MoboReader > Literature > Ruth Fielding At College; or, The Missing Examination Papers

   Chapter 25 THE END OF A PERFECT YEAR

Ruth Fielding At College; or, The Missing Examination Papers By Alice B. Emerson Characters: 15000

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:02


Helen Cameron came running over the hill and down the sloppy path through the grove. When she reached the Stone Face where Ruth and the strange girl were standing, she cried:

"What is the matter with you, Ruthie Fielding? Come on over to the boat. Miss Mallory sent me after you.... Why! who's this?"

"Don't you remember this girl, Helen?" asked Ruth, seriously.

"Why! it's the girl who was camping in the snow, isn't it?" said Helen, curiously eyeing the stranger. "How-do?"

But the other was not pleased to allow the situation to develop into merely a well-bred meeting of three former acquaintances. She did not vouchsafe Helen a glance, but said, directing her words toward Ruth:

"I want that vase. It doesn't belong to you."

"Goodness, Ruthie!" put in her chum, for the first time seeing the object in Ruth's hands. "What is that thing?"

"I just dug it up here. It is the Egyptian vase taken from the Ardmore library last year I believe."

"It doesn't matter where it came from. I want it," cried the strange girl, and she stepped forward quickly as though to seize the muddy vase.

But Helen sprang forward and pushed her back.

"Hold on! I guess if Ruth's got it, you'll have to wait and prove property," said Helen. "How about it, Ruth?"

"She must tell us all about it," said Ruth, firmly. "Perhaps I may let her have it-if she tells us the truth."

"The truth!" exclaimed Helen.

"I won't tell you a thing!" cried the strange girl. "You haven't any right to that vase."

"Nor have you," Ruth told her.

"Well--"

"Nor has Margaret Rolff," went on Ruth, coolly. "I take it you are acting for her, aren't you?"

"Why," cried Helen, beginning to understand. "That is the girl who left Ardmore last year?"

"And came to the Red Mill after spending the summer at a camp on the Lumano and helped Aunt Alvirah," Ruth added, with a smile.

"Well, I never! Not Maggie?" demanded Helen.

"I think I am right," Ruth said quietly. "Am I not?" to the other girl. "Our Maggie is Margaret Rolff, and you must be her sister. At least, you look enough like her to be some relative."

The other made a gesture of resignation and dropped her hands. "I might as well confess it," she admitted. "You are Ruth Fielding, and Margy told me long ago you might be trusted."

"And this is my particular friend, Helen Cameron," Ruth said, "who is to be fully trusted, too."

"I suppose so," said the girl. "My name is Betty. I'm Margy's younger sister. Poor Margy. She never was very strong. I mean that she was always giving in to other people-was easily confused.

"She's bright enough, you know," pursued the other girl, warmly; "but she is nervous and easily put out. What those girls did to her last year at this college was a shame!"

Another hail from behind the hill warned Ruth that she must attend Miss Mallory's command or there would be trouble.

"We cannot wait to hear it all, Miss-Betty, did you say your name was? Where are you staying?"

"I have been working in Greenburg all winter. We're poor girls and have no parents. Margy is with me now," said the girl. "And I want that vase. I want it for Margy. She will never be satisfied until she can give it back to the dean of the college herself and explain how she came to hide it, and then forgot where she hid the vase."

"Tell me where to find you in Greenburg," said Ruth, hastily. "No! I'll not let you have the vase now. I will not show it to anybody else, however, and we'll come over to town this evening and bring it with us, and talk with Maggie."

"Oh, Miss Fielding--"

"That must satisfy you," said Ruth, firmly; and Betty Rolff had to be satisfied with this promise. She told the chums where she and Margaret were staying and then Ruth and Helen ran back to their friends, Ruth concealing the hastily wiped silver vase under the loose front of her blouse.

"Goodness!" she said to Helen, "I hope nobody will see it. Do I bulge much?"

There was so much excitement among the crew of the freshman eight, however, that Ruth's treasure-trove was not discovered. Under Miss Mallory's direction they launched the shell again, climbed aboard, and made a safe passage to the dock.

A notice was put up that very evening, however, to the effect that none of the racing shells were to be taken out unless the launch was manned and went with the frailer craft.

The students of Ardmore were allowed to leave the college grounds in the evening if they were properly chaperoned. And when Ruth went to Miss Cullam and explained a little of what was afoot, the mathematics instructor was only too glad to act in the capacity of chaperon.

Helen had telephoned for a car, and the three rode down to Greenburg immediately after dinner. Ruth carried the recovered vase, just as she had dug it out of the hole by the Stone Face on Bliss Island, wrapped in a paper. She had not had time either to clean it or to examine it more thoroughly.

They easily found the boarding house, the address of which Betty Rolff had given to Ruth. It was a respectable place, but was far from sumptuous. It was evident, as Ruth had been previously informed, that the Rolff girls were not very well off in this world's goods.

