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Pee-wee Harris on the Trail
by Percy Keese Fitzhugh
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"They're scoutmasters!" Pee-wee shouted. This seemed as good a guess as any.

The two men landed, drew the boat up very methodically and approached the camp.

"Good afternoon," said Scoutmaster Ned, dragging himself to his feet and seating himself upon a grocery box. "Beautiful fall weather we're having. Just a little crisp out on the water, eh? Won't you sit down—if you can find something to sit on?"

Whether the weather was crisp or not, the man who spoke first was very crisp indeed.

"You in charge of these lads?" he asked.

"Well, we're all sort of in charge of each other," said Scoutmaster Ned. "I guess I'm the goat."

"He's all right," Pee-wee said; "you take it from me."

"Well," said the man in a drawling but ominously conclusive tone, "my name is Rodney, Birchel Rodney; and this is Mr. Wise, Mr. Barnabas Wise. We came from East Ketchem."

"I don't blame you," said Scoutmaster Ned. "I'm happy to meet you, gentlemen. This is a sort of table d'hote scout outfit that you see here; two troops and a couple of sundries. Will you stay and have supper with us?"

"We ain't fer interferin' in no boys' pleasures," said Mr. Barnabas Wise, "but it's our dooty to tell you that we're the school committee of the village of East Ketchem, and s'long as these youngsters hez moved inside the taown limits of East Ketchem they'll hev to report for school at nine o'clock to-morrow morning. The taown line between East Ketchem and West Ketchem runs right through the middle of this island."

A gaping silence followed this horrible pronouncement.

"We—eh—we are just camping here, pending—" began Scoutmaster Ned.

"It ain't no question uv pendin'," said Mr. Birchel Rodney. "The ordinance of the village of East Ketchem says that every minor—"

"We're not miners, we're scouts!" Pee-wee shouted.

"The ordinance of the village of East Ketchem," Mr. Rodney proceeded, ignoring the boisterous interruption, "says that every minor, which is spelled with a o, between the ages of eight years and fifteen years, resident or visiting or otherwise domiciled—"

"You can't say I'm domiciled—" Pee-wee began.

"Or otherwise domiciled," the terrible man continued, "must attend school in said village except upon cause of illness—"



"I'm sick a lot," Pee-wee yelled.

"I expect to have a cold very shortly," said Nick in his funny way.

"Determined and certified by a physician in good standing. Them's the very words of the village law and we come to tell you that all these youngsters will hev ter report for school at nine A.M. to-morrer morning, in said village of East Ketchem."

"Foiled!" said Nick, falling back on the ground.

"Horrors and confusion!" said Fido Norton.

"That we should live to hear this!" moaned Charlie Norris.

"Oh, what have we stepped into?" another groaned, holding his forehead in a way of despair.

"You mean what have we been drawn into!" said another. "Oh, that it should come to this!"

"What have we done? What have we done?" sighed still another.

As for Scoutmaster Ned, he gave one terrific groan (or perhaps it was a roar of abandoned mirth) and fell backward off the grocery box.

Only the fixer remained silent. His eyes stared, his mouth gaped. But not a word said he. It was Napoleon at Waterloo. Scout Harris had no words. Or else he had so many that they got jumbled up in his throat and would not come out. And as he stood there, bearing up under that mortal blow, the conquering legion, consisting of the two members of the East Ketchem school board, withdrew with an air of great collusiveness and dignified solemnity to the shore.

Then, and only then, did Scoutmaster Ned sit up and rub his eyes, holding his splitting sides, the while he gazed after that official delegation constituting the entire school board. He gave one look at the fixer (and the fixer's face was worth looking at) and at the gaping countenances all about him. Then he fell back again and shook as if he had a fit and rolled over and buried his face in his folded arm and roared and roared and roared.

"Retreat! Retreat across the line! A disorderly retreat! That is our only hope! Who will lead a disorderly retreat?"

The desperate cry was not unanswered. "I will!" said Fido Norton. "Get the stuff together! Every scout for himself! Our freedom hangs on a disorderly retreat! Vaccination—I mean evacuation—is our only hope! Our freedom is more dear than our lives! Give me vacation or give me death! We've been foiled by a school principal disguised as a boy scout! Remember his pal, the manual training teacher? Spies! Traitors! We fell into their clutches. Follow me, we will foil the schools yet! Every scout grab his own stuff, or anybody else's, and retreat as disorderly as possible. Our liberty is at stake! I love the west shore so muchly now that I wouldn't even knock the West Shore Railroad."



