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- Katherine's Sheaves - 1/59 -
BY MRS. GEORGE SHELDON
(Mrs. George Sheldon Downs)
Who led my newly awakened thought Towards a higher understanding of God, And opened before me broader vistas of the Life immortal That is born of Truth and Love, My Teacher F. S. K. this story is lovingly dedicated by The Author
The words Science and Health which appear as marginal reference refer to The Christian Science Text Book "Science and Health, with Key to the Scriptures" by Mary Baker G. Eddy
I. At Hilton Seminary II. Katherine and Her Roommate III. Dorothy IV. Phillip Harris Stanley, M.D. V. Katherine's First Sabbath at Hilton VI. Materia Medica and Miracles VII. Katherine and the Junior League VIII. Transcendentalism as Elucidated for the Junior League IX. Katherine Makes a Demonstration X. Mrs. Seabrook's Problem XI. Dr. Stanley Asks Some Questions XII. Prof. Seabrook's Ultimatum--and Broken Rules XIII. The Story of a Stray Waif XIV. A Sophomore Racket XV. "Hilton Volunteers" XVI. A Junior Entertainment XVII. Dr. Stanley Has An Object Lesson XVIII. Sadie Receives an Opportune Invitation XIX. Mrs. Seabrook Takes a Stand XX. Interesting Developments XXI. The Traveler Returns XXII. Phillip Stanley's First Demonstration XXIII. Mrs. Minturn Visits Hilton XXIV. The End of School Days XXV. A Momentous Errand XXVI. Conclusion
AT HILTON SEMINARY.
It was four o'clock in the afternoon on the opening day of the midwinter term at Hilton Seminary, a noted institution located in a beautiful old town of Western New York.
A group of gay girls had just gathered in one of the pleasant and spacious recreation rooms and were chattering like the proverbial flock of magpies--exchanging merry greetings after their vacation; comparing notes on studies, classes and roommates; discussing the advent of new teachers, pupils and improvements, when a tall, gracious woman of, perhaps, thirty-five years suddenly appeared in the doorway, her fair face gleaming with humorous appreciation of the animated scene and babel before her, and enjoined silence with the uplifting of one slim white hand.
There was an instantaneous hush, as the bevy of maidens turned their bright faces and affectionate glances upon their teacher, who, evidently, was a prime favorite with them all.
"What is it, Miss Reynolds? What can we do for you?" eagerly queried several of the group, as they sprang forward to ascertain her wishes.
"Is Miss Minturn in the room? I am looking for a new pupil who arrived this morning," the teacher responded, her genial, friendly blue eyes roving from face to face in search of the stranger to whom she had referred.
A young girl, who had been sitting by herself in a remote corner of the room, arose and moved towards the speaker.
"I am Katherine Minturn," she said, with quiet self-possession, yet flushing slightly beneath the many curious glances bent upon her, as her soft, brown eyes met the smiling blue ones.
She was, apparently, about nineteen years of age, a little above medium height, her form slight but almost perfect in its proportions. A wealth of hair, matching the color of her eyes, crowned a small, shapely head, and contrasted beautifully with a creamy complexion, the delicacy of which was relieved chiefly by the vivid scarlet of her lips. Her features were clear-cut and very attractive--at least so thought Miss Reynolds as she studied the symmetrical brow, the large, thoughtful eyes, the tender mouth and prettily rounded chin curving so gracefully into the white, slender neck.
"Ah! Miss Minturn. I have had quite a search for you," she said, reaching out a cordial hand to her; for, despite the girl's self- poise, she had caught a quiver of loneliness on the expressive face. "I am Miss Reynolds, the teacher of mathematics, and I have been commissioned by Prof. Seabrook to find and show you to his study. But first, let me present you to these chatterers."
She dropped the hand that was trembling in her clasp, and, slipping a reassuring arm about the girl's waist, continued:
"Young ladies, this is Miss Minturn, a new junior. I can't present each of you formally, for she is wanted immediately elsewhere; but I will see that she finds you all out later."
Katherine nodded a smiling acknowledgment to the vigorous clapping of hands and the hearty "Welcome, Miss Minturn, to Hilton." Then Miss Reynolds led her away, and the interrupted chatter of the magpies was resumed with redoubled animation, but now the new junior absorbed the attention of everyone.
"Say, girls, isn't she a dear?" "Came this morning, did she? where from, I wonder?" "My! but wasn't that a nobby traveling suit, and such a fit!" "Katherine Minturn--pretty name, isn't it?" "Does anybody know anything more about her?" were some of the comments and queries that slipped from those supple instruments with a tendency towards perpetual motion, which, sometimes, are described as organs that are hung in the middle and wag at both ends-- school-girls' tongues.
"Hush!--sh!--sh! Oh, girls, do ring off, and perhaps I can give you a point or two," cried a high-pitched voice with an unmistakable Southern drawl, as a somewhat overdressed girl of nineteen or twenty years re-enforced her appeal by vigorous gestures to attract attention, whereupon the ever alert spirit of Curiosity silenced every loquacious chatterer, except one who solemnly announced, "Ladies, Miss Minot has the floor!"
"Yes," the speaker observed, "the new junior does strike one as being downright stunning. She came from New York City, and"--with a lugubrious sigh--"though I've never set eyes on her before, I was informed this morning that she is to be my roommate for the remainder of the year."
A burst of mirthful laughter rippled over a dozen pairs of rosy lips at this last mournfully conveyed information.
"Aha! at last Miss Sadie Minot has got to come down to the lot of common mortals and take in a chum!" cried a merry sprite, with a saucy chuckle. "Oh, how you have spread yourself and luxuriated in your solitary magnificence, and how every mother's daughter of us has envied you your spacious quarters! Well, you know what old Sol. said about 'pride' and a 'haughty spirit,' and the 'fall' always comes, first or last. But, Sadie, my love, be comforted," she continued, with mock sympathy, "and just try to realize what splendid discipline it will be for you; one cannot have everything one wants, you know, even if one is an heiress in one's own right- -eh, dearie?"
"But there's only one closet, and it is so full now," sighed Miss Minot, ruefully.
"Hear! hear!" retorted the same mischievous maiden, whose name was Clara Follet. "After having had undisturbed possession of a whole room and closet for six long months she ungratefully bemoans----"
"And only one chest of drawers," pursued Sadie, in the same strain, but with a comical quirk of an eye.
A chorus of mocking groans and derisive laughter greeted this wail.
"And all four crammed full with her superfluous finery," cried another of the merry group. "Whatever will you do with it now, Sadie?"
"I'm sure I don't know, Ollie," retorted the pretty "heiress," with a quizzical uplifting of her brows, "unless you take half of it off my hands altogether, instead of coming to borrow so often."
Shrieks of appreciative mirth followed this deftly shot arrow, for it was a well-known fact that Ollie Grant, the pet of the school, was an easy-going little body, very prone to allow her wardrobe to get in a sad plight and then throw herself upon the mercy of others, to patch her up, in the event of an emergency.
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