TROUBLE UPON TROUBLE

Nine days had passed since our friends arrived at Glenwood Hall, and
the first week of school days had been covered.

Dorothy’s troubles seemed most unusual, even for an active girl, who
is sure to find more worries than her friends from the reason that her
interests, being more widely scattered, cause more dangers and more
gossip.

For a whole day after the initiation night she had been obliged to stay
in her room, the shock affecting her nerves, and the slight scorching
of her hands requiring bandages.

Tavia brought her all the news of the investigation, punctuating it
appropriately with “slings” at Jean Faval. Warning had been given by
Mrs. Pangborn that the next mistake would not be so easily condoned,
but Tavia put it that the next time Jean Faval made any trouble for
Dorothy she would be dipped in the lake, and held down for a while to
“cool her off.” Tavia even expressed regret that she had not allowed
the black eyed Jean to stay in the lake, when the chance was so handy
to punish her, and when, out of sheer good will, she and Ned had
dragged her out.

It was Saturday morning, and Dorothy was going out, with a half dozen
girls, to take a long walk into town to buy such little articles as
were always needed during the first week of school.

“I have simply got to get some letter paper,” Tavia remarked. “You
know, Doro, I never write to Nat on anything but nice paper.”

Nat White was one of Dorothy’s two splendid boy cousins, and was a firm
friend of Tavia’s. It was at their home, that of Mrs. White, Dorothy’s
Aunt Winnie, that both girls had passed such delightful vacations, and
spent such jolly holidays.

“Well, I must write to Ned to-night,” Dorothy said, following Tavia’s
remark. “He has promised to let me know about father’s troubles.”

The other girls were somewhat in advance of Tavia and Dorothy, so that
their remarks could not be overheard.

“Haven’t you had any good news yet?” asked Tavia.

“They say no news is good news, and I have had but one letter since
I came away. That was from Joe, and of course he did not mention the
matter. But I am sure father is very busy, and that is why I have
not heard from him directly. Here is our stationery store,” finished
Dorothy.

Inside the store some of the girls had already made purchases. Tavia
and Dorothy joined in their conversation, and agreed upon the “long
monogram” letter paper as being the most dainty.

Zada Hillis wanted to buy some pretty birthday cards to send to her
home in the South, and in the selection Dorothy took pleasure in
getting the cards that showed the Glenwood School, and the pretty lake
at the foot of the highest hill.

“Mother will be delighted to really see a picture of the hall,” Zada
told Dorothy, “and the verses are descriptive, too.”

It took Tavia quite a while to get just what she wanted, and before
they had left the store Jean Faval came in with the Glenwood _Gleaner_
in her hand–the little weekly paper that gave the news of the town,
and a lot of other reading matter that had no particular bearing on any
particular place.

With Jean were Cecilia Reynolds, Maude Townley and Grace Fowler. They
were all very much engaged in reading something in the _Gleaner_, so
much so that they scarcely noticed the other Glenwood girls at the card
counter.

“Isn’t that awful!” exclaimed Grace.

“Serves one right for liking notoriety,” replied Jean.

“What will ever happen when the faculty see it?” put in Cecilia.

“Mrs. Pangborn will be furious,” declared Grace.

Then they saw Dorothy and Tavia. Quickly the paper was thrust into the
pocket of Jean’s jacket, and with a rather doubtful “good morning,” the
different factions passed in and out, as those who had finished buying,
and those who had not yet begun.

On her way out Tavia got near enough to Cologne to speak to her
privately.

“Say,” she began, “did you see that paper that Jean had?”

“Yes,” replied Cologne, in the same important tone.

“Well, I think there was something in that about–school matters.”

“Yes, I heard one of the remarks about Mrs. Pangborn.”

“We must get a paper on our way, but let us be careful not to have
Dorothy see it. It–might–concern her.”

“Why?” asked Cologne, in surprise.

“Oh, I don’t exactly know, but I do know that those girls are bitter
rivals of hers, lands knows one could never guess why.”

“Jealous I guess,” replied Cologne. “But I do hope Dorothy will not
be pestered any more–for a while at least. She has had her share of
trouble lately.”

“Her share and then some of the others’,” replied Tavia. “I have made
trouble for Dorothy myself, but I never meant to do so. And just now
when—-”

She checked herself. The fact that Dorothy came up made an excuse for
the halt in her conversation.

“What are you two plotting now?” asked Dorothy pleasantly.

“A little roller skating bout,” replied Tavia lightly. “Want to join?
It’s just the weather for the boulevard.”

“It would be pleasant after lunch,” Dorothy agreed. “But about our
walk?”

“We can turn it into a skate,” insisted Cologne. “I think we get enough
walking, anyhow.”

“All right,” returned Dorothy, “but, Tavia, please see that your skates
are all right, and that you won’t have to stop every one you meet to
fix a clamp or a strap.”

They were nearing the paper stand, and Cologne was giving a signal
to Tavia. Tavia shook her head. They would not risk getting a paper
much as they wanted to see it, if there was any chance of it upsetting
Dorothy. Tavia was deciding she could run out again, directly after
lunch, while the skating club was getting ready for their “bout.”

