THE INVESTIGATION

Mrs. Pangborn, stately and handsome, occupied the chair at her desk in
front of which were assembled her pupils. Her secretary was with her,
as were the teachers of the higher grades. Everyone felt the solemn
moment when Miss Eastbrook was asked to call the roll.

Of the two higher grades every girl responded to her name except Tavia.

Then the principal said:

“I have been notified that a number of you young ladles visited a
fortune teller last evening for the purpose of having your fortunes
told. Now, let everyone who was off these grounds after tea time stand
up.”

Poor Edna was with the “standers.”

“Please, Miss Eastbrook, mark these names as I put the question,” said
Mrs. Pangborn.

Then came the examination. Ten of the girls answered to the question:
“Did you go to that place to have your fortune told?”

When this query was put to Edna, of course, she answered in the
negative. Dorothy was greatly relieved, for, in spite of Tavia’s
affirmation, she feared the girls had been up to some trick.

The affair was one of the most serious of escapades that had ever
occurred at Glenwood, and, when Jean Faval and her crowd owned to the
offence, the face of Mrs. Pangborn might easily be read as suppressing
deep indignation.

“The young ladies will go to their rooms,” she said, “and positively
remain there until this matter is settled.”

That of course meant the culprits–all others were exonerated.

It took but a short time for the girls to leave, and when the room was
practically cleared Dorothy approached the much-troubled principal.

“I must speak for Tavia Travers, Mrs. Pangborn,” she said. “She was
off the grounds, too, but did not have her fortune told. She turned
her ankle, and is not able to stand on it. The accident kept her from
getting in on time.”

“Very well, Dorothy,” replied the lady. “I am really glad that none
of the older pupils–those who have been here longest–have been so
unruly. Tell Tavia she may have a doctor if she needs one, and I will
send a teacher to attend to her, as soon as it is possible for me to
collect my thoughts. I cannot tolerate such an unruly element. And
only yesterday I had special notices posted in the corridors,” and the
principal pressed her hand to her head.

“I am very sorry,” Dorothy said, “but perhaps these new girls did not
realize the discipline of our school.”

“That is the difficulty–to _make_ them realize it. By the way, how
is my little friend, Zada? I have not had a chance to talk with her
lately.”

Dorothy hesitated. Then she said: “Zada is happier now than she has
been for some time. She is so sensitive–and the new girls seemed to
claim her.”

“Well, dear,” Mrs. Pangborn replied, “I would rather she would
associate with those who know the school better. But if she is happy
I am satisfied. Her mother is very ill, and it is important that Zada
shall be away from home for a while.”

It was quite like the old days for Dorothy to be alone, talking with
Mrs. Pangborn, for many a time she had before approached her in some
one’s behalf. For the moment Dorothy’s fears of leaving Glenwood were
forgotten. The school was a second home to her, and to finish its
course one of the hopes of her young life.

“Tell Tavia not to worry,” said the principal in finishing the
interview. “Also say to her, that I am glad she was not with those
silly girls who went to have their fortunes told,” this last with a
scornful smile at the idea of “fortune telling.”

Dorothy went back to Tavia, and found Edna with her. The two were so
happy over their escape, and likely a little happy that the others did
not escape, that Tavia had ventured to stand on the strained foot, and
make her way to the box where the sweets were kept.

“Doro, you are a brick,” she said with more meaning than English. “I
never could have gotten out of it. You ought to take up law. You are a
born Portia.”

“Thank you,” said Dorothy quietly. “Mrs. Pangborn said she will send up
some one to see how much you are hurt. She also said—-”

“Back to bed,” Tavia interrupted quickly. “I am so ill I shall not
be able to go to class for days. And that will cover the first exam
nicely. Now, Ned, why didn’t you break your neck, so you could be laid
up?”

“What do you suppose will happen to the others?” asked Edna, not
noticing Tavia’s remark. “Do you suppose they will be suspended?”

“I am sure I don’t know,” Dorothy said, “but Mrs. Pangborn feels
dreadfully. That fortune teller is a woman of very low character.”

“She certainly is,” said Tavia, with a pronounced wink at Edna. “I
would not let her tell _my_ fortune.”




“And the girls are all so excited over the things she did tell them,”
Dorothy continued. “Why, some of them say she told the positive truth.”

“Good for her!” exclaimed Tavia. “She really ought to tell the truth,
once in a while. I find it that way myself. But I wish I could have
seen Jean, when the court-martial was in progress. I shouldn’t wonder
but she will suggest that the girls jump out of their windows. She
can’t stand Glenwood. I wonder where she was brought up, anyhow? I
can’t say anything about woods, but our woods were–green, I fancy
she used to ride a bronco in Arizona. Not that I wouldn’t like that,
either.”

“There’s the mail,” said Dorothy anxiously, “I hope I have a letter.”

“Oh, you will–you always do. I am the one neglected,” Tavia said as
Dorothy left the room. “Now, Ned, be careful. Doro is not to know.
Didn’t fate favor us? That’s because, I suppose, that for once we were
on the right side. And the others in chains! And me with a limp! Ned,
couldn’t you pour some of that stuff on my foot? It gets very hot when
I get gay.”

“You will have to have the doctor,” Edna declared, “and I shouldn’t be
surprised if a committee of the Glens came to wait on you at recess.
They simply cannot get over the fact that you and I were not in the
scrape.”

“Don’t blame them, but we were not. Where we were is not for them to
know. Can I trust you, Ned, when I am not along?”

“Indeed I am only too glad to get off this far, but I keep thinking it
will all come out. If it does—-”

“We’ll load it on poor Doro. She’ll get us out of it, as she always
does. With my brain, if I only had a trace of Doro’s character, I would
make the world stand up and ignore the sun,” said Tavia.

By this time Dorothy had returned with her mail. Her pretty face was
clouded, and she avoided the gaze of Tavia and Edna.

“What’s the news?” asked Tavia.

“Nothing very special,” she replied, putting her letter away. “There’s
the bell. Edna, you and I, and the other good ones, are expected to
answer questions as usual,” she said, whereat Edna jumped up and left
the room.

“Father wrote,” said Dorothy to Tavia, when they were alone, “that I
was not to worry, that things would surely straighten themselves out.
Now is that not the very thing to make one worry?”

“It would put me fast to sleep,” declared Tavia, “but of course, I have
not your fine instinct to scent danger. You ought to go stealing dogs
with me, or breaking your ankles. That’s the sort of thing that knocks
nerves out of joint. Doro, I am sure I hear Jean jumping out of the
window!”

“Don’t be absurd,” Dorothy said. “I guess Jean has better sense than to
get further into trouble. Well, I must go to class. Be sure, whoever
comes to look after you, that you are at least civil.”

“That depends,” sauced Tavia. “If Higley comes I’ll plead smallpox to
scare her off. She would sprain my other ankle.”

Dorothy went down the hall, and, as she passed Room Ten, Cologne was
just coming out of her door.

“What do you think?” exclaimed the latter. “That Jean Faval blames
us for telling about last night! Why, we never even knew about it,
Dorothy! Can’t we do something to squelch her? She is ringleader of a
crowd of insurgents, and they are all against us.”

“Or against me,” said Dorothy with a mock smile. “I think, Cologne, if
we let them go for a while, it will be better for me at least.”

And her friends wondered what could have come over Dorothy Dale.