“That depends,” answered Snap. He whispered something to his chums. “We’ll let you know to-morrow. It’s too late to do anything more to-night.”
“Then you are going to take the boat and the canoe away?” asked Carl Dudder.
“For the present, yes. Meet us at this place to-morrow morning at ten o’clock and we’ll talk business to you.”
“All right—–we’ll do it,” answered Ham, after whispering to his cronies. “But don’t fail to come,” he added.
“We’ll be on hand,” answered Snap, and then he and his chums moved further out into the lake with the boats and the canoe, and were soon lost to sight in the gloom of the night.
“Well, this is the worst yet,” growled Ike Akley, when he and his cronies were left alone. “We thought we were going to have the best of it and now they have turned the tables on us.”
“Have they?” came from Ham Spink. “That remains to be seen.”
“How?” demanded several of the others.
“Do you think I am going to bed, or sit down and suck my thumbs? Not much! I am going to do something.”
“What are you going to do?” asked Jack Voss.
“Go over to their camp, and after they have gone to bed take all the boats away—–and take whatever else we can get hold of, too. Then I am going to find a new camp—–some place where they can’t locate us very easily.”
“How are you going to get to their camp?” asked Carl, with interest.
“On the raft—–same as they got over here.”
“Hurrah, that’s the plan!” cried another of the party. “They’ll think we are over here, waiting for them to show up at ten o’clock to-morrow morning. Won’t they be surprised when they get up and find the things minus!”
“They may set a guard;” suggested Ike Akley.
“If they do we’ll have to make him a prisoner and gag him.”
“When shall we start?” asked one of the boys.
“Let us dry ourselves by the campfire first,” said Ham. “And we may as well get something to eat too, for there is no telling how long we’ll be gone.”
This suggestion was considered a good one, and the whole crowd went back to the camp. While some changed their wet clothes for dry, others prepared a meal and this all took time in eating. Then all hands went down to the raft and embarked for the other side of the lake.
OUT ON A SAND BAR
The stars had gone under a cloud and out on the lake it was so dark that Snap and his chums could not see twenty feet in any direction.
“We are going to have our own troubles finding our camp,” he said, after about a quarter of the distance across Lake Narsac had been covered.
“It’s as black as a stack of cats,” murmured Whopper. “Has anybody got a lantern?”
Nobody had, and even matches were at a premium. The boys rowed and paddled on a short distance further and then came to a halt in a bunch.