Just what the great objection was Aunt Phoebe was not prepared to say, but she remarked that such nonsense had never been thought of in her day. “And, of course,” she added, hiding behind her usual argument, “while we are in mourning my grandniece will not go out to any gatherings.”
“Why, I wouldn’t think of keeping Gladys home for that reason,” said Mrs. Evans, seeing the subterfuge. “She went to a Camp Fire meeting the day after her grandfather’s funeral. It’s not like going to a social function, you know.”
Aunt Phoebe shook her head, but her policy of seclusion for Hinpoha was getting shaky. Mrs. Homer Evans was a power in the community, and what she did set the fashion in a good many directions. Aunt Phoebe was very anxious to keep her as a permanent acquaintance, and if Mrs. Evans gave her sanction to this Camp Fire business, she wondered if she had not better swallow her prejudice—outwardly at least, for she declared inwardly that she had never heard of such foolishness in all her born days. When Mrs. Evans went home Aunt Phoebe had actually promised that after three months Hinpoha might attend the meetings as before. Those three months of mourning, however, were sacred to her, and on no account would she have consented to allow a single ray of cheer to enter the house during that period.
SOME TRIALS OF GENIUS.
“The sum of the angles of a triangle is equal to two right angles.” Migwan drew the construction lines as indicated in the book and labored valiantly to understand why the Angle A was equal to its alternate, DBA, her brow puckered into a studious frown. Geometry was not her long suit, her talents running to literature and languages. Outside the October sun was shining on the crimson and yellow maples, making the long street a scene of dazzling splendor. The carpet of dry leaves on the walk and sidewalk tantalized Migwan with their crisp dryness; she longed to be out swishing and crackling through them. She sighed and stirred impatiently in her chair, wishing heartily that Euclid had died in his cradle.
“I can’t study with all this noise going on!” she groaned, flinging her pencil and compass down in despair. Indeed, it would have taken a much more keenly interested person than Migwan to have concentrated on a geometry lesson just then. From somewhere upstairs there came an ear-splitting din. It sounded like an earthquake in a tin shop, mingled with the noise of the sky falling on a glass roof, and accompanied by the tramping of an army; a noise such as could only have been produced by an extremely large elephant or an extremely small boy amusing himself indoors. Migwan rose resolutely and mounted the stairs to the room overhead, where her twelve-year-old brother and two of his bosom friends were holding forth. “Tom,” she said appealingly, “wouldn’t you and the boys just as soon play outdoors or in somebody else’s house? I simply can’t study with all that noise going on.”