Marjorie Dean, Marvelous ManagerŮÍŗųŗÚŁ ÍŪŤ„ů ŠŚŮÔŽŗÚŪÓ
ďSo it would appear.Ē Leslieís retort was grimly sarcastic. ďSorry you had to tell the natives about it.Ē She made an angry movement of the head toward the next table below them. Around it sat Gussie Forbes, Calista Wilmot and Flossie Hart, placidly eating ices.
ďThey couldnít hear what I said,Ē Doris defended, half abashed, half sulky. ďIím sure they couldnít.Ē
ďYouíre the one to worry, if they did,Ē shrugged Leslie. ďIt canít do one little bit of harm to me. Forget it. What do you know about this bus trouble the bread and cheese priggies are having? Have the busses really stopped running between town and the campus? I heard they stopped on Thanksgiving Day. I havenít seen you since then.Ē Leslie made a success of looking innocent.
She had not divulged to Doris, either before or on Thanksgiving Day, her part in the bus trouble. Bitter experience with the Sans had taught her the value of keeping her own counsel. She now listened to Dorisís vague information concerning the non-running busses, an enigmatical smile playing upon her lips. She was delighted to hear of the inconvenience her scheme had caused and determined that it should continue indefinitely. She had money. Sabani would do as she ordered so long as plenty of money accompanied her orders.
ďThose two were certainly having a fuss,Ē commented Flossie Hart as the three sophomores left the tea room, directly after Dorisís angry outburst.
ďIím going to tell Marjorie about it.Ē Gussie made the announcement with great decision.
ďTelling tales is a bad practice,Ē laughingly rebuked Flossie.
ďI know why youíre going to.Ē Calistaís quick mind instantly jumped at a certain conclusion. ďI will, if you donít.Ē
ďIím still in the dark,Ē mourned Flossie. ďKindly enlighten me. Forgive me for being so stupid. Doesnít that sound just like Muriel?Ē
ďYes, Floss. Muriel might think it was herself talking if she happened to hear you.Ē Gussie favored her room-mate with a condescending smile.
The three hurried along the street to the main campus gate. ďRace you to the Hall,Ē challenged Gussie the instant they set foot on the snow-patched brown of the campus. A playful wind, not too penetrating, frolicked with them as they ran, blowing added bloom into their cheeks.
Aside from the one remark Flossie had made about Doris and Leslie Cairns nothing else had been said. As members of the new Travelers the Bertram girls were endeavoring to live up to one of the basic rules of their code; never to discuss anyone for the interest derived from the discussion. The discussion must come as necessary to the promotion of welfare.
ďI hope Marjorieís in.Ē Gussie was presently pounding vigorously on the door of 15, a chum at each elbow.
ďWhy not leave us the door?Ē blandly inquired Jerry as she opened it to the vociferous demand for admission. ďIs it really you, Gentleman Gus? I havenít seen you for as much as three hours. The last occasion was at lunch.Ē Jerry smirked soulfully at her callers.
ďWhereís Marjorie?Ē Gussie peered over Jerryís head and into the room.
ďWeíve a bit of special information. Youíre privileged to hear it too, Jeremiah?Ē
ďShe has gone to Barettiís. She was to meet Robin and go there. They had an appointment with Guiseppe. He wrote Marjorie one of his one-line funny little notes. I think he has news for Page and Dean.Ē
ďUm-m.Ē Gussie looked undecided for a moment. ďWeíll come back later.Ē She looked first at her chums for conformation, then at Jerry. ďLet us know when she comes, Jerry. We love you dearly enough to hang around in your room till Marjorie comes, but thereís a time for study, et cetera. Only I donít know when it will be if not now. You may pound on my door as hard as I pounded on yours, but no harder.Ē
ďSuit yourself,Ē Jerry waved an affable hand. ďI can live without you. I have a letter to write. Iíd enjoy perfect quiet.Ē
The three sophomores went gaily down the hall. Jerry again shut herself in her room to write a letter which she had for some time been searching for an excuse to write. That very morning in the corridor of Hamilton Hall she had found it. It had come in the shape of a particularly sheer, dainty, hand-embroidered handkerchief, bearing the monogram L. M. W. Instantly her mind had began to canvass among the initials of her friends for L. M. W. Intending to place it in the studentsí ďLost and Found,Ē after class Jerry had tucked it away in her hand bag and hurried to her recitation.