CHAPTER XL

GUESS AGAIN

Alas, such is fame! The thunderous voice of P. Harris was mute, his blankly staring eyes spoke volumes, libraries in fact, but they did not make a noise. The voice which had aroused the echoes at Temple Camp, which had filled the crystal back room at Bennett's Candy Store in Bridgeboro, was still. And it did not speak again for—nearly twenty minutes. Even then it did not speak in its former tone of thunder. It could not have been heard for more than—oh, half a mile.

The first occasion on which the voice of Scout Harris arose to its former height was on the last day before West Ketchem summoned its bronzed scouts over to the makeshift school which had been prepared in a vacant, old-fashioned mansion. They had had plenty of fun in the meantime and they went with a good will. Far be it from me to publish any unworthy hopes, but if your school should ever burn down in the summer, try camping in the autumn. You will find the woods more friendly then. Even the birds and chipmunks and squirrels seem to say, "Come on, let us get together and be friends, for it's getting cool."

But to return to Pee-wee's-voice. On the last day of the autumn camping, the silver stunt cup was to be awarded. It was an open secret that this was to go to Nick Vernon, and the scouts of both troops were agreeable enough to this disposition of it.

Many of them had performed conspicuous stunts, but they were all agreed that Nick's feat in flashing the message by searchlight was the stunt of the season. Perhaps Nick's personality, and consequent popularity, had something to do with this. At all events when the two troops were ordered to congregate under the old half-naked elm, to which they had returned after their inglorious invasion of the east, it was generally understood that the ceremony of presentation was to be purely perfunctory having no surprises for anybody.

Safety First had been asked to do the honors but he had insisted on Scoutmaster Ned making the address. That address has even been memorable in West Ketchem history. It was (as Scoutmaster Ned himself said) the best address ever made on Frying-pan Island, because it was the only one.

"Bunch," he said "this is the happiest day of the year, for school opens to-morrow (groans). Hereafter, whenever I see a frying-pan I'll think of you and wish you were in it, being fried to a turn. (Laughter.) Don't laugh, it's no laughing matter. I'm on the verge of nervous presumption or whatever you call it, and I'll be glad to get rid of you—every one of you!

"I've been asked to hand out this cup and it goes to St. Nicholas Vernon because he sprawled the nice clean sky all up with scribbling and all that kind of stuff. Nobody read the message but that makes no difference, because the proof of the message is in the sending just the same as the proof of the pudding is in the eating. How about that, Scout Harris?

"I guess you fellows are all satisfied and I should fret my heart out whether you are or not. Nick showed resource, and alertness, and a lot of other stuff that's in the handbook, page something or other. If it isn't there it's somewhere else. Shut up and give me a chance to speak. Here you go, Nick, catch this. Your silver cup of joy is full and we shall all live happily ever afterwards. Anything more, Safety First?"

Nick Vernon never seemed more at ease, and less interested, than when he ambled toward the stump from which Scoutmaster Ned was descending, and said in a quiet, drawling voice, "Yes, something more. May I have that stump a minute?"

He stood there, holding the silver cup in one hand, his other hand against his hip, in an attitude familiar to them all.

"A little speech of thanks," someone shouted; "make it short."

There was one who stood in that group, unnoticed. His eyes were fixed upon the winner, and he was actually trembling with delight.

"Good idea, I'll make it short and snappy," said Nick. "Actions speak louder than words."

"No, they don't," shouted Pee-wee.

"The signal I sent," said Nick, "was read and the one who read it was a scout. He's the one that stopped the car. The cup was in the car and so he saved the cup. It's his. He tried to keep his scouting a secret and he didn't get away with it. He beat Scoutmaster Ned hands down. He left him guessing. Scoutmaster Ned is easy. But this kid can't put anything over on me; I've got him red-handed; he's a scout and he's got us all looking like thirty cents. He's a scout and he'll tell the truth, if you corner him. He won't lie. Here you go, catch this, Pete, hold your hands steady; if you don't hold them up I'll chuck it plunk in your face. As sure as I'm standing here I will! I'm making this speech of presentation, not Scoutmaster Ned. You know so much about the handbook, remember law one, about telling the truth. Here you go, Peter Piper, you're the only scout that ever dropped into this Frying-pan. Catch it or by gosh—"

But he didn't catch it, because his eyes were glistening, and his hands were trembling, and you can't catch things in such a state.

