The others laughed at that.
“Oh, you girls!” said Walter. “To hear you talk, one would think you were hounded like slaves at Lakeview Hall. You should have such a strict teacher as my tutor, for instance. He’s the fellow for driving one. He says he’ll have me ready for college in two years; but if he does, I know I shall feel as stuffed as a Strasburg goose.”
“This learning so much that one will be glad to forget when one grows up,” sighed Bess, “is an awful waste of time.”
“Why, Bess!” cried Grace Mason, “don’t you ever expect to read or write or spell or cipher when you grow up?”
“No more than I can help,” declared the reckless Elizabeth.
“And yet you’ve always talked about our going to college together,” said Nan, laughing at her chum.
“But college girls never have to use what they learn—except fudge-making and dancing, and—and—well, the things that aren’t supposed to be in the curriculum,” declared Bess.
“Treason! treason!” said Nan. “How dare you, Elizabeth? Pray what do girls go through college for?”
“To fit themselves for the marriage state,” declared Bess. “My mother went to college and she says that every girl in her graduating class was married inside of five years—even the homely ones. You see, the homely ones make such perfectly splendid professors’ wives. There’s even a chance for Procrastination Boggs, you see.”
“You ridiculous girl!” Nan said. “Come on! Who’s going down town with me? I can find my way around now, for I have studied a map of Chicago and I can go by the most direct route to Mother Beasley’s.”
“And find that cunning little Inez, too?” asked Grace.
“Yes. If I want to. But to-day I want to go to see if Sallie and Celia went back to Mrs. Beasley’s. I heard from Sallie’s mother by this morning’s post, and the poor woman is dreadfully worked up about the runaways. Mrs. Morton had a bad dream about Sallie, and the poor woman believes in dreams.”
“She does!” exclaimed Grace. “I suppose she looks at a dream book every morning to see what each dream means. How funny!”
“Goodness!” cried Bess. “Come to think of it, I had the strangest dream last night. I dreamed that I saw myself in the looking-glass and my reflection stepped right out and began to talk to me. We sat down and talked. It was so funny—just as though I were twins.”
“What an imagination!” exclaimed Walter. “You don’t lack anything in that particular, for sure.”
“Well,” declared Bess, “I want to know what it means.”
“I can make a pretty close guess,” said Nan, shrewdly.
“‘Vell, vas ist?’ as our good Frau Deuseldorf says when she gets impatient with our slowness in acquiring her beloved German.”
“It means,” declared Nan, “that a combination of French pancake with peach marmalade, on top of chicken salad and mayonnaise, is not conducive to dreamless slumber. If you dreamt you met yourself on Grand Avenue parading at the head of a procession of Elizabeth Harleys, after such a dinner as you ate last night, I shouldn’t be surprised.”