During class her mind continued to revert to the initials L. M. W. Jerry thoroughly enjoyed being baffled temporarily by a problem which she was confident she would solve eventually. In the midst of her cogitations she chanced to call to mind the name of a student whose initials were surely L. M. W. Whereupon a beatific smile paused on Jerryís face for a second. She promptly forgot her surroundings to dwell triumphantly instead upon the beauty of a certain stunt she determined to ďput overĒ as soon as she returned to her room. Nor did she visit the ďLost and FoundĒ on her way to the Hall.
Seated at the study table Jerry eyed the dainty handkerchief meditatively. Should she write to L. M. W., whom she hoped was Louise M. Walker, merely asking the sophomore if she had lost the beautiful bit of linen, or should she fold the handkerchief inside a note she would write, asking Miss Walker to place the article in the ďLost and FoundĒ should it not belong to her? Jerry considered the problem owlishly, then wrote:
ďDear Miss Walker:
ďHave you lost a handkerchief? I am enclosing one I found, in the corridor of Hamilton Hall, bearing your initials. If it is not yours, will you kindly place it in the ĎLost and Foundí?
ďThere! Sheíll be an untutored savage if she ignores my kindly little act,Ē Jerry decided with a grin. ďIf I wrote asking her if sheíd lost the handkerchief she might íphone me, or come here. Thatís not what Iím after. She ought to write me a line of acknowledgment. If she should Ė Iíll know one thing that I donít know now.Ē
MARJORIE FINDS A SUPPORTER
Marjorie returned from Barettiís full of the glorious news of the little proprietorís triumph over Sabani in behalf of Page and Dean. Jerry was equally elated and burst into one of what she had named ďJoyful Jingles to Bean.Ē She spouted them on special occasions.
ďThanks to our faithful dago friend
The Goblinís schemes fell through.
íTis plainly seen, oh, upright Bean
Such troubleís not for you.Ē
She did a fantastic polka step around Marjorie, keeping time with her declamation.
ďYou funny old goose!Ē Marjorie caught her and wrapped both arms about her. ďYes, the Goblinís scheme did fall through, and, oh, rapture, the busses will begin running again tomorrow morning! What would we have done without Signor Barettiís help? Heís splendid in his interest in our work here. He ranks with Miss Susanna, Prexy and Professor Wenderblatt as our most loyal supporters. Now I must tell you what he did.Ē
ďOh, save it till I go for Gus, Calista and Flossie. Let them hear it. Theyíve been looking for you. Theyíve something on their minds. So has Jeremiah. This is another wildly eventful day.Ē Jerry smiled warmly down on Marjorie who had taken off her wraps and was now lounging in one of the arm chairs. She reclined there, a graceful lissome figure in her straight gown of pale jade broadcloth, with no trimming save that of her superb young beauty to set it off.
ďAll the days here are somehow wildly eventful,Ē Marjorie said with a little devoted smile. ďSomething remarkable seems always to be happening.Ē
ďToo true,Ē Jerry agreed with solemnity. ďBut some days are even more eventful than that. I will mention as an example the day before we went home for Thanksgiving.Ē Both girls began to laugh. ďThat was some day. Muriel began it right by tipping her cup of coffee into my lap. Next. I fell down three steps of the stairs. Next. I dropped a new library book in the mud. Next. I went to the gym to see Gentleman Gus and got hit on the nose with the ball. Next. I couldnít find my suitcase in the trunk room so I had to borrow one. Do you recall any other exciting misfortunes of that particular day?Ē She turned innocently inquiring eyes upon Marjorie.
ďNope. You were a martyr that day, poor old Jeremiah.Ē
ďI need your sympathy, Bean,Ē Jerry rejoined brokenly. ďItís a hard world for some folks. Still Iím glad Iíve survived.Ē
ďCheer up. Here come the Bertramites.Ē Marjorieís keen ears had caught the sound of familiar voices. She went to the door and ushered in the trio of sophs.
