It was hours later, when the pattering of feet in the long corridors died down to a mere trail of sound, that Jane and Judith managed to pair off for a confidential chat.
“You have got to tell me,” demanded Judith.
“As if I wouldn’t,” replied Jane.
“You can’t blame us for being curious, Janey. This afternoon was almost a failure, just because your eyes had a faraway look.”
“I’m so sorry, really, Jude. What an abominable temper I must have.”
“We all know better than that girlie.” Judy might now have been charged with harboring a faraway look herself.
“Just give me a little time,” smiled Jane, “and if there’s anything on my conscience I’ll gladly transfer it to yours.”
The look in both gray and brown eyes was suddenly changed to intimacy. It was no longer faraway.
A SHADOW IN FORECAST
I thought everyone had been supplied with the anti-tack hammer circular,” remarked Jane, falling back where Judith’s cushions ought to be. “Just hear that tattoo over in the wing. I’ll bet it’s Dozia.”
“She has a collection of movie queens and I doubt not that is the official coronation. Let us hope the new proctor is deaf on the left, Dozia’s room leans that way,” replied Judith. Then she tossed a couple of sweaters at Jane’s head. “Put those under your ears dear,” she ordered, “my pillows aren’t unpacked yet and you may find Neddie’s last year tacks in that burlap. There now, you look almost human. But the wistful whimper lingers. Jane, what has happened? You are simply smothered in the soft pedal. Tell your Judy all about it,” she cooed.
Feet stretched out straight in front of her and arms ending with finger tips laced over her black head, Judith looked longer than she really needed to measure up or down. Also, she looked too stiff to be comfortable, but the wooden pose was Judith’s favorite. She rested that way, defying every known law for relaxation. Jane, au contraire, was curled up like a kitten, with one red sweater balled under her ruffled head and the other blue one tangled about her slim ankles. Both girls were tired—justly so, for the opening day at Wellington was ever a time of joyous activity, and the day just closed had roared and yelled itself into an evening still vibrant with bristling energy, tack hammers and movie pictures smashing rules and regulations, until the night gong sounded its irrevocable warning. Then roommates paired off even as did Jane and Judith.
“Has anything happened to your baggage?” prompted Judith, as her companion failed to confide.
Jane teased one small worsted tassel of Judith’s blue sweater free from its tangle with her shoe lace, then she poked her dimpled chin forward saucily.
“Can’t ever have a secret, I suppose, Pally dear,” she mocked the girl sliding slowly but surely out of her chair. “But I don’t mind. Shows how truly you love me. There, you will feel better on the rug. I knew you were coming.” Judith had landed.