“Hi, you!” roared Felps. “What are you doing around here?”
“Looking for our boat,” answered Snap.
“Humph! This is a pretty time to visit our camp, I must say!”
“We didn’t know you had a camp here,” said Whopper.
“I’d like to know what you are doing here—–after my ordering you away last summer and last winter,” went on the lumber merchant, sourly.
“Didn’t I say I was looking for our boat?” said Snap.
“Well, if you’ve got a boat you must be camping up here.”
“We stayed ashore over night, that’s all. We are bound for Lake Narsac,” said Whopper. “Did you see a boat drifting past?” he continued.
“No, I didn’t,” snapped Andrew Felps. “Look here,” he continued. “If this is a trick, let me warn you. You can’t camp around here, and that settles it.”
“We don’t want to camp around here, Mr. Felps,” answered Snap. “All we want is our boat, which got away from us last night. If you saw anything of the craft—–”
“I want you to get out of here!” roared the lumber merchant. “I won’t have you hanging around!”
At this moment two men came from one of the tents. They were Giles Faswig and Vance Lemon, the lumber merchant’s two friends, and the men who had once tried to get the boys to let them have some ammunition. They had treated the young hunters so meanly that the latter had voted not to let them have any powder or cartridges and this had broken up the outing of the Felps party.
“Hello, those young rascals are out here again!” muttered Vance Lemon, who was naturally as sour as his name implied.
“Say, I’ve fixed them,” whispered Giles Faswig, with a wink at Lemon. “I’ll tell you about it later. I took a walk late last night, and I discovered they were camping not far from this spot.”
“We are not young rascals!” cried Snap, indignantly. “We are just as good as you are, and maybe better.”
“Bah! don’t talk to me!” growled Vance Lemon.
“You thought you were smart last winter, when you refused to sell us a little ammunition,” broke in Giles Faswig. “I haven’t forgotten that dirty trick.”
“You know well enough why we didn’t let you have the ammunition,” answered Snap. “You didn’t deserve it.”
“Humph! Just wait, and you’ll find out—–” The man did not finish.
“Now I want you two boys to go away—–and stay away!” cried Andrew Felps. “If you are bound for Lake Narsac better be on your way.”
“We can’t go until we have found our missing boat,” said Whopper. “It must be somewhere on this lake.”
“Make them go away,” said Giles Faswig, and then he whispered something in the rich lumber dealer’s ear. Whatever he had to tell made Andrew Felps grin.
Snap and Whopper saw the whispering and the grin, and instantly they suspected some trick. They well remembered what a rage Faswig had been in when they had refused to let him have any, ammunition.