Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: The Campfire Girls on Ellen's Isle - The Trail of the Seven Cedars
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 Campfire Girls on Ellen's Isle - The Trail of the Seven Cedars" ***

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



[Illustration: FAIRLY LEAPING THROUGH THE WATER, THE LAUNCH CAME ON
THE SCENE. _The Camp Fire Girls on Ellen's Isle._ _Page 80._]



THE CAMP FIRE GIRLS ON ELLEN'S ISLE

OR

The Trail of the Seven Cedars

By HILDEGARD G. FREY

AUTHOR OF

  "The Camp Fire Girls in the Maine Woods"
  "The Camp Fire Girls at Onoway House"
  "The Camp Fire Girls Go Motoring"
  "The Camp Fire Girls At School"
  "The Camp Fire Girls' Larks and Pranks"

A. L. BURT COMPANY

Publishers--New York



Copyright, 1917

By A. L. Burt Company

THE CAMP FIRE GIRLS ON ELLEN'S ISLE



THE CAMP FIRE GIRLS ON ELLEN'S ISLE



CHAPTER I

AS USUAL


It was the hottest day of the hottest week of the hottest June ever
recorded in the weather man's book of statistics. The parched earth had
split open everywhere in gaping cracks that intersected and made
patterns in the garden like a crazy quilt. The gray-coated leaves hung
motionless from the shriveling twigs, limp and discouraged. Horses
lifted their seared feet wearily from the sizzling, yielding asphalt;
dogs panted by with their tongues hanging out; pedestrians closed their
eyes to shut out the merciless glare from the sidewalks. The streets
were almost deserted, like those of a southern city during the noon
hours, while a wilted population sought the shelter of house or cellar
and prayed for rain.

On the vine-screened veranda of the Bradford home three of the
Winnebagos--Hinpoha, Sahwah and Migwan--reclined on wicker couches
sipping ice cold lemonade and wearily waving palm-leaf fans. The usually
busy tongues were still for once; it was too hot to talk. Brimming over
with life and energy as they generally were, it seemed on this drowsy
and oppressive afternoon that they would never be able to move again.
Mr. Bob, Hinpoha's black cocker, shared in the prevailing laziness; he
lay sprawled on his back with all four feet up in the air, breathing in
panting gasps that shook his whole body. A bumble bee, blundering up on
the porch, broke the spell. It lit on Mr. Bob's face, whereupon Mr. Bob
sprang into the air, quivering with excitement, and knocked Hinpoha's
glass out of her hand. Hinpoha picked up the pieces with one hand and
patted Mr. Bob with the other.

"Poor old Bobbles," she said soothingly, "what a shame to make him move
so fast! Lucky I had finished the lemonade; there isn't any more in the
pitcher and we used the last lemons in the house."

Sahwah, roused from her reverie, sat up and began fanning herself with
greater energy. "Of all summers to have to stay in town!" she said
disconsolately. "I don't remember having such hot weather, ever."

"Neither does anyone else," said Migwan with a yawn. "So what's the use
wasting energy trying to remember anything worse? Didn't the paper say
'the present hot spell has broken all known records for June?'"

"It broke our thermometer, too," said Hinpoha, joining in the
conversation. "It went to a hundred and six and then it blew up and fell
off the hook."

"And to think that we might all have been out camping now, if Nyoda
hadn't gone away," continued Sahwah with a heavy sigh. "This is the
first summer for three years we won't be together. I can't get used to
the idea at all. Gladys is going to the seashore and Katherine is going
home to Arkansas in three weeks, and Nyoda is gone forever! I just
haven't any appetite for this vacation at all." And she sighed a still
heavier sigh.

The three lapsed into silence once more. Vacation had as little savor
for the other two as it did for Sahwah. Now that the summer's outing
with Nyoda had to be given up the next three months yawned before them
like an empty gulf.

"I'm never going to love anybody again the way I did Nyoda," remarked
Hinpoha cynically, after a long silence. "It hurts too much to lose
them."

"Neither am I," said Migwan and Sahwah together, and then there was
silence again.

"I'd like to see something wet once," said Sahwah fretfully, after
another long pause. "Everything is so dry it seems to be choking. The
grass is all burned up; the paint is all blistered; the shingles are all
curling up backwards. It makes my eyes hurt to look at things. It would
do them a world of good to see something wet for once."

Fate or the fairy godmother, or whoever the mysterious being is that
always pops up at the right moment in the story books, but who is
practically an unknown quantity in real life, proved that she was not a
myth after all by suddenly and unceremoniously granting Sahwah's wish.
Round the corner of the house came Katherine, dripping water on all
sides like Undine, her skirts clinging limply to her ankles, while
little rivulets ran from her head over her nose and dripped from the
ends of her lanky locks. Up on the porch she came, all dripping as she
was, and sank down on the wicker couch beside Sahwah.

"Why, Katherine _Adams_, what has happened to you?" cried the three
all together.

"Nothing much," replied Katherine laconically, tipping the lemonade
pitcher over her head and putting out her tongue to catch the last drop.
The drop missed the tongue and landed full in her eye, whence it joined
the stream trickling over her nose into her lap. "I just stopped to
investigate a garden hose on the way over," she continued. "It was on a
lawn close by the sidewalk and the thinnest little stream you ever saw
was coming out. I was so thirsty I simply couldn't go by without taking
a drink, and I just turned the nozzle the least little bit when it
suddenly came out in a perfect deluge and sprinkled me all over. Then,
seeing that I was wet anyhow I didn't make any haste to get out from
under the cooling flood. There, ladies, you have the whyness of the
thusness. I'm thoroughly comfortable now and inclined to think lightly
of my troubles. Why don't you follow my example and stand under the
hose?"

"Thanks," said Sahwah, edging away from Katherine's dripping proximity,
"I'm all right as I am. Besides, no hose could squirt my troubles away."

"It didn't seem to dispel your gloom, either, Katherine," said Migwan,
looking closely at Katherine, who, after the first moment of banter, had
lapsed into silence and sat staring gloomily into the curtain of vines
that covered the end of the porch. "What's the matter?" she asked
curiously, brushing back the damp hair from Katherine's forehead with a
gentle hand. It was easy to see how Katherine was idolized by the rest
of the Winnebagos. For her to act depressed was unheard of and alarming.
At Migwan's words Sahwah and Hinpoha stared at Katherine in dismay.

"Oh, I'm just low in my mind," said Katherine, with her head still
resting on her hands. "Got a letter from the folks at home today,
telling me not to come home for the summer, that's all. Father and
Mother have been invited to go on an automobile trip through California
and there's no room for me. Aunt Anna will be glad to keep me all right,
but Cousin Grace will be gone all summer--she left yesterday--and it
will be pretty dull for me. Aunt Anna is so deaf----" She finished with
an eloquent gesture of the hands.

"You poor thing!" cried Migwan, drawing Katherine close to her in spite
of her wet garments. "We'll all have to combine to make the summer
lively for you. You'll have some fun even if your aunt is deaf and would
rather read than talk. Don't worry."

Katherine's head suddenly went down on her knee. "What's the matter?"
cried the three in added dismay.

"It isn't because I don't want to stay," said Katherine in a choking
voice, "it's because I want to go home. It's hotter out there than a
blast furnace, and our one-story brick shack is like an oven, and we
haven't one-tenth of the comforts that people have here, but
it's--home!"

Migwan rolled Katherine over and took her head into her lap. "I know
just how you feel," she said softly. "After you've been away from home a
whole year nothing looks good to you any more but that. And when you've
been crossing off the days on your calendar and been cheered up every
night when you realized that you were that much nearer home it must be
an awful bump to find out that you're not to go after all. But cheer up,
it won't be so bad after all, once you get used to the idea. Think what
a good time your folks are having, and then start out and hunt up some
adventures of your own."

Thus she comforted the doleful Katherine and the others pressed around
to express their sympathy and none of them heard the automobile stop in
front of the house. They all started violently when Gladys burst into
their midst, and regardless of the prostrating temperature, danced a jig
on the porch floor.

"Oh, girls," she cried, waving a palm-leaf fan over her head like a
triumphal banner, "listen! Papa has bought Lake Huron and we're all
going camping!"

And without noticing the tears in Katherine's eyes, she pulled her out
of Migwan's lap and danced around with her.

"Your papa has done _what_?" cried Migwan, her voice shrill with
amazement. "Oh, how do you do, Mrs. Evans." For Gladys's mother,
proceeding more leisurely up the walk than her impetuous daughter, was
just coming up the steps. "What's this about Mr. Evans buying Lake
Huron?"

"Oh, nothing so startling as that," said Mrs. Evans, laughing in great
amusement. "We haven't started out to own the world yet. But without any
effort on his part, Mr. Evans has become the owner of a small island
somewhere in Lake Huron. Some time ago he lent a large amount of money
to a company owning the island to establish a bottling works for mineral
water, which flowed from a spring on the island. But after the money had
been spent to get the business under way the spring was discovered to be
much smaller than had at first been supposed; in fact, not large enough
to be profitable at all. The company went bankrupt, and the island,
which had been put up as security for the loan, became the property of
Mr. Evans. Owning an island so far away was so much like having a castle
in Spain that none of us thought much about it until just now, when Mr.
Evans has suffered a severe nervous breakdown and the doctor has ordered
him to get away from his work and from the city altogether and spend the
summer living close to nature. This made our trip to the seashore, with
its hotels and its throngs of people, out of the question, and then we
thought of the desert island up in Lake Huron. But when we talked it
over we decided that it would be pretty lonesome up there with just the
three of us, and Gladys suggested that we round up all the girls who
would otherwise stay in town all summer and take them up with us. Do you
suppose any of you could go?" Mrs. Evans looked rather wistfully from
one to the other.

"Will we go?" shouted Sahwah, likewise forgetting the heat and capering
madly about the porch, "I should say we will! We were just resigning
ourselves to the dullest summer that ever happened."

"I would love to go," said Migwan a little less vehemently, but none the
less sincerely, "and I don't think my folks will have the slightest
objection. Mother was really worried about my having to stay here during
the hot weather. She's afraid I've studied too hard."

"And I am sure I can go," said Hinpoha. "The Doctor and Aunt Phoebe are
going East to a lot of conventions, and while I could go along, I
suppose, rather than stay at home, I'd lots rather go with you."

"How about you, Katherine?" asked Mrs. Evans.

Katherine was holding her head up again and her eyes were sparkling with
animation. "You blessed people!" she exclaimed in extravagant accents.
"You came to the rescue just in the nick of time. If I had had to
languish here all summer there wouldn't have been enough left of me to
go to college in the fall. Think what a misfortune you have averted from
that institution! An hour ago I was wallowing in the slough of despond;
now I am skittering on the heights once more. Hurrah for the spring that
broke the company that owned the island that sheltered the camp that
Jack hasn't built yet but will very soon!" And she danced up and down
until the heat overcame her and she sank on the couch weak and
exhausted, but still feebly hurrahing.

Gladys turned to Migwan in perplexity. "I thought Katherine was going
home for the summer," she said.

Then Migwan explained and Gladys expressed unbounded delight at the turn
of fate, which permitted Katherine to go camping with them. It really
would not have been complete without her.

Plans for the summer trip were made as fast as tongues could move.
Nothing would do but they must go out in the heat and risk the danger of
sunstroke to see Veronica and Nakwisi and Medmangi, and tell them the
glorious news. Katherine, utterly forgetting her bedraggled condition,
rose enthusiastically to go with them.

"Oh, mercy," said Migwan, shoving her back on the couch, "you can't go
out on the street looking like that."

Katherine sighed and accepted the inevitable. "That's right," she said
plaintively, "turn your back on me if you like. There never was any
sympathy for the poor victim of science."

"Victim of science?" muttered Gladys, noticing Katherine's plight for
the first time.

"Yes," said Katherine. "In the interests of science I tried to find out
if troubles could be drowned with a garden hose. Now when I've found out
once for all that they can't, and handed the report of my investigations
on a silver platter to these lazy creatures and saved them the trouble
of finding out for themselves, they won't be seen on the street with me.
It surely is a cruel world!" And she settled herself comfortably on the
couch and devoured the last two cookies on the plate.

Nakwisi jumped with joy when they told her; she, too, had been sighing
for some place to go. Veronica and Medmangi, however, had their summer
plans already made.

"My, won't the Sandwiches envy us," said Sahwah that night, as they all
met at Gladys's house to talk over their plans more fully.

"I wonder----" began Mrs. Evans.

"They're hunting a place to go camping, but so far they haven't found
one," continued Sahwah, speaking to Hinpoha.

"What did you wonder, my dear?" said Mr. Evans, speaking to his wife.

"I was going to say," continued Mrs. Evans, "I wonder if it wouldn't be
possible to take the boys along with us, too. It certainly would add to
our fun a great deal to have them with us. From your description, the
island is certainly large enough to let them have a part of it."

Mr. Evans looked thoughtful. "Something of the kind occurred to me,
also," he said. "That and something more. Oh, Gladys, where can I get
hold of that man who took you folks on that snowshoe hike last winter?"

"It's the Captain's uncle," explained Gladys.

"Let's go and see the Captain," said Mr. Evans, and they went right
away to the home of Dr. St. John. As luck would have it, Uncle Teddy
was there that night, having come into town on business. He listened to
Mr. Evans' proposal quietly, nodding his head here and there at
different points in the conversation. When the conference was ended he
called Aunt Clara over from the other end of the porch. She said "yes"
enthusiastically in answer to several questions and then the Captain
was called out and taken into the council. Once the Captain heard the
news there was no more keeping quiet about it. The secret was out. Mr.
Evans, who had no experience in camping, was afraid he could not manage
it alone, and had invited Uncle Teddy and Aunt Clara to come along and
stay all summer. With them were to come as many of the Sandwiches as
were able.

"It's no use talking," said Hinpoha a little later to the group. "We
Winnebagos weren't meant to be separated. Just as soon as we settle down
to the idea of spending the summer away from each other along comes fate
and throws us all into the same basket again. It happened last summer
and the summer before last. And today, while we were in the midst of our
lament, in steps fate, just as usual."

"Just as usual," echoed the other Winnebagos.



CHAPTER II

ELLEN'S ISLE


    "My breakfast, 'tis of thee,
    Sweet bunch of hominy,
    Of thee I sing!"

sang the Captain in a quavering baritone, as he stirred the hominy
cooking in a kettle swung over a wood fire in the "kitchen" on Ellen's
Isle.

"Oh, I say, look out, you're getting ashes into it," called Katherine
warningly, looking up from her little "toast fire" nearby, where she was
crisping slices of bread held on the end of a forked stick.

Katherine and the Captain were cooks that morning and had the job of
getting breakfast while the rest took an early dip in the lake. It was
the first week in July. Three days ago Ellen's Isle was an uninhabited
wilderness and the only sound which broke the stillness of its dark
woods was the rushing of the wind in the pine trees, or the lapping of
the water on the little beach. Moreover, it bore the plebian name of
Murphy's Island, after the president of the ill-fated Mineral Spring
Water Company. Then one day had changed everything. A procession of
boats had set out from St. Pierre, the little town on the mainland,
which was the nearest stop of the big lake steamer, headed straight for
Murphy's Island and unloaded its cargo and crew on the beach, who
formally took possession of the island by setting up a flag in the sand
right then and there.

The invading fleet was composed of two launches, one very large and one
smaller; five rowboats fastened together and towed by the one launch,
and five canoes towed by the other. The crew comprised two men and two
women, six merry-eyed girls and six jolly boys. The explorers had
evidently come to stay. They immediately set about raising tents and
nailing down floor boards, clearing spaces for fires and setting up pot
hangers, repairing the landing pier and setting up a springboard, and in
a hundred other ways making themselves at home. Two tents were set up at
each end of the island; these were the sleeping tents, one pair for the
men and boys and the other for the women and girls. These were
completely hidden from each other by the thick trees in between, but the
dwellers in one settlement could make those in the other hear by
shouting.

Besides these tents another larger one was set up in a little open
space; this was the kitchen and dining room for bad weather use. In fair
weather the campers always ate outdoors. They cooked over open fires as
much as possible, because driftwood was plentiful, but there were two
gasoline stoves and two alcohol heaters in the kitchen tent. The outdoor
kitchen was just outside the indoor kitchen, and consisted of a bare
spot of ground encircled by trees. The "big cook stove" was two logs
about ten feet long, laid parallel to each other about a foot apart. The
space between the logs was for the "frying fire," and the ease with
which a whole row of pans balanced themselves and cooked their contents
to a turn in record time gave proof of its practicability. Besides the
"big range," there were various arrangements for hanging a single kettle
over a small fire, a roasting spit with fan attachment to keep it
turning constantly, and a reflecting oven. And over it all the high
pines rustled and shed their fragrance, and the sunlight filtered
through in spots, and the breeze blew the smoke round in playful little
wreaths, while the birds warbled their approval of the sensible folks
who knew enough to live outdoors in summer.

It was all too beautiful to express in words, and much too beautiful to
belong to a place called Murphy's Island, so the campers decided before
the first night was over.

"It reminds me of Scotland," remarked Mr. Evans, "the scenery is so wild
and rugged."

"Then let's rename it Ellen's Isle, after the one in 'The Lady of the
Lake,'" said Gladys promptly. "It's our island and we can change the
name if we want to. How important it makes you feel to own so much
scenery to do what you like with!"

"Ellen's Isle" seemed such a suitable name for the beautiful little
island that they all wondered how anyone could ever have called it
anything else, even for a minute. One side of it curved in a tiny
crescent, and there the water was calm and shallow, running up on a
smooth, sandy beach. Behind the beach the land rose in a steep bluff for
about fifty feet and stood high out of the water, its grim, rocky sides
giving it the look of a mediæval castle. A steep path wound up the
hillside, crossed in many places by the roots of trees growing along the
slope, which were both a help in gaining a foothold and a fruitful
source of mishap if you happened to be in too much of a hurry.

On three sides of the island the waves dashed high against the rocky
cliffs, filling the sleepers in the tents with pleasant terrors at
night. The island being so high it afforded a fine view of the country
round. On the one side rose the heavily wooded slopes of the mainland,
with the spires and roofs of St. Pierre in the distance. A mile or so to
the left of St. Pierre a lighthouse stood out in the water, gleaming
white against the dark land behind it. It was only visible by day,
however, for it was no longer used as a beacon. The changing of the
channel and the building of the breakwater in the harbor of St. Pierre
had made it necessary to have the light there and the old one was
abandoned. It now stood silent and lonely, gradually falling into decay
under the buffeting of wind and waves. Looking south from the island the
eye was greeted only by a wide waste of waters; the seemingly endless
waters of Lake Huron. This was the place where the Winnebagos and the
Sandwiches, with Mr. and Mrs. Evans and Uncle Teddy and Aunt Clara, had
come to spend the summer.

Katherine finished making the toast, and stacking it up in a tempting
pile she set the plate in the hot ashes to keep warm while she turned
her attention to mixing the corn fritter batter.

"Want me to help fry?" offered the Captain obligingly. "It'll take you a
year to do enough for sixteen people."

"Indeed, and I'm not thinking of frying the batter," replied Katherine,
breaking the corner off a piece of toast and sampling it. "There are
four frying pans; that's one to every four persons; they can each fry
their own with neatness and dispatch. I belong to the Society for the
Prevention of Leaving It All to the Cook! Blow the horn there, that's
part of the Second Cook's job."

"What's the matter with the family this morning?" she asked when the
first blast had echoed itself away without any other reply. "They don't
seem to be in any great hurry for breakfast." The Captain blew several
more long, lusty blasts, which were answered by shouts from different
directions of the compass.

"Now they'll be here in a minute," said Katherine, turning to look at
the lake, which was her chief delight these days. "Oh, look!" she cried.
"The gulls are coming already! I believe they heard the horn and know
what it means." The white birds were flying down on the beach in large
numbers patiently waiting for the scraps, which would be thrown to them
when the meal was finished. Katherine and the Captain watched them with
interest and delight. A crunching sound behind them made them turn
quickly and there they saw Sandhelo calmly helping himself to the toast
on the plate.

"Shoo! Get out!" cried Katherine, snatching the plate away and pelting
him with pine cones and lumps of dirt. Sandhelo licked his lips and
regarded her benevolently, but never a step did he take. Then he sat up
on his haunches and begged for more toast by waving his forefeet. He
was perfectly irresistible and Katherine just had to give him another
piece. The hungry campers reached the spot in time to witness the
performance and protested vigorously against having their breakfast
devoured by a donkey.

"First come, first served," remarked Katherine. "Sandhelo always comes
the minute the horn blows and that's more than the rest of you do. Sit
down, and help yourselves to batter. The grease is already in the pans.
You can each fry your own fritters."

"I refuse to fritter away my time," said Uncle Teddy, hungrily helping
himself to hominy.

The rest made a grand rush for the frying pans and in a few minutes the
fryers were retiring to the sidelines with golden brown cakes on their
plates.

"How do they taste?" asked Katherine modestly of the Bottomless Pitt,
who had his mouth full.

"A bit thick," replied Pitt, "but bully."

"They don't taste just like those Aunt Clara made the other day," said
Gladys, chewing her mouthful somewhat doubtfully.

Aunt Clara hastily took an experimental bite. "Why, Katherine!" she
exclaimed with a little shriek of laughter, "you haven't put any baking
powder in them. I thought mine looked awfully flat when I was frying it.
Did you think the dough would rise of itself, like the sun?"

And then they all laughed uproariously at Katherine's cooking, but she
didn't mind at all, and calmly mixed the baking powder with a little
more flour and stirred it into the batter, whereupon it blossomed out
into the most delicious corn fritters they had ever eaten.

"Too bad Harry had to miss this," said the Captain, looking around at
the family sitting on stumps and eating their second and improved
edition of fritters. Harry Raymond was the only one of the Sandwich boys
who could not come along on this camping trip. All the rest were there;
the Captain, Slim, the Bottomless Pitt, Munson McKee, popularly known as
the Monkey, Dan Porter and Peter Jenkins, all ready for the time of
their lives. The Winnebagos were also six in number: Gladys, Hinpoha,
Sahwah, Migwan, Katherine and Nakwisi.

Last but not least of the campers was Sandhelo, the "symbolic" donkey.
He had been brought along because they thought he might be useful for
carrying supplies if they should want to go on a long hike. He was so
small and nimble that he could go up and down the path to the beach
without any trouble. It was not necessary to tie him, as it was
impossible for him to run away, and the first night he wandered into the
boys' tent and brayed into Slim's ear, who gave such a startled jump
that his bed went down over the side of the flooring, and Slim landed on
the ground outside. After that Sandhelo was tied at night, but allowed
to roam the island by day.

After breakfast the campers scattered to amuse themselves in various
ways, but it was not long before they heard the sound of the tom-tom,
which one of the boys had made to be beaten as a signal to call them all
together. Uncle Teddy was beating the tom-tom and he stood on a large,
flat rock close to the edge of the bluff. This rock had been named the
Council Rock by the Winnebagos as soon as they laid eyes on it.

"Be seated, everybody," said Uncle Teddy when they had all arrived. "We
are about to have a family council. I have just thought of a method of
organization for the company while we are together here. We will be a
tribe."

"A real Indian tribe? Oh, goody!" cried Sahwah, jumping up and upsetting
Gladys, who was sitting at her feet. "You can be the Big Chief."

"Uncle Teddy will be the Big Chief!" they all echoed.

Uncle Teddy pounded on the tom-tom for silence, boom, boom!

"Hear and attend and listen!" he said. "If Mr. Evans hadn't brought us
up here there wouldn't have been any tribe, so being in a sense the
founder of the tribe he ought to be the chief."

"But I didn't propose bringing you all up here," confessed Mr. Evans,
"it was Mrs. Evans. So she's the founder of the tribe, and, therefore,
the Chief."

"But I only said we'd come if Aunt Clara St. John would come along and
help me look after the girls, because I didn't feel equal to the
responsibility myself," said Mrs. Evans hastily. "So the founding of the
tribe depended upon Aunt Clara."

It was the most amusing situation they had ever faced, and the whole
tribe laughed themselves red in the face while each one of the four
candidates for the position of leader insisted that it belonged by right
to one of the others. After half an hour's arguing the question back and
forth they were no nearer a solution, when suddenly Katherine reached
out and struck the tom-tom a resounding boom, boom, which was the signal
that she had something to say.

"Why don't all four of you be chiefs?" she suggested, when they had
turned to her expectantly. "Four chiefs in a tribe ought to be four
times as good as one. You each have an equal claim."

"Fine!" cried the Winnebagos.

"Bully!" echoed the Sandwiches.

"Speech from the Chiefs!" cried Katherine, delighted that her suggestion
had found such immediate favor. "You first, Mrs. Evans."

"But," protested Mrs. Evans, "it seems to me we four have no better
right to be Chiefs than you girls. If you hadn't wanted to come camping
there wouldn't have been any tribe at all. It seems to me the Winnebago
girls have the best right to be chiefs of any here."

"We haven't any better claim than the Sandwich boys," said Katherine.
"If it hadn't been for them there wouldn't have been any Uncle Teddy or
Aunt Clara to help you so you would feel equal to the responsibility of
bringing us up here."

"That settles it," said Uncle Teddy. "If we all have an equal right to
be Chief of this tribe, by all means let us enjoy our rights and all be
Chiefs. There are sixteen of us. We intend to remain up here eight
weeks. Dividing up and giving each one a turn we would have a different
pair of leaders every week. There are equal numbers of men and women and
girls and boys, so the arrangement is just about ideal. Every week we
will have a high council meeting on this rock where all questions of
moment will be considered. The Chiefs will preside at the meeting.

"They will also blow the rising horn, sit at the head of the table, say
grace, serve the food, pat the chokers on the back and see to it that
Slim does not eat past the bursting point. The Chiefs will also lead the
singing in the pine grove every morning after breakfast. They will
settle all disputes according to the best of their ability, and will
plan the Principal Diversions for the week. These latter will be
announced at the Council Meetings. Needless to say, the Chiefs will do
no menial labor during the week of their Chiefhood. Is that a fair
proposition all the way around?"

"It surely is!" they all cried together. "Hurray for the tribe of
Chiefs!"

A schedule of the order in which they would take their turns was quickly
written on a sheet of birchbark with an indelible pencil and tacked to
a big pine beside the Council Rock. It was as follows: First week, Uncle
Teddy and Aunt Clara; second week, Mr. and Mrs. Evans; third week,
Katherine and the Captain; fourth week, Hinpoha and Slim; fifth week,
Gladys and the Bottomless Pitt; sixth week, Sahwah and the Monkey;
seventh week, Migwan and Peter Jenkins; eighth week, Nakwisi and Dan
Porter.

As soon as the Chiefs for that week were established, Uncle Teddy was
immediately besieged with questions in regard to the Principal
Diversion. "It's a--oh, my gracious!" said Uncle Teddy, catching himself
hastily and winking mysteriously at Mr. Evans. "It's a secret!" And not
another word would he say.

Soon afterward he and Mr. Evans prepared to take a trip in the launch.

"Where are you going?" casually inquired the Captain, who had followed
them down the hill.

"Oh, just over to St. Pierre to get some supplies," replied Uncle Teddy
in an offhand manner.

"Want any help?" asked the Captain wistfully. He was just in the mood
for a ride across the lake this morning with his two adored friends.

"Not at all, thank you," said Uncle Teddy, hurriedly starting the engine
and backing the launch away from the shore. "You look after the camp in
our absence." And the launch leapt forward and carried them out of
speaking distance.

It was nearly dinner time and the men had not yet returned. The potatoes
were done, the corn chowder had been taken from the fire, and the cooks
and hungry campers sat on the edge of the high bluff looking toward St.
Pierre to see if the launch were in sight.

"There's something coming now," said the Captain, who was the most
far-sighted of the group, "but it doesn't look like a launch; it looks
like a sailing vessel. That can't be our men."

"There's a launch just ahead of it," said Sahwah a moment later.

"There is," agreed the Captain, "and, sure enough, it's towing the other
thing, the sailing vessel. That is our launch, see the Stars and Stripes
floating over the bow and the girls' green flag at the back? Oh, mercy,
what are they bringing us?"

"I'm going down on the landing," said Sahwah, unable to restrain herself
any longer. She raced down the path, followed closely by the girls and
boys and at a more dignified pace by Mrs. Evans and Aunt Clara.

"Look what it is!" cried Gladys to her mother when she arrived on the
scene. The launch was just heading in toward the pier. "It's a war
canoe!"

"With sails!" echoed Sahwah, nearly falling off the pier in her
excitement.

It was, indeed, a war canoe, a beautiful, dark-green body some
twenty-five feet long and about three feet at the widest part through
the center. The three sails were of the removable kind. Just now they
were set and filled out tight with the breeze. The sun glinted on the
shining varnish of the cross seats and the paddles lying under them.

There was one great shout of "Oh-h!" from the girls and boys, and then a
silence born of ecstasy.

"Here's the man-of-war!" called Mr. Evans, enjoying to the utmost the
pleasure caused by the arrival of the big canoe, "now, where's the
crew?"

"Here, here!" they all cried, tumbling over each other in their haste to
get to the landing and into the boat.

"All aboard, my hearties," cried Uncle Teddy, cutting the canoe loose
from the launch and holding it steady against the pier.

"But dinner's ready," protested Aunt Clara. "Can't you wait until
afterwards for your ride?"

"Not one minute," her husband solemnly assured her. "Not one of us will
be able to eat a mouthful until we have had a ride on the new hobby
horse. Dinners will keep, but new war canoes won't."

"You're as bad as the boys and girls," said Aunt Clara, shaking her
finger at him knowingly. "I believe you want to go worse than any of
them."

"I surely do," replied Uncle Teddy. "It was all I could do on the way
over to keep from climbing over the back of the launch into the canoe
and coming home in her."

"I'm going to be bow paddler," cried Sahwah, hastily scrambling into the
front seat and getting her paddle ready for action.

"We won't need much in the paddling line with those sails," said Uncle
Teddy, "but we can be ready in case we become becalmed."

"'Become becalmed,'" said Migwan mischievously, "doesn't that sound as
if you had your mouth full of something sticky?"

Uncle Teddy wrinkled up his nose in a comical grimace and ordered her to
take her seat in the canoe without any more impudence.

As most of the seats were wide enough for two to sit on there was plenty
of room for all sixteen of them. Mrs. Evans hung back at first, but at
Aunt Clara's urging ventured to sit beside her. Uncle Teddy took up the
stern paddle and shoved out into the lake; the wind caught the sails,
and away went the canoe like a bird. It was wonderful going with the
wind, but when they decided it was time to turn around and come home
they found that the sails absolutely refused to work backward, so they
lowered them and paddled. As the canoe leaped forward under the steady,
even strokes, the Winnebagos began to sing:

    "Pull long, pull strong, my bonnie brave crew,
    The winds sweep over the waters blue,
    Oh, blow they high, or blow they low,
    It's all the same to Wohelo!

    "Yo ho, yo ho,
    It's all the same to Wohelo!"

They landed reluctantly and ate the long-delayed dinner, discussing all
the while what they should name the war canoe.

"Let's call it the _Nyoda_," said Hinpoha. "That would surely
please Nyoda. Besides, it's a fine name for a boat."

They agreed unanimously that the war canoe should be named _Nyoda_,
and Mr. Evans promised to take it to St. Pierre the next day to have the
name painted on her bow. As soon as dinner was over they were out in her
again with the sails up, until the ever-stiffening wind made the lake
too rough for pleasure. They could hardly land when at last they reached
the shore, the canoe plunged so, and Uncle Teddy jumped out and stood in
the water up to his waist holding her steady.

"In for a bit of weather, eh?" said Mr. Evans, helping to pull the
_Nyoda_ far up on the beach out of harm's way. The wind was
whistling around the corner of the bluffs.

"Just a puff of wind," replied Uncle Teddy, "but I would advise you all
to batten down the hatches, I mean, tie your tent flaps." As he spoke a
white towel came fluttering over the bluff from one of the tents above
and went sailing off over the lake. At that they all scattered to make
their possessions secure.

All through the afternoon the storm raged. There was no rain, just a
steady northwest wind increasing in violence until it had reached the
proportions of a gale. High as the cliffs were on three sides of the
island, the spray was dashing over the top. When supper time came Aunt
Clara called to Uncle Teddy: "Where are the eggs and bread and milk you
brought from St. Pierre this morning?"

Uncle Teddy and Mr. Evans both jumped from the comfortable rock on the
sheltered beach where they had been sitting watching the storm and
blushed guiltily. "We never brought them!" they both exclaimed together.
"We were so completely taken up with the business of getting the war
canoe from the steamer dock that we forgot all about the supplies."

"Well, we'll just have to do without them, but we can't have the supper
we planned," returned Aunt Clara. "A great Chief you are! Can only think
of one thing at a time! I could have brought in a dozen war canoes and
never forgotten the affairs of my household."

"So you could, my dear," admitted Uncle Teddy cheerfully, and returned
unruffled to his contemplation of the tossing lake. By and by he took
his binoculars and looked intently at a white spot against the dark
waters.

"What is it, Uncle Teddy," asked Sahwah, straining her eyes to follow
his glance.

"Appears to be a sailboat," said Uncle Teddy, without removing the glass
from his eyes. "They've taken the sail down, but they're having a grand
time of it out in those waves. They are being driven toward us. Now I
can make out a man and a girl and a boy in the boat. Whew-w! What a
blast that was!" A dry branch came hurtling down from some tree on the
bluff, landing at their feet.

The next moment Uncle Teddy gave an exclamation. "They're flying
distress signals," he said.

At that the girls and boys all sprang to their feet and crowded around
Uncle Teddy excitedly. "What shall we do?" they asked.

"We'll take the big launch and go out and bring them in," he answered
calmly. "Are you ready, Mr. Evans?"

"Quite so," said Mr. Evans quietly, buttoning up his coat.

"Oh, let me go along," begged the Captain.

"Let me go, too," cried Sahwah, dancing up and down. "May I, Uncle
Teddy? You said I might go out with you some time when the lake was
rough."

"Let us all go," cried the Sandwiches.

Uncle Teddy waved them away. "No, no, what are you thinking of?" he
said. "I can't have the launch full. Besides, it's too dangerous to go
out now. We wouldn't think of going if it were not for those people out
there." And as he was Chief there was no murmur at his decision.

As quickly as they could, Uncle Teddy and Mr. Evans got the launch under
way, and the watchers on the shore held their breaths as the light boat
was dashed about on the waves, now climbing to a dizzy height, now
sinking out of sight altogether. The sailing boat was in a sad plight
when they reached her, for, in addition to being nearly capsized by
every wave, she had sprung a leak and was filling gradually in spite of
frantic bailing. The launch arrived just in time and took off the three
sailors, landing them safely on shore some fifteen minutes later.

The man was dressed in white outing flannels and looked very
distinguished in spite of his windblown appearance. The girl and boy
were about thirteen years old and looked just alike. Both were pale and
thin and had light hair and light blue eyes.

"This is Judge Dalrymple," said Mr. Evans to the group eagerly waiting
on the beach. (They would have guessed that he was at least a judge,
anyway; he looked so dignified.) "And these are the twin Dalrymples,
Antha and Anthony. Judge, this is my wife and that is Mrs. St. John, and
the rest of the folks are the Tribe."

"We are greatly indebted to your husbands for rescuing us," said the
judge with a courtly bow to the ladies.

"We are very glad they were able to do it," said Mrs. Evans, "and we
welcome you to Ellen's Isle."

The Winnebagos and Sandwiches looked with interest at the twins, Antha
and Anthony. Antha was paler and thinner than her brother and her mouth
had a peevish droop to it. Both looked chilly and scared out of their
wits.

"Weren't you horribly frightened when the boat sprang a leak?" asked
Hinpoha.

Anthony immediately swelled out his chest. "No, I wasn't a bit afraid,"
he said grandly. "I'm not a fraidy cat. But _she_ was," he said,
pointing to his sister, "she yelled bloody murder."

"I didn't either," contradicted Antha. "It was you that yelled the
loudest and you know it was. Papa told you to keep still."

"Didn't either," declared Anthony.

"Did, too!" said Antha, stamping her foot. "Didn't he, Papa?" And she
interrupted her father right in the midst of his conversation with Mr.
Evans.

"Yes, yes, dear," answered the judge absently, and went on talking.

"There now!" said Antha triumphantly.

"Well, anyway," went on Anthony, "you yelled as loud as you _could_
yell, and I didn't."

Antha promptly burst into tears.

"Cry baby, cry baby," mocked her brother.

Gladys and Hinpoha bore the weeping Antha away to one of the tents and
the Sandwich boys took Anthony under their wing. The storm was still
increasing and it was plain that the Dalrymples would have to remain for
the night.

