidedly contrary
streak, but she always feared offending Patricia, because Patricia
could be very disagreeable when opposed.
Patricia was still admiring the gaudy lettering when a door at the
far end of the corridor opened.
She sprang back into her room, closed the door and standing close to
it waited to hear if the big card provoked admiring comment.
Nearer came the footsteps.
Could they pass without seeing it? They paused—then:
“Well, just look at that!”
“A regular sign-board!”
A few moments the two outside the door stood whispering, then one
giggled, and together they walked to the stairway and descended,
laughing all the way.
Patricia opened the door and peeped out. “It was that red-haired
girl, and the black-haired one that are always together,” she reported
“Now, what in the world were they laughing at?”
“Laughing at the big card, I suppose,” Arabella said.
“Well, there's nothing funny about that,” Patricia said, hotly. “It
cost ever so much more than the teenty little cards on the other
doors did.” Patricia rated everything by its cost.
“They knew that big card looked fine, and they certainly could see
that the lettering was showy,” she continued; “so why did they stand
outside the door giggling?”
“How do I know?” Arabella said.
“Open the door, and we'll look at it again, and see if—”
A smart tap upon the door caused Arabella to stop in the middle of
“S'pose it's those same girls?” whispered Patricia. “If I thought it
was I wouldn't stir a step.”
A second rap, louder, and more insistent than the first brought both
girls to their feet, and Patricia flew to open the door.
Miss Fenler glared at them through her glasses.
“Why did you not answer my first rap?” she asked.
“We didn't know it was you,” said Patricia.
Ignoring the excuse, Miss Fenler continued: “I called to tell you to
remove that great card, and put a small one in its place with only your
names upon it, and in regard to your efforts to obtain work, you can
not have any such notice upon your door. Instead you must leave your
names at the office and I will see if any of the pupils will patronize
“I don't know what you mean!” cried Patricia, flushed and angry.
For answer Miss Fenler pointed to a line penciled on the lower edge
of the placard which read:
Patching and mending done
at reasonable prices.
“We never wrote that!” cried Arabella, “and we don't want to be
“The red-haired girl, and the black-haired girl that are always
together, stopped at the door and did something, and then went down
stairs laughing all the way,” screamed Patricia. “'Twas one of those
two who wrote that.”
“I must ask you to talk quietly,” Miss Fenler said, “and as to the
writing, I'll look into that. In the meantime I'll get a small card for
you to put in place of that large one.”
She left the room, and as soon as she was well out of hearing,
Patricia vowed vengeance upon the two girls who had written the
“I'll get even with them!” she said.
“How will you?” Arabella asked.
“I don't know yet, but you'd better believe I'll watch for a
“I'll watch, too!” cried Arabella.
It was the custom at Glenmore to hold a little informal reception on
an evening of the third week after the school had opened.
Its purpose was to have pupils of all the classes present so that
those who never met in the recitation-rooms might become acquainted.
When the announcement appeared upon the bulletin board it caused a
flurry of excitement.
Dorothy and Nancy had already found new friends, and were eager to
meet others whose agreeable ways had interested them.
“It's such a pleasant place,” Dorothy said one morning as she stood
brushing her hair, “and so many pleasant faces in the big class-room. I
saw at least a dozen I'd like to know, when we were having the morning
exercises, and there's ever so many more that we have yet to meet.”
“And Tuesday evening is sure to be jolly. There'll be a crowd to
talk with, and one of the girls told me to-day that there's almost sure
to be some music, either vocal or instrumental, and she said that last
year they often had fine readers at the receptions,” Nancy concluded.
They were on their way to the class-room, when Patricia and Arabella
“Is the social to be a dressy affair?” Patricia asked, adding: “I
hope it is, because I shall be dressy, whether any one else is
They had reached the class-room door so that there was no time for
either Dorothy or Nancy to reply to the silly remark if they had cared
to do so.
* * * * *
At eight o'clock nearly all the pupils had assembled in the big
reception-room, and the hum of voices told that each was doing her best
to outdo her neighbor. Near the center of the room a group of girls
stood talking. It was evident that the theme of their conversation was
not engrossing, for twice their leader, Betty Chase, had replied at
random while her eyes roved toward the door, and Valerie Dare remarked
that her chum had been reading such a romantic story, that she was
eagerly looking for a knight in full armor to appear.
“Be still!” cried Betty. “You know very well what I'm looking for.”
“I do indeed,” Valerie admitted. “Say, girls! You all know the two
that are always together, the one with goggles that we've dubbed the
'medicine chest,' and her chum who wears all the rainbow colors
whenever and wherever she appears?”
“Surely, but what are their names?” inquired a pale, sickly-looking
girl who had joined the group.
“Don't know their names,” said Betty, “but I heard Miss Rainbow
telling her friend that she intended to wear 'something very dressy'
to-night, so I'm eager to see her. My! Here she comes now.”
“Good gracious!” gasped Valerie, under her breath.
With head very high, Patricia rushed, rather than walked across the
room, until she reached the center, when she stopped as if to permit
every one to obtain a good view of her costume. Her bold manner made
her more absurd even than her dress which was, as Betty Chase declared,
Turning slowly around to the right, then deliberately to the left,
she appeared to feel herself a paragon of fashion, a model dressed to
give the pupils of Glenmore a chance to observe something a bit finer
than they had ever seen before.
As Patricia slowly turned, Arabella, like a satellite, as slowly
revolved about her.
Who could wonder that a wave of soft laughter swept over the room.
It was evident that vanity equalling that of the peacock moved Patricia
to turn about that every one might see both front and back of her
dress, but no one could have guessed why Arabella in a plain brown
woolen dress kept pace with her silly friend.
It was not vanity that kept droll little Arabella moving. No,
Thus far, Arabella had made no new acquaintances.
As she entered the reception-room with Patricia she saw only a sea
of strange faces, and with a wild determination at least to have
Patricia to speak to, she trotted around her, that she might not, at
any moment, find herself talking to Patricia's back.
That surely would be awkward, she thought.
Patricia's dress was a light gray silk, tastefully made, and had she
been content to wear it as it had been sent to her from New York, she
would have looked well-dressed, and no one would have made comments
upon her appearance.
The soft red girdle gave a touch of color, but not nearly enough to
At the village store she had purchased ribbons of many colors, from
which she had made bows or rosettes of every hue, and these she had
tacked upon her slippers. Her hair was tied with a bright blue ribbon,
and over the shoulders of her blouse she had sewed pink and yellow
ribbons. Narrow green edged her red girdle.
Blue and buff, rose and orange, straw-color and lavender, surely not
a tint was missing, and the result was absolutely comical! One would
have thought that a lunatic had designed the costume.
And when she believed that her dress had been seen from all angles,
Patricia left the reception-room, passing to a larger room beyond,
where she seated herself, and at once assumed a bored expression. Not
the least interest in other pupils had she. She had come to the little
social to be gazed at, and as soon as she believed that all must have
seen her, the party held no further interest for her.
She heard the buzz of whispered conversation in the room that she
had left, and she wished that she might know what they were saying. It
was well that she could not.
“What an unpleasant-looking girl!” said one.
“Wasn't that dress a regular rainbow?” whispered another.
“Oh, but she was funny, turning around for us to see her, just like
a wax dummy in a store window,” said a third.
[Illustration: She wished that she might know what they were
“She's queer to go off by herself!” remarked the first one who had
“We're not very nice,” said Betty Chase, who thus far had not
spoken, “that is not very kind, to be so busily talking about her.”
“Well, I declare, Betty, who'd ever dream that you, who are always
getting into scrapes would boldly give us a lecture.”
Betty's black eyes flashed.
“I know I get into funny scrapes,” she snapped, “but whatever I do,
I don't talk about people, Ida Mayo.”
“You don't have time to,” exclaimed her chum, Valerie Dare. “It
takes all your spare time to plan mischief.”
In the laugh that followed, Betty forgot that she was vexed.
Patricia began to find it rather dull sitting alone in a room back
of the reception-hall.
She felt that she had entered the hall in a burst of glory; had
fairly dazzled all beholders!
She had believed that the girls would be so entranced with her
appearance that they would follow her that they might again inspect her
She was amazed that she had been permitted to sit alone if she
The other pupils thought it strange that she should choose to remain
alone instead of becoming acquainted with those who were to be her
schoolmates for the year, but believing that she was determined to be
unsocial, they made no effort to disturb her.
Arabella, who had followed her, became curious as to what was going
on in the hall, and from time to time, crept to the wide doorway,
peeped out to get a better view, then returned to report what she had
“Everybody is talking to Dorothy and Nancy,” she said in a stage
“Vera Vane seems to know almost every one already, and Elf Carleton
is telling a funny story, and making all the girls around her laugh.
“And, Patricia, you ought to come here and see Betty Chase.
She has a long straw, and she's tickling Valerie's neck with it.
Valerie doesn't dream what it is, and while she's talking, keeps trying
to brush off the tickly thing. Come and see her!”
Patricia did not stir. She longed to see the fun, but she felt
rather abashed to come out from her corner.
The sound of a violin being tuned proved too tempting, however, and
she joined Arabella in the doorway.
One of the youngest pupils stood, violin in hand, while, at the
piano, Betty Chase was playing the prelude. Lina Danford handled the
bow cleverly, and played her little solo with evident ease.
Her audience was delighted, and gayly their hands clapped their
approval. The two in the doorway stood quite still, and gave no
evidence of pleasure. Arabella was too spunkless to applaud; Patricia
was too jealous.
Arabella, after her own dull fashion, had enjoyed the music.
Patricia surely had not.
Patricia never could bear to see or hear any one do
“Let's go up to our room,” she whispered.
“P'rhaps some of the others will play or sing,” ventured Arabella,
who wished to remain.
“Let 'em!” Patricia said, even her whisper showing that she
“'Let 'em?'“ Arabella drawled. “Why I'll have to let 'em. I
couldn't stop them, and I don't want to. I'd like to hear them.”
“Then stay and hear them!” snapped Patricia, and she rushed out into
the midst of the groups of listeners, and dashed up the stairway before
Miss Fenler could stop her.
What could have been more rude and ill-bred than to leave in such
haste, thereby disturbing those who were enjoying the music?
Arabella's first thought was to follow Patricia lest she be angry,
but she saw Miss Fenler's effort to stay Patricia, and she dared not
leave the room.
Arabella felt as if she were between two desperate people.
She feared Miss Fenler, as did every pupil at Glenmore, and by
remaining where she was, she certainly was not offending her, but she
could not forget Patricia. What a temper she would be in when, after
the concert was over, Arabella, cautiously, would turn the latch, and
enter their chamber!
Patricia was wide awake, and listening, when at last Arabella
reached their door. Softly she tried to open it so carefully that if
Patricia were asleep she might remain so.
Patricia had turned the key in the lock, and she fully enjoyed lying
comfortably on the bed, and listening while on the other side of the
door her chum was turning the knob first one way and then the other.
There's no knowing how long she would have permitted Arabella to
stand out in the hall, but suddenly she remembered that Miss Fenler
strode down the corridors every night after lights were supposed to be
out, just to learn if any one of the girls were defying the rule.
With a rather loud “O dear!” Patricia flounced out of bed,
went to the door, pretended to be so sleepy that she could not at once
find the key, and then, as the door opened, gave an exaggerated yawn.
For once Arabella was quick-witted.
“Miss Fenler is just coming up the stairs,” she said.
Patricia forgot the scolding that she had been preparing for
Arabella, and instead she said:
“Hurry! Put out the light. You can undress in the dark, but for
goodness' sake, don't stumble over anything!”
CHAPTER III. MISCHIEF
A few days later, Dorothy stood at the window looking out upon a
windswept road, where not even so much as a dry leaf remained to tell
of the vanished Autumn.
The sky was cloud-covered, and the gaunt trees bent and swayed as if
a giant arm were shaking them.
“We missed our afternoon trip down to the village,” she said, “but
no one would care to walk in this gale, and even—why, who—? Nancy,
come here! Isn't that Patricia?”
Nancy ran to the window.
“Why, no—yes,—Well, it certainly is Patricia,” she said.
“And just look at the parcel she's carrying!”
“Whatever it is, she must have wanted it, to go out such day as
this,” said Nancy, “and look! Miss Fenler is out on the porch,—why,
she's actually feeling of it to see what's in the parcel. Really, I
don't see why it's all right for her to do that.”
“It does seem queer,” agreed Dorothy, “but you know it is the rule
that the girls must not bring large parcels into this house, unless
they're willing to show what is in them.”
“There! The paper has burst open, and,—Well, did you see that?”
Miss Fenler was actually thrusting a long bony finger into the
opening with the hope of learning if anything that had been forbidden,
was being smuggled into the house inside the folds of gayly flowered
goods that Patricia had declared was a tea-gown. After a moment, Miss
Fenler nodded as if dismissing the matter, and Patricia, her chin very
high, passed into the hall. Miss Fenler turned to look after her, as if
not sure if she had done wisely in permitting Patricia to enter with so
large a bundle, without first compelling her to open it, and spread its
contents for inspection.
Patricia's eyes had flashed when questioned about her parcel, but
once inside the hall, her anger increased, and she mounted the stairs,
tramping along the upper hall so noisily that several pupils looked out
to learn who had arrived. Farther down the hall a door opened, and
Betty Chase's laughing face looked out. She, too, had seen Patricia and
Miss Fenler on the porch and, while she did not like Patricia, she
detested the woman who seemed to enjoy spying, so her sympathy was, of
course, with the pupil.
“Had a scrap with the 'Fender'? I'd half a mind to say
'cow-catcher,'“ she said.
“Well, what if I did?” Patricia said, rudely, and walked on toward
Betty looked after her.
“Well, of all things!” she whispered, then said, “The next time you
need sympathy, try to buy some at the grocer's. Don't look to me!”
Patricia had done a rude, and foolish thing. Betty Chase was a
favorite, and Patricia had longed to be one of her friends, but thus
far Betty had been surrounded by her classmates, who hovered about her
so persistently that the pupils from Merrivale had not yet become
acquainted with her. Betty had hailed Patricia pleasantly, and she
really might have paused for a little chat, but she was one of those
unpleasant persons who, when some one person has annoyed her, is vexed
with the whole world. She took little heed as to where she was going,
and stamped along, muttering some of the many wrathful thoughts that
filled her mind.
Reaching a door that stood ajar, she pushed it open, and rushed in
“The horrid old thing tried to pick open my parcel, but I wouldn't
let her. I guess Miss Sharp-eyes won't try again to—Why, where are
A tall, thin girl with a pale face and colorless hair emerged from
the closet where she had been hanging some garments.
“Do you rush into people's rooms, and call them names?” she asked in
a peculiar drawl.
Patricia for once, was too surprised to speak.
“My name is not Arabella, nor Miss Sharp-eyes,” concluded the girl.
“I—I beg your pardon. I thought this was my own room,” gasped
Patricia, and rushing from the room, opened the next door on which her
own name and Arabella's appeared. She flew in, banging the door behind
Arabella sprang to her feet, dropped her glasses, picked them up,
and setting them upon her nose, stared through them at Patricia.
“Don't you speak a single word!” commanded Patricia, “for I'm 'bout
as mad as I can be now, and if I get any madder—”
She stopped in sheer amazement, for Arabella had put on her hat, and
was now getting into her coat.
“Where are you going?” demanded Patricia, but Arabella put her left
hand over her lips, while with her right she slipped another button
into its buttonhole, and sidled toward the door.
Patricia sprang forward, locked the door, took Arabella by the
shoulder, and pushed her toward a chair. Surprised, and calmed by
Arabella's silence, and her attempt to leave the room, Patricia now
spoke in an injured tone.
“I'd never believe you'd start to go out, when I'd just come in so
vexed, and with loads of things to tell you. For goodness' sake, can't
“You told me not to say a word,” said Arabella, “and you looked so
cross that I just didn't dare to, and I was going out so I'd be sure
Patricia was flattered to learn that Arabella had actually been
afraid of her. “Goosie!” she cried, “when will you learn that I don't
always mean all that I say! Old Sharp-eyes didn't really open my
bundle. Come over here and see what was hidden in it.”
She opened the parcel of gaily-flowered cotton, and began to unfold
“There!” she cried when the last fold was loosed, and six packages
were proudly displayed.
“Good gracious!” cried Arabella, “I don't see how you got inside the
door with all those things, for I saw her pinching your bundle, and
you'd think that she must have felt those little parcels even if they
were wrapped inside that cloth.”
“Well, you may be very sure she didn't feel them, for if she had,
I'd never had them to show you.”
