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. ^ t o N '■ <?
The Scout Master of Troop 5
“BISHOP’S SHADOW’’ BOOKS
By Mrs. I. T. Thurston
The Scout Master of Troop 5
Illustrated, i2mo, cloth, net $1.00.
The latest story by the author of
“The Bishop’s Shadow ’’ is her “best
yet." Full of the things that boys
love, from camp life and adventure
to the daily life among boys of the
slums, it will be a decided “find" to
all who read it.
The Big Brother of Sabin Street
Containing the story of Theodore
Bryan (The Bishop’s Shadow). Illus-
trated, i2mo, cloth, net $1.00.
“ Full of the atmosphere of the
earlier work, it will not disappoint
the large number who wish to read
more of this Boston street urchin
who aspired to be a ‘shadow’ of the
great Bishop. The reader will be
charmed with this latest work from
Mrs. Thurston’s pen." — Western
The Bishop’s Shadow
Illustrated, i2mo, cloth, $1.25.
“A captivating story of dear Phil-
lips Brooks and a little street gamin
of Boston, and how he became a
controlling influence in Tode’s Life."
— The Continent .
The Scout Master
of Troop 5
I. T. THURSTON
Author of “The Bishop’s Shadow,”
“The Big Brother of Sabin Street”
New York Chicago Toronto
Fleming H. Revell Company
London and Edinburgh
Copyright, 1912, by
FLEMING H. REVELL COMPANY
New York: 158 Fifth Avenue
Chicago: 125 N. Wabash Ave.
Toronto: 25 Richmond St., W.
London: 21 Paternoster Square
Edinburgh: 100 Princes Street
CAROL AND WALLACE
The Youngest Scout
The Scout Master and Barney 33
A Country Hike
A Crisis for Sidney Hart
Around the Fire
Off for Camp
A Race on the Lake
A Badge Surrendered
When It Rained
Lost — A Fountain Pen
A Change of Program
A Lonely Tramp
• i 75
An Exploring Expedition
The Pirate’s Map
A Vacancy in the Tiger Patrol 228
Hinderers and Helpers .
Barney Again .
Applied Patriotism .
W ILSON HARDING sat in his room
with a book open before him, but he
was not reading — his ears were
strained to catch every sound on the street be-
low. Now and then he would start up and
wander restlessly about the room, watching the
clock, and staring out of the window. At last
he heard quick footsteps that ceased abruptly,
and then a low whistle, repeating three notes.
Wilson ran swiftly down the stairs, but softly
too, silently opened and closed the front door,
and joined the boy who stood waiting at the
foot of the steps.
“ Oh, Sid,” he whispered, “ I’ve been hoping
and hoping you wouldn’t go. If you’d only give
it up! ”
“ Give it up — now ? I guess not ! ” Sidney
Hart’s voice rang with triumph, though he too
spoke low and guardedly. “ If only you’d come
along with me, old man ! Think what larks we’d
have — just think!”
“ I know — it would be jolly if only — oh, well,
Sid, you know it’s no use to think of it for me,
and I can’t feel that it’s right for you to sneak
off this way — I can’t, Sid.”
10 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
In the darkness the other boy’s face flushed
red at that word — sneak. He drew himself up
and there was an angry edge to his voice as he
answered stiffly, “If you want to stay and waste
the best years of your life in school, you can.
As for me — I’m sick of it. I’m going to see
something of the world and life — real life — my
boy, now when I can enjoy it most. I must
settle down by-and-bye into an old plodder like
father, I suppose, but I’m bound to have my
fling first. And now I must be off; but say,
old man, it’s — it’s tough leaving you.” For the
first time his voice wavered a little as he held
out his hand to his friend.
Wilson gripped it hard, but he could not
speak for the lump that unexpectedly appeared
in his throat. Sidney understood, however.
“ I must go,” he muttered, picking up the
suitcase he had set down on the doorstep, “ or
I’ll miss my train.”
“ You — you’ll write, Sidney, sure? ”
" Sure. Ever know me to break my word ?
And I know you won’t break yours and tell any
one where I’ve gone.”
“ No,” Wilson promised miserably, “ but, oh,
Sid, think of your father and mother!”
“ Pshaw ! ” Sidney brushed that hastily aside.
“ Father has no time to think of anything but
making more money, and mother’s always
buried in teas and receptions. They won’t care
after a bit. Good-bye,” and with a last firm
grip he turned and marched off without a back-
Wilson watched him out of sight before he re-
entered the house and crept silently back to his
room. He felt as though part of himself was
gone with the boy who had been his chum for
so many years ; and Sidney, was not doing right —
Wilson was very sure of that, and that was the
worst of the whole miserable business. He was
in bed soon, but he could not sleep. His thoughts
followed his friend to the station, on the train, to
the big city where he planned to spend a week
“ seeing life ” before he went on to the great
The next morning Wilson was in his place in
High School, trying not to see at his side the
vacant seat that had been Sidney’s. Would Sid-
ney ever sit there again, he wondered. He was
glad that it was the day for a written examina-
tion — there would be less time for these
wretched thoughts. What was that Mr. Mar-
shall was saying? Wilson roused himself to
listen. Mr. Marshall was the new teacher, and
he had new ways of doing things. Now he
stood before the class with a piece of chalk in
“ The motto of this classroom,” he was say-
ing, “ is to be — this.” Turning, he wrote on
the blackboard the two words
Then he continued, “If any pupil is unwill-
ing to live up to that motto, he is at liberty to
withdraw from the class now.” He waited, his
12 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
glance passing quickly over the intent young
faces before him. The room was very still. As
no one moved, he went on, “ I understand, then,
that you all agree to do your work here — all
your work — on honour. The papers and ques-
tions will now be given you, and while you are
working over them it will make no difference
whether I am in the room or out of it — there
will be no necessity for any one to watch you.
When you have finished your work, you can
lay the papers on my desk and leave the room.
Harding and Pierce, you can distribute the lists
There was a movement all over the room and
a swift interchange of glances — some pleased,
some doubtful, some gloomy — while the papers
were being distributed. Some of the pupils
much preferred the old way. Of course a fel-
low couldn’t get up and leave, and so acknowl-
edge that he wouldn’t work “ on honour,” but all
Mr. Marshall’s eyes read in the faces before
him, more than their owners^ guessed, but he
said no more, and when the class was ready for
work, he quietly left the room. Then again
there was a little stir and rustle of suppressed
excitement, and more glances and some low-
toned remarks were interchanged before the
class really settled down to work. It was not
an easy examination. At twelve o’clock many
of the pupils were still sighing over puzzling
questions. " Mr. Marshall returning, met Wilson
Harding in the hall and stopped him to inquire,
A RUNAWAY 13
“Where is Sidney to-day, Wilson? Not sick,
I hope ? ”
Wilson shook his head. “ N-no, sir,” he
stammered, and would have passed hastily
on, but the distress in his face could not
escape such keen eyes as those of Alan Mar-
shall. He laid his hand kindly on the boy’s
“ I hope there’s nothing — wrong, Wilson.
Can’t you tell me ? ”
But Wilson was beyond speech — he could not
control his trembling lips, and again shaking his
head, he slipped away from the detaining hand
and hurried down the stairs. Mr. Marshall
stood for a moment looking after him. Plainly
something was wrong with one or both the
boys. He must find out what it was. He could
learn nothing from the other boys in the class.
To his casual inquiry as to the reason of Sidney
Hart’s absence, nobody made reply. Evidently
if there was anything wrong, no one in the class
except Sidney was aware of it. But the trouble
in Wilson’s face had been too plain to be mis-
taken. Mr. Marshall could not get it out of his
mind, and that evening he called at Sidney
Mr. Hart came down to him at once, saying
as he greeted his visitor, “ It was kind of you
to come, Mr. Marshall. You know what trouble
we are in ? ”
“ No. I had reason to think there was some-
thing — about your son, but what, I do not know.
He is not ill ? ”
14 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
Mr. Hart dropped wearily into a chair. “ No
— if it were only that ! ” he groaned. “ Sidney
has gone — run away.”
“ Run away ! ” Mr. Marshall exclaimed.
“ Are you sure ? It seems so utterly impossible
— a boy like Sidney, with everything he could
want at home ! ”
“ There is no question about it. He went last
night, and mailed a note which reached me this
morning. His mother is heartbroken over it,
and it is not unlikely that it will cost her
life. She is to go to the hospital next week
for a very serious operation. We had not told
Sidney — we wanted to spare him as long as
possible, but he has not spared us. The doctor
says that her grief and worry over the
boy make the chance of her recovery very
“ Sidney must be found and brought back,”
Mr. Marshall said gravely. “ Have you any
idea where he has gone? Surely he can be
“ He wrote me that he was going out West.
He wants to 4 see life/ ” There was infinite sad-
ness in the father’s voice. “ I have put the
matter in the hands of detectives, but my wife
— Marshall, she cannot stand this strain many
days. And if Sidney is not found soon, or if
he is found and refuses to return ”
“ Oh, he couldn’t possibly refuse when he
knows about his mother.”
Mr. Hart shook his head. “ I don’t know.
I feel as if I did not know my boy at all. I
A RUNAWAY 15
never would have believed he could do such a
There was little of comfort to be said, and
Alan Marshall did not stay long. As he was
leaving he asked, “ Are you willing that I should
try to find Sidney, Mr. Hart? I should be so
glad if I might help you in any way.”
“ I am grateful for your sympathy,” the other
answered, “ and I shall be more than grateful if
you can do anything to bring the boy back. I
never thought that Sidney was a bad boy ”
There was grief beyond words in the unfinished
“ He is not. Don’t think it now, Mr. Hart,”
Alan Marshall replied quickly. “ This is pure
boyish thoughtlessness and love of adventure — I
am sure of it. I will let you know at once if I
learn anything definite.”
He went straight to Wilson Harding’s
home, certain that it was this over which Wil-
son had been so deeply disturbed. The boy
himself answered his ring, his cap in his
“ I came to see you, Wilson,” the teacher said.
“ Will you walk over to my rooms with me? I
see you were going out.”
Wilson hesitated. He looked startled, and
“I must have a talk with you, Wilson, either
here or at my rooms, as you prefer,” Mr.
The boy flung a worried glance back into the
house and spoke almost in a whisper. “ I’ll go
16 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
with you,” he agreed, but with evident reluc-
Alan Marshall set off at a pace that brought
them to his rooms in a few minutes.
“ Now, Wilson,” he began, pushing forward a
chair, “ I want you to tell me all you know about
this affair of Sidney’s.”
The boy shrank back, his eyes widening nerv-
ously. “ I can’t, Mr. Marshall, truly I can’t tell
you a thing. I promised Sid I wouldn’t, and I
can’t break my word. I promised ‘ on honour ’
you know.” He looked pleadingly at his
teacher. It was such a dreadfully hard place in
which he found himself.
Alan Marshall, looking into his miserable face,
understood the boyish code. He sat for a mo-
ment, thinking; then he said, “Wilson, you
know how highly I rate a promise. Any promise
is ‘ on honour ’ ; but yet there may be circum-
stances which make it right to break one. Per-
haps when I tell you that this is probably a
matter of life and death, you will feel that
you have no right to keep your word to
Sidney,” and he repeated what Mr. Hart had
told him of his wife’s condition. “ In all
probability, if Sidney does not return at once
his mother will not live through this illness,
which would be very serious in any case. Sid-
ney is not cruel or hard-hearted, you know that.
If his mother should die at this time, it would
mean lifelong remorse to him, and might es-
trange his father entirely from him. You can
prevent all this — you must, Wilson.”
A RUNAWAY 17
The boy sat with his white face propped on his
hand, his eyes full of miserable uncertainty, star-
ing at the carpet.
“ I — I don’t know what to do ! ” he burst out at
last, moving restlessly in his seat. “ I — Sid’ll
never forgive me if I go back on my word.”
“ Will he ever forgive you if you allow him
to be the cause of his mother’s death?”
“ I — If ” Wilson stared wildly at his teacher.
Then he covered his face with his hands, and
his shoulders shook with his heavy sobbing.
After a few minutes, Mr. Marshall spoke
quietly. “ You know where Sidney is, Wilson ? ”
The boy nodded.
Again there was silence in the room until Mr.
Marshall asked, “ Will you do this ? Will you
go with me to the city where Sidney is? I will
stop at a hotel and let you go to him alone and
tell him about his mother. If I know him, he
will be more than willing to come back — no
decent boy could refuse under the circumstances.
I will simply go with you, and not see Sidney at
all, if you like, unless he should refuse to return
“ And if he did?” questioned Wilson.
“ Then,” Alan Marshall spoke sternly, “ if he
should refuse — which I cannot believe possible —
I will find some way to compel him to come back
anyhow. Will you agree to this ? ”
Wilson thought it over in silence; then he said,
" Yes, I’ll agree to that. I think it is right.”
“ I know it is. Can you start to-night? ”
Wilson nodded. “ If father doesn’t object.”
18 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
“ He will not object — I will see him. And
where are we going, Wilson ? ”
“ To New York.”
“ Very well — I’ll phone down for berths in the
sleeper. We can catch the 10:30, I think, if we
lose no time. You run home, and I’ll follow as
soon as I pack my bag — that will take but a few
Three-quarters of an hour later the two
boarded the train for New York. Mr. Harding
had made not the slightest objection to his son’s
going when he understood the case ; and he agreed
to see Mr. Hart at once and let him know what
was being done.
Wilson slept very little that night. Sidney was
a year older than he and his influence over Wil-
son was very strong. Sidney indeed had almost
persuaded him to go away too. Perhaps if it
had not been for his little brother Jack, he might
have done so; but Jack adored him, and counted
everything he did just right, so all unconsciously
it was Jack who had kept him from yielding to
Sidney’s persuasions. But he had promised Sid-
ney solemnly to give no hint to any one of his
whereabouts, and now he had broken that prom-
ise. What would Sidney say — what would he
do? Over and over these thoughts repeated
themselves in his weary brain in the long hours
while the train rushed through the darkness, now
and then clattering and jolting to a stop at some
dimly lighted station.
It was early when they reached New York, and
Wilson felt better after breakfast. Then he was
A RUNAWAY 19
impatient to be off to the address that Sidney had
“ I can't tell when I'll be back, you know," he
said as he was leaving, “ for he may be out, and
in that case I shall have to hang around there
till he gets back, if it’s all day."
“ Yes, I understand. I think, however, you’d
better leave the address with me, Wilson — I must
know where to look for you in case of need."
“ Ye-es," Wilson agreed hesitatingly ; and he
wrote the address on a card which Alan Marshall
laid face down on the table. Then he stood at
the window watching the boy as he went down
the street, wondering if it had been wise to let
him go off alone; but it was too late to recall
him, so Mr. Marshall sat down to shorten the
waiting time by writing some letters. Barely
two hours had passed, however, when Wil-
son burst into the room with Sidney at his
“ He’s going back with us, Mr. Marshall —
he wants to go," Wilson cried, his face beaming
Sidney’s face flushed as he met his teacher, but
he spoke frankly.
“ Of course I’m going back. I’d never have
left if I’d known about — mother." His voice
faltered on the last word, but he steadied it and
hurried on, “ They never let on to me — not a
word — and how was I to know? It — it was aw-
fully good of you to come on with Will, Mr.
Marshall. Can’t we catch the 12:30? That
won’t get us in till 5." He was plainly anxious
20 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
to get back at the earliest possible moment. Mr.
Marshall glanced at his watch.
“ I think we can make it,” he said. “ Tumble
the things into your bag, Wilson. And, Sidney,
you want to wire your father at once, don’t you ?
Here’s a blank.”
Sidney snatched it and wrote hastily, “ Re-
turning on 12 130 train. Love to mother.”
“ I’ll send this at once, and wait for you down
in the office. I left my things there,” he said,
and then the door slammed behind him.
“ That message will do more than any medicine
for his mother,” Mr. Marshall declared, as he
caught up his bag, and two minutes later he fol-
lowed Wilson from the room.
It was a very silent trio that went back on the
12:30 train. To Sidney the hours seemed end-
less, and Wilson was so tired after his two wake-
ful, troubled nights that he dozed much of the
time, while Mr. Marshall mused over the prob-
lem of Sidney’s future — of what could be brought
into his life to take the place of those alluring
visions of free and lawless life in the far West.
And Sidney Hart was not the only boy whose
eager energies needed some outlet aside from
study or even athletics. There were many
At the gate leading from the train-sheds Mr.
Hart met them. His eyes, stern and yet wistful,
searched his son’s face as he caught him by the
“ You came back — willingly?” he demanded,
his voice harsh with the strain of deep feeling.
“ Oh, father! ” cried the boy, his eyes suddenly
filling. “ Could you think for a moment I
wouldn’t when I knew about — mother ? ”
“ I was afraid — afraid,” Mr. Hart muttered,
holding the boy’s hand with a grasp that made
him wince. “ Your mother is lying with your
telegram in her hand, Sidney. She has held it
every minute since it came.”
“ When is she going to the hospital ? ” The
boy asked the question in a voice that his utmost
effort could not quite steady.
“ Monday.” Still holding Sidney’s hand as
if he could not let it go, Mr. Hart turned to
greet Alan Marshall and Wilson. “ I shall not
forget what you’ve done for me and for Sid-
ney,” he said. “ I never forget a kindness.”
He looked for a moment straight into Wilson’s
eyes, then patting him lightly on the shoulder,
added, “ Come — the car is waiting for us outside
As they rolled swiftly down the avenue, they
passed a company of boys in khaki-coloured uni-
forms, marching in soldierly fashion, under
charge of a young man.
“What’s all that?” Mr. Hart demanded.
“ Boy Scouts,” Wilson answered quickly.
“ They march well, don’t they, Sid ? ”
Sidney nodded absently. His eyes were on
the Scouts, but his thoughts were hurrying for-
ward to the sick-room where his mother was
lying with a slip of yellow paper clasped tightly
in her hand.
“ Jack is wild to join the Scouts — my kid
22 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
brother, you know.” Wilson turned to Mr.
“ Why doesn’t he, then ? It’s a fine thing for
boys — that scout business. I’m going into it
“ You t Why, I thought it was only for boys
— mostly little chaps,” said Wilson.
“ For boys of twelve and over, with men
of any age as Scout Masters. I am going to be
a Scout Master, and raise my own troop,” Alan
[Marshall replied, and Wilson never guessed that
the decision had been that moment made.
For Sidney and his father there followed two
weeks of intense anxiety while the life of the
wife and mother trembled in the balance; and
in those days, father and son grew into a closer
sympathy and understanding. But then Mrs.
Hart began to creep slowly back to life and
health, and by degrees things slipped back into
the old grooves. Mr. Hart, absorbed in many
important business interests, saw little of his
son. And Sidney, though much more thought-
ful and considerate towards his mother than he
had been before, grew silent and moody, lost
interest in his school work, and was so indif-
ferent and unlike his old self that Wilson Hard-
ing hardly knew whether he was glad or sorry
that his old chum spent so little time with him.
THE YOUNGEST SCOUT
S OME time after their hurried trip to New
York, Wilson Harding came to Mr. Mar-
shall at the noon intermission.
“ You said you were going to raise your own
troop of Boy Scouts, Mr. Marshall,” he began.
“ Did you mean to do it soon ? ”
“ Yes, I’ve already enrolled the first patrol.”
“ Any of the fellows I know in it? ”
“ I think not,” Mr. Marshall returned, and
asked a counter question. “ Do you know any-
thing of Friendship House? ”
“ I’ve heard something about it — kind of a
settlement place, isn’t it — for poor boys?”
“ And girls — yes. I’ve had a boys’ club down
there for a year, and I formed my first patrol
from those boys.”
“ Oh ! ” Wilson looked disappointed ; then his
face brightened. “ Any reason why you
shouldn’t form another patrol from boys in our
neighbourhood ? ” he asked.
“ No. Do you know of any boys who want
to join the Scouts?”
“ My brother Jack — you remember I told you
he was crazy to join. You see he’s never been
very strong — he’s been sick a lot — and the doctor
24 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
says now he ought to live out of doors as much
as possible; and he’s coaxed father into letting
him join the Scouts. Father says he may if I
join too. He won’t let Jack join unless I’m
around to look after him.”
“And you don’t like the idea?”
“ Well,” Wilson hesitated, “ I had supposed
it was rather a babyish business until you spoke
of it the other day, and since then I’ve been
learning more about it, and it seems to me we
bigger chaps might get some fun out of it
“ I think you could — in fact I’m sure of it.
And as I told you before, I think it would be
a fine thing for your brother. Did it ever occur
to you, Wilson, that you might do something for
other little fellows besides your own brother ? ”
The boy looked at him blankly.
“ I mean that, while you can find a deal
of amusement and interest for yourself in the
Scouts, you can also find endless chances to lend
a hand to all your other little brothers. 4 All
Scouts are brothers,’ ” he quoted, “ and many of
them — such chaps as I have in my club and
patrol for instance — stand greatly in need of
brotherly help from — somebody.”
Wilson was silent. Alan Marshall went on,
“ The ‘ one kindness a day ’ that a Scout is bound
to do, may easily be made to mean more than
you can imagine to some of those other boys
that have no homes — as we know homes.”
“ But — does a fellow have to be thinking about
those things if he’s a Scout?” Wilson questioned.
THE YOUNGEST SCOUT 25
“ No, he can do his one kindness in his own
home, or to his own little brother — Jack.”
The boy flushed a little and shrugged his shoul-
ders. Social service had no charms for him.
Alan Marshall changed the subject. “ How is
Sidney getting on ? Is he contented now ? ”
“ We-ell, I’m afraid not, exactly,” Wilson ad-
mitted. “ I think sometimes, Mr. Marshall, that
one trouble is that Sid doesn’t have enough to
do. You know he’s so quick and bright — he gets
his lessons in no time, and — well, he really doesn’t
know how to fill in all his spare hours. But he
won’t go off again, I’m sure of that,” he added.
“ So much is good, anyhow,” Mr. Marshall
said thoughtfully. “ Wilson, can’t you interest
Sidney in the Scouts — raise a patrol yourself and
get him to join? Then with your brother you’d
have three, and I think you could easily find five
others among your friends who would like to
join. If Sidney is so fond of outdoor life, he
might be attracted by the Saturday tramps and
the camping out.”
“ I’ve spoken to him about it, but he didn’t
seem much interested,” Wilson returned. “ I’ll
try again, though. And if I raise the patrol, can
we join your troop? ”
“ Certainly. I shall be very glad to have you,”
was the cordial response.
“ Well, I’ll see what I can do,” Wilson agreed,
but his manner was not enthusiastic.
Alan Marshall, however, did not seem at all
discouraged, nor did he refer to the matter again,
as Wilson expected that he would do. But Jack
26 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
Harding referred to it very often — so often that
one day Wilson impatiently exclaimed, “ For
Heaven’s sake, Jack, give us a rest! You tease
the life out of me.” That hurt Jack dreadfully,
and he said no more about the Scouts, but his
sober face and wistful eyes pleaded for him until
Wilson gave in, and brought up the subject.
“ Jack,” he asked one Saturday, “ have you
given up wanting to be a Scout ? ”
“ Oh, no, Will,” the boy cried earnestly, “ but
I’ve given up talking about it ’cause you got mad
at me. I’d give up anything rather than have
you mad at me, you know.”
“ Pshaw, old fellow — I wasn’t mad. You just
pestered me a little too much about it, that’s all.
Now then, listen — What would you say if I
should tell you that ” He stopped with a
teasing grin at the eager little lad.
“ Oh, what, what , Will ? Tell me quick.”
“ 1 had found enough boys to form a —
“ Really, Will, oh, have you really? And am I
in it ? ” Jack was fairly trembling.
“ Well, I rather think you are. Who else is
Number Three if not John Everett Harding?”
Jack flew at his big brother and gave him a
real bear hug.
“Gee! But I’ve got the best brother ever l”
he declared. “ Who else is in it besides you and
me? And are you leader? Of course you are.”
“ No, I’m not.”
Jack’s face fell. “ Oh, you ought to be.
Who is, then ? ”
THE YOUNGEST SCOUT
“Oh!” Jack’s disappointment was evident.
“ Come now, old man — ■' love me, love my
dog.’ You know you like Sid.”
“ Oh, I do,” the little fellow declared, “ of
course I do, Will, only he isn’t you, and I wanted
you dreadfully for the patrol leader. And what
name is our patrol going to have ? ”
“ That will have to be settled by vote, I
“ I s’pose so. I’d like it to be the Eagle Patrol,
but I guess likely somebody has got that name
already. Who’ll be our Scout Master, Will?”
“ Bless my soul, what a question-box you are,
sonny! The thing isn’t all made and trimmed
yet. I’ve only got the eight boys — six besides
you and me — to belong. I think, though, Mr.
Marshall will be our Scout Master.”
Jack drew a long breath of pure delight. Then
he sprang up and hopped around the room on
one leg, holding up the other with his hand.
“ Got to do something to celebrate,” he
laughed, and, oh, Will — you will hurry and
get it all fixed up, won’t you? I do so want it
to be real. You see ” — the big eyes in the small
face were full of a half-wistful joy — “you see,
I haven’t ever belonged to anything — not even to
a class in school — and you can’t begin to know
how much I want to be — to really be — in this.
You’ll hurry it up as fast as you can, won’t you,
“ Sure thing, old man,” Wilson promised.
“ But see here, Jack, you mustn’t count too much
28 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
on it, don’t you know. You see, all the others
are over twelve. You know you are just twelve
and not very strong-, perhaps not strong: enough
to keep up with the other fellows in the tramps
At this terrible suggestion Jack looked so ut-
terly crushed that his brother hastily added, “ But
we’ll fix it somehow. Maybe we won’t make
long hikes at first.”
“ And I’ll grow strong awful fast,” Jack pro-
tested eagerly, “ I’m sure I will. Maybe it’s be-
cause I’ve never been out with other fellows that
I’m not strong like they are.”
At that Wilson turned his face aside hastily
lest the boy read too much in his eyes; but he
vowed to himself that Jack should have all the
help of every sort that scouting could give him,
“ If I have to tote him on my back all the way.”
Jack rattled on eagerly, “ We’ll have to be
Tenderfoots — feet, I mean — for a month, you
know, before we can get into the Second Class
(Jack had studied his “ Scouts’ Manual ” faith-
fully). But I know all the things you have to
know to be a Tefiderfoot. I know the sa-
lute ” He sprang up and stood like a soldier,
his right hand at his shoulder, thumb and little
finger touching — the other three fingers raised —
“ and the oath.” He repeated gravely,
“‘On my honour I will do my best:
1. To do my duty to God and my country, and to
obey the scout law ;
2. To help other people at all times ;
3. To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake,
and morally straight.’
Shall I give you the law, Will?”
THE YOUNGEST SCOUT 29
“ No, no, old chap, that’ll do. I’m sure you
“ ’Deed I do,” Jack asserted. “ And say, Will,
I know the other two things — all about our flag
and how to fly it, and I can tie a reef, clove-
hitch, bowline, and fisherman’s knot,” he added
“ For Heaven’s sake, where did you learn
those?” Wilson demanded.
Jack grinned delightedly at his big brother’s
“ Ah, ha, I thought I’d s’prise you this time,
sir. I learned the knots of old Tim down at
father’s office. He used to be a sailor. He’s
going to learn me some more knots, too,” Jack
exulted — “ I mean, teach me. Grammar is so
hard to remember, isn’t it ! ”
“ Reckon I’ll have to get you to teach me that
knot business. The fisherman’s is the only one
of ’em that I know,” Wilson admitted.
“ ’Course I’ll teach you — it’s just as easy.”
Jack’s eyes were shining, though, at the idea of
his teaching Wilson anything. “ I’m going to
study up the other things now, so I can be a
Second Class Scout when the month is ended,”
he declared. “ Father put ten dollars in the
bank for me yesterday. You know a Scout
has to be ‘ thrifty ’ and have some money in the
“ Scout — Scout — Scout !” cried a gay voice
from the doorway. “Jack Harding, you’ll turn
into a Scout if you don’t think of something else
now and then.”
30 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
Jack’s laugh rang out triumphant. “ That’s
just what I’m going to do — turn into a Scout,”
he cried. “ That’s what I’m doing it for, Elsie
Harding. Wilson’s formed a patrol, and say,
Elsie, you’ll make us a flag — our patrol flag —
won’t you ? ”
“If I can. What is it — like the Stars and
Jack’s face was a study. A Scout must be
courteous, he remembered, but to think of a girl
— a girl fifteen years old, too — not knowing that
a scout patrol flag wasn’t the least bit like the
national flag. He explained condescendingly.
“ No, indeed, the patrol flag has no stars or
stripes. It has a bird or animal in black or some
colour, sewed on a white flag — or maybe the flag
isn’t always white — I’m not sure about that. I
wish our patrol could be the Eagle, or else the
Owl. The owl signal cry is ‘ Koot-koot-koo.’ ”
Elsie clapped her hands to her ears. “ Bless
us and save us,” she cried, “ do keep your signal
cries for out-of-doors. But I’ll make your
banner. That’s all girls get out of the jolliest
things — a chance to do some sewing! ” with
scornful emphasis on the last word. “ The boys
have all the fun.”
The brightness dropped out of Jack’s face as
“ That’s so, isn’t it, Will ? ” he said soberly.
“We fellows do have the biggest share of the
“ Pshaw ! Don’t worry your head over that,”
returned Wilson carelessly. “ I reckon the girls
THE YOUNGEST SCOUT 31
get just as much fun out of their fudge and
feathers as we do in other ways.”
By the time the March winds and sun had
dried the muddy country roads and gotten them
into fairly good condition, the Owl Patrol was
fully organised and equipped. Jack Harding
was so proud of his uniform that he wanted to
wear it all the time — his sister Elsie teasingly
declared that he slept in it — but his mother re-
joiced, for his new interest was doing more for
him than the doctors had been able to do. He
was out of doors much of the time now hunting
for opportunities for fulfilling the “ one kindness
a day ” rule — only Jack’s idea of that was “ the
greatest possible number of kindnesses a day.”
Sidney and Wilson had a chance one windy
March afternoon to see a sample of Jack’s scout-
ing. The two boys were standing on a corner
where three street car lines met, when' they saw
a woman fluttering nervously on the opposite
corner, as she watched for a safe opportunity to
cross. She was a queer-looking little creature
in her shabby old-fashioned clothes. The wind
had tilted her bonnet over one ear, and blown
loose a lock of stringy grey hair that kept whip-
ping into her eyes and increased her nervous
“ Say, Sid,” Wilson laughed, “ if you and I
were model Scouts, I suppose we should go over
there and convoy that old party across tracks.”
