The Spink crowd wanted to argue, but our friends would not listen. One of the boys wanted to fight, but the sight of the guns made him hold back. At last those on the raft put off from the shore and disappeared in the darkness.
“They are as mad as wet hens,” said Giant. “Do you think they’ll come back?”
“Possibly,” answered Snap. “We’ll have to keep a strict watch.”
It was decided that only two boys should sleep at a time, while the other pair remained on guard, one at either side of the camp. This plan was carried out, but nothing came to disturb the young hunters, and all managed to get a fairly good rest after their arduous doing of the early part of the night.
At half-past nine in the morning they started for the other side of Lake Narsac in their rowboat, taking the two other craft with them. They looked for Ham Spink and his cronies but the camping spot was deserted.
“What can this mean?” questioned Whopper. “Is it another trick?”
“Maybe they are at our camp this minute!” cried Giant. “We ought to have left somebody on guard.”
But he had hardly spoken when they saw a handkerchief waving from down the lake shore. They pulled in that direction and soon reached a small, cleared spot. Here the raft was beached and here lay the whole Spink outfit in confusion.
“What brought you fellows here?” asked Shep, curiously, for he could see that all those on shore were greatly excited.
“Did you see it?” demanded one of the boys.
“We are going home,” declared Ike Akley, and his manner showed that he was frightened almost out of his wits.
“Let us have the boat and the canoe and we won’t bother you any more,” said Carl Dudder. “You can have the whole lake to yourselves.”
“Did we see what?” asked Giant, of the youth who had first spoken.
“The ghost,” was the unexpected reply. “It came into our camp last night and we don’t want to see it again. We are all going back to Lake Cameron.”
JED SANBORN BRINGS NEWS
That the Spink crowd was thoroughly frightened there could not be the slightest doubt. Even when they told their story many looked behind them, as if they expected the ghost to pop out of the woods and clutch them by the shoulder.
It seemed that the ghost had appeared shortly after they returned to their camp. It came up over the lake silently, a figure in yellow, with waving horns of red. It had stopped directly in front of the camp and had waved a menacing arm at the boys. Then it had disappeared into the gloom of the night.
“It uttered some terrible things,” said Carl Dudder. “It said something about being dead and about being buried.”
“Yes, and then it uttered a hideous laugh,” said Ike Akley. “I shall never forget that—–it was awful, and it seemed to go right through a fellow.”