It was, indeed, a fixed rule at Glenmore that pupils, except by
special permission, should bring no food into the building, the reason
being that plenty of good food was provided at meal times, and eating
between meals was forbidden.
Patricia's idea of a “treat” was a variety of all sorts, but never a
thought had she as to whether the articles that she chose would combine
Arabella, often annoyed with indigestion, gazed at the “treat” that
Patricia had placed upon the little table, and wondered how she would
feel when she had eaten her share.
And eat it she must, for Patricia never would forgive her if she did
not. More than that, she must not refuse anything, because Patricia
would consider that a sure sign that her “treat” had failed to please,
and for a week at least, would talk of Arabella as ungrateful.
* * * * *
In a room farther up the corridor, Vera and Elf were laughing and
chuckling over much the same trick as that which Patricia had played,
only that Vera and Elf had brought a huge parcel into the house, and
had not been questioned regarding it.
It was late afternoon when Vera had returned from the village.
Dorothy saw her far up the road, and wondered why she walked so slowly,
but as she neared the gateway, it was evident that she carried a heavy
parcel. Her storm-coat had a deep cape, but it only partly hid the
She looked up toward the window where Dorothy stood, laughed, and
made a gesture to indicate that she was going around to the rear of the
“Nancy, what do you suppose the girls are up to?”
“Vera has just come from the village with a bundle twice as big as
the one Miss Fenler found Patricia bringing in, and she has gone around
toward the back door with it.”
“She's trying to dodge Miss Fenler,” Nancy said.
“But, Nancy, she can't get to her room from the back way. The back
door leads into the kitchen. There's no back stairway.”
“I know that,” Nancy said, “but Vera isn't going around the house
for the sake of a walk. She's intending to get in the back way I do
believe. I wonder if she has coaxed one of the maids to help her. Come
on, down the hall to the big window that has a balcony under it. We'll
see if she really gets in.”
Dorothy clasped Nancy's outstretched hand and they ran softly along
the hall, reaching the window just in time to see a bulky-looking
bundle swinging from a rope, and occasionally bumping against the house
as it made its way slowly upward.
On the ground stood Vera eagerly looking up, while, from the window
of their room Elf reached out, desperately struggling to draw the heavy
bundle up to the window sill.
“Don't stand there looking up at me!” she said in a voice hardly
above a whisper. “Come up here before somebody sees you.” Vera lost no
time in doing as Elf said, while Dorothy and Nancy wasted not a moment,
but sped down the hall, and once safely in their room, sat down,
laughing at what they had seen.
Meanwhile, Vera raced along the hall, and into her room, flew to the
window and soon the precious bundle lay on the floor, the two girls
bending over it.
“Oo-oo! Cream-cakes! A box of fudge, frosted cake!” cried Elf, then.
“What's in this tin can?”
“Oysters,” said Vera, “and we'll have a hot stew to-night after
every one is in bed!”
“My! But how can we cook it?” Elf asked.
“In the can,” said Vera. “That's easy 'nough. There's a pint of
oysters, and three pints of milk all shaken up together in that
two-quart can. We can heat it over the gas jet. I'm sure they'll cook
“Why, Vera Vane! It will take hours to make it boil over that
gas jet. I guess we'll enjoy taking turns holding it, while we wait for
it to cook!”
“Pooh! It'll taste so good we'll forget our arms ache when we get
the very first spoonful!”
Elf was not sure about that, but Vera had a way of speaking as if
what she said settled the matter, so although not convinced, Elf made
no reply. “Come! Help me put these things away,” cried Vera. “We don't
want any one to know about our fine little after-bedtime party, and we
ought to hide our treat before some one comes to our door.”
So the cakes and fudge were placed on the shelf in the closet, where
with the big can full of oysters and milk they became close neighbors
with the hat-boxes.
Then Vera and Elf sat down to prepare their lessons for the next
They had invited Betty Chase and her chum, Valerie Dare, to spend
the evening with them, and enjoy the treat.
They were to go to bed at the usual time, have their light out at
nine o'clock, and as soon as they heard Miss Fenler pass down the hall,
and then descend the stairs, they were to open their door softly, close
it behind them, and then, with greatest caution, make their way along
the hall to Vera's room.
Night came, their lessons were prepared for the morrow, their lights
were out, when they heard Miss Fenler pass their door, then,—why did
she return and pass the door a second time?
Was it imagination, or did she pause before going on?
Their hearts beat faster, and Valerie laid her hand over hers, she
afterward said, to hush it so that the dreaded Miss Fenler might not
“Has she gone?” whispered Betty, to which Valerie, who was nearest
the door, replied with a low, “Sh—!”
Farther up the corridor two others listened. Not a sound was heard
in the hall, and Betty Chase cautiously opened the door a few inches. A
board in the floor creaked, and she shut the door so quickly that she
forgot to be careful, and one might have heard it the length of the
“Oo-oo!” whispered Valerie. “You let me manage that door, please,
the next time it's opened.”
“When'll the next time be?” whispered Betty with a chuckle.
“Now!” whispered Valerie, and stepping out into the hall, they
carefully closed the door, then ran softly along to Vera's door, and
tapped upon the panel with a hat-pin for a knocker. The door opened and
they were only too glad to have it close behind them. Yet a bit longer
they waited before lighting up, and while they waited, they sat upon
the bed and talked in whispers.
The street lamp threw a band of light across the room.
Five minutes later, the blankets were taken from the bed and hung
over the door, that no ray of light from the room might be visible in
the hall, through either crack or keyhole.
A second blanket was pinned to the curtains, that neither coachman
nor maid returning from the town might catch a glimpse of light.
Then the fun began.
They had become bolder, and forgetting to whisper, talked in
undertones. Vera, mounted on a cushioned stool, was holding the can
over the gas jet, and watching eagerly for some sign of boiling.
“The milk is steaming,” she announced. “S'pose it's done?”
“Not yet, goosie!” Elf replied, “and I know,” she continued,
“'cause I remember hearing our cook say that the stew was ready when
the oysters looked all puckered around their edges.”
“O gracious! If that's true, somebody'll have to come and hold this
old can a while. My arm is about broken!”
Betty seized the can, and mounted the stool, and Vera, thus
relieved, ran to the closet, returning with the cream-cakes and the
The white counterpane stripped from the bed, and spread upon the
floor, served as a lunch-cloth, and when the “goodies” were set upon
it, the big can in the center, steaming, if not boiling, the four sat
cross-legged around the feast, and prepared to enjoy it.
Salt and pepper in abundance had been thrown into the can, so that
while it lacked sufficient cooking, it surely did not lack seasoning.
Bravely each tried to eat her share, but so salt was it, that it
almost brought the tears.
The cream-cakes were fine, and the girls were laughing softly over
Betty's remark that no one knew of their little “party,” when a knock
upon the door caused Valerie to drop her cream-cake. In an instant she
had rolled over, crawled under the bed, Betty following, while Vera and
Elf sprang into bed, drawing the coverings to their chins to hide that
they were fully dressed. It was one of Miss Fenler's rules that pupils
should never lock their doors.
Now in a harsh voice she called: “Open this door at once!”
Vera sprang to the floor, shut off the gas, softly turned the key in
the lock, and was back in bed and covered up to her eyes, in a second.
Upon opening the door, Miss Fenler stumbled into the blanket that
hung from the door-frame. Crossing the room to light the gas, she put
her right foot directly upon a cream-cake, while with her left she
upset the can of stew.
An angry exclamation, properly stifled, caused the two under the bed
to nudge each other, while struggling not to laugh.
Vera and Elf lay quite still, the puff drawn up to their closely
Miss Fenler lit the gas, and it was just as well that the culprits
dared not open their eyes, for the face that she turned toward them was
not pleasant to see.
She was desperately angry.
“What does this mean?” she cried shrilly.
Vera and Elf breathed heavily, as if soundly sleeping.
“You're not asleep!” she declared, “and I insist that you answer me.
Again I ask, what does this mean?”
Vera and Elf breathed harder than before, Vera adding a soft little
“Oh, very well!” cried Miss Fenler. “If you are determined not to
reply to-night, I will report you to Mrs. Marvin, and you may make your
explanations to her to-morrow.”
She left the room, her anger increased by their obstinate pretense
CHAPTER IV. A WONDERFUL TONIC
Vera awoke long before daylight, and lay thinking.
“That's just the way I do things,” she said in a voice barely above
“I plan the fun, and always have a good time, that is 'most'
always, but it's sure to wind up in a scrape. I plan how to get into
mischief. Why don't I ever plan how to get out?”
Elf stirred uneasily, and Vera gave her shoulder a vigorous shake.
“Wake up!” she commanded. “Wake up, and help me plan what we'd
better say when we have to face Mrs. Marvin.”
“Oh, I'm sleepy,” drawled Elf. “We're smart enough to say something
when she stares at us over her spectacles. We'll say we—”
A wee snore finished the sentence, and Vera turned over with a lurch
that shook the bed.
She thought it very hard that she must lie awake and worry, while
Elf could sleep; in short, she wanted some one to worry with her.
“It's like the way I climb trees when we're away in the summer,” she
“It's fine climbing up, but I'm always afraid to climb down. If Bob
is near, I can always make him get me down, but Bob isn't here to get
me out of this mess, and Elf won't even try to keep awake to help me
She concluded that it was very unfeeling for Elf to be so sleepy.
Her cheeks were flushed, and her head ached.
“O dear!” she whispered, softly, “Dorothy Dainty and Nancy Ferris
are full of fun, but they never get into a regular fix such as I'm in
now. I don't see how they manage to have such good times without ever
getting mixed up in something that's hard to explain. And Betty and
Valerie will get off Scot free, for 'The Fender' couldn't see them
under the bed, and of course we'll not tell that they were there.”
She did not know that when Betty and Valerie had reached their own
room they found that in their haste to arrive at the “feast” they had
left the light burning in their room!
Oh, indeed Miss Fenler had seen that, and she had opened the door.
She had found no one there. She had seen that four had been enjoying
the feast, because at each of the four sides of the spread were
fragments of partly eaten cream-cakes, or bits of fruitcakes. Her sharp
eyes had seen enough to assure her that two other girls were in hiding
somewhere in the room, doubtless the two whose light had been left
burning. She thought it clever to let them think that they had escaped
notice. Their surprise would be greater when she sent them to Mrs.
Marvin the next morning. Daylight found Vera tossing and turning, while
Elf was dreaming. It was not that Vera could not bear reproof. She
could listen for a half-hour to a description of her faults, and look
like a cheerful flaxen-haired sprite all the while. That which now
worried her was the thought that Mrs. Marvin might send her home.
It was the fifth time during the month that she had been
reprimanded, and even gentle Mrs. Marvin might reach the limit
of her patience.
Her father, she knew, would speak reprovingly, and then laugh at
her. Her mother, always weak-willed, would say: “Vera, dear, I wonder
if you were really naughty, or if it was that they didn't quite
Oh, there was nothing to fear about being sent home, but the fact
that thus she would lose a deal of fun that she could so enjoy with a
lot of lively girls of her own age.
She resolved to appear as off-hand as usual, unless Mrs. Marvin
should say that she must not remain at Glenmore, when she would throw
pride to the winds, and plead, yes, even beg to continue as a pupil of
the school. She turned and looked at Elf, still soundly sleeping.
“O dear! I'm the only girl in school who has anything to fret over,”
It happened, however, that at the far end of the building, another
girl was quite as worried as Vera, but it was a very different matter
that had caused her to wake, as Vera had, before daybreak.
She had entered Glenmore a few weeks after school had opened, and
was rather a quiet girl, as yet acquainted with but few of the pupils.
Some one circulated the story that she was being educated by an
uncle who was a very rich man. Patricia Levine had added that as he
lived in “N'York,” and as her mother also lived there, she, of course,
knew him, and she had told Patricia that old Mr. Mayo was more than
rich, that he was many, many times a millionaire.
“Ida Mayo is to be an heiress, and have all that money. Just think
of that!” Patricia had said, and immediately began to be very friendly
Betty Chase boldly asked Patricia why it followed that because Mrs.
Levine and old Mr. Mayo lived in New York they must, of course, be
acquainted, to which Patricia snapped.
“I didn't say they must be acquainted. I said 'they are
Ida Mayo seemed not to notice that Patricia sought to be friendly,
nor did she make any effort to become acquainted with any of the other
She seemed content to stand apart and watch the others in their
games. It was Dorothy Dainty who seemed to hold her attention, and once
Betty Chase asked boldly: “I wonder why you watch Dorothy so much.”
“I don't know,” Ida had said, then added, “I guess it's because
she's worth looking at?”
Secretly she envied Dorothy's lovely color, and wished that her own
cheeks were as fresh and fair. That evening in her little room, she
looked in disgust at her reflection in the mirror. A pale face returned
her gaze, and she made a grimace.
“It's bad enough to be pale without having a few of last summer's
freckles left to make it worse,” she cried.
There were lessons to be prepared for the morrow, but the reflection
in the mirror had so disturbed her that she cast lessons aside and
commenced reading a story in a new magazine. The heroine was described
as having a wonderful complexion, as fair, as pink and white, as
perfect in coloring as a sea-shell.
“Of course!” said Ida, “and that's the sort I wish I had.”
Her eyes strayed from the story of the beautiful heroine to the
“Raise mushrooms,” read one advertisement, next: “Try our patent
collar-button,” then: “Write poems for us.”
“How stupid!” she said. “Who'd want to raise mushrooms, I'd like to
know? Who wants their old collar-buttons? And for mercy's sake, how
many people who read those advertising columns can write poetry?”
She was about to toss the magazine upon the couch, when two words in
large print caught her attention.
“What's that?” she whispered.
“Banish freckles and have a perfect complexion,” she read. “Send
fifty cents to us, or obtain our tonic at any drug-store. Directions
It must have been the best of good luck that had prompted her to
neglect her lessons, and spend the evening hours with the magazine, she
She was far too impatient to wait to receive the tonic by mail.
She had never been to the local drug-store, so the clerks would not
know her, but if any of the Glenmore girls were there, she would buy
some candy, and wait until another day to obtain the tonic.
She drew a long breath when she saw, upon entering, that she was the
The clerk thought it odd that a little girl should be buying a
complexion-beautifier, but concluded that she, doubtless, was doing the
errand for some older person.
Night came, and at the hour when Vera and Elf with Betty and Valerie
were tasting their goodies, and listening to every sound that might be
approaching footsteps, Ida Mayo, not a whit less excited, was
breathlessly reading the directions for applying the tonic.
“Spread the tonic over the face, rubbing it thoroughly into the
skin. Let it remain all night. You will be astonished at the result.”
A dozen times during the night she had been awakened with the
scalding, burning of her face. The directions had said that the skin
would probably burn, but the result in the morning would fully repay
the user, by the extreme loveliness of the radiant complexion!
Ida bore the burning bravely, but when the first faint light
appeared she sat up in bed, pressing her hands to her smarting cheeks.
“If the freckles are gone, and my skin is fair, I won't say a word
about this burning,” she said. “But how,” she continued, “can my face
look even half-way decent, when it is smarting so furiously?”
At last, she could bear it no longer, and springing out of bed, she
ran to the dresser, and gasped as she looked at her reflection. Even in
the dim light of the dawn of a cloudy day, she saw that her cheeks, her
forehead, her chin, were all very red.
Were they spotty as well?
“O dear! If it was only light enough for me to really see!” she
She looked at the tiny clock. At that early hour no one was stirring
No one would see her if she went down to the door, and it would be
lighter there. A gable shaded the window, and made her room less light.
Thrusting her tangled locks up under the elastic of her muslin cap,
and throwing on a loose sack, she snatched the hand-mirror from her
dresser, and softly yet swiftly went out into the hall and down the
She paused in the lower hall, there thinking that she heard some one
coming, she rushed out on the piazza, down the steps, and across the
lawn to an open space where nothing could obscure the light. Already it
was growing lighter, and she lifted the hand mirror. A look of horror
swept over her little face.
“Oh, what a fright!” she cried, as she stood staring at the
Her face was scarlet, and if the freckles had disappeared, it was
because they had taken the skin with them when they went!
For a moment she stood as if rooted to the spot, then realizing that
some restless pupil might be up and chance to see her from the window,
she turned and ran at top speed toward the house. The big door stood
open as she had left it, and she raced across the hall and up the
stairway, entering her room just as footsteps echoed along the hall.
She closed the door and sat down.
“Why did I see that horrid old advertisement?” she exclaimed.
Her smarting, burning cheeks were enough to bear, but worse than that
was the thought that she would be compelled to appear in the classroom.
