A TURN IN THE TIDE

For two weeks after this excitement, things ran rather steadily at
Glenwood. The pupils had been given their work to do, and after
vacation it was not so easy to get minds back to study and to
discipline.

The Glenwood _Gleaner_ apologized in its next issue for the trashy
report of Dorothy’s lunch-counter experience, and attributed the error
to a new reporter, who had gotten in conversation with some of the “new
pupils,” the combination resulting in what seemed to the reporter to be
a “good story.” But he was not acquainted with the exclusiveness of the
territory where the paper circulated.

One matter remained unexplained. How did the paper get Dorothy’s
picture off Tavia’s dresser? On this question the paper and its editor
had nothing to say.

In spite of the shock that the reading of the article caused Dorothy,
when she recovered her poise she was almost relieved that it was all
about herself, and had nothing to do with her father’s business. It
was this last which caused her the most severe anxiety.

But now two letters had come from home. Each was from Major Dale,
Dorothy’s father, and each was in a cheerful strain, one even inclosing
a five dollar note for “some extras she might need.” So that Dorothy
was now comparatively happy. Her old-time smile had come back to her,
and she was willing, and ready, to take part in all the school affairs,
whether in the regular, or improvised course.

To-day there was only half the usual amount of study to be finished,
and, of course, in the other part of the day, there were to be so many
things done that each girl planned about what would normally fit into a
week’s time. Tavia, Cologne and Ned had much whispering to do, and they
did not seem to want Dorothy to guess its purport.

The village post-office was not far from the school, but, as the mail
was always delivered at the hall, the girls only went over there for
recreation and post cards. On this half-holiday, however, it seemed
that Tavia had much business at the post-office. She had been down
twice, once for each mail, and besides this she made a trip somewhere
else to parts unknown to Dorothy.

“I got it,” Dorothy heard her tell Ned. “Now if we can manage the
rest.”

After that the two girls disappeared in the direction of the stables,
where Jacob was busy with the bus and horses.

Dorothy felt very much like following them, for she knew, of old,
Tavia’s proclivities for mischief, but the way Ned looked at her as
they said: “We’ll be back directly, Dorothy,” debarred that attempt.

Perhaps an hour passed, and the girls did not return. Then Dorothy
walked to the stable.

“Good afternoon, Jacob,” she said pleasantly, to the man who was
polishing harness. “I thought some of the girls came up this way.”

“They did, miss, but it was them two that I can’t watch, so I told them
I was busy in a way that meant they were not welcome,” replied Jacob.
“Them two are always up to some mischief. Not but they’re jolly enough,
and good company, but sometimes I’m afraid they’ll steal out after dark
and hitch up a team. I believe they would!”

“Oh hardly that,” said Dorothy, laughing, “but I can’t imagine where
they have gone, for I have been at the other path, and they could not
have gotten out through the big gate.”

“Likely they would find a hole in the fence somewhere,” he said.
“But that they are gone is all I care about. Would you like to see
the little white dog? The one we picked up on the road? I call him
Ravelings, for he is just like a spool of white silk unraveled.”

“Yes, I would like to see him,” Dorothy replied. “I suppose you are so
careful of him you don’t let him run too far from your sight.”

“I don’t dare to, for he’s a valuable dog. I may get him in at the show
in November,” and the man led the way to the corner that was fixed up
for Ravelings.

There was a box, with the side cut down, and in this was a bed of
perfectly fresh straw. Then, beside the bed, was a white dish of milk,
and some crackers; in fact the dog had quite a little home of his own
in Jake’s stable.

“He’s in hiding, I suppose,” said Jacob, searching about under the
straw. “But he’s a rascal–I ought to call him Rascal, instead of
Ravelings, I guess.”

He whistled, pulled all the straw out, looked in every corner, but no
little white dog appeared. A sudden fear overcame Dorothy. What if the
girls had taken the dog?

