MoboReader > Young Adult > The Camp Fire Girls in the Maine Woods; Or, The Winnebagos Go Camping


The Camp Fire Girls in the Maine Woods; Or, The Winnebagos Go Camping By Hildegard G. Frey Characters: 32946

Updated: 2017-12-01 00:03

At the close of singing hour one morning the week following the Fourth-of-July celebration Nyoda rose with an air of mystery and requested the girls not to make up their beds as usual, but instead to roll their blankets in their ponchos and pile them up together. A shriek of joy went up from the girls. "What is it, Nyoda, a canoe trip?"

Nyoda shook her head. "You'll see," was all she would say. Immediately she was surrounded by the girls clamoring to be told where they were going. "I surrender," she said, laughing at Migwan, who was embracing her feet in supplication, "we're going hunting."

"Hunting what?" clamored the chorus.

"Oh, adventures and such things," said Nyoda in an off-hand manner.

"Where are we going?" "How are we going?" "When are we going to start?" shouted the girls from all sides.

Nyoda put her hands over her ears and tapped for silence with her foot. "One at a time, please, ladies, and I will endeavor to answer any questions that may come into your minds," she said in her best lecture-room manner.

"Oh, Nyoda, tell us," begged the girls.

"Having your kind permission to speak," resumed Nyoda, "I will try to state the case briefly. Now then, one, two, three! We're going to Balsam Lake!"

"It's a hike!" shouted Sahwah, turning a handspring.

"Is it, Nyoda?" asked Migwan.

Nyoda nodded. "That's it. We're going to hike through the woods to Balsam Lake, which is a distance of about twelve miles, camp there for the night, and return to-morrow by another route."

"O Goody!" cried Sahwah, hopping up and down on one foot, "when are we going to start?"

"The first two will start at ten o'clock," said Nyoda.

"The first two!" echoed the girls. "Aren't we all going together?"

Then Nyoda outlined her plan. Believing that the girls would collect more adventures by going in pairs instead of all together, besides the fun of following a trail marked out by leaders, she had arranged the girls two by two. The first pair, who would be the pathfinders and blaze the trail for those coming after, would leave at ten o'clock, the next pair twenty minutes later, then the next, and so on. Their ponchos would be brought in a wagon over the main road and left for them; they would buy their supplies for supper and breakfast at the last village they passed through. Their lunches, they would carry with them. The first two were to buy potatoes and start the fire and put them in, while the rest would bring the other supplies.

"Who and who are going to be partners?" demanded Sahwah.

"Listen, while I read the list," answered Nyoda. "Sahwah and

Nakwisi, Hinpoha and Migwan, Gladys and Chapa, Medmangi and

myself. You will leave camp in the order I have named you.

Sahwah and Nakwisi will be the pathfinders." Sahwah seized

Nakwisi around the waist and the two danced for joy.

"Who'll take care of the camp while we're away?" asked Chapa.

"I have arranged with a man from the village to look after things until we get back," answered Nyoda.

"What are we to carry with us?" asked Migwan.

"You will each carry a hatchet, flashlight, notebook and pencil, a camera, a roll of antiseptic gauze and a roll of surgeon's plaster. Sahwah and Nakwisi, here is a chart of the road you are to take and a can of vermilion paint with which to mark the trail. Take all the pictures you can along the road, girls, and keep a list of the birds, animals, trees and flowers that you recognize. We will compare them afterward and the pair who has observed the most will receive a local honor. Hurry up, you pathfinders, you have only an hour to get ready!"

With a wild scramble the girls made for their tents to get their ponchos rolled and things collected. Nyoda had given them a demonstration of poncho rolling the week before so they all knew how. Gladys, however, had to have a good deal of help from Chapa before she was ready to start. Good-natured Chapa folded her blankets so the poncho extended on all sides and spread her nightgown, towel, brush and comb and toothbrush crosswise so they would roll. Now Gladys understood why Nyoda had told her especially to bring a small, loosely-stuffed pillow. It was to roll in the poncho. When it came to the actual rolling Gladys had to take a hand herself, for it takes two to roll a poncho successfully.

