Marjorie Dean, Marvelous Managerñêà÷àòü êíèãó áåñïëàòíî
“So it would appear.” Leslie’s retort was grimly sarcastic. “Sorry you had to tell the natives about it.” 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.
“They couldn’t hear what I said,” Doris defended, half abashed, half sulky. “I’m sure they couldn’t.”
“You’re the one to worry, if they did,” shrugged Leslie. “It can’t 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 haven’t seen you since then.” 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 Doris’s 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.
“Those two were certainly having a fuss,” commented Flossie Hart as the three sophomores left the tea room, directly after Doris’s angry outburst.
“I’m going to tell Marjorie about it.” Gussie made the announcement with great decision.
“Telling tales is a bad practice,” laughingly rebuked Flossie.
“I know why you’re going to.” Calista’s quick mind instantly jumped at a certain conclusion. “I will, if you don’t.”
“I’m still in the dark,” mourned Flossie. “Kindly enlighten me. Forgive me for being so stupid. Doesn’t that sound just like Muriel?”
“Yes, Floss. Muriel might think it was herself talking if she happened to hear you.” Gussie favored her room-mate with a condescending smile.
The three hurried along the street to the main campus gate. “Race you to the Hall,” 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.
“I hope Marjorie’s in.” Gussie was presently pounding vigorously on the door of 15, a chum at each elbow.
“Why not leave us the door?” blandly inquired Jerry as she opened it to the vociferous demand for admission. “Is it really you, Gentleman Gus? I haven’t seen you for as much as three hours. The last occasion was at lunch.” Jerry smirked soulfully at her callers.
“Where’s Marjorie?” Gussie peered over Jerry’s head and into the room.
“We’ve a bit of special information. You’re privileged to hear it too, Jeremiah?”
“She has gone to Baretti’s. 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.”
“Um-m.” Gussie looked undecided for a moment. “We’ll come back later.” She looked first at her chums for conformation, then at Jerry. “Let us know when she comes, Jerry. We love you dearly enough to hang around in your room till Marjorie comes, but there’s a time for study, et cetera. Only I don’t know when it will be if not now. You may pound on my door as hard as I pounded on yours, but no harder.”
“Suit yourself,” Jerry waved an affable hand. “I can live without you. I have a letter to write. I’d enjoy perfect quiet.”
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 students’ “Lost and Found,” 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 Jerry’s face for a second. She promptly forgot her surroundings to dwell triumphantly instead upon the beauty of a certain stunt she determined to “put over” as soon as she returned to her room. Nor did she visit the “Lost and Found” 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 “Lost and Found” should it not belong to her? Jerry considered the problem owlishly, then wrote:
“Dear Miss Walker:
“Have 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 ‘Lost and Found’?
“There! She’ll be an untutored savage if she ignores my kindly little act,” Jerry decided with a grin. “If I wrote asking her if she’d lost the handkerchief she might ’phone me, or come here. That’s not what I’m after. She ought to write me a line of acknowledgment. If she should – I’ll know one thing that I don’t know now.”
MARJORIE FINDS A SUPPORTER
Marjorie returned from Baretti’s full of the glorious news of the little proprietor’s triumph over Sabani in behalf of Page and Dean. Jerry was equally elated and burst into one of what she had named “Joyful Jingles to Bean.” She spouted them on special occasions.
“Thanks to our faithful dago friend
The Goblin’s schemes fell through.
’Tis plainly seen, oh, upright Bean
Such trouble’s not for you.”
She did a fantastic polka step around Marjorie, keeping time with her declamation.
“You funny old goose!” Marjorie caught her and wrapped both arms about her. “Yes, the Goblin’s scheme did fall through, and, oh, rapture, the busses will begin running again tomorrow morning! What would we have done without Signor Baretti’s help? He’s 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.”
“Oh, save it till I go for Gus, Calista and Flossie. Let them hear it. They’ve been looking for you. They’ve something on their minds. So has Jeremiah. This is another wildly eventful day.” 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.
“All the days here are somehow wildly eventful,” Marjorie said with a little devoted smile. “Something remarkable seems always to be happening.”
