Produced by Roger Frank and the Online DistributedProofreading Team at https://www.fadedpage.net
THE GIRLS OF CENTRAL HIGH ON TRACK AND FIELD
BOBBY WON BY A CLEAN TWO YARDS]
THE GIRLS OF CENTRAL HIGH ON TRACK AND FIELD
THE CHAMPIONS OF THE SCHOOL LEAGUE
GERTRUDE W. MORRISON
Author of The Girls of Central High, The Girls of Central High on Lake Luna, etc.
THE SAALFIELD PUBLISHING CO.
AKRON, OHIO -- NEW YORK
MADE IN U. S. A.
Copyright, 1914 by
GROSSET & DUNLAP
Table of Contents
- CHAPTER I--THE GIRL ON THE STONE FENCE - CHAPTER II--HIDE AND SEEK - CHAPTER III--THE GYPSY CAMP - CHAPTER IV--THE GYPSY QUEEN - CHAPTER V--THE SITUATION LOOKS SERIOUS - CHAPTER VI--PRESSING HOSPITALITY - CHAPTER VII--THE YELLOW KERCHIEF AGAIN - CHAPTER VIII--THE GIRL IN THE STORM - CHAPTER IX--THE GYPSIES AGAIN - CHAPTER X--EVE'S ADVENTURE - CHAPTER XI--BOBBY IS INTERESTED - CHAPTER XII--THE RACES - CHAPTER XIII--WHAT MARGIT SAID - CHAPTER XIV--ANOTHER FLITTING - CHAPTER XV--ANOTHER RIVALRY ON THE FIELD - CHAPTER XVI--FIVE IN A TOWER - CHAPTER XVII--EVE TAKES A RISK - CHAPTER XVIII--THE CONSCIENCE OF PRETTYMAN SWEET - CHAPTER XIX--MARGIT AND MISS CARRINGTON MEET - CHAPTER XX--INTER-CLASS RIVALRY - CHAPTER XXI--MARGIT'S MYSTERY - CHAPTER XXII--LOU POTTER SCORES ONE - CHAPTER XXIII--THE FIELD DAY - CHAPTER XXIV--MARGIT PAYS A DEBT - CHAPTER XXV--THE WINNING POINTS
CHAPTER I--THE GIRL ON THE STONE FENCE
The roads were muddy, but the uplands and the winding sheep-paths acrossthem had dried out under the caressing rays of the Spring sun and, withthe budding things of so many delicate shades of green, the groves andpastures--all nature, indeed--were garbed in loveliness.
The group of girls had toiled up the ascent to an overhanging rock onthe summit of a long ridge. Below--in view from this spot for somerods--wound the brown ribbon of road which they had been following untilthe upland paths invited their feet to firmer tread.
There were seven of the girls and every one of the seven--in herway--was attractive. But the briskest, and most eager, and mostenergetic, was really the smaller--a black-eyed, be-curled, laughingmiss who seemed bubbling over with high spirits.
"Sit down--do, Bobby! It makes me simply _ache_ to see you flittingaround like a robin. And I'm tired to death!" begged one girl, who haddropped in weariness on the huge, gray rock.
"How can you expect to dance half the night, Jess Morse, and then startoff on a regular walking 'tower?'" demanded the girl addressed. "_I_didn't go to Mabel Boyd's party last night. As Gee Gee says, 'Iconserved my energies.'"
"I don't believe anything ever tires you, Bobs," said the girl who satnext to Jess--a vigorous, good looking maid with a very direct gaze, whowas attractively gowned in a brown walking dress. "You are next door toperpetual motion."
"How'd you know who I was next door to?" laughed Clara Hargrew, whom herfriends insisted on calling "Bobby" because her father, Tom Hargrew, hadnicknamed her that when she was little, desiring a boy in the familywhen only girls had been vouchsafed to him.
"And it is a fact that that French family who have moved into the littlehouse next us are just as lively as fleas. They could be called'perpetual motion,' all right.
"And oh, say!" cried the lively Bobby, "we had the greatest joke theother night on Lil Pendleton. You know, she thinks she's some Frenchscholar--and she _does_ speak high school French pretty glibly----"
"How's that, young lady?" interposed the girl in brown. "Put away yourhammer. Do you _dare_ knock anything taught in Central High?"
"That's all right, Mother Wit," drawled Bobby Hargrew. "But any brand ofFrench that one learns out of a book is bound to sound queer in the earsof the Parisian born--believe me! And these Sourat people are the realthing."
"But what about Lily Pendleton?" demanded one of the two girls who weredressed exactly alike and looked so much alike that one might have beenthe mirrored reflection of the other.
