“Maybe that shot scared away Mr. Bear,” said Whopper. “If it did we’ll have our tramp for nothing.”
“I am sorry—–I fired before I could think,” answered the small member of the club. “I’ll not do it again.”
They now advanced in silence, knowing that a bear has sharp ears and will run at the first intimation of danger. They kept their eyes and ears on the alert and their firearms ready for immediate use.
“Look!” said Whopper presently, in a strained voice. “Dodge behind the rocks!” and he literally dragged Snap down, and the others came after the pair.
“What did you see?” asked Shep.
“Two!” came from the others. “Where?”
“Away up on the mountainside. They were on a shelf of rocks, and seemed to be looking at something out on the lake.”
“Can we reach them with our guns?” asked Giant.
“Might reach one of ’em with the rifle. They were a good distance off.”
“Let us try to get closer,” said Shep, who did not want to miss a chance to aid in bringing down such big game.
“Yes, I don’t want to have the only shot,” added Snap. “We all want a whack at them.”
With extreme caution one after another of the young hunters looked toward the shelf of rocks Whopper pointed out. True enough, two bears were there, looking down toward Lake Narsac. As the boys watched the game they turned slowly and walked to the end of the shelf, disappearing behind some bushes.
“I believe we can get at least one of those bears if we are careful,” said Snap.
“Don’t you think it would be a good plan to above the bears by taking a roundabout route?” came from Whopper. “I think we can shoot down at them better than we can shoot up. Besides, if we are above them I think we’ll be safer. They can jump down on us easily enough, but jumping up is another matter.”
“Yes, and if we can’t kill them with shots perhaps we can knock ’em over with rocks,” said Giant.
As they toiled up the mountainside it grew darker, and they noted that the sun had gone behind a mass of angry-looking clouds. Far off they heard a rumbling that betokened a thunderstorm.
“That storm is certainly coming,” said Snap.
“It won’t be any fun to be caught up here either.”
“Perhaps it will pass off to the westward,” returned the doctor’s son, hopefully. “The clouds seem to be moving in that direction.”
They soon gained a point about on a level with the shelf of rocks upon which they had seen the bears, but some distance to the southward. Climbing now became difficult, and they had to help one another up the steep places. Once Whopper took a tumble and would have rolled down a long distance had not Shep caught him just in time.
“You want to be very careful,” cautioned Snap. “A roll down the mountainside might mean death.”
By the time they had reached a point about a hundred feet above the shelf of rocks they were so exhausted they had to sit down and rest. They were now on another shelf, and from this location could look out over the entire surface of Lake Narsac. Not a boat or a person was to be seen.