I am pretty sure they were Ham and Carl.'*
" They may have gotten home during the last
day or two/' said Snap, slowly, " and it would be
just like them to lay around waiting to play some
mean trick on us. If they had gotten off with our
clothing we'd have been in a fine pickle truly 1 '*
" That's right ā worse than with the ram," an-
swered the doctor's son, and then he and Snap told
of what had occurred on the other side of the river.
" Too bad you lost those strawberries," sighed
Whopper. " I like strawberries so much I could
eat about ā "
" A million platesful," finished Snap, with a grin.
" No, I was going to say a spoonful or two,"
said Whopper, and then Snap groaned.
The boys found two socks, a collar and a neck-
tie missing, and a long search around failed to
bring the articles to light. One of the undershirts
had been knotted up tightly, and Shep had to
*^ chaw on the beef," as boys call It, to get the
" rd like to know If it really was Ham and
Carl," he growled. " If It was I'll fix them for
this new trick of theirs."
" How were they dressed? " asked Snap.
" Each wore a brown suit, kind of yellow-
A TRICK THAT FAILED 23
brown," answered Whopper. '* I'd know *em out
of a million."
" We'll lay for them, Whopper."
Having donned their clothing, the four boys
started back for town. To get to the road they
had to cross a wide pasture, and when they were In
the middle of this they saw a man approaching.
The man carried a heavy cane, which he shook at
" Hello, It's Mr. Spink! " cried Snap.
" Come to warn us away, I suppose," grumbled
the doctor's son. *' Shall I tell him about what
was done to our clothing? "
" No," answered Whopper. "We are not cer-
tain it was Ham and Carl."
Mr. Spink was a tall, overbearing man, who
dressed almost as loudly as did his son. He strode
up to the four lads with a dark look on his face,
and this look grew even more resentful when he
*' Ha ! so you are going to come here In spite of
my warnings, eh? " he said, harshly.
" You haven't warned us of anything, Mr.
Spink," answered Snap, calmly.
" Can't you read? Doesn't the sign say, * All
trespassing forbidden' ? That Is plain English,
24 YOUNG HUNTERS OF THE LAKE
" I haven't seen any sign/' said Shep
" Because you didn't want to see it, young
" We have only been down to the cove swim-
ming," put In Giant.
" This land Is mine now, and I want you boys to
keep off of It," exclaimed Mr. Spink, hotly. " If
I catch you on It again I'll have you arrested."
" We'll get off as soon as we can," answered
Snap. And then he added suddenly: " Is Ham
" You mean my son Hamilton, I presume?
Yes, he is home. What do you want of him? "
" Nothing, just now. But we may want some-
thing later," answered Snap, and started again for
the road, his chums following.
THE STORY OF A GHOST
** I SAY, what do you want of my son Hamil-
ton? " repeated Mr. Spink, coming after the boys
with a look of curiosity on his face.
" We want to see him," replied Snap, after a
look at his chums.
" We think he played us a mean trick," put in
Whopper, as Snap paused.
" Oh, I thought that affair was a thing of the
past," said Mr. Spink, loftily. ** My son was not
to blame so much as that tramp. The tramp told
a string of falsehoods ā "
" We don't mean that, Mr. Spink," spoke up
Giant. " We mean a trick Ham and his friend,
Garl Dudder, played on us this afternoon."
" Humph ! You ā ahem ! ā you must be mis-
" If we are we won't say anything," said Whop-
per. " But if he did play the trick ā "
'26 YOUNG HUNTERS OF THE LAKE
" We'll get square with him for it/' finished
"What are you talking about anyway?" de-
manded the rich man. " I don't see why you can't
leave my son alone."
" We will ā if he'll leave us alone," said Snap.
" What do you accuse him of? "
** While we were swimming two fellows came
up, took our clothes, and tried to run away with
them," came from Giant. " We are pretty sure
the fellows were Ham and Carl. When we went
after them they dropped the clothes in a hurry.
Two socks, a collar, and a necktie are missing."
" Yes, and my undershirt was full of knots,"
grumbled the doctor's son. " Just wait till I catch
the fellows who did that ā I'll show 'em ! "
"Humph! is that all?" growled Mr. Spink.
" I imagine you are only making up this tale to get
my son into difficulties, ā just because you know I
will not permit you to come here to swim. Now
clear out, and be quick about it, ā and don't ever
come here again." And having thus delivered
himself he shook his heavy cane at them, turned on
his heel, and walked away.
