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Cathalina carefully turned the boa t and started shoreward. Lilian, who had her guitar, strummed a f e w chords. (Page 24r) (Cathali na at G reycliff)
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF B Y HARRIET PYNE GROVE AUTHOR O F " T he G irls of Greycliff," " T h e G reycliff Girls in Camp , " "Greycliff Hero ines," " Gr e ycl iff Wing s." A. L. BURT COMPANY Publishers New York
THE GREYCLIFF GIRLS SERIES A Series of Stories for Girls By HARRIET PYNE GROVE CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF THE GIRLS OF GREYCLIFF THE GREYCLIFF GIRLS IN CAMP GREYCLIFF HEROINES GREYCLIFF WINGS Copyright, 1923 By A. L. BURT COMPANY CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF Made in "U. S. A."
FOREWORD In these chapters the author has used her own family names, to which she fancies she has a right. There are, however, some changes; it was, for in stance, a Katherine Knickerbocker who married a Van Buskirk. The "Aunt Katherine" of the story is really the author's grandmother, Harriet Catha lina Van Buskirk, a granddaughter oi the original Martin Van Buskirk. She taught in the Emma Wil lard school at Troy, New York, and married William Lee, nephew of Madam Willard and son of her old est sister, Mary Hart. To present a happy, normal school life and real girls in the midst of life's most delightful opportunities is the object of this seriea.
, CATH CHAPTER I. CATHALINA VAN BUSKIRK. THE maid was doing Cathalina Van Buskirk's sunny brown hair. "Do it up hig h , Etta; it is so hot t o day! I hope Mother will decide to go to the mountains soon!" "Just as s o on as your brother comes h o me, Miss Cathalina. I heard her say so yesterday." "Last y ear h e met us there!" Cathalina replied, some w hat fretfully. "Yes, but he is not going back next Fall, you know, and there's all his things to come here. And then your mother said that she isn't sure where she will go until she sees him and finds out what he needs and where he wants to go." "O, Phil's always well,-! wish I were!" Catha lina looked mournfully and pityingly in the mirror, where she saw a pretty, delicate face with shadowy, 5
6 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF dark blue eyes. A tear threatened to splash over as Cathalina thought what a dull, disagr e e a ble w orld it was. A miserable piano lesson at ten o ' clock, and she supposed she ' d have to practice a while before; a party the next day, or was it this a f ter noon ?-and the girls would be offended if she did not go. Alwa y s the sam e o ld th ing an y h o w! Etta quietly took the blue silk kimono that Catha lina had slipped off and brou g ht in exchange a
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 7 service. "I might get hints on how to manage you," she added, with a laugh. "How loose this dress is getting! Just pin over the girdle a little-or get me that other sash that matches, please." Then both girls turne d to listen to sounds of commotion down stairs. " What is that? Hurry, Etta,-I do believe it's Phil ! Yes , I hear his voice!" Gone was Cathalina's lan g u o r. She ran to the door, stood a moment by the bannister, looking over, then flew down the broad stairs as fast as a pair o f twinklin g could carry her. "O, Phil!" "Hullo , Kathleen Mavourneen !" And a tall, slim y oungster who stood in the hall turned and caught the flying figure on the la s t stair. He gave her '1 w hirl and then held her off after a brotherly hug. "Why, what's the matter with you, kitten?" for Cathalina was sobbing a little. "I don't know-just so glad to see you-I cry at everything lately." "Well, come now !" Philip b o yishly patted her sh o ulder. "Come on, let's find Mathery. 0, Mother!" "Is that my boy?" Another grac e ful fig ure came down stairs, not quite s o fa s t , but wi t h face eager and smiling. Philip embraced his m other and tipped up her chin that he might get a g ood look, with
8 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF "How's Madam Sylvia Van Ness Van Buskirk?" "Beautiful as a dream," answered Cathal i na, who had rec o vered from her tears and was almost feel ing frisky, inspired by Philip's arrival. "She actually blushes!" laughed Philip. "Now if it were Dad! Still the same pair of lovers, Mathery?" "Nonsense, Philip. How good it is to have you again! How did you happen to come so unex pectedly?" "I was all through, lessons and quizzes, and t o ok a notion to come. Packed in an awful hurry and forgot to telegraph. The bunch was along. But l e t me clean up, Mother, before I answer que sti o ns,I'm so dingy and hot! You see I'm here, husky a s ever, and wasn't fired! Home looks pretty good to me!" "Very well, saucy boy!" Sylvia Van Buskirk shook her head, in smiling reproof of her son, who turned to give direction to the butler s t and i ng near, unhearing, unseeing, a suit-ca s e in each hand. "There'll be a big bag, a couple of trunks and some boxes of books later, Watts. Don't know where I did get all the junk. Have Louis bring up the suit-cases right away. And how are you yourself?" "Watts' " dignity gave way to a warm smile, for all the servants liked Philip Junior, or "Mr. Philip",
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 9 as they call ed him. Three or four at a time, Philip took the low steps, whistling as he went. "Handsome and full of fun as ev.er !" "Now we'll have a little life in the house!" So exclaim e d Cathalina and her mother together. "How are you this morning, Catha lina ?" "O, I was simply cross when I waked up with a headache again, but it was gone after breakfast." Mrs. Van Buskirk's brow c ontra c ted anxiously as she looked at Cathalina. Then, arm in arm, they cros sed the haJl and ent ered the li bra r y , where shades and shutters kept out the g lare of the morn in g sun, an elect ric fan supplied a breeze and the mail la y upon the t able. The Van Buskirk library was what Philip Junia;: called it, "a thing of beauty" and "a j oy fo r ever". Philip Van Buskirk Senior was a merchant and importer who dealt in all thii;gs beautiful o f a mate rial sort. Books were his recr eation; and as the producing world b ro ught him silks, ivories, jewels and quaint treasures of all kinds, so this worl d of books brought riches of thou ght and a q u iet c o m pani o nship away from business cares. The low shelves in the alcoves were filled with reference books galore, with the standard literature and, best of all, the preci ous copi e s of the autho rs dear to the fine man who selected, read and put them upon his
10 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF shelves, according to his own fancy of arrange ment. Here, in the broad, well-cushioned window seat, Cathalina loved to curl up with a box of candy and a book or favorite magazine. No wonder that meals did not taste well and that there was a head ache in the morning! This morning's headache, however, could not be charged to candy, for of late that had been forbid den . S ome months before this June morning, Cath alina had been seriously ill. Unde r careful watching and with a return to the program of more childish days, she had been coming slowly back to health and had even taken up a few studies again. But she had no real interest in anything and in spite of a disposition naturally sweet, bid fair to become fret ful and spoiled. The Van Bu s kirks were wealthy, enjoying the usual luxuries that money can buy. To a certain extent and among their special friends they enter tained, but were not given to display. In the midst of the activities that modern life almost thrusts upon men and women of means, they kept as far as pos sible to the family traditions and domestic realities. Sylvia was one of several sisters noted for their grace and charm; and when Philip Van Buskirk, young, handsome, somewhat timid in these days, first: saw Sylvia Van Ness and met a glance from
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 11 her grave, sympathetic eyes, his choice was made. A wholesome family life, consideration for others, great interest in their children, s o ft-voiced women and quiet, efficient men were characteristic of the s e people and their friends. After finishing her own letters, Cathalina sat quietly and watched her mother as she rapidly read one after another. Mrs. Yan Buskirk's dark hair, perfectly arranged, made a frame for her sweet, thou g htful face. Little rings of hair, curling from the moist heat, stray ed about her brow and ears. "Such a pretty mother," said Cathalina, reaching over to pat the slender hand resting on the table. Her mother drew Cathalina's fingers within her own and read on down the last page of the last letter. Cathalina had always wanted to look like her mother. Often as a little child she had stood before the mirror, anxiously looking to see if her hair were not a trifle darker, her nose a trifle longer! Some one had mentioned pug noses with scorn. Could it be that hers was one? For several months she w o r ried over the matter, until one day one of her aunts had said, "I think Cathalina is going to have the Van Buskirk nose." That was anything but a pug, she knew, and then she feared that she might have a . nose as long as Uncle Martin Van Buskirk's, -which would never do on a girl ! Alas the secret fears of childhood, so real, yet so easily forgotten.
12 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF "Well, Cathalina, have y ou any news?" Cathalina handed her mother an o pen letter, asking in her turn , "Anything important in your mail?" "Three requests for money, a funny letter of thanks from your old Irish admirer, M r s . Sullivan,look at it ;-a letter from our secr e t a ry o f foreign missions and a note from Aun t K athe rine, sa y ing that she will be over some time a ft er lunch. It must have been left by the chauffeur, as there is no sign of it's having been through t h e mails. It should have been brought directly to me." "Why didn't she tel e ph o ne?" "She is sending this catalogue for us to look over. Part of her note is about you. H o w wou l d you like to go to a school like this?" and Mrs . V a n Buskirk pushed across the table the neat catalogue of a girls' school. Cathalina picked it up without much interest, turning the pages careles s ly to look at pictures of fine buildings, beautiful grounds, and girls playing tennis, rowing, or winding in pretty May Day pageant. "Mercy t" she exclaimed. "It makes me tired just to look at it I I like to read, but I just hate to really study hard! And if I go rowing I'd rather have some nice young man do the work!" Mrs. Van Buskirk compressed her lips and gave Cathalina a searching look. "Why, my child, that
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 13 does not sound like you! And since when have you grown sentimental?" "O, I d o n ' t mean anything silly, Mother, but you get so hot rowing! I'm not athletic, like that horrid Gladys Morrow that ran around with Ann Maria last summer." "I wish you had her health," said Mrs. Van Buskirk. "And her manners?" Mrs. Van Buskiark only smiled wisely and Jrew the telephone apparatus toward her. "I must tele phone to Aunt Katharine now." "Just a moment, Mother. Do you care if I tele phone to Professor Glenn not to come this morning? It is so hot and I want to see Phil. Then we'll be going away pretty soon anyway, won't we? I haven ' t practiced much and I don't like the things he gives me. I don't like him very well either." "What a list of excuses!" Mrs. Van Buskirk paused to consider. "If you are feeling ill, Cath alina, I will telephone to him myself. But it hard l y seems courteous to be so irregular in the work, to say nothing of your own good. I think we might let the lessons go on until we go away." "O, dear!" sighed Cathalina. "I must talk to your father about it, then." "He will only say for you to 'follow your own judgment'."
14 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF Mrs. Van Buskirk laughed. "Well, I'll think about it and see your teacher when he comes this morning. Remember that it is bread and butter to him." Cathalina puckered up her face at the prospect of the coming lesson, but seeing her mother's disturbed look, she said, "All right, Mamma, I'll try to be decent!" With her fingers she pretended to smooth out the frown and turn up the corners of her mouth. "Here is Philly's happy grin! Is that all right?" But her mother had called Mrs. Knickerbocker's telephone number and only gave Cathalina a kindly smile. "Is this Mrs. Knickerbocker's residence? Yes;-0, is this Aunt Katherine? This is Sylvia. I have just received your note. Yes; I see. By some mis take it was put with the mail. I am quite interested in your ideas. No, I have not had time to look it over carefully, but will do so. Cathalina is looking at it now. I hardly know. She does not seem to be exactly wild at the prospect." Mrs. Van Buskirk's eyes wandered to Cathalina, who was languidly turning the pages of the catalogue again. "We must talk it over. Are any of Cathalina's friends going there? Not a soul? Well! What I want to suggest, Aunt Katherine, is that you all come over to dinner tonight. 'Little Phil' came home unexpectedly about half an hour ago. No,
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 15 nothing wrong, finished his examinations and did not care, I suppose, to stay through the Commence ment exercises. I've hardly seen him yet; he went right to his room for clean attire. 0, is Uncle away? I'm sorry. But bring Ann Maria, anyway. Goodbye. Yes, thank you, goodbye.'"
16 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF. CHAPTER II. '.AUNT KATHERINE GIVES ADVICE. THE Van Buskirk dinner hour was approaching. After a heavy thunder storm with hail, a co ol breeze freshened the hot city. The dainty lace curtains in the dravying room were blowing dangerously for their gossamer threa ds. But Sylvia Van .Buskirk let them blow while she threw open every one of the long French windows which opened on the veranda. Its stone floor was covered with rose petals and leaves from the vines that t wined around the great pillars. "Wha t a storm it was!" she was thinking as she looked out. An easy c hai r was drawn near one of the windows and she was looking about for the evening paper when Mr. Van Buskirk appear ed in evening dress. Some little services for her husband Sylvia kept as her own. It was not one of those houses in which the servants are always in evidence. Mr. Van Buskirk came smiling toward his wife and puttin g his arm around her d rew her to the window, while he, too, looked out upon the results
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 17 .,,ii Jh-e storm. Philip Van Buskirk Senior was a little above average height, well built but not heavy. He did not possess the dark eyes which were char acteristic of so many of the Van Buskirks, but blue ones of the unfading blue type, passed on to Catha lina. His hair was beginning to show grey threads, but he looked active and well, and his air was that .of the well-poised, successful business man who is accustomed to carry responsibility. His face was rather serious, refined, and just now very tender; for dear as his children were to him, Sylvia had al ways stood first. "As soon as you have rested a little, I would like to talk with you abqut an important matter." "I am res ted now. Bath, shave and clean clothes always rest a man, that is,-well, do not ex p ect me to do any tqlking. I've been closeted, at different times today, with half a dozen men,--each one trying to put through some scheme." "Poor boy! This is a scheme of Aunt Katherine's, but for our good, not hers, and especially for Cathalina's benefit. If my experience with Cath alina today is at all suggestive, Auntie's idea isn't bad." Instead of taking chair and paper, then, Mr. Van Buskirk stretched out upon a couch not far from the windows, and while he closed his eyes and held his wife's hand as if her nearness rested him, Sylvia
18 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF outlined Aunt Katherine's plan for sending Cat h a Iina to a girls' school. They had not talked long when the chil d re n ap peared. Philip at sevente e n wa s already taller t ha n his father. Slender, dark-eyed, his dark brown hair cut in the latest fashion, he looked quit e the d an dy in his evening clothes. Cathalina, dressed as a little girl rather than a young lady, wore a lacy wh ite frock, simple and pretty. "There is your Aunt Knickerbocker, I think," said Philip S e ni o r, rising quickly as the bell rang. "Go to meet her yourself, Phil; she'll appreciate the attention." But Philip had already started to the hall. "Home again, my dear boy!" was Aunt Katherine's brisk greeting. Philip welcomed her warmly and started to unfasten the wrap which she had worn in the machine. "You are an improvement on the maid, Philip, and much better looking. No, I'll not go upstairs, thank you," and turning, Aunt Katherine stood a moment before a mirror in the hall, put back a wisp or two of silvery hair, patted her white laces and shook out the folds of her clinging black s ilk draperies. A maid who had just appeared in answer to Philip's summons, waited a moment in the back ground, then vanished as Mrs. Knickerbocker en-
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF tered the room and greeted her advancing host and , hostess. Tall and erect was Aunt Katherine, with well cut features, mouth a little wide, perhaps, no s e a, trifle long, but well shaped. Nothing could lo o k more uncompromising than that strai ght, Van Bus kirk back; notp.ing could be more cutting on occasion than a few of her quiet, well directed remarks. But no one in the connection was m o re res p ected and generally bel o ved for her wisdom, good, common sense and real, unselfi s h kindness. She put an arm around Cathalina and as Phil had done in the . morning, turned up the delicate faceto look at it. Soft lights by this time had been. turne d on, and shone through Cathalina ' s hair, making a sort of halo around her face. Her eyes, however, twinkled up into Aunt Katherine's with a glance more human than angelic. "Nice little girl," said Mrs. Knickerbocker, kiss in g Kathalina's forehead and turning away to ac cept the comfortable wicker chair just placed for her by the elder Philip. "Where is Ann Maria?" asked Sylvia. "She telephoned from Libbie's that they are keep ing her there for dinner and want Philip and Catha lina to come over as so o n as p o s s ible. Elizabeth> sa i d that she would have l i ked them b oth for din ner, but would not expect you to give Philip uo to
20 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF night. Louise came home yesterday. John passed his examination for the bar, as we k n ew, of course, he would. His Western trip, too, promises much But Libbie can't bear to think of his settling so far .away. I judge that nobody but Juliet will see much of him for a while,-his sweetheart, Philip. Will's knee is better and they think that no serious troubl e will result. Charlotte is much better,-hives-and they are all spoiling her as usual, so Libbie says." Aunt Katherine herself smiled over her own varied budget of news from Elizabeth Van Ness, often ' known as "Cousin Libbie", whose pleasant home was in a suburb near. Cathalina and her mother had drawn their chairs near Mrs. Knickerbocker, while Philip and his father dri ft ed into a little conversa tion of their own, as Philip recounted recent events at the military school from which he had just re turned. Philip was not the too common prodigal son of a rich man. His father, fond and proud of his son and heir, had studied the boy, taking him into his confidence, and had interest e d him at first in the more romantic side of his business by stories about the different products and producers. Later Philip was given the opportunity to study different depart ments and even entrusted with a little responsibility. An allowance, small at first and increasing with the years, was made, and within this he was supposed
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 21 to bring his personal expenses. To Mr. Van Bus kirk's great satisfaction, Philip was responding to this effort to fit him for re sponsibi l ity, and as he went about with his father he was unconsciously ab sorbing much and l earning to distinguish the true from the false and the honorable from the dishon orable. "Before you go, Philip," said Aunt Katherine. after dinner, "may I have some music?" "Certainl y," replied Philip promp t ly, seating him s elf at the piano. \ Vha t will you have, A untie? Col lege songs and r agtime are not in your line, are they?" It was a pretty picture,-the beautiful room, the dark, rich wood of the piano, Philip's glowing face and Cathalina's smiling one, l ooking over the piano at her brother. A sparkling, indefinite prelude p a ssed gradually into a dreamy theme that suited the relaxed moocl of the family. Then followed several well-known classic s till Philip rose suddenly and with one hand on his heart bowed l ow in exaggerated c o ncert style to Aunt Katherine, who lau g hed a nd tossed him a crim so n rose with which she had been pl aying. "What was that pretty thing you pla yed first,after your preliminaries?" she asked, as Philip sat down again and began to turn the pages of a collec tion of songs which Cathalina handed him.
22 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF "So methin g by a new composer, I believe, Auntie," r e plied Philip with a wink at Cathalina. "I couldn't tell you the name of it." Cathalina c o uld not c o nceal her amusement a n d A unt Katherine quickly exclaim ed, "I k new it! Y o u
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 23 "just as nice as you are to Louise o r Ann Maria. Rosalie Haverhill said that her brother didn't pay any attention to her after he had been away to school." Philip was still at the stage when he preferred to avoid the expression of sentiment, though possessing his share. "O, you're a good old scout, Kit, that's the reason." It was not a long ride to the Van Ness place , where a roomful of cousins awaited them. Cousin Elizabeth herself, sweet and h ospitable, met them at the door. "O, Ann Maria !-Em ily Stuart, is this really you? and is Campbell-0, there he is!" Cathalina was quite animated for a little while, as she greeted the cousins. Ann Maria Van Ness was an orphan, grandniece of Aunt Knickerbocker, and lived with them, Emily, Campbell and Sara Stuart were the children of one of Philip Van Buskirk's sisters. Campbell was about the age of Philip Junior; Emily scarcely a year older; Sarah, a little girl of ten years. Emily and Louise Van Ness, who was Cousin Elizabeth's oldest daughter, had returned from boarding school Ann Maria attended the same sch ' ool, but had returned earlier. She was almost as tall as Phil, an athletic girl, with good features and an alert, vivacious manner. Her "chum cousin" was Louise, who
24 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF was short, plump, fair-haired and blue-eyed, with charming dimples in her round cheeks. Ann, or "Nan", Van Ness disowned the name of Nancy, but consented to be called Nan that she might be dis tinguished from her cousin Ann Maria. Nan and Cathalina were of nearly the same age. The eldest son of the family was not there, "making a call", said his father with a twinkle in answer to Philip's inquiry. Will, a youn gste r of s o me eleven years, who was hobbling around w ith one crutch, noisily claimed Philip ' s attenti o n. "How' d you get your game knee, Will?" "0,-playin' baseball; fell." "Am, too, gain' to see Philly!" came in shrill tones from the hall, before the family were well settled down for a visit. "O, Mother, Charlotte is making trouble with Nina. You'll have to settle her." "Let her come in a minute. I don't care for once. She had a long nap this afternoon and I don't blame her for not wanting to go to bed. It was a shame to send her off when she knew that Philip and Cathalina were coming." "She adores Philip," said Louise. "Behold Mother's discipline," remarked Nan wisely. Small, fat, curly-haired, almost a tiny edition of Louise, little Charlotte appeared in the door, having
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 25 escaped her nurse. Eluding several outstretched hands, she dashed across the room and with some as sistance perched upon Philip's knee. Philip placed her firmly and began to recite "There was an old woman as I've heard tell." Charl o tte chuckled and poked his face with her chubby fingers. "Now, fee b'ind mice." "I don ' t know that one, do I?" asked Philip, teas ing. "Why, yes you do! Don't you know ?-'Fee b'ind mice, See how ay wun !" "I don't think I can remember it unless you tell me first what your name is." "Sh' lotte Mee-ni-a Buckets V'n Hoosen Doosen V'n Ness." A ripple of laughter greeted this, Will adding a boyish "haw-haw!" "Philip Van Buskirk, did you teach her that?" came fro m Mrs. Van Ness. Philip grinned broadly. "I really didn't think she'd remember. Smart child!" "Why, Charlotte, your name isn't Maria; here's Ann Maria." "Yes, 'tis Meenia. Philip said," insisted Char lotte, nodding her curls. "Ah, Phil, now she's let the cat out of the bag." "Kitty, kitty," called Philip softly.
26 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF Charlotte jumped down and looked all round. "Why where's a kitty? Don't see any kitty!" "What does she mean by 'Buckets', Philip?'' "Van Buskirk," replied Philip, arching his black brows and drawing his face into a comical look of pretended distress. ' "Come on, Phil, play for us,'' said Ann Maria. "Louise has some new music." "Good; let Louise do it." "You first, my dear Philip!" "O, start the victrola, girls!" "Philip Van Buskirk! Do you mean to say that you will take piano and organ all year of the per fectly fine professor down there and not play a note for your suffering family?" So Philip was escorted to the piano by Ann Maria and Louise, and played for this family group as he had played for Aunt Katherine. Ann Maria looked que s ti o ningly at Cathalina as Philip played his own exquisite little theme, and re cei v ing a confirming nod, looked mischievous, but remained silent like the rest until Philip had fin ish ed. "What was that second thing you played, Phil?I can't think what it is, s o meway, but it sounds like-" Ann Maria paused as if trying to think of the name of a composition. "What does it sound like?" demanded Philip,
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 27 whirling around. Then he caught the look in Ann I Maria's eyes. "O, you Maria," said he slangily, shaking his head at her and dashing into popular songs in which the cousins joined. "What is it?" asked Louise, who did not under stand. "O, just Ann Maria, as usual, teasing Philly about the piece he made up," replied Cathalina. * * * * * Meanwhile Aunt Katherine was leading the discussion at the Van Buskirk's. "I have not wanted to intrude, Philip, but it has seemed to me for some time that our very anxiety for Cathalina is spoiling her." "Why, Aunt Katherine!" exclaimed Sylvia in gen tle protest, "Cathalina is u s ually as sweet as can be." "I do not mean spoiled in the sense of becoming undutiful or exacting . No child of yours, Sylvia, could be anything but sweet." Aunt Katherine, though never insincere, knew when to put in a judicious compliment. Philip Junior, however, would not have thanked her for his share in this one. "Why, thank you, Auntie; I'm afraid I do not deserve that." "Yes, you do; but, my dear, do you realize that the child does almost nothing for herself? No wonder that she is anaemic and lacks ener.l?'Y ! There
28 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF is no real wholesome exercise that she wants to . t ake . Isn't that true?" Mr. and Mrs . Van Buskirk were both very sober. "A maid dresses her, picks up after her and brings her meals when she is either too m i sera ble or too lazy to go down to t he dining ro o m . The child reads, draws and paints a little and rides around in the car to shop. She has practically no young companions except her cousins,-though in some re spects tha t is just as well here." "When I suggested tennis or riding or swim ming lessons, she just begged me not to make her," said Sylvia, "and I knew she was not fit for any real strain . " "O, it is always 'l essons', in this, that or the other," lauglied Aunt Katherine. "I d on't know that I blame her. Perhaps you c a n get her to swim if you are on the coast this summer. But I have been observing that aside from her health y o u have a real problem to solve. I rather particularly love Cathalina,-and when I received the letter from my old friend, Ellen Randolph, with the catalogue I sent you this m orn in g, it occurred to me that per haps a c omp lete change would rouse Cathalina. If she could see, for instance , that most girls do without many of the luxuries which sh e takes for granted, it would do her g o od. She has had private teaching enough, in my opinion."
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 29 "But why not send her th en to Aun t Willard's school, where we all have gone? Troy is so near." "Well, you know I think everything of that and remember Madam Willard herself, but t his is a dif ferent case. Cathalina needs to go farther away from home and away from her c ousins . She needs to be on her own resources." "She. i s pretty young for that," said M r. Van Buskir k, "I prefer to protect her fr om s ome t hings." " Ellen will look after her so far as she needs any real c are or sympathy . And traveling expenses mean nothing to you as they do some peo p l e . You can reach the place in a comparatively short time." "There is splendid se nse in what you say, Aunt Katheri ne, and we will think it over carefully." "I will write to Ellen and tell her to send y o u all the in formation they send out." "How can I spa re the child! " exclaimed Sylvia . "But her welfare? No one mus t grow up too depen dent. There will be a ll kinds o f gymnastic exercises and sports and girls to whom she will be as strange as they to her . I count on her pride and the "Van Buskirk grit" to make her want t o be on an equality with the rest. She will be without a maid, and I hope it need not be known that she has one and everything else she wants ! " â€¢
30 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF "It would not be like Cathalina to plume herself upon advantages." "No," put in Mr. Van Buskirk, "but those things usually leak out." "Yes," said Aunt Katherine," but not, I hope un til the poor child has had a fair start."
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 31 CHAPTER III. HILARY LANCASTER. WHILE C a thalina V a n Bu s kirk's aunt was mak ing su g gestions, an othe r aunt, in a diff e rent way wa s shaping the destiny of another young girl, H i la r y Lancaster. It was an early morning of the fir s t w eek in June. Mrs. Lancast e r always found it wise to ri se with the lark and accomplish what she could before the d oor bell and telephone began for the day. This morning the grocery list w a s made out, the break fas t cooking, the vegetables p::trtly prepared for the no o n dinner, a bl o use cut ou t for Tommy, and the porches fresh from the hose . Hilary, too, had ri s en early to work a hard problem, and it was she who had turned the hose on the porches. "Call your father now, Hilary, please, and t e ll him that breakfast is nearly ready. I will see about the boys presently. They are up but I must see tha t Gordon puts on a clean collar. Is Mary awake?" "Yes; I'll dress her a s soon as I call Father. June is all ready and studying her history.
32 OATHALINA AT GREYOLIFF It was a minister's busy hou seho ld. In due sea son, the breakfast over, Hilary and June had washed the dishes and with the boys were off to school. Mary was well established with her family of bat tered dolls under the apple tree near the kitchen do o r . Mrs . Lancaster had comm e nced to iro n when the mail carrier arrived and Dr. Lanca ster presently appeared, by way of the dining roo m door, to hand her a letter. "You are tired already, Grace," said Dr. Lancaster. "You know I can't bear to have you do this." "I'll not, reverend sir, as soon as we catch up a little; and anyway it is so hard to find anybody. My woman does the washing well, but I tried her on the ironing and it was h ope les s ! The children have so many starched things, too , thi s hot weat her, and they have to look well in school." "All the more reason, then, for having some help." "School is almost out and then Hilary and June will be able to help me more." Dr. Lancaster sighed and went back to his study, where much work of a different sort was waiting him. In a few minutes, Mrs . Lancaster with her open letter slipped to the study door, peeped in to see if her husband were writing and under the influ ence of the divine afflatus; but finding that he was
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 33 still re ading the morning paper, she went in to share the news of her rather amazing message. "Read this, dear, and tell me if I am dreaming." Dr. Lancaster looked inquiringly at his wife, laid down the paper, took the l ette r and began to read it aloud . My DEAR GRACE: It is at least three weeks, I know, since I wrote. But you can imagine how much t here was to do and how sad it all was. I will write about it in detail later, but I have a special purpose in this letter . Although Horace was Mother Garland's only child and although she and I have lived together for so long, still it riever occurred to me that she would lea v e the bulk of the property to me. That was one surprise, and another was that there is so much of it. Mother lived so simply and we never knew until after her death how many people and causes she had helped . She wrote me a beautiful letter, found with her will and other papers, and told me to accept it all with her love and to take the rest and travel I would need. Her home is to go to an old friend, so that relieves me of mu ch care here, and I shall make headquarters at my own lovely place, as soon as my tenant's lease expires. For the summer I shall go to the lake as u sual, and may have a new cottage built.
'34 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF Now for the important plan I have to suggest. After I returned home from my last delightful vi sit with you all, it came over me how much all of us, from little Mary to your husband, dep e nded upon our Hilary. Think it over and see if it isn't so . Hilary is so full of life and vim and is so unusually capable in anything she undertakes that if we are not careful she may use up some of that vital force too early. 0, I know we grow by activity and aU that,-but what would you think of a change for Hilary from home and hi g h s chool to a girls' school, for her last two years before college? I gathere
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 35 ha-..e all sorts of nice times getting her ready to go. Applications ought to be in early at any school. I know pretty well what Hilary likes, so I am going to begin picking up pretty things for her outfit. If Hilary does like the plan,-well, no "ifs". -I shall be anxiously waiting your decision. Lovingly your sister, HILARY GARLAND. Dr. Lancaster put down foe letter and looked at his wife. "What do you think of it?" "I scarcely know. I was afraid you might feel a little annoyed, yet Hilary Senior is always just so enthusiastic over what she wants to do for her name sake." "No; I understand your sister. Her motives are of the best. We shall only consider what is best for the child." At noon Hilary telephoned that she would not be home, for "they" were practicing the Commence ment music and one of the girls whose accompani ment she was to play lived near the school building and had invited her there for lunch. At the Lancaster's supper hour Hilary had nof arrived, but came in before the family had left the table. "Excuse me, folks," she said, as she sat down, unfolded her napkin, and leaned back in her chair in an attitude of pretended collapse.
aa CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF "All in?" asked Gordon. "She's all in and down and out," put in Tommy, delighted to try the slang at home. Dr. Lancaster looked at his wife and said: "Tell us what you have been doing today, Hilary." "The usual things, of course, at school. Then we practiced the Commencement music at noon and again after school. On the way home, Miss Bird stopped me first to see if I would take c harge of the King's Heralds for a few meetings,-she is going away for a vacation . Next, Jim Randall called across the street that I would have to lead League next Sunday. One of the leaders has gone away and they have to move the program up, the Leaders, I mean. Then Myrtle came along and told me that the Sunday-school orchestra meets tonight, here if we can have it." "Take them over to the church, Hilary; the official board meets here," said Dr. Lancaster. "And when I was about half way home Miss Brown stopped me to give me back some themes,said they were good-and while she was talking who should come along but Professor Morton, wanting somebody to fill a gap in the choir Sunday." "Going to do it all?" asked Tommy. "O, yes, I couldn't think of any excuse. "And examinations coming on," suggested het father.
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 37 " O , no; I get out of t hem all. You a l way s do if your grades are high enough . " At this remark T ommy grew v ery r ed, but kept quite still, whi l e Gordon w i nked at June. Poo r Tommy was the on l y one of t he c hildren no t e x.., cused from examination, and while his g rade s w ere not low, he felt much disgra c ed. Another year would probably' find young T homas taking his s tudies more seriously. "And what do you do after o rchestra practice tonight?" inquired Dr. Lancaster. "Well, I get my last Caesar lesson,-hurrah ! and I thought I might begin to copy your a r ticle for you, Father, unless Mother wants me to do something else . " "No typewriting tonight, daughter, both fo r your sake and that of the official board. " "Eat your supper, dear child , " said Mrs. Lanc aster. "Aren't these the finest strawberries ? Mr. Short brought them in from t h e c ountry this morn ing, his choi c est be rri es ! " "Sometimes it does pay t o be the minister's family, d oesn't it?" l aughed Hilary. "And your g r and c ake ! H ow co uld yo u bake i t w hen i t was so hot?" " Another donation, my de ar; that is Mrs. Blake's cake." "Ours now," put in Gordon between bites. "This is a good time, Mother,'' said Dr. Laa-
38 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF easier, "to tell Hilary about Aunt Hilary's letter. It would seem that she is right about Hilary's life." The effect of the news upon the children was varied. All exclaimed and looked at Hilary, who hardly knew at first whether to be glad or sorry, provided the plan was adopted. She caught her breath in astonishment. "How lovely of Aunt Hilary !-but how can I give up my class and all the girls?" Then, think ing of the reported charms of boarding school life sh e added, "It would be fun, I suppose. May I go to any school I want?" "Yes," re plied her father, "unless you choose some ultra-fash ionable place. We want a real prep aration for c ollege . As your aunt suggests, we can send for catal og u e s and dec i de together." "Father talks as if he's going to let you do it,'' said Gordon. "But," said June, who was trying hard not feel left out and to be generously glad for Hilary, "what can we ever do without Hilary?" "Your very question, little daughter, goes a long way to prove that it might be just as well for Hilary to have a little less pressure outside while she is working so hard at her lessons. I do want her to excel there,-as she does."
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 39 "But I like everything!" cried Hilary. "Do you suppose I can ever stand it to leave you all?" "You have been planning t9 stand it when you go to college," remarked Mrs. Lancaster, who was wondering privately how she could bring herself to spare her oldest. "But I'd be older then." "Think what fun it will be, Hilary, continued her mother, "to buy your clothes and get everything ready this summer." "O, can I choose my clothes, Mother ?-think of it,-little old Hilary! It is too wonderful! I wonder what Annette and the rest of the girls will say." "Hilary said 'can' for 'may'," cor r ected June, putting a spoonful of powdered sugar on a few remaining strawberries in her dish. "I'm not sure, but I meant 'can', anyway, Junie. You will have to help me plan with Mother and Auntie." Such happy weeks for Hilary that summer. '.A'unt Hilary announced that none of them would kill themselves sewing; so while they made some pretty things, others were purchased ready-made, or the material handed over to a dressmaker. "Suit, rain coat, winter coat, gloves,"-the list was made out a dozen times before they actually started in to buy. And how they rejoiced in the summer bargains for the simple summer dresses or pretty accessories.
40 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF Aunt Hilary had invited Hilary, June and the boys to come and stay through August at her sum mer cottage, while Dr. Lancaster, with Mrs. Lancaster and little Mary, took his usual vacation in a more quiet spot. Mrs. Garland to ok pains to show June, Gordon and Tommy that she was interested in them as well as in her namesake. Parties, picnics, boating and swimming where the little inland lake stretched placid waters, with different performances of the enterprising Tommy, made the days fly. From time to time Aunt Hilary made dainty additions to Hilary's "trousseau", as she called it. Among other things which l ooked "bridey", according to Hilary, was a cedar chest , over which Hilary hung with cla spe d hands, so great was her surprise and admiration. "Look at the lovely lining and p ocke ts, June ! . Why, Aunt Hilary, it will be my hope box for ever!" "What is a 'h ope box', Hilary?" "Why, don't you know? That is what the girls call the box where they put their guest towels and doilies and silver and things they are saving for when they get married." "O, yes; a bridal chest. I see." "I have several embroidered towels and some silver spoons already." "Mercy, child, I hoQ_e you are not thinking of 11uch things yet I"
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 41 "No, indeed, Aunt Hilary; all I can think of is Greycliff and the wonderful year I'm going to have. Honestly, I feel like dancing up and down sometimes .and can hardly wait." So sped the summer days on wings, until finally golden September came once again with the ringing of school bells all over the land.
