H. Irving Hancock.

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The High School Boys in Summer Camp
or
The Dick Prescott Six Training for the Gridley Eleven

By H. Irving Hancock







CONTENTS

CHAPTERS
I. The Man in the Four-Quart-Hat
II. Dick and Some High Finance
III. The Human Mystery of the Woods
IV. Dave Darrin is Angry
V. Dick Grapples in the Dark
VI. Danger Comes on the Hoof
VII. Fighting the Mad Stampede
VIII. Visitors for the Feast
IX. Dick's Woodland Discovery
X. Setting a New Trap
XI. A Hard Prowler to Catch
XII. "Tag" is the Game - Tag Mosher!
XIII. In a Fix!
XIV. Thrashing an Ambulance Case!
XV. The Interruption of a Training Bout
XVI. Ten Minutes of Real Daring
XVII. During the Big Storm
XVIII. Mr. Page's Kind of Father
XIX. Seen in a New, Worse Light
XX. Some Imitation Villainy
XXI. The Medical Examiner Talks Training
XXII. Plating Ragtime on Mr. Bull
XXIII. What Tag "Borrowed" from the Doctor
XIV. Conclusion




CHAPTER I

THE MAN IN THE FOUR-QUART HAT


"You'll find your man in the lobby of the Eagle Hotel or in the
neighborhood of the hotel on Main Street," said Dick Prescott.
"You can hardly miss him."

"But how will I know Mr. Hibbert, when I see him?" pursued the
stranger.

"I don't know that his name is Hibbert," Dick answered. "However,
he is the only young man who has just reached town fresh from
Europe. His trunks are pasted all over with labels."

"You'll know the young man, sir," Tom Reade broke in, with a quiet
smile. "He always wears a spite-fence collar. You could bill
a minstrel show on that collar."

"A collar is but a slight means of identification, in a city full
of people," remarked the stranger good-humoredly.

"Well, then, sir, your man also wears a four-quart silk hat, and
a long black coat that makes you think of a neat umbrella covering,"
Tom went on.

"And lavender trousers," supplemented Greg Holmes.

"Always wears these things, you say?" questioned the stranger.

"He has, so far," Dick nodded. "Mr. Hibbert has been in town
only since late yesterday afternoon, and it's only four in the
afternoon to-day."

"I shall be able to find my man all right," smiled the stranger.
"You've informed me that he is stopping at the Eagle Hotel.
Until now, I knew only that Mr. Hibbert was in Gridley. Thank
you, young gentlemen."

"Now, I wonder how he knew that," murmured Tom reflectively.

"Knew what?" demanded Dave Darrin.

"That we're gentlemen," Tom responded.

"Oh, he guessed that," suggested Harry Hazelton.

"He's a good guesser, then," remarked Tom. "I always like to
see a man so discerning. I'm ashamed to confess it, but Dick
is the only fellow in our crowd who looks at all like a gentleman.
He is dressed in his Sunday best. Look at us!"

The other five certainly looked neat enough, even though they
did not wear their "Sunday best."

"Now, fellows, what's the lowest I'm to take for the canoe?"
Dick inquired, after a glance at his watch. "The train is due
in two minutes."

Instantly his five chums looked thoughtful.

"You'll get the most that you can, of course," Greg insisted.

"I shall try to get a good price," Dick nodded, "but I may find
myself up against close bargainers. So hurry up and vote as to
the lowest price that I'm to accept under any circumstances."

"What do you say?" asked Tom Reade, looking at Dave.

"We ought to get sixty dollars for it, at the very lowest," Darrin
replied, slowly. "I'd like to pull in seventy-five dollars, for
we need every penny of the latter amount."

"We might get along with seventy," hinted Harry Hazelton. "Suppose
we say seventy dollars as the lowest possible price that we can
consider."

"Sixty-five dollars, anyway," urged Dan Dalzell, otherwise known
as "Danny Grin."

"What's your own idea, Dick?" asked Tom Reade, as the distant
whistle sounded.

"If you fellows are going to be content with a sixty or seventy-dollar
bottom price," suggested Prescott, "I wish you'd elect someone
else to go in my place."

"Do you think we'll have to take fifty?" asked Tom Reade looking
aghast.

"If you send me, and leave the trade in my hands," retorted young
Prescott, "then you'll have to accept ninety dollars as the very
bottom price, or there won't be any sale."

"Hurrah!" chuckled Danny Grin. "That's the talk! Ninety - -or
nothing!"

"Do you think you can get that much?" asked Dave doubtingly.

"I'll have to, or I won't make any trade," Dick smiled, though
there was a glint of firmness in his eyes.