" He's a gentleman, I must say," declared Snap,
when Mr. Spink was out of hearing. " A person
can easily see where Ham gets his arrogant ways.
THE STORY OF A GHOST 27
" Yes, and he'll stick up for Ham first, last and
all the time," added Whopper.
As the boys walked home they discussed the sit-
uation from several points of view. Reaching
the street leading to the railroad depot they came
in sight of a familiar figure ahead of them. It was
the old hunter, Jed Sanborn, and he carried a gun
in one hand and a fishing rod in the other, while a
basket was slung over his shoulder by a broad strap.
" Hello, Jed! '' sang out Snap, and ran forward
to stop the man.
" Why, boys, how are ye ! " said the old hunter,
turning around and halting. " Ready to go on
your summer trip? '* And he smiled broadly.
" Not yet," answered Shep. " But we are go*
ing out after the Fourth of July."
" So I heard. Well, I hope ye have as good a
time as ye had last summer an' last winter."
*' We want to know something about Lake Nar-
sac,'* came from Whopper. " I've heard there
were about a million snakes up there and all big
fellows, too. Is that so?"
" 0' course it is," answered Jed Sanborn, with a
grin. " Snakes is twenty to fifty feet long, and so
thick ye have to wade through 'em up to your knees.
Ha ha ! " and he commenced to laugh. " I got
ahead of ye thet time, didn't I, Whopper? "
28 YOUNG HUNTERS OF THE LAKE
" But tell us the truth," insisted Giant.
" We're thinking of camping up there, and, of
course, we won't want to go if there is any real dan-
" Well, to tell the plain, everyday truth, boys, I
don't allow as how there is any more reptiles up to
Lake Narsac nor there be around Lake Firefly an*
in the mountains whar I hang out. Narsac may
have a few more rattlers, an' them's the wust kind
ā you know thet as well as I do. The wust
thing I know about Lake Narsac is the ghost up
" Is there really and truly a ghost? " queried the
doctor's son. " Of course, I don't believe in
them," he added, hastily.
'* If ye don't believe in 'em why do ye ask about
'em?" demanded the old hunter, rather indig-
" Oh, well ā " and Shep could not finish.
" Did you ever see the ghost? " asked Snap.
" I sure did, my boy."
" When? " cried Whopper.
*' What did it look like? " demanded Giant.
" I see the ghost less nor a month ago ā when I
was up to Lake Narsac after fish. It was a foggy
morning, an' I was fishing from a little island near
the upper end o' the lake. All to onct I heard a
THE STORY OF A GHOST 29
strange sound, like somebody was moanIn\ I sat
up an' listened, an' I looked around ā "
"And what did you see?" asked Giant, ex-
" Didn't see nuthing just then. Soon the
moanin' died out, an' I thought I must have made
a mistake, an' I went on fishin' ag'in. Then come
that strange moanin' once more, an' it made me
shiver, for I was in a mighty lonely spot. All to
onct, something cried out, ' He's dead ! He's
dead ! ' I looked around, but I couldn't see a soul.
* Who is thar? ' I called. Then I heard a strange
whistle, an a rustlin' in the bushes. A minit later
I saw a figure in bright yellow standin' out before
me on the lake. It seemed to move right over the
water in the fog, an* in less than a minit it was
"What was it?" asked Snap, and his voice
trembled a little.
" I dunno. Snap. It looked like a real old man,
with claw-like hands. I called out to him, but
he didn't answer, and when he seemed to be lost
like in a smoke, I was scared an' I don't deny it.
Just then I felt a big tug on my line an' I pulled
in an' found I had hooked a water snake. Thet
settled me, an' I came down to Firefly Lake an'
to hum quick as I could git thar ! "
30 YOUNG HUNTERS OF THE LAKE
" What do you think it was? '^ asked Whopper.
" I can't for the life o' me tell."
** Are you sure you heard that voice, or was that
imagination?" asked Snap.
" It wasn't no imagination whatsomever," an-
swered the old hunter, positively. " I heard thet
voice jest as plain as I can hear yourn, an' it come
right out o' the sky, too ! "
" That is certainly queer," mused Snap. " You
say the ghost was yellow? "
" I thought most ghosts were white," put in the
" Was it a man? " asked Frank.
" If it was, how did he walk on the water? " de-
manded Jed Sanborn. " Oh, it was a sure ghost,
no two ways on it ! " And the old hunter shook
his head positively.
