“You were saying,” Jane reminded Judith, placing a firm hand on the heaving breast solemnly, “that the rush in was like a movie scene.”
“I said comedy, dear; there’s a difference. First, Dol opened the pigeon holed door, then Sarah Howland tumbled in howling—she was honestly very much frightened, next went Shirley Duncan. She seemed wild to get under cover. Then I tripped along—”
“Not scared or anything?” from Nettie.
“Not a bit scared but mad as fury,” declared Judith, “for there was old Sour Sandy at my heels taking such long and such big steps I felt every next foot would crush me into the brand new door mat.”
“Poor Judy,” soothed Jane. “And no one to say thee nay!”
“Say me nix,” moaned Judith. “I would have had thee say other things than that. But to the tale. Have you ever seen a mouse run from a cat and a dog after the cat and a boy after the dog? You know that famous picture, I see. Well, when the messenger boy got away somewhere about Dol’s establishment, and Sarah went next, then went Shirley and, Little Me, followed by that giant Sour Sandy! Well, girls, I have to admit that for a few minutes I couldn’t see a thing but Dol Vin’s eyes. She had me hypnotized,” and Judith paused to make sure of the dramatic impression.
“I can see her glare!” declared Jane. “Dol’s eyes were made for nobler tasks than matching hair shades.”
“And mixing flesh tints,” contributed Dozia, who just then managed to purloin a sample of the fudge.
“Are you girls sure that keyhole is sealed and the door still impregnable?” demanded Judith the narrator, with a sweeping glance about the room.
Winifred Ayres dropped to the door sill and spread herself across it while Dozia moved her chair to the jam in order to plank her shoulders over the keyhole.
“Air tight,” announced Jane, “and every girl here is pledged, Judy. You may proceed with absolute safety.”
“The responsibility is yours, Jane, for we had an awful time for a brief interval under the doughty Dol’s roof. Things flew—”
“Hair brushes and sponges?” prompted Janet, eager for sensation.
“Can’t say as to the missiles,” replied Judith, showing signs of relaxing into indifference, “but the way that black head yelled, and Sarah sobbed, and Shirley—I guess she shouted. I know her noise was next loudest to Sour Sandy’s and that was some racket!”
“But what was it all about?” demanded Janet.
“About the precious box—jewelry or something valuable. When I saw the big boy take it from Tiny Tim and heard Tim yell, I knew there was mischief brewing if nothing worse, but I never expected to see Shirley Duncan jump into it. She aided and abetted the thief, for she caught that box on a fly and would have escaped if little Judy Stearns had not been right there Judy-on-the-spot.”
“But why did old Sour Sandy lay hands on you?” asked Jane, somewhat bewildered by the maze into which Judith was leading her audience.