ďWhatís the latest from Guiseppe, the defender?Ē Gussie immediately clamored to know. The three girls surrounded Marjorie while Jerry made an equally eager fourth member of the group.
It did not take long to put them in possession of the good news. They received it with enthusiasm, modified to keep within the limit of noise. Since the evening when Marjorie and Jerry had been called to the door by Miss Peyton on the head of being disturbers of quiet no more reports had been made against them. Miss Peytonís threat that she would place the matter before President Matthews had evidently never been carried out. Marjorie could only hope that it had not. The presidentís cordiality to her whenever they chanced to meet assured her of his regard. Still she disliked the idea intensely of being reported to headquarters for anything so utterly uncontrolled and childish.
ďWhat a strange, dreadful life for a girl to lead!Ē exclaimed Calista Wilmot. She referred to Marjorieís account of Leslie Cairnsí part in the bus trouble.
ďYes, it is.Ē Marjorieís reply was spoken in all seriousness. ďAfter Signor Baretti had told us of what she had done Robin and I both thought we ought not tell even you girls of it. Then we thought of the way Phil, Barbara and the rest of you helped break up her plot by coming out with your cars in the storm. We decided it was only fair to tell you the exact circumstances. The Travelers, old and new, should be, and are, Iím sure, trustworthy. None of them would circulate any of the private business of the club about the campus.Ē
ďThereís another argument just as strong as to why Leslie Cairnsí actions shouldnít be kept secret from the club. She doesnít deserve to be shielded for what she did.Ē Gussieís handsome, colorful face showed shocked disapproval. ďWhy, she has acted just like a regular old politician who goes around before election day and buys votes!Ē
Gussieís comparison raised a laugh in which Marjorie joined. Long ago she and Robin had come to that conclusion.
ďWell, we wonít ever say a word about her outside the Travelers,Ē she said, her face sobering. ďEverythingís going nicely again. Now, children, my taleís told. Jerry says you have something on your minds. Go sit on that couch, three in a row, and spout forth your news.Ē Marjorie indicated her couch bed. ďIf you donít care to sit there, why, here is our assortment of chairs.Ē She grandly pointed them out.
ďLet Gus tell it. She began it,Ē declared Flossie. The three friends had bumped themselves down on the couch, with much interference one with another and little bursts of laughter.
ďYour fairy-tale Princess and Leslie Cairns had a fuss at the Colonial today. They were together there when the three of us went into the place for ices.Ē Gussie said in matter-of-fact tones. ďMiss Monroe was ripping mad. We heard her say that something wasnít true, and that she wouldnít be bullied. She was so angry she talked louder than she intended. I think she knew it for all in a minute she dropped her voice away down. I wanted to be the one to tell you about this, Marjorie, for a certain reason.Ē Her tone was flattering to Marjorieís dignity.
ďSpeak, Gentleman Gus,Ē laughed Marjorie, amused by the very solemn expression of Gussieís face.
ďJust because Miss Monroe was opposed to me at class election is no sign that I should have any hard feeling toward her,Ē Gussie began. ďI havenít. I know you think sheís going to Ė to Ė well, be more congenial some day. She wonít be, though, if she keeps on associating with Miss Cairns. Sheíll begin to break rules, too. First thing she knows sheíll do something serious and be expelled from Hamilton. I canít forget how sweet she looked the other night at the hop. I thought, since she seemed to be peeved with Miss Cairns that maybe you could think of some way to link her to Hamilton. So sheíll like the campus better than she does Leslie Cairns.Ē
ďI have thought of a way, Gussie,Ē Marjorieís eyes sparkled. At last she had a supporter in the cause of the difficult fairy-tale princess.
ďWe ought to forget there is any such person,Ē Calista said. ďAfter the way she reported us for being noisy on the day we got here. But you see what forgiving natures we have.Ē She gave a whimsical little shrug and smile.
