Marjorie Dean, Marvelous Managerñêà÷àòü êíèãó áåñïëàòíî
MEETING HER MATCH
“Why won’t you go to New York over Thanksgiving, Leslie?” Doris Monroe’s accustomed indifferent drawl quickened to longing exasperation, all but ready to burst bounds.
“Don’t choose to,” came with laconic self-will from Leslie Cairns. She cast an insolent, inquiring glance toward Doris who was busy driving the white car which Leslie had named the Dazzler and loaned Doris for her own use. The pretty sophomore’s injured expression brought a faintly mocking smile to Leslie’s loose-lipped mouth.
“Oh, I know you don’t choose to,” declared Doris in a purposely weary tone. She continued to keep her eyes steadily on the road ahead. “Why don’t you choose to?” she questioned, growing more pointed.
“You ought to know without asking,” Leslie grumbled. “You are just like Natalie Weyman, my New York pal. You can’t remember, or be taught to remember, that business is business. Nat is as crazy to have me go to the Weyman’s New York house for Thanksgiving as you are to have me go with you to New York. I can’t see either of you when I have so much at stake here.”
“I beg your pardon.” Doris turned politely chilling. “I had no intention of breaking in upon yours and Miss Weyman’s plans.” Her coolness arose not from jealousy. Leslie’s rebuff had hurt her pride. She had more than once suspected that Leslie’s frequent allusions to “my pal, Nat,” were made simply to arouse her jealousy.
Doris was too comfortably wrapped up in self to be jealous-hearted. She had a private conviction that a girl who might prefer the friendship of another girl above her own was of small consequence.
Frowning, Leslie shot a second glance at Doris. Her shrewd dark eyes read mainly in Doris’s lovely blonde profile supreme discontent at not being able to have her own way.
“You didn’t break into anything,” Leslie gruffly assured. “That is what you and Nat Weyman seem possessed to try to do, though.”
“What do you mean, Leslie?” Doris turned offended eyes for a brief second on her companion.
“I mean you two seem determined to wreck the promising business career of Leslie Ador? Cairns,” Leslie retorted with grim humor.
“Ador?!” Doris exclaimed irrelevantly. “What a darling name!”
“Just suits me, doesn’t it?” Leslie threw back her head and indulged in her silent hob-goblin laugh.
“No, it doesn’t,” Doris said with amazing candor; “but it might.”
“What?” For once Leslie’s pet monosyllable burst involuntarily from her lips.
“I said it might suit you,” calmly returned Doris, “if you would try to make it suit you. You’ve loads of personality, Leslie; the kind that would make people like you a lot if you cared to have them like you.”
“I’m not keen on having people like me, even if I do happen to have a foolish middle name.” From interest Leslie’s tone had quickly changed to one of mild derision. “I mean I wouldn’t lift my finger in order to stand well with a gang of girls.
That’s the way Bean made herself popular on the campus; pretending to be so kind and helpful; setting up goody-goody standards and poking her inquisitive nose into a lot of things that didn’t concern her. Then there was the Beauty contest. She won that. It gave her a strong pull with the upper class girls. All except the Sans.” Leslie’s displeasure against Marjorie rose with the recital of past troubles. “They knew
the judges at the contest hadn’t played fairly. Nat Weyman should have won the contest. Wish you’d been a freshie that year. Bean wouldn’t have had a look-in.”
“Oh, I’m not so sure of that,” disagreed Doris, with intent to be provoking. “Miss Dean is really beautiful, Leslie. I’d hate to believe that she is more beautiful than I. Sometimes I’m not sure but that she is,” Doris gave a self-conscious, half rueful laugh.
“What ails you?” Leslie demanded darkly. “I thought you said you had no use for Bean and her crowd. Look where you’re going. You almost zipped us into that limousine.”
Doris’s honest, if reluctant, opinion of Marjorie fanned the flame of Leslie’s too-ready ill humor. She immediately vented it upon Doris’s driving.
