There was a low, jealous catch in the girlish voice–almost a sob–which swept the light puzzle of the passing stranger entirely out of mind. For it was August now, not April–early April–and Lieutenant Iver Davenport had had his real baptism of fire, over the top in the bleak No Man’s Land of France–liquid fire and bursting shrapnel, to which a wandering powder-puff was but a waspish prelude.
He had had his “bleeding stand-to–stifling stand-to”–facing the worst horrors in the shape of poison gas that the enemy could put over, had been wounded and citied for gallantry; and his blue-pointed service-star was enshrined forever against the red background of his sister’s heart. She would have given a good deal to know whether another girl did homage in her heart of hearts to that star, 长沙桑拿交流论坛 too–the tall girl, Olive Deering, Torch-Bearer, whose dark eyes could kindle with the golden spark of a Joan of Arc fire.
Sesooā shot a little measuring flame of inquiry, in the shape of a glance, up at her now and again, as she went on with her blue-and-white daubing, dressing her little boat in the party-colored uniform of the seas, with many a wavy figure and crude hieroglyphic thrown in, to make the disguising dazzle more complete.
“Ah! Madonna! Scusa me! But–but w’at for you painta her like dat–de leetla boat–eh?”
It was a new voice, suddenly drawn near, a voice with a sunny sparkle–a liquid softness–in it which hinted at its having first flowered into speech under skies as radiantly azure, as fleecily flecked, as the dory’s side.
“Why, hullo, Flamina!… Hullo! Little Nébis, our Green Leaf, is that you?” Sara, 长沙桑拿全套论坛 lowering her paint-brush, which dripped silver tribute now upon the sands, looked up into the new eyes, brown as the velvety barnacles clinging to some sea-rocks near, shyly daring, merrily challenging, through their black upcurling lashes.
Flamina, little foreign-born Camp Fire Sister, only two years in America–adopted some months before by the Morning-Glory Group, who, working for patriotic honors along lines of Americanization, were teaching her the Camp Fire ritual, with the meaning of her Indian name and symbol–Flamina dimpled shyly, like the ebbing tide.
“Ah, bella! Bella! But w’y you make her looka like dat–so fine–so fine?” she cried again, lost in primitive admiration of the boat’s elemental dazzle.
“So fine! Glad I’ve found one appreciative spirit, anyway! I’m painting her in big blue smears and wavy lines as they 长沙桑拿休闲 paint the great ships–American ships–going from here across the ocean now, little Green Leaf Sister, so that they may melt into the colors of the sea and sky and no horrid submarine–you know what a submarine is–coming to the surface may fire a tin fish at them–sink them. See?”
W’at for you painta her like dat–de leetla boat–eh?
“Ha! Tin–feesh?” Flamina, wrinkling her childish brows–she was barely fourteen–looked out at the broad bay, as if she expected to see the brilliant gleam of a metallic fin swimming around there.
“Pshaw! That’s a nickname the sailors have for a torpedo, childie; you know what that is–a big dark bomb that’s fired from a submarine, which skims along just under the surface of the water like a fish, leaving a white streak behind it–swish-h, like that!” Sara drew her level white brush through a sea of sunbeams, to illustrate. “When it strikes a fine ship, then it bursts–blows the ship up. D’you understand?”
“Si–yes! Catcha wise!… I catcha wise!” murmured Flamina, entranced, her curly lashes twinkling above the night-like flash beneath them. “But, bah! your greata Uncle Sam, he not goin’ to let badda submarine stay in sea much longa–eugh?”
“No! No, you bet he isn’t!” The artist slapped the slang with her brush-tip vehemently against the boat’s side. “But he’s your ‘greata Uncle Sam,’ too, now, little Green Leaf. You run over and see the dress–the pretty ceremonial dress with leather fringes–that those two girls are finishing off for you to wear at our next Council Fire meeting here on the white sands. They’re embroidering it with a green leaf, too–your symbol.”
Excitedly Flamina ran off, singing with airy gaiety, a merry dialect song of her childhood, of girlish love for the green country:
“Pascarella vieni in campagna,
Al sole chè monterà,
Ah! Ah! Ah! Ah-h!
Quando il sole chè monterà.
“Marianna vieni in campagna,
Quando chè il sole monterà,
Ah! Ah! Ah! … Ah!
Quando il sole monterà.”
“Did you ever hear such gladness as there is in that soaring ‘Ah’? She’s just as full of song as a skylark, isn’t she?” commented Olive, who still lingered near the boat-painter. “In ceremonial dress she’ll be a fairy! I can hardly get over the fact that it’s Sybil–Sybil who’s embroidering it for her with a green leaf, who has shown her how to weave her headband, too; Sybil who, a little while ago, hated to be tied down even to fancy-work for half an hour!”
“Um-m!” Sara cast a musing, half-whimsical glance over her shoulder at a point, about a dozen yards distant, where two girls sat, engaged in fine needlework, upon the sands, with a loose garment of golden-brown khaki between them.
One, the elder, was garnishing it artistically with soft leathern fringes, weaving 长沙桑拿吧 into them the smiling rainbows of her own thought–she being Arline, the Camp Fire Rainbow–which craved a very happy future for this little foreign-born Camp Fire Sister, adopted temporarily by the Morning-Glory Group.
The other, whose needle was threaded with sunbeams and the green of spring, bent
her golden head over her embroidery with equal assiduity and sisterhood of interest; a sight which sent Sesooā’s thoughts leaping back to a city playground, crowded with foreign-born children, the cradle of her contact with these two girls from the wealthier avenues of life–Olive and Sybil–whom she, with the racy flame in her for the moment a spitting powder-puff, had scathingly pronounced “all fluff and stuff!”
Well! the early loss of a mother, the spoiling of a bereaved father had, perhaps, rendered their youthful ideals 长沙桑拿论坛 rather fluffy in a downy nest of self.