There was apparently an attic loft above the dining-room, for next to the chimney a square opening showed in the raftered ceiling, with a ladder leading up through it, fastened against the wall below. Up this ladder a dozen or more of the younger girls scrambled as soon as they entered the room; laughing, shrieking, tumbling over each other in their haste; and after a moment of thumping and bouncing about, down they all came dancing, clad in middies and bloomers, and raced, whooping like Indians, down the path which led to the tents.
“Are we supposed to get into our bloomers right away?” Oh-Pshaw whispered to Agony. “Ours are in the trunk, and it hasn’t been brought up yet.”
“I don’t believe we are,” Agony returned, watching Mary Sylvester, who stood talking to Pom-pom in the doorway of the Camp Director’s office. “None of the older girls are doing it; just the youngsters.”
Just then Mrs. Grayson, the Camp Director’s wife, came out of the office and announced that dinner would be served immediately, after which the tent assignments would be made. The Winnebagos found themselves seated in a row down the side of one of the long tables, being served by a jolly-looking, muscular-armed councilor, who turned out to be the Camp Director’s daughter, and who had her section of the table feeling at home in no time.
“Seven of you from one city!” she remarked to the Winnebagos, when she had called the roll of “native heaths,” as she put it. “That’s one of the largest delegations we have here. You all look like star campers, too,” she added, sizing them up shrewdly. “Seven stars!” she repeated, evidently pleased with her simile. “We’ll have to call you the Pleiades. We already have the Nine Muses from New York, the Twelve Apostles from Boston, the Heavenly Twins from Chicago and the Three Graces from Minneapolis, beside the Lone Wolf from Labrador, the Kangaroo from Australia, and the Elephant’s Child from India.”
“Oh, how delicious!” cried Sahwah delightedly. “Do you really mean that there are girls here from Australia and India?” Sahwah set down her water glass and gazed incredulously at Miss Judith. Miss Judith nodded over the pudding she was dishing up.
“The Kangaroo and the Lone Wolf are councilors,” she replied, “but the Elephant’s Child is a girl, the daughter of a missionary to India. She goes to boarding school here in America in the winter time, and always spends her summers at our camp. That is she, sitting at the end of the other table, next to mother.”
The Winnebagos glanced with quick interest to see what the girl from India might be like, and somewhat to their surprise saw that she was no different from the others. They recognized her as one of the younger girls who had been hanging over Pom-pom on the boat.
“Oh—she!” breathed Agony.
“What is her name?” asked Hinpoha, feeling immensely drawn to the girl, not because she came from India, but because she was even stouter than herself.