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- The Rover Boys on the Great Lakes - 1/37 -


[Illustration: THE BLAZE REVEALED A LARGE MASS OF LUMBER RISING AND FALLING ON THE TURBULENT WATERS.--_Frontispiece_]

THE ROVER BOYS ON THE GREAT LAKES

OR

_THE SECRET OF THE ISLAND CAVE_

BY

ARTHUR M. WINFIELD (Edward Stratemeyer)

AUTHOR OF THE ROVER BOYS AT SCHOOL, THE ROVER BOYS ON THE OCEAN, THE PUTNAM HALL SERIES, ETC.

_ILLUSTRATED_

INTRODUCTION.

MY DEAR BOYS: This volume, "The Rover Boys on the Great Lakes," is a complete story in itself, but forms the fifth volume of the Rover Boys Series for Young Americans.

When first I started this series with "The Rover Boys at School," I had no idea of extending the line beyond three or four volumes. But the second book, "The Rover Boys on the Ocean," immediately called for a third, "The Rover Boys in the Jungle," and this finished, many boys wanted to know what would happen next, and so I must needs give them "The Rover Boys Out West." Still they were not satisfied; hence the volume now in your hands.

So far we have followed the doings of Dick, Tom, and Sam at dear old Putnam Hall, with many larks and sports; then out upon the broad Atlantic in a daring chase which came pretty close to ending in sad disaster; next into the interior of Africa on a quest of grave importance; and lastly out into the mountainous regions of the wild West, to locate a mining claim belonging to Mr. Anderson Rover.

In the present tale the scene is shifted to the Great Lakes. The three boys go on a pleasure tour and, while on Lake Erie, fall in with an old enemy, who concocts a scheme for kidnapping Dick, who had fallen overboard from his yacht in a storm. This scheme leads to many adventures, the outcome of which will be found in the pages that follow.

In placing this volume in my young readers hands I can but repeat what I have said before: that I am extremely grateful to all for the kind reception given the other Rover Boys stories. I sincerely trust the present tale meets with equal commendation.

Affectionately and sincerely yours,

EDWARD STRATEMEYER.

_April_ 12, 1901

CONTENTS.

INTRODUCTION I. A STORM ON LAKE ERIE II. THE DISAPPEARANCE OF DICK III. ON A LUMBER RAFT IV. IN THE HANDS OF THE ENEMY V. THE SAILING OF THE "PEACOCK" VI. HUNTING FOR DICK VII. THE ESCAPE OF ARNOLD BAXTER VIII. ON THE LAKE AGAIN IX. CAUGHT IN A TRAP X. THE ESCAPE FROM THE HOLD XI. GAINING A POINT XII. A DINNER OF IMPORTANCE XIII. PRISONERS THREE XIV. DICK MAKES HIS ESCAPE XV. WHAT THE LAME MAN KNEW XVI. OFF FOR NEEDLE POINT ISLAND XVII. A CAVE AND A SNAKE XVIII. COFFEE FOR THREE XIX. AN ASTONISHING DISCOVERY XX. JOSIAH CRABTREE'S GAME XXI. TOM BRINGS ONE ENEMY TO TERMS XXII. THE SECRET OF THE ISLAND CAVE XXIII. THE BAXTERS ARE FOLLOWED XXIV. AN ENCOUNTER IN THE DARK XXV. BEACHING THE "WELLINGTON" XXVI. CRABTREE JOINS THE BAXTERS XXVII. HOW TOM WAS CAPTURED XXVIII. THE BAXTERS TALK IT OVER XXIX. DORA STANHOPE APPEARS XXX. HOME AGAIN--CONCLUSION

THE ROVER BOYS ON THE GREAT LAKES.

CHAPTER I.

A STORM ON LAKE ERIE.

"Dick, do you notice how the wind is freshening?"

"Yes, Sam, I've been watching it for ten minutes. I think we are in for a storm."

"Exactly my idea, and I shouldn't be surprised if it proved a heavy one, too. How far are we from shore?"

"Not over three miles, to my reckoning."

"Perhaps we had better turn back," and Sam Rover, the youngest of the three Rover brothers, shook his head doubtfully.

"Oh, I reckon we'll be safe enough," responded Dick Rover, who was several years older. "I know more about sailing a yacht than I did when we followed up the Baxters on the Atlantic Ocean."

"The poor Baxters!" put in Tom Rover, who stood close by, also watching the wind, and the heavy clouds rolling up from the westward. "Who ever supposed that they would be buried alive in that landslide on the mountain in Colorado?"

"It was a terrible fate," came, with a shudder, from Dick Rover. "But, nevertheless, I am glad we are rid of those rascals. They caused father and us trouble enough, goodness knows."

"And they brought trouble enough to Dora Stanhope and her mother, too," observed Sam. "By the way, Dick, weren't Dora and her mother going to take a trip on these lakes this summer?"

"Of course Dora was," put in Tom, with a sly wink. "If she wasn't, what do you suppose would bring Dick here? He got a letter only last week--"

"Oh, stow it, Tom!" cried the elder Rover, his face growing red. "You wanted to take a trip on the Great Lakes as much as anybody--said you wouldn't like anything better, and told all the fellows at Putnam Hall so, too."

"Well, I don't know as I would like anything better," rattled on Tom. "The _Swallow_ seems to be a first-class craft, and I've no doubt but what we'll see lots to interest us in this trip from Buffalo to Lake Superior."

"When are the Stanhopes coming out?" asked Sam.

"I can't say, exactly," replied Dick. "I expect another letter from them when we reach Cleveland. In the last letter Dora said her mother was not feeling as well as before."

"A trip on the lakes ought to do her good."

"Wonder if old Josiah Crabtree has been bothering her with his attentions?" came from Tom. "Gosh! how anxious he was to marry her and get hold of the money she is holding in trust for Dora."

"Crabtree's term of imprisonment ran out only last week, Tom. He couldn't annoy her while he was in jail."

"He ought to have been given five years for the way he used them, and us. It's strange what an influence he had over Mrs. Stanhope."

"He's something of a hypnotist, and she seems to be just the right kind of a subject for him. His coming from prison is one reason why Dora wanted to get her mother away. She isn't going to let outsiders know of the trip, so old Crabtree won't know where they are."

"He'll find out, if he can," remarked Sam. "He always was a nosy old chap."

"If he tries any game on, I'll settle him in short order," came from Dick, with determination. "We've put up with enough from him in the past, and I don't intend to give him any leeway in the future."

"Leeway?" burst out Tom. "Not a foot! Not an inch! I haven't forgotten how he treated me when he was a teacher at Putnam Hall. I wonder that Captain Putnam didn't kick him out long before he was made to go."

A sudden rush of wind cut the conversation short at this point, sending the _Swallow_ bowling along merrily. The clouds were increasing rapidly, and Dick ordered that all the sails be closely reefed.

"We don't want to lose our mast," he observed.

"We don't want to lose anything," answered Sam. "For my part, I wish we were back in Buffalo harbor."


The Rover Boys on the Great Lakes - 1/37

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