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- Jane Allen: Junior - 5/37 -


Incidentally Judith was turning the situation over in her own good- natured mind.

"I would just like to see that gawk get Jane wound up in her miseries," she told herself, while Janet Clarke hunted for stray tennis balls in the hedge. "Jane is such a dear with sympathy that this girl's very crimes would appeal to her--in compassion. No-sir- ree!" She volleyed a vicious ball--"Jane will not see the impossible Shirley alone just yet."

Meanwhile news of Dolorez Vincez's Beauty Shop had spread over the college like a holiday notice. Dolorez was the South American girl who had been expelled from Wellington the previous year because of irregularities in many things but particularly in basket ball games. As told in the book, "Jane Allen: Center," this young lady was really a teacher of athletics, and had been posing as an amateur. Being forced to leave college after opening a prohibited beauty shop she vowed vengeance, and many of the students now felt the Beauty Parlor, opened at the very gates of Wellington and widely advertised, was about to assume the dangers of a golden spider web.

The girls were fairly quivering with excitement, when Dozia Dalton, herald of the sensation, condescended to tell everybody all she knew about the whole thing.

Velma Sigsbee would insist upon interrupting with silly questions, such as the price of a bob or the possible pain of operating for double dimples, but eventually Dozia told the story while Ted Guthrie held Velma's hand in a compelling grip. It was over on the long low bench by the ball field where practice should have been kicking up a dust. But Dol's Beauty Parlor outrage was too delectable to forego even for a final ball game,

"It's perfectly darling," confided the idolized Dozia (any girl with that story on her person would be idolized although Dozia was individually popular). "The place, I mean. It's fitted up----"

"Were--you in?" gasped Winifred Ayres.

"No, of course I was not in," disdained Dozia. "No one who ever knew the trickery of Dolorez Vincez would enter that place."

"Why?" asked the innocent Nettie Brocton. "Would she really do something dreadful----"

"She would, really," declared Jane, her tone not easy to interpret. "She could turn your hair a bright red like mine by mere chemical action of her ventilating system."

"Really!" implored the dimply girl.

"Pos-i-tive-ly!" declared Jane. "But don't attempt it dear. She would send your dad an awful bill for doing a stunt like that. Think of the price of hair like mine!"

That suggestion brought disaster to Jane, for Ted Guthrie swayed at the very end of the bench and the whole line almost went over backwards. It was in Ted's attempt to punish Jane for her vanity that the sudden sweep, like a current in physics, jerked feet from the ground and upset balance generally. Some seconds elapsed (and each was precious) before things again settled down, including Velma's crochet balls, Janet's book, pad, and pencil, Dozia's small bottle of salted peanuts as well as other sundries and supplies.

"Please finish the yarn," implored Nettie Brocton. "Do tell us, Dozia, how the place is fitted up."

"First tell us, please," insisted judicial Judith, "how do you know how it is fitted up? Does our plumber plumb there?"

During all this nonsense Jane cast many a furtive glance along Linger Lane, expecting the obnoxious Shirley to loom up large and lanky by the way, but as yet she had not darkened the shadowy path. If Jane could run off to the Rockery, that landmark between freshman and later college campus lines, there to meet and have done with the demands of her erstwhile tormentor. But no, Judith was openly demanding Jane's concentration on the bench, and every point made by Dozia in her tale of the beauty shop Judith flung at Jane in direct challenge for stricter attention. She was not going to escape if Judith Stearns knew it, and she surmised the intention.

It had finally been told to tingling ears that the poisoned beauty shop, as Winifred Ayres, the writer, had already dubbed the place, was done in wonderful mirrors, and shiny faucets, windy wizzing hair fans and electric permanent wavers and curlers; and when the full description had been given, more girls than one sighed, groaned and grumbled.

"To think it has to be taboo," spoke Ted Guthrie. "Dol was always a wizard, and now thus equipped she might have a lovely way of fanning me thin."