"Are there any houses near the lake?" ques-
" Not a house within two or three miles. It is
the wildest place you ever visited," answered Jed
Sanborn. " Hunters don't go there much on ac-
count of the rough rocks in the stream flowing inta
Narsac. If you take a boat you may have to tote
. it a good bit ā an' it ain't much use to go up
there less you've got a boat, because you can't
THE STORY OF A GHOST 31
travel much along the shore ā too many thorn
After that the old hunter told them all he knew
about Lake Narsac. He said the lake and its sur-
roundings were owned by the estate of a New Eng-
land millionaire who had died four years before.
In settling the estate the heirs had gone to law^ and
the rightful possession of the sheet of water with
the mountains around it was still in dispute.
" One thing is sartin," said the old hunter. " If
ye go up thar, ye won't have no Andrew Felps
chasin' ye away ā as was the case up to Lake
" No, but we may have the ghost chasing us,"
" Say, maybe we had better go somewhere else,"
suggested Whopper, hesitatingly.
"Whopper, are you afraid of ghosts?" de-
"N ā no, but I ā er ā I'd like to go some-
where where we wouldn't be bothered by any-
" I am going to Lake Narsac, ghosts or no
ghosts ! " cried the doctor's son.
" So am I," added Snap, promptly. ** If
Whopper wants to stay behind ā "
" Who said anything about staying behind ? "
32 YOUNG HUNTERS OF THE LAKE
demanded Whopper. "If you go so will I, even
if there are a milhon ghosts up there."
"I don't believe in ghosts," came from little
Giant. " It's some humbug, that's what it is."
" Maybe, maybe," answered Jed Sanborn.
" But if you hear that voice and see that yellow
thing ā well, I reckon your hair will stick up on
end, jest as mine did! "
A FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION
On the following Monday Snap and Shep were
walking down the main street of Fairvlew when
they heard a cry and saw Giant beckoning to them
from the post-office steps.
"What's up?" asked Snap, as he came up to
the small youth.
" Ham Spink and Carl Dudder just went In to
mail some letters," said Giant.
"What of that?"
" Whopper went In after them. Whopper and
I are now sure It was Ham and Carl who tried to
steal our clothing the day we went swimming."
" How do you know that? " asked the doctor's
" By the way they are dressed. They have the
same yellow-brown suits on they wore that day."
Giant had scarcely spoken when Whopper came
out. His face showed that he was angry.
" I told you they did it," he said to Giant.
Then, seeing the others, he explained:
34 YOUNG HUNTERS OF THE LAKE
" I accused them of it and they admitted taking
the clothes ā they said it was nothing but a little
joke and they laughed at me. Then when I said
they could pay for the missing things they told me
to clear out or they'd have me locked up for tres-
passing on Mr. Spink's land! "
" That's like Ham," answered Snap.
" I wish we could pay them off good," went on
Just then Ham Spink and Carl Dudder came out
of the post-office. Snap and the others were stand-
ing behind some boxes of goods and the dude and
his chum did not at once see them.
" We'll have a celebration with those fireworks
when they come," Ham was saying. " We'll show
Fairview a great sight."
" That's right," returned Carl Dudder. " We'll
put them in my father's barn until we want to use
Then both boys caught sight of Snap and the
others and broke off their talk. They wanted to
brush past without speaking, but Snap and Shep
blocked the way.
" We want to talk to you," said Snap.
" We have nothing to say," cried Ham, haugh-
tily. " Get out of my way! " And he tried to
brush past again.
A FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION 35
'* Ham Spink, I want to say just one thing," an-
swered Snap. *' I think you are as mean as you
ever were, and I, for one, am going to pay you
back for what you did the day we went swimming."
"Oh, give us a rest!" muttered the dudish
youth, and went on, and Carl Dudder followed,
sticking his tongue in his cheek as he passed.
"Say, shall we pitch into them?" whispered
Whopper. " We can knock them into the middle
of next month ! "
" No ā wait ā I've just thought of some-
thing," interposed Snap. " Let them go and come
He led the way to a safe distance and then turned
" Did you hear them speak of some fireworks? "
" Did they say anything about the fireworks in
the post-office ? "
" Why, yes. But what has that got to do
with ā "
" What did they say. Whopper? "
" Why, It seems Ham and Carl and some other
fellows ā the same crowd that has been against us
for so long ā have chipped in and ordered some
fireworks from the city. They are going to set
the fireworks off In front of the Dudder house on
36 YOUNG HUNTERS OF THE LAKE
Fourth of July night. The Spink family and some
others are to be there. Ham and Carl are boast-
ing what a fine celebration it is to be."
" Then I know what I'm going to do," said
" What? " came from all of the others.