Sidney looked and shrugged his shoulders.
“ Excuse me,” he replied. “ There come Grace
Harley and Belle Arms. You don’t catch me
32 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
doing a stunt like that for them to giggle over —
not much ! ”
Wilson looked at the girls and his faint im-
pulse died a quick death. If the girls had not
been there, perhaps
“ Well, I’ll be jiggered, Sid,” he exclaimed
the next moment. “ Will you look at that? ”
Sidney followed his gesture, and saw a
straight, slender little figure in scout uniform
stop beside the worried old lady. The drab hat
was lifted as the boy spoke, and then the little
fellow carefully guided the old lady across the
tracks, while she clung to his arm as confidently
as if he had been a big, burly policeman. Once
safely over, he stopped a moment, evidently ask-
ing if he could be of any further assistance ; then
once more his hat was lifted and he was gone,
his whistle rising above the rattle of the cars.
The two big boys on the other corner forgot
the girls and looked at each other; both their
faces were red, but it was Wilson who looked
the most ashamed.
“Wouldn’t that jar you, now?” he said.
“ That kid brother of mine is living up to his
oath all right.”
“ That kid brother of yours is one to be proud
of, Will. That was a plucky thing to do — for
such a frumpy old party as that.”
“ You’re right. And we — I didn’t have pluck
enough to do it. But I don’t feel particularly
proud of myself just now, and that’s a fact.”
“ Proud ! ” repeated Sidney. “ I’d sell myself
for thirty cents.”
THE SCOUT MASTER AND BARNEY
AN MARSHALL, returning one day
from a long country walk, came upon a
group of boys gathered in a lonely spot
on the outskirts of the town. He saw at once
that they were boys of the poorer class, and
suspecting that there was mischief of some sort
afoot, he stopped to investigate. The boys were
too absorbed to notice him until he was close
enough to see that there was a fight going on in
the ring they had formed. He realised at once
that there was danger in interference, for he
was one and they were many, and some of them
were big, lusty lads. The one who seemed to be
the leader was a well-grown boy of sixteen or
seventeen, and he whirled around and faced Mr.
Marshall as soon as he was aware of his presence.
‘‘Well, what do you want?” he demanded
with a threatening scowl.
“ I want to know what is going on here.”
“ A fight’s goin’ on here, then, and now ye
know, an’ you can go on about yer own business
an’ leave us to settle ours,” the big fellow de-
clared, the light of battle flaming in his eyes —
his big doubled fists plainly itching to emphasise
34 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
The combat in the ring had evidently been
interrupted for a moment, but now it began again.
There was the thud of a heavy blow, followed
by a shrill scream, and then a sudden hush of
As the big fellow turned again to see what
had happened, Alan Marshall suddenly thrust
aside two of the boys and forced his way into
the ring. One boy lay on the ground, silent now
and motionless; the other stood with clenched
fists, staring down at him, half exultant, half
“ He’s jest shammin’,” he cried.
“ Kick him, Mug — he’ll open his eyes if
you kick him,” another of the group called
As “ Mug ” lifted his foot, Alan Marshall
caught it, and the owner found himself sprawl-
ing on the ground. Paying no attention to him,
Marshall called out in a tone that commanded
obedience, “ Stand back and give this boy air !
Don’t you see he is unconscious? Stand back,
As the close-packed circle broke, the boys re-
luctantly moving aside, he knelt beside the boy,
felt his pulse, and slipped a hand inside his
ragged shirt. Then he pulled a folding cup
from his pocket and held it out. “ Get some
water,” he ordered. “ There’s a brook over yon-
der across the road. Fill that cup — quick , I tell
you, if you don’t want this boy to die on yo,ur
hands.” He was rubbing the boy’s wrists, and
holding a little bottle to his nose ; but it seemed
THE SCOUT MASTER AND BARNEY 35
to all of them an age before the heavy lids lifted
and the boy stared in dull bewilderment at the
face bending over him.
“Feel better, don’t you?” Mr. Marshall said
The boy did not answer. His eyes wavered
along the line of intent faces staring down at
him till he saw that of his late antagonist; then
he winced and muttered in a thick voice, “ I said
’nough ’fore ye batted me that last one.”
“Did he? Did he say * ’nough,’ Mug?” the
big fellow demanded, facing the other boy.
Mug scowled and was silent, but several voices
answered for him.
“ He did, Barney.”
“ He sure did, but you was talkin’ to
him ” with a nod towards Alan Marshall,
“ an’ you didn’t hear.”
Mug glared back at Barney now with a scowl
as black as his own.
“Well, what of it? ’Twas my fight, anyhow.
An’ he deserved all I give him an’ more — a lot
He transferred his scowl, with a threat in his
voice, to the boy still lying on the ground.
Alan Marshall took a tiny vial from his pocket,
and telling the boy to open his mouth, laid a little
tablet on his tongue. As he did so, the two who
had gone for water came running back with a
brimming cupful. The boy drank some of it, and
then lifted himself on one elbow.
“ I c’n get up now,” he muttered.
36 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
“ Better lie there a few minutes longer,” Mar-
shall said as he rose to his feet. He turned sud-
denly to the boy called “ Mug,” whose bruised
face, with one rapidly swelling eyelid, showed
that his victory had not been easily won. “ You,”
he said, “ will take this boy home on the car — it
will be all he can do to walk to the car-line.”
He held out two tickets. “ You are largely re-
sponsible for this, and it’s up to you to see that
he gets home all right, otherwise there’ll be seri-
ous trouble for you — you can take my word for
Mug looked startled. His eyes questioned
Barney, who nodded.
“ G’long wid him,” he commanded gruffly, “ an*
you, too, Billy,” he added to another.
Alan Marshall helped the injured boy to his
feet. “ You’ll be all right in the morning,” he
said cheerfully. “ Don’t hurry. If you miss the
first car there’ll be another along in ten minutes.”
Then as the three started off, he turned to
Barney and spoke again with authority. “ Send
the others ahead — I want a word with you.” As
the boy hesitated, he added, “ I’ll not keep you
many minutes — you can easily overtake them;
but it will be best for your own sakes to do as
I say. You may get into serious trouble over
this fight. That boy has a weak heart. He must
not fight again. Do you understand ? ”
“ Aw — well — g’wan, all of ye. I’ll be wid ye
in a bit,” the big fellow ordered, but with evident
reluctance. Then again he faced the man who
had interfered and growled out, “ Now say yer
THE SCOUT MASTER AND BARNEY 37
say an’ be done wid it. But I ain’t believin’ all
that rot about Scud Smith — an’ you needn’t think
it. He’s a dirty little ”
“ Stop ! Keep your tongue to decent words
when you talk to me.”
Barney drew a long breath, and once more the
light of battle flashed in his eyes. “ Fer a cent
I’d lay you out,” he declared, his big fists tight
clenched. “ I could do it — easy.”
“ There may be two opinions about that,” re-
turned Alan Marshall quietly, “ but fighting is
not my favourite amusement. As to that boy, I’m
enough of a doctor to know what I’m talking
about. His heart is weak, and if you ever again
allow him to fight when you can prevent it you’ll
be responsible — and you may quite likely be held
on a charge of manslaughter. Was this beautiful
exhibition gotten up for the amusement of you
and your gang? ”
“ No, it wasn’t ! ” retorted Barney in a sullen
“ What was it for, then ? Why did you allow
it? I suppose you are the leader of this prom-
Barney was no fool. He understood the scorn
in the quietly spoken words and his face darkened
“ So I am, then — the boss of this gang. What
you goin’ to do about it ? ” He stared defiantly
into the face of the man.
“ I don’t know. It will depend somewhat upon
you. You haven’t told me why — since you claim
to have some control over this crowd — why you
38 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
permitted the boy you call ‘ Mug ’ to punish a
boy nearly to death.”
“ Scud on’y got what was cornin’ to him — he
“ What had he done?”
“ I s’pose you’ll keep on a-pryin’ till you find
out,” snarled Barney, “ so I’ll tell ye an’ be done
wid it. He’d knocked down Humpy Boyce an’
kicked him — broke a rib fer him, he did — an’
Humpy can’t fight, so Mug fit for him; an’ he
had a right to — Hump’s his brother. I stood by
to see fair play. Now you satisfied?”
“ Not quite, though you’ve changed my opinion
of both yourself and Mug somewhat. This
Hump, as you call him, is a cripple ? ”
By a swift, indescribable gesture, Barney made
it clear that the boy was a humpback.
“ I see. Well, Barney,” the smile with which
Alan Marshall looked at the boy now wrought
a sudden change in the sullen, defiant face — a
greater change than Barney himself was at all
“ I’ve got to go,” he muttered and started off.
“ One minute.” Mr. Marshall put out a de-
taining hand. “ Barney, I’m glad to know you.
I believe there’s the making of a fine man in you,
and I’d like to see more of you.” He took out
a card and slipped it into the boy’s pocket.
“ That has my name and address. If ever you
feel that you’d like to see me again, you’ll find
me at home most evenings. Every boy has
troubles and puzzles of his own. If you should
ever have any that I can help you settle. I’d be
THE SCOUT MASTER AND BARNEY 39
very glad to do it. I’ve had a great deal to do
with boys, and I haven’t forgotten how it seems
to be one. Good-bye till next time.”
He held out his hand. Somewhat to his own
surprise, Barney took it, and the next moment
he found himself alone, looking after the tall
figure swinging down the street.
“ Well ! Blame me ’f I know,” he muttered,
shaking his head, “ why I ain’t ready to bat him
over the eye — but I ain’t.”
A shrill, impatient call from the rest of the
gang, who were waiting for him some way fur-
ther on — aroused him from his puzzled wonder-
ings, and he set off at a pace that rivalled Alan
That gentleman, as he went on, was making a
mental note of the names he had caught — Barney,
Scud Smith, Mug, Billy, and one or two others.
Doubtless through the Friendship House club
boys he could find out something about these
others. He wanted to get hold of them all —
even that brutal-looking “ Mug.” After all, it
was not his own battle Mug was fighting, but
that of a helpless brother. And Barney, with
his rough red head, his freckles, his savage
scowl, and his tongue all too used to oaths —
what a splendid fellow might be made out of
him with his strength and force, and power over
his fellows, if only — ah, if only! Alan Marshall
sighed as he thought how strong a grip the
powers of evil already had on Barney.
At Friendship House the next evening he got
the information he wanted. Many of the boys
40 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
knew big Barney Doyle, the leader of the “ Alley
gang ” — the toughest gang in the city. Some of
the workers at Friendship House — men who had
worked there much longer than had Alan Mar-
shall — knew all about Barney. For years they had
been trying to get him into some of the clubs ;
for, if he could be brought in, many others of the
gang would undoubtedly follow ; but Barney had
always scornfully scoffed at all efforts in his
behalf. The most alluring entertainments — occa-
sions where ice cream and cake were free to all —
not even these could Barney be induced to attend.
His one ambition, it seemed, was to be the
“ Alley Boss,” and his rule over his followers
was rigid. None ventured to rebel — none had
ever yet been persuaded to withdraw from his
gang. “ Once a member, always a member,”
seemed to be the watchword; and the gang was
growing in numbers and in daring. As these
things were repeated to Alan Marshall by dif-
ferent ones at the settlement, his hope of a
voluntary visit from Barney Doyle grew faint ;
and as the weeks slipped away, he almost forgot
this one boy — there were so many others with
their needs and problems always pressing for
attention. So it was with almost incredulous sur-
prise that one evening he opened his door and
found Barney Doyle standing there — on his
homely face a queer mixture of uncertainty and
boldness with a suggestion of anxiety under-
neath. He swaggered in and flung himself into
a chair with an air of condescension.
“ I’m glad to see you again, Doyle. I’ve
THE SCOUT MASTER AND BARNEY 41
thought of you many times since that day we
met. How are Smith and Mug and Billy ? ”
“ All right/’ returned the boy, twisting his
cap in restless fingers. “Ye seem t’ve got our
names mighty pat.” This with a grin, half
friendly, half defiant.
“ Oh, yes, I had no trouble in learning all about
Instantly the boy’s grin turned to a scowl.
Under lowered lids he furtively studied Alan
Marshall’s face, ready to resent any “ preach-
ing.” But there was none for him to resent.
The man waited for him to say why he had
come, and Barney seemed to find some difficulty
in saying it, but at last he began:
“ Say — you’re one o’ them teacher fellers, ain’t
“ I am a teacher — yes. How did you know
Barney brushed the inquiry aside with easy
scorn. “ The’s plenty ways to find out things.
The’s one o’ my gang got in trouble in the school
he goes to. They say he’s been cribbin’ things —
books an’ things — an’ sellin’ ’em, an’ they’re goin’
to nab him.”
“ And has he been stealing? ”
“ Aw, what’s that got to do wid it — whether
he has er not? The thing is, to keep ’em from
nabbin’ him. You said you’d help, any time.
Now’s yer chance.”
“ I said I’d help you. That doesn’t mean that
I will try to prevent a thief from getting what
42 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
Barney’s face darkened and he sprang up.
“ That’s all yer talk’s good fer, then,” he flung
out bitterly, making a bolt for the door, but Alan
Marshall stopped him.
“ Wait a bit, Doyle. Sit down again, and let’s
talk this over. Of course you don’t think it’s
right for a boy to steal ? ”
“ That ain’t got nothin’ to do with it.”
Barney’s tone was obstinately final, but he re-
turned to his seat.
“ Oh, yes, it has much to do with it. For
instance, there’s a big difference between a starv-
ing man stealing a loaf of bread and a boy
stealing books because he wants some money
to spend — for moving-picture shows or the
“ ’Twarn’t so ! ”
“What wasn’t so, Barney?”
“ He didn’t steal ’em ’cause he wanted money
to spend fer fun.”
“ What, then ? Barney, if you and I are to be
friends — I mean if I am to try to help you — you
must tell me the whole story.”
Barney searched the young man’s face with
a long, keen glance. Then he considered in si-
lence. Finally he said abruptly, “ I’ll tell ye,
then. I know ye won’t split on him, anyhow.”
“ No one else shall know a word of what you
tell me without your permission,” Alan Marshall
“ Well, then — ’twas this way. The boy’s Billy
Burns. He don’t live anywhere in partic’lar —
jest hangs ’round like — an’ last winter he got
THE SCOUT MASTER AND BARNEY 43
sick, sleepin’ out cold nights with nothin’ but
newspapers fer coverin’. He was mighty sick,
too. An old woman found him an’ took him in,
an’ kep’ him till he got well. The gang helped
what we could, but she did the nussin’. She’s
a scrubwoman, an’ now she’s sick an’ Billy saw
’twas up to him to help her out. He blacks
boots an’ sells papers, but he goes to school, so
his only workin’ time is after school an’ evenin’s ;
so he don’t earn an awful lot. One day in school
he found a scarfpin an’ sold it ; an’ that was easy
money, so he kep’ on. The woman’s gettin’
better now — he wouldn’t ’a’ had to pick up extrys
that way no longer ; but now they’ve spotted him
an’ they’re after him.”
“Barney, did he use for this poor woman all
he got by stealing? Tell me the truth.”
“ Sure he did, an’ all he earned, too, ’cept what
he had to have fer eatin’s— an’ us fellers helped
out on that all we could.”
“ Where is he now ? ”
A cunning expression flashed into Barney’s
face. He winked one eye, and sticking his tongue
into his cheek, remarked, “ I ain’t a-tellin’.”
“ You mean he’s hiding? ”
“ He’s keepin’ out o’ sight— fer his health,”
Barney replied with a grin.
Alan Marshall considered the matter— a dif-
ficult case, surely.
“ You see, don’t you, Barney, that he was alto-
gether wrong to get money in this way even to
help one to whom he owed so much ? ”
“ It was a fool way — he was sure to get nabbed
44 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
if he kep’ on long enough/’ Barney assented
Alan Marshall shook his head. It was alto-
gether the wrong point of view, of course, but
evidently this was not the time to try to convince
Barney of that. The boy’s patience was, quite
plainly, wearing thin. He twisted uneasily in
his chair ; then, “ If ye can’t do nothin’ I’ll be
goin’,” he said.
Mr. Marshall detected the discouragement and
disappointment in his voice. “ Wait a little,” he
said, “ let me think.” Then he looked straight
into the boy’s eyes. “Barney, you wouldn’t
tell me a thing like this if it were not true?
I can trust your word?”
“ I ain’t a liar ! ” Barney flung back instantly,
and the tone in which he spoke and the look in
his eyes were convincing.
“ No, I’m sure you are not,” Mr. Marshall
replied. “ I believe what you have told me, and
I’ll do my best to help Billy.”
“ When ? ” demanded Barney.
“ To-morrow. Tell me his teacher’s name, and
Barney gave them.
“And now where can I find the woman to
whom Billy gave the money ? ”
At that, Barney’s face darkened again with
“You goin’ to her to see ’f I’m lyin’?” he
Alan Marshall smiled into the angry face.
“ Not a bit of it, Barney. I know you are telling
THE SCOUT MASTER AND BARNEY 45
me. the truth ; but Billy’s teacher and others that
I have to see don’t know you, and I must have
proof to give them if I am going to help Billy.
Do you see ? ”
Barney saw, and the suspicion died out of his
eyes. He gave the name and address. Then —
“ How’ll I know ? ” he demanded.
“ You can come here Friday evening.”
“ All right.” Barney sprang up, bolted for the
door, and was gone.
The next day, leaving his own classroom early,
Alan Marshall hunted up the scrubwoman, and
then went to the grade school to see Billy’s
teacher. Billy’s teacher had little good to say
of the boy. He was dull, obstinate, and untidy.
On the playground — which was the street — he
went generally “ with a chip on his shoulder.”
In fact, fighting was the only thing in which he
excelled. And as to the thefts of which he was
accused, he was unquestionably guilty. The only
place for him was the reform school — so his
teacher declared with conviction.
“ And in the reform school he would be thrown
with other boys already labelled incorrigible, who
would teach him all the evil he has not already
learned,” said Alan Marshall.
“ And that’s little enough,” the teacher fin-
“ But wait a moment,” said the other. “ This
boy, you say, is dull, sullen, and quarrelsome —
and untidy. Did you know that he has no home
but the streets ? How can such a boy keep him-
self clean? How can he be quick, bright, good-
46 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
natured — when half the time he is hungry?
When his papers are left on his hands, or he gets
no shoes to ‘ shine/ his pockets are empty and
his stomach, too. Is it any wonder, then, that
he is ugly and quarrelsome ? And as to the thefts
— don’t they seem a little less black when we
know that he stole for one even more needy than
himself — one who had helped him when there
was no one else to help? ”
“ But did he ? Do you know that, Mr. Mar-
“ Yes, I have seen the woman for whom he
stole. She did not know at the time how he came
to be so ‘ flush/ as she said, but the money was
unquestionably spent mostly, if not altogether,
Billy’s teacher looked thoughtful — in fact dis-
tinctly disturbed and remorseful. “ If I’d only
known all this before ! ” she said. “ But it is
impossible to know all about my pupils when I
have so many.”
“ That is very true. But now that you do
understand this case, don’t you think we ought
to give Billy one more chance ? ”
“ I wish we could. But when a boy once gets
the habit of stealing, it is so hard to break him
“ I know. We can’t. We must try to find a
way to make him break himself of it. Now I
am ready to pay for all that Billy has stolen
here; but understand, Miss Marvin, I am only
lending him this money; he must pay it back to
THE SCOUT MASTER AND BARNEY 47
“ How can he — earning so little as you say
he does? ”
“ Perhaps we can help him to earn more, but
he must repay me for the sake of his own self-
respect. It won’t do to kill a boy’s self-respect —
I’ve found that out.”
“ Well,” agreed Miss Marvin, “ I’m quite will-
ing to admit that I feel very differently towards
Billy now, Mr. Marshall, and I’ll do anything I
can to help him. But you will have to see the
supervisor and probably some members of the
school board — since the matter has been re-
ported to them.”
So to the supervisor, and then to the president
of the board, Alan Marshall went, and in both
cases he was successful in creating an interest
in Billy Burns, and he went home with the
promise that the boy should be given another
B ARNEY appeared early on Friday even-
ing and hardly waited to be seated before
he demanded, “ How about Billy ? ”
“ Billy is to have another chance,” Alan Mar-
shall answered, “ but, Barney, this will be his
last chance in the school, and he must make
good. Do you understand ? He must ”
“ Maybe you know,” Mr. Marshall went on,
“ how hard it is for a boy to break himself of
the habit of stealing; and it must be broken off
Again Barney nodded. “ I know,” he said.
“ He’s got to be on the square now.”
“ It will be a hard fight for him, and you and
I must stand by him, Barney. He must not
go to the reform school if we can help it.”
“ It’s a bum place — that school,” Barney
agreed, and added abruptly, “ I’ll be off now —
Billy’ll be waitin’ fer me.” With his hand on
the doorknob, he turned and mumbled
“ Wait a moment, Barney,” said the Master.
“ I want to see Billy. I’m trying to find some
better work for him, and he cannot keep on
sleeping in the streets. Can you get him to
come here to-morrow night ? ”
“ Yep. I’ll tell him he’s got ter — he’ll come.
’Night,” and Barney was gone.
The Master was not sure that Barney would
be able to persuade Billy to come, but the next
evening, hearing a shuffling step outside his door
— he had left the outer door ajar — he opened it,
and found a boy prowling uncertainly about the
“ I — didn’t know — which door ” he stam-
mered. “ I’m Billy Burns.”
“ Yes, I remember you. I saw you that day
of the fight. Come in, Billy,” the Scout Master
said, pulling forward a chair for the boy.
He was a forlorn figure, dirty, ragged, and
hungry-looking. His shoes, much too big for
him, were so broken that his bare feet could be
seen through the holes, and one sole hung loose,
flapping with each step. He sat down on the
edge of the chair as if ready to slink away at a
second’s notice, and his eyes searched the corners
with swift, furtive glances, as if he suspected
a lurking enemy ready to pounce out upon him.
At first it was impossible to make him talk.
Whether he was embarrassed or obstinate or sim-
ply dull, Alan Marshall could not tell; but he
looked hungry, so the Master brought out a plate
of sandwiches and. some lemonade. Billy’s eyes
glistened, and with incredible speed he ate one
sandwich after another until the plate was empty.
Then, “ Them was bully ! ” he said by way of
50 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
thanks, as he wiped his mouth on the dirty sleeve
of a very ragged jacket.
“ Billy, did you ever take a shower-bath ? ” the
Master inquired with a friendly smile.
“ N-nop. I go’n the river, though.”
“ Come in here — I want to show you my
shower,” said the Master.
Doubtfully, half suspiciously, Billy followed
into a bathroom of the most complete modern
style. “ Gee ! ” he ejaculated as he looked around
at the white tiling and shining metal.
“ Don’t you want to try the shower ? I’ll show
you how it works. See — just turn that. Now, if
you’d like, you can take a hot bath and scrub in
the tub here, and then a cold shower after it.
It will make you feel fine. And when you are
ready to dress, I have some linen and a suit that
I think will about fit you, and be more comfort-
able than the clothes you have on. I know
you have no one to wash or mend for you,
Billy stood staring in dumb amazement while
the Master spoke — then without ceremony he
began stripping off his dirty rags. Alan Mar-
shall set the water running in the tub, laid out
soap, washcloth, and towels, and went out, and
soon he heard a joyous splashing, followed pres-
ently by the patter of the shower. Then the
door of the bathroom opened, and a clean white
arm appeared and raked in the clothing that had
been laid ready there.
When Billy appeared again he looked several
shades lighter. His wet hair, sleek and shining,
clung tightly to a head that was held hi§jji with
a new air of self-respect. He stood for a mo-
ment looking down at his clothes; then he went
slowly across the room and sat down.
“ It’s so — I feel jest fine ! ” he declared. “ Say,
mister ” — he held out his right hand and looked
down at it solemnly — •“ I never knowed it felt so
good to be clean — clothes an’ all.” Then yet
more slowly he added, “ I’ll — keep — my — hands
— clean — after this, if I can.”
The Scout Master was quick to gather what
the boy was trying to say. He grasped the clean
hand and held it in both his as he answered, “ I
understand, Billy. You’ve never had a fair
chance before, but you’re going to have one.
You are one of my boys now, and I always look
after my boys.” He put one hand under Billy’s
chin, tipping the wet head back so that he could
look deep into the blue eyes. “ Billy, you’ve got
a hard fight before you at school. I mean, you’ve
got to live down your past record and make a
new one. Will you ? ”
Billy stood motionless, his eyes held by that
steady compelling glance. It seemed a long
time that he stood so before he said slowly, “If
I don’t ” He left the sentence unfinished.
There was no need to say more.
“ Now, Billy,” said the Master, “ you can go,
but I’m going to ask you to do one thing for
“ I’ll do it ! ” Billy broke in fervently.
“ I want you to come here to see me once every
;week. Will you do that?”
52 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
“WJ11I? You bet I will.” Billy’s eyes sought
the plate that had held the sandwiches.
“ And, see here,” added the Scout Master,
“ you are not to sleep any more in the streets.
I saw Mrs. Carter to-day, and I’ve arranged for
you to have that little room of hers. You can
go back to school Monday, and the next time
you come here there is a matter of business I
want to talk over with you.”
Billy nodded, and then Billy’s feet, in good
comfortable shoes, clattered noisily down the
stairs, and a moment later a blithe whistle floated
up from the street.
“ I hope,” said the Master aloud, as his glance
followed the boyish figure down the street, head
lifted and hands in pockets, “ I hope I’ve made
a break in Barney’s gang. If I can keep hold of
Billy, maybe I’ll get Barney, too, after a while,
and that might mean all the rest of the gang.
But that’s too much to hope for — yet.”
He went across to the bathroom, gathered up
Billy’s discarded rags with the tongs and dropped
them out of the window, to be dumped into the
refuse barrel in the back yard. Then he rang
for a maid to clean the bathroom, which looked
as if a young whale had been frolicking there,
and a very dirty young whale at that.
The Scout Master waited with some doubt to
see if Billy Burns would come as he had prom-
ised, the next week. He did come — not in such
a state of shining cleanliness as when last seen,
yet vastly cleaner than he was wont to be. But
no cheerful whistle announced his arrival, and
there was discouragement in the droop of his
shoulders when he came in.
“ Sit down, Billy, and tell me what’s the
trouble,” the Master said as he took the boy’s
limp hand in his warm grasp. Billy had not yet
learned how to shake hands.
The boy dropped into the chair with a long
sigh. “ It’s de gang, an’ school — an’ every-
“ What’s wrong at the school ? ”
“ The fellers. They twit me an’ call me t’ief.
I wouldn’t care a ” He caught himself up
quickly, biting his tongue to keep the bad word
from tumbling out — “ I wouldn’t care if I could
on’y pitch in an’ lick ’em all, but you say I can’t
fight, an’ what’s a feller to do? I can’t always
stand the naggin’ — you know I can’t. Some
day I’m a-goin’ to get so bustin’ mad that I can’t
stop meself, an’ give some o’ them what’s cornin’
to ’em alright. ’N’ then,” he added dolefully,
“ you’ll think I’m — what they say I am.”
“ I shall never think that, Billy, and I shall
never give you up. Didn’t I tell you that I al-
ways stand by my boys? If it gets so bad you
really can’t endure it any longer, I’ll send you to
some other place where you can begin all over
again. But then you couldn’t come here to talk
things over with me. And, besides — Billy, men
have to fight hard things and you’ll be a man
before you know it.”
Billy’s face brightened a trifle, and the droop-
ing shoulders straightened. “ I reckon I c’n
stand it,” he declared; then again the shadow
54 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
darkened his face. “ But it’s de gang, too,” he
added gloomily. “ They won’t leave me be, an’
— an’ I can't run with de gang no more —
“ Why not, Billy? ”
Billy wriggled uneasily in his seat, looking
everywhere but at his new friend.
“ I — jest — can’t, ye know,” he muttered.
“ Don’t you want to, Billy ? ”
Billy nodded emphatically. “ That’s what’s the
matter — want to too much,” he returned.
“ Then why can’t you ? ”
The boy cast a quick, searching glance at the
face of the man opposite him; then again his
gaze wandered and he was silent.
“ Is it because the gang does things that you
think now you ought not to do? ”
Billy’s head bobbed again.
“ Can you tell me what kind of things ? ”
Billy considered. Then he answered slowly,
and with evident reluctance, “ S’loons — crap —
an’ — an’ ” A red flush sweeping slowly over
his face hinted at some of the things he left un-
mentioned. “ They keep after me all the time,”
he ended miserably, “ an’ — an’ they’re the on’y
fellers I got to go with. They’re me friends !’
A swift inspiration came to the Scout Master.
“ Billy, do you know anything about the Boy
Scouts ? ” he asked.
Billy looked mildly interested. “ Seen some
of ’em marchin’ up the avenue, in uniform, one
“Would you like to belong to them?”
Billy sat bolt upright now, his eyes widening
in sheer amazement.
“Me? I couldn’t be in anythin’ like that —
me ! ” he gasped.
“ Yes, you can, if you want to. I am a Scout
Master, and there’s a vacancy in one of my
patrols. There are eight boys in each patrol,
and those in this one live down in your neigh-
bourhood. If you join the Scouts, I think you’ll
find it easier to keep away from the gang, and
I’m very sure you’ll have a great deal more real
fun than you ever had in the gang. What do
you say ? ”
“ Won’t they twit me — like the fellers do to
school ? ”
“ I don’t think they will — certainly not nearly
“ What do they do b’sides dress up an’
The Scout Master took from a drawer a small
illustrated booklet and handed it to the boy.
“ That tells all about scouting, and if you con-
clude you’d like to join us, I’ll try to fix it for
you. You don’t have to, you know — you can do
just as you like about it. I’m going to take my
troop into the country Saturday. If you want to,
you can go along with me then and see how
you like it. If, after that, you don’t think you’d
care to belong, why, you needn’t, of course.”
“ Anyway, I couldn’t git the togs,” Billy mut-
tered, his longing eyes studying the picture of
a group of boys gathered about a campfire.
“ Never mind the uniform. If you don’t join
56 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
you won’t want one, you know ; besides, Scouts
don’t have to wear the uniform. Think you could
eat some ginger cakes, Billy ? ”
Billy grinned. “ I could try,” he answered.
As he munched the cakes Alan Marshall
brought out, he turned over the leaves of the
little book and asked many questions. But sud-
denly he closed the book, with a sigh. “ ’Tain’t
no use. Barney wouldn’t let me — I was fergettin’
Barney,” he said gloomily.
