as angry as Ham. " We'll set off the fireworks
when we choose. Oh, if this isn't the limit! " he
With no fireworks worth mentioning, the pro-
posed celebration could not come off, and every-
body w^as bitterly disappointed. The crowd out-
side the fence began to jeer, and some small boys
threw lum.ps of soft mud at Ham and Carl. Then
Mr. Dudder got angry and ordered everybody off,
and took his guests into the mansion. Ham and
Carl were so chagrined they knew not what to do.
46 YOUNG HUNTERS OF THE LAKE
" We must find out who did this," said Ham.
** Maybe it was Snap Dodge and his crowd,"
suggested Carl. " It would be just like them.'*
" If they are guilty — I'll fix them! " went on
Ham, bitterly. '' They had no business to touch
our fireworks. Just think what they cost us 1 " i
" And it made us the laughingstock of the whole
town," added Carl, sourly.
" I've got an idea — that celebration at the
square — maybe they held it with our fireworks ! "
" What! Say, it must be so! Oh, what fools
we were ! Of course it was thern. I see it all now
— ' Carlham fireworks ' indeed ! That's Carl and
Ham, as plain as day."
" Yes, and the ' Swimmer Company ' is plain
enough, too. They did this to get even for taking
their clothes away that day."
*' We can't say they stole the fireworks. If we
do they may say we stole their clothes.'*
"We won't say anything — but let us get
square, the first chance we get," and so it was de-
cided. It was several days before Ham and Carl
heard the last of the " grand celebration " they had
reported they would give.
With the fun of Independence Day at an end,
Snap and his chums turned their attention once
more to the matter of the summer outing. They
PREPARING FOR THE GRAND OUTING 47
realized that a trip to Lake Narsac would be quite
different from one only as far as Lake Cameron or
Firefly Lake. The two latter resorts were close to
civilization, while Narsac Lake was a wild spot, sel-
dom visited by the regular run of sportsmen. To
get to the lake would be quite a task in itself, and
whatever would be needed for the trip must be
procured at home or at one of the other lakes.
And while they must take all needed articles along
they must make their boat load as light as possible.
Doctor Reed made them a present of something
which was much to their liking. This was a
** nest " of aluminum cooking utensils, including
a pepper and salt box, and a match safe. This kit
weighed very little and was exceedingly handy.
As Mr. Dodge had procured for them a suit-
able boat, and the doctor the cooking things, Mr.
Dawson said he would present them with a new
tent, of light, but strong and waterproof material.
He also got for them a rubber cloth, to be spread
over their things when it rained.
" My mother is going to supply us with the eat-
ables," said Giant. " She told me to get the list
and she would have them all ready the day we are
to start." And then the list was made out, includ-
ing bacon, beans, flour, salt and pepper, sugar, and
many other necessities. The boys also got a lib-
48 YOUNG HUNTERS OF THE LAKE
eral supply of powder and shot for their guns, some
cartridges for the rifle, and some fishing hooks and
lines. Everything was stored away in the boat-
house on the river, which was locked up tightly,
so that nobody might carry off their belongings.
AT THE BOATHOUSE
" I WONDER if Ham and Carl will attempt to
get at our outfit,'' said Shep, the evening before
the start was to be made.
" Well, we mustn't forget that they blew up the
old boathouse before," answered Snap. " Of
course, they may be afraid to try on the same thing
— they'd know they'd be in danger of arrest."
" Let us go down and take a look at the things,"
put in Whopper. " I wouldn't want to have any-
thing happen to the outfit for a million dollars."
The three boys walked in the direction of the
building where the things were stored. Giant was
not with them — he having been detained at home,
to do some work for his mother.
Apparently the outfit was as it had been left,
and the three boys breathed a sigh of relief. Hav-
ing overhauled the things carefully, they prepared
to lock up once more when Snap noticed a small
boy named Joe Bright, hanging around.
" Well, Joe, what's doing? " he questioned.
50 YOUNG HUNTERS OF THE LAKE
" NuthlnV' answered Joe. '' Say, are you fel«
lows going on a trip to Lake Narsac? ''
" Ain't you afraid of the hobgoblins up there? "
" Not particularly."
" My uncle was up there once and the hobgob-
lins took his things away from him."
" What did they take? " asked Whopper.
*^ Took his coat, which he had hung on a tree
while he was fishing, and took his basket of fish,
too. Say, he was scared when he saw that thing,
I can tell you. He wouldn't go there again !/'
" Did he see the ghost? " asked Shep.
