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PARDON ME," SHE SAID, "COULD I HELP VOU ?
BETTY WALES. FRESHMAN
gy sTon^ roR^GJKI^s
'Betty Wales ,Sophomorc"
**Betty Wales, Junior"
EVA M. NAGEi
Xphe Penn Publishing Company
PHIl^ADE LPHIA M C M V I
I Tlit NEW VOilK
1 j'-;-,^"- I.li;;UUY
5 ■■ • :;. Ll^NOX AND
'l : /.:■. 1-.>UNUAT1UNS
u iy4i i*
Copyright 1904 by The Penn Publishing Company
Betty Wales, Freshman
First Impressions 7
Dancing Lessons and a Class-Meet-
Whose Photograph ? 50
Up Hill — and Down 63
Letters Home 80
A Dramatic Chapter 95
After the Play 112
Paying the Piper 128
A Rumor 146
Mid- Years and a Dust-Pan .... 166
A Triumph for Democracy .... 185
Saint Valentine's Assistants . . . 208
A Beginning and a Sequel . . , . 233
At the Great Game 255
A Chance to Help 279
An Ounce of Prevention .... 299
Into Paradise — and Out 321
A Last Chance 337
Loose Threads 355
** Pardon Me," she said, *' Could I Help
You ? " Frontispiece
The Floor Was Crowded 59
*' Sing a Li'l' ? " she Asked 97
Betty Stood in the Door of Her Room . 128
" Girls, This Has to Stop," she Announced 225
The Freshmen Were Shouting and Thump-
Betty Was Now Up to Her Knees in the
'' Oh, dear, what if she shouldn't meet me ! "
sighed Betty Wales for the hundredth time at
least, as she gathered up her bags and um-
brella, and followed the crowd of noisy,
chattering girls off the train.
'' So long, Mary. See you to-morrow."
'' Get a carriage, Nellie, that's a dear.
You're so little you can always break through
'' Hello, Susanna ! Did you get on the
campus too? "
'' Thanks awfully, but I can't to-night.
My freshman cousin's up, you know, and
homesick and "
*' Oh, girls, isn't it fun to be back ? "
It all sounded so jolly and familiar. Weren't
8 BETTT WALES
any of them freshmen ? Did they guess that
she was a freshman ^' and homesick " ?
Betty straightened proudly and resolved that
they should not. If only the registrar had
got father's telegram. As she stood hesitating
on the station platform, amazed at the wil-
derness of trunks and certain that no one
could possibly find her until that shouting,
rushing mob in front of her had dispersed, a
pretty girl in immaculate white duck hurried
up to her.
'' Pardon me," she said, reaching out a hand
for Betty's golf clubs, '' but aren't you a
stranger here? Could I help you, perhaps,
about getting your luggage up ? "
Betty looked at her doubtfully. "■ I don't
know," she said. '' Yes, I'm going to enter
college, and my elder sister couldn't get here
until a later train. But father telegraphed
the registrar to meet me. Do you know her?
Could you point her out? "
The pretty girl's lips curved into the faint
suggestion of a smile. '' Yes," she said, '' I
know her — only too well for my peace of
mind occasionally. But I'm afraid she hasn't
come to meet you. You see she's very busy
BETTT TFALES g
these first days — there are a great many of
you freshman, all wanting different things.
So she sends us down instead."
'' Oh, I see." Betty's face brightened.
"' Then if you would tell me how to get to
Mrs. Chapin's on Meriden Place."
'' Mrs. Chapin's ! " exclaimed the pretty girl.
'' That's easy. Most of you want such out-
landish streets. But that's close to the cam-
pus, where I'm going myself. My time is
just up, I'm happy to say. Give me your
checks and your house number, and then
we'll take a car, unless you wouldn't mind
walking. It's not far."
On the way to Mrs. Chapin's Betty learned
that her new friend's name was Dorothy
King, that she was a junior and roomed in the
Hilton House, that she went in for science,
but was fond of music and was a member of
the Glee Club ; that she was back a day early
for the express purpose of meeting fresh-
men at the trains. In return Betty explained
how she had been obliged at the last moment
to come east alone ; how sister Nan, who was
nine years older than she and five years out
of college, was coming down from a house
lo BETTT WALES
party at Kittery Point, but couldn't get in till
eight that night ; and father had insisted that
Betty be sure to arrive by daylight.
''Wales — Wales " repeated the pretty
junior. "■ Why, your sister must have been the
clever Miss Wales in '9 — , the one who wrote
so well and all. She is? How fine! I'm
sorry, but I leave you here. Mrs. Chapin's is
that big yellow house, the second on the left
side — yes. I know you'll like it there. And
Miss Wales, you mustn't mind if the sopho-
mores get hold of that joke about your asking
the registrar to meet you. I won't tell, but it
will be sure to leak out somehow. You see
it's really awfully funny. The registrar is al-
most as important as the president, and a lot
more dignified and unapproachable, until you
get to know her. She'll think it too good to
keep, and the sophomores will be sure to get
hold of it and put it in the book of grinds for
their reception — souvenirs they give you, you
know. Now good-bye. May I call later?
Thank you so much. Good-bye."
Betty was blushing hotly as she climbed
Mrs. Chapin's steps. But her chagrin ac
having proved herself so '' verdant " a fresh-
BETTT WALES ii
man was tempered with elation at the junior's
cordiality. '' Nan said I wasn't to run into
friendships," she reflected. '' But she must be
nice. She knows the Clays. Oh, I hope she
won't forget to come ! "
Betty Wales had come to college without
any particular enthusiasm for it, though she
was naturally an enthusiastic person. She
loved Nan dearly, but didn't approve of her
scheme of life, and wasn't at all prepared to
like college just because Nan had. Being so
much younger than her sister, she had never
visited her at Harding, but she had met a good
many of her friends ; and comparing their stor-
ies of life at Harding with the experiences of
one or two of her own mates who were at the
boarding-school, she had decided that of two
evils she should prefer college, because there
seemed to be more freedom and variety about it.
Being of a philosophical turn of mind, she
was now determined to enjoy herself, if possi-
ble. She pinned her faith to a remark that
her favorite among all Nan's friends had made
to her that summer. '' Oh, you'll like college,
Betty," she had said. "■ Not just as Nan or I
did, of course. Every girl has her own reasons
12 BETTT WALES
for liking college — but every nice girl likes
Betty decided that she had already found two
of her reasons : the pretty Miss King and Mrs.
Chapin's piazza, which was exceedingly attract-
ive for a boarding-house. A girl was loung-
ing in a hammock behind the vines, and an-
other in a big piazza chair was reading aloud
to her. '* They must be old girls," thought
Betty, ^' to seem so much at home." Then she
remembered that Mrs. Chapin had said hers
would probably be an "• all freshman house,"
and decided that they were friends from the
Mrs. Chapin presently appeared, to show
Betty to her room and explain that her room-
mate would not arrive till the next morning.
Betty dressed and then sat down to study for
her French examination, which came next
day ; but before she had finished deciding
which couch she preferred or where they could
possibly put two desks and a tea-table, the bell
rang for dinner.
This bid fair to be a silent and dismal meal.
All the girls had come except Betty's room-
mate, and most of them, being freshmen, were
BETTr WALES 13
in the depths of examinations and homesick-
ness. But there was one shining exception, a
very lively sophomore, who had waited till
the last moment hoping to get an assignment
on the campus, and then had come to Mrs.
Chapin's in the place of a freshman who had
failed in her examinations.
'' She had six, poor thing ! " explained the
sophomore to Betty, who sat beside her.
'' And just think ! She'd had a riding horse
and a mahogany desk with a secret drawer
sent on from home. Wish I could inherit
them along with her room. Now, my name
is Mar}^ Brooks. Tell me yours, and I'll ask
the girl on the other side and introduce you ;
and that will start the ball rolling."
These energetic measures succeeded much
better than Mrs. Chapin's somewhat perfunc-
tory remarks about the dry weather, and the
whole table was soon talking busily. The
two piazza girls proved to be sisters, Mary and
Adelaide Rich, from Haddam, Connecticut.
Betty decided that they were rather stupid
and too inclined to stick together to be
much fun. A tall, homely girl at the end
of the table created a laugh by introduc-
14 BETTT WALES
ing herself as Miss Katherine Kittredge of
"• The state is Illinois," she added, '' but
that spoils the alliteration."
'' The what ? " whispered Betty to the sopho-
But Miss Brooks only laughed and said,
'' Wait till you've finished freshman Eng-
Betty's other neighbor was a pale, quiet lit-
tle girl, with short hair and a drawl. Betty
couldn't decide whether she meant to be
" snippy " or was only shy and offish. After
she had said that her name was Roberta Lewis
and her home Philadelphia, Betty inquired
politely whether she expected to like college.
'' I expect to detest it," replied Miss Lewis
slowly and distinctly, and spoke not another
word during dinner. But though she ate bus-
ily and kept her eyes on her plate, Betty was
sure that she heard all that was said, and
would have liked to join in, only she didn't
The one really beautiful girl at the table
was Miss Eleanor Watson. Her complexion
was the daintiest pink and white, her black
BETTT WALES 15
hair waved softly under the big hat which she
had not stopped to take off, and her hazel eyes
were plaintive one moment and sparkling the
next, as her mood changed. She talked a
good deal and very well, and it was hard to
realize that she was only sixteen and a fresh-
man. She had fitted for college at a big pre-
paratory school in the east, and so, although
she happened to be the only Denver girl in
college, she had a great many friends in the
upper classes and appeared to know quite as
much about college customs as Miss Brooks.
All this impressed Betty, who admired beauty
and pretty clothes immensely. She resolved
to have Eleanor Watson for a friend if she
could, and was pleased when Miss Watson in-
quired how many examinations she had, and
suggested that they would probably be in the
same divisions, since their names both began
The remaining girl at Mrs. Chapin^s table
was not particularly striking. She had a
great mass of golden brown hair, which she
wore coiled loosely in her neck. Her keen
grey eyes looked the world straight in the face,
and her turned-up nose and the dimple in her
i6 BETrr WALES
chin gave her a merry, cheerful air. She did
not talk much, and not at all about herself, but
she gave the impression of being a thoroughly
nice, bright, capable girl. Her name was
After dinner Betty was starting up-stairs
when Mary Brooks called her back. '' Won't
you walk over to the campus with me, little
girl ? " she asked. '' I have one or two
errands. Oh no, you don't need a hat. You
never do here."
So they wandered off bareheaded in the
moonlight, which made the elm-shaded streets
look prettier than ever. On the dusky cam-
pus girls strolled about in devoted pairs and
sociable quartettes. On the piazza of one of
the dwelling-houses somebody was singing a
fascinating little Scotch ballad with a tinkling
" Must be Dorothy King," said the sopho-
more. *' I thought she wouldn't come till
eight. Most people don't."
*'0h!" exclaimed Betty, ''I know her!"
And she related her adventure at the station.
'' That's so," said Miss Brooks. '' I'd for>
gotten. She's awfully popular, you know, and
BETTT WALES 17
very prominent, — belongs to no end of so-
cieties. But whatever the Young Women's
Christian Association wants of her she does.
You know they appoint girls to meet fresh-
men and help them find boarding-places and
so on. She's evidently on that committee.
Let's stop and say hello to her."
Betty, hanging behind, was amazed to see
the commotion caused by Miss Brooks's ar-
rival. The song stopped abruptly, the man-
dolin slammed to the floor, and performers
and audience fell as one woman upon the
'' Why, Mary Brooks ! When did you
"■ Did you get a room, honey ? "
'' Oh, Mary, where did you put on that
"Mary, is Sarah coming back, do you
" Hush up, girls, and let her tell us ! "
It was like the station, only more so, and
oh, it was nice — if you were in it. Mary an-
swered some of their questions and then
looked around for Betty. ''I've lost a fresh-
man," she said. '' Here, Miss Wales, come
i8 BETTy^ PVALES
up and sit on the railing. She knows you,
Dottie, and she wants to hear you sing. These
others are some of the Hilton House, Miss
Wales. Please consider yourselves intro-
duced. Now, Dottie."
So the little Scotch ballad began again.
Presently some one else came up, there were
more effusive greetings, and then another
song or two, after which Miss King and
'' some of the Hilton House " declared that
they simply must go and unpack. Betty, sud-
denly remembering her trunk and her sister,
decided to let Miss Brooks do her other '' er-
rands " alone, and found her way back to
Mrs. Chapin's. Sure enough. Nan was sitting
on the piazza.
'' Hello, little sister," she called gaily as
Betty hurried up the walk. '' Don't say
you're sorry to be late. It's the worst possi-
ble thing for little freshmen to mope round
waiting for people, and I'm glad you had
the sense not to. Your trunk's come, but if
you're not too tired let's go up and see Ethel
Hale before we unpack it."
Ethel Hale had spent a whole summer with
Nan, and Betty beat her at tennis and called
BETTT JVALES 19
her Ethel, and she called Betty little sister,
just as Nan did. But here she was a memher
of the faculty. '' I shall never dare come
near her after you leave," said Betty. Just as
she said it the door of the room opened — Nan
had explained that it was a freshman trick to
ring front door-bells — and Ethel rushed out
and dragged them in.
'' Miss Blaine and Miss Mills are here," she
Betty gathered from the subsequent conver-
sation that Miss Blaine and Miss Mills were
also members of the faculty ; and they were.
But they had just come in from a horseback
ride, and they sat in rather disheveled atti-
tudes, eating taffy out of a paper bag, and
their conversation was very amusing and per-
fectly intelligible, even to a freshman who
had still an examination to pass.
** I didn't suppose the faculty ever acted
like that. Why, they're just like other peo-
ple," declared Betty, as she tumbled into bed
a little later.
*' They're exactly like other people," re-
turned Nan sagely, from the closet where she
was hanging up skirts. '' Just remember
20 BErrr wales
that and you'll have a lot nicer time with
So ended Betty's first day at college. Nan
finished unpacking, and then sat for a long
time by the window. Betty loved Nan, but
Nan in return worshiped Betty. They might
call her the clever Miss Wales if they liked ;
she would gladly have given all her vaunted
brains for the fascinating little ways that made
Betty friends so quickly and for the power to
take life in Betty's free-and-easy fashion.
'' Oh, I hope she'll like it ! " she thought. " I
hope she'll be popular with the girls. I don't
want her to have to work so hard for all she
gets. I wouldn't exchange my course for
hers, but I want hers to be the other kind."
Betty was sound asleep.
The next morning it poured.
^' Of course," said Eleanor Watson impress-
ively at breakfast. '' It always does the first
day of college. They call it the freshman
'' Let's all go down to chapel together," sug-
gested Rachel Morrison.
'^ You're going to order carriages, of course? "
inquired Roberta Lewis stiffly.
" Hurrah ! Another joke for the grind-
book ! " shrieked Mary Brooks. Then she
noticed Roberta's expression of abject terror.
'' Never mind, Miss Lewis," she said kindly.
'' It's really an honor to be in the grind-book,
but I promise not to tell if you'd rather I
wouldn't. Won't you show that you forgive
me by coming down to college under my
'^ She can't. She's coming with me," an-
swered Nan promptly. '' I demand the right
to first choice."
22 BETTT JVALES
" Very well, I yield/' said Mary, '' because
when you go my sovereignty will be undis-
puted. You'll have to hurry, children."
So the little procession of rain-coats flapping
out from under dripping umbrellas started
briskly off to join the longer procession that
was converging from every direction toward
College Hall. Roberta and Nan were ahead
under one umbrella, chatting like old friends.
'' I suppose she doesn't think we're worth
talking to," said Rachel Morrison, who came
next with Betty.
'' Probably she's one of the kind that's
always been around with grown people and
isn't used to girls," suggested Betty.
'' Perhaps," agreed Rachel. " Anyhow, I
can't get a word out of her. She just sits by
her w^indow and reads magazines and looks
bored to death when Katherine or I go in to
speak to her. Isn't Katherine jolly? I'm so
glad I don't room alone."
'' Are you ? " asked Betty. '' I can tell bet-
ter after my roommate comes. Her name
sounds quite nice. It's Helen Chase Adams,
and she lives somewhere up in New Hamp-
shire. Did you ever see so many girls ? "
BETTT WALES 23
There seemed to be no end to them. They
jostled one another good-naturedly in the nar-
row halls, swarmed, chattering, up the stairs,
and filled the chapel to overflowing. It was
very exciting to see the whole college together.
Even Roberta Lewis condescended to look in-
terested when Mary Brooks showed her the
faculty rows, and pointed out the college
beauty, the captain of the sophomore basket-
ball team, and other local celebrities.
^' That's evidently a freshman," declared
Eleanor Watson, who w^as in the row behind
with Katherine and the Riches. '^ Doesn't
she look lost and unhappy ? " And she
pointed out a tall, near-sighted girl who was
stalking dejectedly down the middle aisle.
A vivacious little brunette was sitting next
Eleanor. '' Pardon me," she said sweetly,
'^ but did you mean the girl who's gone around
to the side and is now being received with
open arms by most of the faculty? She's a
senior, the brightest girl in the class, we think,
and she's sad because she's lost her trunk and
broken her glasses. You're a freshman, I
^' Thank you, yes," gasped Eleanor with as
24 BETTT WALES
much dignity as she could muster, and re-
solved to keep her guesses to herself in future.
The chapel service was short but very beau-
tiful. The president's kindly welcome to the
entering class, '' which bids fair to be the
largest in the history of the institution," com-
pletely upset the composure of some of the
aforesaid class, and a good many moist hand-
kerchiefs grew moister, and red eyes redder
during the prayer. But on the whole the
class of 190 — conducted itself with com-
mendable propriety and discretion on this its
first official appearance in the college world.
''I'm glad I don't have that French exam.,"
said Katherine, as she and Betty picked out
their umbrellas from a great, moist heap in
the corner of the hall. '' Come down with
me and have a soda."
Betty shook her head. '' I can't. Nan
asked me to go with her and Eth — I mean
Miss Hale, but I simply must study." And
she hurried off to begin.
At the entrance to the campus Eleanor
Watson overtook her. '' Let's go home and
study together," she proposed. " I can't see
why they left this French till so late in the
BETTT WALES 25
week, when everybody has it. What did you
come to college for? " she asked abruptly.
Betty thought a minute. '' Why, for the
fun of it, I guess," she said.
'' So did I. I think we've stumbled into a
pretty serious-minded crowd at Mrs. Chapin's,
'' I like Miss Morrison awfully well," ob-
jected Betty, ^^ and I shouldn't call Katherine
Kittredge of Kankakee serious-minded,
'' Oh, perhaps not," interrupted Eleanor.
" Anyhow I know a lot of fine girls outside,
and you must meet them. It's very impor-
tant to have a lot of friends up here. If you
want to amount to anything, you can't just
stick with the girls in your own house."
'' Oh, no," said Betty meekly, awed by the
display of worldly wisdom. '' It will be
lovely to meet your friends. Let's study on
the piazza. I'll get my books."
'' Wait a minute," said Eleanor quickly.
** I want to tell you something. I have at
least two conditions already, and if I don't
pass this French I don't suppose I can possi-
26 BETTr WALES
'' But you don't act frightened a bit/^ pro-
tested Betty in awestruck tones.
"• I am," returned Eleanor in a queer, husky
voice. '' I could never show my face again
if I failed." She brushed the tears out of her
eyes. '' Now go and get your books," she said
calmly, ^' and don't ever mention the subject
again. I had to tell somebody."
Betty was back in a moment, looking as if
she had seen a ghost. ^' She's come," she
gasped, '' and she's crying like everything.'^
^' Who? " inquired Eleanor coolly.
'' My roommate — Helen Chase Adams."
^^ What did you do?"
^' I didn't say a word — -just grabbed up my
books and ran. Let's study till Nan comes
and then she'll settle it."
It was almost one o'clock before Nan ap-
peared. She tossed a box of candy to the
weary students, and gave a lively account of
her morning, which had included a second
breakfast, three strawberry-ices, a walk to the
bridge, half a dozen calls on the campus, and
a plunge in the swimming-tank.
'' I didn't dream I knew so man}^ people
here " she said. '' But now I've seen thero
BErrr jvales 27
all and they've promised to call on you, Betty,
and I must go to-night."
'^ Not unless she stops crying," said Betty
firmly, and told her story.
'* Go up and ask her to come down-town
with us and have a lunch at Holmes's," sug-
'' Oh you come too," begged Betty, and Nan,
amused at the distress of her usually self-
reliant sister, obediently led the way up-
'' Come in," called a tremulous voice.
Helen Chase Adams had stopped crying, at
least temporarily, and was sitting in a pale
and forlorn heap on one of the beds. She
jumped up when she saw her visitors. '' I
thought it w^as the man with my trunk," she
said. '' Is one of you my roommate ? Which
'' What a nice speech. Miss Adams ! " said
Nan heartily. '' I've been hoping ever since
I came that somebody would take me for a
freshman. But this is Betty, who's to room
with you. Now will you come down-town to
lunch with us?"
Betty was very quiet on the way down-town.
28 BETTT WALES
Her roommate was a bitter disappointment.
She had imagined a pretty girl like Eleanor
Watson, or a jolly one like Katherine and
Rachel ; and here was this homely little thing
with an awkward walk, a piping voice, and
short skirts. '' She'll just spoil everything,"
thought Betty resentfully, '' and it's a mean,
hateful shame." Over the creamed chicken,
which Nan ordered because it was Holmes's
'' specialty," just as strawberry-ice was Cuyler's,
the situation began to look a little more cheer-
ful. Helen Chase Adams would certainly be
an obliging roommate.
'^ Oh, I wouldn't think of touching the room
till you get back from your French," she said
eagerly. '' Won't it be fun to fix it ? Have
you a lot of pretty things ? I haven't much,
I'm afraid. Oh, no, I don't care a bit which
bed I have." Her shy, appealing manner and
her evident desire to please would have dis-
armed a far more critical person than Betty,
who, in spite of her love of fine feathers " and
a sort of superficial snobbishness, was at heart
absolutely unworldly, and who took a naive
interest in all badly dressed people because it
was such fun to '^ plan them over." She ap-
BETTT WALES 29
plied this process immediately to her room-
"■ Her hat's on crooked," she reflected, '' and
her pug's in just the wrong place. Her shirt-
waist needs pulling down in front and she
sticks her head out when she talks. Other-
wise she'd be rather cute. I hope she's the
kind that will take suggestions without get-
ting mad." And she hurried off to her French
in a very amiable frame of mind.
Helen Chase Adams thanked Nan shyly for
the luncheon, escaped from the terrors of a
tete-a-tete with an unfamiliar grown-up on
the plea of having to unpack, and curled up
on the couch that Betty had not chosen, to
think it over. The day had been full of
surprises, but Betty was the culmination.
Why had she come to college? She was
distinctly pretty, she dressed well, and evi-
dently liked what pretty girls call " a good
time." In Helen Chase Adams's limited ex-
perience all pretty girls were stupid. The
idea of seeing crowds of them in the college
chapel, much less of rooming with one, had
never entered her head. A college was a place
for students. Would Miss Wales pass her ex-
30 BETTT IVALES
amination ? Would she learn her lessons ?
What would it be like to live with her day in
and day out ? Helen could not imagine — but
she did not feel in the least like crying.
Just as the dinner-bell rang, Betty appeared,
looking rather tired and pale. '' Nan's gone,"
she announced. '' She found she couldn't
make connections except by leaving at half
past five, so she met me down at the college.
And just at the last minute she gave me the
money to buy a chafing-dish. Wasn't that
lovely ? I know I should have cried and
made a goose of myself, but after tha — I beg
your pardon — I haven't any sense." She
stopped in confusion.
But Helen only laughed. '' Go on," she
said. '' I don't mind now. I don't believe
I'm going to be homesick any more, and if I
am I'll do my best not to cry."
How the rest of that first week flew ! Next
day the freshman class list was read, and for-
tunately it included all the girls at Mrs.
Chapin's. Then there were electives to choose,
complicated schedules to see through, first
recitations to find, books to buy or rent, rooms
to arrange, and all sorts of bewildering odds
BETTT IVALE& 31
and ends to attend to. Saturday came before
any one was ready for it, bringing in its wake
the freshman frolic, a jolly, informal dance in
the gymnasium, at which the whole college
appears, tagged with its name, and tries to get
accustomed to the size of the entering class,
preparatory to becoming acquainted with parts
of it later on. To Betty's great delight Dorothy
King met her in the hall of the Administration
Building the day before and asked permission
to take her to the frolic. At the gymnasium
Miss King turned her over to a bewildering
succession of partners, who asked her the
stereotyped questions about liking college,
having a pleasant boarding-place, and so on,
tried more or less effectively to lead her
through the crowd to the rather erratic music
of one piano, and assured her that the fresh-
man frolic was not at all like the other college
dances. They all seemed very pleasant, but
Betty felt sure she should never know them
again. Nevertheless she enjoyed it all im-
mensely and was almost sorry when the frolic
was over and they adjourned to Dorothy's
pretty single room in the Hilton House,
where a few other upper-class girls had been
32 BETTT WALES
invited to bring their freshmen for refresh-
''Wasn't it fun?" said Betty to a fluffy-
haired, dainty little girl who sat next her on
'' I don't think I should call it exactly fun,"
said the girl critically.
"' Oh, I like meeting new people, and get-
ting into a crowd of girls, and trying to dance
with them," explained Betty.
^'Yes, I liked it too," said the girl. She
had an odd trick of lingering over the word
she wished to distinguish. '' I liked it be-
cause it was so queer. Everything's queer
here, particularly roommates. Do you have
Betty nodded. "" Well, mine never made
up her bed in her life before, and first she
thought she couldn't, but her mother told her
to take hold and see what a Madison could do
with a bed — they're awfully proud of their
old family — so she did ; but it looks dread-
fully messy yet, and it makes her late for
chapel every single morning. Is yours any-
thing like that?"
Betty laughed. '' Oh, no," she said.
BETTT U^ALES 33
' She's very orderly. Won't you come and
see us ? "
The little freshman promised. By that
time the '' plowed field " was ready — an
oiDiiging friend had stayed at home from the
frolic to give it an early start — and they ate
the creamy brown squares of candy with a
marshmallow stuffed into each, and praised
the cook and her wares until a bell rang and
everybody jumped up and began saying good-
bye at once except Betty, who had to be
enlightened by the campus girls as to the dire
meaning of the twenty-minutes-to-ten bell.
''Don't you keep the ten o'clock rule?"
asked the fluflpy-haired freshman curiously.
" Oh, yes," said Betty. '' Why, we couldn't
come to college if we didn't, could we ? "
And she wondered why some of the girls
" I've had a beautiful time," she said,
when Miss King, who had come part way
home with her, explained that she must turn
back. *' I hope that when I'm a junior I can
do half as much for some little freshman as
you have for me."
^' That's a nice way to put it, Miss Wales,"
34 BETTT WALES
said Dorothy. '' But don't wait till you're
a junior to begin."
As Betty ran home, she reflected that she
had not seen Helen dancing that evening.
" Oh, Helen," she called, as she dashed into
the room, '' wasn't it fun ? How many min-
utes before our light goes out ? Do you know
how to dance ? "
Helen hesitated. '' I — well — I know how,
but I can't do it in a crowd. It's ten minutes
'' Teach you before the sophomore recep-
tion," said Bett}^ laconically, throwing a slip-
per into the closet with one hand and pulling
out hairpins with the other. " What a pity
that to-morrow's Sunday. We shall have to
wait a whole day to begin."
DANCING LESSONS AND A CLASS-MEETING
The next morning Helen had gone for a
walk with Katherine, and Betty was dressing
for church, when Eleanor Watson knocked at
the door. She looked prettier than ever in
her long silk kimono, with its ruffles of soft
lace and the great knot of pink ribbon at her
*' So you're going to church too," she said,
dropping down among Betty's pillows. " I
was hoping you'd stay and talk to me. Did
you enjoy your frolic? "
'' Yes, didn't you ? " inquired Betty.
'' I didn't go," returned Eleanor shortly.
"Oh, why not?" asked Betty so seriously
that Eleanor laughed.
'' Because the girl who asked me first was
ill ; and I wouldn't tag along with the little
Brooks and the Riches and your fascinating
roommate. Now don't say ' why not? ' again,
36 BETTT JVALES
or I may hurt your feelings. Do you really
like Miss Brooks?"
Betty hesitated. As a matter of fact she
liked Mary Brooks very much, but she also
admired Eleanor Watson and coveted her ap-
proval. '' I like her well enough," she said
slowly, and disappeared into the closet to get
something she did not want and change the
Eleanor laughed. " You're so polite," she
said. '' I wish I were. That is, I wish I
could make people think I was, without my
taking the trouble. Don't go to church."
'' Helen and Katherine are coming back
for me. You'd better go with us," urged
" Now that Kankakee person " began
Eleanor. The door opened suddenly and
Katherine and Helen came in. Katherine,
who had heard Eleanor's last remark, flushed
but said nothing. Eleanor rose deliberately,
smoothed the pillows she had been lying on,
and walked slowly off, remarking over her
shoulder, '' In common politeness, knock be-
fore you come in."
" Or you may hear what I think of you,"
BETTT WALES 37
added Katherine wickedly, as Eleanor shut
Helen looked perplexed. ''Should I,
Betty?" she asked, ''when it's my own
" It's nicer," said Betty. " Nan and I do.
How do you like our room, Katherine ? "
" It's a beaut.," said Katherine, taking the
hint promptly. " I don't see how you ever
fixed your desks and couches, and left so
much space in the middle. Our room is like
the aisle in a Chicago theatre. That Japa-
nese screen is a peach and the water-color
over your desk is another. Did you buy back
the chafing-dish ? "
Betty laughed. She had amused the house
by getting up before breakfast on the day
after Nan left, in her haste to buy a chafing-
dish. In the afternoon Rachel had suggested
that a teakettle was really more essential to a
college establishment, and they had gone down
together to change it. But then had come
Miss King's invitation to eat " plowed field "
after the frolic ; and the chafing-dish, appear-
ing once more the be-all and end-all of exist-
ence, had finally replaced the teakettle.
38 BETTT iVALES
" But we're going to have both," ventured
" Oh yes," broke in Betty. " Isn't it fine
of Helen to get it and make our tea-table so
complete? " As a matter of fact Betty much
preferred that the tea-table should be all her
own ; but Helen was so delighted with the
idea of having a part in it, and so sure that
she wanted a teakettle more than pillows for
her couch, that Betty resolved not to mind the
bare-looking bed, which marred the cozy effect
of the room, and above all never to let Helen
guess how she felt about the tea-table. '' But
next year you better believe I'm hoping for a
single room," she confided to the little green
lizard who sat on her inkstand and ogled her
while she worked.
When church was over Katherine proposed
a stroll around the campus before dinner. '' I
haven't found my bearings at all yet," she
said. '' Now which building is which? "
Betty pointed out the Hilton House proudly.
'' That's all I know," she said, '' except these
up here in front of course — the Main Build-
ing and Chapel, and Science and Music
BETTT WALES 39
*' We know the gymnasium," suggested
Helen, '* and the Belden House, where we
bought our screen, is one of the four in that
They found the Belden House, and picked
out the Westcott by its name-plate, which, be-
ing new and shiny, was easy to read from a
distance. Then Helen made a discovery.
'^ Girls, there's water down there," she cried.
Sure enough, behind the back fence and across
a road was a pretty pond, with wooded banks
and an island, which hid its further side from
'* That must be the place they call Para-
dise," said Betty. '^ I've heard Nan speak of
it. I thought it was this," and she pointed to
a slimy pool about four yards across, below
them on the back campus. "■ That's the only
pond I'd noticed."
'' Oh, no," declared Katherine. '' I've heard
my scientific roommate speak of that. It's
called the Frog Pond and ' of it more anon,'
as my already beloved Latin teacher occasion-
ally remarks. To speak plainly, she has
promised to let me help her catch her first
40 BETTT WALES
They walked home through the apple or-
chard that occupied one corner of the back
" It's not a very big campus, and not a bit
dignified or imposing, but I like it," said
Betty, as they came out on to the main drive
again, and started toward the gateway.
'' Nice and cozy to live with every day/'
added Katherine. Helen was too busy com-
paring the red-brick, homely reality with the
shaded marble cloisters of her dreams, to say
what she thought.
Betty's dancing class was a great success.
With characteristic energy she organized it
Monday morning. It appeared that while all
the Chapin house girls could dance except
Helen and Adelaide Rich, none of them could
'' lead " but Eleanor.
'' And Miss King's friends said we freshmen
ought to learn before the sophomore recep-
tion, particularly the tall ones ; and most of us
are tall," explained Betty.
"That's all right," interposed Eleanor, " but
take my advice and don't learn. If you can't
lead, the other girl always will ; and the men
say it ruins a girl's dancing."
BETTT WALES 41
^' Who cares ? " demanded Katherine boldly.
'^ Imagine Betty or Miss Brooks trying to see
over me and pull me around ! I want to
learn, for one — men or no men."
'* So do I," said Rachel and Mary Rich to-
gether. *^ And I," drawled Roberta lan-
'' Oh well, if you're all set upon it, I'll play
for you," said Eleanor graciously. She was
secretly ashamed of the speech that Katherine
had overheard the day before and bitterly re-
gretted having antagonized the girls in the
house, when she had meant only to keep them
— all but Betty — at a respectful distance. She
liked most of them personally, but she wished
her friends to be of another type — girls from
large schools like her own, who would have
influence and a following from the first ; girls
with the qualities of leadership, who could
control votes in class-meetings and push their
little set to first place in all the organized ac-
tivities of the college. Eleanor had said that
she came to college for "■ fun," but '' fun " to
her meant power and prominence. She was a
born politician, with a keen love of manoeu-
vring and considerable tact and insight when
42 BETTT WALES
she chose to exercise it. But inexperience
and the ease with which she had '' run '^
boarding-school affairs had made her over-con-
fident. She saw now that she had indulged
her fondness for sarcasm too far, and was ready
to do a good deal to win back the admiration
which she was sure the Chapin house girls
had felt for her at first. She was particularly
anxious to do this, as the freshman class-meet-
ing was only a week off, and she wanted the
votes of the house for the Hill School candi-
date for class-president.
So three evenings that week, in spite of her
distaste for minor parts and bad pianos, she
meekly drummed out waltzes and two-steps
on Mrs. Chapin's rickety instrument for a long
half hour after dinner, while Betty and Ro-
berta — who danced beautifully and showed an
unexpected aptitude in imparting her accom-
plishment — acted as head-masters, and the
rest of the girls furnished the novices with the
necessary variety of partners, practiced '' lead-
ing," and incidentally got better acquainted.
On Friday evening, as they sat in the parlor
resting and discussing the progress of their
pupils and the appalling length of the Livy
BETTT WALES 43
iesson for the next day, Eleanor broached the
subject of the class-meeting.
"' You know it's to-morrow at two," she said.
"- Aren't you excited ? "
'' It will be fun to see our class together,"
said Rachel. Nobody else seemed to take
much interest in the subject.
''Well, of course/' pursued Eleanor, ''I'm
particularly anxious about it because a dear
friend of mine is going to be proposed for
class president — Jean Eastman — you know
" Oh yes," cried Betty, enthusiastically.
" She's that tall, dark girl who was with you
yesterday at Cuyler's. She seemed lovely."
Eleanor nodded and got up from the piano
stool. " I must go to work," she said, smiling
cordially round the little group. " Tell them
what a good president Jean will make, Betty.
And don't one of you forget to come."
" She can be very nice when she wants to,"
said Katherine bluntly when Eleanor was well
out of hearing.
" I think she's trying to make up for Sun-
day," said Betty. " Let's all vote for her
44 BETTT WALES
The first class-meeting of 190 — passed off
with unwonted smoothness. The class before
had forgotten that it is considered necessary
for a corporate body to have a constitution ;
and the class before that had made itself
famous by suggesting the addition of the
'' Woman's Home Monthly " to the magazines
in the college reading-room. 190 — avoided
these and other absurdities. A constitution
mysteriously appeared, drawn up in good and
regular form, and was read and promptly
adopted. Then Eleanor Watson nominated
Jean Eastman for president. After she and
the other nominees had stood in a blushing
row on the platform to be inspected b}^ their
class, the voting began. Miss Eastman was
declared elected on the first ballot, with ex-
actly four votes more than the number neces-
sary for a choice.
^' I hope she'll remember that we did that,"
Katherine Kittredge leaned forward to say to
Betty, who sat in the row ahead of her with
the fluffy-haired freshman from the Hilton
and her '' queer " roommate.
That night there was a supper in Jean's
honor at Holmes's, so Eleanor did not appear
BETTT TFALES 45
at Mrs. Chapin's dinner- table to be duly im-
pressed with a sense of her obligations. '' How
did you like the class-meeting?" inquired
Rachel, who had been for a long walk with a
girl from her home town, and so had not seen
'' I thought it was all right myself," said
Adelaide Rich, '' but I walked home with a
girl named Alford who was dreadfully dis-
gusted. She said it was all cut and dried, and
wanted to know who asked Eleanor Watson
to write us a constitution. She said she hoped
that hereafter we wouldn't sit around tamely
and be run by any clique."
" Well, somebody must run us," said Betty
consolingly. ^' Those girls know one another
and the rest of us don't know any one well.
I think it will all work around in time. They
will have their turns first, that's all."
*' Perhaps," admitted Adelaide doubtfully.
Her pessimistic acquaintance had obtained a
strong hold on her.
'' And the next thing is the sophomore
reception," said Rachel.
"■ And Mountain Day right after that,"
46 BETTT IVALES
''What?" asked Helen and Roberta to-
"■ Is it possible that you don't know about
Mountain Day, children ? " asked Mary Brooks
soberly. '' Well, you've heard about the phys-
ical tests for the army and navy, haven't you ?
This is like those. If you pass your entrance
examinations you are allowed a few weeks to
recuperate, and then if you can climb the re-
quired mountain you can stay on in college."
"" How very interesting ! " drawled Roberta,
who had some idea now how to take Mary's
jibes. '' Now, Betty, please tell us about it."
Betty explained that the day after the
sophomore reception was a holiday, and
that most of the girls seized the opportunity
to take an all-day walk or drive into the
country around Harding.
'' Let's all ask our junior and senior friends
about the nicest places to go," said Rachel,
emphasizing ''junior and senior " and looking
at Mary. " Then we can make our plans, and
engage a carriage if we want one. I should
think there might be quite a rush."
"You should, should you?" jeered Mary.
*' My dear, every horse that can stand alone
BETTT WALES 47
and every respectable vehicle was engaged
'' No one has engaged our lower appen-
dages," returned Katherine. ** So if worse
comes to worst, we are quite independent of
liveries. Which of us are you going to take
to the sophomore reception ? "
'' Roberta, of course," said Mary. '' Didn't
you know that Roberta and I have a crush on
each other ? A crush, my dears, in case you
are wanting to know, is a warm and adoring
friendship. Sorry, but I'm going out this
" Has she really asked you, Roberta ? "
'' Yes," said Roberta.
'' How nice ! I'm going with a sophomore
whose sister is a friend of Nan's."
'' And Hester Gulick is going to take me
— she's my friend from home," volunteered
'' I was asked to-day," added Helen. '* After
the class-meeting an awfully nice girl, a junior,
came up here. She said there were so many
of us that some of the juniors were going to
help take us. Isn't it nice of them ? "
48 BET TV lf\^LES
Nobody spoke for a moment ; then Kath-
erine went on gaily. " And we other three
have not yet been called and chosen, bnt 1
happen to know that it's because so many
people want us. and nobody will give up. So
don't the rest of you indulge in any crowing."
" By the way. Betty," said Rachel Mor-
rison, " will you take some more dancing
pupils ? 1 was telling two girls who board
down the street about our class and they said
they wanted to learn before the reception and
would much rather come here than go to that
bis: class that two seniors have in the c:vm.
But as they don't know you, they would
insist on paying, just as they would at the
Betty looked doubtfully at Roberta. " Shall
we ? " she said.
" I don't mind," answered Roberta, " if
only you all promise not to tell my father.
He wouldn't understand. Do you suppose
Miss Watson would play ? "
" If not, I will." said Mary Rich.
" And we could use the money for a house
spread," added Betty, " since we all help to
BETTT fVALES 49
'' And christen the chafing-dish," put in
'' Good. Then I'll tell them— Mondays,
Tuesdays and Fridays," said Rachel ; and the
The dancing class went briskly on ; so did
the Livy class and the geometry, the English 1,
the French required and the history elective.
The freshmen were getting acquainted with
one another now, and seldom confused their
classmates with seniors or youthful members
of the faculty. They no longer attempted to
go out of chapel ahead of the seniors, or
invaded the president's house in their frantic
search for Science Hall or the Art Gallery.
For October was fast wearing away. The
hills about Harding showed flaming patches
of scarlet, and it was time for the sophomore
reception and Mountain Day. Betty was very
much excited about the reception, but she felt
also that a load would slip off her shoulders
when it was over. She was anxious about
the progress of the dancing pupils, who had
increased to five, besides Helen and Adelaide,
and for whom she felt a personal responsibilityt
BETTT WALES 51
because the Chapin house girls persisted in
calling the class hers. And what would father
say if they didn't get their money's worth?
Then there was Helen's dress for the re-
ception, which she was sure was a fright, but
couldn't get up the courage to inquire about.
And last and worst of all was the mysterious
grind-book and Dorothy King's warning about
father's telegram to the registrar. She had
never mentioned the incident to anybody, but
from certain annoying remarks that Mary
Brooks let fall she was sure that Mary knew
all about it and that the sophomores were
planning to make telling use of it.
'' How's your friend the registrar ? " Mary
would inquire solemnly every few days. And
if Betty refused to answer she would say slyly,
'' Who met you at the station, did you tell
me? Oh, only Dottie King?" until Betty
almost decided to stop her by telling the
Two days before the reception she took
Rachel and Katherine into her confidence
about Helen's dress.