“ Why wouldn’t he let you ? ”
“ ’Cause he’s the gang leader, yer know —
Barney. He ain’t lettin’ any of ’em get into any-
thin’ else. And — he’s been square wid me —
“ Perhaps I might be able to persuade him.
Do you see him every day ? ”
Billy nodded. “ Barney’s all right — he is,” he
“ I like Barney,” the Scout Master agreed.
“ Will you tell him I’d like to see him to-morrow
evening, if he can come here? ”
“ I’ll tell him. Guess I must go now.” Billy
rose, glancing at the remaining cakes.
With a smile the Scout Master slipped the
cakes into the boy’s pocket.
“ We’ve had a nice talk to-day, haven’t we,
Billy?” he said. “And we’ll have another next
week. And don’t forget — we all have to fight
just as hard things as those you are up against,
so you must stick it out — like a man.”
Billy nodded again. “ I’m a-stickin’,” he de-
clared, and departed.
A COUNTRY HIKE
S ATURDAY was fair and warm — an ideal
May day — and at half-past eight twenty-
three boys in uniform were waiting at
Alan Marshall’s door. Twenty-three hands gave
the scout salute as the Master appeared, and
twenty-three pairs of eyes opened in surprise at
sight of the boy who followed close at the Mas-
“ This is one of my friends — Billy Burns. He
goes with us to-day as my guest, and I know you
will all help him to have a royal good time — a
real Scout’s good time,” the Scout Master said.
Some of the boys nodded, but doubtfully, to
the stranger. Only Jack Harding smiled into his
face and held out a friendly hand.
“ You’ll want to join, too,” he assured Billy.
“ It’s the best fun ever. We’re the Owl Patrol
— see ? ” He pointed to the banner his sister had
The Scout Master gave the order, and at once
the boys fell into line and swung off, their ban-
ners waving in the breeze.
Jack Harding was bursting with excitement,
for this was the first time he had been allowed
to start with the troop for a long tramp. Al-
58 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
ways before, to his intense mortification, he had
had to go by car or carriage the greater part
of the way, only joining the others for the lunch
and resting-time; but he was so much stronger
now that he was going to walk all the way. Jack
was the youngest in the troop and the prime
favourite. When he held out his thin little hand
and smiled that radiant smile straight into a fel-
low’s eyes, there wasn’t a boy who could resist
him. Will Harding’s “ kid brother ” they called
him — Kid, for short.
The Boy Scout idea had found quick favour,
and there were already many patrols in the city.
Two had been formed of High School boys, with
a sprinkling of their younger brothers from the
eighth grade schools. These two patrols — the
Owls and the Panthers — with the boys from
Friendship House, whose symbol was the Tiger,
made up Alan Marshall’s troop. The boys of the
Owl Patrol had been friends and neighbours all
their lives ; but the Panthers were a different set,
and the Scout Master had begun to anticipate
some trouble from one or two of these boys, but
thus far all had gone smoothly.
The boys talked and whistled as they marched,
but always their eyes were busy, for to-day they
were to notice the trees. ‘ The one who could note
and name the greatest variety on the walk, and
describe peculiarities of trunk, leaf, and growth,
would win an honour.
“ Know the names of any of these trees,
Billy ? ” the Master questioned, as Billy kept step
at his side.
A COUNTRY HIKE 59
The boy shook his head. “ On’y apple trees
an’ chestnuts,” he said.
“ You’ll know a lot more than that before
you come back to-night. I’ll show you the dif-
ferent kinds as we come across them. Let’s begin
with this maple.” The Master reached up and
broke off a leaf. “ Look at that closely so you’ll
know a maple leaf next time. Then put it in
your pocket and we’ll see it again later. Now
this is a pin oak.”
So the lesson went on as they walked, the boy
mostly silent, but missing nothing that was said
or done. At the end of each half hour there was
a five-minute rest — mainly for Jack, though he
never guessed that ; then the march was resumed.
It was approaching noon when they reached the
place that had been selected for the noon rest
and camp. Banners and staves were stacked
against a tree and the Scout Master gave his
orders. Some boys were to gather brush for a
fire — for what would a camp be without a fire
even on a mild May day? — some to build the
fire, some to bring water from the nearest well.
“Jack, I wish you would sit down here in
the shade and tell Billy about some of our good
times ? He doesn’t know as much as you do
about scouting,” the Master said, seeing that
Jack needed to rest.
Jack’s hand went up to his forehead in the
salute, then he beckoned Billy to a seat under a
big chestnut. “ I wanted to help make the camp-
fire,” he confided to the other boy in a confiden-
tial tone, “ but you know Scouts, like soldiers.
60 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
always obey orders, and I’ll be glad to tell you
about the jolly good times we have. You’re
going to join, aren’t you? ”
“ I d-know.”
“ Oh, you must — you’ll miss so much if you
don’t. Why, do you know, I was such a good-
for-nothing chap — always sick, and couldn’t do
things like other fellows — till I joined the
Scouts; and now I’m growing awfully strong.
Feel that ! ” He held out a skinny arm, crooked
and stiffened. “ Ain’t that some muscle ? ”
Billy felt the muscle and manfully suppressed
a grin. It was a fine muscle, he agreed. As if
a fellow could disappoint such a friendly little
chap as this ! Billy’s lonely heart warmed to the
“ Kid,” and his tongue was loosened. He asked
questions by the yard, and Jack delightedly an-
swered them all. To hear Jack, one would have
thought that scouting comprised all of joy that
earth could offer a boy. So absorbed were the
two in their talk that they paid little attention
to the others until an acorn rattled on the brim
of Jack’s hat. Then he looked up with a shout.
" It’s Will — my brother — over there with Sid-
ney Hart,” he explained to Billy. Then he called
across to his brother, “ What is it, Will ? What
you want ? ”
“ You. Come on over here.”
“ I can’t, Will — I’m under orders,” Jack called
back, and settled down again beside Billy.
“ You ought to make him come, Will,” Sidney
Hart was saying. “ Your father expects you to
look out for him. If he was my brother, you
A COUNTRY HIKE 61
bet I wouldn't let him sit there all this time with
that tough — anybody can see he’s a regular
tough. The Tigers are bad enough, but that
Wilson, scowling, looked across at the two
figures under the big chestnut tree. “ Scout Mas-
ter ordered him, as he says,” he answered.
“ Maybe the fellow isn’t as tough as he looks.
The Master’s pretty careful, you know.”
“ Don’t know any such thing,” grumbled Sid-
ney. “ I don’t believe in mixing things up. A
troop ought to be made up of boys like those a
fellow’s used to, not like ours — two patrols of
the right sort and that one of South-Enders.”
The South End was the tenement section of the
“ I agree with you there, Sid,” Wilson replied.
“ I’ve half a mind to drop out of the troop,
anyhow,” Sidney grumbled on. “ I don’t find so
much fun in it.”
“ Oh, no, Sid,” Wilson protested quickly,
“ don’t drop out. I must stay in on the Kid’s
account, but without you Don’t think of it,
Sid! There will be fun when we go into camp
after school closes and have the meets and the
tournament and all.”
“ Well — I’ll think it over,” was all Sidney
would concede, and Wilson knew it was wisest
not to urge him ; but he was anxious about his
friend. Their friendship was not as close and
warm as it had been in the old days. He felt
that Sidney was not the same — that he was drift-
ing away from him.
62 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
A bugle call sounded clear and musical and
the Scouts gathered nearer the fire.
“ Hope there’s plenty of grub — I’m hungry
enough to eat nails,” cried Wilson as he and
Sidney obeyed the summons.
“ Carter’s cook to-day — he knows how to make
prime coffee,” Sidney returned. “ That tough
sticks to Jack like a brother,” he added, “ and
Jack acts as if he found him vastly entertaining.
Look at ’em now, down there together beside
“Jack would find a lobster entertaining,” re-
torted Wilson, as he flung himself down on the
grass and beckoned imperatively to Jack.
The boy sprang up and ran over to him, but
when Wilson would have pulled him down be-
side him, Jack slipped lightly away.
“ I can’t — truly, I can’t, Will. I’m sorry.
You know I always like best of all to be with you
— and Sid,” he added with a courteous after-
thought. “ But Billy is the Scout Master’s guest
to-day, and he asked me to be as nice to him as
I could, so I must stay with him till we’re through
dinner. Then maybe I can come back to you.”
Catching his brother’s hand, he gave it a quick
squeeze and ran off.
“ What can you do with a kid like that ? ” Wil-
son said, wholly unconscious of the love and
pride in his eyes. “ Anyhow, Sid, Jack won’t
be any the worse for hanging round with that
fellow. You can’t smirch a chap like the Kid —
you know that.”
“ Yes,” Sidney admitted, “ I know that.”
A COUNTRY HIKE
Each boy had brought ample provision for
himself, and the Scout Master had brought coffee
and bacon for the whole troop. The coffee was
served in the cups that all the boys carried, and
the bacon, cut in thin slices, was broiled on the
ends of long pointed sticks. There were no
plates, and nobody wanted one. But how hun-
gry everybody was and how good everything
tasted! Even the Tigers, however — and Billy —
were satisfied at last, and then followed an hour
of talk — sometimes merry, sometimes grave — for
the Master had ways of his own for directing
it to the end he had in mind.
Then came the tree lesson. Billy Burns, silent
and watchful, learned that day how much there
was that he did not know about trees that he
had seen times without number; but it was safe
to say that he would not pass them so heedlessly
by henceforth. Albert Barnes, patrol leader of
the Panthers, won the prize with his list of
thirty-seven varieties of trees that he had seen
that day. The Master scanned his list with care
and questioned him closely, but he answered all
questions so readily that the prize — a knot of
green ribbon — was voted to him, and he tied
it in his buttonhole with a gaily superior
There followed an archery contest. Only two
bows had been brought, and these belonged to
Sidney Hart and Wilson Harding. A rude target
was outlined with chalk on a big oak tree, and
the boys were divided — those who had practised
archery on one side; those who had never used
64 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
bow and arrows (toys, of course, not considered)
on the other. Of the practised archers there
were but six. All the other boys were quite un-
skilled. The latter had their turn first. One
after another drew the bow and sent an arrow,
some hitting the tree and some flying past it.
Only five fell within the chalk lines, and of these
but one came near the center. It was Albert
Barnes again who stood first, his arrow falling
within the inner circle. As he stepped back, the
Scout Master beckoned to Billy Burns, who, his
hands in his pockets, had watched the flying
shafts with the keenest interest.
“ Would you like to try ? ” the Master in-
quired, and, with a quick nod, Billy seized the
bow and picked up an arrow.
“ Have you ever used a bow, Billy ? ” the Mas-
ter asked, and Billy answered with a shake of
his head. He fingered the string for a moment,
then fitted the arrow to it, and sent it flying
straight into the bull's-eye. There was a quick
shout of applause, led by Jack Harding, but Al-
bert Barnes did not join in it. He scowled at
Billy, and said to the boy next him, in a low
tone, “ Needn’t tell me he never used a bow
before — I know better.”
Billy, whose ears were quick as a hare’s,
caught the low-spoken words.
“ Yer lie ! ” he flung back instantly, his fists
doubled ready to strike.
The Master, speaking to some one else, had
not heard the interchange; but Jack Harding’s
eager voice cut across the dangerous moment.
A COUNTRY HIKE 65
“ It was a splendid shot, Billy. Sid Hart couldn’t
The black fury died swiftly out of Billy’s eyes,
and he turned away from Barnes without an-
Now the six archers were to try for first place.
Instead of the chalk target, an acorn was sus-
pended by a string from the branch of a tree —
not an easy mark for an arrow. One after an-
other the six archers drew the bow; but the
acorn swung untouched until Sidney, the last of
the six, let fly an arrow which carried off acorn
and string. This time the applause was quick
and hearty; and then the boys crowded around
Sidney and Wilson, examining the bows and ar-
rows, and asking countless questions about meth-
ods and practice.
“ The highest honour goes to you, Sidney —
and well won,” the Master said, handing him a
knot of blue ribbon. Then he turned to Barnes.
“ And to you, second honour,” he held a
red ribbon in his hand and glanced across as he
spoke, to Billy, who was standing a little apart
from the others, “ because you made the best
shot of any of the troop except Sidney; but
Burns did better than you and, if you agree, I’ll
divide the honours — and the ribbon — between
you. Shall I?”
“ As you please — I don’t care,” returned
Barnes, his manner so careless that it was barely
civil. The Master cut the ribbon, handed him
half, and gave the other half to Billy. Barnes
stuffed his into his pocket — and on the home-
66 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
ward march flicked it disdainfully into the road.
But Billy’s eyes brightened strangely as he took
his ribbon, and a genuine boyish smile softened
his mouth. As the boy, fumbling with clumsy
fingers, tried to draw the ribbon through his but-
tonhole, Jack snatched it out of his hands.
“ Here, let me fix it for you,” he said, and lean-
ing closer, whispered, “ Fm awful glad you got
Billy’s face was a study. He was not blind to
the unfriendly feeling towards him — a feeling
plainly manifested by others besides Barnes, and,
according to his “ code,” he must not show before
them the pride he really felt; so he assumed an
air of careless indifference which was belied by
the spot of colour burning in his cheeks — colour
rivalling that of the ribbon. Though Billy had
never really discovered the fact himself, deep
down in him somewhere was a passionate love of
colour, and this was the first beautiful bit of
colour that had ever been his very own in the
fourteen years of his hard life. And as if the
ribbon itself were not enough, the Kid had fas-
tened it on and said he was “ awful glad ” he had
won it. No knight of the garter ever wore his
jewelled decoration more proudly than Billy wore
that ribbon; but nobody guessed that — not even
the Scout Master or Jack.
The Scout Master looked at his watch and
announced that it was time to start homewards.
“ Gather up all belongings — be sure nothing is
left behind,” he said. “We start in five min-
A COUNTRY HIKE
The return march was made in good time, and,
having escorted Mr. Marshall to his own door,
the boys were ready to separate, but the Master
detained them a moment.
“ Bear in mind the lecture next Saturday,” he
said. “ It’s on ‘ First aid to the injured,’ and
you can’t be too well posted in that line. I shall
hope to see every boy in my troop there. And
in the evening, the campfire here in my
rooms will be the last indoor campfire of the
season. We want to talk over the plans for
our month of real scouting and camp life in
This announcement was greeted with a cheer,
after which each patrol saluted the Scout Master,
and then the boys melted away in different direc-
tions. Billy had lingered to see the last of Jack.
As he, too, turned to leave, the Scout Master laid
a hand on his shoulder.
“Billy,” he said, “it has just occurred to me
that I’ve kept you too late for your papers. You
couldn’t sell many now, could you ? ”
“ Guess not, but I ain’t mindin’,” returned
“ I am, though. Come in with me. I think
you and I will have supper together to-night,
and if you are half as hungry as I am ”
Billy grinned and followed. The Master sent
him upstairs while he himself stopped to ask his
landlady to send up a bountiful supper tray for
two. And when it appeared Billy was quite ready
to do his share towards emptying it.
The meal over, the Master inquired, “ How
68 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
much do you make selling papers, Billy — how
much a day ? ”
“ Sometimes thirty cents— sometimes not so
“ And how much blacking boots ? ”
“ Mebbe fifty cents, mebbe nothin’. Wet days
nobody stops fer a shine.”
“ So the most you ever make is eighty cents a
Billy nodded. “ Only have the time after
school an’ Sat’days,” he explained.
It was not easy for the Scout Master to say
what he had to say next.
“ Billy, I’ve got to speak just this once about
what happened at the school.”
Instantly a black shadow fell over the boy’s
face, blotting out the little glow of happiness that
the day had brought into it. Again it was the
face of the homeless vagrant of the streets, sul-
len, suspicious, defiant. His eyes no longer met
the Master’s frankly, but shifted furtively, and
he slipped to the edge of his chair as if about
to dart out of the room.
The Master went on, his voice very kind and
gentle, “ You know that I paid for all the books
and things that had been — lost ? ”
Billy nodded silently, his eyes on the floor.
“ It wasn’t enough for me to pay for them.
I mean you would not have been allowed to go
back if that had been all. I had to make a
promise for you, Billy, before the supervisor and
school board would let you go back. I prom-
ised that you would pay that money back
A COUNTRY HIKE 69
to me. Don’t you see that that was the fair
“ I — dunno.” Billy’s voice seemed to come
from the shoes on which his eyes were now
The Master went on, “ You see, it was this
way. You did wrong and you have to pay for
it. My paying that money didn’t pay for the
wrong you did — it only paid for the books and
other things that were taken. If you had been
sent to the reform school and had spent a year
there, then you would have paid in that way for
the wrong you did.”
“ That wouldn’t a-paid fer the things I
cribbed, though,” flashed Billy, with unexpected
“ No, they would never have been paid for
then. But you see, don’t you, that you have
something yet to pay ? ”
Billy considered that for a little before he ad-
mitted reluctantly, “ Mebbe so.” Then he added
anxiously, “ How much is it ? ”
“ Five dollars.”
“ The Gee ! ” amended Billy hastily. The
corners of his mouth drooped, and he added with
sullen gloom, “ How’m I goin’ to save up all
“ There’s no hurry about it, you know, Billy.
If it isn’t paid up in a year it will be all right,
if only you are doing your best to pay it. And
I think before long I can find some work for
you that will bring in more money than you are
earning now. Tve been thinking about that, too.”
70 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
Billy was silent. The Master changed the sub-
“ What do you think of the Scouts, Billy ? ”
“ Don’t like ’em — ’cept the Kid. He’s all
The Master looked both surprised and disap-
pointed. “ Why didn’t you like the scouting?”
“ They’re no good — them chaps. De gang’s
better — ter me.”
“ Oh, it’s the boys you don’t like. But
wouldn’t you like the scouting if you liked the
boys? Wouldn’t you like living in a tent down
by the water, where you could swim and fish and
paddle in a canoe, and learn to read woods’ signs
and play Indian games ? ”
Billy awoke to sudden interest.
“ Scalpin’ an’ burnin’ an’ shootin’ folks,” he
demanded breathlessly, “ like I seen in the movin’
“ Not real scalping and killing, of course, but
real Indian life, all the same — finding your way
through the woods and tracking others, and
making fires to cook the fish you’ve caught —
wouldn’t you like all that, Billy ? ”
Billy thought he might.
“ Well, then, suppose you come here next Sat-
urday. We’ll have supper together same as we
have to-night — that’s only fair, since it would
take your working time — and then you’ll hear all
about our camping plans. I’d like to take you
along for a week or two, for I’m sure you’d like
the outdoor life. And — could you go with me
A COUNTRY HIKE
Saturday morning to the big meeting? The Red
Cross Society is to give a talk to all the Scouts
in the city, and show them exactly how to give
first aid to the injured — that is, teach them how
to stop bleeding, to bind up a broken limb, to
recover a person who has been nearly drowned,
and things like that. You would learn how to
do these things the right way, and perhaps,
knowing how, you might sometime have a chance
to save a lif e.^
“ I seen a feller drownded last summer,” Billy
“ And if you had known just how to go to
work, perhaps you might have saved his life.”
“ Nop — ’cause he’d been drownded a week,”
retorted Billy with a sly twinkle in his eye — the
very first sign he had given of a sense of humour.
“ I’d like to hear that talk, though,” he added.
“ Very well, then, be here Saturday at ten
o’clock — sharp.”
“ I’ll be here.” Billy rose and turned to go.
“ Did you tell Barney that I want to see him? ”
the Master asked.
Billy said he did.
“ He didn’t come.”
“ I know. Guess he didn’t want ter.”
“ Well, tell him again, will you, Billy? ”
“ Sure,” and with that Billy sidled out. From
the foot of the stairs a brief “ ’Night ” floated
back to the ears of the Scout Master, who smiled
at the belated politeness.
A CRISIS FOR SIDNEY HART
A FEW evenings later another boy came up
the Master’s stairs, but it was not Barney
■ Doyle. It was Wilson Harding, and the
Master read trouble in his eyes. Wilson had
dropped in for a little talk several times before.
Many of Alan Marshall’s boys found that room
an attractive place and their teacher a sympa-
thetic and helpful confidant. He waited now for
Wilson to say why he had come, and some chance
reference to Sidney Hart opened the way.
“ I’m awfully worried over Sid, Mr. Marshall,”
“ Tell me whatever you are free to tell, Wil-
son. He isn’t planning to go away again, is
“ No, he’ll never do that while his mother
lives; but — well, I’ve got to tell somebody. It’s
this : Sid is going with a wild lot — fellows older
than he is, most of them, and with money to
burn. They go off nights on ‘ joy rides,’ don’t
you know — way out of town? — and stop for
supper and then play cards, and — Mr. Marshall,
you know it’s bad for Sid to go with a crowd
“Of course it is. Doesn’t his father know?”
A CRISIS FOR SIDNEY HART 73
" I don’t believe he does. Sid goes up to his
room and his people think he’s gone to bed, but
he slips out again — and he has ways of getting
in at all hours.”
The Master’s face was grave and troubled.
“ His father ought to know,” he said.
“ If he did he might stop it — perhaps, for a
while — but it seems to me the only way to do
anything for Sid — any real good — is to get him
interested in something that will give him a lot to
do — and what that will be I don’t know. I
thought maybe — I hoped you could think of
“ I wish I could. It’s easier far to get a hold
on a boy like Billy Burns than one like Sidney.
It’s a pity he doesn’t have to work for his pocket
“ He has too much money — that’s one
trouble,” Wilson admitted.
“ And there is nothing — no line of study
or research or work that he really cares
Wilson shook his head. “ I don’t know of any
— except ranching — he still hankers after that
kind of life.”
“ He isn’t interested in the scouting? There
is much out-of-doors' life in that.”
“ No. He says he is going to give that up —
quit the patrol. You see, Mr. Marshall, he
doesn’t like mixing in with fellows like the Tigers
and that Burns. He thinks they ought to be in
a troop by themselves — not in with us.”
“ What do you think about that, Wilson ? ”
74 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
“ Well — honest, Mr. Marshall, I agree with
“ And the others in your patrol, and the Pan-
thers ? ”
“ Oh, A1 Barnes — he’s been down on the Ti-
gers from the beginning, and Ben Martin has,
too — Ben generally thinks as A1 does — and they
carry the rest of the patrol, you see.”
The Scout Master was studying the face of
the boy. Something in the quiet, searching
glance — or in the silence — made Harding
vaguely uncomfortable. When Alan Marshall
broke the silence it was to ask very quietly :
“ And your brother Jack — does he feel as you
and these others do about the Tigers — and
“Oh, Jack! Of course he doesn’t. But you
know Jack isn’t like other boys in lots of ways.
He’s — well, you see, Jack always thinks every
fellow he meets is just as fine and straight as he
“ Wilson, do you think there is the slight-
est danger — to Jack — in associating with the
Tigers on our scouting trips?” the Master
“To Jack? No, indeed! Pitch wouldn’t
blacken the Kid. Nothing smutty ever sticks to
The Master smiled — the rare smile that was
perhaps the sweeter because so rare. He spoke
again, yet more gently.
“ Wilson, have you noticed how the Tigers
treat Jack? ”
A CRISIS FOR SIDNEY HART 75
Wilson nodded. “ As if he was a little bit of
all right. But all the fellows treat the Kid that
“ Why — do you suppose ? ”
“ Oh — because he's white all the way through
and they feel it.”
“ Yes, that’s it. So there’s no danger of the
Tigers contaminating Jack”
Wilson flushed. “It isn’t that!” he flung out
scornfully. “ We — the rest of us — aren’t afraid
of being contaminated by those chaps: It’s that
we don’t like to have them in our crowd. They
aren’t our sort. Don’t you understand, Mr. Mar-
“ Oh, I understand your point of view per-
fectly. But suppose now I should add to my
troop another patrol of boys from families richer
and higher in the social scale than yours — what
then? Would you think that that was all
“ Why, of course. That would be a different
thing entirely.” Wilson looked puzzled.
“Would it? I don’t think the Tigers would
understand why. Wilson, you are a fine fellow,
but you need to learn some things that scouting,
I hope, will teach you. You took the Scout’s oath
— to do at least one kindness every day. Was
that kindness to be limited to the boys in your
own ‘ crowd ’ ? Haven’t you been forgetting an-
other article in the creed — that all Scouts are
brothers? Just think it over, and see if you don’t
find that you owe some kindnesses to those
brothers of yours in the Tiger Patrol who haven’t
76 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
had half your chances. Try to put yourself in
their places and see what then it would mean to
you to be in a troop with boys like — Jack, we’ll
“ There aren’t any others like the Kid,” mur-
mured the Kid’s brother loyally.
“ Not many, more’s the pity — they are far too
rare,” the Scout Master agreed. Then quickly
he changed the subject. “ As to Sidney — I will
see if there is anything I can do. I’m sure that
he is all right at bottom if only he can be kept
from disaster for a year or two to come.”
“ Thank you, Mr. Marshall. Anyhow, I feel
better for telling you,” Wilson answered, rising.
But as he went home, it was not of his friend
he was thinking so much as of his “ brothers ” in
the Tiger Patrol. He didn’t at all want to feel
that he owed them any kindnesses, but the Scout
Master had a way of making a fellow feel mighty
uncomfortable about things like that. Wilson
was half inclined to vow that he would keep
away from the Master henceforth. It was such
a bother to be compelled to haul out your faults
and failings after you had packed them nicely
away in some out-of-the-way corner of your
Yet before nine o’clock the next morning he
was again knocking at the Master’s door; and
at sight of the boy’s white face and miserable
eyes the Master drew him quickly into the room
and demanded, “ What is it, Wilson? ”
“ It’s Sid ! Oh, Mr. Marshall, haven’t you
seen the morning paper ? ”
A CRISIS FOR SIDNEY HART 77
“ No, mine didn’t come this morning. Tell
me — what about Sidney?”
The boy’s voice was shaken with deep feeling
as he told his story. “ He was off last night
with Tom Nichols and Jo Tracy and David
Steere on one of those rides I was telling you
about. On the way home at midnight they ran
into a carriage and smashed that up and the car,
too, and Nichols was killed and all of them hurt
so they were taken to the Emergency Hos-
The Master’s face expressed the gravest con-
“ Was Sidney dangerously hurt ? ” he asked.
“ I don’t know. I wanted to go to his house
to ask, but — I couldn’t.” Suddenly the boy put
his head down on the table, hiding his face.
“ I will go at once and inquire,” the Master
said. “ Will you wait here? ”
Wilson nodded without looking up. “ Be back
as soon as you can,” he begged in a low tone.
As the Master waited in the beautiful home
on the avenue, he recalled that other time when
he had come there on a similar errand. Mr.
Hart evidently remembered it, too, when he en-
tered the room.
“ It was kind of you to come — again,” he said.
“ I’ve just returned from the hospital.”
“ And Sidney?”
“ He is not seriously injured — one arm broken.
The shock was the worst.” Mr. Hart’s face
looked haggard and miserable. He went on,
“ Marshall, I’ve been asking myself if it is my
78 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
fault that my boy seems bent on wrecking his
life before he really begins to live.”
“ Perhaps this will be the lesson he needed,”
the Master ventured. “ I have always had faith
in Sidney, Mr. Hart. He is not a bad boy, I am
sure. What he needs is some real in-
terest — something which he can do, and see
“ I don’t know — I don’t know what he needs —
or wants,” the father said sadly. “ I’ve done my
best for him — at least, the best I knew. Nothing
he wanted has been denied him, but nothing
seems to content him.”
“ One boy, I understand, was killed. Were
any of the others seriously injured? ” Alan Mar-
“ Yes, the other two boys, Tracy and Steere,
are both badly hurt, and one of the men in the
carriage they ran into has a broken leg. Oh,
it’s a wretched business — wretched ! ” Mr. Hart
answered. “ It will all be aired in the papers,
and the boys represented as young ruffians of
the blackest dye, and there’ll be a suit for dam-
ages — there’s no end to the miserable complica-
tions ! ” The grey-haired man fairly groaned in
“ Your boy was spared to you, Mr. Hart,” the
Master gently reminded him.
“ Yes, and I suppose I ought to be thankful
for that. What am I saying? I am thankful,
of course. If only — if only — this will bring him
to his senses and make him behave himself
henceforth. But I don’t know — I don’t know.”
A CRISIS FOR SIDNEY HART 79
“ How long will Sidney remain at the hos-
pital ? ”
“ Only a day or two. He didn't want to face
his mother yet, and no wonder ! ”
Mr. Marshall rose. “ Sidney must have had a
fearful shock in the death of his friend under
such circumstances, and so dreadfully sudden.
A boy cannot go through such an experience as
that without some lasting results. Let him feel
that you still have faith in him, Mr. Hart."
The father shook his head, and the Master
went away with his heart full of sympathy for
both father and son.
He found Wilson walking the floor in uncon-
trollable impatience and anxiety, and the account
he could give the boy was not very comforting.
But Wilson, at least, could rejoice that his
friend’s injuries were less serious than he had
feared, and he had more faith than had Sidney’s
father in the lasting effects of the experience
through which the boy had passed.
“ Shouldn’t think he’d ever want to see a card
or a bottle — or an auto again,’’ he said to himself
as he went home.
AROUND THE FIRE
HE next evening the Scout Master, busy
over school papers, heard heavy foot-
steps on his stairs, and opened the door
to Barney Doyle. The big fellow paused on the
threshold as if more than half minded to back
out, but the Scout Master held his hand in a
firm grasp and was giving him a cordial welcome,
so Barney marched in and seated himself, as
Billy had done, on the edge of a chair, as if ready
at a moment’s notice to spring up and dart out.
“ Billy said ye wanted ter see me,” he began.
“ But you didn’t want to see me, Barney ? ”
the Master returned with a smile.
To that Barney made no response. He sat
stolid and silent, only his eyes keenly alert.
The Master went on, “ Yes, I wanted to see
you — about Billy, for one thing.”
“ Billy’s all right, ain’t he ? ” Barney demanded
with a mingling of defiance and uneasiness in
“ Quite all right. I have great hopes for
Barney looked a question, but he did not
“ Did he tell you that he has to pay back to me
AROUND THE FIRE 81
the money I paid for the things he had taken
in the school ? ”
“ He told me,” Barney admitted briefly.
“ And what did you think about it ? Did you
understand that I was obliged to promise that
Billy should repay me? I wanted you to under-
stand it, Barney.”
Barney nodded, scowling. “ How’s he goin’
to, an’ he not makin’ fifty cents some days, an’
all his eatin’s to come out of that? ” he demanded
in his gruffest tone.
“ Of course he can’t pay it out of such earn-
ings, but I am going to help him to earn more.”