"Now you tie it up with a square knot," directed Chapa, when the stovepipe-like roll had been bent into a horseshoe.

"What's a square knot?" asked Gladys.

"Why, this kind," said Chapa, dexterously tying one. Gladys tried several times, but failed to produce a square knot. "O dear," she exclaimed impatiently, "I can't tie the crazy thing. Why won't the other kind do?"

"A granny knot always comes untied," explained Chapa. "Here, I'll tie your poncho up. It's getting late, and I want to help make the sandwiches for the girls who are starting first."

"Close your tents before you leave, girls," said Nyoda, appearing in the doorway, "it may rain while we are away. Very neatly done," she said, indicating Gladys's poncho with its smooth ties, "you are fast learning to be a camper." Gladys said nothing about Chapa's having done it up for her, and of course Chapa would not say so.

Promptly at ten o'clock the pathfinders marched away, looking quite explorerfied with their hatchets hanging from their belts and their Wohelo knives chained to their bloomer pockets. At twenty-minute intervals the other pairs started, Nyoda going the rounds before she left to see who had left her things in the neatest order, and whose poncho looked the best. A banner would go to the pair who kept up the best style throughout the hike. She and Medmangi ate their lunch before starting, as they left so near noon.

Leaving camp in the care of the man from the village, they struck into the path through the woods. The whole earth seemed filled with the scent of flowers and the invigorating odor of the pines. Here in Maine the wild strawberries were in full prime early in July, and the path was bordered with daisies and other bright flowers. The two swung along in silence with an enjoyment too deep for words, for they appreciated as only Camp Fire Girls can the beauties and, wonders of nature. Back somewhere in the world they had left behind dull care might be beating its incessant tom-tom, and the air was full of wars and rumors of wars, but here every harsh note was drowned in the singing of birds. "Isn't it glorious?" said Nyoda fervently, drinking in a long breath of the pine-scented air, and swelling out her already well-developed chest.

Presently the path they were on was crossed by another and at the intersection there was a splash of bright red paint on a tree. "A blaze!" cried Nyoda, stopping short. "Which path did they take, I wonder?" In the road at the foot of the blazed tree lay a small heap of stones pointing in the direction taken by the leaders. "What's this?" asked Nyoda, picking up a small box from beside the stones. It was marked "For Nyoda." She lifted the lid and out hopped a tiny live frog. In the bottom of the box was a piece of paper on which was drawn a sunfish.

So they went on for nearly half an hour, following the red blazes, when suddenly they came upon Chapa and Gladys sitting in the road. Gladys had a blister on her heel. Nyoda bandaged it for her and showed her how to put a piece of adhesive on the other heel to keep it from blistering. The rule of the road was that if one pair caught up with another they were to sit down and give them a ten minutes' start. So Nyoda and Medmangi sat down and waited until Gladys and Chapa were well under way.

The next blaze they struck was truly startling. It was a little silver birch tree with the stem painted entirely red. Nailed to it with a big rusty nail was a piece of cardboard. At the top was written:

"Sahwah and the Starlore Maiden

Keep ahead though heavy laden."

Then followed a many-pointed symbol and the words, "See our combination symbol? It's a starfish!" Underneath was a couplet in a different writing.

"Here come Migwan and Hinpoha

Two and two like the beasts of Noah."

Underneath that was a verse signed by "The Chipmunk."

"Gladys's heel is full of plaster,

Or else we would travel faster."

Nyoda and Medmangi shouted and took the card along for a souvenir, adding the lines,

"Here Nyoda and Medmangi

Read the blaze and held a tangi."

A little farther on they discovered the legend:

"Here we sit down in the road,

For Sahwah's stocking must be sewed."

"What's the matter, Grumpy?" said Migwan to Hinpoha, who had been stewing around to herself for the last ten minutes.

"It's this old orange I brought along for lunch," burst out Hinpoha. "I don't know what to do with it. If I put it in my bloomers it bangs against my leg, and if I carry it in my bag it bangs against my stomach, and if I carry it in my hand I drop it every other minute. It's driving me crazy."

"Why don't you eat it?" asked Migwan simply.

