“Reach over to the west coast and hand me that pole from the north coast before it goes over to the east coast,” said Townsend quietly.
“Get up! Get up!” shouted Pee-wee, all excitement. “Aren’t you going to get up?”
“Positively,” said Townsend, dragging himself to his feet.
“Shh!” said Pee-wee, “let’s surprise them.”
“You’re the only one that’s making any noise,” said Townsend.
“I mean myself, too,” said Pee-wee. “Shhhh.”
“He’s telling himself to keep still,” Brownie, unable to control his laughter.
“I mean all of us—me too,” said Pee-wee. “Shh.”
It was during the long and rather difficult process of poling the island to shore that Pee-wee, unable to impose more than comparative quiet upon himself, edified his companions with an account of his recent adventure in Barrel Alley.
And it was his seemingly ominous mention of “cops” and fugitives which Minerva Skybrow and her friends, lingering at the little refreshment tent near the river, overheard. At that moment the desert island was bobbing against the thick rhododendron bushes at the edge of the lawn.
THE EARTHLY PARADISE
“I don’t care who it is or what it is,” said Dora Dane Daring; “I’m not afraid of the biggest bandit that ever lived. I’m going to find out what those men are doing lurking about here.”
Without another word she strode forward, parted the rhododendron bushes, and confronted the marauders.
“Well, I—never—in—all my life,” she cried. “It’s little Walter Harris! What on earth are you doing here?”
“I discovered this island,” said Pee-wee; “we’re exploring it. One of these fellers is a native because he was on it before it was an island.”
“Look out you don’t get your feet wet on the stern and rock-bound coast,” said Townsend. “Hold the lantern, Brownie.”
“Did you ever see such a thing!” said Minerva Skybrow, emerging through the bushes, accompanied by her official staff. “Walter Harris, what in goodness’ name are you doing here? I thought you were robbers. What in all creation are you up to? And how did you happen to get here?”
“We’ve been going around quite a little lately,” said Townsend quietly.
“This is Townsend Ripley,” said Pee-wee; “he’s a friend of mine; these fellers are all friends of mine. We’re exploring.”
“We’re very glad to meet you, Mr. Ripley,” said Minerva, while Miss Daring whispered in the ear of Miss Timerson, “Isn’t he nice? So tall.”
“We thought we’d come to the party,” said Pee-wee.
“Have you any parking space for islands?” Townsend asked.
“Oh, indeed we have,” said Minerva, “and you’re going to be the star guests. May we step on the island?”