Chase Josephine.

Marjorie Dean, Marvelous Manager





CHAPTER III
LOYAL TO NO ONE

In the dining-room at Wayland Hall that evening plenty of curious and speculative glances were cast at the round dozen of Hamiltons staunchest children as they made merry at a special table which Miss Remson had provided for them.

From the next table to theirs the five Bertram girls exchanged occasional laughing signals and remarks with the distinguished little group of post graduates, seniors and one member of the faculty, the youngest though she happened to be. Aside from the warm friendliness of Gussie Forbes and her four chums there emanated from the other table of girls a peculiarly chilling atmosphere. It hinted of displeasure; a displeasure which stopped just this side of hostility.

The sophs and freshies in the house cant see us for a minute, Jerry said to Leila in an undertone as they were awaiting the serving of the dessert. Feel the chill. Get me?

Tell me nothing. Leila cast a grim glance about the dining-room. Suddenly her grimness vanished into a characteristic flash of white teeth which always signified her utter amusement. It is the Battle of Wayland Hall we shall be fighting before spring with a number of distinguished P. G. generals in the thick of the fray. It is the sophs who are ready now to roar at us. The freshies here will but echo the sophs roars.

Wayland Hall has been a regular hot-bed of trouble since the soph president was elected. Jerry used the same guarded tones. With Gus and the disappointed Ice Queen under the same roof can you wonder?

I cannot. Leilas shrug was eloquent. I have not been so completely disgusted with a set of girls since the bad days of the Sans.

Bad days of the Sans? Vera, seated at Leilas left, had caught the Irish girls words. She now repeated them inquiringly. What tales of ancient history am I hearing?

Ancient history that is trying to repeat itself, Leila returned with dry sarcasm. I have been muttering in Jeremiahs ear that we are not favorites at the Hall.

Its a case of top-lofty sophs and freshie-fresh freshmen. Vera gave a wise nod. The traditional meek and lowly freshie is rapidly becoming an almost extinct species.

So it would appear this year, Jerry agreed with an appraising survey of the long dining-room. Her glance rested for a moment on Doris Monroe, then traveled on to the students who sat at table with her.

There are the members of the trouble bureau, she told Leila. Look in the direction Im looking and youll know who I mean.

I heard something about a trouble bureau. Marjorie, next to Jerry on Jerrys right, bent a laughing face forward to her room-mate. What?

First time I ever head you commit a Cairns-ism. For further information about the trouble bureau, find the Ice Queen, Jerry directed not without humor.

Oh; I understand. But I wont look down at her. If she happened to see us looking at her she would probably be offended, just as Gussie Forbes was when she noticed us eyeing her the first time we saw her at Barettis.

I learned a lesson then. I dont intend to make the same mistake again. Marjorie spoke with the utmost good humor. She was not preaching to her chums, and they knew it.

Merely because youre such an old friend of mine, Bean, to confide in you doesnt mean that Im gossiping, Ill say a word or two about the trouble bureau. That tall soph with the straight black hair, black moon eyes and pasty-white face is the chief disturber. She seems to be directing the Ice Queens campaign. Muriel says she comes to see Miss Monroe about every half hour until the ten-thirty bell puts the kibosh on her visits.

Unlike Marjorie, Jerry could not refrain from voicing her disapproval of Doris Monroe and her group of sophomore satellites living at Wayland Hall. The next agitator to Moon Eyes is the pudgy, red-haired soph with the mechanical voice. Their real names happen to be Miss Peyton and Miss Carter, but Muriel and I have made a few changes, Jerry declared with a whole-hearted grin. Ahem! We call the pair the Prime Minister and the Phonograph. So true to life! What?

Marjorie, Leila and Vera could not help laughing at the names Jerry and Muriel had waggishly applied to the two sophs. Miss Carters speech had a habit of clicking itself from her lips with the mechanical precision of a phonograph. She had a wooden manner of carriage and walk which further added to the impression she gave of something mechanical. As for the name Muriel had picked for moon-eyed Miss Peyton, Muriel herself probably best understood thus far its fitness as applied to the tall, austere looking young woman.

The traditions of Hamilton say nothing about the naming habit. Leila shot a playful glance at Jerry.

Er-r well, its remembering the stranger within our gate in a kind of way, Jerry defended. Now that Muriel and I have named em specially we can remember em so much the better.

Such ignoble sentiments from a Hamilton P. G.! I am shocked! Veras small hands went up in simulated displeasure.

Youll get over the shock if you dont stop to think about it, Jerry assured her. You may even learn to admire the Harding-Macy classification.

