The plot was thickening. Sally did not in any way answer to the deceitful type, but some mysterious force seemed to overshadow her.
“Pretty little thing, with such appealing eyes and so honest—”
PLEADING FOR TIME
It’s a very large order, Jane, but you’re the merchant. How on earth do you expect to obtain permission to stay at Lenox without giving the whole thing away?”
“I haven’t an idea, but depend on old friend Circumstances to bob something up. It is wonderful how very simple it is to flim-flam a philosopher. They never seem to suspect intrigue and walk right into the trap. I’ve tried it before with Rutledge! she’s a lamb if you watch your ba-as.”
It was “the morning after” and that trite phrase surely fitted the occasion. Jane had dragged Dozia from her dreams in spite of threats and defiance, and now both juniors were on their way back to the dining hall at Madison.
“Rather different from the last tramp we took over this prairie,” said Jane, “but as a thriller you can’t beat midnight moonlight.”
“Not that I’d care to,” Dozia answered witheringly. “I can’t see that the adventure ‘got us anywhere’ as brother Tom would say. I haven’t any brother, you know, Jane dear, but it always sounds better to blame one’s slang on him, don’t you think?”
“I’m positive,” said Jane, “but I have a trick of blaming mine on Judy. Wonder will she sleep all day because I, the faithful alarm clock, did not go off at her ear. There’s the bell! I’m not very hungry. As an appetiser I think a night such as the last rather a flivver.”
“Isn’t it? I have that widely advertised gone feeling myself. Here’s a chance to duck in without being noticed.”
“We were out for early exercise,” prompted Jane significantly, “and don’t be too intelligent about that fire when they ask.”
“‘Deef’ and dumb,” quibbled Dozia. “Thank you for the party, Jane. I had a lov-el-ly time.”
“Don’t mention it,” whispered Jane, as the line of students swallowed the two adventurers.
But the day was “fraught with questions,” as Judith Stearns put it, deploring her own inability to obtain any “intelligent account of the whole performance.” It became known early that the two juniors who had been searched for during the night, were not others than Jane and Dozia, but even a veritable grilling at the hands of a picked corps of sophs brought nothing more definite from the wayfarers than “they were over visiting Lenox and the ‘fire’ was a false alarm.”
“And of course we couldn’t put our heads out, for fear of panic,” grumbled Nettie Brocton.
The day passed somehow, and it was conspicuous by an entire absence of freshmen from the usual intermingling between periods. Even to Jane the reason for this was not clear until, in a burst of confidence with Judith, she outlined her plan of staying over at Lenox “until the ghost business was disposed of.”