"Why, I never thought of that!" exclaimed Hinpoha, and soon had the offending orange safely disposed of.

Lunch time found Sahwah and Nakwisi close to a farm house and they went in to ask for a drink of water. The farmer's wife looked curiously at the two girls in bloomers carrying a can of red paint. Sahwah introduced Nakwisi and herself and explained what they were doing. "Land sakes alive!" exclaimed the farmer's wife, "what girls don't do nowadays! Livin' like Indians and walkin' their legs off just for the fun of it! Come right in and I'll see if I can't find something better than water to give you." She bustled out into the summer kitchen and returned with a pitcher of milk and two glasses. "Here, drink this along with your sandwiches, and try a dish of berries." Sahwah and Nakwisi needed no second invitation. Their sandwiches had been pretty well baked in the sun for the last two hours and were as dry as straw, so the milk and berries were decidedly refreshing.

"How restful it is here," sighed Sahwah luxuriously, leaning back in the cushioned rocking chair. "Can't you stay a spell, girls, and rest up?" said their hostess cordially.

"We have half an hour for our noonday rest," said Sahwah, "and I'd like to take it right in this chair, if you don't mind." She slipped off her shoes and stretched her feet to rest them, closing her eyes meanwhile, and Nakwisi followed suit.

When they finally rose to go the farmer's wife brought out a plate of cookies which she urged them to take along to eat on the road. She stood looking after them for a long time as they trudged along in the yellow dust. "I wish I could go along with 'em, over the hills," she exclaimed suddenly to the unheeding hens that were walking up and down the steps, "I'm tired of staying at home and doing the same things over and over again. I wish I could go along too!"

Chapa and Gladys, following the blazes through the woods, found their path barred at one place by a rather wide brook. The trail was marked again on the other side. "How are we going to get across?" asked Gladys.

"Wade through," said Chapa, briefly, sitting down and commencing to pull off her shoes and stockings.

Gladys put her hand into the water and shook her head. "It's too cold," she said, drawing back.

"No, it isn't," said Chapa, "the rest went through it. Come on, you'll be all right." Stuffing her stockings into her shoes, she threw them to the farther bank, and then stepping into the swift little stream she waded across calmly. Gladys hesitated for several minutes before she could make up her mind to put her feet in the water, but finally, encouraged by Chapa, she stepped gingerly in. "Be careful of the rocks, they're slippery," warned Chapa, but the warning was hardly out of her mouth when Gladys slipped on one of the smooth stones and sat down with a mighty splash. Chapa flew to the rescue and pulled her out on the bank.

"What will I do?" wailed Gladys, "I can't go on with these wet bloomers."

"Wear my bathing suit," suggested Chapa, untying it from around her waist where she had been wearing it as a sort of sash, with all her impedimenta stuck into the folds. So Gladys changed to the bathing suit, and Chapa fixed the wet bloomers on a stick which they could carry between them, so they would be dry by the time they reached the night's encampment.

"We ought to be pretty near the end of our journey," said Nyoda to Medmangi, at about half-past four in the afternoon. "Have you caught sight of Balsam Lake yet?"

Medmangi shook her head. "The woods are too thick to see anything through," she answered. "Let's call," said Nyoda. Together they raised their hands to their mouths and sent out the long, yodling call of the Camp Fire Girls, and then stood silent, listening. Before the echoes had ceased coming out of the woods the call was answered from somewhere beyond the trees. "We're nearly there!" said Nyoda, and they quickened their pace as they went through the last strip of woods. Soon they heard voices and saw figures moving about in the distance, and presently they came upon the rest of the girls on the shore of the tiny lake. Some of the girls were lying at full length on the soft ground; others were preparing supper. Hinpoha was chopping wood with her hatchet; Sahwah was shaving chocolate with hers. The fire was built close to the water's edge and the firelight shone out redly across the water.

Migwan set a can of beans in the embers to warm, then she sat down on the beach to enjoy the view. The late afternoon sun was pouring its full glory on the lake, making its surface one dazzling sheet of light. Migwan shaded her eyes with her hand, and drank in the splendor of the scene with all her beauty-loving soul. "Now I know how Scott felt when he wrote:

"One burnished sheet of living gold,

Loch Katrine lay beneath him rolled,"'

mused Migwan, and fell to dreaming dreams as golden as the setting sun.

