“Dozia should strike for a new vanity dresser. One with three side glasses big enough to reflect her wonderful, long flowing locks. A rare chance for Dozia.”
“But how could a girl coming in on scholarship have money to squander?” reflected Jane.
“That maiden aunt with the paper covered novels would love good looking-glasses. It might be the salvation of this Shirley girl, if she did have access to a true mirror.”
Judith snapped the top on her fountain pen and slammed shut her note-book. Indifferent work was worse than none, she seemed to have decided.
“Had you finished your Lat? Isn’t it awful to have to work off a condition? Please don’t let me bother you ever, Jude, when you have that task on hand,” said Jane seriously.
“I have and it is, if you kept your two questions properly tabulated. You see I am straining for mental stuff. I want to improve the old condition of forgetfulness. That was what knocked friend Virgil, or was it Cicero? I loved the stories and forgot the period. But I am finished for this evening, dear, and you know we have some initiation stunts to take part in. I am glad they are so simple. It seems to me each year the nonsense gets more rational.”
“It really does, and I think, as you do, that shows progress. We can all enjoy better fun than that of afflicting the innocent. Of course we still have to have some ceremony or the young ’uns wouldn’t think they were really in college. I just wonder how it will strike our rebel Shirley?”
“That interests me too, Dinksy. Let’s go and see. We have some lovely little babes this year. That ivory blonde, the timid one with a most atrocious name, Sarah Something, I just love her, don’t you?”
“Sarah Howland, I saw Inez marking her card. Yes, she is sweet in spite of her name. Rather a pity sponsors cannot show discrimination. Here is your sweater. Better take it; the wind whistles. I’ll pull my riding cap down as a disguise. It takes in most of this-wig,” Jane was struggling to stuff her bright tresses into the pocket of her black velvet jockey cap. The effect towered like a real English derby and Judith danced in delight.
“I’ll try that with my tarn,” she declared. “One’s hair is always the surest give-away. Here are the masks—hanging neatly on the nail of last year’s tenants. I call that thoughtful.”
Mysterious calls and whistles were now creeping in under doorways and through transoms. The sophs were ready to initiate the frightened little freshmen. Tales of “they will do this and they won’t do that” had little effect on the individual candidate, but served to keep up the collective nerve by way of distraction.
“If they hold us under the pump I’ll be glad of it,” sang out Shirley the Rebel. “Haven’t had a decent drink of water since I left home, and I suppose the pump has a spring.”
“And it’s warm enough to enjoy a dip in the lake if they abduct us in canoes,” added Jessie Whitely. “I’m almost suffocated in this big thing,” with an impatient jerk at the criminal’s black robe.