Just past a long stretch of woods which Hinpoha thought might be enchanted, because the trees stood so stiffly straight, the Carribou rounded a bend, and there flashed into sight an irregular row of white tents scattered among the pines on a rise of ground some hundred or more feet back from the river.
“There’s camp,” Sahwah tried to say to Hinpoha, but her voice was drowned in the shriek of ecstasy which rose from the old campers. Handkerchiefs waved wildly; paddles smote the deck with deafening thumps; cheer after cheer rolled up, accompanied by the loud tooting of the Carribou’s whistle. Captain MacLaren always joined in the racket of arrival as heartily as the girls themselves, taking delight in seeing how much noise he could coax from the throat of his steam siren.
Amid the racket the little vessel nosed her way up alongside a wooden dock, and before she was fairly fast the younger members of last year’s delegation had leapt over the rail and were scurrying up the path. The older ones followed more sedately, having stopped to pick up their luggage, and to greet the camp directors who stood on the dock with welcoming hands outstretched. Last of all came the new girls, looking about them inquiringly, and already beginning to fall in love with the place.
Along the bluff overlooking the river, and half buried in the pine trees, stretched a long, low, rustic building, the pillars of whose wide piazza were made of tree trunks with the bark left on. A huge chimney built of cobblestones almost covered the one end. The great pines hovered over it protectingly; their branches caressing its roof as they waved gently to and fro in the light breeze. On the peak of one of its gables a little song sparrow, head tilted back and body a-tremble, trilled forth an ecstasy of song.
“Isn’t it be-yoo-tiful?” sighed Hinpoha, her artistic soul delighting in the lovely scene before her. “I wonder what that house is for?”
“I don’t know,” replied Sahwah, equally enchanted. “There’s another house behind it, farther up on the hill.”
This second house was much larger than the bungalow overhanging the water’s edge; it, too, was built in rustic fashion, with tree-trunks for porch posts; it was long and rambling, and had an additional story at the back, where the hill sloped away.
It was into this latter house that the crowd of girls was pouring, and the Winnebagos, following the others, found themselves in a large dining room, open on three sides to the veranda, and screened all around the open space. On the fourth side was an enormous fireplace built of stones like those they had seen in the chimney of the other house. Over its wide stone shelf were the words CAMP KEEWAYDIN traced in small, glistening blue pebbles in a cement panel. Although the day was hot, a small fire of paper and pine knots blazed on the hearth, crackling a cheery welcome to the newcomers as they entered. In the center of the room two long tables and a smaller one were set for dinner, and from the regions below came the appetizing odor of meat cooking, accompanied by the portentous clatter of an egg beater.