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Sign in to Purchase Instantly. Of course, if you insist on not having a roommate, my sister and I will see that Miss Briggs secures a room in one of the other college houses. Elwood paused and looked questioningly at Miriam, who stood silent, an inscrutable expression on her face.
Grace and Anne, remembering Miriam's dislike for the stout girl, wondered what her answer would be. The settling of the question was not left to Miriam, for during the brief silence that followed Mrs. Elwood's deprecatory speech J. Elfreda had been making a comprehensive survey of her surroundings. Elwood," she drawled. I like this room and I guess I can get along with Miss Nesbit.
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You may telephone the expressman to have my trunk sent here. I'm not going back to Ralston House with you. I'm too tired. I'm going to stay here. Elwood looked appealingly at Miriam, as though mutely trying to apologize for J. Elfreda's disregard for the rights of others. Miriam's straight black brows drew together. She stared at their unwelcome guest with a look that caused a slow flush to rise to the stout girl's face.
Suddenly her face relaxed into a smile of intense amusement, and extending her hand to J. Elfreda, she said, "You are welcome to half this room, if you care to stay. You looked like a thunder cloud for a minute. I expect it won't be all sunshine around here, this year, for I'm used to having things go my way, and I guess you are, too. Thank you, Miss Nesbit. Elfreda indifferently.
Elwood responded rather stiffly, and without further remark left the room. It's funny that I should run into you girls, though. What kind of a time have you been having here, and did you pass all your exams? They said they were on the committee to meet and look after the girls who were entering college for the first time. I said that was very kind of them and asked them to show me the way to Ralston House. They picked up my suit cases and we started out.
They asked me my name and all sorts of questions and I told them a little about myself," continued the stout girl pompously. Then one of them said she thought I had better see the registrar before going to Ralston House, for the registrar would be anxious to meet me. They both said I was quite different from the rest of the new girls, and made such a lot of fuss over me that I invited them into that little shop across from the station to have ice cream. Elfreda impressively, "after they had had two sundaes apiece, at my expense, they played a mean trick on me.
They took me into a big building a little further down the street, down a long hall, and left me sitting on a seat outside what I supposed was the registrar's office. They said I must wait there and the registrar's clerk would come out and conduct me to the registrar. They said that it was against the rules to walk into the office and that it was the [Pg 51] business of the clerk to come out every half hour and conduct any one who was waiting into the registrar's private office. It made me think of when I was a kiddie and used to watch the cuckoo clock to see the bird come out.
But there wasn't even a bird came out of that door," continued Elfreda gloomily. I marched up to the door and opened it and walked into the office. There was no one in sight but a young woman who was putting on her hat. She seemed surprised at that and asked what made me think so. I said that two of the students had told me so.
Then she looked at me in the queerest way and began to smile. Then she stopped smiling and said it was too bad, but whoever had sent me there had played a trick on me and brought me [Pg 52] to the office of the Register of Deeds. Instead of Overton Hall I was in the county court house. Now can you beat it? No really nice girl would do any such thing, even in fun. Elfreda as a roommate. Arnold gave me my supper even though it was late, and the next day I saw the registrar in earnest. I told her the whole story and described the girls.
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I didn't know their names, but she said she thought she knew who they were from the description. So I suppose she'll send for me before long to identify them. I guess not. Grace was on the verge of saying that J. Elfreda would have shown more wisdom by keeping silent, but suddenly checked herself.
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She had no right to criticize J. Elfreda's motives. To her the bare idea of telling tales was abhorrent, while this girl gloried in the fact that she had exposed those who annoyed her. When it comes to getting even, I never relent.
I'm just like Pa in that respect. However, let's change the subject. Now that I'm here, show me where I can put my clothes," she added, addressing Miriam.
I never do. The morning I left home Ma said she felt sorry for my future roommate. Elfreda kept up a brisk monologue as she opened one of her suit cases and began hauling out its contents.
Miriam made a gesture of [Pg 54] hopeless resignation behind the stout girl's back. Anne nodded and the two girls beat a hasty retreat. Elfreda's calm manner of appropriating things and Miriam's resigned air were too much for them. Once inside their room they gave way to uncontrolled merriment.
I heartily agree with Ma, don't you?
(Hancock, H. Irving (Harrie Irving), 1868-1922)
Then, her face sobering, she added, "I am afraid she is laying up trouble for herself. I wish she hadn't told. The first two weeks at Overton glided by with amazing swiftness. There was so much to be done in the way of arranging one's recitations, buying or renting one's books and accustoming one's self to the routine of college life that Grace and her friends could scarcely spare the time to write their home letters. There were twenty-four girls at Wayne Hall.
With the exception of four sophomores the house was given up to freshmen. Grace thought them all delightful, and in her whole-souled, generous fashion made capital of their virtues and remained blind to their shortcomings.
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