Part 3 out of 4
seemed such a spineless sort of creature. I always preferred Queen
Elizabeth, even if she did cut off Mary's head."
"Every single one of the heroines so far has died a violent death,"
remarked Miss Amesbury. "Is that the only kind of women you admire?"
"It seems so," replied Migwan, laughing. "We're a bloodthirsty lot. Go
Katherine dropped the log she was carrying upon the fire and kept her
eye upon it as she spoke. "I see a brilliant assemblage, gathered in the
palace of the Empress of Austria to hear a wonderful boy musician play
on the piano. As the young lad, who is none other than the great Mozart,
enters the room, he first approaches the Empress to make his bow to her.
The polished floor is extremely slippery, and he slips and falls flat.
The courtiers, who consider him very clumsy, do nothing but laugh at
him, but the young daughter of the Empress runs forward, helps him to
his feet and comforts him with soothing words."
"I always did think that was the most charming anecdote ever related
about Marie Antoinete," observed Migwan. "She must have been a very
sweet and lovable young girl; it doesn't seem possible that she grew up
to be the kind of woman she did."
"Another one who lost her head!" remarked Miss Amesbury, laughing.
"Aren't there going to be any who live to grow old? Let's see who
Hinpoha's favorite heroine is."
Hinpoha moved back a foot or so from the fire, which had blazed up to an
uncomfortable heat at the addition of Katherine's log. "I see a Puritan
maiden, seated at a spinning wheel," she commenced. "The door opens and
a young man comes in. He apparently has something on his mind, and
stands around first on one foot and then on the other, until the girl
asks him what seems to be the trouble, whereupon he gravely informs her
that a friend of his, a most worthy man indeed, who can write, and
fight, and--ah, do several more things all at once, wants her for his
wife. Then the girl smiles demurely at him, and says coyly--"
"Why don't you speak for yourself, John?" shouted the other six girls,
with one voice.
"You don't need to ask Hinpoha who her favorite heroine is," said Migwan
laughing. "Ever since I've known her she's read the story of Priscilla
and John Alden at least once a week."
"Well, you must admit that she _was_ pretty clever," said Hinpoha,
blushing a little at the exposure of her fondness for love stories. "And
sensible, too. She wasn't afraid of speaking up and helping her bashful
lover along a little bit, instead of meekly accepting Standish's offer
and then spending the rest of her life sighing because John Alden hadn't
"That's right," chimed in Sahwah. "I admire a girl with spirit. If Lady
Jane Gray had had a little more spirit she wouldn't have lost her head.
I'll warrant Priscilla Mullins would have found a way out of it if she
had been in the same scrape as Lady Jane. Now, your turn, Migwan."
"I see a girl living in a bleak house on the edge of a wild, lonely
moor," began Migwan. "All winter long the storms howl around the house
like angry spirits of the air. To amuse themselves in these long winter
evenings this girl and her sisters make up stories about the people that
live on the moors and tell them to each other around the fire, or after
they have crept into bed, and lie shivering under the blankets in the
icy cold room. The stories that my girl made up were so fascinating that
the others forgot the cold and the raw winds whistling about the house
and listened spellbound until she had finished."
"I know who that is," said Gladys, when Migwan paused. "Mig is forever
raving about Charlotte Bronte."
"The more I think about her the more wonderful she seems," said Migwan
warmly. "How a girl brought up in such a dead, cheerless place as
Haworth Churchyard, and knowing nothing at all about the world of
people, could have written such a book as _Jane Eyre_, seems a miracle.
She was a genius," she finished with an envious sigh.
Miss Amesbury looked keenly at Migwan. "I think," she observed shrewdly,
"that you like to write also. Is it not so?"
Migwan blushed furiously and sat silent. To have this successful, widely
known writer know her heart's ambition filled her with an agony of
"Migwan does write, wonderful things," said Hinpoha loyally. "She's had
things printed in papers and in the college magazine." Then she told
about the Indian legend that had caused such a stir in college,
whereupon Miss Amesbury laughed heartily, and patted Migwan on the head,
and said she would very much like to see some of the things she had
written. Migwan, thrilled and happy, but still very much embarrassed,
shyly promised that she would let her see some of her work, and in the
middle of her speech a potato blew up with a bang, showering them all
with mealy fragments and hot ashes, and sending them flying away from
the fire with startled shrieks.
Since the potatoes were so very evidently done, the rest of the meal was
hurriedly prepared, and eaten with keen appetites. During the clearing
away process somebody discovered that the rain had stopped falling, a
fact which they had all been too busy to notice before, and that the
mist was being rapidly blown away by a strong northwest wind. When they
woke in the morning, after sleeping in the cave around the fire, the sun
was shining brightly into the entrance and the birds outside were
singing joyously of a fair day to come.
Overflowing with energy the late cave dwellers raced through the sweet
smelling woods, indescribably fresh and fragrant after the cleansing,
purifying rain, and launched the canoes upon a river Sparkling like a
sheet of diamonds in the clear morning sunlight. How wonderfully new and
bright the rain-washed earth looked everywhere, and how exhilarating the
fresh rushing wind was to their senses, after the smoky, misty
atmosphere of the cave!
Exulting in their strength the Winnebagos bent low over their paddles,
and the canoes leaped forward like hounds set free from the leash, and
went racing along with the current, shooting past islands, whirling
around bends, whisking through tiny rapids, wildly, deliriously,
rejoicing in the thrill of the morning and the call of a world running
over with joy. Soon they came to the place where they had first planned
to camp, and there were the primroses, a-riot with bloom, nodding them a
"Aren't you glad we didn't stay here?" said Sahwah. "We'd have been
soaked if we did, because we probably wouldn't have found the cave. The
primroses saved the day for us by growing where we wanted to lay our
They sang a cheer to the primroses and swept on until they came to the
place in the woods where the balsam grew. Dusk was falling when, with
canoes piled high with the fragrant boughs, they rounded the great bend
above Keewaydin and a few minutes later ran in alongside the Camp
"I feel as though I had been gone for weeks," said Migwan, as they
climbed out of the canoes.
"So do I," said Sahwah, dancing up and down on the dock to take the
stiffness out of her muscles. "Doesn't it look civilized, though, after
what we've just experienced? I wish," she continued longingly, "that I
could live in the wilds all the time."
"I don't," replied Migwan, patting the diving tower as if it were an old
friend. "Camp is plenty wild enough for me."
"Why, where _is_ camp?" asked Sahwah in perplexity, noticing that the
whole place was dark and still. It was half past six, the usual
after-supper frolic hour, when camp was wont to ring to the echo with
fun and merriment of all kinds. Now no sound came from Mateka, nor from
the bungalow, nor from any of the tents, no sound and no movement.
Before their astonished eyes the camp lay like an enchanted city,
changed in their absence from a place of racket and bustle and
resounding laughter, to a silent ghost of its former lively self.
"What's happened?" exclaimed the Winnebagos to each other. "Is everybody
gone on a trip?"
Mystified, they climbed up the hill, and at the top they found Miss Judy
going from tent to tent with her flashlight, as if making the nightly
rounds after lights out.
"O Miss Judy," they called to her, "what's happened?"
"Shh-h-h!" replied Miss Judy, holding up her hand for silence and
coming toward them. "Everybody's in bed," she whispered when she was
near enough for them to hear her."
"In bed!" exclaimed the Winnebagos in astonishment. "At half past six in
the evening? What for?"
"It's Topsy-Turvy Day," replied Miss Judy, laughing at their amazed
faces. "We're turning everything upside down tonight. Hurry and get into
bed. The rising bugle will blow in half an hour."
Giggling with amusement the Winnebagos sped to their tents, unrolled
their ponchos, made up their beds in a hurry, undressed quickly and
popped into bed. Not long afterward they heard the dipping of paddles
and the monotonous "one, two, one two," of the boatswain as the crew of
the Turtle started out for practice. The Turtle's regular practice hour
was the half hour before rising bugle in the morning.
Tired with her long paddle that day Hinpoha fell asleep as soon as she
touched the pillow, and was much startled to hear the loud blast of a
bugle in the midst of a delightful dream. "What's the matter?" she asked
sleepily, sitting up and looking around her in bewilderment. "What are
they blowing the bugle in the middle of the night for?"
"They aren't blowing the bugle in the middle of the night," said Sahwah
with a shriek of laughter at Hinpoha's puzzled face. "This is
Topsy-Turvy Day, don't you remember? We're going to have our regular
day's program at night time. It's ten minutes to seven, and that's the
bugle for morning dip. Are you coming?"
Sahwah was already inside her bathing suit, and Agony had hers half on.
Hinpoha replied with an unintelligible sound, one-eighth grunt and
seven-eights yawn, and rising tipsily from her bed she looked around for
her bathing suit with eyes still half sealed by sleep. Sahwah helped her
into the suit and seizing her hand led her down to the water, where half
the camp, shaking with convulsive merriment at the absurdity of the
thing, were scrupulously taking their "morning dip," with toothbrush
drill and all the other regular morning ablutions.
The rising bugle blew while they were still at it and they sped back to
the tents to get dressed, making three times as much racket about this
process as they ever did in the morning. Most of the tents had no
lights, because ordinarily no one needed a light to undress by and so
the lanterns which had been given out at the beginning of the season
were scattered everywhere about camp as especial need for them had
arisen upon various occasions. But getting dressed in the dark is harder
than getting undressed, and most of the tents were in an uproar.
"I can only find one stocking," wailed Oh-Pshaw, after vainly feeling
around for several minutes. "Where's my flashlight, Katherine?"
"I'm sorry, but I just dropped it into the water jar," replied
Katherine, "and it won't work any more." Katherine herself was
hopelessly involved in her bloomers, having put both feet through the
same leg, and was lying flat on the floor trying to extricate herself.
"Can I go with only one stocking on?" Oh-Pshaw persisted plaintively. "I
haven't another pair here in the tent."
"_I_ can't find my middy," Jean Lawrence was lamenting, paying no heed
to Oh-Pshaw's troubles in regard to hosiery.
Tiny Armstrong, reaching down behind her bed for some missing article of
her costume, gave the bed such a shove that it went flying out of the
tent carrying the rustic railing with it, and they heard it go bumping
down the hillside.
"Strike one!" called Tiny ruefully. "That's what comes of being so
strong. I'll knock the tent down next."
"Will somebody please tell me where my middy is?" Jean cried tragically.
"I can't find it anywhere."
"Will someone tell _me_ where the other leg of my bloomers is?"
exclaimed Katherine. "I've shoved both feet through the same leg three
times, now. There goes the breakfast bugle!"
"Oh, where is my other stocking?"
"Where is my middy?"
"Who's gone south with my shoes?"
