When the girls had watched the process as long as they wished they were taken to see the prize hogs and chickens, and then went through the hot houses. There were rows and rows of glass houses filled with grapes, the great bunches hanging down from the roof and threatening to fall with their own weight. And one did fall, just as they were going through, and came smashing down in the path at their feet. Nakwisi ran to pick it up and the guide said she might have it, adding that such a bunch, unbruised, sold for twenty-five cents in the city market. “Oh, how delicious!” cried Nakwisi,’ tasting the grapes and dividing them among the girls. Mrs. Evans bought a basketful and let them eat all they wanted. In some of the hothouses tangerines were growing, and in some persimmons, while others were given over to the raising of roses, carnations and rare orchids. It was a trip through fairyland for the girls, and they could hardly tear themselves away when the time came.
“There is something else I must show you while we are in the neighborhood,” said Mrs. Evans, as they passed through Akron. “Does anybody know what two historical things are near here?” Nobody knew. Mrs. Evans began humming, “John Brown’s Body Lies A-mouldering in the Grave.”
“What has that to do with it?” asked Gladys.
“Everything, with one of them,” said Mrs. Evans.
“Did you know that John Brown, owner of the said body, was born in Akron, and there is a monument here to his memory?”
“Oh how lovely,” cried Migwan, “let us see it.” So Mrs. Evans drove them over to the monument and they all stood around it and sang “John Brown’s Body” in his honor.
“Now, what’s the other thing?” they asked.
“I believe I know,” said Nyoda. “Doesn’t the old Portage Trail run through here somewhere?”
“That’s it,” said Mrs. Evans.
Then Nyoda told them about the Portage Path of Indian days, before the canal was built, that extended from Lake Erie to the Ohio River. “The part that runs through Akron is still called Portage Path,” said Mrs. Evans, and the girls were eager to see it.
“Why, it’s nothing but a paved street!” exclaimed Migwan in disappointment, when they had reached the historical spot.
“That’s all it is now,” answered Mrs. Evans, “but it is built over the old Portage Trail, and some of these old trees undoubtedly shaded the original path.” In the minds of the girls the handsome residences faded from sight, and in place of the wide street they saw the narrow path trailing off through the forest, with dusky forms stealing along it on their long journey southward.
“It’s time to strike our own trail now,” said Nyoda, breaking the silence, and they started back to the river. Every one was anxious to make it as pleasant as possible for Hinpoha, and the jests came thick and fast as they drove along. “Who is the best Latin scholar here?” asked Nyoda.