“Do you ever let anyone take him out?” she asked timidly.

“Never, but once I let that Tavia girl. Of course, I did sort of half
give him to her, but I claim him now, as I’ve brought him up, and no
little time I had curing the lame leg that some car went over, too.”

“He does not seem to be here,” Dorothy said finally. “It might be
that Tavia and Edna took him out just for fun. I am sure if they did,
however, they will bring him back all right.”

Jacob shook his head, and refused to talk. His pet, his chum, really,
was gone. “Could he have been stolen?” he was thinking.

“The grain man was in here to-day,” he said finally, “but I’ve known
him for years.”

“I’ll just run along, and see if I can find the girls,” Dorothy
offered. “If I find Ravelings I’ll let you know at once, Jacob.”

The hostler shook his head. Evidently he feared he had lost his pet.

Dorothy turned to the roadway. She must find Edna and Tavia, and learn
if they had taken that little dog.




Along the leaf-strewn roads she met numbers of the other students. She
feared to ask them if they had seen Tavia, for it was now not easy to
tell friend from foe, and the least hint of suspicion might lead to
unpleasant gossip.

Once she stopped and called, for she was almost sure she had heard
Edna’s bubbling laugh, but no answer was sent back. On towards the
village she hurried. Yes, there they were, coming along, heads very
close together, but there was no Ravelings in sight.

Dorothy drew a breath of relief. She was glad they had played no
trick on poor Jacob, for he was a good friend to the girls, and always
willing to take a message to town, or to do any little service that
often meant much to them.

“Where have you been?” Dorothy confronted Tavia and Edna.

“To the post-office,” replied Tavia innocently.

Edna was laughing. This made Dorothy suspicious.

“One would think it was Valentine’s day,” she said. “Whose birthday is
it, Tavia?”

“Nobody’s. But you know, Doro, I did owe a lot of letters, and I’ve
now gotten them off my mind–my poor, over-burdened mind!” she sighed,
mockingly.

“Do you girls know anything about the little white dog?” Dorothy asked
bluntly.

“Not a thing,” replied Tavia, before Edna could speak.

“Well, _did_ you know anything about him an hour ago?” persisted
Dorothy, realizing that Tavia might be “hanging” on what she termed a
technical truth.

“Oh, that’s different. Yes, we did see him about that time,” replied
Tavia calmly.

“Now Tavia,” said Dorothy severely, “if you have done anything with
that little dog there will be trouble. You know how much Jacob thought
of him.”

“Dost not remember, Dorothy Dale, that thou didst suggest that I
advertise that ‘dorg,’ and find the weeping and wailing kid who dropped
him out of the auto?” and Tavia stepped up on a big stone to make her
remarks more impressive. “Well, I have done so, and behold the chink!”

She held in her hand a five dollar bill!

“Tavia! Is it possible?”

“Not only, but probable. I asked Jake if I could do so and he
absolutely refused. Now that dog was mine temporarily, and the owner’s
permanently. He’s off our hands now and if you give us away to Jake,
Doro, woe unto you!”

“Tavia, I cannot believe it! And you helped her, Edna?”

“We found the real owner, and I do not see why she shouldn’t have her
dog,” replied Edna, without raising her eyes.

“How do you know she was the real owner?” continued Dorothy.

“You should have seen the dog fly to her,” replied Tavia. “Say, Doro,
if you are worried I’ll buy Jake a new pipe, and give it to him for
conscience money. But he must never know about Ravelings. What do you
suppose his mistress called him? ‘Cyrus,’ because, she told us, he was
the sun of her life. Likely she would have died without the sun if I
had not restored him to her.”

Dorothy looked troubled. She fully realized what a time there would be
when it was found out that the dog was gone.

“Did you advertise it?” she asked, as they now walked back toward the
school.

“It’s such a pretty story, Doro, that I want to give it to you whole.
Besides,” and Tavia lowered her voice, “echoes have ears.”