“Somebody once told me the lake was haunted,” said Snap. “But of course that wouldn’t scare us—–we are not afraid of ghosts, are we?”
“No!” came from all of the others promptly.
“The ghost that tries to scare me will get his ear pinched,” added Giant, and said this so drolly that all had to laugh.
“One thing is sure,” said Shep, after a pause, “with fish, game, snakes and ghosts we’d certainly find enough to interest us, eh?”
“Is the lake very deep?” asked Giant.
“Jed Sanborn told me that you can’t touch bottom in some places,” answered Snap. “The lake lies right between three tall mountains. He said we might have to carry our boat around some of the rocks in the stream leading to it.”
“Well, we can do that to—–providing the boat isn’t too heavy.”
This talk led to many others, and in the end it was decided that the four boys should start on the trip the week following the Fourth of July. Then commenced active preparations. Guns were cleaned, camping outfits overhauled, and the lads looked around for just the right boat in which to make the trip. Through Mr. Dodge a fine, strong craft was obtained; and then the lads waited impatiently for the day to come when they should begin the outing on the lake. They anticipated some adventures, but did not dream of the curious happenings in store for them.
SWIMMING, AND WHAT FOLLOWED
Lane’s Cove was situated almost a mile from Fairview, but the four boys did not think anything of walking that distance. All were good pedestrians, for their numerous outings had hardened their muscles and given them good lung power. Even little Giant trudged along as swiftly as the rest and even suggested a race when they came in sight of the spot selected by Snap for the afternoon’s fun.
“No, don’t run—–you’ll get overheated,” said Whopper. “When I run I sweat like a house afire.”
“Sweating like a house afire is good!” murmured Giant, with a grin. “Now if you had only said sweat like a stone, or a piece of iron, all of us would have known what you meant. As it is—–” And then he stopped and ducked, to escape the piece of dried mud Whopper playfully shied at him.
The cove reached, the boys speedily found a spot that suited them. It was at a point where some overhanging bushes and trees sheltered a strip of sandy shore. At one point a rock ran out into the river, making an excellent place from which to dive.
The lads hustled into the bushes and in a very few minutes Snap appeared in his bathing outfit and was followed by Shep.
“Beat you in!” cried the doctor’s son, but hardly had he spoken when Snap made a leap and landed into the river with a loud splash. Shep came after him, and both disappeared under the surface, to come up a second later, thrashing around wildly.