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Title: Roy Blakeley on the Mohawk Trail

Date of first publication: 1925

Author: Percy Keese Fitzhugh (1876-1950)

Date first posted: July 11, 2019

Date last updated: July 11, 2019

Faded Page eBook #20190722

This eBook was produced by: Roger Frank and Sue Clark











Author of









Published with the approval of






Made in the United States of America

Copyright, 1925, by







I didn’t write any story last summer—that’s one thing to be thankful for, my sister says. It wasn’t because anything didn’t happen, because things happened even two at a time last summer. My father said he didn’t see how I’d get them into a story unless I used a shoe-horn. “You leave it to me,” I told him.

My sister said, “Well, you’ll be kind enough not to use any more of my stationery writing your stories.”

“You should worry about your writing paper,” that’s what I told her. “Because, anyway, all you ever use it for is writing to Harry Donnelle and he’s going away on an endurance test and he won’t know where he’s going to be at, so you can’t write to him, anyway.”

“I think you’re an endurance test,” that’s what she said.

“Now, just for that I won’t tell you what an endurance test is,” I said to her. So then I told her what it is. I said, “You think you’re so smart, I bet you don’t know what it is anyway. You know what my funny-bone hike was, don’t you? Well, this is the same, only different. An endurance test is just a hike, only it happens to an automobile. It has to be sealed up tight.”

“I never knew that to happen to you,” she said.

“If it wasn’t for me talking, who’d interrupt Pee-wee Harris, I’d like to know?” I told her. “You ought to be thankful to me because I talk and keep him from talking; besides, anyway, that shows you don’t know a good turn when you see one. When I keep still it’s not because I’m sitting on the porch swing holding somebody’s hand, anyway. An endurance test is to see how long an automobile will run without stopping the engine.”

She said, “Well, the farther you run the better I’ll like it, only don’t write about it on my pink stationery.”

“Even I’m going to have my picture in the Motor Magazine,” I told her. “And, anyway, you won’t see Harry Donnelle for a good long time. Maybe you’ll never see him again, thank goodness. We’re going all in and out around through mountains and everything without stopping; we’re going to not stop as many as a thousand times—maybe even a hundred—what do we care?”

She said, “I thought Hervey Willetts was coming to visit you before you go to camp.”

“So he is,” I told her, “and he’s going with us. Hervey Willetts and Pee-wee, and Brent Gaylong and Harry Donnelle and me—I mean I—correct, be seated. We’re all going in a new Hunkerjunk touring car; the starter is going to be taken out and we’re not going to have any crank along; we have cranks enough teaching us in school. I guess maybe we’ll send you a post card from the North Pole. This endurance run is to show how the Hunkerjunk will stand up.”

“What does Dad say?” she wanted to know.

“He doesn’t say a single thing,” I told her. “Do you know why? Because he doesn’t know it yet. Harry’s going to ask him; he’s going to give him a dandy big cigar, then he’s going to ask him.”

Anyway, I didn’t bother talking to her any more because whatever I’m going to do she wants to know if I asked Dad. One thing, she never asks him herself and she forgets to turn the light out when she comes home from the Golf Club dances, but anyway an endurance test is a special kind of a dandy thing to write a story about, because you keep going and going and going till you get to the end—then you stop. I guess if it wasn’t for the back cover of the book, I’d keep right on going.

So now I’m going to start and tell you about it only first I wanted to get rid of my sister. Maybe you know Harry Donnelle—he’s a big fellow. He has charge of the Hunkerjunk agency on Canter Place—that’s where all the automobile places are. The only place on that block that isn’t a regular automobile place is the Ford agency—that’s what he says. But anyway, Henry Ford should worry. Harry Donnelle, he says the flivver is a joke. But believe me, I’m always ready to take a joke—you ask Westy Martin.

If I wasn’t willing to take a joke do you suppose I’d ask Pee-wee to go along on this trip? He’s the Ford among scouts, that’s what my father says. Not only because he’s small but because he makes so much noise.

So now I’ll tell you about the endurance test. The people that make the Hunkerjunk car say it’s the strongest car in the world—gee whiz, they ought to know, they made it. They say you can drive it year in and year out—I’d rather drive it out, there’s no fun inside. You can drive it out, but you can’t wear it out. The car has so many fine things said about it that it’s blushing—maybe you noticed its red color.

So Harry Donnelle said he was going to prove that the Hunkerjunk car could run thirty thousand miles without the engine being stopped—even after that it would be good. It would be just starting to be good. I bet all that fellow wanted was adventure—anyway, we had a lot. Do you know where the Berkshires are? Well, anyway, they were underneath us most of the time. Brent Gaylong said we manufactured them because we made the hills. Gee whiz, I’ll say we did!

The way he was going to prove that the engine wouldn’t be stopped or touched in thirty thousand miles was to take the starter off, then he was going to start the engine with the crank, and then he was going to throw the crank away. After that he was going to seal the hood shut and have a seal put on by Mr. Conner, he’s in the Rotary Club. He said when we came back only Mr. Conner could break the seal and that would prove we hadn’t touched the engine all the while. Maybe you wonder how we were going to get oil into the engine. On account of that Harry had a hole bored in the hood and a pipe sticking up through it from the place where you put oil.

He said if we came back after running thirty thousand miles without the engine stopping once it would prove that the Hunkerjunk is the strongest car in its class. That’s the only thing I didn’t like about it, he was always talking about being in a class and that reminded me of school. He talked a lot about first grade oil and that reminded me of the grade I’m in, because I wanted to forget it on account of it being vacation.

So now pretty soon we’re going to start.


Harry said he wanted five people to go because he was going to take lots of pictures of the car in all the different places it went to. Then he said he was going to get up a pamphlet telling about the endurance run and have all the pictures in the pamphlet. He said boys are good in pictures and anyway he wanted scouts along, because he knows they’re not afraid of adventures and they like to camp outdoors. When it comes to adventures we eat them alive—we’re crazy about eats.

He said if he had three scouts along in their scout suits that would make the pictures snappy and maybe I could cook the meals in places where we camped—he said that would be another endurance test for the rest of them. “The pleasure is mine,” that’s what I told him. I said, “We’ll have one picture of us all sitting around eating hunkerjunk stew while the engine keeps on running.”

Then I said, “Who do you want me to ask?”

He said, “I don’t care, you can ask two scouts. Brent Gaylong is coming to go with us.”

“Good night!” I said. “Now I know things are going to happen.”

The reason I said that was because I know all about Brent Gaylong. He’s a big fellow—he’s about twenty-one, I guess, and he’s awful funny—crazy like. Even a weeping willow tree would have to laugh at that fellow. When you see his picture you’ll say he looks like a professor—he looks as if he’s good in arithmetic. But, gee whiz, I don’t want to say anything against him because he’s a scream.

He’s tall and skinny and he’s got spectacles and he’s awful funny and lanky the way he walks. He’s all the time wanting to be a hero, that’s what he says. He’ll do anything you want him to do and he’ll go anywhere. Most of all he wants to escape from prison with a rope, that’s what he’s always saying. Harry Donnelle likes him a lot. They’re both crazier than each other.

So those are the two grown-up fellows that went. As soon as school closed, Hervey Willetts was coming to stay at my house till time to go to Temple Camp. He lives in Massachusetts. I guess you know him. He doesn’t care where he goes as long as he goes. Only he hates to come back. He’s all the time thinking up crazy things to do so I knew he’d like to go on the endurance run.

I said to Harry, “Do you care who else I ask?”

He said, “No, only ask a kid that doesn’t take up too much room in the back seat—not Hunt Manners, he’s too fat, so is his brother.” He said, “We don’t want any manners on this trip.”

I asked him, “How about Pee-wee? He doesn’t take up much room, but he talks a lot. He’s got a dandy tent and cooking set, that’s one good thing. And besides that he always looks funny in a picture because he’s always eating—no, he has plenty of bananas.”

“We’re not advertising food, we’re advertising a car,” Harry said. “Go ahead and ask him if you want to, I don’t care.”

So then I asked Pee-wee. Gee whiz, if you don’t know him you must be deaf, dumb and blind. Even you must be dead. He’s in the Raven Patrol but most of the time he’s out of it—lucky for them. He’s a model scout. I guess you know what a model is—it’s a small sample. He’d be all right if he wore his voice bobbed. But anyway, he’s got a kind face—not saying what kind. When he scowls you’d think it was the World War starting.

He’s bounded on the north by his hat, on the south by his shoes, on the west by his belt ax, and on the east by a pocketful of cookies. He rises in the morning, takes a north southerly course and flows into the pantry. If every boy was a state he’d be Rhode Island. He’s got a sister, but she can’t help it.

He said, “Sure, I’ll go; even without you asking me I’d go. When are we going to start? Where are we going to go to?”

“Answered in the affirmative,” I told him. “We’re going to make a grand rush into the New England states and go every which way; we’re going to start going east and keep going.”

“We’ll bunk into the Atlantic Ocean,” he said; “you’re crazy.”

“What are you kicking about?” I demanded, very haughty. “What’s the matter with the Atlantic Ocean? It’s as good as any other ocean. It’s my favorite ocean. I’d just as soon bunk into it as the Pacific Ocean. Maybe we’ll turn north before we get to it and continue going south through all the New England states—Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and North Dakota. We don’t care which way we go as long as we don’t stop.”

“That shows the whole thing is crazy,” he yelled. “How are we going to eat? I’m not going to go.”

“That’s the first good turn you’ve done to-day,” I told him.


So now you know all about it—I mean how we happened to start. Harry said he was going to get up a pamphlet with lots of pictures telling all about how the Hunkerjunk is the toughest car there is. So I decided I’d write up all the things that expired, I mean transpired; that means happened. It’s kind of to advertise the Boy Scouts and show how tough they are—I don’t mean tough—you know what I mean.

One of the worst things happened before we started—Pee-wee decided to go. He brought his tent and his cooking set and we took some cans of baked beans and egg power and spaghetti and soup and salmon and a whole lot of other stuff. The car looked awful funny; there was a big canvas sign on each side of it that said:



Sticking up on the radiator was a flag that said:

30,000 MILES



On the back was another sign that said:




On another sign it said:




The hood was all sealed up; it looked like a first-aid bandage. There was a hole with a pipe sticking out—that was so we could put oil in. There were two other little holes on the hood so we could stick a long oil-can in and oil the fan and the generator and the distributor. The starter was taken off. There was a whole lot of excitement around the Hunkerjunk showrooms just before we were going to start. Outside around the sidewalk there were a lot of people too, staring at the car. Gee whiz, you couldn’t blame them; it looked awful funny.

All of a sudden we didn’t start because Harry got a ’phone call and I bet you don’t know who it was from—it was from Woods and Fisher in New York. They’re sporting outfitters—that’s where I got my compass that I lost down the sewer. That’s why my stories go every which way, because I haven’t got a compass any more. I should worry!

Woods and Fisher wanted to know if Harry would wait one hour before starting because then they’d send out one of their Happy Home Trailers to hitch onto the car so they could demonstrate it. They said it was dandy with places to sleep in it and everything. They said it had an oil-stove too. Harry told them to hold the wire and then he said to Brent Gaylong, “What shall we do about it?”

“I’ll tell you what to do!” Pee-wee shouted. “Tell them yes—tell them good and loud. While we’re waiting an hour we can go and get some sodas.”

“Wrong the first time,” Brent Gaylong said. Oh, boy, it’s awful funny to hear him talk, he’s so slow and easy, kind of. He said, “You got me down here to encounter the perils of the wilderness; you said we would keep away from civilization as much as possible; you aroused my hopes of starving in the depths and now you want to drag the whole of civilization after us. I left my happy home for you and now you want to be dragging a Happy Home jiggermaree after us.”

“You’re defeated by an unanimous majority,” I told him. “Maybe the oil-stove won’t work. Do you mean to tell me things always go right in happy homes?”

“What do you say, Herve?” Harry asked Hervey Willetts.

“It’s all the same to me,” Hervey said, “because usually I don’t look behind me and if it wasn’t there it wouldn’t bother me. If my happy home is running after me, I don’t care as long as it never catches me.”

“Do you call that an argument?” Pee-wee yelled at him.

“I’d feel kind of funny with home sweet home always on our trail,” Brent said. “I suppose the thing has hot and cold water.”

Harry said, “Will you stop that nonsense and tell me what I should do? I don’t see how they can demonstrate the thing with us going twenty-five miles an hour. Who’s going to demonstrate it anyway?”

Brent said, “That’s pretty speedy for a happy home. Most of them are kind of slow.”

“Oh, the more the merrier,” Harry said; “I’m going to let them send it—there’s no place like home. I never saw one of the blamed things; they don’t weigh much, I guess.”

“Happy homes are not to be judged by their weight, Harry,” Brent said, awful funny. “I suppose it’s very light, so we can do light housekeeping.”

So then Harry was kind of disgusted because we were keeping him waiting. He took up the receiver and told those people to send the trailer out if they could get it there in an hour. He told them the car wasn’t ever going to stop on account of the trailer and about how we weren’t going to stop the car any oftener than necessary. He told them how “non-stop” meant never for the engine and not very often for the car either. They told him they didn’t care as long as we would take it because it would be in all the pictures away off in the woods and all kinds of places.

So now you have to wait an hour till the trailer gets here. In the meantime, the Bridgeboro Evening Bungle sent a man to take a picture of the car with all of us sitting in it. After that Hervey and Pee-wee and I went around to Bennett’s and got some sodas, and we reminded ourselves of Christopher Columbus, not, I don’t mean because he drank sodas but because he was starting out—I should worry what I mean.

Anyway, this story is about the wild adventures of a happy home and how we got chased by it. And it’s even crazier than any other story I ever wrote about our adventures and that’s saying a lot, because they’re all crazier than each other. This one tells you how we got separated together and how we lost a lot of stuff—even one of the cylinders was missing. So now I’ve got to go down to supper.


After about an hour a flivver came dancing around out of Main Street with the Happy Home Trailer behind it. Gee whiz, that was some trailer. There were two young, kind of grown-up fellows in the flivver and one of them was to drive it back to New York. So that’s the end of his troubles. The other one said he was going with us and he was going to live in the trailer and demonstrate it and throw out circulars about it.

Harry said, “Can you drive a car? That’s the main thing I want to know. We’ve only got two drivers in this outfit and we’ll have to work in shifts because we want to keep the old boat going. We’re not going to stop the engine at all and I want to roll up thirty thousand miles in the shortest time. We’ve got to keep moving.”

The young fellow said, “Listen, when it comes to moving, I’ve got the first of May blushing for shame. I’ll drive whenever you want me to, day or night. They told me at the store to pile right in and help you—that’s me.”

“Happy to meet you,” said Brent.

“What’s your name?” Harry asked him.

“Simon G. Snapp,” the young fellow said.

“I bet your middle name is Ginger!” Pee-wee shouted.

So that was how we happened to start calling him Ginger Snap. He wasn’t very big, but, oh boy, he was full of pep. He had red hair and freckles and he could talk a blue streak about the Happy Home Trailer—all about how camping was made a joy and the dim woods being your own and all like that—he made dandy speeches. He said once he was struck by lightning and that’s what made him so quick—that’s what he told Pee-wee. Gee whiz, he thought a lot of the Happy Home Trailer, that’s one thing.

It was a peach of a thing, that trailer, I’ll say that. It had two wheels in the middle and a shaft that held it to the back of the car. It was kind of like a little house made out of khaki and inside were two nice canvas bunks to sleep on and places for everything. There was an oil-stove all fastened in tight and an oil tank, and knives and forks and spoons and everything all in their right places, and there was a big chest to keep food in, and it had a place for ice in it. Gee whiz, it sure was a regular home, anyway the kitchen and pantry part, and that’s the only part that I care anything about. I’ve got no use for parlors. The part of a house I like best is the outside of it.

Mr. Snapp said we should put all our provisions and stuff in the trailer and he said we should come in it whenever we wanted and make ourselves at home in it. He said it was all stocked up with all kinds of eats by Woods and Fisher—I bet those two men are nice men all right.

So then we started. Harry drove the car and Brent sat alongside him, but Pee-wee and Herve and I stayed in the trailer with Mr. Ginger Snap because on account of wanting to see it and ride in it. It was nice and cosy in there. You could roll up the sides of it just like a tent. After about half an hour we stopped at a railroad crossing to let a train go by—Harry said we should let it go by as long as we couldn’t stop it. So then Herve and I went and got in the car, but Pee-wee stayed in his happy home with Mr. Snapp. That was his favorite place—most all the time we were gone, he was visiting Woods and Fisher.

Everybody stared at us going along the road and whenever a Hunkerjunk car passed the people in it gave us a cheer. After about an hour we got to Tuxedo (my father wears one of those) and then pretty soon we went across the bridge over the Erie tracks and into the Interstate Park—it’s dandy in there. We passed all the lakes where Boy Scouts have their camps and they all shouted at us. Pretty soon we came to the Hudson and went up to Newburgh and we never stopped the engine once all the time from the time we left Bridgeboro till we got to the ferry at Newburgh. Only once we stopped the car and that was where I told you, to let the train go by.

So then we drove onto the ferry-boat just in time and it started across to Beacon. When you get to Beacon, New England is about the two-hundredth turn to your left. On the ferry-boat that’s where our troubles began. A man in a peaked cap came and said to us, “You can’t keep your engine running on the boat.”

Harry said, “It isn’t my engine, it belongs to the Hunk people.”

The man said, “Well, you can’t keep it running on the boat; them’s the rules.”

Harry said, “If I stop it, I can’t start it again, so how are we going to get off the boat? It will block all the traffic on the other side. Because we haven’t got any starter or crank either.”

Brent said very sober like, “You keep your own engines going, don’t you? I can feel the vibration.”

“That’s a dandy argument,” Pee-wee shouted.

“An engine is an engine,” Brent said.

“Sure, it is,” Pee-wee shouted.

The ferryman said, “Now, you looker here, you smart Alecks, do you see that sign there? No engines allowed to be running while the boat is moving. That’s the law of this here state.”

“Which here state?” Brent asked him. “We’re in the middle of the Hudson River; we don’t know what state we’re in. If it’s the law that all engines be stopped, you stop yours downstairs there, and we’ll stop ours. An engine is an engine; the law is no respecter of engines; it doesn’t say what kind of engines. My great grandfather on my second cousin’s side was a lawyer and I know what I’m talking about. That sign doesn’t say anything about automobile engines or marine engines, it just says engines.”

“Good for you,” Pee-wee shouted; “it’s a teckinality.”

Brent said, “It’s a very nice point. I don’t believe anybody ever thought of it before.”

“I was just going to think of it,” Pee-wee shouted.

Harry was leaning over with his head on the steering wheel laughing so hard he was shaking. By that time we were coming near the shore and other people were starting their engines so it was all right.

Brent said, “Now you see what it means to have a shrewd lawyer along. We might have had to push her up the hill and start her by going down the other side in gear. I saved you, Harry.”

Harry said, “Brent, I shall always remember it.”

Then they shook hands very sober like. Gee whiz, they were starting already, those two. They’re both crazy.


So then we were on the other side.

Harry said, “Now what I want to do is to get up into the Berkshires before dark—that’s about a hundred miles. As long as we’ve got sleeping accommodations, I’d like to keep going all night. I’ll drive till dark. Who’ll take the wheel then? Keep going, that’s the motto.”

Brent said, “I’ll take the wheel.”

Harry said, “It doesn’t make any difference where you go.”

“Then I’m not likely to get lost,” Brent said. Harry said, “Just keep going so we can make it a continuous run—as near as possible. The more we run the sooner we’ll cover thirty thousand miles.”

“That’s very true, Harry,” Brent said.

“I tell you what let’s do,” I said; “let’s be in shifts. While three are sleeping the other three will be in the car. That way the driver will have company.”

“Good idea,” said Harry. “How will we divide?”

“I don’t care,” I said, “as long as I’m awake while Pee-wee’s asleep.”

“Same here,” said Hervey.

“Same here,” said Brent.

“Ditto,” said Ginger Snap.

“That’s me,” said Harry.

I said, “All right, there’ll be two shifts; one shift will consist of Pee-wee.”

“Then I can eat the portions of three people,” Pee-wee shouted.

“That’s the difficulty,” Brent said; “it wouldn’t do. One whole shift would be dead in a couple of hours.”

Harry said, “Will you cut out that nonsense and let’s get this thing settled?”

“I will drive the car to-night,” Brent said. “As long as it doesn’t make any difference where I go, I’ll go there.”

“One place is as good as another if not more so,” I told him.

