“We can’t take any more,” Pee-wee shouted. “You—you get the ride for nothing—it’s thrown in—because I said free transportation and a scout has to keep his word. Even if we float miles and miles we can’t take another cent——”
“We may be rovers but we’re not profiteers,” moaned Townsend.
“If—if we don’t drift to shore by supper time,” said Pee-wee, “you get your dinner too just like when an ocean steamer is delayed in a fog; they give you your dinner, so don’t you worry because you’re with scouts and when it gets to be six o’clock I’ll make a hunter’s stew.”
At this there was a sudden noise as of horror and anguish and before our voyagers realized what was happening, Townsend Ripley had rolled off the island into the water.
ABSENCE MAKES THE ISLAND QUIET
“It’s all right,” Townsend sputtered as he crawled ashore. “I was just thinking of something sad; I feel better now. It was one of the finest races that I never saw.”
“It would have been a good race,” said Pee-wee with a frown indicative of withering scorn, “only they had to go and break it up. Just because we moved—do you call that an argument? We ought to get the silver cup, that’s what I think. They could have—have—headed us off, couldn’t they? The rule said they had to go around this flag, it didn’t say anything about where the flag would be. That’s a teckinality. Anyway, I’m glad we’re rid of them.”
“We seem to be making port,” said Townsend. “I don’t know just where we are. I think if we were to cut up through these woods—You girls want to get to the Edgemere trolley, I suppose?”
“That’s the idea,” said one of them.
“Well, then, let’s see,” Townsend ruminated.
“I’ll take you to the trolley,” Pee-wee shouted, as the island gave evidence of an intention to bunk into the east bank of the river. “Because I know how to find my way in the woods—scouts have to know all those things—I can tell by moss and hop-toads and things, which is east and west. I’ll take you to the trolley. If we should get lost in the woods I know how to cook bark so you can eat it, only scouts don’t get lost. So do you want me to take you to the trolley?”
Brownie was about to whisper his disapproval of this to Townsend but Townsend cut him short. “Let him do it,” he said; “if he stays here he’ll make a hunter’s stew. We can put one over on him by cooking supper while he’s gone. Safety first. If he goes ashore they may get lost, if he stays here we’re all lost.”
“True,” said Billy.
“Absolutely correct,” said Brownie.
“That’s what you call an argument,” said Roly Poly.
“It’s a teckinality,” said Nuts.
“Discoverer,” said Townsend, “the patrol thinks that you are the proper one to escort our guests to the Edgemere trolley.”