" No, he didn't see anything, but he heard it
moan and groan, and heard it say something about
being cold and hungry."
" We are not afraid," said Snap, as bravely as he
could. " We are going to keep our eyes peeled for
that ghost, and if it shows itself there will be some
shooting done. By the way, Joe, how long have
you been around here? "
" Two or three hours. I didn't have nuthin' to
do, and I like the water."
" Have you seen anybody around this build-
*' Yes, two fellows were here, but they went away
when they saw me."
AT THE BOATHOUSE 51
" Who were they? " asked the doctor^s son.
" One of *em was Ham Spink, and the other was
that chap who is always with him."
" I guess that's his name — the chap who was
going to give the fireworks celebration."
" Humph! " muttered Snap. " What did they
" Walked around the building several times and
peeped in the windows. One of 'em tried the
back door, but just then the other fellow saw me
and he gave a little whistle. Then both of 'em
walked away pretty quick."
" The rascals ! " cried Whopper. " I'll bet a
sour apple against a gooseberry they wanted to
spoil our outfit ! "
*' Sure they did," answered Snap.
" I'll tell you what I think," said Shep, after
the boys had talked the matter over for several
minutes. " I think somebody ought to stay here
to-night and watch this outfit. For all we know,
they may come back."
" There is an old cot in the boathouse — a fel-
low might sleep on that," suggested Whopper.
" Then that is what I am going to do, — if my
folks will let me," answered the doctor's son.
" You'll be lonely," said Snap. " Maybe I'd
52 YOUNG HUNTERS OF THE LAKE
better stay with you. If Ham and Carl did come
back you couldn't manage them alone."
" I could if I had a shotgun.*'
*' Oh, you wouldn't want to shoot anybody,
" No, but I could scare 'em off."
" I've got an idea," cried Whopper. " Why
not fix it so as to give them a warm reception — if
they do come," and then he explained what he
In the end it was decided that Snap and Shep
should remain at the boathouse, and Whopper ran
off to tell their folks and to get a few things. As
the boys were used to outings the youths' parents
thought little of their staying away that night, and
only sent word back that they should keep out of
" We'll keep out if we are left alone," said the
doctor's son, grimly.
Whopper had brought with him an old tin pail
containing some hot water and half a pound of
flour. This was stirred up into a thick flour paste,
and to give it the " proper flavor," as Snap sug-
gested, they broke into the mixture two ancient eggs
which one of the party had picked up.
Joe Bright had been sent away, with instruc-
tions to say nothing about what was going on at the
AT THE BOATHOUSE 53
boathouse, and soon Whopper followed him.
Then Snap and Shep went into the building and
locked the door behind them.
The structure was a one-story affair, with a small
loft overhead, for the storage of extra oars and
odds and ends of boat lumber. Up into the loft
went the two boys and opened the tiny window at
either end — thus letting in some needed fresh air.
Then they took the rank-smelling flour paste and
poured half of the stuff into an old paint can that
" Let us take turns at resting," suggested Snap,
and so it was arranged.
It was a calm, clear night and before long the
town was wrapped in slumber, and only the occa-
sional bark of a dog or yowl of a cat broke the still-
ness. Out on the river nothing was stirring.
It was after midnight, and Snap had almost
reached the conclusion that the alarm had been a
false one, when, looking from one of the little
windows, he saw two figures approaching the boat-
house. The two boys or men had their coat col-
lars turned up and their soft hats pulled well down
over their foreheads.
Making no noise Snap aroused Shep, who was
sound asleep on the cot.
" What is it? " demanded the doctor's son.
54 YOUNG HUNTERS OF THE LAKE
" They are coming. Hush, or they may heaf
Silently the two boys crawled to the small win-
dow facing the town. The two figures outside
were now close by and Snap and Shep felt sure they
were Ham and Carl.
"Anybody around?" came the question, in a
" I don't see anybody."
" We don't want to get caught at this."
" Oh, don't get chicken-hearted, Carl."
" Humph ! Please remember what happened
last winter. Ham."
" Hush ! Don't speak my name, please."
" Well, then don't speak mine."
" I didn't."
" Yes, you did."
" I did not, I say. Come on."
" How are you going to get In ? You said you
knew of a way. I am certain the doors and win-
dows are all tight."
" Just you follow me and I'll show you a nice
" But where do you want me to follow you to ? "
insisted Carl Dudder.
" Under the boathouse."
AT THE BOATHOUSE 55
** Yes. Here is a place where we can crawl un-
der very easily."
