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And so on, with little jokes on each class, and on the Latin teachers too, and last of all about the club!” “Another time, nearly all the committee were girls in the Caesar class, and they suggested making a Roman camp. There was so much to do, and we found it such fun, that we worked a second month on it. They wrote the different things on slips, the committee had, I mean,” Ruth explained, “and each girl drew one from the bag. I remember mine said, “Choose three helpers, and bring up a sand-table from the kindergarten. (Permission given already.) Make a level place for the camp, a slope to a brook on one side, and a trench eight feet deep!’ “Some girls made tents, some dressed dolls for the different kinds of soldiers, some sewed S. P. Q. R. on little banners, others made pasteboard armor of all sorts. The girls, with Miss Hill's help, had thought of everything we could possibly use,_scissors, paste and glue, paints, pieces of cloth, sewing things, everything was provided. And when it was done, after two afternoons' work, we invited the other Caesar classes— the poor girls who were n’t lucky enough to have Miss Hill—to see it.” “It must have been fun,” Betty acknowledged. “Anyway, Caesar would n’t be so deadly dull, just battles and pitching camps, if you could really make the camp yourself. Now tell me about the tableaux, please.” “Oh, that grew out of another meeting we had,” answered Nan. “It was a costume party—people were asked to come dressed like some character in Virgil or Caesar or Cicero, or in Roman history. Each girl was numbered when she came into the gym, and you had to guess who they all were, and write them on your card. We had every one you could possibly think of gods and goddesses, Roman soldiers, senators and emperors like the statues, lictors, a vestal virgin, and so on. Some of them were most ingenious, some were just funny, but every single one was good. You see, they were all submitted to Miss Hill first.” “But it must have been lots of trouble,” said Betty, “and expense, too.” “Oh no! A few yards of cheap cheesecloth will make a toga, and it does n’t need much sewing, just drape it on and pin it in place. The girls made the things they carried, or borrowed them from the studio or the history teachers.” “Next, the Latin Club voted to raise some money for a gift to the library,” Nan con
tinued. “Did n’t we say it was the livest club of all? We talked over various plans, and decided to give some tableaux, using what we had done for the costume party. We made nearly seventy-five dollars,” she added proudly. “Now that must have been just heaps and heaps of work,” Betty insisted, “and cost a lot, and taken lots of time. If you're going to charge people, you just have to do it well, and that means rehearsing till—till you 're black in the face!” “But none of those things happened, Betty, not one. Miss Hill thought of all that, and she tried to plan it so that no one in the Latin Club could say she was being pushed with extra work at the end of the year. And how much did it cost, Jane? You ’re treasurer.” “Not how much, how little! Under five dollars,” was the prompt answer. “Two dollars for printing the tickets, and the rest for a few things we had to rent from a costumer, a helmet, some armor, Caesar's long purple robe, the spears, and so on. You see it really was n’t expensive, Betty.” “But the work! How did you do that?” “To begin, the committee talked everything over with Miss Hill. They made a list of the tableaux we would have, and those that called for only one girl were assigned first. One would suggest, then another, Miss Hill would help sometimes. Next the tableaux for two or three people: then all the rest were divided into two groups, for the senate scenes and the Gaul's attack on Rome when the geese saved the city. For every tableau one girl was appointed as a sort of stage-manager she had to see to all the details, pose the girls, and be generally responsible. Of course, that did n’t mean that she could n't be in another one. All this was planned in two half-hour meetings. You see, we had a good committee, and there was always Miss Hill!” “Anyway, you must have spent lots of time on rehearsals?” “Wrong again! We had only two, and two were all we needed. Some managers, I believe, did try theirs over, once or twice, if the drapery was hard to get just right, or there were several girls in it; but that did n’t mean every one had to be there. Of course, the managers were constantly consulting with Miss Hill, to report progress or ask for help, or to show what the herald was to read.” “A herald! What for? to explain to the audience?”
