“How long do you think it will be before Jack and Pete come here?” inquired Fred.
“Nobody knows,” replied Zeke. “Maybe an hour, maybe a day, and maybe a week and maybe never.”
A STARTLING ARRIVAL
Whether the gruff words of the somewhat crusty guide cast a spell over the boys or they themselves shared in the dark vision presented by him no one knew. At all events silence soon rested over the little camp and in a brief time all were asleep.
Now that Fred and George had been cared for and the immediate peril into which they had fallen was gone a feeling of relief had come to the three Go Ahead Boys. They were still anxious concerning their missing companion, but their confidence in Pete and their knowledge that John was not likely to incur any unnecessary risks, to say nothing of the search which Kitoni was making, all combined to strengthen their hope that the missing Go Ahead Boys would soon be with them.
When the light of the following morning appeared the camp was astir and Zeke, who was awake before his young charges had opened their eyes, was already preparing a simple breakfast. It had been difficult for him to obtain wood with which to kindle the fire but after a diligent search in the barren region where they had halted he at last obtained a sufficient number of dead and dried branches that had fallen from the few trees on the side of the canyon.
When breakfast had been prepared and eaten, the courage of the boys promptly revived. Frequently each turned and looked far down the great gulch, hoping to obtain a view of John or the absent guide, but as yet nothing was seen to indicate that the young Navajo had found the missing member of the party.
Already in the sunlight the air was Intensely warm. In the shade, however, it was so cool that Fred declared an overcoat would not be uncomfortable.
“I’m getting in a hurry,” he said.
“It won’t do you any good if you be,” said Zeke solemnly. “You’ll have to take things as they come.”
“The trouble is they don’t come,” laughed Fred. “I want Pete and John here.”
“I guess you’ll have to put up with those of us that haven’t got lost or tried to fall over the rocks,” growled Zeke, his eyes twinkling as he spoke. “Here’s Thomas Jefferson,” he added, “he’ll help you pass the time.”
The Navajo had not passed the night near the spot which the boys had selected. No one was aware whether he had departed to rejoin his friend or had merely sought another resting place.
“They always show up about breakfast time,” growled Zeke under his breath. Nevertheless the guide at once prepared some food for the Indian who now had rejoined the party.
“Did you see anything of our friends?” inquired Grant eagerly.
“I saw nothing,” replied the Navajo. “I do not expect all people here to be safe.”