"And no eggs or milk or bread for supper," wailed Aunt Clara. "And we
can't bake anything because the oven won't heat in this wind."

"There's loads of canned spaghetti," said Gladys, investigating the
supplies.

It was rather a hop-scotch meal that was served that night in the
billowing supper tent, for, besides the bread and milk and eggs, the men
had forgotten the canned beans which Aunt Clara had ordered for future
use, but which would have helped admirably in this emergency. Then at
the last moment they discovered that the sugar was out. But the hearty
appetites of the Tribe were never dismayed at anything, and the
spaghetti and unsweetened, black coffee disappeared as if it had been
nectar and ambrosia. Judge Dalrymple waved aside Aunt Clara's profuse
apologies for the gaps in the menu and ate spaghetti heartily, but Antha
picked at hers with a dissatisfied expression and hardly ate a mouthful.
The Winnebagos saw it and were greatly pained because they had nothing
better to offer.

"Ho-ho-ho!" scoffed Anthony. "Antha has to eat spaghetti because there
isn't anything else. That's a good one on her. She never will eat it at
home. Ho-ho-ho!" And he grimaced derisively at her across the table.
Antha laid down her fork and dissolved in tears again.

The judge, interrupted in his tale of the afternoon's experience by the
tempest at the other end of the table, turned toward the twins
impatiently. "Stop your eternal bickering, you two!" he ordered sharply.

"Then make Anthony stop teasing me!" sniffled Antha.

Just at that moment Gladys, who had been foraging desperately in the
"pantry," came forth with a box of crackers and a small jar of jam,
which Antha consented to eat in place of the spaghetti.

They retired soon after supper because it was too windy to light a camp
fire and it was no fun sitting around in the dark. Antha fell in the
path to the tents, bumping her head and skinning her arm, and cried all
the while she was being fixed up. Then she was afraid to go into the
tent because it might blow down; she was afraid of the dark, of spiders,
of everything. The girls were worn out by the time they had her in bed.

"Isn't she a prune?" whispered Sahwah to Hinpoha. "I didn't know a girl
could be such a fraidy cat."

"If she cries any more the tent will be flooded," whispered Hinpoha in
answer. "I never saw anybody cry so much."

"I don't want to seem inhospitable," breathed Gladys behind her hand,
"but I hope they won't have to stay long."

But morning brought no letting up of the wind. The dawn showed the waves
rolling as high as on the previous night. Breakfast was the same as
supper, spaghetti and black coffee, which Antha again refused to touch,
finishing the crackers and the jam.

Breakfast over they all raced down to see how the beloved war canoe was
faring. She was still safe and sound and looked as wonderful as she did
the day before. With pride the boys and girls displayed her to the
twins.

"Huh," said Anthony disdainfully, "that isn't much of a war canoe. Some
boys I know have one twice as big. And theirs has lockers in the ends.
Yours hasn't any lockers, has it?"

They were obliged to admit that the cherished _Nyoda_ carried no
lockers.

"You didn't get much of a war canoe, did you?" said Anthony
patronizingly.

"We got the best papa could afford," replied Gladys mildly.

"Then I guess you're not very rich, are you?" said Anthony pityingly.
"My papa, he's twice as rich as all of you put together. He's a judge,
and my mother has money in her own right and so have I and so has Antha.
And we'll get more yet when my grandfather dies. I could buy a dozen war
canoes if I wanted them, but I don't want them. I'm going to have a
yacht, a steam yacht, so all I have to do is sit on the deck and tell
the captain to hustle and put on more speed. That's the life!"

"It may be the life for you, but not for me," replied the Captain,
throwing stones into the water to relieve his feelings.

Not long after a series of agonized shrieks brought them running from
all directions to see Antha racing along the path to the tents in mortal
terror, with Sandhelo after her as hard as he could go. She had come
across him as he was grazing, and he, seeing a cracker in her hand, had
reached out his nose for it, and opened his mouth wide. Thinking he
wanted to eat her up, she fled, screaming, while he, still intent on the
cracker, followed determinedly. It took an hour's persuasion, and the
combined efforts of all the Winnebagos, to assure her that Sandhelo was
not a vicious animal with cannibal tendencies. Even then she would not
go within ten feet of him.

Meanwhile, Mr. Evans, showing Judge Dalrymple around the island, came
upon the little mineral spring and told him how it had been the means of
his coming into possession of the island.

"So that little trickle was all the excuse the famous Minerva Mineral
Spring Company had for incorporating and selling stock to the public,"
said the judge thoughtfully.

"Yes," said Mr. Evans, "the whole thing seems to have been a dishonest
scheme from the first. But it was handled so cleverly that a great many
people were deceived. I was one of the latter, for I lent that company
the money to go into business. But, as represented to me, the thing
seemed a perfectly good enterprise--they even had signed statements as
to the number of bottles the spring would produce yearly. But when the
stock had been sold to a large number of unsuspecting people the company
suddenly went out of business and then the truth about the spring was
discovered. In the lawsuits which followed I was given the island, so I
am not so badly off as the people who bought stock and got nothing out
of it. I am genuinely sorry for them and feel almost guilty when I think
that I furnished the money to start the enterprise, even if I did it in
good faith.

"You seem to know a good deal about the case. Do you happen to be
acquainted with anyone who lost money in it?"

"I was one of the heaviest stockholders," said the judge drily.

Mr. Evans whistled.

"But you must not think that I am blaming you for it," the judge
continued hastily, as he saw the distressed look on Mr. Evans' face.
"Besides," he added, "the service you rendered me by taking my children
and myself off the yacht the other day makes me many times your debtor.
Let us say no more about the other matter."

All that day the judge and the junior members of the Tribe watched
anxiously for the falling of the wind. The judge was concerned about
Mrs. Dalrymple, who had no way of knowing where he and the twins were,
and the Winnebagos and Sandwiches had about all they could stand of
Antha and Anthony. Besides, the food was getting monotonous. Spaghetti
and black coffee again for dinner, which Antha would not eat even though
the crackers were gone. But by supper time her hunger got the better of
her and she ate spaghetti without a murmur.

"That shows she could have eaten it right away if she wanted to,"
whispered Sahwah to Gladys.

That night it thundered and lightninged, and Antha nearly went into
hysterics. She hid her head under the bed clothes and wanted them all to
do likewise. Katherine snorted with disgust and delivered her mind about
people who carried their fears to the verge of silliness. Antha cried
some more and the atmosphere in the tent was becoming decidedly damp
again when Hinpoha created a diversion by starting a pillow fight.

The next morning the desired change in the wind had come to pass, and
the lake was much smoother. With secret sighs of relief the Winnebagos
and Sandwiches helped the twins into the launch and waved a heartfelt
good-bye.

"I never understood before what they meant by 'speeding the parting
guest,'" said Sahwah, "but now I see it. All speed to the Dalrymple
Twins; may they nevermore turn in their track! I never felt that way
before, but I just can't help it!"

And the Winnebagos and Sandwiches privately agreed with her.



CHAPTER III

THE CALYDONIAN HUNT


The last trace of the storm had vanished. The lake lay calm and blue in
the morning sunshine, its gentle ripples catching the gleam and turning
to gold. The air was clear as crystal and the mainland seemed much
nearer than it did under the lowering gray skies of the last few days.
Having finished preparations for breakfast, Aunt Clara went down on the
beach to watch for the Tribe, who were out practising in the war canoe.
They were nowhere in sight. Except for the steamers in the distant
harbor of St. Pierre the lake was empty. Aunt Clara adjusted Uncle
Teddy's binoculars to her eyes and coaxed the horizon line some miles
nearer to aid her in her search. But the vista was empty of what she
sought.

Then she looked around in the other direction at the mainland to the
northwest of Ellen's Isle. As she looked she saw the bushes waving near
the shore and then from the tangle of branches there emerged first a
pair of antlers, then a head and then a pair of front legs, followed by
a dark body, and a large bull moose stood silhouetted against the leafy
background. A moment it stood there, calm and deliberate, and then
turned and disappeared into the forest.

"Oh, where are the folks?" cried Aunt Clara aloud in her excitement.
"What a shame they had to miss it!" She stood a long time looking
intently at the spot where the moose had disappeared, but it did not
show itself again. As she stood there watching she heard a rhythmic
chant coming across the water:

    "Strong, brother, strong,
    We smoothly glide along,
    Our paddles swing as we gaily sing
    This merry boating song."

No one was in sight, and yet the voices came clear and true through the
still morning air. It was several minutes before the war canoe came in
sight around a high cliff far up the shore. "How far the sound carries
across the water!" exclaimed Aunt Clara to herself in amazement.

The _Nyoda_ looked no bigger than a caterpillar, crawling over the
water, but she could plainly hear Uncle Teddy's voice giving commands:
"One, two! One, two! Dip! Dip! Longer stroke, Katherine! Left side,
cross rest! Right side, paddle! Both sides, ready, dip!"

Now she could see the paddles flashing out on both sides, and the
caterpillar became a creature with wings. In she came, straight for the
landing, her crew sitting erect as pine saplings, dipping their paddles
in unison.

    "Oh, the gallant crew, in this canoe
    They live on Ellen's Isle;
    They paddle all the livelong day
    And sing a song the while.
    So dip your paddles deep, my lads,
    Into the flying spray,
    And sing a cheer as you swiftly steer,
    _Nyoda_! YEA! YEA! YEA!"

Up flashed the paddles on the cheer, giving the salute; then down again
in time for the next stroke.

"Ready! Back paddle! One! Two!"

Down went the paddles, held stiffly against the sides of the canoe to
stop her, while the water swished and foamed over the blades; then the
strokes were reversed to back her up.

"Cross rest!"

The paddles lay idly across the gunwales and the _Nyoda_ floated in
to the landing.

"Disembark!"

The girl behind the bow paddler stepped out on the dock, followed, one
by one, by those behind her, while the bow paddler sat still and held
the canoe fast to the pier. As the girls and boys stepped out they stood
in a row with their paddles resting on the dock before them. When all
the rest were out the bow paddler stepped up onto the deck. Uncle Teddy
stood at attention, facing the crew.

"Salute!"

"Yea!" Up went the paddles.

"Dismiss!"

Crew practice was over. The crew dove off the sides of the dock like
water rats and began to play tag around the war canoe, swimming around
it, and under it and diving off the bow, until a far-echoing blast on
the horn warned them it was time to come and play another sort of game.

At breakfast Aunt Clara told about seeing the big moose break through
the woods on the opposite shore, and immediately there rose a great
clamor.

"Oh, Uncle Teddy, can't we go over there and see if we can see it?"
cried Sahwah.

"Can't we have a big hunting party and kill it and bring home the
antlers to hang in the House of the Open Door?" asked the Captain.

"You forget it's not the hunting season," replied Uncle Teddy, "and
don't seem to be aware of the fact that there are such things as game
laws in this fair country."

There was a chorus of disappointment from the Winnebagos and Sandwiches,
whose imaginations had already gone forward to the great sport of
hunting the moose and bringing his antlers home in triumph to hang in
the House of the Open Door. Uncle Teddy saw the disappointment and
sympathized with the boys and girls, for he was a great hunter himself
and enjoyed nothing better than an expedition after game.

"I'll tell you what we'll do," he said. "We'll hunt the moose anyhow,
but we won't try to kill him. We'll just try to get a look at him. They
are getting so scarce nowadays in this part of the country that it's
worth a chase just to see one. If he really lives in those woods over
there he'll probably let himself be seen sooner or later. All we have to
do is find out where he goes to drink and then watch that place."

The Winnebagos thought that hunting the moose for a friendly purpose was
much nicer than killing him after all, and they were perfectly satisfied
with the sport as it was. The boys, of course, would rather have hunted
him down and secured his antlers, and thought that just looking at him
was rather tame sport, but under the circumstances that was the best
they could do.

"I know what we'll do," said Migwan. "You remember the story of the
Calydonian Hunt in the mythology book? Well, we'll pretend this is
another Calydonian Hunt."

"Oh, yes," said Hinpoha. "They went in a yacht called the _Argo_,
didn't they, and the hunters called themselves the _Argonauts_,
wasn't that it?"

"Oh, Hinpoha," groaned Migwan, "how did you ever manage to get a passing
grade in 'Myth?'"

"The only kind of myths Hinpoha cared about were the 'Hero and Leander'
kind," said Sahwah slily. "She knew that one by heart."

Hinpoha blushed and made awful grimaces at Sahwah.

"I should think that one would appeal to you particularly, Sahwah," said
Migwan; "you're so fond of swimming."

Sahwah snorted. "Leander was a fool. It was all right to swim the
Hellespont on moonlight nights when the sea was smooth, but if he'd had
any brains in his head he'd have rigged up a breeches-buoy for use in
stormy weather and gone across in safety and style."

There was a loud burst of laughter at the picture of the romantic
Leander traveling across the Hellespont in a breeches-buoy, and when
that had subsided Uncle Teddy remarked, "Well, have you made up your
minds what you want to call this expedition in search of the moose? By
the way, Mother, are you absolutely sure it was a moose and not a bossy
cow you saw?"

Aunt Clara did not deign to answer his teasing.

"The War Canoe would make an awfully good looking ship _Argo_,"
said Migwan thoughtfully. "The original _Argo_ was an open boat and
not a yacht, as the scholarly Hinpoha just intimated. We ought to
combine the two and have a joint Argonautic Expedition and Calydonian
Hunt."

They all thought this was a fine idea.

"Who will be Jason?" asked the Captain. "Wasn't he the captain, or the
first mate, or the vessel owner, or something, the time they went
looking for the golden calf?"

"The Golden Fleece, not the golden calf," said Migwan quickly, while
they all laughed harder than ever at the Captain's floundering attempt
to quote mythology.

"Well, the Golden Fleece, then," said the Captain. "Who's going to be
Jason?"

"Whoever's commander of the trip will be Jason," replied Uncle Teddy.

"Who will that be?" asked Sahwah.

"Whoever's Chief at the time we go," replied Uncle Teddy.

"That will be you, because you're Chief this week," said Sahwah.

"But Aunt Clara is Chief, too," protested Katherine.

"Then there will be a Mr. and Mrs. Jason," said Sahwah promptly. "And
all the rest of us will be Argonauts."

"I protest," said Uncle Teddy, with a twinkle in his eye. "If there's a
Mrs. Jason on board Jason himself won't have a word to say about the
expedition. He'll be nothing but a figurehead. He'll be the original
Argo-_nought_!"

"You forget that the figurehead was the most important part of the ship
in the eyes of the Greeks," said Aunt Clara sweetly.

"If we don't hurry and get started," said Mr. Evans sagely, "that moose
will be nowhere to be found. If you are going to argue as long over
every detail of the hunt as you have about this much of it, the moose
will have time to get clear over the Arctic Circle before we ever land
on the other shore. I move we call ourselves the Argue-nots and go over
this afternoon without delay. This weather is too fine to be wasted on
dry land."

Accordingly, right after dinner, the second great Argonautic Expedition
put out to sea. Mrs. Evans, who had a headache, offered to stay at home
and keep Sandhelo company and watch the island.

The space under the seats of the _Argo II_, as she was temporarily
re-christened, was stowed full of "supper makin's," for they planned to
stay until after nightfall.

It was not hard to imagine themselves engaged in one of the romantic
quests of olden times, for the great war canoe with her rows of
paddlers, speeding through the wide open water, was a sight to set the
blood dancing in the veins and thrill the imagination. The forest on the
northern shore seemed to spread out wider and wider as they approached
it, and grew wilder and more dark looking. To their cityfied eyes the
dense growth of underbrush between the trees was the wilderness itself.
Somewhere in the back of every man's brain there slumbers the instinct
of the explorer, a legacy from his far off ancestors who boldly set out
to discover the unknown places of the earth, and even the modern boy and
girl thrill with delight at the prospect of entering some new, wild
region.

Landing was extremely difficult because there was no sand beach, and
great care had to be exercised that the canoe was not dashed on the
rocks and her sides ripped. Both Mr. Evans and Uncle Teddy stepped
overboard in water up to their knees and held the boat steady while the
rest climbed out onto the rocks. This was an exciting business, for
every few seconds a wave would wash up over those rocks, and if the leap
was not made just at the right instant, the unwary lander got a pair of
wet feet. But that only added to the fun. When all were out the canoe
was pulled up and carried back a safe distance and left upside down with
the paddles underneath it, so the sun could not shine on them and crack
them. Sunshine, which gives life to most things, is absolutely fatal to
wet paddle blades.

It was hard walking. The woods were swampy in places and there were very
few paths. But almost as soon as they landed they saw signs of the
moose. In the soft mud and near the shore were his footprints, and
numerous trees bore evidence that he had nibbled their twigs, while
there were other marks on the bark which Uncle Teddy explained were made
by his striking his antlers against the trunks and branches. Sir Moose
himself was nowhere to be seen. His trail led into the woods and they
were doing their best to follow. Of course they were making enough noise
to scare away a herd of buffalos, but there didn't seem to be any way to
remedy the matter. Hinpoha would shriek when she stepped on a rolling
stick, thinking it was a snake, and Katherine was continually tripping
over something and sprawling face downward.

"The Argonautic half of the Expedition came up to our expectations,"
said Migwan, as they floundered on, "but the Calydonian Hunt seems to be
a wild goose chase."

"Where do mooses stay when they are in the woods?" asked Hinpoha,
falling over a root and pausing to rub her ankle.

"On the ground," said the Captain, trying to be funny.

"How very odd," said Hinpoha. "I had an idea they climbed up into a tree
and built a nest. I may not know much about your old mythology, but I do
know a few things about a moose."

"Maybe you do," replied the Captain with that maddening twinkle in his
eye, "but anybody that calls the plural of 'moose' 'mooses' couldn't be
expected to know much about them."

"Oh, well," said Hinpoha, laughing with the rest, "have it your own way.
By the way, what is the plural--meece? Anyway, I wasn't talking to you
in the first place when I asked my question. I was talking to Uncle
Teddy, and I'm going to ask him again. Where would you go to look for a
moose in the woods?"

"They like shallow water in summer and slow-moving streams," replied
Uncle Teddy. "They wade out and eat the plants growing in the water."

"I suppose if we see him at all we'll see him that way," said Hinpoha.
"We'll probably only get a glimpse of him from a distance."

"Probably," agreed Uncle Teddy, "unless----"

"Unless what?" asked Sahwah, pricking up her ears.

Uncle Teddy smiled mysteriously. Then from his pocket he produced
something which looked like a trumpet made of birchbark.

"What is it?" they all chorused, crowding around him.

"Wait and see," he said, still with that mysterious smile.

He did not seem to be going to do anything with the strange thing he
held in his hand. He led the way through the trees, patiently holding
aside the branches for the girls to go through, often stopping to
examine a twig or patch of bark. When they had been going some time they
came out on the bank of a river. Here was an open space and Uncle Teddy
called the procession to a halt.

"Everybody find a comfortable place and sit absolutely still," he
ordered.

"What's going to happen?" asked Hinpoha curiously.

"Nothing--very likely," replied Uncle Teddy tantalizingly.

"May we climb a tree?" asked the Captain.

"Surely," replied Uncle Teddy, "if that's your idea of a comfortable
place to sit. And if you will promise to be absolutely still when you
get there and not fall out at the wrong time." The Captain swung himself
up into a big cedar tree that stood nearby, and sat with his feet
dangling over their heads.

"What are you doing, Cap?" called Slim from the ground, "going to
heaven?"

"Looks like it," said the Captain, going a notch higher in search of a
better seat.

Slim had not climbed a tree. It was too strenuous for him. "Fine chance
you'll have of getting to heaven, if you have to climb, Slim," jeered
the Captain, now that he was comfortably settled.

Slim only laughed and sat back comfortably against a stump.

"Sh-h, you two," called out Gladys warningly. "Don't you see it's going
to begin?"

"What's going to begin?" asked the Captain, craning his neck downward to
watch Uncle Teddy.

Uncle Teddy put the birchbark trumpet to his lips and sent forth a
strange call, that sounded like an animal.

"Why are you doing that?" asked Sahwah.

"I'm going to try and make old man moose come to see us," said Uncle
Teddy. "It's lots easier than going to see him. You remember the saying
about Mahomet and the mountain? Well, now the mountain is coming to see
Mahomet. The sound made by this birchbark trumpet resembles the call of
the female moose, and when the male hears it he comes to see what it
means. Like his human brothers, Mr. Moose is a dutiful husband and comes
when his wife calls him. Everybody sit still now and see if he comes."

Again he sent the call echoing through the woods. The watchers strained
ears and eyes, but nothing happened.

A third time he blew on the birchbark trumpet. Then they heard a
cracking and crashing among the branches nearby and suddenly a huge
creature came trotting up a small path that led into the woods and
emerged into the clearing. So sudden was his appearance that it took
their breath away and they sat perfectly motionless, marveling at the
wide spread of his antlers, his humpy, grotesque nose, and the little
bell-like pouch that hung down from his neck. A moment he stood there,
wearing a look of inquiry, his big nostrils quivering, and then he
became aware of the presence of human beings, and turning in affright he
fled up the path by which he had come. But in the moment he had stood
there they had been able to get a good look at him.

As soon as he was gone they all sprang to their feet and began excitedly
comparing notes on what they had seen.

"Did you ever see such big antlers?" said Sahwah. "So flat and wide. I
always thought antlers were like the branches of a tree."

"And the funny hump on his nose," said Hinpoha.

"But did you ever see anything so funny as that thing hanging down from
his neck?" said Katherine. "It looked just like a bell."

"Let's follow him," said Sahwah enthusiastically, "and see if we can
catch a glimpse of him again."

For a while they could follow the footprints of the big creature in the
soft mud along the river bank; then the tracks ceased abruptly. The
moose had turned and dashed into the deep woods.

"Now which way did he go?" asked Sahwah.

"You are asking more than I can tell," answered Uncle Teddy.

"Shall we go any further?" asked Hinpoha doubtfully. "These woods don't
look very easy to walk through."

"Oh, yes, let's go on," begged Sahwah.

"We might get lost and not find our way back," said Hinpoha.

"We'll remember this big cedar tree," said Uncle Teddy. "It's the only
one around here and it's right near the river."

Fixing the location of the big cedar tree in their minds they struck
into the woods in the direction they thought the moose had taken.

"It's queer we don't hear him," said Sahwah. "You'd think an animal as
large as that would make a great noise running through the woods. Just
listen to the racket Slim is making over there."

"That's where the moose has a secret no man can find out," said Uncle
Teddy. "Big and awkward as he is, he moves through the forest as
silently as a phantom. How he does it no one knows. A horse or a cow,
though smaller, would make ten times as much noise."

"Do you suppose we'll find our way back to the cedar tree?" asked
Gladys, beginning to look rather solemn as the trees and bushes closed
around them in seemingly endless array.

Uncle Teddy smiled and showed her a small compass he was holding in his
hand. "We have been going straight west so far," he said. "If we turn
for any reason we'll make note of the tree where we turn. It is as easy
to find your way through the woods as it is through the city if you will
only keep your eyes open for sign posts."

As he was speaking they came upon another cedar tree, as big and as old
as the first; the only one they had passed since that one. "Now there is
a landmark worth noting," said Uncle Teddy, pointing to the tree. "Giant
cedar, towering above other trees, only one in sight. Fifteen minutes'
walk due west from the other cedar beside the river. And you see we will
have to turn right here because there seems to be a path at right angles
to the direction we have been traveling, while it is swampy straight
ahead."

He called the rest around him and made them all make a note of the trail
they were taking. So they all jotted down, "Due west from cedar by river
until you come to another; then turn south."

And right in the path, a few steps ahead, was a soft, muddy place and in
it there was a fresh footprint, which was just like those made by the
moose on the river bank.

"He _is_ around here!" cried Sahwah excitedly. "Maybe we'll see him
yet if we keep going."

They picked their way carefully, avoiding the swampy ground and pretty
soon they came to a third cedar, just as tall as the other two, and also
the only one in sight.

"Another guidepost to remember," said Uncle Teddy, and made them jot it
down. Just beyond this tree the swamp made them turn to the left.
Several times more they saw the footprint of the moose in the soft mud
near the path, but never a glimpse did they get of him.

Some distance ahead stood a fourth big cedar and ten minutes' walk
beyond that a fifth.

"It will be as easy to find our way back as if we were walking down a
street full of signposts," said Gladys, who had become fascinated with
this method of looking for guideposts through the woods. "All we have to
do is walk until we come to a cedar tree. It seems almost as if they had
been planted that way on purpose. Let's keep on and see if there are any
more."

Sure enough, in about ten minutes they came to another one, and there
the trail through the woods ended at the foot of a rocky hill.

"That makes six cedar trees we've passed," said Gladys, jotting down the
fact in her notebook.

"Uncle Teddy, won't you please call the moose again," pleaded Sahwah.
"Maybe he'd come again."

"I doubt it," said Uncle Teddy. "He found out once that it wasn't his
mate calling him."

"Try it again, anyway," begged Sahwah.

Uncle Teddy sent the call of the birchbark trumpet echoing far and wide,
but though they watched in breathless silence, no moose appeared in
answer to the call.

"He's 'wise,'" said the Captain. "You can't blame him. Nobody could fool
me twice either."

"We might as well start back now," said Slim, beginning to think
longingly of the supper cached under the first cedar by the river.
"We've had our hunt, and seen the moose, which was what we came for.
Aren't you all satisfied yet?"

"Oh, Slim, are you very hungry?" asked Sahwah. "Katherine and I want to
go up the hill a little way and poke into that ravine up there; it's so
dark and mysterious looking."

Slim sighed and looked longingly back toward the trail by which they had
come.

"Oh, never mind, we won't go," said Sahwah, seeing the look.

"Oh, go on," said Slim good naturedly.

Katherine fished in her pocket and drew out a tin foil-covered package.
"Here's a piece of chocolate I've been carrying around with me ever
since I've been at Ellen's Isle," she said. "It's pretty stale by this
time, I guess, but it'll keep you from starving while Sahwah and I go
and explore the ravine."

Slim took the chocolate without any scruples regarding its staleness and
Katherine and Sahwah started up the hill. Then the rest thought they
would like to go into the ravine, too, and all came streaming after.

The ravine was as dark and mysterious as they could wish, for its high
sides kept out the sun and in the gloom the trunks of trees seem twisted
into fantastic shapes. The ferns and brakes were very luxuriant, and
they waded about in them up to their knees.

"There's another cedar tree!" cried Gladys, pointing ahead of her.
Springing from the steep side of the ravine and towering high above it
stood a seventh cedar tree, more lofty and more ancient looking than the
others.

"What a peculiar place for a tree to take root," said Gladys. "It looks
as though it would slide down the hill any minute."

"I reckon it's firm enough," said Uncle Teddy. "It's been hanging on
there for considerably over a hundred years, by its size."

"What's this on the rock?" asked Sahwah, who had been examining the
boulders which lay at the bottom of the ravine just under the tree. She
pointed to a mark on one of the stones, an arrow chiseled out of the
hard rock. They all crowded around and exclaimed in wonder. What could
it mean?

"Maybe somebody's buried here," said the Captain.

"Rather a heavy tombstone," said Uncle Teddy. "And not much of an
epitaph. I'll want more than an arrow on mine."

"It must mean something," said Hinpoha, her romantic imagination fired
immediately.

But the consuming interest they had all shown in the arrow on the rock
was driven out of them the next moment by a wild uproar at the other end
of the ravine--the sound of a great crashing accompanied by a frightful
bellow. Then there was another crash; the sound of rock striking against
rock, a ripping, tearing, falling sound, a thud and another frightful
bellow.

"Goodness, what was that?" asked Uncle Teddy, running forward in the
direction of the noise, followed by the others.

They soon saw. On the ground at the upper end of the ravine lay the
great bull moose they had seen that afternoon when he had come, in the
pride of his strength, to answer the call of the birchbark trumpet. Now
he lay in a heap, his sides heaving convulsively, beside a good-sized
rock he had either carried over the edge of the precipice in his fall
from above, or which had carried him. At the top of the ravine there was
a deep hole in the soil where the ground had given away and hurled him
over the edge. But the fall was not the worst of it. Down in the ravine
there stood a broken sapling about two feet high, its sharp point
standing up like a bayonet. Straight onto this the moose had plunged in
his fall, ripping his chest open in a great jagged gash from which the
blood flowed in a stream.

Hinpoha turned away and covered her eyes with her hands at the dreadful
sight.

"Kill him, kill him," said Aunt Clara, catching hold of her husband's
arm in distress, "I can't bear to see him suffer so."

"I have nothing to kill him with," said Uncle Teddy, in equal distress.

But the moose was beyond the need of a friendly bullet to end his
sufferings, for after a few more convulsive heaves he stiffened out and
lay still.

"Is he dead?" asked Hinpoha.

"Yes," answered Uncle Teddy.

"I'm so glad," said Hinpoha, still keeping her eyes averted. "The poor,
poor thing. Are you going to bury him?"

"Bury him!" shouted the Captain in amazement. "Bury that moose? Not for
a hundred dollars! Bury those antlers, and that hide? What are you
thinking of?"

"I forgot," said Hinpoha meekly. "I was only thinking of the poor moose
himself, not his antlers or his hide."

"Have we a right to take him?" asked Gladys. "This isn't the hunting
season, you know."

Mr. Evans smiled fondly at her. "Always wondering whether you have a
right to do things, aren't you, puss? Yes, of course we have a perfect
right to take his antlers and his hide. We didn't kill him out of
season; he killed himself falling into the ravine, so we haven't broken
any law. He just sort of dropped into our laps, and 'finders is
keepers,' you know."

"Well, your Calydonian Hunt was more successful than you expected," said
Uncle Teddy, "for now you will really have the antlers as a trophy
instead of just seeing the moose. If only all big game hunting were so
easy!"

The Argonautic Expedition seemed very argonautic, indeed, when Mrs.
Evans welcomed it back into camp and heard the news about the moose. Of
course, they could not bring it back with them in the war canoe, for it
weighed twelve hundred pounds if it weighed an ounce. Uncle Teddy and
Mr. Evans, with the Captain and a few more of the Sandwiches, went
directly back in the big launch to bring in the carcass while the
Winnebagos prepared a second supper to celebrate the triumphant outcome
of the Calydonian Hunt.



CHAPTER IV

BY VOTE OF COUNCIL


"Oh, what a peaceful day!" said Hinpoha, rising from the depths like
Undine and seating herself on a rock to dry her bright hair in the
breeze before she went up the hill. The Winnebagos and Sandwiches had
been in swimming and were lying lazily about in the warm sand. Slim sat
in the shade of Hinpoha's rock and fanned himself. Even a dip in the
cool water made him warm and breathless. Gladys and Migwan were out in a
rowboat, washing middies in the lake.

"It _is_ peaceful," drawled Katherine, tracing designs in the sand
with her forefinger. "One of those days when everything seems in tune
and nothing happens to disturb the quiet. By the way, where's Sahwah?"

"Gone to St. Pierre with Mr. Evans for the mail," answered Hinpoha.

Katherine drew a few more designs in the sand and then rose and
sauntered leisurely up the path. The rest lay still.

"Ouch, my neck's getting sunburned," said Slim about five minutes later,
and picking up Hinpoha's hat he set it on his head and panted across the
beach toward the hill.

The Captain sent a pebble flying after him, and carried the hat from his
head. Slim went on his way without stopping to pick it up.

"Slim is absolutely the laziest mortal on the face of this earth," said
the Captain, strolling down to the water's edge and wading out to wash
the sand off before he, too, started on the upward climb.

"Watch me," he called, as he mounted a solitary rock that just reared
its nose above the surface of the water, "I'm going to make one more
plunge for distance. Will you row out about forty feet," he shouted to
Gladys and Migwan, "and see if I can come out beside the boat?"

Migwan and Gladys obligingly rowed out as he directed and rested their
oars, waiting for him to come. The Captain made a clean leap from the
rock and disappeared beneath the surface of the water.

"I believe he's going clear under the boat and coming out the other
side," said Hinpoha.

The interval was growing long and the Captain had not risen to the
surface yet.

"He's been under almost a minute," said Uncle Teddy, springing up and
watching the water keenly. "Where can he be?"

He sprang into a boat and hurried along the line the Captain had taken,
peering down into the depths. The girls and boys on the beach all
hastened down into the water and swam or waded after him. When he was
half way out to the rowboat where Migwan and Gladys sat waiting, the
Captain's feet suddenly shot out of the water right beside him. Dropping
the oars he caught hold of the feet and pulled the Captain into the
boat.

"What's the matter? What happened?" they all asked as the Captain shook
the water out of his eyes and looked around with a relieved expression.

"Suck hole, I guess," he said. "I had only gone about twenty-five feet
when something caught hold of me and dragged me down, turning me around
all the while. It lifted my feet and pulled me down head first, but I
managed to hold my breath and not swallow water. Then all of a sudden
some other current got ahold of me and shot me up and pretty soon
somebody grabbed my feet and there was Uncle Teddy and the boat right
beside me. It's a suck hole all right, I think."

"Are you sure that was the place, where I pulled you out?" asked Uncle
Teddy.

"Quite sure," replied the Captain. "I came up right beside the boat."

"We'll have to mark the spot in some way," said Uncle Teddy, "so we will
know how to avoid it when we are swimming. Let's see, it's right about
in line with those twin pines on the bank and about thirty feet from the
shore. We'll rig up some sort of a floating buoy there and then give the
place a wide berth. It's a good thing it's out of line with our sandy
beach, so it won't interfere with any water sports we may want to have
there."

"Don't look so scared, I'm not drowned," said the Captain to Hinpoha,
who was as pale as a ghost.

"But you might have been," said Hinpoha in an agitated voice. "I thought
I should die until I saw you coming up. I never was so scared."

The Captain began to think it was worth while to go down in a suck hole
to make Hinpoha feel so much concern about him.

"I'm sorry I scared you," he said, "but it really wasn't so terrible
after all. I wasn't very much frightened." Boylike, he must begin to
boast of his exploit in the presence of his feminine friends.

"Please be careful after this," begged Hinpoha. "Those suck holes are
dreadful things. Why, once my cousin----"

But the incident she intended to relate was never told, for just then a
cascade of earth shot by the group on the beach like an express train,
carrying with it something that looked like a pinwheel of waving hands
and feet, all of which grew out of the head of a donkey. The cascade
landed in the water with a mighty splash and from it emerged the forms
of Slim, Katherine and Sandhelo, all looking decidedly astonished and
not quite sure yet what had happened. A fresh hollow at the top of the
hill and a ploughed-up trail of sand all the way down told the story.
The earth had given way up there just as it had with the moose in the
woods, and the three had tobogganed down the steep hillside into the
lake.

"I was sitting up there under that tree, just as politely," explained
Katherine, her cracked voice shattered utterly by the tumble, "feeding
Sandhelo long blades of grass, when Slim came up the path, puffing the
way he always does when he climbs the hill, and sat down beside me to
get his breath before going on to his tent. Pretty soon a spider ran
across his neck and he jumped up and sat down again hard and that time
when he sat down he broke through to China and we all went with him."

"And down there came rockabye baby and all," sang Migwan, amid the
general laughter.

"Such a peaceful day," said Hinpoha.

Nobody was hurt by the fall, as the sand was soft and the last landing
had been in the water, and, as they had all been so frightened at the
Captain's adventure a moment before, they became hysterical in their
laughter over this last ridiculous accident.

"That soft sand track down the hillside looks as if it would make a fine
toboggan," remarked the Captain. "Believe I'll try coasting down into
the lake."

And, suiting the action to the word, he climbed the hill and slid down
the sandy cut, landing with a fine splash. The others immediately
swarmed up the hill to try the new sport, which was as good as the
chute-the-chutes at the big amusement park at home.

That was the sight which greeted Sahwah when she came back with Mr.
Evans from St. Pierre, bringing the mail. She was sitting out on the
very peak of the launch's bow, her feet almost dragging the water,
waving the packet of home letters over her head. At the sight of her
there was a general scattering in the direction of the tents, for the
sliders suddenly remembered that it was dinner time and the mail would
be distributed at the table.

That night was Council Meeting on the big rock on the bluff. It was the
end of Uncle Teddy's and Aunt Clara's Chiefhood, and the reins of
government were to fall into the hands of Mr. and Mrs. Evans. After much
beating of the tom-tom, Uncle Teddy presented Mr. Evans with a pine
branch and Aunt Clara gave Mrs. Evans one, to hang over the door of
their tents as a symbol of Chiefhood, "because pine was the _chief_
thing to be found on Ellen's Isle." Mr. and Mrs. Evans accepted the
branches gravely, and took their places at the end of the rock reserved
for the Chiefs.