How the girls would stare at her! What would they say among
[Illustration: “O, what a fright!” she cried.]
Vera believed herself to be the only girl at Glenmore who had even
the slightest reason for worrying. Ida Mayo possessed the same idea.
* * * * *
Mrs. Marvin listened to all that Miss Fenler had to say about the
feast, the two who had planned it, and the other two who beyond a doubt
had been invited guests.
“And I should send them home, and at the same time mail a
tart letter to their parents telling them that their room was better
than their company.”
Mrs. Marvin looked up at the thin, harsh face of her assistant.
“Mercy is sometimes as valuable in a case like this, as extreme
severity,” she said.
“They have broken a well-known rule here, and must be dealt with
accordingly. They must be made clearly to understand that a repetition
would not be overlooked.”
“I am only an assistant,” Miss Fenler said, “but I have my opinions,
and I can't help thinking that you are too gentle with them.”
“They have been mischievous, surely, but had their mischief been
such as would harm, or annoy their classmates, I should have been more
“You may send them to me. I will see them before the school opens
for the morning session.”
“There is another pupil that I must speak of, and that is the Mayo
girl. It has been her habit to keep apart from the other girls. She
seems to prefer to spend much of her leisure time not only indoors, but
in her room.
“Lina Danford, the little girl whose room is next hers told me that
Ida Mayo had been crying ever since daybreak. Lina thought that she
must be ill, and she knocked at the door, but while for a moment the
crying ceased, there was no answer, even when the knock was several
“Have you tried to rouse her?” Mrs. Marvin said, her fine face
showing genuine alarm.
“I knocked three times, but received no reply, and the door is
“I will go to her,” Mrs. Marvin said. “You may open school for me.
Say nothing to the other girls. I will talk with them at the noon
Mrs. Marvin hurried up the stairway, and along the upper hall to the
corner room. She paused before tapping. If Ida Mayo had been crying,
she was not crying now.
She knocked and waited. Knocked again, and again she waited.
“Ida, you must open your door for me. This is Mrs. Marvin.”
The morning session had opened, and fresh young voices could be
plainly heard. They were singing Ida's favorite, an old song, “All
hail, pleasant morning.”
Mrs. Marvin heard a faint sob.
“Ida, I am your friend. Let me in, and tell me what troubles you.”
“Open the door quickly, or I shall call Marcus to force it open.”
Ida opened the door with a jerk.
“There!” she cried, angrily. “I don't see why I could not stay alone
in my room until I looked fit to be seen!”
Mrs. Marvin thought the raw, scarlet face denoted some desperate
illness, but chancing to look toward the dresser, she caught sight of
the bottle, uncorked, and with its showy label bearing the legend:
“Tonic. Twelve-Hour Beautifier.”
Mrs. Marvin sat down upon a low seat, and drew Ida down beside her,
and patiently she listened to the story of the longing for beauty, the
reading of the advertisement.
“I s'pose I put on too much,” Ida concluded. “They said, 'Just a bit
on the tip of the fingers rubbed into the skin each night for two weeks
would work wonders.'
“They said used generously you'd be surprised at the result! I guess
“I thought if a little would do so much, a lot of it would do more,
so I put it on thick, and went to bed.
“O dear! It has been a comfort to tell you, but I can't face those
girls while I look like this!”
“I shall not ask you to,” Mrs. Marvin said. “I will bring you some
cooling ointment to heal your face, and I'll send old Judy up with your
“I will tell her to say to any pupils who may question her, 'Miss
Mayo feels so miserable that she'll not come down to her meals for a
few days.' Judy is absolutely trustworthy.”
Judy proved herself quick-witted, for when an inquisitive pupil
tried to peep into the room as she entered with the tray, Judy turned
“Ah don' s'pose yo wants ter ketch anythin' what's 'tagious, does
The pupil backed away from the door, when at a distance she said:
“You don't seem to be much afraid.”
“Ah isn't 'fraid, 'cause I's had dis same ting.”
She had indeed suffered in the same way. True it was not freckles
that annoyed her. It was a longing to rid herself of her black skin
that had tempted her to purchase a bottle of a so-called beautifier,
warranted to produce a new skin.
That was some years before, but Judy remembered it.
CHAPTER V. A SLEIGHING PARTY
Dorothy was never inclined toward mischief, and now, when her mother
was away traveling for change of scene, and much-needed rest, she felt
very eager to send each month, a fine report of her progress. Dorothy
was full of life, and loved a good time, if Nancy, her dearest friend
might enjoy it with her.
When the news was circulated that the great sleigh at the livery
stable had been chartered by Mrs. Marvin, and that sleigh-rides would
be in order as long as the snow lasted, none was more eager for the
pleasure than Dorothy.
To be sure, she had always enjoyed plenty of sleigh-rides when at
home at the Stone House, but here was a novelty! The big sleigh at
Glenmore would hold twenty girls, while the beautiful Russian sleigh at
the Stone House held four, and the pony sleigh two. Mrs. Marvin, in
making out the list for each party, was careful to place those already
acquainted together. Thus, the list that was headed with Dorothy's name
included Nancy Ferris, of course, then Vera, Elf, Patricia, Arabella,
Betty, Valerie, and twelve others, who were at least slightly
acquainted with those already named.
They were about evenly divided in another way. Ten were exceedingly
lively, while the other half of the list were pleasant girls of quieter
Mrs. Marvin well knew that twenty lively girls would be likely to be
a bit too gay for the steady-going inhabitants of the town of Glenmore,
while the school must keep up its reputation for being cheerful, but
surely not noisy nor flighty!
The day for the first sleigh-ride dawned clear and cold, and Marcus
informed Judy that it was cold enough “ter freeze de bronze statoo down
in de square.”
They were to start at three, and promptly at that hour Marcus drew
up at the door.
Eager to start, the girls were all waiting in the hall, when
“Every one wait while I go and get my shawls.”
She darted up the stairs, Patricia calling after her: “Your shawls,
goosie! Why you're wearing two coats and a sweater now.”
“What did Arabella say?” asked Betty Chase.
“I thought she said she wanted the shawl to put over her ears!”
“She did say that,” declared Patricia, “and won't she look fine;
besides, how could she get them on when twenty of us are packed into
“Oh, I'll help her with them,” cried Betty Chase, with a laugh.
“So will I,” chimed in Valerie.
“Here she comes now. Well, as I live, she has brought two
shawls,” said Betty.
“One for each ear,” said Valerie.
Laughing and chattering they ran down the path, and soon were
comfortably seated, very close to be sure, but very warm.
Arabella said that the two shawls were to wear later if it became
colder, whereat, Betty begged her to sit upon them.
“You take up room enough for three with a big shawl under each arm,”
“Stand up and I'll fold them so you can sit on them.”
Arabella meekly did as she was told. If any other girl had done the
same thing, she would have obstinately rebelled, but Betty had a way
that was compelling, and Arabella, after she was seated, wondered why
she had been so meek.
Patricia Levine had brought a big box of fudge, and she now passed
it around. Arabella said she knew it would make her sick, but she took
two pieces instead of one, lest the box might not come around again.
The route took them over a long roadway that had been cut through a
forest, and on either side the great trees towered above them, their
branches heaped with snow. The underbrush was beautified with what
looked like patches of swan's-down, and a tiny, ice-bound brook wound
its way in among the giant trees, disappearing behind a clump of
It had been possible to see all these things because the road had
been so rough that Marcus had been obliged to drive rather slowly.
Now, as they emerged from the wood-road, he touched the whip to the
flank of one of his horses, and with one accord they sprang forward,
giving the chattering occupants of the sleigh a decided “bounce,” and
stopping Elf Carleton in the middle of the story that she was telling.
“O dear! Where was I when that jolt came?” she asked.
“I don't know what you were telling,” said Vera, “but it's my turn
now, and I'm going to tell how awfully you acted this morning.
“Girls, Mrs. Marvin was perfectly lovely. She just talked and talked
about how good I ought to be, but I didn't mind that, so long as
she didn't say she was going to send me home. She never said a single
word about that, but I didn't know she was going to be such a perfect
dear. I woke before daylight, and much comfort Elf was to me! I tell
you truly, girls, I poked her, I called to her, I shook her, but
couldn't get her enough awake to say a word.
“Well, we're about even, for one morning last week when I kept
telling her my tooth was aching, she paid no attention until I gave her
an outrageous poke, and shouted into her ear, 'My tooth aches!'
“She didn't open her eyes, but what she said was a great comfort.”
“What did she say?” questioned Betty.
“She said it might stop aching if I kept my mouth closed,” said
Vera, “and it took me five minutes to realize that her advice was more
for her benefit than mine. She wanted another nap, and closing my mouth
to shield my aching tooth would also prevent my talking. Trust Elf for
making sure—Oh, look, girls!”
Every head turned.
A big red pung was coming toward them at top speed. It was crowded
with more boys than could be seated, and those who stood carried long
poles. From the top of each pole a broad, gayly colored streamer waved.
As the pung passed a big boy in the center shouted: “Three cheers for
the Glenmore girls!” and they were given with a will.
“How do they know that we are Glenmore girls?” said Elf.
“Three cheers for the 'What-you-call 'em' boys!” screamed Betty, and
even Arabella added a faint “Hurrah!” to the general clamor.
Two of the boys produced a pair of cymbals, but while they were
clashing Betty brought forth a huge gong and nearly stunned those near
her with the noise that she made as with all her might she smote it.
“Hoo_ray!” shouted a small boy.
“Hoo_raw!” howled Valerie Dare, and no one could have decided which
laughed the harder, the pung-load of boys, or the lively girls in the
“Yo'-all behave like tomboys,” commented Marcus. “Lor', but Mis'
Marvin would 'a' been some s'prised ef she'd been here ter hear ye
“Well, if Miss Fenler had been here she'd have had forty fits,”
cried Vera Vane, “but, Marcus, what they don't know won't worry them,
and you needn't tell them.”
“And Marcus, you can forget all about the racket before you get
home,” said Elf.
“Shore, Miss, I's got a powerful short mem'ry. Gid 'ap!”
“Dorothy Dainty cheered as loud as any of us,” said Arabella
“Well, why shouldn't she?” Patricia asked.
“Oh, she's always so—oh, I don't know,—correct, I guess is what I
meant to say,” responded Arabella.
“I like fun as well as any one does,” said Dorothy who had overheard
“Oh, but Dorothy, you aren't even the least bit rude,” declared
“It's not rude to cheer,” Dorothy said with a laugh. “I think we
were very polite to return their salute.”
“Nancy Ferris cheered, too,” said a girl who had been very quiet
during the hubbub.
“I cheered because Dorothy did,” she said, “but, Betty, how did you
get that gong in here without any one noticing it?”
“It was under this long coat,” said Betty, “and I'll tell you all
how I happened to bring it.
“Monday, when I was down in the village, I met a boy that I know,
and he told me that over at the boys' private school in the next town
they'd heard about our sleigh-rides, and he told me that one of the
boys, Bob Chandler, had bought a pair of old cymbals at an antique
shop. They were planning their first sleigh-ride for the same day as
ours, and they thought we'd have no noise-maker with us. I meant to get
even with them, so I brought the big gong that hung in my room, and I
guess we made as much noise as they did. I've a number of curios that
my uncle brought home from abroad. Why didn't I think to bring along
that funny little horn? You could have tooted on that, Valerie.”
“Oh, I'm satisfied. We had noise enough,” said Hilda Fenton.
At that moment there was a commotion on the rear seat.
Some one was twisting around so persistently that many were made
Dorothy turned to see what it was all about. She laughed softly, and
touched Nancy's arm.
“It's Arabella,” whispered Dorothy.
“Yes, and she's trying to put both shawls on at once,” said Nancy.
“Oh, quick! See what Patricia is doing.”
Completely out of patience with Arabella's wriggling, Patricia was
taking a vigorous hand.
In a manner anything but gentle she was pulling the heavy shawls up
around Arabella's head and shoulders.
Betty Chase said that she was “yanking” them, and the word, if not
elegant, was truthfully descriptive.
“Don't knock my hat off!” whimpered Arabella.
“I don't care what I do if only I get those old shawls onto you so
you'll sit still!” declared Patricia.
When Arabella settled herself in her place she took a third more
room than before, and looked like a little old woman rolled up in many
Arabella sat firm and immovable, staring through her spectacles. She
did not turn to the right or the left, and one would say that she did
not know that the girls were laughing at her.
“Don't you wish you had just one more shawl?” said Patricia.
“Not if I had to have you put it on,” drawled Arabella. “You shoved
my hat on one side of my head, and it's felt queer ever since.”
“How do you know that the hat has felt queer?” Valerie asked,
smothering a laugh.
“I guess you'd feel queer if Patricia Levine had once taken hold of
you,” was the quick response, and Valerie ceased teasing.
“Dorothy knows a jolly sleighing song,” said Nancy.
“Sing it! Sing it!”
“Oh, please sing it, Dorothy,” clamored eager voices.
“Sing it with me, Nancy,” Dorothy said. “Your alto makes it fine.”
Their voices blended sweetly, and the melody floated out on the
crisp air, so that a tall, dark man left a wood road, and stood
listening as the sleigh sped past.
“Over the ice and snow we fly,
Oh, but our steeds have wings!
And their hoofs keep time
With the glad bells chime,
For sleigh bells are merry things,
Never a thought or care have we,
Lessons are laid aside,
And we laugh and sing,
Adding mirth and din
To the joy of a winter's ride.”
“Oh, don't stop!” cried an eager voice. “Isn't there another verse?”
“There are two other verses,” said Dorothy, “but—I've forgotten
“Then sing the one you do know. It's worth hearing again!”
Again she sang it, as gayly as before, but for some reason, Nancy's
voice trembled, and Dorothy turned to glance at her.
She saw that Nancy's cheeks were white, and her eyes wide as if with
fear. A moment before her cheeks had been rosy red where the sharp wind
had kissed them.
“What is it, Nancy?” Dorothy whispered.
Nancy shook her head, but the hand that held Dorothy's tightened
with a nervous grip.
When the girls were once more chattering together, Nancy, leaning
toward Dorothy, whispered softly: “That dark man that stood near the
woods watching us as we passed,—did you see him?”
“Why, yes,” whispered Dorothy, “but—” then she understood Nancy's
fear. “Why, Nancy dear, your old Uncle Steve, who stole you from us
once, is not living. Don't you remember that, and besides, that man
didn't look the least bit like him.”
“That man looked just like Bonfanti!”
“Oh,—oo,” burst softly from Dorothy's lips, then she tried to
comfort Nancy. “But why should he be wandering through the woods here?
You've always said that he was a busy man, and once you heard him say
that he had never been out of New York City.”
“I know I did,” Nancy said, “but I s'pose he could go
somewhere else, and oh, Dorothy that man looked just like him!”
CHAPTER VI. THE LOST NECKLACE
Nancy strove to be as gay as before. She told herself that the man
certainly looked just like the old ballet-master, Bonfanti, but that he
might have been a very different person. She did not wish the other
girls to know that she had been uneasy or frightened, and so busy had
they been in watching people whom they passed, laughing and talking,
that Nancy's fright had passed unnoticed by all save one, and that one
was Patricia Levine, Patricia, who seemed to see everything. She
delighted in seeing something not intended for her eyes, and then how
she would run to tell some one all about it!
Patricia had noticed Nancy's cheeks when they suddenly went white,
she had seen the look of fear in her eyes, and she was wild with
curiosity to know what it meant.
When they had started out Nancy had thought that the ride could not
last too long, but the sight of the tall, dark man at the edge of the
forest had changed all that, and when Marcus drove in at the gateway of
Glenmore, and drew up at the steps, Nancy was the first to spring out.
Without stopping in the hall to talk over the ride with the others who
had enjoyed it, she bounded up the stairs, and soon was in her room.
Vera stopped Dorothy to ask if Nancy was ill.
“No, oh, no!” Dorothy answered, as she followed Nancy up the
Vera's question, and Dorothy's hasty reply reached Patricia's ears.
“I'd like to know what it's all about,” she whispered, “and I mean
to find out, no matter how long it takes me.”
It was strange how eagerly interested Patricia always was in
anything that did not concern her. She did not know that a newsmonger
is never respected, nor did she know that no girl whose nature was
refined would care to know other people's business. Nothing so
delighted Patricia, as a bit of news that she could, by hook or crook
obtain, and the added joy of running off to repeat it, especially if
she knew it should not be repeated, was greater than she could have
Dorothy, when she reached their room, found Nancy sitting upon a low
stool, her hands loosely clasped, her eyes downcast as if studying the
pattern of the rug.
