Katherine nodded a smiling acknowledgment to the vigorous clapping of hands and the hearty “Welcome, Miss Minturn, to Hilton.” Then Miss Reynolds led her away, and the interrupted chatter of the magpies was resumed with redoubled animation, but now the new junior absorbed the attention of everyone.
“Say, girls, isn’t she a dear?” “Came this morning, did she? where from, I wonder?” “My! but wasn’t that a nobby traveling suit, and such a fit!” “Katherine Minturn—pretty name, isn’t it?” “Does anybody know anything more about her?” were some of the comments and queries that slipped from those supple instruments with a tendency towards perpetual motion, which, sometimes, are described as organs that are hung in the middle and wag at both ends— school-girls’ tongues.
“Hush!—sh!—sh! Oh, girls, do ring off, and perhaps I can give you a point or two,” cried a high-pitched voice with an unmistakable Southern drawl, as a somewhat overdressed girl of nineteen or twenty years re-enforced her appeal by vigorous gestures to attract attention, whereupon the ever alert spirit of Curiosity silenced every loquacious chatterer, except one who solemnly announced, “Ladies, Miss Minot has the floor!”
“Yes,” the speaker observed, “the new junior does strike one as being downright stunning. She came from New York City, and”—with a lugubrious sigh—“though I’ve never set eyes on her before, I was informed this morning that she is to be my roommate for the remainder of the year.”
A burst of mirthful laughter rippled over a dozen pairs of rosy lips at this last mournfully conveyed information.
“Aha! at last Miss Sadie Minot has got to come down to the lot of common mortals and take in a chum!” cried a merry sprite, with a saucy chuckle. “Oh, how you have spread yourself and luxuriated in your solitary magnificence, and how every mother’s daughter of us has envied you your spacious quarters! Well, you know what old Sol. said about ‘pride’ and a ‘haughty spirit,’ and the ‘fall’ always comes, first or last. But, Sadie, my love, be comforted,” she continued, with mock sympathy, “and just try to realize what splendid discipline it will be for you; one cannot have everything one wants, you know, even if one is an heiress in one’s own right--eh, dearie?”
“But there’s only one closet, and it is so full now,” sighed Miss Minot, ruefully.
“Hear! hear!” retorted the same mischievous maiden, whose name was Clara Follet. “After having had undisturbed possession of a whole room and closet for six long months she ungratefully bemoans——”
“And only one chest of drawers,” pursued Sadie, in the same strain, but with a comical quirk of an eye.
A chorus of mocking groans and derisive laughter greeted this wail.
“And all four crammed full with her superfluous finery,” cried another of the merry group. “Whatever will you do with it now, Sadie?”
“I’m sure I don’t know, Ollie,” retorted the pretty “heiress,” with a quizzical uplifting of her brows, “unless you take half of it off my hands altogether, instead of coming to borrow so often.”