He touched a bell and presently a young girl about sixteen entered the room, with a brisk step and an alert air, suggestive of a repressed cyclone only awaiting an opportunity for mischief brewing; while, as she approached the occupants, a strong odor of peppermint made itself apparent in the atmosphere.
“Miss Minturn, this is Miss Wild, one of our breezy freshmen—eh, Jennie?” and the quizzical look again leaped into the blue-gray eyes.
Katherine smilingly acknowledged the introduction, while Miss Wild blushed and nodded an embarrassed greeting, then immediately turned her face away from the focus of the professor’s observation and made a comical grimace which came very near proving too much for Katherine’s dignity.
“Jennie,” the gentleman continued, “Miss Minturn is to share Miss Minot’s room—number fifteen, west wing—and I have called you to show her the way, if you please.”
“Yes, sir, I will,” said the girl, with ready compliance, which culminated in a vigorous sneeze, whereupon, with the restless energy which pervaded her every movement, she whisked her handkerchief from her pocket, and, with it, there shot out a promiscuous assortment of chocolates and cream peppermints, which went bounding and rolling about the room in every direction.
Prof. Seabrook gave vent to a hearty laugh of amusement at the awkward contretemps.
“I thought I detected a familiar odor, Jennie,” he observed; then added, good-naturedly, “You may pick them up, if you please.”
“Guess I will,” she returned, eagerly, and nimbly suiting the action to her words. “I really can’t afford to lose all that precious sweetness. Josie Craig gave them to me just as you rang.”
Katherine had risen and was moving towards the door, to cover her own inclination to explode, and thus make the situation more awkward for the girl, when the principal checked her by remarking:
“By the way, Miss Minturn, the juniors and seniors attend the Bible class, which it is my province to conduct. We meet at four on Sunday afternoons in the south recitation room; and the lesson for next Sabbath will be on the Creation, as given in the first chapter of Genesis. And this reminds me that I have neglected to inquire where you will attend church. As our catalogue states, each student is allowed to choose her own place of worship. Where do you propose to make your church home?”
Katherine had expected this question before; nevertheless, she flushed slightly as she turned back to face her interlocutor, and replied:
“I am a Christian Scientist, Prof. Seabrook, and I shall attend the church on Grove Street.”
The pause which followed this announcement was painfully ominous, and Katherine was amazed at the frozen look which suddenly settled over the gentleman’s face, together with the expression of stern disapprobation which instantly drove all the kindness out of his hitherto genial eyes. “A Christian Scientist!—indeed!” he said, in a tone as frigid as his look. “It is a matter of regret to me that you did not state that fact when you made application for admission to Hilton.”