Part 2 out of 4
"Broke, broke, broke,
And such clothes in the windows I see!
And I would that my purse could answer
The demands that are made on she!
"O well for the millionaire's wife,
Who can pay eighty bones for a shawl,
And well for the African maids,
Who don't need any clothes at all!
"And the pennies, they all go
To the grocer, and so do the dimes,
But, O, for the little crepe meteor dress
I saw down in Oppenheim's!
"Broke, broke, broke,
And such styles in the windows I see!
What would I not give for the rest of the month
For the salary of John D!"
"Would you just as soon run up to the attic and get the blanket sheets
out of the trunk?" asked her mother when she had finished her dinner. "I
was cold in bed last night." Migwan went up promptly. She found the
sheets and laid them out, and was then seized with a desire to rummage
among the things in the trunk. She pawed over old valentines, bonnets of
a by-gone day, lace mitts, and all the useless relics that are usually
found in mother's trunk that had been _her_ mother's. Down at the
bottom, however, there was a paper package of considerable size. Migwan
opened it carefully and brought to view a dress made of white brocaded
satin, yellowed with age. A sudden inspiration struck her, and, laying
it carefully on top of the blankets, she ran downstairs to her mother.
"What is this dress?" she asked eagerly.
Mrs. Gardiner's face lighted tenderly when she saw it. "Why, that's my
wedding dress," she said.
"Oh," said Migwan in a disappointed tone, laying the dress down.
"What did you want with it?" asked her mother.
"Why, I thought if it was just a dress," replied Migwan, "I could make
it over to wear to Gladys's party, but of course if it is your wedding
dress you wouldn't care to have it changed."
"I don't see why not," said Mrs. Gardiner. "It's no good as it is. I've
never had it on since my wedding day. The material in that dress cost
two dollars a yard and is better than what you get at that price
nowadays." A sudden recollection illumined her face. "The night of the
party is my wedding anniversary," she said. "There couldn't be a better
occasion to wear it!"
"Would you really be willing to have me cut it up?" asked Migwan
rapturously clasping her hands. That afternoon her head really was so
full of party plans that she forgot to get her lessons. The dress was
laid out on the dining room table and examined as to its possibilities.
"I don't know but what it would be best to dye it some pretty shade of
green or blue," said Mrs. Gardiner, after thinking the matter over. "It
is too yellow to use as it is, and there is no time to bleach it
properly." So it was ripped up and dyed Nile green, a shade which was
particularly becoming to Migwan. There was enough goods in the train to
make the entire dress, so there was no need to do any piecing.
Instead of avoiding the subject of the party, Migwan now joined happily
in the discussions, and asked questions right and left about the best
style in which to make her dress. She said nothing about the former
function of that particular piece of goods. "Extravagant Migwan!" said
Sahwah, "getting a satin dress for the party. My mother made me get silk
poplin," Gladys's dress had arrived from New York, but she would not
breathe a word in regard to it and the girls were wild with curiosity.
Only Hinpoha was allowed to behold its glories, as a consolation for not
being able to come to the party. Of course Hinpoha had been sworn to
secrecy regarding it, but that did not keep her from rhapsodizing about
it on general principles and pitching the girls' curiosity still higher.
Now there was one girl who had been invited to the party who said very
little about it. This was Emily Meeks, who sat beside Gladys in the
session room. Emily had also entered the class this fall, but, unlike
Gladys, her path had not been marked by triumphs. She was timid and
retiring, and after being three months in the class was little better
known than she had been at first. The truth was that Emily was an
orphan, working her way through High School by taking care of the
children of one of the professors after school hours, and had neither
money nor time to spend in the company of her classmates. Gladys was
sorry for her because she always looked so sad and lonely, and, thinking
to give her one good time at least to treasure up in the memory of her
school days, invited her to the party. Emily accepted the invitation
The night of the party came at last. Migwan's dress was finished and
when she was finally arrayed in it she could compare favorably with the
wealthiest girl in the crowd. She even wore her mother's high-heeled
white satin wedding slippers with the little gold buckles, which fitted
her perfectly. She skipped away happily with a good-bye kiss to her
mother, who was tired out with her labors.
Gladys had relented at the last minute, and promised the Winnebagos that
if they would come a half hour early they might help her dress. That was
because the Winnebagos were closer kin to her than the rest of the
girls, and it would be a shame to have any one else see the dress first.
So they all gathered in Gladys's room, where the dress lay on the bed.
It was of light blue chiffon, exquisitely hand embroidered in
dainty-colored butterflies. "Oh-h," they gasped, not daring to touch it.
"There goes the bell!" exclaimed Gladys, "and I'm not even dressed. It's
some of the boys, I hear their voices," she said presently, after
listening for the sounds from below. "Run down, will you, girls, and
entertain them until I come?"
The Winnebagos departed to act the part of hostesses for their friend
and Gladys got hurriedly into her dress. Before she was ready to go down
she heard a large group of girls arriving, then another delegation of
boys. The orchestra had begun playing. Gladys's foot tapped the floor in
time to the music as she fastened up the dress. "Just wait until they
see me dance the Butterfly Dance," she was thinking, with innocent
pride. She clasped the butterflies on her shoulders in place and with a
last survey of herself in the glass she set forth to greet her guests.
When she reached the head of the stairs the bell rang again and she
paused to see who it was. From the hall upstairs she could get a view of
the entire reception room without being seen herself. The last comer was
Emily Meeks, whom the maid was relieving of her wraps. She was all
alone, apparently at a loss what to do in company, and--dressed in a
white skirt and middy blouse! Gladys could see the coldly amused glances
some of the girls were bestowing on her, and the indifference with which
she was being treated by the boys. Why did she come dressed in such a
fashion? Gladys felt a little indignant at her. Then she reflected that
Emily probably had nothing else to wear, and, besides, it didn't make
any difference if one was dressed so plainly; there were enough brightly
dressed girls to make the brilliant scene that she loved.
But at the same time a thought struck her which made her decidedly
uncomfortable. It was, "How would you like to be the odd one in the
crowd, and have all the others take notice of you because you didn't
match your surroundings? To face a battery of eyes that were amused or
scornful or pitying, according to the disposition of the owner of the
eyes? To feel lonesome in the midst of a crowd and wish you were miles
away?" With one foot on the top step Gladys hesitated. In her mind there
rose a picture--the picture of her first night in camp when she had seen
a Camp Fire Ceremonial for the first time, when she felt lonesome and
far away and out of place. Again she saw the figures circling around the
fire and heard the words of their song:
"Whose hand above this blaze is lifted
Shall be with magic touch engifted
To warm the hearts of lonely mortals
Who stand without their open portals.
* * * * *
"Whoso shall stand
By this hearthstone
Shall never stand alone----"
And later the flame had been given into her keeping, and she was
supposed to possess the magic touch to warm lonely hearts. She glanced
at herself in the long mirror in the hall, and was struck afresh by the
beauty of the dress. The shade of blue was just the right one to bring
out the tint of her eyes and the gold of her hair. From head to foot she
was a vision of loveliness such as delighted her dainty nature. One
interpretation of "Seek Beauty" was to always dress as beautifully and
becomingly as possible. Her mother was impatiently waiting for her to
come down and show herself. Then she looked over the railing again.
Emily Meeks had withdrawn from the groups of laughing girls and boys and
had crept into a corner by herself. The words of the Fire Song echoed
again in her ears:
"_Whoso shall stand
By this hearthstone
Shall never stand alone!_"
Gladys turned and fled to her room and resolutely began to unclasp the
fasteners of her butterfly dress. A ripple of astonishment went through
the rooms downstairs when she descended clad in a white linen skirt and
a middy blouse. All the girls had heard about the dress from New York
and were impatient to see it. Frances Jones and Caroline Davis stood
right at the foot of the stairs waiting for Gladys to come down so they
would not lose a detail of it, and Mrs. Evans was watching them to see
what effect the butterfly dress would have on them. When Gladys came
down dressed in a white skirt and middy she could not believe her eyes.
She hurried forward and asked in a low voice what was the matter with
the new dress.
"Nothing, mother," said Gladys sweetly, with such a beautiful smile that
her mother dropped back in perplexity. Gladys advanced straight to Emily
Meeks and greeted her first of all, with a friendly cordiality that put
her at her ease at once. Emily, who had been dismayed when she found
herself so conspicuous among all the brightly gowned girls, was
reassured when she saw Gladys similarly clad, and never found out about
that quick change of costume that had taken place after her coming. The
other girls of course understood this fine little act of courtesy, and
shamefacedly began to include Emily in their conversation and
So, if Mrs. Evans had counted on Gladys's dress that night to testify to
the soundness of the Evans fortune she was destined to be disappointed;
but on the other hand, if inborn courtesy is a sign of high birth and
breeding, then Gladys had proven herself to be a princess of the royal
HARD TIMES FOR POETS.
True to her word, Nyoda brought it about that Migwan might use the
typewriter which belonged to her landlady, and every evening after her
lessons were learned she worked diligently to master the keys. In a week
or so she managed to copy her story and sent it out again. It came back
as promptly as before, with the same kind of rejection slip. She sent it
to another magazine and began writing a new one. She worked feverishly,
and far beyond her strength. The room where the typewriter was was
directly below Nyoda's sitting room, and hearing the machine still
rattling after ten o'clock one night she calmly walked in and pulled
Migwan away from the keys. Migwan protested. "It's past closing time,"
said Nyoda firmly.
"But I must finish this page," said Migwan.
"You must nothing of the kind," said Nyoda, forcing Migwan into her
coat. "'Hold on to Health' does not mean work yourself to death.
Hereafter you stop writing at nine o'clock or I will take the typewriter
away from you."
"Oh, mayn't I stay until half past nine?" asked Migwan coaxingly.
"No, ma'm," said Nyoda emphatically. "Nine o'clock is the time. That's a
bargain. As long as you keep your part of it you may use the typewriter,
but as soon as you step over the line I go back on my part. Now
remember, 'No checkee, no shirtee.'" And Migwan perforce had to submit.
The stories came back as fast as they were sent out, and Migwan began to
have new sidelights on the charmed life supposedly led by authors and
authoresses. The struggle to get along without getting into debt was
becoming an acute one with the Gardiner family. Tom delivered papers
during the week and helped out in a grocery store on Saturday, and his
earnings helped slightly, but not much. Midwinter taxes on two houses
ate up more than two weeks' income. With almost superhuman ingenuity
Migwan apportioned their expenses so the money covered them. This she
had to do practically alone, for her mother was as helpless before a
column of figures as she would have been in a flood. Meat practically
disappeared from the table. The big bag of nuts which Tom had gathered
in the fall and which they had thought of only as a treat to pass around
in the evening now became a prominent part of the menu. Dried peas and
beans, boiled and made into soup, made their appearance on the table
several times a week. Cornbread was another standby. Long years
afterward Migwan would shudder at the sight of either bean soup or
cornbread. She nearly wore out the cook book looking for new ways in
which to serve potatoes, squash, turnips, onions and parsnips.
She soon discovered that most provisions could be bought a few cents
cheaper in the market than in the stores, so every Saturday afternoon
she made a trip downtown with a big market basket and bought the week's
supply of butter, eggs and vegetables. At first the necessity for
spending carfare cut into her profits, but she got around this in an
adroit way that promised well for her future ability to handle her
affairs to the best advantage. She tried a little publicity work to
swing things around to suit her purpose. She simply exalted the joys of
marketing until the other Winnebagos were crazy to do the family
marketing, too. As soon as Gladys caught the fever her object was
accomplished, for Gladys took all the girls to market in her father's
big car and brought all their purchases home. So Migwan accomplished her
own ends and gave the Winnebagos a new opportunity to pursue knowledge
at the same time.
