" Didn't I say I was looking for our boat? " said
" Well, If you've got a boat you must be camp-
ing up here."
" We stayed ashore over night, that's all. We
ar^ bound for Lake Narsac," said Whopper.
*' Did you see a boat drifting past? " he continued.
" No, I didn't," snapped Andrew Felps.
*' Look here," he continued. *' If this Is a trick,
let me warn you. You can't camp around here,
and that settles It."
" We don't want to camp around here, Mr.
Felps," answered Snap. " All we want Is our boat,
which got away from us last night. If you saw
anything of the craft — "
" I want you to get out of here ! " roared the
lumber merchant. " I won't have you hanging
around ! "
At this moment two men came from one of the
tents. They were Giles Faswig and Vance
THE CAMP ON LAKE CAMERON 93
Lemon, the lumber merchant's two friends, and the
men who had once tried to get the boys to let them
have some ammunition. They had treated the
young hunters so meanly that the latter had voted
not to let them have any powder or cartridges and
this had broken up the outing of the Felps party.
" Hello, those young rascals are out here
again ! " muttered Vance Lemon, who was nat-
urally as sour as his name implied.
'* Say, I've fixed them," whispered Giles Faswig,
with a wink at Lemon. *' I'll tell you about it
later. I took a walk late last night, and I dis-
covered they were camping not far from this spot."
" We are not young rascals ! " cried Snap, in-
dignantly. " We are just as good as you are, and
"Bah! don't talk to me!" growled Vance
" You thought you were smart last winter, when
you refused to sell us a little ammunition," broke in
Giles Faswig. '* I haven't forgotten that dirty
" You know well enough why we didn't let you
have the ammunition," answered Snap. " You
didn't deserve it."
" Humph ! Just wait, and you'll find out — '*
The man did not finish.
94 YOUNG HUNTERS OF THE LAKE
** Now I want you two boys to go away — and
stay away ! '* cried Andrew Felps. "If you arc
bound for Lake Narsac better be on your way.'*
** We can't go until we have found our missing
boat," said Whopper. " It must be somewhere
on this lake."
" Make them go away," said Giles Faswig, and
then he whispered something in the rich lumber
dealer's ear. Whatever he had to tell made An-
drew Felps grin.
Snap and Whopper saw the whispering and the
grin, and instantly they suspected some trick.
The^ well remembered what a rage Faswig had
been in when they had refused to let him have any
" Look here, if you know anything about our
boat I want to know it," said Whopper, without
stopping to think twice.
"Your boat?" repeated Vance Lemon, and
then he looked at Giles Faswig, who winked.
** Yes, our boat," repeated Whopper. " We
tied it to a tree last night and now it is gone."
" I didn't touch your boat," growled Andrew
" Nor did I," put in Vance Lemon.
" You had better be gone about your business,"
THE CAMP ON LAKE CAMERON 95
came from Giles Faswig. ** We didn't come up
here to be bothered by a lot of kids."
" We want our boat — and we are bound to get
it," said Snap, firmly.
" Well, go find it," cried Andrew Felps.
"We want to know if anybody in this camp
knows anything about the boat."
Just then a boy of eight or nine years of age
came out of one of the tents, rubbing his eyes
'* Uncle Giles," he said, walking up to Faswig,
*' where are we going to-day, and what are you
going to do with that boat you brought in when I
woke up last night? "
IN THE CAMP OF THE ENEMY
Snap and Whopper listened to the words of the
small boy with keen Interest. Instantly they came
to the conclusion that the lad must be speaking of
their own craft.
" Hush, Dick ! " cried Giles Faswig, hastily.
" You go back In the tent and stay there until these
strangers go away."
" What boat did your uncle bring In last night? "
asked Snap, walking up to the lad.
" See here, you leave my nephew alone ! " roared
" Can't I speak to him? "
" No, I don't want him talking to the likes of
" He said you brought In a boat last night when
he woke up," came from Whopper. " Was It our
" None of your business! " snapped Giles Fas-
wig, and as he spoke he took his nephew by the arm
and turned him back into one of the tents. " Stay
there, now mind I " he added, in a low, tense voice.
IN THE CAMP OF THE ENEMY 97
** It's a good deal of our business," said Snap,
*^ if it was our boat."
*' Come on and take a look around," added
Whopper, and started for the other side of the
cove, where a mass of brushwood and overhanging
trees screened a portion of the water from view.
