Marjorie Dean, Marvelous Managerñêà÷àòü êíèãó áåñïëàòíî
“Phil is the goddess of fair play.” Warm admiration for invincible Phil lighted Marjorie’s features. “It will do Gussie and Miss Walker good to be pitted against each other. Each may discover something to admire in the other before the game ends. It was a bold stroke; but exactly like Phil to do it.”
“She says it will turn out for the best. Here we are stopping to talk again. Hm-m-m!” Robin importantly cleared her throat and went on. “The dormitory girls are going to be hostesses at a dance in the gym on Thanksgiving night. You know all about that, so I won’t have to stop to explain. The rest of this list is made up of the stunts we’ve already planned. As soon as we’ve seen Baretti I’m going to hurry to Silverton Hall and letter a large card of announcement to put in the main bulletin board.”
Marjorie and Robin had been planning for two weeks a series of amusements to be given during the holiday for the benefit of the students left on the campus. There were to be paper chases and outdoor gypsyings on Friday and Saturday if the weather was fine. The Travelers, nineteen, new, and two, original, were to divide themselves into seven groups, three in a group, and head the various picnickings to be held at different points of the country surrounding Hamilton College. Campfires were to be built for the purpose of roasting eggs, potatoes and chestnuts. Bacon and marshmallows were to be toasted over the flames on sticks, and coffee was to be made, the favorite campfire elixir the world over.
In case of a storm-bound Friday and Saturday a variety of campus-house amusements would take the place of the outdoor jaunts. Each campus house contingent had pledged itself to get up an impromptu entertainment on short notice, if needed, for the amusement of its own household and that of the off-campus students. Robin and Phil had arranged a concert for Friday evening in the gymnasium at which to introduce a number of talented girls who had been shyly lingering in the background.
Saturday evening there was to be an old-fashioned costume party in the gymnasium to which the whole college was invited. While the weather had been moderately cold with brisk winds and no snow the Travelers had plans made for coasting and skating fun should a swift freezing change accompanied by enough snow visit the campus.
It has taken diplomatic work to enlist the campus houses in the entertainment campaign. There was a certain amount of ill-feeling in all of them toward the post graduates. This was the result largely of the two sophomore factions whose idols were respectively Doris Monroe and Augusta Forbes. Only the double fact that they could not go home for Thanksgiving and the inborn love of girlhood to get up shows and “be in things” made Marjorie’s and Robin’s plans possible. Even haughty Doris Monroe was looking complacently forward to playing the leading part in a sketch which no less person than gloomy-visaged Miss Peyton had written.
Ronny had quietly taken upon herself the furnishing of the orchestra and a buffet collation of sweets, fruit punch and ices for the dormitory girls’ dance.
The old-fashioned hop on Saturday evening was a half-dollar donation party, for the benefit of the Hamilton poor families. Phil’s own orchestra would furnish the music. There would be fruit lemonade only by way of refreshment. The admission fee was to be dropped into a box with a slitted cover as the guests entered the ball room. The box was to be in charge of a maid of long ago.
Thus it befell that Marjorie discovered the very opportunity for which she had been waiting. Doris Monroe, attired in a sleeveless, high-waisted gown of baby blue, her golden hair massed high on her lovely head would constitute a perfect custodian of the precious box. After due consultation Page and Dean decided that Lillian Wenderblatt should be chosen to tackle the delicate task of asking the haughty sophomore to deign to make herself useful at the hop.
“We’ve certainly done good work on that Thanksgiving program,” Robin congratulated as the two girls presently left Wayland Hall to make their call upon Baretti. “The best part of it is we’ve provided entertainment for either good weather or bad. We’re becoming invincible. Nothing can stop Page and Dean from ‘carrying on.’” She laughed at her own jesting conceit.
Marjorie smiled in sympathy of Robin’s optimistic view. “It looks to me as though it might rain before night,” she predicted, scanning the gray masses of clouds beginning to roll up in the west. “I hope those clouds mean snow instead of rain. It’s hardly cold enough for snow. Anything but a rainy Thanksgiving! Thanks to you, Robin Page, we can discount the rain on the campus, if it should come. You’ve done a good deal more than I on the program. And see how I’m going to leave you in the lurch,” she added lightly.
“I’ve not done more on the program than you, and your presence will hang over the campus whether you’re here or not,” Robin said with positiveness. “In time to come the Page part of the firm of Page and Dean may be forgotten, but the Dean part; never.”
A FRIEND INDEED
It was precisely noon when the partners entered the inn. The somber beauty of the great square room always seemed to Marjorie to be more like a continuation of Hamilton Arms than a restaurant.