ďI decided to forget that she reported us,Ē came from Gussie magnanimously. ďSheís awfully thorny and hard to approach. She doesnít seem to care much for Miss Peyton and Miss Carter. They make great effort toward being chummy with her.Ē
ďLeila knows Iíd like to have a Beauty contest; the kind of one she got up when we were freshmen and she and Vera were sophs,Ē Marjorie told them animatedly. ďIf we had one Ė Ē
ďGood old M. M. thinks the Ice Queen would win it. That would let M. M. out of being the college beauty Ė so she innocently schemes,Ē translated Jerry. ďWeíd still be privileged to our own opinion, Ahem.Ē She coughed suggestively. Next instant she had gone to the door in answer to a rapping on it.
ďYouíre just in time,Ē she greeted, stepping back to allow Leila to enter.
ďIn time for what, may I ask?Ē Leilaís bright blue eyes roved speculatively about the room.
ďFor the Beauty contest,Ē returned Calista promptly.
ďThen I must have won it. I see no one half as beautiful as myself here,Ē was Leilaís modest opinion. ďBut have you seen Vera? Midget is gone, unless you may be hiding her away in some small corner.Ē
ďShe went to town with Phil. Robin and I met them when we came from Barettiís.Ē Marjorie continued with a brief account of Robinís and her call at the inn.
ďOnce more she has dropped her gold into the sea,Ē was Leilaís thoroughly Irish comment. ďIt is the same old story, Beauty. She never wins.Ē
ďBean hopes to be Bean without beauty,Ē Jerry said briskly to Leila. ďCan it be done?Ē
ďI shall have to consult the stars.Ē Leila rolled her eyes mysteriously at Marjorie.
ďNever mind me, Leila, wonít you please help me about the Beauty contest. You know why I am so determined to have it. Gussie feels the same as I do about Miss Monroe. So does Calista. Iíve two on my side.Ē
ďCount me in, Bean. Never forget your friend.Ē Jerry sprang to Marjorieís support.
ďAnd me,Ē echoed Flossie Hart.
ďIím sorry, Beauty, but I canít help you with the contest.Ē Leila pursed her lips and shook her black head. ďNow, why should you bother your head about it?Ē
ďBecause I think it is the one thing to do for Miss Monroe. I want to do it, Leila. Why wonít you help me?Ē Marjorie sent Leila a puzzled, almost hurt glance.
ďWhy wonít I help you? Because Ė Ē Leilaís smile burst forth from her sober face like sunlight through a cloud Ė ďI shall be busy managing the Beauty contest myself.Ē
NEWS FROM MISS SUSANNA
ďIím going out to mail a letter,Ē Jerry told Marjorie, when, later, the girls had gone to their own rooms.
ďHow nice. You may have the pleasure of mailing two for me,Ē Marjorie reached in the table drawer for the letters. ďI put them in the drawer for safe keeping and went out without them, she explained.
ďHand them over.Ē Jerry took them and was gone. She had decided to say nothing to anyone about the letter she had written to Louise Walker until she had seen the outcome. Like the sleuth she had laughingly vowed to be, at the time when Marjorie had received the letter from Louise Walker and also the one signed ďSenior sportsí committee,Ē she preferred to keep matters a secret until she had completed her case.
On the way back across the campus from the nearest mail box she saw a mail carrier leaving the Hall. In going out she had noted that the bulletin board in the hall was empty of mail. Now a flock of letters roosted in its alphabetical, shallow pockets. Near the top under D she plucked one for Marjorie addressed in Miss Susanna Hamiltonís individual hand.
ďYouíre in luck,Ē Jerry said as she entered the room to find Marjorie sitting at the table, elbows braced upon it, hands cupping her chin. A rare old book on chemistry lay near her on the table. It had been given her by Miss Hamilton during her senior year at Hamilton. She had brought it from her bookshelf to read. Instead she had fallen into a reverie concerning the giver of the book. Miss Susanna had told her that it was the only copy of the work on chemistry known to be in the United States. It had belonged to Mr. Brooke Hamilton. Marjorie could hardly believe at times that she was actually in possession of a book that had belonged to the founder of Hamilton College.