Giles Faswig strode up to the two young hunters
and caught Snap by the arm. The next instant the
hand was shaken off violently and the youth stood
before the man with blazing eyes and doubled-up
" Don't you try that again, Mr. Faswig," said
Snap, in a cold, measured voice. *' You have no
right to touch me."
" And you have no right in this camp."
■'You cl-ear out!" came from Andrew Felps.
*' I don't want you around another minute."
Faswig stepped in front of the boys and so did
Felps and Lemon. All three of the men looked
ugly, and Snap and Whopper did not know what
" Mr. Felps," began Snap, after a painful pause,
" I want you to listen to what I have to say. Last
night our rowboat with our outfit on board dis-
appeared. I don't know if it drifted off or was
stolen. If it was stolen, and we find it out, some-
body is going to be arrested for the theft."
98 YOUNG HUNTERS OF THE LAKE
Ha ! do you call me a thief 1 " burst out the
lumber dealer, in a rage.
" Not at all. I am only telling you a few plain
facts. We have every reason to believe our boat
is somewhere around this camp. If it is I want to
know if you are going to give it up peaceably, or if
we'll have to send down to town for an officer of
" You — you — " commenced Andrew Fclps,
and then looked at Giles Faswig, who had turned
" This may not be a serious business to you but
It is to us," continued Snap. " There are four of
us in our party, and if you have our boat, we can
all testify to that fact. Three of us can stay here
and watch you while the fourth goes for the
" Do you think we'd steal a measly rowboat? "
asked Vance Lemon, but he glanced at Faswig as
he spoke, and his tone was an uneasy one.
" I don't know what you'd do. But that boy
said something about bringing in a boat last night,
and I want to know if it is our boat."
" How do I know whose boat it is ? " growled
" Has it got the name Snapper on it?" asked
IN THE CAMP OF THE ENEMY 99
" I didn't notice. I saw a boat drifting on the
lake and hauled it in, that's all," answered Giles
Faswig, curtly. " For all I know, you are trying
to get somebody else's property away from me."
" You let us see that boat, and we'll soon tell
you if it is ours or not," said Snap.
" I was out on the shore last night and I saw
something drifting by and drew it in," explained
Giles Faswig. " I hauled it back of yonder bushes.
If you can prove it is your property you can take it,
but not otherwise."
" We'll soon find out," answered Snap, and
walked over in the direction pointed out. As he
did this, Whopper put his little fingers in the cor-
ners of his mouth and gave a piercing whistle.
" What's that for? " demanded Andrew Faswig,
" We want our crowd down here — and some
others," said Whopper.
"Some others? Who?" asked Faswig, and
now he was also alarmed.
" Some folks who will give us all the help we
want," said Snap, quick to understand the ruse his
chum was playing.
"How many people are up here?" asked the
rich lumber dealer, nervously.
" Oh, seven or eight," answered Whopper, but
loo YOUNG HUNTERS OF THE LAKE
did not add that he was counting in Felps's own
Behind a thick mass of brushwood rested the
Snapper, as the boys' craft had been christened.
The boat was very much as the lads had left it, but
Snap was quick to detect that the painter, which had
before had a frayed-out end, had been cut by some
sharp instrument, probably a knife.
'* This is our boat," said Snap, as he looked the
"Humph, can you prove It?" growled Giles
" Yes, and I can prove more — if I have to,"
added the leader of the hunting club.
" That the rope has been cut."
"What does that signify?" asked Andrew
" It shows that the boat didn't drift away
Somebody cut the rope and made off with her."
" See here — " began Giles Faswig, and then
stopped short. There was a shout, and Giant and
Shep burst into view.
"Got the boat, eh?" cried the doctor's son.
" Good ! " And then he looked curiously at the
men, and so did Giant.
IN THE CAMP OF THE ENEMY loi
*' Come on and shove the boat out,'* said Snap.
" We'll talk this over later." And before anybody
could stop him he was in the craft and pushing out
of the bushes.
" Say look here — " began Andrew Felps, but
the boys paid no attention. All got on board the
Snapper, and in a moment more the craft was out in
the middle of the cove.
" Don't you try to make any trouble for me ! "
shouted Giles Faswig. " I simply found that boat
adrift and brought her in here for safety."
" And I don't believe a word you say," answered
Snap. " I think you visited our camp and stole the
" And that is what I think," added Whopper.
A wordy war followed lasting fully ten minutes.