“No, I did not almost run the car into that limousine,” was the other girl’s flat contradiction. “What is the use in growing peevish with me, Leslie? You know I detest Miss Dean and that Sanford crowd. The only one of them who appears in the least interesting is Miss Harding. She’s a barbarian, but she has individuality. I can’t forget she’s on earth, you know, since I have her as a room-mate.”
As she spoke Doris had slowed the speed of the car for a stop before the Lotus, the tea room where they had decided to go for a Saturday afternoon luncheon.
“She’s a savage; so is Macy.” Leslie invariably referred to Muriel and Jerry as “those two savages.” “She’s clever, too, that Muriel Harding. The Sans would have taken up with her and Macy and Lynde when they came to Hamilton if they hadn’t been so crazy about Bean. Macy’s father’s a millionaire and Lynde’s father is a multi-million man. Harding would have got across on her nerve. All three rallied round the Bean standard and lost out with the Sans.”
It was on Doris’s tongue to say: “Then they were lucky, after all, since the Sans were expelled from college.” Instead she held her peace. She intended to try once more to coax Leslie to re-consider her decision not to go to New York. Such a remark from her now about the Sans would only stir Leslie into fresh irritation.
Doris sent a backward, lingering glance toward the shining white car as the two girls started up the wide cement walk to the tea room.
“Don’t worry. It’ll be there when we come back,” Leslie said with a half mollified smile. Doris’s proud anxiety concerning the white car was not lost on her. It suited Leslie to pose as a benefactor.
“It’s such a dream,” sighed Doris. Her color heightened; her blue eyes shone starry triumph of the smart white roadster.
“I’ve engaged a Thanksgiving table already at the Colonial,” Leslie announced, tucking her arm inside one of Doris’s. “I tried to get one at Baretti’s but the dago is sore at me. His tables are always engaged beforehand if I happen to want one on a holiday.”
“Couldn’t we go to New York the day before Thanksgiving and come back to Hamilton the day after?” Doris once more pleaded. “You won’t transact any business here on Thanksgiving Day.”
“That’s what you say,” Leslie made instant rejoinder. She laughed as though she was in possession of a rich joke. “I’ve a special business stunt to put over here on Thanksgiving Day. Get it straight this time, Goldie. I am not going to New York.”
“Then I shall go there alone.” Doris stopped on the threshold of the Lotus. She faced Leslie angrily as she made the stubborn announcement. For an instant the two girls fairly glared at each other.
“Go on inside, for goodness sake,” Leslie roughly requested. She had turned incensed eyes from Doris in time to spy three Hamilton students coming up the walk. Luckily their attention was focussed on the white car. Two of them glanced back at it. It was apparently the topic they were discussing.
“I meant what I said,” Doris began haughtily the moment they had seated themselves at a table. “You are so very queer. You seem to forget that I know London and Paris. What is New York to me?” Doris snapped contemptuous fingers. “Merely another large city.”
“You’ll find it a handful, if you try to tackle it all by your lonesome,” was Leslie’s satiric prediction.
“I don’t need, necessarily, to go there alone. I know two sophs who would be glad – ”
“Forget it,” Leslie interrupted with a gesture of dismissal. “The three of you would have nothing on ‘Babes in the Wood,’ or any other of those lost nursery kids. In New York, unless you’ve been born and brought up there, you have to know the right sort of people, or you can’t have a good time. I could give you a letter of introduction to Nat Weyman, if I wanted to, but it wouldn’t do. She’d not like you, and you’d not like her.”
“I fail to understand why New York should be so – so different from London and Paris.” Doris was still haughty, though she was somewhat impressed by what Leslie had just said. “I don’t wish to meet Miss Weyman.”
