TEACHERS AND PUPILS

The excitement following Jean’s encounter brought up no end of surmises
for the girls at school. Some said she made up the story, others
declared she knew who took her purse, and check, while her friends, of
course, were in deepest sympathy. For the shock really took the color
from her cheeks, took all her courage, and it was difficult even for
Mrs. Pangborn to interest her in anything.

Dorothy tried to show Jean that she bore her no ill feelings, and even
brought some books to her room, when she was unable to attend class,
but Jean would never make friends with Dorothy.

Then it became noised about that some one had seen Jean leave the
post-office, had later seen her talking to the Shebad woman, and to
this last fact was finally attributed, in some way, the robbery.

It was one week later, that Jake was at the general store, at Stone
Bridge, when a man came in and asked the proprietor to cash a check
for him.

Jake knew that checks were scarce among men of this type–for the man
was none other than the husband of Madam Shebad–so he stepped close to
the little office window, and watched while he listened.

“Fine day,” said Jake carelessly.

“Yep,” growled the other, turning his back directly on the Glenwood man.

“Been speculating?” persisted Jake.

“Old woman fell into luck,” replied the other sullenly.

Meanwhile the girl at the desk was scrutinizing the check which was
made out to “Cash” so that any one could endorse it.

“You had better wait until Mr. Johnson comes in,” said the young
bookkeeper cautiously. “He does not like to cash strange checks.”

“That check’s all right,” insisted the man uneasily. “Wish I had more
like it.”

“Let’s see it?” asked Jake, as if to verify the man’s statement that it
was all right.

“Oh, I guess I’ll wait,” said the man, folding up the blue slip, and
preparing to leave the place.

Jake was disappointed. He wanted to see who had made out that check.

“Here’s Mr. Johnson now,” called the bookkeeper before the slouching
figure had reached the door.

Jake stepped back and pretended to be in no way interested.

Mr. Johnson, the proprietor of the store, rubbed his glasses on the end
of his coat, and took the check as it was offered. He scrutinized the
signature.

“The–what’s that?” he asked. “The Marsall Investment Company? What in
thunder is that?”

Then Jake almost jumped to the counter where the other man stood.

“Here!” he shouted. “That’s a stolen check! That was stolen from a girl
at our school! Johnson, you’re a constable, arrest this man!” and Jake
did not wait for anything as slow as the constable to make sure of the
prisoner, but, with all his splendid, muscular power he grabbed him,
and held him securely as any regular police officer might do.

By this time the other men, who were lounging about the store, realized
that something interesting was happening, and they, too, “gave a hand.”

Binns, for that was the name by which the husband of the fortune teller
was known, was too ugly to know how to help himself. He growled and
squirmed and demanded his freedom, but shuffling of feet, and the use
of strong words will never help a person in captivity to free himself,
and the consequence was that he was taken off to the town lock-up,
while Jake, claiming the check, actually took it from Mr. Johnson, and
hurried back to Glenwood.

“I did it,” he explained to Mrs. Pangborn, when he had turned the paper
over to her–“to save the girl from any of their nonsense about legal
stuff. They’ll let the fellow off, but I’ll try to find out about the
purse first. He’s got that, somewhere.”

Mrs. Pangborn knew of this man Binns, but had never heard of him
attempting robbery before, and it now occurred to her that there was
some mystery about the whole affair.

“How could he have known that there was a check in the letter he
demanded of Jean?” she thought.

She thanked Jake heartily, but he only laughed, and said it was a
pleasure to do anything for the “honor of Glenwood.”

“But,” he cautioned, “I would suggest that you say nothing to the young
lady about it, just yet. Wait ’till we find out about that purse.”

Mrs. Pangborn willingly agreed, and, glancing at the check, she
instantly thought of Dorothy’s story of the failure of the Marsall
firm. How then could they be sending out checks? Why should Jean be
profiting when Dorothy was evidently losing?

Mrs. Pangborn had already written a letter of sympathy to Major Dale,
and expressed the hope that everything would come out well, finally.

In his reply, the Major stated his grave fears–fears that he would not
have Dorothy know of. It seemed strange, indeed, that a purely business
matter should so affect two of her pupils, but in her hand was the
check stolen from Jean, made out by the company, and Dorothy’s fate, as
to her very standing in the world seemed in the balance, held there by
the same firm!

