AUTHOR OF "DOROTHY DALE: A GIRL OF TO-DAY," "DOROTHY DALE AT
GLENWOOD SCHOOL," ETC.
CUPPLES & LEON COMPANY
THE DOROTHY DALE SERIES
By Margaret Penrose
DOROTHY DALE: A GIRL OF TO-DAY
DOROTHY DALE AT GLENWOOD SCHOOL
DOROTHY DALE'S GREAT SECRET
(Other Volumes in preparation)
CUPPLES & LEON COMPANY NEW YORK
Copyright, 1909, by
Cupples & Leon Company
Dorothy Dale's Great Secret
I. An Automobile Ride 1
II. Tavia Has Plans 17
III. A Cup of Tea 28
IV. The Apparition 39
V. An Untimely Letter 47
VI. On the Lawn 55
VII. At Sunset Lake 63
VIII. A Lively Afternoon 72
IX. Dorothy and Tavia 79
X. Leaving Glenwood 88
XI. A Jolly Home-Coming 96
XII. Dorothy is Worried 109
XIII. Little Urania 118
XIV. The Runaway 129
XV. A Spell of the "Glumps" 139
XVI. Dorothy in Buffalo 147
XVII. At the Play 161
XVIII. Behind the Scenes 172
XIX. The Clue 183
XX. Dorothy and the Manager 195
XXI. Adrift in a Strange City 205
XXII. In Dire Distress 211
XXIII. The Secret--Conclusion 231
DOROTHY DALE'S GREAT SECRET
AN AUTOMOBILE RIDE
"There is one thing perfectlydelightful
about boarding schools,"
declared Tavia, "when the term closes we can go away, and leave it in
another world. Now, at Dalton, we would have to see the old schoolhouse
every time we went to Daly's for a pound of butter, a loaf of bread--and
oh, yes! I almost forgot! Mom said we could get some bologna. Whew! Don't
your mouth water, Dorothy? We always did get good bologna at Daly's!"
"Bologna!" echoed Dorothy. "As if the young ladies of Glenwood School
their appetites with such vulgar
At this she snatched up an empty cracker
box, almost devouring its
parifine paper, in hopes of finding
a few more crumbs, although Tavia had
poured the last morsels of the wafers down her own throat
before this conversation took place. Yes, Tavia had even made a funnel
the paper and "took" the powdered biscuits as doctors administer
"All the same," went on Tavia, "I distinctly
remember that you had a
longing for the skin of my sausage, along with the end piece, which you
always claimed for your own share."
"Oh, please stop!" besought
Dorothy, "or I shall have to purloin my hash
from the table to-night and stuff it into--"
of your new, brown kid gloves," finished Tavia. "They're the
very color of a nice, big, red-brown bologna, and I believe the
inspiration is a direct message. 'The Evolution of a Bologna Sausage,'
modern edition, bound in full kid. Mine for the other glove. Watch all
the hash within sight to-night, and we'll ask the girls to our
"Dear old Dalton," went on Dorothy with a sigh. "After all there is no
place like home," and she dropped her blond head on her arms, in the
familiar pose Tavia described as "thinky."
"But home was never like this," declared the other, following up
with her usual interjection of slang. At the same
moment she made a dart for a tiny bottle of Dorothy's perfume, which was
almost emptied down the front of Tavia's blue dress, before the owner of
the treasure had time to interfere.
"Oh, that's mean!" exclaimed Dorothy. "Aunt Winnie sent me that by mail.
It was a special kind--"
"And you know my weakness
for specials--real bargains! There!" and Tavia
caught Dorothy up in her arms. "I'll rub it all on your head. Tresses of
sunshine, perfumed with incense!"
"Please stop!" begged Dorothy. "My hair is all fixed!"
"Well, it's 'fixest' now. The superlative you know. I do hate your hair
prim. Never knew a girl with heavenly
hair who did not want to make a
mattress of it. I have wonderfully
enhanced the beauty of your coiffure,
mam'selle, for which I ask to be permitted one kiss!" and at this the two
girls became so entangled in each other's embrace
that it would have been
hard to tell whom the blond head belonged to, or who might be the owner
of the bronze
But Dorothy Dale was the blond, and Octavia Travers, "sported" the dark
tresses. "Sported" we say advisedly, for Tavia loved sport better than
she cared for her dinner, while Dorothy, an entirely different type of
girl, admired the things of this world that were good and beautiful, true
and reliable; but at the same time she was no prude, and so enjoyed her
friend's sports, whenever
involved no serious consequences.
