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- The Boy Scouts Patrol - 1/26 -


THE BOY SCOUTS PATROL

BY RALPH VICTOR

ILLUSTRATED BY

RUDOLF MENCL

CHAPTER

I. A MONKEY TRICK

II. FINDING MONEY

III. TWO AND TWO

IV. UP THE RIVER

V. OUT OF THE RIVER

VI. THE ENEMY MAKES A RAID

VII. THE COLONEL

VIII. TALKING IT OVER

IX. THE PURSUIT

X. LOOKING FOR A CLUE

XI. FORMING THE PATROL

XII. ORGANIZED

XIII. A CHALLENGE

XIV. A DEFIANCE

XV. PEPPER TAKES A MESSAGE

XVI. WHERE WAS PEPPER?

XVII. THE MESSAGE

XVIII. IN THE JUDGE'S OFFICE

XIX. A NARROW ESCAPE

XX. A NIGHT ALARM

XXI. A SURPRISE

XXII. THE RACE

XXIII. CONCLUSION

THE BOY SCOUTS PATROL

CHAPTER I

A MONKEY TRICK

"I think--" began a tall, slenderly-built lad of sixteen, speaking in a somewhat indolent way; then suddenly he paused to look down through the trees to where the river gleamed below.

"What's on your mind now, Rand?" his companion queried, a boy of about the same age, nearly as tall, but more stoutly built, and as light in complexion as the other was dark. The two were standing at the top of the road that wound down the side of the mountain from the town of Creston, which was perched, like the nest of some great bird, in a hollow of the Palisades.

"I think--" repeated the first speaker, pausing again.

"That's right, Randolph," approved his companion briskly, "always think twice before you speak once."

"I always do, Donald Graeme," retorted Rand; "but what I was really going to say when you interrupted me with your irrelevant remark, was--"

"Hurrah!" broke in Donald, waving his cap in answer to the hail of another boy who was just then seen hurrying down the road toward them. "Here comes Pepper in a rush, as usual."

It was just after dawn of a June morning that the boys were assembling. It was still dark and gloomy, for it had rained during the night and the storm had not yet passed, but the boys having planned a fishing trip for this morning were not to be deterred by the fear of a wet jacket.

"Hello, fellows!" panted the newcomer, who was smaller and slighter than either of the others, but who made up in activity and energy what he lacked in size. His hair was a glowing red and with it went a temper so quick that the nickname, Pepper, that some chum had given him, was most appropriate. It is doubtful if any of his comrades really knew his Christian name. Certainly he was always "Pepper" to every one, even at home, although he was christened Philip.

"I say, I was afraid you'd be gone when I got here."

"Well, we would have been," drawled Randolph, "only we knew you'd be late, and we took our time."

"Now that isn't fair, Rand," laughed the other, "you know I'm not always late."

"Well, maybe not ALWAYS," conceded Rand; "but almost always. What was the matter this morning--breakfast late?"

"Now, you know I didn't wait for breakfast," protested Pepper, adding rather reluctantly, "though I did stop for a bite. But even if I am late I'm not last. Jack isn't here yet, and he left home first."

"Oh, he's out on the trail somewhere, I suppose," surmised Donald. "He's always chasing for news. He'll be coming along presently with a whole budget. I believe he thinks the paper couldn't go on if it weren't for him."

"'That reminds me,' as Dick Wilson says," interrupted Rand, taking a pamphlet from his pocket and holding it out to his companions, "speaking of trails, what do you think of that?"

"What is it?" asked Pepper, eying it suspiciously. "Looks as if the cat had been walking on it." goodness, I hope not. I thought you were always hungry, but if you are only beginning I foresee a famine ahead of us. And to think of all the good food that is wasted on you, Pepper," went on Donald reflectively. "Why, to look at you any one might think that you never had had enough to eat."

"That shows how deceiving looks are," replied Pepper. "Though I never did have enough," he added plaintively.

"Of course not," returned Donald, "there isn't as much as that anywhere."

"As much what?" asked Rand.

"Food, grub, provisions, victuals," replied Donald, setting off along the road at a pace that put a stop to any more talk.

They had gone perhaps about halfway down the hill toward the boathouse when a big bay horse, drawing a light wagon in which were three boys, came quickly around a turn in the road. It bore down on them so suddenly that only by a rapid scramble up the bank by the side of the road did Rand and Donald save themselves from being bowled over.

The newcomers would have driven on with a jeering laugh only that Pepper, angry at what obedience, neatness and order are Scout virtues. Endurance, self-reliance, self-control and an effort to help some one else are Scout objectives."

"Ah, cut it out!" protested Pepper. "As Alphonse says 'that makes me the ennui.' It sounds like a boarding school prospectus. Tell as what it's about."

"Well, then," replied Rand, "in words adapted to your comprehension, it is about hunting, scouting, camping, tracking; and Colonel Snow is interested in the organization. He says that it is fine."

"Speaking of tracking," interjected Donald, "in my opinion it were no bad plan to be making tracks toward the boathouse if we are going to get anywhere the day. It is getting bright in the east and it looks like a clear day, after all. And I may also take occasion to remark that I haven't had my breakfast yet, and this Boy Scout business doesn't sound inviting on an empty stomach. We can discuss it with more comfort when we have had a bite."

"That's the talk!" approved Pepper. "That suits me down to the ground. I'm beginning to get hungry myself."

"Beginning!" exclaimed Donald. "My

"That isn't a bad guess," laughed Rand. "It is supposed to represent the track of a bear."

"What are you going to do, Rand?" questioned Donald, "hunt bears?"

"Not at present," answered Rand, "though I should like to well enough. This is a booklet about the Boy Scouts."

"The Boy Scouts!" demanded Pepper; "what's them?"


The Boy Scouts Patrol - 1/26

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