“Use your brain,” Leslie impatiently advised. “London and Paris are like a couple of villages to you because you know ’em. New York would be a howling wilderness to you. Why? Because you don’t know it. Simmer down, Goldie. I’ll take you to New York with me the week after Christmas. Our town house is closed this winter but I have an apartment in New York and a chaperon whom I’ve taught to mind her own business. You can help me here a good deal on Thanksgiving Day by wearing that new costume of yours that matches the Dazzler. I want to make a splurge at the Colonial, for reasons of my own.”
“Of course I wish to help you, Leslie.” Doris was somewhat mollified by the Christmas prospect. She flushed hotly at Leslie’s pointed reminder concerning her new costume and the car. Leslie had presented her with the white fur hat and coat, an exquisite white silk gold-embroidered gown and slippers and hose which made up the “costume.”
“Then look pleasant, and listen to me,” Leslie curtly directed, her eyes fixed on the other girl’s rapidly clearing features. “Drive the Dazzler to the Hamilton House for me at exactly eleven o’clock, on Thanksgiving Day. We’ll go for a drive and stop at the Colonial at two o’clock for dinner. After dinner we’ll go for another drive. Then back to supper at the Colonial. There’s a good movie theatre in Hamilton. We might go to it in the evening. You can easily run up to the campus and put the car away before the ten-thirty bell rings.”
“Why not go to Orchard Inn for supper instead of the Colonial? Since there’s been so little snow the roads are fine.” Doris made a last desperate effort to have matters arranged partly as she wished.
“Too far away from the campus. My main idea is to be seen with you in all your glory on Gobbler Day. I shan’t tell you why. Don’t ask me. You’ve said you wanted to help me. Prove it by doing just as I tell you when I ask you to do something for me.” Leslie leaned back in her chair and surveyed Doris with the air of a dictator. She was giving a faithful imitation of a favorite pose of her father.
“Very well.” Doris relapsed into displeased silence. She allowed Leslie to order the luncheon and continued mute after the waitress had left them.
Leslie pretended not to notice Doris’s frigidity. She busied herself with the menu, hunting a dessert to her taste. When she had selected it she cast the card on the table with impatient force.
“Don’t meet me at all Thanksgiving Day, if it will be too much of a strain,” she sarcastically told Doris. She knew that Doris was too deeply obligated to her to make such a course of action probable.
Doris viewed her with the cold, measuring glance which Leslie had more than once privately admired in Goldie.
“I don’t mind meeting you and doing as you ask me Thanksgiving Day, Leslie,” she said coolly. “What I do mind is your dictatorial manner. And sometimes you’re really insulting.”
“Can’t help it. That’s the way my father is, and that’s the way I’d rather be. You said I could make people like me if I tried. I wouldn’t try. I’d rather have power; the kind that would make people do as I said because they were afraid of me; afraid to do anything different. That’s the kind my father has. He’s a great financier. Of course his money has helped him climb to where he is, but he has an iron-strong will. His father left him a fortune, but he’s made millions of dollars since then.”
Leslie’s voice vibrated with melancholy pride as she poured forth this praise of her father. She had not told Doris of her estrangement from him, nor did she purpose to tell her. She had long since arrived at the conclusion that her father was not indifferent to her welfare. Mrs. Gaylord had, in a fit of confidence, admitted to Leslie that she had been engaged by Mr. Cairns to chaperon her. Accordingly the two had come to amicable terms. Mrs. Gaylord had amiably consented to go visiting among her many friends and relatives a large share of the time, thus leaving Leslie free to her own devices. She had seen Leslie established in Hamilton at the Hamilton House, had remained with her a week and gone on to visit a friend with the usual understanding that the receipt of a telegram from Leslie would insure her immediate return.
“I should think you’d rather be in New York in business so that your father could help you, since he’s such a wonderful financier.” Doris’s practical and wholly innocent observation raised the red of embarrassment in Leslie’s dark face.