Then Mr. Evans announced that there was something special to be brought
before the Council. He held a letter in his hand and the giggles and
whispers came to an abrupt end, and all eyes were turned inquiringly
toward him.

"It is the power and the pleasure of this Council," he began in a
businesslike tone, "to decide all questions regarding the life here at
camp. Something has come up now which will require a frank expression
of opinion from each one in order to reach a decision. I have here,"
indicating the sheet in his hand, "a letter from our recent acquaintance,
Judge Dalrymple. The judge thanks us profusely for our entertainment of
him and his children, and does us the honor to say that he never saw a
group of people living together in such perfect harmony, or getting so
much pleasure out of life. Then he makes a proposal. He has, among his
goods and chattels, a pair of twins, which, as we have reason to
suspect, are rather a handful for him to manage. He finds that business
calls him back to the city for the entire summer, and as his wife has
gone to a sanitarium to recover from nervous prostration, he is at a
loss to know what to do with the aforesaid twins. He wants to keep them
outdoors all summer, because neither are as strong as they should be.
He has a fancy that Ellen's Isle is a good atmosphere in which to make
spindly plants grow into hardy ones, and, in short, he asks us, nay,
begs and beseeches us, if we will take the twins off his hands for the
summer. What does the Council say to acquiring a good pair of twins at
a reasonable price?"

From all sides there rose a storm of protest. "We wouldn't have those
twins up here for anything," said Gladys emphatically. "We had just as
much as we could stand of them in two days. Have you forgotten what a
cry-baby Antha was?"

"And what a snob Anthony was?" said the Captain. "'I guess you didn't
get much of a war canoe, did you?' 'I guess your papa can't be very
rich, is he?'" The Captain mimicked Anthony's patronizing tone to
perfection and recalled the scene vividly to the others.

"Our whole summer up here would be ruined," continued Gladys. "Why can't
we let well enough alone? This isn't a reform camp for spoiled children.
We came up here to rest and play; not to wear ourselves out with people
of that kind."

Everywhere her sentiments were echoed. Mr. Evans gave no sign of his
secret wish that the Council would take the twins. The others did not
know the details of the failure of the spring water company, nor the
judge's connection with it.

"Then the Council decides that we shall turn down the judge's
proposition?" asked Mr. Evans. "Let each one register his or her vote,
for or against. If you want them to come, say yes, if not, no. Gladys."

"No."

"Slim."

"No."

"Migwan."

"No."

"Dan."

"No."

"Sahwah."

"Nosiree!"

"Peter."

"No."

"Katherine."

"May I say something?" asked Katherine, instead of replying directly yes
or no.

"Certainly," said Mr. Evans, leaning forward a little.

Katherine rose and stood in her favorite attitude, with her toes turned
in and her shoulders drooped forward. "When the twins were here," she
began, "I disliked them as much as the rest of you, and when the Council
was asked to decide whether or not they should come I decided to vote
no. But I just happened to think what Nyoda said to us at our last
Winnebago Council Meeting up in the House of the Open Door, the night
she went away forever. She gave the Winnebago fire into our keeping, and
said that from it we must light new fires, and that we must begin in
earnest to 'pass on the light that has been given us.' She said we
should gain an influence over younger girls and show them how to have a
good time as we had learned so well ourselves. Now I think the time has
come. I think that Antha has been dropped at our door as a special
opportunity, and I think that we should take it.

"If you folks decide that Antha and her brother may come I will appoint
myself her special 'big sister,' and will devote my time to her
improvement. So instead of voting 'no,' I wish to vote 'yes.'"

"Your point is well taken, Miss Orator," said Mr. Evans with unexplained
warmth. "You would make a famous criminal lawyer. You have a line of
argument which admits of very little defense. Does anyone else speak for
Antha? If three speak for her she may come, like Mowgli in the 'Jungle
Book.'"

"I speak for her," said the quiet Nakwisi unexpectedly. Nakwisi admired
Katherine intensely, and desired to follow her lead in all things.

"Two have spoken for her," said Mr. Evans judiciously. "Will there be
another?"

"I will speak for her," said Hinpoha decidedly. Katherine's words had
brought back the scene in the House of the Open Door vividly, and again
she heard Nyoda's gentle voice urging them to "pass on the light."
Completely melted, she also promised to be a big sister to Antha. Then
Gladys and Sahwah and Migwan all spoke up and wanted to know if they
could not take back their "no," because they had reconsidered the matter
and now agreed with Katherine.

"Does anyone speak for the boy, Anthony?" continued Mr. Evans.

"I do," said the Captain promptly, who was anxious to find favor in
Hinpoha's eyes.

Then there was a pause. None of the boys liked Anthony, and they could
not honestly say they wanted him. They had no memory of a beloved
guardian to influence them. But after a moment Slim spoke up. He
generally followed whither the girls led.

"I'll be a big sister, or a grandfather or a Dutch uncle to the kid if I
have the right to punch his head when he gets too fresh," he said
naïvely, and the solemn meeting was stirred by a ripple of laughter.

Then the Bottomless Pitt fell into line and said he felt the same about
it as Slim did, and that settled the question. Of course, after that
there was nothing for the Monkey and Peter and Dan to do but fall into
line.

Then after their decision had been made entirely by themselves, Mr.
Evans rose and told them in a few words why he had been anxious to
accommodate the judge, and how glad he was that they were honestly
willing to do it. They all blushed under his praise, but all knew down
in their hearts that if it hadn't been for Katherine they never would
have done it.

"How soon will they be here?" asked Gladys.

"They are awaiting our answer in St. Pierre," said her father. "And if
we are favorably disposed we are to go over with the launch tomorrow and
fetch them back."

"The die is cast," said Uncle Teddy gravely. "Now for the fireworks!"



CHAPTER V

THE DÉBUT OF EENY-MEENY


"The person who invented tan khaki," remarked Katherine, "ought to have
a place in the hall of fame along with the other benefactors of
humanity. It's as strong as sheet iron, so it doesn't tear even on a
barbed wire fence; it doesn't show the mud; grass stains and green paint
are positively ornamental. What more could be desired?"

Katherine and Slim were sitting on the bluff looking idly over the lake.
Around them there was a great silence, for the island was practically
deserted. All the other Winnebagos and Sandwiches had gone over to St.
Pierre in the launch with Mr. Evans and Uncle Teddy to fetch the
Dalrymple Twins. Katherine had been wandering around the island in one
of her absent-minded fits when they were ready to start and did not
appear when called, and Slim had fallen asleep under a tree and they
didn't have the heart to wake him. After they were gone Katherine
stumbled upon Slim in the course of her wandering and dropped an acorn
down the back of his collar. Slim woke up grumbling that he never could
have a moment's peace, but readily accepted Katherine's invitation to
sit on the bluff and throw pine cones at the floating signal which
marked the suck hole. Katherine, with her usual heedlessness, had slid
down part of the grassy embankment, and, as a result, the hem of her
skirt was decorated at uneven intervals with large grass stains. She
eyed the combination of tan and green thus affected with unconcealed
admiration. It was then that she made the remark about the inventor of
tan khaki being a benefactor of humanity.

Slim tactfully agreed that the grass stains added to the artistic effect
of the dress, and added that he thought tan and green were Katherine's
special colors. It had just occurred to Slim that Katherine might be
persuaded to make a pan of fudge while they waited for the others to
return. He leaned back at a comfortable angle and waited for her to
digest the compliment. The lake seemed enchanted today, an iridescent
pool where fairies bathed. The water had a pale, silvery green tinge,
with here and there a great bed of deepest purple encircling a center
of bright blue--those contrasts of color which are the marvel of our
northern lakes.

"Where do those purple places come from?" asked Katherine, with a
rapturous sigh for the sheer loveliness of it. "There isn't a cloud in
the sky to throw a shadow." To Katherine's eyes, accustomed to unending
stretches of prairie, browning under a scorching sun, this blue, cool
lake was like a dream of Eden.

"Maybe the color comes from below," said Slim, yawning as the light on
the water made him sleepy again. "Wouldn't I like to go down underneath
the water and lie there, though," he continued dreamily. "On a bed of
nice soft sand that the fellows couldn't make collapse, and where you
couldn't come along and shove burrs down my neck."

"It was an acorn," corrected Katherine serenely.

"Wouldn't I have a grand sleep, though," continued Slim, not heeding her
interruption. "I'd stay there a week; maybe a month."

"Yes," said Katherine, "and come up all covered with moss and with
binnacles hanging all over you."

Slim suddenly sat upright and shouted. "Binnacles!" he repeated. "That's
good. You mean _barnacles_, don't you? Glory! Wouldn't I look great
with binnacles hanging all over me!" And Slim leaned against the tree at
his back and laughed until he was red in the face.

"Well, take whichever you please," said Katherine with dignity, and
turned her back on his mirth.

Slim saw his dream of fudge fading and realized that he had made a
misstep in laughing so loudly. "Don't get mad," he said pleadingly to
the back of her head, "I won't tell any of the others what you said. But
it was so funny I _had_ to laugh," he said in self-defense.

Katherine kept her head turned the other way and remained deaf to his
apologies. Slim sat back and looked sad. He hadn't meant to offend
Katherine and he wanted her to make fudge. He cudgelled his fat brain
for something to say, which would appease her. "Oh, I say----" he began
when Katherine turned around so suddenly he almost jumped.

"What's that floating out there in the lake?" she said abruptly.

"Where?" asked Slim, sitting up.

"Out there." Katherine pointed her finger.

Slim looked in the direction she pointed. "I don't see anything."

"It seems to have gone under," said Katherine, searching the surface for
the thing she had seen the moment before.

"There it is again," she said excitedly. "It just came up again.

"Slim!" she shrieked, springing to her feet and dragging him up with
her. "It's--it's a person, and it looks like a woman. It's red. A woman
in a red dress. She's drowning. She went down when she disappeared and
now she's come up again. Hurry! The little launch! Come on! Hurry!"

She dragged Slim down the path so fast it was a miracle they both didn't
go head over heels, untied the launch from the landing and sent it
flying across the lake in the direction of the drowning woman. Katherine
could run the launch as well as Uncle Teddy himself. Slim, panting and
speechless, hung over the side trying to keep his eye on the red spot in
the shimmery green water.

"She's got one arm thrown up for help," he cried above the thumping of
the engine. Slim was so softhearted he could not bear to see a creature
in distress, and the sight of that arm thrown up in a wild gesture
filled him with a quivering horror. He could not bear to look at it and
turned his eyes away.

Fairly leaping through the water, the launch came on the scene and
Katherine stopped the engine. "Don't give up, we're coming," she shouted
at a distance of fifteen feet.

Slim stood up and prepared to drag the woman over the side. Then he and
Katherine began to stare hard. Then they looked at each other. Then they
quietly folded up in the bottom of the launch and went into spasms of
mirth.

"It's--it's----" began Slim, and then choked, while tears of laughter
ran down his face.

"It's--it's----" began Katherine, and choked, likewise.

"It's a wooden lady!" they both shrieked together, with a final
successful effort at breath.

"Oh, oh, doesn't she look real?" giggled Katherine. "With her arm
sticking up like that!"

Slim remembered how that arm had nearly given him heart failure a minute
ago and shook anew.

"She's an Indian lady," said Katherine, leaning over the side to inspect
the floating damsel.

"She's a cigar store Indian," said Slim.

"But she certainly did look real," said Katherine, "bobbing around out
here and going under the way she did. Look at her one foot sticking up,
too. She certainly had me fooled."

"We ought to rescue her, anyway," said Slim gallantly. "It isn't right
to let a lady drown under your eyes if she is only a wooden cigar store
Indian."

In a moment they had her on board and were speeding back to Ellen's
Isle. She lay out stiffly in the boat, her painted eyes open in a fixed
stare. They carried her up the path and set her against a tree.

"She must be having a chill after being drowned," said Slim. "We ought
to build a fire and set her beside it." Slim's mind was still on its
first idea. It was only a step from fire to fudge.

Katherine took up the ridiculous play with alacrity. "You build the fire
while I get the blankets," she ordered.

A few minutes later Mrs. Evans, who had been spending the afternoon on
her bed with a sick headache, opened her eyes to see Katherine standing
beside her with an excited, anxious face. "What is it?" she asked
quickly.

"Oh, Mrs. Evans," said Katherine in an agitated voice, "we just saw a
woman drowning in the lake and we brought her in in the launch and we've
got blankets and a fire, and, oh! will you please come quickly?"

Mrs. Evans sprang to her feet and followed Katherine out of the tent at
top speed. Sure enough, in the "kitchen" there was a big fire built, and
beside it on the ground lay a figure rolled in blankets.

"I'll get some brandy," said Mrs. Evans, turning and running into the
tent. She reappeared in a minute with a bottle from the First Aid chest
and a spoon.

"Here, hold up her head," she commanded Katherine.

Katherine lifted up one end of the still figure and turned back the
blanket.

Mrs. Evans, stooping with the spoonful of brandy in her hand, recoiled
with a little scream and sat down heavily, spilling the brandy all over
herself. Then Katherine introduced the rescued lady and Mrs. Evans
laughed till she cried and declared that her headache had been
completely scared out of her. She stood the figure upright and called
the others to witness the lifelike attitude.

"With her hand stretched out like that, she looks just as though she was
counting 'Eeny, meeny, miny, mo,'" she said.

"That's just what she does!" exclaimed Katherine. "I've been wondering
all the while what that gesture reminded me of. Wouldn't it be great fun
to name her Eeny-Meeny?"

The name seemed so admirably suited to the droll figure that they began
calling her that forthwith.

"After such a strenuous experience I think Eeny-Meeny ought to be put to
bed," remarked Slim artfully. He was trying to get the decks cleared for
action with pan and spoon.

"Of course," replied Katherine. "How thoughtless of me not to offer to
do it sooner! Come on, poor dear, and have a nice nap. You carry her
feet, Slim, and I'll carry her head. Put her in on Hinpoha's bed for a
gentle surprise party. Here, hold her head while I slip the pillow
underneath."

Then she covered Eeny-Meeny carefully with the blanket so that only her
outline showed and returned to the fire, which Slim was rapidly reducing
to the proportions of a "kettle boiler."

"Don't you think," said Slim, as she came up, "that Eeny-Meeny would
like some fudge when she wakes up? There's nothing like fudge to restore
you after you've been drowned."

Katherine agreed with this idea also and soon had the ingredients
bubbling in the kettle, while Slim glowed with satisfaction toward the
world at large.

"Here come the folks!" cried Katherine half an hour later, when the
fudge was cool and most of it inside of Slim. "We must run down and tell
them the great news."

The boys and girls swarmed noisily out of the launch onto the beach,
calling back and forth to one another. Slim and Katherine came hurriedly
down the path with their fingers on their lips. "Sh-h!" said Katherine.
"Don't make so much noise. Hello, Antha; hello, Anthony." She greeted
them hurriedly and with a preoccupied air.

"What's up?" asked Gladys. "Is mother's headache much worse?"

"Sh-h!" said Katherine again.

"There's a lady here who's very sick," continued Katherine in a low,
grave voice. "She was getting drowned in the lake and Slim and I brought
her in in the launch and revived her, and now she's in our tent asleep."

A murmur of excitement rose up from the crowd, which Katherine stilled
with uplifted hand.

"Oh, the poor thing!" said Gladys in a whisper. "How dreadful it must
be! Will she be all right now, do you think?"

"She's out of danger," replied Katherine, "but she hasn't spoken yet. We
worked for more than an hour over her."

"Oh, why did I have to miss it?" wailed Sahwah. "After all the drill
we've had reviving drowned persons, to think that when a real chance
came you should be the only ones on hand!"

"May we see her?" asked Gladys.

"You may take a peep at her if you will be very quiet," replied
Katherine in the tones of a trained nurse.

With unnatural quiet they ascended the path to the tents, each resolved
not to do anything to make a disturbance. The twins were carried along
with them unceremoniously.

"Which tent is she in?" asked Gladys.

"Ours," replied Katherine. "I laid her on Hinpoha's bed, because I think
it's the softest, and, anyhow, it's the only one that doesn't sag in the
middle. You don't mind, do you, Hinpoha?"

"I mind?" asked Hinpoha reproachfully. "I'm only too glad to let her
have it, the poor thing."

"Are you perfectly sure we won't disturb her by going in?" asked Gladys
again, at the door of the tent. The flaps were down all around.

"I think the girls had better go in first," said Katherine. "The boys
can wait awhile."

The boys fell back at this, and the girls passed into the tent as
Katherine held the flap back. They were on tiptoe with excitement, and
not a little embarrassed as they saw the long figure on the bed
completely wrapped in blankets. A moment later the boys outside,
standing around uncertainly, had their nerves shattered by a sudden loud
scream of laughter which grew in volume until the tent shook. Then the
girls came out, clinging to each other weakly, and doubled up on the
ground.

"It's--it's----" giggled Hinpoha.

Sahwah clapped her hand over her mouth. "Let them look for themselves,"
she said. The boys made a rush for the tent.

In another minute there was a second great roar of laughter, and out
came the Sandwiches, dragging Eeny-Meeny with them. Katherine told over
and over again the story of the thrilling rescue of Eeny-Meeny and how
she had received her name.

"What a peach of a mascot she'll make," said the Captain, when
Eeny-Meeny's charms had all been inspected. "Sandhelo's too
temperamental for the position."

"It's too bad we didn't have her for the Argonautic Expedition," said
Migwan. "Wouldn't she have looked great fastened on the front of the war
canoe for a figurehead? Why, we could set her up on that high bluff like
Liberty lighting the world--you could nail a torch to that outstretched
hand beautifully."

"And we can put her in a canoe filled with flowers and send her over the
falls in the St. Pierre River like the Legend of Niagara," said Hinpoha.

"Or float her down that little woods on the opposite shore like Elaine,"
said Gladys.

"Elaine didn't go floating along with one arm stuck out like that,"
objected Sahwah.

"Well, we could cover her with a robe of white samite," said Hinpoha,
"and she wouldn't look so much as if she were kicking."

"But, anyway, we can have more fun than a picnic with her," said
Katherine.

After supper, with much ceremony and speechifying, Eeny-Meeny was raised
up on a flat rock for a platform, with her back to a slender pine, where
she stood facing the Council Rock, with one foot forward to preserve her
balance and her right arm extended toward the councilors, looking for
all the world as if she were separating the sheep from the goats, and
counting "Eeny, meeny, miny, mo!"



CHAPTER VI

THE VOYAGEURS


When Katherine and the Captain became Chiefs the following Monday night,
they announced that the Principal Diversion for that week would be a
canoe trip up the river they had followed on foot in their search for
the moose. This little river flowed into the lake at a point just
opposite Ellen's Isle, running between high, frowning cliffs at its mouth.

"It's to be a sure enough 'exploraging' party," continued Katherine,
"and we won't come back the same day." A cheer greeted her words.

"Won't the war canoe look fine sweeping up the river?" asked Migwan,
seeing the picture in her mind's eye. "This will be a bigger Argonautic
Expedition than the other."

"We won't be able to take this trip in the war canoe," spoke up Uncle
Teddy. "From what I have seen of that little river it is too shallow in
places to float a canoe. If we made the trip in the small canoes we
could get out and carry them along the shore when we came to the shallow
places, which we couldn't do with the war canoe very easily."

"Oh, I'm so glad we're going in the small canoes," said Sahwah,
delighted. "It's lots more epic. Of course," she added hastily, "it's
heavenly in the war canoe, all paddling together, but it isn't nearly so
exciting. There one person does the steering and it's always Uncle
Teddy, but in a small canoe you can do your own steering. And, besides,"
she continued in a heartfelt tone, "there's no chance of the war canoe's
tipping, and there always is in a little one."

"I take it that upsetting a canoe is one of the chief joys in life for
you," remarked Uncle Teddy. "No trip complete for you without an upset,
eh? I must make a note of that, and pack all the valuable cargo in the
other canoes. And I shall order the crew of your vessel to wear full
dress uniform all the time, namely, your bathing suits."

The weather was fine and dry and, according to the signs as interpreted
by Uncle Teddy, would remain so for the next few days. Orders were given
to start immediately after breakfast the next morning. Ponchos had to be
rolled for this trip, as they intended camping in the woods somewhere
for one or, perhaps, two nights.

"Don't tell Antha we're going to sleep on the ground," Gladys warned the
others diplomatically, "or she'll make a fuss before we start."

"We'll save that for a pleasant surprise," said Sahwah, with a grin over
her shoulder.

No special time had been set for the return of the "exploraging" party.
They were simply going to paddle up the river as far as they could go
and then turn back.

The camp looked like an army preparing to move that Tuesday morning.
Blankets were being stripped from beds and spread out on ponchos while
their owners raced around hunting for the rest of their belongings which
should go in.

"Where's my toothbrush?" demanded Gladys, having turned the tent upside
down in her search for the missing article. "Katherine, if you've
borrowed it to stir that villainous paint mixture you were daubing
Eeny-Meeny with I'll----"

"What's that sticking out of the hole in the floor?" interrupted
Katherine, pointing to the corner behind the bed.

"Why, that's it," said Gladys. "I remember now, I poked it into that
hole last night."

"Whatever did you put it into that hole for?" asked Hinpoha curiously.

"Why, after I was in bed," answered Gladys, "I got to thinking about
that hole and how spiders and things could come crawling through and
walk right into my bed, and I had no peace of mind until I got up and
stuffed it. And the only thing I could find to stuff it with was the
handle of my toothbrush. Then I went to sleep in peace."

"As if all the spiders in the world couldn't walk in at the side of the
tent," jeered Hinpoha.

"I know it," said Gladys, laughing shamefacedly, "but somehow the
spiders that might be coming in at the sides didn't bother me a bit,
while those that might be coming through the hole did."

"'Consistency, thou art a jewel,'" quoted Katherine, laughing.

"What are the boys doing?" asked Hinpoha, hearing a commotion outside.

The Captain was running toward the path, waving something over his head,
and Slim was hot after him trying to get it away.

"Oh, it's the thermos bottle," called Sahwah, who had run out after the
two. Ever since Slim had taken the thermos bottle full of hot chocolate
with him the time they went on the snowshoe hike, he had never been
allowed to forget it. Wherever Slim went that thermos bottle was taken
along for his benefit. The Captain had even taken it along to a school
party and gravely handed it to Slim when he was trying to appear
especially dignified in the presence of a stately young lady. This time
Slim caught the Captain and downed him at the head of the path and they
struggled for its possession while the onlookers held their breath for
fear they would both roll down the hill. Slim finally got it away from
the Captain, and succeeded in hiding it where it could not be found in
time to take along.

"What's going to be the order of procession?" asked Aunt Clara when they
had finally got all their impedimenta down on the dock.

"You and Uncle Teddy will be in the first canoe," said Katherine. Since
she and the Captain were the Chiefs they had the right to be commanders
of the trip, but they willingly agreed to let Uncle Teddy have that
responsibility, as he was able to engineer a canoe party and they were
not.

"Let Katherine and the Captain go in the canoe with you," suggested Mr.
Evans. "Then they can pretend they are commanding the expedition." Mr.
and Mrs. Evans were not going on this trip.

"No," said Uncle Teddy, "I would rather have my first aids in the last
boat. Then they can watch the whole line of canoes ahead of them and see
that everything is all right."

So Katherine and the Captain had the place of honor at the tail of the
line.

When they were nearly ready to start, Katherine, who had returned to the
tents for something, came toiling down the hill, carrying in her arms
the stiff figure of Eeny-Meeny. "We can't go without our mascot," she
said. "Didn't the old Greeks and Romans carry their household gods with
them, and didn't the Indians take their 'Medicine' along on all their
journeys? As fourth assistant sub-head of this expedition I use my
authority to declare that she shall be taken along. There is one canoe
left and we can tie that behind mine and tow her. Mayn't we, Uncle
Teddy?"

"You're the Chief this week," said Uncle Teddy, throwing up his hands in
a helpless gesture. "You have the right to say whether she shall go or
not. If you agree to tow her yourself I certainly have no objections to
her going along. But remember, towing her will include carrying her
overland when we come to the shallow places."

"Now lie still and be good," admonished Katherine, when Eeny-Meeny had
been laid in the canoe, looking ridiculously undignified with her one
arm and foot sticking up in the air.

"All ready there?" shouted Uncle Teddy from up front. "All right, cast
off."

The line of canoes moved forward. Nakwisi was up in the first canoe with
Uncle Teddy and Aunt Clara, while the Bottomless Pitt made the fourth
passenger. After them came Hinpoha and Slim, paddling the second canoe
with Antha and Dan as passengers; then Sahwah and the Monkey, paddling
Migwan and Anthony; and lastly, Katherine and the Captain with Gladys
and Peter Jenkins, and Eeny-Meeny traveling in state behind them.

The lake was smooth and paddling was easy. They sang as they bent to
their paddles, as voyageurs of old. Soon they came to the mouth of the
narrow river and ran in between the high banks. The current was strong
and the paddling immediately became harder work.

"I bet Slim loses five pounds on this trip," called out the Captain.
"See him perspire!"

"I'll bet he gains five," answered Katherine. "Working hard will give
him such an appetite that he'll eat twice as much as he usually does.
Too bad we didn't bring that thermos bottle; he will be wanting some
nourishment very soon if he keeps up at that rate."

Slim heard the jokes at his expense being tossed back and forth over his
head, but his exertions had rendered him too breathless to say a word of
protest.

They passed the place where Uncle Teddy had called the moose with the
birchbark trumpet on the occasion of the Calydonian Hunt. "Why don't you
call another moose, Uncle Teddy?" asked Sahwah. "I should think there
would be lots of them around."

"I don't think so," replied Uncle Teddy. "This is a bit too far south
for them. That other moose probably didn't live in these woods; he was
just traveling here; spending his vacation, probably. And, like a good
many of his human brothers, he didn't take his wife along with him.
There were no signs of another."

"He would have done better to stay at home with his wife," remarked Aunt
Clara, "and then his head and his hide wouldn't be over in St. Pierre
now, getting respectively mounted and tanned."

"Mercy, but this is hard pulling," groaned Katherine, as they went
farther and farther up against the swift current. Those up in the
forward boats thought the same thing and the paddles were not dipping
with anywhere near the briskness and regularity with which they started
out.

"This won't do!" shouted Katherine, making a trumpet of her hands. "We
look like a row of lame ducks limping along. Get some style into your
paddling. Let's sing and paddle in time to the music." Her voice cracked
as usual and Gladys had to start the chorus:

    "Pull long, pull strong, my bonny brave crew,
    The winds sweep over the waters blue,
    But blow they high, or blow they low,
    It's all the same to Wohelo!

    "Yo ho, yo ho,
    It's all the same to Wohelo!"

It is astonishing how much better everything goes to music. The ragged
paddling straightened out into steady, rhythmic dipping; drooping backs
stiffened up, and aching arms regained their energy.

"That's the way!" shouted Katherine. "Now we have some style about us.
This canoe seems much lighter than it did a few minutes ago. Hurrah for
music!"

Just at this moment her alert senses told her that something was wrong.
She twisted her head backward and then she saw that the sudden
lightening of the canoe was not due to the beneficial effects of music.
For the canoe, which they had been towing, was no longer fastened to
them. Far behind them they saw it, traveling rapidly back to the lake
with the swift current, carrying with it their mascot Eeny-Meeny, her
arm visible above the sides of the canoe, stretched out to them in a
beseeching gesture.

"Halt!" cried Katherine in a fearful voice, which broke in the middle of
the word and leaped up fully two octaves.

"What's the matter?" shouted Uncle Teddy, looking back in alarm.

"We've lost Eeny-Meeny!" screeched Katherine.

A roar of laughter went up from all the canoes, as the occupants,
carefully turning their heads so as not to disturb the balance of their
frail barks, caught sight of that runaway canoe with the imploring arm
visible over the side.

"I'll go after her!" said Katherine, bringing her canoe up alongside the
bank and unceremoniously inviting Gladys and Peter to get out and
lighten the boat. Then she and the Captain headed around into the
current and started downstream paddling for dear life. It was so much
easier going down than coming up that they fairly flew over the water,
and caught up with Eeny-Meeny just before she reached the mouth of the
river and went sailing out on the wide bosom of the lake. She was
fastened on more firmly this time, and then began the long, hard paddle
upstream again to overtake the others. Katherine would have been game to
go on paddling all day rather than say Eeny-Meeny was a bother to tow,
but she was very glad of the order given by Uncle Teddy, which gave her
a chance to sit in the bottom of the canoe and do nothing but look at
the scenery and keep an eye on Eeny-Meeny, lest she should give them the
slip again.

The change of paddlers brought Anthony to the place of bow paddler in
the third canoe. "Now you'll see some real paddling," was his gracious
remark when he took the seat the Monkey had vacated in his favor.

"Look out you don't run over any snags," cautioned the Monkey. "There
are some sharp stumps under the surface of the water and they're ugly
customers."

"You don't need to tell me about them," replied Anthony pertly, "I guess
I know how to paddle as well as you do. You don't always need to be
handing me directions how to do things." And he started off with a
series of jerky dips, which set the canoe swaying from side to side so
that Migwan had an effort to keep it straight in the line of the others.

"Steady there, you third bow paddler," shouted Uncle Teddy, and Anthony
subsided.

In the last canoe Katherine and Gladys were lustily shouting:

    "Sing a song of paddling,
    A canoe full of Slim,
    Four and twenty haystacks
    Ain't as wide as him.
    When the boat goes over
    Won't there be a splash?
    All the fishes in the brook
    Will turn into hash!"

The other canoes took up the song and shouted it until Slim, throwing
handfuls of water in every direction, sprinkled the singers into
silence.

The country through which they were passing was for the most part thick
woods. Sometimes there was a narrow meadow on each side of the river
with the trees in the distance, sometimes there was a swamp, but more
often they were passing between high bluffs crowned with forests. At
times it was actually gloomy down there in the narrow passage, for the
sun was behind the trees high above them; then again as the banks became
low the hot sun shone unmercifully on their heads and made their eyes
ache as it sparkled on the ripples.

Just as they had settled down to nice steady paddling and were making
good progress upstream, Uncle Teddy called out that he was aground. The
river bed seemed suddenly to rise up and strike the bottom of the
canoes. A few feet back the water was swift and deep; here a sand bar
stretched across their path and brought them to a stop.

"We'll have to get out and carry the canoes around," said Uncle Teddy,
stepping over the side into the shallow water and pushing his canoe back
where it would float.

Then they all had to step ashore and "paddle the canoes with their
feet," as the Bottomless Pitt called it. Slim began carefully lifting
the "grub" supplies out of his canoe and piling them on the ground.

"What are you doing that for?" asked Hinpoha.

"So they won't fall out when we carry it, of course," replied Slim.

"Just how were you planning to carry it?" asked Hinpoha curiously.

"Why, on our heads, to be sure," said Slim.

"Silly," said Hinpoha, "of course we won't carry them on our heads these
few steps. We'll carry them right side up and leave all the supplies
in."

"I thought you always had to carry a canoe on your head when you made a
portage," said Slim sheepishly, amid the laughter of the rest. "They
always do it that way in the pictures," he defended himself.

Katherine had double work, for in addition to her own canoe with its
cargo, she had Eeny-Meeny to transport. But the Captain gallantly helped
her and Eeny-Meeny made her overland journey with perfect ease.

"This is a case of 'turn about is fair play,'" said Gladys. "First your
canoe carries you and then you carry the canoe."

On the other side of the sand bar the fleet was launched again and the
interrupted paddling resumed. They were just going nicely when Uncle
Teddy shouted, "Halt! We have to lighten the boats!"

"What for?" shrieked Katherine in alarmed amazement.

"Dinner time!" replied Uncle Teddy, and they all shouted with laughter
again. Everybody had been quite frightened at his command to lighten the
boats.

They went ashore and cooked dinner over a fire of driftwood and
succeeded in lightening the boats considerably. After an hour's rest in
the shade of a large tree they pushed forward again. Only twice during
the afternoon did they see any signs of people. In both instances it was
a single tent set up among the trees by hardy folks who preferred the
wilderness to the fashionable resorts along the lake front. Near one of
the tents stood a man and a boy and they waved a friendly greeting to
the voyageurs, who raised their paddles all together in salute.

"Quite some style to that salute," said Katherine, and in her enthusiasm
she brought her paddle down flat on the water with a mighty whack,
showering those around her.

"Oh, I say," cried Gladys in protest, "please bottle up your rapture.
I'm drenched already. I don't know what would happen if you ever got
really enthusiastic about anything."

"I'm sorry," said Katherine apologetically, then with a lapse into her
negro dialect, "Ah reahly couldn't help it. Ah got such protuberant
spirits, Ah has! Ah 'clar to goodness----"

"What's the matter up there? Why don't you go on?" The clear voice of
the Captain cut sharply through Katherine's nonsense.

"The third canoe has run on a snag," somebody called in answer.

"Just as I expected," said the Captain under his breath. "That lobster
of an Anthony doesn't know enough to watch out for snags."

It was characteristic of the Winnebagos and the Sandwiches that there
was no noise or confusion over the mishap. Everybody sat quiet while
Uncle Teddy paddled alongside the impaled canoe and gave directions for
releasing her. In a minute she was floating clear again, but with an
eight-inch rip in the bottom, through which the water began to press
rapidly. The snag was the broken stump of a tree, which had pierced the
wood like a lance.

"Paddle over to shore," commanded Uncle Teddy, and the disabled vessel
was soon lying up on the sandy bank with her crew standing around
inspecting the damage. The others landed also and stood waiting for
orders what to do next.

"Will we have to carry the canoe all the way back by land?" asked Slim
anxiously, already fearing that he would have to help do the carrying
and ready to put up a telling argument why Anthony should carry it all
the way back alone, since he had been so clever as to run it on a snag.

"Mercy, no," said Uncle Teddy. "Here is where traveling in a canoe has
the advantage over every other mode of travel. All you have to do is
fill the rip with pine pitch, harden it, and she's as good as ever.
Company disperse into the woods and seek pine pitch. Forward march!"

The pitch was procured and Uncle Teddy mixed it with grease. Then he
laid a piece of canvas over the hole, smeared it with the pitch mixture
and hardened it by searing with a torch. All that took time and the
afternoon was gone before they had finished the mending.

"Company seek sleeping quarters!" commanded Uncle Teddy, after a
consultation with Aunt Clara, who was of the opinion that this was as
good a place as any to spend the night. The pines were close together
and the ground was dry and soft with its thick carpet of needles. As the
ground was alike on both sides of the river the boys and Uncle Teddy
decided to cross and make their camp on the other side, a little farther
up around a bend. The two camps were hidden from each other by the thick
bushes that fringed both banks of the river, but were not too far away
from each other to be handy in case of emergency.

Sleeping sites were soon picked out and the ponchos and blankets spread
out on the ground. Of course, Antha made a fuss when she discovered the
mode of sleeping and it took considerable coaxing to get her to consent.
She was afraid of snakes; she was afraid of bugs; she was afraid of
being carried away bodily. It was only when Katherine promised to be her
sleeping partner and keep tight hold of her hand all night that she
ceased her fussing.

Great was the laughter as Katherine's poncho was unrolled and her
laundry bag, full of clothes waiting to be washed, tumbled out. In her
haphazard and absent-minded packing she had taken it instead of her
pillow. Katherine promptly tied the bag shut and declared it was as good
as any pillow.

"You won't think so by the time the night is over," warned Hinpoha.
"You've never slept on the ground before, but after this time you'll
never forget your pillow again. That fact will be firmly fixed even in
your forgetful mind."

While supper was cooking, Hinpoha and the Captain, who had gone
exploring on foot on the pretext of gathering firewood, reported a small
waterfall a short distance up the river. A waterfall on the premises was
too valuable a stage "prop" not to be used, and Hinpoha was soon seized
with an inspiration.

"Let's do our Legend of Niagara stunt here after supper," she proposed.
"It'll be such fun to send Eeny-Meeny over the falls in the canoe. There
isn't a particle of danger of dashing the boat to pieces on the rocks
because there aren't any rocks below the falls, and even if Eeny-Meeny
does fall out en route, we can fish her out again and drain her off. I
think a waterproof heroine is the greatest thing that was ever
invented!"

In the soft glow of the sunset the great tragedy took place. The
spectators sat around on the river banks and cheered the canoe as it
appeared above the falls, filled with pine branches on which reposed the
lovely form of Eeny-Meeny, her brows crowned with wreaths and a
flowering branch in her outstretched hand. With increasing swiftness the
canoe approached the falls, poised on the brink a moment, then tilted
forward and shot downward, turning over and over and spilling Eeny-Meeny
and her piney bed into the river. As the spill occurred, Hinpoha and
Gladys and Sahwah and Katherine, who were playing the parts of the
bereaved companions of the sacrificed maiden, tore their hair and
uttered blood-curdling shrieks of despair.

