“Hello, there, Red Rover! Come alongside!”
“What’s the row, fellows? This dandy breeze is too good to be wasted loafing.”
“Frank’s coming in the Jupiter, and coming like a streak!”
“Yes, and more than that, Bluff, he waves his hat as though he had great news!”
Will Milton and Jerry Wallington sat in the double canoe, that with flapping sails pointed its stem into the wind; while their chum, Richard Masters, known among all his schoolmates as Bluff, manipulated the dainty fifteen-foot cedar craft in which he had been speeding over the surface of Camalot Lake.
Another midget boat, constructed on the same lines as that in which Bluff was seated, came flying down before the wind, and presently brought up alongside the other craft.
It contained a single young fellow, upon whose frank and open face rested a broad smile that seemed to prophesy pleasing news.
“What makes you look so happy, Frank? Evidently you’ve heard that your examination papers were up to the standard, and it’s college next year for yours,” remarked Bluff with eagerness, and, it must be confessed, a tinge of envy in his quivering voice.
“Right for you! But that is only the beginning of my news!” cried Frank Langdon as he reached out and caught Jerry by the arm.
“Am I in it?” demanded that worthy, seeming to catch his breath.
“Well, I should say you were, and with even better honors than poor me. Now, the rest of you fellows, don’t look that way. It’s all right, I tell you,” went on the bearer of news, trying to control his own voice, but succeeding only a little better than Jerry.
“Say! do you mean it? Did Bluff and I get through, after all?” exclaimed Will.
Frank nodded his head enthusiastically.
“Careful, now, you wild Indians! Just remember that you’re in canoes that can be upset easily, and unless you want a ducking out in the middle of the lake, restrain your enthusiasm a bit, please. It isn’t the easiest thing in the world, climbing over the stern of a canoe with all your clothes on,” he warned them.
“But is it really true?” pleaded Will. “Have I crawled through decently? Well, I’m glad; not only because it will keep four chums together a while longer, in college, but my mother has set her heart on this thing. Yes, I’m mighty well pleased.”
Will’s mother was a rich widow, and as he had only a twin sister, Violet, for whom Frank entertained a pronounced liking, the two were more than ordinarily dear to Mrs. Milton.
“Well, fellows, let’s give one mighty cheer because of our good fortune,” said Jerry, his face beaming with delight; for the chums were very fond of each other, and had a single one been left behind on the following year, when the college term opened, there would have been many a keen regret.