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´╗┐Title: The Boy Scout Treasure Hunters - The Lost Treasure of Buffalo Hollow
Author: Lerrigo, Charles Henry
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Boy Scout Treasure Hunters - The Lost Treasure of Buffalo Hollow" ***

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[Illustration: A few rapid and accurate strokes with the pick loosened
the hard earth. (Page 96) Frontispiece]





Illustrated By

Published With The Approval Of

New York, N. Y.--Newark, N. J.


Copyright 1917 by Barse & Hopkins

The Boy Scout Treasure Hunters

Printed in the United States of America





CHAPTER                                                      PAGE
      I  Glen Mason Runs Away                                   9
     II  A Friend and a Foe                                    22
    III  Jolly Bill Is Considerably Upset                      34
     IV  How Mother Cares                                      46
      V  Treacherous Indians at Buffalo Lake                   56
     VI  Getting Acquainted                                    68
    VII  Glen Is Initiated                                     79
   VIII  Matt Burton's Treasure Find                           91
     IX  Glen Enlists                                         102
      X  J. Jervice and His Gang                              112
     XI  Glen Follows a False Trail                           120
    XII  The Bee Tree                                         133
   XIII  The Chase on the Motor-Bike                          144
    XIV  Safe at Camp Buffalo                                 154
     XV  Strength and Loyalty                                 167
    XVI  Detective Matty                                      177
   XVII  The End of the Jervice Gang                          189
  XVIII  Glen and Apple Find the Cave                         203
    XIX  Buried in the Cave                                   214
     XX  The Treasure of Buffalo Lake                         227
    XXI  What Became of Them                                  240



A few rapid and accurate strokes with the pick
loosened the hard earth                              Frontispiece

"Brave Man!" sneered the leader. "Get me a little
rope an' I'll do him up scientific"                           131

Glen watched the three walk back up the road at
a lock-step gait                                              198

With the lighted lanterns they could get a better
idea of their surroundings                                    211





It was the supper hour at the State Industrial School for Boys, known to
the general public as "The Reform School."

Glen Mason sat on a long bench trying to hold the place next to him
against the stealthy ravages of the boys who crowded him.

"Where's Nixy?" he inquired angrily of his neighbor on the right. "Did
he go to town again?"

"He's back," the boy replied. "Just got in an' had to go up and change
his clothes. Had the toothache again to-day, he told me. Here he comes,

A lanky boy of fifteen or sixteen got into the vacant seat just as the
chaplain rose to say grace. After grace no loud talking was permitted,
but no objection was made to whispered conversations that did not
become too noisy.

"How's it come you go to town so often and I don't ever get to go,
Nixy?" whispered Glen, the moment grace was ended.

"One thing you don't have the toothache, another thing you get too many
demerits. The fellows that get to town have to go thirty days without a
black sign. You never could do it, Glen."

"I could if I wanted. I'm twenty days now. Wouldn't hurt me to go
another ten. If I went to town alone I'd never come back."

"It ain't so easy, Glen. You have to wear your uniform so everybody
knows what you are. If you aren't back by six o'clock they have the
police after you. The old man made a great talk about his honor system,
but as long as you have to wear your uniform there's plenty of people to
watch you."

"I could find a way to get around that," insisted Glen.

"Well, so could I. I've got one all planned out that I'm going to work
some day. I'll get leave to go to the dentist late some afternoon. The
car to come back leaves his office at five o'clock. He doesn't want to
stay until five because he goes off to play golf. So he'll leave me in
his waiting-room when he goes. I'll have a suit of overalls rolled up
under my uniform. Soon as the doctor goes I'll change my clothes. You
can't get out without being seen but I'll hide right there in the
building till it closes and then get down the fire-escape."

"I guess somebody'd see you go down and a policeman would get you."

"I guess they wouldn't. I wouldn't try till late at night when there
wasn't anybody around. Then I'd pick a dark night, and that fire-escape
is in the back end of the building, so I guess there wouldn't nobody see

"Oh, mebbe there wouldn't. Supposin' you did get away. Where'd you go?"

"I'd have that all fixed. I'd put on my other clothes and pitch my
uniform away and that night would get me twenty-five miles where
nobody'd think of looking for me."

"Oh, I dunno. I guess you'd be easy picked up. Anybody could tell you a
mile off. All to do is to look for a broom handle out walking all by

"Broom handle yourself, Glen Mason. I've got the makings of a big man if
ever I'd get enough to eat."

"You go high enough up to be a big man, but you've stretched too much.
If you'd ever learn to be a contortionist and tie yourself into three
knots close together, you'd do better."

"You're always saying something mean. I wish I hadn't told you my plan
at all."

"I won't do anything to your old plan."

"I ain't so sure. 'Twouldn't be above ye to steal it."

"I s'pose you dare me to do it."

"Yes, I dare ye to do it."

"An' you think I'd steal a plan from a mate?"

"I think you'd do anything."

There were many who had just as poor an opinion of Glen. He himself
found it remarkably easy to do mean and low acts and had almost ceased
to wonder at himself. Every day seemed to find a lower level for his
setting. Nixon had correctly guessed his thoughts. Already he was
turning over in his mind the feasibility of Nixon's plan of escape and
wondering if he could himself take advantage of it. He had been in the
reform school over a year, but it had not reformed him. The new
superintendent, with his kindness, had won the hearts of many of the
most wayward boys, but no impression had he made on Glen. As a matter of
fact the boy rather laughed at his foolishness. To put boys on their
honor, to trust the merit boys to go into town without guard, all was
new policy, and the only interest Glen had in it was to take advantage
of it. Let him get one single chance to go to town alone and the reform
school would see no more of him. Just what he would do he did not know.
Sometimes a fleeting thought of going home to see the mother whose heart
must be almost broken by his waywardness and the young sister and
brother who were carefully guarded from knowledge of the disgrace he had
brought upon them would come to him. But though he was supposed to be
dead to impulses for reform there always crept into his mind the desire
that his return home should be only when he had enough money and enough
honor so that he should not be welcomed as a penitent but as a
conquering hero. Glen was much given to great thoughts of the mighty
things he would do and the high stations he would occupy. Unfortunately
his pride of thought had never made him insist that his inclination
yield to right instead of to desire. Glen Mason's fault was easily
summed up--he desired always his own way and had so allowed this
inclination to fill his life that he was utterly regardless of others.
Given his own way he was a pleasant chum, a good friend and a brave

When Glen wanted a thing very badly he would go to great lengths to get
it. Having set for his goal the thirty days of good behavior marks he
was bound to win it, though greatly to the surprise of the officers who
had never known Glen to pass so long a time without fracturing a great
number of rules. No sooner was his time up than he asked leave to go to
town to visit the dentist.

The Superintendent was rather disturbed by the request. He had been both
pleased and surprised by Glen's good behavior. Now that the boy had
earned the privilege of going to town without guard he did not wish to
spoil his good work by a refusal to trust him. Yet he was suspicious. He
asked that Glen be sent to the office.

"Why do you want to go to the dentist, Glen?" he asked kindly. "What
attention do your teeth need?"

Glen was confused. So far as he knew his teeth were sound as bullets. He
had not sunk to the place where lies were easy of expression.

"I don't know just what, sir," he stammered, wishing that he could think
of something. "The dentist will know what they need."

This was as good an answer as he could have made, although stumbled on
by chance.

"You want the dentist to go over them to find what is the matter, do
you?" said the soft-hearted superintendent.

"Yes, sir. I want the dentist to find what is the matter."

"It isn't a bad idea," said the superintendent. "It won't be necessary
for you to go to town, though, for the dentist is coming out here next

"But I don't want to wait until next week," cried Glen. "I want to go
to-day. I want him to pull one out."

"Which one?" inquired the superintendent.

It made little difference to Glen which tooth he denoted for the
sacrifice. Now that he had told the lie he would stay by it. He pointed
to a big double tooth and resolved that he would remember it.

The superintendent looked at the tooth and at the boy.

"Perhaps you don't know how much that tooth is worth?"

"No, sir," agreed Glen.

"A very conservative price is a hundred dollars, at your age. You
wouldn't throw a hundred dollars away."

"No, sir; but I want it pulled."

It was all very well to talk of a hundred dollars, but when Glen had his
mind set on a matter he would make any sacrifice.

"Well, you must not have it pulled. But have the dentist look at it. I
will give you a pass for this afternoon. You will wear your uniform,
walk to the car line and take the street car to the dentist's office.
Let me ask you one thing, Glen. Don't forget to come back."

It was as if the superintendent read his thoughts. Glen changed color
and looked foolish. He could think of only one thing to say. "At what
time, sir?"

"You will be in by six o'clock. As you go to town and see the boys at
liberty on the streets remember that if you keep up your good behavior
you may soon be paroled and be as free as they. All you have to do,
Glen, is to keep it up."

As he went to put on his uniform, the hated uniform that made it so hard
for him to lose himself in the crowd, Glen realized better how it was
that Nixon and some of the others who had been given liberty in town had
never violated their trust. It seemed abominably mean and small to go
back on a man like this. He actually began to have his own doubts. But
it was very hard for Glen Mason to give up anything on which he had set
his heart.

There were several things went wrong which were quite disturbing. In the
first place he was obliged to change his clothing under the eye of the
physical director which utterly spoiled any scheme of hiding a suit of
overalls under his uniform. The walk to the street car and the ride to
the doctor's office would have been very enjoyable had not every one
stared at him and his uniform. More than once he heard some one say
"There goes a reform school boy." Then the dentist did all manner of
things in his efforts to find the nonexistent aching tooth. Finally he
did find an area of tenderness in an entirely different tooth to the one

"Does this tooth hurt you more than the others!" he asked.

"It does," Glen agreed, quite truthfully, an involuntary "Ouch"
following his words.

"I thought as much," the doctor observed. "It is often hard to locate
the pain definitely. The nerve reflexes are responsible for it. I will
now drill into this and see what we find."

"Do you have to drill?" asked Glen.

"Surely. Have to clean out all the old decayed tooth before I fill it. I
often give the boys from the school a little sermon by telling them the
bad has to be cleaned out before you get sound living."

"Make it as easy as you can," Glen requested.

"Yes, of course. But cleaning out decay often hurts."

It did hurt but Glen would have fainted rather than make an outcry.

The doctor stepped to the 'phone and called up the superintendent.

"It's all right with the Mason boy," he said. "I've done all I can
to-day for him. I'm leaving now. What shall he do until time for his

He turned to Glen as he received a reply.

"You are to wait until five o'clock in my reception room and then take
the inter-urban car," he said, locking the inner office when they passed
out. "I am leaving a little early to-night."

Before he left he stepped into a little closet which led out of the
reception room and changed his office clothes. Glen's eyes sparkled. His
problem was solved.

At five o'clock Glen Mason rode down in the elevator to the ground floor
and asked the elevator man how he could identify the inter-urban car.
But instead of leaving the building he dodged back to the stairway as
soon as the elevator had started on its return trip and ran stealthily
up the stairs and again entered the dentist's reception room. It was
empty. Glen boldly entered the little closet and dressing himself in the
dentist's office clothes made a bundle of his uniform. The closet was
both deep and high. He climbed to the top shelf and shoved his bundle
far back over its wide surface against the wall. He dared not risk going
out in the doctor's clothing in daylight. He must stay until the
building was deserted and use the fire escape. His great fear was lest
some one should come to the reception room. The only safeguard was
concealment in the hot, dark closet. He waited hours without any
disturbance. He felt sure that it must be almost midnight. Stealthily he
opened the door of the closet and stepped to a window. It was still
daylight, though the sun was setting. He returned to his closet.

It must have been some hours afterward that he heard footsteps and
voices outside the door. In sudden desperation he climbed up and lay
flat on the wide shelf where he had hidden the uniform. Someone opened
the door of the closet, glanced inside and shut it again.

"I tell you I took him down about five o'clock and showed him his car.
He ain't here," said the voice of the elevator man.

"I have to make sure," replied his companion.

Glen knew the voice for that of one of the school officials. So already
they were seeking him!

After all was quiet Glen ventured to open the closet door and peep out.
It was dark now but there were lights in the hall. After a long time
they were extinguished and the building seemed deserted. The last late
worker departed. The elevator ceased its rhythmic motion.

Glen waited yet longer for a time and then crept down the hall to the
fire-escape, which he made out by a red light. It was a dark night, but,
nerved to the act, he made no hesitation as he swung himself out on to
the iron bars. It was an old-fashioned escape, bars at wide intervals so
close to the wall as to leave hardly a toe hold. Down, down he went, not
daring to look to see where he was going but clinging fast and letting
one step follow another. Then suddenly the ladder stopped. Feel as he
would, in this direction or in that, there were no more steps. He had
known of fire-escapes ending ten or twelve feet from the ground with an
extension which might be lowered. But he found no extension. He looked
down, but it was black night and he could see nothing but shadowy
outlines. Looking up, the ladder soon disappeared in the darkness. There
was no sense in mounting again. He let down his legs as far as he could
reach, with his body balanced on his elbows, then he let himself hang by
his hands and kicked out in the hope of finding some landing. There was
nothing to be felt but the brick wall. His arms grew tired as he swung.
His efforts to draw up again were ineffectual. In desperation he swung
off into space.

Splash! He was choking and gasping in water!



Splashing about in his watery quarters Glen speedily discovered that he
had fallen into an enormous rain barrel. He was able to reach the top
with his hands, and lost no time in drawing himself up and crawling over
the side. Then he stood in the shelter of the barrel and wrung a gallon
or so of water out of the doctor's clothes. When the job was finished he
had pretty well destroyed the identity of that suit of clothing. The
draggled, wrinkled and stained garments bore no resemblance to the neat
office suit. His mishap had given material help in effecting a disguise.

He struck out away from the town and met no one to interfere with him as
he walked along the quiet residence streets. Just at the edge of the
city he was attracted by a great illumination. It was the electric
lighting of a park, which even at that hour was thronged with visitors.
The boy who had been shut up for a year and more looked hungrily through
the great entrance way. It was free to all. He walked cautiously in,
keeping a suspicious eye wide for policemen; for though he thought he
was free he was in bondage to his guilty conscience.

Of the many attractions the one which made the greatest appeal to
Glen--and the only one he could afford, for his sole fortune was the
nickel he had for car-fare--was the merry-go-round with its gaudy horses
and its gurdy tunes. He bought a ticket and mounted one of the turbulent
steeds with a little thrill of anticipatory pleasure. The music began,
the movement gradually quickened, and he was just giving himself up to
the pleasure of it when he saw working toward him, on the inside
running-board, a man collecting tickets. On his coat was the nickeled
badge of a constable. Glen did not know that he was a special officer
for the sole purpose of protecting his own outfit against rowdies. In
his eyes it was the approach of the law. Although they were now swinging
round at a good rate he slipped from his horse and jumped, at peril of
his neck. The sight of an official badge struck terror to his soul.

So it was wherever he went. He saw in every man an officer. One might
have supposed the park policed by an army. He had just dodged one of the
two real park policemen when he overheard a momentous conversation.

A man from the bathhouse came by.

"Anything doing, Jake?" he asked the officer.

"Nothing much," replied the policeman. "They 'phoned us a boy got away
from the reform school. They think he might just have come out to the
park for fun and overstayed. Ain't seen any one, have ye?"

"Not me."

"Well, if he's in here we'll get him as he goes out. I'll watch one gate
and Barney the other."

So they were on the look out for him. But there was nothing in his
present clothing to suggest the reform school boy, and though he was
hatless there were numbers of hatless boys in the park. There were many
people of all kinds, in fact, and if he went with the crowd, he could
surely slip out unnoticed. Yet he feared to attempt to pass the
representative of the law at the gate. How conscience doth make cowards
of us all!

It was a good deed, done impulsively, that solved Glen's problem. An
automobile was passing. The occupants were all watching the bathers in
the lake, excepting a little chap of three who had seized the
opportunity to climb over the door with the evident idea of jumping to
the ground. When Glen saw him he was poised on the running board ready
for his jump. Like a flash Glen jumped for the footboard of the moving
car and interposed his body as an obstacle to the little fellow's leap.
The women in the car screamed and the man who was driving stopped his
car in surprise at the intrusion. It was only when Glen hauled the
little boy up to view that they saw what he had done.

"I am Jonathan Gates," said the man, offering Glen his hand, "and this
is my wife and daughter. We don't know how to thank you for saving that
little scamp from harm."

"We might at least take you back into town," suggested Mrs. Gates.

"But I am going west, into the country," said Glen.

"That is still better," said Mr. Gates. "We live eight miles west of
here and will take you wherever you say."

"I'll go just as far as you go," Glen replied. "I live away out west and
am on my way on foot. Every mile is a help."

They passed through the gates without any notice from the officer who
was watching for an escaped Reform School boy, and Glen felt safe again.

"We have not visited the park in a long while," explained Mrs. Gates,
"and it was all new to us. That is why we lost sight of Jack. He was
very anxious to run back and see the monkeys again."

"I have never been there before at all," said Glen. "And I am glad I saw
this monkey. I was passing and I just went in by chance."

"Not chance," said Mr. Gates. "Let us say Providence. Our boy might have
been badly hurt or even killed. Certainly you were led by Providence, or
I would rather be more definite and say the hand of God."

"Oh I don't know. I guess not," stammered Glen, greatly embarrassed. He
wondered what Mr. Gates would say if he knew that he came to the park in
running away from the reform school. He had not yet learned that the
power of God may even overrule our evil for good. But he was quite
willing to agree that his good fortune in meeting the Gates family might
be God's providence.

He felt his good fortune still more when Mrs. Gates insisted that he
must stay with them at least one night. He yielded, thinking that he
would get up very early and slip away before they were astir in the
morning. But the excitement of the day had such an effect that he
overslept and did not waken until called to breakfast.

The effect of this family was something such as Glen had never known.
All they knew of him was his name, but they took him at his word. They
accepted his statements without a question--a most unusual thing in his
experience. They showed him every kindness. At breakfast Mr. Gates
heaped his plate with good things. They were so cordial in their
invitation to stay and rest for awhile that he could not refuse them.
They showed to him such a spirit of love as made him feel that, after
all, Christian people were different from others, and to begin to be
sorry that he had taken advantage of the good, old superintendent. They
planted in his softened heart seeds of kindness and love which were
bound to blossom.

Glen stayed two days, and might have remained longer, but on the morning
of the third day, coming down early, he picked up the day-old paper
which Mr. Gates had been reading. It was folded back at a place which
told of his disappearance from the reform school. He was ashamed to look
again in their faces, so he stole out the back way, passed through the
barn, and thus made his way out into the dusty road.

His thoughts, as he trudged along, were far from cheerful. Although he
had strong, boyish desires to fare forth into the world alone, he much
disliked to leave this cheery home. Had he been a clean, honorable boy
with a good record he might have stayed there and learned to be a man.

His gloomy thoughts were diverted by the sight of a man who seemed to be
having troubles of his own. He was down at the side of an automobile,
perspiring freely and vexed with the whole world as he unsuccessfully
labored at changing a tire. The automobile was no ordinary car. It had a
driver's seat in front and a closed car behind like the closed delivery
wagons Glen had seen in town. Bright colored letters announced to the
world that J. Jervice supplied the public with a full line of novelties,
including rugs, curtains, rare laces and Jervice's Live Stock Condition

"Can I help you," volunteered Glen. It is worthy of note that the
service was freely offered before the man spoke so much as a word. It
had not been Glen's habit to volunteer help. He was feeling the
influence of the home he had just left.

The offer was not kindly received. The man's reply was so churlish as to
leave open the suspicion that he was not naturally a man of pleasant

"Garn away f'm here," he snarled. "I don't need no boys spyin' around my

"Who's spyin'?" asked Glen defiantly. "You seem to need somebody pretty
bad. You ain't man enough to strip that tire off."

"Nor nobody else wouldn't be," declared the man. "Leastways nobody with
jest one pair of hands. While I pry it off one end it slips back on the
other. Are you strong?" he asked, stopping to look at Glen.

"I'm pretty stout for my age," admitted Glen, modestly, "but I don't
want to help nor spy, if you don't want me."

"I could use another pair of hands," the peddler admitted. "I can't pay
you nothing for it, though, unless it be a ride to town."

"That is just what I want," agreed Glen. "It's a bargain."

The perspiration of Mr. J. Jervice had not been without occasion. The
tire he was trying to change had done good service--it was, in fact, the
very first tire that wheel had ever carried. Perhaps it cherished fond
hopes of remaining in service as long as the wheel to which it clung--at
least it resisted most strenuously all efforts to detach it. Both Glen
and the man were moist with their efforts before it came away, and they
accumulated still more dirt and moisture in applying its successor. But
at last it was all done, and Glen had already mounted to the seat, while
his companion was putting away his tools, when a cart drove up alongside
and Glen recognized in the driver, Mr. Gates.

"What's the matter?" he asked, as Mr. Gates pulled up his horse.

"What's the matter?" echoed Mr. J. Jervice; "this boy been doing

It was not an unnatural question for there was something in Mr. Gates's
look and in Glen's questioning tone that betokened affairs out of the
ordinary; furthermore, Mr. J. Jervice seemed to be so suspicious of
people in general that one might well think he had something to conceal.

"The boy's all right," replied Mr. Gates. "I have something to say to
him, that's all. If he will come over here we will drive on a few feet
while I say it."

Glen's thoughts flew back to the folded newspaper and he was instantly

"I don't want to get down," he said. "This gentleman's agreed to give me
a ride to town and I don't want to keep him."

"But I want you to stay," replied Mr. Gates. "I will take you to town if
you wish, but first I want you to go back home with me and I will tell
you something important."

Glen felt one of his old, unrestrained passions rising within him.

"I know what you want," he cried. "I saw the newspaper. You want to
send me back to the reform school."

"I want to help you make a man of yourself," asserted Mr. Gates, unmoved
by the boy's passion. "It's true I want you to go back to the school,
but I will go with you and speak for you. You must go back because it is
the only right way out. Let me tell you, Glen, you will never get over a
trouble by running away from it. The manly and Christian thing to do is
to go back. And that is why I want you to do it."

"And of course you don't want the reward of ten dollars that's always
paid for returning a boy. You wouldn't take the money, would you?"

If the eyes of Mr. Gates were saddened by this mean sneer those of Mr.
J. Jervice were not. They lightened with a sudden interest, and he
jumped into the battle for the first time.

"This boy's a goin' with me," he told Mr. Gates. "He's earned a ride and
I promised it and I'm a man of my word. You be off, now, and leave him

"You are spoiling his best chance," said Mr. Gates. "I am not interested
in the school or the reward. I am simply trying to do my duty to the

"Well, you've done it," cried Mr. J. Jervice, as his car gathered
headway. "Good-by to ye."

He turned to Glen as the car got into its speed.

"So you've run away from the reform school, eh? And he was goin' to make
ten dollars taking you back?"

"Oh, he didn't want the ten dollars," said Glen, his rage all gone. "He
treated me awful fine while I was at his house. I just said that because
I was mad. But he can't get me to go back; nor nobody else unless they
tie me up first."

"I don't know?" said Mr. J. Jervice. "Ten dollars is pretty near a
week's pay for most men."

"That wouldn't make any difference with him," said Glen. "He's straight
as a string."

Mr. Gates would have been gratified to know how deep an impression his
Christian character had made on this boy who had flouted his kindness.

Mr. J. Jervice was not inclined to conversation--he was puzzling over a
problem something akin to that of the fox and the geese (he to be the
fox). So they drove along in comparative silence until, topping a hill,
Glen exclaimed at the sight of the buildings of a large town.

"Are we almost there?" he asked.

"About three miles yet," said Mr. J. Jervice. "What you going to do when
we get there?"

"I'm not sure, but I think I'd better leave you before we get to town.
I don't believe Mr. Gates would telephone the police but somebody else

"You can ride with me a couple o' miles yet. Tell ye what ye can do.
S'pose'n you get inside. There's lots o' room and there's a ventilator
back o' this seat will give ye air. You be real careful and not go
fussing around disturbing things. There's things there I wouldn't want
ye to touch."

It seemed a good idea. Mr. J. Jervice unlocked the doors in the back and
Glen stepped inside. The doors slammed behind him and he heard the heavy
steel bar drop into its slots. Then he heard something like a laugh--a
foxy laugh. Why should Mr. J. Jervice laugh? At once his suspicions were

As Mr. J. Jervice climbed to his seat again Glen shouted to him through
the ventilator.

"Stop," he shouted. "I've changed my mind. I don't like being in here
and I believe I'll take my chance with you on the front seat."

Mr. J. Jervice paid no attention.



The treachery of Mr. J. Jervice was now very clear. He had decided that
he himself would hand Glen over to the authorities and receive the ten
dollars reward. Since Glen was almost as big as he, there had been some
question how he should restrain the boy. He thought this all settled by
his clever scheme, and the ten dollars practically in his pocket. No
wonder he chuckled.

But it is well for those who cage wild animals to be sure that the cage
is properly prepared. Glen looked around in the gloom of the car. He
knew it was useless to bump against those solid doors. The way out lay
through Mr. J. Jervice, and the time for getting out was very brief. On
a shelf lay a bundle of sticks. He pulled on one and found on the other
end a flag. It was an emblem. The flag should bring him freedom.

Glen found that the flag stick would just poke through the ventilator
railing. Being effectively poked it struck Mr. J. Jervice neatly in the
back of the neck, and the poke being vigorous, it aroused his attention
quite thoroughly.

"Stop that," he cried, hastily dodging. "Them flags is worth a quarter
apiece, and you'll break the handle."

"Stop and let me out," cried Glen.

"I can't stop now. I just made this change to accommodate you, remember.
Stopping and starting is awfully expensive--takes as much gasoline as
running a mile. We'll be in town in five minutes."

"And then you think you will sell me for ten dollars. You'll lose money
on it, Mr. Jervice. I have a sharp, open knife in my hand. I'm going to
turn loose on everything in--"

"Don't you dare," shouted Mr. Jervice.

"But I will if you don't stop. You want to send me back to the reform
school. All I'll get will be a little longer sentence. Will that pay you
for your goods?"

Mr. J. Jervice reluctantly stopped his car. He saw ten dollars vanishing
into the atmosphere. Whether Glen would have been as destructive as he
threatened does not enter into this record. We are obliged to admit that
at this time he was a wilful lad, and he was especially provoked at this
man because he had dragged him from the counsel and aid of Mr. Gates
for the sole purpose of his personal gain. It is enough for us to know
that Mr. J. Jervice quite believed that a reform school boy with a knife
was equal to anything.

"Everything in here is in just as good order as when I came in," said
Glen, when the doors were opened. "I earned this ride, so I don't owe
you anything. Now you stand away off and let me get out."

There was no need to be so emphatic. Mr. J. Jervice was neither a big
man nor a brave man, and had no idea of offering any opposition. He
stood well aside as Glen jumped from the car and ran away through the

One thing was very clear to Glen. Mr. J. Jervice would certainly reach
town in a few minutes and just as certainly would advise the authorities
to look out for him. He might even come back with the officer, knowing
that the boy would have but a short start. Glen was standing by an
abandoned stone quarry as these thoughts came to him. It contained many
nooks and corners in which a boy might hide, and would be far safer for
the present than tramping along the road or in the fields. So he picked
out a secluded nook and lay there until evening. He watched eagerly for
signs of an officer or Mr. J. Jervice, but also fruitlessly. Had he but
known it he was perfectly safe, for Mr. J. Jervice was again having
troubles of his own. Perhaps this was his day for trouble.

