“Is that so? I’m so glad!” exclaimed Jane, “for if she is capable at math she ought to pull through her other work. How strange I never heard anyone mention her talent?”
Sally shook her head and smiled. “She is so odd and defiant, but under it all I believe the girl is just a big-hearted, untamed creature. That is why, Miss Allen, I have kept as near to her as she would allow me to come. She is too honest even to affect changes.”
“Capable at math?” Jane repeated, trying to believe it. “I am so glad, Sally. I can’t tell you what it means to me that this student is not wholly—dull.”
“I can guess,” replied Sally simply, and Jane wondered then if she knew about the scholarship.
“Why did the girls abandon their plans for the ghost show?” asked Jane suddenly. “I thought they were all so keen about it.”
“Perhaps I am to blame,” faltered Sally timidly. “But you see, Miss Allen—well, there was a complication there—and—” she stumbled piteously. Jane tried to rescue her.
“But it would only have been a lark, and the freshmen have had no Barnstorm this season!”
“I know,” said Sally helplessly, “but Shirley was so sick and—we have given the idea up.”
Jane had to be content with that, but the veiled explanation only whetted her curiosity.
Few accidents were recorded in Wellington’s history, and the mishap of Shirley ran its course in intense interest. Then presently the patient was again defending herself just as before, scorning even the humblest sympathy offered.
“Served me right,” she insisted, talking to Sally. “I know how to ride and can handle any old farm horse that ever pulled a plough, but I want my hands free and my horse must be unchecked. Stylish togs, gloves, saddles and trappings get in my way, and that hill!”
So the accident had served as a lesson, and the fallen pride was not wasted in its effect upon the ambitious equestrian.
Thanksgiving had passed with few of the girls leaving college, as special permission was required for that privilege, and now the holiday season was imminent. Even basketball had lost some of its power to enthuse, and the fact that Shirley was not considered well enough to go into the rough game, and also that Sally Howland was too small and light to be eligible, served to lessen the interest of Jane and Judith in the personnel of the teams, for as juniors in a second extension year they felt a little too grown up to go themselves generally into the big games.
Jane was chosen and acted as referee, and Judith was forced to play center in the Breslin game, but even winning over the neighboring academy somehow had lost its thrill. Golf was the popular game now with Jane, Judith, Dozia and Janet Clarke; Ted Guthrie, too, toddled around the links, and golf permitted such opportunities for confidences and was so independent of stated hours and limits of endurance that time was given on the course to talk many things over.