Just at that moment, with a suddenness which took their breath away, a
man appeared on the river bank, coming apparently from the woods, and
cried loudly, "Be calm! I will save her!" And, flinging his coat off, he
sprang into the water before anyone could say Jack Robinson. He swam out
to the form bobbing in the current, her arm thrown up as if for help;
grasped that arm and then uttered a long, choking sputter, shoved
Eeny-Meeny violently away from him and swam back to shore. They made
valiant attempts not to laugh when he crawled out on the bank, dripping
and disgusted.

From his appearance he was an Englishman. He was dressed in a sort of
golfing suit, with short, baggy trousers and long, checked stockings. He
had sandy whiskers which were dripping water in a stream. Such a
ludicrous sight he was as he stood there, with his once natty suit all
limp and clinging, that, one by one, the boys and girls dissolved into
helpless giggles. Uncle Teddy managed to hold on to his composure long
enough to explain how it happened that Eeny-Meeny went over the falls in
such a spectacular manner. The Englishman stared at him open mouthed.

"Well, really!" he drawled at last in a voice which expressed doubts as
to their sanity, and the few who had maintained straight faces so far
lost control of themselves.

Uncle Teddy offered the would-be rescuer dry clothing, but he declined,
saying he and a friend had pitched a tent only a quarter of a mile up
the river and he would hasten back there. The two of them were on a
walking trip, he explained, making frequent stops where there was
fishing. While his friend had been cooking supper this evening he had
strolled off by himself and had come through the woods just in time to
see Eeny-Meeny go over the falls. In the failing light he had mistaken
her for a real person.

"Oh, I say," he called back after he had started to take his departure,
"if you should happen to run into my friend anywhere would you be so
kind as not to mention this--er--mistake of mine? He is something of a
joker and I am afraid he would repeat the story where it would cause me
some embarrassment." And he solemnly withdrew, leaving them to indulge
their mirth to their hearts' content.

"Poor old Eeny-Meeny," said Katherine, "she seems born to be rescued.
She must bear a charmed life. It's a case of 'Sing Au Revoir but not
Good-bye' when she goes to meet a tragic fate." She dried Eeny-Meeny off
with bunches of grass and stood her up against a tree to guard their
"boudoir" for the night.

"Hinpoha," said Gladys, drawing her aside when they were ready to
retire, "what do you think of watching tonight? I've never done it and
I'm crazy to try it once."

"You mean sit up all night?" asked Hinpoha.

"Yes," answered Gladys. "Go off a little way from the others and build a
small fire and sit there in the still woods and watch. Nyoda always
wanted me to do it some time, and I promised her I would if I got a
chance."

"We'd better ask Aunt Clara about it first," said Hinpoha.

Aunt Clara said that after such a strenuous day's paddling, and with the
prospect of another one before them it would be out of the question for
them to sit up all night, but they might stay up until midnight if they
chose and sleep several hours later in the morning.

Everyone else was too dead tired to want to sit up, so the two of them
departed quietly into the woods where they could not hear the voices of
the others and built a tiny fire. The proper way to keep watch in the
woods is to do it all alone, but Hinpoha and Gladys compromised by
agreeing not to say one word to each other all the while they sat there,
but to think their own thoughts in absolute silence. If the city girl
thinks there is not a sound to be heard in the woods at night she should
keep the watch some time and listen. Beside the calls of the
whippoorwill and the other night birds, there are a hundred little
noises that seem to be voices talking to one another in some soft,
mysterious language. There are little rustlings, little sighings, little
scurryings and patterings among the dry leaves, drowsy chirpings and
plaintive croakings. The old workaday world seems to have slipped out of
existence and a fairy world to have taken its place. And the girl who
truly loves nature and the wide outdoors will not be frightened at being
alone in the woods at night. It is like laying her ear against the wide,
warm heart of the night and hearing it beat.

And to sit by a lonely watch fire in the woods in the dead of night is
to unlock the doors of romance. Strange fancies flitted through the
minds of the two girls as they sat there, and thoughts came which would
never have come in daylight. Somehow they felt in the calmness of the
night the nearness of God and the presence of the Great Mystery. All the
petty little daylight perplexities faded from reality; their souls
became serene, while their hearts beat high with ambition and resolve.
They had no desire to speak to each other; each was planning out her
life on a nobler scale; each was steeped in peace profound.

Without warning they were roused from their reverie by a startled yell
that shattered the silence and made the night hideous.

"What's the matter?" they both shrieked, starting to their feet in great
fright.

The yell had come from the direction of the girls' sleeping place, and,
taking to their heels, Gladys and Hinpoha sped through the woods to
their friends. There they found everybody up and standing around with
their blankets over their shoulders. A fire had been left burning in an
open space and beside this, Aunt Clara, looking like an Indian squaw,
was talking to a man who looked as if he might be a brother of the man
who had jumped into the river after Eeny-Meeny that evening.

"What's the matter?" they asked of Katherine.

"He ran into Eeny-Meeny," explained Katherine, "and it scared the wits
out of him."

There was another rush of feet and Uncle Teddy and the Sandwiches came
on a dead run. They had heard the yell and were coming to see what was
the matter. The strange man in the Norfolk suit, nearly dead from
embarrassment, explained that he and his friend were camping some
distance up the river and his friend had gone out walking in the early
evening and come home with dripping clothes, having accidentally fallen
into the river. Here the girls and boys looked at each other and had
much ado to keep their faces straight. The friend had gone to bed and
later in the evening had been taken with a severe chill. He had happened
to mention that he passed a large camping party in his walk. Seeing the
light of the fire through the trees and taking it to be this camp which
his friend had seen he had taken the liberty of walking over to ask if
Uncle Teddy had any brandy. But before he had seen any of the campers or
come near enough to hail them he had run into something in the darkness,
and upon scratching a match was horrified to see an Indian girl tied to
a tree. (Katherine had tied Eeny-Meeny up so she wouldn't fall over in
the night.) In his fright he had cried out, and that was what had
aroused the camp. He was very sorry, but he had never come upon an
Indian in the woods at night, even a wooden cigar store one, and thought
he might be pardoned for being frightened.

His exclamation when Eeny-Meeny was explained to him was just like that
of his friend: "Well, really!" And there was that same shade of doubt in
his voice as to the sanity of people who carried such a thing along with
them on a canoe trip.

"Oh--I say," he called back, when Uncle Teddy had given him a small
flask of brandy and pointed out the nearest route back, "if you should
happen to run into my friend anywhere while you are in these woods would
you be so kind as not to mention this--er--mistake of mine? He is
something of a joker, and I am afraid if this story came to his ears he
would repeat it where it would cause me some embarrassment."

And he departed as solemnly as the other had done, leaving the campers
limp with merriment.

The next day they ascended the river as far as they could go, with
nothing more exciting than the dropping overboard of Katherine's poncho.
On the return trip the punctured canoe began to leak, so her crew and
supplies were transferred to Eeny-Meeny's canoe and she was towed along
in the leaky one, with frequent stops to bail out the water when she
seemed in danger of being swamped. They spent the second night in the
same place where they had spent the first, and this time there was no
disturbance. They mended the leaky canoe again and Eeny-Meeny finished
her trip in comparative dryness.

"Oh, dear," said Katherine, when they were back at Ellen's Isle once
more, and had finished telling Mr. and Mrs. Evans their adventures,
"what was there in life worth living for anyway, before we had
Eeny-Meeny?"



CHAPTER VII

A FAST AND A SILENCE


Being Chief that week it was Katherine's duty to blow the rising horn in
the morning. The day after the return from the canoe trip was the
morning for war canoe practice. The crew practised three mornings a week
before breakfast. Katherine, who had gone to sleep with the idea firmly
fixed in her mind that she must wake by a quarter to seven so that she
could rouse the others, awoke with a start, dreaming that she had
overslept and the others had tied her in her bed and gone off without
her. The world was dull and grey and covered with a chilly mist. There
was nothing to inspire a desire to go war canoe practicing. Katherine
was still tired from the strenuous paddling of the past two days, and
she stretched in delicious comfort under the covers. Then she pulled her
watch from under her pillow and looked at it.

"Gracious!" she exclaimed, sitting bolt upright in bed. "It's ten after
seven. I have overslept! It's so grey this morning it seems much
earlier."

She seized the horn and blew a mighty blast at the other girls, who were
still sleeping peacefully. One by one they opened their eyes drowsily.

"Get up!" shouted Katherine. "We've overslept! This is the morning for
crew practice and it's ten after seven already."

"Seems as if I'd just fallen asleep," grumbled Hinpoha, half rising from
the pillow and then sinking down into its warm depths again.

"It's horrid and misty out," sighed Gladys. "Do we have crew practice if
it isn't a nice day?"

"We certainly do," said Katherine emphatically, buttoning the last
button of her bathing suit and departing to wake the others.

In the next tent she encountered the same sleepy protest. "I didn't
think we went out when it was misty," said Migwan, regretfully leaving
the warm embrace of her blankets.

"I'm _so_ comfortable," sighed Nakwisi.

Katherine stood in the doorway with arms akimbo and delivered her mind.
"What kind of sports are you, anyway? Just because it's cold and misty
you want to stay in bed all day and sleep. It's no test of energy to get
out on a fine morning and paddle a canoe, that's pure fun; a cold, wet
day is the real test of sportsmanship. What kind of Winnebagos are you?
You sing:

"'We always think the weather's fine in sunshine or in snow,' and then
when the chance comes to prove it you back down."

"We haven't backed down," said Migwan hastily, "and we aren't going to.
See, I'm up already." And she reached for her bathing suit.

Katherine passed out of the tent and took her position on the high place
between the two encampments where her horn would awaken the boys. It
took no end of lusty blowing before she heard the answering shout that
told they had heard and were getting up.

"Such a bunch of sleepy heads," she called aloud to the trees. "They
paddle a few miles and think they're killed and have to sleep a week to
make up for it. I won't have it while I'm Chief. We must get hardened
down to all kinds of weather or else we're not true sports." And she
marched back to her tent to see that none of the girls had slipped back
to bed while she was out. They were all grumbling and yawning, but were
dutifully getting into their bathing suits.

"Mine's wet," wailed Hinpoha, "and--ouch! it's cold. I forgot to hang it
up after our swim last night. I think it's cruelty to animals to make a
person get into a wet bathing suit."

"Serves you right for not hanging it up," said Katherine imperturbably.

It was a chilly and unenthusiastic crew that manned the war canoe a few
minutes later. The boys had been just as reluctant to leave their beds
as the girls, though none of them would admit it. Katherine lectured
them all on their doleful countenances and repeated her remarks about
the test of sportsmanship. After that nobody dared open their mouths
about the unpleasantness of the weather; in dogged silence they dipped
their paddles and pushed out into the greyness.

"Sing something," commanded Katherine, "and put a little life into your
paddling! Ready now, 'We pull long, we pull strong.'"

And obediently they opened their mouths and sang, but it sounded all out
of tune and they couldn't keep together no matter how hard they tried.

"Did the lake ever look so big and cold to you before?" asked Hinpoha in
a forlorn voice after the attempt at singing had been given up.

"And St. Pierre looks about a thousand miles away, and all grey and
shabby," said Gladys.

"Do you think it will rain so much today that we can't go over to St.
Pierre with the little launch engine?" asked the Captain.

"No telling," said Uncle Teddy, vainly trying to stifle a telltale yawn.
Uncle Teddy was secretly wishing that Katherine had overslept with the
rest of them and did not have such a tremendous idea of good
sportsmanship. But, being a thorough sport, he shook himself out of his
drowsiness and shouted the paddling commands lustily.

"One, two! One, two! Click stroke! Ready, dip!"

And the paddles clicked and dipped, as the paddlers began to feel the
energy rising in their systems.

"Water wheel!" shouted Uncle Teddy, and the paddles flashed backward in
a wide circle between each dip.

"Wasn't that fun?" said Sahwah. "I'm getting wider awake every minute.
You were right about making us get up, Katherine. If I'd slept as long
as I wanted to I'd have felt 'dumpy' all day, but now I feel fine and
just full of pep."

"So do I," said Gladys.

"I don't," said Hinpoha dolefully. "I guess I'm not much of a sport, but
I'm getting sleepier every minute."

"You girls talk too long before you go to sleep nights," said the
Captain. "That's why you're not ready to get up in the morning. We can
hear you away down in our tents, long after we're asleep."

"How can you hear us after you're asleep?" demanded Katherine, and the
Captain, caught in a bull, subsided in confusion.

"Well, anyway," said Hinpoha, "I'm going back to bed as soon as we land
and sleep until breakfast time. I'm not going for a dip this morning."

"You can't sleep," said Katherine, the martinet, "you're on breakfast
duty. And you'll have to step lively at that, for it's late this morning
and the animals will all be hungry."

"What time is it?" asked Sahwah.

"It must be pretty near eight," answered Katherine. "Wait a minute until
I look at my watch." She fished around in the pocket of her sweater,
pulling out first half a comb, then several peanuts, and finally the
watch.

"It's ten after seven," she said. "Why, it can't be that--that's what it
was when I got up. The watch has stopped. I don't know what time it is,
but it must be nearly eight."

Just then a tiny golden beam fell on the water in front of the canoe.
"It's clearing up," said Sahwah joyfully. "It isn't going to rain after
all today." She twisted her head upward to see where the sun was
breaking through the clouds. "Why----" she exclaimed in bewilderment,
"where is the sun?"

They all looked around. There was the sun, just beginning to peep over
the eastern horizon. "It's--it's just rising!" said Katherine,
dumbfounded. "Did it oversleep, too?"

"No, it didn't," said Uncle Teddy. "Old Sol is the one person who always
wakes on time. And at this season of the year his time is about four
o'clock A. M."

"It's only four o'clock!" they all shouted. "Katherine, you wretch, you
pulled us out of our beds at half past three! You did it on purpose!"

But one glance at Katherine's amazed face dispelled all doubts on that
score, and set them into a wild gale of laughter. If ever a person was
taken aback it was Katherine. "My watch must have stopped at ten after
seven last night," she said sheepishly. "I remember now, I didn't wind
it. No wonder it was so grey and misty we thought it was going to rain!"

"The real test of sportsmanship!" scoffed the Captain. "I should say we
were some fine sports, getting up at half past three the morning after a
canoe trip and going out to crew practice!"

"And me getting into a wet bathing suit!" mourned Hinpoha. "I think I
ought to have a Carnegie medal for that."

Even the sun seemed to be laughing, as he climbed up over the rim of the
water and turned the wavelets into gold. They paddled back to the dock
as fast as they could go, laughing so they could hardly dip their
paddles, and singing,

    "Hail to the Chief who at sunrise advances!"

Arrived at the dock they scurried up the path and got back into bed as
soon as they could, and journeyed back into the land of dreams without
delay. Katherine refused to blow the rising horn at all, but let them
sleep as long as they wanted to, and it was nine o'clock before the
first one stirred. Breakfast was served at ten instead of at eight,
and was the most hilarious meal they had eaten since coming to Ellen's
Isle. Song after song was made up about Katherine's "False alarm" and
her "rising qualities." Finally they rose from the table and putting
their hands on each other's shoulders they formed a circle around her
and danced a snake dance, singing:

    "For she's a really good sportsman,
    For she's a really good sportsman,
    For she's a really good sportsman,
    Which no one can deny!"

"Don't be cross, Katherine," said Gladys, running from the circle to put
her arms around her. "We're horrid, nasty things to make such fun of
you, but it was _such_ a good joke on you!"

"Oh, I'll forgive you all," said Katherine magnanimously, "but I still
have a sneaking suspicion that the joke was on _you_!"

"All aboard for St. Pierre," cried Uncle Teddy. "How many of you boys
want to come along? Company form ranks on the pier!"

There was a wild scramble down the hill to be on time, for it was an
invariable rule that those who were not there when the boat was ready to
start were left behind. There was no waiting for laggards. They all made
it this time and chugged out of sight, still hearing echoes of the
laughter on Ellen's Isle.

It took so long to get the engine fixed that they decided to wait over
and have dinner at St. Pierre. While they were eating there a big,
bronzed man walked up and slapped Uncle Teddy on the shoulder. Uncle
Teddy greeted him joyfully.

"Hello, Colonel Berry! Where in the firmament did you come from?"

"Oh, I just rained down," said the big stranger, laughing. "But talking
about firmaments, just what are _you_ doing in this corner of the
country?"

Uncle Teddy explained, and introduced Mr. Evans and the boys. "These are
the Sandwiches," he said, including them all in a comprehensive wave of
his hand, whereat Colonel Berry roared with laughter. "Boys, meet
Colonel C. C. Berry, the best woodsman in fourteen states, and the best
goodfellow in the world."

The boys acknowledged the introduction with great politeness and
respect, but Colonel Berry insisted on shaking hands all around, "just
as if we were senators," the Captain explained afterward.

Mr. Evans immediately invited Colonel Berry to visit them at Ellen's
Isle, and the Sandwiches all echoed the plea eagerly, just as if he had
been an old and beloved friend instead of a new acquaintance.

The colonel replied that his business would take him out of St. Pierre
the following evening, but he would be delighted to run over and spend
that night with them on Ellen's Isle.

It was not without considerable pride that Mr. Evans pointed out "his
island" to Colonel Berry later in the afternoon as the launch approached
it on their return home. The way affairs were run on that little island
was something to be proud of, as he well knew, and which even a
distinguished camper and woodsman must admire. The boys were busy
describing the wonders of Ellen's Isle and kept saying, "Wait until you
see our girls. Wait until you see Sahwah dive off the bow of the war
canoe and Gladys hold a parasol over her head when she swims. Wait until
you eat some of Hinpoha's slumgullion!"

"I'm surprised they're not all down on the landing waiting for us," said
Mr. Evans, as they ran the launch in. "They generally are. But they'll
be down immediately." Making a trumpet of his hands he called, "Oh,
Mother! Gladys! Aunt Clara!" There was no answer. "They must be in the
tents," he said. "Come on up." He helped the colonel up the steep path
and shouted again. Still no answer. He went over to Mrs. Evans' tent.
The sides were rolled up and it was empty. So was the other one. "They
must be away at the other end of the island," said Mr. Evans. He struck
into the path which led up the men's encampment, and which ran through
the "kitchen." The fire, which was generally burning there around supper
time, was carefully laid, but not lighted. "Where can they be?" said Mr.
Evans to Uncle Teddy in a puzzled tone. Just then his eye fell on a
piece of paper tucked under the handle of the water bucket. Wonderingly
he opened it and read:

"Dear men folks:

"Seeing that you have found amusement for the day we have gone on a
picnic to the Point of Pines. We will stay all night if the sleeping is
good. Everything is ready for supper; just help yourselves."

"Of all things!" exclaimed Mr. Evans in vexation. "Just the day we have
a guest I am particularly anxious to have them meet they take it into
their heads to go off and spend the night. Where on earth is the Point
of Pines?"

Nobody seemed to know just where it was, but they all remembered hearing
the girls talking about it and hearing them say that some time when it
was dry they were going over there by themselves with Aunt Clara and
Mrs. Evans and have a "hen party." The general idea was that the Point
of Pines was a long point running out into the water on the mainland to
the north of them, where the pines grew very tall and close together.

"Captain, you get into the launch and go over there and see if you can
find them," ordered Uncle Teddy. "It's a pity to break up a ladies'
party in such a gorgeously select and private place as the Point of
Pines, but they would never forgive us if we let them miss the chance to
meet Colonel Berry. And in the meantime, we might as well get busy on
the supper. It will be some time before they come back. Slim, you tie on
an apron and pare potatoes; Anthony, you fill the water buckets; Pitt,
you open several cans of tomatoes."

"Here, let me take a hand," said the colonel, just as though he were not
a guest. "I haven't cooked in the open most of my life for nothing." So
he found an apron and fell to work mixing biscuits. The colonel was a
tall man--six feet two--and the apron belonged to Migwan, who was short,
and when tied around his waist line it did not reach half way to his
knees. Slim's apron was long enough, but it would not go anywhere near
around him. Being unable to tie the strings he tucked the apron in over
his belt and let it go as far as it would.

"Where's the bread knife?" asked Mr. Evans, coming out of the supply
tent, after rushing around inside for several minutes in a vain search.

"Slim has it paring potatoes," said Uncle Teddy, looking around. Slim
handed it over and finished the potatoes with his pocket knife. Pitt had
broken the paring knife trying to open a can with it when he could not
find the can opener.

"Hurry up with those potatoes, Slim," called Uncle Teddy. "They ought to
be on now in order to get cooked with the rest of the things."

"Just finished," said Slim, sucking his thumb, which he had that minute
gashed with the knife. He rose and carried the dish of pared potatoes
over to the kettle of boiling water waiting to receive them, but half
way over he tripped on the apron, which had slipped down under his feet,
and sat down with a great splash in the kettle of tomatoes, standing on
the ground awaiting its turn at the fire, while the potatoes rolled in
all directions in the dirt.

Uncle Teddy and Mr. Evans and Colonel Berry came running at the noise,
and after one glimpse of poor, fat Slim sitting there in the tomatoes
sucking his thumb, they leaned against the trees and doubled up in
helpless laughter, not one of them able to go to his rescue. Pitt and
Anthony came running at the sound and joined their laughter with that of
the men until the woods fairly rang.

Suddenly their laughter was echoed by a smothered giggle, which seemed
to come from the sky. Startled, they looked up, to see Hinpoha's
convulsed face peering down at them between the branches of a high tree.
They dropped their knives and dishes in amazement. "What are you doing
up there?" gasped Mr. Evans. Hinpoha went into a perfect gale of
merriment, which was echoed from all the trees around, and soon other
faces were peering down between the branches--Aunt Clara's, Mrs. Evans',
Sahwah's, Katherine's, Migwan's, Antha's, Nakwisi's, Gladys's. Every one
of those naughty Winnebagos had been hiding in the treetops and watching
the men cook supper down below!

Still convulsed, they descended into the midst of the amazed cooks.

"I thought you said you'd gone to the Point of Pines?" said Mr. Evans,
in his surprise completely forgetting to introduce Colonel Berry.

"We did," replied Mrs. Evans sweetly. "It wasn't our fault that you
misunderstood our note."

"I'd like to see anybody that wouldn't have misunderstood it," retorted
Mr. Evans.

"Don't be cross, dearest," said Mrs. Evans, still more sweetly. "Of
course you misunderstood our note; we meant that you should. You have
played so many tricks on us that we thought it was time we played one on
you. We intended to stay up there until you had supper all ready and
then come down to the feast, and planned on a nice enjoyable time seeing
you work. But the reality surpassed the expectation by a hundred miles.
We never expected to see such a show as we did. When you sent the
searching party out after us we were nearly convulsed; the spectacle of
Slim sitting there in that apron paring potatoes with the butcher knife
was almost fatal to the branch I sat on; but when he tripped and sat
down in the tomato kettle it was beyond human endurance and we just
naturally exploded. Now won't you forgive us and introduce your guest?
He seems to have made himself quite at home already."

Mr. Evans came to himself with a start and performed the introduction.
It was impossible to be formal with the colonel in that ridiculous short
apron, and every introduction was accompanied by a fresh peal of
laughter.

"The idea of deceiving your good husband like that," said the colonel,
"and deliberately writing misleading notes! I shall entertain a very
equivocal opinion of you young ladies," he continued with twinkling
eyes. "The Point of Pines, indeed!"

"Well, weren't we at the Point of Pines, I'd like to know?" demanded
Katherine. "There was the point of a pine poking me in the back all the
while. If you'd been up in that pine you would have appreciated the
point. And if we couldn't get down again we would have had to stay there
all night."

Supper was ready to serve before anybody remembered about the Captain,
who had been sent over to the real Point of Pines to look for the girls.
Slim and Pitt immediately went after him and met him when they had gone
half way across the lake, returning to camp with the discouraging news
that he had not been able to find anybody on the Point.

"Was there ever such a topsy turvy day as this?" asked Gladys, as they
sat around the glowing camp fire that night after supper. "First
Katherine gets us up at half past three on a false alarm; we have crew
practice and then go back to bed and don't get up until nine. And things
have kept happening all day until the grand climax just now. Some days
stand out like that from all others as _the_ day on which
everything happened."

Colonel Berry was a delightful talker and told many stories of his life
as a guide in northwestern Canada, as well as many anecdotes of the
Indians among whom he lived for some time.

"Colonel Berry," said Hinpoha during one of the pauses in his speech,
"may I ask you something?"

"Ask anything you want?" replied the colonel gallantly.

"Did the Indians ever bury anything under stones?"

"Did the Indians ever bury anything under stones?" repeated the colonel.
"You mean the bodies of their dead? Customs varied as to that. Some
tribes buried their dead in the ground, some left them on mountain tops
unburied, and some wrapped the bodies and placed them in trees."

"I don't know whether I mean people or not," said Hinpoha, and told
about finding the marked rock in the ravine.

"It is barely possible that something is buried there," said the
colonel, "although rocks have been marked for a good many reasons."

"It seemed such a good place to hide something," said Sahwah shrewdly.
"The ravine itself was dark and hard to get into, but it was easy to
find your way back to it if you had been there once, because all you had
to do was keep on going until you had passed seven big cedar trees. If
we picked our way through the woods by that trail, other people probably
have done the same thing. Maybe the Indians buried something there they
intended to come back after, and marked the rock they put it under."

"Possibly," said the colonel doubtfully. "A great many Indian relics
have been dug up around the shores of these lakes; arrow heads, pieces
of pottery and ornaments of various kinds. Such things might have been
buried before a hasty flight and never recovered."

"Wouldn't it be wonderful if there _was_ something buried under
that rock, and we should go there and dig it up!" said Hinpoha, half
starting up in her excitement.

"Mind, I'm not saying there _is_ anything buried there," said the
Colonel hastily. "I only said it was remotely possible. The Indians have
been gone from this region for so long that it is not safe to speculate
upon anything they might have left. I only know that from time to time
things _have_ been found accidentally."

"Do you think we'd better dig?" asked Hinpoha eagerly.

"Well, there wouldn't be any harm in it," said the colonel quizzically.
"You might find something of interest, and if you don't--digging is good
exercise." And there the subject was left.

"Tell us a real Indian story," begged Gladys of the colonel. "A story of
the old Indians."

The colonel obligingly consented and told them a tale as follows:

                         THE STORY OF BLUE ELK

"Blue Elk was the son of a Chieftain. During his boyhood the tribe to
which he belonged lived in the barren, hilly country lying to the north
of our great plains. They were forced to live there by their enemies,
who drove them out of the fertile hunting grounds which were theirs by
right. Thus the tribe was poor and had very few horses and other things
which the Indians counted as wealth. Their war costumes were not nearly
so splendid as those of other tribes and their women had very few
ornaments. They often had hard work getting enough to eat, for they
lived far away from the places where the buffalo were plentiful, and
when the winter was long and hard there was much suffering.

"Blue Elk, though only a boy, thought deeply on the condition of his
people. He wanted them to be rich and powerful as other tribes were.
When he reached the age where the Indian youth leaves boyhood behind him
and becomes a brave, he entered upon a fast, as every Indian boy must do
before he can be counted a man. He first built a sweat lodge and
purified himself with the steam bath; then he blackened his face and
went off by himself to a lonely rock ledge up the side of the mountain
where he stayed for three days without eating anything, watching for
some sign from the Great Spirit, which would be a guide for his future
life.

"To the Indian this fast is of great significance. It is the conquering
of the body by the mind; the freeing of the soul from the desires of the
flesh. To him the silence around him is the Great Mystery, and he
believes that during this time he talks face to face with the Great
Spirit.

"Blue Elk lay for a long time, his soul steeped in profound peace,
waiting for the Great Spirit to speak to him through some phenomenon of
nature. There was only one wish in his heart; that through him his
people might become prosperous and great. At last he fell asleep and
dreamed that the Great Spirit stood before him in the form of a white
buffalo and spoke thus: 'Where the two bright eyes of heaven (the Twin
Stars) are seen shining at noonday, there will the fortune of my people
be found.'

"Blue Elk awoke much perplexed at this message from the Great Spirit.
What could it mean? 'It is not possible for the Two Stars to shine at
midday,' he said. But that was the message the Great Spirit had given
him, and so great was his faith that he never doubted for a moment that
a miracle would occur which would bring about the fortune of his people.

"Time passed on; Blue Elk became a brave and went on the warpath and
brought home the scalps of many enemies. But the tribe was still poor
and the winter often brought famine. One day when Blue Elk was being
hotly pursued by a band of enemies he hid in a deep cave in the side of
a hill. Faint and exhausted he flung himself on the floor. As his eyes
turned upward in a prayer to the Great Spirit he saw there was an
opening high up in the top of the cave and through the dark shaft thus
formed the Twin Stars were shining brightly. He sprang to his feet in
amazement and wonder, the words of the prophecy coming back to him.
'Where the two bright eyes of heaven are seen shining at noonday, there
will the fortune of my people be found.' It was just midday. And there
were the stars shining down the shaft. The Great Spirit had brought the
miracle to pass! But where was the fortune? Forgetting that he was hard
pressed by the enemies, Blue Elk ran from the cave. His pursuers were
nowhere in sight. He looked eagerly into the sky to behold the sight of
the stars shining in daylight. They had vanished. Was it a dream, a
trick of the imagination?

"He ran back into the cave and there were the stars shining as brightly
as before. Then the truth came to him. The Great Spirit had said that
where the stars shone there would the fortune be found. They were not
shining outside, there was no fortune there; they were shining in the
cave, so the fortune was in the cave. He looked around carefully. On the
floor were some pieces of what he thought were stones. But they
glittered in a strange way. 'The stars have come down into the stones!'
said Blue Elk. 'These Star Stones are the fortune of my people!' (The
Star Stones were silver ore.) And a fortune they proved to be. With them
his people were able to buy peace with the surrounding tribes and extend
their hunting grounds so that they no longer wanted for food or skins or
blankets. And Blue Elk believed firmly to his dying day that the Great
Spirit had spoken to him in person during his fast on the mountain."

                   *       *       *       *       *

"Oh, what a lovely story!" said Gladys. "Thank you very much for telling
it. Is it a true story?"

"The Indian who told it to me certainly believed it," replied Colonel
Berry.

"But," objected the practical Sahwah, "how was it possible for the stars
to shine in daylight?"

"Have you ever looked up through a very tall chimney?" asked the
colonel. "By looking through a long, dark, narrow shaft it is possible
to see the stars in daylight. I myself have seen the Little Dipper at
noonday in that manner. You will remember that Blue Elk was in a cave in
a hillside. A long, narrow passage through the rocks led to a hole in
the roof. Looking through this he saw the Twin Stars, and the supposed
miracle was merely a phenomenon of nature. Naturally, when he went
outside, he could not see them."

Colonel Berry told many more tales of the red men, but the story of Blue
Elk remained the favorite. That glimpse of a far-away boyhood struck a
sympathetic chord that tales of middle-aged wisdom and cunning failed to
awaken. The colonel left Ellen's Isle at noon the next day and the whole
camp escorted him as far at St. Pierre in the canoes, like a squadron of
battleships accompanying a liner. They parted from him with genuine
regret and sang a mighty cheer in his honor as they pushed off on the
return trip to Ellen's Isle.

"Uncle Teddy," said the Captain, as they sat around the fire at Ellen's
Isle that night, talking over the events of the previous day, "I am
going to do the three-day fast like the Indian boys did."

"Ho-ho-ho!" shouted Slim. "You couldn't go a day without something to
eat."

"Don't judge others by yourself," retorted the Captain. "_You_
couldn't, I know well enough. But I believe the Indians were right in
saying that the mind should conquer the body. I like that idea of going
off by yourself and watching for some sign from nature. Being away from
people and not hearing them talk gives you a great chance to think out
the things that are puzzling you. I am going over on the mainland, in
the woods, and keep the fast three days."

Of course, Aunt Clara didn't want him to do it. She immediately had
visions of him starved to death. But there was a wonderful gleam in
Uncle Teddy's eyes when he looked at his nephew. He said very little
about the proposed fast, either to encourage or discourage him; simply
gave his consent.

Hinpoha regarded the Captain with wondering admiration. She also burned
with the desire to do something hard, to prove that girls as well as
boys can practise self-control. "Oh, Captain," she said, "if you keep
the fast I'll keep the silence! I'll not speak a word for three days."

There was a ripple of exclamations at this, mixed with laughter, for
Hinpoha's fondness for conversation was well known. "Laugh all you want
to," she said, "but I'll prove to you that I can do it."

The Captain chose the spot for his retirement and on the first day after
he was released from Chiefhood he paddled across to the mainland taking
his blankets and water, but no food. Hinpoha stood on the bank as he
departed, with a middy tie bound over her mouth. She had feared her
ability to keep silence without it as a constant reminder.

When the Captain reached the place where he planned to spread his
blankets he found an Indian bed of balsam branches fully two feet high.
Who could have made it? he wondered, and then he remembered that Hinpoha
had gone off paddling by herself the afternoon before. She knew the
place he had picked out. He threw himself down on the fragrant couch and
began his long struggle for the victory of the spirit over the body.
Every night at sunset Uncle Teddy went over to see if he was all right
and bring him fresh water from the little sweet spring on Ellen's Isle.
The third day the Captain lay with his eyes closed most of the time and
dozed, the sounds of the wood and the lake coming to him as from afar
off. Sometimes he slept and once he dreamed he saw an Indian girl come
across the lake in a canoe, walk up to where he lay and stand looking at
him steadily for a long time. He half opened his eyes and it still
seemed to him as if there were someone there, but the face and the
figure were Hinpoha's. He opened his eyes wider and looked again, but
she had vanished, and he sank back to sleep.

Over at Ellen's Isle Hinpoha was going through the most strenuous three
days in her whole experience. If anyone thinks it is easy to refrain
from talking when one has talked all her life, let her try it, and her
respect for Hinpoha will be greatly increased. The others tried by every
means at their command to make her talk, popping questions at her
suddenly to take her off her guard, making statements in her presence
which she knew were incorrect and which she burned to correct, and in
every way making the fulfillment of her vow a difficult task. She could
not go off by herself and thus remove the temptation, for she had vowed
to go about her daily tasks as usual. By the end of the third day she
was nearly ready to burst, but through it all she managed to keep an
unruffled temper and a pleasant expression--the outward signs of a soul
at peace. There will be many readers who will maintain that Hinpoha won
the greater victory, although the Captain's exploit won him more glory
among his friends. To go off and fast has the halo of romance about it;
to cease from talking for three days sounds easy, and in the case of a
woman is apt to provoke smiles and hints that she must have talked in
her sleep to make up for it.

When Uncle Teddy went over on the third sunset he brought the Captain
home with him in the canoe. He looked just as he did when he went; not a
bit thinner. When they asked him how he could stand it he replied that
he hadn't felt hungry after the first day at all. A great feast had been
prepared in his honor, and Hinpoha, released from her vow, shared the
glory with him.

"Well, was anything revealed to you during your fast?" asked Aunt Clara.
"Do you know how to make your fortune now?"

The Captain only smiled at all remarks like that and in reply to demands
as to what had been revealed simply replied, "Oh, several things." And
his glance rested on Hinpoha for a fraction of a second.

"What did you dream about?" asked Hinpoha.

"Water," said the Captain. "That isn't surprising, though. There was
water all around me in the lake and water in the jug beside me. And it
was the only thing I was putting into my stomach, and dreams usually are
the result of what you eat."

"I would have dreamed about turkey dinners and slumgullion and fudge,"
said Slim, spearing his fourth potato.

"You probably would," said the Captain, without a tinge of sarcasm. And
his eyes rested on Hinpoha again for a fraction of a second.



CHAPTER VIII

A SEARCH FOR RELICS


The statement made by Colonel Berry that there might possibly be
something buried under the rock in the ravine had made a deep impression
on the Winnebagos and Sandwiches, and the possibility began to grow in
their minds until it became a very strong probability. Visions of arrow
heads, Indian pottery and ornaments were before them constantly, until
nothing would do but they must investigate. The elders were much amused
over the excitement, but voted it a harmless pastime and gave their full
consent to an attempt at scientific research.

"Older and wiser people than they have spent their time digging in the
dust for relics," said Uncle Teddy. "Even if they don't find what they
are looking for there is nothing lost, and as the colonel said, digging
is good exercise. It will be no small feat to move that rock over and if
they accomplish it they will be pretty good engineers."

There were two spades and many hatchets among the camp equipment, and
armed with these the Winnebagos and Sandwiches crossed the lake, went
along the river until they came to the big cedar tree and from there
struck into the woods, where they easily followed the trail they had
traveled on that other occasion, for the cedar trees along the way were
unmistakable guides. When they saw the rock again they were more certain
than ever that it had been marked for some reason.

