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´╗┐Title: How Ethel Hollister Became a Campfire Girl
Author: Benson, Irene Elliott
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "How Ethel Hollister Became a Campfire Girl" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

CAMPFIRE GIRL***


HOW ETHEL HOLLISTER BECAME A CAMPFIRE GIRL

by

IRENE ELLIOTT BENSON



Chicago
M. A. Donohue & Company


     *     *     *     *     *     *


CANOE AND CAMPFIRE SERIES

Four Books of Woodcraft and Adventure in the Forest and on the Water
that every Boy Scout should have in his Library


                         By ST. GEORGE RATHBORNE

  CANOEMATES IN CANADA; or, Three Boys Afloat on the Saskatchewan.
  THE YOUNG FUR-TAKERS: or, Traps and Trails in the Wilderness.
  THE HOUSE-BOAT BOYS; or, Drifting Down to the Sunny South.
  CHUMS IN DIXIE; or, The Strange Cruise of a Motor Boat.
  CAMP MATES IN MICHIGAN; or, With Pack and Paddle in the Pine Woods.
  ROCKY MOUNTAIN BOYS; or, Camping in the Big Game Country.


In these four delightful volumes the author has drawn bountifully from
his thirty-five years experience as a true sportsman and lover of
nature, to reveal many of the secrets of the woods, such as all Boys
Scouts strive to know. And, besides, each book is replete with stirring
adventures among the four-footed denizens of the wilderness; so that a
feast of useful knowledge is served up, with just that class of stirring
incidents so eagerly welcomed by all boys with red blood in their veins.
For sale wherever books are sold, or sent prepaid for 50 cents each by
the publishers.


     *     *     *     *     *     *


                 Copyright, 1912, M. A. Donohue & Co.



CONTENTS

        Chapter                                          Page

              I--A Fashionable Mother                       7
             II--Ethel Hollister                           14
            III--Grandmother Hollister                     18
             IV--A Pink Tea                                23
              V--An invitation to Aunt Susan               29
             VI--Aunt Susan Arrives                        41
            VII--Aunt Susan Makes Friends                  48
           VIII--Ethel is Invited to Visit                 51
             IX--Ethel and Aunt Susan Start                55
              X--The Journey                               58
             XI--The Next Day                              62
            XII--Ethel Learns to Cook                      65
           XIII--A Little Drive                            68
            XIV--Some Confidences                          72
             XV--A New Ethel                               81
            XVI--Aunt Susan's Trials                       84
           XVII--Cousin Kate Arrives                       88
          XVIII--Selecting the Costume                     90
            XIX--Ethel Meets Her Uncle and Aunt            97
             XX--Gathering of the "Ohios"                 103
            XXI--The Trip up the River                    109
           XXII--An Evening in Camp                       115
          XXIII--The Legend of the Muskingum River        120
           XXIV--Ethel's First Day in Camp                141
            XXV--Ethel's First Lesson                     144
           XXVI--A Loss and a Dinner                      147
          XXVII--A Discovery                              153
         XXVIII--Mattie's Story                           159
           XXIX--Mattie Starts Afresh                     167
            XXX--Aunt Susan Comes                         172
           XXXI--Back To Aunt Susan's                     175



     *     *     *     *     *     *


                        CAMPFIRE GIRLS SERIES

          HOW ETHEL HOLLISTER BECAME A CAMPFIRE GIRL
          ETHEL HOLLISTER'S SECOND SUMMER AS A CAMPFIRE GIRL
          CAMPFIRE GIRLS MOUNTAINEERING
          CAMPFIRE GIRL'S RURAL RETREAT
          CAMPFIRE GIRLS IN THE FOREST
          CAMPFIRE GIRL'S LAKE CAMP

                          List Price 75c Each


     *     *     *     *     *     *



HOW ETHEL HOLLISTER BECAME A CAMP FIRE GIRL

CHAPTER I

A FASHIONABLE MOTHER


"No indeed, Kate!" ejaculated Mrs. Hollister emphatically, "Ethel has no
time to join any Camp Fire Girls or Girl Scout Societies. She has her
home and school duties, while her leisure is fully occupied. At present
I know with whom she associates. As I understand it, these girls form
themselves into a Company with a Guardian or Leader. They wear certain
uniforms with emblems on the waists and sleeves, as well as a ring and
bands of beads on their heads, all of which savors of conspicuousness,
and it seems to me ridiculous."

"But, Aunt Bella," replied her niece, "think of what it makes of these
girls. It teaches them to take care of themselves. They very often
sleep out of doors for two months and get an honor for it."

"Yes, imagine a delicate girl like Ethel doing that," rejoined Mrs.
Hollister. "Why, she'd contract pneumonia or consumption right away."

"But if she were delicate she wouldn't be allowed to do so unless by the
advice of a physician. Then for one month she's obliged to give up sodas
and candies between meals."

"Yes, and isn't that silly? Why, any girl can do that without belonging
to a society."

"Well, they become healthy and strong; they play all kinds of out of
door athletic games; they swim, dive, undress in deep water, paddle or
row twenty miles in any five days; they learn to sail all kinds of boats
for fifty miles during the summer, ride horse back, bicycle, skate,
climb mountains, and even learn how to operate an automobile."

"There, Kate, stop; you make me nervous. Now what good is all such
exercise to a girl?"

"Why, it gives her the splendid health so necessary to every woman, and
oh! if only you'd read about it. You won't listen, but they learn how to
cook, how to market, to wash and iron, and keep house, how to take care
of babies,--and don't you see if a girl marries a poor man she can be a
help to him and not a hindrance? Then they have to be kind and
courteous, to look for and find the beauties of Nature until work
becomes a pleasure and they're happy, cheerful and trustworthy. They
give their services to others and learn something new all the time."

"My dear Kate," said her aunt, "nowadays a girl has all she can possibly
do to fit herself for her future position in society; that is, if her
family amounts to anything socially. Why should a girl learn to cook and
market unless she intends to marry a poor man, and I don't propose that
Ethel shall ever do that. And as for being so athletic, I don't approve
of that either. It's all right for a girl to ride. Ethel is a good
horsewoman; she learned from a splendid riding master. She plays
tennis, golf, and can swim; so you see she has nearly all the
requirements of Camp Fire Girls."

"Oh, Aunt Bella, she has hardly any. Why, look at the Boy Scout
movement--how marvellous it is and how it has grown. It has become an
institution, and in England when several Boy Scouts while camping out
were drowned, the Government (think of it) sent out a gunboat--sent it
up the Thames to bring their bodies back to London. Think of the
National recognition. Why, it's spreading so that every boy will become
a Scout before long. And the good that they do no one knows."

"Well, my dear," said the elder lady, "you are an enthusiast, and
naturally as you are a 'Captain' or 'Guardian,' as they call it, your
sympathies are all with the organization. But to me it's like marching
with the suffragettes. It belongs to the women who favor 'Woman's
Rights,' but not for a girl like Ethel."

"But you certainly approve of the 'Scout' movement, don't you? Why, boys
are joining from every rank of life."

"Ah! my dear," broke in Mrs. Hollister, "that's the great trouble. They
_are_ from every rank, and that's why I object. Had I a son I should not
care to have him become interested in it, and for a girl like Ethel to
rub shoulders with 'Tom, Dick and Harry,' it's simply not to be thought
of. No, when she marries I trust it will be to a man who can afford to
give her enough servants to do the work, a chauffeur to run her
automobile, and a captain to sail her yacht. I hope she'll have a
competent cook to bake her breads and prepare the soups, roasts, salads,
and make preserves. I should feel very badly if she had to wash and
iron, wipe her floors, or do any menial work. Were such a thing to
happen, I hope I shall not live to see it, that's all. No, kindly drop
the subject. Ethel is but sixteen. She'll have all she can do to finish
at Madame La Rue's by the time she's eighteen. You know how hard your
Uncle Archie works to obtain the money to pay for Ethel's education, and
how I manage to keep up appearances on so little. It's all for Ethel. It
means everything for her future. She must have the best associates, and
when she graduates go with the fashionable set. We are very poor and she
must marry well and have her own establishment. All of this Camp Girl
business would be of no earthly benefit to her. It's only a fad and I
believe not only that, but the 'Scout' movement will die a natural death
after a while. Young people must have some way to work off their
superfluous energy; these Societies help them to do so. Now remember,
Kate, you have a fairly well-to-do father and you need not worry over
your future. Not so poor Ethel. That I have to look out for. Please do
not refer to this subject again, especially before her. I mean it and
shall resent it if you do. I'm sure you'll respect my wishes in the
matter."

"Of course, I shall, Aunt Bella," replied Kate, "but were you to more
thoroughly understand this new movement I'm sure you'd view it
differently and change your mind. The Boy Scouts have done so much good,
and now this Camp Fire Girl is going to be such an improvement over the
ordinary girl. She's going to revolutionize young women and make of
them useful members of society--not frivolous butterflies--and it will
be carried into the poorer classes and teach girls who have never had a
chance, so that they may become good cooks and housekeepers and love
beautiful things. And their costume is so pretty and sensible. Oh! I
wish you could see it with my eyes."

"To me, my dear, it is very like the Salvation Army. They wear badges
and uniforms, and they too do much good, I am told. Yet I shouldn't care
to have my Ethel become a member of that organization. But
hush--remember your promise--not a word. Here she comes."



CHAPTER II

ETHEL HOLLISTER


A young girl entered. She was lovely with the beauty of a newly opened
rose. Her features were exquisite. Her rippling brown hair matched her
eyes in color. Her complexion was creamy white with a faint touch of
pink in either cheek. Although her figure was girlish it was perfectly
formed and she carried herself well; still she looked delicate.

The mother and daughter were alike save where Mrs. Hollister's face was
hard and worldly, Ethel's was soft and innocent.

"Well, dearie," said her mother, "here's an invitation for you from the
Kips. Dorothy will celebrate her fifteenth birthday on Saturday with a
luncheon and matinee party."

"Oh, how perfectly lovely," exclaimed the girl, showing her pretty teeth
as she laughed. "Dorothy is such a dear. Why, she hardly knows me.
She's only been at Madame's half a term."

"Never under-rate yourself, Ethel," spoke up Mrs. Hollister. "Remember
that you belong to one of New York's oldest families. Although you have
but little money, people are sure to seek you not only for your family
name but because you are an acquisition to any society."

Ethel blushed painfully while Cousin Kate gazed out upon the budding
leaves on a tree in front of the Hollister house. By a keen observer her
private opinion might be read in every line of her face. She loved Ethel
and her grandmother--old Mrs. Hollister. She pitied her Uncle Archie,
but she despised her Aunt Bella and rejoiced that at least none of that
lady's blood flowed in her veins. She worried over Ethel who,
notwithstanding her mother's worldliness was as yet unspoiled, for the
child inherited much of her father's good sense. Still under the
constant influence of a woman of Mrs. Hollister's type it would be
strange if the daughter failed to follow in some of her mother's
footsteps or to imbibe some of her fallacies.

"I'm going up to tell Grandmamma," said Ethel, and bursting into the room
she kissed the old lady.

"Listen, Grandmamma, I'm invited to Dorothy Kip's birthday--a luncheon
and matinee party."

"That's lovely, my darling," replied the elderly woman. "When does it
come off?"

"Next Saturday, and I presume we'll go to Sherry's to lunch. Think of
it! I've never been there--I'm so glad," and she danced around the room.
"And my new grey broadcloth suit with silver fox will be just right to
wear. You know the lovely grey chiffon waist over Irish lace that Mamma
has just finished, and my grey velvet hat with rosebuds and silver fox
fur--won't it be stunning?"

"You'll look lovely, I know. But where is Cousin Kate?"

"Oh, she's with Mamma. I entered the room while they were in the midst
of an argument and they stopped suddenly. I guess it was about me. You
know how set Mamma is in her way, and she was reading the riot act about
something. As Kate leaves here tomorrow, shouldn't you think that Mamma
would be too polite to differ with her? But no, she was talking quite
loudly. I wish I might go home with Kate. I'd like to see her father and
mother; they must be lovely.

"They are," replied Grandmother Hollister. "Your Uncle John is my oldest
boy, and he has the sunniest nature imaginable."

"Yes, and Kate does something in the world," replied the girl. "I wish I
might belong to her Camp Fire Girls that she has told you and me about.
But Mamma--why! I shouldn't even dare suggest it; in fact, she doesn't
dream that I know about Kate's being the Guardian of a Company. I feared
that she might be rude if I spoke of it and might say something to
offend Kate. Well, goodbye dear, I just wanted to tell you," and with
another kiss Ethel left the room.



CHAPTER III

GRANDMOTHER HOLLISTER


Old Mrs. Hollister's room was on the third floor back. It was large and
sunny, but considering that she owned the house it was rather peculiar
that she had such an inferior room. She and her sister Susan were the
only children of Josiah Carpenter, a wealthy man living in Akron, Ohio.
Upon his death the girls found themselves alone and heiresses. Alice,
while visiting in New York, met Archibald Hollister, who belonged to an
old and respected family but who was of no earthly account as a business
man. His handsome face won pretty Alice Carpenter. He was not long in
spending nearly all of her fortune, but he really was considerate enough
to contract pneumonia and die before he obtained possession of her
house, which fortunately was in her name and unmortgaged.

She had two sons--John, Kate's father, who lived in Columbus, Ohio, and
Archibald with whom she now made her home. Archibald loved his mother
and begged her to let him pay her rent for the house, but she replied
that if he would pay the taxes and keep the house in repair it would
equal the rent.

Her sister Susan still lived in the same town where they had been born.
She had never married. People told Archibald Hollister that his Aunt
Susan was a millionaire. Every investment that she made was successful.
She had adopted and educated two orphan boys, one of whom had died,
while the other was finishing college, after which he was to become a
lawyer. Aunt Susan seldom wrote of herself. She corresponded with Alice
(Grandmother Hollister) about twice a year, and at Christmas she
invariably sent her a generous check.

Grandmother Hollister and her son were alike in many ways. They were
free from all false pride and privately they considered Mrs. Hollister a
snob, and worried lest Ethel should become one. Archibald seldom
asserted himself, but when he did his word was law. While his wife was
a social climber he was exactly the opposite. He had been known to bring
home the most disreputable looking men--men who had been his friends in
youth and who were playing in hard luck. He would ask them to dinner
without even sending word, and his wife would invariably plead a sick
headache to get rid of sitting with them. She dared not interfere nor
object for she was just a little afraid of him and she realized that in
nearly everything he allowed her to have her own way.

Mrs. Hollister told Ethel privately that both here father and
grandmother were old fashioned. Although living in a handsome house they
kept but one maid. Mr. Hollister's salary was but a little over three
thousand, and at times they had hard work to make both ends meet. Ethel
attended a fashionable school and hardly realized what the family
sacrificed for her. She made many friends among the wealthy girls of the
smart set. Thanks to her mother's skill and taste she was enabled to
dress beautifully, but youth is thoughtless and she was just a little
too self centered to see that her parents were depriving themselves for
her.

Mrs. Hollister gave bridge parties, and once every two weeks a tea for
Ethel. Upon those days she hired two extra maids. It was pitiable to see
how she strove to keep up appearances. There was a young man whose
sister went with the set of girls who came to Ethel's teas. His name was
Harvey Bigelow. One of his sisters had married into the nobility. He had
a large Roman nose and a receding forehead, but Mrs. Hollister was
delighted when one afternoon Nannie Bigelow--his sister--brought him to
the house. He was only nineteen and at college. Ethel disliked him from
the first.

"Why, dear, why are you so rude to Mr. Bigelow? He's a gentleman," said
Mrs. Hollister.

"Yes, Mamma, but I simply cannot endure him," replied the girl. "For one
thing his nails are too shiny, and that shows his lack of refinement. I
don't care if his sister married the King, he's common--that's all."

It was then that Mrs. Hollister would declare that Ethel was exactly
like her father and grandmother.



CHAPTER IV

A PINK TEA


Although old Mrs. Hollister owned the house and nearly all of the
handsome antique furniture, Mrs. Archie seemed often to forget that
fact, and from her manner one might infer that the lady regarded her
mother-in-law as a sort of interloper. The old lady would allow her to
go just so far, after which she would suddenly pull her up with a sharp
turn and admonish her with such a cutting rebuke that Mrs. Archie would
blush painfully and apologize. But while antagonistic on most points
they each agreed on Ethel. Even Grandmother felt that her
daughter-in-law was wise in trying to fit the girl for the smart set,
where she would have social position and money, and she even sided with
the wife against her son, who considered it all wrong.

One afternoon Archibald Hollister came home early and ran right into the
"Pink Tea" crowd. Old Mrs. Hollister, tastefully gowned in black and
white, sat in the library where the maids brought up refreshments to
her. A young musician whose mother had been a schoolmate of Mrs.
Hollister's, and who was poor, played the piano from four to seven for
the small sum of three dollars. Everything went off pleasantly. The
maids acted as though they were really fixtures in the house. The
refreshments were excellent. No wonder with the line of autos before the
door people considered the Hollisters wealthy, "but plain and solid with
no airs, etc."

Old Mrs. Hollister enjoyed young people's society, and they all voted
her a dear. She'd invite their confidences, and before leaving each girl
would come up to the library for a chat with Grandmother.

"Oh, Mrs. Hollister," said Lottie Owen, a girl of Ethel's age, "have you
heard about the 'turkey trot?' We can't dance it any more,--it's been
suppressed."

"How does it go?" asked the old lady. "I've read something of it."

"Well, just wait,--I'll get Nannie Bigelow and we'll dance it for you."

Thereupon the two girls would show Grandmother Hollister the steps.

"That's something like the 'Boston Dip,'" responded she very much
excited. "Why, when I was a girl my mother took me away from a cotillion
one night because they danced it," and she grew pretty as she excitedly
told of her younger days.

"I bet you were lovely, Mrs. Hollister," said Nannie. "Ethel will never
be as pretty as you were. We were looking at your portrait in the
drawing room. You must have been fascinating, and as for Mr.
Hollister--your husband--well, he was just a dear."

The old lady blushed. Here Lottie spoke up:

"Yes, and people say you were such a belle. Old Mr. Tupper was at our
house and met Ethel, and he told us a lot about you. But here's Mr.
Hollister," and they rushed forward to greet her son.

"Well, well!" he exclaimed gallantly, "I didn't expect to get into such
a garden of roses. And you, too, Mother--why, you've actually grown
younger."

"That's just what we tell her," said Nannie. "We've been dancing the
'turkey trot' for her," they whispered, slyly kissing her goodbye.

These were happy afternoons for Grandmother, after which she and her son
would sit and chat.

"It sort of livens things up to have young people about, doesn't it,
Mother?" he said, taking a cup of tea and a sandwich.

"Yes, Archie, it certainly does; but you look tired."

"I am, Mother," replied the man, "I wish Ethel was finished with her
school and happily married. This strain is telling on me and I suppose
poor Bella suffers from it even as I do."

