“Search me,” said Roly Poly.
“Besides I’ve got an inspiration; do you know what those are?” Pee-wee vociferated.
“Have you got it with you?”
“Sure I’ve got it with me! Don’t I always have them with me?”
Roly Poly seemed amused.
“There are two kinds of scouts, aren’t there?” Pee-wee asked vociferously. “Regular scouts and sea scouts. Sea scouts are supposed to live on the water and regular scouts are supposed to live under the trees, like. So we can do both and we’ll be combination scouts. We’ll be the Combination Scouts of America, hey? Will you?”
“I’ll be anything as long as it’s Saturday; I’m not particular,” said Roly Poly.
“Because my father knows a man that’s a lawyer and he’ll stick up for us,” Pee-wee continued excitedly. “Because old Trimmer hasn’t got any deed that says he owns an island, has he? All right, this is an island in Bridgeboro. You can’t deny that, can you? Let’s hear you deny that. All right, then, if he comes and tries to get this island, he’ll be trespassing, won’t he? And so we’ll start the Combination Scouts of America and we’ll call ourselves the—the—the——”
“The Sardine Patrol,” suggested Roly.
“We’ll call ourselves the Crab-apple Patrol,” said Pee-wee, “because apples are on land and crabs are in the water. Will you?”
“I see a sail on the horizon,” said Roly.
“If it’s old Trimmer let me handle him,” said Pee-wee.
“It’s the rest of the patrol,” said Roly. “Do you see those two canoes coming around the bend? We’ll have a meeting of the general staff and decide what to do.”
“Whatever we do, we’ll do something, hey?” said Pee-wee.
“More than that,” said Roly.
“Anyway, we’ll start a patrol or something, hey?”
“Oh, we’ll start something, leave it to us,” said Roly Poly.
THE OTHERS ARRIVE
The arrival of the five North Bridgeboro scouts was the occasion of much merriment and banter. These boys from the small village up the river had formed themselves into a patrol but they were two members short of the required number and they had no scoutmaster.
Whether they took scouting seriously it would be hard to say; if so it must have been a great comfort to them to have wished upon their budding organization such an instructor and propagandist as the diminutive genius whom they were now about to meet. Whatever material they had among them for progress in the scouting field, they gave every indication of possessing that quality of unholy mirth which distinguished the notorious Silver Foxes. Perhaps their silver was not quite so bright, but they gave promise.
“Hey, where are you going with the apple tree?” one of them called from the nearest canoe. “What are you trying to do? Swipe a chunk of property? That’s a part of North Bridgeboro you’ve got there.”