"Hurry and let's shove it aside," said Hinpoha, who could hardly wait.

"You talk about shoving it aside as if it were a baby carriage," said
the Captain. "Can't you see it's imbedded in the earth?"

And not all their efforts would budge it one particle. So they began to
dig around the base. They dug and they dug; they heaved and they
perspired; they threw out the dirt by shovelfuls until it made a heap
several feet high, and still they did not come to the bottom of the
rock.

"I bet it goes clear through to China," said the Captain disgustedly,
resting on his spade and mopping his brow.

"What sillies we are!" said the Bottomless Pitt. "What are we trying to
dig the blooming rock out for? There wouldn't be anything under it that
far down. If anything's buried here it's in the ground at the base of
the rock."

"Well, there's the ground at the base of the rock," said the Captain,
pointing to the heap of dirt. "We've dug it all up. There wasn't
anything in it."

Slowly but undeniably the fact began to dawn on all of them. The marked
rock was not the burying ground of any Indian relics. Hinpoha held out
the longest, but even she had to admit it at last. Katherine, who had
been skeptical from the first, laughed loud and long.

"What fools these mortals be!" she quoted disgustedly. "Breaking our
backs digging up clay that's like iron and cutting up dozens of
perfectly good angle-worms all on account of an old rock with a mark on
it!"

"But the colonel said there _might_ be Indian relics," said
Hinpoha, "so it wasn't so silly."

"Well, there aren't any," said Katherine.

"Never mind," put in Gladys pacifically, "if we didn't find anything we
didn't lose anything either, and I've worked up such an appetite from
digging that I could eat an ox."

"So could I," said Sahwah. "Let's take the worms home with us and go
fishing this afternoon. Then all our digging won't be for nothing."

"I bet I can catch more than any of you," boasted Anthony, strutting on
ahead as usual.

Thus ended the quest for Indian relics and the excitement over the
marked rock. The elders were very polite on their return and did not ask
too many questions. "Never mind, chickens," said Aunt Clara soothingly.
"You're not the first who dug for treasure and didn't find it, and I've
a notion you won't be the last. Go fishing with you this afternoon? I
certainly will!" If Aunt Clara could be said to love one sport more than
any other that one was fishing. "Where did you get all the worms?"

"They're the relics we found," said Katherine. "We dug them out of the
hole we made."

"I dug most of them," said Anthony.

"He never touched one!" said Slim in an indignant aside to Hinpoha. "To
hear him talk you'd think he was the only one who ever did anything
around here."

Katherine considered fishing the most inane occupation under the sun, so
she curled up on the beach to read while the enthusiastic anglers put
out in the rowboats. Gladys did not care for fishing either, so she
decided to stay on shore and keep Katherine company.

"What are you reading?" she asked, sitting down beside her in the shadow
of the bluff.

Katherine held up the book so she could see the title.

"_Romeo and Juliet_!" exclaimed Gladys. "Why, Katherine! I thought
you hated love stories."

Katherine grinned rather shamefacedly. "I do, usually," she replied.

Gladys sat back and regarded her in wonder. Here was a new side coming
to light. Katherine the unromantic; Katherine the prosaic; the
independent, the hater of sentimental reading, devouring love stories
all of a sudden! Gladys drew pictures in the sand and pondered on the
meaning of it.

Katherine read on absorbedly for ten minutes, then she laid the book
down abruptly. "Gladys," she said, "I want you to tell me something."

"What is it?" asked Gladys, pausing in the middle of an intricate
pattern.

"What is the matter with me?" asked Katherine.

"What's the matter with you?" repeated Gladys. "There isn't
_anything_ the matter with you. You're a dear."

"There is, too," said Katherine. "Somehow all the girls I read about in
books are different. You're like the girls in books and so is Hinpoha
and so are the rest of you, but I'm not. I'm big and awkward and homely,
and that's all I'll ever be."

"No, you're not," declared Gladys. "You're the most fun that ever
happened."

"That's just the trouble," said Katherine, drawing up her knees and
clasping her bony hands around them. "Everybody thinks I'm a joke, and
that's all. Nobody ever admired me. People think I'm a cross between a
lunatic asylum and a circus. I'm so tired of hearing people say, 'What a
_funny_ girl that Katherine Adams is! She's a perfect scream!' They
never say 'What a nice looking girl,' or 'What a charming girl,' the way
they always do about you and Hinpoha. I _do_ wish somebody admired
me once without being so desperately amused! Now I want you to tell me
exactly what's the matter with my looks. Something's wrong, I know." And
she looked wistfully through the strands of hair that were falling over
her eyes.

Gladys sat up and regarded her fondly. "Dear, fly-away, come-to-pieces
Katherine!

"Do you mind if I make a few criticisms?" she asked gently.

"That's just what I asked you to do," said Katherine a trifle
impatiently.

"Isn't it because you're sort of--careless about your clothes?" began
Gladys. "You're always coming apart somewhere. There's generally a
string hanging out, or the end of a belt or the loop of a collar. You're
just as likely to have your hat on hind side before as not, and often
you've had on the skirt of one suit and the jacket of another."

She paused uncertainly and looked anxiously into Katherine's face to see
how she was taking it.

"Go on," said Katherine briefly.

"Your shoes are often run down at the heels," went on Gladys. "I know
it's an awful bother to keep them straight; mine are always running over
crooked. I have to have the left one fixed every three weeks. But it's
something that just has to be done if you want to keep looking neat.

"And then your hair, Katherine dear. It's so wispy; it's always hanging
in your face. Doesn't it hurt your eyes to look through it?"

Katherine put back the offending lock with an impatient gesture, but in
less than a minute it was all down again. "There!" she said. "You see
how it is! It just won't stay up!"

"Maybe it would if you arranged it a little differently," said Gladys.
"Couldn't you curl it?"

Katherine snorted. "I curl my hair!" she scoffed. "My child, life is too
short to waste it on anything like that."

"I don't know," said Gladys slowly. "I don't think anything is a waste
of time that helps to make a person attractive. You know we Camp Fire
Girls are supposed to 'seek beauty.' That means personal attractiveness
as much as anything else."

"I might take the curling iron for my symbol," said Katherine
whimsically. "Go on with the recital."

Gladys could not tell either from Katherine's tone or her expression
whether her frank speech had hurt her feelings or not, and she remained
silent.

"Go on," continued Katherine. "Isn't there a way to shorten up arms that
are two yards long?"

Gladys could not help smiling at the lean length of arm which Katherine
held out before her, stiff as a ramrod. "No, you can't shorten them,"
she said, "but you can help making them look any longer than necessary.
You generally stand with your shoulders drooped forward, and that pulls
your arms down. If you'd stand up straight and throw your shoulders back
your arms wouldn't look nearly so long."

Katherine looked at the arm and shook her head with such an air of
dejection that Gladys was overcome and flung her arms around her
passionately. "I won't say another word!" she declared. "Oh, I'm a
brute! Katherine dear, have I hurt your feelings?"

"Not at all," answered Katherine calmly. "You remember I asked you to
tell me what was the matter. I thank you for being so frank. I've
worried and worried about it, but I couldn't figure out what the matter
was and nobody ever took the trouble to tell me."

"Oh, Gladys," she went on, with such an under-current of wistfulness in
her tone that Gladys was almost moved to tears, "do you think I'll ever
be really nice looking? That I'll stop being a joke?"

"Of course you will!" said Gladys emphatically. "Do you know what I
heard papa saying to Uncle Teddy one night? He said, 'Wouldn't Katherine
be a stunning looking girl if she carried herself better and was well
dressed?' Did you hear that? He said 'stunning,' mind you. Not only
'nice looking,' but 'stunning.'"

"Did he really say that?" asked Katherine in amazement. "I didn't think
anybody cared how I looked; men least of all."

"Men notice those things a lot more than you think they do," said Gladys
with an air of worldly wisdom. "They talk about them, too, and sometimes
they can tell just what's wrong better than you can yourself.

"I think myself you would be stunning if you only took more care in
putting your clothes on. You're so bright and breezy. And you'd be so
stately if you stood straight."

"How shall I go about to acquire this majestic carriage?" asked
Katherine in the tone of a humble seeker after wisdom.

"Well," replied Gladys judicially, "you've humped over so long that
you've grown round-shouldered, and it'll take some time to correct that.
You want to go in for gym with all your might in college, and for
dancing, too. That'll teach you how to carry yourself gracefully better
than anything else."

"Thank--you," said Katherine slowly, when Gladys had finished her homily
on feminine charms, and returned thoughtfully to her _Romeo and
Juliet_.

"Mercy on us!" thought Gladys. "Whatever is going to happen? Katherine
has begun to worry about her looks!"

Katherine laid the book down after a while and stared solemnly out over
the lake.

"You're sure you're not offended at what I said?" asked Gladys, still
full of misgiving that she had been too frank.

"Not in the least," answered Katherine. "But say, would you mind writing
out what you told me? I'll never remember it if you don't. You write it
out and I'll tack it up and check off the items as I dress."

"All right," said Gladys, laughing. "I'll do that and if it works I'll
get out a book, 'How to Be Neat, in one Volume.' And now let's start the
fire. I see the bold fishermen are coming in."

Aunt Clara came up triumphantly swinging her string of fish; she had
caught five. The Captain had two and several of the others had one
apiece.

"How many did you catch, Anthony?" asked Katherine.

"None," replied Anthony, "but I'd have caught more than any of them if
I'd had a good rod," and he swished Uncle Teddy's best rod around
disdainfully.

"I don't doubt it," said Katherine.

Beside the fried fish there was tomato soup for supper. It was Mrs.
Evans' prize recipe and one of the favorite camp dishes. Nobody could
make tomato soup which quite equalled hers, in the opinion of the family
on Ellen's Isle. It didn't make any difference where she made it, up in
the kitchen tent on the gasoline stove or down on the beach, as now,
over an open fire.

"Nothing ever tasted so good," sighed Sahwah rapturously, dipping her
spoon diligently into the big tin cup in which her soup was served.

"_I_ like more pepper in mine," said Anthony, adding a touch from
the pepper pot, which stood on the ground beside him.

The rest made no comments. They were too busy.

"Slim," said Sahwah suspiciously, when her cup was empty, "just how much
soup have you eaten?"

"Four cupfuls," replied Slim.

"Mercy!" cried Aunt Clara. "That's more than a quart. It's a wonder you
didn't burst! I never saw a boy with such a capacity!"

"Ho, that's nothing," said Anthony. "I could eat twice as much, just as
easy."

"Let's see you do it!" said Slim suddenly.

Anthony looked rather taken aback.

"Yes," said Uncle Teddy, "let's see you do it. Make good your boast.
We're not in the habit of saying things around here that we can't back
up. Twice four cups is eight. You've had one; that leaves seven. We
challenge you to drink seven cups of soup. You've either got to drink
them or do anything else Slim tells you to do. Slim, what's the
alternative?"

"Eat soap," said Slim promptly.

Katherine grinned appreciatively at him. "Do you hear that, Anthony?"

Anthony began to look sick. "I'll do it tomorrow," he said.

"No, you'll not!" said Slim. "You'll do it right here and now before all
these folks."

Anthony looked beseechingly at Uncle Teddy, but the latter was looking
at him sternly. "You brought it upon yourself," he said. "Now either
make good your boast or take the alternative."

Slim filled the cup and handed it to Anthony. "I bet I can do it," he
said defiantly, and set it to his lips. With the first mouthful his face
puckered up. The soup was red hot with pepper. He himself had sprinkled
a generous quantity into the kettle after touching up his own cupful.
But he had been more generous than he knew.

"I can't drink that stuff," he sputtered. "It's all pepper."

"That doesn't make any difference," said Slim, unmoved. "Drink it
anyway."

And they made him do it. Cupful after cupful they forced upon him,
threatening an immediate diet of soap whenever he paused. After the
fifth cup Anthony began to suspect that it was not wise to make rash
statements about the capacity of the human stomach; after the sixth he
was entirely convinced. The results of that sixth cup made the judges
decide to suspend the last of the sentence. Anthony had got all that was
coming to him.

A sorrier or more subdued boy never lived than Anthony that night.

"It was heroic treatment," said Uncle Teddy thoughtfully to Aunt Clara,
as they wandered off by themselves in the moonlight, "but it took
something like that to make any impression on him. He is the most
insufferable little braggart that ever lived. I only hope the impression
made was deep enough."

And beyond a doubt it was, for never again was Anthony heard to utter a
boast in the presence of the rest.



CHAPTER IX

THE DARK OF THE MOON SOCIETY


Gladys stood in her tent under the big murmuring pine tree washing
handkerchiefs in her washbasin. "I haven't enough left to last any
time at all now," she confided plaintively to Sahwah, "and I had three
dozen when I came. They're all gone where the good handkerchiefs go, I
guess. Somebody is forever getting cut and needing a bandage in a hurry
and my handkerchief is invariably the one to be sacrificed to the
emergency."

"That's what you get for always having a clean one," remarked Sahwah.
"Mine are never in fit condition to be used for bandages, consequently I
still have them all."

"But you never know where they are," said Gladys. "If you don't keep
your things in order you might as well not own them, for you never have
them when you want them anyway."

"And if you do keep them in order somebody else always borrows them and
then you don't have them when you want them either," said Sahwah.

"Life is awfully complicated, isn't it?" sighed Gladys.

"I should say it was awfully simple," said Sahwah, laughing at Gladys's
solemn tone. "No matter what you do it turns out the same way anyway. I
shouldn't call that complicated."

Gladys hung her handkerchiefs on the tent ropes where they would dry in
the wind and emptied the basin of water out of the end of the tent,
which opened directly on the bluff. A dismal shriek from below
proclaimed that somebody had received a shower bath. Gladys and Sahwah
leaned over the tent railing at a perilous angle and peered down. Half
way down the bluff, "between the devil and the deep sea," as Sahwah
remarked, sat Katherine on a narrow ledge of rock, dangling her feet
over the edge and leaning her head dejectedly on her hands. The
descending flood had landed on her head and was running in streams over
her face from the ends of her wispy hair, making her look more dejected
than ever. Her appearance made both the girls above think immediately of
Fifi on the occasion of his memorable bath.

"Oh, Katherine, I'm sorry," said Gladys contritely. "I ought to have
looked before I poured. But I never expected anybody to be sitting there
like a fly on the wall. What are you doing there anyway?"

"Just sitting," replied Katherine in her huskiest tones.

"What's the matter?" asked Gladys, catching the doleful note in her
voice and having inward qualms.

"Just low in my mind," replied Katherine lugubriously.

"Goodness gracious!" exclaimed Gladys. "What about? Can't we come down
and cheer you up? Is there room for two more on that ledge?"

"Always plenty of room on the mourners' bench," said Katherine, moving
over.

"All right, we'll come," said Gladys. "How do you get down? Oh, I see,
there's a sort of path going down behind mother's tent. Look out, we're
coming."

Sahwah and Gladys crawled backward down the bluff, hanging on to the
grass and roots, and dropped to the ledge beside Katherine. They settled
themselves comfortably and swung their feet over the edge.

"Now, tell us your trouble," said Gladys, mopping Katherine's head with
her last clean handkerchief and getting it as wet as those up on the
tent ropes.

Katherine hunched her shoulders and drooped her head until it almost
touched her chest. "I can't bear to think of going home!" she said
heavily.

"Going home!" echoed Sahwah and Gladys, nearly falling off the ledge in
alarm. "You're not going home, are you? Don't tell us that you----"
Words failed them and they stared in blank dismay.

It was Katherine's turn to look alarmed when she caught their meaning.
"Oh, I don't mean that I'm going home now," she said hastily. "I mean
that I can't bear to think of going home at the end of the summer."

"Gracious!" said Gladys weakly. "Who's thinking about the end of the
summer already? Why, it's hardly begun. You don't mean to say that
you're worrying now about going home in September?"

Katherine nodded, without cheering up one bit. "That's the trouble," she
said laconically. "I know it's a crazy thing to worry about, but when we
were having such a good time on the lake this morning I got to thinking
how I hated to leave it, even to go to college, and started to get blue
right away. And the more I thought about it the bluer I got, and the
bluer I got the more I thought about it, and--that's all there is to
it!" she finished with a characteristic gesture of her long arms. "And
now I can't stop thinking about it and I've just got the indigoes!"

"Well, of all things!" exclaimed Sahwah. "Aren't some people the
funniest things, though?"

She and Gladys leaned back and regarded Katherine curiously. Here was
the girl who stood unmoved by fire or flood, who never worried about an
exam; the girl who had calmly rallied the demoralized volley ball team
and snatched victory in the face of overwhelming odds, who seemed to
have optimism in her veins instead of blood, at the very beginning of
the most charming summer in her life, worrying because some time or
other it must come to an end! Katherine's "indigoes" were as startling
and unaccountable as her inspirations. And it was not put on for
momentary effect, either. She sat limp and listless, the very picture of
dejection, and no amount of rallying on the part of the two served to
bring her back to her breezy, merry self.

They left her at last in despair, and wearily climbed back to the tents.
"I wish we hadn't talked to her at all," wailed Sahwah. "Now the thought
of going home makes me so blue I can't bear to think about it." And her
voice had such a suspicious catch in it that it made a sympathetic
moisture rise in Gladys's eyes, and she declared she wished they had
never come, because it would be so hard to leave!

"Oh, mercy! What geese we are!" said Sahwah, coming to herself with a
start. "Worrying about something that's miles off! Cheer up. We may all
get drowned and never have to go home at all. You always want to look on
the bright side of things!" And then the pendulum swung the other way,
and the two leaned against each other and laughed until their sides
ached at their foolishness.

"But poor Katherine was really blue," said Gladys, when they were
themselves again. "She has those awful spells once in a long while and
they last for days unless she gets mixed up in something exciting and
forgets herself. I was really worried on her account once and asked
Nyoda about it and she said it was because Katherine has always had to
work too hard all her life and it's done something to her nerves, or
whatever you call them, and that's what makes her have the blues
sometimes. She said we should always try to give her something else to
think about right off when she got that way and she'd get over it sooner
and by and by when she grew stronger she wouldn't have them at all any
more."

"Poor, dear old Katherine!" said Sahwah fervently. "I wish something
would happen to cheer her up. If she doesn't get over it soon she will
have the whole family feeling as she does, and think how dreadful it
would be!" And then the Captain and the Bottomless Pitt appeared between
the trees and challenged them to a canoe race and they speedily forgot
Katherine and her woes.

That evening the twins got into a dispute as to who should sit on the
bow of the launch on the trip to St. Pierre with the mail and neither
would give in, so Uncle Teddy suggested that they settle the point by a
crab race on the beach. The crab race consisted of traveling on all
fours in a sidewise direction and was as difficult as it was ridiculous.
Anthony won because Antha stepped on her skirt and lost her balance.
Then Sahwah spoke up and said she must insist on her sex having fair
play and that in order to make the race fair and above board Anthony
must wear a skirt, too. Anthony protested loudly, but the Chiefs ruled
that it was right and just, and Anthony, still protesting, was hustled
into a skirt of his sister's and made to run the race over again. The
spectators wept with laughter as he fell all over himself, first to one
side and then to the other, as he stepped on the skirt, and Antha
touched the goal before he had completed half the distance.

"Oh, Anthony," jeered Pitt, "can't you make a better showing than that?"

"He probably did as well as any of you would," said Hinpoha.

"Bet I could do better," said the Captain.

"Let's see you do it," said Hinpoha.

"I will if the other fellows will," said the Captain, looking around at
the rest. "Will you, Slim?"

"Sure," said Slim.

"Slim will do anything--once," said Sahwah.

A few minutes later, an old turtle who had been sitting on a log near
the water all afternoon poked his head out of his shell in astonishment
at the sight of the enormous human crabs who suddenly swarmed over the
beach, laughing, tripping, shrieking and rolling over on the sand. The
Captain did beautifully, because he was tall and the skirt that fell to
him was short and did not impede his progress, but Slim, to whom Sahwah
had wickedly given one of Katherine's longest, got so tangled up that he
finally turned a somersault right into the water, where he lay kicking
and splashing. Katherine rescued him and the skirt, which was rather the
worse for the experience, while Uncle Teddy, who was judge, declared the
Captain to be the winner. He was the only one who had finished without
falling once.

"You're elected to take a lady's part in the next play we give," said
Gladys. "Such talent shouldn't be wasted on a desert isle."

The Captain smiled a ladylike smile and minced along, holding an
imaginary parasol over his head. "Bertha the Beautiful Cloak Model," he
said, laughing. "Now won't somebody rescue Pitt. He's all tied up in a
knot back there."

"And he has my skirt on," wailed Gladys. "Do rescue him, somebody."

"Never again," said Pitt solemnly, when he had been helped to his feet
and separated from the hampering garment. "How you girls do anything at
all with those horrible things on is more than I can see."

"Hurry up, all you who want to go in the launch," called Uncle Teddy,
and there was a general scramble. In the excitement of the big crab race
the twins had forgotten their quarrel and both sat side by side on the
bow.

"Wasn't that crab race the funniest ever?" said Gladys to Katherine, as
they gathered up the skirts and wended their way up the path.

"The funniest of all was when Slim fell over backward into the lake,"
said Sahwah from behind them.

"Funny for you, perhaps," replied Katherine, who still was steeped in
her indigoes, "but that was my skirt he had on. And he burst it open in
three places. It's ruined."

"Cheer up," said Sahwah. "Consider in what a good cause it perished.
You'd have ruined it sooner or later anyhow, but minus the grand
spectacle Slim made."

"Maybe so," grumbled Katherine, "but I was thinking that perhaps this
one would escape the usual fate. I had a fondness for that skirt."

"Then what did you let him take it for?" asked Hinpoha.

"I didn't give it to him, Sahwah did," replied Katherine.

"Well, you said I might," retorted Sahwah, "and, anyway, I'm as badly
off as you. Mine is finished, too."

"Let's not argue over it," said Gladys hastily. "We're getting as bad as
the twins. We started the business, so let's be game and not let the
boys hear us say anything about the skirts."

"All right," said Sahwah, and the subject was dropped.

"What's this?" asked Hinpoha, as they came to the top of the hill.

"A piece of paper tacked to a tree," said Sahwah. "What does it say?"

They all stopped to read. The only writing on the paper was the legend,
THE DARK OF THE MOON SOCIETY. Above it there were three marks done in
red paint, which gave them a curiously lurid effect. They consisted of a
circle with two diamond-shaped marks underneath it.

"What on earth----!" said Hinpoha.

"Those funny-shaped marks are a blaze," said Sahwah. "It was one of the
number we learned, don't you remember, Hinpoha? I believe it means
'warning,' or something like that. 'Important warning,' that's it. Now I
remember. This message is supposed to read:

                          "'IMPORTANT WARNING!
                    THE DARK OF THE MOON SOCIETY.'"

"What on earth is The Dark of the Moon Society?" asked Katherine.

They all shook their heads. "It's something the boys are up to," said
Gladys. "I suppose they are going to play some joke on us in return for
our neat little trick the day we climbed the trees and watched them get
supper. Just watch out, something will be doing before very long."

"Let's find out what it is and get ahead of them," said Katherine, her
eyes beginning to sparkle.

From that time on there was a suppressed feeling of excitement on
Ellen's Isle. The Winnebagos watched every movement the Sandwiches made,
and it seemed that there was something suspicious about the glances that
were constantly being exchanged between the Captain, Slim and the
Bottomless Pitt.

"Those three are at the bottom of it," declared Katherine to the other
girls who were gathered on her bed. "I don't believe the rest of the
Sandwiches know a thing about it. I heard Dan Porter asking the Captain
what they were talking about down on the beach awhile ago and the
Captain said, 'Oh, nothing,' in that tone of voice that means, 'It's
none of your business.'"

"But I saw Slim and Dan and the Monkey slipping off into the woods by
themselves just now," said Sahwah, "and they were laughing to themselves
and acting mighty mysterious."

The next day Hinpoha found a piece of birchbark in Eeny-Meeny's wooden
hand, bearing the now familiar warning blaze and signed with the
initials D. M. S.

"The handwriting on the wall again," she said to Gladys. "What can the
Dark of the Moon Society be, anyhow?"

After that mysterious warnings appeared all over camp. The girls would
find them tacked to the trees in front of their tents, tied to the
handles of the water pails and slipped in between the logs piled ready
for firewood. True to their agreement they never said a word about
finding them to the Sandwiches, but were constantly on the lookout for
the joke, which they knew would be sprung sooner or later. Katherine,
who had flung her indigoes to the winds at the first hint of mystery,
was the most intent on finding out what the boys were planning to do and
meant to get ahead of them if she could possibly do it.

"The thing to do first," said she with the air of a general, "is to find
out which ones are the Dark of the Moon Society. Then we can watch those
particularly."

"They're probably all in it," said Gladys.

"I don't think they are," said Katherine. "I'll lay my wager on the
Captain, Slim and the Bottomless Pitt. Those three are mighty chummy all
of a sudden. And I saw them go right past one of those signs on a tree
and never look at it. That looks suspicious. They saw me and pretended
they didn't notice the sign."

That night, Katherine, restless and unable to sleep, developed a thirst
from rolling around on her pillow, and rising quietly, made for the
water pail at the door of the tent. It was empty. Thirsts had been
prevalent that night. She stood a moment irresolute and then, putting on
her slippers and her gown, started boldly for the little spring on the
hillside. It was bright moonlight and she could find her way easily. She
took a drink from the cup hanging on a broken branch beside the spring,
and filling the pail so as to be prepared for a return of the thirst,
she started back up the hill. Half way up she paused and stood still,
looking out over the silvered surface of the lake, drinking in the magic
beauty of the scene with eager soul.

"Oh, you wonderful, wonderful lake!" she murmured to herself.

A branch cracked sharply behind her and a small stone came rolling down
the hillside. She turned hastily and looked up. Someone was moving among
the trees up there. "The Dark of the Moon Society!" thought Katherine,
and, dropping the pail of water, she ran up the path. The person above
made no effort at flight or concealment, but walked out of the shadow of
the trees onto a moonlit rock at the edge of the bluff. Then Katherine
saw that it was Sahwah.

"Are you thirsty, too?" she called up. Sahwah made no answer. She took a
step nearer the edge of the cliff and stood looking out over the lake.

"She's walking in her sleep again!" exclaimed Katherine. Since the
memorable night of the Select Sleeping Party when Sahwah had wandered
out into the snow, the Winnebagos lived in constant expectation of some
new performance.

As Katherine started toward her to lead her gently back to the tent,
Sahwah began to raise her arms slowly above her head, palms together.
"Mercy!" exclaimed Katherine, "she's going to dive off the cliff!" And
rushing up pell-mell she seized her around the waist and dragged her
back unceremoniously, regardless of the accepted rule about waking sleep
walkers suddenly.

"Goodness, how you scared me!" said Katherine, when she had deposited
Sahwah in her bed and answered her yawning inquiries as to what was the
matter. "You can't be trusted without a bodyguard." And in spite of
Sahwah's protests that she had never in her life "walked" twice in the
same night, Katherine insisted upon tying a string to her ankle and
fastening the other end around her own. Sahwah was asleep again in five
minutes, but Katherine lay and watched her for hours, expecting to see
her rise and try to wander forth a second time.

Once she thought she heard footsteps on the path along the bluff and
rose hastily to investigate, but the string she had tied around her
ankle tripped her and jerked Sahwah, who bade her lie down and be quiet.
Katherine subsided, rubbing her knee, which had received a smart bump,
and grimacing with pain in the darkness. She heard the footsteps no
more, but she had her suspicions that they belonged to the Dark of the
Moon Society.

The next day at noon she called a hasty council on her bed. "Girls," she
said in a thrilling whisper, "I've found the place where the Dark of the
Moon Society meets!"

"Where? Where?" they all cried.

"In a cave under the east bluff. I just discovered it today. The
entrance is all covered by trees. I found the ashes of a little fire
inside. That's where they're cooking up their plans and preparing
something to spring as a surprise on us."

"Oh, if we could only hide back in that cave when they are there and
hear and see what they are doing," said Sahwah.

"How are we going to know when they will be there?" asked Gladys.

Nobody was able to answer this.

"If we're smart enough we'll find out," said Katherine, waving her long
arms. She was as keen on the scent of the mysterious Dark of the Moon
Society as a hound after a stag.

That night darkness had hardly fallen when the Captain, Slim and the
Bottomless Pitt complained of being utterly tired out and announced
their intention of going to bed.

"What made you so tired, boys?" asked Mrs. Evans solicitously. "Are we
expecting you young people to do too much? I don't want you to go home
worn out."

"Oh, it was probably from running up and down the path so often with the
boards for the dock," said the Captain. "That's all." He yawned widely
behind his hand. "We're not doing too much every day, really we aren't.
You mustn't feel anxious."

Mrs. Evans made a mental resolve to see that the boys and girls all had
a definite rest hour each day.

Katherine's thoughts went into a widely different channel. At the first
mention of going to bed before the others she became suspicious, and,
looking closely, she was positive that the Captain's yawn was feigned.
Lying on her back on the sand so that her head was behind Sahwah and
Gladys she whispered very quietly, "D. M. S. meeting." Gladys and Sahwah
squeezed her arm to let her know they understood and as soon as the
three boys had started up the hill they rose also, saying they were
going up on the Council Rock. Hinpoha rose and followed them; Migwan and
Nakwisi apparently did not catch on, and remained where they were.

There was no time to follow the boys. The girls must be in the cave
before the Sandwiches got there to be able to overhear anything. Taking
a short cut, they came out on the bluff just above the cave. They could
hear the boys stopping for a drink at the spring on the other side of
the island.

"How'll we get down?" asked Gladys in a whisper.

"Crawl down the face of the cliff," said Sahwah. "And we'll probably
skin our whole mortal frames doing it."

"Sh!" said Katherine. "There's no time to crawl down. We've got to
hurry. Go half way down and jump the rest of the way. It's all soft sand
underneath."

"We'll be killed," said Gladys.

"Nonsense!" said Katherine scornfully. "Didn't I say it was all soft
sand underneath? Sh! I'll go first Sh-h!"

She swung over the edge, poised on the little ledge, flung out her arms
and leapt into the darkness below. There was a crash, a smash, a plump,
and a startled wail.

"What is it?" cried Gladys, throwing caution to the winds and shouting.

"I'm in the lake, I guess," called Katherine from below. "First I jumped
in and then the sky fell on me." Her voice sounded oddly muffled and far
away.

Gladys flashed her little bug light over the cliff and then shrieked
with laughter at the spectacle below. Flat on the beach sat Katherine,
her feet straight out in front of her and a tin washtub upside down on
her head, completely hiding the upper half of her. From the edge of it
the water was dripping in tiny streamlets. The main deluge had already
descended. All around her lay the clothes which had been soaking in the
tub ready to be washed out bright and early the next morning.

Of course her yell and the shouts of those above brought the rest of the
family on the run, and after one look at her nobody had strength enough
to lift the tub off her head. Uncle Teddy recovered first and removed
the eclipse.

"I forgot to tell you folks I had set the tub there," said Aunt Clara.
"But how could I guess that one of you would jump into it? Whatever
induced you to jump off the cliff in the dark anyway?"

"I was just 'exploragin','" replied Katherine meekly, rising and shaking
the water from her clothes like a dog.

There was no spying on the Dark of the Moon Society that night. Mrs.
Evans ordered Katherine off to bed at once, because it was too late to
get into dry clothes and the air was too cool to keep the wet clothes
on, and as Katherine was chief spy there was nothing doing unless she
headed it. So if there was a meeting in the cave after all that
commotion it went unobserved.

But a day or two later there was consternation in Katherine's tent. The
rumor had just gone around that the Dark of the Moon Society was going
to kidnap Eeny-Meeny and burn her at the stake. Sahwah had overheard a
bit of conversation in the woods that gave her the clue. It was going to
happen that night.

Katherine went "straight up in the air." "They sha'n't burn Eeny-Meeny!"
she declared, shaking her fist above her head. "They'll only touch her
over my prostrate body!"

Many were the elaborate plans made for Eeny-Meeny's defense. Katherine's
plan was voted the simplest and best. "Hide her!" she suggested, and
this course was agreed upon. But simple as this plan sounded it
presented unexpected difficulties. They couldn't get a chance to do it.
No matter when they approached Eeny-Meeny there was always one of the
Sandwiches close at hand.

"They're picketing her!" announced Katherine, baffled in several
attempts. "I pretended I wanted to touch her up with color and carried
her away from the Council Rock, and the Captain came right along, so I
had to do it, and the minute I was through he insisted on carrying her
back and I couldn't object without rousing his suspicions, so back she
went. Now Slim's sitting and leaning his head against her."

"The thing to do," said Hinpoha, "is to have a counter attraction at the
other end of the island that will draw them all away, and in the
meantime one of us can hide her."

"Good," said Katherine, "what shall we do?"

"It ought to be a panic," said Hinpoha, "and then if we yell loud enough
they'll forget everything and run to the rescue."

"What would we scream for?" asked Gladys.

"Oh, for most anything," answered Hinpoha. "The main idea is to scream
loud enough to start a panic. I'll think up something in a minute."

"Well, let us know when you're ready, and we'll bring our voices," said
Gladys.

Hinpoha departed to attend to her dinner duties and Katherine went out
into the woods to look for berries. In a little hollow she stumbled over
Antha, sitting in a heap against a tree shedding tears into her
handkerchief. "What's the matter?" asked Katherine, sinking down beside
her. She was so used to seeing Antha in tears that she was not greatly
concerned, but out of general sympathy she inquired what was the matter.

"I want to go home!" wailed Antha. "This is a horrible mean old place
and I can't have any fun at all."

"Why can't you have any fun?" asked Katherine.

"Because you girls are always running away from me and having secrets
that you won't tell me," said Antha with a gulp. "You're doing something
now that you won't let me know about."

True enough. They hadn't told Antha about the danger threatening
Eeny-Meeny nor the plan for her defense. Katherine reflected. "It _was_
kind of mean to leave her out of that. I wouldn't like it myself if I
were the younger one of a group and they kept having secrets from me.
I'm not being a real nice big sister at all."

"Never mind, Antha," she said, patting her hand. "I'll tell you about
it. The boys are planning to steal Eeny-Meeny tonight and burn her at
the stake and we're trying to keep them from doing it. We're going to
hide her. You may help us if you like. Won't that be fun?"

Antha sniffed, and with the perverseness of her nature lost interest in
the secret as soon as she found out what it was, and didn't seem to care
whether Eeny-Meeny was burned at the stake or not. And when Katherine
went farther and invited her to be her special helper in everything, and
offered to show her where the oven bird's nest was that everybody was
looking for, Antha declined to come along, preferring to go into the
kitchen where dinner was being prepared.

So Katherine went out alone to pay the oven bird's nest a visit and on
the way found a chipmunk with a broken leg, hopping around on the other
three and cheeping shrilly in distress. She tried to coax it to her with
peanuts and succeeded in getting it to take one, when suddenly from the
direction of the kitchen came the sound of a terrific explosion, shaking
the earth and making the air ring with echoes. The sound had scarcely
died away when there was a second report more violent than the first,
followed in a moment by a third.

"The gasoline stove!" thought Katherine. "Antha's been trying to fill it
and it's exploded!" And she set off like the wind toward the kitchen,
from which direction terrible shrieks were puncturing the air. She did
not know it, but she was yelling like a Comanche Indian all the way. She
staggered into the clearing, expecting to find the kitchen tent in
flames, but it was lying on the ground in a tangled mass from which
apparently detached hands and feet were waving wildly. "What exploded?"
she demanded.

Hinpoha was leaning against a tree, pale as death, and she grasped
Katherine by the arm and led her out of earshot of the others. "The cans
of beans," she said faintly. "Don't look so scared, Katherine, it's
only--the--panic!"

"What on earth did you do?" asked Katherine.

"I remembered that Migwan set a can of beans in the fire to heat once
when we were camping and it exploded, and I thought that would be a fine
way to start a panic here. So to make sure I took three cans--great big
ones--and buried them in the hot ashes. When they exploded I was going
to scream and make everybody come running."

"Well, they exploded all right," said Katherine drily. "I thought the
island blew up."

"So did I," said Hinpoha. "They went up just like dynamite. The kettle
was blown off the hanger and landed fifty feet away."

"To say nothing of blowing the tent down," said Katherine.

"Oh," said Hinpoha hastily, "that didn't blow down. The boys and Uncle
Teddy had taken it down this morning to fix it differently and they were
just setting it up again when the awful explosion came. They all yelled
and jumped and the whole thing came down on their heads."