"Let it be ninety dollars or nothing, then," agreed Tom Reade,
adding, under his breath, "With the accept on the 'nothing.'"

As Dick glanced about him at the faces of his chums they all nodded
their approval.

"I have my final instructions, then," Dick announced, as the east-bound
train rolled in at the Gridley station. It had been from the
westbound train, a few minutes before, that the stranger seeking
Mr. Hibbert had alighted.

"Wish you luck, old chap!" cheered Dave, as Dick ascended the
carsteps.

"I wish us all luck," Dick called back from the car platform,
"and I'll try to bring it back to you."

The train was moving as Dick entered one of the day coaches.
Silently his chums wished that they might all have gone with Dick,
instead of turning away from the station, as they were now doing.
Funds were low with Dick & Co., however, and all hands had contributed
to buy young Prescott's round-trip ticket to Porthampton, more
than an hour's ride away.

"Do you believe Dick can get ninety dollars for the canoe?" asked
Dave at last, when the high school boys were half way to Main Street.

"Why not? It's a six-paddle war canoe, a genuine one, and in
good condition for the water," Tom Reade replied.

"But it's only a second-hand canoe," Darrin argued. "It was second-hand
when we bought it at the Wild West auction a year ago."

"That canoe is in just as good order as it ever was," Greg maintained.
"It's a shame for us to sell it at all. We could have had a
lot of fun with it this summer."

"Yes," sighed Danny Grin, "if only Harry and I hadn't been forbidden
by our parents to have anything more to do with the canoe."

"One thing is certain," spoke up Tom promptly. "With two of our
fellows barred from entering the canoe we couldn't have any fun.
Dick & Co. have always pulled together, you know. There are
six of us, but we don't break up into smaller parties, and we
don't recruit our ranks with newcomers."

"I don't see why my father had to kick so about the canoe," sighed
Harry Hazelton. "We enjoyed the good old canoe all last summer,
and not one of us got hurt in it, or from it."

"I understand why your father objects, Harry," broke in Darrin.
"With five drowning accidents from canoes hereabouts, already
this summer, and two of those accidents on our own river, your
father has some right to be nervous about the canoe."

"I can swim," argued Harry.

"So could both of the fellows who were drowned right here in the
river," rejoined Reade. "Harry, I don't blame either your father
or Dan's mother for objecting. Anyway, think of the fun we're
going to have, this summer, of a different kind."

"If we sell the canoe," Darrin laughed. "But we haven't sold
it yet."

"Oh, Dick can get something for the canoe," insisted Reade.

"Yes; but 'something' won't fill the bill, now, for you all heard
Dick say he wouldn't take less than ninety dollars for it. When
Dick says a thing like that he means it. He will bring back ninety
dollars, or - - -"

"Or nothing," finished Dave. "Somehow, I can't just figure out
what any man would look like who'd give ninety dollars for an
old second-hand war canoe, even if it is of Indian model."

"And made of genuine birch bark, which is so hard to get these
days," added Reade. "Fellows, I can't believe that our old Dick
will come back whipped. Defeat isn't a habit of his, you know."

So the "Co." of Dick & Co. wandered up on to Main Street, a prey
to suspense. Some hours must pass ere they could hope to know
the result of their young leader's mission at Porthampton.

All the member of Dick & Co. are assuredly familiar enough our
readers. These six young Americans, Gridleyites, amateur athletes
and high school boys, were first introduced to the reader during
their eventful days of early chumship at the Central Grammar School.
Their adventures have been related in detail in the "_Grammar
School Boys Series_." How they made their start in athletics,
as grammar school boys, and, more important still, how they made
their beginnings in character forming, have all been related in
that series. We next came upon Dick & Co. in the "_High School
Boys Series_." All of our readers recall the rousing story of
"_The High School Freshmen_." Young Prescott and his chums were
bound to be "different," even as freshmen; so, without being in
the least "fresh," they managed to make their influence felt in
Gridley High School during their first year there. Though, as
freshmen, they were not allowed to take part in athletics, they
contrived to "boost up" Gridley High School athletics several
notches, and aided in putting the Athletic Association on a firmer
basis than it had ever known before. They did several other noteworthy
things in their freshman year, all of which are now wholly familiar
to our readers. Their doings in the second high school year are
fully chronicled in "_The High School Pitcher_." In this second
volume the formal and exciting entry of Dick & Co. into high school
athletics is splendidly described, with a wealth of rousing adventure
and humorous situations.

