“That brown haired madonna you think is so sweet, and the pretty, golden haired girl who is her intimate friend,” replied Mrs. Grayson. “Those two, and—Bengal Virden.”
The Doctor gave vent to a long whistle. “Bengal Virden in the same tent with Claudia Peckham? And the tent is still standing?”
“Bengal doesn’t sleep in the tent,” admitted Mrs. Grayson. “She has moved underneath it, into a couch hammock. She thinks I don’t know it, but under the circumstances I shall not interfere. We have to keep Cousin Claudia somewhere, and as long as they’ll put up with her in Ponemah I don’t care how they manage it. She would be a tent councilor.”
“How do the other two get along with her?” asked the Doctor, “the two that have not moved underneath, as yet?”
“I don’t know,” replied Mrs. Grayson in a frankly puzzled tone. “They must be angels unaware, that’s all I can say.”
THE SHOE BEGINS TO PINCH
“Tramp, tramp, tramp, the bugs are
Up and down the tents they go,
Some are brown and some are black,
But of each there is no lack,
And the Daddy-long-legs they go marching too!”
So sang Sahwah as she tidied up her tent after Morning Sing. It was war on bugs and spiders this morning; war to the knife, or rather, to the broom. Usually there was no time between Morning Sing and tent inspection to do more than give the place a swift tidying up; to sweep the floor and straighten up the beds and set the table in order. Bugs and spiders did not count against one in tent inspection, being looked upon as circumstances over which one had no control; hence no one ever bothered about them. But that morning Sahwah, lying awake waiting for the rising bugle to blow, saw a round-bellied, jolly-looking little bug crawling leisurely along the floor, dragging a tiny seed of grain with him, and looking for all the world like the father of a family bringing a loaf of bread home for breakfast. As she watched it traveling along a crack in the board floor, a very large, fierce-looking bug appeared on the scene, fell upon the smaller one, killed and half devoured it, and then made off triumphantly with the seed the other had been carrying.
“No you don’t!” shouted Sahwah aloud, waking Agony out of a sound sleep.
“What’s the matter?” yawned Agony.
Sahwah laughed a little foolishly. “It was nothing; only a bug,” she explained. “I’m sorry I wakened you, Agony. You see, I was watching a cute little bug carrying a seed across the floor, and a bigger bug came along and took it away from him. I won’t stand for anything like that here in Gitchee-Gummee. We all play fair here, and nobody takes any plums that belong to someone else.”
She rose in her wrath, reached for her shoe, and made short work of the unethical despoiler.