It was plainly to be seen that Giles Faswig and his
companions were much disturbed, thinking the boys
would make trouble for them. At last the young
hunters rowed away and went back to their own
camp. It was now growing quite light.
" Did you ever hear of such meanness," was
Snap's comment. *' They meant to keep our boat
hidden until we had left this vicinity. Then
maybe, they'd cast it adrift and say they had noth-
ing to do with taking her."
I02 YOUNG HUNTERS OF THE LAKE
" Well, we found out how mean they were last
year, so it is nothing new,'' said Shep. ** You were
lucky to locate the craft."
" It was all through that boy," returned Whop-
per. " I pity him if he has Giles Faswig for an
" I think the best we can do is to leave Lake
Cameron at once," said Giant. " We don't want
to run into that crowd again."
The others agreed, and by eight o'clock that
morning the tent was taken down and stored away
and the journey to Firefly Lake was begun.
It was a clear, warm day, with bright sunshine
overhead. The woods were full of birds that sang
sweetly, and being so near to nature's heart, the
young hunters soon forgot their troubles.
The stream leading from Lake Cameron to
Firefly Lake was a tortuous and rocky one, and
more overgrown with bushes than it had been the
summer previous. At one point the spring freshets
had rolled in a number of big stones and these the
boys had to roll out of the way before the rowboat
could get through. Not wishing to damage the
Snapper, they proceeded with care, so by dinner
time less than half the distance to the smaller body
of water was covered.
" We won't get to Firefly Lake until to-night,"
IN THE CAMP OF THE ENEMY 103
said Snap. " But who cares? We have plenty of
All were hungry for a taste of roast duck, and
so they stopped off long enough to cook a fine din-
ner. For dessert they had some blackberries which
they chanced to find growing near the watercourse,
and they stopped so long over their midday meal
that it was after two o'clock before the journey was
" Do you remember the awful windstorm we
once struck up here ? " queried Shep, as they rowed
" Will we ever forget it," cried Whopper.
" Gosh ! I thought I was going to be blown into
the next century ! Say, did I ever tell you how it
blew my socks inside out? " he added, with a gria,
" Hardly," answered Giant, and laughed.
" Fact, and the next morning I had to turn my
slioes inside out to accommodate the socks," finished
Whopper. " Yes, that was a wind to remember."
" Hurrah, Whopper is coming to his own ! "
cried Snap. "Whopper, what would you do if
you couldn't tell stories now and then? "
" Why, rd — " began Whopper, and then
leaped to his feet. " Well, I never ! Give me a
gun, quick ! There's a bear ! "
delayed by a storm
"Where Is he?'*
" Let me get my gun ! '*
Such were some of the exclamations uttered after
Whopper made his declaration that he had seen a
bear. In the meantime the youth who loved to tell
big stories had caught up his shotgun and was aim-
ing It to the right of the watercourse, where there
were several big rocks overgrown with brushwood.
He took aim and blazed away. A grunt followed,
and then came a thrashing in the bushes, growing
fainter and fainter in the distance.
*' You hit him ! " ejaculated Snap.
^' ** Yes, but he is running away for all he's worth,"
answered Whopper, disappointedly.
By this time every one of the young hunters had
his firearm. The boat was turned to the bank of
the creek, and then each youth looked at the others.
Not a trace of the bear was to be seen anywhere.
" No use of going after him," said the doctor's
DELAYED BY A STORM 105
son. " More than likely he's half a mile away byj
this time and he'll be so shy he won't let us get any-
where near him."
^' If only we could have gotten a shot at him! "
said Giant, wistfully. " Think of bringing a bear
down first lick! " And his eyes glistened.
" We might have crawled up on him, only I
thought he saw us," explained Whopper. " That's
the reason I called for my gun."
" I guess he kind of scared you," said Snap.
*' Well, I admit I was startled. I didn't think
we'd find a bear along here — I thought they hung
up in the mountains."
" They may come down to gather some stuff that
grows in this water," answered Snap. " They love
to eat certain roots, so Jed Sanborn told me, and
sometimes they travel a long distance to get them."
After a little more talk the journey was resumed,
and nothing out of the ordinary came to their notice
until late in the afternoon. Then Shep, who was
in the bow looking forward, held up his hand for
" What is it? " whispered Giant, who was next
" Some small animals squatting on yonder
rocks," replied the doctor's son. " I don't know
what they are."
io6 YOUNG HUNTERS OF THE LAKE
The young hunters stopped rowing and took up
their shotguns with care. They allowed the boat
to drift behind a screen of bushes on the side of the
watercourse. Then they looked through the
bushes with care.