“My father is – ” Leslie fought down the confusion into which her companion’s remark had thrown her. “Didn’t you hear me say our town house was closed?” she asked grumpily. “My father’s in Europe just now. Besides, this garage business I’m in is to be a surprise for him. When he finds I’ve made good he’ll be ready to let me into some of his high finance deals.”
Leslie’s pet dream was re-instatement into her father’s favor as a result of her own daring brilliancy in business. Aside from the pleasure of “making things hum for Bean” she thought well of her garage project. It was the first step upward in the business career she had set her heart upon.
“There’s something I want you to do for me – not later than tomorrow,” Leslie dictated, regardless of Doris’s protest against her dictatorial manner.
“What is it?” Doris again turned her measuring glance upon Leslie.
“I want you to find out whether Bean’s going off the campus for Thanksgiving. I must know. Find out the same about Page, too.” Leslie’s rugged features were set with dogged purpose. Her usually loose lips were now formed into a tight line.
“I’m not certain I can find that out by tomorrow. I may not be able to let you know before next Tuesday,” Doris replied with dignity. “Miss Page’s and Miss Dean’s friends are not mine,” she reminded with irony.
“That need make no difference. It’s important to me to know.” Leslie tapped on the table with an authoritative index finger in further emphasis of each word. “You promised to help me, Goldie. Is this the way you keep your promise? And with all I’ve done for you!”
“Don’t be so silly, Leslie. I’m not in the least afraid of you. You can’t bully me even a tiny bit. I told you I’d help you, and I will. But you must allow me to use my own judgment in some things. If that doesn’t please you, take back all you’ve given me. I can get along nicely without your further help. I don’t fancy gifts that have strings attached to them.” Doris elevated her chin to a haughty angle.
Leslie’s face lost its tensity and registered half a dozen varied expressions while Doris was announcing her declaration of independence. At the last a look of glum perplexity replaced the others. While she had been leader of the Sans at Hamilton she had had many altercations with her chums. She had never taken their angry protests against her tyranny seriously. No one of them had actually defied her except Dulcie Vale, and she had “begun” on Dulcie.
Face to face with a girl who coolly ordered her not to be “silly,” and declined to be bound by obligation further than she chose Leslie had received the surprise of her life.
“Let me know as soon as you can. Phone me at the hotel and I’ll meet you.” The dessert she had ordered, untouched, Leslie rose from her chair. She had determined to show Doris that she was deeply offended.
Without saying good-bye she stalked sulkily from the tea room. On her way to the door she demanded the check from the waitress and stopped at the desk to pay it. She half hoped Doris would hurry after her and beg her to go back. Instead Doris sat tranquilly at the table Leslie had quitted and enjoyed her dessert of Nesselrode pudding. For once Leslie had met her match.
PLANNING FOR THANKSGIVING
“Truly, Robin, it is so selfish in me to be going home and leaving so much for you to do.” Marjorie surveyed Robin Page with a troubled, conscience-stricken air indicative of her feelings.
“Oh, shucks!” exclaimed Robin blithely as she glanced up at Marjorie from a list she was busily compiling. “Go home to Castle Dean and forget for four days that Hamilton is on the map. Don’t be so conceited. We can get along beautifully without you,” she teased. “Phil, Anna Towne, Barbara and I are a splendiferous combination. You’ll hardly be missed.”
“I don’t doubt that.” A good-humored smile touched Marjorie’s rosy lips. “I know things will run along on wheels. What I’m thinking of is the amount of extra effort your splendiferous combination will have to make. You see I’m taking with me not only the Sanfordites but Leila, Vera and Kathie as well. That leaves you and Lillian, the only original Travelers to keep the new Nineteen Travelers going and manage the different stunts.”
“Most of the stunts we’ve planned will manage themselves,” was Robin’s confident assurance. “Remember they are already planned and you did a large share of the planning. So you see you haven’t been so much of a quitter as you seem to think.”
“You’re a perfect partner, Page,” Marjorie looked heart-felt appreciation of the charming, boyish-faced girl who had never failed her since the two had joined forces for democracy.
