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"He's worse than an opera-singer; us from the consequences. I wonder if infinitely," he lamented. “I can't be you know that I firmly believe that lieve you realize how very serious it is. there is nothing you cannot do." I 've invited everybody of any im

$ 5 portance in this town to that service. We 're going to sing the Gretchininoff His confidence in Miss Hanson was Magnificat, the first time in America. by no means unfounded, but in the Not even the Russian cathedral has matter of Queenie she felt herself to be done it. Wilfred Reginald has a solo; at a distinct disadvantage. As time there 's an A in Alt, and nobody can went on, and no solution of the diffitake it but him. Miss Hanson, if he culty came to view, the youngest masdoes n't sing, it simply can't be done. ter became abandoned enough to pray I 've already invited them all, and that the child might be taken violently most of them have accepted. It's a ill at the last moment and be unable musical event."

to come. "If it's as bad as that,” said Miss At last, however, Miss Hanson rose Hanson, smiling, “I can recall the in- to the occasion, and beaming with vitations and postpone the dance." pride, she called the youngest master

"And put all their nerves on edge!" into her sitting-room. he cried. “I should never live through "I think I have solved the problem,' it.”

she announced to him. “I am going to "Very well, then, I 'll send the in- run a dark horse. Miss Van Lennep vitation,” concluded Miss Hanson, called here this afternoon with her wearily.

little niece Marcia--" The head-master interrupted in a "Miss Van Lennep!" cried the young firm, clear voice:

man. Miss Van Lennep was the dread “I 've promised Beecham,” he said, Miss Van Lennep of the ladies' com"that that child should not come here mittee appointed to oversee the affairs again."

of the school, and as the school stood in “If she comes again," said the young- awe of the ladies' committee, and the est master, “I shall not answer for the ladies' committee stood in awe of Miss consequences.'

Van Lennep, she was a very terrible Dr. Sinclair rose.

person indeed. "Mr. Beecham," he said with great Yes, Miss Van Lennep," said Miss dignity, “it is evident to me that you Hanson. "I persuaded her to bring are entirely out of sympathy with the Marcia to the dance." musical side of this school, and I wish "Is she your dark horse?" he into remind you that the sole reason for quired. “Marcia, I mean." its existence is to supply the soprano "If a dark horse can be so altogether voices of the cathedral choir.” He lovely. I'm expecting Queenie to be turned on his heel and walked out of what the boys call a 'frost' beside her. the room.

She will captivate them. Then, Marcia There was an uncomfortable pause. has been beautifully brought up. The

"Well, invite her," said the head- difficulty with Queenie, of course, was master at last. "All I can do, Miss her unfortunate background, her total Hanson, is to appeal to you to deliver lack of any sort of bringing up. Now,


[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][merged small]

Marcia,—the Van Lenneps, you know, Miss Hanson's confidence in her -if she does anything to the tone of dark horse was so great that the youngthe school, she will raise it."

est master became confident himself. “But how did you do it?" asked the But though he looked forward to the master, with admiration.

dance with diminished apprehension, "It took tact,” Miss Hanson went he was not able to banish altogether on. “It was a distinct concession on the nervous strain of his waiting. the part of Miss Van Lennep. I assured her that the tone of the school

$ 6 was much too high for anything to hap- At last the fateful evening arrived, pen which could contaminate Marcia and after dinner there was a wild stamin any way.

pede of excited boys to the dormitories "If only it will work!” said the to dress for the dance. The costume master.

was to be, as on all formal occasions, “Oh, it will, it will,” cried Miss Han- white duck knickerbockers, blue jackson. "You have only to see her." et, patent-leather shoes, Eton collar, and dark-purple necktie. When the Lights shaded with crape paper flooded youngest master made his tour of the the scene with a golden glow. Society dormitories, he found the boys getting was composed chiefly of the parents of into these things in every stage of the boys and the little guests whom the dress and undress. The hair of every boys had invited. The more distinone of them was plastered tight against guished members of it were gathered his skull with the application of much at the end of the room nearest the water.