At Christmas time she had also fallen back on her ingenuity to produce
the gifts she wished to give. There was no money at all to be spent for
this purpose. Migwan took a careful stock of the resources of the house.
The only promising thing she found was a leather skin which Hinpoha had
given her the summer before for helping her write up the weekly Count in
Hiawatha meter, which was outside of Hinpoha's range of talents. She
considered the possibilities of that skin carefully. It must yield seven
articles--a present for each of the Winnebagos. She decided on book
covers. She wrote up seven different incidents of the summer camping
trip in verse and copied them with the typewriter on rough yellow
drawing paper, thinking to decorate each sheet. But Migwan had little
artistic ability and soon saw that her decorations were not beautiful
enough to adorn Christmas gifts. After spoiling several pages she gave
up in disgust and threw the spoiled pages into the grate. The next
morning she was cleaning out the grate and found the pieces of paper,
only partially burned around the edges. She suddenly had an idea. The
fire had burned a neat and artistic brown border around the writing. Why
not burn all her sheets around the edges? Accordingly she set to work
with a candle, and in a short time had her pages decorated in an odd and
original way which could not fail to appeal to a Camp Fire Girl. Then
she pasted the irregular pieces of yellow paper on straight pages of
heavy brown paper, which brought out the burned edges beautifully. On
the cover of each book she painted the symbol of the girl for whom it
was intended, and on the inside of the back cover she painted her own.
The Winnebagos were delighted with the books and took greater pride in
showing them to their friends than they did their more expensive
That piece of ingenuity was bread cast on the water for Migwan. Nyoda
came to her one day while she was working her head off on the
typewriter. "Could the authoress be persuaded to desist from her labors
for a while?" she asked, tiptoeing around the room in a ridiculous
effort to be quiet, which convulsed Migwan.
"Speak," said Migwan. "Your wish is already granted."
Nyoda sat down. "You remember that cunning little book you made me for
Christmas?" she asked. Migwan nodded. "Well," continued Nyoda, "I was
showing it to Professor Green the other night and he was quite carried
away with it. He has a quantity of notes he took on a hunting trip last
fall and wants to know if you will make them into a book like that for
him. There will be quite a bit of work connected with it, as all the
material will have to be copied on the typewriter and arranged in good
order, and he is willing to pay two and a half dollars for your
services. Would you be willing to do it?"
Would she be willing to do it? Would she see two and a half dollars
lying in the street and not pick it up? The professor's notes were
speedily secured and she set to work happily to transform them into an
artistic record book. Her sister Betty grumbled a good deal these days
because she was asked to do so much of the housework. Before Migwan took
to typewriting at night Betty had been in the habit of staying out of
the house until supper was ready, and then getting up from the table and
going out again immediately, leaving Migwan to get supper and wash the
dishes. It was easier to do the work herself than to argue with Betty
about it, and if she appealed to her mother Mrs. Gardiner always said,
"Just leave the dishes and I'll do them alone," so rather than have her
mother do them Migwan generally washed and wiped them alone. But now
that she was working so hard she needed the whole afternoon to get her
lessons in, and insisted that Betty should help get supper and wipe
dishes afterwards. For once Mrs. Gardiner took sides with Migwan and
commanded Betty to do her share of the work. In consequence Betty
developed a fierce resentment against Migwan's literary efforts, and
taunted her continually with her failure to make anything of it. Since
she had been working on Professor Green's book Migwan had done nothing
at all in the house, and her usual Saturday work fell to Betty.
Mrs. Gardiner was not feeling well of late, and could do no sweeping, so
Betty found herself with a good day's work ahead of her one Saturday
morning. Instead of playing that the dirt was a host of evil sprits, as
Migwan did, which she could vanquish with the aid of her magic broom,
Betty went at it sullenly and with a firm determination to do as little
as possible and get through just as quickly as she could. She made up
her mind that when Migwan went to market in the afternoon she would go
along with her in the automobile. So by going hastily over the surface
of things she got through by three o'clock, and when Gladys called for
Migwan, Betty came running out too, with her coat and hat on, dressed in
her best dress.
"Where are you going?" asked Migwan.
"Along with you," answered Betty.
"I'm afraid we can't take you," said Migwan; "there isn't enough room."
"Oh, I'll squeeze in," said Betty lightly. Now seven girls with market
baskets in addition to the driver are somewhat of a crowd, and there
really was no room for Betty in the machine. Besides, Betty was a great
tease and the girls dreaded to have her with them, so no one said a word
"You can't come, and that is all there is to it," said Migwan rather
crossly. She was in a hurry to be off and get the marketing done. Betty
stamped her foot, and snatching Migwan's market basket, she ran around
the corner of the house with it. Migwan ran after her, and forcibly
recovering the basket, hit Betty over the head with it several times.
Then she jumped into the automobile and the driver started off, leaving
Betty standing looking after the rapidly disappearing car and working
herself into a terrible temper. She ran into the house and slammed the
door with such a jar that the vases on the mantel rattled and threatened
to fall down. She threw her hat and coat on the floor and stamped on
them in a perfect fury. On the sitting room table lay the pages of the
book which Migwan was making for Professor Green. The edges were already
burned and they were ready to be pasted on the brown mat. Betty's eyes
suddenly snapped when she saw them. Here was a fine chance to be
revenged on Migwan. With an exclamation of triumph she seized the
leaves, tore them in half and threw them into the grate, standing by
until they were consumed to ashes, and laughing spitefully the while.
Migwan came in briskly with her basket of provisions. Betty looked up
slyly from the book she was reading, but said not a word. Migwan went
into the sitting room and Betty heard her moving around. "Mother,"
called Migwan up the stairway, "where did you put the pages of my book?
I left them on the sitting room table."
"I didn't touch them," replied her mother; "I haven't been downstairs
since you went out."
"Betty," said Migwan sternly, "did you hide my work?" Betty laughed
mockingly, but made no reply. "Make haste and give them back," commanded
Migwan. "I have no time to waste."
Betty still maintained a provoking silence and Migwan began looking
through the table drawers for the missing leaves. Betty watched her with
malicious glee. "You may look a while before you find them," she said
meaningly; "they're hidden in a nice, safe place."
Migwan stood and faced her, exasperated beyond endurance. "Betty
Gardiner," she said angrily, "stop this nonsense at once and tell me
where those pages are!"
"Well, if you're really curious to know," answered Betty, smiling
wickedly, "I'll tell you. They're _there_" and she pointed to the grate.
"Betty," gasped Migwan, turning white, "you don't mean that you've
"That's what I do mean," said Betty coolly. "I'll show you if you can
treat me like a baby."
Migwan stood as if turned to stone. She could hardly believe that those
fair pages, which represented so many hours of patient work, had been
swept away in one moment of passion. Blindly she turned, and putting on
her wraps, walked from the house without a word. It seemed to her that
Fate had decreed that nothing which she undertook should succeed.
Discouragement settled down on her like a black pall. With the ability
to do things which should set her above her fellows, she was being
relentlessly pursued by some strange fatality which marked every effort
of hers a failure. She walked aimlessly up street after street without
any idea where she was going, entirely oblivious to her surroundings.
Wandering thus, she discovered that she was in the park, and had come
out on the high bluff of the lake. She stood moodily looking down at the
vast field of ice that such a short time before had been tossing waves.
The lake, to all appearances, was frozen solid out as far as the
one-mile crib. There was a curious stillness in the air, as when the
clock had stopped, due to the absence of the noise made by the waves
dashing on the rocks. Nothing had ever appealed so to Migwan as did the
absolute silence and solitude of that frozen lake. Her bruised young
spirit was weary of contact with people, and found balm in this icy
desert where there was so sound of a human voice. As far as the eye
could see there was not a living being in sight. A skating carnival in
the other end of the park drew the attention of all who were abroad on
this Saturday afternoon, and kept them away from the lake front.
A desire to be enveloped in this solitude came over Migwan; to get her
feet off the earth altogether. She half slid and half climbed down the
cliff and walked out on the ice. Before her the grey horizon line
stretched vast and unbroken, and she walked out toward it, lost in
dreaming. Sometimes the floor under her feet was smooth and polished as
a pane of glass, and sometimes it was rough and covered with hummocks
where the water had frozen in the wind. In Migwan's fancy this was not
the lake she was walking on; it was one of the great Swiss glaciers.
Those grey clouds there, standing out against the black ones, they were
the mountains, and she was taking her perilous journey through the
mountain pass. The ice cracked slightly under her feet, but she did not
notice. She was a Swiss guide, taking a party of tourists across the
glacier. Underneath this floor of ice were the bodies of those travelers
who had fallen into the crevices. She was telling the tourists the
stories of the famous disasters and they were shuddering at her tale.
The ice cracked again under her feet, but her mind, soaring in flights
of fancy, took no heed.
Her imagination took another turn. Now she was Mrs. Knollys, in the
famous story, waiting for the body of her husband to be given up by the
glacier. The long years of waiting passed and she stood at the foot of
the glacier watching the miracle unfold before her eyes. The glacier was
making queer cracking noises as it descended, and it sounded as though
there was water underneath it. She could hear it lapping.
C-R-A-C-K! A sound rang out on the still air that startled Migwan like
the report of a pistol, followed immediately by another. She came to her
senses with a rush. With hardly a moment's warning the ice on which she
was standing broke away from the main mass and began to move. Struck
motionless by fright, she had not the presence of mind to jump back to
the larger field. A wave washed in between, separating her by several
feet from the solid ice. The cake she was on began to heave and fall
sickeningly. There was another cracking sound and the edge of the solid
body of ice broke up into dozens of floating cakes, that ground and
pounded each other as the waves set them in motion. Every drop of blood
receded from Migwan's heart as she realized what had happened. She
screamed aloud, once, and then knew the futility of it. Her voice could
not reach to the shore. Lake and sky and horizon line now mocked her
with their silence. The cake of ice, lurching and tipping, began
floating out to sea.
On this wintry afternoon Sahwah left the house in a far different mood
from that which had carried Migwan blindly over the ground. Her eyes
were sparkling with the joy of life and her cheeks were glowing in the
cold. She wore a heavy reefer sweater and a knitted cap. Under her arm
was her latest plaything--a pair of skis. By her side walked Dick
Albright, one of the boys in her class, whom she considered especially
good fun. Dick also had a pair of skis. The two of them were bound for
the park to practice "making descents" from the hillsides. Sahwah was
absolutely happy, and chattered like one of the sparrows that were
flocking on the lawns and streets. Her chief interest in life just now
was the school basketball team, of which she was a member. Soon, very
soon, would come the big game with the Carnegie Mechanics, which would
decide the championship of the city. Sahwah was the star forward for the
Washington High team, and it was no secret that the winning of that game
depended upon her to a great extent. Sahwah was the idol of the
athletically inclined portion of the school. Dick thought there never
was such a player--for a girl.
Sahwah was full of basketball talk now, and made shrewd comments on the
good and bad points of both teams, weighing the chances of each with
great care. "Mechanicals' center is shorter than ours; we have the
advantage there. One of their forwards is good and the other isn't, and
one of our guards is weak. On the whole, we're about evenly matched."
"Fine chance Mechanicals'll have with you in the game," said Dick.
"The only thing I'm afraid of," said Sahwah, with a thoughtful pucker,
"is Marie Lanning; you know, Joe Lanning's cousin. She's to guard me and
she's a head taller."
