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´╗┐Title: The Camp Fire Girls in the Maine Woods - Or, The Winnebagos Go Camping
Author: Frey, Hildegard G. (Hildegard Gertrude), 1891-1957
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 "The Camp Fire Girls in the Maine Woods - Or, The Winnebagos Go Camping" ***

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WOODS***


THE CAMP FIRE GIRLS IN THE MAINE WOODS

or, The Winnebagos Go Camping

by

HILDEGARD G. FREY

Author of "The Camp Fire Girls at School," "The Camp Fire Girls
at Onoway House," "The Camp Fire Girls Go Motoring."



New York : A. L. Burt
1916.



CHAPTER I.

A NEW WINNEBAGO.

Sahwah the Sunfish sat on top of the diving tower squinting
through Nakwisi's spy-glass at the distant horizon.

"Sister Anne, sister Anne," called Migwan from the rocks below,
"do you see any one coming?"

Sahwah lowered her glass and shook her head.  "No sign of the
_Bluebird_ yet," she answered. "If Gladys doesn't come pretty
soon I shall die of impatience.  Oh, what do you suppose she'll
be like, anyway?"

"Beautiful beyond compare," answered Migwan promptly, "and
skilled in every art we ever thought or dreamed of.  She is going
to be my affinity, I feel it in my bones."

Sahwah looked rather pensive. "Nobody in her right mind would
choose me for an affinity," she said with a sigh, squinting
sidewise down her nose and mentally counting the freckles
thereon, "I'm not interesting enough looking."

"Goosie," said Migwan, laughing, "affinities aren't chosen, they
just happen.  You see somebody for the first time and you don't
know a thing about her, perhaps not even her name, and yet
something tells you that you two belong together.  That's an
affinity."

"But how can you tell in advance that you and Gladys are going to
be affinities?" asked Sahwah.  "How do you know that when she
sees me waving the sheet from the tower she won't say to herself,
'The energetic maiden on yon lofty tower is my one and only love.
I can only see one bloomer leg and a hank of hair, but that is
enough to recognize my soul mate by.  Come to my arms, Finny!'"

Migwan laughed at the picture, and replied mysteriously, "Oh, I
have a way of telling things beforehand. I can read them in the
stars!"

Sahwah sniffed and resumed her watch, holding the sheet in
readiness to wave the instant the little steamer should appear
around Blueberry Island.  The minutes passed without a sign of
the _Bluebird_, and Sahwah grew tired of looking at nothing.  She
ceased staring fixedly at the distant gap between Blueberry
Island and the mainland, and pointed the glass around at the
objects near her; at Migwan washing middies in the lake, her soap
tied to the dock to keep it from floating away; at the toothbrushes
strewn over the rocks like bones bleaching in the sun; at the smooth
strip of shining sand; aiming her glass idly now here, now there,
her feet swinging in the air eighteen feet above the water, her
long brown hair flying in the wind.

High up on the cliff Hinpoha stood nailing the railing around the
Crow's Nest, a tiny tree-house just big enough for two, built in
the branches of a tall pine tree.  She finished her pounding and
stood looking out over the gleaming lake, dotted with rocky,
pine-covered islands, shading her eyes with her hand.  Her gaze
strayed again and again to the narrow gap between Blueberry
Island and the mainland, and now and then she heaved an impatient
sigh. "Oh, please, dear _Bluebird_," she said aloud, "please
hurry up!"  By and by her eyes rested upon Sahwah, silhouetted
against the sky on top of the diving tower.  Picking up a big dry
pine cone from the floor of the Crow's Nest, she took careful aim
and sent it sailing downward in a swift, curving flight.  The
prickly missile hit Sahwah squarely in the back of the neck.  She
started violently and threw up her arms, while the spyglass fell
into the water with a loud splash.  Hinpoha laughed a ringing
laugh when she beheld the effect of her handiwork.  Sahwah turned
around and saw Hinpoha perched in the Crow's Nest, nearly doubled
up with laughter, and she too laughed, and then, shaking her fist
amiably in Hinpoha's direction, she prepared to dive from the
tower, bloomers and all, in search of the spy-glass.

As she stood there poised on the end of the springboard her ears
caught the sound of a swinging boating song, borne on the breeze
across the water:

    "Across the silver'd lake
    The moonlit ripples break,
    Their path a magic highway seems:
    We'll send our good canoe
    Along that highway, too,
    And follow where the moonlight gleams."

Around the cliff which jutted out just beyond the camp there
appeared two canoes, containing four more of the Winnebagos,
making all speed ahead, the girls singing in time to the dipping
of their paddles.  Sahwah curved her hands around her mouth and
set forth a long, yodling hail, which was answered in kind by the
paddlers.  Then the four girls in the boats, speaking all
together as with one voice, called to Sahwah, "J-U-D-G-E T-H-E
F-I-N-I-S-H!  W-E-'-R-E  R-A-C-I-N-G!"

Sahwah waved her arm as a signal that she understood, and then
stood motionless, her eyes fixed on the shadow of the springboard
on the water, watching to see which canoe would cross it first.
In a few moments the slender green craft bearing Nyoda and
Medmangi shot into view beneath her, the two paddlers shouting
triumphantly.  Scarcely a canoe-length behind came the other
pair.  Choosing the instant when the second canoe was directly
beneath her, Sahwah jumped from the springboard and landed neatly
in the bow, upsetting the craft and dumping the girls into the
lake.  The other girls in the first canoe, just ahead, turned to
see what was happening, and in their laughter over the upset
forgot to hold their own boat steady, and presently there was a
second spill.  Sahwah came up choking with laughter, and was
immediately ducked under again by Nakwisi and Chapa, the two she
had dropped in upon.  The water flew in all directions, and
Migwan fled over the rocks to avoid being drenched.  Medmangi and
Nyoda also came up thirsting for vengeance, but Sahwah escaped by
swimming under water around the dock and clambering out on the
rocks.  She made an impish grimace at Migwan, who was standing on
the rock where she came up.  Migwan leaned over and put a streak
of soap on her face, Sahwah promptly caught Migwan by the feet
and pulled her off the rock into the water.  Struggling, they
both went under and came up choking and giggling.  Hinpoha, from
her airy perch in the tree, cheered the combatants on.  "Good
work, Migwan, hang on to the rock!  That's the stuff, Sahwah,
pull her off!"

Meanwhile, the four racers, at Nyoda's suggestion, had towed
their canoes out some distance from the dock and were trying to
right them and climb in.  This was easier said than done, for as
fast as they splashed the water out on one side it ran in at the
other.  Nyoda and Medmangi were trying to get all the water out
of theirs before getting in themselves, while Nakwisi and Chapa
had theirs half empty and had managed to get in and were
splashing the water out from both sides at once.  Sahwah and
Migwan stopped ducking each other to watch the righting process.
Nakwisi and Chapa had just triumphantly paddled up to the canoe
dock, and Nyoda and Medmangi were just about ready to start, when
Hinpoha shouted that the _Bluebird_ was coming.  The girls looked
up to find the little steamer hardly a hundred yards from the
dock.  "Sahwah," cried Nyoda, hastily coming up on the dock,
"where is the sheet you were going to wave from the tower when
the _Bluebird_ came in sight?"

"It's up on top," said Sahwah, running for the ladder.  An
instant later she was frantically waving the sheet from the top
of the tower.  There was no time for the girls to get dry clothes
on before the boat stopped beside the dock.  They lined up all
dripping, except Hinpoha, to greet, the newcomer, and looked on
expectantly when a young girl of about sixteen stepped ashore.
Nyoda advanced and held out her hand.

"Welcome to Camp Winnebago," she said cordially.  "Girls, this is
Gladys Evans, our new member, whose father has made it possible
for us to camp here this summer.  Winnebago Maidens, stand forth
and tell your names!  You begin, 'Poha."

"I am Hinpoha," said the girl addressed, an extremely fat girl
with an amazing quantity of bright red hair that curled below her
waist, "it means 'Curly Haired."'

"I am Sahwah the Sunfish," said a slim brown-haired maiden with
dancing eyes.  "I chose the Sun part because I like sunshine and
the Fish part because I like to swim.  I am very virtuous and a
pattern of propriety."  The girls shouted with laughter.

"My name is Migwan," said the next girl.  "It means 'Quill Pen,'
and stands for my ambition to write stories and things."  She was
a thoughtful-looking girl with a beautiful high forehead and
large dreamy eyes.

So all the girls introduced themselves, Chapa the Chipmunk,
Medmangi the Medicine Man Girl, and Nakwisi the Star Maiden. "And
this," they cried in unison, encircling one of their number with
affectionate arms, "is Nyoda, the best Guardian that ever lived!"

"How do you do, Miss Kent?" said Gladys, in a high, artificially
sweet voice, staring amazedly at her wet clothes and then around
at the dishevelled group.  She was a very fair girl, rather tall,
but slender and pale and delicate looking.  "Stuck up," was
Sahwah's mental estimate.

"How do you do, girls?" she continued, edging, back a little, as
if she were afraid they might also enfold her in a wet embrace,
"would you mind telling me your names?"

"We told you our names," said Sahwah.

"I mean your real names," answered Gladys, "you don't expect me
to remember all those Camp Fire names, do you?"

"Oh, you'll learn them soon enough," said Nyoda, "we left our old
names behind us when we came to camp."  Silence fell on the
group, and each girl was acutely conscious of her wet clothes.
Sahwah looked to see Migwan and Gladys fall into each other's
arms, but nothing happened.  Nyoda was busy checking over the
supplies brought by the boat.  The silence became awkward.

"Look, there's an eagle," shrieked Hinpoha suddenly, pointing to
a large winged bird that was circling slowly above the lake.

"Quick, where's my glass?" said Nakwisi.

"Wait a minute, I'll get it for you," said Sahwah, and quick as a
flash she dove off the end of the dock, coming up with the
spy-glass in her hand.  Gladys's eyes nearly popped out of her
head as Sahwah cast herself headlong into the water.

"Awfully sorry, 'Wisi, I dropped it in off the tower," said
Sahwah, tendering her the glass, "will getting it wet hurt it
any?"  Nakwisi screwed her beloved glass back and forth and wiped
the lenses and finally reported it unharmed.

"Sahwah, Sahwah," said Nyoda, shaking her head, "you will never
learn to be careful of other people's things?"

Sahwah flushed.  "I didn't mean to be careless with it, it just
slipped out of my hand."

Here Hinpoha spoke up. "It's all my fault, Nyoda," she explained.
"I hit her with a pine cone and made her drop it."

Nyoda could do nothing but laugh at the good-natured sparring
that was continually going on between those two.  "Come on,
girls," she called, "and get dry clothes on. Whoever gets dressed
first may go to the village with me this afternoon."

The girls scurried up the steep path like squirrels and Nyoda
followed more slowly with Gladys, whose city shoes made it hard
for her to climb.  As they went up she explained how she happened
to be so wet, describing in detail the upsetting of the canoes.
Gladys's eyes opened wide at the tale of Sahwah's pranks.  "How
dreadful," she said with a shudder, and Nyoda sighed inwardly,
for she realized that she had a problem on her hands.

Gladys Evans was not a regular member of the Winnebago Camp Fire.
She did not attend the public high school where the other girls
went, but went to a private girls' school in the East.  Early in
the spring, Mr. Evans, with whom Miss Kent was slightly
acquainted, came to her and offered her group the use of his
camping grounds on Loon Lake in Maine for the summer if they
would take Gladys in and teach her to do the things they did.  He
had become interested in the Winnebago group through a picture of
them in the newspaper, and thought it would be a fine thing for
Gladys.  He and Mrs. Evans were going on an all-summer trip
through Canada with a party of friends, and wanted to put Gladys
where she would have a good time.  He added in confidence that
Gladys had been in the company of grown-ups so much that she felt
altogether too grown up herself, and he wished her to romp a
whole summer in bloomers and forget about styles.

Miss Kent gladly accepted the charge.  Aside from her willingness
to help Gladys, the offer of a camping ground for the summer was
irresistible.  All winter the girls had been trying to find a
place to camp for at least a few weeks the next summer, and had
given a play to raise the money.  They had not thought of going
so far away as Maine, but now that they could have the camp
without paying for it they could use the money for railroad
fares.  Such a shout went up from the Winnebagos when Miss Kent
broke the news that passersby paused to listen.  They sang a
dozen different cheers to Gladys and her father; then they
cheered for the lake and the camp and the good time they were
going to have until they were too hoarse to speak.  Gladys was
then away at school and was to be in New York City with her
parents until the first of July, so Miss Kent and her girls came
up the last week in June to open camp.  Gladys had never seen the
place until that day, for her father had just bought it the
previous winter.  That she did not want to come was evident to
Miss Kent.  She was overdressed and rather supercilious looking,
and was not strong enough to really enjoy the rough and tumble
life of the camp.  Miss Kent realized that some adjusting would
be necessary before Gladys would be transformed into a genuine
Winnebago. "But we'll do it, never fear," she thought brightly,
with the unquenchable optimism that had won for her the name of
"Face Toward the Mountain."



CHAPTER II.

THE COUNCIL FIRE.

Supper, which was eaten on the big rock overhanging the lake, was
made short work of, for tonight was to be held the first Council
Fire.

"What's going to happen?" asked Gladys of Nyoda, watching the
girls scrambling out of their bloomers and middies and into brown
khaki dresses trimmed with leather fringe.

"Ceremonial Meeting," answered Nyoda, slipping on a pair of
beaded moccasins.

"What's that?" asked Gladys.

"You'll see," said Nyoda.  "Follow the girls when I call them."

Nyoda slipped out of her tent and disappeared into the woods.  In
a few minutes a clear call rang out through the stillness:
"Wohelo, Wohelo, come ye all Wohelo."  The girls stepped forward
in a single file, their arms folded in front of them, singing as
they went, "Wohelo, Wohelo, come we all Wohelo."  Gladys followed
at the tail of the procession.

Nyoda stood in the center of a circular space about twenty feet
across among the trees, completely surrounded by high pines.  In
the middle the fire was laid.  The girls took their places in the
circle, and Gladys, now arrayed in bloomers and middy, with her
hair down in two braids and a leather band around her forehead,
sat under a tree and looked on.  Not being a Camp Fire Girl she
could not sit in the Council Circle.  Nyoda made fire with the
bow and drill, and when the leaping flames lit up the circle of
faces the girls sprang to their feet and sang, "Burn, fire,
burn," and then, "Mystic Fire," with its dramatic gestures.
Gladys, sitting in the shadows, looked on curiously at the
fantastically clad figures passing back and forth around the fire
singing,

    "Ghost-dance round the mystic ring,
    Faces in the starlight glow,
    Maids of Wohelo.
    Praises to Wokanda sing,
    While the music soft and low
    Rubbing sticks grind slow.
    Dusky forest now darker grown,
    Broods in silence o'er its own,
    Till the wee spark to a flame has blown,
    And living fire leaps up to greet
    The song of Wohelo."

As they chanted the words the girls acted out with gestures the
dancing ghosts, the brooding forest, the rubbing sticks and  the
leaping fire.  So they proceeded through the strange measures,
ending up in a close circle around the fire, all making the hand
sign of fire together.  Gladys began to be stirred with a desire
to sit in the circle.

When the girls were again seated in their original places and the
roll called, Nyoda rose and read the rules of camp.  No one was
to leave the camp without telling at least one person where she
was going, or the general direction in which she was going, and
the length of time she expected to be gone.  No candy was to be
bought in the village.  No one was to go in swimming except at
the regular swimming time.  Every one pointed a finger at Sahwah
when this was read, for she had been going into the lake at least
a dozen times a day.  No one could go in swimming whose
belongings were not in order at tent inspection time.  A groan
went around the circle at this.

Nyoda dwelt with particular emphasis on the rules governing the
canoes.  No one could go out in a canoe who had not taken the
swimming test.  No one could go out in a canoe unless Sahwah,
Hinpoha or herself were along. Disobedience to these rules would
mean having to stay out of the canoes altogether.  She explained
to the girls the importance of implicit obedience to the one in
charge of a boat, regardless of personal feeling, and how the
captain of a vessel had absolute authority over those on board.
She spoke of the necessity of coolheadedness and courage on the
part of the girl in charge, and ability to control her temper.
She said she knew Sahwah and Hinpoha were well able to have
charge of a canoe and she would never feel uneasy to have the
other girls go out with them.  Hinpoha and Sahwah flushed with
pleasure and mentally resolved to die rather than prove unworthy
of her trust.  Gladys gave a little start when the canoe rules
were read.  She could not swim.  She had been looking forward to
going out in a canoe very shortly.

The rest of the rules dealt with the day's schedule, which was as
follows:

    Rising bugle at seven.
    Morning dip.
    Breakfast.
    Song hour.
    Tent inspection.
    Craft work.
    Folk dancing.
    Swimming.
    Lesson in camp cookery.
    Dinner.
    Rest hour.
    Nature study.
    Two hours spent in any way preferred.
    Supper.
    Evening open for any kind of stunt.
    First bugle, 8:30.
    Lights out, 9:00.

Ceremonial meeting would be held every week on Monday night,
because the girls had so many opportunities to win honors now
that a whole month would be too long to wait.

After the announcements Nyoda awarded the honors.  Medmangi had
taken the swimming test, Nakwisi and Chapa had righted an
overturned canoe, Sahwah had built a reflecting oven and baked
biscuits in it.  All the girls had won some kind of an honor.
Gladys listened wonderingly to the account of the things they had
accomplished--things she did not have the faintest notion of how
to do.

Then came the elevating of Migwan to the rank of Fire Maker.
Proudly she exhibited her fourteen purple beads, indicating the
fulfilment of the fourteen requirements.  Nyoda asked her
questions on the things she had learned, and asked her to explain
to the girls how much better she had gotten along since she
started to keep an itemized account book.  Migwan blushed and
hung her head, for figures were an abomination to her and keeping
accounts a fearful task.  If it had not been for her ambition to
be a Fire Maker she would never have attempted it at all, but
once having learned how she realized their value, and heroically
resolved to keep accurate accounts right along.  When it came to
the subject of bandaging she had to give demonstrations of
triangular and roller bandaging, with Hinpoha as the subject.
Then in a clear, earnest voice she dedicated her "strength, her
ambition, her heart's desire, her joy and her sorrow" to the
keeping up of the flame of love for her fellow creatures.
Satisfied that Migwan was a worthy candidate, Nyoda slipped the
silver bracelet on her arm and proclaimed her a Fire Maker.
Migwan blushed fiery red and hung her head modestly.

"Speech, speech!" shouted the girls.  "Give us a poem, Migwan."

Migwan thought a moment and then recited dramatically:

    "I am a Fire Maker!
    I have completed
    The Fourteen Requirements!
    I have repeated
    The Fire Maker's Desire!
    Now I may light
    The great Council Fire!
    Now I may kindle
    The Wohelo Candles!
    Long months have I labored
    Gathering firewood,
    That I might kindle
    The Fire of Wohelo!
    My arm is encircled
    With a silver bracelet,
    The outward symbol
    Of the Fire I have kindled;
    And those who behold it
    Shall say to each other,
    'Lo, she has labored,
    She has given service,
    She has pursued knowledge,
    She has been trustworthy,
    Fulfilled the requirements,
    She is a Fire Maker!'
    That symbol is sacred,
    A charm against evil,
    Evil thoughts and dark passions,
    Against envy and hatred!
    One step am I nearer
    The goal of my ambition,
    To be a Torch Bearer
    Is now my desire!
    To carry aloft
    The threefold flame,
    The symbol of Work,
    Of Health and of Love,
    The flaming, enveloping
    Symbol of Love
    Triumphant; where might fails
    I conquer by Love!
    Where I have been led
    I now will lead others,
    Undimmed will I pass on
    The light I have kindled;
    The flame in my hand
    Shall mount higher and higher,
    To be a Torch Bearer
    Is now my desire!"

A round of applause followed.  Next the "Count" was called for.
This had also been written by Migwan.  In rippling Hiawatha meter
it told how the Winnebagos had journeyed

    "From their homes in distant Cleveland
    To Loon Lake's inviting waters--"

how they pitched the tents and made the beds, how they named the
tents Alpha and Omega, how eagerly they awaited Gladys's coming,
how Sahwah was placed on the tower to wave at her,

    "And the telescope descending,
    Fell kersplash into the water,"

and all the rest of the doings up to the beginning of Council
Fire.

Nyoda then rose and said that as the Camp Fire was a singing
movement she wished the girls to write as many songs as possible,
and to encourage this had worked out a system of local honors for
songs which could be sung by the Winnebagos.  Any girl writing
the words of a song which was adopted for use would receive a
leather W cut in the form of wings to represent "winged words" or
poetry; the honor for composing the music for a song would be a
winged note cut from leather, and the honor for writing both
words and music would be a combination of the two. These were to
be known as the "Olowan" honors, because "Olowan" was the
Winnebago word for song, and were quite independent of the
National song honors, because a great many songs which could not
be adopted by the National organization would be admirable for
use in the local group on account of their aptness.

Just before they sang the Goodnight Song, Nyoda drew Gladys into
the group and officially invited her to become a Winnebago at the
next Council Fire. Gladys accepted the invitation and the girls
sang a ringing cheer to her because her coming made it possible
for them to have the camp.

To close the Ceremonial Meeting the girls sang "Mammy Moon,"
ending up by lying in a circle around the fire, their heads
pillowed on one another.  The fire was burning very low now and
great shadows from the woods lay across the open space.  Nyoda
stole silently to the edge of the clearing and the girls rose and
filed past her, softly singing "Now our Camp Fire's burning low."
Nyoda held each girl's hand in a warm clasp for a moment as she
passed before her and the girls clung to her lovingly.  The
forest was so big and dark, and they were so far from home, and
Nyoda was so strong and tender!

"Wasn't it wonderful?" whispered Migwan to Sahwah, as they picked
their way back to the tents in the darkness.

"Wasn't it, though!" answered Sahwah, flashing her little bug
light on the path before her.

Gladys's bed was in the Omega tent with Sahwah, Hinpoha and
Migwan.  One end faced the lake and the stars peeked in with
friendly twinkles, while the moon flooded the place with silver
light.  The three girls were out of their Ceremonial costumes and
into their nightgowns in no time, while Gladys fussed around
nervously.

"Aren't we going to have the lantern lit?" she asked.

"What for?" said Sahwah.  "The moon makes it as bright as day."

Gladys took off her middy.  "Where are we going to hang our
clothes?" she asked next.

"Throw them across the foot of your bed," answered Hinpoha, "or
lay them on the stool, or up on the swinging shelf, or hang them
on the floor, the way Sahwah does."  At this Sahwah sat up in bed
and threw her pillow at Hinpoha. Hinpoha sent it back and Sahwah
threw it the second time.  Instead of hitting Hinpoha, however,
it landed in the basin of water in which Gladys was trying to
wash herself, knocking it off the stand and out of the tent door.
Gladys gave an exclamation of impatience.  Sahwah hastened to
apologize. "I'm awfully sorry, Gladys.  But you saw how it was.
I was trying to hit 'Poha and hit you by mistake."  Here the
pent-up laughter of the three girls broke forth, and they shouted
in unison.  Gladys did not laugh.  "I'll get you some more
water," said Sahwah, getting out of bed.  The pail was empty, so
Sahwah went all the way down to the lake for water.  On the way
back she rescued the pillow, which was soaking wet, and stood it
up against the tent pole to dry.

Just then came a loud hail from the other tent.  "Goodnight,
Omegas!"  "Good night, Alphas," they answered, "sleep tight!"
Again came the fourfold voice out of Alpha, "Goodnight, Gladys!"

Gladys was finally ready for bed.  "You aren't going to leave the
sides of the tent rolled up all night, are you?" she asked in a
horrified tone.

"We surely are," said Sahwah, "we always do."

"What if it rains?"

"Plenty of time then to put them down."

Gladys stood irresolute beside the bed.  "We'll put your side
down, if you prefer it," said Migwan good-naturedly, "but it's
really pleasanter with it up.  It seemed rather airy to me at
first, but now I wouldn't have it down for anything."

"Don't trouble yourself," said Gladys.

"Sure, I'll put it down," said Migwan, making a motion to rise,
but just then the second bugle rang out and she subsided.

Gladys got into bed and pulled the blankets over her head.  It
was the first time she had ever slept out of doors.  She felt
very small and lonesome and neglected.  She had not wanted to
come to this camp the least bit.  Other summers she had always
gone to Atlantic City or some other crowded, lively summer resort
with her parents, where she had received considerable attention
from young men, just like the older girls with whom she
associated.  Here, banished to the silent woods, she saw the
summer stretch out endlessly before her, intolerably dull and
uninteresting.  She loved fluffy clothes and despised the
bloomers and middies which the girls wore. She loved dainty table
service and hated to cook.  Up here she would be expected to help
with the meals, and all there was to cook on was an open fire and
a gasoline stove!  What could her father have been thinking of to
want her to join such a club!  These girls were not in her own
class; they went to public school, they were rough and horrid and
threw each other into the water!

Gladys could not go to sleep.  She tossed restlessly, thinking
rebellious thoughts, and shuddering at the night noises in the
woods.  The lapping of the water on the rocks below had a
lonesome sound.  She had not yet learned to hear its soft
crooning lullaby.  The wind rustled in the pine trees with a
ghostly, mysterious sound.  From somewhere in the woods came a
mournful cry that sent the chills up and down her spine.  It was
only a whippoorwill, but Gladys did not know a whippoorwill from
a bluebird.  Then the frogs in a distant pool began their
concert. "Blub!" "Blub!" "Knee-deep!" "Better go round!"
"Knee-deep!" "Better go round!" "Skeel!" "Skeek!" "Skeel!"
"Skeek!" "Blub!" "Glub!" "Chralk!"  Gladys's eyes started out of
her head at the unearthly noises.  Her nerves were just about on
edge from their incessant piping when suddenly a long, eerie
laugh rang out over the water.

"Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!  Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!"

She screamed aloud and sat up in bed.  "What's the matter?" said
Migwan, waking up.

"What was it?  Oh, what was it?" asked Gladys in a voice cold
with terror.

"What was what?" said Migwan.

Just then the sound rang out again.  "That!" said Gladys.

"Why, that's nothing but a loon," answered Migwan.  "Isn't it
lovely!"  And she fell asleep again.

But slumber would not come to Gladys.  The bed sagged in the
middle and she could not get herself adjusted to it.  She was
finally in the act  of dozing off when the bed collapsed with a
jarring crash.  Instantly the whole camp was awake.  Migwan
jumped up and lit the lantern, and Nyoda came running over from
Alpha to see what was the matter.  There was much laughter over
the mishap, but unfortunately Gladys got the idea that Sahwah,
who had giggled uncontrollably from the start, was responsible
for the bed going down.  "You made it fall down," she said to
her, and burst into tears. Sahwah stared at her open mouthed.

"I never touched it," she declared.

Nyoda hastened to smooth things over.  "Nobody made your bed
collapse, dear," she said, putting her arm around Gladys, "it's a
trick camp beds have." Gladys went on crying, however, so Nyoda
sat down on the edge of her bed and talked soothingly to her.
She realized that Gladys felt strange in camp and was probably
homesick in spite of the fact that the girls had received her
with open arms.  So to divert the girl's attention from herself
she pointed out the constellations blazing in the sky and told
some of their stories, and Gladys gradually relaxed and fell
asleep.

When she opened her eyes again it was broad daylight and the sun
was shining into the tent.  She looked around at the others.
Hinpoha was still asleep; Migwan was coaxing a chipmunk up on the
bed with peanuts; Sahwah was noiselessly getting into her bathing
suit.  Seeing that Gladys was awake, both girls waved their arms
in friendly greeting. Talking was not allowed before the first
bugle.  There was a soft scurry of little feet on the floor, and
another chipmunk darted in and paused inquiringly beside Gladys's
bed.  Migwan tossed her some peanuts and Gladys held one out
gingerly to the little creature.  He hopped up boldly and took it
from her fingers, stuffing it into his baggy cheek.  Then his
bright little eyes spied the rest of the peanuts on Gladys's bed,
and quick as a wink he was up after them, his tail whisking right
into her face.  Gladys screamed and wriggled, and he fled for his
life, pausing a short distance from the tent to scold about the
peanuts he had left behind in his flight.

Just then the bugle blew, and with a whoop Sahwah leapt from bed,
while Migwan rose and donned her bathing suit.  "Coming in for a
dip, Gladys?" she asked.

"Is the water cold?" asked Gladys.

"Well, yes," said Migwan honestly.  "It usually is in the morning
before the sun has shone very long on it."  Gladys decided she
would not take a dip. Hinpoha slumbered calmly on.  Sahwah pulled
the pillow from under her head with a quick jerk and plucked the
blankets off.  Hinpoha opened her eyes sleepily.

"Wake up, lazy bones," said Sahwah.  "It's time to dip!"

"Have a heart," mumbled Hinpoha, opening her eyes a little
farther, "the bugle hasn't blown yet!"

"Indeed it has, a whole minute ago!  Hurry up or you'll miss the
dip!" Sahwah prodded Hinpoha energetically. Hinpoha struggled
into her bathing suit and sped down the path to the lake, hot in
pursuit of Sahwah.  Migwan had already gone down.  A minute later
the girls from the other tent ran out, calling a cheery
good-morning to Gladys.  A series of splashes and shrieks
followed, which proclaimed the coldness of the water.  Gladys lay
cozily in bed, watching the chipmunks as they scampered across
the floor of the tent.  Presently another bugle sounded from
somewhere and the girls returned, dripping and rosy, to hustle
into middies and bloomers.

"Aren't you going to get up, Gladys?" asked Migwan.  "That second
bugle means 'get up,' you know."

"Does it?" said Gladys, and rose reluctantly.  It seemed as if
she had just gone to sleep.  She was still combing her hair
before the tiny mirror that hung on the tent pole swinging in the
wind when the breakfast bugle blew. Migwan waited for her
dutifully and escorted her to the "Mess Tent," where the other
girls were already gathered around the table.

"We'll call it the 'Mess Tent' until we can find a prettier name
for it," explained Migwan.  "Sahwah thinks we should call it the
'Grand Gorge.'  Have you anything to suggest?"

"No," replied Gladys, "I haven't."

Nyoda greeted Gladys cordially and asked how she slept, and the
other girls sang her a Kindergarten Good Morning song, making
funny little bows and bobs.  Then they sang the Camp Fire Grace,
"If We Have Earned the Right to Eat This Bread," and set to work
making the fruit and pancakes and cocoa disappear like magic.
Gladys ate nearly as much as the others, although she would have
been very much surprised if you had told her so.  The meal over,
each girl carried her dishes and stacked them in a neat pile on
the table in the tiny kitchen which formed a part of the small
wooden shack which stood on the camp grounds, and dropped her cup
into a pan of water.  This made very light work for the Dishes
Committee, which consisted of two different girls each week.  The
Dishes Committee took care of all three meals a day for the
entire week, as this duty did not require much time, but there
was a different Breakfast, Dinner and Supper Committee, each pair
serving a whole week at their job.  Up until Gladys's arrival
there had been only seven in camp and Nyoda had been working
alone, but now the division was equal. Gladys was assigned to the
supper committee for the rest of the week with Migwan as a
partner, for Nyoda thought it would help her get acquainted
faster to let her work with one of the girls.

As soon as the dishes were washed the girls gathered in the front
part of the shack, where there was an old piano, and sang hymns
and camp songs.  "Let's pick out some hymns to learn by heart,"
suggested Nyoda; "think how lovely they'll sound, sung out on the
lake in canoes."  Nyoda's suggestion found favor with the girls,
and they set immediately to work learning the "Crusaders' Hymn."

"Do you know," said Nyoda from her seat on the piano stool, after
they had sung it through a couple of times, "I believe that the
last verse of that song should be sung first.  The climax seems
be in the first verse, and the rest, beginning with the last,
merely lead up to it.  Try it that way once."

The girls sang it through in the new order and declared they
liked the effect much better, so the change was adopted.  Migwan
and Nyoda sang a strong alto, and Sahwah a clear, though somewhat
uncertain, high tenor, so the little band succeeded in making a
considerable amount of harmony.  A tiny song bird, perched on the
limb of a tall pine tree just before the shack, blended his notes
with theirs and poured out his enjoyment of the universe in a
thrilling flood of song. The girls sang their hymn over and over
again, just to hear him join in, until Nyoda, looking at her
watch, exclaimed, "Ten minutes until tent inspection!"

