Percy Keese Fitzhugh.

Tom Slade at Temple camp online

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"Rejected by a large majority - I mean, elected by a large majority."

Roy Blakeley gathered up the ballots in his two hands, dropped them into
the shoe box and pushed the box across the table to Mr. Ellsworth as if
the matter were finally settled.

"Honorable Roy Blakeley," he added, "didn't even carry his own patrol."

This humiliating confession, offered in Roy's gayest manner, was true.
The Silver Foxes had turned from their leader and, to a scout, voted for
Tom Slade. It was hinted that Roy himself was responsible for this, but
he was a good politician and would not talk. There was also a dark rumor
that a certain young lady was mixed up in the matter and it is a fact
that only the night before Roy and Mary Temple had been seen in earnest
converse on the wide veranda at Grantley Square by Pee-wee Harris, who
believed that a scout should be observant.

Be this as it may, Tom had carried his own patrol, the Elks,
unanimously, and the Silver Foxes had voted for him like instructed
delegates, while among the proud and dignified Ravens there had been but
one dissenting vote. Someone had cast this for Pee-wee Harris, the
Silver Fox mascot and the troop's chief exhibit. But, of course, it was
only a joke. The idea of Pee-wee going away as assistant camp manager
was preposterous. Why, you could hardly see him without a magnifying

"If this particular majority had been much larger," announced Roy, "it
wouldn't have been a majority at all; it would have been a unanimity."

"A una _what_?" someone asked.

"A unanimity - that's Latin for home run. Seems a pity that the only
thing that prevented a clean sweep was a little three-foot pocket
edition of a boy scout - - "

At this moment, Pee-wee, by a miracle of dexterity, landed a ball of
twine plunk in the middle of Roy's face.

"Roy," laughed Mr. Ellsworth, "you're a good campaign manager."

"He's a boss," shouted Pee-wee, "that's what he is. A boss is a feller
that has people elected and then makes them do what he says."

"Well, you were glad enough to vote for him with the rest, weren't you?"
laughed the scoutmaster.

And Pee-wee had to confess that he was.

But there was no doubt that Roy had managed the whole thing, and if ever
political boss saw his fondest wishes realized Roy did now.

"I think," said Mr. Ellsworth, "that it is up to Tom to deliver his
speech of acceptance."

"Sure it is," said Westy Martin (Silver Fox). "We want to know his
policies. Is he going to favor the Elks or is he going to be neutral?"

"Is he for troop first or camp first?" asked Doc. Carson (Raven and
First-aid scout).

"Is Roy Blakeley going to come in for three or four helpings at mess
because he ran the campaign?" asked Connie Bennett, of the new Elks.

"Speech, speech!" called Eddie Ingram, of the Silver Foxes.

Tom looked uneasily at Mr. Ellsworth and on the scoutmaster's laughing
nod of encouragement arose.

He was not at his best in a thing of this kind; he had always envied Roy
his easy, bantering manner, but he was not the one to shirk a duty, so
he stood up.

He was about fifteen and of a heavy, ungraceful build. His hair was
thick and rather scraggly, his face was of the square type, and his
expression what people call stolid. He had freckles but not too many,
and his mouth was large and his lips tight-set. His face wore a
characteristic frown which was the last feeble trace of a lowering look
which had once disfigured it. Frowns are in the taboo list of the
scouts, but somehow this one wasn't half bad; there was a kind of rugged
strength in it. He wore khaki trousers and a brown flannel shirt which
was unbuttoned in front, exposing an expanse of very brown chest.

For Tom Slade's virtues you will have to plow through these pages if you
have not already met him, but for his faults, they were printed all over
him like cities on a map. He was stubborn, rather reticent, sometimes
unreasonable, and carried with him that air of stolid self-confidence
which is apt to be found in one who has surmounted obstacles and risen
in spite of handicaps. It was often said in the troop that one never
knew how to take Tom.

"I think Pee-wee is right," he said, "and I guess Roy managed this. I
could see he was doing some private wig-wag work, and I think you've all
been - what d'you call it - co-something or other - - "

"Coerced!" suggested Pee-wee.

(Cries of "No, you're crazy!")

