“To the rescue!” shrieked Tavia, charging back to the stepping stones. “Forward, my bold hearties! Man overboard! Who’s got a rope?”
Then she lost the power of speech in a burst of laughter; for certain it was, poor Ned Ebony was an awfully funny sight!
But Dorothy was at hand to do something practical. She sprang back upon the nearest boulder to the one that had turned under her unfortunate schoolmate, and in half a minute she had dragged Edna out of the cold water.
“Oh! oh! OH!” sputtered Edna in crescendo. “I―I’m drowned―dead! Oh, do help me out! You mean thing, Tavia! Oh, I’m frozen!”
The water was ice cold, and the temperature of the air was close to the freezing point. This adventure might easily become serious, and Dorothy knew it.
“We must hurry her to the Belding station,” she cried. “Come on, Neddie! You must run.”
11 “Run? I can’t. See how water-soaked my skirt is. I can’t run.”
“You must!” declared Dorothy. “Come, Tavia―take her other hand. Have you her bag, Cologne? We’ll run ahead with her and see if we can find somebody to take her in. She must be dried and have other clothing. Oh, hurry!”
“I can’t run, Doro Dale! I tell you I can’t,” wailed the saturated girl.
But they made her hurry, and in fifteen minutes had her in the sitting room belonging to the station agent’s wife, where she was helped to disrobe, dried, dosed with hot tea, and finally managed to dress herself in dry garments borrowed from the bags of her schoolmates, the contents of her own bag being wet, too.
There was no chance to get on to Glenwood for two hours; so the party of schoolgirls must of necessity occupy themselves as best they might around the Belding station. Meanwhile a better introduction to Dorothy Dale and her friends, as well as a brief sketch of “what has gone before” in this series, may not come amiss.
In “Dorothy Dale: A Girl of To-day” my heroine was some three years younger than she is when she makes her bow in this present volume. But even then she was a bright, sprightly girl, more thoughtful than the average of her age, perhaps; yet thoroughly a girl. Nevertheless, because12 of the illness of her father, Major Dale, of Dalton (she was motherless) Dorothy took up the work of publishing his weekly paper, The Dalton Bugle.
At that time the paper was all the Dales had to depend on for a livelihood; therefore Dorothy’s success as a publisher and editor meant much to herself and her immediate family which, beside the Major, consisted of her two much younger brothers, Joe and Roger. With her closest chum, Octavia Travers, Dorothy had many adventures while running the paper―some merely amusing but others of a really perilous nature.