“But that lovely brother Ted,” mourned Dozia. Judith had been made fully acquainted with the fragmentary letter recovered in the ghost raid.
“That would be hard,” agreed Judith.
“And I’m sure there’s a sweet little mother—but we saw the mother!” Jane broke off suddenly. “How incongruous that those two country folks should have a son at college like our Ted!”
“Our Ted,” echoed Judith, allowing her head to droop on Jane’s shoulder impressively.
“Awful!” moaned Judith.
“Turrible,” groaned Dozia.
They were walking leisurely up from the gym, and the clouds of young Winter wrapt the gay sunset in fleecy blankets, while capering elves picked up every frightened little leaf and tossed it cruelly from its hiding place.
“It seems to me,” said Jane, influenced by the spirit of her surroundings, “that this year has been rather unsatisfactory. Not that I want to shine by the reflected glory of dad’s winner, but it would be consistent to have the scholarship always won by good students.”
“Rather a jolt,” agreed Judith, “to have the romp come in on merit when she can’t prove it. It really looks like a trick somewhere, Jane.”
“But the exams are very severe and I’ve seen the report. Nothing ‘foohey’ about that. Yes, I have known girls to sail along beautifully in school and flunk everything in college. It really can be done.”
“But two hundred dollars can’t be done that way,” Dozia interposed, “and no one seems to be missing her change purse.”
“Beyond me,” Jane owned up, “and I’ve almost ceased to wonder about the dumb-waiter tenant. Wish you would agree to my ascent in that car, Judith.”
“Yes, you want a party to your folly. You don’t feel free to break your pretty neck without fastening the crime on poor Judy Stearns. No, Jane, dear, you don’t ride in that Ferris wheel while I’m your side partner. You know scorpions are deadly and love dark corners. Ugh! How could you think of going up in that beastly cage!”
“Don’t get excited, dear, I have promised not to try it,” acceded Jane. “Although I have felt there might be some clue in the old derrick. Don’t go indoors yet, the air is—”
She stopped to watch two girls on horseback gallop along the bridle path.
“Shirley Duncan and some stranger,” exclaimed Judith. “And how they are going—oh, mercy!”
“Oh, oh!” screamed all three, for at that moment both riders were vainly trying to check their horses in a sudden dash down one of the steepest grades, straight over a hill almost perpendicular in its slope.
“The horses have left the path,” breathed Jane, watching with fascinated gaze the two mounts galloping down at a speed surely disastrous. One, the taller girl, seemed to have some control, but poor Shirley!
“Heavens!” screamed Judith, “she’s gone!”
The horse had stumbled and its rider was rolling headlong down the hill, while the frightened animal pawed the earth in a wild attempt to regain its feet. The girls, terrified, started swiftly for the spot, but even as they ran the unfortunate rider went over a sharper turn and struck. Then—she lay in an inert heap against a jagged rock! In a moment they were at her side.