“But hair!” exclaimed Judith. “Think of turning me into a golden blonde with eyes like blue-bells under dewiness——”
“It cannot be! It cannot be!” moaned Dozia. “Instead we must raid the place and banish the traitor. How about that for stunt night with the sophs?”
“Wonderful!” sang out Juliette De Puy. She had listened and waited with a certain reserve for which this capable Juliette was famous, but now that the story was told she deigned to add that one word “wonderful.” Everyone looked at her suddenly.
“And have you tell the sophs,” blurted out Nettie Brocton. “Dozia Dalton you have spoiled it all. Didn’t you see we had company?”
“Never noticed the lovely Juliette. Never mind Julie, you may tell the crowd all you’ve heard,” condescended the redoubtable Dozia. “We enjoyed having you and it is perfectly all right.”
“Thanks. Come over to our camp some night and I’ll do as much for you. I just came in this afternoon, you know, to sub on the ball team.”
“Instead of which you subbed on the gossip club,” finished Jane, jumping up. “I’ve got to go back to my room. Don’t let me hurry anyone,” she said indifferently. Then, just as a strange figure turned from the big boxwood bumper into the lane, Jane escaped.
She hurried to meet Shirley Duncan.
THREATS AND DEFIANCE
The girl approaching was not so easy to appraise as her unusual costume proclaimed her to be. Jane realized this; country girls are apt to make such mistakes, and even dinner gown tags on school day togs would hardly be proof positive of inferiority, Jane reflected.
Shirley Duncan swung along with a careless stride, but even the pose might cover embarrassment. Jane sent a welcome smile out to meet her and the stranger jerked her head rather saucily in recognition.
“Have I kept you waiting?” asked Jane in the best of humor.
“Well, rather,” replied the freshman, “but I knew better than to break in on that crowd,” with an arm sweep toward the ball field. “Can we go up to your room for a few minutes?”
Jane thought quickly. To go to her room might mean an interruption from Judith; also it might mean the danger from an undisciplined voice.
“I have been indoors so much today,” she replied, “and our lovely days are flying so, suppose we go over to the rose summer house? We won’t be interrupted there and we will both have the benefit of a longer time out of doors. I suppose you feel it, freshmen usually do.” They were moving toward the rustic house that looked rather desolate in its coat of faded rose leaves.
“Oh, freshmen feel everything, I suppose,” replied the other, “but I can’t see why we should be openly abused for all that. I heard there was no more hazing allowed in colleges?”
“We have never hazed at Wellington,” Jane said rather indignantly, “and Miss—Miss Duncan, I am sure no one will ever attempt the least abuse even in a spirit of fun at this college.”