So this is the way we fixed it. We divided into two shifts. One shift was Harry, Mr. Snapp and Hervey. The other one was Brent, Pee-wee and I. We settled it that Harry would drive in the daytime, and Mr. Snapp and Hervey would ride in the car so as to give the others a chance to sleep in the trailer. At night Brent would drive, and Pee-wee and I would be in the car while the others slept in the trailer. We could sleep if we wanted to, but we had to be ready to help Brent if he needed us to change a tire or anything. Mr. Snapp knew how to drive so sometimes he would relieve Harry and sometimes he would relieve Brent—just the way they happened to feel. Harry said we’d see how that plan worked out. And believe me we did see.

About three o’clock in the afternoon, just as we were coming to a lot of nice mountains and things, Harry stopped the car long enough so Brent and Pee-wee and I could go in the trailer. He only stopped ten seconds. So then the three of us all went to sleep in the trailer. It was nice and comfortable on those canvas cots. We threw one of the mattresses on the floor so Pee-wee could sleep on it there. Oh, boy, bumpetty bump, but just the same we fell asleep all right because we were good and tired of riding.

So now comes an intermission of about five hours while we were asleep and nothing happened. Pretty soon I heard them shouting to us from the car, saying we should get our supper. Gee whiz, nobody ever has to shout at me to do that. I’ll do it of my own accord.

Brent was rubbing his eyes and saying, “I think we’re in the Berkshires—I’m sure it’s not the Alps, it must be the Berkshires.”

“Where?” Pee-wee shouted, sitting up on the floor half-asleep. “Whatshwere—where are they?”

“They’re under the car, we’re going over them,” I said. “Wake up, we’re going to eat. We have to go in the car pretty soon to give the others a chance in here.”

“Whasberkshre pills,” he said, all the while groping for one of his shoes.

Hills, not pills,” I shouted at him. “We’re in the western part of Massachusetts.”

“Whose massachesnuts?” he wanted to know. Then I gave him a shove to wake him up. Honest, if Pee-wee was dead he’d be more alive than he is when he’s asleep—he could sleep on a picket fence, that kid.

It was awful funny, Harry was driving fast like he always does and the Happy Home Trailer was bouncing this way and that and Pee-wee was rolling around trying to find his other shoe, and I was staggering around trying to get my jacket on, and Brent was sitting on one of the cots looking awful funny bobbing up and down. All the while he looked very soberlike with his spectacles half-way down his nose—oh, boy, I had to laugh.

I said, “How do you feel after your sleep?”

He said, “Oh, I’m having my ups and downs. I don’t like to say anything against a happy home, but this is not the way a home should behave. There—is—should be—no place—place like—bump!

“If we had a churn we could make some butter,” I said.

Then I called to Harry in the car to have a heart and take it easy, because we wanted to eat.

I shouted, “What do you think you are, an egg beater or something? The cans are rolling all over the floor and everything. How do you suppose we’re going to——”

All of a sudden, bump, we went. I guess it was one of the Berkshires we went over.

“All right back there?” Harry called.

“Sure, it looks like the World War,” I shouted.

A lot he cared. Gee whiz, I’ve been on merry-go-rounds and scenic railroads and shoot-the-shoots and Fords and everything. But if you took all those things together and mixed them up with an earthquake and poured a volcano all over them, it wouldn’t be as bad as the ride we were having in that Happy Home Trailer.

Pee-wee said, “Let’s not try to cook, let’s just eat things that are all ready—anyway, I know where my mouth is all right.”

“Yes, but can you reach it?” Brent asked him.

“Sure you can, just follow the sound,” I said.

“One thing, anyway, I’m glad I’ve got my compass,” Pee-wee said.

“Sure, you ought to be able to find your mouth with that,” I told him.

“I mean if we want to know where we’re going,” he said, all the while trying to open a can of beans.

“We don’t,” I said. “We want to eat, that’s all I’m thinking about.”

“I guess Harry thinks we’re a glass of malted milk or something, the way he shakes us up,” Brent said.

Gee whiz, we had some job eating supper. But anyway we did pretty well because we ate the kind of things you can eat without spilling them. After a little while Harry shouted back and asked us if supper was over.

Brent said, “Sure, look on the floor. Can’t you see it’s all over? A few things happened to fly into our mouths by accident.”

“A lot flew into mine,” Pee-wee shouted.

Even if that supper had been in a wild west show it couldn’t have been any wilder. Pretty soon Harry slowed up the car and came back and took a look at us—gee whiz, he was laughing. I suppose he turned the wheel over to Mr. Snapp so he wouldn’t have to stop the car.

Brent said, “No police department ever had a shake-up like this. Now I know how a milk shake must feel. The Berkshires seem to be very rough to-night. Where are we, anyway?”

Harry said, “We just passed through Wassaic.”

“You mean over it,” Brent said.

Harry said, “Come on, you fellows, hurry up and get in the car and Brent’ll drive while we have supper and then get a little sleep.”

So then Brent and Pee-wee and I hustled into the Hunkerjunk touring car, and Harry and Hervey and Mr. Snapp climbed into the trailer. The car didn’t stop at all but they just slowed down while we changed. The engine of the car reminded me of Pee-wee’s mouth because it didn’t stop at all.

That’s the end of this chapter, but from now on they’re going to get worse and worse if not more so. And whatever you do don’t ever stop in the middle of a chapter because you’ll never be able to catch us again.


So then we were in the Berkshires—we were in Great Barrington. Gee whiz, I don’t know why they call it great. It wasn’t so great. But anyway it was dark when we went through it.

It didn’t make any difference which way we went as long as we kept going, so we went on a good rough road. We wanted those other fellows to get shaken up while they were trying to eat their supper.

Every now and then one of them shouted, “Have a heart, will you!” Brent said he guessed they were passing around hearts. Pee-wee thought Brent said tarts and he woke up, then went to sleep again on the back seat. Every time we went over a couple of Berkshires he almost fell off the seat. The Berkshires were all around us, but most of the time they were underneath us.

Gee whiz, my mother says she can just feel the mountains when she’s in the country. Believe me, I felt those all right.

Pretty soon I knew they were sleeping back in the trailer; I knew on account of the silence—there was a lot of it.

I said to Brent, “Where are we?”

He said, “I don’t know; wasn’t that a village we just ran over? Here’s a bridge, but the sign says unsafe. I suppose the bridge is just intended to shade the fishes from the sun—especially the sunfish. Shall we go over it?”

“Sure, go over it,” I said. “The sign is just a kind of a warning to go slow, I guess.”

He said, “Maybe it means the river hasn’t any opposite shore; then there wouldn’t be any other end to the bridge. Did you ever see a river with only one shore? India is full of them.”

We went over the bridge kind of slow and I said, “Do you think you can keep from going asleep all night?”

Brent said, “I can keep from going anywhere. That’s what I’m supposed to do, isn’t it?”

“Every which way,” I said.

Brent said, “Well, I hope we’ll get there.”

I said, “Sure, there’s no harm having a destination as long as we don’t use it.”

That woke Pee-wee up—it was either that or a big bump we went over. He shouted, “What do you mean having a destination and not using it? You’ve got to use it or it isn’t one! That shows how much you know about logic!”

“You mean you can’t keep a destination for a rainy day?” I asked.

“A destination is a place you go to!” he yelled. Brent said, “Well, then, is sleep a destination? Suppose you go there. If you have any destinations go ahead and use them; Roy and I don’t need any, do we, Roy?”

“We wouldn’t take one if it was offered to us,” I said.

So then Pee-wee went to sleep again; logic is his favorite sport outside of eating. Gee whiz, if you’re reading this book turn the pages quietly so you won’t wake him up.

So then we kept on going over Berkshires. We went through Stockbridge; we knew because we could see the name on the railroad station, and we went through Chester and some kind of a Four Corners—I couldn’t see its first name. We slowed up the car there for just a second and Brent said, “Which one of these four roads shall I take?”

“Take them all,” I said.

“They don’t belong to me.”

“If we take the Four Corners there won’t be any village left,” I said.

He said, “Well, it serves them right leaving it right in the middle of the road. I think I’ll take the road that goes north; that ought to go to Adams—but they don’t always do what they ought to do, these roads.”

“One’s as good as another,” I told him.

“Even better,” he said.

“As long as we keep going and don’t stop the engine.”

So then we just kept going and going and going through villages and over hills and things and now we’re going to bump right into the end of this chapter.

You should worry, nobody hurt.


Brent said, “If we keep going north I think we’ll bump into the Mohawk Trail. Doesn’t it start at North Adams? I think it starts at North Adams and runs east through part of Massachusetts; there’s about fifty miles of it. How would you like to hit the Mohawk Trail?”

“Oh, boy, that’s what I wouldn’t like to do anything but,” I told him. “But I’d like to go over the Mohawk Trail in the daylight; we wouldn’t see anything driving there at night.”

Brent said, “All right, we’ll just keep driving around and around and around until daylight. Then we’ll wake the bunch up and shoot into North Adams and hit the old trail.”

Hot dog!” I shouted.

Then all of a sudden, quick, Pee-wee came up for air. If you want to wake that kid up, Say it with Eats. Gee whiz, he’d eat the Mohawk Trail and ask for more. It was awful funny to see him sitting up on the seat rubbing his eyes half-awake and shaking this way and that while the car went along about thirty miles an hour; Brent’s a good driver, he should worry.

“Time t’eat,” he gaped. “Breakf’s?”

I said, “There are only two things you wouldn’t eat for breakfast, and one is lunch and the other is supper. It’s the middle of the night and we’re driving around and around and around and we goest whither—what do we care. At daylight we’re going to hit it for the Mohawk Trail.”

All the while we kept riding along—I guess Brent turned into every road he saw. He was laughing, I suppose on account of the way Pee-wee was sitting on the middle of the back seat bobbing this way and that, half-awake.

“The Mohawk Trail—trail is where the Indians went,” he stammered.

“Sure, it’s named after Indian pudding,” I told him.

“It used to be in my geography,” he said.

“It’s probably there yet,” Brent laughed at him. “Did you have a good nap?”

“Do you know where you’re going?” Pee-wee shouted.

“Absolutely,” Brent said; “we’re going every which way and we hope to get there. There’s no use heading for North Adams till daylight. When the sun comes up we’ll know where the east is—not that I care. It doesn’t make any difference where anything is; you usually find it in the last place you look for it.”

“Why look anywhere else?” I said.

“That shows you’re both crazy,” Pee-wee said, looking all around, still kind of half-asleep like. “Where’s the trailer?”

“Right in back,” Brent said, very easy like.

“No, it isn’t,” Pee-wee shouted.

Brent and I both looked in back and, good night, the Happy Home Trailer wasn’t there!

“You say it doesn’t make any difference where anything is,” Pee-wee shouted. “I bet you won’t find that in the last place you look for it—you’re so smart!”

Brent stopped the car and we got out and saw that the Happy Home Trailer had slipped her moorings, that’s what Brent said. That trailer had a shaft that fixed onto the spare tire rack and I suppose the clasp, or whatever it was, came loose or joggled off or something.

“Don’t stop the engine,” I said to Brent. “Remember this is a continuous run.”

We all stood back of the car just staring at each other.

Well—what—do—you—know—about—that?” I said. “Some happy home!”

“You can never trust a happy home,” Brent said. “As Babe Ruth said to President Coolidge, ‘There’s no base like home.’ Only where is it? Do you suppose they’re still sleeping?”

“That pair, Harry and Hervey?” I said. “Sure, you couldn’t wake them up with an earthquake. I don’t know anything about Mr. Ginger Snap.”

“What would happen?” I asked Brent, kind of serious. “When the shaft separated from the car it would fall to the ground on account of there being only two wheels. Maybe that would wake them up, hey?”

He sort of shook his head and said, “I don’t think so. If the jolting over the roads didn’t wake them I doubt if breaking loose would. Anyway, there’s a wooden leg dangling under the shaft so the trailer will stand even when it’s alone. What worries me is the blamed thing may be standing plunk in the middle of the road with those fellows sound asleep.”

“What road?” Pee-wee said. “You’ve been driving around every which way, like you said, in and out through every road you came to—old country roads and all. Now how do we know where to look for them? And maybe they’ll get smashed into, maybe. One thing, anyway, it’s good you’ve got a scout with you because I’ve got resourcefulness.”

“Explain all that,” Brent said to him.

“This is a new car and it’s got new tires and we can trace our way back by the marks in the road. We can tell those marks from other marks because we’ve got new balloon tires with kind of curlycue designs on them, kind of like crullers.”

Gee whiz, Brent and I had to laugh.

“Saved by a cruller!” I shouted. “We’ll find them yet.”


It was all right laughing at Pee-wee, but one thing sure, that trailer was along some road somewhere and we didn’t know where it was. Because, gee whiz, we had been on about forty-’leven country roads, I guess. That’s the way it is on an endurance run, that’s the way Harry wanted it to be. He wanted to prove what the Hunkerjunk would do.

I bet if I saw a map of the way we went that night in the Berkshires it would look like a Chinese puzzle. We had to hand it to Pee-wee for being the first to think about tracing our way back by the design on the tires.

That shows how important a cruller is because if Pee-wee wasn’t always thinking so much about crullers maybe he wouldn’t have thought about tracing our way back like that, but, anyway, a balloon tire reminds me of a doughnut more than it does of a cruller, but balloon tires remind me of Pee-wee too on account of him always going up in the air, but, anyway, I like pie better than crullers and doughnuts both.

“Do you want me to lead the way back?” Pee-wee asked us. “I’ll walk in front of the car, hey?”

“Sure, and watch the crullers,” I said.

So we turned the car around and went very slow and Pee-wee walked ahead like a scout leading the way across the prairie. He kept just about where the headlights shone brightest on the road. Of course he didn’t have to bother watching much except when we came near to a cross-road. Then he had to be careful to watch where the doughnut trail led. But we were willing to trust to him because he knows all about crullers.

Pretty soon we saw how we had been driving lickety-split in and out of every road we had come to.

“Some crazy drive we were having,” I said.

Brent said, “My idea was that if we turned into every road we came to we wouldn’t go too far in any one direction. We’d just pile up mileage.”

“We’ve got quite a heap of it since we started,”

I said. “Over three hundred miles. We’ve got thirty thousand to do without stopping the engine. You’d better be careful you don’t stall going as slow as this. Anyway, one good thing, I don’t think there are many cars along these roads at night. They won’t get bumped into.”

“If they do they’ll know it,” Brent said.

“I don’t think anything but a hay wagon would be likely to bump into them around here,” I said.

It was good Pee-wee had a way of retracing our way, because Brent didn’t seem to remember any of the cross-roads.

I said, “There’s a house; do you remember it?” He said, “It wasn’t there before. Maybe it’s a happy home and doesn’t stay put.”

“You’re some scout,” I told him.

Pee-wee kind of stopped at a cross-road that led into a woods, then he started down that way. He called to us that the marks were clear.

“It’s going to be a cinch,” I said.

Pretty soon another road crossed that and it was easy for him to follow the right one. He was using his flashlight and I guess he reminded himself of Daniel Boone or Buffalo Bill. After a while we came up onto a pretty good road and we thought we remembered it. There was a house and we sort of remembered that.

Pee-wee called, “We’re on the right track, because I remember the smell like a barnyard.”

I said, “Don’t trust to the smell but follow the crullers.”

I guess we went a couple of miles more and into another road, then good night—we were foiled! There was a private roadway out from a house, and on that roadway were marks just like the marks made by our own tires. Maybe the people in that house had a new Hunkerjunk. Anyway, they had the same kind of tires that we had. Those marks made a trail out of the private roadway and along the road the same way we were going. That was all right only pretty soon there was another cross-road and one of those cruller trails went straight along and the other went up the side road.

“What’ll we do now?” Pee-wee said.

“I guess we’d better have a meeting of the board of directors,” Brent told him. “The plot seems to be growing thicker. I didn’t suppose there was any one in Massachusetts fool enough to buy a Hunkerjunk. Maybe it’s some other car carrying the famous Buster Balloon Tires. I don’t know which way to go now. Shall we say Eenie, meenie, miney, mo?”

“Then we’re just as likely to go wrong as right,” Pee-wee shouted.

Brent said, “You’re mistaken, Scout Harris. You mean we’re just as likely to go right as wrong. Deny it if you dare.”

“There are too many crullers even for Pee-wee,” I said.

Believe me, that was saying something.


“I tell you what let’s do,” I said. “Pee-wee and I will follow one trail on foot and you follow the other in the car. Then after a while if you don’t find them you can come back and follow us up.”

“I can do that if we all stay in the car,” Brent said. “I think we’re all separated together enough as it is without scattering any more this dark night. We’ll follow one trail and if we don’t find them after a while we’ll come back to this point and follow the other. That’s about the only thing I can suggest. There’s a sign over there; go and see what it says, one of you kids.”

Pee-wee went over and threw his flashlight on the sign. It said:




“That’s nice,” Brent said. “We’re likely to find crullers along any road. Well, as long as they take us there it’s all right.”

“Take us where?” Pee-wee wanted to know.

“There,” Brent said. “It’s just the place we want to go to. I suppose we’re likely to run into cruller trails wherever we go. We could find our way easier on the Pacific Ocean. The only safe thing at night is a merry-go-round. Well, which way shall we go? One way is as good as another if not better.”

“Let’s turn here,” I said, “and take a chance. If we don’t find them this way, we’ll come back and follow the other trail.”

So we turned into the side road because we kind of half thought that we remembered being on that road and we kept going straight ahead for, oh, I guess, about five miles. Pee-wee stayed in the car because then we could go faster and we only slowed up, and let him get out and examine the road when we were coming to crossings. All the while we were trying to decide whether we remembered things along the road, especially the sound of a brook that we could hear—oh, boy, it sounded nice in the night.

After a while the trail went into another road and pretty soon we saw a little sort of a building by the roadside. When we came up to it we saw it was a garage—an old barn made into a garage. It was closed tight but on the outside there was one of those signs that said everybody was using Buster Balloon Tires.

All of a sudden Pee-wee grabbed me and said, “There’s something dark down the road! See it—kind of like a shadow? I bet that’s them. And if it is I’m the one to find them.”

I suppose you know Pee-wee is the one that started the Boy Scouts, also the World War, and he’s the one that discovered Columbus Circle, only Christopher Columbus got the credit.

“If it’s them I get the credit for taking you to them,” he shouted.

“Keep still, will you?” Brent said. “I think it’s the Happy Home.”

“I get the credit!” Pee-wee shouted.

“Please don’t talk about credits,” I said, “it reminds me of school. If we get the trailer you get the credit, so there.”

“Anyway, keep still,” Brent said, all the while driving very slow. “We’re in luck, believe me. It’s the Happy Home all right. We might have gone chasing around this country all night. And I’ll be jiggered if they’re not all asleep! Not a sign of life. What do you know about that? Let’s not wake them up—just pick them up and start off. Hey?”

“Only in the morning I’m going to tell them that I was the one to think about how to trail them,” Pee-wee said.

“By morning you’ll be fast asleep,” I told him. So then we came up close to the trailer. It was kind of at the side of the road and it looked nice and cozy in the dark, all closed up and a whole lot of silence inside of it. Gee whiz, I never heard so much silence.

“Shh, keep quiet now,” Brent said. “They’ll only guy us if we wake them up.”

I couldn’t make out just how the blamed thing had got loose from the car; there didn’t seem to be anything broken anyway. Brent bound some wire around the clamp, he said he wasn’t going to take any more chances with happy homes. So then we started off again, Brent, Pee-wee and I sitting on the front seat of the car because on account of the adventure we were all good and wide-awake. Every once in a while we looked around to see if the trailer was there. We kept going in and out and around and every which way the same as before, and we went at a pretty good clip too, because Brent said he wanted to show Harry three hundred and fifty miles at daylight. We went about thirty miles an hour and Pee-wee’s tongue went about forty-’leven miles an hour.

“That shows where you would have been if you hadn’t asked me to go along,” he said. “I mean where they would have been because a scout always thinks about trailing and he knows ways to follow tracks, all the different kinds of wild animals and everything, even automobile tires.”

“You can track a savage balloon tire to its silent lair,” Brent said. “You get all the credit.”

“Even more than that,” I said, “so shut up.”

So then after a while Pee-wee retreated to the back seat and fell asleep and he stayed asleep until daylight.

At daylight we went through a place named Windsor so maybe we were in England and never knew it. Anyway we passed through Switzerland that night because I saw a sign that said Alps—it said Alps Post Office. Anyway, we were in Windsor at daylight and Brent looked at his map and saw that Windsor was not very far south of North Adams and that’s where the Mohawk Trail begins. So then he decided not to go every which way any more but to go straight for North Adams and when we got there to wake everybody up and tell them we were going to go over the Mohawk Trail. Then it would be our turn to go into the trailer and go to sleep and get our breakfast—I mean get our breakfast first because Scout Harris is the only one that knows how to eat in his sleep. But, anyway, I guess nobody would want to be sleeping while we were on the Mohawk Trail.

