“Well, I like scouts,” said Mr. Bartlett.
“Mine’s ice cream cones,” said Pee-wee. “Is this a new car? I bet I know what kind it is, it’s a Hunkajunk. I like hot frankfurters too. I can tell all the different kinds of cars because a scout is supposed to be observant. Do you like gumdrops? I’m crazy about those.”
“But where did you get that sweater?” Mrs. Bartlett asked.
“Do you want me to tell you about it? It belongs to the man that takes care of our furnace; he’s got a peach of a tattoo mark on his arm. My mother told me I had to wear a sweater so I grabbed that as I went through the back hall. I always go out through the kitchen, do you know why?”
“I think I can guess,” said Mr. Bartlett.
“And the cap?” Mrs. Bartlett asked.
“You know the burglar that came to our house?”
“No, I never met him,” said Mrs. Bartlett.
“I bet you don’t like burglars, hey? He left this cap. He didn’t get anything and I got the cap so that shows I’m always lucky. My mother doesn’t want me to wear it. Gee whiz, she hates burglars. Anyway, it’s good and comfortable. My father says if he comes back for it I have to give it to him.”
“Well, you certainly don’t look like Walter Harris, the boy scout I have always known,” said Mrs. Bartlett.
“Don’t you care,” said Pee-wee. “If you’re a scout you’re a scout, no matter if you don’t wear anything.”
“Oh, how dreadful,” said Mrs. Bartlett.
“I know worse things than that,” said Pee-wee.
“Well, tell us about the scouts,” Mr. Bartlett encouraged him.
“Shall I tell you all about them?”
“Surely, begin at the beginning.”
“That’s law one, it’s about honor; do you know what that is?”
“I’ve heard of it,” said Mr. Bartlett.
“A scout has to be honorable, see? That comes first of all.”
“Eating is all the way through it.”
“Oh, I see.”
“A scout has to be so—kind of—you know, so honorable that nobody could suspect him, see? If you’re a scout that means that everybody knows you’re all right. There are a lot of other laws too.”
“Well, here we are at the Lyric,” said Mr. Bartlett, “so let’s go in and see what The Bandit of Harrowing Highway thinks about honor.”
Leaving the car in front of the theatre the three elbowed their way through the long, crowded lobby and soon Pee-wee Harris, scout, was no longer in Bridgeboro but among rugged mountains where a man with a couple of pistols in his belt and a hat as big as an umbrella reined up a spirited horse and waited for a caravan and all that sort of stuff....
THE FIVE REELER
And meanwhile something very real happened. Two men in khaki, but without any pistols in their belts, rode slowly up to the front of the Lyric Theatre in a big blue touring car and stopped.