"Don't worry, you'll manage all right," said Dick. Sahwah laughed. It
was pleasant to be looked up to as the hope of the school. "If you only
don't get sick," said Dick.
"Don't be afraid," answered Sahwah. "I won't get sick. But if I don't
get my Physics notebook finished by the First of February I'll not be
eligible for the game, and that's no joke. Fizzy said nobody would get a
passing grade this month who didn't have that old notebook finished, and
you know what that means."
"There really isn't any danger of your not getting it in, is there?"
asked Dick breathlessly.
"Not if I keep at it," answered Sahwah, and Dick breathed easy again. To
allow yourself to be declared ineligible for a game on account of
studies when the school was depending on you to win that game would have
been a crime too awful to contemplate.
The snow on the hills in the park had a hard crust, which made it just
right for skiing. Sahwah and Dick made one descent after another,
sometimes tripping over the point of a ski and landing in a sprawling
heap, but more often sailing down in perfect form with a breathless
rush. "That last leap of yours was a beauty," said Sahwah admiringly.
"I think I'm learning," said Dick modestly.
"I 'stump' you to go down the big hill on the lake front," said Sahwah,
her eyes sparkling with mischief.
Dick knew what that particular hill was like, but, boylike, he could not
refuse a dare given by a girl. "Do you want to see me do it?" he said
stoutly. "All right, I will."
"Don't" said Sahwah, frightened at what she had driven him to do;
"you'll break your neck. I didn't really mean to dare you to do it." But
Dick had made up his mind to go down that cliff hill just to show Sahwah
that he could, and nothing could turn him aside now.
"Come along," he said; "I can make it." And he started off toward the
lake front at a brisk pace.
But when he had reached the top of the hill in question he stood still
and stared out over the lake. "Hello," he said in surprise, "there's
somebody having trouble out there on the ice." Sahwah came and stood
beside him, shading her eyes with her hand to see what was happening. At
that distance she did not recognize Migwan. "The ice is breaking!" cried
Dick, who was far-sighted and saw the girl on the floating ice cake.
Like a whirlwind he sped down the hillside, dropped over the edge of the
cliff like a plummet and shot nearly a hundred feet out over the glassy
surface of the lake. Without pausing an instant Sahwah was after him.
She had a dizzy sensation of falling off the earth when she made the
jump from the hillside, which was a greater distance than she had ever
dropped before, but it was over so quickly that she had no time to lose
her breath before she was on solid ground again and taking the long
slide over the lake. In a short time they reached the edge of the broken
"Migwan!" gasped Sahwah when she saw who the girl on the floating cake
was. They could not get very near her, as the edge of the solid mass was
continually breaking away, and there was a strip of moving pieces
between them and her. "Fasten the skis together and make a long pole,"
said Sahwah, "and then she can take hold of one end of it and we can
pull her toward us," said Sahwah.
"Good idea," said Dick, and proceeded to lash the long strips together
with the straps, aided by sundry strings and handkerchiefs.
Then there were several moments of suspense until Migwan came within
reach of the pole. She simply had to wait until she floated near enough
to grasp it, which the perverse ice cake seemed to have no intention of
doing. The right combination of wind and wave came at last, however, and
drove her in toward the shore. She was still beyond the end of the pole.
"Jump onto the next cake," called Sahwah. Migwan obeyed in fear and
trembling. It took still another jump before she could reach the
lifesaver. She was now separated from the broken mass at the edge of the
solid ice by about six feet. With Migwan clinging fast to the pole Dick
began to pull in gently, so as not to pull her off the ice, and the cake
began to move across this open space until it was close beside the
nearer mass of broken pieces. Then, supported by the improvised hand
rail, Migwan leaped from one cake to the next, and so made her way back
to the solid part. It was an exciting process, for the pieces tipped and
heaved when she stepped on them, and bobbed up and down, and some turned
over just as her feet left them.
"Eliza crossing the ice," said Sahwah, giggling nervously.
Migwan sank down exhausted when she felt the solid mass under her feet
and knew that the danger was over. She was chilled through and through,
and more than one wave had splashed over the floating ice while she was
on it and soaked her shoes and stockings. Sahwah took this in at a
glance. "Get up," she said sharply, "and run. Run all the way home if
you don't want to get pneumonia. It's your only chance." Taking hold of
her hands, Dick and Sahwah ran along beside her, making her keep up the
pace when she pleaded fatigue. More dead than alive she reached home,
but warm from head to foot. Sahwah rolled her in hot blankets and
administered hot drinks with a practiced hand. Neither Mrs. Gardiner nor
Betty were at home. Migwan soon dropped off to sleep, and woke feeling
entirely well. Thanks to Sahwah's taking her in hand she emerged from
the experience without even a sign of a cold.
With heroic patience and courage she began again the weary task of
typing and burning all the pages of Professor Green's book and finished
it this time without mishap. The money she received for it all went into
the family purse. Not a cent did she spend on herself.
Not long after this Migwan had a taste of fame. She had a poem printed
in the paper! It happened in this way. At the Sunbeam Nursery one
morning Nyoda saw her surrounded by a group of breathlessly listening
children and joined the circle to hear the story Migwan was telling. She
had apparently just finished, and the childish voices were calling out
from all sides, "Tell it again!" Nyoda listened with interest as Migwan,
with a solemn expression and impressive voice, recited the tragic tale
of the "Goop Who Wouldn't Wash":
Gunther Augustus Agricola Gunn,
He was a Goop if there ever was one!
Slapped his small sister whene'er he could reach her,
Muddied the carpet, made mouths at the preacher,
Talked back to his mother whenever she chid,
Always did otherwise than he was bid;
Gunther Augustus Agricola Gunn,
Manners he certainly had not a one!
O bad little Goops, wheresoe'er you may be,
Take heed what befell young Agricola G!
For Gunther Augustus (unlike you, I hope),
Had an inborn aversion to water and soap;
He fought when they washed him, he squirmed and he twisted,
He shrieked, scratched and wriggled until they desisted;
He would not be combed--it was no use to try--
O he was a Goop, they could all testify!
So Gunther went dirty--unwashed and uncombed,
With hands black as pitch through the garden he roamed;
When suddenly a monstrous black shadow fell o'er him,
And the Woman Who Scrubs Dirty Goops stood before him!
Her waist was a washcloth, her skirt was a towel,
She looked down at him with a horrible scowl;
One hand was a brush and the other a comb,
Her forehead was soap and her pompadour foam!
Her foot was a shoebrush, and on it did grow
A shiny steel nail file in place of a toe!
Gunther Augustus Agricola Gunn,
He had a fright if he ever had one!
In a twinkling she seized him--Oh, how he did shriek!
And threw him headforemost right into the creek!
Rubbed soap in his eyes (Dirty Goops, O beware!),
And in combing the snarls pulled out handfuls of hair!
Scrubbed the skin off his nose, brushed his teeth till they bled,
Tweaked his ears, rapped his knuckles, and gleefully said,
"Gunther Augustus Agricola Gunn,
There'll be a difference when I get done!"
After that young Agricola strove hard to see
How very, how heavenly good he could be!
Wiped his feet at the door, tipped his hat to the preacher,
Caressed his small sister whene'er he could reach her!
Stood still while they washed him and combed out his hair,
His garments he folded and laid on a chair!
Gunter Augustus Agricola Gunn,
He was a saint if there ever was one!
"Where did you get that poem?" asked Nyoda.
"I wrote it myself," answered Migwan.
"Good work!" said Nyoda; "will you give me a copy?"
Nyoda showed the poem to Professor Green and Professor Green showed it
to a friend who was column editor of one of the big dailies, and one
fine morning the poem appeared in the paper, with Migwan's full name and
address at the bottom, "Elsie Gardiner, Adams Ave." The Gardiners did
not happen to take that particular paper and Migwan knew nothing of it
until she reached school and was congratulated on all sides. Professor
Green, who had taken a great interest in Migwan since she had worked up
his hunting notes in such a striking style, and regarded her as his
special protege, was anxious to have the whole school know what a gifted
girl she was. He had a conference with the principal, and as a result
Migwan was asked to read her poem at the rhetorical exercises in the
auditorium that day. When she finished the applause was deafening, and
with blushing cheeks and downcast eyes she ran from the stage. There
were distinguished visitors at school that day, representatives of a
national organization who had come to address the scholars, and they
came up to Migwan after she had read her poem to be introduced and offer
congratulations. Teachers stopped her in the hall to tell her how bright
she was, and the other pupils regarded her with great respect. Migwan
was the lion of the hour.
She hurried home on flying feet and danced into the house waving the
paper. "Oh, mother," she called, as soon as she was inside the door,
"guess what I've got to show you!" Her mother was not in the kitchen and
she ran through the house looking for her. "Oh, mother," she called,
"oh, moth--why, what's the matter?" she asked, stopping in surprise in
the sitting room door. Mrs. Gardiner lay on the couch, and beside her
sat the family doctor. Betty stood by looking very much frightened. Mrs.
Gardiner looked up as Migwan came in. "It's nothing," she said, trying
to speak lightly; "just a little spell."
"Mother has to go to the hospital," said Betty in a scared voice.
"Just a little operation," said Mrs. Gardiner hastily, as Migwan looked
ready to drop. "Nothing serious--very."
Migwan's hour of triumph was completely forgotten in the anxiety of the
next few days. Her mother rallied slowly from the operation, and it
looked as though she would have to remain in the hospital a long time.
It was impossible to meet this added expense from their little income,
and Migwan, setting her teeth bravely, drew the remainder of her college
money from the bank to pay the hospital and surgeon's bills. Then she
set to work with redoubled zeal to write something which would sell. So
far everything she had sent out had come back promptly. For a long time
certain advertisements in the magazines had been holding her attention.
They read something like this: "Write Moving Picture Plays. Bring $50 to
$100 each. We teach you how by an infallible method. Anybody can do it.
Full particulars sent for a postage stamp." Migwan had seen quite a few
picture plays, many of them miserably poor, and felt that she could
write better ones than some, or at least just as good. She wrote to the
address given in one of the advertisements, asking for "full
particulars." Back came a letter couched in the most glowing terms,
which Migwan was not experienced enough to recognize as a multigraphed
copy, which stated that the writer had noticed in her letter of inquiry
a literary ability well worth cultivating, and he would feel himself
highly honored to be allowed to teach her to write moving picture plays,
a field in which she would speedily gain fame and fortune. He would
throw open the gates of success for her for the nominal fee of thirty
dollars, with five dollars extra for "stationery, etc." His regular fee
was thirty-five dollars, but it was not often that he came across so
much ability as she had, and he considered the pleasure he would derive
from the correspondence course worth five dollars to him. Would she not
send the first payment of five dollars by return mail so that his
enjoyment might begin as soon as possible?
Migwan read the letter through with a beating heart until she came to
the price, when her heart sank into her shoes. To pay thirty dollars was
entirely out of the question. She wrote to several more advertisements
and received much the same answer from all of them. There was only one
which she could consider at all. This one offered no correspondence
course, but advertised a book giving all the details of scenario
writing, "history of the picture play, form, where to sell your plays,
etc., all in one comprehensive volume." The price of the book was three
dollars. Migwan hesitated a long time over this last one, but the subtle
language of the advertisement drew her back again and again like a
magnet, and finally overcame her doubts. "It will pay for itself many
times when I have learned to write plays," she reflected. So she took
three precious dollars from the housekeeping money and sent for the
book. She did not ask Nyoda's advice this time; somehow she shrank from
telling her about it.
