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´╗┐Title: Sure Pop and the Safety Scouts
Author: Bailey, Roy Rutherford
Language: English
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Sure Pop and the Safety Scouts

          _Being a Safety Scout means doing the right thing
          at the right time._
                                           --COLONEL SURE POP




Published Under the Auspices of the National Safety Council



Yonkers-on-Hudson, New York
World Book Company

_Get the Safety Habit_

Copyright, 1915, by World Book Company.
Copyright, 1915, in Great Britain.



    Introduction                                                1

    Adventure Number
      One: Bob Thirsts for Adventure and Gets It                3
      Two: The Royal Signet Ring                                9
      Three: The Woman and the Wizard                          13
      Four: The Persistent Pigmy                               21
      Five: The Magic Button's Warning                         27
      Six: The Live Wire                                       32
      Seven: Betty Evens the Score                             38
      Eight: Little Schneider's Fire Alarm                     43
      Nine: "Chance Carter's Way"                              49
      Ten: The Twins Meet Bruce                                58
      Eleven: "Just for Fun"                                   62
      Twelve: Getting Down to Business                         69
      Thirteen: Dalton Patrol                                  74
      Fourteen: Six Timely Tips                                82
      Fifteen: Twin Uniforms                                   89
      Sixteen: Where Safety Was a Stranger                     95
      Seventeen: Giving the Other Fellow a Square Deal        102
      Eighteen: An Adventure in Safety                        110
      Nineteen: One Day's Boost for Safety                    117


  _I will bear in mind the value of human life and a sound body._
  _I will take no risks to endanger my body or any of its parts._
  _I will do nothing to endanger the life or limb of any other person._
  _I will be vigilant not only for my own safety, but for that of others,
       in the street or indoors, on foot or in conveyances, anywhere and
       at all times._
  _I will try to do at least one Good Turn for Safety every day._



AMERICANS are realizing the need for preventing accidents. The general
conservation and efficiency movements and the Workmen's Compensation
Laws first directed the attention of employers to the needless waste of
human life. The discovery that by the safeguarding of machinery and the
education of workmen ninety per cent of the industrial accidents could
be prevented, has proved the value of educational methods in Public
Safety work, and the Safety activities of public officials, trade
organizations, public schools, churches, and other agencies have been
directed toward the prevention of accidents on the street, in public
places, and in homes. Every phase of human life is affected by
accidents, and their elimination means saving human life and the
avoidance of destitution and misery.

The National Safety Council realizes the importance of educating school
children in the principles of Safety; for they will be the future
industrial workers and the representatives of public opinion; their
interest must be aroused to practice and preach "Safety First"
everywhere. Children can be taught to become alert to their own safety,
and can influence their parents to a deeper realization of their

The National Safety Council has directed the preparation of this book
and hopes that through its pages children will be brought to realize the
manliness of caution, the importance of courtesy and consideration;
that, in short, the Safety way is simply the right way of doing things;
and that the efficiency, comfort, and happiness of many individuals will
be increased by the practicing day in and day out of "Safety First."

                              R. W. CAMPBELL
                                   _President National Safety Council_

          _You have no right to take a chance; some one else
          may have to take the consequences._
                                            --COLONEL SURE POP





"Bully for Uncle Jack!" cried Bob, a stalwart lad just on the edge of
twelve, excitedly waving a letter with a South American postmark. "What
wouldn't I give to be with him on his exploring trips! Here, Betty,
listen to this part about their fight with the natives!"

"Oh, don't, please!" said his twin, clapping both hands over her ears,
but listening just the same. "I'm always so afraid Uncle Jack will get

"Uncle Jack get killed? Hardly! Just listen to what he says:

"'This last scrimmage was one of the liveliest I've ever been up
against. The warlike up-river tribes, it seems, mistook our native
scouts for a war party and lay in ambush for us. Might have been worse,
though. Our losses were two men killed and seven wounded--but of course
that's only a fraction of what you wound and kill every day back there
in the States.'"

"Why, what does he mean by that?" wondered Betty. "There's no war going
on in this country, is there?"

"Not that I know of." Even Brother Bob looked puzzled for a moment. "No
Indians left to fight! But say, Betty, Uncle Jack's life is just fairly
dripping with adventure! Think of it--every day chock-full of thrills
and narrow escapes--and adventures every time he turns around! Well, it
won't be many years now before I can be a scout and explorer myself."

A yell from their playmates outside brought the twins to the street in a
hurry. Bob's legs were longer, but Betty, quick as a cat, got there

"You're it, Bob!" "Bob's last, so he's it!" Like a band of savages the
screeching boys and girls scuttled across the car tracks and around the
corners, while Bob counted up to five hundred "by fives."

"Four hundr' nine' five, FIVE HUNDRED!" yelled Bob, and started to dash
across the tracks, for he had caught a glimpse of Jimmy West's new red
boots disappearing under his grandmother's porch across the street. The
sound of the wind in his ears as he ran drowned out the roar of the
coming street car, and of course he had eyes only for those tell-tale
red boots.

Another jump and Bob would have been under the wheels--but a strong
little hand on his shoulder stopped him. The street car roared by with a
startled clang of its gong, for the motorman had seen Bob too late to
throw off the power.

Bob gasped in relief--then whirled around to see what had stopped him.
And what do you think he saw, right there beside him in the street? Was
it a scout--or a pygmy--or what?

He was old and snowy haired, but as fresh as a daisy and as spry as a
cricket. His cheeks were as ruddy as Spitzenberg apples and his only
wrinkles were the laughter wrinkles at the corners of his eyes. And such
eyes! They were big and clear, and so bright that Bob could only look at
them a moment and then turn away. It was like trying to stare at the

He was tiny, but straight as a ramrod in his natty khaki uniform. And he
was holding up his right hand just like the big policeman on the corner
downtown. As he dropped it to shake hands with Bob, there was a sudden
flash of green.

"Why, hello there!" Bob could scarcely believe his eyes. "Where on
earth did _you_ come from? And who--who _are_ you, anyway?"

"My name is Sure Pop!" answered the scout in a clear voice, like the
note of a bugle. "I've dropped in on the United States on my second tour
of scouting duty, and I hear you are thirsting for adventure. Well,
you've had _one_, at any rate; if I hadn't grabbed you just in the nick
of time--" He shuddered and hustled Bob back to the sidewalk.

"Thanks, old scout!" stammered Bob. "I didn't know there was a car
coming, and you see I was in such a hurry--"

"I see!" said Sure Pop, dryly. "_I_ see, Bob, but _you_ didn't. How do
you suppose a wee chap like me ever gets across the busy streets

"Give it up!" said Bob, "unless you can fly!" And he gave a sly glance
at the scout's square little shoulders, half expecting to see wings.

Sure Pop grinned. "No more than you," he chuckled. "So I keep my eyes
and ears open. Folks who have no wings must use their wits."

Bob felt a bit uncomfortable to have his mind read so easily, and
promptly changed the subject. "What a funny name you have--'Sure Pop'!"

"Well, 'tis a funny one, sure pop! That name was wished on me by a crowd
of Borderland folk, and then His Majesty gave it to me for keeps."

"His Majesty--do you mean your King?"

"Right--the King of the Borderland." The two had been walking toward the
Dalton house as they talked. Now Sure Pop followed Bob up the steps and
curled up in the big porch chair to tell him all about it.

"Once upon a time, some years ago, when I was a younger man than I am
now," began Sure Pop, "I was standing on a corner in the largest city in
the Borderland. It was noontime, and crowds of horsemen and chariots
were dashing up and down the street.

"Suddenly I saw a youngster start over to my side of the street without
looking either way. There was a chariot almost upon him when I held up
my hand, as I did to you now, and yelled, 'Look sharp!' He stopped
short--and those thundering wheels missed him by about an inch.

"He picked his way across the street, then, and held out his hand. 'That
was a close shave,' he said. 'You've saved my life, Mr.--Mr.--' For of
course he didn't know _my_ name from Captain Kidd's.

"'That's all right!' I said. 'But you should always look before you

"'Do _you_?' he asked, with a sudden sharp glance.

"'Sure pop!' I told him. 'Safety First!'

"By this time quite a crowd of Borderland folk had gathered around us,
and they all laughed and cheered and called me 'Sure Pop.' And one
bold-eyed rascal threw up his pointed cap and shouted, 'Bully for Sure
Pop!' and ran off to tell the King. At that all the rest of the crowd
clapped their hands, for though they laughed at the name they knew I had
the right idea."

"Ha!" said Bob. "So that's how you came by that comical name of yours?"

"Sure pop!" answered the Safety Scout with a twinkle.

          _Folks who have no wings must use their wits._
                                            --SURE POP




Sure Pop paused in his story as Betty came dashing around the house.
Like a shot the stranger jumped to his feet, and again Bob caught that
sudden flash of green as he raised his hand in salute.

"Hello, Betty, glad to see you!"

"Why, goodness me!" exclaimed Betty. "You seem to know me, but I don't
know who you are--unless you are one of those Boy Scouts Bob is so crazy
to join?"

"Not exactly _Boy_ Scouts," chuckled Sure Pop with a wink at Bob,
"unless you count us boys till we're ninety-nine years old! Girls are
scouts, too, in _my_ regiment."

"Now, Betty," warned Bob, "sit down here and don't you dare interrupt,
for Sure Pop's right in the middle of a story--and I think he's come to
stay a while, haven't you, Sure Pop?"

"Sure pop! I'll stay as long as the King will let me," laughed the merry
little scout.

"Well, after I got away from the crowd," he went on, "my eyes must
suddenly have been opened to the thousand-and-one things that might
happen even in Borderland to folks who didn't look sharp on the street,
for on my way home I saved several others from getting hurt.

"The first was a careless little cabin boy, who went along whistling
with his hands in his pockets. He slipped and fell plump in front of a
chariot, and of course he couldn't jerk his hands out of his pockets in
time to save himself. I grabbed him up in the very nick of time, or he'd
have been smashed flatter than a pancake.

"And only a block farther on, I met a carpenter hurrying through the
crowd with a ladder on his shoulder. Some one shouted to him, and he
whirled around with never a thought of his ladder. The end of it would
have hit a fat old banker squarely between the eyes if I hadn't been
watching for that very thing and caught it as it swung. I went home and
thought no more about all this, till that night, at midnight, I was
summoned before the King."

"The King!" cried Betty. "My, weren't you scared?"

"I was, sure pop! When I marched into the throne room it was crowded
with richly dressed people. The King and Queen sat on their thrones,
and as I went toward them I had to pass between two long lines of

"Suddenly up went the silver trumpets, and the trumpeters blew a mighty
blast. Let me tell you, it was enough to send the shivers down your
spine, that trumpet call was! It seemed as if I never had climbed a
longer flight of steps. But at last I found myself bowing before the
King and Queen. The King, who wore a brand new uniform, just like this
one I have on, beckoned a herald to his side.

"'Now hark to his words,' he said to me, 'and say if he speaks the
truth.' And then the herald read aloud from a long white scroll, with
scarlet seals on it, the story of how I had saved the young chap from
the chariot that noon, and all about the cabin boy and the fat old
banker I'd helped on my way home!

"'Does the herald speak truly?' asked the Borderland King. And all the
rest strained their ears for my answer.

"'Sure pop, Your Majesty!' I replied before I knew what I was saying. At
that he pulled from his finger a new signet ring, inked it with some
magic ink, and motioned for me to hold out my right hand. How do I know
it was magic ink? Why, it must have been, for the print it made has
never faded. Look!"

Bob and Betty looked at the little scout's right hand, which he held up
again like the crossing policeman downtown. And this is what they saw:

[Illustration: UNIVERSAL SAFETY]

"'Hold it up,' commanded the King, 'where all can see!' And then the
trumpets sounded again.

"'Long live Colonel Sure Pop, the Safety Scout!' cried the herald. The
court wizard stepped forward, waved his hand and mumbled a few magic
words over me, and--what do you think!--I found myself dressed in a
brand new scouting uniform, the only one just like the King's!"

                   _Long live the Safety Scouts!_
                                            --SURE POP




Sure Pop, the Safety Scout, drew a long breath and watched the
automobiles whirling recklessly down the busy street. "But say, haven't
you twins had enough stories for one day?"

"Not much we haven't! What did the King do next?"

No doubt about the twins' being thirsty for adventure! Sure Pop smiled.

"Well, a single wave of the King's hand dismissed his people. Looking
very sorrowful, he opened the great book in which he keeps the record of
everything that happens over here in the New World.

"I looked where he pointed, and trembled. For this was what I read:


  'Fathers and mothers and boys and girls killed by
     accidents last year....
  'Injured, blinded, crippled, and maimed...'

"He ran his finger across the page to the totals, and I saw that the
first total ran clear up into the thousands--and the second one into the

"'Colonel Sure Pop,' said the King, 'if only the thought you put into
the mind of that lad you saved this noon, might be put into the mind of
all America!'

"'Your Majesty means--Safety First?' I asked.

"The King nodded. 'All the lives lost in all our battles,' he said
grimly, 'are but a drop in the sea as compared with the slaughter of a
single year in a single land!'

"'Oh, Your Majesty, let me go and teach them Safety First--now, before
another life is thrown away!'

"'No, Colonel. Not yet. The time is not yet ripe. But--perhaps we can
make a beginning. Come to me again tomorrow night, at midnight, and we
shall see.'

"The next night I went to the throne room and found the King studying a
big map. He had a red pencil and a blue one in his hand, and he pointed
to a lot of red rings he had drawn on the map.

"'Those,' he told me, 'are America's great mills. In them and the other
factories, thousands upon thousands of workmen are killed by accident
every year--by accident, Colonel, not in battle.

"'And that is not all,' the King went on. 'These blue lines mark the
trails of the great iron horses--the railroads. Last year these iron
horses trampled out thousands of lives in America alone. And all because
the Americans haven't learned to _think_ Safety!'

"That was too much for me. I pleaded with him to let me come straight to
America and help end that awful suffering. But the King shook his head.

"'The more haste, the less speed, Colonel. Before you can help America,
you must help yourself; and the quickest way to do that is first to
teach Safety to our own people. Let me see you win your spurs here in
the Borderland, and then--to America you go!'

"'Teach Safety to our own people?' I repeated, a bit puzzled. 'How ought
I to go about it, Sire?'

"'Go through all the Borderland,' said the King, 'and muster an army of
Safety Scouts. Train them to know signs that spell DANGER, as an Indian
scout reads the signs of the trail. Teach them to report every danger
signal they see--and they will teach their neighbors, and so the
knowledge will spread. But above all, be sure your Safety Scouts are
well chosen.'

"'But how?' I asked. 'Shall I pick out wise people?'

"'Colonel of the Scouts,' said the King, shrewdly, 'the wisest are not
always the safest. Have you never thought why it is "bad luck to go
under a ladder"?'

"'Never,' I owned up. 'I've always thought of it as just a proverb.'

"'True. But proverbs without reason would be like trees without roots.
Stop and think: sometimes a ladder breaks or slips, which is bad for the
climber--and bad for any one who happens to be under that ladder just
then. And sometimes a painter's heavy paintpot falls--and woe to him who
walks under the ladder then, be he the wisest man in the kingdom. Now
go, and one moon from tonight bring me a full regiment of Safety

"So out through the Borderland I went, saying over and over to myself,
'It is bad luck to go under a ladder,' and waiting for the King's
meaning to be made plain.

"First I went to the home of a great wizard, the wisest man in the
Borderland. As I neared the house, the door opened and the wizard came
out, a heavy book of wisdom under his arm.

"He had a long black pipe in his mouth. Pulling out a match, he lighted
his pipe, threw the burning match over his shoulder, and hurried on
toward the city.

"I started to run after him, when a flicker of light caught my eye.
There in the straw that littered the roots of the ivy vines by the
steps, a little tongue of flame was lapping up the tangle of leaves!"

Bob jumped to his feet as if he had heard the clang of a fire bell.
"Good enough for him, the old fossil! Did it burn his house down?"

"Came mighty near it," said Sure Pop, looking at the scars on his hands.
"He had a sick wife in there all alone, and if I hadn't happened along
just then--

"Well, anyway," he went on cheerfully, "I got the fire out at last. And
the King's meaning was made plain--it is one thing to have wisdom and
another thing to use it. So I didn't ask the wizard to join the Safety
Scouts, after all."

"I should say NOT!" cried Bob and Betty with one voice. "But where _did_
you find your Scouts?" added Bob.

"Well, the next idea I had was to ask mothers, for mothers give up much
of their time, anyhow, to keeping children out of harm's way. I found
one whose house looked so trim and neat, and her children so clean and
happy, that I had almost made up my mind to invite her to join--when my
eye fell on a shining butcher knife hanging beside the kitchen table,
where even the baby could reach it without half trying.