Dorothy closed the door, and then, tossing her wraps upon the couch,
sat down, Turkish fashion, on the rug beside her.
“Now, Nancy,” she said, “you're not to let that man you saw this
afternoon make you so uneasy. It couldn't have been Professor Bonfanti
who taught you to dance, and was so harsh with you. Why should he be
out here, walking through the woods at Glenmore? And even if really it
had been Bonfanti, why would you be so frightened? It was your old
uncle who stole you from us, and made you dance at the theaters to earn
money for him. Bonfanti just taught you because your old Uncle Steve
hired him to.”
“But Dorothy, you don't know how often he said, while he was
training me: 'Oh, if I had you in my hands, I could make you earn twice
as much as Ferris does!'
“When he said that he would look as eager as if he really saw
the heaps of money that he thought he could make me earn for him.
“I don't know which would be the worse to work for, Professor
Bonfanti or my old Uncle Steve, but this I do know: I hope no
one will ever take me away from you, Dorothy!”
“And no one shall!” cried Dorothy, throwing her arms around Nancy,
and holding her fast.
“I wouldn't have been so frightened if it was just what I saw
to-day, but don't you know that just before we left the Stone House, I
had a dream of being stolen. I'd not thought of it for weeks,
but—well, that man did look like the ballet-master.”
* * * * *
Patricia Levine had enjoyed the sleigh-ride. She had liked the
clear, bracing air; she had liked being included in the list made out
by Mrs. Marvin for the first ride of the season, but she had been
annoyed by Arabella.
She stood drumming on the window-pane, and wondering how to begin
the lecture that she intended to give Arabella, that is, if Arabella
would ever get her wraps off, and sit down. She turned from the
“Well, I never saw such a slowpoke!” she cried.
Arabella blinked. Patricia thought she might as well begin, if she
wished to say all that was in her mind before dinner.
“I certainly was provoked with you, Arabella, this afternoon. You
looked just umbrageous with all those coats and shawls on,” said
“I looked what?” Arabella asked with a dull stare.
“I said um-bra-geous!” cried Patricia.
“I don't know what that word means,” drawled Arabella.
“Neither do I,” said Patricia, “but I know that's the way you
“I can't unbutton this top button of my coat,” remarked Arabella.
Patricia jerked the button from the buttonhole, and continued:
“How do you s'pose I like to have you act so queer, and then have
the girls call you my 'chum'?”
Arabella instead of replying to the question remarked:
“And the fringe on this shawl has caught on a hook on my dress so I
can't get it off.”
Patricia's eyes were blazing. She was so angry that she hardly knew
what she was saying.
“The idea! You had on two coats and a sweater, and as if that wasn't
enough for any one girl to wear you went after two shawls. When you got
all those duds on you looked as big as an elegant!”
“A what!” gasped Arabella.
“I'm too tired to say it over again,” said Patricia, who now knew
that she had made a funny error.
“But,” persisted Arabella, “you said I looked as—”
It was no use to talk to the walls, and Patricia had rushed from the
room, banging the door behind her.
* * * * *
There were weeks at Glenmore when everything went smoothly. Then
there would come a week when it certainly seemed as if every one were
doing her best to cause disturbance.
Usually the fault might easily be traced to the pupils, but there
were times when Miss Fenler seemed as contrary as the most perverse
pupil. On those days no one could please her.
Dorothy had little difficulty, but Vera, Elf, Betty, and Valerie
were forever vexing her, and Patricia was never able to win her full
approval. As for Arabella Correyville, Miss Fenler did not understand
her, and Betty Chase said that “The Fender” fixed her sharp eyes upon
Arabella, and appeared to be studying her as if she were a very small,
but very peculiar bug that she was unable to classify.
There was yet another pupil who puzzled her, and, for that matter,
puzzled the other pupils.
She was an old-fashioned little girl, who was letter-perfect in all
her studies, but never brilliant, more quiet than any other girl at
Glenmore, and so silent that one marveled that a little girl could be
so still. Always neatly, but very plainly dressed, she looked like a
little Puritan, and acted like one, as well.
And what a name the child possessed! Patience Little, and she lived
up to it.
“Do you think she'd jump if a fire-cracker went off behind her?”
questioned Valerie, one day.
“No, indeed, she would not,” said Elf, who stood near. “I don't
believe she would so much as turn around to look at it. She's
But they were mistaken.
Among themselves they spoke of her as “Little Patience.”
Once Betty Chase told her that she knew a girl whose name was
“Patience,” who was always called “Patty.”
“My family does not like nicknames,” was the reply in a low voice,
as she turned away.
The day after the sleigh-ride, Lina Danford, one of the youngest
pupils, came rushing down the stairway in great excitement.
“My amber necklace has been stolen! Girls! Do you hear? My amber
beads are gone! Some one has been in my room and stolen them! Somebody
ought to catch the burglar!”
Dorothy, standing near, put an arm around her, and tried to comfort
“Don't say it is gone, Lina, dear! It may be just mislaid. If you
like, Nancy and I will go up with you, and help you hunt,” but Lina was
not easily to be comforted.
She insisted that the beads had been stolen, and that, therefore, it
was idle to search.
Patience Little, for the first time, showed a bit of interest. She
was crossing the hall when Lina raced down the stairs, and she actually
paused to listen to what the little girl had to say. She said nothing,
and after a moment, she went up-stairs.
She forgot to close her door, and going over to her dresser, opened
its upper drawer. From a velvet case she drew forth a smaller velvet
case, which, when she touched a clasp, sprang open, displaying a
handsome string of amber beads. She held them up so that the light
might play through them.
“I never wear them,” she said softly, “but I've liked looking at
them. Aunt Millicent gave them to me, and maybe I'd like to wear them
sometime, but,” she continued, “I'll not be selfish and keep them for
some time. I'll give them to Lina, in place of those that she has
Hurrying along the upper hall, Lina was surprised to see that the
next door that she would pass, stood open. She was about to pass it,
when on glancing toward it, she saw Patience standing before the glass,
turning this way and that so as to get a better light on the amber
necklace that she wore.
With a little cry, Lina sprang into the room. Patience turned, and
was about to speak, but before she could say a word, Lina shouted:
“That's my necklace! I knew somebody had taken it, but I
never dreamed it was a Glenmore girl who did it. I thought it was a
burglar. Give it to me this minute!”
“This necklace is mine!” returned the accused girl excitedly.
Her eyes flashed, she quivered with anger. No one would have
believed that the girl who always appeared calm, and rarely spoke,
unless spoken to, could show such fire. One could not guess how the
scene would have ended, but just at that moment a slight sound made
both girls turn.
There in the doorway stood Mrs. Marvin.
“I am very sorry to see anything so rude, so unkind, and so unjust,”
“You were hopelessly rude to rush into another girl's room and
accuse her, even if she were at fault.
“You were unkind, because you spoke as harshly as possible, and you
were unjust, because here in my hand I have your own amber beads that
one of the maids has just found.
“You must apologize at once, ask Patience if she will forgive you,
and in your own room, try to think of some kind way to make amends.”
Lina was crying now.
[Illustration: “This necklace is mine!” returned the accused girl
“Oh, I'm so sorry. Why do I never think before I say horrid things?
Forgive me, Patience, if you can. I'll gladly do anything for you.”
Then the surprise came.
Patience, the silent, shy girl, threw her arms about the younger
girl, and held her close.
“The necklace that I have on was given to me by Aunt Millicent. I've
never worn it. It is beautiful, but I like quiet colors. The showy
things are prettier for other girls, I think. I heard Lina say that she
had lost hers, and I was just thinking that I would give mine to her,
when she rushed in, and—I hadn't a chance to tell her. That's all,”
she said simply.
“Oh, I was worse even than I thought,” cried Lina, “and to think,
Mrs. Marvin, that she was planning to give her necklace to me!”
“Promise me, Lina, that after this you will be less quick to
“Indeed I will, and Patience, if you'll let me, I'd like to be your
“I'm sometimes lonely. I need you, Lina,” Patience said, gently.
Lina never did anything by halves. She told her classmates how just
at the time that Patience had been planning to give her own necklace to
make up for Lina's loss, she had been harshly accused. She told how
sweetly forgiving Patience had been, and wound up by stating that
hereafter they were to be chums.
Mrs. Marvin, on the way to her own apartment, vaguely wondered what
the next happening would be.
“I wonder if the entire week is to be a series of disturbances,” she
thought. “To be sure, there are but two days more, Friday and Saturday,
but I should not be surprised if some one started something, so as to
make the week complete.”
It certainly had been a record week for petty annoyances, and to cap
the climax on Friday, after lunch, Miss Fenler waited in the hall, near
the door that led from the dining-room. She felt that she must speak to
As a rule pupils were, of course, permitted to dress as they chose,
but it seemed as if Patricia was actually trying to see how strange a
rig she could wear and yet go unreproved.
On this day, she had done the oddest thing of all. She had tied her
hair on the crown of her head with a yellow ribbon. The ribbon was very
wide, and the bow was enormous. As if that were not enough she had
taken equally wide ribbon, of pink, and of blue, had tied a large bow
of each and then had pinned the pink bow to the right loop of the
yellow bow, the blue bow to the left loop, and when she entered the
dining-room the effect was, to say the least, amazing!
The bows were about eight inches wide. Really, Patricia was a droll
Unless she were spoken to she would wear her freakish ribbons at the
When lunch was over, and the pupils came trooping out into the hall,
Miss Fenler spoke to Patricia. When they at last stood alone in one
corner of the hall, Miss Fenler mentioned the gaudy colors, and said
that while the girls were permitted to wear as bright ribbons as they
chose, they would certainly not be allowed to wear three huge bows at a
“The idea!” said Patricia. “Well, I guess I'll not agree to wear
little stingy-looking bows for any one.”
“You would obstruct the view of the large blackboard,” said Miss
Fenler. “No one could see around your head.”
“I shall wear these bows I have on or none at all!” said Patricia.
“Don't be obstinate,” said Miss Fenler. “Mrs. Marvin told me to
speak to you.”
“Did she say I couldn't wear these big bows?” Patricia asked,
her eyes black with anger.
“She certainly did,” declared Miss Fenler.
“Well, you can tell her I wear these or none at all,” Patricia said,
“None at all!” repeated Miss Fenler.
“Don't attempt to come into the classroom with your long hair
untidy. Without a ribbon it would look slovenly.”
Patricia's smile was broad, and her eyes actually impish as she left
“She's equal to pinning on a half-dozen extra bows if she chooses,”
Miss Fenler said, under her breath.
Glenmore, once a private estate, looked like an old castle, and the
dwellings that were its nearest neighbors were owned by old and wealthy
residents. No stores had ever broken the charm of the locality, and the
sleepy old town had supposed that they never would, yet around the
corner of a little back street, an enterprising Italian had purchased a
wee cottage. After three days a sign appeared in his front window. It
stunned the residents. It read:
Barber and Hairdresser.
Already small boys and girls might be seen, in charge of maids,
trotting up his steps with long curls, and after a few minutes,
appearing with a “Dutch cut.”
Patricia, buttoning her coat as she ran, appeared at his door
breathless, but eager.
“I want my hair bobbed, and I must have it done right off, or I'll
be late to school,” she cried, rushing past the astonished Tony, and
mounting his big chair.
“Dutch cut!” she demanded, thinking that he had not
“Cutta da long hair?” he asked, lifting the strands.
“Sure,” cried Patricia, “What else would I want cut off? Certainly
not my nose.”
“Alla right,” said Tony, but he thought it strange, and wondered if
the little girl's mother would appear at any moment, angry, and
Patricia's temper had been gradually cooling, and now, as she saw
the long locks that Tony had clipped, she was desperately sorry that
she had come. It was half done, however, so she could not “back out.”
One does not care to appear with the right side of one's head with
short hair, and the left side with hair half-way toward one's girdle!
Patricia sighed, and allowed him to continue. What else could she
do? She had been proud of her hair, but when she saw herself in the
mirror, her vanity came to her aid.
She had given up her fine head of hair, but look! Here was another
chance to make a sensation. Not a girl at school had her hair “bobbed.”
“Probably they'll tell me that only very little girls have their
hair like this, but I don't care. They'll be surprised, and it's the
only way I can go without ribbons, and I said I'd wear big bows or
Of course the pupils stared when Patricia appeared in the
class-room, and that delighted her.
“I guess my Dutch cut made more show than my ribbons would have,”
Making a show was about all that Patricia cared for, the only other
thing that she appeared to think worth while was meddling in other
CHAPTER VII. WHEN NANCY DANCED
Mrs. Marvin decided to make the weekly socials very different from
what they had been.
It had been her custom to hire musicians from the city to give a
little recital, and then serve light refreshments, and allow the latter
part of the evening to be spent in indoor games, or dancing.
The social part of the evening was always enjoyed, but many of the
musicians, both vocal and instrumental, had given selections of so
strictly classical character that some of the pupils complained that
they did not care for it.
She determined to ask three pupils to arrange a program for each
evening, each of the three being expected to take part in the
One Monday morning she unfolded her plan, and announced that on
Friday of that week would occur the first social having a pupils'
“I have asked Dorothy Dainty to take charge of the little recital,
and I believe we shall enjoy it.”
When the eager applause had subsided, Mrs. Marvin continued:
“The girl in charge of the entertainment must not be annoyed with
questions as to the program because I wish the entertainment each week
to be a surprise.
“Dorothy, herself must contribute one or two numbers, and I have
appointed Nancy Ferris, and Patricia Levine to help her.”
The pupils were wild with curiosity as to what the numbers were to
be, but while a few hinted that they were eager to know just what they
were to hear and see, they did not ask Dorothy to tell them. They
thought it would be more fun to be surprised.
Dorothy found herself in an awkward place.
She had decided to sing a pretty waltz song, for which Nancy played
the accompaniment. Nancy had at first thought of playing a piano duet
with Dorothy, but Dorothy pointed out that a number of the girls, when
it came their turn to entertain, would surely play, and she urged Nancy
to do a fine solo dance.
“It will be more of a treat,” she urged, and Nancy agreed.
Patricia declared that she had studied with a fine vocal instructor
since they had heard her, and she also stated that she would sing a
solo, or nothing.
Patricia, when at Merrivale private school with Dorothy and Nancy,
had done some very funny singing, and Dorothy felt a bit nervous as to
what she would do now, but Patricia insisted that she had rapidly
improved, and there seemed to be no choice but to let her sing.
“Do make her tell you what she's going to sing,” Nancy said, one
morning, “because if she has chosen something you wouldn't like to have
her sing, you might be able to coax her to change it.”
Dorothy promised to question Patricia, but she laughed at the idea
of being able to make Patricia change her mind after she had decided
what she should do.
“What am I to sing?” said Patricia, when at recess Dorothy
questioned her. “I'm going to sing something from grand opera. It's
'I dreampt that I dwelt in marble halls,'
and my teacher coached me on it, and he said I sang it just as it
should be sung.”
“If her teacher said that she sang it well, perhaps it will be all
right,” Dorothy said, but even as she said it she wondered just what
Patricia would do. Patricia might do anything.
Dorothy took the time to practice when all of the pupils were out of
doors at recess. She did not wish them to hear her song until she
should sing it for them at the social.
Nancy practiced her solo at early morning. Mrs. Marvin had given her
permission to practice in their reception hall when she learned at what
an early hour Nancy was willing to rise in order to do it.
Patricia declared it entirely needless for her to practice, thus
making Dorothy still more uneasy as to her performance.
At last the evening arrived.
Dorothy had told herself that if, after all, Patricia did anything
as “queer” as she had been known to do, worrying beforehand would not
mend matters. She knew if she became nervous regarding Patricia, she
could not do her own solo well. Patricia had asked that her number
might be the last on the program, and Dorothy had agreed.
As Patricia usually wished to be first in anything, and was offended
if not given precedence, it certainly looked as if she were planning to
have her solo the crowning event of the evening.
Soon after seven a buzz of voices told Dorothy that the pupils had
assembled early, and she would have joined them, but Mrs. Marvin had
said that each of the soloists must be announced, and must come onto
the stage, and greet her audience as if she were a professional.
All had been carefully arranged, and Vera Vane was to announce each
Dorothy had chosen a light-blue dress, her pumps and hose of the
same shade. The dress was charming, because of its lovely coloring, and
its graceful lines.
Very clearly Vera announced:
“The first number to-night will be a waltz song by Dorothy Dainty.”
Dorothy's voice had been carefully trained, and very sweetly she
sang, one especial charm being that every word could be clearly heard,
which is more than can be said of many singers who have studied for
She had chosen “Asphodel's Song.”