Oh, boy, now you’re going to hear about some ride and I bet you don’t know what’s going to happen. I’ve got to go out and cut the grass now, but it’s going to happen as soon as I get through. Then I’m going to start Chapter Ten.

So long. I’ll meet you at the head of Chapter Ten.


If it hadn’t been for Pee-wee being asleep I never could have ended that last chapter. From the time we started from Bridgeboro to the time we drove into North Adams, Massachusetts, we were driving around and around and around in the Berkshires most of the time in the pitch dark, and we did three hundred and fifty-two miles and never stopped the engine once.

So then we were in North Adams. That’s up near the northwestern corner of Massachusetts and the Mohawk Trail starts there and goes east right over the mountains till it gets to Greenfield. It goes even farther than that, but that’s where the peachy part of it ends—all scenery and everything away far off. Gee whiz, the Mohawk Indians knew where to hike all right. You can see four states in one place up there—believe me, I’d rather see them than study about them. Anyway, you’ll find out all about it—just wait.

North Adams is a town and its principal exports are Mohawk Trail pennants and folding post cards. They have Mohawk garages and Mohawk hotels and Mohawk lunch rooms and everything. It was very early and the only thing that was up was the sun—I suppose it was the Mohawk sun.

Brent said, “Well, here we are, and the sad hour has arrived when we must arouse the dead in that graveyard of a trailer. I don’t intend to drive another inch.”

“Don’t stall the engine,” I said. “Remember we have to get ads and circulars out.”

“What I’m thinking of is getting that bunch out,” Brent said.

“Gee whiz, you did some driving,” I told him.

We were parked on the main street of North Adams and people that were up very early stopped and gaped at us. I guess our outfit looked pretty funny with all our non-stop reliability run signs staring them in the face.

I shook Pee-wee and said, “Wake up, your country needs you! We’re in the land of the Mohawk post cards! Wake up, we’re going off duty and we’re going to eat!”

All of a sudden a head was poked out under the khaki top of the trailer and a voice said,

“Is the car ready?”

Good night! I looked at Brent and he looked at me and Pee-wee gaped at both of us and we all gaped at the strange fellow who was sticking his head out of the trailer. And the people who were standing around just stared and stared.

The strange fellow looked all around and then he said, “If it wouldn’t be asking too much would you mind informing us who you are and where we are at? Not that we care, only we’d like to know for curiosity.”

By that time another fellow poked his head out and said, “If we have been kidnaped tell us so frankly. We are not angry, only grieved.”

All of a sudden, zip went the fillum, our young hero, Scout Harris, began jumping up and down and shouting away up about six feet above the top of his voice, “You’re kidnaped accidentally on purpose! It’s all a dandy mistake and I’m the one that did it because I know who you are—you’re Ray Rackette and Fuller Bullson, and I used to know you up in Snailsdale Manor where I was summer before last and I can prove it because do you remember Hope Stillmore and how you bet me I couldn’t eat forty pancakes do you remember? You’re Fuller Bullson, you are—I know you! I’m on an endurance test!”

Gee whiz, I had heard enough about those fellows from Pee-wee—he was always shouting about them and about all the crazy things they used to do up in the country place that he was wished onto that summer he didn’t go to Temple Camp, thank goodness! By what he said those two fellows were kind of like Brent Gaylong, only different. The kid told me they went to Hydome University and that they always went away together in the summer hunting for adventure. Believe me, if that’s what they were after they got some all right.

Oh, boy, I have to admit they looked funny poking their heads out through the covering. They were both funnier than each other, but the one named Fuller Bullson was a scream. He had on a little red cap with a tassel on the top of it—he looked like a Turk. I guess that’s why Pee-wee liked him, it reminded him of turkey.

That fellow, Fuller Bullson, said very calm like, “Whatever you did you’re perfectly excusable. Thank you for telling us who we are. What we’d like to know is where we are. Could you kindly direct us to the Mohawk Trail? Have any of you fellows got our Ford car about you? We left it in a little garage by the wayside to have its tonsils taken out. The native promised to operate on it the first thing this morning and we went to sleep in our trailer. Here we are and we don’t know where. Greetings and salutations, Scout Harris. We don’t care where we are; to be near you is joy enough. Why don’t you introduce us?”

“Do we get our Ford?” the other fellow asked. “Not that we care, only we’d like to know. The only thing that we can’t stand is suspense.”

I said, “If you can stand Pee-wee you can stand anything. Whatever happened he’s the one that did it.”

“It’s a dandy mistake,” Pee-wee shouted. “Now a lot of things are going to happen.”

So then we told them all about the non-stop reliability run, because they were staring at the signs all over the car, and how we lost our Happy Home Trailer and found the wrong one by mistake. All the while a lot of people were standing around gaping at us and laughing. But believe me it was no laughing matter. It was a screaming matter—you’ll see.


Now I’ll tell you about that pair. They lived in Litchfield, Connecticut. They were pals—I guess because they couldn’t find anybody crazier than each other to go around with. To show you how crazy they were, once they were going away in the summer and they walked into a railroad station and counted seven spaces in the ticket rack and told the man to give them two tickets out of that place and that’s how they happened to go to Snailsdale Manor where they met Pee-wee so they had only themselves to blame. Gee whiz, they were happy-go-lucky, I’ll say that.

One of them had been reading about the Mohawk Trail in an old book, that’s what he said. He said it was an old, old, old history of Massachusetts. They had that book with them and they showed us in it where it told about a battle the Mohawk Indians had along the Mohawk Trail away back in seventeen something or other—I should worry. But, anyway, it was a massacre and a lot of them got killed.

Do you know what those fellows were going to do? They were going to find the place where that battle was, in a kind of a swamp that was off the Trail, and they were going to hunt for stone arrow-heads there—they said there would be lots of them around that place. And then they were going to put up a kind of a counter along the Trail and they were going to sell real Indian arrow-heads there for twenty-five cents each to all the tourists.

Oh, boy, that was some idea, because you can bet motorists that go over the Trail would rather buy souvenirs like that than crazy things made out of wood and leather—you know the kind of things I mean, ash trays and paper weights and pin cushions and all things like that.

“It’s an inspiration!” Pee-wee shouted. “I’ll join in with you! I know how to sell things! Didn’t I sell tenderflops once?”

“Yes, and you didn’t think up this, either,” I told him.

“How about our endurance run?” Brent said.

“How about Harry and Hervey and Mr. Ginger Snap?” I asked him.

“How about our Ford?” Fuller Bullson said, awful funny like.

Ray Rackette said, “The trouble is everything seems to be somewhere else. The Berkshires will have to be dragged like a river.”

“I say we all get together!” Pee-wee shouted. “I say as long as we’re all kind of—you know—happy-go-lucky, sort of——”

“Carefree,” said Fuller Bullson.

“I say we all stick together and all do these things together.”

Brent said, “That would make a pretty big mouthful.”

“I’m not afraid of big mouthfuls!” Pee-wee yelled.

Brent said, “I like the idea of our all joining forces. Two happy homes are better than one and I always had a weakness for massacres——”

“This one happened hundreds of years ago,” Pee-wee shot at him.

“Still I respect it,” Brent said, “and it would be the dream of my life to use souvenir arrow-heads to put a crimp in the picture post card and ash tray business. I would like to clear the famous old trail of fancy moccasins Made in Germany and Mohawk napkin rings. But the trouble is we must not stop our car except when necessary, and we must never stop our engine under any circumstances whatever. Our first duty is to keep our engine going just the same as a boy scout’s first duty is to do a good turn.”

Gee whiz, it was good I did a good turn just at that minute—I turned around and looked at the tank and saw the little hand on the dial didn’t register the gasoline at all. I guess probably there was only about a pint of gas left. Maybe the vacuum tank was pretty near empty. Oh, boy, if Harry Donnelle knew that engine stopped even just once, wouldn’t he be mad!

So then we all forgot everything except getting gas in a hurry and Pee-wee shouted out that he’d get it because he’s the one that invented the Boy Scouts of America and he does so many good turns that he’s got a windmill tearing its hair with jealousy. He keeps all the good turns he does in a little book and you ought to see that little book if you want to have a good laugh.

We got out the three gallon can that we carried and the kid grabbed it like a good little second hand scout, I mean first-class scout, what there is of him, I mean such as he is, and off he started across the street past the Mohawk Drug Store and over past the Mohawk Hotel to the Mohawk Garage that was about two blocks away right near the Mohawk Lunch Room.

All the while the engine kept running, but there wasn’t a drop of gas in the tank and, good night, if it was nearly all out of the vacuum tank where would we be in another minute maybe?

Pretty soon we saw Pee-wee come staggering out of the Mohawk Garage tugging the can with him. He looked awful funny zigzagging across the street; on account of it being early in the morning there wasn’t anybody about and it looked as if he was crossing the Sahara Desert like. He kept looking our way and hurrying for all he was worth. We were anxious, but we had to laugh.

All of a sudden, good night magnolia, out came an old man from the Mohawk Hotel! I guess he was about eighty-’leven years old and he had two big suit-cases and he started tottering across the street right plunk in front of Pee-wee. He could hardly carry the bags, I guess they were good and heavy. Oh, boy. I know Pee-wee. I wish you could have seen him. He set the can down right in the middle of the street and grabbed the two suit-cases and we started to shout for him to hurry up with the gas. A lot he cared when he was doing the celebrated world renowned good turn of carrying suit-cases for an old person—that’s the good turn you see in all the pictures.

“Hey, how about that gas?” I yelled at the top of my voice, but he didn’t hear me. Gee williger, but we were anxious. I guess the old man was good and surprised too. One minute he had the suit-cases and the next minute he didn’t have them.

The next thing I saw was a man without any hat on come running out of the hotel and the old man started to run for all he was worth and I guess he wasn’t so old as he looked—maybe he only wanted to look old. Anyway, believe me, he could run. Away he went around the corner with the other man chasing him and there stood Pee-wee with the two suit-cases he had grabbed staring all around bewildered.

By that time Brent and I were on the scene to get the can when all of a sudden back came the man without any hat panting like a dog and he grabbed Pee-wee’s hand and shook it.

“That was wonderful—wonderful!” he said to Pee-wee. He was panting so he could hardly speak. “He had a pal waiting for him in a car and they got away, but you relieved him of the loot all right! You’re one smart, brave, wide-awake youngster, that’s what you are! That was Second Story Sam, that was, alias old Doctor Jipp—specializes on hotel stuff. How in merry blazes did you know he was a crook? Why, you lifted them right out of his two hands, you little rascal! I’m hotel detective and I’ve been watching that old guy for two days. You’re the bravest, cleverest kid I ever met.”

“You—you have to—kind of—you have to study detective work,” Pee-wee said. “In the Boy Scouts you have to learn to circumvent—kind of—you’ve got to help the authorities. Gee whiz, you needn’t thank me—that’s all right.”



Most of the wonderful things that Scout Harris does are done on purpose by accident. He falls head over heels into glory, that’s what our scoutmaster says. After that he was so puffed up he was about twice his regular size, but that isn’t saying much. If he was ten times as big as he is he’d be about one-sixteenth the size of his voice.

Anyway, we got the gas into the tank before the engine stopped and that was all we cared about only now every time I see an old lady with a suitcase I think maybe she ought to have handcuffs on her, but I’ll tell you one thing it was good our young hero saw old Doctor Jipp, because he sure was able to help the authorities later, and I’m going to tell you all about it—yes, he has no objections.

Brent said, “I wonder if it takes long to learn to be a hotel crook. I doubt if I’d like getting up so early in the morning. Endurance runs are bad enough.”

Fuller Bullson said, “Well, now I have a suggestion to make. You fellows are tired and sleepy and my friend and I are refreshed after a night’s sleep. Suppose you all take a nap in our trailer. Meanwhile, we’ll drive around in and out, also here and there, to say nothing of hither and thither——”

“And yon,” Ray put in.

“Correct, Ray—and yon. And any other places we happen to think of in search of our lost flivver and your Happy Home Trailer. If we drive long enough we ought to find them according to the law of averages. If we find the flivver first Ray can drive it, or rather kick it, and we’ll divide into two searching parties and scour western Massachusetts for the missing units of our caravan. Fortunately we have no clews to follow so we can go whithersoever we please.”

“Hither and yon,” said Ray.

“Hither and yon, you’re right again, Ray.”

Gee whiz, it was awful funny to hear those fellows talk. They sort of always agreed with each other—crazy like.

Ray said, “As for driving, you can trust us. We’ve driven the Underland, the Trash Six, the Cataract, the Dollys Joyce, the Fierce Sparrow, the Hodge-Podge Four, and a number of cars not worth mentioning.”

“Go ahead and take it,” Brent laughed, “only whatever you do keep going and if you do have to stop don’t let the engine stall. This is a thirty thousand mile continuous run. I’m so sleepy I can’t keep my head up. You fellows bat around the country and you’ll find us waiting for you right here.”

Brent went reeling into the trailer and sprawled down on the mattress. Pee-wee stood there thinking; the night we’d had was telling on him too.

“Go on in and go to sleep, Kid,” I said. “I’ll go with these fellows, maybe I’ll remember a little about the roads. I’m not sleepy and if I get sleepy I can take a nap.”

“First let’s eat,” Fuller said.

We didn’t bother waking Brent up because if you’re sleepier than you are hungry then you might as well sleep. The rest of us went over to the Mohawk Lunch and had some breakfast and believe me those fried eggs and that coffee tasted good.

Fuller Bullson asked the waiter if the Mohawk Indians used to eat there and he asked him if it was true the Indians were named after Indian meal—honest, those two fellows were a scream. Most of the time at breakfast they were talking with Pee-wee about Snailsdale Manor, and if you want to know all about that you’d better read Pee-wee Harris in Luck, only I’m not in it—gee whiz, I’m the one that was in luck, I guess!

After breakfast Pee-wee wanted to go with us and the only way we could make him stay behind was by telling him that it wasn’t fair to leave Brent alone. That got him. I told him to go into the trailer and take his clothes off and have a good sleep. The last I saw of him he was standing outside the trailer telling the people who were looking at it all about the Boy Scouts and about the endurance run. I guess they thought he was some kid, the way he talked.

Anyway, now we’re going to be rid of him for a while, but worse things than Pee-wee are going to happen. But one thing sure, Fuller Bullson and Ray Rackette didn’t care because they want things to happen different from the way they ought to happen—they should worry.


One thing, those two fellows were crazy about our non-stop reliability run. They said they had done lots of different things, but they liked that the best of all. They said they were glad we picked them up. The three of us sat on the front seat. Fuller Bullson sat on the left, driving, and I sat in the middle. He had on a gray sweater and a peaked cap that he said used to belong to a burglar in his family. I guess he was so glad to be driving our big Hunkerjunk that he didn’t care whether we ever found their Ford or our trailer.

He said, “I like that chap Brent and I don’t know why he bothers traveling around with boy sprouts; he’s really worth while—fit for big adventures.”

“Oh, is that so?” I said. “Just the same I notice when big fellows want meals cooked for them or somebody to carry stuff they do a good turn and take Boy Scouts with them.”

He said, “Well, do you think you could cook some meals on the Mohawk Trail for us while we’re camping there?”

I said, “Oh, sure, I can cook meals for you there at the same time that I’m on a reliability run—I can be in two places at the same time.”

Then he said, “Well, this is my idea—see how it strikes you. The first thing is to find our flivver and the other trailer——”

“Well, I think you’d better turn to the left at the next cross-road,” I said. “I think I remember seeing that hill over there.”

He said, “All right, just as you say. If they’re not in one place they’ll probably be in another place—I mean two other places. We know they’re somewhere. That seems to be the general impression, Ray.”

Ray said, “Undoubtedly.”

“What was your idea?” I asked him.

“Oh, yes,” Fuller said. “My idea is to get our whole grand, double aggregation outfit together at North Adams—to mobilize at North Adams in front of the Mohawk Drug Store. Am I right, Ray?”

“Right,” said Ray, very sober.

“Then to proceed along the Mohawk Trail. When we reach Big Chief Rock, Ray and I will drop out of the majestic caravan—regular covered wagon stuff, hey? Then we’ll camp on the scene of the old Mohawk battle in the year sixteen sumpty-sump and if any of you kids want to stick around and cook and hunt for arrow-heads why, thrice welcome, little stranger. Ray, why couldn’t several of us join in this arrow-head merger while Mr. Donnelly——”

“Harry Donnelle,” I said.

“While Mr. Harry Donnelle and Mr. Brent go tearing about the country in this thing. When they’ve piled up about twenty-five thousand miles without an engine stop they could shoot into the Mohawk Trail again——”

“Turn to the right down there,” I said.

He said, “Thank you, to the right, we’ll find them yet. As I was saying, the endurance testers could come and pick us up and let us be with them at the finish of the run—I’ve never seen Bridgeboro, New Jersey.”

“Oh, boy, it would suit me,” I said.

“It’s something——”

“Now turn to the left,” I told him, “I think I remember this road. I think I remember that white house.”

“Around we go,” Fuller said, “and now straight?”

“Just keep going straight,” I said.

He kept going straight all right—about forty miles an hour. He kept saying, “We’ll find them yet.” But it didn’t seem to me as if he cared a whole lot whether he found them or not. He liked to drive that Hunkerjunk all right.

“Next turn?” he said.

I had to stop and think. “Keep going straight,” I said. “Will you please tell me about Big Chief Rock?”

Ray Rackette said, “That’s a big rock mentioned in the history. It’s along the Trail, and it’s where we turn in.”

“Now, try the next road to the left,” I said. I wanted to ask them more about their plans and about that old Mohawk battle ground, but Fuller was driving so fast I didn’t want to talk to him and besides I wanted to watch the roads and keep my wits about me.

Now all of a sudden I was pretty sure we were on a road that we’d been on in the night; it was mostly on account of a stone bridge with one side kind of broken. Then I remembered something I hadn’t thought about in the night. I remembered that the trailer had made a kind of rattly noise when we went over the bridge. And it was pretty soon after that when Pee-wee saw the trailer was gone. So the way it seemed to me now, the trailer might be along that road we were on, maybe not so far, either.

I said, “You’d better drive easy along here. I kind of think we may find it on this road. Maybe we’ll find it right in the middle of the road; you’d better take it easy. It isn’t six o’clock yet and if they haven’t waked up maybe the trailer would still be right in the middle of the road.”

Fuller said, “It’s a straight road and I can see it if it’s there.”

“Well, you’d better take it easy,” I told him.

But a lot he cared, he just went spinning along about maybe thirty-five and pretty soon I decided the trailer wasn’t along that road.

After a little while we came to a rough place and then he slowed down.

Pretty soon I said, “I guess I was wrong because I think we’re coming to a village.” In a couple of minutes I knew we were, because a sign said ENTERING CORNVILLE.

All of a sudden a man in a big straw hat and a pair of overalls and a big shiny badge on his suspenders was in the middle of the road blowing a whistle at us. He blew it so hard that his cheeks stuck out.

Fuller said to Ray, “What’s the big idea? We’re not speeding—not now.”

But just the same that rube stood right in the middle of the road with his legs spread apart and he stuck his thumb behind his suspenders and kind of pushed his badge out so we could see it. And he kept blowing the whistle for all he was worth.


Fuller said, “What’s the idea, Cap?”

The man said, “The idee is I’m constabule of this here taown and you’re arrested fer grand larceny.”

“Fancy that,” Ray said.

Fuller said, “You must be mistaken, larceny isn’t so grand. There’s nothing grand about stealing—my mother told me that and I’ve always remembered it.”

The man said, “Jes’ you drive over alongside that pump and don’t give me none of your talk. You’re arrested on a charge of stealin’, appropriatin’, and convertin’ ter yer own use that there car and ye’ll be held fer the grand jury.”

“Everything around here seems to be grand,” Ray said. “We seem to be having a grand time.”

“You want me to park beside that grand pump?” Fuller said.

“That’s what I says,” the constable said, very cold and dignified.

Fuller drove over alongside the pump where there was a kind of a little village green and a lot of Cornvillers or Cornites or Cornfritters or whatever you call them stood around staring.

Ray said, “If it wouldn’t be asking too much, who is charging us with grand larceny? I never stole anything worse than third base in a ball game.”

The constable said, “Are you the owners of that car? If you say anything it can be used against you. I got orders to hold the car and you fugitives till the rightful owner appears to lay a charge against you. Meantime, anything you say can be used against you in court.”

“Let’s say some things,” Fuller said.

