Once every six months Babe lets Constance come all over her lap. It happens at the time still known as mid-terms to the younger girls. There is, then, always coolness in the air, incipient or lingering; there is cool-weather anticipation in the air; and there is always, for Constance, a stirring, weather-borne anticipation that this time, finally, there will be more.

It is fall. Returning from the city, Babe strides across the outer grounds of Girls School, skirting playing fields where incongruous daylight lingers under a gray-green sky. On a distant practice course, the archery team takes aim at a pale, contorted mannequin; while just ahead, the presence of an unfamiliar bus testifies to the junkie headmistress's success in getting Girls School reinstated into the varsity conference. Playing to the desultory cheers of a sparse sideline crowd, a grunting clot of grunting girls labors to disgorge a rugby ball while adherents of the visiting team attend to their wounded. Because there have been so many fewer maimings and permanent facial injuries inflicted by the Girls School teams this fall, home attendance is down, and the police presence at outside events required under the terms of the reinstatement has made travel to other schools for all but the players and their girlfriends very unpopular. In consequence the drug trade has not recovered so dramatically under reinstatement as had been anticipated by the Trustees. The students are having to seek other sources of income. Some, like Babe, are making money in the city; some are even leaving school and moving to the city. The junkie headmistress has been brooding openly upon the loss of some of her best and favorite students to the working world. She believes in the life of the mind. Babe, too, believes in the life of the mind. She teaches a little English in the city and, for a slight consideration, a little to the younger girls when the faculty are drinking too heavily to teach. She tutors in archery, at which she excels. With smiling pleasure, she hears the confused and quivering thunk! of arrows piercing resistant plastic forms.

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