42 CATHALINA A'l1 GREYCLIFE CHAPTE R IV. GREY CLIFF. GREYCLI F F HEIGHTS was the name of t h e s m a ll t own where M r. Van Buskirk and Cathalina fo und themselves one b right day in the middle of Septem ber . A t the station were a few taxicabs deco r ated with G r eycliff banners . A short spin over a p r etty , wind ing road brought them out to the schoo l called Greycliff. There they entered a broad gateway and glided aro u nd a c urved drive to Greycliff Hall, the girls' dormitory. A roll i ng, grassy c ampus; flowers and a fountain; a scattered group of handsome grey stone buildings, vine covered; a green wood, whose trees and bushes gradually thinned toward the sandy beach which lay between the campus proper and where the l ake danced and shimmered at a distance,-these were wha t the eye could gather for a first imp r ession . " L ook, P apa !" said C athalina, "see t hose l o vely h o rs es. D o you s u pp o se the y b e long here?" "Very likel y ."
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 43 At some distance beyond the campus, a large pasture was fenced in and there grazed about a d oze n pretty pon ies and as many horses. "O, I do believe I shall like the riding l essons after I get over being afraid!" "As you grow stronger and more u sed to every t h in g, Cathalina, you will not feel so timid." By this time they were ready to ascend the steps . A broad veranda with Ionic pillars extended t h e great width of the great building, and they had no sooner reached the top than from one of the com fortable porch seats there rose a slight woman, somewhat under middle height, who came to meet them. Her face was serious, with wise, obse rvant grey eyes; but when she drew near and held out a cordial h and, a warm smile lit up the who le face and Cathalina's feeling of a stranger in a strange land began to s l ip away. Introducing herself as the principal, Miss Rando lph welcomed the newcomers sincerely and took them into her own reception room. "If I had not been o n the porch, the maid would have brought you in with more cerem o ny," she said, pleasantly. "I was really expecting you on that train, from what Mrs. Knickerb oc ker wro t e . How is she? She h as been a delightful friend t o me." Cathalina had expected to see an older lady of '.A.unt Katherine's age; but this charming little lady
44 C A THALINA A'l' GREYCLIFF could scarcely be ten years older than Cathalina' s own mother . A conversation followed, in which Mr. Van Bus kirk supplemented the c orrespondence of the sum mer with further explanatio ns of hi s plans for Cath alina. "I think you will find Cathalina obedien t and helpful," s aid he, "and we shall appreciate any hints that you can give her. Since her health is already so much improved by the summer' s outing, I think that she can soon be as busy as the rest." "It will be a pleasure to have her here, I know. I am sorry that there are so few g irls here today . Tomorrow and the next day will bring them." "There were no girls at all on our train,'' said Cathalina, who had been disappointed. Little as she had wante . d to come, she was not without a natural curio s ity as to her future companions . "I should be glad if the matter of a roommate could be arranged before you leave, Mr. Van Bus kirk, but it may not be possi b l e . The plans of the old girls are all made, so it must be a "new girl". I have i n mind a few gi rl s from homes of especial refinemen t, and I will u se my best judgment for C athalina . Now yo u will want to see her r oom . " In r esponse t o Miss Randolph's ri n g there ap p ea r ed a pl ump, ros y-c heek e d girl who m C athalina supp os ed to be servant, though she was in maid ' s attire. _
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 45 "This is Alma Huntley, one of our girls, who helps me a great deal. Alma, p1ease take Mr. Van Buskirk and his daughter to number fifty-two, second floor." Through the big hall to the elevator, down another hall on the second floor, and they were ushered into a tiny suite of two r ooms at the front of t h e building, its sitting room at the corner on the side toward the lake. "The girls call this Lakeview Corridor," said A lma. Cathalina stepped to the window and looked off, through and across the treetops to the restless waters beyond. It did not seem much like home, and Cathalina's eyes filled with tears. "A fine view for you, my child," Mr. Van Buskirk remarked cheerfully, though it did seem t o o much like leaving his little g irl behind. "Your mother will pay you a flying visit soon; did she tell you?" Mr. Van Buskirk had observed the tears. "No; will she rea1ly ?" "Do you suppose she could stand it long not to see how you are placed? You must take some snap shots for her as soon as possible." Alma looked interested, but Cathalina did not. Poor Mr. Van Buskirk had tried with varying suc cess all day to suggest everything that might keep up Cathalina's courage or interest h e r. He smiled a little now, remembering his efforts, successful at
46 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF last, not to allow Sylvia to c o me wi t h her daughter this time. "Let her have her chance, Syl via, " he had sa i d. It will b e hard enou g h for her a n y way, and if y o u go with her I'm afraid that she w ill be c oming b a ck on the same train!" But Mr. Van Buskirk hardly did Cathalina jus tice. She was neither as weak nor a s babyish as they feared, in spite of all that they ha d d o ne to make her so. Endowed by nature w ith considerable good sense, she had tho u ght the matter o ver and d e ter mined to show the dear home p eop le t hat she really could amount to something, whether she wanted to do this or not. To many girls the pro s p e ct of a year af Grey cliff was a dre am of d e li g ht. Its ve ry loc a tion was attractive. The sch ool was well e quippe d, w e ll en d o wed and h a d at i ts head a w oma n of noble char acter, hi g h cultur e and earne s t pu r pose. Cath a lina had li t tle idea of what plea sant day s w e r e b e fore her, d ay s of c o m pa ni o nsh i p wit h other int e res ting g i rls ; d ay s of wh oles ome lab o r b r i ghtene d b y h o u r s of fun and recreati o n ; d ay s of sa ti sfa ction in work well d o ne, and d ays th a t brought n e w t h oughts to Cathal i na of po ssi bi litie s in h e r o wn li fe. For some rea s on C a thalina's trun ks had not arri v ed , s o there was no unp acking e xcep t of suitcase and traveling bag. She was used to traveling
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 47 and was at no loss in getting com fortably settled. Mr. Van Buskirk was made comfortable in the suite next to Cathalina's. He had expected to go back to the hotel at Greycliff Heig hts, but M i ss Rando lph had insi sted upon his remaining as a guest at Grey cliff. "With all these vacant rooms," s a i d she, "why not stay with Cathalina ?" And Cathalina had added her persuasions. There were regular gues t rooms, but they were too fa r from his little g i rl. After breakfast the next morning, Mr. Van Bus kirk t old Cathalina that he preferred t o tak e the lake walk back to the town. His bag was sent by the old-fashioned Greycliff express wagon , while he strolled down the shady walk w i th Cathalina . He talk ed earnestly and cheerfully of different mat ters, and at the arched gateway, whe r e the vines climbed riotously and a l ittle grey squirre l with a nut scolded them bot h , he kissed Cathalina goodbye and w alked away briskly, turning o nce t o give her a military salute and a parting smile . Cathalina blew a kiss and blithely waved h e r handkerchief, soon, alas, to be put to another u se . "His d ear old s traigh t s h o ulder s !" sh e said, for there was only the sq uirrel t o hear; and in spite of her determinati on the tears would c ome . With a sob she collapsed int o the rustic sea t and was ready for a good cry. But suddenly she gathered herself
4B CATHALINA A'ir GREYCLIFF together, mopped away the tears and stood up, as straight as her father . "No, I will not! It always makes me sick to cry I I'll see if I can not show a little nerve for once . That is what Father's military salute meant. He was saying to me, 'Remember Martin Van Buskirk and the rest of your Revolutionary ancestors, little daughter of the Revolution! I'm a goose! I'm past fourteen years old and I've been away from home before, and I guess if I wanted. to go home awfully I could,-but I'm going to stay!" So the descendant of Martin Van Buskirk and Captain Hart walked as firmly and briskly as her father, up the walk, the front steps and the stairs to her own rooms, where she looked around to see what was to be done. "As Phil says , 'Here goes!'" s he remarked t o hers elf , throwing back the top of a trunk; for before her father left, Cathalina's trunks had been sent up and stood unlocked and unstrapped ir the hall by the door. "I wish my roommate were she thought; "still, perhaps it will be less confusin g if I get my things put away first. And perhaps she'll be home sick, too, poor thing, and I can have a decent look ing place for her. Dear me! This does not look much like home! Such teeny rooms, and only one dresser." But thinking of some one else as home sick as herself helped brace poor little Cathalina. She
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 49 shook out her pretty, simple frocks and hung them on one side of the large closet which the girls wer e to share. "O, dear, I w ish I had Etta," she sighed; for by the time the dre s ser and wraps were hung up and the hats on the shelf, she w as tired with the trips from trunks to clo s et. But she kept on, nevertheless, and sprea d on the tabl e a pretty embroider e d runner tha t Ann Maria had m a de for her, and carried there b y armful s books and bo xes of finery. "Can' t put any thing i n the bureau drawers, I sup p o se , until we di v ide them. I'm g o i n g to buy a big chiffonier, for I d o n ' t see how w e are ever g o ing to g et al o n g . I wish that steamer trunk could have been brou ght in. I w o nder why they won't allow trunks in the ro o ms. It wouldn't have done any go o d if I had b rought the wardrobe trunk I wanted." At last the trunks were emptied and all that was to g o in the bureau dra wers arrange d in neat piles on one of the bed s . She w a s standing and consider ing the wind o w s , bare of curtains, when cheerful sounds drew h e r over to lean out and see what was g o ing on. Girls were climbing out of one automo bile. Another was rounding the curve, ready to sto p as s o on as the first should move on, and a third was entering the dri ve. Two express wagons and a motor truck, piled high with trunks, went to the rear of Greycliff Hall.
50 CATHALINA A\' GREYCLIFF Waving of handkerchiefs or hands, calls, laughter and "feminine shrieks" met eye and ear. A more mournful girl than Cathalina would have smiled at the sight. Some of the girls, in neat traveling suits, 1an up the steps to meet and embrace several hatless ones who hurried down to great them. One girl tossed as i de bag and purse to throw her arms enthu siastically around three of her friends. "O, you're all here, after all! Aren't you glad to get back? And you really did come, Mary!" "Do you know when Gertrude will get in?" "I have a new roommate and she is a perfect
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF. 51 CHAPTER V. CATHALINA FINDS HER ROOMMATE. "ALL these girls," thought Cathalina, "and I don't know a single one !-but Alma." The night before and at breakfast she had been at Miss Ran dolph's table, with her father and a few teachers, in the comparatively . empfy, echoing dining room. One other table was set and b o asted a teacher and a few quiet, tired girls who had come a long dis tance. Miss Randolph's door stood wide open, and there was Miss Randolph, standing, note book in hand, in the midst of a roomful of girls in various stages of bewilderment, weariness, or interest, waiting their turn. A few mothers, fathers and other guardians of youth waited also. As Cathalina peeped in rather timidly, feeling, however, that Mi s s Rand o lph was her only rock in a sea of uncertainty, that lady b e ck o ned her in and spoke to a y o un g girl near, whose bri g ht, alert look and winning expression Cathalina had noticed.
-52 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF "Miss Lancaster, this is Miss Van Bus kirk, who will, I am sure, show you t o y our room and m a ke it unneces sary for you to wait an y l o n g er. A lma is busy elsewhere, Cathalina,-if you d o not mind,-" "I shall be very glad," sa id Cathalina, uncon sci o usly imitating the Sylvia Van Ness Van Buskirk sweete s t mann e r of courtesy. "Hilary Lancast e r will be your roomm;i.te," con tinued M i s s Randolph , turning away rat her abrupt l y to attend to the wants of one of the older girl s who came in just then with perpl exity written on her face. Many adjustments were n e c e s sary in these first scho o l days. There were a few sin g le rooms, some large s uites, occupied by sever a l g irls together, .and smaller ones like the two-room suite to be occu pied by Cathalina and Hilary. As playing the part of hostess came naturally to Cathalina, Hilary, for of cour se it was the Hilary, received a much better impre s si o n of her new ro o m mate than if she had arrived fir s t t o s e e Cath a lina in the throes of homesic k ness. "Pretty and awfully sweet," w as Hilary's mental commen t . Cathalina, too, was d elighted with the bri ght, com p ani o nable girl wh o , full o f inter est and ch atting away, wen: gaily t o t h e i r little suite. Hilary we n t first to the windows to take a l oo k at the Jake, then t hrew hat and j a cket on the b e d and dropped herself into the one rocking chair. Catha-
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 53: lina was already seated on the foot of her own bed, beginning to sort a few l eftovers. "Isn't this the most lovely place? I've been crazy to come ever since I got over the first shock of giving up my high-school class. I can scarcely believe that I'm actually here for two years." "O, won't you go h ome?" asked Cathalina, who often took things literally. "Yes, of cour se, vacations; but I can be here two whole years . And then if nothing happens, I'm going to coll e ge." Hilar y sa id thi s as if there were nothing more in life to be desired. Cathalina was amu s ed, fo r her ambitions, so far, had not included completing any cour se here , to say nothing of a four years' college cour se . "Rap-rap" at their sitting room d oor. Both girls started to answer the knock. There sto o d an attractive girl in a p ink kimono. T wo heavy braids of blonde hair, tied together with a pink ribbon, hung straight fr om a shapely head. Pretty white teeth gleamed when she gave them a happy sm ile and held out a pan of fudge. "Come over to fifty one, " she said, as each selected a piece of hot candy. " W e heard that fifty-two had some new girls. Come over and be social, though you mustn' t mind how we lo ok." Hilary and Cathalina did not hesit a te, but fol lowed the pink kimono and the pan of fud g e into a
54: CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF room that looked like the first stages of a rummage sale. Pennants, books, pictures, clothing, boxes, curtains, bedding, and all sorts of articles strewed tables, chairs and floor. And there on the rug, in the middle of the floor, for want of a better seat, were three more girls in gay kimonos. Cathalina observed that these girls had done what her mother had warned her not to do. They had taken everything out of trunk s in a hurry, to pile it all here, there and everywhere until convenient to sort and find a place for the articles of this remarkable col lection. Nobody was worrying about it, that was evident. "Can you really make fudge here?" Hilary was asking as they entered. "Not in our rooms, but there is a place on every floor where we can make fudge or press our clothes or-anything. "And these, ladies," continued the Pink Kimono with a sweeping gesture, are the Imps, or in other words, the Misses Diane Percy and Helen Paget, sometimes also known as the Sweet P's, though we can't say that is very original. We al ways have Sweet P's at Greycliff. The other frail being who is unable to rise is Betty Barnes, my un happy companion in misery, that is, she is in misery, -my roommate. Elizabeth, can't you do anything but grin?"
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 55 Three slim arms reached to shake hands and pull Hilary and Cathalina down into the charmed circle, where a bag of salted peanuts was set before them. "Perhaps you would like to know our names t oo," said Hilary as she took the bag and poured a few peanuts into Cathalina's hand. "We are Cathalina Van Buskirk, she-and Hilary Lancaster, me. I prefer rhyme to grammar, you see, by poetic license, as my learned father might say. And may we pl"ease know the name of the Pink Kimono?" "Beg pardon," said that bright mystery, sitting down with the rest. I am Lilian North. But wouldn't that make a good name for a detective story or a movie ?-'The Pink Kimono'. Honestly. girls, I am so full of nonsense today that I am positively silly!" Diane assumed a pained expression and said in a stage whisper to the other "Im1(, "She has dis co vered it." "Imp!" cried Lilian. Diane Percy was grey-eyed and red-cheeked, with a crisp, decided way of speaking; while her room mate, Helen Paget, was golden-haired, with dark eyes, and a delicious Southern drawl. Betty Barnes was slim and fair, her soft, dark hair tied with a rose ribbon, her blue eyes much like Cathalina's in hue, her manner demure, and a trifle more reserved than that of Lilian. All were nice girls and this
56 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF proved to be the beginning of a happy friendship for both Cathalina and Hila ry. Of their homes and history we may learn more later. The amount of fudge and peanuts was steadily, diminishing, while many things about the schoo! were being discussed and the girls were getting ac quainted, when Hilary sprang up suddenly at the sound of baggage, being thumped and bumped not far away. "That must be my six band b oxes and a b ird cage," said she, and with a. farewell wave disappeared . . " . I must go too," said C atha lina, wondering if Hilary really did have band-boxes. "Thank you all .so much for the good time; you must come over tq see us-won't you?" "Indeed we will," replied Lilian and the others variously expressed their friendly intentions. Number 51 was a three-room suite, two single beds in each bedroom, the common sitting room large and sunny, with an attractive window sea t, which would doubtless be fitted up with cu shions when the g i rls finally decided to straighten up their belongings. As Cathalina left the girls for her own quarters, a young cyclone in short dress and with new shoes that squeaked, bumped past, almo s t upsetting Cathalina, and with a careless "beg pardon", flew past, breaking in a door a little further d ow n t h e hall and :Shutting it with a bang. Cathalina stood looking
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 57'. after her with a shocked expression, and Hilary, who just then appeared in the door of 52, l a ughed and remarked, "Another of our neighbors, I sup pose!" Hilary' s cedar chest, which had b e en care fully i\vrapped and crated, stood in all its gl o ry inside the room, and the old janitor, as he appeared to be, seeming to be in charge of the trunk bri g ade, was unstrapping a trunk outside. "O, thank you!" cried Hilary, as the perspiring janitor unl o cked the trunk with the key she handed him. "No tips," whispered Cathalina aside; "Miss Ran dolph said she does not allow it." "Hilary, who had not trav eled, except from one of her father ' s appointments to another, hardly knew what tipping was, and woul<\-never have thought of it, l o oked wise and said n o thing. A busy hour or two followed. C a thalina told Hilary how nicely her plan w o rked, so Hilary did likewi se, transferring her belon g in g s, rat her slowly, it is true, from trunk to closet, bureau drawers and cedar chest without the confu s ion 0 the neighboring room. Only light articles had been packed in the cedar chest for the trip. "It takes longer at first," remarked Hilary, "but it seems to be the better way . I hope you will not mind, Cathalina, but I'm really not very neat. You
58 OATHALINA AT GREYOLIFF see, there was always so much to do at home that I neglected my r oom sometimes for other things and Jw1e so often picked up for both of us." "I'm not neat, either," said Cathalina, "because Etta,well, I jus t don't know how very well." "We'll have to cri tici s e and train each other, then. You c o me to t he bedroom door and say, "My dear Hilary, do you intend to leave those things on that chair?' and I will say politely, 'O, no, indeed, Cathalina, pray come in and sit clown !' " Hilary illustrated her supposed ho s pitality by lifting from a chair the armful of clothing whic h she had just sorted . "I heard Diane say that Randolph is very particular about how the girls keep thei r r o o ms." "Yes, and do you r emember how Betty said without smiling a bit that that was why they were in such a hurry to get fixed up !-s itting there in all that muss!" Cathalina stood by the dresser, tucking away the last box of trinkets. She appeared q uit e a diff erent Cathalina from the one who cheerfully but tearfully had waved farewell to her father earlier th a t morning. "Let's go down and see what the grounds look like as soon as you are through." "All ri ght," assented Hilary. "I believe I'll sfop n ow; I'm tired. The worst is ove r and I can lay the r est of the things out of the trunk on the bed. Then the trunk can be taken down the next time the
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 59 men come up with a load. Perhaps that's why the other girls did that way." "Perhaps." "Wait till I fix up a little. We have lots to l e arn, "My, I think so! There are loads of things that I ought to have brought to make the room look nice, and then I'm g o ing to find a chest something like yours if I can, or maybe Mother will send me on,e," continued Cathalina who remembered that she was not to have or appear to have much money. "Mm-hm," came Hilary's muffled assent as she slipped into a fresh cool dress. The girls explored the fron:t half downstairs, glancing from side to side and peeping into the two large reception rooms which oq::upied the entire front. At the end of the long corridor, a wide win dow looked out upon Greycliff Wood, into which a pretty path opened and disappeared, lost to view among the trees and bushes. The lake was dim! y seen at the right, and at their left the rising ground and wooded hills which extended back of Greycliff Hall. A door was near this window, and a short flight of steps to the ground. As the girls started down the steps, two attactive girls stood up politely to let them pass. One, looking a second time at
60 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF Hilary, exclaimed, "Why, isn't this Hilary Lan-. caster?" "Indeed it is." "Don' t you remember me-Grace Barna r d ?" your aunt's not long ago." "O, yes !-at that picnic! How funny! Did you know you were coming here then?" "Yes, this is my third year here , but I did not dream of your coming!" "The funny thing is that I did not mention Grey cliff. I was so full of it that I thought I was neve r with an y body five minutes without speaking of i t. But did Aunt Hilary know that you are a Greycliff girl?" "No; I've only just met your aunt." "My, to think what I missed know ing about Grey cliff besides looking forward to having s o mebody I knew here!" Cathalina and the other girl had been exchanging amused glances and now introductions became gen eral. "This is my r oommat e," said Hilary, "Cathalina Van Buskirk, from New York." "And this i s my friend, Eloise Winthrop,' ' re turn ed Grace. " I hope she is going to get into our suite this year, but it isn't d ecided yet." "We are just explo ring," said Hilary. :was tired of unpacking."
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF "Come on, then, we'll go with you if you d on't mind. There is hardly time before luncheon to take you through the grove or down to the beach, but we can look around a little." The girls pa ire d off, Grace with Hilary, Eloise with Cathalina, arm in arm. Eloise's heavy, dark hair was braided about her h ead and cr ow ned w ith a bright scarlet bow. Her face was full of animation and her l ight, active figure was a match for Cathalina's grace, but E l oise had the suppressed energy and nervous force that Cathalina seemed t o have lost. As she talked t o Cathalina she frequently turned to look at her with a pair of starry brown eyes which quite stirred C athal ina into a liv e ly en j oyment of her present adventures. Crossing the l awn in front, they stopped a mo ment at the foun t ai n where t wo plump cupids were catching water in a sea shell. "That building so close to Greycliff Hall is Ran d olp h Hall," explained Grace, as they strolled by. "It was named in honor of Miss Randolph's uncle, because he gave a lot of money to endow the sch ool. Almost all the recitation r ooms are there, and the hall where we have chapel and other doings. Over there is the Gym and the Domestic Science build ing. And there are the stables and riding pavilion." "Come around by Randolph," sa i d Eloise, "if you want to see the rest. The Music Hall is only a
62 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF frame building and they are trying to raise money for a better one. But we have a fine pipe organ in Randolph. The studios are all prettily furni s hed and they have good pianos. I'm practicing on a fright, though. And a girl right over my head, with the same practice hour, keeps time with her foot-or did last year. I'm going to speak for a different piano this time. Look over to your left now. That's the Pest House." "Pest House!" exclaimed Cathalina, "do you often have contagious diseases?" "That is our name for the hospital. We have two nurses and one of them isn ' t much older than some of the girls." "That makes me think," Cathalina, "I notice that some of the girls seem so grown up, like c ol lege girls." "Why, you know there are two years of college work here. We call them Junior and Senior Colle giate, or Junior and Senior C. I'm Junior Academy, what are you?" . "Father said Junior Academy, I think, but I'm not sure. I didn't read the catalogue; it was too much trouble." "So am I Junior Academy! cried Hilary, and turned inquiringly to Grace. "Me, too," said she laughing, "how j olly !"
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 63 "You can usually tell the Collegiate girls, Catha lina, by their looks and ways and the way they do their hair. Sometimes they try to be smart with us. As soon as there is enough money there is going to be a Collegiate Cottage, and a building for art, to o . All the girls have for a studio now is a room on the upper floor of Greycliff Hall." Cathalina looked interested. "That is one thing I just adore! But my father knows if I get started in that I will just stick around and draw and paint half the time. He wants to have me get outdoors as much as possible." "My, that would be the limit,-drawing! " said Hilary. "Excuse me, high school slang . Father said I was to cut it out entirely." " 'Cut it out?' " suggested Eloise, misch i evously. "Yes, there it is again; it doesn't seem to be as much easier here as Father thought." "We girls are not any too particular here," re marked Grace, "but Miss Randolph says a great deal about it and some of us are trying to use good English. Our English teacher told us last year that 'our speech influences our thought' and that after a while we will not be able to think anything but the slang 'and what will you do when you want to a ssociate with people of refinement?' she asked. She said we'd be embarrassed and not b e a bl e to talk and people would think us idiots ! "
64 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF "How awful!" "It certainl y made a hit with you , Grace . " "Well, I should say so, and because my father said that if I came home and talked like my c o usins, May and Jane, just out of coll e ge, he wa sn't going to let me go to school at all, but have a g o v erness o r somethin g . And that would sp o i l all my plans!" Cathalina list e ned amazed, r ecalling that she had a lways had the priva t e teaching . "There i s Patricia West, E l oise," said Grace. '.PJ young w o man c a me out of the music building and w a lked rapidly across the c ampus, smiling and wav ing her hand at the girls . "She is one of our instructors, Cathalina, new this this ye a r. She is one of the old grads here , fini s hed in one year at c o llege by taking s ummer scho o l , t oo k out her M . A. l a s t ye a r and here s he is. Everybody; l ikes Patty. I had a terrib l e c rush my first year here . " Cathalina knew only vaguely what a "crush" was, but said n o thing . How much older Grace seemed, probably ab out sixteen. "I am cert a inly no t ashamed of admiring Patty because she is so dear . They say tha t the boys are crazy about her, even if she does know so much . S h e has oodles of beaus." Ca t h a li na and Hilary t urned to l ook aga in a t t h e girl that had "oo dles o f b ea u s", fo r no gi rl is so
CATHALINA A'l' GREYCLIFF 815 young that there is n o t some fascination about romance. "What's the use of all this, then?" and Eloise waved he r hands at the intellect u a l surroundings. "She l ikes it," answered Grace. "I'll bet she's b een in signing up fo r piano now. Very likely she'll teach and take severa l courses beside s." "Mercy! " murmured Cathalina. "It isn't natural," wailed Eloise in pretended grief. "That sort of girl ought t o b e home ly and sent-m inded . Of c ourse, she' ll be a cro ss te acher anyhow, if she does l ook so sweet." "Alm os t lunch time, girl s," announced Grac e , glancing at her wrist watch. I have to go up to the s uite first,-can you girls find your way t o the dining room? I prom i s ed to hunt up a new girl and take her down and one of our suite-mates i,:; waitin g fo r us too." "I've been to the dining room twice," said Catha-1ina. "Don't worry abou t us." "Goodbye, then, till we see y ou l ater," and Grace and Eloise ran swiftly across the campus toward G r eycliff Hall.
166 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIF F CHAPTER VI. GREYCLIFF GIRLS. THERE were only thirty or forty girls at luncheon , although from the excitement and noise of arrivals Cathalina had been sure that the Hall was full . "Just wait till tonight," said Lilian North, who ac compan ied the girls to their door . "Then you'll not be able to hear yourself think in the dining room." Once m o re in the privacy of their own littl e apartment, Cath a lina and Hilary began to put on the finishing touches to arrangement of their p oss e s sions and to think of coming duties . "Reci tations begin tomorrow," said Hil ary, "and we must find out about the r o oms and teachers and everything." "I'm s im ply frightened to death t o think of it! How am I ever going to get up and say anything before a roomful of girls and with a sharp eyed pro fessor lo oking at me. My!" Hilary looked at Cathalina in surprise . "Why should you mind so much? Are you always that way?"
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 67 " 'Alw a y s ',-why, Hilary , I ne ve r went to school in my life b efore!" "O, " Hilary was wondering and wan ting to ask why and all ab out it. "Tha t i s w h y , " Cathalina ran on, "my work is so irre gula r . I'm ahea d in s ome things and behind in o t h e rs." "You hav e had private tea chers, tl:en ?" "Yes." "\i\Th a t are you going to take?" "Firs t y e a r L atin and A l g e bra and S enior giate Literature," r ep1ied Cath a lin a, l ooking at a pape r i n h e r fathe r's handwr i t ing t o mak e s ure. "Papa t hinks tha t I h ave had enou g h French and G e r m a n , be c a u s e I c a n spea k the m and r ead the li te ratu re m yself any ti me . He w ants me t o catch u p i n Latin and Math ema t ics as soon a s poss i b l e.' "Well, you are m ixed ! Y ou will recite wi t h the infants in Lati n and Math and w i t h the ' young la d ies ' i n Lite r a ture. I'm a r eg ul a r Junior A cademy, of c ourse , b e cau se I've had two y ears of hi g h school. But that m a k es y o u o nly five, ten, thirt.een hours. " "\i\Th a t are 'hours'?" "Hou rs o f r ec i t a t i on, you kno w . Latin recite s e v ery day , so that's five hours a Tue s day, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday."
68 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF "I see; but why do you say ' only'? M y fatnet s a i d that if I had too much work I c ould erature. " "Why, thirteen hours i s no t hing!" "Well , if yo u had neve r b een to schoo l , " b e g a n Cathal ina, lo o k ing a l mos t ready t o c r y, "yo u ' d t h in k it was enou g h . " Hil ary's warm heart w a s sorr y , thoug h she had thought i t rather "airy1 ' for Cathalina t o ment ion s peaking French and German. She spo k e qui c k ly , "O, do n ' t fe e l bad, Cath a lin a, I did n o t m e a n to b e h orrid. I suppo s e yo u r father kno w s be s t. I certainly w i s h I c ould speak s o me forei g n l a n g u ages . Let's trade. If I get 'stuck' in French y o u help me, and i f y o u s h o uld h av e a n y t roub l e i n algebra, may b e I c a n he l p yo u out." "All right, it's a b a rgain! " and Cathalina stretched o u t a li t t le han d browned b y the sun of the summe r by t he s ho r e . "The n the re ' ll b e Gym , of c o u rse," added Hilary. "I'm exc used from t h e gym n a sium work and going to ta k e swimmin g and ri d ing lesson s . I l earned to floa t t h is summer, w as a l way s t o o afraid to try it b efo re. " "I'm goi n g in fo r t ennis and bas ketb a ll. I'. m craz y a b out basketb all. But c o me on, let's go t o the b ea c h. I can alm os t h ea r thos e waves call in g ! " "I hear y o u c a llin g me! " sang Cathalina, as t h e y
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 69 started with no further de lay. If M other Sylvi a and Father Philip had se e n the i r d augh t e r as sh e r a c e d w i t h Hilary d own the bank to the b eac h , t hey sure l y w o uld have tho u ght that a miracle had h appene d . P oo r l ittle C a th a l ina had n e ede d "so mebody to play with". She was breat h les s and sat o n the sand with c o l o r in h e r c he e ks and panting from the e x erci se w hich hardly d isturbe d s t urdy Hilary . A f e w o t h e r g irl s w e re t he r e , to o , throw in g pe bb l e s into t h e w a t e r, or wading o u t a shor t d i s t ance , o r watc hin g the g u lls and terns throug h field g l as s e s. Out b y t h e breakwa ter, t h e birds we re fly in g and fishin g , s o m e t im e s c o min g quite n ea r t o rest o n t h e p osts b y t h e l ittle d o ck further down the sho re . There w as the b o a thous e , lo cke d now; and fast t o the d ock w as a h an dsome little launch , "Grey cli ff" painte d on h e r s ide . "0-ooo h !" e xcla imed Hilary. " I just wont want to study at all ! Boats and a la u nch ! " "Do n ' t w o r ry!" said a fat litt l e girl who was s itting on the sand n o t far from Ca t halina . "The y onl y l e t u s go on that at certain times . " "I do n't care," sang H i la r y, " ! know I'll be i n it some time b e fore I d i e, anyh o w ! Do they let y o u g o out in the bo a t s ?" "Yes, accordin g to rules. And we h av e canoeing on the ri v er, too, and rac e s sometimes." "Where' s the river?"
70 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIF F "The other side of the grove from Greycliff Ha11. Look along there and yo u can see whe r e it joins the lake." ' The two girls presently wandered off alone, along the beautiful beach, until Hilary n o ticed that Catha lina was es pec ially quiet, and that in their explora tions the afternoon had slipped away. "Getting homesick? So'm I. We must be hungry. C ome on; it's a l ucky thing at school that meals come three times a day. Mother says that schoo l girls are always hungry. " "If I'm homesick, therefore, I'm hungry? Maybe I am! Anyway let's go and see if any more girls have c ome. It seemed to me, H ila r y, that s ome o f thos e children on the beach we r e t oo young even for the Academy. Do you s u ppose t hey we r e visitors?" "No; that was one t h ing I didn't know, and I tho ught I ask e d about everything t here was t o know a b out Greycliff . They take a f ew very spec i a l girls for t he grades and h ave t eache r s fo r the m . T he catalogu e doesn' t say anything a b out it b e c a u s e , of c ours e , t h ey don't go i n fo r that. How I know,the r e was one on t he t rai n c oming up and h e r ol der s i ster and I t alked . S h e sa i d i t began b y not wanting to sepa r ate some sisters , and s o t here may b e , p erhap s , a d oze n littl e g irls here. I've been wishing my sist e r June c o ul d c o me. But I don't suppo s e they
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 71 could spare us both and then there would be the money." Savory smells, with rattle of dishes and silver, announced to Cathalina and Hilary, as they slipped in by the side entrance, having taken time to walk through the grove, that dinner was not far off. Soon the gong rang, and coming from different rooms, or running from various directions on the campus, came girls tall or short, plump or slim; girls rosy and girls pale; girls lau g hing and talking, with arms around old chums, and girl s who had just arrived and were depressed with the strangeness of it all and their loneliness in the mid s t of so much good comradeship. Smiling faces and sober ones; pretty summer dresses, or traveling suits; feet neatly dressed in low shoes or high shoes; sashes, belts; round necks, high neck s ; hair d o ne high, hair done low, hair down backs in braids, or curls, with bright ribbons,-an endless variety might be seen among the buzzin g company that poured in the dining room door and stood behind the chairs at the tables. At a tap of Miss Randolph's bell, all were seated and remained silent when her strong, beautiful voice asked a blessing. Then the hum began again. "One couldn't feel lonesome here," remarked Hilary. "I almost do," replied Cathalina.
"72 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF "Wait unti l you get started on the eats. I'm ' â€¢ most starved_'' "Poor Hilary! 0, I'm all right, but I had a pang ' thinking of Mother and Father at home." "Don't think," advised Hilary. "Just lo o k around, Hilary!" Cathalina had been in many large hotels, but thi s was different. At the head of the central table was M iss Randolph, serene, used to all the c ommo ti on, gracefully entertaining a few stranded parents, who were gazing aroun d with much interest. Cathalina had fallen in with Lili a n and Betty as they came in, and seeing Eloise and Grace beckonin g, all had gathered at the same t able , R egular plac es, of c ourse, could not yet be assigned , As the tables seated ten, only four pe o ple ne w t o Cathalina and Hilary were to be introduced. Miss Midd leton, an instructor in piano, was at the head. Very thin, tall and pleasant was sh e , Next was o ne of the "Senior C" girls , whom Miss Middleton seemed to know well. Then came a very small girl, Avalon Moore, who acknowledged the introd uc tions shyly and looked as i f she wanted t o escape. C athalina, who sat next t o Avalo n, in feeling sorry for h e r and trying to t hink of little things to re liev e her embarrassment, began to forget her own strangeness. The poor little g irl dropped her fork, upset a g lass of water, and in trying to take some gravy trailed
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 73 .a plentiful supply over the side of her plate on the tablecl oth . The whole table was sorry for her and . s he knew it, which only made things worse. But Eloise c ame to the rescue immediately with . a question to the music teacher of such general in terest that everybody joined in the discu ss i on and . allowed little Miss M o ore to r e cover herself unno ticed. Cathalina quietly b ega n to t a lk to her about the s ch ool and the girls, mentioning _ how lost and homesick she had felt that morning, but how beau tiful the place was and wha t nice girls she had met already. Avalon began to feel quite natural and loo ked at the dainty Cathalina with such admiring eyes that she was p l eased ; for among the relatives it was Cathalina who looked up to the older girls, .Ann Maria, Emily or Louise. Another girl at the table aroused Cathalina's in terest. She had been introduced as Evelyn Calvert .and c ame from Kentucky. There was a little differ ence bet ween her speech and that of Paget, who was also from the South, Cathalina did not know from what part as yet. At first Cathalina thou gh t Evelyn affected, but held her decisi on for s om e future time. Although Evelyn was probably no older than Cathalina, she had all the airs and _graces of an older girl and, indeed, real charm with it all. Her long, dark la s hes lifted or dropped, and .smiles came and went as she talked.