" Yes, but what are you going to do after you
are under the building? "
" Get inside."
" Is there a trap door? "
" No, but I know where a couple of boards are
loose in the flooring, and we can shove them up
'' Oh ! All right, go ahead, and I'll follow."
A moment later Ham Spink let himself down in
a little hole beside the boathouse. Here his feet
were close to the water, but he supported himself
on a cross rail nailed from one section of the spiling
to another. Carl Dudder followed him, and both
moved cautiously forward to the front end of the
building. Once Ham slipped and a slight splash
" What's that? " cried Carl, in alarm, for he was
" My foot slipped, that's all," was the answer.
" Is it deep under here? "
" Not over four or five feet."
" Where are those loose boards? "
" Right here. Now take hold of that end and
we'll soon have them up and be inside the build-
ing," answered Ham.
HOW TWO PROWLERS WERE TREATED
While Ham and Carl were moving around un-
der the boathouse, Shep and Snap were not idle.
The doctor's son, on awakening, had wanted to
throw the flour paste out of the window at the mid-
night prowlers, but Snap thought of another plan.
" Come on below, and wait until they shove up
the flooring,'' he whispered.
The doctor's son understood, and with caution,
so as not to make any noise, the two chums came
down out of the tiny loft, bringing with them the
pail and the tin can of awful-smelling flour paste.
It was absolutely dark below, but they could
plainly hear Ham and Carl working on the loose
boards of the floor near the river end of the boat-
house. Thither they made their way. Snap with
the pail and Shep with the can, both ready for
Slowly one board was lifted and pushed aside
and a second followed. Then two heads appeared
in the gloom.
'' Robbers! " cried Snap.
TWO PROWLERS 57
" Burglars! " yelled the doctor's son.
'' Shoot them ! "
*' Don't let them get away alive I "
Then with a vigorous throw Snap landed his pail
of stuff full upon the head of Ham Spink. Splosh !
it struck the dudish youth squarely in the face and
ear. Another splosh followed, and Carl Dudder
was likewise decorated.
"Hi! wow!" spluttered Ham. " I — Oh,
what a smell! "
"Oh, my eye!" groaned Carl. "Phew!
" We're discovered! "
" What's this they threw on us? "
" Oh, did you ever smell such stuff? "
"Robbers! thieves!" yelled Snap and Shep.
" Shoot them! Give them a dose of buckshot! '*
" They are going to shoot us! " screamed Carl
Dudder, and dodged down. Then he lost his
footing on the wet and slippery rails, clutched at
Ham to save himself, and both went down with
a loud splash into the dirty water under the boat-
" There they go ! " cried Shep.
" Let us scare them some more," whispered
Snap. " Pretend you don't recognize them."
Quickly a lantern was lit and held over the open-
58 YOUNG HUNTERS OF THE LAKE
ing In the floor. Down below two dark forms, cov-
ered with mud and flour paste, could be seen clutch-
ing at the slippery braces of the spiling. Snap and
Shep could scarely keep from roaring.
" There they are ! Get the gun ! " yelled the
" Two dangerous burglars ! " cried Snap.
" Wonder where they came from? "
** W — we ar — are not burglars 1 '' spluttered
Carl. " We are — "
" Do — don't sh — shoot ! " wailed Ham Spink.
"We di — didn't mean —"
Bang! went the shotgun Snap had picked up.
He fired at the corner of the building, into a mass
of rubbish. A piercing yell of terror came up
from below, and down dropped Ham and Carl into
the water once more. They were too afraid to
come up under the boathouse again and so struck
out for the river bank some distance away.
" They are going away ! " called out Shep.
" They are two desperate burglars ! Give them
another shot! "
" Perhaps they have been robbing some stores,"
called out Snap. Then he discharged the shotgun
once more, and down ducked Ham and Carl again,
yelling wildly in their fright. They swam with
energy and soon reached the shelter of another
TWO PROWLERS 59
boathouse. Here they crawled from the water
and took to their legs with all the speed at their
command. Both were frightened nearly out of
their wits, and for the time being paid no atten-
tion to the foul-smelling paste and mud that cov-
" They — they thought we were thi —
thieves! " panted Carl, after he and his crony had
covered several blocks.
*' Yes, and we came near being shot dead!"
*' I didn't know they were going to stay there
'' Neither did I."
" Those shots will wake up the whole town."
"Yes, and we must get out of sight. Phew!
what a smell 1 "
'* They dumped something down on us."
