“Sorry you must leave,” murmured Janet, “but Judith has had a trying day. Come again and I’ll treat you better.”
“We had a perfectly lovely time,” insisted Jane, “but I must put Judy to bed. She is apt to walk in her sleep when overtired. Come, dearie, toddle along. Good night, girls. Pleasant dreams,” and those who were not too interested in the fudge and tid-bits responded appropriately.
“Oh,” moaned Jane, when the two finally reached their own quarters, room 19, “wasn’t that an ordeal?”
“Rather,” replied Judith, kicking her shoes off. “How did I make out?”
“Wonderfully. You tied them all up in knots without leaving an end to follow. Neither clues nor climax—just a jumble of sounds, but thrilling for all that. I was so fearful they would ask more about the unfortunate Shirley but you veered them off beautifully. Now, Pally dear, tumble in, and I’ll slip out and get Dozia. Lenox seems far away just now, and those babes are trembling while we dare to enjoy ourselves.”
“Jane dear,” interrupted Judith, “I do not believe you should risk going over there tonight. Really I am getting nervous of the whole thing.”
“Just reaction,” said Jane, her own eyes sparkling. “You have gone through enough today to give you nerves, and I want you to shut your eyes as soon as ever you can. After all I may just—do something else. Leave it to me and Dozia the Fearless. You know what a brave she can be in an emergency.”
“And I know what a star you can be in a pinch. But Lenox at midnight—”
“Hush, dear, and let me put out your light. There, you will be asleep before the party winds up. There’s the honor ring. Ten minutes more to all lights out. I love an honor system with a warning gong and an inspection. So complete.”
Judith required little coaxing to enter dreamland, and when Jane heard Miss Fairlie’s step in the hall, on that tripping little inspection tour, the light in room 19 was out.
Also, Jane under the coverlets was fully dressed for her ghost raid at Lenox Hall.
Miss Fairlie’s step paused at the door! Jane tittered, but Judith breathed the regular tones of sleep.
For a moment it seemed the inspector would knock! She must want something!
Someone else came along the corridor and directly at that door they chose to whisper!
Jane felt her hour had come, but it was merely the fear of a troubled mind, for presently Miss Fairlie laughed lightly, and the pair journeyed on.
It was a full hour before the coast was safely clear for Jane’s venture.
A WILD NIGHT OF IT
It was a beautiful night, with the Hunter’s Moon set high and bright in its ocean of flickering stars, like nothing else than moon and stars in the same old blue canopy, brocaded and embossed with incorrigible little gray clouds, ducking in and out of lacy paths and shadowy skyscapes.