74 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFl!" "Aunt Sue put huh hands on huh hips," Evelyn was saying to the Senior C girl across the table, "and said 'Miss' Ev'lyn, yo' gettin' maghty fat an' peart up Nawth, whut foh yo' taken ridin' les sons lak yo' said? " 'Caint yo' ride good nuff ? ' 'I just ride foh tte fun of it, Aunt Sue,' I told huh. She was actually insulted to heah that I had been takin' ridin' le ssons in the Nawth. 'Why, chile,' she said, 'de Calv'ts is jus' nachelly bawn to de saddle! ' " while the table was waiting for des s ert, Lilian entertain ed the new g irl s by indicating in nods and glances the different girls of interest or prominence. She, too, c alled their attention to the new instructor, Patricia West, who sat at the next table and was chatting and laughing with some of the older girls. "Tha t is D a isy Palmer n ext to Patricia,_:_that plump, r ed-haired girl with the sweet mouth. She is president of Y . W. and a splendid gi rl. Everyb ody counts on her. That t all girl with the white dress and blue sash is Julia Merton. She is a Junior Academy and wi11 be in your cla sses, Hilary. She i s a German shark." "What in the world is a 'shark'? asked Hilary. That i s something new to me!" "O, knows everything ab out it and takes the highest grades. The one in p ink is her roommate, Margaret Brown. Isn't she pretty ?-the one in pal e
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 75 pink, with the re a l yellow h a ir. The other girl in pink is D o ro t hy A pplet o n. See her? She is in your class, too." A t a t a bl e n ear, D o rothy was leanin g forward, sl e nder wrists brac e d a g ain s t th e e d g e o f the t a ble, while she t alked earne stl y to Jul ia M ert o n o p p o site. Small, wh it e t eeth, r eg ular fea tu re s , stron g for a g i rl so yo u ng, and b r illi ant b la ck e y e s w e re much in e v i dence a s she tal k ed or smiled. H ad Ca th alina realiz e d the part som e of t he s e g irl s w o ul d play in the drama of scho o l l ife , she would have taken more pains t o observe t h em. "The pro ud l ook ing girl looking this way, there at the foo t of the s e c o nd table over,-well, s he was the ca p t a in of ou r Soph o m o re b a sk e tball team last year, Madg e Ross. She is out of athl e tics now, she says. S he c an't stan d it to be beaten, has a high temper, i s a w fully blu n t and c a n ' t k e ep a roommate ver y long. I guess some new girl is going to have to stand it thi s year." Dessert over, a t a p on the bell brought silence again, and Miss Randolph rose to make a few an nouncements and read important notices. One was passed to her as she stood there. There was little of the scene that Hilary or Cathalina missed. "Let me repeat the announcement that schedules of studies , hours of recitation, rooms and te a chers, will be found in the registrar's office on the first
76 CA'rHALINA AT GREYCLIFF floor, and posted also in the corridors . Miss Farrell's office h ou rs are posted at the d oor. "Chape l wi11 be held t omorrow morning at Randolph Hall, the building next to this. All the young ladies,-pupils of any age -are expected to be pres ent. "The Y. W. C. A. ' c a binet is a sked to meet "in the parlor immediately . "I desire to meet all the new girls as soon as pos sible. You may c ome to the library of this building, not of Randolph." "I'm just limp!" C athalina remarked as at nine o'clock she sat b ra iding her locks for the night and wish ing in the depths of her tired little soul for Etta to c ome and get her ready for bed. "That poor little Avalon Moore stuck to me a s if I were h e r last friend. I l o ved to h elp her, but I knew so litt l e myself . You were a Hilary, to take hold and find her room and roommate for her." "O, I'm used to t owing people around," said Hilary, smiling broadly. "You remember that I'm a minister's daughter! We'll get up ear l y tomorrow, wont we? and write home. I'm too tired now,. aren't you? Hasn't it been a day of it?" "Well, I think so! It seems a week s ince Papa l eft this morning. Can you rem ember the name of all the girls we've met?"
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 77 "Mercy, no 1" cried Hilary. "At t his minute I can t even remember the n ame o f t he Pink Kimono next door!" "That is because we called her that first, I sup pose; Lilian , -Lilian,-" "North," announced Hilary in triumph. But the lot of 'em we met after dinner!" "This is only the first day, remember." "But I can't help feeling the way we do when we go to a new place, that we must remember every body." "Why?" "O, people feel hurt, you know-that's one of our j obs, t o get acquainted." "Our minister's been in our church twenty-five years and almost belongs to our family , we think. He married Mamma and Papa and baptized u s chil dren, so we think everything of him and his wife , too. " "Twenty-five years! We usually stay four or five years. I like t o move around, but Mother doesn't . If she has a nice parsonage she would certainly li k e the twenty-five year plan! " Cathalina yawned, shook off he r slippers and h opp ed in to bed. " I just set my new alarm clock fo r five o'clock , Cathalina; are yo u game?"
78 .CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF "I am," said Cathalina firm l y, though never h e r li fe had she risen at the call of an a larm A faint sound of sp l a shing wave s o n the lake shore c ame through the open w i nd o ws t o the drowsy girls; while a soft breeze stirred the stray in g l o cks ab out Cathalina's contented face and brought happ:yj dreams to Hilary:.
QATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF W CHAPTER VII. CATHALINA'S FIRST RECITATION TERRIBLE sound wakened Cathalina and she sprang out of bed . "Brr-rr-rr-ting a ling-a -tingting-ting !" She found herself shaking b ehind he r bed and reali zed that the alarm cl ock, n o t far from Hilary's head, was the source of the r a cket. "For p ity's sake !-Hilary!" cried Cathalina . Hilary turned and threw her arms ou t over the spread. "Hilary! Wake up ! I don't know how to stop the old thing ! " One eye opened. Hilar y slowly sat u p and l ook d in dazed fa s hion at Cathalina who was back in bed, laughing w ith her fingers in her ears. "Please sto p it, Hilary. " "It's the intermittent kind," said H i l ary s leep i l y , and as if t o prove he r wo rd s the noise s t opped fo r a m o m en t , on l y t o re s ume operat i ons w ith ren ewe d vigor. Hilary r eached fo r the clock and turned off the alarm. "And yo u never e ven wakened! "
80 OA1'HALINA AT GREYOLIFF A litt l e l ater, two new fountain pens were busily scratching away at the first letters h ome . This was Hilary's: DEAREST MoTI-IER AND FATHER: Just a few lines b e fore breakfast to tell you that I arrived safe and so und and am pretty well settled. Miss Randolp h has put me in a lov ely suite lo oking on the lake, with a sweet roommate, to o , (Gordon will groan at that pun, I suppose), Cathalina Van Buskirk, from New York. I suppose she belongs to one of those old Dutch families . I heard her men ti o n "Aunt Knickerbocker" and Somebody Van Ness . I think she is about my age, perhaps a litt l e younger. She has blue eyes, and light brown hair and i s very pretty. You would call her very muc h of a lady and I'm sure we shall get along . She has nev e r been to schoo l before and dreads to r ecite with the other girls. My trip did not have any startling happen i ngs . I felt so fine in my new suit and with that elegant trave ling bag Father gave me, and I did enjoy the cooler air as we came near the lake. It is p erfe ctly great here ! I wish you all c ould come t oo. I shall write more later and may send a note t o Aunt Hilary today. Recitations begin today. I will tell yo u about t hem and send you m y schedule, so you can pin it up ,
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 81 as you said, and know what I am doing almost every hour. Thank you all so much for everything. Give my love to June, G o rdon and Tommy, and hug my little Mary for her old Hilary! Tell June that I'll write her very soon. The breakfa s t bells-gong-will ring in a minute, s o g o odbye for this time. Y our loving and grateful HILARY. P. S. We met a lot of girls and roamed all over the place yesterday. Mi s s Randolph is not what I im agined a prece p tress, or dean would be, tall, stately and c o mmanding. I rather guess she could be com manding, though. She is nice to everybody now and has a beautiful voice and quite an "air" about her, if she i sn't very tall. H. Cathalina's letter ran thus: My DEAR MOTHER: As I told my roommate (Hilary Lancaster), last night, it seems a week since Father said goodbye yesterday morning. But I have not spent the time in tears as I know he was afraid I would. Tell him that his military salute had the effect. And really from the first I've been too busy to cry or be very homesick. I unpacked and then the girls
:82! CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF k ept com i n g fro m t he trains, an d M i ss R a n dolp h handed over to me such a nice roommate, and there were so many things to do and see that n obody c ould help getting int erested. Hilary is t he daughter of a minister and so s mart, can do anything, I guess . I bel i eve Miss Randolph did take pains to se l ect my r oo mmate. She sa id "Hilary is a fine girl". I am sure she had never m et her .before , so h ow could . she tell? Vve have met ever s o many girls of all sor t s . Wait till I have time to write you a decent letter and tell abou t the Pink Kimono and the fudge, the fat li ttl e girl that I met by the l ake and the homesick one that thought I was an " o l d girl" and wept o n my sho u lde rs. She li ttle knew h ow muc h I felt like j o ining with t hose that weep ! I a m still sca re d at the thought of reciting w ith the rest t omo rrow, but I 'll ho pe for th e be st, as Ann Maria s ays when she h asn' t l ooke d a t her l esson ! Don' t worry about me a m ome nt. I r e member thos e last clear clays at h ome (here Cathalina had t o s t op and swallow a lu mp i n her throat), and how yo u all tried to ge t m e used t o the idea of coming away. I'll do my best to grow strong and k e ep bu sy, and I think now that it's going t o be "great fun", as Phil say s . I feel better and sort o f stirre d -up already. There is the gong for breakfast and
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 83 I'm actually hungry. We got up early and l o oked up our schoo l t hings. Love to y o u all. Your very loving daughter, CATHALINA. When Cathalina's letter was r e ceived it was eager l y opened . With what r elief did Mr. and M r s . Van Buskirk catch the new n ote in C a thalina's message . S y lvia , to who m the ho u se had been a l one l y place without her little girl, finally dis so lved into tears and sobbed a l ittle on Philip's shou lder; while he, who hated tears as men do, neverthele s s comforte d her and l et her have it out. The busy pasto r of Glenwood, with his wife, quite as eag erly read the b rief letter from their daughter, the first of their flock to leave home for any length of time. And at family prayers that night a strong pe titio n went up for the "dear child among strangers and the sweet gi rl with her" . . . "Keep the m, 0 Lord, and give Thy angels charge over them, and may Thy truth be their shield and buckler!" Meanwhile, the two girls, in their neat school dresses, made ready for their first class . Hilary, ca pable and serious, to o k notebo o k and pencil. Cathalin a, who hardly knew how to prep a re , fo l l owed her example. "I'm a great hand," said Hilary, "to j o t ever y thin g down and then I know jus t what to do. " The y had consulted t he
84 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF schedule of hours and rooms the night before and had m a d e out their lis ts with the name of each teach e r. "Number seventeen, Randolph," mused Cathalina, "for Latin, and number fifte e n for a l gebra . How shall I ev e r find out ab o u t e verything. I envy the o l d girls. They needn ' t waste so much time asking questions and wand ering around." "O, w e 'll b e old girls ne x t year," said Hilary. "Let's ta k e t h e el evato r down. It's o n the side next Randolph and near the covered way." Cathal i na soon found herself, with abou t twenty other girls , entering a pleasant recitation room, at whos e desk sat an intellectual looking woman of early middle age. "My, she l o oks awful," thouvht Cathalina, and glanced at her s chedule again. "Prof. Emmeline Ca r ver, M . A., Ph.D ! " In hu s hed silence the class sat waiti n g, most of them new, fir s t ye a r g i rls, scar e d and a we d . To everybod y's relief, Dr. C a rver s p o ke pl e asantly, if a bit stiffl y , g ave the name of the text b ook and directe d the clas s to the fr ont h a ll wh e re a s u pp l y of the b o oks was on s a le. With the a ss i gnment of a l esson and a f e w g e ne r al rem a rks on the importanc e of their Latin course, she then dismi s s e d them. As the girls escaped, for that seemed to be the general feeling, one of them near Cathalina drew
CATHALINA A 'l' G REYCLIF F 8 5 a l ong breath and s a id, D o ct o r Carver . I don't like her l ooks . I bet s h e c a rves us u p , all r i ghtee. The y sa y wha t she doesn ' t k n ow a b out L a ti n a nd Greek
86 CA THALINA AT GREYCLIFF the old martyrs must have fel t when they were l e d to the stake. Both girl s had put every spare minute on their l ess on s , bravel y refusing all invitati o n s to visit l ake o r campus, or to explore the many as yet unknown delights of Greycl iff . Exper ience d Hil ary had said, "There's a goo d d ea l in the way you begin, wh ethe r it's a game or a lesso n . " S o Ca t ha lina pu zz led ove r the r athe r unin teres ting in troduct i ons of her text b ooks . Latin pro mi s ed we ll, s i nce she had already studied other t o n g ues tha n Englis h, but she had a t e rri ble ti me committing the rules of quantity. Algebra , as she told Hilary, l ooke d like a Chinese p uz z l e . "Thank fortune , the V's are toward the end of the alphabet!" she tho u gh t, as she was as s ign.::d a s e a t in the b ac k r ow . "I won't have the rest o f the cla ss staring at me when I recite . " "Miss Van Buskirk, you may exp l ain what we mean b y quantity in Latin and g ive the rules . " Miss Carver lo o ked u p from the r o ll fro m w h ich she was calling upon the as yet unknown quantities of her class. Cathalina was frighetned, but rose mechani c ally , and to he r own amazement, her mind cleared, sh e met calmly t he fier c e glare of M i s s Car ve r ' s spectacles and words began t o c ome . " Loude r , p l eas e , thi s i s not a d rawing r oo m c onvers a ti o n, " c a m e the sarca s ti c t o n es a s Dr. C a r ver's
AT GREYCLIFF' S'T li ps curve d into an unpleasant smile. Cathalina's voice rose , a n d h e r r ep r es se d i re gave h e r jus t en o u g h s elf possessio n to sai l through the rules w i t hout a break, after whi ch s h e sat d own, quiverin g but triumphant. "You are n o t t h r o u g h , Miss Van Bus k i rk. That was a good exhibition of memory, but have y o u anx idea o f t he meaning of the rules ?" Cathalina rose again. " I was hoping t h a t y o u would explain , " s h e sai d m eekl y. " I u n d e r s t and a li t tl e . " That was a better sho t than Cathalina kne w , for Dr. Carver was no t p a r ti cul a rl y clea r o r he l p ful in explanati on, but wonder fully p ompo u s in making demands upon the cla s s . By the ti me the cl ass was dismissed its members were in vari o u s stage s of nervous prostration, as one o f the girls t old it, but strange to say, Cathalina's fea r w a s go ne. When Hilar y c ame into t he s ui te b e fo re lun ch, Cathalina was curled u p on the b e d working o n al geb r a . "How did _ Cicero go? " she asked demu re l y . "My! t he dea r docto r s l a ughtere d 'em right and left. S h e' s a new vari ety, as th e veg e tab l e catalogues say. T here 'll b e g reat fu n. I see you 're still al ive." "Fun! I d on't like to be made angry. It keeps me from learning. I wi sh there were another c1as5
ss CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF to somebody else! My other teachers are fine,human !" "Isn't it funny that Miss Randolph has anybody like that? It's hard enough to be a l ady anyhow, without an example like that in the school room!" "If the girls were disrespectful or anything there'd be some excuse. I never heard anybody talk like that." "Rap-rap-rap." "Come in," called Hilary, running out to the .'Sitting-room door. Half a dozen g i rls came in. "Welcome, merry sunshine!" said Hilary with her best bow. "You l oo k like a church committee. What .does this mean?" "Council of war," answered Eloise, her eyes flash :ing. "Do you want to join?" "Mercy!" said Cathalina appearingin the doo r. "What side are you on, Germ any or t h e Allies?" "No need to ask, under this flag," and Eloise :struck an attitude, pointing to Old Glory floating from the flag pole on the front of the campus. "But whatever we are we are on the war path! Little children are safe, however, so d on't worry." (Thes e were the days of the first shocks and surprises of the World War.) "How are you getting along, Cathalina," asked Lilian, who knew how Cathalina felt about going fo recitation.
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 89 "Fine," answered Cathalina. "After my first reci tation, which I came through whole, in spite of Dr, Carver, I haven ' t minded anything." "That is right to the point," said Grace. "It has occurred to us that we might do something to improve her state of mind a little, as it were." "Humph!" Diane "I'm clear ma'd through and through! Just her air is enough, be fore she gets off any of that brilliant sarcasm! I declare war here and now!" Hilary looked distressed. "I'm afraid it isn't right, girls, to feel that way, though I will admit she's the worst I ever saw. What is the matter? Has she been here long?" "No indeed ! This is her first year and I hope her last. You ought to have heard her in Virgil today. What did you think of the way she talked to me, Eloise ?" "I was mad for you; I just wanted to go right up and slap that woman!" "Look out, Eloise, your eyes will light the gas!" Eloise laugh e d but kept on. "Diane had a good lesson. All of us had been working our heads off. Any Latin is bad enough, but poetry! You couldn't find a subject to some of the sentences, you know. :VV ell, I guess Dr. Carver wanted to show off how much she knew instead of helping us, so she picked out something-I've forgotten what it was,-and
90 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIF!. made so much to do about it, and ridiculed Diane and told her it was a pity she hadn't learned that in first year Latin, as if we can remember every old gender or form!" "I kn o w I'm going to like Latin," said Cathalina, "but how I'm going to like her even a little bit is more than I can see. But I suppose you don't abso lutely have to like all your teachers, do you?" "It makes it much nicer," said Hilary, "and 1J teachers do have a hard life!" The girls laughed at Hilary's serious tone. "Never mind, Hilary,-you're a preacher's daugh ter, so we w on't ask you to d o anything. We aren't going to do much ourselves, only stir her up a little and have s o me fun. Promise, now, girls, that you won't tell, or be surpirsed at anything, or give any body a hint?" "Never!" promised both Hilary and Cathalina, smiling broadly. "Then watch and wait for developments!" and the six girls filed out. "What do you suppose they'll do, Hilary?" Cathalina looked excited and interested. "Haven't the least idea. May be it will all fall through. Girls are like that sometimes." "Not these girls. They have been here, you know, and can think of things. Ann Maria is like that, into all the fun going on."
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 91 "Who is Ann M a ria,--<:ute name." " She is my c o usin , ab out my brother's age an d has been t o bo a r ding scho ol for several y e ars, in t he East. Y o u o u gh t to hear her and my brother tell abo u t their schoo l s ! W ell, we s hall see--" "YVhat we shall see! " finished Hilary.
92 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF CHAPTER VIII. CONSPIRATORS. SUITE No. 59 was "seething with conspiracy", as Betty Barnes declared . "No, thank you, I haven't time to come in, or to be a Catiline." Upon which Virginia Morris, also of the Cicero class, appro priately cried, "How l ong, 0 Carver, will you abuse our patience?" "O tempora, 0 mores!" added Lilian North. "Mercy, Lil, you don't mean to say you remember that!" "Only that. I recognized it when I found it. It is a pet expression of my father's. Why d idn't you ask Hilary to come in ?" "Nothing doing," repl i ed slangy little Isabel H u n t . S h e i t was whom Ca t ha l ina had see n a s t h e small c yclone whirling pas t on that first day. "Hil a r y wo ul d n ' t d o it." "We' re n o t goin g to do a n ything bad," said E loi s e . "No, but I think h e r little c o nscience would hurt her."
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 93 "And why not Cathalina, then?" "O, she's too high and mighty, and besides she's only in the beginning Latin class." "So are you," Eloise and Lilian, who were highminded girls, did not much relish the implication that Hilary and Cathalina would not consider this an exactly noble undertaking. Isabel laughed. "That's so, but I am a 'bold spirit, my hearties' !" "Well, what are we going to do?" asked Lilian. Diane pretended to tear her hair. "I've thought of several schemes that we might try, nothing very smart, but she's new here and we might have some fun out of it." This was from Virgm1a. So with gigglings and whisperings and putting together of heads bright and mischievous, they laid their plans for a trick or two. "I'll be on hand," said Isabel, "if it takes days, because we want to try this fir s t, as it, ladies and gentlemen, is the one which will do us the most good. And now it all depends on a closed door!" "It does," replied Virginia, with which mysteri ous saying, all the c onspirators save the hostesses took their departure. For several days after this meeting, about ten minutes before the time for the Cicero class, Isabel Hunt, books under her arm, as if on her way to some class, would stroll carelessly by Dr. Carver's
94 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF d oo r. At las t t he re c a m e a day w h e n it was closed, Turning, I sa b e l wav e d w ildl y a t D ia ne, who was a l so c om ing e arl y and was just wi t hi n t h e outside doo r a t the end of the h all i n "Ran dol p h , " first floo r. "I saw h e r there , " returne d D iane , also w hi spering, "went by o n purpose . Now i f she ' ll j u s t fo r get to l ook a t he r watch and only kee p her n os e i n h e r book ! The e l e c t ri c bell hasn't b e en working for a d ay or t w o , so she'll not be r emind e d." They waited a few minu tes, the n I s a b e l s lipped up to t he do o r and with t wo o r t h re e "stickers," hastily pasted u p a noti ce w h ich s h e h a d been carrying for days. N O CICERO TODAY ADVANCED LESSON OF LINES "Now y ou go u p front," said I s ab e l , "and head ' em off the r e . Tell ' em notice u p, n o le s s o n today. "I'll sta y to watch h e r a n d ca t ch ' e m from upsta irs. and t he outs ide do o r. She'll ne v e r s u sp ect me if she d oe s come out an' spoil it all, ' ca u s e I'm n o t in the class .' " S h e mi ght t h ink we' d had y o u put the noti c e up. T en l i n es loo k s a l ittle s uspic i ou s , d oesn't it?" " Yes, b e c a u se she woul d give at l e a s t thirty , Grace s aid , but the cla ss w o uldn't g e t any g oo d of it
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 95 if they had to get a whole lesson, and after all this trouble!" "Well, don't let anybody get b y you to try the door,-by mistake, of c ourse; n obody would want to!" "Sh-sh! " warned Isabel, "go along." The girls began to arrive fo r class, one or two at a time at first. Fortunately fo r the schem e the Latin room was at a corner of the building, where the noise of dismissal of classes was least, and the learned Doctor was very absen t-mi nded . The sound of the last bell had died away. I s ab e l and Grace k ep t count and knew that the la s t Cicero girl had come and gone, those who did not understand with thankful, sm iling l ooks and no dispositio n to go to the door to view the notice more cl ose ly, and those who were in the plan with careful tiptoeing and l ooks of joy. Grace whisked up the stairs in the front of the buildi ng, and Isabel up the back stairs, the re to meet and giggle, as Dr. Carver at last opened her door and came out in perplexed surprise . She l ooked up and down the hall, and even went out to the front entrance. Then coming back, she saw the notice. I sabel, who had been leaning ove r the bannister to see Dr. Carver's movements, backed away into Grace's arms with a suppresse d shriek. "I wish you had seen her face when she caught sight of that
96 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF notice! She'll finish all of us tomorrow sure! Let's pass the word around to have perfect lessons!" Grace took a peep, but turning hastily, caught Isabel's arm. "Hurry, she's coming up!" Up the second flight to the third story they tiptoed, right over the angry Doctor's head, and thankful they; were that she was fat and slow. "Come on; we'll be in the library reading, and n ot together." " Not I," said Grace, "I'm going to be safe in my little room over at Greycliff Hall. Watch me get down the front stairs!" The ne x t day faces of great innocence met Dr. Carver's shrewd looks. After marking her roll , she made a few sarcastic remarks about pupils who had nothing better to do than play tricks. "It is an evidence of low order of intellect," said she. More than once she looked sternly at one of the girls who was a gay little thing and rarely had her lessons, but was entirely innocent of an:y: part in this. "If I did not know that this class is not capable of getting even the usual number of lines, and that I would punish the innocent with the guilty, I would give you a double lesson for tomorrow. But for the present we shall let it go. After this, when you see a notice on a teacher's door take the trouble to try; the door and see if the notice has been put up by;
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 9T authority. Under similar circumstances, hereafter, each pupil will receive a zero for the recitation missed. And let me remark that if any of you are interested in passing the course, you can ill afford to have a zero included among grades that are none . too high as it is!" And the Cicero class surely had reason to squirm that day. No matter how fine the reading, Dr. Car ver asked the most unheard of questions (according to their story), and pushed the discussions of subjunctives until, as Eloise said afterward, they all knew that they had never even heard anything before about a Latin verb, let alone understanding it! Ordinarily Eloise and Hilary were ready for the questions on syntax, but today they only shook their heads at the rapid fire of questions put in the "scientific" foreign fashion of making everything as profound and obscure as possible. With d azed eyes they watched the satisfied way in which the off ended Doctor of Philo s ophy recorded grades. after their efforts to recite, "zeros at most," said Eloise, "and no doubt she had invented something lower , maybe a zero minus." All was quiet for several days. Then Isabel met Helen Paget in the corridor one morning and whis pered, "I'm ready to be offered up again,-two acts at once this time!" She Burst into No. 52, where Hilary was in the midst of a theorem, with,
98 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF "Where's Cathalina? I've g o t to see her!" "I think that she took her books down to the rocks. She said that Childe Harold's address to the ocean would sound better down there. "What's she reading that for?" "Collateral in Lit." "My, does she take that"-and Isabel was gone. Five minutes later a flying figure reached and scrambled ove r the rocks to a high p o int where Cathalina was sitting and gazing dreamily out over the lake. Her bright hair was blowing about in a fresh lake breeze, her grey -blue sweater buttoned tightly around her. Once arrived, Isabel was in no hurry to explain her object and stood li ke a rosy bird, balancing on a rock, her hands in the pocket of her sweater, which was red. "Cooler, isn't it?" she remarked . Now Cathalina had not fanci e d Isabel very much. Isabel's slangy speech and pert ways did not attract her, thou g h she tried to be fr iend l y to the little girl. To tell the truth, Cathalina's inclinations were not of the sort that admitted re a dily a number of girls to intimacy. Tha t fact was of c ourse a pro tection to her, but also kept off for a time at leas t, some of the girls who were worth knowing. Hilary at thi s time had the b etter attitude for girls' school, helpful, kind and pleasant to every one, yet inde pendent, fearless on matters of ri_g-ht and wrong,
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 99 and confiding her private affairs chiefly to that best of confidents, her mother. "Will you save my life, Cathalina ?" aslCed Isabel brightly, as she sat down on a convenient rock at Cathalina's feet. She secretly admired Cathalina very much and wished that she could be like her. She also felt Cathalina's disapproval of her rough ways, but from some spirit of perverseness, was moved to be a little worse than usual when in Cath alina's presence. This afternoon, however, a different spirit established itself. Isabel's artistic eye and spiritual sense were touched by something "angelic", as she called it, about Cathalina's serious face and dreamy expression, while Cathalina thought that she had ' never known Isabel so sensible and sweet. "How can I 'save your life', Isabel?" asked Cath alina at last, remembering Isabel's greeting which had been forgotten in the talk which followed. Mischief came back into Isabel's eyes. "You are not taking Ger::nan are you?" "No." "Does an y body but Hilary and a few of us know that you can speak it?" "No." "Can you write it?" "Yes," and Cathalina was laughing by this time .
100 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF "I can't say that I'm proud of it now. I'd rather remember my French." "Well, this is the scheme. We want to get D r. Carver out of her room a few minutes before Virgil begins, and after she has unlocked her door, of course. Virgil comes after lunch, you know. Some one of the class will put a note on her desk, without being seen, if possible. If she i s seen and reported she won't really know anything about it, for it will be handed her in the hall and we are going to p ass it through several hands to some one who doesn't know anything about our doings!" Isabel giggled. "We want to pretend the note come s from the Ger man profess o r, jus t for fun. One of the girls has his initials, so it wont be 'forgery' for her to si g n them to the note. Now will you write the script for us?" "Why don't you write plain English?" "O she'd get on to the writing, and besides she'll feel complimented at fir s t sight. Patricia says she reads all those awful German books about Latin! She'll take the note to him and they'll laugh about it, that's all. And we'll have time to put our little presen t on her de sk!" If the truth were t o ld, some of the girls hoped to embarrass their victim in some way and get even for the times whe n she had so seriously embarrassed them in class. Isabel did not know this, though if ,
CATHALINA AT GRE YC LIFF 101 s h e had it would probab ly hav e made no difference; fo r I s ab e l wa s n o t gi v en to thinking a b out co nse qu e nc e s! "Please d o it , Cathalina ?" Isabel loo k e d very pretty , pushing back her short, curly locks a s s he wheedled Cathalina. " O , a ll ri ght,-depends upon wha t yo u want me t o say. I w on't t ell a n y 'whoppers ' . See me toni ght b efor e study h o urs." Isabe l w e n t off j u bilant. "She'll do it , g irl s, but we ' ll have to fix it up all ri ght, b e cau se Cat h alina i s n ' t the kind of a girl that w i ll write j ust anything." "Make i t short and s n appy, " sa i d Diane, " li ke thi s : 'Dear Fraulein Carver-May I s e e y o u i n t h e library a few minute s befo r e class ? Y o u rs, E . F . S.' o r something l i k e t h at,-how e v e r Catha l i n a wants it. " As thi s seemed h a rmle ss en o u gh, a nd no n e o f t he girls see m ed t o rea l ize the fa c t of dec e p ti o n , Cath ali n a wro te t h e m essage in G e r ma n s cr ip t an d Ell e n F. Smit h signe d h e r initial s , goin g into the l i brary t o "keep th e d a t e with our ' bel o ved t e acher '." Lil ian who w as in th e Virgil clas s, s u c ceed e d in placing the n o t e o n the de s k while Dr. Carver st o o d ne a r the d oo r c o nf e rrin g w ith o ne of t h e other girls. Then Lili a n sli pp ed b a ck in t o t h e h all t o not if y the g irl who stoo d in a retired corner with a cunning gray
102 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF kitten, its throat tied with a pretty blue ribbon, from which dangled a card. The girls had spen t some time thinking over what to put on t he card, the most spiteful suggestion being "TO A CAT". "Be Good T o Me; I'm Young," was Eloise's idea, but they finally decided to say, "If you don ' t like girls, maybe you like kitten s," and one of the girls had spoiled a dozen cards or more in writing it artistically. Cathalina had been worried over the kitten part of the performance and made the girl s solemnly promise that they would prop open a crack in the cover of the old-fashioned de sk. "Don't worry, Cathalina, we aren ' t cruel," said Diane, pretending t o be offended. "O, I know that, Diane!" The class, as usual, was gathering . in the back part of the room, near the wind o ws, in little groups, some listenin g while a good student r ead t h e hard passages to them. There was the n, no difficulty in placing the kitten without notice. And when, after a little, a scratching and mewing began, the last bell rang, and Dr. Carver came in radiant. She located the cat instantly, while the girls were taking their regular places, held it up with a sarcastic smile in full view of the class, an unsmiling c o mpany, car ried the meek animal to the door, dropped it in the
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 103 ha11 and shut the door with more of a bang, doubt less, th!:l.n she had intended. That was all there was of incident, and Dr. Carver was so absent-minded, l etting one recitation after anothe r pass without c o mment or correcti o n, that the girls dared to let their own minds wander from the text long enough to wonder what was the the matter. "Cat and all and the D octor scarcely mad!" Lilian whispered as the class left the room. "She didn't even read the card!" "She must have had a l egacy or something." "Perhaps a l etter from her l over." "Lover! Her!" was the reply to this, ungrammatical but vigo rous . "I wish he'd write oftener, then!" Later, fro m suite 52, where the arch conspirators had assemble d , came shrieks of laught e r. I s abel w a s one who could appreciate a j oke even on herself. "Honestly, g irl s , it was the funniest thing I ever saw . She was l i ke a different woman. I sat by the table, reading, of course, and only Ellen and two other girls were in there. And just as the first bell rang, who sh o uld c ome in but Der Herr Profes sor ! You know how he l o o ks, all frowzy and wild, with his spectacles and that high c o llar! Well, he went over to the German alcove and began to pull out the books in a hurry . Presto, appeared Dr. Carver,
104 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF .and bless you, didn ' t he start t o w ard her all beaming and nodding , with hi s hand s full of bo o k s ! " My d ear D o ct o r Garver,"-here so me o f t he gi rl s n early doubl e d up at Is a bel ' s imit a ti o n ( s he was takin g exp ression "). " 'I ha ve fo und dos e text s ve ve r e gommenting on la s t ni g ht.' The n t hey went on with such a spiel as y o u never h eard! Dr. Carve r l o oked re a l human, you know, a n d t h e old Dutch man-'s cu se me, Cathalin a , al so y o u r Holland ance s t ors,-Deutchman,-l oo k e d at h e r a s i f s h e was the onl y understanding soul he'd met s ince he landed.'' "Very likely she is," remarke d Hila ry. "I n e ed n o t have worri ed. T h e y n ever e v en s a w me there! I w i s h you h a d seen he r c oq u e t t i s h l o o k as she flirte d out of the r oo m wh e n the s e cond go n g r a ng. " I sa bel adjus ted an imag ina ry pa ir o f glasses a nd l oo k e d o ver her s h o ul de r. "'S o ki n d o f y ou, Profes sor Schafer.' It was a sham e fo r Ell e n a n d me to enj oy it all t o ours e lves!" " So yo ur j o kes kind of fell . flat? " a s ked Hilary with a mi s chiev o us look. "Yes," answered Isabel, "after a11 our trou b l e to find th a t kitten, and me c o axin ' C atha lina ha lf a day more or less!" "But ma ybe we've started a real romance," su g gested Eloise.
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 105 "What did you do with the kitty?" asked Cath alina. "It's all right. Dotty Banks, one of the little girls, was to watch for it and take it back if neces sary, and she showed me a Jong fre s h scratch it gave her, so I guess s he caught it all right!" "I'm glad it turned out as it did," said Cathalina later, as she and Hilary were at their lessons. "We aren't allowed to play practical jokes at h o me. If it had-a-mortified her at all, I'd have felt guilt y , although," and here Cathalina's lips s e t firm l y a moment,-"she deserves 'most anything for the way she does in class." "Father says that when we try to pay back it hurts us the worst," replied Hilary. "I'm not preaching, please, but such pranks take a lot of time and aren't so very smart or funny in the end . Let's try to keep out of them. If you cou1d get hold of Isabel, Cathalina, you woul d d her a lot o f good. She and Avalon just about worship you."
106 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF. CHAPTER IX. GOSSIP. 'As THE days went b y, Cathalina became accus tomed to her n e w surroundings and the school routine, with the stimulating life in the mid s t of much young c o mpanionship. Yet no one knew jus t what it cost her to overcome her timidity. She was, to b e sure, not the only young girl at Greycliff who was learning lessons of self-reliance, and the v ery knowl edge of that fact helped her. Pride, also, came to the rescue. She was not going to a p p ear like a dunce, not she ! And as confi d ence grew, she dis covered that m a ny even of the older g irls, fo r all the superior years and wisdom for which she had given them credit, could not recite as c o rrectly as s he, nor cared, apparently, to u se their brains in thinking things out. "Why, Helen," she said one d ay to H e len Paget, as they came to g ether from R an d o lph, where t h eir Literature class had b e en reciting , "Victoria Parker did not even blush when she made that awful mistake today."