That "Doro" as her chums called Dorothy, and Tavia could be so unlike,
and yet be such friends, was a matter of surprise to all their
acquaintances. But those who have read of the young ladies in the
previous stories of the series, "Dorothy Dale;--A Girl of To-Day," and
"Dorothy Dale at Glenwood School," have had sufficient introduction
these interesting characters to understand how natural it was for a lily
(our friend Dorothy) to love and encourage
a frolicsome wild flower
(Tavia) to cling to the cultured stalk, to keep close to the saving
influence of the lily's heart--so close that no gardener
would dare to
tear away that wild flower from the lily's clasp, without running
risk of cruelly
injuring the more tender plant.
So it was with these two girls. No one could have destroyed their love
and friendship for each other without so displacing their personalities
as to make the matter one of serious consequences.
Many other girls had coveted Dorothy's love; some had even tried to
obtain it by false stories, or greatly exaggerated accounts of Tavia's
frolics. But Dorothy loved Tavia, and believed in her, so all attempts to
destroy her faith were futile. And it was this faith, when the time came,
that inspired Dorothy Dale to keep the Great Secret.
Glenwood School was situated
amid the mountains of New England, and the
two girls had completed one term there. On the afternoon when this story
opens they were lounging in their own particular room, nineteen by
for the recreation
bell to send its muffled chimes down
They were waiting
impatience, for the "hour of freedom" to
come, for they expected visitors in an automobile.
"Like as not," Tavia broke in suddenly, without offering
a single excuse
for the surprising
interjection, "the Fire Bird will break down, and we
won't get our ride after all."
"Cheerful speculation," interposed Dorothy, "but not exactly probable.
The Fire Bird is an auto that never breaks down."
"What, never?" persisted Tavia, laughing.
"No, never," declared Dorothy. "Of course all automobiles are subject to
turns, but to really break down--Aunt Winnie would never allow her boys
to run a machine not entirely reliable."
"O-o-o-oh!" drawled Tavia, in mock surprise. Then the girls settled down
The Fire Bird, was a touring car in which the girls had enjoyed some
noted rides about their home town of Dalton. Dorothy's aunt, Mrs.
Winthrop White, of North Birchland, owned the car, and her two sons,
Edward and Nathaniel (or Ned and Nat, to give them the titles they always
went by) good looking young fellows, were usually in charge
of it when
their favorite cousin Dorothy, and her friend Tavia, were the other
It may as well be stated at this time that Nat and Tavia were excellent
friends, and even on a ride that had been termed notorious
the strange experiences that befell
the party while making a tour), Tavia
and Nat had managed to have a good time, and made the best of their
It was not surprising
then that on this afternoon, while Dorothy and
Tavia waited for another ride in the Fire Bird, their brains should be
busy with speculative
thoughts. Tavia was sure Nat would think she had
grown to be a real young lady, and Dorothy was so anxious
to see both her
cousins, that she fell to thinking they might have outgrown the jolly,
big-boy relationship, and would come to her stiff and stylish young men.
The peal of the recreation
bell in the outer hall suddenly aroused the
girls, and, at the same moment the "honk-honk" of the Fire Bird's horn
announced the arrival
of the long expected boys.
"There they are!" exclaimed Tavia, quite unnecessarily, for Dorothy was
already making her pearl-tinted veil secure over her yellow head; and
while Tavia was wasting
her time, looking out of the window at the auto,
which was surrounded by boys and girls who stood on the path, plainly
admiring the two cousins and the stylish car, Dorothy was quite ready for
"Do come, Tavia!" she called. "The afternoon is short enough!"
"Com--ing!" shouted her irrepressible companion
in high glee, making a
lunge for her own veil, and tossing it over her head as she dashed down
Dorothy stopped at the office on her way out to tell the principal, Mrs.