How sweet was the voice, how happy her smile as she sang:
“Oh, how lovely are my flowers
In the morning wet with dew,
Ah, they courtesy to the morning
Off'ring gifts of fragrance new.
Then the sound of bird wings whirring
Wake again the drowsy trees,
And the tiny brooks are stirring,
Running onward to the sea.
Oh, how lovely are my flowers
When the twilight shadows creep,
Hosts of fairy folks come trooping,
Where my flowers lie asleep.”
Surely no singer was ever more graciously received.
There were to be no encores because of limited time.
Lights were usually out at nine-thirty, but the socials were from
eight to ten. The concert must be brief to allow sufficient time
afterward for games.
“The next number will be a dance by Nancy Ferris.”
Nancy had stood in the upper hall, ready, when she heard her name
called to enter. Here and there a tiny spangle caught the light, and
the soft pink of her dress was repeated in her cheeks. She was happy.
She was going to give pleasure.
As she heard her name called, she bounded down the stairway, across
the hall, and up on the stage, looking far smaller than in her usual
school dress. The pupils were spellbound.
Nancy had said nothing of her dancing nor had she spoken of having
been a tiny performer at the theaters.
Now as they saw her whirling on the tips of her toes, dipping,
swaying, doing steps of wondrous grace, they marveled at the skill with
which she did it. At home, at the Stone House, Dorothy had often played
for her, but to-night she seemed to out-do herself.
Nancy swung forward, then with cunning steps retreated, crossed her
feet and did the pretty rocking-step, whirled again, and yet again, did
the pirouette to left, then to right, made a very low courtesy, and ran
off the stage, followed by tremendous clapping.
How they wished that she might have repeated the lovely dance!
Mrs. Marvin closely watched the nimble feet and determined to know
something more about the charming little dancer. And now—Dorothy
wondered just what the next number would be. She took a long
breath when, as Vera announced her, Patricia entered simply attired,
wearing a pretty white dress, with a pale yellow sash, no other color.
It was remarkable to see Patricia without at least six colors.
“Perhaps she'll sing well,” Dorothy said to herself, “for the lovely
song that she chose for her number couldn't be twisted into
Was that really so, or was Dorothy trying to think so? Was there
anything that Patricia could not “twist” if she chose?
The charming old song is very sweet when properly sung, and the
words fit the melody.
“I dreampt that I dwelt in marble halls,
With vassals and serfs at my side,
And of all who assembled within those walls,
That I was the joy and the pride.
I had riches too great to count, could boast
Of a high ancestral name,
But I also dreampt, and that charmed me most,
That you loved me just the same.”
So runs the first verse, but Patricia had never seen the music. She
had heard the song a number of times, and felt competent to sing it.
Dorothy had asked her to practice it, then had offered to loan her
the music, but Patricia declared that she needed neither practice, nor
the use of the music.
“Are you sure you know the words?” Nancy had asked.
“Of course!” Patricia had said sharply.
Nancy played the prelude, and Patricia sang. Sang with all her
might, one might say, but oh, the words as she sang them!
She had caught them as they sounded, giving never a thought as to
whether they made sense.
“I dre-eampt that I dwe-e-lt in mar-ar-ble halls
With vessels and safes at my side.
And of all who had stumbled within those walls
That I was the joke, and the bride,
I had witches to mate and count, could boast
Of a high and central name
But I also dreampt, and that jarred me most,
That Jew loved me just the same.”
Was it strange that roars of laughter greeted the song? Even Mrs.
Marvin, a model of all that was well-bred, covered her eyes for a
moment with her handkerchief, but when she removed it, the eyes were
twinkling and it was evident that only her self-control kept her from
Dorothy's first thought was for Patricia. She knew it must be
dreadful to be laughed at, and she was hoping that Patricia might not
be too badly hurt. She would draw her into the games later in the
evening, and thus cheer her.
It happened that Patricia needed no cheering. She was disgusted, but
not hurt. She believed herself to be a very fine singer, and thought
that the only reason for laughter was that her audience was dull, so
dull indeed that her romantic selection had been mistaken for a comic
“The idea of thinking that song funny enough to laugh at! Why it is
not a comic song at all. There's nothing funny about it!” she declared.
“It really doesn't pay to sing for folks here. They can't understand
what you are doing! The next time I sing, I'll sing for my friends in
Dorothy was puzzled for a second, then, as she saw that Patricia
really meant what she said, she was thankful that the laughter had not
been understood by the silly little singer.
Patricia had actually thought that they were foolishly amused by the
It had been quite another thing that annoyed Patricia, and that was
the evident pleasure that Nancy's dancing had given, and on the day
after the social, she was vexed to have to hear the other girls talking
“I'd think you never saw any one dance before,” she said, when Betty
Chase said that Nancy's dancing was “simply lovely.”
“Well, I never did see a girl dance like that,” said Betty.
“Well, she ought to dance. She's had enough training, besides
she used to dance on the stage. Who couldn't dance if they had a chance
“A whole lot of people couldn't,” said Betty, sharply. “I
couldn't for one, and I guess there are a few others.”
“Do you mean me?” Patricia asked, sharply, her eyes flashing.
“I mean any one silly enough to say that Nancy's dancing was
anything but wonderful,” Betty said, and she turned to Valerie, leaving
Patricia to talk to herself, or to no one, if she chose.
Patricia had hoped to lessen interest in Nancy, but what she had
said had had an opposite effect.
It had increased their already lively interest to such an extent
that many who had not yet met her were wild to know her, and those who
already were her friends were eager to question her as to her career.
They longed to hear all about her training, her first appearance at the
theater, and countless questions they wanted to ask her. Patricia had
made Nancy more popular than before.
CHAPTER VIII. A BIT OF SPITE
For several days Patricia was so busy thinking, that Arabella felt
rather lonely. Arabella had been writing a letter to her Aunt Matilda,
and endeavoring to answer all the questions that that peculiar woman
had asked. It had occupied her spare time for two days, and was not yet
ready to mail.
“O dear!” sighed Arabella, “I don't like to write letters.”
“Don't write them,” Patricia advised.
“Why, Patricia Levine! You know if I didn't answer Aunt Matilda's
letter she'd pack her suit-case, and come right here!”
“Good gracious! Hurry up and finish it,” cried Patricia. “I wouldn't
want her coming here.”
“I've got a cold, so I couldn't go out to mail it,” drawled
“Don't let that stop you,” cried Patricia, “for I'll gladly go out
to mail it for you, if it'll keep your Aunt Matilda away.”
Later, when Patricia went down the hall on the way to post the
letter, she saw that Dorothy's door was slightly ajar. Of course
Patricia's sharp eyes saw it, and, because she never could resist the
temptation to listen, where she might hear something not intended for
her ears, she paused.
Nancy was speaking of the man that she had seen standing at the edge
of the forest, on the day of the sleigh-ride. Again she told Dorothy
how it had frightened her, adding:
“He looked just like Bonfanti, the ballet-teacher, and I believe if
I should look from our window and see him out there, looking toward
this house, I'd not dare to go out for days.”
Dorothy tried to comfort her, by saying:
“But, Nancy dear, we've not seen him since that day, and he's
miles away from here by this time, as likely as not.”
Patricia needed to hear no more. She could not make Nancy less
popular, but here was a fine chance for annoying her.
It was strange what pleasure it afforded Patricia to make others
unhappy! She never seemed to know that in striving to annoy others, she
was constantly proving that she herself was disagreeable.
She hastened out to the nearest mail box with the letter, and then
returning to her room, sat down to think.
“I wish you'd talk,” said Arabella. “It's awful dull this cloudy
Patricia was in no mood for talking, and Arabella dared not insist.
It was after dinner when the pupils met in the cheery reception-hall
for a little chat before going to their rooms, that Patricia saw her
chance, and took it.
Some one asked Nancy if she and Dorothy had been out for their usual
“It seemed a bit raw,” she replied, “so we remained in.”
Patricia, who had been moving nearer, now stood at Nancy's elbow.
“Did you notice a big, dark man, this morning looking up toward your
window?” she asked: “Do you know who he is? We saw him the day of the
sleigh-ride, and that was weeks ago. I believe he is always right
around here, for I don't know how many times I have seen him. He always
simply stares toward your windows. I thought perhaps you knew
Nancy turned pale, and Mrs. Marvin, who was near them, saw Dorothy
draw Nancy closer as if to protect her.
“Is Nancy ill?” she asked kindly.
Patricia had left the hall when she saw Mrs. Marvin speaking to
Dorothy explained how frightened Nancy had been ever since the
sleigh-ride, a few weeks before.
“Come into my apartment and tell me all about this. I am greatly
interested,” she said.
They were only too glad to escape the curious eyes that now were
watching them, and together they told Mrs. Marvin the story of Nancy's
career. When they reached the point where Patricia had told them of the
man who had stood looking up at their windows that afternoon, a look of
relief passed over her face, and she actually laughed.
“You two dear little friends may rest easy to-night,” she said, “for
the man whom you saw at the edge of the woods, and the man who was here
to-day, looking up at your windows, as Patricia said, are one and the
same person. He is a man who has made a study of all plant life, and
especially wise is he in regard to vines and trees.
“To-day he was trying to decide just what sort of vine would thrive
best on this sunny side of the house. His name is not nearly so
picturesque as Bonfanti. It is Jonathan Scroggs. Not a fine name,
surely, but his name has never hindered him in his profession. He is
one of the best florists in the country, he knows all about beautiful
vines and trees, and he is also a landscape gardener. He can take a
plain little cottage, with a small piece of land, and plant just the
right kind of trees on the place, train vines over the porch so as to
render it charming, and make the bit of land into a tiny park, so
dainty, so altogether lovely that people will come from far and near to
see the 'beauty spot.' Now do you care in the least what his name is?”
“Indeed I do not,” Dorothy said, firmly.
“And oh, how glad I am that he is not Professor Bonfanti!” Nancy
said. “It was silly to be so frightened, but if only you knew how hard
those months were when he was training me, and old Uncle Steve was
threatening all sorts of things if I did not dance well! You see, I was
really ill with fear, and homesickness, and Uncle Steve did not seem to
see that the more he threatened, the more ill I became. Oh, if I should
talk all day, I could not tell you half the misery of those days. Only
yesterday one of the girls said that she would not have minded any of
the harsh things if only she could have danced on the stage. That is
what she thinks, but she doesn't know!”
“Well, Nancy, to-day you are nervous and tired, but I have quieted
all your fears, and assured you that you are safe here at Glenmore.
Some day when we can arrange it, I would enjoy hearing more of your
“And I'd be willing to tell you, Mrs. Marvin; you've been so kind,
and you've comforted me. I shall sleep to-night without any horrid
Mrs. Marvin felt that Patricia had really intended to frighten
Nancy, and she decided to have a quiet little talk with her, and if
possible, learn what had prompted her to do so unkind a thing.
* * * * *
It was an odd combination that “Glenmore,” one of the best of
schools for girls in the country, modern in every respect, and
absolutely “up-to-date,” should be situated in a town that was quaint,
and picturesque, with inhabitants as fanciful, and superstitious as one
would find if he had traveled back a century.
True, there were residents who had recently come to the place for a
summer home, but the old people of the place clung to their old time
superstitions, their firm belief in “signs,” their legends handed down
from one generation to another, and the newcomers humored them,
listened to their “yarns,” and asked to hear more. Many of these
stories were quite as interesting as any folk tales, and none could
tell them with finer effect than old Cornelia Derby.
It was Marcus who had pointed her out to several of the girls who,
one morning, chanced to be standing near the gate as the old woman came
up the street.
“Oh, Marcus, do you really mean that she can tell all sorts of
quaint stories about this old town?” cried Betty Chase.
“I sure does,” said Marcus, “and 'nuffin' pleases her like gittin' a
chance ter tell 'em ter folks as is willin' ter listen.”
“Now, Valerie,” said Betty, turning to her chum, “let's get her to
tell us some of the stories she knows about the fine old houses, and
the people that once lived in them.”
“Fine!” cried Valerie, “but where would we find her?”
“She lives in a little old hut, 'round behin' the hill over there!”
said Marcus, “an' all yo' has ter do is ter go up dis street, an' yo'll
sure spot it, long 'fore yo' reach it, 'cause the top half er dat hut
is red, an' the bottom half is whitewash. It sure looks mighty quare!”
“Let's take a walk over there to-morrow, when our lessons are
prepared,” said Valerie, “but,” she added, “I hope we find it.”
“Yo' couldn't miss it,” said Marcus, “for all yo' has ter do is ter
go up dis street, an' turn ter yo' left, den go a piece, an' turn ter
yo' right, an' walk 'til yo' come ter a big yaller house, an' dat's
'bout half-way. Nex' yo' cross a field, skip over de place where de
brook is in summer an' come ter a piece er wall, stone wall, 'tis, an'
it don't seem ter b'long ter no place 'tall, an' de hut is jes' a
little ways beyond.”
The sound of a bell sent them hurrying toward the house.
“Do you expect to remember all that?” Valerie asked on the way to
“If you do you'll be a wonder. I've forgotten it now.”
Betty nodded confidently.
“We'll go over there to-morrow,” she said.
The next afternoon, Betty helped Valerie with some puzzling problems
that must be solved before starting out.
Then with confidence on Betty's part, and much doubt in Valerie's
mind as to their ability to find the hut, they set off on the long
walk. After twice enquiring of people whom they met, of taking a long
walk in the wrong direction, and retracing their steps, they finally
espied the piece of stone wall that seemed to belong to “no place at
all,” as Marcus had said.
Glad to rest, they paused there to look about them, and to wait for
Vera and Elf, who had promised to meet them. Neither was in sight,
although they had said that they would be prompt. Snow and ice had
fled, and now everywhere were signs of spring. Vera had declared that
the long walk was what she needed, and Elf had said that she would
endure the walk for the sake of hearing the quaint stories of the town
and its people that old Cornelia would tell.
At the end of the wall Betty and Valerie waited.
“I'd not wait much longer,” Valerie said.
“I surely will not!” Betty replied, “for if they are coming,
they'll be here in a few minutes.”
It was evident that the two girls had, for some reason, been
detained, and Betty determined to wait no longer.
[Illustration: At the end of the wall Betty and Valerie waited.]
“Come!” she cried. “We'll go on now to the little hut, and if Vera
and Elf come poking along a half-hour later, they can just sit on this
wall, and see if they enjoy waiting as well as we did.”
It was but a short distance, and they ran part of the way to make up
for lost time, but when they reached the gate they found, as Valerie
glanced at her tiny watch, that it was later than they thought, and was
already about time for them to turn toward Glenmore, if they did not
wish to be late.
Hours were strictly kept at the school, and all pupils must return
from recreation in time to give themselves personal care, and be in the
lower hall at five-thirty for a friendly chat before going to the
dining-room at six.
Mrs. Marvin insisted that every pupil look her best at all times.
It was now four o'clock. It would take a half-hour to reach
Glenmore. That meant that not more than a half-hour could be spent at
There was no answer to their repeated knocking, but as they turned
to go they saw old Cornelia coming toward them along the road, a big
basket on her arm.
“Well, well, two fine little callers I find waiting for me,” she
said. “And what can I do for you?”
“We wanted you to tell us all about some of the old buildings and
the interesting stories about the people who lived in them,” said
Betty, “but it's so late now that I don't believe there's time. We have
to be back at Glenmore at five.”
“Then sit right down here on my garden-seat and I'll tell you the
shortest tale I know, and some other day if you come when you have more
time I'll tell you more.”
“Oh, that will be fine!” they cried, as with one voice.
“How would you like to hear about the wishing-well?”
“That sounds great!” declared Betty and then: “Could you
begin it with 'Once upon a time?'“
“Surely,” was the quick response, “and now I think of it, I'm sure
you must have passed the old wishing-well on your way here. The old
well was supposed to have magic power, and long ago when the old Paxton
House was standing, people came, for miles around, to be near the old
well in the garden, and wish for their heart's desire, feeling sure
that their wish would be granted.
“Of course the idea was absurd, but the townspeople of those days
were superstitious, so that if those things that they wished for beside
the well never came to them, they thought that they must have forgotten
to ask for them in the right way, and later they would try again.
“If they obtained the thing that they had wished for, they laid
their good fortune entirely to the fact that the old well must have
approved of them.”
“And where is it?” Valerie asked. “You said that we must have passed
“The old well has a flat wooden cover over it now, with an iron bar
to keep it in place, lest some one be careless and fall in, though now
the wild blackberry vines have nearly hidden it from sight. Even now
when only young leaves are on the brambles, the thorny stems make a
network over the cover. The old Paxton House was gone before my time,”
Mrs. Derby said, “but a part of its fine wall remains. It was upon that
wall that the wishers sat.