“Too true,” Jerry agreed with solemnity. “But some days are even more eventful than that. I will mention as an example the day before we went home for Thanksgiving.” Both girls began to laugh. “That 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 couldn’t find my suitcase in the trunk room so I had to borrow one. Do you recall any other exciting misfortunes of that particular day?” She turned innocently inquiring eyes upon Marjorie.
“Nope. You were a martyr that day, poor old Jeremiah.”
“I need your sympathy, Bean,” Jerry rejoined brokenly. “It’s a hard world for some folks. Still I’m glad I’ve survived.”
“Cheer up. Here come the Bertramites.” Marjorie’s keen ears had caught the sound of familiar voices. She went to the door and ushered in the trio of sophs.
“What’s the latest from Guiseppe, the defender?” 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 Peyton’s 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 president’s 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.
“What a strange, dreadful life for a girl to lead!” exclaimed Calista Wilmot. She referred to Marjorie’s account of Leslie Cairns’ part in the bus trouble.
“Yes, it is.” Marjorie’s reply was spoken in all seriousness. “After 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, I’m sure, trustworthy. None of them would circulate any of the private business of the club about the campus.”
“There’s another argument just as strong as to why Leslie Cairns’ actions shouldn’t be kept secret from the club. She doesn’t deserve to be shielded for what she did.” Gussie’s handsome, colorful face showed shocked disapproval. “Why, she has acted just like a regular old politician who goes around before election day and buys votes!”
Gussie’s comparison raised a laugh in which Marjorie joined. Long ago she and Robin had come to that conclusion.
“Well, we won’t ever say a word about her outside the Travelers,” she said, her face sobering. “Everything’s going nicely again. Now, children, my tale’s told. Jerry says you have something on your minds. Go sit on that couch, three in a row, and spout forth your news.” Marjorie indicated her couch bed. “If you don’t care to sit there, why, here is our assortment of chairs.” She grandly pointed them out.
“Let Gus tell it. She began it,” declared Flossie. The three friends had bumped themselves down on the couch, with much interference one with another and little bursts of laughter.
“Your 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.” Gussie said in matter-of-fact tones. “Miss Monroe was ripping mad. We heard her say that something wasn’t true, and that she wouldn’t 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.” Her tone was flattering to Marjorie’s dignity.
“Speak, Gentleman Gus,” laughed Marjorie, amused by the very solemn expression of Gussie’s face.
“Just because Miss Monroe was opposed to me at class election is no sign that I should have any hard feeling toward her,” Gussie began. “I haven’t. I know you think she’s going to – to – well, be more congenial some day. She won’t be, though, if she keeps on associating with Miss Cairns. She’ll begin to break rules, too. First thing she knows she’ll do something serious and be expelled from Hamilton. I can’t 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 she’ll like the campus better than she does Leslie Cairns.”
“I have thought of a way, Gussie,” Marjorie’s eyes sparkled. At last she had a supporter in the cause of the difficult fairy-tale princess.
“We ought to forget there is any such person,” Calista said. “After the way she reported us for being noisy on the day we got here. But you see what forgiving natures we have.” She gave a whimsical little shrug and smile.
“I decided to forget that she reported us,” came from Gussie magnanimously. “She’s awfully thorny and hard to approach. She doesn’t seem to care much for Miss Peyton and Miss Carter. They make great effort toward being chummy with her.”
“Leila knows I’d like to have a Beauty contest; the kind of one she got up when we were freshmen and she and Vera were sophs,” Marjorie told them animatedly. “If we had one – ”
“Good old M. M. thinks the Ice Queen would win it. That would let M. M. out of being the college beauty – so she innocently schemes,” translated Jerry. “We’d still be privileged to our own opinion, Ahem.” She coughed suggestively. Next instant she had gone to the door in answer to a rapping on it.
“You’re just in time,” she greeted, stepping back to allow Leila to enter.
“In time for what, may I ask?” Leila’s bright blue eyes roved speculatively about the room.
“For the Beauty contest,” returned Calista promptly.
“Then I must have won it. I see no one half as beautiful as myself here,” was Leila’s modest opinion. “But have you seen Vera? Midget is gone, unless you may be hiding her away in some small corner.”
“She went to town with Phil. Robin and I met them when we came from Baretti’s.” Marjorie continued with a brief account of Robin’s and her call at the inn.