In three days the book arrived. The "comprehensive volume" was a
paper-covered pamphlet containing exactly twenty-nine pages. It could
not have sold for more than ten or fifteen cents in a book store. The
first five pages were devoted to a description of the phenomenal sale of
the first edition of the book, two more enlarged upon the "unfillable
demand" of the motion picture companies for scenarios, while the
remainder of the book was given over to the "technique" of scenario
writing. Migwan read it through eagerly, and did gain an idea of the
form in which a play should be cast, although the information was meagre
enough. Three dollars was an outrageous price to pay for the book,
thought Migwan, but she comforted herself with the thought that by means
of it she would soon lift the family out of their difficulties. She set
to work with a cheery heart. Writing picture plays was easier than
writing stories on account of the skeleton form in which they were cast,
which made it unnecessary to strive for excellence of literary style.
She finished the first one in two nights and sent it off with high
hopes. The company she sent it to was listed in the book as "greatly in
need of one-reel scenarios, and taking about everything sent to them."
She was filled with a secret elation and went about the house singing
like a lark, until Betty, who had been moping like an owl since her
mother went to the hospital, was quite cheered up. "What are you so
happy about?" she asked curiously. "You act as if somebody had left you
"Maybe they have," replied Migwan mysteriously; "wait and see!"
Her joy was short-lived, however, for the play came back even more
promptly than the stories had. Undaunted, she sent it out again and
again. The reasons given for rejection would have been amusing if Migwan
had not felt so disappointed. One said there was insufficient plot; one
said the plot was too complicated; one said it was too long for a
one-reel, and the next said it was too short even for a split-reel. Two
places kept the return postage she had enclosed and sent the manuscript
back collect. Scenario writing became a rather expensive amusement,
instead of a bringer of fortune. In spite of all this, she kept on
writing scenarios, for the fascination of the game had her in its grip,
and she would never be satisfied until she succeeded. Lessons were
thrust into the background of her mind by the throng of "scene-plots,"
"leaders," "bust-scenes," "inserts," "synopses," etc., that flashed
through her head continually.
To write steadily night after night, after the lessons had been gotten
out of the way, was a great tax on her young strength. Nyoda was
inflexible about her stopping typewriting at nine o'clock, but she went
home and wrote by hand until midnight. Nyoda was over at the house one
afternoon when Migwan was settling down to get her lessons, and saw her
take a dose from a phial.
"What are you taking medicine for?" she asked.
"Oh, this is just something to tone me up," replied Migwan.
"What is it?" insisted Nyoda.
"It's strychnine," said Migwan.
"Strychnine!" said Nyoda in a horrified voice. "Who taught you to take
strychnine as a stimulant?"
"Mabel Collins did," answered Migwan. "She said she always took it when
she had a dance on for every night in the week and couldn't keep up any
other way, and it made her feel fine." Mabel Collins belonged to what
the class called the "fast bunch."
"I'll have a talk with Mabel Collins," said Nyoda with a resolute gleam
in her eye. "And, remember, no more of this 'tonic' for you. I knew
girls in college who took strychnine to keep themselves going through
examinations or other occasions of great physical strain, and they have
suffered for it ever since. If you are doing so much that you can't
'keep up' any other way than by taking powerful medicines, it is time
you 'kept down.' Fresh air and regular sleep are all the tonic you need.
You stay away from that typewriter for a whole week and go to bed at
nine o'clock every night. I'm coming down to tuck you in. Now remember!"
And with this solemn warning Nyoda left her.
SAHWAH MAKES A BASKET.
The game between the Washington High School and the Carnegie Mechanics
Institute, which was to decide the girls' basketball championship of the
city, was scheduled for the 15th of February. Up until this year
Washington High had never come within sight of the championship. Then
this season something had happened to the Varsity team which had made it
a power to be reckoned with among the schools of the city. That
something was Sahwah. Thanks to her playing, Washington High had not
lost a single game so far. Her being put on the team was purely due to
chance. Sahwah was a Junior and the Varsity team were all Seniors. She
was a member of the "scrub" or practice team and an ardent devotee of
the sport. During one of the early games of the season Sahwah was
sitting on the side lines attentively watching every bit of play.
The game was going against the Washington, due to the fact that their
forwards were too slow to break through the guarding of the rival team.
Sahwah saw the weakness and tingled with a desire to get into the game
and do some speed work. As by a miracle the chance was given her. One of
the forwards strained her finger slightly and was taken from the game.
Her substitute, who had been sitting next to Sahwah, had left her seat
and gone to the other end of the gymnasium. The instructor, who was
acting as referee, in her excitement mistook Sahwah for the substitute
and called her out on the floor. Sahwah wondered but obeyed instantly
and went into the game as forward. Then the spectators began to sit up
and take notice. Sahwah had not been two minutes on the floor when she
made a basket right between the arms of the tall guard. The ripple of
surprise had hardly died away before she had made another. Then the
baskets followed thick and fast. In five minutes of play she had tied
the score. The guards could hardly believe their eyes when they saw this
lithe girl slipping like an eel through their defense and caging the
ball with a sure hand every time. The game ended with an overwhelming
victory for the Washingtons and there was a new star forward on the
horizon. Sahwah was changed from the practice team to the Varsity.
From that time forward Washington High forged steadily ahead in the race
for the championship and as yet had no defeat on its record. However,
Washington had a formidable rival in the Carnegie Mechanics Institute,
which was also undefeated so far. The Mechanicals were slightly older
girls and were known as a whirlwind team. Sahwah, who foresaw long ago
that the supreme struggle would be between the Washingtons and the
Mechanicals, attended the games played by the Mechanicals whenever she
could and studied their style of playing. "Star players, every one," was
her deduction, "but weak on team work." Sahwah was not so dazzled by her
own excellence as a player that she could not recognize greatness in a
rival, and she readily admitted that one of the girls who guarded for
the Mechanicals was the best guard she had ever seen. This was Marie
Lanning, whose cousin Joe was in Sahwah's class at Washington High.
Sahwah knew instinctively that when the struggle came she would go up
against this girl. The game would really be between these two.
Washington's hope lay in Sahwah's ability to make baskets, and the hope
of the Mechanicals was Marie's ability to keep her from making them. So
she studied Marie's guarding until she knew the places where she could
Marie Lanning also knew that it was Sahwah she would have to deal with.
But there was a difference in the attitude of the girls toward each
other. Sahwah regarded Marie as her opponent, but she respected her
prowess. She had no personal resentment against Marie for being a good
guard; she looked upon her as an enemy merely because she belonged to a
rival school. Marie on the other hand actually hated Sahwah. Before
Sahwah appeared on the scene she had been the greatest player in the
Athletic Association, the heroine of every game. She was pointed out
everywhere she went as "Marie Lanning, the basketball player." Now some
of her glory was dimmed, for another star had risen, Sarah Ann Brewster,
the whirlwind forward of the Washington High team, was threatening to
overshadow her. It was a distinctly personal matter with her. Sahwah
wanted to win that game so her school would have the championship; Marie
wanted to win it for her own glory. She did not really believe that
Sahwah was as great as she was made out. It was only because she had
never run against a great guard that she had been able to roll up the
score for Washington so many times. Well, she would find out a thing or
two when she played the Mechanicals, Marie reflected complacently. She
had never seen Sahwah play, and if any one had suggested that it would
be a good thing to watch her tactics she would have been very scornful.
She was confident in her own powers.
Then there came a rather important game of Washington High's on a night
when Marie was visiting her cousin Joe. He had tickets for the game and
took her along. Now for the first time she beheld her foe. After
watching Sahwah's marvelous shots at the basket and the confusion of the
girl who was guarding her, Marie began to feel uneasy. It now seemed to
her that Sahwah's powers had been underestimated in the reports instead
of over-estimated. The game ended just as all the others had done, with
a great score for Washington High and Sahwah the idol of the hour. Marie
looked on with a slight sneer when Sahwah, after the game was over,
frankly congratulated the losing team on their playing, which had been
pretty good throughout. "Do you know," said Sahwah straightforwardly,
"that if you had had a little better team work, I don't believe we could
have beaten you."
"Any day we could have won with you in the game," said one of the
losers, "the way you can shoot that ball into the basket."
Without being at all puffed up by this compliment, Sahwah proceeded to
make her point. "My throwing the ball into the basket wasn't what won
the game," she said simply, "it was the fact that I had it to throw.
It's all due to the girls who see that I get it. It's team work that
wins every time and not individual starring." Thus was Sahwah in the
habit of disclaiming the credit of victory.
Joe brought up Marie Lanning and introduced her. "So this is my deadly
enemy," said Sahwah pleasantly. Marie acknowledged the introduction
politely, but while her lips smiled her eyes had a steely glitter.
Sahwah was surrounded by a crowd of admiring friends at this time and
there was no chance for further conversation, and she did not become
aware of Marie's animosity. "We'll meet again," Sahwah said meaningly,
with a pleasant laugh, as Marie and Joe turned to go. "That is," she
added with a humorous twinkle, "if I don't go down in my studies and get
myself debarred from playing."
"Fine chance of your going down," said Joe.
"Oh, I don't know," laughed Sahwah; "it all depends on whether I get my
Physics notebook in by the First." A shout of laughter greeted this
remark. The idea of Sahwah's getting herself debarred on account of her
studies was too funny for words.
"Well," said Joe to Marie when they were outside the building, "that's
the girl you're going to have to play against. What do you think of
her?" In his heart Joe thought that his cousin Marie would have no
trouble holding Sahwah down.
"She's a great deal faster than I thought," said Marie with a thoughtful
"But you can beat her, can't you?" asked Joe anxiously. "You've got to.
I've staked my whole winter's allowance that you would win the
"I didn't know that you were in the habit of betting," said Marie a
"I never did before," said Joe, "but some of the fellows were saying
that nobody could hold out against that Brewster girl and I said I bet
my cousin could, and so we talked back and forth until I offered to bet
real money on you."
Marie was flattered at this, as her kind would be. "I can beat her," she
said, but there was fear in her heart. "Oh, if she would only be
debarred from the game!" she exclaimed eagerly.
But Sahwah had no intentions of being put out on that score. She applied
herself assiduously to the making of the notebook that was required as
the resume of the half year's work. She finished it a whole day ahead of
time, and then, Sahwah-like, was so pleased with herself that she
decided to celebrate the event. "Come over to the house to-night," she
said to various of her girl and boy friends in school that day. "I'm
entertaining in honor of my Physics notebook!"
When the guests arrived the notebook was enthroned on a gilded easel on
the parlor table and decorated with a wreath of flowers and a card
bearing the inscription "Endlich!" The very ridiculousness of the whole
affair was enough to make every one have a good time. The Winnebagos
were there, and some of their brothers and cousins, and Dick Albright
and Joe Lanning and several more boys from the class. Naturally much of
the conversation turned on the coming game, and Sahwah was solemnly
assured that she would forfeit their friendship forever if she did not
win the championship for the school. School spirit ran high and songs
and yells were practiced until the neighbors groaned. Joe Lanning joined
in the yells with as much vigor as any. No one knew that he was secretly
on the side of the Mechanicals.
Sahwah's notebook came in for inspection and much admiration, for she
was good at Physics and her drawings were to be envied. "I see you have
a list of all the problems the class has done this year," said Dick
Albright, looking through the notebook. "Do you mind if I copy them from
your list? I lost the one Fizzy gave us in class and it'll take me all
night to pick them out from the ones in the book."
"Certainly, you may," said Sahwah cordially. "Take it along with you and
bring it to school in the morning. It'll be all right as long as I get
it in by that time. But don't forget it, whatever you do, unless you
want to see me put out of the game." Joe Lanning wished fervently that
Dick would forget to bring it. The party broke up and the boys and girls
prepared to depart.