 The girls scattered to their tents, and began a hasty cleaning
 up.  Gladys had never made a bed before, and had trouble getting
 hers straight and smooth, but Migwan took a hand and showed her
 how to spread the sheets evenly and tuck them in neatly.  Her
 night gown she folded and tucked under the pillow.  "One quarter
 of this swinging shelf belongs to you, Gladys, so you might as
 well put some of your stuff up here," she said when the bed was
 finished, "as well as part of the table and the washstand." She
 moved things around as she spoke, leaving spaces clear for
 Gladys's possessions.  "We aren't supposed to have anything
 hanging over the edge of the shelf, or out of the compartment of
 the table," she explained as she moved about. "Nothing is to be
 left on the bed except one sweater or one folded up blanket, and
 not more than two pairs of shoes under the bed.  Our towels and
 bathing suits are to be hung on the tent flies as
 inconspicuously as possible.  We also clean up our dooryards and
 see that there is no waste paper about."

"What happens if everything isn't in applepie order?" asked
Gladys, mentally remarking that such rules were an unnecessary
nuisance.

"We get marked down in tent inspection, and if our things are
left in very bad order we forfeit our swimming hour for that day.
Besides, we are all working for the Camp Craft honor of doing the
work in a tent for a week, and if the tent isn't properly cared
for it doesn't count toward the honor. More than all that, the
two tents are racing to see which one gets the highest average at
the end of the summer, for Nyoda has offered a banner to the
members of the winning family."

She had hardly finished her explanation when the bugle announced
the imminent approach of Nyoda on her tour of inspection, and the
three girls ran from the tent, pulling Gladys with them.  "What's
the matter?" panted Gladys. "What are we running away for?"

"We never stay in the tent while it's being inspected," explained
Migwan. "Nyoda tells us our standing during Craft hour, and what
the matter was, if there was anything, and the weekly averages
are to be read at Council Fire."

The girls settled down to Craft work in the shack, for they had
chosen that as their workroom, on account of the hinged shelves
around the walls, which were so convenient to spread work out on.
The front wall of the shack, facing the lake, was all windows,
which could be lowered, making the room as cool and airy as could
be desired.

The special work which the girls had just begun was the painting
of their paddles with their symbols.  Gladys, having neither
paddle nor symbol, was at a loss what to do.  "Here, take the
symbol book," said Migwan, "and begin working on your symbol."
Gladys took the book and began idly turning the pages.  Symbolism
was an entirely new thing to her, and she was unable to decide on
any of the queerly shaped things in the little book.

"I can't find a thing that I like," she said to Nyoda when she
joined the girls in the shack.

"Have you decided on a name?" asked Nyoda.  Gladys shook her
head.  "Well, then," said Nyoda, "I would wait with the symbol
until I had chosen a name. And I wouldn't be in too much of a
hurry about it, either.  Take time to look about you and make
your name express something that you like to do better than
anything else, or something that you earnestly aspire to do or
be.  Then choose your symbol in keeping with your name."

"But suppose there shouldn't be a symbol in the book that fitted
the name I chose?" asked Gladys.

"Then we would be put to the painful necessity of finding a brand
new one!" answered Nyoda with a mock tragic air.

Here the others girls flung themselves upon Nyoda and demanded to
be told their standing in tent inspection. "Alpha, 97, Omega,
98," she replied.

The Omegas hugged each other with joy at having received a higher
mark than the Alphas.  "What was wrong with us?" chorused the
disappointed Alphas.

"One bed had not been swept under, one pair of shoes were lying
down instead of standing up, and the wash bowl contained a
spy-glass," answered Nyoda.

Nakwisi blushed at the mention of the spy-glass. "I didn't mean
to leave it there, really and truly I didn't, Nyoda.  I was just
looking over the lake when Chapa wanted me to help her move her
bed and I laid it in the first convenient place and then forgot
to remove it."

"No explanations!" called the girls.  Nakwisi laughed and
subsided.

"Where did we lose our two points, Nyoda?" demanded the Omegas.

"There was a pillow propped against the tent pole and one bed
looked decidedly lumpy," said Nyoda.

"I knew you'd go off and leave that pillow there, Sahwah,"
exclaimed Hinpoha.

"I knew your shoes would show if you tried to hide them in the
bed!" returned Sahwah.

"Murder will out," said Nyoda, laughing, "I was not going to
mention any names!"



CHAPTER III.

INDEPENDENCE DAY.

"Girls!" exclaimed Nyoda one day at the dinner table, "to-morrow
is the Fourth of July.  Shall we have a celebration?"

Sahwah looked at Hinpoha and slowly lowered one eyelid.  "Yes,
yes," cried all the girls in chorus, "let's do!"

"Well, what shall it be?" continued Nyoda, "a flag raising and a
bonfire and some canoe races?"

"Oh, a flag raising by all means," said Migwan, "they always have
one in the Scout camps.  My brother is a Scout and he thinks it's
awful because we don't have more flag exercises."

"Where will we get the flag?" asked Sahwah.

"It's here already," answered Nyoda, "in the bottom of my trunk.
I knew that sooner or later we would want it so I brought it
along."

"Who will do the raising?" asked Hinpoha.

"Why, Nyoda, of course," said Migwan, "who else?"

"And I move," said Nyoda, "that Migwan write a poem suitable to
the occasion and deliver same."

"Yes, yes," cried all the girls, "a poem from Migwan."  Migwan
demurred at first, but finally promised, just as she always did.

"Wait a minute," said Sahwah suddenly, "where are we going to get
the pole to raise the flag on?"  All the girls looked blank for a
moment.

"We'll run it up on the diving tower," said Nyoda promptly.  "We
can find a small dry tree in the woods and strip the branches off
and fasten it to the top of the tower and run the flag up on it.
There, that's settled.  Now, what kind of water sports shall we
have?"

Sahwah and Hinpoha exchanged glances, and Sahwah wriggled in her
chair. "Wouldn't you like a committee to arrange that?" she
asked, trying to make her voice sound natural and disinterested.

"Why, yes, that would be a good idea," said Nyoda, "and I appoint
you and Hinpoha as the committee to do the arranging.   I am very
glad you suggested that, for it leaves me free to go to the
village this afternoon.  Now, do we need any more committees?"

"There ought to be one on seating arrangements," said Sahwah.

"On what?" asked Nyoda.

"Seating arrangements," repeated Sahwah. "Where to place our
guests."

"May I ask who our guests are going to be?" said Nyoda.

"I don't know yet, myself," said Sahwah calmly.  "But we ought to
have some. It would be sort of flat to have a celebration just
for ourselves.  We'll all have to be in it and there won't be any
audience.  How would you feel like giving a show for nobody's
benefit?  So I thought we'd do it this way.. We'd have a
committee on seating arrangements, and they would have to furnish
the audience as well as the seats.  Isn't that a good idea?"

"It's an original one, anyway," said Nyoda, somewhat
breathlessly.  "However, I think you are quite right.  If there
is an audience to be had, by all means let us have one.  But I
give you fair warning, it may not be the easiest thing to pick up
an audience in the Maine woods."

"There are other campers around the lake," replied Sahwah, "and
there are the people in the village.  We could bring them here in
the boats."

"They might have plans of their own, though," said Nyoda, "so we
mustn't count too much on having them come to visit us.  By the
way, Sahwah, whom would you suggest for a seating-arrangements
committee?"

"Oh, you would be the best one for that, Nyoda," answered Sahwah.

Nyoda bowed, laughing.  "I accept the position of Audience
Furnisher," she said, formally.  "Now, every man to his task!
Gladys, would you like to come to the village with me this
afternoon?"

Sahwah and Hinpoha also went to the village, but they waited
until Nyoda was well out of sight, then they paddled across the
lake with strong swift strokes that sent the canoe fairly flying
through the water.

"I thought Nyoda would want some kind of a celebration," said
Sahwah, "so it's a good thing we have our plans made, although we
did want them to be a complete surprise."  Instead of getting out
at the regular landing they paddled around the village and up the
mouth of a small creek, where they beached the canoe and crept
stealthily toward the store.  After peeking through the window
and satisfying themselves that Nyoda was not within Sahwah
entered, while Hinpoha kept watch in the doorway.  "Did you get
everything?" asked Hinpoha, as Sahwah emerged with her arms full
of bundles.

Sahwah nodded.  "But it took every yard of bunting they had."
They hastened back to camp and preparations for the next day's
celebration were soon under way.

When Nyoda returned at supper time she was immediately surrounded
by an eager group clamoring to know who was going to be the
audience.  Nyoda shook her head sadly.  "There ain't no such
animal," she replied tragically.  "We stopped everybody we met on
the street in the village--we only met five people--and, invited
them; we invited the storekeeper and the man who rents the boats;
but none of them could come.  Then we went around to the houses
to see if we could find some women and girls, but with the same
result.  It seems that some local magnate is giving a barbecue
out at his farm to-morrow and the whole town is invited."

"But the other campers," said Sahwah hopefully.

Again Nyoda shook her head.  "We took the launch and ran in at
every landing for several miles around.  There aren't so many
campers up here yet as you might think.  A great many of the
cottages were closed.  The few people we did talk to had their
plans already made.  Don't look so disappointed, Sahwah.  If we
were out in the middle of the desert or shipwrecked on a lonely
island there wouldn't be any possibility of an audience, and yet
we would be having a celebration for our own benefit just the
same."

"Of course we would," said Migwan stoutly, "and to tell the
truth, it would never have occurred to me to ask any one else to
our celebration to-morrow. I think it's lovely to have it just by
ourselves."

"I tell you what we'll do," said Hinpoha with a burst of
inspiration, "we'll take turns being the audience.  The seating
committee can usher us to our seats between our own performances
and we can pretend that we don't know what is coming."

"You forget that I, for one, don't know what is coming," said
Nyoda, "and will be a very appreciative spectator indeed.  Behold
me, ladies, at your service, the Audience!"  And Nyoda swept them
a low curtsey, whereupon they fell on her neck with one accord.

Sahwah woke with the dawn the next morning and craned her neck to
look at the weather.  To her great disappointment the lake was
covered with a heavy mist and there was no sign of the sun.  The
woods looked dark and gloomy. "Rain!" she exclaimed tragically,
and buried her head in the blankets.  The clouds were still thick
at breakfast time, although no actual rain had fallen.

The flag raising took place right after breakfast, with due
ceremony.  Up went the Stars and Stripes, without a pause, and
just as it reached the top of the pole and yielded its folds to
the breeze the sun broke through the clouds and bathed it in a
golden glory.  The girls cheered and burst into a lusty rendition
of the "Star Spangled Banner," after which Migwan's patriotic
poem was recited amid much applause.

Then began the water sports, which opened with canoe races.  The
four who were not in this took their seats on the shore, being
placed by Nyoda with great formality, and passed Nakwisi's
spy-glass from hand to hand.  Hinpoha and Nakwisi, and Sahwah and
Migwan were partners in the races.  First they raced for
distance, paddling around the nearest island and coming back to
the dock.  Hinpoha and Nakwisi came out ahead, because Migwan,
who was paddling stem in her canoe, lost time steering around the
island.  Then came an obstacle race, in which the girls paddled
up to the dock, disembarked, dragged the canoes across the dock
and launched them again on the other side.  Again Hinpoha and
Nakwisi won.

Then came a race between the two crews with the paddlers standing
on the gunwales, which tested the skill of the girls to the
uttermost.  With superhuman effort they kept their balance and
came sweeping in neck and neck, the watchers on shore cheering
lustily.  "Go it, Hinpoha!" shouted Nyoda, and Hinpoha raised her
head to look at her, lost her balance, and upset the canoe,
leaving Sahwah and Migwan the victors.

The spectators applauded heartily, and sang cheers for the
winners, when suddenly the applause was echoed from behind them.
Nyoda wheeled swiftly around and faced two gentlemen standing at
the foot of the path leading to the dock. As she turned they came
forward, hats in hand.  The elder man spoke: "I am Professor
Bentley, of Harvard University, and this is Professor Wheeler."
Nyoda graciously acknowledged the introductions.  "We have been
staying at the other end of the lake," resumed the stranger, "and
intended to return home to-day, but missed the steamer.  We were
told that a steamer passed Wharton's Landing at noon, so we
walked over for it.  Can you tell us which is Wharton's Landing?"

"That is Wharton's Landing directly opposite," replied Nyoda,
"but the steamer has already gone past.  There is a different
schedule on holidays. However, it passes again at six this
evening.  Won't you be our guests until then?  We can take you
across in the launch."  The strangers accepted the invitation and
Nyoda introduced the other girls.

Professor Wheeler looked long and hard at Hinpoha.  He seemed
unable to take his eyes from her hair.

"And now," said Professor Bentley, when they were all comfortably
seated upon the rocks, "would you mind telling me what you are
and what you were doing when we came up?"

"We are Camp Fire Girls," they cried in chorus, "and we're
celebrating the Fourth of July!"

"So you're Camp Fire Girls, are you?" answered Professor Bentley.
"That is a Species of the Female that I am greatly interested in.
How fortunate that I should have come upon them in their native
wilds!  Is this where you hibernate?--excuse me, I mean
sunburnate!"  He wanted to ask a great many questions about the
girls, but Professor Wheeler was anxious for the water sports to
continue.

"The Audience!" exclaimed Sahwah in a rapturous aside to Hinpoha,
"it fell right kerplunk off the knees of the gods!"

Sahwah, who was by far the best diver in camp, now performed a
series of spectacular dives, which she had been practising early
and late, including forward, backward, somersault, angel, sailor,
box-to-springboard, and springboard from the top of the tower.
Then she produced a hoop, which she made Hinpoha hold while she
dove through it, forward and backward, from the high springboard.
She ended her number with what she called the "Wohelo Dive," in
which she jumped from the dock to the low springboard, landing in
a sitting position, bounced up three times for Work, Health and
Love, and then turned a somersault into the water.

"Whew!" whistled Professor Bentley, "what a diver!  She's a
regular Annette Kellerman!"  This was repeated to Sahwah later,
to her great gratification.

After the diving was over the girls did a stunt which called for
a great deal of endurance.  It was invented by Sahwah and called
a "Submarine Race." Sahwah, Hinpoha and Nakwisi, the three girls
who could swim under water, each tied a toy balloon around her
neck, and jumping from the dock on signal, swam beneath the
surface to see who could reach the shore without coming up for
air.  The balloons of course stayed in the air and indicated the
progress of the swimmers.  This stunt amused both the visitors
highly, and they grew quite excited over which one was going to
stay down the longest.  "I bet on the red balloon," said
Professor Bentley, who knew that Sahwah was attached to it.

"The green one for mine," answered Professor Wheeler, who was
keeping his eye on Hinpoha.

"It was the weirdest thing," said Migwan afterward, "to see those
balloons go darting and wobbling back and forth!"

"And the weirdest feeling when you were attached to them," said
Sahwah,  "I felt like the keel of a boat when the sails are full
of wind."

The second part of the program was a series of tableaux showing
events of American history.  The first represented Washington
Crossing the Delaware. The sponson, a flat-bottomed canoe with
air tanks in the sides, came into view around the cliff propelled
by one paddler in the stern.  In the bottom sat two devoted
patriots carrying hatchets.  The great George stood in the bow,
in defiance of all canoe laws, with one foot up on the bow point,
his hand on his sword, his eyes on the distant shore.  His hair
had turned bright red and he had taken on considerable flesh
since his friends had seen him last, but there was no mistaking
the military attitude.  In the water around the sponson floated a
number of water wings, tied to the boat, to represent floating
ice cakes.  The audience applauded vigorously as the skiff drew
near.  At the psychological moment, when Nyoda had her camera
focused for a snap a huge mosquito settled on George's extended
calf.  He uttered a sudden yell, brought his hand down on his leg
and pitched headfirst into the water.  The patriots rescued him
and set him on the dock, and Professor Wheeler, who had sprung
from his seat and looked as if he were going to the rescue
himself, sat down again amid the general laughter.

"What next?" he murmured, chuckling extravagantly.

The next was an episode entitled "The Pirates of Tripoli."
Chapa, Medmangi and Nakwisi came swaggering out on the dock
dressed as pirates, with turbans and sashes and fearful knives
stuck in their belts, singing, "Fifteen men on a dead man's
chest!"  Striking piratical attitudes on the end of the dock they
sang the Pirate song from "Peter Pan," making savage gestures and
pointing downward dramatically at the line,

    "We're sure to meet below!"

Chorus over, the captain bold set his men to swabbing decks,
etc., and ordered the watch up aloft on the tower to plant the
flag with the skull and crossbones and keep the lookout.  Boldly
he paced up and down on top of the tower, sweeping the seas with
his spy-glass.  Suddenly he paused and uttered a shout.  The
pirates crowded to the edge of the dock.  Looking in the
direction he pointed they beheld two sailors approaching in a
small open boat.  Seeing the pirates, the sailors were overcome
with terror and tried to avoid passing the dock, but the ruthless
cut-throats flung out a rope and lassoed them.  Pulling them up
on the dock, they blindfolded them and tied their hands behind
them.  Then, in spite of pitiful shrieks for mercy, the pirate
captain ordered the poor sailors up the ladder to the top of the
tower and made them walk the plank off the high springboard,
still blindfolded.  It was so thrilling the audience squealed
with excitement.

As Sahwah jumped she flung out her arms in a despairing gesture,
and wobbled beautifully all the way down through the air.  It was
Migwan, though, who created the most merriment.  The two sailors
were dressed very correctly in white duck trousers, middies and
sailor caps.  The trousers were part of the outfit that Sahwah
had purchased in the village the day before, and the pair that
fell to Migwan were much too big for her.  When it came her turn
to walk the plank she remembered Sahwah's parting injunction to
"hang on to 'em, whatever you do," and in a sudden panic lest she
should fall out of them in her flight through the air, she
grabbed them firmly by both sides of the belt, and jumped in that
position. The watchers on the beach were convulsed and struggled
for some minutes to regain their composure.

The last tableau brought tears to Nyoda's eyes--tears of joy and
pride. Around the cliff came a gay craft, moving slowly and
majestically through the water, but there was no sign of a
paddle.  As it drew nearer the watchers saw that it was a canoe,
its sides covered with red, white and blue bunting.  Before it
swam Sahwah and Medmangi.  Inside, on a flag-covered seat, sat
Hinpoha, dressed as Columbia, with a crown on her head, her
glorious hair rippling down to her waist and shining like copper
in the sunlight.  In one hand she carried a torch, in the other
she held two white streamers.  These streamers were fastened to
Sahwah's and Medmangi's waists, who drew the canoe as they swam.
The spectators drew a long breath and exclaimed with delight.
Professor Wheeler sprang to his feet, camera in hand, and snapped
the "Ship of State" at least a dozen times.  "Glory! What a head
of hair!" he muttered to himself.

The cortege approached the dock and those on shore thrilled with
a fearful realism as the swimmers reared up their heads and blew
jets of water out through their mouths and noses just like sea
horses.  As the boat passed the dock the watchers with one accord
stood and sang "America," and kept on singing until it had
vanished from sight around the next cliff.

"Great!" cried Professor Bentley, applauding until he was red in
the face, "great!"

When the three girls came out on the beach after having changed
their fancy costumes they were met with another round of
applause.  "That little pageant of yours," said Professor
Bentley, "was about the neatest thing I have ever seen.  Was it
an original idea?"

The girls proudly replied that it was.  "And not only original,"
added Nyoda, "but executed entirely without my help.  The whole
program was a surprise to me."

"You don't say so," said Professor Bentley.  "Well, all I can say
is you are a pretty clever lot of girls!"

Chapa had been busy for the last few minutes gathering driftwood
and getting a fire started.  The girls had decided to cook dinner
down on the beach in order to show the visitors their skill in
cooking in the most primitive way. A big kettle of clams was hung
over a fire all its own, while another fire was kindled between
two long logs, and the pots and pans set along on it in a row.
Migwan tended the clams, Sahwah put on a kettle of potatoes and
then began making toast, Nakwisi made cocoa, Medmangi fried
bacon, and Hinpoha flew about concocting a delicious compound
which was her own invention and with which no one dared to
meddle.  The two men watched with interest every move of the
girls as they went about preparing dinner.

"Look at that!" said Professor Bentley to his friend. "That"
happened to be Hinpoha, who was momentarily left alone with the
fire.  The cocoa kettle started to sag as the wood burned away
and at the same time the mixture in the other kettle began to
boil over.  Bracing the cocoa kettle with one foot, she snatched
the other kettle from the fire, and stood there on one foot
holding the steaming pot.  Professor Wheeler sprang to her
assistance and propped up the cocoa kettle.

Dinner was the merriest meal imaginable, and "food just faded
away," as Sahwah declared.  Hinpoha won much praise for her
concoction, which she called "Slumgullion."  It was a sort of
glorified tomato soup, made with a thick white sauce, containing
chopped-up pimentoes and hard-boiled eggs, the mixture being
served over toast.  The clams of course were the main dainty, and
when dipped in butter slid down with amazing rapidity.  After
dinner the girls threw themselves down in the sand in various
attitudes of relaxation, while Professor Wheeler, his eyes
straying again and again toward Hinpoha, told stories of camping
in the Canadian Rockies.

When he had finished the girls rose and stretched themselves, and
then began to clamor for "more celebration."  Nyoda suggested a
fire-building contest. Each girl was to have three minutes in
which to collect material and get a fire started.  No paper was
allowed and only three matches.  What a scramble there was to
find small dry twigs!  There was a smart breeze blowing, and most
of the matches went out as soon as lighted, putting their owners
out of the contest.  Sahwah was wise and piled her twigs where a
huge stump sheltered them from the wind; Hinpoha sat between hers
and the wind.  Even then it was difficult to get the twigs to
burn.  It seemed as if they were in league against the contestants
and firmly refused to light.

"Two and a half minutes," called Nyoda warningly, her watch in
her hand.

"Mine's burning," shouted Hinpoha, jumping up as the flames began
to curl up from the twigs.  Just then a gust of wind came up, and
pouf! out went the fire.

"Time's up!" called Nyoda, and Sahwah rose from her knees,
disclosing a neat little blaze.  She had wisely sheltered her
fire until the last second, giving it a chance to kindle well.

Now it was the custom of the Winnebagos to have a folk story told
by one of their number right after supper, but as the visitors
would have to leave early Nyoda asked if the girls wouldn't like
to tell the folk story before supper.  They agreed, as usual, to
anything that would give pleasure to a guest.  It was Migwan's
turn to tell the story, so seating herself on a rock in the midst
of the group, she related the story of Aliquipiso, the heroic
Oneida maiden.

"Once upon a time the savage Mingoes made war upon the Oneidas,
so the Oneidas were obliged to flee from their pleasant village
and seek refuge in the depths of the forest.  So well did they
hide their traces that the Mingoes were not able to find their
hiding place and they remained safe. Their food supply, however,
began to be exhausted, for they were hemmed in by the Mingoes and
could not break through the lines.  They were facing destruction
in two ways; either by slow starvation should they remain in
hiding, or a cruel death at the hands of the Mingoes should they
venture out.  The chiefs and warriors of the Oneidas held a
council, but none had a plan to offer which would effect their
salvation.  Then the maiden Aliquipiso stepped forward.  With
becoming modesty she addressed the chiefs and warriors, saying
that the Great Manitou had sent her a dream in which he showed
her how great boulders could be dashed on the heads of the
Mingoes if they could be lured to a spot directly beneath the
bluff on which the Oneidas were hiding.  She went on to say that
the Great Manitou had inspired her with the desire to be the
means of luring the Mingoes to their destruction, and she was
ready to start out on her mission.

"The Oneida braves hailed her as the saviour of her people and
the Beloved of the Great Spirit, and hung strings of wampum
around her neck.  Bidding her people farewell, she left the
hiding place and was found by the Mingoes wandering in the
forest, apparently a lost maiden of the Oneida tribe.  They took
her to their camp and put her to torture trying to make her tell
where her people were hidden.  At last she broke down and
promised that when night fell she would lead the Mingoes to the
hiding place of the Oneidas.

"Under cover of the darkness she led them to the gully at the
foot of the ravine.  On each side of her was a Mingo warrior,
ready to strike her dead at the first cry for help.  When she
reached the spot where she knew the Oneidas were waiting to hurl
immense boulders down over the cliff she uttered a piercing
scream--the signal agreed upon.  The warrior next to her had just
time to strike her dead with his club when the boulders came
down, crushing him and all the Mingoes like worms beneath a
giant's heel.  Thus the Oneidas owed their deliverance to the
bravery of a maiden."

"It must be fine to be a heroine," sighed Sahwah, when the
applause was finished, "to save a person's life or something.  I
wish I had lived in the early days of the country.  Nothing ever
happens now."

Unsuspecting Sahwah!  Little did she dream what was hidden under
the wings of the Thunder Moon!

The guests rose to depart, after inspecting the tents and
partaking of sandwiches and cocoa out on the Sunset Rock.  Nyoda
took them across the lake in the _Sunbeam_, the little launch
that belonged to camp.  Both gentlemen expressed their unbounded
admiration for the physical prowess of the Winnebago girls and
remarked on their splendid ability to pull together.

Professor Wheeler raved about Hinpoha's hair.  "Let me come and
paint her," he pleaded.  "Sitting out on the rocks--with the sun
on that hair--O, what a picture!"

Gently but firmly, Nyoda refused permission.  "The girls have
come up here for a summer all by themselves; to learn the joys of
camping out and of doing things together.  Such an interruption
would break up the unity of their activities and lessen the
influence of camp."

Professor Wheeler begged and entreated, but in vain; Nyoda stood
her ground. The most she would promise to do was to send him
Hinpoha's address at the close of camp so that he might take the
matter up with her parents.

Nyoda returned home very thoughtful.  Hinpoha's dawning beauty
was causing her many thoughtful moments of late.  Not that
Hinpoha was in the least vain or self-conscious; on the contrary,
she was the jolliest and most natural girl in the group, and the
least fastidious.  That same red hair which Professor Wheeler
raved over was the bane of her existence, and she had more than
once threatened to cut it off when the curls became hopelessly
snarled. Her chief aim in life was to have as much fun as
possible and to get as many others mixed up in it as she could.
Hinpoha, haughty and proud because of her good looks, was a
picture that the imagination balked at.  Yet Nyoda could not help
noticing that wherever the group went Hinpoha attracted by far
the most attention from outsiders.  All the way down from
Cleveland on the train Nyoda had watched men who had scarcely
taken their eyes from Hinpoha.  The guardian sighed as she
reflected on the problem, for she knew how difficult it would be
for Hinpoha to live out the happy normal girl life which was her
birthright.

When Nyoda reached camp Hinpoha and Sahwah were lying on their
stomachs on the dock, rigging up a light-boat to be sent over the
lake.  It consisted of a flat board for a keel and voluminous
sails dipped in turpentine.  As Nyoda landed they set a match to
the sails and shoved the boat out into the wind. It made a grand
glare as it glided out over the lake and the girls cheered until
the last spark had fallen hissing into the water.

"Wasn't it a grand success all the way through?" sighed Sahwah
happily as they climbed the path to the tents at the sound of the
first bugle.  "First we thought it was going to rain and then the
sun shone; and first we thought we weren't going to have any
audience and then we did anyway, and the dinner didn't burn and
everything was lovely!"

The day had been pretty strenuous for most of the girls and it
was not long before Nepahwin, the Spirit of Sleep, claimed them
for his own.  Then it was that the Dream Manitou, hovering over
the Omega tent, fluttered down on Sahwah's pillow.  In fancy she
roamed through the virgin forest, before the white man had come
to destroy the Indian lodges.  She was the daughter of a
Chieftain, the acknowledged leader of the other maidens.  Now
there was a young brave belonging to a neighboring tribe with
whom she was in love, but there was enmity between her tribe and
his, and he dared not ask for her hand.  So they were in the
habit of meeting secretly in the forest.  One day when they were
together they became aware of footsteps approaching, and peering
through the bushes saw a number of braves belonging to the young
man's tribe close upon them.  So great was their hatred of her
father that for them to find her would mean instant death.

"Fly!  fly!" whispered her lover, "fly to the edge of the cliff
and jump for your life.  My canoe is at the foot of the
cliff--take it and escape while I divert the attention of these
braves!"

Like an arrow from the bow she set out. Reaching the edge of the
cliff, she poised for an instant, then leaped into the lake
twenty feet below.  As she struck the water Sahwah woke up.  All
about her was darkness and seeming chaos.  There was a swirling
about her ears and her limbs seemed detached from her body.  She
seemed to be rising rapidly.  Suddenly her head shot clear of the
enveloping gloom and she saw the moon and stars overhead.  Just
above her reared a black framework.  Mechanically she flung out
her hand and grasped solid wood.  The next moment a voice rang
out above her head. "Sahwah! What are you doing?"  Then a hand
came over the edge of the dock and pulled her up.  It was Nyoda.
Sahwah blinked at her stupidly.

"Whatever possessed you to jump off the tower?" persisted Nyoda.

"He told me to jump and I did," said Sahwah, still in a daze.
Then suddenly her eyes fell on her nightdress, dripping at every
fold.  "Where am I?" she said sharply, her teeth beginning to
chatter.  "Why, _Nyoda!_"

Nyoda laughed.  "You dreamed it, dear," she said.  "You jumped
off the tower in your sleep.  Come up to bed now before you take
cold."  Putting her arm around the shivering girl, she led her up
the path to the tent and tucked her in between dry blankets.
"Too much celebration," she reflected, and then added to herself,
"It's a good thing I happened to see her."

Nyoda had wakened in the night and lay looking out through the
tent door at the lake bathed in moonlight.  The diving tower was
right in her line of vision, solitary and black against the
moonlight.  Suddenly she became aware of a figure climbing up the
ladder to the top.  She sat up in bed and rubbed her eyes and
recognized Sahwah.  The girl poised for an instant on the edge
and then jumped into the water.  Nyoda sped down the path and
reached the dock just as Sahwah came up.

"And up until now," thought Nyoda, as she dropped off to sleep
again, "I did think they were safe in their beds!"



CHAPTER IV.

IN SEARCH OF ADVENTURE.

At the close of singing hour one morning the week following the
Fourth-of-July celebration Nyoda rose with an air of mystery and
requested the girls not to make up their beds as usual, but
instead to roll their blankets in their ponchos and pile them up
together.  A shriek of joy went up from the girls.  "What is it,
Nyoda, a canoe trip?"

Nyoda shook her head.  "You'll see," was all she would say.
Immediately she was surrounded by the girls clamoring to be told
where they were going.  "I surrender," she said, laughing at
Migwan, who was embracing her feet in supplication, "we're going
hunting."

"Hunting what?" clamored the chorus.

"Oh, adventures and such things," said Nyoda in an off-hand
manner.

"Where are we going?"  "How are we going?"  "When are we going to
start?" shouted the girls from all sides.

Nyoda put her hands over her ears and tapped for silence with her
foot.  "One at a time, please, ladies, and I will endeavor to
answer any questions that may come into your minds," she said in
her best lecture-room manner.

"Oh, Nyoda, tell us," begged the girls.

"Having your kind permission to speak," resumed Nyoda, "I will
try to state the case briefly.  Now then, one, two, three!  We're
going to Balsam Lake!"

"It's a hike!" shouted Sahwah, turning a handspring.

"Is it, Nyoda?" asked Migwan.

Nyoda nodded.  "That's it.  We're going to hike through the woods
to Balsam Lake, which is a distance of about twelve miles, camp
there for the night, and return to-morrow by another route."

"O Goody!" cried Sahwah, hopping up and down on one foot, "when
are we going to start?"

"The first two will start at ten o'clock," said Nyoda.

"The first two!" echoed the girls.  "Aren't we all going
together?"

Then Nyoda outlined her plan.  Believing that the girls would
collect more adventures by going in pairs instead of all
together, besides the fun of following a trail marked out by
leaders, she had arranged the girls two by two.  The first pair,
who would be the pathfinders and blaze the trail for those coming
after, would leave at ten o'clock, the next pair twenty minutes
later, then the next, and so on.  Their ponchos would be brought
in a wagon over the main road and left for them; they would buy
their supplies for supper and breakfast at the last village they
passed through.  Their lunches, they would carry with them.  The
first two were to buy potatoes and start the fire and put them
in, while the rest would bring the other supplies.

"Who and who are going to be partners?" demanded Sahwah.

"Listen, while I read the list," answered Nyoda.  "Sahwah and
Nakwisi, Hinpoha and Migwan, Gladys and Chapa, Medmangi and
myself.  You will leave camp in the order I have named you.
Sahwah and Nakwisi will be the pathfinders." Sahwah seized
Nakwisi around the waist and the two danced for joy.

"Who'll take care of the camp while we're away?" asked Chapa.

"I have arranged with a man from the village to look after things
until we get back," answered Nyoda.

"What are we to carry with us?" asked Migwan.

"You will each carry a hatchet, flashlight, notebook and pencil,
a camera, a roll of antiseptic gauze and a roll of surgeon's
plaster.  Sahwah and Nakwisi, here is a chart of the road you are
to take and a can of vermilion paint with which to mark the
trail.  Take all the pictures you can along the road, girls, and
keep a list of the birds, animals, trees and flowers that you
recognize.  We will compare them afterward and the pair who has
observed the most will receive a local honor.  Hurry up, you
pathfinders, you have only an hour to get ready!"