“Glad you like me, Dean.” Robin answered the look with her bright, piquant smile. It amused the two to address each other occasionally by their family names. “Listen now while I read you the program I’ve jotted down.”
“Go ahead.” Marjorie hurriedly finished strapping the suitcase she had just packed and seated herself in a chair to listen.
It was Wednesday morning. She and Robin had respectively cut chemistry and philology for the purpose of completing the Thanksgiving program to be carried out on the campus during Marjorie’s and her chums’ absence by Robin, with the assistance of Barbara Severn, Phyllis Moore and Anne Towne, leader of the dormitory girls.
“Tonight we’ve left free to the students to get up their own jollifications,” Robin proceeded. “Most of the girls in the campus houses have spreads, dinners, etc., planned for this evening. The dormitory girls, as you know, are going to take in that illustrated lecture on the South Sea Islands at the Hamilton Theatre. Tomorrow morning there is to be a special service in chapel. I’m going to sing a solo. So is Blanche Scott.”
“Oh,” Marjorie cried out in delight. “You never told me Blanche Scott was coming to Hamilton. How I’d love to see her.”
“You’ll see her when you come back,” Robin assured. “I’ve been keeping her coming as a surprise for you. She’s going to be at Silverton Hall for two or three weeks after Thanksgiving. She promised me this visit last summer. She’s to be married in April, you know.”
“I received her betrothal announcement and that of one of my oldest Sanford chums on the same day last summer. My Sanford chum, Irma Linton, is to be married at Easter time. She is the girl who I used to tell you Elaine Hunter was like,” commented Marjorie. “Blanche and Elaine two loyal Silvertonites now on the road to matrimony,” she added musingly.
“Yes; and Portia Graham is a third. She won’t care if you know it, Marvelous Manager. She’s engaged to a doctor. She ’fessed up in one of her latest letters to me. But this isn’t on our regular program.” Robin again fell to consulting the list she had written.
“Next comes the dinner at Baretti’s for the dormitory girls. He hasn’t told us yet what it will cost, but – ”
“Oh, goodness!” Marjorie bobbed up from her chair with the suddenness of a jack-in-the-box. “I had so much to talk over with you I almost forgot to show you Signor Baretti’s note. It came this morning.” She glanced anxiously toward the wall clock. “He wants to see us at twelve today.”
“I wonder why?” Robin appeared a trifle startled. “I hope our Thanksgiving dinner arrangement with him isn’t going to flivver.”
“He won’t fail us, I’m sure. Very likely it’s the cost of the dinner he wishes to discuss with us. Such a funny little note.” She produced the Italian’s letter from the top of her chiffonier and handed it to Robin. The latter read aloud with amused emphasis:
“Dear Miss Dean:
“You pleas come to my restaurant at twelva the clock befor afernoon on Wenesda. you tell Miss Page come to. I am not smart to write much. you please come here I tell you evrythin.
“All right, Guiseppe, we’ll be there at twelve,” smiled Robin as she returned the letter to Marjorie. “I’ll go over the rest of this now, in a hurry. This will be our only chance. We’ll bump into all our friends, once we’re out on the campus. Any of them we don’t happen to meet there will probably appear at the inn.”
“Too true, Page; too true.” Marjorie agreed with a rueful shake of her curly head.
“Phil has managed to get up a basket ball game for Thanksgiving afternoon between two picked teams, regardless of class. It’s to be held in the gym, beginning at three-thirty. She has had her hands full, making up the right sort of teams. Gussie Forbes is going to play center on one team. Miss Walker is to play center on the other team. What do you think of that?” Robin cast an inquiring look at Marjorie. She added, without waiting for answer. “Phil had to arrange matters so in fairness to Miss Walker. She is as fine a player as Gus.”ñêà÷àòü êíèãó áåñïëàòíî
ñòðàíèöû: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14