'' You see if I could only look at it, maybe
I could show her how to fix it up," she
52 BETTT WALES
explained, '' but I'm afraid to ask. I'm
pretty sure she's sensitive about her looks
and her clothes. I should want to be told if
I was such a fright, but maybe she's happier
'' She can't help knowing if she stays here
long," said Rachel.
'' Why don't you get out your dress, and
then perhaps she'll show hers," suggested
'' I could do that," assented Betty doubt-
fully. '' I could find a place to mend, I guess.
Chiffon tears so easily."
'' Good idea," said Rachel heartily. '' Try
that, and then if she doesn't bite you'd better
let things take their course. But it is too bad
to have her go looking like a frump, after all
the trouble we've taken with her dancing."
Betty went back to her room, sat down at
her desk and began again at her Livy. '' For
I might as well finish this first," she thought ;
and it was half an hour before she shut the
scarlet-covered book with a slam and an-
nounced somewhat ostentatiously that she had
finished her Latin lesson.
*' And now I must mend my dress for the
BETTT WALES 53
reception," she went on consciously. '' Mother
is always cautioning me not to wait till the
last minute to fix things."
'' Did you look up all the constructions in
the Livy ? " asked Helen. Betty was so
annoyingly quick about everything.
"• No," returned Betty cheerfully from the
closet, where she was rummaging for her
dress. " I shall guess at those. Why don't
you try it? Oh, dear ! This is dreadfully
mussed," and she appeared in the closet door
with a fluffy white skirt over her arm.
^^ How pretty ! " exclaimed Helen, deserting
her Livy to examine it. '' Is it long? "
'' Um-um," said Betty taking a pin out of
her mouth and hunting frantically for a
microscopic rip. '' Yes, it's long, and it has a
train. My brother Will persuaded mother to
let me have one. Wasn't he a brick ? "
'' Yes," said Helen shortly, going back to
her desk and opening her book again. Pres-
ently she hitched her chair around to face
Betty. '' Mine's awfully short," she said.
" Is it? " asked Betty politely.
There was a pause. Then, '* Would you
care to see it? " asked Helen.
54 BETTr STALES
Betty winked at the green lizard. '' Yes
indeed," she said cordially. '' Wh}^ don't
you try it on to be sure it's all right ? Fm
going to put on mine in just a minute."
She breathed a sigh of relief when she saw
the dress. It was a simple white muslin.
The sleeves were queer, the neck too high to
be low and too low to be high, and the skirt
ridiculously short. '' But it might have been
a lot worse," reflected Betty. '' If she'll only
fix it ! "
*' Wait a minute," she said after she had
duly admired it. '' I'll put mine on, and we'll
see how we both look dressed up."
" You look like a regular princess out of a
story-book," said Helen solemnly, when Betty
turned to her for inspection.
Betty laughed. '' Oh, wait till to-morrow
night," she said. '' My hair's all mussed now.
I wonder how you'd look with your hair low,
Helen flushed and bit her lip. '' I shan't
look anyhow in this horrid short dress,"
" Then why don't you make it longer, and
lower in the neck ? " inquired Betty impa-
BETTT WALES 55
tiently. Helen was as conscientiously slow
about making up her mind as she was about
learning her Livy. *' It's hemmed, isn't it ?
Anyhow you could piece it under the ruffle."
^' Do you suppose mamma would care?"
said Helen dubiously. " Anyway I don't
believe I have time — only till to-morrow
"■ Oh I'll show you how," Betty broke in
eagerly. '^ And if your mother should object
you could put it back, you know. You begin
ripping out the hem, and then we'll hang it."
Helen Chase Adams proved to be a pains-
taking and extremely slow sewer. Besides,
she insisted on taking time off to learn her
history and geometry, instead of '' risking "
them as Betty did and urged her to do. The
result was that Betty had to refuse Mary
Brooks's invitation to '' come down to the gym
and dance the wax into that blooming floor "
the next afternoon, and was tired and cross by
the time she had done Helen's hair low,
hooked her into the transformed dress, and
finished her own toilette. She had never
thought to ask the name of Helen's junior,
and was surprised and pleased when Dorothy
56 BETTT WALES
King appeared at their door. Dorothy's
amazement was undisguised.
*' You'll have to be costumer for our house
plays next year, Miss Wales/' she said, while
Betty blushed and contradicted all Helen's
explanations. '' You're coming on the cam-
pus, of course."
'' So virtue isn't its only reward after all,"
said Eleanor Watson, who had come in just in
time to hear Miss King's remark. '* Helen
Chase Adams isn't exactly a vision of love-
liness yet. She won't be mistaken for the
college beauty, but she's vastly improved. I
only wish anybody cared to take as much
trouble for me."
''Oh, Eleanor ! " said Betty reproachfully.
** As if any one could improve you ! "
Eleanor's evening dress was a pale yellow
satin that brought out the brown lights in her
hair and eyes and the gleaming whiteness of
her shoulders. There were violets in her hair,
which was piled high on her head, and more
violets at her waist ; and as she stood full in
the light, smiling at Betty's earnestness, Betty
was sure she had never seen any one half so
BETTT WALES 57
** But I wish you wouldn't be so sarcastic
over Helen," she went on stoutly. " She can't
help being such a freak."
Eleanor yawned. '' I was born sarcastic,"
she said. '' I wish Lil Day would hurry.
Did you happen to notice that I cut three
classes straight this morning? "
'' No," said Betty aghast. '' Oh, Eleanor,
how dare you when " She stopped sud-
denly, remembering that Eleanor had asked
her not to speak of the entrance conditions.
'' When I have so much to make up already,
you mean," Eleanor went on complacently.
*' Oh, I shall manage somehow. Here they
A few moments later the freshman and
sophomore classes, with a sprinkling of juniors
to make the numbers even, were gathered
en masse in the big gymnasium. All the
afternoon loyal sophomores had toiled thither
from the various campus houses, lugging
palms, screens, portieres and pillows. Inside
another contingent had arranged these con-
tributions, festooned the running-track with
red and green bunting, risked their lives to
fasten Japanese lanterns to the cross-beamS;
58 BETTT WALES
and disguised the apparatus against the walls
with great branches of spruce and cedar, which
still other merry, wind-blown damsels, driving
a long-suffering horse, had deposited at in-
tervals near the back door. By five o'clock it
was finished and everybody, having assured
everybody else that the gym never looked so
well before, had gone home to dress for the
evening. Now the lights softened what Mary
Brooks called the '' hidjous " greens of the
freshman bunting, a band played sweet music
behind the palms, and pretty girls in pretty
gowns sat in couples on the divans that lined
the walls, or waited in line to speak to the re-
ceiving party. This consisted of Jean East-
man and the sophomore president, who stood
in front of the fireplace, where a line of ropes
intended to be used in gym practice had been
looped back and made the best sort of founda-
tion for a green canopy over their heads. Ten
of the prettiest sophomores acted as ushers,
and four popular and much envied seniors
presided at the frappe bowls in the four cor-
ners of the room.
'' There's not much excitement about a man-
less dance, but it's a fascinating thing to
THE FLOOR WAS CROWDED
BETTT WALES 59
watch," said Eleanor to her partner, as they
stood in the running-track looking down at
'^ I'm afraid you're blase, Miss Watson," re-
turned the sophomore. " Only seniors are al-
lowed to dislike girl dances."
Eleanor laughed. *^ Well, I seem to be the
only heretic present," she said. "■ They're cer-
tainly having a good time down there."
They certainly were. The novelty of the
occasion appealed to the freshmen, and the
more sophisticated sophomores were bound to
make a reputation as gallant beaux. So al-
though only half the freshman could dance
at once and even then the floor was dreadfully
crowded, and in spite of the fact that the only
refreshment was the rather watery frappe which
gave out early in the evening, 190 — 's recep-
tion to 190 — was voted a great success.
At nine o'clock the sophomore ushers began
arranging the couples in a long line leading
to the grind table, and Betty knew that her
hour had come. The orchestra played a
march, and as the girls walked past the table
the sophomore officers presented each fresh-
man with a small booklet bound in the fresh-
6o BETTI^ fVALES
man green, on the front cover of which, in let-
ters of sophomore scarlet, was the cryptic
legend : '' Puzzle — name the girl." This was
explained, however, by the inside, where ap-
peared a small and rather cloudy blue-print,
showing the back view of a girl in shirt-waist
and short skirt, with a pile of books under her
arm, and the inevitable '' tarn " on her head.
On the opposite page was a facsimile telegraph
blank, filled out to the registrar,
'' Please meet my dear young daughter, who
will arrive on Thursday by the 6:15, and
oblige, Thomas ."
Everybody laughed, pushed her neighbors
around for a back view, and asked the sopho-
mores if the telegram had truly been sent, and
if this was the real girl's picture. So no one
noticed Betty's blushes except Mary Brooks,
upon whom she vowed eternal vengeance.
For she remembered how one afternoon the
week before, she and Mary had started from
the house together, and Mary, who said she
was taking her camera down-town for a new
film, had dropped behind on some pretext.
Betty had been sure she heard the camera
BETTT WALES 6i
click, but Mary had grinned and told her not
to be so vain of her back.
However, nobody recognized the picture.
The few sophomores who knew anything about
it were pledged to secrecy, as the grinds were
never allowed to become too personal, and the
freshmen treated the telegram as an amusing
myth. In a few minutes every one was dancing
again, and only too soon it was ten o'clock.
"• Wasn't it fun ? " said Betty enthusiastic-
ally, as she and Helen undressed.
'' Oh yes," agreed Helen. '' I never had
such a good time in my life. But, do you
know. Miss Watson says she was bored, and
Roberta thought it was tiresome and the grind-
book silly and impossible."
^* Truth is stranger than fiction sometimes,"
said Betty sagely, smothering a laugh in the
She was asleep in five minutes, but Helen
lay for a long while thinking over the excit-
ing events of the evening. How she had
dreaded it ! At home she hated dances and
never went if she could help it, because she
was such a wall-flower. She had been afraid
it would be the same here, but it wasn't.
62 BETTT WALES
What a lovely time she had had ! She could
dance so well now, and Miss King's friends
were so nice, and college was such a beautiful
place, though it was so different from what she
Across the hall Roberta had lighted her
student lamp and was sitting up to write an
appreciative and very clever account of the
evening to her cousin, who was reporter on j\
Boston paper and had made her promise to
send him an occasional college item.
And Eleanor, still in the yellow satin, sat at
her desk scribbling aimlessly on a pad of
paper or staring at a clean sheet, which began,
''My dear father." She had meant to write
him that she was tired of college and wanted
to come home at once ; but somehow she
couldn't begin. For she thought, '' I can see
him raise his eyebrows and smile and say, ' so
you want to throw up the sponge, do you ? I
was under the impression that you had prom-
ised to stay out the year,' as he did to the pri-
vate secretary who wouldn't sit up with him
till three in the morning to write letters."
Finally she tore up '' My dear father," and
went to bed in the dark.
UP HILL AND DOWN
The next day was just the sort that every-
body had been hoping for on Mountain Day,
— crisp and clear and cool, with the inspirit-
ing tang in the air, the delicious warmth in
the sunshine, and the soft haze over the hills,
that belong to nothing but a New England
October at its best. The Chapin house break-
fast-table was unusually lively, for each girl
wanted to tell what she thought about the re-
ception and how she was going to spend
Mountain Day ; and nobody seemed anxious
to listen to anybody's else story.
'' Sh — sh," demanded Mary Brooks at last.
*' Now children, you've talked long enough.
Run and get your lunch boxes and begin mak-
ing your sandwiches. Mrs. Chapin wants us
to finish by ten o'clock."
^' Ten o'clock ! " repeated Katherine. '' Well,
I should hope so. Our horse is ordered for
64 BETTT WALES
" Going to be gone all day ? " inquired Mary
"■ Of course," answered Katherine with dig-
'^ Well, don't kill the poor beast," called
Mary as she ran up-stairs for her box.
Mary was going off in a barge with the
sophomore decorating committee, who wanted
a good chance to congratulate and condole
with one another over their Herculean labors
and ultimate triumph of the day before. The
Rich sisters had decided to spend the holiday
with an aunt who lived twenty miles down
the river ; Eleanor had promised early in the
fall to go out with a party of horseback rid-
ers ; and Helen, whose pocketbook had been
prematurely flattened to buy her teakettle,
had decided to accept the invitation of a girl
in her geometry division to join an econom-
ical walking party. This left Rachel, Kath-
erine, Roberta and Betty, who had hired a
horse and two-seated trap for the day, invited
Alice Waite, Betty's little friend from the
Hilton House, to join them, and were going to
drive "■ over the notch."
'* I haven't the least idea what a notch is like,"
BETTT WALES 65
said Katherine. '' We don't have such things
where I come from. But it sounds interesting. ' '
''Doesn't it?" assented Rachel absently,
counting the ham sandwiches. *' Do you sup-
pose the hills are very steep, Betty? "
'' Oh, I guess not. Anyhow Katherine and
I told the man we were going there and
wanted a sure-footed horse."
'' Who's going to drive? " asked Roberta.
'^ Why, you, of course," said Katherine
quickly. '' You said you were used to driv-
'' Oh, yes, I am," conceded Roberta hastily
and wondered if she would better tell them
any more. It was true that she was used to
horses, but she had never conquered her fear
of them, and they always found her out. It
was a standing joke in the Lewis family that
the steadiest horse put on airs and pranced
for Roberta. Even old Tom, that her little
cousins drove out alone — Roberta blushed as
she remembered her experience with old Tom.
But if the girls were depending on her —
" Betty drives too," she said aloud. '' She
and I can take turns. Are you sure we have
enough gingersnaps ? "
66 BETTT WALES
Everybody laughed, for Roberta's fondness
for gingersnaps had become proverbial,
^' Half a box apiece," said Rachel, '' and it is
understood that you are to have all you want
even if the rest of us don't get any."
When the horse arrived Roberta's last fear
vanished. He was meekness personified.
His head drooped sadly and his eyes were half
shut. His fuzzy nose and large feet bespoke
docile endurance, while the heavy trap to
which he was harnessed would certainly dis-
courage all latent tendencies to undue speed.
Alice Waite, Rachel and Katherine climbed
in behind, Betty and Roberta took the front
seat, and they started at a jog trot down
'' Shall Ave go through Main Street? " asked
Roberta. "' He might be afraid of the electric
'' Afraid of nothing," said Betty decidedly.
^' Besides, Alice wants to stop at the grocery."
The ''beastie," as Katherine called him,
stood like a statue before Mr. Phelps's grocery,
and never so much as moved an eyelash when
three trolley cars dashed by him in quick
BETTr IVALES 67
"What did you get?" asked Katharine,
when Alice came out laden with bundles.
•' Olives "
" Good ! We forgot those."
" And bananas "
" The very thing ! We have grapes."
'^ And wafers and gingersnaps "
Everybody laughed riotously. " What's
the matter now ? " inquired Alice, looking a
little offended. Rachel explained.
" Well, if you have enough for the lunch,"
said Alice, " let's keep these out to eat when
we feel hungry." And the box was accord-
ingly stuffed between Betty and Roberta for
Down on the meadow road it was very
warm. By the time they reached the ferry,
the " beastie's " thick coat was dripping wet
and he breathed hard.
''Ben drivin' pretty fast, hain't you?"
asked the ferryman, patting the horse's hairy
'' I should think not," said Katherine in-
dignantly. '' Why, he walked most of the
'' Wall, remember that there trap's very
68 BETTT WALES
heavy," said the ferryman solemnly, as he
Beyond the river the hills began. The
'' beastie " trailed slowly up them. Several
times Roberta pulled him out to the side of
the road to let more ambitious animals pass
''Do you suppose he's really tired?" she
whispered to Betty, as they approached a par-
ticularly steep pitch. '' He might back
''Girls," said Betty hastily, "I'm sick of
sitting still, so I'm going to walk up this next
hill. Any of you want to come ? "
Relieved of his four passengers the horse
still hung his head and lifted each clumsy foot
with an effort.
" Oh, Roberta, there's a watering trough up
here," called Betty from the top of the hill.
" I'm sure that'll revive him."
By their united efforts they got the
" beastie " up to the trough, which was most
inconveniently located on a steep bank beside
the road ; and while Betty and Alice kept the
back wheels of the trap level, Katherine un-
fastened the check-rein. To her horror, as
BETTT WALES 69
the check dropped the bits came out of the
'' How funny," said Alice, "just like every-
thing up here. Did you ever see a harness
like that, Betty? " Betty left her post at the
hind wheel and came around to investigate.
''Why he has two bits," she said. ''Of
course he couldn't go, poor creature. And see
how thirsty he is ! "
" Well, he's drunk enough now," said Ro-
berta, " and you'll have to put the extra
bits in again — that is, if you can. He'd
trail his nose on the ground if he wasn't
The " beastie " stood submissively while the
bits were replaced and the check fastened.
Then he chewed a handful of clover with
avidity and went on again as dejectedly as
ever. Presently they reached a long, level
stretch of road and stopped in the shade of a
big pine-tree for a consultation.
"Do you suppose this is the top?" asked
Just then a merry tally-ho party of fresh-
men, tooting horns and singing, drew up be-
side them. "Is this the top of the notch? "
70 BETTT }VALES
asked Betty, waving her hand to some girls
^' No, it's three miles further on," they
called back. '^ Hurrah for 190— ! "
'' Well?" said Betty, who felt in no mood
'' Let's go back to that pretty grove two
hills down and tie this apology for a horse to
the fence and spend the rest of the day there,"
Everybody agreed to this, and Roberta
backed her steed round with a flourish.
^' Now let's each have a gingersnap before
we start down," she said. So the box was
opened and passed. Roberta gathered the
reins in one hand, clucked to the horse, and
put her gingersnap into her mouth for the
first bite. But she never got it, for without
the slightest provocation the '' beastie " gave a
sudden spring forward, flopped his long tail
over the reins, and started at a gallop down
the road. Betty clung to the dashboard with
one hand and tried to pluck off* the obstruct-
ing tail with the other. Roberta, with the
gingersnap still in her mouth, tugged desper-
ately at the lines, and the back seat yelled
BETTT WALES 71
'' Whoa I " lustily, until Betty, having rear-
ranged the tail and regained her seat, advised
them to help pull instead. They had long
since left the little grove behind, had dashed
past half a dozen carriages, and were down on
the level read near the ferry, when the
'' beastie '' stopped as suddenly as he had
started. Roberta deliberately removed the
gingersnap from her mouth, handed the reins
to Betty to avoid further interruption, and be-
gan to eat, while the rest of the party in-
dulged in unseemly laughter at her expense.
"■ We've found out what that extra bit was
for," said Rachel when the mirth had subsided,
*' and we can advise the liveryman that it
doesn't work. But what are we going to do
'^ Murder the liveryman," suggested Kath-
" But the horse is sure-footed ; he didn't
lie," objected Alice so seriously that every-
body burst out laughing again.
'' He told the truth, but not the whole
truth," said Rachel. " Next time we'll ask
how many bits the horse has to wear and how
it takes to hills. Now what can we do ? "
72 BETTT WALES
*' We can't go back to the woods, that's
sure," said Katherine. '' And it's too hot to
stay down here. Let's go home and get rid of
this sure-footed incubus, and then we can de-
cide what to do next."
The ferryman greeted them cheerfully.
'' Back so soon ? " he said. '' Had your din-
'' Of course not, " replied Katherine
severely. '' It's only twelve o'clock. We're
just out for a morning drive. Do you remem-
ber saying that this horse was tired ? Well^
he brought us down the hills at about a mile a
'' Is that so ! " declared the ferryman with a
chuckle. '' Scairt, were you ? Why didn't you
git them young Winsted fellers, that jest started
up, to rescue yer ? Might a ben quite a story."
'' We didn't need rescuing, thank you," said
Katherine. '' Did you see any men ? " she
whispered to Betty.
Betty nodded. ^' Four, driving a span.
They were awfully amused. Miss King was
in another of the carriages," she added sadly.
Then she caught sight of Roberta and began
to laugh again. " You were so funny with
BETTr PVALES 73
that cookie in your mouth," she said. " Were
you dreadfully frightened ? "
" No," said Roberta, with a guilty blush.
" I always expect something to happen.
Eorses are such uncertain creatures."
They drove back through the meadows at a
moderate pace, deposited the horse and a cer-
tified opinion of him with an apologetic livery-
man, and carried their lunch down to Para-
dise. '' For it's as pretty as any place and
near, and we're all hungry," Alice said.
Paradise was deserted, for the girls had pre-
ferred to range further afield on Mountain
Day. So the five freshmen chose two boats,
rowed up stream without misadventure, spread
out their luncheon on a grassy knoll, and ate,
talked, and read till dinner time. As they
crossed the campus, they met parties of dusty,
disheveled pedestrians, laden with purple as-
ters and autumn branches. A barge stopped
at the gateway to deposit the campus contin-
gent of the sophomore decorating committee,
and in front of the various dwelling-houses
empty buckboards, surreys and express
wagons, waiting to be called for, showed that
the holiday was over.
74 BETTT WALES
'' I don't think our first Mountain Day has
been so bad after all, in spite of that dreadful
horse," said Rachel.
'' So much pleasant variety about it," added
'' Let's not tell about the runaway," said
Alice who hated to be teased.
" But Miss King saw us," expostulated
Betty, ''and you can trust Mary Brooks to
know all about it."
When Mary, who was late in dressing, en-
tered the dining-room, she gave a theatrical
cry of joy. '' I'm so glad you're all safe," she
said. '' And how about that cookie, Roberta ? "
''I'm sorr}^, but it's gone. They're all
gone," said Roberta coolly. " Now you
might as well tell us how you knew."
" Knew ! " repeated Mary scornfully. " The
whole college knows by this time. We were
lunching on the notch road, near the top,
when four Winsted men came up, and asked
if they might join us. They knew most of
us. So we said yes, if they'd brought any
candy, and they told us a strange story about
five girls — very young girls, they said," in-
terpolated Mary emphatically, " that the3^'d
BETTT WALES 75
seen dashing down the notch. One was try-
ing to eat a cookie, and another was pulling
the horse's tail, and the rest were screaming
at the top of their lungs, so naturally the
horse was frightened to death. Pretty soon
three carriage loads of juniors came along and
they confirmed the awful news and gave us
the names of the victims, and you can im-
agine how I felt. The men want to meet you,
but I told them they couldn't because of
course you'd be drowned in the river."
'^ I hope you'll relieve their minds the next
time they come to see you," said Katherine.
^' Are they the youths who monopolize our
piazza every Wednesday and Saturday after-
^' Two of them help occasionally."
Katherine winked meaningly at the rest of
the Mountain Day party. '' We'll be there,"
she said, '' though it goes against my con-
science to receive calls from such untruthful
The next Saturday afternoon Betty and
Katherine established themselves ostenta-
tiously on the front piazza to await the ar-
rival of Mary's callers. Rachel had gone to
76 BErrr wales
play basket-ball, and Roberta had refused to
conspire against Mary's peace of mind, par-
ticularly since the plot might involve having
to talk to a man. Promptly at three o'clock
two gentlemen arrived.
'' Miss Brooks is that sorry, but she had to
go out," announced the maid in tones plainly
audible to the two eavesdroppers. '^ Would
you please to come back at four? "
Katherine and Betty exchanged disap-
pointed glances. '^ Checked again. She's
too much for us," murmured Katherine.
'^ Shall we wait?"
'' And is Miss Wales in— Miss Betty Wales ? "
pursued the spokesman, after a slight pause.
The maid looked severely at the occupants
of the piazza. '^ Yes, sor, you can see that
yoursilf," she said and abruptly withdrew.
The man laughed and came quickly toward
Betty, who had risen to meet him. '' I'm
John Parsons," he said. '' I roomed with
your brother at Andover. He told me you
were here and asked me to call. Didn't he
write to you too ? Miss Brooks promised to
present me, but as she isn't in "
^^ Oh, yes, Will wrote, and I'm very glad to
BETTT WALES 77
meet you, Mr. Parsons," Betty broke in.
'^ Only I didn't know you were — I mean I
didn't know that Miss Brooks's caller was
you. Miss Kittredge, Mr. Parsons. Wasn't
your friend going to wait? "
" Bob," called Mr. Parsons after the retreat-
ing figure of his companion, '' come back and
hear about the runaway. You're wanted."
It was fully half-past four when Messrs.
Parsons and Hughes, remembering that they
had another engagement, left their escorts by
request at the gymnasium and returned from
a pleasant walk through Paradise and the
campus to Meriden Place, where a rather frigid
reception awaited them. Betty and Katherine,
having watched the finish of the basket-ball
game, followed them, and spent the time be-
fore dinner in painting a poster which they hung
conspicuously on Mary's door. On it a green
dragon, recently adopted as freshman class
animal, charged the sophomores' purple cow
and waved a long and very curly tail in
triumph. Underneath was written in large
letters, '' Quits. Who is going to the A (P dance
'' I'm dreadfully afraid mother won't let me
78 BETTT WALES
go though," said Betty as they hammered in
the pins with Helen's paper-weight. '' And
anyhow it's not for three whole weeks."
When the drawing was securely fastened,
Betty surveyed it doubtfully. " I wonder if
we'd better take it down," she said at last.
'' I don't believe it's very dignified. I'm
afraid I oughtn't to have asked Mr. Parsons to
call his friend back, but I did so want to meet
both of them and crow over Mary. And it
was they who suggested the walk. Katherine,
do you mind if we take this down ? "
'' Why, no, if you don't want to leave it,'^
said Katherine looking puzzled. '' I'm afraid
Mr. Hughes didn't have a very good time.
Men aren't my long suit. But otherwise I
think we did this up brown."
Just then Eleanor came up, and Katherine
gave her an enthusiastic account of the after-
noon's adventure. Betty was silent. Pres-
ently she asked, '' Girls, what is a back row
'' I don't know. Why ? " asked Eleanor.
'* Well, you know I stopped at the college,
Katherine, to get my history paper back.
Miss Ellis looked hard at me when I went in
BETTr WALES 79
and stammered out what I wanted. She
hunted up the paper and gave it to me and
then she said, ^ With which division do you
recite, Miss Wales?' I told her at ten, and
she looked at me hard again and said, * You
have been present in class twelve times and
I've never noticed you. Don't acquire a back
row reputation. Miss Wales. Good-day,' and
I can tell you I backed out in a hurry."
*' I suppose she means that we sit on the
back rows when we don't know the lesson,"
said Helen who had joined the group.
^^ I see," said Betty. '^ And do you suppose
the faculty notice such things as that and
comment on them to one another ? "
'' Of course," said Eleanor wisely. '' They
size us up right off. So does our class, and
the upper class girls."
'' Gracious ! " said Betty. *' I wish I hadn't
promised to go to a spread on the campus to-
night. I wish What a nuisance so many
reputations are I " And she crumpled the
purple cow and the green dragon into a shape-
less wad and threw it at Rachel, who was
coming up-stairs swinging her gym shoes by
Betty was cross and ''just a tiny speck
homesick," so she confided to the green lizard.
Nothing interesting had happened since she
could remember, and it had rained steadily
for four days. Mr. Parsons, who played right
tackle on the Winsted team, had written that
he was laid up with a lame shoulder, which,
greatly to his regret, would prevent his taking
Betty to his fraternity dance. Helen was
toiling on a *' lit." paper with a zealous in-
dustry which got her up at distressingly early
hours in the morning, and was " enough to
mad a saint," according to her exasperated
roommate, whose own brief effusion on the
same subject had been hastily composed in
one evening and lay neatly copied in her
desk, ready to be handed in at the proper
time. Moreover, '' gym " had begun and
Betty had had the misfortune to be assigned
to a class that came right in the middle of the
BETTT WALES 81
'^ It's a shame," she grumbled, fishing out
her fountain pen which had fallen off her desk
and rolled off the chiffonier. '' I shall change
my lit. to afternoon — that's only two after-
noons spoiled instead of four — and then tell
Miss Andrews that I have a conflict. Haven't
you finished that everlasting paper? "
'' No," said Helen meekly. '' I'm sorry
that I'm so slow. I'll go out if you want to
have the girls in here."
"• Oh no," called Betty savagely, dashing out
into the hall. Eleanor's door was ornamented
with a large sign which read, '' Busy. Don't
disturb." But the door was half-way open,
and in the dusky room, lighted, as Eleanor
liked to have it, by candles in old-fashioned
brass sticks, Eleanor sat on a pile of cushions
in the corner, strumming softly on her guitar.
"' Come in," she called. '^ I put that up in
case I wanted to study later. Finished your
Betty nodded. '' It's awfully short."
'^ I'm going to do mine to-night — that and
a little matter of Livy and French and — let
me see — Bible — no, elocution."
" Can you ? " asked Betty admiringly.
82 BETTT WALES
" I'm not sure till I've tried. I've been
meditating asking your roommate to do the
paper. Would you ? "
'' No," said Betty so emphatically that
Eleanor stopped playing and looked at her
''Why not? Do you think it's wrong to
exchange her industry for my dollars?"
Betty considered. She still admired Elea-
nor, but she had learned her limitations.
Her beauty wove a spell about all that she
did, and she was very clever and phenome-
nally quick when she cared to apply herself.
But she cared so seldom, roused herself only
when she could gain prestige, when there was
something to manipulate, to manage. And
apparently she was not even to be trusted.
Still, what was the use of quarreling with
her about honor and fair play ? To Betty in
her present mood it seemed a mere waste of
time and energy.
"Well, for one reason," she said at last,
" Helen hasn't her own paper done yet, and
for another I don't think she writes as well as
you probably do ; " and she rose to go.
" That was a joke, Bettina," Eleanor called
BETTT IVALES 83
after her '' I am truly going to work now —
this vnrj7 instant. Come back at ten and have
black coffee with me."
Betty went on without answering to Rachel's
room. '' Come in," chorused three cheerful
" No, go get your lit. paper first. We're
reading choice selections," added Katherine.
^' She means she is," corrected Rachel,
handing Betty a pillow. '' You look cross,
^' I am," said Betty savagely, recounting a
few of her w^oes. '' What can we do ? I came
to be amused."
'' In a Miracle play of this type " began
Katherine, and stopped to dodge a pillow.
"■ But it is amusing, Betty."
^' I'm afraid it will amuse Miss Mills, if the
rest is anything like what you read," said
Rachel with a reminiscent smile. *' What are
you doing, Roberta?"
"• Writing home," drawled Roberta, without
looking up from her paper.
^' Well, you needn't shake your fountain pen
over me, if you are," said Katherine. '' I also
owe my honored parents a letter, but I've
84 BETTT WALES
about made up my mind never to write to
them again. Listen to this, will you." She
rummaged in her desk for a minute. '* Here
'' ' My dear daughter '« — he only begins that
way when he's fussed. I always know how
he's feeling when I see whether it's ' daugh-
ter ' or ' K.' ' My dear daughter : — Your in-
teresting letter of the 12th inst. was received
and I enclose a check, which I hope will last
for some weeks.' (I'm sorry to say it's nearly
gone already," interpolated Katherine.)
'' ' Your mother and I enjoyed the account of
the dance you attended in the gymnasium, of
the candy pull which Mrs. Chapin so kindly
arranged for her roomers, and the game of
hockey that ended so disastrously for one of
your friends. We are glad that you attended
the Morality play of '' Everyman," though
we are at a loss to know what you mean by
the ''peanut gallery." However it occurs to
us that with your afternoon gymnasium class,
your recitations, which, as I understand it,
fully engage your mornings, and all these di-
versions in one week, you could have spent
but little time in the study of your lessons.
BETTT WALES 85
Do not forget that these years should be de-
voted to a serious preparation for the multi-
farious duties of life, and do not neglect the
rich opportunities which I am proud to be
able to give you. The Wetherbees have '
Oh wellj the rest of it is just Kankakee news,"
said Katherine, folding the letter and putting
it back in her desk. '' But isn't that first bit
lovely? Why, I racked my brain till it
ached, positively ached, thinking of interest-
ing things to say in that letter, and now be-
cause I didn't mention that I'd worked three
solid hours on my German every day that
week and stood in line at the library for an
hour to get hold of Bryce's American Com-
monwealth, I receive this pathetic appeal to
my better self."
'' How poetic you're getting," laughed
Betty. '' Do you know it's awfully funny,
but I got a letter something like that too.
Only mine was from Nan, and it just said she
hoped I was remembering to avoid low grades
and conditions, as they were a great bother.
She said she wanted me to have a good
time, but as there would be even more to do
when I got on the campus, I ought not to fall
86 BETTr WALES
into the habit of neglecting my work this
'' Mine was from Aunt Susan," chimed in
Rachel. '' She said she didn't see when I
could do any studying except late at night,
and she hoped I wasn't being so foolish as to
undermine my health and ruin my complex-
ion for the sake of a few girlish pleasures.
Isn't that nice — girlish pleasures? She put
in a five dollar bill, though I couldn't see why
she should, considering her sentiments."
Roberta put the cap on to her fountain pen
and propped it carefully against an adjacent pil-
low. "I've just answered mine," she said,
sorting the sheets in her lap with a satisfied
"Did you get one, too? What did you
say ? " demanded Betty.
" The whole truth," replied Roberta lan-
guidly. " It took eight pages and I hope he'll
" I say," cried Katherine excitedly. " That's
a great idea. Let's try it."
" And read them to one another afterward,"
added Rachel. " They might be more enter-
taining than your lit. paper."
BETTT WALES 87
'' May I borrow some paper? " asked Betty.
'' I'm hoping Helen will finish to-night if I
let her alone."
Roberta helped herself to a book from the
shelves and an apple from the table, and the
rest settled themselves to their epistolary
labors. Except for the scratching of Betty's
pen, and an occasional exclamation of pleas-
ure or perplexity from one of the scribes, the
room was perfectly still. Betty had just asked
for an envelope and Katherine was numbering
her pages when Mary Brooks knocked at the
''What on earth are you girls doing?" she
inquired blandly, selecting the biggest apple
in the dish and appropriating the Morris chair,
which Katherine had temporarily vacated.
'' I haven't heard a sound in here since nine
o'clock. I began to think that Helen had
come in and blown out the gas again by mis-
take and you were all asphyxiated."
Everybody laughed at the remembrance of
a recent occasion when Helen had absent-
mindedly blown out the gas while Betty was
saying her prayers.
'' It wasn't so funny at the time," said Betty
88 BETTT WALES
ruefully. '' Suppose she'd gone to sleep with-
out remembering. We've been writing home,
Mary/' she said, turning to the newcomer,
'' and now we're going to read the letters, and
we've got to hurry, for it's almost ten. Ro-
berta, you begin."
'' Oh no," said Roberta, looking distressed.
"■ I wish somebody would tell me what this
is all about first," put in Mary. Rachel ex-
plained, while Katherine and Betty persuaded
Roberta to read her letter.
'' It isn't fair," she protested, " when I wrote
a real letter and you others were just doing it
"■ Go on, Roberta ! " commanded Mary, and
Roberta in sheer desperation seized her letter
and began to read.
*' Dear Papa : — I have been studying hard
all the evening and it is now nearly bedtime,
but I can at least begin a letter to you. To-
day has been the fourth rainy day in succes-
sion and we have thoroughly appreciated the
splendid opportunity for uninterrupted work.
Yesterday morning — I think enough has hap-
pened in these two days to fill my letter — I
was up at seven as usual. I stuck a selection
BETTT WALES 89
from Browning into my mirror, as it was the
basis of our elocution lesson, and nearly learned
it while I dressed. Before chapel I completed
my geometry preparation. This was fortunate,
as I was called on to recite, the sixth proposi-
tion in book third being my assignment. The
next hour I had no recitation, so I went to
the library to do some reference work for my
English class. Ten girls were already waiting
for the same volume of the Century Diction-
ary that I wanted, so I couldn't get hold of it
till nearly the end of the hour. I spent the
intervening time on the Browning. I had
Livy the next hour and was called on to trans-
late. As I had spent several hours on the les-
son the day before, I could do so. After the
elocution recitation I went home to lunch.
At quarter before two I began studying my his-
tory. At quarter before four I started for the
gymnasium. At five I went to a tea which one
of the girls was giving for her mother, so I
felt obliged to go. I stayed only half an hour
and cannot remember how I spent the half
hour till dinner, so I presume it was wasted.
I am afraid I am too much given to describing
such unimportant pauses ^ in the day's occupa-
90 BETTl^ WALES
tion,' and magnifying their length and the
frivolous pleasure which we thoughtlessly
derive from them.
'' In the evening Oh it all goes on
like that/' cried Roberta. '' Just dull and
stuffy and true to the facts. Some one else
'^ It's convincing," chuckled Mary. '' Now
Katherine's letter was an absurd mixture of
sense and nonsense, in which she proved that
she studied at least twelve hours out of the
twenty-four. Rachel's was a sensible expla-
nation of just how much time, or rather how
little, a spread, a dance or a basket-ball game
"■ That's what they don't understand," she
said, '^ and they don't know either how fast we
can go from one thing to another up here.
Why, energy is in the air ! "
Betty's letter, like her literature paper, was
extremely short. '^ I couldn't think of much
to say, if I told the truth," she explained,
blushing. '' I don't suppose I do study as
much as I ought."
Mary had listened with an air of respectful
BETTT WALES 91
attention to all the letters. When the last one
was finished she rose hastily. '' I must go
back," she said. "' I have a theme to write.
I only dropped in to ask if that famous spread
wasn't coming off soon.''
'' Oh, yes," said Betty. '' Let's have it next
week Wednesday. Is anything else going on
then? I'll ask Eleanor and you see the
Riches and Helen."
A few days later Mary appeared at the
lunch table fairly bursting with importance.
^' Well," she said, beaming around the table.
^' What do you suppose has happened now ?
Really, Mrs. Chapin, you ought to be proud of
us. We began to be famous before college
''What?" interrupted Eleanor.
" Is it possible you didn't know that? " in-
quired Mary. "■ Well, it's true nevertheless.
And we were the heroines of Mountain Day,
and now we're famous again."
'' How?" demanded the table in a chorus.
Mary smiled enigmatically. '' This time it
is a literary sensation," she said.
" Is it Helen's paper? " hazarded Betty.
'' Mine, of course," said Katherine. '' Strange
92 BETTT WALES
Miss Mills didn't mention it this morning
when I met her at Cuyler's/'
Mary waited until it was quiet again. '' If
you've quite finished guessing," she said, " I'll
tell you. You remember the evening when I
found four of you in Rachel and Katherine's
room writing deceitful letters to your fond
parents. Well, I had been racking my
brains for weeks for a pleasing and original
theme subject. You know you are supposed
to spend two hours a week on this theme course,
and I had spent two hours for four weeks in
just thinking what to write. I'm not sure
whether that counts at all and I didn't like to
ask — it would have been so conspicuous. So
I was in despair when I chanced upon your
happy gathering and was saved. Miss Ray-
mond read it in class to-day," concluded Mary
'' You didn't put us into it — our letters I "
'' Indeed I did," said Mary. '' I put them
all in, as nearly as I could remember them,
and Miss Raymond read it in class, and made
all sorts of clever comments about college cus-
toms and ideals and so on. I felt guilty, be-
BErrr wales 93
cause I never had anything read before, and
of course I didn't exactly write this because
the letters were the main part of it. So after
class I waited for Miss Raymond and ex-
plained how it was. She laughed and said
that she was glad I had an eye for good ma-
terial and that she supposed all authors made
more or less use of their acquaintance, and
when I went off she actually asked me to come
and see her. My junior friends are hoping it
will pull me into a society and I'm hoping it
will avert a condition."
''Where is the theme?" asked Eleanor.
'' Won't you read it to us ? "
'' It's — why, I forgot the very best part of
the whole story. Sallie Hill has it for the
' Argus.' She's the literary editor, you know,
and she wants it for the next number. So
you see you are famous.
'' Why don't some of you elect this work ? "
asked Mary, when the excitement had some-
what subsided. '' It's open to freshmen, and
it's really great fun."
'' I thought you said that you spent eight
hours and were in despair " began Eleanor.
'' So I was," said Mary. " I declare I'd for-
94 BETTT WALES
gotten that. Well, anyhow I'm sure I shan't
have any trouble now. I think I've learned
how to go at it. Why, do you know, girls, I
have an idea already. Not for a theme —
something else. It concerns all of you — or
most of you anyway."
'' I should think you'd made enough use of
us for the present," said Betty. '' Why don't
you try to make a few sophomores famous? "
"■ Oh it doesn't concern you that way. You
are to Oh wait till I get it started," said
Mary vaguely ; and absolutely refused to be
A DRAMATIC CHAPTER
The Chapin house girls decided not to
spend the proceeds of the dancing class for an
elaborate supper, as they had first intended,
but to turn their " spread " into the common
college type, where *' plowed field " and choco-
late made with condensed milk and boiling
water are the chief refreshments, and light-
hearted sociability ensures a good time for
'' But do let's have tea too," Betty had pro-
posed. '^ I hate the chocolate that the girls
make, and I don't believe tea keeps many of
us awake. Did I tell you that mother sent a
big box of cheese crackers? "
The spread was to be in Betty's room, partly
because she owned the only chafing-dish in
the house, and partly because eighteen girls —
the nine hostesses and the one guest asked by
each — could get into it without uncomfortable
crowding. Eleanor had lent her pile of floor
96 BETTT WALES
cushions and her beloved candlesticks for the
occasion, everybody had contributed cups and
saucers. Betty and Helen had spent the
afternoon *' fixing up," and the room wore a
very festive air when the girls dropped in
after dinner to see if the preparations were
'' I think we ought to start the fudge before
they come," said Betty, remembering the pro-
cedure at Miss King's party.
^* Oh, no," protested Eleanor. '^ Half-past
eight is early enough. Why, most of the fun
of a spread is mixing the things together and
taking turns tasting and stirring."
'' It would be awkward to finish eating too
early, when that's the only entertainment,"
" Or the candy might give out before ten,"
added Mary Rich.