" They took our clothing ā why can't we take
the fireworks? "
" Whoop ! Just the cheese ! " ejaculated Whop-
per. " We can set them off in the public square."
" Where the whole community can see them,"
" And we can return the remains after they are
shot off," came from the doctor's son.
The matter was talked over for a half hour.
All of the boys knew it was not just right to ap-
propriate the fireworks but they were " dead sore "
on Ham and Carl and knew no other way to " get
The boys had made only a few preparations for
the Fourth, for nearly all of their spending money
had been used up in buying things for the proposed
outing. They had some firecrackers, and some
blank cartridges for their pistols, and that was all.
Independence Day dawned bright and clear and
throughout the town of Fairview there was the
A FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION 37
usual amount of noise. During the morning Snap
heard from another lad how Ham and Carl were
boasting of their fireworks.
" Finest fireworks the town ever saw," Ham
had said. All the boys were invited to " hang on
the Dudder fence " and see them set off that even-
ing at nine o'clock.
" Now is the time for us to do something," said
Snap to his chums, a little later.
The evening before they had visited the Dudder
barn but had failed to locate the fireworks.
" That's right," said Giant. *' The fireworks
are there now ā I saw Carl and Ham bringing
them from the express office."
With caution the four boys walked down a side
street, which connected, by an alleyway, with the
Dudder barn. Nobody was in sight, and they
slipped into the barn with ease. In a corner, on
the floor, they saw a long, flat box, marked " Fire-
works ! With care ! "
"We mustn't take them all!" said Shep.
" We must leave a top row ā just to fool 'em."
The others understood and went to work with
care. In a very few minutes they had most f the
fireworks ā pinwheels, rockets, Roman candles,
flower pots and others - ā in their possession.
38 YOUNG HUNTERS OF THE LAKE
Then they stuffed hay In the bottom of the box and
on the top placed two pinwheels and three small
" I'm afraid they'll suspect us if we set these
off," said Snap, when he and his chums were at a
"What if they do?" demanded the doctor's
son. " If they say anything we can yell ' stolen
clothes ' at them."
The boys were afraid Ham and Carl would at-
tempt to sort out the fireworks before the time to
set them off, but this fear proved groundless, for
Ham and Carl were busy showing off two silver-
plated pistols they had purchased. They were
firing at a target set up near Ham's house, but
they failed to hit the bull'seye more than once in a
" No wonder they can't bring down any game,"
observed Giant, when he heard of this. " I could
do almost as good as that with my eyes shut."
In a quiet way word was passed around to the
juvenile element of Fairview that there would be
^* something doing " at the public square directly
It was dark. Secretly a notice was posted up that
the " Swimmer Company would give a free exhibi-
tion of Carlham fireworks." Several wanted to
know who the Swimmer Company were and what
A FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION 39
Carlham fireworks were like, but no answer could
be had to these queries.
At exactly half-past seven that evening there was
the flare of a rocket in the public square, followed
by the discharge of several Roman candles. Folks
came running from all directions, to learn who
might be giving the exhibition.
They saw a truly marvelous sight. Four men
or boys were there, dressed in fantastic suits and
wearing old gloves and big, pointed-top hats.
Each had a mask over his face, so that it was ut-
terly impossible to tell who he was.
Boom ! bang ! sizz ! went the fireworks, being set
off by all four of the persons at once. Rockets
flew high in the sky, leaving a golden train behind
them, and Roman candles let out balls of various
colors, while on the ground, flower pots spouted
forth in great beauty, and pin-wheels whizzed
from several trees and hitching-posts.
" This is great! " cried several.
" A bang-up exhibition," added another.
" Never saw a finer display, did you ? " put in
an old man. " And all free too ! " he continued,
Carl and Ham could not resist the temptation to
see what was going on and came running to the
square, leaving their box in the barn. They were
40 YOUNG HUNTERS OF THE LAKE
full of envy, but went through the crowd boasting
that their own display would be much better.
At last everything was set off but three large
rockets. These were left in charge of one of the
masked figures while the other three figures sud-
denly disappeared in the darkness following a pin-
wheel flare. The three figures took with them
what could be found of the burnt-out Roman can-
dies and other things.
With one grand sizz the three rockets went up
into the air simultaneously. The crowd gazed in
admiration at the sight. Then as the sky grew
dark, they looked out on the square for the last of
the masked figures.
It had disappeared.
