“We can’t mend it to-night,” answered Shep.
Gracious! Just listen to it rain!
The boys sat up for quite awhile listening to the rain, but presently they grew tired again and one after another dropped off to sleep. Whopper found a dry spot next to Giant; and thus they rested until daylight.
It was certainly a dismal outlook that confronted them when they arose for the day. The rain was coming down steadily, and no dry firewood was to be had with which to cook breakfast.
“We should have put some wood in the tent,” said Snap. “We’ll know better next time.”
It took a deal of coaxing to start a blaze, but once it got going to keep it up was easy. They took their time, for traveling in such a storm was out of the question. The meal over, they washed up the dishes, and then huddled down in the tent once more.
“This is the only drawback to camp life,” said Snap, with a sigh. “A storm knocks everything endways. But there is no help for it, and a fellow must take the bitter with the sweet.”
The storm continued all day, and the only thing the lads did was to fish. At this they were very successful, and a fine supper of fresh lake trout put them in much better humor. They put in a peaceful night, and the next morning, the storm having cleared away, they set off for Lake Narsac.
LOST IN THE SWAMP
“This is certainly a wilderness!”
It was Snap who uttered the words, as he stood in the bow of the rowboat, taking in the scene before him. They had left Firefly Lake five miles behind them and were on the winding stream leading to Lake Narsac. On one side of the watercourse were rough rocks and on the other a tangled mass of underbrush, backed up by rocks and tall cedars.
“A fellow could never make his way through such a woods as that,” said Whopper, nodding in the direction of the forest. “Why, you’d tear your clothing all to pieces!”
“I can tell you one thing,” put in Shep. “I think there must be plenty of game up here—–if only one can get to it.”
They had taken turns at rowing and poling the craft along. For the most part the poling was better than rowing, for the stream was too full of rocks to admit the free use of oars. Twice they had bumped on the projections under water, once with such violence that Giant, who had been standing at the time, had almost gone overboard. Once they had to carry craft and outfit around a sharp bend. The boat had started to leak a little, but not enough to cause anxiety.
Noon found them encamped on a point of land where the stream appeared to divide into two parts, one running to the northeast and the other to the northwest. Which branch to take to get to Lake Narsac they did not know.
“This is a fine how-do-you-do!” was Whopper’s comment. “I wish we had questioned Jed Sanborn about it.”