"It's too bad, Archie. I don't like this sailing under false colors.
People imagine Ethel a wealthy girl. Probably they think she'll inherit
my money. Of course, they never dream that I'm penniless and that you
have a salary of only three thousand a year; but so long as we keep out
of debt I don't know as we are doing wrong."

"Has Kate gone?" he asked.

"Yes, she left this morning. Bella took her to the train. She's gone to
visit her mother's people in Tarrytown. Kate's a nice girl."

"She's a sensible girl. I only hope that Ethel will grow into as good a
woman as Kate Hollister," said Archibald.

"You see, Kate has a new fad," began Grandmother--"not a fad either; its
purpose is too earnest to call it that. She is the head of a Company of
girls called 'Camp Fire Girls.' They are something like the 'Boy Scout
Organization.' The object is to make girls healthy. It gives them
knowledge; it causes them to work and learn to love it; it makes them
trustworthy; they begin to search for beauty in Nature and they're
perfectly happy. I remember that much, but the sum and substance of it
is that it teaches a girl everything that is useful. Kate is the
Guardian of one Camp Fire section. They meet weekly and from what she
tells me it must be a great thing. Kate spoke of it to Bella but she
ridiculed it and forbade her to speak of it to Ethel. She declares it is
like the Salvation Army, etc., and Kate promised not to, I think she
had hoped to secure Ethel for one of the girls next summer."

"Well, there's no need of us trying to oppose Bella," said her son. "She
is determined that Ethel shall make a brilliant match and in her eyes
this would be a waste of time. No, Mother, the best thing for you and me
to do is to travel along the lines of the least resistance.
Come,--dinner is ready. I'll help you down."



CHAPTER V

AN INVITATION TO AUNT SUSAN


One afternoon Mrs. Hollister called Ethel into her room. After closing
the door she said, "Ethel, I have written to your father's Aunt Susan,
who lives in Akron, to come here and make us a visit. You know she's
Grandmother's only sister, and I think it will do them both good to see
each other. Grandmother is delighted and I expect that Aunt Susan will
accept," and Mrs. Hollister calmly drew on her gloves.

Now, as her mother was not in the habit of considering her grandmother's
comfort, and as the two women were seldom of one accord, Ethel looked at
her furtively and with a puzzled expression of countenance, but that
lady acted not the least embarrassed. It seemed strange to Ethel that
all at once she should wish to cheer up her mother-in-law by inviting
her country sister to visit them, but the girl simply said:

"That's lovely, Mamma," and went up to her room to study.

Although she disliked to credit her mother with such artifices, she
finally hit upon a solution of the object of the invitation. It must be
that it was Aunt Susan's money she was after, and why? Suddenly, it all
came to the girl--it was to get Aunt Susan to like her (Ethel, her
grand-niece) and make her her heiress, if not to all at least to a part
of her fortune.

Ethel sat and gazed at the pretty room in which Mrs. Hollister had spent
so much time decorating and making attractive. In her heart there was a
desire to denounce her mother. Then, when she realized that it was all
being done to benefit herself, she could feel nothing but pity for the
woman whose one thought in life was for her daughter. She thought: "She
will even tell people that I am Aunt Susan's heiress, and I must sit by
and know that it is untrue. Everything is untrue in this house. Oh, how
I wish I could get away from it all!" But to her grandmother she told
her suspicions.

"Never mind, my lamb," said the old lady. "I know Susan well enough to
say that she will love you for yourself, and probably she does intend to
leave you and Kate half of her fortune at least. If it serves to help
your mother socially, why Susan wouldn't care--she'd only laugh. Susan's
very keen and sharp, my child. No one can make her do what she doesn't
care to. Now don't you worry over anything. When she comes just be kind
and polite to her and help make her visit pleasant."

"But, Grandmamma, I should die of mortification if she even conceived the
idea that mother had that in her mind when she asked her here for a
visit. Oh, I couldn't endure it. Please never let her know what I
suspect. Will you promise, or I cannot look into her face."

"Your Aunt Susan shall never suspect such a thing from me. I promise,"
replied Grandmamma Hollister. "I am only too glad to see her once more. I
could almost forgive your mother for any duplicity in it so long as she
can come, for Susan and I are growing old and it will not be many years
before one of us goes. But, Ethel, don't expect to see any style. Aunt
Susan is a plain country woman. It may be a trial for you to have to go
out with her."

"Oh, never, if she's like you, Grandmother," said the girl, kissing her,
"and she is your own sister. She must be like you. But there's Nannie
Bigelow and Grace McAllister. I wonder what they want."

"Hello! Ethel," called two young voices, "we're coming up. Your mother
said we might."

"All right, girls; I'm in Grandmamma's room," replied Ethel, "come in
here."

After greeting the old lady affectionately they began: "What do you know
about it?" said Grace--"here Dorothy Kip has joined a new Society called
the 'Camp Fire Girls,' and from the first day of vacation--May
fifteenth--until October she's going to live in the woods and camp out."

"Yes," broke in Nannie Bigelow, "I'm just crazy to belong but Mamma
won't let me because she heard that two of the girls who are to be in
the Company live in the Bronx in a small flat and go to public school.
But Connie Westcott's aunt is to be the head or 'Guardian,' and these
girls are in her Sunday School class. She likes them and insists upon
their becoming members. Isn't it ridiculous, Mrs. Hollister, that just
because these girls are poor they're not considered fit to associate
with us by some mothers, and I mean mine. As if I was half as good as
they. Why, my great-grandfather was a shoemaker. Papa told me all about
it, and he was a dandy good shoemaker, too; but Mother gets furious when
I refer to it," and Nannie threw herself in a chair before the open fire
that Grandmother Hollister always kept lighted save in warm weather.

"I know my mother wouldn't let me join," said Ethel. "Why, Kate
Hollister is the Guardian of a Company in Columbus, Ohio, and Mother
wouldn't allow her to speak of it even. She says it's like the Salvation
Army, and such ridiculous nonsense. Oh, dear! all the mothers are alike,
I'm afraid. We'll never have real fun until after we're married or
become old maids."

Just then they were interrupted by the arrival of Connie Westcott,
Dorothy Kip, and two or three more of Ethel's young friends, to whom
they explained the subject under discussion.

"Well, my mother will let me join," said Connie, "and Dorothy's has
allowed her."

"Yes," broke in Dorothy, "I was sure Mother would allow me to if Miss
Westcott was to be the Guardian."

"It must be a fine organization," said Mrs. Hollister, knitting steadily
with the yellow lace falling over her still pretty hands. "I wish we had
known of something like that in my young day. Why, it must be like one
continuous picnic."

"I'll tell you what they do," said Sara Judson, "they first learn how to
put out a fire. Supposing one's clothes should catch; they could save
one's life. Then, in summer, or through the ice in winter, they rescue
drowning people who have never learned to swim. They know what to do for
an open cut; for fainting; how to bandage and use surgeon's plaster.
They can cook at least two meals, mend stockings, sew, etc., and keep
one's self free from colds and illness. They sleep in the open, and my!
what fine health it gives a girl, and it makes a perfect athlete of her.
She can cook and bake, market, and know just how to choose meats and
vegetables. She can become a fine housekeeper as well, and learn how to
make lovely gardens. Why, I'll bring you a book, Mrs. Hollister. I
couldn't begin to tell you how wonderful it is. If a girl lives up to
all the rules and can learn everything that is taught she's a wonder,
that's all. So I hope some day Ethel can join, even if later."

"Oh, I'll never be allowed to join, girls. I'm to be a parlor ornament,"
and Ethel's eyes filled with tears.

"Never mind," said Constance White, "how desolate the home furnishings
would be without lovely bric-a-brac."

"Yes," replied Grandmother Hollister, "whatever position a girl occupies
if she fills it creditably she will have done her duty."

"I know that Ethel will be the head of a large and magnificent
establishment," said Nannie Bigelow. "She's just the style of a girl."

Ethel half laughed and dried her eyes on her Grandmother's handkerchief.

"I don't care," she faltered, "think of living out in a camp and sitting
around the fire telling stories. And I shall never be allowed to do it."

"Now you buck up, old girl," said Dorothy Kip abruptly. "Oh, excuse me,
Mrs. Hollister, but sometimes I just love to use slang. You go ahead and
wish hard for what you want and you'll get it. I always do. Say, don't
you know that you can influence others to think exactly as you do? By
wishing with all your might you can will it to be done."

Everyone laughed. Dorothy was an odd roly poly pretty girl of fifteen.
She was the only sister and idol of four brothers whom she copied in
every way. The newest slang was invariably on her tongue, and the family
laughed at and petted her. In their eyes everything she did was perfect.
She was a general favorite at school, but Madame La Rue declared that she
would never become a perfect lady while her brothers lived at home; but
she was kind-hearted and generous. Mrs. Hollister, Senior, liked her
immensely. She always called her "Grandma."

"Do you know what I'm going in for?" she asked of the old lady. "Well,
I'll tell you--it's babies!" Everyone laughed.

"You needn't laugh. Next year I'm going to take all of my spending money
excepting ten dollars and hire two rooms and a kitchenette. Dad gives me
sixty dollars per. I'm going to take thirty-five for rent and the boys
will help me furnish. Then I'm going to beg my friends for contributions
and open a Day Nursery. Of course, I'll have to get a woman for fifteen
dollars a month to take care of the babies, and the mothers can pay four
cents a day for each child."

"Why, Dorothy Kip," exclaimed the girls. "You couldn't get any servant
for fifteen dollars a month."

"I can, and don't you forget it. Old Susan Conner, who used to be my
brother Tom's nurse, has offered to come for fifteen dollars. She likes
me and she's willing to help me in this charity. We've talked it all
over. Susan is some class now and has her two-room-and-bath apartment.
She's old and hasn't much to do and she has enough to live on, so she's
offered to come; and I'm going to spend just ten dollars on myself each
month in place of sixty for candy and soda and such nonsense. No one
knows of it but Susan and I. I'm going to beg for oatmeal and rice and
bread of the grocers with whom we've traded for years, and if they
refuse I'll influence Mother to leave them. Then I think Dad will help
me out on milk and anything needed. I'll confide in him."

"That's a fine and magnificent idea, Dorothy," said Mrs. Hollister, "and
you'll become a public benefactor."

"Well, you see, Mrs. Hollister, I like the little kids and I've seen
such pitiful faces on some where the sisters have had to take care of
them while the mothers worked. So I made up my mind I could take ten
little ones anyway. Then the mothers' four cents will be forty cents a
day. That will pay for some, of the food. Oh! I'm going to become a
beggar and ask every friend to help me. Maybe it will fail but I can
try. The boys will give, I'm sure."

"Yes, Dorothy, and I bet you'll succeed," said the girls. "We'll help,
too."

Then each girl pledged herself for what she could afford to give.

"Well, you're awfully good, I'm sure," said Dorothy. "I never dreamed
you'd all come forward. You're certainly sports, every one of you, and
I'm obliged more than I can tell you."

"Who knows," said Grandmother Hollister, "but when you're grown up,
you'll have a large house, and it may be called 'The Kip Day Nursery'
and each of you girls here may be lady managers. They all grow from
small beginnings. And, Dorothy, you may put me down for ten dollars,"
said Mrs. Hollister.

"Oh, say, you're a thoroughbred, you are," and the girl kissed her
impulsively several times.

Now Grandmother Hollister had been saving that particular ten for a new
lace scarf. It had been sent to her on her birthday by her son John,
but she couldn't resist giving it. She could do without the scarf, and
ten dollars would buy a couple or more warm rugs for the babies to sit
on, for little ones like to sit on the floor.

The girls stayed in her room and chatted until dusk. They talked as
freely before the old lady as before one another.

That evening Ethel asked her grandmother if there wasn't some way by
which she could get away that summer and go to visit Cousin Kate.

"I'll think it over," replied Grandmother; "you certainly need the
country. You look thin and peaked."

"Yes, and Mamma will take me to Newport or Narragansett, and I hate it.
Why, it's just like New York. You meet the very same people and I never
cared for the water as I care for inland or mountains. Do think out a
way, Grandmamma. You always manage to do everything just right."

"I'll try," replied Mrs. Hollister.



CHAPTER VI

AUNT SUSAN ARRIVES


The next morning there came a letter of acceptance from Aunt Susan. She
would arrive on Friday. This was Thursday. Grandmother Hollister hummed
a little song as she went up stairs.

"It will do Mother lots of good," ejaculated Mr. Hollister. "It was kind
of you, Bella, to think of that."

Mrs. Hollister blushed. Ethel watched her as she slowly sipped her
coffee. Mrs. Hollister was a peculiar woman. She was truthful and frank
when she wished to be. Now she realized that her husband trusted and had
faith in her and that Ethel was furtively watching her, so she said:
"Well, Archie, perhaps I was a little selfish in asking Aunt Susan.
Perhaps I did it to help Ethel a bit as well as to please Mother. Aunt
Susan is wealthy. Now why shouldn't Ethel come in for some of her money
as well as that adopted boy?"

"Why, Bella," said her husband, "is it possible that you had only that
idea in your head when you invited my aunt here?"

"No, not entirely. I knew that it would please your mother, and I could
kill two birds with one stone. That's why."

Ethel saw a peculiar look come upon her father's face. She had noticed
it when he brought home his disreputable looking friends to dine and
when her mother objected. He turned to his daughter.

"Ethel," he said, "I wish you to help and make your Aunt Susan's visit
very pleasant. I would like you to take her out and show her everything,
and Grandmother must go along also. You will be doing me a great favor
if you will."

"Papa, I'll do my best to make it pleasant," replied the girl, kissing
him.

Then, without looking at his wife, Mr. Hollister left the room, followed
by his daughter.

"So that was her object!" he exclaimed, as Ethel helped him on with his
coat. "What would Aunt Susan think were she to know? Your mother wishes
you to ingratiate yourself with my aunt so that she'll leave you the
lion's share of her money. Why, she'd probably leave my brother John and
me a remembrance anyway, and you and Kate would benefit by it. Well,
this is a strange world, my child. I wish your mother was less politic,
but I presume it is done for you, Ethel, so we mustn't be too hard on
her. She's a good mother to you, my dear, and has great ambition for
you. I only hope that you'll be happy. Never marry for money
alone--that's a sin--remember."

"I will, Papa," said the girl blushing. "I may never marry, and then you
and I can live together. Wouldn't we have fun?"

Aunt Susan arrived. Ethel gazed at her spellbound. She had the kindest
face she had ever seen, but oh! how old fashioned she looked. Her grey
hair was drawn tightly back into a cracker knot. In front she wore a
bunch of tight frizzes under a little flat velvet hat with strings,
something of the style of 1879. Her gown was of black made with a full
skirt trimmed with black satin bands. She wore an old-fashioned plush
dolman heavily beaded and covered with fringe. Her shoes were thick like
a man's, and to crown all she carried a fish-net bag. She didn't seem to
realize that she looked behind the times.

Ethel thought that her teeth and eyes were the loveliest that she had
ever seen on a woman of her age, for she was grandmother's senior. She
and Mrs. Hollister looked enough alike to be twins. They fell upon each
other's neck and wept. Ethel was mentally hoping that Aunt Susan would
purchase some modern clothes or that none of her fashionable friends
would meet her, for among them were some who would laugh at the old
lady, and the girl felt that she'd die of mortification and anger,--not
the girls with whom she was intimate and who came to see her daily, but
the girls who belonged to the exclusive set, and with whom Ethel and her
friends seldom went as they were much younger.

The day following Mrs. Hollister phoned for a taxi, and to Ethel's
horror she ordered an open one. Ethel was to take Aunt Susan and
Grandmother for a drive. She dared not demur. Had she not promised her
father to do everything for Aunt Susan? Could she hurt her dear
grandmother's feelings? And last of all, she would not admit to her
mother the fact that she was ashamed of Aunt Susan's appearance. No, so
she went.

As it was early in April and cool, upon this occasion Aunt Susan wore
ear tabs, over which she tied a thick, green veil, when it grew warmer
in the sunshine she removed the veil. They drove up Riverside to Grant's
Tomb, where Aunt Susan insisted upon getting out. Fortunately Ethel
encountered no one whom she knew, but as they were driving up Lafayette
Boulevard they passed Estelle Mason, one of her swell friends. The
chills ran up and down Ethel's spine, while she sat with her lips
compressed. The girl bowed and deliberately giggled. Even grandmother,
who looked lovely, grew red. But Aunt Susan seemed not to notice it.

"I am a snob just like mother," thought the girl. "I ought to be ashamed
of myself. I'll never speak to Estelle again, the rude upstart! They
say she prides herself on her family, but I can't see that her good
blood has made a lady of her," and into Ethel's eyes came tears.

"Ethel, my dear," said Aunt Susan, "you're looking badly. Your cheeks
are flushed. Do you feel ill?"

"No, Aunt Susan," she replied. "I always grow red when riding in the
wind."

Grandmother had seen it all and pitied the girl.

"Deafness comes early in the Carpenter family," persisted Aunt Susan.
"Here, take this veil, dear, do, and tie it over your ears."

But Ethel declined, and to her joy the ride was soon over.

In the privacy of her room Grandmother Hollister confided to Ethel that
really Aunt Susan ought to dress differently.

"I understand how you felt, dear," she continued, "when you met that
rude Mason girl and she laughed, but there's bad blood there. I know all
about her and her grandparents. My dear child, her grandmother used to
be a waitress way out West where her grandfather owned mines, and he
boarded at the house where she worked, fell in love and married her.
Probably there's where she gets her rudeness."

"Why, Grandmother, how did you know that?" asked Ethel.

"There's little I don't know about the fine old New York families, my
dear. Remember I married into one and I heard a great deal."

After that Ethel felt comforted.



CHAPTER VII

AUNT SUSAN MAKES FRIENDS


In less than a week Mrs. Hollister had circulated the report that Aunt
Susan was an immensely wealthy but eccentric old maid, and that Ethel
was to be her heiress. The report spread like wildfire. Then Mrs.
Hollister took the girl and told her that she must begin and make
herself invaluable to Aunt Susan, so that she alone would inherit her
immense fortune.

"Of course," she said, "she'll leave your Cousin Kate some if it, but
why should that adopted son get the lion's share? You might just as well
have it."

Ethel had to go everywhere with Aunt Susan,--she who so disliked
anything savoring of the conspicuous. She could hear the sneers and
laughter of Estelle Mason's set of girls and could see their looks of
amusement. At first she rebelled, but the dislike of offending her
grandmother and fear of disobeying her mother made her meekly submit,
and like a martyr she went.

Aunt Susan was such a lovely character that Ethel was ashamed of
herself, for everything seemed to please her so, and she kept dwelling
upon the fact that the family (especially Ethel) was so kind that she
should never forget it. But although she bought expensive gifts for the
three women, they dared not suggest her spending anything on herself.
Something kept them from it and told them that she might become offended
and leave the house.