Spending a whole day cooped up in a little niche about ten feet long by
three wide, even though it be as high as the heavens, is dreary work for
a boy. The time dragged terribly. In his work on the school farm Glen
had learned to use the sun for a clock quite accurately, so there was no
deceiving himself as to time. He had eaten a good breakfast before
leaving the Gates' home so there was no occasion for excessive hunger,
but he did get very thirsty. Looking down through the old quarry he
fancied he saw a pump, and when the sun reached its noon zenith he crept
cautiously down and satisfied his thirst. There was no one in sight, yet
he felt afraid to venture toward the town before dark, and went back to
his hiding place.

On the way back he made a great find. Some careless workman had left a
mallet and chisel lying by a huge slab of stone. They were rusted by the
weather but otherwise in good condition. Glen took them to his hiding
place and spent a great deal of the afternoon cleaning off the rust.
Then he began work on a rough block of stone which lay near and was
greatly gratified at the result of his labors. So the afternoon slipped
away without the dreariness of the morning.

He was hungry now and tired and consumed with loneliness. His thoughts
turned to the pleasant home he had just left with a great longing. They
had given him good treatment--the Gates family. He contrasted Mr. Gates
with Mr. Jervice, stirring in his bosom a great indignation at the
treachery of Jervice, and also awakening a great trust and confidence in
Mr. Gates. Perhaps he was right after all. Perhaps it would be a good
thing for him to go back to the school, serve out his time, and then try
to make a man of himself. If the school had been close at hand he would
have gone at once, for the supper-time picture which rose to his mind,
with the crowd of boys ready for their plain but wholesome food was a
very attractive one just now. Where his supper was to come from he did
not know, for his only nickel had paid for the ticket to the

Now that it was dark enough to make his travel safe he picked up his
chisel and mallet and climbed up the side of the quarry. The tools gave
him an idea. They were marketable and would surely provide a supper for
him. He looked them over as closely as the fading light would allow but
found no marks or initials to indicate the owner. So he felt a little
more certain of his plans as he hurried along the road toward the town.

He had no intention of going to a big store and offering the tools for
sale. His choice would be rather a small general shop where he could get
both food and a hat in exchange for his offering. He felt that the lack
of a hat as he walked through the streets would be sure to attract
attention. He found just the place he needed at the very outskirts of
the town, a little "general utility store" designed to supply the needs
of the dwellers in outlying houses who did not wish to go to town for
every purchase.

But the dealer was suspicious of a bareheaded boy in a man's suit of
clothes offering to trade a mallet and chisel for a meal and a straw

"Where did you get these things?" he asked, as he closely examined the

"I found them in the old quarry east of town," replied Glen.

"You found them! They don't look like tools that have been lying around
in an old quarry."

"No, sir. Because I spent all afternoon cleaning them up."

"I hope that's true, boy. I want to be fair with you. Wait a minute
while I make a few inquiries."

He turned to the telephone; and even as he did so Glen fled through the
open door. It was unfair, miserably unfair, he told himself as he ran,
and the hot tears filled his eyes. He had found these tools all rusty,
and spent all afternoon cleaning them, and now this man was bound to
call up the police. He did not stop to think that if he had been an
honest boy with a good record calling up the police would have meant
nothing to him.

Glen slowed his pace to a walk after a few blocks; a running boy was too
conspicuous. Every time he saw a man in any kind of a uniform he dodged
out of his way. A street-car conductor on his way home, who passed near
to him, gave him a great scare. And at last came a policeman who really
did start after him; at least he walked in his direction and when Glen
started to run he ran too. Glen was terribly frightened. He ran madly,
not once looking behind, and therefore ignorant of the fact that after
one block the officer gave up the chase after a boy who was probably
playing some foolish joke. It was a hot night but the sweat on Glen's
face was caused as much by terror as by his exertion. He ran not knowing
where he was going and at last hardly seeing. Then he swung around a
sharp corner, came into collision with some kind of a vehicle, and
rolled over and over with it and its occupant into the gutter.

Glen lay panting from the chase he had given himself, for just a second,
and in that second he felt a large hand grip his arm in a firm grasp.
But it was not the policeman. Beside him, with his head touching the
curb, lay a strong young man. Across their bodies was the vehicle which
Glen had overturned, something like a large baby buggy or a small
invalid chair, with a steering wheel in front. No one came to their
help, for Glen had instinctively selected the quiet streets and this one
seemed deserted save for them two. Seeing no policeman in sight Glen
gained confidence.

"Let go of my arm," he cried.

"I can't afford to just yet," replied the young man. "It's the only
thing I've got to remember you by, unless you count this big bump on the
back of my head."

"I didn't mean to hurt you," said Glen.

"I reckon not. I suppose it was thoughtless for me to get in your way.
You must have been going somewhere."

"Let me up. Please let me up, and I'll tell you all about it. I want you
to help me. It isn't fair. I'm not getting a fair show."

"Oh, that's the way, is it? Well, you're at the right shop. Nobody ever
calls on Jolly Bill in vain. You get up and lift this automobile off my
quivering frame and we'll see what we can do for you."

Glen crawled out and managed to lift the vehicle off the young man's

"Now you can get up, can't you," he asked.

"With your kind assistance, noble sir." He raised himself to a sitting
position as he spoke. "This is as far as I get without your aid."

Glen hardly knew how to help, though the conveyance told him that the
young man was a cripple.

"How shall I help you?" he asked. "Are your legs paralyzed?"

"Worse than that, young fellow. My legs are dead and buried."

"I'm awfully sorry," said Glen, his heart stirred with sympathy. "I'm
glad you have such strong arms. They certainly are alive."

"That's the way to talk about it, boy. Don't worry about what's gone.
Look at what you have left. That's what I try to do, and that's why they
call me Jolly Bill. Now, a big heave and I can stand on my pegs while
you bring my Billy-cart up this way."

He was quite skillful about getting into his cart once Glen had him in
the right position.

"Now I'll let you push me home, boy--two blocks ahead and one to your
right--and meantime you may tell me the sad story of your eventful

"Promise that you won't give me up," said Glen.

"Whew! That sounds awfully interesting. You must be a desperate
character, and that perhaps explains your peculiar mode of rapid
transit. I'm so curious I promise."

"It isn't so awfully bad," said Glen, feeling that his new friend was
poking fun. "I ran away from the reform school, that's all."

"I don't know how bad that is," was the reply. "The question is are you
reformed, are you reforming, or are you worse than ever?"

"I want to reform," declared Glen, the first confession of the kind he
had ever made.

"I suppose the best way to do it would be to go back to the school,"
suggested Jolly Bill.

"That's what Mr. Gates said," admitted Glen. "But I don't want to be
taken back."

"That sounds pretty fair. You don't want to be taken; you want to go. I
want to go, but I have to be taken. I was hoping you were the boy to do
some taking for me."

"You mean take you around," exclaimed Glen.

"That's about what I mean. I'm an important personage and wherever I
travel I have to have a body guard."

"I'd like to do it better than anything in the world!"

"I believe you're just the boy if the reform school could wait for you a
week or two. I have a plan that will make me a fortune; but I can't work
it out without a strong, energetic boy to help me."

"I'm the boy," shouted Glen. "Try me. What is it?"

"You won't give my secret away?"

"Never. Upon my--"

"Upon your what?"

"Oh, I suppose you'd say I didn't have any."

"You were going to say upon your honor. Certainly you have honor. You
make it every day. To prove my confidence I will tell you my secret. I
was born in this neighborhood and lived here most of my life. A few
years ago a terrible accident deprived me of my father and at the same
time left me as you see me. I support my mother by selling real estate.
Twenty miles or so from here I know of a great fortune. But it is hidden
away, buried, choked up and forgotten. I have tried to get my friends
to hunt this out for me but they do not see things my way. So I need a
strong healthy boy to help me, and together we will find this



Running away would be very popular with boys if they could be sure of
finding such good friends as Glen had met. The reverse is more commonly
true. Glen knew well enough that the boy on the road, trusting to chance
for friends, is much more apt to fall a prey to people of the J. Jervice
variety. He remembered the pitiful plight of a boy who had been returned
to the school after falling into the hands of tramps, and he thanked an
unknown Providence that he had tumbled into the kind arms of Jolly Bill.

Mother Spencer was just as kind and cheerful as her son, though she
neither made jokes nor appreciated those offered by Will.

"This is Glen Mason, mother," said Jolly Bill, when she came out to meet
them. "After he had committed assault and battery on my delicate frame,
I prevailed on him to bring home the mangled remains."

"You are hurt, Willie!" she cried in alarm. "Your face is scratched and
there is blood. Is it serious?"

"I shall recover," said Will. "I have been in rather worse accidents.
Take a look at this other dusty, weary specimen. What do you recommend?"

"I beg your pardon," she apologized to Glen. "I was anxious about my
boy. I am every time he goes out. I'll just show you up to the bathroom.
There is plenty of hot water and soap and towels, and I'll bring you a
clean suit that Willie used to wear."

Glen reddened with embarrassment at this goodness.

"Maybe you'd better not," he protested. "You don't know who I am."

"But I know what size you are," she insisted. "This old suit of Willie's
has been lying around for years, but it's perfectly good. Now you take
and put it on."

"Take it along and wear it," urged Jolly Bill. "It's been shut up in the
closet so long it may turn two or three handsprings when it gets out in
the sunshine, but otherwise it will fit you all right. Mother's kept the
moth out of it long enough."

Soaking in a tub of clean water after his hot and dusty day, with a nice
suit of clean clothing ready to put on, Glen felt that he was indeed
fortunate. He actually concluded that he was getting better treatment
than he deserved. He was still embarrassed by the thought, when he went
downstairs and found Will and his mother at the table.

"I've told mother all about you," announced Bill. "You have her official
seal of approval."

"Don't mind what he says," interrupted Mrs. Spencer. "A boy who wants to
do right always has a place with me. But you get a reserved seat because
you're going to help Willie."

"I hope I'll be able to. I'll surely try."

"Oh, you're just the strong young fellow he needs. He's had the plan
quite a while but so many people--"

"Not so very many, mother," interrupted Will. "Very few people know of

"Well, the people that you've told--you know how they have all acted or
spoken as if it were a wild goose chase--"

"They think so; that's their privilege."

"No it isn't. They shouldn't think so. You've studied it out and you
know it's as bright a thought as ever helped any man to a fortune and
I'm glad this big boy is going to help you work it."

"And then I'll be rich enough to buy you a home, and to go to that big
hospital and get my old pegs fixed up so they can put artificial legs on
me that I really can walk on."

"I'm mighty glad to help," said Glen. "I'd do most anything for folks as
good as you."

"There, mother; that's an unsolicited testimonial to your particular
brand of goodness," said Will. "He didn't talk a bit that way when he
met me first. Acted quite abrupt and seemed to want to get away."

"I didn't know you then," objected Glen. "I was trying to get away from

"Pretty good horse-power you were putting into it, too," observed Will.
"That reminds me, boy. It is now time for you to unroll the full history
of your eventful career."

"There isn't very much that matters, until a few days ago," began Glen.

"What's that?" asked Mrs. Spencer. "Did you say not much that matters?
How old are you?"

"I was fifteen last May."

"Fifteen years ago last May! Don't you know, Glen, that something
happened then that mattered a wonderful lot to one person, even if it
didn't then matter much to you. And it's been mattering ever since, to

"Yes," agreed Glen, "my mother, you mean."

"Yes, I mean your mother. And your father, too, as long as he lived.
Don't you suppose it mattered to them that their boy should be so--" she
hesitated, groping for a word.

"Pigheaded!" volunteered Glen.

Mrs. Spencer looked shocked, and remonstrated: "Why, Glen! I didn't say
anything of the kind--wayward was the word I wanted."

But Jolly Bill clapped his hands in cheerful applause.

"Good boy, Glen!" he exclaimed. "Pigheaded is the word. Bound to have
your own way. Bound to have what you want. No self restraint at all. If
you want it, nothing will do but you must have it, good or bad. Believe
me, boy, that's the very word."

"I wish you wouldn't interrupt me, Willie," objected Mrs. Spencer. "I
wasn't trying to preach a sermon to Glen and I don't know why you
should. What I want to tell him is that every little thing about a boy
matters to mother. It's always important to her what he does, and if he
does wrong to-day she is sure that he certainly will do better
to-morrow. Mother's going to be awfully glad when she hears about you,
Glen, and I want you to tell me where I can write to her this very day.
Now, go on and tell us about running away."

Glen was interrupted occasionally.

"Oh, did you say Gates?" cried Mrs. Spencer. "Was it Jonathan Gates?"

"I believe I did hear his wife call him Jonathan once or twice, though
mostly they all called him 'Father.'"

"It must be they," said Mrs. Spencer. "They're just the people to take
care of a boy that way. We know the Gateses very well and they're the
salt of the earth. I wonder you ever had the heart to leave them."

Glen told why he had left and then related his further adventures with
J. Jervice, his final escape, and his day of dread lest he should be

"I think I can tell you why Mr. J. Jervice didn't send after you," said
Will. "It's been his busy day. I just read about it in the evening
paper. Excepting that it was funny I wondered what excuse they had for
giving it so much space. But I now see why it is important. Look at

He handed Glen the paper folded back to a column headed: "Peddler in
Wrong Pew."

"Every good citizen knows of the new license ordinance but not every
peddler. One came briskly to the county clerk's office this morning. He
was not too rushed to stop and sell a patent tie clip to a man at the

"'I'm a traveling merchant,' said he to our genial county clerk.

"'Very good,' said the clerk. 'I see you are doing a little business.'

"'Pretty fair,' agreed Mr. Peddler. 'But that ain't what--'

"'Hold on a bit,' interrupted the clerk. 'First thing is a license.'

"'I've got something more important, just now,' urged the peddler. 'I
want to tell you about--'

"'First things first,' persisted our efficient clerk. 'You must pay a
license to peddle in this county.'

"'But I don't want to peddle now. I want to lodge--'

"'One thing at a time. You may lodge longer than you want if you break
our ordinances. Get your license. Five dollars!'

"'But I don't want a license. I want to give information--'

"'No, no! You want to get information (our clerk is just bound to have
his way). 'You should have information about our new license fee. Every
peddler must pay it.'

"'I'll not pay it. Five dollars is more'n I could make in a whole day,
and I don't aim to be in your county that long. I'll go on.'

"'Too late. You've made one sale that we know of. Five dollars or--'

"'I can't, Mister. I can't pay that. You, just forget about it an' I'll
tell you how we can divide ten dollars, easy money.'

"'Trying to bribe a county officer! That's worse and worse. Here, Mr.
Sheriff, you'd better look after this man.'

"The man's name was J. Jervice and he found five dollars in his clothing
before the sheriff had fully clamped his grip. He went away in great
wrath, taking with him not only the objectionable license but also the
valuable secret which was worth ten dollars--easy money.

"The honest merchant who has a regular route does not object to the
license. The objections come from these itinerant peddlers, who claim
that they are just passing through. Our county officers will insist upon
payment. They do not fear to discourage their visits for these
fly-by-nights are the very men who cheat our citizens, sometimes
stealing under guise of a sale and sometimes stealing outright. We do
not say that this peddler looked suspicious, but we observed our sheriff
taking a good mental picture of him."

"Good-by, Mr. J. Jervice," exulted Glen, as he laid down the paper. "I
don't care if I never meet you again."

"But I'm not sure that you won't," said Jolly Bill, with a purpose to
tease. "Now that Mr. Jervice has had to pay a five dollar license fee,
all because he loved you so and wanted to see you safe home, he'll be
apt to look for you."

"He'd better not come near this house," declared Mrs. Spencer,
energetically. "I'll give him a piece of my mind if I see him, I can
tell you."

"I surely hope he'll come," said Jolly Bill. "He deserves all he can

But neither Jolly Bill, Mrs. Spencer nor Glen were to be gratified with
a sight of Mr. Jervice immediately, although they were by no means
through with him.

Later in the evening after Glen had given Mrs. Spencer very efficient
aid in helping her crippled son to his bed on the ground floor, she
showed the boy up to a cozy little bedroom where he was to spend the

"Have a good night, son," she said. "I'm so glad you are going to help
my boy, because you look like a boy with grit and determination, and
I'll feel safe about him with you looking after him. It means a lot to
us just now. It isn't so much that I care about the money, although
Willie insists that I must have this home all clear of debt. But the
main thing with me is to see my boy able to take care of himself.
There's a place in New York where they can operate on him and then fix
him up so he can walk all by himself. All we need is the money. It will
be such a joy to me. Good night!"



It was a couple of days later before Mr. William Spencer (sometimes
known to his fellow citizens as Jolly Bill) fully explained to Glen the
method by which he hoped to increase their fortunes. He had taken Glen
into his home, had fed and provided for him and had given him some
clothing. An automobile had brought them the twenty miles of their
journey, early that morning, and had left them with their belongings at
the house of a farmer, with whom Spencer was evidently on the best of
terms. Now they stood on a knoll overlooking what seemed to Glen to be
nothing but an immense field of growing corn.

"There is our fortune," said Spencer.

"That field of corn?" asked Glen.

"That is Buffalo Hollow and I repeat that there lies our fortune."

"And how are we to get it?"

"That is your job. That's why I brought you."

"What do you expect me to do. Take a spade and dig?"

"Perhaps! We shall see. Sit down while I tell you about this place.
Buffalo Mound, over there, is the highest ground in this country. From
its summit you can see into six counties. This big field before us is
Buffalo Hollow. When I was a little chap I was told a great story about
this by an old Indian. He said that years ago the Hollow was a beautiful
lake fed by springs from Buffalo Mound. Some freighters carrying bullion
camped here and were slaughtered by Indians. To hide the bullion until
they could dispose of it they threw it in the lake. When they returned
they could not find it readily, so they dammed the springs and drained
the lake. Makes quite a romantic story, doesn't it?"

"Yes, but did it ever happen?"

"I believe there is some record of such a thing, but my private opinion
is that the draining was done by some stingy owner who had little use
for a lake and thought he saw an opportunity to secure twenty acres of
good bottom land. Probably he thought he was a great economist. But as a
matter of fact he did a very foolish thing. This prairie country is
poverty stricken so far as lakes and woods are concerned. In the town I
live in there are many wealthy men who take their families long
distances every summer in order to reach a lake. A twenty acre lake is
only a pool in the lake country, but out here it is worth more than a
gold mine."

"And you think if you could make it a lake again you could sell it to
these wealthy people?"

"I know I could. I know an athletic club in town that would pay a big
price for it. There are many of our wealthy men who would pay five
hundred dollars for a hundred foot frontage, so that they might put up
bungalows for summer residences. My plan is to find those choked
springs, bring them again into their old channels, and convert the
Hollow into a lake. Mr. Ryder, our farmer friend who now owns this farm,
doesn't think much of my plan, and won't have anything to do with it any
more than to sell me options on the land and the privilege of cutting
this excellent stand of corn, and that is as far as my arrangements with
him extend."

"And what is the first thing for me to do?" asked Glen.

"Excellent talk, that, my boy. What would you advise as to the first

"I suppose you can't do much exploring while the corn stands. It should
be cut."

"It should, and it must be cut in the old fashioned way. Did you ever
cut corn in the old fashioned way?"

"You mean with a corn-knife. I helped cut a hundred acres at the school
last fall."

"Well, there's only about five acres of this land in corn so the
contract is smaller. The first thing is to borrow a corn-knife of our
friend Ryder."

Glen's attack upon the field of corn began that very day. A year ago, at
the reform school, he had hated this work; now, he enjoyed it. The corn
was higher than his head, and the heavy stalks, piled on his left arm as
he cut with his right, wore through his shirt and made an attempt upon
his skin, but he did not complain. He was doing a work into which his
heart entered, and so he was enjoying it.

Spencer could give no help at all. There are people, with like
misfortune to his, who are able to make some sort of a shift with
crutches, but Will could not use them at all. As Mrs. Spencer had
explained to Glen, there had been some trouble in the amputation. All
that was needed was money to go to a famous hospital and have things
properly arranged and a pair of artificial legs fitted that would enable
him to walk, run, race, dance or play the pipe organ. Will hoped to be
successful enough to command the money for this and meantime he intended
to be happy in the prospect. So he sat and watched Glen work, made
suggestions, cracked jokes and drew diagrams of the surrounding country.

The day that Glen finished his work was very hot. He had been working
hard in the hope of completing the job by nightfall and was wet and
grimy with perspiration and dirt. As he carried an armful of stalks to
the shock he noticed a boy standing there dressed in a khaki uniform of
olive drab.

"Wouldn't you like a little help?" asked the boy.

"I could use some," said Glen. "But I have only one knife."

"You rest, then, and let me use it awhile. I know how to cut corn."

"You'll spoil your pretty suit."

"This kind doesn't spoil. It's a scout uniform."

"Perhaps it won't spoil for as long as you'll work," said Glen. "What
are you doing here?"

"We have a camp around the other side of the Mound. We only came
yesterday or you would have seen some of us before now."

He was cutting cornstalks with a practised hand and Glen decided that he
could trust him.

"You can go ahead for awhile. I'll go over and see what my partner
says," he agreed.

"There's a boy scout over there," he told Spencer. "He wanted to help
cut a piece, so I let him. Do you mind?"

"Not a bit. I'd like to get a whole troop of boy scouts to help. They
ought to be some good at our game."

"There is a troop of them camped the other side of the mound, this boy
says. Maybe we could get them to help."

Spencer straightened himself in his seat.

"Bright idea, Glen. To-night you shall push Jolly Bill and the old
billy-cart over there, and we'll give them a chance to do a good turn."

Glen went back to where the scout was working.

"That's enough," he said. "You've given me quite a rest. We're coming
over to see you to-night."

"I hope you will," the scout replied. "My father is the scout master and
I know he'll be glad to have you come. His name is Newton."

"I suppose you get along with the same name?" suggested Glen.

"I surely do. And my other name is Corliss, but the fellows call me

"Why's that. Is it your round face and red cheeks?"

"No. I couldn't help looking that way and the boys wouldn't throw it up
to me. No, sir; they started to call me Core, then Apple-core, and so
down to Apple."

"It's a good name for you," said Glen. "Did I tell you I'd be bringing
my partner over this evening, too?"

"He's welcome. It's in our articles, you know. 'A scout is friendly.'"

"Well, don't forget to ask him to tell some stories. Then you'll be glad
we came."

"We'll be glad, anyway," said Apple, politely, as he turned away. When
Glen learned to know him better he found this sunny cheer and gentle
courtesy to be characteristic of him at all times and places.

It was no easy job to propel the old "billy-cart" over the fields, but
Glen managed it. The scouts were just getting together for their evening
camp-fire. They were all attracted by the queer vehicle and its jolly
occupant and cheerfully and noisily responded to the introductions given
by Apple Newton. Mr. Newton, the scout master, was just such a gentleman
as one might expect Apple to have for a father and cordially welcomed
both Spencer and Glen to their fellowship.

A hint from Apple Newton that Mr. Spencer was a teller of stories drew
forth a wild clamor from the boys for his services. His first story, a
funny one, brought forth delirious applause--a "side-splitter" they
voted it. Then he told them a story of adventure which held them
spell-bound. They clamored yet for more.

"Only one," stipulated the scout master. "It will soon be time to turn

"Then I will tell you a short story about this country, but I cannot
vouch for its truth. First I must tell you that I grew up a mile or two
from here. There are still some Pottawatomie Indians here occasionally,
I saw one yesterday. When I was a small boy there was quite a colony--a
number who never had gone onto the reservation. I knew some of the old
men pretty well and one of them used to tell me stories. The most
remarkable story he ever told was the story of Buffalo Lake. Years ago
the place now known as Buffalo Hollow was a twenty acre lake. Lakes of
any size are so rare in this country that even one of twenty acres is
sure to be preserved in tradition, so there is plenty of record to
verify this part of his story. The remainder may be true. He insisted
that it was.

"It was late in the evening of a hot day. The freighters had been
pushing along their tired horses for the last three hours, with their
eyes steadfastly set on a clump of trees ahead--probably this clump in
which we sit. When they reached the trees they no longer needed them for
shade, for the sun had already set, but they were none the less glad of
their leafy branches, glad of the green grass, glad of the cooling
waters of the lake. They could scarcely restrain their tired but eager
animals from plunging in as they were, and dragging their loads along,
and once the harness was released the beasts made a wild dash for the
water and reveled in its coolness. The men themselves lost no time in
stripping off their clothing and taking the first swim of their trip.
They swam and larked and sported until they were not only refreshed and
rested but actually tired again. Then they ate a plentiful supper,
spread their blankets around the treasure wagons and soon slept the
sleep of exhaustion. Even the watch slept, for he, too, had borne the
burden of the day and worn himself with the frolic of the evening. He
felt no need of special caution for they were now in territory
considered safe.

"But the Indians had been following them for many days, eager for such
an opportunity. They dreaded as well as hated these plainsmen. They had
not dared to attack them on the open prairie. But now, one dark form
after another slipped noiselessly from tree to tree, and very soon every
tree sheltered a savage form and made cover for the marksmanship of an
Indian brave in feathers and war-paint.

"I don't dare to tell you the rest of this story as the old Pottawatomie
told it to me, for it is near bedtime and these are the very trees
between which the ghostly, ghastly figures flitted in the darkness. It
is all past and gone now and you need have no fear. You boys on the
outer edge who are crowding up to the light of the camp-fire are just as
safe as the fellows in the middle. The thing to interest you is what the
Indians did with the bullion, after they had massacred its guardians.

"There is a government record that such a massacre actually occurred and
that the bullion has never been recovered. The old Indian said that
being unable to take the treasure away they rowed it out in the lake and
buried it in its waters. They were chased out of the country and it was
years before they dared to venture back. Then they tried to regain the
treasure but without success. As a final measure they dammed up the
springs and drained the lake. But the treasure was not there and so far
as known it has never been found. What has become of it!"

A moment of deep silence followed.

"Supposing they didn't put it in the lake at all? Supposing they hid it
in a cave?"

It was Apple Newton who spoke and his speaking was the signal for a
perfect babel of suggestions and guesses.

Spencer held up his hand for silence.

"I did not come here to search for this bullion; but I feel sure that it
did exist and that it may exist yet. Your scout master has invited me to
stay with you for a week. I will tell you all that I know about the
country, and you will help me as much as possible in getting about. We
will hunt for this treasure. I try to be generous, so I will say that
the scout finding it may keep it."

"I have a word to add," said Mr. Newton. "In this treasure hunt we must
have system. Every scout desiring to enter will choose the section which
he thinks most favorable, draw a map of it and present it for our
approval. Afterwards he will give a full report of all his actions, how
he has gone to work and what he has noted."

And then came a third speaker who had been expected by no one. He
stepped from behind a tree, and to the eyes of the boys he was tall and
erect and to some of their eyes he wore feathers and war-paint.

"Boys hunt gold! Boys hunt heap stone!" he said and disappeared.



Most of the boys around the camp fire sat as if petrified for a few
moments. Some of them clutched at their scalp locks, as if to make sure
of their continued existence.

The first scout to show real signs of recovery was a thin, lanky,
freckled-faced hero of unheroic appearance, who spoke in a jerky fashion
peculiarly his own.

"Help!" he cried. "Help! Mother! Why'd my pa let me come to this wild
place? Injuns! Robbers! Help!"

"Oh, shut up, Chick-chick," cried a small boy. "You'll have 'em coming

A contemptuous laugh came from a big, handsome boy who sat in the middle
of the circle--big and handsome, yet with a supercilious look.

"Never mind, kid," he assured the little fellow. "You are safe enough
here. Chick-chick can't help having hysterics, but you're safe while I'm

"Sure, you're safe," echoed Chick-chick. "Ev'body's safe. Matty will
protect you. Matty protects whole camp. Go after heap big Injun, Matty.
Jes' disappeared northwest by south."

"That's enough from you, Chick-chick," retorted the handsome scout, Matt
Burton, who did not bear chaffing cheerfully. "I could go after that
Indian if I cared to. And get him, too."

