The same exalted mood possessed her during swimming hour, and she passed the test for Sharks with flying colors. Immediately afterward she completed the canoe test and joined that envied class who were allowed to take out a canoe on their own responsibility.
A dozen new admirers flocked around her as she walked back to Gitchee-Gummee at the close of the Swimming hour, all begging to be allowed to sew up the tear in her bathing suit, or offering to lend her the prettiest of their bathing caps. What touched Agony most, however, was the pride which the Winnebagos took in her exploit.
“We knew you would do something splendid sometime and bring honor to us,” they told her exultingly, with shining faces.
“I’m going to write Nyoda about it this minute,” said Migwan, after she had finished her words of praise. “What’s the mater, Agony, have you a headache again?” she finished.
“No,” replied Agony in a tone of forced carelessness.
“I thought maybe you had,” continued Migwan solicitously. “Your forehead was all puckered up.”
“The light is so bright on the river,” murmured Agony, and walked thoughtfully away.
Days passed in pleasant succession; Mary Sylvester’s name gradually ceased to be heard on all sides from her mourning cronies, who at first accompanied every camp activity with a plaintive chorus of, “Remember the way Mary used to do this,” or “Oh, I wish Mary were here to enjoy this,” or “Mary had planned to do this the first chance she got,” and so on. Life in camp was so packed full of enjoyment for those who remained behind that it was impossible to go on missing the departed one indefinitely.
The first camping trip was a thing of the past. It had been a twenty-mile hike along the river to a curious group of rocks known as “Hercules’ Library,” from the resemblance which the granite blocks bore to shelves of books. Here, among these fantastic formations, the camp had spread its blankets and literally snored, if not actually upon, at least at the base of, the flint.
When bedtime came Katherine had found herself without a sleeping partner, for she had forgotten to ask someone herself, and it just happened that no one had asked her. She was philosophically trying to make her bed up for a single, by doubling the poncho over lengthwise into a cocoon effect, when she heard a sniffle coming out of the bushes beside her. Investigating, she found Carmen Chadwick sitting disconsolately upon a very much wrinkled poncho, her chin in her hands, the picture of woe.
“What’s the matter, can’t you make your bed?” asked Katherine, remembering Carmen’s helplessness in that line upon a former occasion.
“I haven’t any partner!” answered Carmen, with another sniffle. “I had one, but she’s run away from me.”
“Who was it?” asked Katherine.