CATHALINA A T GREYCLIFF 107 " O , she r e a ll y hasn't e n o u g h s e nse, Catha lina, t o know how bad it was, and d o e sn ' t care a nyhow. She's o ne o f t he ' S i m p s' . H e r fathe r s e n t her he re , I h ea r d, b e c a u se she w as so silly and he w a s afraid s h e mi ght run awa1 t o be married . " "It w oul dn't have b ee n s o b a d if we had not jus t be e n studying Geor ge Elio t. The way she r a t tle d i t off, tha t Adam Bed e was an English m onk a n d w a s c alled the ve n e r a b l e Bede!" " But yo u ough t t o hear her r e cite in Fren ch or Lati n, Cathalina. She does n ' t t h in k it n eeds to mak e sense and takes any meaning that s h e ca n find i n the dict ionary for t he word s and strings t hem t o g ethe r. We just nea rl y di e w h e n s h e r e c ites . You c a n imagi ne what a fit D r . C a r ve r take s over her Latin recit ations , an d t h e F re nch t e ac he r h as a ll s he can d o t o k eep h e r fa ce stra i gh t so meti m e s . " "Who i s the French teacher ? -there are se ver a l of t h e t eachers on the platform a t Chapel that I d on't know yet." "Madame Dumont. S he is wonderful , a p e rfect d ear! The girls work t heir heads o ff for her. She ' s a native, y o u know, and goes ove r home e v e r y sum mer. But s h e's t e rribl y w o r ried sin c e the war start ed i n A ugus t, you know. She had a s o n and other peo p l e in it, of course. Y o u m u s t mee t he r. She'd o nl y b e too d e li g h ted s i n c e yo u ca n talk with her."
108 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF "It would be wonderful for me, only I'm afraid of making mistakes . But what did you mean 'simps ' ?" "Can't you guess?" "Simpletons? " "Yes. She and that queer girl that she is al ways with were rather snippy to Diane and me and called us the "Imps", so we some times call them the 'S'Imps', with our crowd , of course." "Victoria is quite pretty," said Cathalina. "Yes; she looks just like one of those yellow haired dolls tha t I u sed to have . Pearl is rather stunning, with thos e big bla ck eyes. But the way they both dress! And i t would be worse if Miss Randolph did not tell us all occasionally what to wear. The first tim e they ca me down to dinner last year, Pearl had on a blue silk evening dress with a train, and Victoria wore a fussy lace and chiffon dress with satin slippers to match." "I suppose," remarked Cathalina, thoughtfully, "that it isn't criminal not to know that George Eliot wrote 'Adam Bede', o r n o t t o be able to tran s late a forei g n langu age . Lots o f good pe o ple d o n ' t know ei the r , I guess." "O, of cour se , " Helen l a u ghed. "I c a n for get hi s t ory over ni g ht. But I d on't know w h a t t he se girls do care for that amo unts t o a nythi ng. I reckon "-and Helen's drawl was much in evidence,
OATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 109 "our fathehs and mothes want us to get our lessons paht of the time anyway! They say that Pearl has a silly motheh that wants huh to be 'in society' and huh fatheh wo'ks his head off to get money enough foh them. He was here one time, a kind looking man, not very much fixed up, and Pearl act ed as if she felt ashamed of him!" "Victoria has been real nice to me." "That is because"-but Helen stopped and changed the reference she was going t o make to the style and daintiness of Cathalina's clothes to "well, I feel sorry for Vic. . She hasn't any mother. S he has more common sense, too, in some ways than Pearl." That very day, after study hours, it chanced that Cathalina had callers. Hilary was off with s o m e of the girls, but Cathalina had a theme to write and since genius had begun to burn, was scribbling away at a great rate. A light tapping came at the doors and a rather pretty voice called, "Is Miss Van Buskirk at home?" "She is," replied Cathalina pleasantly, opening the door to admit two beruffled and befurbelowed young ladies of the Junior Collegiate cla sses , Victoria Parker and Pearl Opal Taylor. Victoria's flaxen locks were puffed and waved and frizzled. She was short and plump, her arms and hands fair and pretty, for Victoria would n o t
110 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF risk her white skin in any of the athletic sports. 'A! wide gold bracelet, long earrings, and half a dozen finger rings were her chief ornaments. She sank gracefully into a chair, patting her puffs and turning the bracelet right side before. Pearl was tall and thin. Much powder and care less eating had had its effect already upon her dark complexion, but she added more powder and even a bit of rouge upon occasion, though not when in the presence of her teachers. Her stylish silk frock was adorned with braid and beads and dabs of color until it almost made Cathalina's eyes ache. "I undehstand that you home is in N'Yawk, Miss Van Buskirk," simpered Victoria, after the exchange of greetings was completed and the three were set tled for a visit. "Yes, we have always lived there, though Father's people came from near Troy. But don't call me Miss Van Buskirk. I am not grown up yet." "But you have quite an air about you, and as you recite with us in literature,-" "Mother wants me to be a little girl as long as possible, she says." "O, indeed! When will she let you come out?" "O, we aren't that kind of people. We don't giva balls and big affairs as a rule. We have lovely family parties, and nice teas and dinners with our friends."
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 111 "Do you know Nora Perry?" asked Pearl ab ruptly. "No, I think not; though it is hard to remember whom I have met-there are so many." "She is in our class,'' said Virginia, forgetting to drop her r's. "She t o ld me tha t she was going to take the first opportunity to call on you b e caus e she thinks it was your brother that she met at Virginia Beach last summer." "Very likely," said Cathalina, thinking "poor Phil!" "O, then you do have a brotheh ?" continued Vic toria, brightening. "Is he quite a little older than you?" "Several years." "Nora was saying that your father is vary w e althy and that y o u could have all the cl othes and jew elry you wanted. " This came from Pearl, and even Vic toria frowned at the remark. Cathalina froze a little at this and said, "Mothe r says that there is nothin g peo ple are so o f ten mis taken ab out as other pe o ple's money, and, anyway, she thinks it isn't in g o o d taste for little girls like me to have fussy clothes." By this time Cathalina was v ery much tried; but she wanted t o be p o lite and finall y succ e eded in getting away from clothes, her own private affairs and boys to interest them in some other things. They
112 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF asked many questions ab out New York and talkea v o lubly about their o w n experiences o f the sum mer. When at last the dinner gong released Cathalina, the two birls went a wa y happily, thinking that they must have made qu i t e an impresison "that little Van Buskirk girl" . As Cathalina went to the bure a u t o choose a fresh h a ir ribb o n, she picked up her m other's pictur e in it s i vory frame . "The re i s the ' r ea l arti cle, all wool and a yard wid e ', a s Fath e r says . She looks just as s he does at F athe r wh en he c o me s h o me, tender and glad to s e e him , bless h er ! My, I'm thankful for the kind o f a h o m e I have!" and Cath alina w a s thinkin g nei t h e r of it s e legance or we a l t h. "I never realiz e d it, nor w as half t hank ful en o u g h . Thos e poor g irl s ! I wi s h I c o u ld do so m ething fo r Victoria; she has a k i nd, p l easa n t way, after all." But Cathalina sh oo k h e r h ead d o ubtfully. "Nin e t e en and such ideas!" F o r Cathalina , who did not re a lize the chang e s takin g pl ace i n her own ideas of life, thought nineteen quit e t oo late for an awakening. After dinner, as Catha lin a l e ft the dining room, s he h a ppened to be near M i s s R an do l p h, who slipped h e r h a nd throug h Cathalin a' s a rm. "How are y o u, dear chil d ? " s h e a s k e d . "I have b een too busy to lo o k after y o u pro p erly, but I h ave
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 118 watched your cheeks get rosy, and the bright you carry. Have you been homesick?" "Not much, Miss Randolph,-it's all so interest ing and I know the nice s t girls!" "I have a letter from your Aunt Knickerbocker and another from your mother, and before I reply: I w o uld like a little visit and t a lk with y ou. Suppose we take our Sunday evening lunch together in mYJ rooms. " And with a kind l o ok, Mi ss Randolph went on her way , leaving Cathalina. "Somebody is t e rribly intimate with 'Ellen'," said one of the girls who did not like Miss Randolph and now includ e d in her di s pleasure "that stuck up Van Buskirk girl". Hilary, who happened to be near, replied, "Her aunt is a friend of Mi ss Rando lph's." Cathalina just then j o in e d Hilary and with a gro up o f girls they w a ndered out to the porch seats. "Doe s Miss Rando lph teach anything?" inquired Hilary. "No,'' one of the older girls replied. "She did a year or so a g o, but was too busy and gave it up. She taught H istory of Art and was a perfectlY, grand teacher , t h e girls say." "I'm scared to d eath every time she looks at me said Isabel Hunt, who perched on the balustr(\de and swung one nerv o us foot. "I wonder if my hair is frowzy Qr the bi1tton I sewed on my waist
114 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF matches, or the one I didn't sew on will be missed. I'm sure she can see clear through me!" "Why how funny!" Cathalina. "I never thought of it." "That is because you are always as neat as a pin." "I wish I 'wuz'," and Cathalina laughed as she thought of various hurried occasions when she had longed for Etta. "Hilary, I'm wrongfully accused! Come to the rescue!" Hilary made big eyes and said in a stage whisper, "Never reveal it,-but Miss Buskirk wa s known to rush off to early class one morning with a great tear in her petticoat, pinned for a yard around,more or les s !" "Fie, fie!" cried Isabel. "I feel better!" "And you ought to have seen her, Isabel, when she came back from her first ride on old Poky! You wouldn't think Poky's going could jolt anybody, would you ?" "She galloped awfully," interrupted Cathalina, while the girls laughed. "Cathalina did not have a hairpin or a ribbon left! Her hat was over one ear, her hair flyingwell, I will spare her the re st! ever there was a girl in distress she was it!" "Well, I was in distress. That old riding teacher showed everybody how but me!"
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 1115-"He probably thought that anybody on Pok)3 didn ' t need any showing." "Hilary, how you do rub it in!" said Isabel, reaching over to pat Cathalina, who was not minding it at all. "She appealed to me !" urged Hilary in self -de fense. "That was the way my oldest brother taught me to swim," Isabel c on tinued. "He to o k me out to where I couldn't stand and began to be floated off, 'n when I was yellin'-'Jimmy, take me out,' the wretch swam off with 'strike out, Izzy'! " "O, my," gasped Avalon, "what did you do?" "Well, you see I'm here," and Isabel grinned at '.Avalon, who looked sheepish. "Putty!" said one of the girls. "I happen to know that Isabel had been practicing for a month and could fl.oat anyway . All she needed was confidence in herself." "Don't spoi l a good story," said Isabel. "Did you ever hear why Miss Randolph never got married?" asked Diane, going back to the first subject of c o nver sa tion . "No; why ?"-and the whole group leaned for ward to catch the first word o f romance . "She wasn't asked !" replied Diane mischievousl y, and was rewarded by groans from all quarters. "Mean thing!"
116 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF "No, sir!" Isabel exclaimed. "There is a real love story about Miss Randolph. She was going to marry a young professor of oratory. You know what a lovely voice she has, so rich and de e p some times it gives you the shivers in Chapel when she prays!" "Thrills, you mean," corrected Hilary. "Well, anyway, this young man heard her voice in another room at a party and went in to hunt it .up-oratory, you know,-and found Miss Randolph and fell in l ov e at first sight." "Sound, you mean," softly suggested the same mentor. "You're awful smart, Hilary Lancaster," grinned Isabel, "who 's telling this ?-And they picked out their furniture and he had a dandy j ob at some school, and she had the love-Ii-est clothes, and-" "O, don't say that he died!" exclaimed Cathalina. "No, he didn't,-that was the worst of it." The g irls lau ghed here. "Well, which w ou ld you rather if you were engaged, have him di ed and still love you, or have . something happen and maybe somebody else get him?" Nobody seemed to be able to decide the question. "Just before the time to send out the invitations, somet hing happened. Nobody ever knew what. She wouldn't say a word, except that the engage -
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 117 ment was broken. She went to Europe and studied art and things, and I suppose he went to his old school." "You seem t.p be sure that it was all his fault. '.Are you so fond of Miss Randolph?" "Well, I always feel guilty when she's around, but then that isn't her fault, and I can't imag i ne her ever doing anything wrong." "Who told you all that, Isabel? I d on't believe a word of it." "Annabel Wright, in the elocution class. Her people came from the same town, in Virginia. Just ask her." "Funny Cathalina never heard o f it." "O, no; Aunt Katherine wouldn't speak of it if she knew." Not a girl of this group failed to look at Miss Randolph the next time she saw her with a new interest because she had had a lover! But it was hard to believe that any one so calm and cheerful could have had the note of tragedy in her life. ;
118 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF CHAPTER X. HILARY'S BIRTHDAY BOX. A CURIOUS friendship had sprung up between Cathalina and Isabel Hunt. Perhaps the first tie was 1.he devotion to Cathalina of Avalon Moore, Isabel's rnomm a te. Then Cathalina was a revelation to Isabel, crude, motherless little girl that she was. For I s abel had been brought up by a father troubled about bu s iness affairs, by a queer old cousin who kept house, and by four older brothers. "No wonder Isabel talks as carelessly as she does, Mamma," wrote Cathalina. "I c o uld not bear her at first. But she has the dearest, warmest heart, and is such a little wild rose of a thing, with her curly hair and rosy cheeks, that I've changed my mind. Miss Rand o lph said that she is 'a dear little girl that ought to have more love and care.' She and Avalon hang around our 'bunch', as Isabel calls us, as much as possible and are delighted to make themselves useful. "Now, dearest Mothery, don't forget what I told you about Hilary's birthday. Pleas e let me give
CA 'l'l:lALlXA AT GREYCLIFF 119 her somethin g nice, won't you? I'll run the risk of h e r feeling 'under obligatio n'. She is such a dear and has been s o l o v e ly t o me. I'll never even tell h e r before my birthday. Besides, my birthday do e s n o t co me in scho o l time. Hilary w ill be sixteen! I'm glad she is older than I; I've de pend ed upon her a lot. She knows so much more about people, some way, than I d o . Her mother is going to send her a birthday b o x and I'm ev er so curi o us to see what a r ea l birthday box at school is like." The "bunch" to w hich Cathalina referred was the the group of girls who lived for the most part on L akeview Corridor. It was n o t a "cliq ue", exclu si ve, but merely the u sual drawing together o f a merry group that chanced to bec om e better ac quainted through ass o ciation in classes or s o me per sonal attraction to each other. But the r e were other nice gi rl s on this corridor and elsewhere, with whom in time Cathalina and Hilary formed many pleasant friend ships . Three exciting events were on for the last week of Oct ober: Hilary's birthday, the electi o n of c ap tain for the Junio r ( Academy) bask etba ll team, and the Hallowe'e n masquerade. T ongues were gabbling and fing ers flying on co s tumes in the inter esting hours b e tween r ecitation, study hours, meal time and bed-time. Lights were rarely out on time and many were the d r ead r e pro ofs fr o m teachers on
120 CATHA.LINA AT GREYCLIFF, the different c or rid o rs. Cat h alina w.as on the com mittee for the Hallowe'en performance, while Hilary was deep in the interest s of ba s k etball. She was "out for the team " and the r e cipi ent of confidence s on all side s . On the day of her birthday, Hilary was flying down the hall, t apping at different doors. Isabel's brown curl s lifted from the remarkable c os tume on wh ich she was sewing with u . naccus tomed fingers. "Wh e re's Avalon?" Hilary asked, a s she held the d oo r part way open. "She h a s not been up s ince lunch." "Then i nvite her for me , please, when she c om es in. I want b oth of you t o c ome t o our f eas t tonight. I am to have a box from h ome if nothing h appens . It is to arrive this afternoon, so the things will be fresh. If it shou ld b e d elayed, we'll have the feast tomorrow." "O, goody !-you're a duck, Hilary. I'll be dee li ghted and so will Avalon. It's awfully g o od of you to invite u s with the big g irls!" Is a bel jumped up, dropping scissors and work on the flo or, while she ran to take Hilary's face in her two hands and kiss her. "Many happy returns! Hilary looked embarrassed, for she "wasn't much at kissing." "Be sure to come," she said hospitably, as she vanished to tap at the next door. "What in the
CATHALINA A T G REYCLIFF 1 2 1 wo r l d i s thi s !" and Hilary pretended to start ba ck in fri g ht. A fierce growl g r eeted t h i s q u esti on , as Diane in a bea r 's co s tu me, t o w hich Hel en h a d be en putting a few la s t stitche s , sat u p, w a v ed b r ow n paws and st arted a rolling d a nce. " Isn't it g ood?" a s ked Helen. "Great!" Hilary replied, clapp in g her. hands in: applause . "This, la d i e s and gent l emen, i s t he o nl y Cinna m o n Bl a ck B e a r in c a pt i v i t y," s a id Hel en , a s s he s lip p ed into a rou g h c oa t and adj u s t e d a man' s sl o uch hat ove r her ey es. "Here i s hi s cha i n . " S h e threw a l o n g iro n chain arou n d Diane's neck. " T his is t he w o rs t p l ace to g et anyt h i n g . I wi s h Mi s s Ran dolph w o u l d let u s go t o the c i t y for costume s . " "She said w e ' d h av e jus t as m u ch fu n w ith in e x pe n s ive thin gs. But I'm forgetting my errand. Catha l ina V a n Bu sk ir k and Hilary Lanc a ster w ill be at h ome this e v ening at eight o'cloc k and w ill be happy to s e e Miss Diane Percy, Hel en P age t, Miss Lilian N orth, a n d M i ss Be t ty Barnes a t that t ime, very promptly if we d on' t send for y ou to h elp before ! " "Do n ' t worr y . W e w o uldn ' t m i ss it. H a s the box c o me?" "No; bu t Mother s a i d it wo uld before night, and what Moth er can ' t p ut through h a s n o t y e t b e en discov ered! Mi ss Rando lph said we c o uld sit up a
122 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF while after 'lights out', so we can have a good time and not hurry. Yum-yum, I know Uncle Andrew's chickens from Bro o kdale farm will be in it!" "Did you say 'CHICKENS'? in the plural?" asked Diane in deep and husky tones, while she made her eyes big and waved her claws again. "Ow! Let me escape, fierce beast!" and HilarY, disappeared. As Hilary came into the room, Cathalina, who like all the rest was industriously sewing, pointed with a smile to the birthday b o x, just deposited near the table by the janitor. The top was open and the nails carefully drawn from the boards. "Hooray!" cried Hilary. "But I'm not going to take a thing out till after dinner." "How can you wait so long?" "Because I think it will be fun to take it all out at once, and it will spoil our appetites to nibble at thin gs,-and how could we h e lp it ?-and then, M o ther has packed that box and I know that the eats and everything are in glorious shape. They'll be better to stay as they are until we are ready. I hope the girls won't eat much at dinner." "If I were Pearl Opal I'd exclaim-'eat much? here?'" "Poor Pearl! How she hates it here!" "When are you going to have the feast, Hilary?" "About half-past eight or nine o'clock, thougll
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 123 it's supposed to be a 'midnight feast'. We'll begin to borrow dishes and fix up soon after dinner. ;won't it be j olly? It isn't e very girl that can be at Greycliff and have a birthday and a big box from home." "A little package came to me, too," said Ca thalina, putting d ow n her work and go in g into the bedroom. In a moment she appeared with a little black l e ather c ase. "O, what did they send you?" asked generous Hilary, who was always glad for the good fo rtune of others. Cathalina opened the c ase. There o n soft ivory satin lay a delicate gold chain with an exquisite little pendent of opals and tiny diamonds. "How beautiful!" e x claimed Hilary, looking closely. "Try it on," Cathalina invited, her eyes dancing. "Isn' t it the sweetes t thing, Cathalina ! It will be so pretty with all your low-necked dresses." "Yes it-won't, Miss Hilary, " replied Cathalina, who could not wait any longer. Putting her arm about Hilary, s he held the hands that were beginning to unfasten the clasp . "It's yo urs, girlie, with 'many happy returns'. I had Mamma get your birthstones, for it's lucky, they say for October girls to wear opals." Cathalina lau ghed at Hilary's astounded look. "I hope that you will enjoy it and remember your old goose of a roommate when you wear it."
124 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF. ''You old darling !-but I c an ' t, re a lly, it's too nice,--op als and diamonds ! " "It isn't much, honestly . I wanted Mamma to get something nicer, but she kn e w best , I su pp o s e." "\i\That cou ld be nicer? 0 ! It is so l ove ly !" and Hilary looked in the mirror a gai n. "It surely is a surpri s e . I don't fee l I o u ght to ha v e it, but thank you a thou s and time s ! " Hilary hugged the ha p py Cathalina, who said, "Put on for dinn e r your white organdy with the V neck and see how this loo ks w ith it." "All right. I'll have to ch a n g e again, though, can't ri s k my prett y dress u np acking." "Grace says that the g irl s u s u a lly wear their kimonos at a late spread." A s s he s poke, Ca th a lina smiled, thinking wh a t h e r mother w o uld say if she saw her dau g hter in the b i g figured kim o no which she had purchased at the Gr e ycliff Heights "emporium". Her l acy negligee she had found scarcely suitable for Greycliff "stun t s". L essons, Gym prac tice, d inner, c ommitt e e meet i ngs an d a turn outdoo r s wer e all o ver at l as t . Hilary' s " spa r kle r " , as I sa b e l c alled it, h a d bee n d u l y a dm ir ed and c ommente d o n b y dozens o f gi r ls . S h e a n d C athal in a flew up to their s u i t e and w ere j oin ed by Isabel and Avalon, w h o had b egg ed t o b e all o wed to help. "We'll get the dishe s all ready b efore we unpack
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 125 the box. Then we can set the goodies right oH the table, Isabel. Will you please go to 57 and borrow the girls' kettle for the c ocoa?" "I'll make that," offered Avalon. She was taking aomestic science and welcomed a chance to practice . "All right; I brought up the milk and put it out on the window ledge. And I wonder if you wouldn't help gather up dishes now. Run around to Grace and Eloise first. With theirs and those from fifty one, and ours, of C()Urse, we'll have enough, I think. 0, yes,-tell 'em to bring what spoons they have." So directed Hilary. Books and papers were piled on window sills and floor. Whisk went the table runner and Cathalina came trotting with a dust cloth. A clean dresser scarf and paper napkins made sufficient covering for the table, and a pile of wooden plates was placed on one end. "Now let's see," pondered Hilary. "Two can sit on the cedar chest here, three on your new box, Cathalina," whirling around a light b o x which had been another purchase at the Empo rium, and contained little of weight as yet. "That's five, and four chairs, nine; and when the box is empty it can stand on end with a cushion on it. A few chairs from Lil's will finish out nicely." "What's the matter with cushions on the floor?" "O, well, we're having more than light refreshments and I'm afraid it would get tiresome."
126 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF Bright pink spots burned on Hilary's cheeks as she hurried around to get everything ready. Then she began to draw one package after another out of the ' birthday box. First came a flat paper box, which contained some acceptable little gifts for the sixteen year-old daughter. Within the tissue paper lay some bright hair ribbons, a pair of kid gloves, a dainty handkerchief and some fragrant sachets made by June from satin ribbon. These were admired by the girls who stood or sat near, but they were much more interested in the rest of the contents. A birthday letter Hilary slipped into her belt to read pres ently. "Look, girls, the big box in the middle has the chicken, I know!" Hilary lifted the lid and disclosed tempting pieces of fried chicken well w r apped in oiled paper. "Please take them o ut, Isabel, and arrange on some of the wooden plates, on a paper napkin, you know." "How many chickens do you su p pose your motlier coo ked? Here's nothing but brea s t and seco n d joints and nice things." "They're having chicken pie on the remains," said Hilary lau g hing. Here' s s ome of June's fam ous salad, two quart cans,-and do you l i ke blackberry jelly, Avalon? Good, two gla s ses. Tha t is all I w a s afraid of that there wouldn't be enough of the little
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 127 things for the crowd. But Mother knew little Hilary!" A big birthday cake, candles in a box; nut bread; pimento and che ese sandwiches; country butter; fre sh rolls, home-made; a package o f June's fudge and "divinity"; cream candies, made with fondant; a large cand y box of blanched almonds and hickory nut meats; olives and fine h omemade pickles, all c ame in quick succession from that still famous box. In the corners and around about were tucked oran g es and red and golden apples. The girls shook every scrap of paper for fear they might miss something . "And everything so wonderfully packed!" they ex claimed. As the table was not large enough to hold it all, the cake and other goodies for dessert were carried into the other room and the t op of the dre sser cleared to hold them. "I feel like a li ttle piggy-hog," sighed Isabel, l ook ing at the table full of good things . "Help yourselves," said Hilary, turning to the book-shel ves and then passing a box of c hocolates which had reposed there , having arrived from Aunt Hilary that morning. "One chocolate and a pickle is my limit," Avalon aecided, and turned her back on the table to enj oy those delicacies . "We must save our appetites for the chicken. We can buy candy, but where can we
128 CATHALINA AT GRE Y CLIFF ever get chicken like that?" A v a l o n , l ong over her homesickness, wa s alm os t as full of lif e as Isabel. "Now for the coc o a , A valon,-I'll h e lp." Catha lina'!> housewifely instincts s upplied what e x perience lacked and she found that she liked to fu s s around after this fashi o n. Then the guest s began to arri v e . D ia ne Percy, Helen Paget, Lilian N o rth, Betty B a rnes, Grace Barnard, Eloise Winthro p and two n ewer friend s , Juliet Howe and Pauline Tracy, c a me in, one or two at a time. Juliet a nd P auline, l i k e H i la r y , were "out" for basketball. B oth w ere a c t i ve , athl eti c girls. Pauline , known as "Polly", was a plu mp , r a ther solid looking girl , wi t h round ch e eks, full, pleasant mouth, quantiti e s o f long b l a ck hair, steady grey eyes, and stron g , ca pab l e l o oki n g h ands, equal ly efficient for ba s k e tball, t e n n i s, a nd rowing, or for driving, and c oo king for hungry cowb o ys on the ranch from which she c a me. " S he can do even more than Hilary, B etty says, " w rote Cathalina to her mother. Cath a lina h a d never met a girl jus t like Pauline, and wa s much interest e d in everyt hing ab out her. Juliet was kn o wn as Polly's Shadow, partly because of their intim a c y . She was alm os t Polly ' s twin in compl e xion , h a ir a n d e y e s , but was t all and thin, with l o ng, slender fac e . Swiftn ess and general activity were her particu lar recommenda tions for basketball.
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 129 Grace came in the dress which she had worn to dinner and was sent back by Isabel for a kimono. "Nobody can come without a wedding garment," cri ed she, picking up a last piece of oiled paper to tuck in the waste basket, and bringing a cushion for the wooden box, which she had set on end. "Come one, come all!" "All ri g ht, kiddie," said Grace, looking around with amusement at the gay garments, "I'll be glad enough to get into one." "Now excuse me just a minute while I read my letter . I can't wait any long e r. I was not expecting to find one in the box or I would have unpacked it before. You can pass the candy and pickles again, girls, as an appetizer. Grace will be back in a minute." So Hilary ran into the b edroo m, carrying her precious birthday letter with its words of praise for past days and blessings and good cheer for the days to come. She also opened a second package. from Aunt Hilary, taking out a silk workbag, all fitted out with scissors, new thimble and all the ac cess o ries. "Look, girls," she said, going back to h e r guests, "this is one thing that we did not get ready last summer. I brought my old work l:iox." Such exclamations as there had been when each guest had caught sight of the table. Betty Barnes, perched on the wooden box, shook her head when
130 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF :asked fo take a more comfortable seat. "Tharik you, this is so handy to the table!" With her little slippered feet she beat at tattoo against the boards as she ate the pickle for which Hilary well knew each girl's mouth would water. Betty was in high spirits and all the girls in gay humor. In a few minutes Avalon and Cathalina arrived wi t!'l the steaming kettle of cocoa, and after some skirm ishing around for the proper number of cups, plates and paper napkins, the feast began, much later than planned, but as the girls all said, the later the better!
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF. 131 CHAPTER XI. 'AT HILAR'S SPREAD. SMILING faces and figures with the g race and free dom of youth made the small room se e m very cosy and full of g oo d cheer. It was remarkable h ow , in spite of the disappearance of food, c o nversatic n never fla gge d. In fact, it often occurred tha t s everal w ere t a lking at once. " Mother wrote," said Hilary, "that our good frien d , u n cle Andy Short,-everybody calls him 'Uncle'-bro u g ht in the chickens all rec:.d y , dres sed and wou l dn' t take a cent. He said 'I d o n ' t suppose thos e g irl s e ve r get a g ood s quare me a l there.' He jus t ado r e s F ather and heard in some way about the b i r t h day bo x ." "How g rand t o be a minister's daughter I" "Dea r Andy !" " N o j o kin g,-he is jus t fine. They haven't any children , s o th ey're nic e to othe r pe op l e's . It's great out on their big farm, five hundred Father say s . "
13! CATHALINA A T GREYCLIFF "What cannibals we are! " L ilian remarked . "I'm goi n g to stop chicken and begin on some of the other things if I can . L oo k at my plat , Hilary, ! accepted everything that was p assed !" "May we have dessert tomorrow, Hilary?" asked Grace, looking in mock despair from her plate to the beautiful birthday cake just brought in . "How many girls are out fo r basketball, Pauline?. " asked Eloise. "About fifteen, I think." "That is pretty good, isn't it?" asked Lilian . "There are only twenty-four Juniors altogether." "How many are chose n ?" Cathalina had neve r seen a game, bu t was beginn ing to be interested. "Six," replied Juliet . "Girls have two centers, so it will be easier for them. Boys have only one. The floor is divided differently, t oo. You will see . " "Come down, Cathalina, and wa t ch us some day, " said Pauline, "before the games c ome off. You will understand it better. And that makes me think how many of you here are playing now ? You, Di, and Hilary and Grace,-" "I haven't any chance for the t eam," said Grace , "but I like to play for the fun of it. " "That is the way with me," said Lilian, "but I don't see how Di and Hilar y can help being on it, an d Polly and J uliet, of c o u rse. They p layed last yea r, C athalina . "
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 133 "But you have a vote just the same, and I wanted to tell you that the silly ' F ud ge Club' want to get Florence Day elected captain. ,We all know that Hilary ought to be elected Captain . " "O, Pauline would be better, girls!" cried HilarYJ promptly and sincerely. "Thanks, Hilary," said Pauline. "I do think I understand the game, but I am not as good a leader. Hilary has the head for emergencies." "Don't quarrel, children!" Betty pretended to part Pauline and Hilary, who sat close together on the cedar chest. "Polly told me some t ime ago that Hilary was a big surprise to the gi rls in basket b all and that s he ought t o be elected Captain. Florence is a good player , but she isn't equal to Hilary .. She goes all to pieces sometimes, and isn't always fair besides. Everybody can count on Hilary all the time, they say." "Hear, hear!" applauded the girls . "Is this politics?" inquired Isabel. " No, indeed," replied Pauline. "I jus t wante d to warn you about some. If Hilary were my own sister and not the best one I would not vote for her. The point is t o win!" "Who elects the Captain?" asked Cathalina again. "The whole cr owd of girls out for the team. Then the captain goes to work to train them all
134: CAT HALINA A T GREYCLIFF and l ater the c o a c h cho os e s the be s t for the t e am." " I see , " said C a t ha lina l oo king wise. " Well , wha t h ap p e ns at Gr ey cliff after that?" A va l o n c onti nu e d t he qu e stionin g , a nd Juliet re plie d t h i s t ime "The class game s c o me on fir s t , in the A c a demy and in the Colleg i a te cla s ses, too. We fight ha r d in our cla s s games a nd mo s t of our inte re s t i s in them , bec ause w e h a r d l y eve r b ea t t h e b i g g irls. If w e di d we'd ha v e a c h a nce a t g a m e s with anot her sch ool. D o n ' t I wi s h it would be the J unior s this time!" "Ra h, r a h, Juni o r s , G reycliff ! "-and Pauline waved a w i s hb o ne. J uliet went on : "We u su a lly p lay again s t the Highl and S e minary gi rls, only t wen t y mi les away. Lots of us go over to ro o t fo r o u r team , o r t hey c ome here." "They call themse lv e s t he H i ghlande r s," added Hel e n, "and wea r Sco tch c o l o r s . The l as t t ime t hey came here t hey g o t h o ld o f a n o l d S c o t chman who c ould play t h e ba g pipe a nd b ro ught h im a l ong. It was something awful to hea r a nd act u ally fussed our g irl s . They b ea t us, t oo. \ Vasn' t it a wfu l , P auline?" Hel e n s h oo k h e r head at the sad m e mory . .
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 138 "I should think so! Miss Randolph did not like the bagpipes any too well, either. The Highlanders had a young chaperone and had the Scotchman join them here. Miss Randolph did not know that, of course, till afterwards, so put up with it." "They are our deadliest rivals, Cathalina," explained Eloise. "Do they usually beat?" Cathalina inquired in nocently. "I sh o uld say not! I'm sure that we are at least two games ahead!" cried Pauline, in some excite ment. "Nice old Polly! Polly want a cracker?" said Betty soothingly, offering a piece of cake. "I wish that Miss Rand o lph w o uld let us go around to more places," sig hed Juliet, stretching forward red slippers and smothering a yawn. "It is such fun." "fodeed, Juliet, you ought to be thankful you can ever go! It was a long time before Miss Ran dolph would have any games away from home. So they say; and Patricia West told somebody that Miss Randolph thinks 'competitive games' . bad for the girls. But I guess she just had to give in for fear ev'rybody would go to the other scho o ls." "I shouldn't thtnk anybody would want to go anywhere else that ever saw Greycliff , " said Catha lina, forgetting her own early indifference, though
136 CATHALIN A A T GREYCLIFF a bit surpri s e d at her own feeling. "But s o m ehow I hate t o t h i nk tha t M i ss R andolph w oul d give in t o any t hing s h e didn ' t think right. I c an't be liev e it!" " Go od fo r you, C atha l i na, y o u are a loyal Greycliff e r alrea d y ! A n d I gues s all of u s f ee l t h a t way ab o ut Mi s s Ran d o l p h , t oo . " T h u s sp o ke L ili a n . "But y ou know Mi s s R a ndolph d o es n o t o w n t h e scho ol, eve n i f h e r uncl e di d g i v e so much mo ney . She can ' t h e l p so me things,-and of cou r se we're all glad a bou t thi s . " "Let's talk a b out the H allo we'en
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 137 "You ought to see Di as the performing bear," :said Helen. "What are you?" "O, I'm the man that leads him around and make s him d ance and lets the bear hug him and every thing." "I'm going to run a side s how, " said L i li an. "How would you like to take tickets?" "Nothing so tame for me. I'd rather be an ani mal o r a spangled lady." "Put your wits to work, all of you, and help out the committee with your brilliant ideas. We only have a few days . " "Where are you going to have it?" asked Isabel. "In the Gym. We're going to char ge from one <:ent up for the different shows and things. It's for the Y . W., you know. So get your m o ney changed up and you can have pink le mona de and peanuts, beside seeing the Greatest Wonders in the World! Wait till we get. out our posters to morrow. All ou r artists are working o n the hand bill s!" Cathalina's eyes sparkled as she thought of the funny things that were being made read y , and the girls all laughed at her professional air. "And we don ' t want the C o llegiate girls to beat us being funny. Some of the little graders are going to be too dear !"
138 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF "What will you do if everybody wants to b e an animal?" "No danger o f that. T he costumes are too hard to make." "I think so !" exclaimed Diane . "Helen and I have worked all week; catch u s t rying i t agai n ! Me for a tight rope performance or something easy!' Two sleepy girls were left in the suite after the guests had gathered up their kimonos and departed, with promises to come in the next day for a second lunch on the remains. Hilary threw herself into a chair and looked at the table with a comical expres sion. "That's the mischief! eleven o'clock and all this mess to clear up!" But Cathalina was already gathering up the bones and crumbs, shaking them into one big paper, and putting the good things into the various pasteboard boxes. "Never mind, Hilary. It's your birthday and you supplied all these lovely eats, so I'll clean up. Go to bed, Hilary. If my mother could only see how I've reformed, she would be proud of her little Cathalina." Hilary sprang up protesting, and in a twinkle the table was cleared, the embroidered runner and books put back and the soiled china and silver piled in the big cocoa kettle "till tomor r ow". 'Tm glad we can't wash the dishes t o night. " "Yes, the fudge room is locked by this time. "
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 139 "And we'd wake everybody up there or anywhere we were prowling." "Set the alarm for six, please, Hilary. Isn't it awful? I have to copy a theme before first hour class!" Twelve restless heads tossed on twelve rumpled pillows. Hilary dreamed that she was playing bas ketball with a Scotch Highlander eight or ten feet tall, who always managed to get the ball and just reach over t o drop it through the basket! Catha lina's dream s took the form of strange animals in cages, clowns and swinging elephants; and once a reproachful l ooking chicken, as large as an ostrich, stretched his neck between the bars of a gloomy cage and pulled out by the roots a braid of Catha lina' s long hair !
