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- The Rover Boys in the Jungle - 4/33 -

Stanhope followed, and as she came up she pulled a tiny penknife from her pocket.

"Can't I cut the line with this?" she asked, timidly, as she pushed her way to Dick's side.

"Yes, Yes; cut it!" moaned Sam. "Oh, my wrist is almost cut in two!"

Stooping low, Dora sawed away at the kite line, which was as taut as a string on a bass fiddle. Suddenly there was a loud snap and the cord parted. Sam and Dick fell back from the edge of the cliff, while the entangled kites soared away for parts unknown.

"Thank Heaven you cut the line, Dora!" said Dick, who was the first to recover from the excitement of the situation. He saw that Dom was trembling like a leaf, and he hastened to her support, but she pushed him away and pointed to Sam.

"Don't mind me -- I am all right, Dick," she said. "Go care for poor Sam. See how his wrist is bleeding! Oh, how dreadful!"

"Here is my handkerchief; he had better bind it up with that," said Grace Laning, as she offered the article.

"We'll wash the wound first," put in Frank, and raced off for some water. Soon he returned with his stiff hat full, and the cut on Sam's wrist was tenderly washed by the Laning girls, who then bound it up with the skill of a hospital surgeon.

The kite-flying continued for the balance of the afternoon. But Sam and Dick had had enough of it, and, along with Tom, they took a stroll along the lake front with Dora Stanhope and Grace and Nellie. Of course both boys and girls talked a whole lot of nonsense, yet all enjoyed the walk very much.

"This is the spot where they abducted me," shivered Dora, as they came to the old boathouse. "Oh, what a dreadful time that was, to be sure!"

"I don't believe our enemies will bother you any more, Dora," said Dick. "It's not likely that old Crabtree Will try the same game twice; and Mumps has really turned over a new leaf and gone to work for a living."

"Yes, I was glad to hear that, for I don't believe he was such a bad fellow at heart. He was under Dan Baxter's influence, just as - as --"

"As Josiah Crabtree tried to influence your mother," whispered Dick, and Dora nodded slowly. "Well, let us forget it, and -- My gracious!"

Dick stopped short, to stare in open-mouthed wonder at a small boat shooting down the lake at a distance of several hundred yards from the shore.

"What's up?" came simultaneously from Tom and Sam.

"Don't you see that fellow in the boat?" demanded Dick, in increased wonder.

"Of course we see him," answered Tom.

"Don't you recognize him?"

"No; he's too far off," came from Sam..

"It's Dan Baxter!"

"Baxter!" cried Dora. "Oh, Dick!"

"Nonsense!" said Tom. "How could he be am here?"

"It does look a little like Baxter," was Sam's slow comment. "Yet it seems impossible that he could be here, as Tom says."

"I say it's Baxter," affirmed Dick stoutly, "I'll hail him and make sure."

"Oh, don't bring him over here!" interposed Dora, becoming alarmed.

"Don't be alarmed -- he shan't hurt anybody, Dora." Dick raised his voice. "Hi there, Baxter! What are you doing here?"

At first there was no reply, and the boy in the rowboat kept on pulling. But as Dick repeated his call, the rower threw up his oars.

"You mind your own business," he growled. "Guess I can row on the lake if I want to."

"It is Baxter, sure enough!" ejaculated Tom.

"The rascal! We ought to recapture him."

"That's the talk," added Sam. "I wish my wrist wasn't so sore -- I'd go after him."

"There's a boat below here," said Dick.

"Let's put out in that."

"He may -- may shoot at you," faltered Dora. "You know how wicked he can be at times."

"Indeed I do know," answered Dick. "But he ought to be handed over to the authorities. It is a crime to let him go free."

"Hi, Baxter. Come over here; we want to talk to you!" yelled Tom.

"Not much!" growled the former bully of Putnam Hall.

"You had better come," said Sam. "If you don't come we'll bring you."

"Hush, Sam, or you'll make a mess of things!" cried Dick softly, but the warning came too late.

"Will you bring me back?" roared the bully. "Just try it on and see how I'll fix you."

"Come on for the boat," said Tom. "We'll show him he can't scare us."

He started off and Dick came after him. Sam was also about to follow, when his elder brother stopped him.

"You can't do much with that sore wrist, Sam," he said. "Better stay with the girls until we come back. You can watch events from the shore, and run for assistance, if it's necessary."

Sam demurred at first, but soon saw the wisdom of Dick's reasoning and consented to remain behind.

By this time Tom had shoved out the rowboat Dick had mentioned -- a neat craft belonging to a farmer living near. A pair of oars lay in a locker on the lake bank; and, securing these, Tom leaped on board of the craft, and soon Dick came after.

Dan Baxter had watched their movement with interest, which speedily gave way to arm when he saw the other boat come out, and beheld Dick and Tom each take up an oar and begin to pull for all they could.

"I was a clam to come up here, when there is no real need for it," he muttered. "Two to one, eh? Well, I reckon I can put up a pretty stiff fight if it comes to the worst." Then he caught up his oars once more, and began to row down Cayuga Lake with all possible speed.



"He means to give us as much of a chase as possible," remarked Tom, as he glanced over his shoulder. "If I remember rightly, Baxter was always a pretty fair oarsman."

"Yes, that was the one thing he could do well," returned Dick. "But we ought to be able to catch him, Tom."

"We could if we had two pairs of oars. One pair can do just about so much and no more."

"Nonsense! Now, both together, and put all your muscle into it," and Dick set a stiff stroke that his brother followed with difficulty.

Baxter had been rowing down the lake, but as soon as he saw that he was being pursued he changed his course for the east shore. He was settled to his work, and for several minutes it was hard to tell whether he was holding his own or losing.

"Hurrah! we are catching up!" cried Dick, after pulling for five minutes. "Keep at it, Tom, and we'll have him before he is half over."

"Gosh, but it's hot work!" came with a pant from Tom Rover. "He must be almost exhausted to row like that."

"He knows what he has at stake. He sees the prison cell staring him in the face again. You'd do your best, too, if you were in his place."

"I'm doing my best now, Dick. On we go!" and Tom renewed his exertions. Dick set a faster stroke than ever, having caught his second wind, and the rowboat flew over the calm surface of the lake like a thing of life.

"Keep off!" The cry came from Baxter, while he was still a hundred yards from the eastern shore. "Keep off, or it will be the worse for you!"

"We are not afraid of you, Baxter, and you ought to know it by

The Rover Boys in the Jungle - 4/33

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