“Is that so?” whispered Max. “Why, what’s doing?”
“I don’t want to let on that I know anybody is prowling about,” Bud replied; “but if you’ll watch those bushes straight south of here for a while you’ll make out the form of a man half hidden there. He moves a little every now and then. Be careful and don’t let him know you known he’s there.”
“I won’t,” Max replied excitedly. “Why don’t you shoot at him?”
“I don’t want to do that unless I have to,” Bud replied. “Besides, I’d like to know what he’s up to. Why did you come out here? Couldn’t you sleep?”
“I didn’t sleep a wink; I couldn’t. My head was in a whirl all the time. I was busy imagining just such things as this. Believe me, it was some spooky job, out here all alone.”
“Yes, that’s true,” Bud agreed. “I’m glad enough to have your company. By the way, you haven’t explained how you happened to come here with Mr. Perry. We’re mighty glad to have you here, but I was wondering how your folks happened to let you come.”
“Mr. Buckley is my uncle,” Max replied. “I called him up and told him what was going on out here, and he asked me to come along.”
“Oh, that’s it,” Bud returned. “I was wondering if you Canadian boys are way ahead of us Yankee boys when it comes to doing as you please. My father wouldn’t let me come on this trip if Mr. Perry hadn’t come along.”
“I guess we’re not much different from you Yankees,” Max replied. “But, talkin’ about doing as you please, it seems to me that you went pretty far when you made that slingshot after Mr. Perry said you mustn’t have a pistol.”
“Oh, that’s nothing like a pistol,” Bud replied. “You couldn’t kill anybody with it.”
“I don’t know about that,” Max answered with a shake of his head. “I wouldn’t like to be in front of it when you shot. I bet you could knock a fellow silly with it.”
“Maybe I could. Well, anyway, a slingshot’s a long way from being a pistol. Have you made that fellow out yet?”
“Yes, you bet I have,” answered Max. “I’ve seen ’im move several times.”
“Let’s sit down and pretend not to suspect that anybody’s watching us,” Bud proposed. “Then maybe he’ll be a little bolder.”
“All right, but we’ll have to keep a close watch out of the corner of our eyes.”
“Sure. Come on. Here are a couple of chairs.”
“Let’s sit down facing each other, so that nobody can creep onto us unawares,” suggested Max.
“That’s a good idea,” said Bud.
They seated themselves, face to face and within “whispering distance” of each other and continued their conversation in low tones, but at the same time keeping a sharp lookout for developments.
“This experience has proved one thing,” Bud remarked in the course of their continued discussion, “and that is that all our watches ought to be in two’s.”
“Yes, a single watcher gets pretty lonesome, and, besides, it’s too easy for him to be taken by surprise. Now, there’s a sample of what I say. Don’t look yet; he’ll know we see him. He’s moved, farther to the east, and now he’s creeping up behind the tent.”