“Maybe it was just talk, to get us worked up and looking for something never to come,” suggested Ethel Zimmerman. “It would be a pretty good one for the boys to get us excited and looking for something clear up to April 1, and then spring an April fool joke, something like a big dry goods box packed with excelsior.”
“Oh, but that wouldn’t measure up to expectations,” Ruth Hazelton declared. “It wouldn’t be one-two-three with what they did last night, and they promised something just about as interesting.”
“You don’t get me,” returned Ethel. “The dry goods box filled with excelsior would be the anti-climax of wondering expectations.”
“You’re too deep for a twentieth century bunch of girls, Ethel,” Hazel Edwards objected. “That might easily be mistaken for the promised big stunt. They might compose a lot of ditties and mix them up with the packing, something like this:
all big things that boys may tell thee, for
Great expectations may produce excelsior’.”
“Very clever, indeed, only it sounds like an impossible combination of Alice in Wonderland and an old maid,” said Harriet Newcomb, with a toss of her head. “I’m surprised at you, Hazel, for suggesting such a thing. If the boys should put over anything like that, we’d break off diplomatic relations right away. If they wanted to call us a lot of rummies, they couldn’t do it as effectively by the use of direct language. Cleverness usually makes a hit with its victims, unless it contains an element of contempt.”
“That is really a brilliant observation,” announced the Guardian who had been listening with quiet interest to the spirited conversation. “Continued thought along such lines ought to result in a Keda National Honor for you, Harriet.”
“I’ll agree to all that if Harriet will take back what she said about my being an old maid,” said Hazel with mock dignity.
“I didn’t call you an old maid, my dear,” denied the impromptu poet pertly. “I merely said, or meant to say, that the idea you expressed might better be expected from an old maid, although I doubt if many old maids could have expressed it as well as you did.”
“Girls, Girls, are you going to turn our vacation into a two-weeks repartee bee?” Marion broke in with affected desperation. “If you do, you will force your hostess to go way back and sit down, and that wouldn’t be polite, you know. By the way, if you’ll excuse me I’ll do that very thing now for another reason. I’ve got two letters in my hand bag that I forgot all about. I’m going to read them right now. You girls are making too much chatter. I can’t read in your midst.”
So saying, Marion retired to a chair just far enough away to lend semblance of reality to her “go way back and sit down” suggestion, and settled back comfortably to read the two missives that arrived with the last evening’s mail at the Institute.