“I’ll show you how to close it,” said Pee-wee.
The one obstacle which might have stood in the way of these delectable plans—school—was removed by the fact that Scout Harris was to enter a private school (pity the poor private school) which did not open until after Columbus Day. We shall see him wished onto this institution in a subsequent volume.
The outlandish sweater and rakish cap in which Pee-wee had masqueraded through that eventful night were now discarded by order of his mother, and on the journey to Kidder Lake he appeared a vision of sartorial splendor in his full scout regalia including all appurtenances and sundries.
As a tribute, perhaps, to the island of which he was to be the imperial head, he flaunted his aluminum frying-pan, its handle stuck in his belt, ready to fry an egg at a second’s notice in case of emergency. That he might never be at a loss to know where he was at, his scout compass dangled by a cord tied in a double sheep-shank knot to harmonize with the knot of his scarf which could only be removed by lifting it over his head. Thus, though he might be lost to his comrades, he could never be lost to his scarf.
Twisted into the cord of his scout hat was an arrow pointing forward, which gave him an exceedingly martial appearance and was useful, too, in pointing out the way he should go and safeguarding him from the danger of going backward. But if, by an accident, he should go backward or sideways, he had the empty funnel of an old auto horn with which to magnify his voice and make the forest ring with his sonorous cries for help. And if the help did not come, he had still one cylinder of an old opera glass, with the lens of which he could ignite a dried leaf by day or observe the guiding stars by night. And if there were no dried leaves he had his crumpled piece of tissue paper. And if the stars did not shine, he had a rag for extracting confidential information from the wind. And if there was no wind, he should worry, he had gum-drops mobilized in every pocket. Every safety device known to scout science (and many of quite original conception) were upon the martial form of Scout Harris, so that he could not possibly go wrong or starve.
So it was without any fear that he set forth for the untrodden wilds of Frying-pan Island notwithstanding that it was a quarter of a mile wide and nearly a third of a mile long.
PEE-WEE HOLDS FORTH
It was a delightful ride to Kidder Lake in the daytime. There is no time like the autumn—except the spring. And the spring is only good because it is the beginning of the summer. Just the same as the winter is best because the spring comes after it. As Roy Blakeley would have said, “You can do that by algebra.” But there is nothing, either before or after, to make algebra good.