Ida Locke, when she was seventeen or eighteen, taught at Quinault on a permit. She had been the only single girl at the Lake for several years. We all liked her, and she used to go with first one fellow and then another. There were lots of dances and plenty of fellows, but only one single girl. Of course, there were married women, and fellows even tied handerkerchiefs on their arms and played they were women.
Then Bertis Mooney came to be the teacher. She stayed at Wright's between our place and the Lake. She was a nice Irish girl, and a good dancer. But, Ida had had things her own way for so long that she resented Bertie. "I'm glad I'm not Irish", she said to her one day. "I'm only three-fourths Irish," Bertie replied, "Wish the other fourth were Irish too. We're the smartest and wittiest people in the world," she bragged.
There was to be a dance. A widowed sister of Mrs. Wright went with A. V. Higley. I was escorting Bertie Mooney. We went in two canoes. Started before dark so as to have supper before we danced. Higley always carried a lantern on the nose of the canoe. We started out about the same time, but Bertie and I got there ahead of them as I was more familiar with the landing.
We were sitting in the boat when they came. Higley got out. He always went barefooted in the canoe. Sometimes for six months he did not have his shoes on. Our boat was pulled up a little, and he stopped alongside. He took the lantern off and said, "Here, Loomis, hold this till I pull the boat up farther." I did so, and he got his girl out and then the foxy fellow started up the trail and left me holding the lantern.
I said to Bertie, "Do we need this thing?" And she said, "No, set it down." So, I turned the wick lower and left it standing there.
There was mud from six inches to a foot deep in the road, unless you jumped from root to root. We could hear the other couple splashing along. I rolled up my pants to the knees, and she held her skirt high, and we waded the mud to get to the dance.