"And that wasn't all I saw. There was a saucer of fly poison on the
window sill! Then I saw the mother starting to carry out a pail of water
to scrub the steps, when the brass knocker on the door gave a thump, and
she left that hot water right there in the middle of the floor while she
talked to a peddler!

"Just then the baby came toddling across the room. He got safely past
the scalding water and the fly poison, but the next moment I saw him
climb up on a chair, open the medicine chest, and grab a bottle from the
bottom shelf--the bottom shelf, Betty, of _all_ shelves in the house!
Out came the cork, and up went the bottle to his lips, just as I saw to
my horror a skull and crossbones on its label. Like a flash I--"

"What's a skull and crossbones, Sure Pop?" broke in Betty.

"Poison sign!" explained Bob, shortly. "Don't interrupt! Go on, Sure

"Like a flash," said Sure Pop, "I bounded to the baby's side and
snatched the bottle away. I tell you, I did some earnest thinking as I
left that house. I realized that it would never do to ask that mother to
join our army of Safety Scouts, for until she herself had formed the
Safety habit, she could hardly be expected to teach Safety to others.
The adventure of the baby and the poison bottle had opened my eyes to
the real meaning of the King's words about finding Scouts who could read
the little signs that spell DANGER.

"By the way, I told the poison bottle story to a great doctor the other
day, and now he's doing his best to get a law passed requiring that all
poison bottles be of some special shape, different from any other
bottles. That will make them much safer, even in the dark."

"But how can they be made different in shape?" asked Betty. "What shape,
Sure Pop?"

"Three-cornered, probably. That certainly would be a life-saving law, if
he could only get it passed. Just think! There were several thousand
deaths in the United States last year from that one cause alone--just
from mistaking bottles of poison for other medicine."

"But what I can't see," said Bob, "is how anybody _could_ mistake a
poison bottle. They all have skulls and crossbones on them, haven't

"Stop and think a moment," said the Safety Scout. "Suppose baby has
croup in the night, and mother is roused out of a sound sleep and rushes
to the medicine chest; she's only half awake--the light is dim--poor
baby is gasping and choking--not a moment to lose. She isn't likely to
stop and read labels very carefully, is she? But if she felt her hand
close over a _three-cornered_ bottle, it would wake her up in a hurry.
Even in the darkness and in the excitement--if she had been trained to
think of a three-cornered bottle as meaning DANGER, perhaps death--it
would stay her hand as surely as a red light stops an engine."

"I suppose," said Betty, "that when folks are badly hurt, or awfully,
awfully sick, other folks lose their heads and don't know what they
really _are_ doing."

"Betty, you've hit the nail right on the head. Now that's why we must
fix things so safety won't depend on level heads or time to think. The
danger signal must pop right into our heads from force of habit. The
sooner American boys and girls--yes, and the grown-ups, too--get the
Safety habit, the sooner 'Safety First' will change from phrase into

"The first day I ever spent in America opened my eyes to the price your
country is paying for the word 'guess.' The more I studied the
situation, the oftener I noticed folks saying 'I guess' where they
should have said '_I know_.' In nearly all of America's accidents,
guesswork is the real cause.

"The moment I realized that, I said to myself, 'It's high time America
dropped guesswork out of its daily life.' My work was cut out for me: I
began right then and there to study out ways of getting folks to stop
guessing, once for all, _and be sure_--sure pop!"

          _Stop guessing, once for all, and be sure._
                                            --SURE POP




"Say, Sure Pop!" burst out Bob, as the Safety Scout paused in his story.
"A whole regiment--did you realize that was a lot of Scouts to get
together in one month?"

"Did I?" echoed Sure Pop with a chuckle. "_Did_ I? Well, if I didn't
when I set out on my search, I did before the first day was over. I had
lost out on the wisest man in the Borderland--_he_ wouldn't do, for all
his wisdom. He only served to remind me of what the King had said, that
the wisest are not always the safest."

"Sure--sure pop!" Bob broke in again. "But how did you ever get a whole
regiment together in one month? You simply couldn't disappoint the King,
you know."

"You're right, Bob, I simply couldn't. So as fast as I did find one that
would do for the army, I set him to work finding others--passing the
good work along. I soon saw I could never make good with the King by
trying to do it all myself, and I do believe the King knew all along
that there was only one way a really big work could be done--by getting
_everybody_ stirred up and enthusiastic. So I turned each new Scout
loose to hunt for more.

"You'd laugh to know who was the first Scout enrolled. As I slipped out
of the poison-bottle house, I saw a funny little pigmy hurry out of a
cottage across the lane and go z-z-zam! down the front steps. We'd had a
nip of frost the night before, and the slippery steps took him by
surprise. For a moment he stood rubbing his head, with his merry little
face puckered up into a comical sort of bowknot. Then he picked his way
slowly up the steps into the house.

"A minute or two and out he came again with a bag of salt and sprinkled
the steps with it. Though he was in just as big a hurry as our friend
the wizard, the Safety First idea had got him, and he plainly had made
up his mind to begin right then and there.

"'Well, I declare!' I said to myself. 'I've a notion to muster him into
the scouting service--but what would the King say to my enrolling a
pigmy?' Just as I was wondering about it, down he went again, flat on
his little back!

"This time it was on the sidewalk in front of his house. Some careless
youngster had thrown a banana skin on the walk. Poor little pigmy, what
a bump he did get that time! But again he picked himself up, and this
time he didn't wait a moment--just poked the banana skin off into the
gutter where it could do no more harm.

"Such persistence was too much for me! I told him the King wanted him
for the royal army of Safety Scouts, and that he was to have the honor
of being the first one enrolled. His eyes fairly popped out of his head
as he listened, and before you could say 'Jack Robinson,' he had
scampered off to help me raise an army--with one of these buttons in the
lapel of his leather jerkin."

[Illustration: Universal Safety]

Sure Pop pulled a sparkling button out of his pocket and laid it before
the twins.

"There, that's the Safety Scouts' badge of honor, and no Scout can wear
one till he earns the right. The King himself designed it."

"My! I wish--!" The twins remembered their manners and stopped short,
but Sure Pop understood. He threw back that wise little head and how he
did laugh!

"You wish--eh? That's what they all say, the minute they lay eyes on
that button! You see, that's a magic button, so it's no wonder everybody
wants one. Friends, that button can _talk_!"

Bob stared at the button as if he couldn't believe his ears. Betty,
taking Sure Pop at his word, grabbed the button and laid it to her ear.
She gave a squeal of delight.

"It does! It does talk--doesn't it?" she cried.

"Sure pop it does!" laughed the Safety Scout. "That's all it can say,
just four words at a time--but those four are enough to save thousands
of lives every year."

"What four words?" yelled Bob, clapping the magic button to his ear. How
his jaw dropped when he heard--or seemed to hear--the magic button's
words, four words he will never, never forget, even if he lives to be a
hundred years old!

"_Safety First_," whispered the magic button in his ear. "_Get Busy!_"

Bob sprang to his feet, so startled that he nearly dropped the button.

"Get busy?" he echoed. "Well, let's!"

"And let's be quick about it," chimed in Betty. "I want to earn one of
those magic buttons myself."

"Here too!" Bob whirled around to Sure Pop. "But we'll have to get the
soil ready first, won't we, just as the King told you? So the seed won't
be wasted, you know."

"That's the first move, Bob. Waste is something no Scout can bear to
see. Waste of life, waste of health, waste of time, waste of food--even
waste of money seems a crime to a Safety Scout."

Betty was thinking hard. "Then before we can plant the Safety First idea
in other people's minds, shan't we have to start it growing in our own,
Sure Pop?"

"Sure pop, we shall! And now listen, friends. When I first came to
America, after years of Safety training among my own people, I took up
the task of planting the Safety First idea among the great American
mills and factories. Some day I'll tell you about those years of Safety
work among the mill hands, but just now what I want to explain is this:
when I had got the work well established among the mills, I thought at
first that my work in America was finished; but the more I thought it
over, the plainer it became that my most important work still lay before

"Your most important work," echoed Betty. "What do you mean, Sure
Pop--teaching Safety to the President of the United States?"

"No, Betty. A far more important work than that--teaching Safety to
children. I saw that by making Safety Scouts out of the boys and girls,
I should be solving the whole problem of the years to come--for workmen,
Presidents, and all. So I drew a long breath and started in again, this
time in America's homes.

"Now how do you suppose I came to choose your home to begin on? Just as
I was wondering which house to tackle first, I overheard Bob wishing he
had Uncle Jack's life of adventure--though the United States has more
real adventure to the square mile than all South America put together!"

"You don't mean it? Why, this is a civilized country!"

"You Americans think so, Bob. And you're trying to bring about
world-wide peace, because you feel that war is out of place in civilized
life. But what about the thousands you kill and the millions you wound
every year? More than you killed and wounded, remember, in the whole
Civil War. What about that? Does that sound so very civilized?

"You want adventure. Good! You shall have it--early and often. And you
won't have to go to any other country to find it, either."

"Well," said Bob, "here's hoping. What comes first?"

"First, we must get our eyes and ears open. That's the first thing for
any Scout to learn, and he isn't good for much until he gets the habit
of noticing things. Scout-craft means reading signs in everything you
come across and acting on little silent hints that most folks wouldn't

"Now, to begin with, here are three practical rules for you to bear in
mind--three things we found out in our first year of Borderland Safety
Scouting: First, a true Scout is always on the alert. Second, a Scout
always keeps cool. Third, a Scout does one thing at a time. Do you
suppose you can remember these three things?"

"That's easy," said Betty.

"Easy as anything," said Bob. "Keep wide awake, keep cool, and keep your
mind on one thing at a time. Three 'keeps'--anybody can remember them!"

"Think so?" Sure Pop's voice sounded surprisingly far away. "All right,
we'll see!" And before the twins' very eyes he faded away into thin air!

          _A true Scout is always on the alert._--SURE POP




"He's gone!" Bob and Betty stared at each other. For a moment the whole
thing seemed like a dream, and they hated to think of waking up.

"But it _was_ real!" Bob turned the magic button over and over in his
hand, glad to have something left to prove the reality of their new
friend, something they could still see and touch.

"We can't wear that button, though," Betty reminded him. "We've got to
earn it first. What shall we do with it?"

Bob stuck it into his deepest pocket. "I'll hang on to it till Sure Pop
comes back--if he does come back. Oh, hello, Joe!"

Joe Schmidt, a wiry boy of Bob's own age, but fully half a head shorter,
turned around and gazed up at the Daltons' porch.

"Why, hello, Bob! What are you doing?"

"Nothing." Bob ran down the steps and began talking with Joe. In fact,
the two lads were so busy talking that they did not see George Gibson
till he purposely bumped into Joe's back with a sudden "Hey, there! Get
off the walk!"

Joe bristled like a ruffled sparrow. "Let's see you throw me off!" When
George good-naturedly took him at his word, Joe clinched with him and
managed to get a half-Nelson hold on him. Joe always went at things in
dead earnest, anyway. Bob and Betty, laughing and shouting, hopped
gleefully around the swaying wrestlers, Bob yelling encouragement to
George, and Betty yelling just as hard for Joe.

Suddenly--was it just Bob's imagination?--something seemed to give a
wiggle in his pocket--then a warning flop. It must be that magic button!

Bob jumped, gave a snort of surprise, and jammed his hand into his
pocket. What had got into the button anyway?

Then an idea flashed across his mind--perhaps the Safety button was
trying to warn him. To be sure, if the wrestlers went down hard on the
cement sidewalk, it might mean a broken skull! In his hurry to get them
off the walk and over on the grass, Bob lost his head. He made the
mistake of trying to do it by force; he caught hold of George's elbow,
and got a sharp dig in the pit of his stomach for his pains.

"Hey, fellows--danger!" he yelled, when he could catch his breath. "Get
over on the grass--look out!"

His warnings came too late. George, much the bigger of the two, got a
hip-lock on Joe, and, forgetting everything else in his struggle to "lay
him out," gave a sudden heave that sent Joe sprawling on his back. His
head struck the sidewalk with a thud.

That was all. Joe lay like a lump of lead.

"He's _dead_!" screamed Betty wildly. She threw herself at the gasping
George. "You--you've _killed_ him!"

George, puffing and blowing from his struggle, held her at arm's length.
A big policeman suddenly came around the corner. "Here, what's all
this?" he asked sternly, bending over the fallen wrestler.

"He struck on the back of his head," spoke up Bob. "They were
wrestling--just in fun, you know--and Joe struck his head on the
sidewalk. Is--is he dead?"

"Small thanks to you young rascals if he isn't," growled the officer.
"Crazy Indians, wrestling on a cement walk! Where does he live?"

He lifted the limp body in his arms and hurried to the Widow Schmidt's
modest little cottage with the green blinds and the neatly scrubbed
doorstep. George and Bob, feeling very sick, trailed sadly along after
him; they hated to think of the look that would come into the Widow
Schmidt's motherly face. Joe was all she had in the world.

Betty, womanlike, was first to think of the doctor. Almost before the
policeman had reached Joe's side, she was running to the corner drug
store as fast as her feet would carry her. The druggist would know where
to reach a doctor with the least delay--she could telephone.

It seemed ages before the fluttering lids opened and Joe's black eyes
looked out on the world again. "No bones broken," said the doctor at
last. "Half an inch farther to the right or left, though--"

He stopped, but the twins understood. Silently they gripped Joe's hand
as it lay helpless on the bed, nodded to George, and the three tip-toed
out of the hushed little room.

That night, before Bob and Betty went to bed, Sure Pop came back. He
found the twins sitting with their heads together, studying Bob's
_Handbook of Scout-Craft_ as if their lives depended on learning it by
heart in one evening. Bob still lacked a few months of being old enough
to join the Boy Scouts; he had long looked forward to his coming
birthday, but it had never meant so much to him as now.

Sure Pop nodded and smiled as he saw the familiar handbook. "Good work!"
he said. "All true Scouts are brothers, you know. Well, how about the
'three keeps' of the Scout Law? Did you find them as easy as you

Bob and Betty grew very red. They did not know what to say.

The Safety Scout saved them the trouble. "Joe's better tonight," he told
them, comfortingly. "I've just come from there, and the doctor says
he'll be up again in a day or so. What shall we do tomorrow,
friends--begin hunting for adventure and planting Safety First ideas?"

Bob looked at Betty and swallowed hard at a lump in his throat. Somehow
this wise little Sure Pop knew everything that happened!

"I think," said Bob, frankly, "we really planted one today!"

               _All true Scouts are brothers._
                                            --SURE POP





Sure Pop saw, the moment he laid eyes on Bob and Betty next morning,
that they had made up their minds to earn a magic button apiece that

"Where shall we go for today's adventure?" was the first question.

The Safety Scout laughed. "We probably shan't have to go far. Once a
Scout's eyes are really open, so that danger signs other folks wouldn't
notice begin to mean something to him, why, adventure walks right up to
him. It walked right up to you two yesterday, but you didn't read the
signs till too late. Being a Scout, remember, means doing the right
thing at the right moment. Now let's start out and walk a few blocks,
and see what danger signals we come across that other folks are

Just as they opened the gate, Mrs. Dalton came to the door. "Bob! Come
here a moment, please. I want you to take a note over to Mrs. Hoffman's
for me. Their telephone is out of order."

She lowered her voice as she handed him the letter, and added, "Who is
that out there with Betty?"

"Oh, that's one of the Scouts. We're going out for a little practice

Mrs. Dalton knew how eagerly Bob had been awaiting the day when he could
become a Boy Scout. She trusted the Scouts and was glad to have Bob and
Betty spend their vacation time in scouting. She little guessed that the
three friends were to start an order of Safety Scouts which even fathers
and mothers would join.

Bob hurried back to Betty and Sure Pop. "Can you wait while I run over
to Mrs. Hoffman's with this? All right, I'll be back in no time!"

Hurrying though he was, he looked both ways before he crossed the car
tracks, for already the habit of "thinking Safety" was growing on him.
He reached Mrs. Hoffman's in record time, delivered the note, and raced
back toward home.

As he slowed down to catch his breath, he met a crowd of yelling
youngsters "playing Indians." Several of them wore Indian suits. One,
dressed as a cowboy, tried to rope him as he passed. This gave the
Indians an idea, and they came howling after Bob, waving their tomahawks
and promising to scalp him. Two yelping dogs joined in the chase.

Bob grinned and broke into a long, easy run which soon shook the
redskins off his trail. But at a sudden delighted whoop from the enemy
he stopped and looked back.

"Hi-yi!" yelled the biggest Indian. "Look at that telephone wire on the
ground! Come on, let's chop it off and use it to bind the palefaces to
the stake."

Pellmell across the street swarmed the little fellows, each bound to get
there first. But Bob was too quick for them. Hatless, breathless, he
threw himself between the Indians and the swaying wire. "Get back!" he
roared. "That's no telephone wire--it's alive! Keep back, I say! You'll
be killed!"

