Agony chatted on gaily, entertainingly, flitting from subject to subject, and the rest listened from sheer pleasure of hearing her rich voice.
“I’m so glad you Winnebagos have come to town,” she exclaimed jubilantly, bestowing a hug on Sahwah, who stood beside her, “you’ve saved our lives!”
“How so?” asked Sahwah curiously.
“With your help we can do it,” continued Agony.
“Do what?” asked Sahwah.
“Beat Hillsdale,” replied Agony. “Hillsdale is the next largest town to Oakwood in the county and they’re trying their best to outdo us in every way. They’ve done it, too, in most respects. Their prep school has beaten our academy both in football and basketball for the last five years; their city baseball team beat ours every time they played; they got ahead of us in the number of men who enlisted in the army, and they outdid us in the Liberty Loan. There’s nothing but rivalry all through everything. Oakwood is just wild to get ahead of Hillsdale in something. Now there’s going to be a great exhibition military drill for girls held in Philadelphia the last week in August and each county is to send its prize drill company. So far Hillsdale is the only town in our county who has a company of girls drilling, and they’re cocksure of getting to Philadelphia to enter the big contest. Oakwood girls haven’t got the courage to get up a company. They say they’ll only be beaten out by Hillsdale anyway, so what’s the use? But now that you’re here it’ll be different. With you to start a company and carry it along we’ll beat Hillsdale and her old Girl Scouts to a frazzle, I know we can. I’m so tired of hearing those Hillsdale Girl Scouts raved about. Everybody thinks they’re perfectly wonderful and their own personal opinion is that there never was anything created quite as marvelous as they. Just wait until we beat them out in the drill contest! You’ll get up a company of the girls here, won’t you?” she pleaded eagerly. “I can get somebody to drill us if you do.”
“We will!” answered the Winnebagos enthusiastically, their sporting blood immediately aroused. When did the Winnebagos ever let a challenge of their supremacy go unanswered?
“Oh, goody!” cried Agony. “I knew you’d do it! Oh, poor Hillsdale! Poor, poor Hillsdale!” Agony, jubilant, waved her parasol around her head wildly. “Come to dinner Friday night,” she said, “and we’ll work out the details. That is the last night father is to be home. There’s another guest coming, an artist who has just come to town. Father met him on the train and is quite taken with him. What do you think of my father?” she wound up.
“He’s very grand looking, but jolly, too,” said Sahwah.
“Lots of people are afraid of father,” Agony chatted on. “He’s Assistant District Attorney in Philadelphia, you know. He is always gentle with us, but he can be very stern with people when he wants to. They say that prisoners always quail before him in the court room and that witnesses dread to be cross-examined by him. He has a way of piercing people through with his eyes that makes them lose their nerve and they always confess. He’s been merciless in his prosecution of slackers and draft evaders and has made himself quite famous. There was an article about him in one of the Sunday papers recently.”