“What’s up?” asked Shirley tritely.
“An arrest,” answered a man pushing his bicycle. “And I guess old Sandy ain’t made no mistake this time. He’s caught the banshee!”
“Yes, sir,” snapped an overgrown boy. “That’s what she is. Keepin’ folks awake howlin’!”
Sally clutched Shirley’s arm. “See, it’s Dol’s friend, the actress!”
“Sure enough, the foreign element with a name like crocheting,” said Shirley. “I always knew she would come to grief with that howling. Girls!” to Jane and the others. “Could we go to the Town Hall and find out what happens? That’s the ghost of Lenox Hall, the woman who screamed at midnight.”
Too astonished to offer comment the girls drifted along with the crowd, and a break in the ranks afforded just a glimpse of Officer Sandy with a very tall, fancifully dressed, but very much disheveled prisoner. She walked along with the officer as if he might have been a creature of a lower order of creation, but as the boys said, “Sandy did have her goin’.”
And she was the “foreign element,” the obnoxious visitor at the beauty shop, who was so sorely and fatally stage struck that she had seriously disturbed the peace of decorous little Bingham!
“She would yell right out in the night, like a hoot owl only fiercer!” insisted one of her followers. “And she ain’t safe to be loose with a habit like that.”
“Defyin’ the law and disturbin’ the peace,” growled Sandy. “I’ve had a warrant for that noise ever since it scared old Mrs. Miner into fits and she was took to the horspittal on account of it.”
“City folks is all right in their place,” squeaked a thin little woman, one of the very few women in that crowd, “but if that kind is allowed to run wild over our quiet home towns, I say what is Bingham comin’ to?” Queer noises without words gave answer.
The Wellingtons, with other followers, were now almost in front of the Town Hall, when the victim of this country prejudice espied Shirley.
“There is someone who knows me!” she cried out. “Ask that young lady and she’ll tell you I’m a legitimate actress, and that I came out here to have room to practice!”
Shirley “ducked,” as Judith put it, but Sally, more sympathetic, offered to interfere.
“Don’t,” begged Jane. “We were at this court only a short time ago. We don’t want to wear out our welcome. Come along, girls; I, as junior, am responsible for getting you back on time. Come along.”
“Yes,” said Shirley bitterly. “Do come along, girls. That’s about the way this lady left me when my horse threw me off on the hill. She was not anxious about me then and I guess she isn’t as much in danger now as I was at that time,” and when Officer Sandy piloted his charge in before the recorder, the doors were closed and the hearing was made private.