It was no easy thing to stand between the youngsters and the deadly
wire. They were laughing and yelling so hard, and the dogs were barking
so wildly, that at first Bob couldn't get the idea of danger into their
heads. He fairly had to knock two or three of them down to keep them
from hacking at the wire with their hatchets. Would they never
understand? "I won't forget this time, anyway!" muttered the boy,
gritting his teeth as he remembered the "three keeps" of the Scout Law.

Up ran one of the dogs, capering around with sharp, ear-splitting barks,
and tried to get his teeth into Bob's ankle. When Bob tried to kick him
away, of course the Indians and cowboys yelled harder than ever. The dog
stumbled and fell across the electric wire--gave one wild yelp of
pain--and lay there kicking and struggling, unable to jerk himself
loose. Worst of all, he had landed in a puddle of water, so that the
electric current was pouring straight through his twitching body into
the wet earth.

At last Bob managed to drive all the boys back out of harm's way, only
to see one of the cowboys rush for the dog with a cry that tore at Bob's

"It's Tige! Oh, Tige!--poor old Tige! Let me go! I've _got_ to save my

Bob had grabbed the little fellow and held him tight. "Too late, old
scout," he said, with tears in his own eyes as he saw the dog kicking
his last. "Tige's done for, I'm afraid. Keep back, there--that wire will
get you too!" For the boys were crowding nearer again.

"Who has a telephone at home?" asked Bob.

"We have," said one of the larger boys.

"Then run home quick, call up the Electric Light Company, and have them
send their repair crew. Tell them a live wire has killed Tige and may
kill the boys if they don't hurry. Tell 'em it's at the corner of Broad
Street and Center Avenue. Run!"

While he waited for the repair wagon, Bob managed to get the boys lined
up in all directions, where they could mount guard over the danger zone.
Then he stood guard with the rest, and they succeeded in keeping all
teams and passers-by from running into danger till the repair men came.

It seemed a long while before the clatter of hoofs and the rumble of
heavy wheels told him the rescue party was coming at last. He jumped
with surprise when the repair wagon dashed around the corner and pulled
up beside the curb, for there beside the driver sat Sure Pop, the Safety
Scout! Puzzled by Bob's long stay and hearing the gong as the wagon
hurried up, he had decided to come along.

Ten minutes later the live wire was back in place, the repair crew had
clattered off again, and a little band of mourning Indians and cowboys
had carried poor Tige's body over to his master's back yard, where they
buried him after a solemn funeral service. Only a dog--but the tears
they dropped on his little grave were very real and sincere, for he had
been a jolly playmate and a loyal friend.

Bob was very sober as he walked home with Sure Pop. "Wish I could have
saved Tige, somehow!"

The Safety Scout laid his hand on the boy's shoulder. "Bob, you did just
right. You remembered the 'three keeps' this time--you kept wide awake,
kept cool, and kept your mind on one thing at a time. No Scout could
have done more. If you had risked touching that wire, it would have cost
a good deal more than the life of a dog, I fear. It's important to know
what _not_ to do, sometimes. Robert Dalton, I'm proud of you!
Here--you've earned it this time, sure pop!"

He reached down into his pocket, pulled out the Safety button, and
fastened it in Bob's coat lapel. The boy flushed with pride as he lifted
the magic button to his ear. And never had words thrilled him more than
those which greeted him now--for two of them were new words which his
own quick wits had earned:

"_Safety First!_" whispered the button, clear and sweet as a far-away
bugle call. "_Good Work!_"

         _Safety first--not part of the time, but all the
         time._--SURE POP





All through supper time Betty schemed and plotted.

"I certainly am proud of the way Bob won his," she said to herself. "But
I've never been behind Bob _yet_, and that magic button's going to be
twins before tomorrow night, _somehow_!"

The hot summer sun woke her early next morning, and she hurried
downstairs to be through breakfast before Sure Pop came for the day's

"Where do we go today?" she asked Sure Pop an hour later, dancing up and
down and looking wistfully at Bob's new Safety button.

"Sorry, friends," said the Safety Scout, "but I can't be with you
today. I'm due for a little outside scouting duty--something you twins
aren't quite ready for yet."

"Oh, say!" Bob's face fell. "What are we going to _do_ then, all day

"Do?" laughed the merry Colonel, waving them goodby. "Why, you'll be out
scouring the neighborhood for new adventures, I fancy. And as for Betty,
if I'm any mind reader, she has something up her sleeve sure enough!"

Sure Pop was right, as usual. Bob fussed around the yard awhile, managed
to open a box of crockery out on the back steps for Mother, and soon
rambled off to see what new adventures he could find in the name of
Safety First.

Betty spent most of the morning in the kitchen, helping Mother. As soon
as Bob was off again after lunch, she began to roam about the yard,
eyeing everything like a hawk. Soon Mother saw her picking up the boards
Bob had pried loose from the box and scowling at the ugly nails that
stuck up where little feet might so easily be stabbed by their rusty
points. These she carefully bent down with a big stone.

"That's one on Bob, anyway," said Betty to herself, and went on looking
around the yard.

Her eye roved upward to the bright geraniums on the sill of Mother's
window upstairs. "Mother," she called, "have you ever read _Ben Hur_?"

"Why, yes, Betty--a long time ago. Why?"

"Don't you remember how that loose tile from Ben Hur's roof--the one he
tried to snatch back as he saw it fall--struck the Roman soldier on the
head, and how Ben Hur went to prison for it? Well, what about those
flower pots up there?"

"Why, Betty!" cried her mother, more puzzled than ever. "Ben Hur--flower
pots--what is the dear child talking about?"

Betty laughed. "I read in the paper last night that one of the big
hotels has put up signs in every room, and they say:


          =Please do not place articles of any kind ON
          WINDOW SILL (bottles and chinaware most
          dangerous). They may fall or be blown into the
          street, causing serious if not fatal accidents.=

"That's because a flower pot fell from an upper window on a woman's
head. Baby's sand pile is right below your window, and one of the flower
pots might fall while she was out there playing. A sudden draft could do
it, or a door slammed hard. Do you mind if I fasten them on with wire so
they can't fall? Then I'll do it right now before anything happens!"

She had just finished the job to her satisfaction, and was looking about
for something else, when Mother called softly: "Betty, if you'll keep a
lookout and let me know if anybody comes, or if Baby wakes up, I'll take
a nap."

Betty was pleased. Here was a fine chance to play housekeeper. Mother
left a soup bone simmering over one burner of the gas stove, and a steam
pudding bubbling away over another, and went upstairs for her nap.

Betty tiptoed to the little sewing-room, next to the kitchen, and looked
in. Baby was sleeping. Then she softly shut the kitchen door and sat
down in the dining-room to read. Suddenly a shower came up, and out she
ran to close the windows in the kitchen and the sewing-room, where the
rain was pouring in.

She had hardly begun reading again when she heard Bob clatter up the
back steps, tear through the kitchen in search of his raincoat, and
hurry out again. The wind was blowing hard and swept through the open
kitchen, banging the dustpan against the wall like a fire alarm gong.

Betty read on. Presently she looked at the clock and sprang to her feet.
"Why, how long Baby is sleeping today! 'Most three hours and never a
peep. I wonder--"

A faint whiff of gas from the kitchen made her turn pale with dread.
Then it flashed into her mind what must have happened--that sudden gust
of wind had blown out the gas! As she ran to the kitchen, she realized
that she had caught the same faint smell several times before. "Oh!" she
sobbed, "what if Baby--"

Mother, sound asleep upstairs, was roused by a crash from the kitchen, a
shriek from Betty, and the sound of a shattered window-pane; for Betty,
finding that the outside door stuck fast, had hurled a frying-pan
through the window. Then she ran to the sewing-room as the life-giving
breeze poured in through the broken pane.

Startled, bewildered, still only half awake, Mother stumbled to the
kitchen and found Betty, with the unconscious baby in her arms, groping
her way toward the dining-room. Snatching them both up and rushing
toward the open air, Mother landed in a heap on the front porch, Betty
and the baby on top of her. And then--oh, glorious sound!--came a feeble
little cry from Baby, and they knew she was safe after all! There Father
and Bob found them a few minutes later, laughing and crying and hugging
each other by turns. Betty's quick wits had saved the day.

Mother was telling the whole story that evening, not forgetting the
rusty nails and the flower pots--two risks which neither Father nor
Mother had ever thought of before--when a sturdy little figure in a
Safety Scout uniform paused at the door and listened with a shrewd
twinkle in his eye.

It was Sure Pop, who had looked in to say good night to the twins. He
caught Betty's eye, beckoned her into the hall--and when she came back
to the supper table, Bob's sharp eye caught the gleam of a Safety First
button over _her_ heart, too.

Betty had evened the score!

             _Safety scouting begins at home._
                                            --SURE POP




Ever since the twins had earned their Safety First buttons, they had
been looking forward to the Fourth of July, and on the eve of the Fourth
came an adventure far more exciting than any they had expected.

The lights were out in Bob's and Betty's rooms, and Bob had just dropped
off to sleep when the clang of the fire bell brought him out of bed in a

As his feet struck the floor, his ear caught the rattle of gravel on the
window. The room was half lighted by a ruddy glow, and looking out he
saw Sure Pop standing below his window.

"Come on to the fire!" the Safety Scout called up to him. "Perhaps we
can do somebody a good turn. Bring Betty along, if your mother doesn't

Bob got dressed first and hurried in to help Betty. Her teeth were
chattering with excitement, and she could hardly button her clothes.
"Where is the fire, Bob?"

"I don't know exactly--a mile or two north of here, I think. Come
on--Mother says you may go, if you'll stick close to me."

The two clattered down the back stairs and joined Sure Pop.

"Bother that shoe string, anyhow!" panted Bob as they scampered off to
the fire.

"Better stop and tie it up," advised the Safety Scout. "It'll trip you
the first thing you know."

Bob thought otherwise. A couple of blocks farther on, however, he
stepped on the dragging string, caught his toe on a loose board in the
sidewalk, and sprawled headlong. But Bob was game. Up he jumped, gave
Sure Pop the Scout salute, and said, with a grin, "Sir, I stand
corrected." Then he tied the shoe string by the light of a street lamp,
winked at Betty, and the three ran on.

The fire was farther away than it looked, and not till they had reached
the hilltop did the size of the blaze fully show itself. "Goodness!"
cried Betty. "The German church is gone, and Turner Hall will be next.
And look at all those little houses in a row--they won't last long at
that rate!" Then she stopped and coughed, for the air was full of smoke
and soot, both from the burning buildings and from the fire engines.

Everywhere was noise and confusion. Half-dressed men and women stumbled
over the fire hose as they hurried along with their arms full of
household articles, trying to save everything they could.

A frightened sob fell on Betty's ears. She turned to see a chubby little
baby boy, toddling along barefooted in his nightie, the tears rolling
down his fat cheeks. "Mama!" he sobbed. "I want my Mama!"

"Oh, poor little thing!" cried Betty. "He's lost!" She caught the scared
little fellow up in her arms and wrapped him snugly in the folds of her
loose cloak. "Don't cry, honey. Betty'll find Mama for you!" And she
cuddled and petted him till he stopped crying and lay still in her arms,
peering out at the spreading flames with wondering eyes.

"I'm going to find his mother for him," said Betty. "He's scared half to

But Sure Pop caught her arm as she started away. "Wait, she'll find

Sure enough, before long a young woman came running wildly from house to
house calling out, "Karlchen! My little Karlchen! Where are you?"

The little fellow popped his head out from under Betty's cloak with a
squeal of delight. "Mama!" he cried in his soft baby voice.
"Mama!"--just that one happy word, over and over, as his mother pressed
him to her breast.

The look on her face was thanks enough for Betty. Somehow the fire did
not seem so dreadful to her after that.

"How'd it start?" Bob asked a fireman who was binding up a split in the
bulging canvas hose.

"Fellow dropped a lighted match in a coat closet--house next to the
church," puffed the fireman, who was breathing as if he had run a mile.
He gave the hose a parting kick and hurried to join his comrades down
the street, where the flames were fiercest.

"The same old story," said Sure Pop, soberly. "Hold on! What's that?"

Bob and Betty looked up at the little old-fashioned window in the
cottage across the street. A small black-and-tan dog was standing on his
hind legs inside the room, pawing and scratching at the window pane.

Sure Pop put two fingers to his lips and gave a piercing whistle. The
dog answered him, barking wildly and running back into the smoke-filled
room, then to the window again, as if trying to call their attention to
something or somebody in the room with him.

"There's somebody in there!" cried Bob. "Come on, Sure Pop--wait here
for us, Betty!"

As they ran, the two splashed into a pool of water in a hollow of the
sidewalk. Sure Pop dipped his handkerchief in this and tied it over his
nose and mouth. Bob did the same. Then the smoke of the burning cottage
swallowed them up.

Remembering the dangers of a draft, Sure Pop carefully closed the door
after them, and stopped Bob from kicking a hole in the window at the
head of the stairs. They knew which room it was--the farthest window
from the front door--and flung themselves against the door so hard that
it burst open and they fell headlong into the room. The little
black-and-tan dog, barking more wildly than ever, had heard them coming
and was dragging with all his might at something on the bed.

Bob and Sure Pop, half choked with smoke, ran to the bedside. There lay
a little girl only five or six years old. Yes, she was breathing!

Just then the hungry flames burst in through the flimsy closet door and
came licking along the ceiling. Bob's eyes smarted and burned, and his
lungs felt as if they would burst. He remembered his Boy Scout studies
in First Aid, though, and threw himself beside Sure Pop on the floor,
where the smoke was not so thick. Together they dragged the little girl
to the window.

Bob put his lips close to Sure Pop's ear. "Shall we jump?"

Sure Pop shook his head. "Too risky. We'll try the stairs."

With the little girl held close between them, their bodies shielding her
from the flames, the two groped and stumbled down the short flight of
stairs, fairly falling through the whirlwind of flame that swirled
upward from the first floor. Scorched, singed, with their clothing afire
in places, they fought their way back to the street--safe!

Betty ran forward with a glad cry and flung her arms around her twin.
"Bob! Oh, Bob, I thought you were _gone_!"

Just then they heard a shout as a frightened little family group came
running up, and a roughly dressed laborer snatched the little girl and
kissed her till her eyes opened and she smiled.

"Good Schneider! Nice Schneider!" said her small brother, patting the
dog, who was wagging his tail almost off for joy.

"Nice little Schneider--he took--care--of--me!" exclaimed the little
girl between kisses. And the father gathered up the little dog in his
arms and kissed him, too!

As the tired Safety Scouts opened the front gate half an hour later, the
boom of a cannon roared out, somewhere on the other side of town, and
the twelve o'clock bells and whistles joined in an echoing chorus.

Sure Pop raised his hand with a tired smile. "Midnight!" he cried.
"Hurrah for the glorious Fourth!"

          _Don't let a careless match cost a dozen homes._
                                            --SURE POP




BOOM! It was the distant roar of some Fourth of July cannon which had
escaped the watchful eye of the police.

Bob Dalton stirred uneasily and flopped over in bed. The morning sun was
shining straight into his eyes.

By the time the twins were dressed and downstairs, Sure Pop was waiting
for them in the back yard. He, too, had slept late after the excitement
of the fire.

"I had hoped for a holiday today," he said, "but I can see there's going
to be plenty of scouting for me to do, even on a 'sane Fourth,' so I'm
off on my rounds. How are you two going to spend the day?"

"Going over to where the fire was, as soon as we've had our breakfast,"
said Bob. "Looks from here as if Turner Hall's still smoking."

Betty was fingering the Safety Button in Sure Pop's lapel. "What are you
doing, Betty?" asked the Safety Scout, with a twinkle.

"Turning your button right side up," Betty told him.

The merry little Colonel laughed and explained: "I have to wear it wrong
side up each day till I've done my One Day's Boost for Safety."

"Oh," said Bob. "Same as the Boy Scouts wear their neckties outside
their vests till they've done the day's good turn to somebody?"

Sure Pop nodded. "That one little rule is the biggest thing in the whole
Scout Law," he said. "The Scout who lives up to that test--doing a good
turn to somebody every day, quietly and without boasting--will be
classed alongside the greatest Scouts the world has ever known. Bring me
your _Handbook of Scout-Craft_ a moment, please, Bob. Listen to this
from page 7, now:

       *       *       *       *       *

"'Another way to remind himself is to wear his Scout badge reversed
until he has done his good turn. The good turn may not be a very big
thing--help an old lady across the street; remove a banana skin from the
pavement so that people may not fall; remove from streets or roads
broken glass, dangerous to automobile or bicycle tires'--to say
nothing," added Sure Pop, "of the danger to barefooted boys and girls,
or to folks with thin shoes! Don't you see, Bob and Betty, how every one
of those good turns happens to be a good turn for Safety as well? I told
you a few days ago that all true Scouts are brothers; aren't we all
working toward the same end, after all?"

