“They’ve kind o’ kept away from us,” said Dab. “They’re in only one of my classes, but they’re in three of yours.”
“Ain’t in any ob mine,” said Dick; “but Dr. Brandegee says he’ll promote me soon.”
Dick’s tongue always began to work better, the moment he mentioned the academy-principal.
“I don’t mind their keeping away from us,” said Frank.
“Nor I,” said Ford.
At that moment they reached their own gate, and Dick darted forward in response to an imaginary call from Mrs. Myers.
Ford went on,—
“They can keep away all they please, but they won’t do it long. They’re bound on mischief of some kind.”
“To us?” asked Frank.
“Well, yes; but it’ll light on Richard Lee first. He won’t say a word to us about it, but they’ve bothered him.”
“I’ll ask him,” said Dab, in whose face a flush was rising. “They must let Dick alone.”
“They won’t, then. And there’s plenty of others just like ’em. They’re getting together in a kind of a flock these last two or three days. Some of ’em are pretty big ones.”
“Boys,” exclaimed Frank, “how about our boxing lessons?”
“Guess we haven’t forgotten ’em all in one week,” said Ford. “I was thinking about to-morrow.”
So were they all; and they held a council-of-war about it, in their own room, before supper. The result was, that, by a unanimous vote, that Saturday was to be devoted to the catching of fish, rather than to playing ball, or any thing else that would bring them into immediate contact with Joe and Fuz.
They had all brought their fishing-tackle with them, as a matter of course; plenty of worms for bait were to be dug in the garden; and Dab Kinzer had learned, by careful inquiry, that both bait and tackle could be used to good purpose in the waters of “Green Pond,” and sundry other small bits of lakes, miles and miles away among the hills to the north of Grantley.
“We’ll have a grand time,” he said, “and it’ll do us all good. No crabs, though. Wonder if those fresh-water fish bite like ours down in the bay.”
“Some do, and some don’t,” said Ford. “I’ve caught ’em.”
It did not occur to him now, however, that he could probably teach Dab; and they all obeyed the supper-bell.
There were three kinds of corn-cake on the table, but the boys were thinking of something more important; and Dab hardly received his first cup of tea before he remarked,—
“We’re all going a-fishing to-morrow, Mrs. Myers; but we may get home in time for supper. Can you spare Dick?”
“What, on Saturday? The very day I need him most? Three loads of wood’ll be over from the farm to-night.”
Dick had been in the kitchen, and had advanced as far as the door while Dab was speaking.
“Wood?” he muttered to himself. “Guess I know wot dat means. T’ree load ob wood, an’ no fishin’! It’s jes’ awful!”