“Have you noticed that there is something queer about Agony lately?” Migwan remarked to Gladys as she laid out her poncho on the tent floor preparatory to rolling it.
“I haven’t noticed it,” replied Gladys, getting out needle and thread to sew up a small rent in her bloomers. “What do you mean?”
“Why, I can’t explain it exactly,” continued Migwan, pausing in the act of doubling back her blanket to fit the shape of the poncho, “but she’s different, somehow. She sits and stares out over the river sometimes for half an hour at a stretch, and sometimes when you speak to her she gives you an answer that shows she hasn’t heard what you said.”
“I have noticed it, now that you speak of it,” replied Gladys, straightening up from her mending job to give Migwan a hand with the poncho rolling. Then she added, “Maybe she’s in love. Those are supposed to be the symptoms, aren’t they?”
“Gracious!” exclaimed Migwan in a startled tone. “Do you suppose that can be what’s the matter with her. I hadn’t thought of that.”
“It must be,” said Gladys with a quaint air of wordly wisdom, and then the two girls proceeded to forget Agony in the labor of rolling the poncho up neatly and making it fast with a piece of rope tied in a square knot.
When Agony reached Gitchee-Gummee on her errand of packing, there was Jo Severance waiting for her with a letter.
“Letter from Mary Sylvester,” she called gaily, waving it over her head. “It just came in the morning’s mail and I haven’t opened it yet. Thought I’d bring it down and let you read it with me.”
An icy hand seemed to clutch at Agony’s heart, and she gazed at the little white linen paper envelope as though it might contain a bomb. Here was a danger she had not foreseen. Mary Sylvester, even though she had left camp, corresponded with her bosom friend, Jo Severance, and very naturally she might make some reference to the robin incident. Agony gazed in fascinated silence as Jo opened the envelope with a nail file in lieu of a paper cutter and spread out the pages. Little black specks began to float before her eyes and she leaned against the bed to steady herself for the blow which she felt in her prophetic soul was coming. Jo, in her eagerness to read the letter, noticed nothing out of the way in Agony’s expression. Dropping down on the bed beside her she began to read aloud:
“When I think of you and all the other dear people I left behind me in camp it seems that I must fly right back to Keewaydin. It still seems a dream, my coming away so soon after arriving. I have done nothing but rush around since, getting my things together. We are in San Francisco now, and sail tonight.” ...
So the letter ran for several pages—descriptions of things she had seen on the trip west, and loving messages for her friends at Camp, and closing with a hasty “Goodbye, Jo dear.” Not a word about the robin. The choking sensation in Agony’s throat left her. Weak-kneed, she sank down on the bed and lay back on the pillow, closing her eyes wearily. Unnoticing, Jo departed to show the letter to the girls to whom Mary had sent messages.