Katherine looked over to where the arms and legs were still waving under
the billows of canvas and doubled up against a tree in silent spasms.
Then she suddenly straightened up. "Who is hiding Eeny-Meeny?" she
asked.

"Why," gasped Hinpoha, "you are!"

"I?" said Katherine.

"Yes, you!" said Hinpoha.

"I had forgotten all about the panic," said Katherine, "and the noise
scared everything out of my head."

"Quick, before it's too late!" said Hinpoha. "Run down and do it now
while everybody's still up here. It'll take at least five minutes to get
the boys out from under that tent."

Katherine fled from the scene as quietly as possible and ran to the
Council Rock. That whole end of the island was deserted. But when she
came to the place where Eeny-Meeny had always been she stood still in
amazement. Eeny-Meeny was not there. She had vanished mysteriously and
entirely, and in her place was a twig stuck upright into the ground,
topped with a piece of paper on which was drawn a picture of an Indian
maiden tied to the stake with the flames mounting around her, and
underneath was drawn in scrawling capitals: THE DARK OF THE MOON
SOCIETY.

Katherine pulled the twig from the earth and stood looking at it,
fascinated. Slowly the truth dawned on her. The Sandwiches had gotten
ahead of them again. Without having planned the panic they had instantly
seen the value of it and one of them had spirited Eeny-Meeny away during
the confusion. "Boys _are_ smarter than girls," she admitted
ruefully to herself. "At least, some are."

Then another thought flashed through her mind. She had told Antha not
half an hour ago that they were planning to hide Eeny-Meeny. Antha had
told the boys and they had decided to do the same thing themselves. Her
eyes filled with tears of rage and disappointment. After her
championship of Antha her action cut her to the quick. Her philosophy
had received a rough jolt. Utterly crushed, she returned to the girls
and spread the news that Eeny-Meeny had disappeared into the hands of
the Dark of the Moon Society. The Winnebagos were sunk in despair, but
were rallied by Katherine's oratory. Anyone hearing her would have
thought she was speaking on a matter of life and death, so eloquent did
she wax and so emphatic were her gestures, as she bade them rise up and
rescue Eeny-Meeny at the last minute.

"Not a word to any of them until we are ready to pour the water down
into the fire," cautioned Katherine, after she had outlined her plans
for rescue. "They must not guess what we intend to do or they'll change
their plans and get ahead of us again."

Needless to say, Antha was not admitted into this last council. The
suspicion of her perfidy had gone around the circle and it was agreed
that she was a horrid little tattletale and deserved to be left out of
everything that went on thereafter. As Sahwah had overheard the plot, a
large fire was to be built on the beach that night and then at a signal
Eeny-Meeny was to be flung into it from above.

"We'll get her first, never fear," said Katherine with a warlike
gesture. At times like this she became a creature inspired. Her hair
bristled up, her eyes shone, her husky voice gained strength until it
rang like a trumpet.

Rather to their surprise, immediately after supper the tom-tom sounded
its monotonous call, summoning them to the Council Rock. "What is this?"
asked Hinpoha uneasily. "Something new?"

"I don't know," said Katherine agog, with curiosity and on the alert for
anything.

Both exclaimed in wonder when they reached the Council Rock. Around it,
in a circle, low seats had been placed, built of rustic logs with
comfortable back rests. There was one for each person.

"Where did they come from?" all the Winnebagos were asking.

"We made them," announced the Captain with pride. "What do you think of
them? Don't you like them?"

"Splendid!" said Aunt Clara. "How did you ever get them made without our
knowing?"

"Down in a cave under the east bluff," said the Captain. "That's where
we had our workshop. We used to slip away quietly one or two at a time
and work on them whenever we had a chance. Sit in them and see how
comfortable they are."

The Sandwiches were circling around like polite shopkeepers, begging the
girls to try first this seat and then that, to find out which suited
them best. Wondering, the girls sank back into the seats, trying to get
the meaning of this new development.

"There's something else coming," said Slim importantly, going off with
the Captain.

Soon they reappeared, carrying a sort of pedestal with a flagpole
attached to it. "It's for Eeny-Meeny to stand on," explained the Captain
proudly, "and we put up the pole so the Stars and Stripes could float
over her and the people going by in boats could see her."

He set the pedestal down and turned toward the tree where Eeny-Meeny had
stood. "Why, where's Eeny-Meeny?" he asked in amazement.

"Where is she?" echoed Slim.

The girls sat dumb. "_You_ ought to know where she is," said
Katherine accusingly to the Captain at last. "You took her during the
panic yesterday."

"We--took--her--during--the--panic?" said the Captain wonderingly. "We
never did! What do you mean? I never noticed until just now that she
wasn't in her place."

"You have too got her," said Hinpoha. "The sign of the Dark of the Moon
Society was left tied to a twig where she had stood."

"The sign of the what?" asked the Captain.

"The Dark of the Moon Society," said Katherine sharply. It struck her
that the Captain was trying to appear dense.

"I don't know what you're talking about," he said. He looked perplexed
for a moment and then strode over to Anthony and caught him by the neck.
"Where's Eeny-Meeny?" he said in an ominously even voice.

"I don't know what you're talking about," said Anthony, struggling to
pull out of his grasp. "Ouch! Quit your pinching me."

The Captain took a little firmer hold. "You'd better tell," he advised.
"It might not be healthy for you to keep it to yourself. So that's what
you meant when you said you knew something we didn't."

Anthony still wiggled and tried to free himself, protesting his
innocence.

Uncle Teddy pounded on the tom-tom. "Will somebody please tell me," he
said, "what's the matter with you boys and girls. There's been something
going on under the surface for the last week. Just now one of you
mentioned a 'Dark of the Moon Society.' Will whoever it is please tell?"

There was a rustle from where the girls sat and Sahwah rose to her feet.
"The time has come," she said with twinkling eyes, "for all dread
secrets to be revealed. You just asked who the Dark of the Moon Society
was. I've known for quite a while, and now I'm going to tell."

You could have heard a pin drop and all eyes were fixed on her
expectantly. "There isn't any DARK OF THE MOON SOCIETY!" she announced.
"Or rather, I'm it."

An incredulous murmur went around the circle.

Sahwah continued. "I kidnapped Eeny-Meeny during the panic yesterday and
hid her in that roll of sail cloth. The whole thing is a joke, gotten up
for Katherine's benefit. She was having such a terrible fit of blues
Gladys was afraid she would never get over it unless she had something
to occupy her mind, so I started this business to give her something to
think about. I wrote those mysterious warning notices and posted them
around the camp. When I saw what a beautiful effect it was having on
Katherine I couldn't resist the temptation to keep it up. I knew how
fond she was of Eeny-Meeny and decided that if anything threatened her
Katherine would think of nothing else night and day. I pretended I had
heard voices of the boys plotting to take Eeny-Meeny and burn her up
tonight.

"That night when Katherine thought I was walking in my sleep I had been
up putting a notice on Eeny-Meeny. When I saw Katherine I was afraid she
would be suspicious of my being out at that hour and the only thing I
could think of was to pretend that I was asleep." Here Sahwah
interrupted herself with a convulsive giggle. "And she tied a string to
my foot and kept ahold of it for the rest of the night!"

"And I jumped into that tub of water thinking I was on the trail of the
Dark of the Moon Society!" exclaimed Katherine, righteous wrath and
amazement struggling for possession of her.

"And I destroyed three perfectly good cans of beans getting up a panic!"
said Hinpoha.

"And brought down the house," added the Captain, who had been one of
those caught in the fall of the tent.

"And you mean to say," demanded Katherine, "that those boys never
intended to burn up Eeny-Meeny?"

"Perish the thought," said Sahwah, enjoying herself in the extreme.
"They're as innocent as day old lambs."

"Then so is Anthony," said Hinpoha.

"That's right," said the Captain. Then, turning to Anthony, he made a
frank apology for accusing him of hiding Eeny-Meeny.

And all the Winnebagos were filled with remorse when they thought how
they had blamed Antha for that same disappearance.

Katherine lay back overcome and fanned herself with a bunch of leaves.

"Well, I'll--be--jiggered!" she exclaimed feelingly. "All that trouble
to bring me out of a fit of the blues!"

"Boys," she went on in her best oratorical manner, "you certainly did
give us a surprise party tonight, much more of a one than you planned.
We came prepared to rescue Eeny-Meeny from a fiery death--witness the
water buckets concealed behind every bush on the hillside--and we find
some perfectly gorgeous council seats that you have been toiling to make
in secret while we suspected you of plotting base deeds. Instead of
seeking to destroy Eeny-Meeny you plan to honor her. Girls, let's make
fruit punch and drink to the health of the Sandwiches, and a long life
to the council seats, and to Eeny-Meeny on her pedestal."

"And don't forget the Dark of the Moon Society," added Sahwah, and once
more the woods resounded with laughter.



CHAPTER X

TWO MARINERS AND SOME MIST


"There's one thing about those girls that always takes my breath away,"
said Mr. Evans, "and that is their ability to get up a show on a
moment's notice. The most common circumstance seems to be charged with
dramatic possibilities for them. And nothing seems too ambitious for
them to attempt." Having delivered this speech, Mr. Evans leaned back
against the cliff and watched with amused eyes the performance of the
"latest."

Mrs. Evans and Uncle Teddy and Aunt Clara, who were sitting with him,
agreed that "our girls," aided and abetted by "our boys," were equal to
anything.

The dramatic representation then in progress was another inspiration of
Katherine's, which had come to her when Sandhelo, getting lonesome in
his high pasture ground, had followed the others to the beach, walking
down a steep side of the cliff by a path so narrow and perilous that it
was never used by the campers. But Sandhelo, being a trick mule,
accomplished the feat without difficulty. The bathers watched his
descent in fascinated silence. They feared to shout at him and so make
him miss his step.

"Doesn't it remind you of that piece in the Fourth Reader about the
mule?" said Hinpoha. "The one that goes:

    'And near him a mule bell came tinkling
    Midway on the Paso del Mar.'

I forgot how it begins."

"Oh, you mean 'The Fight of the Paso del Mar,'" said Migwan. "The one
where the two fight and tumble over into the sea. I wore the page that
poem was on completely out of the book reading it so often, and wished
and wished I had been there to see it happen."

"So did I," said Hinpoha.

"Let's do it," said Katherine suddenly. "We have all the props. Here's
the mule, and the rocky shore--that low wedge around the base of the
cliff will do beautifully for the Paso del Mar. And 'gusty and raw is
the morning,' just the way the poem says, and if there isn't enough fog
to 'tear its skirts on the mountain trees,' we can pretend this light
mist is a real fog. Everything is here, even the bell on the mule. I'll
be Pablo of San Diego and, Hinpoha, you be Bernal."

"Migwan would make a better Bernal," said Hinpoha modestly. "No," said
Katherine decidedly, "you'll make a better splash when you fall into the
lake, and anyway, Migwan always wanted to see it done, not do it. Hurry
up and get your blanket, and get it wrapped gloomily around you.
Sandhelo and I will start out from the hills behind."

Hinpoha fetched a blanket and strode across the beach, her fair forehead
puckered into what she fondly believed to be a ferocious scowl, while
the bathers ranged themselves into an audience. Katherine, between
clucks and commands, designed to keep Sandhelo's feet in the straight
and narrow path, i.e., the low-jutting ledge of the cliff just above the
water line, raised her cracked voice in a three-part harmony and "sang
through the fog and wind." Sandhelo moved forward willingly enough.
Since Katherine had taken him seriously in hand that summer he had
learned to carry a rider without the accompaniment of music. If he
hadn't, Katherine would never have been able to make him stir, for he
certainly would not have classed her husky, bleating tones as music.

Bernal advanced cautiously onto the Paso del Mar, taking care not to
slip on the wet stones, and encountered the blithe Pablo midway on the
pass, holding tight to his mule's bridle strap with one hand and
covering up a rent in the waist of his bathing suit with the other.

"Back!" shouted Bernal full fiercely.

And "Back!" shouted Pablo in wrath, and then things happened. Sandhelo,
with the sensitiveness of his artistic temperament, thought that all
remarks made in his presence were intended to be personal. So when
Hinpoha looked him in the eye and shouted "Back!" and Katherine jerked
his bridle and screamed "Back!" he cannot be blamed if he did what any
gentleman would have done when commanded by a lady. He backed.

"Whoa!" shouted Katherine, taken unawares and nearly falling off his
small saddle area. But Sandhelo considered that his first orders had
been pretty definite and he continued to back along the narrow ledge.
"Stop!" screamed Katherine, while the audience roared with laughter,
"'We turn not on Paso del Mar!'"

The word "turn" seemed to give Sandhelo a brilliant new idea, and,
without warning, he rose on his hind legs, whirled around in a dizzy
semi-circle, and started back in the direction whence he had come.
Katherine, unable to check his inglorious flight, hung on grimly. He
left the narrow ledge and started climbing the hill, leaving the
black-hearted Bernal in full possession of the Paso del Mar. At the top
of the hill Katherine slid off Sandhelo's back, the soft grass breaking
her fall, and lay there laughing so she could not get up, while Sandhelo
raced on to his favorite grazing ground.

"To think it had to turn out that way, when I was dying to see the part
where you fall into the lake," lamented Migwan, when the cast had
collected itself on the beach. "It wasn't at all the real thing."

"Some of it was," said Sahwah. "The beginning was all right."

"And the mule did go home 'riderless' eventually," said Katherine,
rubbing her bumped elbow. "Didn't he make speed going around that
narrow, slippery ledge, though?" she went on. "I expected him to go
overboard every minute. But he tore along as easily as if he were
running on a velvetine road."

"On a what?" asked Slim.

"She means a corduroy road, I guess," said Gladys, and they all shouted
with laughter.

"Ho-ho-ho!" chuckled Slim, "that's pretty good. Velvetine road! Would
there be any binnacles on it, do you suppose?" he added teasingly.

"That's right, everybody insult a poor old woman what ain't never had a
chance to get an eddication!" sobbed Katherine, shedding mock tears into
her handkerchief. "What's the difference? Doesn't velvetine sound just
as good as corduroy? And, anyhow, it's better style this year than
corduroy."

"Hear the poor, ignorant, old lady talk about style," jeered Sahwah. "I
didn't think you ever came out of your abstraction long enough to know
what was in style."

"Even in her absentmindedness she seems to have a preference for fine
things, though," said Gladys, beginning to giggle reminiscently. "Do you
remember the time she walked out of Osterland's with a thirty-dollar hat
on her head?"

Katherine rose as if to forcibly silence her, but Sahwah held her back
and Gladys proceeded for the edification of the boys. "You see," said
Gladys, "she was in there trying on hats all by herself because the
saleswomen were busy with other people. She had put on a mink hat and
was roaming around looking for a handglass to see how it looked from the
back, when she suddenly got an idea for a story she was to write for
that month's club meeting. She forgot all about having the hat on her
head and started for home as fast as she could. Out on the sidewalk she
met Nyoda, who admired the hat. Then she came to."

"Mercy!" said Aunt Clara to Katherine, "weren't you frightened when you
discovered it?"

"Not she," said Gladys. "She walked right back inside, big as life,
hunted around until she found her own hat, and handed the mink one to
the saleswoman, who had just sent a store detective out after her. The
detective escorted her to the door that time, but it didn't worry her in
the least. She went right back into the store the next day and tried the
same hat on again and couldn't imagine why the saleswoman left another
customer and was so attentive to her. The simplicity of some people is
perfectly touching."

"I won't stay and be made fun of," said Katherine, and marched up the
hill with an injured air, calling back over her shoulder, "all people
who ordered fudge today might as well cancel their orders, because I'm
not going to make any, so there!"

"Oh, I say, don't get mad," said Slim in alarm, whereat everybody
laughed. He was the one for whom Katherine's words were intended, nobody
else having "ordered" any fudge.

"Honest, I forgot I promised not to tell about the binnacles," said Slim
pleadingly.

But Katherine was adamant and would not forgive him. Slim grunted
ruefully and exclaimed: "Shucks! I always manage to get in bad with her.
Always in bad," he repeated dolefully.

"We'll have to re-christen you 'In-Bad the Sailor!'" said Sahwah.

"Really!" said the Captain, making a grimace of comical surprise at her.
"Who would have thought the child was so deucedly clevah, bah Jove!"

But the name of In-Bad the Sailor struck the others as being such a good
one that they adopted it right away, and Slim had to answer to it half
the time for the rest of the summer.

Slim shadowed Katherine so closely and volunteered so gallantly to do
all her dinner chores that she relented in the middle of the afternoon
and brought out the brown and white "makin's" that Slim's sweet tooth so
delighted in. The Captain looked at them and jeered as he went past on
his way down to the landing.

"Slim would eat his words any day if he could roll them in a piece of
fudge," he called. Slim only smiled sweetly as he watched the
experimental spoonful being dropped into the cup of water. Nothing could
ruffle him now.

The Captain walked briskly down the hill and untied the small launch.

"Where are you going?" called Hinpoha from the log where she was sitting
all by herself reading.

"Over to St. Pierre, to mail a Special Delivery letter for Uncle Teddy,"
replied the Captain.

"Do you need any help getting it over?" asked Hinpoha.

"Why, yes," said the Captain, laughing, "come along if you want to."
Hinpoha tripped gaily over the beach and seated herself in the launch
with him.

"Hadn't you better wear your sweater?" asked the Captain, looking rather
doubtfully at Hinpoha's low-necked and short-sleeved middy. "There's a
raw wind today and cutting against it will make it worse."

Hinpoha shrugged her shoulders. "I'm not a bit cold," she replied
carelessly. "I always go like this; even in lots colder weather. I'm so
hardened down to it that I never catch cold. Besides, we're not going to
be out after dark, are we? You're just going straight over to St. Pierre
and back?"

"That's all," said the Captain. "Just to mail this letter and buy some
alcohol for Uncle Teddy and some peanuts for the chippies. Hadn't ought
to take more than an hour and a half altogether." He started the engine
and off they chugged. They reached St. Pierre in good time, mailed the
letter, bought the alcohol and the peanuts and a postcard with a picture
of a donkey on it to give to Katherine and some lollypops for Slim and
started back.

"What's happened to the sun?" asked Hinpoha. It had been feeble and
watery on the way over, but now it had vanished from the sky, and a fine
mist seemed to be falling all over. Hinpoha shivered involuntarily as
they started off.

"You really should have brought your sweater along," said the Captain.
"Here, spread this tarpaulin over you, it'll keep you warm a little."

Hinpoha declared she wasn't very cold, but, nevertheless, she availed
herself of the protection the tarpaulin afforded and was glad to have
it. The mist thickened until it looked like steam, and almost before
they knew it they were surrounded on all sides by a dense fog. They
could not see a boat length ahead of them.

"Nice pickle," said the Captain, buttoning his collar around his throat.
"How are we ever going to find our way back to Ellen's Isle in this
mess?"

Hinpoha strained her eyes trying to peer through the white curtain. "I
don't know," she said, "unless you can guide yourself by the fog horn in
the harbor of St. Pierre. Keep it behind us, you know."

"But the sound seems to come from all around," said the Captain.

"It will at first, but afterwards you can tell," said Hinpoha. "Nyoda
used to keep making us tell the direction from which sounds came and we
can almost always do it. The fog horn is behind us now."

The Captain kept on in the direction they had been going and ran very
slowly. "It'll take us all evening to get home at this rate," he said.
"If we don't run past the island," he added under his breath.

A few minutes later the chugging of the engine ceased and their steady,
if slow, progress was arrested. "What's the matter?" asked Hinpoha.

"I don't know," said the Captain in a vexed tone. "It can't be that
we're out of gasoline--I filled up before we left. The engine's gone
dead."

He struck match after match in an effort to see what the trouble was,
but they only made a feeble glare in the fog and he could not locate the
trouble. "What are we going to do now?" he exclaimed in a tone of
concern.

"Sit here until the fog lifts, I suppose," said Hinpoha calmly.

Finally, satisfied that he could do absolutely nothing to fix the
trouble until he could see, the Captain settled back to await the
lifting of the fog. The chill in the air was getting sharper all the
time, and, although Hinpoha did everything she could to prevent it, her
teeth chattered and the Captain could feel her convulsive shivers, even
under the tarpaulin.

"Here," he said, taking off his coat and putting it around her
shoulders, "put this on."

Hinpoha shoved it away resolutely, shaking her head. She could not speak
articulately. But the Captain was determined and made her put it on in
spite of her protests.

"Y-you'll t-t-take c-c-c-cold," she said.

"No, I won't," said the Captain, "but you will." Hinpoha made him take
the tarpaulin as she began to warm through in the coat.

"It's kind of fun," she said in a natural voice again. "It's a new
experience."

"Is there anything you girls don't think is fun?" asked the Captain in
an admiring tone. "Most girls would be wringing their hands and
declaring they would never go out in a boat again. Aren't you really
afraid?"

"Not the least bit," said Hinpoha emphatically.

"You're a good sport," said the Captain.

"'Thank you kindly, sir, she said,'" replied Hinpoha. But she was
pleased with the compliment, nevertheless, because she knew it was
sincere. The Captain never said anything he did not mean.

They sat there drifting back and forth with the current for several
hours, and then suddenly there was a break in the white curtain and two
bright eyes looked down at them from above. "It's the Twins!" cried
Hinpoha delightedly. "The Sailors' Stars. They have come to guide us
back. Don't you remember, they're always directly in front of us when we
come home from St. Pierre in the evening."

The fog was breaking and drifting away before a fresh breeze which had
sprung up and first one star and then another came into view. Soon they
could see a bright red light in the distance and knew it was a signal
fire, which the folks on Ellen's Isle had built to guide them. Hinpoha
held her little bug light down while the Captain searched for the
trouble in the launch engine and he was not long in discovering that it
was nothing serious. A few pokes in her vitals and the launch began
chugging again.

The whole family was lined up on the beach awaiting their arrival and
they were welcomed back as though they had been gone a year. It was
nearly nine o'clock. They had been out on the lake more than four hours.

"Stop hugging Hinpoha, Gladys," bade her mother, "and let her eat
something. Those blessed children must be nearly starved."

This was not quite true, because they had eaten the two quarts of
peanuts and the half dozen lollypops originally consigned to the camp,
which had saved them from starving very nicely.

The clearing wind, which had dispelled the fog, came from the north and
blew colder and colder as the night wore on. In the morning the Captain
woke stiff and chilled and with a very sore throat. "I'm all right," he
protested when Aunt Clara came in to administer remedies, but his voice
was a mere croak. Aunt Clara felt of his head and found a high fever.
She promptly ordered him to stay in bed and set herself to the task of
breaking up the cold. Hinpoha wandered around distracted all day.

"It was my fault, all my fault," she wailed. "If I had only had sense
enough to take my sweater he wouldn't have made me take his coat. Is he
very sick, Aunt Clara?"

By night the Captain was very much worse. He had developed a bad case of
bronchitis and his breath rattled ominously.

Hinpoha, crouching anxiously at the foot of a big tree near the tent,
overheard a low-voiced conversation between Uncle Teddy and Aunt Clara,
who were standing in the path. "It would be pretty serious if he were to
develop pneumonia out here," said Uncle Teddy in an anxious tone.

"We're doing our best," said Aunt Clara, "but he's a very sick boy. In
the morning you must bring the doctor from St. Pierre."

They passed on and Hinpoha heard no more. But her heart sank like a lump
of lead. The Captain was going to have pneumonia and it was all her
fault! If he died she would be a murderer. How could she ever face Uncle
Teddy again? She was afraid to go back with the rest, but sat crouched
there under the tree almost beside herself with remorse until Aunt Clara
herself found her and made her go to bed.

In the morning Uncle Teddy brought a doctor from St. Pierre who stayed
on the job all day and by night announced that there was no danger of
pneumonia, although the Captain had had a very narrow escape.

"_Now_ what are you crying for?" demanded Katherine, coming upon
Hinpoha all by herself in the woods.

"Be-c-cause I'm s-so g-glad," said Hinpoha from the depths of a thankful
heart.

"You make me tired," said Katherine, and brushed a tear out of her own
eye.



CHAPTER XI

HARE AND HOUNDS


Once the tide was turned the Captain mended fast. A spell of beautiful,
warm, dry weather followed the cold week, when the sun shone from
morning until night and the pine-scented breezes bore health and
strength on their pinions. Hinpoha outdid herself cooking delicate
messes for him and Slim nearly died with envy when he saw the choice
dishes being loaded on the invalid's tray.

"Pretty soft, pretty soft, I call it," he would say to the Captain, and
the Captain would laugh and reply he was willing to change places.

The Captain's return to the ranks of the "huskies" was celebrated with a
program of water sports and a great clam-bake on the beach. Of course,
the Winnebagos got up a pageant, which on this occasion was a canoe
procession, each canoe representing one of the seven points of the Camp
Fire Law. "Seek Beauty" held a fairy creature dressed in white and
garlanded with flowers; "Give Service" was the big war canoe, which went
on ahead and towed all the others but one; "Pursue Knowledge" held a
maiden who scanned the heavens with a telescope; "Be Trustworthy" held
up a bag conspicuously labeled CAMP FUNDS; "Hold on to Health" was
Katherine holding up a huge paper clock dial, its painted hands pointing
to half past three A. M. with the slogan "Early to bed and early to rise
make a crew healthy, wealthy and wise." "Glorify Work" paddled its own
canoe, scorning to be towed by "Give Service," and "Be Happy" came along
singing such rollicking songs and shouting so with laughter that they
set the audience into a roar.

After the pageant came fancy drills in the war canoe. The crew were in
fine practice by this time and the paddles rose, dipped, cross rested,
clicked and water wheeled all as one in obedience to the commands
shouted by Uncle Teddy. Just before the war canoe started out on her
exhibition trip the Stars and Stripes was nailed to her prow with much
ceremony and "floated proudly before" her throughout the manoeuvers.

Of course, no water sports could be complete without swimming races and
a stunt contest, and Slim drew great applause by floating with his hands
behind his head and one leg crossed over the other in his favorite
position in the couch hammock.

Then Sahwah's stunt was announced and she went to Hinpoha, Migwan and
Gladys and invited them to take tea with her that afternoon. They
accepted with pleasure and withdrew to prink. In the meantime, Sahwah
took a plate in her hand and dove under the surface. She swam to a
large, flat rock, which was plainly visible through the clear water, set
the plate on the rock and weighed it down with a stone. She did this
three more times, setting four plates in all. Then she put a pear on
each plate under the stone. This finished, she came to the surface and
sat on a rock to await the coming of her guests.

When they arrived she greeted them affably and bade them make themselves
comfortable beside her. They were chatting merrily when suddenly a black
figure rose from the water almost at their feet so suddenly that Mrs.
Evans screamed. The black figure was the Monkey, who had quietly slipped
into the water behind a large rock while all attention was focussed on
the girls, and swimming under water came up in front of them. The new
arrival on the scene turned out to be the waiter who announced that tea
was ready. "We will be down immediately, Thomas," said Sahwah in her
best society manner and promptly dove off the rock, the others following
suit. They found their plates on the submerged rock, ate the pears under
water and came up, amid the prolonged applause and shouting of the
audience, who couldn't see "how they did it without choking." Of course
that stunt was voted the best and the clever divers were crowned with
ground pine in lieu of laurel and treated to lollypops.

Sahwah was just recovering the last plate when a sudden gust of wind
tore the flag from the prow of the war canoe, riding at anchor a short
distance away, and sent it flying through the air. It flew right over
her head as she came up, and, reaching out her hand, she caught it. Then
she swam back to the dock holding the flag above her head well out of
the water so that not a drop stained it. The watchers cheered mightily
as she came in waving it.

"'The old flag never touched the ground,'" she said, holding her head up
proudly, "and it'll never fall into the water while I'm around."

"If only all young people had that same spirit of reverence toward their
country's flag!" said Uncle Teddy fervently. "It is becoming a rarer
sight all the time to see a young man take off his hat to the Stars and
Stripes. We have come to regard it as a sort of decorative rag, and of
no more significance than any other decoration. I think it is up to you
Camp Fire Girls to foster this spirit of respect for the flag among
young folks. I am very glad you did this thing today, Sahwah. It was a
fine act."

Sahwah hung her head as she always did when praised, but the others
declared that she grew an inch taller from that minute on.

"By the way, what's become of the Principal Diversion for this week?"
asked Katherine at breakfast one morning the week following the
clam-bake in honor of the Captain's recovery. "Maybe I was asleep in
Council Meeting Monday night, but I don't seem to recollect hearing one
announced. Did I miss the announcement?" she asked of Sahwah, who with
the Monkey was Chief for that week.

"There wasn't any announcement made," said Sahwah, trying to look
dignified behind the coffee pot, and so busy filling up the plates of
the others that she had scarcely eaten a mouthful herself. "We simply
couldn't think of a thing that had not been done before, and we're still
thinking."

"We haven't had a hare and hound chase yet," remarked Gladys. It was
merely an idle suggestion, but the others pounced upon it immediately.

"The very thing!" said Sahwah promptly. "All our Principal Diversions so
far have been trips by water; it's time we did a little scouting on
foot. Thanks for the idea. We'll put it into action immediately. Today
is a fine day for tramping. Munson can be leader of the Hares and I'll
take the Hounds. All those sitting above the toast plate at the table
will be Hares; all those on this side of it, Hounds. Hares will start
right after breakfast and have an hour's start. Dinner will be carried
along and eaten when the Hounds catch up with the Hares. If the Hounds
catch the Hares before they reach their destination the Hares will do
the cooking and give a show; if they have to wait for the Hounds to come
up the Hounds will do the catering, watering and celebrating. The Hares
will demonstrate their knowledge of scouting by blazing the trail in the
proper manner, both by marking trees and by placing stones in the path."

The Hares scurried around and were ready to start in a jiffy. These were
Munson McKee as leader, with Katherine, the Captain, Gladys, Pitt,
Nakwisi and Antha. Sahwah's band consisted of Hinpoha and Slim, Migwan
and Peter Jenkins, Dan Porter and Anthony. The elders had decided not to
go on this trip. Mrs. Evans and Aunt Clara were still somewhat tired
from their siege of nursing the Captain and were glad to have a day of
quiet, and Uncle Teddy and Mr. Evans wanted to work on the boat landing,
which was sinking into the water.

Uncle Teddy took the Hares across the lake in the launch and set them
down at the edge of the woods. They struck out through the trees,
chipping the trail on the trunks with a sharp hatchet, and working their
way around the curve of the shore line to St. Pierre. There they rested
and bought ice cream and while they were eating it Katherine had one of
her periodical inspirations.

"Let's keep right on going until we get back to camp, and not stop
anywhere at all," she suggested. "Won't we lead the others a fine chase,
though? They'll be dead by the time they get there."

"What about us?" asked Gladys. "We'll be dead ourselves."

"I suppose we will," admitted Katherine, who hadn't thought of this
before, "but it will be worth it. Who'll be game?"

"I know a way to fix it so we won't be dead," said Pitt, the crafty.
Pitt could always use his head to save his heels, and was a very Ulysses
for cunning.

"How?" they all asked.

"Leave a note for the others on that last tree we blazed, telling them
to follow the sand beach around to the Point of Pines. There aren't any
trees along the beach so they won't think anything about our not blazing
a trail. Then we'll simply rent a boat and cut straight across the lake
to the Point of Pines. From there we'll go on blazing the trail back to
the place opposite Ellen's Isle where we are to signal Uncle Teddy. By
cutting across the corner of the lake that way we'll save three miles
that the others will have to walk, and they'll wonder and wonder how we
got so far ahead of them." The prospect of turning the hare and hound
chase into a joke on the Hounds was too funny to pass up, and with
giggles and chuckles they pinned the note on the tree back at the edge
of the woods where the road ran toward St. Pierre; then they rented two
rowboats and piled into them. Some distance to the east of St. Pierre
stood the old abandoned lighthouse, and they had to row past it. It
stood out in the water, several hundred feet from the shore, on an
island so tiny that it did no more than give a foothold for the tower.

"Let's stop and go into it," said Katherine. "I've never seen a
lighthouse close up before. And you ought to get a grand view of the
lake and the islands from that little balcony that runs around the top.
Maybe we can see the others trailing after us."

The rest were also anxious to see the old lighthouse and as their short
cut across the lake would gain them at least an hour they decided there
was plenty of time to go inside. So the boys rowed alongside and made
the boats fast and they all went up.

"It's horribly dilapidated and messy," said Gladys, viewing with
fastidious distaste a pile of crumbled bricks and mortar which lay at
the foot of the stairway, the result of an explosion which had blown a
hole in the wall.

    "'If seven maids with seven mops swept it for half a year,
    Do you suppose,' the Walrus said, 'that they could get it clear?'"

quoted Gladys, waving her hand in the direction of the heap.

"No doubt, but for a job like that I really wouldn't keer!" answered
Katherine. "Come on, you can climb over it." And suiting the action to
the word she took a long step over the pile of bricks and then reached
down and pulled Gladys up after her.

It was fun standing up in the top of the lighthouse and looking out over
the lake in all directions. The boats in the harbor of St. Pierre looked
like cute little toys, and Ellen's Isle seemed to have shrunk to half
its size.

"Come, Munson," said Katherine, "you get into the lantern and be the
beacon. You can see that red hair of yours a mile. Too bad Hinpoha isn't
here, she's a regular signal light."

"Get in yourself," retorted the Monkey. "Your nose is as red as my
hair."

Far out over the lake they could see the black trail of smoke made by an
approaching steamer.

"Here comes the _Huronic_," said Gladys.

"Let's stay out here until she goes past, and wave at the people," said
Katherine.

"We won't have time, if we want to get to the Point of Pines ahead of
the others," said the Captain. Katherine reluctantly admitted that he
was right and they picked their way down the littered stairs again. But
there were so many fascinating corners to poke into that another half
hour ticked by before they could finally tear themselves away.

"Where are the boats?" asked Katherine, who was the first through the
door. Yes, where were they? They were no longer fastened where the
Captain had left them. Far out in the lake they saw them, still tied
together, bobbing up and down on the baby waves.

The girls uttered a shriek of dismay, all except Katherine, who
exclaimed in comical amazement, "What do you know about that?"

"I thought I had them tied fast," said the Captain ruefully. "What in
the name of goodness are we going to do now?"

"Don't ask me," said the Monkey, gazing in a fascinated way at the
swiftly fleeing boats. There was a strong current among the islands up
here which was sweeping the runaways very fast toward the channel.

"Stranded!" exclaimed the Captain.

"Marooned!" said the Bottomless Pitt.

"Shipwrecked!" said the Monkey.

"Desoited!" cried Katherine, wringing her hands and rolling her eyes.
"Left to perish miserably in the middle of the sea! Now, Count Flamingo,
you have your revenge!"

"Just the same," said Gladys when she had finished laughing at
Katherine's absurd heroics, "we're in a fine pickle. Just how are we
going to get out of here?"

"Let's see," said Katherine, puckering her brow. "What do people usually
do on such occasions? We've been in 'fine pickles' before, and we've
always gotten out of them. Isn't the proper thing to do when you're
locked up in a lonely tower to sing siren-like music until the noble
hero hears you and comes to the rescue? Do you suppose my secret lover
would ever mistake my sweet voice for anyone else's, once he heard it
wafted in on the breeze?"

"Oh, stop your nonsense, Katherine," said Gladys. "You make me laugh so
I can't think of a thing to do. Captain, how are we going to attract
people's attention?"

"Run up a distress signal, I suppose," replied the Captain, "if we have
anything to run up."

"Well, there's one thing about it," declared Katherine flatly, "I refuse
to be the distress signal this time. Every time we've had to have one in
the past my belongings have been sacrificed."

"Don't get worried, injured one," said Gladys soothingly. "We can wave
the two towels I brought along."

"Just the thing!" said Katherine. "We can wave them when the steamer
goes by and they'll send a lifeboat for us. How romantic! She's just
coming into the channel now. Everybody get ready to call."

The big _Huronic_, the magnificent white steamer that stopped at
St. Pierre once a week on her way down to Chicago, swung into sight
around a long point of land.

"Now wave!" commanded Katherine, when the _Huronic_ was almost
opposite them, and the towels fluttered frantically over the edge of the
little balcony. Dozens of handkerchiefs were waved in answer from the
deck of the big liner. "They think we're just waving at them for fun,"
said Katherine, when nothing took place that looked like an effort at
rescue.

Making trumpets of their hands they all shrieked in unison, "Help!" But
the wind was toward them and carried the sound back. The stately
_Huronic_ proceeded serenely on her way without a pause.

"They aren't going to stop!" said Gladys.