When the visitors climbed to the second floor bedroom where the sisters were lodged, Miss Cullam took the lead, walked straight in, seized Margaret Rolff in her arms and implanted a kiss upon the pale cheek of the girl who had for so many months been Aunt Alvirah's assistant at the Red Mill.

"You poor girl!" said the mathematics teacher. "What you must have been through! Now, I am delighted to see you again, and you must tell me all about it-how you came to take the vase, and bury it, and all."

There was a good deal of talk on both sides before all this that Miss Cullam asked was explained. But the facts were made clear at last.

In the first place, Margaret Rolff had always been very much afraid of the dark and of being alone at night. But she wanted so much to become a member of the Kappa Alpha that she did not try to cry off when she received her instructions as a candidate for membership in that sorority.

The first part of her initiation test was easy enough. She secured the Egyptian vase from the reception room of the library without being apprehended. Then she was rowed across the lake to the island by several black-robed and hooded figures whom she did not know.

Left with a flashlight and a spade to bury the stolen vase within a short distance of the Stone Face, Margaret had tried her best to control her nerves and do as she was commanded. But she could never really remember whether she had buried the vase or not. The idea had been for her to bury it, and then another candidate would be made to search for it the next night.

Everything about the initiation went wrong, however, because Margaret lost her nerve. The members of the sorority could not find the place where the candidate had really dug her hole and buried the vase. And Margaret had fled in a panic from the college before further inquiry could be made.

"All this time," explained the practical sister, Betty, "Margy has wanted to know if she did bury the vase or not. She felt she had stolen from the college and could be punished for it. I think those girls that set her the task should be punished."

"They have been," said Miss Cullam, grimly. "Yet, it was really a misunderstanding all around. Now, let me see that vase, Ruth Fielding."

The la

tter was glad to do this. The teacher opened the package and immediately turned the vase upside down and shook it. There was evidently something inside, and after some work with the handiest of all feminine tools, a hatpin, a soggy mass of paper was dislodged from the Egyptian vase.

"The missing examination papers, girls!" sighed Miss Cullam, with much satisfaction. "There, Margaret! You may have the vase and return it to Dr. Milroth to-morrow if you like. And I hope you will return to the college and be with us next year.

"I have what I am after and feel more contented in my mind than I have for some months. Dear me, girls! you don't at all understand what a number of trials and perplexities are heaped upon the minds of us poor teachers."

* * *

There were many other incidents occurring at Ardmore before the end of what Helen Cameron declared was a "perfect year." But nothing created more interest than the recovery of the Egyptian vase with the missing examination papers, unless it was the boat races. Though to a few, perhaps, certain plans for the coming summer overtopped even these in importance. These were such a very great secret that the chums scarcely dared discuss them.

But those readers who may so desire will read about the happenings that developed from these plans of Ruth and her friends in the subsequent volume of the series, entitled, "Ruth Fielding in the Saddle; or, College Girls in the Land of Gold."

First of the races was that with the first eight of Beardsley; and the crew of Ardmore won. Then came the trial between Ardmore and Hampton College, and the former won that as well.

Ardmore was in high fettle at that. The Jasper was quite as enthusiastically complimentary now as it had been critical after the race with Gillings, for in winning the race against Hampton College, the Ardmore crew had been forced to row through very rough water.

Commencement came in June, and two days before the graduation exercises of the senior class, the local aquatic sports were held. The main incident of this carnival was the race between the class eights.

The shells were started at twenty-yard intervals, and in the order of the classes. The freshman eight, in which rowed Ruth, Helen and Jennie, had practised vigorously all these weeks and now they displayed the value of their exertions.

Within the first quarter they "bumped" the sophomore eight. This crew dropped out of the race immediately and the freshmen spun ahead, Ruth setting a wonderfully effective stroke, and little Trix Davenport swaying her body in time with the motion of the boat and shouting encouragement through her megaphone.

On and on crept the freshman eight until there was barely a hand's breadth between the nose of their shell and the stern of the junior craft. The crowd along shore cheered the younger girls vociferously, and although they did not quite "bump" the juniors before crossing the mile line--

"We came so near it there was no fun in it!" declared Jennie Stone, delightedly. "Oh, girls! some of us are going to be great rowists after a few more years at Ardmore."

"Dear me," panted Helen, making the last pun of the term. "It should be called Hard-more. I never worked so hard in my life as I have this first year at college."

"But it will never hurt us," laughed Ruth, later. "We have got on famously."

"You have, my dear," interposed Helen. "You stand A, number one in classes. And look at that new play of yours-a big success! Money is rolling in on you--"

"Think a little of yourself," proposed Ruth. "Don't you consider your time well spent here, my dear chum?"

"Sure! It is the end of a perfect year," agreed Helen.

"And think of me-little me!" cried Jennie Stone, bursting into the chums' study at that moment, and in time to hear the last of the conversation. "Do you know what's happened, girls?"

"No! What?" demanded the curious Helen.

