Of course there was a great deal of fuss about the proper sport toggery, but everyone got rigged out by the time the toboggans got there. Dulcie was a great help in this and was downtown every day advising one or another about the proper sweaters or blanket coats or peaked caps with tassels, or these here big-eyed boots. You’d meet her in a store with Stella Ballard, eating from a sack of potato chips; and half an hour later she’d be in another store with Daisy Estelle Maybury, munching from a box of ginger wafers; with always a final stop at the Bon Ton Kandy Kitchen for a sack of something to keep life in her on the way home. There really got to be so much excitement about winter sports that you hardly heard any more talk about the Latin Quarter. People got to speaking to each other again.
By the opening day of the sports club you wouldn’t of thought any one in town had ever tried to get away from it all. Even them that thought it crazy came and stood round and said so. Cousin Egbert Floud said this Dulcie was some sparrow, but nutty—going out in the cold that way when nothing drove her out. Dulcie made a great hit with the club this first day, having the correct Canadian toggery and being entirely fearless in the presence of a toboggan. She’d zip to the bottom, come tramping back, shooting on all six, grab a sandwich—for not a morsel of food had passed her lips since she went down the time before—and do it all over again. And every last ex-Bohemian, even Edgar Tomlinson, fighting for the chance to save her from death by starvation! Dulcie played no favourites, being entranced with ’em all. She said they was the dearest gentleman friends she’d ever had. The way they was fighting for her favours she could of called ’em her gentleman frenzy. Ain’t I the heinous old madcap, thinking of jokes like that?
Next day there was a snowshoe trip up to Stender’s spring and back by way of the tie camp. Dulcie hadn’t ever snowshoed and it wasn’t any light matter when her shoes threw her down—requiring about three of the huskiest boys to up-end her—but she was game and the boys was game and she was soon teaching snowshoeing shoes how to take a joke. And from that on winter sports ruled in Red Gap. The chamber of commerce even talked of building an ice palace next year and having a carnival and getting the town’s name in the papers. Oh, there certainly must of been a surprised lot of snow round there that winter. Nothing like this had ever happened to it before.
And all being done on nothing stronger than coffee, with hardly a cigarette and never anything that was by way of being a punk stick in a closed room. It was certainly a lot healthier than a Latin Quarter for these young people, and for the old ones, too. Dulcie had sure put one large crimp into Bohemia, even if she could not be justly called an intellectual giantess.
And Vernabelle knew who to blame, too, when the little group quit coming round to get away from it all. She knew it was Dulcie. She said that Dulcie seemed to be a pampered society butterfly that devoted all her thoughts to dress. This was repeated to Dulcie by an ex-Bohemian, but she found no poison in it. She said of course she devoted all her thoughts to dress; that a young girl with her figure had to if she ever expected to get anywhere in the world.