“I shouldn’t be a bit surprised.”
“Then we may have pretty serious trouble before we’re done.”
“Right you are,” assented Pete. “But it’s time for us to be moving, boys,” he added. “Here, I’ll help each of you with his pack and we’ll start out. If those two men are ahead of us we’ll know it before they know that we’re following them.”
ALONE IN THE CANYON
For a considerable distance the way along which the guide was leading was not difficult. The footing was fairly strong and there were not many obstacles to be met.
Both boys in spite of the exciting experiences of the morning were deeply interested in the marvelous sights which greeted them as they advanced into the gulch.
On the sides of the canyon layers of rock and earth of different colors were plainly to be seen. Occasionally there were strange formations that extended from the rim of the cliff to the bottom of the valley that were like huge buttresses fashioned by the hands of men.
“Look at that!” exclaimed Fred, calling the attention of John to one of these peculiar formations. “That looks exactly as if it had been cut out by a mason.”
“It certainly does,” acknowledged John, stopping and gazing at the interesting sight. “Indeed, if we had this place back east,” he continued, “it would not be difficult to make some people believe that it had been especially designed so that they could charge a dime a head to come in to see it. What do you suppose Coney Island would do with the Grand Canyon?”
“I guess Coney Island, if it had the Grand Canyon, would hide in some little corner. You wouldn’t see much of the Island in a place like that.”
Pete was not leading his young charges at a rapid pace. In spite of the fact that they were at the bottom of the gulch the altitude was still so high that breathing was somewhat difficult.
They steadily continued on their way for two hours, making only occasional stops. Then they halted for the midday rest and the preparation of the luncheon which Pete at once began to get ready.
The fire was kindled under the lea of a projecting shelf of rock and soon the odor of broiling bacon appealed strongly to the Go Ahead Boys, whose appetites already needed no stimulant.
“This is the life!” exclaimed John a few minutes later when he and Fred were seated on rocks under the shade of the over-hanging cliffs.
John was holding a strip of broiled bacon on the end of the stick which he grasped in one hand, while with the other he was holding a huge piece of johnny-cake, in the making of which Pete was an expert.
“We couldn’t find anything better than this,” responded Fred, “even after we have dug out our mine. I wonder what we’ll do with all the money we’ll get.”
“I know what I shall do with mine,” laughed John.