1 4 0 CAT H ALINA AT GREYCLIFF CHAPTER XII. THE HALLOWE'EN CIRCUS. "HERE'S your hot peanuts, only a penny a sa c k, r ight t hi s way, l adies and gent lemen!" shrill v oi ce was calling. "Ice cold pink, yellow and purple lem onade ! " "Coney Island popcorn ! Hot C r ispetts ! Ice cr eam candy ! " "Walk up, l a dies , and see the only living Wild Man of Borneo!" "Tickets this way, l a d ies and gentlemen, to have your fortune told!" Pandem onium appeared t o r eign in the big G y m. On buying an e n trance t i c ke t for one c e n t , one se cure d the p r ivilege of b eh o l ding this r e markabl e s c enP.. " S how D ay in P o d u nk , " the committee c alle d it. Most of the g irl s , cos tum e d eit he r a s pe r formers or p a t ro n s of th e sh o w , took p a rt. A few faculty wive s , with Miss Randolph and the other teachers, had recei v ed invitati o ns and walked ab out leading some staring and delighted faculty children.
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 141 One end of the big gymnasium had been curtained off and m ad e to look as much as possible like a circus tent: A few b o oths and stands, and se v er a l small tents for "side-shows", constituted the rest of the scen ery on which the long-suffering janitor a n d his as s i stants had been hammering and fixing all day. The c o mmittee had spent much time and thought on the plan and had pre s sed other girls into service t o h elp with placards and posters. Cathalin a cam e hurrying in as if afraid she would be late. S h e wo re a yellow sunb o nn e t , a brig h t red shoulder sh aw l a n d a deep pink calic o dre s s which dipped decid e d ly in the back. By the hand she drag ged a c u r l yh ea d e d b o y in knickerb o ckers. "Naow Tommy , " sh e s a id lou d l y , "I can't t a ke you to ev'rythin g , so be a go o d b o y an' you kin see the animals an' the big s h ow!" "O, Maw, t h e re 's some ice-cre a m c a ndy! I want a balloon, Maw! G imme a nick e l! Aw, Maw!" and Tommy tu gge d at his m o ther's hand. Tommy was Isabel, of c ourse, whos e blue shirt-waist and purp l e tie matched the g a udiness of a plaid vel v et cap. She hung back w hining , as Cathalina tried to guide her obstrep e rou s chi l d toward the main tent. Lilian, w h o h a d changed her plans, was a farmer in blue jeans , h e avy b o ots, l o ose bl o use, red brnd a n n a handkerch i ef a n d a large straw hat. S hi" in a large family of boys and girls, the boys in overalls
1 42 C ATHALINA A T GREYCLIFF o r k ni c k e rb o ck e rs a nd girls in eve r y var iety of d re ss. There was the b alloo n man i n ill fitt ing attire. His ballo o n s were quite p o pu l a r an d w e re to be seen bobbing all ove r t he ro o m . " Toot" w e n t the w h ist le. G irl s dressed as chi ldre n bl e w out p aper snakes o r o t her thi ngs supposed to b e dea r t o t he chil d i s h h ea rt. S ome b o u g h t "co me b a c k " ba ll s o r supp l ied t he mselves with squawkers with wh i c h to mak e n igh t h i deou s . Co untry bea u x threw c o nfet t i at c oq u ettis h l as s es, f ea rfull y and w o nderf ully d ecked for t he o cca sio n , o r t ook the m to hav e t hei r fort u n e t o l d . A pat ent m edi c ine man s o ld a l o tion w hich he l o udl y procl aimed as war rante d t o tak e o ff fre ckles and s unburn " w hile yo u s l eep" . So p op u l a r w a s this, alth o u g h it c alle d for the q u a r te r s , tha t the s u pp l y g a v e ou t a nd h e was forced to sell _the p r esc ri p ti on, a r ea l o ne, s u p pli ed by Evel y n C alvert's S o u the rn Mammy . "Madame Zitan i W ill R ead Your Pas t tell Y ou r Future . " S o read the sign before a little t en t . Inside was Elois e , spa r klin g in a bri ght scar l et d r ess with l a c ed bodice . "Lady, I neve r saw your fa c e before," said she to Cath a lina, who, w itn t he never satisfied "Tommy' ', had ent e red the t en t , "but c ro ss my h a n d w it h on e sim o l e on a nd I w ill tell your past a nd re vea l yo u r future." G iggling girls sto od around while E l oise too k C a thalina's
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 143 hand, soft and not much like that of the hard-working lady she represented, and made up an extravagant tale of woe. "But you will overcome all your troubles, have money left you and soon have nothing to do but ride in your automobiles and aeroplanes!" Cathalina had assumed a wond.ering expression, nodding her head in assent to every remarkable event of her past life as related by the solemn Eloise. "Listen to that Timmy," cried she . "Come on, Maw, I want to see the Fat Lady and the Boa Constrictor." Just then a terrific drumming was heard, and from a side door appeared "Susan's Band". Grace Barnard as drum-major lead the way, with all the motions appropriate to that office and some extra antics. The members of the band wore t heir regu lar "gym" bloomers, of which a great many were in evidence tonight, with military coats and hats. These one of the girls had borrowed from her brother, a student in a boys' military school across the lake. Strains of familiar songs and marches were vigorously produced on combs with a 1 the skill which attaches to playing upon that difficult in strument. Accompanied by the dashing of c ymba l s and drums (which, to tell the truth, sounded much like a combination of spoons and dishpans), they
144: CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF marched to the entrance of the main tent and were ev idence that the performance was about t o begin. "Ten minutes to see the animals, ladies and gents, before the gr-reat performance commences! Two rings ! The famous Slinger Brothers on the trapeze! Only three cents admittance! There will be two pe rformances, one right after the other,-so don't all try to get in at once, please!" This last was added in an unprofessional tone as a necessary precaution, for with the entrance of the band, it looked as if the entire house was starting to the show. The herald was supposed to be one of the proprietors of the circus, Mr. Barnum, in fact; but the shade of the real Mr. Barnum would have been much insulted if he could have beheld his representative. Checked black and _ white knickerb oc kers (adapted from an old suit skirt), a dark maroon velvet coat, white vest, red necktie, green kid gloves, blue spectacles, a fierce black mustache, silk hat and a cane, were striking features of his outfit. Girls and teachers had to look twic e before they recognized a quiet girl of the upper class, who had been known chiefly by good work in the cla ss-roo m. Her dark hair was turned straight up under the silk hat and gave a bobbed effect. i "Come, Mrs. Goodman," invited Miss Randolph i laughing at and with the startling looking showman , who could not keep his face straight, but took off 1
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 145 his hat and b o wed low t o the ladies as they approached. "Let us see what kind of a performance the gi rls have." The curtains were parted for them as they paid over their pennies, and they entered a s pace where there was sawdust scat tered upon the floor with a . little hay and a few cages made from boxes. Three rem arka ble elephants were swinging long trunks about. "Don't lean on me so hard, please," whispered the front se ction of elephant to the rear section. "My b a ck is 'most broken," was the reply, "and I ' m nearl y smothered!" "Make a breathi ng h ole here, and I'll try to stand it if you can ' t h elp le a ning all your weight o n me! " It was not all j oy, apparently, to be transformed into a circus animal, but "anything for Y. W. and a little fun", as the gi rls said. It was just as well that all the ca ges were labeled. A semicircle â€¢ o f se ats, in two tiers, had been made of boards nailed to b oxes , s o mewhat insecure ly, it seemed t o the l a die s as they climed upon them. "I can't tell which i s more amusing," said the pro fessor's wife to Miss Randolph, "audience or per formers." She waved her hand as she spoke at a row of supposed small boys on the front circle. They sat with open mouths, or passed sacks of peanut s and popcorn to each other.
146 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF "The girls are pretty good at this," replied the principal. "Tho se two cl o wns coming out are Colle g iate Seniors, Maxine Burton and Gertrude Mather." "Now, Titus," said clow n number one pompously, as he placed his hand upon a large wooden b o x in the center of the sawdust ring, "do you see this incubator?" "Yes, suh," replied clown number two, hideous with red and white paint and a clown's suit much beruffled and gathere d. "And the egg that I now put in?" "Yes, sub." "In exactly two minutes after I turn the crank, the whole process is complete and the chicken will appear. This incubat o r is the greatest inventi o n of the age,-by Thomas Edison, ladies and gentlemen!" Faint jeers and one quickly suppressed call of "chestnuts" came from the front row; but the ringmaster started in the direction of the "small boys" and the disturbance subsided. "Br-rr-rr ! Br-rr-rr !" "Now I open the door, like this,-" "Oooh-oo-ooh-oo-ooh-00-00 !" With a great flap-ping and crowing, an immense rooster of decidedly human characteristics hopped out and flopped around
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 147 amid loud manufactured applause, while clown number two pretended to faint and was carted off by two circus hands on one of the trucks used by the janito r for trunks. A few more rather silly imitations of circus jokes followed, for busy girls could not be expected to be too original; then the elephants were announced, by the ringmaster, who wore a black velvet riding suit. This elegant gentleman cracked a whip and strode around in true histrionic style. "Any little boy or girl who wants to may now have a ride on the elephant. These are the most docile elephants in captivity!" In came the elephants, led by a deeply dyed native clad in a silk turban and a fl.owing kimono appro priately draped. They came slowly by necessity. ("Now, when I step with my right foot , you step with your left, and then it will look natural. "Thus spoke the first section of elephant. "Well, how can I do it? It joggles so!" returned rear section.) "Now, what little b oy will come hrst?" asked the ring-master in honeyed tones. One of the fattest little boys in the front row came ambling shyly out, his fingers in his mouth. "That's nice, Johnny; which elephant do you want to ride on?"
148 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF The nearest elephant reared around dangerously, so Johnny pointed to the next one. That also b ega n to cap e r, if e lephants can be said t o caper, while r ear section, peeping â€¢ out, said to front s e ction, "That's Mabel Smith; I c ouldn't h o ld h e r on my back a minute. I don ' t know h o w much s h e weighs. Why didn't they think to take some of the real little girls for this!" "They wanted t o be in Tom Thumb's party!" Owing t o the pre s s of school duties, this scene had not b een rehear sed with the elephants, but to their relief, a strident v o ice fro m the audience c a lled sharply, "Johnny Jones, come back here! You know it ain't safe to ride on eleph ants!" A lady a pparently of the deadly variety cam e stalking forth t o l ead away her venture so me offspring. "O, yes, ladi e s and gents, it is perfectly safe!" the rin gmaste r assured the audience, whereat Cathalina brought little "Tommy" into the rin g . Now Tommy forgot that he had been warned t o ascend carefully, and in s pired b y the occasion, placed one hand on the b ack o f the elephant and vaulted lightly and e as ily u p . Crash! The elephant fell in, Tommy and all!while to cover the c onfus ion the band hasti ly marched from the side t o the fron t and pl aye d strains from "Teddy in Africa", with the appropriate bangs and
CA THALINA A T GREYCLIFF 1 49 expl os i ons . Meanwhile the sections of elephant were reunited and Tommy, covered with sawdust, was dusted off . There followed a really fine exhibition by four of the most graceful gymnasts in the collegiate classes. They went through the different feats learned by long practice unde r the "gym" teacher, and added the bows, waves and smirks of circus performers. T he l ittle girls, of course, had longed to dress up as grown folks . It was Cathalina's bright i dea to have them appea r as midgets. They came on next and proved one of t he most popu lar features of the evening, a surpri se, fo r in the earlier part of the evening they had sold l emonade and popcorn and were dressed as butterflies . Next and last came a trained pig performance. The clever girl who managed this brought in a ll s orts of jokes upon t he g i rls present. The pig proved to be a remarkable speller! I t had been i n t ended to have a lion taming act and a rope walki n g "stunt", but, a l as, i t was n e c essa r y t o get t h ro ugh by b edti me. Hila r y, w h o had b ee n in the b and, d eclared h e r voice ruined by the e ff orts o f the eve n i n g . I "O, Catha lina," y a wned I sa bel , a s they all a s cended in the e le vato r, "I wish I 'wu z' someb o d y's little b o y t o be put to bed!"
150 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF "I'll do it, Tommy," off e red C a thalina , who was herself ready to drop. "Thank you, my dear young 'maw', but y o u w i ll go straight to y our d o wny c o uch. G o odnight, l a dies!" and Isabel ran clumpin g in her h e a v y s h o e s , like the boy she looked, d own the c o rrid o r to her room.
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 151 CHAPTER XIII. THE MYSTERIOUS GIRL. PRETTY little Cathalina was buried deep in a big velvet chair in one of the parlors, looking out at the first snow which was swirling down and bid fair to cover everything before morning. The heavy clouds had threatened snow before dinner when she and Hilary had taken a long walk, down to the beach, up through the grove and to the hill be yond. It was quite dark now, but the porch light shone out to where the masses of shrubbery were growing heavy with their soft burden and dark pine trees were being outlined in white. Cathalina's chair had happened to be turned with its back toward the room, though it was on one side of the long French window. It was nearly time for the evening study bell and the groups of girls that had been chatting in the parlors or gathered about the piano had disappeared. Cathalina felt that she must rouse herself from her rather drowsy comfort and get upstairs to work on her lessons, when from behind her came a quiet footstep and a young girl
152 OATHALINA AT GREYOLIFF in a clin ging black dre s s slipped by the chair a n d stood in the window. Just the n Alma came in and l o wered the lights, turning off entirely the electric ones. Cathalina was rather timid about meeting new people, but v e r y courte o us when she had to do so; and now, wh e n she saw th a t this was the new g irl who had only be e n at Gre ycliff a f e w day s , s he r o se from the ch air with a ple a s a nt, "Goo d ev e nin g." The girl started a littl e and C atha lina went on, "O, e x cus e me, didn't y o u see that anybody was there?" "No," replied the recent arri val, without the courte s y of a smile. She hel d h e r se lf proudly and with her chin r aise d let her e yes d ro p fro m Cathalina's fac e t o h e r feet wi t h a com p r e h e nsi v e gl a nce. "I'm s orry if I startle d y ou. M y name is Cathalina Van Bu s kirk. I notice d tha t you jus t came a few days a go. I should be g lad t o b e acquain t ed and if you are the l e a s t bit lonely the re are some real nice girls here who would l o ve to do anything for you." "They c ouldn't do me any g ood," and the t ears came to the new girl's eyes, tho u g h her expre ssi o n did not soften ! "My father has just been-has jus t died and Mother made me c o me here!" There was a pause, while Cathalina wondered what to say. 4'Did you say your name is Van Buskirk ?-from
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 153 Holland?" A little interest showed in the girl's face. "O, no; not from H o lland, except l ong ago when one of my ancestors came o ver and fought in t he Revolu tion . I'm from New York. I don't think I know your name." Another brief pause. "I'm awfully sorry about your fa ther. But maybe you'll feel h ap pi er when y ou get started in your work and get around with the girls. I was sure that I never c o uld stand it t o l eave home, but I just love it here now,'' Cathalina ' s tender heart was sorry and troubled for this young stranger with her aching heart; though s he was somewhat chilled by the girl's atti tud e . Just the n the stud y bell rang, and with a bow, like that of one acc u sto me d t o a forma l life, the new girl left Cathalina and hurried away. Cathalina stopped to pick up a n otebook and h e r fountain pen from the chair in which she had be e n sitt ing and then walked th o ughtfully u pstairs, thinking as she went that she had n ot lea rned the name of the new comer. "Where have I seen somebo dy like that before?" she w o ndered. "And that manner?" But when she reached the s uit e there was a gro up of girls just l eaving fo r t heir rooms and the merry chatter put an end to her thou ghts about other things. A few days after this incident, Cathalina, with Betty Barnes, Isabel Hunt, Eloise Winthrop and
â€¢ 154 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF Diane Percy were sitting in the window-seat at the head of the front stairs when this girl swiftly passed them and went on downstairs. "Isn't she a beautiful girl?" said Dia ne. "Yes, but you can't get acquainted with her," replied Eloise. "Well, she's just lost her father,-no wonder!" Cathalina said with sympathy. "Where'd she come from?" asked Isabel. "Nobody knows. She t o ld one girl Cincinnati, another New York and Miss West sai d s he was from Philadelphia. Did you see t hem come? The machine had an Ohio tag o n it." "O, did you see her come?" "Yes; Diane and Grace and I were standing on the porch. They cam e in a b i g clos e d Packard, she and a woman that lo oked just like h er, except that she had dark hair and a wider face. They weren't expected, I'm sure, and they didn' t take out any baggage for a lon g t ime an d were in Miss Randolph's parlor for over a n h our,-we must have been in the library an h our, weren't we, Diane? And when we came b ack, the re they were, c oming down the steps. The chauffeur took in a l o t of baggage and the girl came out and cried and carried on and would hardly let the woman go. She was in black, too. The chauffeur looked cross, what we
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 155 could see of his face, and hustl ed t he woman into the car and pointed the girl to the Hall!" "I bet he wasn ' t a chauffeur, then,-must have been one of the family . You don't pay chauffeurs to boss you . " "Li sten to Sherl o ck H o lmes ! What did he look like, D iane?" Cathalina was much i nte rest ed . "I c ouldn't tell how he looked, except cro ss, as Eloise says. He had a cap and goggle s , you know, and was big artd tall and that's all." "'Pome' by Diane Percy: 'Big and tall, and that's all.' " "I can only talk in rhyme," simpered Diane in falsetto. Eloise t ook up the story again: "Miss Randolph came out, then, looking worried, and we went on to our suite. I think she is very handsome, as Diane says , but there is something different about her,I don ' t know what it is, something that i sn't in her face and-0, I can ' t tell what I do me a n, but I'm sure I shall never try to make her acqu a intance.'' "But perhaps tha t is the very thing she needs,'' said Cathalina. "I kn o w h o w you feel when you are shy and sort of proud t oo,-" "O, you, Cathalina," said Isabel , "you aren't a bit like her. Your face is sweet and hers isn't." Cathalina then told o f her experience in the recep tion room. "We must be nice, anyway, and as
156 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF g oo d t o h e r a s p oss ible , as she 'll l et u s b e . I have a fun ny fee ling tha t I ' ve s e e n h e r somewhere o r some o n e w ith t h e same features , but I can't r e memb e r . " " W ho's h e r roommate?" "She is in the single ro o m on the fir s t floor , around at the end of the c o r ridor run ning w e s t fro m Mis s Randolp h 's roo m s . She just goe s around with her h ead in t h e air tha t w a y all the t ime, I gues s, a n d u nless sh e g e t s over i t s h e 'll n o t make many friend s . " "V/ell, l e t's speak to her w h e n s h e' ll l et u s . I ha v e an i dea tha t she'll cha nge af t e r a while . I introduced myse lf, b u t s h e did n o t t e ll me he r name. Do any of yo u kno w what it i s ?" Nobody d i d . " T h e Mys t e ri o us Girl o f Sing l e Room N umbe r B l ank! B etty , h e r e' s our title fo r t ha t sto ry w e have to w rite in E n g li s h . " "Betty h a d h a rdly said a w ord duri n g t his con ve r sati on, but now remarked, "I s u p pose there are g irl s h er e with q ueer s t orie s in their lives. If w e k n ew them we'd l ea rn a wh ole l o t. " "Yes; may be i t's j us t as we ll we d o n ' t . But I g uess Miss Rando l p h i s ve r y ca r efu l about w h a t girls c 0 me here . Aunt K nick erb o cke r sa i d so." This, I sabe l d ecl a red, wa s m ys t e r y n u m b e r one at Greycliff and what was a b o ardi n g s cho o l without â€¢
C HALINA AT GREYCLIFF 157 some mystery? To mystery number two she was introduced that night, by no desire of her own. The Hall was wrapped in slumber, u s ually quite profound, for while the girls often grumbled about putting out lights on time, they slept soundly and morning came all too soon. But about midnight 1 Cathalina and Hilary were wakened by a loud shriek that reverberated through the hal s and was followed by another; then, silence. Both fri g htened girls sat up in bed and by one impulse slipped into bath robes and slippers and opened their door, peering out, half afraid but curious, in the corridor. This was dark, lighted only by one dim gas light at the further end. But they could see Avalon's ghostly face at her half open door and Isabel leaning against the wall not far away, her face hidden in her arm. She was shaking all over. "Sh-sh!" said Avalon. her first thought of the teachers. "What on earth's the matter?" asked Hilary in a low voice. "Somebody was screaming to beat the band!" "O," gasped Isabel, as she heard Hilary's voice, and ran with op e n arms t oward the two girls. "I was just scared t o d eath," she whispered . "O, I'll not sleep one wink ni ght!" Cathalina went on toward Aval o n, whom she found trembling with fright. "Come over to our
158 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF room and tell us what the trouble was. Who screamed?" "Isabel!" The girls hurried int o suite fifty-two, as if Satan and his legions were after them, while Hilary was torn between a desire t o laugh and curiosity to kn o w what was the matter. "Get ri ght into our beds," ordered Hilary. So Avalon with Cathalina and Isabel with Hilary crawl e d into the twin beds, which proved somewhat n arrow for two . "Now tell us." At this point there came a t ap at the outer door and Hilary jumped up to answer it, while Isabel hastily put the covers over her head. "Who is it?" inquired Hilary, as she unl oc k ed the door again. "Me,-Betty," came the reply in Lilian' s voice. "We saw you all go in, and Isabel's door open,what happened and what was that awful shriek?" "Come on in, we're just going to hear about it, too. I sabe l did the yelling. She was sca red to death about something and the girls are in ou r beds with u s . I d on' t kn ow what we'll do with you!" Hilary laugh e d and pulled s o me blankets out o f her cedar chest. "Here, t ake these and pile on the bed. I shut the windows down, but i t's pretty chilly." By this time I sa b e l had recovered from her first terror and felt strength ened by th e number around her. She sat up in Hilary's b ed and l ea ned ove r toward the other girls to say solemnly, "Well,
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 159 girls, y o u kno w the 'Woman in Black', don't y ou? I sa w her!" "No n se nse, I sa bel, what is the 'woman in black', a ghost?" T h i s was Hilary , o f cou r se. "Yo u and B etty k n o w ab out her, don't y ou?" p e r sisted I s ab el, turnin g t o Lil ian. "Why , yes, " sa id Lili a n. "There's a tradition at Gre y cliff ab out a ' W o man in B lack ' that walks around t he h alls so m e t i mes, s o th e y say." A val o n s h ive r e d and Ca th alin a p ut a n arm around her. "Hu r r y u p a n d t e ll us, Isab el. What did she lo o k li ke a n d h ow did y o u happ e n to be in th e hall o r d i d s h e come into your roo m ? " C a thalina was lau g h i n g, yet i t was "sort of s p o o k y", as she admitte d l a te r . "No, s he d i d n o t c o me in. Ava lon w a s feeling sick and finall y h a d s uch a hea da che tha t I s a i d I'd get up and go o ver to see i f o n e of you did not have s o m e thin g tha t w o uld h e lp her. I didn ' t want to go up to the third and wak e Miss Woo d and may be h a ve A va l on taken t o the pe s t hou se, and any how I d on't like these o l d d ark h alls . So I was kind o f sle e p y and d i dn ' t turn on the li ght in our r oo m for f ea r s o me te a cher w o uld see it-and 1 just go t out int o the hall when I heard a sort of m oan and s omethin g all black and floaty and tall, like a bi g shad o w whisked b y me and disappeared around the corner. So there!"
160 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF "What's your story, A val on? G o t your headache yet?" "Not much; scared out of me, I guess . Why, I jus t heard Isabel scream and went to the door and saw you and Cathalina." "Maybe it was a thief." "Or one of the servants." "Maybe it was the 'mys terious girl'!" "Wha t would she be doing snooping a r oun d on this floor at midnight?" "It's a wonder all the girls are not awake-the wa y you screamed, I sabel." "I couldn't help it. Woul dn' t you have s cr eamed t oo?" "I suppose I would, or maybe I'd be too frightened to make a sound ! But I don't believe it was a 'ghost' o r wo uld hurt anybody. Come on, we'd better get to sleep. We'll all take you and Avalo n to your room and see th a t there isn't anybody there and then you can lock your door." "Wait till I fix Ava l o n some peppermin t and soda," said Hilary. "That's Mother ' s favorite remed y . " The peppermint and soda taken, a dose for I sabe l as well, and the two younger girls were escorted back t o their own beds, Avalon tucked in, whi le Isabel with her flashlight waited to lock the door after the girls had departed. Hilary had wanted to
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 161 take flashlights down the halls and look for the ' Woman in Black', but Cathalina said that it would be foolish to do it, for somebody bad might really be about and nobody wanted to find her--or him." "Do you suppo s e we ought to wake up one of the teachers, then?" asked Hilary. "No; I believe Isabel imagined half, or eise it was one of the girls that had been sitting up study ing and didn't want to be caught or wanted to scare Isabel or something." But the next morning Alma came to Isabel's room and told her that Miss Randolph wanted to see her right away. I s abel immediately rushed to Catha lina. "O, Cath a lina, Alma says I'm to come to Miss Randolph's ro o m right away. What do you suppose she's going to do to me?" "Nothing, goosey, you haven't done anything wrong." "But I broke a rule to be out of my room." "Yo u had a good reason. Just tell her the way you would your own mother-," then Cathalina wished she had not said just that, for Isabel had never even know her mother. "I mean that she is kind and nice." "Well, anyhow, please,-please, Cathalina, go with me!"
162 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF "O, that would not do at all if she did not send for me." "Just to stay outside the door, then!" The two girls went downstairs together, Isabel to her do om, as she said, and Cathalina for moral support outside the door. Prese ntly, Isabel came out, flushed and relieved, to j oin Cathalina and walk with her up to her suite. "What did Miss Rand o lph do?" . "She was just as nice as could be, said she had heard some of us were frightened last night a n d wanted me to tell her all about it. So I did. And all she said to me was that I'd b etter not say anything about it to frighten all the girls and that there wasn't any such thing as a ghos t, and tha t anyhow she is going to put on an extra night watchma n, and have somebody go through the halls o cca s i onally at night, 'Not to make yo u feel that there is any danger, but that you are being watched over,' she said. Isn't she wonderful?" Miss Randolph had gained another staunch supporter in I sa bel. "How do yo u suppose she found out? I'm going to ask every one who t old her so early." "Neither Hilary or I did, I'm sure." And when later in the day the six girls met, not one of them was found to h ave taken the news to Miss Randolp h. "Somebody must have overheard the girls talking and told her. Or perhaps some one else was
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 163" awake last night and knew it was I s abel." So con cluded Cathalina and the rest agreed. "But w h o was the 'woman in black'? because I really saw one!" declared Isabel. "I'm going to be a Sherlock Holmes fr o m now on,-that is, if I have time!" she wisely added.
'164: CA THALINA AT GREYC LIFF CHAPTER XIV. OFF TO THE CITY. As THE "Fudge Oub" opposition to Hilary as captain of the Junior Academy basketball team did not prove serious, she had been elected with very little campaigning on the part of her friends; for i t was clear to all t he girls that she was the best .one for the office "Hilary knows the game, has lots of go and good sense and never loses her head!" So Juliet summed up the necessary characteristics of a good captain. Practice went on vigorously after the e1ection to prepare for the tournaments, which would not take place until February . Thanksgiving came and went. Hilary went home to eat Thanksgiving dinner with her people and came back Saturday. As Philip Junior could not come home, Cathalina's father and mother, who could not wait any longer to see her, visited Greycliff. Altho u gh they knew that Cathalina was well and happy, they were not quite prepared to see the active little girl who greeted them, and their pleasure c a n
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 165 be ima g ine d . "I've g ained ten p o und s , M athery, and can hardl y ge t i n t o my clo the s !" H ow pro u d s he w a s of h er bea u ti ful , fri e ndly m ot h e r an d q ui e t, distingu i s hed l o oking fa t her! She b rought h e r fri e n ds t o meet them unt il Mad ame S y lv ia said that she f elt like a g irl h e r se lf. A few of the t e a che r s and girl s wh o , like Hilary , l i v e d c ompa rati v e ly nea r, had gone h o m e or t o hou s e p a r t i es; but m o s t of the G r e y cliff folk r e m ai ned a n d w e re served to t u rkey and all t he a c c o mp a n iment s o f a fin e T hanksgivi n g di n ner. Hilary w as b ac k i n ti m e t o meet Cat h a li na's parents before they l ef t, and t o h e r surprise and de l igh t was invi te d t o spe n d the Chr i stm a s vac a ti o n i n N e w York. "O, Cathalina, " she c ried afterward, " it must be a g l or i o u s dream ! to visi t i n N e w York!" "Mayb e y o u 'll be d i s app o i n t ed . " " O , n o , I won' t . I've n eve r been t o any re a l b i g city, like N ew Yo r k or C hi cago ; i t tak e s mon ey t o travel." " I suppose i t d oes, " assent e d Ca t h alina , wh o was l earn i ng se vera l things thi s yea r . M a n y truth s , t o o, w hich s he ha d known onl y in the ory w e re h e r e dis pla yed b efore h e r e y e s ; for exa mple , wh a t s h e had so o ft e n he a r d a t h o me, that m o ne y can n o t sup p ly brain s o r char a cter, both of which are v aluable in the class room.
166 CATHALINA AT GR:t!JYCLIF F So the busy days went by. Snow and i ce shrouded the charms of Greycliff . The voice of the lake grew l ouder, but that of the little river was stilled , and after school hours, flying skaters in green, blue, red or orange sweaters, or in gay mackinaws glided up or clown stream. The war was on in Europe, but the hearts of the young pe op le in America were still light. Then came a clay when the last cl ass was over, packing c omp leted, and Cathalina and Hilar y on their way to New York. They felt very old and important to be traveling "on their own hook", as Hil .ary expressed it. To b e sure, for the first five or six h ours, five or six other Greycliff girls l:e p t them company. An art teacher, al s o, was their chaperone to the place where they ch anged to the through train. Then Philip was t o me et them at the New York Central station and see them home. However, for most of the way they were taking care of themsel ves and held on to their purses and tickets for dear life. " I never felt so stylish, Cathalina ! W asn't Aunt H i lary a dear to send me the s e l ove ly furs?" "Yo u are a s sweet as can be, Hilary. That dark reel coat is so becoming, with your pink cheeks. I'll have to rub mine." Hilary gave Cathalina an admiring glance. "Why, you always look as if you came from 'Pahree' ! And
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 167 you are the beauty with that grey-blue c oa t and those sweet furs . Y o u must p os e as the spirit of Greycliff in our tableaux. Is my hat on straight? I 'll never get ove r my s urprise when I opene d Aunt Hilary's Christmas package." "It was nice of the m all to send your Christmas pres e nts before you left. " "They kn e w I ne e ded 'em,-blessed people ! " "Philip will enjoy a taste of June's cream candy. Nobody at our h o use c a n make anything l i ke it." "Give him all he can eat, then." But H il a ry had her su s picions by this ti me that at the Van B u skirk home Cathalina and Philip c o ul d have the best of candy or anything else they wanted . There was a furious snow s torm outs ide. P eop le who came in s h o ok off snow and bre e zes of stinging air penetrat e d even t o the c omfortabl e c o ach in which t he two girls we r e cosil y settle d . Cathalina had visions of s t alled trains and dela y s s u ch as she had known before. But she said n o thing o f her fears to Hilary and was relieved when, as they spe d on, the snow sto p ped . It was Hilary's fir s t experience o n a sleeper . At first she thou g ht she never c ou ld go to s leep. But at last the novelty wore off an d th e m o notonous noise of the car whee l s lull e d her t o sleep . She knew n o :Lot e till C a thalina wak ened her. "Hurry u p, Hilary, we must get dres s ed as qui ck ly as p os-
168 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF .sible. I overslept. 0, you ne edn' t rush, but don't waste any time . If you lo o k out yo u see t he beauti ful old Hudson in its w inter dress. We are coming down on the east side." "We needed our little alarm clo ck, didn't we?" a nd Hilary chuckled at the though t of an alarm d o ck on a sleepe r. "But Cathalina, who often took Hilary's jokes s eri o us ly, replied, "We c o uld have had the porter c all u s." Leadership was rever s ed now. H ilary, who guided Cathal ina with kindness and efficiency throug h the myst e ri es of schoo l life was glad to fol l o w Cathalina's s u per ior kn o w l edge of what to do when traveling. They found that there was more time than they had s upp osed, for the train was late; and for some time afte r th eir berth was again c o n verted into the o rdin a r y Pullman seat they sat watching the wintry scene ry. The o bsequious attentions of the porter to Cathalina and , inde e d, to herself , .amu sed Hilary ver y much. She had rather opened h e r e yes at the tip she saw Cathalina give h im the e veni n g before . She, too, ha d lea rned something, n o t s o valuable, perhaps, as som e of Cathal ina's lesson s , ab o ut the extra attention which m o ney c a n secure . The porter brus h e d them off, t ook their ba.gs , and in a moment it seemed, they were out of the train and hurrying with the c rowd.
CATHALI NA A T GREYC LIFF 1 6 9 " There's Phil!" said Catha l ina j oyously, t h ough Hilary noticed at once how quiet was her voice and manner . "I guess they don't shout acr o ss the stree t at each other in New York , " she thought with he r u sua l humor. "Is this Miss Lancaster ?" " My brother, Hilary," and Hilary l ooked up into the smiling face of Philip Van Buskirk Junior . The c hecks were passed over to the chauffeur, Hila r y re c eived a c o nfused i mpression of the big station, and t hen found herself being he l ped into a c o mfort a ble , warm c a r and tucked in rugs by this same handsome h ost who kept up a good humored flow of con* v ersatio n with Cat h alina . S h e was one questio n mark at first, according t o Phil, who gave her a n ac coun t o f hims e lf and the family as she i nqui r ed . Hilary was too much interested in the sights and sou nds of the city to say an u n neces sary word . "The streets are in p r etty go o d shape con side ri n g t he snow we've had," Philip was saying . "It isn ' t so c o ld today either," added Catha lina. " O , dear old New Y o r k I I'm so glad to b e hom e again!" "And how glad Mo ther an d F a t he r w ill be to have y o u, Cat, n o body bu t me" "O, p l ease don' t call me th a t , Phil! I d id hop e that n one of t he g irl s wo uld e ve r h ea r that ni c k name! " C athali n a g a v e Hilary an impl oring look.
170 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF Hilary responded nobly. "I'll never tell, or call you that myself," she declared. "Kathleen, then," said Phil, laughing, "Is that better?" "Yes; and if it is sentimental I like it best when you call me Kathleen Mavourneen." "O, that's just becau s e it makes me think of the song, y o u know," and Phil look e d at Cathalina teas in g ly. But Cathalina slipped her arm through his and he patted her hand. Hilary was quite impressed and w o ndered i f either of her brothers could ever be as much l ike her father as Philip was like Mr. V a n Bu s ki r k. "It doesn't look much like it n o w , " she tho ugh t , rec a lling the often grimy hands and b o i s terou s spee ch o f Gor don and Tom. Stealing a gl a nce at Phili p , s he c o n cluded that he did not l o ok like a " s i ssy -boy" e ith e r, and that the little chaps would chan g e when the time came. She felt as if she were in a dream as she was whirled along to stop before a fine mansi o n in a picturesque setting of snow-covered shrubbery and trees. The two girls tripped up the steps , Philip follow ing to ring the bell for them. "Sorry not to stop now," said he, "but Father h a s a matter for me to look after as soon as possible." Touching his hat,
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 171 Philip started back to the car as the smiling Watts opened the door and received the b ags from the ch auffeur . "Deserted!" c ried C atha lina , "but that's the w ay with boys." Then as they entered the warm , beauti ful hall, there was Mrs. Van Buskirk hurrying to meet them. "And here's my other girl!" she said, drawing Hilary also into motherly arms. "Cold?" "No, but hungry," re plied Cathalina. "We slept la te and have qui te an appetite, at least I h ave . Do we have to wa it?" "No, inde e d," and Mrs. Van Buskirk led the waYi to the dinin g r o om . "Hot ch o c o l a te, Mamma ?" Cathalina suggested. Hot chocolate there wa s with other good thin g s duly served, while M r s . Van Buskirk wondered a dd was thankful to see her little girl eat with the norm a l school girl's appetite. Hilary felt almost l o st as she slipped through the big rooms with Cathalina. Etta was unpacking when the girls reached Cathalina's room. "Where are Hilary's things?" "In the rose room, Miss Cathalina; I just finished in there." "Mother's given you the room across from mine, Hilary,-will you be lonesome? If you are, you can come and sleep with me."
