The memory of that happy day sustained Hinpoha through many of the trials that came to her in the days that followed. It seemed that everything she did brought down the wrath of her aunt in some way or another. For instance, she left a bottle of bees standing on the table in her room, and Aunt Phoebe’s dog Silky, who had been in the habit of going into the room and chewing Hinpoha’s painted paddle, knocked the bottle over and let the bees out, getting badly stung in the process. Then there was a scene with Aunt Phoebe because she had brought the bees in. This and a dozen more incidents of a similar nature made Hinpoha despair of ever gaining the good will of her aunt. Thus the autumn wore away to winter and as yet the Desert of Waiting had borne nothing but thorns.
Gladys’s progress through school was like the advance of a conquering hero. Although she had just entered this fall she was already one of the most popular girls in school. She had that fair, delicate prettiness which invariably appeals to boys, and an open, unaffected manner which endeared her to the girls. Beside her very lovable personality she had a background which was almost certain to insure popularity to a girl. She was rich and lived in a great house on a fashionable avenue; she had a little electric car all her own, and she wore the smartest clothes of any girl in school. Her fame as a dancer soon spread and she was in constant demand at school entertainments. Nyoda watched her a trifle anxiously at first. She was just a little afraid that Gladys’s head would be turned with all the homage paid her, or that, blinded by her present success, she would lose the deeper meanings of life and be nothing but a butterfly after all. But she need not have feared. Gladys’s experience in camp had kindled a fire in her that would never be extinguished as long as life guarded the flame. Having changed her Camp Fire name from Butterfly to Real Woman, she was anxious to prove her right to the name. So she worked diligently to win new honors which made her efficient in the home as well as those which helped her to shine in society.
Mrs. Evans was returning from an afternoon card party. She was tired and her head ached and she felt out of sorts. A remark which she had overheard during the afternoon stayed in her mind and made her cross. Two ladies on the other side of a large screen near which she was sitting were discussing a campaign in which they were interested to raise funds for a certain philanthropy. “I am going to ask Mrs. Evans if she would not like to subscribe one hundred dollars,” said the one lady.
“So much?” asked the other in an uncertain voice, “I don’t believe I would if I were you.”
“Why not?” asked the first lady.
“Haven’t you heard,” replied the second lady, with the air of imparting a delicious secret, “that Mr. Evans is on the verge of financial ruin?”
“No,” replied the second in a tone of lively interest, “I haven’t. Who told you so?”