As the time approached for the examination she felt more sure of herself every day. The long hours of patient study were about to be rewarded, and she would bring honor to the Winnebagos by winning the Parsons prize. That little point about bringing honor to the Winnebagos was keenly felt by Migwan. Ever since Sahwah had covered herself with undying glory in the game with the Carnegie Mechanics, Migwan felt a longing to distinguish herself in some way also. Sahwah’s fame was widespread, and when any of the Winnebagos happened to mention that they belonged to that particular group, some one was sure to say, “The Winnebago Camp Fire? Oh, yes, it was one of your number who won the basketball championship for the school by making a record jump for the ball, wasn’t it?” The whole group lived in the reflected glory of Sahwah the Sunfish. Now, thought Migwan resolutely, they would have something else to be proud about. In the future people would say, “The Winnebagos? Oh, yes, it was one of your girls who carried off the Parsons prize in history!”
Migwan thrilled with the joy of it, and plunged more deeply into the pages before her. She was a different girl nowadays from the pale, anxious-faced one who had sat up night after night during the winter, desperately trying to add something to the scanty income by the labor of pen and typewriter. Now she was always happy and sparkling, and performed her household tasks with such a will that her languid mother, lying and watching her, was likewise filled with an ambition to be up and doing. She was never cross with Betty these days, no matter how many fits of temper that young lady indulged in. Professor Green often stopped her in the hall to ask her how she was getting along in her preparation, and offered to lend her reference books which would help her in her study. Everybody seemed to be anxious for her to win the prize, and willing to give her all the help possible.
Migwan did not make the mistake of studying until late the night before the examination. She went to bed at nine o’clock, so as to be in fit condition. When she closed her books after the final study she knew all that was to be learned from them. The examination was held in the senior session room after the close of school. Five pupils participated. One was Abraham Goldstein, another was George Curtis, who liked Migwan very well and hated Abraham cordially; the other two were girls. They all sat in one row of seats; Migwan first, then George, then Abraham, and behind him the two girls. The lists of questions were given out. “I hardly need to say,” said the teacher in attendance, “that the honor system will be in force during this examination.”