Bob and Betty saw the point. They turned their Safety buttons upside
down as Sure Pop waved them goodby, resolving to get them right side up
at the very first chance that offered.

They found their father on the front porch reading the paper, taking
solid comfort in the fact that Bruce's Mills were closed for the day. "I
want you to help me with a little work out in the yard," he said, "as
soon as you've had your breakfast." So it was almost one o'clock before
Bob and Betty set out for the scene of last night's fire. Just across
the river they met Chance Carter and George Gibson, bound in the same

The German church still raised its steepled head toward the sky, but its
roof had fallen in, and Turner Hall was a mass of blackened ruins. Parts
of the walls were still standing, swaying as if ready to topple over any
moment. Off in one corner the blackened timbers and jumbled bits of
furniture were stubbornly smoldering.

The four stood and looked. "Just think!" said Betty softly. "All that
from just one little careless match! Guess _that_ man won't light a
match in a coat closet again."

"Pshaw!" scoffed Chance Carter. "That wouldn't happen once in a thousand

"How many matches do you suppose are scratched in the United States
every second?" asked Bob, shortly.

"Oh, a couple of hundred, I suppose."

"Ten thousand, Chance, _every second_. And every match is a possible
fire. Sure Pop told me last night that one third of the fire losses are
due to carelessness in handling matches. And the fires in this country
cost us over a million dollars every day--twice that, counting the cost
of fire departments."

"Whew!" Even reckless Chance looked impressed.

"When you get into the Boy Scouts," Bob reminded him, "you'll find out
what _they_ think about fooling with fire. A real Scout never leaves his
camp fire till he's dead sure it's out. Even after there's no fire left
that he can see, he pours water on it and all around it to guard against
its rekindling. A Scout who isn't careful about such things is looked
down on by the others as not of much account."

"Well, I don't care; there's such a thing as being too careful. I wish
we had the old-fashioned Fourth of July back again. This sane Fourth
business is too tame for me!" Chance strolled off to the far corner of
the smoking ruins and began climbing around in the half-filled basement.

George winked at Betty. "Can't teach _him_ anything," he chuckled. "He
was born careless and he'll die careless, I guess. Look at him,
now--poking around where those loose bricks may cave in on him any
minute. We can't say anything, though, or he'll get mad. Chance Carter
always has to have his own way."

"It's a wonder the police aren't guarding this place," said Bob,
anxiously. "Guess they've got their hands full elsewhere." He scowled as
he watched his reckless friend jumping from one charred timber to
another, never noticing how the crumbling walls tottered with each jump.

"Whether he likes it or not," he said finally, "I'm going to get him out
of there. It's too risky. Hey, Chance! Look out--that wall's coming
over!" His voice rose in a startled shout.

"Aw, I guess not--" Chance got no further. The overhanging wall, swaying
on its wobbly base and loosened by his sudden backward jump, toppled
over on him in a shower of bricks and mortar. "Chance Carter's way" had
come to grief again!

"Too late--again!" muttered Bob, grimly, diving into the cloud of dust
that hung over the spot where Chance had disappeared. For a picture had
flashed into his mind--the memory of how he had failed to warn the
wrestlers in time only a few days before, the picture of Joe's terrified
face as his head crashed on the cement sidewalk. Why hadn't he warned
Chance in time?

A groan from the wreckage told where the boy lay half buried under the
fallen wall. "Got me that time!" he muttered, through his set teeth.
"Guess my leg's broken."

A shadow fell on the two and Bob looked up to see George's white face
gazing down at him. "What can I do, Bob?"

"Have Betty run for a doctor, or telephone. Chance is badly hurt. Help
me lift this rubbish from on top of him." The boys worked fast but
carefully, lifting one brick at a time, till Chance was free. To their
dismay he could not move.

"It's this leg." He touched his left, just below the knee. "I felt
something break when the wall hit me. Perhaps the other's broken, too--I
don't know."

Very carefully Bob ripped the clothing from the injured leg. Then he put
one hand gently on the spot Chance touched, and the other hand just
below it, and lifted the leg slightly. There was enough movement at the
broken point so that there could be no doubt. The other leg proved to be
badly bruised, but not broken.

Bob carefully moved the broken leg back into the same position as the
right one and piled his coat and George's around it so it would stay in
shape. He brought the suffering boy some water in his hat, and the three
waited for the doctor.

"He said he'd come right away," reported Betty, hurrying back from the
telephone. "But, Bob, it isn't safe to stay down there--no telling when
that other chunk of the wall may fall on all three of you. Shall I try
to push it over from the inside?"

"Goodness, no, Betty! Keep as far away from it as you can. Well, we'll
have to get him out of here, some way. You run back to that first store,
please, and get half a dozen good strong strips of cloth about a foot
wide and two or three feet long--anything that will do to tie his leg up
to the splints. George, you bring over a few of those pieces of flooring
that are not too badly charred to use for splints. There!"

He laid a long piece of flooring along Chance's left side, from below
his foot clear to his armpit, and chose a shorter board for the inside
splint. He arranged the two coats so that they would pad the broken leg
where the boards came up against it, and tied the splints firmly, but
not tightly, in place. Then Bob slowly gathered his groaning friend in
his arms.

"Sorry to hurt you, old fellow, but we've got to get you out of here.
You take his legs, George,--gently, now. So! We can climb out along that
cave-in on the street side if we take it easy. Up we go!"

                 _Better be safe than sorry._
                                           --SURE POP





Chance Carter, lying helpless on the stone steps of Turner Hall, was
wondering if the doctor would ever come. Bob and George did their best
to ease his pain, while Betty gazed anxiously down the street.

"Why doesn't that doctor come?"

"Surely he knows where we are, Betty?"

"Yes, I told him Turner Hall, and he said, 'Why, Turner Hall burned down
last night, little girl.' And I told him I knew it, and that we were
waiting right beside what was left of it."

"Hm-m-m! Something must have happened to him then; he could have walked
it in less time than this. If he doesn't come pretty soon, we'd better
call up the police department and have them send the ambulance. We can't
wait here much longer."

While they waited, an idea popped into Bob's head.

"Look here," he said, "somebody else is likely enough to get hurt here,
just the way Chance did. I believe we'd better put up a sign. I'll get
some paper from that store."

So Bob hurried around to the store and got some wrapping paper and nails
and borrowed a pencil and hammer. He worked fast, the shopkeeper looking
curiously over his shoulder while he lettered this sign:


          These walls may fall on you any moment. One leg
          already broken here today. Keep out.

                             SAFETY FIRST!

Bob had just finished the lettering when a big automobile came purring
along in front of the ruined building. The chauffeur was in uniform. The
big man inside looked almost lost among the cushions, so roomy was the
machine. At a word from him, the car slowed down, and he scanned the
ruins sharply. Bob knew him in a moment for Bruce, the great mill owner,
one of the richest men in the city.

"Hello, what's this? What's this?" Bruce stood up in the car when the
little group on the steps caught his eye. In a twinkling he was out of
the automobile and bending over the groaning boy, while Bob and George
and Betty told him what had happened.

"Tut, tut!" snapped the great man whose mills gave work to thousands of
men, the twins' father among them. "This won't do at all! If the doctor
won't come to him, we must get him to the doctor." Pushing aside the
chauffeur, he lifted Chance into the car and on to the deep, comfortable
cushions as easily as if he had been a child of two instead of a lad of
twelve and big for his age.

"Now, jump in, the rest of you," he said, "and we'll take him over to
Doctor MacArthur's."

Betty climbed in and George followed. The chauffeur took his seat and
looked around at Bob, waiting. "What's the matter now?" asked Bruce,
impatiently, as Bob lingered on the step.

"It's those walls," answered the boy. "I hate to leave them in that
shape--somebody else will be getting hurt just as Chance did. I'd better
put up the sign. You folks go on, please, and I'll follow on foot."

The mill owner shook his head. "Put up your sign and come along. We'll

Bruce looked sharply at Bob's sign as the boy nailed it up in place, but
said nothing. Bob climbed into the waiting automobile, and the big
machine rolled smoothly, silently to the doctor's office.

Doctor MacArthur, surgeon's case in hand, came out. He was a little gray
man--gray-haired, dressed in a gray suit, with keen gray eyes that
seemed to take in everything at once.

"Who put those splints on?" He jerked out the words like a pistol shot.

"I did," said Bob, reddening; for the doctor's tone made him feel that
he must have bungled his work.

Swiftly the doctor bared the leg and laid a deft finger on the exact
spot of the break. "Simple fracture," was his verdict. "Bone badly
splintered, though--would have come through the skin in short order if
you hadn't got the splints on when you did. Where does he live?"

He took George's seat and George climbed over beside the chauffeur. On
the way to Chance's house, he insisted on knowing how Bob had learned to
give First Aid to the injured.

"So you're a Boy Scout, eh?" Another keen glance from those sharp gray

"N-no, sir--but I'm going to be."

"Eh? How's that?"

"He isn't quite old enough yet," explained George. "You have to be
twelve or over to join the Boy Scouts. I'm one--but Bob knows a heap
more about it already than I do," he added frankly.

"Ha! Well, I'll have to change my opinion of the Boy Scouts, young man.
I always took it for granted they were a sort of feeder to our regular
army--playing soldier, you know. But if this is the kind of work they
turn out, I don't know but I'll join myself."

George got out when they reached Chance's house, and helped the doctor
carry the injured lad up the steps. "You needn't wait for me," he told
the twins, "I'm going to stay a while."

"Come in and see me some time," Doctor MacArthur called back to Bob. "I
want you to tell me more about your First Aid work! See you later, Mr.

"Home, Jennings," said Bruce. "And be quick about it--I'm late."

Bob leaned back against the cushions and studied the grim, square-jawed
face of the great man whom everybody was so anxious to please. So this
was the way he looked at close range, this self-made, stubborn man of
millions who always managed to bend every other man in his line of
business to his own iron will! As he looked, Bob felt it was no wonder
they all feared him--feared and followed.

For Bruce was the man who, more than all the others put together, was
responsible for keeping Safety First work out of the mills in his line
of business. Hundreds of men were killed and thousands injured every
year in the great string of mills of which Bruce's was the head. Over
and over it had been pointed out to him that the same Safety First work
which had saved thousands of lives in other lines would save them in his
line as well. But he was stubborn, iron-willed.

"You're wasting your time," was all he would say. "No theories or
new-fangled notions in _my_ mills."

Because Bruce said this, all the other mills hung back, too. There were
reasons. They knew Bruce.

All this Bob knew from talks he had had with his father about the risks
of working in Bruce's mills. He understood it better, now that he was
face to face with Bruce himself.

All too soon, to the twins' way of thinking, the automobile drew up in
front of Bruce's big stone house. The mill owner wasted no words.
Jumping out, he waved his hand to the three, said to Jennings, "Take
them wherever they want to go," and hurried up the walk.

The eager face pressed against the big bay window disappeared, the front
door flew open, and a sweet little fair-haired girl threw herself into
Bruce's outstretched arms. "Daddy! What made you so late? Here I've been
waiting and waiting--"

"Bonnie!" That was all the twins heard as the big automobile bore them
away toward home. But the way he said it, and the way he caught his
little daughter to his big, broad chest, told Bob and Betty all they
needed to know about the soft spot in the millionaire's heart.

What did his great house and his mills and all his money amount to,
after all? He would gladly have thrown them all aside rather than have
the slightest harm come to his Bonnie; for her mother had died when
Bonnie was only a baby, and the little girl was all Bruce had left in
the world.




The twins missed Chance Carter during the next few weeks. The boy had
been a regular nuisance in some ways, for he was always getting into
scrapes; but he was a clever lad and had a way of making up games that
nobody else seemed able to think of.

"It does seem lonesome without Chance," Bob told Sure Pop when the
broken leg had kept their friend tied up indoors for a week or more.
"And yet we don't get into half as much trouble when he isn't round."

Sure Pop looked wise. "Perhaps it's because Chance hasn't learned that
he must play according to the rules," he said. "The fellow who is
always taking chances isn't playing up to the rules of the game."

"Anyhow," said Betty, "Chance has had his lesson now. By the time he's
able to run around again, he will be ready to quit taking chances."

Sure Pop changed the subject, though a shrewd twinkle seemed to say that
it would take more than one lesson to teach Chance how to play life's
game according to the rules. "How'd you like to take a trip with me

"Fine!" exclaimed Bob and Betty. "Where?"

"To a kind of moving picture show," answered Colonel Sure Pop. "Let's
start right away, then. And be sure you wear your Safety First buttons."

The twins couldn't help smiling at the idea of going anywhere without
their magic buttons. They boarded the crowded street car with Sure Pop
and stood beside the motorman all the way to the railroad yards. It
seemed as if somebody tried to get run over every block or two, and the
way people crossed the crowded streets in the middle of blocks was
enough to turn a motorman's hair gray.

"How'd you like to be the motorman, Bob?"

"Well, I tell _you_, Sure Pop, I don't believe it's as much fun as it
looks from the outside. If fellows like Chance and George would ride
beside the motorman for just one day, seeing what he has to see right
along, they'd be Safety workers forever after. Look at that, now! Those
chaps have no business to cross in the middle of the block."

"Nobody has," agreed Sure Pop, with a keen glance at Bob. The boy
flushed as he remembered what he himself had been doing when he first
felt the warning touch of the Safety Scout's hand.

He and Betty noticed, too, how carefully Sure Pop looked all around him
before leaving the car, and they did likewise. Two short blocks more and
they were in sight of the railroad roundhouse. The Safety Scout stuck
his head inside the great doorway and peered around at the smoking
engines that impatiently awaited their turn. "There she is!" he
exclaimed. "There's old Seven-Double-Seven!" And he waved his hand at
the engineer up in the cab.

The three climbed into the engine cab, where the fireman stood waiting
with his eye on the steam gauge. From the way the engineer shook hands
with Sure Pop, the twins decided they must be old friends.

"Got my orders?" asked the engineer. He ripped open the envelope Sure
Pop handed him, glanced at the message, nodded to the fireman, and
gently pulled open the throttle. The big, powerful engine answered his
touch like a race horse. With a warning clang of the bell, they slipped
down the shining track, through the crowded yards, and toward the city

"Bob, what are you looking for?" asked Sure Pop.

Bob went on looking in all the corners of the cab as if greatly puzzled.
"Looking for the moving picture machine," he said with a grin. "I
thought I heard you promise us a moving picture show."

"You just wait. Be ready to rub your magic buttons when I say the word,
both of you, and you'll see some moving pictures you'll never
forget--pictures of what _might_ happen to boys and girls like
yourselves. The pity of it is, it does happen, every day of the year."

Sure Pop paused to call their attention to some little blurry patches of
blue scattered along the track. "Wild flowers," he said. "Pretty things,
aren't they? If we weren't going so fast, we'd stop and get some."

The engineer scowled. "Pretty? They don't look pretty to me any more.
Look there, now!"

The brakes jarred as he spoke, and the shriek of the whistle scattered a
group ahead. Several young couples, going home from town by way of the
railroad track, had stopped to gather wild flowers. One couple were
walking hand in hand over the railroad bridge, deaf at first to whistle
and bell and everything else. Suddenly they heard, looked up, and turned
first one way and then another, uncertain whether to jump off the bridge
or stand their ground.

"Is it any wonder that I don't like the flower season?" grunted the
engineer in disgust. "It's the worst time of all, seems to me. Now you'd
think those young fellows and girls were old enough and would have sense
enough to keep off the railroad's right of way, wouldn't you? But look
at 'em!"

He mopped his forehead and glared ahead at the frightened couple,
holding the panting engine at a standstill till they could scramble off
the bridge.

"They act as if we had nothing to do but just watch out for 'em," he
went on, getting under way again. "They got off scot-free this time, but
imagine what old Seven-Double-Seven would have done to 'em if this had
been my regular run! Forty miles an hour on schedule--and where would
they be now?

"It's the same old story, day after day--boys riding bicycles down the
tracks, when the road's ten times smoother and a million times as safe!
Boys playing on the turntables and getting crippled for life, one by

"They'll run like mad to get across the track ahead of a fast train--and
then stand and watch it go through! I ought to know--I did it myself
when I was a boy, but little I knew then of the way it wrecks an
engineer's nerves!

"They flip the cars and try to imitate the brakemen without the least
idea of how many thousands of brakemen have lost their lives just that
way. They crawl under cars, instead of waiting or going around. Why,
Colonel, the railroads kill thousands and thousands of people every
year--you know the figures--dozens every day, week in and week out. And
somebody's badly hurt on the railroads every three minutes or less--_and
a third of them are boys and girls and little children_! That's what I
can't stand--the little folks getting hurt and getting killed, when just
a bit of common sense would save them! Oh, if their fathers and mothers
had any idea--"

The big engineer choked up for a moment. "Even on the trains," he
added, "when they're safe inside the cars, they get hurt. I'm not the
only one that worries on my run--ask the conductor. He'll tell you how
they run up and down the aisle, till a sudden jar of the brakes throws
'em against a seat iron or into the other passengers. They get out into
the vestibules, which is against the rules, and when the train takes a
sudden curve they get smashed up."

