Page:Betty Gordon in Washington.djvu/75

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It was settled that he should come for her about half past ten, and Betty walked home filled with thoughts of the little home town to which she would be speeding on the morrow.

"If Uncle Dick knew the things I've had to endure, I'm sure he'd say that I haven't lost my temper often, considering," she mused. "Is that something sticking out of the mail box? Why, it is, and a newspaper. I guess Mr. Peabody forgot to come down to the box to-day."

She opened the box and found the paper was addressed to her. The familiar wrapper and type told her it was the Pineville Post, to which she had subscribed when she left the town, and, tucking it under her arm, she went on to the house, intending to read an hour or so before going to bed.

Lighting the lamp in her room, Betty glanced toward her trunk mechanically. She had left it locked, but the lid was now ajar. Had some one been tampering with the lock?

"He's opened it!" she cried to herself, making a hasty examination. "How did he dare! And look at the mess everything's in!"

Alas for Betty's hour of neat and careful packing! Dainty garments were tossed about recklessly, her shoes rested on her clean handkerchiefs, and it was plain that no attempt had been made to conceal the fact that a heavy hand had