"But as long as I'm elected I'll take the job - and I'm very thankful. I
won't deny I wanted it. Roy won't get any favors." (Cheers) "If I have
any deciding to do I'll decide the way I think is right. That's all I've
got to say - oh, yes, there's one thing more - one thing I made up my mind
to in case I was lucky enough to get elected." (Cries of "Hear, hear!")
"I'm not going to go by the railroad. I got an idea, like, that it
doesn't took right for a scout to go to camp by train. So I'm going to
hike it up to the camp. I'm going to start early enough so I can do it.
When a scout steps off a train he looks like a summer boarder. I ask Roy
to go with me if he can start when I do. I don't want you fellows to
think I was expecting to be chosen. I didn't let myself think about it.
But sometimes you can't help thinking about a thing; and the other
night I said to myself that if anything should happen I should get
elected - - "

(A voice, "You didn't do a thing but walk away with it, Tommy!")

(Cries of "Shut up till he gets through!")

"I wouldn't go to that camp in a train. I'm not going to set foot in it
till I'm qualified for a first-class scout, and I'm going to do the rest
of my stunts on the way. I want Roy to go with me if he can. I thank you
for electing me. I'll do my best in that job. If I knew how to say it,
I'd thank you better. I guess I'm kind of rattled."

The blunt little speech was very characteristic of Tom and it was
greeted with a storm of applause. He had a way of blurting out his plans
and ideas without giving any previous hint of them, but this was
something of a knockout blow.

"Oh, you hit it right!" shouted Pee-wee. "Gee, I do hate railroad
trains - railroad trains and homework."

"You don't mean you're going to hike it from here, Tom, do you?" asked
Mr. Ellsworth.

"I had an idea I might canoe up as far as Nyack," said Tom, "and then
follow the river up to Catskill Landing and hit in for Leeds - but, of
course," he added, "I didn't really expect to be elected."

"Oh, crinkums!" shouted Pee-wee. "I'll go with you!"

"Well," said Roy, when the laughter had subsided, "this is a new wrinkle
and it sounds rather risky for a half-baked Elk - - " (Hisses from the
Elks) "So far as I'm concerned, I think a hike of a hundred miles or
so - - "

"You're crazy!" interrupted Pee-wee. "You silver-plated Fox - - "

"Is too much," concluded Roy. "In the first place, there would have to
be a whole lot of discomfort." (Hisses) "A fellow would be pretty sure
to get his feet wet." (Mr. Ellsworth restrained Pee-wee with
difficulty.) "He would have to sleep out of doors in the damp night
air - - " (A voice, "Slap him on the wrist!") "And he would be likely to
get lost. Scouts, it's no fun to be lost in the woods - - " (Cries of
"Yes, it is!") "We would be footsore and weary," continued Roy.

"You got that out of a book!" shouted Pee-wee. "_Footsore and
weary_ - that's the way folks talk in books!"

"We might be caught in the rain," said Roy, soberly. "We might have to
pick our way along obscure trail or up steep mountains."

"You ought to go and take a ride in a merry-go-round," cried Pee-wee,

"In short, it is fraught with peril," said Roy.

"You got _that_ out of a book, too," said Pee-wee, disgustedly,
"_fraught with peril_!"

"I think it is too much of an undertaking," said Roy, ignoring him. "We
can get round-trip tickets."

Pee-wee almost fell off his chair.

"But, of course," continued Roy, soberly, "a scout is not supposed to
think of himself - especially a Silver Fox. I am a Silver
Fox - sterling - warranted. A scout is a brother to every other scout. He
ought to be ready to make sacrifices." (Mr. Ellsworth began to chuckle.)

"He ought not to stand by and see a fellow scout in danger. He ought not
to stand and see a poor Elk go headlong - - " (Hisses) "He ought to be
ready with a good turn regardless of his own comfort and safety." (Hoots
and laughter) "I am ready with a good turn. I am ready to sac - - "
(Jeers) "I am ready to sac - - " (Jeers) "I am - - " (Cries of "Noble
lad!") "I am ready to sac - - "

"Well, go ahead and _sac_, why don't you?" shouted Pee-wee in disgust.
"You're a hyp - - "

"Hip - hooray!" concluded several scouts.

"You're a hyp - hyp - hypocrite!" Pee-wee managed to ejaculate amid the

"I am ready to sac - - "

"Oh, go on, sac and be done with it!"

