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Title: Pee-wee Harris on the Briny Deep

Date of first publication: 1928

Author: Percy Keese Fitzhugh (1876-1950)

Date first posted: May 28, 2019

Date last updated: May 28, 2019

Faded Page eBook #20190554

This eBook was produced by: Roger Frank and Sue Clark.








Author of









Published with the approval of





Copyright, 1928, by


Made in the United States of America





Pee-wee Harris, Imperial head of the Chipmunk Patrol, sat on the slanting doors of the cellar-way behind his home eating a licorice jaw-breaker. He usually sat down to this agreeable task, for eating a jaw-breaker required time and patient concentration. Sometimes, when Pee-wee was not talking, he could annihilate a jaw-breaker in thirty-two minutes. But he was usually talking. And on this occasion he was not only talking; he was roaring. He was scowling at the universe in general and at Stubby Piper in particular.

Stubby Piper was small and of a jolly rotundity. But he was not as small as the redoubtable little scout whose scathing denunciation he received without a tremor. Stubby Piper was new in Bridgeboro and though he had a scout smile he was not a scout. He was not even ashamed of not being a scout.

Our story opens appropriately in a brief pause while Pee-wee resumed operations on the granite-like jaw-breaker—three for a cent. These were procurable in three colors and flavors; licorice, strawberry and lemon. The effects of the licorice squares were more colorful in the neighborhood of Pee-wee’s mouth.

“If you don’t join you’ll be sorry, that’s all I can say,” Pee-wee observed darkly. “Maybe it’ll be, maybe, ten years—maybe even five or six before I’ll have another place to be filled in my patrol.”

“In ten years you’ll be too old to be a scout,” the sensible Stubby observed.

“That shows how much you don’t know,” the hero thundered. “Even you can be a scout when you’re eighty years old, you can. Look at Daniel Boone.”

“I don’t see him; where is he,” Stubby queried playfully, as he glanced about the Harris yard.

“He’s dead!” Pee-wee thundered.

“Well I’d rather be myself then,” Stubby said.

“You’d rather be yourself than Daniel Boone?” Pee-wee screamed.

“Sure, because I’m alive,” said Stubby.

“Do you call that an argument?” Pee-wee roared.

“I don’t know whether it’s an argument, it’s a fact,” said Stubby.

“All right,” said Pee-wee, with a terrible air of finality. “If you don’t want to be mixed up with fellers that are wild and kind of prim—prim—”

“Not for me,” said Stubby; “I don’t want to be in with fellers that are prim.”

The licorice jaw-breaker had interrupted Pee-wee most unpropitiously in the middle of his favorite word. For a few seconds he chewed resolutely and wiped away a pensive trickle from his heroic chin.

“Will you wait till I say the second syllable!” he roared. “All right if you don’t want to be primitive. That’s all I say—all right.”

“Your pal, Roy Blakeley, says that primitive is a good word for you, because it’s derived from a school primer,” Stubby observed mischievously.

Though he had no intention of becoming a Chipmunk he was greatly amused at Pee-wee.

If there was one thing more than another likely to arouse the head Chipmunk to sublime wrath, it was the mention of Roy Blakeley, the hilarious leader of the Silver Foxes.

“That shows how much of a fool you are listening to what he says. Even everybody says he’s crazy; more people than that say it, even.”

“More people than everybody,” Stubby ventured.

“Even grown-up people say it,” Pee-wee thundered. “He told a tenderfoot that a crowbar is a place where birds go and drink. He told Skinny McCord that hat-trees grow near the water. All right, if you don’t want to be a scout and be wild and everything, and get lost in the woods, and maybe almost even get starved, maybe even. I bet you don’t even know what to do if you’re nearly starved in the woods.”

“Just start and eat,” said the logical Stubby.

“In a—a—howling wilderness, where there isn’t any food,” the primeval Chipmunk demanded.

“Can’t you take your lunch?”

Pee-wee glared in speechless dismay. The curse of civilization was upon the prosaic Stubby and he was hopeless. The head Chipmunk resumed chewing on his licorice jaw-breaker, contemplating Stubby with withering scorn. To tell the truth this terrible caveman of the Boy Scouts did not look as if he were in any danger of starving.

“All right,” he finally said with a kind of grim disgust. “If you don’t want to join, then you needn’t. If you don’t want to be wild, kind of, and connected with Indians and wild animals and pi—”

“Wild Indians don’t eat pie,” Stubby said slyly.

Again Pee-wee had been interrupted by the adamant jaw-breaker which had suddenly taken a strategic position beneath his tongue, completely stopping its colloquial operations.

“I said pioneers!” he finally screamed.

“Oh,” said Stubby.

“And know all about plant life and insects and how to make pancakes and tell the calls of birds—and waffles too—and rabbit-stew and trails and what to do for snake bites—”

“I never heard the call of a waffle,” Stubby said.

Pee-wee had many times heard the call of the waffle; he had often responded to the seductive call of rabbit-stew. It was his habit to jumble everything together in talking and Stubby was highly entertained.

“You ought to join the Silver Foxes,” Pee-wee said disdainfully; “that’s the kind of a patrol for you. They’re all crazier than each other except Roy Blakeley and he’s crazier than all of them put together; he starts crazy hikes, then writes about them. All right, that’s all I say. All right if you don’t want to be connected with wild animals.”

“You’d run if you saw a wild animal,” said Stubby.

“I bet I wouldn’t.”

“I bet you would.”

“I bet I wouldn’t.”

“I bet you would.”

“What do you bet?”

“I don’t bet anything.”

A brief pause followed this volley.

“I bet you don’t even know that scout patrols are named after wild animals,” Pee-wee said.

“Sure, chipmunks.”

“Chipmunks are the wildest kind of wild animals,” Pee-wee thundered. “You don’t have to eat people to be wild. Even flowers are wild, but they don’t bite, do they? That shows how much you don’t know about botany. In scouting there’s all about wild animals—poisonous snakes and all dandy things like that. Scouts even get bitten by deadly lizards, but what do they care? They know how to not get killed—herbs and things, they know all about those for medicines. Even I know how to make tea out of roots. I bet you don’t know a wildcat from a panther. I bet you can’t tell a bear’s tracks from a track made by a wheelbarrow, because they’re almost just the same because once I tracked a bear up at camp only it turned out to be a wheelbarrow—that shows how much alike they are.” He paused for air.

“All right if you don’t want to join,” he said for the twentieth time. “You won’t go to camp and you won’t track and stalk, and you won’t be at camp-fire, and you won’t see bears—maybe—over on the mountain across the lake up at Temple Camp—you ask Westy Martin.”

This last attraction was listed not without some hesitancy even by the enthusiastic Pee-wee. He was a born organizer and propagandist and scrupled not to depict scouting in its most alluring colors to hesitating prospects. But he realized himself that the bear story was a little strong. So he had compromised with his own conscience by introducing the word maybe. Once, up at Temple Camp, a moving object had been seen at the edge of the woods across the lake. Tom Slade had said it might be a bear. Thenceforth, in organizing, first the Hoptoad Patrol, and later the illustrious Chipmunks, Pee-wee had used this bear as part of his missionary equipment. Real or not, it had won little Willie Saunders. In desperation he used it with Stubby Piper, because he wanted Stubby in his patrol. Stubby would bring a fine dowry to the Chipmunks, for his father was none other than Harlow C. Piper of Piper and Jenks, camp equipment and sporting, goods dealers of New York.

“You show me a bear,” said Stubby; “you just show me one bear and I’ll join.”

Here was a challenge indeed. Here was Stubby’s answer to rattlesnake bites and poisonous herbs and waffles and rabbit-stew and Indians, and redoubtable Boy Scouts levying on the wilderness for food and shelter. Here was Stubby’s trump card laid on the table. Perhaps it was not altogether fair that he should use this most picturesque of Pee-wee’s scouting attractions as a challenge, as a condition. But he was a matter-of-fact boy, albeit with a keen sense of humor, and he announced his condition and stuck to it.

“You show me a live bear and I’ll join the Chipmunk Patrol,” he repeated. “And I’ll bring a new tent and a lot of other things, too. I’ll bring a couple of canoes; maybe a rowboat with an outboard motor, too. You just show me one of those bears.”

The eyes of the head Chipmunk opened wide. He realized that he had said a little too much, that he had been too free with his bears if one might so phrase it, but he was captivated by this other boy’s list of attractions. Stubby, it appeared, had also some seductions to offer.

“Will you go up to Temple Camp with me?” Pee-wee asked rather weakly. “You don’t suppose bears walk around here in Bridgeboro, do you? Do you think they hang out on Main Street? Geeeeeeee whiz! That shows how much you don’t know about wild life. Will you go up to Temple Camp with me, so I can—maybe—show you?”

“Sure, I will—any time,” said Stubby. “And I’ll get a sail for the boat, too, so we can use it sometimes instead of the motor.”

“It isn’t time to go up to camp yet,” Pee-wee said, “and besides, anyway, my patrol is going to have a carnival in Baldwin’s Field.” He shifted his ground and tried to reach Stubby by a flank move. “What’s the use talking about bears before it’s time to go to camp where they are—maybe—but sort of sure? They don’t come out just when you want them to, do they? If you’ll join my patrol you can help us have the carnival and sell lemonade and give a show every day, and races and everything, and earn a lot of money so we can have it for our patrol. Gee whiz, we’re going to have a lot of fun, that’s one thing sure. You can be the one to have charge of the lemonade if you want to. So will you join? You can be the one that sells toasted marshmallows if you want to. So will you join? And when we go to camp you can be the captain of that boat too. Even in our carnival, maybe I might even let you be the one to roast the frankfurters. Everybody’s going to come to it and now is your chance to join my patrol and if you don’t you’ll be sorry.”

For just a moment Stubby Piper paused, smiling in unholy mirth at Pee-wee’s discomfort. The new tent, and the canoes, and the boat with the motor, had taken effect in the mind of the adventurous scout.

“I might even get a signal set,” said Stubby innocently.

“Will you join my patrol if I let you be the one to take the tickets at the carnival?” Pee-wee asked. “Will you join if I let you be assistant patrol leader?”

“You know what I said,” said Stubby resolutely. Then he thrust his hands into his pockets and with an amused smile walked away with an air which seemed to say it was a long call from seeing bears to roasting marshmallows.

After he was clear of the Harris premises, he began laughing to himself at Pee-wee’s discomfiture. He laughed at thought of the bear—“maybe.” But most of all he laughed at the proposed carnival. He had caught this squint at Pee-wee from the uproarious Roy Blakeley and others. Already, before it was open, the carnival had become a joke. Everybody laughed at Pee-wee, and this new boy in town was not slow to catch the irreverent spirit of the other scouts toward the leader of the Chipmunks. But he who laughs last—

And that was Pee-wee’s middle name.


Of course Stubby Piper had no intention of joining the Chipmunks. He had no desire to tie up with a patrol which was the laughing stock of the whole troop. He was amused by Pee-wee; he liked the small boys who were the subjects of Pee-wee’s despotic rule. Stubby appreciated a joke, but he had no desire to be a part of a joke. There was just about as much chance of his joining the Chipmunks as there was of Pee-wee showing him a bear. He liked to jolly Pee-wee.

The dream of Stubby’s life was to be a member of Roy Blakeley’s patrol, the Silver Foxes. He was captivated by Roy; it was good to see him laugh at the nonsense and antics of that hilarious organization. To go off with Roy on one of his absurd and aimless hikes was Stubby’s fondest hope. But there were no vacancies in Roy’s patrol, and the best that Stubby could do was to affiliate himself with them as an outsider. He was always to be seen with them, as a sort of honorary member, enjoying their company and participating, as far as a non-member could, in their hilarious activities. “Don’t get discouraged,” Roy had told him. “Maybe one of us will be sent to the insane asylum and then you can join. It may happen immediately if not sooner. Maybe one of us will die; there are scouts dying now who never died before. Meanwhile, keep up your practice on Pee-wee. To be a Silver-plated Fox you have to take a course in jollying Pee-wee.”

It was not to be wondered at that Pee-wee wanted Stubby in his patrol. There was a vacancy in the patrol, and Stubby would be a “catch.” Willis Harlen, the chippiest of the Chipmunks, had gone away to visit his aunt, and it was the autocratic custom of Pee-wee never to hold open a vacancy in his harum-scarum organization. If a member had a cold or went away for the holidays, that was the end of him; his place was filled. Sometimes, even, Pee-wee trod on the good scout laws and had nine or ten boys in his patrol, a situation which had frequently to be adjusted by his scoutmaster. Like Napoleon, Pee-wee did not obey laws, he made them—or invented them, as he would have said.

As a producer, Pee-wee had no equal in the world of scouting. His shows and scout exhibitions were the scream of the town. He was the greatest theatrical manager of the block on which he lived, a block containing four houses. And by far the greatest enterprise that Pee-wee had ever undertaken was the Chipmunk Scout Carnival for which Mr. Horatio Baldwin had smilingly given the use of his field. The Chipmunk Carnival was to last one week and was for the purpose of securing funds to defray the cost of Pee-wee’s many and various plans for the summer up at Temple Camp. “You may do anything with the field except take it away with you,” Mr. Baldwin had said. “Tell him he mustn’t eat it,” Roy Blakeley had added. “Once he took a hike to some tableland because he thought there’d be something to eat on it.”

Mr. Baldwin was a wealthy and kind-hearted gentleman who took an interest in the scouts. He liked to see them help themselves. “He ought to see us at dinner up at camp,” said Roy. Baldwin’s field was really a part of the extensive Baldwin estate. The big mansion and its grounds occupied an entire block on Outlook Avenue. The lawn extended several hundred feet along the street and was separated by a tall hedge from the tennis courts which also bordered the street for several hundred feet more. Since the marriage of Grace Baldwin and the strange disappearance of her brother Horace, these courts had never been used for tennis.

For a while the land, as smooth as a floor, and the picturesque pavilion where the players had lolled and waited, and consumed lemonade and kept their equipment, remained a silent memorial of the young life which had made merry there. Then the Woman’s Club held a bazaar on the grounds, the Red Cross gave a lawn party there, and after a time the whilom scene of tournaments came to be regarded as an available and popular spot for semi-public festivities characterized by social atmosphere and refinement. Mr. and Mrs. Baldwin were never averse to the use of the old courts and pavilion for such purposes.

Of course Pee-wee Harris could not see the Ladies’ Aid serving tea in these enchanted precincts without conjuring up soaring ambitions of a scout carnival to be held there. The Red Cross lawn party decided him. He had always a lurking fear of humorous assault when his enterprises were held in public fields and vacant lots. But here was a private place that could be thrown open to the public (for ten cents) and where the managerial authority could be rigidly maintained. The private, almost residential character of the place, would make it easy to eject scoffers and summarily deal with riots.

So Pee-wee went to see Mr. Baldwin who seemed amused and interested in the enterprise, and particularly amused at Pee-wee.

“I think it’s a fine thing,” said Mr. Baldwin, sitting in a big wicker chair on his deep veranda and contemplating the diminutive scout whose legs dangled from the porch coping. “The only thing is that we don’t want to use the old courts except for affairs that are quiet and—sort of town affairs, you understand. As Mrs. Baldwin says, for nice purposes.”

“Even the President of the United States is a member of the Boy Scouts,” said Pee-wee; “so that shows you how nice and quiet we are. Even if we make noises, kind of, they’re sort of nice quiet noises. And if you come to the carnival you won’t have to pay anything, because you own the place, and Mrs. Baldwin can come for nothing too, and you won’t have to pay anything for frankfurters, either—gee whiz, that’s only fair.”

“You’re going to sell frankfurters?”

“Sure, and waffles and toasted marshmallows and lemonade. And we’re going to give demonstrations of how you can light a fire in the rain and how you can tell time by the sun, even without any watch, and we’re going to chase a cat across the grounds and then show how we can track her, and we’re going to give exhibitions of falling out of trees and not getting killed, and we’re going to have first aid demonstrations and how you don’t eat poisonous toadstools instead of mushrooms like a lot of people do, because they’re not scouts, and if you happen to see one of my patrol being carried on a stretcher all soaking wet kind of, you needn’t be scared, because that’s just to show how we do with a feller that was drowning—we pour the water all over him to make him look that way. And we give imitations of the calls of animals too, so if you hear a sound like an elephant you needn’t think it’s really one, because that’s only Billy Jansen making that sound. So can we have the field?”

Mr. Baldwin not only donated the use of the old tennis courts, but he donated ten dollars besides, for decorations and advertising, as he said. For several days thereafter, the field was the scene of frantic preparations, and Pee-wee’s voice, more terrible than that of any animal, arose in despotic command. If the Baldwins were not terrified by Pee-wee’s voice, they were not likely to be shocked at the roarings of the jungle against which he had warned them.

School closed for the season on Friday, Saturday was given over to elaborate preparations, and on Monday, the passersby along Outlook Avenue beheld a sign above the opening in the hedge which read:


of the




Within, the visitor beheld a festive scene. On his knees before a romantic fire was Eddie Carlo, toasting marshmallows. Eddie had attained to the second class in scouting. Little Wendy Jansen collected the price of admission at the door, while his brother Billy sold birch bark ornaments, made and autographed by Chipmunks. Ben Maxwell, the only large boy in the aggregation, announced and conducted the demonstrations of life saving, first aid, and woodcraft. There was one really fine attraction. The Liventi brothers, Bruno and Tasca, stood behind their gorgeous marimba on the porch of the pavilion, their four hammers plying the keys of the clamorous instrument as their hands sped back and forth with lightning movement. These talented Italian boys were a real discovery of Pee-wee’s and they almost saved the carnival with their stirring melodies. But not quite.


Mr. and Mrs. Baldwin strolled over to the festive scene and bought marshmallows and frankfurters and lemonade and watched the exhibitions which were given for their especial entertainment. One lonely boy from Bridgeboro’s small slum neighborhood accompanied them around and seemed more awed by those wealthy patrons than by anything the Chipmunks had to offer. This stray visitor to the enchanted scene had made a most timely expenditure of his ten cents at the hedge gate, for Mrs. Baldwin treated him to everything and gave him a quarter besides.

“Now ladies and gentlemen,” Pee-wee shouted from the pavilion porch, “we’re going to give you a wonderful exhibition of how scouts can carry a scout if he gets injured falling from a tree only scouts know how to climb, so they don’t fall from trees, but anyway, I mean if they did.”

This thrilling demonstration was witnessed by the ill-assorted audience of three. It consisted of Pee-wee himself sliding down one of the porch supports and precipitating himself in a heap on the platform. He was then bandaged and carried into the pavilion by the Jansen brothers whence he presently emerged quite restored and announced that the next exhibition would be that of tracking a vanished animal across the grounds.

That night Pee-wee and his comrades camped in the pavilion and this feature of his enterprise was in all ways successful. The next day brought only a few stragglers and the fortunes of the Chipmunks were brought so low that they were reduced to the not altogether unpleasant necessity of eating their own frankfurters and marshmallows and waffles, and of drowning their sorrow in “ice cold lemonade.”

If the whole troop, under the auspices of the local council, had undertaken an enterprise of this kind, it would have been a success. But the Chipmunk affair was only a joke, and on the third day of its unhappy history its dubious outlook was greatly complicated by the arrival of the Ravens, the Elks, and the Silver Foxes, who offered no solace to their struggling colleagues who were running the carnival. But at least they furnished diversion.

“If you’re not going to spend money you have to get out,” said Pee-wee. “All you came in for was to start a lot of nonsense instead of paying respect to an educational exhibit. All you do is talk a lot of nonsensical nonsense.”

“We thought maybe you’d have a bear to show Stubby,” said Warde Hollister of the Silver Foxes.

“Hey, Kid,” said Roy.

“You keep off the porch!” shouted Pee-wee, “that’s for the management.”

“Hey, Kid,” said Roy, “did you hear the news? Dorry Benton is going to move out West and Stub is going to join the solid silver positively warranted sterling foxes. Off with the old love, on with the stew. He’s going up to camp with us this summer. So you can offer him your condolences on getting into the finest patrol that boys all over the country want to get into. Don’t they write me letters from all over wanting to move to Bridgeboro so as to go on hikes with us? I’ll leave it to Warde Hollister. Stubby’s in luck, he’s—”

Will you shut up!” Pee-wee roared. “Did you come here to talk crazy nonsense? If Stubby joins the Silver Foxes it shows he’s a fool. Geeeee whiz!

“You should pity and not condemn him,” said Westy Martin. “He has no motor to guide him.”

“He’s going to be a member of my patrol,” said Roy, “and if you say anything about him that’s true, it’s false, and you’ll have to answer me, Roy Blackeye!”

This was the kind of scene that Stubby so much enjoyed; he was captivated by Roy and loved nothing so much as to see him in mortal comeback, as they called it, with Pee-wee. Most of the scouts of the troop, having seen the few things the carnival offered, wandered away, leaving Roy and his Silver Foxes sprawling on the grass below the veranda, with Pee-wee denouncing them from the steps. The Liventi brothers stood behind their gorgeous instrument, bashful and smiling. They seemed always outsiders in the troop, and a trifle afraid to enjoy the discomfiture of their mighty leader. There was something winsome about their hesitant smile.

“A scout’s honor is to be toasted—trusted,” continued Roy. “You told Stubby that scouts are connected with wild animals and he called your bluff. Show him a bear and he’ll join the Chipmunks. Hey, Stubby? He’ll bring you boats and tents and cooking sets and everything. Won’t you, Stubby? Yes, you won’t. I never told him there were any wild animals at Temple Camp except mosquitoes. A Silver Fox tells the truth. I never even told him the Silver Foxes were solid silver. It pays to tell the truth. Hey, Stubby, how about that wireless sending set your father’s going to donate? My idea about the rifles is that—”

Will you shut up!” Pee-wee fairly screamed.

“Look out, you’ll blow your tongue out,” said Roy.

“Did you come here to see the carnival, or did you come here to start a lot of nonsensical nonsense?” Pee-wee demanded.

“Where’s the carnival?” asked Will Dawson, glancing innocently about.

“It’s inside of you,” said Roy. “All there is to it is marshmallows, frankfurters and waffles and we ate them all. We ate a whole carnival. You can’t see it because your eyes are on the outside.”

“Do you want a demonstration or not,” Pee-wee demanded.

“Can we eat it?” asked Dorry Benton.

“Where is it?” Warde Hollister asked. “We couldn’t use it just now, we’re so full of frankfurters, but we’d like to take it away with us.”

“What is it?” Stubby smilingly asked. He liked Pee-wee even though he had no desire to be a Chipmunk.

“A demonstration?” Roy asked. “It’s made with two heaping teaspoonsful of mustard stirred well in a cupful of fountain pen ink and baked for sixty minutes and two hours by a half-baked scout. Only a Chipmunk can make them.”

Now you see! Now you see!” Pee-wee fairly screeched at poor Stubby. “Now you see what kind of a patrol they are. And you want to join them! It’s because you’re a new feller in town and you don’t know anything about them—they’re all crazy. It’s kind of a not a patrol at all—”

“Why don’t you join the new patrol?” Ralph Warner asked.

“What one’s that?” Stubby inquired.

“The police patrol,” said Ralph.

“That’s full already, it’s got eight cylinders,” said Roy. “Eight’s the limit—if you want to know anything about scouting ask me. I’m an information bureau. Pee-wee’s a cooking cabinet. Hey kid, tell Stubby how you tracked a snail to his savage lair. The Chipmunks are short one member, and every member is short. Pee-wee .... lives close to nature, his head’s too near the ground. I’ll leave it to Warde, am I wrong as you usually are?”

“You’re right by mistake,” said Warde.

“The pleasure is yours,” said Roy; “we all make mistakes, that’s better than buying them, a scout is supposed to be resourceful—that means full of sauce, especially applesauce. Hey Stub, speaking of the new tent, I was thinking—”

“Don’t you believe him, he doesn’t know how to think,” thundered Pee-wee. “If you join his patrol you’ll have everybody laughing at you, even girls, and you’ll have to go on crazy hikes, walking backwards and going around in circles and never getting anywhere—they haven’t even got any destinations—”

“That’s a lie, Scout Harris!” said Roy. “We didn’t come in here to be consulted, I mean insulted. We have a great many destinations only we don’t carry them around with us, I’ll leave it to Westy. If you get to a destination you don’t have it any more—we keep our destinations for a rainy day. And I’ll tell you something to put down for a rainy day—”

“What’s that?” Stubby asked.

“The windows,” snapped Roy. “No sooner said than stung.”

Now you see what they are!” roared Pee-wee. “And you want to join them! Geeeeeee whiz!

“He takes us for better or worse,” Roy said. “We’re more to be pitied than scolded—we need tender care, also tender waffles—have you got any more waffles? Will you trust us for a dozen more? We’re financially embarrassed owing to the drop in stocks, I mean socks.”

This sly observation referred to Pee-wee’s rebellious stocking which was always descending to his ankle, especially in his strenuous moments of sublime wrath.

“Pull up your stocking, Scout Harris,” said Warde.

“If you’re not going to buy anything more,” said Pee-wee, “you’d better get out, because I own this field while we’re here and even I can have you injected, so you better get out. All you came here for was to start a lot of nonsense so as to show off in front of Stubby, and now he can see what nonsensical fools you are and still he wants to join you and give you new tents and everything, when he might join the Chipmunks with fellers like Bruno and Tasca and Ben Maxwell and me, and be in a regular patrol, geeee whiz!

These last observations were made with a covert eye at Stubby whose reaction the head Chipmunk shrewdly noted. “Even if all he wants to see is a bear—”

“Sure, show him one,” interrupted Warde. “Even if it’s only a little one,” said Dorry.

“If he could even show him Bear Mountain,” added Ralph Warner.

“Or a bottle of Great Bear Water,” said Roy. “Anything just to prove that he’s telling the truth. All Stubby wants to know is that a scout is truthful; he wants to join a truthful patrol. Hey, Stub?”

“Hey, Stubby, listen,” said Warde; “this is good.”

“Is it truthful?” demanded Roy.

“I’m telling you the bare facts,” said Warde.

“Grizzly bear facts, or what kind?” Roy demanded. “Careful with your bears now; we don’t want to lose Stubby.”

“Listen,” said Warde. “Our scoutmaster—”

“Mr. Ellsworthless,” Roy added.

“That shows how you haven’t got any respect for your own scoutmaster!” Pee-wee roared. “His name is Mr. Ellsworth.”