This present series, which is intended to describe the vacations
of our Gridley High School boys in between their regular school
years, opened with the preceding volume, "_The High School Boys
Canoe Club_." Within the pages of that volume are set forth the
manner in which Dick & Co. secured, at an auction sale of a Wild
West show, a six-paddle Indian war canoe. All their problems
in getting this canoe into serviceable condition made highly interesting
reading. The host of adventures that surrounded their vacation
at Lake Pleasant proved thrilling indeed to our readers. How
they met and contested with the canoe clubs from other high schools
was delightfully set forth. The efforts of Fred Ripley to spoil
the fun of Dick & Co. during that vacation, formed another strong
feature of the tale.

We now find our young high school friends, just after the Fourth
of July, at a very exciting point in their careers. As has been
intimated, Harry Hazelton's and Dan Dalzell's parents had grown
nervous about the canoeing sport, and had urged their sons not
to enter the craft again. As Dick & Co. had always been companions
in all forms of sport, the other four chums had promptly decided
to sell the canoe, if possible, and to devote the proceeds to
going off in the "real woods" to camp.

And now a probable customer at Porthampton had been found, and
Dick had departed by train to see whether the sale could be effected.

"I've twenty cents left. Is there money enough in the crowd to
buy five ice creams?" asked Tom Reade, displaying two dimes.

"I've a whole half dollar, though you won't believe it until you
see it," laughed Dave Darrin.

"Then there's enough for cream," decided Tom.

"I'll put in my half, if you fellows say so," Dave went on. "But
we may soon be in need of quite a bit of money. Wouldn't it be
better to hold on to our fruit of the mint?"

"When we sell the canoe we'll have plenty of money," suggested
Danny Grin.

"Very true, old Smilax," nodded Dave. "But what if Dick doesn't
sell it?"

"Then we won't have plenty of money," responded Greg promptly.

"If Dick doesn't make a sale to the parties he has gone to see,"
Dave went on argumentatively, "we may want money to buy him a
ticket to some other town. It won't be wise to spend our little
capital until we see some more money coming in."

"That sounds like common sense," agreed Reade, dropping his dimes
back into his pocket. "Still, I'm sorry that we're not rich enough
to finance the ice cream proposition and still have enough capital
left."

"So am I sorry," sighed Danny Grin. "This waiting for Dick Prescott
to get back with the news is a wearing proposition."

"Come down to my house," suggested Dave. "I've got that catalogue
from the tent and camping goods house. Let's go and look over
the catalogue, and try to decide just what we want to buy for
our camp when Dick gets the money for the canoe."

"That would be bully fun, if we really knew that Dick had sold
the canoe," smiled young Holmes wistfully. "However, until we
do know, I suggest that we avoid all false hopes and keep away
from all catalogues."

At this instant Tom nudged Dave. Two men were passing, and one
of them was saying to the other:

"Yes; I sold the double house for eighty-two hundred dollars - -a
clear profit of twenty-two hundred. Then I put four thousand
more with that money and bought the Miller place. Within a couple
of years I'll get rid of the Miller place for at least sixteen
thousand dollars. I've never known a time when real estate money
came in as easily."

"Is he talking about real money?" grunted Darrin. "He can't be!"

"He is," Tom declared. "That's Buller, of Wrenville. He is a
very successful man in real estate. Father knows him."

"Humph! Talking of thousands, when a few ten dollar bills would
fix us for the summer," muttered Dave Darrin. "I wonder if men
ever stop to think how it feels for a boy to go around broke."

"I spoke to my dad along those lines once," smiled Tom.

"What did he say?" asked Danny Grin.

"Oh, dad told me there was no objection whatever to my starting
out and earning a lot of money. He explained that was how he
had gotten his."

The other youngsters were smiling now, for, as was well known
to them all, Mr. Reade wasn't credited with possessing a great
deal of money.

"Well, are you fellows coming down to my place to look over the
catalogue?" Dave proposed once more. "It'll help to kill time
during our suspense."

Though they felt rather foolish about spending their dollars before
they obtained them, the four high school boys turned to follow
Darrin, when a voice behind them called:

"Oh, boys! Just a moment, please!"

"It's the man in the four-quart silk hat," Tom whispered, as the
five chums baited and turned.

"Man?" echoed Darry, though also in a whisper. "Humph! Hibbert
looks more like a boy who has run away from home with his father's
wardrobe."

Certainly, as he hurried toward them, Mr. Hibbert did look youthful.
He couldn't have been more than twenty-two - -perhaps he was a
year younger than that. He was not very tall, nor very stout.
His round, rosy, cherubic, smoothly shaven face made him look
almost girlish. He was faultlessly, expensively dressed, though
on this hot July afternoon a black frock coat and high silk hat
looked somewhat out of keeping with the day's weather report.