“Did you happen to notice a fine piece of wall that seemed to belong
to no one at all, and ended in a broad field?”
“The idea!” cried Betty. “Why we sat on that piece of wall,
and could have 'wished' just as well as not, if only we'd known it.”
“And it's almost half-past four now,” said Valerie. “S'pose we run
along toward Glenmore, and stop just long enough to sit on the wall and
wish. We can be on time at five, if we do that. Then we could come over
some day when we've more time, and hear all about the well, and other
It was a good idea, because it was already so late that they could
remain but a few moments longer, so with an urgent invitation to come
again, and a promise to do so, they ran back to the old wall, looking
back to wave their hands to the little woman who waved in return.
CHAPTER IX. THE WISHING-WELL
“Isn't it funny to think that we stopped at the very place to wish,
and never knew it?” said Valerie, as they ran along the foot path that
would take them back, the shortest way to the wall, and the
“Not so 'funny' as that we'd take so much time and trouble to wish
when we get there,” said Betty.
“Why is it odd?” Valerie asked, stopping squarely in front of Betty,
and looking at her with round eyes.
“Oh, because we're acting exactly as if we believed in the old
well,” Betty said, looking a bit annoyed, yet keeping straight on
toward the wall.
“Well, of course we're not so silly as to really and truly
believe it could grant our wishes, but it's no harm to try,” responded
“Oh, we don't believe it all,
Yet we must believe a little
We b'lieve the water boils
When the steam comes from the kittle.
“It's dark inside the drum,
Yet we hear the drumming well,
But that we wished beside the wall
We'll never, never tell.”
“Where did you hear those verses?” Valerie asked.
“That's a funny song my brother sings. I made the second verse to
“Why, Betty Chase! Who'd think you could make poetry?” cried
Valerie, looking Betty over, as if it were the first time she had ever
Betty laughed gayly.
“I guess Mrs. Marvin would tell you it wasn't poetry. Don't you
remember she told us the other day that many people could write verses,
but that verses were not always poetry?”
“Well, all the same, I like the funny verses,” Valerie said, “and
here we are at the wall again.”
“And here's luck to us, and our wishing!” cried Betty.
She sprang up on the wall beside Valerie, and for a moment the two
It was Valerie who first spoke.
“I've been trying to think what to wish for,” she said, “and now all
at once I know. Mother told me to work hard this year, so as to stand
high in my class, and Aunt Phyllis said if I could finish in June with
ninety per cent. average she'd give me a beautiful ring. Yes, that's
what I'll wish for by the old well, and after I've wished it, I'll work
harder than ever so that my wish will come true. Well, why do you
laugh?” she asked, looking not only amazed, but rather vexed at Betty,
who could not stop laughing even when she saw that Valerie was far from
thinking it a joke.
“Well, what have I said that is so awfully funny?” she asked
“Don't be provoked, Valerie,” Betty said, but her shoulders shook
although she tried to check her laughter.
“I was only thinking,” she continued, “how generous you were to help
the old well out so nicely. Just as soon as you've wished, you'll start
right out to work hard enough to just make the wish come true,
well or no well, and I do believe, if your aunt gives you the ring,
you'll forget how hard you worked, and you'll be saying: 'I do more
than half believe in the wishing-well!'“
Valerie was never long angry, and she laughed as she answered:
“Well, Miss Wise-one, are you going to wish, and then sit back and
wait to see if it 'comes true'?”
“I'll wish just for fun, but I don't believe what she said about the
old well any more than you do, Valerie Dare. We'd be silly to even
think that an old well had any power to grant wishes,” Betty said, but
Valerie laughed again.
“Then why did we bother to sit on this wall and wish?” she said.
“We might just as well wish while we're walking along the road.”
“Come on!” cried Betty. “You wished on the wall beside the well, and
I'll wish as we walk along, and we'll see which gets what she wished
“All right,” agreed Valerie, “but I do hope you'll get yours,
“I'm as likely to, as if I'd kept sitting by the well,” Betty said,
“for I wish for what just couldn't happen.”
“Why Betty Chase! Why don't you wish for something that you've a
chance of getting,” said Valerie, stopping squarely in front of
“Because I have everything I want but one thing,” was the quiet
“And that one thing is—what?” queried Valerie.
“I love Dorothy Dainty, and I don't want to say 'good-by' to her
when school closes. I'd like to be where she is this summer, but that
couldn't be. You see our summer home is lovely, and we go there
every year. Father and mother like the country better than the shore,
but I like the beach, and the water best. Dorothy and Nancy will go
home to Merrivale, but whether they spend the summer there, or go away
to some other place, it won't make much difference to me. It's not
likely to happen that they'll come to the quiet little town where we
are to spend the summer.”
Betty's merry face now wore such a sober expression that Valerie
“Well, I still say I wish you'd wanted something that really could
At that moment some one appeared just around a bend of the road,
some one wearing the gayest of colors, and with her a little
old-fashioned figure in a dark brown dress.
“Look! Patricia and Arabella are coming this way, and they look as
if they were planning something great. Just see how close together
their heads are! I don't know Arabella very well, but when Patricia is
'up to' anything, it's pretty sure to be mischief.”
“Oh, I don't know,” Valerie. “It's just as likely to be some way
she's planning for a chance to show off.”
“Did you hear Vera Vane telling about the afternoon that Patricia
knocked at her door, and said that she had come to 'make a call'?”
“I didn't hear that,” said Valerie. “What did she do?”
“She was wearing all the rings and bangles that she owned, and in
her hand was a card-case, just as if she were grown up. She sat on the
tip edge of her chair, and she kept taking out her handkerchief, and
shaking it because it was drenched with perfumery, and when she went,
she emptied the card case on the table, and Vera counted the cards.
Say, Patricia had left fifty. Wasn't that funny?”
“Hush—sh!” breathed Valerie, “she might hear you.”
Patricia rushed forward, while Arabella, as usual, hung back,
preferring to stare at Betty and Valerie through her spectacles, rather
than have a little chat.
She wanted to watch their faces, and see if they were greatly
surprised with the news that Patricia had to tell.
“Guess where we're going!” Patricia cried, “but you couldn't guess,
so I'll tell you. We're going over to the well, the one that's called
the wishing-well,” she explained, “and we mustn't tell what we mean to
wish for, 'cause if you tell, you wouldn't get your wish. Did you know
Betty said that she had not heard that.
“I'll tell you to-morrow just how to find it, but we can't stop now.
There isn't time.”
“Late!” cried Valerie. “I guess you two are late. We think we have
to hurry to get to Glenmore on time, and you are going away from school
every minute. Why don't you go to the well, if you want to, tomorrow.”
Arabella thought that they ought to turn back, but Patricia seized
her hand, and the two commenced to run.
“They'll be a half-hour late,” said Valerie, looking after the
“And 'The Fender' will be waiting for a chance to scold them when
they come in,” said Betty.
As they pushed the gate open, they saw a little figure disappearing
around the corner of the house.
“That was Ida Mayo,” said Valerie.
“I didn't see her face. Are you sure it was Ida?” Betty asked.
“Oh, it was Ida,” Valerie answered, “and I do wonder why she stays
in her room all the time. If she happens to come down when the girls
are out, she runs, the moment she sees any of us coming.”
“It's a long time ago that she was sick,” Betty replied, “but she
must be all right by this time. I wonder why she ran when she saw us?
We don't know her well enough to stop her to talk. She's bigger than we
are, and she's three classes above us.”
“Who told you she stayed in her own room all the time?” continued
“Patricia Levine said so,” Valerie said.
“Why, Valerie Dare, you know Patricia tells—well—things that
aren't really true,” said Betty.
“Well, we don't see Ida, now, as we used to,” Valerie said.
“That might just happen,” said Betty.
It happened that what Patricia had said was true.
The so-called “beautifier” had injured the skin so severely that it
required time to heal it.
Mrs. Marvin had said that Ida was feeling far from well, which was
Her vanity had prompted her to do a foolish thing, and she had
suffered for it, both because of her painful face, and because in her
nervousness, she had cried until completely tired out.
Mrs. Marvin had talked with her kindly and wisely, she had let old
Judy take her meals up to her room, and she had personally given her
private instruction, for she pitied the silly girl, and sought to keep
curious ones from annoying her.
Ida had hastened away when she had seen the two younger girls coming
because there still were traces on her cheeks of the burning caused by
the patent “beautifier,” and she seemed more afraid of the comments of
the younger girls, than of her own classmates.
As the two girls entered the hall they saw that the tall clock
marked the time as quarter-past five.
“Fifteen minutes to fix up just a bit,” said Betty. “Come on!”
They raced up the stairs and soon reached their room.
Valerie was ready first, because Betty had found a letter waiting
for her, and promptly sat down to read it.
“You'd better not stop to read it,” cautioned Valerie, “for when we
came in we had only fifteen minutes to—”
But just then Betty gave a little cry of delight.
“Oh-oo! Just listen to this!” she cried. “Father says we are to go
to the shore this summer just for a change, and already he has rented
the summer place.” She clapped her hands, and laughed with sheer
“Oh, I'm so glad to hear that to-night. I do believe I'll dream
about it,” she said.
The half-hour for social chat was over, and dinner was half through
when Patricia and Arabella entered the dining-room.
All eyes were turned upon them.
Patricia held her chin very high, and looked as if she were
thinking: “I know I'm late, but what of that?” She was assuming a
boldness that she did not feel, whereas Arabella was absolutely
natural. She felt frightened, and looked—just as she felt.
“Wouldn't you like to know what they wished?” whispered Valerie, to
which Betty whispered in reply:
“I'd like to know, but they wouldn't tell us.”
It was a fixed rule at Glenmore that the pupils must be present at
the social half-hour, and then be sure of being prompt at six, the
dinner hour. Patricia and Arabella were the first to break that rule.
* * * * *
There was to be a week's vacation, and all but four of the pupils
were to spend it at home.
They were Patricia and Arabella, Dorothy, and Nancy.
Mrs. Dainty and Aunt Charlotte were still traveling, and Mrs. Vane
had asked Vera to bring Dorothy and Nancy home with her for the week.
Already they had planned enough pleasure to last a month, and Vera was
still racking her busy brain to think of other things that they might
The pupils were welcome to remain at Glenmore if they wished, and
Patricia had decided that that was just what she would do.
Arabella had hesitated. She was fond of her father, and she had
intended to go home for the week, but Patricia had declared that they
would stay at Glenmore, and Arabella was no match for Patricia, so it
was settled that they would remain at the school.
The week at Vera's home opened charmingly.
Mrs. Vane had given the week over to Vera and her three little
“It isn't quite a week,” she said when she greeted them, “for you
have arrived Monday afternoon, and you must leave Saturday morning.
That gives us Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and we must
make each day delightful.”
“It always is delightful here,” said Dorothy, “and it seemed so good
to come to you when mother was away.”
Mrs. Vane drew Dorothy closer. She knew that at heart, sweet Dorothy
was a bit homesick.
“We'll have a pleasant little home evening with music and games,”
she said, “and you'll all feel rested by to-morrow. I'll not tell what
I've in store for to-morrow. That is a secret,” she said.
Of course Vera coaxed, and the others tried to guess, but Mrs. Vane
remained firm, only laughing as their guessing grew wilder.
“Mother truly can keep a secret, but I can't,” said Vera. “I mean to
keep it but first thing I know, I'm telling it.”
“We all know that,” said Elf, and Vera joined in the laughter of the
Tuesday was fair, and Mrs. Vane, at lunch looked at the four bright
faces before her, Vera, a small copy of herself; Elf, whose mischievous
face was truly elfish; Nancy, whose gypsy beauty always pleased, and
Dorothy, blue-eyed, fair-haired, whose lovable disposition shone from
her eyes, and made her sweet to look upon.
“We shall take a trip to Fairy-land this afternoon,” she said, “and
must start directly after lunch.”
That was all that she would tell, and as they motored up one busy
street, and down another, she enjoyed watching their eager faces, and
listening to their chatter.
Fairy-land proved to be a wonderful play, depicting Elf-land with
fairies, water nymphs, elves and witches, goblins, and gnomes, with
exquisite scenery, beautiful costumes, and graceful dancing that held
them entranced, from the time that the curtain went up until the grand
march of the fairies at the finale.
The “grown-ups” in the audience were delighted, so it was not
strange that Mrs. Vane's party was spellbound.
Of them all, Nancy best understood the perfect art of the dancing.
She had been drilled in those dainty steps, and she saw how cleverly
each did her part.
It was an afternoon of enchantment, and when the play was over, the
gay little party bowled along the broad thoroughfare toward home and
they talked of the beautiful fairy play, and the graceful girls who had
danced as nymphs.
The four days passed so quickly that when Saturday dawned, it seemed
hardly possible that it was time to return to Glenmore.
There had been a wonderful exhibition of paintings for Wednesday, a
huge fair for Thursday at which Mrs. Vane bought a lovely gift for each
as a souvenir.
Thursday they had motored out beyond the city where willows were
showing their misty green, and gay little crocus beds were in bloom.
They had stopped for lunch at a pretty restaurant that looked for all
the world like a rustic cottage, and then had returned to find Rob Vane
waiting to greet them, as they drew up to the house.
“Hello!” he called to them before they had alighted.
“How is this, that a fellow gets a week's vacation, and comes home
from school to find only servants to greet him?”
“Why, Robert, I am glad enough to have you home for a week. I
thought you were to stay at school for extra coaching?”
“That's what I wrote in my last letter,” said Rob, “but I passed
exams, with flying colors. I was nervous, and feared I wasn't prepared,
but say! I was needlessly scared, for I not only 'passed,' but snatched
the prize for mathematics.”
“I am proud of you, Robert, and your father will be pleased,” Mrs.
Vane said, her fine eyes shining.
“And I'm proud of you, Rob,” cried Vera, rushing at him, and
clasping her arms about him.
“Hi, Pussy Weather-vane, it's good to have a little sister,” said
Rob, swinging her around until she was dizzy.
“Are you glad to see me, too?” he asked, laughing at her flushed
cheeks, and touzled, flaxen hair.
“Oh, Rob! So glad, even if you do shake me up until I look
wild,” Vera said, clinging to his arm, and dragging him toward the
“I dare to say he's the best brother in the world because neither
one of you has a brother, so you won't be offended.”
“Spare my blushes, Vera,” cried Rob. “Say, girls, I'm mighty glad to
see you. How long are you to stay? A week?”
“We are going back to Glenmore Saturday,” Dorothy said, “and we
start at nine in the morning. There is no one at the Stone House but
the servants, and it was so lovely to come home with Vera.”
“It surely was the best thing that you could do,” Rob replied
earnestly, for he knew by a slight quiver in her voice that Dorothy was
a bit homesick.
Nancy heard the odd little quiver when Dorothy was speaking, and she
hastened to speak of cheery things.
“We've had just the dearest visit, and we've been to the theater, to
a big fair, to see a hall hung with beautiful pictures, and how we have
enjoyed it all!” she said.
“I'll do the entertaining to-morrow,” said Bob. “I'll take you all
to see something that will be no end of fun.”
“What will it be, Rob?” Vera asked, but Rob tweaked her curls, and
“That's my secret,” he said, and they had to be satisfied with that.
CHAPTER X. A LIVELY WEEK
Dorothy woke very early the next morning, and turned to look at
Nancy, to find that Nancy was looking straight at her. They both
“I was wondering if you were awake,” Nancy said.
“I turned to look at you, Nancy, to see if your eyes were open,”
Dorothy said. “I was going to ask you if you knew that Patricia and
Arabella were spending the week at Glenmore.”
“I knew it, because when I told Patricia that we were to spend the
week at Vera's home, she looked, for just a second, as if she were
provoked because she had not been invited, too. Then she hurried to say
that she'd rather stay at Glenmore. That Arabella was to stay, too, and
that she thought they would have a finer time than we.”
“I wonder how they amused themselves,” Dorothy said. “Glenmore would
be so quiet with all the girls away.”
“And Miss Fenler would have all the time to watch them, with none of
the other pupils to care for,” responded Nancy.
“Dorothy, Nancy! Come down so I can tell you something!” called
They heard Mrs. Vane say gently:
“Don't hurry them, Vera.”
They were half-way down the stairs, however, and in the lower hall
they saw Elf, already up, because she had shared Vera's room, and Vera
had awakened her.