The majority ruled, and as some of the girls
were late, and one had some very amusing
blue-prints to exhibit, it was considerably
after half-past eight before the fudge was
started. At first it furnished plenty of excite-
ment. Betty, who had been appointed chief
fudge-maker, left it for a moment, and it took
SlNu A l.TL'?' SHE ASKED
THE NSW lOHK
ASTftK t^NAx Arm
BETTT WALES 97
the opportunity to boil over. When it had
settled down after this exploit, it refused to do
anything but simmer. No amount of alcohol
or of vigorous and persistent stirring had any
effect upon it, and Betty was in despair. But
Eleanor, who happened to be in a gracious
mood, came gallantly to the rescue. She
quietly disappeared and returned in a mo-
ment, transformed into a gypsy street singer.
She had pulled down her black hair and
twisted a gay scarf around it. Over her shirt-
waist she wore a little velvet jacket ; and a
short black skirt, a big red sash, an armful of
bangles and bracelets, and the guitar hung
over her shoulder, completed her disguise.
'' Sing a lir ? " she asked, smiling persua-
sively and kissing her hand to the party.
Then she sat down on the pile of cushions
and played and sang, first a quaint little folk-
song suited to her part, and then one or two
dashing popular airs, until the unaccommo-
dating fudge was quite forgotten, except by
Betty, who stirred and frowned, and examined
the flame and tested the thickness of the rich
brown liquid, quite unnoticed. Eleanor had
just shrugged her shoulders and announced,
98 BETTT IVALES
" I no more sing, now," when somebody else
knocked on the door, or rather pushed it
open, and a grotesque figure slouched in.
At least half of it was head, black and
awful, with gruesome green features. Short,
un jointed arms came out of its waist, with
green claws dangling where the hands should
have been ; and below its short skirt flapped
the tails of a swallow-tail coat. The girls
were too much astonished to speak, as the
creature advanced silentl}^ into the room, and
without a word began dancing something that,
as Katherine expressed it afterward, was a
cross between a double-shuffle and a skirt-
dance. When it had succeeded in reducing
its audience to a state of abject and tearful
mirth, the creature stopped suddenly, an-
nounced, '' You've seen the Jabberwock," in
sepulchral tones, and flopped on to the end of
a couch, saying breathlessly, " Mary Brooks,
please help me out of this. I'm suffocating."
'' How did you do it. Miss Lewis ? " inquired
the stately senior, who was Mary's guest,
wiping her eyes and gasping for breath as she
*^ It's perfectly simple," drawled Roberta in-
BETTT WALES 99
differently. '' The head is my black silk pet-
ticoat. I painted on the features, because the
children like to have me do it at home, and
it's convenient to be ready. The arms are a
broom-handle, stuck through the sleeves of
this old coat, which is buttoned around my
"" And now you're going to do the Bander-
snatch, aren't you?" inquired the senior
craftily, perceiving that the other side of the
petticoat was decorated with curious red spots.
'' I — how did you — oh, no," said Roberta,
blushing furiously, and stuffing the telltale
petticoat under a convenient pillow. '' I don't
know why I brought the things for this. I
never meant to do it up here. I — I hope you
weren't bored. I just happened to think of
it, and Eleanor couldn't sing forever, and that
'' That fudge won't cook," broke in Betty in
tragic tones. '' It doesn't thicken at all, and
it's half-past nine this minute. What shall I
Everybody crowded around the chafing-
dish, giving advice and suggesting unfailing
remedies. But none of them worked.
lOO BETTT WALES
'' And there's nothing else but tea and
chocolate,'' wailed Adelaide.
" But you can all have both," said Betty
bravely, ^' and you've forgotten the crackers,
Adelaide. I'll pass them while you and
Katherine go for more cups."
'^ And you can send the fudge round to-
morrow," suggested Mary Brooks consolingly.
'' It's quite the thing, you know. Don't im-
agine that your chafing-dish is the only one
that's too slow for the ten-o'clock rule."
Betty insisted upon sitting up to finish the
fudge, but she ended by getting up before
breakfast the next morning to cook it on Mrs.
'' Nobody seemed to care much about its
being so slow, except me," she said to Helen,
as they did it up in neat little bundles to be
handed to the guests of the evening at chapel.
'' Weren't Eleanor and Roberta fine? "
'' Yes," agreed Helen enthusiastically.
'* But isn't it queer that Roberta won't let us
praise her ? She seems to be ashamed of being
able to be so funny."
Betty laughed. '' That's Roberta," she said.
** It will be months before she'll do it again,
BETTT WALES loi
I'm afraid. I suppose she felt last night as
if she had to do what she could for the honor
of the house, so she came out of her shell."
" She told Rachel that she did it on your
account. She said you looked as if you wanted
Betty flushed prettily. " How nice of her !
I did want to cry. I felt as if I was to blame
about the fudge. I wish I had a nice stunt
like that of Eleanor's to come to people's res-
'' Were those what you call stunts ? " in-
quired Helen earnestly. '' I didn't know what
they were, but they were fine."
'^ Why, Helen Chase Adams, do you mean
that you've been in college two months and
don't know what a stunt is " began Betty,
and stopped, blushing furiously and fearing
that she had hurt Helen's feelings. For the
reason why she did not know about stunts
Helen took it very simply. '' You know
I'm not asked to things outside," she said,
'' and I don't seem to be around when the
girls do things here. So why should I
know ? "
I02 BETTT WALES
''No reason at all," said Betty decidedly.
" They are just silly little parlor tricks any-
way — most of them — not worth wasting time
over. Do you know Miss Willis told us in
English class that a great deal of slang orig-
inated in college, and she gave ' stunt ' as an
example. She said it had been used here ever
so long and only a few years outside, in quite
a different meaning. Isn't that queer? "
'' Yes," said Helen indifferently. '' She told
my division too, but she didn't say what it
meant here. I suppose she thought we'd all
Betty, stealing a glance at her, saw her
wink back the tears. " She does care about
the fun," thought Betty. '' She cares as much
as Rachel or I, or Eleanor even. And she is
left out. It isn't a bit fair, but what's to be
done about it? "
Being young and very happy herself, she
speedily forgot all about the knotty problem
of the unequal distribution of this world's
goods, whether they be potatoes or fudge
parties. Occasionally she remembered again,
and gave Helen a helping hand, as she had
done several times already. But college is
BETTT WALES 103
much like the bigger world outside. The
fittest survive on their own merits, and these
must be obvious and well advertised, or they
are in great danger of being overlooked. And
it is safer in the long run to do one's own ad-
vertising and to begin early. Eleanor under-
stood this, but she forgot or ignored the other
rules of the game. Betty practiced it uncon-
sciously, which is the proper method. Helen
never mastered its application and succeeded
in spite of it.
Several evenings after that one on which
the fudge had refused to cook, Alice Waite
was trying to learn her history lesson, and her
" queer " roommate, who loved to get into
her bed as well as she hated to make it, was
trying to go to sleep — an operation rendered
difficult by the fact that the girl next door
was cracking butternuts with a marble paper-
weight — when there was a soft tap on the
'^ Don't answer," begged the sleepy room-
"' May be important," objected Alice, '' but
I won't let her stay. Come in ! "
I04 BETTT WALES
The door opened and a young gentleman
in correct evening dress, with an ulster folded
neatly over his arm, entered the room and
gazed, smiling and silent, about him. He
was under average height, slightly built, and
had a boyish, pleasant face that fitted ill with
his apparent occupation as house-breaker and
disturber of damsels.
The roommate, who had sat up in bed with
the intention of repelling whatever intruder
threatened her rest, gave a shriek of mingled
terror and indignation and disappeared under
the bedclothes. Alice rose, with as much
dignity as the three heavy volumes which
she held in her lap, and which had to be un-
tangled from her kimono, would permit. She
moved the screen around her now hysterical
roommate and turned fiercely upon the young
*' How dare you ! " she demanded sternly.
*' Go ! " And she stamped her foot somewhat
ineffectively, since she had on her worsted
At this the young gentleman's smile broke
into an unmistakably feminine giggle.
"• Oh, you are so lovel}^ ! " he gurgled.
BETTT WALES 105
" Don't cry, Miss Madison. It's not a real
man. It's only I — Betty Wales."
'' Betty ! " gasped Alice. '' Betty Wales,
what are you doing? Is it really you ? "
'' Of course," said Betty calmly, pulling off
her wig by way of further evidence, and sit-
ting down with careful regard for her coat-
tails in the nearest chair. '' I hope," she
added, ''that I haven't really worried Miss
Madison. Take the screen away, Alice, and
see what she's doing."
"" Oh, I'm all right now, thank you," said
Miss Madison, pushing back the screen her-
self. " But you gave me an awful fright.
What are you doing? "
'' Why, we're going to give a play at our
house Saturday," explained Betty, '' and to-
night was a dress rehearsal. I wanted to
bring Alice a ticket, and I thought it would
be fun to come in these clothes and frighten
her ; so I put on a skirt and a rain-coat and
came along. I left my skirt in your entrance-
way. Get it for me please, Alice, and I'll
put it on before I send any one else into hys-
'' Oh, not yet," begged Miss Madison. '' I
jo6 BETTT WALES
want to look at you. Please stand up and
turn around, so I can have a back view."
Betty readjusted her wig and stood up for
'' What's the play ? " asked Alice.
Betty considered. ^' It's a secret, but I'll
tell you to pay for giving you both such a
scare. It's ' Sherlock Holmes.' Mary Brooks
saw the real play in New York, and she wrote
this, something like the real one, but different
so we could do it. She could think up the
plot beautifully but she wasn't good at con-
versation, so Katherine helped her, and it's
^' Is there a robbery ? " inquired Alice.
'' Oh, yes, diamonds."
'^ And a murder? "
'' Well, a supposed murder. The audience
thinks it is, but it isn't really. And there's a
pretend fire too, just as there is in the real
" And who are you ? "
'' I'm the villain," said Betty. '' I'm to
have curling black mustaches and a fierce
frown, and then you'd know without ask-
BETTT WALES 107
^' I should think they'd have wanted you
for the heroine/' said Alice, who admired
^' Oh, no," demurred the villain. *' Eleanor
is leading lady, of course. She has three dif-
ferent costumes, and she looks like a queen in
every one of them. Katherine is going to be
Sherlock Holmes, and Adelaide Rich is Dr.
Watson and — oh, I mustn't tell you any more,
or Alice won't enjoy it Saturday."
'' We had a little play here," said Miss
Madison, '' but it was tame beside this. Where
did you get all the men's costumes? "
"' Rented them, and the wigs and mustaches
and pistols," and Betty explained about the
dancing-school money which the house had
voted to Roberta's project instead of to the
"' I wish I could act," said Alice. '' I should
love to be a man. But my mother wouldn't
let me, so it's just as well that I'm a perfect
stick at it."
"■ Roberta's father wouldn't let her either,"
said Betty, '' but mother didn't mind, as long
as it's only before a few girls. I presume she
wouldn't like my coming over here and
io8 BETTT WALES
frightening you. But I honestly didn't think
you'd be deceived."
"" I'm so glad you came," said Miss Madison
lying back luxuriously among her pillows.
'' Does the story of the play take place in the
'' Yes, all of it. I'm dressed for the theatre,
but I'm detained by the robbery."
"■ Then I have something I want to lend
you. Alice, open the washstand drawer, please
— no, the middle one — in that flat green box.
Thank you. Your hat, sir villain," she went
on, snapping open an opera hat and handing
it to Betty with a flourish.
'' How perfectly lovely I " exclaimed Betty.
" But how in the world did you happen to
'' Why, I stayed with my cousins for two
weeks just before I came up here, and I found
it in their guest-chamber bureau. It wasn't
Cousin Tom's nor Uncle Dick's, and they
didn't know whose it was ; so they gave it to
me, because I liked to play with it. Should
you really like to use it ? "
'' Like it I " repeated Betty, shutting the
hat and opening it again with a low bow
BETTT WALES 109
" Why it will be the cream of the whole per-
formance. It would make the play go just of
itself," and she put it on and studied the effect
attentively in the mirror.
'' It's rather large," said Alice. '' If I were
you, I'd just carry it."
'' It is big," admitted Betty regretfully, '' or
at least it makes me look very small. But I
can snap it a lot, and then put it on as I exit.
Miss Madison, you'll come to the play of
course. I hadn't but one ticket left, but after
lending us this you're a privileged person."
"" I hoped you'd ask me," said Miss Madison
gratefully. '' The play does sound so exciting.
But that wasn't why I offered you the hat."
" Of course not, and it's only one reason
why you are coming," said Betty tactfully.
'' Now Alice, you must bring in my skirt. I
have to walk so slowly in all these things, and
it must be almost ten."
When Sir Archibald Ames, villain, had been
transformed into a demure little maiden with
rumpled hair and a high, stiff collar showing
above her rain-coat, Betty took her departure.
A wave of literary and dramatic enthusiasm
had inundated the Chapin house. The girls
no BETTT WALES
were constantly suggesting theme topics to one
another — which unfortunately no one but
Mary Brooks could use, at least until the next
semester ; for in the regular freshman Eng-
lish classes, subjects were always assigned.
And they were planning theatre parties galore,
to see Jefferson, Maude Adams, and half a
dozen others if they came to Harding. Betty,
who had a happy faculty of keeping her head
just above such passing waves, smiled to her-
self as she hurried across the dark campus.
'^ Next week, when our play is over it will
be something else," she thought. Rachel was
already interested in basket-ball and had pros-
pects of being chosen for the freshman class
team. Eleanor had been practicing hard on
her guitar, hoping to "■ make " the mandolin
club ; and was dreadfully disappointed at find-
ing that according to a new rule freshmen
were ineligible and that her entrance con-
ditions would have excluded her in any
'' So many things to do," sighed Betty, who
had given up a hockey game that afternoon
to study history. '' I suppose we've got to
choose," she added philosophically. '^ But I
BETTT WALES in
choose to be an all-around girl, like Dorothy
King. I can't sing though. I wonder what
my one talent is.
" Helen," she said, as she opened her door,
"■ have you noticed that all college girls have
one particular talent ? I wonder what ours
will turn out to be. See w^hat I have for the
Helen, who looked tired and heavy-eyed,
inspected the opera hat listlessly. '' I think
your talent is getting the things you want,''
she said, '' and I guess I haven't any. It's
AFTER THE PLAY
" Sherlock Holmes " was quite as exciting
as Miss Madison had anticipated. Most
college plays, except the elaborate ones given
in the gymnasium, which are carefully
learned, costumed and rehearsed, and super-
vised by a committee from the faculty — are
amusing little farces in one or two short
scenes. '' Sherlock Holmes," on the other
hand, was a four act, blood-curdling melo-
drama, with three different stage settings, an
abundance of pistol shots, a flash-light fire,
shrieks and a fainting fit on the part of the
heroine, the raiding of a robbers' den in the
denouement, and '' a lot more excitement all
through than there is in Mr. Gillette's play," as
Mary modestly informed her caste. It was
necessarily cruder, as it was far more am-
bitious, than the commoner sort of amateur
play ; but the audience, whether little fresh-
men who had seen few similar performances,
or upper class girls who had seen a great many
BETTl^ IVALES 113
and so fully appreciated the novelty of this one,
were wildly enthusiastic. Every actress,
down to Helen, who made a very stiff and
stilted '' Buttons," and Rachel and Mary
Rich who appeared in the robbers' den scene
as Betty's female accomplices, and in the
heroine's drawing-room as her wicked mother
and her stupid maid respectively, was rap-
turously received ; and Dr. Holmes and Sir
Archibald, whose hat was decidedly the hit of
the evening, were forced to come before the
curtain. Finally, in response to repeated
shouts for '^ author," Mary Brooks appeared,
flushed and panting from her vigorous exer-
tions as prompter, stage manager, and assist-
ant dresser, and informed the audience that
owing to the kindness of Mrs. Chapin there
was lemon-ice in the dining-room, and would
every one please go out there, so that this
awful mess, — with a comprehensive wave of
her hand toward the ruins of the robbers' den
piled on top of the heroine's drawing-room
furniture, which in turn had been a rearrang-
ment of Dr. Holmes's study, — could be cleared
up, and they could dance there later ?
At this the audience again applauded,
114 BETTT WALES
sighed to think that the play was over, and
then joyfully adjourned to the dining-room
to eat Mrs. Chapin's ice and examine the
actors at close range. All these speedily ap-
peared, except Helen, who had crept up-stairs
quite unnoticed the moment her part was fin-
ished, and Eleanor, w^ho, hunting up Betty,
explained that she had a dreadful headache
and begged Betty to look after her guests and
not for anything to let them come up-stairs to
find her. Betty, who was busily washing off
her " fierce frown " at the time, sputtered a
promise through the mixture of soap, water
and vaseline she was using, delivered the mes-
sage, assured herself that the guests were en-
joying themselves, and forgot all about Elea-
nor until half-past nine when every one had
gone and she came up to her room to find
Helen in bed and apparently fast asleep, with
her face hidden in the pillows.
'' How queer," she thought. "■ She's had
the blues for a week, but I thought she was
all right this evening." Then, as her conjec-
tures about Helen suggested Eleanor's head-
ache, she tiptoed out to see if she could do
anything for the prostrate heroine.
BETTF WALES 115
Eleanor's transom was dark and her door
evidently locked, for it would not yield when
Betty, anxious at getting no answer to her
knocks, tried to open it. But when she called
softly, '^Eleanor, are you there? Can I do
anything?" Eleanor answered crossly,
^' Please go away. I'm better, but I want to
be let alone."
So, murmuring an apology, Betty went back
to her own room, and as Helen seemed to be
sound asleep, she saw no reason for making
a nuisance of herself a second time, but con-
siderately undressed in the dark and crept
into bed as softly as possible.
If she had turned on her light, she would
have discovered two telltale bits of evidence,
for Helen had left a very moist handkerchief
on her desk and another rolled into a damp,
vindictive little wad on the chiffonier. It was
not because she knew she had done her part
badly that she had gone sobbing to bed, while
the others ate lemon-ice and danced merrily
down-stairs. Billy was a hard part ; Mary
Brooks had said so herself, and she had only
taken it because when Roberta positively re-
fused to act, there w^as no one else. Helen
ii6 BETTT WALES
couldn't act, knew she couldn't, and didn't
much care. But not to have any friends in
all this big, beautiful college — that was a
thing to make any one cry. It was bad
enough not to be asked anywhere, but not to
have any friends to invite oneself, that was
worse — it was dreadful ! If she went right
off up-stairs perhaps no one would notice ;
they would think at first that somebody else
was looking after her guests while she dressed,
and then they would forget all about her and
never know the dreadful truth that nobody
she had asked to the play would come.
When it had first been decided to present
'' Sherlock Holmes " and the girls had begun
giving out their invitations, Helen, who felt
more and more keenly her isolation in the
college, resolved to see just how the others
managed and then do as they did. She heard
Rachel say, '* I think Christy Mason is a dear.
I don't know her much if any, but I'm going
to ask her all the same, and perhaps w^e shall
get better acquainted after awhile."
That made Helen, who took the speech
more literally than it was meant, think of
Caroline Barnes. One afternoon she and
BETTT WALES 117
Betty had been down-town together, and on
the way back Miss Barnes overtook them, and
came up with them to see Eleanor, who was an
old friend of hers. Betty introduced her to
Helen and she walked between them up the
hill and necessarily included both of them in
her conversation. She was a homely girl,
with dull, inexpressive features ; but she was
tall and well-proportioned and strikingly well
dressed. Betty had taken an instant dislike
to her at the time of their first meeting and
greatly to Eleanor's disgust had resisted all
her advances. Eleanor had accused her
frankly of not liking Caroline.
'' No," returned Betty with equal frankness,
^' I don't. I think all your other friends are
lovely, but Miss Barnes rubs me the wrong
Helen knew nothing of all this, and Miss
Barnes's lively, slangy conversation and sty-
lish, showy clothes appealed to her unsophisti-
When the three parted at the head of the
stairs. Miss Barnes turned back to say,
'* Aren't you coming to see me ? You owe me
a call, you know."
ii8 BETTT WALES
Helen and Betty were standing close to-
gether, and though part of the remark applied
only to Betty, she looked at them both.
Betty said formally, '' Thank you, I should
like to," and Helen, pleased and eager,
chorused, '' So should I."
Later, in their own room, Betty said with
apparent carelessness but with the covert in-
tention of dropping Helen a useful hint,
''You aren't going to see Miss Barnes, are
you ? I'm not."
And Helen had flushed again, gave some
stammering reply and then had had for the
first time an unkind thought about her room-
mate. Betty wanted to keep all her nice
friends to herself It must be that. Why
shouldn't she go to see Miss Barnes? She
wasn't asked so often that she could afford
to ignore the invitations she did get. And
later she added, Why shouldn't she ask Miss
Barnes to the play, since Eleanor wasn't
So one afternoon Helen, arrayed in her
best clothes, went down to call and deliver her
invitation. Miss Barnes was out, but her door
was open and Helen slipped in, and writing a
BETTT WALES 119
little note on her card, laid it conspicuously
on the shining mahogany desk.
That was one invitation. She had given
the other to a quiet, brown-eyed girl who sat
next her in geometry, not from preference,
but because her name came next on the class
roll. This girl declined politely, on the plea
of another engagement.
Next day Miss Barnes brushed unseeingly
past her in the hall of the Science Building.
The day after that they met at gym. Finally,
when almost a week had gone by without a
sign from her, Helen inquired timidly if she
had found the note.
'' Oh, are you Miss Adams ? " inquired Miss
Barnes, staring past her with a weary air.
^' Thank you very much I'm sure, but I can't
come," and she walked off.
Any one but Helen Adams would have
known that Caroline Barnes and Eleanor
Watson had the reputation of being the worst
^^ snobs " in their class, and that Miss Ashby,
her neighbor in geometry, boarded with her
mother and never went anywhere without her.
But Helen knew no college gossip. She
offered her invitation to two girls who had
I20 BETTT WALES
been in the dancing-class, read hypocrisy into
their hearty regrets that they were going out
of town for Sunday, and asked no one else to
the play. If she had been less shy and re-
served she would have told Rachel or Betty
all about her ill-luck, have been laughed at
and sympathized with, and then have forgot-
ten all about it. But being Helen Chase
Adams, she brooded over her trouble in secret,
asked nobody's advice, and grew shyer and
more sensitive in consequence, but not a whit
less determined to make a place for herself in
the college world.
She would have attached less significance to
Caroline Barnes's rudeness, had she known a
little about the causes of Eleanor's headache.
Eleanor had gone down to Caroline's on the
afternoon of the play, knocked boldly, in spite
of a '' Don't disturb " sign posted on the door,
and found the pretty rooms in great confusion
and Caroline wearily overseeing the packing
of her books and pictures.
Eleanor waited patiently until the men had
gone off with three huge boxes, and therj in-
sisted upon knowing what Caroline was do-
BETTT WALES 121
'* Going home," said Caroline sullenly.
" Why ? " demanded Eleanor.
"' Public reason — trouble with my eyes ;
real reason — haven't touched my conditions
yet and now I have been warned and told to
tutor in three classes. I can't possibly do it
"■ Why Caroline Barnes, do you mean you
are sent home? "
Caroline nodded. " It amounts to that. I
was advised to go home now, and work off
the entrance conditions and come again
next fall. I thought maybe you'd be taking
the same train," she added with a nervous
Eleanor turned white. '' Nonsense ! " she
said sharply. '' What do you mean ? "
'' Well, you said you hadn't done anything
about your conditions, and you've cut and
flunked and scraped along much as I have, I
'^ I'm sorry, Caroline," said Eleanor, ignor-
ing the digression. '' I don't know that you
care, though. You've said you were bored to
death up here."
*' I — I say a great deal that I don't mean,"
122 BErrr wales
gulped Caroline. '' Good-bye, Eleanor. Shall
I see you in New York at Christmas ? And
don't forget — trouble with my eyes. Oh, the
family won't mind. They didn't like my
coming up in the first place. I shall go
abroad in the spring. Good-bye."
Eleanor walked swiftly back through the
campus. In the main building she consulted
the official bulletin-board with anxious eyes,
and fairly tore off a note addressed to ^' Miss
Eleanor Watson, First Class." It had come —
a '' warning " in Latin. Once back in her
own room, Eleanor sat down to consider the
situation calmly. But the more she thought
about it, the more frightened and ashamed
she grew. Thanksgiving was next week, and
she had been given only until Christmas to
work off her entrance conditions. She had
meant to leave them till the last moment,
rush through the work with a tutor, and if
she needed it get an extension of time by
some specious excuse. Had the last minute
passed? The Latin warning meant more
extra work. There were other things too.
She had '^ cut " classes recklessly — three on
the day of the sophomore reception, and four
BETTT WALES 123
on a Monday morning when she had promised
to be back from Boston in time for chapel.
Also, she had borrowed Lil Day's last year's
literature paper and copied most of it ver-
batim. She could make a sophistical defence
of her morals to Betty Wales, but she under-
stood perfectly what the faculty would think
about them. The only question was, how
much did they know ?
When the dinner-bell rang, Eleanor pulled
herself together and started down-stairs.
''Did you get your note. Miss Watson?"
asked Adelaide Rich from the dining-room
" What note? " demanded Eleanor sharply.
'' I'm sure I can't describe it. It was on
the hall table," said Adelaide, turning away
wrathfully. Some people were so grateful if
you tried to do them a favor !
It was this incident which led Eleanor to
hurry off after dinner, and again at the end
of the play, bound to escape nerve-racking
questions and congratulations. Later, when
Betty knocked on her door, her first impulse
was to let her in and ask her advice. But a
second thought suggested that it was safer to
124 BErrr wales
confide in nobody. The next morning she
was glad of the second thought, for things
looked brighter, and it would have been hu-
miliating indeed to be discovered making a
mountain out of a mole-hill.
'' The trouble with Caroline was that she
wasn't willing to work hard," she told herself.
^' Now I care enough to do anything, and I
must make them see it."
She devoted her spare hours on Monday
morning to '^ making them see it," with that
rare combination of tact and energy that was
Eleanor Watson at her best. By noon her
fears of being sent home were almost gone,
and she was alert and exhilarated as she al-
ways was when there were difficulties to be
*' Now that the play is over, I'm going to
work hard," Betty announced at lunch, and
Eleanor, who was still determined not to con-
fide in anybody, added nonchalantly, '' So am
I." It was going to be the best of the fun to
take in the Chapin house.
But the Chapin house was not taken in for
" What's come over Eleanor Watson ? " in-
BETTT WALES 125
quired Katherine, a few days later, as the
girls filed out from dinner.
^' She's working," said Mary Brooks with a
grin. '^ And apparently she thinks work and
dessert don't jibe."
'' I'm afraid it was time," said Rachel.
" She's always cutting classes, and that puts
a girl behind faster than anything else. I
wonder if she could have had a warning in
*' I think she could " began Katherine,
and then stopped, laughing "■ I might as
well own up to one in math.," she said.
'^ Well, Miss Watson is going to stay here
over Thanksgiving," said Mary Rich.
Then plans for the two days' vacation were
discussed, and Eleanor's affairs forgotten, much
to the relief of Betty Wales, who feared every
moment lest she should in some way betray
On the Wednesday after Thanksgiving
Eleanor burst in on her merrily, as she was
dressing for dinner.
'' I just wanted to tell you that some of
those conditions that worry you so are made
up," she said. '' I almost wore out my tutor.
126 BETTT JVALES
and I surprised the history department into a
compliment, but I'm through. That is, I have
only math., and one other little thing."
'' I don't see how you did it," sighed Betty.
'' I should never dare to get behind. I have
all I want to do with the regular work."
Eleanor leaned luxuriously back among the
couch cushions. " Yes," she said loftily. '^ I
suppose you haven't the faintest idea what
real, downright hard w^ork is, and neither can
you appreciate the joys of downright idleness.
I shall try that as soon as I've finished the
^^Why?" asked Betty. ''Do you like
making it up later? "
'' I shouldn't have to. You know I'm get-
ting a reputation as an earnest, thorough
student. That's what the history department
called me. A reputation is a wonderful thing
to lean back upon. I ought to have gone in
for one in September. I was at the Hill
School for three years, and I never studied
after the first three months. There's every-
thing in making people believe in you from
'' What's the use in making people believe
BETTr WALES 127
you're something that you're not ? " demanded
'' What a question ! It saves you the
trouble of being that something. If the his-
tory department once gets into the habit of
thinking me a thorough, earnest student, it
won't condition me because I fail in a written
recitation or two. It will suppose I had an
"" But you'd have to do well sometimes."
"■ Oh, yes, occasionally. That's easy."
'' Not for me," said Betty, '' so I shall have
to do respectable work all the time. But I
shall tell Helen about your idea. She works
all the time, and it makes her dull and cross.
She must have secured a reputation by this
time ; and I shall insist upon her leaning back
on it for a while and taking more walks."
PAYING THE PIPER
" I FEEL as if there were about three days
between Thanksgiving and Christmas/'' said
Rachel, coming up the stairs, to Betty, who
stood in the door of her room half in and half
out of her white evening dress.
'' That leaves one day and a half, then, be-
fore vacation," laughed Bett^^ ''I'm sorry to
bother you when you're so pressed for time,
but could you hook me up ? Helen is at the
library, and every one else seems to be off
'' Certainly," said Rachel, dropping her
armful of bundles on the floor. *' I'm only
making Christmas presents. Is the /f i^ dance
coming off at last? "
" Yes — another one, that is ; and Mr. Par-
sons asked me, to make up for the one I had
to miss. Now, would you hold my coat?"
" Betty ! Betty Wales ! Wait a minute,"
called somebody just as Betty reached the
BETTY STOOD IN THE DOOR OF HER ROOM
BETTT WALES 129
Main Street corner, and Eleanor Watson ap-
peared, also dressed for the dance.
'' Why didn't you say you were going to
Winsted ? " she demanded breathlessly.
*' Good, here's a car."
''Why didn't you say you were going?"
demanded Betty in her turn as they scrambled
*' Because I didn't intend to until the last
minute. Then I decided that I'd earned a lit-
tle recreation, so I telegraphed Paul West that
I'd come after all. Who is your chaperon ? "
" Well please introduce me when we get
down-town, so that I can ask if I may join her
Ethel Hale received Betty with enthusiasm,
and Eleanor with a peculiar smile and a very
formal permission to go to Winsted under her
escort. As the two were starting off to buy
their tickets, she called Betty back.
" Aren't you going to sit with me on the
way over, little sister ? " she asked.
" Of course," said Betty, and they settled
themselves together a moment later for the
I30 BETTT WALES
'^ You never come to see me, Betty," Miss
Hale began, when they were seated.
'^ I'm afraid to," confessed Betty sheepishly.
'' When you're a faculty and I'm only a fresh-
'' Nonsense," laughed Miss Hale. Then she
glanced at Eleanor, who sat several seats in front
of them, and changed the subject abruptly.
^' What sort of girl is Miss Watson ? " she asked.
Betty laughed. '' All sorts, I think," she
said. '' I never knew any one who could be
so nice one minute and so trying the next."
" How do you happen to know her well ? "
pursued Miss Hale seriously.
" And you think that on the whole she's
worth while? "
" I'm afraid I don't understand " Betty
was beginning to feel as if she was taking an
examination on Eleanor's characteristics.
** You think that on the whole she's more
good than bad ; and that there's something to
her, besides beauty. That's all I want to
know. She is lovely, isn't she ? "
" Yes, indeed," agreed Betty enthusiastically.
** But she's very bright too. She's done a lot
BETTT WALES 131
of extra work lately and so quickly and well.
She's very nice to me always, but she dislikes
my roommate and she and I are always dis-
agreeing about that or something else. I
don't think — you know she wouldn't do a dis-
honorable thing for the world, but I don't
approve of some of her ideas ; they don't
seem quite fair and square, Ethel."
'' Um," assented Ethel absently. "■ I'm glad
you could tell me all this, Betty. I shouldn't
have asked you, perhaps ; it's rather taking
advantage of our private friendship. But I
really needed to know. Ah, here we are ! "
As she spoke, the train slowed down and a
gay party of Winsted men sprang on to the
platform, and jostled one another down the
aisles, noisily greeting the girls they knew
and each one hunting for his particular guest
of the afternoon. They had brought a barge
down to take the girls to the college, and in
the confusion of crowding into it Betty found
herself separated from Ethel. '' I wish I'd
asked her why she wanted to know all that,"
she thought, and then she forgot everything
but the delicious excitement of actually being
on the way to a dance at Winsted.
132 BETTT WALES
Most of the fraternity house was thrown
open to the visitors, and between the dances
in the library, which was big enough to make
an excellent ball-room also, they wandered
through it, finding all sorts of interesting
things to admire, and pleasantly retired nooks
and corners to rest in. Mr. Parsons was a
very attentive host, providing partners in
plenty ; and Betty, w^ho was passionately fond
of dancing and had been to only one " truly
grown-up " dance before, was in her element.
But every once in awhile she forgot her own
pleasure to notice Eleanor and to wonder at
her beauty and vivacity. She was easily belle
of the ball. She seemed to know all the men,
and they crowded eagerly around her, begging
for dances and hanging on her every word.
Eleanor's usually listless face was radiant.
She had a smile and a gay sally for every one ;
there was never a hint of the studied coldness
with which she received any advances from
Helen or the Riches, nor of the scornful en-
nui with which she faced the social life of
her own college.
'' Aren't you glad you came ? " said Betty,
when they met at the frappe table.
BETTT PFALES 133
" Rather," said Eleanor laconically. '^ This
is life, and I've only existed for months and
months. What would the world be like with-
out men and music? "
'' Goodness ! what a wise-sounding remark,"
Just then Miss Hale came up in charge of a
very young and callow freshman.
'' Please lend me your fan, Betty," she said.
'^ I was afraid it would look forward for a
chaperon to bring one, and I'm desperately
Eleanor, who had turned aside to speak to
her partner, looked up quickly as Ethel spoke,
and meeting Miss Hale's gray eyes she flushed
suddenly and moved away.
Betty handed Ethel the fan. " I wish "
she began, looking after Eleanor's retreating
figure. But as she spoke the music started
again and a vivacious youth hurried up and
whisked her away before she had time to fin-
ish her sentence ; and she could not get near
'' Men do make better partners than girls,"
she said to Mr. Parsons as they danced the
last waltz together. " And I think their
134 BETTT WALES
rooms are prettier than ours, if these are fair
samples. But they can't have any better time
at college than we do."
'' We certainly couldn't get on at all with-
out you girls across the river," Mr. Parsons
was saying gallantly, when the music stopped
and Eleanor, followed by Mr. West, hurried up
'* Excuse me one moment, Mr. Parsons,"
she said, as she drew Bettv aside. '' I've been
trying to get at you for ever so long," she
went on. " I'm in a dreadful fix. You know
I told you I hadn't intended to come here to-
day, but I didn't tell you the reason why.
The reason was that to-day was the time set
for my math. exam, with Miss Mansfield. I
tried to get her to change it, but I couldn't, so
finally I telephoned her that I was ill. Some
one else answered the 'phone for her, saying
that she was engaged and, Betty — I'm sure it
was Miss Hale."
Betty looked at her in blank amazement.
'' You said you were ill and then came here I "
she began. " Oh, Eleanor, how could you !
But what makes you think that Miss Hale
BETTT WALES 135
^' I'm sure I recognized her voice when she
asked you for the fan, and then haven't you
noticed her distant manner?" said Eleanor
gloomily. '' Are they friends, do you know ? "
^' They live in the same house."
'^ Then that settles it. You seem to be very
chummy with Miss Hale, Betty. You couldn't
reconcile it with your tender conscience to say
a good word for me, I suppose? "
'' I — why, what could I say after that dread-
ful message?" Then she brightened sud-
denly. '^Why, Eleanor, I did. We talked
about you all the way over here. Ethel asked
questions and I answered them. I told her a
lot of nice things," added Betty reassuringly,
'' though of course I couldn't imagine why she
wanted to know. What luck that you hadn't
told me sooner ! "
Eleanor stared at her blankly. '' I sup-
pose," she said at last, '' that it will serve me
right if Miss Hale tells Miss Mansfield that I
was here, and Miss Mansfield refuses me an-
other examination ; but do you think she
Betty glanced at Ethel. She was standing
at the other end of the room, talking to two
136 BETTT IVALES
Winsted men, and she looked so young and
pretty and so like one of the girls herself
that Betty said impulsively, '' She couldn't ! "
Then she remembered how different Ethel had
seemed on the train, and that the girls in her
classes stood very much in awe of her. '' I
don't know," she said slowly. '' She just hates
any sort of cheating. She might think it was
her duty to tell. Oh, Eleanor, why did you
Eleanor shrugged her shoulders express-
ively. Then she turned away with a radiant
smile for Mr. West. '' I am sorry to have kept
you men waiting," she said. '' How much
more time do we have before the barge comes ? "
Whatever Miss Hale meant to do, she kept
her own counsel, deliberately avoiding inter-
course with either Ethel or Betty. She bade
the girls a gay good-bye at the station, and
went off in state in the carriage they had pro-
vided for her.
'' I suppose it's no use asking if you had a
good time," said Betty sympathetically, as she
and Eleanor, having decided to go home in
comfort, rolled away in another.
" I had a lovely time until it flashed over
BETTT WALES 137
me about that telephone message. After that
of course I was worried almost to death, and I
would give anything under the sun if I had
stayed at home and passed oflP my math, like
a person of sense."
'' Then why don't you tell Miss Mansfield
so?" suggested Betty.
'' Oh, Betty, I couldn't. But I shan't prob-
ably have the chance," she added dryly.
'' Miss Hale will see her after dinner. I hope
she'll tell her that I appeared to be enjoying
The next morning when Eleanor presented
herself at Miss Mansfield's class-room for the
geometry lesson, another assistant occupied
the desk. ^' Miss Mansfield is out of town for
a few days," she announced. Eleanor gave
Betty a despairing glance and tried to fix her
attention on the '' originals " which the new
teacher was explaining. It seemed as if the
class would never end. When it did she flew
to the desk and inquired if Miss Mansfield
would be back to-morrow.
'' To-morrow ? Oh no," said the young as-
sistant pleasantly. '' She's in Boston for
some days. No, not this week ; next, I be-
138 BETTT WALES
lieve. You are Miss Watson ? No, there
was no message for you, I think."
The next week was a longer and more
harassing one than any that Eleanor could re-
member. She had not been blind to Betty's
scorn of her action. Ever since she came to
Harding she had noted with astonishment the
high code of honor that held sway among the
girls. They shirked when they could, assumed
knowledge when they had it not, managed
somehow to wear the air of leisurely go-as-
you-please that Eleanor loved ; but they did
not cheat, and like Betty they despised those
who did. So Eleanor, who a few months be-
fore would have boasted of having deceived
Miss Mansfield, was now in equal fear lest
Miss Hale should betray her and lest some of
her mates should find her out. She wanted to
ask Lil Day or Annette Gaynor what hap-
pened if you cut a special examination ; but
suppose they should ask why she cared to
know? That would put another knot into
the " tangled web " of her deception. It would
have been some comfort to discuss the possi-
bilities of the situation with Betty, but Eleanor
denied herself even that outlet. No use re-
BETTr WALES 139
minding a girl that she despises you ! If only
Betty would not look so sad and sympathetic
and inquiring when they met in the halls, in
classes or at table. At other times Eleanor
barricaded herself behind a '' Don't disturb "
sign and studied desperately and to much
purpose. And every morning she hoped
against hope that Miss Mansfield would hear
the geometry class.
The suspense lasted through the whole
week. Then, just two days before the vaca-
tion, Miss Mansfield reappeared and Eleanor
asked timidly for an appointment.
^' Come to-day at two," began Miss Mans-
^' Oh thank you ! Thank 3^ou so much ! "
broke in Eleanor and stopped in confusion.
But Miss Mansfield onl}^ smiled absently.
'' Most of my belated freshman don't express
such fervent gratitude for my firmness in
pushing them through before the vacation.
They try to put me off*." She had evidently
quite forgotten the other appointment.
" I shall be so glad to have it over," Eleanor
Miss Mansfield looked after her thoughtfully
I40 BETTT IVALES
as she went down the hall. '' Perhaps I've
misjudged her," she told herself. '' When a
girl is so pretty, it's hard to take her seri-
She said as much to Ethel Hale when they
walked home to lunch together, but Ethel
was not at all enthusiastic over Miss Watson's
'' She's very late in working off a condition,
I should say," she observed coldly.
'^ Yes, but I've been away, you know," ex-
plained Miss Mansfield. '' Oh, Ethel, I wish
you could meet him. You don't half ap-
preciate how happy I am."
Ethel, who had decided after much con-
sideration to let Eleanor's affairs take their
course, made a mental observation to the
effect that an engagement induces shortness
of memory and tenderness of heart. Then
she said aloud that she also wished she might
meet '' him."
Time flies between Thanksgiving and
Christmas, particularly for freshmen who are
looking forward to their first vacation at
home. It flies faster after they get there, and
BETTT WALES 141
when they are back at college it rushes on
quite as swiftly but rather less merrily toward
the fateful ^' mid-years." None of the Chapin
house girls had been home at Thanksgiving
time, but they were all going for Christmas,
except Eleanor Watson, who intended to spend
the vacation with an aunt in New York.
They prepared for the flitting in character-
istic ways. Rachel, who was very systematic,
did all her Christmas shopping, so that she
needn't hurry through it at home. Roberta
made but one purchase, an illustrated '' Alice
in Wonderland," for her small cousins, and
spent all her spare time in re-reading it her-
self. Helen, in spite of Betty's suggestions
about leaning back on her reputation, studied
harder than ever, so that she could go home
with a clear conscience, while Katherine was
too excited to study at all, and Mary Brooks
jeered impartially at both of them. Betty
conscientiously returned all her calls and be-
gan packing several days ahead, so as to make
the time seem shorter. Then just as the ex-
pressman was driving off with her trunk, she
remembered that she had packed her short
skirt at the very bottom.
142 BETTT IVALES
''Thank you ever so much. If he'd got
much further 1 should have had to go home
either in this gray bath robe that I have on,
or in a white duck suit," she said to Kath-
erine who had gone to rescue the skirt and
came back with it over her arm.