" Must have been rotten eggs. What are we
going to do? "
" I don't know — go home, I guess.'*
*' I can't go home looking this way."
" You'll have to go."
" Well, it's lucky they didn't recognize us."
'' That's true. But this suit is about ruined."
*■ So is mine. And we didn't hurt their outfit at
6o YOUNG HUNTERS OF THE LAKE
" Never mind, we'll get square with them an-
After that Carl and Ham separated and each
lost no time in sneaking home and washing up and
trying to clean his garments. They did not dare
to tell their parents of what had occurred and so
had to suffer in silence.
The shots from the gun aroused some folks liv-
ing near the river front, and several men came
down to the boathouse to learn what was the mat-
" Two fellows tried to get in here, but we scared
them away," said Snap.
" Who were they? " asked one man.
" Two fellows dressed In dark suits and with
"Did you hit them?"
" No, we only fired to scare them off."
"Where did they go?"
** Ran back of Dickson's boathouse," answered
the doctor's son.
A brief search was made, but the prowlers, of
course, were not located. Then the men went
home, and Snap and Shep settled down to make
themselves comfortable for the rest of the night.
" Ham and Carl won't forget that reception in a
TWO PROWLERS 6i
hurry," remarked the doctor's son, and indulged in
a laugh, in which his chum joined.
The rest of the night passed without anything
unusual happening. Early in the morning Whop-
per and Giant appeared and were told of what had
" Served 'em right," cried Giant. " Oh, I wish
I had seen them," he added, with a broad grin.
" I don't think they'll try any such game again
in a thousand years," said Whopper.
" Make it a million. Whopper," added the doc-
Whopper and Giant had had breakfast and said
good-bye to their folks and now Snap and Shep
went off to get something to eat. By nine o'clock
they returned and said they were ready for the
start. The others already had the boat out and
the outfit properly stored on board.
" All ready? " called out Snap, who was looked
upon as the leader of the club.
" All ready," came from the others.
" Sure we haven't left anything behind — salt,
mustard, vinegar, or canned soft-soap?"
" Maybe Whopper's left his shaving outfit be-
hind," suggested Giant.
" Humph ! " muttered the youth mentioned.
62 YOUNG HUNTERS OF THE LAKE
" Be sure and take Giant's hobby horse with you.**
And then there was a general laugh, in the midst of
which Snap shoved off from the boathouse dock.
It was arranged that Shep and Whopper should
row for the first few miles and then be relieved by
Snap and Giant. A number of boys had come
down to the dock to see them off. There was a
" Hope you have a good time I "
" Be sure and bring back plenty of game ! **
" Say, if you see that ghost up to Lake Narsac
give him my regards ! "
" I wouldn't go up to that locality for a farm !
You'll be sure to get into trouble. Every spot
up there is alive with snakes."
" ril bet they won't go any further than Lake
Cameron or Firefly Lake," said one boy, who was
a chum to Ham and Carl.
" It's Lake Narsac or bust ! " cried Snap.
" Huhl I'll beheve it when I see it," returned
the boy on shore.
" Don't worry, you'll never get there, Jack
Voss," said a man standing by. " You are too
much of a coward."
" Won't I? " answered Jack Voss. " A lot of
us are going up to Lake Narsac in a few days, or
TWO PROWLERS 63
*' Never mind. We are going and that's
enough," answered Jack Voss. " I ain't afraid of
that ghost — or of snakes either," he added.
" There they go I " shouted Joe Bright, enthu-
siastically. " Hurrah for the young hunters of
the lake ! "
"Hurrah!" shouted several and waved their
hands and handkerchiefs.
Those in the rowboat waved in return. Then
Shep and Whopper bent to the oars; and the sum-
mer outing was begun. Little did the young hunt-
ers realize how many strange adventures were in
store for them.
THE FIRST DAY OF THE OUTING
As my old readers know, the distance to Lake
Cameron in an air line was about ten miles, but the
river was a winding one and this added three miles
to the journey. Beyond the town the banks of the
stream were lined with farms, orchards and patches
of dense woods, a beautiful outlook and one which
the boys thoroughly enjoyed as they rowed along.
They passed Simon Lundy's farm — where they
had once had such a curious happening when after
apples, as related in '* Four Boy Hunters,'' and
then continued along under the overhanging
branches of some willows, where it was shady and
" Do you think Jack Voss spoke the truth when
he said he was going to Lake Narsac?" queried
Shep, after he had turned his oars over to Snap.