At that Barney’s scowl softened a little. The
Master went on, “ And if he earns more, don’t
you see that it is right for him to repay me —
that he must do something himself to pay for
what he did? That is what I want you to un-
“ Mebbe so,” was all the boy would admit, and
he qualified that by muttering, “ He didn’t crib
’em fer himself nohow.”
“ But a broken law must be paid for, just as
a broken arm must be paid for in suffering. No
amount of money can prevent that, you know.”
Barney nodded thoughtfully.
“ Barney, how old are you ? ”
“ ’Bout seventeen.”
“ And how many are there in the gang of
which you are the leader ? ”
“ Fourteen — now.”
“ There were more ? ”
“ Uh-huh. One got nabbed last week. He’s
82 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
in the r’form school, but they won’t keep him
there long — he’ll find a way to git out,” Barney
declared with evident satisfaction.
“ What was he sent there for ? ”
“ Oh — I dunno.” Barney shut up like a
The Master went on, “ How long have you
been the gang leader ? ”
“ ’Bout t’ree years.”
“ And how many of your gang have been sent
to the reform school in that time? ”
Barney considered; then answered with re-
luctance, “ Six, I guess. That’s all I ’member.
“ Six,” repeated the Master gravely. “ Bar-
ney, you might be in better business than train-
ing boys for the reform school and penitentiary.
Don’t you think so? ”
Barney stared, open-mouthed. Finally his face
slowly flushed an angry red as he stammered,
“ I— I— I ain’t doin’ that ! ”
“ Six ! ” Alan Marshall repeated, “ and Billy
would have made seven. That’s a pretty bad
record, Barney. Why don’t you, instead, try to
keep them out of prison — make men of them
instead of convicts ? ”
Again Barney stared, bewildered and sus-
picious, but he said nothing.
The Master went on, “ You are a leader. You
ean make other boys do as you say. Don’t you
think it would be a fine thing if you should use
your influence to make those boys give up their
evil habits — their swearing and fighting and
AROUND THE FIRE 83
gambling and all the rest of it — and make a fresh
start, as Billy is doing?”
“ Aw, that’s all talk. Nobody couldn’t make
’em do that.”
“How about Billy?”
“ But you’re backin’ Billy — an’, anyhow,
mebbe he won’t hold out long. I ain’t sure.”
“ I think he will. And I’ll back you and any
of your gang just as I’m backing Billy — if you’ll
do all you can to help me. Won’t you give it
Barney shrugged his shoulders. “ Nothin’
doin’,” he muttered.
“ ’Cause ’twouldn’t work. De gang — they’ve
got ter have somethin’ lively. Preachin’ an’
meetin’s an’ clubs — they don’t care a — they don’t
care fer them things — they’re too slow.”
“ How about camping out in the woods this
summer — living in tents, cooking their own
meals, fishing, canoeing, playing Indian games —
would all that be ‘ slow,’ do you think ? ”
Barney’s face showed growing interest min-
gled with doubt. “ Who’d do all that fer ’em ? ”
he demanded. “ Would youse? ”
“ Yes. I’m going to take my Scouts — or some
of them — into camp in August. If you can per-
suade some of your gang to go along, I believe
they would have the time of their lives. I want
Billy to go, anyhow. You won’t try to prevent
“ Naw — not ’f he wants ter go,” Barney
84 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
“ Well, you don’t have to decide now about
the others. You can think it all over and come
and talk with me some other evening if you
care to. Of course, if any of the boys go along,
they must join the Scouts, and take the scout
oath and keep it. I’ll give you a book that tells
all about the Scouts. You can look it over, and
if there is anything you don’t understand, I’ll
explain it to you next time you come. Will you
come again, Barney ? ”
“ Mebbe. I dunno.” Barney slipped the little
book into his pocket and himself off the edge of
the chair and rose to his lanky height.
“ You’re almost as tall as I am — almost a man
grown. Barney — be a man,” the Master said ear-
nestly, as he held out his hand.
Barney took the hand doubtfully, but he made
no reply, and went away in silence.
Saturday night brought a driving storm with
a chilly wind that whistled at doors and windows
— an old-fashioned “ May storm.” The Scout
Master was glad of it, for boys would not be
kept away by any weather and it would make
the roaring wood fire a delight to feel as well as
to see. Would Billy walk the long mile and a
half *on such a night, the Master wondered.
Billy did. He appeared soon after seven, water
dripping from every fold of his garments.
“ Mebbe I’m too wet ? ” he suggested, stopping
on the threshold and looking down at the puddles.
“ Never mind the wet — the fire will dry you
off,” the Master answered, and he drew a chair
close to the hearth, “ Now, off with your shoes
AROUND THE FIRE 85
and stockings, and toast your feet well while I
get you something dry to put on.”
Billy obeyed, and sat in blissful comfort with
the steam rising from his wet garments when
the Master came from his bedroom adjoining.
He brought clean socks, slippers, and an old
“That’s better, isn’t it?” he said when the
boy had put on the dry things. “ Had any sup-
per, Billy ? ” The Master always kept supplies
on hand for half-fed boys, and especially for this
one who, he knew, had lived on scraps for most
of his life.
“ Tell me what you had for supper.”
“ Bread an’ cheese, an’ ice cream out o’ the
hokey-pokey wagon. Get it fer two cents,” Billy
“ That wasn’t a very hearty supper, and you
need something hot after the wetting you’ve
had.” The Master rang a bell and gave an order
to the maid who answered it; and in a few
minutes she brought up a big cup of steaming
chocolate and an equally generous sandwich.
Billy sniffed doubtfully at the chocolate — he had
never tasted any— but after one sip he was quite
ready to drain the cup.
“ Now we are comfortable and ready for a
talk,” the Master said as he removed the empty
plate and cup. “ How did you like the talk on
first aid this morning?”
“You mean the doctor talk?” Billy sat up,
his eyes shining.
86 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
“ It was bully ! ”
“ Let’s see how much you remember of it.”
The Master asked question after question, and
the boy answered them without a moment’s hesi-
“ Good ! Now let’s see how much you remem-
ber of the talk the other man gave.”
But here Billy failed entirely. The first ad-
dress had evidently made no impression upon
him. A light broke on the mind of the Scout
“ Billy,” he said, “ would you like to hear an-
other talk by that same doctor ? ”
“ You bet ! When can I ? ” Again the boy’s
face flashed into quick interest.
“ Soon. How would you like to learn to do all
the things he did yesterday — and more ? ”
Billy’s eager eyes spoke for him.
“ Well, you can learn them all if you join the
Scouts. Not all right at first, of course. If
you’ve read the little book I gave you Have
you read it ? ”
Billy nodded doubtfully. “ But I ain’t so
much on readin’ yet — not big words,” he ad-
“ Of course not. But you know when you
join the Scouts, you are first a Tenderfoot; then
after you’ve learned some more things you can
be promoted to the Second Class, and, after that,
to the First. You have to be able to do yourself
some of the things the doctor showed you before
you can be a First Class Scout. And later, if
AROUND THE FIRE 87
you want to, you can take a special course in
“ I’m a-goin’ to join,” Billy’s tone was decided.
“ I’m glad, Billy. Now, let’s see what you’ve
got to learn first. Can you repeat the scout
Billy couldn’t. The Master read it to him
slowly, and then the scout law, explaining point
by point. At the end, Billy drew a long, discour-
“ ’Tain’t no use. I couldn’t ever learn all them
t’ings,” he muttered, “ an’ if I did I’d ferget to
do ’em. Reckon I’ll have ter give it up, after
“ Indeed, no,” said the Master quickly. “ I’ll
help you learn them. It will be hard at first for
you to remember and keep the law; but after
a while it will be easier. And think, Billy —
there isn’t a thing in this law that you wouldn’t
have to do, even if you were not a Scout, if you
are going to grow into the man I think you are
going to be — the William Burns I see in the
future — the Doctor Burns, maybe ! ”
Again the boy drew a long breath, but now
there was a different expression in his face — a
The Master went on, “ Now let’s see how much
you know about the flag. Can you tell how
many stars and stripes it has, and just how they
are placed? ”
No, Billy couldn’t. But after a few minutes
careful study of a flag Alan Marshall brought
out — he could.
88 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
“ Now, the knots.” The Master glanced at
the clock as he took some cord from a drawer.
He showed the boy how to tie three of the knots.
“ That’s all we’ll have time for to-night, for
I hear some of the boys coming.”
He put Billy’s shoes and stockings — now nearly
dry — out of sight, and opened the door as he
heard the sound of noisy feet on the stairs and
the clamour of seven voices all talking at once.
It was the Tigers, almost as wet as Billy had
been, but not quite. However, they were used to
all weathers and did not mind the wet; and as
Mr. Marshall could not well furnish dry socks
and slippers to all seven, he laid a thick rug
before the fire and made the boys sit on it, their
wet feet outstretched to the comfortable heat.
By the time they were well settled, the Owls
and the Panthers began to appear in couples and
groups. But these boys, with overshoes or thick
boots, storm-coats and umbrellas, needed no dry-
Jack Harding darted over to Billy to give
him what he called a “ regular scout grip,” and
he gave the same greeting to the seven Tigers
on the rug. But the Master noticed that most
of the other boys ignored the Tigers and Billy;
and Albert Barnes made a wry face and sniffed
disdainfully as the fire made the wet shoes and
trousers of the Tigers send forth a steam that
was, perhaps, not exactly agreeable to fastidious
“ Say, it’s — well, pretty close in here. Couldn’t
we have a window open somewhere ? ” It was
AROUND THE FIRE
Barnes who asked the question, his glance at the
smoking seven on the rug giving it unmistakable
With a look in his eyes that made some of
the boys uncomfortable, the Master crossed the
room and opened a window at the top. Then he
said gravely, “ The Tigers here, not being pro-
tected from the rain as you were, got rather too
wet for safety, so I put them down there close
to the fire.” Then looking down at the Tigers,
he added, “ You’ll soon be dry,” and now his
grave face softened into a smile, and every one
of the seven on the rug gave him an answering
smile, good to see on their hard young faces.
When the matter of the summer camp at
Eagle Lake was taken up, every boy in the room
was interested and the Master was pelted with
“ We shall live in tents,” he told them, “ a
large one for eating and living in in wet weather,
and a small one for each patrol. Each boy is
to carry bedding and towels, with such changes
of clothing as he chooses, but the baggage must
be light. Each boy is to make his own bed and
keep his belongings in order, and the cooking
will be done by each patrol in turn, the boys de-
ciding between themselves which of them shall
be cook or dishwasher — and of course there must
be no shirking.”
As to the expense — the cost to each boy would
be seven dollars a week. Boys who could not
pay that would be allowed to go for five a week.
The faces of the seven boys on the rug and
90 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
of the one who sat apart silent and attentive had
grown very sober while this matter of expenses
was discussed. No chance for them. Not one of
them could pay five dollars a week, to say nothing
of seven. Barnes and some of the others grew
jubilant at sight of these disappointed faces. It
would work out all right, they thought. The
Tigers could not pay, therefore the camp would
be free of them, and so much the better. The
Master did not need to be told what these were
thinking. He glanced at the Owls. Jack was
smiling at Billy — never suspecting the gloom in
Billy’s heart. The faces of the other Owls were
less easy to read, but none of them showed any
sympathy for the Tigers. There was disappoint-
ment of another sort in the kindly eyes of the
Scout Master. How was he to awaken the spirit
of brotherly consideration and kindness in the
hearts of these boys? He must find the way.
The clock struck the half-hour after nine and
in a moment the room was in a turmoil of boys
asking questions, getting into storm-coats, and
picking out their umbrellas. Billy had hastily
discarded his borrowed coat and slippers, and
was tugging on his shoes, stiff and heavy after
their soaking, when Jack Harding, leaning over
him, whispered in his ear, with a happy little
laugh, “ We’ll have jolly good times at the camp,
Billy, won’t we ? ”
Billy lifted gloomy eyes and said, “ Me — I
ain’t in it. D’ye take me f er a Rockyfeller ? ”
Jack looked disappointed and bewildered. He
had never had to think about money for neces-
AROUND THE FIRE
sary things — like board — and he had taken it for
granted that Billy had a father or somebody to
pay for him.
“ Oh, but ” he began. Will interrupted.
“ Come on, Kid,” he called, “ we’re going,”
and with a hasty good-bye to Billy, Jack whirled
about, straightening himself in soldierly fashion
to salute the Scout Master, and ran after his
They were all gone, all except Billy and the
Tigers, who, with one impulse, had lingered be-
hind in the faint hope that the Scout Master
might somehow open to them a way into the
paradise of camp life from which they seemed
now excluded. Billy having tied his knotted shoe-
strings, stopped before the Scout Master and,
clumsily enough, gave the salute as Jack and the
others had done.
“ ’Night,” he muttered, and turned to leave,
but a hand on his shoulder detained him.
“ One moment, Billy. I’m glad that you all
stayed behind, for I want to say this, A friend
of mine — a man who is a good friend to boys —
has given me some money to pay for any of
my Scouts who cannot afford to pay for them-
selves in the camp. So that lets you in — the eight
of y OU — for Billy is going to take the vacant
place in your patrol.”
The change in the eight faces was worth see-
ing. The boys punched and elbowed each other
with grins of delight— only Billy stood silent
and motionless, his mouth half open — but there
was no mistaking the joy in his eyes.
OFF FOR CAMP
GUST first was a glorious day, with a
blue blue sky covered with great billow-
ing cottony clouds sailing slowly over it.
It was hot, as an August day has a right to be,
but a breeze tempered the heat, and the twenty-
four boys who stood with Alan Marshall on
the platform never thought of the heat. Every
member of the troop was there, even Sidney
Hart — but a sadly changed Sidney. He was
thin and pale and silent, shrinking a little from
all the other boys except Wilson and Jack Hard-
ing. The Panthers had declared they would not
go with the troop when they found that the ob-
noxious Tigers were to go along after all ; but
they had reconsidered and decided finally to go,
and to-day they were all in great spirits.
As for the Tigers — they were the happiest and
proudest boys in the city, for on this day, for the
first time, they were all in full uniform; and if
any one had a right to be proud they certainly
had, for every one of them, except Billy, had
earned his own uniform; and this meant not a
little, for boys who had to earn all their own
clothes by work out of school hours. Those
splendid new uniforms, therefore, represented
long and careful saving of pennies — 'pennies that
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before had gone for cigarettes, hokey-pokey ice
cream, and moving-picture shows — especially the
picture shows. So the Tigers had good reason
to be proud and happy every time that they
looked at the yellow suits and hats, the staves
and haversacks. And they each wore with spe-
cial pride, on the left shoulder, a knot of yellow
ribbon, while Tom Nolan, the patrol leader, with
his whistle dangling from a cord around his
neck, was fairly bursting with pride over the new
banner he carried ; for had not he, besides earn-
ing his suit, earned also the money to buy the
black and yellow cloth for the banner?
Billy’s uniform had been the Scout Master’s
gift to the boy, and Billy looked down at it al-
most with awe, for his wildest dreams had never
included a beautiful new uniform for him.
Billy did not know it, but the putting on of the
uniform for the first time that August morning
had been in the nature of a sacrament to him.
He said to himself, “ I got to keep the scout law
now — I got to whether I can or not. I can’t ever
wear these clothes if I don’t.”
The train came thundering into the station,
the passengers staring from the windows at the
boys in their neat uniform. “ Boy Scouts —
they’re Boy Scouts ! ” The word passed from
car to car, and everybody was interested in them.
They filled a dozen seats and one more in the
car, and their tongues rattled as fast as the car
wheels rattled over the rails.
It was a two-hour ride, and then a tramp of
a mile and a half to the lake where the tents
94 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
were to be pitched. The tents and supplies had
been sent on the day before and were awaiting
them under the care of the man who had brought
them. But he was in a hurry to return home,
and set off as soon as the troop arrived.
“ Never mind,” said the Scout Master, “ we
can pitch the tents without his help, I am sure.”
He set one patrol to work gathering spruce-
tips for beds, a second collecting dry stuff for
fuel, the third setting up the tents. All were ready
to help and eager to get the camp into shape.
The large tent had a French roof to give more
head room and coolness. For the frame, two
uprights, three ridgepoles, and four angle bars
had been brought. The frame was quickly put
together and the canvas stretched over it. Then
a “ fly ” — an extra canvas roof — was drawn over
as a protection in case of heavy rain. The sides
of the fly extended half a yard beyond the sides
of the tent, and were fastened by ropes to stout
pegs driven into the ground.
“ This is grand — big enough for a dance ! ”
Barnes declared, when the canvas was all se-
cured, “ and it didn’t take us long to put it up,
“ Don’t imagine that your working day is over
yet,” the Scout Master said. “ That pile of lum-
ber yonder is for flooring. There must be a floor
to each tent. Have you taken a manual-training
“ Not I. I’m no day labourer,” returned
Barnes lightly. “ Haven’t I done my share, now
the big tent’s up ? ”
OFF FOR CAMP 95
“ Not a bit of it, Barnes. There are six other
tents to put up, but they are smaller. Which of
you older boys has had the manual training ?”
It appeared that none of the older ones had.
“ That’s a pity. A boy who isn’t handy with
tools misses a lot of fun — and never will make
a First Class Scout.”
“ We’re all taking the manual training,” one
of the Owls said, indicating three of his com-
“ Me, too, and Jim and Sullivan,” a Tiger
named Jenkins declared.
“ Good,” returned the Master. “ All of you
go over to that pile of lumber — I’ll be there pres-
ently. Wilson, I’ll leave you in charge of the
tent-pitching, with Barnes and Martin to help
you. No, Sidney, you are off duty for the
present. Stretch out on the grass there and rest
until dinner time.”
“ Where shall we pitch the small tents? ” Wil-
“ Put three on that side, over there near the
edge of the woods where they’ll get some shade.
The others — but you won’t have time for the
others this morning.”
As the Master turned away, Wilson caught up
one of the canvas covers. “ I’ll take this, and
you and Martin can bring the frame,” he said.
“ Huh ! ” Barnes growled in Martin’s ear. “ If
Will Harding thinks he’s going to boss me, just
let him go ahead and try it. I’ll soon let him
know he isn’t going to order me around.”
“ Oh, hush up, Al. Don’t make a fuss,” Mar-
96 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
tin urged. “ We don’t want to get into a row
the first thing.”
“ First or last — I don’t care. I won’t be bossed
by Will Harding nor anybody else — that’s flat.”
(Martin hesitated. Then he called to a boy
standing near to help him carry the frame.
“ Hurry up with that frame, Martin,” Wilson
“ You see? Mind your boss,” Barnes taunted
in a low tone that brought an angry flush to
Martin’s cheek. He yanked the frame along
over the grass, and dumped it at Wilson’s feet.
Then without a word he walked off and flung
himself down on the grass beside Barnes.
“ Say, Martin, aren’t you going to help me ? ”
Wilson called, looking across at the two.
“ No. We’re on strike — worked out,” Martin
called back over his shoulder.
“ Well ! They’re fine specimens — for Scouts ! ”
Wilson muttered to himself. The other boy who
was helping — Charlie Taylor — grinned cheerfully
as he remarked :
“ Just wait till the Scout Master gets on to this.
There’ll be ructions then.”
“ But we don’t want ‘ ructions,’ ” retorted
Wilson. “ We’re ‘ on honour ’ as Scouts and
we’re bound to obey orders. Oh, well ” — he
turned his back on the two “ strikers ” and picked
up one of the frame pieces, “ never mind, Charlie.
We’re not responsible for anybody but ourselves.
You run over and get a couple more fellows to
help us and we’ll have the tents up without the
assistance of those two shirks.
OFF FOR CAMP
“ There’s a chap over yonder who doesn’t seem
to be busy just now. Call him over here,” he
“ It’s one of the Tigers — that Burns fellow,”
said Charlie with a questioning glance at Wilson.
“ I don’t care if it’s a Tiger right from the
jungle. Fetch him along and be quick about it,
Taylor. This tent ought to have been all up
by now. Scoot ! ”
Taylor scooted, and presently was back with
Billy at his heels — a very silent Billy, but with
eyes and ears alert, and hands strong and will-
ing, if somewhat clumsy. The three boys worked
steadily and in a short time had the tent up.
“ Now for the next,” Wilson said. “ It is to
go about here. Come on and get it.”
As he hurried towards the pile of canvas and
frames, he saw that Barnes and Martin were lug-
ging off one of the latter.
“ The strike ended ? ” he inquired, trying to
speak pleasantly ; but neither boy answered him.
As they began setting up the second frame,
Taylor said in a low tone, “ Look, Harding — is
that where the Scout Master wanted that tent ? ”
“ Why, no,” Wilson replied ; and called out,
“ Say, Barnes, the Master told us to set all three
of these tents along the edge of the woods here
— not off there where you are putting that.”
“ This is a better place. It makes no differ-
ence — a few yards one way or the other,” re-
turned Barnes gruffly. “ You mind your own
business and let us alone. We’re not interfering
98 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
“ But Mr. Marshall put me in charge of this
business — you know he did.”
“ Charge your grandmother ! ” retorted Barnes,
and turned his back. Then to Martin he said
in a lower tone, “ Rush it, Ben. We must have
this all up in good shape before Marshall gets
around again. Say, what are you looking so
glum about, anyhow ? ”
“ I’m wondering,” returned Martin doubtfully,
“ if it wouldn’t be best for us to set this tent
over there — where Wilson said. You know the
Master did say it was to go over near the woods.”
“I didn’t hear him say so. I’m sure he said
here,” insisted Barnes, his tongue in his cheek.
“If he wants it moved over there, why of course
it can be moved; but I’m not going to budge it
an inch under Will Harding’s orders. Now, shut
up and work like the mischief. I want to get
ahead of that crew yonder.”
Both tents were up when the Scout Master
returned, but a single glance at the faces of the
boys told him that something was wrong. He
spoke quietly to Wilson.
“ Why did you put the third tent off there
instead of where I told you to put it ? ”
“ I didn’t, sir. Charlie, Burns, and I set up
“ I put you in charge of the job.”
“ I know. I ” He stopped, waiting for
Barnes to explain.
The Scout Master turned to the other two
boys. “ Have you anything to say, Barnes — or
Martin ? ”
OFF FOR CAMP
Martin’s face was red and he said nothing.
Barnes answered with a jaunty air, “ I didn’t
suppose a few yards one way or the other would
make any difference. Ben and I set up this one
while they,” he nodded towards the other boys,
“ were pitching the others.”
“ Didn’t you understand that I put Harding
in charge of the job? ”
“ Why, no — I thought we were just working
together. I didn’t take it that any one was boss.”
There was a moment of silence. Then the
|Master said, “ You are relieved from scout duty
for the remainder of the day, Barnes.” His
glance rested upon the badge on the boy’s coat,
then passed to Martin’s flushed face, as he added,
“ I will have a word further with both of you
As he turned away, Barnes chuckled. “ Off
duty,” he repeated. “ Glad of it. Come on down
to the lake, Ben, till dinner time.”
“ I’m wondering if ‘ off duty ’ means ‘ off grub,’
too,” Martin remarked as they walked off.
“ Not much. We’re paying our seven dollars
a week — I reckon they can’t cut off the supplies.
If they do — we’ll light out for home — that’s all.”
“ But say, A1 — I’m thinking we’re fools after
all to get into a row first off, so. We should
have had lots more fun if we’d just joined in
like the rest and obeyed orders.”
“ You can knuckle under if you want to,” re-
torted Barnes stiffly. “ I’m not used to being
ordered around, and what’s more I don’t intend
to get used to it. There’s no danger of Mar-
100 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
shall coming down hard on us. He needs our
money to pay expenses here. Of course those
South-Enders— the Tigers — don’t pay much, if
they do anything. It’s our crowd that pays the
bills; and so I say the charity chaps ought to
do the work of the camp. That’s fair, isn’t it —
pay in labour since they don’t in money? ”
“ How do you know they don’t pay ? ”
“ Common sense,” Barnes answered. “ You
know as well as I do that those chaps couldn’t
raise seven dollars a week — or even five.”
“ Maybe the Scout Master pays for them him-
Barnes laughed. “ Out of his schoolmaster’s
salary? Well, I guess not much. I tell you we
pay, and so I claim we have a right to do\s we
please in this camp, and I, for one, mean to. V
Martin was silent. He was rather a weak boy
and Barnes often overruled his better impulses.
Meantime the Scout Master had called for two
volunteers for “ hard service.” Instantly half the
Tigers, including Billy, and several from the
other patrols, stepped forward.
“ Good ! ” said the Master. “ Come over
here.” He pointed to a farmhouse half hidden
among the trees. “ We’ve got to bring all our
drinking water from the well over there until we
can locate a spring. There is one, I am told,
somewhere about here. But we must have water
right away. Miller, you and Turner can be the
first water-bringers. You’ll find pails over there
by the boxes.”
Miller looked at the Scout Master with a dole-
OFF FOR CAMP 101
ful expression which was belied by the twinkle in
“ Mr. Scout Master,” he said, “ Fve heard that
it isn’t good for growing boys to drink much
water in hot weather. Won’t you please limit
this troop to one glass a day per capita? ”
A shout went up from the group.
“ One glass! Why, I want four at least at
each meal and two or three between meals,” cried
“ He’d be a good one for the water service,
Mr. Marshall,” retorted Miller. “ I move that
he be added to the squad. As for me, I’m off
the water-wagon for the next thirty days. Tea
and coffee for mine.”
“ Going to take your tea and coffee dry ? ”
“ Yes — tablets. Come on, Turner. If we’ve
got to die, let’s be about it,” and Miller raced
over for his pail.
“Why couldn’t we use the lake water?” one
of the boys asked.
“ Not safe. We don’t want to risk typhoid.
But we want some of the lake water for washing
hands and faces, so, Meyer, you and Jenkins can
take the other two pails and fill them at the lake
landing. That’s such a short trip that you can
go twice. It will take more than two pails of
water to wash two dozen and one dirty faces
and twice as many hands, and we shall all want
a clean-up before dinner. Now, then — it’s
mostly volunteer work to-day — who wants to
make the coffee and cook the bacon for dinner? ”
102 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
“ I can make bully — I mean, prime coffee,” one
“ I know you can — Fve sampled your coffee,
Carter,” the Master told him.
“ And I can cook bacon fine ! ” another
“ Then you are the two men wanted, for
bacon and coffee are all we are going to cook
this noon,” the Master answered.
“ But we want those mighty quick. I’m half
famished,” a lean, lanky boy put in.
“ He’s hollow way down to his shoe-soles —
Scotty is. He’ll want a whole side of bacon,”
somebody flung out, and Scott joined in the
laugh that greeted that.
The two volunteer cooks set to work at once,
and in half an hour the whole troop was seated
on the grass under some big oaks, enjoying with
the hearty appetite of healthy, active boys the
plain food that was set before them. It was a
merry meal as well as a hearty one. The Scout
Master encouraged fun and laughter, and con-
tributed his share to the jokes and funny stories
that kept the boys shouting. A half hour of rest
and lounging followed the meal, then the Mas-
ter’s whistle summoned the troop to work.
“ Supper at six,” he announced.
“ More water for that!” groaned Miller, try-
ing to look dismal and failing completely.
“ And now,” the Master went on, “ I’m going
to ask you to work hard until five-thirty, so that
the camp will be in good shape for the night. It
looks like fair weather now, but a thunder storm
OFF FOR CAMP
is liable to happen along any time up here by
the lake, and we must ‘ be prepared ’ for that
and anything else that we can foresee. Now
then, Wilson, you understand about setting up
the tents. You may as well finish that job and
set up the other three. Any of the boys will
help you. I want you manual trainers who
worked with me this morning to help me finish
the platforms. I’ll join you there presently.
Sidney, do you remember the lesson I gave you
one Saturday on the building of open air fire-
places ? ”
“ Well, then, take three or four boys and let
them build a fireplace under your direction. I
don’t want you to lift any stones, yet. The rest
of you wait here until I set the boys to work
on those platforms, then you can help me fix a
shed for the food supplies and a shelter for the
fire in wet weather.”
“ And for the cook, too ? ” questioned Carter.
“ Surely for the cook, too,” the Master agreed.
“ Wet cook, wet griddlecakes ! ” flung out
Miller. “ Say, Mr. Marshall, we shan’t have to
lug water when it rains, shall we?”
“ Not if you can make the rain fill your pails,”
laughed the Master.
It was a busy afternoon. The other three tents
were set up by Wilson and his assistants, and
the Master pronounced the work well done.
“ Shall we move that other one over where
you wanted it?” Wilson inquired; and the Mas-
104 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
“ No, let that remain where it is for the pres-
ent. I want you to help now with the flooring.
I didn’t really expect to get that down to-day,
but those boys have worked so well that I think
we shall. Then we’ve only to fill the ticks with
the spruce tips and set up the folding cots, and
we shall be ready for a good sleep.”
With many willing hands helping, the flooring
was laid in the sleeping tents. Each tent was
large enough to hold four single cots with space
enough to pass between them. But when the
ticks were brought out, it was found that the
supply of spruce tips was quite inadequate —
there were not enough to fill half the beds.
The boys who had gathered the tips looked at
each other with blank faces. “ It seemed such
a lot ! ” one of them said.
“ It takes an awful long time to get ’em, too,”
“ Yes,” the Master agreed, “ it does take a
long time, since we can use only the small tips.
I’ll tell you what we’ll do for to-night. I’ll send
some of you over to the farmhouse.”
“ With the water pails?” Miller interrupted.
“ Not this time, Miller. With a note asking
the farmer if he can send us over a load of straw
or hay — to fill the rest of the ticks. If he can’t
send it — his teams may be busy — then each boy
will have to carry over his own tick, fill it there,
and bring it home on his back. Or, if you
prefer, get another Scout to go along with you
and help you bring it home.”
He wrote a few lines on a card and handed it
OFF FOR CAMP
to one of the boys, adding, “ Now be off with
you. I want those beds ready by the time you
are ready to tumble into them.”
The boys set off, shouting the troop call as
they went, and following it with the patrol calls
one after the other. The Master noticed that
Barnes and Martin did not go with the other
boys. He said nothing to them, however, but
crossed over to Sidney Hart, who was lying on
the grass looking up soberly into the thick leaves
of the oak above him.
'‘Tired, Sidney?” he questioned.
“ Yes — of everything,” the boy answered.
“ Things will look brighter to you after a
The boy shook his head in silence.
After a moment the Master went on, “ I want
your help, Sidney. I haven’t time now, but later
when we get the camp in order and things run-
ning smoothly, you and I must have a ‘ tell,’ as
the Scotch say. You are the one boy in the
troop who can give me the help I want. Now
I must see about the supplies for supper. It
keeps me hustling to get enough for two dozen
healthy appetites. That isn’t counting you — I
noticed that you ate very little this noon.”