“Perhaps we’d better sing,” said Ray. “Can that be used against us—an innocent song?”

The constable said, “I got my orders to hold you and it’s my dooty to inform and advise that anything you say prior to the layin’ of the charge can be used against you.”

Fuller said, “This is very interesting; suppose we sing:

The birds are free,

And so are we—not.

So then the two of them began singing, they didn’t seem to care who was around or what was going to happen. Honest, I never knew such a pair of happy-go-luckies. They sat there on the front seat with their arms over each other’s shoulders singing:

“The birds are free,

And so are we;

We haven’t got a care.


“For those who roam,

They all go home;

But we go here and there.


“We care not where we go, not we,

For we’re as blithe as blithe can be;

In flitting here and there.”

I was standing alongside the car watching them. Their two heads were close together and their faces were kind of, you know, kind of like angels sort of, while they were singing. Gee whiz, they should worry.

They didn’t seem to see the people at all. It made me feel as if I’d like to camp with them along the Mohawk Trail and hunt arrow-heads and sell them. I thought they’d have a lot of fun no matter what they did. They didn’t even ask any questions about how they happened to get arrested or anything. Fuller said lots of times afterwards that you never need to ask any questions because facts speak for themselves. If you’re arrested, you’re arrested, and if you’re lost, you’re lost.

After a little while along came an old hat rack of a horse lickety-split with an old ramshackle buggy behind him. An old hay-seed was driving it and he was saying whoaaa and trying to stop the horse. Good night, out of the buggy jumped Harry and Mr. Ginger Snap and Hervey Willetts and there they stood stock-still gaping at Ray and Fuller while they sang. Those two fellows didn’t pay any attention to the buggy at all—they didn’t even look around to see what was happening. They just looked straight ahead with their arms around each other singing. This is what they sang because I made Ray write it out afterwards. He told me it had four million verses.

“The breeze is free,

And so are we;

It bloweth south and north.


“And as a rule,

Boys go to school;

But we go back and forth.


“For you like me,

And I like you;

As if you were my brother.

And the merriest place for boys to go,

Is just some place or other.”

Honest, I wish you could have seen Harry. He just stood gaping up at that pair. So did Mr. Ginger Snap and Hervey. All the while Ray and Fuller kept on singing.

All of a sudden Harry blurted out, “Well—what—in—the—dickens! And you here, Roy! For the love of—— Are those two fellows thieves or not?”

“They’re not,” I said. “Where in all creation did you come from?”

“Come from!” he shot at me. “We woke up a little while ago and found the car had gone; there we were parked in the middle of the road a thousand miles from nowhere. We pulled the blamed Happy Home Trailer off the road into the woods and started to get some breakfast when all of a sudden along the road goes my car with a strange fellow in a gray sweater and a peaked cap, driving it about six miles at a time—that fellow there.”

“That’s Fuller Bullson,” I said.

“Happy to meet you,” Fuller said. “We were just practicing a college song. It’s a beautiful morning, isn’t it? Don’t fear, we haven’t stopped the engine, all is well.”

So then I explained just what had happened. I told them how we had discovered the trailer was missing in the night and how we had gone back searching the roads and picked up a trailer that turned out to be the wrong one. And how we landed in North Adams and everything.

Harry said to Ray and Fuller, “When I saw from the woods my own car speeding along up on the road with a strange driver at the wheel——”

“With a peaked cap and a gray sweater,” Ray said.

“Sure, with a peaked cap and a gray sweater, why, eh, you know how it is—thugs looked kind of funny, that’s all. I just ran to the nearest house and ’phoned up here to stop the car. No hard feelings, I hope. I’m mighty glad to meet you two fellows (he started shaking hands with them) and something tells me we ought to all stick together; I can see some fun ahead.”


At that I started to laugh. “Stick together is good,” I said, “with part of us in Cornville and part of us in North Adams and a trailer in the woods somewhere and a Ford belonging to these fellows somewhere else, and we don’t know where except it’s in an old barn that’s turned into a garage. Stick together! Believe me, we’ve got to get together first. The way it stands now you’d think we’d been shot out of a shotgun. We’re all over the Berkshires—some endurance test. If this keeps up we’ll look like scrambled eggs before the day’s over.”

“Well, let’s keep the engine running anyway,” said Harry. “It all helps to pile up mileage and that’s what we’re after. I want you two fellows to stick with us. Understand?”

“We might if we were coaxed,” said Fuller Bullson.

“I suppose you fellows want to find your Ford next,” Mr. Ginger Snap said.

Ray Rackette said, “We’re not so particular—still we might as well.” Then he turned to the Cornville constable and he said, “You see the grand larceny stuff wasn’t so grand after all. Whenever I eat corn muffins I’ll think of Cornville.”


Anyway one thing certain, with all the things that had happened the Hunkerjunk touring car had been running most all the time, and the engine hadn’t stopped once. That was always what Harry was thinking about—his precious old reliability run. Because he wanted to be able to advertise that the car had run thirty thousand miles without the engine stopping once. If it did stop Harry knew he couldn’t start it again (only by running down hill to crank it) because we on purpose didn’t have any crank or electric starter. If that car went thirty thousand miles without the engine stopping once it would be as much as a trip around the world.

We saw now that it would surely take anyway a couple of months, but Pee-wee and Hervey and I should worry because school doesn’t open till the eighth of September. Ray and Fuller said the faculty of Hydome University wouldn’t open the college till they got back so it was all right—that’s the way they talked.

Now from Bridgeboro, New Jersey, to North Adams, Massachusetts, isn’t so much more than a hundred and fifty miles. But when we started away from Cornville the speedometer showed nearly four hundred miles. So you can see there was some driving from the time we left Bridgeboro to the time we got to Cornville. And if Harry did like he said he was going to do, go thirty thousand miles, he would have to go about sixty times as far as he had gone already. Oh, boy!

So now Harry took the wheel and we all piled into the car—Hervey, Fuller, Ray, Mr. Ginger Snap and me, I mean I, that makes seven, no I mean six because I counted myself twice, me and I. While we were all sitting in the car before we started we thought it would be a good time to take a picture of it, so I took a couple of snapshots and that’s why I am not in the picture, and a fellow in Bridgeboro says I didn’t go on that famous run because I wasn’t in the picture; a lot he knows because wasn’t I the one that took the picture and he wanted to bet me a scout knife I wasn’t there? I said, “Keep your old scout knife.”

Harry got that picture enlarged and it hangs in the window of the Hunkerjunk Agency in Bridgeboro now, and the one in that picture that looks like a thug is Fuller Bullson, but he’s really a college fellow.

So then we started from Cornville and I guess Cornville hasn’t got over it yet. Anyway, we put Cornville on the map. Ray says every time he gets arrested for grand larceny it reminds him of Cornville. Gee whiz, we could have stolen the whole town if we had wanted to and nobody would have known it. Anyway, pretty soon we came to a peach of a woods off the road where our poor old Happy Home Trailer was parked.

So then we got that and fixed it on and Ray Rackette said he thought if we could find a village named Stoughton Falls he could tell which way to go from there so as to find the little garage where the Ford was. He wasn’t sure, but he thought so. Anyway, we could ask where Stoughton Falls was, but we couldn’t ask where a garage was as it didn’t have any name that we knew. So in that way we got to Stoughton Falls—by asking people. I don’t know who Stoughton is or why he falls for such a place; anyway, it says Stoughton Falls on a sign.

When we got there I mailed a couple of post cards home like I promised my mother I would do because she thinks Harry Donnelle is kind of reckless; just the same she likes him.

Fuller Bullson said, “Now I remember! Ray, you’re right as I usually am. There’s a road that turns and goes down beside that church we’re coming to. That’s the way we came up into this berg. Our Ford is about three miles along that road—I’ll know the little building when I see it. I was in hopes we were going to have more difficulty; I like things to happen.”

Ray said, “That’s why we have a Ford, things are always happening.”

Pretty soon I knew myself that we were on the right road because I remembered an old windmill that made a creaky sound. I said, “This is the right road, keep going till you come to a creak.”

“A creek?” Fuller said.

“No,” I said, “a creak; a noise.” I reminded myself of Pee-wee.

After a while we came to the little garage, but it was all locked up tight and nobody was around.

Fuller said, “One comfort, the Ford can’t get away. Things always happen right with us. Our luck is simply wonderful.”

I went and looked through a knothole and there was a Ford inside all right. But the door was padlocked.

Tinfoiled again!” Fuller Bullson said.


I said, “What time was the man supposed to be here?”

Ray said, “He promised to fix the car late last night when he got through doing something else, and he said he’d be here at seven this morning to try it out with us.”

“Well, it’s nearly eight now,” Harry said.

Fuller said, “My patience is being tried even if the Ford isn’t. I wonder if the man lives anywhere around here? I don’t see any house on the landscape——”

“It may not be on the landscape,” Ray said; “let’s look somewhere else.”

Mr. Ginger Snap looked all around and he said, “I think the nearest house is at Stoughton Falls.” He said now that it was daytime he’d like a chance to demonstrate the Happy Home Trailer. He had his pockets full of Happy Home Trailer cards. Gee whiz, I felt sorry for the poor man because the way it looked we’d never be in a regular town.

I said, “Don’t you care, one of those things is being demonstrated in North Adams, anyway—leave it to Pee-wee.”

“Those fellows will be mummies by the time we get there, I’m thinking,” Harry said.

“Can you picture Pee-wee a mummy?” I said to Hervey.

“More likely he’ll be an earthquake by the time we get there,” Hervey said.

So then we all sat down in a row on the edge of a long watering trough that was outside the old barn—I guess we looked funny. The Hunkerjunk was parked in a little grassy place off the road and the engine was purring away nice and easy. There wasn’t anything around but hills and fields and woods and everything. It seemed kind of as if we were all alone in the world.

“It must be a lively spot around here on a rainy Sunday,” Harry said. “I guess about all this fellow does is to sell gas. Don’t you even know his name, Bull? Or where he hangs out or anything?”

Fuller said, “All I know is he said he’d be here at seven o’clock. I bet he was here and saw the trailer had gone so didn’t bother to wait around. Maybe he thought we were putting over some game on him.”

I said, “Do you suppose he thought we walked away with the trailer?”

Ray Rackette said, “The only thing that we’re sure of is that we’re here and that our flivver is inside this blamed old barn or garage or whatever you call it.”

At that Hervey jumped up and looked all around and said, “Well, anyway, I’m going to see if I can get in through the window and open the door from inside.”

“You’re going to do no such thing,” Fuller said. “Haven’t we committed enough grand larceny to-day?”

“It’s your car, isn’t it?” Hervey wanted to know.

“Yes, but it isn’t our building,” Ray said. “You can’t take what belongs to you if it’s in something that belongs to somebody else according to the Supreme Court. We’ll just have to wait here.”

“Maybe for days,” Harry said.

“Maybe for months,” Mr. Ginger Snap said.

“Or years,” I put in.

Hervey was still standing up and he said, “There’s a sort of a house up on that hill.”

We all looked up on the hill.

“That isn’t a house,” Harry said. “You ought to apologize to the next house you see for saying such a thing. It’s an old shed or something.”

I said, “Hervey is away from home so much he doesn’t know a house when he sees one.”

“Well, anyway,” Hervey said, “we’re not endurance testing sitting around here.” So then he strolled up to the garage and began squinting all around at the window and the door and everything. Pretty soon he shouted, “You’re a fine lot of dubs! It’s good you brought some boy scouts with you. Here’s a card stuck in the door, it says ‘Gone to Red Bridges—will be back at four o’clock.’

“Four o’clock!” Harry said.

“Doesn’t it say ‘yours sincerely’ or anything?” Fuller wanted to know.

“Look on your road map,” I said to Harry, “and see if you can find Red Bridges. The name sounds as if it wasn’t so much of a place.”

Harry got out his road map and we all looked at it, but we couldn’t find Red Bridges.

I said, “Well, we should worry, the map didn’t fall for Stoughton Falls either—or Cornville.”

Harry said, “Well, probably it isn’t a very big village and probably it isn’t very far. We might as well be piling up mileage hunting for it. Maybe we can find him and bring him back here in an hour or so. We’re not getting anywhere sitting here.”

So then the six of us piled into the car and started off to find Red Bridges. We wheeled the trailer up behind the garage and left it there. When we got to Stoughton Falls we asked a boy if he knew where Red Bridges was. He said he knew where Green Hollow was but not Red Bridges. He stared at the signs all over our car, I guess he didn’t know what to make of us. All the people in the village were out by then and they all stared at us, the whole ten of them.

Next we got to a place named Brown’s Crossing and there was a man standing in front of a feed store, I guess it was Mr. Brown.

I said, “Hey, mister, is this your crossing?” Fuller said, “Could you please kindly tell us where the thriving village of Red Bridges is located?”

The man shook his head and said he “didn’t never hear of it.”

“Such grammar,” Ray Rackette said; “he puts the injunction before the proposition instead of using the adverb to qualify the pronoun. The B should be silent as in fish.”

“You’re right, Ray,” said Fuller.


Harry just kept driving around; it was awful funny. Pretty soon we came to a house—it was a big boarding house and there were people playing croquet and lying in hammocks. We stopped and Harry called out and asked where Red Bridges was. A lot of people came out to the road, staring at the car. I guess they didn’t have much to do at that boarding house.

A girl with a croquet mallet said, “Are you sure you don’t mean Medbridge?”

Harry said to me, “Are you sure it wasn’t Medbridge?”

“Ask Hervey,” I told him. “He’s the one that saw the card.”

“It was Red Bridges,” Hervey said.

“We don’t know the shade of red,” Fuller said. The girl looked at him awful funny. She said, “Maybe you mean Medbridge. Do you know where Old Ford is?”

“We do,” Fuller said, “and you’re getting personal. It’s locked up in a garage and it’s a long, sad story. We’re looking for the man that keeps the garage and he’s gone to Red Bridges. You say you haven’t seen that village anywhere around?”

She said, “No, I haven’t, unless you mean Medbridge.”

A man said, “I’ve hiked all about this section, but I’ve never run into Red Bridges.”

“Sure it’s Red Bridges, Herve?” Harry quizzed.

I said, “That makes the forty-’leventh time you’ve asked him. When a scout sees a thing he sees it.”

“The name of the place is Red Bridges,” Hervey said, very positive like.

“So that’s that,” Harry said.

“We might even be willing to take a couple of pink bridges,” Ray said.

“Or pale lavender or old gold, we’re not particular,” put in Fuller.

Gee whiz, all those people were laughing. The girl said, “I bet you have lots of fun on an endurance test. Don’t you care where you go?”

Harry said, “Well, first we have to find Red Bridges, then we have to go and get our Ford near Stoughton Falls, then after that we have to pick up our friends at North Adams, and after that we hit the Mohawk Trail, and then we don’t care where we go.”

“Just hither and thither,” said Fuller.

“And also yon,” said Ray.

“And whithersoever,” said Mr. Ginger Snap.

“Oh, we’ve got quite a list of places we don’t care whether we go to or not,” I told her.

The girl said, “Oh, I just bet it’s lots of fun. And when you get home after thirty thousand miles will you sell lots and lots of cars on account of it?”

“Oceans of them,” Harry said.

So then I took a snapshot of the Hunkerjunk car with all those summer boarders standing around looking at it. It was the best picture of all the ones we took and, oh, gee, I have to laugh because Pee-wee isn’t in it. That’s the picture that’s on the cover of the Hunkerjunk booklet and you can see the sign good and clear that says

30,000 MILES



So then we started off again and we went through Medbridge—the principal exports of that place are jaw-breakers and ice cream cones and we exported some of them.

Every person we saw we asked the way to Red Bridges, but nobody knew where it was and after a while Harry decided to drive back to where the Ford was and wait there. What made him decide was a sign that said TO STOUGHTON FALLS. So we drove to Stoughton Falls and all we had to show for our trip was about forty more miles on the speedometer.

When we got to the garage it was still locked up tight and we all sat down in a row on the watering trough again. Fuller and Ray started singing The Birds are Free and so are We.

Pretty soon Hervey said, “I’m going up on the hill to look at that old shed or whatever it is.”

The next thing we knew he was laughing and calling for us all to go up there. So we all strolled up the hill and there was a brook going right past the old shed (only it was a house all falling to pieces) and there were two men sitting on the bank fishing. One of them had red hair and the other one was laughing, and all the while they kept on fishing.

Fuller said, “So here you are! What the dickens are you doing here? I thought you went to Red Bridges.”

At that Hervey started laughing again and so did the garage fellow. He said, “Well, this man is Red Bridges. Can’t you see he’s got red hair? He lives here and I came up here to get him to go fishing. I thought we’d go upstream and likely wouldn’t come back till four or so. I was daown yonder like I said I’d be, but I weren’t agon’ ter hang raoun’ there all day fer yer—’specially when I seed your home made trailer weren’t there. I says ter myself, I says, ‘Yer didn’ want yer ole Lizzie nohow.’” Then he said kind of drawly and lazylike, “Yer got a bite, Red?”


“Foiled again,” Fuller Bullson said. “Trust to the Boy Scouts if you want to pile up mileage.”

“We should never cross our bridges till we come to them,” Ray said. Then he said to the other man, “If it’s just the same to you could we take our Ford away now—if it’s fixed?”

The man drawled out, “Well, ’tis ’n ’tain’t. I reckon it’s as much fixed as it ever’ll be.”

He got up and sprawled down to his garage and got the Ford out, and oh, boy, you should have seen that car. The principal thing about it was that most of it wasn’t there. It was all right only it was somewhere else—anyway, the top was, and one of the headlights and two of the fenders and one of the running boards. But it started off, I’ll say that. When it started it sounded like a man fixing a tin roof.

Anyway we got started and the garage fellow stood there staring at us till we were away up the road, then he went up the hill again to Red Bridges. So now you know what it means when you hear the scouts up at Temple Camp call Hervey Willetts by that name, Red Bridges. Because I told all the fellows up there all about it how Hervey started us all off on that wild goose chase. So all the scouts up there call him Red Bridges.

So then at last we were on our way to North Adams and we went straight for it on account of Brent and Pee-wee. Gee whiz, it was afternoon by that time and all the people in all the towns we passed through stopped and stared at the Hunkerjunk with all its signs. In back of us came the Ford and it sounded like a couple of Fourth of Julys and behind that the Happy Home Trailer came bobbing along, bumpity-bump with Mr. Ginger Snap standing up in it, dancing to keep his balance, and throwing out circulars about Camping in Comfort—that was the first time I ever heard Mr. Snapp shout about Woods and Fisher’s famous camping comfort combination—honest, he talked like a phonograph record. He was in the wrong trailer but he should worry because one Happy Home Trailer is as good as another if not more so.

Harry was driving as fast as he dared and Fuller was trying to keep up with us in the Ford and the trailer was jumping and jouncing and bobbing all over the road and Mr. Snapp giving a speech. Laugh! Oh, boy!

We got to North Adams at ten minutes of three that afternoon. I don’t know where the time went, but one thing sure, we didn’t go after it. We’d been chasing around after things too much that day. We had five hundred and two miles on the speedometer when we rolled majestically (my sister put in that word) up the main street of North Adams and the first thing we saw was Pee-wee standing in front of a souvenir store with a looking glass in the window. He was eating an ice cream cone—I guess he was looking in the glass so he’d think he was eating two of them. He saw us and started running after us and we all stopped in front of the Mohawk Drug Store where our own Happy Home Trailer was parked. There was good old Brent sitting on the shaft of it talking with the people that stood around.

He said he had been demonstrating the trailer all day and that he had put Pee-wee to bed in it about forty times to show how easy it could be done. He said he had made Pee-wee sit at the little grub board that turned up on hinges and eat things to demonstrate how convenient it was.

“And us worrying for fear Pee-wee wouldn’t have anything to do,” I said. That kid would be a good one to demonstrate things in a special sale of commissary departments. Anyway, Brent had two orders for Happy Home Trailers and oh, wasn’t Mr. Snapp glad.

Pee-wee said, “Brent was the one to talk and I was the one to go to bed and get up again, and to eat—it was kind of like an illustrated lecture, kind of.”

I said, “Yes, and you were the illustrations.”

He said, “Just the same we sold two trailers while you were riding all over. Did you think we were going to sit here and starve?”

“No, I never thought such a thing about you,” I told him. “Is there anything left to eat in the trailer?”

“And another thing,” the kid shouted, “a man that bought one of those trailers, when he saw me eating and everything, and stunts and everything——”

“Good night, did you even eat some stunts?” I asked him.

The kid went on shouting, “That man, he was a peach of a nice man, and he lives in a place called Moore and the road to it branches off the Mohawk Trail—it’s away, way off in wild country off the Mohawk Trail and we’re going to give a show there——”

“Who is, and which?” I asked him.

