You would have forgotten about the radiator full of water, I dare say....
Roy Blakeley (Silver Fox Patrol and not in this story, thank goodness) said, long after these adventures were over, that a handkerchief stuffed in Pee-wee’s mouth was a good idea and that it was a pity it had been removed. But Pee-wee Harris was a scout, he was a couple of scouts, and he saved his life by scout law and knowledge. And there you are.
Acting quickly he now groped his way around to the rear of the car. It was odd how quickly his mind worked in his desperate predicament. His eyes stung and his throat pained him and he knew that he had won only the chance of a race with death. But what more does a scout want than a fighting chance? His wits, spurred by the emergency, were now alert and he recalled that the men who had stolen the car had rolled one door shut and slammed another. So perhaps the rolling door had been barred inside. Where the small door was he did not know, and there was no time now to make a groping exploration of the sides. The rolling door must be in back of the car, he knew that.
He was dizzy now and on the point of falling. His wrists tingled and his head ached acutely. Only his towering resolve kept him on his feet.
Groping from behind the car he touched the boards and felt along them for some indication of the door. Presently his hand came upon an iron band set in a large staple through which was inserted a huge wooden plug. This he pulled out and hauling on the staple slowly rolled open a great wide door.
A fresh gust of autumn wind blew in upon him, a cleansing and refreshing restorative, as if it had been waiting without to welcome the sturdy little scout into the vast, fragrant woods which he loved. And the bright stars shone overhead, and the air was laden with the pungent scent of autumn. It seemed as if all Nature, solemn and companionable, was there to greet the little mascot of the Raven Patrol, First Bridgeboro Troop, B.S.A.
The car of a thousand delights had so far afforded very few delights to Pee-wee Harris.
A RURAL PARADISE
Pee-wee looked about him at an enchanted scene. He seemed to have been transported to a region made to order for the Boy Scouts of America. That a pair of auto thieves should have brought him to this rural Paradise seemed odd enough.
As he gazed about and looked up at the quiet star-studded sky his fears were all but dispelled. For were not the friendly woods and water near him? They seemed like rescuing allies now. In the soft, enveloping arms of those silent woods he would find safety and shelter, and so he should find his way home through their dim concealment.
The building in which the car had been left was an old weather-beaten shack, which, judging from the sawdust all about, might once have been used as an ice-house. This seemed likely, for it stood near the shore of a placid lake in the black bosom of which shone a myriad of inverted stars and through which was a golden path of flickering moonlight. The ice-house, or whatever it was, had never been painted and the grain stood out on the shrunken wood like veins in an aged hand.