The threefold wail floated down on the breeze as footsteps began to run
down the Alley in the direction of the bungalow. A few minutes later the
occupants of Bedlam slid as unobtrusively as possible into the lighted
bungalow; Oh-Pshaw with her bloomers down around her ankles in a Turkish
effect, to hide the fact that she had on only one stocking; Jean with
her sweater buttoned tightly around her, Katherine with her red silk tie
bound around one knee to gather up the fullness of her bloomer leg, for
the elastic band had burst from the strain of accommodating two feet at
once; and Tiny had one white sneaker and one red Pullman slipper on.
Glancing around at the rest they saw many others in the same
plight--middies on hindside before, odd shoes and stockings, sweaters
instead of middies, and various other parodies on the regular camp
uniform--and immediately they ceased to feel conspicuous. Taking their
places around the table the campers proceeded to sing one of the morning
"Good morning to you,
Good morning to you,
Good morning, dear comrades,
Good morning to you!"
"Did you have a good night's sleep?" was a question that made the
rounds of the table, with many droll replies, as the cereal was being
passed. Hilarity increased during the meal, as the absurdity of eating
cereal and fruit and toast at eight o'clock in the evening overcame the
girls one after the other, and the room rang with witty songs made up on
the spur of the moment.
At "Morning Sing" which followed breakfast, they solemnly sang "When
Morning Gilds the Skies," "Awake, my soul, and with the sun," "Kathleen
Mavourneen, the grey dawn is breaking," and other morning songs; the
program for the day was read, and Dr. Grayson gave a fatherly lecture on
the harmfulness of staying up after dark. Getting the tents ready for
tent inspection without lights was a proceeding which defies
description. Tiny Armstrong was still on the hillside searching for her
runaway bed when the Lone Wolf reached Bedlam in her tour of inspection,
and was given a large and black zero in consequence. She finally gave up
the search and wandered into Mateka, where, with lanterns hanging above
the long tables, Craft Hour was in full swing, the girls busily working
at clay modeling, wood-blocking and paddle decorating, while the moon,
round-eyed with astonishment, peeped through the doorway at the singular
sight. Still more astonished, the same moon looked down on the tennis
court an hour later, where a lively folk dance was going on to the
music of a graphaphone; couples spinning around in wild figures,
stepping on each other's feet and every now and then dropping down at
the outer edge of the court and shrieking with laughter, while the dance
continued faster and more furiously than before, till the sound of the
bugle sent the dancers flying swiftly to their tents to wriggle into
clammy, wet bathing suits that seemed in the dark to be an altogether
different shape from what they were in the daylight.
Standing on top of the diving tower when Tiny's cry of "All in!" rang
out, Sahwah leaped down into the darkness and had a queer, thrilling
moment in mid air when she wondered if she would ever strike the water,
or would go on indefinitely falling through the blackness. Laughing,
shouting, splashing, the campers sported in the water until all of a
sudden a red canoe shot into their midst and the director of Camp
Altamont, accompanied by two assistants, came in an advanced stage of
breathlessness to find out what the matter was. They heard the noise and
the splashing of water and thought some accident had occurred.
"No accident, thanks, only Camp Keewaydin stealing a march on old Father
Time and turning night into day," Dr. Grayson called from the dock, and
amid shouts of laughter from all around the messengers paddled back to
their camp to assure the wakened and excited boys that nothing had
happened, and that it was only another wild inspiration of the people
at Camp Keewaydin.
At midnight, when the bugle blew for dinner, everyone was as hungry as
at noon, and the kettle of cocoa and the trays of sandwiches were
emptied in a jiffy.
"Now what?" asked Dr. Grayson, looking around the table with twinkling
eyes, when the last crumb and the last drop of cocoa had disappeared.
"Rest hour," replied Mrs. Grayson emphatically. "Rest hour to last until
morning. Blow the bugle, Judy."
"Wasn't this the wildest evening we ever put in?" said Katherine,
fishing her hairbrush out of the water pail. "Where's Tiny?" she asked,
becoming aware that their Councilor was not in the tent,
"Down on the hill looking for her bed." replied Oh-Pshaw.
"Goodness, let's go down and help her," said Katherine, and Oh-Pshaw and
Jean streamed after her down the path. They stumbled over the bed before
they came to Tiny. It had turned over sidewise and fallen into a tiny
ravine, and as she had gone straight down the hill searching for it she
had missed it. Katherine stepped into the ravine, dragging the two
others with her, and at the bottom they landed on top of the bed.
Getting an iron cot up a steep hill is not the easiest thing in the
world, and when they had it up at the top of the hill they all sat down
on it and panted awhile before they could make it up. Then they
discovered that the pillow was missing and Katherine obligingly went
down the hill again to find it.
"I shan't get up again for a week," she sighed wearily as she stretched
between the sheets.
"Neither will I," echoed Tiny.
Jean and Oh-Pshaw did not echo. They were already asleep.
Katherine had just sunk into a deep slumber when she started at the
touch of a cold hand laid against her face. "What is it?" she cried out
A face was bending over her, a pale little face framed in a lace boudoir
cap. Katherine recognized Carmen Chadwick. "What's the matter?" she
"My Councy's awful sick, and none of the other girls will wake up and I
don't know what to do," said Carmen in a scared voice.
"What's the matter with her?" asked Katherine.
"She ate too many blueberries, I guess; she's got an awful pain in her
stomach, and chills."
Katherine hugged her warm pillow. "Take the hot water bottle out of the
washstand," she directed, without moving. "There--it's on the top shelf.
There's hot water in the tank in the kitchen. And have you some Jamaica
ginger? No? Take ours--it's the only bottle on the top shelf. Now you'll
be all right."
Katherine sank back into slumber. A few minutes more and she was
awakened again by the same cold hand on her face.
"What is it now?"
"The Jamaica ginger," asked Carmen's thin voice in a bewildered tone,
"what shall I do with it? Shall I put it in the hot water bottle?"
Katherine's feet suddenly struck the floor together, and with an
explosive exclamation under her breath she sped over to Avernus and took
matters in hand herself. She had tucked Carmen into her own bed in
Bedlam, and she spent the remainder of the night over in Avernus, taking
care of the Lone Wolf, snatching a few moments' sleep in Carmen's bed
now and then when her patient felt easier. It was broad daylight before
she finally settled into uninterrupted slumber.
Camp was more or less demoralized the next day. Miss Judy overslept and
did not blow the rising bugle until nearly noon, so dinner took the
place of breakfast and swimming hour came in the middle of the afternoon
instead of in the morning.
After swimming hour Agony went up to Miss Amesbury's balcony to return a
book she had borrowed. Miss Amesbury was not there, so Agony, as she
often did when she found her friend out, sat down to wait for her,
passing the time by looking at some sketches tying on the table. Turing
these over, Agony came upon a letter thrust in between the drawing
sheets, at the sight of which her heart began to flutter wildly. The
address on the envelope was in Mary Sylvester's handwriting--there was
no mistaking that firm, round hand; it was indelibly impressed upon
Agony's mind from seeing it on that other occasion. In a panic she
realized that the danger of being discovered was even greater than she
had thought, since Mary also wrote to Miss Amesbury. Was it not possible
that Mary had mentioned the robin incident in this letter? It now seemed
to Agony that Miss Amesbury's manner had been different toward her in
the last few days, on the trip. She seemed less friendly, less cordial.
Several times Agony had looked up lately to find Miss Amesbury regarding
her with a keen, grave scrutiny and a baffling expression on her face.
To Agony's tortured fancy these instances became magnified out of all
proportion, and the disquieting conviction seized her that Miss Amesbury
knew the truth. The thought nearly drove her mad. It tormented her until
she realized that there was only one way in which she could still the
tumult raging in her bosom, and that was by finding out for certain if
Mary had really told.
With shaking fingers she slipped the letter out of the open envelope,
and with cheeks aflame with shame at the thing she was doing, she
deliberately read Miss Amesbury's letter. It was much like the one Mary
had written to Jo Severance, full of clever descriptions of the places
she was seeing, and it made no mention either of the robin or of her.
With fingers shaking still more at the relief she felt, she put the
letter back into the envelope and replaced it between the sketches.
Then, trembling from head to foot at the reaction from her panic, she
turned her back upon the table and sat up against the railing, holding
her head in her hands and looking down at the fair sunlit river with
eyes that saw it not.
Miss Amesbury returned by and by and was so evidently pleased to see her
that Agony concluded she must have been mistaken in fancying any
coldness on her part during the last few days.
"I've a letter from Mary Sylvester," Miss Amesbury said almost at once,
"and because you are following so closely in Mary's footsteps I'm going
to read it to you." She smiled brightly into Agony's sober face and
paused to pat her on the shoulder before she fluttered over the pile of
sketches to find the letter.
Agony sat limply, listening to the words she had read a few minutes
before, despising herself thoroughly and wishing with all her heart that
she had never come to camp. Yet she forced herself to make appreciative
comments on the interesting things in the letter and to utter sincere
sounding exclamations of surprise at certain points.
"I've something to tell you that will please you," said Miss Amesbury,
after the letter had been put away.
"What is it?" asked Agony, looking up inquiringly.
"Someone you admire very much is going to visit Camp," replied Miss
"Who?" Agony's eyes opened up very wide with surprise.
"Edwin Langham. He has been camping not very far from here and he is
going to run down on his way home and pay Dr. Grayson a flying visit.
They are old friends."
"Edwin Langham?" Agony gasped faintly, her head awhirl. It seemed past
comprehension that this man whom she had worshipped as a divinity for so
long was actually to materialize in the flesh--that the cherished desire
of her life was coming true, that she was going to see and talk with
"Goodness, don't look so excited, child," said Miss Amesbury, laughing.
"He's only a man. A very rare and wonderful man, however," she added,
"and it is a great privilege to know him."
"When is he coming?" asked Agony in a whisper.
"Tomorrow afternoon. He is going to stop off between boats and will be
here only a short time."
"Do you suppose he will speak to me?" asked Agony humbly.
"I rather think he will," replied Miss Amesbury, smiling. "You see," she
continued, taking Agony's hand in hers as she spoke, "it just happened
that Edwin Langham was the man who sat under the tree that time you
climbed up and rescued the robin. He was laid up with blood poisoning in
his foot at the time and he had been wheeled into the woods from his
camp that afternoon. His man had left him for a short time when you
happened along. He was the man who told about the incident down at the
store at Green's Landing, where Dr. Grayson heard about it later from
the storekeeper. Dr. Grayson did not know at the time that it was his
friend Edwin Langham who had witnessed the affair, but in the letter Dr.
Grayson has just received from Mr. Langham he gives an enthusiastic
account of it, and says he is coming to camp partly for the purpose of
meeting the girl in the green bloomers who performed that splendid deed
that day. So you see, my dear," Miss Amesbury concluded, "I think it is
highly probable that you will have an opportunity to speak to your
idolized Edwin Langham."
