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The Boy Scout Automobilists - or, Jack Danby in the Woods
by Robert Maitland
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"I'll think it over, and talk to Captain Durland about it," he said. "I won't promise to be here, but I may decide to come, after all."

"That's better," said Broom. "You think it over, and you'll see I'm right. If I wanted to hurt you, I'd have done it before this."

"One thing more, Broom. If I do come, I shall certainly not be alone. And if you try any tricks, it won't be healthy for you. I know you're not afraid of the law in this State, but I've got friends that won't be as easy on you as the police. And I'll have them along with me, too, if I come, to see that you don't forget yourself, and go back to some of your old tricks. If you're ready to take the chance, knowing that, I may come."

"You surely won't think of meeting him, will you, Jack?" asked Pete, in deep anxiety, after this conversation was ended and Broom had taken himself off. "I didn't offer to butt in, because I thought you could handle him better by yourself. But you won't let him take you in by just pretending that he's got something to tell you?"

"I shan't meet him alone, anyhow, Pete. But I don't know whether he's just pretending or not, you see. The trouble is this mystery about me is so hard to untangle that I hate to let even the slightest chance of doing so pass."

"I know, Jack, but please don't take any chances. You know what he's tried to do to you before, and I'm certain this is only some new trick. He's probably tickled to death to think that you didn't turn him down absolutely."

"I'll promise you one thing, anyhow, Pete. I won't make a move toward meeting him, nor have anything to do with him, without telling Dick Crawford and Mr. Durland about it first. And I won't do anything that they don't thoroughly approve of. Will that satisfy you?"

"Sure it will, Jack! Thanks! I hate to seem like a coward, but I'm a lot more afraid for you when you're in some danger than I would be if it were myself. That's why I'm so leery of this fellow Broom. I'm sure he means some sort of mischief, and I surely do hope that Mr. Durland and Dick Crawford will make you feel the same way about it that Tom Binns and I do."

"What, are you in on this, too?" asked Jack, with a smile, turning to little Tom Binns.

"I certainly am, Jack!" answered Tom. "I think Pete's quite right."

Then they got the car, and took the road for Mardean, prepared to turn back when they reached the right cross roads, and scout along toward Fessenden Junction.

Before them, on the other branch of the Mardean road, toward Tryon Creek, there had been heavy firing. That had gradually died away, however, and presently, as they sped on, they met a single soldier on horseback. It proved to be their friend, Jim Burroughs.

"Hello, Lieutenant!" called Jack, cheerily, as he stopped his car and saluted. "How is the battle going?"

"Fine and dandy," returned Jim Burroughs, reigning up his horse. "We got to Tryon Creek, and we licked them there. They didn't come along for more than two hours after we were in position. The umpires stopped the fighting after a while, and gave us the decision. I don't see how they're going to get through to Fessenden Junction, and, if we hold them on this line, they'll never get near enough to the capital even to threaten it, that's one sure thing!"

"I'm certainly glad we got the true news," said Jack, after Jim Burroughs had ridden on. "It would have been fierce if that fresh lieutenant had been wrong himself, and we had given our own army false information that would have enabled them to beat us. But it's all right, as it turns out, and I guess that they haven't got any chance at all of beating us now."

"I'm glad of that, too," said Pete. "We certainly took enough trouble to get the right dope, didn't we?"



CHAPTER XV

A DECISIVE MOVEMENT

Pete Stubbs was secretly glad that the scouting trip toward Fessenden Junction had been ordered. He was terribly afraid of the consequences to Jack should he accept Broom's defiance and meet him that night, and he did not know whether Durland and Dick Crawford would share his views. So he hoped that the work in the scout car would distract Jack's mind and lead him to forget his promise to Broom to see what the Scout-Master and his assistant thought of the plan.

As the car made its swift way along the roads towards Fessenden Junction, the sound of firing constantly came to them.

"I thought Jim Burroughs said the fighting had been stopped," said Tom Binns.

"The main bodies were stopped, but that doesn't mean the whole fight is over," explained Jack. "Bean's brigade, you see, probably hasn't been in action at all yet. His troops were not among those sent to Tryon Creek, and he has to cover the roads leading in this direction. It's just because General Harkness is afraid that some of the Blue troops may have been detached to make a raid by a roundabout route that we are coming over here."

"Suppose we ran into them, Jack? Would we be able to get word back in time to be of any use?"