Its certainly time the Travelers got together, Leila said, now more than half serious in her observation. We must protect the Hall.

I am with you in that, Leila, Marjorie observed, the light of sudden, unalterable purpose flaring strongly in her eyes. We have Miss Remson as well as the girls here to think of. Weve been through a siege of a house divided against itself once here. We must somehow not let that calamity overtake the Hall again.

How are we going to stop it, Marvelous Manager, with Gentleman Gus and the Ice Queen all ready to challenge each other to a duel? quizzed Jerry. I dont say it cant be done. I have great faith in you and your works, Bean. She beamed patronizingly. I merely ask you: How is it going to be done?

I wish I knew, Marjorie laughingly confessed. The Travelers will have to find a way to teach our freshies and sophs here to live up to the Hymn of Hamilton. That means well have to teach them without letting them know they are being taught.

Jerry looked impishly impressed. What a simple pleasant task! she exclaimed with pretended enthusiasm. I should say wed better cut out dessert, go right upstairs and plan for it. Whats dessert? Nothing but fresh cocoanut layer-cake and coffee gelatine slathered with whipped cream. Who cares for any such trifles? Jerry waved an airy hand. She made no move to leave her chair, however.

Only you. The rest of us have no longing for sweet stuff. But we are so kind as to keep you company while you eat, Leila made bland assurance.

When the dessert was served the Irish girl deftly abstracted Jerrys portion of cake and gelatine from under Jerrys eyes and before the waitress had more than placed the dishes on the table. Up the line went the cake and gelatine until they reached Phil, who sat at the head of the table. Phil welcomed them with effusion and grew tantalizing. She gave a dozen flimsy reasons supposed to justify her claim to it. The table rang with laughter so spontaneous and good-natured more than one of the freshmen at the Hall felt a secret sympathy spring up within for the girls whom they had heard characterized by Doris Monroes most ardent supporters as meddlers and hypocrites and of having shown marked favoritism.

If we were to make half the noise they are making Miss Remson would call us to account for it, sourly observed Julia Peyton to Clara Carter. Ive spoken to her several times about the racket that goes on every evening in Miss Forbes room and in that Miss Deans room, too. Its been worse since Miss Harding came to the Hall.

I know it, Miss Carter nodded an eager red head. Doris says she simply wont allow Miss Harding to carry on in her room the way she does when shes with her own crowd. Shes generally to be found on the campus with some of them, screaming and laughing. Doris met her and Miss Dean when she was with that awfully rich Miss Cairns this very afternoon. She said she felt so mortified at being obliged to speak to Miss Harding. She doesnt speak to Miss Dean at all. She told me she had good reasons for ignoring her, but she preferred not to give them.

Humph. Julia cast a jealous glance at her companion as the two sophomores rose to leave the table. Each girl was jealous of the condescending friendship which Doris Monroe had chosen to give her companion. She felt that she stood a trifle closer to Doris than the other.

Doris was fully aware of this state of affairs. When she had recovered from the sweetness of her first triumph at being rushed she made up her mind not to allow her soph and freshie admirers to fail in allegiance to her banner. She soon learned that her selfish air of indifference was one of her greatest assets. It added individuality to her beauty. It impressed her worshippers with a high idea of the value of her acquaintance.

She had inherited this trait of indifference from her mother, whose counterpart she was. She had, as Marjorie suspected, a strong inclination to honesty, one of her fathers finest traits. Thus she could not have pretended an indifference she did not feel. Since it was in her soul to be this she accepted the benefits she received from it with secret satisfaction. She was privately glad that she had no desire to be impulsive and readily responsive.

I heard that the Miss Cairns you mentioned was expelled from Hamilton College, Julia said disagreeably. She was desirous of over-topping Claras boastful reference to Doris and the intimacy it implied.

Who told you? Claras tone was challenging.

Ill not say who. I heard it, and it came to me directly from someone who knew, Julia made mysterious response.

I I havent heard any such story as that. I dont believe its true. Ill ask Doris. Shell tell me, Clara ended, tossing her flame-colored head.

Youre very foolish to think of asking Doris, disapproved Julia, her shaggy black brows drawing together. Shell set you down as impertinent. Even if she should know she wouldnt tell you. She gave a short, sarcastic laugh.

Im not afraid to ask her, Clara doggedly persisted. You may be, but Im not.

This was the beginning of an angry discussion between the two sophomores which lasted all the way upstairs and for several minutes after the door of their room was slammed behind them by Clara. So vigorously did she slam it that the sharp sound reached the bevy of Travelers as they came trooping gaily upstairs. Robin was singing softly for them an old plantation song: Get you ready theres a meetin here tonight, and Phil was patting her hands in time to it.

