“Oh no, but I am so tired,” Jane edged away from the suspector. “After all I do believe Judy is sensible, see her slumber.”
“Jane Allen, you are a fraud,” pronounced the girl in the velveteen robe. “You are smothering some mystery and I must have stepped on the spring,” guessed the inquisitive caller. “Was it the tack hammer or the spindle chair or the fat girl? Not she, you have had no chance to do uplift work yet. Land knows that farmer will need your greatest skill, but dear, don’t waste it on her. She’s incurable.”
“Bad as all that?” asked Jane colorlessly. “But what happened? You did not try to hit her with the hammer I hope?”
“I didn’t try to hit her, I did hit her. It fell accidentally on her fat head and she tossed it through the mirror. Now what can a girl do in a case like that?”
The haunted look, so foreign to the face of Jane, shaped itself again.
“Is she—did you hurt her?”
“I hope so,” dared Dozia. “It
would be a charity to send her home.
Her name is Shirley Duncan and she’s from some country town. But
Jane, if she gets really horrid, I mean more horrid than she is now,
I want you to stand by me. That’s what I came for.”
“All right Dozia,” said Jane, “but I hope it won’t have to go as far as that.”
“Me too,” responded the carefree Dozia. “But there’s no telling what Shirley may do.”
For some moments after Dozia glided out Jane stood there, her gray eyes almost misty.
“Of all the tragedies!” she was thinking. Then with a jerk she pulled herself up. “But I guess I can handle it,” she declared finally, and when she succeeded in rousing Judith no one would have suspected anything new amiss.
Jane Allen might have worries but they could not dominate her. Sunny Jane, with sunny hair and gray eyes, was no mope. It would take fight to conquer this new condition, she realized, but Jane could fight, and her dreams on this first night back in college were strangely confused with school-day battles.
More than once she awoke with a start, as if some danger were impending, and a sense of uneasiness possessed her. Each time it seemed more difficult to fall back into slumber, and all this was new, indeed, to happy Jane.
“Daddy!” she murmured. “It’s because of daddy’s——”
She was finally sound asleep.
THE MISFIT FRESHMAN
Yes, they were back in college and work was waiting. This thought invaded confused brains and stood out like a corporal of the guard, shouting orders into lazy ears on Wellington campus next morning.
Jane Allen threw first one slipper and then another at Judith Stearns’ bed across the room from her own. But still Judith’s hand ignored the hair brush on the chair at her elbow.
“Judy,” called Jane, “the warning bell has warned. Turn down the corner on that dream and wake up.” Each word of this climbed a note in tone until the last was almost a shout. Then Judith’s hand moved to Jane’s slipper on her own (Judith’s) forget-me-nots, the little floral pieces that adorned a very dainty garment with the embroidery on Judith’s chest—arms and neck ignored in the pattern.