“Look here, if you know anything about our boat I want to know it,” said Whopper, without stopping to think twice.
“Your boat?” repeated Vance Lemon, and then he looked at Giles Faswig, who winked.
“Yes, our boat,” repeated Whopper. “We tied it to a tree last night and now it is gone.”
“I didn’t touch your boat,” growled Andrew Felps.
“Nor did I,” put in Vance Lemon.
“You had better be gone about your business,” came from Giles Faswig. “We didn’t come up here to be bothered by a lot of kids.”
“We want our boat—–and we are bound to get it,” said Snap, firmly.
“Well, go find it,” cried Andrew Felps.
“We want to know if anybody in this camp knows anything about the boat.”
Just then a boy of eight or nine years of age came out of one of the tents, rubbing his eyes sleepily.
“Uncle Giles,” he said, walking up to Faswig, “where are we going to-day, and what are you going to do with that boat you brought in when I woke up last night?”
IN THE CAMP OF THE ENEMY
Snap and Whopper listened to the words of the small boy with keen interest. Instantly they came to the conclusion that the lad must be speaking of their own craft.
“Hush, Dick!” cried Giles Faswig, hastily. “You go back in the tent and stay there until these strangers go away.”
“What boat did your uncle bring in last night?” asked Snap, walking up to the lad.
“See here, you leave my nephew alone!” roared Faswig.
“Can’t I speak to him?”
“No, I don’t want him talking to the likes of you.”
“He said you brought in a boat last night when he woke up,” came from Whopper. “Was it our boat?”
“None of your business!” snapped Giles Faswig, and as he spoke he took his nephew by the arm and turned him back into one of the tents. “Stay there, now mind!” he added, in a low, tense voice.
“It’s a good deal of our business,” said Snap, “if it was our boat.”
“Come on and take a look around,” added Whopper, and started for the other side of the cove, where a mass of brushwood and overhanging trees screened a portion of the water from view.
Giles Faswig strode up to the two young hunters and caught Snap by the arm. The next instant the hand was shaken off violently and the youth stood before the man with blazing eyes and doubled-up fists.
“Don’t you try that again, Mr. Faswig,” said Snap, in a cold, measured voice. “You have no right to touch me.”
“And you have no right in this camp.”
“You clear out!” came from Andrew Felps. “I don’t want you around another minute.”
Faswig stepped in front of the boys and so did Felps and Lemon. All three of the men looked ugly, and Snap and Whopper did not know what to do.