For a moment things turned black before Agony's eyes. She rose
unsteadily to her feet and crossed the balcony to the stairs. "I must be
going, now," she murmured through dry lips.
"Must you go so soon?" asked Miss Amesbury with a real regret in her
voice that cut Agony to the heart.
"Come again, come often," floated after her as she passed through the
Agony sped away from camp and hid herself away in the woods, where she
sank down at the foot of a great tree and hid her face in her hands. The
thing she had desired, had longed for above all others, was now about to
come to pass--and she had made it forever an impossibility. The cup of
joy that Fate had decreed she was to taste she had dashed to the ground
with her own hands. For she could not see Edwin Langham, could not let
him see her. As long as he did not see her her secret was safe. He did
not know her name, or Mary's, so he could not betray her in that way.
Only, if he ever saw her he would know the difference right away, and
then would come betrayal and disgrace. There was only one thing to do.
She must hide away from him; and give up her opportunity of meeting and
talking with him. It was the only way out of the predicament.
When the steamer swung into view around the bend of the river the next
afternoon Agony stole away into the thickest part of the woods and
proceeded toward a place she had discovered some time before. It was a
deep, extremely narrow ravine, so narrow indeed that it was merely a
great crock in the earth, not more than six feet across at its widest.
It was filled with a wild growth of elderberry bushes, which made it an
excellent hiding place. She scrambled down into this pit and crouched
under the bushes, completely hidden from view. Here she sat with her
head bowed down on her knees, hearing the whistle of the steamer as it
neared the dock, and the welcoming song of the girls as the
distinguished passenger alighted. A little later it seemed to her that
she heard voices calling her name. Yes, it was so, without a doubt. Tiny
Armstrong's megaphone voice came echoing on the breeze.
"A-go-ny! A-go-ny! Oh-h-h-h, A--go--ny!"
* * * * *
She clenched her hands in silent misery, and did not raise her head.
Then the sound of a bark arrested her attention, coming from directly
overhead, and she sat up in consternation. Micky, the bull pup belonging
to the Camp, had discovered her hiding place and would undoubtedly give
"Go away, Micky!" she commanded in a low tone. At the sound of her voice
Micky barked more loudly than ever, a joyous, welcoming bark. Having
been much petted by Agony, Micky had grown very fond of her, and seeing
her walk off into the woods today, he had followed after her, and now
gave loud voice to his satisfaction at finding her.
"Micky! Go away!" commanded Agony a second time, throwing a lump of dirt
at him. Micky looked astonished as the dirt flew past his nose, but
refused to retire.
"Well, if you won't go away, come down in here, then," said Agony.
"Here, Micky, Micky," she called coaxingly.
Micky, clumsy puppy that he was, made a wild leap into the ravine and
landed upon the sharp point of a jagged stump, cutting a jagged gash in
his shoulder. How he did howl! Agony expected every minute that the
whole camp would come running to the spot to find out what the matter
was. But fortunately the wind was blowing from the direction of Camp
and the sound was carried the other way. Agony worked frantically to get
the wound bound up and the poor puppy soothed into silence. At last he
lay still, with his head in her lap, licking her hand with his moppy red
tongue every few seconds to tell her how grateful he was.
Thus she sat until she heard the deep whistle of the returning steamer
and the farewell song of the girls as they stood on the dock and waved
goodbye to Edwin Langham. When she was sure that the boat must be out of
sight she shoved Micky gently out of her lap and rose to climb out of
her hiding place. Her feet were asleep from sitting so long in her
cramped position and as she tried to get a foothold on the steep side of
the ravine she slipped and fell headlong, striking her head on a stump
and twisting her back. It was not until night that they found her, after
her continued absence from camp had roused alarm, and searching parties
had been made up to scour the woods. Tiny Armstrong, shouting her way
through the woods, first heard a muffled bark and then a feeble answer
to her call, coming from the direction of the ravine, and charging
toward it like a fire engine she discovered the two under the elderberry
Agony was lifted gently out and laid on the ground to await the coming
of an improvised stretcher.
"We hunted and hunted for you this afternoon," said Jo Severance,
bending over her with an anxious face. "The poet, Edwin Langham, was
here, and he wanted especially to see you, and was dreadfully
disappointed when we couldn't find you. He left a book here for you."
"Oh," groaned Agony, and those hearing her thought that she must be in
great physical pain.
"How did you happen to fall into that ravine?" asked Jo.
Agony was becoming light headed from the blow on her temple, and she
answered in disjointed phrases.
"Didn't fall in--went down--purpose. Micky--fell in--hurt shoulder--I
bandaged it--fell trying--to--get--out."
Her voice trailed off weakly toward the end.
"There, don't talk," said Dr. Grayson. "We understand all about it. The
dog fell in and hurt himself and you went down after him and then fell
in yourself. Being kind to dumb animals again. Noble little girl. We're
proud of you."
Agony heard it all as in a dream, but could summon no voice to speak.
She was _so_ tired. After all, why not let them think that? It was the
best way out. Otherwise they might wonder how she happened to be in the
ravine--it would be hard for them to believe that she had fallen into it
herself in broad daylight, and it might be embarrassing to answer
questions. Let them believe that she had gone down after the dog. That
settled the matter once for all.
The stretcher arrived and she was carried to her tent, where Dr. Grayson
made a thorough examination of her injuries.
"Not serious," was his verdict, to everybody's immense relief. "Painful
bump on the head, but no real damage done, and back strained a little,
Once more Agony was the camp heroine, and her tent was crowded all day
long with admirers. Miss Amesbury sat and read to her by the hour; the
camp cook made up special dishes and sent them out on a tray trimmed
with wild flowers; the camp orchestra serenaded her daily and nightly,
and half a dozen clever camp poets made up songs in her honor. Fame
comes easily in camps, and enthusiasm runs high while it lasts.
Agony reflected, in a grimly humorous way, that in the matter of fame
she had a sort of Midas touch; everything she did rebounded to her
glory, now that the ball was once started rolling. And worst of all was
the book that Edwin Langham had left for her, a beautiful copy of "The
Desert Garden," bound in limp leather with gold edged leaves. Inside the
cover was written in a flowing, beautiful hand:
"To A.C.W., in memory of a certain day in the woods.
From one who rejoices in a brave and noble deed.
Sincerely, Edwin Langham."
On the opposite page was written a quotation which Agony had been
familiar with ever since she had become a Winnebago:
"Love is the joy of service so deep that self is
She put the book away where she could not see it, but the words had
burned themselves into her brain.
"To A.C.W. From one who rejoices in a brave and noble
They mocked her in the dead of night, they taunted her in the light of
day. But, like the boy with the fox gnawing at his vitals, Agony
continued to smile and make herself agreeable, and no one ever suspected
that her gayety was not genuine.
THE STUNT'S THE THING
"Where would a shipwreck look best, right by the dock, or farther up the
shore?" Sahwah's forehead puckered up with the force of her reflection.
"Oh, not right by the dock," said Jo Severance decidely. "That would be
too modern and--commonplace. It's lots more epic to be dashed against a
rocky cliff. All the shipwrecks in the books happen on stern and
rockbound coasts and things like that."
"It might be more epic for those who are looking on, but for the one
that gets shipwrecked," Sahwah reminded her. "As long as I'm the one
that get's wrecked I'm going to pick out a soft spot to get wrecked on."
"Why not capsize some distance out in the water and swim ashore?"
"Of course!" exclaimed Sahwah. "Why didn't we think of that before?
"This is the way we'll start, then," said Migwan, taking out her
notebook and scribbling in it with a pencil. "Scene One. Sinbad the
Sailor clinging to wreckage of vessel out in the water. He drifts ashore
and lands in the kingdom of the Keewaydins." She paused and bit the end
of her pencil, seeking inspiration. "Then, what will you do when you
"Oh, I'll just poke around a bit, and then discover the Keewaydins in
their native wilds," replied Sahwah easily. "Then I'll go around with
you while you go through the events of a day in camp. O, I think it's
the grandest idea!" she interrupted herself in a burst of rapture.
"We'll get the stunt prize as easy as pie. The Avenue will never be able
to think up anything nearly as good. How did you ever manage to think of
"Why, it just came all by itself," replied Migwan modestly.
Anyone who had ever spent a summer at Camp Keewaydin, passing at that
moment, and hearing the conversation, would have known exactly what week
of the year it was without consulting a calendar. It was the second week
in August--the week of Camp Keewaydin's annual Stunt Night, when the
Avenue and the Alley matched their talents in a contest to see which one
could put on the best original stunt. Next to Regatta Day, when the two
struggled for the final supremacy in aquatics, Stunt Night was the
biggest event of the camping season. Rivalry was intense. It was a fair
test of the talents of the girls themselves, for the councilors were
not allowed to participate, nor to give the slightest aid or advice. The
boys from Camp Altamont came over with their councilors, and together
with the directors and councilors of Camp Keewaydin they voted on which
stunt was the best. Originality counted most; finish in working out the
The Alley's stunt this year was a sketch entitled THE LAST VOYAGE OF
SINBAD THE SAILOR, and was a burlesque on Camp life. The idea had come
to Migwan in a flash of inspiration one night when Dr. Grayson was
reading the Arabian Nights aloud before the fire in the bungalow. She
communicated her idea to the rest of the Alley and they received it with
whoops of joy.
Now it lacked but three days until Stunt Night, and the Alleyites, over
on Whaleback, where they would be safe from detection, were deep in the
throes of rehearsing. Sahwah, of course, was picked for the role of the
shipwrecked Sinbad, for she was the only one who could be depended upon
to stage the shipweck in a thrilling manner.
"What kind of a costume do I wear?" she inquired, when the location of
the shipwreck itself had finally been settled. "What nationality was
"He came from Bagdad," replied Sahwah brilliantly.
"But where was Bagdad?"
"In Syria," declared Oh-Pshaw.
"Asia," promptly answered Gladys.
"Turkey," said Katherine, somewhat doubtfully, and "Persia," said Agony
in the same breath.
Then they all looked at each other a little sheepishly.
"The extent to which I don't know geography," remarked Sahwah, "is
"Well, if _we_ don't know what country Bagdad was in, it's pretty sure
that none of the others will either," said Hinpoha brightly, "so it
doesn't make much difference what kind of a costume you wear. Something
Turkish is what you want, I suppose. A turban and some great big
bloomers, you know the kind, with yards and yards of goods in them."
"But you can't swim in such awfully full bloomers," Sahwah protested.
"That's so, too," Hinpoha assented.
"Well, get them as big as you _can_ swim in," said Migwan pacifically.
"Who's going to make them?" Sahwah wanted to know. "We haven't much
"Oh, just borrow Tiny Armstrong's regular ones," Migwan replied.
"They'll look like Turkish bloomers on you."
"Won't she suspect what we're going to do if I borrow them?" Sahwah
"Nonsense! What could she suspect? She will know of course that you
want them for the stunt, but she couldn't guess _what_ for."