She and Katherine started west together
and Eleanor and Roberta went with them to
the nearest junction. The jostling, excited
crowd at the station, the '' good-byes " and
'' Merry Christmases," were great fun. Betty,
remembering a certain forlorn afternoon in
early autumn, laughed happily to herself.
'' What's the joke? " asked Katherine.
"■ I was thinking how much nicer things
like this seem when you're in them," she said,
waving her hand to Alice Waite.
At the Cleveland station, mother and Will
and Nan and the smallest sister were watch-
ing eagerly for the returning wanderer.
'' Why, Betty Whales, you haven't changed
one bit," announced the smallest sister in tones
of deepest wonder. '' Why, I'd have known
you anywhere, Betty, if I'd met you on the
'' Three months isn't quite as long as all
BETTT WALES 143
that," said Betty, hugging the smallest sister,
" but I was hoping I looked a little older.
Nobody ever mistakes me for a senior, as they
do Rachel Morrison. And I ought to look
years and years wiser."
*^ Nonsense," said Will with a lordly air.
'' Now a college girl "
Everybody laughed. '' You see we all know
your theories about intellectual women," said
mother. "' So suppose you take up the suit
case and escort us home."
The next morning a note arrived from
" Dearest Betty," it ran :
"• As you always seem to be just around
the corner when I get into a box, I want to tell
you that I rode down to New York with Miss
Hale. She asked me to sit with her and I
couldn't well refuse, though I wanted to badly
enough. She knew, Betty, but she w411 never
tell. She said she was glad to know me on
your account. She asked me how the term
had gone with me, and I blushed and stam-
mered and said that I was coming back in
a different spirit. She said that college was
the finest place in the world for a girl to get
acquainted with herself — that cowardice and
144 BETTT JVALES
weakness of purpose and meanness and petti-
ness stood out so clearly against the back-
ground of fineness and squareness ; and that
four years was long enough to see all sorts of
faults in oneself, and change them according
to one's new theories. As she said it, it didn't
sound a bit like preaching.
" I didn't tell her that I was only in college
for one year. I sent her a big bunch of violets
to-day — she surely couldn't regard it as a bribe
now — and after Christmas I'll try to show her
that I'm worth while.
'' Merry Christmas, Betty.
Nan frowned when Betty told her about
Eleanor. ^' But she isn't a nice girl, Betty.
Did I meet her?"
'' Yes, she's the one you thought so pretty —
the one with the lovely eyes and hair."
*' Betty," said Nan soberly, '^ you don't do
things like this?"
''I!" Betty flushed indignantly. ''Weren't
there all kinds of girls when you were in col-
lege, Nan? Didn't you ever know people
who did ' things like this ' ? "
Nan laughed. '' There certainly were," she
said. '' I'll trust you, Betty. Only don't see
BETTr WALES 145
too much of Miss Watson, or she'll drag you
doAvn, in spite of yourself."
'* But Ethel's dragging her up," objected
Betty. '' And I gave her the first boost, by
knowing Ethel. Not that I meant to. I
never seem to accomplish things when I mean
to. You remember Helen Chase Adams? "
'^ With great pleasure. She noticed my
'' Well, I've been all this term trying to re-
form her clothes, but I can't improve her one
bit, except when I set to work and do it all
myself. I should think you'd be afraid she'd
drag me into dowdiness, I have to see so much
Nan smiled at the dainty little figure in the
big chair. '^ I don't notice any indications
yet," she said. '' It took you an hour to
dress this morning, exactly as it always does.
But you'd better take care. What are you
going to do to-day ? "
" Make your friend Helen Chase Adams a
stock for Christmas," announced Betty, jump-
ing up and pulling Nan after her. *' And
you've got to help, seeing you admire her so
After Christmas there were goodies from
home to eat and Christmas-gifts to arrange in
their new quarters. Betty's piece de resist-
ance was a gorgeous leather sofa pillow
stamped with the head of a ferocious Indian
chief Eleanor had a great brass bowl, which
in some mysterious fashion was kept con-
stantly full of fresh roses, a shelf full of new
books, and more dresses than her closet would
hold. Katherine had a chafing-dish, Eachel
a Persian rug, and Roberta an illustrated
'' Alice in Wonderland " of her own. To
Betty's great relief Helen had brought back
two small pillows for her couch, all her skirts
w^ere lengthened, and the Christmas stock of
black silk with its white linen turnovers
replaced the clumsy woolen collars that
she had worn with her winter shirt-waists.
And — she was certainly learning to do her
hair more becomingly. There w^asn't a very
BETTr WALES 147
marked improvement to be sure, but if Betty
could have watched Helen's patient efforts to
turn her vacation to account in the matter of
hair-dressing, she would have realized how
much the little changes meant, and would
have been more hopeful about her pupil's
progress. Not until the end of her junior
year did Helen Adams reach the point where
she could be sure that one's personal appear-
ance is quite as important a matter as one's
knowledge of calculus or Kantian philoso-
phies ; but, thanks largely to Betty, she was
beginning to want to look her best, and that
was the first step toward the things that she
coveted. The next, and one for which Betty,
with her open-hearted, free-and-easy fashion
of facing life, was not likely to see the need,
must be to break down the barriers that
Helen's sensitive shyness had erected between
herself and the world around her. The self-
confidence that Caroline Barnes had cruelly,
if unintentionally wounded, must be restored
before Helen could find the place she longed
for in the little college world.
No one had had any very exciting vacation
adventures except Rachel, who was delayed
148 BETTT WALES
on her way home by a freight wreck and
obliged to spend Christmas eve on a wind-
swept siding with only a ham sandwich be-
tween her and starvation, and Eleanor, whose
vacation had been one mad whirl of metro-
politan gaiety. Her young aunt, who sympa-
thized w4th her niece's distaste for college life,
and couldn't imagine why on earth Judge
Watson had insisted upon his only daughter's
trying it for a year at least, did her utmost to
make Eleanor enjoy her visit. So she had
dined at the Waldorf, sat in a box at the
theatre and the opera, danced and shopped to
her heart's content, and had seen all the sights
of New York. And at all the festivities Paul
West, a friend of the family and also of
Eleanor's, was present as Eleanor's special
escort and avowed admirer. Naturally she
had come back in an ill humor. Between
late hours and excitement she was completely
worn out. She wanted to be in New York,
and failing that she wanted Paul West to
come and talk New York to her, and bring
her roses for the big brass bowl that she had
found in a dingy little shop in the Russian
quarter. She threw her good resolutions to
BETTT JVALES 149
the winds, received Miss Hale's thanks for the
violets very coldly, and begged Betty to for-
get the sentimental letter that she had written
"' But I thought it was a nice letter," said
Betty. "' Eleanor, why won't you give your-
self a chance? Go and see Ethel this after-
noon, and — and then set to work to show her
what you said you would," she ended lamely.
Eleanor only laughed. "■ Sorry, Betty, but
I'm going to Winsted this afternoon. Paul
has taken pity on me ; there's a sleighing
party. I thought perhaps you were invited
^' No, but I'm going skating with Mary and
Katherine," said Betty cheerfully, "• and then
at four Rachel and I are going to do Latin."
'^ Oh, Latin," said Eleanor significantly.
"' Let me think. Is it two or three weeks to
mid-years ? '^
^' Two, just."
'' Well, I suppose I shall have to do a little
something then myself," said Eleanor, "■ but I
shan't bother yet awhile. Here comes the
sleigh," she added, looking out of the win-
dow. '' Paul's driving, and your Mr. Parsons
I50 BETTT JVALES
has asked Georgie Arnold. What do you
think of that?"
" I should certainly hope he wouldn't ask
the same girl to everything, if that's what
you mean," said Betty calmly, helping Elea-
nor into her new coat.
Eleanor shrugged her shoulders. '^ Good-
bye," she said. '' For my part, I prefer to be
the one and onl}^ — while I last," and snatch-
ing up her furs she was off.
Betty found Mary and Katherine in posses-
sion of her room and engaged in an animated
discussion about the rules of hockey.
'' I tell you that when the thing-um-bob
is in play," began Katherine.
'' Not a bit of it," cut in Mary.
^' Come along, girls," interrupted Betty,
fishing her skates from under her couch, and
pulling on her '' pussy " mittens. '' Never
mind those rules. You can't play hockey to-
day. You promised to skate with me."
It was an ideal winter's afternoon, clear,
cold and still. The ice on Paradise was
smooth and hard, and the little pond was
fairly alive with skaters, most of them Hard-
ing girls. Betty was a novice, with one weak
BETTT WALES 151
ankle that had an annoying habit of turning
over suddenly and tripping her up ; so she
was timid about skating alone. But between
Mary and Katherine she got on famously, and
thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon. At four
Mary had a committee meeting, Katherine an
engagement to play basketball, and Betty had
agreed to meet Rachel. So with great reluct-
ance they took off their skates and started up
the steep path that led past the boat-house to
the back gate of the campus.
'^ Goodness, but I'm stiff," groaned Mary,
stopping to rest a minute half way up. '' I'd
have skated until dinner time though, if it
hadn't been for this bothering committee.
Never be on committees, children."
''Why don't you apply your own rules ?'^
inquired Katherine saucily.
" Oh, because I'm a vain peacock like the
rest of the world. The class president comes
to me and says, ' Now Mary, nobody but you
knows every girl in the class. You can find
out the sentiments of all sorts and conditions
on this matter. And then you have such fine
executive ability. I know you hate commit-
tees, but ' Of course I feel pleased by
152 BETTT WALES
her base flattery, and I don't come to my
senses until it's too late to escape. Is to-day
the sixteenth ? "
'' No, it's Saturday, the twentieth," said
Katherine. " Two weeks next Monday to
'' The twentieth ! " repeated Mary in tones
of alarm. '' Then my psychology paper is
due a week from Tuesday. I haven't done a
thing to it, and I shall be so busy next week
that I can't touch it till Friday or Saturday.
How time does fly ! "
'' Don't you even know what you're going
to write on or anything that you're going to
say?" asked Betty, who always wrote her
papers as soon as they were assigned, to get
them ofl* her mind, and who longed to know^
the secret of waiting serenely until the
"■ Why, I had a plan," answered Mary ab-
sently, ^' but I've waited so long that I hardly
know if I can use it."
Just then Alice Waite and her roommate
came panting up the hill, and Mary, who sel-
dom took much exercise and was very tired,
fell back to the rear of the procession. But
BETTT WALES 153
when the freshmen stopped in front of the
Hilton House she trilled and waved her hand
to attract their attention.
'^ Oh, Betty, please take my skates home,"
she said as she limped up to the group. Then
she smiled what Roberta had named her
'' beamish " smile. '' I know what you girls
are talking about," she said. '' Will you give
me a supper at Holmes's if I'm right ? "
*' Yes," said Katherine recklessly, "" for you
couldn't possibly guess. What was it? "
'' You're wondering about those fifty fresh-
men," answered Mary promptly.
'' What freshmen ? " demanded the four girls
in a chorus, utterly ignoring the lost wager.
'' Why, those fifty who, according to a per-
fectly baseless rumor, are going to be sent
home after mid-years."
^' What do you mean ? " gasped Betty.
'' Hadn't you heard ? " asked Mary sooth-
ingly. '' Well, I'm sure it will be all over the
college by this afternoon. Now understand, I
don't believe it's true. If it were ten or even
twenty it might be, but fifty — why, girls, it's
preposterous ! "
'' But I don't understand you," said Miss
154 BETTT WALES
Madison excitedly. She had grown very pale
and was hanging on to Katherine's arm.
'* Do you mean that there is such a story —
that fifty freshmen are to be sent home after
'^ Yes," said Mary sadly, *' there is, and
that's what I meant. I'm sorry that I should
have been the one to tell you, but you'd have
heard it from some one else, I'm sure. A
thing like that is always repeated so. Re-
member, I assure you I don't believe a word
of it. Somebody probably started it on pur-
pose to frighten you little freshmen. If you
would take my skates, Betty. I hate to lug
them around till dinner time. Now good-bye,
and do cheer up."
Left to themselves the four freshmen stared
blankly at one another. Finally Katherine
broke the mournful silence.
'' Girls," she said solemnly, '' it's utter fool-
ishness to worry about this report. Mary
didn't believe it herself, and why should
'^ She's not a freshman," suggested Alice
*' There are almost four hundred freshmen.
BETTT WALES 155
Perhaps the fifty wouldn't be any of us," put
Miss Madison maintained a despairing
'' Well," said Katherine at last, " if it is true
there's nothing to be done about it now, I sup-
pose ; and if it isn't true, why it isn't ; so I
think I'll go to basket-ball," and she detached
Miss Madison and started off.
Betty gave a prolonged sigh. '' I must go
too," she said. '' I've promised to study Latin.
I presume it isn't any use, but I can't disap-
point Rachel. I wish I was a fine student like
Rachel. She won't be one of the fifty."
Alice, who had been in a brown study,
emerged, just as Betty turned away.
" Wait a minute," she commanded. ^' Of
course it's awfully queer up here, but still, if
they have exams. I don't see the use of cook-
ing it all up beforehand. I mean I don't see
the use of exams, if it is all decided."
Her two friends brightened perceptibly.
''That's a good idea," declared Betty.
'' Every one says the mid-years are so impor-
tant. Let's do our best from now on, and
perhaps the faculty will change their minds.'*
156 BETTT WALES
As she walked home, Betty thought of
Eleanor. '' She'll be dreadfully worried. I
shan't tell her a word about it," she resolved.
Then she remembered Mary Brooks's remark.
Yes, no doubt some one else would enlighten
Eleanor. It was just too bad. But perhaps
Mary was right and the story was only a
It is hard for freshmen on the eve of their
mid-year examinations to be perfectly calm
and philosophical. The story of the fifty un-
fortunates ran like wild-fire through the col-
lege, and while upper-class girls sniffed at it
as absurd and even freshmen, particularly the
clever ones, pooh-poohed it in public, it was
the cause of many anxious, and some tearful
moments. Betty, after her first fright, had
accepted the situation with her usual cheerful-
ness, and so had Alice and Rachel, who could
not help knowing that her work was of ex-
ceptionally high grade, while Helen irritated
her house-mates by affecting an anxiety which,
as Katherine put it, " No dig, who gets ' good '
on all her written work, can possibly feel."
Katherine was worried about her mathematics,
in which she had been warned before Thanks-
BETTT WALES 157
giving, but she confided to Betty that she had
counted them up, and without being a bit con-
ceited she really thought there were fifty
stupider girls in the class of 19 — . Roberta
and the Riches, however, were utterly miser-
able, and Eleanor wrote to Paul West that she
was busy — she had written '' ill " first, and
then torn up the note — and indulged in an-
other frantic fit of industry, even more violent
than its predecessors had been.
'' But I thought you wanted to go home,"
said Betty curiously one afternoon when Elea-
nor had come in to borrow a lexicon. ^' You
say you hate it here, and you hate to study.
So why do you take so much trouble about
Eleanor straightened proudly. *^ Haven't
you observed yet that I have a bad case of the
Watson pride?" she asked. '' Do you think
I'd ever show my face again if I failed ? "
'' Then why " began Betty.
'^ Oh, that's the unutterable laziness that I get
from my — from the other side of the house,"
interrupted Eleanor. '' It's an uncomfortable
combination, I assure you," and taking the
book she had come for, she abruptly departed.
158 BETTT WALES
Betty realized suddenly that in all the year
Eleanor had never once spoken of her
After that she couldn't help being sorry for
Eleanor, but she pitied Miss Madison more.
Miss Madison was dull at books and she knew
it, and had actually made herself ill with
work and worry. Going to see her Hilton
House friends on the Friday afternoon after
the skating party, Betty found Miss Madison
alone and undisguisedly crying.
"" I know I'm foolish," she apologized.
'' Most people just laugh at that story, but I
notice they study harder since they heard it.
And I'm such a stupid."
Betty, who hated tears, had a sudden in-
spiration. '' Why don't you ask about it at
the registrar's office ? " she suggested.
'' Oh, I couldn't," wailed Miss Madison.
" Then I shall," returned Betty. '' That is,
I shall ask one of the faculty."
^' Would you dare?"
'' Yes, indeed. They're human, like other
people," said Betty, quoting Nan. '' I don't
see why some one didn't think of it sooner."
That night at dinner Betty announced her
BETTT WALES 159
plan. The freshmen looked relieved and
Mary Brooks showed uncalled-for enthusiasm.
^' Do go," she urged. '' It's high time such
an absurd story was shown up at its real
value. It's absurd. The way we talk and talk
about a report like that, and never dare to ask
the faculty if it's true."
'' Do you take any freshman courses ? "
inquired Eleanor sarcastically.
Mary smiled her ^' beamish " smile. '' No,"
she said, '^ but I'm an interested party never-
theless — quite as much so as any of the famous
''Whom shall you ask, Betty?" pursued
Katherine, ignoring the digression.
'' Miss Mansfield. I have her the first hour,
and besides, since she's been engaged she's so
nice and sympathetic."
Next day the geometry class dragged un-
mercifully for three persons. Eleanor beat a
nervous tattoo on the seat-arm, Miss Madison
stared fixedly at the clock, and Betty blushed
and twisted and wished she could have seen
Miss Mansfield before class. The delayed in-
terview was beginning to seem very formi-
dable. But it wasn't, after the first plunge.
i6o BETTT WALES
"■ What an absurd story ! " laughed Miss
Mansfield. " Not a word of truth in it, of
course. Why I don't believe the girl who
started it thought it was true. How long has
it been in circulation ? "
Betty counted the days. '' I didn't really
believe it," she added shyly.
'' But you worried," said Miss Mansfield,
smiling down at her. '' Next time don't be
taken in one little bit, — or else come to head-
Eleanor and Miss Madison were waiting out-
side the door when Betty dashed at them with
a little squeal of ecstasy. There was a moment
of rapturous congratulation ; then Miss Madi-
son picked up the note-book she had dropped
and held out her hand solemnly to Betty.
'^ You've — why I think you've saved my
life," she said, '' and now I must go to my
''You're a little hero," added Eleanor,
catching Betty's arm and rushing her off to a
recitation in Science Hall.
Roberta received the joyful news more
calmly. '' We may any of us flunk our mid-
years yet," she said.
BETTT WALES i6i
" But we can study for them in peace and
comfort," said Adelaide Rich.
Mary Brooks asked endless questions at
luncheon. Did the girls all accept Miss Mans-
field's denial as authoritative ? Did it travel
as fast as the original story had done ? How
did people think the rumor had started ?
"' Why, nobody mentioned that," said Rachel
in surprise. '' How odd that we shouldn't
have wondered ! "
'' Shows your sheep-like natures," said
Mary, rising abruptly. *' Well, now I can
finish my psychology paper."
"' Haven't you worked on itany ? " inquired
'' Oh, yes, I made an outline and developed
some topics last night. But I couldn't finish
until to-day. I was so worried about you
Toward the end of the next week Rachel
came in to dinner late and in high spirits.
'^ I've had such a fine walk ! " she exclaimed.
*' Hester Gulick and I went to the bridge, and
on the way back we overtook a senior named
Janet Andrews. She is such fun. She'd
walked down-town with Professor Hinsdale.
i62 BETTT JVALES
He teaches psychology, doesn't he? They
seem to be very good friends, and he told her
such a funny thing about the fifty-freshmen
story. How do you suppose it started ? "
^' Oh, please tell us," cried everybody at
"■ Why, an awfully clever girl in his sopho-
more class started it as an experiment, to see
how it would take. She told it to some fresh-
men, saying explicitly that it wasn't true,
and they told their friends, and so it went all
over the college until last Saturday Betty got
Miss Mansfield to deny it. But no one knew
how it started until yesterday when Professor
Hinsdale looked over a paper in which the
girl had written it all up, as a study in the
way rumors spread and grow. This one was
so big to begin with that it couldn't grow
much, though it seems, according to the paper,
that some people had added to it that half the
freshmen would be conditioned in math."
'* How awfully funny ! " gurgled Betty.
Then she jumped almost out of her chair.
'' Why, Mary Brooks ! " she said.
Everybody looked at Mary, who blushed
guiltily and remarked with great dignity that
BETTr WALES 163
Professor Hinsdale was an old telltale. But
when she had assured herself that the fresh-
men, with the possible exception of Eleanor,
w^ere disposed to regard the psychological ex-
periment which had victimized them with
perfect good-nature, and herself with consid-
erable admiration, she condescended to accept
congratulations and answer questions.
" Seriously, girls," she said at last, "• I hope
no one got really scared. I wanted to explain
when I heard Betty tell how unhappy Miss
Madison was, but I really thought Miss Mans-
field's denial would cheer her up more and
reach her almost as quickly, and at the same
time it would help me out so beautifully. It
made such a grand conclusion !
" You see," she went on, '* Professor Hins-
dale put the idea into my head when he as-
signed the subjects away back last month.
He said he was giving them out early so
we would have time to make original obser-
vations. When he mentioned '■ Rumor,' he
spoke of village gossip, and the faked stories
that are circulated on Wall Street to make
stocks go up or down, and then of the wild
way we girls take up absurd reports. The last
i64 BETTT tVALES
suggestion appealed to me, but I couldn't re-
member anything definite enough, so I de-
cided to invent a rumor. Then I forgot all
about it till that Saturday that I went skating,
and ' you know the rest,' as our friend Mr.
Longfellow aptly remarks. When I get my
chef-d'oeuvre back you may have a private
view, in return for which I hope you'll en-
courage your friends not to hate me."
** Isn't she fun ? " said Betty a little later,
when she and Helen were alone together.
" Do you know, I think this rumor business
has been a good thing. It's made a lot of us
work hard, and only seriously frightened
three or four."
'' Yes," said Helen primly. '' I think so
too. The girls here are inclined to be very
'' Who ? " demanded Betty.
Helen hesitated. ''Oh, the girls as a
'' That doesn't count," objected Betty.
'' Give me a name."
'' Well, Barbara Gordon."
'' Takes sixteen hours, has her themes read
in Mary's class, and in her spare moments
BETTr WALES 165
paints water colors that are exhibited in Bos-
ton," said Betty promptly.
'' Really ? " gasped Helen.
"■ Really," repeated Betty. '' Of course she
was very well prepared, and so her work here
seems easy to her. Next year I hope that you
and I won't have to plod along so."
Helen said nothing, but she was deeply
grateful to Betty for that last sentence. '' You
and I " — as if there was something in common
between them. The other girls set her apart
in a class by herself and labeled her *' dig."
If one was born slow and conscientious and
plodding, was there any hope for one, — any
place among these pretty girls who worked so
easily and idled so gracefully ? Helen shut
her lips firmly and resolved to keep on hunt-
MID- YEARS AND A DUST-PAN
Viewed in retrospect the tragic experiences
of one's freshman year seem often the most
insignificant of trifles ; but that does not pre-
vent their being at the time momentous as the
fate of empires. There are mid-year examina-
tions, for instance ; after one has survived
them a few times she knows that being
'' flunked out " is not so common an expe-
rience as report represents it to be, and as for
*' low grades " and ^' conditions," if one has
" cut " or been too often unprepared she de-
serves and expects them, and if she has done
her best and still finds an unwelcome note or
two on the official bulletin board, why, she
must remember that accidents will happen,
and are generally quite endurable when viewed
philosophically. But in freshman year one is
inexperienced and easily the dupe of mischiev-
ous sophomores. Then how is one to prepare
for the dreadful ordeal ? The distinction is
BETTT WALES 167
not at all clear between the intelligent review
that the faculty recommend and the cramming
that they abhor. There is a disconcerting lit-
tle rhyme on this subject that has been
handed down from generation to genera-
tion for so long that it has lost most
of its form and comeliness ; but the point is
still sharp. It is about a girl who followed
the faculty's advice on the subject of cram-
ming, took her exercise as usual, and went to
bed each night at ten o'clock, as all good
children should. The last stanza still rhymes,
" And so she did not hurry,
Nor sit up late to cram,
Nor have the blues and worry.
But — she failed in her exam."
Mary Brooks took pains that all her '^ young
friends," as she called them, should hear of
this instructive little poem.
^^ I really thought," said Betty on the first
evening of the examination week, "' when that
hateful rumor was contradicted, that I should
never be scared again, but I am."
*' There's unfortunately nothing rumorous
about these exams.," muttered Katherine
i68 BETTT WALES
wrathfully. '' The one 1 had to-day was the
real article, all right."
"• And I have my three worst to-morrow and
next day," mourned Betty, "■ so I've got per-
mission to sit up after ten to-night. Don't all
the rest of you want to come in here and
work? Then some one else can ask Mrs.
Chapin for the other nights."
'' But we must all attend strictly to busi-
ness," said Mary Rich, whereat Helen Adams
And business was the order of the week.
An unwonted stillness reigned over the
Chapin house, broken occasionally by wild
outbursts of hilarit}^, which meant that some
examination or other was over and had
not been so bad after all. Every evening at
ten the girls who felt it necessary to sit up
later assembled in one room, comfortably at-
tired in kimonos — all except Roberta, who
had never been seen without her collar — and
armed with formidable piles of books ; and
presently work began in earnest. There was
really no reason, as Rachel observed, why
they should not stay in their own rooms, if
they were going to sit up at all. This Avasn't
BETTT WALES 169
the campus, where there was a night-watch-
man to report lights, and Mrs. Chapin was
very accommodating about giving permission.
''This method benefits her gas bill though,"
said Katherine, " and therefore keeps her ac-
commodating. Besides, it's much easier to
stick to it in a crowd."
Eleanor never went through the formality
of asking Mrs. Chapin's permission to do any-
thing, and she did not care for the moral sup-
port of numbers. She was never sleepy, she
said, pointing significantly to her brass
samovar, and she could work best alone in her
own room. She held aloof, too, from the dis-
cussions about the examinations which were
the burden of the week's table-talk, only once
in a while volunteering a suggestion about the
possible answer to an obscure or ambiguous
question. Her ideas invariably astonished
the other freshmen by their depth and origi-
nality, but when any one exclaimed, Eleanor
would say, sharply, " Why, it's all in the text-
book ! " and then relapse into gloomy silence.
" I suppose she talks more to her friends
outside," suggested Rachel, after an encounter
of this sort.
lyo BETTT WALES
" Not on your life," retorted Katherine.
'' She's one of the kind that keeps herself to
herself. She hates us because we have to
know as much about her as we do, living here
in the house with her. I hope she gets
through all right."
'' She's awfully clever," said Mary Rich ad-
miringly. '' She'd never have said that a
leviathan was some kind of a church creed, as
I did in English."
'' Yes, she's a clever — blunderer, but she's
also a sadly mistaken young person," amended
It was convenient to have one's examina-
tions scattered evenly through the week with
time for study between them, but pleasanter
on the whole to be through by Thursday or
Friday, with several days of delicious idleness
before the new semester began. And as a cer-
tain faction of the college always manages to
suit its own convenience in such matters, the
campus, which is the unfailing index of col-
lege sentiment, began to wear a leisurely, holi-
day air some time before the dreaded week was
The ground was covered deeply with snoWr
BETTT WALES 171
which a sudden thaw and as sudden a freeze
had coated with a thick, hard crust. This
put a stop to snow-shoeing and delayed the
work of clearing the ice off Paradise pond,
where there was to be a moonlight carnival
on the evening of the holiday that follows
mid-year week. But it made splendid coast-
ing. Toboggans, '' bobs" and hand sleds ap-
peared mysteriously in various quarters, and
the pasture hills north of the town swarmed
with Harding girls out for fresh air, exercise
On Friday afternoon an ingenious damsel
who had no sled conceived the idea of substi-
tuting a dust-pan. So she borrowed one of an
obliging chambermaid and went out to the
little slope which divides the front from the
back campus to try her experiment. In
twenty minutes the hill was alive with girls,
all the available dust-pans had been pressed
into service, and large tin pans were found to
do nearly as well. Envious groups of girls
who could get neither the one nor the other
watched the absurd spectacle from the win-
dows of the nearest campus houses or hurried
down-town to buy tinware. Sleds were neg-
172 BETTr WALES
lected, toboggans despised ; the dust-pan fad
had taken possession of the college.
Betty, who had the happy faculty of being
on hand at interesting moments, was crossing
the campus on her way home from the Hilton
House. She had taken her last examination,
had helped Alice Waite finish up a box of
candy, and now had nothing to do until din-
ner time, so she stopped to watch the novel
coasting, and even had one delicious ride her-
self on Dorothy King's dust-pan.
Near the gate she met Mary Brooks and
Roberta and asked them if they had been
through the campus.
'' No," said Mar}^, '' we've been having
chocolate at Cuyler's." And she dragged her
companions back to within sight of the hill.
Then she abruptly turned them about and
hurried them off in the other direction.
'' Let's go straight down and buy some dust-
pans," she began enthusiastically. "' We have
just time before dinner, and we can slide all
'' Oh, no," demurred Roberta. '' I couldn't."
Betty laughed at her expression of alarm,
and Mary demanded, '' Why not? "
BETTT WALES 173
''Oh, I couldn't/' repeated Roberta. ''It
looks dangerous, and, besides, I have to dress
" Dangerous nothing ! " jeered Mary.
" Don't be so everlastingly neat and lady-
like, child. What's the use? Well," as
Roberta still hung back, " carry my fountain
pen home, then, and don't spill it. Come on,
Betty," and the two raced off down the hill.
Roberta looked after them admiringly,
wishing she were not such a "muff" at out-
The next afternoon Betty and Mary hurried
over to the campus directly after luncheon to
try their new toys. The crust was still firm
and the new sport popular as ever.
" You see it's much more exciting than a
' bob,' " a tall senior was explaining to a
group of on-lookers. " You can't steer, so
you're just as likely to go down backward as
frontward ; and being so near the ground
gives you a lovely creepy sensation."
"The point is, it's such a splendid antidote
for overstudying. It just satisfies that abso-
lutely idiotic feeling that every one has after
mid-years," added an athletic young woman in
174 BETTT }VALES
a gray sweater, as she joined the group with
her dust-pan tucked scientifically under her
She was Marion Lawrence, sophomore vice-
president, and Mary Brooks's best friend.
Betty, fearing to be in the way, joined another
lone freshman from the Belden House.
'' Do you suppose you could sit up to study
to-night if you had to ? " inquired the fresh-
man as they stood waiting their turns to go
"■ No, only it seems as if you always could
do what you have to," answered Betty, start-
She decided presently that dust-pan coast-
ing was not so much fun as it looked. Mary
Brooks, coming to find her and ask her to join
a racing tournament captained by herself and
Marion Lawrence, declared noisily that she
Avas having '' the time of her gay young life,"
but Betty after the first coast or two began to
think of going home. Perhaps it was because
she was so tired. It seemed so much trouble
to walk up on the slippery crust and such a
long way round by the path. So she refused
to enter the tournament. '' I'm not going to
BETTT WALES 175
stay long enough/' she explained. *' I shall
just have two more slides. Then I'm going
home to take a nap. That's my best antidote
The next coast was nicer. Perhaps the dust-
pan had been too new. The Belden House
freshman said that hers went better since her
roommate had used it and scraped off all the
paint in a collision.
*' I wonder there aren't more collisions,"
said Betty, preparing for her last slide.
Half-way down she discovered that the
other freshman and the rest hadn't started —
that the hill was almost clear. Then some-
body called shrilly, '' Look out, Miss Wales."
She turned her head back toward the voice,
the dust-pan swirled, and she turned back
again to find herself slipping rapidly sidewise
straight toward a little lady who was walking
serenely along the path that cut the coast at
right angles. She was a faculty — Betty
hadn't the least idea what her name was, but
she had noticed her on the '' faculty row " at
chapel. In an instant more she was certainly
going to run into her. Betty dug her heels
frantically into the crust. It would not break.
176 BETTT WALES
'' Oh, I beg your pardon, but I can't stop ! "
At that the little lady, who was walking
rapidly with her head bent against the wind,
looked up and apparently for the first time
noticed the dust-pan coasters. Mirth and con-
fusion overcame her. She stopped an instant
to laugh, then started back, then changed her
mind and dashed wildly forward, with the in-
evitable result that she fell in an undignified
heap on top of Betty and the dust-pan. The
accident took place on the edge of the path
where the crust was jagged and icy. Betty,
who had gone head-first through it, emerged
with a bleeding scratch on one cheek and a
stinging, throbbing wrist. Fortunately her
companion was not hurt.
'' Oh, Fm so sorry ! " sighed Betty, trying
to brush the snow off her victim with one
hand. '' I do hope you'll forgive me for being
so careless." Then she sat down suddenly on
the broken crust. " It's only that my wrist
hurts a little," she finished abruptly.
The girls had gathered around them by this
time, sympathizing and lamenting that they
had not warned Betty in time. " But we
BETTT WALES 177
thought of course you saw Miss Ferris," said
the tall senior, " and we supposed she was
looking out for you."
So this was Miss Ferris — the great Miss
Ferris. Rachel had sophomore zoology with
her and Mary Brooks had said that she was
considered the most brilliant woman on the
faculty. She was '' house-teacher " at the
Hilton, and Alice Waite and Miss Madison
were always singing her praises.
She cut Betty's apologies and the girls' in-
quiries short. '' My dear child, it was all my
fault, and you're the one who's hurt. Why
didn't you girls stop me sooner — call to me to
go round the other way ? I was in a hurry
and didn't see or hear you up there." Then
she sat down on the crust beside Betty. '' For-
give me for laughing," she said, '' but you did
look so exactly like a giant crab sidling along
on that ridiculous dust-pan. Have you
sprained your wrist? Then you must come
straight over to my room and wait for a
Betty's feeble protests were promptly over-
ruled, and supported b}^ Mary Brooks on one
side and Miss Ferris on the other she was hur-
178 BETTT WALES
ried over to the Hilton House and tucked up
in Miss Ferris's Morris chair by her open fire,
to await the arrival of the college doctor and
a carriage. In spite of her embarrassment at
having upset so important a personage, and
the sharp pains that went shooting up and
down her arm, she was almost sorry when
doctor and carriage arrived together. Miss
Ferris was even nicer than the girls had said.
Somehow she made one feel at home immedi-
ately as she bustled about bringing a towel
and a lotion for Betty's face, hot water for
her wrist, and '' butter-thins " spread with
delicious strawberry jam to keep her courage
up. Before she knew it, Betty was telling
her all about her direful experiences during
examination week, how frightened she had
been, and how sleepy she was now, — '' not
just now of course " — and how she had been
all ready to go home when the spill came.
And Miss Ferris nodded knowingly at Mary
and laughed her little rippling laugh.
'* Just like these foolish little freshmen ; isn't
it? " she said, exactly as if she had been one
last year too. And yet there was a suspicion
of gray in her hair, and she was a doctor of
BETTT WALES 179
philosophy and had written the leading article
in the learned German magazine that lay on
"■ You must come again, both of you, when
I can make tea for you properly," she said as
she closed the carriage door.
Betty, leaning whitely back on Mary's
shoulder, with her arm on Miss Ferris's soft-
est down pillow, smiled happily between the
throbs. If she was fated to have sprained her
wrist, she was glad that she had met Miss Ferris.
Saturday night and Sunday were long and
dismal beyond belief The wrist ached, the
cheek smarted, and a bad cold added its quota
to Betty's miseries. But she slept late Mon-
day morning, and when she woke felt able to
sit up in bed and enjoy her flowers and her
notoriety. Just after luncheon the entire
Chapin house came in to congratulate and
condole with her.
'' It's too windy to have any fun outdoors,"
began Rachel consolingly.
" Who sent you those violets?" demanded
" Miss Ferris. Wasn't it dear of her ? There
was a note with them, too, that said she con-
i8o BETTT WALES
sidered herself still ' deeply in my debt/ be-
cause of her carelessness — think of her saying
that to me ! — and that she hopes I won't hesi-
tate to call on her if she ' can ever be of the
slightest assistance.' And Mary, she said for
us not to forget that Friday is her day at
*' You are the luckiest thing, Betty Wales,"
sighed Rachel, who worshiped Miss Ferris
'' Now if rd knocked the august Miss Fer-
ris down," declared Katherine, '' I should
probably have been expelled forthwith.
Whereas you " She finished the sentence
with an expressive little gesture.
'' Who gave you the rest of this conserva-
tory, Betty? " asked Mary Brooks.
'' Clara Madison brought the carnations, and
Nita Reese, a girl in my geometry division,
sent the white roses, and Eleanor the pink
ones, and the freshman I was sliding with
these lilies-of-the-valley. It's almost worth a
sprained wrist to find out how kind people are
to you," said Betty gratefully.
'' Too bad you'll miss to-night," said Mary,
^' but maybe it will snow."
BETTT WALES i8i
" I don't mind that. The worst thing is my
not being able to get my conditions off the
bulletin," said Betty, making a wry face.
'' Goodness ! That is a calamity ! " said
Katherine with mock seriousness.
*' Nonsense ! You've studied," from Rachel.
'' If you should have any conditions, I'll
bring them to you," volunteered Eleanor
quietly. Then she looked straight at Rachel
and Katherine and smiled pleasantly. '' I'm
sorry to say that I haven't studied," she
Betty thanked her, feeling more pleased at
the apparent harmony of the household than
she had been with all her flowers. It was so
difficult to like Eleanor and Rachel and Kath-
erine and Helen, all four, so well, when
Rachel and Katherine had good reason for
disliking Eleanor, and Helen wouldn't hitch
with any of the rest.
'' Do you know that Prexy had forbidden
sliding on dust-pans ?" asked Mary Rich in
the awkward pause that followed.
'' Oh, yes," added Mary Brooks, '' I forgot to
tell you. So it's just as well that I lost mine
in the shuffle."
i82 BETTT WALES
^' But I'm sorry to have been the one to stop
the fun," said Betty sadly.
'' Oh, it wasn't wholly that. Two other
girls banged into each other after we left."
'' But you're the famous one," added Rachel,
" because you knocked over Miss Ferris. She
looked so funny and knowing when Prexy
announced it in chapel."
"■ I wish I could do something for you too,"
said Helen timidly, after the rest had drifted
out of the room.
" Why you have," Betty assured her. " You
helped a lot both times the doctor came, and
you've stayed out of the room whenever I
wanted lo sleep, and brought up all my meals,
and written home for me."
Helen flushed. '' That's nothing. I meant
something pretty like those," and she pointed
to the tableful of flowers, and then going over
to it buried her face in the bowl of English
Betty watched her for a moment with a
vague feeling of pit}^ '' I don't suppose she
has ten cents a month to spend on such
things," she thought, '' and as for having them
sent to her " Then she said aloud, '' We
BETTT WALES 183
certainly don't need any more of those at pres-
ent. Were you going to the basket-ball
"• I thought I would, if you didn't want
^^ Not a bit, and you're to wear some violets
— a nice big bunch. Hand me the bowl,
please, and I'll tie them up."
Helen gave a little gasp of pleasure. Then
her face clouded. '' But I couldn't take your
violets," she added quickly.
Betty laughed and went on tying up the
bunch, only making it bigger than she had at
first intended. After Helen had gone she
cried just a little. '' I don't believe she ever
had any violets before," she said to the green
lizard. '' Why, her eyes were like stars —
she was positively pretty."
More than one person noticed the happy
little girl who sat quite alone in the running
track, dividing her eager attention between
the game and the violets which she wore
pinned to her shabby, old-fashioned brown
Meanwhile Betty, propped up among her
pillows, was trying to answer Nan's last letter.
i84 BETTT WALES
''You seem to be interested in so many
other people's affairs/' Nan had written, '' that
you haven't any time for your own. Don't
make the mistake of being a hanger-on."
'' You see, Nan," wrote Betty, '' I am at last
a heroine, an interesting invalid, with scars,
and five bouquets of flowers on my table. I
am sorry that I don't amount to more usually.
The trouble is that the other people here are
so clever or so something-or-other that I can't
help being more interested in them. I'm
afraid I am only an average girl, but I do
seem to have a lot of friends and Miss Ferris,
whom you are always admiring, has asked me
to five o'clock tea. Perhaps, some day "
Writing with one's left hand was too labor-
ious, so Betty put the letter in a pigeon-hole
of her desk to be finished later. As she
slipped the sheets in. Miss Ferris's note
dropped out. '' I wonder if I shall ever want
to ask her anything," thought Betty, as she
put it carefully away in the small drawer of
her desk that held her dearest treasures.
A TRIUMPH FOR DEMOCRACY
By Wednesday Bett}^ was well enough to go
to classes, though she felt very conspicuous
with her scratched face and her wrist in a
sling. And so when early Wednesday after-
noon Eleanor pounced on her and Katherine
and demanded why they were not starting to
class-meeting, she replied that she at least was
'' Nor I," said Katherine decidedly. '' It's
sure to be stupid."
'' I'm sorry/' said Eleanor. " We may need
you badly ; every one is so busy this week.
Perhaps you'll change your minds before two-
thirty, and if you do, please bring all the other
girls that you can along. You know the
notice was marked important."
" Evidently all arranged beforehand,"
sniffed Katherine, as Eleanor departed, ex-
plaining that she had promised to be on hand
early, ready to drum up a quorum if necessary.
i86 BETTT IVALES
Betty looked out at the clear winter sun-
shine. *' I wanted a little walk/' she said.
'^ Let's go. If it's long and stupid we can
leave ; and we ought to be loyal to our class."
'' All right," agreed Katherine. '' I'll go if
you will. I should rather like to see what
they have on hand this time."
'' They " meant the Hill-School contingent,
who from the initial meeting had continued to
run the affairs of the class of 1 9 — . Some of the
girls were indignant, and a few openly rebel-
lious, but the majority were either indifferent
or satisfied that the Hill clique was as good as
any other that might get control in its stead.
So the active opposition had been able to ac-
complish nothing, and Hill's machine, as a
cynical sophomore had dubbed it, had elected
its candidates for three class officers and the
freshman representative on the Students' Com-
mission, while the various class committees
were largely made up of Jean Eastman's inti-
'' I hope that some of the crowd have nicer
manners than our dear Eleanor and are better
students," Mary Brooks had said to Betty.
