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- The Rover Boys in the Jungle - 3/33 -


about two quarts of chocolate cream."

"There won't be any stakeholder," said Dick.

"But when is this kite-flying contest to come off?"

The matter was talked over, and it was decided to wait until the next Saturday, which would be, as usual, a half-holiday. In the meantime some of the other boys heard there was going to be a contest, although they knew nothing of the wager made, and half a dozen other matches were arranged.

Saturday proved to be cool and clear with a stiff breeze blowing directly from the west. This being so, it was decided, in order to get clear of the woods in front of the Hall, to hold the contests on Baker's Plain, a level patch of ground some distance to the westward.

The cadets were soon on the way, shouting and laughing merrily over the sport promised. Only a few remained behind, including Jim Caven, who gave as his excuse that he had a headache.

"I'm glad he is not with us," said Dick. "I declare, for some reason, I can't bear to have him around."

"Nor I," returned Frank. "It's queer, but he gives me the shivers whenever he comes near me."

"It's a wonder he came here at all. He doesn't belong in our style of a crowd."

To reach Baker's Plain the cadets had to make a detour around a high cliff which overlooked a rocky watercourse which flowed into Cayuga Lake. They moved slowly, as nobody wished to damage his kite, and it was after two o'clock before all hands were ready for the first trial at kite-flying.

"Gracious, but it is blowing!" cried Tom.

"Sam, have you a good strong cord on your kite?"

"The strongest I could get," answered the youngest Rover. "I guess it is stronger than what Fred has."

"My kite won't pull like yours," said Fred Garrison. "All ready?"

"Yes."

"Then up they go -- and may the best kite win!"

Soon a dozen kites of various kinds were soaring in the air, some quite steadily and others darting angrily from side to side. One went up with a swoop, to come down with a bang on the rocks, thus knocking itself into a hundred pieces.

"Mine cracious, look at dot!" burst out Hans Mueller. "Mine Gretchen kite vos busted up -- und I spent me feefteen cents on him alreety!" and a roar went up.

"Never mind, Hans," said Dick. "You can help sail the Katydid. She will pull strong enough for two, I am sure."

The Katydid was a wonderful affair of silver and gold which Dick had constructed on ideas entirely his own. It went up slowly but surely and proved to be as good a kite as the majority.

A number of girls living in the neighborhood, bad heard of the kite-flying contests, and now they came up, Dora Stanhope with the rest, accompanied by her two cousins, Grace and Nellie Laning. As my old readers may guess, Dick was very attentive to Dora, and his brothers were scarcely less so to the two Laning sisters.

"And how is your mother?" Dick asked of Dom, during the course of their conversation.

"She is much better," replied Dora, "although she is still weak from her sickness."

"Does she ever mention Josiah Crabtree?"

"She mentioned him once. She said that she had dreamed of him and of you, Nick."

"Me? And what was the dream?"

"Oh - it was only a silly affair, Dick, not worth mentioning."

"But I would like to know what it was."

"Well, then, she dreamed that both of you were in a big forest and he was about to attack you with a gun or a club, she couldn't tell which. She awoke screaming and I ran to her side, and that is how she told me of the dream."

CHAPTER III

AN OLD ENEMY TURNS UP

"That was certainly an odd dream," said Dick, after a short pause. "I am sure I never want to meet Josiah Crabtree under such circumstances."

"It was silly, Dick -- I'd forget it if I was you."

"And she never mentioned the man at any other time?"

"No. But I am certain she is glad he has left for parts unknown. I never, never, want to see him again," and the girl shivered.

"Don't be alarmed, Dora; I don't think he will dare to show himself," answered Dick, and on the sly gave her hand a tight squeeze. They were warmer friends than ever since Dick had rescued her from those who had abducted her.

The kite-flying was now in "full blast," as Sam expressed it, and the boys had all they could do to keep the various lines from becoming tangled up. His own kite and Fred's were side by side and for a long time it looked as if neither would mount above the other.

"Run her up, Fred! You can win if you try!" cried several of the cadets.

"Play out a bit more, Sam; you haven't given your kite all the slack she wants," said others. So the talk ran on, while each contestant did the best to make his kite mount higher. In the meantime the wind kept increasing in violence, making each kite pull harder than ever.

"It's a dandy for flying," panted Tom, who was holding his kite with all the strength he possessed. "Something must give way soon," and something did give way. It was the string he was holding, and as it snapped he went over on his back in such a comical fashion that all, even to the girls, had to laugh.

"Torn! Tom! What a sight!" burst out Nellie Laning. "You should have brought a stronger cord."

"If I had I'd a-gone up in the clouds," answered Tom ruefully. "That's the last of that kite, I suppose; if I -"

"The string has caught on Sam's kite!" interrupted Grace Laning. "Oh, my! See both of them going up!"

"Now you can win, Sam!" laughed Dora. "Fred, your flying is nowhere now."

"He didn't calculate to fly one kite against two," answered Fred. "Hold on, Sam, where are you going? The cliff is over in that direction!" he yelled suddenly.

"I -- I know it!" came back the alarming answer. "But I can't stop myself!"

"He can't stop himself!" repeated Dora.

"Oh, stop him somebody, before he goes over the cliff!"

"Let go of the line!" shouted Dick. "Don't go any closer to the cliff!"

"I -- I can't let go! The line is fast around my wrist!" gasped poor Sam. "Oh, dear, it's cutting me like a knife!"

"He's in a mess," came from Frank. "If he isn't careful he'll go over the cliff, as sure as he's born!"

"Throw yourself down!" went on Dick, and, leaving his kite in Hans Mueller's care, he ran after his brother.

By this time Sam had gained a few bushes which grew but a dozen feet away from the edge of the cliff, that at this point was nearly forty feet in height. With his right hand held a painful prisoner, he clutched at the bushes with his left.

"I've got the bushes, but I can't hold on long!" he panted, as Dick came close. "Help me, quick!"

Scarcely had the words left his mouth when the bushes came up by the roots and poor Sam fell over on his side. Then came another strong puff of wind, and he was dragged to the very edge of the rocky ledge!

"I'm going!" he screamed, when, making a mighty leap, Dick caught him by the foot.

"Catch the rock -- anything!" cried the older brother. "If you don't you'll be killed!"

"Save me!" was all poor Sam could say. "Oh, Dick, don't let me go over!"

"I'll do my best, Sam," was Dick's answer, and he held on like grim death.

By this time half a dozen boys were running to the scene. Dora


The Rover Boys in the Jungle - 3/33

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