"Why not? This is our own country. We have the telegraph and the telephone wires, and the railroad is within a mile of General Harkness's quarters at Tryon Creek. All he needs to do is to pack troops aboard the trains he undoubtedly has waiting there and send them on to Fessenden Junction. We have the same advantage here that the enemy had when they held Hardport. Then we had to move our troops entirely on foot while they could use the railroad, and move ten miles to our one. Now that position is reversed—as long as we hold the key of the railroad situation, Fessenden Junction."

The road to Fessenden Junction was perfectly clear. They rolled into the busy railroad centre without having seen a sign of troops of either army. A single company was stationed at the depot in Fessenden Junction, impatient at the duty that held it there while the other companies of the same regiment were at the front, getting a chance to take part in all the thrilling moves of the war game.

Jack told the officers all he knew as they crowded around his car while he stopped to replenish his stock of gasoline. There was little in his narrative that had not come to them already over the wires, but they were interested in him and in the scouting car.

"We've heard all about you," said a lieutenant. "You've certainly done yourself proud in this war! They tell me that the car will surely be adopted as a result of your success with it. Do you know if that's so?"

"I hadn't heard, Lieutenant," said Jack, his face lighting up. "But I certainly hope it's true. It's a dandy car!"

"You didn't expect to see anything of the enemy the way we came, did you, Jack?" asked Pete Stubbs, when they were in motion once more.

"No, I didn't, Pete. But it was a good chance to study a road we didn't know. We may have considerable work in this section before we get through, and I want to know the roads. That road, of course, is guarded this morning by General Bean's brigade. It would take more than a raiding cavalry brigade to break through his line and make for the Junction this way, and if General Bliss sent troops to Fessenden, they wouldn't stop to fight on the way. They would choose a road that was open, if they could, or very weakly defended, at least. Otherwise they'd be beaten before they got here. Even a couple of regiments would be able to hold up a brigade, no matter how well it was led, long enough for General Harkness to find out what was going on and occupy Fessenden Junction in force."

"Where are you going now, then?"

"East of Bremerton, on the way back. I know that isn't exactly orders, but it seems to me it's common sense. General Bliss had a long line this morning, and Mardean was practically its centre. Hardport had become his base again. He's held Hardport now for two days, practically, and he's had time to repair all the damage we did. Why shouldn't he have thrown his brigade, if he planned a raid on the Junction at all, thirty miles east from Hardport, to swing across the State line at about Freeport, cut the railroad east of Fessenden Junction, and so approach it from the east, when everyone expects an attack to be made from the west?"

"That would be pretty risky, wouldn't it, Jack?"

"Certainly it would—and yet, if he could fool everyone into thinking he was going to do just the opposite, it would be the safest thing he could do. You see, all the fighting to-day has been well west of Bremerton and Fessenden Junction. Our orders were to do our scouting on the western side of the Junction. I've obeyed those orders, and I haven't found out a thing. Now I think I've a right to use my own discretion, and see if there are signs of danger on this side."

"Gee, that certainly sounds reasonable, Jack! They've been doing the thing that wasn't expected ever since the business started. I guess they're just as likely as not to keep on doing it, too."

"We ought to know in a little while, anyhow, Pete. I'm going to circle around here, strike a road that runs parallel to the railroad as it runs east of the Junction, and see what's doing."

Jack hurried along then for a time, and none of those in the car had anything to say, since, when Jack was pushing her, the noise was too great to make conversation pleasant or easy in any sense of the words.

They were in the road now that ran along parallel with the railroad that, running east from Fessenden Junction and away from the State capital, which lay southwest of that important point, approached gradually a junction with the main line of the railroad from Hardport at Freeport.

Jack was keeping his eyes open. He hardly knew what he expected to see, but he had an idea that there would be something to repay their trip.

And, about fifteen miles from Fessenden Junction, the soundness of his judgment was proved once more.

"Look up there!" cried Pete, suddenly. The eyes of three Scouts were turned upward in a moment, and there, perhaps two miles away, and three hundred feet above them, they saw a biplane hovering.

"Gee!" cried Jack. "That's the first we've seen in the air—a Blue biplane! None of our machines would be in this direction."

Swiftly he looked along the fence until he saw an opening.

"Here, jump out and let those bars down!" he cried, stopping the car.

The others obeyed at once, and in a moment he ran the car gently into the field and stopped beside a hayrick.

"Sorry to disturb the farmer's hayrick," said he, then, jumping out in his turn, "but this is important!"

