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HOME > Short Stories > Dorothy Dale's School Rivals > CHAPTER XXIII THE INVESTIGATION
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Mrs. Pangborn, stately and handsome, occupied the chair at her desk in front of which were assembled her pupils. Her secretary was with her, as were the teachers of the higher grades. Everyone felt the solemn moment when Miss Eastbrook was asked to call the roll.

Of the two higher grades every girl responded to her name except Tavia.

Then the principal said:

“I have been notified that a number of you young ladles visited a fortune teller last evening for the purpose of having your fortunes told. Now, let everyone who was off these grounds after tea time stand up.”

Poor Edna was with the “standers.”

“Please, Miss Eastbrook, mark these names as I put the question,” said Mrs. Pangborn.

Then came the examination. Ten of the girls answered to the question: “Did you go to that place to have your fortune told?”

172 When this query was put to Edna, of course, she answered in the negative. Dorothy was greatly relieved, for, in spite of Tavia’s affirmation, she feared the girls had been up to some trick.

The affair was one of the most serious of escapades that had ever occurred at Glenwood, and, when Jean Faval and her crowd owned to the offence, the face of Mrs. Pangborn might easily be read as suppressing deep indignation.

“The young ladies will go to their rooms,” she said, “and positively remain there until this matter is settled.”

That of course meant the culprits—all others were exonerated.

It took but a short time for the girls to leave, and when the room was practically cleared Dorothy approached the much-troubled principal.

“I must speak for Tavia Travers, Mrs. Pangborn,” she said. “She was off the grounds, too, but did not have her fortune told. She turned her ankle, and is not able to stand on it. The accident kept her from getting in on time.”

“Very well, Dorothy,” replied the lady. “I am really glad that none of the older pupils—those who have been here longest—have been so unruly. Tell Tavia she may have a doctor if she needs one, and I will send a teacher to attend to her, as soon as it is possible for me to collect my173 thoughts. I cannot tolerate such an unruly element. And only yesterday I had special notices posted in the corridors,” and the principal pressed her hand to her head.

“I am very sorry,” Dorothy said, “but perhaps these new girls did not realize the discipline of our school.”

“That is the difficulty—to make them realize it. By the way, how is my little friend, Zada? I have not had a chance to talk with her lately.”

Dorothy hesitated. Then she said: “Zada is happier now than she has been for some time. She is so sensitive—and the new girls seemed to claim her.”

“Well, dear,” Mrs. Pangborn replied, “I would rather she would associate with those who know the school better. But if she is happy I am satisfied. Her mother is very ill, and it is important that Zada shall be away from home for a while.”

It was quite like the old days for Dorothy to be alone, talking with Mrs. Pangborn, for many a time she had before approached her in some one’s behalf. For the moment Dorothy’s fears of leaving Glenwood were forgotten. The school was a second home to her, and to finish its course one of the hopes of her young life.

“Tell Tavia not to worry,” said the principal in finishing the interview. “Also say to her, that174 I am glad she was not with those silly girls who went to have their fortunes told,” this last with a scornful smile at the idea of “fortune telling.”

Dorothy went back to Tavia, and found Edna with her. The two were so happy over their escape, and likely a little happy that the others did not escape, that Tavia had ventured to stand on the strained foot, and make her way to the box where the sweets were kept.

“Doro, you are a brick,” she said with more meaning than English. “I never could have gotten out of it. You ought to take up law. You are a born Portia.”

“Thank you,” said Dorothy quietly. “Mrs. Pangborn said she will send up some one to see how much you are hurt. She also said——”

“Back to bed,” Tavia interrupted quickly. “I am so ill I shall not be able to go to class for days. And that will cover............
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