“Pardon me, my error,” said Roy. “Go on with your story.”

“Our scoutmaster,” said Warde, “said we had troop spirit, and Pee-wee thought it was a ghost and he went hunting for it—”

“That shows—” Pee-wee exploded.

“I can tell you something better than that about him,” said Roy. “He thought that stalking meant hunting for a stork, so he—”

“Will you get out of here!” Pee-wee thundered. “The carnival is over so now we’re going to cook our own supper, so will you get out of here with all your crazy stuff! And if Stubby wants to join you, let him do it, only when he sees how everybody up at camp, even Tom Slade and Brent Gaylong and Uncle Jeb, and everybody has a lot of respect for my patrol, even they’ve got more merit badges than yours, then he’ll be sorry he didn’t join a patrol that doesn’t sprawl all over the ground all the time and jolly each other when they haven’t got anybody else to try and make a fool of only they can’t because in my patrol we’re real scouts and we’ve got something better to do than kick around on the grass even being disrespectful to their own scoutmaster and anyway we’ve got the signalling badge, that’s more than you’ve got!” He paused for air. When Pee-wee was thoroughly aroused he omitted his punctuating pauses; his tirades were in the elemental style of thunder.

“So you can go and join their crazy patrol if you want to,” he said to the smiling Stubby. “Only some time when they make you go on a hike whichever way the wind blows or going around in circles and everything like that, and you get all hungry with being famished—then you’ll be sorry! You’ll be sorry because you’ll be almost starved maybe, on one of those idiotical hikes. And all the time you might join a patrol that’s got the Bronway Award for music and a Star Scout——”

“We’ve got a Moon Scout, in our patrol,” interrupted Roy.

“There’s no such thing! Don’t you believe him, Stubby,” Pee-wee roared. “Even I bet he don’t know what a Star Scout is, he doesn’t. A lot they care about the Handbook.”

“A Star Scout is one that has studied astronomy,” said Roy. “The same as a Life Scout is one that has saved a life—I mean lost his own life in saving another.”

“That shows you’re a nonsensical, idiotical, insane fool of a lunatic!” screamed Pee-wee. “And all your patrol are like you!”

“Those are harsh words, Scout Harris,” said Roy. “A scout is kind.”

“He’s kind of crazy!” roared Pee-wee. “Go ahead, you join them,” he added turning contemptuously upon Stubby. “You join them and you’ll be sorry. Do you want to have remorse?”

“Have you got any? How much is it?” Roy queried.

Poor Stubby, he could only laugh. It was such an honest, wholesome, friendly laugh; no wonder that Roy wanted him in his patrol.


It was all very well for Pee-wee to storm and bluster, but just the same he wanted Stubby in his patrol. He wanted him now more than he had wanted him before. For the carnival was a failure. There was no blinking that fact; it was a frost. For two nights the sturdy little scout had camped with his patrol in the old tennis courts pavilion, and that had been pleasant. It had been the only successful feature of poor Pee-wee’s mammoth enterprise. This little touch of camping life prior to the regular camping season almost made the unhappy undertaking worth while. With it, the hero solaced his disgruntled followers as they cooked and ate the fragrant waffle and the grateful frankfurter in the primeval wilds of the Baldwin tennis courts.

As long as the carnival had been in Pee-wee’s mind, Stubby Piper with his sumptuous dowry, had been but an incidental consideration. He believed that the carnival would “get” Stubby; that this new boy would be wooed and won by this gala achievement of the Chipmunks. Pee-wee engineered tremendous enterprises, but never more than one at a time. Now that ruin stared him in the face, as he and his patrol ate the frankfurters and waffles which the public had disdained, Stubby loomed large as a candidate to scouthood. To have a boy whose father owned a sporting goods store was like discovering a gold mine.

Now, amid the wreck of his grand carnival, Pee-wee’s thoughts turned wistfully to this fine boy whom everybody liked. The Silver Foxes were to blame for enticing Stubby with their absurdities. They were responsible for his making a quibble about a bear. When Pee-wee spoke about wild life he spoke in a general way. Scouts were primitive, oh very, but they did not carry wild animals around with them. Roy Blakeley, the arch-demon and Nemesis of Pee-wee’s life, was to blame for the contamination and downfall of Stubby Piper.

And Roy too, in his heart, was serious about this matter. He did not want Stubby for his dowry, but for himself alone. Why not? Here was as fine a boy as ever happened to be outside the realm of scouting. Roy, in serious reflection (for he was sometimes serious) knew that such a boy as Stubby would be quite out of place in the Chipmunk Patrol. By a dash of good luck, Pee-wee had succeeded in recruiting Ben Maxwell, and Ben was glad to be a sort of big brother in Pee-wee’s harum-scarum organization. But the Silver Foxes had no intention of losing Stubby Piper.

The Chipmunks kindled a modest camp-fire outside the pavilion that night and made a ghastly attempt to be merry on the scene of their disastrous enterprise. “Anyway, we’re having a lot of fun camping here,” said the sturdy little leader. “Gee whiz, no matter what, we’re having a lot of fun. Maybe even if a thing is a failure, maybe all the time it may be a success too, hey? Maybe it’s more successful when it’s a failure.”

His loyal patrol seemed not to appreciate the force of this reasoning. “If they don’t like it we don’t have that blame sure,” said Tasca Liventi, with that little foreign shrug of his shoulders. “Musick they do not like.”

“We ought to have had a jazz band,” said Ben Maxwell good-humoredly. “Give the public what they want.”

“This we don’t know how,” said Bruno. “Anyway, I’ve got no use for the public,” said Pee-wee; “especially the Silver Foxes. Publics are a lot of fools—geee whiz. All the publics I ever knew never know what they wanted; I wouldn’t bother with them. Nature is better, that’s one sure thing.”

At all events nature soon asserted itself and the Chipmunks were sound asleep. It was pleasant, camping in the pavilion. They had brought their army cots to the scene, and the interior of the picturesque little building looked not unlike one of the patrol cabins up at Temple Camp. And Pee-wee Harris dreamed a gorgeous dream. He dreamed that the carnival was a success.

Outside the hedge fence crowded all the poor boys of Bridgeboro who had not money enough to enter with the surging throng at the gate. Pee-wee himself was standing before a scout fire tossing waffles on a tennis racket and delivering them to the hungry multitude all crisscross by the taut strings. The tennis net was up and the posts to which it was fastened at either end were two huge frankfurters.

Little Billy Jansen was selling tennis balls to thronging patrons, only these were licorice, lime and lemon—three for ten cents. The white markings on the court were made with powdery marshmallows, and within these confines were more patrons who had paid ten cents each for the privilege of batting marshmallows back and forth across the net. The Liventi brothers with sledge hammers were playing a stirring melody on a vast marimba amid cheering that had all the volume of a tidal wave.

Then, as the deafening music ceased, the cheering died away until there was nothing left but an appalling roar as if the whole gala scene were suddenly changed to a savage jungle. Again and again the roaring could be heard. For a few moments it ceased. Then it started again, and all the patrons of the Chipmunk Carnival ran helter-skelter from the scene, leaving only Pee-wee counting the wagon loads of coin which were the profits of his sensational enterprise. But the roaring started again and he could not hear the jingle of coin, because it was drowned in that fearful voice of the forest....


Pee-wee sat up rubbing his eyes. There were no wagon loads of coin. No music echoed in the silent night; the Liventi brothers slept peacefully. No scout was serving waffles to a hungry multitude of lavish spenders. There were no jawbreakers of the appalling magnitude of tennis balls.

From the cot of Eddie Carlo came the steady breathing of a weary Chipmunk dead to the world and its disillusionments. Little Billy Jansen was in a land where business cares are unknown. Amid the wreck and ruin of the great carnival, Ben Maxwell lay in untroubled slumber. There was no seething throng at the gate.

Glancing drowsily through the open doorway of their rustic dormitory, Pee-wee saw the well trimmed hedge, a long band of black, in the still night. A myriad of shining stars twinkled in the sky as if they were winking at the leader of the Chipmunk Patrol. A genial little cricket sang in some cosy crevice of the old pavilion—such an anti-climax to the deafening strains of the gigantic marimba! There stood the real marimba, under its gorgeous cover containing the tinseled initials of the Liventi boys. There it stood, their pride and joy, innocent and silent.

Outside, just in line with the doorway, stood a queer black figure with a hat rakishly tilted on its head. And the roaring continued. It followed Pee-wee out of his rapturous dream, and assailed the night with its terrifying clamor. It was real.

Pee-wee rubbed his sleepy eyes again and looked about. That strange figure a few feet distant from the door did not move. And Pee-wee dared not move for fear his stirring might be heard by that stealthy, waiting spectre. The roaring had ceased; he began to think that after all it might have been a part of his fantastic dream. He lay down again and tried to sleep. In a few moments he moved enough so that he could see out through the doorway, and there, still, was the silent figure standing motionless. Its hat was at a slightly different angle than before; it might have approached a little, he did not know. Should he ask who it was? Then, suddenly he heard the sound again, this time a low, complaining growl.

Then it came jumping into Pee-wee’s startled senses that maybe the Silver Foxes were playing a trick on him; he would not put it past them, as the saying is. So he groped for his flashlight which he always prudently kept within reach, and looked at his scout watch. It was nearly three o’clock in the morning. No Silver Fox, however lawless, would be out at such an hour.

Might that weird figure be a gardener on the Baldwin place? What should he do? Wake Ben Maxwell? Ben was the only “big fellow” in Pee-wee’s patrol. The mighty leader was not above falling back on Ben in terrible emergencies. But if, by any chance, the Silver Foxes were abroad and up to any of their nonsense, Ben would laugh with them—he always did. Pee-wee was no coward; he was a true hero. Indeed, he was two or three heroes, highly compressed. He softly stole from his troubled couch, quietly pushed the door part way closed, then hurriedly put on his clothes.

Stealthily, ever so stealthily, he reopened the door. That mysterious figure had not moved. Not without a tremor he emerged from the pavilion and said, “Who’s that there?” There was no answer. Then he saw another figure, hatless, some dozen yards distant. An inspiration seized him and on the instant he became brave and resolute. He walked boldly up to the nearest figure, and pulling the hat off it, left nothing but a harmless tennis net post. Ben Maxwell had tossed his hat there before retiring.

Now Pee-wee felt reassured. What a strange thing is the night! How it conjures up images! Of course, the roaring he had heard was nothing but a dog. Pee-wee had been fooled by that cunning old magician, the night. He was glad he had not aroused any of his patrol. He returned to the pavilion and was just about to make a second plunge into slumberous depths when there arose, as it seemed, not fifty yards distant, such a bellowing roar as made his blood run cold. No dog that ever lived could have uttered that discordant clamor. If a dog were five times its own size and were afflicted with chronic bronchitis it could not startle the peaceful night with such a sound. To the sturdy little scout (for Pee-wee was always a scout and only sometimes a producer) there was something astonishingly out of place about that husky uproar. Something quite alien to all the voices of civilization.

He crept out of the pavilion again and went stealthily in the direction whence the roaring had emanated. He followed the hedge to where it was broken by the stone pillars and the handsome grilled gate through which he had dreamed of multitudes entering. Here two great elm trees flanked the gateway and deepened the darkness beneath their sheltering branches. They were inside the gateway, on Mr. Baldwin’s land, but the spreading boughs extended far out over the quiet street, and in the shadow of one of these majestic trees, Scout Harris beheld a harrowing sight.

Two glistening eyes were fixed upon him and between him and this fearful sight was only the yielding hedge. Then, horror of horrors, he saw another eye, weird and uncanny, gazing at him in the glassy fixity of death. Three eyes. They were eyes that had no more expression than a real agate, and bespoke none of the savagery conveyed by the appalling roar. Cold, glassy eyes, cocked in unnatural positions, and fixing him with their hollow, frightfully impersonal glare.

Pee-wee’s blood ran cold.


Suddenly, Pee-wee heard a sound in the distance, a sound which recalled him to the realities of life, and in another minute something happened to dissipate the harrowing spectacle. An automobile, containing perchance a party of late joy-riders, rushed by, and in the momentary glare of its headlights, Pee-wee saw illumined a gaudily painted wagon piled high with a variety of wild animals; reindeers, lions, tigers, zebras, giraffes and other denizens of the forest and jungle, reposing in uncanny postures with their stark limbs poking this way and that in wooden stiffness. In the brief glare, Pee-wee could not see all that was printed on the gaudy conveyance of this heap of carnage. But he knew that he was looking at that festive and innocent thing, a merry-go-round in dissected state.

Pee-wee was not afraid of this. He had had too many encounters with merry-go-rounds in assembled condition, to be afraid of one thus dismantled for traveling purposes. With sturdy little sword, he had jabbed triumphantly at too many brass rings, to quail now before a merry-go-round laid low. He had ridden too many giraffes and camels to be appalled by their glassy stare while resting from their labors. To be sure they called up visions of a slaughter-house, but Pee-wee knew them for what they were.

He now made bold to investigate the caravan of which this prancing wooden menagerie was a part. And in process of doing so, he discovered an animal which he had no desire to ride. In a small wagon cage a great bear (yes a bear!) paced back and forth, utterly heedless of the head Chipmunk who stood as near to the bars as he dared and watched the mighty beast move its shaggy head back and forth with unwearying swing, occasionally emitting a startling roar. He did not look much like the creatures of the merry-go-round.

His persistent roarings presently brought forth a sleepy little old man who climbed down out of a fancy van and seemed greatly taken aback at beholding Pee-wee gazing enraptured into the cage. As nearly as Pee-wee could make out in the darkness, this little old man wore a fancy jacket with shining buttons, but in the hurry of donning it, had left it unbuttoned. His face was wrinkled and his hair was long and snow white.

“I—I was only listening to him,” Pee-wee stammered apologetically. “Geeeee whiz, he can roar all right, can’t he?”

“I suppose you live in the great house up yonder,” said the old man in a gentle, almost timid voice. “We are just stopping over for a bit of sleep; this is my little caravan. I hope we’re not—not trespassing?” It seemed odd that the lord and master of a bear should be so gentle, almost fearful, in addressing Pee-wee.

“Is it a show—that you’ve got?” Pee-wee asked. “I’ve got a show—kind of—of my own in this big field. That bear woke me up. The scouts in my patrol are camping over there in the tennis pavilion. Geeeee whiz, that’s a dandy big bear.”

The little old man spoke softly, and there was a fine quality in his voice, and a graciousness in his manner, of which even Pee-wee (notoriously indiscriminating) was vaguely conscious. “Just a minute please,” he said, as he approached the cage. It seemed to Pee-wee that he was admonishing the bear to silence, and at the same time bribing it with some unseen morsel of food. “He’s very obstreperous to-night,” the old man said, “just at a time when, above all times, we want him to be quiet. We’ve had a very trying evening—a very discouraging evening.”

“Do you mean your show didn’t go good?”

“There wasn’t any show,” said the old man. “The authorities here have refused to give us a permit to exhibit. So we’re just resting for the night, and to-morrow we’re going on to Centervale.”

“Do you mean they wouldn’t let you give a show here in Bridgeboro?” the astonished Pee-wee asked. “And with a wild bear and everything? Geeeee whiz!”

“Yes, our little entertainment seems harmless enough,” the old man said. “We have a merry-go-round, a shooting gallery, and Teddy, our performing bear; Teddy Roosevelt is his full name. And my little grandson, Claude. See? Hsh! Come on tiptoe.”

The little old man stood aside inviting Pee-wee to glance inside the van, and the scout gazed upon an enchanted scene. Upon the couch lay a boy of about twelve years, sound asleep. The place was fitted up gipsy fashion, as Pee-wee could see by the light of a bracket-lamp which cast its dim glow in the little rolling apartment which was the only home the old showman and his grandson knew.

Hsh, careful not to wake him,” said the little old man. “Now you must run back and go to sleep yourself. Shows may come and shows may go, but boys need their sleep. And unless Teddy has done with his uproar we will have the police upon us before daybreak.” He laid his hand gently on Pee-wee’s shoulder and smiled upon him; it was a very wistful and kindly smile. “So I mustn’t add to my other misdemeanors by keeping you from your sleep,” the old man added.

And now, in the dim light of the smelly little tin bracket-lamp, Pee-wee was able to get a good look at this enchanted mortal whom the rough authorities had harried and ordered out of town. That the police should withhold the hospitality of Bridgeboro from such a being! That they should refuse to give house room a troupe of prancing wooden horses and a magnificent bear! Why it was as if they had ordered the great Roosevelt himself out of town. Pee-wee now saw that the little old man’s face was very white and wrinkled. The velvet jacket which he had hurriedly put on was of a gaudy red with brass buttons and gold braid and seemed gorgeous enough, notwithstanding that it was much worn and soiled and in its unbuttoned state revealed the homely shirt beneath it. And Pee-wee, indiscriminating as he was, saw that his friend had none of the cheap bombast of a showman; he was a little, old gentleman.

“Did you wear that uniform when you asked the police if you could stay here?”

“My little friend,” said the old man, “the police care for no uniforms but their own.”

“Listen,” said Pee-wee, trying his best not to talk loud. “Don’t you care, because you can give your show here and even you can be partners with my patrol. Do you see this big field? It’s private land, it belongs to the people who live in that big house, and they told us we could use it for our carnival. So I’ve got a dandy idea—”


“That’s nothing, I get them every day,” said Pee-wee. “Do you mean to tell me the cops can stop you if you drive your wagons onto this private land? It’s even kind of more than private land; it’s like part of the lawn of that big house. That man is a millionaire and he’s a friend of mine. Even I went up to his house and talked to him. He owns banks and everything—and I went and talked to him. Even he came to my carnival and bought frankfurters and things—and Mrs. Baldwin too. Maybe you don’t believe millionaires eat frankfurters, but they do. And listen—”


“I’m shhssing—only listen. A feller in this town—he’s so fresh—he said if I could show him a real bear he’d join my patrol. Do you think I’m a-scared of the cops? So will you bring your show up into our field and we’ll kind of mix the carnival and your show up together, kind of, and we’ll make a lot of money. And I’ll tell you positively sure the cops won’t do anything to you, because it’s the private land of that big house. Don’t you be a-scared, you just leave it to me. You don’t have to have any permit or anything and I’d like to see anybody stop you from staying on the private land of a house that belongs to a millionaire that said I could use it, and if they try to bother you it’s trespassing, because my uncle is a judge and he knows—geeeee whiz!

“At least we might rest for the night in your field,” the old man said. “Anything to get off the highway.”

“Yes, and you can give your show there, too,” said Pee-wee, “and you can stay as long as we’re here. And I’ll have the laugh on the cops and the Silver Foxes too—that’s a scout patrol, so don’t you worry. A scout has to be trusted, because he knows what he’s talking about. So you do what I tell you.”

If Pee-wee had known more about that poor little old man’s experiences of the afternoon, perhaps he would not have taken so much credit to himself for the showman’s willingness to drive his outfit into that peaceful haven presided over by despairing Chipmunks. Probably he had no hope of anything more than an undisturbed shelter for the night. The hedge-bordered courts were at least safer than unauthorized parking space along the public street. And the weary, harried, old man wanted his little grandson to sleep.

So he drove in between the big granite gate posts. He had but one team of horses, the little truck containing the dismantled merry-go-round being fastened to the van, and the tiny cage with the bear being fastened to this latter ramshackle conveyance. It was quite a little parade drawn by a single team.

Pee-wee, with all the pomp of a drum-major, led the way across the field till they brought up at the scene of the carnival.

“Are you hungry?” he asked. “Because I can cook you some frankfurters if you are. I can cook you waffles, too. And I’ve got a can of spaghetti that we didn’t use. You don’t need to be a-scared because now you’re part of my carnival and if the cops get fresh with you—you just leave it to me.”

These were the first reassuring and hospitable words that old Max Melnotte, of Melnotte’s Traveling Show, had heard throughout that whole long day. Oh, what a contrast between the two sides of this traveling show business! The girls and boys who rode the prancing horses to the frightful din of the old hand organ, the older boys who shot at wooden pigeons and squirrels which careered around on a wheel, the children who gazed awe struck at the big bear—little did they know of the troubles encountered by the tinseled genius of these delights.

In Barrowtown, old Melnotte had been summarily ordered from the city. In Bridgeboro (famous as the home town of Scout Harris) he had paused in Westcott’s Field only long enough to be told to pack up and get out—“no traveling shows.” So he had waited three hours to see the police chief who detained him not more than three minutes. Yes, he might get a permit, but that would cost fifty dollars. And he had not that much money. The chief told him that the town did not want any “carnivals.” Of course, that did not mean police and firemen’s carnivals.

So poor old Max trudged up to Willow Street to see the mayor who told him not only that he couldn’t exhibit in town (he didn’t say why) but that he might even get into trouble for not sending his little grandson to school. That certainly frightened the old man. Still, he had to earn his living, so he went to see the prosecuting attorney of the county (Bridgeboro being the county seat) to find out what the prospect was for exhibiting in some other town under the jurisdiction of that official, and was told not only that the next three towns on his route had ordinances against traveling shows, but also that he might be prosecuted for “possessing, harboring, confining, exhibiting, transporting and having or holding within his care and keeping any wild animal.”

By the time poor old Max Melnotte encountered Pee-wee, he was well assured of at least two facts. One that he was a criminal in a dozen different ways. The other that he was very, very hungry.


On the evening of that same day when the Silver Foxes visited the dying carnival, and just a few hours before the dramatic climax of Pee-wee’s dream, something else happened. Stubby Piper, fresh from witnessing the “mortal comeback” of Pee-wee and Roy, went down to the Bridgeboro railroad station to wait for his father’s train. He often brought up here after an afternoon’s play and it pleasantly evidenced the comradeship of father and son. But on that evening he waited impatiently, for he had something of importance to impart.

Stepping off the train, Mr. Piper rapped his son good-humoredly with his folded newspaper. “Well, what’s new on the horizon?” said he. “Your mother feeling better?”

“Sure, she’s all right, but listen. What do you know, I’ve got a chance to get into the scouts! So now I can call your bluff, hey dad? You’ll have to come across with that stuff.”

“You know me, Al,” said Mr. Piper.

“I’ve put one over on you—listen.”

“I guess I can stand it,” Mr. Piper said. “Serves me right for making rash promises, hey?”

“I’ll say. Listen dad, I’m—well I’m as good as in the Silver Fox Patrol. It’s all over but the shouting. So I’m lucky.”

“I think they’re lucky,” said Mr. Piper. “I think I’m the only one to lose anything. Well, tell me the worst. Your mother’s always saying I make rash promises.”

“You’re sure in good and deep,” laughed Stubby, hurrying along at his father’s side. “Silver Fox doesn’t mean anything to you; you don’t know anything about troops and patrols. But the Silver Foxes are the crackerjack patrol of this town. Why, they’ve been mentioned by the National Council! That’s Roy Blakeley—you’ve heard me talking about him. The First Bridgeboro Troop is famous—why it’s, it’s just, well it’s—”

“Words fail you,” laughed Mr. Piper.

“Can you blame me?” Stubby enthused. “Why the Silver Fox Patrol is—well, gee I can’t tell you! You say Harvard is different from any other college. Well, it’s sort of like that. The Silver Foxes are—well, to give you an idea, fellows all over the country write to Roy Blakeley and even want to move to Bridgeboro so they can join his patrol. And I fall right into it kerflop! Gee williger, that fellow is full of the dickens! He thinks up the blamedest stuff you ever heard of and when it comes to kidding, good night! But don’t make any mistake, he’s a regular scout.

“Hunt Manners is in that patrol and he calls him Bad Manners. Well, Dorry Benton is going out West to live and so there’s my chance. Just like that! Can you beat it? So I’m going to be a Silver-plated Fox—that’s what Roy calls them. Honest, dad, I wish you could hear that fellow—I just stand there laughing. So come across.”

Stubby held out his hand greedily in laughing derision at his father’s predicament. For poor Mr. Piper had promised a fine donation of equipment to the patrol his son should join. “I don’t feel sorry for you,” Stubby said. “Let it be a lesson to you.”

“Yes?” laughed Mr. Piper. “And how about that other bunch that has a vacancy?”

“You don’t call them bunches, you call them patrols. That’s just what Roy says, we don’t bring our fathers up properly.”

“Oh he says that, does he? Well how about that other patrol?”

“They’re all right, only they’re a joke,” said Stubby. “You mean Pee-wee Harris! That isn’t a patrol at all—it’s a joke. Honest dad, I don’t think half of them are of scout age. I suppose they must be, but they sure don’t look it. Roy says they’re the Fords of scouting. But Pee-wee’s sure a bully little kid all right, I’ll say that. Only, jiminies, I wouldn’t want to be in that patrol. They’re the scream of the troop. They’re holding a carnival now to pay off the national debt, that’s what Roy says. He says the inside of Pee-wee’s head reminds him of an attic, it’s so full of things. Jiminy crinkums, how all the other scouts laugh at him.”

He forgot to tell his father that occasionally Pee-wee did the laughing too. Most of the time he scowled. But in some things he was very slow. He was always the last to leave the table. He was apt to come in last in a race. So, also, he was apt to be the last one to laugh.

“Well,” said Mr. Piper, “are you in the Silver Foxes or not?”

“All but going through with the rigmarole,” said Stubby. “I’ve got to take the scout oath and all that. Then, when I’m a scout—oh boy! Then I have to have my face rubbed with silver polish before I can be a Silver Fox. I bet I’ll be in the first class before the summer’s over. What do you bet?”

“Well,” said Mr. Piper, “if you’ll give me a chance to speak, I’ll tell you something.”

“Be sure to stop when you’re finished, that’s what Roy says,” Stubby said.

“Well then, if I may speak seriously to a Silver Fox, or a Silver Fox elect, if I’m going to do something for my son’s patrol, I was thinking that I might as well do it right—once and for all and be done with it. Then I can wash my hands of you for good. I was talking with Mr. Temple about Temple Camp. That was some gift to scouting, that camp. I think if I do anything at all, Stub, I might as well do something worth while. I might give you boys a lot of odds and ends in the way of sporting goods that you’d lose or break, or maybe not need. I must admit that Mr. John Temple has got me started the same as Roy Blakeley has you started. He sees big; do you know what I mean, Stub? So I’ve been thinking of doing something that will make for patrol spirit. I suppose your mother will fly up in the air—”

“She always comes down again,” said Stubby.