Gradually the friends of the Hollisters' came and fell in love with Aunt
Susan. She was such a lady and had such charming manners. Besides,
knowing her to be a wealthy woman, they accepted her with her peculiar
gowns, even inviting her to teas, etc. Never did an old lady have such a
fine visit. Harvey Bigelow was most attentive to her, Aunt Susan
declaring him to be a likely fellow, and wondering why her niece Kate
didn't fancy him.

She spoke often of Thomas Harper--her adopted son and protege. He was a
fine lawyer and was devoted to her. She received letters from him twice
a week, from which she read extracts. Mrs. Hollister declared that he
was crafty and after Aunt Susan's money, and it seemed to worry her not
a little. She even started in to insinuate as much to the lady, who
gazed at her peculiarly until Grandmother took her alone one day and
said: "If ever you expect to make Aunt Susan fond of Ethel you are going
to work the wrong way. She's very sharp, and if you speak ill of Thomas
Harper you'll show your hand--I warn you.

"She'll do as she chooses and you can't compel her to do otherwise.
She's fond of Ethel now for herself. I warn you, Bella, not to let your
greediness make Susan know you as you are. I'd like her to keep the
good opinion of you that she has at present."

Mrs. Hollister knew that her mother-in-law spoke the truth and she said
nothing, but left the room.



CHAPTER VIII

ETHEL IS INVITED TO VISIT


One morning in May, as the last days of Aunt Susan's visit were drawing
to a close, she said to Mrs. Hollister: "Bella, Ethel tells me that her
vacation begins next week. Now I've been thinking it over. The child
doesn't look strong. She needs country air. I don't mean your
fashionable places, but where she can live out of doors in a simple
gown, play games, and take long walks, etc. Now you've given me such a
pleasant time that I'm going to invite her to go home with me. I'll wait
for her school to close and we can start from here Saturday."

Mrs. Hollister was overjoyed. Of all things that was what she had most
desired and, too, it would save them much expense, for a summer's trip
to a fashionable hotel made a large hole in Archibald Hollister's
salary.

"Yes, indeed, Aunt Susan, she will be simply delighted to go," replied
the lady. "I'll get her ready at once."

"She'll need nothing new," called out Aunt Susan. "We're very plain
people. We live simply, and her gowns and hats will seem like visions of
Paris fashions to the girls in our town. Then I shall ask Kate to come
for a visit as well. And, by the way, Bella, come back; I wish to say
something. You know my niece Kate goes up into Camp this summer with her
girls. Now I should like Ethel to go along. It is a great movement--this
Camp Fire movement--and it will do the child lots of good, for she
strikes me as very delicate."

Mrs. Hollister gasped.

"Yes," she replied, "Kate spoke to me of it but I shouldn't care for
Ethel to join."

"Why not?" asked Aunt Susan. "It certainly is the most creditable thing
any girl can join. It's a wonderful institution. What objection can you
have?" and she looked at her niece tentatively.

Mrs. Hollister reviewed the situation as she stood there. It would not
do for her to air her objections to Aunt Susan. She was just a little
afraid of that lady and wished her to have a good opinion of her, so she
continued reluctantly: "Well, you see, Aunt Susan, it is such a
strenuous life, and Ethel is not over robust. I'm almost afraid it might
do her more harm than good."

"Nonsense, Bella," replied Aunt Susan, "that's the most shallow
objection you could advance. I should deem it a personal favor if you'll
give your consent."

Now Mrs. Hollister dared not withhold her consent, and yet she was
angry. That Ethel was at last to be entrapped into belonging to that
detestable Organization was what she had never dreamed could take place.
She was caught and trapped; there was no help. Even though she gave her
consent, after Ethel came home in the fall she could talk her out of it.
So she said with a of show amiability: "Since you desire it, Aunt Susan,
I'll consent, but I don't approve of it at all, I must admit."

"Thank you," replied Aunt Susan. "I think you'll feel differently when
you see Ethel upon her return home this fall. All of the girls in Akron
are joining. They're crazy over it."

Mrs. Hollister replied that she was open to conviction and should be
glad if Ethel derived any benefit from it.

"But what shall I buy for her to wear?" she asked.

"I will attend to her outfit," replied Aunt Susan. "It is not
expensive."



CHAPTER IX

ETHEL AND AUNT SUSAN START


Ethel was overjoyed that permission had been obtained to allow her to
become a Camp Fire Girl.

"Isn't Aunt Susan clever to have been able to have gotten Mother to
change her mind?"

Grandmother smiled but said nothing, but when alone Mrs. Hollister said:
"Ethel, remember that you are in line for Aunt Susan's money.
Grandmother says she admires you and thinks that you have shown her
great courtesy--says you've been kindness itself to her--so it has paid,
hasn't it, dear? Now your visit will do the business, and you'll
probably come in for the lion's share. Of course, you are only sixteen,
but who knows what may happen? When you finish school you may become the
Duchess of Everton's sister-in-law--think of it--and I alone shall be
responsible."

"Oh, Mamma," replied Ethel, growing red, "you know I am only a young
girl yet. Besides, I loathe Harvey Bigelow. He talks through his nose
and is vulgar."

"Nonsense," replied her mother, "look at all of the young men of today,
especially among the rich. Are they so very good looking?"

"Yes," replied Ethel, "I think Dorothy Kip has four fine looking
brothers, and I know lots of good looking young men, but I can't endure
Harvey Bigelow although I love Nannie."

"Well, Harvey averages well as to looks, and think of his position and
family, and you a poor man's daughter. If you'll be guided by me, my
dear, I'll put you above them all. Were your father to die what could
you do? Should you like to be a saleswoman?"

Ethel was angry but she knew that her mother spoke wisely. She, too,
loved money and position, as well perhaps as Mrs. Hollister, but she was
not quite so worldly.

The Saturday arrived at last and they started for Akron. Although Ethel
felt ashamed to admit it, owing to Aunt Susan's conspicuous appearance,
she dreaded the train ordeal, but there was no help for it. She did
speak of it to her mother, who calmly surveyed her daughter and replied:
"Ethel, I fear you are a snob."

The girl regarded her mother with astonishment, who without
embarrassment calmly continued: "Did you ever see me act as though I was
ashamed of your aunt?"

And as Ethel thought, she was forced to admit that she never had, for
Mrs. Hollister was a strange anomaly. Her snobbishness seemed to lie in
the desire to rise socially--to take her place with the best--but she
never had seemed to even take exception to Aunt Susan's appearance; in
fact, she felt that people would consider it the eccentricity of a
wealthy woman. She went with her everywhere and never was ashamed,
therefore her reproof to her daughter was sincere.



CHAPTER X

THE JOURNEY


The journey was very pleasant. Ethel enjoyed it. Aunt Susan removed her
hat and tied the objectionable green veil around her head. This didn't
seem quite so out of place. As they talked Ethel noticed that Aunt Susan
was wonderfully well informed on every subject. She was like an
encyclopedia, and her conversation was most interesting.

As they were nearing their destination many of her townspeople passed
through the train. They greeted her most heartily with: "Well, well,
Mrs. Carpenter, we have missed you. Had a pleasant time?"

"How's my boy?" she asked of one man.

"My, but he's fine," rejoined the man,--"won a big case the other day.
Haven't you heard about it? Sears, the automobile man--someone accused
him of infringing on his patent, and he--Sears--sued him. Tom won the
suit. Everyone is congratulating him," etc.

Each person had some report of Tom.

"They seem to love Aunt Susan," thought Ethel. "It only goes to show how
much people think of money. Perhaps were she poor they wouldn't notice
her." But wasn't her own mother a money-worshipper, and didn't she
herself care for people who had it? "I suppose it's the way of the
world," she thought.

The train slowed into the depot. A tall broad-shouldered athletic
looking fellow entered the car and grasped Aunt Susan by the waist, and
as he lifted her almost from the floor he kissed her affectionately
saying: "Oh, my! but Aunt Susan I've missed you," and his voice rang
manly and true.

Ethel liked his face. He had keen but pleasant grey eyes, a square jaw,
large mouth and fine teeth. "But alas!" she thought, "how terribly he
dresses, with his loosely tied black cravat, a slouch hat, low collar
and wide trousers--like types of eccentric literary men seen on the
stage and in pictures."

He was absolutely devoid of style, yet everyone seemed to look up to him
and lots of pretty girls blushed unconsciously as he returned their
bows. Aunt Susan must have spoken to everyone who passed. They all
seemed to know her well.

As they drove up and alighted at the door of a small plain house she
must have noticed a disappointed look in her niece's eyes, for she said:
"Your Grandmother and I were born here, my dear. That large house on the
hill once belonged to me, but I disposed of it and moved here. I love
the associations. Although it is very primitive. I trust you may be
happy in it while visiting under its roof."

And indeed it was primitive with its wooden shutters and piazza with a
stone floor made of pieces of flagging. The rooms were low-ceilinged
with windows of tiny panes, whose white muslin curtains were trimmed
with ball fringe made by Aunt Susan. There were ingrain carpets on the
floor and old-fashioned mahogany furniture--the real thing, not
reproductions. It was massive and handsome with exquisite hand carving.

Ethel's floor was covered with the old-fashioned rag carpeting and rugs
to match. Vases of roses were on the bureau and stand, evidently put
there by "Mr. Thomas" as she called him.



CHAPTER XI

THE NEXT DAY


She slept as she had never before slept and was awakened in the morning
by the robins that sang in the white blossomed cherry trees. It was so
lovely that she lay quite still to listen. Then she arose, but before
dressing she gazed out of the window. They were over a mile from the
town. The path up from the gate was bordered on either side by spring
flowers. Immense trees hid the road from view but she could hear the
toot of the motors in passing and it all seemed strange, for the house
was over one hundred years old, and everything, even to the pump in the
yard, was so old-fashioned.

Ethel looked sideways at the house on the hill in which Aunt Susan told
her she had once lived. It was immense,--more like an Institution.
Probably it had been sold and remodeled, and perhaps was something of
the sort now, thought Ethel.

She dressed and went down stairs. Aunt Susan must have been up some
time, for the house looked so clean, and the odor of roses was
everywhere,--roses on the old-fashioned piano, on the mantel, and on the
breakfast table.

Ethel ate heartily, everything tasted so good. Old Jane, the maid of all
work, had been with her Aunt Susan ever since her father's death many
years before, and she was a woman who cooked most deliciously. Ethel
wondered why Aunt Susan kept but one maid, although she ceased to wonder
at anything after Aunt Susan had finished breakfast.

"Tom lives in Akron at the hotel," said she. "He has many clients, some
of whom can only consult him in the evening, and that's why he cannot
stay here with me. But until I left for New York," she continued, "I had
the village school teacher for company. You see, although this place
belongs to Akron, there are many children who cannot journey back and
forth to school, so we have a little schoolhouse near. The teacher
usually boards with me, and with Jane in the kitchen I am well
protected."

Ethel pondered. She had solved the mystery. Aunt Susan was a miser, of
that there was no doubt. Imagine a woman of her immense wealth taking a
boarder and living as she did. Ethel wondered if at night when everyone
was sound asleep she counted her money as misers do; and perhaps it was
on this very mahogany table that she emptied the bags before counting.

"What they had to eat was of the best and she enjoyed the ham and eggs
and freshly churned butter. After a while she started up stairs, but
Aunt Susan was ahead of her.

"Oh, Auntie, I wanted to make my own bed."

"Well, dear, you may after today, if you will. Jane is pretty old to go
up and down stairs."

The change was so complete that Ethel felt like a new girl.

"I don't care if she is a miser," she thought, "she's just lovely and so
like Grandmother; and I'll have a happy time, I know."



CHAPTER XII

ETHEL LEARNS TO COOK


Here is a page from her letter to her grandmother:

     "Oh! my dear Grandmamma, you don't know how happy I am--not being
     away from those I love, but things are so different. I get up early
     and after breakfast I help Aunt Susan with the housework, for her
     maid is too old to go up and down stairs. I have learned to
     churn--to make butter and pot cheese as well. I dust, make my bed,
     and sweep my room. (Don't let mother see this. She may consider
     that I am doing a servant's work).

     "I am invited everywhere and lovely people call, but that is
     because I am the niece of a wealthy woman. And yet people's love
     for Aunt Susan seems so genuine--not as though they were toadying
     to her for her money. And Grandmamma, 'Mr. Tom,' as I call
     him,--Tom Harper--is the finest man I ever met. He is a man--not a
     man like Harvey Bigelow, mind you,--and people respect him and look
     up to him. He comes here every other night. He has a buckboard and
     on Sundays he takes me for long drives. Doesn't he love Aunt Susan
     though? He told me that there never lived such a good and unselfish
     woman, and then he told me of all that she had done.

     "His brother and he were left orphans without a penny. His father
     was a clergyman and his mother and Aunt Susan had been friends for
     years; in fact, he says, 'My mother had been one of Aunt Susan's
     pupils.' I must have shown surprise for he answered when I said
     'What?'--'Yes, before her father died she taught in the High
     School.' Did you know it, Grandmamma? Well, she did. She's awfully
     intelligent and now I know the cause of it. Why, she's like a
     walking dictionary.

     "Mr. Tom said that his father and mother died inside of a month,
     and he and his little brother Fred were left alone. Then brave Aunt
     Susan, who had loved his parents, came forward and legally adopted
     them. Think, Grandmamma,--but for her they might have had to go to
     the Orphan Asylum and wear blue gingham uniforms.

     "Then Aunt Susan sent them each to college. Poor Fred contracted
     typhoid fever and died during his third year. Mr. Tom and Aunt
     Susan say he was lovely--so gentle and sweet. It is sad to die so
     young, isn't it? But Mr. Tom graduated from college and studied law
     with Ex-Judge Green, and if you will believe it, all of the Judge's
     practice came to him at his death--Judge Green's death I mean--and
     he told me that he could never repay dear Aunt Susan for her
     goodness to him and to his brother. It was more than that of a
     mother, for they were not of her blood.

     "I'll close now, for Mr. Tom has come to take me for a long drive.
     I hope the girls get in to see you often. What do they think of
     Mamma's giving me permission to join Cousin Kate's Camp Fire Girls?
     Isn't it great?

                          "With love and lots of kisses to all,
                                      Your affectionate grandchild,
                                                               Ethel."



CHAPTER XIII

A LITTLE DRIVE


That afternoon when Tom took Ethel for a drive he asked: "Do you see
that large house on the hill?"

"Yes," replied the girl. "It used to belong to Aunt Susan, didn't it?"

"It did," replied the man, "and she presented it to the town of Akron
for an asylum for partially insane people--men and women who have
hallucinations only--so that by gentle and humane treatment they may be
helped if not permanently cured, for she believes that many who might
gain their reason are made hopelessly insane by ill usage. She not only
gave the house and land but she added to it a couple of wings, and she
has created of it a most charming Sanitarium. I'll take you there
tomorrow. You see, Aunt Susan gave it out that if the prominent business
men of Akron could raise fifty thousand dollars she would give fifty
more, making the sum total of one hundred thousand dollars as a fund for
the future support of the Asylum, and by George!" said the young man,
"they raised it. So you see so far as money is concerned they are
independent. The capital is invested in bonds and stock, and the Asylum
is run with the dividends, and is well run, too. Aunt Susan is the
head--the President--and at any moment she may surprise them and walk
in. The patients are treated with courtesy and a great many are
discharged cured; in fact, nearly all. It accommodates only fifty
patients--twenty-five of each sex. There's a continuous waiting list and
it's seldom that one isn't greatly benefited after having gone there."

No wonder Aunt Susan was beloved by the inhabitants, for Tom told Ethel
that she was invariably the first to help anyone in distress.

"So she wasn't a miser, after all," thought the girl--"She gives away
everything in charity and she saves her money to do so."

Ethel couldn't fail to observe that Aunt Susan was growing fond of her
and her conscience smote her. She felt that she was a hypocrite. Even as
she pondered she held in her hand a letter received from her mother
which advised her to be tactful and make herself agreeable and
invaluable to the old lady,--alter her gowns and make and trim her hats,
etc. "You're clever, and from helping me sew you have become proficient
and have acquired considerable knowledge of dressmaking. If she's
miserly and won't buy new, my child, you can flatter her by remodeling
her old gowns, etc. Then she'll grow to depend on you. She'll consider
you a good manager and feel that her money will not be wasted by you.
Then, when you marry we'll go abroad to associate with peers and
duchesses and members of the nobility. You'll feel that your period of
imprisonment with Aunt Susan has brought forth fruit."

With a flushed face Ethel read and reread her mother's letter. She
blushed with shame. Already she had remodeled some of Aunt Susan's
gowns. She was glad that she had done so before the letter came. From
an old silk tissue skirt she had fashioned her a lovely neckpiece with
long ends. She had also made her a dainty hat of fine straw and lace.
She had persuaded her to allow her to dress her hair which grew quite
thick on her head. First, as her hair had originally been black, she
washed and _blued_ it, making it like silver. Then, parting it in front,
she waved it either side and coiled it loosely in the back, and really
Aunt Susan looked like another woman,--most lovely and aristocratic. Tom
was delighted with the metamorphosis and insisted upon Ethel's taking
twenty dollars from him to buy her aunt a new stylish wrap.

"Oh, I'm so glad it all happened before I received this," she said to
herself, tearing up the letter. "At least I'm not so contemptible as I
might have been had I done as Mamma suggested, for gain only."



CHAPTER XIV

SOME CONFIDENCES


Aunt Susan now looked up-to-date, younger and happier, and she was most
grateful for everything that Ethel had done for her. They all went to
theaters, moving picture shows, and twice a week Tom would hire a motor
and they'd take long drives far into the country.

Ethel now knew why Aunt Susan loved the man so dearly. She praised him
constantly and the girl thought: "Well, if as Dorothy Kip expresses it
he's doing these kind acts to 'build character' with Aunt Susan, at
least he's an excellent actor."

They visited the Insane Asylum. It was like a lovely summer hotel and
the nurses were most solicitous and polite to the patients. Ethel could
understand how they might be cured,--how their poor tired and sick
brains were rested and strengthened by humane treatment. It was a
wonderful revelation to the young girl--this charity of Aunt Susan's.
What a good, worthy woman, and after her death what a reward awaited her
if we are to be rewarded according to our good deeds.

Ethel was changing. She had lost a good deal of her worldly pride.
Cousin Kate was expected the following week and she was looking forward
to trying on her Camp Fire costume, and to the happy days that were to
come.

One morning Aunt Susan sat by the window sewing. She looked actually
lovely, or at least Ethel thought so, and longed for Grandmamma to see
the change that she had wrought. As she gazed upon the old lady she said
to herself: "Perhaps, it is because I'm growing so fond of her."

