Sahwah stood in the long parlor under the portrait of Elizabeth Carver, gazing, with an expression of great respect, mingled with envy, up into the vivacious young face. The eyes in the picture gazed back just as intently at her, with a deep humorous twinkle lurking in their depths, and the red lips curving upwards at the corners in the promise of a smile seemed just about to speak. To Sahwah it did not seem to be a painting, a creation of oil on canvas, it was a real girl, Elizabeth Carver herself. She smiled back into the eyes that smiled at her, like two real girls who have just been introduced to each other and feel instinctively at the moment of introduction that they are going to like each other tremendously. Quite naturally, just as she would have done with a flesh-and-blood person, Sahwah began talking aloud.
“That was a wonderfully brave thing you did, saving your lover’s life that way,” she said admiringly. “I wish I had known you. I think we would have been good friends. We would have had no end of fun swimming together. Could you do Trudgeon, and Australian Crawl? Or couldn’t you swim? Girls didn’t swim as much in your day as they do now, I believe. It’s because the side stroke wasn’t invented then. But you could ride horseback. I haven’t done much of that, I never had a horse, but I know I could ride if I had the chance. But I can paddle a canoe, standing on the gunwales—could you do that?”
Sahwah paused anxiously, as if half fearing the accomplished Colonial maid would also claim this, her most cherished attainment. But Elizabeth gave no sign that she could rival Sahwah’s prowess with the canoe, and Sahwah, made affable by the knowledge of her own powers, went on graciously, “You could play on the harp, though, and of course I can’t,” She laid her hand on the gilt frame of the harp that stood at her side, and looked at its wires and pedals respectfully. She did not venture to play upon it, as Hinpoha had done, somehow she didn’t quite dare, with Elizabeth there looking on.
“You must have looked beautiful playing on it,” resumed Sahwah in soft, musing tones. “No wonder the man named Paul fell in love with you. And to think you saved his life! I wish I could save a man’s life. Oh, wouldn’t I have had the adventures, though, if I had lived in your time!” Sahwah had unconsciously clasped her hands, and stood looking up at Elizabeth with a world of envy and longing in her eyes.
Voices in the room behind her brought her back to the present. She turned, and there was Hinpoha with two strange girls.
“Oh, Sahwah, are you alone?” said Hinpoha in surprise. “I thought some of the rest were in here with you, I was sure I heard talking here when I came in. I want you to meet Agony and Oh-Pshaw, whose father you have already met. You remember my writing to you about the Heavenly Twins, the Wings, the famous Flying Column of the class? I was just on my way to hunt them up this morning when I met them on the street. They were just on their way to hunt us up. Girls, this is our Sahwah, once named Sarah Ann Brewster, but now only Sahwah the Sunfish.”