"And fattening me nice and fluffy with the same fan," sighed Winifred.

"My freckles might float away like powder from the butterfly's wings," with a weird fluttering of Dozia's long arms.

"But hair!" exclaimed Judith. "Think of turning me into a golden blonde with eyes like blue-bells under dewiness----"

"It cannot be! It cannot be!" moaned Dozia. "Instead we must raid the place and banish the traitor. How about that for stunt night with the sophs?"

"Wonderful!" sang out Juliette De Puy. She had listened and waited with a certain reserve for which this capable Juliette was famous, but now that the story was told she deigned to add that one word "wonderful." Everyone looked at her suddenly.

"And have you tell the sophs," blurted out Nettie Brocton. "Dozia Dalton you have spoiled it all. Didn't you see we had company?"

"Never noticed the lovely Juliette. Never mind Julie, you may tell the crowd all you've heard," condescended the redoubtable Dozia. "We enjoyed having you and it is perfectly all right."

"Thanks. Come over to our camp some night and I'll do as much for you. I just came in this afternoon, you know, to sub on the ball team."

"Instead of which you subbed on the gossip club," finished Jane, jumping up. "I've got to go back to my room. Don't let me hurry anyone," she said indifferently. Then, just as a strange figure turned from the big boxwood bumper into the lane, Jane escaped.

She hurried to meet Shirley Duncan.

CHAPTER V

THREATS AND DEFIANCE

The girl approaching was not so easy to appraise as her unusual costume proclaimed her to be. Jane realized this; country girls are apt to make such mistakes, and even dinner gown tags on school day togs would hardly be proof positive of inferiority, Jane reflected.

Shirley Duncan swung along with a careless stride, but even the pose might cover embarrassment. Jane sent a welcome smile out to meet her and the stranger jerked her head rather saucily in recognition.

"Have I kept you waiting?" asked Jane in the best of humor.

"Well, rather," replied the freshman, "but I knew better than to break in on that crowd," with an arm sweep toward the ball field. "Can we go up to your room for a few minutes?"

Jane thought quickly. To go to her room might mean an interruption from Judith; also it might mean the danger from an undisciplined voice.

"I have been indoors so much today," she replied, "and our lovely days are flying so, suppose we go over to the rose summer house? We won't be interrupted there and we will both have the benefit of a longer time out of doors. I suppose you feel it, freshmen usually do." They were moving toward the rustic house that looked rather desolate in its coat of faded rose leaves.

"Oh, freshmen feel everything, I suppose," replied the other, "but I can't see why we should be openly abused for all that. I heard there was no more hazing allowed in colleges?"

"We have never hazed at Wellington," Jane said rather indignantly, "and Miss--Miss Duncan, I am sure no one will ever attempt the least abuse even in a spirit of fun at this college."

"They won't, eh?" type broke out in that challenge. "Well, that is just what I wanted to see you about. I suppose I'm not good enough to go to your rooms." Lip curled, nostrils quivered and head jerked up impertinently with that accusation.

"Why, Miss Duncan--" floundered Jane.

"Why don't you call me Shirley? Isn't that a swell enough name?" interrupted the other.

Jane dropped down on the summer house seat with a thud. Here was a problem surely. Antagonism fairly blazed in the girl's dark eyes. Yet she was a stranger--actually Jane's guest.

"Shirley is a very sweet name and I have always loved it," replied Jane frankly. "But my dear young lady, we must not quarrel. We shall never get acquainted that way."

"Oh no, the juniors may do all the quarreling. We freshies must just turn the other cheek of course. But I suppose you know that long lanky friend of yours, they call some foolish name like Doses, hit me on the head with her hammer the other night?"

"You mean Dozia Dalton--yes, she told me her hammer slipped--"

"Slipped indeed!" more scorn and lip curling. "She deliberately dropped it on my head--"

"And you threw it at the mirror," broke out Jane, weary of acting the angel without gaining the slightest return from this rude girl.


Jane Allen: Junior - 5/37

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