The kid went on shouting, “When that man saw all the resources and self-denials——”

“What?” I started laughing.

“I mean self-reliances,” the kid said. “When he saw all the things scouts do he got interested in them a lot and I told him how we know all about the woods and everything and he’s going to get a patrol started in that village on account of what I told him because he sees it’s a dandy thing, and he’s got a daughter named Ruth and she wishes she was a boy and we’re going to give the show in the town hall—it’s dandy!”

While he was coming up for air I asked him who was going to give the show. And I looked at Brent.

“Don’t look at me,” Brent said. “I belong to the continuous run department, not the scout department. I sold the man a trailer and his name is Dawson, that’s all I know. Pee-wee’s got him started on the scouts. I wash my hands of the whole affair. I’d also like to wash my face if we can find a place to camp long enough—when it wouldn’t be a demonstration.”

“You’re going to see some demonstrations,” Pee-wee yelled. “Roy and Hervey and I are going to give the show in Moore while we’re camping on the Trail. G-e-e-e williger, don’t you want to be propagandists?”

“You wouldn’t catch me being an impropagandist,” I told him.


That was the first I heard about the grand scout show that we were supposed to give in Moore under the management of P. Harris. Believe me, you’ll hear more about it. Brent told us that Mr. Dawson was in North Adams with his daughter doing some shopping and that he bought the trailer because next summer they were going to take a long camping trip. Brent said that Mr. Dawson was a mighty nice man. He said he was a lot interested in Pee-wee and the scouts because he had two boys of his own that would like to be scouts only their village was very small.

“It couldn’t be any smaller than Pee-wee,” I said, because Pee-wee is a concentrated scout, he’s like condensed milk or compressed air—especially air.

He shouted in our ears, “That man told me any time we want to give scout demonstrations and things in Moore, to send him a letter and say when and he’ll have everything ready for us and his own sons will round up all the country fellows everywhere around to see it, so we’re going to do it, Roy and Hervey and I.”

Hervey said, “What am I supposed to do?”

“You can stand on your head, can’t you?” the kid shouted. “And we can do a tug of war with a rope, can’t we? And we can sing scout songs, can’t we? I can show how we light a fire in the rain, can’t I?”

“In the town hall?” Hervey said. “We’ll have to take our rain with us.”

The kid started yelling at us, “Can’t I be lighting the fire while you’re pouring a bucket of water on it?”

All the while we were having a show already with the Hunkerjunk parked with the engine running, and the old flivver standing there, and the two trailers. Oh, boy, we attracted a lot of attention. Hervey and I went across the way to a souvenir place and bought a North Adams pennant and a Mohawk Trail pennant and hung them on the car.

Fuller said before we started off we ought to decide what we were going to do because in ten minutes after we started we’d be on the Mohawk Trail. He said, “You fellows can’t drive that car thirty thousand miles and live in a trailer. There are only three of you to drive and you’ll all be played out before you go ten thousand miles.”

Brent said, “I’m played out already.”

Fuller said, “Now, listen here—here’s a plan. There are eight of us altogether—or seven and a half counting the theatrical manager. Five of us can drive. The others claim they can cook. All right, we’ve got a complete outfit, let’s all stick together.”

“Righto,” Harry said.

“We’ve got three different plans,” Fuller said, “and we can work them all out together.”

“United we stand, divided we sprawl,” I told him.

He said, “That’s the idea exactly. Now we’re going to hunt for an old Mohawk battleground along somewhere off the Trail, and just as I said, we think we can dig up a lot of old arrow-heads there and we’re going to start a little store up by the Trail and sell them. Ray and I hope to camp there till fall. All right, you fellows make that place your headquarters. The kids can camp with us part of the time, just as they please, no set rule.

“You can come and go with your Hunkerjunk, change drivers, rest up, anything that suits you. Suppose one of you fellows, or both of you, should feel like laying off a couple of days. Just head for the Mohawk Trail and shoot up to the Mohawk Original Arrow-head Novelty Company and relax. You can make good your claims for the Hunkerjunk, demonstrate the old trailer, and visit between times. And while we’re camping along the Trail, David Belasco Barnum & Bailey Harris can give his show over in Moore. I know where that place is. It’s through the woods and over the mountains about, oh, about seven or eight miles north of the Trail.

“Happy Home Trailers are all right, we’ve found ours useful, but when you’re sad and blue, or maybe black and blue, after a two or three hundred mile run at thirty-five miles an hour, our little old camp with its home fires burning will look good to you. You’ll come rolling up every now and then like the prodigal son home from sowing his rolled oats. Now, what do you say?

“If the world is harsh to you and traffic cops are impolite you can just say, Fuller and Ray are waiting for us, we can always find a refuge there. And you can always get a home cooked scout meal cooked over a fire that’s been put out by a bucket of water. Come early and often. Now, what do you fellows say?

“Sometimes Ray or I will take a flyer at driving if you want us to. Now there’s our proposition. You try to run that rolling signboard of a car thirty thousand miles without cooperation and see where you’ll get to. Donnelle, you’re a regular feller, all right, and full of ideas, but you need the restraining influence of home; you need Ray and Fuller to keep you steady.”

Good night. I had to laugh at those two talking about restraining influences! The only reason they don’t go to the North Pole is because nobody suggested it. They’d go to sea, that’s what they said, except they don’t like the ocean because it’s so near the shore. G-e-e-e whiz!


So that’s the way we did and this story kind of divides into three stories and it’s like the dinners they have up at Temple Camp with three desserts, if you don’t like one you can take another. If you like shows, or if you like motoring, or if you like camping, it’s all the same only different, and it’s the only story I ever wrote where you can get away from Pee-wee if you want to. Only whatever you do, don’t miss the grand scout show at Moore.

Now I have to tell you about the Mohawk Trail. Hot dog, I never saw anything like that place. It goes right along through the mountains, away, way up high and you can look off miles and miles and miles and miles and see four states. Some places it goes right through mountains, kind of like a tunnel, and oh, boy, but it’s wild. That’s the way the Mohawk Indians used to hike to New England to trade with the Yankees. I made a map to show you how it is, sort of; I guess I wouldn’t get sixty on that map in school but I should worry.

Now, then, the way you do—this is the way you do. You go up—no, first you have a soda at the Mohawk Drug Store—mm, mmm! Then you go up the main street where all the stores are and pretty soon you turn to the left and then you turn to the right and go up a steep hill and there aren’t any more stores or town or anything. And then you’re on the Mohawk Trail. Only it doesn’t look like a trail because they made the old trail into a peachy road for autos. But that road goes just the way the old Trail does, right through the mountains, and on the right side you can look away, way far off and see a lot of geography—thank goodness, it isn’t algebra and civil government you have to look at, and you can bet the Mohawks weren’t so very civil.

The mountains that Trail goes through are kind of part of the Berkshires and they’re called the Hoosac Range, only be sure you don’t get them mixed up with the Hoosier Range—that’s a gas stove like we have in our house. Underneath that trail, way, way, way down is the Hoosac Tunnel, but you should worry, you won’t fall through into it. It’s hundreds and thousands of feet below and there’s a sign along the Trail that tells you when you’re right over it. Pee-wee always went on tiptoe at that place; I guess he thinks he weighs a million pounds. Picture Pee-wee falling through into the Hoosac Tunnel, but he’d land on his feet if he did and have some kind of an adventure.

When the Mohawk Indians wanted to go from the valley of the Hudson to the valley of the Connecticut, to fight or anything, they always went that way. Some hike! Some places you can even see the foot path where the new road doesn’t cover it—some places it’s just a few yards away from the road. Lots of places we could pick it out.

One thing, anyway, about the Mohawk Indians. I’m not saying anything against them, because maybe they were good scouts all right, but they weren’t smiling all the time like scouts are supposed to do because most of the time they were good and mad and they were scrapping. They would rather fight with each other than not at all. They belonged to the Iroquois and I bet they’d be sorry if they knew they missed the World War.

Now all the way along the Trail, maybe every few miles or so, are towers that you can go up in and look at the scenery. And at those places they sell post cards and moccasins and paper weights and spark plugs and gasoline, and chamois pocketbooks with beads and little wooden canoes and hot dogs and ice cream cones and all things that remind you of Indians. They charge a lot for them too. Besides the observation towers there are shacks all along the Trail where they sell things—souvenirs.

Fuller said none of those things were souvenirs of the Mohawks or the old Trail, but only souvenirs of the new highway. He said they weren’t Indian souvenirs at all. He said that stuff was a lot of cheap junk.

Pee-wee said while we were driving along the Trail that first day we got to it, he said, “That shows how much sense you’ve got and how much you don’t know about history. How can an ice cream cone last for a couple of hundred years?

“It wouldn’t with you,” I told him. “It wouldn’t last a couple of fractions of a hundredth of a second.”

I guess we made quite a parade. The Hunkerjunk went first with our trailer after it, and then came the flivver with the other trailer. Everybody stared at us. I took a lot of snapshots and some of them are in the Hunkerjunk booklet.

I was sitting in the flivver with Ray and Fuller and Pee-wee and Hervey. First we went up a steep hill all through wild mountains and none of us talked, we just kept still, except the Ford.

Ray Rackette said, “Now, after we get over the first summit we’re supposed to start watching for a tall narrow rock that’s called Big Chief Rock. That’s mentioned in the book—it’s the place where one Mohawk killed another. That’s what started the fight. There ought to be an old obscure trail from there to a woods about a couple of miles in from the Trail. That’s where the big party took place. We’ve got to pick out that old trail somehow or other.”

“I can do it!” Pee-wee shouted. “You leave it to me. Haven’t I got the pathfinder’s badge? I tracked a turtle, you ask Roy.”

“Didn’t he pick out the cruller trail to the wrong trailer?” I said.

“All you have to do—can you tell me where it starts?” Pee-wee wanted to know, very important like. Gee whiz, he was going to track the Mohawks at last.

“What starts?” Fuller asked him.

“That old obscure trail away from the main Trail,” Pee-wee said. “Most Indian trails were first animal trails.”

“Fancy that,” Fuller said.

“I know all about trails,” the kid said. “Do you know one dog’s trail from another?”

“Hot dogs are the only ones I know,” Ray said.

Pee-wee said, “Do you know where an Indian trail usually starts?”

“At the beginning,” I told him. “Ask me another.”

“It might start at the other end,” Hervey said; “you never can tell.”

Pee-wee yelled, “You’re crazy! I suppose you think you’re smart. I bet I followed more trails than you did!”

“What’s the use following them if you don’t catch them?” I said. “I wouldn’t be a follower, I’d be a leader.”

“You’re a lunatic, that’s what you are!” the kid screamed. “Now you’re starting in. All the scouts at Temple Camp know what you are.” Then he said to Fuller, “When I’m out tracking in the woods up there he’s sitting on the springboard jollying tenderfoots.”

I said, “Our young hero goes around a great deal when he rides on a merry-go-round.”

“Yes, and I know trail signs, that’s more than you know,” the kid shot back. Gee whiz, we had him going—engaged in mortal come-back.

I said, “I don’t bother with signs when I’m tracking; I’m like a giraffe, I overlook everything. What’s the use in hunting for a fight if you lose it right away? You can do that by long division.” Pee-wee said to Fuller, very dignified, “Does that old trail start near the rock?”

“It starts in an ash barrel,” Fuller said.

“A wooden one or a tin one?” I asked.


Pee-wee said, “You all make me tired. Gee whiz, I’d rather look at the scenery than waste my time talking to you.”

“Go ahead, the scenery don’t care,” I told him.

Fuller said, “You shouldn’t look down on a poor Indian trail because it starts in an ash barrel. Many a rich man started in the gutter.”

Ray said, “That’s very true, Fuller; we should always remember that. I wouldn’t be so proud that I wouldn’t look at a trail just because it started in an ash barrel.”

All the while Pee-wee was looking straight at the scenery with his mouth tight shut like a vise.

Hervey said, “He looks funny with his mouth shut, doesn’t he?”

“I’d never know him,” I said, “if it wasn’t for his curly hair and his appetite. He looks more forbidding than arithmetic.”

Hervey said, “He’ll regret the haughty way he acts toward a poor, lowly trail.”

“Sure,” I said. “He’s a little put out. Does he think of the poor ash barrel that gets put out two or three times a week?”

Fuller said, “Well, I’ll explain how it was.”

“Sure,” I said, “start in the middle, then you can go either way.”

Then he said, “Ray and I were in Hydome University and one day we were going away from applied psychology——”

“I don’t blame you,” I told him.

He said, “We were on our way back to dormitory after the lecture.” He said the two of them (they always go together, those two) were just passing around outside the cellar of the college when all of a sudden they heard a noise like an ash barrel. Kind of like a deep moaning, only different; more like a Ford, that’s what he said. He said they both stopped and listened.

All the while Pee-wee wasn’t paying any attention. He was just looking at all the geography with his mouth tight shut.

I said, “Massachusetts seems to be bounded on the east by its western extremity this morning.” But he didn’t pay any attention.

Fuller said, “There outside the cellar way was an ash barrel full of ashes and junk and on the top was an old book all falling apart.”

So then he said to Ray, he said, “Let’s see what’s in that old book—you should never judge a book by its ash barrel.” And Ray said, “You are right, Fuller.” Just like those two always talk. Gee whiz, talk about me being crazy! That pair sleep under a crazy quilt, they admit it.

Then they found out that the book was an old history of the Berkshires that wasn’t even printed or known any more. So then Fuller said, “Let’s turn to page one hundred and twenty-seven.” Ray said, “Why?” And Fuller said, “Why not?” Then he said, “Now at page a hundred and twenty-seven we’ll go to that place on our vacation.” So then Ray said, “You are right, Fuller. We start where most things end, at the ash barrel. That shows we’re different from everybody else.” Now all the while they were telling us this crazy stuff Pee-wee looked away off at the scenery, just as if we were hundreds of miles away from him. And he was wearing his celebrated scout scowl that looks like a stormy sea.

But on that page of that old book it told about a fight the Mohawks had and how it started at a big rock named Big Chief Rock along the Mohawk Trail. This is the way it was, and right then when Fuller was telling us about it, Pee-wee all of a sudden began staring at him and listening. You bet we all listened.

Now this is the way it was. In from the Mohawk Trail a couple of miles or so was a settlement long, long ago. Even when the old history was written long afterwards there wasn’t any trace of that settlement. And there was a trail from Big Chief Rock that led to it, all through woods and everything. Fuller told us about it while we were driving along watching for Big Chief Rock. But, anyway, I heard all about it afterwards out of that old history book. I’m going to tell you all what happened in the next chapter. In the next chapter we go back about two hundred and fifty years. Gee whiz, that’s some jump, hey?

Pretty soon Harry called back for us to look at a big rock ahead of us on the right hand side of the trail. He shouted, “I think that’s it, hey, Fuller?”

It was a big, tall, thin rock. It was kind of the shape of a statue only not carved out. We all got out and looked at it.

Ray said, “It’s pretty rough to be supposed to look like a chief.”

Harry said, “Probably he was a rough chief; they were very impolite, those Mohawks.”

Fuller said, “Well, it’s thin and high and I suppose that’s why it reminded somebody of a man.”

Brent said, “It’s near enough, only what gets me is, why didn’t we ever hear of it before ? Why are there no post cards of it? Here’s a whole gang of post cards we bought in North Adams and not a single one of them has a picture of Big Chief Rock on it. If this is a historical stone it’s mighty funny they don’t make little paper weights of it out of lead.”

“That’s just what we’re telling you,” Ray said; “the whole story is in this old book we’ve got and it’s probably been out of print for years. Nobody knows anything about it but ourselves. That’s because we’re not too proud to look in an ash barrel. What do you say, shall we camp here?”

“You said it!” I shouted.

“And to-morrow we’ll hunt for the old trail and see if we can find the place of the old settlement. Then if we can dig up some genuine old Mohawk arrow-heads we’ll do business. We’ll buy a new ash barrel and maybe a cut glass fly swatter for Hydome University. But for to-night what I say is Away dull care. I say for the Hunkerjunk unendurable, unreliable thirty-cent run and the Mohawk Historical Novelty Company to rest for to-night and start out on our adventures in the morning.”

“You are right, Ray,” Fuller said. “Who’s going to cook supper?”


We were all so dead tired that we decided to all camp there like Ray said only somebody would have to be always awake to see that the engine kept running. We decided that in the morning Harry and Brent and Mr. Ginger Snap would start off to continue their endurance run and demonstrate the Happy Home Trailer. Maybe they would drop in on us in the evening; anyway, they would be along the Trail again, they didn’t know when. They said we shouldn’t worry about them because anyway they were going to Boston, maybe, to see the Hunkerjunk dealer there. They said they would be back when they got back.

Anyway we all camped together that night and it was a dandy place to camp. It was on the right hand side of the Trail the way we were headed, and it was the edge of a woods that went down a hill and you could see far, far off.

We parked the Hunkerjunk a little way in the woods and made a camp not so far from it. If you look at the map you’ll see just how it was. If you were headed toward Charlemont like we were, there’d be all dandy scenery on the right and you could look away over the top of the woods, miles and miles and miles. Somewhere over there was where the old settlement was. Across the trail the land went up and you couldn’t see very far. Over that way was the village of Moore where Mr. Dawson lived. So now you know just how it was. Oh, boy, it made me feel kind of funny to be camping right where the Mohawk Indians used to pass on their way back and forth to New England.

That night I made an Indian pudding in honor of the Mohawks, and Pee-wee ate four helpings of it in honor of the boy scouts. I made an omelet too, with egg powder. And bacon, I fried some of that. And I made some Temple Camp tenderflops—eat one and you’ll never eat another, I mean any other, they’re patented especially by me. That night some of them got burned and they looked like ten cent phonograph records only they were softer than records but not so much. You make those with molasses and Indian meal and chocolate and pancake flour. You can use licorice, too, if you want to.

After supper we all sat around the campfire—it was peachy. Sometimes cars would go past along the Trail, but mostly it was quiet. We could hear an owl up in a tree. It made me feel sort of creepy knowing that right around there, up near the rock, a Mohawk Indian had killed another one. I’ve been on lots of trails and made lots of camps, but oh, bibbie, I haven’t ever been so close, kind of, to Indians before. Because everything around there was just like it was when the Mohawks were there. You can bet I was looking forward to the next day when we’d be hunting for that old overgrown trail.

Pee-wee said, “Don’t you worry, I’ll find it. While we’re camping here we’ll kill two birds with one stone, hey? We’ll find the old settlement and we’ll give our show in Moore, while Harry is away endurance testing. I bet we’ll find about a thousand arrow-heads, hey? How much will we charge for them; fifty cents each?”

“Fifty cents each, three for a quarter,” I said.

Fuller said, “I think we ought to call ourselves the Ash Barrel Trail Company, Incorporated.”

The kid said, “That’s no good of a name; Mohawk is better.”

Harry said, “What’s the matter with reading the account of the blamed thing out of the old book? All I know is what you two fellows have told us. Spin it off and let’s hear about it, anyway. We started at a dormitory or some place and got as far as an old book in an ash barrel; let’s hear what it says.”

“Go ahead,” we all shouted.

So then I brightened up the fire and stayed near it so I could keep it bright and Fuller went to the trailer and got the old book and handed it to Brent. I guess that was because Brent wears spectacles. Anyway, he took it and Fuller showed him the place to begin—page one hundred and twenty-seven. Brent looked awful funny sitting there near the fire with his lanky legs drawn up like a desk for the book to rest on and his spectacles half-way down his nose.


He said, “The first place mentioned on this page is the Capitol Theater; that’s where you two Gold Dust Twins would have gone if you’d kept to your original plan; we might do that yet. We could see Douglas Sandbanks in——”

“Where does it say that?” Pee-wee shouted.

“On the second line from the top,” Brent said, all the while looking at the book kind of like as if he were a minister.

“It says, ‘The remote scene furnished a capital theater for one of the bloodiest massacres——’ Oh, my mistake,” Brent said, “we won’t go to the Capitol. I will now read you the adventures of the masked cur——”

“Massacre!” Pee-wee yelled at him.

“My error,” Brent said, “the light is very poor—poor but honest.”

“If you’re not going to read it, I’ll read it,” the kid shouted.

Brent said, “Heaven forbid, that would be worse than a massacre.”