“You see, Stub,” said Mr. Piper, becoming suddenly earnest. “A lot of people give goods and money to worthy causes, but they don’t all do what Mr. Temple has done—they don’t give thought. He might have given a lot of money, but he did more than that; he founded a camp. What he did can’t be lost or used up—or ill-used. See?”

“You said it,” enthused Stubby.

“So I was thinking I’d like to do something that will stimulate patrol spirit. I’d like to pay my respects to the unit, if I might speak of it that way, to which my son belongs. When I was a kid I used to have a sailboat and I had a lot of fun in it. All these kids know how to swim, don’t they?”

Sure!” laughed Stubby excitedly. “Go on, what is it?”

“Well, the Renley people—now don’t jump out of your skin, because maybe I won’t do it.”

“Yes you will. Quick—hurry up—what is it?”

“Well, they sent a big cabin launch on to New York to exhibit at the motor-boat show. It’s thirty feet with about seven foot beam and a hunting cabin—one of those baby cruiser affairs—now don’t interrupt—”

“Go on, go on,” urged Stubby. “What kind of an engine has it got? How many people—scouts—can go in it? Hurry up!”

“Oh, it’s one of those convertible bunk affairs with a kitchenette galley and a two cylinder heavy duty motor as big as a house—no speed at all. Renley’s man came over to see me to-day. They didn’t sell it and they don’t want to ship it out West again. Of course, we’re the goats for all these western exhibitors; they think Piper & Jenks run a storage warehouse. They tried to get a couple of the big department stores to put it on display. Well, when they found they had an elephant on their hands, Renley’s man came over and asked me out to lunch with him.”

“Oh, bambino!” was all Stubby could say.

“Now I’ve been thinking,” Mr. Piper continued, “that if I could get that boat at my own price, I might possibly buy it and name it the—the—eh—what—is it—Silver Fox?”

“Sure, Silver Fox.”

“The matter is not decided yet,” said Mr. Piper, “and all that is settled so far is that there isn’t any profit exhibiting things where the freight amounts to anything. If they want to turn that boat over quick and be done with it, they’ll have to practically give it to me. So don’t go shouting about this till I have more to say to you, and maybe that will be to-morrow night. Silver Fox, that’s not a half bad name for a boat, hey Stub? Look good on her gallant prow.”

But Stubby could give no rational answer. To join the Silver Foxes had been beyond his fondest dreams. Now it seemed altogether probable that he would bring to these hilarious scout comrades a donation to stagger them. He could hardly believe it.

“I wouldn’t give such a thing to you,” said Mr. Piper. “If I do it at all it will be for your patrol, as patrol property, to celebrate your entrance into scouting. And of course, I will expect you to be a real scout. Mr. Temple tells me the scout people are doing all they can to stimulate this idea of the patrol, to distinguish and individualize it, and make it a matter of pride to its members.”

Oh boy!” was all that Stubby could say. “Now I won’t be able to sleep to-night. I don’t think I’ll be able to eat any supper. Jiminy crinkums!


The next day the Silver Foxes went on a hike, which is a story by itself and you shall hear of it later as told by Roy. It was the last hike on which Dorry Benton would join them, for in a few days his family was to go to Indiana where Mr. Benton’s business made it necessary for him to settle permanently.

“We’re delighted to be so sorry that we’re glad you’re going,” said Roy. “And if you’re ever passing this way again, we’ll be glad to see you pass.”

To which Warde Hollister hospitably added, “If you should ever come to Black Lake be sure to drop in.”

“And don’t forget your boyhood friend, Roy Blackeye, the young defective, when you’re far away in Indianapples on the banks of the Applesauce. I wish the whole lot of you were going away. Honest Stub, I started this patrol and I’d like to finish it.”

Stubby only laughed; he was glad to be among them. “If you see me smiling to myself to-day, don’t worry,” he said. “I’ve got something on my mind.”

“On your what?” Slick Warner asked. “You can never be a good Silver Fox if you have a mind. I can prove it by Pee-wee Harris. I wonder how the carnival is coming along, anyway.”

“It’s not expected to live,” said Warde Hollister.

“I guess it’s dead already,” said Westy.

“What have you got on your mind?” Roy asked Stubby. “When a boy sprout goes on a hike he’s not supposed to carry anything with him except what’s absolutely necessary. He mustn’t take any lunch, he mustn’t even take any pictures. He mustn’t even take the fresh air. He must go absolutely, definitely, positively unencumbered. If you want to know all about scouting, come to your patrol leader, Roy Bakery. Hey Warde? Will you scouts kindly please keep still while I tell Stubby rudiments of scouting! There are three grades of scouts—tenderfoots, toughfoots—”

“We ought to have Pee-wee here,” Westy Martin interrupted.

“He’s busy eating what’s left of the carnival,” Roy said.

“Gee, he’s a nice little chap all the same,” Stubby said. “He’s kind of smart, too; you have to admit it.”

“He’s all head,” said Roy; “he’s built like a polliwog. Only the two ends of him are too close together.”

“Just the same he’s one real little scout,” said Westy earnestly.

“You never told a truer lie,” said Roy. “You couldn’t call Pee-wee one scout. He’s the whole Boy Scouts of America with something left over.”

“Well, the Silver Foxes are good enough for me,” said Stubby; “I’m satisfied.”

“We aim to please,” said Roy. “We want all our members to feel that they’re just as crazy as each other, if not more so. To be a member you must have forty-five cents in your pocket and no sense in your head. So you can treat each member to an ice cream cone, with two cones for your patrol leader—that’s the rule.”

“Jiminies, I’ll gladly do that,” said Stubby.

So Stubby tendered the banquet which a boy must give who would gain admittance to the Silver Fox Patrol. And in doing so he was joyously made known in Bennett’s Fresh Confectionery, famous as the headquarters of Pee-wee Harris. And Stubby listened with delight while Roy chattered away to the customary amusement of Mr. Bennett’s daughter who served the cones.

All through that day of delightful random hiking, Stubby was more or less preoccupied. “He’s nervous because he’s going to get into a crack patrol,” said Roy. “You can’t blame him. Do you know the advice that Mr. Ellsworth gives to a boy about to join the Silver Foxes? The advice is don’t. We have the largest non-membership list of any patrol this side of the Milky Way.”

“All over the country,” said Warde, “we have scouts who are not members. It’s even considered an honor to be a non-member.”

“Stubby doesn’t know when he’s lucky,” said Roy. “Boys all over the country write to me asking where I live and I have to write and tell them I don’t know. Don’t I, Westy? The outside of my house is such a large place they might never be able to find me. Good night, I get lots of letters—”

“Sure,” said Bad Manners, “and he wrote to one scout out in Oregon and told him he couldn’t see to write in daytime, because he goes to night school.”

“Have a care how you speak of your patrol leader,” said Roy. “All I want from you is discipline, and very little of that. If boys all over the country don’t stop writing to me, I won’t have any money left for fountain pen ink on account of buying postage stamps to answer scouts who want me to send them letters. Any scout that comes to Bridgeboro can join my patrol if there are any vacancies and if there were about seven vacancies, I’d like the patrol better.”

They returned to Bridgeboro at about five o’clock, being somewhat delayed by a rule which Roy had announced that every time they reached a cross-road they must toss a penny to determine whether they would turn to right or left. This continued till they lost the penny, and finally lost their way—or mislaid it, as Roy said. So they had to go back and look for it. They reached Bridgeboro utterly weary and in that state of wanton hilarity which utter fatigue seemed always to produce in Roy’s patrol.

Stubby had tried his best all day to bear in mind his father’s request for temporary silence in the matter of the boat. But he had had a hard time of it. He had just about made the grade, in a way of speaking, and now he led his bantering comrades to the railroad station, telling them that he thought maybe his father would have something of interest to tell them. He could not see the patrol dispersed for the night without giving the good news—IF. Also he wanted his father to see this patrol which it was to be his good fortune to join. Already (though still only on the threshold) he was proud of “his patrol.”

Roy and his patrol were all fine boys, members of good families. If they were hilarious and nonsensical, at least they were becomingly respectful and subdued in the presence of Mr. Piper, whom they had never before met. Yet Roy was always Roy and he could no more help bubbling over than a hurrying brook could help rippling among rocks.

“Pity your poor son, Mr. Piper,” said he. “He’s going to join our patrol. He should be pitied, not scolded.”

“I guess he can stand it,” laughed Mr. Piper. “So there are the Silver Foxes, eh?” he commented, looking them over.

Stubby proudly introduced them, one after another.

“The luckiest one last,” said Roy, as Dorry stepped up and shook hands. “He’s going to Indianapples.”

“Well, that’s unlucky for you and lucky for Stub,” Mr. Piper said. “Your father’s business take him there?”

“Yes, sir,” said Dorry.

“Well, I’m strong for the scouts,” Mr. Piper said, including them all in his genial glance.

“You’d be weak if you were head of this patrol,” said Roy.

“You don’t look as if you were dying from care,” Mr. Piper laughed.

Hurry up, hurry up!” said Stubby. “Have you got anything to tell us? Hurry up! I didn’t tell them anything, only please hurry up.”

“Well,” said Mr. Piper. “I think I may report progress, but complications have set in.” Stubby’s face fell. “Go on, go on; do we get it? What kind of complications?”

“Why nothing serious, I dare say,” laughed Mr. Piper. “I was telling Stub I’d like to do something for the patrol he ties up with to stimulate patrol spirit. Though I must say you all seem to have plenty of spirit.”

“That’s our middle name,” said Roy.

“I have a chance to get hold of a pretty nice little thirty foot cabin launch,” Mr. Piper continued, “and I thought I might donate it to your scout unit—”

“Oh boy!”


“Let me dream again.”

“Catch me before I faint.”


Goooooooood night!

“Have you all spoken?” Mr. Piper queried, amusedly. “Well then, I can go on. Now to-day, just as I was about to close up this little deal, along comes a man representing the Celebrated Star Snitchly Corporation, the well known movie people. It seems this boat, in the days of its construction, figured in a photoplay. I’ve heard so much about it to-day that I really don’t know whether I’m a sporting goods man or a motion picture villain.”

“You’re a scout!” shouted Roy. “Right the first time!”

“All I know,” laughed Mr. Piper, “is that I’m the hero. I have circumvented and baffled and vanquished the whole Celebrated Star Snitchly Corporation in the interest of the Boy Scouts. I have baffled Farroway Dunmore himself! So you see I’m a real hero. And now I’d like to have you make way so I can go home to my supper. Yes, you’re going to have the boat if you’re willing to take a dark mystery and a harrowing crime with it.”

Oh boy, that sounds like Pee-wee Harris,” said Roy, jumping in very ecstasy.


The story was too good to tell hurriedly to this group of clamoring scouts. Mr. Piper, hugely amused, saved it to tell over the supper table to his wife and son. He had told the boys they were to have the boat and that was enough.

“You don’t mean you’re going to give them a magnificent yacht like that!” said Mrs. Piper.

“Oh yes, I am,” said Mr. Piper. “John Temple has been contaminating me. If I go back and forth many times on the train with that man, I’ll be founding a camp. Try to get into the motion picture atmosphere, then you won’t be surprised or shocked. It’s not a yacht, mumsy; it’s just a cabin launch. Our son is going into the scouts with his hope chest—or perhaps I should say his sea chest. I have a mania now for expressing myself and nothing can stop me. These are a fine lot of boys and the River Queen is going to them.”

“We’re going to christen it the Silver Fox; is that all right?” Stubby asked excitedly.

“I think Silver Fox is a perfectly beautiful name,” said Stubby’s mother. “And I think your father has gone out of his senses.”

“Would you like to hear the story of the River Queen?” Mr. Piper dryly asked. “It’s part of the photoplay called Vengeance.”

“Go on, tell it,” urged Stubby.

Mr. Piper seemed highly amused. It was not often that the routine of his business life was beguiled in the tangled meshes of romance. “This morning I made these Renley boat people an offer on the basis of helping them out and they came across. I thought the whole matter was closed and that all that remained for me to do was give Stub a good stiff lecture about this scouting business and about safety first on the water.

“Well, along about three o’clock this afternoon in came a man to see me from the Celebrated Stars Snitchly Corporation. They feature Farroway Dunmore, if you don’t happen to know it.”

“I loathe his acting,” said Mrs. Piper. “He was in Hearts of Stone.”

“It seems,” said Mr. Piper, “that an early scene in Vengeance shot River Queen and Farroway Dunmore was helping to build it. He was Dick Flint and he was in love with Myrtle somebody or other who didn’t love him. She loved the young minister. She intended to go with the young minister to the place where he was to have a charge. All this I learned to-day—it was news to me.

“Now when Dick Flint finds that Myrtle’s father has ordered this boat as a wedding present for the young couple to sail down the river in to this village where they are to live, he leaves one plank loose in the hull of the boat. He fixes it so it will fall out in about half an hour. He doesn’t clinch the rivets. So, of course, the boat begins to sink. The young minister doesn’t know how to swim—he wasn’t a scout, I suppose. So then Dick Flint saves the girl—I don’t know just how. I hope she didn’t marry him.

“The point is that now these people want the boat. It seems this play is to be what they call a long-run feature release—something big, epoch making. It’s a million dollar film, or maybe a billion dollars, I don’t remember. Farroway Dunmore, as Dick Flint, worked on the boat in the shops. I hope a little real labor didn’t hurt him. Then they had a few shots at it when it was finished. I suppose they had an idea of using a sort of boat double for the catastrophe.

“Anyway, the launch was sent east to the motor-boat show and now the Celebrated Star people want it. They want to use the same boat throughout. Big stuff. But you see they got around just too late. They say they can sink it and raise it and it will be as good as ever. They want Farroway Dunmore to do his rescue act. First they wanted the Renley people to back down on the sale. ‘You do that and I’ll never sell another canoe of yours in either of my places,’ I told them. ‘This matter is closed.’

“So then the movie people got busy with me. They even wanted me to meet Farroway Dunmore.”

Jimmies! Oh boy!” ejaculated Stubby. “Oh, wouldn’t I like to see him in person!”

“Well,” said Mr. Piper, highly entertained at recalling his experience. “I told them the boat had been bought by me and that I didn’t buy it to sink it. I told them I was out of the affair and that if they wanted to talk business, they’d better get in touch with the Silver Fox Patrol of Bridgeboro, New Jersey. So far as I’m concerned the sinking of boats ended with the World War. She’s a pretty nifty little craft, Stub, and you see she has quite a romantic past as every respectable boat ought to have. I think Silver Fox will be a good name for her. I’m having a couple of men chug her up to Bridgeboro on Saturday, so you and your friends can be down at the boat club waiting for her. Now those are my adventures for the day. How would you like to see me in the movies, Mumsy?”


By the following afternoon the Silver Foxes found it impossible longer to bear the suspense of waiting for Saturday. So they wandered up to the hill section to beguile the lagging hours at the Chipmunk Carnival, if perchance there was anything left of it. The good fortune which had fallen to them raised their spirits to a high degree of exhilaration and they approached the scene of Pee-wee’s enterprise with bantering intent. It was their joyous purpose to storm the fallen fortress and confound the head Chipmunk with a fusilade of jollying.

But on approaching the neighborhood of the Baldwin place they were assailed with a fusilade more terrible than the artillery of banter which they had intended to bring to bear on Pee-wee and his cohorts. This was a hand organ, the uproar of which was like unto nothing ever heard in the heavens above, or in the earth beneath, or in the waters under the earth. It was as if a hundred thousand dishpans had formed themselves into a mop for the purpose of resurrecting Little Annie Rooney and The Sidewalks of New York.

“What the dickens is that?” asked the astonished Warde.

“It sounds like a nineteen-two Ford trying to drown a seventeen seventy-six phonograph. That’s not the Liventi boys.”

Approaching the big grilled gate which filled the gap in the tall hedge, they became aware of a strange spectacle. Stretched high between the ornate granite posts was a glaring canvas sign proclaiming the




The Silver Foxes paused in consternation while a surging throng passed by them into the enchanted precinct. A couple of older boys brushed against Roy in their hurry to enter and jarred him out of his preoccupation while he read with startled eyes.






It seemed to Roy, subdued for perhaps the first time in his life, that even on the basis of a one cent admission fee, Pee-wee must be making a fortune. For a town which had officially frowned on carnivals, here was a fine state of things.



a stray sign proclaimed. Since this announcement meant nothing to the general public it seemed reasonable to infer that it was addressed to the police. It was the mailed fist, done with shoe blacking on a bit of cardboard.

But the scene outside the gate was nothing. Struck dumb with consternation, the Silver Foxes one and all paid their admission to little Eddie Carlo who sat behind a grocery box painted a glaring red with two pennants of the Chipmunk Patrol rising in gala splendor from its two front corners. “Five cents, have your change ready,” little Eddie was shouting.

And there, just within the entrance, Roy and his hilarious followers beheld a sight which only an artist could paint. The sombre shade of ink cannot depict that martial and motley spectacle which almost blinded him. There upon a horse (he could hardly be called a prancing steed, but still a horse) sat the doughty leader of the Chipmunk Patrol in full scout regalia with a frown like an eclipse of the sun upon his heroic countenance, and a scout cooking set consisting of a farina boiler, a sauce-pan and a coffee-pot dangling from his official scout belt. He held slantingways a scout staff bearing the flaunting pennant of the Chipmunks, presenting not a little the appearance of Sir Galahad or some gallant crusader of old.

The projecting bones of the unhappy horse were concealed under Pee-wee’s multi-colored Indian sleeping blanket, and he held the reins of his charger as if it required the greatest equestrian skill to prevent the patient animal from jumping over the hedge fence and prancing off in quest of the Holy Grail. Surely General Custer never sat astride his horse with such an imposing show of prowess as did the leader of the Chipmunks.

“Pay your admission at the box office!” he was shouting. “Parents with their children are not accompanied—I mean small children without being accompanied by their parents are not admitted—unless they have five cents and anybody that sneaks through the hedge gets put out. Pay your admission at the box office! And if anybody gets fresh with a lot of nonsense (he added, espying Roy from his equestrian throne) he’ll get treated summery, I mean summerarily, I mean—anyway, he’ll get in trouble! Pay your way at the box office!”


Suddenly, perceiving the astonished Stubby, Pee-wee stepped out of his martial role long enough to fix him with a glare of imperial scorn. “Whooaaa!” he said, though in truth his charger was standing as still as a hobby-horse. “Do you hear that roaring?” he shouted. “I mean you, Stubby Piper; do you hear that roaring? That’s a real bear, and so you have to join my patrol. A scout is supposed to keep his word even before he goes crazy with—whooaaa—with a lot of crazy nonsensical nonsense and a lot—whooaaa—a lot of fellers that don’t even know the rules of scouting, you said show me a bear, and now all you have to do is to go over there and see one that I found and that I’m the boss of—whoooa and if you put your hand in the cage you got only yourself to blame! So now you can go and laugh that off with the Silver Foxes that don’t know anything about scout honor that I know all about, and you have to join my patrol—whooa! Pay your admission at the box office, everybody, and ride on the merry-go-round, if you get the brass ring you get an extra ride and a hot frankfurter absolutely free—and whoooaaa—and mustard too. Try your aim at the shooting gallery, everybody! The big Chipmunk Carnival! See the real bear, Teddy Roosevelt! Hear him roar! He growls, he roars, he eats marshmallows—six for five cents!”

Amid these strenuous duties, he could not long bother with Stubby. A fierce look, a scathing reminder, that was all. The Silver Foxes were merely part of the surging throng. But Stubby Piper knew that later there would be a reckoning. Perhaps it was characteristic of him that he was troubled by Pee-wee’s grim reference to a scout’s honor, whereas Roy and the others treated this (as they treated all of Pee-wee’s thunderous declarations) as a great joke.

As these astonished visitors advanced into the scene of festivities, Stubby alone remained preoccupied by those authoritative words uttered from Pee-wee’s equestrian throne. It was true that the sturdy little scout’s mandate was quite incidental, and given while he was much absorbed with matters of immediate import. But Stubby remembered those words, “and so you have to join my patrol.” Still more vividly he remembered the words, shouted in Pee-wee’s jumbled phraseology, “Who don’t know anything about scout honor that I know all about.”

Surely Pee-wee had made a mighty haul and fallen upon glorious days. Out of the failure and despair he had wrought a sensation. The laugh was his—or the terrible scowl. Well, the Silver Foxes were good sports and they would not mind that. They would enjoy themselves at the mammoth show of their beloved and sturdy little foe. But was there really any question of honor involved here? Was he, Stubby, to be held to account in a matter about which he had never given two thoughts? “Show me a bear,” he had said. And there was Pee-wee; scout of the scouts, shouting down at him about scout honor.

These thoughts troubled Stubby just a trifle, and somewhat affected his enjoyment of the wonders of a very real carnival.


Not so, Roy and the others. At the merry-go-round old Max Melnotte in his tinseled velvet jacket presided, collecting the fares, and driving the teammate of Pee-wee’s horse upon his endless round, pulling all the beasts of the jungle after him. He was the only animal who really worked. Here also was his grandson, little Claude Yarleigh, who ground out from a frightful hand organ the aged tunes to which the animals pranced. A little, pale, wide-eyed gnome of a boy was he, who met many pleasure seeking boys, but never saw them for long, and never had any friends.

Secure in his wagon cage the great clumsy bear moved back and forth, seeming to keep time with the shrieking of the neighboring organ; he rivaled even the careering wooden menagerie in his unceasing movement. Here was strategically placed the true scout fireplace of stone with Billy Jansen roasting marshmallows in true primitive fashion, and eating about every third one that he roasted—in true Chipmunk fashion. The proximity of this attraction to the bear’s cage, encouraged purchasers to share their sweets with the swaying Teddy, and return for more supplies. This was Pee-wee’s idea—he “invented” it.

But it was the shooting gallery that most attracted the Silver Foxes. Here, upon a rough counter, were temptingly arranged half a dozen air rifles which did havoc to a procession of ducks and squirrels that chased each other around on a whirling disk, and were replaced when they were sufficiently riddled with bullets. Here Ben Maxwell, the only “big feller” in the Chipmunk Patrol had charge, and it was from him, always humorous and friendly, that the Silver Foxes learned the circumstances of Pee-wee’s spectacular rise in the show business.

“He heard a bear roaring and he went and got it, and that’s all there is to it,” said Ben, handing a rifle to Will Dawson. “Ten cents, yep, that’s right. Now knock ’em dead. Here you are,” he raised his voice, “come and try your luck in the South African jungle! Big game for a little price! Try your luck, lady?”

“Yep,” he added, subduing his tone to these visiting comrades, “we have to hand it to Pee-wee; he’s a real little scout, hey? In he came with the poor old man, and that kid, and the bear and all. Wakes us all up and makes us cook supper for them. Can you beat it? Here you are, try your luck, mister. See if you have a steady eye—ten cents. Yes, Pee-wee is some little scout. Then he makes a sort of a deal, fifty-fifty, with the old man, and yesterday he rounded up Mr. Baldwin and they fought it out with the police. Do you know what Mr. Baldwin said? He said he has more admiration for that kid than if he had gone out and shot a bear. Of course, the cops haven’t got anything to say here, this is private land. Here you go, mister, take a shot and help the Boy Scouts!”

They all took shots till their funds were exhausted. And Stubby seemed rather quiet and preoccupied. Even when he sent a squirrel piecemeal in a hundred directions, he seemed not overjoyed.

“Some Dick Deadeye we’ve got in our patrol, hey?” Warde commented.

“Did you hear the news?” Roy asked Ben. “Stubby’s going to take Dorry’s place in my patrol and his father’s going to donate a big motor-boat.”

“It’s got a mystery connected with it, too. I mean a story, kind of,” said Westy Martin.

“You fellows are in luck,” said Ben.

“Sure and Stubby’s in luck too,” said Roy. “Look at all the scouts all over the civilized world that want to join my patrol, writing me letters and everything, you’d think I was running the standing army, I guess they think it’s eight thousand scouts to a patrol instead of eight, I wish it was eight minus nine then there’d be less than one of us even, and I wouldn’t have to think up any new kinds of hikes. Stubby’s in luck.”

“I know I am,” said Stubby.

They remained upon the enchanted scene long after their last nickel was spent and on the way out they paused to treat themselves to a form of diversion which cost nothing, and that was to engage Pee-wee in hilarious debate.

The genius of the enterprise had descended from his authoritative seat and was eating a frankfurter to fortify himself against further labors. He was perched on top of one of the huge granite gate posts with his short legs dangling, and shouting at a group of children who wanted to enter the premises without the formality of paying. “All of you got to go home and get nickels or you don’t get in!” he thundered. “And if you try to sneak through this hedge and get it damaged maybe you get fined as much as a hundred dollars, maybe even as much as fifty, and maybe even you might go to jail, even. So go on, get away from here.”

“Hey kid, look out that post doesn’t collapse with you,” said Roy. “It’s not meant to hold a heavy weight.”

“You’re nothing but the public!” shouted Pee-wee. “Except one of you.”

“Fancy that,” said Warde.

“Scouts don’t call names,” said Bad Manners. “You called us a public,” said Roy. “Do you take it back, or do you take it front?”

“I call you a lot of idiotic idiots,” roared Pee-wee. “All except one of you.”

“I’m that one,” said Roy.

“So am I,” said Tom Warner.

“You haven’t got any more money, that’s why you’re going home,” thundered Pee-wee. “Only Stubby, if he wants, he can stay for nothing, because he’s going to be a member of my patrol. So if he wants he can stay and have rides and things for nothing.”

It had never occurred to the bully little scout to doubt his claim on Stubby. Other matters of more pressing import had engaged his attention, but he had never for a moment doubted the validity of his claim on Stubby. This was to be the splendid by-product of his sensational good fortune, the climax of his “show.”

“He’s going to be which?” laughed Warde. “Pardon me while I die from mirth,” said Roy, falling against Westy.

“Stubby a Chipmunk?” laughed Ralph Warner. “Can you beat that? Can you picture Stubby a Chipmunk?”

“He told me to show him a bear,” Pee-wee fairly screeched, “and now I showed him a good big one. I showed it to him, because I did a good turn. So now he has to join my patrol. Maybe he thinks all there is about getting to be a scout is getting mixed up with a lot of nonsense, going on crazy hikes and making fools of people and not keeping your word like you have to do to be a scout, you ask Mr. Ellsworth, but just the same I did what he said and he don’t have to ask any questions, and I don’t want him to join because now we’ve got over a hundred dollars, but he has to join because he has to—shut up—he has to keep his word like he said and not start a lot of teckinalities, because a bear is a bear and I can prove it even if he laughs at us—geeeeeeeeee whiz!”

