I. The five
II. On the old quarry road
III. Talking of ghosts
IV. In training for the great tournament
V. Treachery in the air
VI. The prowler
VII. Caught in the act
VIII. Leon promises to reform
IX. Scranton in gala attire
X. When muscles counted
XI. The crisis in Claude’s life
XII. Startling news from the juggins boy
XIII. To the Rescue of “K. K.”
XIV. The searching party
XV. Prowling around the quarry
XVI. A friendly “Ghost”
XVII. Scranton’s “Open house” Day
XVIII. The great Marathon race
XIX. On the final mile of the course
XX. The boy who won—conclusion
THE CHUMS OF SCRANTON HIGH
THE FIVE NUT FORAGERS
The bright October sun was half-way down the western sky one Saturday afternoon. Two-thirds of the Fall month had already gone, and the air was becoming fairly crisp in the early mornings.
All around the forest trees were painted various shades of bright scarlet, burnt umber brown and vivid gold by the practiced fingers of that master artist, the Frost-King. Flocks of robins and blackbirds were gathering rather late this year, preparatory to taking their annual pilgrimage to the warm Southland. They flew overhead at times in vast numbers, making a tremendous chatter.
A noisy bunch of crows cawed unceasingly amidst the treetops as a large, lumbering old automobile passed along the country road, the same filled with lively boys, and also a number of sacks stuffed to their utmost capacity with what appeared to be black walnuts, shell-bark hickories, butternuts, and even splendid large chestnuts. Apparently, the strange and deadly blight that was attacking the chestnut groves all through the East had not yet appeared in the highly favored region around the town of Scranton, in which place the boys in question lived, and attended the famous high school where Dr. Carmack, also supervisor of the entire county schools, held forth.
The five tired lads who formed this nutting party we have met before in the pages of previous stories in this series; so that to those who have been fortunate enough to possess such books they need no lengthy introduction.
First, there was Hugh Morgan, looking as genial and determined as ever, and just as frequently consulted by his comrades, because his opinion always carried considerable weight. Then came his most intimate chum, Thad Stevens, who had played the position of backstop so successfully during the summer just passed, and helped to win the pennant for Scranton against the other two high schools of the country, situated in the towns of Allendale and Belleville.