"I have lost another pound," said the ex-fat girl, in a sepulchral voice.

THE END

* * *

THE RUTH FIELDING SERIES

By ALICE B. EMERSON

12mo. Illustrated. Jacket in full colors. Price 50 cents per volume. Postage 10 cents additional.

Ruth Fielding was an orphan and came to live with her miserly uncle.

Her adventures and travels make stories that will hold the interest of every reader.

Ruth Fielding is a character that will live in juvenile fiction.

RUTH FIELDING OF THE RED MILL

RUTH FIELDING AT BRIARWOOD HALL

RUTH FIELDING AT SNOW CAMP

RUTH FIELDING AT LIGHTHOUSE POINT

RUTH FIELDING AT SILVER RANCH

RUTH FIELDING ON CLIFF ISLAND

RUTH FIELDING AT SUNRISE FARM

RUTH FIELDING AND THE GYPSIES

RUTH FIELDING IN MOVING PICTURES

RUTH FIELDING DOWN IN DIXIE

RUTH FIELDING AT COLLEGE

RUTH FIELDING IN THE SADDLE

RUTH FIELDING IN THE RED CROSS

RUTH FIELDING AT THE WAR FRONT

RUTH FIELDING HOMEWARD BOUND

RUTH FIELDING DOWN EAST

RUTH FIELDING IN THE GREAT NORTHWEST

RUTH FIELDING ON THE ST. LAWRENCE

RUTH FIELDING TREASURE HUNTING

RUTH FIELDING IN THE FAR NORTH

RUTH FIELDING AT GOLDEN PASS

RUTH FIELDING IN ALASKA

RUTH FIELDING AND HER GREAT SCENARIO

RUTH FIELDING AT CAMERON HALL

RUTH FIELDING CLEARING HER NAME

RUTH FIELDING IN TALKING PICTURES

RUTH FIELDING AND BABY JUNE

RUTH FIELDING AND HER DOUBLE

RUTH FIELDING AND HER GREATEST TRIUMPH

RUTH FIELDING AND HER CROWNING VICTORY

These books may be purchased wherever books are sold

Send for Our Free Illustrated Catalogue

CUPPLES & LEON COMPANY, Publishers New York

* * *

THE BARTON BOOKS FOR GIRLS

By MAY HOLLIS BARTON

12mo. Cloth. Illustrated. With colored Jacket.

Price 50 cents per volume. Postage 10 cents additional.

May Hollis Barton is a new writer for girls who is bound to win instant popularity. Her style is somewhat of a reminder of that of Louisa M. Alcott, but thoroughly up-to-date in plot and action. Clean tales that all the girls will enjoy reading.

THE GIRL FROM THE COUNTRY

THREE GIRL CHUMS AT LAUREL HALL

NELL GRAYSON'S RANCHING DAYS

FOUR LITTLE WOMEN OF ROXBY

PLAIN JANE AND PRETTY BETTY

LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE

HAZEL HOOD'S STRANGE DISCOVERY

TWO GIRLS AND A MYSTERY

THE GIRLS OF LIGHTHOUSE ISLAND

KATE MARTIN'S PROBLEM

THE GIRL IN THE TOP FLAT

THE SEARCH FOR PEGGY ANN

SALLIE'S TEST OF SKILL

CHARLOTTE CROSS AND AUNT DEB

VIRGINIA'S VENTURE

Send for Our Free Illustrated Catalogue

CUPPLES & LEON COMPANY, Publishers New York

* * *

THE BETTY GORDON SERIES

By ALICE B. EMERSON

Author of the "Ruth Fielding Series"

12mo. Illustrated. Jacket in full colors. Price 50 cents per volume. Postage 10 cents additional.

A new series of stories bound to make this writer more popular than ever with her host of girl readers.

Every one will want to know Betty Gordon, and every one will be sure to love her.

BETTY GORDON AT BRAMBLE FARM

BETTY GORDON IN WASHINGTON

BETTY GORDON IN THE LAND OF OIL

BETTY GORDON AT BOARDING SCHOOL

BETTY GORDON AT MOUNTAIN CAMP

BETTY GORDON AT OCEAN PARK

BETTY GORDON AND HER SCHOOL CHUMS

BETTY GORDON AT RAINBOW RANCH

BETTY GORDON IN MEXICAN WILDS

BETTY GORDON AND THE LOST PEARLS

BETTY GORDON ON THE CAMPUS

BETTY GORDON AND THE HALE TWINS

BETTY GORDON AT MYSTERY FARM

BETTY GORDON ON NO-TRAIL ISLAND

BETTY GORDON AND THE MYSTERY GIRL

Send for Our Free Illustrated Catalogue

CUPPLES & LEON COMPANY, Publishers New York

(← Keyboard shortcut) Previous Contents (Keyboard shortcut →)
 Novels To Read Online Free

Scan the QR code to download MoboReader app.

Back to Top

shares