“Rob has told me! Rob has told me!” Vera said, dancing around
Dorothy and Nancy. “Rob has told me, and I couldn't wait to tell you.
He's going to take us out into the country to our summer place, and
there we'll go to a little country circus! Won't that be great? He came
home just in time.”
“That will be great fun,” said Dorothy, “and after we've seen it, we
can talk it over, all the way back.”
“Let's get ready now!” cried Vera.
“Why, Vera! It is only eight o'clock, and the circus begins at two,
so Rob said,” Elf remarked, with the thought of calming Vera, but that
was not so easily done.
“But it's a two-hour ride out there. Come up to my room, Elf, and
help me choose a dress,” Vera replied, as she caught Elf by the hand
and rushed up the stairway. How they laughed.
The morning sped on wings, and lunch was served early.
Just as they were leaving the house, the postman brought a letter
for Dorothy that had been remailed from Glenmore, and she took it with
her to read, if there was an opportunity.
The ride out from the city over fine roads, and along beautiful
avenues, was delightful, and the jolly little party reached “Vane
Villa,” earlier than they had thought possible.
“Dorothy is aching to read her letter,” Vera said, “so sit out here
and read it, Dorothy dear,” she continued, “and Rob will take Elf
around to see the kennels, and I'll tag along with them, for if I stay
here, I'll talk and talk so you won't know what is in your letter after
It was a kind thought, and a bit of tact that careless, flighty Vera
Dorothy opened her letter, and commenced reading. After a few lines
she looked up, her eyes shining.
“Nancy, come here, and listen to this.
“They are already on the homeward trip, and the first of May Mother
and Aunt Charlotte will be at the Stone House, and we are to join them
a week later. Already Mother has written to Mrs. Marvin, and we are to
be excused for the last two weeks at Glenmore, and away we'll speed
toward Merrivale and home.”
“Oh, I am so glad!” Nancy cried as she pressed Dorothy
“And that isn't all,” said Dorothy, “for hear this:
* * * * *
“I'm sure, dear, that you and Nancy will be delighted to know that,
after a short stay at the Stone House, we shall go to Foam Ridge for
the summer. You are both so fond of the shore, and the salt air.”
* * * * *
Nancy's eyes were bright, and there was a droll twinkle in them.
Drawing closer, Nancy whispered a rare bit of news.
“Do you mean that?” Dorothy asked. “Are you sure?”
Nancy laughed and nodded.
“Perfectly sure,” she said, “for only the day before vacation Betty
told me that her mother had just written to say that for a change they
were to spend the summer at the shore, and she said: 'Isn't “Foam
Ridge” a pretty name.' I didn't think to tell you, because I never
dreamed that we would be going to the same place. I knew you'd be
pleased, for you like Betty Chase as well as I do.”
[Illustration: Drawing closer, Nancy whispered a rare bit of news.]
“Oh, I am truly glad that we shall see Betty at the shore.”
“Hello!” shouted Rob. “Anybody thinking of going to the circus!”
“Yes! Yes!” they cried, and ran to join Rob and Vera and Elf.
For a small circus it proved to be quite a show. There were trained
dogs that were really clever, there were trained elephants, but best of
all there were some handsome horses, whose riders did wonderful
vaulting, tumbling, and riding, springing over hurdles, and through
When they left the tent the girls were delighted with the show, and
Rob said it made him think of his early ambition to be a circus
“Why wouldn't you like to now?” asked Vera. “If I had ever wanted
to, I'd want to now. I wouldn't change my mind. Well, I don't see why
you all laugh!” she cried, looking in surprise from one to the other.
It was small wonder that they laughed. Vera rarely held one opinion
for more than half a day, and had been known to have a half-dozen minds
inside of an hour!
* * * * *
It was a jolly party that took the train for Glenmore on Saturday
morning. Rob had taken them to the station, bought a box of candy for
each, and waited until the last moment to leave the train.
“If Miss Fenler has been watching Patricia this week she has been
busy,” said Elf, when they had settled themselves for the long ride.
“She could easily watch Arabella, she is so slow,” Dorothy said.
It happened that Mrs. Marvin had told Miss Fenler to closely watch
both girls who had chosen to spend the week's vacation at the school.
School without lessons would be fine, they thought.
“I think Arabella Correyville, if she were here alone, would be very
little care, but Patricia Levine is as full of queer notions as any
girl could be, and she plans the oddest mischief, and then drags slow
little Arabella into it. Patricia never tries to help her out, and she
invariably laughs if Arabella is caught.
“Arabella is so slow that she really doesn't know that Patricia
rules her, while Patricia rules, and laughs at Arabella for obeying.
“I promise to watch them, and I am likely to be more closely
employed than during a regular school session,” Miss Fenler said in
The first day passed without any especial happening, but the next
day the two set out for a walk, soon after breakfast, and did not
return until just before six.
“You were not here at one o'clock for lunch,” Miss Fenler said.
“Where were you?”
“I lunched with a friend,” said Patricia, and Arabella drawled, “So
“I did not know that you had friends here in town,” Miss Fenler
said, in surprise. They were, of course friends, and they had lunched
together. What they had said had been true, but surely not honest.
Arabella stared stupidly at Miss Fenler, and Patricia imitated her
stolid friend, too. It was easier to look dull than to answer more
On the third day Mrs. Marvin was absolutely amazed to glance toward
her window just in time to see Patricia entering the house with a cat
in her arms.
Questioned as to where she obtained the cat she said that a boy gave
it to her, that she didn't know his name, or where he lived.
“Where do you expect to keep it?” asked Miss Fenler, who had been
sent to meet her.
“I thought I could keep her in the little shed that's next to the
kitchen, and then Judy could feed her,” was the answer, given as
confidently as if the whole matter were settled.
Mrs. Marvin came out into the hall in time to hear what Patricia
“I think we can arrange to let puss remain if she is to be under
Judy's care,” she said, “for only yesterday she told me that the mice
are becoming very bold, and they are too wise to go into the traps that
A sound of falling pans, flat-irons, and other kitchen utensils made
them start. Patricia clung to the cat, although it was making desperate
efforts to get away.
“Ow-oo-o! O massy sakes! Yow-hoo!” shouted Judy as she burst the
door open, and tore out into the hall.
“Dem mices'll kill me yit, I do b'liebe!” she yelled. “De windows,
an' do's is shet, an' dey's prancin' on de kitchen' flo. Oh-oo!”
“Hush, Judy, hush!” Mrs. Marvin said. “We've a cat with us, and she
is just in time.”
“I sho' won't go nigh dat kitchen wid no cat, nor nuffin' else,”
Judy said, her eyes rolling in terror.
“Pooh!” cried Patricia, “I'd be glad to put her out there before I
get any more scratches,” and going to the end of the hall, she opened
the door, and dropped puss on the floor.
In less time than it takes to tell it the cat had caught the two
tiny mice, that had been far more afraid of the big colored woman, than
she had been of them, and that is saying a great deal.
Patricia was never inclined to be in any way obliging. She was one
of those unpleasant girls who find no joy in being kind or helpful.
Whatever she did, was done wholly for her own sake, and Judy eyed
her with suspicion when she saw how promptly she took the big cat to
Having given the cat over to the care of Judy, Patricia raced up the
stairway to her room.
Judy rolled her eyes to look after her.
“Wha' fo' she done dat?” she asked of Miss Fenler, who stood near
“Wha' fo'? I axes. Dat ar young miss done bring dat cat home ter hab
in her room fo' a pet. How happen her to gib it up ter Judy?”
“Nonsense, Judy. She knows, as all the pupils know, that it is a
fixed rule at Glenmore, that no pupil can have a pet in her room.”
“All de same, Miss Patrichy meant dat cat ter be up in her
room, long o' dat ar Carbale gal.”
Judy never could get Arabella's name correctly. Sometimes it was
“Carbale,” then it was “Corbille,” but never once had she
managed to call it Correyville.
“Well, the cat is in the kitchen now, and you must look out for her.
Keep her in for a few days until she feels that this is home, and then
she will stay,” Miss Fenler said, and returned to her account-books.
Thursday the two girls were in their room all day, reading, and
devouring a “treat” that Patricia had smuggled in. It was much the same
menu that Patricia usually chose, without a thought as to how the
different things would combine.
Who but Patricia Levine would ever think of eating ice-cream, and
big green pickles at the same time?
The reason that she would have given for eating them at the same
time would have been that she liked both.
They ate the papers of ice-cream first before it could melt, and
then, each took a huge green pickle, and a favorite book, and settled
down to read.
When the lunch hour arrived, Patricia felt a bit “queer,” while
Arabella felt decidedly “queerer.”
Neither cared to eat, but they dared not stay away from the
dining-room, so both went down to the table, but they made only a
pretense of eating.
Early in the afternoon both felt hungry. Patricia rushed to the
closet, and returned with some chocolate eclaires, and a bottle of
“I'll eat an eclaire,” said Arabella, “but maybe I'd better not eat
olives with it.”
“Well, of all things!” cried Patricia. “Let me tell you what you
don't know. Eclaires and olives just b'long together. Don't act
Arabella, always afraid of being laughed at, ate not only one
eclaire, but two, and a dozen olives, as well.
During the afternoon, they ate four crullers, two pickled limes, two
ham sandwiches, and a pound of fudge.
Patricia could eat anything, and any amount of food without any ill
effect, but Arabella was really sick when the hour for dinner arrived.
When Mrs. Marvin questioned Patricia, she said that Arabella had a
headache, and that she had said that she was not hungry.
Mrs. Marvin sent a waitress up to their room with some toast and tea
for Arabella. Arabella barely tasted it, and the girl returned to
report that Miss Arabella looked sick, and really could not eat.
The next day found her much like her usual self, and Patricia
proposed a walk.
“I'll go with you in a minute,” said Arabella.
“What are you waiting for?” snapped Patricia. She turned, and
saw that Arabella was shaking some green pills from a bottle.
“It's hard work trying to mind two people who say different things,”
complained Arabella. “Aunt Matilda told me to take these green pills
every hour, wherever I happen to be, and Mrs. Marvin says I must not be
continually taking medicine in the class-room. How can I do both?”
“Don't take it at all!” cried Patricia.
“But my health—”
“Oh, bother your health,” said Patricia. “I should think you'd be
sick of hearing about it.”
“I am,” confessed Arabella.
“Then pitch every one of those bottles out, and see what happens! No
wonder the girls here call you the 'medicine-chest.' The doses you take
make me sick just to see them.”
Arabella looked sulky, and when Patricia started for a walk,
Arabella refused to go. She was usually afraid of Patricia, and did as
she directed, but when she became sulky, not even Patricia could move
her, try as she might.
Arabella was standing near the window when Patricia returned, and
what she saw was anything but pleasing.
At the end of a leash was a small, shaggy, yellow dog, of no
Arabella detested dogs, and was desperately afraid of them as well.
She told herself that the dog would also be in Judy's care, and was
wondering how he would get on with the cat, when she heard a loud
whisper outside the door.
“Let me in, quick!” it said, and when Arabella opened the door,
Patricia stumbled over the dog who had run between her feet, and the
two landed on the middle of the rug in a heap.
“There! Isn't he a beauty?” Patricia asked and without waiting for
an answer continued, “A man told me he was a valuable dog that ought
to bring fifty dollars, but because he was going to leave town, he let
me have him, for two dollars, and threw in the leash. Wasn't that a
“What are you going to do with him?” Arabella asked. “Oh, take him
away! I don't want him sniffing at me!”
Patricia made an outrageous face, and tugged at the leash.
“Keep him in this room until I go home, and then take him with me,”
“I'll not sleep in this room if that dog is kept in here!” declared
“Where will you sleep?” Patricia asked, coolly. “They wouldn't let
you sleep out in the hall, and if I put the dog out there, 'The Fender'
will take him.”
By extreme care, Patricia managed not to do anything that would make
CHAPTER XI. AN INNOCENT SNEAK-THIEF
The little dog had slept all night, but when morning came he wanted
to go out for a romp. Patricia tied him to the leg of the bed, gave him
some breakfast and sat on the floor beside him to stop him if he began
Thus far he had been very quiet, only softly growling, and stopping
that when Patricia held up her finger and told him he must “keep
“Why do we have to review?” Patricia said as Arabella took up a
“The idea of looking into my history to see when Virginia was
settled at Jamestown when any one knows it was in fourteen
“O my, Patricia! That's wrong,” Arabella said, “That's when Columbus
“Well, for goodness' sake! Couldn't he have landed in Virginia, and
settled it at the same time?” demanded Patricia. She was desperately
angry, but Arabella persisted.
“Don't you know, Patricia, it couldn't have been
settled in fourteen ninety-two?”
“Oh, don't bother me about that!” said Patricia, and Arabella,
peering at her through her goggles decided that it would be wise to do
no more correcting.
“I don't think Miss Fenler is fair,” said Patricia, “for she marked
my history paper only forty-two, and I just know it ought to
have been higher than that. And my spelling she marked only
thirty-eight last month, and all because I put an r in water, spelling
it 'warter,' and I'm sure that's not bad.”
“You put two t's in it, too,” said Arabella.
“I will again if I want to,” snapped Patricia.
“There's the breakfast-bell. He's sure to bark while we're
down-stairs,” Arabella said. She hoped that he would, so that he might
be given other quarters. He looked up as the door closed, and was about
to bark when he saw one of Arabella's slippers, and grabbing it,
retired under the bed to chew it.
It was a rule that the maids should make the beds, and put the rooms
in order while the pupils were at breakfast, and on that morning it
fell to Maggie's share of the work to care for the only room now
She was a good-natured Irish girl, and she entered the room singing:
“'Now, Rory, be aisy, don't tase me no more,
“Och, murther! Murther! There's a man under the bed, an' he grabbed
me by me shoe,—oh! oh!”
Down-stairs she ran, screaming all the way, declaring that there was
a man upstairs, and calling for some one brave enough to “dhrive him
Her terror was very real, and Marcus was called in to oust the
“It must be a sneak-thief,” said Miss Fenler.
“It am a sneak-thief,” said Marcus, appearing with the small
dog in his arms.
“He stole a slipper, an den sneaked under der bed ter chew on it.
Sure, he am a sneak-thief, but I knows a cullud gemman what wants a
dog, an' I guess he's 'bout the right size. Dey has a pow'ful small
house, an' him an' his wife, an' seben chilluns lib in dem two rooms,
so he couldn't want no bigger dog dan dis yar.”
“Why nobody can give that dog away!” shrieked Patricia. “I bought
him yesterday, and paid the man two dollars for him. He's mine!”
“Do you mean to tell me, Patricia, that you bought that dog and
deliberately brought him here, when you knew that it was against the
rules of the school?” Mrs. Marvin asked.
“You kept the cat,” said Patricia.
“Because I let the cat remain, you decided that it would be safe to
do practically the same thing again, did you?” Mrs. Marvin's usually
kind voice sounded very cold now.
“He isn't a cat, so 'tisn't the same,” Patricia said with a pout.
“We must find an owner for him, Marcus,” Mrs. Marvin said.
“I won't let him go!” screamed Patricia.
“You cannot keep him here.”
“Then I'll go back to my aunt's house at Merrivale, and take him
with me,” said Patricia.
“Do as you like about that,” Mrs. Marvin said quietly, “but you must
“I've choosed, I mean 'chosen,'“ said Patricia. “I'll go
right straight off, and take the dog with me.”
It looked like haste and anger, but for weeks Patricia had been so
far behind the others of her class, that she believed that any day Mrs.
Marvin would send her home with a letter stating that she had been
neglecting study, and must give up her place to some ambitious pupil.
Patricia preferred to go of her own choice, so she rushed to her room,
and began to pack her belongings.
Arabella stood watching her as if not fully realizing that she was
losing her chum.
She was not quite so dull as she appeared. She was sorry to have
Patricia go, and she was not at all sure that she would like her room
all to herself. At the same time she was comforting herself with the
thought that there would be no one to make her eat things that she ate
for the sake of peace and that nearly always made her ill, or to drag
her into mischief that she, herself would never have thought of. When
Patricia's trunk was strapped to the back of the carriage, and she
stood on the porch, her suitcase in one hand, her other hand holding
the dog's leash, she turned to Arabella.
“Well, aren't you going to say something, now I'm ready to start"
“Do'no' what to say,” drawled Arabella.
Arabella had spoken the truth, which, however, was not
complimentary, and Patricia was offended.
Arabella, looking after her tried to decide just how she felt. She
would miss Patricia, because at times she was a lively chum, but she
was quick to take offense, and Arabella was always doing something that
Then, too, Arabella had a very small allowance, while Patricia spent
money with a free hand, and always “shared” with Arabella. But what joy
was there in eating the oddly chosen “treats”?