And a moment later the three Scouts, following his example, were as busy as bees, covering the grey automobile with new hay, that hid it effectually from any spying eyes that might be looking down on them from above.

"Now we'll make ourselves look small," said Jack.

He looked around the field.

"I shouldn't wonder if they picked this out for a landing spot, if they decide to land at all," said he. "We want to see them if they do anything like that, and hear them, too, if we can. We may want to find out something from them."

Swiftly, then, they burrowed into the hay. They could look out and see anything that went on about them, but unless an enemy came very close, they themselves were entirely safe from detection.

"Now we'll know what they're up to, I guess," said Jack, with a good deal of satisfaction. "It's a good thing I sort of half disobeyed orders and came this way, isn't it?"

"You didn't really disobey orders, did you, Jack?" asked Tom.

"No, I didn't, really, Tom. I did what I was ordered to do, but I did something more, too, as there was no special time limit set for the job they gave us. But a scout is supposed to use his own judgment a good deal, anyhow. Otherwise he wouldn't be any use as a scout, so far as I can see."

It was very quiet in the hay. But above them, and sounding all the more clearly and distinctly for the silence that was everywhere else, they could hear the great hum of the motor of the aeroplane. With no muffler, the engine of the flying-machine kicked up a lot of noise, and, as it gradually grew louder, Jack was able to tell, even without looking up, that it was coming down.

"By George," said he, "I think they are going to land! They're getting more cautious, you see. They scout ahead now, and they're using their war aeroplane the way we have been using this car of ours."

"What are our flying-machines doing, Jack? I haven't seen them on the job at all."

"General Harkness is using them in the actual battles. They go up to spot concealed bodies of the enemy, so that our gunners can get the range and drive the enemy, theoretically, out of any cover they have found. That's one of the ways in which flying machines are expected to be most useful in the next war. You see, as it is now, with smokeless powder and practically invisible uniforms, ten thousand men can do a lot of damage before anyone on the other side can locate them at all. But with a flying-machine, they won't be able to hide themselves. A man a thousand feet above them can see them, and direct the fire of artillery by signals so that the troops that were in entire security until he discovered them can be cut to pieces by heavy shell fire."

"That's what our men have been doing, eh?"

"Yes—and theirs, too, mostly. This is the first time I've seen one of their machines scouting. Look out now—keep quiet! They're landing, and they're not more than a hundred feet away!"

The scraping of the flying-machine, as it came to rest in the field, was plainly audible as the Scouts stopped talking and devoted themselves to listening intently. Also, by craning their necks a little, though they were in no danger of being seen themselves, they could make out what the two men in the aeroplane were doing.

"Pretty lucky, Bill!" said one of them. "This is a good landing-place, and we can get an idea of the situation and cut the telegraph wire to send back word."

"Right, Harry!" said the other. "I guess the coast is clear. The brigade isn't more than five miles back, and with three train loads, they'll be able to make that Fessenden Junction look like a desert before night—theoretically."

"It's all theory, Bill, but it's pretty good fun, at that. I tell you, we would be in a tight place if they'd guarded this approach at all. That brigade of ours would be cut off in a minute. But if we can mess up Fessenden Junction for them, they'll be so busy trying to cover their line of retreat that they won't have any time to bother about our fellows."

"What's the matter with that engine, anyhow?"

"Nothing much, I guess. But sometimes, if she starts missing, the way she did when we were up there, you can fix things and avoid a lot of trouble by a little timely tinkering. I was up once when my engine began missing that way, and I didn't pay any attention to it. Then, about twenty minutes later, she went dead on me while I was over the water, and I had to drop, whether I wanted to or not. The water was cold, too, I don't mind saying."

"You hear that?" said Jack, in a tense whisper. "Now, as soon as they go, we've got to destroy that railroad track, right across the road. We may have half an hour; we may have only a few minutes. And while two of us do that—you and Tom, Pete—the other will have to cut the telegraph wire and send word to Fessenden Junction. General Bean is in the best position to get over there. I don't think we can hold them up more than an hour or so, but that ought to be enough. At least, if there's nothing else to be done, the fellows at Fessenden Junction can tear up a lot of track."

For five breathless minutes they watched the two aviators tinkering with their engine. Then the big bird rose in the air again, and winged its way eastward. In a moment Jack was out of the hay and calling to his companions to follow him.

"Get your tools from the car, now," he said. "Mark a rail torn up for every ten minutes you spend there. I'll get busy with the telegraph wire."

