THE BUSINESS OF BEING A HEROINE
Agony awoke the next morning to find herself famous beyond her fondest dreams. Before she was dressed she saw two of the younger girls peeping into the tent for a glimpse of her; when she stood in line for flag raising she was conscious of eyes turned toward her from all directions while girls who had never noticed her before stopped to say good morning effusively, and seemed inclined to linger in her company; and at breakfast each table in turn sang a cheer for her. Jo Severance, who was one of the acknowledged camp leaders, and whose friendships were not lightly bestowed, ostensibly stopped and waited for Agony to catch up with her on the way over to Morning Sing and walked into Mateka with her arm around Agony’s waist.
“Will you be my sleeping partner for the first overnight trip that we take?” she asked cordially.
“Certainly,” Agony replied a little breathlessly, already well enough versed in camp customs to realize the extent of the tribute that was being paid her.
At Camp Keewaydin a girl never asked anyone but her dearest friend to be her sleeping partner on an overnight trip, to creep into her poncho sleeping bag with her and share the intimate experience of a night on the ground, heads together on the same pillow, warm bodies touching each other in the crowded nest inside the blankets. And Jo Severance had chosen her to take the place of Mary Sylvester, Jo’s own adored Mary, who was to have been Jo’s partner on all occasions!
Before Morning Sing was over Agony had received a dozen pressing invitations to share beds on that first camping trip, and the date of the trip was not even announced yet!
And to all this fuss and favor Agony responded like a prism placed in the sunlight. She sparkled, she glowed, she radiated, she brought to the surface with a rush all the wit and charm and talent that lay in her being. She beamed upon everyone right and left; she threw herself with ardor and enthusiasm into every plan that was suggested; she had a dozen brilliant ideas in as many minutes; she seemed absolutely inspired. Her deep voice came out so strongly that she was able to carry the alto in the singing against the whole camp; she improvised delightful harmonies that put a thrill into the commonest tune. She got up of her own accord and performed the gestures to “The Lone Fish Ball” better even than Mary Sylvester had done them, and on the spur of the moment she worked out another set to accompany “The Bulldog and the Bullfrog” that brought down the house. It took only the stimulating influence of the limelight to bring out and intensify every talent she had ever possessed. It worked upon her like a drug, quickening her faculties, spurring her on to one brilliant performance after the other, while the camp looked upon her in wonder as one gifted by the gods.