"What car do you take, Dick?" asked one of the boys.
"I don't think I'll take any," said Dick. "I'll just run around the
corner with this lady," he said, indicating Migwan, "and then I'll walk
the rest of the way."
"Isn't it pretty far?" asked some one else.
"Not the way I go," answered Dick. "I take the short cut through the
railway tunnel." Joe Lanning's eyes gleamed suddenly.
The good-nights were all said and Sahwah shut the door and set the
furniture straight before she went to bed. "Didn't your friends stay
rather late?" asked her mother from upstairs.
"No," said Sahwah, "I don't think so, it's only--why, the clock has
stopped," she finished after a look at the mantel, "I don't know what
time it is."
"Get the time from the telephone operator," said her mother, "and set
Sahwah picked up the receiver. There was a strange buzzing noise on the
wire. "Zig-a-zig, ziz-zig-zig-a-zig, zig-g-g, zig-g-g, zig-g-g-g."
Puzzled at first, she soon recognized what it was. It was the sound of
Joe Lanning's wireless. Joe lived directly back of Sahwah on the next
street, and the aerial of his wireless apparatus was fastened to the
telephone pole in the Brewsters' yard. Joe was "sending," and the
vibrations were being picked up by the telephone wires and carried to
her ear when she had the receiver down. Sahwah understood the wireless
code the boys used, and, in fact, had both sent and received messages.
She knew it was Joe's custom to listen for the time every night as it
was flashed out from the station at Arlington, and then send it to his
friend Abraham Goldstein, a young Jewish lad in the class, who also had
a wireless. Then the two would send each other messages and verify them
the next day. "Oh, what fun," thought Sahwah; "I can get Arlington time
to-night." She asked the operator to look up a new number for her to
keep her off the line and then got out paper and pencil to take down the
message as it went out. As she deciphered it she gasped in astonishment.
She had expected a message something on this order: "Hello, Abraham--how
are you?--Arlington says ten bells--How's the weather in your neck of
the woods?" Instead the words were entirely different. She could not
believe her eyes as she made them out. "Albright going through railway
tunnel--hold him up--get notebook away--keep Brewster out of game." Her
senses reeled as she understood the meaning of the message. That Joe was
plotting against her when he pretended to be a friend cut her to the
quick. For a moment her lip quivered; then her nature asserted itself.
There was a thing to do and she must do it. Dick must be kept from going
through the tunnel. Turning out the lights downstairs, she crept
noiselessly out of the house, found her brother's bicycle on the porch
and pedaled off after Dick. She knew exactly the way he would take. From
Migwan's house he would go up Adams to Locust Street and from there to
----th Avenue, and keep on going until he came to the dark tunnel.
Sahwah nearly burst with indignation when she thought of Joe's cowardly
conduct. He was calmly getting Abraham to do the dirty work for him, so
he would never be suspected of having anything to do with it in case
Dick recognized Abraham. She could see how the thing would work out.
Abraham lived just the other side of the tunnel. All he would have to do
would be to stand in the shadow of the tunnel, jump out on Dick as he
came through, seize the notebook from his hand, and run away before Dick
knew what had happened. There would be no need of fighting or hurting
him. But Joe's end would be accomplished and Washington would lose the
game. The fact that he was a traitor to the school hurt Sahwah ten times
worse than the injury he was trying to do her. "Even if his cousin _is_
on the other side, he belongs to Washington," she repeated over and over
Down Locust Street she flew and along deserted ----th Avenue. It was
bitterly cold riding, but she took no notice. Far ahead of her she could
see Dick walking briskly toward the fatal tunnel. Pedaling for dear life
she caught up with him when he was still some distance from it.
"Whatever is the matter?" he asked, startled, as she flung herself
breathless from the wheel beside him.
"The notebook," she said. "Joe's trying to get it away from you. He's
got Abraham Goldstein waiting in the tunnel to snatch it as you go by."
Dick gave vent to a long whistle of astonishment. "Of all the underhand
tricks!" he exclaimed when the full significance of Joe's act was borne
in on him. He was stupefied to think that Joe was a traitor to the
school. "That'll fix his chances of getting into the _Thessalonians_,"
he said vehemently. "His name is coming up next week to be voted on.
Just wait until I tell what I know about him!"
Dick retraced his steps and took Sahwah home, where he left the precious
notebook in her keeping to prevent any possibility of its getting lost
before she could hand it in, and then took the streetcar and rode home
the roundabout way, arriving there in safety. Abraham waited out in the
cold tunnel for several hours and then gave it up and went home, feeling
decidedly out of temper with Joe Lanning and his intrigues.
The game was held in the Washington High gymnasium. The gallery and all
available floor space were packed long before the commencement of the
game. The Carnegie Mechanics came out in a body to witness their team
win the championship. Joe Lanning was there, entirely composed, though
inwardly raging at the failure of his trick, which he attributed to
Dick's changing his mind about walking home, never dreaming that Sahwah
had intercepted his message and his treachery was known. Although his
sympathies were with the Mechanicals he stood with the Washingtons and
yelled their yells as loudly as any. The Mechanicals, as the visiting,
team, came out on the floor first and had the first practice. They were
fine looking girls, every one of them, with their dazzling white middies
and blue ties. They were greeted with a ringing cheer from their
Marie Lanning held up her head and looked self-conscious when she heard
the familiar yell thundered at the team. It was meant mostly for
herself, she was sure. She smiled proudly and graciously in the
direction whence the yell had proceeded. Quiet had hardly fallen on the
crowd when there was heard the sound of singing from the upper end of
the gymnasium where the door to the dressing rooms was. The tune was
"Old Black Joe":
"We're coming, we're coming,
Star players, every one,
We're going to win the championship
Washington's rooters caught up the yell and made the roof ring. Sahwah's
heart swelled when she heard it, not with the feeling that they were
singing to her, but with pride because she belonged to a team which
called out this expression of loyalty. Then came individual cheers, with
her name at the head of the list.
"One, two, _three_, four,
Who are _we_ for?
Not even then was Sahwah puffed up.
The Washington High team wore black bloomers and red ties; they were a
brilliant sight as they marched in with their hands on each other's
shoulders. The teams took their places; a hush fell on the crowd; the
referee's whistle sounded; the ball went up. Washington's center knocked
it toward her basket; Sahwah, darting out from under the basket, caught
it, sent it flying back to center; center threw it to the other
Washington forward; Sahwah jumped directly behind Marie Lanning,
received the ball from the other forward and shot the basket. Time, one
minute from the sending up of the ball. The Washington team machine was
working splendidly. A deafening roar greeted the first score. Marie bit
her lip angrily. She had vowed to keep Washington from scoring. But
Sahwah had not watched Marie play for nothing. She saw that she put up a
wonderful guard when confronting her girl, but she was not always quick
in turning around. Sahwah's plan of action was to keep away from her as
much as possible and to get hold of the ball when she was behind Marie's
back and throw for the basket before Marie could turn around. Guarding
is only effective when you have some one to guard and Marie discovered
she was really playing a game of tag with Sahwah, who was continually
running away from her. With the wonderful team work which the Washington
team had developed and their perfect understanding of each other's
movements, Sahwah could get widely separated from Marie and be sure to
receive the ball at just the right moment to throw a basket. Twice she
made it; three times; four times. Pandemonium reigned. "Guard her,
Marie!" shrieked the Mechanicals.
The score stood 8 to in favor of Washington at the end of the first five
minutes. Marie was white with rage. Was this a girl she was trying to
guard, or was it an eel? She would get her cornered with the ball,
Sahwah would measure Marie's height with her eye, locate the basket with
a brief glance, stiffen her muscles for a jump, and then as Marie stood
ready to beat down the ball, as it rose in the air, Sahwah would
suddenly relax, twist into some inconceivable position, shoot the ball
low to center and be a dozen feet away before Marie could get her hands
down from the air.
sang the Washington rooters in ecstasy. It was maddening. There was no
hope of keeping her from scoring. The time came when Sahwah and Marie
both had their hands on the ball at the same time and it called for a
toss-up. As the ball rose in the air Marie struck out as if to send it
flying to center, but instead of that, her hand, clenched, with a heavy
ring on one finger, struck Sahwah full on the nose. It was purely
accidental, as every one could see. Sahwah staggered back dizzily,
seeing stars. Her nose began to bleed furiously. She was taken from the
game and her substitute put in. A groan went up from the Washington
students as she was led out, followed by a suppressed cheer from the
Carnegie Mechanics. Marie met Joe's eye with a triumphant gleam in her
Sahwah was beside herself at the thing which had happened to her. The
game and the championship were lost to Washington. The hope of the team
was gone. The girl who took her place was far inferior, both in skill in
throwing the ball and in tactics. She could not make a single basket.
The score rolled up on the Mechanicals' side; now it was tied. Sahwah,
trying to stanch the blood that flowed in a steady stream, heard the
roar that followed the tying of the score and ground her teeth in
misery. The Mechanicals were scoring steadily now. The first half ended
12 to 8 in their favor. But if Marie had expected to be the heroine of
the game now that Sahwah was out of it she was disappointed. The girl
who had taken Sahwah's place required no skilful guarding; she would not
have made any baskets anyhow, and there was no chance for a brilliant
display of Marie's powers. Marie stood still on the floor after the
first half ended, listening to the cheers and expecting her name to be
shouted above the rest, but nothing like that happened. The yells were
for the team in general, while the Washingtons, loyal to Sahwah to the
last, cheered her to the echo.
The noise penetrated to the dressing room where she lay on a mat:
"Ach du lieber lieber,
Ach du lieber lieber,
BREWSTER! No, ja, bum bum!
Ach du lieber lieber,
Ach du lieber lieber,
BREWSTER! No, ja!"
Sahwah raised her head. Another cheer rent the air:
Sahwah sat up.
"BREWSTER! BREWSTER! WE WANT BREWSTER!" thundered the gallery. Sahwah
sprang to her feet. Like a knight of old, who, expiring on the
battlefield, heard the voice of his lady love and recovered
miraculously, Sahwah regained her strength with a rush when she heard
the voice of her beloved school calling her.
When the teams came out for the second half Sahwah came out with them.
The gallery rocked with the joy of the Washingtonians. The whistle
sounded; the ball went up; the machine was in working order again.
Washington was jubilant; Carnegie Mechanics was equally confident now
that it was in the lead. Sahwah played like a whirlwind. She shot the
ball into the basket right through Marie's hands. Once! Twice! The score
was again tied. "12 to 12," shouted the scorekeeper through her
megaphone. Like the roar of the waves of the sea rose the yell of the
"Who tied the score when the score was rolling?
Who tied the score when the score was rolling?
Well, I guess!
_She_ tied the score when the score was rolling!"
Then Sahwah's luck turned and she could make no more baskets. She began
to feel weak again and fumbled the ball more than once. Marie laughed
sneeringly when Sahwah failed to score on a foul. The game was drawing
to a close. "Two more minutes to play!" called the referee. The ball was
under the Mechanicals' basket. The Washington guards got possession of
it and passed it forward to Sahwah, who threw for the basket and missed.
The ball came down right in the hands of Marie. The Mechanicals were
excellently placed to pass it by several stages down to their basket.