172 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF "O, no," Hilary an swe red. "I've a lw ays had to sha re my room w ith June o r l ittle Mary, so i t wi ll be l o vely t o h av e a roo m of my o wn-t ho u g h, of c o u rse , I'd l ove t o be w ith you . " C a tha1ina l aughed . "I und e r stand perfe ctly, Hil a ry. C o m e a n d see h o w you like it." " O , what a d e a r of a ro o m ! " Hila r y s t o pped just ins i de to feast her eyes . "I like this room t oo, and c ame very n ear tak ing it afte r it w a s decorated; but blu e i s m y c olor , afte r all, and I stick to m y own roo m . " T he ros e ro o m was no t qu i te s o l arge a s Cath alina's . Its furniture a n d wo odwork we re o f some ver y dark wood, Hila r y d i d n o t k now what. She ha d an impress i o n o f hand s ome furn iture , pa le p i n k to rose color u po n w h i te o r gra y t ones , in w a lls and drap e ries. P i nk and whit e s ilk curt a i ns we r e a t t he windows . T he dainty dressing t a b l e w a s fitted with sil v e r. "Now I'm g o in g t o l e a ve you t o y ou r self fo r a li ttle while , H i la r y, we c a n clea n up a nd I f ee l l ike anot h e r nap b e fore l unc h . T h ere is pa p e r and every thin g i n the de s k the r e i f you w ant to w r i te h o me. Do y o u want E tt a to h elp yo u w i t h you r bath?" " M ercy no! " s ai d fr an k Hila r y , "I wo u ldn ' t know what to d o bein g wa ited o n. " "All right. I see s he ha s put e v er y t h in g out that J.OU'll need. Better just get into bed for a little
CATHALINA A T GREYCLIFF 17 3 while like me . I'll have her get the bath ready for you." Cathalina rang for Etta, showing Hilary where the various conveniences of the r oom were, then thank fully went into her own room to wait for Etta to c ome to her. "O, how good i t is to be home!" Meanwhile Hilary walked around the exquisite r oom and peeped into its tiled bathroom. From the w i ndows she looked out on snow-covered roofs and a fa r-str etching city . Next, she i nvestigated the bureau and chiffonier drawers where Etta had neatly p laced her clothing. In the cl oset h er frocks hung in a row on silken hangers. "I see why Cathalina used t o catch herself up sometimes when she started to say t hings ! Of course I knew that she must have a nice home, but I did no t dream of this." She stood before a long mirror fo r a moment, seeing a pretty, wholesome, vigorous lo oking girl, with a frank, attractive face, clear, s t eady grey eyes and a pleasant mouth . " I shall have to pinch myself t o make sure I'm not dreaming all this elegance. I wonder what they a r e d oing at home !" H i la r y w ent back to t he win dow where _ she sa t l ook ing o u t wistfully . " I t will be my first Chri stmas away fro m home . I hope they'll m i ss me, bu t the re, t hi s w ill never do!" She hoppe d u p t o avoid t ea rs wh i ch wo ul d not be approp r ia te at all i n a g irl w ho w a s h av i n g a s d elight-
â€¢ 174 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF ful an opportunity as was hers on this visit, and going to the desk she began a letter home. "Just think," she wrote, "here I am in New York, going to ride down Broadway-and Fifth Avenueand Riverside Drive-and see the statue of Liberty holding up her little old torch, and go to the t o p of the Woolworth building, and who knows what else? I'll remember and tell you everything!" But just here Etta came in and no more was written till bath and a long nap had refreshed two tired little girls.
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 175 CHAPTER XV. CHRISTMAS AT CATHALINA'S. Two days passed before Chri s tmas. In that time Hilary became somewhat familiar with her sur roundings and even at home. For, in spite of the luxuri ous rooms and well-trained servants, the atm osphere of the Van Buskirk home was one of sim ple and cordial hospitality. If Hilary had been their own, the family could not h ave m ade her more wel come. Even Mr. Van Buskirk, as she wrote to her m othe r, considered her "worth talking to". Philip Junior teas e d her a little as h e tea sed Cathalina, and yet in a quiet, brotherly way looked after them both, to help on the good time. There was one de1iri ous day of shopping in the wonderful stores. Hilary had never seen anything like glittering Christmas display. Mrs. Van Buskirk took the girls from one bewildering shop to another. Shopping was not so tiresom e when a fine limousine was waiting to carry you from place to place.
1 7 6 CATHALI NA A T GREYCLIFF " I though t you'd l ike it ! " and Catha l ina's eyes spark l ed . The winter c o l d h ad made her ch ee ks as r osy as Hilary's an d she was en j oying i t a ll doubly, fo r herself and fo r her g uest. "But I wan t so many things tha t I haven' t bought anything ! I wan t to t ak e t hem e ach s omething, y ou know . " "O, well, there' ll b e somet h ing le f t e v en after Ch ristmas, you know, and you can buy your p r esents t hen. Mamma bought most of my presents for me. S he knew I wouldn't have any time . " "Let us just enjoy the sights and the C h ristma s c heer," said Mrs . Van Buskirk, who was no t hurr y ing about, like many of t he shoppers. "Our gifts are for the most part wrapped and labeled . " But Hilary with great deligh t watched her purchase a few beautiful things. They lunched at what Hilary described to J une as a very grand place, where Hilary left the order ing to her more experienced hostesse s . Then Hil a r y did make a few modest purchases, having by this time found out what she wanted, and went home, tired but delighted, to spend Christmas Eve. The cousins had been in and out several times since Hilary came, but she declared that she neve r woul d get the names and r elationships straight. "Neve r mind, Hilary; t hey are all as nice an d fu ll of fun as can be and y ou will clea r it all up whe n
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 177 y ou se e us all together at the Chri s tmas dinner. Really, t h ere h aven' t b e e n s o many. H o n es tl y , n ow, did yo u thin k tha t w a s a n ew lot t ha t we m e t at lu nch ? " " No, no t all o f the m, but I h ad a h ard t i m e re m embering which was whic h . " "And yo u a min i s t e r 's da u ghter!" "I've b e en t oo dazzled h ere, Catha lina . You mus t m ake allowan ces for a wea k mind ! " "The trou ble t oday was tha t they a ll had different cl ot h es on . " "Yes, t hat' was on e t hi n g . Then I me t a Mari a y esterday and a n Ann Mar ia t o da y and the y w e re so alike I lik e d her o r both ! " "It's just o n e g irl, o u r j olly old A n n Mar ia, an
178 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF "Good! M'here's June's candy? Take it all, Philip!" "Thanks, kind lad y , what else can I do for you?" "O, Phil, get your guitar and sing college songs for us,-do !" As Cathalina spoke she s tarted for the instrument. "Can't p oss ibly tonight. YV e'll have a sing to morrow night, all hands of us. Besides, " here Philip coughed affectedly and finished on a high falsetto. "I hav e such a cold!" Cathalina laughed. "All right till after dinner. You know Father and Mother always want some music on Chri st mas Eve." At bedtime the two girls undressed before Hilary's fire. Cathalina thought that Hilary might be lonely on Christmas Eve, so she dismissed Etta and theY. chatted by themselves. "Isn't Christmas the most beautiful time? Will you go to church tomorrow?" "Yes; Father and Mother always go. 0, I want you to hear a wonderful Christmas service, chimes and everything!" "How c o ld and still it is tonight!" "If you can call a city still. Of course it really is not noisy out here, and anyway when you get used to a city you don't hear things any more than the ticking of our little alarm clock."
CAT HALINA AT GREYCLIFF 179' "You o nl y n e e d t o m ent i o n a larm clo c k t o p rove it. D o yo u r eme m be r h ow I c a n sleep through all the d in?" Both gi rl s l a ughed a t the m e mories o f cert a i n earl y morning h ou r s . " But you do n ' t kno w h ow quee r I fee l som e t i me s , Cathal ina, as i f this is a sto r y a n d nothing i s r ea l." "It seems r ea l e no u g h t o m ,e. Have n ' t I the dearest fathe r and m o t he r an d b rother ? " "Havin g so m e of my ow n I coul d n o t say 'de a r e s t ', but t hey are jus t w o nd e rful. And why d id n ' t you te ll me, Cath alin a , tha t yo u li v e d lik e thi s ? " "We ll, Hilary, of c ours e , I'm u sed t o m y d ea r home an d wou l d not h ave thought m uc h about it if M o t he r and F athe r h a d not warne d me. The y sa i d i f I want e d t o b e h appy and have t h e g irls feel fre e with m e and m ayb e l o v e me a li ttle , I must d o a s t he r es t d o and not e ve r hint a b out having a m ai d o r anythin g . Then the y sai d, a s usua l , tha t i t i s what yo u a re and n o t what y o u h a v e tha t c o unts a n d they were anxiou s to s ee if I c ould get a l o n g without be in g waited o n and amo u n t to someth ing m yse lf . " A t Hil a ry's wondering lo o k s h e c ontinued : "Of c ourse the y we r e t oo k i n d t o put i t jus t tha t way, b u t I r eally thought that they mus t b e disguste d with me,-and h o w I cri e d, all t o mys elf! But I made up my m ind t o it and tho ught a t first t h a t I'd s ho w e v er y b o dy I could stay and wor k h ard a t my l es -
180 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF s ons ! Then I l iked Greycliff and t he girls so well t ha t I forgot a ll about the b e gi nning or why I went there . I 've jus t be e n un der s tanding since I c ame back h o me h o w worried they must have been about me. " " I suppose you felt almost as queer at Greycliff as I d o h e re . Still, it's a big place there and they have servants t oo . I don't know how this immen se h o u se would have lo o ked to me if I had not been to Greycl iff first." Cathalina laughed. "But this is a home. It is a bi g old thing, but I l ove it. You o ught to see some of the othe r plac e s here. Ours would not seem so much for size, then. But c om e on, Hilary-Dillary, we're going t o han g up our s tocking s just like kiddies toni ght,-in the den next to my roo m. Phil promise s to do it too, jus t for fun, as we u s ed to. Did you see Mother buying that horn and jumpingjack ?" " Yes ; I thought it was for some little chap in the family." "It was fo r her little kiddie-boy . " * * * * * Christm as morning was shining with the com bin ed radiance of sun and snow. "Merry Christmas, Phil!" Cathalina in negl ig ee and slippers pound e d on Phil's door. Heavy breath ing, somewhat exagge rated, greeted her.
CATHA.LINA A T GREYCLIFF 1 8 1 "Merry Christmas, Hilary! 0, I caught y o u ! Y o u c o ul d n ' t hear that o ld scamp at t he end of th e hall . I k no w he was awake , b u t you ' ll s e e , h e' ll c o m e p o unding on our door when he he a rs u s t a lk i n g in h e re, a n d pretend that h e nev e r h ea r d me at all . " Cath alin a sh ook off he r slipp e r s a n d w ith t he b u l ging s t o c k ings she settle d he r self b y H i l ary. "I l ef t Phil' s by his d o o r. He w o n ' t care much, but h e m ay pre t e n d he do e s to pleas e m e . " Etta app e a r e d to light the gas in the grate . S he lau g h ed in re s p o nse t o their calls o f "Merry C h ri s tmas". G o in g t o a drawe r in th e c h i ffonier , s h e dre w out t wo fle ecy wrap s w hi c h sh e put a rou nd the excite d g irl s . " No w yo u t a ke out one, Hilary, and t he n I'll t ak e o ne. I feel just l i ke little ' Catty Buski r k' age d five . It's j us t as we ll that we're s tarting ea rl y, bec a u se yo u a nd I, and P hi l , if we c a n get him t o help, are t o decor a te the . Christmas tree. L oa d s o f things c a m e in yes t erday and I imagine m o re will c o me thi s m o rnin g . " "Fo r all ' your s i s ters a n d your c ou s i n s and y our a unts'?" asked Hilar y, as s h e felt again o f the kn obs in the st o cking and drew o u t first a r e ctangu lar package . "My, l ook a t t he yello w sat i n b ow ! " she cried, a s ihe u n w r app ed a c a n dy box ac c o m p an i e d b y Philip ' s c ard and the familiar inscription " Sweets to the sweet."
1 82 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF "Ph il b ro u gh t home a g reat b o x o f sweets that you will ge t l at er, " said C at h a l i na , accep ti n g a bo n bon a nd startin g t o un w r ap a s imilar pa ckage . T h i s is jus t like y ours . M o ther was p r e t e ndin g to w hi s k something out of sight tha t he g ave h er." "That is the fun ab out Chri s tm as. Every thing is so j o lly a nd m ys t e rious. But y o u h a v e s u c h l o a d s of thi n gs all t h e time that I shouldn't think it w ould be s o mu c h fun." "Yes it i s . Really, Hilary, we can't h a ve e v e ry thin g as you think, especially sweets and j ew elry; and little g e ms of things in pictures and b ook s an d -0, plenty ofthings. And all the Van B u s k irk s and Van Nes ses and the rest just l o v e the Ch r i st mas fun. The 'mysteriouser' everything is t h e b etter." All the simple things tha t o u ght t o b e i n any well-regulated stocking were in theirs. There w a s even a stick of old-fashioned peppermint cartdy, wrapped in a slender packa g e as if v ery preci o us a nd m a rked by Mr. Van Buskirk, while Mrs. Van Bu s kirk h a d contributed a china doll for each. It was tiny and dressed in a crochet frock after a fash ion of years "They carried out the idea of kiddies with us, too, didn't the y ? Isn't it fun to slip your hand down and f eel the little packa g es?" Hilary found two g o ld hat pins from Mrs. Van Buskirk and a bottle of the very best violet perfume
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 183 fro m Mr. V a n B u s kirk. Then, d o wn in the toe w a s . a small package wi th a card marked , "Merry Chri stmas t o H i la r y fr o m her loving roommate, Cath a li na . " Catha1 i na's color rose as she said, "I do h o p e yo u'll like it!" Hilary lifted the little hinged c o ver. "O, Cathal i na ! I t m a tch e s the pend ant! H o w aid you know t hat I l ov e r i n gs bette r tha n a n y thing else? But, ho n ey, yo u give m e the s e l ove ly things, and wha t s h all I d o ? " "I'll show yo u." C atha lina t oo k the flashing litt l e ring fr o m b e tween t he sat in pads and s l ipp ed it o n Hilary's finge r . " ' W i t h this ring I the e '-present ! Good, i t fits. Do y ou r e m emb er wh e n I was tryi n g my sapphir e ri n g on y our fing e r do w n by the l a ke one day?" "Was t hat i t !" e xcla i me d Hilary , turning h e r well-shaped ha nd to see the opal flas h g reen a n d r ed in t h e l ight fro m the fire. Like the p e n dan t, the r ing ha d it s ti n y d i a m o nds, t o o. "How be a u t i ful i t i s ! " "Look i ns i de, " sugge s t e d Cathalina. H i lary drew off t h e n arrow cir clet and read the fine le tte rs, "C. t o H. G r e y cliff ." Cathalina' s st o c k ing was a lmost a duplic a te of Hila r y 's , but in the t o e s he found a d a int y w rist watch. She already had an e x qui s ite little watch ,
184 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF but this was in a style for which she had expressed a desire. "Rah-rah for Greycliff !" cried Cathalina rather irrelevantly, waving the empty sto cking, and s lid out of bed. Etta came promptly at her ring and assisted both girls. It was Hilary 's fir s t exp e r i ence at having a maid do her hair. She sat sti ll w it h sparkling eyes, thinking of the vivid which she could give June and the boys of little Hilary in the lap of luxury. "Toot-toot!" and "tat-tat" on their door. "Merry Christmas, ladies!" "Merry Christmas, you old fraud!" responded Cathalina. "I called 'Merry Chri s tmas' hours ago and you heard me t o o, didn't you now, Philly?" "Couldn't I have been asleep?" "Yes, you could, but y o u weren't." "So long," said Philip; "I smell turkey. Toottoot." "They did give him that horn! Isn ' t it awful? We'll hang that and my 'dollie' on the tree." "Is everybody coming to dinner?" "Yes; the whole 'gens', root ;tnd branch!" "Don't quote Latin; it makes me think of Dr. Carver. Poor thing, I hope she has a nice Christmas!" " .Why 'poor thing'? She looks down on us I And
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 185 b es id e s, s ince the 'Herr Professor' came, she lives in h opes , as Ann M aria says." "My! D o l a d y Ph.D's e v e r get married?" "Ho w s h o uld I k no w ? " r eturne d C atha lina s auci ly. " R eady, H il a r y ? C o me on, then t o hot w affles and r ea l m a pl e syrup!" With a r m s around each othe r, they starte d in step d own the stai rwa y and b ega n t o sing a Chri stma s carol. Philip , ap pe a rin g in the d r aw in g ro o m d oo r, joined in with a clear b a r i tone. Then Mr. and Mrs. Van Buskirk c a me fro m the library to j o in the young people and they all went singing to the dining room.
186 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF, CHAPTER XVI. WHEN THE CLAN GATHERED. "I SUPPOSE that Christmas Eve is really the time for Christmas trees," said Cathalina, as she straight ened a candle on the tree and hung another silver ball where it would show to the best advantage. "But everybody wants to be in his own home then, and anyway Cousin John couldn't get in until l a te last night and Uncle Mart was to get in this noon. I;ie's been South on bu s iness." The family dinner was to be early on account of the smaller fry. At five o'cl o ck darkness had fal len, the Van Buskirk home was aglow from every window and the family waiting. The tree was in what Hilary called the back parlor, se parated from the room at the front by pillars and draperies. As Cathalina flitted about the tree looking like a sweet Christmas fairy, Hilary sat almost lost in a great chair, enjoying the beauty of the tree and of the warm, spacious room with its fine pictures and taste ful appointments.
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 187 "There!" cried Cath a lina at la s t, an d press ing t h e ele c tric b u tto n l ef t th e room da rk, except fo r suc h l ight as cam e in fr o m o th e r w ell lig ht e d r oo m s . "They'll all c om e at once , " c o ntinu e d Cath a lin a , perchi n g o n t he arm of Hila r y 's chair. "How ca n the children w ait all day _ for their presen ts?" "O, t hey h ave most of them at home, but they do l oo k forward t o the big famil y tree. I u s ed to be cr a zy about the ti m e w h e n I w o uld se e S a n t a Claus . 0, i s n ' t it fine , Hila r y, to have yo u here and eve r yb ody c o m i n g ! K aty ne ver gav e me a l oo k w h e n I peepe d into the kitchen a while ago. She was b oss in g th e w h o l e crew,-w ouldn't hear t o the â€¢ c a t e r e r Mothe r h ad s u gges t e d to the h o usek e eper. A n d we' r e lu cky t o h ave her a nd h e r good homey c oo kin g. Some o f Mot h e r 's fri ends hav e s u c h tim es. M r s . U tl ey h as m i llio ns o f m o n ey, but when h e r lit tlest ki ddie h ad been out w i th hi s nu rse a nd ex p o sed to small p ox, the wh ole s e t left and s he had to ge t al o n g b y herself a whil e . If you knew her y o u w o uld under s t a nd how funny it wa s . I ha v e forg o tten how l o n g they were q uarantined , but nobody was sick.-0, there they c ome!" Cathalina rose and spun around on her slip pered to e s , her light dress floating aro und her. Hilary r o se, too , in s ome inward excitement, and shook out the lines o f her prettiest "party frock", which was quite as nice as
188 CA THALI N A A T GREYCLIFF Cathalina's; for Mrs. Van Buskirk had not changed her ideas in regard to simplicity for young girls. Watts in his mos t elegant style was admitting the guests whose me rry voices drew the girls to the hall. Young laughter, little Charlotte's shrill treble, Uncle Knickerbocker's kind bass to n es, the cheery greetings and "Merry Christmas es" of old and young soon filled the house with cheer. Several of the children could not resist the shining bannisters and slid down triumphantly before their elders could stop them. The company rapidly increased in a truly informal gathering where common interest& and affection made everything natural and sponta neous. Hilary watched it all with fascinated eyes in the the intervals of being presented, though s he little dreamed how closely her !if e was to be connected with this family g r oup. Having met many people i n her few years, she noted the correct speech, intel ligen t faces and general ai r of content and ea s e . Phil i p Van B u skirk was the only man of la r ge w ea l t h a m ong the m , b u t m ost of the family c on n ect i on were in c omfortable circumstances, accus t o m ed to the a t m osp he r e of education and c u l ture. \Vit h Aunt Knick erb o c k er , H ilar y q u ite fe11 i n l o v e . Tha t l a dy, as u s ual , wore sof t b lack silk w i t h white lace. A faint od o r of vio l et s al wa ys clung t o any possession of Katherine Knickerb o ck e r 's,-her
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 189 gloves, or scarf, and tonight she wore the flowers themselves. She held Hilary's hand, l ooking at her with kind, shrewd e yes and a pleasant smile. Her chin was lifted, her head tipp ed a little sidewise, as she welcomed Hilary. Then with a low l a u g h and a quick little movement she gathered Hilary close to her side, and ke eping an arm around her, drew her along to meet some of the rest. "Charlotte, this is the fine girl that rooms with Cathalina at Greycliff . Miss Rando lph has written many com plimentary things about her. Hilary, this is Mrs. Stuart, Cathalina's aunt. Come here, Sara Stuart, I want you to meet Cathalina's friend. Introduce her, please, to Emily and Campbell." Thus Hilary was passed around or waited till the young people were brought to her. From the oldest, who was Uncle Knickerbocker with snowwhite hair, to wee "Sh'lotte M ee-nia", they a ll t oo k Hilary into their hearts and made h e r one of them . She was greatly interest ed, of course, in John Van Ness and his sweetheart, Juliet King. This was Juliet's fir st visit with the family since the engagement was announced. "Isn' t she lovely?" whispered Cathalina, "not exactly pretty, either, but so-charming. Loo k at John; he can't keep his eyes away from her." When dinner was announced, Philip Van Buskirk escorted Aunt Katherine, while Uncle Knicker-
190 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF backer, gallantly and with much j o king, tucked Syl via's hand in his arm. Among the youngsters, Philip Junior took out Hilary, which made her feel very grand and grown up. The dining ro o m was ablaze with light, reflected in the glittering cut glass and shining silver. Two long tables were decked in Chri s tmas trimmings. Here, as in the . other ro o ms, poinsettias, h o lly and mistletoe were in evidence and lo v ely cut flo wers gave fragrance. Watts was in his element and the pretty maids wore sprigs of holly in their caps. There was a slight disturbance when little Char lotte found that she had been expected to sit by her mother instead of with the y o ; mger g eneration at their table. But at Sylvia's n o d, Watts whisked the high-chair to the other table, next to Charlotte's sister. With bowed heads they listened to Uncle Knicker bocker's long grace. Louise w as s omewhat inatten tive because of various wigg lin gs o n th e part of her small charge; and Will was g uilt y of a s uppressed gig gle as out of one eye he watche d Ch a rl o tte' s attempts to speak and L o ui s e w ith her finger on the child's lips. Her shrill v o ice pip e d out as s o on as the ble ssing was a sked: "But I d on't s e e any turkey!" A g eneral ripple of a musem ent went round; then the hum of conver sation b e g an.
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 191 Philip sat at one end of the children's table, Cathalina at the other. "The whole tribe is here, isn't it?" asked Campbell Stuart, a tall, g o od-l o ok ing young fellow who sat between Hilary and Ann Maria. "Can y o u get the hang of our relative s yet, Miss Hilary?" "No t yet." "It's really very simple, as our Trig professor says," Campbell continued. "Now that they are t og ether at table it would be a good time to get a fine general i d ea of the vario us groups. (I quo t e again, from our dist iti gui s hed hi s t ory profess o r ! ) Let us start in on the other table." Cam p b ell straightened his shoulders and made an appropriate gesture. "That's old Peppy Brown to perfection," said Phil, "but nixy on the family history, please." "It will only take a minute, Phil, brace up . Of course you know Aunt and Uncle Knickerbocker. Then that gentleman with the very black hair, on the other side of Aunt Sylvia, is Martin Van Bus (kirk. He is a g o od scout and you'll like him. He's named for the Martin Van Buskirk who came over from Holland , fought in the Revolutionary war and married Maria Van Ness. Uncle Mart says he does not know which to o k the mo s t coura g e ,-with no reflection on his bride intended. Uncle Mart's a bachelor himself .
192 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF "Next to him is my m o ther, and ri ght opposite is Father with Aunt Adaline Wallac e , a not her of Uncle Phi l ' s five sisters." Hilary ga s ped and laughed. "No w we ' ll pick them out," C a mp b ell went o n . In sch oolbo y s t yle he entertaine d Hilar y for som e m i nutes with his liv ely de s cripti o n of u n cles , a unts and c o u s ins o n b oth sides of the h ouse. " D o they all live in New Y ork?" i nq u ire d Hilary. "No , but n e ar, e x c ept Aunt L o i s . She 's t eachin g in Virg inia. We live in Broo kl y n thi s win t e r, but are g o ing out to stay at C o u s in L ib's tonigh t a f ter the fun. Y o u kn o w F athe r is r e l ate d t o he r t o o , s o we ' re all double cou s in s . " ' "Mercy, Campb e ll!" exclaime d L o ui se Van N es s. "Yo u are getting Hilary m o re mixe d t h a n eve r . F o r g et it, Hilary. Do tell u s , C a m p b ell, or Phili p, h o w it happened that your famou s old team l os t that la s t game!" No m o r e effectual means c o uld h a ve b e en d ev i se d for ch anging the subject. B oth b oys e age rly began to explain how it happened, by a seri es o f unl oo k e d for accidents, together with the unfairnes s of the referee that the football team had been defe a ted ! "It couldn't have been, of course," whispered Sara
C A'l' HALINA AT GREYCLIFF 19 3 to A nn Maria, "tha t the othe r te a m pl ay ed a bette r game! A ren ' t b oys funn y ! " \ N ill and N a n were keepin g the fu n going at t h e other end of the t able and w e r e a b l y a ss i st e d by Charle s and Henry W allace, two p o lit e but irre press i ble l ads who had been p rom i s e d a ll the turkey they c o ul d ea t if the y w o u l d b e ha ve like gen t lemen a t U n cle Philip 's. Any re s entm e n t a t r e p roo f which they may h ave felt the y w e re t a k ing o u t i n an ex c e s s of p o lite b e haviour, e specia ll y to eac h o t h er, with droll r e m arks w hich kept Catha lina convul s ed w ith laughte r m ost of t h e time . After t he dinner c a m e t h e tree . Hilary had h e l ped de c o rate, but did n o t r ea l iz e how like fairy land the p l ace w o uld lo o k, w i t h the c a ndles lit and the li ttle e l e ctric bulb s s h ining among the bra nches. No othe r lights w e r e o n in the r oom, tha t the big t ree migh t stan d out i n a ll it s g l o r y . Som e o f the branches w ere fro s t e d w it h a spar klin g _ d u s t, and hung by in v i s ibl e wire s fro m a b ove, a C hri s t m a s angel sp r ea d w hite win gs . F o r a mome n t , e very o n e was s il en t. Even little Ch a rl ott e d r e w a s ig h o f rapture . "Pea ce on e arth," murmured Aunt Kath e rine. T h e n Charl o tte ran up to the tree. "I see my do lli e ! " s h e cri e d, lift i n g b a b y han ds and arms to the b i g d oll which she knew mu s t be hers .
. 194 CATHALINA A T GREYCLIFF '"And here's o ld Santa Claus!" said Ann Maria, -calling C h a rlotte's attention to young Phi lip, much padded, with long white beard and great fur over c oa t. Exclamations of deli ght g r eeted the gifts, always especially nice at Aunt Sylvia's; fo r she t oo k the opportunity t o remember generously a few of the young people n o t quite so abundantl y provided fo r as Philip , and Cathalina, and, in deed, tri e d in every way to find out the real h eart's desire of e a ch. Hilary found h erself with an armful o f present s , severa l bo o ks for which she had b ee n longing, a d ainty scarf which was one of the pretty things picked up on Sylv ia's last trip abroa d, a fla sh l ight, a traveling c ase , a d oz en fine handkerc h i ef's, some stationery and cand y . She turned to Mr. Van Buskirk and said earnestly, "O, how can I accept a ll these l ove ly presents when I've given next to nothing to you!" Philip Senior placed his hands lightly over her shoulders: "Hilary, ch i ld , yo u hav e d o ne more already for my l ittle girl in lessons o f self-r e liance and devotion to work than these baubles and t r ifle s c ould ever d o fo r you." And Hilary was comforted. "Clear the floor fo r the Virginia reel!" called Philip. Methodi s t Hilary looked up s t a rtled. "Don't worry, Hilary," said the amus ed C atha li n a, who was standing near. "It i s not a real d ance-
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 195 that is, no more than the gym dances. This is a family custom,-once a year, and Sir Roger De Caverly, well, they prance around like this," and Cathalina held one hand high as if reaching toward an imaginary partner, and minced about in a rhythmic walk. Uncle Knickerbocker was approaching Madame Sylvia with what Hilary called "gym s teps and variations". Aunt Knickerbocker with a sweeping cou rtesy was greeting Uncle Martin, who reached her jus t before Philip Senior. "Never mind, Philip; it's fine to be popular,-and Martin is always such fun,-no offense, Philip?" "None wf1atever, Madam," replied her host, his hand on his heart, "though I envy Martin!" "'Twas ever thus," sighed Martin Van Buskirk,. "valued not so much for my handsome face as for my ready tongue !" "Your ready heels, my lad!" returned Aunt Kath .. erine, as he l e d her out. "Loo k at 'em!" said Cathalina, poking Hilary. "You'd think Father was a boy tonight." Hilary shook with laughter at the j ok es and the exaggerated old -time manners assumed for the occa sion as the elders took their places. The younger ch ilclrep preferred to play with their toys, but the \ c:st lined up in the double line. Cathal ina played for
Hi CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF them this time,-an old-fashioned tune that set Hilary's feet to tapping. Campbell, tall, handsome lad, came up and asked her to be his partner. Hilary imitated the low curtseys of the rest to matc h his bow, saying, "I wish I could, Campbell, but I ' d be sure to get mixed UP. and spoil it all. Isn't it pretty?" Campbell drew up an easy chair by Hilary's and stretched out lazily. "I'm quite c ontented to s i t here by you. I guess Uncle Knickerbocker cou l dn' t have eaten the turkey I did. Look at the fancy steps he is putting in. I bet he'll be lame tomorrow!" "He's such a fine old gentleman," said Hilary, warmly, "handsome yet." "O, he was some b ea u in his time," replied Camp bell, who enjo yed watching Hilary's expressive face more than the maneuvers upon the floor. One turn of the old-fashioned dance was e noug h for the elders, who scattered, lau ghing and breath less, to drop into convenient ch airs and watch the graceful figures of J oh n and Juliet, Louise, Ann Maria and the rest until they t oo were tired and gathered around the piano for more quiet enjoyment. The singing of fresh young voices, the gay or tender songs, a s one or another call ed for some favorite, and last the trying of some new rec ords , brought the family party to a contented and happy close. Nurses and maids were off duty, and when
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 197 it was discovered that Charl ot te :was asleep on the floor with her precious doll, the last of several which she had r e ceived that day, it was thought high time for departure. Several out-of-town people remained over night with the Van Buskirks; others went with Mr. and Mrs. Van Ness, and the r est pursued their different ways home . CHAPTER XVII. BASKETBALL. To BOTH Cat halina and Hilary the days in N ew York, w ith the circle of live ly young friends flew fast. After more than a week of unadulterated good times, H i la r y fou n d herself h o meward b ound in charge of Mr. Martin Van Buskirk, who was off on another bu siness trip for his firm. They followed a brief visit with the dear hom e people who were unselfish l y g lad for all the go o d times which were c om in g Hilary's way. Little Mary sat solemnly listenin g, h olding the big "New York dollie" which Mrs. Van Buskirk had sent her, and enjoying all the stories about the little Charlotte, some of whose escapades Hilary omitted t o tell lest her small sister be influenced to like performances. Gordon and Tom were as interested in the New York boys, and June could not hear enough about the beautiful
1 9 8 CATHALIN A AT G REYCLIFF home, the Chri s t mas tree an d the p laces w hich her si s t e r h a d see n, i n and about New Y o r k. C a th a l ina and h e r fam i ly h ad the i n ti m a t e l i ttl e v i si t t oge th e r w h i ch wo u l d c arry t hem o ve r the h o urs o f sepa r a ti on a h e a d . Aunt Kath e r i n e was deli g hted a t the result o f Catha l ina' s adventu r e i n t o a g i rl s ' schoo l a n d wanted t o h ear fir s t h a n d from Cathalina all a b out Miss Randolph, the sch o o l and t h e girls . 1B ut in no tim e at all, it seemed, school da y s at Grey cliff had b e gu n and b o t h Cath a 1ina and Hilary w e re h a r d a t work , Hilary w hi p p ing he r t e a m i nto sh ap e fo r t he tournaments . A ll the Juni o r g irls were inte rest ed a nd l oyal. The t ea m was a s t rong one and had high h o pes . On a fr os t y n igh t in Februa ry, the b ig " gym", lit up with b ri lli an t e lectri c lights a nd gay with ba nn ers, aff o rded t o Greycliff g irls and their vi sito r s a fa s cinatin g scene. Gir ls, g irls, g irl s , a nd g irl s aga in, came lau g hin g, talkin g excit ed ly, ea c h expe ct ant o f glory for her own cla s s team. The o l der girl s were there, t oo , t o see w hich te a m w o u l d w in the pri v ile g e of p la y ing a g ainst their winning team and to note how they p l ay ed. Each clas s had its al o tted seats , its song and "yell" lea der s , a s in the coll eg es, e a ch applaudin g the o ther s ' eff o rts, but try ing to outstrip every other in ori g inality o r n o ise . N o one sat still, but all were bobbing up or down, this way or that.
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 199 Now the Seniors led off, "Seniors 'rah, Seniors 'rah! Greycliff !" The Sophomores broke into a jolly song and were followed by the Freshmen, who brought d ow n the house by their shrill singing and de spe r ate efforts. 0, we're the little Freshmen, So young and fresh and gay; And when we all Play basketball, We b ea r the prize away! V I e've ne ver been defeated; We've brains and skill and 'pep'; Just let us play By night or day, And watch us make the 'rep'! Avalon, in green sweater and cap, led the sing ing, c omp let e ly transformed from the hom esick gi rl C atha lina first knew. Isabel, with characteri st ic ener gy, l ed the fierce yell, "Br-rr-rr-ah-zoom ! zoom! Freshmen!" I sabe l lo o k ed funny en ough, stooping to the ground as she had seen her bro thers do, car ryin g the "Br-rr" along as in her two hands and waving her arms wildly on "Freshmen!" ,, Cathalina joined in th e litera lly violent applause given the Freshmen and bid fair to become as crazy as the rest. She had written a song for the Juniors and was anxious to hear how it would sound.