"Why," replied Bobby, thus urged by one of the Lockwood twins, "Lil hadsome of us over to her house the other evening, and she is forevergetting new people around her--like her mother, you know. Mrs. Pendletonhas the very _queerest_ folk to some of her afternoons-long-hairedpianists, and long-haired Anarchists, and once she had a short-hairedpugilist--only he was reformed, I believe, and called himself a physicalinstructor, or a piano-mover, or something----"
"Stop, stop!" cried Jess Morse, making a grab at Bobby. "You're runningon like Tennyson's brook. You're a born gossip."
"You're another! Don't you want to hear about these Sourats?"
"I don't think any of us will hear the end of your story if you don'tstick to the text a little better, Bobby," remarked a quiet, gracefulgirl, who stood upright, gazing off over the hillside and wooded valleybelow, to the misty outlines of the city so far away.
"Then keep 'em still, will you, Nell?" demanded Bobby, of the lastspeaker. "Listen: The Sourats were invited with the rest of us over toLily's, and Lil sang us some songs in American French. Afterward I heardHester Grimes ask the young man, Andrea Sourat, if the songs did notmake him homesick, and with his very politest bow, he said:
"'No, Mademoiselle! Only seek.'
"I don't suppose the poor fellow knew how it sounded in English, but itcertainly was an awful slap at Lil," giggled Bobby.
"Well, I wish they wouldn't give us languages at High," sighed NellieAgnew, Dr. Arthur Agnew's daughter, when the laugh had subsided, andstill looking off over the prospect. "I know my German is dreadful."
"Let's petition to do away with Latin and Greek, too," suggested Bobby,who was always deficient in those studies. "'Dead languages'--what's thegood of 'em if they are deceased, anyway? I've got a good mind to askOld Dimple a question next time."
"What's the question, Bobby?" asked Jess, lazily.
"Why, if they're 'dead languages,' who killed 'em? He ought to have amonument, whoever he was--and if he'd only buried them good and deep hemight have had _two_ monuments."
"If you gave a little more time to studying books and less time tostudying mischief----" began the girl in brown, when suddenly Nelliestartled them all by exclaiming:
"Look there! See that girl down there? What do you suppose she isdoing?"
Some of them jumped up to look over the edge of the rock on which theyrested; but Jess Morse refused to be aroused.
"What's the girl doing?" she drawled. "It's got to be something awfullyfunny to get me on my feet again----"
"Hush!" commanded the girl in brown.
"Can she hear us, 'way down there, Laura Belding?" asked Nellie Agnew,anxiously. "See here! Something's chasing her--eh?"
The girl who had attracted their attention was quite unknown to any ofthe walking party. And she was, at first sight, an odd-looking person.She wore no hat, and her black hair streamed behind her in a wild tangleas she ran along the muddy road. She had a vivid yellow handkerchieftied loosely about her throat, and her skirt was green--a combination ofcolors bound to attract attention at a distance.
When the girls first saw this fugitive--for such she seemed to be--shewas running from the thick covert of pine and spruce which masked theroad to the west, and now she leaped upon the stone fence which borderedthe upper edge of the highway as far as the spectators above could traceits course.
The stone wall was old, and broken in places. It must have offered veryinsecure footing; but the oddly dressed girl ran along it with theconfidence of a chipmunk.
"Did you ever see anything like that?" gasped Bobby. "I'd like to haveher b
"And her feet!" agreed Jess, struggling to her knees the better to seethe running girl.
"She's bound to fall!" gasped Nellie.
"Not she!" said Eve Sitz, the largest and quietest girl of the group."Those Gypsies run like dogs and are just as sure-footed as--aschamois," added the Swiss girl, harking back to a childhood memory ofher own mountainous country.
"A Gypsy!" asked Bobby, in a hushed voice. "You don't mean it?"
"She's dressed like one," said Eve.
"And see how brown she is," added Laura Belding, otherwise "Mother Wit."
"There! she almost fell," gasped one of the twins who stood now, witharms entwined, looking at the flying girl with nervous expectancy. Itdid not seem as though she could run the length of the stone fencewithout coming to grief.
But it was a quick journey. With a flying leap the girl in the greenskirt and yellow scarf disappeared in a clump of brush which masked thewall at its easterly end, just where the road dipped toward the noisybrook which curved around that shoulder of the ridge and, later, fellover a ledge into a broad pool--the murmur of the cascade being faintlyaudible to the spectators on the summit of the ridge.
"She's gone!" spoke Bobby, finally, breaking the silence.
"But who's that coming after her?" demanded Nellie, looking back towardthe West. "There! down in the shadow of the trees. Isn't that a figuremoving, too?"