Katherine shot a look of gratitude at the speaker, who nodded her sympathy in return.
An uncomfortable silence followed, during which the much-tried girl felt that her principal regarded her as obstinate as well as sentimental, and was more than half inclined not to yield his point, in spite of Miss Williams’ espousal of her cause.
“Very well; let it rest here for the present,” he at length curtly observed. “You are temporarily excused, Miss Minturn. But if the offenders do not promptly come forward, I shall expect you to tell all you know, later.”
Katherine bowed and slipped quietly from the room, but with a choking sensation in her throat, a feeling of injustice pressing heavily upon her heart.
She paused in the hall a moment, after closing the door, trying to calm her perturbed thoughts, when these words from her dear “little book” came to her:
“Let Truth uncover and destroy error in God’s own way, and let human justice wait on the divine.” [Footnote: “Science and Health,” page 542.]
Then she went on her way, at peace with herself and all the world.
After Katherine was dismissed, Jennie was sternly reprimanded for her infraction of rules, cautioned against future disobedience, a penalty imposed upon her, and then told she might go back to her duties.
She moved slowly to the door, stood there a moment irresolute, a thoughtful look on her young face; then deliberately turned and walked straight back to her principal.
“Prof. Seabrook,” she began, “I have another confession to make to you, and I’m willing to take any punishment you may think I deserve. I do this because I want you to know the kind of girl Miss Minturn is, for—I think you do not half appreciate her. I’ve loved her from the first minute I saw her in this room with you, the day she came; she makes everybody love her, and I’ve often wondered if it is her Christian Science that helps her to be so— so dear and true. I’ve tried to make her tell me something about it, but she wouldn’t—she always says you told her not to talk about it to the students. I asked her last week to let me go with her to her service on Sunday. But she said no, unless I would get permission from you. But—I did go,” Jennie continued, growing scarlet to her brows, yet looking the man unflinchingly in the eyes. “I started out early and was there when she came into the hall, and walked home with her afterwards. She didn’t spare me; she told me I had done wrong and read me a lecture about spoiling my record by breaking rules. I want you to know this, because some one may have seen us come out of the Christian Science hall together and might think she took me there; but she never breaks a rule, and she isn’t a bit priggish about it, either. She tried her best to make me go back to my room before the ‘racket’ last night, and I just want you to know that she’s true blue, through and through.”