Bing, bang; who fired the first shot? exclaimed Muriel.

It did sound almost like a shot, didnt it? I havent heard such a splendid imitation of banging a door since the Sans used to vent their outraged feelings on the doors, chuckled Vera.

That may have been the first shot fired in the Battle of Wayland Hall, Jerry gigglingly surmised to Leila.

Then it was wasted on us, laughed Leila. It will take more than the banging of a few doors to rouse our ire to the point of battle. Though make no mistake: The air is full of knives, as we say in Ireland.

In the room occupied by Clara Carter and Julia Peyton the air was indeed full of verbal knives. Both had voted for Doris Monroe for president of the sophomore class. Both had pledged themselves, with certain other girls at the Hall, to boost Doris and down Augusta Forbes. Now they were squabbling fiercely over the lovely, indifferent object of their girl devotion. In their jealous anger with each other they had blindly overlooked the old saying: In union there is strength.

CHAPTER IV
TESTING TWO TRAVELERS

Remember, friends and fellow Travelers, this is a serious occasion. Ronny, as president of the original Five Travelers, stood facing her companions who had disposed themselves four in a row on Jerrys couch-bed and on chairs in alignment with the couch.

Its not very serious any of us are looking, nor our worthy president, either, Leila declared, throwing Ronny a twinkling glance.

Never judge by appearances so very reckless, dont you know, Ronny rebuked, her charming face full of mischief.

On with the meeting. No stops allowed for repartee. Weve a lot to do, and a spread to eat up afterward, Jerry announced in her most judicial tones.

Thank you for your delicate reminder that time is flying, Jeremiah. Ronny made Jerry a deep bow, meant to convey her humble gratitude. As I was about to say when I was interrupted Ronny stared hard at Leila we are to pass upon the names written on slips in this box. She held up a small square box of ornamental brass.

During their initial railway journey to Hamilton College more than four years previous the quintette of Sanford chums had helped while away the long hours on the train by banding themselves into a private, informal club which they named the Five Travelers Club. They had found interest in looking upon themselves as five travelers about to explore the unknown country of College.

The little association had flourished and been a comfort to them during their freshman year. Every now and then, as the journey through the country of college continued they had added a member to the group. When Commencement and the end of their proscribed course came the still informal club had become the Nineteen Travelers.

It had become the earnest desire of the Nineteen Travelers to perpetuate the club as a sorority. After much discussion it had been decided to leave it as a parting gift to nineteen seniors. Due to the multiplicity of duties which the original Nineteen Travelers had pledged themselves to perform, the organization of the new sorority was left, unfortunately, until the last minute. By that time several new-fledged seniors, eligible to membership, had departed for their homes.

It was Ronny who had then proposed that each Traveler should write on a slip of paper her choice of senior to succeed her. The slips were to be placed in a box, without having been examined, and the box placed in Miss Remsons care until the return the next fall of the post graduate Travelers to Hamilton College. To them would be intrusted the forming of the new sorority.

I feel confident, Ronny continued, that the seniors whose names are in this box are the very girls we most wish to carry on our club. Still, in the event that any one of you may have an objection to a name as read out by me, I will count ten slowly after the reading of each name. Anyone who may make objection must say no within the count, and afterward frankly state her reason for so doing.

With this preamble Ronny put a hand in the box, drew from it a slip and solemnly read out: Phyllis Moore. The laughing gleam in her gray eyes did not accord with her solemn face. One, two she began.

A chorus of laughter drowned her voice, mingled with cries of: No; no, indeed! I object.

Mercy on us! Up went Ronnys hands. Such strenuous objections! Sh-h-h. Be calm and state our objections, one at a time.

We cant decide as to her qualifications for membership until she has been put to the test, boldly demanded Lillian Wenderblatt.

Very well, Ronny agreed with the utmost amiability.

Poor me. Phil groaned audibly.

I would suggest that action be suspended on the candidate to be tested until the other names have been passed upon. In the event that there may be other candidates for the test they may then be put to the ordeal together. Marjorie made this sly proviso, and with apparent innocence.

Other candidates! exclaimed Barbara Severn. I know only one other besides Phil. Poor me!

Barbara Severn. Ronny promptly read out her name. Another burst of vigorous, laughing Noes ascended. Barbara was also condemned to the test.

