Judith and Jane were waiting for them at the dining hall door.
“Truants,” said Jane, “where have you been? We have been planning to send a bell boy after you. My famous dad has just written he is coming through New York and wants to take me and my stepsister home with me. You know who he thinks bears that relationship to me, of course?”
They knew she referred to the scholarship girl, and Sally looked dumb while Shirley looked startled.
“Oh, that would be lovely,” said Shirley with marked evasion, “but— "
“My dad never entertains a but,” said Jane, “so I hope, Bobbie, you will hurry up your plans to come out and ride a real horse on a real ranch in Montana. Won’t she look stunning on a bronco, Sally?”
But the invitation, alluring as it was, did not seem to add zest to the appetite of Bobbie. It had simply swept her off her trustworthy feet, and Sally seemed little better. Another corner to escape from!
A SURPRISE IN RECORDS
Holidays, holidays! The air was full of them, and it seemed all the girls in Jane’s group were to spend the big Christmas event away from Wellington.
Jane’s letter from her father, that which suggested she bring “the little country girl” back to Montana with her for the holidays, seemed like an answer to her own secret wish. She wanted to bring Bobbie home with her, but very much preferred the invitation would come from headquarters. Jane, like Bobbie, did not wish to appear too ingratiating, also she did not want to make the girl feel she was in any way patronizing her.
The bulletin boards in all “dorms” bore the notice of special assembly in the study hall, and thither the students were now progressing.
“This is where we get all that is coming to us,” said Bobbie more literally than elegantly. “I believe the idea is, we are to know before we leave, where we will be put when we come back.” She was talking to Sally as they walked out from Lenox.
“Yes, and I wish, Bobbie, we might have escaped it. Think of hearing all the reports read and not being able to take up our exams?”
“If only we didn’t have to take them I would feel better. Of course you are safe,” said Bobbie ruefully.
“Perhaps it is better to have this one last spasm of courage,” replied Sally, although her whimsical expression did not register anything “better”; it bespoke the condition as “worse.”
The assembly was well filled up when the two conspiring freshmen took their places as near the door as seats could be found. The biting wintry air permeated the big auditorium, and when the restless shuffling of feet had finally come down to a murmur of soft sporadic shiftings—some girls never could keep their feet still— then the dean, Miss Rutledge, made her annual announcement.
No girl was ever dropped from Wellington without having first received due warning, she told the classes; also she announced that ratings given at this time would afford students opportunity to make the next half year’s plans while at home with their families.