Peggy really rose to the occasion remarkably, Kit thought. Probably the most zealously guarded membership in Hope’s freshman class was that of the Portia Club, and yet, before the tea was over, she had invited Marcelle to attend the next meeting and be proposed for membership.
“We’re not going to try a whole play at first, just famous scenes, and I know you’d fit in somewhere and enjoy it. Don’t you want to, Marcelle?”
Marcelle shrugged her shoulders, deprecatingly.
“I shall be glad to help always,” she said, with simple dignity, “if you wish to make me one of you. We have an old copy of Shakespeare at home that was my mother’s, and I have read much of it in the long winter evenings. I think,” she added, whimsically, “that I would rather play parts like Shylock or Hamlet than the girl roles, and best of all, I should love dearly to play Prince Hal.”
“What do you think of that?” Anne said on the way home. “The idea of her being interested in Shakespeare at all or knowing anything about it, after living all her life in that little sand dump. Kit, you certainly have discovered a flower that was born to blush unseen.”
“It will take her out of her shell, anyway,” Kit replied, happily. “And I do think the girls came up to the mark splendidly. Heaven knows how they are talking about us now, behind our backs, but they acted their parts nobly when I swung that door open, and there stood, just Marcelle!”
THE FAMILY ADVISES
No qualms of homesickness visited Kit the first two months after school opened. Not even New England could eclipse the glory of autumn when it swept in full splendor over this corner of the Lake States. Down east there was a sort of middle-aged relaxation to this season of the year. Kit always said it reminded her of the state of mind Cousin Roxy had reached, where one stood on the Delectable Mountains and could look both ways.
But here autumn came as a veritable gypsy. The stretches of forest that fringed the ravines rioted in color. The lakes seemed to take on the very deepest sapphire blue. No hush lay over the land as it did in the east, but there were wild sudden storm flurries, and as Kit expressed it, a feeling in the air as if there might be a regular circus of a cataclysm any minute.
Hardly a Saturday passed but what she was included in some motoring party. The Dean never joined these, but Miss Daphne thoroughly enjoyed her new role of chaperon. Sometimes the run would be further north, along the route to Milwaukee. Other days they would dip into the beautiful wooded roads that cut through the ravines, leading over towards Lake Delevan. And once, towards the end of November, in the very last spurt of Indian Summer weather, they took a week-end tour up to Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls.
“I only wish,” Rex said, “that we could come up here next spring when they have their big logging time. It’s one of the greatest sights you ever saw, Kit. I have seen the logs jammed out there in the river until they looked like a giant’s game of jackstraws. Maybe we could arrange a trip, don’t you think so, mother?”