“ I wasn’t hungry,” was the listless response.
The Master went away, his heart sorrowful
over the lad who was finding life so difficult at
a time when he should have been carefree.
An hour later a queer procession came winding
around the end of the lake and up the bank to
the camp. Two and two came the Scouts, bear-
106 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
ing between them puffy ticks stuffed with sweet-
smelling hay. Miller and Turner brought up
the rear, each bearing two brimming pails of
By supper-time the camp looked quite trim
and shipshape, with the seven white tents — in
each of the smaller ones four canvas cots neatly
made up ready for use. All but one — the one
that Barnes and Martin had put up stood apart
from the others. No flooring had been laid in it
and no cot.
“ Going to leave us to sleep on the ground,
evidently,” grumbled Martin, as he and Barnes
sauntered about, looking at the sleeping quarters.
“ It’s all your fault, Al. I told you you were
a fool to kick up a fuss over nothing.”
“ You told and you told!” mocked Barnes
with angry impatience. “ You just hold your
tongue. I tell you it will come out all right.”
Martin shrugged his shoulders. It was all well
enough for Barnes to be so independent if he
liked, but as for him — Martin — he preferred to
be comfortable. Also he rather dreaded that
“ word ” which the Scout Master was to have
with them before bedtime. And further, he was
ill at ease in regard to the bedtime, seeing that,
apparently, the bed would be lacking.
At 5 : 45 , Miller, temporary water-bearer and
permanent bugler for the troop, sent out a
musical summons, in response to which the few
stragglers came in with a promptness that indi-
cated great readiness for supper.
On boxes under the trees, a row of tin basins
TENTS IN ORDER
OFF FOR CAMP 107
and a supply of Japanese paper towels stood
ready, for it was a rule of the camp that hands
must always be washed before eating.
The supper was plain but abundant.
“ We’ll give you better meals when we get
thoroughly organized,” the Master said. “ This
is moving day, you know. You must always
expect pick-up meals on moving day.”
But nobody grumbled over the meal, though it
was not quite such a merry one as the dinner
had been. While the cooks and their helpers
washed the few dishes two of the older boys
were setting up a flagstaff. As it was after sun-
set the flag was just run up for a moment and
“ But, of course,” as Jack Harding said ear-
nestly, he, as the youngest Scout of the troop
having been appointed to raise the flag this first
time, “ of course we couldn’t sleep even one night
without having had the flag up.”
Dry stuff had been collected for a fire down
beside the lake, but some were tired and pre-
ferred getting early to bed, so the fire was left
unlighted, ready for the next night. The Scout
Master called the boys around him and gave
them the few and simple rules of the camp — the
hours for meals, for rising and retiring, and the
camp bounds beyond which no one was to stray
without permission, etc.
“ That’s enough for to-night. To-morrow we
will talk over some other matters. Taps will be
sounded early this evening, for it has been rather
a strenuous day for some of you. Thank you
108 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
for your willing help, and a good sleep and a
happy awakening for you all.”
“ Plunge in the lake before breakfast ? ” some-
“ Yes — you can all swim.”
While some of the boys went to bed at once,
others remained a while longer stretched on the
dry grass talking over plans.
The Master called Barnes and Martin aside —
out of hearing of their companions. “ Now,
boys, I am ready to hear what you have to say
for yourselves,” he said.
Martin was silent. Barnes, leaning against a
tree, his hands in his pockets, answered care-
lessly, “ I don’t know that there is much to say,
Mr. Marshall. I don’t see that Ben and I did
anything very dreadful. Harding was pretty
bossy — because you named him first — and I didn’t
enjoy being ordered around, so I told Ben we’d
leave him alone and put up one tent by ourselves
— that’s all there was to it.”
“ And why did you not put the tent where I
said it was to go ? ”
“ Oh, that — I didn’t suppose you were par-
ticular as to the exact spot. I thought you meant
anywhere along there, and where we pitched it
seemed as good a place as any.”
“ Do you think so now that all the tents are
“ Well,” Barnes admitted, “ that one, maybe,
is a little out of line. We’ll move it over to-
morrow, if you like.” This last, as if he were
proposing a special favour to the Master.
OFF FOR CAMP
“ Martin, have you anything to say? ”
“ No, sir,” Martin answered in a low tone.
“ I’m glad, at least, that you make no ex-
cuses.” Then the Master turned again to the
“ Albert,” he said, “ does your word mean
nothing to you ? ”
The boy flung back his head. “Of course it
means something. I hope I’m a gentleman.”
“ I’ve seen very little evidence of it in your
conduct to-day,” said the Master. “ Wait ! ” as
the boy began to speak angrily. “ When you
joined the Scouts you took an oath — a solemn
promise — to tell the truth — to be courteous — to be
kind — to obey orders without question or argu-
ment. Have you kept those promises to-day ? ”
“ It wasn’t a solemn oath — at least I didn’t
take it so,” the boy flung out in a sullen tone.
“ You had no right to take it any other way.
What occurred to-day is not all. You have
shown anything but a kind or brotherly spirit
towards those poor lads from the South End.
You seem to consider them quite beneath your
attention; yet, Albert, some of those boys have
shown themselves more truly gentlemen in spirit
than you have. They have never had half your
chances, and they have everything against them
in their homes and their environment, but they
are improving steadily. Think it over, Albert,
and don’t let the Tigers get too far ahead of
Barnes maintained a sulky silence. After a
moment the Master spoke again.
110 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
“ You remember that the Tigers were the first
patrol in my troop. When I admitted the other
two patrols, I hoped that you — my pupils — would
help them by your example and your attitude
towards them. Naturally they look up to you
as, in a way, their models, even though they are
unconscious that they do. I am sure you have
not realised what you might be to them — what
you might do to help them. If you had any
realisation of this, you would not have set them
such an example as you did to-day. I have not
yet had to ask any Scout to give me back his
badge, and I hope you will not be the first to
bring that dishonour upon the troop. I am sure
you will not. Make a new start in the morning,
Albert. I shall know without any words from
you if all is as it should be. Now, good-
He was turning away when Martin asked in
a low voice, “ Where are we to sleep, sir? You
haven’t told us.”
“ In the tent you set up — to-night.”
“ You mean we’re to fix it ourselves — now? ”
“ Yes, as the other boys did — each arranged
his own bed. You will find your cots beside the
As he left them, Martin said, trying to speak
“ Come on, Al. If we’ve got our own beds to
make, let’s get about it. I’m dead tired. It’s
been the meanest kind of a day, anyhow ! ”
“ You’re right about that,” Barnes agreed
sulkily. “ If there was a train back to town Jjo-
OFF FOR CAMP 111
night, I’d walk straight over to the station and
take it. I’ve had enough of this camp already.”
“ Oh, well, the trouble was all our own fault
—we can’t deny that. Be a sport, Al, and stop
sulking — do ! ” replied Martin impatiently.
Barnes made no reply. He sauntered after
Martin, and stood idly looking on as the other
boy pulled the cots into the tent and set them
up. Martin looked down at them in dismay.
“ We’ve no beds — nothing but the empty
ticks,” he said.
“ Well, I call that a plaguey mean trick,”
Barnes flared out angrily. “ I’ll get even with
him for this.”
“ Even with who?” Martin’s grammar was
not his strong point.
“ That old Marshall. He’s no business to leave
us in this fix and we paying him full price for
“ Oh, come, Al, shut up ! I tell you I’m sick
of all this rowing,” Martin exclaimed with quite
unusual self-assertion. “ You can do as you
please, but as for me, as long as I stay here I’m
going to run with the current, not against it.
It’s the only way to have a good time. Bet ye
we’re the only fellows in this camp to-night that
are ugly and dissatisfied. Buck up now and take
your medicine like a man. I’m going to — and,
as the Scout Master said, make a fresh start in
the morning.” And with that he spread sheets
and blanket over the tick and was soon in bed.
“ ’Tisn’t half bad,” he declared. “ It’s like
sleeping in a stationary hammock.”
112 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
“ Hammock ! ” snapped Barnes. “ Oh, hush
up, yourself ! Pve heard all the chin-music I
want from you for one day.”
Martin made no reply. He never could keep
awake after his head touched the pillow.
With a scowl on his face and a heart full of
bitterness, Barnes flung the bedding on to his cot
“ any old way ” and stretched himself out on it,
at odds with himself and the world. There was
in him a curious streak of sullen obstinacy which
made it almost impossible for him to admit him-
self in the wrong. He would not admit it now.
Of course it had been a wretched day ; but it was
Will Harding’s fault — strutting around and giv-
ing orders as if he were the Scout Master him-
self — and it was old Marshall’s fault, getting
money out of people and giving them a bare cot
to sleep on, and no floor to the tent — all the
other tents had floors. And it was Ben Martin’s
fault, too. Ben had no more backbone than a
jellyfish — Marshall could talk him into anything.
And as to the Tigers, that Marshall said were
better gentlemen than he — A1 Barnes — well, just
wait a bit. If he stayed on — he didn’t believe
now that he should, but if he did, he’d show up
those South-Enders — that beggarly Bill Burns
especially — he’d But here sleep overtook
him and held him fast till he awoke to find Mar-
tin standing over him and shouting cheerfully :
“ Come on, Al. All out for a plunge.”
Barnes sat up and looked out through the
opening. From tent after tent slender pa jama-
clad figures were issuing — all headed for the
OFF FOR CAMP
lake. Should he go, too, or should he lie there
and sulk ? There were Burns and that red-
headed Tiger, in bathing trunks, scooting after
the others. The thought of the lake glimmering
in the morning sunlight was too tempting.
Barnes sprang out of bed and followed the rest.
“ Come on in, A1 — it’s fine ! Water’s just
right,” Martin called from the lake where he
was swimming like a fish. All over the end of
the lake sleek brown heads were bobbing, with
here and there a yellow one. Even the Scout
Master was in the water — everybody except Sid-
ney Hart. He sat on the bank, looking on.
Barnes could not resist. With a gay whoop
he ran out on the little landing and plunged head
first into the clear water.
Only a few minutes, then the Master came
out, reminding the boys that there was barely
time to dress for breakfast. So out came the
reluctant boys, one after another, scrambling up
the bank to rub dry and dress in record time.
As they gathered for breakfast, the Master
smiled as he looked about at the happy, healthy
faces. Only Sidney — he looked neither happy
nor healthy; but he was young, and time would
set things right for him. And Barnes — the Mas-
ter’s face brightened as he saw that the black
cloud of yesterday was gone from Barnes’ face;
and Martin was laughing and chaffing — actually
chaffing one of the Tigers !
“ It’s all coming out right, I believe, after all,”
the Master said to himself with immense relief
A RACE ON THE LAKE
B REAKFAST over, the Master allotted
certain tasks to each patrol for the week.
One was to have charge of the cooking
and cleaning up after meals, water supply, and
firewood. The second to complete the work
around the camp, and see that everything about
it was kept in order. The third was to arrange
the programme of scout studies, games, and
activities, including the preparation of the
weekly journal which would be read at the Sat-
urday night campfires. Each leader was to be
responsible for the seven boys under him — to
decide what part of the work each one should
perform and see that he did it. At the end of
the week there would be a council where changes
in the allotment of duties would be made. A
Scout must always obey orders without argu-
ment, but having obeyed, he might make known
his objection to any order given, and his opinions
would have due consideration.
The Panthers drew the lot that made them
responsible for the meals for the first week.
“ And there isn’t a fellow among us that can
cook worth a cent,” declared Barnes. “ The
fact is,” he added impatiently, “ we ought to have
a regular camp cook.”
A RACE ON THE LAKE
“ A regular cook — for a scout camp ! ” scoffed
Bently Clark of the Owls. “ I thought one of
the things we are out for is to do everything for
“Well, why don’t you learn to cook, then?”
“ Going to, next week, when the Owls have
your job,” returned Clark promptly.
“ Clark is right. It’s up to us to learn camp
cooking as well as all the rest of it,” admitted
Louis Ryder, one of the Panthers. He turned to
his chum, a boy named Coe. “ Johnny, let’s you
and I be the kitchen colonels this week, eh ? ”
“ All right,” assented Coe with a grin. “ If
the fellows can stand my cooking ”
“You must make it so good that they’ll be
sorry when your week ends,” said the Master.
“ I’m a fair camp cook, Ryder ; I can help you
“ All right, then,” returned Ryder. “ I shall
need some lessons, but I’ll try to make good.”
“ That’s the right scout spirit,” the Master
said. “ Now, the rest of you scatter and I’ll help
Ryder plan the meals for a day or two.”
An hour later the Scout Master, making a
round of the tents to see that all was in order,
saw Martin sitting, with rather a forlorn face,
on his cot.
“ What’s wrong, Martin ? ”
Martin answered soberly, “ You know, sir, we
started wrong yesterday — A1 and I.”
“ But you’ve turned around, and now you are
headed in the right direction, aren’t you?”
116 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
“ Yes, I mean it that way/’ the boy returned.
“ And, Mr. Marshall, can’t we move our tent
over by the others? You see,” he hesitated,
“ it’s off by itself here — this tent — and it isn’t
floored like the others, and only two cots in it
instead of four, and — and — it seems, don’t you
know, as if we were not in things — like the rest.”
“ Yes, Martin, I understand. A broken law —
that’s the trouble. You and Barnes broke some
of the laws, and you are paying the penalty.”
“ But — we’re not breaking any law now.”
“ No, and so far as you are concerned, the
penalty is paid.”
“ Then we can move the tent and put the
other two cots in ? ” Martin started up, his
“ Is Barnes as anxious as you are to have
that done ? ”
The boy’s silence answered the question.
After a moment the Master said, “ I’ll see Barnes
and let you know what is to be done about the
tent. There he is over by the fireplace. You
might run over there and send him here to me.”
With an air of relief, Martin hurried off, and
presently Barnes appeared.
“ Barnes,” the Master began, “ have you any-
thing to say about your tent here ? ”
Barnes, slipping his hands into his pockets,
answered as if slightly surprised, “ Why, no,
sir, the tent’s all right. I’ve no complaint.”
“ I’m sorry — I wish you had. Remember what
I said to you last night. And one word more — I
cannot allow to remain in this camp any boy
A RACE ON THE LAKE
who does not obey, not only the letter but the
spirit of the scout law. I want you now to sit
down here and read over the whole of that law,
and ask yourself whether you are honestly trying
to live up to it.”
He left the tent without another word. Five
minutes later he saw Barnes laughing with the
two cooks. Evidently he had taken brief time
for consideration of the scout law. Then he
saw Martin starting for the woods, his bedtick
over his arm, and told two of the younger boys
to go along and help him.
“ How about the cots — yours and the other
twa that were in the big tent last night? Are
they to stay there?” one of the Tigers inquired.
“ No,” returned the Master. “ You may move
that tent ” — pointing to the one Barnes and Mar-
tin had set up — “ over there in line with the
others, and put Martin’s cot in it and these three
from the big tent. Then you may take the
small single tent you will find rolled up with
two extra blankets over by the supply boxes,
and set it up where that tent is now — the one
you are going to move.”
The Tiger saluted and went off to obey orders,
and as he went he said to another, “ Wonder
who’s to sleep in the single tent.”
“ Why, the Scout Master, of course. Mebbe
you thought you was goin’ to have a whole tent
“ Aw, you think you’re smart, don’t ye ! Jest
you wait,” retorted the other with a shrewd
wink. “ Somethin’s up — you’ll see.”
118 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
When Martin returned with his tick full of
fragrant balsam tips, his face showed his satis-
faction when he saw that the tent had been
moved. Dropping his bed beside it, he hurried
after the Master, saying:
“ Is it all right ? Can we sleep in there ? ”
“ You can. Make your bed up at once,” the
Master answered, and gave the boy no chance
to inquire about Barnes. But a moment later
Martin felt a hand on his shoulder and turned
to see Barnes with a satisfied grin on his face.
“ I’ve come out on top, Ben.” Barnes pointed
to the small single tent. “ Got one all to myself.
Old Marshall rooms with you and Coe and Ryder.
No night larks for you chaps ! ”
“ I don’t care,” retorted Martin. “ I’m glad
to be back with the crowd, anyhow.”
“ Oh, you! You’ve about as much spirit as a
clam ! ” And with that Barnes swaggered off
in search of more sympathetic company.
“ This scouting business has spoiled Ben —
that’s all there is about it,” he told himself.
Dinner that day was declared a great success.
It must be admitted that the Scout Master had
been the chief cook, but the two boys who helped
were really anxious to learn, so it would not be
long before they would be able to prepare simple
dishes without assistance. The stone fireplace
worked well — crotched poles at each side hold-
ing an iron bar on which kettles could be hung,
while stones were set at one side to hold a frying-
pan over a slow fire. The Panthers had also
fixed up a rough shelter for the fire and the
A RACE ON THE LAKE 119
cook, making it out of the wooden boxes in which
the food supplies had been brought. One large
packing box had been converted into a closet,
the cover being hinged and supplied with a pad-
lock for safety from possible prowlers.
“ Now,” said the Scout Master when, dinner
over, they lounged and chatted under the trees,
“ it has been all work and no play so far, and
this afternoon I think we’d better have some
play. First, though, we must try to locate that
“ ’Deed, yes ! ” put in Miller, looking for in-
visible blisters on his hands.
“ And after that we’ll have a canoe trip — a
race, if you like — on the lake,” the Master added.
This announcement was greeted with a cheer.
“ But the working is fun, too,” cried Jack
Harding, beaming upon the company from his
place beside his brother, “ it’s all fun ! ”
“ T’ree cheers fer the Kid ! ” yelled a Tiger,
and the cheers were given with a vigour that
astonished Jack, and even embarrassed him.
“Whatever are they cheering me for?” he
whispered to Wilson, who answered only by
rubbing the boy’s yellow hair over his forehead.
Sidney, being yet far from strong, was left
in charge of the camp, but all the others joined
in the search for the spring. In half an hour it
was located — not as near the camp as they had
hoped, but still much nearer than the farmer’s
well ; and the return was made with all speed, for
the boys were eager to be on the water.
Half a dozen canoes were lying on the float
120 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
and four rowboats were moored to it when the
boys swarmed down to the lake with a gay
clamour of shouts and calls that woke the echoes.
It was hard to choose. Those slender green
canoes were most enticing, but in a race the
boats would surely win with any decent pulling.
Many longing glances rested on the Master’s
boat, a long slender little craft, “ The Arrow.”
The Master left the boys to decide for them-
selves between boats and canoes, and after con-
siderable discussion two were assigned to each
of the canoes, leaving twelve for the three boats.
Wilson was going in one of the rowboats, and
when Jack and Billy had tumbled eagerly in he
called to Sidney:
“You’ll come with us, won’t you, Sid?”
But the Master interposed. “ I’d like Sidney
to go with me if he will,” he said. “ He’d better
wait a while before he handles the pars, and I
need practise in that line.”
So Sidney silently took his place in the “ Ar-
row,” and Wilson, looking after him, wondered
half impatiently when he would begin to act like
his old self. This grave, silent, indifferent fellow
was so unlike the chum who, in the old happy
days, had been the life of the crowd. “ What’s
done is done, and all the worrying in the world
won’t change it now. Why can’t he just let it
all go and forget it?” Wilson said to himself.
If he had been in Sidney’s place he would have
Then Wilson looked at Billy. “ Can you
row ? ” he asked.
ONE OF THE BOAT CREWS
■ ■ : , i no mm . ■
A RACE ON THE LAKE
“ Some,” returned Billy.
“ Well,” Wilson eyed him doubtfully, “ you’ll
have to do the best you can, for Carter’s no
good with the oars, he says. There’s not much
chance of our winning.”
“ Never mind, Will, it will be just as much
fun to see somebody else win, won’t it? ” put in
Jack in his contented voice.
Wilson’s frown vanished as he looked down
into the earnest little face. “ What’s the odds ? ”
he agreed. “ We can’t all win every time.”
The Scout Master’s whistle gave the signal for
the start, and the ten boats flew forward. But
the canoes were soon left behind. The Master’s
boat swept swiftly on until it was well in the
lead, and for a while the three others followed
almost in line; then two of them began to pull
ahead. Wilson gave Billy an approving glance.
“ You’re an old hand at it, I see,” he said.
“ Maybe we’ve a chance after all.”
“ I’ve rowed on the river lots o’ times,” Billy
returned, his eye on the other boat, “ but Nolan’s
in that one, an’ he pulls better’n me.”
“ Oh, but Barnes can’t beat Wilson,” put in
Jack eagerly. “ Wilson’s won lots of races ! ”
Wilson grinned at Carter, who was facing him.
“ Nothing like having a kid brother to boom
you,” he said, too low for Jack to hear.
Carter nodded rather soberly. He was think-
ing of the three kid brothers at home — thinking
that none of them ever looked at him as Jack
looked at Wilson. Was it — perhaps — his own
fault? Carter had never before asked himself
122 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
that question. He had fallen into the habit of
considering younger brothers as rather a nui-
sance, to be ignored or ordered around. It oc-
curred to him just now that it might be rather
a pleasant thing to have a kid brother — like
“ Oh, we’re gaining — we’re gaining ! ” cried
Jack a few minutes later.
“ Sit steady, Kid — no gymnastics,” warned
Wilson, “ or we’ll lose sure.”
“ ’Scuse me, Will — I forgot,” Jack flashed a
smile at the back of his brother’s head ; then sat
still as a mouse, the colour coming and going
in his cheeks as he watched the other boat.
“ I’m ’fraid they’re catching up,” he admitted
to himself, under his breath, presently.
They surely were creeping slowly ahead.
Wilson saw it and so did Billy.
“ Steady, steady, Billy,” Wilson warned. “ If
we can just keep even till we make the Point,
we may win on the home stretch yet.”
“ I’m doin’ me best,” returned Billy sadly.
“ You’re doing all right,” Wilson answered,
“ but don’t let up.”
Jack held his breath. He dared not speak an-
other word, but his blue eyes constantly swept
from one boat to the other, and he drew a long
breath of relief when, at the same moment, the
two reached the Point where the Master’s boat
“ A tie ! ” shouted Sidney ; and the Master
repeated, “ A tie.”
“ Well! ” said Wilson, drawing a long breath.
A RACE ON THE LAKE 123
“ That’s a heap better than I expected when
we started, Billy.”
“ Oh, but I did hope we’d be just a little
ahead,” admitted Jack sorrowfully.
Wilson turned and laughed at him. “So?
How about it’s being most as much fun to see
somebody else win — eh, old man ? ”
Jack laughed ruefully. “ I s’pose it ought to
be, but I guess it isn’t — quite,” he acknowledged.
Wilson called a friendly challenge across to
Barnes, but Barnes answered it only by a nod.
“ He’ll be mad for a week if he loses,” re-
“ Yes, Al’s a poor loser,” replied Wilson, “ but
I’m not at all sure that he will lose to-day. Billy
and I have done our best.”
They waited at the Point until the other boat
came up, and then the canoes with Frazer far in
“ Hurrah — hurrah for Don ! ” yelled Jack, and
Frazer gaily waved his paddle in response.
Suddenly the Master bent to his oars and sent
his slender craft darting like a bird over the
water till he reached the last canoes.
“ Gee! He’s some oarsman — the Master!”
exclaimed Wilson, watching him admiringly.
“ Right you are ! ” exclaimed Carter. “ I heard
he was on the winning crew at Yale.”
“ Easy to believe that,” returned Wilson.
“ See him come now ! ”
The Master’s shell flew back to the Point.
Again the boats and canoes were ranged in line,
and at the signal, they set off on the return.
124 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
Once more the slender racing shell slipped swiftly
and easily ahead, and again Barnes and Wilson
followed neck and neck.
“ Barnes is red as a turkey cock/’ chuckled
Carter when they had covered half the distance.
“ Bet ye he’s jawing at Nolan.”
Billy’s mouth widened in a silent grin. If only
Barnes would nag at Nolan ! Billy knew what
effect that would have on Nolan’s fiery temper.
“ Steady, Billy, steady. Don’t get rattled,”
Wilson muttered warningly.
“ I ain’t,” replied Billy, with a glance out of
the corner of his eye at Nolan’s set face.
“Oh, we’re ahead — we’re ahead!” breathed
Jack softly. “ We truly are!”
They were, but Barnes saw it and promptly
recovered the lost ground.
“ Gee, but we’re going some ! ” cried Carter,
his voice shaking with excitement as the boats
flew through the water.
“ So are they,” added Jack mournfully.
Wilson was silent, his lips set tight. They
were nearing the landing when he spoke again.
“ Now, Billy, now pull for all you’re worth! ”
Silently Billy responded, and inch by inch they
gained, while Jack held his breath, and Carter
with glowing eyes watched and waited.
“ Hard, hard, Billy ! Just once more ! ” mut-
tered Wilson, and with one last effort, the boat
shot ahead, reaching the landing a scant twelve
inches before the other.
The Master was standing on the float as the
boats came in, and he called out to Wilson and
A RACE ON THE LAKE
Billy, “ Well won ! ” Then to Barnes and Nolan
he added, “ But barely won. You made them
work hard for it, boys.”
Barnes made no reply. He flung himself out
of the boat with an angry jerk and walked off
alone. But Nolan slapped Billy on the shoulder
as he said with a good-natured laugh:
“ I’ll beat ye next time, but I’ll not be in the
boat with him,” nodding towards Barnes.
“ You came mighty near beating us this time,”
“ Here comes Don, way ahead again,” broke
in Jack, his eyes still shining with delight over
“ Look at him — cool’s a cucumber,” said Car-
ter, watching admiringly as the canoe came
swiftly on, the water flying in sparkling showers
from its prow.
“ Don’s always cool. That’s one reason he’s
so often a winner,” said Wilson.
Frazer laughed in response to the applause
that greeted him as with his dripping paddle in
his hand, he stepped out on to the landing; and
as the second canoe came up, he called to Miller :
“That was a corker! You surely are some
with the paddle, Charlie.”
“ You can afford to say that,” Miller flung back
gaily, “ but ’twas a jolly good race, anyhow. Did
Jack’s happy voice responded, “ Sure he did ! ”
A BADGE SURRENDERED
supper that evening the Scout Master
noticed that Billy was not eating much.
Also that he sat off by himself, quite
away from Jack. This was very unusual. Billy’s
appetite had heretofore been always in evidence,
and he seldom failed to be at least within speak-
ing distance of Jack — though it was always Jack
who did most of the talking. To-night Jack was
sitting very close to his brother, the radiant smile
gone from his face, and his tongue as silent as
Billy’s. The Master wondered what had hap-
pened and determined to investigate, but Billy
saved him the trouble. As he finished his own
supper Billy suddenly appeared at his side.
“ Kin I — tell ye somethin’ ? ” the boy asked,
lifting troubled eyes to the Master’s face.
“ Of course. Come,” and the Master led the
boy aside to a quiet spot.
Billy suddenly stuck out his hand. “ I’m
givin’ it back to you,” he said, and dropped his
badge — the most cherished of all his new pos-
sessions — into the hand of the Scout Master.
The Master’s face was very grave. “ Sit
down here and tell me what has happened, Billy,”
A BADGE SURRENDERED 127
For a moment Billy choked ; then he found his
voice and said, very low, “ I be’n cussin’ again,
an’ I pitched inter a feller an’ knocked him
“ What for, Billy ? ^
“ ’Cause he called me a t’ief. Mr. Marshall ”
— the boy’s eyes were full of pleading — “ I ain’t
that now — a t’ief — you know I ain’t ? ”
“ I know you are not.” The Master’s hand
rested kindly on the boy’s shoulder. “ You
struck before you thought?”
Billy nodded. Again he held out his right
hand, now tightly clenched. “ It gets that-a-way,
an’ I hit out ’fore ever I know it,” he said, and
there was more than misery, there was despair
in his face and voice. “ An’ the bad words —
you don’t know how ’tis. I learned ’em when
I couldn’t talk plain. The men used to set me
up on a table in the s’loon an’ make me say all
them words. Then they’d laugh, an’ give me
pennies an’ drink. An’ in the gang ’twas the
same — they say them words all the time — the
words you tell me I mustn’t say any more. But
I guess I can’t ever stop meself usin’ ’em. I —
I don’t believe it’s any use to try — fer me ”
The low voice trailed off into miserable silence.
“ Billy, listen to me,” said the Master. “ You
have put up a splendid fight against such odds
that I’ve been surprised to see how often you
have won. I suppose I can't realise fully how
hard it is for you to break yourself of all these
bad habits — fighting and swearing and all the
rest of it — but I know it is dreadfully hard, and
128 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
no boy could possibly help failing sometimes.
But there is use in your trying, Billy — Oh, there
is — for you are going to win this big fight with
your old bad self. You are going to win! I am
sure of it”
Billy drew a long sighing breath and his droop-
ing head was lifted a bit. The Scout Master
went on :
“ I’ll keep this badge for a while if you want
me to — not as a punishment, but to help you.
You can come to me and get it again whenever
you like. I shall just be holding it for you.”
Billy looked a shade less miserable, but only
“ There isn’t any trouble between you and
Billy’s eyes opened in surprise. “ Me an’ the
Kid? There couldn’t be,” he said simply.
“ Well, my boy, you did right to come to me.
Come always when anything troubles you. You
and I are friends, you know — friends for al-
ways.” He held out his hand and Billy’s rough,
square fingers clung to it for a moment ; then he
saluted and turned slowly away.
A little later the Scout Master came across
Wilson Harding and Sidney Hart.
“ We were looking for you, sir,” the former
said ; and then he added, “ I — I’ve got to tell you
something, and I hate it like fury.”
“ Better have it over as quickly as you can
then,” replied the Master, his quiet voice belied
by the anxiety in his eyes.
“ It’s about Burns.”
A BADGE SURRENDERED 129
“ Ah ! ” There was relief in the Master's
voice. Wilson caught it and went on.
“ I guess you don't know all about Burns, Mr.
Marshall. Sid and I happened to see a bit of
a scrap between him and another of the Tigers
a little while ago, and Burns not only flew at the
other fellow and knocked him down, but swore
a blue streak at him — not just a word or two,
you know, but a regular stream of gutter talk.
And that isn’t all. It seems he’s a thief — he
stole a lot of things at the school where he goes.
I wouldn’t have told you about this — I hate tale-
bearing ” — Wilson’s head went up — “ but there’s
Jack, you know. He’s been so chummy with
Burns, and you seemed to think Burns couldn’t
do him any harm, but after this, I don’t think
I ought to let Jack be with him. He isn’t fit to
go with any decent fellow — Burns isn’t.”
‘'Have you told all this to Jack?” the quiet
voice of the Master questioned.
“ Well, not all — but I told him that Billy was
a thief and that he must keep away from him.”
