“Bird-houses is a good thing to make,” said the manual training teacher.
Pee-wee could not see his new acquaintance very well or the bundle which he carried. If the teacher had been after his junk he seemed to have been fortunate in finding it, for he had collected a considerable amount of booty. Indeed, he had but a minute before succeeded in disinterring the safe which had been in the principal’s office, but here he had met with disappointment. He had, however, hit upon a microscope of some value from the equipment of the student laboratory and he had found a lady’s handbag which he seemed to think worth keeping.
“What are you doing here?” he asked of Pee-wee.
A FRIEND IN NEED
“Do you want me to let you into a secret?” Pee-wee said. “I know where there’s a stolen automobile. Maybe you’d like to help me take it back to its owner, hey? If you do you’ll get an honourable mention in our troop-book. I was carried away in it by two thieves who didn’t know I was in the car, because I was disguised, sort of, under the buffalo robe. Do you want to help me foil them?”
The manual training teacher seemed interested but a bit incredulous. He looked Pee-wee over and said, “what’s all this?”
“Maybe you don’t believe me but it’s true,” Pee-wee said. “Do you know how to run a car?”
“Anything from a flivver up,” said the stranger.
“Shh,” said Pee-wee, “this one is away, way up. It’s a super six Hunkajunk, it belongs to a man where I live, in Bridgeboro, New Jersey.”
“Well, what are you doing here?” the manual training teacher asked.
“I was kind of kidnapped accidentally. They did it but they didn’t know it. They’ve got pistols and blackjacks and things and I heard them talk about stealing. I bet I’d have heard a lot more only my head was under the buffalo robe. If you’ll help me we can circum—what do you call it—you know—circum—”
The teacher did not know. But his interest was aroused at this whispered tale of armed bandits and of a big stolen car. Pee-wee completed the tale in breathless excitement. He told all, from the beginning. “They locked it in,” he concluded, “and went away; but one of the doors, the big one, was locked on the inside and I opened it. Anybody can take the car out. Those men have gone away across the lake. If you’ll drive it to Bridgeboro you can stay at my house and have breakfast and I’ll tell Mr. Bartlett that you helped me, and gee whiz, they’ll thank, you a lot. Maybe you know about scouts because manual training teachers know a lot about scouts on account of scouts making bird-houses and all things like that, and so maybe you know about good turns. That’ll be a peach of a good turn. And if I tell about it you’ll get a kind of a medal from our troop with your name on it. What’s your name? Mine’s Walter Harris, but the fellows in my troop call me Pee-wee, but I should worry about them. Will you help me? What’s your name?”