Oh, I was very cheerful. When I think of it—but I might have known, all along. Nothing went right with me that week.
Just before we got to the house he said:
“Goodnight and goodbye, little Barbara. I’ll never forget you and this evening. And save me a dance at your coming-out party. I’ll be there.”
I held out my hand, and he took it and kissed it. It was all perfectly thrilling. And then we drew up in front of the house and he helped me out, and my entire Familey had just got out of the motor and was lined up on the pavment staring at us!
“All right, are you?” he said, as coolly as if they had not been anywhere in sight. “Well, good night and good luck!” And he got into the taxicab and drove away, leaving me in the hands of the Enemy.
The next morning I was sent back to school. They never gave me a chance to explain, for mother went into hysterics, after accusing me of having men dangling around waiting at every corner. They had to have a doctor, and things were awful.
The only person who said anything was Sis. She came to my room that night when I was in bed, and stood looking down at me. She was very angry, but there was a sort of awe in her eyes.
“My hat’s off to you, Barbara,” she said. “Where in the world do you pick them all up? Things must have changed at school since I was there.”
“I’m sick to death of the Other Sex,” I replied languidley. “It’s no punishment to send me away. I need a little piece and quiet.” And I did.
All this holaday week, while the girls are away, I have been writing this Theme, for Literature class. To-day is New Years and I am putting in the finishing touches. I intend to have it tiped in the village and to send a copy to father, who I think will understand, and another copy, but with a few lines cut, to Mr. Grosvenor. The nice one. There were some things he did not quite understand, and this will explain.
I shall also send a copy to Carter Brooks, who came out handsomly with an apoligy this morning in a letter and a ten pound box of Candy.
His letter explains everything. H. is a real person and did not come out of a Cabinet. Carter recognized the photograph as being one of a Mr. Grosvenor he went to college with, who had gone on the stage and was playing in a stock company at home. Only they were not playing Xmas week, as business, he says, is rotten then. When he saw me writing the letter he felt that it was all a bluff, especialy as he had seen me sending myself the violets at the florists.
So he got Mr. Grosvenor, the blonde one, to pretend he was Harold Valentine. Only things slipped up. I quote from Carter’s letter:
“He’s a bully chap, Bab, and he went into it for a lark, roses and poems and all. But when he saw that you took it rather hard, he felt it wasn’t square. He went to your father to explain and apologized, but your father seemed to think you needed a lesson. He’s a pretty good Sport, your father. And he said to let it go on for a day or two. A little worry wouldn’t hurt you.”