Three minutes later he slowed down for the twins to watch the fast mail
thunder past. It was near a village crossing, and a little group of boys
stood waiting. As No. 777 came to a stop, the twins saw that most of the
boys had stones in their hands.

On came the fast mail, tearing past the little village as if it were not
even on the map. The mail cars--the smoker--the long rows of glass
windows, a head beside each--

Smash! The flying splinters of glass told of one stone that had found
its mark. The boys ran like scared cats around the corner into a lumber

"Little cowards!" The fireman glared angrily after them. "They may have
killed somebody on that train--_they_ don't know!"

"Rub your buttons!" whispered Sure Pop, whose eyes were still fixed on
the fast mail, now disappearing in a cloud of smoke and dust.

Bob and Betty rubbed. At their first touch of the magic buttons the
disappearing train took on a queer, unreal look, like a film at the

They seemed to be inside one of the cars. They seemed to be watching a
sweet-faced old lady--somebody's grandmother--snowy haired, kind,
gentle, not used to traveling, as even the twins could see. She kept
looking first at the time-table and then at an old key-winding silver
watch she wore on a quaint little chain around her neck.

Her lips were moving, smiling. "Only two stops more," she seemed to be
saying, "and then I shall see little Jim." She took a kodak picture out
of her handbag and looked at it long and lovingly. She glanced out of
the window and saw a group of boys standing by the village crossing "to
watch the fast mail go through." She liked boys. She smiled at them--she
did not see the stones in their hands.

Smash! The other passengers sprang to their feet as one of the stones,
thrown at random, shivered the car window into bits and struck the kind
old face, full between the eyes. A quick, startled cry--a pitiful
fumbling of kind old hands before shattered spectacles and eyes suddenly
blinded--and the moving picture seemed to fade away. The twins were left
with the sickening fear that perhaps little Jim's grandmother might
never see him after all.

"Oh! oh!" gasped Betty, rubbing her eyes. "How terrible!" Bob caught
Sure Pop by the arm.

"Did we imagine it, Sure Pop--or was it true?"

"Too true," said Sure Pop, sadly. "It happens almost every day
somewhere--where boys throw stones at the cars 'just for fun'!"




"And just to think," said Bob, as the three sat on the home steps
talking over their exciting trip on old No. 777, "just to think of how
many boys and girls are killed on the railroad tracks every day!"

"Every day," echoed the little Safety Scout, "and all over the world. Go
into any village graveyard along any railroad, and you'll find the grave
of some boy or girl who has been killed trespassing on the railroad
tracks. No way to save them, I'm afraid, till folks wake up to the fact
that it's not so much the tramps who are being killed this way--it's the

"It's just awful," said Betty, puckering up her brow in a thoughtful
scowl. "I think we ought to do something about it."

"What, for instance?" Sure Pop was watching her sharply.

"Well, something to put a stop to it. Surely we could find _some_ way of
teaching the boys and girls how to play safely; and then when they grew
up they'd be in the habit of _thinking_ Safety. Then they'd teach
_their_ boys and girls--and all this awful killing and crippling, or
most of it, would be ended."

"The trouble is," said Bob, "in going at the thing in too much of a
hit-or-miss style. We could do some good by talking to the few boys and
girls we could reach, but not enough. Why can't we organize?"

Sure Pop's eager face lighted up, overjoyed at the turn Bob's thoughts
were taking. "You can," he said quietly.

"Why, sure!" went on Bob, getting more and more excited as the idea took
hold. "Let's get busy and organize an army of Safety Scouts right here.
We've already got the biggest thing in the Safety Scout Law at
work--don't you see?--our 'One Boost for Safety' every day. We can get
some more Safety Scout buttons made, and as fast as a boy earns his--"

"--Or a girl earns hers!"--interrupted Betty, so seriously that Bob
couldn't help smiling.

"Yes, of course--girls too--why, as fast as boys and girls earn the
right to wear Safety Scout buttons, we can form them into patrols. It
wouldn't be long before we could have several troops hard at it. I tell
you, Sure Pop, if we go at it that way we can do big things for Safety
just as sure as you're a foot high!"

Sure Pop gave Betty a droll little wink. "It's a go, then," he said
cheerfully. "Well, where are you going to begin?"

Bob looked up at him with a sudden idea shining in his eyes. "Why not
begin by organizing in patrols and then in troops, just about like the
Boy Scouts? First, we can get a few of our friends interested, and let
each one of them get eleven others interested--that will make a patrol
of twelve, commanded by the one who got them together."

"Spoken like a Scout and a gentleman!" cried the little Colonel, giving
him a sounding thump on the shoulder. "Go on, Bob--what next?"

"Well, just as fast as we get four new patrols, we can form them into a
troop, with a Scout Master for their leader."

"Good," said Sure Pop. "It will take some lively work to pick your Scout
Masters and get them trained in time, but the difference in their
efficiency will be worth your while."

"I suppose," said Betty, "we'll have to choose only boys and girls who
have good records for Safety?"

Bob looked doubtful. "What do you think about that, Sure Pop?"

"I think it would be a mistake, Bob. You'll find too few who have even
learned to think Safety. A better plan will be to take in those who seem
most in earnest over the idea, especially those who have been taught a
hard lesson through accidents which care would have avoided."

"Go on, please. Tell us more--how would you work out the details?"

"Bob, I would--but I believe I've told you enough. You and Betty go
ahead in your own way and work out the details yourselves. Let me see
you get your Safety Scouts together, if you really do mean business, and
I'll show you about the work that's already been done among the factory
hands and mill-workers of America.

"Let me tell you this much, though: you'll find, when you get your
Safety Scouts of America organized, that the good work will go ahead by
leaps and bounds. All this talk about 'efficiency' is really part of the
same movement, though very few realize it; it's nothing more or less
than cutting out guess work and waste--and what else, after all, is our
Safety work?"

"That's so. It really is all working in the same direction, isn't it?"
agreed Bob. "Chance Carter's oldest brother is studying to be an
efficiency engineer--perhaps he can give us some ideas."

"Then--you really do mean to get busy and organize the Safety Scouts of

"Mean it!" Bob and Betty fairly shouted the words in their eagerness to
get to work. And as Sure Pop said good night to them, there was a joyous
light in his eye which showed his plan was working out just as he had
thought it would.

He smiled a satisfied smile as the door closed on the excited Dalton
twins. "And now," said Colonel Sure Pop to himself, "_now_, we're
getting down to business!"

          _Enlist now! We fight to save life, not
          to take it._
                                            --SURE POP





The next few weeks were busy ones for Bob and Betty Dalton. The plan was
a big one--the Safety Scouts of America. Growing out of an idea planted
by Colonel Sure Pop, it sprouted and grew surprisingly fast. Already the
news was spreading like wildfire among the boys and girls all over the

Joe Schmidt was out again, his head as good as ever. George Gibson,
always brim full of energy and enthusiasm, had set his heart on becoming
a Safety Scout Master and heading a troop of his own. Even Chance
Carter, hobbling about on crutches, had caught the fever of Safety
Scouting and was making all sorts of plans as to what he would do when
his broken leg got well.

Chance really had changed, somehow. The twins supposed it was all due to
his accident, but the real reason was Colonel Sure Pop. Chance seemed
almost magnetized by the little Colonel and never lost a chance to be
near him.

"Honestly now, Colonel," he owned up to Sure Pop one day, "I'd read so
many stories about reckless heroes and all that, I got in the habit of
thinking I had to be reckless. Story books seem to make out that it's a
brave thing to risk your life--and wasn't that exactly what Bob did when
he found that live wire?"

Sure Pop laid an understanding hand on Chance's shoulder.

"Listen, Chance! You've caught only half the point, that's your main
trouble. It _is_ a manly thing to take a risk--_when it's necessary_.
When somebody's life is in danger, it's the manliest thing on earth to
take a risk for the sake of saving it. That's why Bob's act in
patrolling the live wire earned him a Safety Scout button--the lives of
those smaller boys were in danger, to say nothing of anybody else who
might blunder across the wire just then--that's where the difference
comes in."

"That's so. I never thought of it in just that way."

"I know you haven't. When you stop to think it over, you see it's a
fellow's plain duty to take a chance when it's necessary, but it's
downright foolish to do it on a dare. One thing about Bob's live-wire
adventure I don't believe even he realizes," added Sure Pop. "It was
that hurry-up patrol of small boys that he threw out around the live
wire which really gave him the idea of how to organize the Safety Scouts
of America. I knew the idea would strike him and Betty sooner or later."

Chance looked admiringly at the little Colonel. What a wise Scout he
was, sure enough, as keen and clever at reading signs of the trail as
any Indian fighter that ever stepped in deerskin!

The boy looked longingly after the Safety Scout Patrol, which was just
starting off on an "observation hike," as Bob called it. Part of the
training Bob had laid out for his men was an hour's brisk walk, after
which each Safety Scout wrote out a list of the unsafe things he had
noticed while "on the trail."

"There's one thing that stumps me, though," said Chance. "How did Bob
_know_ that was a live wire?"

"He didn't. He simply had sense enough to treat _all_ fallen wires as if
they _were_ alive. See? Better safe than sorry. Just the same in turning
on an electric light: it _may_ not harm you to touch an iron bedstead
with one hand while you turn the light on with the other--but it's
taking a chance. Same's the fellow who turns an electric bulb on or off
while standing in a bathtub: he _may_ go on with his bath in safety--and
then again he may drop lifeless in the water.

"It's a good deal like the gun that isn't loaded, Chauncey. There _was_
a lad, you know, who found a gun was dangerous without lock, stock, or
barrel--his father whipped him with the ramrod! A real Scout knows how
to take care of himself--and of others. And that's especially true of
Safety Scouts."

"Well, Colonel," said Chance, reaching for his crutches and rising
painfully to his feet, "I'm _for_ it! Perhaps if I make good, the
fellows will quit calling me Chance and call me either Chauncey or
Carter, I don't care which--but Chance makes me sick!"

"Here's _to_ you, Carter!" said Sure Pop, with a hearty handshake. Again
came that smile of satisfaction as he watched the boy hobble off on a
slow "observation hike" of his own. In Carter's mind, too, the big idea
was taking root.

Ten days later, Colonel Sure Pop was reviewing Dalton Patrol.

"Safety Scouts," he said, saluting the even ranks drawn up before him,
"your Colonel is proud of the work you're doing. These 'observation
hikes,' as your Scout Master calls them, show better than anything else
how much more alert you are to danger signs than you were a month ago.

"Now, I've been sizing up these risks as covered by your patrol reports.
They seem to be of three kinds--home, street, and railroad risks.

"Nobody can study these reports without seeing that our work is plainly
cut out for us for the next few months. Charity and every other good
work begin at home--though they end there only with the weak-minded! So
our work in Safety patrolling will naturally begin in our homes and with
ourselves, and will begin with the risks which these reports show to be
most common. Let me read you a few of the common risks reported by the
Scouts of this patrol:

       Matches: left on floor where they may be stepped
         on; or where mice may nibble them; or next the
         stovepipe or chimney; or thrown down before the
         last spark is out.

       Celluloid things: brushes and combs handled near
         the gas jet, where they may burst into flame.

       Kerosene: poured on the fire to make it burn faster
         (three bad cases of burns reported from this cause

       Gasoline: left near a flame, or anywhere except
         clear outside the house.

       Gas: lighting oven of gas stove without first
         opening oven door; leaving gas jet burning near
         window, where breeze may blow curtains across (five
         fires started that way during last month).

       Electric wires: loose wires crossing, which often
         cause fires.

       Bathers: venturing too far out in deep water. In
         nearly every case, it is the rescuer who drowns.
         Never take a chance that may cost another's life.

       Safety pins: left open within baby's reach. You all
         know what happened to Mrs. Fuller's baby girl two
         weeks ago, all through an open safety pin.

       Hot water and grease: left standing where children
         may get into them.

       Dogs: left unmuzzled and running loose.

"These are only a few of the common dangers shown in your scouting
reports. So far, our work has been hunting out these risks and listing
them. From now on, we'll fall to with a will and set them right as fast
as we can, in our own homes first and next among our neighbors.

"Just one word of caution before we take up this new patrol duty. Let's
be careful how we go about setting these things right. Remember, we can
catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, so let's not give people
the idea we are criticizing them--just suggesting.

"For instance: if a Safety Scout sees a mop and a pail of scalding water
on Mrs. Muldoon's back steps and one of her babies in danger of pitching
into it headfirst, he'd better not walk up and begin to scold about it.
Mrs. Muldoon may have done that for years without scalding any one yet.
More likely than not she'd just order you off the place--and go right on
as before. But if, instead, a Scout steps up and begins playing with
the baby, he can first get baby out of harm's way and _then_ watch his
chance to say, 'Baby seems to have his eyes on that pail of hot water,
Mrs. Muldoon. Two babies over on the west side were scalded to death
last week; did you hear about it?' Chances are Mrs. Muldoon will be
around warning all her neighbors before you've been gone ten minutes.
Get the idea?--honey instead of vinegar."

"Honey works better down in South America, anyhow!" said a deep voice,
and a tall, handsome man stepped forward, saluted, and shook hands
cordially with Colonel Sure Pop. He was brown as a berry from the
tropical sun and he carried his left arm in a sling.

"Uncle--Uncle Jack!" The Dalton twins forgot that the troop was on
review, forgot Mrs. Muldoon's babies, forgot everything and everybody
but Uncle Jack. What a surprise! And he knew Sure Pop, too!

"Sure pop, I do!" laughed the explorer, kissing Betty warmly before the
whole admiring troop. "Here, look out for that lame arm, you rascals!
Our surgeon told me it would be well in a month, but he was too
optimistic, for once!" For Bob and Betty were fairly swarming over their
favorite uncle, home at last from the jungle.

"Nellie," said Uncle Jack to Mrs. Dalton that night, when the Safety
Scouts were off to bed at last, "those twins of yours are making
history--do you realize that?"

"Well," said his sister, "they have their faults, like all the rest,
but they're pretty fine youngsters at that. But, oh, Jack, they're
growing up so fast!"

"They are, sure enough, like weeds; but their harvest isn't going to be
any weed crop, now mark my words. I heard most of what was said at their
patrol review this afternoon before anybody saw me; and on my word,
Nell, those youngsters have started something bigger than they have any
idea of, something that no power on earth is going to be able to stop.
After all, I'm just as pleased that the old chief's spear thrust sent me
home in time to see the Safety Scouts of America in the making!"

          _A real Scout knows how to take care of himself--and
          of others._--SURE POP





Sure Pop and Uncle Jack were sprawled out side by side on the green
river bank, talking over old times. Bob and Betty were hanging on every

"My first few months of Safety work among American factories and mills,"
Sure Pop was saying, "was largely planting. I planted the Safety First
idea and gave it time to grow. I began with the steel mills; then I
turned to the railroads, then to the wood-working shops, and so on."

Uncle Jack gazed thoughtfully at the sparkling river. "Well," he said
at last to Sure Pop, "what results and how?"

"How?" repeated the little Colonel. "First, by putting the idea, Safety
First, into the mind of every workman we met. Second, by whispering in
his ear new ways of cutting out accidents--_after_ the Safety First idea
had had a chance to sink in. Results? Three fourths of the deaths and
injuries in the steel mills were cut out entirely in six years' time; in
the railroads, the number of accidents was cut squarely in two in three
years' time; in other kinds of work--all except one--big reductions all
along the line."

"Great!" There was no mistaking the admiration in Uncle Jack's voice.
"What about the one exception--what line was that?"

"It's a certain class of mills that is practically controlled by one
man, a very able man, but exceedingly self-willed and stubborn. He owns
a chain of mills from coast to coast, and the rest of the manufacturers
in his line follow his lead in everything. He has fought the Safety
First idea from the start--calls it 'one of these new-fangled
notions'--will have nothing at all to do with it--and he has held back
the Safety movement in his whole line of work."

"Hm-m-m! Hard nut to crack, eh? What's the old codger's name?"

"Bruce. He's done more to handicap Safety work than any other man in
the country--and I do believe he's proud of it," said Sure Pop, grimly.

"Bruce--isn't that the man your father works for, Bob?"

Bob nodded. "He has a heart, though"--and he told them how the mill
owner had come to Chance Carter's aid, and how like a different man he
had seemed when little Bonnie threw her happy arms around him.

"Queer mixture, isn't he?" said Uncle Jack.

"Yes, he is. But don't you suppose our patrol could do something to
change his mind?"

Uncle Jack waved the idea aside. "Forget it, Bob, forget it! Don't lose
sight of what the Colonel told you Scouts yesterday about the right way
to go at things. Well, the right way to go at Bruce is to leave him
alone for a while. If he's as prejudiced as all that, interfering would
only make him worse. He'll come around by and by, won't he, Colonel?"