"I am ready to sacrifice myself for Tom Slade," finished Roy,
magnanimously. "Tom," he added, extending his hand across the table with
a noble air of martyrdom, "Tom, I will go with you!"

The meeting broke up gaily, Mr. Ellsworth saying that he would certainly
communicate Roy's generous and self-sacrificing offer to National
Headquarters as a conspicuous instance of a memorable and epoch-making
good turn.

"He gets my goat!" said Pee-wee to the scoutmaster.

"I am very glad," said Mr. Ellsworth, soberly, "that our summer begins
with a good turn. The Silver Foxes should be proud of their unselfish
leader." Then he turned to Doc. Carson and winked the other eye.

He was a great jollier - Mr. Ellsworth.


[Transcriber's Note: An Indian scout sign drawing was inserted here.]

The old Indian scout sign, which is the title of this chapter, means
_There is nothing new along this trail and it brings you back to the
same place._ If you are already acquainted with Tom Slade and his
friends you will be safe in skipping this chapter but, otherwise, you
would better read it for it will tell you a little of Tom's past history
and of the other scouts with whom you are to become acquainted in this

To know just how all this election business came about we must go back a
year or so to a time when Tom Slade was just a hoodlum down in Barrel
Alley and believed with all his heart that the best use a barrel stave
could be put to was to throw it into the Chinese laundry. He had heard
of the Boy Scouts and he called them "regiment guys" and had a
sophisticated contempt for them.

Then all of a sudden, along had come Roy Blakeley, who had shown him
that he was just wasting good barrel staves; that you could make a
first-class Indian bow out of a barrel stave. Roy had also told him that
you can't smoke cigarettes if you expect to aim straight. That was an
end of the barrel as a missile and that was an end of _Turkish Blend
Mixture_ - or whatever you call it. There wasn't any talk or
preaching - just a couple of good knockout blows.

Tom had held that of all the joys in the mischievous hoodlum program
none was so complete as that of throwing chunks of coal through
streetcar windows at the passengers inside. Then along had come Westy
Martin and shown him how you could mark patrol signs on rocks with
chunks of coal - signs which should guide the watchful scout through the
trackless wilderness. Exit coal as a missile.

In short, Tom Slade awoke to the realization not only that he was a
hoodlum, but that he was out of date with his vulgar slang and bungling,
unskilful tricks.

Tom and his father had lived in two rooms in one of John Temple's
tenements down in Barrel Alley and John Temple and his wife and daughter
lived in a couple of dozen rooms, a few lawns, porches, sun-parlors and
things up in Grantley Square. And John Temple stood a better chance of
being struck by lightning than of collecting the rent from Bill Slade.

John Temple was very rich and very grouchy. He owned the Bridgeboro
National Bank; he owned all the vacant lots with their hospitable "Keep
Out" signs, and he had a controlling interest in pretty nearly
everything else in town - except his own temper.

Poor, lazy Bill Slade and his misguided son might have gone on living in
John Temple's tenement rent free until it fell in a heap, for though Mr.
Temple blustered he was not bad at heart; but on an evil day Tom had
thrown a rock at Bridgeboro's distinguished citizen. It was a random,
unscientific shot but, as luck would have it, it knocked John Temple's
new golf cap off into the rich mud of Barrel Alley.

It did not hurt John Temple, but it killed the goose that laid the
golden eggs for the Slades. Mr. Temple's dignity was more than hurt; it
was black and blue. He would rather have been hit by a financial panic
than by that sordid missile from Barrel Alley's most notorious hoodlum.
Inside of three days out went the Slades from John Temple's tenement,
bag and baggage.

There wasn't much baggage. A couple of broken chairs, a greasy
dining-table which Tom had used strategically in his defensive
operations against his father's assaults, a dented beer-can and a few
other dilapidated odds and ends constituted the household effects of the
unfortunate father and son.

Bill Slade, unable to cope with this unexpected disaster, disappeared on
the day of the eviction and Tom was sheltered by a kindly neighbor, Mrs.

His fortunes were at the very lowest ebb and it seemed a fairly safe
prophesy that he would presently land in the Home for Wayward Boys, when
one day he met Roy Blakeley and tried to hold him up for a nickel.