"I just wanted to ask you boys to do me something of a favor,"
Mr. Alonzo Hibbert went on.

"Name the favor, please," urged Tom with drawling gentleness.

"Can you tell me what shop that is over there?" inquired Mr. Hibbert,
pointing, with a dapper cane, across the street.

"That is Anderson's Ice Cream Emporium," Tom answered gravely.

"Let's go over there," proposed Mr. Hibbert smiling, as he glanced
from one face to another.

"That proposition was just before the house, and was voted down,"
Tom continued.

"What was the matter, boys?" demanded young Mr. Hibbert beamingly.
"Didn't you have the price?"

"On the contrary, we had the price," Reade answered, as gravely
as ever. "However, after discussion, we decided that we had other
uses for our capital."

"But I haven't any other uses for my present capital," pursued
Mr. Hibbert, as smiling as ever. "So come along, please."

Instead of jumping at the offer, Dick's partners regarded the
man in the four-quart hat with some doubt. Often, when offered
a courtesy from strangers that they would like to accept, these
boys were likely to regard the offer with this same attitude of
suspicion. It was not that Dick & Co. meant to be ungracious
to strangers, but rather that their boyish experience with the
world had taught them that such offers from strangers usually
have strings attached to them.

"Don't you young men like ice cream?" asked Mr. Hibbert, looking
fully as astonished as he felt.

"Certainly we do, Mr. Hibbert," Tom responded. "But what's the
idea? What do you want us to do for you?"

"I ask you for the pleasure of your company," explained Mr. Hibbert.
"I'm a stranger in this town, and I'd like a little company."

"And - -afterwards?" pursued Reade.

"'Afterwards'?" repeated Alonzo Hibbert looking puzzled.

"What do you want us to do for you by and by?" Tom asked.

"Oh, I see," replied Hibbert, laughing with keen enjoyment. "You
think my invitation a bait for services that I expect presently
to demand. Nothing of the sort, I assure you. All I want is
someone to talk to for the next half hour. Won't you oblige me?"

"Mr. Hibbert," broke in Dave suddenly, "I've just happened to
remember that there is a man in town who wants to talk with you.
We met him at the station, and he inquired where he could find
you."

"I think I know whom you mean," admitted Hibbert.

"We told him you were stopping at the Eagle Hotel," Greg added.

"Then, if the man who is looking for me went to the Eagle Hotel,
he has already learned that I am elsewhere. It's his business
to find me, not mine to run about town seeking him. He can find
me as well in the ice cream shop as in any other place. Will
you young men oblige me with your company?"

At a nod from Darrin the others fell in line. Mr. Hibbert led
the way across the street, entering the shop, which proved to
be empty of other customers.

As the waitress approached the two tables to take the orders for
ice cream the host of the occasion turned to his guests.

"Give the young woman your orders, gentlemen," said Alonzo Hibbert.

"Strawberry," said Tom.

"Vanilla," requested Dave.

"Oh, fudge!" interposed their host.

"We haven't any fudge ice cream, sir," remarked the waitress without
smiling.

"I cried fudge on their orders," remarked Hibbert gayly. "They
are too modest. Young woman, have you still some of those cantaloupes,
which you cut open and fill with different flavors of cream and
water ice?"

"Yes, sir."

"Then, young gentlemen, permit me to change the order to one of
those cantaloupes for each of you."

The waitress departed on her errand, while Reade and Darrin glanced
at each other, somewhat aghast. The delicacy ordered by Mr. Hibbert
cost a quarter of a dollar a portion.

When the orders were brought and placed on the table, Alonzo Hibbert
draw from his pocket a roll of bills, stripping off the outermost
and handing it to the waitress. Yet their host gave no sign of
attempting to make a vulgar display of his money. He seemed rather
unconscious of the possession of it.

"Are these favorites of yours?" inquired Mr. Hibbert presently
of Greg, indicating the multi-colored load of ices, each resting
in a half of a cantaloupe.

"Not exactly favorites," Greg replied. "We don't often have the
money to spend on such an expensive treat."

"Don't you?" inquired Hibbert in a tone of considerable surprise,
as though wondering why everyone in the world wasn't as well supplied
with money as he himself was.

Then, after a pause, their host asked of Greg:

"Would you like always to have plenty of money?"

"I suppose everyone would like that," murmured young Holmes.

"Shall I make a prediction?" inquired Hibbert.

"By all means, if it pleases you," Greg answered politely.