With a wild scramble the girls made for their tents to get their
ponchos rolled and things collected.  Nyoda had given them a
demonstration of poncho rolling the week before so they all knew
how.  Gladys, however, had to have a good deal of help from Chapa
before she was ready to start.  Good-natured Chapa folded her
blankets so the poncho extended on all sides and spread her
nightgown, towel, brush and comb and toothbrush crosswise so they
would roll.  Now Gladys understood why Nyoda had told her
especially to bring a small, loosely-stuffed pillow.  It was to
roll in the poncho.  When it came to the actual rolling Gladys
had to take a hand herself, for it takes two to roll a poncho
successfully.

"Now you tie it up with a square knot," directed Chapa, when the
stovepipe-like roll had been bent into a horseshoe.

"What's a square knot?" asked Gladys.

"Why, this kind," said Chapa, dexterously tying one.  Gladys
tried several times, but failed to produce a square knot.  "O
dear," she exclaimed impatiently, "I can't tie the crazy thing.
Why won't the other kind do?"

"A granny knot always comes untied," explained Chapa. "Here, I'll
tie your poncho up. It's getting late, and I want to help make
the sandwiches for the girls who are starting first."

"Close your tents before you leave, girls," said Nyoda, appearing
in the doorway, "it may rain while we are away.  Very neatly
done," she said, indicating Gladys's poncho with its smooth ties,
"you are fast learning to be a camper."  Gladys said nothing
about Chapa's having done it up for her, and of course Chapa
would not say so.

Promptly at ten o'clock the pathfinders marched away, looking
quite explorerfied with their hatchets hanging from their belts
and their Wohelo knives chained to their bloomer pockets.  At
twenty-minute intervals the other pairs started, Nyoda going the
rounds before she left to see who had left her things in the
neatest order, and whose poncho looked the best.  A banner would
go to the pair who kept up the best style throughout the hike.
She and Medmangi ate their lunch before starting, as they left so
near noon.

Leaving camp in the care of the man from the village, they struck
into the path through the woods.  The whole earth seemed filled
with the scent of flowers and the invigorating odor of the pines.
Here in Maine the wild strawberries were in full prime early in
July, and the path was bordered with daisies and other bright
flowers.  The two swung along in silence with an enjoyment too
deep for words, for they appreciated as only Camp Fire Girls can
the beauties and, wonders of nature.  Back somewhere in the world
they had left behind dull care might be beating its incessant
tom-tom, and the air was full of wars and rumors of wars, but
here every harsh note was drowned in the singing of birds.
"Isn't it glorious?" said Nyoda fervently, drinking in a long
breath of the pine-scented air, and swelling out her already
well-developed chest.

Presently the path they were on was crossed by another and at the
intersection there was a splash of bright red paint on a tree.
"A blaze!" cried Nyoda, stopping short.  "Which path did they
take, I wonder?"  In the road at the foot of the blazed tree lay
a small heap of stones pointing in the direction taken by the
leaders.  "What's this?" asked Nyoda, picking up a small box from
beside the stones.  It was marked "For Nyoda."  She lifted the
lid and out hopped a tiny live frog.  In the bottom of the box
was a piece of paper on which was drawn a sunfish.

So they went on for nearly half an hour, following the red
blazes, when suddenly they came upon Chapa and Gladys sitting in
the road.  Gladys had a blister on her heel.  Nyoda bandaged it
for her and showed her how to put a piece of adhesive on the
other heel to keep it from blistering.  The rule of the road was
that if one pair caught up with another they were to sit down and
give them a ten minutes' start.  So Nyoda and Medmangi sat down
and waited until Gladys and Chapa were well under way.

The next blaze they struck was truly startling.  It was a little
silver birch tree with the stem painted entirely red.  Nailed to
it with a big rusty nail was a piece of cardboard.  At the top
was written:

    "Sahwah and the Starlore Maiden
    Keep ahead though heavy laden."

Then followed a many-pointed symbol and the words, "See our
combination symbol? It's a starfish!" Underneath was a couplet in
a different writing.

    "Here come Migwan and Hinpoha
    Two and two like the beasts of Noah."

Underneath that was a verse signed by "The Chipmunk."

    "Gladys's heel is full of plaster,
    Or else we would travel faster."

Nyoda and Medmangi shouted and took the card along for a
souvenir, adding the lines,

    "Here Nyoda and Medmangi
    Read the blaze and held a tangi."

A little farther on they discovered the legend:

    "Here we sit down in the road,
    For Sahwah's stocking must be sewed."

"What's the matter, Grumpy?" said Migwan to Hinpoha, who had been
stewing around to herself for the last ten minutes.

"It's this old orange I brought along for lunch," burst out
Hinpoha.  "I don't know what to do with it.  If I put it in my
bloomers it bangs against my leg, and if I carry it in my bag it
bangs against my stomach, and if I carry it in my hand I drop it
every other minute.  It's driving me crazy."

"Why don't you eat it?" asked Migwan simply.

"Why, I never thought of that!" exclaimed Hinpoha, and soon had
the offending orange safely disposed of.

Lunch time found Sahwah and Nakwisi close to a farm house and
they went in to ask for a drink of water.  The farmer's wife
looked curiously at the two girls in bloomers carrying a can of
red paint.  Sahwah introduced Nakwisi and herself and explained
what they were doing.  "Land sakes alive!" exclaimed the farmer's
wife, "what girls don't do nowadays!  Livin' like Indians and
walkin' their legs off just for the fun of it!  Come right in and
I'll see if I can't find something better than water to give
you."  She bustled out into the summer kitchen and returned with
a pitcher of milk and two glasses.  "Here, drink this along with
your sandwiches, and try a dish of berries."  Sahwah and Nakwisi
needed no second invitation.  Their sandwiches had been pretty
well baked in the sun for the last two hours and were as dry as
straw, so the milk and berries were decidedly refreshing.

"How restful it is here," sighed Sahwah luxuriously, leaning back
in the cushioned rocking chair.  "Can't you stay a spell, girls,
and rest up?" said their hostess cordially.

"We have half an hour for our noonday rest," said Sahwah, "and
I'd like to take it right in this chair, if you don't mind."  She
slipped off her shoes and stretched her feet to rest them,
closing her eyes meanwhile, and Nakwisi followed suit.

When they finally rose to go the farmer's wife brought out a
plate of cookies which she urged them to take along to eat on the
road.  She stood looking after them for a long time as they
trudged along in the yellow dust.  "I wish I could go along with
'em, over the hills," she exclaimed suddenly to the unheeding
hens that were walking up and down the steps, "I'm tired of
staying at home and doing the same things over and over again.  I
wish I could go along too!"

Chapa and Gladys, following the blazes through the woods, found
their path barred at one place by a rather wide brook. The trail
was marked again on the other side.  "How are we going to get
across?" asked Gladys.

"Wade through," said Chapa, briefly, sitting down and commencing
to pull off her shoes and stockings.

Gladys put her hand into the water and shook her head.  "It's too
cold," she said, drawing back.

"No, it isn't," said Chapa, "the rest went through it.  Come on,
you'll be all right."  Stuffing her stockings into her shoes, she
threw them to the farther bank, and then stepping into the swift
little stream she waded across calmly.  Gladys hesitated for
several minutes before she could make up her mind to put her feet
in the water, but finally, encouraged by Chapa, she stepped
gingerly in.  "Be careful of the rocks, they're slippery," warned
Chapa, but the warning was hardly out of her mouth when Gladys
slipped on one of the smooth stones and sat down with a mighty
splash. Chapa flew to the rescue and pulled her out on the bank.

"What will I do?" wailed Gladys, "I can't go on with these wet
bloomers."

"Wear my bathing suit," suggested Chapa, untying it from around
her waist where she had been wearing it as a sort of sash, with
all her impedimenta stuck into the folds.  So Gladys changed to
the bathing suit, and Chapa fixed the wet bloomers on a stick
which they could carry between them, so they would be dry by the
time they reached the night's encampment.

"We ought to be pretty near the end of our journey," said Nyoda
to Medmangi, at about half-past four in the afternoon.  "Have you
caught sight of Balsam Lake yet?"

Medmangi shook her head.  "The woods are too thick to see
anything through," she answered.  "Let's call," said Nyoda.
Together they raised their hands to their mouths and sent out the
long, yodling call of the Camp Fire Girls, and then stood silent,
listening.  Before the echoes had ceased coming out of the woods
the call was answered from somewhere beyond the trees.  "We're
nearly there!" said Nyoda, and they quickened their pace as they
went through the last strip of woods.  Soon they heard voices and
saw figures moving about in the distance, and presently they came
upon the rest of the girls on the shore of the tiny lake.  Some
of the girls were lying at full length on the soft ground; others
were preparing supper.  Hinpoha was chopping wood with her
hatchet; Sahwah was shaving chocolate with hers.  The fire was
built close to the water's edge and the firelight shone out redly
across the water.

Migwan set a can of beans in the embers to warm, then she sat
down on the beach to enjoy the view.  The late afternoon sun was
pouring its full glory on the lake, making its surface one
dazzling sheet of light.  Migwan shaded her eyes with her hand,
and drank in the splendor of the scene with all her beauty-loving
soul.  "Now I know how Scott felt when he wrote:

    "One burnished sheet of living gold,
    Loch Katrine lay beneath him rolled,"'

mused Migwan, and fell to dreaming dreams as golden as the
setting sun.

Around the fire the tongues were wagging merrily.  "We met a man
with a wagon and he said, 'Jump in,' and we said, 'No, thank
you,' and he said, 'Well, don't, then, ding it.'--"

"We ate our lunch beside a brook and Migwan dropped her
sandwiches in and had bread soup--"

"We met a bull and Hinpoha climbed the fence into a field and
there were two bulls in that field--"

"Nyoda sat down in a potato patch to tie her shoe and the farmer
came out and yelled--"

BANG!  There was a terrific explosion that scattered the
firebrands among the girls and showered them with ashes and
fragments of potatoes.  They sprang to their feet, extinguishing
the fires that started in various places, and asking what had
happened.  Nyoda's glance happened to fall on Hinpoha, who had
sat nearest the fire.  The whole front of her middy was plastered
with--_beans!_

On the ground by the fire lay the flattened remains of a tin can.
Migwan had put the beans to heat without opening the can. Shrieks
of laughter  arose when the truth dawned on the girls and it was
many a day before they left off teasing Migwan about it.  The
fire was built up again, bacon "frizzled," and toast and cocoa
made.  "And my mouth was just watering for baked potatoes,"
wailed Hinpoha.

"And mine for baked beans," echoed Sahwah.

"You shouldn't eat potatoes if you want to get thin," said
Migwan.

"Shouldn't I, Nyoda?" asked Hinpoha, appealing to her guardian.

Nyoda pursed up her lips and recited with a judicial air:

    "If you would slimmer grow, my daughter,
    Eat no starches, drink no water."

Sahwah then took up the tale:

    "Look not on the candy sweet,
    Fall not for the fat of meat."

Thus it went round the circle, each girl pointing her finger at
Hinpoha and reciting a couplet:

    "If your fat you'd wear away,
    Exercise ten hours a day,"

    "If you would grow thin and graceful,
    Eat of lemons this whole caseful."

    "If you think that you're too large,
    Swim ahead and tow the barge."

    "If you really would grow small,
    Don't eat anything at all."

"I think you're mean," said Hinpoha, wiping away mock tears.
Immediately all the girls flung themselves on her, hugging and
caressing her.

"Never mind, 'Poha," they comforted, "we love you anyhow.  We
couldn't live without you."

"Did anybody catch up with anybody else today?" asked Sahwah.
Nyoda and Medmangi sprang to their feet, and pointing scornfully
at Chapa and Gladys, sang to the tune of "Forsaken:

    "O'ertaken, o'ertaken, o'ertaken were they,
    On a stone by the roadside they sat plain as day;
    We sat down beside them and sang them this song,
    Which caused them to rise up and travel along."

"We made a song, too," cried Migwan and Hinpoha, springing to
their feet. "It's to the tune of 'Jingle Bells.'"  And keeping
time with their feet, they sang:

    "Marching through the woods,
    Onward day by day,
    Round the lake we go,
    Singing all the way.
    Packs strapped to our backs,
    There our eats we stow,
    Oh, what fun it is to hike
    With the girls of Wohelo!

    Wohelo, Wohelo,
    Singing all the day,
    O what fun it is to hike
    Around the world away!"

The girls joined in the chorus, and then went back to the
beginning, and in a few minutes the song had been "adopted for
use."  By this time the fire was burning low and Nyoda reminded
the girls that they had walked twelve miles that day and had a
still longer tramp ahead on the morrow.  "It doesn't seem
possible that I've walked so far today," said Migwan, sitting up
and stretching.  "I'm not nearly as tired as I have been some
days last winter after school."

The girls had all picked out their sleeping places before dark
and made up their beds on the ground.  Before retiring they all
took a dip in the lake, splashing around in the darkness and
barking their shins on the rocks. Gladys and Chapa sought their
beds first.  It was the first time that Gladys had ever slept on
the ground.  "There's a rock in my back and my feet are higher
than my head," she wailed.

"Then let's move," said Chapa, and suiting the action to the
word, she picked up the bed and deposited it in another place.
This was fairly comfortable and they subsided.

Next an uproar arose from a bed near the beach.  "There's a
million ants in my bed!" shrieked Migwan, jumping up and shaking
her blankets.  She had spread her bed on a colony of ant hills,
and the ants had improved the shining hours until bedtime by
crawling between the blankets.

Sahwah was the last in bed, having stayed in the water longer
than the others.  She was strangely wakeful and lay for a long
time staring up at the pines towering above her, that seemed to
rise hundreds of feet before a branch appeared.  She amused
herself by reaching out her hand and identifying her belongings,
which hung on a bush at her head.  Her hand closed over the can
of red paint.  Like lightning she had an inspiration. She raised
her head and looked at the next bed.  "It's Migwan," she said to
herself.  Grasping the paint brush, she reached over and daubed
the face of the sleeper.  Then she settled down and slept.

Gladys woke up in the gray dawn and looked out from her sandwich
bed.  The lake was completely hidden by a thick mist.  Drops were
coming down, patter, patter, on her poncho.  "Chapa," she
whispered excitedly to her partner, "it's raining!"

"Well, what of it?" answered Chapa, without opening her eyes, and
pulling the poncho over their heads, she resumed her slumbers.
Gladys drew a horrified breath at the idea of sleeping on the
ground in the rain, but the cozy dryness of her bed soon wooed
her back to slumber.  When she opened her eyes again the sun was
rising over the lake.  No, there were two suns, one in the lake
which was making it boil and send up clouds of steam, and another
in the sky which was drawing up the vapor.  Soon the bugle blew
and the camp woke to activity.

With a whoop the girls made for the lake for their morning
plunge.  "Gladys!" said Nyoda, "what is the matter with your
face?"  On each cheek, as well as on her nose and forehead, there
was a daub of red.

Sahwah stared, then she giggled.  "I thought it was Migwan beside
me," she explained.  "Excuse me, Gladys, I didn't mean to
decorate you."  Gladys, however, evidently thought differently,
for she was decidedly cool to Sahwah from then on.

Just before breakfast the girls assembled on the high cliff to
sing the morning song.  Their choice was Rousseau's beautiful
hymn,

    "When the mists have rolled in splendor
    From the beauty of the hills."

The mist curtains were rolling up from the lake in the morning
sun, disclosing the lofty brow of Mount Washington in the
distance, and the girls felt very near to God and Nature as they
sang the inspired words.

Breakfast was cooked in the open and consisted of fruit, pancakes
and cocoa. Hinpoha heroically passed up both the pancakes and the
cocoa and contented herself with one piece of dry toast.

The hike proceeded in order just as on the previous day.  Right
after breakfast the ponchos were rolled and the pathfinders
struck the trail through the woods.  The first note left by them
read: "10:30.  First rest. 'Ware the pest!"

"Wonder what they meant by that?" said Hinpoha to Migwan.  They
soon found out.  At the last blaze the path dipped into dense
woods.  From all sides rose a cloud of mosquitoes which settled
on every exposed portion of their persons and stung viciously.
"Ooo, wow!" they cried, breaking into a run and brushing the
mosquitoes off with branches.  Before they entered  the next
woods they stripped the bark off a fallen birch log and made
leggings of it, tying them on with their handkerchiefs.

Migwan made up a song as they went along and taught it to
Hinpoha. The tune was "Solomon Levi:"

    "Oh, we are Winnebagos and our color is the Red,
    Over the hills and down the dales we go wherever we're led,
    We follow the blazes through the wood like hounds upon the hunt,
    We keep our feet upon the path and our faces to the front!

    Oh, Winnebagos!  'Bagos, tra la la la,
    Oh, Winnebagos!  'Bagos, tra la la la la la la,
    Oh, we are Winnebagos and our color is the Red,
    Over the hills and down the dales we go wherever we're led!"

"I suppose you'll be a great poet when you grow up," said
Hinpoha, stooping to pick a cluster of ripe strawberries.

Migwan sighed. "No, I'll never be a great poet," she answered,
"but I may be able to write stories in time, if I learn enough
about composition."

"What college are you going to?" asked Hinpoha.

"I'm not going at all," said Migwan seriously.  "You know, since
father died we have had to live very carefully, and high school
is all mother can do for me.  I have to go to work as soon as I
graduate."

"It's too bad," sympathized Hinpoha. "You ought to go to college
more than any of us.  Here am I, with no more brains than a
rabbit, going to Smith. It isn't fair.  Can't you work your way
through and go anyhow?"

Migwan shook her head.  "You see, we will need the money I earn
to send Betty and Tom to high school."

Thus talking earnestly they followed the blazes until they came
to a place where the path divided around a very dense piece of
woods.  "You take one path, and I'll take the other," said
Migwan, "and we'll see who comes out first."  They separated and
Migwan plunged into the darker of the two paths. It was hard
breaking through.  Small scrub pines closed over the path, their
branches intertwined, so that more than once she had to use her
hatchet.  Roots and vines tangled her feet and made her stumble.
Then she wedged her foot in between two stumps and could not get
it out.  She pulled and twisted and finally grasped hold of the
stem of a small tree and braced herself firmly while she
endeavored to free herself.  With a sudden jerk her foot came
free, and at the same instant the tree came up by the roots, the
ground caved in beneath it and Migwan began to fall.  She now
discovered what she had not noticed before, that the path was on
the edge of a very deep ravine which was hidden by the thick
bushes.  Straight down she rolled for about fifty feet, vainly
trying to stop herself by grasping the small bushes.  Deep down
in the gully she came to a stop not two feet away from a small
stream.

"I'm not dead, anyhow," was her first thought as she scrambled to
her feet. A red-hot stab of agony went through her left knee and
she sank down again, white and faint.  "Dislocated," she said to
herself after inspecting the injured member.  "Let's see if I can
put it back."  Migwan had had First-Aid work and had learned to
set dislocations, so she slipped the joint back into place before
it could get a chance to swell, and bound it fast with a strip of
the bandage the girls always carried with them.  At that the pain
made her sick to her stomach and she lay back, her head reeling.
When she could see clearly again she sat up and looked around.
It was nearly dark, as the thick pines shut out the declining
rays of the sun.  She called aloud till the echoes rang, but
there was no answering call.  The gravity of the situation came
home to her, but Migwan was not one to whimper.  She had nothing
with her to eat, but there was clear water at hand and she drank
and bathed her scratched face and hands.  Then she lay still and
thought things out.

"They'll surely find me sometime," she reflected, "for Hinpoha
knows which path I took.  The cave-in will tell the tale.
There's nothing in the woods to hurt me, either man or beast.  My
knee is back in joint and will begin to heal while I stay here.
Things might have been worse."  Beside her lay a dry pine tree
and she chopped it up and built a fire.  For a long time she lay
looking up at the great pines above her, lost in romantic
fancies, her beautiful, expressive eyes shining in the firelight.
By and by she slept, her head pillowed on her sweater.

She was aroused by the squalling of the jays in the pine trees.
Sunlight was filtering down through the branches.  She felt
chilly from her sleep on the ground, although the trees had kept
the dew from her.  Sitting up, she exercised her arms to get up
the circulation.  Then, leaning on a heavy stick and hobbling on
one foot, she began to look about her.  Not far from where she
had fallen there was an opening in the undergrowth and through
this Migwan could see another path about six feet lower down the
slope.

"I wonder if they would come this way," thought Migwan.  "I had
better put a blaze in the road so they can find me."  She was
casting about for something that would attract the attention of
the searchers when she heard footsteps coming down the path.
"They're coming," she thought, and was just ready to fall on
Hinpoha's neck, when out of the woods came two men, one of them
carrying a little boy.  A few paces from where Migwan stood,
hidden by a large tree trunk, they came to a halt, and the one
man, pulling out a purse, began to count money.  The little boy
was dressed in a white sailor suit and hat, and his hair under
the hat brim was yellow and curly.  A beam of sunlight fell
directly on him, making such a pretty picture that Migwan could
not help snap-shotting him.  Her camera still hung around her
neck in its case, having luckily escaped injury by her fall.
Then she stepped out and called to the men.  Both started
violently.  Migwan hastened to explain her plight.

"Sorry we can't carry you along," said the man with the purse,
"but we have to catch the boat at the lake and that would make us
miss it."

"Can't you tell someone where I am?" asked Migwan.

"Why, yes, yes," answered the man, pulling out his watch.  "We'll
send some one for you."  They disappeared down the path at a
quick pace, and Migwan sat down by the opening and waited.

Hinpoha, following the path taken by the leaders, was tripping
blithely along, not looking where she was going, with the result
that she ran into a pine branch which caught her long hair, and
in freeing herself broke the chain of her locket, which slipped
to the ground and hid among the leaves. Hinpoha got down on her
knees and hunted for it.  The minutes passed, but still she did
not find it.  She did not worry about Migwan because she knew she
would wait where the paths met.  Chapa and Gladys caught up and
helped her search, and finally they found it.  Upon reaching the
main path, however, they did not see Migwan.  "Probably got tired
waiting and went on by herself," said Hinpoha.  "Serves me
right."  And she walked on with Gladys and Chapa.

Two hours later they reached camp, and Hinpoha began calling
around for Migwan, but there was no sign of her.  "Are you sure
she isn't hiding about the camp to surprise us?" asked Hinpoha
hopefully.  Sahwah seized the bugle and blew the call which
meant, "Come at once, no matter what you are doing," but there
was no answer.  Thoroughly frightened, they started back on the
trail, meeting Nyoda and Medmangi just coming in.  At the story
of Migwan's disappearance Nyoda immediately planned a search.
But first of all she insisted on the girls eating their supper.
Then she reminded them that they had walked fifteen miles that
day and most of them needed rest.  Hinpoha stoutly maintained
that she was as fresh as a May morning and declared she would
walk all night to find Migwan.  "What if she never comes back!"
she wailed.  Her knees gave way under her at the thought and she
sank down at Nyoda's feet, her head on her arms.

"Of course she'll come back," said Nyoda confidently, but her
heart was like water within her.  These girls were all in her
charge for the summer and she was responsible for their welfare.
What had become of Migwan?  The party that finally started out
were Nyoda, Hinpoha, Sahwah and the man who had watched the camp
while the girls were away, who drove his wagon along the roadway
and let the girls ride in turn.  They explored the woods back to
where the two paths emerged from the thicket, calling and
searching with lanterns.  All to no purpose.  They went over
every inch of the path down which Migwan had disappeared.  Now
Migwan, in coming through, had strayed off the path, which was
very hard to follow, and the place where she had gone over the
edge was at least twenty feet from the true path.  The searchers
therefore did not find the evidence of her fall, and as the time
when they stood there and called to her corresponded with the
time when Migwan lay in a dead faint, she made no response, and
they passed on.

The night wore on and the searchers grew more and more alarmed.
Hinpoha dissolved in tears and declared she just couldn't live
without Migwan. Nyoda tried to comfort her with all sorts of
cheering possibilities, but her own heart was troubled and
anxious.  They retraced their route back to the place where they
had camped the night before, but found nothing. Then, discouraged
and panic-stricken, they began to retrace their steps to camp.
Morning light brought a new disclosure.  Not only had they lost
Migwan somewhere in the great woods, but they themselves were
completely off the trail of the day before.  At one of the dim
cross-roads they had made a misturn, and were now wandering
around without the slightest notion of where they were going.
"Well, I'll be jiggered," said the man with the wagon. "I thought
I knew these here woods pretty well, but I'm blamed if I know
where we are now.  Everything looks turned around; I'd swear now,
that that was the west over there, yet there is the sun a-risin'
as big as life.  I'm plumb addled!"

They advanced uncertainly, looking closely for the red-marked
trees of the hike.  "This road looks as if it went somewhere,"
said Hinpoha.  They stuck to the road for a while but soon saw a
sign board reading, "Cambridge, 7 miles."  Cambridge was a town
lying exactly in the opposite direction from Loon Lake.
Bewildered, they turned back and Hinpoha left the main road and
followed a narrow path that led into the woods.  Wearily Nyoda
walked after her.  She was at her wits' end.

"It's no use, Hinpoha," she said sadly.  "This path isn't any
better than the road.  We never went through this gully on the
hike."

"Still, it might lead to one we know," answered Hinpoha, and they
kept on. The path seemed endless, and was hard to walk in, for it
was on the side of a hill.

"Let's turn back," pleaded Nyoda.  "We're only wasting our
strength without getting anywhere."

"Maybe we had better," answered Hinpoha in a discouraged tone.
Just then the path turned sharply, and as they rounded the corner
they came upon a figure sitting in the long grass.  "Migwan!"
cried Nyoda, and stood as if petrified.  Hinpoha pointed her
finger and tried to sing "O'ertaken," but burst into tears
instead and fell on Migwan's neck.  Explanations were soon made
and Migwan was carried to the wagon to be petted and fussed over
as if she had been lost for a year.

So, wearied but triumphant, the hunting party returned to camp
with the trophy of the chase.



CHAPTER V.

IN WHICH A FILM TELLS A TALE.

It was the end of the swimming period and Nyoda was thoroughly
exhausted. She had been giving Gladys her first swimming lesson.
It had taken a week to coax the girl into the water at all and
nearly another one to get her in over her knees.  She showed a
perfectly unreasoning terror of the water.  In vain did Sahwah
dive off the tower and come up safe and sound; in vain did
Hinpoha demonstrate how impossible it was to sink if you relaxed.
Gladys doubled up in a tense knot and grew sick with fear,
regardless of Nyoda's supporting hand.  Finally Nyoda took her
farther up the beach, away from the other girls.  "Now, Gladys,"
she said reassuringly, "do you believe, down deep in your heart,
that I would let go of you and let you drown?"

"No," said Gladys.

"Then," said Nyoda, "you come along and let me hold you up while
you float." Gladys swallowed hard and stiffened out like a
crowbar; then as a wavelet washed over her face she clutched
wildly at Nyoda and put her feet on solid bottom.  And so she
went on.  With inexhaustible patience Nyoda tried again and again
to get her to lie out flat on the water, but was compelled to
admit at the end of the hour that she had made no progress
whatever, for Gladys had not made the slightest effort to control
either her muscles or her fears.  Nyoda sympathized with her
great fear of the water, for she realized that it was a very real
thing; but she was disappointed that she had not tried to conquer
it.

Her first impression of Gladys bad been borne out by later
events.  She was vain and silly and shallow; she lacked the good
sportsmanship which made the rest of the Winnebagos such
successful campers.  Of team work she had no idea at all.  She
wanted to order her day to suit herself, and put on an injured
air if one of the girls declined to help her make a stencil when
it was time to clean up the tent for inspection.  Her corner of
the tent was never in order, and as a result the Omegas were
getting low marks in inspection, much to their disgust, for the
rivalry between the two tents was very keen.   Gladys had
officially joined the Winnebagos, having come into the group at
the last Council Fire as Kamama the Butterfly.  The very name she
chose was an illustration of her character.  She had no higher
ambition than to be a society butterfly.  Nyoda sighed, but she
knew Gladys was not to blame, for she had been brought up in an
artificial atmosphere of fashion and snobbery.

Nyoda saw at once that in order to get the most good out of camp
Gladys must be on the same basis as the other girls, so she
defined their relative positions clearly at the beginning.
Gladys's father owned the camp, so they were in a measure her
guests; therefore, Nyoda would not let her pay a share of the
provisions, thus evening things up.  Gladys had now been in camp
nearly two weeks, but she had not entered heart and soul into the
life as the others had.  And it was not because they had left her
out of things--every girl had gone out of her way to make her
feel at home.  The fault was clearly Gladys's own.

Nyoda was thinking about all these things when her reverie was
interrupted by the sound of an automobile horn, and in a few
moments a man came down the path from the road.  He approached
her and introduced himself as Mr. Bailey. He was a private
detective, he said, and was trying to locate a child that had
strayed or been kidnapped from a family on the other end of the
lake. He was visiting all the camps to see if any one had seen
the child.  Nyoda shook her head. "We haven't seen any child
around here," she said.  "Was it a girl or a boy?"

"A boy," answered Mr. Bailey, "three years old; at the time of
his disappearance he wore a white sailor suit and hat."

"When did he disappear?" asked Nyoda.

"Last Thursday night."

"We were just coming home from a hiking trip then and had lost
one of our own girls and weren't paying much attention to
anything else," said Nyoda, "but I'll ask the girls who were in
camp while we were looking for Migwan."  She blew the bugle and
called the girls together and when they had come she introduced
Mr. Bailey and asked if they had seen anything of the little boy.

At the mention of a boy in a white sailor suit Migwan pricked up
her ears. "Why, I saw him when I was lying in the woods waiting
for the girls to come for me.  There were two men with him, one
carrying him.  I spoke to them and asked them to send somebody
after me.  They said they were hurrying to catch the boat."

"What boat?" asked the detective.

"It must have been the _Bluebird_,--the Loon Lake boat--for they
were going in the direction of Loon Lake."

"Can you describe the men?" asked Mr. Bailey.  Migwan tilted back
her head and squinted her eyes in an effort to bring back the
picture. "One was tall and had a black mustache.  He was the one
who carried the boy.  The other was shorter and smooth-faced,"
she said.

"Could you swear to that description?" asked the detective.

Migwan suddenly clapped her hands.  "I can do better than that,"
she said. "I can show a picture of them.  The little boy looked
so cute I snapped them."

"You have this picture?" said the detective eagerly.

"The film isn't developed yet," answered Migwan.

"How soon can you have it developed?" asked Mr. Bailey.

"We'll do it right away," said Nyoda.  "We have a dark room
rigged up." Nyoda took every precaution to guard against spoiling
the film, and Hinpoha, who was in the dark room with her, hardly
dared breathe for fear of working some harm.  What an exciting
moment it was when the figures finally stood out plainly on the
film!  The girls crowded around the detective as he held the
picture to the light.  There were the two men and the little boy
just as Migwan had described them.

"What will you take for this film?" asked the detective.

"Take for it!" said Migwan.  "You're perfectly welcome to it.
I'm only too glad to help if the picture will be of any benefit."

"Migwan's a heroine!" sighed Sahwah after the detective had
departed.  "I wish I had a chance to do something big and noble!
The only time I can be heroic is in my sleep, and then I make
myself ridiculous."

"Cheer up, Sahwah," said Hinpoha, "I can't even be heroic in my
sleep.  Come on, I'll beat you a game of tennis."  And off went
the two cronies, arm in arm.

Gladys came and sat beside Migwan, who was spending her
convalescent days in a steamer chair on the porch of the shack,
where she could watch the girls in the lake and be with them
during Craft hour.  Nyoda had summoned a doctor from the village
who proclaimed Migwan's dislocation a slight one and her prompt
setting of it a good thing, and promised that in a few weeks it
would be as good as ever.  Meanwhile, however, she had to keep
off her feet, and the enforced rest bothered her more than the
pain did at first.  She read a good deal, however, and did much
Craft work, and the days went by somehow.

"What are you doing?" asked Gladys.

"Making a woodblock," said Migwan.

"What's it for?"

"Why, you cut a design in the wood," explained Migwan, "and then
use it to stamp things with, either scarfs or table covers or
book-plates.  This is for a book-plate."

"What's a book-plate?" asked Gladys.

"It's a thin sheet of paper stamped with a design bearing your
name.  You paste it in the front of your books.  See my design?
The tall pine trees on either side mean friendship; the rocks
underneath signify that my friendships have a firm foundation.
The letters underneath read, 'Migwan, Her Book.'  You have to
carve the letters backward so they will print forward.  The
feather design around the letters is made from my symbol, which
is the Quill Pen."

Gladys sat watching Migwan's busy knife cutting out the design.
"Why don't you bring your Craft work and keep me company?" asked
Migwan presently.  "I hate Craft work," said Gladys fretfully,
"but I suppose I might as well work on my ceremonial gown."  She
brought the gown and sat down beside Migwan. "Do you think these
beads would be pretty hanging down this way?" she asked, pinning
several strings of gay-colored beads to the leather collar.