"Why should anyone want to go after him," interrupted Apple Newton.
"He's done nothing but suddenly appear and give some information that
may be valuable."

"He just came up from nowhere," said a scout. "I don't believe he's a
real Indian at all--just a spirit."

"He was right close to me," declared Chick-chick. "I smelled the

"Maybe he is a phantom Indian. I've heard of such things," said Apple
Newton, ignoring Chick-chick's absurd remark. "I think it would be fine
to have a phantom come purposely to get us started on the right track
for the treasure hunt. 'Hunt heap stone' was what he said. We shall have
to look for peculiar formations of stone."

"Maybe we'll find one that has a letter under it telling where to dig,"
eagerly suggested one of the younger ones.

"Likely thing," said another. "How long would a letter stand the
weather? There'll be marks cut in the stone if there's anything."

"Much you fellows know about Indian ways," boasted Matt Burton. "What
did those Indians know about our language. Indians talk by signs and
numbers. It will take a smart fellow to tell what it means when you find
your heap stone."

"Don't worry, fellows. When you find it hike back an' ask Matty. He'll
tell you."

Matty was saved from delivering his angry response, for just then "taps"
sounded. The scout master demanded prompt attention to all camp signals.
It was understood that after taps there was to be no noise, no
unnecessary conversation. All was to be quiet and orderly.

Mr. Newton would not hear of Glen pushing Jolly Bill back to the farm

"We have an empty tent with two cots and bedding too--left here by
members who were called home. You turn right in with us. We are glad to
have you--both of you. I think we'll make Glen a scout."

This invitation suited both of them splendidly. Spencer was pleased,
and, as for Glen, he had never experienced anything so gratifying in
his life. He was so excited that he could not sleep for some time, but
lay on his comfortable cot thinking of the many happenings of the last
few eventful days, and especially of the exciting story of the camp
fire, and the dramatic appearance of the Indian. He was glad that he was
here to help his good friend, Jolly Bill, but he felt that it would be
much more glorious to help him by finding bars of bright, glistening
bullion, than by looking for a lost lake.

Glen was still dreaming of Indians when the bugle call aroused him, and
he awakened to the glorious activities of a summer morning in a scout
camp. Two scouts were in the tent almost before he had hopped out of his
blankets and into his clothes.

"We came to help our friend, Mr. Spencer," explained Apple Newton.

"Want to wind up his machine an' put on some funny story records," added

"I can't tell funny stories before breakfast," objected Jolly Bill. "I'm
hungry enough to eat Indian."

"We have eggs for breakfast--fresh laid. We got 'em from the farmer

"You're sure they're fresh?" asked Spencer. "I'm very particular about
my eggs since I camped out a few years ago. One of our fellows wasn't
much good about cooking, but he said he'd get the eggs. He came back
pretty soon with a whole dozen. 'You're sure these are fresh?' I asked
him. 'Dead positive' said he. So I started to break one into my pan, and
about all there was that was still egg was the shell. 'What made you so
positive these eggs were fresh?' I asked that chap after I let him come
to a little. 'I could have sworn to it,' he said. 'I lifted the hen
right off the nest myself and the eggs were warm yet.'"

"Our eggs aren't laid by the dozen," said Apple, "and we know they're
fresh because the farmer said so. Come on now, if you're ready. The
scout master says we're to push your automobile right up to the end of
the table, next to him."

It was a jolly crowd at the table, and no less jolly was the squad
acting that morning as waiters. The scout master believed it good
discipline to teach every scout how to do the humblest duty as well as
how to do the greatest, so each scout took his turn at waiting on table.
Patrol leader Matt Burton was in charge of the waiter squad this
morning. He was the one exception who showed that it did not agree well
with every scout to do these menial tasks. He considered them beneath
his dignity and never would have condescended to them had there been a
way of escape. Since there was not, he had made the best of a bad job,
and as he was very bright and a natural leader he had managed to reach
the rank of Patrol Leader in spite of his disinclination to certain
matters of work.

"Bob said he had a special order for Mr. Spencer, Matt," said Apple,
stepping to his side after he had wheeled the cart up to the table.
"Tell him Mr. Spencer wants his eggs sure fresh and likes 'em soft."

"You can just carry Mr. Spencer's order to Black Bob yourself," said
Matt disgustedly. "I'm no waiter."

"You won't be if the scout master hears you," said Apple, his good
nature exhausted. "You'll be a traveler."

"He surely will," observed Chick-chick. "I'll take care of Mr. Spencer,
Apple. Leave him to me."

"It's more in your line," insinuated Matt. "I guess it's about the same
thing as waiting on your father's customers at his garage."

"An' it's proud I am to do it," retorted Chick-chick. "I do it whenever
they want anything I can handle, from gasoline to a new machine. Lem'me
sell you a new car, Matty. Lem'me sell you one that'll make your blue
blood bubble all over itself. Tell ye 'bout it jest as soon as I get
those eggs."

"We've just bought a new car," said Matt. "And I'd walk before I'd let
my folks buy one of you, anyway."

"I don't believe that fellow likes you," observed Glen, as he went up to
the cook shack with Chick-chick.

"He surely don't disgrace himself by too much show of affection," agreed
Chick-chick. "You musn't think it's because it's me, though. There's
on'y one person Matty really loves. He's real smart, Matty is. You
noticed he spoke so the men couldn't hear him."

Black Bob had Mr. Spencer's eggs all ready.

"These is for the ge'mman as told the stories last night," he announced.
"He sure is quality, if they ain't much to him."

"Give 'em to me, Bob," said Chick-chick. "I'm going to wait on Mr.

"You go away, you Henry Chicken," objected Black Bob. "I know all 'bout
yore tricks. Bear Patrol is waitin' table dis yere mohnin' an' you
ain't no Bear Patrol."

"Well, here's Goosey," exclaimed Chick-chick, grabbing the shoulder of a
small scout who had just appeared. "Goosey is in Bear Patrol, and he's a
friend of mine, ain't you, Goosey?"

"I surely am," declared the small scout. "Anything I can do for
Chick-chick I do."

"Hustle these eggs down to Mr. Spencer, Goosey, an' make it your
business to wait on him. Bob won't give me a thing."

"Not when you ain't on duty. Oh, I know you, Mr. Henry-chick," Bob

"Bob doesn't seem to trust you," said Glen. "Aren't you friendly?"

"Just best friends ever. Bob hasn't better friend 'n me in camp. I like
Bob 'n I love his cakes an' pies. 'Tain't my fault if he doesn't always
seem to reciprocate, is it, Bob?"

"What dat 'bout recipe fo cake? Nev' you min', Mister Henry-chick. I
knows you, I do."

Bob shook a fist as he spoke, but the chuckle in his voice and the laugh
in his eye were more apparent than the threat in his fist.

"Well, let's go back an' get ours while they're hot," said Chick-chick.
"Goosey'll wait on Mr. Spencer. Good boy, Goosey. Goin' do something
good for Goosey some day."

He led Glen back to the long table of smooth boards laid on trestles
which stood on the grassy level. The scouts were helping themselves from
great bowls filled with eggs cooked in the shell, or from large platters
on which eggs fried or poached were served, according to their
preference. Bob was a good cook and gave them their choice. Glen, with
an appetite that cared little for the fine points of preference, chose
impartially from every dish that reached him. An occasional glance
showed that the small scout known as Goosey was giving good attention to
Jolly Bill, and not only he but Apple Newton and other scouts were
endeavoring eagerly to anticipate his wants.

Glen was mentally putting the fellows in their proper places on the
shelves of his esteem. Apple Newton and the boy called Chick-chick he
warmed to most particularly, and they were given prominent places. He
liked young Goosey, as well as several other of the younger boys whose
names he had not learned. There was a big fellow called Tom Scoresby
that he believed that he would get along with pretty well. Just one
scout he found no room for anywhere. That was Matt Burton. He hated
him, he was quite sure. His unruly young heart only had one desire for
Matt. He wanted just one good chance to measure strength with him and
plant his hard, clenched fist right where that smile of insolence curled
the handsome lips.

Quite engrossed in his thoughts Glen did not notice that the boys around
him had risen from the long bench on which they sat. Suddenly he heard
Matt Burton's voice behind him.

"Get up," he said. "Can't you see that we want these places for the

Glen slowly and deliberately turned around in his seat and looked at his

"Who are you?" he asked, and his voice was so aggressive that every
scout in hearing distance turned to see what was up.

"You'll find out who I am," replied Matt angrily. "Get up when I tell

"I don't have to get up when you tell me, nor lie down when you tell me,
nor do anything when you tell me. Did you get that? What now?"

Matt was getting very angry but he did not entirely forget his position.

"If I call my patrol you'll get up mighty quick," he said. "I'd like to
know who let you come here, anyway."

"Never mind about your patrol and don't fuss about who let me come here.
You come and make me get up, all by yourself."

Matt looked at the brown skin and the strong tough features of the
obstinate boy a long minute, as if making up his mind.

"Oh, well," he said, "I suppose if you're a guest you must do as you

"Since you're so nice about it," said Glen, "the seat's yours. Do what
you want with it."

Glen knew in his heart that there would be a clash with Matt Burton if
he stayed long in that camp. He felt also that he had not come out of
this first brush with entire distinction. Matt had been in the wrong and
had shown that he was angry, yet he had a certain discipline which had
enabled him to control his temper, and the issue had ended in defeat for
the undisciplined waif who might well have been victorious had they come
to blows.



Strange to say, with the passing of the morning, Glen found himself
unhappy, though he should have been abundantly content. Strange, for
with all these boys to help, his tasks would be greatly lightened, and
to join in the fun of this crowd should be joy beyond compare. But Glen
did not want fun just now. There was something much more precious to
him, which he felt in danger of losing, and although he himself could
not have explained its substance, it was none the less real. It was the
trust and dependence of Will Spencer. For the first time in his life
Glen had been really trusted and really needed by some one. He had taken
up the burden like a man and rejoiced in it. Now he felt that his
opportunities would be dissipated among the crowd.

"What's the matter, Glen?" asked Spencer. "Why are you moping around
with a face like the reverse side of a frying-pan? You ought to be right
out with the bunch, egging 'em on."

"Oh, I guess no one has any use for me," said Glen disconsolately. "I
guess I might as well go back to the school."

"To the school! And leave me in the lurch?"

"You don't need me any more. You don't tell me anything."

"What haven't I told you, boy?"

"Well, you were telling Apple all about that Indian who came last night,
but you didn't tell me."

"Oh, nonsense, boy. You are peeved too easily. That Indian was just old
Joe Marrowfat, who had followed me up from the farm. Apple is romantic
and he wanted a string of stuff about the noble red man's noble
antecedents. I need you, all the time, to be the mainspring of this

"Tell me what I can do and I'm only too glad to get at it."

"Well, for one thing you must mix with the boys. Be jolly with 'em.
'Laugh and the world laughs with you.' That's my motto. That's the way I
get along. Someone must be around with these boys to keep 'em going, or
their hunt won't last long. Get them interested in finding the location
of the springs. To-day they are all looking for big stones because of
what Joe said. There's enough big stones around here to keep them busy.
Tell them the fellow who finds the treasure may get some gold but the
boy who finds a spring gets twenty dollars sure. Get them to survey the
Hollow and search for marks to show where the old stream used to run in.
You ought to be up on your toes every minute. I'm sorry you aren't a

"Perhaps I could be," suggested Glen.

"Why not? Get Apple to teach you the knots and the scout law, and I'll
teach you the rest. I'll speak to the scout master and see if they won't
initiate you to-night."

The remainder of the day Glen was too busy to mope. When the camp fire
came he was at hand as a candidate for tenderfoot initiation which the
scout master had agreed to give. Mr. Newton had ideas of his own about
initiation ceremonies. He believed in making them interesting and
impressive to candidate and scouts alike, and he devised a new ceremony
of initiation for special occasions.

This occasion was unusual, for since none but scouts came to camp,
initiations were not needed. It was also unusual in being conducted in
the open, which was necessary because the camp had no assembly tent. Mr.
Newton was glad of the diversion, for the day had been very sultry, a
storm threatened, and many of the scouts were afflicted with that
uneasy, depressed feeling which seems to be absorbed from the atmosphere
at such times.

"All scouts on tent duty," he announced after supper. "Rain threatens.
See that trenches are clear. Slacken tent ropes a little, especially
where they are new. See that nothing in the tents touches the walls.
Have your beds all ready to turn in. You will then all assemble at the
camp-fire for initiation ceremonies."

The camp had lanterns and one or two oil torches but Mr. Newton
preferred to go back to nature for his light at this ceremony. The night
was cool as the storm drew near, and the camp-fire was allowed to flare
up in a crackling blaze which spread its light over the wide open circle
and threw mysterious shadows among the big trees beyond.

Mr. Newton took his stand with his back to a massive elm at the edge of
the circle.

"The candidate may present himself," he announced; and Glen marched out
and stood before him, with much more of a feeling of solemnity than he
had felt on occasions when he had stood before persons of far greater

"Who desires to bear the lights which shall lighten the way of this
candidate as he enters the mysteries of scoutcraft?" called the scout

"We desire to bear the lights," came simultaneously from two of the
tallest scouts. They stepped to the fire, selected each a blazing torch
and ranged themselves under the tree.

"Who is sponsor for this candidate?" was the next question.

"I, First class scout Corliss Newton, am his sponsor," proclaimed Apple,
stepping forward, his pleasant eyes alight with earnest gravity.

"It is well. The sponsor may take his stand to the candidate's left. Who
desires to bear the scout law to this applicant."

Twelve scouts arose as one--the older scouts they were--those not likely
to be confused by bashfulness or to spoil the ceremony by their own

"Let the bearer administer article I. A scout is trustworthy!"

Forth strode a scout bigger than Glen. Laying his hand on Glen's lips,
he said: "No lies proceed from trustworthy lips, no deceit from
trustworthy tongue, he lives by the breath of honor and his lips are
sealed to all but words of truth."

"The bearer of article 2. A scout is loyal!"

This scout bore aloft the flag of the camp, which had been
requisitioned for the purpose. He placed the staff in Glen's hands as he
said: "Loyal to the flag and to all it represents. Loyal to all scouts
and all officials. Loyal to home, to parents and authorities, and loyal
to Almighty God."

The wind was swirling through the branches of the trees now and the few
stars which had shone were blotted out by the clouds, but the initiation

"The bearer of article 3. A scout is helpful!"

This bearer, coming forward, took Glen's hands and raised them up as he
recited: "These hands and the body they represent are pledged to lift up
righteousness and tear down iniquity. They will do at least one good
turn to somebody every day."

"The bearer of article 4. A scout is friendly!"

Glen was glad to see Chick-chick coming forward with a cheerful grin on
his face. He stood between Glen and Apple and around the shoulders of
each he placed an arm, while he and Apple shouted aloud: "All friends!
All brothers!" And immediately every scout rose to his feet and together
they echoed: "Brothers all!"

But the first rain drops were spatting among the leaves and Scout Master
Newton raised his hand.

"We must abbreviate our ceremony," he announced. "The remaining bearers
will repeat their sections of the scout law after me as I read. The
twelve will then form an inner circle around us, and all other scouts
will make strong our defenses with an outer circle as we give this
candidate the scout oath."

In their order the remaining eight advanced with their salutations:

A scout is courteous.

A scout is kind.

A scout is obedient.

A scout is cheerful.

A scout is thrifty.

A scout is brave.

A scout is clean.

A scout is reverent.

They formed the inner circle and around them all the scouts arose and
joined hands to form the outer guard. The lightning became more vivid in
its flashes and the mutterings of thunder changed to rumbling and
roaring as they stood there. The big drops of rain began to thicken but
they paid no heed.

"The candidate will hold up his right hand, palm to the front, thumb
resting on the nail of the little finger, and the other three fingers
upright and together, which constitutes the scout sign."

Glen stood at attention with his hand raised as directed.

"The candidate will now repeat after me the scout oath."

"'On my honor I will do my best:

"'To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the scout law;

"'To help other people at all times;

"'To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally

"Scout you are now admitted into our ranks as a tenderfoot, which is our
first step and one from which you may go on to acquire merit and honor.
We are brothers all. The skies may be heavy above us, the storms may
threaten, the thunder roar and the lightning flash but we extend to you
the cheer of scout fellowship and the welcome of scout comradeship. And
as you meet the inevitable storms of life we believe that your
remembrance of this law and oath will help you to weather them all

The rain was beginning to fall in earnest now.

"Dismiss troop!" called the scout master; and the boys, a second before
in impressive order, made a wild scramble for their tents. Glen ran to
the assistance of Will Spencer, who had been an interested spectator of
the ceremony, seated in his "billy-cart" at the edge of the circle, but
Mr. Newton waved him to his tent.

"I will look after this man," he declared. "He is my guest and I am rain

Glen turned into his blankets that night a Boy Scout of America. He
awoke to a sunny morning and discovered that he was still Glen Mason.
Almost the first thing, he was in trouble with his patrol leader, Matt
Burton. It is only fair to Glen to say that Burton's treatment was of a
character sure to antagonize a boy of Glen's nature. From the first
there had been a feeling of ill-will between them, a feeling that had
been manifest in looks and silent expressions as well as in one sharp
interchange of words. Now, to Glen's disgust, he found himself assigned
to Burton's patrol, and the very first work for which he was detailed
was that of camp cleaning.

Glen went at his detail with poor spirit; picking up old papers,
fragments, trash of every kind, a hateful work to him. Perhaps he would
have made open rebellion but for Apple Newton, who though not in the
same patrol was helping in the work.

"Get busy at it, Glen," Apple counseled. "It isn't a ten minute job if
you hustle. Beats washing dishes all to pieces. Every scout has to take
his turn. Get busy."

But, filled with the thought that Burton had put him to this work to
humiliate him, Glen did not carry through his task to great advantage.
He was glad that the morning swim came immediately after, and glad to be
able to make a cleaner dive and a longer swim than Burton, who was
himself among the best. Therein lay the trouble, Glen was a born leader,
and although his opportunities for leading had been few he was quick to
assert himself. Burton was also a leader and one who had been given
ample opportunity. Neither boy had yet learned that the first element in
leadership is the ability to serve; neither had learned that the
greatest leader is the one who counts no service too mean for his
personal attention.

When the treasure hunt began there were no further restrictions for the
morning, and Glen's spirit was rejoiced at Apple's invitation that he
bear him company. The sunny-faced, open-hearted boy won the love of
everyone, but in Glen Mason he had stirred a real worship.

"We'll have to call you something, Glen," he said. "Your name's all
right, but the boys are sure to name you over so we may as well do it
now. Let's ask Chick-chick. He's good at names."

"What's his real name?" asked Glen.

"His real name is Henry Henry. His father liked Henry so well for a
surname that he had him christened Henry, too. We began by calling him
Hen Hen, but that didn't go very well so we call him Chick-chick."

"I don't mind s'long as y' don't call me Biddy chick," explained
Chick-chick, who had just come up. "Now what kind o' Mason are
you--Stonemason, Brickmason or Mason Fruit Jar."

"Brick's the best," declared Apple. "Matches his hair, too. Let's call
him Brick."

"Right it is. Brick for Mason. Where ye goin' to find treasure?"

"You can come along, Chick. We're going to look for signs of
water-courses running into the Hollow."

"I won't come, then. I'm going with Goosey to look for a heap rock.
We're after gold, we are."

All the morning the two boys explored the Hollow. Many times they traced
deceptive depressions in the earth's surface which gave some intimation
of having served at some time as a waterway, but never was there any
reward for their efforts. At noon, hot and dusty, they made their way
back to the camp. A great group of excited boys stood there
gesticulating and shouting, and in the center of the group stood Matt

"What's the excitement?" asked Apple of the first boy they reached.

"Excitement isn't the word," he replied. "Matt Burton has found the



When they heard the remarkable news that Matt Burton had discovered the
treasure the curiosity of the two boys was beyond measure. They were
pushing their way eagerly toward the group to get the full news when a
running noose dropped from the overhanging limb of a great tree and
neatly entwined them. Their progress was checked.

"That's Chick-chick," said Apple, without looking up. "He's always
playing some kind of a trick. Let go your hold of that rope,

The joker dropped down from the branch almost on top of them.

"I was just fixing a swing when ye came 'long," he explained, in his
jerky fashion. "Too good a chance to miss, it was, and worked fine, it
did. Don't be in a hurry."

"You loosen this rope and let us go. We want to get the news."

"'Tain't s' important as you think. Gives the Great an' Only Matty a
chance t' spread himself. Come on to dinner; you'll hear all 'bout it."

Dinner was indeed ready and the boys were filling up the long table, for
Mr. Newton had decreed that no action should be taken on Matt's
discovery until after dinner.

When all was cleared away and the boys were ready to dismiss he made the
announcement: "Burton will now tell us of his discovery; the site he
selected, how he has worked and what he has found."

"Rah for the Great and Only," yelled Chick-chick, and, the designated
title being popularly known and approved, the "rah" was given before
Matt began to speak.

There was no embarrassment about Matt Burton as he rose to speak. He was
about fifteen years old, tall, straight and handsome. A mass of dark
brown hair with well-set eyes of the same shade and regular features
gave vigor to his head and face. He was of good family and had been
reared in a home of refinement and taught to feel at ease under all
circumstances. He accepted his nickname of "The Great and Only Matty"
with some complacency, as being not inappropriate, especially since his
pitching was the star feature of their baseball playing. A wise father
had sent him to the scouts to "get acquainted with himself" but so far
the process had not reached perfection. He began to talk with a smile of

"I know a lot about buried treasure from what I've read and heard tell
of," said he, "so I decided to work out my own plans. Chick-chick and
Goosey offered to come with me, but I had ideas of my own. I knew a few
things about how to look. I knew it was no good to look on top of the
ground--might as well look up in trees. Then I knew there's always a
false scent thrown out to put searchers off the track. I figured that
the false scent was probably the story of the lake. So instead of
choosing any place in the Hollow I looked around until I found a heap of
rock near the timber. And then I chose one hundred feet from the timber
line southeast of the Hollow. I knew that the heap of rock wouldn't be
the only sign--there's always a second sign given in a treasure hunt.
Usually, in all the books I've read, the second sign is a tree or some
tall object which casts a shadow at a certain hour of the day at just
the point where you ought to dig."

"What hour?" shouted a boy.

"I'm coming to that. I looked around for the rock heap and decided to
pace off a hundred feet. I got no results worth while until I tried it
due south. This time it brought me to an old stump of a very peculiar
appearance that might have been there a hundred years. It was about ten
feet high, and of course the length of its shadow was different at
different times of the day. The only guide I had was in the heap of
rock. There were four rocks in it. As there is no sun at four o'clock in
the morning it was a sure thing that I must choose four in the
afternoon. So I waited until four o'clock and at the exact spot where
the peculiar knobby head of that stump threw its shadow I commenced to

The boys were listening in strained silence. One of the younger ones
squeaked "Rah for Matty!" but drew no response.

"I dug until supper time," continued Matt. "It was hard work, but I made
a pretty good hole though I found nothing. Nobody had been around to
bother me. I just stuck up a couple of sticks at supper time and came
in. This morning I was late getting to work. Digging alone so hard
yesterday had taken off some of my appetite, and I didn't dream of what
I was going to find so I didn't hurry much. But I found the ground
turned up easier and I had hardly dug twenty minutes before my spade
struck something that gave out a metallic ring. I scraped away the dirt
until I could see a metal object like the lid of a box about fourteen by
eighteen inches. The ground all around it was hard and I could not get
it loose. I tried to get my fingers under it but couldn't do it. The
dinner call was sounded. I wouldn't have come only I was obliged to have
some help anyway, and I thought I'd better tell the scout master all
about it and have him see fair play."

"Which the scout master will proceed to do," added Mr. Newton. "We will
follow Matt to the scene of his explorations which we hope will turn out
to be the treasure, although one box fourteen by eighteen inches would
not hold a great deal of bullion. Still there may be other boxes. Who
were the boys who wanted to work with you, Matt?"

"Chick-chick and Goosey," replied Matt.

"Very well. You two boys may take a pick and a spade and help Matt get
his box out."

The boys did not respond willingly.

"We don't want to," said Chick-chick. "He didn't want us yesterday and
he won't want us to-day. Let Brick Mason and Apple do it."

"I don't like that spirit, Henry, but we'll excuse you. Corliss and Glen
will do the work."

"You don't seem very much excited over this find," said Glen to Spencer,
as he pushed him along in his billy-cart.

"I'd be more excited if they found a gushing spring, my boy. I don't
excite easily over buried gold."

"Well, we'll soon see. If I get hold of that pick I'll soon have that
box loose."

Matt Burton did not really relish Glen's aid, but he could offer no
valid objection. A few rapid and accurate strokes with the pick loosened
the hard earth, and Apple and Matt quickly spaded it out. As soon as a
grip could be obtained Matt seized the box. It certainly was heavy,
especially since he could not yet get a good grip on it. Apple lifted
one side and slowly but with great excitement they brought the
mysterious box from its hiding place.

A look of disgust swept the features of Matt Burton as he looked at his
treasure and read the white letters on the side of the box.

From the edge of the pit came a roar of laughter from Black Bob, the
cook, who had been eagerly watching the proceedings.

"Ah ben missin' that yere bread box since yis'day two days gone," he
shouted. "Dat ah is mah treasure. Bring her up yere!"

Glen, on his knees, had thrown open the lid of the box. As he saw its
contents to be damp earth, tightly tamped, his roar of laughter equaled
that of Black Bob.

"Wow!" he shouted. "Look at this. The treasure's name is Mud!"

Matt's look of disgust had changed to fiery anger.

"You're the one who put this trick up on me," he shouted. "You've been
rubbing me wrong ever since we let you in here from nowhere. Now I'm
going to pay you up!"

He made a wild lunge forward at Glen, and in a second the two were
locked in a rough and tumble conflict in the narrow confines of the pit.
But the scout master reached down from above and seized each by the
collar, and Apple valiantly pushed himself in between their belligerent

"Enough of that, boys," said Mr. Newton. "Climb out of that hole. Glen,
what have you to say to this charge."

But Glen was spared from making an answer, for Henry Henry stood forth
and spoke.

"He didn't do it, Mr. Newton. It was me," confessed Chick-chick, more
convincing than grammatical. "Goosey was in it with me. When Matt turned
us down yesterday we thought we'd give him something to dig for. Never
dreamed he'd make big blow 'bout it. Just s'posed be little joke all t'
himself. We came last night, dug down to hard pan; cut hole s' near
exact size o' bread box as we could, made it heavy with dirt and turned
it in upside down. Just joke, Mr. Newton."

And as "just a joke" it did not seem so very reprehensible, for a good
joke that does no harm is not out of place in a scout camp. Mr. Newton
had a private conversation with Henry Henry about his joke, but
Chick-chick never told the boys what he said. The scout master also had
a private conversation with Matt Burton and this also was kept a secret,
but though it may have done Matt good it did not improve his attitude
toward "Brick" Mason.

In most things Glen found the succeeding days marked by such happiness
as he had never before enjoyed. He was a boy among boys. No one asked
about his past. Scouts are taught to live in the present. It is not what
they have been, but what they are and are aiming to be that carries
weight. He found his word accepted as truth and so he made strong
efforts to make it true. He did not spend his days in perfect harmony.
The old disposition to have everything his own way still existed and
many an angry word flared up and many times he was near the fighting
line, but this had been so much a part of his every day living for so
many years that it troubled him but little. Even with Matt Burton he had
not come to blows, though Matt continued to assign to him disagreeable
tasks, so markedly indeed, that Mr. Newton announced that he would make
all assignments himself, henceforth. The treasure hunt proceeded with
more or less zest but neither real nor fancied treasure was discovered.
Nevertheless it supplied a new interest each day, and Glen
enthusiastically did his share in keeping the interest alive. Every part
of every day was in vivid contrast to the dull monotonous life he had
been living. And yet he was not satisfied, there remained an eager
longing for something, he knew not what; a great unsatisfied craving.

