Chapter 37385500

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Chapter NumberI
Chapter TitleThe Schemers.
Chapter Url
Full Date1905-12-25
Page Number29
Word Count1230
Last Corrected0000-00-00
Newspaper TitleWestern Mail (Perth, WA : 1885 - 1954)
Trove TitleA Day at a Boarding School, or a Midnight Feast
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A Day at a Boarding


Or a Midnight Feast.

By 'GRKY KGI5RT0N" (ago lß yoai*).



Tho Schemers.

'Hip-pip!" Pat O'Hara danced ¡1 noiseless pas-senl in the middle of the "bi¡>"' cla*s room when she «nv that no teacher or senior was present, and only her own special cronies occupied


'.H'm! you're lucky to he able Ui say 'hip-pip' «nd dance. Pat O'Hara," Kate Cahl well said sharply, savagely bit inn the tops of her fingers. "You ought to have beastly l'Yeiieh verbs to

do. like I have."

"Burroo! Shniv. gin-is. I'm afthei having something lovely to tell ye," Pat said excitedly, tossing her unruly red curl.^ out ol' her big. sparkling eyes.

'.Something harebrained, I bet." said Kit Langdon lazily. She had a pen- chant for reading sporting novels and using slang, and was always getting into trouble foi' doing so.

"Go on, Pat, tell us." cried Ollie Taylor, fl tall, pretty girl with lovely long golden-brown hair, who was al- most as eager for dangerous adventures as Pat herself.

Pat smiled exasperatingly when she found all eyes were upon lier, and

Mirror l'lioto hy J. J. Dwyer. Kalgoorlie.


««ung her thin. long, supple length coolly on to the top of the big teacher's


'Begob. it's inf flier being eager yea all are. Now, shall I-" she began provokingly, then ducked as a big red atlas came flying at her head.

"Von little divi! ! Stop your Irish, and for goodness' sake say what you have to say, or else be quiet." Kate cried irritably. French verbs did not improve her temper.

"I-" began Pat coolly again.

"Dear Pat, either tell us or let us do our prep." Klsie Coulton, a gentle, sweet-faced girl, said reprov- ingly.

Pat nodded condescendingly. ''Very well, me dear. Now. girU. you know it is my birthday to-day and I've just .rot a. most elegant hamper. Al's got her half-yearly one, too. to-day : she'll be hore presently. Now liston. We - propose-to-join--hampers-and keep np--my birthday."

"Dh!" little eries of delight escaped the girls. Then Kate said doubtfully. "Will the Dragon let us?"

"Silly," Pat sn i lied. "Wt the Dragon and Miss Mary, too, going away this afternoon till to-morrow ?"

"So they are.*' tho irirls al' cried joy- fully.

"Yes. and that isn't all I've to toll ye," Pat said, beaming on the inter- ested upturned faces.

"This is Al's plan. We're not go- ing to have a little goody-goody 'epread.' No '. We're going to have the party in the music-room-at mid- night!" '

''Oh!'" the othei gasped faintly.

They were assembled in the big claw room for preparation, but all work wa.s forgotten as they stood gazing np at Pat. who swung her long, thin, black stockinged legs carelessly tn and fro. and hummed a little song, airily.

Pat was fifteen, and was very tall and thin, with a vivid expressive little face, a pair of peculiar-coloured clear green eyes, and « mane of unruly red

curie;. Her hair was not that horrible brick-red one often sees, but a glowing coppery red. with brown and "olden

lights in it.

Kate. Caldwell was sixteen. Her face was thin and rather peevish, though clever looking, with dark eyes and a finn mouth. Straight «lark hair was drawn tightly back from a broad, intellectual forehead. It was said in the school that Kau» was never known to sit still, and she had a habjt of furiously biting her finger tops.

Kit Langdon was nearly seventeen, though site did not look it, and was quite th« opposite to the other two described. She was neither tall nor thin, but instead was short and very fat. with a plump, placid, good-humour- ed face twinkling, short-sighted, blue eyes, and short, brown, curly hair, that was the bane of her life.

Olive Taylor was sixteen and plump. Her clear-coinplexioned face was ra- ther round, and her eyes a deep beau- tiful hazel. Long golden brown waves ol' hair fell far past her waist, and was the envy of nearly every girl in Mr«. Barton's (the Dragon, as the girls called her) Select School for Young Ladies.

Elsie Coulton was sixteen also, and was short and plump, with a sweet lace, calm grey eyes, and long, curl- ing brown hair.

"Well! Haven't you anything to say?" Pat asked impatiently.

Then a step echoed outside the clos- ed door, and with a clatter and a scat- ter all the girls were back in their places working busily.

The door opened slowly, and a dark

head with a laughing, roguish taco peered cautiously in, then stared in surprise at all the bent heads and busy fingers.

Not a girl looked up. Pat was viciously drawing a dragon with smoke coining out of its mouth. Kate was biting her long-suffering fingers. Kit had for once straightened her back and was muttering something very rapidly with her eyes closed. Ollie was trying to keep from laughing by scribbling swiftly and nudging Klsie, who was also giggling and scribbling.

Tile silence became oppressive.

Pat's pencil "screaked" aggressive- ly : at last she ventured to look up. then burst into a loud "he-haw" and flung her pad and slate on to the ground.

All the girls looked up swiftly, then flung down their books and pencils and

sprang up.

"Alice, you terror!"' they cried, laughing at the mock amazement de- picted on Alice Paulin's bright face. She was a very tall girl splendidly made, with a clear-cut. strong face, a rather large though perfectly-shaped expressive red mouth, showing strong white perfect teeth when she smiled, brilliant, roguish dark eyes, and very long thick dark-brown hair.

"Hivens! Do mo eyes desave nie?'' she cried laughingly. "Were you all working? Girls, Kit's back was straight."

Tho girls all laughed at this, and Kit joined good-humouredly, for her round shoulders were proverbial.

"Oh," Pat cried, ''I've just been tolling the girls about our scheme. Go on, .von explain."

"What?" Alice asked, seating her- self on one. of the desks while the girls crowded round. "Kxplaiu what-5 Haven't you told them. Pat?"

"I told them half.''

"Well." Alice said. "I'll explain our scheme. Pat received her birthday hamper a little while ago, and I my half-yearly one, so we aro going to

join hampers, and lia ve a ic nat al midnight in the music-room. It is a good joh wc are in \V dormitory, and that tile music-room is so near. We can, Pal and I. go and unpack our hampers after ive have finished prep., and you others can go in the sitting room. One of you will have to stand sentinel at the door while we carry in the things; we can put them behind the piano. You'll have to change sen- tinels every live or ten minutes. Now that is all, I think. Do you under-


"'Oh, ves,'- chorused the girls glee- fully.

''It's a jolly good job the Dragon and .Miss .Mary are going away to-day. and oh! girls, fancy us forgetting it's Wednesday and ball-holiday! Why. we need only do half an hour's prep.,'* Pat


.'Now"-Alice; sprang down from her seat-"'lot us do our prep., girls, and then you can go in the sitting room and do your fancywork. Mind you keep Miss Jermaine in a good temper."