“I know what has happened,” said Snap. “The snakes have simply gone back to their nest.”
“Well, leave them there by all means!” interposed the doctor’s son. “I wouldn’t disturb their nap for the world.”
With caution they moved around the camp, and lifted up the ends of the tent, and raised their cooking utensils.
“Who wants to stay here for breakfast?” asked Snap, dryly. “Don’t all speak at once.”
“Thanks, but I’ve engaged a place about a mile from here,” answered Whopper. “You can stay if you wish—–I’ll move on.”
It did not take them long to get their things aboard the Snapper, and keeping their eyes open, they moved along the stream. They had scarcely covered half a mile when Snap, who was at the bow, gave a shout.
“The lake! The lake!”
“Where?” came from the others.
“Right around the bend, on the left. Pull on, fellows, and we’ll soon be there.”
Whopper and Shep bent to the oars and the turn mentioned was soon passed. Then all saw before them a clear, deep body of water, the farther end lost in the distance. On both sides were tall mountains, covered with pines and other trees which came down to the water’s edge. The surface of the big lake was as smooth as glass, and just in front of them they could see the bottom, twenty or thirty feet below.
“What a beautiful lake!” murmured Shep.
“But how wild, and how lonely!” added Giant, after a look around.
“It looks lonely because we are not used to it,” answered Snap. “I felt the same way the first time I went up to Lake Cameron and to Firefly Lake.”
“That’s it,” put in Whopper. “After we have tramped along the shore, and rowed around the lake a few times, it will lose a good deal of its strangeness.”
As they advanced they noted that the lake grew deeper and they could no more see the bottom. But the water was as clear as crystal and quite cold, showing that the water came, at least in part, from springs.
“I see a little stretch of sand,” said Giant, presently, and pointed it out. “We might go ashore there for breakfast—–if there are no snakes.”
They turned the Snapper in the direction mentioned, and soon beached the craft. A hasty hunt around revealed no snakes and the young hunters felt easier. They made a campfire and cooked a substantial breakfast, for the meager supper the evening previous had left them tremendously hungry.
“I feel sleepy enough to take a good snooze,” said Shep, stretching himself. “What’s the matter with staying here for to-day, and then hunting a regular camping spot to-morrow? I guess you fellows are as tired as I am.”
They were tired and the proposal to rest met with instant approval. It was decided to roast the wild turkey for dinner and to spend several hours in fishing,—–all after a sleep of several hours.