Aunt Susan had on a white silk sacque that Ethel had made, trimmed with
rare old lace ruffles at the wrist and collar, while her hair was very
white and pretty. There was a gentle breeze blowing in at the window,
and little curly locks fell upon her forehead.

Ethel was knitting a sweater. She had learned the stitch in the town
where she had bought her wool, and she was making one for her mother.
In after years she never knitted that she didn't think of the
conversation that took place between Aunt Susan and herself. The ground
was covered with white petals of apple and cherry blossoms and it was as
though the snow had fallen in May. She remembered everything connected
with that conversation, and later in life she could close her eyes and
hear the robins calling and see the butterflies flitting among the
bushes, for that morning was the turning point in her life.

"Aunt Susan," began the girl, knitting very rapidly, "Mr. Tom tells me
that his mother was your pupil. Did you teach very long?"

"Yes, Ethel," she replied, "I taught for years. Father, although a rich
man, expected his girls to do something, and there he was wise. He
always said that a girl should have some occupation the same as a boy;
then, when ship-wrecks came, they'd know how to swim. In other words,
when one's money was taken away there would be something to fall back
upon. Your grandmother took music lessons and taught for a while, but
she was pretty and during her first visit to New York, Archie Hollister
fell desperately in love and married her. Tom's mother was a fine
character and my favorite pupil. In so many ways Tom resembles her. She
was clever and bright, and so is Tom. Why, Ethel, he has more than paid
me for what I have done for him and Freddie. Today he's not twenty-five
and he's one of our cleverest lawyers. I shouldn't be surprised if some
day Ohio would send him to Congress. You know some of our cleverest men
come from this state,--presidents and statesmen--and Aunt Susan's
cheeks grew pink with excitement.

"And dear little Fred," she continued--"he was more like a baby. He sort
of clung to me; but, Ethel, they were like my own children, and you've
no idea how happy they made me."

"Aunt Susan," said Ethel, with her cheeks aflame, "don't think me
impertinent but you seem different from an----"

"An old maid," laughed Aunt Susan, "that's what you dared not say."

Ethel nodded and continued: "From the different photographs I have seen
of you, you must have been lovely. Why have you never married?"

Aunt Susan blushed and said in a low voice: "Ethel, I have been
married."

The girl started.

"Haven't you noticed that people call me _Mrs._ Carpenter?"

"Yes," replied the girl, drawing nearer with wonder in her eyes, "but I
know several maiden ladies who are called 'Mrs.' Mamma has a second
cousin--she's dead now, I mean--but I remember her. She speculated in
Wall Street and had an office, and she insisted upon being called Mrs."

"Yes, I've heard of women like her," replied Aunt Susan, "but I married
a man by the same name, although no relation. Has your grandmother never
spoken of him?"

"Never," replied the girl.

"Well, Alice has always hidden the family skeleton, but I will tell you
all about it.

"When I was about thirty-six years of age I married Robert Carpenter. I
was alone and wealthy. I loved him and tried to make his life happy,
but he drank. He had inherited that habit from his father, and drinking
led to gambling. He grew worse and worse. One night under the influence
of drink he came home and seemed determined to pick a quarrel. Seeing
that he was irresponsible I made no reply to his very insulting remarks.
That angered him beyond endurance. He struck and threw me across the
room. Then he left the house.

"Over on the hill by the Asylum is the grave of my little son who was
born and died that night."

Ethel started.

"Yes, my dear, I have been a wife and mother. Of course, I knew nothing
until the next day. I recovered consciousness but Robert had gone. He
had taken all of my money that he could find in the house and he had not
gone alone. His companion was a disreputable woman from the town."

Aunt Susan paused and looked over toward the little grave on the
hillside.

"It seemed," she continued, "as though God, who knew my sorrow at losing
my little one, sent me my two dear boys--Tom and Fred. They came into my
life when I most needed them and were my greatest comfort, for I was a
lonely woman, my dear. One day I received a letter written in a strange
hand saying that my husband was ill and not likely to live--that he
wished for me, to ask my forgiveness, and he begged me for God's sake to
go to him. I went. He was in Detroit in a squalid boarding house. I was
shocked at the change. I had not realized that a man could so lose his
good looks as he had done. I took him to a clean place kept by a woman
who had been highly recommended. Upon my arrival he wept bitterly and
begged my pardon. Then I was glad that I had never divorced him as my
friends had advised, for the poor man had been deserted by his companion
when the money had gone. He had kept on sinking lower and lower, ashamed
to appeal to me until when what he thought to be his last illness came
upon him he sent for me to ask my forgiveness."

"Did you give it?" asked the girl.

"Yes, Ethel, I did, and I gave it freely, because for the year past he
had been stone blind. I was so glad that I could cheer him up and make
the few remaining days of his life liveable."

"Did you ask him of his companion?" asked Ethel.

"No, he never spoke of her, nor did I. Had he wished to have told me he
would have done so. Robert had many loveable traits--yes, many noble
traits--but it was drink that ruined him. He was not mercenary. I had
money, but until he began to drink he was too proud to take it from me.
He was truly fond of me and would have married me had I been poor, but
of course after he had started the downward course he lost his pride.

"Well, I joined him in Detroit and stayed until after he died. His sight
never returned, but I read to him and cheered him up, and I had the
satisfaction of knowing that I made the last part of his life happier.
That's all, my dear. It is almost too sad to tell to a young girl."

Ethel sat and gazed upon her,--the woman who had shown such mercy to a
brute,--a wife deserted by her husband,--a mother never able to feel the
hand of her little child upon her cheek,--a woman whose life had been
spent in helping others, with no thought of self. The tears came into
the girl's eyes. She seemed to behold a bright halo about Aunt Susan's
head, and it filled her with awe. Suddenly she saw herself as she really
was,--the daughter of a selfish, mercenary mother, whose sole ambition
was for her future position in life. And this was her mission--to visit
this noble woman with a view to ingratiating herself and becoming her
heiress,--to make her think she loved her,--to make herself
indispensable to her. Yes, those were her mother's words. She had
destroyed the letter lest it should be seen, but she knew it by heart.
The young girl saw it all. Her lips quivered and she felt so utterly
unworthy that she fell on her knees and buried her face in Aunt Susan's
lap, sobbing bitterly.



CHAPTER XV

A NEW ETHEL


"Oh! Aunt Susan, you don't understand and I am afraid to tell you, but I
am such a wicked girl--such a hypocrite, and so unworthy of your
relationship and love. I am a cheater and a waster. My life is all lies
and sham. It always has been lies and sham. I wish to tell you
everything so that you may see me as I am.

"I came here to get into your good graces--to win your love that thereby
I might gain your fortune and marry into one of our old families--a man
of great social prominence--and I've been trying to make you like me and
make myself necessary to you. I've tried to give you the impression that
I was clever so that in case you wished to make me your heiress you
would not hesitate for fear that I might be extravagant and a
spendthrift. I can't tell you how bad I am. I've been ashamed of being
seen with you on account of the queer way you dressed. I'm not fit to
put my head in your lap--no, I'm not fit to stay under your roof any
longer," and Ethel's sobs were pitiful to hear. She became hysterical.
Then Aunt Susan took her in her arms.

"Child," she began, "don't cry. You have told me nothing new. I
understood from the first why you came home with me. You have many noble
traits of character. Your grandmother and I thought that under different
influences you might become a splendid woman. It was she who suggested
my inviting you. You are a good girl, Ethel, and above all you have a
kind and tender heart. You are a Carpenter in spite of your mother, and
anyone bearing my father's name can not go far from right. You have
shown that this morning. Now, my dear, in this world environments have
much to do with one's character, and you have never had a chance, my
poor little girl," and Aunt Susan kissed and soothed her as a mother
might have done. "Now forget it all, my dear child, just as I shall
forget. Let us begin anew from this morning."

"But, Aunt Susan," sobbed the girl, "I feel so unworthy, and you are so
sweet to forgive me. I should think you'd hate me and want me to leave
your house. But, believe me, I do love you--I love you as dearly as I
love Grandmamma and Papa. Excepting in books I never knew that any one
woman could be so good and self-sacrificing as you are. Oh, will you
believe that I don't want your money, and that I only care for your
respect and forgiveness, and your love, if you can give it?"

"Yes, my dear, I believe every word that you say. I believe in you from
now on," and Ethel threw her arms around Aunt Susan's neck and wept for
joy.



CHAPTER XVI

AUNT SUSAN'S TRIALS


"And now sit down, my dear, and I will tell you something. First you can
never be my heiress, for I have no money to give away or leave to
anyone. Tom supports me entirely. You look surprised and I don't wonder.
I never told your grandmother. She is old and, owning the house in New
York as she does, would probably insist upon my living with her; and
until a year ago I had hopes of recovering some of my property that I
had been cheated out of, but I have given it up. I love pretty gowns and
pretty things as well as anyone, but I am saving the money that Tom
insists upon giving me to spend on myself for him. I wish to leave him
something at my death. Now I will tell you about it and how I lost my
fortune.

"At the time I adopted the boys I was a very wealthy woman. Previous to
that year I had given away a great deal for charity, but I had a hobby
and that hobby was to establish a humane Insane Asylum. I had seen so
much cruelty practiced in different institutions where I happened to
know some of the inmates, and I had heard of such shocking treatment
received by patients, that I resolved to establish a reform. I gave my
handsome home for the Asylum. I spent large sums in fitting it up, so
that it might seem like a beautiful resort to the poor souls, and as Tom
told you, I succeeded in what I undertook. The boys went through school
and college,--or Tom did, and poor Fred would have graduated had he
lived a year longer. It was sad that he had to die, and so young, too."
Aunt Susan wept as she told of his death.

"Perhaps, you remember, Ethel, of reading or of hearing your father
speak of the failure of the Great Western Cereal Company four years ago.
No? I was under the impression that your father owned a few shares of
stock. Well, all I possessed in the world was invested in that Company.
It produced the greatest excitement known in years; in fact, throughout
the entire West there were panics. Everyone who had a little money saved
up bought stock. The dividends were enormous, but they were bogus; that
is, they were paid to each one from his or her own money. It was one of
those unprincipled concerns. They had been after me for a long while.
They knew that I was honest, wealthy, and respected, and that my name
would attract. At first, I put in only a few thousand; then, as it
prospered, I put in more, and finally I put in all that I possessed, for
I wished to make another fortune that I might build more 'Homes' and do
greater good to suffering humanity. The week before its failure what do
you think? Three of the principals sailed for Europe. Two were caught,
tried and are now serving a long term in prison. Two others committed
suicide. Being one of its directors, when the bubble burst I gave up
everything I possessed to help pay some of its poorer creditors, but it
only went a little way; and I, too, was a victim with the rest. Had I
confided my business to Tom he would have advised me not to invest in
it, for Tom has a wonderful way of advising people for the best, but I
kept it a secret so that when he should come of age I could surprise
him, for then I intended to give him full charge of all my affairs. So
you see, Ethel, I may have appeared close and penurious, but now you
understand why. Tom, although getting on finely, works very hard for
every penny, and at times he is almost too generous."

"Oh, Aunt Susan," said the girl drying her eyes, "I feel happy now that
you know all and don't despise me. I'm glad that you're poor and that I
shan't get any of your money. I only wish that I might go to college.
Yes, I'd work my way through to get a good education so that I could be
able to earn my living and not take everything from poor Papa, who works
so hard," and Ethel kissed the old lady many times.



CHAPTER XVII

COUSIN KATE ARRIVES


Ethel was too loyal to read her mother's letters to Aunt Susan who
always smiled when she received one, but Mrs. Hollister wrote often
asking her how she was progressing.

"Aunt Susan writes Grandmother that she has grown to love you very
dearly, Ethel, and I see that you have followed my advice like my own
daughter. It is now the sixth of June; probably, you will go with Cousin
Kate to camp soon. I wish it was all over. I don't like the idea at all.
It will throw you in with a common set of girls, I'm sure. We have saved
quite a little this summer by staying home. The girls come in when they
are in town and Grandmother enjoys their visits. Mrs. Bigelow and I met
on the Avenue. She inquired all about you and I told her that upon Aunt
Susan's death you would probably be a very wealthy girl. She admires
you immensely and she told me in confidence that Harvey says when you
are a few years older and 'come out' you will take Society by storm."

Everyone in the younger set of Akron liked Ethel. She acted in private
theatricals; she sang and played, attended teas, and was sought after
for bridge. She gave card parties, and the young people raved over the
quaintness of the old-fashioned house. She took long walks with Tom. She
inveigled him into high collars and discarding shoestring ties or
wearing cravats in a bow with loose ends. She even persuaded him to give
up slouch hats and dress more up-to-date. He and Aunt Susan dubbed her
the "Rejuvenator and Reformer," and she was contented and happy.

Cousin Kate arrived and Ethel was overjoyed upon seeing her, she looked
so fine and strong. Her father came with her just to see 'Archie's
girl,' and Ethel loved him instantly. He was so like her father that the
tears came into her pretty eyes when at the depot she kissed him
goodbye.



CHAPTER XVIII

SELECTING THE COSTUME


"You like Father, don't you?" asked Kate of Ethel, as they briskly
walked toward the shopping district.

"Like him!" replied the girl, "why, Kate, I just love him. He reminds me
of Grandmamma and Papa, but he's more like Grandmamma."

"He _is_ like her," replied her cousin, "and I tell you, Ethel, he's
just a dear. But, by the way, wasn't Aunt Susan clever to get your
mother to consent to your becoming a Camp Fire Girl? I was so surprised.
You see I had already spoken to Grandmother and you about it. Then I
thought I'd tell Aunt Bella and get her interested in it, and ask her to
let you join _my_ Camp Fire, for Uncle Archie promised me that you
should come out to Ohio and make me a visit. I had it in my mind that
were you to come this summer it would be lovely for you to go with us
to Camp, but do you know, Aunt Bella didn't like it a little bit; in
fact, she became very angry, nor could I convince her of the virtue of
the Camp Fires nor even the Scouts. She made me promise not to mention
the subject again, and on no account in your presence. As I was her
guest, I promised. What knowledge you had you received before. In this
case the 'end has justified the means,' and it was consummated by Aunt
Susan, so it's all right. But here we are. This is the store where they
take orders for Camp Fire costumes. It will take four days to make what
you need. We'll have to hurry them as we leave in five."

"Oh, Kate," began Ethel in a worried voice, "do you think that I should
let Aunt Susan pay for them. She was awfully generous to offer, but when
I accepted I thought that she was wealthy, you know, and now it's
different. I really feel as though I should not accept."

"Do you wish my advice?" answered Kate. "You accept them. Why, you might
offend her by refusing. It's her pleasure to start you in this good
work. She obtained your mother's consent and she wishes to present you
with an outfit. Oh, no, it would not do to even demur. Besides, they are
very inexpensive. If you wish, the ceremonial gown of khaki color you
may buy yourself. It can be purchased by the yard and it's of galatea
which is cheap. You are clever with your needle and you can embroider it
with beads and shells. You can also make the leather trimming in no
time, and there's your costume complete. But let her pay for the other.
So come in and be measured."

The girls selected a blue cloth skirt with pockets. The skirt buttoned
all the way up and down the front and back. They selected two
blouses--serge and galatea--each matching the skirt. The waists were cut
open in the neck. They also ordered a pair of blue serge bloomers to be
used in camping or hiking. These with a hat completed the purchase.

The hat was of blue cloth with a silver grey "W" on a dark blue
background. The "W" meant "Wohelo" and could be used as a cockade. The
saleswoman explained to Ethel that an emblem of two brown crossed logs
was to be worn on the chest of the blouses. Honors gained in water
sports might be embroidered as decorations around the collar. The same
crossed logs woven into a blue background were used as sleeve emblems.
Ethel saw the sample suit and was charmed. The decorations were unique
and stylish.

"Please send them direct to Columbus," said Kate, as she paid the bill,
and turning she said to Ethel: "You will be there, and it will save
time. They generally fit perfectly; if not, as you know something of
sewing, we can alter them to fit."

"I guess I do know something of sewing," replied Ethel. "I can do
beautiful work and I can ride horseback, and I'm at home on a 'bike'."

Cousin Kate laughed.

"Well, I'm glad of that, for at first when you start in you'll be a
Wood-Gatherer. Three months is the regular time, but you will be living
in camp and will probably be able to fulfil all requirements in a
month. Your knowing these things will help you too."

"Tell me something about it, Kate," said Ethel on their way home. "After
you have been a 'Wood Gatherer' you become a 'Fire Maker'?" she asked.

"Yes. When you first enter, the Guardian of your Camp Fire gives you a
silver ring on which is engraved a bundle of seven fagots, representing
the seven points of the law. You give her the size, your address, etc.,
and she gets it at Headquarters for you, announcing your desire to
become one. You must promise not to sell nor give it away. It may belong
only to a Camp Fire Girl. Upon your right arm, as you already know, are
the crossed logs, etc. When you become a Fire Maker you may add the
orange color to your Wood Gatherer's emblem. This color represents
flame, and when you advance to the position of Torch Bearer you may add
a touch of white which represents smoke from the flame. Then, while you
are in that class, you may wear the Fire Maker's bracelet. 'Fire' is the
symbol of our organization. For decorative purposes it may be
represented by the rising sun.

"Now the symbol of membership is the tall pine tree. That stands for
simplicity and strength. Of course, you know the watchword--'Work,
Health, and Love.' The first two letters of each form the one word
'Wohelo.' After joining you'll learn everything.

"Honors are symbolized by different colored beads--'Health craft,'
bright red beads; 'Home craft,'orange; 'Nature love,' sky blue; 'Camp
craft,' wood brown; 'Hand craft,' green; 'Business,' black and gold; and
'Patriotism,' red, white and blue. These, and the seven laws, are
represented by the seven fagots on the ring. The beads are strung on
leather and may become part of the ceremonial dress.

"Now the name of my Camp Fire is 'Ohio.' It is an Indian name and means
'beautiful.' You know Ohio is called the 'Buckeye State,' Buckeye
meaning 'Ohio Horse-Chestnuts.' Unlike your horse-chestnut, our tree is
small and its flower is red. So our 'totem' or symbol is Buckeye,' or
the 'Horse-Chestnut.'

"The girls are to meet at our house the night before we start. Then you
can learn the sign, how to keep count, and the different poems you are
to say; and the 'Wohelo' ceremony, toasts, songs, etc. This is all that
I shall tell you now. Our camp is near the Muskingum river. We have no
very high elevations in Ohio. The highest is only about fifteen hundred
feet. Where we go is a pleasant stretch of woods. There we camp out for
a month or so. A clearing has been made; we can put up tents and be very
comfortable. It is not far from a small town and the girls can walk in
when they choose. Other 'Camp Fires' will be there as well, so there
will be no lack of society. But, my dear girl, if I were you I'd join
one in New York and keep steadily at it. It's the only way to become
proficient and gain honors and advancement, and that's your aim, isn't
it?"

