192 IDEAL HOME LIFE
"What a splendid idea! how the girls will prize their necklaces by and by, and enjoy recalling the stories connected with them!"
'Yes," agreed Anne, "they will hand them down to their
daughters as a new kind of heirloom, but-----" with a laugh
she added, "that's looking a long way ahead, isn't it ?"
By this time the two were in the midst of a merry procession of girls from twelve to twenty years old; perhaps a third of them were wearing the ceremonial dress.
"What a gay company they are!" exclaimed Laura, as the procession—a few of the girls carrying lanterns—followed a winding path through the woods. "And Laura," said her friend, "if you could only see the difference a few days here makes in some girls' who have had all work and no play—like some of mine! It is so delightful to see them grow merry and glad day. by day. But here we are. This is our Council Chamber."
"I want as many eyes as a spider so that I can look every way at once!" Laura cried as the girls arranged themselves * into a large circle. "What are those girls over there doing?"
'They are the Fire Makers. They were Wood Gatherers for over three months, and they have met the requirements for the second class. Some of the others are to be made Fire Makers to-night. Watch Mary Miles—the one rubbing two sticks. She will make fire without matches—or at least she will try."
The girl, with one knee on the ground, was rubbing one stick briskly back and forth in the groove of another. A little group beside her watched with eager interest; two of the girls were holding lanterns, and Mrs. Royall stood near her, watch in hand. The talk and laughter had ceased as the circle formed, and now in silence, all eyes were centered on the girl. Faster and faster her'hands moved to the accompaniment of a whining, scraping sound that rose at intervals to a shrill squeak. At last a tiny puff of smoke arose, and the girl blew carefully until she had a glowing spark which she fed with tiny shreds of wood, until suddenly it blazed up brightly. Then springing lightly to her feet she stood erect, the flaming wood