Pangborn, that the expected visitors had arrived, and that she and Tavia
were starting for the ride, permission
to go having been granted in
Outside, just beyond the arch in the broad driveway, the Fire Bird panted
and puffed, as if anxious
to take flight
again. Ned was at the steering
wheel and as for Nat, he was helping Tavia into the machine "with both
hands" some jealous
onlookers declared afterward. However Dorothy's
friend Rose-Mary Markin (known to her chums as Cologne because of her
euphonious first names) insisted differently
in the argument
followed the puffing away of the car.
It was no small wonder that the coming of the Fire Bird should excite
among the girls at Glenwood school. An automobile ride was
no common happening
there, for while many of the parents of the young
ladies owned such machines, Glenwood was far away from home and so were
Edna Black, called Ned Ebony, and regarded as Tavia's most intimate
friend, insisted that Tavia looked like a little brown sparrow, as she
flew off, with the streamers of her brown veil flying like wings. Molly
Richards, nick-named Dick, and always "agin' th' government" like the
foreigner in politics, declared that the girls "were not in it" with the
boys, for, as she expressed it, "girls always do look like animated
rag-bags in an automobile."
"Boys just put themselves on the seat and stay put," she announced, "but
girls--they seem to float above the car, and they give me the shivers!"
"All the same," interrupted Cologne, "the damsels manage to hang on."
"And Dorothy was a picture," ventured Nita Brant, the girl given to
"excessive expletive ejaculations," according to the records of the Nick
Association, the official club of the Juniors.
So the Fire Bird, with its gay little party, flew over the hills of
Glenwood. Dorothy was agreeably surprised to find her cousins just as
good natured and just as boy-like as they had been when she had last seen
them, and they, in turn, complimented her on her improved appearance.
"You look younger though you talk older," Ned assured
Dorothy, with a
nice regard for the feminine
"And Tavia looks--looks--how?" stammered Nat, with a significant
his elder brother.
"Search me!" replied the other evasively, determined not to be trapped by
Nat into any "expert opinion."
"Beyond words!" finished Nat, with a glance of unstinted admiration
"Bad as that?" mocked Tavia. "The girls do call me 'red head' and
'brick-top.' Yes, even 'carroty' is thrown at me when I do anything to
make Ned mad. You know that's the girl," she hurried
to add, "the
girl--Edna Black--Ned Ebony for short, you know. She's the jolliest
"How many of her?" asked Ned, pretending to be ignorant
of Tavia's school
"Legion," was the enthusiastic
answer, which elasticcomment
question of Edna Black, for the time being, at least.
The roads through Glenwood wound up and down like thread on a spool.
Scarcely did the Fire Bird find itself on the top of a hill before it
went scooting down to the bottom. Then another would loom up and it had
to be done all over again.
of steep grades, first tilting up and then down, kept Ned
busy throwing the clutches in and out, taking
the hills on the low gear,
then slipping into full speed ahead as a little level place was reached,
and again throwing off the power and drifting down while the brakes
screeched and hummed as if in protest at being made to work so hard. The
two girls, meanwhile, were busy speculating on what would happen if an
"something" should give way, or if the powerful car should suddenly
refuse to obey the various levers, handles, pedals and the maze of things
of which Ned seemed to have perfect command.
"This reminds me of the Switch-back Railway," remarked Nat, as the
machine suddenly lurched first up, and then down a rocky "bump."
"Y-y-y-es!" agreed Ned, shouting to be heard above the pounding of the
muffler. "It's quite like a trip on the Scenic Railway--pretty pictures
"I hope it isn't dangerous," ventured Dorothy, who had too vivid a
remembrance of the narrow escape on a previous
ride, to enjoy the
possibility of a second adventure.
"No danger at all," Ned hastened to assure her.
"A long hill at last!" exclaimed Nat, as the big strip of brown earth
uncoiled before them, like so many miles of ribbon
dropped from the sky,
with a knot somewhere in the clouds. "A long hill for sure. None of your
dinky little two-for-a-cent kinds this time!"
"Oh!" gasped Dorothy, involuntarily
catching at Ned's arm. "Be careful,
Ned took a firmer grip on the steering wheel, as he finished throwing out
the gear and shutting off the power, while the spark lever sent out a
shrill sound as he swung it in a segment
over the rachet.