“Don’t you do it, Dick,” said one of the other boys, “she’ll never steer us around the bend.” Dick hesitated. There was a sharp turn in the road, right near the bottom of the descent, and as the bob had acquired a high degree of speed by the time it reached this point, it required quick work to make the turn.
“If you don’t let me steer just once I’ll never speak to you again, Dick Albright,” said Sahwah, with flashing eyes. Dick wavered. The chances were that Sahwah would land them safely at the bottom, and he thought it worth the risk of a possible spill to stay in her good graces.
“All right, go ahead,” he said, “I believe you can do it all right. Be careful when you come to the turn, that’s all.” Sahwah slid in behind the steering wheel and they started off. The sled traveled faster than it did before, but Sahwah negotiated both the thank—you—marm and the turn with as much skill as Dick himself could have done it, and danced a triumphant war dance when she had brought the bob safely to a stop.
“There now, smarty,” she said to the boy who had mistrusted her powers, “you see that a girl can do it as well as a boy.”
“You certainly can,” said Dick, no less pleased than she herself at her success, “and you may steer the bob the rest of the evening if you want to.”
Sahwah engineered two or three more trips and then the excitement lost its tang for her as the element of danger was removed, for the turn had no difficulties for her. “Let’s coast down the side of the hill once,” she suggested.
“No, thanks,” said Migwan, eyeing the steep slope that rose beside the drive.
“Oh, come on,” pleaded Sahwah; “it’s more fun to go down a steep hill. You go so much faster. It lands you in a snowbank at the bottom, but it’s perfectly safe.” None of the boys and girls appeared anxious to go. Sahwah jumped up and down with impatience. “Oh, you slowpokes!” she exclaimed, rather crossly. Then she turned to Dick Albright. “Dick,” she said, “will you come with me even if the others won’t?”
Dick shook his head. “It’s dangerous,” he answered.
“You’re afraid,” said Sahwah tauntingly.
“I’m not,” said Dick hotly.
“You are too,” said Sahwah. “All right if you’re afraid, but I know some one who wouldn’t be.” Now Sahwah had no one definite in mind when she said this last, it was simply an effort to make Dick feel small, but Dick immediately took it as a reference to the unknown Ned Roberts who had sent her the valentine, and his jealousy got the better of his discretion.
“All right,” he said, firmly determined to measure up to this pattern of dauntlessness, “come on if you want to. I’ll go with you.” The two climbed up the steep hill, dragging the bob after them. When Sahwah was sitting behind the steering wheel, poised at the top and ready to make the swift descent, she shuddered at the sight of the sharp incline. It looked so much worse from the top than from the bottom. She would have drawn back and given it up, but Sahwah had a stubborn pride that shrank from saying she was afraid to do anything she had undertaken.