"We've got to have her other pair, too, for the person who is going to
impersonate Tiny," Agony reminded Migwan.
"So we do," replied Migwan, making a note in her book. "And her
stockings, too, those red and black ones. We're going to do that snake
business over again. Somebody will have to get these without Tiny's
knowing it, or she'll suspect about the snake. Who's in her tent?"
"We are," replied Katherine and Oh-Pshaw. "We'll manage to get them for
you. Who's going to impersonate Tiny Armstrong?"
Migwan squinted her eyes in a calculating manner and surveyed the girls
grouped around her. "It'll have to be Katherine, I guess," she finally
announced. "She's the biggest of us all. But even she isn't nearly as
big as Tiny," she added regretfully.
"Couldn't we put two of us together?" suggested Sahwah. "Carmen Chadwick
is as light as a feather and she could get up on Katherin's shoulders as
easy as not."
"But we need Katherine to impersonate the Lone Wolf. She's the only one
who can do it well," objected Migwan. "Somebody else will have to be the
bottom half of Tiny. Hinpoha, you'll do for that part. Gladys, you'll be
Pom-pom, of course. There, that's three councilors taken care of. As
soon as your parts are assigned will you please step over to that side,
girls. Then I can see what I have left. Now, who'll be Miss Peckham?"
There was a silence, and all the eligibles looked at one another
doubtfully. Nobody quite dared impersonate Miss Peckham--and nobody
wanted to, for that matter.
"Jo?" Migwan began hesitatingly. "You're such a good mimic--no--" she
broke off decidely, "you have to be Dr. Grayson, of course, because you
can play men's parts so beautifully."
She looked from one to the other inquiringly. Her eye fell upon Bengal
Virden. "Bengal, dear--"
Bengal looked up with a jerk and a grimace of distaste. "I wouldn't be
Pecky for a thousand dollars," she declared flatly. "I hate her, I tell
you." Then something seemed to occur to her, and a mischievous twinkle
came into her eyes. "Oh, I'll be her," she exclaimed, throwing grammar
to the winds in her eagerness. "Please let me. I want to be, I want to
"All right," said Migwan relievedly, putting the entry down in her
notebook and proceeding with the assignment of parts. But Agony, having
seen the mischievous gleam that came into Bengal's eyes when she so
suddenly changed her mind about impersonating Miss Peckham, wondered as
to its meaning.
She called Bengal to come aside with her, and Bengal, enraptured at
being noticed by her divinity, trotted after her like a delighted
Newfoundland puppy, bestowing clumsy caresses upon her as they
"Oh, I've got the best joke on Pecky!" she gurgled, before Agony had had
a chance to broach the subject herself.
"Yes?" said Agony.
"Did you know," confided Bengal, with a fresh burst of giggles, "that
Then, as Agony gave a little incredulous exclamation, she hastened on.
"Really she does, her whole chin, with a razor, every morning. I found
it out a couple of days ago. I guess she'd have a regular beard if she
didn't. You've noticed how kind of hairy her chin is, haven't you? I
found a little safety razor among her things one day--"
"Bengal! You weren't rummaging among her things, were you?"
"No, of course not. But once when we were all up in the bungalow she
found that she'd forgotten her watch, and sent me back to get it out of
her bathrobe pocket, and there was a little safety razor in where the
watch was. I didn't think anything about it then, but after that I
noticed that she always went off by herself in the woods. While the rest
of us went for morning dip. Yesterday I followed her and saw what she
did. She shaved her chin with that safety razor. Oh, won't it be great
fun when I do that in the stunt? Won't she be hopping mad, though!"
Bengal hopped up and down and chortled with anticipatory glee.
"Bengal!" said Agony firmly, "don't you _dare_ do anything like that?
Don't you know that it's terribly bad taste to make fun of people's
"But she deserves it," Bengal persisted, still chuckling. "She's such a
"That has nothing whatever to do with the matter," Agony replied
sternly. "Do you want to ruin our stunt for us? That's what will happen
if you do anything as ill-bred as that. It would take away every chance
we have of winning the prize."
"Well, if _you_ say I shouldn't do it I won't," said Bengal rather
sulkily. "But wouldn't it have been the best joke!" she added
"Bengal," Agony continued, realizing that even if Bengal could be
suppressed as far as the stunt went, she would still have plenty of
opportunity for making life miserable for Miss Peckham now that she had
learned her embarrassing secret, "you won't mention this to any of the
other girls, will you? You see, it must be very embarrassing for Miss
Peckham to have to do that, and naturally she would feel highly
uncomfortable if the camp found it out. You see, you found it out by
accident; she didn't tell you of her own free will, so you have no right
to tell it any further. A girl with a nice sense of honor would never
think of telling anything she found out in that way, when she knew it
would cause embarrassment if told. So you'll give me your promise, won't
you, Bengal dear, that you will never mention this matter to anybody
Bengal flushed and looked down, maintaining an obstinate silence.
"Please, won't you, Bengal dear?" coaxed Agony in her most irresistible
manner. "Will you do it for me if you won't do it for Miss Peckham?"
Bengal could not hold out against the coaxing of her adored one, but she
still hesitated, bargaining her promise for a reward. "If you'll let me
wear your ring for the rest of the summer, and come and kiss me
goodnight every night after I'm in bed--"
"All right," Agony agreed hastily, with a sigh of resignation for this
departure from her fixed principles regarding the lending of jewelry and
about promiscuous demonstrations of affection, but peace in camp was
worth the price.
Bengal claimed the ring at once, and then, after pawing Agony over like
a bear cub, said a little shamefacedly, "I wish I were as good as you
are. You're so honorable. How do you get such a 'nice sense of honor' as
you have? I think I'd like to have one."
"Such a nice sense of honor as you have!" Agony jerked up as though she
had been jabbed with a red hot needle. "Such a nice sense of honor as
you have!" The words lingered in her ears like a mocking echo. The smile
faded from her lips; her arm stiffened and dropped from Bengal's
shoulder. The frank admiration in the younger girl's eyes cut her to the
quick. With a haggard look she turned away from Bengal and wandered away
to the other part of the island, away from the girls. Just now she could
not bear to hear their gay, carefree voices. What would she not give,
she thought to herself, to have nothing on her mind. She even envied
rabbit-brained little Carmen Chadwick, who, if she had nothing in her
head, had nothing on her conscience either.
"Who am I to talk of a 'nice sense of honor' to Bengal Virden?" she
thought miserably. "I'm a whole lot worse than she. She's only a
mischievous child, and doesn't know any better, but I do. I'm no better
than Jane Pratt, either, even though I told Mrs. Grayson about her going
out at night with boys from Camp Altamont." This matter of Jane Pratt
had tormented Agony without ceasing. True to her contemptuous attitude
toward Agony's plea that she break bonds no more, she had refused to
tell Mrs. Grayson about her nocturnal canoe rides and thus had forced
Agony to make good her threat and tell Mrs. Grayson herself. She had
hoped and prayed that Jane would take the better course and confess her
own wrong doing, but Jane did nothing of the kind, and there was only
one course open to Agony. It was the rule of the camp that anyone seeing
another breaking the rules must first give the offender the opportunity
to confess, and if that failed must report the matter herself to the
Doctor or Mrs. Grayson. So Agony was obliged to tell Mrs. Grayson that
Jane was breaking the rules by slipping out nights and setting a bad
example to the younger girls if any of them knew about it.
The matter caused more of a stir than Agony had expected, and much more
than she had wished for. Dr. Grayson prided himself upon the high
standard of conduct which was maintained at his camp, and he knew that
the mothers of his girls gave their daughters into his keeping with
implicit faith that they would meet with no harmful influences while
they were at Camp Keewaydin. If a rumor should ever get about that the
girls from his camp went out in canoes after hours Keewaydin's
reputation would suffer considerably. Dr. Grayson was outraged and
thoroughly angry. He decided at once that Jane should be sent home in
disgrace. That very day, however, Mrs. Grayson had received a letter
saying that Jane's mother was quite ill in a sanatarium and that all
upsetting news was being carefully kept away from her. She particularly
desired that Jane should not come home, as there was no place for her to
stay, and she was so much better taken care of in camp than she would be
in a large city with no one to look after her. It was this letter that
brought about a three-hour conference between the Doctor and Mrs.
Grayson. Dr. Grayson was firm about sending Jane home in disgrace; Mrs.
Grayson, filled with concern about her well loved friend, could not bear
to risk upsetting her at this critical time by turning loose her unruly
daughter. In the end Mrs. Grayson won her point, and Jane was allowed to
stay in camp, but she was deprived of all canoe privileges for the
remainder of the summer and forbidden to go on any of the trips with the
camp. She was taken away from the easy-going, sound-sleeping councilor
whose chaperonage she had succeeded in eluding, and placed in a tent
with Mrs. Grayson herself. Dr. Grayson called the whole camp together in
council and explained the matter to the girls, dwelling upon the
dishonorableness of breaking rules, and when he finished his talk there
was small danger that even the smallest rule would be broken again
during the summer. The sight of Jane Pratt called out in public to be
censured was not one to be soon forgotten. Agony was commended by the
Doctor for her firm stand in the matter, and praised because she did not
take the easier course of remaining silent about it and running the risk
of letting the reputation of the camp suffer.
Since then Jane, though somewhat subdued, had treated Agony with such
marked animosity of manner that Agony hardly dared look at her. Added
to her natural embarrassment at having been the in-former--a role which
no one ever really enjoys--was the matter which lay like lead on Agony's
own conscience and which tortured her out of all proportion to its real
"Pretender!" the whole world seemed to shriek at her wherever she went.
Thus, although Agony apparently was throwing herself heart and soul into
the preparations for Stunt Night, her mind was not on it half of the
time and at times she was hardly conscious of the bustle and excitement
These last three days the camp were as a house divided against itself,
as far as the Avenue and the Alley were concerned. Such a gathering of
groups into corners, such whispering and giggling, such sudden
scattering at the approach of one from the other side! Sahwah spent two
whole afternoons over on the far side of Whaleback, rehearsing her
shipwreck, while the rest of the Alleyites worked up their parts on
shore, trying to imitate the voices and characteristics of the various
councilors. All went fairly well except the combination Tiny Armstrong.
Carmen Chadwick, on top of Hinpoha, and draped up in Tiny's clothes,
made a truly imposing figure that drew involuntary applause from the
rest of the cast, but when Tiny spoke, the weak, piping voice that
issued from the gigantic figure promptly threw them all into hysterics.
The real Tiny's voice was as deep and resonant as a fog horn.
"That'll never do!" gasped Migwan through her tears of merriment. "That
doesn't sound any more like Tiny than a chipping sparrow sounds like a
lion. We'll have to get somebody with a deeper voice for the upper half
"But there isn't anybody else as light as Carmen," Hinpoha protested,
"and I can't carry anybody that's any heavier."
