As soon as the cabin was finished the young hunters moved in and proceeded to make themselves at home. Then they cut enough firewood to last for a week or more, stacking it up so that it might keep dry even in rainy weather. This done, they felt they could now take it easy, and fish and hunt whenever it pleased them to do so.
A hard rain, lasting a day and a night, was followed by a clear, warm spell and during that time the boys enjoyed themselves to their hearts’ content. Whopper was now practically well, although the cut on his cheek still sported several bits of court-plaster. Every morning the young hunters got up at sunrise and took a dip in the lake, following this up by a good rub-down, for they had brought the necessary coarse towels with them. This always rendered them wideawake and gave them appetites which could not have been better. They took turns at cooking and baking, and at washing dishes and keeping the fire supplied with wood. They were certainly happy, and the time seemed to “fairly fly,” as Shep expressed it.
One afternoon, when Snap and Giant were fishing just below the camp, both boys chanced to glance down the lake and saw a large boat hugging the shore. It contained several persons, but was too far off for anybody to be recognized. The boat remained in sight several minutes and then disappeared into one of the numerous coves along the shore.
“More campers,” was Snap’s comment. “Well, I suppose they have as much right up here as we have.”
“I’d like to know who they are,” answered Giant.
“Perhaps they’ll come this way later in the day, or to-morrow.”
“I always like to know if other hunters are in the woods, and I like them to know I am there, too,” went on the leader of the club. “Then there is not so much danger of an accident. I don’t want somebody to take me for a deer or a bear and shoot me.”
“If we find they are stopping around this vicinity we’ll have to notify them that we are here,” answered Giant.
That day went by and also the next, and they, saw no more of the strangers. Then Shep came in with the announcement that he had seen four or five deer up the lake shore.
“I am sure we can get one or more of them if we hurry,” declared the doctor’s son.
They were all willing to go after the deer, and having shut up the cabin and kicked out the campfire so that it might not set fire to the woods should a stiff breeze spring up, they set off on foot, taking to a deer trail, which ran a short distance back from the water’s edge.
The walking was by no means good, but this the boys did not mind. The life in the open was making them strong and able to endure almost anything. Their cheeks were full and round and their complexions a healthy tan. All felt like whistling and singing, but they knew they must make as little noise as possible.
If anybody was nervous it was Whopper and the others said nothing when he dragged a little behind. But all kept on steadily until they knew they must be close to the spot where the game had been seen.