“I’m not laughing at you, kid,” said Stubby.

“What the dickens does he want anyway?” Dorry asked. Since he was moving away from Bridgeboro it made little difference to him what happened, but the thought of Stubby joining the Chipmunks struck him as absurd.

“Hey, kid, listen,” called Warde. “If you only wanted the earth it wouldn’t be so bad; we’d be very glad to give it to you.”

“Sure, and a couple of planets,” said Roy. “What’s a planet more or less. We’d even throw in a comet.”

“But when you want the whole universe that’s too much,” said Warde. “Listen, kid, you’ve got a whole carnival. Stubby’s father is giving us a peach of a big motor-boat—”

“I get that too!” roared Pee-wee.

“And there’s a kind of a story about it—”

“I get that too!” Pee-wee shouted.

“Maybe we might even have Farroway Dunmore on it,” Westy said.

“I’ll take care of him,” Pee-wee shouted.

“Excuse me while I laugh,” said Roy.


“Some kid, hey?” said Westy on their way home.

“He’s got all the money that I had with me,” said Warde.

“Same here,” said Dorry.

“He’s got the whole town eating right out of his hand and still he wants Stub,” said Ralph Warner.

“And he really thinks he’ll get him,” said Warde.

“Sure, he does,” said Westy.

“He may be right at that,” Stubby said.

“What?” gasped Warde.

“Sure, he’s right as he usually isn’t,” said Roy. “It’s a wonder he doesn’t ask the League of Nations to give him the North Pole to use for a scout staff.”

“He’d be sitting on top of it eating an Eskimo pie,” Will Dawson said. “A hundred dollars. What do you know about that?”

“Well, he showed you a bear,” Roy laughed. “Some bear.

“Some kid,” said Warde.

It was evident that Roy and his comrades did not take this matter of the bear seriously. It was just funny that after Stubby had challenged Pee-wee to show him a bear, that redoubtable little scout had produced the real article (no matter what the circumstances) and confounded him. And here is where Stubby of the Silver Foxes differed from his chosen colleagues; he saw the bear; they only saw the joke, the coincidence.

“He’s got me all up in the air now,” said poor Stubby. “Serves me right for making rash promises. Blame it all, just as we’re getting the boat and everything!”

They were walking down toward the more thickly settled part of town, ambling and pausing in the haphazard manner of the Silver Foxes. Roy was too preoccupied walking the white line on the road to pay any attention to Stubby’s utterance; to him the matter wasn’t worth talking about. But Warde Hollister stopped outright and gazed straight at Stubby, which caused them all to pause. Even Roy abandoned his casual pastime and strolled back. “What’s this, a patrol meeting?” he asked.

“What do you mean, he’s got you up in the air?” Warde asked. “Jiminies, you talk mighty funny.”

“Speak kindly,” mocked Roy.

“Did you hear what he said?” Warde asked. “Two or three times he’s said things kind of like that, and he’s been acting funny like, ever since we were in the carnival.”

“Explain all that,” said Roy. “Begin in the middle and go in either direction. We demand an explanation, Scout Piper.”

Stubby laughed, he could never help laughing at Roy. He smiled wistfully at Roy’s unwillingness to take him seriously—or to take anything seriously. Just in that moment he wondered if he had esteemed Roy too highly. Was it Scouting that had captivated him, or was it just Roy?

“Awh, cut it out and let’s go home,” said Will Dawson. “Gee, I hate arguments.”

“I’m not starting any arguments,” said Stubby. “Boy, when I’m with you fellows I’m usually laughing so hard there isn’t any chance for arguments.”

“The face with the smile grins,” said Roy. “Come ahead, I’ve got to mow the lawn if I’m going down to wait around at the boat house to-morrow. My ship is coming in—blamed good thing, too, because Scout Harris of the Chip-skunks has got all my money. I’ve got to mow the lawn for fifty cents or I’ll be in the hands of deceivers.”

“I suppose I have to join his patrol,” Stubby managed to get out; he said it almost in desperation.

“On account of the bear?” Warde demanded. “Gee williger, you make me laugh.”

“Well, I’m glad you can laugh it off,” said Stubby.

“A laugh costs nothing,” said Roy. “If it did none of us could buy one—on account of Manager Harris.”

“You don’t mean that, do you, Stub?” said Bad Manners. “You’re only kidding.”

“He’s kidding about the kid,” said Roy. “Come on, let’s proceed upon our way merrily.”

“You don’t mean that, Stub, do you?” Will Dawson persisted.

“How do I know what I mean,” poor Stubby answered. “If I’m going to be a scout I want to start right, don’t I? I’ve been having so much fun maybe I don’t stop to think. Gee, I don’t know what I ought to do. I wish that blamed kid hadn’t shouted about honor. He keeps saying he knows all about scouting and now he’s got me thinking that maybe he does.”

“He knows all about everything,” said Roy.

“Well,” said Stubby, “you must admit he was a good scout when he routed his patrol out in the middle of the night and cooked supper for that old man and that poor little kid. It’s no thanks to the mayor and the police that the poor old chap was allowed to stay in town. And he did show me a bear. I don’t care how; he did it. Jiminies, Roy,” poor Stubby continued, “you’re patrol leader and I like you so much—gee, I’ve been laughing at you all this time—and I’m talking about you every night at home, too; you can ask my father—”

“If you say anything behind my back that’s true, you’ll regret it,” said Roy. He seemed just hopeless.

“I want to start in the right patrol,” said poor Stubby; “but I want to start in the right way, don’t I? I don’t know anything about the Handbook and the rules and all that; I’ve just been having a good time with you fellows.”

“The pleasure is ours,” said Roy.

“Well then, won’t you tell me what you think about it? Isn’t a scout supposed to ask his patrol leader about things? Can’t you be serious for once?”

He was so honest and so troubled that it was a pity Mr. Ellsworth, scoutmaster of the troop, was not there to talk with him as only Mr. Ellsworth could. A splendid scoutmaster was he, not too serious, who never made too much of a small or easy problem. But you see poor Stubby had not begun in troop meeting and he had never even met Mr. Ellsworth. He was just knocking around with the engaging Silver Foxes, getting something of the atmosphere of scouting. He wanted to be one of this carefree, bantering group.

Suddenly he was confronted by a serious question, involving honor and obligation. And Roy Blakeley, his hero, did not help him. Was Roy after all just a charming, carefree boy without any serious thoughts about the real character of a scout? Was his idol to be shattered, with nothing left but the echo of irresponsible laughter?

Poor Stubby, would-be scout! Here he was with a wonderful cruising launch on his hands, and misgiving in his heart. Because amid fun and laughter and glowing promise, a terrible little demon with a voice like a thunderbolt had paused in the eating of a hot frankfurter and hurled a warning and a mandate down at him from Mr. Baldwin’s gate post. And talked, or rather shouted, about honor. Pee-wee Harris eating a frankfurter and shouting about scout honor!

And in his predicament the Silver Foxes did not help Stubby, the scout elect.

“Go on and stand there,” said Warde Hollister. “You—make—me—sick.”

“Come on, let’s beat it,” said Will Dawson. “Leave him alone till he comes to his senses—he must be crazy!”

And so he stood there, quite alone, as the others ambled on down the hill. Warde and Will were talking excitedly as if they were thoroughly disgusted with him. He was a sensitive boy and he felt that they had weighed him in the balance and found him wanting. He felt inferior and that he had made himself a subject of ridicule. Roy was ahead of the others, as usual, tossing a stone in the air and running forward to catch it. This seemed more important than any scout problem. Sensitive as he was, Stubby construed this lighthearted heedlessness of Roy’s as contempt for himself and his silly quibbling.

Well, he had only asked them; he hadn’t made a break. He felt that he had lost out with them somewhat, but things would be all right in the morning. He would find them all waiting down at the boat club and when they saw the River Queen chug gayly around the bend and head for the float that little bungling act of his (just when he wanted to be so popular) would be forgotten.

His sensitiveness now took precedence over his doubt about what he ought to do, and caused him to linger just where he was till the others had gone too far for him to catch up with them. It was not exactly that he was ashamed, but that certain delicate sensitiveness in him deterred him from running ahead to join them after his little tilt with the boys he so much liked and admired.

A little chipmunk darted out from a crevice in the bordering stone wall and Stubby abstractedly watched its jerky movements. He smiled amusedly at the thought of Pee-wee naming his patrol after this erratic little elf of the woodland. With might and main the chipmunk tugged and pulled at something between the rocks until he had hauled out a whole mass of sticks and straw three or four times bulkier than himself. And off he started with this clumsy load. He dropped it, got a better hold on it, and started off again. What a tremendous load for a little chipmunk. He was like Pee-wee himself, handling tremendous loads. Perhaps Pee-wee had known what he was about when he called his patrol after this determined little creature. Perhaps Pee-wee knew more about animals, and about scouting, than ever Stubby Piper dreamed.


Yes, he must learn to take Pee-wee as a joke. But all the same Stubby asked his father about the matter at dinner that evening. And Mr. Piper laughed heartily. “That’s a situation for Farroway Dunmore,” said he, highly amused. He thought that Pee-wee’s great scoop of the carnival was the best ever. “A regular, honest-to-goodness bear?” he laughed. “Well, that’s making good with a vengeance.”

“I don’t see why you can’t give the boy your advice,” said Mrs. Piper. “He has asked you what he ought to do, and all you do is laugh.”

“Why how can I advise him, Mumsy?” said Mr. Piper. “He challenged Harris to show him a bear and Harris produces one. That’s rich!

“He didn’t produce one in the forest, in its native habitat,” said Mrs. Piper.

“Oh now you’re starting to split hairs,” laughed Mr. Piper. “You’re a Silver Foxite. There wasn’t anything said about habitats. Stub said, ‘Show me a bear and I’ll join your patrol.’ So Harris produces a good big one, right here in the heart of civilization. Ha, ha, I think that’s rich. I think this Harris must be quite a boy.”

“Is he the boy with the voice?” Mrs. Piper asked.

“Yes, he’s the one with the voice,” said Stubby.

“Well,” said Mr. Piper, “he seems to have triumphed.”

“He’s lucky, that’s it,” said Stubby disgruntled.

“He seems to be,” his father countered. “I think that in the future I’d be careful how I challenged him. I must remember to tell that in the city to-morrow—that’s rich!”

“You’ve said that four times,” said Mrs. Piper, while her husband sat back laughing. “Can’t you tell your son what you think he ought to do?”

“He can’t go wrong tying up with Harris,” said Mr. Piper. “Charlie Brett will enjoy that; I must tell him at lunch to-morrow.... But seriously, Stub, you’ll have to decide for yourself; it’s your problem. It’s just a question of what a boy of a fine conscience would do. Of course, you want to start scouting by being a scout, not just a patrol member. Isn’t that the idea? I suppose a good loser?”

“And would Pee-wee get the boat and everything?” Stubby asked.

“He would get the boat and everything,” laughed Mr. Piper.

“Did you ever hear of anything so absurd!” Mrs. Piper ejaculated.

“Never,” said her husband. “A merry-go-round, a shooting gallery, a bear, and a motor-boat—and a hundred dollars profit. Everything that isn’t nailed down.”

“And motion picture possibilities,” said Mrs. Piper.

“Yes, Farroway Dunmore thrown in. You say Pee-wee is small, Stubby?”

“You can’t see him without a magnifying glass, that’s what Roy says. Small but, oh my!” Stubby grouched.

Mr. Piper just sat back and laughed.

“And he eats the same way he gets things,” Stub complained; “by the ton. Gee, he’s on a small scale and everything about him is on a big scale. Roy says if he ever saw the equator he’d grab it—and sit on it eating.”

“Isn’t he perfectly terrible!” Mrs. Piper exclaimed.

“Never mind, Stub,” said his father, “the River Queen goes where you go—”

“If Harris doesn’t eat it,” Mrs. Piper interrupted.

“You sleep over it to-night, Stub,” his father continued, “and do just what you think is right. Are there other patrols in this outfit? Or has Harris disposed of them all?”

“There are two other patrols, the Ravens and the Elks.”

“Well then, the only advice I can give you is to think of yourself as a scout. You must do honor to the whole four patrols. You must do what you think is right from that standpoint. Now that’s my idea. When do you expect to be regularly installed?”

“Next Friday night at troop meeting,” Stubby said. “They meet every Friday night; they’re not having any meeting to-night on account of Pee-wee’s carnival; they’re all going, but I’m not.”

“Why not, Stub?”

“Oh, I don’t know, I just want to be by myself to-night. I guess I’ve had fun enough for this week. I’m going to be down at the boathouse good and early you can bet.”

“It will be afternoon before she gets up to Bridgeboro, Stub.”

“I’ll be there,” said Stubby, rather wistfully.

“You know, Stub,” said Mr. Piper, sitting back in his chair and contemplating the boy as he rose, rather troubled, from his meal, “if somebody told me I was a good New Yorker I wouldn’t feel so proud. But if somebody told me I was a good American, I’d like that. You get the idea?”

“That’s splendid,” said Mrs. Piper.

“I’m glad I please you at last,” said her husband.

Then, Stubby having left the room, Mr. Piper leaned back and gave himself up to uncontrollable mirth. “That Harris must be quite a boy,” said he. “I’d like to see him, wouldn’t you?”


Stubby went up to his room that night much disgruntled because he could not attend the grand finale of the carnival. Of course, he could have gone, only he did not know where he stood that night, and he preferred to stand nowhere as far as the scouts were concerned. To him Pee-wee seemed like some diabolical goblin, perched in grotesque assurance on top of a pedestal, and confusing all his plans.

He had no intention of allowing this despotic imp to dash all his fine hopes of being one of Roy’s hilarious patrol. “What would I be doing in the Chipmunks, anyway? A lot of kids! I just won’t pay any attention to him. He’ll forget all about it.”

He gave the little chain on his reading light an angry jerk, just to prove how utterly independent of Pee-wee he was, and grabbed up the new Scout Handbook which he had bought. He had been intending to glance this over some time when he was not occupied with the Silver Foxes. On page thirty-three he found the scout oath which he would have to take when he was installed. He noted the scout handclasp and the scout salute, and he wondered why his chosen comrades had not told him of these things. When you become a scout it is best to work from the inside out.

Turning the pages at random, he paused at page eighteen to read about that familiar feature of scouting, the good turn. The Silver Foxes had told him about that. At the top of the page, under another heading, he read something that seemed to catch his mood:


The most important scout characteristic is that of honor. Indeed, this is the basis of all scout virtues and is closely allied to that of self-respect. When a scout promises to do a thing on his honor he is bound to do it. The honor of a scout will not permit of anything but the highest and the best and the manliest. The honor of a scout is a sacred thing, and cannot be lightly set aside or trampled on.

Well, if that meant anything it meant that there was no room for quibbling in the matter of a scout’s honor. A scout must always do the finest thing. He must not take advantage of technicalities. Lawyers may do that, but not scouts.

After breakfast the next morning, Stubby went down to the boat club. It was a beautiful summer day. Out of a cloudless blue sky the sun poured down its warm and grateful radiance, glinting the water with shimmering gold. Several girls were sitting on the boathouse veranda waiting to see a freshly painted speed boat go sliding down the tracks into the water. The owners of several boats already launched were working on them and chatting to each other across the water. One girl was helping a young fellow paint a canoe and it was funny to see how she handled the brush. The scene was one of merry preparation for the boating season.

Down the river was the drawbridge with an unbroken line of autos moving slowly over it; how different from the peaceful and quiet scene about the boathouse! There was a very bedlam of honking, for no reason at all that any one could discover. Out in the middle of the river in his outlandish boat sat old Dan Gillespie smoking his pipe and trying his luck in the perch hole.

None of the Silver Foxes were about and Stubby was glad to be alone for a while. He strolled over and watched the young fellow and the girl who were painting the canoe. Pretty soon he chanced to notice that there were no autos on the bridge. Somewhere south of the bridge a deep, melodious whistle sounded. There was nothing despotic about it; it did not say, “Hurry up,” or “Get out of the way,” like clamorous auto horns. It did not shock, or jar the nerves. A long, long, melodious call seemed to bear the spirit of the winding, woods-bordered stream in its mellow voice.

Slowly, very slowly, the bridge began to swing around like a mammoth clock-hand, revealing the river down to the bend. And there, perhaps fifty yards south of the open bridge, with prow upstream, stood a vision of spotless white upon the green river. It was on account of this that the bridge had opened; on account of this that clamorous, honking cars were piling up at the broken highway. There was something truly regal about the way that beautiful boat moved up the stream, quietly disdainful of all this impatient clamor it was causing. Sleek and quiet and beautiful it had sent its musical salute to the bridge-tender just to remind him of its rights upon Uncle Sam’s waterways and would he please open the bridge for a craft that was too large to go underneath it.

Toward the opened way it came, its prow dancing and sending off golden ripples to either side. Complacent in the full assurance of its rights it sailed majestically past the waiting, open bridge and blew its low whistle once again in royal disregard of the line of restive motorists who cursed it. It tilted a little as it made a quick turn and headed for the float. It whistled again to call attention to its approach. On, on, it came straight for the boat club, its brass ports shining in the sun, its tall prow cutting the shimmering water, its stern flag blowing gayly in the breeze.

Stubby gazed in admiring wonder at this graceful stranger that had held up all the traffic. It had been like a mob holding back to let some fine lady pass. Suddenly, the gay breeze caught the blue pennant at her prow and opened it, revealing in white letters the name River Queen.

“This the Bridgeboro Boat Club?” a man in shirt sleeves called from the spacious cockpit. “Yere? Lay a couple of bumpers off the float so she won’t scratch, will you? We’ll bring her around bow down and land against the tide. Can you get anything to eat in this berg? We left the Battery in New York at four A. M. Here, one of you chaps, catch this rope—and look out, go easy, don’t let her—that’s right—don’t let her knock.”

Stubby was too thrilled to move. By the time he realized that this gallant craft belonged to him and his patrol some one else was holding her dancing hull from contact with the float. “Golly, she’s a beauty!” this ready helper exclaimed.

But still Stubby paused, speechless, staggered, thrilled by the thought that was in his mind. “His!

And his patrol’s.


Stubby sent the two men, a porter and a clerk in his father’s store, up to the house for an early lunch before they returned to New York by train. But he could not tear himself away from the boat.

Carefully he climbed over the coaming so as not to scratch its polished surface, and into the roomy cockpit where there were bench seats around the edge and several camp chairs about. Here hung six life preservers with River Queen printed on them. They were like huge homemade crullers and for a moment turned Stubby’s thoughts whimsically to Pee-wee. He could fancy Pee-wee sitting on the cabin roof eating one.

There is no pride of possession like the pride of owning a boat. Stubby rolled aside the trim cabin door and stepped inside, sniffing that odor which only a boat cabin has. The locker seats on either side were deep and comfortable, and by raising the trap flooring to the level of these and laying a mattress on it, five or six could sleep in the cockpit which was covered by a removable awning.

Stubby rolled the little mahogany door closed and sat for a few delightful moments in the cozy interior. Forward, beyond a very narrow door, was a tiny washroom where the ingenuity of man seemed to have been exhausted in devising spacesaving equipment. A panel pulled out and, presto, there was a wash basin, soap dish and towel rack. Another lowered panel revealed a variety of aluminum cooking ware in racks, a little oil-stove and a combination water cooler and ice box.

By removing the mattress from the elevated flooring and raising the boards another foot or so, they became a dining table conveniently placed between the locker seats. Everything seemed so devised as to have two or three uses in different adjustments; it was almost like sleight of hand.

But nobody, certainly no owner, feels the thrill imparted by a boat until he stands at the steering wheel and knows that by a touch of his hand the willing prow will turn whithersoever he shall direct it. A motorist must keep in the road, but the steersman of a boat has usually a wide expanse of navigable area on either hand and it gives the novice a strange thrill, the feeling that he is master of something.

For just a few moments Stubby stood there, aft of the cabin, and gingerly turned the obedient, shining wheel. There, just before him, he could see his own elated countenance in the polished brass of the compass. Compass! What fascinating speculations in this little guide, delicate and dependable, which was there at his side. If they ever got out of sight of land....

“It’s a wonder they wouldn’t put the cover back on it,” Stubby grumbled, as he picked up the mercerized bag that lay on the cockpit floor. “That brass will get all tarnished.” Proudly he laid the bag over the compass and drew the cord which shirred the fabric over the instrument and made it look like a head with a nightcap on. “That’s better.” Precious compass! The engine was still warm and Stubby felt of one oil cylinder. He did not dare to touch anything else here, but he looked with fascination on the connecting parts and intricate wiring. He lifted the paneled cover and placed it over the entrancing machinery. Then he climbed carefully over the polished coaming and rubbed it with his handkerchief where his shoe had scratched it ever so slightly.

He stood upon the float quite alone; every one had gone home to lunch. But he did not want any lunch. He wanted to stay right there and get used to the idea of really being the owner—part owner—

“Look who’s here!” called a merry voice. “Hey Stub, we stopped at your house for you and they said you were down here. Oh boy, look at the boat! We didn’t think she’d be here till afternoon. Is that the boat, honest! Oh bibbie, some lines!”

It was Warde who called, and he was accompanied by Will Dawson, Westy Martin and Roy. “I had to wash the blamed old car,” Westy said. “That isn’t the boat, is it?”

“Sure it is; can’t you read the name?” Roy said.

“I love you just the same,

And I’m going to change your name,”

he sang, quoting a popular song. “Hey Stub, listen. Here’s something funny. Who do you think was waiting around for you up at the house? You have three guesses and you’re wrong as usual! Pee-wee. The carnival is all over and he wants to see you only he had to go home to lunch. Oh baby, look at that boat! Scout Harris never lets anything interfere with lunch except an earthquake, does he, Wes?”

“Or supper,” said Westy. “Sometimes he stops eating lunch because it’s supper time.”

“If it wasn’t for the night coming in between supper and breakfast, he wouldn’t be able to tell them apart,” said Roy. “That’s the only time Pee-wee doesn’t like—the time between meals. Geee, Stub, are we in luck? You sure picked out a good father, I’ll say that.”

Stubby was wretched. He knew now what he was going to do, but he had hoped that he might do it before any of these uproarious comrades saw the boat. He wanted to be able to do it in his own time and way. Now he perceived that every moment’s delay only made his duty the harder. Every pleasantry of Roy’s stung him; he felt that he had no right to laugh with these boys any more. So he spoke under much the same impulse that impels a hesitating diver to jump into the chilling water and be done with it.

“Sure, you can get into it,” he said sensing Will’s hesitancy to climb into the cockpit, “only it isn’t going to be yours—ours—because the way things are—gee, I hate to say it, and I wouldn’t blame you if you were sore, but I’m—I’ve got to—I’m going to join Pee-wee Harris’ patrol. I said I would and so I’m going to.”


It was out, and Stubby felt like a criminal. He saw Will Dawson pause a moment in consternation just as he was getting into the cockpit; he felt rather than saw Will standing on the float, staring blankly at him.

“Are you raving again?” Warde asked, incredulously.

Without a single word Roy stepped over to the River Queen and vaulted to the cabin roof where he sat dangling his legs over the side. Stubby felt that somehow there was more contempt in Roy’s action than in Warde’s words or Will’s stare.

“How can I help how I feel?” poor Stubby asked.

“I think you’re kidding us,” Warde said. “But if you’re not, I’d like to know where you get off to go around with us just like a member, and go on hikes and everything, and string us along and then turn around as soon as you hear Pee-wee Harris has a couple of hundred dollars—”

“You—you lie!” Stubby shouted, turning scarlet.

“You tell me I lie—”

“Yes, I tell it to you,” said Stubby, his voice trembling, “and I don’t want to be in the same patrol with you now; even with—with Roy in it, I don’t! My father could give me five hundred dollars—you see what he gave us—me—already. It’s worth a thousand dollars—”

“Not to us,” said Roy, cheerily.

“Do you take back about calling me a liar?” Warde demanded, approaching menacingly.

“You’re a fool if you take that from him,” Will encouraged. “I wouldn’t let a grafter call me a liar.”

“Well, you’re a liar for calling me that!” Stubby exploded, beside himself with rage. “And your patrol leader sits there listening to you and doesn’t stop you, because I suppose he’s afraid of you. But I’m not afraid of you! You’re liars and you’re not scouts. In—in—in—the town” (he was in such a panic of wrath that he could not get the words out) “in the—the—town where I moved from nobody ever called me that,” he said, gulping. “I—I looked in the Handbook, that I guess maybe you don’t ever see, and I saw about honor. I told Pee-wee Harris—I did—I told him—”

“What are you crying about, you big kid?” Will interrupted scornfully.

“I’m—I’m not crying,” Stubby thundered. “I’m telling you why—why I’m joining Pee-wee’s patrol, because I said if he showed me a bear—I didn’t say where or how or anything—I—I got to do it. Maybe I’m crazy, maybe I’m a nut—I admit I am, I admit it!” he fairly screamed. “But can I help being crazy—if—if—that’s—how can I help it? You can take the boat for all I care—only my father wouldn’t let us do that—you can take the blamed old thing—to —to” (he gulped) “to pay you for the fun I had.”

His disappointment and his anger combined to make him almost hysterical. Aroused to a frenzy of which the others would not have thought him capable, he stood there on the float, panting, his eyes streaming, his hair hanging down over his forehead. He cast a despairing glance toward Roy perched on the edge of the River Queen’s cabin. But there was no hint of sympathy there. Roy’s mouth was screwed up in a funny way and he was looking straight ahead of him. He had been Stubby’s friend; poor Stubby had been fascinated by him. Well, he would pay what little tribute he could. Honest from every angle and by every rule, he would give this former pal credit.

“Anyway—anyway,” he panted, “you didn’t call—me—a liar.” It was all that he could thank Roy for in this encounter, but he thanked him for that. “You—you didn’t insult me. I’d—I’d—honest I would—I’d rather go on a hike with you and listen to all your—I would—” He had to get hold of himself to go on. “I’d—anyway you didn’t—”

“Do you want a handkerchief?” Warde mocked.

