“Not quite as bad as that,” laughed Grant, “but I do say that it’s possible, if Simon Moultrie really was insane, he may have imagined he saw things or found them when he didn’t see them at all.”
Even Fred was somewhat sobered by the declaration of his companion and once more the party lapsed into silence.
It was now past mid-afternoon and the Go Ahead Boys were becoming impatient over the failure of the guide and the Indian to return.
“If they haven’t found any thing,” said Fred irritably, “then they ought to come back and tell us so. We don’t want to stay here forever.”
“Nay, verily, we do not,” said George, shaking his head soberly. “I agree with Pyg. If Zeke doesn’t come back within an hour I say we start after him.”
“You want your turn in being lost in the canyon, do you?” said John grimly. “Well, all I can say is that if you do, you can try it, but as for little Johnnie he stays right here where he is. I’ve had all I want of lost Go Ahead Boys in Thorn’s Gulch or any other canyon.”
Although they did not share in John’s fear nevertheless the boys all remained in their camp.
It was about four o’clock when Kitoni called their attention to two tiny figures in the distance.
The glasses revealed that they were men and that they apparently were coming across the Gulch. How they would be able to make their way up the steep side no one could explain.
“That must be Zeke and Thomas Jefferson,” suggested Fred at once ready to form and express an opinion.
The Navajo, however, shook his head as he said, “It is not Zeke and it is not Thomas Jefferson.”
“Then who is it?” demanded Fred. “It seems to me we’re all the while having two or three men come into our camp when we’ve been told that there wasn’t a human being in these parts. They told us in Tombstone that we wouldn’t see a strange face in this part of the world.”
“I see one now,” declared John, turning and staring at his diminutive friend.
The Go Ahead Boys laughed but their interest was too keen in the men who now in the distance could be seen more distinctly.
“You don’t suppose those two strange white men can be coming back here, do you?” inquired Grant in a whisper.
“Yes, that is just who they are,” replied Kitoni. “Look yonder!” he added as he pointed in the direction in which Zeke and the Navajo had departed.
Two other men also were seen coming from that direction and no effort was required to induce the Go Ahead Boys to believe that Zeke and his companion were returning to the camp.
THE RETURN OF THE STRANGERS
The excitement among the Go Ahead Boys at once became intense. Convinced now that the two men, whose presence whenever they had visited the camp had created trouble, were now returning and the fact that the belligerent Zeke and the Navajo were also likely to arrive at about the same time, convinced the boys that some exciting scenes were to be witnessed.