“Well,” said the latter quietly; “we must take this youngster back to the camp and give him some hospital treatment. Can you walk?” he added, addressing the victim of Bud’s slingshot.
“You don’t think I’d be down here if I could, do you?” moaned the fellow sarcastically. “But just wait till I get over this and I’ll fix the fellow that hit me.”
“Let’s not waste any time with him here,” urged Mr. Perry. “Some of you boys pick him up carefully, so as not to hurt him, and carry him into the tent. We’ll give him a quizzing there.”
All the young members of the Catwhisker party had had first aid instruction, so that they knew how to lift the injured boy and carry him with a minimum of pain to the sufferer. A minute later the victim was lying on one of the cots in the tent, with his captors gathered around him, undoubtedly more concerned about the mystery of his presence than in the extent of his injuries.
“No, boys, we mustn’t try to get his story from him until we take care of his wound and see to it that he is resting easy”; Mr. Perry interposed.
Accordingly the wound was examined and found to consist of a very bad bruise on the side of the right hip. Bud’s missile had struck the intruder at a point where there was little flesh, right on a protruding ridge of the hip bone, and it was easy to see that the blow must have been very painful.
“I don’t think it’s very serious,” Mr. Perry remarked after examining the wound; “but I doubt if this boy will want to be running around very much for several days. About all we can do is to apply some liniment to the wound and encourage it, by careful treatment, to heal as rapidly as possible.”
A bottle of liniment was accordingly produced and an application administered by Mr. Perry. This seemed to ease the prisoner-patient somewhat, although he made no effort to stand up, or even to sit up.
“He may have a bone fracture,” Mr. Perry remarked, after he had finished his first-aid ministration, “It’s a pretty bad wound, after all. We’ll have to take him to the nearest physician in the morning if he doesn’t show decided improvement by that time. I didn’t dare rub the liniment in because the slightest touch was so painful.”
“The skin isn’t broken,” Bud observed, with a tone of real concern, for, in spite of the fact that the fellow was there on no friendly mission, the catapult “dead shot” now felt no exultation over his deed.
“No, or I could not have used the liniment,” Mr. Perry replied. “His clothing protected him against a broken wound. By the way,” he continued, turning to the victim, who lay on one of the camp cots that formed a part of the regular equipment of the Catwhisker; “who are you and what were you doing here?”
“Never you mind who I am or what I was doing here,” snapped the youth, who appeared to be a few years older than the boy Catwhiskerites and their Canadian friend, Max. “You wait till my father gets after you. He’ll clean you all up.”