Migwan wrinkled her brows and considered the matter.
"Oh, leave it the way it is," proposed Jo Severance. "They'll never
notice a little thing like that."
"Yes, they will too," Gladys declared. "Anyway, you can't hear what
Carmen says, and we want the folks to hear Tiny's speech, because it's
"But what are we going to do about it?" asked Migwan in perplexity.
"I know," said Katherine, rising to the occasion, as usual, "let the
other half of Tiny do the talking. Hinpoha can make her voice quite deep
and loud. It doesn't make any difference which half of Tiny talks, as
long as the people hear it."
"Just the thing!" exclaimed Migwan delightedly. "Katherine, that head of
yours will make your fortune yet. All right, Hinpoha, you speak Tiny's
Hinpoha complied, and the effect of her voice coming apparently from
beneath Tiny's ribs, while Tiny's mouth up above remained closed, was a
great deal funnier than the first way.
"Never mind," said Migwan firmly, while the rest wept with laughter on
each other's shoulders, "it sounds more like Tiny than the other way.
You might stand with your back turned while you talk if Sinbad can't
keep his face straight when he looks at you. You'd all better practice
keeping your faces straight though. Katherine, you won't forget to get
that gaudy blanket off the Lone Wolf's bed, will you?"
Migwan, her classic forehead streaked with perspiration and red color
from the notebook in her hands, directed the rehearsal of her production
all through the hot afternoon, until the lengthening shadows on the
island warned them that is was time to get back to camp and prepare for
the real performance. The stunts were to begin at six-thirty, and would
be held in the open space in front of Mateka, overlooking the river. The
Avenue's stunt was to go on first, as the long end had fallen to them in
the drawing of the cuts.
There was a great scurrying around after props after the Alleyites came
back from the Island after that last rehearsal. Migwan, checking up her
list, was constantly coming upon things that had been forgotten.
"Did somebody get Tiny Armstrong's red striped stockings?" she asked
Nobody had remembered to get them. Katherine departed forthwith in quest
of the necessary hosiery and found one of the stockings hanging out on
the tent rope. The other was not in evidence. She was about to depart
quietly without going into the tent, for one stocking was all that she
needed, when a toothbrush suddenly whizzed past her ear, coming from the
tent door. Laughing, she turned and went into the tent, first hastily
concealing Tony's stocking in the front of her middy.
The flinger of the toothbrush turned out to be Tiny herself, who was
sitting up in bed with her nightgown on.
"What's the matter, Tiny?" Katherine asked solicitously. "Are you sick?
Aren't you going to get up to see the Stunts?"
"Get up!" shouted Tiny wrathfully. "I _can't_ get up--I haven't any
"No clothes?" murmured Katherine in a puzzled tone.
"Everything's gone," continued Tiny plaintively, "bloomers, middies,
shoes, stockings, hat, everything. Somebody has taken and hidden them
for a joke, I suppose. I went to sleep here this afternoon, and when I
woke up everything was gone."
Katherine suddenly grew very non-committal, although she wanted to
shriek with laughter. Oh-Pshaw, who had been sent after a suit of
Tiny's that afternoon, had apparently made a pretty thorough job of it.
"Somebody must be playing a joke on you," Katherine remarked tranquilly,
although she was conscious of the lump that Tiny's one remaining
stocking made under her middy. "Never mind. Tiny, I'll go out and borrow
some things for you to wear."
"But there's nothing of anybody's here that I can get into," mourned
Tiny. "I'm four sizes bigger than the biggest of you. You'll have to
find out who's hidden my things and bring them back."
Katherine was touched by Tiny's predicament, but the stunt had first
claim on her. She came back presently with Tiny's bathing suit, which
she had hanging on a nearby tree, and a long raincoat of Dr. Grayson's,
together with his tennis shoes. She even had to beg a pair of his socks
from Mrs. Grayson, for all of Tiny's that had not been borrowed were
away at the laundry. And in that collection of clothes Tiny had to go
and sit in the Judges' box at the Stunts, but her good nature was not
ruffled one whit on account of it.
Katherine was still getting Tiny into her improvised wardrobe when a
loud hubbub proclaimed the arrival of the boys from Camp Altamont, and
at the same time the bugle sounded the assembly call for the girls. The
Alleyites, bursting with impatience for the time of their own stunt to
arrive, settled themselves in their places to watch the Avenue stunt.
The bugle sounded again, and the chairman of the Avenue stunt stood up.
"Our stunt tonight," she announced, "tells a hitherto unpublished one of
Gulliver's Travels, namely, his voyage to the Land of the Keewaydins."
The Alley sat up with one convulsive jerk. "Gulliver's Travels!" That
sounded nearly like their own idea.
Then the stunt proceeded, beginning with Gulliver wrecked on the shore
of the Land of the Keewaydins. Undine Girelle was Gulliver, and her
shipwreck was trully a thrilling one. She finally landed, spent with
swimming, on the shore, and was taken in hand by the friendly
Keewaydins, who proceeded to show him their customs. The Alley gradually
turned to stone as they saw practically the very same things they were
planning to do, being performed before their eyes by the Avenue. There
was Miss Peckham and the stocking-snake (that explained to Katherine why
she had only been able to find one of Tiny's red and black stockings);
there was Tiny herself, and made out of two girls, just as they were
going to do it! There was Dr. Grayson, there were all the other
councilors; there was a burlesque on camp life almost exactly as they
had planned to do it!
The boys and the councilors applauded wildly, but the Alleyites, too
surprised and taken back to be appreciative, merely looked at each
other in mute consternation.
"Somebody gave away our secret!" was the first indignant thought that
flashed into the minds of the Alleyites, but the utter astonishment of
the Avenue when the Alley said that their stunt was practically the
same, soon convinced them that the whole thing was a mere co-incidence.
"It's a wonder I didn't suspect anything when I found that all of Tiny's
clothes were gone," said Katherine. "That should have told me that
someone else was impersonating her."
The Alley at first declined to put on their stunt, since it was so
nearly the same as the other, but the audience refused to let them off,
insisting that they had come to see two stunts, and they were going to
see two, even if they _were_ alike.
"We can still judge which is the best," said Dr. Grayson. "In fact, it
is an unusual opportunity. Usually the stunts are so different that it
is hard to tell which is the better, but having two performances on the
same subject gives a rare chance to consider the fine points."
So the Alley went ahead with their stunt just as if nothing out of the
way had occurred, and the judges applauded them just as wildly as they
had the others. In the end, the honors had to be evenly divided between
the two, for the judges declared that one was just as good as the other
and it was impossible to decide between them.
"And we were so dead sure that the Avenue would never be able to think
up anything nearly as clever as ours," remarked Sahwah ruefully, as she
prepared for bed that night.
"I'm beginning to come to the conclusion," replied Hinpoha with a sleepy
yawn, "that it isn't safe to be too sure of anything. You never can tell
from the outside of people what they are likely to have inside of them."
"No, you can't" echoed Agony soberly.
THEIR NATIVE WILDS
Miss Judy's hat was more or less a barometer of the state of her
emotions. Worn far back on her head with its brim turned up, it
indicated that she was at peace with all the world and upon pleasure
bent; tipped over one ear, it denoted intense preoccupation with
business affairs; pulled low over her eyes, it was a sign of extreme
vexation. This morning the hat was pulled so far down over her face that
only the tip of her chin was visible. Katherine, stopping to help her
run a canoe up on the bank after swimming hour, noticed the unnecessary
vehemence of her movements, and asked mildly as to the cause.
Miss Judy replied with a single explosive exclamation of "Monty!"
"Monty!" Katherine echoed inquringly. "What's that?"
"You're right, it _is_ a 'what'," replied Miss Judy emphatically,
"although it usually goes down in the catalog as a 'who.' It's my
cousin, Egmont Satter-white," she continued in explanation. "He's
coming to pay us a visit at camp."
"Yes," said Katherine. "What is he like?"
"Like?" repeated Miss Judy derisively. "He's like the cock who thought
the sun didn't get up until he crowed--so conceited; only he goes still
farther. He doesn't see what need there is for the sun at all while he
is there to shed his light. He's the only child of his adoring mother,
and she's cultivated him like a rare floral specimen; private tutors and
all that sort of thing. Now he's learned everything there is to know,
and he's ready to write a book. He regards his fellow creatures as
quaint and curious specimens, 'rather diverting for one to observe,
don't you know,' but not at all important. I suppose he's going to put a
chapter in his book about girls, because he wrote to father and
announced that he was going to run up for a week or so and observe us in
our native wilds--that was the delicate way he put it. He'll probably
set down everything he sees in a notebook and then go home and solemnly
write his chapter, wise as Solomon."
"What a bore!" sighed Katherine. "I hate to be stared at, and 'observed'
for somebody else's benefit."
"Monty's a pest!" Miss Judy exploded wrathfully. "I don't see why father
ever told him he could come. He's under no obligations to him--we're
only third cousins, and Monty considers us far, far beneath him at
best. But you know how father is--hospitality with a capital H. So we're
doomed to a visitation from Monty."
"When is he coming?" asked Katherine, smiling at Miss Judy's lugubrious
"The day after tomorrow," replied Miss Judy. "The Thursday afternoon
boat has the honor of bringing him."
"'O better that her shattered hulk should sink beneath the wave,' eh?"
remarked Katherine sympathetically.
"Katherine," said Miss Judy feelingly, "_vous et moi_ we speak the same
language, _n'est-ce pas_?"
"We do," agreed Katherine laughingly.
That evening when all the campers were gathered around the fire in the
bungalow, listening to Dr. Grayson reading "The Crock of Gold" to the
pattering accompaniment of the raindrops on the roof, Miss Judy went
into the camp office to answer the telephone, and came out with a look
of half-humorous exasperation on her face.
"What is it?" asked Dr. Grayson, pausing in his reading.
"It's Cousin Monty," announced Miss Judy. He's at Emmet's Landing, two
stops down the river. He decided to come to camp a day earlier than he
had written. He got off the boat at Emmet's Landing to sketch an
'exquisite' bit of scenery that he spied there. Now he's marooned at
Emmet's Landing and can't get a boat to bring him to camp. He decided
to stay there all night, and found a room, but the bed didn't look
comfortable. He wants us to come and get him."
"At this time of night!" Dr. Grayson exclaimed involuntarily. He
recovered himself instantly. "Ah yes, certainly, of course. I'll go and
get him. Tell him I'll come for him."
"But it's raining pitchforks," demurred Miss Judy.
"Ah well, never mind, I'll go anyhow," said her father composedly.
"I'll go with you," declared Miss Judy firmly. "I'll run the launch." As
she passed by Katherine on her way out of the bungalow she flashed her a
meaning look, which Katherine answered with a sympathetic grimace.
