“We must get that second one!” cried Snap, and fired once more. But the wounded duck had reached the cover of some bushes and was not hit again. The rowboat was hastily turned in the direction and Snap and Whopper leaped ashore. Then the duck tried to fly but a shot from Whopper’s firearm laid it low. Soon the boys had both ducks on board and were examining the game.
“They are pretty plump,” was Snap’s comment, and he uttered the words with satisfaction.
“Not so bad for the first day’s record,” said Giant. “Fish and ducks.”
“Now if we could only get some squirrels, a few rabbits, a deer, and three or four bears—–” began Whopper.
“Do you want to bring down everything within ten miles the first day?” demanded the doctor’s son.
“I believe if Whopper was hunting lions he’d want to bring down a dozen the first clip,” was Snap’s comment. “Let me tell you there will be many days when we won’t bring down a thing.”
“Oh, I know that,” answered Whopper. “I was only fooling. Say, it will be fine to have roast duck for dinner to-morrow, eh?” And he smacked his lips.
“Duck, stuffed with sage and onions!” murmured Giant, patting himself in the region of the stomach.
“No stuffings in this,” cried the doctor’s son. “I just want pure duck—–a nice brown leg,—–yum.”
“Say, you make me duck-hungry already!” cried Whopper. “Let’s go on, unless we are going to stay here for the rest of the day.”
Once again the oars were taken up, and with scarcely a sound they moved along the shore of the lake. The sun was now well over to the hills in the west, and the trees along the shore cast long shadows over the rippling surface.
“No use of talking, such a spot as this is a regular Paradise,” was Snap’s comment. “I can tell you, there isn’t anything like a life in the open!”
“Especially when it rains,” suggested Giant.
“Or when you’re caught in a blizzard,” added Shep. “Do you remember that blizzard last Christmas?”
“Will we ever forget it,” answered Giant. “Just the same, what Snap says is true—–give me such an outing as this every time. Some fellows are always hankering after the city—–but I never did.”
An hour later the young hunters reached the end of the lake, where a small, rocky watercourse joined that body of water to Firefly Lake. Here they went into camp, pitching their tent in a convenient spot among the trees. Over a bright campfire they cooked some of the fish to a turn, and took their time eating the meal. Then they sat around and chatted, and Giant told his chums something which interested them not a little.
THE STORY OF A STRANGE DISAPPEARANCE
The boys were talking about money matters in general and inheritances in particular when Giant mentioned the fact that his mother had some money coming to her, but could not get possession of it.