“In your shoe?” suggested Dozia as Jane exhausted all other possibilities.
“No, here it is in my sleeve. Sit down and we’ll decipher it.” They dropped to the nearest bench and smoothed out the paper.
“It’s part of a letter,” said Dozia, “and written by a boy! Oh, joy, now we will have some fun—a love letter!” and she pored over the torn page.
“Neither the beginning nor the end,” said Jane, “but the climax.” She read: “’You are a brick if not a wizard, and oh, boy! how that two hundred dollar check did look to me!’”
“Two hundred!” Dozia repeated. “No girl around these diggings ever handled that tidy little sum. Read on, Jane, it may be a will or something, and we may come in for a share—reward, you know.”
“Here’s our clue,” announced Jane. “The name Shirley! Read that.” She did so herself. “’Shirley, however did you do it, I know you neither stole nor borrowed, so it is all right and’—wait,” interposed Jane, “that’s torn.” She lay the paper on her knees and fitted in the damaged parts. “Here it is. ’I’m back in college and in the big dorm, after the scare, and it’s wonderful to have a little sis like you.’”
“Sis!” groaned Dozia. “The lover’s only a big brother!” She slumped in her seat dejectedly.
“Shirley’s brother,” reasoned Jane, “and we have been blaming that girl! She helped her brother to get back to college!” The voice reeked with dismay and incredulity.
“Can you imagine college running in her family?” questioned Dozia the incredulous.
“I suppose we should hardly have read the letter—”
“Why not? Should we have risked our precious lives up in that attic and then turned down this important clue? Indeed I’m all for asking Shirley to introduce me,” and Dozia strutted off to show her height if not to display the “runs” in her hose and the “threadbares” in her sweater elbows.
“But it does sort of take one down,” mused Jane, following her companion toward Warburton Hall. “I hate to feel I have so misjudged Shirley.”
“Pure personal pride on your part, Jane. I have proof positive of the girl’s perfidy. Every single day I must paste anew the paper decoration that hides her work. I mean that crack in my mirror. More than once it has done dreadful things to my poor face. If I move just one inch to the left the crack gashes my right cheek. You know how a glass reflects. But this brother. May I see the paper, Jane? His name might be between the lines.”
“Oh, it’s Ted,” said Jane innocently. “See the signature here, but no address, of course. And from that immature hand, Doze, I am sure Ted is a junior.”
“But, Jane!” almost gasped Dozia. “What can you do with that letter? It would be positively dangerous to let Shirley know you found it. It would mean, logically, that she rang the ghost chains, and that you knew she had helped her brother financially.” All the nonsense had now died out of Dozia’s voice, and she compelled Jane to stand while she proclaimed this ultimatum.