“The Women’s Club is to bring this thing up at its next meeting. My mother says it shames them to know that the boys of the town are taking such a leading part in cleaning it up,” said Bobolink, when he found an opening.
“Who’s next to report?” asked Jack, who had charge of this end of the meeting; while the “honorable secretary” made notes, and filed away the various papers submitted.
Immediately all eyes were turned toward Bobolink and Bluff, which team was known as Three and Four.
Bluff started to rise, when a groan greeted him; but he was not dismayed.
“Our r-r-report will be d-d-delivered b-b-by my c-c-confederate!” he simply said, and subsided with a grin, as though he thought he had hoodwinked his friends.
Bobolink arose slowly. When he chose he could be very tantalizing; though in an emergency none might excel him in speedy action. But when he had something to tell that he knew was being eagerly awaited, he liked to keep his chums in suspense just as long as he dared.
Immediately all sounds died away. Every one seemed to know that Numbers Three and Four had been delegated to attempt an actual scouting trip that morning, into a hostile territory, so as to learn what progress a rival camp was making in the various degrees of efficiency.
They had already heard about Manchester, and a few believed that they would have little difficulty in excelling that town when it came down to an actual test.
With Aldine it was different. From all sources had come hints to the effect that the troop in that town was working most faithfully, with an eye on that coveted banner. And every scout in Paul’s patrol felt wild to know how much truth there might be in these reports.
SCOUTING IN EARNEST
“Hurry up, old molasses! Winter’s coming.”
“Hit up the pace, won’t you, please, Bobby?”
Bobolink grinned. This was apparently just what he liked. When, however, he saw a restless movement among some of the more impatient, as though they were stooping down to gather chips to shy at him, he knew the time had come to open those sphinx-like lips, and speak.
“Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen,” he began, when a roar interrupted him, so that he pretended to hastily remedy his error—“I mean just gentlemen; I have the honor to report that your committee waited on the brothers of the Aldine troop, though unbeknown to their keenest scouts, and watched the entire operations at their called meeting this morning.”
“Good! Fine! Keep it up, Old Leatherstocking!”