“You are here on the time, Miss Dean, Miss Page.” The friendly Italian proprietor of the inn had been watching for them. He trotted forward, his hand outstretched. “I write you the letter, then I afraid mebbe you go home early thisa morn. You don’t get it. Then think, no – you don’t go home when you give the dorm girls the dinner.”
“I am going home, Signor Baretti, but Miss Page is going to remain on the campus. Several of the girls with whom you see us generally are going home, too. Miss Moore and Miss Severn are to help Miss Page with the Thanksgiving dinner for the dormitory girls.” Marjorie smiled her regard for the kindly little man as she made this explanation.
“Ah, yes;” nodded the Italian. “Now you sit down; have the lunch with me. It is ready; very special; all for you.” He conducted them to one of the tables and bowed them into their chairs. “You are please have the lunch with such a nobody Italiano?” he asked jokingly. There was, however a touch of embarrassment in the inquiry.
The instant warm affirmative from his guests seemed to delight him immensely. He signaled to the Italian waitress who had been hovering near waiting for his order. She nodded and hurried from the room returning quickly with the soup.
“Now I tell you,” he said as they began the soup. “You know I like the dorm you build. I give this dorm a good present someday when I see what the dorm need much. I know you want give the college young ladies who used live where the dorm is the good time. I know they don’t have the mona; not much.” He pursed his lips and shook his head in regret of the dormitory girls’ moneyless estate. “You are the ones to make these happa, because you do good for these. I am this to make them happa, too. They don’t pay for the Thanksigivin’ dinner. You don’t pay. I give the dorm girls the dinner. Then I am happa. It will be the fine dinner. You do this for me. You tell the dorm young ladies come to the dinner at one. I don’t close my restaurant, but I have only enough tables for the dorm girls. I have already tell those freshmans, sophmans and studen’s they can reserve the tables only after half past two of the clock. They come here before, they must sit on the benches an’ watch the dorms eat.” His eyes twinkled humorously as he sketched this dire prospect for the girls who were pluming themselves upon having reserved tables at Baretti’s.
Marjorie and Robin could not refrain from laughing at his revelation. They could picture the rows of exclusive but certain-to-be-very-hungry girls meekly sitting watching the dormitory girls eat up the turkey for which they were yearning. The pure democracy of the Italian’s plan robbed them both temporarily of ready acknowledgment of his generosity.
“I don’t know what to say. I’m simply flabbergasted!” Robin finally exclaimed.
“You don’t like?” The little man glanced anxiously from one girl to the other. “I don’t un’erstan’ that word flab – flab – .” He gave a half puzzled, half smiling shake of the head.
“Indeed we do like your plan. By flabbergasted I mean that I am so surprised and delighted. I’ll say the word slowly for you.” Robin pronounced it by syllables.
“So-o-o. I listen.” He made Robin say it over several times. “It is a long word. I like the long words in American.” He repeated the word until he appeared to know it.
Marjorie had a shrewd suspicion that he had seized upon the strange word as a means of hiding his embarrassment at his own generosity.
“What you think, Miss Dean?” He suddenly fixed a pair of penetrating black eyes upon her. “You like, too?”
“Like your plan? I should say I did.” Marjorie bent her friendliest smile upon the devoted adherent of the dormitory cause.
“You couldn’t do anything that would bring more happiness to the off-campus girls, Signor Baretti,” Robin told him. “They will feel so proud and happy to be invited by you to a private Thanksgiving dinner. But you mustn’t forget the campus girls. You know your restaurant is the Hamilton girls’ favorite tea room. I simply have to put in a good word for them, too,” she ended loyally.
“Yes, yes; I un’erstan.’ I know what you mean,” the Italian assured. “Oo-oo, many nice studen’s come here, don’t go another tea shop. All the rest of the day after half past two is for them. My ten tables are all reserve for after the dorm dinner. In my restaurant I can put more tables. That is no good. Some studen’s come here I don’t like. They eat here same time as dorm girls maybe they make the trouble. Miss Car-rins ask me for the Thanksgivin’ table. I don’t give her one.” He waved a prohibitive finger in the air. “She can start the trouble from nothin’. You know now she lives in the town?”
“Yes, we know it,” Marjorie’s response came in even tones. “Her business interests keep her in Hamilton, I believe.”
“Her business is too much to mind the business of others.” A fleeting scowl passed over the Italian’s forehead. It lingered between his brows as he said resentfully: “Once this Miss Car-rins say about me when she is here in this room but verra mad at me: ‘Let the dago have his hash house. I hope it burn down tonight.’ Never-r-r I forget that. I feel to say to her when she come here again after long while: ‘You don’t come here more.’ I cannot. This is the inn; for everybody who want come who behave quiet. But never-r-r I let her have the special table. Naw!” The inn keeper put great stress upon this resentful resolve.
