Ward Kenwood had entered heart and soul into the work, which seemed to appeal to him; but there were those who secretly believed he was more concerned about opposing his rival, Paul Morrison, than in building up a second troop of scouts that would be a credit to the place.
Ted Slavin, of course, worked hand in glove with his friend, Ward. If money counted for anything they had no reason to complain; for inside of a week there blossomed out numerous boys clad in the new khaki uniforms that distinguish the Boy Scouts everywhere.
Some of Paul’s friends felt grieved because they had failed to get their equipments as soon as the others; but nothing could disturb the scout leader.
“You’ll see that they are bound to meet up with a snag when they apply for admission to the real organization. They can’t subscribe to many of the rules. Then again you know that the real scout scorns to receive his uniform as a gift. Everything he owns must be earned. But most of us are nearly ready to send for suits. Wait a little longer. The race is not always to the swift.”
In this fashion then did wise Paul bring peace to the troubled hearts of those anxious ones. Never a member of the new Fox Patrols that sought an interview with the scout leader but who came away feeling that there was not a cloud in the sky of their future.
In this manner a week, and then ten days, drifted along, with the opening of school looming up in the near future.
Paul had almost forgotten the troubles of his chum when one day he had the fact suddenly brought to his attention again, as Jack came upon him with a face upon which rested the same old cloud of anxiety and grief.
“Well done, my boy!”
“There, some more gone, Paul!”
“But it’s nearly ten days since we talked it over last, and then there were, let me see, I believe six coins left,” returned the other, quickly.
“That’s true enough. And I can see now that you’re wondering why none have been taken all this time, up to to-day,” remarked Jack, as he came alongside his chum, who was looking in at a window where sporting goods made a brave display.
“Will Carlo hang around and wait for you a bit?” asked Paul, looking with a smile toward the big Newfoundland dog that had been trotting at the heels of his young master, carrying a basket, in which were several packages from the store.
“Sure. He’s well trained, and that is one of the smallest of his stunts, as you know. See, he has laid the basket down, and stands guard over it. I dare any dog in Stanhope to try and take it away. Now, you want to know about my poor old batch of coins!”
“I’m waiting to hear, old fellow,” said Paul, tenderly; for he could see that his chum was once again highly charged with emotion.
“I thought I’d try a scheme unbeknown to you,” began the other, slowly.