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- Jane Allen: Junior - 1/37 -


Jane Allen: Junior

By

Edith Bancroft

Author of

"Jane Allen of the Sub-Team," "Jane Allen: Right Guard," "Jane Allen: Center," Etc.

Illustrated by--Thelma Gooch

CONTENTS

CHAPTER

I THE GET-TOGETHER II A SHADOW IN FORECAST III THE MISFIT FRESHMAN IV THRILLING NEWS V THREATS AND DEFIANCE VI JANE AND JUDITH VII A QUEER MIX-UP VIII TO THE RESCUE IX WHAT HAPPENED TO JUDITH X THE INTERLUDE XI A TWICE TOLD TALE XII A WILD NIGHT OF IT XIII THE AFTERMATH XIV PLEADING FOR TIME XV THE PICKET AND THE SPOOK XVI THE HIDDEN CHAMBER XVII "BEHOLD THE GHOST OF LENOX HALL!" XVIII FAITHFUL FROLIC XIX THE MIRACLE XX TOUCHSTONE XXI CRAMMING EVENTS XXII STARTLING DISCLOSURES XXIII THE DANCE XXIV KING PIN OF THE FRESHIES XXV THE DAY AFTER THE BIG NIGHT XXVI A SURPRISE IN RECORDS XXVII THE REAL STORY

CHAPTER I

THE GET TOGETHER.

The late September day waved back at Summer graceful as a child saying goodbye with a soft dimply hand; and just as fitful were the gleams of warm sunshine that lazed through the stately trees on the broad campus of Wellington College. It was a brave day--Summer defying Nature, swishing her silken skirts of transparent iridescence into the leaves already trembling before the master hand of Autumn, with his brush poised for their fateful stroke of poisoned beauty; every last bud of weed or flower bursting in heroic tribute, and every breeze cheering the pageant in that farewell to Summer.

"If school didn't start just now," commented Norma Travers, "I wonder what we would do? Everything else seems to stop short."

"I never saw shadows come and go so weirdly on any other first day," added Judith Stearns ominously. "I hope it doesn't mean a sign, as Velma Sigbee would put it," and dark eyed Judith waved her arms above her black head to ward off the blow.

"Is it too early to suggest science?" lisped Maud Leslie timidly. "I've been reading about the possible change of climate and its relation to the sun's rays going wild into space. I don't want to start anything, but it might be judicious to buy more furs next Summer. Also it might justify the premonitory fad."

"Don't you dare," warned Ted Guthrie, puffing beneath her prettiest crocheted sweater and rolling down from her chosen mound on the natural steps of the poplar tree slope. "It's bad enough to think of icy days up here, far, far away from the happy laughing world of hot chocolate and warm movie seats," and she rolled one more step nearer the boxwood lined path, "but to tag on science, and insinuate we are to be glazed mummies, ugh!" and the redoubtable Ted groaned a grunt that threatened havoc to the aforesaid handsome sweater.

"There, there, Teddy dear, don't take on so," soothed Maud, rescuing the other's new silver pencil that was rapidly sliding further away from Ted with the pretty open hand bag. "I had entirely forgotten how you despise ice sports. And you so lovely and fat for falling. You should love 'em," insisted the studious Maud.

"Being fat isn't all it's----"

"Cracked up to be," assisted Judith Stearns. "I quote freely. That's one of Tim Jackson's."

"Where have I heard the line before?" mimicked Theodosia Dalton, otherwise Dozia the Fearless. "It has a chummy tone. All of which is as naught to the question. Where is Jane? Never knew her to miss the line up here. And I even tapped at her door. Judy, where is Jane?" demanded Dozia.

"Am I my chum's keeper? Can't Jane attend to her own mortal baggage without incurring the wrath of the multitude?" and Judith sprang up from her spot on the leaf laden lawn. Also she cast a glance of apprehension along the path where Jane Allen should at least now be seen on her way. "Perhaps Jane feels we should forswear this moment of mirth; being juniors and stepping aside from all the others. They call it the Whisper you know; 'count of the whispering poplar above," with a grandiose wave at the innocent tree. "But I would much prefer a chuckle, wouldn't you Ted?"

"There you go again, or rather also," flung back the stout girl. "I must take all the cracks and the chuckles and presently some naive little freshie will amble along and ask me if I happen to be one of the soap bubbles she just blew off her penny pipe," and the pneumatic cheeks puffed out in bubble mockery.

"Now Teddy dear. Don't fret. Everyone is just jealous because you're so lovely and comfy looking," appeased Nettie Brocton, the dimple girl. "But I really do think this 'whisper' is awfully childish. Rather makes the strangers feel we are whispering about them."

"If they only knew!" sighed Ted. "I am the usual back-stop for all frivolity. But if it comes to giving up this lovely loafing hour under our own grandmother poplar, I say girls, go ahead and knock, but spare the whisper. I'd die if I had to go tramping around seeing things and saying hello to that mob," with a sweeping wave of her one free arm, the other was around Janet Clarke's waist.

"You are right, little girl, it is lovely to gather here and let the others do the traipsing. And as for the whisper, anyone within sight may also hear, for this is a shout rather than a whisper. The real point is, we are gathered together while others are scattered apart. But where is Jane Allen? I always look to her to start things, and we can't stay here all day, alluring as is the grandmother poplar. We have 'juties'; girls, 'juties'. "Dozia Dalton had risen to her full height, which measured more feet and inches than her latest kitchen door records verified, and her hair now wound around her head like a big brown braided coffee cake, added a few more inches, in spite of all the flat pinning Dozia took refuge in. It may be attractive to be tall and slender, but somehow old Dame Nature has a way of keeping her pets humble. She loves to exaggerate.

The girls were grouped around the gnarled roots of the big tree. As had been their custom this contingent managed to escape the hum and confusion of the "first day" just long enough to whisper hello and buzz a few unclassified other words. Rooms and corridors were in commotion; the campus was like a bee farm, and it was only over in a remote corner, where a poplar and three hemlock trees formed a protective fortress, that the girls were safe from the first day's excitement.

"I left Jane heading for the office and her head was down," announced Inez Wilson finally. "She didn't see me and her head being down, of course meant----"

"Trouble," finished Katherine Winters. "When Jane Allen goes forward with her red head in advance there is sure to be a collision. What's up? Who knows?"

"Come along and find out," promptly suggested Winifred Ayres. "Can't tell what we're missing. Jane may have lifted the roof when she raised her head."

"Poor old roof," commented Ted Guthrie, dragging Janet Clarke down to earth again in her own attempt at rising. "I suppose we may as well fall in line," she continued good-naturedly. "Janie is still the idol of the mob; anyone can see that, even at this early date," and with a girl tugging on either side the stout one finally heaved ahoy!

"'Tain't that," corrected Inez recklessly, "it's just because we are all too lazy to do the things we know Jane will do. I have been reading up on psychology, and you may now expect me to spoil every dream of childhood with a reason why," and Inez threw her head up prophetically.

"Alluring prospects this year," groaned Velma Sigsbee. "What with Maud gone scientific, and Inez turned psychologist and Jane Allen traveling with her head down--well, all I can say is I still take two lumps of sugar in my tea." Velma was just that way, a pretty girl who loved sugar in spite of restrictions, high prices and the written word.

A solitary figure was now outlined against the low cedars curled around Linger Lane. It was Jane at last.

"Here she comes! Here she comes!" announced Nettie Brocton. "And look, girls! she isn't even whistling. Something is wrong with our


Jane Allen: Junior - 1/37

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