"It is, Kate," replied the girl, "I shall surely join this fall. An aunt
of one of the girls in our set is a Guardian of eight girls or more, and
she's simply lovely. I shall certainly keep it up--never you fear."



CHAPTER XIX

ETHEL MEETS HER UNCLE AND AUNT


Aunt Susan was most interested in the description of the costume, its
symbols, etc. Ethel thanked her gratefully for her gift, impulsively
kissing her many times. The elderly woman had grown very fond of the
girl and dreaded parting with her, but she knew that the new work she
was about to take up would be of the greatest benefit to her, not only
then but in the future, for Ethel had softened wonderfully. She had lost
all of her false pride and worldliness. It was as though a new girl had
arisen from the ashes of the old one, and now she stood revealed as
Nature had intended her--without sham,--and knowing that it was she who
had helped to bring it about, Aunt Susan was happy. She was proud of the
two girls--her grandnieces,--Ethel with the delicate beauty of a bud,
while Kate appeared and reminded her of a full blown rose. She was tall
and finely formed, with hair that envious people often termed red, but
it really had escaped being red and was auburn. The girl wore it in
coils around her shapely head. Her eyes were of the softest brown, while
Ethel's were of a deep blue. Each girl had regular features and fine
teeth. They resembled each other to that extent that they were often
taken for sisters, and Tom was proud of them as well and was delighted
to take them out.

"Why," he'd say, "when I'm out with you two girls everyone makes such a
fuss over me that I really feel as though I was 'somebody,' and I know
it's all on your account. The fellows come up and say 'Harper, old man,
I haven't seen you for an age,' or, 'Harper, I heard of you through so
and so last week. I wish to congratulate you on that case, etc.' But I
know what it means,--they want an introduction to you girls--and I strut
around like a peacock."

But the day for their departure arrived only too soon:

"I'll write every other day to you, Auntie," called Ethel from the car
window.

"How about writing to me?" shouted Tom.

"Once a week to you, Tom," laughed Ethel.

Uncle John Hollister met them at the depot and Ethel at once fell in
love with Kate's mother, who seemed more like the girl's sister. They
vied with one another to give Ethel a good time and she enjoyed every
moment. She met the Camp Fire girls, some of whom were charming. Two of
the girls--Mattie Hastings and Honora Casey--she did not care for. To
her they seemed unlike the others and she found herself saying mentally,
"They are extremely common; I wonder where Kate picked them up,"
immediately after which she would become ashamed.

"I'm going back into my old ways," she thought. "These girls are to be
my sisters and companions. I _must_ like them."

Honora had a large red face, partially freckled. Her voice was loud and
coarse. She seemed to be one of the "nouveau riche," as Ethel's mother
was wont to say of people grown suddenly wealthy and prosperous. Yet
Ethel was not alone in her dislike of the girl. No one seemed to care
for her, although each member treated her politely.

Mattie Hastings had small eyes that never seemed to look you quite fully
in the face. She had also an obsequious manner. At times it was fairly
repellent.

"I wouldn't trust her," Ethel said to Kate one evening.

"She's not popular, I admit, and her manner is against her, but, Ethel,
I have never found a fault in her; that is, one I could criticise. She
is very quick to learn and seems ambitious. She came to me and asked if
she might join. They are poor but her people are respectable. Now Honora
Casey's parents are the wealthiest people here. They came into their
wealth suddenly. The father is a builder and contractor. The mother is
hurting the girl by her method of trying to get into society. She fairly
pushes everything before her. Mr. Casey, or Pat Casey, as he is called,
is a good-hearted Irishman. He is sensible and knows that it is his
money that buys everything, even social standing, for although much
respected he is a man of no education, nor has his wife any more than
he, but she tries to bluff it through, therefore she is not popular.
Nora has been educated, or half educated, at a Convent. She never
graduated, but she's so good-hearted one can overlook her mother's
faults. You see, Ethel, it takes all sorts of people to make a world. We
must try to excuse their failings and see only the best in them. Of
course, you know we are an old family of good standing and can go where
we choose. Perhaps it was on that account that Mrs. Casey made Nora join
my Camp Fire Girls, but she seemed most anxious that she should. It
doesn't matter much. She'll make a fine woman if she sticks to her work.
You see, our organization is most democratic. One has only to express a
wish and she may become a member."

"The other girls are lovely," said Ethel. "I think Patty Sands is
charming."

"Isn't she?" responded Kate. "Her father is an ex-Congressman. He is
Judge of the Supreme Court. He didn't care for politics--refused the
second term."

"Yes, I suppose it is poor taste for me to even criticise the girls, but
every once in a while the old bad habit comes back and I forget my good
resolutions. At heart they are probably far better girls than I, but I
do wish that Mattie Hasting's eyes were not so close together."



CHAPTER XX

GATHERING OF THE "OHIOS"


That evening the girls met in Kate Hollister's library. Although it was
June and there was a log fire in the fireplace it was not warm. The
girls carried a small flag upon which the word "Ohio" was embroidered,
and underneath appeared a horse-chestnut. Each girl had made her own
flag and they were well done.

That afternoon Kate had taken her cousin to the Camp Fire counsel,
where, upon her signifying the desire to become a member, the silver
ring had been presented to her.

After order had been established and the roll called, Kate, who made a
dignified Guardian, began to address the girls, formally introducing
her cousin, the new member. Then Ethel repeated the following:

"It is my desire to become a Camp Fire Girl and to obey the Law of the
Camp Fire, which is

    Seek beauty,
    Pursue knowledge,
    Give service,
    Be trustworthy,
    Hold on to health,
    Glorify work,
    Be happy.

"This Law of the Camp Fire I will strive to follow."

Then she took her seat while Kate arose and explained the Law, phrase by
phrase, after which Ethel stood before her and repeated the Wood
Gatherer's Desire, whereupon she taught Ethel the "sign" which was made
by flattening the fingers of the right hand against those of her left,
which indicates crossed logs. From the first position, Ethel raised her
right hand and followed the curves of an imaginary flame. Kate explained
that this sign was used by the early American Indians. It may be made
easier by placing the fingers of the right hand across those of the left
with the forefinger slightly raised. Ethel learned how to use the sign
and practiced it, after which Kate presented or awarded honors to the
various girls who had worked for them. They were only the different
colored beads, but each girl's eyes beamed with happiness as she
received them.

Then they showed Ethel the "Count" book, in which were kept records of
their work and play. The leaves were of brown paper and laced together
with a leather thong or cord. The cover was of leather also. Symbolic
charts for recording the requirements of the Fire Maker and Torch
Bearer, as well as for nearly two hundred Elective Honors, were parts of
the book. The book contained ninety-six pages. It was arranged for a
group of twelve girls. Should the group grow larger, more leaves could
be added. Three leaves for each girl were in the first part of the book.
These were for recording the honors and requirements, making thirty-six
pages. The balance of the pages were for the records of events,
pictures, and pen and ink sketches, etc.

The totem of the Camp Fire is as painted on the brown leather cover. It
should always tell some legend or story--some natural industry or beauty
which is true to the locality in which the Camp Fire is located. The
"Ohio" Camp Fire totem was a large horse-chestnut under the word
"Buckeye." The first leaf was left blank; the second was the title leaf
upon the top of which appeared the name of the Camp Fire, and at the
bottom the date of the first council fire; following the title leaf each
girl fills out her group of three leaves. On the first she will write
her name, date of birth, parents' names, birthplace, and present
address. She also puts down the date as she attains each rank, using for
the month the Indian name. On the next leaf were symbols of all Elective
Honors, and these were painted in colors corresponding to the beads
received. The third leaf for each girl was for her individual
symbol,--the chosen name with its meaning,--for each girl naturally
wishes to own some name by which she may be known. She may hold some
desire which to her may mean the way in which she may give of herself
the best. Perhaps some poem has lines which she feels are a response to
her desire. Not only could these girls write what happened and insert
photographs of their excursions, but they were at liberty to make pen
pictures along the margin of the leaves of the book--all Indian signs
from a moon to a snake, telling of a trip to Rat snake Pond, etc. They
were to use the rhythm of Hiawatha, which after a little practice becomes
the natural language for some girls and it adds much to the interest of
the Count; for instance,

    "Supper over, now they hasten
    To their wigwams, all excitement,
    And from hence soon reappearing
    Now true Indian maidens seem they,"
    etc.

"Now that we have initiated our new member," said Kate, "and have
explained to her about the Count book, etc., we shall postpone the rest
of the ceremonies until we reach Camp, as I know that each one of you
will need your rest. So we'll meet at the train for the boat landing at
eleven tomorrow. I hope it will be a fair day. Take plenty of wraps
along for it is cold tonight and it bids fair to be so tomorrow."

Then saying goodnight to each as they left the room, Kate and Ethel
found themselves alone in front of the dying fire.



CHAPTER XXI

THE TRIP UP THE RIVER


It turned out to be a lovely day. Ethel was most excited. The tents,
cooking utensils, pillows, cots, etc., had been sent two days before by
freight. The trunks alone remained to be taken to the boat, and they
were only steamer trunks.

Uncle John went along to see them safely on board the train that
connected with the small boat that plied daily up the Muskingum river.

"If you get homesick, little one," he said to Ethel, "you come right
back to us. Don't you stay if you don't like it."

"Oh, Uncle John, how could I get homesick with Kate?" she replied; "but
I shall miss you awfully."

The whistle blew and away they went. It was a pretty sail and the girls
were in a happy frame of mind. Nora Casey looked like one immense
freckle. She was in high spirits and now and then relapsed into a jolly
brogue caught from her parents, for Nora was born in America.

"Faith and it's sailing that I enjoy," she said to Ethel, coming up the
stairway from the deck below. "I'm afther taking some pictures of the
river for our Count book." Then catching herself she talked perfectly
correct without the slightest trace.

They watched the banks on either side, dotted now and then by pretty
houses and thriving fields of buckwheat and clover.

Patty Sands sat by Ethel. They were very congenial. The rest of the
girls chattered together. Mattie Hastings sat beside Kate Hollister and
regarded her with adoring looks. Nora chatted excitedly; once in a while
Kate would check her exuberance of spirits, as her voice could be heard
by people on the shore. Said Kate:

"Girls, there are several beautiful legends connected with this river. I
read a new one the other day. At our first Camp Fire I'll relate it. We
can copy it in our book under our totem. Suppose each of you girls write
an original legend and read it aloud some rainy night."

"Good for Miss Hollister!" cried Honora. "We will."

So they promised.

Soon the journey came to an end. A four-seated buckboard stage had been
engaged by Uncle John to meet the party and carry them up the steep hill
into camp.

"Oh, isn't this jolly?" said Ethel enthusiastically. "What lovely
woods!"

And indeed they looked like a picture with the June sunshine every now
and then bursting through the trees. The road was narrow but it was a
good road for walking. The old buckboard creaked and groaned with its
load of eight girls, their Guardian, and the driver. Every once in a
while the horses would stop and the driver dismount and with his
handkerchief wipe off the white sweat that looked like soapsuds.

"He's a kind man," said Kate.

Then when his handkerchief was too wet to use he would pick up handfuls
of grass to use for their comfort, after which he would get up on the
seat and drive them again, but he must have stopped ten times before
reaching the clearing where the Camp was to be.

"Oh, look!" cried Patty. "Miss Hollister, our four tents are up."

"Yes, that's Father's surprise," she rejoined. "He sent up one of his men
yesterday so that we need have no trouble." And turning to Ethel she
said: "Usually we have to hire a man in the village to come up and do
such work, but Father has anticipated us this time."

"Isn't he lovely?" said the girls in unison, jumping like children from
the wagon and peeping into each tent. There were all the baskets ready
to be unpacked, and following the buckboard came the trunks.

They quickly removed their hats, etc., and bade the driver goodbye, who
by the way was now using handfuls of leaves to clean the animals; after
which each one was assigned her task.

"Patty Sands, you may unpack and wipe the china. Mattie Hastings, you
may put it in place. Ethel, you may watch this time, as you are a
tenderfoot. Nora, you arrange the blankets, towels, and linen in order,
will you?" And so Kate kept each girl working.

Mollie Long made the cots; Sallie Davis put the cooking utensils in
place; Edith Overman and Edna Whitely began gathering sticks for the
fire.

"Oh!" ejaculated Ethel, "that's my task, isn't it? I'm the Wood
Gatherer," she said.

"The first day a tenderfoot is our guest," replied Mollie Long,
laughing. "You wander away and think of the story you'll have to write
and read aloud."

"In other words," broke in Nora, "go way back and sit down."

But Ethel watched the girls work. It was a revelation to her. They
seemed more like boys.

"Why," explained Edna Whitely, "if necessary we could drive the stakes
and put up our tent, couldn't we, Miss Hollister?"

"Yes, I hope you'd be able to," she said. "I think women do far harder
work than that every day."

Kate had changed her gown for a pair of bloomers and was working hard
running back and forth giving orders like a general. By twilight every
trunk was unpacked and in its place. Each girl had changed her gown and
the Camp Fire was ready to light after tea. Then came preparations. In
one tent there was an oil stove. Outside stood a barrel of oil. It was
an extra tent to be used as a kitchen. Two upright stakes with one
running across, upon which were many hooks, served to hold all of the
kitchen utensils. They hung from it as naturally as though in a real
kitchen. One of the packing boxes became a serving table and afterwards
did duty for a sink. In the center of the kitchen was a long table made
of planks laid upon a wooden horse at either end. When pleasant the
girls preferred to eat outside, sitting Indian fashion, but when rainy
the kitchen tent made an admirable shelter.



CHAPTER XXII

AN EVENING IN CAMP


The supper was prepared by the Fire Makers,--Edith Overman, Patty Sands,
and Mattie Hastings. Patty baked a couple of large pans of delicious
biscuits. Mattie made tea and eggs scrambled with cheese. Edith Overman
boiled some rice for dessert so that each flake stood alone and was
creamy, upon which the girls put butter and sugar or butter and maple
syrup. Later in the season they picked berries and had them for tea.

The meal was well cooked and they enjoyed it. Ethel cleared the table.
Sallie Davis and Mollie Long washed the dishes, while Nora and Edna
Whitely tidied up the tent, after which the fire was lighted with the
usual ceremony. Ethel as a Wood Gatherer insisted upon bringing the
twigs, wood and kindling. The Fire Maker--Edna Whitely--arranged them
ready to light. Kate chanted a command to Mollie Long and Nora Casey,
who were Torch Bearers.

In the meanwhile each one seated herself around the fire. Mollie and
Kate then came forward, and by rubbing two sticks together ignited the
paper under the shavings, and soon there burst up a beautiful flame.
Then the girls arose and repeated:

    "Burn, fire, burn,
    Flicker, flicker, flame,
    Whose hand above this blaze is lifted
    Shall be with magic touch engifted
    To warm the hearts of lonely mortals
    Who stand without their open portals:
    The torch shall draw them to the fire,
    Higher, higher,
    By desire.
    Whoso shall stand by this hearthstone
    Flame fanned
    Shall never, never stand alone;
    Whose house is dark and bare and cold,
    Whose house is cold,
    This is his own.
    Flicker, flicker, flicker, flame,
    Burn, fire, burn."

After which Edna repeated the Fire Maker's song:

    "As fuel is brought to the fire,
    So I purpose to bring
    My strength,
    My ambition,
    My heart's desire
    My joy
    And my sorrow
    To the fire
    Of humankind;
    For I will tend,
    As my fathers have tended,
    And my fathers' fathers
    Since time began,
    The fire that is called
    The love of man for man,
    The love of man for God."

They gave toasts, told stories and sang songs. Edith Overman had a keen
sense of humor and she told some anecdotes that were exceedingly droll.
Ethel and Edna Whitely vied in asking conundrums. Kate Hollister then
related her capital story, "The Legend of the Muskingum."

"Before I begin," she said, "for Ethel's benefit I wish to tell you
something of the origin of the Camp Fire. This I read in a New York
magazine.

"'If we go back as far as possible we come to a primitive time when
human life centered about the Camp Fire. It was, and is still, the
center of family life, and today it is around the fire that the family
and friends gather. The fire gives warmth and cheer to the home. The
day's work is begun with fire. When the fire is out the house is
cheerless. Fire stands for Home--for the Community Circle and New
Patriotism. It was also in these primitive days that the first grand
division of labor was made. The man,--the provider and defender of the
family--went out into the wilderness to hunt, while the woman stayed at
home to keep the pot boiling, and in spite of all of the changes in
social life that division has remained to a very large extent until this
day.

"'Some years ago, when the Boy Scout movement first started, it began
with the Camp Fire. No doubt one reason for its popularity was the fact
that it gave the boys opportunity to play what was in the old days the
man's game--that of hunter, trapper, and soldier.

"'Boys may be Scouts, but you girls are going to keep the place to which
the Scout must return. And now this movement, similar to the Boy Scouts,
has been started for girls. It started also with the Camp Fire, and the
organization thus formed is the Camp Fire Girls.'"

Everyone clapped their hands.

"When I read the above," said Kate, "I learned it by heart, knowing that
all of you would be interested to know the true significance of the Camp
Fire. And now for the Legend."



CHAPTER XXIII

THE LEGEND OF THE MUSKINGUM RIVER


"Long years ago there lived a brave Indian chief called Wa-chi-ta; in
fact, he and his tribe inhabited a portion of this state--perhaps in the
vicinity of these very trees.

"He was a kind and humane man, and his wife, Ona-pas-see, was like him
in that respect, therefore they were dearly beloved by their subjects.
They had three fine sons but no daughter, so when a little girl came to
them they were exceedingly happy and there was great rejoicing.

"'As she is fair and beautiful to behold we will call her O-hi-o,' said
the Chief. ("As we know, Ohio means 'beautiful,'" said Kate.)

"So little O-hi-o waxed strong and grew into a woman worthy of her name.
She was idolized by Ona-pas-see and spoiled by Wa-chi-ta.

"After the manner of all maidens, when she arrived at the marriageable
age from miles around came many braves to pay their respects. They
brought her rare and costly gifts of silver, copper, and gold--of beads
and bears' claws, as well as the skins of the fox, squirrel, and ermine.

"O-hi-o smiled sweetly and accepted her gifts with pretty speeches of
thanks, but of the young men she would have none. Her parents worried
not a little, as they wished to see her settled in life, living in her
own wigwam. Her brothers talked with her upon her duty, but she only
smiled, showing her pretty teeth and arranged her headband of beads,
using for a glass the clear stream near the wigwam.

"The squaws declared that she would never marry--that soon would go her
youth and good looks; then the braves would seek some maiden younger and
fairer. But O-hi-o only shook her head and ran to her father to be
kissed.

"'She is proud,' they said, gazing after her, 'No one is good enough for
her. She will meet with her punishment--watch.'

"Then behold! there came to the village one day a young
warrior--Mus-kin-gum by name. He came from a tribe many miles distant,
bearing a message from its Chief to Wa-chi-ta.