*' Otherwise I'm afraid your ship of state will
BETTT WALES 187
run into a snag of faculty prejudices some fine
Betty belonged to the indifferent faction of
the class. She was greatly interested in all its
activities, and prepared to be proud of its
achievements, but she possessed none of the
instincts of a wire-puller. So long as the class
offices were creditably filled she cared not who
held them, and comparing her ignorance of
parliamentary procedure with the glib self-
confidence of Jean, Eleanor and their friends,
she even felt grateful to them for rescuing the
class from the pitfalls that beset inexperience.
Katherine, on the other hand, was a bitter
opponent of what she called " ring rule," and
Adelaide Rich, who was the only recruit that
they could succeed in adding to their party,
had never forgotten the depths of iniquity
which her pessimistic acquaintance had re-
vealed in the seemingly innocent and well
conducted first meeting, and was prepared to
distrust everything, down to the reading of
The three were vigorously applauded when
they appeared in the door of No. 19, the biggest
recitation room in the main building and so
i88 BETTT WALES
the one invariably appropriated to freshman
assemblies. Katherine whispered to Mary
that she had not known Betty was quite so
popular as all that ; but a girl on the row be-
hind the one in which they found seats ex-
plained matters by whispering that three had
been the exact number needed to make up a
The secretary's report was hastily read and
accepted, and then Miss Eastman stated that
the business of the meeting was to elect a class
representative for the Washington's Birthday
'' Some of you know," she continued, '' that
the Students' Commission has decided to
make a humorous debate the main feature
of the morning rally. We and the juniors
are to take one side, and the senior and sopho-
more representatives the other. Now I sup-
pose the first thing to decide is how our repre-
sentative shall be chosen."
A buzz of talk spread over the room.
" Why didn't they let us know beforehand —
give us time to think who we'd have?" in-
quired the talkative girl on the row behind.
The president rapped for order as Kate
BETTr WALES 189
Deiiise, her roommate, rose to make a mo-
"■ Madame president, I move that the fresh-
man representative aforesaid be chosen by the
chair. Of course," she went on less formally,
turning to the girls, " that is by far the quick-
est way, and Jean knows the girls as a whole
so well — much better than any of us, I'm
sure. I think that a lot depends on choosing
just the right person for our debater, and we
ought not to trust to a haphazard election."
'* Haphazard is good," muttered the loqua-
cious freshman, in tones plainly audible at
the front of the room.
'' Of course that means a great responsi-
bility for me," murmured the president
'' Put it to vote," commanded a voice
from the front row, which was always occu-
pied by the ruljng faction. '' And remember,
all of you, that if we ballot for representative
we don't get out of here till four oclock."
The motion was summarily put to vote, and
the ayes had it at once, as the ayes are likely
to do unless a matter has been thoroughly
I90 BETTT WALES
''1 name Eleanor Watson, then," said Miss
Eastman with suspicious promptness. " Will
somebody move to adjourn? "
'' Well, of all ridiculous appointments ! "
exclaimed the loquacious girl under cover of
the applause and the noise of moving chairs.
'^ Right you are ! " responded Katherine,
laughing at Adelaide Rich's disgusted ex-
But Betty was smiling happily with her
eyes on the merry group around Eleanor.
" Aren't you glad, girls? " she said. " Won't
she do well, and won't the house be proud
^' I for one never noticed that she was a
single bit humorous," began Mary indig-
Katherine pinched her arm vigorously.
'' Don't! What's the use? " she whispered.
'' Nor I, but I suppose Miss Eastman knows
that she can be funny," answered Betty confi-
dently, as she hurried off to congratulate
She was invited to the supper to be given
at Cuyler's that night in Eleanor's honor, and
went home blissfully unconscious that half
BETTr WALES 191
the class was talking itself hoarse over Jean
Eastman's bad taste in appointing a notorious
"' cutter " and "' flunker " to represent them on
so important an occasion, just because she
happened to be the best dressed and prettiest
girl in the Hill crowd.
The next afternoon most of the girls were
at gym or the library, and Betty, who was
still necessarily excused from her daily exer-
cise, was working away on her Latin, when
some one knocked imperatively on her door.
It was Jean Eastman.
'' Good-afternoon, Miss Wales," she said
hurriedly. '^ Will you lend me a pencil and
paper ? Eleanor has such a habit of keeping
her desk locked, and I want to leave her a
She scribbled rapidly for a moment, frowned
as she read through what she had written, and
looked doubtfully from it to Betty. Then she
rose to go. '' Will you call her attention to
this, please ? " she said. '' It's very important.
And, Miss Wales, — if she should consult you,
do advise her to resign quietly and leave it to
me to smooth things over."
"■ Resign ? " repeated Betty vaguely.
192 BETir IVALES
'' Yes," said Jean. " You see — well, I
might as well tell you now, that I've said so
much. The faculty object to her taking the
debate. Perhaps you know, that she's very
much in their black books, but I didn't. And
I never dreamed that they would think it any
of their business who was our debater, but I
assure you they do. At least half a dozen of
them have spoken to me about her poor work
and her cutting. They say that she is just as
much ineligible for this as she would be for
the musical clubs or the basket-ball team.
Now what I want is for Eleanor to write a
sweet little note of resignation to-night, so
that I can appoint some one else bright and
early in the morning."
Betty's eyes grew big with anxiety. '' But
won't the girls guess the reason?" she cried.
'' Think how proud Eleanor is. Miss Eastman.
It would hurt her terribly if any one found out
that she had been conditioned. You shouldn't
have told me — indeed you shouldn't ! "
Jean laughed carelessly. " Well, you
know now, and there's no use crying over
spilt milk. I used that argument about the
publicity of the affair to the faculty, but it
BETTT WALES 193
was no go. So the only thing for you to do is
to help Eleanor write a nice, convincing note
of resignation that I can read at the next
meeting, when I announce my second ap-
^' But Eleanor won't ask my help," said
Betty decidedly, '' and, besides, what can she
say, after accepting all the congratulations,
and having the supper? "
Jean laughed again. '' I'm afraid you're
not a bit ingenious, Miss Wales," she said ris-
ing to go, '' but fortunately Eleanor is.
When Betty handed Eleanor the note she
read it through unconcernedly, unconcernedly
tore it into bits as she talked, and spent the
entire evening, apparently, in perfect con-
tentment and utter idleness, strumming
softly on her guitar.
The next morning Betty met Jean on the
campus. '' Did she tell you? " asked Jean.
Betty shook her head.
"■ I thought likely she hadn't. Well, what
do you suppose? She won't resign. She
says that there's no real reason she can give,
and that she's now making it a rule to tell the
194 BETTT WALES
truth ; that I'm in a hox, not she, and I may
climb out of it as best as I can."
"Did she really say that?" demanded
Betty, a note of pleasure in her voice.
'' Yes," snapped Jean, "■ and since you're so
extremely cheerful over it, perhaps you can
tell me what to do next."
Betty stared at her blankly. " I forgot," she
said. ''The girls mustn't know. We must
cover it up somehow."
'' Exactly," agreed Jean crossly, '' but what
I want to know is — how."
"■ Why not ask the class to choose its
speaker ? All the other classes did."
Jean looked doubtful. '' I know they did.
That would make it very awkward for me,
but I suppose I might say there had been dis-
satisfaction — that's true enough, — and we
could have it all arranged Well, when
I call a meeting, be sure to come and help us
The meeting was posted for Saturday, and
all the Chapin house girls, except Helen, who
never had time for such things, and Eleanor,
attended it. Eleanor was expecting a caller,
she said. Besides, as she hadn't been to classes
BETTT WALES i%
in the morning there was no sense in em-
phasizing the fact by parading through the
campus in the afternoon.
At the last minute she called Betty back.
*' Paul may not get over to-day/' she said.
^' Won't you come home right oiF to tell me
about it? I — well, you'll see later why I
want to know — if you haven't guessed al-
The class of 19 — had an inkling that some-
thing unusual was in the wind and had turned
out in full force. There was no need of wait-
ing for a quorum this time. After the usual
preliminaries Jean Eastman rose and began a
halting, nervous little speech.
*' I have heard," she began, "■ that is — a
great many people in and out of the class
have spoken to me about the matter of the
Washington's Birthday debate. I mean, about
the way in which our debater was appointed.
I understand there is a great deal of dissatis-
faction — that some of the class say they did
not understand which way they were voting,
and so on. So I thought you might like to
reconsider your vote. I certainly, considering
my position in the matter, want you to have
196 BETTr IVALES
the chance to do so. Now, can we have this
point thoroughly discussed ? " Then, as no
one rose, '' Miss Wales, won't you tell us what
you think ? "
Betty stared helplessly at Jean for a mo-
ment and then, assisted by vigorous pushes
from Katherine and Rachel, who sat on either
side of her, rose hesitatingly to her feet.
'' Miss Eastman, — I mean, madame president,"
she began. She stopped for an instant to look
at her audience. Apparently the class of 19 —
was merely astonished and puzzled by Jean's
suggestion ; there was no indication that any
one — except possibly a few of the Hill girls —
had any idea of her motive. ^' Madame presi-
dent," repeated Betty, forcing back the lump
that had risen in her throat when she realized
that the keeping of Eleanor's secret lay largely
with her, '' Miss Watson is my friend, and I
was very much pleased to have her for our rep-
resentative. But I do feel, and I believe the
other girls do, as they come to think it over,
that it would have been better to elect our
representative. Then we should every one of
us have had a direct interest in the result of
the debate. Besides, all the other classes
BETTT IVALES 197
elected theirs, and so I think, if Miss Watson
is willing "
'^ Miss Watson is perfectly willing," broke
in Jean. '^ A positive engagement unfortu-
nately prevents her being here to say so, but
she authorized me to state that she preferred
the elective choice herself, and to tell you to
do just as you think best in the matter.
She Go on. Miss Wales."
'' Oh, that was all," said Betty hastily slip-
ping back into her seat.
A group of girls in the farthest corner of
the room clapped vigorously.
'' Nothing cut-and-dried about that," whis-
pered Katherine to Adelaide Rich.
" Are there any more remarks ? " inquired
the president. No one seemed anxious to
speak, and she went on rather aimlessly.
'' Miss Wales has really covered the ground, I
think. The other classes all elected their de-
baters, and I fancy they want us to do the
same. As for the faculty — well, I may as
well say that they almost insist upon a
'^ Good crawl," whispered Katherine, who
was quick to put two and two together, to
198 BETTT WALES
Adelaide Rich, who never got tlie point of
any but the most obvious remarks, and who
now looked much perplexed.
Meanwhile Betty had been holding whis-
pered consultations with some of the girls
around her, and now she rose again. Her
'' madame president " was so obviously prior
to Kate Denise's that when Kate was recog-
nized there was an ominous murmur of dis-
content and Jean apologized and promptly
reversed her decision.
'' Perhaps I oughtn't to speak twice," said
Betty blushing at the commotion she had
caused, '' but if we are to change our vote,
some of us think it would be fun to hold a
preliminary debate now, and choose our
speaker on her merits. We did that once at
" Good stunt," called some one.
'' I move that Miss Wales as chairman select
a committee of arrangements, and that we
have a five minute recess while the committee
'' I move that there be two committees, one
for nominating speakers and the other for
choosing a subject."
BETTT WALES 199
" I move that we reconsider our other vote
The motions were coming in helter-skelter
from all quarters, instead of decorously from
the front row as usual. The president was
trying vainly to restore order and to remem-
ber whose motion should have precedence,
and to make way somehow for the pre-
arranged nomination, which so far had been
entirely crowded out, when three girls in one
corner of the room began thumping on their
seat-arms and chanting in rhythmic, insistent
chorus, ^' We — want — Emily — Davis. We —
want — Emily — Davis. We — want — Emily —
Hardly any one in the room had ever heard
of Emily Davis, but the three girls constituted
an original and very popular little coterie
known individually as Babe, Babbie, and Bob,
or collectively as ''the three B's." They
roomed on the top floor of the Westcott House
and were famous in the house for being at the
same time prime favorites of the matron and
the ringleaders in every plot against her peace
of mind, and outside for their unique and
diverting methods of recreation. It was they
200 BETTT WALES
who had successful!}^ gulled Mary Brooks with
a rumor as absurd as her own ; and accounts
of the '' spread " they had handed out to the
night-watchman in a tin pail, and dangled
just out of his reach, in the hope of extracting
a promise from that incorruptible worthy not
to report their lights, until the string inconti-
nently broke and the ice cream and lobster
salad descended as a flood, were reported to
have made even the august president of the
college laugh. Ergo, if they '' wanted " Emily
Davis, she must be worth ''wanting." So
their friends took up the cry, and it quickly
spread and gathered volume, until nearly
everybody in the room was shouting the
same thing. Finally the president stepped
forward and made one determined demand
'' Is Miss Emily Davis present? " she called,
when the tumult had slightly subsided.
'' Yes," shouted the Three and the few oth-
ers who knew Miss Davis by sight.
'' Then will she please — why, exactly what
is it that you want of her?" questioned the
president, a trifle haughtily.
'' Speech ! " chorused the Three.
BETTT WALES 201
"Will Miss Davis please speak to us?"
asked the president.
At that a very tall girl who was ineffectually
attempting to hide behind little Alice Waite
was pulled and pushed to her feet, and amid
a sudden silence began the funniest speech
that most of the class of 19 — had ever listened
to ; but it was not so much what she said as
her inimitable drawling delivery and her
lunging, awkward gestures that brought down
the house. When she took her seat again,
resolutely ignoring persistent cries of '' More ! "
the class applauded her to the echo and elected
her freshman debater by acclamation.
It was wonderful what a change those twenty
riotous minutes had made in the spirit of the
class of 19 — . For the first time in its history
it was an enthusiastic, single-hearted unit, and
to the credit of the Hill girls be it said that
no one was more enthusiastic or joined in the
applause with greater vigor than they. They
had not meant to be autocratic — except three
of them ; they had simply acted according to
their lights, or rather, their leaders' lights.
Now they understood how affairs could be con-
ducted at Harding, and during the rest of the
202 BETTT WALES
course they never entirely forgot or ignored
the new method.
To Betty's utter astonishment and conster-
nation the lion's share of credit for the sudden
triumph of democracy was laid at her door.
The group around her after the meeting was
almost as large and quite as noisy as the one
that was struggling to shake hands with Miss
'' Don't ! You mustn't. Why, it was the
B's who got her, not I," protested Betty vig-
'^ No, you began it," said Babe.
'' You bet you did," declared Bob.
" Yes, indeed. We were too scared to speak
of her until you proposed something like it,"
added Babbie in her sw^eet, lilting treble.
"■ You can't get out of it. You are the real
founder of this democracy," ended Christy
Mason decidedly. Betty was proud of Christy's
approval. It was fun, too, to have the Hill
girls crowding around and saying pleasant
things to her.
" I almost think I'm somebody at last.
Won't Nan be pleased ! " she reflected as she
hurried home to keep her promise to Eleanor.
BETTr TFALES 203
Then she laughed merrily all to herself.
*' Those silly girls ! I really didn't do a
thing," she thought. And then she sighed.
'' I never get a chance to be a bit vain. I wish
I could — one little wee bit. I wonder if Mr.
It did not occur to Betty as at all significant
that Jean Eastman and Kate Denise had not
spoken to her after the meeting, until, when
she knocked on Eleanor's door, Eleanor came
formally to open it. " Jean and Kate are
here," she said coldly, '' so unless you care to
Jean and Kate nodded silently from the
couch where they were eating candy.
'' Oh, no," said Betty in quick astonishment.
" I'll come some other time."
'' You needn't bother," answered Eleanor
rudely. " They've told me all about it," and
she shut the door, leaving Betty standing
alone in the hall.
Betty winked hard to keep back the tears
as she hurried to her own room. What could
it all mean? She had done her best for
Eleanor, and nobody had guessed — they had
been too busy laughing at that ridiculous
204 BETTT WALES
Emily Davis — and now Eleanor treated her
like this. And Jean Eastman, too, when she
had done exactly what Jean wanted of her.
Jean's curtness was even less explainable than
Eleanor's, though it mattered less. It was all
— queer. Betty smiled faintly as she applied
Alice Waite's favorite adjective. Well, there
was nothing more to be done until she could
see Eleanor after dinner. So she wiped her
eyes, smoothed her hair, and went resolutely
off to find Roberta, whose heavy shoes — an-
other of Roberta's countless fads — had just
clumped past her door.
'' I'm writing my definitions for to-morrow's
English," announced Roberta. '' For the one
we could choose ourselves I'm going to in-
vent a word and then make up a meaning for
it. Isn't that a nice idea ? "
'* Very," said Betty listlessly.
Roberta looked at her keenly. '^ I believe
you're homesick," she said. ^' How funny
after such a jubilant afternoon."
Betty smiled wearily. '' Perhaps I am.
Anyway, I wish I were at home."
Meanwhile in Eleanor's room an acrimo-
nious discussion was in progress.
BETTT WALES 205
"The more I think of it," Kate Denise was
saying emphatically, '' the surer I am that she
didn't do a thing against us this afternoon.
She isn't to blame for having started a land-
slide by accident, Jean. Did you see her face
when Eleanor turned her down just now?
She looked absolutely nonplussed."
'' Most people do when the lady Eleanor
turns and rends them," returned Jean, with a
'' Just the same," continued Kate Denise,
'' I say you have a lot to thank her for this
afternoon, Jean Eastman. She got you out of
a tight hole in splendid shape. None of us
could have done it without stamping the
whole thing a put-up job, and most of the out-
siders who could have helped you out,
wouldn't have cared to oblige you. It was
irritating to see her rallying the multitudes,
I'll admit ; but I insist that it wasn't her
fault. We ought to have managed better."
" Say I ought to have managed better and
be done with it," muttered Jean crossly.
'' You certainly ought," retorted Eleanor.
*' You've made me the laughing-stock of the
2o6 BETTT WALES
"■ No, Eleanor/' broke in Kate Denise pacif-
ically. " Truly, your dignity is intact, thanks
to Miss Wales and those absurd B's who fol-
lowed her lead."
"■ Never mind them. I'm talking about
Betty Wales. She was a friend of mine — she
was at the supper the other night. Why
couldn't she leave it to some one else to object
to your appointing me ? "
'' Oh, if that's all you care about," said
Jean irritably, ^' don't blame Miss Wales. The
thing had to be done you know. I didn't see
that it mattered who did it, and so I — well,
I practically asked her. What I'm talk-
ing about is her way of going at it — her
having pushed herself forward so, and really
thrown us out of power by using what I "
Jean caught herself suddenly, remembering
that Eleanor did not know about Betty's hav-
ing been let into the secret.
'* By using what you told her," finished
Kate innocently. '' Well, why did you tell
her all about it, if you didn't expect "
Eleanor stood up suddenl}^ her face white
with anger. " How dared you," she chal-
lenged. '' As if it wasn't insulting enough to
BETTT WALES 207
get me into a scrape like this, and give any
one with two eyes a chance to see through
your flimsy little excuses, but you have to go
round telling people "
'' Eleanor, stop," begged Jean. '' She was
the only one I told. I let it out quite by ac-
cident the day I came up here to see you.
Not another soul knows it but Kate, and you
told her yourself. You'd have told Betty
Wales, too, — you know you would — if we
hadn't seen you first this afternoon."
" Suppose I should," Eleanor retorted hotly.
'' What I do is my own affair. Please go
Jean stalked out in silence, but Kate, hesi-
tating between Scylla and Charybdis, lingered
to say consolingly, '' Cheer up, Eleanor.
When you come to think it over, it won't
seem so "
'' Please go home," repeated Eleanor, and
Kate hurried after her roommate.
SAINT valentine's ASSISTANTS
If Eleanor had taken Kate's advice and in-
dulged in a little calm reflection, she would
have realized how absolutely reasonless was
her anger against Betty Wales. Betty had
been told of the official objections which
made it necessary for Eleanor to be withdrawn
from the debate. Her action, then, had been
wholly proper and perfectly friendly. But
Eleanor was in no mood for reflection. A
wild burst of passion held her flrmly in its
grasp. She hated everybody and everything
in Harding — the faculty who had made such
a commotion about two little low grades — for
Eleanor had come surprisingly near to clear-
ing her record at mid-years, — Jean, who had
stupidly brought all this extra annoyance
upon her ; the class, who were glad to get rid
of her, Betty, who — yes, Jean had been right
about one thing — Betty, who had taken ad-
vantage of a friend's misfortune to curry favor
for herself They were all leagued against
BETTT WALES 209
her. But — here the Watson pride suddenly
asserted itself — they should never know that
she cared, never guess that they had hurt
She deliberately selected the most becoming
of her new evening gowns, and in an incred-
ibly short time swept down to dinner,
radiantly beautiful in the creamy lace dress,
and — outwardly at least — in her sunniest,
most charming mood. She insisted that the
table should admire her dress, and the pearl
pendant which her aunt had just sent her.
''I'm wearing it, you see, to celebrate my re-
turn to the freedom of private life," she
rattled on glibly. " I understand you've
found a genius to take my place. I'm de-
lighted that we have one in the class. It's so
convenient. Who of you are going to the
Burton House dance to-night? "
So she led the talk from point to point and
from hand to hand. She bantered Mary, de-
ferred to Helen and the Riches, appealed in
comradely fashion to Katherine and Rachel.
Betty alone she utterly, though quite unosten-
tatiously, ignored ; and Betty, too much hurt
to make any effort, stood aside and tried to solve
2IO BETTT (VALES
the riddle of Eleanor's latest caprice. On the
way up-stairs Eleanor spoke to her for the first
time. She went up just ahead of her and at
the top of the flight she turned and waited.
" I understand that you quite ran the class
to-day/' she said with a flashing smile. '' The
girls tell me that you're a born orator, as good
in your way as the genius in hers."
Betty rallied herself for one last effort.
'' Don't make fun of me, Eleanor. Please let
me come in and tell you about it. You don't
" Possibly not," said Eleanor coldly. " But
I*m going out now."
^' Just for a moment ! "
*' But I have to start at once. I'm late al-
'' Oh, very well," said Betty, and turned
away to join Mary and Roberta.
Eleanor's mind always worked with
lightning rapidity, and while she dressed she
had gone over the whole situation and de-
cided exactly how she would meet it ; and in
the weeks that followed she kept rigidly to
the course she had marked out for herself,
changing only one detail. At first she had
BETTT WALES 211
intended to have nothing more to do with
Jean, but she saw that a sudden breaking off
of their friendship would be remarked upon
and wondered at. So she compromised by
treating Jean exactly as usual, but seeing her
as little as possible. This made it necessary
to refuse many of her invitations to college
affairs, for wherever she went Jean was likely
to go. So she spent much of her leisure time
away from Harding ; she went to Winsted a
great deal, and often ran down to Boston or
New York for Sunday, declaring that the
trips meant nothing to a Westerner used to
the ^' magnificent distances " of the plains.
Naturally she grew more and more out of
touch with the college life, more and more
scornful of the girls who could be content
with the narrow, humdrum routine at Hard-
ing. But she concealed her scorn perfectly.
And she no longer neglected her work ;
she attended her classes regularly and man-
aged with a modicum of preparation to re-
cite far better than the average student.
Furthermore her work was now scrupulously
honest, and she was sensitively alert to the
slightest imputation of untruthfulness. She
212 BETTT WALES
offered no specious explanations for her with-
drawal from the debate, and when Mary
Brooks innocently inquired '^ what little
yarn " she told the registrar, that she could
get away so often, Eleanor fixed her with an
unpleasantly penetrative stare and answered
with all her old-time hauteur that she did not
tell '' yarns."
'' I have a note from my father. So long
as I do my work and go to all my classes,
they really can't object to my spending my
Sundays as he wishes."
Betty observed all these changes without
being in the least able to reconcile them with
Eleanor's new attitude toward herself Un-
like the friendship with Jean, Eleanor's inter-
course with her had been inconspicuous, con-
fined mostly to the Chapin house itself Even
the girls there, because Eleanor had stood so
aloof from them, had seen little of it, so
Eleanor was free to break it ofi* without think-
ing of public opinion, and she did so ruth-
lessly. From the day of the class meeting
she spoke to Betty only when she must, or, if
no one was by, when some taunting remark
occurred to her.
BETTT WALES 213
At first Betty tried her best to think how
she could have offended, but she could not
discuss the subject with any one else and end-
less consideration and rejection of hypotheses
was fruitless, so after Eleanor had twice re-
fused her an interview that would have set-
tled the matter, she sensibly gave it up.
Eleanor would perhaps '' come round " in
time. Meanwhile it was best to let her alone.
But Betty felt that she was having more
than her share of trouble ; Helen was quite
as trying in her way as Eleanor in hers. She
had entirely lost her cheerful air and seemed
to have grown utterly discouraged with life.
"• And no wonder, for she studies every
minute," Betty told Rachel and Katherine.
"• I think she feels hurt because the girls don't
get to like her better, but how can they when
she doesn't give them any chance ? "
" She's awfully touchy lately," added
'' Poor little thing ! " said Rachel.
Then the three plunged into an animated
discussion of basket-ball, and Rachel and
Katherine, who were on a sort of provisional
team that included most of the best freshman
214 BETTT Pl^ALES
players and arrogated to itself the name of
'' The Stars," showed Betty in strictest confi-
dence the new cross-play that '' T. Reed " had
invented. '' T. Reed " seemed to be the
basket-ball genius of the freshman class. She
^vas the only girl who was perfectly sure to
be on the regular team.
It is one of the fine things about college
that no matter who of your friends are tem-
porarily lost to you, there is always somebody
else to fall back upon, and some new interest
to take the place of one that flags. Betty had
noticed this and been amused by it early in
her course. Sometimes, as she said to Miss
Ferris in one of her many long talks with
that lady, things change so fast that you really
begin to wonder if you can be the same per-
son you were last week.
Besides the inter-class basket-ball game,
there was the Hilton House play to talk about
and look forward to, and the rally ; and,
nearer still, St. Valentine's day. It was a
long time, to be sure, since Betty had been
much excited over the last named festival ;
in her experience only children exchanged
valentines. But at Harding it seemed to be
BETTT WALES 215
different. While the day was still several
weeks off she had received three invitations to
valentine parties. She consulted Mary Brooks
and found that this was not at all unusual.
'' All the campus houses give them," Mary
explained, '^ and the big ones outside, just as
they do for Hallowe'en. They have valentine
boxes, you know, and sometimes fancy dress
And there the matter would have dropped
if Mary had not spent all her monthly allow-
ance three full weeks before she was supposed
to have any more. Poverty was Mary's
chronic state. Not that Dr. Brooks's checks
were small, but his daughter's spending ca-
pacity was infinite.
'' You wait till you're a prominent sopho-
more," she said when Katherine laughed at
her, '' and all your friends are making so-
cieties, and you just have to provide violets
and suppers, in hopes that they'll do as much
for you later on. The whole trouble is that
father wants me to be on an allowance, in-
stead of writing home for money when I'm
out. And no matter how much I say 1 need,
it never lasts out the month."
2i6 BETTT WALES
'' Why don't you tutor? " suggested Rachel,
who got along easily on a third of what Mary
spent. '' I hope to next year."
'' Tutor ! " repeated Mary with a reminiscent
chuckle. " I tried to tutor my cousin this
fall in algebra, and the poor thing flunked
much worse than before. But anyway the
faculty wouldn't give me regular tutoring. I
look too well-to-do. Ah ! how deceitful are
appearances ! " sighed Mary, opening her
pocketbook, where five copper pennies rattled
But the very next day she dashed into
Betty's room proclaiming loudly, " I have an
idea, and I want you to help me, Betty
Wales. You can draw and I'll cut them out
and drum up customers, and I guess I can
write the verses. We ought to make our ad.
''Our what?" inquired Betty in an
absolutely mystified tone.
Then Mary explained that she proposed to
sell valentines. '' Lots of the girls who can't
draw buy theirs, not down-town, you know —
we don't give that kind here, — but cunning
little hand-made ones with pen-and-ink draw-
BETTT WALES 217
ings and original verses. Haven't you no-
ticed the signs on the ' For Sale ' bulletin ? "
Betty had not even seen that bulletin
board since she and Helen had hunted
second-hand screens early in the fall, but the
plan sounded very attractive ; it would fill
up her spare hours, and keep her from worry-
ing over Eleanor, and getting cross at Helen,
so she was very willing to help if Mary
honestly thought she could draw well
^' Goodness, yes ! " said Mary, rushing off
to borrow Roberta's water-color paper and
Katherine's rhyming dictionary.
So the partnership was formed, a huge
red heart covered with hastily decorated
samples was stuck up on the '' For Sale "
bulletin in the gymnasium basement, and, as
Betty's cupids were really very charming and
her Christy heads quite as good as the average
copy, names began to appear in profusion on
Mary had written two sample verses with
comparative ease, and in the first flush of
confidence she had boldly printed on the
sign : '' Rhymed grinds for special persons
2i8 BETTT IVALES
furnished at reasonable rates." But later,
when everybody seemed to want that kind,
even the valuable aid of the rhyming
dictionary did not disprove the adage that
poets are born, not made.
" I can't — I just can't do them," wailed
Mary finally. *' Jokes simply will not go
into rhyme. What shall we do? "
'' Get Roberta — she writes beautifully — and
Katherine — she told me that she'd like to
help," suggested Betty, without looking up
from the chubby cupid she was fashioning.
So Katherine and Roberta were duly ap-
proached and Katherine was added to the
firm. Roberta at first said she couldn't, but
finally, after exacting strict pledges of secrecy,
she produced half a dozen dainty little lyrics,
bidding Mary use them if she wished — they
were nothing. But no amount of persuasion
would induce her to do any more.
However, Katherine's genius was nothing
if not profuse, and she preferred to do
" grinds," so Mary could devote herself to
sentimental effusions, — which, so she declared,
did not have to have any special point and so
were within her powers, — and to the business
BETTT WALES 219
end of the project. This, in her view, con-
sisted in perching on a centrally located
window-seat in the main building, in the
intervals between classes, and soliciting orders
from all passers-by, to the consequent crowd-
ing of the narrow halls and the great annoy-
ance of the serious-minded, who wished to
reach their recitations promptly. But from
her point of view she was strikingly suc-
'^ I tell you, I never appreciated how easy
it is to make money if you only set about it
in the right way," she announced proudly
one day at luncheon. "' By the way, Betty,
would you run down after gym to get our old
order sheet and put up a new one ? I have a
special topic in psychology to-morrow, and if
Professor Hinsdale really thinks Fm clever I
don't want to undeceive him too suddenly."
Betty promised, but after gym Rachel
asked her to stay and play basket-ball with
*' The Stars " in the place of an absent mem-
ber. Naturally she forgot everything else and
it was nearly six o'clock when, sauntering
home from an impromptu tea-drinking at the
Belden House, she remembered the order
220 BETTT WALES
sheet. It was very dusky in the basement.
Betty, plunging down the steps that led
directly into the small room where the bulletin
board was, almost knocked down a girl who
was curled up on the bottom step of the
''Goodness! did I hurt you?" she said, a
trifle exasperated that any one should want to
sit alone in the damp darkness of the base-
There was no answer, and Betty, whose eyes
were growing accustomed to the dim light, ob-
served with consternation that her companion
was doing her best to stop crying.
As has already been remarked, Betty hated
tears as a kitten hates rain. Personally she
never cried without first locking her door,
and she could imagine nothing so humiliat-
ing as to be caught, unmistakably weeping,
by a stranger. So she turned aside swiftly,
peered about in the shadows for the big red
heart, changed the order sheet, and was won-
dering whether she would better hurry out
past the girl or wait for her to recover her
composure and depart, when the girl took the
situation out of her hands by rising and say-
BETTT WALES 221
ing in cheery tones, '' Good-evening, Miss
Wales. Are you going my way ? "
'' I — why it's Emily — I mean Miss — Davis/'
'' Yes, it's Emily Davis, in the blues, the
more shame to her, when she ought to be at
home getting supper this minute. Wait just
a second, please." Miss Davis went over to
the signs, jerked down one, and picking up
her books from the bottom step announced
without the faintest trace of embarrassment,
'' Now I'm ready."
'^ But are you sure you want me ? " inquired
'' Bless you, yes," said Miss Davis. " I've
wanted to know you for ever so long. I'm
sorry you caught me being a goose, though."
'' And I'm sorry you felt like crying," said
Betty shyly. '' Why, Miss Davis, I should
want to laugh all the time if I'd done what
you did the other day. I should be so
Miss Davis smiled happily down at her
small companion. "■ I was proud," she said
simply. '' I only hope I can do as well week
after next. But Miss Wales, that was the jam
222 BETTT JVALES
of college life. There's the bread and butter
too, you know, and sometimes that's a lot
harder to earn than the jam."
"' Do you mean " began Betty and
stopped, not wanting to risk hurting Miss
" Yes, I mean that I'm working my
way through. I have a scholarship, but
there's still my board and clothes and books."
'^ And you do it all?"
Miss Davis nodded. " My cousin sends me
'' How do you do it, please? "
'' Tutor, sort papers and make typewritten
copies of things for the faculty, put on dress
braids (that's how I met the B's), mend stock-
ings, and wait on table off and on when some
one's maid leaves suddenly. We thought it
would be cheaper and pleasanter to board our-
selves and earn our money in different ways
than to take our board in exchange for regu-
lar table-waiting ; but I don't know. The
other way is surer."
" You mean you don't find work enough ? "
Miss Davis nodded. '' It takes a good
deal," she said apologetically, " and there isn't
RRTTT WALES 223
much tutoring that freshmen can do. After
this year it will be easier."
"■ Dear me," gasped Betty. '' Don't you get
any — any help from home? "
"- Well, they haven't been able to send any
yet, but they hope to later," said Miss Davis
'' And does it pay when you have to work
so hard for it? "
''Oh, yes," answered Miss Davis promptly.
*' All three of us are sure that it pays."
*' Three of you live together ? "
'' Yes. Of course there are ever so many
others in the college, and I'm sure all of them
would say the same thing."
'' And — I hope I'm not being rude — but do
girls— do you advertise things down on that
bulletin board ? I don't know much about
it. I never was there but once till I went to-
day on — on an errand for a friend," Betty
concluded awkwardly. Perhaps she had been
an interloper. Perhaps that bulletin board
had not been meant for girls like her.
Miss Davis evidently assumed that she had
been to leave an order. '' You ought to buy
more," she said laughingly. '' But you want
224 BETTr WALES
to know what I was there for, don't you ?
Why yes, we do make a good deal off that
bulletin board. One of the girls paints a lit-
tle and she advertises picture frames — Yale
and Harvard and Pennsylvania ones, you
know. I sell blue-prints. A senior lends me
her films. She has a lot of the faculty and the
campus, and they go pretty well. We use the
money we make from those things for little
extras — ribbons and note-books and desserts
for Sunday. We hoped to make quite a bit
on valentines ''
''Valentines?" repeated Betty sharply.
'' Yes, but a good many others thought of it
too, and we didn't get any orders — not one.
Ours weren't so extra prett}^ and it was foolish
of me to be so disappointed, but we'd worked
hard getting ready and we did want a little
more money so much."
They had reached Betty's door by this time,
and Miss Davis hurried on, saying it was her
turn to get supper and begging Betty to come
and see them. '' For we're very cozy, I assure
you. You mustn't think we have a horrid
time just because — you know why."
Betty went straight to Mary's room, which,
GIRLS. THIS HAS TO STOP," SHE ANNOUNCED
AeT»»a, LffNOX A.HD
BETTT WALES 225
since she had no roommate to object to disor-
der, had been the chief seat of the valentine
" You're a nice one," cried Katherine, '' stay-
ing off like this when to-day is the eleventh."
" Many orders? " inquired Mary.
Betty sat down on Mary's couch, ruthlessly
sweeping aside a mass of half finished valen-
tines to make room. '' Girls, this has got to
stop," she announced abruptly.
Mary dropped her scissors and Katherine
shut the rhyming dictionary with a bang.
''What is the trouble?" they asked in
Then Betty told her story, suppressing only
Emily's name and mentioning all the details
that had made up the point and pathos of it.
'' And just think ! " she said at last. '' She's
a girl you'd both be proud to know, and she
works like that. And we stepped in and took
away a chance of — of ribbons and note-books
and dessert for Sunday."
*' May be not ; perhaps hers were so homely
they wouldn't have sold anyway," suggested
Katherine with an attempt at jocoseness.
'' Don^t, please," said Betty wearily.
226 BETTT IVALES
Mary came and sat down beside her on the
couch. " Well, what's to be done about it
now ? " she asked soberly.
'' I don't know. We can't give them orders
because she took her sign down. I thought
perhaps — how much have we made ? "
'^ Fifteen dollars easily. All right ; we'll
send it to them."
'' Of course," chimed in Katherine. '' I was
only joking. Shall we finish these up ? "
'' Yes indeed," said Mary, " they're all
ordered, and the more money the better, n'est
ce pas, Betty? But aren't we to know the
person's name ? " inquired Katherine.
Betty hesitated. '' Why — no — that is if you
don't mind very much. You see she sort of
told me about herself because she had to, so I
feel as if I oughtn't to repeat it. Do you
*' Not one bit," said Katherine quickly.
'' And we needn't say anything at all about
it, except — don't you think the girls here in
the house will have to know that we're going
to give away the money ? "
*' Yes," put in Mary, "■ and we'll make them
all give us extra orders."
BETTT JVALES 227
*' We will save out a dollar for you to live
on till March," said Betty.
"■ Oh no, I shall borrow of you," retorted
Mary, and then they all laughed and felt
On St. Valentine's morning Betty posted
a registered valentine. The verse read : —
* * There are three of us and three of you,
Though only one knows one,
So pray accept this little gift
And go and have some fun."
But if the rhyme went haltingly and was
not quite true either, as Betty pointed out,
since Adelaide and Alice had contributed to
the fund, and the whole house had bought
absurd quantities of valentines because it
was such a ''worthy object" C'just as if I
wasn't a worthy object ! " sighed Mary),
there was nothing the matter with the '' little
gift," which consisted of three crisp ten dollar
'' Oh, if they should feel hurt ! " thought
Betty, anxiously, and dodged Emily Davis so
successfully that until the day of the rally
they did not meet.
That week was a tremendously exciting
228 BETTT WALES
one. To begin with, on the twentieth the
members of the freshman and basket-ball teams
w^ere announced. Rachel was a '' home " on
the regular team, and Katherine a guard on
the "' sub," so the Chapin house fairly bubbled
over with pride and pleasure in its double
honors. Then on the morning of the twenty-
second came the rally with its tumultuous dis-
play of class and college loyalty, its songs
written especially for the occasion, its shrieks
of triumph or derision ( which no intrusive
reporter should make bold to interpret or
describe as ^' class yells," since such masculine
modes of expression are unknown at Hard-
ing), and its mock-heroic debate on the vital
issue, "' Did or did not George Washington cut
down that cherry-tree? "
Every speaker was clever and amusing,
but Emily Davis easily scored the hit of the
morning. For w^hereas most freshmen are
frightened and appear to disadvantage on
such an occasion, she was perfectly calm and
self-possessed, and made her points with ex-
actly the same irresistible gaucherie and dar-
ing infusion of local color that had distin-
guished her performance at the class meeting.
BETTT WALES 229
Besides, she was a "■ dark horse" ; she did not
belong to the leading set in her class, nor to
any other set, for that matter, and this fact, to-
gether with the novel method of her election
made her interesting to her essentially demo-
cratic audience. So when the judges — five
popular members of the faculty — announced
their decision in favor of the negative, other-
wise the junior-freshman side of the debate,
19 — 's enthusiasm knew no bounds, and led by
the delighted B's they carrried their speaker
twice round the gym on their shoulders —
which is an honor likely to be remembered
by its recipient for more reasons than one.
As the clans were scattering, it suddenly
occurred to Betty that, if Emily did not guess
anything, it would please her to be congratu-
lated on the excellence of her debate ; and if,
as was more likely, she had guessed, there
was little to be gained by postponing the
dreaded interview. She chose a moment
when Emily was standing by herself in one
corner of the gymnasium. Emily did not wait
for her to begin her speech of congratulation.
'' Oh, Miss Wales," she cried, '' I've been to
see you six times, and you are never there.
230 BETTT WALES
It was lovely of you — lovely — but ought we
to take it?"
'' Yes, indeed. It belongs to you ; honestly
it does. Don't ask me how, for it's too long
a story. Just take my word for it."
'' Well, but " began Emily doubtfully.
At that moment some one called, '^ Hurrah
for 19 — ! " Betty caught up the cry and seiz-
ing Emily's hand rushed her down the hall,
tow^ard a group of freshmen.
^' Make a line and march," cried somebody
else, and presently a long line of 19 — girls was
Avinding in noisy lock-step down the hall,
threading in and out between groups of up-
per-class girls and cheering and gaining re-
cruits as it went.
"• Hurrah for 19 — ! " cried Betty hoarsely.
" Take it for 19 — ," she whispered to Emily,
as the line stopped with a jerk that knocked
their heads together.
''If you are sure Thank you for
19 — ," Emily w^hispered back.
" Here's to 19 — , drink her down !
Here's to 19 — , drink her down ! "
As the chorus rose and swelled Betty felt.
BETTT WALES 231
as she never had before, what it meant to be
a college girl at Harding.
As Betty was leaving the gymnasium she
met Eleanor face to face in the hallway.
''Wasn't it fun?" said Betty, shyly.
Perhaps, now that the debate was over,
Eleanor would be ready to make friends
''Patronizing the genius, do you mean?"
asked Eleanor slowly. " I hope she didn't
buy that hideous salmon-pink waist with your
" Oh, Eleanor, how did you ever find out? "
cried Betty, deeply distressed. Only a few of
the Chapin house girls knew anything about
the disposition of the valentine money, and
not even the rest of the firm had been told
who had received it. So Betty had thought
the secret perfectly safe.