In the morning when camp assembled for breakfast there was Cousin Egmont
sitting beside Dr. Grayson at the table, notebook in hand, looking about
him in a loftily curious way. He was a small, slightly built youth,
sallow of complexion and insignificant of feature, with pale hair
brushed up into an exaggerated pompadour, and a neat little moustache.
In contrast to Dr. Grayson's heroic proportions he looked like a Vest
Pocket Edition alongside of an Unabridged.
"Nice little camp you have here, Uncle, very," he drawled, peering
languidly through his huge spectacles at the shining river and the far
off rolling hills beyond. "Nothing like the camps I've seen in
Switzerland, though. For real camps you want to go to Switzerland,
Uncle. A chap I know goes there every summer. Of course, for a girl's
camp this does very well, very. Pretty fair looking lot of girls you
have, Uncle. All from picked families, eh? Require references and all
that sort of thing?"
Dr. Grayson made a deprecatory gesture with his hand and looked uneasily
around the table, to see if Egmont's remarks were being overheard. But
Mrs. Grayson sat on the other side of Egmont, and the seat next to the
Doctor was vacant, so there was really no one within hearing distance
except the Lone Wolf, who sat opposite to Mrs. Grayson, and she was
deeply engrossed in conversation with the girl on the other side of her.
Monty prattled on. "You see, Uncle, I wouldn't have come up here to
observe if I thought they were not from the best families. Anybody I'd
care to write about--you understand, Uncle."
"Yes, I understand," replied Dr. Grayson quizzically. "Have you taken
any notes yet?" he continued.
"Nothing yet," Monty admitted, "but I mean to begin immediately after
breakfast. I mean to flit unobtrusively about Camp, Uncle, and watch the
young ladies when they do not suspect I am around, taking down their
innocent girlish conversation among themselves. So much more natural
that way, Uncle, very!"
Dr. Grayson hurriedly took a huge mouthful of water, and then choked on
it in a very natural manner, and Miss Judy's coming in with the mail bag
at that moment caused a welcome diversion.
"Ah, good morning, Cousin Judith," drawled Monty. "I see you didn't get
up as early as the rest of us. Perhaps the fatigue of last night--"
"I've been down the river for the mail," replied Miss Judy shortly. Then
she turned her back on him and spoke to her father. "The weather is
settled for this week. That rainstorm last night cleared things up
beautifully. We ought to take the canoe trip, the one up to the Falls."
"That's so," agreed Dr. Grayson. "How soon can you arrange to go?"
"Tomorrow," replied Miss Judy.
"Ah, a canoe trip," cried Monty brightly. "I ought to get quantities of
notes from that."
Miss Judy eyed him for a moment with an unfathomable expression on her
face, then turned away and began to talk to the Lone Wolf.
All during Morning Sing Monty sat in a corner and took notes with a
silver pencil in an embossed leather notebook, staring now at this girl,
now at that, until she turned fiery red and fidgeted. After Morning Sing
he established himself on a rocky ledge just below Bedlam, where, hidden
by the bushes, he sat ready to take down the innocent conversation of
the young ladies among themselves as they made their tents ready for
Katherine and Oh-Pshaw were in the midst of tidying up when the Lone
Wolf dropped in to return a flashlight she had borrowed the night
before. She strolled over to the railing at the back of the tent and
peered over it. A gleam came into her eye as she noticed that one of the
bushes just below the tent on the slope toward the river was waving
slightly in an opposite direction from the way in which the wind was
blowing. Stepping back into the tent she stopped beside Bedlam's water
pail, newly filled for tent inspection.
"Your water looks sort of--er--muddy," she remarked artfully. "Hadn't
you better throw it out and get some fresh? Here, I'll do it for you.
I'm not busy."
She picked up the brimming pail and emptied it over the back railing,
right over the spot where she had seen the bush waving. Immediately
there came a curious sound out of the bush--half gasp and half yell, and
out sprang Monty, dripping like a rat, and fled down the path toward the
bungalow, without ever looking around.
"Why, he was down there _listening_," Katherine exclaimed in disgust.
"Oh, how funny it was," she remarked to the Lone Wolf, "that you
happened to come in and dump that pail of water over the railing just
at that time."
"It certainty was," the Lone Wolf acquiesced gravely, as she departed
with the pail in the direction of the spring.
Cousin Monty flitted unobtrusively to his tent, got on dry garments,
fished another notebook out of his bag, and set out once more in quest
of local color. He wandered down to Mateka, where Craft Hour was in
progress. A pottery craze had struck camp, and the long tables were
filled with girls rolling and patting lumps of plastic clay into vases,
jars, bowls, plates and other vessels. Cousin Monty strolled up and
down, contemplating the really creditable creation of the girls with a
condescending patronage that made them feel like small children in the
kindergarten. He gave the art director numerous directions as to how she
might improve her method of teaching, and benevolently pointed out to a
number of the girls how the things they were making were all wrong.
Finally he came and stood by Hinpoha, who was putting the finishing
touches on the decoration of a rose jar, an exquisite thing, with a
raised design in rose petals. Hinpoha was smoothing out the flat
background of her design when Monty paused beside her.
"You're not holding your instrument right." he remarked patronizingly.
"Let me show you how." He took the instrument from Hinpoha's unwilling
hand, and turning it wrong way up, proceeded to scrape back and forth.
At the third stroke it went too far, and gouged out a deep scratch right
through the design, clear across the whole side of the vase.
"Ah, a little scratch," he remarked airily. "Ah, sorry, really, very.
But it can soon be remedied. A little dob of clay, now."
"Let me fix it myself," said Hinpoha firmly, with difficulty keeping her
exasperation under the surface, and without more ado seized her
mutilated treasure from his hands.
"Ah, yes, of course," murmured Monty, and wandered on to the next table.
By the time the day was over Cousin Monty was about as popular as a
hornet. "How long is he going to stay?" the girls asked each other in
comical dismay. "A week? Oh, my gracious, how can we ever stand him
around here a week?"
"Is he going along with us on the canoe trip?" Katherine asked Miss Judy
as she helped her check over supplies for the expedition.
"He is that," replied Miss Judy. "He's going along to pester us just as
he has been doing--probably worse, because he's had a night to think up
a whole lot more fool questions to ask than he could think of
And it was even so. Monty, notebook in hand, insisted upon knowing the
why and wherefore of every move each one of the girls made until they
began to flee at his approach. "Why are you tying up your ponchos that
way? That isn't the way. Now if you will just let me show you--"
"Why you are putting that stout girl"--indicating Bengal--"in the stern
of the canoe? You want the weight up front--that's the newest way."
"Now Uncle, just let me show you a trick or two about stowing away those
supplies. You're not in the least scientific about it."
Thus he buzzed about, inquisitive and officious.
Katherine and Miss Judy looked into each other's eyes and exchanged
exasperated glances. Then Katherine's eye took on a peculiar expression,
the one which always registered the birth of an idea. At dinner, which
came just before the expedition started, she was late--a good twenty
minutes. She tranquilly ate what was left for her and was extremely
polite to Counsin Monty, answering his continuous questions about the
coming trip with great amiability, even enthusiasm. Miss Judy looked at
The expedition started. Monty, who had Miss Peckham in the canoe with
him--she being the only one who would ride with him--insisted upon going
at the head of the procession. "I'll paddle so much faster than the rest
of you," he said airly, "that I'll want room to go ahead. I don't want
to be held back by the rest of you when I shall want to put on a slight
spurt now and then. That is the way I like to go, now fast, now slowly,
as inclination dictates, without having to keep my pace down to that of
others. I will start first, Uncle, and lead the line."
"All right," replied Dr. Grayson a trifle wearily. "You may lead the
The various canoes had been assigned before, so there was no confusion
in starting. The smallest of the canoes had been given to Monty because
there would be only two in it. Conscious that he was decidedly
ornamental in his speckless white flannels and silk shirt he helped Miss
Peckham into the boat with exaggerated gallantry, all the while watching
out of the corner of his eye to see if Pom-pom was looking at him. He
had been trying desperately to flirt with her ever since his arrival,
and had begged her to go with him in the canoe on the trip, all in vain.
Nevertheless, he was still buzzing around her and playing to the
audience of her eyes. By fair means or foul he meant to get the
privilege of having her with him on the return trip. Miss Peckham, newly
graduated into the canoe privilege, was nervous and fussy, and handled
her paddle as gingerly as if it were a gun.
"Ah, let me do all the paddling," he insisted, knowing that Pom-pom, in
a nearby canoe, could hear him. "I could not think of allowing you to
exert yourself. It is the man's place, you know. You really mustn't
think of it."
Miss Peckham laid down her paddle with a sigh of relief, and Monty,
with a graceful gesture, untied the canoe and pushed it out from the
dock. Behind him the line of boats were all waiting to start.
"Here we go!" he shouted loudly, as he dipped his paddle. In a moment
all the canoes were in motion. Monty, at the head, seemed to find the
paddling more difficult than he had expected. He dipped his paddle with
great vigor and vim, but the canoe only went forward a few inches at
each stroke. One by one the canoes began to pass him, their occupants
casting amusing glances at him as he perspired over his paddle. He
redoubled his efforts, he strained every sinew, and the canoe did go a
little faster, but not nearly as fast as the others were going.
"What's the matter, Monty, is your load too heavy for you?" called out
"Not at all," replied Monty doggedly. "I'm a little out of form, I
guess. This arm--I strained it last spring--seems to have gone lame all
of a sudden."
"Would you like to get in a canoe with some of the girls?" asked Dr.
"I would _not_," replied Monty somewhat peevishly. "Please let me alone,
Uncle, I'll be all right in a minute. Don't any of you bother about me,
I'll follow you at my leisure. When I get used to paddling again I'll
very soon overtake you even if you have a good start."
The rest of the canoes swept by, and Monty and Miss Peckham soon found
themselves alone on the river.
"Hadn't I better help you paddle?" asked Miss Peckham anxiously. She was
beginning to distrust the powers of her ferryman.
"No, no, no," insisted Monty, stung to the quick by the concern in her
voice. "I can do it very well alone, I tell you."
He kept at it doggedly for another half hour, stubbornly refusing to
accept any help, until the canoe came _to_ a dead stop. No amount of
paddling would budge it an inch; it was apparently anchored. Puzzled,
Monty peered into the river to find the cause of the stoppage. The water
was deep, but there were many snags and obstructions under the surface.
Something was holding him, that was plain, but what it was he could not
find out, nor could he get loose from it. The water was too deep to wade
ashore, and there was nothing to do but sit there and try to get loose
by means of the paddle, a proceeding which soon proved fruitless. In
some mysterious way they were anchored out in mid stream at a lonely
place in the river where no one would be likely to see them for a long
time. The others were out of sight long ago, having obeyed Monty's
injunction to let him alone.