ďWhy am I in luck?Ē Marjorieís head was quickly raised from her hands. ďI never seem to be much out of it, Jeremiah. I have so much more of happiness than I deserve.Ē
ďThereís a reason.Ē The envelope in Jerryís hand dropped on the table in front of Marjorie.
ďOh-h-h!Ē Marjorie exultantly snatched up the letter. ďI was just thinking of her, Jerry. Iíve had only one letter from her since she has been in New York. Doesnít it seem odd to think of Miss Susanna as being in New York? Sheís been away from the Arms almost six weeks, too.Ē
Marjorieís hands were already busy with the envelope. She drew from it the folded letter, spread it open and glanced eagerly at the headlines. Then she read aloud to Jerry who had seated herself on one end of the table, feet swinging free.
ďMy Dearest Child:
ďI am still in this roaring, clattering, over-populated city they call New York. I shall be glad to see the last of it. It has changed a good deal since I visited it twenty years ago. This is the day of motor vehicles, skyscrapers and crowded streets filled with strange foreign faces. I long to be home to that haven of peace, the Arms.
ďThere is no use in attempting to tell you by letter of my stay in the metropolis. I am coming home on Tuesday, December fourth. Will you and Jerry come to the Arms to dinner on Wednesday evening? I should have written you more often, but I have been very busy by day and tired by night. At any rate I have seen the New York of today. But I could never grow used to the helter-skelter, rush-and-a-bounce way of living that appears to prevail here.
ďGive my love to my girls with my fond devotion for yourself.
ďSusanna Craig Hamilton.Ē
ďSheíll be home tomorrow. Oh, goody!Ē Marjorie sprang from her chair and essayed a little prancing step about the room, looking like a delighted youngster. Miss Susannaís pet name of ďchildĒ was particularly applicable.
ďAnd Wednesday weíll see her!Ē Jerry contributed a few hops and skips to the dance Marjorie had started. The two met, clasped each other and the dance became wilder. Breathless and laughing, they landed with a bang against the door. They managed for a moment to keep out Ronny who was at the door, hand on the knob, when the dancers crashed against it.
ďI got in, even if you did try to hold the door against me,Ē she asserted with twinkling eyes.
ďMy, but you are suspicious!Ē Jerry accused. ďThatís not the way we treat our friends. Didnít you know it?Ē
ďAm I really your friend?Ē Ronny asked with gushing sweetness.
ďYou were, you are, but you wonít be long if you ask me any more such foolish questions.Ē
ďMiss Susanna will be home tomorrow, Ronny,Ē Marjorie said happily. ďShe sent her love to you girls. Hereís her letter. Iím sure sheíd like you to read it.Ē Marjorie was still holding the letter. She now handed it to Ronny.
Ronny took it and quickly read it. ďWhy did she go to New York, I wonder, after having stayed so long away from it?Ē she questioned half musingly. ďIt would take an especially strong reason to draw her away from the Arms for six weeks.Ē
ďWhatever the reason may have been, weíll probably know it tomorrow evening,Ē Jerry commented. ďIt wouldnít surprise me if sheíd been planning something for the dormitory and had had to go to New York to find just what she wanted.Ē
ďWe donít wish her to do anything more for the dormitory,Ē Marjorie said sturdily. ďShe has done too much for us already.Ē
ďPrecisely my opinion. You wonít let me throw my money around in the dormitory cause. Why should Miss Susanna be allowed to do what Iím not?Ē Ronny propounded with one of her dazzling, patronizing smiles.
ďI call for a change of subject,Ē laughed Marjorie.
ďAnd my question not answered,Ē Ronny sighed plaintively.
ďThe answer to your question is the road to argument.Ē Marjorie cannily shook a finger at Veronica.
ďAll right. Youíve suppressed me for the time being. Never fear. Iíll bob up again on the finance question when you least expect it,Ē she made cheerful prediction.
ďItís a sweet, precious pet, and it shaínít be suppressed.Ē Marjorie reached out and stroked Ronnyís arm.ŮÍŗųŗÚŁ ÍŪŤ„ů ŠŚŮÔŽŗÚŪÓ
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