^' No one told me about your private af-
fairs," returned Eleanor significantly. "I
guessed and I congratulate you. The genius
will be a useful ally. She will get all the
freaks' votes for you, when "
"Eleanor Watson, come on if you're com-
ing," called a voice from the foot of the stairs,
232 BETTT WALES
and Eleanor marched blithely off, without
finishing her sentence.
Betty stared after her with unseeing eyes.
So that was it ! She was to blame because
Jean had told her of Eleanor's predicament —
told her against her wish. And now she was
supposed to be trying to get votes.
'' Votes for what, I wonder? How perfectly
absurd ! " said Betty to the brick wall she was
facing. But the appropriate smile would not
come, for the absurdity had cost her a friend
whom she had loved dearly in spite of her
A BEGINNING AND A SEQUEL
'' I shan't be here to dinner Sunday," an-
nounced Helen Chase Adams with an odd
little thrill of importance in her voice.
'' Shan't you ? " responded her roommate
absently. She was trying to decide which
dress to wear to the Hilton House play. Her
pink organdie was prettiest, but she really
ought to save that for the Glee Club concert.
And should she ask her cousin Jack Burgess
up from Harvard for the concert, or would it
be better to invite Mr. Parsons? These ab-
sorbing questions left her small attention to
bestow on so comparatively commonplace a
matter as an invitation out to Sunday dinner.
'^ I thought you might like to have some
one in my place," continued Helen, moving
the pink organdie waist on to the same chair
with the batiste skirt.
Betty came to herself with a start. '' I beg
your pardon. I didn't see that I had taken
234 BETTT WALES
up all the chairs. I was trying to decide
what to wear to the dramatics."
'' And I was thinking what I'd wear Sun-
day/' said Helen.
It was so seldom nowadays that she ob-
truded her affairs upon any one's notice that
Betty glanced at her wonderingly. Her eyes
had their starry look, and a smile that she
was futilely endeavoring to keep in the back-
ground played around the corners of her
*' I'm glad she's got over the blues," thought
Betty. ''Why, where are you going?" she
'' Oh, only to the Westcott House," answered
Helen with an assumption of unconcern.
'* Would you wear the blue silk waist or the
brown dress ? "
" Well, the Westcott is the swellest house
on the campus, you know. When I go there
I always put on my very best."
" Yes, but which is my best? "
Betty considered a moment. '' Why, of
course they're both pretty," she began with
kindly diplomacy, "■ but dresses are more the
thing than waists. Still, the blue is very
BETTT WALES 235
becoming. But I think — yes, I'm sure I'd
wear the brown."
'' All right. If you change your mind be-
fore Sunday you can let me know."
'' Yes," said Betty briefly. She was exam-
ining the batiste skirt to see if it would need
pressing for the dramatics. After all, Jack
was more fun, and probably Mr. Parsons was
invited by this time anyhow — he knew lots
of Harding girls. What was the name of
Jack's dormitory house ? She would ask the
Riches ; they had a brother in the same one.
So she strolled off to find the Riches, and in-
cidentally to get the latest basket-ball news
from Rachel and Katherine. At nine o'clock
they turned her out ; they were in training
and supposed to be fast asleep by nine-thirty.
When she opened her own door, Helen was
still sitting idly in the wicker rocker, looking
as if she would be perfectly content to stay
there indefinitely with her pleasant thoughts
Betty had quite lost interest in Helen
lately ; she had small patience with people
who moped, and besides, between Eleanor and
the valentine enterprise, her thoughts had
236 BETTT WALES
been fully engrossed. But this new mood
made her curious. ''She acts as if she'd got
a crush," she decided. '' She's just the kind
to have one, and probably her divinity has
asked her to dinner, and she can't put her
mind on anything else. But who on earth
could it be — in the Westcott House? "
She was on the point of inquiring, when
Helen diverted her attention to something
else. '' I made a w^onderful discovery to-day,"
she said. '' Theresa Reed and T. Reed are
the same person."
Betty laughed. '' They might easily be,"
she said. '' I don't see that it was so won-
'' Why, I've known Theresa all this year —
she was the one that asked me to go off with
her house for Mountain Day. She's the best
friend I have here, but she never told me
that she was specially interested in basket-
ball and I never thought — well, I guess I
never imagined that a dear friend of mine
could be the celebrated T. Reed," laughed
Helen happily. '' But all sorts of nice things
are happening to me lately."
'' That's good," said Betty. '' It seems to
BETTT WALES 237
be just the opposite with me," and she plunged
into her note to Jack, which must be ready
for the next morning's post.
All that week Helen went about fairly
wreathed in smiles. Her shyness seemed to
have vanished suddenly. She joined gaily in
the basket-ball gossip at the table, came out
into the hall to frolic with the rest of the
house at ten o'clock, and in general acted as
a happy, well-conducted freshman should.
The Chapin house brought its amazement
over the '' dig's " frivolity to Betty, but she
had very little to tell them. '' All I know is
that she's awfully pleased about being a friend
of T. Reed's. And oh yes — she's invited out
to dinner next Sunday. But of course there
must be something else."
" Perhaps she's going to have a man up for
the concert," suggested Katherine flippantly.
'' Are you? " inquired Mary Rich, and with
that the regeneration of Helen w^as forgotten
in the far more absorbing topic of the Glee
Sunday came at last. '' I'm not going to
church, Betty," said Helen shyly. '' I want to
have plenty of time to get dressed for dinner."
238 BETTT WALES
'^ Yes, indeed," said Betty carelessly. She
had just received an absurd letter from Jack.
He was coming ^' certain-sure " ; he wanted
to see her about a very serious matter, he said.
'' Incidentally " he should be delighted to go
to the concert. There was a mysterious post-
script too : — '' How long since you got so fond
of Bob Winchester ? "
^' I never heard of any such person. What
do you suppose he means ? " Betty asked Mary
Brooks as they walked home from church to-
gether. Mary had also invited a Harvard
man to the concert and Dorothy King had
found them both seats, so they were feeling
unusually friendly and sympathetic.
'^ I can't imagine. Do let me see his let-
ter," begged Mary. '' He must be no end of
"He's a worse tease than you," said Betty,
knocking on her door.
'' Come in," called Helen Chase Adams
eagerly. " Betty, would you please hook my
collar, and would one of you see what time it
really is ? I don't like to depend too much
on my watch."
'' She'll be at least ten minutes too early,"
BETTT WALES 239
sighed Betty, when Helen had finally departed
in a flutter of haste. ^' And see this room !
But I oughtn't to complain," she added,
beginning to clear up the dresser. '' I'm
always leaving it like this myself; but some-
way I don't expect it of Helen."
''Who asked her to dinner to-day?" in-
quired Mary Brooks. She had been sitting in
a retired corner, vastly enjoying the unusual
spectacle of Helen Adams in a frenzy of ex-
'' Why, I don't know. I never thought to
ask," said Betty, straightening the couch pil-
lows. '' I only hope she'll have as good a
time as she expects "
'' Poor youngster ! " said Mary. '' Wish I'd
asked Laurie to jolly her up a bit."
It is to be presumed that these fears were
groundless, since the bell was ringing for five
o'clock vespers when Helen came back. Betty
was sitting at her desk pretending to write
letters, but really trying to decide whether
she should say anything to Eleanor apropos of
her remarks about Emily Davis, and if so,
whether she should do it now. Mary Brooks
Was curled up on Betty's couch, dividing her
240 BETTT WALES
attention between Jack Burgess's picture and
a new magazine.
''Had a good time, didn't you? "she re-
marked sociably when Helen appeared.
*' Oh, yes," said Helen happily. "" You see I
don't go out very often. Were you ever at
the Westcott House for dinner? "
''Once," chuckled Mary. "But I found
they didn't have ice-cream, because the ma-
tron doesn't approve of buying things on
Sunday ; so I've turned them down ever
Helen laughed merrily. " How funny ! I
never missed it ! " There was a becoming flush
on her cheeks, a pretty new confidence in her
" Helen, who did you say asked you to the
Westcott?" inquired Betty.
" I didn't say, because you didn't ask me,"
returned Helen truthfully, " but it was Miss
" Miss Mills 1 " repeated Mary. " Well, my
child, I don't wonder that you were rattled
this noon, being invited around by the faculty.
Gracious, what a compliment to a young
freshman ! "
BETTr WALES 2/Li
'' I should think so ! " chimed in Betty
In spite of her embarrassment Helen evi-
dently enjoyed the sensation she was produc-
ing. '' I thought it was awfully nice," she said.
'' Why didn't you tell us sooner? " demanded
Mary. ^' Why, child, you must be a bright
and shining shark in lit."
Helen's happy face clouded suddenly.
''I'm not, am I, Betty?" she asked appeal-
Betty laughed. '' Why no, since you ask
me. No, she isn't, Mary. She sits on the
back row with me and we don't either of us
say an extra word. It's math, and Latin and
Greek that Helen shines in."
'' Well, are you awfully devoted to Miss
Mills? " pursued Mary. ''Is that why she
asked you ? "
Helen shook her head. " I like her. She
reads beautifull}^ and sometimes she says very
interesting things, doesn't she, Betty?"
" I hadn't noticed," answered her room-
" Well, I think she does, but I never told
her I thought so. It couldn't be that."
242 BETTT WALES
" Then why did she ask you ? " demanded
'' I suppose because she wanted me," said
Helen happily. '' I can't think of any other
reason. Isn't it lovely ? "
" Yes indeed," agreed Mary. '' It's so grand
that I'm going off this minute to tell every-
body in the house about it. They'll be dread-
fully envious," and she left the roommates
Helen pulled off her best gloves carefully,
and laid them neatly away, then she put up
her hat and coat and sat down in her favorite
wicker chair. '' I guess I left the room in a
dreadful muss this noon," she said apologetic-
ally. '' I guess I acted silly and excited, but
you see — I said I hadn't been out often — this
is the very first time I've been invited out to
a meal since I came to Harding."
" Really ? " said Betty, thinking guiltily of
her own multitude of invitations.
'' Yes, I hoped you hadn't any of you
noticed it. I hate to be pitied. Now you can
just like me."
^' Just like you ? " repeated Betty vaguely.
"Yes. Don't you see? I'm not left out
BETTT WALES 24
any more." She hesitated, then went on
rapidly. '^ You see I had a lovely time at
first, at the sophomore reception and the frolic
and all, but it stopped and — this was a good
while coming, and I got discouraged. Wasn't
it silly ? I — oh, it's all right now. I
wouldn't change places with anybody." She
began to rock violently. Betty had noticed
that Helen rocked when other girls sang or
"■ But I thought — we all thought," began
Betty, ^' that you had decided you preferred
to study — that you didn't care for our sort of
fun. You haven't seemed to lately."
" Not since it came over me why you girls
here in the house were nice to me when no-
body else was except Theresa," explained
Helen with appalling frankness. " You were
sorry for me. I thought it out the day after
you gave me the violets. Before I came to
Harding," she went on, "I did think that col-
lege was just to study. It's funny how you
change your mind after you get here — how
you begin to see that it's a lot bigger than you
thought. And it's queer how little you care
about doing well in class when you haven't
244 BETTT WALES
anything else to care about." She gave a lit-
tle sigh, then got up suddenly. " I almost
forgot ; I have a message for Adelaide. And
by the way, Betty, I saw your Miss Hale ; she
and somebody else were just going in to see
Miss Mills when I left."
She had scarcely gone when Mary sauntered
back as if by accident. '' Well, have you
found out?" she asked. ''As a student of
psychology I'm vastly interested in this situa-
''Found out what?" asked Betty un-
" Why Miss Mills asked her, and why she
is so pleased."
" I suppose Miss Mills asked her because
she was sorry for her," answered Betty
slowly, '^ and Helen is pleased because she
doesn't know it. Mary, she's been awfully
" Too bad," commented Mary. Unhappi-
ness always made her feel awkward.
" But she says this makes up to her for
everything," added Betty.
" Oh, I've noticed that life is a pretty even
thing in the end," returned Mary, relieved
BETTT WALES 245
that there was no present call on her sym-
pathies, '' but I must confess I don't see how
one dinner invitation, even if it is from "
Just then Helen tapped on the door.
Down in Miss Mills's room they were dis-
cussing much the same point.
" It's a shame for you to waste your Sun-
days over these children," said Miss Hale.
Miss Mills stopped her tea-making to dis-
sent. "" It isn't wasted if she cared. She was
so still that I couldn't be sure, but judging
from the length of time she stayed "
'' She was smiling all over her face when we
met her," interrupted Miss Meredith. " Who
is she, anyway ? "
'' Oh, just nobody in particular," laughed
Miss Mills, ''just a forlorn little freshman
''But I don't quite see how " began
" Oh, you wouldn't," said Miss Mills easily.
" You were president of your class when you
were a freshman. I was nobody in particular,
and I know what it's like."
" But why not leave it to her friends to
hearten her up ? "
246 BETTr JVALES
'' Apparently she hasn't any, or if she has,
they're as out of things as she is."
'' Well, to the other girls then."
'' When girls are happy they are cruel,"
said Miss Mills briefly, '' or perhaps they're
Betty, after a week's consideration, put the
matter even more specifically. '' I tried to
make her over because I wanted a different
kind of roommate," she said, *' and we all let
her see that we were sorry for her. Miss Mills
made her feel as if "
"• She had her dance card full and was split-
ting her waltzes," supplied Mary, who was
just back from an afternoon at Winsted.
'^ Exactly like that," agreed Betty, laughing.
'^ I wish I'd done it," she added wistfully.
'' You kept her going till her chance came,"
said Mary. '^ She owes a lot to you, and she
'' Don't," protested Betty, flushing. '' I tell
you, I was only thinking of myself when I
tried to fix her up, and then after a while I
got tired of her and let her alone. I was hor-
rid, but she's forgiven me and we're real
BETTT WALES 247
'^ Well, we can't do but so much apiece,"
said Mary practically. "■ And I've noticed
tha4; ' jam,' as your valentine girl called it, is
a mighty hard thing to give to people who
really need it."
Nevertheless the gift had been managed in
Helen's case ; she had gotten her start at last.
Miss Mills's tactful little attention had fur-
nished her with the hope and courage that she
lacked, had given her back the self-confidence
that Caroline Barnes had wounded. What-
ever the girls might think, she knew she w^as
'' somebody " now, and she would go ahead
and prove it. She could, too — she no longer
doubted her possession of the college girl's one
talent that Betty had laughed about. For
there was Theresa Reed, her friend down the
street. She was homely and awkward, she
wore dowdy clothes and wore them badly, she
was slow and plodding ; but there was one
thing that she could do, and the girls ad-
mired her for it and had instantly made a
place for her. Helen was glad of a second
proof that those things did not matter vitally.
She set herself happily to work to study T.
Reed's methods, and she began to look for-
248 BETTT WALES
ward to the freshman-sophomore game as
eagerly as did Betty or Katherine.
But before the game there was the concert.
Jack Burgess, having missed his connections,
arrived in Harding exactly twenty-seven min-
utes before it began. As they drove to the
theatre he inquired if Betty had received all
three of his telegrams.
'' Yes," laughed Betty, '' but I got the last
one first. The other two were evidently de-
layed. You've kept me guessing, I can tell
'' Glad of that," said Jack cheerfully, as
he helped her out of the carriage. '' That's
what you've kept me doing for just about a
month. But I've manfully suppressed my
curiosity and concealed the wounds in my
bleeding heart until I could make inquiries in
'' What in the world do you mean, Jack? "
asked Betty carelessly. Jack was such a
Just then they were caught in the crowd
that filled the lobby of the theatre, and con-
versation became impossible as they hurried
through it and into the theatre itself.
BETTr WALES 249
"■ Checks, please," said a businesslike little
usher in pink chiffon, and Jack and Betty
followed her down the aisle. The theatre
was already nearly full, and it looked like a
great flower garden, for the girls all wore
light evening gowns, for which the black
coats of the men made a most effective back-
ground ; while the odor of violets and roses
from the great bunches that many of the girls
carried strengthened the illusion.
'' Jove, but this is a pretty thing ! " mur-
mured Jack, who had never been in Harding
before. "■ Is this all college ? "
'^ Yes," said Betty proudly, '' except the
men, of course. And don't they all look
lovely ? "
'' Who— the men ? " asked Jack. Then he
gave a sudden start. "■ Bob Winchester, by
all that's wonderful ! "
'' Who is he? " said Betty idly. '' Another
Harvard man ? Jack " — with sudden inter-
est, as she recognized the name — '' what did
you mean by that postscript ? "
^^ Good bluff!" said Jack in his most
'^ Jack Burgess, I expect you to talk sense
250 BETTT WALES
the rest of the time you're here/' remonstrated
^* Well, I will on one condition. Tell me
why you sent it to him."
^' Sent what to whom ? " demanded Betty.
'' Oh come," coaxed Jack. '' You know
what I mean. Why did you send Bob that
valentine ? It almost crushed me, I can tell
you, when I hadn't even heard from you for
Betty was staring at him blankly, '' Why
did I send * Bob ' that valentine ? Who
please tell me is ' Bob ' ? "
'^Robert M. Winchester, Harvard, 19—.
Eats at my club. Is sitting at the present
moment on the other side of the aisle, two
rows up and over by the boxes. You'll know
him by his pretty blush. He's rattled — he
didn't think I'd see him."
" Well ? " said Betty.
''Well?" repeated Jack.
'' I never saw Mr. Robert M. Winchester
before," declared Betty with dignity, '' and of
course I didn't send him any valentine.
What are you driving at. Jack Burgess ? "
Jack smiled benignly down at her. '' But
BETTT WALES 251
I saw it," he insisted. " Do you think I
don't know your handwriting? The verses
weren't yours, unless they turn out spring-
poets amazingly fast up here, but the writing
was, except that on the envelope, and the
Cupids were. The design was the same as
the one on the picture frame you gave me
last winter. Beginning to remember ? " he
inquired with an exasperating chuckle.
^' No," said Betty severely. Then a light
broke over her face. '^ Oh yes, of course, I
made that. Oh Jack Burgess, how perfectly
rich ! "
'' Don't think so myself, but Bobbie will.
You see I told him that I could put up a
good guess who sent him that valentine, and
that I'd find out for sure when I came up.
But evidently he couldn't wait, so he's made
his sister ask him up too, in the hope of
happening on the valentine lady, I suppose.
Know his sister? "
'' No," said Betty, who was almost speech-
less with laughter. "■ Oh, Jack, listen ! " and
she told the story of the valentine firm.
'' Probably his sister bought it and sent it to
him," she finished. "■ Or anyway some girl
252 BETTT WALES
(lid. Jack, he's looking this way again. Did
you tell him I sent it? "
'' No," said Jack hastily, '' that is — I — well,
I only said that the girl I knew up here sent
it. He evidently suspects you. See him
'' Jack, how could you? "
^' How couldn't I you'd better say,"
chuckled Jack. '' I never heard of this
valentine graft. What should I think,
please? Never mind; I'll undeceive the
poor boy at the intermission. He'll be
badly disappointed. You see, he said it
was his sister all along, and "
The curtain rolled slowly up, disclosing the
Glee Club grouped in a rainbow-tinted semi-
circle about the leacier, and the concert
At the intermission Jack brought Mr.
AVinchester and his sister to meet Betty, and
there were more explanations and much
laughter. Then Jack insisted upon meeting
the rest of the firm, so Betty hunted up
Mary. Her Harvard man knew the other two
slightly, and the story had to be detailed
again for his benefit.
BETTT WALES 253
'' I say," he said when he had heard it,
^' that's what I call enterprise, but you made
just one mistake. Next year you must sell
3^our stock to us. Then all of it will be sure
to land with the ladies, and your cousin's
feelings won't be hurt."
'' Good idea," agreed Jack, ^' but let's keep
to the living present, as the poets call it. Are
you all good for a sleigh ride to-morrow after-
^' Ah, do say yes," begged Mr. Winchester,
looking straight at Betty.
^^ But your sister said you were going "
'' On the sleeper to-morrow night," finished
Mr. Winchester promptly. '' And may I have
the heart-shaped sign ? "
Betty stopped in Mary's room that night to
talk over the exciting events of the evening.
'' Betty Wales, your cousin is the nicest man
I ever met," declared Mary with enthusiasm.
Betty laughed. '' I shan't tell you what he
said about you. It would make you entirely
too vain. I'm so sorry that Katherine wasn't
there, so she could go to-morrow."
'' It w^as too bad," said Mary complacently,
'' But then you know virtue is said to be
254 BETTT WALES
its own reward. She'll have to get along
with that, but I'm glad we're going to have
another one. Those valentines were a lot of
work to do for a girl whose very name I don't
AT THE GREAT GAME
" Well, I thought I'd seen some excitement
before/' declared Betty Wales, struggling to
settle herself more comfortably on the scant
ten square inches of space allotted her by the
surging, swaying mass of girls behind. '^ But
I was mistaken. Even the rally was noth-
ing to this. Helen, do you feel as if they'd
push you under the railing? "
'*A little," laughed Helen, "but I don't
suppose they could, do you ? "
'' I guess not," said Betty hopefully, '' but
they might break my spine. They're ac-
tually sitting on me, and I haven't room to
turn around and see who's doing it. Oh, but
isn't it fun ! "
The day of the great basket-ball game had
come at last. A bare two hours more and the
freshman team would either be celebrating its
victory over the sophomores, or bravely
shouldering its defeat ; and the college had
256 BETTT WALES
turned out en masse to witness the struggle.
The floor of the gymnasium was cleared, only
Miss Andrews, the gym teacher, her assistant
line-keepers and the ushers in white duck,
with paper hats of green or purple, being
allowed on the field of battle. On the little
stage at one end of the hall sat the faculty^
most of them manifesting their partisanship
b}) the display of class-colors. The more pop-
ular supporters of the purple had been fur-
nished with violets by their admirers, while the
wearers of the green had American beauty
roses — red being the junior color — tied with
great bows of green ribbon. The prize ex-
hibit was undoubtedly that of the enterpris-
ing young head of the chemistry department,
who carried an enormous bunch of vivid
green carnations ; but the centre of interest
was the president of the college, who of course
displayed impartially the colors of both sides.
He divided interest with a sprightly little
lady in a brilliant purple gown, whose arms
were so full of violets and daffodils and pur-
ple and yellow ribbons that she looked like
an animated flower bed. She smiled and
nodded at the sophomore gallery from behind
BETTT WALES 257
their floral tributes ; and the freshmen
watched her eagerly and wished she had worn
the green. But of course she wouldn't ; she
had nothing but sophomore lit., and all her
classes adored her.
In the gallery were the students, seniors
and sophomores on one side, juniors and fresh-
men on the other, packed in like sardines.
The front row of them sat on the floor, dang-
ling their feet over the edge of the balcony —
they had been warned at the gym classes of
the day before to look to their soles and their
skirt braids. The next row kneeled and
peered over the shoulders of the first. The
third row stood up and saw what it could.
The others stood up and saw nothing, unless
they were very tall or had been lucky enough
to secure a place on a stray chair or a radiator.
The balcony railings and posts were draped
with bunting, and in every hand waved
banners and streamers, purple and yellow on
one side, red and green on the other.
In the middle of each side were grouped
the best singers of the classes, ready to lead
the chorus in the songs which had been writ-
ten for the occasion to the music of popular
258 BETTT PFALES
tunes. These were supposed to take the place
of '' yells," and cheers, both proscribed as
verging upon the unwomanly. By rule the
opposing factions sang in turn, but occasion-
ally, quite by accident, both started at once,
with deafening discords that rocked the gallery,
and caused the musical head of the German
Department to stop her ears in agony.
Most of the girls had been standing in line
for an hour waiting for the gymnasium doors
to open, but a few, like Betty and Helen, had
had reserved seat tickets given them by some
one on the teams. These admitted their
fortunate holders by a back door ahead of the
crowd. All the faculty seats were reserved,
of course, and the occupants of them were
still coming in. As each appeared, he or she
was met by a group of ushers and escorted
ceremoniously across the floor, amid vigorous
hand-clapping from the side whose colors were
in evidence, and the singing of a verse of
"• Balm of Gilead " adapted to the occasion.
Most of these had been written beforehand
and were now hastily '' passed along " from a
paper in the hands of the leader. The
rhymes were execrable, but that did not mat-
BETTT WALES 259
ter since almost nobody could understand
them ; and the main point was to come out
strong on the chorus.
" Oh, there's Miss Ferris ! " cried Betty, " and
she's wearing my ro — goodness, she's half
covered wdth roses. Helen, see that lovely
green dragon pennant ! "
" Here's to our Miss Ferris, drink her down! "
sang the freshman chorus.
" Here's to onr Miss Ferris, drink her down !
Here's to onr Miss Ferris, may she never, never perish !
Drink her down, drink her down, drink her down, down, down !"
Back by the door there was a sudden com-
motion, and the sophomore faction broke out
into tumultuous applause as a tall and stately
gentleman appeared carrying a '' shower bou-
quet " of daffodils with a border and stream-
ers of violets.
'' Here's to Dr. Hinsdale, he's the finest man within hail !
Drink him down, drink him down, drink him down, down, down ! "
sang the sophomores.
" There is a team of great renown,"
began the freshmen lustily. What did the
26o BETTT WALES
sophomores mean by clapping so ? Ah ! Miss
Andrews was opening a door.
^' They're coming ! " cried Betty eagerly.
'' Only the sophomore subs," amended the
junior next to her. ^' So please don't stick
your elbow into me."
'' Excuse me," said Betty hastily. '' Oh
Helen, there's Katherine ! "
Through the door at one side of the stage
the freshman subs were coming, through the
other the sophomores. Out on the floor of
the gym they ran, all in their dark blue gym
suits with green or purple stripes on the right
sleeves, tossing their balls from hand to hand,
throwing them into the baskets, bouncing
them adroitly out of one another's reach, try-
ing to appear as unconcerned as if a thousand
people were not applauding them madly and
singing songs about them and wondering
which of them would get a chance to play
in the great game. In a moment a little
whistle blew and the subs found their places
on the edge of the stage, where they sat in a
restive, eager row, each girl in readiness to
take the field the moment she should be
BETTT WALES 261
The door of the sophomore room opened
again and the '^ real team " ran out. Then
the gallery shook indeed ! Even the fresh-
men cheered when the mascot appeared hand
in hand with the captain. He was a dashing
little Indian brave in full panoply of war-
paint, beads, and feathers, with fringed leg-
gins and a real Navajo blanket. When he
had finished his grand entry, which consisted
of a war-dance, accompanied by ear-splitting
war-whoops, he came to himself suddenly to
find a thousand people staring at him, and he
was somewhat appalled. He could not blush,
for Mary Brooks had stained his face and
neck a beautiful brick-red, and he lacked the
courage to run away. So he waited, forlorn
and uncomfortable, while the freshman team
rushed in, circling gaily about a diminutive
knight in shining silver armor, with a green
plume. He marched proudly, but with some
difficulty, for his helmet was down and his
sword, which was much too long for him, had
an unbecoming tendency to trip him up.
When his hesitating steps had brought him.
to the middle of the gymnasium, the knight,
apparently perceiving the Indian for the first
262 BETTT WALES
time, dropped his encumbering sword and
rushed at his rival with sudden vehemence
and blood-curdling cries. The little Indian
stared for a moment in blank amazement,
then slipping off his blanket turned tail and
ran, reaching the door long before his sopho-
more supporters could stop him. The knight
meanwhile, left in full possession of the field,
waited for a moment until the laughter and
applause had died away into curiosity. Then,
deliberately reaching up one gauntleted hand,
he pulled off his helmet, and disclosed the
saucy, freckled face of the popular son of a
He grinned cheerfully at the stage and the
gallery, gallantly faced the junior- freshman
side, and waving his green plume aloft yelled,
" Hip, hip, hurrah for the freshmen ! " at the
top of a pair of very strong lungs. Then he
raced off to find the seat which had been the
price of his performance between two of his
devoted admirers on the sub team, while the
gallery, regardless of meaningless prohibitions
and forgetful of class distinctions, cheered him
to the echo.
All of a sudden a businesslike air began to
BETTT WALES 263
pervade the floor of the gymnasium. Some-
body picked up the knight's sword and the
Indian's blanket, and Miss Andrews took her
position under the gallery. The ushers
crowded onto the steps of the stage, and the
members of the teams, who had gathered
around their captains for a last hurried con-
ference, began to find their places.
"• Oh, I almost wished they'd sing for a
while more," sighed Betty.
*' Do you ? " answered Helen absently. She
was leaning out over the iron bar of the rail-
ing with her eyes glued to the smallest fresh-
man centre. '' Why ? "
^' Oh, it makes me feel so thrilled and the
songs are so clever and amusing, and the mas-
cots so funny."
''Oh, yes," agreed Helen. ''The things
here are all like that, but I want to see them
" You mean you want to see her play," cor-
rected Betty merrily. " I don't believe you
care for a single other thing but T. Reed.
Where is she?"
Helen pointed her out proudly.
"Oh, what an awfully funny, thin little
264 BETTT IVALES
braid ! Isn't she comical in her gym suit,
anyway? You wouldn't think she could
play at all, would you, she's so small."
^' But she can," said Helen stoutly.
'' Don't I know it? I guarded her once —
that is, I tried to. She's a perfect wonder.
See, there's Rachel up by our basket. Kath-
erine says she's fine too. Helen, they're going
The assistant gym teacher had the whistle
now. She blew it shrilly. '' Play ! " called
Miss Andrews, and tossed the ball out over the
heads of the waiting centres. A tall sopho-
more reached up confidently to grab it, but
she found her hands empty. T. Reed had
jumped at it and batted it off sidewise. Then
she had slipped under Cornelia Thompson's
famous '' perpetual motion " elbow, and was
on hand to capture the ball again when it
bounced out from under a confused mass of
homes and centres who were struggling over
it on the freshman line. The freshmen
clapped riotously. The sophomores looked at
each other. Freshman teams were always
rattled, and '' muffed " their plays just at first.
What did this mean? Oh, well, the homes
THE FRKSIIAIEX WERE SHOUTING AND THUMPING
THE K»W YORK
AfiTftR. tlTNOX AN*D
BETTT IVALES 265
would miss it. They did, and the sopho-
mores breathed again, but only for a moment.
Then T. Reed jumped and the ball went
pounding back toward the freshman basket.
This time a home got it, passed it successfully
to Rachel, and Rachel poised it for an instant
and sent it cleanly into the basket.
The freshmen were shouting and thumping
as if they had never heard that it was unlady-
like (and incidentally too great a strain on the
crowded gallery) to do so. Miss Andrews
blew her whistle. '' Either the game will stop
or you must be less noisy," she commanded,
and amid the ominous silence that followed
she threw the ball.
This time T. Reed missed her jump, and
the tall sophomore got the ball and tossed it
unerringly at Captain Marion Lawrence, who
w^as playing home on her team. She bounded
it off in an unexpected direction and then
passed it to a home nearer the basket, who on
the second trial put it in. The sophomores
clapped, but the freshmen smiled serenely.
Their home had done better, and they had T.
The next ball went off to one side. In the
266 BETTT WALES
scramble after it two opposing centres grabbed
it at once, and each claimed precedence. The
game stopped while Miss Andrews and the
line-men came up to hear the evidence.
There was a breathless moment of indecision.
Then Miss Andrews took the ball and tossed
up between the two contestants. But neither
of them got it. Instead, T. Reed, slipping in
between them, jumped for it again, and quick
as a flash sent it flying toward the freshman
goal. There was another breathless moment.
Could Rachel Morrison put it in from that
distance ? No, it had fallen just short and
the sophomore guards were playing it along
to the opposite end of the home space, pos-
sibly intending to Ah ! a stalwart sopho-
more guard, bracing herself for the effort, had
tossed it over the heads of the centres straight
across the gymnasium, and Marion Lawrence
had it and was working toward the basket,
meanwhile playing the ball back to a red
haired competent-looking girl whose gray
eyes twinked merrily as her thin, nervous
hands closed unerringly and vice-like around
the big sphere. It was in the basket, and the
freshmen's faces fell.
BETTT IVALES 267
" But maybe they've lost something on
fouls," suggested Betty hopefully.
"• And T. Reed is just splendid," added
Everybody was watching the gallant little
centre now, but she watched only the ball.
Back and forth, up and down the central
field she followed it, slipping and sliding be-
tween the other players, now bringing the
ball down with a phenomenal quick spring,
now picking it up from the floor, now catch-
ing it on the fly. The sophomore centres
were beginning to understand her methods,
but it was all they could do to frustrate her ;
they had no effort left for offensive tactics.
Generally because of their superior practice
and team play, the sophomores win the inter-
class game, and the}^ do it in the first half,
when the frightened freshmen, overwhelmed
by the terrors of their unaccustomed situa-
tion, let the goals mount up so fast that all
they can hope to do in the second half is to
lighten their defeat. What business had T.
Reed to be so cool and collected ? If she kept
on, there was strong likelihood of a freshman
victory. But she was so small, and Cornelia
268 BETTT WALES
Thompson was guarding her — Cornelia stuck
like a burr, and the '' perpetual motion " el-
bow had already circumvented T. Reed more
After a long and stubborn battle, the fresh-
men scored another point. But in the next
round the big sophomore guard repeated her
splendid 'crossboard play, and again Marion
Lawrence caught the ball.
Ah ! Captain Lawrence is down, sliding
heavily along the smooth floor ; but in an in-
stant she is up again, brushing the hair out
of her eyes with one hand and making a
goal with the other.
'' Time ! " calls Miss Andrews. '' The goals
are three to two, fouls not counted."
The line-men gather to compare notes on
those. The teams hurry off to their rooms,
Captain Lawrence limping badly. The first
half is finished.
A little shivering sigh of relief swept over
the audience. The front row in the gallery
struggled to its feet to rest, the back rows sat
down suddenly for the same purpose.
'' Oh, doesn't it feel good to stretch out,"
said Betty, pulling herself up by the railing
BETTT WALES 269
and drawing Helen after her. ''Aren't you
tired to death sitting still ? "
'' Why no, I don't think so," answered
Helen vaguely. "It was so splendid that I
" So did I mostly, but I'm remembering
good and hard now. I ache all over." She
waved her hand gaily to Dorothy King, then
caught Mary Brooks's eye across the hall and
waved again. " T. Reed is a dandy," she
said. " And Rachel was great. They were
"How do you suppose they feel now?"
asked Helen, a note of awe in her voice.
" Tired," returned Betty promptly, " and
thirsty, probably, and proud — awfully proud."
She turned upon Helen suddenl3^ " Helen
Chase Adams, do you know I might have
been down there with the subs. Katherine
told me this morning that it was nip and tuck
between Marie Austin and me. If I'd tried
harder — played an inch better — think of it,
Helen, I might have been down there too ! "
" I couldn't do anything like that," said
Helen simply, " but next year I mean to
write a song."
270 BETTr WALES
Betty looked at her solemnly. '' You
probably will. You're a good hard worker,
Helen. Isn't it queer," she went on, '' we're
not a bit alike, but this game is making us
feel the same way. I wonder if the others
feel so too. Perhaps it's one reason why they
have this game— to wake us all up and make
us want to do something worth while."
'' Betty Wales," called Christy Mason from
the floor below. Betty leaned over the railing.
'' Don't forget that you're coming to dinner
to-night. We're going to serenade the team.
They'll be dining at the Belden with Miss
Kate Denise joined her. She had never
mentioned the afternoon in Eleanor's room,
but she took especial pains to be pleasant to
'' Hello, Betty Wales," she called up. '' Isn't
it fine ? Don't you think we'll win ? Any-
way Miss Andrews says it's the best game she
" Betty Wales," called Dorothy King from
her leader's box, " come to vespers with me
Betty met them all with friendly little
BETTT WALES 271
nods and enthusiastic answers. Then she
turned back to Helen. '' It's funny, but I'm
always interrupted when I'm trying to think,"
she said. "■ If there were six of me I think I
might be six successful persons. But as it is,
I suppose I shall always be just ' that little
Betty Wales' and have a splendid time."
'' That would be enough for most people,"
'' Oh, I hope not," said Betty soberly. '' I
don't amount to anything." She slipped
down into her place again. The teams were
"' See Laurie limp ! "
'' Their other home — the one w^ith the red
hair — looks as fresh as a May morning."
''Well, so doesT. Reed."
'' We have a fighting chance yet."
Thus the freshman gallery.
But the second half opened with the rapid
winning of three goals by the sophomores.
Cornelia Thompson had evidently made up
her mind that nobody so small as T. Reed
should get away from her and mar the repu-
tation of her famous '' ever moving and ever
present " elbow. The other freshman centres
272 BETTT WALES
were over-matched, and once Marion Law-
rence and the red-haired home got the ball
between them, a goal was practically a cer-
'' Play ! " called Miss Andrews for the fourth
T. Reed's eyes flashed and her lips shut
into a narrow determined line. Another
freshman centre got the ball and passed it
successfully to T. Reed, who gave it a pound-
ing blow toward the freshman basket. A
sophomore guard knocked it out of Rachel
Morrison's hands, and it rolled on to the
stage. There w^as a wild scuffle and the
freshman balcony broke into tumultuous
cheering, for a home who had missed all her
previous chances had clutched it from under
the president's chair and had scored at last.
A moment later she did it again. There
was a pause while a freshman guard was car-
ried off with a twisted ankle and Katherine
Kittredge ran to her place. Then the sopho-
mores scored twice. Then the freshmen did
likewise. "' Time ! " called Miss Andrews
sharply. The game was over.
*' Score ! " shrieked the galleries.
BETTT WALES 273
Then the freshmen bravely began to sing
their team song,
*' There is a team of great renown."
They were beaten, of course, but they were
proud of that team.
'' The freshmen score one goal on fouls.
Score, six to eight in favor of the purple,"
announced Miss Andrews after a moment.
'' And I want to say "
It was unpardonably rude, but they could
not help interrupting to cheer.
'' That I am proud of all the players. It
was a splendid game," she finished, when the
thoughtful ones had hushed the rest.
Then they cheered again. The sophomore
team were carrying their captain around the
gym on their shoulders ; the freshmen, gath-
ered in a brave little group, were winking
hard and cheering with the rest. The gal-
lery was emptying itself with incredible ra-
pidity on to the floor. The stage was watch-
ing, and wishing — some of it — that it could
go down on the floor and shriek and sing and
be young and foolish generally.
Betty and Helen ran down with the rest.
274 BETTT WALES
'' Helen," whispered Betty on the way, '' I
don't care what happens, I will, I will, I will
make them sing to me some day. Oh Helen,
don't you love 19 — , and aren't you proud of
it and of T. Reed?"
At the foot of the stairs they met the three
B's. '^ Come on, come on," cried the three.
" We're going to sing to the sophomores," and
they seized upon Betty and bore her oflP to
the corner where the freshmen were assem-
bling. Left to herself Helen got into a nook
by the door and watched. It was queer how
much fun it was to watch, lately.
" Some are born great, some achieve great-
ness, and some have greatness thrust upon
them : " — she had read it in the library that
morning and it kept running in her head.
Was it selfish and conceited to want to be
worth something to her college — to long to do
something that would give her a place among
the girls ? A month ago Theresa had stood
with her high up on the bank and watched
the current sweep by. Now she was in the
stream ; even Betty Wales envied her ; she had
''achieved greatness." Betty wanted to be
sung to. Well, no doubt she would be, in
BETTT WALES 275
spite of the " interruptions " ; she was "■ born
great." Helen aspired only to write a song to
be sung. That wasn't very much, and she
would try hard — Theresa said it was all trying
and caring — for she must somehow prove her-
self worthy of the greatness that had been
'' thrust upon " her.
Betty was in the centre of an excited group
of freshmen. Christy Mason was there too ;
probably they were planning for the serenade.
" She won't mind if I go," thought Helen.
She would have liked to speak to Theresa,
but she had delayed too long ; the teams had
disappeared. So she slipped out alone. There
would be a long, quiet evening for theme
work — for Helen had elected Mary's theme
course at mid-years, though no one in the
Chapin house knew it.
Betty did not get home till quarter of ten,
and then she went straight off to find Kath-
erine and Eachel. '' I came to see if there's
anything left of Rachel," she said.
'' There's a big bump on my forehead," said
Rachel, sitting up in bed with a faint smile.
" I'm sure of that because it aches."
*' Poor lady ! " Betty turned to Katherine.
276 BETTT WALES
" You got your chance, didn't you? I felt it
in my bones that you would. Wasn't it all
splendid ? ''
" Yes indeed," assented the contestants
" It made me feel so energetic," Betty went
on eagerly. ^' Of course I felt proud of you
and of 19 — , just as I did at the rally, but there
was something else, too. You'll see me going
at things next term the way T. Reed went at
''You're one of the most energetic persons
I know, as it is," said Rachel, smiling at her
" Yes," said Betty impatiently. " I fly
around and make a great commotion, but I
fritter away my time, because I forget to keep
my eyes on the ball. Why, I haven't done
anything this year."
Katherine pulled Betty down beside her on
the couch. '' Child, you've done a lot," she
said. '' We were just considering all you've
done, and wondering why you weren't asked
to usher to-day. You've sub-subed a lot and
you know so many girls on the team and are
such good friends with Jean Eastman."
BETTT WALES 277
To her consternation Betty felt a hot flush
creeping np her neck and over her cheeks.
It had been the one consolation in the trouble
with Eleanor that none of the Chapin house
girls had asked any questions or even appeared
to notice that anything was wrong.
" Oh, I don't know Miss Eastman much,"
she said quickly. '' And as for substituting
on the subs, that was a great privilege. That
wasn't anything to make me an usher for."
"• Well, all the other girls who did it much
ushered," persisted Katherine. '' Christy Ma-
son and Kate Denise and that little Ruth
Ford. And you'd have made such a stunning*
"• Goosie ! " said Betty, rising abruptly. '' I
know you girls want to go to bed. We'll talk
it all over to-morrow."
As she closed the door, Rachel and Kath-
erine exchanged glances. '' I told you there
was trouble," said Katherine, ^^ and mark my
words, Eleanor Watson is at the bottom of it
*' Don't let's notice it again, though," an-
swered the considerate Rachel. '' She evi-
dently doesn't want to tell us about it."