" I know what they are — muskrats," whispered
" I see two of them," added Shep. He raised
his gun and Giant did the same. Bang! bang!
went both pieces, one directly after the other. The
muskrats gave a leap upward and fell with a splash
into the stream.
" We hit them, that's certain," said the doctor's
son. ** But they may get away."
Eagerly the boys rowed up to the spot where the
muskrats had sat. Around the rocks the clear
water was churned up into mud. But on the sur-
face floated the two bodies of the creatures.
" I don't know what we are going to do with
them," said Snap. " The skins are not very good
this time of year."
" I couldn't resist bringing one of 'em down,"
" Just the way I felt," added Giant.
They continued on their way, and a few minutes
later came to something of a cleared spot along the
DELAYED BY A STORM 107
watercourse. Here Snap leaped up, shotgun in
"Here's our chance, fellows!" he whispered.
" AU together/'
He pointed to some low trees beyond the clear-
ing. The branches were thick with quail. All un-
derstood and took up their firearms.
" I'll shoot high, Shep can shoot low, Giant to
the left and Whopper to the right," commanded
the leader of the club. " All ready ? "
" Yes," was the low answer, and the four
weapons went off almost as one piece. There was
a great fluttering in the trees and five quail were
seen to drop. Then two others flew around in a
fashion that told plainly they were seriously,
" Come on, we must get them! " cried Giant,
and leaped forward. As the two wounded birds
flew close together he blazed away a second time,
and the game dropped like a stone. The rest of
the quail were now out of sight.
" Seven quail ! " cried Snap, enthusiastically.
" I don't call that half bad."
** I call it very good," declared the doctor's son.
" To-morrow we can have quail on toast."
"Where are you going to get the toast?"
io8 YOUNG HUNTERS OF THE LAKE
'* Well, we'll have quail on crackers then/' put
Stowing the quail away in the bow of the boat,
they went on through the gathering darkness. The
sun had gone down over the hills in the west, cast-
ing long shadows across the little watercourse.
*' It will be pretty dark by the time we reach
Firefly Lake," said Snap, and he was right. It was
cloudy too, and a stiff breeze from the east had be-
gun to blow.
" We'll have to take care how we pitch our tent
to-night," was Whopper's comment. " Unless I
miss my guess, we'll have rain by to-morrow morn-
" Oh, don't say that! " cried Giant. " I don't
want it to rain yet."
" It won't hold off for you or anybody else," re-
turned Snap. " Whopper is right, we must stake
our tent well and allow for the water to run off —
if rain does comie."
When they at last rounded the final turn and
swept into Firefly Lake it was so dark they could
see little or nothing ahead. But they remembered
the locality and had little trouble in reaching a spot
where they had camped once before. But the
snows of the previous winter had played sad havoc
with the fireplace they had built, and they had to
DELAYED BY A STORM 109
build a fire in the open. While Whopper and
Giant prepared a substantial supper Snap and Shep
put up the tent, on a bit of high ground. Around
the tent they dug a small trench, to carry off the
v/ater, should it storm.
" We want to make sure that our boat doesn't
get away from us again to-night," said Whopper.
'* Here is a cove — we can haul her up in that,"
said Snap, and this was done, and the craft was tied
fast to two trees.
Having had but little sleep the night before, all
the young hunters were tired out, and it was not
long after getting supper that they crawled into the
tent and went to sleep. On account of the wind
they did not dare to leave the campfire burning, for
they knew only too well how easy it is to set a
forest on fire through such carelessness.
At about two o'clock in the morning Giant
awoke, to find the rain coming down steadily on the
tent. He crawled to the front of the shelter and
looked out. Ail was pitch dark, and, somehow,
the prospect made him shiver. The wind had
gone down, and only the fall of the rain broke
" This is lonely enough for anybody, I guess,'*
he mused, and crawled back to his corner.
" Shouldn't wonder if we have to stay in camp to-
no YOUNG HUNTERS OF THE LAKE
morrow. But I don't care — It will give us all
a chance to rest up.''
He struck a match, to see how the others were
faring, and as he gazed around he saw a small
stream of water coming In through a hole In the
tent. The stream was falling close to Whopper's
head. Just then Whopper turned and the stream
took him directly In the ear.