Instead of throwing it to center, however, she tried to make a
grandstand play and threw it the entire length of the gymnasium to the
waiting forward. It fell short and there was a wild scramble to secure
it. Washington got it. "One minute to play!" called the referee. A score
must be made now by one side or the other or the game would end in a
tie. The Washington guard located Sahwah. The Mechanicals closed in
around her so that she could not get away by herself. Marie towered over
her triumphantly. At last had come the chance to use her famous method
of guarding. The crowd in the gallery leaned forward, tense and silent.
The Mechanicals' forwards ran back under their basket to be in position
to throw the ball in when Marie should send it down to them. The
Washington guard threw the ball toward the massed group in the center of
the floor. As a tiger leaps to its prey, Sahwah, with a mighty spring,
jumped high in the air and caught the ball over the heads of the
blocking guards. Before the Mechanicals had recovered from their
surprise she sent it whirling toward the distant basket. It rolled
around the rim, hesitated for one breathless instant and then dropped
neatly through the netting. It was a record throw from the field.
"Time's up," called the referee.
"Score, 14 to 12 in favor of Washington High," shouted the scorekeeper.
The pent-up emotions of the Washington rooters found vent in a prolonged
cheer; then the crowd surged across the floor and surrounded Sahwah, and
she was borne in triumph from the gymnasium.
Joe Lanning and his cousin Marie, avoiding the merry throng, left the
building with long faces and never a word to say.
THE THESSALONIAN PLAY.
It was the custom each year for the Thessalonians, the Boys' Literary
Society of Washington High School, to give a play in the school
auditorium. This year the play was to be a translation of Briand's
four-act drama, "Marie Latour." After a careful consideration of the
talents of their various girl friends, Gladys was asked to play the
leading role and Sahwah was also given a part in the cast. It was the
play where the unfortunate Marie Latour, pursued by enemies, hides her
child in a hollow statue of Joan of Arc. In order to produce the piece a
large statue of the Maid of Orleans was made to order. It was
constructed of some inexpensive composition and painted to look like
bronze. In the one scene a halo appears around the head of the Maid
while she is sheltering the child. This effect was produced by a circle
of tiny lights worked by a storage battery inside the statue. For the
sake of convenience in installing the electric apparatus and the wiring,
one half of the skirt--it was the statue representing Joan in woman's
clothes, not the one in armor--was made in the form of a door, which
opened on hinges. The base of the statue was of wood. It was not
finished until the day before the play and was used for the first time
at the dress rehearsal, when it was left standing on the stage.
Joe Lanning was in rather a dark mood these days. In the first place, he
had lost his winter's allowance of pocket money by staking it on the
Washington-Carnegie Mechanics game. After this he was treated coolly by
a large number of his classmates, and, not knowing that the story of his
treachery was being privately circulated around the school, he could not
guess the reason. The keenest desire of his life was to be made a member
of the Thessalonian Literary Society, and if he had kept his record
unsmirched he would have been taken in at the February election. He
confidently expected to be elected, and was already planning in his mind
the things he would do and say at the meetings, and what girls he would
take to the Thessalonian dances. He received a rude shock when the
election came and went and he was not taken in. He knew from reliable
sources that his name was coming up to be voted on, and it was not very
flattering to realize that he had been blackballed. From an eager
interest in all Thessalonian doings his feeling changed to bitter
resentment against the society. Just now the Thessalonian play was the
topic of the hour, and the very mention of it almost made him ill. If he
had been elected he would have been an usher at the play with the other
new members and worn the club colors in his buttonhole to be admired by
the girls and envied by the other fellows. But now there was none of
that charmed fellowship for him. He nourished his feeling of bitterness
and hatred until his scheming mind began to grope for some way of
spoiling the success of the play. As usual, he turned to his friend,
Abraham Goldstein, who was about the only one who had not shown any
coolness. Together they watched their chance. The play progressed toward
perfection, the dress rehearsal had been held, the day of the "First
Night" had arrived. The stage was set and the statue of the Maid of
Orleans was in place. Joe, poking around the back of the stage, saw the
statue and received his evil inspiration.
Just about the time the play was given there was being held in the
school an exhibition of water-color paintings. A famous and very
valuable collection had been loaned by a friend of the school for the
benefit of the students of drawing. The paintings were on display in one
of the girls' club rooms on the fourth floor of the building. Hinpoha
took great pleasure in examining them and spent a long time over them
every day after school was closed. On the day of the play she went up as
usual to the club room for an hour before going home. Reluctantly she
tore herself away when she realized that the afternoon was passing. As
she returned to the cloakroom where her wraps were she was surprised to
find Emily Meeks there. Emily started guiltily when Hinpoha entered and
made a desperate effort to finish wrapping up something she had in her
hand. But her nervousness got into her fingers and made them tremble so
that the object she held fell to the floor. As it fell the wrapper came
open and Hinpoha could see what it was. It was one of the water colors
of the exhibition collection, one of the smallest and most exquisite
ones. Hinpoha gasped with astonishment when she caught Emily in the act
of stealing it. Emily Meeks was the last person in the world Hinpoha
would ever have accused of stealing anything.
Emily turned white and red by turns and leaned against the wall
trembling. "Yes, I stole it," she said in a kind of desperation.
Something in her voice took the scorn out of Hinpoha's face. She looked
at her curiously. "Why did you try to steal, Emily?" she asked gently.
Emily burst into tears and sank to her knees. "You wouldn't understand,"
"Maybe I would," said Hinpoha softly, "try it and see."
Haltingly Emily told her tale. In a moment's folly she had promised to
buy a set of books from an agent and had signed a paper pledging herself
to pay for it within three months. The price was five dollars. At the
time she thought she could save enough out of her meager wages to pay
it, but found that she could not. The time was up several months ago and
the agent was threatening her with a lawsuit if she did not pay up this
month. Fearing that the people with whom she lived would be angry if
they heard of the affair and would turn her out of her home into the
streets--for to her a lawsuit was something vague and terrible and she
thought she would have to go to jail when it was found she could not
pay--she grew desperate, and being alone in the room with the paintings
for an instant she had seized the opportunity and carried one out under
her middy blouse. She intended to sell it and pay for the books.
Hinpoha's eyes filled with tears at Emily's distress. She was very
tender hearted and was easily touched by other people's troubles. "If I
lent you five dollars to pay for the books, would you take it?" she
Emily started up like a condemned prisoner who is pardoned on the way to
execution. "I'll pay it back," she cried, "if I have to go out scrubbing
to earn the money. And you won't say anything about the picture," she
said, clasping her hands beseechingly, "if I put it back where I got
"No," said Hinpoha, with all the conviction of her loyal young nature,
"I give you my word of honor that I will never say anything about it."
"Oh, you're an angel straight from heaven," exclaimed Emily.
"First time I've heard of a red-headed angel," laughed Hinpoha.
Emily stooped to pick up the painting and restore it to its place, when
she caught her breath in dismay. She had dropped a tear on the picture
and made a light spot on the dark brown trunk of a tree. It was
conspicuously noticeable, and would be sure to call forth the strictest
inquiry. Emily covered her face with her hands. "It's my punishment,"
she groaned, "for trying to steal. Now I've ruined the honor of the
school. We promised to send those pictures back unharmed if Mr. White
would let us have them." Her dismay was intense.
Hinpoha examined the spot carefully. "Do you know," she said, "I believe
I could fill in that place with dark color so it would never be noticed?
The bark of the tree has a rough appearance and the slight unevenness
around the edges of the spot will never be noticed. Don't worry, all
will yet be well." If Hinpoha would have let her, Emily would have gone
down on her knees to her. "Come, we must make haste," said Hinpoha. "You
go right home and I will take the picture into our club room and fix it
up and then slip upstairs with it and nobody will ever be any the wiser.
It's a good thing there's nobody up there now."
Emily took her departure, vowing undying gratitude to Hinpoha, and
Hinpoha took her paints from her desk and went into her own club room,
which was on the third floor, and with infinite pains matched the shade
of the tree trunk and repaired the damage. Her efforts were crowned with
better success even than she had hoped for, and with thankfulness in her
heart at the talent which could thus be turned to account to help a
friend out of trouble, she surveyed the little painting, looking just as
it did when loaned to the school. She carried it carefully upstairs, but
at the door of the exhibition room she paused in dismay. A whole group
of teachers and their friends were looking at the paintings and it was
impossible to put the one back without being noticed. Irresolutely she
turned away and retraced her steps to the third floor, intending to wait
in her club room until the coast was clear. But alas! In coming out
Hinpoha had left the door open. The club rooms were generally kept
locked. While she was going upstairs a number of students coming out
from late practice in the gymnasium spied the open door and went in to
look around. It was impossible for Hinpoha to go in there with that
picture in her hand. The only thing to do if she did not wish to get
into trouble, was to get rid of it immediately. Delay was getting
dangerous. She was standing near the back entrance of the stage when she
was looking for a place to hide the picture. Beside the stage entrance
there was a little room containing all the lighting switches for the
stage, various battery boxes and other electrical equipment, together
with a motley collection of stage properties. Quick as a flash Hinpoha
opened the door of this room, darted in and hid the picture in a roll of
cheesecloth. When she came out one of the teachers was standing directly
before the door, pointing out to a friend the construction of the stage.
"Have we a new electrician?" he inquired genially, as he saw her coming
out of the electric room. Hinpoha laughed at his pleasantry, but she was
flushed and uncomfortable from the excitement of the last moment.
Hinpoha was a poor dissembler. She went upstairs until the art room was
empty of visitors and then returned swiftly to the electric room for the
picture. She slipped it under her middy blouse, where it was safe from
detection, and sped upstairs with it. As she crossed the hall to the
stairs she met the same teacher the second time. "Well, you must be an
electrician," he said; "that's twice you've rushed out of there in such
a businesslike manner," Hinpoha laughed, but flushed painfully. It
seemed to her that his eyes could look right through her middy and see
the picture underneath. This time the coast was clear in the room where
the pictures were and she deposited the adventurous water color safely.
She heaved a great sigh of relief when she realized that the danger was
over and she had nothing more to conceal. She trudged home through the
snow light-heartedly, with a warm feeling that she had been the means of
saving a friend from disgrace.
Sahwah, who was in the play and had a right to go up on the stage, which
was all ready set for the first scene, ran in to see how things looked
late in the afternoon. The school was practically empty. All the rest of
the cast had gone home to get some sleep to fit them for the ordeal of
the coming performance, and the teachers who had been looking at the
paintings had also left. The rest of the building was in darkness, as
twilight had already fallen. One set of lights was burning on the stage.
Sahwah had no special business on the stage, she was simply curious to
see what it looked like. Sahwah never stopped to analyze her motives for
doing things. She paused to admire the statue of Joan of Arc, standing
in all the majesty of its nine-foot height. This was the first chance
she had had to examine it leisurely. In the rehearsal the night before
she had merely seen it in a general way as she whisked off and on the
stage in her part.
The construction of the thing fascinated her, and she opened the door in
the skirt to satisfy her curiosity about the inner workings of the
miraculous halo. She saw how the thing was done and then became
interested in the inside of the statue itself. There was plenty of room
in it to conceal a person. Just for the fun of the thing Sahwah got
inside and drew the door shut after her, trying to imagine herself a
fugitive hiding in there. There were no openings in the skirt part, but
up above the waist line there were various holes to admit air. "It's no
fun hiding in a statue if you can't see what's going on outside,"
thought Sahwah, and so she stood up straight, as in this position her
eyes would come on a level with one of the holes. She could see out
without being seen herself, just as if she were looking through the face
piece of a suit of armor. The fun she got out of this sport, however,
soon changed to dismay when she tried to get down again. It had taken
some squeezing to get her head into the upper space, and now she found
that she was wedged securely in. She could not move her head one
particle. What was worse, a quantity of cotton wool, which had been put
inside the upper part of the body for some reason or other, was
dislodged by her squeezing in and pressed against her mouth, forming an
effective silencer. Thus, while she could see out over the stage, she
could not call out for help. Her hands were pinioned down at her sides,
and by standing up she had brought her knees into a narrow place so that
they were wedged together and she could not attract attention by
kicking. Here was a pretty state of affairs. The benign Maid of Orleans
had Sahwah in as merciless a grip as that with which the famous Iron
Maiden of medieval times crushed out the lives of its victims.