"All in good time," said Sure Pop. "Your work is cut out for you, Bob,
as I told you yesterday. Get the Safety First idea well rooted in the
homes, and then we'll begin on the streets, and get folks in the habit
of thinking Safety every time they cross the street."

Uncle Jack yawned and stretched himself.

"Can you spare these twins of ours for the day, Colonel? I've a frolic
of my own I want to borrow them for, if I may."

"Sure pop! Go ahead, sir."

Uncle Jack stepped across the street to a telephone, and the first thing
Bob and Betty knew, a big red automobile drew up beside them. "Jump in,
folks--look out for my arm, please. Now--we're off! Goodby, Colonel."

"My, but isn't this glorious!" Betty nestled closer to her uncle as they
sped along toward the shopping district. "Is this your car, Uncle Jack?"

"For today it is," laughed her uncle. "Today we'll just make believe I
own the mint. Careful there, driver!"

Forgetful of his lame arm, he jumped to his feet and waved his hand in
warning. They had been running smoothly along the car tracks, and
another automobile had cut in ahead of them from around the corner. A
tow-headed lad of about Bob's age, who was stealing a ride on it,
holding himself on by main strength as the automobile jounced along over
the crossing, had just made up his mind he would ride no farther and was
getting ready to jump. Down he came, kerflop, in the street, stubbing
his toe as he tried to catch his balance.

Uncle Jack's chauffeur, warned by his shout, gave the steering wheel a
quick turn--and cleared the boy by a hand's breadth! Uncle Jack sank
back on the cushions, his eyes flashing.

"Reckless young rascal! Trying to make murderers of us, is he? What are
you Safety Scouts going to do about the boys' hitching on like that,

Bob pulled a notebook out of his pocket. "Here's how Sure Pop has
summed up our patrol reports on street accidents. He calls it--


        Tip 1: Make the street car stop before you step on
          or off--the car can wait. But step lively!

        Tip 2: Face forward in getting off. Hold the grip
          iron with your left hand--it's a friend in need.
          Left foot to the step, right foot to the ground,
          eyes front!

        Tip 3: Before leaving the car, look both ways for
          automobiles, wagons, and motor cycles.

        Tip 4: In passing behind a car, first peek around
          to see what's coming. When carrying an umbrella,
          peek around that, too.

        Tip 5: Before you hitch on or steal rides on
          street cars, automobiles, or wagons, better make
          your will.

        Tip 6: Keep wide awake in getting on and off cars
          and in crossing streets. Walk fast, _but don't
          run_. Use all the sense you have; you're likely to
          need it and to need it quick!

"Those six tips are not guess work either, Uncle Jack. They're boiled
down from weeks of street scouting by every boy and girl in our

"Those are good, sensible tips," said his uncle. "What use are you going
to make of them?"

"Well, by the time vacation's over, we will have a special School Safety
Patrol drilled and ready to get down to business on this particular work
among the youngsters--to get them out of the habit of hitching on, and
that sort of thing. Our idea is to begin with the smaller school
children; there have been a good many bad accidents to them, you see,
going to and from school. Most of them have to cross the tracks; it's
altogether too easy for them to get confused and run down by a street
car or engine or auto."

"That's right, Bob. How are you going to stop it?"

"Why, each Scout in the School Patrol takes charge of the school
children in his block for one month. It's his job to get them together
at a convenient corner in the morning, then herd them across the tracks
and through the crowded streets to school; to do the same thing on their
way home; and to keep an eye on their games during recess, reporting any
risky condition to their teachers. We've planned it so this team work
will not only keep the youngsters from being run over and all that, but
will also be training them to take care of themselves and keep out of
danger just like any Safety Scout. How does the idea strike you?"

"Fine! It's a good, practical plan! Makes me wish I were a boy again
myself. Hello, here we are--out we go!"

"Why, where are we?"

"I'll soon show you." Uncle Jack led the way to the elevator and they
shot up, up, clear to the roof.

"Hungry?" he asked, as a white-clad waiter showed them to a table. He
enjoyed the surprise of Bob and Betty; they had never had luncheon
downtown before. Mr. Dalton's hard-earned wages left no room for such
celebrations as this. And a roof garden--! No wonder it seemed very
strange and very grand to the Dalton twins.

They must have spent a good half-hour ordering that meal: it was fun to
study the big bill of fare and pick out delicious things which they
"never had at home." Uncle Jack seemed to find it just as much fun as
they did, and he understood pretty well how they felt as they ate and
ate, while they gazed out on the roofs of the city spread out below
them. It wasn't so _very_ many years, you see, since he had been a
youngster himself!

          _Plant the Safety First idea and watch it grow._
                                                 --SURE POP




"How nice and cool it is up here!"

Betty, looking very grown-up and quite as if she were used to taking
luncheon in a roof garden every day, smiled contentedly at Uncle Jack
over her glass of lemonade.

"Cool as a cucumber," said her uncle. "Hard to realize how sweltering
hot it is down there in the street, isn't it? Betty, what's _your_
Safety work going to be when school begins?"

Betty glanced at Bob; she had not yet told even him about her plan.
"First, I suppose, I'll serve my month on the School Safety Patrol; and
then--then, I'm going to talk to my teacher about starting Safety Games
in the lower grades."

"Safety Games!" Bob's tone showed his surprise.

"Yes, Bob. Funny sounding idea, isn't it? But I've thought out a lot of
games that the kindergarten children can play, games that will be brand
new to them, and lots of fun, and at the same time will get them into
the habit of thinking Safety and looking out for themselves on the

"Tell us one," demanded Bob.

"Well," said Betty, "one of them I call 'Little Safety Scout.' We can
begin by asking the little folks in one grade what things they ought to
keep in mind when crossing a busy street. The one that gives the best
answer is made 'Little Safety Scout.' One of the biggest boys plays he's
the crossing policeman, other children play street cars, others make
believe they're automobiles, and so on. The rest are just people trying
to get across the street, and they have trouble trying to understand
what the policeman's whistle signals mean, and some get run over, and
some are saved by the 'Little Safety Scout,' and others show the right
way to get on and off a car, and all that."

"Well, Betty Dalton," cried Uncle Jack, "you're a regular little witch!
Why, that's a dandy plan. The first thing you know, you'll have the
little folks able to take care of themselves on the streets better than
the grown-ups do!"

"Fine!" chimed in Bob. "And we can give them Sure Pop buttons, too!"

"That's right, we can," said Betty. "We can give buttons to the children
who pass an easy little Safety First examination after we've played the
Safety Games a few weeks. And perhaps we might make some Safety posters
to hang on the schoolroom walls; just big posters in colored crayons,
with a picture of Sure Pop and one of his Safety mottoes below it in big
letters,--like, 'Folks that have no wings must use their
wits,'--something that would make the children remember the point of the
story longer. Don't you think that would help along?"

Thus the three friends went on planning, till the jolly head waiter
asked them for the ninth time if they wouldn't have something more, and
Uncle Jack looked at his watch with a start of surprise.

"Four o'clock! Whew! We must get out of this. We have lots to do yet
before we go home, and I told the chauffeur to be back here at five.
Let's stop in the cold-storage room below."

"Is that what makes the roof so cool?" asked Betty, as they looked
around on the floor below.

"Ha, ha! Not a bad idea--perhaps it does have something to do with it.
No, this is where the store keeps its furs during the summer months.
Moths can't stand the cold, you know. Come on, we'll go on down now."

The elevator car was nearly full of people from the roof garden. Betty
started to step in, hesitated, then turned back. Uncle Jack motioned her
and Bob in, stepped in after them, and carefully turned so that he faced
the elevator door.

"That was a risky thing you did just then," he whispered to Betty.
"Three quarters of all the elevator accidents are due to stepping in or
out in the wrong way. Never do the thing halfway, you know. Always wait
till the elevator man stops the car at the floor level and throws the
door wide open."

Next to them in the elevator stood two boys--cash boys in the store--who
were fooling and scuffling so close to the door that the elevator man
cautioned them twice as the car dropped swiftly downward. Finally one of
them brought his heel down on the other's foot so hard that the other
jumped backward, forgetting everything else for the pain. Forward went
his head--bang went his face against the iron grating of the door they
were just passing.

The elevator stopped with a jerk. They carried the boy out and sent for
the store doctor. Bob and Betty never had to be reminded, in all the
years to come, to look sharp when riding in elevators. The memory of
that bruised and battered face was warning enough.

"It's a dangerous machine," said Uncle Jack as they left the store. "A
fellow who will scuffle in an elevator is foolish enough for almost
anything. Here's our next stop," and he showed them into a shop with a
big sign over the double door:


"Uncle Jack must be going to have a new uniform," whispered Betty to her
twin as the tailor came up with his tape over his shoulders. But it was
not around their uncle that the tape measure went, it was around Bob!

"Yes, the regulation khaki," Uncle Jack was saying. "Cut and finish it
just like this one," and he handed the tailor a photograph of Sure Pop.

"Your turn next, Betty," said Uncle Jack, and to Betty's great delight
and the tailor's surprise, _she_ was measured for a special Safety Scout
uniform too!

Uncle Jack did not stop there. He bought the twins Safety Scout hats of
fine, light felt, made for hard service, and he was on the point of
buying them leather puttees or leggings, but Bob stopped him.

"Canvas leggings are plenty good enough," he said. "The fellows couldn't
afford leather, most of them, and we want them all to match."

"Canvas it is, then," nodded his uncle, and went on making up the
outfits. Betty sighed happily as they followed him into another store.
It all seemed too good to be true! The first thing she knew, they were
sitting at a glass-topped table.

Uncle Jack mopped his steaming forehead again. "That tailor shop beats
the jungle all hollow for heat!" he exclaimed. "What kind of ice cream
do you want, Scouts?"

Betty thought it was time to object. "Oh, Uncle Jack, we've had enough!
You've done too much for us already!" All the same, she enjoyed the ice
cream just as much as the others did, and when Uncle Jack tucked a box
of chocolates under her arm, her cup of joy was full.

"What are you thinking about, Betty?" asked Uncle Jack as the big red
automobile bore them merrily homeward; for Betty had not said a word for
blocks and blocks.

She patted Uncle Jack's arm--the well one--with a grateful smile. "I was
thinking what a perfectly, perfectly _lovely_ day we've had! And
wishing," she murmured, wistfully, "that Mother had been along too."

"Now that part's all taken care of," said Uncle Jack. "Your mother's
going out for a spin with me tonight after Baby's asleep; she couldn't
leave today, she said. She and I will have a good long ride down the
river front in the moonlight. Be sure you get a good sleep tonight, now,
you two; I want you to be in good trim for a little exploring party I'm
planning for tomorrow."

"We'll be up bright and early, ready for anything," Bob told him. "Whew!
but this has been a whirlwind of a day! Glad you're going to take Mother
out--that's the only way she'd get a cool breeze tonight, all right!"

"But it can't be as nice as the roof garden, even then!" cried his happy
twin, as she lifted out her big box of candy and skipped up the front
steps two at a time.




True to their word, Bob and Betty were up bright and early, ready for
Uncle Jack's exploring trip.

"We're going to visit one of the big wood-working mills," he explained
as they left the house after breakfast. "I'm curious to see the result
of Colonel Sure Pop's Safety patrolling, and it seems to me that will be
about as interesting a shop as we can begin on. It will be fun to see
what they're doing to make it safer for the men--perhaps we can get some
ideas for your outside patrols, Bob."

The twins looked around them sharply as they went into the mill by way
of its lumber yard. "I don't see anything here that looks dangerous,"
was Bob's first remark. "Hold on, though--what about those piles of
lumber? Don't you think they're piled too high to be safe?"

"I can tell you this much," said Uncle Jack, who had been reading up on
the year's long list of accidents. "The danger of being hit by falling
or flying objects in mills and factories is the biggest risk in the
whole country today."

He walked around to the laborers who were piling lumber and began
talking with the foreman. The twins stepped nearer so that they could
hear what he was saying.

"They're getting that pile rather high," said Uncle Jack, as if he had
only just noticed it. "It's beginning to look a bit wobbly on its pins.
Isn't there danger of its toppling over and hurting somebody?"

"Oh, I don't know," was the foreman's answer. "We do have a few men
smashed up that way, off and on; it's all in the day's work, though."

Hardly were the words out of his mouth when a heavily loaded wagon in
passing beside the lumber piles swayed and came squarely up against the
one the men were working on. With a crash and a clatter the whole thing
went over. One man jumped clear of the wreck, another slid down with the
lumber, bruised but not much hurt--and two disappeared under the huge
mass of falling boards.

The three Safety Scouts stood watching the ambulance, fifteen minutes
later, as it carried off the two men to the hospital, one with a broken
arm and a gash over one eye, the other hurt inside so badly that he died
that night. Both of them had boys and girls of their own--families
whose living depended on their daily wages at the mill!

"Hard luck for their folks," said Uncle Jack, as the ambulance rumbled
away. "The Colonel told me yesterday his men had done a lot of
successful Safety scouting among the wood-working mills. I can't
understand it. By the way, Bob, that ambulance reminds me: what drill
are you giving your Safety Scouts on how to call the fire department,
and the police and the ambulance and so on?"

"We've got that well covered in our Saturday reports, Uncle Jack. Once a
week each Scout adds to his report the telephone number of the police
and the fire department--it's usually a number that's easy to remember,
like 'Main 0' for fire and 'Main 13' for police--as well as the street
address of the nearest station."

"Bob, how did they happen to choose those numbers?" wondered Betty.

Her brother grinned. "I suppose because after a bad fire there's nothing
left, and because it's unlucky to fall into the hands of the police!"
and he cleverly ducked the box Betty aimed at his ear.

Uncle Jack's twinkle didn't last long, though. He was too much puzzled
over the carelessness he was noticing in this mill, carelessness where
he had expected to find up-to-date Safety methods. He poked with his
foot at a board with several ugly nails sticking up in it and jammed
them carefully down into the ground.

"That's the fourth bad case of upturned nails I've found here already,"
he said quietly. "There's no end of broken bottles and such trash under
foot, and just look at that overloaded truck, will you? One sharp curve
in the track and that load will spill all over the place. Why, these
chaps don't realize the first thing about Safety, Bob."

They moved on into the engine room. One of the engineer's helpers, a boy
who looked hardly older than Bob, stood beside a swiftly moving belt,
pouring something on it out of a tin can. His sleeve was dangling, and
every time the belt lacing whirled past, it flipped the sleeve like a
clutching finger trying to jerk his arm into the cruel wheel.

Uncle Jack walked over for a word with the engineer, a fat, jolly
looking man who seemed well satisfied with life. "Do your helpers often
put belt dressing on while the belt is running?" he asked.

The jolly engineer was plainly surprised. "Why, they never do it any
other time!" he exclaimed. "Why do you ask?"

"Only," said the explorer, dryly, "because there are several hundred men
killed in just that way every year--and most of them have families.
Don't you put guards around any of your belts in this mill, either?"

Again that puzzled look in the engineer's eyes. "No, not here," he
answered slowly. "There was some talk about putting them on, but nothing
came of it. It wouldn't be a bad idea, either; every now and then some
poor fellow loses a hand or an arm. Last spring a new man from out in
the yards was walking through here, and the wind blew his sleeve too
near the belt. It yanked him clear in between the belt and
pulley--smashed him up so he didn't live more'n a couple of hours. That
certainly was hard luck."

"Luck!" snorted Uncle Jack, when the three were out of hearing. "A
moving belt is almost as dangerous as a can of gunpowder! Yet these men
call it luck when it takes off an arm or snuffs out a life. It's

All through the plant they found the same state of affairs--careless
men, unguarded machinery, guesswork everywhere. In the machine shop they
found men and boys cleaning machines that were running at top speed. Any
one could see how easily the rags and soft cotton waste they were using
could catch in the moving parts and draw a hand or an arm into the
flying wheels.

"I noticed in the accident reports of one single state," Uncle Jack told
Betty, "that more than five hundred people were hurt in that very way,
by cleaning machines that were moving. Half of them lost fingers and
many lost their hands or arms. No sensible workman, these days, treats
his machine as anything but downright dangerous as long as it's

The buzz saws fascinated the twins. They felt as if they could stand all
day long and listen to the drone of the saw as it ate its way into the
clean white boards, snarling like an angry dog when its teeth struck a
knot in the wood. There were a good many of these saws in the big, long
room; now and then they would get to singing together like a music class
at school and then they would drop out of tune again.

"Not a saw guard in the place," shouted Bob in Uncle Jack's ear, for the
saws drowned out his ordinary tone.

But Uncle Jack's keen eyes had already caught sight of some metal guards
hung up on the wall here and there. "They've got them," he corrected,
"but they are not making any use of them." He stepped up to one of the
saws and spoke to the man who was running it. "Why don't you keep the
guard on your saw?"