Monty, in his usual airy way, tried to make the best of the situation
and draw attention away from his evident inability to cope with the
situation. "Ah, pleasant it is to sit out here and bask in the warm
sunshine," he murmured in dulcet tones. "The view is exquisite here,
_n'est-ce pas_? I could sit here all day and look at that mountain in
the distance. It reminds me somewhat of the Alps, don't you know."
Miss Peckham gazed unhappily at the mountain, which was merely a blur in
the distance. "Do you think we'll have to sit here all night?" she asked
Monty exerted himself to divert her. "How does it come that I have never
met you before, Miss Peckham? Really, I didn't know that Uncle Clement
had such delightful relations. Can it be that you are really his cousin?
It hardly seems possible that you are old enough. Sitting there with the
breeze toying with you hair that way you look like a young girl, no
older than Judith herself."
Now this was quite a large dose to swallow, but Miss Peckham swallowed
it, and much delighted with the gallant youth, so much more appreciative
of her than the others at camp, she sat listening attentively to his
prattle of what he had seen and done, keeping her hat off the while to
let her hair ripple in the breeze the way he said he liked it,
regardless of the fact that the sun was rather hot.
In something over an hour a pair of rowboats came along filled with
youngsters who thought it great sport to rescue the pair in the marooned
canoe, and who promptly discovered the cause of the trouble. It was an
iron kettle full of stones, fastened to the bottom of the canoe with a
long wire, which had wedged itself in among the branches of a submerged
tree in the river and anchored the canoe firmly.
"Somebody's played a trick on us!" exclaimed Miss Peckham wrathfully.
"Somebody at camp deliberately fastened that kettle of stones to the
bottom of the canoe to make it hard for you to paddle. That's just what
you might have expected from those girls. They're playing tricks all the
time. They have no respect for anyone."
Monty turned a dull red when he saw that kettle full of stones, and he,
too, sputtered with indignation. "Low brow trick," he exclaimed loftily,
but he felt quite the reverse of lofty. "This must be Cousin Judith's
doing," he continued angrily, remembering the subtle antagonism that had
sprung up between his cousin and himself.
His dignity was too much hurt to allow him to follow the rest of the
party now. Disgusted, he turned back in the direction of camp. By the
time he arrived he began to feel that he did not want to stay long
enough to see the enjoyment of his cousin over his discomfiture. He
announced his intention of leaving that very night, paddling down the
river to the next landing, and boarding the evening boat.
Miss Peckham suddenly made up her mind, too. "I'm going with you." she
declared. "I'm not going to stay here and be insulted any longer. It'll
serve them right to do without my services as councilor for the rest of
the summer. I'll just leave a note for Mrs. Grayson and slip out quietly
When the expedition returned the following day both Pecky and Monty were
Bengal raised such a shout of joy when she heard of the departure of her
despised councilor that her tent mates were obliged to restrain her
transports for the look of the thing, but they, too, were somewhat
relieved to be rid of her.
The reason of the double departure remained a mystery in camp until the
very end, but there were a select few that always winked solemnly at one
another whenever Dr. Grayson wondered what had become of his largest
The long anticipated, the much practiced for Regatta Day had dawned,
bringing with it crowds of visitors to Camp. It was Camp Keewaydin's
great day, when the Avenue and the Alley struggled for supremacy in
aquatics. The program consisted of contests in swimming and diving,
canoe upsetting and righting, demonstrations of rescue work, stunts and
small canoe races, and ended up with a race between the two war canoes.
Visitors came from all the summer resorts around, and many of the girls'
parents and friends came to see their daughters perform.
The dock and the diving platform were gay with flags; the tents had been
tidied up to wax-like neatness and decorated with wild flowers until
they looked like so many royal bowers; in Mateka an exhibition of Craft
Work was laid out on the long tables--pottery and silver work and
weaving and decorating. Hinpoha's rose jar, done with infinite pains
and patience after its unfortunate meeting with Cousin Egmont, held the
place of honor in the centre of the pottery table, and her silver
candlesticks, done in an exquisite design of dogwood blossoms, was the
most conspicuous piece on the jewelry table.
"Hinpoha'll get the Craft Work prize, without any doubt," said Migwan to
Agony as they stood helping to arrange the articles in the Craft Work
exhibit. "She's a real artist. The rest of us are just dabblers. It's
queer, though, I admire that little plain pottery bowl I made myself
more than I do Hinpoha's wonderful rose jar. I suppose it's because I
made it all myself; it's like my own child. There's a thrill about doing
things yourself that makes you hold your head higher even if other
people don't think it's anything very wonderful. Don't you feel that
"I suppose so," murmured Agony, rather absently, her animation falling
away from her in an instant, and a weary look creeping into her eyes.
"That's the way you must feel all the time since you did that splendid
thing," continued Migwan warmly. "No matter where you are, or how hard a
thing you're up against, you have only to think, 'I was equal to a great
emergency once; I did the brave and splendid thing when the time came,'
and then you'll be equal to it again. O, how wonderful it must be to
know that when the time comes you won't be a coward! O Agony, we're all
so proud of you!" cried Migwan, interrupting herself to give Agony an
adoring hug. "All the Winnebagos will be braver and better because you
did that, Agony. They'll be ashamed to be any less than you are."
"It wasn't anything much that--I did," Agony protested in a flat voice.
Migwan, busy straightening out the rows of bracelets and rings, did not
notice the hunted expression in Agony's face, and soon the bugle
sounded, calling all the girls together on the dock.
Only those who have ever taken part in Regatta Day will get the real
thrill when reading an account of it in cold print--the thrill which
comes from seeing dozens of motor boats filled with spectators lined up
on the river, and crowds standing on the shore; the sun shining in
dazzling splendor on the ripples; the flags snapping in the breeze, the
starters with their pistols standing out on the end of the dock, the
canoes rocking alongside, straining at their ropes as if impatient to be
off in the races; the crews, in their new uniforms, standing nervously
around their captains, getting their last instructions and examining
their paddles for any possible cracks; the councilors rushing around
preparing the props for the stunts they were directing; and over all a
universal atmosphere of suspense, of tenseness, of excitement.
The Alleys wore bright red bathing caps, the Avenues blue; otherwise
they wore the regulation Camp bathing suits, all alike. First on the
program came the demonstrations--canoe tipping, rescuing a drowning
person, resuscitation. Sahwah won the canoe tipping contest, getting her
canoe righted in one minute less time than it took Undine Girelle, so
the first score went to the Alley. The Avenue had a speedy revenge,
however, for Undine took first honors in the diving exhibition which
followed immediately after. Even the Winnebagos, disappointed as they
were that Sahwah had not won out, admitted that Undine's performance was
unequalled, and joined heartily in the cheers that greeted the
announcement of her winning. In the smaller contests the Avenue and the
Alley were pretty well matched, and at the end of the swimming and small
canoe races the score was tied between them. This left the war canoe
race, which counted ten points, to decide the championship.
A round of applause greeted the two crews as they marched out on the
dock to the music of the Camp band and took their places in the war
canoes. Sahwah was Captain of the Dolphins, the Alley crew; Undine
commanded the Avenue Turtles. Agony was stern paddler of the Dolphin,
the most important position next to the Captain. Prominence had come to
her in many ways since she had become the camp heroine; positions of
trust and honor fell to her thick and fast without her making any
special efforts to get them. If nothing succeeds like success it is
equally true that nothing brings honor like honor already achieved. To
her who hath shall be given.
Besides Sahwah and Agony the Dolphin crew consisted of Hinpoha, Migwan,
Gladys, Katherine, Jo Severance, Jean Lawrence, Bengal Virden, Oh-Pshaw,
and two girls from Aloha, Edith Anderson and Jerry Mortimer, a crew
picked after severe tests which eliminated all but the most expert
paddlers. That the Winnebagos had all passed the test was a matter of
considerable pride to them, and also to Nyoda, to whom they had promptly
written the good news.
"I am not surprised, though," she had written in return. "I am never
surprised at anything my girls accomplish. I always expect you to do
things--and you do them."
Quickly the two Captains brought their canoes out to the starting line
and sat waiting for the shot from the starter's pistol. The command
"Paddles Up!" had been given, and twenty-four broad yellow blades were
poised stiffly in air, ready for the plunge into the shining water
below. A hush fell upon the watching crowd; the silence was so intense
that the song of a bird on the roof of Mateka could be plainly heard. A
smile came to Sahwah's lips as she heard the joyous thrill of the bird.
An omen of victory, she said to herself.
Then the pistol cracked. Almost simultaneously with its report came her
clear command, "Down paddles!" Twelve paddles dipped as one and the
Dolphin shot forward a good five feet on the very first stroke. The race
The course was from the dock to Whaleback Island, around the Island and
back to the starting point.
Until the Island was reached the canoes kept practically abreast, now
one forging a few inches ahead, now the other, but always evening up the
difference before long. As the pull toward Whaleback was downstream both
crews made magnificent speed with apparently little effort. The real
struggle lay in rounding the Island and making the return pull upstream.
The Dolphin had the inside track, a fact which at first caused her crew
to exult, because of the shorter turn, but they soon found that the
advantage gained in this way was practically offset by the force of the
current close to the Island, which made it difficult for the boat to
keep in her course. It took all of Agony's skill as stern paddler to
swing the Dolphin around and keep her out of the current. The two canoes
were still abreast when they recovered from the turn and started back
upstream. As they rounded the large pile of rocks which formed a
bodyguard around Whaleback, the current caught the Dolphin and gave her
a half turn back toward the Island. Agony bore quickly down on her
paddle to offset the pull of the current; it struck an unexpected rock
underneath the surface and twisted itself out of her hands. In a moment
the current had caught it and whirled it out of reach. Only an instant
did Agony waste looking after it in consternation.
"Give me your paddle," she said quickly to Bengal Virden, who sat in
front of her, and took it out of her hand without ceremony.
The Dolphin righted herself without any further trouble and came out
into the straight upstream course only a little behind the Turtle. Then
the real race began.
In a few moments the Turtle had forged ahead, and it soon became
apparent that the Dolphin, carrying one member of the crew who was not
paddling, could not hope to keep up.
"Bengal," megaphoned Sahwah, taking in the situation at a glance,
"you'll have to get out. You're dead weight. Jump and swim back to the
island. The water isn't deep here."
Bengal refused. "I want to stay in the race."
Sahwah gave a disgusted snort into the megaphone. Agony cast herself
into the breach and made use of Bengal's crush on her for the sake of
the Alley cause. "If you do it, Bengal, I'll come and sleep with you
all the rest of the time we're in camp."
Bengal rose to the bait. "I'll do it for you," she said adoringly, and
promptly jumped out of the canoe and swam back the short distance to the
Island where she was soon picked up by one of the visiting launches and
carried to the sidelines.