Around the fire the tongues were wagging merrily. "We met a man with a wagon and he said, 'Jump in,' and we said, 'No, thank you,' and he said, 'Well, don't, then, ding it.'-"

"We ate our lunch beside a brook and Migwan dropped her sandwiches in and had bread soup-"

"We met a bull and Hinpoha climbed the fence into a field and there were two bulls in that field-"

"Nyoda sat down in a potato patch to tie her shoe and the farmer came out and yelled-"

BANG! There was a terrific explosion that scattered the firebrands among the girls and showered them with ashes and fragments of potatoes. They sprang to their feet, extinguishing the fires that started in various places, and asking what had happened. Nyoda's glance happened to fall on Hinpoha, who had sat nearest the fire. The whole front of her middy was plastered with-beans!

On the ground by the fire lay the flattened remains of a tin can. Migwan had put the beans to heat without opening the can. Shrieks of laughter arose when the truth dawned on the girls and it was many a day before they left off teasing Migwan about it. The fire was built up again, bacon "frizzled," and toast and cocoa made. "And my mouth was just watering for baked potatoes," wailed Hinpoha.

"And mine for baked beans," echoed Sahwah.

"You shouldn't eat potatoes if you want to get thin," said


"Shouldn't I, Nyoda?" asked Hinpoha, appealing to her guardian.

Nyoda pursed up her lips and recited with a judicial air:

"If you would slimmer grow, my daughter,

Eat no starches, drink no water."

Sahwah then took up the tale:

"Look not on the candy sweet,

Fall not for the fat of meat."

Thus it went round the circle, each girl pointing her finger at

Hinpoha and reciting a couplet:

"If your fat you'd wear away,

Exercise ten hours a day,"

"If you would grow thin and graceful,

Eat of lemons this whole caseful."

"If you think that you're too large,

Swim ahead and tow the barge."

"If you really would grow small,

Don't eat anything at all."

"I think you're mean," said Hinpoha, wiping away mock tears. Immediately all the girls flung themselves on her, hugging and caressing her.

"Never mind, 'Poha," they comforted, "we love you anyhow. We couldn't live without you."

"Did anybody catch up with anybody else today?" asked Sahwah. Nyoda and Medmangi sprang to their feet, and pointing scornfully at Chapa and Gladys, sang to the tune of "Forsaken:

"O'ertaken, o'ertaken, o'ertaken were they,

On a stone by the roadside they sat plain as day;

We sat down beside them and sang them this song,

Which caused them to rise up and travel along."

"We made a song, too," cried Migwan and Hinpoha, springing to their feet. "It's to the tune of 'Jingle Bells.'" And keeping time with their feet, they sang:

"Marching through the woods,

Onward day by day,

Round the lake we go,

Singing all the way.

Packs strapped to our backs,

There our eats we stow,

Oh, what fun it is to hike

With the girls of Wohelo!

Wohelo, Wohelo,

Singing all the day,

O what fun it is to hike

Around the world away!"

The girls joined in the chorus, and then went back to the beginning, and in a few minutes the song had been "adopted for use." By this time the fire was burning low and Nyoda reminded the girls that they had walked twelve miles that day and had a still longer tramp ahead on the morrow. "It doesn't seem possible that I've walked so far today," said Migwan, sitting up and stretching. "I'm not nearly as tired as I have been some days last winter after school."

The girls had all picked out their sleeping places before dark and made up their beds on the ground. Before retiring they all took a dip in the lake, splashing around in the darkness and barking their shins on the rocks. Gladys and Chapa sought their beds first. It was the first time that Gladys had ever slept on the ground. "There's a rock in my back and my feet are higher than my head," she wailed.

"Then let's move," said Chapa, and suiting the action to the word, she picked up the bed and deposited it in another place. This was fairly comfortable and they subsided.