It took Jack twenty minutes to finish his task, which was exceedingly quick work. But he had had practice in it, and he worked feverishly, since he did not know at what minute they would be surprised and forced to abandon the task by the on-coming enemy.

Ten minutes after he had completed his part of the task, when, theoretically, the others had been able to destroy three lengths of rail, and had left a pile of smouldering brushwood as proof that they had had time to build a fire of the ties, they heard the hum of approaching trains along the rails.

"All right!" cried Jack. "This is as far as they can go now until they make repairs. It's time for us to be off!"

And he led the way swiftly toward the car, still hidden in the field.

Swiftly he adjusted the spark plug, which he had carried with him, and, just as the first of the trains from the east appeared in sight, the car was ready to move. But Jack, instead of returning to the road, and retracing his course toward Fessenden Junction, headed north across the field, toward the State line.

"I'm going to take a short cut to General Bean's brigade and get him word of the chance he has to end things right now," he cried. "If he can capture this brigade of the enemy, the war will be as good as over. It's the best chance we've had yet."

Jack knew the country perfectly, and soon he was on a country road, which, while it would have been hard on the tires of an ordinary car, was easy for the big scouting machine. They made splendid time, and in an hour they were in touch with the outposts of General Bean's troops, waiting, since the attack of the enemy in front had ceased, for any news that might come.

"I've just heard that the enemy is threatening Fessenden Junction from the east," the general told Jack, when the Boy Scout made his report.

"Yes, General," said Jack, eagerly. "And the roads are open in this direction. They will not be able to get very far along the railroad. The troops in Fessenden Junction will undoubtedly cut the tracks, just as we did, somewhere near the village of Bridgeton, and that will be a splendid place to make a flank attack. They won't be expecting that at all, and I think you can finish them up."

General Bean reached at once for a field map.

"You've got it!" he cried. "That's just what I'll do!"

And in a moment he had given his orders accordingly. Ten minutes later the troops were on the march, and Jack was scouting ahead, to make sure that no shift of the enemy's plan had made it impossible for his idea to be carried out successfully.

Bean's troops marched quickly and well, and within two hours they were in touch with the enemy, near Bridgeton. Jack and his companions, in the rear, heard the sound of firing, which soon became general. And then, unhampered, Jack sped for the place where he had already cut the railroad, and, in two hours theoretically destroyed nearly half a mile of track.

"They're in a trap, now," he cried. "They'll never get by here!"



CHAPTER XVI

THE PERIL IN THE WOODS

It was nearly seven o'clock that evening, and quite dark, when Jack and the others rejoined the main body of the Troop of Scouts at Bremerton.

Durland was full of enthusiasm.

"The war is as good as over," he said, happily. "We've licked them utterly! It's just a question now of what they'll be able to save from the wreck. The brigade that made the raid toward Fessenden Junction was annihilated by Bean, cut off, and forced to surrender. General Bliss is in full retreat upon Hardport from Mardean, and the invasion has been repelled. Our cavalry is pursuing him, and I think we will be in Hardport again to-morrow. Whatever fighting remains to be done will be on their side of the line, and the capital is safe."

"Will there be any more fighting to-night, Captain?" asked Jack.

"Only by the cavalry. They are worrying Bliss as much as possible in his retreat, and we'll probably pick up a few guns. We outnumber them decidedly now, as we have taken nearly eleven thousand prisoners in the last two days, and there is no chance at all for them to take the offensive again. General Bliss will be lucky to escape the capture of his whole army. One of the umpires told me to-day that our success was due entirely to the speed and accuracy with which we got information of the movements of the enemy, which seemed to him to be remarkably well covered."

"That's what Jack Danby's done for us," said Dick Crawford. "He's certainly proved that the scout car has come to stay. And it was more or less by accident that he got the chance to handle it, too."

"That's true," said Durland, "but a great many men have opportunities just as good, and can't make use of them. It's not how a man gets a chance to do things that counts, it's the way he uses the chance when he gets it. And that's where Jack's skill and courage have helped him. You've covered the Troop with glory, Jack, and we're all proud of you."

"Is there anything more for us to do to-night, sir?"

"No, indeed! I think everyone feels that the Boy Scouts have done rather more than their share already in the fighting we've had, and have been very largely responsible for our victory. There may be more work to do to-morrow, but I doubt it. I think myself that the umpires will call the invasion off to-morrow, and devote the rest of the time to field training for both armies, working together.