"O-hi-o sat near her father. She was embroidering a wampum belt with
different colored beads and shells, skilfully fashioning birds,
butterflies, animals, etc. As she glanced up shyly, lo! her eye caught
the eye of the young brave. The blood flew into her cheeks and her heart
started in to beat as though it would burst. While delivering his speech
to Wa-chi-ta young Mus-kin-gum grew scarlet and embarrassed.

"That was the beginning. It was in June. The birds sang their love songs
and the air was filled with mysterious romance and sweetness. Permission
had been granted by Wa-chi-ta to Mus-kin-gum to pay his addresses to his
daughter O-hi-o, and when he told her of his love he said:

"'Why confess it? You have known since the day in the wigwam when our
eyes met and my soul fell captive to your beauty and sweetness.'

"Then, when upon the mountain sides the trees hung out their yellow,
gray and scarlet banners, with great pomp and ceremony these two young
people were wed, and the festivities lasted for days. Everyone was happy
because Wa-chi-ta was happy, and all of the tribe loved Wa-chi-ta.

"As for O-hi-o and Mus-kin-gum, they were content. They lived in a fine
wigwam and adored each other. While her husband was in the woods
shooting game or fishing, Ohio would sit in the doorway and watch for
his return, and as for him, his eyes were constantly roving towards the
valley where he could see the smoke coming from a certain wigwam; and
when it came in volumes as though from a freshly started fire, his heart
would rejoice, for then he knew that O-hi-o was preparing the supper and
it was time to return.

"And so these two who loved each other lived in one continual honeymoon
until the arrival of little Mus-kin-gum--a strong, lusty, little fellow
looking not unlike Wa-chi-ta, which pleased his grandfather only too
well. It was his father's delight to attend to his education, and his
father was not only beloved by his tribe but feared by his enemies. So
he wished to teach his little son to be honest, kind and fearless. He
wished him to be brave and able to lead his tribe into battle--to die
for them if necessary. He taught the boy to aim well and shoot with a
bow and arrow, and when he was about seven years old it was his delight
to accompany big Mus-kin-gum on his shooting expeditions--to help him
fish and hunt. Together they would tramp for miles, and O-hi-o would sit
in her doorway and embroider, thanking the Great Spirit that she had two
warriors to look after instead of one; and little Mus-kin-gum would clap
his hands with joy when she'd say:

"'What has the little warrior shot today?' And her husband would reply:
'He has helped me; he has carried my heavy bow and arrow; and he has
also carried these,' displaying a large string of fish. 'Besides, he
caught two of them.'

"Of course, they talked in Indian language, which is more beautiful than
ours.

"Then on their trips Mus-kin-gum would teach his little son how to
distinguish one tree from another by examining its leaves; how to tell
the name of a bird by listening to its call; how to read the signs of
the Indians; how to read from their tracks the whereabouts of the enemy,
the trail of the animals, and the secrets of the woods--the song of the
birds, the whispering of the trees, and the murmuring of the brook;
about the way of flowers, ferns, etc., and the names of the different
nuts and fruits that flower first and then become ripe and fall to the
ground.

"He taught him about the different animals and how to trap and shoot
them, and lastly he taught him about the stars and the stories connected
with them. Little Mus-kin-gum could point out the Dipper or Great Bear,
the Little Bear, how the last star but one in the Dipper--the star at
the bend of the handle--is called 'Mizar,' one of the horses; and just
above tucked close in is a smaller star--'Alcor' or 'the rider.' The
Indians called these two the 'Old Squaw and the Papoose on her back,'
and the young men would say to the little fellow: 'Do you see the
papoose on the old squaw's back?'

"Then at once he'd point to them, and the parents would be proud of him.

"His father also taught him that shaking a blanket in Indian language
meant 'I want to talk with you.' Holding up a tree branch--'I wish to
make peace.' Holding up a weapon--'I am prepared to fight,' and many
others like our own signal of the Camp Fires," said Kate, "which is one
of the oldest of Indian signs."

"Isn't this a lovely story?" broke in Patty. "I can't wait for its
finish."

"And it's late; I'll have to talk more rapidly, I fear," replied Miss
Hollister, "or postpone the rest until tomorrow night."

"Oh, don't," went up a shout of young voices,--"please finish. Why, we'd
keep awake all night if you stopped now."

Kate laughed good-naturedly and signed to one of the Fire Makers to put
on more wood. Quickly Ethel jumped up and brought an armful, for our
Camp was very ceremonious. Then as the flame burst forth anew she
proceeded:

"So you can see that little Mus-kin-gum was a loveable child, endowed
with more than ordinary intelligence. His father also told him of the
Great Spirit, and the child listened reverently. He was an unusual
child--bright for his age--and he learned quickly. He was also
affectionate, and Mus-kin-gum became as weak as a woman when the little
fellow would put his arms about his neck or clasp him by the hand.

"The mother had taught the child a prayer to the Great Spirit. It was
this:

"'Great Spirit, listen Thou to us; guide us this day; help us, lest we
fall; make our will Thy will--our ways Thy way.'

"Mus-kin-gum's great fear was that he might lose him ere he grew up to
manhood, for next to O-hi-o he adored his boy.

"One morning big and little Mus-kin-gum started for the woods. They were
in high spirits as they kissed O-hi-o goodbye.

"'We will shoot for you a big deer,' said the boy, 'and we will bring to
you many large fish.'

"O-hi-o smiled and wished them luck. After watching until out of sight
she left her wigwam to spend the day with her parents. It was a warm
June day and it reminded O-hi-o of her courting days. She lived it all
over again, and her heart gave thanks to the Great Spirit for His
kindness--for the wonderful love and happiness that had since been hers
in the possession of her husband and child. And the birds sang as on the
day that Mus-kin-gum first beheld her at the door of her father's
wigwam. She could see his eyes holding her own; she could feel her heart
bounding in her bosom, and the red flushed into her cheek even as it had
done then.

"She spent a pleasant day talking of her two dear ones and her parents
were never weary of listening. They made her repeat the little prayer
said to the Great Spirit by the idolized grandson.

"'I must leave now,' she said, 'and prepare their supper. They will be
watching in the valley for the smoke from our wigwam,' and kissing her
parents fondly she left.

"In the meanwhile it grew dark.

"'Little one,' said Mus-kin-gum, 'we must hasten. I feel rain in the
air. Look at the clouds and behold it in them ready to fall.'

"And the little fellow looked and laughed, thinking it fun to be caught
in a shower. They were close to the edge of the woods ready to descend
the path leading to the valley, when suddenly with terrific force the
rain began to fall, followed by a mighty wind that rent the clouds and
rushed through the woods. Thunder pealed loud and long; lightning
flashed, blinding the eyes. Little Mus-kin-gum grew pale and trembled.
Never before had he feared a storm.

"'It is the voice of the Great Spirit,' he said solemnly, and began to
repeat the prayer.

"Seeing his fright, his father drew the boy's head to his breast and
held it there so that he might not see the lightning as it flashed with
unusual violence.

"At last one flash came, and with it went the spirit of brave
Mus-kin-gum. His arms loosened their hold on the screaming child. He
reeled and fell backward--dead. The last bolt had killed him.

"Then followed peal after peal of thunder. The boy called to him in
vain. He even tried to raise him in his arms. Seeing that it was useless
he threw himself on his breast and moaned, every now and then lamenting
in loud cries.

"The storm ceased. When, after the night fell, and Mus-kin-gum and the
boy failed to appear, O-hi-o gathered together a band of young men from
nearby and started out to search for them. O-hi-o kept calling,
'Mus-kin-gum, where art thou? My little one--art thou safe?'

"Then on the air floated a child's voice calling to its mother.

"Like a deer, O-hi-o flew to the spot. The child was rubbing his eyes.
He had fallen asleep on his dead father's breast and was awakened by his
mother's voice, but he never left his father's body.

"As O-hi-o drew near she beheld her poor brave handsome Mus-kin-gum
lying with his face upturned to the moon, whose beams fell upon him.
O-hi-o knelt down and kissed her husband but she uttered no cry--only a
dull muffled moan escaped her, for she was the daughter of an Indian
Chieftain and it would not have done. She had been taught to bear pain
without a murmur, but the look upon her face was terrible. The young men
would gladly have died to have brought young Mus-kin-gum to life for her
sake.

"Then the eldest lifted the child, who still sat by his dead father's
side, and placed him in his mother's arms, and as the little fellow
sobbed and kissed her lo! her eyes filled with tears and she headed the
procession that followed bearing the body of their beloved Mus-kin-gum
adown the steep path that led to her wigwam.

"And Mus-kin-gum was buried with great ceremony and honors becoming a a
man of his station. But O-hi-o took no further interest in life. The
child now clung to his grandfather, who tried to take his father's
place. Every day O-hi-o would lead him to the grave on the mountain
side, and together they would pray to the Great Spirit.

"'And I prayed in the woods,' said the boy, 'when the thunder rolled and
the lightning came, but the Great Spirit turned away his face and took
my father.'

"'He was called to live among the stars,' O-hi-o would reply.

"'And is he up there?" the child would ask. 'I will look for him,' after
which every night would little Mus-kin-gum stand or lie on the ground
gazing at the stars, declaring at times that he could discern his father
looking down upon them.

"But alas! from the day of the storm the boy could never again hear the
voice of thunder, nor see the flashes of lightning, without going into
convulsions. Upon the first distant roar he would jump up and down,
scream loudly, and run to his mother, burying his head on her breast,
relapsing into a state of semi-consciousness until the storm should have
passed. It was pitiful, and poor O-hi-o's tears would fall on the boy's
head, for it was thus he had stood before his father while Mus-kin-gum
met his death.

"As time went on the attacks grew worse. Vainly did old Wa-chi-ta
summon the best known medicine men and old women, but each one shook his
or her head doubtfully. Vainly did the tribe assemble in the Council
wigwam to consult with one another and pray to the Great Spirit for
Mus-kin-gum's son--for his recovery. Nothing seemed to avail. The child
grew worse and worse, never caring to leave his mother's side.

"Then came a bad year for the Indians. There was a drought. The fruit
fell from the trees while yet in flower. The grass turned brown and
withered. The crops died. The water dried up and there was none for the
cattle. The different tribes met and prayed with no result.

"'We must die,' they said. 'Behold! the Lake even has gone, and
something must be done.'

"And the wise men declared that the Great Spirit must be angry with them
and that he demanded of them a sacrifice. The more they talked the more
they believed that it was imperative. 'One life must be sacrificed,'
they said,--'one life for many. That is the only way to save our people.
No rain has fallen in nearly four months. The Great Spirit demands and
must be obeyed.'

"Then into the midst of the wise men and chieftains came O-hi-o. She was
very beautiful and the braves held their breath as they gazed upon her.
By her hand she led the son of Mus-kin-gum.

"'I have heard what you said--oh! wise men,' she began. 'I have no wish
to live longer. I and my son are ready to be your sacrifice. My heart is
in the grave upon the mountain side. My son is not strong; his health is
poor. We give ourselves for the good of our people.'

"Many wept. The wise men regarded her as they might an angel sent by the
Great Spirit. Her parents gazed upon her with pride and adoration.

"'But,' she continued, 'I would choose the manner of my death. On the
pinnacle of rocks overlooking this valley, where each day that he hunted
in the woods my dear Mus-kin-gum would stand and wave to me, tomorrow
night 'neath the light of the moon, with my son's hand in mine--together
he and I will leap from that rock into the valley below,--the once
lovely valley now so desolate. Do not refuse me,' she cried, as many
protested suggesting others not so young. 'No, I will gladly make the
sacrifice for my dear father's people.'

"So they counselled together and accepted the offer made by their
Chieftain's daughter.

"O-hi-o and Mus-kin-gum spent their last day with the old people, who,
while filled with pride, were heartbroken. They clung to the mother and
child, nor were they ashamed to show their love and weakness.

"'I shall be with my father,' said little Mus-kin-gum. 'You may look for
my mother and me in the stars, Grandpa. I have seen father there. Be
sure and watch; we shall all be together,' and the child smiled as he
kissed his grandparents, whose hearts were breaking.

"'My two brave ones,' said old Wa-chi-ta, 'if the rain comes to us it
will be you who have sent it.'

"The tribes assembled from miles around. It was a hot, torrid night,
although the moon shone brightly. All was silent as O-hi-o and little
Mus-kin-gum came forth to the sacrifice. She wore her ceremonial
costume; her long, black hair was flowing and held in by a beaded
headband. She looked so beautiful as she marched up the mountain that
people wept, but she walked proudly with her head erect, leading her
child by the hand, and the little fellow also held his head upright and
seemed without fear. Soon the ledge was reached. Looking down into the
valley below they took their position.

"'Farewell,' said O-hi-o, 'I do this for the love I bear you, my
people.'

"Then she kissed the boy many times and, reconsidering, she lifted him
in her arms. The child put his face to hers and clung tightly about her
neck. She whispered in his ear. He raised his head and called aloud:
'May the rain fall and may you all be happy.'

"Then holding her child close to her heart the brave woman stepped to
the edge, closed her eyes, and leaped into the valley below,--the valley
in which stood her wigwam."

Kate paused. The girls were hanging breathlessly on her words. Sallie
Davis and Mattie Hastings were crying, while Edna Whitely and Mollie
Long drew nearer.

"Oh, don't stop," gasped Patty Sands, "please go on, Miss Kate. I'm all
excited."

Kate laughed.

"Do let me get my breath, girls. I had no idea it would take me so
long."

"There fell no rain that night, but the people as they marched down into
the valley thought of nothing but the sacrifice. Probably had it rained
they would not have known it. They were silent, thinking with admiration
of the wonderful act of heroism that they had just witnessed.

"The next day searching parties started out to seek the bodies of the
mother and child, but not a trace could be found.

"'The Great Spirit has taken them in the flesh,' they said. 'Perhaps He
is angry that we allowed it.'

"Everyone grew frightened. None seemed to care to speak. Suddenly a low
peal of thunder was heard, then a louder one, after which came a flash
of lightning.

"'A storm!" they cried, 'the sacrifice has not been in vain,' and they
fell to their knees.

"It rained as it had never rained before. It fell in sheets. The cattle
drank greedily and the water was plentiful. After the third day it grew
lighter and the rain slacked. People ventured out of doors, and lo! the
valley with the wigwam of Mus-kin-gum had disappeared. In its place,
behold! a river. Up and down as far as eye could reach flowed the
shining waters. A miracle had been performed, and the wise men came from
miles around.

"'We will call the river O-hi-o,' they said, 'for it is the soul of her
who has saved us.'

"And the river spread and grew larger. The braves explored and found
that it was too long to measure. It would take days and days to find the
end; in fact, they doubted that there could be an end.

"One morning they discovered a smaller river that emptied into the one
they had named O-hi-o. That increased in length as well, but with their
canoes they could paddle a hundred miles. They also noticed a peculiar
thing about this smaller river. Whenever there came a thunder shower the
river would rise and become covered with whitecaps, and rush madly down
like a torrent until it seemed to fairly leap into the Ohio; and one
wise man--the wisest of the tribe--said:

"'Behold, it is little Mus-kin-gum. Can you not see how the storm
affects him? Was he not so in the flesh? Can you not see how he seeks
his mother's bosom for shelter?'

"And so the mystery was explained. From the date of the appearance of
the two rivers everything in that part of the country prospered. The
cattle were second to none. The fruit was the fairest and most luscious
fruit ever grown, while the crops--corn, buckwheat, oats, barley and
wheat--could not be excelled."

("Today the fisheries are the finest and the Grand Reservoir is the
largest body of artificial water in the world--equal in extent to all
others in the state. It is well for you to know that," said Kate,
interrupting the story).

"And whenever the Indians prayed to the Great Spirit they would thank
him for having sent O-hi-o as a voluntary sacrifice; and each starlight
night old Wa-chi-ta and his wife would search among the constellations
for their three loved ones. Then they, too, passed into the Happy
Hunting Grounds. But with many of the Western tribes the legend remains
until today.

"For years to come the little Indian children would say to one another:

"'It's going to storm. Hear the thunder; see it lighten; let us go down
and watch the little Mus-kin-gum get frightened and rush into his
mother's arms.'"

"That is the end," said Kate.

"Oh! it is lovely," they all cried, "and we thank you so much."

"You see," she added, "now I am glad that I called this Camp Fire the
'Ohio.' That is our legend, and we can have a little copy made to annex
to our book."

Then the Fire Maker came forward and extinguished the dying embers. Each
girl arose and kissed the Guardian goodnight, and retired.



CHAPTER XXIV

ETHEL'S FIRST DAY IN CAMP


The girls slept soundly that night and in the morning were awakened by
the singing of the birds.

"Oh! how lovely it seems to be here," thought Ethel, as she leaned on
her elbow, "instead of being awakened by the toot of an automobile just
to lie quietly and harken to the birds." She looked around.

The other cots were occupied by her Cousin Kate, Patty Sands, and Edna
Whitely. Kate opened her eyes and sat up.

"Have you been awake long?" she asked sleepily.

"No, Kate, only a few moments. I've been listening to the birds. I
thought Aunt Susan's home was peaceful, but even there one could hear
the autos."

Kate arose, put on her slippers and wrapper, and sitting on the cot she
began to unfasten her long braids.

"It is the most restful place I've ever known," she replied. "But,
girls, we're late. Come Patty and Edna."

Patty Sands sat up in bed and rubbed her eyes. Edna snuggled deeper into
the depth of her pillow.

"Edna, don't go to sleep. There's the bugle now," and the clear notes of
a bugle came floating into the tent.

"Oh!" said Edna sleepily, "that's Nora Casey blowing. I wish she'd stop;
she has the strongest lungs I ever knew."

This morning the breakfast was eaten with a relish. They had oatmeal and
cream, ham and eggs, creamed potatoes and coffee. Mollie Long had
surprised them with some corn bread that was, as Nora expressed it,
"some class."

Their cellar was beside a running brook near the tents. A little
waterfall trickled down the rocks with a cheerful sound. Beside the
stream was their refrigerator--a large deep hole that had been dug in
the ground, and into this, placed in a tightly covered tin bucket, they
put their butter, cream, eggs, and meat. It was as cold as ice. After
the pail had been lowered a clean board covered the opening, and on this
board they placed a large stone. But the farmer with whom Mr. Hollister
had made arrangement, brought up daily from his place fresh meat, milk,
and vegetables, and twice a week pot cheese and buttermilk; so the "Ohio
Camp Fires" were in clover. Nothing they ate was stale and everything
tasted delicious.

After breakfast was over, Ethel, Nora, and Mollie Long cleared the
table, washed the dishes, and tidied up the tent.