During the Nineteen Travelers senior year at Hamilton they had more than once invited Phil and Barbara to become members of the club. Both had refused the invitation, preferring to receive their election as a parting gift from their elder sisters. They had been as invaluable to the Travelers, however, as though they had been members. Now their comrades proposed to show appreciation in their own peculiar fashion. None of the seventeen other names which Ronny read out for the august consideration of the Travelers were challenged.

I am sure you will be pleased to hear that Miss Mason and Jer Miss Macy will conduct the test, Ronny purred to the hapless candidates.

Thats right, half call me Jeremiah. Everyones only about half respectful to me, grumbled Jerry.

Oh, were de-lighted, Barbara and Phil together satirically responded.

So glad. As all appear to be pleased let the test begin, Ronny smiled encouragingly on the candidates.

Ahem-m! Candidates rise and come forward. Stand there; exactly in line, Jerry dictated grandly. You will now listen to Miss Mason while she explains to you the nature of the first test.

Vera came smilingly toward the two girls. Here is a penny for each of you, she said generously. You are not to spend it for candy. No, no. She shook a forbidding finger at them. You are to get down on the floor and each shove your penny to the door and she beamed beneficently on her victims with your nose.

Woof-f! Phil made a despairing gesture.

I can never do it, giggled Barbara, but Ill try.

We are waiting. Vera sweetly indicated the place on the rug on which the unlucky candidates were to prostrate themselves.

Phil was first to obey. Barbara paused to watch her and learn the way such a feat was to be performed. It took Phil not more than a minute to discover that creeping as a means of locomotion would not aid her pennys progress to the door. She was obliged to lie flat to the floor, face downward, and wriggle very slowly toward the goal, aiming constant dabs at the penny with her nose.

Her gallant progress in spite of odds so entertained Barbara she had to be reminded of her part in the test. She proved not nearly as skillful as Phil in the art of penny-shoving. Meanwhile the room rang with laughter.

The candidates will now be allowed a breathing spell while I consult with my valued assistant and prepare the next degree, was Jerrys gracious announcement after Phil had triumphantly pushed her penny the required distance and Barbara had shoved hers over half way to the door.

The next degree appeared in the form of two rows of potatoes, placed at short distances apart. At one end of each row was a basket. Jerry handed Phil and Barbara each a teaspoon and assigned them to a potato row. Start at this end. Pick up the potatoes on your teaspoon and carry them to the basket, was her next bland instruction.

That sounds easy, sighed Barbara. Oh, my nose, she tenderly rubbed it.

To balance a good-sized potato on a teaspoon and carry it across a room is a feat which requires practice. Phyllis and Barbara were novices at it. They toiled patiently at the ridiculous task while the Travelers had a hilarious time at their expense. Before either had succeeded in placing more than two or three potatoes in their baskets Vera called them off the job.

Well have to take your will for the deed, she told them. Your sense of balance seems to be sadly lacking. Dont be discouraged. Both of you have splendid useful noses even if your potato carrying was wobbly. Youve done nobly. Now we are going to give you a feed. I hope you wont mind being blindfolded for a little while. Its quite necessary.

Nothing could please us more, Phil assured extravagantly.

Whoever heard of an initiation without the candidates were blindfolded? Go as far as you like. Barbara was equally gracious.

Jerry proceeded to blindfold the two in her business-like way. Next she motioned to Vera, who brought forward two bungalow aprons. She and Vera politely assisted Phil and Barbara into the aprons. The pair were then led to chairs and ordered to be seated.

From the top shelf of her dress closet Jerry took a square pasteboard box. Opened, two immense, shining cream puffs were revealed. Laughter greeted the sight of them. The other Travelers recognized the puffs as having come from a certain bakery in the town of Hamilton where the size of the dainty and its extra-generous cream filling had popularized it among the Hamilton College girls.

Here, Phyllis Marie Moore; you cant say I never treated you. In the absence of plates, hold out both hands. Jerry lifted one of the huge puffs from the box and carefully set it in Phils obediently outstretched hands. She then went through the same performance with Barbara as the recipient. Eat them nicely, she admonished with wicked significance.

Eat them nicely, mimicked Barbara. I cant eat a cream puff nicely when I can see every bite I take of it. Blindfolded good night!

Theyre awfully good anyway, consoled Phil. She held the puff in one hand and went cautiously over the humps and bumps of the big pastry shell. She boldly attacked a corner which promised not to let out too copiously the fairly thin cream filling. She did very well until she had eaten away enough of the shell to court disaster. It would have been hard enough to eat the puff daintily had she been able to see it. Minus sight and a plate or paper napkin on which to place it she soon managed to smear her face, hands and apron liberally with cream. She ate away desperately but there appeared to be twice as much filling as should have been.





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