orchestra, and centered about the The curtains of Wilfred Reginald's dean of the cathedral, who sat by his alcove remained discreetly closed. sisters, the Misses Beresford, and Presently, however, he came forth re- looked very handsome and distinsplendent, his necktie and socks scream- guished in his clericals. The great ing at each other in one glorious con- Miss Van Lennep had entered late, flict of strident color. His cheeks were with her little niece in tow, and a place scarlet, and his throat was hot and dry, was made for her in this group. with his consciousness of the splendor “Oh, you darling!” cried the Misses of his garments.

Beresford in duet at the sight of Mar“Look ut!” yelled Carson. “Look cia, and leaning impulsively forward, ut Wilfurd Reg'nuld in his long they gave her a collective kiss.

a britches!"

The child was lovely. A delicate There was a wild scramble to see the flush lay warm upon the curve of her gorgeous apparition. Wilfred Reginald cheek. Her wistful mouth, with its greeted them with a magnificent look half-parted lips, was as rosy and deliof scornful indifference. Assuming cate as the petals of a flower. Her a careless air and whistling a tune, melting blue eyes shone starry below he advanced debonairly toward the the waves of maize-colored hair lying youngest master, who had seated him- finer than silken floss upon her foreself on the radiator at the end of the


An agreeable little curl fell dormitory.

above each shyly shrinking ear, and a I expect it will be a very nice cluster of still lovelier ones was gathdance, don't you, sir?” he inquired, ered at the nape of her neck. She wore with the nonchalance of one to whom a Kate Greenaway gown of pale-yelsuch things are trivial daily episodes. low silk, with impossible little puffs at

The master's answer was drowned the shoulders pretending they were in a babel of sound. Up and down sleeves, and leaving all the loveliness the dormitory taunting voices, raised of her dimpled arms to the delectation to an exaggerated falsetto of affecta- of a ravished world. Her hands were

a tion, carried on an imaginary conver- incased in the most absurd little white sation from alcove to alcove.

kid gloves imaginable. In all her in

. "Oh, yeh-yuss, a very nice dawnce! nocence and fragility, the Victorian era Chawmed, I'm shuah. Such chawm- would have claimed her for its own. ing britches!"

She dropped a curtsy to the dean's sisSociety was assembled and ranged on ters that went straight to their hearts. the rows of chairs lining the walls of a When the youngest master saw Margymnasium rendered festive for the cia, he crossed the room to Miss Hanoccasion with bunting and banners. son and took her hands in his.

“Miss Hanson,” he cried enthusias- place the fixed smile of presentation. tically, "you are wonderful!"

The orchestra plunged into a rollick“If the boys feel the same way about ing one-step. her,” she said, smiling.

In his killing clothes Wilfred Regi“They 're sure to,” he said. “Poor nald strode up to Queenie and made Queenie does n't stand the ghost of a the grave little bow that Miss Hanson show.” They looked down the hall to had carefully taught them. where Queenie sat blissfully self-con- "O Wilfurd Reg'nuld," she cried, scious in the brave finery of a girl ten overwhelmed by the gorgeous vision, years older than herself, a spit curl of "you sure' do look grand!” She her red-gold hair curling as stiff as a swung out proudly upon his arm, spring upon her forehead, and a lump among the eddying couples of interof it gathered into a bronze potato locked children that already filled the over each of her ears.

floor. "I believe they will,” murmured After this dance Marcia came dartMiss Hanson, not without a pang of ing across the floor, trailed by a wake feminine pity for Queenie, who had of happy boys. evidently come to kill.

"O Aunt 'Trinka," she cried breathThe orchestra had finished its tun- lessly, "they are just too lovely! Nine ing up, and the clatter of the patent- of them have asked me for the next leather shoes of the boys coming up en

dance!" masse could be heard in the hall. "But, my dear,” said her Aunt Some of the little girls, frankly eager, Katrinka, "you can't dance it with all looked toward the door, while others of them!" ” hid their heads in alarm on their "Oh, yes, I can. I've divided it up. mothers' shoulders.