“Yes, that was another of Miss Hill's suggestions. The elementary-school children were all invited—for ten cents! and the stories were told to them, and sometimes the Latin translated. Yes, there were more than tableaux! Cicero really spoke the first paragraph of his speech, right to Catiline, after the other senators had moved away, leaving him quite alone on the benches.” “And Dido really asked AEneas to tell her the story of his wanderings, and her poetry scanned too! Miss Hill's girls can talk Latin, you see—it 's not dead for us!” said Lois. “And your cousin made a big poster for the bulletin-board, of the geese honking and squawking in the fort, and the shadowy figures of the Gauls coming up the hill.” “That 's just it!” sighed Betty. “We never could have anything like that in our school. The assembly-room has a flat floor, and no stage at all, just a platform.” “But ours has a flat floor too. The little girls sat in front, and the grown-ups stood when they could n’t see. Any school could do as well as we did. Why, our platform is n't a stage at all; it 's only two steps up; and the curtains we had did n’t work very well, and never would stay together while we were getting ready. And all the background we had was some old green hangings, and a statue of Minerva out of the studio.” “Yes, Minerva!” laughed Mildred. “And in the senate scene, Caesar has to stand by Pompey's statue, you remember, when Brutus stabs him. But that was the only statue we had. So we made a big sign and hung it around her neck: TO-DAY THIS IS POMPEY. I guess Minerva was a bit surprised, but it made one more thing for the audience to enjoy.” “Oh dear! How I do wish I’d been there! Have n’t you any pictures of it?” “Why, Katherine, you did a lot of them! Don't say Miss Cushing wanted them all for the studio exhibit!” “Only a few of them, I think. But you know they are n’t much—only two-minute sketches, so they don’t begin to tell the whole story,” Katherine answered rather shyly, opening a portfolio of drawings. “You 've no idea how hard it was! I had to work like lightning. You see, Betty, we had to pass in twenty two-minute things, and I 'd been absent so much I 'd missed nearly all the class-time Miss Cushing gave for them; so it was just up to me to get those tableaux. Some of them, like this one of Helen as the
Cumaean Sibyl, I touched up afterward, from a photograph; and this one, of Apollo catching Daphne. Do you remember Lowell's puns, girls, that the herald gave? Then here is Janus, the two-faced god, like the ‘poor little rich girl's' nurse. This is supposed to be Dido, with her sister in attendance, hearing AEneas tell his story. The little girl? Why, AEneas' son of course!” “Oh, here are some that I know!” exclaimed Betty, with delight; “Niobe and her daughter, Caesar and the lictors with axes and rods, Romulus and Remus playing with the wolf, and Juno's geese. Now, who 's this?” “Brutus, with the heads of his two sons. Was n’t that a clever stunt to borrow the casts out of the studio? Yes, Betty, that is a vestal virgin, and her lamp is over two thousand years old, Miss Hill brought it from Italy.” “And one of Cornelia's sons wore a really old necklace, too,” put in Ruth. “And Brutus's dagger was an antique one; and Caesar's stylus might have been the very one he used—at least, it 's old enough!” “And this is the herald, dressed in white with red bands, reading the stories from his scroll. That was all for the little girls' benefit. It was Miss Hill's idea to send the herald, in costume, to each class-room and invite them to come. It gets them interested in Latin before they ever begin it. The only trouble is, they'll all insist on being in her class!” “One of their teachers told Miss Cushing,” said Jane, “that our party was a good example of the Gary idea—to give the younger children a taste of what we were doing, and make it so attractive that they 'll want it
themselves. And she said Miss Hill's Latin Club had succeeded!” “Succeeded! I should think so,” said
Betty, enthusiastically. “I see now why you ’re all so interested in your club, and so wild about your Miss Hill. If we can't borrow her, I'm wondering if you 'd mind if we used your ideas and start something like it at home?” “Mind? Of course not! Imitation 's the sincerest flattery, you know.” “And your girls will have plans of their own, you 'll find. Do promise to exchange with us.” “I will,” said Betty. And this story, to tell the Latin students of St. NICHOLAS about the club, is the outcome. Why not try it in your school?
By ROY J. SNELL
CHAPTER II THE MYSTERIOUS PHI BETA CHI
A YEAR and a half had passed, when, on the day of the beginning of our second mysterious episode, Marion found herself in a spot even more interesting than Mutineer's Island. From where she stood, brushes and palette in hand, she could see a broad stretch of drifting ice, which chained the restless arctic sea at Cape Prince of Wales, Alaska. She gloried in all the wealth of light and shadow that lay like a changing panorama before her. She thrilled at the thought of the mighty forces that shifted the massive ice-floes as they drifted from nowhere to nowhere. Now, for the thousandth time, she stood spellbound before it. Suddenly the spell was broken. Throwing up her hands in wild glee, she exclaimed, “The mail! The mail!” The coming of the carrier was, indeed, a great event in this out-of-the-way spot. Once a month he came whirling around the point, behind a swift-footed dog-team. He came unheralded. Conditions of snow and storm governed his time of travel, yet come he always did. No throng greeted his arrival. No eager crowd hovered about the latticed window waiting for the mail to be “made up.” If a dozen letters were in the sack, that was what might be expected. But these had come eighteen hundred miles by dog-team. Precious messages they were. To-morrow, perhaps a bearded miner would drop in from Tin City, which was a city only in name. This lone miner would claim one of the letters. Two perhaps would go to another on Saw Tooth Mountain. Next week, an Eskimo, happening down from Shishmaref Island, seventy-five miles north, would take three letters to Ben Norton and his sister, the government teachers for Eskimos. Two would go into a well-filled pigeonhole, which was consigned to Thompson, the teacher on the Little Diomede Island, twenty-two miles across the drifting ice. Later, a native would be paid ten sacks of flour for attempting to cross the floe and deliver the contents of that box. There might be the scrawled note of some Eskimo, a stray letter or two, and the rest would be