"You aren't going to put those beads on your dress, are you?"
asked Migwan in surprise.

"Why not?" said Gladys, "you've got beads hanging all over
yours."

"But they're all honor beads," explained Migwan, "and stand for
something."

"But I have no honor beads," said Gladys.

"Then you must win some. We all went with our dresses undecorated
until we had won honors."

"I don't care," said Gladys, "I'm going to decorate mine.  I
won't be the only plain one.  Miss Kent," she called, as their
guardian passed by with an armful of firewood, "I may put these
beads on my ceremonial costume, mayn't I?"

Nyoda dumped her burden on the ground and came over to the girls.
"Of course you may if you want to," she said genially. "It's your
dress.  But do you want to?  What does the ceremonial dress mean
to you?  Is it only a sort of masquerade costume to be decorated
up just anyhow to make it look fantastic, or is it a record of
achievements, written in a language that only Camp Fire Girls
understand?  Just think what it means to sit in a circle of girls
and be able to tell by their costumes what kind of things they
have done!  We'll pretend that a Guardian from another group has
come to look on at our ceremonial.  The first one she happens to
see is myself.  She looks at my costume, sees the Guardian's
symbol on the back and the border of small symbols around the
bottom.  She counts them; there are seven.  She says to herself,
'She is the Guardian and there are seven girls in her group.'
She then sees Migwan's costume with the four Wakan honors for
Written Thought. She knows that Migwan has literary ability and
that her symbol is the Quill Pen, because there is a quill sewn
to the front of her dress and feathers are never used for
decoration except in case of a personal symbol.  She knows that
Migwan had to work hard for her Wakan honors because above the
first one there are two Shuta buttons and a Keda, showing that
her first efforts won only third and second class honors, but she
persevered until she reached the first class.  She knows Sahwah
can swim well because she has a fish on the side seam of her
gown, which is the place for local or national honors.  She knows
Chapa must be very dexterous in Handcraft, for she has a great
many green beads on her thong.  And then she sees you--with a
number of gaudy and meaningless beads sewn around your collar!
Just what would be her estimate of you?  Whereas, if you had no
decoration whatever on your gown she would know at once that you
had lately joined the group and had not yet won honors."

The beads gradually slipped from Gladys's hands.  "I guess I
won't put them on, anyhow," she said, not without some regret.

"However," said Nyoda, "there is no need of your costume being
utterly bare of ornamentation.  I can suggest several things
which you have a perfect right to wear on your dress."

"What are they?" asked Gladys, looking interested.

"The first thing to do," said Nyoda, "is to get your symbol put
in a conspicuous place.  You have designed your collar with the
long bands dropping from the shoulders.  Now, I would apply your
butterfly symbol to each band about six inches from the bottom,
and then cut the leather below the symbol into fringe.  I would
paint the butterflies red, yellow and blue, which are the colors
that represent Work, Health and Love.  You could also produce the
colors by sewing beads over the design. So much for your symbol.
Now in the middle of the hem in the front of your dress you may
put the Winnebago symbol--the sign of your tribe.  You will find
it on the banner before the tents and over the fireplace in the
shack, as well as on all the girls' costumes.  It is the Indian
sign Aki-yu-hapi and means 'Carrying Together.'  It is the secret
of the wonderful team work of the Winnebagos. Develop this in
wood brown and green.  When you put the fringe on the bottom,
instead of using a straight piece, leave the top edge in uneven
peaks to represent mountains and outline them with blue beads for
the sky above them.  This will indicate that you love nature.
There you have the costume with the thongs and fringes all ready
to receive the honor beads, and there are some honors you should
be able to win very soon.  You will receive a Handcraft honor for
making the costume, and a Campcraft bead for making the headband.
You have walked forty miles in ten days--twenty-seven on the hike
and the rest going to and from the village.  You have done enough
camp cooking to win a bead.  You will receive these beads next
Monday night.  If you are sharp you can have enough to get your
Woodgatherer's ring.  Ask Nakwisi to tell you star lore; also get
her to take you into the woods and help you identify trees.  You
can get enough beads very soon to take away your reproach of
being undecorated."

While Nyoda was instructing Gladys in the mysteries of symbolic
decoration, Sahwah and Hinpoha, finishing their tennis game,
strolled into the woods beyond the court, looking for berries.
"Let's make a leaf cup and fill it for Migwan," said thoughtful
Hinpoha.

"Poor Migwan," said Sahwah, "she certainly is having a time with
that knee. I don't see how she can be so patient.  I'd die if I
had to sit in one place all day.  She's a dead game sport,
though, and never complains.  She does bushels of Craft work, and
studies.  I'm proud to be in the same group with her."

"All our girls are good sports," said Hinpoha.

"All but one."

"Which one?"

"You know."

"You mean Gladys?"

"Yes."

"She isn't a good sport, now," said Hinpoha, "but she may develop
into one before the summer is over.  Let's hope so." Then she
added, "She surely has it in for you for some reason."

"I know it," said Sahwah, "and that's what gives me a pain.  I
never touched her bed the night it fell down, but I might as well
have."

"But you did paint her face that night at Balsam Lake," said
Hinpoha, with a giggle at the remembrance.

"Yes, but I thought it was Migwan, and anyhow I apologized."

"Well," said Hinpoha with a burst of altruism, "it's this way.
Gladys is as shallow as a pie-tin and a big cry baby and all
that, but if she hadn't been like that her father wouldn't have
wanted her to be a Camp Fire Girl and we never would have come to
this camp.  It's an ill wind, you know.  Anyway, she's a
Winnebago now, and we have to make something out of her."

"You're so good-natured, 'Poha," said Sahwah.  "I wish I could
like everybody the way you do."

Hinpoha opened her mouth to reply, but instead uttered a
prolonged "Ow-oo-oo-oo!"  They were sitting on a log when the
above conversation took place, and Hinpoha had poked her hand
into the hollow end.  Now she drew it out hastily and began to
dance around, shaking her hand violently.

"Oh, what is it?" cried Sahwah.

"Bees!" shrieked Hinpoha.  "Run for your life!"

An angry buzz sounded from the log and the bees began crawling
out at the end.  Hinpoha fled through the woods with Sahwah close
at her heels.  By the time they reached camp Hinpoha's hand was
swelled all out of shape.  It was all she could do to repress a
cry of pain.  Nyoda rose quickly when she took in the situation.

"Get some moist clay at once," she commanded.  "There is some in
the woods behind the shack."

Sahwah sped after the clay and returned with a large lump.  "Now
you make mud pies until the inflammation is drawn out of your
hand," said Nyoda.

Hinpoha dutifully sat down beside Migwan and played in the clay.
After she had rolled it around in her hand awhile it became a
beautiful consistency for modeling, so she began making
statuettes of the different girls.  She had a great deal of
aptness in modeling and managed to make her figures resemble
somewhat the girls they were supposed to represent.  She became
so absorbed in her new occupation that she forgot the burning
pain in her hand, and gradually the swelling went down.

Sahwah came along to see how she was feeling and exclaimed in
delight at the statuettes.  Hinpoha held up her hand warningly,
for Migwan was asleep. Sahwah promptly fell to making hand signs
of admiration.  Hinpoha laughed at her antics, and falling into
her mood, arrayed her figures in a semicircle on the ground, and
sitting cross-legged behind them, made a gesture to intimate that
they were for sale.  Sahwah sat down and signalled that she had
come to buy.  She indicated several that she would like to have
and Hinpoha held up fingers for the price.  Nyoda came along and
watched them with keen amusement; Gladys looked on uncomprehendingly.
Sahwah purchased the Winnebagos in effigy, paying for them with
pebbles, and making hand signs to the effect that she considered
them a bargain at the price. Finally there was only one left.
This was Gladys.  Sahwah refused to purchase.  Hinpoha lowered her
price step by step, but Sahwah waved her away.  The other girls,
crowding around to see the fun, caught on and giggled.

"What's the joke?" asked Gladys.  Nobody answered.  Finding the
eyes of several girls fixed on her, Gladys flushed.  "It's
something about me," she cried passionately.  "I know it's
something about me.  You know I can't understand your old signs
and motions and you can talk about me all you want.  I hate you!"
she cried, bursting into tears.  "I'm going home to-morrow!"

Sahwah sprang to her feet, the realization of what she had done
knocking her speechless.  One look at Nyoda's pained and
surprised face upset her completely and she rushed off to the
woods by herself.  With rare tact Nyoda smoothed over the
difficult situation confronting her.  It was no use to pass the
thing over as a misunderstanding on Gladys's part, for Sahwah's
flight condemned her.  Putting her arm around Gladys, she led her
down to the dock and into the launch.  She set the engine going
at full speed, sending the small craft through the water like a
torpedo, the spray dashing over the bow and drenching them both.
The excitement of this mad flight through the water made Gladys
forget her hurt feelings.  She watched Nyoda, fascinated.  Nyoda
was of a decided athletic build, tall and broad-shouldered, with
black hair and dark eyes, and high color.  She was the picture of
health and joyousness as she stood at the wheel of the launch,
her hair streaming out in the wind, her eyes sparkling with
excitement. Gladys had a real admiration for Nyoda, which was
developing into a "crush," and liked to be alone with her.  Nyoda
could not help seeing this, and with her deep insight into girl
nature knew that the solution of the problem which had worried
her so at first was in her hands.

By and by she slackened the speed of the boat, and calling Gladys
up into the bow with her, she showed her how to steer, and gave
the wheel into her hands.  She made no mention of the occurrence
of the afternoon, not being clear in her mind just how to begin.
Gladys finally relieved her of the task by asking:  "What was it
Sahwah was saying about me this afternoon when she was talking
with her hands?"

Nyoda eyed her calmly.  "She wasn't saying anything about you at
all.  She and Hinpoha were playing a game, a very clever and
original game, by the way, having an auction sale in sign
language.  Sahwah bought all the figures but one, and then,
wishing a diversion, refused the last one.  It just happened to
be the one representing you."

"I see," cried Gladys, breaking into Nyoda's explanation, "she
wouldn't buy me."

Nyoda felt weak inside and tingled with a desire to shake Sahwah,
but she never changed countenance.  "I don't believe that ever
occurred to her," she said loyally.  "You are so quick to jump at
conclusions, Gladys.  Just because you couldn't understand what
they were doing you thought it must be something unpleasant about
you.  Your outburst at that time frightened Sahwah so she
probably thought she had done something dreadful.  Now Sahwah
feels badly and so do all the girls.  You don't want her to go on
feeling that way, do you?"

Gladys said nothing.  Nyoda slipped her arm around her and smiled
down at her.  "You know that the girls are not trying to make it
unpleasant for you, don't you, now?"

Gladys smiled faintly. It was impossible to withstand Nyoda's
pretty pleading.  Nyoda, watching her face, saw that she had
gained her point. "And you'll like Sahwah and let her like you,
won't you?" she said, hugging Gladys to her.

Sahwah was nowhere to be found when Nyoda returned to camp.
Neither did she appear when the supper bugle blew. Hinpoha
drooped visibly without her side partner, but Nyoda refused her
permission to go out and look for Sahwah. When it began to grow
dark Nyoda took her lantern and went into the woods by herself.
She soon found Sahwah crouching on the ground at the foot of a
tree, her face buried in her hands.  "Sahwah, dear, look up,"
said Nyoda gently, setting her lantern on the ground and seating
herself beside Sahwah. Sahwah uncovered one eye.  "Oh, Nyoda,"
she exclaimed tragically, "what will I do?  I never dare show my
face in camp again.  What ever possessed me this afternoon, and
what must you think of me?"

Nyoda could not help smiling at the depth of Sahwah's
self-abasement.  "Cheer up, sister," she said kindly, "it's not
as bad as all that.  You were thoughtless, that was all, for I
will not believe that you were slighting Gladys intentionally."

"That's it," cried Sahwah eagerly.  "I never stopped to think
what I was doing, and I never dreamed that she would catch on."

Nyoda nodded sympathetically.  "I know just how it is," she said.
"We never mean to do unkind things,  and yet we do them right
along, without thinking. The only remedy is to get a habit of
thinking before we do anything."

"Not thinking is my besetting sin," said Sahwah, dolefully.

"Yes," said Nyoda frankly, "I believe it is.  You do so many
things impulsively that you never would have done on second
thought.  Take the time, for instance, that you jumped off the
tower into the canoe and upset it.  That was a very dangerous
thing to do.  You might have landed on top of one of those girls
and hurt her badly, or been hurt yourself.  Even granting that
you were so sure of yourself that you could do it successfully,
you set a bad example.  Some of the other girls might be tempted
to try it sometime with disastrous results."

"I never thought of it in that way," said Sahwah seriously.  "I'm
awfully sorry I hurt Gladys's feelings, and I'll apologize to her
this very night."

"I don't believe an apology would help matters any," said Nyoda
slowly. "There are some things you can't make right with an
apology any more than you could mend Migwan's dislocated knee by
saying you were sorry it got fallen on.  It takes special
treatment."

"What shall I do then?" asked Sahwah.

"Be especially nice to Gladys from now on.  Offer to help her
learn to swim, and go out with her in the sponson until she may
go out in a canoe.  Let her see by your actions that you want to
be her friend, and then she won't suspect you of saying unkind
things about her.  Put yourself in her place. She feels just as
strange among you strong, self-reliant, outdoor-loving girls as
you would among her friends.  You know a great deal that she does
not, and she undoubtedly knows a great deal that you do not.  She
has been abroad several times, and spent a whole year in school
in France, while her father was there on business.  She paints
china beautifully, sings well and does fancy dancing.  In fact,
she dances so well that various people have tried to persuade her
father to allow her to take it up as a profession."

This last statement did not make such an impression on Sahwah as
Nyoda expected it would, for Gladys had boasted of her dancing to
the girls ever since she had come to camp, and had made fun of
the simple folk dances the girls did among themselves.  Sahwah,
however, was still deeply ashamed of her performance of the
afternoon and eager to atone for it and regain her standing in
Nyoda's eyes, so she made up her mind that Gladys was a superior
being whose superiority would be unveiled by constant effort on
her part, and promised to devote her entire time to teaching her
the delights of camping.

Then hand in hand she and Nyoda returned to the tents.



CHAPTER VI.

THE RAIN BIRD SHAKES HIS WINGS.

True to her promise, Sahwah began the very next morning
"cultivating" Gladys. "Have you any middies you want washed?" she
asked, as she dumped her own into the kettle over the fire.

"Every one I own is soiled," replied Gladys.

"Bring them along, then," said Sahwah, "and we'll do them
together."  Gladys brought her middies and Sahwah popped them
into the boiling soapsuds, stirring them around with a stick.
When they had boiled a few minutes she fished them out into a
pail and carried them down to the lake for rinsing, Gladys walked
along, but she did not offer to help carry the pail.  Sahwah
rinsed the soapy pieces in the clear water and was spreading them
out on the rocks in the sun when she noticed that the _Bluebird_,
which had been making its morning stop at Wharton's Landing, was
headed their way instead of passing out through the gap.  "Who
can be coming to see us?" she said to Gladys.  "The boat wouldn't
stop unless it had a passenger, for our supplies came yesterday."

It was not a passenger, however, that was left on the Winnebago
dock, but a wooden box from the express company.  The girls
crowded around to get a look at it.  It was addressed to the
"Winnebago Camp Fire Girls, Camp Winnebago, Loon Lake, Maine."
Sahwah ran and got a hammer and soon had the box open.

"What is it?" cried the girls.

"It's a sail!" exclaimed Sahwah, looking at it closely, "the kind
you put on canoes."

Attached to the lid of the box was a card which read:

"To the Winnebagos, to save them the trouble of harnessing
themselves to their canoe to make it go.  In remembrance of a
delightful day spent in their camp.

    "EMERSON BENTLEY,
     FRANK D. WHEELER."

"O joy!" exclaimed Sahwah, clapping her hands.  "Maybe we won't
have some fun now!  Just wait until I get it adjusted."  She
spent most of the day hoisting that sail on one of the canoes,
but finally had it finished, and went darting around on the lake
like a white-winged bird, taking the other girls out with her in
turn.  "It's too bad you can't go out in a canoe," she said to
Gladys with real regret, "I should love to have you go sailing
with me." There was no help for it, however, and Gladys had to
stay on shore.

"Won't you let me help you?" she asked Gladys at the next
swimming period. "I'll hold you up if you'll try to float."  But
Gladys would not let any one touch her in the water except Nyoda.
When Nyoda was directing the other girls Gladys stood out on the
beach.  "How am I going to help Gladys learn to swim if she won't
let me?" thought Sahwah in despair.

"Don't go too far out on the lake," Nyoda warned Sahwah that
afternoon, her eye on a bank of clouds that was rolling up in
the west.

"I know there's a storm coming, and I'll be careful," promised
Sahwah, mindful of her new resolution to think before she acted,
"but the wind is so strong now it's great fun to be out sailing.
I'll stay near shore."

The storm that had been threatening broke loose about supper
time, and the girls ran to fasten down their tents.  "Whew!" said
Sahwah, struggling with a tent flap, "listen to the wind."  The
great pines were roaring deafeningly, and the lake, lashed into
fury, was dashing high against the cliff.  "Where are you going?"
said Nyoda imperatively, as Hinpoha started down the path to the
lake in her bathing suit.  "To bring in the flag," answered
Hinpoha. "It'll be torn to pieces in that gale."  It was all she
could do to stand upright on the dock.  The rain was coming down
in slanting sheets that closed round her like a fog.  She untied
the ropes that held the flag and tried to lower it.  But it would
not come.  Something was wrong with the pulley.  The flag was
flapping in the wind and straining at the ropes like a spirited
horse.

"No help for it," said Hinpoha to herself, "I'll have to go up on
top."  The tower swayed in the wind as she mounted the ladder,
and the rain dashed in her face, blinding her.  Great crashes of
thunder sounded in her ears, and the lightning flashed all around
her.  Up on top it was worse yet.  The wind whipped her long hair
out and threatened to hurl her from the little platform, so she
did not dare let go of the railing with one hand while she
released the pulley with the other. "Glory," she whispered as she
cautiously descended the ladder, "but the Thunder Bird has it in
for us!"

She sped up the path with the precious flag held against her
bosom, and found the girls gathered in the shack.  Nyoda was
kindling a fire in the big open fireplace, and the girls were
seated in a circle before it.  Then Nyoda, raising her voice
above the patter of the raindrops on the roof, read aloud while
the girls did Craft work by the light of lanterns.  The evening
wore away pleasantly, but the rain continued.  At bed time they
wrapped their ponchos around them and ran for the tents.  The
hollows between the rocks were veritable rivers, and in the inky
darkness more than one girl stepped squarely into the flood.

"I'm soaked to the skin," panted Sahwah, running into the tent
and quickly closing the flap behind her, "and I stepped into a
puddle up to my knees."

"So am I," said Hinpoha, who was divesting herself of her clothes
in the middle of the tent.  "Did you ever see such a downpour?"

"Cheer up," said Migwan, who had gone to bed early in the evening
with a headache and stayed in during the storm, "the tent doesn't
leak, anyway. We'll be perfectly dry in here."

"It'll be all right if the tent doesn't blow over," said Sahwah.
"Whew! Listen to that!"  The girls held their breath as a
particularly fierce blast hurled itself against the canvas sides
of their shelter.  Gladys, terror-stricken, sat on the bed and
trembled.  Sahwah hastened to reassure her.  "It probably won't
blow down," she said cheerfully; "these tents are made pretty
strong, and the ropes on this one are all new, but there is
always the possibility.  Do you mind if I take your laundry bag
down?  It is pinned to the side of the tent and will lead the
water through."

The girls slept very little that night, although the tent
withstood the storm and remained standing.  The rain still fell
with unabated vigor at dawn.  At about six o'clock Nyoda put her
head into the tent and called Sahwah. Sahwah was alert instantly.
Nyoda had on her bathing suit and cap.  "What is it?" asked
Sahwah.

"One of the canoes has broken away, and is floating off," Nyoda
said in a low tone, so as not to disturb Gladys and Migwan, who
were still sleeping. Hinpoha sat up and listened.  "I am going
after it in the launch," continued Nyoda, "and will need help.
Put on your bathing suit and come."

"Let me come, too," begged Hinpoha.

"All right," said Nyoda, and the three crept out of the tent and
down the path to the lake.  The water had risen at least a foot,
and the floor of the dock was flooded.  About half a mile out in
the lake they saw the runaway canoe, now standing on end, now
floating bottom up.

"Wouldn't it float in by itself?" asked Sahwah.

Nyoda shook her head.

"It might float in all right," she said, "but it would be dashed
to pieces on the rocks on the other side.  You notice it is being
carried farther away from us all the time.  If we want that canoe
for the rest of the summer we'll have to go after it."

That was the most exciting launch ride the two girls had ever
taken.  The little boat rode up and down on the waves like an egg
shell, the water going over her constantly, drenching the girls
and threatening to swamp the engine.  The wind whirled the rain
against their faces.  Nyoda stood up in the bow handling the
wheel as calmly as if she were pouring tea at a reception.
Nyoda's strong point was her composure; it was next thing to
impossible to get her excited.  They caught up with the canoe and
Sahwah and Hinpoha managed to right it and fasten it to the
launch with a rope.  They got back to the dock without mishap and
pulled the canoe high up where it could not be washed away a
second time.  Sahwah and Hinpoha returned to the tent red as
roses from their exposure to the wind and rain and recounted
their early morning adventure to Migwan and Gladys.

At breakfast time they had to put on their ponchos again and pick
their way through the puddles to the shack, where they ate their
breakfast.  The "Mess Tent" was leaking merrily in a dozen
places.  By noon there was still no let up in the downpour.  Rest
hour was spent on the floor in the shack.  When Nyoda came in in
the middle of the afternoon from a tour of inspection she
announced that both the Alpha and Omega tents were leaking badly
and the bedding was getting wet.  She made the girls bring their
blankets, rolled up in their ponchos, into the shack and spread
them out before the fire.

The shack was pretty well crowded before the afternoon was over.
Besides all the girls and the bedding and the partially painted
paddles that stood around everywhere, Nyoda brought in a large
supply of fire wood.  It was all damp and had to be dried out
before it would burn.  The rain whirled against the windows, as
if seeking entrance by force, but the girls inside, safe and dry,
made merry before the fire.  Nyoda taught them a new game, called
"Johnny, Where Are You?"  She blindfolded Hinpoha and Sahwah and
set them on the floor.  Then each one in turn had to call,
"Johnny, where are you?" and upon the other one's answering,
"Here!" whacked in the direction of the voice with a rolled-up
newspaper.  Both had to keep one hand on a pie-tin on the floor
between them.  Sahwah and Hinpoha both gave and received some
sounding whacks, and kept the watchers in a roar of laughter with
their efforts to dodge each other.  Towards the end Nyoda slipped
up and removed the bandage from Hinpoha's eyes and let her whack
Sahwah with her eyes open, and poor Sahwah wondered why she could
not dodge the attacks any better.

After supper Nyoda proposed playing "Aeroplane."  She shooed all
the girls but Hinpoha out into the kitchen.  One by one they were
blindfolded and led in.  Sahwah was the first.  She was led into
the center of the room and there brought to a halt.  "Step up,"
commanded some one.  Sahwah did as she was told and her feet were
planted on something that felt like a platform. "Now hang on!"
they ordered.  She hung.  It seemed to be hair she was hanging on
to.  "Up with her!"  Sahwah felt herself rising, up, up.  The
hair sank out of her grasp.  The board wobbled under her feet.
Straight up toward the ceiling she went, past the rafters and on
up, until her head struck the roof.  The board wobbled much
worse.  "Jump!" they shouted. Sahwah gathered her forces for a
mighty leap, determining to strike the floor with knees bent so
as to break the shock.  She struck solid ground before she had
fairly started.  The bandage was taken from her eyes.  She was
standing on the floor in front of the fireplace.  Beside her was
the "Aeroplane."  It was a plain wooden board.  When she had
stood on it they had lifted it up, and Hinpoha, whose head she
had seized upon to support herself, had gradually stooped down,
to enhance Sahwah's sensation of going up.  To complete illusion
they hit her on the head with a book to make her think she had
struck the ceiling.  She had risen about six inches from the
floor in all, although she was sure she had gone up six feet at
least.  Her mighty leap caused the "conductors" much merriment.
Gladys did still better.  She fell off without jumping.

When bedtime came there was no thinking of going to the tents, so
the beds were made up on the floor in a circle about the
fireplace.  "Does this count toward our honor for sleeping five
nights on the ground?" asked Sahwah.  "It ought to," said
Hinpoha, "it's harder than the ground."

Morning found the rain still unabated.  "This is getting
monotonous," said Migwan, looking out at the grey skies and the
lake shrouded in mist.

"Can't we take our dip even if it is raining?" asked Sahwah
anxiously.

"I don't see why not," said Nyoda.  But when they were in their
bathing suits and ready to start they found they could not open
the porch door of the shack.  "What's the matter?" said Nyoda,
lowering one of the windows and looking out.  "Oh, look at the
porch floor!" she cried.  The flooring had warped up into a great
hump before the door, preventing its being opened.

"It looks like a roller coaster," said Migwan.  The girls were
obliged to make their exit and re-entrance through the window.

"Hurray! No tent inspection to-day!" cried Hinpoha, picking up
her blankets from the floor to make room for Craft work.

"It'll take more than inspection to fix your tent up again," said
Nyoda, looking out of the side window of the shack.

"Why?" said Hinpoha.

"Come here and look," said Nyoda.

"Why, it's fallen down!" cried Hinpoha, looking over Nyoda's
shoulder.  The girls pressed to the window to see the heap of
canvas that had been the Omega tent.

"Is Alpha still standing?" asked the inhabitants of that tent,
craning their necks.

"Yes," answered Nyoda, "which proves its superiority once for
all."  The Alphas swelled out their chests and made triumphant
grimaces at the Omegas.

"I don't care," declared Sahwah, "I'd rather be an Omega any day
than an Alpha.  We have a better view of the lake."

"But we keep our tent neater," said Chapa, "and so it looks
better."

"Like fun you keep yours neater," returned Sahwah.

"We get higher marks than you right along," said Chapa, "and that
goes to show."

"Well," flashed Sahwah, "we'd get higher marks if it wasn't
for--."  Just in time she remembered her promise and broke off
abruptly.

"If it wasn't for what?" asked Chapa.

"For the wind blowing our things around so," she finished lamely,
and fell to carving her wood block furiously.

"Let's sing something," said Nyoda hastily.

"Migwan and Hinpoha, sing 'The Owl and the Pussy Cat,'" cried the
girls in chorus.  Thus urged, the two mounted the piano bench and
acted out the romantic tale as they sang the words.

"Now let's all sing something," said Nyoda, when the amorous owl
and the impassioned pussy had danced themselves off the bench.
"What were some of those songs we sang on the hike?"

"Let's sing Migwan's latest song, 'O We Are Winnebagos,'" said
Hinpoha.

"That has a good swing to it," said Nyoda when they had sung it
several times.  "Sahwah, dear, follow the tune more closely with
your tenor, you put us out."

"Well, I'm _willing_ to sing, anyhow," said Sahwah, "even if I
can't and that's more than some people do."  This last was a
direct reference to Gladys.  Although she was supposed to have a
very good and well-trained voice and had done much solo singing
in her time, Gladys steadfastly refused to sing along with the
other girls in chorus.  Once or twice, after much coaxing on
Nyoda's part, she had consented to sing a "solo" on Sunday
morning or on "stunt night," but sing mornings in the shack with
the others she would not.  They laid it to the fact that she
considered herself better than themselves and did not want to mix
in their doings, and it put a damper on their own, singing
because they thought she was criticising them.  This was not
exactly the case.  Once an enthusiastic teacher of hers had
pronounced her voice "different" from others and told her that
chorus singing would spoil it, so from then on she refused to
blend her voice with others.  She knew well enough that this was
ridiculous, but it pleased her vanity and she kept it up.  She
would not come right out and tell why, however, but simply said
she "didn't feel like singing."  Naturally the girls thought her
reason a personal one and it made bad feeling all around.  Her
refusal to sing puzzled and grieved Nyoda more than anything else
she did. The Winnebagos were known as a "singing group," and the
addition of a trained voice was very welcome.  Nyoda thought of
course that Gladys would lead the singing in great shape and her
disappointment at her attitude was very keen.

"Yes, Sahwah," said Nyoda warmly, "your willingness to use the
talents you have is one of the reasons why we love you so."

"I think that any one who can sing and won't isn't--isn't a
sport," said Hinpoha emphatically.

"Maybe I have a reason for not singing," said Gladys in a lofty
manner.

"Well, what is it?" said Sahwah, exasperated into sharp speech.
Gladys pursed up her lips but did not reply.

Nyoda saw that a storm was brewing.  It was the inevitable result
of the girls having been pent up so close together for over two
days.  She pulled out her watch.  "It's time for folk dancing,"
she announced briskly.  The girls looked out of the window.  The
rain was still teeming down.  "Who's game to put on her bathing
suit and dance in the rain?" asked Nyoda.

"I, I," cried all the girls.  They followed her to the tennis
court, where they did such dances as they could without music and
ended up with a lively game of "Three Deep," the water running
down over their faces.  "Let's play 'Stump the Leader,"' said
Nyoda, when they had grown tired of "Three Deep."; "Follow me."
She led them a wild chase all over the camp, over rocks and
stumps, around trees and through puddles, then down on the dock.
She dove into the lake, swam around the dock, climbed out on the
rocks, out on the dock again and climbed the tower, from which
she jumped, the girls keeping close behind her, all except
Gladys.  By the time swimming hour was over the girls had let off
enough steam to dwell together again in peace and amity.

Late that afternoon the rain ceased and the sun peeped out, pale
and wan from his long imprisonment.  At the first beam that shone
through the girls were out of the shack with a whoop and began
putting up the Omega tent.  "Let Hinpoha and me do it alone!"
shrieked Sahwah, pushing the others away, "if only two do it we
get an honor, if more help we don't!"

"Right-O," said Nyoda, stepping back, "do your worst, you two."

The tent was re-erected, and the girls scrambled around looking
for their scattered possessions.

"And the looking glass didn't even break!" said Migwan, picking
it up from one of the beds where it had landed when the tent went
down.

The next morning the sun shone in splendor and the sky was deep
blue and cloudless, while a high wind did its best to dry up the
ground.  "Isn't it fine to be dry again?" said Migwan, looking
approvingly at her canvas shoes. "For the last three days I've
felt like a water-soaked sponge."

"Goodness, but the lake is rough," said Nyoda, watching Sahwah
out in a canoe, which was nearly standing on end.  Her hair stood
out straight behind her in the wind and she reminded Nyoda of the
picture of the girl going over the falls in the "Legend of
Niagara."  "There! I knew she would tip!  For goodness sake, what
is she doing now?"  For Sahwah had climbed on top of the
overturned canoe and was trying to paddle it in wrong side up.

She kept her eyes on Sahwah, watching her rather slow progress
through the waves, and did not see a party of people who were
coming up the path from the road until they were right beside
her.  Her attention was attracted by a cry from Migwan.  She
turned and saw a man and woman with a little boy about three
years old.

"Why, that's _my_ little boy!" said Migwan.  "The one I saw in
the woods that morning."

"Then you are the young lady we are looking for," said the man,
coming forward.  "We have you to thank that we have our boy with
us to-day.  It was you who put us on the track of the men who had
kidnapped him."

"He _was_ kidnapped, then," said Migwan.

"Yes," answered the boy's father, "he was taken from our camp by
those two men whom you saw.  Thanks to your picture of them we
put the police on their trail and caught them in Portland.  We
are just coming home with him now and wanted to see you.  This is
Mrs. Bartlett, my wife, and our son Raymond, whom you have
already seen."

"Come right up and sit down," said Nyoda cordially, "and tell us
all about it.  We have been curious to know whether the little
boy was ever found or not."

They told how the little boy was missed from their camp that
Thursday night, and of their frantic search along the shore,
thinking he had fallen into the lake.  Then some one found a toy
sailboat of his in the woods and they came to the conclusion that
he had either wandered off or been carried away.  No trace of any
abductor could be found, however, and it would have been hard
work running the men down if it had not been for Migwan's picture
of them with the boy and her report that they were headed for the
Loon Lake boat. When found, little Raymond was dressed in girl's
clothes and effectually disguised.  Then Migwan told the story of
her fall down the cliff and her night in the woods and her seeing
the three on the path in the morning.  It was just like a fairy
tale.

"By the way," said Mr. Bartlett when she had finished, "did you
know that I had offered a reward of two hundred and fifty dollars
to any one giving information which would lead to Raymond's
recovery?"

"No," said Migwan, "I didn't."

