Wait for the waggon.
And we’ll all take a ride.
At the Encampment—Botany—Fishing—Matilda—The
Lake—Tillycot—Luncheon—After Recreation—New Visitors to
Tillycot—Edifying Talk—Songs on the Way Home—Mr. Bigglethorpe’s
Departure—Uncle and Niece—Mr. Bangs and Rufus—Ladies Catch a
Burglar—The Constable Secures Him—Muggins’ Death—Burglars
Repulsed—Rebecca Toner—The Clergy Hilarious—A Young Lady Finds a
Mr. Bigglethorpe, Mr. Terry and Marjorie, with part of the picnic material, got off the waggon at the Richards’ place, and proceeded to the lake. They found the punt there, but saw no sign of the skiff. Marjorie inherited her father’s love of the water, and greatly enjoyed even the slow progress made by the paddles of her boatmen in the unwieldy craft. Meanwhile, the waggon arrived as near the encampment as it was possible to get; the company descended to the blackened ground; and Mr. Perrowne found a path for the ladies up to the ruins. The horses, sedate, well-behaved animals, were unhitched, and allowed to pick about where they pleased, after which the three gentlemen carried the wraps and picnic baskets and pails to where the ladies stood, inspecting the ravages of the fire. Muggins had come with Mr. Perrowne, and sniffed about, rediscovering the treasure hole which had so nearly proved fatal to the Squire. It was agreed to go down to the water’s edge, and encamp upon some green spot, near good fishing, over which the bush fire had not run. Such a place was found to the right of the caved-in tunnel, a broad patch of fine-leaved native grass, shaded by oaks and maples of second growth. There the provisions were deposited, and, the rugs being spread over the grass, the ladies sat down to await the arrival of the boat party. A good three-quarters of an hour passed before they heard the splash of the paddles, and Muggins ran barking to meet the intruders upon the sabbath stillness of the scene. While waiting, Mrs. Carmichael and Mr. Errol took a stroll in the dark woods adjoining, and brought back some floral specimens in the shape of Prince’s Pines, Pyrolas, and Indian Pipes, which were deposited in the lap of the finder’s daughter, with a suggestiveness that young lady felt disposed to resent. However, Marjorie’s voice was heard just then, and thoughts and conversation were turned into other channels. “Where is the skiff?” asked the fisherman, but nobody could enlighten him; they simply answered that it was not there. The colonel remarked that its absence looked suspicious, and bade them be on their guard. He, accordingly, inspected the arms of the expedition, and finding them to consist of two fowling pieces, those of Messrs. Perrowne and Bigglethorpe, and two pistols borne by Mr. Terry and himself, was comforted. As the fisherman had inaugurated the picnic, it was obviously his duty to act as master of ceremonies. He proposed making two fishing parties, one off the scow, and another off a pier, which he and the gentlemen were about to build out from the shore below the picnic ground.