Glen was always a sound sleeper. He dreamed of the camp one night. The
tussle with Matt Burton had really come, at last. He seemed to do very
well at first but Matt had seized a pickax (the very one used in
unearthing the bread box) and was beating him about the head with it.
Fortunately he awoke before he was badly damaged. Spencer was reaching
over from his cot and tapping his face with his cane.

"Get up, Brick! Get up! Brick is a good name for you, my hard-baked
friend. Get up! This tent will be in the next county in five minutes.
Get up! You would sleep on, and come to no harm if we were carried
twenty miles, but being slightly crippled, I'd be sure to struggle and
get hurt. Get up!"

The wind was blowing furiously and the tent almost capsized. Glen was
out of bed in a flash, wide awake. He knew where to get a heavy hammer
and made short work of driving home the stakes and securing the flapping

"Not very clever of you to plant your tent stakes so the first strong
wind would blow them out of the ground," said Spencer.

"The wind didn't blow them out, and the strain of the ropes didn't pull
them out. I fixed those stakes just before I went to bed. Who do you
suppose yanked them up?"

"I never was good at riddles," replied Spencer. "Maybe it was Mr.

"Yes," said Glen, "or Apple! Just like 'em. Try another guess."

"No, I'm afraid I would say something that might excite you. Go to
sleep. Every one has troubles, but it's no good weeping about 'em.
'Laugh and the world laughs with you.'"

"I haven't any troubles and I can afford to laugh," said Glen. "The
day's beginning to break but I think I'll take a Sunday morning snooze."

And over in the county into which Will Spencer had predicted they would
be blown a man was just awaking from his snooze. He had slept all night
in an automobile, as he frequently did. The automobile was no ordinary
car. It had a driver's seat in front and a closed car behind. Bright
colored letters announced to the world that J. Jervice supplied the
public with a full line of novelties, including rugs, curtains, rare
laces and Jervice's Live Stock Condition Powders.

Mr. J. Jervice yawned and stretched, and rubbed his eyes.

"I think I'll get on to Buffalo Center to-day," he soliloquized. "The
boss didn't say to come until to-morrow an' the rest o' the gang won't
be there until night, anyway. That'll give me a chance to do a nice
little business at that Boy Scout Camp I hear they've got there. It's
Sunday but I reckon I can sell a few things. Ought to get rid of some
flags and knives and a little tinware."

It was nice that Glen could feel that he had no troubles, but perhaps he
did not know of the intentions of Mr. Jervice.



Sunday morning in camp. The fierce wind of the night had been succeeded
by a restful quiet; the sun shone bright in an atmosphere cooled and
freshened by the storm. Glen Mason both felt and saw a difference
throughout all the camp on this quiet morning; no one expected noise or
bustle; no one projected expeditions or sports; the peaceful rest of a
holy day marked the camp in its earliest hours.

Black Bob had cooked his eggs and bacon according to a special formula
which he announced as "extra for Sunday," and thereby did he make his
contribution to the hallowing of the day. After breakfast was the
regular time for announcement of the "order of the day" by the
scoutmaster, and for any special remarks, any complaints, any petitions
or suggestions.

"We are going to have a good day to-day, boys," said Mr. Newton. "We
have had a mighty fine week with our swimming and fishing and hikes, and
some of us, too, have found some 'treasure,' if not exactly what we
were searching for. This morning, after camp duties, every boy will find
a quiet spot apart from any disturbance and write a letter home. Tell
the folks how you feel, what you eat, what you do, how you sleep. Tell
them about the treasure hunt, tell them about last night's storm. I hope
the boy who got something special out of our 'near cyclone' last night
will tell his mother about it."

"Who was it?" came a chorus of voices.

"Don't bother about that," replied Mr. Newton. "Perhaps there was more
than one."

"I'm not 'shamed of it," piped up Chick-chick. "I'm it. Got Mr. Newton
out o' bed, I did, I was s' scared. Always have been scared 'bout
wind--born that way. But Mr. Newton says, 'D'ye know who walketh upon
the wings of the wind?' An' I said, 'Death'; an' he said, 'God! It's in
the hundred an' fourth Psalm.' S' then he said, 'You c'n stay in my tent
till the blow is over,' an' I said, 'No. I'll go back to me tent like
Christian. With God on the wings I'm safe.' An' as I went back saw Brick
Mason outside his tent swingin' hammer, an' I says, 'Ain't ye scared,
Brick?' an' he says, 'No. I ain't scared. I'm mad.' An' that's all is to
it, 'cept'n 'bout the feller I saw when I first went out."

"Now that's fine, boys," said Mr. Newton. "There's a double victory in
that. Don't slight your letters. Make them long and newsy. Remember
there will be Sunday School around the long table at ten o'clock. This
afternoon a man is coming from town who has been all around the world
and has seen the battles of great nations as a war correspondent. He
will speak at three o'clock. By special request we will hold our
camp-fire to-night at the summit of Buffalo Mound. Every scout will
carry an armful of firewood and his blankets, as a part of the plan is
to spend the night in a bivouac on mother earth. Now to your letters."

Glen sat looking out of his tent, just out of the glare of the sun.
Writing letters home was no novelty to him. At the school you were
supposed to do it at least once a month, and for a good letter you got
ten merits, but no boy ever wrote what he thought because your letters
were all read by the house officer. If he should write a letter home
to-day some reform school officer would be inquiring at the camp for him
day after to-morrow. But he would write some kind of a letter--it would
look queer if he did not, with all the other boys writing. He would
write just exactly what he thought, too, for once, and the mere fact
that the letter was never to be mailed need make no difference.

For once (he wrote) I am being treated about right. There is just one
chap here doesn't treat me right and his time's coming. But I don't hate
him as bad as it seems like I would, and I don't want to get in bad with
the scoutmaster so I don't know as I'll do much. The Scoutmaster's a
Christian and I've got more use for Christians than I ever had before.
Mr. Newton sure treats me fine. Apple's a Christian, he says I ought to
be, too, and he's surely a peach. Mr. Gates is a Christian and nobody
ever treated me better. The old Supe is a Christian and I guess he would
have treated me right if I'd let him. Jolly Bill treats me fine, too,
and I don't know why he isn't one but it makes you feel as if him being
such a good fellow certainly ought to be. He says laugh and the world
laughs with you but it wouldn't have done much good to tell Chick-chick
that last night and it wouldn't have made him brave enough to go back to
his tent and fight it out. Chick-chick talked right up this morning.
He's never said anything about being one before but he's always acted
like one--kind of on the square. That's the kind I'm going to be; I mean
I would be if ever I got to be one, but I suppose I'd have to go back to
the school and I don't know about that. But I'd like to feel like Apple
and him, so sure-like and so safe. I think you'd better try to get me a
job and maybe I can work under another name. Everybody has to work and
I'm going to hold up my end. I wouldn't like to be like that J. Jervice
man with his tricks--the man that tried to sell me. I'd tell you all
about him but it would take a long time and this letter ain't ever going
to be sent, anyway. I'm going to do better than send a letter. Just as
soon as it's safe I'm coming to see you and I'm going to fix it so I can
earn a living for you and you won't have to work any more. So that's all
for this time anyway.

His letter had not been written as easily as it reads, and all the
other boys had finished and were making a clamor for envelopes and
stamps, a disturbance in which Glen did not join since his letter was
never to be mailed.

He would have tried to escape the afternoon talk, but Will Spencer
claimed him.

"Push my old billy-cart right up alongside that speaker," he demanded.
"If he's done half they say he has I want to hear him."

So Glen was not only present but in a prominent place where he was bound
to hear all that the speaker had to say. And a very interesting
narrative it was, though we have no space in this story for anything but
the few very last words.

"And so it came about," said the war correspondent, "that after seeing
all sorts of soldiers in all manner of warfare, it fell to my lot to see
this one brave man holding up his banner against great hordes of
invaders in a crowded inland city of China, and he was single-handed.
And I was obliged to admit that he was the bravest soldier I had seen;
and since the appeal came to me so directly I volunteered. And thus it
happened that one who had been a reporter of scenes of carnage turned to
write the message of the Cross. And now I am going about enlisting
recruits for the army of righteousness and right glad I am that so many
of you are in that army, and right glad I shall be to talk with any of
you who need help."

Many of the boys came to say a word to the speaker as they dispersed.
Glen stood there, next to Spencer's cart. He would not have said a word
had he been threatened with torture, but he was greatly concerned and
both his hand and heart throbbed with the hope that some one would
respond to the eloquent plea that had stirred him so deeply. When the
boys all had gone the response came from the least expected place. It
was from Jolly Bill who had lain in his cart in thrilled interest.

"I've half a mind to do it, Glen," he whispered.

"Oh, you must, Bill. It's just the one thing you need," urged Glen, as
earnestly as though he were himself an exhorter.

"How is it?" asked Spencer, turning to the speaker. "You would hardly
care to enlist half a man, would you?"

"No," said the war correspondent. "We don't care to do things by halves,
but we're mighty glad to enlist a whole man like you. Whatever accident
you have suffered hasn't cut you off from being a man after God's own
heart. Shake hands on that."

"I've been finding it pretty empty to 'Laugh and the world laughs with
you,'" admitted Spencer. "It's a hollow laugh a great deal of the time.
It doesn't ring true. I want a peace that will help me to have cheer
regardless of whether the world laughs with me or at me. I've known it
for a long time but this last week especially I've felt the need of the
kind of religion Mr. Newton practices."

"It's the same kind that Apple has," ventured Glen.

"It is for you, too," said the war correspondent. "It is for every one
who will have it."

"You see, though, you don't know me," said Glen. "I've been a pretty
hard case."

"Tell us about it," came the invitation.

His mouth once opened Glen's story came rapidly, and in the glow of
confession he held nothing back, but his hearers were neither alienated
nor offended.

"There's only one thing about a boy like you," said the speaker. "It
isn't how bad you have been. You can't have been so bad but Jesus has
cleared your debt. The one thing is, are you through with it all, are
you willing to turn away from yourself and enlist under the banner of
the cross?"

Glen's face worked with emotion such as he had not felt in many years.

"I don't know what to do," he said, huskily. "I'm all up in the air. I'd
like to be a man like what you told about and like these people that
have been good to me lately. I'd do it even if I wouldn't like some of
the things I'd have to swallow. But I don't understand what I'd have to
do. I've never done anything of the kind."

"You're a good deal like the soldier enlisting, son. He doesn't
understand anything. All he knows is that he wants to enlist himself.
And that's all you need to know. Your commander will see to the rest.
You won't learn everything in a day. You'll make mistakes; you'll break
rules; you'll have to be disciplined. But that is all in the bargain.
The only question is will you enlist?"

And Glen enlisted!

The war correspondent was compelled to leave, but before doing so he
gave Glen much assurance on many subjects.

"About your school," he said. "I hesitate to advise you. I know your
Superintendent and will telephone to him to-morrow. Stay with Mr. Newton
until you hear from him."

The scoutmaster walked with his guest through the woods to his car.
They had scarcely left before the camp had a visitor in the person of
Mr. J. Jervice. The boys crowded around him with great interest, for
although obliged to leave his car he had brought with him many diverting
trifles, for Mr. J. Jervice had no objection to Sunday trade if
conducted on a cash basis.

Glen was still talking to Will Spencer. He was too much occupied with
his recent great experience to be easily diverted, and did not even see
his old friend Jervice. But Mr. J. Jervice having nothing of the kind to
occupy his attention was quick both to see and to speak. Matt Burton was
one of those who heard him speak.

"The reform school boy!" he cried.

"You say he has run away from the reform school?"

"He said so himself," asserted Mr. J. Jervice, "and don't forget that I
am the one who gets the reward."

"You may take him along with you back to where he came. The cheek of the
fellow! Come on, scouts, let's run him out. The scoutmaster isn't here
but I'm a patrol leader and I know what to do. Let's run him out."

"Who's that you're going to run out?" asked Glen, coming up, attracted
by the loud talking.

"I'm going to run you out, you cheat of a runaway from the reform
school. You are a common thief, for all we know. You may be any kind--"

Alas for Glen's discipline. Alas for his good resolves. Had he been
right in thinking that the service of Jesus was not for such as he? He
flew at Matt with the velocity and ferocity of a tiger. His strength was
that of a man, for he had worked hard at all kinds of manual labor. Two
or three quick, stinging blows and his passion came to a terrified end
as he saw Matt fall to the ground, white and unconscious.



Mr. Newton, returning to the camp he had left in such quiet peace, found
one boy white-faced and sober endeavoring to restore another who lay
prostrate on the ground, while some of the excited scouts were earnestly
trying to recall their first aid suggestions and others stood in anxious
contemplation. A pailful of cold water was being carried to the scene by
Chick-chick, but the victim of the fight was mercifully spared its
revivifying shock, for just as Mr. Newton came up he opened his eyes and
murmured, "Where am I?"

"All scouts are excused excepting Glen and Matt," announced Mr. Newton,
taking in the situation the more readily because of his previous
knowledge of Burton's baiting tendencies. "If there is to be any
fighting in this camp it will have to be done under my personal
supervision and according to my rules."

As the scouts strolled off to the timber Matt sat up and looked around

"He's an escaped reform school boy, Mr. Newton," he began at once.

"And I suppose you told him so?" asked Mr. Newton.

"I know I'm everything that's bad," said Glen, bitterly. "I told you it
was no good for me to enlist."

"Do you want to back out?" asked the scoutmaster keenly.

"I don't want to but I suppose I'll have to."

"It rests with you. Your past record has nothing to do with it and would
have nothing if it were black as night. Do you want to back out?"

"No, sir. And I'm sorry I got mad and hit Matt."

"That speech shows that you have enlisted, boy. Matt," said the
scoutmaster, turning to the boy who was much bewildered by the
conversation as he had been by the blow, "you hear Glen's apology. Now
it's your turn."

"But what I said is true," insisted Matt.

"And Glen admits it and has told me all about it. None the less you owe
him an apology for throwing it in his face, just as much as he owed you
one for putting his fist in your face."

"I don't apologize to anybody," said Matt, with an ugly frown. "I can go
home if you like."

"It shall be as Glen says," decided Mr. Newton.

"I don't have anything against you, Matt," said Glen, in as gentle a
tone as ever he used in his life. "I started in to be a Christian this
afternoon, and part of it is being decent like Apple and Mr. Newton."

"I've nothing to do with a reform school boy," said Matt, and he rose
unsteadily to his feet and walked moodily away.

"You're bound to have a lot of that, Glen," said Mr. Newton. "It's part
of your discipline. And one of the things you will find hardest to learn
will be to take your medicine and take it quietly."

Glen knew that. His new resolves had not changed his old impulses. If
any one flung a taunt at him his impulse would be to fling back a blow.
His determination would have to be just a little quicker than his
impulse. Meantime he found lots of pleasure in the companionship of
Apple and Chick-chick and several others. There was a new bond of
fellowship between them, a bond which Glen would have found it quite
impossible to state in words but which was none the less genuine and
fixed. This bond was to mean much in the next few days for they were to
be days of peril and adventure for Glen.

Glen's adventures grew out of his being discovered at camp by Mr. J.
Jervice. Mr. Jervice had withdrawn behind some bushes when he saw the
conflict beginning between Matt and Glen. Strange to say, any form of
conflict was repugnant to the body of J. Jervice although the soul of
him rejoiced in it. Let him be safely out of the way and he exulted in
scenes of violence, but most cautiously he avoided any close proximity.
He believed in playing safe.

When Jervice noted the vigor that Glen was able to put into his swinging
blows and then saw Matt stretched out on the ground, he felt very
certain that business called him in another direction. No telling upon
whom that wild boy might next turn his fury. So he withdrew deeper into
the bushes, and as he caught a view of Mr. Newton hurrying up he decided
on still more active measures, and scampered away as fast as his pack
and the undergrowth would let him.

Jervice was decidedly peeved with Glen. This escaped reform school boy,
who should be just the same to him as ten dollars in the bank, had made
for him nothing but trouble. J. J. seldom cherished grudges--it was
poor business, being bad for one's judgment. But if ever he held a
grudge it was against the person who hurt his pocket-book and as Jervice
now figured it Glen had worsted him at least twenty dollars' worth. The
items were: First, ten dollars which he should have secured as a reward;
second, five dollars which he had been obliged to pay as license fee;
third, five dollars he had expected to make on his sales at Camp

Twenty dollars is no slight loss to any one, and although J. Jervice did
not toil as hard for his money as most people he loved it much better.
He made his money in various ways, some of them not nearly so honest as
peddling. He had some friends who were engaged in a rather peculiar
business. They went to any place where they understood money had been
gathered together, and quietly took it away. They generally notified Mr.
Jervice where they would be, and he then came along with his car, loaded
the plunder behind a secret partition and carried it away at his

The business of J. Jervice in this particular locality, however, was
somewhat of a variation from the usual procedure. Some friends of Mr.
Jervice's friends had done business in this neighborhood before. They
had met with misfortune and now suffered confinement at the hands of
certain stern authorities who would not even allow them to go out long
enough to settle up the loose ends of their affairs. Not having a J.
Jervice in their service they had cached certain products of their toil
in a cave the secret of which had been disclosed to them by a dissolute
Indian. Shut up as they were their only recourse had been to commission
the capable man who happened to lead the Jervice gang to recover for
them the property for which they had risked their liberty.

This, therefore, had brought to Buffalo Center, first of all, a hard,
desperate man, who was the leader of the gang, then J. Jervice with his
autocar, and, shortly to follow, various other whose characters were
more widely known than commended.

Incidentally the leader had found that the little bank at Buffalo Center
had its safe loaded with the sum of ten thousand dollars, which had been
placed therein for the convenience of a certain wheat buyer in making
some deals. This being rather in the line of work in which he had been
most successful the leader had decided to relieve this congestion of
cash and had so notified Mr. Jervice as soon as they met.

Mr. J. Jervice was thinking these things over as he went back to his
car. He had stopped running now that he was well clear of the camp. He
was walking slowly as one who is studying some great problem. It was not
the problem of transportation. This was his especial job and he knew
what to do about it. But this boy--this boy who owed him twenty dollars!
He began to see how he could get his money's worth. A plan formed in his
mind for using him.

That night the friends of Mr. Jervice arrived in the neighborhood and
gathered without undue ostentation at his camping-place.

They fell into a very solemn conference and they said many things with
which we are not greatly concerned. But Mr. Jervice made some remarks
which were more than interesting, and showed that though slight in frame
and deficient in courage he was a mighty plotter.

"About that window you wanted me to get through," he said. "I can't get
through that place."

"Yes, you can," insisted a big man who seemed to be the leader. "What's
more, you're the only runt in the gang, an' you'll have to do it. Us big
men can't train down to a hundred an' fifty pounds to get through that

"Well, it ain't right for me to do it," objected Mr. Jervice. "It ain't
safe for me to be 'round the place, I tell you. I ain't very strong an'
I might break my neck."

"You'd never do it more'n once, Jervice, so don't let that worry you.
You got to do this 'cause nobody else can't git through."

"But I've got a better scheme."

"Spit it out, an' don't waste no time talkin' nonsense, neither."

"I've found a boy. He's strong an' active an' fairly big, but he ain't
so big he couldn't git through. He'd be just the one for it."

"What do we want with boys? How would we be squaring him?"

"He's the kind that wouldn't need much squaring. A little piece o' money
'd keep him quiet. He's jest run off f'm the reform school."

"You're dead sure about him?"

"I know how to make sure," said Mr. Jervice. "A reform school runaway is
just what we want."

In which conclusion Mr. Jervice showed that he was not as clever as



Morning mail was a great institution in camp. Two scouts, specially
detailed, brought it from the Buffalo Center post-office, in a U. S.
mail pouch. Mr. Newton opened and distributed it, and happy were the
fellows who received letters with which they could retreat to some
corner and feast themselves not only once, but sometimes twice and
thrice, while pleased smiles circled their countenances.

Because Glen expected none he was all the more surprised when a letter
was handed to him. It was a mysterious letter, indeed. The envelope was
mysterious, if a dirty and crumpled condition spelled mystery. The
writing and spelling were mysterious--most mysterious. Finally the
contents of the letter enjoined mystery.

"Say nuffin to noboddy burn this at once," it cautioned. "This is
important. Your forchoon is maid and you git part of a big tressure if
you do exackly as told. Don't say a word to noboddy but cum at ten
o'clock to the blazed oke wich is just south of your camp if you tell
anyboddy or bring anyboddy you wont get to no nuffin about it."

Glen's first impulse was to show the document to Jolly Bill. As Bill was
busy in conversation with Mr. Newton he had time to think it over. It
was something about the treasure, quite evidently. Very likely it was a
trick. Some one was trying to get a laugh on him. Very well. Glen was
not at all displeased. He would let them do their worst. It showed that
they had taken him in among them and were treating him exactly as one of
themselves. He was gratified. He would go along and see it through. If
they could make him bite, all right.

There was no difficulty in locating the blazed oak which stood close to
the camp. Glen had no watch, but he went early enough to be quite sure
of being there by ten o'clock. Then he waited and waited. He was about
to give it up as a hoax, when a man slipped quietly out of the woods and
advanced toward him. Glen fell into a position of defense as he saw that
it was his old enemy, Jervice.

"Now, don't go actin' up," begged Mr. Jervice. "I ain't goin' to do
nothin' only tell you how to git into a good thing. I'm the man as
wrote that letter."

"You are!" exclaimed Glen. "What do _you_ know about the treasure?"

"I know all about it," Jervice assured him confidentially. "I'm the only
feller that can help you git a slice. They's jest one question--are you
willin' to go in an' will you keep mum. I don't tell nothin' till you
tell me."

"Am I willing? Are you crazy? You bet I'm willing. Try me."

"Well, listen here then. I thought you'd be the feller. Who can I get as
is good an' strong an' yet not much over boys' size, thinks I. Then I
thinks of you. 'That reform school boy,' I says to myself. 'He's the
very feller. Likely he's done this kind of a job before.'"

"I've never had anything to do with treasure before, and I don't know
what you mean," said Glen. "Hurry up and tell about it. I want to be
back at camp for the swim at eleven o'clock."

"Come over to my car," invited the artful Jervice. "It ain't very far
an' we won't be in no danger of being interrupted."

"How's that boy you hit?" asked the peddler as they journeyed. "That was
a awful crack you give him."

"He's all right and able to be about," Glen assured him. "I'm sorry I
hit him."

Neither Glen nor Jervice knew that Matt was not only able to be about
but was at that moment within ten feet of them, being, in fact, just
that distance above their heads in a tree which seemed to him to offer
such facilities as wild bees might desire in choosing a home. He kept
very quiet in his "honey tree" and looked down on them with contempt for

"Up to some tricks," he muttered to himself.

The J. Jervice autowagon was not so very far away, but the two were well
out of range of Matt's vision before they reached it.

"Now, to begin with," said J. Jervice. "Are you one o' them scouts or
ain't you?"

"I am," replied Glen. "I'm a tenderfoot."

"Tenderfoot, eh! Reckon you ain't so tender. Well, why don't ye wear one
o' them uniforms, so's to make ye look like one?"

"I haven't any uniform, yet. Perhaps I could borrow one. What's that got
to do with a treasure hunt?"

"It's got a whole lot to do with it. People knows that boys wearing them
uniforms is straight, an' we want you to look straight as a string."

"I'm going to get one as soon as I can," Glen assured him. "I want to
look straight--that is part of the oath, 'physically strong, mentally
awake and morally straight.'"

"I don't know nothink about no oaths like that," objected Mr. Jervice,
in a dubious tone which indicated that he might know more about other
varieties. "We don't care about yer being so straight--jest so ye look

"Well, hurry up and tell about the treasure," urged Glen. "Remember I
want to be back by eleven o'clock. You're awfully slow."

"I'm comin' to that. Remember this now--you mustn't never tell nobody
nothink about it."

"What do you mean--never tell anybody?" asked Glen. "I guess we know as
much about it as you do."

"_You_ know about it!" Mr. Jervice seemed incredulous. "What do you know
about it?"

"Well, we know what Mr. Spencer told us the other night," insisted Glen.

"What was that?" asked Mr. Jervice cautiously. "Sit down here an' tell
me about it."

Glen sat down on the back step of the car and told the story of the lost
treasure as he remembered it.

"So that's the treasure story, is it?" came a deep voice from the side
of the car. There stepped into view a man whom Glen had not seen before.
He was evidently associated with Mr. Jervice, but he did not in the
least resemble him, for instead of being a cringy weakling, he was big
and strong and hard.

"That's the story as Mr. Spencer told it to us," replied Glen.

"Say, that's mighty interesting to me," said the man. "Happened right
around this neighborhood, too? I'll bet them Indians put that treasure
in a cave an' hain't never done nothing about it since 'cause they
couldn't sell bullion without giving themselves away."

"I suppose they'd find it hard to sell," said Glen.

"You bet they'd find it hard to sell. They'd just been obliged to leave
it in the cave. Bet it's the same cave we're lookin' for. You know any
caves around here, boy?"

"No, sir," replied Glen. "I haven't seen a cave in this country."

"You know something about the country?"

"A little bit," Glen cautiously admitted. "I've only been here a few

"Get that chart, Jervice, an' we'll see what he reckernises," ordered
the leader.

Mr. J. Jervice offered some protest and the two held a whispered
conversation of which Glen was evidently the subject.

"Oh, shut up," exclaimed the big man, at last. "I can take care of the
kid all right. You git the chart."

Mr. Jervice thereupon dived into the car and soon returned with a rough
map which he opened out before the leader.

"Lookahere, boy, look at this," commanded the man. "This remind ye of
any place around your camp?"

Glen looked at the chart and saw many things which had become familiar
to his eyes in the last few days. There was an elevation that was
undoubtedly Buffalo Mound, certain wavy lines that depicted a stream
down its west side could scarcely mean anything but Buffalo Creek. A big
star was quite conspicuous midway along the course of the stream and
Glen was curiously examining words which he made out to be "Deep
Springs" and "Twin Elms" when Mr. Jervice put his thumb over the spot.

"Never mind 'bout readin' that too close," objected Mr. Jervice, "what
we want to know is did you ever see a place like that?"

"I think I have," admitted Glen.

"Don't you know ye have?" insisted the big man in a harsh voice. "Ain't
that the place where yer camp is?"

"It looks something like it," said Glen. "It's open country, open to
everybody. Why don't you go and see?"

"There's reasons, boy. Some on 'em you wouldn't understand. We don't
mind telling you some of the trouble. Did ye know that all o' that
treasure was claimed by the heirs?"

"Whose heirs?" asked Glen.

"Heirs of the freighters as the Indians took it away from. Did you know
that a lot o' that bullion had been got out and was held in the bank
here at Buffalo Center?"

"Mr. Spencer said nothing about it," replied Glen.

"Because he don't know nothink 'bout it," said J. Jervice. "We know
because we represent the heirs. Now if you want to help us, your share
will be a hundred dollars; but, remember, you say nothink to nobuddy."

"I won't say anything," Glen promised, rashly.

"If you do you'll be in as bad as anybuddy, so yer better not. If yer
goin' to help, fust thing is to go back to camp an' git one o' them
suits like they call scout suits."

"I reckon I can borrow one," said Glen.

"Then ye'll go down to Buffalo Center an' look out for the Bank. Walk
right in as if ye owned it, jest like a reg'lar boy scout might do."

"I can do that," agreed Glen. "But what's that got to do with it?"