“And what did Jack say about it?”
Wilson shrugged his shoulders impatiently.
“ He’s all upset over it. Wouldn’t believe a
word till he had to, and even now I expect he’s
hunting up excuses for Burns.”
“ The dear lad ! ” said the Master under his
“What did you say, sir?”
The Scout Master did not answer. He took
Billy’s badge from his pocket and held it out.
The two boys stared from the badge to the
130 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
Master’s face, and waited. After a moment
Alan Marshall said in a low tone, full of deep
feeling, “ That is Billy’s badge, boys — the most
precious thing he has ever owned, because it is
to him the symbol of the first chance he has
ever had to be anything more or better than a
4 gutter-snipe ’ or a young tough. He came to
me right after supper to-night and handed this
to me because, he said, he didn’t think he was
fit to wear it; and he told me what happened
this afternoon, blaming nobody but himself.”
Then, still in that low voice full of deep feeling,
the Scout Master told to the two boys the whole
of Billy’s sorrowful story — told it as it could
be told only by one whose heart was full of love
and sympathy for the boy who was fighting
against such overwhelming odds.
“You boys have your temptations — your
battles to fight,” he said, “ but they are hardly
worth mentioning beside the life and death
struggles that a boy like Billy has to face when
he tries to cut loose from the evil habits that have
bound him hand and foot. He has had every-
thing against him. When I think of it all, it
seems to me he is one of the bravest fellows I
ever knew. It’s a tremendous fight he is putting
up ! The wonder to me is, not that he fails and
drops back now and then, as he did to-day, but
that he doesn’t fail ten times as often.”
Both boys were silent. It was Sidney who
spoke first. “ Mr. Marshall,” he said slowly, “ I
never in my life felt quite so small and mean as
I do now. I’d like to ask Billy’s pardon.”
A BADGE SURRENDERED 131
The Master smiled, laying his hand on the
boy’s shoulder very kindly.
“ I wouldn’t do that, Sidney, but just give him
a pleasant word or smile now and then, and
above all, let him feel that you count him in —
instead of shouldering him out — when anything is
going on. If you older boys had the least con-
ception of what you might so easily do for boys
like Billy and the Tigers, I’m sure you would be,
not only willing but eager, to do it.”
“ But the Tigers — the rest of them — aren’t
like Billy,” Wilson objected. “ I mean they
haven’t had such a hard time as he has. They
are just rough and — common — don’t you
know ? ” He looked at the Master to see if he
had made his meaning clear.
Sidney nodded. “ I feel that way about the
Tigers, too,” he admitted.
“ Your feeling is very natural ; but if you could
get at the real facts, I’m sure you would feel
differently. It is true that the others haven’t
had such a hard time as Billy — they all have
homes of a sort, and somebody to take an interest
in them, after a fashion. But they are not like
your homes and your parents. If we could know
the whole story of their lives — their tempta-
tions and triumphs, their struggles and regret
over failures — I’m sure we should not find a
single one of those boys simply dull and stupid,
or ' common ’ and ‘ tough.’ When I look at one
of them, Sidney, I see in him a man of the
future; and who can tell into what kind of a
132 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
man he may develop if we only give him a fair
chance ? ”
In the moonlight the faces of the two lads
showed a new thoughtfulness. Again Sidney
was the first to reply.
“ I’ve often wondered, Mr. Marshall, why you
were contented to be just a school teacher. I
think I begin to understand now.”
“ Yes,” was all the Master answered, and then
he turned and led the way back towards the
rest of the troop, who were eagerly discussing
plans for the next day.
Only once the Master turned to say to Wilson,
“ I’d rather you would say nothing more to Jack
about Billy. I’ll tell him, if you don’t mind,”
and Wilson answered gravely:
“ All right — you tell him.”
Soon the moon, high in the heavens, shone
down upon the camp, and made the lake gleam
silvery between its wooded banks. The shining
water and the boats lying motionless and empty
at the landing called to the boys, and they begged
for an hour on the lake. The Master agreed,
only stipulating that it should be an hour of quiet
drifting and paddling — no racing or frolicking —
and no boat to go beyond a point which he
named. With a shout the boys were on their
feet and scrambling pell-mell down the bank,
the older ones following more leisurely. The
Master stopped Jack, stepping soberly along at
his brother’s side.
“ Jack,” he said, “ I’m going to sit on the
landing while the boys are out. Will you keep
A BADGE SURRENDERED 133
me company, or would you rather go on the
water with Wilson ?”
“ I don’t mind. I’ll stay if you want me to,”
Jack answered indifferently, “ if Wilson doesn’t
“ All right. Maybe you’d better stay to-
night,” Wilson agreed, and the boy stood on the
float, watching the others as, in boats and canoes,
they drifted out on the silvery water.
Billy, seeing that Jack was not going with the
rest, had paused with a doubtful glance at him;
but when the Master said kindly, “ Billy, you
and Martin can take my shell if you like,” the
boy’s face flushed with pleasure. To go in the
Master’s own boat! That was high honour in-
deed. He was in the slender craft in a second,
and Martin scrambling hastily out of one of the
larger boats, tumbled in after him. “ Gee, Billy,
we’re the nobs this time ! ” he cried. “ I’d rather
have this than a canoe twice over.”
But as they glided silently away from the
landing, Billy looked back at the slender fig-
ure standing so straight and still beside the
“ I’m wonderin’ why the Kid didn’t come too,”
he muttered in a disappointed tone.
“ Never mind why,” replied Martin. “ Say,
Billy, this is a bully little clipper. By George!
I’d like to pull an oar in a race with a craft
But Billy’s pride and pleasure were marred by
the harassing thought that something was wrong
with the Kid. “ He never even looked at me —
134 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
not once,” he said to himself, and the glory of
the hour was dimmed for Billy.
But when the Master’s whistle recalled them,
and canoes and rowboats came one after an-
other back to the landing, it was the old Jack
with the shining eyes and the warm smile who
sprang forward to greet Billy and ask him a
dozen eager questions about the Master’s boat.
And he walked at Billy’s side up to the camp,
and when he said good-night, held out that slim
white hand of his and gave Billy’s clumsy paw
a warm and friendly grasp. And so, in spite
of discouragement over his failures, and grief
over his missing badge, Billy went to bed with
a happy feeling deep down in his heart. The
Kid was still “ friends ” with him and the Mas-
ter was sure he was going to win out — and
nothing else mattered much.
In that hour by the lake the Master had told
Jack the truth about Billy, but told it in such
a way that Jack understood as he never before
had understood, what life meant to a boy like
Billy. “ A foul-mouthed thief and a tough,” A1
Barnes had called him in Jack’s hearing. Now
understanding, Jack cried out eagerly, “ Why,
Mr. Marshall, he is fighting like the old knights,
isn’t he? Fighting the bad things in himself
instead of dragons and things.”
“ That’s it, Jack, and we must all help him.”
“ Oh, I will, of course — I’ll be glad to help
him ! ” the boy cried, and he could hardly wait
for Billy to come back that he might show his
A BADGE SURRENDERED 135
The next week things went smoothly at the
camp, with morning lessons in woodcraft, sig-
nalling, map-drawing, and first aid, interspersed
with swimming and rowing matches and track-
ing. Every boy in the troop was eager to secure
a Second or a First Class badge; and the lessons
were all so interesting — so much more interesting
than the things learned from books — except the
cooking. Some of the boys liked that too, but
to others cooking and dish-washing were
drudgery. There was no shirking them, however.
A certain amount of culinary skill must be gained
before the coveted badges could be worn. So
though there was much good-natured grumbling,
there was no shirking.
Milk, butter, fresh eggs, poultry, and vege-
tables were obtained by previous arrangement at
the farmhouse, and other supplies were sent out
from town. When the third load was brought
over from the railroad station, there came with
it a big box directed to Barnes. It contained a
huge plum-cake, cookies, doughnuts, and a great
box of candy. Barnes generously made it all
common property, and the supper that night
was a feast.
WHEN IT RAINED
F OR ten days the weather had been perfect,
and the boys of Troop 5 had almost for-
gotten the possibility of a wet spell when
one morning they awoke to find the rain beating
upon the tents and the wind thrashing among the
branches overhead. With much good-natured
grumbling and some not so good-natured, the
boys hurried into their clothes, and one after
another scuttled across from their sleeping
quarters to the big tent. Until now all meals
had been taken out of doors, and the big tent
had been quite neglected.
“ Great Scott ! What a deluge ! ” exclaimed
Miller as, his sweater over his head, he ducked
under the flapping canvas that had been hung
over the doorway. “ Say, fellows, I’m glad
’tisn’t my turn to cook to-day. Hurry up break-
fast ! ” he shouted to the two boys who were
certainly cooking under difficulties calculated to
try their tempers. The wind and wet deadened
the fire, the wood was drenched, and the shed
that was supposed to protect the fire and the
cooks was open on all sides but one.
“ Gee, Clark, those Tigers sure will get their
fur wet this morning,” Miller declared with a
WHEN IT RAINED
“ That’s nothing — it’s all the same as a
morning swim,” laughed Frazer. The cook-
ing had fallen to the lot of the Tigers this
“ But say ” — it was Sidney Hart who spoke,
looking out at the wet cooks — “haven’t those
chaps any ponchoes?”
“ Nary a one,” drawled Barnes carelessly.
“ Raincoats aren’t the style in the South End,
don’t you know.”
Without reply, Sidney caught up his own rain-
coat and hurried with it over to the dripping
“ Well, I’m blest,” exclaimed Barnes, “ if he
isn’t lending his London slip-on to one of those
beggars ! ”
The next moment Wilson Harding caught up
his coat and followed Sidney’s example — and
both cooks were protected.
The Scout Master, coming from the store
closet, gave the two boys a quick smile. “ Thank
you, boys; it was a kind thought,” he said, and
with his hands full, went over to the assistance
of the cooks. A few minutes later he ran across
to the big tent. “ Well, boys,” he greeted them,
“ you see it can rain up here when it really tries.
As you see, the cooks are having difficulties.
They’ll have some hot coffee and oatmeal ready
in a few minutes, however. You’ll have to sit
on the floor this morning, but by dinner-time
perhaps we’ll have better accommodations. A
day like this,” he added, “ is rather trying in
camp, but it gives plenty of opportunities to be
138 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
cheerful under difficulties, and you know cheer-
fulness under fire is a scout virtue/’
“ How about cheerfulness under water ? ”
The Master laughed. “ Fire or water,” he
amended. “ There come the boys with the milk
and I think breakfast is about ready. Anybody
volunteer to help bring in cups and plates ? ”
There were a dozen volunteers, and presently
there was a procession of boys laden with plates,
cups, milk pitchers, etc., followed by the two
cooks with big pails of cereal and pots of coffee,
and the meal was as merry as any that had
“ Never appreciated this big tent before,”
Frazer remarked, “ but I’m making up for that
“ Needs a table and chairs though, when it’s
used as a dining-room,” said Harding.
“ We’ll have it furnished with both before
night,” the Master said.
“ How ? Oh, I see — you mean we’ll make
’em,” cried Clark.
“ Yes, that’s what the stuff out there is for.”
“ It will be some wet to work with — that stuff,
won’t it? ” inquired Frazer. “ I thought I heard
a little sprinkle on the roof just now,” and he
wiped off some drops that were trickling from
his wet hair. He had been one of the proces-
“What if it is wet?” scoffed a Tiger. “So
“You are too wet, Jenkins. You must get
WHEN IT RAINED 139
into dry clothes as soon as you’ve finished break-
fast,” the Master told him.
“ Huh ! Wet won’t hurt me — I’m used to it,”
replied Jenkins with a careless shrug.
A moment later, Sidney Hart spoke in a low
tone to the Master.
“ Mr. Marshall, I was wondering if those fel-
lows have any clothes to change into.”
“ I doubt if they have much,” the Master an-
swered in the same tone.
“ Oughtn’t we to have some extras on hand —
trousers and jackets or sweaters, and shoes ” —
Sidney’s eyes had noticed the soggy, worn shoes
of Jenkins — “ to loan those chaps in an emer-
gency like this ? ”
“ I wanted to bring along half a dozen such
changes, Sidney, but — well, you know this
isn’t exactly a money-making proposition —
this summer camp, and I couldn’t do it this
“ Father would send them to us, I’m sure, if
you will give me a list of sizes and prices and
where to buy them and all,” returned Sidney.
The Master answered quickly, “ That would
be a great help. I’ll gladly give you the list.
Of course boys like the Tigers are used to going
about in all weathers without much protection,
but still, as you say, a change of garments ought
to be possible in an emergency. Sidney — I need
an assistant Scout Master. Are you willing to
serve ? ”
“ Yes, sir,” the boy answered instantly, and
the look with which the Master answered that
140 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
brought a flush to Sidney’s face as he turned
“ No need to wash dishes to-day — just set ’em
out and the rain will do it for you, Sullivan,”
suggested Miller to one of the cooks when
breakfast was over.
“ Good enough. Let the rain do it,” shouted
Clark, and soon a long line of cups and plates
was set outside, and certainly they all got at
least a preliminary washing.
All other work was put aside that morning,
and the big tent became a carpenter shop, the
whining of saws and pounding of hammers going
steadily on amid a clamour of talk and laughter,
with here and there a whistle by way of varia-
tion. The Scout Master directed the work.
Two of the older boys made the measurements,
and everybody helped in sawing and nailing.
By dinner time two tables, rough but strong and
steady, were completed, and four benches and
five chairs stood ready for use.
“ One chair for the Master of course, and one
for each patrol leader — that’s four. Who claims
Every face was turned curiously as Barnes
asked the question, and on every face but one
there was a swift flash of surprise as the Master
answered, “ The fifth is for my assistant Scout
Master, Sidney Hart.”
“ Hurrah ! ” shouted Jack Harding, and throw-
ing back his shoulders he gave the new assistant
Master a formal salute, while Wilson grasped
his friend’s hand and shook it heartily.
WHEN IT RAINED
“ Anything to make him get busy,” was Wil-
son’s thought, “ but who’d ever have believed that
Sidney Hart would have cared a rap about such
fellows as those South-Enders ? ” Then he re-
called what the Master had told him and Sidney
about Billy Burns, and his wonder died. The
Master certainly had made it seem well worth
while to lend a hand to such a chap. Wilson’s
face was very thoughtful as he gathered up
some of the scattered bits of wood from the
With white oilcloth which the Master had
brought, spread over the boards, the tables looked
very clean and attractive, and while some of the
boys carried off the tools and bits of lumber,
others dashed out into the rain and gathered up
the rain-washed dishes, wiped them, and set them
on the new tables. The cooks had prepared a
savoury “ camp stew,” which was brought in
steaming hot, and found vastly appreciative con-
sumers on that chilly wet day.
“ This has been the shortest morning since
we’ve been in camp,” Taylor declared as he
passed his bowl for a second helping of the
stew, and another added :
“ It’s no end of fun making tables and chairs.”
“ How would you like some — well, we’ll call
it engineering work ? ” the Master inquired.
“ I’ve been thinking ” — he glanced at Miller with
a twinkle in his eye — “ that we might, at small
expense if we do the work ourselves, lay some
pipes from our spring to the camp, and bring the
142 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
Miller sprang up on the bench and waved
his arms. “ Moved and seconded,” he cried.
“ All in favour, say ‘ aye/ ” and the thunderous
aye that followed made the dishes rattle on the
“ We’ll look over the ground when it clears/’
the Master said, when the tumult had subsided,
“ and if there is nothing to prevent I’ll order the
pipes and we’ll soon have our own water sup-
“ The man who owns the land won’t object? ”
“ No,” the Master returned, “ I know the
owner very well, and I can answer for him. He
“ Say, Mr. Marshall, it’s leaking into our tent.
My bed’s sopping wet!” cried Jenkins, one of
the Tigers, who had been helping the cooks.
“ That’s bad. I’ll attend to it at once,” and
the Master, slipping on a raincoat, followed the
boy to his tent. Most of the other boys ran out
to see if their beds were also getting wet, but
they found all the other tents in good condition.
Only in one of the Tigers’ tents the Master dis-
covered a defect in the canvas where the rain
had found its way in and soaked two of the
“ We must dry your bedding over the fire
this afternoon, and to-night you two must sleep
in the big tent. To-morrow I’ll send to town
for a fly to put over your tent, so there’ll not
be another experience like this,” the Master said.
“ You must not sleep in wet beds,”
WHEN IT RAINED 143
“ My bed’s wetter than those, and the ground’s
a perfect mush,” growled Barnes, elbowing his
way roughly past the Tigers, into the tent. “ I
can’t stand this sort of thing, Mr. Marshall.”
His tone was peremptory.
“ Is there a leak in your tent ? ” the Master
“ Don’t know whether there is or not. There’s
plenty of water there — and mud!”
The Master went over to the small tent, Barnes
and the Tigers following. The ground under
the tent hollowed just enough to make a shallow
basin which had been filled by the heavy rain
running from the higher ground. The bedclothes
were draggled and wet, but the bed itself and the
pillow were dry. Alan Marshall sent the two
Tigers off to attend to their own bedding before
he said to Barnes:
“ You have no one but yourself to blame,
Albert. You set the tent first in this hollow con-
trary to my orders, so this one was set in the
same place. It could have been moved at any
time, had you chosen to do it, and you could
have had a platform under it if you had chosen
to make it. Even as it is, your bedding would
not have gotten wet if the bed had been properly
made up. You took advantage of the fact that
inspection was omitted this morning and made
up your bed in a careless, slovenly fashion, with
the bedding not tucked in as it should have been.”
“ I didn’t come here to do servant’s work any-
how,” the boy flung out insolently.
The Master reached over, unfastened Barnes’
144 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
badge, and put it in his pocket. Then he said
sternly, “ Barnes, from the first day here you
have shown yourself utterly lacking in the
true scout spirit. You have disobeyed orders,
grumbled and criticised, and have shown a most
unkind and unbrotherly spirit to some of your
comrades. Now you must take your choice.
Either you will change entirely your attitude and
conduct or you will leave the camp — go home
to-morrow by the first train/’
“ I’ll go home. I’ve had enough of this —
more than enough,” the boy cried out, his face
dark with anger.
“ Very well.” The Master turned away, but
Barnes called after him:
“ I can’t sleep to-night in this mess.”
“ You can move your cot to the big tent for
to-night,” the Master replied.
Barnes yanked off the bedding, flung over it
his rubber blanket, and carried the bundle to the
big tent. Then he shouted to a boy who was
scudding through the rain, “ Come here you, and
help me carry this cot ! ”
The boy turned and paused uncertainly for
a moment before he obeyed the imperative sum-
mons. It was Billy Burns, and his face reflected
the scowl on Barnes’ face as he took hold of
one end of the cot and helped carry it over to
the big tent.
“ Now . go back and get my suitcase and bring
that over,” Barnes ordered, as Billy dropped his
end of the cot.
Again the boy hesitated. For a moment he
WHEN IT RAINED
stood, his eyes full of smouldering wrath as he
faced Barnes ; then without a word he turned and
went out again into the rain. When he came
back with the suitcase there was such a different
expression on his face that even Barnes noticed
it. Billy looked almost pleased.
“ He’s heard I’m going and that’s what he’s
grinning over,” was the thought that flashed
through Barnes’ mind. He snatched the suit-
case from Billy and flung it into a corner beside
“You were long enough about it!” was all
the thanks he gave for the service rendered, but
as Billy turned away there was on his homely
face an expression of sly — almost malicious —
Frazer, who had heard Barnes’ curt remarks,
caught a glimpse of Billy’s face as he turned
away and said to Wilson Harding who stood
near him, “ Burns looks as if he’d got even with
“ Hope he has,” returned Harding in a low
tone. “ Al’s gone out of his way to be mean
to Billy ever since we’ve been here, and he
hasn’t been halfway decent to Mr. Marshall. I
wish he’d clear out — leave the camp.”
Frazer nodded, and going to the entrance, stood
for a moment looking out. The rain was still
coming down steadily, and the thick low-lying
clouds gave no promise of clearing. “ Too bad
to have such weather ! ” he said as he turned
“ Not a bit of it. It’s a fine chance for you
146 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
all to see what a good time you can have in
spite of the weather,” the Master said, over-
hearing Frazer’s lament. “ I believe,” he went
on as the boys gathered about the table where
he was standing, “ that most of you have passed
the tests for the Second Class, so I propose that
we spend this wet afternoon, or a part of it, in
practice for the First Class badge. After that,
you know, you can work for any of the merit
badges. Four of the ten tests required can be
done here under cover. We’ll practise first with
the signalling. Harding, you and Frazer are
well up on that. You two go over to tent 6 —
that’s the farthest off — and we’ll signal from
the doorway here, and see how well you can
read our messages.”
The two boys ran through the rain to the
other tent, and for an hour the practice was
kept up — other boys taking the place of Hard-
ing and Frazer as they learned the meaning of
the signals. Not only right reading of the sig-
nals, but time also was counted — sixteen letters
per minute being the time limit allowed.
After this, each boy was required to draw
from memory a rough sketch of the camp, in-
cluding the lake, the nearest farmhouse, and the
spring, giving also the points of the compass.
There were groans over this from many of the
boys, and some of the maps were far from
accurate, but others were very good.
“ Say, Mr. Scout Master, don’t we all get a
hundred on Number 8 — ‘producing an article
of carpentry’?” Miller demanded, glancing
WHEN IT RAINED 147
proudly at one of the chairs over which he had
The Master laughingly quoted the final words
of Number 8 — “ ‘ made by himself satisfactor-
ily. ’ ”
Miller shrugged his shoulders. “ I won’t in-
quire whether you mean to imply that I didn’t
drive every nail in this chair myself, or whether
the job is not ‘ satisfactory,’ ” he returned. “ I
suppose we shall have to produce some hand-
carved parlour chairs before we shall be con-
sidered eligible for the First Class,” and he
dropped back on the bench with his usual cheer-
ful grin. The next moment he was on his feet
with a whoop of delight, crying out, “ It’s clear-
ing — it is, sure pop! There’s a streak of sun-
There was a rapid stampede that left in the
tent nobody but the Scout Master, and Barnes
who had spent the afternoon sulking over a book,
and taking no part in the talk or occupations of
the others. Now he rose and lounged out, and
the Master followed.
“ Don’t see what we can do outside. The
ground is like a sponge and the woods dripping
wet,” said Clark.
“ So’s the lake wet — but no wetter than usual,”
retorted Ryder, giving him a poke in the ribs.
“And it’s too late for boating— almost five
o’clock,” the Master added, “ so why not spend
the next half-hour on Number 5 — ‘What to do
in case of accidents ’ ? Then you will have cov-
ered half the ground for the First Class badge,
148 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
and we can take all day to-morrow for outdoor
work and play. The wind has changed. It’s
coming from — well, from which direction is it
coming ? ”
Fingers were wet and lifted — the points of the
compass decided, and then a dozen voices an-
* nounced that the wind was from the northwest.
“ Right — the quarter for fair weather. I
prophesy a fine day to-morrow, and if the wind
blows all night as is likely, it will dry ofif the
ground so that to-morrow should be an ideal
day for tracking. We might try that or a
“ Treasure hunt — a treasure hunt!” the boys
shouted. “ We haven’t had any treasure hunt
“ We’d got that down for this week anyhow,”
one of the program committee announced.
“ Then let us finish up one more test to-day.
Half an hour should do it easily,” the Master
said, and the boys trooped back into the tent,
some a little reluctant, but nobody grumbling.
The Master gave out three questions:
“ How would you attempt to rescue a drowning
person in clear water — or through broken ice ?
“ Or recover one apparently drowned ?
“ Or take a person from a burning building?
“ Describe your method as clearly as possible
and in the fewest words.”
For half an hour pencils and fountains pens
were busy as the boys bent over their papers.
LOST— A FOUNTAIN PEN
half-past five, the Scout Master called for '
the papers and sent the boys out till
supper-time. They found Barnes stand-
ing near the fire talking to the cooks. One of
these, Jenkins, called out as the others ap-
“ He says he’s lost his fountain pen,” with a
nod towards Barnes.
The boys crowded around Barnes, half a dozen
speaking at once.
“ Not that Jim-dandy one with the gold han-
dle?” cried Martin.
“ When did you have it last? ”
“ Maybe you dropped it in the big tent.”
“ Looked in all your pockets ? ”
Barnes answered the last question first. “ Of
course I’ve looked in all my pockets. I had it
this morning — it dropped out of my pocket when
I was putting on my coat.”
“ What’d you do with it, then ? ”
“ I don’t remember. But I couldn’t have lost
it. No place to lose it.”
“ Then what’s become of it ? ” Harding in-
150 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
Barnes gave him a significant glance, but made
no other answer.
“ Have you hunted for it in your tent — where
you slept ? ”
“ Of course,” said Barnes impatiently. “ Easy
to see it isn’t there. The tent’s empty now.”
“ Well, maybe you dropped it in the big tent,
then, when you brought over your cot and bed-
ding,” said Harding. “ Come on, boys — let’s all
hunt for it.” Then, as the boys scattered, some
running to the sleeping tent and some to the
big one, Wilson, following the latter, said in a
low tone to Sidney : “ It must be found. If it
isn’t,, it would be just like Barnes to accuse some
one of stealing it, and then there’d be the mis-
chief to pay.”
Sidney nodded, and involuntarily his eyes
turned to Billy, who was bending over a map
that Jack had spread out on a box. Wilson’s
glance followed Sidney’s, and a quick change
passed over his face. Sidney noticed it.
“What is it?” he demanded.
“ I — was thinking of something. No, I’d
better not tell you — not yet, anyhow. I don’t
believe it was anything, really.”
“ It would be just like Barnes to accuse Billy,”
Sidney said, and Harding agreed. He was
thinking of the sly smile he had surprised on
Billy’s face earlier that day, after he had brought
over Barnes’ suitcase.
A thorough search of the two tents and the
ground between them was quite fruitless. The
boys even shook out Barnes’ bedding and looked
LOST— A FOUNTAIN PEN 151
into his pillow-case, and the pocket of his pa-
jamas, but no fountain pen appeared. When
they went back and told him so, Barnes smiled
“ I didn’t expect you’d find it,” he said. “ I
should have been surprised if you had.”
At that Jenkins broke out angrily, “ ’F you’ve
got anythin’ to say why don’t ye say it ’stead of
grinnin’ and hintin’ ? ”
“ That’s right,” Frazer agreed. “If you’ve
anything to say, Al, say it out. I hate hinting,
“ Well, then, if you want to know my opinion,
here it is. I believe that my pen is in some-
body’s pocket, and that somebody is not me.”
Barnes forgot grammar in his excitement.
“ Hm ! That’s plain talk, certainly,” replied
Frazer. “ Now, Barnes, it’s only fair to all of
us — since we’re all under suspicion if any one
is — to say what reason you have to suspect any-
body. In a place like this it would be easy
enough to lose the thing. You might have
dropped it in the mud and stepped on it without
noticing — with the ground as soft as it is now.”
“ Only I know I didn’t,” Barnes flung out.
“ Say — what’s the fuss about ? ” It was Billy
who, seeing the crowd about Barnes, had drawn
near, and now asked the question in a low tone
of Jenkins. Jenkins gave him a half suspicious
glance and drew away a little as he answered
“ It’s Barnes’ gold fountain pen — he says it’s
152 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
Both Harding and Frazer had heard the ques-
tion and the answer, and Billy, now looking at
them, read in their faces something that brought
into his a sudden swift wave of red. The cor-
ners of his mouth settled into the old weary
droop and so did his shoulders as he turned and
slowly walked away from the group. Harding
and Frazer exchanged glances and, a moment
later, they too left the group.
“Did you notice how red he got?” Frazer
Wilson nodded silently.
“Do you believe it, Harding?” Frazer ques-
tioned in a low tone. “ Do you believe he had
anything to do with it ? ”
“ I certainly don’t want to, Don. And we’ve
no reason to ”
“ You saw him when he brought over Al’s suit-
case,” Frazer interrupted.
“ I know,” Wilson admitted reluctantly.
“What shall we do?” inquired Frazer after
a moment’s silence.
“I’m afraid we’ll have to tell Mr. Marshall.
He won’t believe it of Billy, though, I’m sure.”
“ But you’ve heard what they say about
Burns?” Frazer asked.
“ Of course. ‘ Give a dog a bad name and
hang him,’ ” quoted Wilson, the more impatiently
because of his own misgivings. “ I say, Don,
if you knew as much about Billy Burns as I do
you’d feel — well, you’d give most anything to
prove him innocent of this.”
“ I would, anyhow,” returned Frazer promptly.
LOST — A FOUNTAIN PEN 153
“ For a fellow that’s had no chance, I think
Billy’s shown up enough sight better than A1
“ You’re right there ! ” Wilson agreed with
emphasis. “We can’t do anything till after sup-
per, anyhow,” he added, “ for it’s almost six
The call to supper came in a few minutes. The
Scout Master, who had been busy over the pa-
pers of the boys, saw in their faces as they gath-
ered about the table that something was wrong.
The talk was fitful and constrained, and the few
jokes that were attempted fell flat. Barnes sat
silent and sulky, but that was to be expected
under the circumstances, and the Master did
not connect him with the unusual silence at the
table. Finally he caught an exchange of glances
between Harding and Frazer, and when the meal
was over and the boys were leaving the dining-
tent, he detained the two, and soon had the whole
“ I wish you would tell Barnes I want to see
him,” he said to Frazer, “ and Billy, too. If
you can manage it, speak to them without at-
tracting the attention of the others.”
“ Poor Billy,” the Master said half to him-
self, as Don went off on his errand.
“ You don’t believe he took the pen, Mr. Mar-
shall?” Wilson asked anxiously.
“ No, but I think I can tell surely when I look
into his face,” the Master answered, and the
next moment Billy entered the tent. Just inside
the door he stopped short and stood — so Wilson
154 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
thought — the picture of guilt, his face red, his
eyes downcast, the old hangdog look about his
face and figure.
“ Billy, come here, please,” the Master said.
His voice was very kind, and as the boy shuf-
fled towards him, the Master’s hand dropped
with a friendly touch on the boy’s drooping
shoulder. “ Look at me, Billy,” the kind voice
added, and Billy lifted his troubled eyes and
looked straight up into the eyes that had never
yet looked at him with coldness or suspicion;
and as he gazed, a great change passed over his
face. The trouble and misery seemed to melt
slowly into a smile* — very brief it was — a smile
that seemed afraid to linger in a strange place,
so quickly it was gone.
The Master held out his hand, and his smile,
warm and heart-cheering, answered the look in
the boy’s eyes.
“ It’s all right, Billy — nothing for you to worry
about,” he said, as Frazer and Barnes entered.