" It may be true — although Jack knows how
to blow," answered Snap.
" If he goes out it will most likely be with Ham
and Carl and that crowd,'' put in Whopper.
THE FIRST DAY OF THE OUTING 65
" They always travel together."
"I'd like to know how Ham and Carl feel this
morning," cried Giant.
" Most likely pasty," answered the doctor's son,
and this made the others laugh.
" If that crowd should take it into their heads to
go to Lake Narsac I hope they don't camp near
us," went on Snap, after a pause.
" They'll try to bother us all they can, you can
rest assured of that," said Whopper. " They seem
to live for nothing else."
" Well, we can give them as good as they send,
can't we?" asked Giant. "I'm not afraid of
" Of course we're not afraid of them," returned
To reach Lake Cameron the young hunters had
to take to a side stream lined on either side with
blackberry and elderberry bushes. They resolved
to push on to the lake before stopping for lunch.
Then they would row to the head of the lake, camp
there over night, and the next day strike out for
Firefly Lake. Here they would put in another day,
and then embark for Lake Narsac.
They found Lake Cameron and its shores just as
beautiful as during the previous summer. To be
sure, the portion that had been burnt down during
66 YOUNG HUNTERS OF THE LAKE
the great forest lire looked black and desolate but
only a small portion of this territory was to be
seen from the boat. They passed along the shore
opposite and put in at a little cove that looked par-
"I'm as hungry as a bear!" cried Whopper.
" I can eat about a hundred sandwiches, ten pieces
of pie, and any other old thing that happens to be
" Jed Sanburn was telling me he had seen some
wild ducks up here last week," said the doctor's
son. " If they are around we must keep our eyes
peeled for them. They are pretty scarce."
All of the boys wanted coffee, and so some wood
was gathered and a campfire started, over which
they made the beverage. Snap and Whopper pre-
pared the midday meal and while they did this
Giant and the doctor's son got their rods, cast in
their lines, and tried their luck at fishing.
" First prize ! " called out Shep, in a few min-
utes, and drew in a small perch.
" If we can get enough, we might have fish for
lunch," suggested Whopper.
" Better keep them for supper," answered Snap.
" We'll be good and hungry by night."
" As if I wasn't hungry enough now," growled
THE FIRST DAY OF THE OUTING 67
Shep caught three perch hand running while
Giant did not get a nibble. The small member of
the club was somewhat disappointed, but suddenly
there came a tug that almost pulled him into the
" Got something! " he sang out. " Must be a
Pwhale ! ''
" Maybe it's a maskalonge ! " sang out Whop-
per. " Want any help? "
" No," was the reply, and then Giant began to
play his catch with the skill of a natural born fish-
erman. Soon came a deft swing of the fishing rod
and out on the grassy bank landed a lake pickerel
of good size.
*' A pickerel ! " cried Snap. " And a beauty."
*' That's better than my three perch," was Shep's
comment. " Giant, you're the fisherman of this
club and no mistake."
The two boys continued to fish, both before
lunch and after, and when they finally wound up
their lines they had nine perch, two chub and two
pickerel — certainly a very respectable haul.
** That means fish for both supper and break-
fast," was Snap's comment. '* They'll taste fine,
too, coming right out of the water."
Having put away the things used in getting
lunch, the four boy hunters embarked once more,
68 YOUNG HUNTERS OF THE LAKE
and the journey along the shore of Lake Cameron
was resumed. As they had not a great distance to
go, to reach the other end of the sheet of water,
they took their time, watching the trees and bushes
for a possible sight of game.
" There are your wild ducks," cried Whopper,
after half a mile had been covered.
He pointed inland, to where there was a clearing
among the trees, probably some marshy spot. Sev-
eral wild ducks were settling down, and in a few
seconds they were out of sight.
"Want to go ashore?" asked Giant, who was
" I don't think so," answered Snap. " Per-
haps we'll see some of them on the lake."
" I see three now ! " called Whopper softly, and
pointed almost dead ahead.
" Turn the boat into the bushes," ordered the
leader of the club, and Giant did as commanded.
Snap was already reaching for a shotgun, and
Whopper and Shep did likewise.
The wild ducks had settled on the bosom of the
the lake and were paddling in the direction of the
rowboat. They came on slowly, however, and the
young hunters could scarcely wait until they got
within gunshot. Giant still had the oars and now
he dropped one rather loudly on the bow. At once
THE FIRST DAY OF THE OUTING 69
one of the ducks took alarm and arose In the air.