"About all the lessons that the war can teach have been learned by both sides already, and the training is useful, even when the war game itself is over. That's only a guess, of course, but if we are in a position to-morrow that leaves General Bliss as small a chance for getting away as seems likely now, I think the umpires will feel that there is no use in going through the form of further fighting. We are masters of the situation now, and our superiority in numbers is so great that there will be very little that is instructive about a further campaign."

Then Jack asked Captain Durland and Dick Crawford if he could speak to them apart, and when the Scout-Master consented, he told them of his interview with Broom.

"That's a queer shift for him to make," said Durland, thoughtfully. "It's true, of course, that he was in a good position to make an attack on you this morning. But it's also possible that he was alone, and didn't have any help handy. I don't think he'd ever try any of his dirty work single-handed. He's a good deal of a coward, and he likes to have a lot of help when he tries anything, so that there is practically no chance for his opponent. His idea is to fight when he is in overwhelming force, and only then. What do you think of it, Dick?"

"I don't trust him, sir, and yet, if it is at all possible that he has given up his designs against Jack and is willing to tell him what we are so anxious to find out, it would be a great pity to let the chance slip."

"That's what I think, sir," said Jack. "Pete Stubbs and Tom Binns heard him, and they think I ought not to meet him. But I'm afraid he's right, and that if I didn't do it, I'd always regret it."

"It seems safe enough," said Durland. "He didn't insist on your meeting him alone. He probably knew that you wouldn't do that, anyhow, and took the only chance he had of persuading you, but I don't see what harm could come to you if you went to meet him with Dick Crawford and myself, and perhaps two or three others, to see that there was no foul play."

"It's risky to have any dealings with him at all, I think," said Dick Crawford, "but if it was ever safe, I should say that this was the time. He's an awfully smooth scoundrel, or he wouldn't have been able to fool the Burtons the way he did. Still, it's hard, as you say, sir, to see what harm could come to Jack to-night."

"I think it's worth risking, anyhow," said Durland. "You and I will go along, Dick. And I think I'll have a talk with Jim Burroughs, too. It might be that he would feel like coming along with us."

"Can I bring Pete Stubbs and Tom Binns with us, sir?" asked Jack. "I think they'd like to be along."

"By all means," said Durland.

Jack went off then to look for his two chums. But they were nowhere to be seen. He was surprised, for, since they were on active duty, they were supposed to be always in readiness at the headquarters of the Troop unless detached with special orders. Finally, after hunting for them for half an hour, he asked Bob Hart about them.

Bob, who, as Patrol Leader of the Crow Patrol, ranked during the maneuvers as a sergeant, seemed surprised.

"I gave them permission to be absent from headquarters until eleven o'clock," he said. "Didn't you know they were going to ask for it?"

"I did not," said Jack, decidedly surprised.

Pete and Tom had known of the chance that he might meet Broom, and he wondered how it was that they were willing to be absent at a time when he might need them. It was the first time either of them had ever failed him, and he was puzzled and bothered by their absence.

"That's certainly mighty queer!" he said to himself. "I wonder if they forgot about Broom, or if they thought I would?"

But there was no sense in trying to puzzle out the reason for their having gone. They were off—that was plain, and he would have to go without them.

While he waited for Durland and Dick Crawford to return, he began to speculate a good deal as to what the reason for Broom's new shift might be. He was sure, from the way Broom had acted, that the man was as much his enemy as ever. And yet he had seemed to feel that he and Jack together might be able to accomplish something that was beyond the power of either of them, alone, to get done.

"Perhaps he's had trouble of some sort with the people who want to keep me from finding out about myself," thought Jack. "In that case, he's simply turned traitor to them, and is trying to use me to get even with them. Well, I don't care! They must be a pretty bad lot, and if I can find out about myself I don't see why I should mind helping him to that extent. But I'd certainly like to know the answer!"

He waited some time longer before the Scout-Master and Dick Crawford returned.

"Jim Burroughs isn't there," said Dick, with a puzzled expression on his face. "His captain says that he and several of the men got leave before dinner, because they wanted to see if they couldn't pick up some birds a little way off, in a preserve that belongs to a man who is a friend of Jim's. But we went over in that direction, and there wasn't any sign of them."

"Well, it's no great matter, anyhow," said Durland, with a smile. "There are enough of us left to attend to the matter. We'd better be getting along, Jack. Where are Stubbs and Binns?"