"It's got a plenty. When nobuddy ain't lookin' much you take a good look
at a little winder that's clear in the back. You'll see it ain't got no
bars over it like the other winders. It's jest 'bout big enough to let a
boy through."

"Well?" asked Glen, beginning to feel that it wasn't well at all, and
that this plan Mr. Jervice was unfolding had to do with a very different
treasure than he had supposed.

"Jest imagine you've been dropped through that winder an' landed on the
floor. You've got to go f'm there to the front an' unbolt the door. We
can handle the lock all right but they got old fashioned bolts inside.
So just wait aroun' an' figure how you'd git acrost the room without
knockin' nothink over, an' look particular at the fastenings on that
front door so you'll--"

"Stop right there," interrupted Glen. "I won't do anything of the kind."

"What's the matter of you, backin' out thaterway?" exclaimed Mr.
Jervice. "Ain't I explained to you that the bank's got our bullion."

"I'm not that green," retorted Glen. "You want to rob the bank. I'm
through with you."

"Hold on, boy!" The strong hand of the big leader closed over his
shoulder. "Not yet you ain't. We can't let you go off thinkin' that way
about us."

Glen wriggled around until he could look into the face of the man who
held him. His spirits dropped. It was no weak, trifling face such as J.
Jervice exhibited. A hard, rough look--a cruel, remorseless look--a
mean, ugly look--all these things he read in that face.

"Mebbe ye'll know me when ye see me agen," said the man.

Glen made no reply.

"I ain't figurin' on you seein' much more o' me, though, nor any of us.
D'ye know what I'm goin' to do with you?"

"Send me back to the reform school?" guessed Glen, wishing from the
bottom of his heart that he might get off so easily.

The man laughed as if at an excellent joke.

"You're funny, boy--positive funny, you are. Sendin' you to the
penitentiary would be easy along o' what I'm goin' to do to you."

"I've never hurt you," cried Glen. "Let me go."

"It ain't safe, boy. They's jest one way you c'n make it safe. Come in
along of us an' do what we do. You wouldn't be a reform school runaway
if you hadn't never been up to nothink. This'll be easy for you."

It was a temptation that would have tried boys of firmer principle than
Glen. This man might do something awful to him if he resisted. He was on
the point of yielding--and then came the vision of Matt Burton, white
and unconscious, and the recollection of his agony as he thought that he
had murdered Matt and lost his first chance to walk straight. Was it
better to choose one evil than another?

"Do what you want to," he said bravely, to the big man. "I'm going to be
a true scout, if you--if you kill me for it."

There was murder in the man's appearance, evidently enough, for J.
Jervice eagerly protested. "You don't want to do no murder, now. Murder
means hangin'!"

"Shut up!" commanded the leader. "Look what ye got us into. What can we
do with him?"

"We'll have to hide him till we git away," said Jervice.

[Illustration: "Brave Man!" sneered the leader. "Get me a little rope
an' I'll do him up scientific." Page 131]

"No good trying to hide him round here. Them scouts will be missin' him
when he don't get to his meals an' swarm all over here. You run over to
the city--it's only twenty-four miles. You ought to be back easy by
night. You know who to leave him with."

"He's a desperate hard boy to manage," complained J. Jervice with some
recollection of previous dealings. "I'm afeared one man can't handle

The leader laughed significantly.

"One _man_ could," he declared. "But that ain't saying the kid wouldn't
be too much for you."

"Tie him up," urged Mr. Jervice. "I can handle him when he's tied."

"Brave man!" sneered the leader. "Get me a little rope an' I'll do him
up scientific."

He was as good as his word. When his scientific job was finished the
only thing Glen could do without restraint was to perspire. He could
make a few muffled noises, but no intelligible sound could he utter.

"Now chuck him inside the car, please," begged Mr. Jervice. "He'll be
quiet now."

"Quiet enough," said the leader. "But hustle your car out of here and
get him twenty miles away as quick as you can. We don't want no scouts
trackin' around while he's here."

Glen's spirits took another slump. It was bad enough to be captured, but
his faith had been great in the scouts' deliverance. Following him
twenty or thirty miles was another thing.



Matt's presence in the tree beneath which Glen walked with J. Jervice
was neither accident nor coincidence. He had business there--business
which he considered important, which he did not wish, to share either
with J. Jervice or Glen Mason or any other person. At least he did not
wish to share it right at that moment; later on would be another story.

Matt was making a bee tree. Perhaps you did not know that bee trees
could be made, nor how to make them. Matt himself was not very clear on
either of these heads. He was experimenting, and back of his experiment
was a desire to get even with Chick-chick.

Henry Henry, commonly called Chick-chick, did not desire to shine as a
great athlete, sport leader, a water witch, or in any of the other
specialties in which Matt reveled, but he did pretend to know a little
something about beetles, bugs, butterflies and bees. He had long
cherished an ambition to find a "bee tree." At last night's camp fire
he had announced his positive belief, based on observations of the day,
that such a tree was somewhere in the vicinity of the blazed oak. He had
watched the bees until dark without definitely locating his tree but he
had not given up.

Matt decided that it would be a great pity to let all Chick-chick's
efforts go for nothing. He proposed to help find such a tree, or to put
Chick-chick in the way of it so that he would be bound to find it. He
wanted the find to be public, and the interest in it to be so popular
that all thought of buried treasure--especially treasure buried in a
bread-box--would be obliterated forever from the minds of those in camp.

Matt had gone to some little trouble in his fixing. He had neatly
lettered a sign: "Wild honey. Prepared by the Honey Bees for
Chick-chick." This he stuck into the bottom of the hollow limb, only an
end protruding. Then he put in a good chunk of honeycomb, begged from
Bob. From a small jar he then released some half dozen bees which he had
allowed himself to borrow from Mr. Ryder's hives. His supposition was
that these bees would fill up and fly back to the hives. Soon they would
return bringing their mates with them. In a short time a steady stream
of bees would be passing in and out of that hollow limb, which would be
just the time for Chick-chick to make his proud discovery and announce

After Matt had fixed the tree to his satisfaction his chief trouble was
to lead Chick-chick to make the discovery in a perfectly natural manner.
The best opportunity came as they went back to camp after the morning
swim. Chick-chick was always a wanderer, likely at any moment to dart
off in sudden pursuit of something. This morning it was a butterfly, and
to Matt's delight he ran in the direction of the loaded tree. The crowd
joined in the pursuit. They were within a short distance of Matt's tree
before they gave it up.

"How about that bee tree you were going to get, Chick-chick?" suggested
Matt. "Round here somewhere, isn't it?"

"Why not?" asked Chick-chick. "Why not. Why ain't this good place as any
for bee make her happy cupboard?"

"Show it to us, Chick-chick. You're hiding it. We know what you are
trying to do. You want to keep all that honey for yourself."

"Chick-chick wants all the honey for himself," chimed the chorus. "Lead
us to your bee tree, Chick-chick. Don't be selfish."

"A'right, boys. There's bee tree in these woods. I don't want
dinner--want bee tree. All who feel just so an' similar follow me. Here
flies honey-bee right now. Watch her!"

And the bee sailed right to Matt's tree.

"Oh, look at the bees buzzing around that hole. Let me get at it," cried
an excited scout.

"Not too familiar," warned Chick-chick. "Bees have feelin's. D'ye never
hear the piece:

        "How doth the little honey bee
        In self defense excel.
    She gives her life for one sharp sting
        Yet hath she spent it well."

"Leave it to the expert, fellows," cried Matt. "Let him get at it. Make
way for the sum of all knowledge."

"It's me he means," modestly admitted Chick-chick. "He wants me to
tackle this peculiar tree. Peculiar tree an' peculiar bees!"

"Why peculiar?"

"They've done changed theirselves since I saw 'em yes'day. To-day
they're Italians--the nicest kind of tame bees we have. Yes'day they was
wild, black Germans--nothing like this."

"What changed 'em?"

"Jes' naturally smart, reckon. See, they scratched the bark gettin' up
tree, too. Here's place one of 'em rested number nine shoe an' cut bark
through. Most remarkable honey bees ever heard of."

"Why don't you go up an' find out about 'em?"

"Answer me this botanical riddle first. What's difference between tree
and a plant?"

"We give it up."

"You too, Matt?"

"Sure I give it up. What is it."

"Well, Matty, Great an' Only; in this case ain't no difference. This is
tree an' plant too. 'Tain't a bee tree but it's bee plant, see. Watch
the bees. Ought to be comin' in loaded an' goin' away light. But they
ain't--they're doing just totherwise. Somebody's put some stuff up
there. Who d'ye reckon?"

But Matt was already stealing away.

"Let him go," directed Chick-chick. "Bees are all buzzing 'stung' they
are. But no stinger in me."

After that, no one cared further what the tree held. They rushed back to
camp, for the dinner hour was upon them and their appetites were brisk
from their swim.

Dinner was almost ended when Chick-chick, who was acting as a waiter,
was called to the end of the table where the scoutmaster sat with Will

"Mr. Spencer is wondering about Glen Mason," said Mr. Newton. "He hasn't
come in, yet, for dinner. Was he at the swim?"

"No, sir. I haven't seen Brick since morning."

The scoutmaster rose to his feet.

"Mason has not appeared at dinner. Has any one seen him since ten

There was no answer; the boys waited in silence. At last Chick-chick
held out a crumpled sheet of paper.

"I haven't seen him, but here's what found near tree where Matt thought
he'd found bee tree," he explained.

It was the note from J. Jervice. Mr. Newton read it in silence.

"I don't know who could have written such a note," he remarked, handing
it to Jolly Bill.

Then Matt Burton found his voice.

"I was in the neighborhood where the note was dropped this morning and I
saw Mason in company with the very disreputable peddler fellow who came
here Sunday. They seemed very intimate and were going off together."

"What do you mean by going off together?"

"I mean they were just walking along through the woods like they'd
always known each other and were planning something. The thought came
to me that they might be accomplices and the peddler had sent the boy
into our camp just to work something up."

"He sure did it," volunteered Chick-chick.

"Something up and something down," suggested an irresponsible listener.

"That's enough, boys." Mr. Newton brought them sharply to order. "Burton
has no right to such a guess nor you to such remarks. They don't make
for harmony. They aren't helpful. You may all go now, except the patrol
leaders and assistants and the signal corps."

When the little group had collected Mr. Newton continued his remarks.

"Glen Mason is a scout--a member of this troop--and we are responsible
for him in more ways than one. Mr. Spencer and I know enough about him
to be sure that there is no reason why he should go away with the
peddler excepting under misrepresentation. Perhaps nothing out of the
way has happened, but we have just a suspicion that Jervice is making an
effort to get Glen into his hands for a reward which he thinks he will

"He'll have a sweet time holding him in his hands after he gets him,"
interrupted Jolly Bill.

"Unless he has help," corrected Mr. Newton. "And this is not
improbable. Because of this I want the scouts to divide into groups of
four and explore the territory I lay out. Each patrol leader and each
assistant will take three boys. Signal and make for headquarters at once
if you find anything. If there is any need of a rescue don't attempt it
without me. Henry may start at the place where he found the note."

Thus it happened that a short time later, Chick-chick, Goosey and two
other scouts were making a careful search around the bee tree.

"Everything's trampled flat around here. That crowd this morning did
it," announced Chick-chick. "Every fellow spread out ten yards to his

It was Goosey who found the trail.

"Here it is," he cried. "It's Brick's trail all right. Mr. Spencer said
to look for marks of heel plate on the right shoe and here it is. There
was somebody with him."

The ground being soft and damp in spots there was no difficulty in
following the trail. It led them to an open glen which showed a recent
camp fire and the travel of many feet. Leading off toward the road were
the broad depressions made by the tires of an automobile.

"My find, now," cried Chick-chick. "Here's where we do some real fine
work, an' we can do it on the run, we can. See the tracks. What are

"Automobile tracks," yelled the squad.

"What kind of a tire made 'em?"

There was no enthusiastic shout this time.

"An automobile tire," ventured Goosey.

"Jes' so, Goosey. Jes' so! It was rubber one, too, why don't you say?
Good, safe guess--rubber."

"All right, Chick-chick. Be as funny as you want. If my father ran a
garage I reckon I'd know something about tires, too."

"'Scuse me! You certainly right, Goosey. Who ought know automobile tires
if not me. What I want you see is these tires can be followed anywhere
'cause they're non-skid with that peculiar bar formation. They'll show
up on road so we can follow on dead run, we can."

"How do you know we want to follow? What makes you suppose Mason has
gone in the car? Maybe we'll find his tracks going on away from here."

"Bright thought, Goosey. Ev'body look for tracks leading 'way from

They searched industriously but in vain.

"No good," decided Chick-chick. "Got old Brick in their wagon, all
right, all right. We must go after him, we must."

"Mr. Newton said not to attempt any rescue."

"We ain't was going to. Back to headquarters an' report an' me for my
motor-bike. Mr. Newton mebbe can get a car in Buffalo Center an' mebbe
he can't; but no heavy old buzz-wagon can get where my motor-bike can't
catch 'em."

Mr. Newton agreed to Chick-chick's plan of chase rather more readily
than he had expected.

"It's perhaps as good a thing as we can do," he asserted, discussing the
plan with Will Spencer. "I have a good many of the younger scouts in my
especial care and cannot afford to leave camp on a wild goose chase."

"Motor-bike carries two," suggested Chick-chick. "Apple go with me?"

"Yes. You and Corliss may go. Don't do anything foolish. If you overtake
the car get the peddler to stop. If Glen is a captive use your coolest
judgment about interfering. The man may be armed and it would be far
better to push on to the nearest town and get help than to risk a
bullet. Of course, if Glen should be going of his own wish you must just
come back and tell me."

"No fear of that," said Spencer.

"What shall we do if he isn't to be seen and the peddler won't let us
look inside?" asked Apple.

"A scout's judgment and ingenuity ought to be worth something in such a
case," replied Mr. Newton. "I prefer not to instruct you. I'm not
sending you two big fellows out as messenger boys but as scouts. Use all
the knowledge and courage and skill that you have, but don't take
unnecessary risks."



The boys felt the importance of their commission as they rode away from
the camp on the motorcycle. They had no difficulty picking up the track
of the autocar. It ran directly to the village and on through.

"Let's find out what the old car looks like," suggested Apple. "Maybe,
too, they can tell us just how long ago it passed."

There was no difficulty in getting a description of the car--one
enthusiastic person even went so far as to detail all the various
articles advertised by J. Jervice for sale.

"How many people were riding?" asked Apple.

"A little man at the steering wheel and a big fellow perched up next to

"Didn't you see a boy on it?"

"No boy anywhere unless he was inside. Of course we couldn't tell about
inside. It's jest like a wagon in a circus parade--nice paint on the
outside an' the inside left to yore 'magination."

"Two men on the wagon--one a big fellow!" exclaimed Apple, as they left
the fount of information. "We'll have to be pretty careful what we do."

"Sure will," agreed Chick-chick. "They got over an hour's start, so
we'll have to go some--Hello, have they been stopping here?"

"Looks like it. There's marks that show a man got off the car."

"The big man," said Chick-chick. "Look where the tracks are headed,
Apple. He's gone back to the village. Didn't get back on car at all.
Good for us."

Chick-chick had correctly guessed. After J. Jervice and his car were
safely through the village the big man had alighted.

"I'm goin' back to lie aroun' an' meet the other fellows," he said to
Jervice. "You beat it along with your car. You can stop an' do a little
tradin' when ye get to the next county. That'll prove you wasn't
anywheer around if anythink should happen to-night. But be sure you git
rid of the kid an' start back so's to git here by midnight."

Apple and Chick-chick took up the trail with renewed confidence now that
they felt they had only Jervice to reckon with. They had seen him at
the scout camp last Sunday and had no great respect for his dimensions
or prowess.

It was late in the afternoon when first they saw the peddler's car in
the road ahead.

"Let's trail along kind o' slow and watch him awhile," suggested Apple.
"Maybe he'll be stopping somewhere."

As it happened this guess was well founded. Mr. J. Jervice had two
reasons for stopping. One was that he wanted himself to be seen a good,
long distance away from the bank, so that he could prove that he was far
distant from that region if any robbery occurred. The other was a
natural cupidity which sorely regretted the necessity of hurriedly
passing prosperous farm houses where perfectly good money was all ready
to exchange for his wares.

A mile further on a splendid house came into view. Everything about it
spelled prosperity--its barns, and silos and windmills and fences all
showed that the residents believed in having what they needed and had
money to spend on their needs. The bait was irresistible. Mr. Jervice
stopped his car at the side of the road, clambered down from his seat
and went to lift the bars from the rear door.

Two boys on a motorcycle ditched their wheel a hundred yards away and
crept cautiously up.

"He's going to the house to try to sell something," whispered Apple. "We
must keep him from locking those back doors so we can look inside."

"We sure will," vowed Chick-chick.

Crouching in the bushes at the side of the road their pulses throbbed in
great excitement as they observed that the peddler addressed some one
inside the car. His tone was low so they did not catch the words, but
they heard a mumble and saw his cruel laugh.

"We'll teach him to laugh," whispered Chick-chick.

"But supposing he shuts and locks that rear door before he goes up to
the house."

"That's up to us. We'll watch him. If he locks it we must catch him as
he goes through that orchard and get the key away."

They watched in great anxiety. Mr. Jervice closed the rear doors of his
van and put the heavy bars in their slots, but, secure in the isolation
of his surroundings, he did not apply the padlock. Wherein, Mr. Jervice
committed a grievous error.

Scarcely was he concealed within the orchard than the two scouts rushed
to the car, lifted the bar and swung back the door. There lay their new
comrade, helplessly trussed and gagged, faint and weary with the close
confinement, almost ready to collapse.

"Water!" he gasped, as Apple took the gag from his mouth. "Get me a

Apple was able to supply him from his canteen, and even as he held it to
the parched lips, Chick-chick was slashing the cords that had been drawn
needlessly tight.

"I think I can manage this little old machine, I can," announced
Chick-chick. "Apple, you can run my bike. Go back and get it."

"Rub my wrists where the cords cut, while he's gone," Glen begged. "That
fellow that tied me up--he's a thief, that's what he is. He pulled 'em
tighter just to see me wince."

He was too cramped to stand on his feet so Chick-chick kneeled down at
his side to rub some circulation into his wrists and ankles. Suddenly a
great noise of running was heard. Chick-chick looked out through the
crack of the door.

"It's the peddler," he declared. "He's running like a bull was chasing
him, he is. He's headed straight for the car."

"We'll give him a surprise," said Glen. "Probably he's run on to
somebody who knows that he's a thief and they're after him. I'll just
lie the way I was and you stand where the door will hide you."

Glen missed his guess in one important trifle. J. Jervice did not wait
to be surprised. He was in such terror that he waited for nothing. He
threw a pack in at the door, slammed it, dropped the bar in place with
the incredible swiftness of long practice and in less than a minute had
his motor cranked and the car in motion.

Coming up on the motorcycle a minute later Apple saw the car
disappearing around a turn in the road, and wildly chasing it a puffing,
panting old man, brandishing a heavy club.

The positions of the scouts were changed for the better, but they yet
were a long distance from freedom. Instead of Glen tied and gagged in
the car with Chick-chick and Apple following on the motorcycle, Apple
now was following alone, while, imprisoned in the car, were both Glen
and Chick-chick with the fortunate difference that the gag and bonds
were removed.

"We're shut in," whispered Chick-chick. "Pretty mess I made of rescue, I

"No mess at all," said Glen. "I'm free now and ready for anything, or
shall be when I get some circulation in my feet and hands. Can't move
till then, anyway. What d'ye s'pose Apple's doing?"

"Following us along, Apple is, you bet. When he gets a chance he'll help
us out, he will. Say, what's loose board here?"

"I don't know," replied Glen. "It's got a ring in it like it might be
intended to be lifted up."

"Bet I know," said Chick-chick. "I reckon the transmission case is just
below here, an' this is fixed to lift out so you can see transmission
without crawling underneath."

"It wouldn't make a big enough hole to let us out, would it?" asked

"No, it wouldn't. But if I can get to that transmission I can stop
car--won't run little bit."

"Could you start it again?"

"Depend on what I did to gears."

"Let's try it."

The board came up easily. Four bolts held the lid of the transmission
case but were readily removed with Chick-chick's pocket wrench.

"Now we'll pack in something soft. Clog up the gears without breaking

"What good will that do--except make him mad."

"Help us out--it will. He isn't enough mechanic to find out why can't
run. Off he goes town after help. Leaves us here do as we please. We
know where trouble is. Fix it. Off we go."

There was plenty of soft material to feed into the transmission case.
The car pulled unsteadily and stopped. The boys cautiously replaced the
board in the floor and awaited developments. They could hear J. Jervice
tinkering around, examining brakes and wheels and everything but the

"Hey, you!" he called after a few minutes. "You inside there! D'ye hear

Then as it probably occurred to him that he could expect no great
volubility from a gagged prisoner he continued:

"I've broke down an' I'm goin' to git help. When I bring a mechanic back
don't ye try makin' no racket or it'll be the worse for ye."

The first positive assurance that he had gone was when Apple came up on
the motorcycle, lifted the bar and opened the doors. It did not take
them long to scramble out.

The world looked very beautiful to the eyes of Glen Mason after his
hours of real peril and imprisonment. It was fine to be able once more
to stretch out and shake loose every little muscle, to be able to draw
in a long breath, just as deep as one wanted, free from the muffling of
a foul mouth gag. The world was a good old place in which to live and
surely Glen would henceforth try to live in it in an appreciable manner.

"Look here, fellows," said Chick-chick. "I know all about this old
wagon. I can make it go ramblin' right along; handle it so it's
perfectly tame an' gentle--take the bit nice an' stand 'thout hitchin'.
What d 'ye say? Do we make the horsey go for Mr. Jervice?"

"You mean run away with it?" asked Apple. "That wouldn't be right, would

"You don't know much 'bout this gang, Apple. Brick's been telling me.
He's found out about 'em, Brick has. Regular band o' thieves, they are."

"Thieves!" exclaimed Apple. "No wonder they acted mean."

"No wonder. Wonder is they did no worse, it is. They think they're going
rob Buffalo Center bank to-night. We'll show 'em, we will."

"Would taking their car away stop them?"

"It would be apt to hinder," said Glen. "I think Jervice carries their
kit in his wagon and they depend on him to get their stuff hauled

"Take away their little old wagon sure will bother 'em."

"What would you do with it?"

"Turn it round. Run back to Buffalo Center and give sheriff."

"All right," agreed Apple. "You'll have to get busy if you want to get
it back before dark. I suppose I'll have to ride the motor-bike."

"Reckon you're elected, Apple. Brick can't ride it, an' I can't run more
'n one at a time."

"Well, I'll not get far ahead of you. I'll keep you in sight, anyway."



Riding triumphantly on the driver's seat with Chick-chick made the
return journey very different from the miserable trip Glen had made
inside the car, bound and gagged, and horribly jolted at every
irregularity of the road.

"Shall we leave car at Buffalo Center, or run right on to camp an' show
the booty?" asked Chick-chick.

"We haven't made the trip yet," Glen reminded him. "If we're lucky
enough to get all the way to Buffalo Center we'd better deliver it to
the first officer we see, sheriff or constable," counseled Glen. "We
don't want to be arrested for stealing. It won't do for me to be
arrested for anything."

"But don't you think we ought let scoutmaster see it? Let him have say
about it. Don't you think?"

"Perhaps we ought," agreed Glen, who saw clearly that Chick-chick longed
for the honor of driving his captured car proudly into camp--an
exciting honor which he was not reluctant to share.

"It certainly would be fine if we could make it."

But it was not to be. Daylight was still pretty good, so that they could
see a long distance back along the road. And so, when they still had
several miles to go, they looked back and saw their nemesis overhauling

"That car's coming like fury," observed Glen. "I'll bet it's Jervice and
his friends hot after us."

"'Fraid so," sighed Chick-chick. "Gettin' all speed out of the old wagon
I can."

"We'd better try to catch Apple and all get on the motor-bike,"
suggested Glen.

"Can't catch Apple unless he takes notion to turn an' see we want him.
Think we can hide, I do."

"Hide the car, too?"

"Hide the car. Saw place on way out. It's less'n mile from here. There's
creek pretty near dry, and bridge over it. But there's ford by side of
bridge, too. We forded it coming out."

"Can you get the car down?"

"Think I can. Think can run down by ford an' get under bridge. They'll
go shooting by without seeing us, they will."

It was time to be taking some action. As they mounted the hill they were
evidently seen by the pursuers who sent a pistol shot after them, though
not with any possibility of reaching them. At the foot of this hill lay
the creek.

Chick-chick slackened speed and scanned the bank eagerly to see if the
car could make the descent. Dusk was already present under the heavy
timber by the creek, and he left the road slowly with the double object
of feeling his way and leaving as little track as possible.

Glen leaped from the car and bent back the brush flattened out by the
wheels and kicked dust over the tracks left by the car in turning. Then
he rushed down and found that by skillful driving Chick-chick had
managed to make the descent safely and drive the car under the arch of
the bridge, so concealed by the abutments and by outgrowing bushes that
there would be little likelihood of attracting notice from above
excepting from careful searchers.

A few seconds later the noise overhead told them that the pursuing car
had rushed on, still hot in the chase.

"What's to do, now, Brick?" asked Chick-chick. "Got old car down pretty
easy, we did. Don't know about getting back. Reckon I could cross over
an' climb t'other side."

"I don't believe we want to try it," counseled Glen. "We are only a
couple of miles from Buffalo Center. They'll be there in a minute or
two. When they find we've dodged 'em they'll start back hunting for us.
We'll meet 'em and there'll be real trouble. We don't want their car,

"Let's walk on an' catch Apple, then," suggested Chick-chick. "When he
finds we don't come he'll either wait for us or start back. We can all
ride into camp on the bike, we can."

"Leave the wagon just like this?"

"Why not? 'Tain't ours: All we've done is interfere with burglars. If
this car carries the burgling things to rob the bank they won't be able
to burgle to-night, anyway. Let's look for that chart they showed you.
If it's anything about the treasure it's ours."

"He said he kept it on the shelf with his railroad guides. I'm afraid he
put it in his pocket after they'd looked at it."

They found the shelf with the railroad folders, but no chart of any
description was there.

"'Fraid you'd see more of it than they wanted," suggested Chick-chick.

"They need not," said Glen. "I don't care what's on their chart."

"Why not?" asked Chick-chick. "Why not? They got chart cave. Cave is
somewhere between our camp an' top Buffalo Mound. They say Indian cave
an' think Indians have hid treasure there; why not?"

"What makes you think the cave is between our camp and the top of
Buffalo Mound?"

"Didn't you say Jervice man stuck his thumb over--so shut out your look.
What he do that for if cave ain't there?"

"You jump too quick, Chick-chick. I'm not sure there's a cave at all. I
just know that they talked as if they were looking for a cave or a hole
in the ground or some place where somebody had hid a lot of plunder."

"Sure you know it. An' why wouldn't it be a cave? An' didn't you say the
big man said he'd bet Indians had bullion hid in same cave they were
hunting. Didn't you?"

"That isn't saying it's so," objected Glen.

"It's sayin' it's worth lookin'," affirmed Chick-chick. "Didn't one of
'em say chart was drawn from description Indians gave?"

"Yes, but they might have been fooling 'em."

"An' they might not. If it's Indian cave it's got our treasure. You
draw copy that chart from memory soon as we get back, you do."

"I can't draw," objected Glen. "Maybe I can remember enough about it to
tell you or Apple how to put it on paper."

"Here's Apple coming now," said Chick-chick. "He's the boy to draw.
Draws better 'n flax seed poultice. You'll draw him all maps he wants
when we get to camp, won't ye, Apple?"

