“But, brother, the Beaubiens won all their suits, didn’t they?” asked Miss Daphne, pleasantly. “I’m sure the older boys are very industrious, and I think the girl Marcelle is strikingly attractive. You’re not really forbidding Kit to go down there, I’m sure.”
The Dean said something that was lost in a murmur, for he had been one of the property owners vanquished in the lawsuits by the Beaubiens. After breakfast Kit went up-stairs with Miss Daphne into her own little sitting-room. This looked towards the street, out over the maple and pine-shaded lawn. Also, you could command a very fair view of the college. This was built of gray stone like a Norman castle, with square towers, and was overgrown with woodbine just beginning to show a tinge of crimson.
“It seems awfully queer, Aunt Daphne,” Kit said as she leaned out of the window, “to think that I am going there into the ‘prep’ class. Rex said on the way up here——”
She leaned suddenly farther out and waved.
“Hello, Rex, are you coming over?”
Rex glanced up at the radiant face as he came along the hedge-bordered drive between his home and the Dean’s and waved back in neighborly fashion.
“I’m going up to the campus now,” he said. “Ask Miss Daphne if she’d let you be in the library club. There’s a meeting this morning.”
“Could I, Aunt Daphne? Please say yes. I haven’t joined anything in ages,” Kit begged. “I don’t care whether it’s a library club or an Indian powwow. I am just dying to be in something out here, where I’ll meet every one and get acquainted. If you don’t need me this morning——” She hesitated, but some of her enthusiasm had caught Miss Daphne, and she immediately succumbed to the whim of the moment.
“Why, I think, my dear, that I’ll go with you. The Dean has taken up so much of my time that I’ve rather lost my interest and activity in affairs. You go down with Rex, and I’ll join you presently.”
The Dean’s desk stood in a wide square bay window which overlooked the driveway. He had settled down to his morning’s portion of labor and was blocking out a curriculum of study for Kit, when he happened to glance up, and beheld the trio passing happily out through the gates. Certainly they did not realize, nor did he at that moment, that already the leaven of youth was at work in the old shadowy house behind the sentinel pines.
THE DEAN’S OUTPOSTS
The first budget of family letters arrived the following week. Kit fairly pounced on them when the mail carrier came up the walk, for she had been watching anxiously at each delivery. After all, it was the first time she had been away from home, and after the first excitement and novelty had worn off, her heart, she told herself laughingly, “harked back to Dixie.”
It seemed the Dean had written to her father on the night of her arrival, and this was a surprise to Kit.