“You know, Agony, that after Jesus went away out of the Temple at the age of twelve years we do not hear of him again until he was a grown man of thirty. What took place in those years we will never know exactly; but in those Silent Years He prepared Himself for His glorious destiny. He must have conquered Self, day by day, until He was master over all his moods and desires, to be able to influence others so profoundly. He must have developed a sympathetic understanding of His friends and playfellows, to know so intimately the troubles of all the multitudes which he afterwards met. These are your Silent Years, Agony. What you make of them will determine your future.”
* * * * *
“Why, where is everybody?” Agony asked wonderingly as they drew their canoe up on the dock and went up the hill path. Nobody was in sight, but a subdued sound of cheering and laughter came from the direction of Mateka.
“Oh, I forgot,” cried Agony. “There is something tonight in Mateka, a meeting. Dr. Grayson announced it this noon at dinner, but I forgot all about it and hurried through supper tonight so I could come out on the river with you. I wonder what it was about. Come on, let’s go up, maybe we can get there before it’s over.”
They were just going up the steps of Mateka when half a dozen girls rushed out of the door and fell upon Agony.
“Where on earth have you been? We’ve been hunting all over camp for you. You’re elected most popular camper! You’ve won the Buffalo Robe! Oh, Agony, you’ve won the Buffalo Robe!”
It was Oh-Pshaw who was speaking, and she cast herself on her twin’s neck and kissed her rapturously.
Agony stood very still on the steps, looking in a dazed sort of way from one to the other of the faces around her.
“Oh, Agony, don’t you understand? You’ve won the Buffalo Robe!” Oh-Pshaw repeated laughingly. “We had the election tonight. You won by a big majority. It’s all on account of the robin. Nobody else had done anything nearly so splendid. Oh, but I’m proud to be your twin sister!”
Then all the rest came out of Mateka and surrounded Agony, telling her how glad they were she had won the Buffalo Robe, and they ended up by taking her on their shoulders into Mateka and setting her down before the Robe where it hung on the wall. It would be formally presented to her at the farewell banquet two nights later.
“We’re going to paint a robin on it as a record of your brave deed,” said Migwan. “Hinpoha is working on the design right now.”
Agony’s emotions were tumultous as she stood there in Mateka before the Buffalo Robe with the girls singing cheer after cheer to her. First triumph flooded her whole being, and delight and satisfaction that she had won the biggest honor in Camp took complete possession of her. The most popular girl in camp! The desire of her heart, born on that first, far off day at camp, had been realized. The precious trophy was hers to take home, to exhibit to Nyoda. She was the center of all eyes; her name was on every lip.