So then he started to read out of that old book, all the while keeping it in the light of the fire, and we all sat around listening. He looked awful funny while he was reading. I copied it all down afterwards and this is it:

“The lonely and dense woodland south of this romantic old trail formed a capital theater for deeds of treachery and murder. (Oh, boy, didn’t we listen!) Here was enacted in 1693 one of the most atrocious and sanguinary affairs of colonial history; one of those deeds of savage cruelty which fill the history of the warlike Mohawks. The episode is all but unknown in history, and it is not mentioned in any of the records of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. But it is substantiated by well-founded tradition and vouched for by the late William Ellerton who heard the tale direct from his great grandfather, an honored resident of old Salem who died there in 1750 at the age of seventy-five years.

“Old Caleb, who had been a suitor for the hand of Betty Sewell, daughter of the famous old witchcraft judge, told his great grandson the story which Mr. Ellerton himself related to the writer of this narrative. During the height of that unhappy episode, the Salem witchcraft frenzy, no one knew where the bolt of accusation would strike. No reputation for godliness was strong enough to safeguard its possessor from the hysterical charges of irresponsible children who claimed that their neighbors or their relatives had bewitched them. Such a mischievous child had only to point the finger of accusation at the most respected goodman or goodwife for a charge to be laid against the helpless victim who could set up no defense.

“In the panic of fear which gripped the deluded neighborhood a few hardy souls who preferred the perils of the wilderness to the haunting expectation of accusation and hanging formed themselves into a company and sought safety in the dense wilderness to the west. They left Salem and its neighborhood under cover of the night, having first arranged with a brave young fellow of the community that he should scuttle a pinnace at Scarlet’s Wharf, then loose it from its moorings.

“To this day historians who have treated the witchcraft delusion with any detail refer to the loss of these panic-stricken refugees at sea. The adventurous youth who sent so many historians astray was Caleb Ellerton, then eighteen years of age. May we not hope that the fair Betty Sewell was in the secret and smiled upon him for his daring lawlessness?

“That little band of exiles did not find a watery grave. While the loyal young Caleb was busy drowning the imaginary fugitives in Massachusetts Bay those refugees, bound together by a common fear, were stealing away from Salem in the darkness of the night. Old Caleb told his great grandson that one of the refugees, a woman, hurriedly visited her barn to get more gorse spray in which to pack her treasured Delft chinaware, and was confronted on the spot by a fanatical girl who accused her of being a witch because she was out after dark on a mysterious errand. Fortunately she eluded her accuser and escaped with her friends.

“That little band of terror-stricken citizens made their way to the young settlement of Fitchberg, thence through the untrodden wilderness past the site of the present Greenfield, and so into the narrow, winding, mountainous trail of the Mohawks. Here at least there was a path to guide them to the west and into the valley of the Hudson, a land at least free from spooks and witches riding on broomsticks. At a point along the Trail which was distinguished by a tall, thin rock they turned in to the south and, picking their way down through the dense forest, made a little settlement some miles in and called it Refuge. They were too weary to go further.

“The tidings of their journey, their settlement and their tragic fate was later borne to Salem by the only survivor of the massacre, a youth by the name of Determined Woolcott who told the harrowing tale to his former comrade, Caleb Ellerton. Obviously the reckless young Caleb could not afford to have the story of the refugees made known lest he be implicated in the circumstances of their escape and the destruction of a vessel. This peril he avoided by the timely decision to go to sea, in which enterprise young Woolcott accompanied him.

“It was not until many years afterward, till he was an old man in fact, that Caleb returned from the sea and told the whole story to his admiring great grandson, the late Mr. Ellerton. He told him that every soul save one in the remote little settlement of Refuge had been massacred by the savage Mohawks in a midnight attack. No memorial of those poor souls who had fled from one danger into the jaws of another remains to mark the scene of their ghastly end.

“No one knows exactly where the little settlement of Refuge lay. Nor does history even record the existence of such a settlement. But somewhere in the wilds bordering the old trail of the savage Mohawks a multitude of unseen arrow-heads mark the scene of the tragedy.

“Along that old trail (where perhaps civilization may yet carve a modern highway) is a rock mentioned by Caleb Ellerton as the big chief rock. Here (so Caleb told his great grandson) one single Indian who had refused to violate his peace compact with the white men was murdered by his infuriated companions, before they left their trail to search for the reported settlement in the wilderness.”


All of a sudden Brent stopped reading and slapped the old book shut—it kind of waked me up from listening. None of us said anything. I could just hear the campfire crackling. Brent just sat there with his spectacles half-way down his nose and the book standing on his knees; gee, I was even sort of mad, he looked so different from a Mohawk Indian. One of the old covers of the book that was just kind of hanging by a thread, fell off and Fuller kicked it into the fire—it made a blue flame.

“Some nifty kid, that Caleb, hey?” Brent said.

That was the first word that anybody said. I could hear that owl screeching up in a tree. All of a sudden Harry got up and strolled over through the trees to where the Hunkerjunk super-six touring model was parked. He kind of listened, and I knew the engine was purring away all right because he patted the hood just like as if that car was his horse.

“Young Woolcott was a pretty lively guy too,” Brent said, “but I prefer Caleb. I’d like to have gone to sea with that pair. I bet the two of them turned pirates; looks mighty funny staying away so many years. Well, we can say we’ve hit the wild waves too; we crossed the Newburgh ferry. Where do you suppose that owl is, Roy? Puts me in mind of a spook or a witch. I suppose those old Salem witches bought their brooms wholesale, hey? The old rock up there by the Trail looks kind of like a spook, I’m hanged if it don’t. Well, what are we going to do now—turn in?”

“Guess so,” Harry said, “if we’re going to make an early start in the morning. I’d like to bang into Boston to-morrow, pick up one of the Hunkerjunk bunch there, and shoot up into Maine. Come down through the White Mountains, maybe. You fellows may not see us again for a week or two. Don’t forget to give me the camera, Roy.”

All of a sudden Pee-wee exploded. He shouted, “You make me tired with your unendurable defiance I mean reliance tests when we’re thinking about witches and Mohawks and things!”

Brent said, “You don’t think she’ll heat up running idle all night, do you, Harry?”

Harry said, “No, but we ought to take turns sleeping—safety first. She may need more gas if it blows up cold.”

Pee-wee said, “Right maybe within ten feet of us an Indian was scalped, hey?”

Harry said, “You don’t think she’s missing on one cylinder, do you, Brent?”

“And maybe,” Pee-wee kept up, “maybe—I know a dandy way to find an old trail—maybe that old scene of that massacre was right down in that clump of woods, hey? Maybe it was, and——”

“Here you go, Kid,” Harry said. “We part company forever.” He pulled off the car the sign that said, A lively team. Boy Scouts and the Hunkerjunk Six, and scaled it right into Pee-wee’s face. “A scout is loyal,” he said, “he’s never a quitter. Scout law forty-’leven. Will you get up early and make us a cup of coffee, Roy?”

I looked at him across the campfire where he was standing, and I couldn’t make out if he was serious or not. The sign about the scouts and the Hunkerjunk fell into the fire. There sat Pee-wee looking awful surprised and cheap. Brent just sat with his knees up and his spectacles half-way down his nose like when he was reading. Ray and Fuller didn’t say anything.

“What do you mean?” I asked Harry. Because he’s awful funny some ways—you don’t know how to take him.

“It’s all right,” he said, “boys will be boys. Brent and Snapp and I’ll make out all right. Only one thing. Brent says that old Puritan boy Caleb was his favorite. Woolcott knew a few steps, too. But do you fellows know my favorite? He was a Mohawk——”

“They were murderers,” Pee-wee shouted. “Right here——”

Harry said, “The one I’m rooting for is the Mohawk Indian that stuck to his compact with the white men and got himself killed. That’s the gink I’d treat to soda if he were alive. If you should happen to find his skull to-morrow while we’re off on our job, give him my kind regards and tell him he was one good old scout. Come on now, let’s turn in. What do you all say?”


I got up and walked away, up toward the Trail. As I came near to Big Chief Rock it didn’t look so spooky. An auto went by and people in it were laughing. Then all of a sudden everything was still again. Only I could hear the screech owl still, away off in a tree somewhere. It seemed funny to think how those people from Salem turned in right there, and about the Mohawks and everything. Gee whiz, we started off on an automobile reliability run and we bunked into the seventeenth century and Indians and all—that’s the way it seemed. It was all on account of meeting Ray and Fuller. Christopher, but they were crazy with their ash barrel stuff, but anyway see where it led to.

Pretty soon Hervey came over and scrambled up and sat on top of the old rock—that’s him, happy-go-lucky. Then the kid came over, kind of grumpy like. The big fellows stayed over by the fire and Harry sat down and began poking it up. It looked dandy in there. We’ve done a lot of camping, our troop, but we hadn’t ever camped on real Indian ground before.

I said to Hervey, “It seems funny, somewhere around here is a place where a village was and even histories don’t tell about it—only that old book. Crinkums, it would be fun finding it, and collecting arrow-heads and everything, and selling them.”

“Everything you do is fun,” Hervey said. He was just sitting perched up there swinging his legs. He should worry, that’s him all over. “One thing’s as good as another if not worse.”

I said, “What do you mean one thing’s as good as another?”

“It hasn’t got any sense to it,” Pee-wee said. “That’s always the way he talks.”

I said, “Will you kindly shut up? We’re in Dutch with the big fellows; jiminy crinkums, let’s not be scrapping with each other.”

The kid said, “Are you going to let Harry make fools of us? One time they say one thing and one time they say another. Gee whiz, wasn’t it all settled——”

“Nothing’s all settled,” Hervey said.

“I guess you didn’t have sense enough to listen,” the kid said. “Just like you don’t listen to the rules up at Temple Camp. No wonder you’re always getting in Dutch—the places you go to.”

“I go wherever I happen to go,” Hervey said. “I bet you can’t think of a better place.”

“Yes, and you got sent home from camp once, too,” the kid shot at him.

“Yes, and I had a lot of fun when I got home too,” Hervey said. He was just swinging his legs, easy like.

“You disobeyed the trustees,” the kid said.

“Oh, will you cut it out!” I said. “Harry feels kind of sore. Now, what are we going to do?”

“I’m above all that,” Hervey said. “I’m up on this rock.”

“Like a dunce,” the kid said, very disgusted. “What are we going to do?”

“Well, I’ll tell you what I’m going to do,” Hervey said; “it’s mighty nice up here.”

“That’s all you care about,” Pee-wee said; “climbing up and swinging your legs, crazy like. Do you know an Indian got murdered near that rock—an INDIAN!”

“Say it so I can hear you,” Hervey said.

“Oh, will you please cut it out,” I said. “We’re going to stay here like we planned.”

“And go over to Moore and give a show, hey?” the kid piped up.

Hervey said, “Well, I’ll tell you what I’m going to do. Up at camp I was called a lot of names by the trustees. That’s the only time I ever knew them to be right—merrily, merrily, sang I.”

“That’s all you’re ever doing—singing,” the kid grouched.

“But nobody ever called me a quitter,” Hervey said. “Tom Slade did once and I stayed at camp just to call his bluff. And he apologized merrily, merrily, did he.”

I said, “Look out you don’t fall off there.”

Hervey said, “I’m going to stick to the unendurable self-denial run—merrily, merrily, quoth I. If you can get fun out of an ash barrel then what difference does it make where you go? ‘None whatever’ the maiden answered. The fun you get is in taking chances. Ray and Fuller took a chance with an ash barrel and they got a history lesson wished onto them——”

“What!” the kid screamed.

I said, “Will you keep still!

Hervey said, “I’m going to stick to the insurance test——”

“You don’t even know the name of it,” Pee-wee shot at him.

“Oh—for—the—love—of—” I started.

Hervey said, “The Mohawks and the witches are all dead ones. I’m going to stick with a live bunch. I started out on a Hunkerjunk and I’m going to have a hunk of fun.” Then he started singing, you know how he is (gee, you must know if you read about Temple Camp), he started singing one of those crazy songs he sings up at camp:

“Some fun to find,

I changed my mind;

Like lots of grown-up men.

It wasn’t there,

Or anywhere;

So I changed it back again.”

With that he jumped down and landed kerflop, and started over to the campfire, kind of free and easy like—merrily, merrily, that’s what he would call it. We both followed him. Pee-wee was awful glum.

That’s one thing about Hervey Willetts. He does right things, but he kind of acts as if he didn’t do them because they’re right. That’s why scouts, and especially trustees, don’t understand him up at Temple Camp. You never know what he’s really thinking about. You can bet Tom Slade understands him all right and even trustees are kind of scared of Tom Slade. That’s why Hervey doesn’t get along worse than he does. But, oh, bibbie, he’s made a lot of trouble up there, I’ll say that. He’s one fellow I don’t understand.

He said to Harry, “I decided I’d have more fun going with you, because you keep moving and the settlement at Refuge reminds me of a history lesson and the Mohawks are all dead, anyway.”

Harry said, “What’s that, Herve?”

All the while Brent and Ray and Fuller sat there looking straight into the fire—they did it on purpose.

Harry said, “What’s the big idea, Herve?”

Hervey said, “Oh, it isn’t so big—I’m very fond of motoring and I kind of like you because you’re not always razzing me. If that gang of Mohawks were a lot of murderers I’m not so stuck on them, anyway. I kind of like what you said about the White Mountains, it must be nice up there. I’m with you. I’ll make a new sign to put on the car.”

Harry sort of squinted his eyes and looked straight at him. He looked at me and he looked at Pee-wee.

Hervey said, “Forty miles an hour is about my speed and that’s the way you and Brent go.”

“And he likes ginger snaps too,” I said.

“I like endurance testing,” Hervey told him.

Harry said, “That the reason, Herve?”

All of a sudden I gave Hervey a good shove. I said, “Shut up, you said enough—merrily, merrily, quoth I.”

Then I said to Harry, “No, that isn’t the reason and if Tom Slade was here he’d know. The reason is because Hervey is a scout, just like I am, and just like Pee-wee is, only more so. And he’s not a quitter. He doesn’t care where he goes or what he does as long as he isn’t a quitter. We’re all going with you, the whole three of us, and I’d like to know what you pulled down that sign for with—with about scouts on it when it belonged to us as much as it did to you.”

Harry said, “So you think young Slade has me stopped when it comes to understanding people, huh?”

“When it comes to understanding Hervey,” I said

Harry said, “Well, Herve, I see you take after the only Mohawk in that crowd that I like—the guy that got killed. I think you’re a little bit like Caleb Ellerton too, you little rascal. You’d scuttle a ship quick as look at it, wouldn’t you?” Then he rumpled his hair up for him, even so hard it made Hervey stagger.

“Well, now,” he said, “I win my bet, Fuller; what d’you say? Hand over that cigar, quick. You kids all agreed that you’d mind what I said when we started out—you promised your father that, Roy. All right, then you’ll obey orders and camp here in the old Mohawk country and start business and give a show and Brent and I are glad to be rid of you. When we get back here we’ll have some mileage to show you and we’ll all shoot home together—forty per. And if this pair of ash barrel pickers don’t take good care of you and treat you right, just mention it to me when we light in. How about that cigar, Fuller? Are they scouts, or are they not scouts?”

Who said we weren’t scouts?” Pee-wee yelled.

Gee whiz, can you beat that?


That night I saw how those Happy Home Trailers could be opened up and kind of spread out so there were places for four people to sleep. When they were opened up like that they looked like tents and you couldn’t see the wheels at all. It was like a trick the way all of a sudden they turned into little houses.

Mr. Snapp didn’t do that with his trailer because they were going to start off in a hurry very early in the morning so as to pile up mileage. That’s all Harry was thinking of—mileage. Ray and Pee-wee and Hervey and I slept in the other trailer. Fuller slept in the Hunkerjunk trailer and I bet myself that he’d get carried away in the morning without knowing it, so many crazy things had happened on that trip.

While I was lying awake before I fell asleep I could hear that owl. It made me feel kind of queer thinking how I was lying there where the Mohawk Indians used to be and maybe their ghosts were hanging around there now. When I was almost asleep I heard a shout, I guess it was in a car going past up on the Trail. I was scared until I got good and awake because I thought I was going to be scalped. The kid and Hervey were sound asleep. Hervey gets scalped so often up at camp by the management that I guess you couldn’t scare him that way. But, anyway, talk about ghosts, you just wait and see.

When we got up in the morning the Hunkerjunk and Mr. Snapp’s trailer had gone away on their mad career. That’s what Ray called it. Believe me, when we saw them again they had something to tell us. Only they couldn’t tell it on account of the other things that we were telling them. It seemed funny with Harry not there, and Brent too with his spectacles—old Doctor Gaylong, that’s what we always call him. But, anyway, Pee-wee’s mother (she’s more to be pitied than blamed, but I guess she’s used to him), anyway she knows Ray and Fuller on account of meeting them at Snailsdale Manor, and she knew they were grown-up fellows so she should worry. My mother never worries about me, that’s one thing, as long as she knows there are grown-up people around, not saying what kind of grown-up people, because Fuller and Ray are crazy, but anyway they’re careful.

So then after breakfast in the morning we were all excited hunting for an obscure trail that led from the Mohawk Trail down through the woods. We started hunting around Big Chief Rock, but we couldn’t find any. Pee-wee knows a lot of Indian wrinkles and woodlore and all that because he had an uncle that was born in Indiana. He said we could discover a trail best by climbing up in a tree and looking down—he says it’s best if you look cross-eyed. So he climbed up in a tree and looked down cross-eyed, but there wasn’t any trail.

He said, “That’s funny.”

“It’s one of the funniest things I ever saw,” Fuller said. “Would you mind looking cross-eyed down here so we can see you better?”

The kid said, “In an airplane you can see lots of trails that you can’t see down on the ground; the prairie is all crisscrossed with them.”

Ray said, “Fuller, you don’t happen to have an airplane about you, do you?”

“I left mine home on the victrola,” Fuller said.

“There are even trails in the ocean,” the kid told us.

“Fancy that,” Ray said.

“Only you can’t see them,” the kid said, “they’re invincible, I mean invisible.”

“The very idea!” Fuller said. “You astound me.”

Ray said, “I guess a trail a couple of hundred years old wouldn’t be very clear. All we know is that that bunch of Salemites or Salamanders or whatever you’d call them went through here somewhere. The trail really starts at Hydome in an ash barrel.”

“That’s where Pee-wee’s ideas ought to end,” I said, “in the ash barrel.”

“That shows how much you know!” the kid yelled at me. “We have to do things by scout deduction and it shows you never read the scout handbook and especially the English one—it tells all about deduction and tracking and trailing and not leaving any footprints or anything.”

I said, “You call that a handbook? It ought to be called a footbook.”

“Now, when we’re going to do something real,” the kid shouted, “right away you start all your nonsense. That’s just like you and all the Silver Foxes, they’re crazy and you made them that way and you never care about real scouting or anything that’s real, you don’t.”

“Wrong the first time,” I told him; “I’m interested in real estate, also real agates, deny it if you dare.”

“Merrily, merrily,” Hervey said. That’s what he always says when Pee-wee and I get started in mortal come-back.

Fuller said, “Well, we’ve looked everywhere except under the trailer and there isn’t any old trail. Do you know what I think about that trail? I think it ain’t, to use the personal pronoun.”

“What do you mean, personal pronoun?” the kid shouted.

“If we can’t find it by geography we’ll find it by grammar,” I said. “We’re boy scouts and we won’t be tinfoiled.”

Fuller said, “You are right, Roy. Nothing can be accomplished by threats and anger. Maybe Pee-wee looked too cross when he looked cross-eyed. I don’t want to criticize, I just offer that as a suggestion.”

“You are right, Fuller,” Ray said.

The kid said, “You all make me sick! Do you think we can ever find what we want by a lot of nonsense?”

Then he went up to the Trail and climbed up on Big Chief Rock and held his hand above his eyes and gazed afar. I guess he reminded himself of Sitting Bull or Pontiac or Bric-a-brac or Rain-in-the-Face or Mud-in-the-Eye or some other big chief in the third grade. That’s where you get the French and Indian War.

“He looks like the first pose of summer,” Ray said.

Then I shouted, “Do you see anything to eat to the west, Big Pee-wee? It’s pretty nearly noontime.”

“Let’s say it with eats,” Hervey said.

So that’s how we started hunting for the old trail. We didn’t find it, but anyway it was a good trail because it led to lunch.

Pee-wee said, “Are we going to be serious this afternoon or crazy?”

“Answered in the affirmative,” I told him. “We’re going to deduct some deductions. I feel a couple of deducts coming on.”

Fuller said, “We will not despair. Look at Henry Hudson. He would never have discovered the Hudson tubes if he had given way to despair.”

“Sure,” Ray said. “Where would we be to-day if George Washington hadn’t forged that check at Valley Forge? Where would that Ford be if he hadn’t forded the Delaware?”

So that’s the way we started, and honest, I don’t think Ray and Fuller cared two cents whether we found the place of the old settlement or not.