: 200 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF Like the rest, the Junior song leader was excited . and marshalled her forces with much enthusia s m. " 'Now put some 'pep' into it, girls," she cried, ready, -sing!" Greycliff Juniors b o ld are we, Strong and hearty as you see; Baskets ?-we can make them all, When our team plays basketball! Run and go, Catch each throw, 'Rah-rah, Juniors! Greycliff Hall! Don't you wi s h you had our team? Watch them when they get up steam! Juliet' s swift and can not fall; You can never budge o ld Paul! Yells and din, Junio r s win ! Junior 'Cademy ! Greycliff Hall ! "Imag ine the elegant Cathalina making up a song like that when she first came to Gr eycliff ! " I sa bel had said, and Cathalina did n ot more than half like it, though Isabel's intenti o ns were entirely compli mentary, as Cathalina knew. One small section of se a ts held the lady teachers. The "Gym" teacher was walking here and there, talking occa s ionally to the referee. The latter was a fine looking girl, lithe and tall, with blonde hair
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 201 braided and wrapped tightly around her head. Blouse, bloomers and stockings were of black silk .and she was the embodiment of grace and swiftness .as she blew her whistle and ran hither and yon after the game commenced. By lot it was determined that the Juniors were to play the Sophom o res and the Freshmen the Seniors, .an arrangement which was hard on the Freshmen be ' cause their defeat was so immediate and crushing. It was humiliating, also, in point of score. The con test between the Sophomores and Juniors was more even, and accordingly more interesting; but the Juniors won, and at the last ran up quite a score. Then came the most exciting contest of all, be tween the two winning teams, Junior and Senior Academy. Teams and classes were quivering with iexpectation. The Junior team expected victory, but knew that it must be hard won if won at all. "It helps a lot, girls," said Hilary, "to think you can beat 'em if you try hard enough. I just feel in my bones that we can,-now shall we do it?" The Seniors were alive to the disgrace of being beaten by a younger class, and knowing that the iJ uni or team was a strong one, they prepared for a struggle. The referee blew her whistle. She tossed the ball and the two centers jumped eagerly. At once it became the property of the Senior girls, whose
202 CATHALINA AT G REYCLIFF g uarding w a s fine and d e term i nati on d e s p erate. Not a chance did the Junio r s h av e unti l t he S eniors had ma de two ba s kets amid s hri eks o f d e l ig ht from S eni o r "roo ters " and the enc ouragin g yells of Junio rs to their team. The n t he tide turned for a tim e . A S enior girl fum b l ed and t h e b all w a s Hila ry' s, w ho pl ay ed left for wa r d. A qui c k a n d ac cur a t e t oss put it th roug h the b a s k e t , w hile Juniors thi s t im e s h ri eke d and a pp l a u d e d . In the next p lay Juli e t c a ught the b all a nd t o s s e d it ov e r her head,t o c o m e d o w n th ro u g h the b a s k et ! Four bas k e ts the Juni o r s m a de in the mi ds t o f w i ld ap p l a u s e o r breathl e ss m o ments of an x i e t y . A clo s e strug g le followed, e a ch side s triving t o gai n t h e advant a ge . In unwise parti sa n s hip, a S en io r g i r l w as g uilt y o f a foul , and H i l a r y w a s c a lled out to try fo r the b as k e t . Silence r e i g ne d whi l e Ca p t a in Hilary s t oo d fa c i n g the b as ket w it h the b all bet we en he r hands . She meas ured the d is t a nce and wi t h a n e asy l ift t osse d the ball stra ight a b o ve t h e b as ket, t h r o u g h w h i ch it dropp e d t o the floor. S enio r s u ccesse s fol l ow ed , and at the en d o f the fir s t half the score w as even . "Clean ba s ketball, girl s," sa id Hilary earnestl y t o h er t ea m , a s t hey stre t c h ed fla t on the floo r t o r e s t b e t we en h a lves. "Don't l ose your he a ds a n d we 'll bea t ' e m ye t . T ea m w o rk is the thing . . Ethel ' s lo s t her head alrea dy and is mad. Look out
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 203 for some mean tricks . But they won't do any good . vVe've got a k e en referee, all rightee, and she sees everything. Did you see how she c a ught up Ethel that time? My, s he was sharp ! I'd hate to be spoken to l i k e t hat!" The last h a lf w as clos e and fast. The Juni ors took their C aptain 's advice and played ea g erly, but with judgm e nt. J u liet and Pauline seemed insp i red. Pauline , g u a r d ing the Senior c apta i n, jumped up !before her and ca tching the ball before the sur p rised Seni o r r e a l ized what had h a ppened, sent it flying to H i l a ry, who once more tossed it in the Junior basket. Two or three of the Seni o rs lost their temp e r. Sev e ral fouls worked to the advan t age of the Juni ors again. The score rose in favor of the Junio rs and the game ended with a score of 12 to 8 in their favor. The victory was hard won but highly satisfactory,-to the Juniors! Hilary, flushed and tired, but happy, rec eived congratulations. The Juniors with songs and cheers gathe r e d around the t eam which h ad won them glory. Cath a lina radiated joy as much for Hilary's sake as for the honor of h e r class. "Yo u c ertai nly can play basketball, Hilary," said Isabel , slapping Hilary on the shoulder as a boy might have done. "Now do you level best and maybe we can beat the Senior Collegiates !" Hilary s hook her head doubtfully, but answered
204: CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF with a bright smile, "We'll pl ay so the P rep classes won't b e ashamed of u s an yway ! " But alas for the hopes o f prepdom ! No team had ever beaten this Senior C olleg i ate team on its way through Greycliff, and hi s t o r y was repeated whe n the last g a mes took pl ace a week later . To the joy o f the A cademy clas s e s , h owever , the games be t w een "Junior A" and "Se nior C" was a close o ne . Both t ea m s were i n fine tra ining and exhibited a s pirit of fair play; but the up per class bore off t he honors . "I surely would have been mortified i f tho se Pre ps had bea t en us, and , h onestly , once I was almost afraid of it!" Thus spoke the exha u s t ed but v ictorous captain, who l a y str etched on the floo r t o rec over after t he game. One girl was being rubb e d with c amphor , anot her was applying a rnica to a bi g bump and a thi r d was hav ing a sprain i nv e s tigat ed, whi l e Miss Rand o l ph, with contracted brow, c a me over to j oin the gymnasium teache r and s e e what were the injuries of h er athletes . To a few o f h e r t e a c hers Miss R ando l p h rel ie ved her feeling s as they all w a lked back t o G rey cliff Hall. picking their w ay carefully ove r the ice and sn o w that had formed or fallen too rap i dly for removal from the walks. " I do not and n eve r shall approve o f thes e co m peti ti ve games befor e the who l e school! Prac t i c e
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 205 games are we ll enough, but the girls ge t so exc1ted that they wi ll 'do o r die', as one of their ridi culous songs says ! " Miss Randolph's laugh almost belied the severity of her remarks. " 'Vitamque volunt pro laude p acisci'," quoted the classic Dr. Carver, whose blood seldom warmed over athletics of any sort. "That is their spirit," assented Miss Randolph. "I'm alw ays afraid of some calamity, but so fa r we have escaped . I feel re spo nsible for the girls. However, none of them are allowed to go into any thing without the c onsent of their parents . " "Not much can h appe n in ba s ketball, can the r e ? " "No, but I am always afraid of the bruises and strains and sometimes they fall so hard and strik e thei r heads . Perhaps the athletic craze is mor e wholesome than s ome others, but we endure and are t hankful when every tournament i s pa s t. And, in deed it seems to me, if school or college l if e is to foster any refinement of speech or manner in our girls, s o mething will h av e to be done ab out these perform ances . " As it happened, fate was kind to Miss Randolph and her ol d s cho o l ideas. To the grea t disappoint ment of both scho ol s , the Highlanders had an epi demic of measles, "me a s ly things", as Isabel said , and arrangements for th e competitive games were c ompletely broken off. But to relieve the g e neral
20G CATBALINA AT GREYCLIFF f eel in g of disappointm ent they were promise d som e kind of a n affair to gethe r , when all dange r of infec tion was past. It might be a picnic, a masquerade, nobody knew just what. "And n ext year, girls," said E lo ise, impres sive l y , " we c a n g o wi t h the C ol le g i ates ove r to see the a t hl eti c carnival at t he military schoo l ?" "How d o you know, Elo' ?" asked Cathalina. "The Academy Seni ors are s upp ose d t o hav e en ou g h sen s e to accompany the disting ui s he d C o l le giates ! They have a wonderf u l t ime, they say,rnet b y the boys in the ir uniforms , of cours e , es c orted around to all the doings and if you know anyb ody there you can ev en see him! The re are plenty of t ea ch ers along, of c ourse." "My, I wish Phil were that n ear!" exclaimed Cathalina, with a h ome sick pang. "It it a r ea l grown-u p school? He isn't g o in g b ack to the same schoo l , perhaps , ne x t year, is j u s t trying a new schoo l this year, but he will b e i n c olleg e work, I guess." "Don't you know?" asked H ilary is som e surpri se. "Poo r Hilary. Haven't you learned y et, Hilary, that I'm just beginnin g t o pay attention to s cho o l things?" "Sure eno u g h. But they're in t e r e sting, aren't they?" "Fairly so," replied Cathalina w ith a twinkle.
C ATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 2 0 7 CHAPT E R XVIII. BIRD CLUBS AND A PRINCES S. "WHEN m a y I see you alone, Mis s R an dolp h ?" Catha l ina had s l i p pe d through the fr ont r anks of the girl s i n t he hall afte r dinner, and l e aning clo se s po k e in l ow tones . "Ri ght now , Cathalina," Miss Rand o l p h drew Cathali n a's hand w i t hin he r a r m a n d c om p l e ted the short dist a n c e t o h e r d o or. "An y t h ing s erious? " "No, Miss Rando l ph , but I hav e a p u z zle an d I tho ught you migh t help me ." Miss R andolph clo sed h e r doo r an d went straight to a l ow c o u c h . wh e r e she l ay do w n an d m ot i one d Cath a1ina t o a cha i r n e a r. "Ex cuse me, but my h e ad troubles me a l ittle t o d ay a nd I wan t t o r e st." Ca t hal in a pu s hed the c ha ir as id e an d d re w up a sm all s t oo l on w h i ch she dropped , t aking the hand tha t Mi s s Randolph stretc hed o ut. "Let m e rub your for e head as I do Mamma's som e t imes." Mi s s R a n dolph closed her eyes a f ew mi n utes as she was so o t hed b y Cath a lin a 's mi nis t r a ti o ns . Then she cau gh t C atha lina ' s hand a n d put it w i t h the other in he r o w n firm, white hand . "Now t e ll me," she s aid. Cathalina v ery sinc e r e ly lo v ed and admired M iss
208 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF Randolph and to be here so intimately talking with the lady of whom some of the girls were in such terror was rather embarrassing when her first feeling of "poor lady with a headac he" had gone. "It is a rest to have you here, Cath a lina ," Miss Randolph continued, looking so sweet and womanly and kind, as she waited for Cathalina's confi dences that the young girl felt an affection even warmer than she had felt befor':!. "It is n ot anything, then, that will add to my gray hairs?" Miss Randolph gave Cath alina a c o mical loo k as if to indicate that she was accustomed to such things. "No, ind e ed , Miss Randolph, and perhaps you will think I am silly. It's only this. I heard Betty and I sabel and Diane talkin g about joining the bird clubs, and Diane and Isabel both said that they'd love to, on ly it would be all their people could do this year to meet regular expenses, and they did not dare ask for field glasses or even opera glasses or any: more books. Now I'm going to j o in, and I thought maybe I could get the textbooks and some others and make a little library for the East Corridor girls. But I'm afraid to buy glasses for the girls,-they're so proud and independent. Why I had a time to get Hilary to accept a few little presents." "Independence of a certain kind is a fine virtue, Cathalina. Has Hilary glasses?"
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 209 "Yes, her aunt sent her some fine ones." "Let me think a little. I suppose you would like to buy each .of the other girls a forty or fifty dollar pair?" Cathalina laughed at Miss Randolph's tone. "Yes, of course I would, but I see that I can't unless I do it 'unbeknownst', as our Katy says, and any way they would suspect." "How would this plan do? For some time I have thought that we ought to have a supply of glasses to rent; but some of the girls are so careless that that fact, together with our lack of funds, has prevented our getting them. Now how would you like to present the school with a number of field glasses of moderate price, and perhaps two or three more expensive ones to be given out at my discre tion or given by the science teachers for special inter est or ability? Possibly one or two could be awarded at the close of the year as prizes." "That is the very thing! I'll write Papa today _ ! Thank you, Miss Randolph, I might have known that you wouls:l take the worry away. And you can manage it, can't you, so that Djane and Isabel get some good ones?" "I surely will if the little princess gives us so much. She ought to have some reward!" " 'Princess!' " thought Cathalina, as she went away. "That's what I'm going to be, forever and
210 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF ever !-a fairy princess who will make all sorts of lovely dreams come true for pe o ple!" "Hilary was taken into the secret, and such fun as the girls had for se v eral weeks, looking at Cata4 l o gues and ordering, with the help of the teacher who had charge o f the bird classes, books, glas . ses and m agaz ines. For the idea of an East Corridor bird library had e x panded into an extensive addition to the gener a l library of the sch o ol and promised to interest n o t only Mr. Van Buskirk, but his friends, and outside of the scie ntific line in which Cathaline had begun. Mr. Van Bu skirk had sent a check fo r a th o usand d o llars, five hundred o f which c o uld be s p ent by Cathalina, under s ome direction or over sight. "Let her do it," he wrote, "if y o u think s he can, even if she makes s o me mist a kes. She will have to learn, and I like to see her t a ke the initiative in: some plan for others . " To Cathalina he wrote: "Keep your eyes open. I am prep a red t o make quit e a contribution to the Greycliff library when we understand its need s." If Greycliff had been beautiful in autumn, it was doubly so now, as the leaves came out and blossoms decked the outlying mead ows. In the wood, the girls found blue , white and yellow violets. From her window Cathalina c o uld see the birds flitting about the branches near by and hear the new and lovely spring songs that c ame from their happy
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 21! throats. "Why," she exclaimed to Hilary one day after a long tramp when they had dropped on the beach to rest with a group of girls. "I always loved to look at the trees and sky and water, but it does make it so much more fascinating if you go after something." "Yes," assented Hilary. "Now, when I see a bird . on the shore I wonder if it is a duck or a coot or a gull,"-"Or a chicken!" finish e d I sa bel, who continued with a tale of her own. "The other day I identified the janitor's old hen as a grouse! 0, yes, I can identify any old thing! I put down every line and mark I c o uld see ,-in my note book, and never knew any better till it came beating it toward me and clucking! And I watched ten minutes for one of his old barnyard ducks to come around the corner of a rock. What business it had d ow n on the shore posing as a gull or something I could not see." "I did worse than that," said Hilary. "Honestly, girls, I hardly knew a bluejay from a wren until this sprin g . S o the first week of class I was trying to get as big a list as po ssible,"-here several girls l ooked i nterested and nodded their heads as if to say in girls' parl a nce , " me, too!" "And I saw a bird that seemed to be building a nest around b y the en gine house somewhere. He was an awfully pretty lo oking little chap , all brow_n and stripey like the sparrow, and his feathers were:
212 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF so new and bright that I just knew he must be a new arrival, some kind of a finch, by hi s thick bill. I noted down very carefully all his streaks and bars, just as Isabel did . The only very striking thing about him was a da r k patch on his throat, and I found in my book the description of a 'bla ck-throate d bunting' . That was it, of course," and Hilary brought her fist d ow n on the heap of sand whic h she had been scraping up as she talk ed. "For at least half an hour I was watching, a n d the longer I looked the l e ss the black-throated bunting id ea would do! And what do you supp o se he was?" "An English sparrow," cried Diane, who had been g rinning all through the description . "I did almost the same thing, the beasts!" "Yes, I was so mad," sm il ed Hilary, "and mortified! But that lively li ttle fellow was s o cute and handsome that I've had more patience with English spar ro ws since, for all my disgust that time. I was only t oo thankful that I had not handed in my report before I found out what he was!" As the days went by, the blo ssom s fell from the pink and white dreams that went by the names of plum, peach, apple or pear trees. The l ea ves changed from the green mists that shrouded the trees in earl y May to the waving foliage which hid the nest-building birds. The boat-house was opene d, the lifesaving watchmen out for the season.
CATHALINA A T GREYCLIFF 213 Canoeing and rowing began on river and l a k e, and picnics o r beach parties were comm on. As Cathalina and Hil a ry had lea rned to row t he sum m er before, many a j o lly pull they had, toge th e r o r with other girls, particularly Betty Barnes and Lilian North. Lili an had come to be as "chummy" wit h Hilary as Betty was with Cathalina, th o u g h ne ith e r friendship interfered in the least with the strong affect i o n between Cat h a l ina and Hilary. "Hil and L il,'' chanted Cathalina one afternoon when the four were bobbing on the gentle waves. "That rhyme may come in h andy for your next cla ss song," su g gested Betty. " I write n o m ore by sea or shore," sang Catha lina, l osing her stroke and dashing them all with spray. "Say it not," prote s ted Lilian. "How about themes?" "What is the use of being so practical, Lil?" re j oined Cathalina. "Father s ay s that poets don't h ave t o be c ons i stent!" Betty was l ea ning over, trailing her hand in the water. " I think I saw a shark then, or maybe a whale,'' s he said dreamily. "Goosey, they don't have 'em here,'' chided Lilian. Betty looked at her solemnly. "Don't they? Thank you. Anyway I heard Mickey-Boathouse,
' 214 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF -whatever his name i s over there say that there 1 is an awful monster in this l ake sometim es. It has a long neck, and head li ke a snake, and breathes fire, I guess, and,-" "Don't Betty!" cried Cathalina, "you gi ve me t h e shivers and it's too glorious this afternoon. Did Mickey say we couldn't go out beyond the b reakwater?" "Yes; and it's on the printed rules, too." "All right. Back we go, then." Cathalina care fully turned the boat and started shoreward. "Stri ke up, Lil, do!" Lilian, who had her guitar, strummed a few chords, feeling for an easy key, the n l ed o ff in pathetic tones:-0, I wish I were a mermaid, With sca le s instead of cl o'es , I'd float upo n the billows, \i\There no one ever goes ! I'd comb my hair and sing of love, And bat my sea-green eyes,-0 ,-I wish I were a mermaid Beneath the blue lake skies I Mermaid! Mermaid! Sli pp' ry, fishy mennaid t 0,-
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 215 I wish I we r e a mermaid, B eneath the blu e l a ke skies ! 0 , I wi s h I were a mermaid, I'd ne ver r ead a b oo k, But ho l d a pretty mirror And at m y b eauty l oo k ! I'd res t me in a c oral cave , Or s wi m w h ere Neptune r ides , -0 , -I wi s h I w ere a mermai d To cleav e the foaming t id e s I Mermaid! M erma id! Slip p ' r y, fishy mermai d!-0,-I w i s h I were a mermaid, Beneath the blue lake skies." "Tha t awful mino r tune, Lil, " laughed B etty . "Di d yo u make u p the w o rds , t oo?" Lil ia n onl y n o dd e d a ssen t , h a vin g no other means of r eply with finge rs and v o i c e b oth engaged. B etty j o i ne d wi t h t he r est, ea rn estl y w i s h i n g to be m e r maids, and in fine s t y l e the y g1ide d up t o the little d ock where watchful Mickey th e m out and ti ed u p the b o at.
216 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF CHAPTER XIX. THE GHOST P ARTY. GREYCLIFFE "mysteries" had long smce ceased to interest our girls. Isabel had lo s t her c o ncern about the "Woman in Black" and the "my sterious" girl had been swall o wed up with the rest int.o the busy life of the school. Her name had proved simple en o ugh. "Miss Louise Holley , 0, isn't s h e j o lly?" rhymed Betty, rather satirically; but the new g irl had laid aside her attitude of distance an d tried to make her self agreeable to the other girls. Like Cathalina, she recited irregularly with the Academ y a nd Collegiate girls, was in Cathalina's class i n literature , recited in Senior Academy Latin with Lil ia n a nd belonged to the bird club which included b oth Hilary and Cath alina . The girls wondered ab out her age, as girls do, and Cathalina occasi o nall y cau g ht the resem blance to "somebody" which had her from the first. "It isn't connected w ith a pleasant feel ing, girls, but I can't tell why and I'm sure it isn't fair to this nice girl to think of it." "She was probably sore over things at first," said isabel. The conclusion was that Miss Holley was about eighteen or nineteen years old and was "back" in some of her studies. She kept to herself quite a
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 217 little, but was often found in the groups of Collegi ate girls. From the single room on the first floor she had been moved to one not far from the little suite oc cupied by Isabel and Avalon, though her room was on a different hall. Occasionally she would call in one or the other of these girls to hook up a dress or do some little thing for her and reward them liberally with candy, fruit or nuts. I sa bel was an independent little thing and did n o t like it much. "Let her get some of the real little girls to do things!" she growled. "Why, Isabel, I don't think that's kind!" "Well, Avalon, you don't notice my not wanting to do things for other people, do you? But she's so overbearing. I hate to be bossed, but I s'pose it is wicked." "I don't mind; and she's always been so pleasant to me. I feel so sorry about her father. Isn't it funny she hasn't any picture of him in her ro om?" "That's so. I never tho u ght of it before,-but she hasn't a sign of a photograph around." "I suppose it makes her feel t oo bad. I've found out by this time that all girls aren't alike." "You don't mean it! What a philosopher!" Cathalina, overhearing the last remark, joined the two younger girls. "Don't you make fun of me, Cathalina V. B. I heard you say almost the same thing the other day. Besides, anybody might have noticed it."
218 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF. There was a rustic seat near the corner of Grey cliff Hall on the side of the grove, and there Aval on, Isabe l and C a thalina waited the approach of Hil ary and Lilian, who came swinging tennis racq u ets . It wa s so lovely out of doors on these evenings after dinner that cam pus, beach and woods were a l ways sprinkled with these living flowers of spring till the study b e ll r ang. Hammo cks were up, and freshly painted swings had c ome out of winter quarters. Hilary dropped up o n a grassy seat and waved an answer to E l o i se who now called and came running over the cam pus, h e r hands full of the violets which s he h ad been gathering. "O, girls, y o u 're all in vited to a Ghost Party tonight. "A 'Ghos t Party' ! repeated Hilary. "That sounds interesting,-and what may a ghost part y be?" I sabe l sp rang t o her feet and began an exaggerated display of s hiv e rin g, her teeth chatteri n g, chin wobbling and eyes as big as sauce rs. "Who's got my golden ar-rr-rrm ?" she wailed. "Ha! The Woman in Black!" added Hilary. "That's about the way you l ooked , I sa bel, when you though t you saw her." "When I did see her, you mean. Who's giving the party?" I sabe l aske d of Eloise, and turning to Hilary, again c o ntinued, "Say no m o re , fair maid! I'm awfully ashamed of being afraid that time. I hope my brothers never hear of it."
CATHALI N A A'l' GREYCLIF F 2 1 9 "Gra c e and I a re g i v in g t he party. We jus t thought i t u p . " "Where'll it b e ?" " I n our ro oms,-well, differe n t places . It's v ery m y st e riou s." -"How c an we ?" as ke d Cath a lin a . " I t' s a l m ost time for the bell no w, and I'v e got o o o dles o f w ork t o do t o ni ght." "Afte r s tudy h o u rs . If I c a n I'll ge t p ermi s s i o n fo r a midnight fea s t . If I c a n't, c o me a ro u n d fo r a lit tle w h i l e betwee n s tud y h o u r s and l ig hts out anyh o w . G race h a s a lovely cake fr o m h o me and she is over a t the janit or's now, engagi n g his wife to m ake san dwi c hes and l e mon a de fo r us . I'm go ing t o see if we c an't s it u p to have i t. I t's Fri d a y n ight -the fat a l thirte enth o f t he m o nth, t oo-and no school tom o r row, o f course , and I haven ' t a s k e d f o r a s peci a l t hin g t hi s year . It'll b e a pity if I can' t have a s i n gle party! 0 , yes, w e a r a shee t and some s ort of a white musl i n m a s k ,-jus t ho les t o b r e a t h e , t a l k and se e through, and better wea r white g l o ves o r c ove r u p your h ands so me way , 'ca use we'd r e c og nize your h a nds, you kn o w. A n d thi nk up the mo s t scar y g h ost s to r y yo u k now t o t ell w h en y ou j o in the magic circle b y m o onli g h t ! Isabel, yo u'll h a ve to think u p somethi n g besides the w o man in bla c k. I'll send yo u all wo r d if w e c a n h a v e it. If we c a n , come in your g h os tly garb at ten bells!"
2 2 0 C ATHALIN A AT GREYCLIFF. "Won' t it be fun! " "Elo' ought to as k t h e 'mys t e r ious ' girl to a: ghost pa rty. " "O, i t 'll j us t b e ou r bunch , I think," said Isab e l, with much pride in b e longing to it! "Why shoul d she ask Louise Holley? She's older, and the n w e j ust called her 'mysterious' at first." "I'm not so sure that there isn't something q u eer abou t her," said Hil a r y , creating quite an impre s s i on ; fo r Hilary was r egarded as very "lev el headed." "After being so sn i ppy t o Catha1ina at fir s t , she h as bee n i n to see he r a number of ti m e s late l y, and h i n t ed ve r y broadly after h earing abou t my v i sit that she wou l d 'so enjoy New York'. She asks s u ch funny q u estions, and shuts up like a clam abou t herself, -of c ourse we haven't asked a nythi n g after t he firs t things one wo u ld naturally a s k at s ch oo l , and got s nu bbed fo r them! " A smothered snee z e from aro und the corner made the g irl s stop t a lking and l ook at ea c h o t he r. "So me body' s been lis t e ning," whis p e r e d C athalina. "Trying to find out ab out our p a rty! 1I h o pe she hears a lot o f g oo d about hers e lf ," p ro mptl y and pertly sp o ke I s ab el, the l ast qui t e l o u d ly. Hilary .... sprang up fro m the ground and hurried around the corner. But she was too late. "Whoever it was either skipped out into the grove or whisked into the side door. It's of no use to fol-
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 221 low, too many girls everywhere. She'd be strolling along like one of them." Friday was the accusto med night for the occa sional "midnight feast", official name for any sort of affairs after hours. Privileges of this kind were granted only to girls of good standing in both character and lessons at Greycliff. As Eloise qualified in both line s she had no difficulty in securing the desired permission. "Be quiet, though," she was admonished. "O, it's an especially quiet party," and Eloise laughed to think of t h e ghos tly plans . . With such assurance, Miss Randolph dismissed Eloise with a smile. Cathalina and Hilary, on reaching their suite after the study b e ll rang, plunged into lessons with deter minatio'n. "I feel like letting down on Friday, said Hilary, "but if I d o , I don't get through. (I'm a natural poet, Cathalina.) Saturday always has so many things and Saturday night I can hardly ever study." "Yes; I've noticed that, too," returned Cathalina Time flew and the work was scarcely done when the gong r eleased Greycliff girls from study for a half hour before the lights must be out. "We aren't to go till 'ten bells', Grace said, so why n o t keep on workin g until we're through?" "We'd have to explain to Miss Matthews when she lo o ks in to see if we're here." "I'll do that if you hate to," said Hilary, who
222 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF had taken all sorts of disagreeable re s p o nsibilities all her life,-for othe r pe o ple. "We' 11 lay out the sheets and things , then, and she'll see." From the halls came the noise of g irls running past, getting fre sh water, vi si ting, l a u ghing and talking till once a g ain the gong rang . M i ss Matthe w s did not come . Hilary and Cath a lina d o nn e d their sheets and made their masks withou t h a vi n g t o explain why their lights were not out, and by the time they were ready it was nearly "ten bell s ". "O, isn't this fun!" exclaimed Cathalina. "I wonder just what we shall d o !" Gho s tly figures glided down the halls to be silently admitted by a sheeted d o orke eper, o n pre senting the required pass, a slip of paper on w h ich a s kull and cro ssb o nes were drawn. "O, for got, " whi s pered one. "I'll run and get it." "O, no y o u n eedn't," replied the kind ghost at the d oo r. "It was just for fun." Elo i s e and Grace with Juli e t an d P a ul ine n o w oc cupied o ne o f the l a r ge r suites , an d a j o ll y t i me they h a d o f it. T on i g ht the c e n t r a l study roo m was clea r e d fro m o b s truction a n d a cir cle o f u s hi ons made, t o which the g ho s t s were poi n t ed as the y enter e d . Onl y the m o onli g h t str e aming in thro u g h the big wind o ws furni s h ed g ui d a n c e , t h ough occa si o nal fla shes of e1ec tricit y from the h a n d s of some hostess ghost showed the preparation for more light
CATHALINA AT GREYCJ ... IFF 223 if necessary. "Do ghosts use flashli ghts ?" queried Avalon. "Remember the will-o' -the-wi s ps, " replied Cathalina. The circle complete, slips of pap e r were pass ed around and a s lim white figure too k her place in the center o f the circle. Re aching to the electric fixture above her, she turned on the light and i n the holl o w whisper directed the gho sts to print in l a r g e l ette rs their names " in life" and pin the m on "with a thorn from the Witches' Glen!" Real th orns were offered in a large p in try. "Within the circle you will find Othe r papers to your mind; Write a good and ghostly verse; 'Spres s yours elf in language terse." "That mus t be Eli zabeth Barrett Browning at least!" qu oth one g hos t. "To o mu c h like work!" complained another, in a gho stly whi s per. "It d o e s n ' t hav e to rhy me. Write anything you choose. It is supp o s e d to be your message from the Land o f Gh osts. " "Do we h a ve t o b e w omen?" "No." "The names pinned o n repres ented many centuries and coun t ries. Hele n of Troy, Cleopatra, Queen Victoria, Mary Que en of Scots , Mrs. Browning, Florence Nightingale, Louise of Prussia, Marie An-
224 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF toinette and Xantippe mingled with George Washington, Julius Caesar, Ulysses and other gentl emen of like fame. Five minutes were allowed for the mdsages, after which cups of "ambrosia" were to be passed for refreshment. The ghost who made the announcements suffered much difficulty in not lapsing into their natural tones. Cathalina was sure that she recognized both E l oise and Juliet. Cathalina had decided to be Xantippe, for she thought the girls would not suspect her choosing that character. :With great enjoyment s h e wrote: "When on earth, Xantippe, I! Couldn't bake the wo r st of pie; Scolded S ocrates,-0 my!Till he filled the cup,-to di e !" "Each ghost will read her own verse, standing, and may be a s ked any questions by other g ho s ts. Rememb e r th a t y our laug h or s o me m o ti o n may be , tray y ou! If yo u are a sad s pirit, gi v e a g roan as y o u complete the verse; if a ha p p y spirit, a laugh." "Supp o'Se you d on't know where these ghosts. have g o n e to--what then?" . "Guess at it! If y our identity is not g u essed be fore the verses are finished, there will be other tests. The final unmasking,-or unveiling will come just before the fea s t. Next come the ghos t stories , in the moonlight." Several of the girls were disc overed in the merri-
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 225 ment over the verse and h a d t o write th eir names un der the a ss um e d one o n the tag . Then the light was turned off aga in and g h os t sto ri e s be gan. Eloise was in the m i d s t of a thrillin g o ne , " And as s he lay the r e in the m oo nli ght, the French wind o w swung s o ftly o p e n , a n ic y bree z e s eemed to enter and a col d h a nd w as pla c e d o n her forehead ,"-when one of t he g h os t s gav e a little jump, sa id in a whisper, "Pl ea s e excu s e m e a minute," and s lipped out of the d oo r. "Was s h e s c a r e d , d o yo u supp o s e ?" a s ked Eloise, pa u sing in h e r ac c o unt. "No; go o n ,-if s he does not come back we'll hunt h e r u p pret t y s o o n . " The sto ries went on , the g irl s drawing closer to ge th e r , but in a f ew minute s a g entl e k n o ck sound e d a t the d oo r. T h e g h os t neare s t re a ch e d up and opened it, w hil e E l o i se sa id , " O, y o u ' re back all r igh t. I was afrai d I had s cared yo u." " ' Back ?'no," r e pli e d the am a z e d g host. "I'm B etty an d jus t came. I s'pose I've just about mis sed it a ll! " " No, but I'm s o sorry you'v e n o t be e n here! How f unny ! V l ho cou ld it have b e en? W e ll, come join the m agi c c i rcle a n yw a y and t e ll a g h ost story." " I--<:a n't. I'm all out 0 breath and-" "All ri ght; yo u next , Di." "Girls , do y o u hear it striking twelve?" said Hilary, after some time.
226 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF Eloise rose and turned on the light. "All respect able ghosts disappear at the stroke of twelve! Masks off! We're going to put on the sheets again after the eats and have a process ion through the halls." "Better not," said Betty, meaningly. It was done, however, though the shadows did n o t lo o k p a rticu larly inviting after those ghos t storie s ! Even Cathalina and Hilary joined in the ridiculous proces sion that fil ed up to the third floor, down the back stairs, out to the porch through a parlor window, down the front steps, out upo n the campus and circling the fountain, and then as the voice of t h e night watchman was heard, scampering into the Hall with tightly gathered robes, back to safety! "I wish I didn't have such an awful conscience!" said Cathalina. "It spoils half the fun to be perfectly sure that Miss R1ndolph wouldn't want us to go outdoors!" "My little conscience troubles me too," admitted Hilary. * * * * * At the first opportunity the following day, Betty and Elo ise came in with sober faces to see Cathalina and Hilary. "Listen!" said Elo ise, mysterious ly. "Betty has something to tell you. She had an adventure la s t night." "Girls," said Betty impressively, "never, neve r go out alone after night."
CATHALINA A T GREYCLIFF 2 2 7 "Tha t advice w ould c erta inly , suit Mi s s RaThd o l p h . " "Well, Mi ss Rand olph i s right! Honestly I never real ize d till thi s mo rn i n g what mi g ht have h a ppened. W hy , I m i gh t h av e b een ki d n a p ped!" "And p l ease l et's keep this t o ours elves," contin u ed Betty . "Only Lili a n know s it in our s uit e , and Eloi se, an d w e w a n t t o kn o w what you g irls think o f it a ll. " I wanted t o fini s h a pro blem la s t n i ght; s o I 'to l d the gi r1s t o go an d I w o ul d c o me in a few min u t e s . I ha d on t he s heet and e v eryt h ing. Pretty soon the door opened a littl e farther,-the girl s h ad l ef t i t a j ar-a n d i n flew a b ig e nvel o pe. I h a d m y mi nd on the prob l em and didn't ' com e t o ' for a minute, t he n went ove r and pi cked up the envel o pe. It w as a dd re ss ed t o m e with a n o t e in i t , every t hing printe d i n crazy l etters . ' V ery i mporta nt. Me e t m e out side. B a ck do o r u n l o c ked. B i g o a k n ea r the janitor'shave t o b r ing u p ea t s-hurry d o n' t l e t the n ight watchman s e e y ou-Ghos t Elo ise.' I th o u g ht Elo' w a s in a hu rry and i n a ' funn y ' hum o r, ghosts and s o forth, and n e ver sus p ected a t h ing . I l ooked ou t in the h all a n d sa w sever al g irl s in s h eets goi n g t he r i g ht w ay for t h e p a r t y, s o I hurrie d d o wn the b a ck w a y , w o nd e rin g wher e Elo i s e h ad g otten a ke y and why she sh o uld m ention t he ni g h t wa t chman if she h ad p ermission t o g e t t h e eats , as I supp os ed she had. I wa s s uch a dumm y !
228 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF r:I'here was a. light at the janitor' s house, so I wasn't a bit. "Well, I waited and w ait ed and waited! No Eloise, of c o urse. And I w as jus t goin g t o start o v er to the janitor's when l o and b e h old the light the re w ent out! I whirled on m y heel t o g o back to the Hall,-and there was a y oung man walking rapidl y t oward me out of the grove ! "My s ake s , Betty, you t a ke my breath," said Hilary. "Is this a movie?" " 'Truth 1 s stranger than fiction', Hilary," reminded the ab s orbed Cathalina. "Honestly, girls, I was so frightened for a minute that I was w e ak, and c ouldn't take to my heels as I wanted to! But I saw that he was young and nice looking and well dres sed,-and he called, not very loud, ' I s that you, L ouise?' "'No,' I said, 'it is not'." " 'O', he said and se e med to be disappointed, so I knew he di d n ' t hav e any de s i g ns , on me. T hen he t old me that he had expected to m eet his si ster d o wn on the beach , that he c a m e in a m otor b oat and had somethin g im portant for h er, but came earlier than he had p lanne d and so w a lk e d up h oping to meet h e r. He look e d around s ort o f unco m fortably and said he didn' t se e h o w he c o uld w ait and something about how silly they were here ab out hours and rules. I suppose he thought I was a rule-breakei: too, and would sympathize.