“Go ahead and join the Chipmunks, that’s where you belong,” said Will, contemptuously. “It’s not your boat anyway, it’s your father’s. You and your honor! Jiminetty, you can’t call yourself a Silver Fox, not after what we just saw, can he, Roy?”

“Nope,” said Roy.

“You can’t keep your word with two different people,” poor Stubby said; “and the first one is the one—I said I was crazy, and I don’t know anything about scouting. But if I have a funny kink like that I can’t help it, can I? You don’t think I want to join them, do you? But you—you take back what you called me,” he said, approaching Warde menacingly. His wet eyes were closed to mere slits. “You take it back!” he suddenly shouted. “Or—I don’t care for both —the whole four of you—”

He clenched his fist and moved forward just as Roy, ever alert, jumped from the cabin roof and approached the tense scene with one of his customary imitations of Charlie Chaplin’s famous walk.

“So you’re not afraid of me, huh?” he said, brushing the others aside. “And maybe you think I didn’t tell you what you are because I’m afraid of you. Excuse me while I laugh, ha ha. I’ll tell you just exactly what you are and I won’t take it back, and I don’t care any more about the blamed boat than you do. So If you’re getting ready for a knockout, here’s where you get a crack at a patrol leader, because I’m going to tell you right to your face what you are.”

Poor Stubby’s heart sank at the thought that he must make good by striking his pal, his idol. That it should come to this! That he should be standing with clenched fist before Roy Blakeley who was not afraid to call things by their names. But even now the spell that Roy had ever cast upon him gave him pause.

“Don’t say it—Roy,” said he pitifully. “Because—honest I like you—”

“I’ll tell you what you are,” said Roy, with a strange look of desperate menace in his eyes.

Stubby Piper clenched his fist and waited, trembling.

“You’re a scout,” said Roy. “You’re the biggest scout I ever knew outside of Pee-wee Harris who’s the smallest giant I ever saw. I tell you right to your face Stubbino Piper, you’re a scout!”

He grabbed Stubby’s hand and shook it, then turned suddenly and walked away with his same funny mimicry of Charlie Chaplin. Then he turned and gave Stubby Piper the full scout salute, which is an act that even Silver Foxes do not joke about, for it means I honor you as my brother.

“You’re a scout,” said Roy. “Right the first time as usual.”

It was odd how real nonsense and real scouting were all jumbled up in this hilarious, laughing leader of the Silver Foxes.


These Silver Foxes were to cross Stubby Piper’s trail again. But for the present he was to travel beyond the range of their laughter and banter, out on the high sea (well not so very high) with that mighty hero, Pee-wee Harris, whose shadow is henceforth to be cast across these pages, completely obscuring even Stubby.

Yet we have had a glimpse of the boy who could renounce his fondest dream and face the anger and contempt of his chosen comrades all because of a conditional promise to a little fellow whom he did not take too seriously. Never for a minute did Stubby juggle with the fact that Pee-wee’s presentation of the bear was in quite a different manner than the promise required. He looked at the whole thing through Pee-wee’s eyes and joined his patrol. A boy who plays safe with his conscience in a small matter is not likely to go wrong in a large one.

And of course, Pee-wee “inherited” the boat too. That is, his patrol inherited it. But then Pee-wee was the whole patrol. He did not condole with the Silver Foxes because of their loss. “Because, anyway, it serves them right, they’re such a bunch of jolliers,” he said. “That shows how I know what I’m talking about especially about wild animals, and that’s why I get boats and things.”

Nor did he go into mourning because Willis Harlen went away to visit his aunt. Pee-wee was one of those bosses who never receives a delinquent back in his organization. A Chipmunk’s failure to attend a meeting was likely to result in a new Chipmunk being installed in his place. “But you can’t take the boat out of the patrol even if you get out yourself,” he warned, “because anyway, it belongs to the patrol no matter what and there’s a rule you can’t take anything out even if you get mad and leave.” Pee-wee had experiences along this line and this drastic legislation was the consequence.

“It’s a one way patrol,” Ben Maxwell told Stub, as they all walked home from inspecting the boat. “A boat can get in, but it can’t get out.” Ben was the only “big feller” in Pee-wee’s patrol, and Stubby liked him.

“It’s the same with everything, tents, cooking sets, and everything,” Pee-wee said.

“The patrol is built on the idea of a trap,” laughed Stubby.

“That’s it,” said Ben. “It’s the only blind alley patrol in existence. It’s an unique patrol.”

“I invented it,” shouted Pee-wee; “didn’t I, Ben? And I’m going to have shows on the boat while we’re going up the river to camp. I decided we’re going to go up the Hudson to Catskill and then hike in to camp, and you’ll see—won’t he, Ben?—You’ll see how I’m one of the principal ones in Temple Camp, only not many people know it.”

“Pee-wee’s idea of heaven,” said Ben, “is a show and a hot dog.”

“If we’re going to use the boat to go to camp in, we’ll have to get a grown-up fellow to go along,” Stubby said. “That’s one rule my father made.”

One!” said Pee-wee. “That’s nothing, I made hundreds of rules. And I know lots of grown-up fellers too. Even I could get our scoutmaster to go with us only he has to go up on the train with the Ravens and the Elks and the Silver Foxes, they think they’re so smart, they didn’t get the boat after all. Actions are better than words—that’s all they care about, words.”

“Who will you get, kid?” Ben asked.

“I can get Brent Gaylong or Harry Donelle, but I think I’ll get Harry Donelle because Brent Gaylong is too fresh, always joking kind of. Harry Donelle knows all about boats because he had one and he’s wild kind of. He goes around with Roy Blakeley’s sister, she’s worse than he is giggling all the time—girls are crazy. And maybe those movie people will be coming after us, too; hey? Anyway, I wouldn’t let them sink the boat unless they raised it up again and maybe gave us a thousand dollars; hey?”

“Gee, I don’t think I’d want to take a chance on that,” Stubby said, his pride in the River Queen asserting itself. “My father says there were enough boats sunk in the war. He says the top of the water is good enough.”

“The bottom of the water is all right,” said Pee-wee; “it’s even better than the top. There’s tons and tons of Spanish gold at the bottom of the water. There’s more money at the bottom of the sea than there is on land—I read that in a book about pirates—”

“Yes, but what good is it?” Ben asked. “Anyway, I guess we’d better think twice before we let anybody sink the River Queen. A boat on the top is worth two at the bottom.”

“Don’t you even want to be in a movie play?” Pee-wee shouted.

“We wouldn’t be in it,” Ben said.

“I could fix it so we would be,” Pee-wee shouted. “Anyway, one thing, if Farroway Dunmore comes on our boat we have to look out how we treat him and not get fresh and all that, because he’s famous.”

“I don’t think we’ll hear any more about that,” Stubby said. “My dad says he guesses they found another way to finish their picture. Maybe they made a kind of dummy boat—a sort of fake boat. We should worry about them.”

But Pee-wee, who was a devotee of the large mouthful, was for doing everything that came along. Ben and Stubby began to be concerned lest their enterprising leader betray his patrol into a venture which might mean the loss of their boat and certainly serious damage to it.

But for a time such considerations were put by (except in Pee-wee’s mind) by the installation of Stubby Piper (Wallace his right name was) as a scout and a Chipmunk. He attended the troop meeting in the fine troop rooms the following Friday night where he met the Ravens and the Elks and found that there was much more to the First Bridgeboro Troop than just Pee-wee Harris. He saw at least three well-organized and splendid patrols and he thrilled at the cordial handshake of Mr. Ellsworth, the scoutmaster. Now, for the first time since his act of renunciation, he felt a trifle silly at being one of the Chipmunks.

The Silver Foxes, under Roy’s gay inspiration, were airy and nonsensical, but as a patrol they were not a joke. Stubby perceived this, now that he saw them in the troop environment. Members seldom withdrew from Roy’s patrol; it was a hilarious, but not a harum-scarum patrol. He saw that the scouts laughed with the Silver Foxes, but at the Chipmunks; and that every one seemed to take Roy seriously even while they laughed at his irresponsible banter.

Out with the Chipmunks, Stubby was reconciled, even content. Pee-wee was always amusing and overflowing with strenuous enterprise and this amused Stubby as it amused Ben Maxwell. But Ben was assistant patrol leader under the mighty dictator, and this gave him a prestige, even in the whole troop, which Stubby could not hope to gain. But at least the Chipmunks had the boat and this made them an attraction. Stubby was proud and happy to be where the boat was, no matter who were its fortunate guardians. But his heart was with Roy and the Silver Foxes. It is said on pretty high authority, where your heart is, there let your treasure be also. Poor Stubby’s heart was in one place and his treasure in another. But his conscience was at rest.

He wondered how much Mr. Ellsworth knew about the circumstances of his joining the Chipmunks. He was later to find that this tactful, bantering, off-hand young man knew all about everything. No matter concerning the troop was unknown to him. “He doesn’t say much,” Doc Carson of the Ravens told Stubby that first night.

“He doesn’t get a chance,” Wig Weigand said. “Pee-wee does all the talking.”

Poor Stubby felt silliest of all during the little ceremony of installation. Oh, if it was only one of those other patrols in which he was to enjoy the manifold activities of scouting! The Ravens, with their tall leader, Artie Van Arlen! The Elks, and their leader, Connie Bennett, who wore fifteen merit badges on his sleeve; Stubby counted them. Well, at least those dark-eyed Liventi brothers gave a certain tone to Pee-wee’s clamorous kindergarten. They could do something that none of the others could do; they could play stirring music on their gorgeous marimba. They had traveled and been in real shows. Quiet, even diffident, Stubby saw that all the scouts respected them.

It was with thoughts of tall Ben Maxwell, and not of Pee-wee or little Willis Harlen, (whose place he filled) that Stubby nervously stood beside Mr. Ellsworth while the whole troop made the scout salute. He held up his right hand and with difficulty formed it into position for taking the oath. He was nervous and was sorry he had not practised this. Smilingly Mr. Ellsworth straightened up the first three fingers of that shaking hand and laid Stubby’s thumb over the little finger. “That’s the idea,” he smiled.

“Now, on my honor—”

“I will do my best,” said Stubby. And so he went on to repeat the words that he had studied well, promising to do his duty to God and country, to help other people at all times, to keep physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight. After this they all passed in line giving him the hearty scout handclasp, and he was glad to note that this fraternal greeting was given with friendly zest by Roy and the other Silver Foxes. “Untied we stand, divided we sprawl,” the exuberant Roy said as he let his thumb and little finger remain for just a few seconds encircling the three fingers that Stubby held straight. It made Stubby smile all over. “United you mean,” he said.

“It’s the same, only different,” said Roy.


Stubby did not like troop meetings. They brought him too close to his lost love, the Silver Fox Patrol. And the sight of those other splendidly organized units made him feel ridiculous. He enjoyed himself better down at the boathouse where the strenuous Pee-wee kept him busy. He thought he would enjoy the troop better amid the many diversions and activities up at Temple Camp of which he had heard seductive accounts from Pee-wee.

“If we ever get there,” said Ben. “I only hope Farroway Dunmore and the Celebrated Stars outfit don’t get after us. The kid’s pretty sure to fall if they do. I don’t just like the idea of sinking this boat and raising it again; it wouldn’t be the same after that. A man is never the same after he’s drowned.”

“That’s what Pee-wee would call a dandy argument,” said Stubby. “I guess they don’t care what they do in the movies, or how much it costs either, as long as they get what they want. They build houses and burn them down. Farroway Dunmore, did you ever see him?”

“Sure,” said Ben. “I saw him in Demons of the Deep. He’s not so much.”

“You’d better not say that in front of Pee-wee,” laughed Stubby.

These two were engaged in removing from a wheelbarrow some canned goods and other provisions intended for the cruise up the Hudson to Catskill, the nearest landing place to Temple Camp, which lay some ten miles back among the mountains. Pee-wee was off on another enterprise at the time; one which he could not entrust to anybody. He had gone to Little Valley, some ten miles distant, to see Harry Donelle and persuade him to accompany the Chipmunk expedition. For one ironclad rule had been announced by Mr. Piper and endorsed by scoutmaster and parents generally, viz, that a grown-up person familiar with the management of a boat should grace the party. Harry Donelle seemed the logical one for this honorary post.

The Liventi boys were in musical practice that afternoon; the other members of Pee-wee’s patrol were here and there. The Chipmunks (except Pee-wee) were not too strong in patrol spirit.

“I was wondering how you ever happened to join the Chipmunks,” Stubby said, as he handed cans and packages over the coaming to Ben. “You’re always smiling, but you never say anything against them. I wish I could be like you. Trouble with me is I’m always thinking of Roy and his patrol. Jiminy crinkums, will you look at the boxes of spaghetti that kid bought—one, two, three, four—here, catch this, I guess it’s molasses.”

“Oh it’s a long, sad tale,” said Ben. “There was a poor little kid named Peter Tower; I think Pee-wee got him as a premium for cigar coupons or something; anyway he took him in the patrol. I was going to join the Ravens. At meeting it turned out that little Peter was only four or five years old—maybe it was ten or eleven—what did Pee-wee care? I was to join the Ravens, but I stepped aside to give Charlie Bulton a chance. So when Mr. Ellsworth turned poor little Pete down on account of being under age, Pee-wee grabbed me and here I am. He made me what I am to-day.”

“You’re the real patrol leader, that’s what I think,” said Stubby.

“Oh no, Pee-wee is real all right,” Ben laughed.

“Well, I wish I could feel like you do,” Stubby said. “I feel as if I didn’t exactly join the scouts. I feel as if the River Queen is sort of wasted. Gee, when I look at Warde Hollister and see all his merit badges, and the Gold Cross too; oh boy! Roy’s got nineteen of them, too. Jingo, I don’t see how he did it with all his fooling and everything. And Will Dawson, he got the Temple Contest Cup. Do you know the Silver Foxes have one of the boats named after them up at Temple Camp?”

“Listen who’s telling me about Temple Camp,” Ben laughed. “Hand me that bag of flour if you want to have any of Pee-wee’s waffles. Sure I know it, it’s one of the big boats. They won in the rowing match; that is, Ralph Warner and Dorry Benton did. That means having a boat named after your patrol. Why we even had a boat named after us—fancy that.”

“Yes?” Stubby encouraged.

“It was a big tub that butter came in. El Sawyer and Doc Carson—they’re Ravens—got it from Cooking Shack and printed Chipmunk on it. A lot of them sat on the springboard throwing rotten tomatoes at it till it sank. It had a hole in the side of it for Pee-wee to shout through—that’s what Roy said—and every time a tomato hit it the hole went a little under water till after a while the blamed thing got water-logged. Then Roy started a riddle and offered a woodchuck hole for the best answer. If water comes in a boat why doesn’t it go out again? Honest, that fellow is some scream. Then he started another one and they had Pee-wee crazy. If a woodchuck hole isn’t so very big, why can’t half a dozen scouts take it away? Gee, you’re going to like it up at camp, Stub.”

“I can hardly wait to get there.”

“And don’t worry about prizes either. Remember, Pee-wee has done some things too. Give him credit. And let me tell you this: we’re going to win the Audubon prize this summer. We’re going after it and we’re going to get it. The Silver Foxes think they’re going to get it but they’re not. You know when Pee-wee goes after a thing he usually gets it. Don’t make any mistake about the kid. Now for those bags of potatoes.”

“Here you go,” said Stubby, handing in the bag of potatoes. “What’s the Audubon prize? Look out you don’t scratch the seats.”

“It’s a trip to the Grand Canyon,” said Ben. “We’re going to get that, because I want to go there. I’m selfish, hey? I can’t tell what the stunt will be next summer. Last year it was getting six snapshots of crows. Maybe you think that’s easy, but the crows have something to say about it. Roy Blakeley said if it wasn’t for the crows some patrol would have won that prize. Anyway, nobody got it. There’s one the Silver Foxes tried for and didn’t get; oh, they’re not always so smart. This year, no matter what it is, we’re going to get it.”

“I’ve been to the Grand Canyon,” said Stubby. “I was there with my mother and father.”

“Hey, that’s some father you’ve got, Stub? Giving a boat like this. Well, if they don’t spring something too hard this summer, we’ll all go out and give the Canyon the once over. You can see it again. Oh, here comes Pee-wee—look, he’s got Harry Donelle with him. You don’t need to worry about the boat if he goes along, Stub. And as long as you’re in with us you might as well make the best of it. If this patrol isn’t everything we’d like it to be, why then we’ve got to make it so. What do you say? We’re going to have a lot of fun, any way you look at it.”

He raised his voice, calling cheerily to Pee-wee. “Hey, Scout Harris, you’re just in time to give your royal orders. Hello, Harry—tag, you’re it. Hey, kid, we’re all through stowing the cargo. Now what are we going to do about the name? Are we going to paint it out?”

“It’s going to be named the Chipmunk,” Pee-wee shouted. “And Harry Donelle’s going with us and he says if we start Saturday we can get into the Hudson that same day and we can get to Catskill in about three or four days and I met Roy Blakeley and Charlie Bulton and they bought me a soda, and they’re all starting for camp Tuesday and—listen—Harry Donelle says he’ll stay at camp two or three days and he—listen—he says we’ll get the Audubon award because no matter what it is he says we’ll get it, and he says there are rattlesnakes in the Grand Canyon—I got two ice cream cones for you—wild ones—and he says there are poisonous lizards there, too—he does.”

“Give me the cone,” laughed Ben. “I’m so hungry I could eat it no matter how wild it is.”

“And Harry’s going to help us get ready, too,” Pee-wee vociferated. “Did you hear anything from the movie people.”

“Nah, we should worry about them,” said Ben.


It was with wistful regret that Stubby saw the beautiful name of River Queen painted over with white enamel, and brass letters forming the word Chipmunk nailed on either side of the graceful bow. He tried to get into the Chipmunk spirit, but could not. Now and then, in the course of their final preparations, he gave way to laughter at some amusing thing about Pee-wee, but it was not fraternal laughter. He began to wonder whether he had done well to acknowledge an obligation which no one but Pee-wee took very seriously.

You see, Stubby had been captivated by a boy and a patrol, not by scouting. And he was always backsliding into vain regrets. The merest mention of the Silver Foxes made him feel that he had made a botch of his chances. During his intercourse with Roy’s patrol, he had thought that perhaps they were a little too irresponsible; fascinating in their original activities, but not too strong in real scouting. Then he had seen Roy’s fine sportsmanship in the matter of losing him and the boat. And he knew that what Roy had said of him was true of Roy himself. He was a scout—a real scout.

Now, from what Ben said it was evident that up at camp the Silver Foxes were out for prizes and awards. Indeed, their many merit badges, as seen on the jackets they wore at meeting, proved their activity and proficiency in scouting. They had all that a patrol should have, and they had personality besides. Having been among them it was a question whether Stubby could ever sufficiently overcome their influence to be a good scout in another patrol.

But Ben Maxwell and Harry Donelle helped him. If ever there was a delightful, devil-may-care, adventurous young man, Harry Donelle was that one. He was about twenty-five or six, had been in the war, lived on a ranch, traveled in the West, and had come home to spend the summer with his people in their beautiful home in Little Valley. Moreover, he knew all about motor-boats and liked boys. If he had been a little less restless and adventurous he would have made a good scoutmaster.

“All I want is my meals and I charge nothing for my time,” said he. “If it wasn’t for having a boatful, I’d have asked a friend to go along.”

“You can’t do that,” said Pee-wee, “because maybe we’ll have a lot of movie people on board. I wrote a letter to those people and I told them if they wanted to they could use our boat. I told them we’d be stopping at the Palisade Boat Club to-morrow afternoon and so if they wanted to, that would be their last chance to use our boat, so they’d better hurry up; that’s what I told them. Because I told them we were sailing forth way, way, way up the river. So I guess maybe they’ll be there, hey? Maybe Farroway Dunmore will be there. Even I like him better than Douglas Fairbanks, but anyway, Douglas Fairbanks thinks a lot of the scouts. Stubby’s father said we should stop there—”

“I know, he ’phoned me,” said Harry. “We were talking behind your back. There’s a man we’ve got to watch; he’s our enemy.” He winked at Stubby.

Stubby’s heart sank. He did not want the beautiful boat sunk in the interest of some photoplay; not even if the million dollar Celebrated Stars Snitchly Corporation raised it again. He did not even relish the idea of welcoming the great Farroway Dunmore.

“Do you mean to say you don’t want to be in a movie play?” Pee-wee demanded thunderously. “Do you mean to say you don’t want to be mixed up with Farroway Dunmore? He’s even more famous than—than—the President of the United States, he is! Gee whiz, and you don’t want to meet him? Geeeeee whiz!

“I wish you hadn’t written that letter,” said poor Stubby. “I don’t want to be mixed up with movie people. I just want to sail up to camp in our boat—just us.”

“And we’re going to win the Audubon award up there too,” Pee-wee vociferated, always ready to jump from one topic to another. “And I’ll show you where there’s a beaver dam, you go up through the woods till you come to a smell like a swamp—I’ll show you. Up there you’ll see all the fellers laugh at the crazy Silver Foxes that isn’t a patrol at all, because I can prove it by Hervey Willetts.”

Poor Stubby was certainly interested in Temple Camp, but his heart was heavy when he thought of those dreadful photoplay people and of their monopolizing the beautiful Chipmunk in the furtherance of their sensational, “million dollar” attractions. Pee-wee’s astounding coup in the matter of the carnival led poor Stubby to believe that nothing was too big for his terrible leader. A boy who could turn a failing carnival into a sensational success, and baffle a recreant candidate to scouting with a roaring bear, was likely to do anything. There was something diabolical about Pee-wee. Stubby feared for the precious boat.

“You’ve got no right to talk to fathers without me,” Pee-wee shouted. “What did Stubby’s father tell you? You’ve got to be loyal to this patrol, and Stubby has too—”

“I intend to be loyal,” said Stubby, a trifle stung.

“It’s a scout rule; it’s rule number two. You’ve got to be loyal to your scout leader and I’m your scout leader.”

“My father didn’t talk to me,” said Stubby; “he talked to Harry—Mr. Donelle.”

“Harry is my name,” said young Donelle, cheerily. “And I’ll tell you all just what Mr. Piper said to me. He said I’m to go along as a sort of supercargo. Do you know what that means?”

“Has it got something to do with soup?” Pee-wee vociferated. “You can’t be captain, anyway.”

“I’m the one to look after the cargo,” said Harry. “And you kids are part of the cargo. Mr. Piper said that if we start to-morrow morning early, we ought to be able to get around into the Hudson by noon. He thinks we ought to be able to get up to the Palisade Boat Club early in the afternoon; I understand that’s just a little above where the Fort Lee Ferry crosses. Mr. Piper is going to run over there from his place and make sure we got that far all right, and that the engine is running O.K., and say good-by to us. He wants to see us sail off up the Hudson.”

“And maybe the movie people will be there too,” said Pee-wee excitedly. “Because I wrote to them, so maybe they’ll be there. If they’re not there, I tell you what let’s do, hey? We’ll tie the boat there and then we’ll go over to Palisade Park and we’ll have some fun there and we’ll have frankfurters and everything, and maybe they’ll let us in for nothing, because I had a big show with real merry-go-rounds and everything in Bridgeboro—hey? Then we’ll go back and sleep in the boat all night and we’ll wait till about noontime the next day, because maybe those people didn’t get my letter in time, and maybe they’ll come the next day. So that’s the way we’ll do, hey? We’ll do that way because I’m the head of the patrol and that’s the way I say we’ll do.”

Poor Stubby. He had just begun to be reconciled to his patrol affiliation and was looking forward to a delightful cruise up the Hudson in their beautiful boat. And then Temple Camp! Temple Camp, that strange and wonderful place (he had never been to camp before) where they stalked and tracked, and tried for prizes and awards, and hiked in the woods. Temple Camp, where he would see Roy and those hilarious former comrades, and the Ravens and the Elks. And here was Pee-wee, that terrible dictator of this harum-scarum patrol, scheming and planning and announcing his orders in tones of thunder. If it had not been for the climax of the carnival, Stubby might have laughed at Pee-wee’s manifold enterprises. But now, anything seemed possible with that howling imp, for whom even scouting was not big enough. He would eat the boat, or at least sink it.

Stubby did not want to go to Palisade Park. He did not want to tie the boat up at the foot of a city street near a prosy ferry. He did not want to wait over for the Celebrated Stars Snitchly Corporation to bring or send Farroway Dunmore to use their gallant little cruiser for the screen. He wanted to sail up the beautiful Hudson, and a curse upon the movies and Pee-wee’s enterprise! He hoped that the movie people had not received his leader’s letter, but he did not say so. He only looked despairingly at Ben and Harry. Ben was laughing, and Harry gave a funny wink. The Liventi boys stood, silent and respectful as usual, a little touch of amusement in their dark eyes. They seemed always ashamed to laugh at their leader, as if this were disloyal. They would be glad to do anything that was decided on.


The Chipmunk was to chug forth early in the morning. But before the time of departure, Stubby was to be treated to a typical example of the unstable character of Pee-wee’s patrol. At the very last minute the parents of Wendy and Billy Jansen shamelessly declined to allow their sons to proceed upon this memorable cruise.

Upon investigation by Ben Maxwell (who was patrol diplomat) it developed that Mr. and Mrs. Jansen had known nothing at all of the adventurous plans of Wendy and Billy. They might later be forwarded to Temple Camp by train, Ben retorted, but of course, Pee-wee would not hold their places open for them. It seems that in making an eleventh hour confession of their intended voyage, Wendy had untactfully said that “maybe the moving picture people were going to sink the boat.” And that was quite enough for Mrs. Jansen.

“Anyway, if the National Scout Headquarters heard about that they’d be good and mad,” said Pee-wee. “But a lot I care, because now we’ll have more food and if Farroway Dunmore meets us in New York we’ll have plenty of room.”

“Absence makes the food last longer,” said Harry. “Look at the trouble Columbus had rounding up a full crew.”

This predeparture incident greatly amused Ben. He certainly seemed to get his fill of enjoyment out of his patrol. It would have been well if Stubby could have been like him. As it was, the incident made him feel silly. If Pee-wee took such a light view in the matter of membership why need he, Stubby, regard the thing so seriously? Why had he made such a sacrifice and brought this gallant cruising launch to this grab-bag of small boys masquerading as a scout patrol. He might have—

Oh, there was no use thinking about it now. Well, he was going to Temple Camp where he would see Roy and the Silver Foxes. Only he hoped that the terrible Pee-wee would not succeed in stalling the boat at a New York boat club to wait for some one who might not come and who Stubby certainly hoped would not come. The only thing that cheered him was an occasional wink from Harry Donelle. He would try to imbibe something of the spirit of this good-humored, happy-go-lucky young man.