Neither Marjorie nor Robin hardly knew what to say. They had long since heard the story Baretti had just told them from Vera.
“I wouldn’t take anything Leslie Cairns said to heart, or ever let it worry me for a minute, Signor Baretti,” Marjorie finally said in soothing tones. She recognized the Italian’s right to comforting words. She knew he could not forgive having been called a “dago.” Far more humiliating it must then be to his pride to have heard his beloved restaurant dubbed a “hash house.”
“I think mebbe I don’t,” Baretti decided, his brooding features brightening again. “Anyway I don’t have Miss Car-rins here when are the dorm girls here. She might act verra mean. So some freshmans and sophmans who have the tables here will act mean, too. Miss Car-rins don’t like those who have no much mona. If she come here with the pretty girl who have the proud face and the hair of gold I don’t say nothin’. She can sty unless she makes the fun of me. She shall no do that. It is my hash house.” He threw back his head and laughed. “In it I can do the way I please. So Miss Car-rins come here someday, make the fun of me again, I walk up to her, take her by the arm, very quiet, and make her to walk out the door.”
PAGE MINUS DEAN
Thanksgiving Day dawned without the tiniest streak of sunlight to grace it. Early in the morning heavily overcasted clouds began emptying their cold dispiriting torrents of rain upon a brown and soggy earth.
Safe within the cheerful walls of Castle Dean Marjorie’s delight in being at home was dampened by the thought of how Robin Page and her volunteer entertainment committee were battling against such a dreary day. She could only hope that the steady persistency of the Sanford downpour was not repeating itself at Hamilton. True she and Robin had planned their program to cover that possible calamity. Bad weather could not fail to make it harder for Robin, Phil and Barbara to keep things moving with the energy and smoothness so necessary as a means toward uniting the interests and the sympathies of the students of the various campus houses with those of the dormitory girls.
While Marjorie, Leila, Vera and Jerry were cosily ensconced in the Deans’ living room lamenting over the bad weather, Robin Page, Phil Moore and Barbara Severn were holding a serious consultation of three in Robin’s room.
“It’s after ten o’clock now Phil,” Robin was saying. “Really, I think I’d better brave the rain, go over to the garage and run Vera’s car into town. Anna said yesterday that there were only two busses running on the new bus line. There were three, but one has been taken away to another route. Seventy-two girls will crowd two busses. Suppose anything should happen to either of the two? I told Anna to get the crowd to the inn by half past twelve. It will take longer to run out from town in the pouring rain. We mustn’t be a minute late at the inn.”
“I’m very well aware of that, sweet coz,” Phil returned in her bantering fashion. “Far be it from me to allow the gang to be late and disarrange the well-laid plans of Guiseppe.”
“If you intend to paddle out in this deluge and play duck, count me in,” Barbara made valiant announcement.
“You can’t lose me, either,” Phil decided. “Slave, bring me my raincoat, my faithful Tam and my goloshes! Out in the tempest I must go!” She struck a dramatic posture, held it a moment, then said disappointedly: “I fail to see anyone around here who answers to the name of slave. I’ll have to be it myself.”
Ten minutes later the three, with raincoats buttoned to the chin, caps drawn low, high-buckled goloshes on their feet, the largest umbrellas they could find over their heads, were plodding through the rain to the garage which housed Vera’s car. The latter had urged Robin to make use of it during her absence. Leila’s, unfortunately, was laid up for repairs.
“Some of the dormitory girls were going to walk to the campus today. Just imagine!” Phil said ironically to Barbara. The two, seated in the tonneau of the car, watched the drenched landscape through the half-opened curtains as the machine fled along the pike.
“Wade would be more appropriate,” laughed Barbara. “But they’ve changed their minds long before now. Deliver me from any more walks in this flood. I don’t envy Robin her job of chauffeur.”
“We’re making good time.” Phil inspected her wrist watch with a satisfied nod. “We ought to be at the place on Linden Avenue where the busses make their stand by ten minutes past eleven. What time are the dormitory girls to be at the stand?” She leaned forward and called out her question in Robin’s ear.
“Half past eleven,” Robin raised her voice above the beat of the pelting rain, but did not turn her head.
“They’ll have to mob the corner drug store nearest the stand. They can’t stay out on the walk with the rain coming down in cataracts,” commented Phil. “Anna Towne can be depended upon to have them at the bus stand on time. Such a horrible flivver for a holiday! I don’t dare stop to think of it,” she grumbled.