"If we ever get back," said Apple. "It's getting dark. Father will be
anxious. Why are you leaving the car?"

"Don't want it," explained Chick-chick. "Isn't ours. 'Fraid somebody see
us with it an' think our name is Jervice. We all get on little old bike
an' hike along sudden, we do."

Three boys was no special load for the motor-bike. They were constantly
on the look out for the pursuing car which they expected to meet coming
back, but nothing did they see of it. They rushed through Buffalo Center
and a few minutes later Chick-chick blew his horn for the camp.

Great was the excitement when it was seen that the search party not only
had returned but had brought the missing boy. Glen was almost mobbed by
the crowd of scouts who pulled him one way and another in vociferous
and jovial greeting. It was an experience such as had never happened in
all his life, and his heart throbbed with thankfulness, and unbidden and
unexpected tears rushed to his eyes that he should be honored with such
a welcome by such loyal comrades. "God is good," came the thought, and
he knew that henceforth he would live a richer, deeper and more loyal
life because of this experience.

Off to one corner Apple had a noisy audience and there were yet others
who gathered about Chick-chick as he retailed to them in his jerky
fashion such things as he deemed proper for them to know. Loud and
furious discussions were heard from every group.

"There won't be any looting of the Buffalo Center Bank while the scouts
are in camp, that's a cinch," proclaimed big Tom Scoresby.

"Tom'll see to that," added Chick-chick.

"If Tom doesn't do it alone, the scouts will," insisted Tom. "We
wouldn't let robbers loot a bank with us in camp not a mile away, would
we, Mr. Newton?"

"We wouldn't expect to have anything of the kind going on," agreed Mr.

"Great yarn, this," Matt Burton, was saying to his own little group. "I
reckon we're expected to swallow it with our eyes shut. I never heard
such stuff."

"What d'ye mean it's a yarn, Matt?" asked a scout.

"This story about those fellows being bank robbers. Why that scared
little old peddler would be afraid to rob a sandbank. If anybody gave
him a cross look, he'd die."

"You don't mean to say Brick Mason's lying?"

"Oh, no! He just has dreams."

"Did he dream himself tied up with cords cutting in so sharp they left
red welts and took half hour to get circulation going?" demanded
Chick-chick who had overheard.

"Red welts nothing!" retorted Matt. "I could raise red welts all over my
body and never feel it."

"You keep makin' insinuations an' I know fellow'll raise red welts on
you so you won't feel anything for month," threatened Chick-chick. "I
felt those welts. Saw 'em too. Plain as the ridges on a non-skid tire.
Anybody's thinks Brick had 'em made for fun can get all that kind o' fun
he wants."

"What's the trouble, scouts?"

It was Mr. Newton, his attention drawn by the angry tones.

"Explainin' 'bout Brick's body marks," said Chick-chick.

"I think you've talked long enough." Mr. Newton easily guessed the
quarrel. "Go along with Corliss and Glen and work your tongue on your
supper. You other fellows see they get filled up."

Glen had rushed to Will Spencer at his first free moment, but the supper
table gave him his first real chance for conversation with him. Will had
his billy cart pushed up where he could clap Glen on the shoulder and
tell him again how glad he was to see him safe and sound.

"Nice, comfortable day you've given your Uncle Bill," he said in
cheerful accusation.

"Did you worry about me?" asked Glen.

"Not so much about you," explained Jolly Bill. "But I had a terrible
time making my mind easy about that poor peddler and worrying about what
would happen to him when you found he'd run off with you."

"I didn't believe there was anything J. Jervice could do to me, but I
found people worse than him. I believe he's one of a robber gang--"

"I don't understand these references to robbers," interrupted Mr.
Newton. "Perhaps you'd better make it clear to us."

So for the benefit of the two men, Glen went over the whole story,
telling them all about his capture, his suspicions of the gang, the
chart he had seen, and the way they had treated him when he refused to
acquiesce in their plans.

"That sounds very grave," said Mr. Newton, busy already penciling a
note. "I'll get you to take this letter to town, Henry, just as soon as
you have finished your supper."

"You think they intended to rob the bank to-night?" asked Spencer.

"That was their original plan, I am sure; but I don't know--"

He was interrupted by a very earnest and eager delegation of scouts,
with big Tom Scoresby at its head. Tom saluted and asked permission to
address a request to the scoutmaster.

"We want to go out and capture these bank robbers before they get far
away," he explained. "According to what Chick-chick says, the peddler's
car is within three miles of here. Our plan is to go after it and use it
to catch the thieves."

"How many scouts are in for this?" asked Mr. Newton.

As with one voice fifteen scouts shouted "I." Others came running to
swell the number.

"Let us think this over quietly, scouts. It would be a great thing for
us to capture this gang of thieves, wouldn't it?"

There was no doubt that the sentiment met with unanimous favor.

"Why would it be such a fine thing?"

Dead silence prevailed for a moment after this direct question; then all
manner of answers filled the air.

"Show what scouts can do!"

"Put an end to bank robbing!"

"Protect our fellow citizens!"

"Glory for troop 3!"

"A scout is helpful!"

"Great sport to catch robbers!"

"A scout is brave!"

"Show we're good as men!"

These were some of the answers that were shot at the scoutmaster.

When quiet prevailed Mr. Newton resumed his talk.

"A man asked me once if I didn't think the National Council made a
mistake in its decree that every organization of scouts must have a

"'You baby your boys,'" he said. 'You ought to put them on their own

"But he forgot that certain things, such as a tempered judgment, come
only by experience. A scout is brave and a scout is helpful, true
enough. But a scout must learn how to use his bravery and when to be

"Now suppose I allowed you to organize for a robber hunt, and suppose
that, during that hunt, some robber was so unfair as to fire real
cartridges and hit some member of our expedition. What good would it do
to tell the boy's mother that her son was brave, or helpful, or
adventurous, or daring? What would it avail to tell her that in
preparation for manhood scouts must develop daring and courage?"

He paused, but the silence was broken by no reply.

"I can conceive of circumstances in which the risk of your lives would
be your duty, and I hope that, should they come, no scout of this troop
will count life dearer than honor. But this is not one of them. This is
a plain case for plain handling, and I want to tell you how I have
handled it.

"There is a deputy sheriff in the village and I have sent word to him of
the circumstances and of our suspicions. He, being a regularly appointed
officer of the law, will take such steps as seem best to protect the
bank and to apprehend the robbers. He is not likely to call for help
from this camp for he knows that there are but two citizens here who
could legally be enlisted in his posse. One of them is crippled, and the
other has a squad of young boys in his care; but if the sheriff should
feel a need to call upon these men, I venture to say that neither will
hold back."

The boys moved away in rather an unusual silence. It was broken by a
voice from a distant group, speaking loudly in heavy sarcasm.

"No need to bother about what the sheriff will do. He won't do a thing
because he'll know that the whole thing is a plant."

The words rang out quite distinctly above the rather subdued hum of the
other voices.

"The Great an' Only Matty!" exclaimed Chick-chick in disgust. "He sure
knows all about it if it's _plant_."



Glen found next day that he had suddenly become somewhat of a hero.
Apple and Chick-chick had privately given very good accounts of his
fortitude and resource. He felt about as happy as ever in his life and
all manner of good impulses stirred within him.

None of the three who had taken chief part in yesterday's adventure felt
very much inclined to energy this bright morning. Glen lay in the warm
grass close to Jolly Bill and his billy-cart in peaceful comfort. His
muscular arms were a senna brown, his bare chest the same color,
excepting where it was marked by a dull blue design similar to that
which caused an anchor and various rings to appear prominently upon his

"'Lo, Brick," said the cheery voice of Chick-chick, whose light hearted
philosophy and undisturbed equanimity under all circumstances Glen
greatly admired. "Some strong man, ain't you, Brick?"

"Pretty strong for a boy," Glen admitted.

"Say, Brick, Goosey wants ask you question," jerked out Chick-chick.
"Goosey so bashful wouldn't come alone, he wouldn't."

"I'd like fine to be strong like you, Brick," said Goosey. "Some of us
kids have been talking about it and one fellow says he's noticed that
strong men like sailors and railroad men always have tattoo marks like
you got. A brakeman told him that's what made him strong. Some of _us_
want you to fix us up."

Glen laughed, but it was a bitter laugh.

"Do you know how much I'd give to have these marks cleared off, if I had
the money?" he asked, savagely.

"Cleared off!" exclaimed Goosey. "Why, Brick, they're just handsome.
That anchor on your arm and the flag on your chest--why we kids think
they're great!"

"Wait till you kids get to be a little bit older and find out what real
people think of 'em--I mean people that are people. They call 'em
gallows marks in the school back there. The chaplain he's strong against
'em. I 'member when he caught a kid having some ink pricked in by one of

"Got after you, did he?" asked Chick-chick.

"Well, he says, 'You kids know why I always wear a bandage round my
right arm when I play tennis?' I'd often wondered. 'I suppose it's to
strengthen the arm,' I guessed."

"Was it?" asked Goosey, eagerly. If there was anything that would
strengthen an arm he wanted to know it.

"Strengthen the arm nothing!" replied Glen, with contempt. "He rolled up
his sleeve and snowed us where he had a woman's head tattooed in. I
s'pose you'd say it was a peach of a head, Goosey."

"Wasn't it done right?" asked Goosey.

"Done fine. Done as well as they're ever done. But he was ashamed of it.
He put on that bandage just so it wouldn't show when his sleeve was
rolled up."

"I don't understand that," said Goosey, in evident disappointment.

Chick-chick, too, inclined to the opinion that the chaplain was over

"You'd understand if he spoke to you about it," said Glen. "He says to
us: 'Every once in a while you'll find a good man and a smart man that
is all marked up with tattoo marks, but where they're carried by one
clean, smart man, there's a hundred bums and tramps that have 'em. If a
good man has 'em it's a safe bet that he didn't put 'em on when he was
doing well. It means that some time in his life he was down in bad
company. It's the poorest kind of advertising."

"That's why he hid 'em up, then."

"Chiefly. He says 'One reason I cover this up is so it won't set foolish
ideas into boys' heads. There's many a business man would pay ten
thousand dollars to get rid of the ugly marks. There are all kinds of
ways but none of 'em work well and most of 'em cost the fellow that owns
the skin an awful lot o' pain as well as the money. The way to get rid
of tattoo marks,' he says, 'is not to put 'em on.'"

"But since you can't help having 'em, you aren't going to let 'em keep
you down, are you, Brick, old top?"

It was Jolly Bill who asked the question. They had thought him asleep in
his cart.

"No, nor anything else," declared Glen. "I'm not so far behind. Somebody
asked me once, 'How does it come you talk so well?' They don't
understand that we learn as much in the state schools as in the regular
public school, and we have to do our best or make a show at it, whether
we want to or not."

"But, Brick," persisted Goosey. "You said a lot about the tattoo marks,
but you didn't say yet whether it makes you strong."

"Chick-chick," commanded Jolly Bill. "You lead that little boy away.
Whatever made you bring him here with his sad story? What is there in a
little India ink, pricked beneath the skin, to make you strong--does it
make father's shirts strong when mother uses it to put his initials in
the corner? Lead him off, Chick-chick."

"That's all right," Goosey observed. "Matt Burton thinks it's what makes
Brick strong. Matt says no reform school boy could knock him down if he
hadn't been doped up with some stimulant."

"You mustn't pay too much attention to what Matt Burton says," counseled

"Oh, I don't. Matt says there wasn't any thief and there isn't any cave,
and I believe there is. Matt says he wouldn't believe it, anyway, 'cause
Brick says it's so."

"You'd better run along, little boy, before you say something Matt'll be
sorry for," said Spencer.

Glen had stood a good deal from Matt and had borne it quietly. It was
not that it did not sting, but that he believed he was "taking his
medicine." Let no one suppose, however, that because he had started on
the up route, Glen Mason disclosed any anatomical peculiarities such as
the sprouting of wings. His capacity for taking a wrong view of matters
was as great as ever. The only difference was that he resisted it
occasionally. But there was a limit to his resistance, and so nearly had
he reached it that this report of Goosey's decided him to take a
sufficient vacation from his good principles to allow of the
administration to Matt Burton of one good, swift punch.

Goosey said that Matt was walking toward Buffalo Center when last seen.
There was only one road to the village, so with his bottled up vengeance
in his heart Glen struck out along this road.

There, on the main street of the little town, right at the Bank corner,
stood Matt talking to a couple of men who sat on the low railing which
served for ornament rather than protection to the bank front. One of the
men wore a star on his coat; the other was a rough looking individual
who yet had an official air.

It was no part of Glen's program to create a public disturbance, but he
was quite resolved not to let Matt get far out of his sight. A good plan
was to hike through the alley and come up on the south side of the bank
building, where, hidden by a convenient pillar, he would be able to
hear what was going on without being seen.

Glen lost no time getting through the alley, and in a few moments,
flattened against the wall at the southwest corner, could hear all that
Matt said to the men as they sat on the rail at the west front.

"What we want," said one man, "is to catch 'em in the act. They was
timid last night and the fust little noise we made they was off. Are you
one o' them scouts as seen 'em yestiddy?"

"I have seen the little peddler," asserted Matt. "I didn't think he had
spunk enough to rob a blind man."

"Mebbe he has--mebbe he ain't. It don't allus take spunk. Yore chief
said they was another fellow--desp'rit villain. Did ye see him?"

"No, I didn't," Matt admitted reluctantly. "I don't often have any luck.
It takes fellows like Glen Mason."

"Name sounds familiar. Mason! Glen Mason! Let me look at that circ'lar I
got in my pocket. Thought that was it. Fellow, that name, just run off
f'm the reform school. Here's the bill about it."

Glen was seized with a paralyzing terror. This constable or sheriff or
whatever he was had only to reach around the corner to lay hands right
on him. He forgot all about revenge on Matt--what he now wanted was to
get away.

Then he heard the officer's next question.

"This Glen Mason fellow you speak about--is he one of your regular

Glen waited in breathless suspense to hear how Judas would betray him.
The answer left him high and dry, gasping with surprise.

"Yes, he's a regular scout," said Matt. "He's a tenderfoot. I suppose it
isn't such a very uncommon name."

After all, Matt was a scout--a scout and a patrol leader. He might be
conceited, he might be supercilious, he might and did need a lot of
nonsense sweated out of him. But he was a scout, and--a scout is loyal!
He would have loved dearly to see Glen Mason sent back to the reform
school and thus removed from disputing his preeminence. But he was no
Judas--his should not be the tongue to betray a fellow scout.

Glen straightened the fist that he had clenched so fiercely at his side,
and drew a deep breath as he settled himself down more closely into the
protection of his pillar.

"I'd like to see the feller that seen the robbers an' took the ride in
their car. I'd like to see the car. I didn't see it when they went
through here yestiddy." It was the rough voice again.

"Why not go now and see it?" asked Matt. "The bridge where the boys hid
it is only a couple of miles away."

"No good," replied the man. "Them boys wasn't as smart as they thunk. We
sent up to get the car fust thing after yore chief sent the word to us
last night, but all they was left of it was tracks."

So the car was gone. Glen could easily understand how they discovered
it. They had only to run back to where the peculiar tires ended their
journey and then search to find where they had left the track. So the
ford would have been discovered and then the car.

"If I'd been driving I'd have run it right up to the sheriff's office
and claimed the reward," boasted Matt.

"Mebbe you would--mebbe you wouldn't. Mebbe you'd got a few slugs o'
lead under your vest. Them fellers must ha' been pretty clos't around to
get that car away so quick. I think them boys was clever. Anyway they
wasn't no reward then. They is now--five hundred dollars. The Bankers'
Association offered it soon as they heard the story."

"When are you going to hunt them out?" asked Matt.

"Huntin' right now, son. Huntin' while we set gassin' with you. We hunts
in our sleep."

"No joking, now. When are you going to get up a posse? I want to go

"We'll send for ye when we feel that we need ye, son. Come along, Ike. I
hear Number Three whistlin' fer the crossin'. Watch the blind baggage."



Glen managed to get back to the camp without coming under Matt's notice.
His animosity had all disappeared. This one act of loyalty on Matt's
part wiped out a great load of snubs and grudges. He knew that his
connection with the reform school was quite generally known at the camp,
for Mr. Newton himself--subsequent to the disclosures of J. Jervice--had
seen fit to explain to the scouts that Glen might be considered as
staying under his parole, and had further expressed his conviction that
the authorities would certainly make the parole permanent in view of all
the facts. An explanation made to friendly boys, however, was a vastly
different thing from making one to officers who had a chance to earn a
reward. He felt, therefore, that Matt had saved him from a real danger.

Chick-chick and Apple were anxiously awaiting his coming that they might
complete the map which they were preparing from his recollection of the
chart shown by Jervice. Mr. Newton had decided that the information
Glen had gained from the robbers' chart was his exclusive property,
since it had been obtained by him while in peril of life and limb. But
Glen was not disposed to take advantage of this, and with the help of
Apple and Chick-chick as chartographers was preparing a chart for the
free use of the entire camp.

"We have everything sketched in that you told us," said Apple. "What we
want now is to be as nearly sure as possible where the big star was."

"It looked to be about half way down the side of the Mound," said Glen.
"Right near it I saw marks for 'Twin Elms' and 'Deep Springs.'"

"We've been looking along Buffalo Creek and we can't find any Twin Elms.
There's only one place where two elms are anywhere near together and one
of them is a great big elm, and the other a little sapling that isn't
more than five years old. That would throw it out altogether as far as
locating our cave."

"How about Deep Springs?"

"Well, there's the Ice Box. The Springs must be deep there because it's
so cold. We used to swim there last year but it's really too cold for
fun. That's just about half way down the Mound, but there's no elms
anywhere near."

"How would it be to mark that for 'Deep Springs' and put the mark for
'Twin Elms' just where the two elms you speak about are?"

"An' then put big star between 'em an' everything be over but pickin' up
treasure," put in Chick-chick, sarcastically.

"No, it wouldn't do," said Apple. "We don't know that Deep Springs and
the Ice Box are the same and we are pretty sure Twin Elms couldn't be
the old tree and the sapling. The only thing I know to do is to make the
marks just like you saw them and let the scouts figure them out for
themselves. If we go putting our own ideas in we will likely spoil the
whole thing."

"Great head, this," endorsed Chick-chick, patting the curly head

They took the chart out and nailed it to a tree near the cook shack and
in a few moments it was being studied by the entire troop which had just
gathered for dinner.

It might well be doubted whether the chart served any purpose of
enlightenment, after all. It showed certain local land marks and several
crosses were designated at different spots but just what they
represented was still a mystery. The principal cross was the one over
which Mr. Jervice had placed his thumb, and this inclined the majority
to decide to hunt in that direction, but unfortunately it was hard to
find "Twin Elms" thereabout, and the "Deep Springs" were only a matter
of surmise. It had certainly served the purpose of reviving interest in
the treasure hunt and mysterious rumors of a cave in which a robber band
had hidden booty did not lessen it.

Will Spencer while pleased at the renewed activity was by no means sure
that it would help his search.

"Think we'll have to push on back to our cornfield and do some exploring
from the old bed of the lake back to its source, Glen," said he. "Gold
is nothing to us. What we want is water."

"Supposing some of these scouts should find all that bullion, you'd
think differently," said Glen.

Spencer laughed.

"You're having a good vacation about it," he said. "We'll stay this week
out since we're both having such a good time. Next week you push your
Uncle Bill and his billy cart back to Ryder's farmhouse and we begin
over again."

"Any time you say," agreed Glen. "Here's Goosey looking as if he was
excited about something."

"Found the treasure, son?" asked Will.

"Not yet," admitted Goosey. "But I've got an idea."

"When you're looking for treasure look for signs of old water-courses.
If you find one, follow it along and see if it leads to a spring."

"What good'll that do?" asked Goosey.

"Twenty dollars' worth," replied Jolly Bill. "Twenty dollars in coin of
the realm. This old buried treasure may be in such shape that you can't
cash it. My money will be straight goods."

"Guess I'll find the gold the Indians stole," said Goosey. "I've got a
scheme, leastways Matty's got one, and he's letting me in on it."

It was not until next day that Goosey, under pressure from Chick-chick,
disclosed more of Matty's wonderful scheme.

"You know, Matty's read a lot about detecting things and he knows all
about how to do it."

"Yes, we ought to know about that, Goosey. See how he found the bread

"Well, he admits he slipped up there. But this time it's different. He
says he ain't soft enough to suppose Brick Mason is giving out
information to help people find the treasure when--"

"Hold on, Goosey. Thought Matt didn't believe there was any treasure. He
believes whole thing fake--Matt does."

"Well, after he talked to the deputy sheriff and found out there was a
big reward offered he changed his mind. He says it ain't reasonable the
Bankers' Association would offer a reward just for nothing. So then he
says, of course Brick Mason's chart is a blind. Brick wants everybody to
be wasting their time on a wrong scent while he goes after the real

"Real clever; Matty is. Wish he was as white as Brick."

"Well, Matt's clever, anyway; no gettin' around that. What does he do to
get on the right track? He goes an' hunts up the Indian--the one as told
us to look for heap rock."

"Bright idea. Of course Indian wouldn't tell Matt anything but truth--he

"No, because Matt gave him two dollars. So Indian told him there was a
cave and he wasn't sure about the treasure because he's superstitious
and he's too much afraid of the dead men to look. But the cave isn't
anywhere near Buffalo Creek. It's on down below."

"You mean below camp?"

"Yes, down in the woods somewhere around Vinegar Creek. You know Buffalo
Creek gets pretty rapid after it passes the Ice Box. Runs down with lots
of force into Vinegar Creek. It's quite a gully down there and for five
dollars more the Indian's willing to show Matt the exact place."

"Worth that much to Matty?"

"Worth it! You ain't talkin' sense. Matt doesn't need money so awful
bad, but there's just two things he'd like better than anything else in
the world. One is to find the treasure and so kill that everlastin' joke
about the bread box. T'other's to catch the bank robbers an' so show
that he's the smartest boy in camp."

"That five dollars won't get him to it--it won't."

"Well, Matt's lucky this time, as it happens. He isn't going to have to
pay the Indian the five. He's found a better way. Last night he went
down to kinder look things over an' he found a couple o' men camping.
First off he hoped they were the robbers but they're pretty nice men and
they're engineers. Matt wouldn't have told them anything but when he
found they were surveyin' Vinegar Creek and goin' on up to Buffalo next
he could see right off that they had good chances of runnin' right into
the cave, so he gets ahead of 'em by tellin' all about it and making 'em
promise equal shares if they found anything."

"Clever Matty!" exclaimed Chick-chick.

"Yes, he's clever, Matty is. No good paying any five dollars to any
Indian when he's got as good a thing as that. These engineers want to
see our camp so Matty's to bring 'em up this afternoon while everybody's
at the swim. He doesn't want the crowd around to be pestering 'em with

When this information was carried to Jolly Bill he was more disturbed
than he cared to acknowledge. He had a very well defined feeling that
his scheme to restore Buffalo Lake had become common property and that
these engineers were competitors. He felt some safety in the fact that
he held options on the land; yet he had a strong desire to see this
surveying corps and talk with the men about their work.

Thus it happened that Glen was in camp when the surveyors came--he
stayed at Spencer's request to engineer the billy-cart. The engineers
were young fellows, not overly clean; perhaps it was not to be expected
in following such work. They were genial enough to the few people who
were in camp. At first they did not seem inclined to pay much attention
to Spencer, but after he had asked them one or two questions they began
to take notice.

"Where are you running your levels for the Vinegar Creek survey?" asked

"Running what?" said one.

"Oh, levels," said the other. "We haven't got to that yet."

"Find it rather hard to carry your lines through all that brush, don't

"We will if we have to do it."

"What elevation do you work from?"

"We ain't quite decided. You see, we only just made camp. Mebbe we'll
work up here first."

"You'll have to see Mr. Newton about that," said Spencer.

"We'll see him," said the spokesman. "We're going to look along up this
creek a piece, now."

"Think perhaps you'll start your survey at an obtuse angle or an angle
of sixty degrees, which?" asked Spencer gravely.

"Sixty degrees," replied the man, as if glad to get off so easily.

"Now, I'm quite sure they're no engineers," said Spencer to Glen as the
two men followed Matt along the bank of Buffalo Creek. "I rather thought
they weren't from the start, which is why I asked such foolish
questions. Well, that relieves my anxiety about competition."

"What do you reckon they are?" asked Glen.

"Two farmer boys who want to work Matt for something, I suppose. We
ought to warn him to be on guard, but really I think a few lessons will
do Matt lots of good."

"He did me a good turn yesterday," said Glen. "I'd like to put him

"You can try it," agreed Will. "But Matt is one of the class of people
who would rather be fooled than warned."

Glen ran along after the trio. The noise of his approach caught Matt's
ear and he turned with a look of disgust on his face.

"You aren't in on this," he exclaimed angrily. "These two men are my
friends and our business is private."

"I just wanted to tell you something, Burton," said Glen. "I'll go back
as soon as I've said it."

"Fire away," instructed Matt. "The quicker you get rid of it and go the
way you came, the better."

"Come over here and I'll tell you."

"These men are my friends, I tell you. Whatever you have to say to me
they can hear."

"They're not scouts," objected Glen.

"You're not much of a one," retorted Matt.

The words Glen had for Matt were not to be bawled into the ears of
strangers, so he left the foolish boy to follow his own tactics. It was
not too late for the swim and Glen was glad to have at least a few
minutes of his favorite sport.

He was dressing when some one tapped him on the shoulder and he looked
up into the comical face of Chick-chick.

"Hey, Brick. Found something, I have," he announced.

"What is it?" asked Glen.

"Hssh! Not so loud! Don't want whole camp to know. It's secret.
Footprints on sands of time."

"You're talking nonsense," said Glen.

"No nonsense about it. It's wheelprints 'stead o' footprints, that's
all. Come an' see. I was chasin' butterfly down near Vinegar Creek an' I
ran on it by accident, I did."

The two boys managed to slip away from the crowd and Chick-chick
mysteriously led the way down the road in the direction of the heavy
woods that marked the location of Vinegar Creek.

"While back I heard a car chuggin' along. Funny for car be down here,
don't ye know. Then there's somethin' 'bout an engine's voice--every
engine got voice of its own and you 'member it after you get 'quainted.
Seemed to me I knew that voice. Looked at car an' didn't look like
anything ever seen. Car all stripped off--nothing much left but chassis.
Then I came down to road an' looked at tracks. Wait bit. Soon be there,
we will."

He led on for another hundred yards until they reached a point where an
old woods trail struck out into the highway. Here Chick-chick paused.

"Look at this, Brick," he said. "Ever see tire-tracks look like that,
did you?"

Glen looked at the tracks. They were exactly like those he had smoothed
away when concealing the departure of the J. Jervice car at the ford.

"Verdict of Jury 'Guilty as charged'!" exclaimed Chick-chick, looking
into his eyes. "Come on, Brick, let's follow 'long this old cow-path
till we see our beloved car once more."



All that Glen could do was to follow where Chick-chick led and try to go
just as noiselessly, and to flit carefully from one screen of cover to
the next in just as unobtrusive a way. It was an old sport with
Chick-chick, but though Glen was an amateur at it he made a very good

It was not reasonable to suppose that an automobile could get very far
along such a road, yet they had traveled a quarter mile before the
tracks swung entirely away from the old path and followed a strip of
comparatively bare ground that led in toward the creek.

"There she is!" at last Chick-chick whispered. "Don't look bit like gay
old friend we left, she don't."

She did not. If it were the same car it meant that the gang, feeling
that so conspicuous a mark as the J. Jervice car originally presented
would be a fatal advertisement of their identity, and yet desirous of
making use of the car, had stripped it clean of the betraying top and
had taken away everything that could mark it for a peddler's car.

