“Oh, yes indeed, they are both here, perfectly safe,” she announced, “and I don’t know what I should have done without their assistance.”
So the raiders had been “found missing” at Madison Hall!
There was another panic over in Madison,” explained Miss Gifford, after leaving the telephone; “when Miss Allen and Miss Dalton were found missing it is a wonder someone over there didn’t send out a second fire alarm. Miss Fairlie was much relieved to know her charges were safe and sound here, and I obtained a leave of absence for you for the remainder of the night,” she finished. The very much perturbed matron had no idea of being left alone with a flock of obstreperous freshmen.
“Lovely!” exclaimed Jane, dancing around with a group of barefoot girls who threatened to turn the occasion into a Greek playlet.
“Scrumbunctious!” sang out the ballet de chambre, dancing in wild glee now that danger of ghosts and firemen had actually passed.
“But girls,” spoke Dozia, “did you notice the little fat fireman who held that big hose nozzle? I do verily believe he was so disappointed he wanted to hit someone. Just see where his old hose scraped my best silken hose. I don’t mean that for a parody, but honestly, girls, these were the last and final gift from mater. She has condemned me to wear ordinary lisle hereafter, and just look at that—stock!”
“Only dry dust, it will brush off,” soothed Jane. “But I say, girls, how about beds!”
“Beds!” shrieked a chorus.
“Not a bed!” spoke Nellie Saunders for her entire class. “We wouldn’t mind cuddling up here on blankets and cushions, but I for one shall not mount those spooky stairs, this night.”
“Silly child,” scolded Dozia, her own eyes heavy with the ordinary common garden variety of sleep. “Would you expect company to do all the lugging? Who’s to set up the billet?” “Volunteers?” called Jane, and from somewhere not before observed stepped out little Sarah Rowland.
“I shall be glad to help,” she said timidly, and instantly a volley of eyes challenged her.
“Oh, Sally!” exclaimed Dolly Lloyd. “Don’t you dare! The spooks would just eat you up. You look exactly like a cream puff.”
Laughter of the most chummy sort followed this, and it was evident Sally, in her cream and white striped robe with her yellow hair flowing over her shoulders, was a popular girl with her companions.
Jane noticed, however, that her face, usually prettily flushed with pink, was now deadly white, and also that the child’s eyes shifted in a peculiarly nervous manner.
“It’s lovely of you, Sally, and we’ll just set a good example while Miss Gifford is searching for that miscreant fire. Come along and get the swaddling clothes for these babes. Aren’t they an unruly lot?” and she tossed off her blue cape preparatory for the lugging of couch quilts, pillows and whatever else might seem useful.