“Bandits!” whispered Minerva.
“They’re going to rob the house while we’re on the lawn,” breathed Margaret Timerson.
“They’re crouching on the shore just behind those bushes,” said another girl.
“Leave it to me,” said the mysterious voice. “I’ll handle them.”
EVERY WHICH WAY
We left Merry-go-round Island revolving gracefully upon a tiny reef whence it was borne by the rising tide. We are now to take up our narrative at the point where the island ceased spinning and was carried slowly on upstream by the incoming waters. When the tide reached flood, the island hesitated upon the still water, then like some obedient and clumsy ox, moved slowly downstream again upon the ebb. And meanwhile, the day departed and darkness fell upon the winding river and the hardy adventurers lit their lanterns.
“I was hoping we might stick in some pleasant spot,” said Townsend, “where the fishing is good. I forgot how a floating island might act in a tidal river. I wish this island would make up its mind to something. Just when I want to explore the western coast I find it’s the eastern coast. I don’t know where I’m at——”
“You don’t have to know where you’re at to have fun,” said Pee-wee.
“I know it,” said Townsend; “but when I hike fifteen or twenty feet to the north coast of the island and then the island swings around and I find I’m on the south coast, I’ve got to hike all the way across the island again to get to the north coast and when I get there I find I’m on the west coast. Then I cross to the east coast and in about a minute I find I’m on the southern shore.
“No matter where I go I’m somewhere else; it’s discouraging. I’ve walked forty-eleven miles since supper trying to keep on the western coast and here I am on the north—wait a minute—the eastern coast. If this Island won’t stay still I can’t explore it.”
“I tell you what we can do,” said Pee-wee; “we can penetrate the interior, then we’ll always be in the same place.”
So they penetrated the interior and sprawled on the ground and chatted.
“When we find another member,” said Pee-wee, “we’ll have a full patrol and then we’ll have to start a scout record and write down a description of the island and everything we see, because scouts have to do that because they have to be observant and they have to be accurate when they describe things.”
“Would you say that this little tree is near the west coast of the island?” Townsend asked. “I’ve followed it around for the last half hour and I don’t know where it is except it’s here.”
“Here isn’t a place,” said Roly Poly.
“Sure it is,” shouted Pee-wee; “here is just as much a place as there.”
“More,” said Townsend. “There are three places—here, there, and everywhere; I’ve often heard them spoken of.”