"Oh, let them go on then," said Katherine crossly. Then she added, "I
suppose it was kind of foolish to expect a big boat like that to stop
and pick up a bunch of folks that didn't know any better than to climb
into an old lighthouse and let their boats float away."

"Isn't she a beauty, though?" said Gladys, looking after the ship in
admiration. The sun shining on the broad, white side of the _Huronic_
as she turned toward St. Pierre made her look like a gleaming, white
bird.

"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again," said Katherine
optimistically. "Even if the fair _Huronic_ did spurn us we can no
doubt get the attention of a fishing boat. Some of them are always going
round. Cheer up, Antha, and don't look so scared. Remember, you're with
me, and I bear a charmed life!"

And joking over their situation, but, nevertheless, keeping a sharp
lookout for anything on the horizon, they settled down to pass the time.

Meanwhile, the Hounds had reached the woods before St. Pierre, found the
directions on the tree and turned off toward the beach to follow the
shore to the Point of Pines. But after plodding through the thick, soft
sand for a while they decided that that mode of traveling was altogether
too fatiguing, and went back into the woods where they found a path
which ran in the general line of the shore and which was much easier
traveling. But even at that they were pretty well tired when they
reached the Point of Pines where they supposed the others would be
waiting for them. But there was no glimpse of the Hares at the Point of
Pines.

"Where do you suppose they are?" asked Hinpoha, mystified.

"Hiding, I suppose," said Sahwah wearily, sitting down in the soft
grass. "Let's let them stay hidden until we get rested up. It's up to us
to get dinner I suppose, but I'm just too tired to begin."

"But you will pretty soon, won't you?" asked Slim anxiously.

"You aren't hungry already, are you, Slim?" asked Hinpoha teasingly.

"Already!" said Slim, looking at his watch. "Do you folks know what time
it is? It's half past two!"

"Mercy!" said Sahwah. "It's taken us ages to get here. Maybe the beach
would have been shorter, anyway."

"Let's call for the Hares," said Hinpoha. "It'll take too much time to
try to find them. And I'm too tired to go hunting through the woods."

So they called, "Come out, we give up." Their voices echoed against the
opposite shore, but there was no other answer. They called again with
the same result.

"They're not here!" said Hinpoha with a prophetic feeling. "Where are
we, anyway? Is this the Point of Pines? I believe we've come to the
wrong place! We should have stuck to the shore after all and not gone
off into that path through the woods that turned and twisted so many
times. Are you sure this is the Point of Pines?"

"I don't know whether I'm sure or not," said Sahwah in perplexity. "I
certainly thought it was all the time. I may be mistaken."

"I think you are," said Hinpoha. "There isn't a sign of the Hares here.
How will we find them?"

"I think the best thing to do," said Sahwah calmly, displaying her great
talent for leadership in this emergency, "is to stay where we are and
let them find us. If we start hunting around for each other in these
woods we'll never get together. We'll just stay here and build two
signal fires. You know that two columns of smoke is the sign for 'I'm
lost.' Well, we'll just put up the 'lost' signal and if they're hunting
for us they'll see that and come straight over here."

The others agreed that this was the most sensible thing to do under the
circumstances. There was plenty of driftwood, and two good fires were
soon going, and the green branches piled on top of them sent up the most
gratifying signal smokes.

"Now let's get our dinner," said Hinpoha, when that was accomplished,
"without waiting any longer."

The seven marooned sailors looked and looked in all directions without
seeing a single thing to wave at.

"It's too bad," said Katherine. "Here's a fine opportunity for some
likely young fisherman to make a hero of himself rescuing a band of
shipwrecked lady fairs and winning their undying gratitude. Maybe we'd
take up a collection and buy him an Ingersoll as a reward. But nobody
seems to be around anywhere to jump at the chance. It's a wasted
opportunity."

"There seems to be a boat around the other side of that point of land,"
said Gladys, shading her eyes with her hand. "See those two columns of
smoke going up?"

"It must be standing still," said the Captain. "The smoke is going up in
the same place all the while."

"It's two boats," said Katherine, "or does a boat have two smokestacks?"

"That's not boat smoke," said the Captain with a knowing air. "That's
from fires on the shore. They must be on that farther point, just beyond
the one we're looking against."

"Isn't that the Point of Pines?" asked Gladys.

"It is!" said Katherine. "And I'll bet you a cooky it's the Hounds who
have built those fires. They've been walking all this while and have
reached the Point."

"What would they want with two fires, though?" asked Gladys. "And such
thick smoke! They can't possibly be cooking anything over them."

"I know!" cried the Captain. "They're signal fires. You know Uncle Teddy
showed us how to make them. Two smokes mean 'We're lost.' They don't
know what to make of it because they didn't find us there and are
signalling for us."

"How perfectly rich!" said Katherine, laughing until her hair tumbled
down. "Here we are, cooped up in a lighthouse trying to signal someone
to come and get us away, and there they are, wanting us to come and help
them. It's the funniest thing you ever saw!"

And the Hares watched the two smokes ascending into the blue sky and
laughed helplessly.

Meanwhile, there was a panic on the Point of Pines. In the middle of the
peaceful dinner party two rowboats tied together came floating in toward
the shore. The boys waded out and brought them up on the beach.

"Look," cried Hinpoha, picking up something that lay in the bottom of
one of them. It was a battered tan khaki hat with the frayed cord
hanging down over one side and a picture of a Kewpie drawn on the big
button in front. There was no mistaking it. It was Katherine's hat.

Migwan screamed. "They're drowned! They've gone out in boats and upset!
That's why they're not here. Oh, what will we do?"

"Take it easy," said Sahwah soothingly. "They haven't upset. There isn't
a speck of water in the boats. They've simply floated off and left the
folks somewhere. What were the Hares doing out in boats, anyway?" she
mused. "But if they're along the shore here somewhere we ought to go and
look for them. Maybe we missed directions by not keeping to the beach.
That must be it. They probably told us about the boats in a later note
that we didn't get."

With an air of relief they finished their dinner and then piled into the
boats and started coasting along the shore, looking for the Hares.

"This is getting to be a real hare and hound chase," observed Hinpoha,
as they proceeded slowly, looking into every little cove and inlet. Soon
they rounded the last point and were spied by the anxious watchers in
the lighthouse, who waved their towels and shrieked at the tops of their
voices.

The Hounds got the surprise of their lives when they heard that hail and
looking up saw the Hares perched up in the lighthouse, "just exactly
like crows on a telephone pole," said Sahwah, telling Aunt Clara about
it later.

The stranded Hares were taken ashore under a running fire of pleasantry
about their plight, and were told moral stories about people who tried
to play jokes on others and got the worst of it themselves, and Sahwah
advised them gravely never to go out in a rowboat that wouldn't stand
without hitching, and so on and so forth until the poor Hares did not
know which way to turn.

So the members of the chase went homeward, hunters and hunted side by
side, laughing at the events of the day and agreeing that the chief
charm of nearly all their expeditions lay in the fact that they never
turned out the way they had expected them to.

"Good gracious, Slim, you aren't hungry again?" said Sahwah, as Slim,
stooping among the leaves, brought up a bunch of bright blue berries and
started to put them all into his mouth at once.

"Don't eat those berries!" said Anthony suddenly. "They aren't real
blueberries. They make your throat feel as if it were full of red hot
needles and it hurts for hours. I ate some one day and I know."

Slim dropped the berries hastily. "Thanks, old man, for telling me," he
said warmly.

"Whew! What a chance for a comeback he would have had on Slim!" said the
Captain that night as the campers sat around in an informal family
council while the twins were out in the launch with Mr. Evans. "The fact
that he didn't take it shows that he's a pretty good sort after all. I
didn't think he had it in him."

"Do you know," said Katherine seriously, "I believe I know what's been
the trouble with Anthony. He was spoiled when he was little and allowed
to talk all the time and that made people dislike him. It made him
unpopular with his boy friends and he's been unpopular so long that he
expects everybody he meets to dislike him. So he starts to patronize and
bully his new acquaintances right away because he thinks they won't like
him anyway and it's his way of getting even. But I believe that
underneath it he's the loneliest boy that ever lived. Nobody can have a
very good time or really enjoy life when they're disliked by everybody.

"Now I think we made a mistake in our treatment of him from the start.
We didn't like him when we first saw him and we let him know it. We
froze him out in the beginning. I know how I feel toward people that I
think don't like me. They bring out the worst side of me every time. Now
Anthony must have a lot of good stuff in him or he couldn't have acted
the way he did today. It's up to us to bring it out, and I think the way
to do it is to treat him as if we thought there was nothing but a 'best'
side to him. We mustn't act as if we thought he was going to do
something mean all the time. Take, for instance, the time we thought
somebody had hidden Eeny-Meeny, and you jumped on him as a matter of
course."

"We thought he'd be likely to do it," said the Captain, trying to
justify himself before Katherine's reproach.

"That's exactly the trouble," said Katherine. "We always thought he'd be
'likely' to do something mean, but we never thought he'd be 'likely' to
do something good. Everything that has happened around here has been
blamed on Anthony as a matter of course. We've never given him a fair
chance. You boys didn't let him in on the secret of those council seats
because you were afraid he'd give it away. That was wrong. You should
have let him help and never doubted him for a minute. People generally
do just what you expect them to do. If we took Anthony seriously and
acted as though we could rely on his judgment he'd soon have a judgment
we could rely on. I say we've had ahold of the wrong handle of Anthony
all the while. We knocked the boasting out of him with a sledgehammer
and that was all right in that case; but for the rest of it we've got to
show that we respect and trust him, and take my word for it, he won't
disappoint us. Don't you think that's what's been the trouble, Uncle
Teddy?"

"My dear Katherine," said Uncle Teddy, "the way you put things it would
take a blind beetle not to see them. You certainly have put Anthony up
in an entirely new light. I've nearly got gray hair wondering why he did
not profit by our illustrious example here; now you've put the whole
thing in a nutshell. It isn't half as much to sit and look at a parade
as it is to ride in the band wagon. But from now on we'll see that
Anthony is made part of the show.

"If only everybody had such faith in mankind as you have, what a world
this would be!"



CHAPTER XII

ANTHA'S RESPONSIBILITY


"Katherine, are you low in your mind again?" Gladys peered suspiciously
over the edge of the cliff to where Katherine was sitting in her
favorite fly-on-the-wall position midway between earth and sky, her head
leaned thoughtfully back against the stone wall behind her.

"No'm," answered Katherine meekly, and grinned reassuringly through the
wisp of hair that hung down over her face. She put the lock carefully
back into place with a critical hand and continued: "I was just
exercising my young brain thinking."

Gladys heaved a sigh of relief and prepared to join Katherine on the
ledge. "I'm _so_ glad it isn't the indigoes this time," she said,
swinging her feet over the edge and scraping her shoulder blades along
the rock until they found a certain groove which fitted them like a
glove, "because I don't think Sahwah could think up another conspiracy
like the Dark of the Moon Society to bring you out of it. But why were
you looking so solemn?"

"I was merely wondering about Antha," replied Katherine. "Now we've got
Anthony where we understand him; but Antha is still the spiritless cry
baby she was when she came. She hasn't a particle of backbone. I'm
getting discouraged about her." She pulled a patch of moss from the rock
beside her and tore it moodily into shreds.

"Are you quite, quite sure you're not low in your mind?" asked Gladys.

Katherine sat up with a jerk, sending a loosened particle of stone
bounding and clattering down the face of the cliff. "Of course not!" she
said energetically. "I was just wondering, that's all. I haven't lost
faith in Antha and I don't doubt but what she'll brace up before the
summer is over. If we only knew a recipe for developing grit!"

"Stop worrying about that child and let's go out in a canoe," said
Gladys, catching hold of Katherine's hand and pulling her up.

Katherine rose and smoothed out her skirts--a new action for her. "Do I
look any neater?" she inquired.

"Quite a bit," replied Gladys, looking her over with a critical eye.

"I hope I do," said Katherine with a sigh. "I've spent most of the week
sewing on buttons. But my hair is absolutely hopeless," and she shook
the fringe back out of her eyes viciously.

"Let me do it for you some day," said Gladys, "and I'll see what can be
done with those loose ends."

"All right," said Katherine wearily, and they went down the path
together.

"We won't have time to go out in a canoe," said Gladys when they reached
the beach. "Here comes the launch back from St. Pierre with the mail."

"I wonder if there's a letter for me," said Katherine rather wistfully.
"I haven't had a word from father and mother for three weeks." And she
hopefully joined the throng that stood with outstretched hands around
the pack of letters Uncle Teddy was holding out of reach above his head.

"Oh, I say," he begged, "can't you wait a minute until I show you my
newest treasure? If I give you your letters first you'll all sneak off
into corners and read them and then you never will look at it."

"What is it?" cried an eager chorus, for it must be something splendid
that would delay the distribution of the mail.

Uncle Teddy opened a carefully packed box and drew forth an exceedingly
fine camera, which he exhibited with all the pride of a boy. "I've had
my heart set on this little machine for years," he said happily, "but
I've never had the two hundred dollars to spend for it. But now a
wealthy gentleman whom I guided on a canoe trip last May and whom I was
able to render some slight service when he was taken ill in the woods,
has made me a present of it. Did you ever hear of such generosity?"

He did not mention the fact that the "slight service" had consisted of
carrying the sick man on his back for fifteen miles through the woods.

The boys and girls looked at the camera with awe and were half afraid to
touch it. A thing that had cost two hundred dollars was not to be
handled lightly.

"It has a speed of one thousandth of a second," announced Uncle Teddy,
displaying all the fine points of his treasure like an auctioneer.
"Won't I get some great pictures of you folks diving, though!" And he
stood looking at the thing in his hands as if he did not quite believe
it was real. Then he came to himself with a start and tossed the pack of
letters to Katherine to distribute, remarking that his good fortune had
quite robbed him of his manners.

Katherine handed out the letters in short order, for she saw one
addressed to her, and when they had all been given out she climbed back
to her seat on the ledge to enjoy the news from home in peace and quiet.

Supper was an unusually hilarious meal. Uncle Teddy was so happy that he
nearly burst trying to be witty and agreeable and his mood was so
contagious that before long everybody else was as bad as he.

"Make a speech, Katherine," somebody called, and Katherine obligingly
climbed up on a chair and made such a screamingly funny oration on "What
Is Home without a Camera?" that over half the company choked and there
were not enough unchoked ones left to pat them all on the back.

"Katherine," said Mr. Evans feelingly, "if you don't turn out to be a
second Cicero I'm no prophet. Your eloquence would melt a concrete dam.
See, it's melted the butter already. You are the joy of life to me. How
I would like to go with you on your triumphal way through college! By
the way, what college did you say you were going to?"

"Sagebrush University, Spencer, Arkansas," replied Katherine drily.

"Ha-ha-ha! That's a good one!" laughed Slim, choking again.

"Please stop joking and tell us," begged Hinpoha.

"I have told you," replied Katherine quietly.

"Is there really a college out where you live?" asked Nakwisi. "We all
thought you were going to college in the East."

"She is," said Hinpoha. "She's only joking."

Mrs. Evans sat looking at Katherine closely. She had just noticed
something. Although Katherine had been the most hilarious one at the
table she had not eaten a mouthful. The delicious roast chicken and corn
fritters, her favorite dish, lay untouched upon her plate. And the
whimsical dancing light had gone out of her eyes.

"My dear," she said, leaning across the table, "what is the matter with
you? Has anything happened to change your plans about going to college?"

Katherine looked at her calmly. "It's all off," she said nonchalantly,
raising her water glass to her dry lips. "Father made a little
investment in oil this summer--and now we're back to where we were the
year of the drought. So it's back to the soil for mine, to the sagebrush
and the pump in the dooryard, and maybe teaching in the little one-story
schoolhouse in between chores. I knew my dream of college was too sweet
to be true."

"Oh, Katherine," cried Hinpoha in dismay, "you _must_ go to
college, it would be a terrible pity if you couldn't."

"Kindly omit flowers," said Katherine brusquely.

"My dear child," said Mr. Evans quickly, "I will gladly advance the sum
needed for your education. You may regard it as a loan if you will"--for
Katherine's chin had suddenly squared itself at the beginning of his
speech--"but I would consider the pleasure all mine."

"You are very kind," said Katherine huskily, "but I couldn't do it. You
see, my mother's health has broken down from the years of hard work and
this sudden trouble, and dad's thoroughly discouraged, and they need me
on the job to put life into them and keep the farm going."

Gratefully but firmly she refused all their offers of help. She was the
calmest one in the group, but the white lines around her mouth and the
drooping slant to her shoulders told what a disappointment she had
suffered.

"Will you have to go home right away?" asked Gladys in a tragic voice.

"No," said Katherine. "The folks aren't home yet and won't be for three
weeks. So I can stay here as long as the rest of you do and when you go
East I shall go West."

She made her plans calmly and frowned on all demonstrations of sympathy.
Hinpoha found her after supper sitting on the Council Rock watching the
sunset, and creeping up behind her slipped her arms around her neck.
"Poor old K!" she whispered caressingly.

Katherine shook herself free from Hinpoha's embrace. "Don't act tragic,"
she said crossly. "And don't cry down the back of my neck. It gives me
the fidgets." And rebuffed, Hinpoha crept away.

The same thing happened to the other girls who tried to console her. It
was hard to find a way to show their sympathy. She didn't weep, she
didn't bewail her lot, she didn't cast a gloom over the company by
making a long face. Katherine in trouble seemed suddenly older,
stronger, more experienced in life than the others. They felt somehow
young and childish before her and stood abashed. Yet their hearts ached
for her because they knew that beneath her outward scorn of weakness she
was suffering anguish of spirit.

Katherine was still sitting all alone on the rock some time later when a
very wide shadow fell across it, and Slim came puffing along and dropped
down beside her, his moon face red with exertion and suppressed emotion.

"It's a measly shame!" he said explosively and with so much vehemence
that Katherine almost smiled.

"Say," he said in a confidential tone after a moment of silence, "I have
seven hundred dollars that my grandmother left me to pay my tuition at
college. I'll tell you what I'll do. I'll lend it to you and I'll work
my way through. Won't you take it from me, even if you won't from the
others?" His face was so earnest and his offer so sincere that Katherine
was touched.

"Bless you, Slim!" she said heartily. "You're a nice boy. And I'm very
sorry I can't accept your offer."

"Can't you?" said Slim pleadingly.

"No," said Katherine firmly. "I must go home."

"Well," Slim burst out, "you're a real sport, that's what you are!"

Katherine smiled at his compliment, but tingled within with a warm
feeling.

"And you're a 'real sport' for offering to give me your money and work
your way. Let's shake on it."

Slim gripped her lean, brown hand in his big paw and gave it such a
squeeze that she cried out. "Let go my hand, Slim, you're hurting me."
Slim dropped her hand abruptly.

"Why did you offer to lend me your money?" she asked curiously. "I never
did anything for you."

"Because I like you," said Slim emphatically, "better than any girl I
ever knew." And blushing like a peony, he departed hastily from the
scene.

Katherine smiled whimsically as she looked after him. "My first
'romance,'" she thought. "With a baby elephant! Slim is a dear boy and I
hate myself now because I used to make such fun of him." And where the
passionate laments of the girls had failed to move her, the thought of
Slim's offered sacrifice brought the tears to her eyes. "'Oh, was there
ever such a knight in friendship or in war?'" she quoted softly to
herself.

Katherine put her trouble resolutely in the background and refused to
discuss it, and activities went on just as before on Ellen's Isle.
"Captain, will you go for the mail this afternoon?" asked Uncle Teddy
one day not long after the event of the new camera. "Mr. Evans and I
want to spend the day over on the mainland trying to get some bird
pictures. One of you boys can run us over to the Point of Pines in the
launch and get us again when you come home with the mail. We don't want
to be bothered looking after a boat."

"All right, sir," said the Captain.

Aunt Clara and the girls departed to put up a lunch basket for the men
while Uncle Teddy and Mr. Evans gathered up the various impedimenta they
wanted to take along. The boys took them over to the Point of Pines and
then started off on a long ride in the launch, taking all the girls with
them except Antha, who had a headache. Not long after they had gone Aunt
Clara came out of Uncle Teddy's tent, which she had seized the
opportunity to straighten up, and declared that her husband would forget
his head if it weren't fastened on. She was carrying in her hand the new
camera.

"If that isn't just like him!" she scolded. "He wouldn't let me carry it
down to the boat for him and then he goes off and forgets it himself. He
must have thought he had it when he carried down that case of film
plates. Won't he be in a fine stew when he finds out he's left it behind
and has no boat to come back in? And I've got all the stuff ready to
start making that new Indian pudding, and if I take the time to row over
to the Point of Pines I won't get it done for dinner and the boys and
girls will be so disappointed! And poor Mrs. Evans has just fallen
asleep after being up all night with a jumping tooth; I can't ask her to
go." Then her eye fell on Antha, swinging in the hammock. "I don't
suppose I could send Antha over with it," she said to herself,
remembering how Antha always clung to the others, and had never been out
in a boat by herself. "I might as well make up my mind to give up the
Indian pudding and go over myself." But the materials were all out and
some half prepared and it seemed such a shame not to be able to finish
it. "Gracious!" she thought to herself, looking in Antha's direction
again, "that girl ought to be able to take that camera over there. The
lake is as smooth as glass. I just won't take the time."

"Antha," she said, approaching her with the camera, and speaking in the
same matter-of-fact tone she used toward the older girls, "will you row
across the lake and give this to Uncle Teddy?"

Antha shrank back and looked uncertain, but Aunt Clara went on quickly,
"He'll be wild when he finds he's forgotten it. Be careful that you
don't get it wet going over." And she handed her the expensive
instrument with an air of perfect confidence in her ability to take care
of it.

"May I stay over there with Uncle Teddy and watch them take pictures?"
asked Antha, for whom the time was beginning to lag now that the others
were not on the island.

"Yes, certainly," said Aunt Clara. "I gave them plenty of lunch for
three."

She started Antha out in the rowboat and then went back to her task of
concocting a new and delightful Indian pudding. When the boys and girls
came home to dinner she was glad she had stayed and made it, for their
delight and appreciation amply repaid her for the trouble.

At four o'clock the Captain went for the mail and came home with Uncle
Teddy and Mr. Evans. Uncle Teddy wore an expression of deepest disgust.
"Of all the boneheaded things I ever did," he exclaimed as he stepped
out on the dock, "today's job was the worst. Here I went off and left
the camera behind, and not having any boat couldn't come back, so we
just had to sit there all day and wait to be called for."

"But," gasped Aunt Clara, "I sent Antha after you with it just as soon
as I found you had forgotten it. Didn't she bring it to you?"

"No," said Uncle Teddy. "We never saw a sign of her."

"Something must have happened to her!" cried Aunt Clara, starting up in
dismay. "She went over before dinner. The lake was so smooth I thought
it was perfectly safe. What could have happened?"

"Get into the launch, quick," said Uncle Teddy "and we'll go and look."
Aunt Clara and Katherine and several more jumped in and they went off in
feverish haste. Aunt Clara was almost prostrated at the thought that
harm might have come to Antha from that errand. Around one of the
numerous points which ran out into the water before you came to the
Point of Pines they saw her, standing on a rock just underneath the
surface, the water washing around her ankles. She was several hundred
feet from the shore and the rowboat was nowhere to be seen. Her whole
figure was tense from trying to cling to the slippery rock, and in her
arms she was tightly clutching the camera. She fairly tumbled into the
launch as it ran alongside her.

"What happened?" they all asked.

"The bottom came out of the boat," said Antha, "and it filled up with
water and I got out on that rock and the boat sank."

"Which boat did you take?" asked Uncle Teddy.

"The small one," replied Antha.

"Good Lord," ejaculated Uncle Teddy. "That was the one with the loose
board in the bottom! Why didn't I take it away from the others? What a
narrow scrape you had! It was a mighty good thing for you that that rock
was right there."

"And she stood there all day!"

"Why didn't you swim to shore?" asked Uncle Teddy. "You can keep up
pretty well, and you would have struck shallow water pretty soon."

"Because I had the camera," said Antha, beginning to sob from
exhaustion, "and I had--to--keep--it--dry!"

"You blessed lamb!" said Aunt Clara, and then choked and was unable to
say any more.

"There!" exclaimed Katherine exultantly, when they were back home and
Antha had been put to bed and fussed over. "Didn't I tell you she'd
develop a backbone if the right occasion presented itself? The only
thing she needed to bring it out was responsibility. Responsibility!
That's the last thing anybody would have thought of putting on her.
She's been babied and petted all her life and told what a poor, feeble
creature she was until she believed it. People expected her to be a
cry-baby and so she was one. We made the same mistake here. We've never
asked her to do an equal share of the work, or made her responsible for
a single thing. We were always afraid she couldn't do it. Now you see
Aunt Clara made her responsible for that camera and took it for granted
that she'd keep it dry and, of course, she did. I guess everybody would
be a hero if somebody only expected them to."



CHAPTER XIII

OUT OF THE STORM


"Is there enough blue to make a Dutchman a pair of breeches?" asked
Gladys, anxiously scanning the heavens. "If there is, it will clear up
before noon."

"Well, there's enough to patch a pair, anyway," said Katherine, pointing
to a minute scrap of blue showing through a jagged rent in a gray cloud.

"A patched pair is just as good as a new one," said Gladys with easy
philosophy. "It's all right for us to go for a hike today, isn't it,
Uncle Teddy?"

"Most any day is good for a hike, if you really want to go," answered
Uncle Teddy cheerfully. "Don't I hear you girls singing:

"'We always think the weather's fine in sunshine or in snow?'"

"Oh, goody! I'm glad you think so," said Gladys.

"Mother always wants us to stay at home if it looks the least bit like
rain and when we do it usually clears up after it's too late to start.
We've all set our hearts on cutting those balsam branches today."

Uncle Teddy sniffed the air again and remarked that there was little
rain in it, so with light hearts the expedition started out. Uncle Teddy
took them across to the mainland. On this occasion there was an extra
passenger in the launch. This was Sandhelo, with his feet carefully tied
to prevent his exercising them unduly. He was to accompany the
expedition and carry the balsam branches back to the shore. The lake was
quite rough and more than once the water splashed inside the boat.

"Poor Sandhelo," said Hinpoha sympathetically. "Do you suppose he'll get
seasick? He looks so pale."

"How does a donkey look when he's pale?" jeered Sahwah. "If you mean
that white stuff on his nose, he stuck it into a pan of flour this
morning. Anyway, I never heard of a donkey getting seasick."

"That doesn't prove that they can't," retorted Hinpoha.

But Sandhelo seemed none the worse for his journey when they set him
ashore and trotted briskly along with the expedition. The balsam firs
were deep in the woods and it took some time to find them. The wind
seemed much stronger over here than it had been on Ellen's Isle--or else
it had stiffened after they left. It roared through the treetops in a
perfectly fascinating way and every little while they would stop and
listen to it, laughing as the leafy skirt of some staid old birch matron
went flying over her head.

"It seems like a million hungry lions roaring," said Hinpoha.

"Or the bad spirits of the air practising their football yells," said
Sahwah.

"There goes my hat! Catch it, somebody!" cried Katherine.

The hat did some amazing loop-the-looping and settled on a high branch,
whence it was retrieved by the Monkey with some little difficulty.

Gathering the balsam boughs was not such an idyllic process as they had
expected. In the first place, they were blowing around at such a rate
that it was hard to catch hold of them, and then when one was grasped
firmly the others lashed out so furiously that they were driven back
again and again. Furthermore, those which they did succeed in getting
off were picked up by the gale and hurled broad-cast.

"It's too windy to do anything today," said Hinpoha crossly, retiring to
the shelter of a wide trunk and holding her hands to her smarting face.
Several stinging blows from a branch set with needles had dampened her
enthusiasm for balsam pillows.

Some of the others stuck it out until they had as much as they wanted,
and after an hour or more of strenuous labor Sandhelo was finally laden
with his fragrant burden and the expedition started back.

Then they began to have their first real experience with wind. Going
into the woods it had been been at their backs and they thought it great
fun to be shoved along and to lean back against it like a supporting
hand, but going against it was an entirely different matter. It was all
they could do to stand on their feet and at times they simply could not
move an inch forward. The roaring in the treetops seemed full of menace,
and branches began to fall around them. Not far away a whole tree went
down with a sounding crash.

"We're all going to be killed!" cried Gladys hysterically, as they
huddled together at the sound of the falling tree. A wild blast that
rang like the scream of an enraged beast came like an answer to her
words, and a sapling maple snapped off like a toothpick. Sandhelo
snorted with fear and began to kick out.

"We must get out of these woods as fast as we can," said the Captain, to
whom the others had all turned for advice.

"You don't see any of us lingering to admire the scenery, do you?" asked
Katherine drily.

Terrified almost out of their senses and expecting every minute to have
a tree fall on them, they made their way toward the shore and came out
spent and exhausted and too breathless to talk. But glad as they were to
get out of the woods in safety, they were filled with dismay when they
looked at the lake. To their excited eyes the waves, black as the sky
above them, seemed mountain high.

"They'll never come for us in the launch in _that_," said Katherine
after a few moments' silent gazing, voicing the fears of the others.

"We should never have started out on a day like this," said Hinpoha.
"Why did you insist so on our coming, Gladys?"

"Well," Gladys defended herself, "Katherine said there was enough blue
to patch the Dutchman's breeches and----"

"But it was you who said that was enough to start out on," retorted
Katherine. "And you wanted the balsam boughs the worst, so it's your
fault."

"Don't let's quarrel about who's fault it was," said the Captain. "None
of us were obliged to come; we came because we wanted to. It's
everybody's fault, and what is everybody's is nobody's. We're here now
and we'll have to make the best of it."

"Maybe it will calm down before very long," said Gladys hopefully.

"Not much chance," said the Captain, "with the wind rising every
minute."

There seemed nothing else to do but wait, so they crouched behind rocks
to find shelter from the gale and tried to be patient. Every little
while a dash of spray would find someone out and then there would be a
shriek and a scramble for another rock higher up on the shore. Thus the
afternoon wore away. It had been practically twilight since noon.

"What are you doing, Captain, admiring the view?" asked Slim, when the
Captain had been looking out over the tossing lake for fully five
minutes.

"Quite some view," said the Captain, who was deeply impressed by the
ferocity of wind and wave, "but I was doing something besides admiring
it. I was thinking that it won't do us much good to sit here any longer.
The lake is getting rougher all the time and there is no hope of Uncle
Teddy's being able to come for us tonight. I think the best thing to do
would be to try to walk to St. Pierre, where we can find shelter."

"Would we be able to make it?" asked Hinpoha doubtfully, measuring the
distance that lay between them and the little cluster of toy houses that
shone ghostly white against the black sky. "It must be miles."

"Not quite three," replied the Captain. "We can make it. The wind will
be coming from the side, so we won't be walking squarely against it."

They formed a line, each boy taking a girl by the arm, and struggled
along the shore, keeping out of the woods as much as possible, and made
slow but steady progress toward St. Pierre. It was during one of their
frequent stops for breath that Sahwah, who had turned her head to look
out over the wild water, suddenly screamed, "Look!"

"It's the _Huronic_!" gasped Hinpoha, her eyes following Sahwah's
pointing finger.

Jammed up on a reef and completely at the mercy of the waves that
battered against her side lay the great steamer that only a week before
had swept so proudly through the channel. The beautiful white bird had
its wings broken now, and drooping helplessly lay exposed to the full
fury of the storm.

Hinpoha shrieked and covered her face with her hands. Horrified and
fascinated, the others watched the waves dashing high over the tilting
decks.

"Whe-e-e-w-w-w!" whistled the Captain.

"Can't we do something," said Sahwah, "run and tell somebody? Oh, don't
stand here and see that boat go to pieces!"

"What can we do?" asked Hinpoha.

Before anybody could answer her question a brilliant light suddenly
flared up a short distance ahead of them on the shore. "What's that?"
asked Hinpoha in amazement.

"Beach patrol," explained the Captain. "That's the signal that he has
sighted the ship. Now he'll run back to the life saving station that's
about a mile beyond here opposite the mouth of the channel and tell them
where the wreck is and they'll come and take the people off the ship.
See him going there, along the shore?"

In the gray darkness which followed the flash of light they could just
barely make out the figure of a man running.

"I don't see how he ever got that torch lit in this wind," said Hinpoha.

"That wasn't an ordinary torch," explained the Captain, eager to display
his knowledge of life-saving methods. "That's what they call a Coston
signal. It's a patent torch that flares up when you strike the cap
against something hard. The life-saving crew back in the station see it
and get the apparatus ready and the people on the ship see it and know
they have been sighted and help is coming."

"Oh, I'm so glad," said Hinpoha in relieved tones. "Now the poor people
on the boat won't be so frightened if they know they are going to be
saved. It must be fine to be a life saver!"

"Maybe I'll be one when I grow up," said the Captain.

"Oh, how grand!" said Hinpoha admiringly. "We'll be so proud----" Then
came a fiercer gust of wind and drowned the remainder of her sentence in
its shriek, and they plodded on in silence, covering their faces to
shield them from the whirling sand. Only a little way farther they came
upon the beach patrol sitting on the ground and rubbing his knee.

"What's the matter?" they asked, pressing around.

"Hullo!" he exclaimed in astonishment, "what are you kids doing out on a
night like this?"

"We're taking a walk," replied Sahwah and then giggled nervously when
she thought how funny that must sound. "What's the matter?" she
repeated.

"Tripped over a stone," replied the beach patrol, "and kinked my leg."
He stifled a groan as he spoke.

"Are you badly hurt?" asked Hinpoha anxiously.

The man rose to his feet and limped resolutely on his way toward the
station, but his progress was very slow. "Of all times to go lame!" he
exclaimed in bitter vexation. "There's the _Huronic_ out there on
the reef with two hundred passengers on board and there's not a minute
to lose!"

"We'll take the word to the station!" said the Captain promptly. "We can
get there lots faster than you can."

"All right," said the beach patrol briefly. He wasted no words in this
emergency when seconds were things of consequence, but made prompt use
of the assistance which had apparently been sent from heaven in the nick
of time. "Tell them she's struck on the reef off Sister Point," he
directed.

"'On the reef off Sister Point,'" they all repeated, and started forward
with as much speed as they could manage.

Then it seemed to them that the wind had shifted and was coming from the
front. In spite of valiant efforts to keep on their feet they were blown
against the rocks which strewed the shore, and bruised and battered
mercilessly.

"I can't go any farther," gasped Antha at last, sinking wearily down
behind a huge stump.

"Neither can I," said Migwan, who knew when she had reached the limit of
her strength and realized that it would be folly to attempt to keep on
to the station. Hinpoha had been panting in distress for some time, but
had kept on gamely. But now she agreed with Migwan.

"All you girls get around behind that cliff," shouted the Captain at the
top of his voice so as to make them hear, "and stay there until you're
rested. We'll go on to the station."

Katherine and Sahwah stubbornly refused to be left; the other girls
sought the shelter of the rock wall. Spurred on by the importance of
their errand the nine struggled valiantly to make headway, but it was
most discouraging work. At times it seemed as if they would be picked
off their feet bodily and whirled into space.

"Every time I go forward one step I blow back two," panted Sahwah as
they drew up in the shelter of a bluff to take a moment's breathing
spell. "Aren't we nearly there?"

"Only about a quarter of the distance," said the Captain gloomily.

"I've an idea," said Katherine suddenly.

"What is it?" asked Sahwah.

"We're not getting to the station nearly as fast as we ought to," said
Katherine, "and what's more, there's no hope of our going any faster on
foot. I'll ride Sandhelo in. He's lots stronger than we are and can hold
up against the wind where we can't. It's the only way we can get the
word to the station in time. I didn't think of riding him before,
because the beach was so rocky I was afraid he would break his leg in
the dark, but from here it seems to be smooth."

However much the boys thought it was their duty to carry the message to
the station rather than the girls', they saw the worth of Katherine's
advice. They thought of the _Huronic_ lying out on the reef,
pounded by the waves, and gave in to her at once without discussion.

All this time Katherine had been leading Sandhelo because she could hang
on to him and keep her balance when the wind threatened to sweep her off
her feet.

"Get ready for business, now, old chap," she said to him. "It's time for
your act." And, climbing on his back, she bent low over his neck and
urged him forward with a cluck and a poke.

But Sandhelo chose this crisis to indulge in a return of his artistic
temperament. Not an inch would he budge. "What shall I do?" wailed
Katherine, when all her clucking and prodding had been in vain.

"Try riding him backward the way you did that day in the circus,"
screamed Sahwah.

Katherine whirled around on her stubborn mount and unexpectedly gave his
tail a smart pull. With a snort of indignant surprise Sandhelo threw out
his legs and started forward. Katherine caught her balance from the
shock of starting, clamped her knees into his sides and hung on grimly
to the blanket that had been strapped around his middle to keep the
balsam boughs from pricking him.