No wonder Dorothy could not hide her suspense!

Then, if Major Dale should really be arrested, accused of fraud—-

The principal put the blue slip away carefully, but not without a sigh.

“If we all did not have to be so dependent upon mere money,” she
thought. “But perhaps it is well we have to struggle for something.”

A light tap at her door interrupted these thoughts. It was Miss
Cummings.

“Mrs. Pangborn,” she began, “I feel it my duty to inform you that there
is an element of discord among certain cliques in your school. I made
up a skating party yesterday, and in a race there was the grossest
violation of rules. Simply a defiance of principles.”

“Who are the offenders?” asked the head of Glenwood calmly.

“There is a club they call the ‘T’s’.”

“The ‘T’s,’” repeated Mrs. Pangborn.

“Yes, and I am told that the letters stands for Tarters!”

“Tarters!” again repeated the principal.

“Yes. Such a choice of name might easily signify the character of the
members,” said Miss Cummings frigidly.




“How long has this been going on?” asked the other.

“It seems the club was formed at the opening of the term, but when the
regular sports of the classes came in vogue, the animosity between the
different sets became serious. I hesitated to tell you before–I really
thought the young ladies would find out their own error–but it seems
they intend to carry things on to suit themselves,” added Miss Cummings.

“I cannot see how such an element got into Glenwood,” demurred Mrs.
Pangborn, with a sigh, “but, of course, it is our business to curb it.
We shall be obliged to stop all private meetings of the clubs, however
innocent, they may be. Then we must endeavor to discover the one who
instigates these enmities.”

“One young lady–Miss Travers is very mischievous,” went on Miss
Cummings, “but I really have not discovered her in any particular
wrong, or direct infringement of the rules.”

“I am glad to hear that,” replied Mrs. Pangborn, “for in her first
season here she was too reckless. But her associations with some of our
best pupils have, of course, helped her greatly.”

Following this conversation Mrs. Pangborn sent for Cecilia Reynolds.
She knew her to be one of the most bitter opponents of the original
Glenwood club, and she determined to question her.

Cecilia entered the office with a nervous look on her round, and rather
pretty, face. Her eyes did not directly seek those of her superior,
but, instead, looked at the Persian rug upon the polished floor.

“Cecilia,” began the principal, “I have sent for you to ask you
about the club you call the ‘T’s’! I understand there have been
some infringements of our rules–in fact that there have been some
happenings, lately, not to be expected from polite young ladies. Now,
will you tell me what your club stands for? That letter T, I mean.”

“Tarters,” replied Cecilia quietly.

“And why should young ladies choose such a name for a seminary club?”

“We thought it would show–it might stand for–our courage,” she
replied again.

“Well, there can be no harm in a name,” said Mrs. Pangborn, “however
ill-chosen it may be. But I should like to see a copy of your rules, if
you have any.”

“I have none,” replied the girl, now nervous to the point of tears.
“We would not have gone against the others, if they had not opposed us
first.”

“In what way?”

“Even on the train coming here,” almost snapped Cecilia. “Tavia Travers
and Dorothy Dale’s set showed they hated us!”

“Hush!” demanded the teacher. “That is no language for a pupil of mine
to use. Why should they dislike almost perfect strangers? I have heard
of the doings of some of you in the train. How Miss Faval refused to go
with her companions and–other improper conduct. But I have not heard
anything against the girls you mention.”

“Then ask Tavia Travers how she sprained her foot the night–the night
we were out,” Cecilia stammered. “We were blamed for going to the
fortune teller, and she and Edna Black got off free. No one knows where
_they_ went that night.”

It was a bold stroke, but Cecilia took courage quickly when she heard
her friends blamed, and her enemies praised.

“I am quite satisfied with an explanation I have had of that
occurrence, but it is useless for me to discuss matters with a pupil
who argues. You may go,” and Mrs. Pangborn showed she meant dismissal.

Cecilia turned, glad to get away.

Immediately she sought Jean. This last humiliation was too much for the
new girls, and they now determined to “strike,” as they termed it.