He stood there like one transfixed, hearing the uproar all about him. Nervously he stooped and picked up the glittering cup and held it as if he were afraid of it. Peter Piper, pioneer scout, of Piper's Crossroads. He would go home famous and rich, a hero, just as his mother had dreamed that some day he would do....

It was just at that moment that Scout Harris really recovered his voice. He recovered it in the moment of having an "inspiration." He jumped upon a barrel, released his teeth from the apple into which he had plunged them, and dancing like a maniac, sang at the top of his voice:

"Peter Piper picked A peck of pickled peppers; A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked. If Peter Piper picked A peck of pickled peppers; Where's the peck of pickled peppers, Peter Piper picked?"

Then, finding the place in the apple where his mammoth bite had been interrupted by his inspiration, he completed the bite, eating and singing at the same time.

It was one of the great scout stunts of the season.

* * * * *

This Isn't All!

Would you like to know what became of the good friends you have made in this book?

Would you like to read other stories continuing their adventures and experiences, or other books quite as entertaining by the same author?

On the reverse side of the wrapper which comes with this books you will find a wonderful list of stories which you can buy at the same store where you got this book.

Don't throw away the Wrapper

Use it as a handy catalog of the books you want some day to have. But in case you do mislay it, write to the Publishers for a complete catalog.

* * * * *

THE PEE-WEE HARRIS BOOKS

By PERCY KEESE FITZHUGH

Author of "Tom Slade," "Roy Blakeley," "Westy Martin," Etc.

Illustrated. Individual Picture Wrappers in Color. Every Volume Complete in Itself.

All readers of the Tom Slade and the Roy Blakeley books are acquainted with Pee-wee Harris. These stories record the true facts concerning his size (what there is of-it) and his heroism (such as it is), his voice, his clothes, his appetite, his friends, his enemies, his victims. Together with the thrilling narrative of how he foiled, baffled, circumvented and triumphed over everything and everybody (except where he failed) and how even when he failed he succeeded. The whole recorded in a series of screams and told with neither muffler nor cut-out.

PEE-WEE HARRIS PEE-WEE HARRIS ON THE TRAIL PEE-WEE HARRIS IN CAMP PEE-WEE HARRIS IN LUCK PEE-WEE HARRIS ADRIFT PEE-WEE HARRIS F.O.B. BRIDGEBORO PEE-WEE HARRIS FIXER PEE-WEE HARRIS: AS GOOD AS HIS WORD PEE-WEE HARRIS: MAYOR FOR A DAY PEE-WEE HARRIS AND THE SUNKEN TREASURE PEE-WEE HARRIS ON THE BRINY DEEP PEE-WEE HARRIS IN DARKEST AFRICA

GROSSET & DUNLAP, Publishers, NEW YORK

* * * * *

GARRY GRAYSON FOOTBALL STORIES

By ELMER A. DAWSON

Individual Colored Wrappers and Illustrations by WALTER S. ROGERS

Every Volume Complete in Itself

Football followers all over the country will hail with delight this new and thoroughly up-to-date line of gridiron tales.

Garry Grayson is a football fan, first, last, and all the time. But more than that, he is a wideawake American boy with a "gang" of chums almost as wideawake as himself.

How Garry organized the first football eleven his grammar school had, how he later played on the High School team, and what he did on the Prep School gridiron and elsewhere, is told in a manner to please all readers and especially those interested in watching a rapid forward pass, a plucky tackle, or a hot run for a touchdown.

Good, clean football at its best—and in addition, rattling stories of mystery and schoolboy rivalries.

GARRY GRAYSON'S HILL STREET ELEVEN; or, The Football Boys of Lenox.

GARRY GRAYSON AT LENOX HIGH; or, The Champions of the Football League.

GARRY GRAYSON'S FOOTBALL RIVALS; or, The Secret of the Stolen Signals.

GARRY GRAYSON SHOWING HIS SPEED; or, A Daring Run on the Gridiron.

