ON THE TRAIL
The boat glided swiftly through the dark water.
“Nick will get the silver cup for that stunt,” said Norris.
“He’ll get a punch in the eye if he doesn’t have a car for us,” said Scoutmaster Ned.
“I wonder how he did.”
“Town hall,” said Scoutmaster Ned; “that kid thinks quick. If he’d only learn to tie a knot he’d be a scout. Vernon’s a pretty good kid, though; he’s better than Mount Vernon anyway. Pull on your left a little, Bill. What’s the matter; got the sleeping sickness? Pull straight for that light.”
“If that wasn’t a stunt, what is?” said Norris.
“You are,” said Scoutmaster Ned. “We’re not handing out silver cups to-night. Maybe I’ll do a stunt to-night and win it.”
“Yes, me. Pull on your left some more. What do you think this is, Bill; a merry-go-round? Now go straight.”
“Maybe Fido Norton found their prints,” said Norris. “He’s a bear at that.”
“He’s clumsier than a bear, like all Safety First’s troop. How about that, Safety? Come on—quick! Row!”
“Coming?” called a voice from the shore.
“That’s what,” answered Scoutmaster Ned.
“Your car’s gone.”
“So I read in the sky. Somebody break in?”
“The small door’s locked, the big one was open but nothing broken.”
“Wait till you see. Who’s there?”
“Safety First and Norris and me? You didn’t think to get a car, did you? Do you know which way they went?”
“Jim Burton is here with his Packard.”
“They followed the main road past the east road. We tracked the tires past Oppie’s mill. They’re not likely to turn out anywhere else, till they get past Piper’s anyway.”
“You’ll be a scout yet, Fido,” called Scoutmaster Ned.
“What did they do, wake you up?” said Safety First as they pulled the boat up on shore.
“I should think they did,” said Jim Burton; “they rang the bell a hundred times and went out into the garage and tooted the horn. Why don’t you teach your scouts manners?”
“Can’t be did, Jim. Let’s take a pike at the place. Hello Fido, that you? You sure about them going as far as the mill?”
“Yop, hey? Well, that’s not so bad. You’ll get a second helping of dessert some day. Come on, who’s going? Pile in. Mighty good of you, Jim.”
A brief moment’s inspection of the shed and they were off. Jim Burton drove the car and by him sat Scoutmaster Ned. The others, Safety First, Nick Vernon, Fido Norton and Charlie Norris, sat in back.
“Too many?” asked Scoutmaster Ned.
“She rides better with a load,” said Jim Burton.
“I don’t suppose there’s much chance,” said Ned. “You notified the cops, didn’t you, Nick? Good. The battery is low and there isn’t any crank on my bus and my only hope is that she’ll lay down on them. Soak it to her, Jim.”