Arabella decided that as there was but a short time before the
closing of school, it was, perhaps, the best thing that could have
happened, that Patricia had decided to go back to Merrivale. It seemed
strange that she should prefer to be with her aunt in Merrivale, rather
than with her mother, at their home in New York, but those who knew
were not surprised.
Mrs. Levine was as strange in some respects, as her little daughter
was in others. If Patricia enjoyed being away from home, Mrs. Levine,
flighty, and weak-willed, was glad to be free from the care of
The aunt was very glad of the money paid for Patricia's board, so
every one concerned seemed satisfied.
Surely Patricia was having but little training, but who was there to
Being away from home had one decided advantage, Patricia thought.
She could ask for money when she needed clothing, and when she
received it she could make her own choice of hats, coats, or dresses,
and what a lively choice it was!
She had rightly earned the title of the “Human Rainbow.”
She had heard the name, and she liked it. She thought that it
implied that her costumes were gay, rather than dull colored.
Mrs. Marvin breathed a sigh of relief when Patricia had actually
left Glenmore, and Miss Fenler remarked that Arabella was really too
slow to get into mischief, now that she had no one to assist her.
* * * * *
The ride had been a long one, and the car had been hot after the
early morning. Vera complained that she was fairly roasted, while Elf
declared that she had breathed smoke from the open windows until she
believed that she would smell smoke for a week. Dorothy and Nancy made
little fuss about either smoke or heat, bearing the discomforts of the
trip patiently, and laughing when Vera fumed.
“Well, I know, if I were a man,” said Vera, “I could make some kind
of an engine that would go like lightning, and have neither smoke nor
cinders. I told Rob that, and he said, 'Oh, don't let it stop you
because you're not a man. Just go ahead, Pussy Weather-vane, and plan
it. The companies won't refuse to use it because it wasn't invented by
“Now, isn't that just like a boy? What time do I have to do things
like that? Doesn't he know that I have lessons, and all sorts of things
that hinder me?
“Why do you girls laugh at everything I say, just as Rob does?” she
concluded, looking in surprise, from one merry face to the other.
“Oh, but Vera, you are funny when you sputter,” said Elf.
“I s'pose I am,” agreed Vera, “and I don't much care. I'm sure I'd
rather make you laugh, than make you look sober.”
“Look! Look!” cried Dorothy.
“We're almost to Glenmore!”
“Not yet,” said Vera.
“Oh, but Dorothy is right,” said Nancy, “for look there where the
river glistens in the sun.”
“And see that big Club House right over there,” Dorothy said,
pointing toward a handsome building of which the town of Glenmore was
“But it doesn't seem quite like—”
Vera's remark was interrupted by the trainman, who opened the door
and shouted, “Glenmore! Glenmore!”
“I guess it did look like it,” Vera said, as she sprang out on the
platform, followed by her three laughing companions. Marcus was waiting
“Yo'-all git in, an' we'll git dar as quick as we kin. Mis' Marvin,
she say all the other pupils is arriv, an' she hopes you fo' will be
“We came as soon as the train would bring us,” said Elf.
“But dat train am an hour later dan de time-table say.”
“Do you believe that?” Elf asked of the others, as they rode along.
“They must have changed the time-table,” Nancy said.
Marcus turned his head to shout:
“No, miss, no. Nobody doesn't neber chane nuffin' in Glenmore!”
Mrs. Marvin was on the porch, as the carriage turned in at the
gateway, and she stepped forward to greet them as they sprang out on
“I was beginning to wonder what had detained you, when I was
delighted to see the carriage coming around the bend of the road. You
are just in time to go to your rooms and 'freshen up' a bit before
dinner, and—Why, Arabella Correyville! What does this mean?”
A drenched and bedraggled figure was mounting the steps. Her hair,
and garments were dripping, she had lost her goggles, and without them
her eyes had a frightened stare.
“I didn't mean to look like this,” she said, “but I lost the key to
my room. I'd locked the door when I went out, and I wanted to study
some before dinner. I climbed up onto the edge of that hogshead that
the workmen had left right beside the trellis that runs up by my
window. I meant to get in at my window, but I fell and got into a
hogshead of dirty water. 'Twasn't very pleasant,” she drawled.
One might have thought, from the manner in which she said it that
most people would have enjoyed the “ducking”!
Mrs. Marvin looked discouraged. This was the girl that could not
get into a scrape, now that she had no one to drag her in!
“Miss Fenler, will you assist Arabella in making herself presentable
before six? It is after five-thirty now.”
Miss Fenler looked anything but pleased, but she dared not refuse.
Arabella seemed quieter than ever when she came down the stairway, her
wet garments exchanged for dry ones, and her straight hair primly
braided, thanks to Miss Fenler.
Doubtless she had not recovered from her surprise when she found
herself in the hogshead. It always required time for Arabella to
recover from any new idea, or unusual happening.
The other girls were giving the four who had just returned a gay
welcome, and Dorothy slipped her arm around Betty Chase, and told her
the fine news that during the summer they were both to be at Foam
“Oh, Dorothy!” cried Betty, her dark eyes shining, “I was delighted
when mother wrote that we were going there, just because I so love to
be at the shore, and now to think that you and Nancy are to spend the
summer there,—oh, it is such a dear surprise.”
“But listen, every one!” cried Valerie Dare. “That's all very fine
for Betty, but the other bit of news isn't quite so nice. Dorothy
Dainty and Nancy Ferris are to leave Glenmore two weeks earlier than
the rest of us. Say! Do you think we'll miss them?”
“Oh, Dorothy Dainty! Why do you go so soon?”
“And take Nancy with you, too! Say, do you have to?”
“Can't you stay longer?”
These and many more were the queries called forth by Valerie's
It was small comfort for them to listen when Dorothy explained.
The fact remained, that they did not want to have her leave before
school closed. She had endeared herself to her classmates, and to many
others whom she met at socials, and after school sessions. Nancy shared
her popularity, and both prized the loving friendship that had made
their stay at Glenmore so pleasant.
CHAPTER XII. A GLAD RETURN
“We're glad to think that to-night we shall be at home at the Stone
House, and that we'll be with Mother and Aunt Charlotte again, and
we're really sorry to say 'good-by' to Glenmore and the pleasant
friends that we have found here,” Dorothy said, as she stood on the
porch with Nancy, waiting for Marcus, who was to take them to the
“That's just the way we feel,” said Nancy. “Glad and sorry at the
“Well, let me tell you, I don't feel two ways at once,” cried
Vera. “I feel just one way. I'm just fearfully sorry!”
Mrs. Marvin had bidden them “good-by,” after having expressed her
approval of their work as pupils, and her regret that they must leave
too early to have a part in the program at the final exhibition. On the
train that they were to take, there was no stop long enough to obtain
anything to eat, so Judy had put up a tempting lunch of sandwiches,
cake, and fruit.
Betty and Valerie had a box of chocolates for each, and Ida Mayo,
now wholly recovered, came in at the gate just in time to offer each a
lovely rose from a cluster that she carried.
Arabella came slowly out to join the group on the porch, and seeing
Ida Mayo offering her roses, she decided not to be outdone.
“Here, wait 'til I find something,” she said, thrusting her hand
deep into her pocket. After a moment's search she produced two bottles
of pills, one pink and the other green.
“Take 'em with you,” she said, offering one to Dorothy, and the
other to Nancy. “One is for a 'tired feeling,' and the other is for
feeling too good. I've forgotten which is which, but if you take them
both, you're sure to feel all right during the long car-ride.”
There were stifled giggles, for surely bottles of medicine were
curious gifts to offer, and the group of girls thought it the drollest
thing that Arabella had yet done.
For only a second did Dorothy hesitate. She did not, of course, want
to accept the funny gift, but she saw Arabella's cheek flush, as little
Lina Danford laughed softly, and she did the kindest thing that she
could have done.
“Thank you,” she said, gently, then to the others she added:
“Arabella is eager to have us both feel fine when we reach Merrivale.”
The soft laughter ceased, and Ida Mayo said to a girl who stood near
her: “Isn't that just like Dorothy Dainty! She doesn't want those pills
any more than you or I would, but she won't let Arabella feel hurt.”
“She is dear, and sweet,” was the whispered reply, “and so is
At last Marcus arrived, and as they rode along the avenue, they
waved their handkerchiefs to the group on the porch until they turned
the corner, and were out of sight.
The long car-ride was much like any all-day ride. Rather pleasant at
first, a bit tedious on the last hour, but oh, the joy of the
Mrs. Dainty had felt the first separation from Dorothy keenly, and
she could not school herself to be calm when for the first time in
months she would see her sweet face again, so she sent the limousine
over to the station, and with a desperate effort at patience, waited at
home for the sound of its return.
Aunt Charlotte was more calm, but so long had Nancy been under her
care that she seemed like a little daughter, and now, with Mrs. Dainty
she sat waiting, and each smiled when she caught the other watching the
Of course the train was late in arriving at Merrivale, and Mrs.
Dainty was just beginning to be anxious when the limousine whirled up
the driveway, and stopped. John opened the door, and in an instant
Dorothy found herself held close in loving arms.
“Dorothy, my darling, I can never be parted from you again. If it is
a question of travel, I will not go unless you go with me, and if it is
education, then you must have private tutors at home.”
“Oh, yes, yes!” agreed Dorothy.
“At first the newness amused me, but the last half of the time grew
harder and harder to bear. I knew you needed the rest and change and I
did my best. When I found that you had come home two weeks earlier, I
could hardly wait till this morning to start.”
“We've tried to be cheerful for each other,” Nancy said, looking out
from her shelter in Aunt Charlotte's arms, “but oh, how good it is to
be at home!”
Mollie Merton, and Flossie Barnet had waved to them as they turned
in at the great gate, and Uncle Harry had swung his cap gayly, and
looked the genuine pleasure that he felt at seeing them again.
“Let's go over to see Dorothy and Nancy,” Flossie said, but Uncle
Harry laid his hand gently on her arm.
“Not just now, Flossie dear,” he said. “My little niece is truly
glad to see them, but I think there will be things to talk over, and
they have been apart for months, so they should have this evening
uninterrupted by any friends.”
“I guess that's so,” said Flossie, “but it's hard to wait until
to-morrow to tell them how glad we are to see them,”
“I love dat Dorothy girl, myself,” said Uncle Harry's small
daughter, “and I love dat Nancy girl, too. Dat Dorothy girl always has
candy for me, and dat Nancy girl makes hats for my dolly.”
Uncle Harry swung the tiny girl up to a seat on his shoulder, and
his blue eyes twinkled as he looked into the little, eager face.
“Don't you love them when they aren't giving you something?” he
“Oh, yes!” said the little maid, “but I love them harder when
“Then you'll love me 'harder' than you do now if I give you a ride
up to the house?” he asked.
“Oh, yes, yes!” she cried, and she laughed gayly as she rode in
triumph up the driveway, and into the house.
The evening was spent in the big living-room, with a small fire
blazing in the fireplace. It had been warm and sunny all day, but when
evening came, an east wind had risen, and the happy little party was
glad to sit cosily in doors. Dorothy and Nancy listened entranced while
Mrs. Dainty and Aunt Charlotte told of their travels. They had been
south, they had been west, and they had brought home beautiful
souvenirs of every place at which they had stayed.
Then Dorothy and Nancy told of the life at Glenmore, of the new
friends that they had met, and of Arabella and Patricia.
It was a happy evening.
Mr. Dainty had found it impossible to reach home until a week later,
but he had written a longer letter than usual, and had sent one
especially to Dorothy, and it seemed almost as if he were really
talking to her as she read it.
Bright and early next morning Mollie and Flossie raced over to the
Stone House, and the four chattered so fast, that the old gardener at
work near the fountain, took off his hat, and for a moment stood
listening. He was not near enough to know what they were saying, but he
heard their happy voices, now talking, now laughing, and he spoke his
“Hear that now, hear that! An' will any man tell me that a garding
is a reel garding widout the sound o' merry voices? Sure, it's been so
still here the past few weeks that I begun ter talk ter meself, just
ter break the stillness, but it didn't do the trick, fer me voice ain't
what yo calls 'moosicle.' Oh, hear them now! It does me good, so it
There was news, and a plenty of it to tell, and when Dorothy and
Nancy had told the happenings at Glenmore, Mollie and Flossie took
their turn, and related all the Merrivale news.
“You know Sidney Merrington used to be so lazy last winter that he
didn't get on at all at school,” said Flossie. “Arithmetic was all that
really vexed him, but because he had low marking for that, he wouldn't
try hard to do anything else.
“Well, Molly promised to help him, (you needn't bother to poke me,
Mollie, for I will tell) and she did help him every day, and
after a while he began to help himself, and last week his average on
the exam, was ninety-three. Wasn't that fine? He never would have got
that if Molly hadn't helped him.”
“Molly, you were dear,” said Dorothy.
“And Tess Haughton is ever so much nicer than she was,” Molly said,
“for she doesn't do anything now that seems,—why not quite true. That
doesn't sound just as I mean it. I know how to say it now. I mean that
she isn't sly. She is a good playmate, and a good friend.”
“Oh, that's fine!” Dorothy and Nancy cried, as if with one voice.
“There's another fine thing to tell,” said Flossie. “Reginald Dean,
with the help of his big dog saved a little boy from drowning. Reginald
saw him fall from the bridge, and he never stopped to think that he
isn't very big himself, but jumped right in, and was doing his best to
save him, when all at once his strength gave out, and he called for
help. He never dreamed that his dog had followed him, until with a
splash he jumped into the water close beside him, grabbed his clothes,
and dragged the two boys out.”
“Wasn't that great?” said Dorothy, her hands tightly clasped, her
eyes shining. “Reginald has the new bicycle that he so wanted. His
father gave it to him, because he had been brave enough to forget
danger, and rush to aid the other boy,” said Mollie, “and the dog is
wearing a new collar with a brass plate on it, engraved, 'I'm a
“Katie Dean said she was almost sure that she saw Patricia Levine
yesterday,” said Flossie, “but I said I thought she must still be away
at school. Do you know where she is now?”
“She might have seen her, for she left Glenmore before we did,”
Dorothy said, and she was just in the midst of telling how Patricia had
brought the big cat home, and next had appeared with a little dog, when
“Here she comes now. Why, she has a dog with her!”
“That's the one,” said Nancy, “and she has him on a leash now, just
as she did at Glenmore. I wonder if her aunt likes him. He tears and
chews everything he can get hold of.”
“Hello!” called Patricia, as soon as she saw them, then, “My! What
did you and Nancy get sent home for?”
“We weren't sent home,” Nancy said, indignantly.
“Now, Nancy Ferris, Glenmore doesn't close until next week, and here
are you two at home.”
“That is no sign that we were sent,” said Dorothy. “Mother sent for
“Oh, was that it?” Patricia said saucily, and then turning to Molly
“How do you like my dog? He isn't a pretty dog, but he knows
everything, and he always minds. My friends think it is just
wonderful the way he minds me. I taught him to. Stop!” she cried.
“Stop, I tell you. I won't let you chew the edge of my skirt. Will you
stop? Oh, well I don't care if you do chew it. It's an old dress,
She saw that he would not stop.
“I've named him Diogenes. I don't know who Diogenes was, but I liked
the name and he's such a hand to dodge, I thought I'd call him 'Dodgy'
for short. Well, I'm sure I don't see why you look so amused. I
think I've chosen a grand name for him. Come on, Dodgy!” but the small
dog lay down.
“Well, well, how you do act! Come on! Up the street! Come!”
The dog got up, yawned, and then, taking a good hold on the leash,
he snatched it from Patricia's hand, and made off with it, as fast as
he could scamper, Patricia after him at top speed.
“He minded me that time,” she turned to say, then resumed her chase.
* * * * *
The next few days were filled with preparation for the trip to Foam
Ridge, and Dorothy and Nancy could think of little else.
Both had felt the constraint at Glenmore which was really necessary
at so large a school.
The freedom from study, with its fixed hours would be refreshing.
There would be fine surf at Foam Ridge, and the two had “tried on"
their new bathing-suits at least a dozen times. They had studied the
elaborate booklet that showed in colors, the beauty-spots of the place,
and Dorothy had received a letter from Betty Chase, saying that in a
short time she would be there to join them in their sports.
They were wondering what new friends they would make during the
summer. Betty, they knew, would be a lively companion.
Of the gay summer at the shore, of the fun and frolic, of the
unexpected things that happened, one may read in
“Dorothy Dainty at Foam Ridge.”