"Well," said Mr. Bartlett, "that's what I did, and I don't see
that any one is entitled to it but yourself.  You gave us the
only definite clue we had to work on.  It gives me great
pleasure, madam, to pay my just debts," and he handed Migwan a
check.

Migwan stared at the slip of paper in a dazed fashion.  She could
not comprehend the good fortune that had suddenly come to her.
Then she handed the check back to Mr. Bartlett.  "I can't take
your money," she said.  "I really didn't do anything, you know."

"That's all right," said Mr. Bartlett, waving her back.  "You did
a whole lot more than you know, young lady.  Just think of the
worry and anxiety you have saved us!  It's worth the money, every
cent of it.  I only wish I could offer a larger reward."

So Migwan, still protesting, was forced to accept the check, and
the Bartletts rose to go.  "Come over and see us sometime," said
Mrs. Bartlett cordially, "and bring all the girls along.  You
might have a sleeping party on our lawn."

"That will be fine, and I accept the invitation in behalf of my
girls," said Nyoda, as she accompanied them to the road where
their car stood.

Up on the shack porch Migwan was the center of an excited group,
and the check was passed from hand to hand.  Sahwah sighed
enviously and wished with all her heart that she might be the
heroine of the hour.

"What are you going to do with all that money?" asked one of the
girls.

"It looks," said Migwan in an awed tone, hugging the precious
check in her hands, "as if I were really going to college, after
all!"



CHAPTER VII.

SAHWAH THE SUNFISH.


Migwan sat on a rock on the beach making notes in her journal,
now and then lifting her eyes to the lake to watch the shadows
gliding across the water, as the clouds floated by overhead.
Sometimes the sunlight was darkened for a few minutes and the
lake looked gray and cold, but on the opposite shore a tiny
village nestled at the foot of a mountain, and over there the sun
was shining, and the white houses gleamed brightly against the
dull brown background.  "It looks like a mirage," said Migwan to
Hinpoha, who had dropped down on the sand at her feet.

Hinpoha glanced across the lake at the fairy scene and then back
at Migwan. "What are you always writing in that book of yours?"
she asked curiously.

"Wouldn't you like to know, though!" replied Migwan, closing it
up.

"Oh, let me see some of it, won't you, Migwan, dear?" said
Hinpoha coaxingly. "I love to read what you write and I never
make fun of it, you know that. Please do."  After a little more
coaxing Migwan relented and handed Hinpoha the page she had just
written.  Hinpoha spread it out on her knee and read:

"I was sitting in the woods rather pensively the other day when I
suddenly became aware of two merry eyes fixed on me from the
ground beside me.  There was something so irresistibly roguish in
their expression that my sadness leaked out of me unceremoniously.
As I looked the eyes disappeared behind a leaf, only to appear an
instant later on the other side, and a tiny, round red face nodded
cheerfully at me.  Visions of wood sprites went through my head and
I sat perfectly still, so as not to frighten him away.  He had
retired behind his leaf after that last nod, but as I made no sound
he soon looked out again to see if I was still there.  This time I
got a good look at him.  He was no elf, but a berry; a brilliant
round red berry with two little holes in him that looked just like
eyes.  'Such a cheerful berry, I thought, 'deserves a whole face,'
so I made him a nose and mouth with my pencil.  When last I saw him
he was still playing peek-a-boo among the leaves, enjoying the world
for all he was worth."

"Oh, how lovely!" exclaimed Hinpoha, when she had read that far,
"you must let the other girls read this.  Wouldn't you like me to
illustrate it for you?  I'm just itching to paint that little red
berry."

"That will be fine," said Migwan, and Hinpoha sped after her
paint box. Hinpoha could not have written that little sketch if
her life depended upon it, but her talent with the brush was
unmistakable.  With a few deft strokes she pictured Migwan
sitting in the woods and beside her the little red berry with its
comical face.  Now it was Migwan's turn to admire.  Hinpoha went
on to the next paragraph:

"I walked on through the wood, admiring the little green moss
stars that twinkled up from the ground.  'Oh, I must get a closer
view,' I said, half aloud, and immediately my wish was granted,
for a pine tree put out his foot and tripped me and I fell with
my face right in the moss."

"How I should like to have seen you!" laughed Hinpoha as she
painted Migwan sprawling on the ground.  "Haven't you some more
stuff I can illustrate? There's such a lot of paint mixed up.
Oh, here's another one," she said, turning over the pages:

"I am sitting in the woods near Sandy Beach.  Have been gathering
blueberries and my cup runneth over.  The sun has turned the
beach into a Sahara, but here in the woods it is dim and cool and
pleasant.  I am leaning against a big tree with my feet stretched
out in front of me.  There is a spider weaving a web from one
foot to the other.  I hate to break down his handiwork, or
rather, his footiwork, but I can't stay here forever, much as I
would like to.  He ought to have been more careful about getting
a clear title to his property before building.  This will teach
him a lesson, I think.

"Just now a tiny red squirrel ran down a tree, paused beside me,
gave an impertinent whisk of his tail and disappeared.  'Lazy
girl,' he seemed to say, 'idling away this beautiful summer
weather when you ought to be storing nuts for the winter. You'll
repent when the snow begins to fly.  Idle in summer, hungry in
winter.'  With a disapproving cough he disappeared.

"There is a blueberry bush nearby hanging full of large luscious
berries.  I never saw blueberries in their native wilds before. I
had a sort of hazy notion that blueberries grew in quart boxes in
market stalls."

"That reminds me," said Hinpoha suddenly, "it must be getting
near time for our promised trip to Blueberry Island."  She
painted a bush with berries nearly as big as marbles and read on
eagerly:

"I have surprised an acorn in a gross neglect of duty.  He is
lying on the ground where he fell last fall and hasn't sprouted
in the least.  I thought all acorns aspired to be oak trees.
Think of being a nut half an inch long, and in that half inch to
have the power of becoming the King of the Forest, and then let
that power lie unused!  If I were an acorn I would feel eternally
disgraced if I hadn't sprouted."

Hinpoha duly portrayed the delinquent acorn.  "I'll tell you what
we'll do when we grow up," she said, leaning back and surveying
her work critically, "you write books and I'll illustrate them!"

All this time Nyoda and Sahwah had been working on a canoe a
little farther up the beach.  Sahwah had crossed the lake in the
dark the night before and had grounded on a sharp rock that
jutted up just underneath the surface, ripping a hole in the
bottom of the canoe nearly a foot long.  Now she and Nyoda were
repairing the damage.  "Don't anybody take this canoe out for a
couple of days," said Nyoda to the girls, "the pine pitch we put
on isn't hard yet."

Hinpoha showed Nyoda the leaves from Migwan's journal which she
had illustrated and Nyoda was delighted.  "You two had better
form a permanent partnership," she advised.  "You will produce
something worth while in time."  Then she added: "Wouldn't it be
a fine idea for you to make an illustrated book of the camp
doings and send it to Professor Bentley and Professor Wheeler?
As long as they are so much interested in Camp Fire Girls nothing
would please them better."  Migwan and Hinpoha were enthusiastic
over the idea and promised to begin that very day.

Sahwah, having determined not to clash with Gladys again, and to
make a friend of her at all costs, lost no opportunity to do her
service.  She filled Gladys's water pail in the morning, she hung
up her wet bathing suit when Gladys had gone off and left it
lying on the tent floor, she paddled her out in the heavy sponson
when she was dying to skim over the lake in the sailing canoe,
and in short, sacrificed herself at every turn for Gladys. And
Gladys in time began to look on her as a sort of serving maid,
who would do any unpleasant task she happened to want done.
Nyoda could not help noticing this and wondered how long Sahwah
would stand for it, but she said nothing to either one of them,
preferring to watch matters take their course.

Things finally came to a head one afternoon during rest hour.
Sahwah was out of sorts that day.  The night before she had
stayed out on the lake after she had promised to come in and as a
result had injured the canoe in the darkness.  While Nyoda had
not scolded her for staying out so long she knew she was
disappointed in her and it made her cross with herself.  Then the
first thing that morning she had received a letter from her
mother chiding her for not having written home for two weeks.
That made her crosser yet. During the folk dancing hour she could
not keep her mind on her feet, and blundered so many times that
Gladys, who was her partner, left the ring in disgust.  Sahwah
was sensitive about her dancing, which did not come very easy to
her, and tried especially hard when dancing with Gladys, who did
the figures with wonderful grace and skill, and Gladys's conduct
on this occasion filled her with unutterable mortification.

Sahwah rushed away to her tent and got into her bathing suit and
sat down on the dock, impatiently waiting for Nyoda's "All in!"
In swimming hour she managed to get herself into disfavor again.
Hinpoha was taking her test for towing a person to shore and was
swimming with Nakwisi in tow.  She was just nearing the dock
where Nyoda stood watching to see if she could land her burden
when Sahwah dove off the high tower, right on top of her and
Nakwisi, carrying them both under the surface and breaking up the
test.  Nyoda uttered an impatient exclamation and sent Sahwah out
of the water as a reminder to look before she dove the next time.
Sahwah's heart was nearly broken and she could hardly eat her
dinner.  She and Gladys were washing dishes that day, but when
the time came Gladys pleaded a headache and went to the tent to
lie down, leaving Sahwah to do them alone.  It seemed that every
dish in camp had been used that day.  She finished at last, all
tired out, and flung herself on her bed, resolved not to move
until rest hour was over, and not then if she didn't feel like
it.  She was just sinking off into a delicious doze when Gladys
reached over and pulled her by the foot.

"What do you want?" said Sahwah drowsily.

"Come on, take me for a ride in the sponson," said Gladys.

"Can't, it's rest hour," answered Sahwah.

"What of it?" said Gladys, "Let's go anyway.  Everybody's asleep.
They'll never know the difference."

Sahwah looked at her with an expression of horror.  "It doesn't
matter whether any one knows it or not," she said stiffly.  "It
isn't a custom of the Winnebagos to go boating in rest hour."

"It doesn't seem to be a custom of the Winnebagos to do anything
they want to," said Gladys sneeringly.  "You girls let Miss Kent
lead you around by the nose as if you were six years old!  It's a
pity if girls as old as we are have to take a nap after dinner
like babies.  I for one won't stand for it.  I don't want to lie
down for an hour every afternoon and I'm not going to do it, so
there!  If you had any spirit you'd rebel, too.  But you haven't.
You're just like wax in her hands.  If she told you to go bed at
four o'clock in the afternoon and stay there, you'd do it!  I
dare you to slip out and go for a boat ride with me now, I dare
you!  I dare you!"

Sahwah's hair nearly stood on end with fury at this attack on her
beloved Nyoda.  "Dare all you like," she said in a choking voice,
"I'll not break a camp rule to please you."

"Very well, then, don't," said Gladys, "and see if I care.  If
you would rather abide by silly old rules than have a good time
it's your loss, not mine.  I wouldn't be such a baby."  She went
back to her bed and lay down with the air of a martyr.  Every few
seconds she would look over at Sahwah and pronounce the word
"baby" in a taunting tone.

Sahwah closed her eyes resolutely and pretended not to hear her.
She was filled from head to foot with contempt for Gladys.
Sahwah was heedless and hot-tempered and undiplomatic, but in
matters where honor was concerned she was true blue.  All her
admiration for Gladys vanished when she tried to lead her into
dishonor.  As she lay there thinking over her attempts to win
Gladys's friendship she saw clearly how Gladys had been working
her all this time, getting her to wait on her hand and foot and
in return treating her in a patronizing manner as if she were an
inferior being from whom such service was no more than due.  Her
rage rose at the very thought of Gladys.  "Catch me doing
anything for her again!" she muttered to herself.

She lay very still with her eyes closed for a long time, feigning
sleep. After a while a stealthy rustle from Gladys's bed caught
her ear.  She opened one eye slightly and then opened both very
wide in surprise.  Gladys was in the act of drawing a box of
candy from under her blankets.  Opening it, she proceeded to eat
one piece after another.  Sahwah was so astonished that she could
not repress an exclamation.

Gladys looked in her direction.  "Have a piece of candy?" she
said mockingly, holding out the box, "or are you afraid to do
that too?"

Sahwah disregarded the taunt.  "Where did you get that candy?"
she asked sternly.

"I bought it down in the village, Miss Simplicity," answered
Gladys.

"Did you know that we weren't to buy candy and eat it between
meals, or didn't you?" continued Sahwah.

"Certainly, I knew it was against the rules," said Gladys, "but I
don't intend to have any one dictate to me whether or not I shall
eat candy.  I've eaten candy all my life and it's never hurt me.
If I can't eat it openly I'll eat it on the sly, but I will eat
it!"

"Didn't it occur to you that it's dishonest to do things on the
sly like that?" said Sahwah in a husky voice.  If she had held
Gladys in contempt before there was no name for what she thought
of her now.

"Who says it's dishonest to break silly rules?"  said Gladys,
putting another piece into her mouth.  "Such rules were made to
be broken."

"What would Nyoda say?" asked Sahwah.

"I don't care what she says," said Gladys recklessly.

"I thought you admired her so much," said Sahwah, remembering how
Gladys was constantly fawning on Nyoda.

"I do admire her, more than any of you," said Gladys loftily,
"but that's no sign she can order me around.  Go and tell her if
you like, old busybody!"

"Tell her what?" asked Nyoda, appearing in the door of the tent.

"That I buy candy in the village and keep it in my bed to eat
during rest hour!" said Gladys brazenly.

Nyoda opened her eyes very wide.  "That you do what?" she asked.
Gladys held up the box.  Nyoda said nothing, but merely looked at
her, and before the expression in her eyes Gladys wilted and was
covered with confusion.

"I don't care, I want some candy," she said, looking ready to
burst into tears.

"Why didn't you wait until supper time and pass it around?" asked
Nyoda quietly, but there was a note in her voice that robbed
Gladys of her air of bravado.

"Because I wanted it now," she said sulkily.

"Gladys," said Nyoda, trying to conceal her disgust at this
untrustworthy trait revealed in the character of her charge by
the episode, "have you any idea why that candy rule was made?"
Gladys shook her head.  "It was made," said Nyoda, "to keep me
from dishonor."  Gladys looked at her uncomprehendingly.  "It is
a very responsible thing," continued Nyoda, "to take a group of
girls so far away from home.  Many of the girls' mothers were
unwilling to have them go, and I promised every one of them, on
my honor, that no harm should come to their girls that I could in
any way prevent and that we should all come back in better health
than we went. Now, a change of climate and drinking water is hard
on any one, and you girls have enough to do adjusting your
systems to the new order of things even with a carefully
regulated diet.  Eating candy between meals is one good way to
produce an upset stomach, and up here we can't take any chances.
It would be inconvenient to take care of a sick person in camp,
and besides, think of all the fun you would lose!  So when we
were discussing the difficulties of camping out for so long we
all agreed, willingly and cheerfully, to live on a strict
schedule recommended by experienced campers, and to run no risks
by eating candy between meals.  So you see that the rule, which
you probably consider merely a piece of tyranny on my part, is
not my rule at all, but was adopted by unanimous consent at a
meeting of the group.  If I were to allow you to eat candy
between meals I would be breaking my promise to your parents, and
you know that we Camp Fire Girls have taken a vow to be
trustworthy."

Gladys flushed and hung her head, although Nyoda had made no
reference to her breaking of trust.  Nyoda continued: "You, of
all the girls here, have need to be the most careful.  You are
the least robust of them all, and enter into our sports with the
least vigor.  Your racket stroke is weak and your paddle stroke
is weak, and exertion which does not affect the other girls at
all leaves you exhausted.  That is a condition of which you
should be ashamed, inasmuch as you have no definite ailment.
'Hold on to Health' is only another form of 'Be trustworthy,' for
it means taking good care of the body which has been given into
our keeping.  I know you never thought about it in just that way
and broke the rule because you saw no reason for it, not because
you have no sense of honor.

"And now about this candy you have on hand.  I will ask you to
put it in the kitchen where it will keep dry and pass it around
to the girls at meal time as long as it lasts.  After that I must
request you not to buy any more, even to eat with meals.  We have
home-made candy three times a week and that is sufficient."

Nyoda withdrew from the tent, leaving Gladys feeling very small.
Hinpoha and Migwan had waked in time to hear the last of Nyoda's
speech and saw the candy, and while they were too polite to make
any remarks their attitude plainly showed their disapproval, and
this state of things galled Gladys more than Nyoda's chiding.
Sahwah, with a fine sense of charity, had left the tent when
Nyoda appeared.  Her generous nature forbade her to crow over a
fallen foe.

A nature walk was on the program for the afternoon, but Gladys
feigned a headache and remained at home.  "Somehow I don't feel
like going on a nature walk, either," said Sahwah, when they were
ready to start.  This was so unusual from Sahwah, who was
generally enthusiastic about everything that was proposed, that
Nyoda looked at her in some anxiety.

"Don't you feel well, dear?" she asked.

"Yes, I feel perfectly well," said Sahwah.  "That's the trouble.
I feel too well to go on a nature walk."

"Feel too well to go on a nature walk!" repeated Nyoda.  "What do
you mean by that?"

"I don't know," said Sahwah. "I feel so full of--of something
that I'd like to wrestle with an elephant!"

Nyoda understood the feeling.  She had watched Sahwah's growing
irritation all day long and knew that in her case the only relief
would be strenuous activity.  "Then perhaps it would be better
for you to stay at home," she said lightly.  "You might do some
damage to us peaceful citizens.  By the way, have you ever swum
as far as Blueberry Island?  It's a mile, I think. That ought to
work off some of your superfluous energy.  You have special
permission to go in this afternoon.  When you get there wait
until I come for you in the launch.  We can keep our eye on you
from the road while you are swimming." Sahwah jumped for joy and
ran to get into her bathing suit.

The cool water closed around her limbs like the caress of a
loving hand and her irritation vanished like magic.  Water was
Sahwah's element, and as she propelled herself gracefully across
the sparkling lake, feeling the absolute mastery of her muscles,
changing regularly from left to right in her side stroke, she
might have been taken for a mermaid by some Neckan of the deep.
She reached Blueberry Island in good time and, climbing up on the
rocky shore, sat down in the sun to dry.

Meanwhile Gladys was not having anywhere near such a glorious
time.  She tossed on her bed for a long time, feeling more sorry
for herself every minute.  She still thought Nyoda's explanation
of the candy rule a weak excuse for an act of tyranny, and was
furious at the thought of having been caught in an undignified
position.  The tears, which she had managed to hold back in front
of Nyoda, came now, and she cried herself into a genuine
headache.  But it was all self-pity; there was no real sorrow for
her fault. She considered herself the most abused girl in the
world; deserted by her parents, disliked by girls whom she
considered beneath her, and deprived of her rights by a young
woman who had no real authority over her.

"I bet the other girls eat candy between meals too," she said to
herself viciously, "only they're too clever to get found out.  I
wouldn't have been found out either, if it hadn't been for that
snippy little Sahwah making a fuss!"  She worked herself into a
perfect fury, and blamed Sahwah for all of her troubles.  "I'd
give a whole lot to get even with her," she said to herself, and
immediately began looking around the tent for something of
Sahwah's which she could damage.  The only thing in evidence was
her tennis racket, and Gladys took it out and deliberately put a
stone through it. Then, frightened at what she had done, and
thoroughly homesick and miserable, she sat down and began a
letter to her father, begging him to send for her immediately.

"Dear Papa," she wrote, "if you only knew what a dreadful place
this is you would not leave me here another day.  The girls are
very rude and horrid and low class; they are continually fighting
and playing rough jokes on each other, and especially on me.  I
don't like Miss Kent as well as you said I would.  She makes me
go in bathing until I'm all tired out and cold and tries to make
me swim when it's impossible for me to learn.  She takes me out
beyond my depth and ducks me under when I don't make my hands go
right. She treats me as if I were a baby and won't trust me out
of her sight.  It seems they have a rule here about not eating
candy between meals and I didn't know it and I bought some and
ate it and she called me a sneak before all the girls and made me
throw the candy into the lake.  I am very miserable and sick most
of the time as we don't get enough to eat, and what we do get
isn't good.  I'm always cold at night and they often let it rain
right in on our beds.  If you don't send for me right away I may
get sick and die before very long.

    "Your miserable daughter,

    "GLADYS

"P.S.:  Aunt Sally is going to Atlantic City in August; may I go
with her?"

She gave the letter to the captain of the steamer when he stopped
to bring the supplies and then sat down on the dock and stared
moodily out over the lake.  She was lonesome; and in spite of the
fact that she had stayed home of her own accord she resented the
fact that the girls had gone off and left her.  The canoes lay
side by side on the beach and Gladys was seized with a fancy to
get into one and go gliding out over the smooth surface of the
lake.

She was not allowed in a canoe because she had not taken the
swimming test, but she considered this another piece of tyranny
on Nyoda's part.  She could paddle pretty well, as Sahwah had
taught her to handle the sponson, and she saw no reason at all
why she couldn't enjoy a quiet canoe ride up and down the beach
while no one was around to interfere.

"I'll stay near shore," she told herself, as she laid hold of one
of the canoes and launched it as she had seen the girls do.  She
managed to seat herself in the right end and pushed off from the
shore.  It was more fun even than she had imagined, and the canoe
seemed so light in comparison to the sponson that she sent it
flying through the water with little effort. "I'll bet they're
keeping me out of the canoes on purpose, so they'll have more use
of them themselves," she thought ungraciously, "and it's not
because I can't swim at all.  That was a safe rule to make when
I'm the only one who can't swim.  And they're my own father's
canoes!"

Gladys edged a little farther out from the shore, then a little
farther and a little farther.  The end of the canoe swung around
until it pointed directly out across the lake, and Gladys kept on
paddling in the way it pointed. When she had reached a distance
about halfway between Blueberry Island and the dock she noticed
with terror that the canoe was leaking.  She had not been in the
group when Nyoda had warned them about not using the one canoe
for several days, and as luck would have it, the canoe she picked
out was the very one which Sahwah had grounded on the rock.  The
gash was opening again and the canoe was filling with water.
Helpless from fright, Gladys dropped her paddle overboard and
buried her face in her hands after one wild look at the distant
shore.  It seemed to her like a swift judgment from heaven for
her outrageous conduct that day.

Sahwah, grown weary of sitting in the sun doing nothing, fixed
her eyes on the camp dock to watch for the putting out of the
launch.  No launch was forthcoming, but she saw a canoe gliding
out from the dock.  "Something must be the matter with the launch
and Nyoda's coming for me in a canoe," thought Sahwah.  "How
slowly she is paddling, it will take her an age to get here!"
Sahwah waited a little while and then slid off the rocks into the
water. "I'll swim out and meet her," she said to herself.  When
she had gone about half the distance she saw that it was not
Nyoda in the canoe, but Gladys, and an exclamation of astonishment
escaped from her lips.  Coming nearer yet she saw that Gladys was
in distress and had dropped her paddle overboard, and she doubled
her speed, shooting through the water like a speed boat. Raising up
her head once, she shouted to attract Gladys's attention. Gladys
evidently did not hear her, for she did not turn around.  When she
was nearly there Sahwah saw that the canoe was sinking, and with a
mighty spurt she reached it just as it settled to the water's edge,
and Gladys, with a wild scream, fell into the lake.

Sahwah caught her by the hair as she came up and held her head
out of water. "What did you take a canoe out for, you goose?" she
sputtered.  "You deserve to drown."  The canoe had not sunk
entirely yet, and Sahwah thought that if she could turn it over
keel up it would be all right until they could come for it.  So,
turning Gladys over on her back, she bade her float while she
kept one hand on her to keep her above water and reached out for
the canoe with the other.  Gladys struggled and choked, but
Sahwah paid no attention to her, for she knew that she was safe
and could not get a strangle hold on her.  Grasping one end of
the canoe she tried to turn it over.  At first it would not move,
and so Sahwah exerted all her strength in a mighty push.  The
canoe stood partly on end, and then came down with a crashing
thud on her outstretched arm.

An instant of numbness was followed by the most excruciating
pain, and the arm sank limply through the water.  Sahwah knew
that it was broken.  But even then her presence of mind did not
desert her.  Shoving Gladys out ahead of her with her good arm,
she propelled herself with her legs, swimming on her back, and
slowly they began to move toward the distant shore.  The half
mile that was nothing to Sahwah ordinarily now became an endless
stretch. The pain in her arm made her feel faint, and her limbs,
tired from her long swim, seemed suddenly to have turned into
lead.  The clouds above turned black, then blood red, then every
color of the rainbow.  Strange lights and shadows danced in front
of her eyes, and there were strange noises in her ears.  Her
breath came in long, sobbing gasps.  The arm that was holding
Gladys became cramped and weak, but there was no relief.  "Draw,
kick, close!  Draw, kick, close!"  The monotonous rhythm beat
itself into her brain.  "Draw, kick, close!"  Throb!  Throb!
Throb!  Would the nightmare never come to an end?  Through the
sound of strange voices that were echoing in her ears Sahwah
heard a cry that sounded like Nyoda's, and then darkness settled
around her and her efforts ceased.

Nyoda, coming down to untie the launch, reached the dock just as
Sahwah and Gladys came alongside of it, and held out her hand to
help Gladys up.  She thought she was being towed for fun.
"Sahwah, you naughty girl, what did you swim all the way home
for?" she began, and then gasped in astonishment as Sahwah
stiffened out in the water and went down.  She grasped her by the
collar as she came up and pulled her out on the dock, limp and
dripping. "What does this mean?" she asked Gladys.

"She towed me in when the canoe went down," said Gladys, her
teeth chattering with fright.  "She broke her arm and held me up
with the other while she swam with her legs."  Gladys's knees
gave way and she sank down on the dock, burying her face in her
hands.

And Sahwah the Sunfish, the lover of maiden bravery, the envier
of heroines, was the greatest of them all, and knew it not.



CHAPTER VIII.

A SERENADE.

"Is she dead?" cried the girls, gathering around with frightened
faces. Gladys caught the word "dead" and her heart turned to
water within her. The horror of the afternoon's experience had
made her see herself in her true light and she was overwhelmed
with shame at the sight.  This Sahwah whom she had twitted as
being a coward and a baby because she would not break her word,
was made of the stuff that heroes are made of, and had probably
given her brave life to save her worthless one.  Looking back
over the weeks she had spent in camp, she could not remember one
instance where she had done anybody a favor or entered with
enthusiasm into their plans, while Sahwah's unselfish devotion to
her during these last days smote her with sharp remorse.  In the
new light she suddenly saw the vast difference between herself
and these other girls.  Verily, they were not of her class,
because they were far above it.  How could she ever take her
hands from her face and look at them again?  "If Sahwah dies,"
she sobbed to herself, "I'll kill myself too."

Meanwhile Nyoda was working hard to bring Sahwah around.  It was
not a case of reviving a drowned person, for Sahwah had swallowed
no water.  She had fainted from exhaustion.  Nyoda rubbed her and
held salts to her nose and Sahwah finally opened her eyes.  "Did
I jump off in my sleep?" she asked dreamily.

"No, my dear, you did not," said Nyoda.  "You're a real,
wide-awake heroine this time, and no mistake."

"Where's Gladys?" cried Sahwah wildly, starting up suddenly, and
falling back with a groan.

"She's all right," said Nyoda, without looking around.  Sahwah
was carried up the hill and rolled in warm blankets and put to
bed with a hot drink, while Nyoda sped the launch across the lake
for the nearest doctor.

"Vell, vich von of de ladies has been celebrating dis time?" he
said with his German accent, as he entered the tent.  He was the
same doctor who had come to look at Migwan's knee.  "A broken
arm?  Ach, so," he said, patting the injured member.  "And for vy
did you not set it right away yourself, like dat Missis Migvan
did?" he asked.  "She vas a hustler, now!"  He talked on jovially
all the while he set the bone, and Sahwah stuffed the corners of
the pillow into her mouth so that no sound should escape her.
"Vell, vell," he continued, "dropped a canoe on her funny bone
and kicked herself all de vay across de lake, now.  And pushed
anoder lady by de neck!  I gif it up! And now, Missis Sahvah," he
said, holding up one finger at her, "you lie on de bed until I
say you should get out.  You could get a fever, pushing ladies
around by de neck!"

"_And_ now," he said, looking around, "de lady vot got drowned,
vere is she?" The girls searched through the camp for Gladys, but
she was nowhere to be found, and he was obliged to depart without
seeing her.  Far out in the woods Gladys wandered about
distractedly until her anxiety regarding Sahwah drove her back to
camp to face the girls and find out bow she was.  Near the tent
she stumbled against something on the ground, and stooping to see
what it was, found the racket on which she had vented her fury
that afternoon. The sight of it nearly made her ill.  "I'll get
her another," she resolved, "the best that money can buy.  Hers
was only a cheap one, after all."

It was a long time before she could make up her mind to enter the
tent, but she finally crept in, hoping to remain unnoticed and
hear how Sahwah was getting along.  Nyoda looked up as she came
in, and pitied her from the bottom of her heart.  "Come in,
Gladys," she said softly, and Gladys approached.

"How is--" she began, and then her voice broke.

"Fine and dandy," said Sahwah herself, rather weakly.  The fever
that the doctor had predicted was rising, and her lips were dry.
Nyoda feared that the presence of Gladys would excite Sahwah, and
led her out of the tent.

"Now Gladys," she said, sitting down on the steps of the shack,
"I want you to tell me everything that happened this afternoon.
How did it come that you were out in a canoe and had to be
rescued?"

Gladys told a straight story, not sparing herself in the least.
She told about the dreadful mood she had been in that afternoon
after the girls had gone away; how she had broken Sahwah's
racket, and then, filled with a very devil of rebellion, had
taken out one of the canoes.  It happened to be the leaky one and
her punishment overtook her swift as the wings of a bird.  She
had given up all hope when Sahwah had appeared magically from
somewhere and towed her in, in spite of her broken arm.  Gladys's
face was crimson with shame when she told how she had tried to
make Sahwah take her out in the sponson during rest hour, and had
called her a coward because she refused. She told Nyoda
everything except the letter she had written to her father. She
could not bring herself to tell that.  It lay on her conscience
like a lump of lead.

Nyoda said very little about the matter and did not upbraid her
at all.  She saw that Gladys's sins had come down on her head in
a manner which would make a very deep impression, and that Gladys
would emerge from the experience a sadder and wiser girl.

"I haven't been a very good camper, Nyoda," said Gladys humbly,
"but I'm going to try to be after this."

"I know you will," said Nyoda, putting her arm around her, "and
you are going to succeed, too.  And now let's go and see how
Sahwah is."

Sahwah was tossing on the bed and muttering when they came in.
She had a high fever and was living over again her strenuous
escapade of the afternoon.  She cried aloud that the shore was
running away from her, that the clouds were tumbling down on her,
that a big fish had a hold of her arm. "This rock I am pushing
against," she moaned, "is so heavy, I shall never get around it."
Nyoda gave her the fever medicine left by the doctor and she sank
into a heavy sleep.  All that night and all the next day she
alternately raved and slept.

Nyoda fetched the doctor again the next day and he predicted that
Sahwah would soon be better.  "She is a strong von, dat Missis
Sahvah," he said. "She has bones like iron!  A weak von vould
maybe haf brain fever, but not she, I don't tink!"  Nor did
Sahwah disappoint him.  She had a constitution like a nine-lived
cat, and her active outdoor life kept her blood in perfect
condition, and it was not long before she began to get the upper
hand of the fever.

During the second night she woke up feeling delightfully cool and
comfortable.  The fever had left her sometime during sleep.  The
moon was setting over the lake, making a long golden streak
across the water.  Sahwah smiled happily at the peaceful scene.
Then she became aware of a figure crouching on the floor beside
her bed.  It was Gladys, sitting on a low stool beside her,
keeping watch.

"Hello, Gladys," she said, weakly but cheerfully.

Gladys started up. "Do you really know me?" she said joyfully.

"Sure I know you," said Sahwah. "Why shouldn't I?"

"You didn't yesterday, you know," said Gladys.

"Did my arm make me so sick?" asked Sahwah, feeling gingerly of
the white bandage, and moving her feet to make sure that they
were not similarly adorned.  Gladys nodded.  "Have you been
sitting here all night?" asked Sahwah.

"Yes," said Gladys.  "Nyoda sat up last night, but I made her go
to bed to-night.  She is here in my bed, and I'm to call her if
she's needed."

"Let her sleep," said Sahwah softly.  "And you go back to bed,
too.  I won't need anything to-night, really I won't, I feel fine
now."

Gladys shook her head resolutely.  "I promised to sit up with you
to-night, and I'm going to keep my promise.  You see I can be
trustworthy sometimes. O Sahwah," she cried, burying her face in
the blankets, "how can I ever repay you for what you have done?"

"Don't try," said Sahwah cheerfully.

"What a miserable sneak you must think me!" continued Gladys.

"O shucks!" said Sahwah, who hated scenes.  "Forget it.  Let's
start all over from the beginning."