?78 BETIT WALES
Betty undressed almost in silence. Her
exhilaration had left her all at once and her
ambition ; life looked very complicated and
unprofitable. As she went over to turn out
the light, she noticed a sheet of paper, much
erased and interlined, on Helen's desk. '' Have
you begun your song already ? " she asked.
"" Oh, no, I wrote a theme," said Helen with
what seemed needless embarrassment. But the
theme was a little verse called '' Happiness."
She got it back the next week heavily under-
scored in red ink, and with a succinct '^ Try
prose," beneath it ; but she was not discour-
aged. She had had one turn ; she could afford
to wait patiently for another, which, if you
tried long enough and cared hard enough
must come at last.
A CHANCE TO HELP
Eleanor Watson had gotten neither class
spirit nor personal ambition from 19 — 's
'' glorious old defeat," as Katherine called it.
The Saturday afternoon of the game she had
spent, greatly to the disgust of her friends, on
the way to New York, whither she went for a
Sunday with Caroline Barnes. Caroline's
mother had been very ill, and the European
trip was indefinitely postponed, but the family
were going for a shorter jaunt to Bermuda.
Caroline begged Eleanor to join them. '' You
can come as well as not," she urged. '' You
know your father would let you — he always
does. And we sail the very first day of your
" But you stay three weeks," objected
Eleanor, '* and the vacation is only two."
''What's the difference? Say you were ill
and had to stay over," suggested Caroline
28o BETTT WALES
Eleanor's eyes flashed. '' Once for all, Cara,
please understand that's not my way of doing
business nowadays. I should like to go,
though, and I imagine my father wouldn't
object. I'll write you if I can arrange it."
She had quite forgotten her idle promise
when, on the following Monday morning, she
stood in the registrar's office, waiting to get a
record card for chapel attendance in place of
one she had lost. The registrar was busy.
Eleanor waited while she discussed the
pedagogical value of chemistry with a
sophomore who had elected it, and now, after
a semester and a half of gradually deteriorat-
ing work, wished to drop it because the smells
made her ill.
"■ Does the fact that we sent you a warning
last week make the smells more unendur-
able ? " asked the registrar suggestively, and
the sophomore retreated in blushing con-
Next in line was a nervous little girl who
inquired breathessly if she might go home
right away — four days early. Some friends
who were traveling south in their private
car had telegraphed her to meet them in
BETTT Pf^ALES 281
Albany and go with them to her home in
*' My dear, I'm sorry," began the registrar
sympathetically, *' but I can't let you go.
We're going to be very strict about this vaca-
tion. A great many girls went home early
at Christmas, and it's no exaggeration to say
that a quarter of the college came back late
on various trivial excuses. This time we're
not going to have that sort of thing. The
girls who come back at all must come on
time ; the only valid excuse at either end of
the vacation will be serious illness. I'm
'' So am I," said the little girl, with a pa-
thetic quiver in her voice. '' I never rode in
a private car. But — it's no matter. Thank
you, Miss Stuart."
Eleanor had listened to the conversation
with a curl of her lip for the stupid child who
proffered her request in so unconvincing a
manner, and an angry resentment against the
authorities who should presume to dictate
times and seasons. '' They ought to have a
system of cuts," she thought. '* That's the
only fair way. Then you can take them wlieu
282 BETTT WALES
you please, and if you cut over you know it
and you do it at your peril. Here everything
is in the air ; you are never sure where you
"■ What can I do for you, Miss Watson ? "
asked the registrar pleasantly.
Eleanor got her chapel card and hurried
home to telegraph her father for permission
to go to Bermuda, and, as she knew exactly
what his answer would be, to write Caroline
that she might expect her. '' You know I
always take a dare," she wrote. '' My cuts
last semester amounted to twice as much as
this trip will use up, and if they make a fuss
I shall just call their attention to what they
let pass last time. Please buy me a steamer-
rug, a blue and green plaid one, and meet me
at the Forty-second Street station at two on
Betty knew nothing about Eleanor's plans,
beyond what she had been able to gather from
chance remarks of the other girls ; and that
was not much, for every time the subject
came up she hastened to change it, lest some
one should discover that Eleanor had told her
nothing, and had scarcely spoken to her in-
BETTT WALES 283
deed for weeks. When Eleanor finally went
off, without a sign or a word of good-bye, Betty
discovered that she was dreadfully disap-
pointed. She had never thought of the es-
trangement between them as anything but a
temporary affair, that would blow over when
Eleanor's mortification over the debate was
forgotten. She had felt sure that long before
the term ended there would come a chance
for a reconciliation, and she had meant to
take the chance at any sacrifice of her pride.
She was still fond of Eleanor in spite of every-
thing, and she was sorry for her too, for her
quick eyes detected signs of growing unhap-
piness under Eleanor's ready smiles. Be-
sides, she hated '' schoolgirl fusses." She
wanted to be on good terms with every girl in
19 — . She wanted to come back to a spring
term unclouded by the necessity for any of
the evasions and subterfuges that concealment
of the quarrel with Eleanor and Jean East-
man's strange behavior had brought upon her.
And now Eleanor was gone ; the last chance
until after vacation had slipped through her
At home she told Nan all about her troub-
284 BETTT IVALES
les, first exacting a solemn pledge of secrecy.
'' Hateful thing ! '' said Nan promptly.
'' Drop her. Don't think about her another
^' Then you don't think I was to blame ? "
asked Betty anxiously.
'' To blame ? No, certainly not. To be
sure," Nan added truthfully, '' you were a
little tactless. You knew she didn't know
that you were in the secret of her having to
resign, and you didn't intend to tell her, so it
would have been better for you to let some
one else help Miss Eastman out."
*^ But I thought I was helping Eleanor out."
''In a way you were. But you see it
wouldn't seem so to her. It would look as
though you disapproved of her appointment."
"■ But Nan, she knows now that I knew."
'' Then I suppose she concludes that you
took advantage of knowing. You say that it
made you quite prominent for a while. You
see, dear, when a person isn't quite on the
square herself "
But Betty had burst into a storm of tears.
" I am to blame," she sobbed. '' I am to
blame ! I knew it, only I couldn't quite see
BETTT WALES 285
how. Oh, what shall I do? What shall I
" Don't cry, dear," said Nan in distress, at
the unprecedented sight of Betty in tears. " I
tell you, you were not to blame. You were a
little unwise perhaps at first, but Miss Watson
has refused your apologies and explanations
and only laughs at you when you try to talk
to her about it. I should drop her at once
and forever ; but, if you are bound to bring
her around, the only w^ay I can think of is to
look out for some chance to serve her and so
prove your real friendship — though what sort
of friend she can be I can't imagine."
" Nan, she's just like the girl in the
rhyme," said Betty seriously.
** ' When she was good she was very, very good,
And when she was bad she was horrid. '
Eleanor is a perfect dear most of the time.
And Nan, there's something queer about her
mother. She never speaks of her, and she's
been at boarding school for eight years now,
though she's not seventeen till May. Think
'' It certainly makes her excusable for a
286 BETTT WALES
good deal," said Nan. " How is my friend
Helen Chase Adams coming on ? "
" Why Nan, she's quite blossomed out.
She's really lots of fun now. But I had an
awful time with her for a while," and she
related the story of Helen's winter of dis-
content. " I suppose that was my fault too,"
she finished. '' I seem to be a regular
"' You're a dear little sister, all the same,"
'' I say girls, come and play ping-pong,'^
called Will from the hall below, and the in-
terview ended summarily.
But the memory of Eleanor Watson seemed
fated to pursue Betty through her vacation.
A few days later an old friend of Mrs. Wales,
who had gone to Denver to live some 3^ears
before and was east on a round of visits,
came in to call. The moment she heard that
Betty was at Harding, she inquired for
Eleanor. '' I'm so glad you know her," she
said. "■ She's quite a protege of mine and
she needs nice friends like you if ever a girl
did. Don't mention it about college, Betty,
but she's had a very sad life. Her mother
BETTT JVALES 287
was a strange woman — but there's no use
going into that. She died when Eleanor was
a tiny girl, and Eleanor and her brother Jim
have been at boarding schools ever since. In
the summers, though, they were always with
their father in Denver. They w^orshiped
him, particularly Eleanor, and he has always
promised her that when she was through
school he would open the old Watson man-
sion and she should keep house for him and
Jim. Then last year a pretty little society
girl, only four or five years older than
Eleanor, set her cap for the judge and
married him. Jim liked her, but Eleanor
was heart-broken, and the judge, seeing
storms ahead, I suppose, and hoping that
Eleanor would get interested and want to
finish the course, made her promise to go to
Harding for a year. Now don't betray my
confidence, Betty, and do make allowances
for Eleanor. I hope she'll be willing to stay
on at college. It's just what she needs. Be-
sides, she'd be very unhappy at home, and
her aunt in New York isn't at all the sort of
person for her to live with."
So it came about that Bettv returned to
288 BETTT WALES
college more than ever determined to get
back upon the old footing with Eleanor, and
behold, Eleanor was not there ! The Chapin
house was much excited over her absence, for
tales of the registrar's unprecedented hard-
ness of heart had gone abroad, and almost
nobody else had dared to risk the mysterious
but awful possibilities that a late return
promised. As Betty was still supposed by
most of the house to be in Eleanor's con-
fidence, she had to parry question after ques-
tion as to her whereabouts. To, ^' Did she
tell you that she was coming back late? " she
could truthfully answer '' No." But the girls
only laughed when she insisted that Eleanor
must be ill.
'' She boasts that she's never been ill in her
life," said Mary Brooks.
And Adelaide Rich always added with
great positiveness, '' It's exactly like her to
stay away on purpose, just to see what will
Unfortunately Betty could not deny this,
and she was glad enough to drop the argu-
ment. She had too many pleasant things to
do to care to waste time in profitless discus-
BETTT WALES 289
sion. For it was spring term. Nobody but
a Harding girl knows exactly what that
means. The freshman is very likely to con-
sider the much heralded event only a pretty
myth, until having started from home on a
cold, bleak day that is springtime only by the
calendar, she arrives at Harding to find her-
self confronted by the genuine article. The
sheltered situation of the town undoubtedly
has something to do with its early springs,
but the attitude of the Harding girl has far
more. She knows that spring term is the
beautiful crown of the college year, and she
is bound that it shall be as long as possible.
So she throws caution and her furs to the
winds and dons a muslin gown, plans drives
and picnics despite April showers, and takes
twilight strolls regardless of lurking germs of
pneumonia. The grass grows green perforce
and the buds swell to meet her wishes, while
the sun, finding a creature after his brave,
warm heart, does his gallant best for her.
'' Do what little studying you intend to
right away," Mary Brooks advised her fresh-
men. '' Before you know it, it will be too
warm to work."
290 BETTr WALES
" But at present it's too lovely," objected
'' Then join the Athletic Association and
trust to luck, but above all join the Athletic
Association. I'm on the membership com-
" Can I get into the golf club section this
time?" asked Betty, who had been kept on
the waiting list all through the fall.
•' Yes, you just squeeze in, and Christy
Mason wants you to play round the course
with her to-morrow."
*' I'm for tennis," said Katherine. ** Miss
Lawrence and I are going to play as
soon as the courts are marked out. By
the way, when do the forget-me-nots
blossom ? "
''Has Laurie roped you into that?" asked
Mary Brooks scornfully.
"• Don't jump at conclusions," retorted
'' I didn't have to jump. The wild ones
blossom about the middle of May. You'll
have to think of something else if you want
to make an immediate conquest of 3^our
angel. And speaking of angels," added Mary,
BETTT WALES 291
who was sitting by a window, '' Eleanor Wat-
son is coming up the walk.'*
The girls trooped out into the hall to greet
Eleanor, who met them all with the care-
fully restrained cordiality that she had used
toward them ever since the break with Betty.
Yes, Bermuda had been charming, such skies
and seas. Yes, she was just a week late — ex-
actly. No, she had not seen the registrar yet,
but she had heard last term that excuses
weren't being given away by the dozen.
'' I met a friend of yours during vacation,"
began Betty timidly in the first pause.
Eleanor turned to her unsmilingly. *' Oh
yes, Mrs. Payne," she said. ^' I believe she
mentioned it. I saw her last night in New
York." Then she picked up her bag and
walked toward her room with the remark that
late comers mustn't waste time.
The next day at luncheon some one in-
quired again about her excuse. Eleanor
shrugged her shoulders. '' Oh, that's all
right ; you needn't be at all anxious. The in-
terview wasn't even amusing. The week is to
be counted as unexcused absence — which as
far as I can see means nothing whatever."
292 BETTT WALES
'' You may find out differently in June/^
suggested Mary, nettled by Eleanor's superior
*' Oh, June ! " said Eleanor with another
shrug. " I'm leaving in June, thank the
fates ! "
^' Perhaps you'll change your mind after
spring term. Everybody says it's so much
nicer," chirped Helen.
'' Possibly," said Eleanor curtly, " but I
really can't give you much encouragement.
Miss Adams." Whereat poor Helen subsided
meekly, scarcely raising her eyes from her
plate through the rest of the meal.
" Better caution your friend Eleanor not to
air those sentiments of hers about unexcused
absences too widely, or she'll get into trouble,"
said Mary Brooks to Betty on the way up-
stairs ; but Betty, intent on persuading Ro-
berta to come down-town for an ice, paid no
particular attention to the remark, and it was
three weeks before she thought of it again.
She found Eleanor more unapproachable
than ever this term, but remembering Nan's
suggestion she resolved to bide her time.
Meanwhile there was no reason for not enjoy-
BETTT WALES 293
ing life to the utmost. Golf, boating, walk-
ing, tennis — there were ten ways to spend every
spare minute. But golf usually triumphed.
Betty played very well, and having made an
excellent record in her first game with
Christy, she immediately found herself reck-
oned among the enthusiasts and expected to
get into trim for the June tournament. Some
three weeks after the beginning of the term
she went up to the club house in the late af-
ternoon, intending to practice putting, which
was her weak point and come home with
Christy and Nita Reese, another golf fiend,
who had spent the whole afternoon on the
But on the club house piazza she found
Dorothy King. Dorothy played golf exceed-
ingly well, as she did everything else ; but as
she explained to Betty, '' By junior year all
this athletic business gets pretty much crowded
out." She still kept her membership in the
club, however, and played occasionally, ^'just
to keep her hand in for the summer." She
had done six holes this afternoon, all alone,
and now she was resting a few moments be-
fore going home. She greeted Betty warmly.
294 BETTT IVALES
'' I looked for you out on the course," she
said, '' but your little pals thought you
weren't coming up to-day. How's your
''Better, thank you," said Betty, '' except
my putting, and I'm going to practice on that
now. Did you know that Christy had asked
me to play with her in the inter-class four-
'' That's good," said Dorothy cordially. "• Do
you see much of Eleanor Watson these days? "
she added irrelevantly.
"■ Why — no-t much," stammered Betty,
blushing in spite of herself. '' I see her at
meals of course."
'' I thought you told me once that you were
very fond of her."
" Yes, I did — I am," said Betty quickly,
wondering what in the world Dorothy was
'' She was down at the house last night,"
Dorothy went on, '' blustering around about
having come back late, saying that she'd
shown what a bluff the whole excuse busi-
ness is, and that now, after she has proved
that it's perfectly easy to cut over at the end
BETT2^ WALES 295
of a vacation, perhaps some of us timid little
creatures will dare to follow her lead. But
perhaps you've heard her talking about it."
'' I heard her say a little about it," admitted
Betty, suddenly remembering Mary Brooks's
remark. Had the '' trouble " that Mary had
foreseen anything to do with Dorothy's ques-
'' She's said a great deal about it in the last
two weeks," went on Dorothy. '' Last night
after she left, her senior friend, Annette
Cramer, and I had a long talk about it. We
both agreed that somebody ought to speak to
her, but I hardly know her, and Annette says
that she's tried to talk to her about other
things and finds she hasn't a particle of in-
fluence with her." Dorothy paused as if ex-
pecting some sort of comment or reply, but
Betty was silent. '' We both thought," said
Dorothy at last, '' that perhaps if you'd tell
her she was acting very silly and doing her-
self no end of harm she might believe you
*' Oh, Miss King, I couldn't," said Betty in
consternation. *' She wouldn't let me — in-
deed she wouldn't ! "
296 BETTT IFALES
" She told Annette once that she admired
you more than any girl in college," urged Dor-
othy quietly, '^ so your opinion ought to have
some weight with her."
^' She said that ! " gasped Betty in pleased
amazement. Then her face fell. ^' I'm sorry.
Miss King, but I'm quite sure she's changed
her mind. I couldn't speak to her ; but
would you tell me please just why any one
should — why you care? "
'' Why, of course, it's not exactly my busi-
ness," said Dorothy, '' except that I'm on the
Students' Commission, and so anything that
is going wrong is my business. Miss Watson
is certainly having a bad influence on the
girls she knows in college, and besides, if that
sort of talk gets to the ears of the authorities,
as it's perfectly certain to do if she keeps on,
she will be very severely reprimanded, and
possibly asked to leave, as an insubordinate
and revolutionary character. The Students'
Commission aims to avoid all that sort of
thing, when a quiet hint will do it. But
Miss Watson seems to be unusually difficult to
approach ; I'm afraid if you can't help us out,
Betty, we shall have to let the matter rest."
BETTT WALES 297
She gathered up her caddy-bag. '^ I must get
the next car. Don't do it unless you think
best. Or if you like ask some one else. An-
nette and I couldn't think of any one, but you
know better who her friends are." She was
off across the green meadow.
Betty half rose to follow, then sank back
into her chair. Dorothy had not asked for an
answer ; she had dropped the matter, had left
it in her hands to manage as she thought fit,
appealing to her as a friend of Eleanor's, a girl
whom Eleanor admired. '^ Whom she used
to admire," amended Betty with a sigh. But
what could she do ? A personal appeal was
out of the question ; it would effect nothing
but a widening of the breach between them.
Could Kate Denise help ? She never came to
see Eleanor now. Neither did Jean Eastman
— why. almost nobody did ; all her really in-
timate friends seemed to have dropped away
from her. And yet she must think of some
one, for was not this the opportunity she had
so coveted ? It might be the very last one too,
thought Betty. '' If anything happened to
hurt Eleanor's feelings again, she wouldn't
wait till June. She'd go now." She consid-
298 BETTT WALES
ered girl after girl, but rejected them all for
various reasons. '' She wouldn't take it from
any girl," she decided, and with that decision
came an inspiration. Why not ask Ethel
Hale? Ethel had tried to help Eleanor be-
fore, was interested in her, and understood
something of her moody, many-sided tempera-
ment. She had put Eleanor in her debt too ;
she could urge her suggestion on the ground
of a return favor.
In an instant Betty's mind w^as made up.
She looked ruefully at her dusty shoes and
mussed shirt-waist. '' I can't go to see Ethel
in these," she decided, '' but if I hurry home
now I can dress and go right up there after
dinner, before she gets off anywhere." The
putting must wait. With one regretful glance
out over the green, breezy course Betty started
resolutely off toward the dusty highway and
the noisy trolleys.
AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION
'' I WISH I could do it, Betty, but I'm sure
it wouldn't be the least use for me to try. I
thought I had a little hold on her for a while,
but I'm afraid I was too sure of her. She
avoids me now — goes around corners and into
recitation rooms when she sees me coming.
You see — I wonder if she told you about our
trip to New York?"
Betty nodded, wishing she dared explain
the full extent of her information.
^' I thought so from your coming up here
to-night. Well, as you've just said, she's
very reserved, strangely so for a young girl ;
when she lets out anything about herself she
wishes that she hadn't the next minute."
'' Yes, I've noticed that," admitted Betty
'' And so, having once let me get a glimpse
of her better self, and then having decided as
usual that she wished she hadn't, she needed
300 BETTJ^ WALES
a proof from me that I was worthy of her
confidence. But I didn't give it ; I was busy
and let the matter drop, and now I am the
last person who could go to her. I'm very
'* Oh, dear ! " said Betty forlornly.
''But isn't it so? Don't you agree with
'' I'm afraid I do."
*' Then go back and speak to her yourself,
dear. She's very fond of you, and I'm sure a lit-
tle friendly hint from you is all that she
" No, I can't speak to her either, Ethel.
You wouldn't suggest it if you knew how
things are between us. But I see that you
can't. Thank you just as much. No, I
mustn't stop to-night."
Betty walked down the elm-shaded street
lost in thought. Eleanor had declaimed
upon the foolishness of coming back on time
after vacations through most of the dinner
hour, and Betty understood as she had not
that afternoon what Dorothy meant. But
now her one hope had failed her ; Ethel had
shown good cause why she should not act as
BETTr WALES 301
Eleanor's adviser and Betty had no idea what
to do next.
'' Hello, Betty Wales ! Christy and I thought
we saw you up at the golf club this after-
noon." Nita Reese's room overlooked the
street and she was hanging out her front
'' I was up there," said Betty soberly, "■ but
I had to come right back. I didn't play at
'^ Then I should say it was a waste of good
time to go up," declared Nita amiably.
^' You'd better be on hand to-morrow. The
juniors are going to be awfully hard to beat."
"■ I'll try," said Betty unsmilingly, and Nita
withdrew her head from the window, wonder-
ing what could be the matter with her usually
At the corner of Meriden Place Betty hes-
itated. Then, noticing that Mrs. Chapin's
piazza was full of girls, she crossed Main
Street and turned into the campus, following
the winding path that led away from the
dwelling-houses through the apple orchard.
There were seats along this path. Betty
chose one on the crest of the hill, screened
302 BETTT WALES
in by a clump of bushes and looking off to-
ward Paradise and the hills beyond. There
she sat down in the warm spring dusk to con-
sider possibilities. And 3^et what was the use
of bothering her head again when she had
thought it all over in the afternoon ? Argu-
ments that she might have made to Ethel oc-
curred to her now that it was too late to use
them, but nothing else. She would go back
to Dorothy, explain why she could not speak
to Eleanor herself, and beg her to take back
the responsibility which she had unwittingly
shifted to the wrong shoulders. She would
go straight off too. She had found an invita-
tion to a spread at the Belden house scrawled
on her blotting pad at dinner time, and she
might as well be over there enjoying herself
as here worrying about things she could not
As she got up from her seat she glanced at
the hill that sloped off below her. It was the
dust-pan coasting ground. How different it
looked now in its spring greenery ! Betty
smiled at the memory of her mishap. How
nice Eleanor had been to her then. And Miss
Ferris ! If only Miss Ferris would speak to
BETTT WALES 303
Eleanor. "' Why, perhaps she will," thought
Betty, suddenly remembering Miss Ferris's
note. '^ I could ask her to, anyway. But —
she's a faculty. Well, Ethel is too, though I
never thought of it." And Dorothy had
wanted Betty's help in keeping the matter
out of the hands of the authorities. ** But
this is different," Betty decided at last. '' I'm
asking them not as officials, but just as aw-
fully nice people, who know what to say bet-
ter than we girls do. Miss King would think
that was all right."
Without giving herself time to reconsider,
Betty sped toward the Hilton house. All
sorts of direful suppositions occurred to her
while she waited for a maid to answer her
ring. What if Miss Ferris had forgotten
about writing the note, or had meant it for
what Nan called '^ a polite nothing " ? Perhaps
it would be childish to speak of it anyway.
Perhaps Miss Ferris would have other callers.
If not, how should she tell her story ?
'' I ought to have taken time to think," re-
flected Betty, as she followed the maid down
the hall to Miss Ferris's rooms.
Miss Ferris was alone ; nevertheless Betty
304 BETTT WALES
fidgeted dreadfully during the preliminary
small-talk. Somebody would be sure to
come in before she could get started, and she
should never, never dare to come again. At
the first suggestion of a pause she plunged
into her business.
'' Miss Ferris, I want to ask you something,
but I hated to do it, so I came right along as
soon as I decided that I'd better, and now I
don't know how to begin."
" Just begin," advised Miss Ferris, laughing.
'' That is what they say to you in theme
classes," said Betty, '' but it never helped me
so very much, somehow. Well, I might begin
by telling you why I thought I could come to
'^ Unless you really want to tell that you
might skip it," said Miss Ferris, '' because I
don't need to be reminded that I shall always
be glad to do anything I can for my good
friend Betty Wales."
'' Oh, thank you ! That helps a lot," said
Betty gratefully, and went on with her
Miss Ferris listened attentively. '' Miss
Watson is the girl with the wonderful gray
BETTT IVALES 305
eyes and the lovely dark hair. I remember.
She comes down here a great deal to see Miss
Cramer, I think. It's a pity, isn't it, that she
hasn't great good sense to match her beauty ?
So you want me to speak to her about her
very foolish attitude toward our college life.
Suppose I shouldn't succeed in changing her
'' Oh, you would succeed," said Betty
eagerly. '' Mary Brooks says you can argue a
person into anything."
Miss Ferris laughed again. '' I'm glad
Miss Brooks approves of my argumentative
ability, but are you sure that Miss Watson is
the sort of person with whom argument is
likely to count for anything ? Did you ever
know her to change her mind on a subject of
this sort, because her friends disapproved of
Betty hesitated. '' Yes — yes, I have. Ex-
cuse me for not going into particulars, Miss
Ferris, but there was a thing she did when
she came here that she never does now, be-
cause she found how others felt about it. In-
deed, I think there are several things."
Miss Ferris nodded silently. '' Then why
3o6 BETTT WALES
not appeal to the same people who influenced
her before? ''
It was the question that Betty had been
dreading, but she met it unflinchingly. '' One
of them thinks she has lost her influence, Miss
Ferris, and another one who helped a little bit
before, can't, because — I'm that one, Miss
Ferris. I unintentionally did something last
term that made Eleanor angry with me. It
made her more dissatisfied and unhappy here
too ; so when I heard about this I felt as if I
was a little to blame for it, and then I wanted
to make up for the other time too. But of
course it is a good deal to ask of you." Betty
slid forward on to the edge of her chair ready to
accept a hasty dismissal.
Miss Ferris waited a moment. '' I shall be
very glad to do it," she said at last. '' I
wanted to be sure that I understood the situa-
tion and that I could run a chance of helping
Miss Watson. I think I can, but you must
forgive me if I make a bad matter worse. I'll
ask her to have tea w^ith me to-morrow. May
I send a note by you ? "
'' Of course you won't tell her that I spoke
to you?" asked Betty anxiously, when Miss
BETTT WALES 307
Ferris handed her the note. Miss Ferris prom-
ised and Betty danced out into the night.
Half-way home she laughed merrily all to her-
'' What's the joke ? " said a girl suddenly ap-
pearing around the corner of the Main Build-
" It was on me," laughed Betty, '' so you
can't expect me to tell you what it was."
It had just occurred to her that, as there was
no possibility of Eleanor's finding out her part
in Miss Ferris's intervention, a reconciliation
was as far away as ever. '' She wouldn't like
it if she should find out," thought Betty, '' and
perhaps it was just another tactless interfer-
ence. Well, I'm glad I didn't think of all
these things sooner, for I believe it was the
right thing to do, and it was a lot easier doing
it while I hoped it might bring us together, as
Nan said. I wonder what kind of things Nan
She dropped the note on the hall table and
slipped softly up-stairs. As she sat down at
her desk she looked at the clock and hesitated.
It was not so late as she had thought, only
quarter of nine. There was still time to go
3o8 BETTT WALES
back to the Belden. But after a moment's
wavering Betty began getting out of her dress
and into a kimono. Since the day of the
basket-ball game she had honestly tried not to
let the little things interfere with the big, nor
the mere '' interruptions " that were fun and
very little more loom too large in her scale of
living. '' Livy to-night and golf to-morrow,"
she told the green lizard, as she sat down again
and went resolutely to work.
When Eleanor came in to dinner the next
evening Betty could hardly conceal her excite-
ment. Would she say anything ? If she said
nothing what would it mean ? The interview
had apparently not been a stormy one. Elea-
nor looked tired, but not in the least disturbed
or defiant. She ate her dinner almost in
silence, answ^ering questions politely but briefly
and making none of her usual effort to con-
trol and direct the conversation. But just as
the girls were ready to leave the table she
broke her silence. '' Wait a minute," she said.
'' I want to ask you please to forget all the
foolish things I said last night at dinner. I've
said them a good many times, and I can't con-
tradict them to every one, but I can here —
BETTT WALES 309
and I want to. I've thought more about it
since yesterday, and I see that I hadn't at all
the right idea of the situation. The students
at a college are supposed to be old enough to
do the right thing about vacations without the
attaching of any childish penalty to the wrong
thing. But we all of us get careless ; then a
public sentiment must be created against the
wrong things, like cutting over. That was
what the registrar was trying to do. Anybody
who stays over as I did makes it less possible
to do without rules and regulations and penal-
ties — in other words hurts the tone of the col-
lege, just as a man who likes to live in a town
where there are churches but never goes to
them himself, unfairly throws the responsibil-
ity of church-going on to the rest of the com-
munity. I hadn't thought of it in that way ;
I didn't mean to be a shirk, but I was one."
A profound silence greeted Eleanor's argu-
ment. Mary Rich, who had been loud in her
championship of Eleanor's sentiments the
night before, looked angry at this sudden de-
sertion ; and Mary Brooks tried rather unsuc-
cessfully not to smile. The rest were merely
astonished at so sudden a change of mind.
3IO BETTT WALES
Finally Betty gave a little nervous cough and
in sheer desperation began to talk. '' That's a
good enough argument to change any one's
mind," she said. '' Isn't it queer how many
different views of a subject there are ? "
'' Of some subjects," said Eleanor pointedly.
It was exactly what Betty should have ex-
pected, but she couldn't help being a little dis-
appointed. Eleanor had just shown herself so
fine and downright, so willing to make all the
reparation in her power for a course whose in-
consistency had been proved to her. It was
very disheartening to find that she cherished
the old, reasonless grudge as warmly as ever.
But if Betty had accomplished nothing for
herself, she had done all that she hoped for
Eleanor, and she tried to feel perfectly satis-
'' I think too much about myself, anyway,"
she told the green lizard, who was the recip-
ient of many confidences about this time.
The rest of the month sped by like the
wind. As Betty thought it over afterward,
it seemed to have been mostly golf practice
and bird club. Roberta organized the bird
club. Its object, according to her, was to as-
BETTT WALES 311
sist Mary Brooks with her zoology by finding
bird haunts and conveying Mary to them ; its
ultimate development almost wrought Mary's
ruin. Mary had elected a certain one year
course in zoology on the supposition that one
year, general courses are usually '' snaps," and
the further theory that every well conducted
student will have one '' snap " on her sched-
ule. These propositions worked well together
until the spring term, when zoology la re-
solved itself into a bird-study class. Mary,
who was near-sighted, detested bird-study,
and hardly knew a crow from a kinglet,
found life a burden, until Roberta, who loved
birds and was only too glad to get a compan-
ion on her walks in search of them, organized
what she picturesquely named '' the Mary-
bird club." Rachel and Adelaide immedi-
ately applied for admission, and about the
time that Mary appropriated the forget-me-
nots that Katherine had gathered for Marion
Lawrence and wore them to a dance on the
plea that they exactly matched her evening
dress, and also decoyed Betty into betraying
her connection with the freshman grind-book,
Katherine and Betty joined. They seldom
312 BETTT WALES
accompanied the club on its official walks,
preferring to stroll off hy themselves and
come back with descriptions of the birds
the}^ had seen for Mary and Roberta to iden-
tify. Occasionally they met a friendly bird
student who helped them with their identifi-
cations on the spot, and then, when Roberta
was busy, they would take Mary out in search
of '' their birds," as they called them. Oddly
enough they always found these rare species
a second time, though Mary, because of her
near-sightedness, had to be content with a
casual glance at them.
'^ But what you've seen, 3^ou've seen," she
said. ''I've got to see fifty birds before June
1st ; that doesn't necessarily mean see them
so you'll know them again. Now I shouldn't
know the nestle or the shelcuff, but I can put
them down, can't I ? "
'' Of course," assented Katherine, '' a few
rare birds like those will make your list look
The pink-headed euthuma, which came to
light on the very last day of May, interested
Mary so much that she told Roberta about it
immediately and Roberta questioned the dis-
BETTT WALES 313
coverers. Their accounts were perfectly con-
'* Way out on Paradise path, almost to the
end, we met a man dashing around as if he
were crazy," explained Betty. *' We should
have thought he was an escaped lunatic if we
hadn't seen others like him."
"• Yes," continued Katherine. " But he
acted too much like you to take us in. So
we said we were interested in birds too, and
he danced around some more and said we
had come upon a rare specimen. Then
he pointed to the top of an enormous pine-
'' Those rare birds are always in the very
tops of trees," put in Mary eagerly.
'' Of course ; that's one reason they're rare,"
went on Betty. "" But that minute it flew
into the top of a poplar, and we three pur-
sued it. It was a beauty."
^' And then you came back after me, and it
was still there. Tell her how it was marked,"
suggested Mary. ^' Perhaps she knows it un-
der some other name."
''It had a pink head, of course," said Kath-
erine, " and blue wings."
314 BETTr WALES
" Goodness ! " exclaimed Roberta suspi-
'' Don't you mean black wings, Kather-
ine ? '' asked Betty hastily.
" Did I say blue ? I meant black of course.
Mary thought they looked blue and that con-
fused me. And its breast was white with
brown marks on it."
'' What size was it? " asked Roberta.
Katherine looked doubtful. ^' What should
you say, Mary?"
'' Well, it was quite small — about the size
of a sparrow or a robin, I thought."
'' They're quite different sizes," said Roberta
wearily. '' Your old man must have been
color-blind. It couldn't have had a pink
head. Who ever heard of a pink-headed
'' We three are not color-blind," Katherine
reminded her. '' And then there's the name."
Roberta sighed deeply. The new members
of the Mary-bird club were very unmanage-
Meanwhile Mary was industriously count-
ing the names on her list, which must be
handed in the next day, '' I think I'd better
BETTT WALES 315
put the euthuma down, Roberta," she said
finally. ''We saw it all right. They won't
look the list over very carefully, but they will
notice how many birds are on it, and even
with the pink-headed euthuma I haven't but
forty-five. I rather wish now that I'd bought
a text-book, but I thought it was a waste of
money when you knew all about the birds, and
it would certainly be a waste of money now."
''Oh, yes," said Roberta. "If only the
library hadn't wanted its copy back quite so
soon ! "
" It was disagreeable of them, wasn't it? "
said Mary cheerfully, copying away on her
list. " You were going to look up the nestle
too. Girls, did we hear the nestle sing? "
" It whistled like a blue jay," said Kath-
"It couldn't," protested Roberta. "You
said it was only six inches long."
" On the plan of a blue jay's call, but
smaller, Roberta," explained Betty pacifically.
" Well, it's funny that you can never find
any of these birds when I'm with you," said
Katherine looked scornful. " We were
3i6 BETTT WALES
mighty lucky to see them even twice, I think,"
Next day Mary came home from zoology
la, which to add to its other unpleasant fea-
tures met in the afternoon, w^earing the air
of a martyr to circumstance. Roberta, Kath-
erine and Betty happened to be sitting on the
piazza translating Livy together. "■ Girls," she
demanded, as she came up the steps, " if I
get you the box of Huyler's that Mr. Bur-
gess sent me will you tell me the truth about
those birds? "
'' She had the lists read in class ! " shouted
'' I knew it ! " said Roberta in tragic
''Did you tell her about the shelcufF's
neck ? " inquired Betty.
Mary sat down on the piazza railing with
her feet cushioned on a lexicon. '' I told her
all about the shelcuff," she said, *' likewise the
euthuma and the nestle. What is more, the
head of the zoology department was visiting
the class, so I also told him, and w^hen I
stayed to explain he stayed too, and — oh, you
little wretches I "
BETTT WALES 317
" Not at all," said Katherine. '' We waited
until you'd made a reputation for cleverness
and been taken into a society. I think we
were considerateness itself."
Roberta was gazing sadly at Mary. '' Why
did you try all those queer ones? " she asked.
'' You knew I wasn't sure of them."
" I had to, my dear. She asked us for the
rare names on our lists. I was the third one
she came to, and the others had floundered
around and told about birds I'd never heard
of. I didn't really know which of mine
were rare, because I'd never seen any of them
but once, you know, and I was afraid I should
strike something that was a good deal com-
moner than a robin, and then it would be all
up with me. So I boldly read off these three,
because I was sure they were rare. You
should have seen her face when I got to the
pink-headed one," said Mary, beginning sud-
denly to appreciate the humor of the situa-
tion. '^ Did you invent them? "
'' Only the names," said Betty, '' and the
stories about finding them. I thought of
nestle, and Katherine made up the others.
Aren't they lovely names, Roberta? "
3i8 BETTT WALES
''Yes," said Roberta, '' but think of the fix
Mary is in."
Mary smiled serenely. '' Don't worry, Ro-
berta," she said. '' The names were so lovely
and the shelcufF's neck and the note of the
nestle and all, and I am honestly so near-
sighted, that I don't think Miss Carter will
have the heart to condition me. But girls,
where did you get the descriptions? Professor
Lawrence particularly wanted to know."
Betty looked at Katherine and the two
burst into peals of laughter. '' Mary Brooks,
you invented most of those yourself," ex-
plained Katherine, when she could speak.
'' We just showed you the first bird we hap-
pened to see and told you its new name and
you'd say, ^ Why it has a green crest and yel-
low wings ! ' or ' How funny its neck is ! It
must have a pouch.' All we had to do was
to encourage you a little."
" And suppress you a little when you put
colors like pink and blue into the same bird,"
continued Betty, '' so Roberta wouldn't get
'' Then those birds were just common, or-
dinary ones that I'd seen before ? "
BETTT WALES 319
" Exactly. The nestle was a blue jay, and
the euthuma was a sparrow. We couldn't see
what the shelcuff was ourselves, the tree was
The primrose by a river's brim
A yellow primrose was to him,
And it was nothing more,' "
quoted Mary blithely. "■ You can never put
that on my tombstone."
** Better tell your friend Dr. Hinsdale about
your vivid ornithological imagination," sug-
gested Katherine. '^ It might interest him."
'' Oh, I shall," said Mary easily. '' But to-
night, young ladies, you will be pleased to
learn that I am invited up to Professor Law-
rence's to dinner, so that I can see his bird
skins. Incidentally I shall meet his fascinat-
ing brother. In about ten minutes I shall
want to be hooked up, Roberta."
''She's one too many for us, isn't she?"
said Katherine, as Mary went gaily off, fol-
lowed by the devoted Roberta, declaring in
loud tones that the Mary-bird club was dis-
'' I wish things that go wrong didn't bother
320 BETTT WALES
me any more than they do her," said Betty
'' Cheer up," urged Katherine, giving her a
bearish hug. '' You'll win in the golf again
to-morrow, and everything will come out all
right in the end."
''Everything? What do you mean?" in-
quired Betty sharply.
'' Why, singles and doubles — twosomes and
foursomes you call them, don't you ? They'll
all come out right."
A moment later Katherine burst in upon
her long-suffering roommate with a vehe-
mence that made every cup on the tea-table
rattle. '' I almost let her know what w^e
thought," she said, '' but I guess I smoothed it
over. Do you suppose Eleanor Watson isn't
going to make up with her at all? "
INTO PARADISE AND OUT
It was a glorious summer twilight. The
air was sweet with the odor of lilacs and
honeysuckle. One by one the stars shone
softly out in the velvet sky, across which
troops of swallows swooped and darted, twit-
tering softly on the wing. Near the western
horizon the golden glow of sunset still lin-
gered. It was a night for poets to sing of, a
night to revel in and to remember ; but it was
assuredly not a night for study. Gaslight
heated one's room to the boiling point. Closed
windows meant suffocation ; open ones —
since there are no screens in the Harding
boarding house — let in troops of fluttering
moths and burly June-bugs.
'' And the moral of that is, work while it is
yet light," proclaimed Mary Brooks, ringing
her bicycle bell suggestively.
There was a sudden commotion on the
piazza and then Betty's clear voice rose above
322 BETTr WALES
the tumult. '' We won it, one up ! Isn't that
fine ? Oh no, not the singles ; we go on with
them to-morrow, but I can't possibly win.
Oh, I'm so hot ! "
Eleanor Watson smiled grimly as these
speeches floated up to her from below. She
had been lounging all the breathless after-
noon, trying vainly to get rid of a headache ;
and the next day's lessons were still to be
'' Ouch, how I hate June-bugs," she mut-
tered, stopping for the fifth time in as many
minutes to drive out a buzzing intruder. She
had just gotten one out when another flew
straight at her unperceived and tangled him-
self in her hair. That was the limit of endur-
ance. With one swift movement Eleanor
turned ofl* the gas, with another she pulled
down her hair and released the prisoned
beetle. Then she twisted up the soft coil
again in the dark and went out into the sweet
At the next corner she gave an angry little
exclamation and turned back toward the
house. The girls had deserted the piazza be-
fore she came down, and now the only light
BETTT WALES 323
seemed to be in Betty's room. Every window
there was shut, so it was no use to call.
Eleanor climbed the stairs and knocked.
Katherine and Betty were just starting for a
trolley ride, to cool oiF the champion, Kath-
erine explained ; but Helen was going to be
in all the evening.
'' I pity you from the bottom of my heart,"
said Eleanor, '^ but if you are really going to
be here would you tell Lil Day when she
comes that I have an awful headache and
have gone off — that I'll see her to-morrow. I
could go down there, but if she's in, her room
will be fuller of June-bugs than mine. Hear
them slam against that glass ! " She turned to
Betty stiffly. '' I congratulate you on your
victory," she said.
'' Oh thank you ! " answered Betty eagerly.
*' Christy did most of it. Would — won't you
come out with us ? "
^' No, thank you. I feel like being all alone.
I'm going down for a twilight row on Para-
'' You'll get malaria," said Katherine.
"' You'll catch cold, too, in that thin dress,"
324 BETTT WALES
" I don't mind, if only I don't see any June-
bugs," answered Eleanor, *' or any girls," she
added under her breath, when she had gained
the lower hall.
