“Were you afraid of him?” charged Jane.
“No, but we could not decide instantly that we should run after Judith. It was all so sudden,” said spokesman Dozia. “And of course we realized any more commotion would really get us all in trouble; that old officer is such a crank.”
“But to let Judith face it all alone,” challenged Jane.
“I really haven’t told the one important detail,” Dozia vainly attempted to explain. “I was walking with Judith and two other girls were just a little ahead. They were Shirley Duncan and that pretty little thing, Sarah—something—”
“Howland,” Jane flung in.
“Yes,” went on Dozia. “And Judith seemed so intent on watching them she hardly answered me intelligently.”
“There is something up between those two,” declared Winifred Ayres. “I know it, and I guess Judy knows it too.”
“But what have they to do with the fighting messengers?” demanded Jane, now utterly bewildered from the snarled account.
“The messenger, who got the package from Tiny Tim, shouted at Shirley and she waited. Then, when he could get near enough he threw the paper box to Shirley and she raced off toward the Beauty Shop. When we saw the last of it we couldn’t tell whom Judith was chasing, but she ran right into Dol Vin’s shop,” declared Dozia, “and of course Cop Sandy was not long in doing the same thing. We knew we would be helpless to do anything there if Dol were in, so we came back to see what you would suggest,” ended Dozia with a trail of relief in the last few words.
“I suggest that we go after Judith,” promptly ordered Jane, and if precious time had been wasted in the recital, the loss was atoned in the pace taken by that rescuing squad as they followed Jane in her race toward Dol Vin’s Beauty Shop.
TO THE RESCUE
The Beauty Shop was presently besieged by an excited crowd of girls, and to give due credit to the purely human element it must be admitted the girls were delighted to be there—at the forbidden post.
“Thrilling!” whispered Velma Sigsbee, and she “said it” for all the others.
The redoubtable Dol Vin (short for Dolorez Vincez) appeared at the quaint square paned door. She was gowned in a very close fitting and striking black satin “clinger” gown. Her hair was done in the most modern of styles, like a window show for her hair dressing parlor, and her foreign face, with its natural olive tones, was very much fixed up with many touches of peach and carmine, as well as darker hints under the eyes; and her lashes—well, perhaps Dolorez had been crying inky tears; that was the effect one gathered from a glance at the vampish make-up.
“Is Miss Stearns here?” asked Jane authoritatively. She and Dol had clashed glances before, and Jane had no idea of condescending to the apostate of Wellington.