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CHAPTER XIX ZADA
When Tavia reached Dorothy in her room she found her chum in a state of excitement.

“Whatever is the matter?” Tavia asked in surprise.

“Why, Zada has been in here, and you never saw such a time,” replied Dorothy. “I cannot imagine what ails the child. She came to the door, looked in, and finally came in. Then she burst into tears, and declared she had done something dreadfully wrong. As if that baby could do wrong,” and Dorothy closed her books that had been lying on her table evidently not much used within this study hour.

“Why didn’t you ask her what was the matter?” Tavia inquired. “I know that something has been worrying her, and she thinks so much of you she surely would have told you.”

“She wanted to do so. Then, when I saw how much it was going to cost her, I determined to quiet her nerves by showing her I did not believe she had done anything wrong. She said if she145 did tell me she would leave school, and I am sure I don’t want her to do that.”

“Perhaps you are right,” Tavia answered. “Here is your mail. I was at the office and brought it up.”

Dorothy glanced over the two missives. “One is from Nellie Burke, in Dalton, and the other is from Aunt Winnie. I did hope to hear from father,” she said. “Aunt Winnie says all are well, and the boys send regards to you. Strange she does not mention the financial trouble,” Dorothy said folding up the papers.

“‘No news is good news,’” quoted Tavia. “I got a bill from the paper store for that old crepe paper we used on ‘rumpus night’. I had almost forgotten it.”

The crumpled piece of paper that held tidings of Dorothy’s trouble Tavia thrust deeper into her pocket. Surely, she concluded, if Dorothy’s own aunt, the Major’s sister, did not wish to tell her about the investment company Tavia would not do so. At least not just then.

“Let’s go hunt up some of the girls,” Tavia suggested. “Cologne says you have almost given her up, and Dick is so hurt about our neglect of the Glens, that she refused my fudge this noon. That dog business—Oh, my Dorothy Dale!” she broke in suddenly, “sit right down there, and tell me that dog story. Jake got the reward!”

146 “I’m glad of it——”

“And I only had five dollars!”

“But I warned you to do that openly, and not steal the little thing, as you did. I think five dollars was quite a good sum for that sort of thing.”

“But if you had only told me I might have shared the big one hundred,” persisted Tavia.

“Tavia,” said Dorothy quite severely, “when you do things that seriously concern people, as that did Jake, I can’t see why you expect anything but trouble to come from it. I tell you, it gave me a lot of worry. Suppose Jean, or Cecilia, or some of the other girls, heard about it? You know what they would do, and say.”

“Oh, yes. I would surely have my picture in the Gleaner,” Tavia admitted. “Well, Doro, you got Ned and me out of the scrape, and I thank you for it. I never want to see a small, white silky dog again as long as I live. But will you come over to room ten, and break in? I know Cologne and Annette are conspiring. Jean has her crowd in the music room, no less. She has an idea she can play the banjo. But it sounds to me like one of the things you might hear in a laundry—I mean the tink—tink—tink that the chink—chink—chink plays.”

“Well, they are determined to do something at any rate, and it occurs to me that you might pick147 up your piano work a little closer. We have to take part in the musicale as ............
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