“His name is Pratt. Didn’t Zeke introduce him?”
“Yes,” answered Grant. “I know who he is but what is he?”
“He’s a prospector who has been working around here not far from my brother more or less for five years. My brother was almost insane and Pratt knew it. He tried to keep a little watch over him, but Sime wouldn’t have him around. He was about here, however, when my brother died and he helped me locate the claim.”
“Were you the man who took our diary?” spoke up John.
“‘Your’ diary is good,” laughed Mr. Moultrie. “Do you think it really was yours?”
“We found it,” said John doggedly.
“By the same rule,” said Mr. Moultrie, “the man that found this boy when he was lost in the gulch ought to own him. We took the diary all right, but it belonged to us anyway. We were only appropriating what was ours.”
“What about that boat that was stove in?”
“That was an accident. We took one of the boats fully expecting to give it back to you within a day or two. We struck a rock and that’s all there is to the story.”
“But what about that pack?”
“Our supplies were all gone so we took the pack,” laughed the man.
“Did Zeke know about it?” suddenly inquired Fred.
“I reckon he wasn’t altogether lacking in information,” laughed Moultrie.
“Then, why did you bring us all here?” demanded Fred, turning angrily upon the guide.
“I thought you wanted to come here,” responded Zeke solemnly.
“We wanted to find the claim,” retorted Fred.
“Well, you have found it, haven’t you?” inquired Zeke as most of the party laughed loudly.
“We have found what you say is the claim,” acknowledged Fred, “but—”
“We have found what is the claim,” said Mr. Moultrie quietly. “Now, I appreciate the zeal of the Go Ahead Boys and I don’t intend to forget it. This claim may be worth a hundred million dollars and it may not be worth one red cent. I’m going to give one hundred shares, if a company is organized and we put out the stock, to every one of the Go Ahead Boys.”
“How much does Zeke get?” laughed Grant.
“He doesn’t get anything,” said Mr. Moultrie, “unless we develop a mine here and that means a lot of work and a long wait. Then, if the prospect looks good, we may organize a development company, and if the development shows up well, then we’ll organize a mining company. But no one knows now whether he’s rich man, poor man, beggar man or thief until all that has been done.”
BY ROSS KAY.
I leave this rule for other’s
when I’m dead:
Be always sure you’re right—THEN GO AHEAD.
—Davy Crockett’s Motto.
The love of adventure is inborn in all normal boys. Action is almost a supreme demand in all the stories they read with most pleasure. Here is presented a series of rattling good adventure stories which every live “go ahead” boy will read with unflagging interest. There is action, dash and snap in every tale yet the tone is healthful and there is an underlying vein of resourcefulness and strength that is worth while.