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CHAPTER XXVI A SCRAP OF PAPER
“Tavia!” pleaded Dorothy, “Do tell me about that letter father has written—” she hesitated, “there is grave danger of a great loss to him. Tell me all you know about it.”

“All I know about it? Why, Dorothy!”

“Yes. You did find a letter! It was written to Jean. Tell me Tavia. I will not wait to know that I must leave school—I am going to-morrow!”

“Going to-morrow! Then I will go with you,” declared Tavia. “I would never have seen Glenwood if it had not been for you.”

The girls were looking over their lessons for the day. Dorothy had just received a letter from home. Brave as she wished to be, and fearful as she had been, of that investment company, when her father wrote, in his careful way, that there might be trouble, Dorothy at once prepared to go to him, and to her two small brothers.

195 “Dorothy, I would have told you but really I felt it was a trick.”

“A trick! On such a serious matter?”

“You believe every one to be as noble as yourself,” said Tavia, “but there are people in this world born without the sense of kindness, or the instinct of charity. We seem to have a few such girls around here.”

Dorothy looked fondly at her friend. There was no use trying to use logic on the subject on which her head and heart were now centered.

“Tavia, tell me what was in the letter you found at my door! Or I shall go to Jean, and demand to know.”

“Never,” said Tavia. “I’ll give you the old letter. It isn’t worth looking at, and I am sure the writer is a—cheerful—well you would not let me say fabricator; would you?”

Tavia went to her desk and soon found the torn script that had so disturbed her, until she made herself believe that it was some sort of a forgery.

“There,” she said, “if Jean did not write that to herself she got someone else to write it.”

Dorothy took the paper with trembling hands. Unfortunately Tavia did not think to cross out the words concerning Major Dale, and the possibility of his arrest.

Nerving herself to know all she should know,196 Dorothy sat down to decipher the note. Suddenly her eyes fell upon these words:

“We may have the proud Major in the toils within a short time.”

Dorothy glanced for a moment at Tavia, and then fled from the room, her head held high, and her eyes flashing.

“Goodness!” exclaimed Tavia, “I wonder what she is going to do? I have always heard that a quiet girl ‘riled’ is worse than I am. But I don’t believe I will follow her. Dear Doro!” and the frivolous one’s eyes filled. “I would give anything to save her from all of this.”

Dorothy, leaving her room, had gone straight to the office of the principal. Delicate girl that she was, when a question of family honor arose, she had more courage than some who might boast of power.

She found Mrs. Pangborn looking over papers.

“Good morning, Dorothy,” she was kindly greeted. “What’s the trouble now? For I see trouble in your face.”

“Yes, Mrs. Pangborn, this is trouble. I fear I shall have to leave Glenwood.”

“Leave Glenwood!” exclaimed Mrs. Pangborn. “Why?”

Then Dorothy told what she could of the tangled affair. Told how the Major had written that it was now a serious financial question, but for her to keep up her courage.
DOROTHY TOOK THE PAPER WITH TREMBLING HANDS.
Dorothy Dale’s School Rivals Page 195

197 “It cannot be possible that my old friend Major Dale would do anything unwise,” said the teacher. “You must have patience child, and not think of such a thing as leaving school. Why, you are just getting to be one of our best pupils.”

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