Nor did Stubby feel any better about his lot when Billy Jansen came down, just as they were starting, to demand his set of signal flags which had been stowed aboard. His mother believed that these were intended for use on front porches and vacant lots and not in serious emergencies incident to navigation on the briny deep.

“You can’t have them, because they belong to the patrol,” thundered Pee-wee.

“You give them to me, my mother says so,” said Billy.

“I will not.”

“You will.”

“I will not.”

“You will.”

“If Farroway Dunmore should want to sink the boat they’d only get wet,” said Ben. “We might just as well leave them here. I say let him have them.”

“Why, if Farroway Dunmore should know that we started out with a lot of signal flags and things like that, he’d just laugh at us,” said Harry. “A man like that! Those fellows don’t need signal flags to save their lives. One thing I’m going to be firm about; I’m not going to have a man like Farroway Dunmore laughing at us. Give him the toys.”

You call them toys?” Pee-wee roared. “That shows how much of a lot you don’t know about scouting!” Still, for once in his life he gave in and Billy Jansen, casting back a wistful look at the launch, went home with his flags.

And well might the gallant Chipmunk have drawn that wistful look of the departing Billy! For surely no venturesome bark of ancient renown, the Half Moon of Hendrick Hudson or the Mayflower of the hardy Pilgrims, was ever more flauntingly bedecked for perilous emprise.

Rocking gently at the float the beauteous Chipmunk was a sight to thrill the heart of any scout, whether he saw scouting in reality or travesty. It seemed to poor Stubby to adorn and dignify the patrol whose name it bore. Surely all patrols must respect the clamorous kindergarten which it was to bear so gallantly on the bosom of the lordly Hudson.

At the stern the naval flag opened its striped beauty to the eager breeze, while at the point of the bow the Chipmunk pennant wriggled gayly like some carefree eel. The white awning lay over the cockpit, its vivid fringe of red depending at its edge, giving the open compartment a cozy and shaded air. Above the cabin stretched that marvellous fishing line of the unchartered space, an aerial, to catch the wandering voices of a score of stations and drop them into that cozy cabin.

“It’s a full tide and we’ll go down on it,” said Harry. “I’ve made the trip before with an old ice wagon of a houseboat. One of you kids give that whistle a yank for the man to open the bridge. Hold the wheel while I turn the engine over, Ben, and put her over a little to port as soon as we start. Hold her off, you fellows, and don’t let her scratch. Easy, Ben, remember the tide will carry her around; a little more—that’s right. Here she goes. Now give me the wheel till I take her under the bridge. The channel runs over along the marshes. All right, off we go!”


The river on which the thriving town of Bridgeboro is situated is not beautiful in its lower reaches. It flows between marshes with an occasional brick-yard or paper mill to thrill the lover of nature. It flows under steel bridges over which trains go rattling. It flows past many a tiny family boat club nestling at the edge of meadowland. It flows into Newark Bay, whose mouth is almost blocked by Staten Island.

Here, if you are bound for the Hudson, you turn east and go through the narrow Kill Van Kull into Upper New York Bay. Then you turn north and (if the shipping permits) follow a beeline east of the Statue of Liberty and so into the river which will bear you between mighty skyscrapers northward until you pass between still mightier palisades and so on toward the majestic Highlands and the edge of the Catskills in whose recesses (if you are a lucky scout) you shall find Temple Camp at the edge of its solemn lake about which so many tales have been told.

Harry was certainly at home with a motor-boat, and Mr. Piper came very near to knowing that, too. They stopped at a float along the Kill Van Kull and Harry went up to a store to get some cigarettes. He returned in gay mood. “And now if we don’t sink a ferry-boat or a Cunarder we’ll make port at the Palisades Boat Club at two sixty P.M. What do you say? When we get up the line a ways, I’ll let you fellows do some steering. But we don’t want to take any chances around here. Suppose Pee-wee should sink the Leviathan! Why he’d never forgive himself.”

“I believe he could do it,” said Ben.

“That would be just about his size,” said Harry gayly. “Safety first, that’s my motto.”

“I don’t believe it’s your motto at all,” said Pee-wee, “or you wouldn’t have gone in jungles and lived on ranches and all that. A scout is observant and you can’t fool me.”

“That’s where you’re wrong,” said Harry, in great good humor. “I used to be scoutmaster to a troop of camp-fire girls.”

“Yes, you did not,” piped up little Eddie Carlo.

“I believe in safety and I respect it and I don’t get too close to it,” said Harry, steering with a funny air of easy assurance. “If you respect a thing you shouldn’t be too familiar with it. Am I right, Stubby?”

“Now you’re talking like Roy Blakeley,” said Pee-wee.

“I bet you are good and reckless,” said Tasca Liventi, in his hesitating, foreign way. “How you talk I can tell.”

“You kids have all got me wrong,” said Harry. “Pretty soon now, if we don’t get a flat tire, we’ll pass the desert island of the Battery. This old engine runs like a midsummer night’s dream, don’t she? Yank the whistle for that Erie ferry-boat to get out of the way, Stubby. We must be nearing the bleak coast of Chambers Street.”

“Did you telephone my father when we stopped?” Stubby asked. “I saw you in the booth.”

“Nope, just a business call. Your father’s going to be at the boat club and we’ll see him there. Isn’t that the idea?”

“I bet you were calling up Roy Blakeley’s sister,” vociferated Pee-wee. “You’ll be sorry if you get into the family with Roy Blakeley, I’m telling you that; you’ll be sorry.”

“I’ll take your tip on that, kiddo,” said Harry. “Now we’re passing the mainland of Fourteenth Street. It’s good these streets stop when they get to the water or I’m blamed if I know how we’d ever get by.”

He waved his hand to every barge-tender and soberly saluted every tug-boat pilot, and all paid him the regulation nautical acknowledgment of a hand salute or a whistle blast. The boys found him delightful, refreshing. A group of people on the forward deck of a ferry-boat waved to them as the Chipmunk chugged by and Pee-wee ordered the patrol salute. It was intended to mimic the voice of their namesake creature.

“What do you call that?” said Harry. “It sounds like a Ford.”

At about half past two they chugged up to the float of the Palisades Boat Club which is not so very far from the Edgewater Ferry. “Well, here we are after a wild and tempestuous voyage,” said Harry. “We had more hardships and obstacles than Henry Hudson, because he didn’t have any ferry-boats to look out for. See anything of your father, Stub?”

Mr. Piper was there waiting for them, smiling all over. “Got your passports?” he asked.

“She runs like a dream!” said Harry, with real enthusiasm. “There’s nothing to report except that two of our crew deserted. We passed many ferry-boats, but no icebergs.”

“Well and that’s fine,” said Mr. Piper. “I’m just out for my lunch and I wanted to see the last of you.”

“I don’t blame you,” laughed Harry. “I told you five hours, didn’t I? Johnnie on the spot. We’d have done better than that, too, if I hadn’t forgot that we wouldn’t be on the down tide all the way. We had to buck it when we got into the Hudson. She’s some nifty boat, Mr. Piper. I wouldn’t think a two cylinder heavy duty motor like that would make the time.”

“Oh, they get much more speed than the old make and breaks did,” said Mr. Piper. “The lines have a good deal to do with it, too.”

“Didn’t see anything of Durroway Fanmore, did you?” Harry asked. “We don’t know whether we’ve got a date with him here or not. If we’re going to be sunk we want to know it.”

“I guess that’s off,” Mr. Piper laughed. “Funny, how they make those plays, eh? Probably they’ve arranged a sham boat. I thought it might be fun for you to get together with them and see how they worked it—that is, if they didn’t really hurt the boat. Well,” he added as if putting this unimportant matter out of his mind, “you’re all set for a good cruise, and good luck to you. Let’s see, you’ve got life preservers for every one on board? One, two—yep, you’ve got a dozen. Now, is there anything I can do for you? You won’t make Catskill to-morrow?”

“No, but I think we may bang in there by the next night,” said Harry.

“Well, good-by to all of you and good luck,” Mr. Piper repeated. “I’ve got to run along. You got an emergency kit, Harry? Good.”

“We’ve got twenty cans of spaghetti,” shouted Pee-wee.

“Fine,” said Mr. Piper. “Well, don’t do anything that I wouldn’t do. I’m coming up to Temple Camp myself some day to look it over. So long boys. Good-by Stub, and don’t forget to write to your mother.”

“That’s some father you’ve got, Stub,” said Harry.

“I’ll say he is,” said Stubby proudly.

Pee-wee had been singularly silent during Mr. Piper’s presence on the float, but now he opened fire before there was time to loosen the rope. “Now you see. Now you see! Even Mr. Piper said it would be fun to be mixed up with those people.”

“Forget it,” said Ben.

“That shows how much you’re not fond of adventures,” Pee-wee shot at him. “I bet you’re afraid of getting drowned. Geeee whiz, don’t you want to have some fun? Anyway, I’m the patrol leader and we’re going to wait here to see if they come. Maybe they didn’t get my letter in time and so they’ll come to-morrow. You got to obey your patrol leader—that’s what it says in the Handbook—and we’re going to stay here till to-morrow. And to-night we’ll go over on the ferry-boat to Palisade Park and I’ll treat to ice cream cones.”

This munificent offer did not win over Ben or Stubby. Little Eddie Carlo looked wide-eyed at his leader; anything that Pee-wee said was law to him. Moreover, he had never been to an amusement park. As for the Liventi boys, they too were respectfully agreeable to anything their strenuous hero proposed. They were so thankful to be scouts on any terms! But Ben gave a despairing look at Stubby, whose heart sank. Truly this terrible Pee-wee, master of big enterprises, was a problem. He was too much for them.

“You’ve got to do as I say, because I’m the boss,” Pee-wee warned.

Harry Donelle winked fraternally at Ben and Stubby and strolled about the float, as if to say that he was out of this family quarrel. Once, when Pee-wee’s back was turned, he threw up his hands in humorous despair to poor Stubby. Then he ambled casually into the club house.

“Why doesn’t he come and start off and be done with it?” the harassed Stubby asked.

Pee-wee overheard this and exploded. Stubby had his first glimpse of this redoubtable scout despot in action. “Because he can’t, that’s why!” Pee-wee fairly roared. “That shows you don’t know anything about scouting—that proves it, positively sure! If I say we’re going to do something—geeeee whiz, don’t you know you’ve got to obey your patrol leader? I’ll leave it to Eddie Carlo; doesn’t he?”

Poor little Eddie Carlo nodded a dutiful assent.

“Now just for that,” Pee-wee thundered; “showing you don’t know anything about being a scout—now just for that we’re going to wait here. Even we’re going to wait till to-morrow and camp here, to see if that famous moving picture star comes. Goooood night! We’ve got a chance, maybe, to see him in person, and even have him in the boat with us. If you write a letter to somebody to meet you, don’t you have to wait a little while? Geeee whiz! Don’t you know you’ve got to be polite? Even you want to get to be a second class scout and win merit badges and everything and get the Audubon award—you do—and geee whiz, you don’t even know how a scout has to be polite like it says in the book! Suppose I said we wouldn’t wait here for your father—so now!”

“My father gave us the boat to go cruising in and go up to camp,” poor Stubby made bold to say.

“Even he was the one who told about the picture people!” Pee-wee thundered. “Even he said it would be fun—you heard him, you got to admit he did! We’re going to stay here till to-morrow, because I say so. Don’t you know what disciplines are—that they have in scouting?”

“I know my father better than you do,” said poor Stubby proudly. “And I know what being a real scout is, too. Roy and the Silver Foxes are real scouts. They’re up in camp having real adventures; tracking and everything like I want to do.”

That was a mistake—to bring in another patrol. It not only fanned the flame of Pee-wee’s wrath, but it caused even the patient and easygoing Ben to say, “If you wanted to be in the Silver Foxes, Stub, I don’t see why you didn’t do it. I don’t see any reason for staying here either—”

“Didn’t I start a big carnival?” Pee-wee screamed. “When everybody—especially the Silver Foxes that are all crazy lunatics—said it was a failure, didn’t I get even a real merry-go-round and a bear and everything and start a real carnival. Even I—I—baffled the police, didn’t I? Now you let me alone and maybe, probably, you’ll be right close to real movie people—real ones!”

“I don’t want to be near them,” Stubby said with a kind of timid boldness. “Even if Ben does, I don’t. And I think we ought to do what Harry says. He doesn’t want to see us sitting here scrapping; that’s why he went away.”

“He went to look at the club house,” Pee-wee shouted.

“Listen,” said Ben quietly. “I just as soon wait around a little while, only I’d like to camp to-night up the river, that’s all. I know how you feel, Stub. Only what’s the use of joining a patrol and all the time thinking about another patrol? We’re a real patrol and don’t you forget it. We’ve got some merit badges. You go and ask Roy to say honest and true whether Walter Harris is a scout and see what he says.”

“That shows you’ve got to obey your patrol leader,” said Pee-wee almost breathless.

How this altercation might have developed, what unhappy turn it might have taken, is quite beyond speculation. It was all too evident that when Pee-wee set his heart upon a thing everything must fall beneath his adamant will. He had ever a weak spot in his mighty heart for the movies and its mimic heroes. And it was also evident that Ben, always indulgent and humorously compliant, was not enough of a diplomat to handle this near mutiny on shipboard. Harry, who might have put an iron foot upon the situation had, it seemed, preferred to roam about in casual inspection of the club house leaving these boys to settle their own differences. Perhaps he was a better diplomat than Ben.

At all events the tense situation was presently and most startlingly relieved by a development which, as usual, left Pee-wee unqualifiedly triumphant. It seemed almost like another merry-go-round and shooting gallery and roaring bear fallen into his hands. Like these things all rolled into one.

To say that Ben was astonished and poor Stubby struck dumb with disappointment and consternation, would be stating the case very mildly. They could only stare (though they could not equal their leader in their looks of blank amazement) as Harry Donelle came down the steps beyond the boat club ushering an individual whom it would be shabby praise to speak of as gracious—and gorgeous. He wore a vivid green fedora hat, with the brim bent down at one corner, which gave him a romantic air.

No prosy business man was he, who would wear his hat like this. But something else he wore beside his hat, and that was an expansive, all embracing smile. He had a distinguished and ingratiating bearing as he crossed the float. He seemed a creature quite apart from all other beings. A rim of curly gray locks was visible under his rakish headgear. You may conceive his impressive bearing when I tell you that Pee-wee was silent.

Now you see! Now you see!” he managed finally to whisper. “It’s Farroway Dunmore.


But of course, Pee-wee was always master of the situation. He was not likely to remain long unheard. He who had taken to his arms a traveling showman knew how to receive the ingratiating celebrity who now approached the boat.

“You see, here she is,” said Harry.

“Ah yes,” said the stranger, “and a tidy craft indeed. And a bevy of boy scouts to grace her. Off for a merry cruise on the briny deep. Do you know, Mr. Donelle, next to my profession, my art, there is nothing that so engages me as boys. And I am to have the rare privilege of sailing forth upon the treacherous waves with this jolly crew.”

“You sure are,” said Harry.

“You’d better not say, ‘you sure are’ to him,” warned Pee-wee in a dreadful whisper.

“No—no,” protested the gorgeous guest, who had overheard him. “We are to be quite at home with each other; comrades and friends! There must be no constraint. I hope to be a scout among scouts with you all.”

“That’s what we are, Mr. Dunmore,” Pee-wee piped up. “Especially I am, because I’m patrol leader and I was boss of a real show” (he added this in consideration of the profession) “and I had a public, too—just like you have. Even I had two or three of them. I bet you got my letter, hey? I got the Celebrated Stars Snitchly Corporation address out of the telephone book.”

“Ah yes!” said the stranger, clasping Pee-wee’s hand and beaming down upon him. “And I am face to face, then, with a real patrol leader—is it? Ah yes, and many greetings to you and your worshipping followers. I hope I do not intrude,” he added as he stepped over the coaming into the cockpit. “Mr. Donelle, you have my very limited luggage, I believe. Ah yes, thank you. On location our paraphernalia is more extensive. But when off with the scouts we do as the scouts do and carry our luggage only in our resourceful brains. Am I right, Scout Harris?”

“Yes, and I can tell you a lot about the scouts too,” said Pee-wee.

“I shall expect to hear many enthralling narratives,” said the celebrity.

Meanwhile, Harry Donelle had stepped into the boat and vaulted to the after part of the cabin roof, where he sat on the edge addressing the company from this vantage point.

“Now scouts and sprouts,” said he, “we’re to have no more wrangling. It seems that Pee-wee is lucky, as usual. I guess all of you kids will see something familiar in the features of this bully good friend we’re welcoming.”

“Sure, I do,” Pee-wee shouted.

“Who do they suggest?” Harry asked. “Who does this familiar look, this walk, this fine air, suggest?”

“Oh pardon me,” modestly protested the victim of these flattering queries.

“Who do these familiar features suggest?” Harry demanded. “You kids who hang out at the Pastime and the Eureka and the Lyric— who do those features suggest? I want you all to give three cheers for a man who is a real hero, who—”

Three cheers for Farroway Dunmore!” Pee-wee shouted. “Sure, I saw him in Desperate Dan.”

“Three cheers for Farroway Dunmore!” the other scouts shouted.

“And welcome to our forecastle,” said Harry.

The recipient of this ovation gave a low and grateful bow. “I was instructed to wait here for your gallant ship,” he said. “I was requested by my employers, the Celebrated Stars Snitchly Corporation, to accompany you up the river made famous by a greater adventurer than I—or than you, Scout Harris—and that was Henry Hudson. But I did not anticipate such a welcome off the screen. The music of applauding hands is something sweet to the ear; something which we of the silver screen seldom hear.”

“You came to the right place,” said Harry. “By the way, do you like waffles—with honey?”

“I adore them.”

“Because that’s about all we’re going to have to eat,” said Harry.

“We’re going to have hunter’s stew, too,” said Pee-wee, “because I know how to make it—and Indian pudding too.”

“Now, Scouts,” said Harry, “let’s get down to business before we kick off. Our honored guest is not going to do anything so very desperate; he isn’t going to sink our boat.” (Stubby felt at least relieved). “He isn’t going to save any heroines. He’s going to go up the river with us as far as Catskill and while we’re chugging along, he’s going to be on the watchout for a good place to do the big stunt with a phoney boat—later on.

“What he wants to do is to pick a location. Some rocks, with an island right near would be about right. You see, later he’ll have to swim from the wreck of this boat (only it won’t be this boat) to an island with the heroine of this three reeler that our boat figured in before it was finished. But all he wants to do now is sort of to reconnoiter and pick out a good spot. So it isn’t so bad after all, and we’re going to give him any help we can. That’s our middle name, good turns. What d’you say? Even though he doesn’t pull any harrowing stuff on this trip it’s an honor to have him along. It’s a big thing—Pee-wee always brings good luck. So about the most harrowing thing that he’ll do on this merry cruise is to eat homemade waffles. And he says that any of you kids that have cameras and want to take his picture are welcome to it. What d’you say?”

“I say hurrah for Mr. Farroway Dunmore!” shouted Ben. “Let’s all give three cheers.”

As the echo of their rousing welcome died away the spellbound eyes of Pee-wee Harris rested on the celebrity, their guest, who would be close to them, eat with them, live among them, during two or three days of enchantment. He had indeed seen Farroway Dunmore on the screen. He had paid thirty cents just to see him. Now he was to hobnob with him—and for nothing. His eyes were as big as saucers as he gazed upon that paragon of romance and adventure. And he rubbed his eyes just as he did that night when he was aroused by the appalling voice of a real bear. Only this was very much more wonderful.


Later that afternoon they paused again at the end of a long wharf at Piermont, where there were bathing facilities and refreshment pavilions, and a crowd of people in the water. Here Pee-wee went ashore, returning with eight ice cream cones and some matches for Harry.

On his way back along the wharf he could not refrain from pausing long enough to inform some youthful loiterers upon a bench that Farroway Dunmore was in the boat to which he was returning. As a consequence the voyagers ate their ice cream cones before a gaping audience.

“That’s him,” one girl whispered to another. “He doesn’t look so sheikish off the screen.” Indeed he did not look sheikish while engaged in the pleasant consumption of a cone.

In a little while the Chipmunk chugged off again and that evening they cast anchor in a little cove north of Bear Mountain, where they cooked their supper and camped for the night. Fanmore, as Harry called him, proved a good companion and an engaging story teller. He did not act famous, to use Pee-wee’s phrase. On the contrary he ate waffles and hunter’s stew (Chipmunk style) which showed him to be not only a good mixer, but indeed something of a hero. He told of riding a balky mustang, of traveling on the cowcatcher of a speeding locomotive, of jumping four stories from a burning building. He told of jumping across a yawning chasm in the Grand Canyon.

“We’re going there,” Pee-wee piped up. “We’re going to win the Audubon award up at camp, and my patrol is going out there free for nothing.”

“Splendid, splendid!” said the genial “Fanmore.” “You’ll find it replete with wonders!”

Pee-wee said he talked dandy.

It was pleasant sitting about in the cockpit as darkness fell, telling stories, but more particularly listening to their venturesome guest who seemed to have risked his precious neck in a thousand ways. Moreover, he knew how to bob for eels and they had a toothsome mess of these for breakfast. They weighed anchor and started off while a mist still lay on the river and, making easy progress, were off Newburgh before noon.

Here something happened which effectually silenced Pee-wee and opened his eyes, first in terror, then in wonder. If he was out for big things he was soon to have a glimpse of one which was appalling, and it left him cold and shuddering. They were chugging along not far from the west shore of the river when, noticing a man fishing from a dory, they called and asked him how the fish were biting. He told them pretty good, but that the fishing was better in toward shore, directly off the ice-houses.

“What do you say?” said Harry. “Some perch would taste pretty good, huh? How about it, Stub? Would you call that scouting?”

“He’s got nothing to say,” Pee-wee shouted. “Sure, fishing is scouting. Even if you don’t catch anything it’s scouting.”

“Anything is scouting you want to do,” said Stubby. “All you’ve got to do is call it scouting and it’s scouting.”

“Snap out of it, Stub,” laughed Harry. “How about you, Bull Durham Fanway? Try your luck?”

Of course, Stubby’s grouchiness was quite unreasonable. He had got himself into a mood of dissatisfaction with Pee-wee and the Chipmunks. It had started, of course, back at the float of the Palisade Boat Club in New York when he had mildly rebelled against the introduction of a moving picture enterprise into their cruise. We saw Pee-wee at his worst then; surely Stubby was at his worst now. The main trouble was that he was always thinking about Roy and the Silver Foxes. He had been scrupulous enough to renounce that delightful patrol on account of a silly promise. But he was not a good enough sport to make the best of a bad bargain, as Ben did, and cheerfully accept the Chipmunks for better or worse. He found Pee-wee very bossy and it chafed him.

Perhaps this feeling was natural considering that he had brought that beautiful launch to the patrol and that in a sense it was his. He certainly was not permitted to have much to say about it. What he longed for was real scouting, the kind that he had read about in the Handbook. He did not care to hear tales about the supernatural prowess and amazing courage of their celebrated guest. He had not been in favor of welcoming him aboard.

Harry he liked immensely, but he chafed at the thought of being utterly disregarded and of having this gilded boaster among them on their cruise. Stubby was a thoughtful boy and did not care much about movie heroes. And underlying this feeling, of course, (and making it more intense) were the wistful secret thoughts of the mirthful Silver Foxes, which he was forever indulging. Indeed, it was only his mood expressing itself when he spoke with boyish sarcasm about fishing, for surely fishing is a true scout pastime.

“Sure we’ll fish,” vociferated Pee-wee. “I bet maybe you don’t like it, Mr. Dunmore, hey, when Harry calls you crazy names. Gee whiz, that’s a fine way to talk to a man that’s famous.”

“We shall have to forgive him on account of his youth,” said the great man, pleasantly.

“If one of my patrol spoke to you like that, he’d see,” said Pee-wee darkly.

Harry smilingly lighted a cigarette as he made ready to drop anchor. “You’d think we had Douglas Sandbanks along,” he laughed.

“Shall I drop the anchor,” the celebrity asked.

“Sure,” said Pee-wee.

“And look out you don’t fall in the water,” said Stubby. Here, indeed, was Stubby Piper at his very worst.


I think it was to Stubby’s credit that he wanted to get into real scouting, that he was eager for the atmosphere of the woods; for tracking and stalking and camp-fire. Perhaps he was not to be blamed for failing to find the realization of his dream in the terrible and strenuous hero worshipper to whom he had vowed allegiance. Also it was to the credit of this intelligent boy that his heroes were not the blatant celebrities of the screen, with their cowboy attire and double pistol business on impossible ranches and all the rest of the tawdry movie claptrap. To see a smile steal over his thoughtful face at one of Roy’s absurd sallies was pleasant to the beholder. Stubby was a charming mixture of seriousness and humor.

They anchored a few yards off the big ugly ice-house which seemed to be just at the edge of the city. An hour’s fishing brought them a good catch of yellow perch and one good sized bass which, I am glad to say, was hauled in by one of the quiet, respectful Liventi boys, much to his own modest joy. His dark eyes beamed with pride as Pee-wee (being patrol leader) made the little triumph his own and proceeded to unhook the tempting looking fish.

“Bravo for Signor Liventi!” said the distinguished guest.

“Bully for you, Tasca,” said Harry. “I haven’t heard you for an hour. I was beginning to think you’d fallen overboard.”

“Actions speak louder than words,” said Stubby. Which was an apt remark since Pee-wee had caught just nothing.

“Do you know what I think?” said Harry. “Let’s pull up anchor and try to make Poughkeepsie to-night. If we can do that,” he said, consulting a map, “we’ll be able to bang up to Catskill the next day if we don’t stop to scrap. Then we can sleep on board and hike through to camp the next morning. What d’you say, Stub? Shall we make it snappy? All right then, suppose we chug over to shore alongside that barge and one of you kids beat it up into that ice-house and get a chunk of ice—I guess nobody will stop you. Then we can pack our fish in ice and cook them for supper to-night, and we’ll have some ice left for our cooler. I thought of that myself,” he added with a wink at one of the Liventi boys. “Tasca, you ought to have the Angling badge.”

