“Our stunt tonight,” she announced, “tells a hitherto unpublished one of Gulliver’s Travels, namely, his voyage to the Land of the Keewaydins.”
The Alley sat up with one convulsive jerk. “Gulliver’s Travels!” That sounded nearly like their own idea.
Then the stunt proceeded, beginning with Gulliver wrecked on the shore of the Land of the Keewaydins. Undine Girelle was Gulliver, and her shipwreck was trully a thrilling one. She finally landed, spent with swimming, on the shore, and was taken in hand by the friendly Keewaydins, who proceeded to show him their customs. The Alley gradually turned to stone as they saw practically the very same things they were planning to do, being performed before their eyes by the Avenue. There was Miss Peckham and the stocking-snake (that explained to Katherine why she had only been able to find one of Tiny’s red and black stockings); there was Tiny herself, and made out of two girls, just as they were going to do it! There was Dr. Grayson, there were all the other councilors; there was a burlesque on camp life almost exactly as they had planned to do it!
The boys and the councilors applauded wildly, but the Alleyites, too surprised and taken back to be appreciative, merely looked at each other in mute consternation.
“Somebody gave away our secret!” was the first indignant thought that flashed into the minds of the Alleyites, but the utter astonishment of the Avenue when the Alley said that their stunt was practically the same, soon convinced them that the whole thing was a mere co-incidence.
“It’s a wonder I didn’t suspect anything when I found that all of Tiny’s clothes were gone,” said Katherine. “That should have told me that someone else was impersonating her.”
The Alley at first declined to put on their stunt, since it was so nearly the same as the other, but the audience refused to let them off, insisting that they had come to see two stunts, and they were going to see two, even if they were alike.
“We can still judge which is the best,” said Dr. Grayson. “In fact, it is an unusual opportunity. Usually the stunts are so different that it is hard to tell which is the better, but having two performances on the same subject gives a rare chance to consider the fine points.”
So the Alley went ahead with their stunt just as if nothing out of the way had occurred, and the judges applauded them just as wildly as they had the others. In the end, the honors had to be evenly divided between the two, for the judges declared that one was just as good as the other and it was impossible to decide between them.
“And we were so dead sure that the Avenue would never be able to think up anything nearly as clever as ours,” remarked Sahwah ruefully, as she prepared for bed that night.
“I’m beginning to come to the conclusion,” replied Hinpoha with a sleepy yawn, “that it isn’t safe to be too sure of anything. You never can tell from the outside of people what they are likely to have inside of them.”