“We’d like to settle this ghost business,” said Snap. “We feel sure it can be explained in some way or another.”
“Well, maybe, but—–” Jed Sanborn drew a deep breath. “Don’t you go for to run no unnecessary risks, that’s all.”
“Oh, we’ll certainly try to keep out of danger,” answered the doctor’s son.
“Your mother wants you to be partickerly careful,” said Jed to Giant. “She says she wouldn’t know what to do if something happened ye.”
“Tell her I shall take good care of myself,” answered the small member of the club.
Jed Sanborn told them that everything was going on at Fairview as usual. He had some letters for the lads, which they read with interest. He said he would remain with them until the next morning, and promised to take back such letters as they might write.
“If you stay over you might as well go on a hunt with us,” said Snap, and then he related how their meat had been stolen.
“Wildcats did that,” announced Jed Sanborn, after a close examination. “Two on ’em—–most likely mates. It will be a ticklish job trying to track ’em.”
“Oh, we’ve shot wildcats before,” said Whopper.
“Not the kind that’s around here, my boy. These are the wildest and strongest kind. Howsomever, we can go after ’em if you say so. When do you want to start?”
“Have you had breakfast?” asked Snap.
“Two hours ago.”
“Then let us start at once.” And so it was decided.
A HUNT AFTER WILDCATS
As my old readers know, Jed Sanborn knew all about wild animals and just how to trail them, and the young hunters followed his directions readily.
“Be sure your guns are in prime condition and loaded,” said Jed. “And as we may be out until nightfall, better take a lunch with you.”
“We have it, in our gamebags,” answered the doctor’s son.
They were soon on the way, along a small trail leading directly away from Lake Narsac. It was uphill, but the old hunter knew just how to turn to make climbing easy, so, although they covered a mile or more, they were not greatly fatigued.
“I know we came for wildcats, but if ye want some wild turkeys here’s your chance,” said the old hunter presently, and he pointed to the left of the trail. The boys gazed in that direction but saw nothing unusual and said so.
“The turkeys are in yonder tree,” answered Jed Sanborn. “I jest saw two on ’em movin’ around on some branches.
“You certainly have keen eyes,” answered Snap, for the distance to the tree was at least a hundred and fifty yards.
“Have to have, lad, to be a good shot,” was the reply.
Not to alarm the game, Jed Sanborn told them to walk with care, and led the way in a semicircle through the timber. Then he told the boys to spread out around the tree.