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- The Boy Scouts of the Air on Lost Island - 1/28 -


The Boy Scouts of the Air on Lost Island

BY GORDON STUART

CONTENTS

I OVER THE DAM

II A HOPELESS SEARCH

III LOST ISLAND

IV MORE THRILLS

V A STARTLING CLEW

VI TO THE RESCUE!

VII THE FLYING EAGLE SCOUTS

VIII A VOYAGE IN THE DARK

IX A RESCUE THAT FAILED

X "TO-MORROW IS THE DAY!"

XI A MID-AIR MIRACLE

XII AN EMPTY RIFLE SHELL

XIII THE GAME BEGINS

XIV PATCHING THE "SKYROCKET"

XV A WILD NIGHT

XVI TRICKED AGAIN!

XVII THE BIG PLAY

XVIII A CLOSE FINISH

The Boy Scouts of the Air on Lost Island

CHAPTER I

OVER THE DAM

Three boys stood impatiently kicking the dew off the tall grass in Ring's back yard, only pausing from their scanning of the beclouded, dawn-hinting sky to peer through the lightening dusk toward the clump of cedars that hid the Fulton house.

"He's not up yet, or there'd be a light showing," grumbled the short, stocky one of the three.

"Humph--it's so late now he wouldn't be needing a light. Tod never failed us yet, Frank, and he told me last night that he'd be right on deck."

"We'd ought to have gone down right off, Jerry, when we saw he wasn't here. Frank and I would have stopped off for him, only we was so sure he'd be the first one here--especially when you two were elected to dig the worms."

"We dug the worms last night--a lard pail half full--down back of his cabbage patch. And while we were sitting on the porch along comes his father--you know how absent-minded he is--and reaches down into the bucket and says, 'Guess I'll help myself to some of your berries, boys.'"

"Bet you that's why Tod isn't here, then."

"Why, Frank Ellery, seventh son of a seventh son? Coming so early in the morning, your short-circuit brain shockers make us ordinary folks dizzy. This double-action----"

"Double-action nothing, Dave Thomas! I heard Mr. Fulton tell Tod yesterday he was to pick four quarts of blackberries and take them over to your Aunt Jen. Tod forgot, and so his dad wouldn't let him go fishing, that's all."

"Sun's up," announced Jerry Ring.

"So's Tod!" exclaimed Dave Thomas, who had climbed to the first high limbs of a near-by elm and now slid suddenly down into the midst of the piled-up fishing paraphernalia. "I just saw him coming in from the berry patch--here he comes now."

A lanky, good-natured looking sixteen-year-old boy, in loose-fitting overalls and pale blue shirt open at the throat, came loping down the path.

"Gee, fellows," he panted, "I expect you're cussing mad--but I _had_ to pick those berries before I went, and it took me so long to grouch out the green ones after it got light."

"I see you brought the very greenest one of all along," observed Dave dryly.

"Oh, you here, too, little one?" as if seeing him for the first time. "I didn't know kindergarten was closed for the day. I make one guess who tipped over the bait can."

"Ask Frank," suggested Dave with pretended weariness; "he's got second sight."

"Don't need second sight to see that worm crawling up your pants leg. We going to stand here all day! I move we get a hike on down to the boat. Maybe we can hitch on behind Steve Porter's launch--he's going up past Dead Tree Point--and that'll save us the long pull through the slough."

The boys picked up the great load of luggage, which was not so big when divided among four boys, and hustled out of the Ring yard and down the dusty road. They were four of a size; that is, Tod Fulton was tall and somewhat flattened out, while Frank Ellery was more or less all in a bunch, as Jerry said, who was himself sturdily put together. Dave Thomas was neither as tall as Tod nor as stocky as Frank; He looked undersized, in fact. But his "red hair and readier tongue," his friends declared, more than made up for any lack of size. At any rate, no one ever offered a second time to carry the heaviest end of the load.

Now, as they walked along through the back streets of Watertown, rightly named as it was in the midst of lakes, creeks and rivers, they began a discussion that never grew old with them. Tod began it.

"We've got plenty of worms, for once."

"Good!" cried Dave. "I've thought of a dandy scheme, but it'd take a pile of bait."

"What's that?" asked Jerry, suspecting mischief.

"You know, you can stretch out a worm to about three inches. Tie about a hundred together--allow an inch apiece for the knot--that would make two hundred inches, or say seventeen feet. Put the back end of the line about a foot up on the bank and the other end out in the water. Along comes a carp--the only fish that eats _worms_--and starts eating. He gets so excited following up his links of worm- weenies, that he doesn't notice he's up on shore, when suddenly Tod Fulton, mighty fisherman, grabs him by the tail and flips him----"

"Yes--where does he flip him?" Tod had dropped his share of the luggage and now had Dave by the back of the neck.

"Back into the water and makes him eat another string of worms as punishment for being a carp."

"You with your old dead minnows!" exclaimed Tod, giving Dave a push that sent him staggering. "Last time we went, all you caught was a dogfish and one starved bullhead. There's more real fish that'll bite on worms than on any other bait. I've taken trout and even black bass. Early in the morning I can land pickerel and croppies where a minnow or a frog could sleep on the end of a six pounder's nose. Don't tell me."

"Yes," put in Jerry, "and I can sit right between the two of you and with my number two Skinner and a frog or a bacon rind pull 'em out while you fellows go to sleep between nibbles."

"Bully!" exclaimed Frank. "Every time we go home after a trip, you hang a sign on your back: 'Fish for Sale,' with both s's turned backwards. I'm too modest to mention the name of the boy who caught the largest black bass ever hooked in Plum Run, but I can tell you the kind of fly the old boy took, all the same."

"Testimony's all in," laughed Tod, good-humoredly. "And here we are at the dock of the 'Big Four.'"

"Yes, and there goes Porter up around the bend. We row our boat to- day. We ought to get up a show or something and raise enough money to buy a motor."

"I move we change our plans and leave Round Lake for another trip." It was lazy Frank who made the proposal.

"What difference does it make to you? You never row anyway. Plum Run's too high for anything but still fishing----"

"I saw Hunky Doran coming back from Parry's Dam day before yesterday and he had a dandy string."

"Sure. He always does. Bet you he dopes his bait," declared Tod.

"Well, you spit on the worm yourself. The dam isn't half as far as


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