They had still fifty yards to cover when Snap went into a hole and pitched headlong. Shep was directly behind him, and over he went on top of his chum, crushing one of the baskets of strawberries between them. The other basket was scattered in all directions over the ground.
“There go our berries,” grumbled Snap. “Too bad!”
“Get up!” roared Shep, scrambling to his feet. “Here comes the ram, and he’s as wild as they make ’em!”
He caught his chum by the arm, and both tried to go on. But Snap’s ankle had received a bad wrench and he was forced to limp.
The boys had to pass a low shed, used occasionally for the storage of fruit and baskets. As they reached this the ram came up and lowered his head.
“Jump for the shed!” yelled Shep, and caught hold of the roof of the structure. He scrambled to the top and gave his chum a hand. Then on came the ram and hit the side of the frail building a resounding whack with his head. Snap escaped by less than a foot; and then both boys stood upright on the top of the shed wondering what they had best do next.
A TRICK THAT FAILED
“We are in a pickle, Snap.”
“It certainly looks like it, Shep.”
“How long do you suppose that ram is going to keep us here?”
“I don’t know—–maybe you’d better ask him.”
“I wouldn’t feel quite so bad if I had on my, regular clothing and my shoes. But with this thin outfit—–”
“Here he comes again!” was the cry, and crash! the head of the ram struck the shed once more, causing it to tremble greatly.
“I really think he’s trying to knock the old thing down!” was the comment of the doctor’s son.
The boys tried to look across the river, but could not because of a heavy clump of bushes growing between the shed and the water’s edge. They heard a distant cry and wondered what it meant.
“I believe that is Giant and Whopper calling,” said Snap.
“More than likely they are tired of waiting for us. Maybe they are dressing.”
A few of the sheep had come up and were gazing curiously at the boys and the ram. Then the ram commenced to walk around the shed, viewing it speculatively from all sides.
“Looks like a warrior, doesn’t he?” said Shep. “Wish I had a brickbat to throw at him.”
“Here’s a short board!” cried Snap, and tore off a piece that was partly loose. “I wish I could reach him with this.”
“Wait, I’ll coax him over,” answered the doctor’s son, and put down a leg over the edge of the roof. At once the ram charged, and as he did this Snap threw the board at him, hitting him in the side. This so surprised the animal that he turned and ran away a distance of several rods.
“Now is our chance! Come!” yelled Snap, and leaped from the roof of the shed on the river side. His chum followed, and once again the pair put for the stream with all speed. They kept out of sight of the ram as much as possible and he did not see them until they were almost at the water’s edge. Before he could come up they dove into the stream and swam out several yards.