“I’ve got it already,” vociferated Pee-wee. “And I’ll be the one to go and get the ice. I can climb right up that slanting thing.”

Already the Chipmunk was heading for the big, unpainted bulk of ice-houses and Stubby (taking the law in his own hands) was crawling over the deck to the bow so as to be ready to prevent the boat from contact with the barge, and then to jump ashore. There was something grim in his utter disregard of Pee-wee.

“You come back!” Pee-wee shouted. “I’m going to be the one to go. You have to do as your patrol leader says.”

I would not quite say that Pee-wee wished to show off, to do a stunt, however trifling, before Mr. Farroway Dunmore. But at all events Stubby, in a kind of rebellious desperation, paid not the slightest attention to him. He was going to ease his troubled spirit by doing something.

“You come back,” Pee-wee shouted, making for the forward deck.

Stubby turned and gave him one strange, inscrutable look. “Don’t you touch me and don’t you scratch this deck,” he said tensely.

“Sit down, kid,” said Harry with a ring of authority in his quiet tone. “Do as I tell you, sit down. Let Stubby go.”

Pee-wee subsided. There was a power behind his throne and he knew it.

“Get a big chunk, Stub,” said Harry. “Don’t tie her; she’ll only rock and rub on this tide. We’ll chug around and wait for you.”

Stubby reached forward and eased the contact of the bow against the unsightly barge, then jumped over its dirty gunwale. Then Harry backed off.

Stubby had thought he might get a piece of ice from the barge, but there was no ice in it, nor was any one about. From an upper window in one of the ice-houses a chute descended into the hold of the barge. There were heavy chains and weights connected with this; evidently it could be raised and lowered. Perhaps the spectacular ascent of this chute was what had appealed to Pee-wee. As Stubby saw it now, he realized that it would be a pretty risky climb. Its heavy board flooring was watersoaked and slippery from the continuous sliding of ice and there was nothing to get hold of but a low thick edging of slimy wood, just high enough to keep descending cakes of ice from sliding off.

Still Stubby would not turn about now and hail his friends to come and get him. Probably there would be some one above, if he could only get there, who would be glad to give him a few bits of ice where ice was so plentiful. Before trying this climb, however, he went ashore from the barge to see if there might be a flight of stairs leading up. There was, and he went up, only to find the entrance locked. He descended again and looked about. On its side away from the river the structure stood on piles and running up into its flooring were many pipes.

Stubby knew now that this building was not only a storage place for ice, but a manufactory of ice. He smelled the familiar odor of ammonia which lingers always about these artificial ice plants. There was a little building underneath this greater one on stilts. It was locked, but he saw that it contained machinery.

He rubbed his hands in the dirt, went around on the barge again, and gingerly began his crawling ascent, holding fast to the slimy edging of the chute. He was nervous, for his gritty hands all but slipped, and it was only by pressing his feet hard against both sides of the low, solid rail that he was able to make progress.

But at least he was doing something instead of listening to stories about the triumphs of others. He wished that Roy Blakeley could see him.


Up, up, he went, pausing now and again to get a tighter hold, and clinging with might and main when he slipped. Once he thought he would go tumbling back and crash into the hold of the barge. At last he reached the top and was able to squirm about and sit on the window-sill which was longer than the width of the chute. Here he had a fine view of the river and of Beacon on the opposite shore. His hands were all tingling from the strain to his finger muscles, and he wriggled them as one does whose hand is asleep.

Near at hand in the river a little tug seemed heading for the barge, sending up great blotches of smoke into the clear air. Further off in the center of the river a great boat sailed majestically downstream. How small the gallant little Chipmunk seemed beside it! She was away over beyond the stately liner. She seemed to be inscribing a big circle; then she headed back toward the west shore. He thought some one was waving to him, but he could not be sure. Then she seemed to be drifting. The tide was at flood and she did not drift very fast. But from where Stubby sat she seemed to be moving without purpose.

Then he went into the building and found himself in a large, damp, smelly room with pipes both vertical and horizontal. Whatever else there was about the place he did not notice because of the pipes. They were all covered with a frosty substance which was sticky to the touch. He laid his finger on one and though this coating did not feel sticky, it offered a queer kind of resistance when he took his finger away. He thought it was frost and an impulse prompted him to taste it. He stuck out his tongue and lapped it, letting his tongue rest a few seconds on the cool, smooth, mossy surface. Then he found that he could not pull his tongue away. It was held fast by this strange, soft-feeling substance.

At first Stubby thought this was amusing, just an odd experience. He even laid his thumb against the frosty substance and found a certain idle pleasure in pulling it away against the resistance. He laid the palm of his hand against the pipe and felt a sensation of coolness, then of icy coldness. He removed his hand without any effort, more than if the palm had been sticky.

But his tongue he could not pull away.

The thing seemed so absurd that he felt more impelled to be amused than to be frightened. Queer! He moved his tongue sideways back and forth but he could not free it from the coated pipe. He tried another movement, up and down. The result of this manipulation was that a larger area of tongue surface was caught. And Stubby found himself standing in a posture not easy long to endure, with his outstretched tongue glued fast to that horrible, treacherous coating.

Now he began to be alarmed; alarmed, in an amused sort of way, but not frightened. Quietly whimsical as he always was, the funny thought came to him of Pee-wee being in this predicament with his tongue caught! But when he started to laugh he found that his diabolical captor was on the alert for a greater advantage.

One of his lips was almost caught. With his tongue held fast it was difficult to keep his lips from touching that awful pipe. Soon he became very uncomfortable. And from discomfort his enforced posture soon passed to one of real pain. He was truly frightened now.

You see the human tongue is wet and quickly freezes into this ammoniac frosting. To a lesser extent this is so of the lips. The oiliness of the fingers renders them less susceptible. Moreover the freezing breath only makes more secure the dreadful trap which can hold a human being by his tongue as surely as if he were held in chains.

What to do? He could not scream; to scream requires the free use of tongue and lips.

He soon became very weary of standing as this dreadful trap required him to do. His head began to ache. He stood on one foot, then on the other, ever on the alert to avoid letting more of his tongue slip against that all too innocent appearing stuff. In an impulse of desperation he tried to free himself by a quick sudden pull. The pain was frightful and made him wince. Now he was seized with panic. There was something perfectly diabolical about this altogether preposterous situation. He tried as best he could to scream. He could only utter a strange, unnatural cry. He was ashamed of it, it sounded so childish, so unmanly. It was not a call for help, but a kind of characterless yelp.

His back was toward the window through which he had entered and he tried to move his eyes around so as to see how far this was. He could just make out the square of light, but he could not look long enough for it to take the form of a well defined square. He was conscious of it rather than observant of it. There wasn’t any ice about, or any people.

Outside he faintly heard the familiar chugging of the boat. Welcome sound! Well, his friends were near anyway. He even heard voices, thin and spent. How cheerful the human voice, when one is in the grip of a fiend! The merry Jack Frost who paints windows was a devil.

The suffering prisoner listened eagerly for the chugging again. Now he heard it, now it ceased. Then again for just a few moments. And again it ceased. He heard a distant voice, but he could distinguish only one syllable of what it said. Try.

Again, in frantic desperation he uttered that demoniac yell. His senses swam with the effort. His head pounded like a sledge hammer.


“Try it with the throttle down, why don’t you?” Ben called to Harry.

Try. That was the word that poor Stubby had heard as it was called from the bow where Ben was letting down the anchor to keep the boat from drifting. He was talking to Harry, who bent studiously over the unwilling motor.

“Some blamed kink,” said Harry. “Put that stick down in the tank and see if there’s gas. Looks to me as if she isn’t getting any juice. Wait a second now till I turn her over. Nope—dead.”

“I heard a voice,” said Pee-wee excitedly.

“It’s on that tug,” said Harry, preoccupied.

“No, it wasn’t, it was—it was weird, kind of.”

“It was me cursing under my breath, kid,” said Harry.

“You better be serious,” Pee-wee warned, in his darkest tone. “Listen, do you hear?”

Harry emerged from his vexed preoccupation and looked up for just a moment. “What the dickens is that—a ghost?” he asked.

“What did I tell you?” triumphed Pee-wee.

“Wasn’t that on the tug?” Harry asked of the only other grown-up person on board.

A few minutes before the tug had sidled up alongside the barge and was now steaming away upstream, a fussy little escort to the clumsy hulk. The end of the chute now stood in air. You could have slid down it and had a fine tumbling plunge into the river. No sign of life was there about the buildings on shore.

“Wait a minute till that tug gets a little further away,” said Ben.

“Sure, he is right; I heard it loud,” said Bruno Liventi.

Little Eddie Carlo stared, silent and afraid.

Heeeey, Stubby!” Harry called.

For a few moments there was no sound, only the puffing of the tug as it piloted the unwieldy barge upstream.


From somewhere in that unsightly pile came a weird, long wail. It was like unto nothing that any of these scouts had heard before, and they had heard many dismal voices of the woods.

“It’s from the ice-house,” Ben said in tense and fearful tones. “Gosh, can’t you get her started and chug over there? Even if she misses. Something’s wrong, that’s sure.”

“Get an oar out,” Harry said. “Get off that seat, you kids; see if there are any oars under there.”

But before they had a chance to set about getting the boat over to shore by hand, Pee-wee’s hero of the silver screen had thrown off his coat, torn off his shoes, and grabbed the long boat-hook. They were still trying to haul an oar out from under the locker seats when he vaulted upon the cabin roof and plunged into the water.

He could swim, oh, he could swim! Pee-wee watched him, thrilled, spellbound. Straight for the chute he sped, the long boat-hook held under one arm. He was below the chute before the party had moved the boat a dozen yards in that direction. He reached up with the long pole, catching the hook in a chain staple, then up he scrambled like a monkey on a stick. Then up the chute.

Rushing into the ice-house he found Stubby in a state bordering on hysteria. There he stood close against the upright pipe, his nerves distraught, panicky from the dreadful constraint of his enforced posture, panting and trying to hold his mouth from the horrible trap while he shouted as best he could, the dark boards of that dim, cheerless place echoing his uncanny call.

He couldn’t explain what was wrong, but his rescuer saw it at a glance. “I thought all the perils and hair-breadth escapes had been thought of,” he said. “But this is a new one; this is one for the Snitchly people. Hold still, don’t get excited. By Jove, I never saw anything like this before!”

With his penknife the hero of the screen scraped very carefully about Stubby’s tongue and with greatest caution inserted the blade between it and the frozen substance. In a few moments the trembling boy was free. “There we have it,” said his rescuer cheerily. “And that’s a role I never played before. That’s one of the queerest things I ever saw—I never heard of such a thing!”

“If you told someone that could happen he wouldn’t believe you,” said Stubby. “I feel all dizzy, it smells like ammonia or something.”

“Yes? Well, all’s well that ends well. It was hard for you to call though, eh? You know, that might have been serious. And by jingo,” he laughed, “the movie people never thought of it. Ha, ha, that’s a good joke. But it wasn’t such a good joke to you, was it? We could make a good thriller out of that.”

“You swam over?” Stubby asked.

“Oh, yes, they were fussing with the engine. Well, let’s get away from here.”

“I don’t ever want to come inside of a place like this again,” said Stubby.

They went over to the window, Stubby moving his lips and tongue because of that strange taste and sensation which lingered. It was good to look out upon the wide river. Just below, where the chute ended, was the Chipmunk with Harry standing on the cabin roof holding on to the end of the chute to keep the boat from drifting.

“All O.K. up there?” he called.

“A very interesting mishap,” said the rescuer. He and Stubby carefully let themselves down the chute and into the boat. Oh, how good it seemed to Stubby to be once more in the cockpit of their little floating home!

Presently Harry discovered the trouble with the motor and they went chugging upstream headed for Poughkeepsie.

“And we never got any ice after all,” laughed Harry. “But we saw Mr. Bull Durham Fanway do a good stunt and we didn’t have to pay thirty cents and the war tax. You certainly can scoot through the water, Fan. And when it comes to shinning up a boat-hook you’ve got Fairbanks back with the also-rans. Three cheers for—”

“And I’m the one that got him!” shouted Pee-wee. “I’m the one that sent the letter and made us all wait that didn’t want to do it, especially Stubby—so now I guess he’s sorry!”

“I am sorry,” said Stubby gratefully.

“I’m the one that fixed it so we could all meet Mr. Farroway Dunmore,” Pee-wee persisted in explosive tones. “I’m the one that made it so we could be on the same boat with him, because once there was a picture of Douglas Fairbanks in Boys’ Life because he likes scouts” (he paused for air) “and there were a lot of scouts standing with him and I guess they had to be proud, didn’t they? But even they didn’t go on a boat with him. So now you have to admit how I was right, because you could meet Farroway Dunmore in—in—”

“In poisen!” said Harry.

“So now!” said Pee-wee breathless.

“When you rudely interrupted me I was just about to propose three cheers for Stubby Piper who discovered a new way of not being killed, and for—”

“Three cheers for Farroway Dunmore!” Pee-wee fairly yelled.

“And hip hip for the Celebrated Stars Snitchly Corporation,” said Harry.


This little episode of the ice-house had the effect of restoring somewhat the good feeling between Pee-wee and Stubby. Pee-wee, indeed, never cherished any grudges. He was terrible in denunciation. But if his lungs were tremendous, his heart was tremendous also. Indeed everything about him was tremendous except his height. Now Stubby had a good lesson as to the wisdom of Pee-wee’s actions. Now he had seen Mr. Farroway Dunmore, darling of the multitude, in action. He had been rescued “in person.” And Pee-wee was triumphant “in person.”

If anything were needed to stimulate Pee-wee’s hero worship of the great star, this incident at the ice-house served the purpose. Pee-wee saw himself again as a sort of producer or manager. He had not exactly “invented” the noted Farroway Dunmore, but at least he had him under his wing. Findings is keepings, and Pee-wee had found him. His startling acquisition of a bear (which had wrought such havoc to the fortunes of the Silver Foxes) was nothing as compared with this. Poor Stubby wished that his strenuous patrol leader were more engrossed in scouting, as he, Stubby understood it, than in shows and big enterprises. He was yet to learn of the real Pee-wee.

Late that afternoon they passed under the high bridge at Poughkeepsie and found a pleasant cove on the east shore just clear of the city. Here they moored the Chipmunk to an overhanging tree and made ready to spend the night in this tiny, tree-bordered harbor. The place seemed made for scouts to linger in. It was completely shaded and the air was permeated with that pungent fragrance which is always diffused in watery recesses enclosed by foliage. The trees were mirrored inverted in the still water. No sound offended the solitude, only the splash of a turtle that waddled off a rotting log and paddled into the depths.

“Here’s one on you, Scout Harris,” said Harry, as he rummaged among the stores. “Not a lemon! You knew we’d be fishing and you knew we’d be eating fish. You know lemons go with fish. You’re an expert on scouting, and an expert on eating. Yet you didn’t bring a single lemon.”

“He’s a lemon himself,” laughed Ben.

“A nice black bass and a mess of perch without any lemon!” taunted Harry. “And how about cheese if we’re going to have spaghetti with cheese. How about that, Tasconio Liventiano?”

The dark-eyed Italian boys smiled broadly.

“Some management.”

“That shows you can’t think up any resources,” said Pee-wee.

“I would if I thought we could eat them,” said Harry. “What do you think of your patrol leader, King Edward?” he asked, winking at Eddie Carlo.

“You think you’re so smart, you can use chocolate,” Pee-wee said. “Grated chocolate goes fine on spaghetti.”

“Here’s some peaches,” said Harry. “We might have some sliced peaches on fish. I can be as much of a hero as Bull Durham Fanway.”

“Do you want me to go and get some lemons?” Pee-wee asked, stung by Harry’s criticism. “Up that road there are two or three stores, I can see them.”

“If I thought you’d get your tongue caught somewhere, I might say yes,” said Harry, to the great amusement of the party. “Go ahead if you think there are stores up there.”

Pee-wee dexterously lifted himself to an overhanging tree, and if his agility was mildly flavored with ostentation (for the benefit of his hero) we shall not chide him for that. He walked along the prone trunk, steadying himself by the branches, and so got ashore.

“Here, take your bandmaster’s uniform,” Harry laughed, throwing Pee-wee’s scout jacket after him. “And here’s your hat, don’t hurry back.”

It was easier to don these articles of the official regalia than to denounce Harry for irreverence. And here we have a fine glimpse of Pee-wee as he trudged off to harrowing disaster. Perhaps the best idea of his appearance can be given by saying that he looked like the Germans entering Belgium, or Julius Cæsar marching inland to the confusion of the ancient Britons. Like the doughty heroes of the Light Brigade he moved on, caring naught what lay before him.

Upon his hat, like a warning headlight, was the full badge of the first class scout. Unfortunately, his jacket sleeve concealed his enviable array of merit badges, but above the right pocket of his jacket appeared in red silk letters the words Boy Scouts of America, lest the world fail to identify him. He left his jacket unbuttoned, revealing a neatly wound length of rope hanging from his belt, so that no dizzy cliff or frowning precipice could impede his martial progress. A scout knife, too, dangled from its hook and flapped against his thigh as he proceeded with resolute stride.

The building which he had thought was a store proved to be a cross-roads gas station; the spot seemed an outlying section of Poughkeepsie. The proprietor of the place extended his service facilities to cover the needs of thirsty tourists and several wire-legged tables were placed on a tiny patch of lawn. At one of these sat a young fellow and three girls who seemed to be in wanton summer mood. They were imbibing colorful liquid through straws and the young man was amusing himself and his companions by tilting his bottle with the straw without so much as touching it with his hands, and drinking from it as it rolled. A casual enough pastime to be sure, but it showed the rather silly humor of these visitors. There was a little shack with a rough counter filled with bottles standing like ninepins ready to be knocked down. Behind it a young daughter of the proprietor took charge of this department, serving frankfurters and filling cones.

Before this tempting array, our hero paused and looked up over the counter. Perhaps it was the flaunting splendor of his attire upon a form so diminutive that caused the lookers-on to smile. Perhaps it was the look of heroic determination that lurked in his frowning countenance. Perhaps it was the fact that as he stood there looking up across the martial array of bottles, he stooped and hoisted up a rebellious stocking. Be that as it might, they smiled—even the girl whom he was about to favor with his patronage.

“Have you got any lemons to use for fish?” he asked in a voice that could be heard throughout the premises.

The young man with the girls took upon himself the responsibility of an answer. “You can’t catch fish with lemons, kid,” said he.

“Goodness, gracious,” chirped one of the girls, “a boy scout ought to know that.”

“Isn’t he just too killing!” said another girl.

“Do you think I don’t know fish don’t eat lemons?” Pee-wee roared. “Even I—we—caught a big bass to-day. So that shows!”

“Yere?” queried the young fellow as if to draw him out. “You want to look out; some fish will be pulling you into the water some day.”

“Oh, I think he’s just too cute,” said one of the girls. “Dorothy, wouldn’t he be just dear in the movies?”

“What are you going to be when you grow up; a scout?” asked the young fellow.

“Go on, talk to him some more,” urged one girl, highly amused.

“Did you ever try ice cream for bait, kid?” the young fellow asked soberly. “It’s good for catching fishballs.”

Of course, Pee-wee was used to this kind of talk and knew how to handle jokers who indulged in such pleasantries. That was his business. He had not the slightest idea that in bringing amusement to his girl companions, he was setting the fuse to an exceedingly noisy fire-cracker.


“You think you’re so funny, don’t you, showing off before girls,” Pee-wee shouted. “And anyway, you can’t go by size, but anyway, I’m a first class scout and I’m a patrol leader—so that shows how much of a fool you are, showing off before girls.”

This masterly retort did not squelch the mirthful youth. It even aroused the girls to uncontrollable laughter, to which Pee-wee reacted with thunderous scorn.

“That shows how much of a fool you all are—all you can do is sit and giggle—”

“Oh, I think he’s excruciating,” whispered one of the girls. “I’d just like to take him home and stand him on the mantelpiece.”

“Tell us all about it,” said the young fellow. “To be a scout you have to know about flowers and things?”

“Wild animals you have to know about!” roared Pee-wee. “And you needn’t think I didn’t hear you about what you were saying so quiet like about me being in the movies—whispering, that’s the way girls do—”

“Yes, explain all that,” the young fellow encouraged. “Scouting is a blamed good thing to keep boys out of mischief. You say they have to know all about animals? I suppose every boy scout has to have a Noah’s Ark?”

“You’re so very smart,” said Pee-wee, “making girls laugh. Geeeeee whiz, I suppose you call that being a hero. Making fun of scouts, that’s what a lot of fools that are big fellers do. And that shows how you talk against the President of the United States even—that shows what kind of a good American you are—because he’s a member; he’s an honorablerary member.”

“No, you’re kidding!”

“Oh, he’s just darling!” whispered one of the girls.

“And you needn’t whisper, because I saw you,” Pee-wee continued, “and all you know how to do is giggle, but anyway, you don’t giggle when you see a snake—and even a mouse you’re scared of—geeeee whiz! Even you scream when you’re in a boat and it rocks.”


“You say the President of the United States is an honorablerarity member, eh?” the young fellow queried. “That’s mighty interesting. Does he go hiking and everything?”

“No, he doesn’t go hiking and everything, and if you want to know one thing even real moving picture celeb—celeb—celebrar—”

“Three strikes out,” said the young man.

“Celebratededities,” Pee-wee continued. “Real ones, they’re even friends of boy scouts. Do you know Farroway Dunmore that’s as cel—famous as Charlie Chaplin even—girls send him letters even, I read it, and he gets millions of letters every day!”

“You don’t mean to tell me you’re he?” one of the girls asked innocently.

“No, probably he’s just a dishonorablerary member,” said the young man.

Pee-wee paused for a moment as if to take a running jump, mentally speaking. When he spoke it was with terrible portentousness as if his words had the authority of Heaven. “Farroway Dunmore that acted in Hearts of Stone is down there in the boat that I came from! In PERSON he’s there!

Here indeed was a declaration to check the flow of banter. It was uttered with the terrible solemnity of an oath. Small as he was, and amusing, Pee-wee was conjuring with a mighty name. He was either crazy, or he had indeed said something.

“No!” said the young man joking.

“Little boy scouts shouldn’t tell stories,” said the girl named Dorothy.

Now I can prove it by that you don’t know anything about scouts,” Pee-wee shouted. “Because, geeeee whiz, even the very first law says they have to be trusted—so now! And if you don’t believe it you can come down and see. Even I was going to have a show and charge five cents to see him—in person—I was. Only now I haven’t got time. Just the same if you don’t believe me you can come down to the river where our boat is and see him. And he’s the really, truly, Farroway Dunmore, I cross my heart. So now you know if the Boy Scouts are connected with famous people!”

The girls looked at each other incredulously.

“You come and see, that’s all I tell you,” said Pee-wee.

“You mean the real Farroway Dunmore?” a girl asked.

“Did you see me cross my heart?”

“I never heard anything like that in my life,” said one of her companions. “What’s he doing in your boat?”

“You come and look at him, that’s all I tell you,” Pee-wee repeated darkly. “You’re so fresh!”

“Well,” said the young man, arising nonchalantly. “I’m from Missouri, you’ll have to show me. What do you say, Dot? Come ahead, Grace and Beatrice.”

“You don’t think it can be really true, do you?” Grace asked. “Oh, I think Dunmore is adorable. I saw him in the Haunted Trail.”

“Well, we’ll see him in the boat,” said the young man.

This bantering stranger seemed not greatly concerned, but the girls were excited and expectant. Naturally, since Farroway Dunmore had many times thrilled their young hearts. Grace Doter adored him most in cowboy attire, as he had appeared in The Daughter of Bar B Ranch. Dorothy Gape had found him most heroic and masterful in Dan of Death Hollow. Beatrice Starelong hardly knew what play she liked him best in. They all agreed that he was simply wonderful. To see him face to face, in person, was quite beyond their fondest dreams.

“Can you imagine such a thrill?” chirped Grace Doter.

“If it is really he!” said Dorothy Gape. “I’ll simply gaze at him enraptured!”

“It was always the dream of my life to see him in person,” caroled Beatrice Starelong. “I can hardly believe—”

“Come on, I’ll show you the way,” said Pee-wee.


It happened that Pee-wee’s great hero was straddling a projecting tree out at the edge of the cove, fishing.

“There he is,” said Pee-wee in a voice tuned to the great importance of what he said. “That’s him, Farroway Dunmore, and this boat was in his play of Vengeance, and up further he’s going to look for a place to do one of his big stunts that’s part of the play. That’s him—in person; I cross my heart.”

While Pee-wee’s heart was being crossed, the heart of Grace Doter, Dorothy Gape, and Beatrice Starelong were being very much thrilled as they gazed across the still water of the little cove at the figure of Pee-wee’s hero—and their hero.

“Oh, I know his physique!” said Dorothy. “I recognize his build.”

“May we meet him and shake hands with him?” Grace whispered.

“Sure you can,” said the exhibitor. “Even if you want to, you can see him eat—if you wait a little while.”

“Are you just a teeny weeny bit nervous?” Grace asked her friends.

“What shall we say to him?” Dorothy inquired, anxiously.

“You needn’t be scared,” said Pee-wee.

“He’s got nice gray curly hair all right,” said the young man.

“Oh, I remember his gray curly hair when he jumped from that high cliff where the cabin was all on fire; don’t you remember?” Beatrice asked.

“Hey, Mr. Dunmore, will you come in the boat?” Pee-wee called.

“Perhaps we should go out there,” said Grace, visibly timid now that the great moment was at hand.

“He’ll come in because he’s a friend of mine,” Pee-wee boasted. The hero waved his hand as if to say that he would come as soon as he had brought in the fish he was playing.

“See?” said Pee-wee. “Sure he’ll come. And you can ask him any questions you want to, he’s awful nice. So now do you admit that you were not so smart trying to make a fool out of me?”

“Oh, and isn’t your boat wonderful!” caroled Grace. “I could just live in it.”

“I bet you’re sorry not being boy scouts, hey?” said Pee-wee. “Even that boat was in the movies.”

Our friends certainly felt that they were in an enchanted world. Even the young man’s “jollying,” propensity subsided into something like respect for a small scout who could produce sumptuous motor-boats and movie heroes. “That’s some boat you’ve got there,” he said admiringly. “Radio and all, huh?”