Far be it from me to defend the act, but it was about the best thing
that Tom ever did so far as his own interests were concerned. Roy took
him up to his own little Camp Solitaire on the beautiful lawn of the
Blakeley home, gave him a cup of coffee, some plum duff (Silver Fox
brand, patent applied for), and passed him out some of the funniest
slang (all brand new) that poor Tom had ever heard.

That was the beginning of Tom's transformation into a scout. He fell for
scouting with a vengeance. It opened up a new world to him. To be sure,
this king of the hoodlums did not capitulate all at once - not he. He was
still wary of all "rich guys" and "sissies"; but he used to go down and
peek through a hole in the fence of Temple's lot when they were
practising their games.

Mr. Ellsworth said nothing, only winked his eye at the boys, for he saw
which way the wind was blowing. Tom Slade, king of the hoodlums, had the
scout bug and didn't know it.

Then, when the time was ripe, Mr. Ellsworth called him down into the
field one day for a try at archery. Tom scrambled down from the fence
and shuffled over to where the scouts waited with smiling, friendly
faces; but just at that moment, who should come striding through the
field but John Temple - straight for the little group.

What happened was not pleasant. John Temple denounced them all as a gang
of trespassers, ordered them out of his field and did not hesitate to
express his opinion of Tom in particular. Mr. Ellsworth then and there
championed the poor fellow and prophesied that notwithstanding his past
the scouts would make a man of him yet.

After that Tom Slade came out flat-footed and hit the scout trail. He
was never able to determine to whom he should be most grateful, Roy
Blakeley or Mr. Ellsworth, but it was the beginning of a friendship
between the two boys which became closer as time passed.

There is no use retelling a tale that is told. Tom had such a summer in
camp as he had never dreamed of when he used to lie in bed till noontime
in Barrel Alley, and all that you shall find in its proper place, but
you must know something of how Temple Camp came into being and how it
came by its name.

John Temple was a wonderful man - oh, he was smart. He could take care of
your property for you; if you had a thousand dollars he would turn it
into two thousand for you - like a sleight-of-hand performer. He could
tell you what kind of stocks to buy and when to sell them. He knew where
to buy real estate. He could tell you when wheat was going up or
down - just as if there were a scout sign to go by. He had everything
that heart could wish - and the rheumatism besides.

But his dubious prophesy as to the future of Tom Slade, king of the
hoodlums, came out all wrong. Tom was instrumental in getting back a pin
which had been stolen from Mary Temple, and when her father saw the boy
after six months or so of scouting he couldn't have been more
surprised - not even if the Bridgeboro Bank had failed.

Then poor old John Temple (or rich old John Temple) showed that he had
one good scout trait. He could be a good loser. He saw that he was all
wrong and that Mr. Ellsworth was right and he straightway built a
pavilion for the scouts in the beautiful woods where all the surprising
episodes of the summer which had opened his eyes had taken place.

But you know as well as I do that a man like John Temple would never be
satisfied with building a little one-troop camping pavilion; not he. So
what should he do but buy a tract of land up in the Catskills close to a
beautiful sheet of water which was called Black Lake; and here he put up
a big open shack with a dozen or so log cabins about it and endowed the
whole thing as a summer camp where troops from all over the country
might come and find accommodations and recreation in the summer months.

That was not all. Temple Camp was to be a school where scouting might be
taught (Oh, he was going to do the right thing, was old John Temple!),
and to that end he communicated with somebody who communicated with
somebody else, who got in touch with somebody else who went to some
ranch or other a hundred miles from nowhere in the woolly west and asked
old Jeb Rushmore if he wouldn't come east and look after this big scout
camp. How in the world John Temple, in his big leather chair in the
Bridgeboro Bank, had ever got wind of Jeb Rushmore no one was able to
find out. John Temple was a genius for picking out men and in this case
he touched high-water mark.

Jeb Rushmore was furnished with passes over all John Temple's railroads
straight through from somewhere or other in Dakota to Catskill Landing,
and a funny sight he must have been in his flannel shirt and slouch hat,
sprawling his lanky limbs from the platforms of observation cars,
drawling out his pithy observations about the civilization which he had
never before seen.