"They got leave for a little while from Sergeant Hart, sir," said Jack. "That seems mighty funny to me, because they knew about Broom, and that I might want them along with me to-night."

"They've probably forgotten it, Jack," said Dick. "You've all had a pretty full day and things slip the mind sometimes in such circumstances. No use worrying about them. We'll go ahead, anyhow."

At the place where Broom had made his appointment a man was waiting for them.

"Mr. Broom said this place was too public," the man whispered. "If you'll come along with me, I'll show you where he is waiting for you now."

"We'll come," said Durland. "But look here, my man, no tricks!"

He drew his hand from his holster, and showed the guide, a sullen, scowling fellow, the big pistol that reposed there.

"If I see any sign of treachery, I'm going to use this and see who's to blame afterward," Durland went on, grimly. "You'd better play level with us, or you'll have a mighty good reason to regret it. That's a fair warning, now. See that you profit by it. The next will be from my pistol!"

"Aw, g'wan, what's eatin' youse?" asked the man. But, despite his bluster, he was obviously frightened.

"I ain't here to hoit youse," he said, sullenly, after a minute's silence. "Just youse come along wid me, and I'll take youse to Broom. That's all the job I got, see?"

He led them some distance into the woods. Once or twice they thought they heard sounds as if others were near them, but they made up their minds that this idea was due to their imaginations. And finally, when they were nearly two miles from the nearest troops, as far as they could tell, their guide stopped in a little clearing in the woods.

"Wait here," he said. "I'll go tell Broom you're ready."

He crashed off through the undergrowth, and, with what patience they could, they waited in the darkness.

They realized afterward that the waiting was a blind. No one had crept up on them, but they were suddenly seized, each one from behind, so that there was no chance at all for Durland and Crawford to use the pistols that they held in their hands. Their assailants, as they guessed later, had been waiting all the time for them, ready to spring, upon them as soon as they were thoroughly off their guard. And in a moment they saw Broom, an electric torch in his hand, which he directed at the faces of the three prisoners in turn.

"You walked into the trap all right, didn't you?" he said to Jack, with an ugly sneer on his face. "You was mighty smart this morning! Glad you brought your friends along. They've bothered us, too. And now we've caught you all together. That's much better, you see! You won't get in my way again, any one of you!"

Suddenly he gave a curse.

"Where's the others?" he snarled. "The red-headed one and the little shaver? I want them, too!"

"There weren't but the three of them," said the man who had served as their guide. "I don't know where the others are."

"Well, it can't be helped," said Broom, with an oath. "I'll get rid of these, anyhow."

"You'll spoil no more games of mine!" he told them. "Get the ropes, there, men!"

"What are you goin' to do?" asked one of Broom's men.

"String them up," replied Broom, with a brutal laugh. "Hanging leaves no evidence behind. No weapons—no wounds to show the sort of a blow that killed. There's good advice for you, my friend. If you want to get rid of an enemy, hang him!"

All three of the prisoners had been gagged. They had to stand silent, now, while the rope was placed about their necks. They were all forced to stand under the spreading branch of a big tree, and the ropes were thrown over it.

"We'll let them swing all together, now," said Broom. "When I give the word! Plenty of time, though! We'll let them have a minute or two to think it over."

"NOW!" cried a voice in the woods beyond the small circle of light from Broom's electric torch.

A second later the click of falling hammers fell on the air. And, even as Broom turned, a dozen men stepped into the light, with leveled rifles, covering every one of the gang that Broom had gathered to make his trap.

"Fire if they make a single movement!" ordered Jim Burroughs. "Good work, Pete! Release them now! You brought us here—it's only fair to let you turn them loose, you and Tom Binns."

"Go ahead and shoot!" yelled Broom, suddenly, and made a dash for the woods. A dozen rifles spoke out, but he crashed away in the darkness, and one or two of the others ran also.

"He got away!" said Durland. "Pretty bad shooting, Jim!"

"Well, you can't expect much from blank cartridges," said Jim Burroughs, with a grin. "We didn't have any loaded with ball, you know. It was just a bluff, but it worked pretty well!"

"But how did you get here at all?"

"Pete Stubbs and Tom Binns are responsible for that. They didn't like the idea of this expedition at all, and neither did I, when they told me about it. We stuck pretty close to you. But I wanted to make sure of Broom, or I'd have butted in before."



