And now out of the still and moonlit night arose peal after peal of thunder imparting a note of terror to this world catastrophe. Never before had the thunderous voice of our hero rent the heavens as it did now.
“Help! Help! I’m floating away with the eats.”
It is no wonder that the man in the moon smiled at what he saw on the river that night. Seeing the laden board, the pyramid of sandwiches rearing its luscious pinnacle toward heaven, he seemed to wink at Pee-wee—with what purport who shall say? Sufficient that our hero saw him not.
“He-e-e-elp! I’m drifting downstream with the refreshments,” he called. “He-e-elp!”
They heard him amid their revels. Townsend Ripley who had suffered the assaults of the hunter’s stew heard him. The scouts who had eaten a “light supper” heard him. Warde Hollister who had pled with Roy for a safety first policy heard him. Minerva Skybrow heard him and paused aghast in the midst of a two-step. For what was a two-step now compared to the one-step which Pee-wee had taken? Roly Poly and Brownie, also victims of the hunter’s stew, heard him as they waited patiently, and were struck dumb with terror. Only the man in the moon smiled, and winked at Pee-wee.
“He-e-e-e-e-e-el-l-l-p! I’m floating away with the eats!”
But did he really need any help?
They rushed to the shore pell-mell and some hurried to the barn for the only means of rescue—an old disused skiff and a leaky, discarded canoe. Others gazed in wistful silence out upon the glinting water.
“Hurry! Hurry!” cried Minerva. “I can see it! Don’t you see the lanterns down there?”
“He’s on the flats, I think,” said Warde.
“He’s on the table,” shouted Roy.
“He’s in the channel!”
“He’s in the ice cream!”
“Listen, he’s calling!”
“His mouth is full, I can’t hear him.”
“Hurry! Hurry! Oh, hurry!” cried Minerva.
“I’ll tell you what let’s do,” Roy said.
“You told us once,” said Warde; “that’s enough.”
“I saved the ice cream freezer from rolling off,” shouted Pee-wee.
“A lot of good that does us,” shouted Doc Carson.
“Put it where it will be safe,” shouted Townsend.
“All right, I will,” shouted Pee-wee.
“Gracious goodness, he isn’t going to eat it, is he?” Margaret Timerson asked.
“He’ll have to finish whatever else he’s eating first,” said Doc Carson. “Push that boat off, we have only a minute to act in.”
“How long does it usually take him to finish a sandwich?” Minerva asked.
“Three-tenths of a second,” said Roy.
“He’ll be too frightened to eat,” said Dora Daring.
“He’s never too frightened to eat,” said Connie Bennett.