Their plan would have worked successfully but for the betraying tires,
and the sharp eye and quick mind of scout Henry Henry, commonly known as

"Are you sure it's the same?" whispered Glen.

"Surest thing on wheels," affirmed Chick-chick. "Bet you find drygoods
in the transmission case if dare look."

"Why do you suppose they've left it here?"

"Good, safe place. Nobody see. Camp not far away, reckon. Better lay
pretty low here. There's only two of us."

Late in the afternoon two tired but excited scouts found their way into
camp and proceeded to disturb Mr. Newton in his afternoon study hour.

"Is it true that there's reward of five hundred dollars for the bank
robbers?" one asked.

"I believe so," said Mr. Newton. "The sheriff himself and quite a few
deputies are trying to earn it, too. They are covering this county and
several neighboring counties, too."

"Sheriff out this way?" asked Chick-chick.

"He was in Buffalo Center this morning," replied Mr. Newton.

"We know where gang is, Mr. Newton. We want go right down get that
reward, we do."

"The reward is for their apprehension, Henry. So you see you wouldn't
get it, because, so far, you don't appear to have apprehended them."

Chick-chick's countenance fell, but he brightened again in a minute.

"We can do it all right, all right. Maybe better get sheriff help us."

He proceeded to tell Mr. Newton of their discovery.

"And you saw them so clearly you are quite sure they are the same men?"

"Yes, sir," replied Glen. "We located their camp by a line of
smoke--leastways Chick-chick did. Then we climbed a big tree near by and
looked right down on 'em. I saw Jervice and the big man, and one other
man I never had seen before."

"What shall we do about this?" Mr. Newton asked of Will Spencer, who had
been studying with him.

"Get 'em," replied Will, his eyes sparkling. "I wish I were more of a
man, so I could help."

"Hold on, Will," said Mr. Newton, kindly. "You have just as good other
work, you know. And wishing won't make you agile and active any more
than it will make these boys into grown men. What's the wise thing to

"You good, old scoutmaster!" exclaimed Will. "Of course you're right.
You being the only real man here the thing to do is to see if that
sheriff is still at Buffalo Center."

"But you ain't going to shut us out?" cried Glen and Chick-chick in

Mr. Newton and Spencer laughed at their eagerness.

"You are big fellows, both of you," said Mr. Newton. "I've no desire to
rob you of your glory or reward. You must come with me to see the
sheriff, or perhaps you'd better go alone on Henry's motorcycle to save
time. He will have to come this way to go after the men, and I've no
doubt he will want you to show the way. Perhaps he'll let me go, too.
Only no foolishness, remember--no attempt at single-handed captures--no
stepping in the way of a piece of heavy artillery just to show that you
bear a charmed life. After you've shown the way your job will be to stay
in the background."

The sheriff was still staying at Buffalo Center's little hotel.
Chick-chick was disappointed to find that he did not at all come up to
his ideas of a sheriff. Glen whose dealings with sheriffs had not been
so limited was not so surprised. The sheriff was so much like the other
farmers lounging around the hotel office that they had to inquire for
him. There was this much to say for him--he was not big, but he looked
as if he might be quick and keen.

"Better come in here," said the sheriff, leading the way into the little
parlor. "Now, tell me all about it."

Glen acted as spokesman, for Chick-chick was still quite excited.

"So you're the boys that got the car away from the peddler, are ye?"
asked the sheriff. "I reckon ye ought to know the car an' the man too.
You was expectin' to see this man Jervice, wasn't ye?"

"We were after we saw the car," Glen agreed.

"Now, don't ye reckon that mebbe, seein' the man at a distance like an'
being as you was expectin' to see Jervice an' the big man, you might
just imagined they was what you saw?"

"No, sir. It wasn't possible to be mistaken. We were near enough so we
could both see the man very clearly."

"Well; this other fellow, now; the one you never had seen before? What
did he look like?"

"Big man," said Chick-chick. "Over six foot. Black hair, no hair on his
face. I got good look once and face was all one side like this, it was."

Chick-chick drew his face to one side in a peculiar manner. Mimicry was
one of his talents.

"That's the feller," said the sheriff. "If you saw him that's the gang.
That was Black Coventry to the letter. There ought to be two more of 'em
and the gang would be complete. You can show us the way, can you?"

The sheriff had one of his deputies with him at the hotel. He deputized
two active young farmers who were present and the four started on
horseback following Chick-chick's motorcycle.

They found Mr. Newton waiting at the roadside near the camp. Chick-chick
began an introduction but the sheriff interrupted.

"Oh, I know Captain Newton. Remember when ye was Captain of Battery
A--let's see, twelve years ago, that was. Come along of us, Captain.
Ye're just the man we need an' we're short handed, anyway."

"I've no horse," objected the scoutmaster.

"Jump up back o' me. It ain't so awful far f'm what these boys say.
We'll have to foot it, anyway, for quite some distance, if we want to
s'prise 'em."

When the place where the wood-road turned off was reached the sheriff
decided to leave the horses.

"One o' you boys stay here now with the deputy an' help guard these
horses," instructed the sheriff. "Which'll it be?"

"I guess it's Chick-chick's find," volunteered Glen. "I'll stay."

"Keep your eyes sharp open," the sheriff instructed his deputy. "If
they'd get started afore we could get to their car they might slip by
us. Then, there ought to be two more of 'em somewheres around, too.
Might be comin' up any minute. They're slick."

After the men had gone Glen found it anxious work waiting with the
deputy and the horses while Chick-chick led the sheriff's posse to

"I suppose we'll hear 'em shooting most any minute," he said to the

"Mebbe we will--mebbe we won't," replied the deputy. "We won't if things
go the way the old man intends."

"How is that?" asked Glen.

"There won't be any shootin' unless they's some break in his
calc'lations. His way don't make much allowance for it. He'll get up
there right silent an' have his men posted convenient; then he'll step
out an' say 'Come along o' me, Coventry. No good fussin'. My men got ye
dead to rights.' An' mos' generally they come."

"How about the other two men?" asked Glen.

"Mebbe they're there; mebbe they ain't. It was putty clever of 'em to
hide right around here, knowing they was looked for all over the

"Don't you suppose they're staying here so as to look for that stuff in
the cave?"

"We don't take much stock in that story," said the deputy. "We don't
know that they is any cave. What they was after wasn't in no river bank,
it was in the bank of Buffalo Center."

He appreciated his little joke and chuckled over it very heartily. His
merriment, however, did not prevent him from being the first one to see
a little group coming down the main road.

"Three of 'em!" he said. "One of 'em's from your camp. Who's the other

"The scout is Matt Burton," said Glen. "The other two must be the
engineers that he found camping down here. Say, I'll tell you something.
They aren't engineers. What's the matter with them being the other two
of Jervice's gang?"

"Nothing the matter at all," said the deputy. "Lay low now, and we'll
get 'em. They're looking awful suspicious like at our tracks in the
road. They don't understand 'em. If they break an' run you stay here
with the horses an' I'll give 'em a chase."

"They've grabbed hold of Matt as if they were going to work some rough
house play with him," said Glen. "Look what they're doing."

"They think he's sold 'em out," said the deputy. "They got a notion that
he's leading 'em into something."

Just then Matt, who was not deficient in courage, made a lunge at one of
the men, broke loose and started to run. He was overtaken in a minute by
the other man who hit him such a blow as to stretch him full length in
the dust of the road.

"Hold on there, hold on," the deputy counseled Glen. "You can't do
anything chasin' after 'em. Just let 'em stay here till the sheriff gets
back an' he'll pick 'em up easy. Now, take a holt o' this gun. You
needn't shoot it, but it'll look better if you have one. I'm goin' to
sneak up a piece and get back of 'em. I'll take this rope along an'
mebbe I can git it over one of 'em. I won't be far behind 'em any time.
You stay here with the hosses an' if they seem like to pass along
without noticing don't you so much as cheep. All you got to do is mind
the hosses."

When the two men, with Matt between them, reached the turn of the road
and saw that the tracks led directly to the camp they came to a dead
halt. Glen could now hear distinctly what they said.

"It's a frame up," declared one. "This kid thinks he's smart leading us
into a trap. Back we go. Nobody won't draw on us, neither. You go first,
Jack. I'll be right next to you with my hands on your shoulders. This
smart kid'll foller me the same way. They won't nobody try no gun play
for fear of hittin' the kid. Jest as soon as we git out of range we'll
make a streak for it, an' the kid'll go with us."

The man spoke in a loud voice undoubtedly for the benefit of some person
or persons who might be supposed to be within bullet range and be
desirous of picking them off from ambush rather than risk a personal
encounter. Perhaps he had heard some warning noise. He had not made so
bad a guess, for a good marksman, concealed in Glen's position, would
have had them at his mercy.

Glen watched the peculiar parade as the three walked back up the road at
a lock-step gait that was quite fast for unpracticed performers. He would
have been glad to give some word of encouragement to Matt for he still
remembered the good turn of the day before. But his business was to
watch over the horses. It would never do to betray their hiding place to
these desperate men who might overpower him and be off before the deputy
could reach them.

[Illustration: Glen watched the three walk back up the road at a
lock-step gait. Page 198]

Where was that deputy?

He said that he would not be far behind the desperadoes at any time; but
Glen had seen no sign of him since he slipped so quietly away with his
long rope. He watched the marching figures going back along the
road--farther away--farther yet. Soon they would be feeling safe out of
range and would break and run.

Where was the deputy?

Glen found his answer even though he did not see his man. A long rope
circled through the air. It fell neatly over the three close-locked
heads and tightened suddenly as it dropped below their shoulders. There
was a frantic struggle from the tied up trio and suddenly the deputy
came into view belaying his rope to a tree.

Glen turned his eyes from this scene as he heard the noise of voices
behind him. It was the sheriff's party returning. He waved his hand to
them for speed and was glad to see the sheriff, Mr. Newton and
Chick-chick start toward him on the run. The other members of the party
were evidently convoying prisoners.

One of the men in the road had freed his hands but the deputy had
persuaded him to put them above his head, and stood in the road guarding
his capture as the relief party came up.

"So you got 'em?" exclaimed the sheriff. "That makes the haul complete.
Our three below are coming along like lambs."

"These three," said the deputy, solemnly, "being trussed up the way they
is, looks more like chickens."

"Loosen up on 'em," said Glen. "That one's a scout. You could easily
tell he isn't one of 'em. Didn't you see the way they knocked him over?"

"Yes. He's a scout," confirmed Mr. Newton, coming up. "He has simply
been deceived by these fellows, supposing they were honest men. I hope
they haven't hurt you much, Burton."

"Hurt me!" cried Matt. "They were two to one and they knocked me down
but they couldn't hurt me. Let me give this big fellow just one--"

"That'll do, young fellow," said the sheriff. "These men are in the
hands of the law, now. They'll get whatever's coming to 'em."

It was a triumphant procession that wound its way back to town. Three of
the prisoners were placed in their car which Chick-chick was called
upon to engineer under the guardianship of the sheriff. This left Glen
to ride the motorcycle alone. Still desirous to repay Matt's good turn
he offered him passage but Matt preferred to ride the sheriff's horse.
He was unable to understand or appreciate any friendly offers from Glen,
for he felt that his share in the proceedings had been ludicrous if not
contemptible and expected scant mercy from either Glen or Chick-chick.
As a matter of fact, Glen would have been very glad to have his company,
both that he might repay his good turn and that he might have the
advantage of his experience in cycling, for Glen was a rank novice and
found great difficulty in getting back to camp.

Chick-chick drove the car all the way to the little calaboose where the
sheriff expected to confine the men until train time. The sheriff
expressed himself under great obligations.

"I don't hardly know what to say about the reward, son," he said. "It'll
have to split up a good many ways so there won't be an awful big slice
for any one of us."

"I'll leave it to you," agreed Chick-chick, magnanimously. "Maybe you'd
let me speak word to Jervice."

"Sure I will. You can talk a book into his ear if you like. But that
ain't sayin' as he'll say anything to you."

The sheriff had guessed correctly. Mr. J. Jervice was singularly

"What's meanin' of 'Twin Elms' and 'Deep Springs'?" asked Chick-chick.

Mr. Jervice shook his head at such foolishness.

"You won't get any good out of it," insisted the inquisitive boy. "Give
me your chart now and I'll use influence with Judge to get you easy
sentence, I will."

Mr. Jervice shook his head and turned away.

"What's that young fool saying about 'Twin Elms' and 'Deep Springs'?"
asked the big leader.

Mr. Jervice muttered something in reply.

"You take it from me, young feller," said the man, angrily. "The thing
you'd orter do is to git them names out o' your mind. They ain't no such

Chick-chick went back to receive the adulation of the camp but he was
not satisfied.



As might be expected, the excitement in camp that evening was intense.
Chick-chick and Brick Mason were heroes. No one could do too much for
them. Even Will Spencer was excited.

"It's a fine thing for you, Glen," he said. "I'm glad you had the chance
and that you did so well with it. Mr. Newton says the sheriff will give
you and the deputy full credit for the capture of the two fellows that
came down with Matt."

"I'm mighty tickled," Glen admitted. "I don't think it'll amount to so
very much, though, because there's so many will have to divide the

"Brick, Brick, where did you get that head?" exclaimed Jolly Bill. "I'm
not talking about the reward. Can't you see anything better than that?"

"Why, I don't know that I do. I'm afraid I never will be smart."

"Yes, you will. You're getting too much for me already. But, don't you
see, old brick head, how much better chance this gives you to get your
discharge from the reform school? 'Single-handed, he engaged in a
terrific conflict with two desperadoes and delivered them into the hands
of the officers of the law.' How does that sound? You begin to see where
you get off?"

"Maybe so. All I did was to hold the horses, but I'll be glad of any
credit that comes to me. I expected we'd hear from the school before

"Don't you fear but what you'll hear quick enough. Your friend who was
here last Sunday is looking after your interests or they'd have yanked
you back before now. I only hope they let you stay another week or two
so you'll do me some good."

"I surely hope they do," said Glen. "I'm having such a fine time I wish
it would go on forever. You think you'll get along all right while I go
up the Mound to-night?"

"I'll be all right. Bob and I will keep the camp from running away.
Maybe it'll rain again, like it did when you tried it Sunday night.
You'll be mighty glad to get back to us if it does."

"No, we're going to stick it out to-night whatever happens," said Glen.
"The fellows are going to take their ponchos and stay all night
whatever the weather. Going clear to the top of Buffalo Mound. I'm going
with Apple and he has a waterproof sleeping bag big enough for two.
We're going to have a great time. I tell you, Will, this camp life with
people like Apple and the scoutmaster and you is more like heaven than
anything I ever dreamed of."

A great deal of satisfaction and joy had come into Glen Mason's life in
the last few days. He felt it in the companionship of Apple and
Chick-chick as they marched up Buffalo Mound together that night,
carrying their firewood and blankets for the bivouac. There was a new
bond of fellowship between them, a bond which Glen would have found it
quite impossible to state in words but which was none the less genuine
and fixed. The little service at the camp-fire meant more to him than
anything he had ever experienced; he had really started his journey, he
was definitely lined up with God's people, he had enlisted for actual
service. In the few quiet minutes while he lay wrapped in his blanket
waiting for sleep to come, and meanwhile looking up at the starry vault
which seemed to him to represent God's heaven, he experienced the
greatest peace that had ever come into his life.

Only hardened campaigners and boys can sleep the dreamless sleep of
nature next to mother earth, with no soft mattress to pad the irregular
outlines of bony prominences, and even boys are apt to waken earlier
than common. So it is no wonder that daybreak found Glen and Apple glad
to shake themselves free from their blankets and climb the few feet
necessary to get the best of the justly celebrated view from Buffalo
Mound. Miles and miles over the flat prairie country could they see in
the clear morning air, and with the assistance of Mr. Newton's field
glass they could draw far away objects very near to their field of
vision. It was interesting to see the little towns, each with its two or
three church spires, its one or two large buildings and its collection
of dwellings; to see eight towns in six different counties from the same
spot was an exciting experience for these boys.

But they did not get their real excitement until they turned their glass
down the west side of the Mound, and there came in the range of their
vision an Indian engaged in some mysterious occupation on the bank of
Buffalo Creek.

"He's at the Ice Box," declared Apple. "Now what do you suppose that
Indian's doing? Look at him dive."

"How can he stay under so long?" asked Glen, after they had watched two
or three minutes without seeing a head appear.

"I can't tell you. Maybe he swam under water and has come up in some
other place that we can't see."

But fully ten minutes later, while they still watched in great
curiosity, his head came into sight at about the place where he had
dived in, and a moment later they saw him draw his glistening body out
of the water.

"Where's he been?" said Apple. "He hasn't been under water all that

"But neither did he come up anywhere that I could see," said Glen. "I
know what's happened," he added in an excited tone. "He's been in the

"I believe you," said Apple. "We guessed right. Ice Box and Deep Springs
mean the same place. I don't know about any Twin Elms but that cave is
there, at the Ice Box. I don't know why we never saw it, unless because
it's on the far bank and we always looked this side."

"Maybe its entrance is under water," suggested Glen. "That Indian dived,
you see, and we didn't see a sign of him again until he came back."

"That's the way of it, Glen. And that's the same Indian told us to look
for heap rock. I believe--" it was the romantic side of Apple now
appearing--"I believe he is the tribal guardian of the treasure and he
stays around here to guard it from our search."

"Maybe so," agreed Glen. "Anyway if the treasure's there we'll soon know
it. You think you can keep in your head the exact location where he

"Yes. It's just at the bend of the Ice Box. Right opposite on the other
bank are those two old stumps--"

"Hold on," shouted Glen excitedly, seized with a great idea. "I'll bet
you those are the stumps of elm trees--the Twin Elms."

"You're right, Glen. I'm sure you're right. I can hardly wait to find

"We don't want all the camp following us into this. When will be the
best time to hunt for it?"

"What's the matter with right now?" suggested Apple. "It's only a little
after five. Breakfast won't be called until eight. Father won't care
where we go so long as we get to camp in time for breakfast."

"But the Indian! What will he be doing while we explore his cave?"

"He won't be there. He hiked through the timber, and he's less likely
to be there now than he would be later on in the day."

"It's all right with me," declared Glen. "Now's as good as any time.
We'll get our blankets and tell your father we will be at camp in time
for breakfast."

When a couple of boys have a great secret which they have just
discovered they are likely to overdo the secrecy of it. Glen and Apple
made a wide detour through the fields and when they at last approached
the Ice Box it was from an entirely different angle. Taking warning from
the exposure of the Indian they took off their clothes in the shelter of
some bushes and made a quick rush into the water.

"Be careful, now," warned Apple. "It's cold as ice and swift as the
rapids. Must be some big springs around here."

But Glen was always at home in the water and needed no warning.

"Here it is, I'll bet," he cried. "Just under the ledge, you see. The
opening's only about two feet wide and the space above water to the
ledge isn't more than a foot and a half. That's why it's all covered up
when the water's high. Come on. Let me go first."

Once inside this narrow passage they were indeed in a cave. For a few
feet around the small opening daylight shone dimly in, but it was lost
in impenetrable gloom above and to the rear. A mass of something dense
loomed in front of them and Apple swimming boldly up declared, it to be
a pile of stone.

"It's the heap stone the Indian spoke about, Brick," he shouted. "We've
sure found it. Let's go back and get some lanterns and things."

Out in the broad light of day the romance did not seem quite so
absolutely sure, and the nearer they drew to the camp the less positive
did they become about their discovery.

"We wouldn't like the camp to have the laugh on us like they did on
Matt," admitted Apple. "I guess we'd better make sure before we have
very much to say about it."

"I reckon we had," Glen agreed. "We can keep it to ourselves for awhile
without anybody carrying it away. That Indian couldn't carry it very far
by himself. Once we are sure, then we can tell the whole camp. Wish we
could find Chick-chick. We could tell him right now."

It was a hard thing to be discreetly silent until their opportunity for
thorough search came, and fortunate that they had not long to wait. That
very afternoon it rained and most of the boys stayed in camp.
Chick-chick was still away on some mysterious errand. Glen and Apple
appeared clad in bathing suits and tennis shoes.

[Illustration: With the lighted lanterns they could get a better idea of
their surroundings. Page 211]

"We don't mind the rain," Apple announced. "We are going out. Look for
us when you see us."

They had already cached a couple of lanterns, a pick and two spades near
the Ice Box and it was no trick at all to get them into the cave. With
the lighted lanterns they could get a better idea of their surroundings.
The floor of the cave was waist deep in water which seemed to rush on in
a swift current and escape again into the creek through a counter
opening a few feet away. The cave was quite long. It did not, as they
supposed, have its beginning at the opening where they entered, but
extended some distance back into the gloom, and as the current was quite
swift back there it was evident that there were other hidden openings.
The vault of the cave was high, so high that they could not see the top
by the feeble light of their lanterns. But the thing that they could see
and that thrust from their minds every other subject was a solid arch of

"I was right!" shouted Apple. "I was right! That's no natural formation.
That has been built up by men's hands years ago. It's sure to be the
hiding place of the treasure. What else could it be?"

"It couldn't be anything else," agreed Glen. "We'll mighty soon see. Get
up to the top and I'll hand you the things."

"I'm up," said Apple. "Are you coming too?"

"Sure thing. The way to tear this down is a stone at a time beginning
at the top."

"Let me have the pick, then."

"No, you hold the lantern and let me use the pick. I'm the biggest."

Splash! The first big stone disappeared in the water. Another splash and
the second followed. But prying them loose was no easy job and they did
not follow one after the other in the rapid succession the boys would
have liked. In less than half an hour they decided that an enormous lot
of work had been done in the effort to bury the treasure.

"We think this is pretty hard work getting these stones loose and
pitching 'em down in the water," said Apple, reflectively, "but think of
carrying all of 'em in from outside to build this."

"Perhaps there were more than two to do it," said Glen.

"Of course there were," said the more romantic Apple, his imagination
stirred by the picture. "There was a small army of them. I can imagine I
see them coming in here in a long procession each carrying his load,
giving way to the next, and slipping away quietly in the gloom."

"Perhaps they didn't do that way at all," said Glen, the practical. "If
you swing your lantern away up you can see that this cave has high
ledges running away back. Perhaps they managed to get rock from some of
those ledges."

"Perhaps they did. But it was hard work, anyway, and it's hard work
breaking it up. But if we can just manage to do this just by our two
selves, and then go back to the fellows and tell 'em we've found the

"Say, that will be fine," agreed Glen.

Suddenly there was a splash at the entrance. "Hush!" said Glen.
"Somebody's coming."

"It's the Indian!" he whispered, a sudden terror seizing him.

"Worse than that!" said Apple, as he saw the figure that minute outlined
against the entrance. "Worse than that!" he repeated with a severity
unusual in his gentle speech. "It's Matt Burton!"



The two boys looked suspiciously at Matt as he advanced, but neither
words of cheer nor resentment came to their Lips. A few days ago Glen's
greeting would have been quick and stinging. His silence spoke well for
the first lessons of self-control. Apple felt so keenly Matt's injustice
to Glen that the cordiality which was his natural offering to good and
bad alike was completely choked.

But another splash caused all three to turn their looks again to the
entrance and in a moment another head bobbed in sight. It was
Chick-chick this time.

"'Lo, fellers!" he called out cheerfully. "D'ye know it's rainin' in
solid sheets outside. Jest had to get in out of it. Old Matt, he's
follerin' you. I's follerin' Matt. He dived. I dived. 'Tain't much drier
in here than outside but anyway ye don't need umbrellas. Mighty little
bit of openin' ye came through there. Skinned me elbow, I did."

"Come up here, Chick-chick," invited Apple. "We can use you. It's dry up
here. And I don't know why you came, Matt, but since you're here you
might as well help, too."

"I came to see what you were doing," said Matt. "I knew you didn't go
out of camp in your bathing suits just for nothing and anyway I wanted
to see if I could track you."

"Didn't bring your bread-box 'long, did ye, Matt?" asked Chick-chick

"Maybe I'd have better luck finding things if I was a confederate of
those that hid them."

Was Matt trying to intimate that Glen had found the cave because of some
confederacy with the Jervice gang? Glen felt his anger rising.

"That's enough of that," said Apple. "If you fellows want to help you
can take turns one on top and one in the water. Come on up,

With four pairs of hands they made quicker progress. Both the additional
workers were strong and active, and Matt especially was urged on by the
desire to show that he could do as much or a little more than any one
else. Suddenly he stopped in his work and looked about in evident

"What's the matter?" asked Apple. "Too much cold water? Maybe you'd
better get out of it for awhile."

"Yes, there's too much of it, and it's too cold too. But what's
bothering me is why there's so much. It was up to my waist when I began
work. Then I threw down a big rock a foot high and stood on it and now
it's more than waist high again. It must be rising."

"I thought we were getting this pile pulled down awfully quick," said
Glen. "That's what's made it. The water has risen up to cover it."

Chick-chick straightened himself up and looked around in the gloom. Then
he lifted the lantern by the light of which he had been working and
swung it far over his head.

"Where's the opening we came in at?" he shouted.

They all looked in the direction where they expected it to be but not
even the faintest glimmer of daylight shone in to tell of an opening.

"Do you suppose we've worked away here so long that it has got to be
dark without our knowing it?" asked Apple.

"No. 'Tisn't more'n an hour since Matt and I invited ourselves in,"
objected Chick-chick. "Wasn't much past four then."

"It's the rising water," said Matt. "I was so busy and it came up so
gradually I didn't notice it. The creek must be rising from the heavy

"Another thing is we've thrown so much rock and rubbish down there that
we've probably choked up that outlet below. There's no sign of it now,"
observed Glen.

"Say, fellers, I'm gettin' homesick," said Chick-chick. "Let's get out
o' here."

"All right for me, Chick-chick," said Apple. "I'm not much of a swimmer
in the dark. You lead the way."

"Not for Chick-chick. I'm no water-witch nor a pathfinder, I ain't.
'Twouldn't do for humble bug-hunter to take such honor. Let Matt and
Brick draw straws for it."

"I'm willing to try it," Glen volunteered.

"I'm not afraid of it," said Matt, his natural bravery pushing him to
the front at such a crisis. "Let me try."

"I hold big rock in one hand an' little rock in t'other. Fellow that
guesses big rock goes," said Chick-chick.

"Right!" said Matt.

"An' Brick guesses left," said Chick-chick for Glen. "Matt gets the

Matt waited for no counsel.

"I know just about where the opening lies," he said, stepping on the
pile of masonry. "I'll dive clear through the passage."

With a quick spring he disappeared beneath the turbid water.

The boys waited an anxious minute, swinging their lanterns far out over
the current. Suddenly Glen thrust the lantern he held into Apple's hand
and made a quick jump into the swirl of waters. He was up in a moment
with a heavy burden.

"It's Matt!" he cried. "I saw his hand sticking out of the water and
jumped for it. He's hurt himself."

The boys were down by his side in a moment, Apple holding a lantern high
above his head.

"We must get him up on one of those ledges," said Glen. "He's breathing,
but he isn't conscious."

It would have been a hard task under ordinary circumstances, but in
their excitement the three scouts made light work of it. One ledge
shelved down toward the water making their ascent easier, and from there
they managed to lift the injured boy still higher, well out of reach of
the water.

Blood was pouring persistently from a wound in the scalp, but with his
knowledge of "first aid" Apple was able to stop this quickly by making
pressure. They had no bandage material of any description but they took
turns in making pressure with their fingers until the blood seemed
inclined no longer to flow and the wound showed a tendency to be covered
by a firm clot. Matt came to himself for a few minutes, spoke a few
half-conscious words and then drifted off again into quiet; but this
time it seemed more like the quiet of sleep so they made no effort to
disturb him.

