“L-lay m-me to sl-leep in sh-sheltering
O M-master of the Hidden F-fire!
W-w-ash pure my heart, and c-cleanse f-for me
M-my Soul’s D-desire!”
Over and over she sang it, through chattering teeth, keeping in her mind the picture of a warm, glowing fire and herself sitting beside it, cozy and comfortable, and finally the picture became so real that she forgot about the gurgling water and gave herself up to pleasant fire dreams. Oh-Pshaw herself was master, not of the Hidden Fire, but of the Hidden Fear! She was still sitting beside her imaginary fire when footsteps startled her and in another minute the place was ablaze with searchlights and swarming over with people.
KAISER BILL MIXES IN
“Isn’t it just too wonderful for anything?” said Hinpoha in an awed tone. Then she burst out triumphantly, “I told her there was a light-haired man coming into her life—and he did! Did you ever hear of anything so romantic as this, anyway? He said she was a dream of his come to life! When he first saw her in the train that day he thought she wasn’t real! And then finding my locket on the floor that way and seeing her picture in it and thinking it was her locket, and wearing it all this time! I never heard of anything so wonderful. It’s better than anything I ever read in a book. Such a nice-sounding name he has, too—Robert Allison; it’s so—unanimous.”
“Don’t you mean ’euphonious’?” asked Migwan with a smile.
“Well, ‘euphonious,’ then,” amended Hinpoha. Wrapped up as she was in this marvel of romance that had happened in the placid, everyday lives of the Winnebagos, she was not bothering about any carping correctness of words. She sat at the foot of Oh-Pshaw’s bed, where Oh-Pshaw lay with her knee propped up on a pillow, and went over the details of Sahwah’s case for the twentieth time with Agony and Migwan and Gladys, all of them foregathered in Oh-Pshaw’s room to keep her company.
“It was just like a book!” Hinpoha went on impressively. “Sahwah passed by the door of his room over there last night after the doctors had gone, and it was open, and nobody was in the room with him because your grandmother had gone downstairs for something, and she saw that the curtain was blowing out of the window. She went in to pull it back and while she was in the room he opened his eyes and said, ’Is it really you?’ He thought he was dreaming and she wasn’t real at all. Then he told her all about his dream girl, and about seeing her in the train that day, and finding the locket, and everything. He said the locket had brought him good luck wherever he went, for half a dozen times he had escaped as by a miracle from being killed in accidents to his plane. And to think that the last time it was she herself who saved his life!” The utter romance of the thing struck Hinpoha momentarily speechless.