For lunch that day I made some chowder with tuna fish and in the afternoon we got serious—maybe that was the reason, hey?

Pee-wee said, “Are we really going to hunt or not?”

So then Fuller said we’d better get down to business. He said, “We’ve got to knuckle down and be serious. We are either going to find the settlement of Refuse or we’re not.”

“That’s very true,” Ray said.

“Not RefuseRefuge!” Pee-wee said.

Fuller said, “My social error, I was thinking of the ash barrel. What do you say we take a walk to the south and look around? One thing we know; the old settlement was south of the Trail. We know the settlers, and later the Mohawks, turned in at the old rock. That’s something to go by, anyway. Let’s stroll down through the woods. How are those for deducts? Right hot out of the pan.”

Pee-wee acted as if he were afraid every minute they would start a lot of nonsense. He kept scowling at me too—Roys will be Roys, that’s what Hervey said to him.

We all walked down through the woods away from the Trail and it was nice in there, all dim, and you could smell the pines. The pine needles were soft under our feet. Pee-wee kept looking at all the trees for Indian marks or blaze signs; I had to laugh because a tall chance he had of finding things like that after a couple of hundred years had passed.

After a little while Fuller sat down on a rock and we all sprawled about, resting. He said, “Do you know, this is mighty interesting; it sort of gets you. Somewhere around here there was a settlement, then all of a sudden it was snuffed out like a candle. Now where was it?” He looked all around and said, “That’s a blamed interesting thing—to come out of an ash barrel; now, isn’t it?”

“It sure is,” I said.

“Where was it?” he said.

Ray said, “Are you asking me?”

Fuller said, kind of serious, “No, but where was it? Look all around at these woods—and that open country away over there. Pretty wild, hey?”

“You said it,” I said.

“It does get you,” Ray said, looking all around. “There’s not one single sign or mark of civilization; not one blamed thing to let anybody know that a bunch of people lived somewhere around in here. They say the murderer always leaves traces and clews. These scout bugs like—wasn’t it Buffalo Bill that said nobody could go anywhere without leaving clews and signs that you could trace him by? That was a wise crack, but how about time? Distance is one thing and time is another. Nature swallows up traces—in time.”

“That’s very brilliant talk, Ray,” Fuller said.

He just said, “Thank you, Fuller. But joking aside, the scout may triumph over distance but he can’t triumph over time. Why, all over the earth, or under it, are fossils and things—mammoths and mastodons. If we only knew where to look for them.”

“Look in the ash barrel,” Hervey said.

“Sure, merrily, merrily,” I said to him.

Then we all sat silent. I guess we were all kind of thinking.

After a while Fuller said, “Old Mother Nature is a pretty big dame, huh? Now look all around at these woods and those fields through there, and tell me one single wrinkle that we can go by? I see now it would be just as crazy as hunting for buried treasure. Where does the scout fit in? The boy scout or the grown-up scout or any other kind? Old Nature has got two hundred and thirty years for her ally. And we can’t lick that combination.” He gave Pee-wee a slap on the shoulder.

“Well, we’ll never find it sitting here,” Hervey said.

“Now, you’re getting down to brass tacks,” Fuller told him. “We should be up and doing with a heart for any fate as Kipling says in the Covered Wagon or some place or other. Well, scouts, what’s the next move?”

I said, “Well, here’s an idea. Scouts can do this much anyway—we can find our way back to camp. We can all do that,” I said. “I say let’s all separate, then we can do five times as much hunting. Each of us will keep hunting all afternoon and when the sun goes down we’ll all meet at camp. That way we can cover a lot of ground and maybe one of us will see something that tells that people were there—arrow-heads or something. We’ll all kind of spread out like a fan, and keep going south, but one of us southwest and one of us southeast and one of us straight south——”

“Wouldn’t that be more the shape of a flyswatter?” Fuller wanted to know.

Ray said, “I think you’re wrong, Fuller; it would be more like a tennis racket.”

I said, “Well, whatever it’s like, shall we do it?”

Fuller pushed his little Turk cap over to the side of his head and jiggled the tassel sort of as if he was lost in thought. Honest, every time I looked at that little hat with a tassel and no brim I had to scream. He said, “I was thinking a formation utilizing the idea of a whisk-broom might be better. Our routes would diverge less abruptly—to qualify the noun with an adverb.”

Pee-wee jumped up and shouted, “When a scout tells you a real scout way to do a thing, all you can talk is a lot of nonsense——”

“I should have said personal pronoun,” Fuller said, all the while shooting the tassel around on the top of his hat.

“It’s no matter,” Ray said, “we all make mistakes.”

Right then Pee-wee went up in the air—that’s his favorite place. He shouted, “Only two things you said to-day had any sense to them! The way Roy says is a regular scout way, and at last when he’s getting some sense you begin to fool again!”

“Thank you for those kind words,” I said. “I thank you for my whole patrol.”

“Not your patrol, only you,” the kid came back at me. “And not even you so much. Your patrol are all fools. But, anyway, you’re right about the way to hunt and we’ll find the place because that’s just the kind of things scouts know how to do and I’ll find it if nobody else does. Anyway, why don’t we look for a spring first because wouldn’t anybody start a settlement near water?”

“You little rascal,” Fuller said.

“I can think up a lot of other ways, too,” the kid shouted.


So then we really started in earnest hunting for the place where that old settlement was. We started from that rock in the woods and spread out, going south. Only Pee-wee started on his own hook hunting for a spring. He went in the shape of a cruller. That’s the way he most always does—goes by himself except when he’s with my patrol—we’re more to be pitied than blamed. The only reason he keeps a patrol of his own is for emergencies. Most always he isn’t there—the pleasure is theirs.

Pretty soon we got out of that thick woods into open country with little patches of woods in places. It was all hilly so after a while we couldn’t see each other any more. For quite a while I could see something red and I knew it was Fuller’s crazy Turk hat. Then I couldn’t see it any more. Anyway, I knew which way to go because I had picked out a landmark that was a tree way off southwest and I could see it most of the time and I followed it. It reminded me of our bee-line hike the way I was doing—that’s a crazy story.

All the while I kept looking on the ground and kicking things, but I never kicked anything that had anything to do with civilization. I kept pulling vines and bushes away and looking for old foundations, but I couldn’t find any. I guess those people didn’t have time to build houses with foundations. Maybe even the story didn’t have any foundation to it, that’s what I said. Because I was getting discouraged. Once I saw something white and it was part of a skull of an animal. Some kind of a little animal ran out of it just as I picked it up. I didn’t bother carrying it, but I guess maybe it was a bear’s skull. It was all rough like clay.

Gee whiz, I guess I hunted for several hours—it seemed awful long. Anyway, the sun was going down way over to the right of me and I knew that was the west. That’s how I knew I was going right—the way I intended to. It got down so low that it seemed as if hills over that way were on fire in different places—little dabs of it. And on the side of a hill it looked all gold—a kind of big spot of gold.

I looked around the other way, east, and I saw a little black speck moving on a hill. After a little while it got nearer. So then I gave the Silver Fox call, that’s my patrol call, it’s kind of like laughing—Haa, haa. That’s the sound a fox makes and it’s a good one for our patrol because we’re always laughing. First there wasn’t any answer, then I could hear, awful faint, kind of like a breeze or something far, far off Keeook. Then I knew that was Hervey because Keeook is the voice of a panther and that’s his patrol and he makes that call fine. On the street where he lives all the panthers come around when he calls it. Pretty soon I could hear it louder and I started over that way to meet him. Sometimes I couldn’t see him on account of hills, but pretty soon we got to each other.

“I didn’t see it anywhere around,” he said.

“I’m mighty glad I saw you,” I told him; “it would be pretty lonesome hiking back alone—two’s a company.” Because it seemed more lonely away off there when the sun was going down.

He said, “There isn’t any way to find a place like that after a couple of hundred years. We should have been there at the time if we wanted to be in on the fun.”

I said, “Good night, do you call a massacre fun?”

He said, “That fellow, Determined Woolcott, who escaped, maybe he ran right across about here toward the Trail. How do we know? Then after that to go to sea. I know he had more than his share.”

“Quoth the maiden,” I said.

He said, “I came near getting into a massacre myself. I kicked a wasps’ nest—I thought it was a tin can belonging in Refuge. I thought it was Mohawks chasing me. One of them went shooting into my ear, but he didn’t sting me. Maybe he had a peace treaty with the boy scouts, hey?”

We started to walk back going north but a little east, and we got lost in some woods and I guess we went a mile out of our way. Then we got out where we could see the sun, but it was almost down by that time.

I said, “We should worry. If we keep going this way we’re sure to bunk into the Trail even if it isn’t just in the right spot. Then we can follow the Trail till we come to the rock.

“You don’t see me worrying, do you?” he said.

“I never did, not so you’d notice it,” I told him.

After a little while we gave the panther call together good and loud. We thought maybe Pee-wee would hear us and give his own call. We heard something, but it was only the echo—Keeook. It was lonely around there. Gee whiz, don’t you believe the geography when it tells you Massachusetts is a thickly populated state. If Massachusetts out that way is thickly populated then they must have to have traffic regulations in the Sahara Desert, b-e-l-i-e-v-e me!

Pretty soon we could hear way, way, way far ahead of us the Raven’s patrol call—Kar-kaw, Kar-kaw good and clear. It sounded good, you can bet. That’s one peach of a patrol call because it sounds so clear way far off.

I said, “It’s a wonder to me we can hear it so good through all these woods.” Because we were in woods again then.

Hervey said, “It sounds like a real bird’s call, up high, sort of.”


“You’re right, it does,” I told him. “The Trail is on higher land than this, that’s why. He sounds like a raven all right, but I bet just at present he’s back in camp giving his impersonation of a boy scout eating two bananas and calling like a raven at the same time. Yes, there’ll be no bananas by the time we get back. He’ll find those even if he didn’t find Refuge.”

Believe me, I couldn’t see anything that reminded me of a fan as we went back. I was wondering what our different routes would look like if I saw them on a map. Anyway, it took us more than half an hour before we saw any sign of our camp, and even then we didn’t see it. And we were pushing through woods and across fields all filled with brush, and we kept looking for signs of people and remains of buildings until we got tired and didn’t bother any more. You can bet I was glad to have Hervey with me.

I guess it was maybe nearly an hour when we came around the edge of a wood and right in front of us was the Trail way up on a shelf, sort of. Below that it was almost straight up and down—it was pretty steep, anyway. And it was all covered with tangled woods and brush—oh, boy, it was some thicket!

On the Trail up there was a tower made of open framework sort of like a lighthouse only built of wood. It was closed up on the ground floor. It looked like as if there were stairs winding up around inside the framework. And on the top was a railing around. It was high, high up, dizzy, right on the top of that precipice. It wouldn’t look like that on the Trail where it was. But from way down where we were it looked terribly high.

I knew what that was all right, only first from way down below it surprised me and looked strange. It was one of those towers they have along the Trail—observation towers. The first one you come to is right outside of North Adams. I knew there were others along the Trail because they were on post cards we bought in North Adams. But I didn’t know of one near our camping ground.

I said, “Well, there’s the Trail up there—not saying how we’re going to get to it. I think our camp is west of that. Have you got your old friend, Kitty Keyhole, with you?” That’s Hervey’s old spy-glass that shuts up—it’s like a little bit of a telescope. He gave a scout in Temple Camp his camera and his belt ax for that. Honest, that’s the only scout thing that Hervey has—he should bother his head with para—something or other, I can’t spell it.

“Sure,” he said.

I looked through it away up at the top of the tower and there was Pee-wee leaning over the railing, and honest, as sure as I’m sitting here writing, he was eating something. He didn’t see us because he was looking far off. That was where he was all right when he had answered our call.

Hervey said, “I wonder what he’s looking at.”

“Search me,” I told him. “How in the dickens are we going to get up there?”

There were two cables from the top of that tower that came slanting down into the woods near us to hold it steady. Hervey wanted to find the end of one of them and go hand over hand up.

“Not so you’d notice it,” I said. “You’d get about a quarter way up and then you’d drop, merrily, merrily.” Gee, that was just like Hervey. “We can climb up somehow,” I told him.

But believe me, we had a pretty hard job of it. At the place where our camp was it wasn’t so bad.

You had to go down from the Trail, but it wasn’t so bad. But where that tower was, good night! It was on the top floor. And I bet there were rattlesnakes there, too. It was just all thick, tangled brush and rocks. It was one dangerous climb.

Hervey said, “We’ll never be able to take it on high.”

I said, “We’ll try it in second gear.”

We started scrambling up through all that tangle and it was some job, all right. That’s the way it is with the Mohawk Trail, in places it goes along sort of part way up mountains on a shelf. Most of the way up we reminded ourselves of monkeys, but that’s what Hervey likes. It was some scramble.

When we got to the top our clothes were all torn. Then the observation tower didn’t seem so high, but it was high enough. We could see then how it was built right on the edge of the Trail close up to the precipice. It didn’t look so wild from up on the Trail. The downstairs part of it was a souvenir store—believe me, I never saw so much junk—all kinds of fancy things. Those things really didn’t have anything to do with the old trail at all—post cards, and little canoes and pocketbooks and moccasins and beads and pin cushions and cedar money boxes and little paddles with pictures painted on them. No wonder Fuller and Ray thought it would be a dandy idea to find real arrow-heads and sell them. I was mighty sorry we couldn’t do it.

Hervey said, “They’d make a sensation all right.”

I said, “Anyway, let’s buy a couple of hot dogs.”

He said, “No, it would spoil my appetite.”

I said, “Well, my appetite is warranted not to spoil—even the rain doesn’t hurt it.”

“It wets it,” Hervey said.

Anyway, we got a couple of hot dogs and they didn’t last any longer with us than all that souvenir junk last with most people. Most of those things cost about a dollar—crinkums, but they get away with murder, those souvenir people. I guess it wasn’t until then that I realized what a good idea it was that Ray and Fuller had about finding a place where there would be lots of real Indian arrow-heads, and then selling them. It was a peach of an idea all right only now I saw we couldn’t do it. Because how can you find a place in a wild country like that if you haven’t got anything to go by? Just the same I’ll always respect an ash barrel when I see one. Ragpickers are the real scouts.


Then we went up the winding stairs, up, up, up, till we came to the platform on the top of the tower. Oh, boy, some view! We could see all the wild country we had been in that afternoon. It looked good and lonesome off that way because it was dusk now. Away, way up high above in the air I could see a bird flying. Lots of times when it’s like that, after the sun has gone down, that’s the time sometimes I get homesick, even up at Temple Camp.

There was Pee-wee with his arms on the railing gazing away off. He looked awful little.

I said, “They’ve got peachy hot dogs downstairs.”

He said, “Don’t talk to me about hot dogs.”

“Please excuse me while I faint,” I said to Hervey.

Then I asked the kid, “Did you find any springs or water anywhere?”

He said, “No.”

“Well,” I said, “we’re stumped. We might as well look for a needle in a haystack as that blamed place. I’m good and tired, I know that. Where’s our camp, anyway?”

He said very proud, “Scouts don’t get stumped.”

“No?” I said. “Well, they get good and tired. I’m through hunting for places that ain’t. Also they get hungry. Come on, let’s go back to camp.” Then I saw that that old history book with only one cover on it was lying on the railing. I said, “What’s that doing here? Have you been to camp since you got back?”

He said, “Yes, I have; Fuller and Ray are there now.” Then he said, “Look over there to the west. Do you see where it looks like kind of gold?”

I said, “Sure, I saw that, it’s the sun shining there.”

He said, “The sun has gone down.”

“From here, yes,” I said. “But it’s shining on that patch still.”

All of a sudden the kid swung around and stared at us. Oh, boy, his eyes were blazing. His mouth was kind of black, I guess he had been eating chocolate bars. It was sort of funny, but just the same he was all excited, even his hand was trembling, trying to keep in his excitement. “What’s the matter, Kid?” I asked.

He opened that old wreck of a book—he knew just where to open it. He was trying to keep in his excitement. He said, “I came up here first and looked at it—I did. I’m the one and you can’t deny it. Scouts can do any—they can do anything they want to do—they’re the bosses of—of—of even Nature—they’re the bosses of it. I found the old settlement of Refuge.

“The very idea,” Hervey said.

“Well,” I said, “wipe your mouth off anyway. You’re a walking advertisement for Hershel’s Milk Chocolate.”

“Read that,” he said.

I said, “Gee whiz, you make a noise like a schoolteacher. Where—what?”

“Right there,” he said, very dark and mysterious.

Hervey and I looked over his shoulder at that old book where it lay on the railing. It was open at page one hundred and twenty-seven.

“Begin there,” he said, pointing with his finger.

This is what we read:

“Old Caleb told his great grandson that one of the refugees, a woman, hurriedly visited her barn to get more gorse spray in which to pack her treasured Delft chinaware, and was confronted on the spot by a fanatical girl who accused her of being a witch because she was out after dark on a mysterious errand. Fortunately she eluded her accuser and escaped with her friends.”

“The pleasure is hers,” I said. “What’s the idea?”

Jiminy Christopher, he fairly yelled at us. He said, “The idea is that if you studied scouting like I did instead of all the time acting crazy—you and all your patrol—you’d know that gorse is English woadwax and it spreads and grows all over and is all gold color. That’s what they used for packing —gorse spray and seeds.

“If you want to know where Refuge was, it’s where all that gold is—that’s gorse, that is! It isn’t just the sunlight, it’s gorse growing. That woman that went back to her barn to get some left a clew. I—I should worry about Time—I’m a scout, I am. I’ll take you where that massacre was to-morrow morning. G-e-e whiz, I know sunlight when I see it!”

I just stared at him, I was too surprised to speak. He seemed awful little and his cheek had a “clew” of milk chocolate on it. But there was one little scout for you, I’ll tell the world!

“I believe you’re right, Kid,” I said. “Wipe your mouth off and come on, let’s go back to camp.”

“Can you deny I’m a dandy scout?” he shouted.


Going down those stairs I stopped on one of the landings and looked way off to the west. The kid and Hervey kept on going down, Pee-wee with his precious book under his arm like a professor. I stood there alone for just a half a minute or so. Maybe you think because I’m always kidding the life out of Pee-wee that I don’t think he’s a scout. He’s the best little scout that I ever knew, I can tell you that. I just stood there gazing.

It was away, way off on a hillside, that patch of yellow. It didn’t look yellow now, in the dusk, but just the same I could see it. It wasn’t just from the sun, I could see that now. The sun had made it brighter, but there it was, just the same after the sun had gone down. It was the same bright spot I had noticed and spoken to Hervey about. There weren’t any other patches like that any place around in all that country down there.

So then Pee-wee had made that wild country, miles and miles of woods and fields and rocks and everything, that little rascal of a scout had made it tell its secret. Golden glory sometimes they call that stuff and I was thinking about that when all of a sudden I said to myself, “It’s a golden glory for that little scout, sure enough.” I always said he uses his mouth, goodness knows, but he uses his eyes and his brains too. Just as I was looking over that way while it was getting darker every minute, all of a sudden something big rose up from where the patch of golden glory was. It was big and dark. And it went up, up, up, and I knew it was a great big bird—an eagle, maybe. For a couple of seconds I made believe it was a witch or a spook or something rising up from that place where all those Salem refugees were murdered.

“Gee williger, we’ll have plenty to do to-morrow,” I said.

Our camp was about half a mile along the Trail. It was lonesome along the Trail in the dusk. I was glad we had a camp with eats in it and everything, especially grown-up fellows. I caught up with the kid and Hervey—the kid looked awful funny trudging along with that old book tucked under his arm. He said, “Do you know what I did?”

I said, “You did enough for one day, Kid. I can hardly wait till to-morrow morning.”

He said, “In that souvenir place you can mail letters. I sent a letter to Mr. Dawson at Moore and I told him I found Refuge only I didn’t go to it yet, and I told him we’re coming next Saturday to give our scout show in Moore. I told him to have the town all ready and to tell people about it and have everything all ready.”

I said, “Well, Hervey and I are with you. I don’t know what we’re going to do, but go ahead, we’re with you. I guess Fuller and Ray will be with you too—and Harry and Brent and Mr. Snapp if they drop in on us by that time.”

“We’re going to give demonstrations,” Pee-wee said, “and you can play the harmonica.”

“Good night,” I said. “Well, anyway, we’ll have to fix up a program.”

The kid said, “That man’s got lots and lots of money and when he sees all about what scouts can do maybe he’ll contribute to the scout drive, hey?”

“Maybe he’ll drive us out,” Hervey said.

“Well, anyway, we’ve found a Refuge,” I told him.

When we got to camp, there were Ray and Fuller sitting side by side on the shaft of the trailer.