"Are you really willing to give me another chance?" said Gladys
joyfully.

"Sure," said Sahwah. "Here's my hand on it."  She slid her hand
out from under the covers and caught Gladys's in a warm clasp.
She fell asleep soon after that and did not waken again during
the night, but Gladys sat beside her until morning, watching her
slightest movement.  And the Camp Fire leaven was beginning to
work in her, and she was learning to fulfil the Law, which says,
"Give service."

The girls were filled with delight the next morning to hear
Sahwah calling for her breakfast in her natural voice and
clucking to the chipmunks as of old.  Migwan sped to the woods
for a bouquet of the brightest flowers she could find to adorn
the tent, while Hinpoha clattered around the kitchen concocting
delicacies.  Gladys hovered over her like a fond grandmama,
brushing her hair, washing her face and plumping up the pillows,
and the rest of the Winnebagos looked in every five minutes to
see how she felt. Sahwah had never had so much attention before
in her life.  Her slightest want was attended to as soon as
expressed.  The suffering of the last two days was more than made
up for by the joys of being a heroine, and Sahwah drank deep of
the cup that was offered her.

"This tent is getting famous," said Hinpoha, as she moved about
setting it to rights, "there are already two heroines in it.
We'll have to change the name from 'Omega' to 'Heroine's Lodge.'
Quite a good idea, that," and picking up a piece of birch-bark,
she painted the name on it in large letters and tacked it to the
tent pole.  "Now,", she continued, "we'll name your bed
'Rescuer's Roost' and Migwan's 'Clew-givers' Cradle,'" and she
made two more signs, and hung them on the foot rails of the beds.

Sahwah sat up for an hour in the afternoon and Gladys danced for
her amusement.  The girls gasped with wonder and delight, for
they had never seen anything like it.  She was as light on her
feet as thistledown and as graceful as a swaying rose.  Nyoda
watched her with keen pleasure, but it was not her twinkling
feet, nor the artistic posing of her limbs that held her
attention, but the new expression on her face.  The old selfish,
blase' look was gone, and her features were lit up by an eager
smile that sparkled in her eyes and curved up the corners of her
pretty mouth.  Again the leaven was at work in her, and she was
fulfilling the Law of the Camp Fire, which is to "Seek beauty."

Sahwah slept again after that and Gladys called all the girls
together around the piano in the shack, where they stayed until
supper time, singing softly under Gladys's direction.  Sahwah had
finished her supper and had been made comfortable for the night
and lay staring out into the gathering darkness and wondering
where the girls were.  Not a soul was in sight, neither could she
hear their voices.  Then all at once she heard the sound of
singing, wafted up from the lake.  It was "Stars of the Summer
Night," sung exquisitely in three parts.  Sahwah could hardly
believe it was the Winnebagos, so perfect was the harmony.  This
was followed by "I Would That My Love," sung by Gladys and Nyoda.
Sahwah drew a long, rapturous breath at the beautiful blending of
alto and soprano.  She was passionately fond of music.  Then
Gladys sang "Come Where My Love Lies Dreaming," her clear high
voice ringing over the water like a flute.  The notes died
lingeringly away, and the silence was broken by the soft chugging
of the launch as it bore the serenaders back to shore.

Sahwah composed herself to sleep, the melodies she had just heard
still echoing in her ears.  A soft rustling outside the tent door
made her open her eyes, and she started in surprise at the fairy
scene which was being enacted there.  In the open grassy space
before the tent figures were passing back and forth and winding
in and out in the mazes of a dance.  So silently they moved they
scarcely seemed flesh and blood, but rather a band of woodland
nymphs performing their nightly revels.  There was one figure
among them who was lighter and airier than all the rest, and she
darted in and out between the lines, and round and round them,
like a butterfly fluttering around a bed of tossing flowers.  At
last, after joining hands and whirling madly in a circle, they
broke ranks and vanished among the trees.

Sahwah tried to applaud, but could not manage it single-handed,
and shouted her appreciation at the top of her lungs, which
brought the whole troupe to the edge of the tent to bow and
curtsey.  Nyoda drew them away again immediately, however,
declaring that it was high time Sahwah went to sleep.

Long after the other girls lay motionless in their beds Gladys
was wakeful and restless.  In spite of the fact that she had
spent the entire day in the service of others she had no peace.
Nyoda had praised her warmly for arranging the serenade and
dance, but this only aggravated the trouble she was having in her
mind; namely, the letter which she had written her father, the
horrid, lying epistle in which she had cruelly wronged kind-hearted
Nyoda and all these wonderful girls.  He must have it by now,
and would undoubtedly send for her immediately.  And furthermore,
he would probably make all the others go home too. At this
thought her heart almost stopped beating.  There was only one
thing that could prevent it, and that was for her to write him
another letter, contradicting the first.  It sounded easy to say
it, but it would mean that her father would know she had told an
untruth, and she shrank back miserably from the revelation. She
admired her father and cared much for his opinion of her, and to
be branded as a liar in his sight was more than she could bear.
He would never believe her again.

On the other hand, the thought of breaking up this jolly summer
camp and sending the girls home unhappy made the chills run down
her back and the perspiration start out on her forehead.  Sahwah
and her swimming--could she have the heart to separate them?  Her
other indebtedness to Sahwah she dared not even think of.
Wherever she turned her face she saw Nyoda's trusting eyes
looking into hers with a smile as they had done that very
evening. Could she bear to cloud them over with grief and
disappointment?  She was just beginning to rise in Nyoda's good
graces.  Could she bear to fall forever?

The hours dragged wakefully and her thoughts tortured her like
searing irons. In all her life Gladys had never done the hard
thing when there was an easier alternative, and the struggle
between the two forces in her was a mortal one.  But the constant
example of unselfishness which the girls had set for her all
summer had had its effect, and by morning the balance had swung
over to the side of self-sacrifice, and she was fully resolved to
write the letter which would make her father despise her.  She
rose as soon as it was light, brought out her writing materials,
and with an unfaltering pen wrote the sentences which branded her
with dishonor.  It was the most difficult letter she had ever
written, but she kept on steadily to the end, and sealed and
addressed it as the rising bugle blew.

When it was all over a load seemed lifted from her heart, and
breakfast was the jolliest meal she had eaten for some time. For
the last three days her meals had been nightmares.  The happy
chatter of the girls nearly maddened her when she thought that it
would soon be hushed and she had done the deed which was to
silence it.  She could not look a single girl in the face and her
food choked her.  But this morning all that was over.  She joined
in making plans for future trips with enthusiasm, for she felt
that she had a right to.  Whatever would be the consequences of
her confession to her father, all the suffering would be borne by
her alone, and she had nothing more on her conscience.  Feeling
curiously light-hearted, she ran down to the dock to give the
letter to the steamer captain.

Nyoda had already received the incoming mail and was distributing
it.  "Here, Gladys, something for you," she said, handing her an
envelope.  At the sight of it Gladys stood as if rooted to the
dock.  It was the very letter she had written to her father on
that memorable afternoon.  It had missed her father in his
travels and been returned to her.

"What's the matter, Gladys, have you seen a ghost?" asked
Hinpoha, as Gladys stood staring open-mouthed at the envelope.

"Nothing," said Gladys, and sped up the path clutching the two
letters in her hand.  "I didn't deserve it," she panted, as she
reached the shelter of the woods.  "Some good angel had me under
its wing that time for sure."  She tore both letters into bits
and then burned them and scattered the ashes to the winds.  Then
taking her knife she cut a letter L in the bark of the tree under
which she stood, and pierced it with an arrow, to signify that a
letter can do as much harm as an arrow.  Every time she passed
that tree she saw the mark and renewed her vow never to write
another letter in anger.

The next mail did carry another letter to her father, but its
composing cost Gladys no pain.  It contained an enthusiastic
account of her rescue by Sahwah, and then she went on to tell
what a good time she was having and what wonderful girls the
Winnebagos were.  She ended up with the statement that they had
such good "eats" here that she never knew when to stop, and had
already gained five pounds.

She also sent to Portland for a new racket for Sahwah, paying
eight dollars for it.  She did not ask her father for the money,
but took the whole amount out of her own allowance.  Sahwah was
up now and running around the camp as lively as ever, in spite of
her splinted arm.  "Isn't it blessed luck that it's my left one,"
she declared over and over again, "and doesn't interfere much
with what I want to do?"  She insisted on taking her morning dip
with the rest of them, although of course she could neither swim
nor dive.  She waded out to her waist and with her good hand
managed to splash the water over her chest and head.  This
proceeding generally filled her with profound disgust when she
saw the others jumping in with a grand gurgle and splash, but it
was better than staying out of the water altogether.

But the greatest phenomenon in the water just now was the way
Gladys was learning to swim.  Thoroughly ashamed of her
backwardness in this matter, she made up her mind once for all
that she was going to overcome her fear of the water and let
herself be helped.  Of late the girls had about given up trying
to teach her.  She confided her determination to Nyoda and asked
her to be patient with her a little while longer.  Nyoda,
overjoyed at this sudden show of spirit, took her under her wing
immediately.  Gladys struck out bravely; lost her balance and
went under; came up blind and strangling; blew the water out of
her nose and laughed, and then went at it again.  She repeated
the performance more than a dozen times and every time she went
down she came up more determined than ever to master that stroke.
At the end of the swimming hour she had taken six strokes in
succession with Nyoda just barely supporting her.  The next day
Nyoda began by holding her up and then when her arms and legs
were working rhythmically slyly withdrew her hand and let her go
alone.  Gladys went a dozen strokes before she perceived that
Nyoda had let go of her.  She progressed so much that day that
the next swimming period Nyoda considered it unnecessary to help
her at all, and let her swim up and down the beach by herself and
practise for distance until she could take the test.

Sahwah no longer had the doctor come over to see her, as this
took a great deal of his time, but went across the lake in the
launch to his office to have the splints looked after.

"Vell, Missis Sahvah," he would always say on these occasions,
"how many ladies haf you pushed by de neck across de top of de
lake to-day?"  He always exclaimed in delight at the progress her
arm was making. "Such bones!" he would say, waving his hands
eloquently.  "Dey can knit faster dan my grandmama could, and she
was de fastest knitter in Hamburg!  If only my son Heinrich could
see dose bones!  You vould like to see my son Heinrich, yes?"  He
took down a photograph from the top of his medicine cabinet and
showed it to her and Nyoda.  "Dot is my son Heinrich.  He now
studies medicine at de University of Berlin in de Staatsklinick.
He is going to be a great surgeon doctor.  Next year he comes to
America to practise mit me in dis office.  Den you can break both
of your arms at vonce, for dere will be two doctors to tie dem
up!"  His deep laugh boomed out pleasantly at his own joke.

On another occasion he led them with an air of great mystery into
the kitchen of his house and showed them a basket wherein five
kittens were lying on a soft bed.  He sat down and took all five
of them into his lap.  They scampered all over him, up and down
his arms, on top of his head, up and down his legs, while he
laughed heartily at their antics.  He shouted with glee when one
of them darted a furry paw into his open mouth.  "You vould like
von of de liddle cats, yes?" he said to Sahwah.  "I vould like to
keep dem all, but Missis Schmitt, de lady who keeps house for me,
she says no, and I haf to mind vot she says."

"May I take one, Nyoda?" asked Sahwah.  Nyoda assented and Sahwah
picked out the liveliest one, which was coal black from his nose
to the tip of his tail.

"Vait a minute," said the doctor when they were about to start,
and after fumbling in a drawer he produced a red ribbon with a
little bell attached. "Dere, now, you can find him in de dark,"
he said, tying it round the kitten's neck.  The girls were
enchanted with the new pet and promptly christened it "Kitty
Wohelo."  Playing with it whiled away many a tedious hour for
Sahwah when she could not join in the sports with the other
girls.

One morning the steamer stopped at the dock and unloaded two
express packages of enormous size, both addressed to Sahwah.
"What on earth can it be?" she said.  "I don't know a soul who
would be sending me anything by express." There was a letter for
her in the mail and she opened this first.  It was from Gladys's
father and read: "I am sending you by express a few trifles I
picked up among the Indians here, in gratitude for the service
you rendered my daughter Gladys on the 30th of July.  May you
live a hundred years, and wear every one of them out!"

The first of the "trifles" was a pair of Indian moccasins, made
of finest doe skin and elaborately beaded.  Then came a variety
of reed and birch baskets of different shapes and sizes.  Most of
these were filled with strings of wampum, arrow heads, pieces of
bead work and other Indian curios.  Under the baskets was an
Indian girl's costume made of doe skin, with leggings to match.
The next thing that came to light was a large muff of finest
black fox fur, and another package contained the neckpiece.  In
the bottom of the box were a sealskin cap, a hunting knife in a
soft leather case, a small Winchester rifle and a pair of fine
hockey skates with shoes attached. Sahwah, rendered speechless by
this sudden rain of presents, could only hop up and down for joy
as each new treasure was brought to light.

But if the contents of the first box took her breath away, when
she saw what was in the other her delight knew no bounds. It was
a long narrow crate, built of wooden slats, and careful opening
revealed a birchbark canoe, big enough to paddle on the lake.
Its sides were decorated with Indian craft work and in it lay two
paddles.  It took almost physical restraint to keep Sahwah from
launching it right then and there, one-handed as she was, and
trying it out.  Only the promise of a grand ceremony of launching
when she could use her arm again comforted her for the delay.

One morning not long afterward Gladys announced modestly that she
thought she could take the swimming test to-day. Nyoda and
Hinpoha got into the sponson and the three set out, Gladys
swimming alongside the boat.  All fear of deep water had left her
now and she moved along easily and swiftly.  The first half of
the distance was covered without difficulty, and then she began
to tire.  Even a vaulting ambition cannot supply a powerful body
on short notice.  Her breath grew short and the water began to
run into her throat and choke her.  She struggled on valiantly
for some time until Nyoda, seeing that she was going beyond her
strength, reached out and pulled her into the boat.  Gladys
crouched in a disconsolate heap in the bottom of the sponson, and
refused to be comforted by the assurance that she had done
wonderfully well, all things considered, and that a number of the
other girls had failed their first test.  "I'll do it to-morrow,"
she said, clenching her hands, "or die."

And she did.  The old weakness overcame her at the same distance
out, but this time she had the presence of mind to turn over on
her back and rest, and went on again when she had her breath
back.  Nyoda noted this manoeuver approvingly.  It indicated good
sense.  Gladys covered the last twenty-five yards by sheer grit.
Every breath was a gasp, the shore line wavered dizzily before
her, and it seemed that she was pushing against an immovable
wall.  Nyoda watched her closely, and saw her rear up her head
and set her teeth and battle on against wind and wave.  "She'll
do," she said to herself joyfully, "she has physical courage as
well as the others.  She will uphold the honor of the Winnebagos!"

"That will do," she said gently, as the boat grounded noiselessly
on the sloping beach.  Gladys's feet struck solid ground and she
opened her eyes in surprise.  "Is it all over?" she asked
wonderingly.

"All over," said Nyoda.  "Congratulations!"

She was borne back to the dock in triumph, to be praised and
patted on the head by all the girls, like a conquering hero.
Sahwah was particularly pleased at her success.  "When you first
came I didn't think you had it in you," she said, "but now I
believe you can do anything you want to!"

"When may I go out in a canoe?" asked Gladys.

"Right this very minute," said Nyoda, and took her out for a ride
in the sailing canoe.

The morning song hour had now become a time of keenest pleasure,
for Gladys threw herself into the work with heart and voice.  Her
strong, sure soprano led the girls through many a difficult
passage which they could not have attempted without her help, and
she taught them much about expression.  She took great pleasure
in singing solo parts and having the girls hum the accompaniment.
This last arrangement was particularly effective on the water,
and the hills echoed nightly with "Don' You Cry, Ma Honey,"
"Mammy Lou," "Rockin' in the Wind" and other negro melodies,
besides boating songs galore. Migwan won a local song honor by
writing a lullaby, beginning:

    "Over the water Night steers her canoe,
    She's coming, she's coming, for me and for you."

But the favorite canoe song was, and always would be, "Across the
Silver'd Lake," and the girls sang it first and last every night.
The moon was in full glory at that time of the month, and the
glittering lake closed in by high dark pines made a scene of
indescribable beauty.  It was harder each night to break away and
go to bed.

"O dear," sighed Migwan one night, "why do we have to go to bed
at all?  I'd like to stay up and serenade the moon all night!"

"I don't know as I care about wasting songs on that old dead
moon," said practical Sahwah, "but there is one thing I'd like to
do, and that is serenade the doctor."

"That's a good idea," said. Nyoda, "and one which we must carry
out."

So the next morning they gathered around the piano to practise a
song to sing under Dr. Hoffman's window.  "We ought to sing a
German one," said Sahwah, "that would please him more than
anything."  They picked out the "Lorelei" and began learning the
German words.

The night was one of magic splendor and the lake was without a
ripple as the two long, dark canoes glided silently over the
water toward the opposite shore.  The doctor's house, which was a
summer cottage, stood close to the beach, and a light on the side
where his office was assured them that he was at home.  Gladys
started them off, and the beautiful strains rose on the still
air:

    "Ich weiss nicht wass soll es bedeuten
    Dass ich so traurig bin--"

Inside the office the doctor sat with his head in his hands, his
whole body bowed in grief and despair.  On the table beside him
lay an open letter and in his hand he clasped a small iron cross.
"Heinrich," he cried brokenly, "my Heinrich!"  The letter told
the story.  When the war broke out the young man had been called
from his studies in the University to take up arms for his
country and fell in the very first battle at the storming of
Liege'. Not before he had distinguished himself for bravery,
however.  He received the bullet which caused his death while
carrying a wounded comrade off the battlefield in the face of a
murderous fire from the enemy, and wounded and suffering, had
borne his friend to safety.  He lived just long enough to be
decorated with the Iron Cross, which he begged the captain to
send to his father, as his last message.

It was a heavy blow for the old man, who was counting the days
until his son should come to America and go into partnership with
him.  The world became a dark and sad place for him and he had no
ambition to go on living.  The only consolation he had was the
thought that his son had died a hero and his last act had brought
honor to his family.  He gripped the Iron Cross tightly and
wished passionately that Heinrich had lived to wear it.  As the
lonely, broken-hearted old doctor sat there with his head in his
hands trying to realize the misfortune which had crushed him he
heard strains of music floating up from the lake.

    "Ich Weiss nicht wass soll es bedeuten
    Dass ich so traurig bin--"

The sweet girlish voices rang out in fine harmony.  The doctor
raised his head to listen.  "Bless dere liddle hearts," he
murmured, "dey are bringing me a serenade to please me."  A tiny
ray of pleasure visited his sad heart. "Tell dem," he said to his
housekeeper, "dat de old doctor has too much sorrow to speak to
dem to-night, but he tanks dem for de song and hopes dey will
come again."



CHAPTER IX

THE WHITE MEN'S LODGES.

"Don't stand so stiffly, Sahwah," said Gladys.  "Bend your knees
a little. Let yourself go in the air the way you were always
telling me to let myself go in the water.  See, this way."  She
took a few graceful dancing steps back and forth in front of
Sahwah.  Sahwah did her best to imitate her. "There, that's a
little better," said Gladys, "but there is lots of room for
improvement still.  Now, one, two, three, point, step, point,
turn, point, step, point, turn, point, slide, slide, slide,
close."  Sahwah struggled to follow her directions, poising her
free hand in the air as Gladys did.  "You handle your feet fairly
well," said Gladys, "but you ought to see your face.  You look as
if you were performing the most disagreeable task, and were in
perfect misery over it.  Smile when you dance, and incline your
head gracefully, and don't act as if it were glued immovably onto
your shoulders."  Sahwah dutifully grinned from ear to ear, and
Gladys shook her head again.  "No, not like that, it makes you
look like a clown.  Just smile slightly and naturally; act as if
you were enjoying yourself."  Thus the lesson proceeded.  Gladys
had undertaken the task of teaching Sahwah fancy dancing, and
drilled her every morning in the shack.  Sahwah was eager to
learn and practised the steps until her feet ached with
weariness.  "There," said Gladys, as Sahwah succeeded in
memorizing a number of steps, now we'll try it with the music.
Remember, you are impersonating a tree swaying in the wind, and
bend from your waist line.  That's the right way.

"Now, everybody up for the 'Hesitation,'" she called, when
Sahwah, flushed and panting, sat down in a corner to rest.  The
girls lined up briskly for their lesson.  Nearly all of them knew
the correct steps of the modern society dances, but few of them
danced really well, and it was the little fine touches and graces
that Gladys was teaching them--lightness of foot, stateliness of
carriage, graceful disposing of arms and hands.  Gladys had taken
charge of the entire dancing hour now, and it was the most
popular class in the whole schedule.  Nyoda was a little
breathless at the way Gladys was developing into a leader.  She,
who a few weeks before was not able to reach the standards which
the Winnebagos had set for themselves, was now calmly leading
them on to greater heights!

Now that Gladys had learned to swim, the next thing for her to do
was to get used to jumping into deep water.  She stood out on the
end of the low springboard a long time trying to make up her mind
to go off, and finally shrank back, thoroughly disgusted with
herself, but unable to bring herself to make the leap.  "Shall I
hold your hand the first time?" said Nyoda. Holding tightly to
Nyoda's hand, Gladys jumped from the board, and sank down, down
through the glassy, translucent depths, holding her breath and
trying to keep her eyes open as she had been bidden.  At first
all was darkness, then a mass of bubbles became visible, then
light shone through the water and the next moment her head shot
out above the surface, and Nyoda pulled her up on the dock.  It
had all happened so quickly that she had no time to be frightened.

"Why, it's _fun_," she said in amazement.  All the girls laughed
at the comical expression on her face.

"Now do it alone," said Nyoda, "and this time try to right
yourself and begin to swim."  Again Gladys jumped into the
depths, and as soon as her head was clear of the water struck out
of her own accord and swam around the dock. "Now come up, and
turn over on your back and float," said Nyoda.  Gladys accomplished
this also.  She could not overcome her astonishment at the feats
she was able to perform in the water, now that she had lost her
fear of it.  She became bolder and bolder with each new trial and
finally took every one's breath away by announcing that she was
going off the top of the tower.  And she did it, too, without a
moment's hesitation.  There was one trick she had which caused
them all great amusement.  She _would_ hold her nose when she
jumped, which Nyoda laughingly explained, was _very_ bad form
indeed.  It was a sight to see her going off the tower, feet
together like a statue, one hand held straight above her head and
the other tight over her nose.

Sahwah's arm had fully healed by this time and the splints were
taken off. The old doctor tried hard to be cheerful when she came
to him the last time, but his heart had gone out of his work.  He
told Sahwah about his son and showed her the Iron Cross.  Led on
by her sympathetic manner, he talked a long time about Heinrich,
told her little incidents of his school days, and dwelt with
pride on the record he had made in the class room, in the
gymnasium, in the Klinik.  When he spoke of the brave deed which
had won him the Iron Cross his voice sank into a reverent whisper
and his stooped figure straightened up into the bearing of a
soldier.  It was no light thing to be the father of a hero!  Then
he added, "But I forget, Missis Sahwah, you haf also done a brave
deed and brought honor to your family.  You should also haf de
Iron Cross!"

Sahwah smiled at the idea of being decorated for "pushing a lady
by de neck across de top of de lake" as the doctor had expressed
it.  She and the doctor had become great friends while he was
taking care of her arm.  He had taken a great fancy to her from
the start.  Sahwah had no German blood in her; she was straight
Puritan descent and knew only the few words of the German
language she had acquired in school, and pronounced them badly.
She reminded him of nothing in the Fatherland, and he was unlike
any one she had ever associated with, and yet between these two
there had sprung up the warmest kind of friendship.  He opened up
his cabinet and let her handle the instruments, a thing it would
have been worth his housekeeper's life to have tried; he pulled
out old pipes and pieces of pewter and told her their stories; he
showed her pictures of his wife and little Heinrich.  And Sahwah
in turn took his breath away recounting the escapades of the
Winnebagos. She made him promise to come over to camp to see her
new canoe launched. Promptly at the time appointed he came, in
his own launch, with a big straw hat shading his face and his
surgical case in his hand, "in case von of de ladies should break
her a bone."

Sahwah had named her new canoe the "_Keewaydin_," or "_Northwest
Wind_," and the launching proceeded ceremoniously.  The seven
girls carried it down to the water's edge, its sides decorated
with balsam boughs, saluted it by raising it three times above
their heads at arm's length, and then held it while Migwan
recited a poem in honor of the launching:

    "Out o'er the shining lake, Glide thou, my bark canoe, Out
    toward the purple hills, Lovely _Keewaydin_! Swift as the
    seabird's wing, Light as the ocean's foam, Speed o'er the
    dancing wave, Lovely _Keewaydin_!"

The canoe was lowered to the water's edge and Sahwah and Gladys
got in and paddled out from shore, followed by the cheers of the
girls.

When the _Keewaydin_ had returned from her maiden voyage Hinpoha
and Migwan were ready with a stunt to amuse the audience.  They
dramatized that classic argument between the man and his wife as
to whether the crime was committed with a knife or a scissors.
Migwan, as the husband, stoutly maintained that it was a knife,
and Hinpoha, as his spouse, fiercely declared it was a scissors.
Arguing hotly, they went out in a canoe, and soon came to blows
about the point in question.  The man threw his wife overboard,
and hit her with a paddle every time she poked her head up.  She
kept coming up and saying, "Scissors!" while he insisted,
"Knife!"  As the story goes, the wife finally drowns, and the
last minute her fingers come up making a scissors motion.
Migwan, however, after Hinpoha went overboard, hit out so
energetically with her paddle that the canoe went over and the
climax was lost in the splash.

The girls did everything they could think of to cheer up the
doctor and made a great feast in his honor.  Sahwah baked her
feathery biscuits; Migwan stirred up a pan of delicious fudge;
Hinpoha made her famous slumgullion; Nyoda broiled fish, while
the rest of the girls gathered blueberries in the woods.  The
cooking must have tasted good to the doctor, for he passed his
plate three times for slumgullion and ate so many biscuits he
lost count. Hinpoha, too, throwing her vow of abstinence to the
winds, ate until she groaned, and while she was clearing away the
dishes finished up all that was left of the fudge and the
blueberries.  The doctor took his leave in the afternoon,
declaring he had never eaten anything so good as Sahwah's
biscuits.  "She can make," he said impressively, "better biscuits
dan my grandmama, and she made de best biscuits in Hamburg!"
Strange to say, the girls were not very hungry at supper time,
and ate nothing but wafers and lemonade.

"Where are you going with your blankets?" said Nyoda, stopping in
surprise as she met Migwan coming out of her tent with all her
bedding in her arms.

"I'm going to sleep in the tree-house," answered Migwan.

"Sleep in the tree-house?" echoed Nyoda, "isn't there room enough
in the tent?"

"Oh, there's room enough," said Migwan, "that isn't the reason.
I just want to do it for the experience.  I was lying awake the
other night, listening to the wind singing through the treetops,
and I thought of all the little birds sleeping up in the trees,
and decided I would try it and see what it was like."

"Her poet's soul spurns the common earth, and she seeks the
treetops to be nearer the sky," said Nyoda banteringly.  "If I
may intrude such a material question among your ethereal
desires," she continued, "how are you going to get your blankets
up there?"

Migwan stopped, a little taken aback.  The tree-house was more
than thirty feet from the ground and in order to get into it the
girls had to climb up the limbs of the tree.  Some of the
branches were far apart and it was quite a stretch to make the
distance, while the long space from the ground to the first
branch was notched to assure a foothold.  It was easy enough
climbing empty-handed, but scrambling up there with an armful of
blankets was another matter.  Nyoda watched the expression on
Migwan's face with keen amusement. This was the sort of thing she
was always doing--her poetic fancy would be kindled to a certain
idea without ever stopping to consider the practical side.  But
Migwan was resourceful as well as romantic.  She took in the
situation at a glance, laid her blankets at the foot of the tree,
and repaired to the kitchen, whence she presently emerged with a
long rope, made of sundry short ropes tied together and pieced
out with strips of cloth. Winding this around her waist, she
climbed the tree and fastened one end of it to the railing of the
Crow's Nest.  Then she let the other end down, asked Nyoda to tie
her bedding to it, and hauled it up with the greatest ease.  The
floor struck her as being far from soft when she spread her
blankets out, and by dint of much labor she also hauled up her
mattress. Then she had a further inspiration and laid the
mattress across two poles, which kept it up off the floor and
made it softer yet.

The moon and stars seemed very close, when she finally had the
bed fixed to her satisfaction and stood looking around her. In
fact, it seemed as if she could put out her hand and grasp the
Great Bear by the tail.  Jupiter was just at her left hand,
peeking impudently through the branches while she undressed.
Down below the tents gleamed ghostly in the pale light.

What an airy cradle it was, after she was rolled in the blankets
and fixed comfortably for sight seeing!  The breezes fiddled
through the twigs, making elfin music, and the tree-house swayed
gently.  It was too beautiful to sleep through, and Migwan lay
awake hour after hour in wonder and delight, watching the moon
steer her placid course across the sky.  She saw Jupiter
culminate and incline to westward; saw Arcturus sink behind the
hills, and watched the Dipper go wheeling round the pole like the
hand of an enormous clock.

Off somewhere in the woods a whip-poor-will was lamenting; the
waves splashed against the rocks below; a cricket chirped at the
foot of the tree.  Migwan turned over to get a look at the view
on the other side and her pillow went overboard with a soft plop.
She leaned over the edge to see where it had gone and the poles
slid gently apart, letting the mattress down flat on the floor.
She adjusted herself to the new position and continued looking
up.

When all the stars had traveled to the morning side of the sky
she finally dropped off to sleep, only to waken again with the
first faint gray light of dawn.  A frowzy, cocky-looking bird
flew into the tree just above her head and balanced himself on
the limb.  He had evidently been out all night and was sneaking
home in the wee sma' hours, much the worse for dissipation.  He
teetered back and forth for a moment, then began unsteadily
climbing the stairs up the branches.  Migwan hoped his wife was
waiting for him at the top step, and listened to hear the curtain
lecture he would receive.  She heard no uproar, however and
concluded he was a bachelor and could go and come when he
pleased.

In contrast to Migwan's peaceful night, Hinpoha lay tossing in
dire distress. She was no sooner in bed than the biscuits she had
gobbled for dinner started to make war on the slumgullion, and
the lemonade began to have words with the blueberries.  The fudge
was a power unto itself and made war on all the rest.  Hinpoha
tried to get up and get something to relieve herself, but she was
so dizzy she couldn't stand.  A great monstrous biscuit was
sitting on the pit of her stomach, squeezing the breath out of
her, and she sank back on the pillow.  Sahwah finally heard her
groan and got up and brought her some hot water, which settled
the dispute going on in her stomach.

Gladys and Sahwah were coming home from the village in the launch
one afternoon, where they had been to get the milk.  It looked
like rain and they were hastening to get back to camp.  Great was
their vexation, therefore, when the engine wheezed a few times
and then stopped dead still. Investigation revealed that the
gasoline had given out.  "Why didn't I think to fill her up
before we left?" said Sahwah impatiently.  "Here we are, out in
the middle of the lake with never an oar or a paddle, and not a
bit of breeze blowing.  Why, we aren't even drifting!"  To all
appearances it looked as if they were becalmed there for the rest
of the afternoon, until they would be missed from camp, and
Gladys said so, resignedly.

"I should say I won't stay here all afternoon," said Sahwah.
"I'll swim ashore first.  The girls are waiting for this milk.  I
wonder if anybody would see us if we ran up a distress signal?"

"What could we use for one?" asked Gladys.

Sahwah looked around for a moment and then calmly took off her
middy and waved it around her head by one sleeve.  They were
hidden from camp by a bend in the shore line, but they hoped to
attract the attention of some of the other campers along the
lake.  Besides waving the middy, both girls called and yodled
until they were hoarse.  At last they had the satisfaction of
seeing a launch coming across the lake toward them, with a flag
waving in answer to their signal.  Sahwah hastily put on her
middy again.  There were two boys of about sixteen in the launch
and they stopped alongside of the _Sunbeam_ and inquired the
trouble.

"We have run out of gasoline," said Sahwah.

"Would you like us to tow you in so you can get a fill-up?" asked
the boy who was running the launch.  "We're from the Mountain
Lake Camp over yonder, and have plenty of gasoline to spare."
The girls agreed and the boys threw them a tow line and off they
went toward the shore.  Upon landing they found themselves in a
large summer camp for boys.  Boys of every age and size from six
years up to eighteen were swarming around the dock, waiting to
see who the distressed sailors were, and the girls became the
center of interest. The two boys who had brought them in, and who
had introduced themselves as "the Roberts brothers, Ed and Ned,"
called one of the senior Counsellors and told him the trouble,
and he willingly agreed to sell Sahwah and Gladys a quantity of
gasoline.  Great interest was aroused when the girls said they
were from Camp Winnebago, for the fame of some of their doings
had gone about the village, and their singing on the lake at
night had been heard by more people than they knew.