“ Now, Barnes,” the Master said quietly, “ tell
me about your fountain pen.”
“ Nothing to tell except that it’s gone,” Barnes
“ You’ve no idea when or how you lost it?”
“ I’ve no idea that I did lose it. I couldn’t
“ Pm not so sure. I’ve known of some very
queer losses — I mean of things lost and found
again in queer ways. I understand that Billy
here helped you bring your things over from
the other tent.”
LOST— A FOUNTAIN PEN 155
“ Yes,” Barnes admitted, scowling at Billy,
and then deliberately turning his back on him.
“ He brought over your suitcase ? ”
“ Uh huh,” said Barnes.
“ Have you looked for the pen in the suit-
Harding surprised a swift, anxious look just
then, a furtive look out of the corner of Billy’s
“ It couldn’t have been in the suitcase because
I locked that this morning when I took out my
woolen clothes, and I had the pen after that.”
There was no doubt then about the look of
relief in Billy’s face, Wilson was sure of that.
The Master went on, “ Well, what’s your
theory ? What do you think became of the pen ? ”
“ I think,” Barnes spoke deliberately, “ that I
dropped it on the ground in my tent and that
some one found it there.”
“ And who was in the tent — to your knowl-
“ No one but you and I — and him,” a slight-
ing gesture towards Billy indicated him as the
“ Did you see the pen, Billy ? ” the Master
inquired, speaking with marked courtesy and
Billy shook his head, a sullen, dogged look
dropping like a mask over his face.
The Master turned again to Barnes. “ I feel
very sure,” he said, “ that your pen will come
to light. Meantime, I shall ask you to say noth-
ing more about the matter to any one.”
156 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
“ Very well,” returned Barnes, and without
another word he turned and left the tent.
“ And, Billy, you are to forget all about this.
It will come right somehow. Just keep your
eyes open and you may find the pen .lying around
Billy made no reply, but as he moved slowly
towards the door there was no lightening of
the cloud on his face. He forgot to salute the
Scout Master — following Jack’s example, he had
been very careful about this — and slipped out of
the tent without another word.
“ I’d have paid for that pen twice over rather
than have suspicion thrown on that boy just
now,” the Master said with a sigh.
“You don't think he took it, then?” Wilson
“ No. Yet I admit that it would not have been
at all strange if he had found it and slipped it
into his pocket.”
“ And Barnes has — well, he’s been pretty
rough with Billy more than once.”
“ Yes, I know,” returned the Master. “ But
you see there is really no evidence against Billy
except the fact that he was in the tent after
Barnes left it.”
“ And he went then to do A1 a favour — to
bring over his suitcase,” Wilson added thought-
“ Wilson, I wish you would take a little pains
to be friendly with Billy to-day. If, as I be-
lieve, he is innocent, he’ll need all the friendli-
ness and confidence we can show him, for nat-
LOST— A FOUNTAIN PEN 157
urally, the boys to whom Barnes has been talking
will be inclined to cold-shoulder Billy because of
his past record.”
“ Yes, sir, I will,” Wilson agreed heartily.
When he left the tent, he looked for Billy, but
he was nowhere in sight, and Wilson was at once
called over to a group of boys who were dis-
cussing plans for the next day. Jack and some
others of the younger boys were wild for a
treasure hunt, and it was finally decided that,
with the approval of the Scout Master, they
would have on the morrow an all-day excursion
combining the treasure hunt and a chase. The
discussion over details was long and animated,
and after it was over, when Wilson again remem-
bered Billy, Jenkins said he had gone to bed.
“ I’ll see him first thing in the morning,” Wil-
son told himself.
When he was in bed, however, with Jack al-
ready asleep in the adjoining cot, Wilson found
himself unaccountably restless and wakeful; and
as he lay there he thought of Billy, with the
heavy handicap of his past, creeping off alone to
his cot to brood over this thing, knowing that
most of the boys would surely believe him still
“ Poor old chap ! ” was Wilson’s last thought
before sleep at last came to him.
A CHANGE OF PROGRAM
T HE next morning was comfortably cool,
promising an ideal day for the proposed
expedition. An ideal day for anything
to the healthy, merry boys who came out after
their plunge in the lake feeling fit and ready for
any sort of doing. The sight of Barnes — not in
uniform — standing with a detached air near the
big tent, brought forth a chorus of questions,
for he had told no one the night before of his
departure. Now he announced it with a curious
air of defiance, and he stood in a curious attitude
with one hand behind him. Suddenly, with a
jeering laugh, he flung a. dead snake at the
group before him. It struck Taylor in the face,
then with an odd writhing motion as if it were
still alive, it dropped on to the shoulder of Jen-
kins. Jenkins jerked it off with a snarl of rage
and sprang at Barnes, but Nolan, his patrol
leader, caught his uplifted arm and pulled him
“ Steady, steady/’ he warned. “ No fighting
“ I say, Barnes, what d’you mean by that,
anyhow ? ” demanded Harding indignantly.
“ Well,” Barnes defended himself, “ some of
A CHANGE OF PROGRAM 159
you thought you’d play a fine trick on me, I sup-
pose — sticking that in my suitcase. If I’d only
known which of you fellows put it there I’d have
rubbed it in his face.”
“ Well, I didn’t have anything to do with it,
an’ I ain’t thankin’ you fer flinging it at me,”
“ Nor I — haven’t even seen a snake since we
came here ! ” exclaimed Taylor indignantly.
“ Well, somebody put the thing in my suit-
case,” retorted Barnes coolly, and turning on his
heel he walked off.
With a sudden swift remembrance, Harding
turned to Frazer and beckoned him away from
the group. “ Say, Don,” he said, “ I’m wonder-
ing — you rememfcer Billy’s look when he brought
over that suitcase yesterday? You noticed it?”
“ Yes,” chuckled Frazer, “ and I’ll bet this is
what it meant — he’d stuffed that dead snake into
“ And who blames him ? I don’t, for one.”
“ Nor I, for two,” returned Wilson. “ I won-
der where he found the thing.”
“ A1 said he locked his suitcase, didn’t he ? ”
“ He said so — yes, but you know how careless
he is. Maybe he didn’t.”
Nobody was really sorry that Barnes was leav-
ing, for though he was generous in his way and
could be good company when he chose, his tem-
per was uncertain, and the boys knew that he
was not in sympathy with the scout spirit. And
this experience with him made them rather
glad than otherwise to see the last of him. So
160 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
•the call to breakfast was a welcome interruption
and was answered with cheerful alacrity.
It was Jack who was the first to notice that
Billy was not at the table. “ Where is Billy ?
Is he sick?” he inquired of one of the Tigers
who slept in the same tent with Billy — a red-
headed Irish boy named Sullivan.
“ Sure I dunno. I ain’t seen him this
mornin’,” Sullivan returned.
There was quick concern in the Master’s face
when he noticed Billy’s absence. He left his
breakfast unfinished and went out to look for him.
He went first to the sleeping tent, where he found
Billy’s cot made up neatly ; that was unusual, as
the cots were left to air until after breakfast,
when each boy made up his own bed and put
all his belongings in order. And on the cot,
carefully folded, lay Billy’s uniform with his hat
and staff beside it.
At once the Master understood. “ He’s gone,
poor chap,” he said to himself. “ And I’m sure
he had no money for car fare — he must have
set out to walk the whole fifty miles.”
While he stood thinking, the three other Tigers
came racing over from breakfast. At sight of
the Scout Master in their tent, they stopped, with
swift glances about to see if there was anything
especially disorderly for which they might be
called to account.
“ Burns made his bed before breakfast this
morning, I see,” the Master said.
“ Yes,” replied Finnegan, “ he was out before
any of us woke.”
A CHANGE OF PROGRAM 161
“ Does he often get up so early? ”
“ Yes, he often goes down for a swim before
the rest of us get there.”
“He’s a good swimmer?” For a brief mo-
ment the Master thought of the possibility of
cramp or some other accident to a boy alone in
the lake. But the three boys laughed.
“ Billy couldn’t drown no more’n a cork or
a fish,” Jenkins declared.
“ Reckon he was born swimmin’,” chuckled
But as the Master, grave and silent, left the
tent, the boys exchanged uneasy glances, won-
dering if there could be anything wrong with
Billy. One of them suggested that he might
have “ cut an’ run.”
“ Billy — leave this ? ” cried Sullivan. “ Sure
an’ ye couldn’t have hired him to go.”
“Right ye are, Tim!” Finnegan agreed,
“ only ” he added doubtfully, “ fer that
gold pen o’ Barnes. If Billy did crib that,
“ You’re a fool ! ” retorted Sullivan promptly.
“ Billy never seen that gold pen. If he’s gone,
it’s ’cause he couldn’t stan’ bein’ blamed fer what
he nivir did.”
“ I dunno,” the other maintained stubbornly,
“ you know what he done — before.”
Quite forgetting scout courtesy, Sullivan
promptly jabbed a hard fist against the freckled
nose of the other boy as he declared, “ I’m
thinkin’ you’d better kape yer mouth shut, Sam
Finnegan. We know some t’ings about you
162 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
that you ain’t so proud of now-days — an’ that’s
no lie ! ”
Finnegan subsided into silence, whereupon
Sullivan relented enough to admit in a more
friendly tone, “ Faith, an’ we all uster do some
t’ings we ain’t braggin’ of now; but when a fel-
ler’s a-tryin’ to live square, I say — let’s wipe off
the slate, an’ not kape rakin’ up ag’inst him what
he done one time. Ain’t that right, fellers ? ”
And the “ fellers ” unanimously agreed that it
“ Hurry up now wid these beds — I see Nolan
cornin’,” Sullivan added, and began hastily to put
his own in order.
A few minutes later, the Scout Master’s whis-
tle summoned the whole troop; and as the boys,
obeying the call, gathered about him, they saw
at once that something unusual had occurred,
and guessed that it had to do with Billy. The
Master’s face was very serious as he looked
around the circle.
“ Boys,” he began, “ I suppose you all know
that Barnes lost yesterday a valuable fountain
pen. There is no certainty that it was stolen —
no real evidence against any one, and I do not
myself believe for one moment that any boy in
this troop would be guilty of theft — or would
keep a thing which he found in the camp even
if he did not actually steal it. But Burns has
been practically accused of taking this pen.
Some of you know what a hard life Billy has had,
and all of you know that at one time he did take
what did not belong to him. But you know, too.
A CHANGE OF PROGRAM 163
that he has been trying very hard to live down
that evil past and do what is right. Some of
you have been kind and helped him — you never
can know how much your kindness and friend-
ship have meant to him,” — the master’s eyes
rested for a moment on Jack Harding’s intent
face, — “ but some of you have not always remem-
bered that ‘ all Scouts are brothers,’ and have
sometimes been unkind to the boy who was mak-
ing the bravest fight of you all. He came to me
— Billy did — a while ago, and handed back his
badge because, he told me, he had used bad lan-
guage and been fighting, and he didn’t think it
was any use for him to try any more. Boys,
who do you think was most to blame that time —
Billy, or the boy who had taunted him with the
evil he was trying so hard to live down — taunted
him till he forgot himself and struck out with
One face was scarlet now, and one boy slipped
silently in behind his fellows, as the Master
went on, “ I do not believe that Billy has touched
Barnes’ pen — if he had, he would not be missing
this morning. He knew that he was not guilty,
but he could not endure to stay and know that
some of you believed him still a thief. So I’m
afraid he has gone away — started off to walk
fifty miles back to the city. Can you guess how
heavy his heart was when he slipped away this
morning with no breakfast, no money, and not
even a word of farewell to those of us who, he
knows, are his friends ? ”
The silence that followed was broken by Jack
164 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
— Jack with his eyes wet with tears he never
thought of hiding.
“ Can’t we go right after him and bring him
back— oh, can’t we, Mr. Marshall?” the boy
pleaded, and a score of voices seconded the re-
“ He can’t have gone far yet.”
“We can overtake him before he’s much be-
yond the station if we hurry.”
“Can’t we start right away? We’re losing
time,” they cried.
So luncheon was hastily put into haversacks
and in a little while Troop 5 was on the road —
all but two boys left in charge of the camp.
Barnes went along with the rest, as their first
objective point was the nearest station where he
was to take the train. Barnes was not happy.
Nobody seemed to care that he was leaving the
camp — not even Ben Martin. All they could talk
about was that Burns fellow, and they all acted
as if he — Barnes — were to blame because Burns
had cleared out. Probably he was sick of the
camp, too. And they might say what they
pleased — he believed that Burns had found that
fountain pen. So ran Barnes’ thoughts as he
walked with the others, but no longer one of
them. It was growing warmer fast, and Barnes,
with his raincoat over his arm, and his
leather suitcase, soon began to feel uncomfort-
“ Say, I can’t keep up this pace,” he com-
plained, “T’ve got on heavier clothes than the rest
of you, and this suitcase to lug.”
A CHANGE OF PROGRAM 165
“ We’ll tote the bag — each of us can carry it
for a few minutes,” returned Martin cheerfully
— too cheerfully to suit Barnes, who thought
Martin altogether too unconcerned over his —
Barnes’ — departure. But though he scowled at
Martin, he promptly accepted his offer and gave
him the suitcase.
“ I’ll carry your raincoat,” Miller added, and
Barnes handed it over.
The mile and a half to the station was covered
in record time. It was a little country station,
and the man in charge said he had seen nothing
of any other boy. He had indeed been only a
few minutes at the station before the arrival of
the troop. Mr. Marshall made careful inquiries
about the road, and the station master said the
route to the city was some ten miles longer by
the road than by the railroad. The question then
arose as to which way Billy had gone.
“ The road crosses the railroad about three
miles further on,” the station agent said. “ You
might catch your boy there. Case of runaway,
eh ? ” he inquired with a sly laugh.
“ A case of misunderstanding,” the Master cor-
rected gravely. “ The missing boy is one of my
best Scouts. He will be glad to return with us
if we can only overtake him.”
He went into the station and sent off a tele-
gram to Barnes’ father to inform him when the
boy would reach the city. This was barely done
when the whistle of the approaching train was
“ Here’s your suitcase, Al,” said Frazer hastily.
166 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
“ And here — don’t forget your raincoat/’ added
As he hastily threw the coat over Barnes’ arm
something dropped out of the pocket. A dozen
boys knocked heads as they stooped to pick it
up, and as many voices cried out in one breath,
“The pen! AVs pen!” Barnes himself stared
at the pen, his face burning red.
“ I — I can’t see how it came there,” he stam-
mered as he slipped it into his pocket. “ Some
one must ”
But the scorn in the faces around him was too
much. In very shame he left the sentence unfin-
ished, and was glad to hide himself in the train
that drew up to the station at the moment. With
a hasty good-bye he stumbled up the steps and
vanished within the car.
The boys on the platform did not stop to send
even a glance after the departing train. Nobody
gave a thought to Barnes then. They were all
eager to overtake Billy and bring him back to
The station agent looking after the little com-
pany swinging rapidly down the road, wondered
more than a little about the runaway they were
all evidently so anxious to overtake.
They were anxious. Every boy in the troop
now was eager to make up to Billy for the in-
justice that had been done him.
“ If only he’d worn tracking irons so we could
trace him,” Jack said, “ but all the footprints look
alike here, and we wouldn’t know Billy’s, any-
A CHANGE OF PROGRAM 16?
The Master said little as they marched. He
had not fully realised before how much he had
grown to care for this boy of the streets, but
now, facing the possibility of seeing him give
up in discouragement and despair the ground he
had won so hardly, Alan Marshall told himself
that he could not let this boy go — he must be
found. He must be helped ; and as he looked into
the earnest faces of the boys, and caught now
and then a sentence or two, he knew that if Billy
could be found now and brought back, his place
in the troop henceforth would be quite different
from what it had been.
But as the hours slipped by it began to look as
if they would not overtake Billy. There was no
sign of him anywhere along the lonely country
road. No one in the few scattering houses they
passed had seen such a boy go by. Where the
road crossed the railroad track they halted, and
the Scout Master and two of the older boys went
a mile up the track, but met no lonely figure
trudging along the ties. Returning to the cross-
ing they held a council while they ate their
“ We can’t walk much farther,” the Master
said, with a glance at Jack’s troubled face, already
a little weary. “ The next station is four miles
on. We’ll march that far and go back by rail.
There’ll be the mile and a half, you know, to
walk even then to the camp. The only alternative
is for the younger boys to go back from here
in charge of Hart, and you older boys, or some
of you, go on with me to the next station be-
168 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
yond; but that would be a long march for any
of you — too long, I’m afraid.”
“ Oh, don’t send us back, Mr. Marshall. I’m
not a bit tired/’ one of the younger boys begged,
and all the others were eager to go on. But
the Master was firm. Not even for Billy could
he risk letting any of the hoys overdo.
It was Jack who, with a long sigh, said at last,
“ I’m not tired, truly, and I do want to go on till
we find — Billy. But if some of the big fellows
can go farther with Mr. Marshall, if we go back,
why, I’ll ” He swallowed hard, then added
with a brave smile, “ I’ll volunteer — to go back,”
his voice a trifle shaky on the last word.
“ And I’ll go back with him,” added another
of the younger boys; and then, with manifest
reluctance, four others agreed to turn back.
“ Thank you, boys,” the Master said. “ I know
well that it is a sacrifice for you to go back.
You all want to go on with us, but you are really
doing more for Billy by turning back now than
you could do by going on. Sidney, I will ask
you to go back with them.”
There was a shadow of disappointment on
Sidney’s face, but he said only, “ Very well, sir,
we’ll start at once,” and immediately the little
company fell into line; but Jack, darting back,
said to the Master, “ You’ll tell Billy, if — if you
find him — that we wanted to go on with you,
won’t you ? ”
“ I surely will,” the Master answered, and a
moment later the divided troop was marching in
A CHANGE OF PROGRAM 169
The day had grown hot and sultry, and as the
boys walked mile after mile, the unshaded road
seemed to stretch out endlessly before them.
Now and then a patch of woods gave welcome
shade, and the Master would call a halt for a
few minutes’ rest, or for a drink from some little
brook that went singing along over a pebbly bed.
Once they stopped at a farmhouse, and the
farmer’s wife emptied for them her just-filled
cooky jar, and with the cookies brought out big
pitchers of creamy milk ; and once they all
stopped and, taking off shoes and stockings,
bathed feet as well as faces in a noisy little
stream that crossed the road. But it was a weary
company that trudged over the last miles to the
station, and not a trace had been found of the
boy they were seeking.
“ Maybe he didn’t take the road to the
city, after all,” Wilson Harding suggested at
“ But the city is the only place he knows,” the
Master said. “ He surely wouldn’t wander fur-
ther into the country. He knew the direction of
“ I don’t see then why we haven’t come across
him. He couldn’t have walked faster than we
have,” said Frazer.
“ Not as fast, probably,” the Master agreed.
“ But remember he had a long start.”
“ That’s so — but no breakfast to travel on,
and no lunch.”
“ No, and a heavy heart to carry besides,” said
the Master. “ Of course there is still the chance
170 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
that he went along the railroad — he would
have known that that would be the shortest
“ Well, must we give him up then and take the
cars back ? ” asked Wilson anxiously.
“What else can we do? You’ve walked as
far as you ought to in one day, and I don’t want
the younger boys left at the camp overnight, al-
though of course it’s safe enough.”
“ You’ll have a pile of railroad fares to pay
for all of us. Let me pay mine, anyhow,” Wil-
son said, but the Master shook his head.
“ Don’t worry over the fares,” he replied.
“ That’s a small matter. It is the boy I’m think-
“ Isn’t that the station ? ” Miller pointed to a
small building far ahead.
“ I hope so,” the Master answered. “ We shall
have an hour or more to wait for the up-train,
but you can rest there.”
At sunset all the boys at the camp were anx-
iously looking for the return of the rest of the
troop, but Jack was the first to catch a glimpse
of the little company coming wearily up the
road. He flew down to meet them, but his face
clouded when he saw that Billy was not with
“ No, Kid, we didn’t find him, but I’ve got a
plan,” Wilson said. “ I must talk it over with
Sid. Billy will be found to-morrow. Just keep
quiet now till we’ve rested a bit and had some
supper, then I’ll answer all your questions.”
So Jack subsided, and marched in silence by
A CHANGE OF PROGRAM 171
his brother’s side, his small face very sober
It was again a silent company that gathered
about the tables a little later, for everybody was
tired. The cooks, however, had prepared an
extra good supper, and when it was over and the
boys stretched out comfortably on the grass, the
day’s search was talked over, and Wilson’s plan
discussed. This was — that Sidney should go
back to the city in the morning and, taking his
father’s car with the chauffeur, should return to
camp by the road, in the hope of meeting Billy
somewhere on the way. It seemed the best plan,
under the circumstances, and Sidney was eager
to carry it out. Wilson would have gone with
him but for Jack, and it was finally decided that
Don Frazer should go.
So the next day the two boys took the morn-
ing train, and there was nothing for the re-
mainder of the troop to do but await their re-
turn and hope for their success.
“ Now, boys,” the Master said, when Sidney
and Don had been sent off with the troop call by
way of farewell, “ I know you don’t feel like play
this morning, but we must keep busy, so what
do you say to doing our bit of engineering
“ I don’t much care what we do so long as we
do something. I can’t stand waiting. Yesterday
was about a hundred hours long, while we waited
for you to get back,” one of the boys said.
“ Well, then, we’ll get to work. It will be a
great convenience to have our own water supply
172 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
right here at the camp. Mr. Mason, with whose
well Miller is acquainted, has on hand a quantity
of piping which he is willing to sell me at a fair
price. We can dig a channel from the spring to
the camp and lay those pipes, and so have a sup-
ply of good water without the daily task of bring-
ing it in pails.”
“ Good ! Good ! ” shouted Miller, springing to
his feet. “ Fm for the piping. How about shov-
els, Mr. Scout Master ? ”
“ The lack of shovels is going to bother us
some, but you can take the digging by turns.
We have two shovels, and the farmer can lend
us two more — we shall have to get on the best
way we can with those. Now I want volunteers
to go over to the farm for the pipes — they are
All the boys being volunteers, the Master sent
the older ones for the pipes, while he, with the
help of the others, marked out the shortest and
easiest line from the spring. Bringing water
twice a day from the farm or the spring had
been the task most disliked by the boys, and they
were all ready to do their part in this small bit of
“ engineering.” The ditch was dug by relays of
workers, the pipes laid, and a rough stone basin
set to hold the water at the camp, and all was
completed before supper time. But though they
threw themselves into the work with enthusiasm,
the boys did not forget Billy; and when after
supper they gathered as usual under the sunset
light, their talk was much of him and of Sidney’s
A CHANGE OF PROGRAM 173
“ Sid would get to the city before eleven
o’clock and they could run back here in three or
four hours,” Wilson said.
“ Then they’ll surely be back here before dark
— don’t you think?” Taylor inquired of the
“ I hardly expect them so soon,” he answered.
“ You see, they will not put on speed because
they will want to search carefully all the way.”
“ Oh, that’s so — of course they must go slow,”
“ And if they don’t find Billy anywhere on the
road ? ” Clark asked.
“ There is nothing we can do then but wait and
see if he gets back to the city. I mean, keep
some one on the lookout for him there.”
“ And then bring him back ? ”
“ Certainly — if he will come.”
“Oh! Do you think he wouldn’t want to?”
Jack cried out anxiously.
The Scout Master shook his head and made no
other reply. Jack slipped closer to his brother,
resting his hand on Wilson’s knee. Jack felt
the need of comforting to-night, for there was
an ache in his heart. He could not help thinking
that if he had not driven Billy away when Don
Frazer was telling that fascinating Indian story
— all this might not have happened. Jack felt
that he understood Billy better than any one else
— except perhaps the Scout Master — and he was
right. So the Kid’s heart was heavy with re-
morse as well as anxiety. “If only old Billy
will come back and give me a chance to make it
174 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
up to him ! ” Jack said to himself many times
Bedtime was delayed an hour in the hope that
Sidney might come, and the Master kept the
boys interested in the story of a winter spent by
three men in one of the great canyons of the
West where a deep river flings its dark waters
over falls grander than those of Niagara — a thou-
sand feet below the surface. These men de-
scended into the great ravine in the fall, knowing
that they could not possibly get out again until
spring. It was a stirring tale of heroic adven-
ture and endurance in the cause of science, and
the hearts of the young listeners were thrilled
“ Half-past ten,” the Master announced, look-
ing at his watch by the light of the moon just
rising big and red. “ Now all to bed and to
sleep in the hope of good news in the morning.”
Reluctantly but promptly the order was
obeyed, and soon the camp was silent. But in
one tent, the youngest of the troop lay long
awake, his ears strained to catch the sound of a
big motor. Through the open door of the tent
he could see a tall figure walking back and forth
in the moonlight, and he knew that the Master
too was watching and listening for the car that
did not come.
A LONELY TRAMP
W HEN Billy left the big: tent, he had
walked slowly across to the fire-
place where Jenkins and Finnegan
were putting things in order for the night.
Neither of the boys spoke to him, and after stand-
ing about a few minutes, he wandered over to
a group who were eagerly discussing some of
the requirements for a First Class badge. Here
again no one spoke to Billy, and when he asked
a question, Taylor gave him a curt reply and
turned his back. So presently, with a sigh,
Billy walked away. He hovered on the edge of
one group after another, but nobody gave him
a welcome, and he fancied that they all looked
at him coldly or suspiciously.
“ I guess nobody wants me. Dey all t’ink Fm
a t’ief yet/’ he muttered to himself. Billy’s lan-
guage had improved wonderfully since he joined
the Scouts, but still he often dropped back into
the old street talk, and oftenest when he was un-
happy. He stood for a while a lonely figure,
leaning against a tree-trunk in the shadows, and
looking longingly across to another group — Jack
and his brother and Sidney Hart with their heads
together over a sheet of paper on which the fire-
176 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
light shone. Billy longed to join them, but his
heart was too sore to risk another rebuff. Wilson
and Sidney had been very kind to him lately, and
Jack — something suddenly swelled in the boy’s
throat and choked him. He could stand it if all
the others cold-shouldered him, but if the Kid
should, that he couldn’t stand. And of course
they’d told the Kid about that fountain pen of
Barnes’ Billy stuffed his hands deep in his
pockets and fingered something in one of them.
He did not go over to Jack then. He slipped
down on the ground and sat there with his back
against the tree — thinking as he had never
thought before; and all the time there was that
queer ache in his heart. Billy didn’t say to him-
self that it was in his heart, but he knew that it
was somewhere inside him, and that it hurt worse
even than the hungry ache he used to have when
he went without breakfast or dinner because his
pockets were empty.
And then even Jack failed him. The way of it
was this: Don Frazer had a wonderful gift as
a story-teller, and on this evening Jack had
coaxed him to tell a real Indian story. So
when Don appeared, Jack slipped away from his
brother and Sidney and snuggled down in the
moonlight beside Don, who began a realistic tale
of two white children captured by Indians and
carried off, and how they were finally recovered.
In the most thrilling part of the story, Don
stopped abruptly and said, “ There’s somebody
coming for you, Jack.”
“ Oh, I can’t go yet! ” cried Jack, and without
A LONELY TRAMP 177
looking around he waved his hand behind him
and called impatiently, “Do go away, please!
I’ll come in a few minutes — soon as Don tells
me the rest of this story.” Then to Frazer he
added, “ Hurry and tell how they got the chil-
dren away — before Will comes for me again.”
“ It wasn’t Wilson — it was Billy Burns,” Don
“ Oh ! ” Jack cast a quick, regretful glance
over his shoulder after Billy, who had already
turned away — but the lure of the story was too
strong. “ Never mind,” he said, “ I’ll s’plain
to him after you finish. Go on, Don — please !”
Don proceeded with the thrilling tale, but Jack
did not give the same absorbed attention as be-
fore. Half his mind was following Billy wander-
ing off alone into the shadows; and the minute
the story was ended, Jack sprang up and with a
quick, “ Thank you, Don — that was a bully
story,” he ran off in search of Billy. But he
could not find him, and Jenkins finally told him
Billy had gone to bed, and as it was against the
rules to go into any sleeping-tent at night, except
one’s own, Jack had to leave his explanation until
And Billy — when even Jack did not want him
— had wandered forlornly around the camp,
catching a word here and there as he passed the
various groups; but still nobody noticed him or
called to him, and the feeling of loneliness grew
on him. He did not realise that he kept in the
shadows so that few really saw who it was ; and
it must be confessed that some who did see were
178 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
not quite sure that Billy had not seen the missing
pen. Even Nolan, his patrol leader, made no
reply when Billy asked him a question, and that
was the last straw.
“ ’Tain’t no use — I can’t make it,” the boy told
himself wearily ; and it was then that he crept off
to bed. He was up again in a moment, fumbling
in the dark about the clothes he had taken off,
and when he got into bed a second time, he had
a piece of red ribbon clasped tight in one hand.
It was the bit of vivid scarlet that Jack had tied
into his buttonhole that Saturday so long ago.
That scrap of silk had meant to Billy more than
he could possibly put into words. It stood for
his “ chance ” — his friendship with the Kid —
those first happy scouting days.
When at last Billy slept, his stubby fingers still
held fast the scrap of scarlet ribbon, and it was
there when he awoke while the soft shadows of
early dawn yet lingered over the camp. Usually
if awake early, he would slip silently down to
the lake for a morning wash-up; but to-day
he stood for a moment looking out over the silent
camp; then from a box under his cot he took
out his old jacket and trousers and slipped them
on. Moving very carefully so as not to awaken
Jenkins in the next cot, he made up his bed, tuck-
ing in the covers neatly and smoothing the pillow
according to camp rules. Taking up his scout
uniform he folded it with scrupulous care and
laid it on the bed, his hat and staff beside it.
Then for a long time he stood looking down at
these things that he had worn with so much pride
A LONELY TRAMP
and pleasure. Nobody knew how much it had
meant to him — that uniform — but Billy knew;
and in leaving it there on his cot, he felt as if
he were leaving a part of himself — the best part.
At last he drew a long sighing breath, swept one
swift glance about the tent, his eyes lingering
for a moment on Sullivan’s freckled face — he
liked Sullivan better than any other of the Tigers
— then he stepped silently out.
It was growing lighter now. Soon the sun
would be up and the camp a-stir. Billy knew he
must not linger, but he slipped quietly over to
the other side of the camp, to the tent where
Jack and his brother and Sidney were sleeping.