Next an uproar arose from a bed near the beach. "There's a million ants in my bed!" shrieked Migwan, jumping up and shaking her blankets. She had spread her bed on a colony of ant hills, and the ants had improved the shining hours until bedtime by crawling between the blankets.

Sahwah was the last in bed, having stayed in the water longer than the others. She was strangely wakeful and lay for a long time staring up at the pines towering above her, that seemed to rise hundreds of feet before a branch appeared. She amused herself by reaching out her hand and identifying her belongings, which hung on a bush at her head. Her hand closed over the can of red paint. Like lightning she had an inspiration. She raised her head and looked at the next bed. "It's Migwan," she said to herself. Grasping the paint brush, she reached over and daubed the face of the sleeper. Then she settled down and slept.

Gladys woke up in the gray dawn and looked out from her sandwich bed. The lake was completely hidden by a thick mist. Drops were coming down, patter, patter, on her poncho. "Chapa," she whispered excitedly to her partner, "it's raining!"

"Well, what of it?" answered Chapa, without opening her eyes, and pulling the poncho over their heads, she resumed her slumbers. Gladys drew a horrified breath at the idea of sleeping on the ground in the rain, but the cozy dryness of her bed soon wooed her back to slumber. When she opened her eyes again the sun was rising over the lake. No, there were two suns, one in the lake which was making it boil and send up clouds of steam, and another in the sky which was drawing up the vapor. Soon the bugle blew and the camp woke to activity.

With a whoop the girls made for the lake for their morning plunge. "Gladys!" said Nyoda, "what is the matter with your face?" On each cheek, as well as on her nose and forehead, there was a daub of red.

Sahwah stared, then she giggled. "I thought it was Migwan beside me," she explained. "Excuse me, Gladys, I didn't mean to decorate you." Gladys, however, evidently thought differently, for she was decidedly cool to Sahwah from then on.

Just before breakfast the girls assembled on the high cliff to sing the morning song. Their choice was Rousseau's beautiful hymn,

"When the mists have rolled in splendor

From the beauty of the hills."

The mist curtains were rolling up from the lake in the morning sun, disclosing the lofty brow of Mount Washington in the distance, and the girls felt very near to God and Nature as they sang the inspired words.

Breakfast was cooked in the open and consisted of fruit, pancakes and cocoa. Hinpoha heroically passed up both the pancakes and the cocoa and contented herself with one piece of dry toast.

The hike proceeded in order just as on the previous day. Right after breakfast the ponchos were rolled and the pathfinders struck the trail through the woods. The first note left by them read: "10:30. First rest. 'Ware the pest!"

"Wonder what they meant by that?" said Hinpoha to Migwan. They soon found out. At the last blaze the path dipped into dense woods. From all sides rose a cloud of mosquitoes which settled on every exposed portion of their persons and stung viciously. "Ooo, wow!" they cried, breaking into a run and brushing the mosquitoes off with branches. Before they entered the next woods they stripped the bark off a fallen birch log and made leggings of it, tying them on with their handkerchiefs.

Migwan made up a song as they went along and taught it to

Hinpoha. The tune was "Solomon Levi:"

"Oh, we are Winnebagos and our color is the Red,

Over the hills and down the dales we go wherever we're led,

We follow the blazes through the wood like hounds upon the hunt,

We keep our feet upon the path and our faces to the front!

Oh, Winnebagos! 'Bagos, tra la la la,

Oh, Winnebagos! 'Bagos, tra la la la la la la,

Oh, we are Winnebagos and our color is the Red,

Over the hills and down the dales we go wherever we're led!"

"I suppose you'll be a great poet when you grow up," said

Hinpoha, stooping to pick a cluster of ripe strawberries.

Migwan sighed. "No, I'll never be a great poet," she answered, "but I may be able to write stories in time, if I learn enough about composition."

"What college are you going to?" asked Hinpoha.

"I'm not going at all," said Migwan seriously. "You know, since father died we have had to live very carefully, and high school is all mother can do for me. I have to go to work as soon as I graduate."

"It's too bad," sympathized Hinpoha. "You ought to go to college more than any of us. Here am I, with no more brains than a rabbit, going to Smith. It isn't fair. Can't you work your way through and go anyhow?"

