“No, no; there is no answer,” she said. “I can write by post.”
She crushed the telegram up and thrust it into her pocket. After this she went out for a little; she was too restless to stay still. The fascination of the coming sport grew greater as obstacles appeared in the way of its realization. Whatever her father might say, she could not desert the girls who belonged to her society now.
“What can have ailed Aunt Katie to betray me in such a fashion?” she thought.
She came home in time for tea; but, to her amazement she found another telegram waiting for her. This was from Dublin, from Aunt Katie herself:
“Have told your father. He received letter from school-mistress this morning. Very angry about Wild Irish Girls. You must give the whole thing up or you will incur his serious displeasure. Don’t be a goose; nip the thing in the bud immediately.—AUNT KATIE.”
“But indeed I won’t,” thought Kathleen. “Whatever happens, we will have our fun to-night. Whatever happens, neither father nor Aunt Katie, nor Ruth Craven can keep me back.”
KATHLEEN HAS A GOOD TIME IN LONDON.
So the head-mistress had written; she had dared to write to Kathleen’s father. What she said to him was a matter of no moment; she had written, and to complain of her!
“She thinks, I suppose,” said Kathleen, “that she’ll subdue me by these means. She wants to bring, not the long arm of the law, but father’s arm right across the sea to stop me. No, no, daddy, your Kathleen will be your Kathleen to the end—always loving, always daring, always true, but always rebellious; the best and the worst. I am going to-night, and I am going all the more surely because you wired to me not to go, and because they are daring to bully dear little Ruth Craven. And after I have had my fling I will come back in good time. No fear; nothing will go wrong. Your Kathleen wouldn’t hurt a fly, much less your heart. But I mean to have my fun to-night.”
Kathleen quite sobered down as these thoughts came to her. It was now getting dusk. The girls were to meet at the station at half-past five. They were to go in quite quietly by twos and twos; each couple of girls was to go to the booking-office and take their tickets, and walk away just as though nothing special had happened. They were on no account to collect in a mass. They were not even to take any notice of each other until they were off. Once the train was in motion all would be safe; they might meet then and talk and be merry to their hearts’ content. Oh, it was a good, good time they were about to have!
This arrangement about meeting one another had been suggested by Kate Rourke, who knew a good deal about theatres, and who also knew how dangerous it would be for so many girls to be seen at the station together; but dressed quietly, and just dropping in by couples, nobody would remark them.