“Once more she has dropped her gold into the sea,” was Leila’s thoroughly Irish comment. “It is the same old story, Beauty. She never wins.”
“Bean hopes to be Bean without beauty,” Jerry said briskly to Leila. “Can it be done?”
“I shall have to consult the stars.” Leila rolled her eyes mysteriously at Marjorie.
“Never mind me, Leila, won’t 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. I’ve two on my side.”
“Count me in, Bean. Never forget your friend.” Jerry sprang to Marjorie’s support.
“And me,” echoed Flossie Hart.
“I’m sorry, Beauty, but I can’t help you with the contest.” Leila pursed her lips and shook her black head. “Now, why should you bother your head about it?”
“Because I think it is the one thing to do for Miss Monroe. I want to do it, Leila. Why won’t you help me?” Marjorie sent Leila a puzzled, almost hurt glance.
“Why won’t I help you? Because – ” Leila’s smile burst forth from her sober face like sunlight through a cloud – “I shall be busy managing the Beauty contest myself.”
NEWS FROM MISS SUSANNA
“I’m going out to mail a letter,” Jerry told Marjorie, when, later, the girls had gone to their own rooms.
“How nice. You may have the pleasure of mailing two for me,” Marjorie reached in the table drawer for the letters. “I put them in the drawer for safe keeping and went out without them, she explained.
“Hand them over.” 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 “Senior sports’ committee,” 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 Hamilton’s individual hand.
“You’re in luck,” 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.
“Why am I in luck?” Marjorie’s head was quickly raised from her hands. “I never seem to be much out of it, Jeremiah. I have so much more of happiness than I deserve.”
“There’s a reason.” The envelope in Jerry’s hand dropped on the table in front of Marjorie.
“Oh-h-h!” Marjorie exultantly snatched up the letter. “I was just thinking of her, Jerry. I’ve had only one letter from her since she has been in New York. Doesn’t it seem odd to think of Miss Susanna as being in New York? She’s been away from the Arms almost six weeks, too.”
Marjorie’s 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.
“My Dearest Child:
“I 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.
“There 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.
“Give my love to my girls with my fond devotion for yourself.
“Susanna Craig Hamilton.”
“She’ll be home tomorrow. Oh, goody!” Marjorie sprang from her chair and essayed a little prancing step about the room, looking like a delighted youngster. Miss Susanna’s pet name of “child” was particularly applicable.
“And Wednesday we’ll see her!” 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.
“I got in, even if you did try to hold the door against me,” she asserted with twinkling eyes.
“My, but you are suspicious!” Jerry accused. “That’s not the way we treat our friends. Didn’t you know it?”
“Am I really your friend?” Ronny asked with gushing sweetness.
“You were, you are, but you won’t be long if you ask me any more such foolish questions.”
“Miss Susanna will be home tomorrow, Ronny,” Marjorie said happily. “She sent her love to you girls. Here’s her letter. I’m sure she’d like you to read it.” Marjorie was still holding the letter. She now handed it to Ronny.
Ronny took it and quickly read it. “Why did she go to New York, I wonder, after having stayed so long away from it?” she questioned half musingly. “It would take an especially strong reason to draw her away from the Arms for six weeks.”
“Whatever the reason may have been, we’ll probably know it tomorrow evening,” Jerry commented. “It wouldn’t surprise me if she’d been planning something for the dormitory and had had to go to New York to find just what she wanted.”
“We don’t wish her to do anything more for the dormitory,” Marjorie said sturdily. “She has done too much for us already.”
“Precisely my opinion. You won’t let me throw my money around in the dormitory cause. Why should Miss Susanna be allowed to do what I’m not?” Ronny propounded with one of her dazzling, patronizing smiles.
“I call for a change of subject,” laughed Marjorie.
“And my question not answered,” Ronny sighed plaintively.
“The answer to your question is the road to argument.” Marjorie cannily shook a finger at Veronica.
“All right. You’ve suppressed me for the time being. Never fear. I’ll bob up again on the finance question when you least expect it,” she made cheerful prediction.
“It’s a sweet, precious pet, and it sha’n’t be suppressed.” Marjorie reached out and stroked Ronny’s arm.ñêà÷àòü êíèãó áåñïëàòíî
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