What happened at the Morrison home when the doctor told the story of his boy’s heroism no one ever knew; for Paul was not the one to betray family secrets.
But Jack, who understood what an affectionate mother his chum had, could easily imagine how she wrapped her arms about the boy, and pressed him again and again to her bosom, thanking Heaven that the child she had watched grow from babyhood until he was now almost as tall as his father, should show signs of proving himself a worthy successor to the “good Doctor,” as every one knew him.
That night the boys had the darkness to contend with when they started for the place of meeting, though the late moon might show her smiling face before the time came for them to return home.
There were just twenty-two who reported at roll call that evening at eight, and one need only glance around at the faces of the boys, both large and small, to be positive that the enthusiasm, instead of dying out, was increasing by leaps and bounds.
When the meeting had been called to order, the one subject that interested those gathered was the question of obtaining their uniforms and other outfit.
A warm discussion arose shortly when Jack asked for information concerning the right of any scout to assist a fellow member who might be behind in earning the necessary amount.
Some believed one way, while others seemed to look at it in another light, and not a few were, as Jack said, “on the fence.”
“Listen, fellows, and I’ll tell you what I gathered from studying the books on the Boy Scout movement loaned me by the minister. Here are twenty or more of us, and we need just so much money for an outfit. Some can show much more than they need, others fall short, although they may have worked even harder. Is that plain?” and Jack looked around at the eager faces as he put the question.
“It certainly is,” remarked Paul, smiling; “some are born rich, others earn riches, and once in a while some lucky chap has the money stuck right in his hand. I’m one of the last class. But go on, Jack; for I know you’ve got a bright idea that may help us out of this hole.”
“The answer is easy, fellows. We must make a common fund. Then every member can put in all he wants, so long as it has been honestly earned. See my plan?”
“Sure, and it goes. That’s the answer to the problem. Let’s try it out and see how near we can come to the amount needed,” said Jud Elderkin, briskly; starting to pass around slips of paper and a pencil.
“Put down what you can hand over to the general fund, each fellow; and remember it means cash, to be delivered to-morrow, and not credit,” he announced.
There was the utmost eagerness to carry out the idea, and before five minutes had passed every boy had written his name on a slip of paper, together with the full amount which he could contribute to the general fund.