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?”
“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 Investment 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 please 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, “but I–may not. It depends.”
“And Cologne,” said Tavia, “will you send Ned to me at noon? I have
some instructions for her.”
“Of course,” said the president of the Glens. “But don’t be too hard
on Ned. She is not as reckless as you,” with a sharp glance at the girl
on the bed.
When she had gone Dorothy turned to Tavia.
“I am sure,” she said, “that threat from the ‘T’s’ means father’s
trouble. I will have to leave you to take care of yourself, while I go
to the station. I must know.”


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“Why don’t you wait for the mail?” suggested Tavia. “You may get word
that everything is all right.”
“I have been waiting for mail after mail, and I feel now that Jean
Faval knows more of the affair than I do. I cannot stand this suspense
longer.”
“Well, if you run across Ned, be sure to send her to me. I am scared
to death that Cummings will come in and find me. I have got to get my
excuse ready, and you know what a beauty I am at fixing a clear story.
I am going to make Ned do it for me, since you won’t.”
“If you told me how it happened, I might be able to do so, but, since
you and Edna wish to keep the secret, of course I won’t interfere,”
said Dorothy.
“Just as you like, but—-”
Tavia was interrupted by a slight knock at the door, and the next
moment Edna was in the room.
“Oh, there is a dreadful time downstairs!” she began, without a good
morning. “An investigation! Every girl who left the grounds last night
has been called to the court room!”
“I knew something was going on last night,” Dorothy said. “I do hope
none of our girls are to blame.”
“They are not,” said Tavia, in a most positive way, “and I hope the
‘T’s’ get all that’s coming to them.”
“But you were out,” said Dorothy.
“We can prove an _alibi_,” went on Tavia. “I hurt my foot in the
hall–that hole that Cologne spoke of.”
“Tavia!” Dorothy reproved.
“Oh, if it will make you feel better, Ned will drag me to the hole and
I will fall over it now, but really I cannot see the necessity. Do they
miss me, Ned?”
“If you would give me a chance to speak I’d be glad to tell you that
Mrs. Pangborn sent me up here to summon you at once with the others.
She does seem to suspect us, somehow.”
“That’s her wicked mind,” said Tavia jokingly. “But, Ned, you have got
to go and tell her about my accident. Dorothy refuses.”
“Tavia, I have told you I would do all I could for you, if I really
understood what to do.”
“Then listen. This is the real truth. Edna–note I only say Edna when
I am deadly in earnest–she and I went off the grounds last night, on
an errand of mercy. Honest, Dorothy, we were not with the others, and
we went out to help a girl who needed our help. Now will you make my
excuse?”
“I believe you, girls, complicated as the matter is,” declared Dorothy.
“And I will go to Mrs. Pangborn. But I insist on telling her how your
foot was hurt. If she wants to know more of it you will have to tell it
all, I suppose,” she finished desperately.
Edna sat there trembling with excitement. She would be all right if
only Tavia were able to lead her, but alone, Edna was very timid.
“Oh, I can trust you to fix it, Doro,” Tavia said, with relief in her
voice, “Ned would be sure to spoil it.”
“Thanks,” said Edna, “and I have to get back. What shall I say?”
“Don’t say a word until you are quizzed,” Tavia advised. “They might
get tired, or sick, or something, before they get to you.”
With the new perplexities Dorothy again felt obliged to put off the
message to her father. “Perhaps,” she thought, “it is as well. I might
only alarm them. But that threat to our club—-”
Edna went with her to the office, where the investigation was to be
conducted.
“Isn’t it awful!” she said. “But really, Dorothy, we are _not_ in the
scrape with the others, although we seem to be in a scrape of our own!”