“Oh, I don’t suppose it appears and disappears by the clock, like a cuckoo,” said Whopper. “It will most likely lay low and scare us to death when we least expect it.”
It was the middle of the forenoon before they were ready to embark on a tour of the lake. They decided to skirt the entire shore, or at least such a portion of it as looked inviting, and then pick out a spot for a regular camp. They proceeded slowly, for there was no need to hurry and they did not wish to miss any spot that might be of especial advantage.
It was not yet noon when they turned into a little cove, bordered by low-hanging bushes. They looked ahead, and then Shep ordered the others to stop rowing.
“I just saw something, back of yonder bushes,” he whispered, excitedly. “I am not sure, but I think it was a couple of deer!”
A DANGEROUS DEER HUNT
“Deer!” came from the others.
“Let me get a shot at ’em,” added Whopper, excitedly. “That’s what I came for—–to bring down a dozen deer or so!”
“Make it two or three dozen, Whopper,” answered Snap. “What would you do with a dozen in this warm weather?”
“Send ’em down to the poor folks of the town.”
The announcement that deer were in that vicinity thrilled all the young hunters, and they at once resolved to go ashore and see if they could not bring down the game.
“Let us go back a bit,” suggested Shep. “We don’t want this breeze to carry our scent to them. If it does, they’ll be off like a shot.”
The others knew that the doctor’s son spoke the truth, and so the Snapper was turned around, and they went ashore at a point where the trees were thick. Snap carried the rifle and the others had their shotguns, and all looked to the firearms to be sure they were in condition for immediate use. With great care the four boys started to stalk the deer, as it is called. Snap led the way, and never was an Indian hunter more careful of his steps. He knew that the deer’s ears were wide open for any unusual sound and even the cracking of a dry stick would attract their attention.
The journey over the rocks and through the timber was a laborious one. In some spots the undergrowth was so thick that further progress seemed, at first, impossible. Once Giant got caught so completely that the others had to help him free himself. Hardly a word was uttered, and then only in the faintest of whispers.
At last Snap felt they must be close to where Shep had seen the game, and he motioned for the doctor’s son to take the lead.
“You saw ’em—–you ought to have first chance at ’em,” he whispered.
“I want you all to fire,” was the reply.
An instant later came a faint sound ahead, and looking through the trees, the four boy hunters saw three deer walking swiftly along. One was a beautiful doe not more than half grown.