“We ought to get a paper,” said Dorothy, unexpectedly. “The girls in
the book store seemed to find something very interesting in it.”

“The Sunday School convention programme,” replied Tavia, with a smile.
“I beg of you, Dorothy, not to get it, for it gives me what they call
qualms of conscience, and any dictionary will tell you that the disease
is sometimes fatal. Please, Doro, for my sake, forego that sheet,” and
twining her arms about Dorothy, she and Cologne had the unsuspecting
one past the stand before she had time to think the attack intentional.

But things always will turn awry when it’s just girls. Somehow boys
have a way of diverting trouble, but according to the Glens, girls are
sticklers for disturbances.

Before the trio had entered the Glenwood gate, another bevy of girls
ran along, _Gleaner_ in hand, almost flaunting it under Dorothy’s nose.

Tavia saw it, and recognized something else. Quick as a flash she
grasped the sheet, tossed it high in the air and it landed in the lake.

Then it was lunch time.

All during the meal Dorothy was conscious of some unpleasant attention
for which she could not account. At her table were her friends, Tavia,
Cologne and the others, and, as they tried to divert her, she became
more and more suspicious.




That weekly paper was also in evidence, although the girls, who were
trying to get a glimpse at it, had to do so covertly. Finally the meal
was ended, and the roller skating match arranged. The rival teams, of
course, picked their best skaters for leaders, and the run was to be
two miles in length. Molly Richards was to “make the pace” for the
Glens, while Cecilia Reynolds qualified for the “T’s.”

It was a delightful afternoon, just cool enough to make the sport
enjoyable, and the fine stretch of firm macadam road from Glenwood to
Little Valley could not be better had it been city asphalt.

There were ten girls in each team, while as many others as cared to
skate, and watch the match, were allowed to do so. They all wore the
Glenwood costume, the uniform of garnet and black, and as they started
off they made a pretty sight–something like what one might expect
to see in Holland–with ice, instead of road, and coats instead of
sweaters.

Zada Hillis was timid, and confessed to being a novice at the sport,
but Tavia guaranteed to protect her, and she finally consented to risk
going.

Finally, when Mrs. Pangborn had cautioned every one to be careful, and
to be back at the hall at five o’clock, the merry party started off,
three in line.

But the line was soon broken, for this one and that one would dash
ahead, out-pacing those who were expected to do the best skating. When
Tavia got the lead she made such a fuss over it, that, in raising her
arms triumphantly in the air, she just gave one of her opponents the
chance to pass her.

Dorothy did not care to try for the finals, and only rolled along in an
easy way, allowing herself a chance to talk with Zada, whom Tavia had
deserted as soon as she saw an opportunity to break the line.

On the outgoing run there was practically no mishaps, beyond a couple
of “spills” that were quickly picked up, without damage, other than the
loss of some gorgeous red hair ribbons, that were left in the dust.

Then at the bridge, the entrance to Little Valley, a rest of half an
hour was taken, but there was not much rest involved, for not a girl in
all the party but found something to do with skates and straps.

Dorothy could not cheer up. That suspicious whispering at lunch time
kept her mind occupied, and although her friends did all they could to
make her take a more active part in the race, she declined.

“Tavia,” she whispered, when she had an opportunity, “won’t you tell
me what it is all about? You know perfectly well there is something on
that concerns me, and I am being kept in ignorance of it.”

“Doro, there is always so much going on about you that if I should tell
you it would turn your buttercup head away. You know the strangers,
and also our rivals of other years, lie awake at night plotting our
destruction.”

“But this particular instance? It is certainly aimed at me,” she
insisted.

“Then their aim is not true,” said Tavia, “for I haven’t heard as much
as a buzz come your way. There, they are going back. My! I won’t be
able to kick for a week, I’m that lame now.”

Going back was not as uneventful as the run out. Feet not used to
skating, were tired and sore, girls who laughed loudest were now bent
on making the line first, and altogether it had by this time developed
into a real, lively race.

Molly Richards and Edna Black were first for the Glens, and they stuck
the run out faithfully. Cecilia Reynolds gave way to Jean Faval, who on
the out-run had gained first place, which entitled her to the lead for
final.

Suddenly Molly’s ankle turned, and she called to Tavia to take her
place. Tavia said she couldn’t win that race if her future happiness
depended upon it. At this Dorothy forgot every thing but the glory of
her team, and she dashed ahead in line with Jean.

For some time they raced like human greyhounds, then suddenly something
happened and Jean lay in a heap in the dust.

“You tripped me,” she shouted angrily at Dorothy, “and the race is
ours. It’s a foul!”

“I never went near you,” declared Dorothy, hotly, “why there are my
tracks. Any one can see them.”

But the “T’s” of course sided with their leader, and there was more
than a mere discussion there in the road.

No one could doubt, in justice that, whatever had happened to Jean, it
was purely accidental, and that, as Dorothy said, the traces of her
skates could plainly be seen far away from the spot where the girl had
fallen.

At last the race was abandoned, but, as Jean left, and went ahead with
her contingent, she slurred back at Dorothy:

“Perhaps when you look over the Glenwood _Gleaner_ you won’t carry your
head so high!”

Then she hurried on with her particular chums.