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HOME > Short Stories > Dorothy Dale's School Rivals > CHAPTER XI THINGS THAT HAPPENED
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“Rumpus night” came at last. Little time was taken for the dining room ceremonies, for everyone had her share to get ready for the initiation of new members of the school, and for merry-making for those who had gone through the same ordeals, two or three years before.

The corridors seemed alive with whispers, the rooms fairly quaked with secrets, and if there was one girl not on a committee, she must have been the manager of one.

The “T’s” were all new members, and Jean Faval was their leader. The “Glens” depended upon Cologne, or more properly speaking for this important occasion, she was Miss Rose-Mary Markin.

Dorothy had overcome her embarrassment and was, as usual, helping Tavia, who, instead of remaining in during the afternoon, to arrange her things, had found more pleasure and mischief in training for the boat race in her canoe.

81 At seven o’clock the big gong sounded in the hall, and the lights were turned on in the recreation room. Everybody got in there, although just how, it would have been hard to tell, for there seemed to be no confusion, nor excitement.

Mrs. Pangborn opened the ceremonies with a greeting to her pupils, and her kindest wishes for a happy and successful term at Glenwood.

Then came the school chorus. Somewhere there were mandolins, banjos, and other stringed instruments, and their chords came sweetly from various corners and nooks, while the girls sang the tribute to their school. After that two new teachers were introduced, Miss Cummings and Miss Denton.

“Now, young ladies,” said Mrs. Pangborn, “we leave you to your merry-making, and we trust you will be as discreet and thoughtful to one another’s feelings as you have always been. Remember, we have some young strangers with us, and there may be a great difference in their ideas of fun, and ours.”

When the applause died out the lights went with it. Only a flickering gas jet over the “throne” gave the location of the room, so that while figures moved around, and voices buzzed, the programme could not be guessed at.

Five minutes of suspense passed, then the lights were flashed on again.

82 The “throne,” a big couch covered with umbrellas and parasols supporting all sorts of colored divan covers, gave the effect of an ancient chair of state, or royal seat.

Cologne reclined there as if she had been wafted from Greece, all the way through these common centuries. She seemed made to be a queen. Her costume was as wonderful as it was gorgeous, the most prominent feature being the beaded portiers from Edna’s room, and they fell so gracefully over the robe of cheese cloth, donated by Molly Richards. Her crown was golden, real, good paper-of-gold, and this was studded with as many gem hatpins as could be purloined, or borrowed.

It was at once suspected that the very dark “slave,” who waved a feather duster over the queen’s head was Tavia, because there were no sleeves in her wrappings, and she wore on her feet a pair of grass slippers, taken from the wall of a stranger. This costume, indicating comfort, betrayed Tavia, while, on the other side of the royal seat, Ned could be discerned, because her brown grease paint, or salve, was carelessly left off over one eye.

The chief slave was tall and masterful. In “his” hands he held the numbers of the “victims,” written on slips of paper, ready to call them off to the queen. “His” costume was another83 of those draperies, the absence of which from windows and doors, left rooms drafty that night, and “his” helmet was a rubber hat, of the rain order, that went down under the chin, and covered the ears and which, incidentally, belonged to the bell boy.

To describe all the “get-ups” and “make-ups” would bring the affairs far into the night, whereas the fun should be over by ten sharp, according to school rules, so we proceed.

“Enter!” called the slave, and then the vestal virgins trouped in, doing their best not to trip up in the bed sheets they trailed.

The waving feather dusters rested. The queen lolled effectively.

A “classic” speech was made that didn’t mean anything, then “number one” was called. The first vestal stepped up to the throne.

“Prostrate thyself!” ordered she, who did not dare to turn, lest the beaded portiers should scatter.

The aspirant did as she was commanded, but alas! she was heard to giggle.

This was a real o............
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