CHAPTER XXV

ETHEL'S FIRST LESSON


"Girls," said Kate, after the morning's ceremonies had been performed,
"today we will cook our dinner over a real camp fire. Our menu will
consist of roasted potatoes, green peas, broiled steak, and a lettuce
salad. Sallie Davis is going to make one of her delicious bread
puddings, which she will bake in the oil stove, but the rest will be the
'real thing.'"

The girls were delighted.

"Ethel," said Edith Overman, "in August you shall taste our delicious
roasted corn. You never ate anything so good in your life. When do you
leave for home?"

"August thirtieth," replied the girl. "Do you stay up here until
September?"

"Yes," replied Kate. "We leave about the fifth, but on account of you we
are going home in August this year."

"Oh, how kind!" said Ethel.

Then Kate began:

"Now my little cousin, you have some work to do today. First, you must
learn how to make knots,--the five different styles--but today it shall
be a square knot only. You are to tie it five times in succession without
hesitation. You are to read and be able to tell the chief cause of
infant mortality in the summer, and to what extent it has been reduced
in one American community. That means one city or town. This is your
school and you must attend it before you can play. You must learn what
to do in the following emergencies: Clothing on fire; person in deep
water who can not swim, both in summer and through ice in winter; how to
bandage and attend to an open cut; a frosted foot; what to do with a
person who has fainted; how to use surgeon's plaster; you must commit to
memory a poem of twenty-five lines or more, and you must learn about
yourself--what every girl of your age needs to know. You are not to
learn all of this in one day, but a little every day. Mollie and Nora,
who are proficient in these things, will help teach you. Then you'll
learn to cook, swim, and row a boat. We have a lovely lake about a mile
from here, and there are boats and canoes to hire. All these, and
various other useful things, you are to learn. I want you to be able to
win an Elective Honor in some one of the seven crafts. You must wear
your beads, but you must win them first. Next week we shall remove the
roofs of our tents and sleep in the open. I wish you girls to get a
month or two of it. That counts one honor."

Nora, Mollie and Ethel started in. Ethel quickly learned how to tie the
knot. Then she began to study "first aid to the injured," and the girls
taught her how to adjust a bandage and how to use the plaster.

"It's a shame that ye haven't a real broken bone to work on," laughed
Nora.

"Well, that's a nice thing to say," replied Mollie; "suppose you go and
cut yourself, Nora Casey, or break your leg."

After studying for a couple of hours the girls declared that Ethel was a
promising pupil. She even learned a poem, "The Psalm of Life," by
Longfellow.



CHAPTER XXVI

A LOSS AND A DINNER


"Oh! girls," exclaimed Ethel, "I must get my ring. I left it on the box
where I washed dishes," and she ran to the kitchen tent, but there was
no ring in sight. "I laid it down here and I emptied the water myself,"
she almost sobbed. "It was a beautiful ring--a diamond cluster.
Grandmamma gave it to me. It was her engagement ring."

Kate now came in and they hunted. The girls looked where the water had
been thrown but no sign. They swept the tent and searched thoroughly.
Mollie Long went back to where Ethel stood half in tears and reported
nothing doing.

"Who was with you in the tent?" she asked.

"No one but you and Nora," replied Ethel.

"You remember, Kate," said Ethel, "it was Grandmamma's engagement ring.
I'd have lost anything I own rather than that."

"It's unfortunate," replied Kate, "but perhaps it may turn up."

Poor Ethel took her walk with Patty and Mollie but she was very quiet.

That noon she watched a dinner cooked in the open. Two perpendicular
stakes with forked ends had been driven in the ground, while lying
horizontally across them was another upon which to hang one or more
kettles. Each kettle had an iron hook to place on the cross stake, and
from them hung the kettles. A roaring fire had been made. The potatoes
were laid in the hot ashes and covered. In one kettle the peas were put.
Ethel and Mollie had shelled until their fingers ached.

"Now, girls," said Kate, "someone time those peas. They must not cook
longer than three-quarters of an hour, and they must not be covered."

When the salad had been prepared, the bread and butter spread, and the
water pitchers filled from the brook it was time to cook the steak.

Four of the girls took forks made from tree branches, placed the steak
upon them, and started in. Mollie and Nora in the meanwhile, after
draining off nearly all of the water, had put some salt and a little
sugar in the peas, adding at the last a large piece of butter, and had
placed them in their kettle which stood near the potatoes.

The steak when finished was laid on a large platter and covered
plentifully with butter. Then each girl took and opened her potato, and
what a potato it was!--so unlike those cooked in an oven. The peas were
served in saucers, and the sight of the steak covered with gravy--hot
and juicy--made them hungry.

Each sat on the ground with her plate on her lap, and her saucer and
glass beside her. They ate up every vestige of food.

"Goodnight!" said Nora. "Shure a dog would starve in this crowd."

After an appetizing salad dressed with a suspicion of garlic and a fine
French dressing, came the bread pudding made by Sallie Davis. It was
filled with raisins and each girl passed her plate twice.

"Ethel, what do you think of our Camp Fire dinner?" asked Kate.

"It is simply fine," replied the girl. "I have never tasted one half so
good."

"Poor Ethel, she is unhappy over her ring," said Edna, "and I don't blame
her. Cheer up! it may be found yet," she added.

But Ethel was unhappy, not for the loss of the ring, but because it had
belonged to old Mrs. Hollister.

"I never should have brought it," she said to Kate. "I should have left
it with Aunt Susan. I know it was right on the box when I left the tent,
and it's so unpleasant," she confided to Kate. "One suspects everyone."

"Yes, that's the unfortunate part of it," replied her cousin. "The
innocent suffer for the guilty; that is, if it has been taken by anyone,
but I have an idea that it may have been thrown out with the water."

Ethel studied hard every day. She learned rapidly and one night she
received her first bead. She had learned how to row a boat and she rowed
well. In five days she had rowed twenty miles, which entitled her to
one honor. Before the next two weeks she had learned how to swim; and
she swam one mile in five days. The rule was to swim one mile in six
days, but she went one better; so at one of the council fires she
received her two beads. As her honors came under "health craft" her
beads were red.

Her ceremonial gown had been made for some time. She had worked on it
during rainy days, and when she had finished behold! it was perfect.

"Why, you're entitled to another honor. This comes under 'hand craft,'"
said Patty.

So now she had won three--two red beads and one of green.

"That's good work," ejaculated Nora Casey. "She'll outstrip us all."

Of course each girl won daily. Some had strings nearly half a yard long.
At every council fire the Guardian would distribute them to the girls,
but Sallie Davis had the most beads. She was clever and won many for
cooking.

About the middle of July there came another set of Camp Fires. They
occupied the woods about half a mile away. It seemed that the
Guardian--a Miss Andrews--was a schoolmate of Kate Hollister's. They
were called the "Columbus Camp Fires." The girls were friendly and
together they had great sport.



CHAPTER XXVII

A DISCOVERY


One morning Patty and Ethel started for a walk. They were to climb a
small mountain. On their way they came across a pocket handkerchief. It
was a girl's handkerchief, and on it was the initial "H."

"This isn't Cousin's Kate's I know," said Ethel. "She carried one
certain kind with a tiny 'H' worked in the corner. This looks like a
cheap one that might be purchased for a dime. Whose can it be? Are there
any 'H's' in the Columbus Camp Fires?"

They recalled every name--not an "H."

"Then as it isn't Kate's nor mine it must belong to Mattie Hastings."

"Yes," replied Patty. "She often walks up here alone."

"I wish I could get over my feeling of dislike for that girl," said
Ethel, "but I can not. It grows on me. I shall be glad to go home to
get rid of looking at her. I can never like Nora Casey either, although
I have tried very hard. But I positively shrink from that girl. I don't
trust her."

"I feel the same, and so do all the girls," replied Patty, "but she
seems to have gotten around Miss Hollister. She is invariably hanging on
her."

"Cousin Kate is so kind and good-hearted," said Ethel. "She's always
ready to make the best of people, but I feel like pulling Mattie
Hastings away when I see her around here."

"Look--quick! speak of angels--that was she looking out through those
trees," exclaimed Patty. "Now I wonder what she is doing up here and
alone. My! but it's warm in the sun, isn't it?" and Patty opened the
neck of her waist and removed her hat. "Let's call and see if she
answers us."

So Patty Sands called loudly:

"Mattie Hastings--Mattie--we have seen you--don't hide!"

Someone started to run through the brush. They heard a fall and a
piercing shriek.

"She's tripped," said Ethel. "Let's go and see."

Quickly they picked their way over fallen trees and dead leaves until
they came to the prostrate body of Mattie whom they so disliked.

"What have you done?" asked Patty. "Have you hurt yourself?"

No answer.

"She's fainted!" ejaculated Ethel. "She's been walking in the sun and
exposed to great heat. It's heat exhaustion. See, her face is pale and
she isn't entirely unconscious as in a sunstroke. First we must loosen
her clothing and let her lie down quietly. I wonder if there is any
water about."

"Yes," said Patty, "we passed a watering trough on the road."

While Ethel unbuttoned the girl's waist, Patty ran for water.

"It's lucky I have my drinking cup with me," she called. "I have a long
head. I never take a walk without it."

Ethel made no reply. She unhooked the girl's corset. Then when Patty
returned, together they lifted her to a shady place. Ethel's face was
pale.

"What is the matter?" asked Patty. "You look as though you had seen a
ghost."

Ethel pointed to a chain on Mattie's neck. It was a small silver chain,
and suspended from it were two diamond rings. One was the small cluster
lost by Ethel, while the other was a solitaire. Patty gasped and caught
Ethel by the arm.

"That's your ring."

Ethel nodded.

"And the other belongs to Nora Casey. She lost it a few days ago. She
didn't want to make a fuss about it on account of you having lost yours,
but I think she suspected this girl and determined to get it before she
left camp. Isn't it awful?" and Patty shook her head. "You'd better take
the chain off before she comes to."

Ethel made no reply but lifted Mattie's head and put the drinking cup to
her lips. After a moment the girl took a swallow, then another, until
she had taken it all.

"Don't give her any more now," said Ethel. "'First Aid' says, 'sip
slowly in heat prostrations and give stimulants,' but we have none."

"Take them off, Ethel," said Patty, "she might get up and run." But
Ethel only looked.

Suddenly Mattie Hastings opened her eyes, gazed at the two girls, and at
her shirt waist beside her; then she raised herself and put her hand to
her neck. A scarlet flame surged across her face.

"You've had a sort of fainting spell," said Ethel. "You fell, and the
heat and all made you unconscious for a while. Why did you run from us
when we called?"

With her hands upon her chain the girl looked like a frightened animal.
Something stirred Ethel's pity.

"Don't be frightened," she said, "just tell us all."

Whereupon Mattie Hastings burst into tears.

"First hand me my ring," said Ethel, "and then tell us everything."

The girl tried to unfasten the chain.

"Shall I?" asked Ethel.

Mattie nodded. Then Ethel took the ring.

"To whom does this belong?" she asked.

"Nora," faltered the girl. "Keep it please; I shall never go back. I
shall kill myself," she sobbed.

"That's silly," broke in practical Patty.

"Your father--Judge Sands--he will sentence me to prison," she sobbed,
"and I did it for Mollie. She's my sister. Her spine is broken and the
doctor said she needed food--good nourishing food. She's only eleven,
and he told father that with care she might outgrow it, especially if
she could get in some Institution for Cripples, where she could have
good attention," and the girl threw herself on her face and sobbed
brokenly.

"Now, see here," said Ethel, sitting down beside her and lefting her up,
while Patty and she supported her back.

"You tell us everything; don't keep even a tiny bit back."

"Yes," broke in Patty, "we're Camp Fire Girls and we must 'Give
Service.' Perhaps we can help you if you'll confide in us."

"Before God I will; and I'll tell you all," said Mattie.



CHAPTER XXVIII

MATTIE'S STORY


"My father is a good man. He is kind, hard-working, and gives all of his
wages to Mother. Mother has an idea that I am above my associates. She
is ambitious for me to go with the rich girls--the girls who have
position."

Ethel's heart bounded. Was not her own mother the same?

"I worked in McAllister's store. I earned six dollars a week. Three of
it I paid Mother for board. The other three, with what Father gave me,
bought my clothes; but even with that I could not dress well enough to
go with the girls as she wished me to.

"Her idea was for me to go to church and Sunday School and meet them
that way. Then poor little Mollie was knocked down by an automobile and
she has never left her bed. They were a party of joy riders, and oh! I
hate to confess it, but I've promised--my mother was one of them. She
had a cousin who was a chauffeur and he asked her to go. No one but I
knew that she was of the party, for they were so drunk they never saw
that she left them, and to this day no one knows that it was her
cousin's auto that knocked Mollie down, for he escaped. Mother came home
after Mollie had been taken to the hospital, and at that time we all
thought that she had been out spending the evening. When she found that
Mollie was injured for life she began to take morphine. I alone know her
secret; she never knew that she told it. For God's sake don't betray me.
Every-penny that Father gave her she spent for that drug, and he
thinking that Mollie had the benefit of it.

"At last I couldn't stand it. I couldn't see my little sister die for
the want of proper food, nor could I tell Father, and give my own mother
away, for outside of her ambition for me she had been a good mother.
Then Father grew ill and was laid up with rheumatism. I refused to give
Mother the three dollars for board, but I kept it for expenses. When
she demanded, I told her what I knew and threatened to expose her.

"Father grew better and was able to work again, but poor Mollie failed
daily. I laid awake night after night. I prayed--for I was a good girl
once--for a way to be shown me whereby I could make more than six
dollars a week.

"Then in Sunday School I met Miss Hollister. I had heard of these Camp
Fire Girls and how many fine things a girl could learn, so that in time
she could earn good money. I consulted with Father and he advised me to
join; and Mother was delighted, for she saw visions of my being intimate
with the 'swell' girls."

Here Mattie put her hands on her breast and Ethel ran to the trough for
more water.

"Before we came up here," she continued, "I found a doctor who upon
seeing Mollie said that for one hundred and fifty dollars he could put
her in a Home where she would have attention and treatment. She could
wear braces, and perhaps in time she might grow to be strong and well.
But how was I to get it? Father and I together could hardly pay for our
food.

"One afternoon just before the store closed a lady dropped her purse. I
put my foot over it and stood until she had gone off in her auto. Then
when no one was looking I picked it up, put it in my bosom, and went
home. In the purse I found forty dollars.

"That was the beginning. After that it came so easy, and Mollie enjoyed
the fruit that I brought her. But thirty-five dollars of the money I put
in the bank. I took little things from the store and sold them. I
pretended that they had been given to me.

"Then I came up here. Oh! I expected to end in prison. I knew that it
couldn't go on forever. But I took a chance. I had now nearly
seventy-five dollars. One hundred and fifty, or say two hundred, would
save Mollie. I kept on. I took a locket from Edith Overman. She's never
missed it. It has a large diamond in the center. She's rich and
careless. I took that ring from Nora. I've often thought that Nora
suspected me, but she's never given me away. I've taken money from each
one of you girls. The only one whom I've not robbed is Miss Kate--God
bless her. I wouldn't take a handkerchief from her, she's been so kind
to me. The rest have never liked me. You remember since we came here the
time I went home and spent two days. Well, I went in town and deposited
my money and saw that Mollie had some comforts in way of food and books.
Then when I came back I began taking the jewelry. I have now over a
hundred dollars in the bank. I had come up here today to find a safe
place in some tree where until we went back I could put the two rings
and locket, as I feared that they might be seen on my neck. When you
called and said, 'We've seen you; don't hide,' I thought that you had
discovered that I was a thief and I started to run and fell over the
tree trunk. I had been pretty warm while walking up the hill and I guess
you were correct,--it was the heat. That's all," she moaned wearily.
"You may give me up. I knew the time would come, but I had hoped to have
had Mollie in a Home before I was taken," and the girl lay back on the
ground shaking with sobs.

Ethel and Patty looked at each other.

"Now see here," said Patty Sands, "Ethel and I are not monsters to eat
you up, are we, Ethel?"

"No," replied the girl, "Mattie, I think we may be able to help Mollie."

Mattie sat up.

"What?" she gasped.

"Yes," replied Ethel. "You've done this for her. Now we are not going to
betray you, and we are going to help you; but first, you must give back
everything that you have taken. Do you remember the name of the lady
from whom you took the purse?"

"Yes," replied Mattie. "I have the purse with her card in it."

"Very well; return that by mail. Say if you wish that you found it and
regret not sending it before. You needn't sign your name. Then take
Nora's ring and put it in her suitcase, after which put Edith's chain in
hers. Can you remember the different amounts of money that you have
taken from us girls?"

"I took"--and she faltered--"five from you and five from Patty."

"Well, don't try to think now, but go by yourself and if possible
remember what you took from each girl and replace it as you are going to
replace the jewelry. Whatever you took from the store and sold is a
harder matter and you can't recover the goods."

"No," said Mattie.

"How much did you get for them?" asked Patty.

"About twelve dollars," replied the girl.

"You give that to me," said Patty. "Mr. McAllister is a great friend of
Father's. I will give Father the money and tell him to return it,--that
it's from a client--an old employee--who to save a human life and under
great temptation took the things, and that she wishes to make
restitution. He'll never suspect you, nor will he question Father, for
Father has rendered him too many services."

Mattie grasped her by the hand.

"Oh! you are too good to me, Miss Sands. However can I pay you and Miss
Ethel?"

"Call me Ethel," said the girl.

"Yes, and me Patty. You are one of us and we are all sisters."

"And now," continued Ethel, "my Aunt Susan, who lives in Akron, is a
philanthropist. I've heard her tell of a Cripple's Home there. If your
sister is unable to pay she can get her in free. That doctor may slip
some of that money he speaks of into his own pocket, and if your sister
is under Aunt Susan's wing she'll see that she gets everything she
needs, and she'll have the best of care. You can run down every week or
so and see her. I'm sure Aunt Susan would make you welcome over night."

Mattie Hastings fell on the ground at the feet of the two girls.

"Oh, my God!" she said, "Are you in earnest?" and she kissed their
hands. "Can it be possible that there is about to be made a way for poor
Mollie? Are my prayers to be answered?" and she sobbed while the two
girls held her in their arms.

"Come on now," said Ethel, "let's go home. You're all tired out. We'll
put you to bed. Don't worry, Mattie," she whispered, "we'll attend to
everything."



CHAPTER XXIX

MATTIE STARTS AFRESH


Everything was returned as the girls had planned. Mattie went into town,
drew out her money, put the forty dollars in the purse and sent it to
its owner, as they had suggested.

"Oh, my darling!" she said to Mollie, as she hugged her, "I have great
news for you. Come, Mother, and listen."

Then holding each by the hand she related Ethel's proposal.

Mrs. Hastings wept tears of joy while little Mollie laughed.

"Are you sure she'll keep her word?" asked Mrs. Hastings.

"As sure as there's a God in heaven. She's an angel," replied Mattie.
"They all are. Oh! Mother, I never knew that there could be such
kindness in the world."

