And again the boys of the Stanhope Troop came in winners by a good margin.
Manchester drew a prize when the contest of landing a big fish came on. A boy played the part of the fish, and fought with all his strength and cunning to keep from being reeled in. But big Carl Evans, the Manchester fisherman, proved to be too strong and able for those who competed, and had his fish landed minutes ahead.
The archers then took a turn. Here Aldine presented a clever expert, who had made this his especial hobby for some years. He could not be headed, though the other fellows from Stanhope and Manchester really made a very creditable showing.
One of the most interesting exhibitions of the morning, and one that excited considerable cheering, was the “first aid to the injured.”
A boy was supposed to have fallen overboard into the river. In each case several contestants pretended to drag him out, placing him face downward, with his arms above his head, and his face a little to one side. Then one of the rescuers knelt astride the body, allowing his hands to press upon the spaces between the short ribs. By pressing downward the air was forced from the other’s lungs, to creep in again when this was relaxed; and in this fashion an artificial respiration was induced that should grow stronger as minutes passed.
Of course, as no boy was so accommodating as to fall into the cold waters of the Bushkill for the occasion, the contestants finished at the same time. The committee, after mature consultation, awarded the victory to the team accomplishing their work in the most business-like fashion. Aldine was so fortunate as to receive the award, and her people shouted themselves hoarse.
In athletics the three competing troops proved very nearly even; and brought out rounds of cheers as they followed one another in carrying out the several events scheduled.
Possibly when William proved his great superiority as a camp cook, by making the batter, and cooking a luscious flap-jack long before any other fellow could accomplish the feat, his victory was the most popular one of the day. Fully five score of fellows made motions to prove they were starved, and that a bite from the airy pancake would possibly serve as a life saver. But after the committee had tested it, William calmly devoured the balance, to the tune of mingled groans and cheers.
Last of all came the wig-wagging contest, when boys sent and received messages fashioned by the committee, the nature of which was unknown at the other end. In this Stanhope again made a record that put her boys in the van, for Paul had secured and studied the army manual on using the signal flags, and to good advantage.
After the twelfth and last event had been completed, the committee went into session, examined the papers they already held, and finally announced that Stanhope had carried off the prize with six clean events, the others being equally divided between the two clever troops from the other towns.