PREPARING FOR THE GRAND OUTING
Less than quarter of an hour after the celebra-
tion at the public square Snap and his three chums
met at Whopper's back gate. They were minus
their tall hats and gloves, but still wore a portion
of their grotesque outfits.
" Hurry up,'' said Whopper, and led the way
to a carriage house. Here, with great rapidity,
the four youths stripped off the odd suits and
donned their regular garments. Then they hid
the other things in an out-of-the-way corner.
" Did you place the burnt-out fireworks in the
box? " asked Shep, who had been left at the square
to set off the three rockets.
" We did," answered Snap.
" Hurry up, we want to see the rest of the fun,"
cried Giant, and set off on a dog-trot in the direction
of the Dudder mansion.
When the four boys reached that vicinity they
found quite a crowd collected. More people were
coming from the public square. The piazza of the
42 YOUNG HUNTERS OF THE LAKE
Dudder homestead was Illuminated with Chinese
lanterns, and there sat Mr. and Mrs. Spink, the
Dudder family, and a dozen specially invited
" Carl, Isn't It about time you began to set off
those fireworks?" asked Mr. Dudder, as his son
came up the steps.
" Ham and I are going to get them out right
away,'* answered Carl.
"Who set off the fireworks at the square?"
questioned Mrs. Spink.
'' I don't know."
" Were they nice? " asked Mrs. Dudder.
" Not near as nice as those we are going to
show," returned Ham.
" Hurry up wid dem fireworks ! " shouted an
urchin hanging on the fence.
" You get off that fence, or you won't see any-
thing," cried Carl.
" Bring on the fireworks ! " shouted several.
" We are going to have a regular programme,"
announced Carl, standing on a garden bench.
" First there will be a bouquet of four rockets.
Then will follow two large Roman candles, six
varl-colored pinwheels, two large and four small
flower pots, one living picture of George Washing-
ton, two aerial bombs, four golden clusters, one
PREPARING FOR THE GRAND OUTING 43
living serpent, two mines, and a whole lot of other
things too numerous to mention."
" Go on with the show,*' shouted a man out-
side. " We don't want to listen to no speech."
" Come, let us get the box," said Ham, and then
he and Carl hurried down to the barn, where they
found the flat box. Much to their surprise it was
bound around and around with some old telegraph
wire. Snap and his chums had wanted to nail the
box up but had been afraid of the noise.
" Somebody's been playing a joke on us ! "
" Never mind, we'll soon have the wire off," an-
swered his crony. " Let us take the box outside."
They lifted the box and carried it out into the
yard. There a number of visitors gathered around
to watch proceedings, two holding up lanterns to
illuminate the scene.
It took several minutes to take the wire from
the box. Then the cover was wrenched off.
" Here we are ! " cried Carl, and took up the
top layer of fireworks. " Let us stack them
against that bench, Ham."
" Look! " screamed Ham, and pulled up a hand-
ful of straw, in which the fireworks had been
packed. "What does this mean?"
As he spoke he held up two half-burnt paste-
44 YOUNG HUNTERS OF THE LAKE
board tubes ā the remains of two Roman candles.
The burnt-out remains of several pinwheels fol-
Carl dove into the box and withdrew his hands
covered with soot and holding several burnt-out
flower pots and the frame upon which had once
been fastened the '* living picture " of our first
" What does this mean? "
" Somebody has been at this box! "
" The fireworks have all been shot off ! "
" Hurry up with that display ! '' came from the
fence. " Don't keep us waiting all night ! "
" Thought you was going to show us something
better than that show at the square ! *' piped in a
" We have been swindled! '* groaned Ham.
" Somebody has tricked us," gasped Carl.
"Oh, this is dreadful!"
"What's the matter, boys?" asked Mr. Dud-
der, coming up, followed by Mr. Spink.
" The box is full of ā of rubbish, father! "
" Somebody set off the things and put them back
burnt up," added Ham.
After that there was considerable excitement.
The box was overturned and out tumbled the re-
mains of the square celebration. With the articles
PREPARING FOR THE GRAND OUTING 45
came a small basket, wrapped in a brown paper
and sealed up. Ham tore the covering from the
basket and out dropped ā two lemons ! On on^
was a bit of paper labeled Ham and on the other
a paper marked Carl.
" Oh, just let me catch the fellow who played
this trick! " roared Ham, dancing around in his
rage. "Won't I just fix him! Won't I
"Ain't you going to set off them fireworks?'*
called a boy from the fence.
" Don't believe they've got any to set off," said
" It's a shame to keep us waiting here," put in
" You shut up, all of you 1 " cried Carl, who was