Migwan shook her head. "You see, we will need the money I earn to send Betty and Tom to high school."

Thus talking earnestly they followed the blazes until they came to a place where the path divided around a very dense piece of woods. "You take one path, and I'll take the other," said Migwan, "and we'll see who comes out first." They separated and Migwan plunged into the darker of the two paths. It was hard breaking through. Small scrub pines closed over the path, their branches intertwined, so that more than once she had to use her hatchet. Roots and vines tangled her feet and made her stumble. Then she wedged her foot in between two stumps and could not get it out. She pulled and twisted and finally grasped hold of the stem of a small tree and braced herself firmly while she endeavored to free herself. With a sudden jerk her foot came free, and at the same instant the tree came up by the roots, the ground caved in beneath it and Migwan began to fall. She now discovered what she had not noticed before, that the path was on the edge of a very deep ravine which was hidden by the thick bushes. Straight down she rolled for about fifty feet, vainly trying to stop herself by grasping the small bushes. Deep down in the gully she came to a stop not two feet away from a small stream.

"I'm not dead, anyhow," was her first thought as she scrambled to her feet. A red-hot stab of agony went through her left knee and she sank down again, white and faint. "Dislocated," she said to herself after inspecting the injured member. "Let's see if I can put it back." Migwan had had First-Aid work and had learned to set dislocations, so she slipped the joint back into place before it could get a chance to swell, and bound it fast with a strip of the bandage the girls always carried with them. At that the pain made her sick to her stomach and she lay back, her head reeling. When she could see clearly again she sat up and looked around. It was nearly dark, as the thick pines shut out the declining rays of the sun. She called aloud till the echoes rang, but there was no answering call. The gravity of the situation came home to her, but Migwan was not one to whimper. She had nothing with her to eat, but there was clear water at hand and she drank and bathed her scratched face and hands. Then she lay still and thought things out.

"They'll surely find me sometime," she reflected, "for Hinpoha knows which path I took. The cave-in will tell the tale. There's nothing in the woods to hurt me, either man or beast. My knee is back in joint and will begin to heal while I stay here. Things might have been worse." Beside her lay a dry pine tree and she chopped it up and built a fire. For a long time she lay looking up at the great pines above her, lost in romantic fancies, her beautiful, expressive eyes shining in the firelight. By and by she slept, her head pillowed on her sweater.

She was aroused by the squalling of the jays in the pine trees. Sunlight was filtering down through the branches. She felt chilly from her sleep on the ground, although the trees had kept the dew from her. Sitting up, she exercised her arms to get up the circulation. Then, leaning on a heavy stick and hobbling on one foot, she began to look about her. Not far from where she had fallen there was an opening in the undergrowth and through this Migwan could see another path about six feet lower down the slope.

"I wonder if they would come this way," thought Migwan. "I had better put a blaze in the road so they can find me." She was casting about for something that would attract the attention of the searchers when she heard footsteps coming down the path. "They're coming," she thought, and was just ready to fall on Hinpoha's neck, when out of the woods came two men, one of them carrying a little boy. A few paces from where Migwan stood, hidden by a large tree trunk, they came to a halt, and the one man, pulling out a purse, began to count money. The little boy was dressed in a white sailor suit and hat, and his hair under the hat brim was yellow and curly. A beam of sunlight fell directly on him, making such a pretty picture that Migwan could not help snap-shotting him. Her camera still hung around her neck in its case, having luckily escaped injury by her fall. Then she stepped out and called to the men. Both started violently. Migwan hastened to explain her plight.

"Sorry we can't carry you along," said the man with the purse, "but we have to catch the boat at the lake and that would make us miss it."

"Can't you tell someone where I am?" asked Migwan.

"Why, yes, yes," answered the man, pulling out his watch. "We'll send some one for you." They disappeared down the path at a quick pace, and Migwan sat down by the opening and waited.