"Aw, those things are a nuisance," said the man. "Yes, we're supposed to
keep 'em on, but they'd be in the way--we couldn't get the work out so
fast with them."

"That's queer," said Uncle Jack. "In a good many mills like this they've
found that a man using a good saw guard turns out more work than
ever--because he's so much more free in using his hands, I suppose."

The man grunted, but did not answer. On their way to the door, the
Safety Scouts spied, clear back in one corner, a man who really did have
his saw guard in use. "And a rattling lot of work he's turning out,
too," said Bob, after the three had watched him a while from a distance.
The neat metal guard came clear down over the murderous saw teeth, so
that no matter how much his fingers happened to be in the way, they were

"Let's ask him why he uses his saw guard when the others won't," said
Uncle Jack. He stepped nearer the silent workman and then--he saw the
reason. Turning to Bob and Betty, he tapped his left hand with his right
and jerked his head toward the man beside the saw. The twins walked
around to where they could get a look at the workman's left hand. Then
they understood. There was nothing left of the fingers but the stub of
one, and the thumb!

"Easy enough to see why that one man was using his saw guard, eh?" said
Uncle Jack to Sure Pop that night.

"Nothing easier," said the little Colonel. "A burnt child dreads the
fire, you know. Not much Safety First idea noticeable in that mill, was

"Colonel, that's just what I don't understand. I thought you said
yesterday your Safety Scouts had done good work among the wood-working
mills, but if that's a sample--"

"It isn't," was the quiet answer. "Do you happen to know who's the
biggest stockholder in that mill?"

Uncle Jack stared. "Surely not--not Bruce?"

"You've guessed it."

Uncle Jack gave a long, low whistle of surprise. "But I had no idea he
owned wood-working mills too."

"This is the only one. It's out of his line, I'll admit--but it goes to
show his bitter prejudice against the Safety First movement, doesn't it?
He'll come around by and by, never fear. All in good time, my friend,
all in good time."




The Dalton twins had something on their minds. Mother felt it. Uncle
Jack felt it. Every now and then they forgot to go on eating their
breakfast; and when a Dalton went that far, as their uncle remarked,
things were getting very bad indeed.

Betty sat and fidgeted. Bob looked as if he would like to pop one
question at his uncle, but he managed to hold it in. Finally Betty slid
down from her chair, went boldly around to Uncle Jack, and whispered
something in his ear. How he threw back his handsome head and laughed!

"Betty, you're a regular mind reader! Why, we're going down to try them
on this very morning, and I was just going to tell you to get ready,
but you were too quick for me!"

Two hours later Betty, looking very spruce in her new Safety Scout
uniform, was dancing up and down before the mirrors while Bob's blouse
was having the buttons set over a bit.

"That boy," said the tailor, looking at him with bulging eyes, "has
grown smaller since this uniform was measured!"

"If you'd seen the luncheon he tucked away, just before we came over
that day to be measured," laughed Uncle Jack, "you'd only wonder that
those buttons won't have to be set back at least a foot! Now, where are
the trousers?"

"They are up in the shop. Wait, I'll get them. What? You'd like to come
along? Up this way, then."

On the second floor they found themselves in a big room that looked like
a forest of sewing machines, humming and clicking so fast that at first
the twins were fairly bewildered. Girls who, it seemed, could hardly be
older than Betty were bending over their machines, sewing away as if for
dear life. Most of them did not even look up from their work as the
visitors came through.

"The young man's trousers are in this next room," said the tailor,
leading the way to a heavy iron door which separated the two rooms on
that floor.

"What's the idea of this iron door?" asked Uncle Jack. "To keep a fire
from spreading from one department into the other?"

"Exactly so. That big, thick fire wall goes straight through the
building from top to bottom--cuts it in two. Suppose a fire breaks out
here on the piecework side: the foreman just opens this fire door and
shoos the boys and girls right through, like a lot of chickens. Then he
shuts the fire door tight, and they are safe. That big fire we had here
four years ago taught us something. So when the owner rebuilt it for us,
he built it right."

The big room on the other side of the fire wall was crowded almost as
full of workers as the first one. The main difference was that there
were more boys and men, and that more sewing was being done by hand.
Bob's khaki trousers were quickly found and tried on--a perfect fit.

"We'll give Bob a Patrol Leader's arm badge--two white bars of braid
below his left shoulder," said Uncle Jack. "Betty will get one bar for
the present, I understand. There are some badges yet to come, Colonel
Sure Pop says."

Bob and Betty looked at each other, too pleased to talk.

The four were walking downstairs for a look at the other floors of the
big tailor shop when the noon whistle blew. R-r-rip--slam--bang! A
torrent of rattle-brained boys came tearing pell mell down the stairs
like a waterfall over a dam. Most of them came pelting down three steps
at a jump, but on one of the landings somebody stumbled, and the yelling
boys piled up in a squirming, kicking heap.

"Hey! WAIT!" No one would ever have suspected the mild-mannered tailor
of having such a foghorn of a voice! The rush from the upper floors
slowed up at once, and Uncle Jack and Bob helped the fallen lads pick
themselves up. But the boy at the bottom, a little fellow with a thin,
pinched face that looked as if he had never had half enough to eat, nor
even enough fresh air, lay there moaning softly.

Bob knew that queer, unnatural angle of the boy's right arm, which lay
awkwardly stretched out beside him, as if it had never quite matched his
left. The arm was broken.

"Here, here!" roared the tailor, gently picking the little fellow up and
carrying him to the elevator. "Will you crazy fellows never learn? Only
last week, somebody hollered 'Fire!' just to see the other fellows jump
up and run, and broke that poor little Levinski's collar bone! And now
look at this!"

"The old fellow's right on that score," was Uncle Jack's remark as the
twins followed him to the street car, each hugging tight a big
pasteboard box with a brand new Safety Scout uniform inside it. "Those
lads meant no particular harm, but that certainly was about as far from
a square deal as one fellow can give another. These 'practical jokers'
who will yell 'Fire!' or run over a boy smaller than themselves--well,
if a Boy Scout had no more sense than that, he'd be drummed out of the

Once on the way home, when the car stopped at the corner, he pointed up
to a fire escape on a big flat building. "There's your flower-pot risk
over again, Betty. Even worse, for this time they're on the fire escape
steps where folks would fall over head first in case of fire. And see
that girl leaning against that rickety old porch railing on the third
floor! Certainly there's plenty in sight for a Safety Scout to do!"

That afternoon they visited a large machine shop across the river. To
their great delight, Bob and Betty were allowed to wear their new Safety
Scout uniforms, leggings and all. They stood very straight as they
waited for their companion to get a permit at the Company's office.

"Those new uniforms are going to be about as good an 'ad' for Safety
First as anything we could have," remarked Uncle Jack, leading the way
into the big machine shop. He had caught the admiring glances that had
followed them from the older people and the longing looks that the boys
and girls had sent after them all the way over.

"We haven't done our 'Day's Boost for Safety' yet, though," said Betty.
"I don't know but we ought to do our good turn every morning before we
start out on any trip--I just hate not to get my button right side up
till so late in the day!"

"Those girls have pretty neat looking uniforms of their own, haven't
they?" said Bob, a little later, as they gazed down a long row of punch
presses which were pouring out shining streams of aluminum pin trays.
"What do they wear them for--just to look pretty?"

"You wouldn't have thought so," laughed the forewoman, "if you could
have seen how they fought the first caps and aprons we tried to get them
to wear. They _were_ homely things, even if they were life savers. So we
kept at it till we got something so trim and pretty that the girls would
rather wear it than not."

"Life savers?" repeated Betty. "How could caps and aprons save lives?
Oh--by not catching in the machinery?"

"Just so. It's easy for a girl's hair to be blown into the machines, or
for a braid to swing against a whirling shaft, you see. Oh yes, we had
several girls killed that way, before we tried this uniform. They used
to wear dresses with baggy sleeves,--ragged ones, sometimes. Rings and
bracelets are bad, too; and even these aprons, you'll notice, are
buttoned back so they can't fly out against the wheels. Yes, the girls
all like the idea now. The caps keep their hair from getting dusty or
mussed up. Besides, we find it saves a good many girls' feelings, too,
having them all dressed so much alike."

The same good sense was shown in the other departments, in the working
clothes worn by the men and boys.

"You won't find a man in this room with a necktie on," the foreman told
them. "These are the biggest punch presses in our whole shop. A while
ago one of the men got his necktie caught between the cogwheels and he
was drawn into the machine head first. That was the end of that sort of
thing in _this_ shop!

"Now, as you'll see, long sleeves and ragged or baggy overalls are
things of the past. If a man does wear a long sleeve, he keeps it rolled
up where it can't catch and cost him a hand or an arm.

"Watch the men and boys, and you'll see how careful they are not to look
around while their machines are running. Before they start their
machines, you'll find them looking all around to see there's nobody near
who might get caught in the wheels or belt. These workmen are just as
anxious to give the other fellow a square deal as anybody could be, once
they catch the Safety First idea. It took some of them a long while to
learn never to fool with the other fellow's machine--that's always
dangerous, you know, just like a machine that's out of order. Our
pressmen wouldn't think of starting up a machine which was out of order,
or which they didn't understand--they'd report it to me at once."

"What has been the result of all this Safety training--has it got the
men to 'thinking Safety,' so you don't have so many accidents?" asked
Uncle Jack.

The foreman's face glowed with pride. "Why, it's got so now, sir, that
even the youngsters are too wise to scuffle or play jokes on each other
here in the shop. They've come to see how easy it is to fall against
dangerous machinery or down a shaft or stairway. And as for throwing
things at each other, the way they used to during the noon hour--nothing
doing any more in that line.

"Would you believe it, we haven't had a bad accident in this shop since
a year ago last July. That was when one of the boys on a punch press got
the die clogged and tried to dig it out with his fingers instead of
using a hook. That's about the last set of fingers this shop has lost;
yes, sir. Before that, there was hardly a week went by but we had
several hands crippled, and often somebody killed. Oh, this Safety First
work is wonderful,--it's making things a lot safer for the working man!"

Uncle Jack told the kindly foreman what the twins were doing in Safety
patrol work. Bob and Betty could see how proud the man was of the
splendid Safety showing his shop was making. "And it's a fine pair of
Scout uniforms you and the little lady have," he called after them.
"More power to you both--and to the Safety Scouts of America!"

"You seem very much interested in everything in these shops, Bob," said
his uncle, who could hardly drag him away.

"You'd better believe I am!" cried the boy, warmly. "As soon as I get
through school, I'm going to get a job in one of these factories
and--well, I'm trying to make up my mind which shop it shall be!"

          _One thing you always owe the other fellow--a
          square deal._--SURE POP




Betty told Sure Pop what Bob had said about getting a job in one of the
big mills by and by, and the little Colonel remembered it a few weeks
later when he was showing several of the Safety Scouts through the steel

"Do you think it will be one of these mills you'll pick out for your
first job?"

"Well, I don't know, now. It's a pretty big, lonesome sort of place for
a fellow like me, Sure Pop, and there don't seem to be so many fellows
of my own age here as in some of the other factories."

Betty and Joe and Chance followed Bob's eyes around the big steel mill
yards. They knew how he felt. It was a lonesome looking place till you
got used to it, in spite of the thousands of men who swarmed around
them. The queer, raw smell of the reddish iron ore added to the feeling,

Away down in the big ore boats along the docks, gangs of big, brawny
workmen strained and sweated, filling the iron buckets that traveled up
the wire cables to the ore dumps. Others were trucking the ore to the
furnaces, while a swarm of little switch engines panted and puffed back
and forth over the network of steel rails.

The steel works covered many acres of ground, and, shut off as they were
by high fences, seemed almost like another world. The roar of the
furnaces and the din of steel on steel made Betty and the boys feel
rather confused at first. "I should think all these men just over from
the old country would get mixed up, so many of them not understanding a
single word of English," said Betty to their guide.

"Yes, we have to be mighty careful," said the man, who was one of the
Safety men who gave all his time to making the steel mills safer for the
thousands of workmen. "We print this little book of Safety Rules in all
the different languages, so that each new man can study it and find out
how to do his day's work without getting into danger."

"Wow! what's that?" Joe's black eyes opened very wide as he pointed to a
great ball of fire that rose from one of the furnace stacks, floated a
little way like a balloon, and then burst into a sheet of flame.

"Just the gas from the blast furnace--regular Fourth of July fireworks,
isn't it? I remember how queer those gas bubbles used to look to me when
I first came to work here."

He waited while his visitors stared for a few minutes at the fiery
clouds, then led the way to the blast furnaces. They went through two or
three big buildings, all of them fairly alive with hurrying, sweating
laborers. But in spite of the seeming confusion all around them, Bob
noticed how carefully the aisles and passageways were kept free and
clear of anything the hurrying men might stumble over.

"We simply have to do it," explained the steel man. "Before we woke up
to the importance of never leaving anything in the way where it might be
stumbled over, we had more broken arms and legs every month than you
could shake a stick at. Now it's different; it's as much as a man's job
is worth to leave anything lying in the passageways for his fellow
workmen to stumble and fall over."

"I saw some white lines painted on the floor of that last room we came
through, the one where all those castings were stacked up in rows," said
Chance. "Was that what they were for? Great scheme, isn't it? And as
simple as falling off a log!"

"Simple? Sure--most of these things are simple enough, once you think of
them," agreed their guide. "It took perhaps an hour of one man's time
and a gallon or two of white paint to paint those dead-lines along the
sides--and many's the man who has been saved weeks in the hospital by
those same white lines."

The five friends followed him into the foundry department. Hardly had
they stepped through the doorway, when the clang of a big gong overhead
scattered a group of laborers who were piling heavy castings on flat

Five pairs of eyes looked up as the five Safety Scouts turned to see
where the gong was. Away up above them on a track that went from one end
of the long room to the other, they saw something like an oddly shaped
freight engine running along with a heavy wire cable dangling toward the
floor. The big, strong cable was carrying a load of several tons of
steel castings as easily as a boy carries in an armful of wood. "And
with a whole lot less fuss and bother!" said Betty, with a sly look at
Brother Bob.

"When a man hears that gong overhead," said the guide, "he knows what it
means even before he looks up. That's what is called a traveling crane.
It runs back and forth on those overhead tracks, wherever the crane
driver wants to pick up or drop his load. He kicks that gong with his
heel, just like the motorman on the street car, and it gives warning to
the workmen below just as plainly as if it yelled out, 'Look out, below!
Here comes a load that might spill on your heads!'"

"Sounds exactly like a street-car gong," said Betty.

The steel man smiled. "It ought to--it was made for use on a street car.
Watch sharp when the crane comes back this way and you'll see the gong
fastened right up under the cab floor. See? We tried whistles for a
while, and automobile horns, too; but this plain, everyday street-car
gong beats 'em all. A man doesn't have to understand English to know
what _that_ sound means!"

"It must have made a good deal of difference in the number of
accidents," said Sure Pop, "with so many men working underneath those
cranes right along."

"Did it? Well, I should say so! That's another little thing that's as
simple as A B C, but it saves lives and broken bones just the same.
Sometimes I think we get to thinking too much about the big things,
Colonel, and not enough about these little, everyday ideas that spell
Safety to all these thousands of men who look to us for a square deal."

Sure Pop reached up to say something in Bob's ear as they went on to the
chipping yard, where long rows of men were trimming down the rough steel
castings with chisels driven by compressed-air hammers.

"Did you ever see anything like it, Bob, the way this 'square deal' and
'fair play' idea gets into their systems, once they wake up to the
possibilities of Safety First?"

"It certainly does," said Bob. "I thought of that, too. It's what that
tailor told the boys in the clothing factory, the day we got our
uniforms, and it's just what the foreman in that machine shop told us,

"Yes, sir," said Sure Pop, "the spirit of fair play means everything to
a fellow who's any good at all--it's the very life of the Boy Scout law,
you know."

Joe was looking hard at the chippers.

"Every one of those men wear glasses! Isn't that queer!"

"It's all the difference between a blind man and a wage earner," was the
way the steel man looked at it. "When those steel chips fly into a man's
eyes it's all over but the sick money." He turned to little Sure Pop
again. "There it is again, Colonel--another of the simplest ideas a man
could imagine--just putting goggles on our chippers and emery wheel
workers--but it has saved hundreds and hundreds of eyes, and every eye
or pair of eyes means some man's living--and the living of a family."

"Splendid idea," nodded the little Colonel--just as if he, the Spirit of
Safety, had not thought it all out years before, and put it into the
minds of men! "Do you ever have any trouble getting the men to wear

"Plenty! Most of the men treated it as a joke at first. Then, gradually,
they began to notice that the men who wore theirs on their _hats_ (the
rule is that they must wear goggles while at this work or lose their
jobs), those were the men who lost their eyes. Several of the first men
to be blinded after the new rule was posted were those very ones, the
chaps that had made the most fun of the goggles. Then the others began
to wake up.

