Noel’s performance closed the stunts. When she had sat down Miss Judy rose and said that she guessed the Alley dwellers were pretty well acquainted with each other, and would now go for a swim in the moonlight. Soon all but Carmen Chadwick were splashing in the silvery water, playing hide and seek with the moonbeams on the ripples and feeling a thrill and a magic in the river which was never there in the daylight. After a glorious frolic they came out to stand around the fire and eat marshmallows until it was time to go back to camp.
“Initiation wasn’t so terrible after all,” Carmen confided to Katherine in the launch.
“Heaps of fun,” replied Katherine, laughing reminiscently.
“Isn’t Miss Peckham a prune?” whispered Sybil’s voice behind Katherine. “I’m glad she’s not my councilor.”
“She’s mine, worse luck,” answered Bengal Virden’s voice dolefully.
“Too bad,” whispered Sybil feelingly.
The launch came up alongside the dock just as the first bugle was blowing, and the Alley, old girls arm in arm with the new, went straight up to bed.
ON THE ROAD FROM ATLANTIS
“Would you like to come along?”
Agony, sitting alone on the pier, idly watching the river as it flowed endlessly around its great curve, looked up to see Mary Sylvester standing beside her. It was just after quiet hour and the rest of the camp had gone on the regular Wednesday afternoon trip to the village to buy picture postcards and elastic and Kodak films and all the various small wares which girls in camp are in constant need of; and also to regale themselves on ice-cream cones and root beer, the latter a traditionally favorite refreshment of the Camp Keewaydin girls, being a special home product of Mrs. Bayne, who kept the “trading post.”
Agony had not joined the expedition this afternoon, because she needed nothing in the way of supplies, and for once had no craving for root beer, while she did want to finish a letter to her father that she had commenced during rest hour. But the hilarity of the others as they piled into the canoes to be towed up the river by the launch lured her down to the dock to see them off—Miss Judy standing at the wheel of the launch and Tiny Armstrong in the stern of the last canoe, as the head and tail of the procession respectively. Beside Miss Judy in the launch were all the Minnows, gazing longingly back at the ones who were allowed to tow in the canoes. Only those who had taken the swimming test might go into the canoes—towing or paddling or at any other time; this rule of the camp was as inviolable as the laws of the Medes and the Persians. And of those who could swim, only the Sharks might take out a canoe without a councilor, and this privilege was also denied the Sharks if they failed to demonstrate their ability to handle a canoe skilfully.