Mattie returned, and Ethel and Patty replaced all of the stolen money in
the girls' purses save the twelve that was to be given to Judge Sands
for McAllister. The jewelry was more difficult, for there was danger of
it rolling out of the bags, so Patty suggested putting the ring in a
small box and slipping it in Nora's suitcase, and doing the same with
the locket belonging to Edith Overman.

The next morning appeared Nora with the ring on her finger, but with
never a word. Then rushed out Edith Overman.

"Do you know, I have found my locket and chain. I was awfully worried
for I thought I had lost it."

The following day came a reply to Ethel's letter from Aunt Susan. This
was the extract pertaining to the Home:

"Yes, my dear, I can get the little girl in the Cripples' School
free--not 'Home.' In this place she'll have the best of medical
attendance. I am one of the managers. She will be taught to sew and make
lovely things besides having good nourishing food every day. Her sister
is welcome to stay with us whenever she cares to come. The little girl
will probably come out cured, and it will not cost her a penny. Even
her clothes will be furnished. Let me know when to expect them. I
enclose your mother's letter."

Mattie cried with joy.

"What is it?" the girls asked, and she told them.

Judge Sands had seen Mr. McAllister who took the money without a comment
save:

"Well, Judge, when a thing happens like this it sort of restores one's
faith in human nature, doesn't it?"

And Mattie was a happy girl.

"Really," said Ethel to her cousin and Patty, "Mattie's eyes have grown
wider apart."

"No, it's because you like her and she seems different to you."

Mrs. Hollister wrote: "My dearest girl:

"I hope you have made only desirable acquaintances and that you will
forget the Camp Fire Girls, at least this winter. You will be seventeen
soon and I shall give you a debutante's party. I have saved considerable
money during your absence."

Ethel didn't answer the letter at once.

One day came up the hill the buckboard holding three men. The girls saw
it from a distance, and there was some excitement. As it drew nearer
three shouts went up. There was Tom Harper, Uncle John, and Judge Sands.

Ethel almost wept on Tom's shoulder, and she was well hugged by Uncle
John.

That was the day that they had their great Camp Fire dinner--when they
soaked the corn for an hour in water before roasting it. Then tying a
string to each ear they laid it in the glowing fire and ate it with
melted butter and salt. The Judge and Uncle John ate three ears apiece,
besides the potatoes, chicken, and steamed berry pudding made by Patty,
his daughter.

"Say, John and Tom," he said, "we'd better come up here and board. No
wonder these girls like to get away from town."

And Mattie was introduced to the Judge by Patty.

"Papa," she said, "this is Mattie Hastings, and when I was ill she sat
up the entire night taking care of me and putting fresh flax-seed
poultices on my chest."

And the Judge thanked her so sincerely that she nearly burst into tears.

"And your father?" he asked, "how is he? I need a man just like him in
my office. I've met him, and Miss Mattie, there's one thing I've always
liked about him,--he has a face that anyone could trust. I shall go and
see him on my return."

Then Mattie was not afraid to weep with joy as she clasped the Judge's
hand and thanked him sincerely.

"Well, girls," said Uncle John, "we'll be looking for you next
week--hey?"

"Yes," replied Kate, "and, Father, I'd like to have Aunt Susan come up
before we leave. She'd enjoy it."

"Oh! yes," fairly shouted Ethel. "Do bring her, Tom."



CHAPTER XXX

AUNT SUSAN COMES


So the day Aunt Susan came, everyone was on the qui vive, and a warmer
welcome was never extended to an old lady. She was shown everything. She
had a real Camp Fire dinner and enjoyed it.

She took Mattie one side and told her of the wonderful improvement in
little Mollie, which made Mattie's heart beat high with joy.

When she was introduced to Honora the girl made such quaint remarks that
Aunt Susan laughed merrily.

"Isn't it funny?" said Ethel; "that's the only girl in Camp that I don't
care for."

"Ethel," replied her aunt, "perhaps, you don't know her as she really
is."

"Perhaps," responded Ethel slowly, thinking of Mattie.

The evening that Aunt Susan stayed, Ethel was advanced from a Wood
Gatherer to a Fire Maker. She stood up in her ceremonial dress with her
pretty hair hanging, and bound with a band of beads called her
"ceremonial band," and she repeated the Fire Maker's song.

New honors were awarded. They had songs and toasts, one of which was
"Aunt Susan," after which the girls repeated in unison:

"Burn, fire, burn; flicker, flicker, flame, etc."

Then, extinguishing the fire, they retired for the night.

The next morning the Camp broke up. Ethel bade them all an affectionate
farewell. She even kissed Honora. There seemed to be a spirit of good
will among all of the girls.

"Be sure and come back next summer, Ethel," was heard on every side.

And Mattie, taking her apart from the rest, said:

"You have saved me from a fate worse than death. I was going the
downward path, and you and Patty lifted me out of the mud. I shall pray
for you every night. Don't forget me."

"No, I shall not," replied Ethel, kissing her affectionately, "and you
promise to go and see little Mollie and write me all about her, won't
you?"



CHAPTER XXXI

BACK TO AUNT SUSAN'S


After spending the night at Uncle John's, Aunt Susan and Ethel left for
Akron.

"Oh! what a lovely summer I've had," said Ethel, "and how much I've
learned being a Camp Fire Girl; and I owe it all to you, Aunt Susan."

The next week Mr. Hollister came to take the girl home--and how he had
missed her!

They spent the day with Uncle John. He and her father were like boys
again.

"You must come here next year, Archibald," said John, "and go up to Camp
and see the way these girls keep house. It's a revelation. What the
women are coming to! I don't believe there'll be any room on earth for
us men after a while."

Ethel's eyes were blinded with tears as she kissed her dear ones
goodbye, and Mattie Hastings with Patty Sands came way to Akron to see
her off, Mattie bringing the loveliest pin-cushion made for her by her
sister Mollie.

One night Ethel and Mrs. Hollister had a serious talk. Grandmother made
Archibald go and listen at the door, as Bella's voice could be heard
throughout the house.

When Ethel left her mother she went directly up to her room, but Mrs.
Hollister said to Grandmother:

"This is your work and your sister's as well. Ethel is a changed
girl and refused to obey me. She's going to take up low settlement
work and belong to that Camp Fire business this winter, and she
almost refuses to go into society at all. But for the fact that
some of our best girls are Camp Fires I should positively forbid
it. She is not yet of age, and I still have some authority over
her, after all my slaving for her and sacrifices. Now she openly
defies me."

"No, Mamma," cried Ethel, coming down stairs and putting her arm
around her mother, "I only object to sailing under false colors.
All of our life has been sham--sham--and make believe, and I can
not see Papa growing older and more bent every day, when he should
be young looking and happy. And I know that it's worry over getting
the money for me that I may make a show for people to think me
wealthy. And when Aunt Susan came here you told everyone that I was
to be her heiress. Why, Mamma, she is poorer than we are. Every
penny of her money was lost four years ago, and Tom Harper--her
adopted son--supports her. Then there's dear Uncle John. He's
nearly five years older than Papa and he looks ten years younger.
Why? Because he has nothing to worry him. And when I see the lines
and wrinkles coming into your pretty face I think it's all for me,
and I've decided to give it up. I shall still go out with the
friends who care for me, but they must know me as I am; and next
summer I want you to come with me to Camp. You are so clever and
can teach the girls so much about sewing and dressmaking.

"Mamma dear, let's turn over a new leaf. Let's give up all sham and
be happy. Then we can tell who are our true friends and they'll be
all we need."

Here Ethel put her arms around her mother who at once burst into tears,
sobbing:

"And I wanted you to make a g-good m-match."

"Never mind," laughed Ethel. "Who knows? I may marry better than ever.
Cheer up, Mamma dear," and from that hour the mother and daughter
changed places.

And Grandmother Hollister whispered to her son:

"Behold! a miracle."



     *     *     *     *     *     *



[Transcriber's Note: The following nine pages were bound with "How Ethel
Hollister Became a Campfire Girl." They constitute a separate story.]



THE FLOWERS' WORK


"See, mother! I've finished my bouquet. Isn't it beautiful? More so, I
think, than those made by the florist which he asked two dollars for,
and this has cost me but seventy-five cents."

"Yes, yes, it is very pretty. But, dear me, child, I cannot help
thinking how illy we can spare so much for such a very useless thing.
Almost as much as you can make in a day it has cost."

"Don't say _useless_, mother. It will express to Edward our appreciation
of his exertions and their result, and our regards. How he has struggled
to obtain a profession! I only wish I could cover the platform with
bouquets, baskets and wreaths tonight, when he receives his diploma."

"Well, well; if it will do any good, I shall not mind the expense. But,
child, he will know it is from you, and men don't care for such things
coming from home folks. Now, if it was from any other young lady, I
expect he'd be mightily pleased."

"Oh, mother, I don't think so. Edward will think as much of it, coming
from his sister-in-law, as from any other girl. And it will please Kate,
too. If _we_ do not think enough of him to send him bouquets, who else
could? Rest easy, mother, dear; I feel quite sure my bouquet will do
much good," answered Annie, putting her bouquet in a glass of water.

She left the room to make her simple toilet for the evening.

Mrs. Grey had been widowed when her two little girls were in their
infancy. It had been a hard struggle for the mother to raise her
children. Constant toil, privation and anxiety had worn heavily on her
naturally delicate constitution, until she had become a confirmed
invalid. But there was no longer a necessity for her toiling. Katy, the
elder daughter, was married; and Annie, a loving, devoted girl, could
now return the mother's long and loving care. By her needle she obtained
a support for herself and mother.

Katy's husband held a position under the government, receiving a small
compensation, only sufficient for the necessities of the present, and of
very uncertain continuance. He was ambitious of doing better than this
for himself, as well as his family. So he employed every spare hour in
studying medicine, and it was the night that he was to receive his
diploma that my little story begins.

The exercises of the evening were concluded. Edward Roberts came down
the aisle to where his wife and Annie were seated, bearing his
flowers--an elegant basket, tastefully arranged, and a beautiful
bouquet. But it needed only a quick glance for Annie to see it was not
_her_ bouquet. Although the flowers were fragrant and rare, they were
not so carefully selected or well chosen. Hers expressed not alone her
affection and appreciation, but _his_ energy, perseverance and success.

"Why, where is my bouquet? I do not see it," asked Annie, a look of
disappointment on her usually bright face.

"Yours? I do not know. Did you send me one?" returned her
brother-in-law.

"Indeed I did. And such a beauty, too! It is too bad! I suppose it is
the result of the stupidity of the young man in whose hands I placed it.
I told him plain enough it was for you, and your name, with mine, was on
the card," answered Annie, really very much provoked.

"Well, do not fret, little sister; I am just as much obliged; and
perchance some poor fellow not so fortunate as I may have received it,"
answered Edward Roberts.

"Don't, for pity's sake, let mother know of the mistake, or whatever it
is, that has robbed you of your bouquet. She will fret dreadfully about
it," said Annie.

All that night, until she was lost in sleep, did she constantly repeat:

"I wonder who has got it?"

She had failed to observe on the list of graduates the name of _Edgar
Roberts_, from Ohio, or she might have had an idea into whose hands her
bouquet had fallen. Her brother Edward, immediately on hearing Annie's
exclamation, thought how the mistake had occurred, and was really glad
that it was as it was; for the young man whose name was so nearly like
his own was a stranger in the city, and Edward had noticed his receiving
_one_ bouquet only, which of course was the missing one, and Annie's.

Edgar Roberts sat in his room that night, after his return from the
distribution of diplomas, holding in his hand Annie's bouquet, and on
the table beside him was a floral dictionary. An expression of
gratification was on his pleasant face, and, as again and again his eyes
turned from the flowers to seek their interpreter, his lips were
wreathed with smiles, and he murmured low:

"Annie Grey! Sweet Annie Grey! I never dreamed of any one in this place
knowing or caring enough for me to send such a tribute. How carefully
these flowers are chosen! What a charming, appreciative little girl she
is! Pretty, I know, of course. I wonder how she came to send me this?
How shall I find her? Find her I must, and know her."

And Edgar Roberts fell asleep to dream of Annie Grey, and awoke in the
morning whispering the last words of the night before:

"Sweet Annie Grey!"

During the day he found it quite impossible to fix his mind on his work;
mind and heart were both occupied with thoughts of Annie Grey. And so it
continued to be until Edgar Roberts was really in love with a girl he
knew not, nor had ever seen. To find her was his fixed determination.
But how delicately he must go about it. He could not make inquiry among
his gentlemen acquaintances without speculations arising, and a name
sacred to him then, passed from one to another, lightly spoken, perhaps.
Then he bethought himself of the city directory; he would consult that.
And so doing he found Greys innumerable--some in elegant, spacious
dwellings, some in the business thoroughfares of the place. The young
ladies of the first mentioned, he thought, living in fashionable life,
surrounded by many admirers, would scarcely think of bestowing any token
of regard or appreciation on a poor unknown student. The next would have
but little time to devote to such things; and time and thought were both
spent in the arrangement of his bouquet. Among the long list of Greys he
found one that attracted him more than all the others--a widow, living
in a quiet part of the city, quite near his daily route. So he sought
and found the place and exact number. Fortune favored him. Standing at
the door of a neat little frame cottage he beheld a young girl talking
with two little children. She was not the blue-eyed, golden-haired girl
of his dreams, but a sweet, earnest dove-eyed darling. And what care he,
whether her eyes were blue or brown, if her name were only Annie? Oh,
how could he find out that?

She was bidding the little ones "goodbye." They were off from her, on
the sidewalk, when the elder child--a bright, laughing boy of five--sang
out, kissing his little dimpled hand:

"Good-bye, Annie, darling!"

Edgar Roberts felt as if he would like to clasp the little fellow to the
heart he had relieved of all anxiety. No longer a doubt was in his mind.
He had found his Annie Grey.

From that afternoon, twice every day he passed the cottage of the widow
Grey, frequently seeing sweet Annie. This, however, was his only reward.
She never seemed at all conscious of his presence. Often her eyes would
glance carelessly toward him. Oftener they were never raised from her
work. Sewing by the window, she always was.

What next? How to proceed, on his fixed determination of winning her, if
possible?

Another bright thought. He felt pretty sure she attended church
somewhere; perhaps had a class in the Sabbath school. So the next Sunday
morning, at an early hour, he was commanding a view of Annie's home.
When the school bells commenced to ring, he grew very anxious. A few
moments, and the door opened and the object of his thoughts stepped
forth. How beautiful she looked in her pretty white suit! Now Edgar felt
his cause was in the ascendancy. Some distance behind, and on the other
side of the street, he followed, ever keeping her in view until he saw
her enter a not far distant church. Every Sunday after found him an
attentive listener to the Rev. Mr. Ashton, who soon became aware of the
presence of the young gentleman so regularly, and apparently so much
interested in the services. So the good man sought an opportunity to
speak to Edgar, and urge his accepting a charge in the Sabbath school.
We can imagine Edgar needed no great urging on that subject; so,
frequently, he stood near his Annie. In the library, while selecting
books for their pupils, once or twice they had met, and he had handed to
her the volume for which her hand was raised. Of course a smile and bow
of acknowledgment and thanks rewarded him.

Edgar was growing happier, and more confident of final success every
week, when an event came which promised a speedy removal of all
difficulty in his path. The school was going to have a picnic. Then and
there he would certainly have an introduction to Annie, and after
spending a whole day with her, he would accompany her home and win the
privilege of calling often.

The day of the picnic dawned brightly, and the happy party gathered on
the deck of the steamer. The first person who met Edgar Roberts' eye was
his fellow-student, Edward Roberts. Standing beside him were two ladies
and some children. When Edgar hastened up to speak to his friend, the
ladies turned, and Edward presented:

"My wife; my sister, Miss Grey."

Edgar Roberts could scarcely suppress an exclamation of joy and
surprise. His looks fully expressed how delighted he was.

Three months had he been striving for this, which, if he had only known
it, could have been obtained so easily through his friend and her
brother. But what was so difficult to win was the more highly prized.
What a happy day it was!

Annie was all he had believed her--charming in every way. Edgar made a
confidant of his friend; told him what Edward well knew before, but was
wise enough not to explain the mistake--of his hopes and fears; and won
from the prudent brother the promise to help him all he could.

Accompanying Annie home that evening, and gaining her permission for him
to call again, Edgar lost no time in doing so, and often repeated the
call.

Perhaps Annie thought him very fast in his wooing, and precipitate in
declaring his love, when, after only a fortnight visiting her, he said:

"Annie, do you like me well enough, and trust in me sufficiently, to
allow me to ask your mother to call me her son?"

Either so happy or so surprised was Annie, that she could not speak just
then. But roses crowded over her fair face, and she did not try to
withdraw the hand he had clasped.

"Say, Annie, love," he whispered. She raised her eyes to his with such a
strange, surprised look in them, that he laughed and said:

"You think I am very hasty, Annie. You don't know how long I've loved
you, and have waited for this hour."

"Long!--two weeks," she said.

"Why, Annie, darling, it is over three months since I've been able to
think of anything save Annie Grey--ever since the night I received my
diploma, and your sweet, encouraging bouquet, since that night I've
known and loved you. And how I've worked for this hour!"

And then he told her how it was. And when he had finished, she looked at
him, her eyes dancing merrily, and though she tried hard to keep the
little rosebud of a mouth demurely shut, it was no use--it would open
and let escape a rippling laugh, as she said:

"And this is the work my bouquet went about, is it? This is the good it
has done me--" She hesitated; the roses deepened their color as she
continued "And you--"

"Yes, Annie, it has done much good to me, and I hope to you too."

"But, Edgar--" it was the first time she had called him thus, and how
happy it made him--"I must tell you the truth--I never sent you a
bouquet!"

"No! oh, do not say so. Can there be another such Annie Grey?"

"No; I am the one who sent the bouquet; but, Edgar, you received it
through a mistake. It was intended for my brother-in-law, Edward!"

"Stop, Annie, a moment--Are you sorry that mistake was made? Do you
regret it?" said Edgar, his voice filled with emotion.

"No indeed. I am very glad you received it instead," Annie ingenuously
replied; adding quickly, "But, please, do not tell Edward I said so."

"No, no; I will not tell him that you care a little more for _Edgar_
than _Edward_. Is that it? May I think so, Annie?"

She nodded her head, and he caught her to his heart, whispering:

"Mine at last. My Annie, darling! What a blessed mistake it was! May I
go to your mother, Annie?"

"Yes; and I'll go with you, Edgar, and hear if she will admit those
flowers did any good. She thought it a useless expenditure."

The widow Grey had become very much attached to the kind, attentive
young man, and when he came with Annie, and asked her blessing on their
love, she gave it willingly; and after hearing all about the way it
happened, she said:

"Never did flowers such a good work before. They carried Edgar to
church, made a Christian of him, and won for Annie a good, devoted
husband, and for me an affectionate son."





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