I just could n't disappoint any of The boys stood for a moment in a them.Away she fluttered, with the hesitating group, too aware of the boys crowding about her. glory of their white knickers and their "Won't she be devastating when she wet, sleek hair to be fully aware of their is twenty!Miss Van Lennep desurroundings.

manded of the roof of the gymnasium. “O Aunt 'Trinka,” cried Marcia, “Whatever shall I do with her!" ecstatically, "are n't they just the Marcia was an undeniable success. most bee-you-tiful boys!"

She was so great a success that it was The group of boys broke up rapidly all Miss Hanson could do to pry as they recognized their friends among enough boys out of her following to the guests lining the walls, and went to supply the other little girls with speak to them. Miss Hanson led the partners. unattached ones up to Miss Van Len- “We 'll have nothing to fear from nep's corner and presented them to Queenie this time,” said the headMarcia. She dropped a little curtsy master. “Miss Hanson's dark horse to each of them in turn. The young- wins at a trot.” est master was watching nervously, Between dances Marcia was hidden but abandoned himself to unutterable in the center of a swarming cloud of relief when he saw on their blushing interested boys at the other end of faces a blank stare of admiration re- the room.



"What do you suppose they can awful word. "I've always wanted to find to talk about?" inquired Miss see that." Van Lennep of North America at “Cordelia! I must say,” began large.

the elder sister, and sank powerless The bishop came in a little later, and into her chair. his advent turned the party into a Miss Hanson and the youngest veritable occasion. Miss Van Lennep master turned to each other in one captured him at once, took him into a long, agonizing look. corner away from the rest, and ren- "Oh," said Miss Hanson, when she dered his escape impossible.

regained the power of speech, "it 's

indecent!" $ 7

“You see, it 's very easy,” Marcia The circle she had left behind was instructing in her dulcet little breathed more freely, and soon were voice. "Everything moves but the engrossed in conversation. Suddenly feet.” the elder Miss Beresford arose, her "What shall we do?" Miss Hanson long jet ear-rings quivering and glit- implored the head-master. “This tering with her excitement. She could can't go on; but you know what it not trust the evidence of her unaided would mean if we offended Miss Van eyes, and she put up her lorgnette. Lennep." Everybody turned to stare in the direc- “Serve the refreshments early," tion of her glasses, which converged pronounced the head-master, gravely upon Marcia, who, with Mack as her and without hesitation, “and put ipepartner, was emerging from the group cac in Marcia's ice-cream. That ought of boys that continually surrounded to finish her for the evening.” her.

"How like you, Braine," said the "What in heaven's name, she dean, with delicate crow's-feet of gasped, “are those ridiculous infants amusement gathering at the corners of doing!"

his fine, dark eyes. “How very, very "Something less holy, I believe, my like you!

like you! But the suggestion about dear,” suggested the dean, “than the early refreshments is n't bad. Tell place you have just invoked.”

Miss Van Lennep that Marc and I The couple swayed for a space to want her and her charming little niece the lilt of the latest fox-trot; then to eat their ice-cream with us in they paused for an appalling moment, Marc's rooms. The bishop is going, with their feet perfectly still, but and she 'll be glad to come.” He had their bodies following the syncopated no modest illusions about the value of rhythm with a barbaric movement his position. "We 'll keep her the rest first introduced into America as a of the evening, won't we, Marc?dance on the Midway plaisance of the It was Dr. Sinclair whom he adChicago World's Fair.

dressed as Marc, but all that gentle“Ermyngarde," said the younger man and eminent choir-master said Miss Beresford, putting her hand on was: her sister's arm, "I believe I believe “Thank God! that Queenie child is -it 's—it 's the shimmy!Her dancing with Wilfred Reginald!" voice sank to a whisper on the last Under the hurried orders of Miss


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