There are only two more things necessary to mention in this "side trail"
chapter. Tom's father bobbed up after the boy had become a scout. He was
a mere shadow of his former self; drink and a wandering life had all but
completed his ruin, and although Tom and his companions gave him a home
in their pleasant camp it was too late to help him much and he died
among them, having seen (if it were any satisfaction for him to see)
that scouting had made a splendid boy of his once neglected son.

This brings us to the main trail again and explains why it was that Roy
Blakeley had held mysterious conferences with Mary Temple, and suggested
to all the three patrols that it would be a good idea to elect Tom to go
to Temple Camp to assist in its preparation and management. They had all
known that one of their number was to be chosen for this post and Roy
had hit on Tom as the one to go because he still lived with Mrs.
O'Connor down in Barrel Alley and had not the same pleasant home
surroundings as the other boys.

A scout is thoughtful.



Throughout the previous summer Tom had been in Roy's patrol, the Silver
Foxes, but when the new Elk Patrol was formed with Connie Bennett, the
Bronson boys and others, he had been chosen its leader.

"I think it's just glorious," said Mary Temple, when Tom told her of his
plan and of Roy's noble sacrifice, "and I wish I was a boy."

"Oh, it's great to be a boy," enthused Pee-wee. "Gee, that's one thing
I'm glad of anyway - that I'm a boy!"

"Half a boy is better than all girl," taunted Roy.

"_You're_ a model boy," added Westy.

"And mother and father and I are coming up in the touring car in August
to visit the camp," said Mary. "Oh, I think it's perfectly lovely you
and Tom are going on ahead and that you're going to walk, and you'll
have everything ready when the others get there. Good-bye."

Tom and Roy were on their way up to the Blakeley place to set about
preparing for the hike, for they meant to start as soon as they could
get ready. Pee-wee lingered upon the veranda at Temple Court swinging
his legs from the rubble-stone coping - those same legs that had made the
scout pace famous.

"Oh, crinkums," he said, "they'll have _some_ time! Cracky, but I'd like
to go. You don't believe all this about Roy's making a _noble
sacrifice_, do you?" he added, scornfully.

Mary laughed and said she didn't.

"Because that isn't a good turn," Pee-wee argued, anxious that Mary
should not get a mistaken notion of this important phase of scouting. "A
good turn is when you do something that helps somebody else. If you do
it because you get a lot of fun out of it yourself, then it isn't a good
turn at all. Of course, Roy knows that; he's only jollying when he calls
it a good turn. You have to be careful with Roy, he's a terrible
jollier - and Mr. Ellsworth's pretty near as bad. Oh, cracky, but I'd
like to go with them - that's one sure thing. You think it's no fun being
a girl and I'll admit _I_ wouldn't want to be one - I got to admit that;
but it's pretty near as bad to be small. If you're small they jolly
you. And if I asked them to let me go they'd only laugh. Gee, I don't
mind being jollied, but I _would_ like to go. That's one thing you ought
to be thankful for - you're not small. Of course, maybe girls can't do so
many things as boys - I mean scouting-like - but - oh, crinkums," he broke
off in an ecstasy of joyous reflection. "Oh, crinkums, that'll be some
trip, _believe me_."

Mary Temple looked at the diminutive figure in khaki trousers which sat
before her on the coping. It was one of the good things about Pee-wee
Harris that he never dreamed how much people liked him.

"I don't know about that," said Mary. "I mean about a girl not being
able to do things - scouting things. Mightn't a girl do a good turn?"

"Oh, sure," Pee-wee conceded.

"But I suppose if it gave her very much pleasure it wouldn't be a good

"Oh, yes, it might," admitted Pee-wee, anxious to explain the science of
good turns. "This is the way it is. If you do a good turn it's sure to
make you feel good - that you did it - see? But if you do it just for your
own pleasure, then it's not a good turn. But Roy puts over a lot of
nonsense about good turns. He does it just to make me mad - because I've
made a sort of study of them - like."

Mary laughed in spite of herself.

"He says it was a good thing when Tom threw a barrel stave in the
Chinese laundry because it led to his being a scout. But that isn't
logic. Do you know what logic is?"

Mary thought she had a notion of what it was.

"A thing that's bad can't be good, can it?" Pee-wee persisted. "Suppose

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