"He must have hit his head against something pretty sharp when he
dived," said Glen. "I'll go more carefully and just swim gently along
the side where the opening ought to be and reach out with my hands for

But while they were attending Matt the water had made a very appreciable
rise. It would scarcely be possible to feel along the edges now. The
water was too high.

"I'll have to swim under water, fellows," said Glen.

"Don't ye do it, Brick," advised Chick-chick. "You don't want to chance
Apple and me having to make another rescue, with Matt on our hands

"You won't have to make any rescue. I'll swim easily and feel well in
front of me."

"I don't like you to try it," said Apple. "We'd be in an awful fix if
anything happened to you. There's no danger of the water coming up on
these ledges, and it's bound to go down when the rain is over and the
creek drops."

"Cheerful lookout, waiting here for that," said Glen. "The folks at the
camp will go crazy if we don't show up by night. I've got to get out to
carry the news and get help for Matt."

He jumped into the water without further argument and soon they could
dimly see him feeling his way along the edge of the cave. It seemed a
terribly long time before he came back.

"Haven't found it yet," he said with an attempt at cheer. "It seems as
if it ought to be easy enough to find a two foot opening but the top
shelves down pretty sharp just there and the opening is now probably
five or six feet from the surface. It's mighty discouraging to swim
around under there and not find anything. I must rest up a bit."

"Why are you putting that light out, Chick-chick?" asked Apple.

"We c'n see jest's well with one as two, an' I've an idea we may need
it wuss later on," replied Chick-chick, significantly.

"You're not getting scared, Chick-chick?" said Glen.

"No, I'm not gettin' scared. I'm just tryin' to use me thinker a bit. We
got a boy here that may need 'tention. Won't do to be without light. You
fellers got any matches?"

"Yes, I have some," said Apple. "I've kept 'em dry, too."

"All right, then. If Brick has to quit experimentin' in the water
without findin' anything, we'll put out t'other light, too, an' just use
'em when we need 'em. This water's goin' to go down sooner or later, but
while we have to wait a light when we need it will be awfully handy."

"I'm not through, yet," said Glen. "As soon as I find that opening I'll
run to camp and get a rope, and we'll have you fellows out in no time.
I've got marks outside to show me how to get back in all right."

Glen stayed away longer the next time, but he came back, shivering and

"I'm afraid it's no good for awhile, fellows," he admitted. "Once I
thought I had it but a big log barred the way. Then I thought I'd feel
where the current rushed in strongest and try there, but it's strong

Just then Matt stirred and tried to rise but was held back by Apple.

"My head aches!" he murmured. "I can't find it."

"All right, Matty, old boy. You did your best. Lie back and go to

"I've slept enough," he declared. "What's the matter? Didn't we get out
of that cave?"

"No. But it's all right. We'll get out after awhile. You just lie back."

"I'm all right now. Let me up. I remember diving and that's all. Who
pulled me out of the water?"

"It was Brick, and it's just as good you should know it," said Apple.
"He saw your hand waving around and jumped for you."

"It was easy enough," said Glen. "The water was only about shoulder high

"I would have done it for you," said Matt. "But I don't know that you
had any cause to do it for me. It makes me feel pretty small after I've
been such a beastly prig. I'll get even with you some way but I don't
know how. Let me try diving for that hole again."

"Too big hole in yer head," objected Chick-chick. "The water 'd wash
all your brains out. Awful strong current down there."

"Better not stir much," counseled Apple. "There's quite a bad cut you've
got on top and we had a time getting the bleeding stopped. If you move
about much you're likely to unsettle the clot and start it again. Better
lie still."

"But I'm not just going to lie down and die here. I want to get out."

"Easy now, Matt. You don't help us by acting that way and you won't help
us if you get your head started again either. Look at that water.
Brick's worked in it till he's just about all in. You can't do any
better than he."

"Who says I can't?" he cried, bristling at once.

"I'd say you can't if 'twould do any good," replied Chick-chick. "That's
no way to act at such time 's this. Ye ain't bein' like a man or a
Christian. See, ye've started the blood again and it's trickling down
your face. Now lie down."

In the face of such conditions Matt had sense enough to desist from
further opposition. He lay down again and soon the bleeding stopped.

"Chick-chick," he said, in subdued tones. "I give you leave to kick me
if I act the fool again."

"There wouldn't be any pleasure in it, now," said Chick-chick. "Hold
your offer till we get t' camp if ye want t' please me. What I say is
let's put all lights out and everybody go to sleep."

"Suppose the water comes up on us," objected Matt.

"It won't. It can't rise much higher'n the creek level an' we're way
above it now. Let's go to sleep."

"I can't," Matt still objected.

"What's matter? Head hurt ye?"

"Not so much. And I don't mind it so bad when we're all awake talking,
but I'm afraid to have us go to sleep."

"You 'fraid, Brick?"

"No," said Glen. "I'm too tired."

"You 'fraid, Apple?"

"No, I'm scared, but I'm not afraid. But I don't wonder so much at Matt.
I know how I'd be if I didn't know God had a firm hold of me, right now.
Let's sing a little."

He started a familiar camp song, and from one song they went to another.
When they were singing "Where He leads me I will follow" Chick-chick
held up his hand.

"Matt's asleep," he whispered. "I'll bet his head's made him 'bout half
crazy. Hope he sleeps till morning."

How many hours they slept they could not tell, for there were no
timepieces. They would rouse, turn over, and drop asleep again, for each
one was determined to sleep away as much of the waiting time as
possible. It was probably early morning when at last Glen arose,
stretched himself and carefully lighted a lantern.

"It's going down, boys," he announced. "The opening isn't uncovered yet,
but it's two or three feet lower than it was last night."

They were all wide awake now, and all leaned over the ledge to form
their own opinion.

"The current seems to run differently," said Glen. "It acts as if the
rock we threw in has stopped up the old outlet and it was running back
of the heap we pulled down instead."

"Yes, sir. Strikes me just that way," said Chick-chick.

"I'm going to take the other lantern and explore a little," said Glen.
"You fellows needn't come. I'll holler if I find anything."

He disappeared behind the ruined arch, swimming and wading, but he was
back in a minute, all excitement.

"There's a regular passage out this way, fellows. Seems to go clear
through the Mound. The water's rushing down in a torrent. Come and

They needed no invitation, for they were down before he finished
speaking. Around the crumbled masonry he led them, and pointed to an
opening like a natural tunnel which, seemed to lead far into the bowels
of the earth.



The cavernous opening into which the boys swung their lanterns in a vain
attempt to penetrate its gloom seemed indeed to lead into the heart of
Buffalo Mound. A muddy, turbulent stream was rushing down it at a
tremendous rate, but there was room enough left to allow the passage of
an agile boy, willing to bend himself double, and the water was not deep
enough to be an obstacle.

"It may show us a way out," exclaimed Glen. "I'm bound to see where it
goes. Who'll go with me?"

"We'll all go, Brick. You don't leave me behind in this dark cave, you
don't," declared Chick-chick.

"How about your head, Matt?" asked Apple.

"It's good enough now," said Matt. "I'm sure going to be along on this."

With Glen in the lead they crept one after another along the narrow
passage, Apple bringing up the rear and trailing behind him the
cumbersome pick. At a place where the passage widened out into a roomy
vault which gave space for them to stand erect Glen halted the little
company and pointed onward to show how the tunnel, leaving this vault,
suddenly seemed to narrow so that there was scarcely room for a head
above water.

"It's going to be pretty risky here, fellows. I think we'd better go one
at a time. I'll crawl as far as I can. If I don't come back while you
count a hundred let Chick-chick crawl after me. If I'm stuck or choked
he can pull on my feet and pull me back. Then Matt can do the same for
him and Apple for him. I'll either get through or be back by the time
you count a hundred."

It seemed a long count, and it was hard for them to keep from unseemly
hurry. At ninety Chick-chick got down on his knees in the tunnel and as
Apple said "One hundred" he disappeared. Matt and Apple counted again
and this time it was Matt who disappeared, and Apple was left alone. But
he stuck bravely to his counting until another hundred was numbered,
then he pushed his pick ahead of him and crawled into the passage, his
head scraping the top, his lips scarcely an inch above the swiftly
moving water. It seemed a long time before the passage widened, but
there were no obstacles, and in a little while he crawled into a larger
space where the three dripping boys were waiting for him.

"There's a light away on ahead," announced Glen. "I believe it's

It was almost a race after that. Nothing was considered in their mad
rush, and at every turn the light ahead became clearer until Glen, still
in the lead, made a turning and gave a great shout. The next moment all
of them could see unmistakable daylight shining through a small opening.

Glen was lying at full length in the stream, trying to enlarge the
opening with his hands, when they reached him.

"It's Buffalo Hollow!" he cried. "We've come clear through the Mound.
This opening isn't big enough to let any of us in or out, but the
water's going out in a good stream now, and soon it will make Buffalo

Apple's pick was brought into use and with its aid the boys made the
opening large enough to scramble through one after the other.

It was scarcely break of day; the sun was just showing signs of rising
for his daily task. Oh, how good it felt to be out there in full
liberty, able to look around and see all the beautiful things of God's
creation; how good to be able to stand erect and stretch out every
muscle. Apple had scarcely found his feet before he was off at breakneck
speed in the direction of the camp.

"He wants his father should know he's safe," explained Chick-chick, as
they looked after the flying figure. "Come on, Brick. They'll be
worrying about us, too. You better keep close, Matt. Your head might
go bad, it might."

Apple was the center of an excited crowd of scouts for there had been no
sleep in camp that night. Already they were wigwagging the news of the

"There's a big smoke all ready to be started on top o' the Mound,"
explained a scout. "Soon as they get our message they'll start it and
then everybody will know and they'll all come in."

Almost as he spoke the signal shot out its flames and smoke and in less
than twenty minutes the scoutmaster was folding his son in his embrace
and wildly shaking the hands of his lost scouts.

Glen was not there. He had gone quietly into the tent where he had
expected to find his friend Spencer.

"Good old scout!" cried Will, as he wrung his hand. "You've been giving
me more worry than all the rest of my children put together, but I
forgive everything now you have returned. Wherever you've been I hope
this will be a lesson to you and you'll never go treasure hunting

Glen's reply was startling.

"There is no need," he said. "The treasure is found!"

"Found again!" shouted Spencer. "Where? In a bread-box?"

"No, sir. No bread-box this time. Found in the heart of Buffalo Mound.
It is pouring into Buffalo Hollow now and by this time to-morrow there
will once more be a Buffalo Lake!"

       *       *       *       *       *

With the crowd of people who came from town to see the marvel of the
refilling of Buffalo Lake was a skillful surgeon. He examined Matt's

"I can fix that up with the aid of the scoutmaster's first aid kit," he
announced. "You'll need a few stitches but I guess you are man enough to
stand that."

"I can stand it," said Matt. "But have all the fellows go away so they
won't hear me if I holler."

"All but one or two," agreed the doctor. "I'll need one or two boys to
hold things."

"Use the fellows who were with me, then!" asked Matt. "They know just
about how foolish I can be so it won't be anything new to them."

The doctor laughed.

"That's the way heroes talk sometimes," he said. "I'm glad to hear you
say it."

"They know all about me being a hero," said Matt. "But they know I
learned something in that cave."

"All ready, now," said the doctor. "You hold the bowl," he said to
Apple. "And now that you have scrubbed your hands you may hold this pan
of instruments," he said to Chick-chick. "And I guess we haven't
anything for you to hold," to Glen.

"He's going to be the anesthetic," said Matt. "Take hold of my hands,
Brick, and if I holler, punch me."

It was the first time he had addressed Glen by the name which had become
so familiar to the others, and both knew that in the word all
differences were swept away.

That day there was great rejoicing all through the camp at the return of
the lost boys, great rejoicing at the success that seemed sure to come
to the plans of Jolly Bill Spencer, and mingled with the rejoicing an
underlying vein of excited speculation whether a close search of the
cave would not disclose the ancient treasure of bullion or at the very
least some booty stored there by the robber band.

Tom Scoresby again headed a delegation to approach the scoutmaster for
permission to explore the cave.

"What do you think?" asked Mr. Newton. "Who has first right there--who
are the discoverers?"

"Apple and Brick and maybe Chick-chick and Matty," replied honest Tom.
"But I reckon they wouldn't want to keep us out."

"It isn't my cave," disclaimed Matt, who sat there with his head swathed
in bandages. "I just butted in. I got all that was coming to me."

"'Tain't mine," said Chick-chick. "But if there's any treasure I want
some, I do."

Glen and Apple only laughed, but Mr. Newton felt that he could speak for

"This is Sunday, boys," he declared. "No one will run away with that
cave over night. I don't think that Indian will be back in a hurry.
Tomorrow, after camp drill, all first class scouts--the good
swimmers--may explore the cave. Mr. Spencer claims the water rights. All
bullion and other treasure found and not claimed by the authorities will
be shared alike by all in the camp."

Monday morning found the whole camp at the Ice Box. The stream still
was high so that it was no easy matter to gain access to the cave, but
no scout who had passed the swimming test for "first class" thought of
shirking the attempt. Mr. Newton himself led the way and Glen and Apple
were not far behind.

The many lights relieved the pitchy darkness of the cave enough to show
the high ledges that ran still further back into the gloom.

"We will explore these ledges one at a time," said Mr. Newton. "Let
every scout make sure of his footing before he steps. Don't get

Alas! there was unfortunately little to create excitement. Farm
products--potatoes--bacon--several suits of clothes--old pipes--several
tools--pieces of chain--bottles that once had held liquor--even an old
straw hat; but of treasure that could create even a moment's excitement
there seemed to be none.

"I know who brought this collection here," said Apple. "The Indian! It's
his treasure house all right, and that's why he went in here that

"That's all right," said Tom Scoresby, "but there ought to be a lot of
real treasure around here. If no bullion, anyway there ought to be the
bank robber's stuff."

But all their searching was of no avail. When they returned through the
narrow opening they went empty handed.

Waiting on the bank with the younger boys was Matt Burton. He had not
been allowed to enter the cave for fear that the swim under water might
infect his wound. He was greatly disappointed at their failure and,
since characteristics do not change over night, it is not surprising
that he had a very strong opinion that if their party had been increased
by just one member the result would have been different. Let this be
said of Matt--he tried to conceal this feeling.

"Where d'ye look, Brick?" he asked.

"We explored every ledge and went into places that grown men couldn't
have squeezed through."

"Did you dig?"

"There isn't much chance to dig. The inside of the cave is a shale that
no one could dig into. It would have to be blasted."

"Then there must have been some holes or something--oh, say, did you
lift up that shelf of rock we lay on that night?"

"No, we didn't find any loose rock to lift."

"That rock was loose. I remember how it seemed to tip when we moved. In
all I've read about treasure there never was any left just on top of
the ground, except in Treasure Island, and even that was buried until
Ben Gunn carried it to the cave. I'd like to look under that rock."

"We'll go back with you, Matty," chorused a dozen scouts, only too glad
of further exploration.

"Mr. Newton, the water's gone down so much I'm sure I can get through
without wetting my head. Please let me try it," begged Matt.

"If ye don't he'll be so excited his brains'll spill out o' that gash,
they will," urged Chick-chick.

"I'll give him all the help he needs," offered Glen.

"I'll go along myself," said Mr. Newton. "I guess we can manage him
between us."

So back the whole expedition went convoying Matty to the cave. He led
them straight to the ledge of rock and the stamp of a foot was enough to
show its lack of balance.

The boys were greatly excited--even Mr. Newton showed immense interest.

"Use the pickaxes to pry, boys. Get under these loose corners," directed
the scoutmaster. "Tom and Glen, you two are the strongest--one at each
corner now."

The broad slab of rock started easily enough at their energetic effort.
A seam appeared to widen--a crack was disclosed--there followed space
sufficient to allow a hand to be inserted and then a dozen willing
scouts helped with the lift. In a couple of minutes the big slab was
thrown over with a crash, and below appeared a cavity that was evidently
the work of men's hands.

Dark as Erebus was the interior, baffling the peering eyes of the
scouts, until Mr. Newton, hanging a lantern on each point of a pickax,
dangled it into the depths. A vault some four or five feet deep and
running far back into the cave was disclosed. It was partly filled with
an assortment almost as miscellaneous as the treasure left on the ledges
by the Indian; a riding saddle, an old coat, several pieces of
artillery, some tools which may have been accessory to the trade of
burglary, and scattered among these things many articles of personal
property which, were undoubtedly of great value.

But the thing upon which the eyes of the scouts rested with greatest
interest was a metal box, probably secured from some bank, which rested
conspicuously on the top of the plunder.

"Matt and Glen get first selection," said Mr. Newton. "It's their find,
whatever it is."

"Well take the box," said the boys.

Although not of great size the box was rather heavy, but its handling
was no task for two such athletes. To the great disappointment of all it
was locked.

"Never mind," said Mr. Newton. "We will open it when we get to camp. Now
the rest of you take each what you can carry. Bear in mind that the
question of property rights in this discovery is not to be considered at
present. That will come later. All we do now is to carry it to camp."

They made a queer procession as they came one by one through the small
opening. Matt and Glen came first pushing their box ahead of them on the
raft which had been used in bringing over their tools and lanterns. The
scouts who followed in their wake found it no easy matter to keep their
treasure clear of the water as they crossed the swift little stream.

"These robbers chose safe place for their plunder all right, all right,"
said Chick-chick to Apple, "but mighty inconvenient, it is."

"I don't see why they did it," Apple replied. "They ought to have rented
a safety deposit box in some bank."

From the other bank their passage was watched not only by the excited
group of younger scouts but by three new arrivals. They were the
sheriff, a deputy and Mr. J. Jervice.

"The kids has found the loot," exclaimed Mr. Jervice. "They're bringing
it over now."

"I guess I'll have to take care o' that stuff for you, Cap," said the
sheriff to Mr. Newton.

"It's just as you say," replied Mr. Newton. "We would hardly have known
the proper thing to do with it. But I want to notify you that if there
is any reward for its recovery we claim it."

"We'll see you get it," said the sheriff. "This man Jervice tells us
that there's a lot o' valuable bonds and securities in the box. That's
what they was down here after, mostly. Jervice thought we'd let him off
if he gave the story away to us. The old gang got the location of the
cave from an Indian, but Jervice couldn't find the Indian."

"The Indian's gone," said Mr. Newton. "I doubt if he ever comes back.
There's a lot of stuff in the cave yet and you'd better get a boat and a
wagon. Some of the scouts will help you."



The morning of the fourth day found the water still flowing into the
lake in a steady stream.

"It's a sure thing now," said Spencer. "I must get to town and arrange
to close up those options and organize the Buffalo Lake Summer Colony.
I'm not going to tell you how much I expect to clear on this deal, but
your share won't be less than a thousand dollars."

"It will be enough to buy mother a home!" said Glen.

"That's the thought, boy. And we'll see if we can't get you paroled from
the school so you can live at home and work for her. I'm going back with
you to the school, myself, but I believe that war-correspondent friend
of yours has matters moving already."

The war-correspondent friend, taking an unusual interest in the case,
had been doing his best, but he had found it a case of many
complications. That very day, however, he had received an official
communication of favorable tone from his friend, the Superintendent.

"The Board of Control," wrote the Superintendent, "finds in the case of
Glen Mason some very unusual and delicate features. It is not the desire
of the Board to reward a boy for running away by granting him an
unconditional parole. Neither is it their desire to keep in the
institution a boy who has been found worthy of parole privileges. In
this case the boy voluntarily offers to return. Not only so but he has
undergone such a transformation that he returns as a reformed character.
Furthermore he has rendered a service to the State in assisting in the
apprehension of two dangerous characters. Added to all this he is
greatly needed at home for the support which a boy of his age and
intelligence can give to his mother. In consideration of all these
things the Board is inclined to grant a parole subject to the usual

In a personal note which accompanied this letter the Superintendent made
a few additional remarks to his old friend.

"Another rather unusual element is that Mason's running away has been
altogether too well done. He has been too fortunate. Usually such a boy
would get into bad hands and go from bad to worse. It would never do
for us to have him back at the school telling about all his good times
and how he was to have a thousand dollars for his part in discovering
this wonderful lake about which you phoned me this morning. Every boy in
the school would be keen to try the adventure. I am glad for Glen that
he has surrendered his life to God's guidance and I know that he has
found the one real, safe way of life. So I surrender him gladly, and I
feel sure that you and Mr. Newton will not forget your promises of
guidance and support."

Glen went home with Will Spencer to stay with him while he wound up his
business affairs and disposed of his options on the Buffalo Lake
property to a syndicate.

"I'm going to take you out to see an old friend, Glen," said Spencer one
day. "I still have a great deal of business to care for before I can go
away. You know I want to go to that famous hospital, where, if they
can't make a whole man of me, they will make me look and walk like one
just the same. I can't go yet, but I have something planned for you
right this very day. It's a surprise."

They traveled along a road that was vaguely familiar and after a few
miles Glen recognized that they were drawing near the Gates' home. They
were evidently expected, for the whole family ran out to greet them.

"It seems mighty good to get back here," said Glen. "I wish I could stay
as long as I liked but I must get away and finish that trip home that I
told you I was making."

"Would you like to stay here, Glen?" asked Mr. Gates.

"I surely would," replied Glen.

"Would you like to stay and work with me and learn how to run a farm?"

"I don't know anything I'd like better."

"Step out here into the road with me. Do you see that cottage at the
corner? It was empty when you were here. It is a tenant cottage which I
rent to the man who works for me. Yesterday there moved into there a
very nice lady with a little girl and a little boy. There is an older
brother whom they are expecting, who is coming here to work for me.

But he did not need to tell Glen to run along. Ever since he had been
given a new heart and a new life he had felt a yearning for the mother
of whom he had been so unworthy. He wanted to tell her that he was a
different boy, to show her that he was worthy of trust, to shoulder her
burdens, to relieve her of responsibilities, to turn the bitter years
into sweet. He did not run, but he walked with a swift and steady gait,
with erect head and a clear resolve in his heart. After all he was
coming home triumphant, a victor, one who had sought treasure and found
it, one who had found the greatest riches of God's mercy.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. Gates was not a hard man to work for. Glen became more and more
convinced of this as the days went by, but the crowning proof came one
year later when the kind employer ordered him to drop his work and take
a week's vacation at the Scout camp at Buffalo Lake.

Glen planned a great surprise, but some one gave his secret away for he
was met at the station at Buffalo Center by the entire troop.
Chick-chick jumped up on the steps before the train stopped and at peril
of life and limb pulled him off the train into the receptive arms of
Apple and Matt. Big Tom Scoresby gave him grip for grip in a mighty
scout handshake--the only scout who could match him. Goosey hung on to
his elbow waiting for his turn. All affectation of reserve disappeared
on this great occasion--the greeting of Brick Mason--his welcome to
camp--good old Brick! Glen was glad to shake hands with Mr. Newton for
a good long minute so that he might wink back the suspicious moisture
that threatened to rush past the guardian eyelashes.

"Brick rides on my old motor-bike," exclaimed Chick-chick. "Same old
bike--it is."

"Brick walks with the troop," Glen decided. "Where did we get this dandy

"Built by the Buffalo Lake Summer Colony," explained Apple. "Do you
notice all the new stores in town--all because of the Colony? Wait until
you get to the Lake and you'll see something worth while."

A few minutes later Glen stood before Troop Three's splendid new
club-house in appreciative silence.

"Do you see what we've named it?" said Matt, patting him on the
shoulder. "Look up over the porch."

Carved in ancient script were the words:

                             YE BREAD BOX

"And you don't object to that?" asked Glen, looking into Matt's face.

"I object?" exclaimed Matt. "It's a compliment. I've learned to take a
joke as well as give one. We named it because the money that built it
was our share of the reward for the box in the cave, and the second box
was a lot like the first box only different."

"Different inside an' out," put in Chick-chick. "Jus' like old Matty is,
it was. Good old Bread Box. Go on in an' see what's inside, Brick."

"All right," Glen agreed. "Lead the way."

"Don't be 'fraid, Brick. Go in all your own self. It's a surprise."

Cautiously Glen pushed open the handsome door and stepped inside.
Nothing happened. He looked around the spacious room with its home-like
accommodations and its air of easy comfort. From a chair by the window a
gentleman arose and started leisurely toward him. Glen covered the
intervening space in two jumps.

"Will!" he shouted. "Will Spencer! Look out--you'll fall!"

"Never more, you good old scout," said Jolly Bill, as he flung a strong
arm around Glen's broad shoulders. "I can walk as gracefully as you if
not as powerfully. I'm all O. K., warranted not to slip or stumble,
ready to give a Castle Cakewalk or an imitation of a Highland fling at a
moment's notice. What do you think of your new home?"

"Splendid!" replied Glen. "Too fine for a scout camp, though. It makes
it too easy."

"And the easy life isn't the best life is it, you hard old Brick? But
Mr. Newton understands that. This isn't the camp--just the club-house.
You'll find the camp a half mile up Buffalo Creek as wild as ever, and
do you know what they've named it this year?"

"I give it up," said Glen.

"It's named in honor of the scout who has done most with his
opportunities this year."

"It's Burton, then," Glen guessed.

"You have another guess coming yet," said Jolly Bill. "They've named it
Camp Mason!"

       *       *       *       *       *

Now if you want to follow the further adventures of Glen and his scout
chums you will find them recorded in another book "Boy Scouts to the




Published with the approval of
The Boy Scouts of America

In the boys' world of story books, none better than those about boy
scouts arrest and grip attention. In a most alluring way, the stories in
the BOY SCOUT LIFE SERIES tell of the glorious good times and wonderful
adventures of boy scouts.

All the books were written by authors possessed of an intimate knowledge
of this greatest of all movements organized for the welfare of boys, and
are published with the approval of the National Headquarters of the Boy
Scouts of America.

The Chief Scout Librarian, Mr. F. K. Mathiews, writes concerning them:
"It is a bully bunch of books. I hope you will sell 100,000 copies of
each one, for these stories are the sort that will help instead of hurt
our movement."


New York, N. Y.--Newark, N. J.




For Boys from 8 to 14

A group of resourceful boys living in a small town form a camping and
hiking club, which brings them all sorts of outdoor adventures. In the
first story, "At Log Cabin Bend," they solve a series of mysteries but
not until after some lively thrills which will cause other boys to sit
on the edge of their chairs. The next story telling of their search for
a lost army aviator in "Muskrat Swamp" is just as lively. The boys are
all likable and manly--just the sort of fellows that every other
wide-awake boy would be glad to go hiking with.


BARSE & HOPKINS Publishers

New York, N. Y.--Newark, N. J.





True stories of life at a modern American boarding school. Bobby attends
this institution of learning with his particular chum and the boys have
no end of good times. The tales of outdoor life, especially the exciting
times they have when engaged in sports against rival schools, are
written in a manner so true, so realistic, that the reader, too, is
bound to share with these boys their thrills and pleasures.


New York, N. Y.--Newark, N. J.


(Trade Mark Registered)


Endorsed by such stars of baseballdom as Christy Mathewson,
Ty Cobb and Walter Johnson.

An American boy with plenty of grit--baseball at its finest--and the
girl in the case--these are the elements which compose the most
successful of juvenile fiction. You don't have to be a "fan" to enjoy
these books; all you need to be is really human and alive with plenty of
red blood in your veins.

The author managed a "Bush League" team a number of years ago and is
thoroughly familiar with the actions of baseball players on and off the
field. Every American, young or old, who has enjoyed the thrills and
excitement of our national game, is sure to read with delight these
splendid stories of baseball and romance.

Cloth Large 12 mo. Illustrated


BARSE & HOPKINS Publishers

New York, N. Y.--Newark, N. J.

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