"Then, Greg Holmes, I venture to assert that you will very shortly
find yourself a millionaire."

This was said with so much earnestness, and apparent sincerity,
that all five of the chums now regarded their host intently.

"How soon is that going to happen?" Greg laughingly inquired.

"Within a week," Alonzo Hibbert replied as seriously as ever.
He glanced at Greg with a look full of friendly interest.

Tom Reade snorted, almost audibly, then drew down the corners
of his mouth to keep himself from laughing outright. Dave, too,
took another swift look at their smiling young host.

"I wish you were a sure prophet," murmured Greg trying hard not
to laugh.

"I am," declared Mr. Hibbert seriously. "Mind what I tell you,
Greg Holmes, within a week you will know yourself to be a millionaire."

"Real money?" demanded Greg.

"Real money," nodded Hibbert positively. "Or else it will be
in stocks, bonds or real estate that could be converted into real
money."

By this time, Tom, Dave and the others, Greg included, had taken
Alonzo Hibbert's measure or believed they had. Their host, then,
was a lunatic. A harmless and very amiable lunatic, to be sure,
yet none the less the victim of a deranged mind.

"Eaten up your creams?" asked Mr. Hibbert, glancing around. "Then
we'll have another apiece."

He signaled the waitress, giving the order.

"Don't ask me - -yet - -how I know," continued their host, turning
once more to Greg Holmes, "but you're going to find yourself a
millionaire within a week. I know it. It's all in your ear."

As he spoke Hibbert gave Greg's right ear a playful tweak.

"All in Greg's ear?" muttered Tom Reade under his breath. "I
knew that from the outset."

"All in your ear, Holmes!" Hibbert repeated. "Yet it will all
be very real money. Oh, won't you be astonished!"

"I - -I think I shall, when the wealth rains down upon me," murmured
Greg, now afraid to raise his eyes to meet the mocking glance
that Darry was sending toward him.

At this moment the stranger of the railway station entered the
room, then came toward the table.

"Mr. Hibbert, here is the man who was inquiring for you at the
station," Tom announced in a low voice.

Hibbert turned, glancing inquiringly at the stranger.

"Are you Mr. Hibbert?" asked the latter.

"Yes," nodded the man in the four-quart hat. "My name is Colquitt,"
explained the stranger. "I am from - - -"

"Er - -yes, quite so," murmured Mr. Hibbert. "And here is the
boy. He is named Greg Holmes. Do you observe his right ear?"

"I do," Colquitt assented, after a swift, keen glance.

"He is the boy," Hibbert repeated after a moment's hesitation.

"Where do you live, young man?" asked Colquitt.

Greg supplied the name of his street and the number.

"Name of your family physician?" went on the stranger.

"Dr. Bentley."

"Has he always been your family physician?"

"Ever since I can remember," Greg declared.

"Thank you," and Colquitt turned to leave.

"Won't you stay and have an ice with us?" urged Hibbert.

"Too much to do," replied Colquitt, shaking his head and walking out.

Now the high school boys found themselves doubly, trebly puzzled.
If Mr. Hibbert were an amiable lunatic, what of Colquitt? Both
had appeared to know something mysterious about young Holmes.

Tom Reade, also, was thinking deeply. Dave Darrin was frowning.
Dan Dalzell was grinning slightly, while Hazelton was giving
his whole attention to the second ice before him.

Hibbert, however, passed to other topics as lightly as though
he had already forgotten all about fortunes and ears. The time
passed pleasantly until all of the five chums felt that they could
hold no more ices. Then Hibbert, having paid the bill, left the
ice cream place with them.

Outside they encountered Mr. Colquitt once more.

"May I have a word aside with you, sir?" demanded Colquitt.

"A dozen," agreed Hibbert readily.

The two walked apart from the boys, going down the sidewalk together
slowly. But the youngsters heard Hibbert say earnestly:

"I tell you, Colquitt, that is the boy. He has the ear and all.
And he'll be in luck with the money he'll have!"

"And I tell you, Mr. Hibbert, that he isn't the boy at all," retorted
Colquitt, with even greater positiveness.

More was said, but the two passed out of hearing.

"Greg," declared Tom Reade solemnly, "it appears that you're the
million-dollar kid!"

"I know it," grinned young Holmes. "I am! Also it seems equally
certain that I am not!"

"What do you make of the whole business, fellows?" Tom asked,
turning to the other chums.

"I've my own idea," laughed Dave Darrin.

"Give it us, quickly!" begged Danny Grin.

"My idea," Dave declared, "is that Hibbert is a rather harmless


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