Dr. Hoffman hurried to the spot and tied up the severed artery. “Who put on de tourniquet?” he asked.
“I did,” replied Hinpoha.
“Good vork, good vork,” said Dr. Hoffman approvingly, “if it had not ben for dat it vould haf been too late ven I came.”
“Where did you learn to do that?” asked Aunt Phoebe.
“Camp Fire First Aid class,” replied Hinpoha.
“Humph!” said Aunt Phoebe.
But she did some thinking nevertheless, and was fully aware that it was Hinpoha’s prompt action which had saved her from bleeding to death. Her arm was tied up for some days afterward and she was unable to use it. Hinpoha waited on her with angelic patience. “I’ve changed my mind about this Camp Fire business,” said Aunt Phoebe abruptly one day. “There’s more sense to it than I thought. If you want to have meetings here I have no objection.”
Hinpoha nearly swooned, but managed to say gratefully,
“Thank you, Aunt
Hinpoha began to wonder, as she was thus thrown into closer contact with her aunt, whether Aunt Phoebe’s austere tastes came from her having such a narrow nature, or because she had never known anything different. She could not help noticing that there were woefully few friends who came to see her during her indisposition. The daily visit of the doctor was about the only break in the monotony. From a fierce dislike Hinpoha’s feelings changed to pity. “I wonder if Aunt Phoebe isn’t ever lonesome,” she thought. “I don’t see how she can help being.” A line of her fire song was ringing in her ears:
“Whose hand above this blaze is
Shall be with magic touch engifted
To warm the hearts of lonely mortals——”
“I wonder if I couldn’t bring something else into her life,” thought Hinpoha. “At least, I’m going to try. Aunt Phoebe’s never read anything but religious books all her life. I’d like to read her a corking good story once.” Timidly she essayed it. “Wouldn’t you like to have me read you something else before we begin the next volume?” she asked, when the third volume conveniently came to an end.
“Do as you like,” said Aunt Phoebe, who was profoundly bored. Hinpoha accordingly brought out “The Count of Monte Cristo” which she had been reading when the ban went on fiction, and it was not long before Aunt Phoebe was as excited over the mystery as she was. Romance, long dead in her heart, began to show signs of coming to life.
Hinpoha, looking for a certain little shawl to put around Aunt Phoebe’s shoulders one afternoon, opened up the big cedar chest that stood in her room. She had never seen inside of it before. The shawl was not there, but there were quantities of table and bed linens, all elaborately embroidered, and whole sets of undergarments, trimmed with the wonderfully fine crochet work at which Aunt Phoebe was a master hand. “What can all these things be?” wondered Hinpoha. “Aunt Phoebe certainly