"Over in my office, I've several hundred pairs of goggles that have had
one or both lenses smashed by flying bits of steel--and every pair has
saved an eye, in some cases both eyes. Seems sort of worth while, eh,

It was an enthusiastic group of Safety Scouts that passed out through
the big steel mill gates and started home in the mellow September
twilight. "Oh, I think it's wonderful," cried Betty, as they talked over
what they had seen, "perfectly wonderful, Sure Pop, that such little
things can save so many lives!"

"But I don't see why you call a trip like this 'an adventure,'" broke in
Chance, who had never been along on any of the twins' Safety Scouting
trips before. "We didn't see an accident or an explosion or anything!"

Colonel Sure Pop gave Chance one of his wise smiles. "That's the best
part of the whole trip, as you'll see when you've been at it as long as
I have. The most delightful adventure a lover of fair play can possibly
have to look back on, my boy, is one just like what we've had today--a
real, live adventure in Safety!"

          _The spirit of fair play is the very life of the
          Scout Law._--SURE POP




October had come and gone in busy school days and even busier Safety
Scouting trips, all but the last day. For it was the morning of
Hallowe'en,--and the Dalton twins' birthday.

"Twelve years old, eh?" said Father, at the breakfast table. "Well,
well, how time flies, Nell! Stand up here, you Safety Scouts, and let's
have a look at you. I declare, no one would suspect Bob of being a day
under fifteen, would he, Jack?"

"I'd hate to have him haul off and hit me with that fist of his!"
laughed Uncle Jack. "How are you going to celebrate the day, Scouts?"

"As if any one need ask!" smiled Mother. "Today's the day Bob takes his
entering test and joins the Boy Scouts, and Betty joins the Camp Fire
Girls. Just think--big enough for that! Good thing it's Saturday,

"What are you going to do--start out to capture all the honor medals?"

"Well, I hope to get a few, by and by," admitted Bob, modestly, but with
a determined gleam in his eye. "I'll be just a tenderfoot to start with,
you know. But I'm hoping it won't be so terribly long before I can
qualify as a first-class Scout."

"Hm-m-m!" muttered their uncle, winking at Mr. Dalton over the twins'
heads. For he realized what Bob and Betty did not, that the practical,
everyday Safety scouting the twins had done had already gone far toward
qualifying them, not only for Boy Scout and Camp Fire Girl honors, but
for practical Safety work all the rest of their lives. There is no age
limit in the Safety Scouts of America.

They were wearing their handsome new uniforms when Chance Carter came
over to get some scouting tips from Bob. Chance was going around without
his crutches now, for the broken leg seemed to be as strong and well as

Chance had his heart set on a Safety Scout uniform like Bob's. "Dad says
he'll get me one as soon as I do something to earn it," he told the
twins. "I'm going to put in all day today scouting for something that
will earn me that uniform--and I want you two to think up some stunt
that will win it, _sure_!"

The twins were eager to get ready for their entrance tests, but it
seemed only fair to give their friend his chance, too. So they sat and
thought hard, while the golden minutes flew past.

"I can't seem to think of anything worth while today," said Betty. "Why
not hunt for a live wire and report it, the way Bob did?"

"Not much use on a day like this," objected Bob. "That was the morning
after the big windstorm, when wires were down all over town. I'll tell
you what you might do, Chance: you might patrol the roads on the edge of
town. You may run across a broken culvert, or a shaky bridge, or

"And you might patrol the river bank and watch for a chance to fish
somebody out of the river," added Betty. "There are lots of children
playing down by the river every Saturday, you know."

"Now," said Bob, when to their great relief Chance Carter had hurried
off to begin his day's scouting for Safety, "now, we've got to hustle,
or we'll be late for those examinations. Come along, Betty."

"Wait till I turn my Safety button upside down," was his sister's
answer. "It seems a shame to go to the Boy Scout and Camp Fire Girls
tests with our Safety buttons wrong side up, doesn't it? I feel almost
like waiting till we've managed to do our 'One Day's Boost for Safety,'
Bob. Don't you suppose we'd better, after all?"

"Oh, now, Betty, come _on_! If we can't do any better, we can count our
patrolling hints to Chance as our work for Safety this time--certainly
that took enough longer than our day's boost usually does!"

Though Betty scoffed at the idea of their talk with Chance being work
for Safety, Bob had spoken more truly than they knew.

All forenoon long Chance Carter patrolled the different roads leading
into town. By noon he was so hot and tired that he plodded on till he
came to Red Bridge, as the boys all called the old bridge that spanned
the river where it crossed Bruce's Road, the short cut to Bruce's Mills.
Here he managed to find a shady spot on the grassy river bank and sat
down to eat the lunch he had brought along.

"What luck!" he grumbled to himself. "Everything's so dis-_gust_-ing-ly
safe!" The way he bit off the syllables showed how tired and
disappointed he was.

He threw the crumbs from his luncheon into the water, hoping the fish
would rise for them; but even the fish were not at all accommodating,
this sunny Hallowe'en. For a while he amused himself by shying stones at
the weather-beaten DANGER sign which was Bruce's only reply to the City
Council's action condemning Red Bridge as unsafe. The bridge was really
on Bruce's land, and nobody knew it better than the great mill owner
himself. So, while the public wondered why the city did not build a
newer and stronger bridge, Bruce had stubbornly insisted to the road
commissioner, "Oh, that bridge'll hold a while longer," and was putting
off spending the money for a new bridge just as long as he could.

Meanwhile the farmers from that part of the country had kept on using
the shaky bridge as a short cut to town by way of Bruce's Mills. One of
them was driving up to the bridge now. Lying on his elbow by the river's
edge, Chance idly watched the old bridge quiver and quake as the light
horse and buggy dragged lazily across.

Suddenly something went kerflop into the water, like a big fish jumping.
Chance sat bolt upright, staring at the dark shadows under the bridge.
There it was again! And this time he saw it was no fish, but a second
brick which had rotted away from the bridge supports underneath the
farther end.

"Phew!" whistled Chance to himself, now fully aroused. "If a light rig
like that shakes the bricks loose, the old thing must be rottener than
it looks! What would a loaded wagon do, I wonder?"

He carefully climbed up under the bridge to see just how bad it really
was, and then climbed out again in a hurry. The whole middle support had
crumbled away. Red Bridge was barely hanging on the weakened brickwork
at the far end, ready to plunge into the river with the next heavy load
that came along!

Bruce, in the meanwhile, was getting impatient. He sat at his desk in
the little office, signing papers as fast as he could shove his pen
across the pages. He glanced again at his watch and gave his call button
a savage punch with his big, blunt forefinger. A buzzer snarled in the
outer office, and a nervous looking secretary jumped for the private
office as suddenly as if the buzzer had stung him.

"Why isn't that car here?" snapped the great man.

"I--I don't understand it, sir. It should have been here half an hour
ago. Jennings is always so punctual," stammered the clerk.

"Humph! Call up the house and see if they've gone back for any reason.
Bonnie told me she'd call for me with the car at five o'clock."

The clerk hurried to the telephone, while Bruce paced his office. "If
that chauffeur has let anything happen to Bonnie, I'll--"

If Bruce had not cared more for his little golden-haired daughter than
for anything else in the world, he never would have thought such a
thing, much less said it; for he had had Jennings for years, and knew
him for the safest, steadiest of drivers. But he scowled when the clerk
hurried back to report that Jennings, with Bonnie in the biggest
automobile, had left for the office almost an hour before.

Throwing his light coat over his arm, the big mill owner slammed down
his rolltop desk and dashed out to the sidewalk, straining his eyes for
a glimpse of the big automobile and Bonnie's flying curls. As he stood
waiting on the curb, fuming at the delay, suddenly he heard a voice that
sent his heart up into his throat.

"Daddy! Oh, Daddy, here we are!" The big automobile swept swiftly up to
him--from the opposite direction!

"My Bonnie!" The big man snatched the dimpled, smiling girl into his
strong arms and held her there.

In the excitement of the moment, Jennings interrupted his employer as
the mill owner started to question him sternly as to the cause of the
delay. Bonnie, too, broke in with her version of the story, and together
they told him how a punctured tire had held them up fifteen minutes just
as they were leaving the house in plenty of time.

They told him how, to avoid being late at the office, Jennings had taken
the old short cut across to the mills, by the way of Red Bridge, only to
be halted by a lad of fourteen who waved a red handkerchief at them and
barred the way across the bridge in spite of the chauffeur's argument
and threats.

They told him how a heavy lumber wagon, in which three farm hands were
rattling home from the city, had come bouncing along to the other side
of the river and how the men had howled down the boy's wild warnings and
entreaties as they bowled on to Red Bridge as fast as their horses could

Bruce's stern face went white as his little daughter, shuddering at the
awful memory of it, told how the bridge had gone crashing down into the
river--men, horses, and all; how the boy who had tried so hard to warn
them had almost given his own life trying to drag the drunken farm hands
from the swift-running current; how two of the men had never come up
again; and how the third, towed to shore by the half-drowned boy a
quarter mile below, had been laid face down on the river bank as soon as
the boy could catch his own breath long enough to get the water out of
the man's lungs and start him to breathing again.

Still clasping Bonnie tightly to him, her father got into the
automobile. "Home, Jennings. Why, what makes these cushions so wet?"

"Oh," said Bonnie, "that's where that nice boy sat while we were taking
the almost drowned man to the doctor's. Then we took the nice boy
home--he was so wet and shivery."

"Take us there first, Jennings, then home."

The big car whirled swiftly back to Chance Carter's house. Bruce found
Chance with his hair still wet, but triumphant. He was telling his
father exactly how he wanted his new Safety Scout uniform made, patch
pockets and all!

From him Bruce got the whole story, clear down to the scouting hints
from Bob and Betty that had started him off that morning. The mill owner
took Mr. Carter aside and made him promise to send the bill for that
uniform to Bruce's Mills. "Where do this other boy and the girl live?"
he asked, as he and Bonnie got back into the machine. "All right,
Jennings, we'll stop there next."

"I think, sir," suggested Jennings, "that must be the same boy and girl
we took home from Turner Hall last Fourth--the boy who put the splint on
this other lad's broken leg, sir. It's the same house, anyway."

Sure enough, when they drew up at the curb, there were Bob and Betty in
their Safety Scout uniforms, just going in to their birthday supper.
They were going to have a big double cake, with lots of frosting and
with twenty-four green candles on it--green for Safety, Betty
explained--and they were so excited over having passed their
examinations with such high marks, that it was some time before the big
man could make them understand what he was getting at.

"What I want to know," persisted Bruce, "is how you ever came to put
that Carter boy up to such a stunt as that. What difference did it make
to _you_?"

"Why," Betty told him, "we simply had to help him get a start for his
uniform and his Safety First button. But we couldn't do much because we
didn't have time. You see this is our birthday, and we had to go for our
examinations." Before Bruce left they had given him _their_ whole story,
too, and a good deal more than they had intended telling him, forgetting
what Colonel Sure Pop had told Uncle Jack about the way Bruce had been
holding back the Safety First work from Maine to California.

Bruce said little as he listened to their story, but he did some quick
thinking. So this was the sort of thing he had fought so long and so
stubbornly--this "Boost for Safety" talk which he had called
"new-fangled theory," but to which he owed the life of his own little

As they talked, two Scouts came into the front hall to remind the twins
that their birthday supper was waiting, but Bruce was too interested to
see them. Quick at reading signs, as all good Scouts are, Colonel Sure
Pop and Uncle Jack watched and listened for a moment, then smilingly
went back to the supper table.

"You were right, Colonel, as usual," said Uncle Jack, heartily. "Bruce
is coming around. He'll be the biggest Safety Booster in the whole
United States before morning!"

"Sure pop!" exulted the dapper little Colonel. "I'll have to wire my
King about this day's work!"

       *       *       *       *       *

It was long after Bonnie's bedtime, and the nurse waiting in the hallway
was beginning to wonder if her little mistress was never coming
upstairs. On the avenue outside, in the soft, mellow Hallowe'en breeze,
jack o' lanterns and soot bags were still being paraded up and down,
horns blowing, rattles clattering. Two street urchins, bolder than the
rest, crept up to the great iron gate in front of the Bruce mansion and
vainly struggled to lift it off its hinges. Still the mill owner sat
before the fire, Bonnie on his knee. He could not bear to let her go
tonight, even to bed.

In the flames dancing on the hearth, the big man was seeing
visions--visions of the Safety First work that would be started tomorrow
morning in every mill in the whole Bruce chain. "I'll telegraph every
manager to get busy on Safety work at once if he wants to hold his job,"
he thought to himself. "I won't lose another day!" For after hearing
from the Dalton twins and from Chance Carter the way _their_ spare time
was spent, his own work in the world seemed suddenly very small and
mean. Here he--Bruce the rich, Bruce the powerful, with the safety of
thousands of lives in the hollow of his hand--had been holding back the
great work which these striplings had been steadily, patiently--yes, and
successfully--building up!

"I'll send those three youngsters each a copy of my telegram in the
morning," he muttered, looking more eager and enthusiastic than he had
looked for many a day. "I'll write across the bottom of each telegram,
'_The Safety Scouts of America did this!_' And the wonderful part of it
is," he added, "that it's only what any boy and girl could do, every day
of their lives. I wonder why somebody didn't start this Safety Scout
idea long, long ago!"

       *       *       *       *       *

Over in the Dalton cottage, only a few blocks away, Bob and Betty were
going upstairs to bed.

"Many, many happy returns of the day!" whispered Betty to her brother as
she kissed him good night.

"Same to you, and many of 'em! But our 'One Day's Boost for Safety'
didn't amount to much today, did it, Betty?" For Bob and Betty had yet
to hear of Chance Carter's adventures, and Bruce had given them no hint.

"No, it didn't--not unless what we told Chance gave him a start toward a
Safety Scout uniform," said Betty, sleepily. "Never mind, though, Bob,"
she added. "We'll try to do better tomorrow, if we didn't get much done

       *       *       *       *       *

But over in the big stone house on the avenue, the silent man with the
little golden-haired girl in his arms thought differently of their day's



_In school_

        _He keeps to the right on walks, in halls, going
          up and down stairs._

        _He goes up and down stairs one step at a time._

        _He looks where he runs._

        _He doesn't jostle in a crowd._

        _He doesn't bully the little fellows._

        _He sees that the little chaps have a fair chance
          on the playground and that they don't get hurt._

_Out of school_

        _He does not walk on railroad bridges or tracks._

        _He does not walk around lowered gates or crawl
          under them._

        _He does not jump off moving trains, cars, or

        _He does not crawl over, under, or between cars._

        _He does not loiter around railroad stations or
          cars or play on or around turn tables._

        _He does not cross tracks without remembering to
          stop, look, and listen._

        _He looks where he goes and keeps to the right._

        _He crosses at regular crossings, not in the
          middle of the block._

        _He looks out for automobiles turning corners._

        _He looks and listens for danger signals and heeds

        _He plays safe, as much for the other fellow's
          sake as his own._


For the many occasions when a present is to be given, there is nothing
of more permanent value than an interesting book. It may also be an
inexpensive gift. Read the following selected list of World Book Company
books which make acceptable gifts, and note the range of prices. All
these books are well suited for gifts. They are interesting; the
pictures are the work of excellent illustrators; the type is large and
plain; the paper is good; the printing is clear; the binding is both
strong and attractive.


       CHADWICK-FREEMAN: Chain Stories and Playlets. 1.
         The Cat that was Lonesome. 2. The Woman and Her
         Pig. 3. The Mouse that Lost her Tail. Each, 18

       CHANCELLOR: Easy Road to Reading. 1. A Book of
         Animals. 2. A Book of Children. 3. A Book of Fun
         and Fancy. 4. A Book of Letters and Numbers. Each,
         18 cents.

       THOMPSON-COOPER: Making Faces with Pencil and
         Brush. Book I. Book II. Each, 18 cents.


       BAILEY: Sure Pop and the Safety Scouts. 42 cents.

       BURKS: Barbara's Philippine Journey. 72 cents.

       BROWN: Nature and Industry Readers. 1. Stories of
         Woods and Fields. 2. Stories of Childhood and
         Nature. 3. When the World was Young. Each, 48

       CURTIS: Indian Days of the Long Ago. Gift edition,

       CURTIS: In the Land of the Head-Hunters. Gift
         edition, $1.20.

       MCGOVNEY: Stories of Long Ago in the Philippines.
         48 cents.

       SIMS-HARRY: Dramatic Myths and Legends. Book One:
         Norse Legends. Book Two: Greek and Roman Legends.
         Each, 30 cents.

A post card to the publishers will bring you more detailed information
with regard to any or all of these books. The books will be sent
postpaid at the prices given above. It is requested that payment in
stamps, by registered letter, or by money order accompany all orders.

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's note:

Both "tiptoe" and "tip-toe" were used in this text.
This text also uses "Pellmell" and "pell mell."

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