"Didn't one of your girls tow in another one with both her arms
broken?" asked one of the boys standing near.  Sahwah and Gladys
laughed outright at this version of the story.  When Gladys
announced that Sahwah was the heroine in question and she the
nearly drowned maiden a ripple went went through the camp.

"I don't see how you ever did it," said another of the boys,
"you're so little!"  Sahwah was sorely tempted to do one of her
famous dives right then and there, only she knew that such an
exhibition would be entirely out of place, and so restrained
herself.  It began to rain while they were waiting for the
gasoline and the Counsellor insisted upon their remaining until
it stopped, and took them up into one of the bungalows in which
the boys lived.

Before they left he showed them all over the camp.  The boys
lived in little wooden lodges called Senior and Junior Lodges,
the younger ones on one side of the camp and the older ones on
the other.  They were divided into three classes according to
their swimming ability, namely, minnows, perch and salmon, and
the different groups had different swimming hours.

"Do you have different grades in swimming, too?" asked Ned
Roberts.

"No," replied Sahwah, "we're all salmon!" Ned looked at Gladys
expressively and Sahwah read his meaning.  "Oh, she swims
beautifully now," she said loyally.

"At any rate, I wouldn't have to be rescued any more, even if I
don't classify as a salmon," said Gladys.

Sahwah could not help noticing how much Gladys was at her ease
among these boys.  Her eyes sparkled and her lips smiled and she
displayed a lively interest in all that they showed her.  One of
the Roberts boys, Ed, was quite taken with her and determined to
see more of her before the summer was over.  When they took their
departure these two boys asked permission to call on her and
Sahwah.  "Wouldn't you like to bring some more of the boys, and
come and see all of us?" said Gladys.

"I'll bring the boys over sometime," promised the Counsellor.

The very next morning a twelve-year-old boy wearing the uniform
of the Mountain Lake Camp came in a launch and presented a note
to Nyoda.  It read:

"Mountain Lake Camp sends greetings to Camp Winnebago and begs
permission to send a delegation to call and pay its respects."

Nyoda wrote in answer:

"Camp Winnebago heartily returns Mountain Lake Camp's greetings
and begs to say that it will be at home this very sundown."

What a flutter of excitement there was after the envoy had gone!
Gladys and Sahwah were overwhelmed with questions about the boys
and conjectures as to how many and which ones were coming.  Tents
were cleaned and put in such order as they had never known
before; the shack was decorated with grasses and wild flowers;
canoe cushions were brushed; songs were practised and lemons
squeezed, that everything might be in readiness for the visitors!
Skirts which had not been worn since the beginning of summer were
brought out of trunks and the wrinkles pressed out.  Then there
rose such a chorus of exclamations that the birds stopped their
own chattering to listen.

"Oh, I can't get my skirt shut!"  "Why, I can't either!  Not by
two inches!" "Oh, fudge!  There goes the button!"  From every
side came the same wail. Not a girl there who had not gained from
five to fifteen pounds, and the tight skirts, made to fit in
their slenderer days, were a sorry sight. "What _will_ we do,
Nyoda?" they groaned to their Guardian, who was in the same
plight herself.

"The only thing we can do," said Nyoda, "inasmuch as we haven't
time to make them over, is for all of us to wear our white linen
skirts with our middies outside, so it won't show how much they
gap.  And let this be a solemn warning to every girl to look over
her clothes before it is time to go home!"

Promptly at sundown four canoes appeared around the cliff, each
manned by two paddlers, and drew up alongside the Winnebago dock,
where the girls stood to welcome them.  The Counsellor who had
shown Sahwah and Gladys around the boys' camp was there, and the
Roberts brothers and five more of the senior campers.  Ed Roberts
looked around for Gladys the first thing, and his brother for
Sahwah, while the rest paired off with the other girls as they
went up the hill to the shack. Nyoda was not very fond of having
her company sitting around in pairs and immediately started them
to playing games which took them all in, and followed the games
up with a Virginia Reel.  Ed Roberts was filled with impatience
at this method of entertainment, for it gave him no chance to
monopolize Gladys as he would have liked to.  He saw that she was
a good dancer and was eager to try a new Hesitation step with
her.

By and by Gladys slipped from the room and returned dressed in a
fancy dancing costume.  Poising on her toes as lightly as a
butterfly, she did some of her choicest dances--"The Dance of the
Snowflake," "The Daffodil," "The Fairy in the Fountain."  The
admiration of the boys knew no bounds, and she received a perfect
ovation.

"Now, Sahwah, do your dance," commanded Nyoda.  Sahwah shrank
back and did not want to, saying that after Gladys's performance
anything she could do would seem pitifully flat.  But the boys
all urged her to try it, and at last she allowed herself to be
led out on the floor by Gladys.  She was still in an agony of
embarrassment and wished the floor would open and swallow her,
but it was a rule of the Winnebagos that if they were called on
to perform for the entertainment of visitors they must do the
thing called for to the best of their ability, and Sahwah knew
that if she refused to dance the reckoning with Nyoda would be
worse than the embarrassment of dancing, so she swallowed hard
and went to work.  She got through it very creditably indeed and
was rewarded with hearty applause, which made her more fussed
than ever.

Then boys and girls alike clamored to be allowed to "just dance"
and Ed Roberts had plenty of opportunity to try his new
Hesitation with Gladys. But after she had danced three or four
times with him in succession she left him for another partner.
This made him cross and he would not ask any one else to dance
until a quiet word from his Counsellor sent him rather unwillingly
on to the floor again.  "Mayn't I have this one?" he pleaded
every time after that, but Gladys smilingly declined, saying she
had promised every one of the boys a dance and would not get
around if she gave him any more, to which he assented politely,
fuming inwardly, and wanted Gladys to himself more than ever.
"Bet I don't get another dance with her to-night," he thought
crossly, and this was exactly the case, for Nyoda presently
suggested lemonade and the dancing stopped.

It was nearly nine o'clock by this time, but the boys pleaded so
hard for a ride on the lake in the canoes that Nyoda yielded and
granted fifteen minutes extra.  Ed Roberts took immediate
possession of Gladys and led her into his canoe before she had
time to say a word.  He pushed off before there was time to put
any one else in with them, for some of the canoes had to carry
four.  As they paddled through the moonlit water the girls sang
"Across the Silver'd Lake" and by and by the boys added a few
bass and tenor notes to it.  Fairly in tune now they sang song
after song in time to the dipping of their paddles.

"How much better any song sounds with a bass to it!" said Nyoda
to the Counsellor in the canoe with her, which remark, though
merely an effort to start a conversation on Nyoda's part, caused
the Counsellor to flush to the roots of his hair and get
completely out of stroke.

Sahwah, up at the head of the procession with Ned Roberts, was in
her element.  He was a fine paddler and his stroke matched hers
exactly.  They were in her own little canoe, the _Keewaydin_, and
as it was so much lighter than the others they were continually
getting ahead.  She taught him the "silent" paddle of the
Indians, which they used to hide their approach, twisting the
paddle around under the surface to avoid the sound of dipping.
She told him about the rifle which Gladys's father had sent her,
and he promised to teach her to shoot it when the boys made the
all-day visit which Nyoda had suggested.

Ed Roberts managed to keep himself and Gladys at the tail of the
procession. He was continually stopping to let the canoe drift
and gradually widening the distance between them and the others.
When they rounded one of the little islands he stopped so long
that the first canoes got out of sight around the bend, leaving
them hidden behind the island.  Gladys would have paddled on, but
he begged her to stop and talk awhile. "Let's land on the island
and sit on the rocks in the moonlight," he proposed. Gladys
refused.

"Nyoda wouldn't like it," she said, "and it's past our bed time
already.  The other canoes have started for home."

"O bother bed time!" said Ed petulantly.  "Who could bear to go
to bed on a night like this?  Besides, you can tell Miss Kent
that I broke my paddle and we had trouble getting home."

Gladys shook her head indignantly.  "I'll do no such thing," she
said.  "You take me home immediately, Ed Roberts, or I'll send
out a call for Nyoda." Sulkily he picked up his paddle and dipped
it in the water.  Gladys paddled so energetically that they soon
came up with the others and landed at the dock with them, and as
the rest had been so occupied with their own affairs the
disappearance of the one canoe for several minutes had gone
unnoticed. The boys shook hands all around and departed in their
canoes, singing until they disappeared around the cliff.



CHAPTER X.

BLUEBERRY ISLAND.

Gladys sat poring over the list of honors in the Handbook,
looking for new worlds to conquer.  She had been a Wood Gatherer
for several weeks and was hoping to be made a Fire Maker before
the end of the summer.  With considerable pride she painted in
the pictographs on her record sheet which stood for the honors
already won.  "Swim one hundred yards"--was it really true?  At
the beginning of the summer this honor had seemed as unattainable
as flying the same distance in the air.  She was also learning to
recognize the different birds, trees and flowers that she found
in the woods and along the roads.  She was a very much surprised
girl indeed when Nyoda pointed out at least a half dozen
different varieties of ferns and grasses on one afternoon's walk.
"Are there different kinds of ferns and grasses?" she asked in
astonishment. "I thought grass was just grass and ferns were just
ferns, and that was all there was to it."  Winning honors had
become a fascinating game, and she read carefully through the
list, putting a mark opposite those she thought she could
accomplish before the next Council Fire.

Sahwah, sitting near her similarly occupied, suddenly called to
Nyoda.  "How about all of us winning this honor for planning an
outing to include as many boys as girls?" she asked.  "We have
never had our trip to Blueberry Island, and it would be fun to
have the boys along for a whole day."  All the girls immediately
shouted their approval and Nyoda said it would be a fine idea.
"We'll have to go in a couple of days, though, for the blueberries
will not last much longer," she said.  "We'll ask them this very
day."  Nyoda delivered the invitation in person. Sherry, the
Counsellor, who had escorted the boys the other night, was
mending the dock when she approached in the _Sunbeam_, and was
very much surprised and delighted to see her.  He received the
idea of a joint excursion with enthusiasm, but said he would have
to wait until the camp director returned from a day's trip with
three of the older boys before he could accept definitely.  He
would let her know in the evening.  Now Sherry knew well enough
that there was no question about accepting the invitation, but he
had a sudden feeling that a visit to Camp Winnebago that night
would benefit his health considerably, and so delayed his answer.

Nyoda returned to camp and reported the result of her mission,
and the girls settled down to wait for definite news.  "Ned
Roberts told me he wished they could come over every night;" said
Sahwah, poising her woodblock in the air preparatory to stamping
it down on the table cover she was decorating.

"Gracious!" said Migwan, "what a bore that would be!  We'd never
get anything done for ourselves, because we'd spend all day
getting ready for them." Migwan begrudged every minute that she
lost from the book she was making for Professor Bentley.

"It's impossible anyway," said Gladys in a tone of finality,
"because we haven't enough skirts to last.  I'll have to let out
the belt of mine before I can wear it again.  It was so tight
last night I nearly died!  That reminds me," she went on, "has
anybody seen that yellow scarf I had last night when I was
dancing the 'Daffodil'?  I don't seem to be able to find it this
morning."  Nobody had seen the scarf, but all promised to look
through their belongings to see if it had accidentally been put
in among them.  "I thought I left it hanging on the railing of
the shack," said Gladys.

"I might as well fix my skirt right away," said Sahwah, when
conjectures about the whereabouts of the scarf had ceased,  "I'll
never have any more time than now."  She rose and went to her
tent but returned in a few moments looking mystified.  "I can't
find my white skirt," she announced.  "I hung it on the tent
ropes last night because it got splashed with water in the canoe.
Has somebody taken it for a joke?  Hinpoha," she cried, pointing
her finger at her, "you did it!"

Hinpoha shook her head in all seriousness.  "Not guilty this
time," she said. "The funny part of it is that I saw that skirt
hanging in the moonlight after I was in bed and thought what a
good joke it would be to throw it up on top of the tent, but I
was too sleepy to get up and do it."  Sahwah still suspected
Hinpoha and Hinpoha went on declaring her innocence, when the
arrival of a messenger from the Mountain Lake Camp put an end to
the discussion.  "He's bringing the answer to our invitation,"
cried the girls, as the young lad came up the path from the dock.

But instead of approaching Nyoda with his message as they
expected, he asked for "Miss Gladys" and handed her the envelope.
Gladys opened the note and read:

"Dear Miss Gladys: The lateness of the hour kept us from having a
pleasant talk on the island the other night, but I hope we may
have an opportunity some other time.  If I come for you to-night
will you go out canoeing with me, just you alone?  And please get
permission to stay out as long as you like, as the Counsellor in
our lodge will be away to-night and if I'm not in when 'Taps'
blows nobody will know the difference.

    "In hopes,

    "ED ROBERTS."

Gladys flushed painfully and all the girls crowding around teased
her and asked if it was a love letter.  She wrote an answer and
gave it to the boy:

"Dear Mr. Roberts: To-night is our Council Fire and naturally I
would not care to leave camp.  I do not think I care to go any
other night, either, as a Winnebago could never take advantage of
a Counsellor's absence to stay out after hours.  I am surprised
and disappointed in you."

The boy departed and she threw Ed's note into the fire, simply
telling the girls that he had asked her to go out canoeing that
night and that she had refused.  She said nothing about the
underhand business he had proposed or the episode of the other
night.  The Camp Fire leaven had done its work thoroughly, and
Gladys had fulfilled that part of the Law which reads, "Be
trustworthy."

Sherry, the Senior Counsellor, left the Mountain Lake Camp in the
gathering dusk, heading his canoe in the opposite direction from
Camp Winnebago.  Far out in the lake he turned right about face
and pulled rapidly toward the Winnebago dock.  A steady rain was
falling and he drew the canoe up on the sand and turned it upside
down carefully before mounting the path.  He thought of course
the girls would be in the shack, and bent his steps thither, but
it was deserted; neither was there a sign of any one in the
tents.  He looked into the Mess Tent and into the kitchen end of
the shack, but found no one. "Must be off for a ride," he
reflected. "No, that can't be, either, because all the boats are
in.  They must have walked to the village."  And with disappointment
showing in every line of his face he turned his steps back toward
his boat.  Just then he heard the sound of singing coming from
somewhere.

    "Burn, fire, burn,
    Burn, fire, burn,
    Flicker, flicker, flicker, flicker, flame!"

With ears strained to listen he began to walk toward the sound.
Soon he saw the soft glow of a fire shining through the distant
trees and hastened toward it.

"The torch shall draw them to the fire--"  The wind carried the
words distinctly to his ears.  Through the wet loneliness of the
woods the flame drew him like a magnet.  Drawing nearer he saw a
bright fire burning high in the middle of an open space,
unchecked by the rain, and around it moved a number of black-robed
figures.  He recognized the Winnebagos, clad in bathing suits and
bathing caps, and covered with their ponchos, calmly having their
Ceremonial Meeting in the pouring rain.  The song over, they sat
down in a circle and went through their ritual with the water
streaming over their firelit faces.  A play was enacted, which he
made out to be a pantomime presentation of "Cinderella," and he
recognized Nyoda in the guise of the fairy godmother.  Hinpoha
was the prince and Migwan Cinderella. In the teeming rain she was
rescued from her ashy seat by the fireplace and borne to the
ball.  As the prince bent over to fit the slipper to her foot a
perfect torrent rolled off his poncho into her lap and threatened
to swamp the romance.  They plighted their troth with one hand
and held their ponchos around them with the other.

Sherry pulled his sou'wester down over his ears and standing
under the shelter of a pine tree watched the performance to the
end.  "Glory, what a bunch of girls," he muttered to himself.
"Having fun out in the wet woods while our boys are sticking
around in their dry bungalows!"  The Council Fire came to an end
and the girls filed out among the trees singing the goodnight
song.  Of course Sherry didn't know the difference, but instead
of singing the regular words, "May the peace of our firelit
faces," most of the girls were singing, "May the peace of our
dripping noses!"  Nyoda was the last to come, as she had lingered
to extinguish the fire, and Sherry placed himself directly in her
path and stepped out from behind a tree as she came along.  She
started violently and flashed her bug light in his face.  "Don't
be afraid," he said, embarrassed and blushing, "it's only I, come
to tell you that the boys can accept your invitation to go to
Blueberry Island next Wednesday."

"Oh," said Nyoda, lowering her bug light and laughing, "that's
very good news indeed.  The girls will be glad to hear it.  I
must tell them right away!"

Sherry thought to himself that the news might keep awhile, as he
had several other topics of conversation which would have
beguiled the way up to the tents, but Nyoda called out to the
girls and they came running back and swarmed all over her, and
there was no chance for the poor man to say a word.  After
standing around for a few minutes he took his leave and paddled
back to Mountain Lake Camp, looking rather drenched and forlorn.

The girls spent the next day in preparation for the picnic, full
of joyous anticipation, but Gladys was filled with secret
trepidation.  She knew Ed Roberts would be there, and would try
to force himself upon her, and she was afraid her pleasure would
be spoiled.  She said nothing about it, however, for she feared
Nyoda would take some decisive action which might result in none
of the boys being allowed to go.

Migwan came along in the midst of the preparation and announced
that her red middy tie had disappeared.  The words were hardly
out of her mouth when Hinpoha came in declaring that her bathing
cap must have evaporated, for it was gone from the tent ropes
where she had left it.  The girls looked at one another with
consternation in their faces.  If some one wasn't playing a joke
there must be a thief in camp!  That one of the Winnebagos should
be taking the other girls' things was inconceivable.  They were
bound to each other by bonds stronger than sisterhood; they knew
each other's very thoughts, almost, and to suspect one of their
number of stealing hurt worse than a blow; and yet here were
their things disappearing almost under their hands!  No, the
thing was impossible.  What would one Winnebago gain by taking
the other girls' clothes?  She could not wear them without
instant detection and they would be worth nothing if sold.  A
scarf, a white skirt with a seam burst open, a tie with a spot of
ink in it, a half-worn bathing cap--what could induce any one to
take them?  The thing became uncanny.

Nyoda wondered uncomfortably how long Sherry had been in camp the
previous night before he had made himself known, and Gladys
shuddered at the possibility of Ed Roberts having a hand in it.
Each time things had disappeared some one from Mountain Lake Camp
had been over.  The girls had been in the habit of leaving all
their belongings open and spread around, with never a thought for
their safety, but now they began putting them away carefully.
They all felt uncomfortable doing it and each one hoped she was
unobserved.  There was an air of restraint about the camp that
had never existed before, and it reacted in a general crossness.
The singing in the evening seemed all out of tune and the fire
smoked because the wood was damp and everything had a false note
in it.  Nyoda was glad when it was time to blow the bugle.

Even then there was no immediate peace.  No sooner were they
settled in bed than from the lake below came the sound of a manly
voice raised in song, accompanied by the strumming of a guitar.
"There's your lover, Gladys," giggled Sahwah,  "I recognize his
voice.  He plays the guitar, his brother told me so."  Gladys hid
her face in the pillow and the girls kept on teasing her.
"Aren't you going to reward your gallant troubadour by tossing
him a flower or a glove, or something?" called Nyoda from the
other tent.

"I'd like to toss him a rock," said Gladys savagely to herself.
Finding his efforts unrecognized, the serenader finally desisted,
and they heard the dipping of his paddle as he departed.

The girls were at work bright and early the next morning, for
they were to be ready to leave for Blueberry Island by nine.
With a great waving of paddles the boys arrived promptly on the
dot and jumped out to help stow the empty baskets for berries and
the full baskets of lunch into the boats, together with the cups
and kettles.

Gladys had been wondering all morning how she should treat Ed
Roberts and stood around so quiet and pensive that Nyoda rallied
her on her lack of spirits.  "Are you so anxious to see your
troubadour that you forget to talk?" she asked.

Gladys, suddenly grown weary of all this teasing, said
vehemently, "I don't like Ed Roberts and I wish you would stop
talking about him to me."

"Don't you really like him?" said Nyoda, grown serious in an
instant.

Gladys shook her head.  "He thinks I shouldn't talk to any one
but himself, and he's forever trying to get me off into corners
away from the others. All he talks is nonsense; calls me 'kid'
and 'girlie,' and actually tried to hold my hand when we were
going down to the canoes that night.  It makes me tired!  I wish
I didn't have to go to-day."

Nyoda puckered her brows, but thought best not to treat the
matter too seriously, and merely said, "Stay near me all day and
I don't think he will act that way."

There were sixteen of them altogether and only seven canoes,
counting the _Keewaydin_, so one canoe had to carry four. When
Nyoda got in with Sherry, Gladys got in right after her, and Ed
Roberts, who was trying to get a canoe for himself, either had to
get in also or let some one else have the place. He chose the
former and was placed as bow paddler with his back to the others
and Nyoda between him and Gladys.

The day was perfect and every one in high spirits.  The berries
were thick on the Island and the baskets were filled with little
trouble.  Gladys kept close to Nyoda.  After a courteous greeting
she had paid no further attention to Ed, and during the picking
he stayed in the background, sulky and chagrined.  When the
berries were picked Gladys went to help Nyoda make the blueberry
pudding, which was to crown the feast.  Sherry sought out Ed
Roberts.  "You big boob," he said, "why don't you take that
Gladys girl away from Miss Kent and keep her entertained?  She's
sticking so close beside her I have no chance to talk at all.
Where are your manners, anyway, leaving her without a partner?"
Ed looked at him sourly, and then he brightened at the prospect
of having Sherry for an ally.

"If you can manage to lose her somewhere near me I'd be
delighted," he said. But Gladys steadfastly refused to be "lost"
and Nyoda was constantly requiring her assistance, so the two
were never very far away from each other.

Sahwah and Ned were having a glorious time.  He was teaching her
to shoot her rifle and she was proving a very apt pupil indeed,
hitting the paper three times out of five the first round.  Not
so Hinpoha, who was also being taught.  She took aim with her
left eye and pulled the trigger with her right hand and the
result was that she could not even hit the tree on which the
paper was fastened.  She screwed her face up into a frightful
grimace and turned her head away when she fired, as if she
expected the explosion to blow her head off.  But Ned gallantly
assured her that she would be a good shot in time and never made
one remark about "the way girls do such things." Hinpoha
persisted until she had hit the paper once and then left to put
her slumgullion over the fire, assisted by Lane Allen, who had
followed her around since the first night he visited the camp.

Soon dinner was ready and the hungry crowd spread out on the
rocks to be served with good things cooked over the open fire.
"Leave room for blueberry pudding!" Gladys cautioned every one,
viewing with alarm the quantities of slumgullion and sandwiches
that were being consumed.  "No danger!" laughed Ned. "I could eat
everything in sight and still have room for all the blueberry
pudding you have.  Bring it on!"  Gladys served every one with a
heaping big dish, and with "'Ohs" and "Ahs" of enjoyment they
sent it the way of the rest of the feast.

"Now we must heat water to wash the dishes," said Nyoda, when
every one had reached the limit of eating.

"You let us fellows attend to that," said Sherry decisively,
"it's enough that you got the dinner."  He calmly took her big
cook's apron away from her and put it on himself.  The boys fell
to with a will and the dishes were soon off the scene.  In the
afternoon they divided the company into two parts and had a
shooting match with Sahwah's rifle.  Some of the girls surprised
themselves by hitting the paper the first time, and more than one
hit the bull's eye before her round was over.  Ed Roberts called
out the wrath of Sherry because he would point the gun at people,
and lost his turn in consequence, which did not improve his
temper.  Later he received a sharp rebuke from Sahwah because he
wanted her to shoot at a song sparrow, and retired to the beach
by himself to mope.  He was no more like his frank, courteous,
sunny-hearted twin brother than day is like night, and Nyoda
understood fully Gladys's aversion to him.

They went paddling home in the rosy sunset singing "A Perfect
Day," which it had been to every one but Ed Roberts, all vowing
that they must get together again before the camps broke up.
Long after the others were wrapped in slumber Sahwah lay staring
into the moonlight.  She was never more wide awake.  The night
was hot and the blankets seemed to stifle her.  "I can't sleep!"
she declared to herself as she thumped her pillow for the
twentieth time, "I'm going to get up awhile."

She stepped softly out of bed, slipped on her sweater and stood
at the door of the tent looking out into the night.  By and by
her feet began to move as by their own impulse and carried her
down the path to the lake.  The _Keewaydin_ lay on the beach
bathed in moonlight, and scarcely knowing what she was doing she
drew it down to the water's edge, launched it and got in. She had
no thought of disobeying Nyoda by going out after bedtime; she
was not thinking at all; she was moving in a sort of wide-awake
dream.  It was one of those strange wild fancies that seize girls
in their teens and she was going out to play in the moonlight
like an elf.  The lake exerted its magic influence over her and
drew her to itself when awake as it had done once before in her
sleep.  Straight across the lake she paddled, following the path
of the moonbeams, to where the rocky shore reared its steep
cliffs on the other side.  At the base of one of the highest
cliffs there was a tiny cave and into this Sahwah steered the
_Keewaydin_.  Inside it was as black as ink and so low that she
had to bend her head.

    "Chaos and ancient night--"

The words came aimlessly into her mind.  From afar off in the
depths of the cave came the sound of water falling.  She
shuddered at the awfulness of it and backed the canoe out.

During those minutes she had spent in the cave a change had come
over the moon.  It was fast becoming veiled and a heavy mist was
settling on the lake, closing around her like a mantle.  She had
not the slightest idea where she was, nor in which direction she
was going.  The spell of the moonlight was gone and she was wide
awake.  She felt chilly and very much afraid.  She lost her sense
of direction and dared not steer out toward the middle of the
lake, but kept close to the shore, following the sound of the
waves as they dashed on the rocks.  A strong breeze sprang up and
the light canoe tossed like a blossom in the wind.  On and on
around that great curve of the shore line she paddled, until her
arms ached from the strain.

The waves flung themselves upon the rocks with a horrible moaning
sound that chilled the marrow of her bones.  Then came the
weirdest sensation that something was swimming after the boat.
It was really only the swirls made by the rocks below, but in
that queer light every wave seemed topped by a head that twisted
its neck after her and then started in pursuit.  Her teeth
chattered, and her hands trembled so she could hardly hold the
paddle.  Thus passed the night--fearful, unreal, endless.  When
morning came the mists began to lift and she could see where she
was.  She was quite close to camp, still very near to shore.  She
had paddled halfway around the circumference of the lake, a
distance of nearly twelve miles.  In the hush of dawn she beached
the _Keewaydin_ and crept up to bed, falling asleep immediately
from exhaustion.

No one knew that she had gone out, and she never told any one,
not even Nyoda.  It was not that she was afraid to tell Nyoda
that she had broken bounds, but the whole experience seemed so
unreal to her that she did not see how she could ever explain it
at all.  She knew it was not her fault and at the same time she
knew that she would never do it again, and so it remained a
secret.  In fact, in a few days she was not at all sure that she
had not dreamed the whole thing--except for her shoulder, which
was lame for a week.

The morning after Sahwah's nocturnal journey the camp was thrown
into consternation by the discovery that Nyoda's sweater was
gone.  The last time she remembered having it was coming home
from Blueberry Island, when she had given it to Sherry to hold
while she unpacked the cups from the canoes. This was the first
thing of value that had been taken, but it might not be the last,
and Nyoda was really worried.  Sahwah's fine furs were in a trunk
in the shack, along with the rest of her presents, and she
remembered with a start that Sahwah had shown them all to the
boys when they were over.  Since yesterday a distrust of Ed
Roberts sprang up in her mind, and she wondered if there could be
any connection between his determined hanging around the camp and
the disappearance of the articles.  Might not the taking of the
unimportant things at first be a deliberate blind?  Calling
Sahwah she made her put all the things from Canada in the trunk
and locked it securely, after first weighting it down with stones
so that it could not be carried away bodily by less than six men.

A short time later Sahwah came in in a high state of excitement.
Her bathing suit was gone!  Here was trouble indeed. Sahwah would
have been sorry if the furs had been stolen, but it would not
have roused her half so much as the taking of her bathing suit.
Sahwah without a bathing suit was like a horse without a head.
"I'm going to sit up all night and watch," she declared.

"We'll all sit up, I think," said Nyoda.  "If the thief comes
again he'll find a bivouac."  Accordingly that night they all
stayed up, sitting in the shadow of the shack.  The tents were
plainly visible in the moonlight.  The place was as calm and
still as a churchyard, and did not look as if it could be the
scene of such mysterious doings.  Hour after hour passed and
nothing happened.  The thief had evidently changed his mind
to-night.  The girls yawned and dozed and wished they were in
bed.  Suddenly there was a crashing in the underbrush that made
the girls sit up as if an electric shock had passed through them.
With a rapid snapping of dry twigs and waving of tall grass the
bushes parted and a great St. Bernard puppy dashed up the path to
the tents.  Seizing a bath towel that hung on a rope he worried
it for a moment with his jaws and then made off with it in the
direction he had come.

For a moment astonishment held them speechless, then Sahwah broke
into her giggle and they all screamed with laughter. The thought
of the weighted trunk overcame them and they doubled up weakly on
the shack floor.  Ten minutes later the puppy was back again,
looking for something else to chew. They drove him off with
switches and he ran yelping with his tail between his legs.  He
never came again.  "I don't doubt but what we'll find all our
belongings scattered through the woods," said Nyoda.  Which was
exactly the case.  A search by daylight disclosed all the missing
articles, strewn through the various paths and hollows, all more
or less chewed, but still recognizable.  Thus the specter of
suspicion that had been hovering over the camp vanished into thin
air.

In spite of the fact that Gladys had made her feeling toward Ed
Roberts perfectly plain, the nocturnal serenades continued.
Nightly at about half-past nine, they would hear a canoe scrape
on the rocks in the shadow of the great cliff, and then the voice
and the guitar would begin.  For fifteen minutes or more the
songs would float up to the occupants of the tents, and then the
serenader would paddle away.  The girls never gave any sign of
hearing, but this did not seem to discourage the singer any.
They had ceased to tease Gladys about Ed and were no longer
thrilled at the serenades.  The business was getting monotonous.
Nyoda thought of sending word over to the head of the boys' camp
and having him put a stop to it; but this course struck her as
ridiculous and she determined to go down herself the next night
and send Ed about his business.

Accordingly, when the first strains rose from the lake the next
night, she went down the path to the foot of the cliff, while the
girls above listened breathless for what would happen.  She saw
the dim figure in the canoe outlined against the tall rock and
crossed the beach toward him.  "Roberts!" she called sharply, "Ed
Roberts!"  The singer ceased his song at the sound of her voice
and looked around.  Nyoda stopped in confusion. The youth in the
boat was not Ed Roberts.  It was Sherry, the Senior Counsellor.
"You came down at last?" he said joyfully.

When Nyoda returned to the tents the girls eagerly demanded to
know "what he had said."  But she waved all their questions and
sent them back to bed. Only to Gladys's, "Will he stop serenading
us now?" she returned a short, non-committal "Yes."



CHAPTER XI.

ON SHADOW RIVER.

The long awaited canoe trip, which had been put off "until Gladys
learned to swim," had at last become a reality, and bright and
early one morning the Winnebagos started off on a fifteen-mile
paddle up the Shadow River.  Sahwah led the  procession in the
_Keewaydin_, uttering shouts which she fondly believed to be in
imitation of an Indian warrior.  Her new hunting knife hung at
one side of her belt, her own hatchet on the other, while the
rest of the space was decorated with her Wohelo knife and a
string of enormous safety pins with which to pin her blankets
together.  In the bottom of the canoe reposed her rifle.  Nyoda
had to turn her head away to hide a smile when she saw the
outfit.  Sahwah looked like a floating cutlery store.  Just why
she should elect to impersonate a brave instead of an Indian
maiden was not clear to Nyoda, but this was only another
illustration of her whimsical temperament.  Part of the time the
stay-at-home duties appealed to her; the care of the hearthfire,
the cooking and cleaning and hand-craft; and then again her
imagination was kindled by tales of scouts and warriors and she
longed for the wild life of the hunter.

Migwan, on the other hand, was the picture of shy, dreamy
girlhood, as she sat in the bottom of the canoe and let herself
be paddled along by two other girls so she might have her hands
free for writing down her impressions of the trip.  Describing it
in a letter to her mother, she wrote:

"I am packed in like a sardine between the ponchos and supplies.
Can you imagine me sitting in an inch of water, with one foot
straight up in the air, the other doubled under somebody's
poncho, and scarcely daring to breathe for fear of disturbing the
balance, placidly doing beadwork?  It is quite an accomplishment
to thread a needle in a pitching canoe, but every one has
mastered the art."

