A scout is polite.
RETURN OF THE HERO
The lawn party was over, two score or more of famished guests had gone to their homes, the lights in the Skybrow house were out, the sputtering candles in the Japanese lanterns were dying one by one, the grounds were still and dark except for the merry moon which smiled down upon the scene of revelry and tragedy.
At the edge of the lawn where the Isle of Desserts had been, six figures sat in the darkness. They sat in a row, their legs drawn up and held by their clasped hands. They sat waiting and watching in the silent night.
“The river is going to eat the edge of this lawn all away if they don’t face it with stone,” said Roly Poly.
“Will you please stop talking about eating?” said Brownie.
“I know, but you’d think a rich man like Mr. Skybrow would make provision for a thing like that,” said a boy they called Shorty.
“Will you please stop talking about provisions?” said Townsend.
“I know, but Nuts was saying——”
“Will you please stop talking about nuts?” said Townsend.
“Well, what shall I talk about then?” Brownie asked.
“Talk about the rhododendron bushes,” said Billy. “Look where a big clump was pulled away. Look at that one—all broken. These bushes will have to be all pruned.”
“Will you please stop talking about prunes?” said Townsend.
“I know, but seven or eight——”
“Will you please not mention the word ate?” said Townsend. “They ought to be thankful he left the lawn.”
“What did his father say over the ’phone?” one asked.
“Oh, he didn’t seem to worry,” said Townsend. “He knows that the island is on a scow and that the river is small and that his son always lands right side up; that’s what he said. I told him the island would come up with the tide and that we’d wait here and row out when he came in sight. He said there was no danger, that the discoverer is always lucky.”
“Oh, he’s lucky,” said Brownie.
“Nothing short of an earthquake can capsize the island,” Townsend said.
“He’s a whole earthquake in himself,” said Billy.
“More than that,” said Shorty. “If I owned a restaurant I wouldn’t leave it around, not unless there were buildings on both sides of it.”
“And a weight on the top,” said Brownie.
“Oh, that goes without saying,” said Shorty.
“The blamed thing can’t sink, can it?” Billy asked.
“I don’t know how heavy his nine ideas are,” said Townsend. “They would be the only thing that could sink it.”
“We’ll reach him easy as pie——”
“Please don’t say that word,” Townsend pled.
“I think I see the lantern now,” said Billy.
“I was afraid he might have eaten that——”
“I could eat it myself,” said Roly Poly.