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CHAPTER XIII NEWS AND A NEWSPAPER
“Tavia!” gasped Dorothy, “I knew it! We must get a paper.”

“We shall,” assented Tavia. “I must see one, myself. But please, Dorothy, do not distress yourself so. It may only be some idle gossip, among the school notes.”

“Did you see the reporter, when he came up for the opening notices?” asked Dorothy.

“No,” was the slow reply, “I guess we were out. We can stop at the paper store now. The others are on ahead.”

Tavia and Dorothy were skating slowly back to Glenwood. Jean Faval’s cutting remark had exactly the effect she intended it should—it had shocked Dorothy.

Her first thought was of her father. Had he lost all? Would she have to leave Glenwood, and go to work?

But Tavia’s suspicions were of a different character. She feared some blow had been aimed at Dorothy, directly through the public prints.

99 “Here’s the stand,” Tavia said, “but it’s closed!”

“Is there no other place?” asked Dorothy in distress.

“The one at the depot, but that, too, may be closed between trains,” replied Tavia. “Had we better try it?”

“Oh, yes; we must. I can never go in the school building, until I know what it all means.”

“We cannot skate over there. Let us call to Ned that we will be back presently. Better not excite any more suspicion.”

Tavia funnelled her hands to her lips, and gave the message to those on ahead, and, with the order to “fetch them some good things” the ways parted.

Skates over their arms the two girls hurried along. Neither spoke for some moments. Then Dorothy broke the silence.

“Of course you have not heard yet from Nat, Tavia?”

“Only that first letter that I showed you. Surely if anything were wrong he wouldn’t have written in that monkey-strain.”

“And I have not heard from father. Well, if it is only money, it cannot be such a great disgrace,” and Dorothy’s sigh belied her words.

They were within sight of the depot newsstand now.

100 “Closed!” exclaimed Dorothy. “The shutter is down!”

“Well, then,” said Tavia desperately; “I’ll get a Gleaner from Cecilia Reynolds. I saw her have one at lunch.”

Dorothy was getting more and more nervous as they neared the hall. She slipped her arm in Tavia’s, and the latter gave her a reassuring press. Truly these two, who all their girlhood days had shared each others’ joys, and sorrows, were best fitted now to face the new trouble together, whatever it might be.

The afternoon was shading, but the air was delightful and the red maples were already losing their leaves.

“Suppose you sit here on the bench, Doro,” suggested Tavia, “while I go get the paper.”

Only too glad Dorothy assented, and Tavia ran off.

The time seemed hours to Dorothy before Tavia returned, and, when she did so, the color, that very rarely left her healthy cheeks, was missing.

“What is it?” asked Dorothy.

“A meeting of the entire school has been called—suddenly,” replied Tavia, “and I have been asked to have you come up at once. There is nothing but excitement. Even the new teachers are in the assembly room. I could not get a word from101 anyone, but was met at the door with the order to go and get you. We had better go.”

Then as Tavia’s color faded Dorothy’s rushed to her cheeks. There must be something very serious, indeed, when a school meeting was called for that hour in the afternoon.

In the assembly room Mrs. Pangborn sat at her desk, and, as Tavia and Dorothy entered, there was a subdued murmur of ............
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