THE BRADEN BOOKS

FAR PAST THE FRONTIER

By JAMES A. BRADEN

The sub-title "Two Boy Pioneers" indicates the nature of this story—that it has to do with the days when the Ohio Valley and the Northwest country were sparsely settled. Such a topic is an unfailing fund of interest to boys, especially when involving a couple of stalwart young men who leave the East to make their fortunes and to incur untold dangers.

"Strong, vigorous, healthy, manly."—Seattle Times.

CONNECTICUT BOYS IN THE WESTERN RESERVE

By JAMES A. BRADEN

The author once more sends his heroes toward the setting sun. "In all the glowing enthusiasm of youth, the youngsters seek their fortunes in the great, fertile wilderness of northern Ohio, and eventually achieve fair success, though their progress is hindered and sometimes halted by adventures innumerable. It is a lively, wholesome tale, never dull, and absorbing in interest for boys who love the fabled life of the frontier."—Chicago Tribune.

THE TRAIL of THE SENECA

By JAMES A. BRADEN

In which we follow the romantic careers of John Jerome and Return Kingdom a little farther.

These two self-reliant boys are living peaceably in their cabin on the Cuyahoga when an Indian warrior is found dead in the woods nearby. The Seneca accuses John of witchcraft. This means death at the stake if he is captured. They decide that the Seneca's charge is made to shield himself, and set out to prove it. Mad Anthony, then on the Ohio, comes to their aid, but all their efforts prove futile and the lone cabin is found in ashes on their return.

CAPTIVES THREE

By JAMES A. BRADEN

A tale of frontier life, and how three children—two boys and a girl—attempt to reach the settlements in a canoe, but are captured by the Indians. A common enough occurrence in the days of our great-grandfathers has been woven into a thrilling story.

BOUND IN CLOTH, each handsomely $1.00 illustrated, cloth, postpaid

The Saalfield Publishing Co.

AKRON, OHIO



FICTION FOR BOYS

LITTLE RHODY

By JEAN K. BAIRD

Illustrated by R. G. Vosburgh

At The Hall, a boys' school, there is a set of boys known as the "Union of States," to which admittance is gained by excelling in some particular the boys deem worthy of their mettle.

Rush Petriken, a hunchback boy, comes to The Hall, and rooms with Barnes, the despair of the entire school because of his prowess in athletics. Petriken idolizes him, and when trouble comes to him, the poor crippled lad gladly shoulders the blame, and is expelled. But shortly before the end of the term he returns and is hailed as "little Rhody," the "capitalest State of all."

CLOTH, 12 mo, illustrated,—$1.50

BIGELOW BOYS

By Mrs. A. F. RANSOM

Illustrated by Henry Miller

Four boys, all bubbling over with energy and love of good times, and their mother, an authoress, make this story of a street-car strike in one of our large cities move with leaps and bounds. For it is due to the four boys that a crowded theatre car is saved from being wrecked, and the instigators of the plot captured.

Mrs. Ransom is widely known by her patriotic work among the boys in the navy, and she now proves herself a friend of the lads on land by writing more especially for them.

CLOTH, 12 mo, illustrated,—$1.50

Books sent postpaid on receipt of price.

The Saalfield Publishing Co.

AKRON, OHIO



THE BOY SCOUT SERIES

1 THE BOY SCOUTS IN CAMP

2 THE BOY SCOUTS TO THE RESCUE

3 THE BOY SCOUTS ON THE TRAIL

4 THE BOY SCOUT FIRE-FIGHTERS

5 THE BOY SCOUTS AFLOAT

6 THE BOY SCOUT PATHFINDERS

7 THE BOY SCOUT AUTOMOBILISTS

8 THE BOY SCOUT AVIATORS

9 THE BOY SCOUTS' CHAMPION RECRUIT

10 THE BOY SCOUTS' DEFIANCE

11 THE BOY SCOUTS' CHALLENGE

12 THE BOY SCOUTS' VICTORY

13 THE BOY SCOUTS UNDER KING GEORGE

14 THE BOY SCOUTS WITH THE ALLIES

15 THE BOY SCOUTS UNDER THE KAISER

16 THE BOY SCOUTS AT LIEGE

17 THE BOY SCOUTS WITH THE COSSACKS

18 THE BOY SCOUTS BEFORE BELGRADE

19 THE BOY SCOUTS' TEST

20 THE BOY SCOUTS IN FRONT OF WARSAW

21 THE BOY SCOUTS UNDER THE RED CROSS

THE END

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