The boat had drifted around against the shore and Pee-wee escorted his admiring friends aboard. Harry laid down a magazine to greet them. The Liventi brothers gazed respectfully. Little Eddie Carlo stared wide-eyed at the gushing intruders.

“Oh, isn’t it just dear!” said Dorothy.

“Are these the lemons?” Harry asked.

“No, we’re not the lemons,” said Grace. “But we just couldn’t resist the chance to see, face to face, Mr. Dunmore. Oh, I think it’s just wonderful him being here with you. You’re certainly lucky, all you boys. And we want so much to see him.”

Harry looked rather sober; perhaps a trifle worried. “He’ll be here in a few minutes,” he said.

“Does he talk about the wonderful feats he performs?” Grace Doter asked.

“I wonder if I dare ask him how he ever ran through the fire in that western picture?”

There was nothing to do but wait for the hero and they sat about in the cockpit admiring the boat and hearing about how it had figured in the movies during the time of its building. “What we wanted was some lemons,” said Harry. “But of course, we’d rather have you. I guess Bull Durham will be glad to shake hands with you.” He seemed rather troubled and perplexed, glancing over at the edge of the cove where the guest of honor was still engrossed with his fishing. “These celebrities have a way of making people wait,” he said. “I, eh—”

Suddenly the radio which Ben Maxwell had been tuning in, spoke aloud.

“You see we have all conveniences here,” said Harry, still seeming a trifle uneasy. Ben thought this might be the result of the sudden descent of this bevy of maidens on the peaceful scene. At all events, Harry was not at ease. “Let’s hear a tune, Ben,” he said. “You like the radio?” he asked Grace Doter.

But now the distant announcer spoke to these voyagers in their remote, shaded cove far up the Hudson. And they all listened. “You are listening to Station WEAF,” he said briskly. “We are broadcasting another one of the ten-minute talks by famous Americans. Last week you will remember hearing General Slasham G. Redgore talk on preparedness. This afternoon you are to listen to one whom you all know and love; one who dwells in the hearts of thousands upon thousands of red-blooded Americans; who has thrilled millions not only with his art, but with his recklessness and daring. If you enjoy this talk and will send him a line saying so, he will send you an autographed card. Send your communications care of this station. I now have the pleasure of introducing to you one of our greatest heroes of the silver screen, Mr. Farroway Dunmore.”


The scene which followed upon this startling announcement baffles description. Quietly, Harry Donelle allowed himself to slide from his seat to the floor, where he held a magazine as a shield before his face in fearful anticipation of assault. Meanwhile, he groped near the engine for a wrench with which to defend himself.

The voyagers and their guests looked from one to another in speechless amazement. Even little Eddie Carlo, usually serene and happy under the sway of his doughty patrol leaders, looked over toward the outer shore of the cove to make sure it was not their honored guest who was about to talk. No, he was rising and began slowly to wind his reel, as if quite unconscious of the radio. The Liventi boys stared with their big dark eyes. The young man who had jollied Pee-wee about the scouts, whistled. It was a mean whistle. He sat on the long seat that ran around the cockpit, an arm over the shoulder of Grace Doter, and he whistled soft and low. “Go ahead, let’s hear him,” said he.

The few moments’ pause before the great star spoke does not afford time enough to describe the look on the face of Pee-wee Harris. It is enough to say that for the time being he was silent. He was struck dumb with consternation. He could only stare.

A little smile was on Ben’s face as he stood by the set, effecting a final nice adjustment of the dials. While the distant celebrity spoke, Bull Durham Fanway sauntered in, bowed to the company and quietly seated himself to listen. He even winked at Pee-wee; he seemed the least concerned of any present.

“Ladies and gentlemen of the radio audience,” said the voice on the air. “It makes me very happy to talk to my thousands of friends all over the United States and Canada, and in fact all over the world. I often wish I could meet you personally and tell you how sweet you are to me. We of the cinema cannot hear your applause, we work in the dark, as I might say. I have been asked to tell you something of the feats which I have performed in some of the plays in which I have been featured. One kind letter writer asked me how I managed to jump across a chasm of the width of the chasm in The Last Chance which I did for the Bunkem Piffle people. I can only say that it is constant and strenuous practice” (Mr. Bull Durham Fanway coughed mildly) “that enables me to make these long leaps. The muscles must be kept limber by exercise; continuous athletic practice is necessary. The silver screen is not—I might say—eh—exactly a bed of roses, as most young screen-struck aspirants seem to believe.

“When I ran along the steel girder while it was collapsing in the dynamiting scene of A Labor of Love it was necessary to balance myself and at the same time keep clear of the flames. To keep your balance on a steel girder a hundred and twenty feet in the air is hard enough. But to do this while it is collapsing in the middle is doubly hard. The downward movement embarrasses one in keeping his lateral balance. Perhaps you will remember how I seemed about to fall just as the airplane passed and I leaped to its left wing. If I had failed—”

“What do you say we cook supper?” said Bull Durham in a manner of disgust.

“You shut up till he gets through!” roared Pee-wee. “All you are is a big bluff anyway—you—you. You just wait till he gets through talking.”

“Shut it off, Ben,” said Harry. “If I listen much longer I won’t have any appetite for supper. Show him your receipted bill, Somey, old top. Girls, here’s a friend of mine that I’ve known for three years, Somerset Kidder; Some Kidder for short. I guess this is the biggest real audience he ever had—if you turn that lying thing on again, Ben, I’ll chuck it in the water. A little while ago he did a stunt and rescued one of these boys and he’s done a couple of dozen stunts, doubling for that big bluff Farroway Dunmore that some people are crazy enough to get down on their knees to. He’s got a receipted bill showing how he balanced himself on that girder and jumped out and caught hold of an airplane for that big cowardly bluff of a movie star. Here’s a fellow that does things; the only thing against him is that he has nice gray curly hair like Farroway Dunmore.

“Well, you wanted to meet a movie star, and now you meet a movie double; the chap who does the dangerous things so the sheik won’t have to break his neck. So now you can take your choice between a cheap, conceited fool and a guy that does the kind of things that scouts do. ‘Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to tell you how sweet you are!’ You’d think we were a box of candy. Can you beat it? Well, folks, here you see the man that doubles for Farroway Dunmore. And you can’t scare him and you can’t kill him.

“That’s why the Celebrated Stars people sent him to meet us and go up the river and look for a place where he could crawl out of a sinking boat and swim to shore with the heroine. You don’t suppose they’d send Dunmore, do you!”

Bull Durham looked quizzically at Harry, amused to see him thus in full swing.

“You don’t suppose they’d send Dunmore out on a risky location like that, do you?” Harry repeated.

“Hardly,” said Somerset Kidder quietly. “He doesn’t know how to swim.”

It was this old friend, Some Kidder, who had surprised Harry by his arrival while the Chipmunk lay at the boat club in New York. Between them they had agreed to keep the secret of his identity from the scouts, and so induce Pee-wee to sail forth without further quarreling. They had met in Mexico, these two, and had not seen each other again until, to his astonishment, Harry had encountered him at the boat club, ready to go aboard the Chipmunk to do the “danger stuff” that Farroway Dunmore dared not do.

“Oh, I think it’s just too funny,” laughed Dorothy Gape. “He told us Farroway Dunmore was here.”

“So he was, on the radio—in person,” said Ben.

“You told me he was Farroway Dunmore,” Pee-wee shouted at Harry.

“That’s just what I didn’t tell you,” Harry laughed. “I said when he came on board that in his face you would see something familiar. Then you started shouting hurrah for Farroway Dunmore. Since every one knows that you’re always right I just let it go at that. We concealed the truth, but we didn’t lie. Farroway Dunmore was the one who lied, with his bending girders and his airplane leaps.”

“He’s just nauseating!” said Beatrice Starelong. “Did you ever hear of such a colossal nerve! Goodness, gracious me, I don’t care; we’ve met the real hero and that’s enough.”

Mr. Kidder bowed low. “I tried to talk like my illustrious counterpart, but I kept forgetting myself. He has a wonderful voice, I’ll say that for him.”

“Actions speak louder than words,” shouted Pee-wee, whose words, in all conscience, were loud enough. “And anyway, even I gave you more than I said, because you heard Farroway Dunmore’s voice—”

“Lies, you mean,” said Dorothy.

“And—and—you saw the one that really does the hard things, so gee whiz, you can’t kick, because I gave you even one for good measure, so you can’t kick.”

“The only thing I have to criticize you for,” said the young fellow who had aroused Pee-wee to action by his banter, “is that you think lemons can be used for bait.”

“Don’t make fun of him,” said Grace Doter.

“You’re mistaken,” said Harry. “He used a motion picture star for bait and caught three girls and a man. That shows you what Boy Scouts can do—”

“I’m a patrol leader!” Pee-wee shouted.

“You made a good haul,” said Mr. Somerset Kidder.

“We’ve got a very nifty bass and about a dozen perch—small but honest,” said Harry. “How about staying for supper and afterwards we’ll get the Liventi boys here to get out their marimba and we’ll have some music in the moonlight—sounds like Farroway Dunmore, doesn’t it? We might have a dance on the cabin roof only we’ll have to be careful not to fall off.” He looked inquiringly from one girl to another, and felt that Pee-wee had indeed made a good haul.

“Oh, I’d just love to,” said Grace Doter.

“I think it would be scrumptious,” said Dorothy Gape.

“Let’s!” chirped Beatrice Starelong. “And we’ll have a moonlight party.”

“And I’m the one that invented it!” shouted Pee-wee.


It was on a beautiful afternoon that the good bark Chipmunk chugged gayly up to the familiar float at Catskill Landing and the cruise of Pee-wee on the briny deep was over. But Pee-wee’s glory had only just begun. He was on his native soil at last (for the fame of Temple Camp was great in Catskill) and he pointed out familiar objects to Stubby who felt that now at last he was soon to enter the holy-of-holies of scouting; Temple Camp, of which he had heard and dreamed!

“Now I’ll show you Harley’s where we buy cones and sodas when we hike down,” said Pee-wee. “And I’ll show you where you get dandy icing cakes while you’re waiting for the train when some feller is going home. And do you see that post sticking up in the water near the wharf? That’s where Harvey Willetts stood upside down on his hands on top of that when we were waiting for the Day Line boat to come down to take home Bert Saunders; he’s from Brooklyn, he’s got eleven merit badges but I beat him in a tournament eating pancakes. And I’ll show you the road we take and pretty soon we’ll come to a red house where there’s a girl standing out in front eating some bread and jam, and you can get a drink of water there out of the well.”

“I think she must have finished the bread and jam by now,” said Ben. “It was last summer she was eating it.”

“And I’ll show you how we cut through the woods too,” said Pee-wee, disregarding him. “You turn to your left—I mean north, scouts don’t say left—they say north, east, south and west, like that. You turn to your left—north—where there’s a turtle sitting on a rock. There are four different kinds of turtles, you have to know that.”

Stubby did not want to hear about boys going home; he did not want to think of such things. When he had hiked up the hill he glanced back at the river where Harry and his daring friend Kidder were chugging back into midstream to inspect a spot where the water was churning into whitecaps, and where the latter thought a boat might be very nicely wrecked. These two were to camp in the boat for a day or so till plans for the climax of Vengeance were completed. Then a sham boat would be used. They have sham boats as well as sham heroes in the movies.

“Don’t you worry, they’ll take good care of the boat; I told them to. Because we’re going out in it again and wait till you see how all the scouts up at camp treat us, because we’ve got a patrol boat. Wait till you see, then you’ll be glad.”

Poor Pee-wee, he had sensed Stubby’s dissatisfaction, and now in the familiar scenes where in a way he did reign supreme, he was trying to overcome this half-heartedness of his new member. Generously, enthusiastically, he laid Temple Camp with all his wealth of memories at Stubby’s feet, pointing out spots of pleasant association, and trying to arouse him to a sense of pride in the patrol.

But it was no use. Stubby liked Pee-wee (though he thought him bossy) and was much entertained by him. But he had not Ben Maxwell’s humor and self-effacing amiability. Ben had the time of his life being prime minister of the Chipmunks. But Stubby could not be content. He felt it that the Jansen boys had dropped out—oh, it was just a joke patrol! And now here he was, a tall boy, hiking to camp with this kindergarten. Pee-wee, a vociferous little clown! Little Eddie Carlo, wide-eyed and timid; staring at scouting rather than participating in it. The Liventi boys were not so bad (they certainly were musical prodigies) but they were so silent, so much under the shadow of Pee-wee. Stubby had hoped that Harry and his friend would hike to camp with them; with that pair along he would have felt less ridiculous. Oh, if he were only in the Silver Foxes. Or even the Ravens with Doc Carson and El Sawyer and Artie Van Arlen.

They hiked up through the little village of Leeds and here Pee-wee showed them more places of interest. “There’s where I hiked with Brent Gaylong, he’s a big feller,” said he. “Do you see that white house? That’s where a girl lives who thinks she’s fresh. I tracked an animal from camp and it was her dog and she laughed. Geeee whiz, she’s a dumb-bell.”

“Now we get here I am glad,” said Tasca, shrugging his shoulders.

“Are you glad?” Stubby asked Eddie Carlo.

“Yes—sir,” he said timidly; which made Stubby feel silly.

“We’re all glad,” said Ben. “How ’bout it, Bruno?”

“Sure. Like last summer, always I am glad.”

“And they’ll be glad at camp, too,” said Ben.

“Sure they will,” Pee-wee said. “Wait till he sees the way they treat me, hey? Even Uncle Jeb and Tom Slade and people like that.”

It was amusing how the great carnival had been forgotten by Pee-wee in the interest of the boat and Farroway Dunmore, and how these in turn were forgotten as they approached Temple Camp. Evidently he had forgotten all about the Jansen boys too.

“Now you’re going to get in the woods and all that, and stalk and everything,” he said as he trudged along. “Now you’ll see how you’re going to be a no fooling scout—not like Roy Blakeley and all those crazy lunatics; now you’ll see.

“I’ll be glad of that,” said Stubby.

But of course he knew what he was headed for. He had seen how Pee-wee was regarded by the scouts of his own troop. At the great camp what a joke he must be! And for him, Stubby, to arrive at the portals of this enchanted spot along with the Chipmunks! Would they laugh at him, all those trackers and stalkers and signalers and winners of races and awards? Would he be a part of the joke?

From Leeds they made their way along a quiet country road till they came to a spot where there was a post with a mail-box and a rough bench thick with carved initials. “Here’s where we wait for the mail,” Pee-wee said. “Every scout that comes carves his initials on that bench. There’s the path; do you see it?”

Across the road a path led down into thick woods and on a tree was a sign that said To Temple Camp. Stubby felt a thrill of expectancy. Would they laugh at him for marching in with this outlandish outfit? He hoped that for a while at least he would not see Roy.

“First you’ll have to go into the office,” Ben said.

Suddenly they paused, staring in amazement. A few yards ahead of them a canvas sign was hung above the path on which were printed the words:


There was nothing humorous about this sign, no hint of banter. It was professionally printed, and boys do not invest their money in ridicule. Moreover, it was artistically framed in braided vines with wild flowers inserted here and there. No flavor of the ridiculous had it, nothing suggesting the customary attitude of the world toward Pee-wee. It was rustic and beautiful.

The sturdy leader of the Chipmunks was not one to question his own prowess and renown; he was not likely to wonder why Temple Camp should honor him. Was it not he who “invented” scouting? So he strode under the sign and on along the winding woodland trail. It led down a dense hillside and soon the expectant Stubby caught little glints of water between the trees. Well, he was really there—almost. And things would not be so bad, he reflected. Perhaps he had been selfish and disloyal and mistaken. A scout who could inspire his brethren to erect that welcoming tribute in his honor, must be a real scout of the scouts after all.

Now you see!” said Pee-wee, trudging on like a conquering hero. “Now you see what all the scouts at Temple Camp think about me, because anyway they’re right—I’ll leave it to Ben—didn’t I get to be mayor for a day in Bridgeboro, and wasn’t I the boss of the clean-up drive? Up here at camp I’m the one that won the pancake tournament too—maybe you think that was easy. Geeeeeeee whiz, you ask Uncle Jeb Rushmore if I’m a scout. Even he said I was two or three scouts, you ask Ben.”

These remarks were intended for the vacillating Stubby, but indeed no reassurance from the head Chipmunk was necessary. For Stubby had begun to realize that Pee-wee Harris must be a scout of the scouts, and so regarded. He uttered the first constructive remark which he had ever made to his leader. “Sure you are,” he said, “and I tell you what let’s do. In place of the two Jansen kids let’s see if we can get a pair of A-1 honest-to-goodness scouts. Let’s build this patrol up.”

“And I’m going to stay leader of it,” Pee-wee vociferated.

“Sure,” said Stubby, “only don’t pick up the first little kid you see, when you’re not even sure he can stay in. Let’s get hold of a couple of regulars. Then there’ll be you and Ben and me and Tasca and Bruno—”

“Tasca and Bruno are all right!” Pee-wee shouted loyally.

“Only they don’t make noise enough,” said Ben.

“I can make noise enough for them,” said Pee-wee.

“Sure, they’re all right,” said Stubby, smiling at them. “And we’ll have Eddie Carlo for mascot.”

“I did it before you said it!” Pee-wee shouted. “That’s why my patrol is always lucky, because I have a little feller for a mascot.” Little Eddie Carlo swelled with pride.

“Now you’re talking, Stub,” said Ben.

“I’m talking too,” Pee-wee interrupted. “Did you see that sign, how they welcome me? Geeee whiz, now you can tell.”

“Only there’s one thing you have to remember, Stub,” said Ben. “Up here at camp you get in with some mighty nice scouts—you’ll see. But it isn’t a good place to get new members.”

“Didn’t I start the Hoptoad Patrol up here?” Pee-wee demanded.

“Sure, and you ended it up here too,” laughed Ben. “The trouble is,” he went on addressing Stubby, “all the scouts that come up here are in patrols. And besides they come from all over the country. It’s a case of now you see them, now you don’t. But there’s one thing we can do up here. We don’t have to be a full patrol; we can stay the way we are and when we get home in the fall we’ll try to get a couple of fellows who’ll stay put.”

“Fellers without any mothers and fathers are best,” said Pee-wee.

“Fellows whose mothers and fathers are interested in scouting are better,” said Ben.

“Anyway,” said Stubby, as he stopped short, “I do see how much they think of you up here and I am going to help.” Here was the same Stubby who had joined the Chipmunks to keep a silly promise. “If I was grouchy I’m sorry for it,” he said.

“Don’t you care,” said Pee-wee, “because I like you anyway. You wait and see how much of a real scout I am—you can ask Brent Gaylong—and then you’ll be glad you joined. And that shows how lucky I am that Wendy and Billy got out, because now we can get some good members, hey? Like you and Ben.”

“And Bruno and Tasca and Eddie,” Ben added.

“Will I have to get out?” little Eddie asked.

“I should say not,” said Ben.


If anything were required to convince Stubby that Pee-wee was indeed a scout in extraordinary standing that evidence was awaiting the new arrivals just at the edge of camp. There came a point where the trail widened into a real path and wound down around a big pavilion and past a number of log cabins to the shore.

Here Stubby had his first real glimpse of Temple Camp spread out on the shore of its beautiful Black Lake, with precipitous hills across the water. But he saw cabins, tents, shacks only in a momentary glimpse. For here, stretched above the path from one tree to another was a great frame made of interwoven twigs and vines, a masterpiece of woodland handicraft. Within this rustic enclosure, on what seemed to be tent canvas, were four words done in huge letters with forest leaves:


It must have cost many hours of patient labor by deft and cunning hands. Depending from it was the largest and most nearly perfect piece of birch bark that Stubby had ever seen. And on this were printed with artistic finish a few words that really thrilled him with pride:

Temple Camp gives this, its fraternal handclasp, to Scout Harris, scout of scouts, and offers this greeting as it receives him to the forest home of scouting. Typical of all a scout should be and measuring up to every tradition of our nationwide fraternity, it greets him with pride and the full salute of scores of his admiring comrades.

Stubby gazed awestruck at this ovation done in handicraft. Was this the boy who had sat on the cellar boards, eating a jaw-breaker and denouncing him? Was this the boy who had shouted to him about a scout’s honor from the top of a horse? Truly indeed, some people knew more about scouting than Stubby did. He believed now that he had much to learn.

Now you see!” shouted Pee-wee. “Now you see what all these fellers think. Maybe you thought Roy Blakeley was the whole earth shouting a lot of crazy nonsense. Now, you see!”

Indeed Stubby did see and he was becomingly silent. If they were all proud, he could be proud. He was proud. Pee-wee was the big thing in scouting. He, Stubby, would help to make the Chipmunk Patrol worthy of its master; he would help to make it a patrol that no one could laugh at. They would find a couple of good recruits and win the Audubon award. The magic spirit of Temple Camp was in him and he was glad and content.

In the true manner of a scout of scouts, Pee-wee strode down through the main body of the camp where only a few boys were about. Out on the lake were several boats and a few boys were diving from the springboard. One boy was wandering about picking up papers with a pointed stick. Otherwise the camp seemed deserted.

“This is the time of day they all take naps,” said Ben.

“I bet they thought we’d come on the train and wouldn’t be here yet; hey?” said Pee-wee.

They took Stubby to Administration Shack and explained how he must transact the business incidental to his arrival.

“When you get through,” said Ben, “follow that trail around in back of Cooking Shack and up the hill to where there are four cabins. The end one is ours.”

Yes, Stubby was content with his lot, and full of delightful anticipations. He gave his name at the desk and filled out the blank required by the rules. He handed the councilor the check his father had given him.

“First Bridgeboro New Jersey Troop, Chipmunk Patrol, eh?”

“Yes, sir.”

“With the great Harris, eh?”

“Yes, sir.”

“All right, my boy. I suppose you’ll be in here after an award later in the season.”

“I sure will.”

Stubby went out, glancing around with interest. On the porch of Administration Shack was a big bulletin board covered with typewritten announcements held by thumb tacks. One of these caught his eye:

All scouts are invited to meet the 4.52 train at Catskill this afternoon and give a rousing welcome and scout escort to Weldon Harris, Eagle Scout, whose name was recently in the public prints because of his heroic rescue of two boys in Centervale, Pennsylvania, where he spent his Easter holidays. Eagle Scout Harris holds, besides the gold cross, two privately offered scout awards for bravery and achievement. Get out early and hike down to Catskill and honor yourselves by honoring the boy the newspapers have been praising.

Don’t forget—the 4.52.

So that was the boy Temple Camp was out to honor! That was the boy she would welcome with rustic handiwork! Poor Stubby. And Pee-wee, his patrol leader, was just the noisy, boastful little demon he had always thought him. Just a hilarious joke, that was all.


He went up the hill to the cabins, heavy-hearted. “It isn’t Pee-wee,” said he to Ben. “It’s another Harris; he’s an Eagle Scout, that’s why they’re making all this fuss. I think now that I saw something about him in the newspapers, too.”

“Never mind, kid,” said Ben.

But indeed Pee-wee was not greatly troubled. For in his seething brain new problems were arising, new worlds presenting themselves for conquest. With Pee-wee nothing was more than a passing incident. He had supposed himself a conquering hero and found that he was not. So he ate a banana and did what Stubby ought to have done, too. He made ready to welcome the Eagle Scout. Poor Stubby, he was too downhearted to do anything. He was more than ever ashamed of being a Chipmunk, of being laughed at. In the light of this recent absurdity his sensitiveness became morbid.

“Don’t you care,” said Pee-wee, “because anyway it’s a dandy mistake and now you’re going to see a scout that had his name in the newspapers! Even he had editororials about him, even.”

“Yes, I’m going to have the privilege of looking at him,” Stubby grouched. “A lot of good that will do me.”

“An Eagle Scout? Don’t you even want to see him?” Pee-wee roared in consternation. “You don’t even know what they look like.”

“They usually have two legs,” said Ben.

Perhaps Pee-wee’s readiness to turn about and welcome this real scout celebrity showed him at his very best. If he was selfish in little things, he was not selfish in big things. They all went up through the woods again and sat on the rustic bench at the road waiting for the welcoming throng to return from Catskill. And soon they came, a merry, boisterous throng escorting one of those boys who occasionally appear in scouting, a picturesque hero. Among these enthusiastic welcomers were Roy Blakeley and all the others of Stubby’s troop. How Stubby envied these real scouts, as he called them!

Then it was that Scout Harris (our Scout Harris) stood upon the rustic bench and shouted as only he could shout.

“Look who’s here!” called Roy Blakeley. “The head Chipskunk! Hello, Stub, hello, Ben!”

But the head Chipmunk disregarded him; disregarded every one. “Hurraaaah! Three cheers!” he fairly screamed. “Hurrah for Weldon Harris—I read about him in the newspapers and I know him, it’s that big feller—hurraaah! And I read how he’s going to move to Bridgeboro where I live and he’s going to be in my patrol—hurraaaaaaa! He’s an Eagle Scout and he’s going to be in my patrol, because I got a dandy vacancy—even I’ve got two—that shows how I’m observant, how I read the newspapers and I read in Boys’ Life he was going to live in Jersey—in Bridgeboro even—that’s right where I live. Hurraah for the Chipmunk Patrol that’s going to have an Eagle Scout in it. Hurrah for Weldon Harris that’s got the same name that I have and findings is keepings because I’m observant how I read the newspapers—hurraah! And he’s going to be in my patrol because I’m the first one to think about it and the Silver Foxes can keep out, even I don’t care if they have got a vacancy. Findings is keepings—geeee whiz!”

Out of that seething, clamorous group stepped a tall, smiling boy. And forward he went, straight to Pee-wee. “If you live in Bridgeboro, New Jersey, you bet your life I’ll join your patrol,” said he. “I’m even looking for a patrol to join. Thanks for your invitation.”

Stubby Piper rubbed his eyes. There stood Pee-wee on the bench, a clamorous crowd below him. “I never knew he was going to move to Bridgeboro,” he heard some one say. It was one of the Silver Foxes.

“Because you’re not observant and you don’t read, with all your nonsensical nonsense,” Pee-wee roared. “Findings is keepings, I’ll leave it to—”

“Leave it to me,” laughed Weldon Harris. He was an Eagle Scout, that boy. “Sure findings is keepings, and I’ll be a member of your patrol.”

“I invented it!” shouted Pee-wee. “It’s named the Chipmunks and I invented it!”


[The end of Pee-wee Harris on the Briny Deep by Percy Keese Fitzhugh]