Hinpoha, following the path taken by the leaders, was tripping blithely along, not looking where she was going, with the result that she ran into a pine branch which caught her long hair, and in freeing herself broke the chain of her locket, which slipped to the ground and hid among the leaves. Hinpoha got down on her knees and hunted for it. The minutes passed, but still she did not find it. She did not worry about Migwan because she knew she would wait where the paths met. Chapa and Gladys caught up and helped her search, and finally they found it. Upon reaching the main path, however, they did not see Migwan. "Probably got tired waiting and went on by herself," said Hinpoha. "Serves me right." And she walked on with Gladys and Chapa.

Two hours later they reached camp, and Hinpoha began calling around for Migwan, but there was no sign of her. "Are you sure she isn't hiding about the camp to surprise us?" asked Hinpoha hopefully. Sahwah seized the bugle and blew the call which meant, "Come at once, no matter what you are doing," but there was no answer. Thoroughly frightened, they started back on the trail, meeting Nyoda and Medmangi just coming in. At the story of Migwan's disappearance Nyoda immediately planned a search. But first of all she insisted on the girls eating their supper. Then she reminded them that they had walked fifteen miles that day and most of them needed rest. Hinpoha stoutly maintained that she was as fresh as a May morning and declared she would walk all night to find Migwan. "What if she never comes back!" she wailed. Her knees gave way under her at the thought and she sank down at Nyoda's feet, her head on her arms.

"Of course she'll come back," said Nyoda confidently, but her heart was like water within her. These girls were all in her charge for the summer and she was responsible for their welfare. What had become of Migwan? The party that finally started out were Nyoda, Hinpoha, Sahwah and the man who had watched the camp while the girls were away, who drove his wagon along the roadway and let the girls ride in turn. They explored the woods back to where the two paths emerged from the thicket, calling and searching with lanterns. All to no purpose. They went over every inch of the path down which Migwan had disappeared. Now Migwan, in coming through, had strayed off the path, which was very hard to follow, and the place where she had gone over the edge was at least twenty feet from the true path. The searchers therefore did not find the evidence of her fall, and as the time when they stood there and called to her corresponded with the time when Migwan lay in a dead faint, she made no response, and they passed on.

The night wore on and the searchers grew more and more alarmed. Hinpoha dissolved in tears and declared she just couldn't live without Migwan. Nyoda tried to comfort her with all sorts of cheering possibilities, but her own heart was troubled and anxious. They retraced their route back to the place where they had camped the night before, but found nothing. Then, discouraged and panic-stricken, they began to retrace their steps to camp. Morning light brought a new disclosure. Not only had they lost Migwan somewhere in the great woods, but they themselves were completely off the trail of the day before. At one of the dim cross-roads they had made a misturn, and were now wandering around without the slightest notion of where they were going. "Well, I'll be jiggered," said the man with the wagon. "I thought I knew these here woods pretty well, but I'm blamed if I know where we are now. Everything looks turned around; I'd swear now, that that was the west over there, yet there is the sun a-risin' as big as life. I'm plumb addled!"

They advanced uncertainly, looking closely for the red-marked trees of the hike. "This road looks as if it went somewhere," said Hinpoha. They stuck to the road for a while but soon saw a sign board reading, "Cambridge, 7 miles." Cambridge was a town lying exactly in the opposite direction from Loon Lake. Bewildered, they turned back and Hinpoha left the main road and followed a narrow path that led into the woods. Wearily Nyoda walked after her. She was at her wits' end.

"It's no use, Hinpoha," she said sadly. "This path isn't any better than the road. We never went through this gully on the hike."

"Still, it might lead to one we know," answered Hinpoha, and they kept on. The path seemed endless, and was hard to walk in, for it was on the side of a hill.

"Let's turn back," pleaded Nyoda. "We're only wasting our strength without getting anywhere."

"Maybe we had better," answered Hinpoha in a discouraged tone. Just then the path turned sharply, and as they rounded the corner they came upon a figure sitting in the long grass. "Migwan!" cried Nyoda, and stood as if petrified. Hinpoha pointed her finger and tried to sing "O'ertaken," but burst into tears instead and fell on Migwan's neck. Explanations were soon made and Migwan was carried to the wagon to be petted and fussed over as if she had been lost for a year.

So, wearied but triumphant, the hunting party returned to camp with the trophy of the chase.

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