Then followed some talk which Pee-wee could not hear, but he felt certain that it was on their favorite topic of murder. Then he overheard these dreadful, yet comparatively consoling words:
“Trouble with him is he always wants to kill; he’s gun crazy. Take them if you want to, but what’s the use killing? That’s what I said to him.”
“Oh sure, that’s just what I told him,” the speaker continued; “steal up—”
“Step on it,” the other interrupted, “we’re out in the country now.”
The big super six Hunkajunk car darted forward and Scout Harris could hear the purring of the big engine as the machine sped along through the solemn darkness. A momentary, cautious glimpse from under the big robe showed him that they were already far from the familiar environs of Bridgeboro, speeding along a lonely country road.
Now and then they whizzed past some dark farmhouse, or through some village in which the law abiding citizens had gone to their beds. Occasionally Pee-wee, peeking from beneath the robe, saw cheerful lights shining in houses along the way and in his silent terror and apprehension he fancied these filled with boy scouts in the full enjoyment of scout freedom; scouts who were in no danger of being added to some bloody list of dead ones.
That he, Pee-wee Harris, mascot of the Raven Patrol, First Bridgeboro Troop, should have come to this! That he should be carried away by a pair of inhuman wretches, to what dreadful fate he shuddered to conjecture. That he, Scout Harris, whose reputation for being wide awake had gone far and wide in the world of scouting, should be carried away unwittingly by a pair of thieves and find himself in imminent peril of being added to that ghastly galaxy of “dead ones.” It was horrible.
Pee-wee curled up under the robe so as to disarm any suspicion of a human form beneath that thick, enveloping concealment and even breathed with silent caution. Suppose—suppose—oh horrors—suppose he should have to sneeze!
A MESSAGE IN THE DARK
Pee-wee seldom had any doubts about anything. What he knew he knew. And what is still better, he knew that he knew it. No one ever had to remind Pee-wee that he knew a thing. He not only knew it and knew that he knew it, but he knew that everybody that he knew, knew that he knew it. As he said himself, he was “absolutely positive.”
Pee-wee knew all about scouting; oh, everything. He knew how and where tents should be put up and where spring water was to be found. He did not know all about the different kinds of birds, but he knew all about the different kinds of eats, and there are more kinds of eats than there are kinds of birds. How the Bridgeboro troop would be able to get along without their little mascot was a question. For he was their “fixer.” That was his middle name—“fixer.”