The trip up the Shadow River was ideally beautiful.  The scenery
was still wild and natural, and the foliage very dense. Many of
the trees along the banks had four or five trunks, and leaned far
out over the water, making the shadows which gave the river its
name.  A crane, startled by the approach of the canoes, rose in
wheeling flight over their heads.  The willows waved their
feathery boughs in the sun and gleamed bright against the dark
background of the pines.  Migwan noted down the different
contours of the trees, how the elms spread out wide at the top,
how the pines tapered to a point, how the maples spread out
irregularly.  A flock of wild ducks passed them.  In some places
the banks of the river were honeycombed by the holes of bank
swallows.  A turtle, sitting on a half-sunken log, stretched his
neck and looked after them as long as he could see them.  All
these things Migwan saw and set down in her book with a quiet
enjoyment.

A ripple of excitement ran through the girls as they saw, far in
the distance, the big river steamer approaching.  "Shall we land
until it has passed?" called Sahwah.

"We can't land here," answered Nyoda, "the banks are nothing but
mud and slime.  Come in as close to shore as possible, and keep
paddling so the waves from the steamer won't swamp you."  The big
passenger boat nearly filled the river from bank to bank, but she
came very slowly and the waves she made did not amount to much
after all.  The people on board ran to the rail with their
cameras to snapshot the three canoes full of girls--a birchbark
canoe ahead bearing the huntress with her rifle; a big green
canoe next packed with ponchos and supplies, followed by a canoe
with sails, at the top of which floated the Winnebago banner.
Sahwah saluted with her paddle as she passed; the other girls
waved their handkerchiefs in friendly greeting.

Farther up the river there were rapids and the paddling became
strenuous indeed.  The sails had to come down from the sailing
canoe, and the crew, who had been having an easy time, of it, had
to bend to their paddles with all their might. Going through a
rapid requires short, hard strokes in swift succession, to make
any headway at all, and more than once a canoe was whirled around
in the rushing water and hurled back downstream.  Sahwah was
having a great time.  She pretended that she was in the rapids of
the Niagara, paddling for her life, and put forth such strenuous
efforts that she soon left the others behind.

The girls were so tired by the time they reached calm waters
again that Nyoda ordered them to land on a low green bank and
rest for an hour.  They built a fire and cooked their dinner and
then stretched themselves in the shade of a large oak tree for a
nap.  As far as the eye could see on every side there was no
trace of a human being; no house, no boat, no cultivated land.
It was as though they had stepped back a hundred years and were
in the midst of the primeval forest of song and story.  Migwan
lay on her back in lazy contentment, watching the sunshine filter
through the leaves.  Idly she drew out her pencil and began
scribbling words in her notebook:

    "Underneath this spreading tree,
    Let us rest luxuriously;
    And caressed by breezes mild,
    And with song of birds beguiled,
    Interweave our bright day dream
    With a tale of wondrous theme."

"Up, up, comrades," cried Nyoda, rising and returning to her
canoe.  All through the lovely golden afternoon they paddled
steadily upstream, and just about sunset landed on a low green
meadow that ran down to the water's edge. Behind the tiny plain
the woods grew high and dark.  Sahwah, watching the other girls
picking out their sleeping sites for the night, had an inspiration.

"May I sleep out in the _Keewaydin_ to-night?" she asked Nyoda.

"Why, yes," said Nyoda, "if you will tie it securely to a tree.
The current is pretty strong."  They lingered long around the
camp fire that night, telling stories and watching the moon rise
over the treetops.  None of them had ever experienced that
feeling of being so absolutely by themselves. Quiet and
unmolested as Camp Winnebago was, it seemed the center of
civilization compared to this.  Migwan, who was in a poetical
mood, made up a new Camp Fire song and taught it to the girls:

    "Lofty pine tree, old and grim,
    With the horned moon hooked round the topmost limb,
    And the owl awatch on the branch below,
    What is the song of the winds that blow
    Through your boughs so mysteriously?

    They sing a song of the wide green world,
    Of the leaves in the merry breezes whirled,
    And rustle and murmur and moan and sigh
    Of the storm that darkened the sunny sky,
    And the ship that was lost at sea.

    Lofty pine tree, lone and grim,
    With the moon peering over the topmost limb,
    And the owl asleep on the branch below,
    What is the song of the winds that blow
    Through your twigs so caressingly?"

Before rolling into their beds they all went for a moonlight swim
in the river, which each girl declared to be the most wonderful
experience of her life.  No outdoor bed is quite so comfortable
as a grassy meadow and the Winnebagos settled themselves with
sighs of contentment.  In her letter to her mother, Migwan wrote:

"I have never seen such cloud pictures as I saw that night.  Once
it looked as if a black-robed priest were holding the moon before
him like a basin, while a polar bear stood upright beside him,
his paws resting on a carved pillar.  Once it seemed as if the
moon were about to enter a vast cavern, at the door of which
stood the figure of a youth with hands outstretched in welcome.
The moon paused before the door but did not enter.  The youth
slid to the ground and crouched with head on knee in an attitude
of despair.  A gigantic figure stood out in the light.  Before
him danced a circle of elves.  The figure in the doorway leaned
back and slept.  Watching this strange panorama, I fell asleep."

Nyoda awoke before sunrise and sat up to see if the rest were all
right.  All those girls sleeping on the ground looked like an
army.  She could not help wondering--would it ever come to that
in earnest?  Was this semi-military training of the Camp Fire
girls all over the country a prophetic flash?  She looked fondly
around at her charges.  Hinpoha and Migwan were sleeping together
and the bed would hardly hold them.  Both were still sound asleep
and both mechanically swatting mosquitoes in their sleep.  At the
foot of her own bed the Winnebago banner was stuck into the
ground, keeping silent guard.  Gladys's bed had come apart and
her bare feet were sticking out between the ponchos.

Nyoda lay back for another nap to waken when the rising sun shone
in her face.  She sat up again and this time she beheld a curious
sight.  One of the ponchos, tied up in a long roll, suddenly rose
in the air, and after waving back and forth like a pendulum,
slowly descended.  Smothered giggles burst from the beds about.
Again the phenomenon occurred.  Nyoda jumped up suddenly.
Seizing the poncho, she shook it, and a head appeared at the
bottom end.  It was Hinpoha.  The girls had rolled her into her
poncho and tied it up, and she was lying on the ground with her
legs in the air when Nyoda first spied her.  It was two hours
before rising time but the girls were all wide awake and ready
for larks.  They sat up in bed and began to throw shoes at each
other, until Nyoda, in sheer self-defense, blew the rising bugle.

The river was hidden from the girls by a heavy fringe of willows,
and Sahwah had not joined in the early morning frolic.  When she
did not appear at the sound of the bugle Nyoda went down to call
her.  There was no sign of the _Keewaydin_. Nyoda knew well that
Sahwah would not have paddled off by herself without saying
anything.  The canoe had broken away and floated downstream while
she was asleep!  Calling Hinpoha to come and paddle bow, Nyoda
launched a canoe and started in pursuit.  A great fear tugged at
her heart.  The rapids!  The first one was not three miles down.
What if Sahwah should not wake up in time to see her danger!
With powerful strokes she sent the canoe flying downstream.
Fifteen anxious minutes passed and then they saw the _Keewaydin_
floating merrily along ahead of them, with the rope trailing out
behind it and Sahwah still sound asleep in the bottom.  They
caught the runaway and Sahwah sat up in great surprise. "Sahwah,"
said Nyoda severely, "is that the best hitch-knot you can tie?
You come back to camp and tie fifty secure hitch-knots before you
get a bite of breakfast!"

Migwan, fully dressed, stood on the bank of the river admiring
the scenery. Without moment's warning the ground gave way under
her feet and she tumbled headlong into the water.  It was only up
to her waist, but the suddenness of the slide took her breath
away and she blinked dazedly at the laughing girls.  Recovering
herself, however, she asked them to throw her her toothbrush, as
she might as well finish her toilet while she had the water so
handy!

An instant later Gladys was in trouble.  "Watch me dive!" she
called, and sprang from the bank.  The water was shallow and the
bottom soft, and her head stuck fast in the mud while her feet
waved in the air.  She was rescued from her uncomfortable
position, her face and hair plastered with mud. Next, Hinpoha,
swimming under water with the swift current, struck her head
against a log and emerged with a great bruise.  Nyoda, trying to
get the pancake batter ready for breakfast, was nearly distracted
with this swift succession of accidents.  "Every one of you come
here and sit in a row beside me," she commanded, "and the first
one that causes any excitement until breakfast is over will get
spanked!"

"What a lovely cave!" exclaimed Migwan later when they were
exploring the woods. "It's a regular witch's cave.  Nyoda, won't
you dress up like a witch to-night and tell our fortunes?"  Nyoda
consented and the girls scoured the woods for hanging moss to
decorate the cave, and for pine cones to build a charmed fire.
They were busily transforming the bare rocks into a green
tapestried chamber, when Sahwah came up, crying as if her heart
would break, carrying in her arms a dead wild duck.

"What's the matter?" asked Nyoda in alarm.

"I shot it!" sobbed Sahwah.

"But that's nothing to cry about," said Nyoda, "don't you know
that wild ducks are game birds?  It's a bit out of season and you
mustn't shoot any more, but I must congratulate you on your aim."
Sahwah was a living riddle to her.  Fearless as an Indian in the
woods and possessing the skill with a rifle to bring down a bird
on the wing, she was so tender-hearted that she could not bear to
think of having killed any living thing!  Nyoda bade her cheer up
and pluck the fowl for roasting, and the girls danced for joy at
the thought of the feast in store for them.  They left off
decorating the cave and went to constructing a stone oven in
which to cook the bird.  It was a bit scorched on the outside
when done, but the meat was so tender it nearly fell apart.
Sahwah, who at first wanted to bury the martyr with full honors,
changed her mind when she smelled the savory odor and enjoyed the
dinner as much as the rest.

When night fell the girls repaired one by one to the cave in the
woods to have their fortunes read.  Nyoda, clad in her gray
bathrobe in lieu of a witch's cloak, trimmed with streamers of
ground pine, and with a high-peaked hat with a pine tassel on
top, was a weird figure as she bent over the low fire stirring
her kettle and muttering incantations.  She read such amazing
things in the extended palms that the Truth Seekers' eyes began
to pop out of their heads.  The grinning, toothless old hag
(Nyoda had blackened all her teeth but one), was so realistic
that they had to look closely to make sure that it was their
beloved friend and not a real witch.

Near by Sahwah and Hinpoha were conducting a "Turkish Bath" for
the entertainment of the girls who were through having their
fortunes told. They had built a shelter of ponchos and had a fire
going.  They heated small stones red hot and then plunged them
into a pail of water.  The resulting steam heated the tiny
chamber and threw the patients into a dripping perspiration,
which limbered up their muscles, which were stiff from paddling.
They took the "Turkish Bath" in their bathing suits and went into
the river immediately afterward so as not to take cold.  Nyoda
was the last customer, and helped take down the ponchos, and as
Sahwah and Hinpoha had their beds to make up she sent Migwan to
put out the fire.  Instead of putting it out immediately Migwan
sat down to dream fire dreams, until Nyoda called her to come to
bed.  Hastily scattering the fire brands with her feet she ran in
obedience to Nyoda's call, and the camp was soon wrapped in
slumber.

In the place where the fire had been a tiny spark lay on a dry
leaf.  Soon there was only a little curl of smoke where the leaf
had been, and the spark looked around for another leaf to eat up.
He found it and then put his teeth into a pine cone.  From a tiny
spark he had grown to a hungry flame. The pine cone crackled and
snapped and jumped into a dry pine tree that lay nearby.  In a
few minutes the twigs were burning merrily and the flame was
twice as big as when Sahwah was heating stones.  Then the wind
came along and carried a flock of sparks into another dry tree,
and that one outdid the other and made a still bigger blaze!  The
ground was covered with dry sticks and pine cones and the fire
leaped along with giant strides.  Then it did a cruel thing.  It
caught hold of a living pine tree and thrust its fiery tongues
deep into its bark.  After that it took no heed whether a tree
was living or dead.  Whole families of tender green needles
blazed up together, and when they fled into the arms of their
relatives for shelter started them blazing too.

Nyoda, waking suddenly from a dream, sat up and saw the glare in
the woods, and blew the alarm call on the bugle.  In an instant
the girls were awake and saw what was the matter.  Getting
quickly into their bloomers and sweaters instead of white middies
they dipped into the river to get wet all over and then ran for
the blazing woods.  The fire was spreading alarmingly through the
underbrush, and Nyoda set half the girls to clearing away the dry
wood in the path of the flames while the others threw water into
the blazing trees and beat the fire with wet ponchos.  Sahwah
worked like a Trojan with her hatchet, cutting down young trees
bodily and hurling them out of the way.  Every now and then a
shower of blazing pine needles would envelop the workers and if
it had not been for their wet clothes and hair they would have
been in constant peril of blazing up themselves.  It took several
hours of the liveliest fighting before the last spark was
extinguished and the danger past.

"Now then," said Nyoda when they had washed their blackened hands
and faces, "who had charge of putting out the camp fire last
night?"

"I did," said Migwan in a small voice.

"You, a Fire Maker!" said Nyoda, unbelievingly.  That was all she
said, but Migwan crept away, overwhelmed with shame.  The
privilege of tending the fire was counted an honor among the
Winnebagos.  To let a fire go out that you had been set to watch,
or to leave a fire not properly extinguished was a disgrace.
Migwan learned an effective lesson that night about the
consequences of dreaming when she should have been doing.

Nyoda thought that the girls would be tired out the next morning
after their strenuous midnight exercise, and planned to let them
sleep several hours later than usual.  But at the first
appearance of the sun on the river they were wide awake and
impatient to get up.  Pulling downstream seemed like play after
having come up, and going through the rapids with the current was
a delirious delight.  All that was necessary was to keep the
canoe headed straight.  Migwan paddled on the trip home and
Hinpoha sat in the bottom of the boat doing beadwork.  "Hi, you,
up in front," called the girls in the sailing canoe, "look at the
way the wind is filling out our sails."  Hinpoha turned to look,
and shifted her weight, which was considerable, to the side of
the canoe.  The result was inevitable and in a moment the three
girls were in the river.  The water was not very deep here and
they were able to touch bottom.  Migwan and Gladys set to work
righting the canoe and fishing out the ponchos.  The current
caught Hinpoha's bead loom and it went sailing merrily downstream,
with Hinpoha in hot pursuit.  The girls shouted as they watched her.

"How did you happen to tip over?" asked Nyoda, when they were
back in the canoe and the line had proceeded again.  "I just
looked back to see your sails," said Hinpoha, "like this."  She
craned her neck back to show Nyoda what she had done, and Presto!
over went the canoe again.  "Isn't the water delicious?" she
cried, lazily swimming in with a poncho in tow.

"Let's all go in," said Sahwah, "we have our bathing suits on
anyway."  Nyoda gave the word, and the girls hopped into the
water like frogs, swam around for a while and then got back into
the canoes, where the sun soon dried their bathing suits.

And so they paddled on, mile after mile, singing, laughing,
talking, following the winding course of the river down to its
mouth, and back into the wide waters of Loon Lake, toward the
camp which they had come to speak of as "home."  The boys of
Mountain Lake Camp, having their swimming hour, saw the three
canoes passing out in the lake and heard the song of the girls
floating in on the wind, as their voices kept time to the dipping
of their paddles:

    "Oh, the laughing life,
    Oh, the joyous strife
    As my paddlers, struggling, bend low,
    And the big rocks sing
    To the River King,
    And the waters forever flow!"



CHAPTER XII.

NOW OUR CAMP FIRE'S BURNING LOW.

"It doesn't seem possible that the summer is nearly over and we
are going home next week," said Migwan.  "It seems like only
yesterday that we came. And yet, somehow I feel as if we had
always been here together.  Won't it seem queer, not to be eating
and sleeping together any more?"  The Winnebagos were taking a
walk down the road that ran along beside the woods, seeking
specimens of flowers and weeds.  They could not help noticing the
changes in the trees and flowers along the way.  Many of the
leaves were already crimson, and the wild asters were blooming in
profusion everywhere. The air had the cool, crisp clearness of
autumn.  The sky had become that deep blue which marks the
passing of summer, and the clouds seemed thicker in texture.  The
girls drank in the air in great draughts like strong new wine,
rejoicing in the glorious weather, yet it made them feel sad,
because it meant that this most wonderful of all summers was very
near its end. This would probably be their last nature walk, and
the girls were taking a sample of every growing thing that looked
in the least promising, and snapshotting all the dear familiar
scenes, to be taken home and shown to friends, and the events
connected with them lived over again in the telling!

Nyoda and Sahwah, covering the ground with their swift stride,
soon left the others far behind.  "We really ought to wait for
the girls," said Nyoda, coming to a halt when she discovered that
they were so far in the lead, and seating herself on a stone
fence she helped herself to the blackberries which grew against
it, and held out a handful to Sahwah.  Opposite them was an old,
tumble-down house, weatherbeaten and bare of paint, its empty
window sashes gaping like eyeless sockets.  The girls had named
it the "Haunted House," and wove many a tale of mystery about it.
Beside it was an apple orchard, its trees dying of old age, and
under one of them was a grave with a headstone.  Nyoda swung her
heels against the stone wall and contemplated this gaunt remnant
of other days.  She glanced down the road to see if the girls
were coming.  They were not yet in sight.

"Sahwah," she said in a tone that proclaimed a sudden
inspiration, "I 'stump' you to go into the haunted house and make
ghostly noises when the girls come along."  Sahwah needed no
urging to undertake a mission of this kind.  Hand in hand the two
stole across the road and climbed in one of the windows of the
house.  The door, locked years ago, was still holding its ground
against intruders.  The room they stepped into was empty save for
an old spinning wheel, thick with dust and cobwebs, which stood
in the corner.  The floor echoed hollowly to their footsteps and
instinctively they rose up on tiptoe, to stop the noise.  Thus
they walked cautiously about making believe that they were
followed by ghostly footsteps, and clinging to each other in mock
terror.  There was a closed door at one end of the room and Nyoda
whispered dramatically: "In one minute that door will swing open
and a ghostly hand will be thrust in."

She had hardly finished speaking when the door did swing open,
and a hand clutching a paint brush came through.  Nyoda gave a
fine shriek and fell over backwards as if fainting.  The hand was
followed by a body and a head. "What the devil!" said a voice.
"Excuse me, ladies, what the devil!" Finding that the haunted
house was haunted by a painter they returned to the road and
resumed their seat on the fence to wait for the girls.

Thus the days slipped by, each more lovely than the last, filled
to the brim with joyous incidents that would linger in the
memories of the girls as long as they lived.  One of the big
events of this last week was the dancing party given for them by
the Mountain Lake boys.  The boys' big assembly hall was
decorated with flags in honor of the occasion, in addition to the
trophies and banners lining the walls, which Mountain Lake Camp
had won in athletic and aquatic contests with other camps.
Hinpoha and Gladys were easily the belles of the ball, and had so
many partners to choose from that it was hard choosing.  Sahwah
said afterward that she was glad she was not so popular, because
she did not have to spend so much time splitting dances up, and
consequently had more time to dance!  Now all the girls were glad
indeed for Gladys's rigorous coaching, for they were complimented
on every side upon their "different" way of dancing.

Nyoda fell in love with little Manuel, a nine-year-old Spanish
boy from Cuba. It was his first visit to America and his first
experience with American boys, and he often felt very homesick.
Nyoda, with her dark hair and eyes, reminded him of the young
women at home and he warmed to her like an old friend.  "I like
not the baseball," he confided when she inquired as to his
favorite sports, "I like the high joomp."  He and Nyoda danced
together so much that Sherry regretted his intercession with the
camp director that the little boys be allowed to stay up all
evening.

Gladys had arranged a fancy dance taking in all of the girls,
which they presented during the course of the evening.  The music
for it was the "Beautiful Blue Danube Waltz" and the girls
impersonated in their dance the Danube River, winding through its
green valley.  The girls, dressed in light green, were the river
itself, while Gladys, in a filmy white dress with water lilies
twined in her long yellow hair, was the Spirit of the Danube, and
frolicked among the rhythmically swaying girls like a real river
nymph on the rocking waves of the mighty stream.  Their dance
brought down the house, and the girls were obliged to do it three
times before they would stop applauding.

Ed Roberts watched with jealous eyes as Gladys glided off with
one or another of the boys, but beyond the one dance she granted
him for politeness' sake she paid no further attention to him,
and he retired to the side lines to scowl upon the gay scene.
The evening drew to a close all too quickly and the boys and
girls parted, with many regrets and promises to write.

The next day the Mountain Lake boys broke camp and departed for
their homes, and the girls gathered on the dock to see the
steamer go by.  There was a great waving of handkerchiefs when
the _Bluebird_ rounded the cliff.  "O look what they're doing!"
gasped Sahwah, as a commotion rose on the deck of the boat.  The
boys had seized one of their number and were dragging him to the
rail in spite of vigorous resistance.  Superior forces won out
and he went overboard with a mighty splash, in accordance with an
immemorial custom of the Mountain Lake Camp, that at least one
boy be thrown into the water with his city clothes on.  The boy
didn't seem to mind it in the least, but climbed aboard again
perfectly good-natured, and waved his dripping hat at the girls
until a bend in the shore line hid them from sight.

"O dear," cried Migwan, "to think that the next time the
_Bluebird_ comes we'll get aboard her and sail out through the
Gap and leave dear Camp Winnebago behind forever!"

But Nyoda would not let them be sad even though it was all coming
to an end, and kept up such a perfect whirl of merrymaking that
they did not have any time to think of the evil day so near at
hand.  Seeing Sahwah sitting pensively on the dock one day she
fastened a rope to the launch and bade her hang on to it and then
drove the launch around in swift circles.  Sahwah shot through
the water like a torpedo, holding on for dear life and shrieking
with excitement.  The other girls came running at the sound and
demanded to be towed likewise, and soon the launch had a tail
like a kite, that swished along at a fearful rate, leaving a long
foaming ridge in its wake, until one by one the joy riders
dropped off and swam ashore.

The nights were very cool now and the girls required sweaters and
sometimes blankets when they sat on the high rocks after sundown
and watched the stars rise over the lake.  Nakwisi was in
constant demand in those star watches to introduce the girls to
their brothers and sisters in the sky, and under her guidance
they soon learned where to look for Corona, Arcturus, The Twins,
Spica, Vega, Regulus and all the gentle summer stars.  The wide
open spaces of the sky over the lake were a constant delight to
Nakwisi, and she kept saying, "What a joy it is not to have your
favorite constellation cut in half by a chimney or a telegraph
pole!"

Willingly she told over and over again the story of Castor and
Pollux, of the Great Bear and the Little Bear, of Cassiopeia, and
Corona Borealis.  They were thrilled night after night when
Scorpio sprawled his great length over the hilltops, with fiery
Antares glowing like a jewel in his shell.  They traced out the
filmy scarf of the Milky Way and recalled the Indian legend of
this being the pathway of the departed spirits.  Nakwisi told
another tale about two lovers who were separated in death and
placed on different spheres, and who built the Milky Way as a
bridge so they could communicate with each other.  Nyoda had
taught the girls the three ways the Indians had of testing
eyesight, namely, by reproducing the spots on the rabbit,
counting the Pleiades, and spying out the little companion star
to the one in the handle of the Big Dipper, the pair which the
Arabs call the Horse and Rider, and the girls would not rest
until they, too, had caught sight of the tiny point of light.
And in learning to know the stars they were doing much more than
just that; they were making friends whom they would always keep
and love, and who would greet them with the same cheery twinkle
wherever they were, rich or poor or joyful or sad, as surely as
the seasons came round!

The camp book was finished, and sent off to Professor Bentley
with its clever descriptions and cunning illustrations, bound in
a leather cover with the Winnebago symbol on the front.  The
"doings" and adventures recounted in it made it very thick and
heavy, and yet there were so many things they had planned to do
that were left undone!  "We never had our sleeping party on the
Bartletts' lawn," said Migwan regretfully.

"Don't you remember," said Sahwah, suddenly grown reminiscent,
"when we were waiting for Gladys to come, you said she was going
to be your affinity, and I was afraid she would never look at me
at all?"  And Sahwah smiled happily, for if Gladys had any
"affinity" at all it certainly was Sahwah herself.

Meanwhile Gladys and Nyoda were sitting up on the Sunset Rock,
looking out over the water and enjoying their own thoughts.  The
lake was absolutely calm, except for a few long ripples like
folds in satin.  A motor boat cutting through left a long,
fan-shaped tail like a peacock.  There was a faint rosy tint on
the water, as if the lake were blushing at the consciousness of
her own loveliness.  Nyoda noted idly that the rocks under the
water looked warm and green; those above cold and gray.

"Nyoda," said Gladys.

"What is it, dear?" answered Nyoda, taking her eyes from the
lake.

"I've been thinking a great deal of late," went on Gladys, "about
what I shall do this winter.  You know mother has her heart set
on my finishing at Miss Russell's school, but the more I think of
it the more I see what I have lost by not going to the public
high school.  So in my last letter to papa I asked him if I might
not go to public school the last two years, and I now have his
answer."  She spread out a letter and handed it to Nyoda.  It
read:

"My dear daughter:  Nothing could please me more than your
request to take the last two years of your high school work in
the public school instead of at Miss Russell's, although I must
say your mother made a considerable fuss at first on account of
the various classes of girls you would be thrown with.  However,
she thought better of the plan when she heard that your little
friend Sahwah is a Brewster of the Samuel Brewsters, and this
Hinpoha person you are so fond of is Judge Bradford's granddaughter.
As long as Miss Kent is a teacher in the High School and takes
such an interest in you there is no objection on our part to your
going on to school in the company of your new friends.  You are
old enough to choose your companions, so from now on it's going
to be 'up to you.'

    "Lovingly,

    "YOUR DADDY."

"My dear child," said Nyoda, "this is certainly good news!  I
have wanted very much to have you continue in the Winnebago group
this winter, but thought of course this was impossible, as you
were going away to school. How glad I am!"  Their hands met in a
warm clasp, setting a new seal on their friendship.

The girls, who had begun to dread the separation from Gladys,
were overjoyed at the prospect of having her in school with them.
"To think," said Sahwah, "that I have lived in the next block to
you for fifteen years, and never knew you until now!"

Dr. Hoffman was very sorry indeed to say goodbye to Sahwah.  "You
vill write to me, yes?" he begged. "In vinter I lif in Boston in
such a street," and he scribbled the address on the back of an
envelope.  "And, if you should break any more bones, you let me
know, and I vill come and tie dem up!"

Then came the last Council Fire at camp.  With misty eyes they
rose to sing "Mystic Fire" once more under the spell of the
forest.

    "With hand uplifted we claim thy power,
    Guide and keep us as  we go,
    True to Wohelo.
    Thy law is our law from this hour,
    Thy mystic spirit flame will show
    Us the way to go--"

The glow of their faces was not entirely from the fire which
flickered over them as they danced, but was mingled with the
light of that inner flame of Wohelo which had been kindled in
their hearts, and which would mould and color their whole lives.

Gladys was to be made a Fire Maker at this Council, and when the
time came for the bestowing of rank Nyoda called for "Kamama the
Butterfly" to stand and present her qualifications.  Gladys
stood, and before the initiation began asked if she might make a
request.  Nyoda nodded and Gladys asked if it would be possible
for her to change her Camp Fire name. "State your reason," said
Nyoda.  "If it is a plausible one the change is permissible."

Gladys spoke in a firm, clear voice.  "When I was choosing my
name I took 'Kamama the Butterfly' because it was such a pretty
design to put on my dress, and not because it meant anything to
me.  I do not wish to be known as 'Kamama the Butterfly' any
longer.  If I may, I would like to take the name Geyahi, which
means 'Real Woman.'"

"Your reason is a good and sufficient one," said Nyoda, "and you
may make the change."  Then followed the pretty ceremony of
taking a new Camp Fire name. The old one was written on a piece
of birchbark and put in the fire to signify that it was to be in
existence no longer, and as it burned the girls all pronounced
the new name in concert, and promised to forget the old one.
Proudly Gladys displayed her fourteen required honors and her
twenty others, and passed her examination admirably.  She stepped
back into the circle a full-fledged Fire Maker, with flushed face
and downcast eyes, her new rank filling her with a great sense of
responsibility.

Nyoda then awarded the special honors for which the girls had
been trying all summer.  Sahwah and Nakwisi won the banner for
keeping up the best form on the Hike; Migwan and Hinpoha had made
the best nature count; the Alphas were the best housekeepers and
had planned their menus the most economically; Gladys had learned
the greatest number of birds, flowers and trees; Migwan had
written the most songs.  Each girl thus honored felt prouder to
wear the bit of painted leather bestowed upon her than if it had
been a crown jewel.

After the summer honors had all been given out Nyoda rose again
and said there was one more honor to be awarded before the
Council was over, and called on Sahwah to stand.  Sahwah rose
wonderingly.  "Sahwah the Sunfish," said Nyoda impressively, "on
the thirtieth day of the Thunder Moon you rescued from drowning,
at considerable inconvenience to yourself, the maiden we now know
as Geyahi.  Through some mysterious agency which we will not
mention, our good friends, Professor Bentley and Professor
Wheeler, heard of your little escapade, and made it known to a
National Society which takes delight in hearing such tales.  This
Society has sent you a little badge for a keepsake.  It gives me
great pleasure to bestow upon you this Carnegie Hero Medal 'for
distinguished bravery."'

"A which?" stammered Sahwah, abandoning both ceremonial etiquette
and grammar in her amazement.

"Yes, it's true," laughed Nyoda.  "Stand forth and be decorated!"

"Speech!" cried the girls, when the medal had been fastened on
Sahwah's ceremonial gown.  But instead of making a speech Sahwah
sat down on the ground and burst into tears, and had to be patted
on the back before she was herself again. So the last Council
Meeting ended with a great feather in the cap of the Winnebagos,
and the fire sank to embers and the girls filed out softly to the
tune of their good-night song:

    "Now our camp fire's burning low,
    Wohelo, Wohelo,
    Off to slumber we must go,
    Wohelo, Wohelo."

And the next morning they all stood on the dock waiting for the
_Bluebird_ to come and carry them off, laughing at each other's
funny appearance in city clothes, and winking the tears back
whenever they thought of what they were leaving behind.  Gladys,
who had never seen the other girls in "suits," scarcely knew them
at all.  The _Keewaydin_ was crated up and ready to be taken
along to the city, and Sahwah's bathing suit, still wet, was tied
to the outside of her suitcase, for she had stayed in the lake
until the very last minute.  "Good-bye, dear, beloved lake,"
Nyoda heard her whisper as she rose from the depths for the last
time.  And Gladys, who had been so loth to come to camp with the
Winnebagos, was still more loth to go, and her only consolation
was that she could be with the girls during the winter!

And by and by the _Bluebird_ came and they got aboard and went
sailing out through the Gap, and left the lake and mountains and
islands and forest behind them forever.  But the strangest part
was that they took with them as much as they left behind!

THE END.



     *     *     *     *     *     *



The next volume in this series is entitled "The Camp Fire Girls
at School; The Wohelo Weavers."


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THE CAMP FIRE GIRLS SERIES

By HILDEGARD G. FREY.  The only series of stories for Camp Fire
Girls endorsed by the officials of the Camp Fire Girls Organization
PRICE, 40 CENTS PER VOLUME.

THE CAMP FIRE GIRLS IN THE MAINE WOODS; or, The Winnebagos Go
Camping.

This lively Camp Fire group and their Guardian go back to Nature
in a camp in the wilds of Maine and pile up more adventures in
one summer than they have had in all their previous vacations put
together.  Before the summer is over they have transformed
Gladys, the frivolous boarding school girl, into a genuine
Winnebago.

THE CAMP FIRE GIRLS AT SCHOOL; or, The Wohelo Weavers.

It is the custom of the Winnebagos to weave the events of their
lives into symbolic bead bands, instead of keeping a diary.  All
commendatory doings are worked out in bright colors, but every
time the Law of the Camp Fire is broken it must be recorded in
black.  How these seven live wire girls strive to infuse into
their school the spirit of Work, Health and Love and yet manage
to get into more than their share of mischief is told in this
story.

THE CAMP FIRE GIRLS AT ONOWAY HOUSE; or, The Magic Garden.

Migwan is determined to go to college, and not being strong
enough to work indoors earns the money by raising fruits and
vegetables.  The Winnebagos all turn a hand to help the cause
along and the "goings-on" at Onoway House that summer make the
foundations shake with laughter.

THE CAMP FIRE GIRLS GO MOTORING; or, Along the Road That Leads
the Way.

The Winnebagos take a thousand mile auto trip.  The "pinching" of
Nyoda, the fire in the country inn, the runaway girl and the
dead-earnest hare and hound chase combine to make these three
weeks the most exciting the Winnebagos have ever experienced.

For sale by all booksellers, or sent postpaid on receipt of price
by the publishers

A. L. Burt Company, 114-120 East 23rd Street, New York.





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