" Wh — wow ! " spluttered Whopper, awaken-
ing and squirming around. " What's the matter
here? Has Niagara Falls broke loose, or who's
playing the hose on me?"
The noise aroused the others, and all sat up.
By this time the match had gone out, but Giant
promptly struck another and then lit the camp
lantern. Whopper gazed at the hole in the tent
"That's too bad," said Snap. "We'll have
to mend that, the first chance we get."
" We can't mend it to-night," answered Shep.
" Gracious ! just listen to it rain ! "
The boys sat up for quite awhile listening to the
rain, but presently they grew tired again and one
after another dropped off to sleep. Whopper
found a dry spot next to Giant; and thus they
rested until daylight.
It was certainly a dismal outlook that confronted
DELAYED BY A STORM m
them when they arose for the day. The rain was
coming down steadily, and no dry firewood was to
be had with which to cook breakfast.
" We should have put some wood in the tent,*'
said Snap. " We'll know better next time."
It took a deal of coaxing to start a blaze, but
once it got going to keep it up was easy. They
took their time, for traveling in such a storm was
out of the question. The meal over, they washed
up the dishes, and then huddled down in the tent
" This is the only drawback to camp life,'* said
Snap, with a sigh. " A storm knocks everything
endways. But there is no help for it, and a fel-
low must take the bitter with the sweet.'*
The storm continued all day, and the only thing
the lads did was to fish. At this they were very
successful, and a fine supper of fresh lake trout put
them in much better humor. They put in a peace-
ful night, and the next morning, the storm having
cleared away, they set off for Lake Narsac.
LOST IN THE SWAMP
" This is certainly a wilderness ! "
It was Snap who uttered the words, as he stood
in the bow of the rowboat, taking in the scene be-
fore him. They had left Firefly Lake five miles
behind them and were on the winding stream lead-
ing to Lake Narsac. On one side of the water-
course were rough rocks and on the other a tangled
mass of underbrush, backed up by rocks and tall
*' A fellow could never make his way through
such a woods as that," said Whopper, nodding in
the direction of the forest. " Why, you'd tear
your clothing all to pieces ! "
" I can tell you one thing," put in Shep. " I
think there must be plenty of game up here — if
only one can get to it."
They had taken turns at rowing and poling the
craft along. For the most part the poling was
better than rowing, for the stream was too full of
LOST IN THE SWAMP 113
rocks to admit the free use of oars. Twice they
had bumped on the projections under water, once
with such violence that Giant, who had been stand-
ing at the time, had almost gone overboard. Once
they had to carry craft and outfit around a sharp
bend. The boat had started to leak a little, but
not enough to cause anxiety.
Noon found them encamped on a point of land
where the stream appeared to divide into two parts,
one running to the northeast and the other to the
northwest. Which branch to take to get to Lake
Narsac thev did not know.
'' This is a fine how-do-you do ! " was Whop-
per's comment. " I wish we had questioned Jed
Sanborn about it."
" From what I thought he said I imagined there
was but one stream leading to the lake," said the
" Perhaps there is, Shep; but which is the one? "
" Don't ask me. One looks as good as the
" On the map Lake Narsac Is to the northwest
of Firefly Lake," came from Giant. " Conse-
quently I should say that we ought to take the
stream flowing in that direction."
" That sounds reasonable," answered Snap, and
the others nodded.
114 YOUNG HUNTERS OF THE LAKE
Coming along the watercourse they had man-
aged to shoot several quail, of the sort known
by many as partridge, and also some other birds.
Shep had likewise brought down two squirrels.
They had scared up several rabbits, but these had
gotten away in the underbrush.
" Let us take a good rest before we go further,*'
said Shep, while he was eating. " There is no
use of our killing ourselves with rowing when we
are only out for fun."
The others agreed, and as a consequence they
took a nap after the meal and did not get started
again until three oVlock.
They soon found the stream they were on broad
but shallow, and felt sure it would lead to the lake.
They kept on steadily until six o'clock, and then
came to a halt at a point where the watercourse
narrowed and ran between a series of jagged rocks.
" We ought to be getting to the lake pretty
soon,'* was Snap's comment. "Jed Sanborn told
me we could make the trip from Firefly Lake In
a day if we didn't fool along the way."
" Well, don't forget that we stopped for a nap,"
answered Whopper. " Perhaps we'll get there
before It gets dark."
Having passed the rocks, they found the
stream broadening out once more. The bottom