Fuller said, “We’ve been having a meeting of the board of directors of the Mohawk Novelty Co., and we’ve decided not to bother about the arrow-head business. We’re going to manufacture and sell Mohawk incense cones. Do you think using the gum from pine trees and mixing it with powdered field daisies—What the dickens are you doing with the book, Sir Harris?”

“I know where Refuge is,” Pee-wee said. “I know where those people got massacred. I did it by deduction.”

So then he told them. Gee whiz, those fellows didn’t act a bit surprised—they never do. They take everything happy-go-lucky. Ray just said, “Gold, that’s the Hydome color. But now that we know where it is we can turn our thoughts to something else. Fuller and I have been doping out a formula for Mohawk incense cones while we were waiting for you. We were thinking that by mixing dried clay with pine gum—the question is would it burn, smolder? Would it emit, otherwise diffuse, a pleasing fragrance—to use the personal pronoun? We could make little boxes, as Fuller suggests, of birch bark, and pack them in lots of a dozen—ten cents a box.”

Pee-wee shouted, “Will you keep still! I go and find the place we were looking for, that we came all the way here to find, and now you’re talking about doing something else, and you never know what you want because you don’t care what you do anyway, and you always want to be doing something else and what’s the use starting out to do anything at all because you’ll be always changing—g-e-e-e-e whiz!”

“There’s some truth in that, Ray,” Fuller said.

“Anyway, I’m going to start in the arrow-head business,” the kid shouted. “I found the place and I’m going hunting there to-morrow.”

Ray said, “There’s a slight smudge on your left cheek, Sir Harris. It’s very trivial, still you may as well erase it—to use the college phrase.”

“Don’t you take any more interest in the ash barrel?” the kid wanted to know, all the while, rubbing his cheek. “Anyway, you always said one thing is as good as another.”

“Better—better than another is what I said,” Ray told him. “Better, meaning an improvement upon; the E being silent as in bull.”

“Well, what are you going to do?” the kid said, very disgusted.

“We’re going to have supper,” Fuller said, “or otherwise attack the tenderflops—to use the military phrase.”

“You make me sick,” Pee-wee said.

“So do they,” said Fuller.


The next morning it turned out that Pee-wee wanted to do everything—that’s him all over. He wanted to go hunting for arrow-heads, and he wanted to make incense cones, and he wanted to give a show at Moore, across the mountain. He decided that one thing was as good as another if not the best of all. He had thought up a formula for incense cones—he was going to use pine gum and powdered leaves and beeswax and crunched up cocoons and toadstools and a whole lot of junk. If you could ever keep one of them lighted I guess it would smell like a glue factory.

After breakfast I said to Fuller, “I ask of you on bended knee not to wear that red Turkish cap with a tassel to the scene of Refuge. Wear your burglar’s cap or something.” I said, “I don’t ask you where you got that red thing that looks like Bon Ami or some other kind of a Turk or a soap or something. Only please don’t wear it.”

Then he told me how he had it ever since a masquerade at Hydome. He said he thought a great deal of it because it reminded him of a Turkish towel he used to use when he was a freshman.

So that next day we all started out over to where the yellow patch was—it was good and bright in the daytime. It was some long hike. We had to go over hills and through woods and everything; oh, boy, it was a wild country. Most all the way we could see the Mohawk Trail. I mean we could see where it was running along the sides of those mountains. Sometimes far off we could hear an auto horn honking and it made an echo. We could most always pick out where the Trail was, even if we couldn’t just see it. Believe me, that’s the wildest country I ever saw.

Fuller and Ray said they were keen for the scout show over in Moore. I knew they would be because they got up minstrels and things at Hydome. They said if we wanted them to they’d have a public debate with each other on the subject Which is Which?

I said, “No joking, there’s one thing you can do over there, you can sing. Will you?”

Ray said, “With pleasure.”

“Whose pleasure ?” Hervey said. All the while we were hiking over hills and through woods and there wasn’t any trail at all.

Ray said if we wanted them to they’d sing a Hydome song named, It Has Its Ups and Downs. It was all about a dumb-waiter. They had another song they were always singing about She Gave Him Back His Ring. It was about an alarm clock. Gee, I wish I could remember it to write it down. The only one I can remember parts of is, The Birds Are Free and So Are We—it has about ten million verses.

Anyway, pretty soon we stopped joking—even Ray and Fuller stopped all their crazy stuff and got interested. That was when we got to the place where the yellow gorse was. It went from the edge of a woods for maybe about a quarter of a mile all around on the side of a hill—yellow flowers.

Fuller picked some and he said, “So that’s what you call gorse, is it?”

“English woadwax,” I said; “it’s the same thing. Now I remember how it says in our histories that old Governor Endicott away back in, I don’t know how far back, how all his china and stuff was packed in gorse—now I remember.”

“You remind me of an egg!” the kid shouted. He shouted so loud he reminded me of a static.

I said, “Tune out, we’ve got station P. H.”

Ray said, “Why an egg?”

“Because I’ll tell you why,” the kid shouted. “Columbus discovered America and then a man said anybody could do it so Columbus said nobody could make an egg stand on end and everybody tried and nobody could do it. Then Columbus slammed it down on end and broke the end of it and it stood up and then the other man did it too, and Columbus said, ‘Anybody can do it now I showed them how.’ So that’s like Roy Blakeley. But I’m the one that did it. He never thought about gorse for packing till now.”

Fuller said, “That’s very conclusive and it’s understood he’s a scrambled egg because now he’s scrambling for glory.”

Pee-wee said, “I’m the one that did it.”

“Nature stands no chance with you at all,” Fuller said. “Come, let’s push around and see if we can kick up some junk.”

“We’ll tell all about it at the show, hey?” Pee-wee said.

Fuller said, “Absolutely. I’ll introduce you to the assemblage as the discoverer of the lost and unknown colony of Refuge.”

Over at the edge of the woods we found a spring, and a brook ran from it down that hillside. So Pee-wee was right in two ways. He was right when he thought about hunting for a spring, because it turned out that that’s just what those people did—start their settlement near water. And he was right about the gorse too. I guess they threw it out when it was no use for packing any more and it grew up and spread all over, and it seemed like flowers over those massacred peoples’ graves—that’s what my sister said when Harry and I were telling her about it.

It made me feel sort of funny to walk around there, where all that yellow growth was. Pretty soon Ray tripped over something and picked it up and it was a piece of wood, all punky. He just broke it like powder. But we could see it had been chopped, it had been part of a log cabin, I guess. So then we knew the kid was right for sure. We just kept kicking around, each one going a different place.

Pretty soon I picked up a funny thing and it told for sure that people had lived there, even more than the old rotten piece of chopped wood. It was made of tin and it was all rusty. It was six tin tubes in a row. They were about ten inches long. There was a tin plate that closed them up at one end, only it was all eaten up with rust and flapping loose.

I called the fellows and we all looked at it. We knew it was something that people used once, only we couldn’t guess what. But later we found out over in Moore. It was a thing used to make candles with. They used to pour the tallow into those tubes, the people did. First they hung a wick in, then they poured the tallow in and let it get hard. Then they had six candles. I sold that thing to some people that were driving past on the Trail—I got three dollars for it. Gee whiz, some people like junk. I bought a new belt ax with that money.


We found arrow-heads too; we found all kinds of things in those fields of gorse. All we had to do was just keep kicking around and we found things. We found a kind of a little bit of a tin cup that went to a point. It was a candle snuffer. Pee-wee used it to make incense cones in, but nobody bought them, but, anyway, they kept the mosquitoes away. And we found part of a spinning wheel—Roy found that. We found pewter plates and spoons and a whole lot of things. Fuller found a brass kettle and we polished it up and got five dollars for it.

All of a sudden Hervey shouted, “Do you suppose this is anything?”

We all went to look and it was a little piece of stone, pointed, about an inch long. It was rough, but you could see it had been cut. It was sharp on the end.

Fuller said, “That’s one, and it’s a good one; it’s an Indian arrow-head. That blamed little thing, like enough, killed somebody once. They’re not all cut as well as that. Feel the tip of that. Sharp?”

Then he told us how the Indians used to do. They bound those little bits of pointed stone to the ends of their arrows. After that we found lots of them. But the one Hervey found first was the best of any, it was so even and sharp. He said he was going to bore a hole through it and wear it around his neck, but he swapped it at Temple Camp for a fountain pen that wouldn’t work and he was a fool because, cracky, he never writes home anyway, that fellow.

We found lots of those arrow-heads. We hunted for things all that day and the next day I took my cooking set and we stayed all day long. I cooked bacon. We found a sundial and polished it up and got ten dollars for it. Oh, boy, we found lots of things. We had a cigar box half full of arrow-heads. I bet lots of them killed people, those arrow-heads. Whenever one of us would pick one up we’d look at it and wonder. We’d say, “Maybe that killed a woman, hey?”

We spent three days kicking around in that gorse. Fuller said if it was winter he betted we’d find lots more things than we did on account of the gorse being not so thick. But we found enough, believe me. It was like hunting for buried treasure, only it was more fun. Because we didn’t have to dig and dig and dig and then be disappointed. We didn’t find a big chest full of gold nuggets like they do in stories, but just the same we had a lot of fun those three days we spent where the old settlement of Refuge was. Especially because it was a place nobody ever knew anything about because, I guess, not many people ever read that old book and it wasn’t in any other book. We had to thank Pee-wee, that’s one thing sure, but anyway the moral is, don’t ever look scornful at an ash barrel—that’s what Fuller said.

He said, “Now we’re in a position to start a unique kind of an antique shop, handling entirely original junk direct from original sources, cutting out the middleman. We can exploit the massacred settlement of Refuge now discovered, revealed and made known to the relic loving public by Sir Harris, Boy Scout, through his marvelous skill in deduction and colonial detective work spanning a period of two hundred and thirty years, special mark down sale of original Mohawk Indian arrow-heads used in the harrowing massacre and so forth—to use the commercial phrase. My idea would be to call it the Lost Colony Antique Company.”

“It’s an inspiration!” the kid shouted.

Fuller said, “If junk is what the people want, let them make the most of it. From this day I renounce pleasures and wanton pastimes and devote myself strictly to business. I will be able to say that I’m better than Rockefeller. He started in the gutter and I started at an ash barrel. What shall it be, the Lost Colony Antique Company?”

So then the next morning we took some floor boards out of the flivver and used one of the running boards that was falling off anyway, and we built a counter right up close to the Trail. We went up to the souvenir place in the tower and bought a lot of Indian stuff, a row of feathers in a strip of buckskin, and a pair of moccasins and an Indian blanket. Then we dressed Pee-wee up in all that stuff—excuse me while I have a fit before I go on writing. He was supposed to be a Mohawk chief.

I said, “Will you kindly finish eating that chocolate bar and look out you don’t trip over the blanket—look out, you’re falling all over yourself!”

“I ought to have a tomahawk,” he said.

Fuller said, “I kicked around for two hours looking for one of those things up in the gorse patch; I guess you’ll have to use your belt ax. Take that safety-pin out of the blanket—here, stick a twig in. Now let’s look at you.”

Oh, boy! There was Pee-wee disguised as a Mohawk chief. Every time he started to walk he tripped on the blanket and went kerflop. One of the feathers in that strip of buckskin was always tickling him in the neck and he kept reaching around there. Laugh!

Ray said, “Look fierce.”

We took the canvas covering off the Happy Home Trailer and fixed it up like a tent right at the edge of the Trail, near the counter. We spread all the stuff out on the counter and we had the arrow-heads in a box with a sign Ten Cents Each.

We had little bouquets of gorse too, five cents. Ray and Fuller made a lot of signs; they were awful funny. Pee-wee squatted in front of the teepee that we made, smoking a long imitation pipe that Fuller made. He looked terrible fierce.

On the Mohawk Trail there are cars going by all the time. Those people stop at the souvenir places and send post cards and buy things—I guess they just buy things because they happen to see them. Anyway, some of those souvenirs are made in Germany and some are made in New York. But you can bet your life everybody stopped at our place. No wonder, with Pee-wee sitting there all dolled up like a Mohawk chief and Fuller with his crazy little Turk’s cap on standing there giving a lecture. Oh, boy, you should have heard him.

He said, “Here you are! Genuine relics from the lost settlement of Refuge now at last discovered and located by a Boy Scout—a BOY SCOUT! Lifted out of oblivion and obscurity where it lay under its bed of flowering gorse—five cents a bunch! Buy a bunch in memory of the lost settlement of Refuge. Maybe you had an ancestor there, who knows?” (Pee-wee just sat there scowling.) “Here you are,” Fuller kept saying. “Don’t buy modern gewgaws to feed your ash barrels and fill your attics! Read what an old historical volume now out of print and unknown has to say about the lost colony of Refuge! The book is open to the public! There it lies open at the saddest and truest episode in American history. Read it, then buy a bunch of yellow gorse and water it with your tears—for five cents, half a dime! Buy a genuine Indian arrow-head from a genuine Boy Scout—the marvelous, resourceful, intrepid, dauntless little fellow who defied Time and her secret—who DEFIED her!” (Pee-wee scowled just like as if he was defying her.)

Fuller kept walking up and down and shouting, “Read about the lost settlement of Refuge—read it with your own eyes! Read the thrilling, harrowing tale of witches and darkness! Read how a frightened woman ran to her barn to get some gorse seed in which to pack her few poor belongings—read it! I don’t ask you to believe meread it! Then consider how a Boy Scout, a Boy Scout of America, who read that and came here to camp, saw in the distance a fair field of golden gorse! Saw it with his scout eye!” (Oh, boy, you should have seen Pee-wee.) “Saw it and knew its meaning, as only a Boy Scout can! Saw it and led his comrades to the scene, unknown to history, where an entire settlement was massacred, all but one intrepid youth, two hundred and thirty years ago!”

“Tell ’em how I knew to look for a spring too,” the kid said.

“Silence, Chief Chocolate Bar,” Fuller said. “Here you are! No need to ask if they are genuine. Fresh from under the golden gorse. Only two dollars for this rare old candlestick—we wouldn’t stick you.”

All the while Pee-wee kept lifting handfuls of arrow-heads and letting them slip through his fingers back into the cigar box.

We made eleven dollars and seventy cents the first day.


Oh, boy, but that was fun. Pretty soon it got all over along the Trail about our selling things from a lost settlement, and the people from other souvenir places came to see—they were kind of mad and jealous. Fuller just said, “There is the book and here are the things—everything is open. If you say we are not on the square the Boy Scouts of America answer you with a slight curling of the lip, and remind you of their rule that a Boy Scout is trustworthy! No arrow-heads sold to the trade.”

He said that because one of those people wanted to buy all that were in the cigar box, and then he’d hang each one on a post card or something with a wisp of buckskin and sell it for about a dollar—oh, boy, I knew the Mohawk Trail all right. People get scalped there now just the same as ever.

By Thursday most all our stuff was sold and during that time two men came to see us from the Old Colony Historical Society and wanted us to take them to Refuge, and we did it, and that’s how lots of people, especially professors and people like that, got interested and now it’s all written up in a book about Refuge and Pee-wee’s name is mentioned in it—that’s the reason he never bothers with us any more—the pleasure is ours and many of them. Gee whiz, honest, I thought they’d put him in the Pathe News. Lots and lots of boys will have to study all about that all on account of us because we know the different kinds of flowers.

On Thursday night we didn’t have any more things left except a few arrow-heads and we were going to close up for good when, honk, honk, honk, we heard good and loud and along came the Hunkerjunk Super Six Touring Model, all dirty, with the Happy Home Trailer jumping and bobbing behind it. Jiminy, but it was good to see them.

Harry looked at Pee-wee and he said, “In—the—name—of—— What in all creation do you call that?”

Pee-wee got up and tripped all over his Indian blanket and went sprawling on the ground. All the time while he was scrambling up he was saying, “Hey, Harry and Brent and Mr. Ginger Snap, I discovered where Refuge used to be and we found lots of stuff and sold it and we’ve got nearly thirty dollars and historians and anti something or others——”

“Antiquarians,” Ray said.

“And people like that,” the kid shouted, “they came here and saw how I got resources and know about deduction and things, and if you’re hungry you can get dandy hot dogs in that tower up the road.”

Fuller said, “While you fellows have been joyriding——”

“I’ll say so,” Harry said. “New Hampshire, Vermont——”

“We’ve been making our fortunes and becoming famous,” Fuller said. “To-night we’ll tell you all about it around the council fire—to use the Indian phrase. It sounds like real romance, like Sam Slow and his Million Dollar Submarine, volume three million. Welcome to our camp. We’ve become rich and famous, but not proud. Harry, all the souvenir people along the Trail have been planning to consolidate and squeeze us out. We’ve fought a desperate battle of commerce and won out. Now we’re ready to have our brains dashed out in the interest of the Hunkerjunk car and the Home Sweet Home Trailer.”

“Your what?” Harry said.

“Our brains, Harry—to use the medical term.” Brent said, “What’s the latest quotation on arrow-heads? Let’s look at one of those things, will you?”

So that night we all sat around our campfire again, united like the cigar stores, that’s what Ray said. Harry told us all about their trip. They had been way up through the White Mountains and the Green Mountains and I guess they must have done some riding because they had nine thousand miles on the speedometer. He said they would stay over night, but he couldn’t keep the car parked and running too long and they’d have to start away in the morning. That would put an end to Pee-wee’s show, so he wrote a letter to Mr. Dawson to tell him, and I understand there’s going to be a special story about Pee-wee and that show, so I give you fair warning. If you buy it you have only yourself to blame—you’re your own worst enemy. I should worry.

Harry said, “Well, we’re not interested now in making history but in making records——”

“To use the talking machine phrase,” Fuller said.

“We’re going to bang out through the West a ways, maybe till we bunk into the Rockies. Talk about being in business! Let me tell you boys that there’s no car made like the Hunkerjunk Six—no, sir!”

“Fancy that,” Ray said.

“She hasn’t even made a miss,” said Harry. “You amaze me,” Fuller said.

Gee whiz, Harry was making a noise like a salesman. He said to Fuller, “Now, if you college highbrows have any of the real spirit of adventure and are not sunk in business——”

“Fancy that,” Ray said.

Harry said, “You’ll can that old flivver or put it in cold storage——”

“It’s always overheating, anyway,” Fuller said. “Yes, continue.”

Harry said, “And lay that trailer up and get on the band wagon. I’m all keyed up to this thing now; I’m going to show the world what this car will do—without a single adjustment. Stick another hunk of wood on the fire, Roy; feels good to be sitting here. We’ll just take Snappy and the trailer and the rest of you, all of you if you’ll go, and shoot out to Chicago where the Hunk people will give us a big send-off. Then on to St. Louis in time to show her at the big auto show there. And if all goes well shoot her up Pike’s Peak and show what she can do.”

“As long as we’ve been dealing in junk, anyway, I think it would be a good idea,” Fuller said.

“You are right, Fuller,” said Ray.

“Fuller can make dandy speeches,” Pee-wee said. “He can demonstrate, hey?”

“With that red cap?” Harry wanted to know. “Well, what do you two fellows say? Or do all of you want to stay here? It’s mighty nice here, I’ll admit that. What’s the matter, is there a shortage of wood around here? Let’s have some service. Come, come, a log for the cheerful blaze. Get your feet out of the way, Brent. You remind me of a Vermont traffic cop. Well, what do you all say?”

Fuller said, “We’re retiring from business, anyway. If you’ll give us a chance to transfer our stuff from our trailer into yours and to lay up our car, to use an absurd phrase, we would like to join you for better or worse.”

“All right,” Harry said. “Then we’d better all turn in because we’re going to shoot out of here with the mellow dawn if anybody should ask you.”

After they all went to sleep I was lying awake thinking about everything that had happened. It was pitch dark on that old Trail. I could hear the owl screeching just like it did on that first night when we camped there—it sounded spooky. And I could hear some kind of an animal howling away far off back in those woods. And I could just see a kind of a shadow close up by the Trail. I knew it was Big Chief Rock——“to use the Indian phrase,” I said to myself. Oh, boy, but they were nice fellows, those two.

Then I heard another sound and you can bet no Mohawks ever heard it. I heard a steady purring, kind of low. I got up and groped my way over to where it was and just stood there and listened. That steady sound hadn’t stopped once in all the time since we had left Bridgeboro. Then all of a sudden I knew how Harry felt. I patted the hood with my hand, gentle like, and it was all wet from the dampness of the night. I said, “Good old Hunkerjunk, you’ll make it. We’re with you. You’ll make it all right, for sure. You should worry.”


[The end of Roy Blakeley on the Mohawk Trail by Percy Keese Fitzhugh]