for Marion. At the present moment, she was the only white person at Cape Prince of Wales, a little town of three hundred and fifty Eskimos. Marion was substituting for the government school-teacher, her cousin Lucile, while the latter was away at Nome helping the natives dispose of their reindeer meat. Both girls had finished high school, when strange open doors had appeared before them. Lucile, who had always felt a wild desire to spend a year in the Arctic, had been offered the teaching position at Wales; Marion, who, since very early childhood, had spent all her time with brushes and paints, had been given a wonderful commission. It came from that very anthropologist who had relieved them of their responsibility toward the strange boy who came swimming to them from the sea. She was to spend the winter with her cousin at Cape Prince of Wales and was to make sketches of the natives and of their homes—sketches which would be preserved for all time, to tell the story of a fast-vanishing race. And here she was at this moment, “painting her fingertips off.” “Pretty light this time,” smiled the grizzled mail-carrier, as he reached the cabin at the top of the hill, “mebby ten letters.” The carrier launched at once into a recital of coast gossip. Marion did not hear him. Gossip did not interest her. Besides, she had found a letter that interested her even more than those addressed to her. A very careful penman had drawn the Greek letters Phi Beta Chi on the outside of an envelop. and beneath it had written, ‘Cape Prince of Wales, Alaska.' She was on the point of sharing the mystery with the carrier, but checked herself. Just some new gossip for him was her mental comment. “Here's the sack,” she said, noting that he had finished drinking the coffee she had prepared for him. “Phi Beta Chi,” Marion pronounced the letters softly to herself as the door closed. “Now who could that be?” She was still puzzling over the mysterious letter when, after a hasty luncheon, she again took up her palette and brushes and wound her way around the hill to a point where a
“If another letter like that one comes to me here, you keep it for me, will you?” “Why, yes, only I won't be here much longer. I'm going to Nome after the “breakup.' • ? “I 'm going north. I 'll be back before then. But if I’m not, you keep it, will you?” There was a tense eagerness about him that stirred her strongly. “Why, yes, I–I—guess so. But what shall I do if you don't get back before I leave?” “Take it with you. Leave word where I can find you, and take it.” “You see,” he half apologized, after a moment's thought, “these northern P.O.'s change hands so much, so many people handle the mail, that I–I'm afraid I might lose one of these letters, and—and—they 're mighty important; at least, one of them is going to be. Will you do it? I—I think I'd trust you—though I don’t just know why.” “Yes,’ ” Marion said slowly, “I 'll do that.” Three minutes later she saw him skilfully disentangling his dogs and sending them on their way. “What 's all the mystery, I 'd like to know?” she whispered to herself. She gave a sudden start. For the first time she realized that he had not given her his name. “And I promised to personally conduct that mysterious mail of his!” she exclaimed under her breath.
CHAPTER III “FOR HE IS A WHITE MAN's DOG”
Two months had elapsed since the mysterious college-boy had passed on north with his dog-team. Many things could have happened to him in those months. As Marion sat looking away at the vast expanse of drifting ice which had been restless in its movements of late, telling of the coming of the spring breakup, she wondered what had happened to the frank-eyed, friendly boy. He had not returned. Had a blizzard caught him and snatched his life away? The rivers were overflowing their banks now, though thick and rotten ice was still beneath the milky water. Had he completed his mission North, and was he now struggling to make his way southward? Or was he securely housed in some out-of-the-way cabin waiting for open water and a schooner? A letter had come—a letter in a blue en
velop and addressed, as was the other, to Phi Beta Chi. That was after Lucile's return. Lucile had been back for a month now. The two girls had laughed and wondered about that letter. They had put it in the pigeonhole, and there it now was. But Marion had not forgotten her promise to take it with her in case the boy did not return before she left the cape. As she sat dreaming there in the spring sunshine she started suddenly. Something had touched her foot. “Oh!” she exclaimed, then laughed. The most forlorn-looking dog she had ever seen had touched her shoe with his nose. His hair was ragged and matted, and his bones protruded at every possible point. His mouth was set awry, one side hanging half open. “So!” she said, “it 's you; you ’re looking worse than common.” The dog opened his mouth, allowing his long tongue to loll out. “I suppose that means you 're hungry. Well, for once you are in luck. The natives caught a hundred or more salmon through the ice. I have some of them. Fish, old top! Fish! What say?” The dog stood on his hind legs and barked for joy. He read the sign in her eyes, if he did not understand her lip message. In an other moment he was gulping down a fat, four-pound salmon, while Marion eyed him, a curious questioning look on her face. “Now,” she said, as the dog finished, “the question is, what are we going to do with you? You ’re an old dog. You're no good in a team—too old; bad feet. No, sir, you can’t be any good, or you would n’t be back here in five days. We gave you to Tommy Illayok to lead his team. You were a leader in your day, all right, and you 'd lead 'em yet if you could, poor old soul!” There was a catch in her voice. To her, dogs were next to humans. In the North they were necessary servants as well as friends. “The thing that makes it hard to turn you out,” she went on huskily, “is the fact that you 're a white man's dog. Yes, sir! A white man's dog. And that means an awful lot—means you 'd stick till death to any white person who 'd feed you and call you friend. Jack London has written a book about a white man's dog that turned wild and joined a wolf-pack. It 's a wonderful book, but I don’t believe it. A white man's dog wants a white man for a friend; and if he loses one, he 'll keep traveling until he