Her guess regarding their speedy arrival at the bus stand was an accurate one. It was precisely ten minutes past eleven when Robin brought the car to a stop before the drug store. The rain was still driving down in misty sheets as the trio emerged from the automobile and made a frantic dash across the sidewalk to the shelter of the drug store. Immediately afterward Anna Towne and half a dozen of her intimate friends arrived, radiant-faced in spite of the storm.
“This is a surprise,” Anna greeted. She shook hands with the three hardy Travelers as though it had been a long time instead of only yesterday since she had seen them. “The rest of the crowd will soon be here. I managed to telephone all of them this morning to be at the stand at eleven-fifteen instead of eleven-thirty. Then we’ll surely be ready to start at exactly eleven-thirty. The bus drivers are so disobliging. They are hired specially to bring us to and from the campus yet they never want to wait a second beyond a certain time for us to assemble. They’re not supposed to carry any passengers but us during those trips. But they do. I say this, not by way of complaining, Robin, I object to their unfairness. A great difference between those Italians and Signor Baretti, isn’t there? I think he is wonderfully kind to remember the off-campus girls in such a generous way.” Anna’s pale, interesting face brightened with appreciation.
“Signor Baretti has true college spirit,” Robin returned with conviction. “I can’t imagine those two grumpy bus drivers as imbued with any such noble quality; or that Italian, Sabani, the man they work for. If those two kickers show any signs of grouchiness this morning I shall read them a Thanksgiving lecture. It won’t be the kind to feel thankful for, either. By the way, where are they? I ordered them to be here at eleven and stay here until told to start for the inn.”
Involuntarily the group of girls moved nearer one of the huge plate-glass show windows to peer, bright-eyed, into the rain-swept street. As far as they could see, up and down the street, there were no signs of the large dark red busses with their flashy yellow trimmings.
“It’s eighteen minutes past eleven,” Phil’s tones conveyed her consternation. “Where can those aggravating busses be?”
“Not where they should be,” scolded Robin. “Here comes a big crowd of the girls. The busses should be here so that they could step directly into them. They’ll have to come into the drug store instead. Maybe the druggist will object to sheltering us. There’ll be enough dripping umbrellas to flood the store. Oh, dear what a mess! Why did it have to go and rain on Thanksgiving Day? And where, oh, where, are those miserable drivers and their busses?”
AN EMERGENCY CALL
Mindful of past liberal patronage of the Hamilton College girl and with a shrewed eye to the future the druggist himself ushered the arriving party of merry girls into the store and obligingly supplied a couple of large packing boxes in which to stand the dripping umbrellas. Despite Robin’s despairing opinion that the store would not hold the umbrella-laden brigade they managed to crowd into it.
By eleven-thirty the last girl had arrived at the rendezvous. They were a cheery, light-hearted, buoyant company regardless of their cramped quarters. Their appreciation of Signor Baretti’s invitation to be his guests at a Thanksgiving dinner showed itself in their bright faces, spontaneous laughter and gay holiday air.
“It’s one minute past eleven-thirty, and no busses. I’m going to find out what is the matter.” Robin made the low-toned announcement to Phil and Barbara with an air of desperation. “I’m going to ’phone Sabini’s garage where the busses are kept. I can’t imagine what can have happened to make them late. I wish you two would keep a sharp lookout for them. If they should come while I am ’phoning you can hurry back to the ’phone booth and let me know.”
“Suppose they shouldn’t come. What then?” Barbara regarded Robin with lively apprehension.
“Don’t ask me.” Robin raised a hand as though to ward off such a catastrophe. “Let’s not suppose anything quite so harrowing,” she added in a more hopeful tone.
Ten minutes later she emerged hastily from the telephone booth. Her expression was one of acute dismay. She made hurried way, in and out among the crowded company of girls, to where Phil and Barbara were anxiously keeping up a watch at one of the big front windows.
“One of the busses has broken down!” she cried excitedly. “The other bus is out somewhere. The man at the garage who answered me doesn’t know where. I tried to hire cars from the garage. There are none to be had. How are we going to land the dormitory girls at Baretti’s by one? And we can’t ask Signor Baretti to serve the dinner later!”
“What an awful state of affairs!” Barbara echoed Robin’s consternation. “We’ll have to do something very suddenly to offset it. What about hiring the station taxicabs; all of them, if we can get them.” was her quick suggestion.
“We might do that,” Phil hailed the idea eagerly. “There are five or six of them. With our car and Lillian Wenderblatt’s we could carry the gang to the inn at one trip. Go ahead, Robin, and ’phone Mariani’s garage. I’ll ’phone Lillian.”ñêà÷àòü êíèãó áåñïëàòíî
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