Sahwah knew that her failure to come from school would call out a
search, but who would ever look for her in the statue on the stage? Her
only hope was to wait until the play was in progress and the door was
opened to conceal the child. Then another thought startled her into a
perspiration. She was in the opening scene of the play. If she was not
there, the play could not commence. They would spend the evening
searching for her and the statue would not be opened. What would they do
about the play? The house was sold out and the people would come to see
the performance and there would be none. All on account of her stupidity
in wedging herself inside of the statue. Sahwah called herself severe
names as she languished in her prison. Fortunately there were enough
holes in the thing to supply plenty of ventilation, otherwise it might
have gone hard with her. The cramped position became exceedingly
tiresome. She tried, by forcing her weight against the one side or the
other, to throw the statue over, thinking that it would attract
attention in this way and some one would be likely to open it, but the
heavy wooden base to which it was fastened held it secure. Sahwah was
caught like a rat in a trap. The minutes passed like hours. Sounds died
away in the building, as the last of the lingerers on the downstairs
floor took themselves off through the front entrance. She could hear the
slam of the heavy door and then a shout as one boy hailed another in
greeting. Then silence over everything.
A quarter, or maybe a half, hour dragged by on leaden feet. Suddenly,
without noise or warning, two figures appeared on the stage, coming on
through the back entrance. Sahwah's heart beat joyfully. Here was some
one to look over the scenery again and if she could only attract their
attention they would liberate her. She made a desperate effort and
wrenched her mouth open to call, only to get it full of fuzzy cotton
wool that nearly choked her. There was no hope then, but that they would
open the door of the statue and find her accidentally. She could hear
the sound of talking in low voices. The boys were on the other side of
the statue, where she could not see them.
"Let it down easy," she heard one of them say.
"Better get around on the other side," said a second voice.
The boy thus spoken to moved around until he was directly before the
opening in front of Sahwah's eyes. With a start she recognized Joe
Lanning. What business had Joe Lanning on the stage at this time? He was
not in the play and he did not belong to the Thessalonian Society. There
was only one explanation--Joe was up to some mischief again. She had not
the slightest doubt that the other voice belonged to Abraham Goldstein,
and thus indeed it proved, for a moment later he moved around so as to
come into range of her vision. The two withdrew a few paces and looked
at the statue, holding a hasty colloquy in inaudible tones, and then
Joe, mounting a chair, laid hold of the Maid just above the waist line,
while Abraham seized the wooden base. Sahwah felt her head going down
and her feet going up. The boys were carrying the statue off the stage
and out through the back entrance, over the little bridge at the back of
the stage and into the hall. It was the queerest ride Sahwah had ever
The boys paused before the elevator, which seemed to be standing ready
with the door open. "Will she go in?" asked Abraham.
"I'm afraid not," answered Joe. "Well have to carry her downstairs."
Sahwah shuddered. Would she go down head first or feet first? They
carried her head first and she was dizzy with the rush of blood to her
head before the two long flights were accomplished. At the foot of the
last flight they laid the statue down. The hall was in total darkness.
"What are you doing?" asked the voice of Joe. Abraham was apparently
producing something from somewhere. In a minute Joe was laughing. "Good
stunt," he said approvingly. "Where did you get them?"
"Swiped them out of Room 22, where all the stuff for the play is." Joe
flashed a small pocket electric light and by its glimmer Sahwah could
see him adjusting a false beard--the one that was to be worn by the
villain in the play. Abraham was apparently disguising himself in a
similar fashion. This accomplished they picked up the statue again and
carried it down the half flight of stairs to the back entrance of the
school. For some mysterious reason this door was open. Just outside
stood an automobile truck. At the back of the school lay the wide
athletic field, extending for several acres. The nearest street was all
of four blocks away. In the darkness it was impossible to see across
this stretch of space and distinguish the actions of the two
conspirators in the event people should be passing along this street.
Even if the truck itself were seen that would cause no comment, for
deliveries were constantly being made at the rear entrance of the
The statue was lifted into the truck, covered with a piece of canvas,
and Joe and Abraham sprang to the driver's seat and started the machine.
Sahwah very nearly suffocated under that canvas. Fortunately the ride
was a short one. In about seven or eight minutes she felt the bump as
they turned into a driveway, and then the truck came to a stop. The boys
jumped down from the seat, opened a door which slid back with a scraping
noise like a barn door and then lifted the statue from the truck and
carried it into a building. From the light of their pocket flashes
Sahwah could make out that she was in a barn, which was evidently
unused. It was entirely empty. Setting the statue in a corner, the boys
went out, closing the door after them. Sahwah was left in total
darkness, and in a ten times worse position than she had been in before.
On the stage at school there was some hope of the statue's being opened
eventually, but here she could remain for weeks before being discovered.
Sahwah began to wonder just how long she could hold out before she
starved. She was hungry already.
She closed her eyes with weariness from her strained position, and it is
possible that she dozed off for a few moments. In fact, that was what
she did do. She dreamed that she was at the circus and all the wild
animals had broken loose and were running about the audience. She could
hear the roar of the lions and the screeching of the tigers. She woke up
with a start and thought for a moment that her dream was true. The barn
was full of wild animals which were roaring and chasing each other
around. Then her senses cleared and she recognized the heavy bark of a
large dog and the startled mi-ou of a cat. The dog was chasing the cat
around the barn. She felt the slight thud as the cat leaped up and found
refuge on top of the statue. She could hear it spitting at the dog and
knew that its back was arched in an attitude of defiance. The dog barked
furiously down below. Then, overcome by rage, he made a wild jump for
the cat and lunged his heavy body against the side of the statue. It
toppled over against the corner. For an instant Sahwah thought she was
going to be killed. But the corner of the barn saved the statue from
falling over altogether. It simply leaned back at a slight angle. But
there was something different in her position now. At first she did not
know what it was. Before this her feet were standing squarely on the
wooden base of the statue, but now they were slipping around and seemed
to be dangling. Then she realized what had happened. The shock of the
dog's onslaught had knocked the statue clear off the base, and had also
contrived to loosen her knees a little. To her joy she found that she
could move her feet--could walk. For all the statue was immense, it was
light, and wedged into it as she was she balanced the upper part of it
perfectly. She moved out from the corner.
The dog was still barking furiously and circling around the barn after
the cat. Then the cat found a paneless window by which she had entered
and disappeared into the night. The dog, who had also entered by that
window when chasing the cat, had been helped on the outside by a box
which stood under the sill, but there was no such aid on the inside and
he did not attempt to make the jump from the floor, but stood barking
until the place shook. Just then a voice was heard on the outside.
"Lion, Lion," it called, "where are you?" Lion barked in answer. "Come
out of that barn," commanded the voice of a small boy. Lion answered
again in the only way he knew how. "Wait a minute, Lion, I'm coming,"
said the small boy. Sahwah heard some one fumbling at the door and then
it was drawn open. The light from a street lamp streamed in. It fell
directly on the statue as Sahwah took another step forward. The boy saw
the apparition and fled in terror, followed by the dog, leaving the door
wide open. Sahwah hastened to the door. Here she encountered a
difficulty. The statue was nine feet high and the door was only about
eight. Naturally the statue could not bend. It had been carried in in a
horizontal position. Sahwah reflected a moment. Her powers of
observation were remarkably good and she could sense things that went on
around her without having to see them. She had noticed that when the
boys carried the statue into the barn they had had to climb up into the
doorway. The inclined entrance approach had undoubtedly rotted away. She
figured that this step up had been a foot at least. Her ingenious mind
told her that by standing close to the edge of the doorway and jumping
down she would come clear of the doorway. She put this theory to trial
immediately. The scheme worked. She landed on her feet on the
snow-covered ground, with the top of the statue free in the air.
As fast as she could she made her way up the driveway. Her hands were
still pinioned at her sides. As she passed the house in front of the
barn she could see by the street light that it was empty. A grand scheme
it would have been indeed, if it had worked, hiding the statue in the
unused barn where it would not have been discovered for weeks, or
possibly months. Of course, Sahwah readily admitted, Joe did not know
that she was in the statue; his object had merely been to spoil the
play. And a very effective method he had taken, too, for the play
without the statue of Joan of Arc would have been nothing.
Sahwah stood still on the street and tried to get her bearings. She was
in an unfamiliar neighborhood. She walked up the street. Coming toward
her was a man. Sahwah breathed a sigh of relief. Without a doubt he
would see the trouble she was in and free her. Now Sahwah did not know
it, but in the scramble with the dog the button had been pushed which
worked the halo. The neighborhood she was in was largely inhabited by
foreigners, and the man coming toward her was a Hungarian who had not
been long in this country. Taking his way homeward with never a thought
in his mind but his dinner, he suddenly looked up to see the gigantic
figure of a woman bearing down on him, brandishing a gleaming sword and
with a dim halo playing around her head. For an instant he stood rooted
to the spot, and then with a wild yell he ran across the street, darted
between two houses and disappeared over the back fence. Then began a
series of encounters which threw Sahwah into hysterics twenty years
later when she happened to remember them. Intent only on her own
liberation she was at the time unconscious of the terrifying figure she
presented, and hastened along at the top of her speed. Everywhere the
people fled before her in the extremity of terror. On all sides she
could hear shrieks of "War!" "War!" "It is a sign of war!"
In one street through which she passed lived a simple Slovak priest. He
was sorely torn over the sad conflict raging in Europe and was undecided
whether he should preach a sermon advocating peace at all costs or
preparation for fighting. He debated the question back and forth in his
mind, and, unable to come to any decision in the narrow confines of his
little house, walked up and down on the cold porch seeking for light in
the matter. "Oh, for a sign from heaven," he sighed, "such as came to
the saints of old to solve their troublesome questions!" Scarcely had
the wish passed through his mind when a vision appeared. Down the dark
street came rushing the heroic image of Joan of Arc, with sword
uplifted, her head shining with the refulgence of the halo. At his gate
she paused and stood a long time looking at him. Sahwah thought that he
would come down and help her out. Instead he fell on his knees on the
porch and bowed his head, crying out something in a foreign tongue.
Seeing that expectation of help from that quarter was useless, Sahwah
ran on and turned a nearby corner. When the priest lifted his head again
the vision was gone. "It is to be war, then," he muttered. "I have a
divine command to bid my people take up arms in battle." This was the
origin of the military demonstration which took place in the Slovak
settlement the following Sunday, which ended in such serious rioting.
Sahwah, running onward, suddenly found herself in the very middle of the
road where two carlines crossed each other. This was a very congested
corner and a policeman was stationed there to direct the traffic. This
policeman, however, on this cold February day, found Mike McCarty's
saloon on the corner a much pleasanter place than the middle of the
road, and paid one visit after another, while the traffic directed
itself. This last time he had stayed inside much longer than he had
intended to, having become involved in an argument with the proprietor
of the place, and coming to himself with a guilty start he hurried out
to resume his duties. On the sidewalk he stood as if paralyzed. In the
middle of the road, in his place, stood an enormously tall woman,
directing the traffic with a gleaming sword. "Mother av Hiven," he
muttered superstitiously, "it's one of the saints come down to look
after the job I jumped, and waiting to strike me dead when I come back."