The quickest way to Paradise was through
the campus, but Eleanor chose an un-
frequented back street, too ugly to attract the
parties of girls who swarmed over the col-
lege grounds, looking like huge white moths
as they flitted about under the trees. She
walked rapidly, trying to escape thought in
activity ; but the thoughts ill-naturedly kept
pace with her. As everybody who came in
contact with Eleanor Watson was sure to re-
mark, she was a girl brimful of strong possi-
bilities both for good and evil ; and to-night
these were all awake and warring. Her year
of bondage at college was nearly over. Only
the day before she had received a letter from
Judge Watson, coldly courteous, like all his
epistles to his rebellious daughter, inquiring if
it was her wish to return to Harding another
year, and in the same mail had come an invi-
tation from her aunt, asking her to spend the
following winter in New York. Eleanor
shrewdly guessed that in spite of her father's
BETTT WALES 325
disapproval of his sister's careless frivolity, he
would allow her to accept this invitation, for
the obvious relief it would bring to himself
and the second Mrs. Watson. He was fond of
her, that she did not for a moment question,
and he honestly wished her best good ; but he
did not want her in his house in her present
'' For which I don't in the least blame
him," thought Eleanor.
She had started to answer his letter im-
mediately, as he had wished, and then had
hesitated and delayed, so that the decision in-
volved in her reply was still before her. And
yet why should she hesitate? She did not
like Harding college ; she had kept the letter
of her agreement to stay there for one year ;
surely she was free now to do as she pleased —
indeed, her father had said as much. But
what did she please — that was a point that, un-
accountably, she could not settle. Lately
something had changed her attitude toward
the life at Harding. Perhaps it was the after-
noon with Miss Ferris, with the perception it
had brought of aims and ideals as foreign to the
ambitious schemes with which she had begun
326 BETTT WALES
the year as to the angry indifference in which
she was finishing it. Perhaps, as poor Helen
had suggested, it w^as the melting loveliness
of spring term. At any rate, as she heard the
girls making their plans for the next year,
squabbling amiably over the merits of the
various campus houses, choosing roommates,
bargaining for furniture, even securing part-
ners for the commencement festivities still
three years off, an unexplainable longing to
stay on and finish the four years' drama with
the rest had seized upon Eleanor. But each
time it came she had stifled it, reminding her-
self sternly that for her the four years held
no pleasant possibilities ; she had thrown
away her chance — had neglected her work,
alienated her friends, disappointed every one,
and most of all herself There was nothing
left for her now but to go away beaten — not
outwardly, for she still flattered herself that
she had proved both to students and faculty
her ability to make a very brilliant record at
Harding had she been so inclined, and even
her superiority to the drudgery of the routine
work and the childish recreations. But in
her heart of hearts Eleanor knew that this
BETTT WALES 327
very disinclination to make the most of her
opportunities, this fancied superiority to re-
quirements that jarred on her undisciplined,
haphazard training, was failure far more ab-
solute and inexcusable than if dulness or any
other sort of real inability to meet the require-
ments of the college life had been at the
bottom of it. Her father would know it too,
if the matter ever came to his notice ; and her
brother Jim, who was making such a splendid
record at Cornell — he would know that, as
Betty Wales had said once, quoting her sister's
friend, '' Every nice girl likes college, though
each has a different reason." Well, Jim had
thought for two years that she was a failure.
Eleanor gulped hard to keep back the tears ;
she had meant to be everything to Jim, and
she was only an annoyance.
It was almost dark by the time she reached
the landing. A noisy crowd of girls, who had
evidently been out with their supper, were
just coming in. They exclaimed in astonish-
ment when her canoe shot out from the boat-
'' It's awfully hard to see your way," called
one officious damsel.
328 BETTT WALES
^' I can see in the dark like an owl/' sang
back Eleanor, her good-humor restored the
instant her paddle touched water, — for boating
was her one passion.
Ah, but it was lovely on the river ! She
glided around the point of an island and was
alone at last, with the stars, the soft, grape-
scented breezes, and the dark water. She
pulled up the stream with long, swift strokes,
and then, where the trees hung low over the
still water, she dropped the paddle, and slip-
ping into the bottom of the canoe, leaned
back against a cushioned seat and drank in
the beauty of the darkness and solitude. She
had never been out on Paradise River at night.
'' And I shall never come again except at
night,'' she resolved, breathing deep of the
damp, soft air. Malaria — who cared for that ?
And when she was cold she could paddle a
little and be warm again in a moment.
Suddenly she heard voices and saw two
shapes moving slowly along the path on the
'' Oh, do hurry, Margaret," said one. '' I
told her I'd be there by eight. Besides, it's
awfully dark and creepy here."
BETTT tVALES 329
"■ I tell you I can't hurry, Lil," returned
the other. '' I turned my ankle terribly back
there, and I must sit down and rest, creeps or
'' Oh, very well," agreed the other voice
grudgingly, and the shapes sank down on a
knoll close to the water's edge.
Eleanor had recognized them instantly ;
they were her sophomore friend, Lilian Day,
and Margaret Payson, a junior whom Eleanor
greatly admired. Her first impulse was to
call out and offer to take the girls back in her
canoe. Then she remembered that the little
craft would hold only two with safety, that
the girls would perhaps be startled if she spoke
to them, and also that she had come down to
Paradise largely to escape Lil's importunate
demands that she spend a month of her va-
cation at the Day camp in the Adirondacks.
So, certain that they would never notice her
in the darkness and the thick shadows, she
lay still in the bottom of her boat and waited
for them to go on.
'' It's a pity about her, isn't it? " said Miss
Payson, after she had rubbed her ankle for a
while in silence.
330 BETTT WALES
" About whom ? " inquired Lilian crossly.
'' Why, Eleanor Watson ; you just spoke of
having an engagement with her. She seems
to have been a general failure here."
Eleanor started at the sound of her own
name, then lay tense and rigid, w^aiting
for Lilian's answer. She knew it was not
honorable to listen, and she certainly did not
care to do so ; but if she cried out now, after
having kept silent so long, Lilian, who was
absurdly nervous in the dark, might be seri-
ously frightened. Perhaps she would disa-
gree and change the subject. But no
'' Yes, a complete failure," repeated Lilian
distinctly. '' Isn't it queer ? She's really
very clever, you know, and awfully amusing,
besides being so amazingly beautiful. But
there is a little footless streak of contrariness
in her — we noticed it at boarding-school, —
and it seems to have completely spoiled her."
'* It is queer, if she is all that you say.
Perhaps next year she'll be "
" Oh, she isn't coming back next year,"
broke in Lilian. " She hates it here, you
know, and she sees that she's made a mess of
it, too, though she wouldn't admit it in a tor-
BETTT WALES 331
ture chamber. She thinks she has shown that
college is beneath her talents, I suppose."
'' Little goose ! Is she so talented ? "
'' Yes, indeed. She sings beautifully and
plays the guitar rather well — she'd surely have
made one of the musical clubs next year — and
she can act, and write clever little stories.
Oh, she'd have walked into everything going
all right, if she hadn't been such a goose —
muddled her work and been generally offish
'' Too bad," said Miss Payson, rising with a
groan. '' Who do you think are the bright
and shining stars among the freshmen, Lil? "
^' Why Marion Lustig for literary ability, of
course, and Emily Davis for stunts and Christy
Mason for general all-around fineness, and
socially — oh, let me think — the B's, I should
say, and — I forget her name — the little girl
that Dottie King is so fond of. Here, take
my arm, Margaret. You've got to get home
some way, you know."
Their voices trailed off into murmurs that
grew fainter and fainter until the silence of
the river and the wood was again unbroken.
Eleanor sat up stiffly and stretched her arms
332 BETTT JVALES
above her head in sheer physical relief after
the strain of utter stillness. Then, with a lit-
tle sobbing cry, she leaned forward, bowing
her head in her hands. Paradise — had they
named it so because one ate there of the fruit
of the tree of knowledge ?
^' A little footless streak ! "
"■ An utter failure ! "
What did it matter ? She had known it all
before. She had said those very words her-
self But she had thought — she had been
sure that other people did not understand it
that way. Well, perhaps most people did
not. No, that was nonsense. Lilian Day
had achieved a position of prominence in her
class purely through a remarkable alertness
to public sentiment. Margaret Payson, a girl
of a very different and much finer type, stood
for the best of that sentiment. Eleanor had
often admired her for her clear-sightedness
and good judgment. They had said unhesi-
tatingly that she was a failure ; then the col-
lege thought so. Well, it was Jean Eastman's
fault then, and Caroline's, and Betty Wales's.
Nonsense ! it was her own. Should she go off
in June and leave her name spelling failure
BETTT WALES 333
behind her ? Or should she come back and
somehow change the failure to success ? Could
She had no idea how long she sat there,
turning the matter over in her mind, viewing
it this way and that, considering what she
could do if she came back, veering between a
desire to go away and forget it all in the gay
bustle of a New York winter, and the fierce
revolt of the famous Watson pride, that found
any amount of effort preferable to open and
acknowledged defeat. But it must have been
a long time, for when she pulled herself on to
her seat and caught up the paddle, she was
shivering with cold and her thin dress
was dripping wet with the mist that lay
thick over the river. Slowly she felt her way
down-stream, pushing through the bank of
fog, often running in shore in spite of her
caution, and fearful every moment of striking
a hidden rock or snag. Soft rustlings in the
wood, strange plashings in the stream startled
her. Lower down was the bewildering net-
work of islands. Surely there were never so
many before. Was the boat-house straight
across from the last island, or a little down-
334 BErrr wales
stream ? Which was straight across ? And
where was the last island ? She had missed it
somehow in the mist. She was below it, out
in the w^ide mill-pond. Somewhere on the
other side was the boat-house, and further
down was a dam. Down-stream must be
straight to the left. All at once the roar of
the descending water sounded in Eleanor's
ears, and to her horror it did not come from
the left. But when she tried to tell from
which direction it did come, she could not de-
cide ; it seemed to reverberate from all sides
at once ; it was perilously near and it grew
louder and more terrible every moment.
Suddenly a fierce, unreasoning fear took
possession of Eleanor. She told herself sternly
that there was no danger ; the current in Par-
adise River was not so strong but that a good
paddler could stem it with ease. In a mo-
ment the mist would lift and she could see
the outline of one shore or the other. But
the mist did not lift ; instead it grew denser
and more stifling, and although she turned
her canoe this way and that and paddled
with all her strength, the roar from the dam
grew steadily to an ominous thunder. Then
BETTT STALES 335
she remembered a gruesome legend that hung
about the dam and the foaming pool in the
shadow of the old mill far below, and dropped
her paddle in an agony of fear. She might
hurry herself over the dam in striving to es-
cape it I
And still the deafening torrent pounded
in her ears. If only she could get away from
it — somewhere — anywhere just to be quiet.
Would it be quiet in the pool by the mill ?
Eleanor slipped unsteadily into the bottom of
her boat and tried to peer through the dark-
ness at the black water, and to feel about with
her hands for the current. As she did so, a
bell rang up on the campus. It must be
twenty minutes to ten. Eleanor gave a harsh,
mirthless laugh. How stupid she had been !
She would call, of course. If she could hear
their bell, they could hear her voice and come
for her. There would be an awkward moment
of explanation, but what of that ?
''Hallo! Hallo— 0-0!" she called. Only
the boom of the water answered.
'' Hallo 1 Hallo— 0-0 ! "
Again the boom of the water swallowed
her cry and drowned it.
336 BETTT WALES
It was no use to call, — only a waste of
Eleanor caught up her paddle and began
to back water with all her might. That was
what she should have done from the first, of
course. She was cold all at once and very
tired, but she would not give up yet.
She had quite forgotten that only a little
while before it had not seemed to matter
much what became of her. "■ But if I can't
keep at it all night " she said to the mist
and the river.
A LAST CHANCE
Helen's choice of closed windows in pref-
erence to invading companies of moths and
June-bugs had made the room so insufferably
warm that between heat and excitement Betty
could not get to sleep. Instead she tossed
restlessly about on her narrow couch, listen-
ing to the banging of the trolleys at the next
corner and wishing she were still sitting on
the breezy front seat, as the car dashed down
the long hill toward the station. At length
she slipped softly out of bed and opened the
door. Perhaps the breeze would come in bet-
ter then. As she stood for a moment testing
the result of her experiment, she noticed with
surprise that Eleanor's door was likewise
open. This simple fact astonished her, be-
cause she remembered that on the hottest
nights last fall Eleanor had persisted in shut-
ting and locking her door. She had acquired
the habit from living so much in hotels, she
338 BETTT IVALES
said ; she could never go to sleep at all so
long as her door was unfastened. '' Perhaps
it's all right," thought Betty, ^' but it looks
queer. I believe I'll just see if she's in bed."
So she crept softly across the hall and looked
into Eleanor's room. It was empty, and the
couch was in its daytime dress, covered with
an oriental spread and piled high with pil-
lows. '' I suppose she stopped on the campus
and got belated," was Betty's first idea. '' But
no, she couldn't stay down there all night,
and it's long after ten. It must be half past
eleven. I'll — I'd better consult — Katherine."
She chose Katherine instead of Rachel, be-
cause she had heard Eleanor speak about go-
ing to Paradise, and so could best help to de-
cide whether it was reasonable to suppose
that she was still there. Rachel was steadier
and more dependable, but Katherine was re-
sourceful and quick-witted. Besides, she was
not a bit afraid of the dark.
She was sound asleep, but Betty managed
to wake her and get her into the hall without
disturbing any one else.
'' Goodness ! " exclaimed Katherine, when
she heard the news. " You don't think '*
BETTT WALES 339
'^ I think she's lost in Paradise. It must
have been pitch dark down there under the
trees even before she got started, and you
know she hasn't any sense of direction.
Don't you remember her laughing about get-
ting turned around every time she went to
New York ? "
'' Yes, but it doesn't seem possible to get
lost on that little pond."
*' It's bigger than it looks," said Betty,
^' and there is the mist, too, to confuse her."
'' I hadn't thought of that. Does she know
how to manage a boat? "
^' Yes, capitally," said Betty in so fright-
ened a voice that Katherine dropped the sub-
*' She's lost up stream somewhere and afraid
to move for fear of hitting a rock," she said
easily. '^ Or perhaps she's right out in the
pond by the boat-house and doesn't dare to cross
because she might go too far down toward the
dam. We can find her all right, I guess."
"■ Then you'll come? " said Betty eagerly.
'^ Why, of course. You weren't thinking
of going alone, were you ? "
" I thought maybe you'd think it was silly
340 BETTT WALES
for any one to go. I suppose she might be at
one of the campus houses."
'' She might, but I doubt it," said Kather-
ine. '' She was painfully intent on solitude
when she left here. Now don't fuss too long
Without a word Betty sped off to her room.
She was just pulling a rain-coat over a very
meagre toilet when Katherine put her head
in at the door. ^' Bring matches," she said in
a sepulchral whisper. Betty emptied the
contents of her match-box into her ulster
pocket, threw a cape over her arm for Elea-
nor, and followed Katherine cat-footed down
the stairs. In the lower hall they stopped
for a brief consultation.
''Ought we to tell Mrs. Chapin?" asked
'' Eleanor will hate us forever if we do,"
said Katherine, '' and I don't see any special
advantage in it. If we don't find her, Mrs.
Chapin can't. We might tell Rachel though,
in case we were missed."
'' Or we might leave a note where she would
find it," suggested Betty. '' Then if we
weren't missed no one need knoWo"
BETTT WALES 341
**■ All right. You can go more quietly ; I'll
wait here." Katherine sank down on the
lowest stair, while Betty flew back to scribble
a note which she laid on Rachel's pillow.
Then the relief expedition started.
It was very strange being out so late. Be-
fore ten o'clock a girl may go anywhere in
Harding, but after ten the streets are deserted
and dreadful. Betty shivered and clung close
to Katherine, who marched boldly along, de-
claring that it was much nicer outdoors than
in, and that midnight was certainly the top
of the evening for a walk.
'' And if we find her way up the river we
can all camp out for the night," she suggested
'' But if we don't find her ? "
Katherine, who had noticed Betty's grow-
ing nervousness, refused to entertain the pos-
'' We shall," she said.
'' But if we don't ? " persisted Betty.
'^ Then I suppose we shall have to tell some-
body who — who could — why, hunt for her
more thoroughly," stammered Katherine.
" Or possibly we'd better wait till morning
342 BETTT WALES
and make sure that she didn't stay all night
with Miss Day. But if we don't find her,
there will be plenty of time to discuss that."
At the campus gateway the girls hesitated.
'' Suppose we should meet the night-watch-
man ? " said Betty anxiously. '' Would he
arrest us? "
Katherine laughed at her fears. '' I was
only wondering if we hadn't better take the
path through the orchard. If we go down by
the dwelling-houses we might meet him, of
course, and it would be awkward getting rid
of him if he has an ordinary amount of curi-
'' But that path is spooky dark," objected
'' Not so dark as the street behind the cam-
pus," said Katherine decidedly, '' and that's
the only alternative'. Come on."
When they had almost reached the back
limit of the campus Katherine halted sud-
denly. Betty clutched her in terror. '' Do
you see any one ? " she whispered. Katherine
put an arm around her frightened little com-
rade. "■ Not a person," she said reassuringly,
^' not even the ghost of my grandmother. I
BETTT WALES 343
was just wondering, Betty, if you'd care to go
ahead down to the landing and call, while I
waited up by the road. Eleanor is such a
proud thing ; she'll hate dreadfully to be
caught in this fix, and I know she'd rather
have you come to find her than me or both of
us. But perhaps you'd rather not go ahead.
It is pretty dark down there."
Betty lifted her face from Katherine's shoul-
der and looked at the black darkness that was
the road and the river bank, and below it to
the pond that glistened here and there where
the starlight fell on its cloak of mist.
'' Of course," said Katherine after a mo-
ment's silence, '' we can keep together just as
well as not, as far as I am concerned. I only
thought that perhaps, since this was your
plan and you are so fond of Eleanor — oh
well, I just thought you might like to have
the fun of rescuing her," finished Katherine
'' Do you mean for me to go ahead and call,
and if Eleanor answers not to say anything to
her about your having come ? "
^' Then how would you get home ? "
344 BETTT WALES
'' Oh, walk along behind you, just out of
'' Wouldn't you be afraid ? "
'' But I should be taking the credit for
something I hadn't done."
'' And Eleanor would be the happier thereby
and none of the rest of the world would be
affected either way."
Betty looked at the pond again and then
gave Katherine a soft little hug. '^ Katherine
Kittredge, you're an old dear," she said, "■ and
if you really don't mind, I'll go ahead ; but if
she asks me how I dared to come alone or
says anything about how 1 got here, I shall
tell her that you were with me."
" All right, but I fancy she w^on't be think-
ing about that. The matches are so she can
see her way to you. It's awfully hard to fol-
low a sound across the water, but if you light
one match after another she can get to you be-
fore the supply gives out, if she's anywhere
near. Don't light any till she answers. If
she doesn't answer, I'll come down to you and
we'll walk on up the river a little way and
find her there."
BETTT WALES 345
*' Yes," said Betty. '' Where shall you
stay ? "
'' Oh, right under this tree, I guess," an-
swered Katherine carelessly.
When Betty had fairly gone, doubts began
to assail Katherine, as they have a habit of
assailing impulsive people, after it is too late
to pay heed to them. It occurred to her that
she was cooperating in what might easily turn
out to be a desperate adventure, and that it
would have been the part of wisdom to enlist
the services of more competent and better
equipped searchers at once, without risking de-
lay on the slender chance of finding Eleanor
near the wharf. '' Eleanor would have hated
the publicity, but if she wants to come up here
in the dark and frighten us all into hysteria
she must take the consequences. And I'd
have let her too, if it hadn't been for Betty."
An owl hooted, and Katherine jumped as
nervously as Betty would have done. Poor
Betty ! She must be almost at the landing
by this time. At that very moment a little
quavering voice rang out over the water.
346 BETTT WALES
''Eleanor! Eleanor Watson! Eleanor,
Oh, Eleanor, where are you ? "
For a long moment there was silence. Then
the owl hooted again. That was too much.
Katherine jumped up with a bound and
started down the bank toward Betty. She did
not stop to find the path, and at the second
step caught her foot and fell headlong. Ap-
parently Betty did not hear her. She had
not yet given up hope, for she was calling
again, pausing each time to listen for the an-
swer that did not come.
''Oh, Eleanor, Eleanor, aren't you there?"
she cried and stopped, even the courage of de-
spair gone at last. Katherine, nursing a
bruised knee on the hill above, had opened
her mouth to call encouragement, when a low
" Who is it ? " floated across the water.
"Eleanor, is that you? It's I— Betty
Wales ! " shrieked Betty.
Katherine nodded her head in silent token
of " I told you so," and slid back among the
bushes to recuperate and await developments.
For the end was not yet. Eleanor was evi-
dently far down toward the dam, close to the
opposite bank. It was hard for her to hear
BETTT WALES 347
Betty, and still harder for Betty to hear her.
Her voice sounded faint and far off, and she
seemed to be paralyzed with fear and quite in-
capable of further effort. When Betty begged
her to paddle right across and began lighting
matches in reckless profusion to show her the
way, Eleanor simply repeated, '' I can't, I
can't," in dull, dispirited monotone.
'' Shall — I — come — for — you ? " shouted
'' You can't," returned Eleanor again.
" Non — sense ! " shrieked Betty and then
stood still on the wharf, apparently weighing
Eleanor's last opinion.
'' Go ahead," called Katherine in muffled
tones from above.
Betty did not answer.
^' Thinks I'm another owl, I suppose," mut-
tered Katherine, and limped down the bank
to the wharf, frightening the nervous, over-
wrought Betty almost out of her wits at first,
and then vastly relieving her by taking the
entire direction of affairs into her own com-
'' You go right ahead. It's the only way,
and it's perfectly easy in a heavy boat. That
348 BETTT WALES
canoe might possibly go down with the cur-
rent, but a big boat wouldn't. Rachel and I
tried it last week, when the river was higher.
Now cross straight over and feel along the
bank until you get to her. Then beach the
canoe and come back the same way. Give me
some matches. I'll manage that part of it and
then retire, — unless you'd rather be the one to
'* No, I'll go," answered Betty eagerly, van-
ishing into the boat-house after a pair of oars.
'' She must be hanging on to something on
shore," went on Katherine, when Betty reap-
peared, '* and she's lost her nerve and doesn't
dare to let go. If you can't get her into your
boat, I'll come ; but somebody really ought to
stay here. I had no idea the fog was so thick.
Hurry now and cross straight over. You're
sure you're not afraid ? "
'' Quite sure." Betty was off, splashing her
oars nervously through the still water, wrapped
in the mist, whispering over and over Kath-
erine's last words, '' Hurry and go straight.
Hurry, hurry, go straight across."
When she reached the other shore she
called again to Eleanor, and the sobbing cry
BETTY WAS NOW UP TO HER KNEES IN WATER
THE r:m VOHK
BETTT IVALES 349
of relief that answered her made all the strain
and effort seem as nothing. Cautiously creep-
ing along the bank where the river was com-
paratively quiet, backing water now and then
to test her strength with the current, she
finally reached Eleanor, who had happened
quite by chance to run near the bank and now
sat in the frail canoe hanging by both hands
to a branch that swept low over the water,
exactly as Katherine had guessed.
'' Why didn't you beach the canoe, and stay
on shore?" asked Betty, who had tied her
own boat just above and was now up to her
knees in the water, pulling Eleanor in.
'' I tried to, but I lost my paddle, and so I
was afraid to let go the tree again, and the
water looked so deep. Oh, Betty, Betty ! "
Eleanor sank down on the bank, sobbing as
if her heart would break. Betty patted her
arm in silence, and in a few moments she stood
up, quieted. '' You're going to take me back ? "
*' Of course," said Betty, cheerfully, leading
the way to her boat.
" Please wait a minute," commanded
350 BETTT WALES
Betty trembled. '' She's going to say she
won't go back with me," she thought. '' Please
let me do it, Eleanor," she begged.
*' Yes," said Eleanor, quickly, '' but first I
want to say something. I've been a hateful,
horrid thing, Betty. I've believed unkind
stories and done no end of mean things, and I
deserve all that I've had to-night, except your
coming after me. I've been ashamed of my-
self for months, only I wouldn't say so. I
know you can never want me for a friend
again, after all my meanness ; but Betty, say
that you won't let it hurt you — that you'll
try to forget all about it."
Betty put a wet arm around Eleanor's neck
and kissed her cheek softly. '' You weren't
to blame," she said. '' It was all a mistake
and my horrid carelessness. Of course I want
you for a friend. I want it more than any-
thing else. And now don't say another word
about it, but just get into the boat and come
They hardly spoke during the return pas-
sage ; Eleanor was worn out with all she had
gone through, and Betty was busy rowing
and watching for Katherine's matches, which
BETTT IVALES 351
made tiny, glimmering dots of light in the
gloom. Eleanor did not seem to notice them,
nor the shadowy figure that vanished around
the boat-house just before they reached the
From her appointed station under the pine-
tree Katherine heard the grinding of the boat
on the gravel, the rattle of oars thrown
down on the wharf, and then a low murmur
of conversation that did not start up the hill
toward her, as she had expected.
'' Innocents ! " sighed Katherine. '' They're
actually stopping to talk it out down there in
the wet. I'm glad they've made it up, and
I'd do anything in reason for Betty Wales,
but I certainly am sleepy," and she yawned
so loud that a blue jay who was roosting in
the tree above her head fluttered up to a
higher branch, screaming angrily.
'' The note of the nestle," laughed Kather-
ine, and yawned again.
Down on the wharf Betty and Eleanor were
curled up close together in an indiscriminate,
happy tangle of rain-coat, golf-cape, and very
drabbled muslin, holding a conversation that
neither would ever forget. Yet it was per-
fectly commonplace ; Harding girls are not
given to the expression of their deeper emo-
tions, though it must not therefore be inferred
that they do not have any to express.
" Oh, Betty, you can't imagine how dreadful
it was out there ! " Eleanor was saying. '' And
I thought I should have to stay all night, of
course. How did you know I hadn't come
" I don't see why you bothered," said Elea-
nor. '' I'm sure I shouldn't have, for any
one as horrid as I've been. Oh, Betty, will
you truly forgive me? "
"• Don't say that. I've wanted to do some-
thing that would make you forgive me."
'' Oh, I know you have," broke in Eleanor
quickly. *' Miss Ferris told me."
*' She did I " interrupted Betty in her turn.
'' Why, she promised not to."
'^ Yes, but I asked her. It seemed to me
queer that she should have taken such an
interest in me, and all of a sudden it flashed
over me, as I sat talking to her, that you were
at the bottom of it. So I said, ' Miss Ferris,
Betty Wales asked you to say this to me,' and
BETTT JVALES 353
she said, ' Yes, but she also asked me not to
mention her having done so.' I was ashamed
enough then, for she'd made me see pretty
plainly how badly I needed looking after, but
I was bound I wouldn't give in. Oh, Betty,
haven't I been silly ! "
'' I didn't mean to hurt your feelings by
what I said at that class meeting, Eleanor,"
said Betty shyly.
'' You didn't hurt them. I was just cross
at things in general — at myself, I suppose
that means, — and angry at you because I'd
made you despise me, which certainly wasn't
'' Eleanor, what nonsense ! I despise you ? "
A rustling on the bank reminded Betty
that Katherine was waiting. '' We must go
home," she said. '' It's after midnight."
'' So it is," agreed Eleanor, getting up
stiffly. '' Oh, Betty, I am glad I'm not out
there hanging on to that branch and shiver-
ing and wondering how soon I should have
to let go and end it all. Oh, I shall never
forget the feel of that stifling mist."
They walked home almost in silence.
Katherine, missing the murmur of conversa-
354 BETTT IP'ALES
tion, wondered if this last effort at recon-
ciliation had failed after all ; but near Mrs.
Chapin's the talk began again.
*' I'm only sorry there isn't more of spring
term left to have a good time in. Why,
Eleanor, there's only two weeks."
'' But there's all next year," answered
'' I thought you weren't coming back."
'' I wasn't, but I am now. I've got to — I
can't go off letting people think that I'm only
a miserable failure. The Watson pride won't
let me, Betty."
" Oh, people don't think anything of that
kind," objected Betty consolingly.
'' I know one person who does," said Elea-
nor with decision, " and her name is Eleanor
Watson. I decided while I was out there
waiting for you that one's honest opinion of
herself is about as important as any outsider's.
Don't you think so?"
*' Perhaps," said Betty gaily. '' But the
thing that interests me is that you're coming
back next year. Why, it's just grand ! Shall
you go on the campus ? "
Betty Wales had to leave her trunk half
packed and her room in indescribable confu-
sion in order to obey a sudden summons from
the registrar. She had secured a room on the
campus at last, so the brief note said ; but the
registrar wished her to report at the office
and decide which of two possible assignments
'' It's funny," said Betty to Helen, as she
extracted her hat from behind the bookcase,
where she had stored it for safe keeping, '' be-
cause I put in my application for the Hilton
house way back last fall."
'' Perhaps she means two different rooms."
'' No, Mary says they never give you a
choice about rooms, unless you're an invalid
and can't be on the fourth floor or something
of that kind."
^' Well, it's nice that you're on," said Helen
356 BETTT JVALES
wistfully. " I don't suppose I have the least
chance for next year."
^' Oh, there's all summer," said Betty hope-
fully. '' Lots of people drop out at the last
minute. Which house did you choose? "
"■ I didn't choose any because Miss Stuart
told me I would probably have to wait till
junior year, and I thought I might change
my mind before then."
'' It's too bad," said Betty, picking her way
between trunk trays and piles of miscellaneous
debris to the door. '' I think I shall stop on
my way home and get a man to move my
furniture right over to the Hilton."
'' Oh, wouldn't it be lovely if I'd got into
the Hilton house too ! " said Helen with a
sigh of resignation. '' Then perhaps we could
"' Yes," said Betty politely, closing the door
after her. Under the circumstances it was
not necessary to explain that Alice Waite and
she had other plans for the next year.
It was a relief to stop trying to circumvent
the laws of nature by forcing two objects into
the space that one will fill — which is the car-
dinal principle of the college girl's June pack-
BETTT WALES 357
ing — and Betty strolled slowly along under
the elm-trees, in no haste to finish her errand.
On Main Street, Emily Davis, carrying an
ungainly bundle, overtook her.
'' I was afraid I wasn't going to see you to
say good-bye," she said. "' Everybody wants
skirt braids put on just now, and between
that and examinations I've been very busy."
"• Are those skirts? " asked Betty.
" Yes, two of Babbie's and one of Babe's.
I was going up to the campus, so I thought
I'd bring them along and save the girls
trouble, since they're my best patrons, as well
as being my good friends."
" It's nice to have them both."
'* Only you hate to take money for doing
things for your friends."
'' Where are you going to be this summer ? "
inquired Betty. '' You never told me where
'' I live up in northern New York, but I'm
not going home this summer. I'm going to
^' Why, so am I ! " exclaimed Betty. '' We're
going to stay at The Breakers."
'' Oh, dear ! " said Emily sadly, '' I was
358 BErrr wales
hoping that none of my particular friends
would be there. I'm going to have charge of
the linen-room at The Breakers, Betty."
''What difference does that make?" de-
manded Betty eagerly. '' You have hours off,
don't you ? We'll have the gayest sort of a
time. Can you swim ? "
'' No, I've never seen the ocean."
''Well, Will and Nan will teach you.
They're going to teach me."
Emily shook her head. " Now, Betty, you
must not expect your family to see me in the
same light that you do. Here those things
don't make any difference, but outside they
do ; and it's perfectly right that they should,
" Nonsense ! My family has some sense, I
hope," said Betty gaily, stopping at the en-
trance to the Main Building. " Then I'll see
you next week."
" Yes, but remember you are not to bother
your family with me. Good-bye."
" Good-bye. You just wait and see ! "
called Betty, climbing the steps. Half-way
up she frowned. Nan and mother would
understand, but Will was an awful snob.
BETTT WALES 359
'' He'll have to get used to it," she decided,
'' and he will, too, after he's heard her do ' the
temperance lecture by a female from Boston.'
But it will certainly seem funny to him at
first. Why, I guess it would have seemed
funny to me last year."
The registrar looked up wearily from the
litter on her desk, as Betty entered. '' Good-
afternoon, Miss Wales. I sent for you because
I was sure that, however busy you might be
you had more time than I, and I can talk to
you much quicker than I could write. As I
wrote you, I have reached your name on the
list of the campus applicants, and you can go
into the Hilton if you choose. But owing to
an unlooked-for falling out of names just
below yours, Miss Helen C. Adams comes next
to you on the list. You hadn't mentioned
the matter of roommates, and noticing that
you two girls live in the same house, I
thought I would ask you if you preferred a
room in the Belden house with Miss Adams.
There are two vacancies there, and she will
get one of them in any case."
'' Oh ! " said Betty.
^* I shall be very glad to know your deci-
36o BETTT JVALES
sion to-night if possible, so that I can make
the other assignment in the morning, before
the next applicant leaves town."
^' Yes," said Betty.
"■ You will probably wish to consult Miss
Adams," went on the registrar. " I ought to
have sent for her too — I don't know why I
was so stupid."
'' Oh, that's all right," said Betty hastily.
"■ I will come back in about an hour. Miss
Stuart. I suppose there isn't any hope that
we could both go into the Hilton."
*' No, I'm afraid not. Any time before six
o'clock will do. I shan't be here much longer,
but you can leave the message with my
assistant. And you understand of course that
it was purely on your account that I spoke to
you. I thought that under the circum-
stances " The registrar was deep in her
But as Betty was opening the door, she
looked up to say with a merry twinkle in her
keen gray eyes, '' Give my regards to your
father, Miss Wales, and tell him he underrates
his daughter's ability to take care of
BETTT WALES 361
" Oh, Miss Stuart, I hoped you didn't know
I was that girl," cried Betty blushing prettily.
Miss Stuart shook her head. '^ I couldn't
come to meet you, but I didn't forget. I've
kept an eye on you."
'' I hope you haven't seen anything very
dreadful," laughed Betty.
'' I'll let you know when I do," said Miss
Stuart. '' Good-bye."
Betty went out on to the campus, where the
shadows were beginning to grow long on the
freshly mown turf, and took her favorite path
back to the edge of the hill, where she sat
down on her favorite seat to consider this
new problem. On the slope below her a bed
of rhododendrons that had been quite hidden
under the snow in winter, and inconspicuous
through the spring, had burst into a sudden
glory of rainbow blossoms — pink and white
and purple and flaming orange.
'' Every day is different here," thought
Betty, '' and the horrid things and the lovely
ones always come together."
Helen would be pleased, of course ; as she
had hinted to the registrar, there was really
no need of consulting Helen ; the only person
362 BETTT WALES
to be considered was Betty Wales. If only
Miss Stuart had assigned her to the Hilton
house and said nothing !
From her seat Betty could look over to
Dorothy King's windows. It would have
been such fun to be in the house with Doro-
thy. Clara Madison was going to leave the
campus and go to a place where they would
make her bed and bring her hot water in the
morning. Alice's room was a lovely big one
on the same floor as Dorothy's, and she had
delayed making arrangements to share it with
a freshman who w^as already in the house,
until she was sure that Betty did not get her
assignment. Eleanor had applied for an
extra-priced single there, too, to be near Betty.
Helen was a dear little thing and a very
considerate roommate, but she was '' differ-
ent." She didn't fit in somehow, and it was
a bother always to be planning to have her
have a good time. She would be lonely in
the Belden ; she loved college and was very
happy now, but she needed to have somebody
who understood her and could appreciate her
efforts, to encourage her and keep her in
touch with the lighter side of college life.
BETTT WALES 363
She didn't know a soul in the Belden — but
then neither did lots of other freshmen when
they moved on to the campus. She need never
hear anything about the registrar's plan, and
she could come over to the Hilton as much as
Nita Reese would be at the Belden, and
Marion Lawrence ; and Mary Brooks was go-
ing there if she could get an assignment. It
was a splendid house, the next best to the
Hilton. But those girls were not Dorothy
King, and Miss Andrews was not Miss Ferris.
It would have been lovely to be in the house
with Miss Ferris.
Would have been ! Betty caught herself
suddenly. It wasn't settled yet. Then she
got up from her seat with quick determina-
tion. '' I'll stop in and see Miss Ferris for
just a minute, and then I shall go back and
tell Miss Stuart right off, for I must finish
packing to-night, whatever happens."
Miss Ferris was in, and she and her darkened,
flower-scented room wore an air of coolness
and settled repose that was a poignant relief
after the glaring sunshine outside and the
confusion of " last days."
364 BETTT WALES
'' So you go to-morrow,'' said Miss Ferris
pleasantly. '' I don't get off till next week,
of course. Are you satisfied ? "
^'Satisfied?" repeated Betty. She had
heard of Miss Ferris's habit of flashing irrele-
vant questions at her puzzled auditors, but
this was her first experience of it.
*' With your first year at Harding," ex-
plained Miss Ferris.
'' Oh ! " said Betty, relieved that it was no
worse. '' Why, y-es — no, Fm not. I've had
a splendid time, but I haven't accomplished
half that I ought. Next year I'm going
to work harder from the very beginning,
and " Betty stopped abruptly, realizing
that all this could not possibly interest Miss
^' I didn't want to bore you," apologized
Betty. " Why, I'm going to try to — I don't
know how to say it — try not scatter my
thoughts so. Nan says that I am so awfully
interested in every one's else business that I
haven't any business of my own."
'' I see," said Miss Ferris musingly. '' That's
quite a possible point of view. Still, I'm in-
BETTJ^ WALES 365
clined to think that on the whole we have just
as much orange left and it tastes far better, if
we give a good deal of it away. If we try to
hang on to it all, it's likely to spoil in the
pantry before we get around to squeeze it dry."
Betty looked puzzled again.
'' You don't like figures of speech, do you ? "
said Miss Ferris. '' You must learn to like
them next year. What I mean is that it
seems to me far better in the long run to be
interested in too many people than not to be
interested in people enough. Of course,
though, we mustn't neglect to be sufficiently
interested in ourselves ; and how to divide
ourselves fairly between ourselves and the rest
of the world is the hardest question we ever
have to answer. You'll be getting new ideas
about it all through your course — and all
through your life."
There was a moment of silence, and then
Betty rose to go. '* I have to pack and I
know you are busy. Miss Ferris, Fm going
to be at the Belden next year."
''I'm sorry you're not coming here," said
Miss Ferris kindly. '' Couldn't you manage
366 BETTT WALES
'' Yes, but the — the orange seems to cut bet-
ter the other way," said Betty. '' That isn't a
good figure, but perhaps you can see what it
It was worth most of what it had cost to see
Helen's face when she heard the news. '' Oh
Betty, it's too good to be true," she cried, "' but
are you sure you want me? "
"■ Haven't I given up the Hilton to be with
you?" said Betty, with her face turned the
Alice was disappointed, but she would be
just as happy with Constance Fayles. She
found more "' queer " things to like at Hard-
ing every day, and she considered Betty Wales
one of the queerest and one of the nicest.
Eleanor pleased Betty by offering no objec-
tion to the change of plan. " Only you
needn't think that you can get rid of me as
easily as all this," she said. '' I shall camp
down in the registrar's office until she says
that ' under the circumstances,' which is her
pet phrase, she will let me change my appli-
cation to the Belden. By the way, Betty,
Jean Eastman wants to see you after chapel
BETTT WALES 367
to-morrow. She said vshe'd be in number
After ''last chapel," with its farewell greet-
ings, that for all but the seniors invariably
ended with a cheerful '' See you next Septem-
ber," and the interview with Jean, in which
the class president offered rather unintelli-
gible apologies for '' the stupid misunderstand-
ing that we all got into," Betty went back to
the house to get her bags and meet Kath-
erine, who was going on the same train.
Some of the girls had already gone, and none
of them were in but Rachel, who was perched
in a front window watching anxiously for a
dilatory expressman, and Katherine, who was
frantically stowing the things that would not
go in her trunk into an already well-filled
"■ Well, it's all over," said Betty, sitting
down on the window seat beside Rachel.
"• Wish it were," muttered Katherine, shut-
ting the case and sitting down on it with a
" No, it's only well begun," corrected
"A lot of things are over anyway," per-
368 BETTT PVALES
sisted Betty. *' Just think how much has
happened since last September ! "
'' Jolly nice things too," said Katherine
cheerfully. She had quite unexpectedly suc-
ceeded in fastening the lock.
'' Weren't they ! " agreed Betty heartily.
^' But I guess the nicest thing about it is what
you said, Rachel — that it's ' to be continued in
our next.^ Won't it be fun to see how every-
thing turns out? "
'' I wish that expressman would turn up,"
said Rachel ruefully.
"■ We'll tell him so if Ave meet him," said
Betty, shouldering her bag and her golf clubs,
while Katherine staggered along with the
As they boarded a car at the corner, Mary
Brooks and the faithful Roberta waved to
them energetically from the other side of Main
'* Good-bye! Good-bye!" shrieked Kath-
'' See you next September," called Betty,
who had said good-bye to them once already.
'' Katherine Kittredge has grown older this
year," said Mary critically, '' but Betty hasn't
BETTT WALES 369
changed a bit. I remember just as well the
night she came up the walk, carrying those
'' She has changed inside," said Roberta the
As the car whizzed by the Main Building,
Betty wanted to wave her hand to that too,
but she didn't until Dorothy King, appearing
on the front steps, gave her an excuse.
'' Well," she said with a little sigh, as the
campus disappeared below the crest of the hill,
'' you and Rachel may talk all you like, but I
feel as if something was over, and it makes me
sad. Just think ! We can never be freshmen
at Harding again as long as we live."
'' Quite true," said Katherine calmly, '' but
we can be sophomores — that is, unless the
office sees fit to interfere."
''Yes, we can be sophomores; and perhaps
tliat's just as nice," said Betty optimistically.
'' Perhaps it's even nicer."