GARRY GRAYSON AT STANLEY PREP; or, The Football Rivals of Riverview.

GROSSET & DUNLAP, Publisher, NEW YORK

* * * * *

THE TOM SLADE BOOKS

By PERCY KEESE FITZHUGH

Author of "Roy Blakeley," "Pee-wee Harris," "Westy Martin," Etc.

Illustrated. Individual Picture Wrappers in Colors. Every Volume Complete in Itself.

"Let your boy grow up with Tom Slade," is a suggestion which thousands of parents have followed during the past, with the result that the TOM SLADE BOOKS are the most popular boys' books published today. They take Tom Slade through a series of typical boy adventures through his tenderfoot days as a scout, through his gallant days as an American doughboy in France, back to his old patrol and the old camp ground at Black Lake, and so on.

TOM SLADE, BOY SCOUT TOM SLADE AT TEMPLE CAMP TOM SLADE ON THE RIVER TOM SLADE WITH THE COLORS TOM SLADE ON A TRANSPORT TOM SLADE WITH THE BOYS OVER THERE TOM SLADE, MOTORCYCLE DISPATCH BEARER TOM SLADE WITH THE FLYING CORPS TOM SLADE AT BLACK LAKE TOM SLADE ON MYSTERY TRAIL TOM SLADE'S DOUBLE DARE TOM SLADE ON OVERLOOK MOUNTAIN TOM SLADE PICKS A WINNER TOM SLADE AT BEAR MOUNTAIN TOM SLADE: FOREST RANGER TOM SLADE IN THE NORTH WOODS

GROSSET & DUNLAP, Publishers, NEW YORK

* * * * *

THE WESTY MARTIN BOOKS

By PERCY KEESE FITZHUGH

Author of the "Tom Slade" and "Roy Blakeley" Books, Etc.

Individual Colored Wrappers. Illustrated. Every Volume Complete in Itself.

Westy Martin, known to every friend of Roy Blakeley, appears as the hero of adventures quite different from those in which we have seen him participate as a Scout of Bridgeboro and of Temple Camp. On his foray to the Yellowstone the bigness of the vast West and the thoughts of the wild preserve that he is going to visit make him conscious of his own smallness and of the futility of "boy scouting" and woods lore in this great region, Yet he was to learn that if it had not been for his scout training he would never have been able to survive the experiences he had in these stories.

WESTY MARTIN WESTY MARTIN IN THE YELLOWSTONE WESTY MARTIN IN THE ROCKIES WESTY MARTIN ON THE SANTA FE TRAIL WESTY MARTIN ON THE OLD INDIAN TRAILS

GROSSET & DUNLAP, Publishers, NEW YORK

* * * * *

THE ROY BLAKELEY BOOKS

By PERCY KEESE FITZHUGH

Author of "Tom Slade," "Pee-wee Harris," "Westy Martin," Etc.

Illustrated. Picture Wrappers in Color. Every Volume Complete in Itself.

In the character and adventures of Roy Blakeley are typified the very essence of Boy life. He is a real boy, as real as Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer. He is the moving spirit of the troop of Scouts of which he is a member, and the average boy has to go only a little way in the first book before Roy is the best friend he ever had, and he is willing to part with his best treasure to get the next book in the series.

ROY BLAKELEY ROY BLAKELEY'S ADVENTURES IN CAMP ROY BLAKELEY, PATHFINDER ROY BLAKELEY'S CAMP ON WHEELS ROY BLAKELEY'S SILVER FOX PATROL ROY BLAKELEY'S MOTOR CARAVAN ROY BLAKELEY LOST, STRAYED OR STOLEN ROY BLAKELEY'S BEE-LINE HIKE ROY BLAKELEY AT THE HAUNTED CAMP ROY BLAKELEY'S FUNNY BONE HIKE ROY BLAKELEY'S TANGLED TRAIL ROY BLAKELEY ON THE MOHAWK TRAIL ROY BLAKELEY'S ELASTIC HIKE ROY BLAKELEY'S ROUNDABOUT HIKE ROY BLAKELEY'S HAPPY-GO-LUCKY HIKE ROY BLAKELEY'S GO-AS-YOU PLEASE HIKE

GROSSET & DUNLAP, Publishers, NEW YORK

THE END

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