CAT HALINA AT GREYCLIFF 229 " ,Then h e a s k e d if I woul d d o him a fa vor. "If I run d ow n to t he b oa t a n d get the p a ckage--it isn ' t a la rge one would yo u give it t o my s i ster?' " 'I don' t kno w who your sister i s,' " I sa i d . . " 'It's addressed,' he sai d and hurried off w i t h out w ai ting fo r me t o say I woul d o r w ould n't, jus t t ook i t fo r g ranted that I wo ul d ! "So I waited again-hours-and t ho u ght I ne ve r would get to the party . Fina ll y h e came back and ap ologize d fo r keeping m e w a it ing, said he'd mi s l a i d a l etter and gave me a bi g p a c ke t ,-looked like l etters and papers a ll t ied u p . 'Of c o u rse y o u ' ll not m ention t his,' h e said, and gave m e such a look! He 'had me in his p o wer', a s the sto ri e s say, so I said 'naturally not' in a high and mighty way and walked off . By this t i me I knew that someb o dy had p l ayed a joke on me and Eloise had never been a t t he janitor's at all!" "Did y o u d e liver t he pac ket?" " Yes ; I wis h I h a d wai t ed a n d g i v en it t o Miss Rando lph fir s t , but my smart t ho ught s always c ome a week o r so t o o l a t e ! The pa ck age was a d d r essed t o Mi s s Loui se H olle , spe lle d 'l e' ins tead o f ' l ey' a s I h a d s u pp o sed. W h e n I r a p p e d o n h e r d o o r t here was n o a n swe r , sr> I tried it, found it u n l o c ke d and d e cid e d to o p e n i t and l e ave the pac k e t there. I jus t put it o n a c h air tha t I sa w ne a r the d o or. T h e moonlight shone in on her bed and it was empty. I suppose she had gone out to meet him, maybe to
230 CA T HALINA AT GREYCLIFF the b e ach. I heard a m otor b oa t chugg in g away as I c a m e through t he hall s . " " S he mus t have had a .1ice wait if she missed him , " sa id H i lary. " Me r cy , B etty," exclaimed Catha lina, "it mi g h t have b ee n s o m e b o d y to kidna p yo u , a s y o u say . . W h e r e in the w o r l d was the ni ght watchman ?" " O, smok ing b ehind some tree, or a sle ep o n t h e p o rch, I s u ppo s e," rep l ied B etty, forgetting tha t she had don e h e r be s t t o ke e p out of si g ht, whil e the prowling vi sito r had d oubtl es s done t h e same . Eloise the n t o l d of the g h os t who had c ome w ith out the " s kull and cros sb o nes pass'', and of the one that l ef t sh o rtly before Betty arri ved. "I thought it was t he s am e one c o min g b a ck, y o u kno w. And when we o.11 unmasked, e v e rybody I ha d invi te d was t here. S o so mebody planne d t o get Betty out of the way and c o me herse lf. Now d o yo u s u pp ose it was Louise?" "So m e b o dy e lse may h ave d o n e it for a joke on Betty or all of u s, yo u r e m e m be r that snee z e arou n d the corn er!" "The plo t thi c k en s, " l a u ghed Cathali na. "Did the young man l oo k l ike L o u ise ? " "Yes, ve r y m uch . I t h i n k h e r ea ll y is her brother, o r some near r e l ative, but why c o uldn't h e c o m e t o se e h e r a t s ome decent hour, and inside of Grey cl iff ? " Nobody c o uld answe r that que s tion.
CATHALINA A T GREYCLIFF 231 CHAPTER XX. THE JUNIOR PICNIC â€¢ . SOMETIME S a m ystery remains o ne for weeks and m onths o r i s never s o l v ed , and many a girl at sc h oo l h as had t o endure an unjus t su s pici on; but it wa s odd h o w b it s o f in formatio n c a me to the g irl s in t h e n e x t few d ay s , " links in the chain of e v iden c e", as B etty s a id . " I sh all n o t say one w ord to L o uise ab out the p ack e t , o r a s k if s h e go t it! If it was L o u i s e, 'Lo ui s e o f Pruss i a ' and she was at the p arty, she ' ll know it w as I wh o brou g ht it. If s o meb o dy els e pla ye d the trick on me, s he 'll have no m e ans o f know ing w ho it was, for h e r b rother c o uld o nly tell th a t it was a girl dre s s ed up a s a ghost, and there were a b out t w enty of us. So let her betray her s e lf! " and B etty struck an attitude, one hand wav ing to hi g h heaven , the other u p on her heart. This was the mornin g after the gh os t party , and whil e B etty w a s thus d elivering her s elf t o Catha1ina, the o ther girls havin g scattered, Molly , the col o red mai d, c a me in to clean the ro o m. "Does y o uall c a r e foh th e se ma sks?" she a s ked, as she h e ld up o ne fr o m the was te ba s ket which she was about to em p t y . " E f y o ' doesn't, I 'll tek it along to Snowla; she 'll lik e t o p lay with it." "vV hy, Molly," returned Cathalina, "I threw it there." "Well, ah didn't know. '.Ah picked one up off'n
232 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF the flo' in Mi s s Holley ' s r oom this mawnin' an' she jus' nachelly s natched it out'n ma ban', an' tol' me nevah t o put anything in the waste bas ket without askin'." Betty and Cathalina exchang e d glanc e s as they left the room t o Molly's care . And as they went d own stairs they f ell in with Victoria, who a s ked, "What were you g irls saying la s t ni ght to make L o uise Holle y s o mad at you? I met her c oming in the side
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 233 In a few minutes the three were o n the riv e r together, Patricia West glad of the recr ea tion with two s uc h excepti o nally nice girl s . Moved b y some im pulse, Betty start ed in to rec ount h er exp erienc e , wi t h all the attendan t circumstances. "Of course Patty wou ldn't tell," the girls a lw ays tho ught, and in recei ving their c onfidences Miss V/est of t en had s o me difficult questi o n s of ethics and l oya lty to de cid e . "O, Bet t y !" she exclaimed when B etty c a me to the scene u nde r the oak tree . "Don't w orry, Miss W est,-never again! " "Fo r a ny of u s," added Cathalina. "What do you think, Mi ss West?" After a few questions, Miss Wes t c on s id ered a m o ment, then said "It was her brother, without doubt, for h e has been at t he Hall. I can see n o r e aso n except his own c onven i e nce fo r t he late m eeting. However, some people just l o ve t o b e mys teri o u s and d o thin g s in an underhand way. It showed a l ack o f c o n s ideratio n fo r his sis ter. I think wha t he brou ght h e r was a pack age of mail and papers that probab ly just got through from Ger m a ny. He is a t the military scho ol. Loui se brou ght in s om e German pape r s to Mi ss R ando lph this m o rnin g whi le I h ap pened t o be with h er, and wanted us t o sym path ize with th eir standpoint about the war. Their r ea l name i s Von Holle, th o ugh in this country they have usu a lly gone by the name of Holle. I know I can trust you girls
234 CATHALI NA AT GREYCLIFF n o t to talk ab out it , -but Miss R a n do lp h has b een quite p u zz l e d , w onderi n g what s h e o ught t o d o . We a re s up p o se d t o be neutral, o f c ourse , ut e v e r y human being h a s pass ed judgment o n the r e cen t de ed s o f G ermany, and with a ll the talk arn ong the g irl s Mi s s Rando lph f eare d t ha t fo r o n e thing L o ui s e would be v e r y u n h appy here. And s h e was in qui t e a state at fir s t. H e r fathe r was a Pruss i a n offic e r a n d was ki l l ed in the fir s t advanc e t hrou g h B e lgium. He had sent h i s fam i ly t o America ea rl y in the summe r . T hey use d t o l ive h e r e a nd the ch i ldren were b orn h ere . T heir English i s perfe ct, but t he m other s a ys 've ' fo r ' w e ', and h as a decided l y forei g n acc ent She is a p u bl i c s i n ger, n o t especia ll y n o ted. Mis s Randol ph had to d e cide so sud de nly and the y w e re s o insis t en t , wanting a safe pl ac e for L o ui se w hile t he family was so unset tled tha t it was finally arranged. I b eli eve if I w e r e yo u th a t I w o ul d jus t pass it ove r a n d not think a b out it. But do n o t follo w an y cra zy plans for break in g rul es again. The rules a r e not made for fun , y o u know, o nly t o pro t e c t yo u g irl s." "I k now now," said Catha li na , s u dde ntl y, "what that r esem bl a nc e is . Three years ago w h e n we were i n Berlin , there was qui te a sc e ne one day, -an offi ce r and s o m e men . Father hurrie d u s away, but I can see yet the officer's a n gry face a s he lif t e d h i s s wo r d and struck one of t h e m en. Do yo u s upp o se i t c o uld h a ve b ee n her father ? "
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 235 " O , you c ouldn't assume that, Cathalina. There are many ch a nce re se mbl a nces." Several day s a fterwar d , Hilary was kneeling on the floor in her sa nc t um sanctorum. With her a r m s on the window sill, sh e was l ooking ab s ently t o ward the l ake and t h e fleec y white clouds ab o v e it, whe n Cathalina, Betty, Diane, Elo ise and Pauline ca m e n oisily in . "Back vi e w of one of Raphael's cherub'>!" s a i d Diane in h e r ch e e r ful voice. "What's th e m atte r, Hilary? Can thi s b e that industri o us child who i s always u p and d o ing, as Sh a ke s peare says." " 'Shakespeare' ! " "Well, someb o dy ,-what's the d iffe r ence?" "You' ll get a high mark in literature, Di, if that's your id ea . " Hilary l a u ghed as she h opped up bri sk l y. "But to answer your qu estio n, I'm worr i e d. '.Any of you girls kno w what's the m atter wi t h Lilian?" "No, not I; why ?" queried Eloi se, while t h e others sho ok their he a ds to indicate their i gnorance . "What d o you mean, Hil a ry; is L il ian sick, or mao , or anything?" "Anything, probably." "She i sn't sick," s a id Betty. "I'm afraid s he's mad." "At you? o r m ore of us? o r what? " Hilary smiled at the q u estions . " O, at me, I
236 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF guess; but I can't ima g in e what is the matter. She didn ' t wait for me a fter English, as s he usually does, gave me a co o l n o d this morning when I met her in the h all after breakfast, and pretended not to see me a little while ago whe n she was going dow n t o the river with a bunch of g irls. I had spoken yesterday of not h av ing le ssons t his afternoon and -:we had planned t o study togethe r and then take a walk; so I feel sure someth ing is wro n g, or else she's just s ick of going aroun d with me . " Hilary looked forlorn. "Cheer u p, H i l ary," said Diane . "Sure you didn't imagine it?" "O, Hilary isn't a b i t t ouchy, you know, Di," t his from Hilary's r oommate, naturally an authority on tha t. "I know, Cathal ina . You ask Lil, Betty." " O , please d on't! " begged Hila r y. "I count on y o u girls not to say anything. I don't k now mysel f w h e t her to go and see Lilia n or not; I'm n o t k e e n o n b e in g snubbe d , yo u know. But if I've r ea lly d one a n y thin g , I'll a po l ogize i n a m inute . I can't u n d ers t and." "Wait a day o r so," c ounse l ed E l o i se, "mayb e she' ll come around all ri g h t and tell y o u h e r s elf. " But Lilian d i d n o t c o me near o r g iv e Hilary a chance t o speak to her. Hilary felt much hurt, but like the conscientious little girl she w as, thought she must be partly to blame. Afte r the English
CATHALINA AT GHEYCLIFF 237 class it was n o w Myrtle Wiseman who waited fo r Hilary. She was a gentle, pl e asant -voiced girl, full of flattery for Hilary's ability a nd with a certain attractiveness of her own. Cathalina could n o t bea1' her, but was too much of a lady to show it when Myrtle would come to their suite for help on a theme or to borrow something from Hilar y . Hilary liked h e r well enough, exc ept for hav ing seen h e r cheat in exam i nation, but for that reason preferred no t to be intimate with her. H o wever , havi ng be e n . brought up to be helpfu l to everybody , she was k ind and s u nny with Myrtle . It never occurred t hat Li l ia n m ight be at all j ealous, because Li l ian was a s gener ous-hear t ed as Hilar y herse lf. H i la r y h a d n e v e r mentioned the c h eat ing t o L i l ian, fo r she had so m e h esitation about prejudi cing one girl agai n s t a nother. " I sha n ' t enjoy t h e Jun ior pi c nic a bit," remarke d Hila r y one day to Cath a li na, " wit h Lil acting t hi s way. " "If you hate to go to her room to see he r , why don't you write her a note?" suggested sensible Cathalina, "and get the t h ing explaine d ! " "She probably wouldn't an s wer i t , and anyway, Cathalina, I haven ' t done a thing! I suppose I'm gettin g mad, too, but I don't like to be trea ted that way without a hint why. If Lilian d o esn' t want to have anyt h ing to do with m e s h e n eed n 't!" C athal ina was s u r pri s ed, for Hilar y w as s uch a
238 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF s en s ible, k ind g irl under o rd i n a r y circum s tanc es , but she did n o t know w h a t a s o r e h eart Li lian's d e fecti o n h a d g iven H i lar y , who d i d n o t und e rs ta n d i n the l ea st. " N e v e r mind , Hilary; the r e s t o f u s all l o ve y o u td pi eces . Don' t pay any atte nti o n t o it , t h o u g h at thi s r a te yo u ' ll ne v er fix it u p ! W e' r e g oi n g to have a b ea ch party toni ght right after d in ner, and w e sh all see if Li l i a n will c o m e . We mus t t al k o ve r the pl an s for the p icnic t o ni g ht. Did y o u k n o w that y o u a r e o n the refre s hm ent c om m ittee? " "No ; g oing in the lau nch?" "Yes. 0, y o u w e r e n ' t a t the m e e t i n g, we re y ou ? \ V e are g o i n g t o the I s l a nd, going t o c o o k fis h o r weenies or so m ething,-we ou g h t t o make out the menu t on i g ht. Dia n e sa id i t w o u l d be m ore fun t o h av e the w h o le c row d t o g ether t o t a lk it o ve r. \ V e a re jus t g o in g a littl e way up t he b eac h t onig h t, goin g to h a ve fu dge and t o as t mar shmallo w , we a r our bathi n g s u it s and big clo aks, h a v e our c o m m i t te e m eet i n g firs t , swim n ex t , a n d then have t h e c a n d y." " I w i s h that old stu dy b ell d i d n o t ring so e a rl y ! " "By t he w a y," C a t ha lin a po inted t o the t a ble, "help yourself. \ Vasn't i t nic e of P h i l t o sen d c andy j u s t t o his sis te r ? H e s aid h e wa s s en d ing the b o x t o h i s next b es t g i rl. H e c all s Mothe r his 'b es t girl'. " "Aren't they s p uzz y ! Thank you. I t will s po i l o u r 'apper t ites' fo r plain fu dge, thou g h . v V h y ,
CAT HALINA AT GREYCLIFF 239 d o e sn't Philip p a y any attenti o n to g irls? He has such gra ceful m a nners with them that you ' d think he ' d h a d experi e nce." "That i s g ood , H i l ary; I'll have to tell Phil tha t . " "Me rcy , n o ! I k no w h ow b o y s are, and he'd ne ver spe a k t o me again, p e rhap s . " "Yes , he w o u ld , bu t I wo n ' t re pea t it. Y e s, P hil is n o t ne a rl y as o ld as he s e e ms, but he has h a d se vera l half way s weethearts, fro m Ann M a r i a t o a nice girl that w as v i s it i n g one o f our fri e n ds n o t so very l o n g a g o . But Phil i s too i n t e re s t e d in bo y affair s t o be at a ll s i lly ab out girls. B o y s h av e u ch g oo d times, y o u kn o w . He wro te all of o ne page !" Catha lina hel d out the m a nl y s crawl for in s p e ctio n. "Campbell wants t o b e remembered to y o u , Phi l says, and he al so sen ds hi s r e g a rds. Campbell sa y s your are the ' fox i es t girl he know s'." "I'm muc h o b l i ge d t o Campbe ll. I sup p o se, at l ea s t, tha t he int e nds that a s a c o mpliment. He was real nice to me, and is su c h a 'good looker', as Go rdon sa y s . " "Campbe ll i s one of my nice s t c o usin s." Final p l a ns fo r the picnic we r e made at the b ea ch party. Lilian did not c o me d own until l a te, but was as j o lly a s ev e r , av o idin g any s pecial c o nver sati on with Hilary . Every b o d y was ha pp y at the p r o s pect o f the fun. "We wa n t it t o b e a success," s a id El o i se, anxi o u s ly. She was ch airman of the gen eral committee.
240 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF "O, it can't help it,"-this in Helen's pretty voice. "Just to get out in the Greycliff would be enough." The day of the picnic was wam1 and sunny, the lake all sparkles. Against the big rock at the foot of the cliff the spray dashed and foamed, but there was only the fresh morning breeze, with no signs of storm. The gulls were as busy as ever. A kingfisher rattled his noisy way at the mouth of the river and a white-winged tern dived near as the little Greycliff, c omfortably full, chugged its way through the waves and l ef t behind its churning wake. Patricia West, the favorite young English teacher, was chap erone . Miss Randolph had suggested Dr. Carver, since that lad y had not yet re ceived the com pliment of bein g asked to chaperone any of the pic nics or parties. The committee did not utter a word, but glanced at each other in such dismay that Miss Randolph threw back her head and laughingly asked, "Well, whom do you want?" "Miss West!" said they all in c o ncert. And Miss West it was. Cathalina had r emained to whisper, "I'm sorry if you really wanted Dr. Carver to go. She would enjoy it." "No, child; if the girls dislike her, as I fear they do, she would have a hard time on this trip and it would spoil their fun." At the Island, half an hour's ride away, the girls
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 241 and their chaperone were unloaded, with all the pic nic baskets and other impedimenta. The Greycliff then departed t o go back to Gre ycl iff dock, whence it was to take out several picnic parties that day to different points on the lake shore. "Will Mickey go after the crowds in the same order tonight?" Hilary asked Miss 'vVest. "Not quite. The Freshmen are t o get in before dinner, the Sophomores later, and we m ay go home by ITJOOnlight." "How fine! I w onder how it happened that there are so many picnic parties today." "There are so few Saturdays left, you know. The Greycliff will be busy every Saturday that of fers fine weather." All the girls h e lp ed carry the lunch up the shore t o a shady gree n spot on the bluffs, wher e some beautiful tree s st r etc hed protectin g branches and there was a fine vi e w of the mainland shore. Perry, a stout young fellow who was o ne of Mickey's chief assistants and wh o was to remain with the girls, toiled up the a s cent with the heavier lo ads. "Out on that r ock," said Juli e t, pointing, "is where we build our fires, Cathalina . Let's gather our wood and stuff now and have it all ready. No green wo od, girl s !" she called as they s c attered to find material for the fire. A little oven of stones had been built by former picnic parties and needed only a little repairing . Perry was fixing s o me fishing
242 OATH.A.LINA AT GREYCLIFF tackle and Diane called to him as they all started away, "If you hear us scream, come a-running to rescue us!" And grinning Perry promised that he would. "There will probably be nothing more dan gerous that a garter snake," laughed Juliet. The Island, as it was called, had only one stretch of beach, where the party had landed and where bathing or swimming was safe. About the rest of its circumference, steep cliffs rose from the water and were e s pecially high where the island was separated from the mainland by a narrow channel, through which the water rushed and b o iled as the waves came in or retreated. There was one pretty descent where steps had been cut in the rock and led down to a broad platform and a tiny cave, called by the girls from Kentucky "Mammoth Cave,'' because "it wasn't." Some of the girls had brought field glasses and found quiet spots where they could watch the birds, or strolled by a little trail through the trees and bushes in the center of the island. Others hunted wild flowers and several sketched a little, sketches intended more for their diaries and "stunt books" than for artistic purposes. Two or three lazily stretched out on blankets high upon the bluff, to read or watch the sky and water. "I am so glad that we were the earliest party to come out," said Cathalina to Betty Barnes. "Isn't it funny that I don't want to sketch these days? I
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 243 just want to tramp around and see things. Diane said that there are some eggs on those rocK:s over there. Let's go and see. I wonder if the gulls and terns nest here." "They say so," answered Betty. "Come on, Hilary, have you seen the place where the gulls nest?" "No. " Hilary came running, her field glass in hand, the leather case bobbing about her shoulders. Myrtle came hurrying to catch up with Hilary. Through bushy tangles and over rocks the girls. climbed to where several others, Lilian among them, were trying to see the eggs, placed with wisdom in the most inaccessible spot. Hilary braced herself behind a little tree and was focusing her glass when her foot slipped and she slid out over the cliff, losing her hold on the tree, but clutching at the roots and bushes. "Run, J uliet ;-call Perry!" screamed Lilian, running t o ward Hilary. But sturdy Pauline was first, and knelt, throwing one arm around the youn g tree and giving her other hand to the whitefa c e d H i l ary. "Hold on to m e , Lil, and I'll keep Hilary up!''" Li l ian, as white as Hilary, held Pauline, while the little tree creaked and swayed. Myrtle had thrown herself face down on the ground and was sobbing. "Hush this minute, Myrtle!" said Cathalina. "You'll scare Hilary. We're going to g e t you up all right, Hilary!" Delicate little Cathalina stretched
244 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF herself full length by Pauline and reached both hands to Hilary's. "I'll only pull you over," whispered Hilary, her right hand grasped by the determined Pauline, and her left seeking a precarious hold on the frail sup ports that were now almost torn away. "No, you won't. Come, hold my feet, girls, and .don't let go and I'll take Hilary's other hand,-sit on me or anything!" The other girls who had been almost paralyzed by the sudden accident, followed Cathalina's direc tions and assured Hilary that when Cathalina and Pauline were tired they would take their places. There was no foothold for Hilary, for the cliff sloped back under its edge, and the girls were not .quite strong enough to draw Hilary's weight up nor dared to risk any experiments. But just as they thought their arms would leave their sockets and their heads were swimming with the effort, Perry came running and crashing through the bushes, bringing a life preserver, a rope and his own strong arms. In a jiffy Hilary was up and over the edge and in the arms of the girls, who laughed and cried together. "I say, Miss Hilary, you're no featherweight! .When I heard that screamin', I grabbed the life pre server and broke into a run, plumb sure one of y' was drowndin' !" "Makes me think of between halves at a ball
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 245 game," cried Juliet who was rubbing Pauline's arm. Hilary lay on the grass as far as possible from the edge of the cliff and rested with her head in Lilian's lap. No explanations were necessary. Friendship was renewed without them. "I'm not strained as much as you'd think, girls," said Hilary. "First, you see, I had hold of the tree, then as I slipped from that I held to the little things and got my elbows on the edge. But if Pauline had not gotten me just when she did,-my, I could hear that boiling surf down there and I tried not to imagine the rocks!" Cathalina declared that her arms were all right, and presently Hilary jumped up as l ively as ever. "You girls and Perry saved me, so it has not sp o iled our day. Come on; I'm hungry. I'm sorry I scared you all so.-0, my glass!" Hilary looked at the girls in dismay. Cat halina came up and patted Hilary's cheek. "Don't feel bad, Hilary, you can have mine! I heard the glass go smash down the re-but let's be glad it wasn't you!" For a minute Hilary hesitated. That field glass was such a treasure. Then Hilary was herself again . "No use, spilled milk; Gordon would tell me to 'be a sport'; I'll rent a glass till the bird study is over." O n l y Perry, who followed the girls with sober face, realized fully what might have happened t o turn the happy day into tragedy. A fire had been started on the bluff; something savory was simmering in pans and there was much
246 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF spreading of sandwiches and opening of pickle and olive jars. Cathalina had secured from an enter prising lady of Greycliff Heights, home-made rolls, jelly and jam, doughnuts and potato chips. VariOUs girls had brought their own contributions as well. "Wouldn't our menu be a scream if it were printed?" said one. As usual there was more than enough, though it had been necessary to provide for two meals. "And we'll be hungry, y o u know, girls," had been said so much that it became a j o ke. After the first meal there were games, and wad-ing or swimming. The athletic Juliet and Pauline were learning to crochet and looked quite domestic as they bent above their work. Pauline learned a new stitch, but found that her arm was too lame to accomplish much. Swimming, alas, was out of the question for either her, Hilary or Cathalina. Even the intellectual Miss West was tatting, while everybody had raptures over Eloise's beautiful em broidery. Hilary and Lilian wandered off to a shady spot not far from the beach, where the water lapped quietly and cunning little sandpipers ran along the moist sands. Later, after an earnest and evidently satisfactory conversation, they again joined the rnaht company, most of whom were tired of roaming about. As the moon came up, the breeze died away to a soft breath from the South and the lake was unu sually calm. Sitting in groups, the girls told sto-
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 247 ries or chatted until the launch arrived. By moon light in the Greycliff the Greycliff songs or latest ragtimes were flung to the evening mists, till the Junior picnic was over and the big hall once mor e received its children. "How's your arm, Polly?" asked Hilary, as in kimono and slippers she appeared in Pauline's d oo r, while the penetrating odor of liniment made every body on the floor think of athletics. "Fine," repli e d Pauline; "I'll be asleep before you get to your room." "Goodnight, then," and Hilary came over to give Pauline a good hug. "It's terribly early, but I be lieve I could sleep if the who le hall were prancing iby !" With this, Hilary scampered home to find Cathalina already asleep and to slip into her own comfortable nest after sending up the grateful prayer which had been in her heart since morning. CHAPTER XXL DREAMS AND FAREWELLS. WITH arms about each other's waists, Cathalina Van Bu skirk and Elizabeth Barnes were walking slowly in the winding path through Greycliff Woo
248 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF "I wish you could go home with me this summer. Can't you?" "Not possibly. Mother has not been well and I am needed at home. She has been terribly worried.. too, over Aunt Dorothy's family. Aunt Dorothy married a Canadian and they live up in Toro nt o,but the two oldest boys are both fighting in France. Dick is wild to go too; he hears from the boys once in a while. Father doesn't worry, but Mother is sure that we shall get into the war some time." "How old is your brother?" "Dick is almost twenty." They had reached the place where three paths di verged, one to the left g o ing deeper into the woods behind Greycliff, another leading down into the vine clad ravine near the river, and a third winding to the right and leading out to the fr ont of the grove, where a grassy bluff o v erlooked the beach. A cho rus of gay calls came from the trees there. "Who o-hoo, Betty, wasn't that an easy quiz in French?" Eloise waved her handkerchief at Betty, who hurri e d up the path with Cathalina and dropped down by the other girls. "I haven't a single exam ination now, all thro ugh! It's goodbye lessons for at least twelve weeks!" "O, Eloise!" responded Cathalina joyously, "I'm so glad, too, that the old exams are over,-yet I do hate to go and leave you girls." "Well, we're going too, not left behind."
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 249 "Yes, but you see I don't know whether I'm coming back or not!" "You better had!" said Betty. "Aren't you going to ask to come?" Diane looked surprised. "Yes, of course." "Well, that's all that's necessary, isn't it?" "O, you don't know my father and mother if they think something's good for me!" Cathalina sho o k her head in some doubt. "But I'm sure they w ill admit that this plan to have me come here has turned out wonderfu lly! And I would n o t have missed it for an y thing! Just think of not knowing you girls!" Cathalina spoke earnestly and sincerely, but created a laugh and exclamations of "Ho w aw ful!" "Neither would I," said Helen,-"but l o ok at Hilary and Lilian together again!" she excla imed, pointing to where the two girls in que s ti o n were walking up from the beach and swinging hands in the best of spirits. "That isn't Hilary, is it?" demurred Eloise, look-ing around a tree. "Yes,-see her red tie and hair ribbon?" "Other girls have red ties and hair ribbons." "That may be, but I know Hilary's middy and her walk," Helen assured the girls. "They've made up since the picnic, or, r eally, that day," said Cathalina.
250 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF "Haven't you noticed them together?" asked Betty. "What was the matter, then, if they don't mind our knowing. Hilary has not happened to be in the suite and we did not say one word to Lilian about it from the first." "Hilary said I might tell you girls, or of course I would not say anything. It was all that Myrtle Wiseman. I couldn't have supposed any girl could, but I think she must have told lies!" Cathalina's voice dropped to a whisper on the last words, and her blue eyes widened in her earnestness, while the girls laughed out. "You know," she apologized, "in polite society one hardly charges people with such things. I can't remember all about it, but you know how Myrtle tried to go around with Hilary , all the time. It s e ems that she was jealous of Lilian, and Lil told Hilary afterwards that she guessed she was jealous of Myrtle or she wouldn't have been so taken in. And Myrtle told a lot of things and twisted what Hilary really did say, and Lil believed it and-" Catha1ina was forced to stop and take breath. "She told Lilian that she wouldn't think a girl would 'stick in where she wasn't wanted,' that it was perfectly plain that Hilary was just being polite to her and that Hilary had said she didn't care to be so intimate with one girl. She did not say it in just
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 251 that way, but in little mean hints and sly way s. :What Hilary did say was in answer to some question of Myrtle's about our corridor crowd-that she thought it nice to ha v e ever so many fri e nds and not only one or two. "There were one or two thoughtless things tha t Hilary did jus t then and they seem e d to pro v e w hat Myrtle said true . So . Lilian was nearly kill e d ov e r it, she said and jus t c o uldn ' t act dec e nt. What was the use of a sk i n g Hilary, she said, because Hilary was too kind to tell h e r the truth! So she was hopi n g that Hilary would a s k about it, and Hilary was hurt and wondering what was the matter. "I knew that Myrtle was deceitful, for we've all seen her use a pony in L a tin and cop y in algebra,but this was a regular scheme! It was simply-" "Dee-spisabl e !" added I s abel, who had appeared from somewhere in time to hear Cathalina's explan ation. She curled down and put her head in Catha lina's lap . "'Sweet Cathalina, dear Cathalina, My love for thee shall never, never do-yi !' Listen, girls, did you ever ht:ar my adaptation of that sweet little ditty just out (interrogati o n point drawn by Isabel's finger in the air), entitled 'Evaline'?-I mean 'MYJ Cathaline' : 0, Cathaline (0, Cathaline), My Cathaline (My Cathaline), ...â€¢ Sweeter to me than the honey to the bee,
252 CATHA.LINA AT GREYCLIFF I love-a you, say you love-a me! Meet me in the shade of the old apple tree-ee, Kitty, Kathy Cothy, Cathali-ine !" "Silly," said Cathalina, stroking Isabel's curls. Lilian and Hilary leaped up the steep way that was always the shortest route to the Hall. The girls kept still till they had topped the bank, and then greeted them with the old, "What's the matter with Hilary ?-She's all right! Who's all right?Hilary!" Making like inquiry into Lil i an ' s condi tion, they found her "all right", too. As the friends were still sensitive about the recent misunderstand ing, they only nodded and sm i led and joined the circle. "Is this a final meeting of some sort?" asked Lilian. "Just a happen-so," replied Elo ise. "We really ought to have one more good old fudge or beach party, but nobody has time. I've begun packing. My, how do we get so much stuff? I don't know what to do with it!" "I saw the old spring wagon come up a while ago with a load of empty boxes that I suppose some of the girls have ordered for their things." "That makes me think,-I ordered one!" Isabel scrambled to her feet. "See you all tonight to say goodbye!" " .We must go too, Diane," said Helen, jumping
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 253 up and pulling the lazy Diane, who complained that just when she got nicely settled Helen always wanted her to do something! "I've been packing all day, too, more or less," and Diane made a pitiful face as she pretended to be dragged along by the l ive ly Helen. "Yes, girls, said Helen, lo oking back, "her packing has consist ed in pulling ever y thing out of the bureau drawers 'onto' the floor, and if we don't get to work we shan't be able to get to bed tonight without crushing some art treasure or other under foot! She has her hand-painted china in a p asteboar d box under her bed and I've noti ced that it's awful ricke t y lately. You all can't imagine the time I have . Talk about 'Northern enterprise'!" All this in Helen's pretty drawl with the r's omitted in Southern fash ion. "Come on, Elo ise, and help!" "All right," and pretty Eloise hopped up too. At last, only Cathalina, Hilary, Betty and Lilian were left. The afternoon sun cast long shadows among the trees. Somewhere down in the ravi ne a wood thrush was singing his flute-like song. The girls listened and were silent. The waves softly foamed about the rocks afar off, and the little Grey cliff was coming home with some last party of girls. we had a good year, girls? I'm so grateful to Aunt Hilary for sending me to this lovely place." "I did not want to come at all," said Cathalina,
254 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF "but it's hard to imagine it now. 0, I want to be and do so much some time!" "That is what Father and Mother said they hoped my school life would do for me,-make me want to 'be and do'," said Betty. "And what wonderful talks Miss Randolph has given us in chapel!" "Yes," said Lilian. "Do you rem ember her talk on 'I slept and dreamed that life was beauty,-! woke and found that life is duty' ?-or something like that, I'm not very sure in quoting!" "I do believe it's beauty," Cathalina remarked thoughtfully, "but she did make it very clear that it couldn't be beautiful if duty did not come first. I never had any plans before, except to study art and have a good time, but I almost want to go to college, now." "I can," said Hilary, happily, "if nothing pens." "I want to be an illustrator," spoke Betty, "and maybe write my own things to illustrate, too. But d on't tell anybody else; it's all a sec.et, because maybe I can't do it." "O, we'll study together, Betty!" Cathalina clasped her hands over h e r knee. "You'll draw and write and I'll paint and 'sculp'. What do you want to do, Lilian?" "I want to sing!" cried Lilian, who had a sweet bird in her throat. "But Father says I must have a 'broad foundation' first, and they never let me sing
CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF 255 very much, only let me take lessons this year be cause Professor Marchant was esp e cially inte rested and promised to take such care of my infant voice! Maybe it won't amount to anything anywa y , so I may take up dom e s t ic science n ext year. If music fails me, I may be able to co o k for so m e nice m a n. That isn't original, girls. I heard one of the Collegiates say that the o t her day." "Father says," said Cathalina, "that to make a home is the most w o nderful thing in the world, a n d since men can ' t , w o men ought to b e 'proud of t h e distinction'. Y o u ought to hear him and Aunt Kath erine when she is on her 'high horse'! She sa y s that housekeeping takes m o re brains and patienc e than anything else, and the better trained your mind is the better you'll do it." "I believe she's ri ght," Hilary added. "I kP._ ow Mother puts all h e r brains and strength into be i ng a minister's wife, along with taking care of the kid dies. I don't think I shall ever marry." At Hilary's solemn air, the girls laughed merrily. "I know one young man," Cathalina said teasing ly, "who thinks Hilary the 'foxiest girl' he knows." "Sh-sh I Cathalina Van Buskirk!" "O, who? who, Cathalina ?" asked Betty and Lilian. "Your brother?" "No, though Phil certainly does like old Hilary ! Well, I won't tease, Hilary. Ask her, girls." But Hilary shook her head.
256 CATHALINA AT GREYCLIFF "I'm always seeing myself," c onti nue d Li i ian, with an amused smile, "standing graceful. y on a platform and all fluffy with laces and glitte r i n g with jewels and decorations . Then I sing, while ever y body is breathless or in tears, you know , and when I stop, there is a thunder of applause. They're all wild about the 'glorious creature', and th e n I c o me out and bow, again and again, and carry off loads of roses, and get a thousand dollars a night!" "Greedy creature! Will you sing a t our church for nothing?" "Yes, indeed, Hilary, out of friendship for y ou; and you'll put in the Saturday paper that the famous prima donna is to sing at the morn i n g s e rvice. Then I will say, "O, no, Dr. Lancaster, I c o uld not ac cept anything for the exquisite pleasure of singing to your congregation!" "Listen to Lil's big words! How noble!" murmured Hilary. "Thanks." "I'm not worrying," said Betty, "about tho s e far away days, but I do love to dream about wha t I want to do most; and don't you remember?-Miss Randolph said that if we didn't have dreams we might never try to make anything great come true." "O, yes;" answered Cathalina, "but after all, I'm glad that we're just girls now, and coming back, if nothing happens to prevent, to dear old Greycliff . " THE END.