“But how could she get up there, Dozia, when we know positively she was not on the campus the night of the big alarm?”
“And little Sarah is innocent, I am sure,” went on Dozia, “for she handled that trash with an interest too keen for previous acquaintance with the stuff. Each piece gave her a little spasm of surprise. I watched just how it affected her.”
“Queer, I noticed that also,” said Jane. “Yes, I’m sure she never saw the armor before. But Shirley is never around in any excitement. I am afraid she spends a lot of time in Dol Vin’s.”
“But how could she ever get two hundred dollars for brother Ted?”
“I—wonder, Dozia, could she be in partnership with Dol?”
“She might, but wouldn’t that mean an outlay?”
“Of course. There’ll be little profit there—and two hundred!” The amount was appalling to Jane’s practical mind.
Voices broke in on the soliloquy.
“Here come the girls from their ride, and what a shame you didn’t go, Jane. Laying a ghost is all right, but if I rode a horse as you do, I’d assign the ghosts to others. ’Lo, girls! Break your necks or anything?” chirped Dozia.
Judith hurried to gain Jane’s arm and squeezed it affectionately as she fell in step.
“Such a glorious ride, Jane!” enthused Judith, “and we all missed you so much. Firefly was good, but he knew you were not on his back.” Judith looked “nobby” in her riding togs.
“And whom do you think we saw out with a stable horse and instructor?” asked Janet Clarke. “The Rebel Shirley Duncan! And you know, Jane, what a price Clayton asks for his horses.”
Jane was amazed. A riding instructor, horse and hired outfit for Shirley Duncan!
What was the secret spring of her prodigious income?
Excitement subsided with a thud at the discovery of the cast-iron ghost, and for some days a round of studies and basketball completely absorbed the girls of Wellington. Whatever the restless freshmen had in hand was not evident to the other classes, and only Jane, Judith and Dozia shared the interest, and possible anxiety, following the clues and suspicions in the undertow.
“It’s a dreadful thing to be proud,” confessed Jane to these companions after a rather too vigorous hour in the gym on Saturday afternoon. “Somehow, when I think of my own darling daddy’s scholarship being dragged in the mud this way, I feel—dangerous.”
“Don’t blame you,” acquiesced Judith. “The very impudence of a girl like Shirley breaking into college that way, then boasting she doesn’t care a whang what happens! What do you suppose will happen at mid-year?”
“A neat little note, ‘unable to keep up with her class,’ I suppose,” said Jane. “And while I don’t wish that girl any more harm than she’s bent on, I am bound to confess I would sigh in relief at her departure.”