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CHAPTER XXII THE THREAT OF THE “T’S”
A very early morning caller at Room Nineteen was Cologne, the president of the Glens. She carried a note for Dorothy to read. It was from the “T’s.”

Cologne was surprised at seeing Tavia not able to be up, for the hope of recovery was not fulfilled.

“Why!” she exclaimed, “whatever is the matter, Tavia?” Tavia stuck out the bandaged foot. “How did it happen?”

“It occurred,” said Tavia, “and you are never to think of it again. The trouble is limited to me, and I am bound to see it through without worrying others.”

“Noble sentiments,” said Cologne, “but involved. If that foot could but speak——”

“I would choke it,” said Tavia. “I do the talking for this concern. But what is your note about? The letter?”

164 “Yes. It was slipped under my door, sometime between night and morning,” said Cologne. “Let me read it.”

Dorothy sat down to listen. She had been busy tidying up—doing the “upstairs work” as Tavia said.

“It is signed like a threat,” began Cologne, “for there is some sort of foolish mark, with a lot of others tagged on. It says:

    “You are hereby warned to make no reports to the teachers about the members of the ‘T’s.’ We have in our possession such knowledge as would send the pet of the Glens home sick, but are willing to withhold it if you will promise us immunity.”

“Now what do you think of that?” burst out Tavia. “Immunity! Aren’t they deep-dyed!”

“But send—the pet home——” and Dorothy turned pale. “They call me that in sarcasm!”

“As if they could know anything against you,” said Cologne loyally. “I will answer that, and tell them we will promise them nothing, but will add the threat to our report if they make any further insinuations.”

Dorothy looked very serious. She said—thinking of Jean Faval’s letter in a Marsall Investment165 Company envelope: “Perhaps it would be best not to antagonize them. It won’t cost us anything to wait.”

“It costs us this slur at you,” said Cologne defiantly. “And not one of the committee will have it so.”

“If you say I wish it?” pleaded Dorothy. And something in her voice told Cologne that all was not right.

“Why, Dorothy, is there really anything wrong? Tell me?” she begged, and she took up the trembling hand that lay on the chair arm.

“Not wrong?” she answered, “but we—have some financial dangers at home. Here, it seems, that—is wrong!”

Tavia was winking and blinking at Cologne, but could not get her attention. Finally, under pretense of stretching her well foot, she managed to reach Cologne with it.

“Let them alone, and they’ll come home,” she whispered. “They have troubles enough, poor lambs. But what’s to be done about this hoof? I can’t get to class?”

Dorothy seemed to have lost interest in the sore ankle. She was looking blankly at the rug.

“Why, you have a good excuse,” Cologne said to Tavia. “You can’t get to class.”

“If you know of a good excuse, will you please166 produce it? Remember I am a member of the Glens in good standing,” said Tavia.

“Your foot,” replied Cologne.

“But what happened to my foot?” went on Tavia.

“Oh, I see. Something happened that did not happen. Well, there’s a hole in the rug just at your door. How’s that?”

“The cream!” exclaimed Tavia, “if you will pardon the slang. Dorothy, I did trip in that hole, when I went out.”

“Send your own excuse,” replied Dorothy. “I am busy with my personal worries to-day.”

This was very unlike Dorothy, but Tavia understood it.

“Well, I must go,” said Cologne. “And I am sorry, Doro, that you refuse to sanction our terms of war. Cecilia Reynolds has been simply unbearable these last few days, and Jean Faval is getting wrinkled from spite. However, I’ll report, and let you know. By the way, will you fetch Zada to-night? She has been nominated?”

“If I go,” said Dorothy, &ldq............
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