Never was there a more grotesque ride for life. Instead of the beautiful
heroine of fiction galloping on a noble steed here was a lanky girl
riding backwards on a temperamental trick mule, hanging on as best she
could, holding her breath as he pounded along in the darkness, expecting
every moment that he would go down under her and praying fervently that
he would not take it into his head to stop. But Sandhelo, under the
impression that he was running away from something, kept on going from
sheer fright, and as his early life had been spent waltzing on a
revolving platform, he was able to keep a footing where any other steed
would have broken his legs.

He would not even stop when they came to the life-saving station, and
Katherine had to roll off as best she could, landing in the sand on her
face.

"Whoa, there!" shouted half a dozen voices, and the surfmen who stood
anxiously waiting for the return of the patrol caught his bridle and
brought him to a standstill. Katherine panted out her message, and then
refusing the invitation of the keeper to go inside the station, she
followed the crew as they dragged the beach wagon to the point on the
shore opposite the wreck.

From their various shelters along the way the rest of the Winnebagos
came out and joined her, all eager to see the work of rescuing the
stranded passengers.

Hinpoha exclaimed in dismay when the small cannon was brought out and
aimed at the ship. "They're going to shoot the passengers!" she cried,
clutching the Captain by the arm.

"No, they aren't," the Captain assured her hastily. "They're going to
shoot the line out to the ship. That's the way they rig up the
breeches-buoy. Now you watch. I'm going to see if I can help. That
fellow with the twisted knee is out of it."

Without getting in the men's way, the Captain watched his chance, and
when it came time to man the whip that hauled the breeches-buoy out to
the vessel he took a hand with the crew and pulled lustily. After that
he worked right along with the men and they were glad of his help, for
the loss of the one surfman was holding them back. The other boys also
did what they could to help, and the bringing to shore of the passengers
proceeded as rapidly as possible.

The memory of that night was ever after like a confused dream in the
minds of the Winnebagos and Sandwiches; a nightmare of howling wind and
dashing waves and inky darkness out of which came ever increasing
numbers of people to throng the shore.

The wrecking of a passenger vessel was a much more serious matter than
the destruction of a freighter, where there would only be the crew to
bring ashore. The _Huronic_ carried two hundred passengers and as
it was impossible for any boat to get alongside of her to take them off,
they all had to be taken ashore in the breeches-buoy or the life car.
Other lines were shot out after the first one and other rescue apparatus
set up. From the position of her lights it could be seen that the
_Huronic_ was listing farther to the leeward all the time. The life
savers worked untiringly and the throng of rescued grew apace.

Entirely forgetting their own fatigue from their long tramp against the
wind, the Winnebagos and Sandwiches moved among the crowd, lending
sweaters, coats and scarfs to shivering women, taking crying children in
tow and finding their distracted parents, and doing a hundred and one
little services that helped materially to bring a semblance of order out
of the wild confusion.

Hinpoha had just restored a curly-haired three-year old to his
hysterical mamma when a man came up to her and said, "Will you bring
your flashlight over here, please? My wife has dropped her watch."

Hinpoha obligingly turned aside with him and approached a woman kneeling
in the sand, searching. "This young lady will help you find it,
Elizabeth," said the man.

"That's encouraging," replied the woman in a voice which made Hinpoha
give a great start and hastily flash the little circle of light on her
face. The next moment she flung herself bodily on top of her with a
great shriek.

"Nyoda! Where on earth did you come from? Nyoda! _Nyoda_!"

"Hinpoha!" cried the young woman in the sand, clinging to her in
amazement, while the man who had addressed Hinpoha gave vent to a long
whistle.

"Why, it's the immortal redhead!" he exclaimed. "I didn't know you in
the dark at all."

"It's the first time anybody ever said they didn't know me in the dark,"
said Hinpoha, laughing. "I didn't know you either without that famous
mustache. Sahwah!" she called. "Gladys! Come here quick!"

The Winnebagos had often pictured to themselves what their reunion with
Nyoda would be like when she made them the faithfully promised visit the
following year, but none of them had ever dreamed it would come so soon
or be like this. In the feeble light of their pocket flashes they
crowded around her, behind a point of the cliff which kept some of the
wind away, and all talked at once as they bubbled over with joy at the
meeting, and Sherry, against whom they had vowed eternal warfare for
stealing their beloved guardian away, came in for his share of
handshaking and rapturous greeting.

"Where were you going?" "What were you doing on the _Huronic_?"
"Why didn't you let us know you were so near?" "Did you intend to stop?"
"How does it feel to be shipwrecked?" "Were you scared when they took
you off the boat?" asked six voices at once.

Nyoda laughed and threw up her hands in a gesture of protest. "Have
mercy!" she pleaded. "Send up your questions in single file." Then she
told how Sherry had been instructed to go to Chicago when they were up
in Duluth and they had chosen to come down by water, and were having a
most delightful trip on the _Huronic_ when it was so rudely ended
by the storm. Her tale was somewhat disconnected, for she was constantly
being interrupted by outbursts of delight at seeing her again and
anxious inquiries as to whether she was cold, all more or less
accompanied by caresses.

During one of these pauses, when she was being nearly smothered in a
mackinaw by the over-solicitous Hinpoha, a voice was heard nearby,
saying, "First we see Jim's signal light go off and we knowed there was
a wreck somewhere. We was wondering why he didn't come back to report
when all of a sudden up comes a reg'lar giraffe of a girl on board an
imitation mule. She was sittin' facin' the stern an' listin' hard to
starboard. She tries to make port in front of the station, but the mule
he heads into the wind an' she jumps overboard."

The Winnebagos shouted with laughter at this description of Katherine's
arrival at the station with the great news. "Sh-h, maybe he'll tell some
more," said Sahwah, trying to quiet the others down. But the loquacious
surfman had moved out of earshot and they heard no more of his tale.

Another voice was speaking now, a crisp voice that held a note of
impatience. "No conveyance available to take me to St. Pierre? How
annoying! How far did you say it was? Two miles? In this wind----"

The voice broke off, but the speaker moved forward toward the little
group behind the bluff. Just then a searchlight that had been set up on
the beach fell upon him. It was Judge Dalrymple.

"Papa!" cried Antha, starting up.

The judge whirled around, startled. "Where did you come from?" he asked.

Antha dragged him over to the rest and then there were more exclamations
of astonishment that the judge had also been a victim of the wreck.

The night wore away while all the adventures were being told, and the
gray dawn saw the last of the rescued passengers finding their friends
and relatives in the crowd, while the surfmen gathered up their
paraphernalia and piled it into the beach wagon. The wind was abating
its force and a weary-eyed procession was setting out in the direction
of St. Pierre.

The Winnebagos and Sandwiches were a procession all to themselves, led
by the stately judge with a twin hanging on each arm. Behind him came
Nyoda and the adoring Winnebagos like Diana surrounded by her maidens,
while Katherine stalked in the rear of the parade leading the
angel-faced Sandhelo, on whose back she had set a tired youngster.

"What a terrible, wicked wind that was," said Gladys, looking from the
wreck of the magnificent _Huronic_ to the uprooted trees lying
everywhere along the edge of the woods.

"But it's an ill wind that blows nobody any good," said Hinpoha, as she
embraced Nyoda for the hundred and nineteenth time.



CHAPTER XIV

THE TRAIL OF THE SEVEN CEDARS


"There's no use talking, we Winnebagos simply weren't meant to be
separated," said Nyoda, smiling around at the circle of happy faces. "It
seems that the very elements are in league to throw us into each other's
paths."

They were all back on Ellen's Isle. By noon of the day following the
storm they were able to cross the end of the lake in a launch from St.
Pierre and relieve the hearts of the anxious watchers on the island.
Nyoda and Sherry were easily persuaded to stop and spend a few days on
Ellen's Isle now that their trip was interrupted, and the judge, having
finished the business which brought him to St. Pierre, took occasion to
run over and stay awhile with the twins.

Nyoda was dragged from one end of the island to the other and shown its
wonders, from the innocent little spring which was the cause of their
being there to the much enduring Eeny-Meeny on her pedestal. Over the
adventures of the latter she laughed until the tears ran down her
cheeks.

"Those are such typically _Winnebago_ stunts," she declared. "Who
except one of us would have seen the tremendous possibilities in a
wooden Indian, and who but a Winnebago could have thought up such a
thing as the Dark of the Moon Society?"

The every-member-a-chief idea interested her mightily, and she was
anxious to hear how it had worked out. "Fine," said Sahwah, "but I guess
Uncle Teddy was really the Big Chief after all, even if he did make us
think we were doing everything by ourselves. The other Chiefs generally
asked his advice about things--I know I did. But we did think out more
things for ourselves this way than we would have if we thought he was
looking out for everything."

"And it was pretty exciting, sometimes, and full of surprises," said
Gladys. "Remember the morning Katherine got us up at half past three for
crew practice? That never would have happened if Uncle Teddy had blown
the rising horn all summer."

"Come and see the war canoe," said Sahwah, tugging at Nyoda to get her
started in a new direction. "We named it after you. See the name painted
on the bows?"

"What did I ever do that I should have a war canoe named after me?"
asked Nyoda, overcome by the honor.

Somebody called Katherine away then, and Nyoda said to the others, "You
were telling me about Katherine's having such a tremendous fit of the
blues some time ago. Tell me, is she having one now? She seems changed
somehow since last June. Isn't she feeling well?"

And then they told her how Katherine's plans to go to college had been
shipwrecked and that she was going back to her home on the farm when the
summer was over. Nyoda listened sympathetically, and as soon as she
could she sought out Katherine and led her away for a walk with her
alone. In the long, intimate talk which followed she made her see that
this disappointment was an opportunity and not a calamity; an
opportunity to develop strength of character which would enable her to
surmount whatever difficulties would lie in her path through life. She
testified to her that the lives of most great people showed they had
become great, not because of the opportunities which were strewn in
their paths, but because of the obstacles they had overcome.

Katherine nodded dumbly. "But, how am I going to 'pass on the light that
has been given to me,' if I am to be away from people?" she said sadly
after a moment.

"By doing the duty that lies nearest you," replied Nyoda, pressing her
shoulder with a gentle hand. "You can be just as much of a Torch Bearer
at home as anywhere. I know the prospect seems empty, even with the
knowledge that you are doing your duty. By all the tokens, your place in
life seems to be out in the busy world, rubbing elbows with people on
all sides. Your great dream of social settlement work seemed one which
was destined to be fulfilled with singular success. But, my dear,
remember this, no success in life is worth as much as a happy home and a
loving father and mother, and in taking over the task of home-making you
have undertaken the greatest and noblest piece of work that any woman
can do. If you succeed in making home happy your life will not be wasted
and your torch will shine undimmed."

"I hadn't thought about it in that way before," said Katherine slowly.
"You see, I had spent my whole life waiting for the day when I could get
away from home and get out among educated people. My one dream as long
as I can remember has been college in the East, and I spent every minute
studying. I never cared how the house looked or how anything went on the
farm. I just lived in my books, and in day dreams of the future. That's
what makes it so hard to go back now. Oh, I was going back all right, I
never thought for a moment of not going, but I don't believe I was
planning to be very happy about it. Now I see the meaning of the Camp
Fire Girls' law, 'Be happy.' It doesn't mean be happy when everything is
coming your way, but in spite of everything when things are going wrong.
Just so when we learned to say, 'For I will bring ... my joy and sorrow
to the fire.' There is more than one way to make a fire. If you haven't
a joyful match handy to scratch and make an instant blaze, you can start
one with the slow rubbing sticks of sorrow. But either one will kindle
the torch that you can pass on to others. I see it now!"

"You certainly have put it in a nutshell!" said Nyoda.

"So now I'm going home," continued Katherine, "and tackle the
housekeeping the way I used to go at my lessons. I'm going to make that
old shack that was always a blot on the landscape such a marvel of
beauty that it won't know itself. I'm going to begin right there to seek
beauty and give service and pursue knowledge and be trustworthy and
glorify work, and above all, I'm going to Be Happy. Thank you so much,
Nyoda, for telling me the things you did. You've straightened everything
out for me, the way you always do."

"Spoken like a true Winnebago!" said Nyoda, gripping her hand. "I knew
you wouldn't show the white feather. Now I must go. Don't you hear
Sherry calling me? Never get married, my dear, if you wish to be
mistress of your own time!"

After that confidential talk with Nyoda Katherine's soul was once more
serene and the old spring was back in her step and the characteristic
air of enthusiasm about everything she did. Once more the future seemed
full of possibilities.

That night Nyoda gathered the Winnebagos together for a confidential
council meeting. "Well, Torch Bearer," she asked, "how goes the torch
bearing?"

"We haven't had a chance to try it on anybody yet," said Hinpoha,
"except Antha. We really and truly didn't want her here this summer at
all until Katherine said she would be an opportunity instead of a
nuisance." Here Nyoda smiled radiantly in Katherine's direction in the
darkness. What a faculty that girl had for seeing possibilities, whether
in wooden Indians or spoiled children!

"And so you found out that it was worth while to have her here after
all," said Nyoda, beaming upon them when they had finished. "Well, I
should say you had been making very fair headway, indeed. So far only
one opportunity has presented itself and you have made the most of that.
You're one hundred per cent efficient on that basis. I'm proud of you."

How glad they were then that they had "put up" with Antha! Somewhere in
the back of each one's head there lurked the suspicion that Nyoda must
have "put up" with _them_ considerably, back in the days when she
first became their Guardian.

"I think we ought to set our seal on all our 'little sisters,'" said
Katherine, speaking with her old animation. "Why not make Antha an
'associate member' of the Winnebagos? Then we'd never lose interest in
her."

"Good idea," said Nyoda heartily. "Let's have a ceremonial meeting right
away and make her officially one of us."

No sooner said than done, and a council fire was kindled on the beach
and in the presence of the whole company Antha was made a Winnebago with
full ceremony--a thing they never would have dreamed of at the beginning
of the summer.

"This is going to be our last week on Ellen's Isle," said Sahwah rather
dolefully at the breakfast table the next morning. "We want to pack it
as full of good times as we can."

All the Winnebagos and Sandwiches set down their cups with a dismayed
bang. While they were perfectly aware of the flight of time they had not
begun to think seriously about going home. It seemed incredible, how
near at hand the time actually was.

But when Sahwah had finished speaking Mr. Evans raised his voice. "I
wasn't going to tell you until council meeting tonight," he said in a
tone which betrayed a coming surprise. "But the way things have worked
out I do not have to be back in the city until after the first week in
September, so we can stay one week longer than we had planned."

He tried to make some further remarks, but they were lost in the cheer
that followed his announcement. To the enthusiastic campers that extra
week seemed like an endless amount of time.

"You will stay with us, Nyoda?" pleaded Hinpoha, and Nyoda smilingly
assured her that she and Sherry had already been invited to stay on and
were going to accept because the business conference Sherry was to
attend in Chicago had been postponed for a week. Judge Dalrymple also
promised to stay until the twins went home.

"But who'll be Chiefs that extra week?"

"Antha and Anthony," said Katherine promptly. "They've both proven
themselves responsible."

And without waiting to go into formal meeting the family council
approved the appointment, to the infinite amazement of the judge, who
had never looked upon the twins as anything but very small and
irresponsible children. He listened unbelievingly to the tale of Antha
and the camera.

"She's got grit!" he exclaimed exultingly to Mr. Evans and Uncle Teddy.
"She's got grit! I thought she hadn't a speck. She's a Dalrymple after
all! Praise be, she's got grit!" He seemed more pleased about the fact
that she had grit than if she had possessed all the virtues of the
saints.

"She's learned to swim, too! How did you ever do it? I knew it would be
the making of her to send her here for the summer. And Anthony, too,
you've done something to him. Why, he calls me 'sir' every time he
speaks to me! He actually says 'sir!' That's something he never did in
his life before. And where he used to choose the worst boys he could
find for companions he seems to have learned to pick the best out of the
lot. He thinks there's no one in the world like that St. John boy; wants
me to give him our old yacht. Seems to have stopped bragging, too; that
used to be his besetting sin."

Uncle Teddy smiled reminiscently at this, and then, acting upon a sudden
impulse, he told the judge how the boys had cured Anthony of boasting by
forcing him to make good his words.

"So it took a lesson like that to do it?" said the judge. "Well, I guess
you're right. He ought to have had it long ago, only I've never had a
chance to do anything like that to him. His mother would have
interfered. You know how it is." He broke off with a shrug of his
shoulders.

"I can't thank you enough for taking care of them this summer," he said
earnestly.

Then Mr. Evans told him just how Katherine had influenced the Council to
consent to the coming of the twins. "So it was Katherine that did it,"
said the judge. "I am deeply in her debt. Do you happen to know of
anything she would like to have particularly? I would like to show my
appreciation in some way."

"I don't know of anything special she wants," said Mr. Evans,
"except----" And briefly he told the judge about Katherine's home
troubles.

"Do you suppose she would take the money to go to college?" asked the
judge.

Mr. Evans shook his head. "I'm afraid she won't. I offered it to her
myself. It seems that her mother is sick and her father is much
discouraged and they want her at home to look after things. It was her
own decision to go; she is determined to make the sacrifice for their
sakes. It is a noble one, you must admit, and I would feel delicate
about influencing her to do otherwise."

"Hm," said the judge. "No use offering her money then. But, by the
way--what did you say was the name of the company that her father sank
his money in?"

"Pacific Refining Company," said Mr. Evans.

"H-m-m-m," said the judge. "I happen to know a little about that
company. Peculiar case, very. Seemed sound as a rock, yet it failed
through bad management. But I happen to know that if it were backed by
somebody of good repute and put into the hands of an able manager it
would pull through and pay dividends. Trouble is nobody wants to sink
any more money in it. Possibly I could arrange to back it--Hm. I'll see
what can be done. Not a word to the girl about this, you understand,
there's nothing certain about it."

Then Antha's voice was heard calling for her father and away he went,
leaving Mr. Evans and Uncle Teddy staring breathless after the man who
proposed to revive dead ventures as casually as if he were talking about
putting up screens.

"What are we going to do with Eeny-Meeny when we go home?" asked Gladys.
That was a question nobody was prepared to answer offhand.

"Take her home and put her in the House of the Open Door," said Sahwah.

"But hardly any of us will be there to see her," objected Hinpoha, "and,
anyway, it's cruelty to dumb Indians to take them away from their native
woods and shut them up in houses. I know Eeny-Meeny wouldn't be happy
there. I think we ought to leave her here on Ellen's Isle."

Then it was that Katherine had another inspiration. "I've got a plan
worth two of that," she said, beginning to giggle in anticipation.
"Let's bury her at the base of the rock in the ravine, and then mark the
rock so mysteriously that somebody who comes after us will fall for it
and dig up the earth. You're good at that sort of thing, Hinpoha, you
carve some fearful and wonderful things on that rock. Won't they get a
shock, though, when they come to Eeny-Meeny?" In their mind's eye they
could all see the sensation caused by the discovering of Eeny-Meeny
possibly years hence at the base of the rock, and the prank appealed to
them irresistibly.

Of course, the mention of the rock in the ravine brought out the story
of the Trail of the Seven Cedars and the fruitless search for Indian
relics. The judge listened to the tale with a peculiar expression of
interest. "By the way," he said casually, when they had finished, "did
you know that I happen to own that stretch of land?"

The Winnebagos and Sandwiches were much taken aback. "Do you mind
awfully, because we dug up the ground?" asked Gladys. "Why didn't you
tell us your father owned the land?" she said, turning reproachfully to
the twins.

"We didn't know it," said Antha, "but I don't think papa minds our
digging it up, do you, Papa?"

"Not in the least," said the judge, chuckling. "And I think it would be
the best joke in the world to 'plant' Eeny-Meeny at the base of the
rock. Some time or other that land will be sold, and I will see to it
that hints are dropped to whoever buys it that there are Indian relics
on the premises and they are invariably found at the bases of marked
rocks. That's the best joke I've heard in years. Katherine, you're a
genius. That idea of yours was surely inspired."

So the Principal Diversion for the last week was the burial of
Eeny-Meeny. After elaborate farewell ceremonies had been held over her
on Ellen's Isle she was put into a canoe and towed across the lake, then
taken out and carried along the Trail of the Seven Cedars to the ravine.
All the family went along to see the fun and take part in the last
rites. But at the entrance to the ravine there was a ripple of
astonishment. The cedar tree which had stood half way up the side, the
largest and oldest of the seven, had been uprooted by the storm and lay
at length in the bottom of the ravine. Where it had been there was a
great gaping hole in the hillside. Numbers of rocks had come down with
it and rolled into the excavation made by the boys and girls, carrying
with them great quantities of earth, so that it was no longer an open
pit. The whole appearance of the ravine had been changed by the falling
of the tree.

The funeral party paused, uncertain whether to go to the work of taking
the rocks out of Eeny-Meeny's grave or dig a new one somewhere else.
While they stood around and talked it over Slim grew weary and went up
the hillside to sit down in the hollow left by the roots of the tree,
which looked to him like a comfortable seat. He settled himself heavily,
but no sooner had he done so than the ground broke away under him and he
disappeared with a yell.

"Where are you?" cried the rest in amazement, running to the spot.

"Inside the hill," came Slim's voice from beyond the hole. "There's a
cave here and I'm in it."

"Are you hurt?" they called.

"No," he answered.

"I'm coming in to look at the cave," said Sahwah, and she crawled
carefully through the hole which had been much widened by Slim's
breaking through, and dropped down beside him. After her came the
others, one by one, all anxious to see this chamber in the hillside. It
was about as large as an ordinary sized room, the walls all rock,
dripping with the dampness of ages. Katherine, blundering about in the
darkness, which was only partly relieved by the flashlights, walked into
something wet and cold. At her startled exclamation the others hurried
over into the far corner with her and their flashlights shone on a good
sized pool of water in the floor of the cave. It was being fed by a
stream which came steadily through a fissure between two rocks. At one
end of the pool the water flowed out into a hole in the ground and was
lost to view.

"It's a spring!" said Gladys. "I thought I heard water in here when we
came down."

Mr. Evans dipped a pocket cup into the clear water and took a drink.
"It's a mineral spring!" he exclaimed in great excitement. "The same as
the one on Ellen's Isle. But the size of it! There's a fortune in it for
you, Judge. Think of the gallons of water that are flowing by some
underground passage into the lake without ever coming to the surface!
That's the prettiest case of poetic justice I've ever come across,
finding this spring on your land. Now you can go ahead and organize a
new mineral water company that will have a real spring for a basis."

"I'll do it!" said the judge, "and all those who had stock in the old
one will have first chance at this. What a lucky accident! I told you
that idea of Katherine's to bring Eeny-Meeny to the ravine was
inspired."

"Now I know the meaning of the arrow on the rock!" said Sahwah when they
were all outside the cave again. "You see, it points directly toward the
hillside where those rocks came rolling down. Somebody found that cave
and the spring and marked the spot so they could come back again, and
then they never came back and it went on being a secret."

"Now, Miss Katherine," said Hinpoha, "was it so terribly silly after all
to think that mark meant something?"

And Katherine cheerfully admitted that it wasn't.

Hinpoha went on. "Captain," she said, "didn't you say you dreamed about
water when you were fasting?"

"That's what I did," said the Captain.

"There!" said Hinpoha triumphantly. "You had a 'token' after all!"

And nobody could deny the fact.

"But if you're not going to sell the land, as, of course, you won't,
there won't be any use in burying Eeny-Meeny," said Katherine in comical
dismay.

"Eeny-Meeny wasn't born to be buried in the ground," said Gladys. "Once
more she has been rescued on the brink of death. If she wants to stay
with us as badly as all that, I think we might take her home and put her
in the House of the Open Door."

"_I_ think," said Nyoda with twinkling eyes, "that Eeny-Meeny
obstinately refuses to be disposed of because she wants to stay with
Katherine. Don't you want to take her home with you, Katherine, for a
good luck omen? She seems to bring good fortune to whoever has her. And
she'll keep you from getting lonely."

So it was decided that Eeny-Meeny was to go home with Katherine to
Spencer, Arkansas, "to live with her and be her love," as Katherine
poetically expressed it.

With fêtes and feasts and celebrations of all kinds the last week
passed, and almost before they knew it that time had actually come to
pack up. Full of surprises as the summer had been, there was yet one
more on the program. It came on the second last day. Going down to the
beach in the morning for the bathing hour they saw, anchored out in the
lake near the island, a good-sized steam yacht, splendid with the
morning sun shining on her white sides and fluttering flags.

"Where did it come from?"

The twins were falling all over themselves with joy and pride. "It's our
yacht, the _Sea Gull_," they shouted. "Did you have it come to take
us home, Papa?"

"Not only you, but all these folks," said the judge.

"Oh, not really," protested Mr. Evans, "think of the distance!"

"Nothing at all, nothing at all," the judge replied. "I would be most
happy to make some slight return for your gracious hospitality."

The Winnebagos and Sandwiches were delighted beyond measure at the
thought of going home in such grand style, and much as they had dreaded
the moment of leaving before, they could hardly wait for it now.

"I've been sent home in people's automobiles lots of times," said
Hinpoha, "but just fancy being taken home hundreds of miles in a yacht!
Doesn't it make you dizzy, though?"

In spite of the delight of steaming away on the spick and span yacht,
there was heartfelt regret in every wave of the hand that bade farewell
to Ellen's Isle, when the hour of leaving came, and never had it seemed
fairer than when they looked upon its wooded height for the last time.
Out in the channel they passed the lighthouse where the Hares had put
their heads into the noose, and there was much laughter as they
recounted the story for Nyoda's benefit. Still farther on was the reef
where the _Huronic_ had met her fate; the salvage crews were still
at work on her. In the clear sunshine and with the calm waters dimpling
around them it seemed impossible to believe that this was the same lake
that had worked itself into such an ungovernable fury but a short time
before.

The _Sea Gull_ was as swift as her white namesake, and flew over
the sparkling lake like a real gull. So taken up were the Winnebagos and
Sandwiches with the appointments of the yacht and such fun they had
going anywhere they pleased on board by day or night, that before they
knew it they were in the harbor of Detroit where Katherine and Nyoda and
Sherry were to be set ashore to finish their respective journeys by
train.

With Katherine went Eeny-Meeny, nicely crated, to be a companion for her
loneliness, as well as Sandhelo, who, by vote of council, was awarded to
her because the others would no longer be able to take care of him, and
because he had always had more of an affinity for Katherine than for any
of the others. It was the fun they had over Eeny-Meeny and Sandhelo that
made the parting less difficult. Katherine was the most hilarious of
any. Grasping her umbrella by the bottom, she recited a husky poem to
the effect that

    "Their parting was sad, but not tearful,
    It happened at four by the clock,
    The sail-aways tried to be cheerful,
    And the stay-ashores tried to be keerful,
    So's not to get shoved off the dock!"

"We'll all be together again some time, I feel it in my bones," said
Hinpoha cheerily. "You just can't separate us Winnebagos."

Farewells were being said on all sides. "Good-bye, Nyoda! Remember the
visit you're going to make us next summer!"

"Good-bye, Sandhelo!" "Good-bye, Eeny-Meeny!" "Good-bye, Uncle Teddy!"

Antha clung to Katherine, sobbing. "Good-bye, little sister of all the
Winnebagos!" said Katherine, gently loosening the child's hands from her
neck.

Then somebody touched her on the shoulder, and, turning, she saw Slim
beside her. He put something into her hands. It was a big bag of
peanuts. "Eat them on the way," he said.

"You're a sport!" said Katherine, laughing, and holding out her free
hand to be shaken for the last time.

The good-byes were all said and the yacht began to back away from the
dock. Katherine looked after it with hungry eyes as it steamed away into
the sunset, carrying with it the friends that had meant to her all that
was bright and happy about her school days. She looked until the waving
handkerchiefs were a blur in the distance, and the white form of the
_Sea Gull_ itself faded from view.

Then she squared her shoulders, held up her head, and grasping the
umbrella as if it were the sword Excalibur, turned and followed Nyoda
across the dock toward the railway station.

THE END



THE CAMP FIRE GIRLS SERIES

By HILDEGARD G. FREY

A Series of Outdoor Stories for Girls 12 to 16 Years.

All Cloth Bound Copyright Titles

PRICE, 65 CENTS EACH

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

  THE CAMP FIRE GIRLS AT SCHOOL;
    or, The Wohelo Weavers.

  THE CAMP FIRE GIRLS AT ONOWAY HOUSE;
    or, The Magic Garden.

  THE CAMP FIRE GIRLS GO MOTORING;
    or, Along the Road That Leads the Way.

  THE CAMP FIRE GIRLS' LARKS AND PRANKS;
    or, The House of the Open Door.

  THE CAMP FIRE GIRLS ON ELLEN'S ISLE;
    or, The Trail of the Seven Cedars.

  THE CAMP FIRE GIRLS ON THE OPEN ROAD;
    or, Glorify Work.

  THE CAMP FIRE GIRLS DO THEIR BIT;
    or, Over the Top with the Winnebagos.

  THE CAMP FIRE GIRLS SOLVE A MYSTERY;
    or, The Christmas Adventure at Carver House.

  THE CAMP FIRE GIRLS AT CAMP KEEWAYDIN;
    or, Down Paddles.

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



THE GIRL SCOUTS SERIES

BY EDITH LAVELL

A new copyright series of Girl Scouts stories by an author of wide
experience in Scouts' craft, as Director of Girl Scouts of Philadelphia.

Clothbound, with Attractive Color Designs.

PRICE, 65 CENTS EACH.

  THE GIRL SCOUTS AT MISS ALLENS SCHOOL
  THE GIRL SCOUTS AT CAMP
  THE GIRL SCOUTS' GOOD TURN
  THE GIRL SCOUTS' CANOE TRIP
  THE GIRL SCOUTS' RIVALS
  THE GIRL SCOUTS ON THE RANCH
  THE GIRL SCOUTS' VACATION ADVENTURES
  THE GIRL SCOUTS' MOTOR TRIP

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



MARJORIE DEAN COLLEGE SERIES

BY PAULINE LESTER.

Author of the Famous Marjorie Dean High School Series.

Those who have read the Marjorie Dean High School Series will be eager
to read this new series, as Marjorie Dean continues to be the heroine
in these stories.

All Clothbound. Copyright Titles.

PRICE, 65 CENTS EACH.

  MARJORIE DEAN, COLLEGE FRESHMAN
  MARJORIE DEAN, COLLEGE SOPHOMORE
  MARJORIE DEAN, COLLEGE JUNIOR
  MARJORIE DEAN, COLLEGE SENIOR

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



MARJORIE DEAN HIGH SCHOOL SERIES

BY PAULINE LESTER

Author of the Famous Marjorie Dean College Series

These are clean, wholesome stories that will be of great
interest to all girls of high school age.

All Cloth Bound--Copyright Titles

PRICE, 65 CENTS EACH

  MARJORIE DEAN, HIGH SCHOOL FRESHMAN
  MARJORIE DEAN, HIGH SCHOOL SOPHOMORE
  MARJORIE DEAN, HIGH SCHOOL JUNIOR
  MARJORIE DEAN, HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR

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



THE BLUE GRASS SEMINARY GIRLS SERIES

BY CAROLYN JUDSON BURNETT

For Girls 12 to 16 Years

All Cloth Bound Copyright Titles

PRICE, 65 CENTS EACH

Splendid stories of the Adventures of a Group of Charming Girls.

  THE BLUE GRASS SEMINARY GIRLS' VACATION ADVENTURES;
    or, Shirley Willing to the Rescue.

  THE BLUE GRASS SEMINARY GIRLS' CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS;
    or, A Four Weeks' Tour with the Glee Club.

  THE BLUE GRASS SEMINARY GIRLS IN THE MOUNTAINS;
    or, Shirley Willing on a Mission of Peace.

  THE BLUE GRASS SEMINARY GIRLS ON THE WATER;
    or, Exciting Adventures on a Summerer's Cruise Through the
    Panama Canal.



THE MILDRED SERIES

BY MARTHA FINLEY

For Girls 12 to 16 Years.

All Cloth Bound Copyright Titles

PRICE, 65 CENTS EACH

A Companion Series to the famous "Elsie" books by the same author.

  MILDRED KEITH
  MILDRED'S MARRIED LIFE
  MILDRED AT ROSELAND
  MILDRED AT HOME
  MILDRED AND ELSIE
  MILDRED'S BOYS AND GIRLS
  MILDRED'S NEW DAUGHTER

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



THE RADIO BOYS SERIES

BY GERALD BRECKENRIDGE

A new series of copyright titles for boys of all ages.

Cloth Bound, with Attractive Cover Designs

PRICE, 65 CENTS EACH

  THE RADIO BOYS ON THE MEXICAN BORDER
  THE RADIO BOYS ON SECRET SERVICE DUTY
  THE RADIO BOYS WITH THE REVENUE GUARDS
  THE RADIO BOYS' SEARCH FOR THE INCA'S TREASURE
  THE RADIO BOYS RESCUE THE LOST ALASKA EXPEDITION
  THE RADIO BOYS IN DARKEST AFRICA
  THE RADIO BOYS SEEK THE LOST ATLANTIS

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



THE GOLDEN BOYS SERIES

BY L. P. WYMAN, PH.D.

Dean of Pennsylvania Military College.

A new series of instructive copyright stories for boys of
High School Age.

Handsome Cloth Binding.

PRICE, 65 CENTS EACH.

  THE GOLDEN BOYS AND THEIR NEW ELECTRIC CELL
  THE GOLDEN BOYS AT THE FORTRESS
  THE GOLDEN BOYS IN THE MAINE WOODS
  THE GOLDEN BOYS WITH THE LUMBERJACKS
  THE GOLDEN BOYS RESCUED BY RADIO
  THE GOLDEN BOYS ALONG THE RIVER ALLAGASH
  THE GOLDEN BOYS AT THE HAUNTED CAMP

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



THE BOY TROOPERS SERIES

BY CLAIR W. HAYES

The adventures of two boys with the Pennsylvania State Police.

All Copyrighted Titles.

Cloth Bound, with Attractive Cover Designs.

PRICE, 65 CENTS EACH.

  THE BOY TROOPERS ON THE TRAIL
  THE BOY TROOPERS IN THE NORTHWEST
  THE BOY TROOPERS ON STRIKE DUTY
  THE BOY TROOPERS AMONG THE WILD MOUNTAINEERS

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



THE RANGER BOYS SERIES

BY CLAUDE H. LA BELLE

A new series of copyright titles telling of the adventures of
three boys with the Forest Rangers in the state of Maine.

Handsome Cloth Binding.

PRICE, 65 CENTS EACH.

  THE RANGER BOYS TO THE RESCUE
  THE RANGER BOYS FIND THE HERMIT
  THE RANGER BOYS AND THE BORDER SMUGGLERS
  THE RANGER BOYS OUTWIT THE TIMBER THIEVES
  THE RANGER BOYS AND THEIR REWARD

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



THE BOY SCOUTS SERIES

BY HERBERT CARTER

For Boys 12 to 16 Years

All Cloth Bound Copyright Titles

PRICE, 65 CENTS EACH

New Stories of Camp Life

  THE BOY SCOUTS' FIRST CAMPFIRE;
    or, Scouting with the Silver Fox Patrol.

  THE BOY SCOUTS IN THE BLUE RIDGE;
    or, Marooned Among the Moonshiners.

  THE BOY SCOUTS ON THE TRAIL;
    or, Scouting through the Big Game Country.

  THE BOY SCOUTS IN THE MAINE WOODS;
    or, The New Test for the Silver Fox Patrol.

  THE BOY SCOUTS THROUGH THE BIG TIMBER;
    or, The Search for the Lost Tenderfoot.

  THE BOY SCOUTS IN THE ROCKIES;
    or, The Secret of the Hidden Silver Mine.

  THE BOY SCOUTS ON STURGEON ISLAND;
    or, Marooned Among the Game-Fish Poachers.

  THE BOY SCOUTS DOWN IN DIXIE;
    or, The Strange Secret of Alligator Swamp.

  THE BOY SCOUTS AT THE BATTLE OF SARATOGA;
    A story of Burgoyne's Defeat in 1777.

  THE BOY SCOUTS ALONG THE SUSQUEHANNA;
    or, The Silver Fox Patrol Caught in a Flood.

  THE BOY SCOUTS ON WAR TRAILS IN BELGIUM;
    or, Caught Between Hostile Armies.

  THE BOY SCOUTS AFOOT IN FRANCE;
    or, With The Red Cross Corps at the Marne.

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





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Campfire Girls on Ellen's Isle - The Trail of the Seven Cedars" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home