Relieved of Bengal's weight, which had been considerable, the Dolphin
quickly recovered herself and caught up with the Turtle; then slowly
worked into the lead. She did not lose the lead again, but came under
the line a good three feet ahead of the Turtle. The long anticipated
struggle was over and the Alley was the victor.
The rest of the Alley rushed down upon the dock and dragged the
victorious crew up out of the Dolphin as she came up alongside of the
dock, and lifting them to their shoulders carried them to shore in a
triumphal procession, with waving banners, and ear splitting cheers, and
songs which excess of emotion rendered slightly off key. Bengal was
brought over and given a separate ovation for having so nobly sacrificed
herself for the cause of the Alley; Agony also came in for a great deal
of extra cheering because she had acted so promptly when she lost her
paddle, and Sahwah--well, Sahwah was the Captain, and when did the
Captain of a victorious crew ever suffer neglect from the side he
Until Taps sounded that night the Alley celebrated its victory, and the
last thing they did for joy was to carry all the beds out of the tents
and set them in one long row in the Alley, and when Miss Judy went the
last rounds there they lay, all linked together arm in arm, smiling one
long smile which reached from one end of the Alley to the other.
THE BUFFALO ROBE
"Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!"
The familiar lines slipped softly from Miss Amesbury's lips as she
leaned luxuriously against the canoe cushions, watching the vivid glows
of the sunset. It was the hour after supper, when the Camp girls were
free to do as they pleased, and Agony and Miss Amesbury had come out for
a quiet paddle on the river. The excitement of Regatta Day had subsided,
and Camp was jogging peacefully toward its close. Only a few more days
and then the _Carribou_ would come and take away the merry, frolicking
campers, and the Alley and the Avenue alike would know desolation.
All over there were signs that told summer was drawing to a close. The
fields were gay with goldenrod and wild asters, the swamp maples had
begun to flame in the woods, and there was a crisp tang in the air that
sent the blood racing in the veins like a draught of strong, new wine.
All these things, as well as the westward shifting of the summer
constellations, which a month before had reigned supreme on the
meridian, told that the summer was drawing to an end.
Never had the friends at Camp seemed so jolly and dear as in this last
week when the days together were numbered, and every sunrise brought
them one degree nearer the parting. Everyone was filled with the desire
to make the most of these last few days; there was a frantic scramble to
do the things that had been talked of all summer, but which had been
crowded out by other things, and especially there was a busy taking of
pictures of favorite councilors and best friends. Pom-pom, Miss Judy,
Tiny Armstrong and the Lone Wolf could be seen at almost any hour of the
day "looking pleasant" while some girl snapped their pictures.
"If anyone else asks me to pose for a picture today I shall explode!"
declared Tiny Armstrong at last. "I've stood in the sun until I'm burned
to a cinder, and I've 'looked pleasant' until my face aches. I'm going
on a strike!"
Agony found herself possessed in these last days of an ever increasing
desire to be with Miss Amesbury, to hear her talk and watch the
expressions play over her beautiful, mobile face. For this brilliant and
accomplished woman Agony had conceived an admiration which stirred the
very depths of her intense, passionate nature. To be famous and
fascinating like Miss Amesbury, this was the secret ambition that filled
her restless soul. To be near her now, to have her all to herself in a
canoe in this most beautiful hour of the day, thrilled Agony to the
verge of intoxication. Her voice trembled when she spoke, her hand shook
as she dipped the paddle.
The wide flaming fire of the sunset toned down to a tawny orange; then
faded into a pale primrose; the big, bright evening star appeared in the
west. From all the woods around came the goodnight twitter of the birds.
"Sunset and evening star--" repeated Agony softly, echoing the words
Miss Amesbury had spoken a few moments before. "Oh," she declared,
"sunset is the most perfect time of the day for me. I feel just
bewitched. I could do anything just at sunset; all my dreams seem about
to come true."
And drifting there in the rosy afterglow they talked of dreams and
hopes, and ambitions, and Agony laid her soul bare to the older woman.
She spoke of the things she planned to do, the career of social service
she had laid out for herself, and of the influence for good she would be
in the world--all of this to take place in the golden sometime when she
would be grown up and out of school.
Miss Amesbury heard her through with a quiet smile. Agony looked up,
encountered her gaze and stopped speaking. "Don't you think I can?" she
"It is possible," replied Miss Amesbury tranquilly. "Everything is
possible. 'We are all architects of fate;' you must have heard that line
quoted before. Everyone carries his future in his own hands; fate has
really nothing to do with it. Whatever kind of bud we are, such a flower
we will be. We cannot make ourselves; all we can do is blossom. This
Other Person that you see in your golden dreams is after all only you,
changed from the You that you are now into the You that you hope to be.
If we are little, stunted buds we cannot be big, glorious blossoms. The
Future is only a great many Nows added up. It is the things you are
doing now that will make your future glorious or abject. To be a noble
woman you must have been a noble girl. You are setting your face now in
the direction in which you are going to travel. Every worthy action you
perform now will open the way for more worthy actions in the future, and
the same is true of unworthy ones."
Agony sat very still.
"It is the thing we stand for ourselves that makes us an influence for
evil or good," continued Miss Amesbury, "not the thing that we preach.
That is why so much of the so-called 'uplift work' in the world has no
effect upon the persons we are trying to uplift--we try to give them
something which we do not possess ourselves. We cannot give something
which we don't possess, don't ever forget that, dear child. Be sure that
your own torch is burning brightly before you attempt to light someone
else's with it.
"You know, Agony, that after Jesus went away out of the Temple at the
age of twelve years we do not hear of him again until he was a grown man
of thirty. What took place in those years we will never know exactly;
but in those Silent Years He prepared Himself for His glorious destiny.
He must have conquered Self, day by day, until He was master over all
his moods and desires, to be able to influence others so profoundly. He
must have developed a sympathetic understanding of His friends and
playfellows, to know so intimately the troubles of all the multitudes
which he afterwards met. These are _your_ Silent Years, Agony. What you
make of them will determine your future."
* * * * *
"Why, where is everybody?" Agony asked wonderingly as they drew their
canoe up on the dock and went up the hill path. Nobody was in sight, but
a subdued sound of cheering and laughter came from the direction of
"Oh, I forgot," cried Agony. "There _is_ something tonight in Mateka, a
meeting. Dr. Grayson announced it this noon at dinner, but I forgot all
about it and hurried through supper tonight so I could come out on the
river with you. I wonder what it was about. Come on, let's go up, maybe
we can get there before it's over."
They were just going up the steps of Mateka when half a dozen girls
rushed out of the door and fell upon Agony.
"Where on earth have you been? We've been hunting all over camp for you.
You're elected most popular camper! You've won the Buffalo Robe! Oh,
Agony, you've won the Buffalo Robe!"
It was Oh-Pshaw who was speaking, and she cast herself on her twin's
neck and kissed her rapturously.
Agony stood very still on the steps, looking in a dazed sort of way from
one to the other of the faces around her.
"Oh, Agony, don't you understand? You've won the Buffalo Robe!" Oh-Pshaw
repeated laughingly. "We had the election tonight. You won by a big
majority. It's all on account of the robin. Nobody else had done
anything nearly so splendid. Oh, but I'm proud to be your twin sister!"
Then all the rest came out of Mateka and surrounded Agony, telling her
how glad they were she had won the Buffalo Robe, and they ended up by
taking her on their shoulders into Mateka and setting her down before
the Robe where it hung on the wall. It would be formally presented to
her at the farewell banquet two nights later.
"We're going to paint a robin on it as a record of your brave deed,"
said Migwan. "Hinpoha is working on the design right now."
Agony's emotions were tumultous as she stood there in Mateka before the
Buffalo Robe with the girls singing cheer after cheer to her. First
triumph flooded her whole being, and delight and satisfaction that she
had won the biggest honor in Camp took complete possession of her. The
most popular girl in camp! The desire of her heart, born on that first,
far off day at camp, had been realized. The precious trophy was hers to
take home, to exhibit to Nyoda. She was the center of all eyes; her name
was on every lip.
Then, in the midst of her triumph the leaden weight began to press down
on her spirits, pulling her back to realization. Her smile faded, her
lips trembled, her voice was so husky that she could hardly speak.
"It's--so--hot--in--here," she panted. "Let me go out where it's cool."
And all unsuspecting they led her out and bore her to her tent in
THE TORCH KINDLES
Even the Winnebagos wondered slightly at the extremely quiet way in
which Agony received the great honor that had been bestowed upon her.
She did not expand as usual under the influence of the limelight until
she fairly radiated light. She hummed no gay songs, she played no pranks
on her friends; she did not outdo herself in work and play as she used
to in the days of yore when she was the observed of all observers.
Silent and pensive she wandered about Camp the next day and seemed
rather to be shunning the gay groups in Mateka and on the beach. Most of
the girls believed that Agony's silence proceeded from the genuine
humility of the truly great when singled out for honor, and admired her
all the more for her sober, pensive air. She found herself overwhelmed
with requests to stand for her picture, and the younger girls thronged
her tent, begging for locks of hair to take home as keepsakes. Agony
escaped from them as best she could without offending them.
She sedulously avoided Mateka, for there sat Hinpoha busily painting
robins on the place cards for the banquet which was to take place the
following night. This banquet was given each year as a wind-up to the
camp activities, with the winner of the Buffalo Robe in the place of
honor at the head of the table. Agony felt weak every time she thought
of that banquet. Why had she not the courage to confess the deception to
Dr. Grayson, and give up the Buffalo Robe, she thought miserably. No,
she could never do that. The terrific pride which was Agony's very life
and soul would not let her humble herself. The pain it would give Dr.
Grayson, the astonishment and disappointment of the Winnebagos, the
coldness of the beloved councilors--and Jane Pratt! How could she ever
humble herself before Jane Pratt and witness Jane's keen relish of her
downfall? She could hear Jane's spiteful laughter, her malicious
remarks, her unrestrained rejoicing over the situation.
And Miss Amesbury! No, she could never let Miss Amesbury know what a
cheat she was. No, no, the thing had gone too far, she must see it
through now. Better to endure the gnawings of conscience than give
herself away now. And Nyoda--Nyoda who had praised her so sincerely, and
Slim and the Captain, who thought it was a "bully stunt"--could she let
them know that it was all a lie? She shrank back shuddering from the
notion. No, she must go on. No one would ever find it out now. Other
people had received honors which they hadn't earned; the world was full
of them; thus she tried to soothe her conscience. But she averted her
eyes every time she passed the Buffalo Robe hanging over the fireplace
Slumber came hard to her that night, and when she finally did drop off
it was to dream that the Buffalo Robe was being presented to her, but
just as she put out her hand to take it Mary Sylvester appeared on the
scene and called out loudly, "She doesn't deserve it!" and then all the
girls pointed to her in scorn and repeated, "She doesn't deserve it!"