A MISHAP

“For once we did something without being found out,” one of the “T’s”
remarked, trying to get her breath as they reached the hall.

“Humph!” sniffed Jean. “It’s easy enough to have a little fun once in a
while. Boys always manage it.”

“And to think that not one of the Glens knew about it! That’s what
makes me feel good,” said Tillie.

“They don’t know everything,” again retorted Jean. “If they did—-”
she stopped short. The words on her lips she felt she should not speak.
The influence of the crafty fortune teller was too strong for her.

Recreation hour, as well as study hour, had passed, and some of the
more timid truants began to fear for the next day’s work. What happened
when they reached their own rooms was that lights were kept burning
very late, and the fun of running away began to dwindle.

Dorothy had been writing letters when suddenly Edna almost burst into
her room.

“Oh, Dorothy!” she gasped, “the awfulest thing has happened. Tavia is
hurt!”

“Hurt! How? Where?” and Dorothy turned pale.

“She is out on the road and I cannot get her in. If we are found to
have been off the grounds, and it’s so dark now—-”

She stopped, panting and frightened.

“Why were you off the grounds?” demanded Dorothy, while she hastily got
into a sweater to go to the rescue of Tavia.

“Oh, I can’t tell you! It’s a real secret, not a foolish one. If only
we could get Jake to carry her in! But I couldn’t go to the barn alone.”

“Come and show me where she is,” commanded Dorothy, “and I do hope you
girls will get a little sense soon,” she added. There was no anger in
her voice, but it shook with apprehension.

It was not easy to get through the hall unnoticed, and, when at last
the grounds were reached, both girls drew a breath of relief.

“What happened?” Dorothy asked.

“We were hurrying back, and she tripped over something. Maybe she only
turned her ankle, but she cannot move.”

It was just outside the gate that they found the suffering girl. She
seemed to be in great pain, and begged to be taken to her room quickly,
“even if she had to be expelled for going out.”

“If you will stay two minutes here with Edna,” said Dorothy, “I’ll get
Jake. I saw a light in the stable a moment ago.”

“But you won’t go up that path alone!” cried Edna. “Through all those
bushes!”

“I’m not afraid of bushes,” replied Dorothy. “I am only afraid that you
will both be found out. There’s a faculty meeting to-night. That’s one
blessing.”

Edna took Tavia’s hand in hers, and tried to soothe her while Dorothy
was away. Presently the latter returned with Jake.

“You won’t tell on us, Jake, will you?” Dorothy asked before the man
had a chance to see what he could do for Tavia.

“Tell on you? No, young ones must have a lark once in a while, and as
long as you were not stealing any more dogs—-”

“Can you carry her?” Dorothy interrupted, more practically.

“As easy as a bundle of hay,” replied he. “Only show me what’s hurt, so
I can keep away from it.”

“It’s my ankle,” groaned Tavia. “Oh my, what luck! And just when I
wanted to be spry!”

Why she wanted to be spry was not apparent, but it was taken for
granted that Tavia always wanted to be that way. Jake picked her up in
the dark, for a lantern was out of the question in keeping secrecy.

Dorothy and Edna led the way, and kept watch that no one appeared along
the path. Finally they got safely to the side stairway. As Dorothy
said, the teachers were at a meeting, and Edna knew, but did not tell,
that the girls to be feared were too busy making up lost time to be
outside.

“Here we are,” Dorothy whispered, as, at last, Room Nineteen was
reached.

Jake laid Tavia down carefully on the couch, and with his finger on his
lips to indicate the good-night he feared to express, he took himself
off.

Tavia suppressed her groans with difficulty. That foot did hurt!

“Let me see,” said Dorothy. “Edna, get out the witch-hazel. And you
will find a bandage in the little box at the side of the closet.”

Edna obeyed, while Dorothy undertook to make the necessary examination.

“I think you just turned on it,” she said, “but that’s bad enough. I’ll
bind it up tight, and perhaps it will be all right, or nearly so, in
the morning. But what took you out? I heard a lot of the girls coming
in late.”

“That was what took us out,” answered Tavia evasively. “We didn’t care
to be in all alone.”

She might have winked at Edna, but Dorothy had just turned to get the
bandage and so the wink was safe if it was there.

“Ned, you had better clear out,” Tavia suggested, as the ankle was done
up like a bobbin. “We might be discovered yet. I heard Cummings cough,
and that always means trouble.”

“All right. I’m glad enough to do so,” said Edna, “I may have nervous
prostration as a result of this, but that’s more respectable than
an ankle hurt, and does not have to be hidden,” and with a word to
Dorothy, to call her if Tavia went into any more trouble, Edna was
stepping through the hall as lightly as a professional nurse.




“You seem to have a great many secrets lately,” Dorothy said to Tavia
when they were alone. “Is Edna so much more than I?”

“Now, Doro,” and Tavia turned her brown eyes full upon the blue ones.
“You know better. But Ned is a sport, and you are too careful. I just
have to watch the ‘T’s’ or they would swoop down on us in the night,
and at least carry _you_ off.”

“If I do not hear from father in the morning,” said Dorothy, turning
the subject abruptly, “I am going to telegraph. I can’t rest thinking
what may be happening. And little Joe in an office!”

“Am I not trouble enough for to-night?” asked Tavia. “Surely you can
let the Investment company go, in the sight of my agony. But wasn’t
Jake good, after all the dog business?”

“Yes, Jake _is_ good, and I tell you he saved you a lot of trouble.
Only to-day Mrs. Pangborn had new notices put up in the hall warning
the girls not to leave the grounds after dark, as there are many
strangers in the village. But I suppose you never took the trouble to
notice them.”

“I know better than to do so. If I read the rules I’d be gray. They are
purely ornamental to me.”

“And you won’t tell me where you went? This may come up, you know,”
Dorothy cautioned, “and, like a lawyer, if you expect help from me, I
have to understand the case.”

“I’ll tell you some day–not far off Doro,” replied the other, “but I
don’t mind saying I never had a better hour’s fun in my life.”

“Glad you enjoyed yourself,” Dorothy retorted. “I had to write to the
Dalton folks, and, of course, make my letter both yours and mine. I
can’t bear them to think that you never remember them.”

“But I do! I am worried to death about answering their letters. Did you
tell them to cease corresponding with me?”

“Not in so many words,” said Dorothy, “but I _did_ say you were awfully
busy trying to have a good time, getting into mischief. Well, if you
want me to pour some more witch-hazel on that ankle I will do so. Then
I would like to go to bed.”

“Pour away; only be careful not to have it go through the mattress. I
hid a red box under it and the color might rub off.”

“A red box?”

“Yes, I just took it from Cologne because she wouldn’t share. I’m going
to give it back in the morning, so you needn’t look so shocked. It was
almost empty, and I guess she wanted the box. I took the few scraps of
mints that were in it,” and Tavia pulled off her hair ribbon, which
sign meant she intended to go to sleep.

Tavia was soon sleeping, and Dorothy gently took the box from under the
mattress, and opening it she found a note, with the name “Madam Shebad”
scrawled across the corner.

Dorothy was perplexed, but carefully returned the box to its hiding
place, sorry she had touched it.

The witch-hazel would not go through–and she had supposed the box
empty as Tavia had said.