He turned on his heel and fled up the street without once looking over
And thus Sahwah went from place to place, vainly looking for some one
who would pull her out of the statue, and leaving everywhere she went a
trail of superstitious terror, such as had never been known in the
annals of the city. For a week the papers were full of the mysterious
appearance of the armed woman, which was taken as a presumptive augury
of war. Many affirmed that she had stopped them on the street and
commanded them in tones of thunder to take up arms to save the country
from destruction, and promising to lead them to victory when the time
for battle came. Many of the foreigners believed to their dying day that
they had seen a vision from heaven. Sahwah at last got her bearings and
found that she was not a great distance from the school, so she took her
way thither where she might encounter some one who was connected with
the play and knew of the existence of the statue, a secret which was
being closely guarded from the public, that the effect might be greater.
She nearly wept with joy when she saw Dick Albright just about to enter
the building. Although he was startled almost out of a year's growth at
the sight of the statue, which he supposed to be standing on the stage
in the building, running up the front steps after him, he did not
disappear into space as had all of the others she had met. After the
first fright he suspected some practical joke and stood still to see
what would happen next. Sahwah knew that the only thing visible of her
was her feet and that she could not explain matters with her voice, so,
coming close to Dick, she stretched out her foot as far as possible. Now
Sahwah, with her riotous love of color, had bright red buttons on her
black shoes, the only set like them in the school. Dick recognized the
buttons and knew that it was Sahwah in the statue. He still thought she
was playing a joke, and laughed uproariously. Sahwah grew desperate. She
must make him understand that she wanted him to pull her out. The broad
stone terrace before the door was covered with a light fall of snow.
With the point of her toe she traced in the snow the words
"PULL ME OUT."
Dick now took in the situation. He opened the door of the statue and
with some difficulty succeeded in extricating Sahwah from her precarious
position. Together they carried the much-traveled Maid into the building
and up the stairs and set her in place on the stage. She had just been
missed by the arriving players and the place was in an uproar. Sahwah
told what had happened that afternoon and the adventures she had had in
getting back to the school, while her listeners exclaimed incredulously.
There was no longer time to go home for supper so Sahwah ran off to the
green room to begin making up for her part in the play.
WHO CUT THE WIRE?
The house was packed on this the first night of the Thessalonian play.
It was already long past time for the performance to begin. The
orchestra finished the overture and waited a few minutes; then began
another selection. They played this through, and there was still no
indication of the curtain going up. They played a third piece. The house
became restless and began to clap for the appearance of the performers.
No sign from the stage. Behind the curtain there was pandemonium. When
everything was about ready to begin it was discovered that none of the
stage lights would work. Neither the foot lights nor the big cluster up
over the center of the stage nor any of the side lights could be turned
on. A hasty examination of the wiring led to the discovery that the
wires which supplied the current had been cut in the room where the
switchboard was. The plaster had been broken into in order to reach
them. This was the reason that the play was not beginning. The President
of the Thessalonians came out in front and explained to the audience
that something had gone wrong with the lights, which would cause a delay
in the rising of the curtain, but the trouble was being fixed and he
begged the indulgence of the house for a few minutes. The orchestra
filled in the time by playing lively marches, while the boys behind the
scenes worked feverishly to mend the severed wires, and the curtain went
up a whole hour after scheduled time.
The first act went off famously. Gladys was a born actress and sustained
the difficult role of _Marie Latour_ well. The part where she defies her
tyrannical father brought down the house. Sahwah came in for her share
of applause too. Seeing her composed manner and hearing her calm voice,
no one in the audience could ever have guessed the strenuous experience
she had just been through. In the second scene Marie, driven from her
home, wanders around in the streets with her child, until, faint from
hunger, she sinks to the ground. The scene is laid before the wall of
her father's large estate and she falls at his very gates. Gladys made
the scene very realistic, and the audience sat tense and sympathetic.
"_Food, food_," moaned Marie Latour, "_only a crust to keep the life in
me and my child!"_ She lay weakly in the road, unable to rise. "_Food,
food_," she moaned again. At this moment there suddenly descended, as
from the very heavens, a ham sandwich on the end of a string. It dangled
within an inch of her nose. Gladys was petrified. The audience sat up in
surprise, and a ripple of laughter ran through the house. It was such an
unexpected anticlimax. That some one was playing a practical joke Gladys
did not for a moment doubt, and she was furious at this ridiculous
interruption of her big scene. In the play Marie loses consciousness and
is found by a peasant, and it is on this occurrence that the rest of the
play hinges. The sudden appearance of the ham sandwich in response to
her cry for food was fatal to the pathos of the scene. The rest of the
cast, standing in the wings, saw what had happened and were at their
wits' end. But Gladys was equal to the occasion.
Moving her head wearily and passing her hand over her eyes she murmured
faintly but audibly, "Cruel, cruel mirage to taunt me thus! Vanish, thou
image of a fevered brain, thou absurd memory! Come not to mock me!" The
actors in the wings, taking their cue from her speech, found the string
to which the sandwich was tied and jerked it. The sandwich vanished from
the sight of the audience. The scene was saved. The spectators simply
passed it over as a more or less clumsy attempt to portray a vision of a
disordered brain. The string on the sandwich had been passed over
certain rigging above the stage that moved the scenery, and on through a
little ventilator that came out on the fourth floor, from which point
the manipulator had been able to listen to the speeches on the stage and
time the drop of the sandwich. By the time the Thessalonian boys had
traced the string to its end the perpetrator of the joke was nowhere to
be found. He had fled as soon as the thing had been lowered. The scene
ended without further calamity.
In the third scene--the one in the peasant's hut--there is a cat on the
stage. The presence of this cat was the signal for further trouble. In
one of the tense passages, where Marie Latour is pleading with the son
of the peasant to flee for his life before the agents of her father come
and capture them both, and the cat lies asleep on the hearth, there was
a sudden uproar, and a dog bounded through the entrance of the stage.
The cat rushed around in terror and finally ran up the curtain. The
lovers parted hastily and tried to capture the dog, but eluding their
pursuit he jumped over the footlights into the orchestra, landing with a
crash on the keys of the piano, and then out into the audience. Nyoda
and three or four of the Winnebagos, sitting together near the front on
the first floor of the auditorium, recognized the dog with a good deal
of surprise. It was Mr. Bob, Hinpoha's black cocker spaniel. How he had
gotten in was a mystery, for Hinpoha herself was not there. Nyoda called
to him sharply and he came to her wagging his tail, and allowed himself
to be put out with the best nature in the world. But the scene had been
During the rest of the evening Nyoda, as well as a number of the other
teachers, sat with brows knitted, going over the various things that had
happened to interrupt that play. As yet they did not know about the
attempt to steal the statue, which Sahwah had accidentally nipped in the
bud. But the following week, when the play was all over, and the various
occurrences had been made known, there was a day of reckoning at
Washington High School. Joe Lanning and Abraham Goldstein were called up
before the principal and confronted with Sahwah, who told, to their
infinite amazement, every move they had made in carrying off the statue.
At first they denied everything as a made-up story gotten up to spite
them, but when Sahwah led the way to the barn where she had been
confined and triumphantly produced the base of the statue, they saw that
further denial was useless and admitted their guilt. They also confessed
to being the authors of the sandwich joke and the ones who had brought
in the dog. Both were expelled from school.
But the thing which the principal and teachers considered the bigger
crime--the cutting of the wires at the back of the stage--was still a
mystery. Joe's and Abraham's complicity in the statue affair furnished
them with a complete alibi in regard to the other. It was proven, beyond
a doubt, that they had not been in the building in the early part of the
afternoon nor after they had carried off the statue, until after the
wires had been cut. Then who had cut the wires? That was the question
that agitated the school. It was too big a piece of vandalism to let
slip. The principal, Mr. Jackson, was determined to run down the
offender. Joe and Abraham denied all knowledge of the affair and there
was no clue. The whole school was up in arms about the matter.
Then things took a rather unexpected turn. In one of the teachers'
meetings where the matter was being discussed, one of the teachers, Mr.
Wardwell, suddenly got to his feet. He had just recollected something.
"I remember," he said, "seeing Dorothy Bradford coming out of the
electric room late on the afternoon of the play. She came out twice,
once about three o'clock and once about four. Each time she seemed
embarrassed about meeting me and turned scarlet." There was a murmur of
surprise among the teachers. Nyoda sat up very straight.
The next day Hinpoha was summoned to the office. Unsuspectingly she
went. She had been summoned before, always on matters of more or less
congenial business. She found Mr. Jackson, Mr. Wardwell and Nyoda
together in the private office.
"Miss Bradford," began Mr. Jackson, without preliminary, "Mr. Wardwell
tells me he saw you coming out of the electric room on the afternoon of
the play. In view of what happened that night, the presence of anybody
in that room looks suspicious. Will you kindly state what you did in
Nyoda listened with an untroubled heart, sure of an innocent and
convincing reason why Hinpoha had been in that room. Hinpoha, taken
completely by surprise, was speechless. To Nyoda's astonishment and
dismay, she turned fiery red. Hinpoha always blushed at the slightest
provocation. In the stress of the moment she could not think of a single
worth-while excuse for having gone into the electric room. Telling the
real reason was of course out of the question because she had promised
to shield Emily Meeks.
"I left something in there," she stammered, "and went back after it."
"You carried nothing in your hands either time when you came out," said
Hinpoha was struck dumb. She was a poor hand at deception and was
totally unable to "bluff" anything through. "I didn't say I carried
anything out," she said in an agitated voice. "I went in after something
and it--wasn't there."
"What was it?" asked Mr. Jackson.
"I can't tell you," said Hinpoha.
"How did you happen to leave anything in the electric room?" persisted
Mr. Jackson. "What were you doing in there in the first place?"
"I went in to see if I had left something there," said poor Hinpoha,
floundering desperately in the attempt to tell a plausible tale and yet
not lie deliberately. Then, realizing that she was contradicting herself
and getting more involved all the time, she gave it up in despair and
sat silent and miserable. Nyoda's expression of amazement and concern
was an added torture.
"You admit, then, that you were in the electric room twice on Thursday
afternoon, doing something which you cannot explain?" said Mr. Jackson,
slowly. Hinpoha nodded, mutely. She never for an instant wavered in her
loyalty to Emily.
"There is another thing," continued Mr. Jackson, "that seems to point to
the fact that you were in league with those who wished to spoil the
play. It was your dog that was let out on the stage in pursuit of the
"I know it was," said Hinpoha, feeling that she was being drawn
helplessly into a net from which there was no escape. "But that wasn't
my fault. I haven't the slightest idea how he got there. It was pure
chance that he was coaxed into the building."
"That may all be," said Mr. Jackson, with frowning wrinkles around the
corners of his eyes, "but it looks suspicious."
"You certainly don't think I cut those wires, do you?" said Hinpoha
Mr. Jackson looked wise. "You were not at the play yourself, were you?"
"No," answered Hinpoha.
"Why weren't you?" pursued Mr. Jackson. "Have you anything against the
"No, not at all," said Hinpoha with a catch in her voice. "I am not
going to anything this winter." She looked down at her black dress
expressively, not trusting her voice to speak.
"Further," continued Mr. Jackson, "you were seen in the company of Joe
Lanning the day before these things happened." Now, Hinpoha had walked
home from school with Joe that Wednesday. She had done it merely because
she was too courteous to snub him flatly when he had caught up with her