He knew just where the Kid’s cot stood, and
there outside the tent he stopped for a moment,
and on his rough, homely face there was a look
that for the moment quite transformed it. Only
for a moment he lingered; then there was a
movement in the tent ; somebody stirred and
yawned, and instantly Billy was gone — vanishing
silently like a shadow among the trees. He knew
the points of the compass — knew which way to
go to reach the city, and he struck off at a steady
But something seemed pulling him back to the
camp. After a few minutes his pace slackened,
and presently he stopped and looked back over
his shoulder. He had remembered the plans for
a long day in the open — the chase and the treas-
ure hunt. That treasure hunt especially had ap-
pealed to Billy — he and Jack had talked a lot
about the fun of a treasure hunt. Now Jack
180 SCOU'r MASTER OF TROOP 5
would be in it, but he would not. Anyhow, he
could wait and see them set off — that much, at
least, he might have. Turning, he hurried back,
casting swift glances about till he found a great
oak with wide-reaching branches and thick
foliage. Into this he climbed, finding a fairly
comfortable seat with his back against the trunk.
No one would see him there, but peering through
the leaves he could see the tents, though he
was too far off to hear distinctly. By-and-bye
he saw the slim boyish figures coming out of the
tents and trailing down to the lake for the morn-
ing plunge. He named them one after another
— Miller and Clark, Frazer, Nolan and Jenkins
and Sullivan, and then Jack and his brother, and
behind them the Scout Master and all the others.
Only a few minutes and the boys were back, and
soon they were dressed and crowding about the
fireplace, jollying the cooks and clamouring for
breakfast. Breakfast ! Billy had not thought of
that before. Now he realised that he too wanted
breakfast. But he must go hungry this morning
with a fifty-mile walk before him. He broke
off some oak leaves and chewed them, but found
them a poor substitute for pancakes and bacon
And there was Barnes all dressed, but not in
uniform, and a lot of the boys crowding about
him. Suddenly Billy saw Barnes’ hand shoot
out and something flew through the air and into
the group of boys, and there was a sudden
clamour of shouts that sounded angry. Billy
wanted dreadfully to know what it was all about.
A LONELY TRAMP 181
Then came the call to breakfast and a stampede
for the big tent.
Billy was cramped and uncomfortable, but still
he lingered. He must see them start off on the
treasure hunt. Maybe Jack would miss him,
and the Master; yes, the Master. Billy's eyes
filled as he thought of the Master who had al-
ways been so kind. And suddenly he saw the
Master come out of the dining-tent and hurry
over to the one where he — Billy — had slept. The
boy caught his breath. He would know now.
The folded uniform and hat and staff would tell
him what Billy had meant them to tell. The
minutes seemed long to the boy before the Scout
Master came out of the tent. Then all the boys
crowded about him — they were talking over the
chase and the treasure hunt, of course. They
seemed in a great hurry to be off. Well, wasn’t
that what Billy had come back for — to see the
start? But it was not such a start as he had
expected, after all, and they went off so soberly
and all together, marching down the road with
Barnes lugging his suitcase. Billy was puzzled.
Maybe Barnes was going home, and the others
were just going with him to the station, and
start from there for the day’s fun. That must
be it, he decided.
When they were gone he slipped down from
the tree and set off slowly in the same direction,
but keeping in the woods which bordered the
road all the way to the station. When he came
in sight of the station, the train had gone, and
he saw the khaki-clad company just disappearing
182 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
around a turn in the road far ahead. He
couldn’t understand it. It never occurred to him
that the day’s plans had been set aside on his
account, and that the troop was searching for
him — for him — just Billy Burns whom nobody
cared about, or wanted. So Billy trailed wearily
along behind the troop. It grew hot as the sun
mounted higher in the clear sky, and Billy began
to feel that wretched aching void that he had
been used to in the old days when he ate if he
had money and fasted if he had none.
He was hungry now, and his pockets were
empty. Some bushes in a pasture near the road
hung thick with blueberries. Billy ate as many
as he could and then filled his pockets. But he
found berries rather light food to travel on. He
could not estimate the distance he walked —
these miles of lonely country road, with only now
and then a farmhouse, seemed to him intermina-
ble. And there were fifty of them stretching
out between the camp and the city! Billy’s
feet, unaccustomed to country roads, grew weary
quickly, and began to swell and burn. He
trudged on doggedly, hopelessly, for what was
there before him when the fifty long miles were
passed? Only the streets — the old life and the
old struggles. There was Barney — yes, but
Barney meant also the gang, and the gang no
longer attracted Billy.
It was growing dark when he came to the sta-
tion where, an hour earlier, the Scout Master
and the boys had taken the train back to camp.
There was no one there now. No train would
A LONELY TRAMP 183
be along until morning, and the agent had locked
up and gone home. Over the crest of a hill the
boy saw a chimney and a bit of a roof. Smoke
was rising from the chimney — there must be
some one there. Maybe some one who would
give him something to stop that hungry gnawing
in his stomach. Billy followed a little path that
straggled across a pasture and up over the slope
and brought him finally to the cottage whose
chimney had invited him. As he paused doubt-
fully at the kitchen door, a woman opened it and
asked what he wanted.
Billy never had begged for food, and he hesi-
tated for a moment. Then he stammered, “ I —
I’m hungry ”
“ Goodness ! ” exclaimed the woman, and dis-
appeared, but she had not refused him, and Billy
dropped down on the step and waited. In a few
minutes the woman came to him with a bowl of
milk, warm and foamy, some bread and butter,
and a big slice of gingerbread.
“ Will that do?” she asked.
“ Gee l ” was all Billy’s tongue could find to
say, but his grateful eyes said much more.
“ I never yet turned a hungry human away
from my door and I hope I never shall,” the
woman said, and watched with satisfaction as the
boy ate. “ Where you from, and where you go-
ing ? ” she asked when the bowl was empty and
the plate nearly so.
“ Goin’ to the city,” Billy told her.
“ All the way afoot? ”
184 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
“ Well, I reckon you’ll be some tired ’fore you
get there. Where you going to sleep to-night ? ”
“ Just out. It’s warm,” Billy answered.
“ Ye-es, but— there’s our old barn over yon-
der,” she flung out her arm to indicate it. “ It’s
most empty, but I guess there’s enough straw in
the loft for you to sleep on, and it’s better than
Billy nodded his thanks. “ You’re mighty
good to me,” he said, and went over to the
Stretched on the straw he was soon asleep, but
in the middle of the night he started up suddenly,
startled by a fearful sound above his head. As
he listened it came again, and then he fell back
with . a laugh. It was only an owl. Billy had
heard one at the camp and knew the cry ; but the
sound sent his thoughts back to the Owl Patrol
— to Jack and the Master — and a great loneliness
gripped him. He had never before been all alone
like this — never in his life. When he had slept
out in city streets there were always passers-by —
policemen, other vagrant boys like himself; but
here he felt miles away from every living soul,
especially — oh, yes, especially from the Kid and
the Scout Master. Suddenly Billy buried his
face in his arms and sobbed all alone in the dark-
ness. There was nobody to jeer at him — nobody
to care. He sobbed out all his loneliness and
heart-sickness and then he felt better, only so
tired — tired as he never had been before in all
He slept again after a while and when he
A LONELY TRAMP 185
awoke it was broad daylight and the woman was
standing beside him.
“ Come, it’s most seven o’clock,” she said.
“ I’ve got some breakfast for you before you
He followed her down the ladder-like stairs
from the loft and over to the house. There was
a basin of water and a towel on the steps, and
he felt better when he had washed his face and
hands. But he was not hungry this morning.
The coffee with thick cream looked so good, but
the smell of it sickened him, and he ate but a
few mouthfuls of bread.
“ You sick? ” the woman demanded anxiously.
“ No, only tired,” he told her.
“ Well, I’m sorry you can’t eat. Mebbe you
walked too far yesterday in the heat and got
over-tired,” she answered.
Billy nodded wearily. “ Mebbe so,” he agreed,
and got up to go.
“ You better walk slowly and keep in the shade
all you can,” the woman said, and stood in the
door watching him as he went.
“ That boy certainly did look sick,” she said
to herself. “ I hope it isn’t anything catching.
He looked kind o’ pitiful, too, somehow.”
After that the day was mostly a blank to Billy.
He seemed to be walking, walking, on a never-
ending road where he must walk forever with
the hot sun always beating down upon him, the
dust-clouds floating around him. His blistered
feet burned like fire, and his head — something
was wrong with his head, for it seemed to be
186 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
swelling all the time. He was not hungry, but
at every brook he came to he stopped to drink,
for his throat was burning like his feet. It was
a lonely road; all day he stumbled on, meeting
only two or three teams. The driver of one
called out to him, but Billy did not understand
what he said, and only shook his head as he
The sun was setting when he came to a tumble-
down cottage, long deserted. Suddenly Billy
knew that he could go no farther, and with a
long sigh of utter weariness he dropped down
on the broken steps and leaned his head against
the doorframe. It seemed quiet and peaceful
and very restful to the tired boy. All about him
was a mass of the pale pink flowers that the
country people call “ bouncing-bet.” It had over-
grown all the garden that had once been there,
and grew waist high up to the very doorsteps.
A little breeze blowing over it set the pink blos-
soms nodding. To the dazed, bewildered brain
of the boy, they seemed to be nodding and beck-
oning to him. He reached out a shaking hand
towards them, and then suddenly a black cloud
blotted out the nodding blossoms and the sum-
mer twilight, and without a sound Billy slipped
down among the thick clustering masses of
bloom, and lay very still, a half smile on his
lips, as if the pink flowers that bent above his
head were whispering kind promises in his ears.
O N reaching the city Sidney and Frazer had
found the car waiting at the station, a tel-
egram having announced their coming.
Mr. Hart himself was at the gate, but one glance
at his son’s face lifted a load of anxiety from his
heart. There was nothing wrong with his boy
this time, he was sure. A few words made the
situation clear to him, and his first impulse was
one of amusement at all this fuss and anxiety
over a boy like Billy Burns. But a moment’s
study of Sidney’s face banished all sense of
amusement. He saw that for some unaccount-
able reason, Sidney was deeply interested in
this runaway street arab and exceedingly
anxious to find him. Besides he saw a great
change in his son. He looked vastly better
physically, and there was a new expression in
his face — something alert and eager — quite dif-
ferent from the gloom and despondency that
had followed his accident, or the restlessness
that had preceded it. Evidently something — the
scouting, the camp life, or maybe the Scout
Master — something had aroused the boy and
shaken him out of himself. If he wanted to
motor fifty or sixty miles over country roads
188 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
hunting for a runaway, why, let him of course.
So Mr. Hart thought as he watched the faces
of the two boys and listened to the story as
they told it.
“ Then you want to go right back ? ” he asked.
“ Instanter ! ” returned Sidney.
“ But there’s no such hurry as that,” his
father answered. “ The boy couldn’t possibly
have gotten anywhere near the city yet, walk-
ing all the way. We’ll stop and get some dinner
“ We-ell,” Sidney agreed reluctantly, but con-
ceding the wisdom of the proposal as he realised
that he was hungry.
So they went up to the house, which, though
many of the rooms were closed, Mrs. Hart being
away for the summer, was yet kept open and
comfortable for the banker, who spent only the
week-ends away with his wife.
“ Say, Sid, kind of good to get into a bath-
room again, isn’t it!” Frazer called, as he
plunged face and hands into the marble basin,
and then caught up a big towel.
“ Not so good as a swim in the lake,” Sidney
answered, as he turned on the hot water in an-
But though they enjoyed the mid-day meal,
and especially the ices that had been hastily
ordered for their especial benefit, both boys
were eager to be on the road, and seeing this,
Mr. Hart would not delay them; so, soon after
two o’clock, the car was at the door.
“ Good-bye, father. I’ll send the car right
back,” Sidney said, but his father laughed, and
followed him into the car.
“ Hope you don’t object to my company,”
he said, “ because I intend to go along on this
“ Oh, I’m glad, father,” Sidney replied so
heartily that a quick smile flashed over his
The big car swept smoothly through the city
and the suburbs, and was soon out on the open
“ We’d eat up those sixty miles in no time
if we could put on speed,” Sidney said to Don.
“ But after we get on a bit, I suppose we must
slow down and watch out.”
Frazer assented. He was enjoying the swift,
smooth motion, but he was as anxious as Sidney
to really begin the search for Billy.
“If he’s been walking all these two days he
must be pretty well used up by now,” he said.
“ Especially as he started off hungry,” added
“ I don’t quite understand why you are both
so much interested in this runaway boy,” Mr.
Hart said curiously. “ How about it ? ”
It was then that he heard Billy’s story, one
boy adding what the other omitted, until all
was told, ending with the finding of Barnes’
fountain pen as he boarded the car.
“ So ! ” Mr. Hart nodded. “ I begin to un-
derstand. The youngster has been putting up
a plucky fight against heavy odds, and you feel
that he didn’t have a fair show in this pen
190 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
business. Barnes must be something of a cad.”
“ All of that,” Sidney agreed, “ but we’ve
gotten rid of him — that’s one good thing.”
Ten miles further on, the banker told Sales,
the chauffeur, to slow down. “ Your boy might
have gotten a ride part of the way, and so
covered more ground,” he said to the boys.
So the car went slowly and four pairs of
eyes searched the roadsides for the missing boy,
and at every one of the few houses on the road
they stopped to make inquiries, but no one had
seen such a boy as they described. On and on,
mile after mile they went, until Frazer cried
out, “ There’s the station where we stopped.
We took the cars back to camp from there.”
“ Then we must have missed him somehow,”
replied Sidney, his eyes more troubled and
anxious than ever.
“ There’s always the possibility that he walked
the ties — on the railroad,” Frazer reminded.
As they stopped the car at the station, now
closed for the night, they saw coming towards
them a horse and buggy, with a woman driving.
“ I suppose it’s no use asking her — nobody
seems to have seen him,” Frazer said despond-
ently, but Mr. Hart replied:
“ We won’t miss any possible chance. I’ll —
her horse is afraid of the car ! ” he added with
a quick change of tone, and the next moment
was out of the car, running to her assistance.
When he had led the skittish young horse past
the car, he stood for a few minutes talking
with the woman.
“ There’s a trace of your boy at last,” he
said when he came back. “ He slept in that
woman’s barn last night and she gave him supper
and offered him breakfast, but he didn’t want it.
She thought he looked sick.”
“ And he came down the road this way ? ”
Sidney asked eagerly.
“Yes. She lives up over the hill yonder.
We must have passed him somewhere unless —
you don’t think he could have gone back to the
camp ? ”
No, both boys were sure that he would not
have gone back.
“ Then we’ll turn back here and search care-
fully for five or six miles. If he was sick, as
the woman believes, he couldn’t have gone very
far, I should think.”
So they went back slowly, and just as the
sun was dropping below the western hills they
came in sight of the deserted cottage with
its garden overgrown with bouncing-bet. The
house stood a little way back from the road and
there was no sign of life around it.
“ Wonder if he could have stopped there,”
Frazer suggested doubtfully.
“ No harm to take a look at it,” Sidney re-
plied, and was out of the car as he spoke.
Brushing through the thick beds of pink and
green, he stopped suddenly and cried out:
“ Oh, he’s here. Come quick, father ! ”
In a moment his father and Don were beside
him, looking down at the quiet face with the
pink blossoms leaning over it. Both boys stood
192 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
silent while Mr. Hart knelt beside the still
“ He’s alive,” he said after a moment, “ but
there’s something wrong with him — he’s uncon-
scious. Sales,” he called to the chauffeur,
“ come and help me lift him.” And Billy
was lifted very carefully and carried to the
“ How far back was that village where we
saw the doctor’s sign?” Mr. Hart asked, and
the chauffeur thought it was about ten miles.
“ Then get over those ten miles as fast as
you can make it,” was the order.
The order was obeyed. The car seemed fairly
to fly, yet the time appeared very long to the
two boys looking down at the motionless figure
“ He must have been there when we came by
before,” Frazer said in a low tone, and Sidney
Fortunately they found the doctor in his office,
and Billy was carried in and laid on a lounge,
while Mr. Hart in a few words told how he
came to be there. Again the minutes seemed
endless to the two boys while the doctor ex-
amined the unconscious boy and worked over
him, but it was not really very long before
Billy opened his eyes and stared at the faces
about him; but there was no recognition in his
glance even when Sidney spoke to him.
The doctor pronounced it a case of sunstroke.
“ It was pretty hot yesterday and hotter to-day,”
he said, “ and this boy has been walking, you
say, along this sunny road in the heat without
proper food or rest. He looks to me as if he
had never been properly nurtured — irregular
meals and not too many of them, I should say
— and out in all weathers probably. That kind
of life doesn’t give a boy the strength and power
of endurance he needs when he gets to be about
the age of this one — fourteen or fifteen, isn’t
“ About that,” Sidney answered.
The doctor lifted Billy’s right hand. It was
tightly closed over a bit of scarlet ribbon.
“ Seems to be something he prizes highly,”
remarked the doctor, and behind his broad back
Sidney’s eyes met Frazer’s in a quick glance
of understanding. They knew how the boy
came by that bit of silk. But to think that it
had meant so much to him!
“ Do you think he is in for a fit of sickness ? ”
Mr. Hart inquired.
The doctor shook his head. “ No, a few days
of rest and quiet 1 and care will probably set him
right. I’ll give you some medicine for him.
He will be likely to sleep all night and perhaps
most of to-morrow, and that will be the best
thing for him.”
“ Then it will be all right to carry him in the
car for an hour or two ? ”
“Yes, if you can let him lie down.” He
opened Billy’s mouth and gave him some medi-
cine. “ He’ll be asleep in a few minutes,” he
added, and almost immediately the boy’s eyes
closed and he lay motionless as before. Then
194 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
he was carried gently out and laid again on the
thick rugs in the bottom of the car.
Mr. Hart paid the doctor’s fee, slipped into
an inner pocket the little bottle of medicine he
had prepared, and then the car rolled away into
the soft summer darkness — its big lights flash-
ing through the night. It was nearly eleven
when it flew past the little station nearest the
camp, and the remaining mile and a half was
passed in a few minutes.
“ Here we are ! ”
“ Here’s the camp ! ” the two boys cried out
together, and the next moment the white tents
flashed out of the darkness, and the Scout Mas-
ter was beside the car; but the question on his
lips was unspoken and his face whitened at
sight of the still form stretched out on the rugs.
Sidney spoke hastily. “ He’s asleep, Mr.
Marshall — that’s all,” and in a few words the
story was told.
“ We’ll put his cot in the small tent with me,”
the Master said, “ where Barnes was.”
“ We’ll carry it over. — Come, Sid,” Frazer
said, and the Master called after them:
“ Bring the cot here — we can carry him better
As with careful hands they lifted Billy from
the car and laid him on the cot, a slender little
figure came swiftly out of the shadows, and
cold, trembling fingers slipped into the Master’s
hand that closed over them with a warm, re-
“ It’s all right, Jack. Billy is sick, but he’ll
be all right I think in a day or two. You’d
better run back to bed.”
Jack turned away obediently, but the car lights
and the voices had aroused the camp, and
pa jama-clad boys were popping out, and eager
questions and answers were passing from tent
to tent. By the time Billy’s cot was placed in
the Master’s tent, every boy in the troop was
crowding about Sidney and Don to hear how and
where Billy had been found. As soon, how-
ever, as the Master had satisfied himself that
the village doctor had been right about the boy,
he cut short the midnight colloquy.
“ Back to bed now, boys,” he ordered. “ You
can hear the rest of the story in the morning;
but now Mr. Hart and these two boys must
have something to eat and then a chance to
get some sleep. Breakfast will be a half-hour
later than usual in the morning. Now, off with
you ! ” and with a flutter of night clothing and
a patter of bare feet, the slim forms vanished
in the darkness of the tents. Low voices con-
tinued to be heard at intervals for the next hour,
from one tent and another, but the Scout Mas-
ter was conveniently deaf to them.
With the skill of the practised camper, the
Master quickly kindled a fire, and soon had hot
clam soup and biscuits, with bread and cold
meat, ready for the newcomers.
“ Plain camp fare,” he said.
“And good enough for anybody,” Mr. Hart
replied as he tasted the hot soup. “ And we are
all hungry enough to appreciate it,” he added,
196 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
with a glance of satisfaction as he saw that
Sidney was rapidly emptying his bowl.
“ And now as to sleeping arrangements,” the
Master said when they left the table. “ If you
don’t mind, Mr. Hart, you can have my cot
in the little tent with Billy — he will not be likely
to awaken for some hours yet — and your chauf-
feur can turn in with the Panthers. They have
one extra cot.”
“ Sounds alarming,” the chauffeur said, “ but
I’m sleepy enough to risk it — panthers or tigers
“ The Tigers are here all right, in another
tent though,” laughed Frazer.
Sidney was looking at the Scout Master and
now he inquired, “ But where will you sleep if
father has your cot ? ”
“ In one of the hammocks. It won’t be the
first time I’ve slept in one,” the Master returned.
AN EXPLORING EXPEDITION
H ALF an hour later the camp was once
more dark and silent, but in spite of
the broken night and the later break-
fast hour, the boys were astir earlier than usual
in the morning. There was a fascination about
that big touring car that some of them found
quite irresistible. To the Tigers it was espe-
cially alluring, and all seven of them, with many
of the Owls and Panthers, were crowded about
it, admiring and examining, when its owner
“ Slept like a top ! ” he said in answer to the
Master’s inquiry. “ And the boy is sleeping
still. Think it’s all right?”
“Yes,” the Master assured him, “I was in
to look at him before you awoke. He’s sleep-
ing naturally now, and I think he will be all
right when he awakes.”
Sullivan, who had been under the car on a
tour of observation and inspection, now bobbed
up with an eager question. The red hair cropped
close about his freckled face, his wide mouth
and merry blue eyes, proclaimed his Irish herit-
age. Mr. Hart looked at him curiously and
from him to the others. Then his eyes fell on
his son’s face, full of life and interest as he
198 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
answered Sullivan’s question about the car —
answered it just as he would have answered
Frazer or Harding— and Mr. Hart wondered
The breakfast was a merry meal, and no one
seemed to enjoy it more than the banker. He
asked all sorts of questions and chuckled over
some of the answers he got to them. He lis-
tened to discussions of plans, and when break-
fast was over, he wrote half a dozen messages
and told Sales to run down to the station and
get them oil.
“ That is,” with the papers in his hand he
turned laughingly to the Scout Master, “ if you’ll
let me stay here with you for a day or two?
I seem to be taking it for granted.”
“We shall be only too happy to have you,”
the Master replied heartily.
“ Well, then,” the banker turned again to the
chauffeur, “ get these off at once.” Then meet-
ing an imploring glance from Sullivan, he
laughed outright. “ Of course, of course,” he
said, “ tumble in here, as many of you as can
get in,” and he held open the door of the car.
Instantly the seven Tigers “ tumbled in,” but
no sooner were they in than they were out again
as if moved by a single spring.
“What — what? What’s the matter?” Mr.
Hart demanded, looking in evident bewilder-
ment from the eager-faced boys to the Master.
The Master smiled at the Tigers. “ I think,”
he explained, “ it is scout courtesy, isn’t it,
boys ? ”
AN EXPLORING EXPEDITION 199
Sullivan nodded ruefully.
“ A Scout must be courteous and kind,” Mr.
Marshall added. “ In other words, he must re-
member that he isn’t the only boy who would
like to ride in a big car.”
“ Oh, that’s it ! ” The banker’s shrewd eyes
softened as he glanced from one longing face
to another. “ Well,” he said, “ you can all have
a turn — the car will be here all day, but you’ll
have to decide for yourselves who’s to go this
“ Let the Tigers go first,” said Sidney. “ I’m
sure the others will agree.”
The others did agree, and instantly the seven
were in the car again, their faces fairly beaming
with delight. Sidney’s face, as he looked after
them, was almost as bright.
“ I guess likely none of them ever rode in a
car before,” he said to his father. “ That’s why
it meant so much to them, and why I wanted
them to go first.”
His father nodded. “ The rest of you can
have a run when they come back,” he promised.
Then as he walked off with the Master, he
spoke earnestly, “ Mr. Marshall, there’s a great
change in my boy. How do you account for
“ Billy is at the bottom of it,” the Master
replied. “ I don’t know how much Sidney has
told you about Billy, but the change in your
son dates from the day he realised what a boy
like Billy has to contend with, and how much
he can help such boys.”
200 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
“Through this scout business, you mean?”
“ Yes. Sidney seemed all at once to catch
the idea of scout brotherhood, and I really think
he has quite as strong a sense of brotherhood
now with the Tigers as with his own friends
in the other patrols.”
Mr. Hart was silent and thoughtful, but pres-
ently he aroused himself and began to ask ques-
tions about the camp and camp life.
“ Oughtn’t you to have a hospital tent ? ” he
asked. “Of course you are liable to accidents
or sickness, and in such cases you might need
to keep a boy away from the others.”
“ That is one of my plans — to have the boys
themselves put up a small building that could
be used in case of sickness or any emergency.”
“ But you don’t want to put up buildings on
somebody else’s land. Who owns this tract?”
“ A man by the name of Marshall owns a
“ Marshall? Any of your family?”
“ Yes. I’m all the family there is,” the Mas-
ter answered with his quiet smile.
“ Oh ! Then it’s your property, and of course
you can do what you like with it.” Again Mr.
Hart was silent and thoughtful. If the Scout
Master owned one hundred acres here by Eagle
Lake, he surely was not a poor schoolmaster, the
banker was thinking. Then he said briskly,
“ I spent several summers in this neighbourhood
years ago, and I’d like to go over some of the
old trails again.”
“ Go on the water, do you mean ? ”
AN EXPLORING EXPEDITION 201
The banker nodded.
“ We have boats and canoes. Would you pre-
fer to go with Sidney alone or with the whole
troop ? ”
“ Oh, with the troop. Those youngsters are
so brimming with life and ‘ go ’ that they make
me forget how long it is since I was just like
them. I want the boys along, of course — every
one of them.”
“ Then we’ll arrange it. We’ve been planning
to explore the lake.”
The banker laughed. “ I spent days and days
one time hunting round these shores for hidden
“ Was there ever a boy who didn’t revel in
a hunt for hidden treasure?”
“Why not have one — to-morrow, say? If
things haven’t changed too much, I can find one
of my old hunting grounds down at the other
end of the lake, and who knows ? There may be
treasure in it by this time.”
The eyes of the two men met, and both
“ But not too much treasure,” the Master said.
“ A very small hoard will answer every pur-
The banker’s eyes twinkled, but he made no
The car returned and went off with another
load of boys, and a third trip carried the re-
mainder. But to the Tigers it meant far more
than to the others. Not one of them had ever
before stepped into such a car. The nearest
202 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
they had come to it was when they sometimes
hung on to the step of one while they sold a
paper to its occupant. Sidney rose immensely
in their estimation because his father owned the
car, and his influence over the Tigers increased
accordingly — which is the way of the world.
Before ten o’clock the exploring expedition
set off. Mr. Hart went with Sidney and Frazer
and the Harding boys in one of the boats — he
was too heavy for a canoe, he said. The Mas-
ter waved farewell to them all from the top of
the bank as the little fleet set off, but he
remained in charge of Billy. Jack, looking
back at him, remarked sorrowfully that it
seemed too bad to go off to explore without
“ Oh, we’ll explore again another day,” Wilson
assured him. “ And Billy won’t mind when he
“ You seem to think a great deal of Billy,
Jack,” Mr. Hart said.
Jack’s quick smile answered before his tongue.
“ Oh, yes. Billy’s a hero!”
“ A hero ? What has he done to make him a
And Jack answered seriously, “ Fought him-
self. The Master says that that’s the hardest
kind of fighting.”
“ I think the Master is right,” returned Mr.
Hart, and over Jack’s yellow head, Sidney’s eyes
and his father’s met in a glance of understand-
The lake was several miles long, and scattered
AN EXPLORING EXPEDITION 203
over it were many small wooded islands. Part
of the way the banks were high and rocky, with
thick woods of pine and oak; and again green
pastures sloped gently down to the shore. The
little flotilla swept over the blue water, the boys
calling across from one boat to another. Then
somebody would begin a catchy song and all
the others would join in the chorus, with more
noise than harmony perhaps, but with undoubted
enjoyment. On the first of the larger islands
they landed and explored it, bringing back leaves
and wild flowers as specimens. Sidney, as as-
sistant Scout Master, was the nominal leader,
but he assumed no authority, and was ready to
follow any suggestion as long as things went
As they approached the lower end of the lake,
Mr. Hart became more alert and interested in
the rocky shore, and finally he pointed out a
“ It’s noon,” he said, “ and I, for one, am
hungry. That looks to me like a good place to
lunch. Ought to be a spring somewhere about
The boys were as willing to land there as
anywhere, and Sidney gave the order. As the
boat he was in grated on the narrow, pebbly
beach of the little inlet, his father scrambled
out so hastily that he barely escaped a tumble,
but he joined like a boy in the shout of laughter
that went up as the water splashed over his
feet, and he was the first to climb the bank.
When the boys followed, he had disappeared,
204, SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
but in a few minutes he came back, his cap
on the back of his head, and his face flushed
under his grey hair.
“ I've found it,” he announced. “ I was sure
there was a spring about here. The water’s
clear and ice-cold.”
“You must be a wizard to find it so quickly.
Did you happen to pick up a hazel twig any-
where?” Wilson laughed.
“ No — no. I’ve — a good nose for water
though,” Mr. Hart replied, with a tantalising
smile which seemed to imply that he could tell
more if he chose. “ And here’s the place for
our fire,” he added. “ Been one here before
from the looks of things,” and he pointed to
some smoke-blackened stones.
The fire was quickly started, and ears of
young corn in the husk put down to roast. It
was too hot for coffee, and the remainder of
the luncheon they had brought needed no cook-
“If the rest of you are half as hungry as
1 am, Marshall ought to double your board
bills,” the banker declared, as he helped himself
to a third sandwich. Sidney, looked at him in
amazement as he sat there with his grey hair
pushed up from his moist forehead, his tie
askew, his cuffs spattered with muddy water.
Surprising his son’s curious glance, he grinned
cheerfully at him over the ear of corn at which
he was nibbling.
“ It’s all right, Sid,” he said. “ I’m off on
AN EXPLORING EXPEDITION 205
But when the lunch was eaten, Mr. Hart
mysteriously disappeared, and it was more than
an hour later that he came hurrying back, his
face redder and his cuffs blacker than Sidney
had ever seen them before.
“We couldn’t imagine what had become of
you, father,” he said. “ We were almost ready
to start a search party.”
“ Humph ! Guess I’m old enough and big
enough to keep track of myself,” Mr. Hart re-
sponded gruffly, but in his eyes there was a
twinkle that might have meant anything.
“ Your father’s great, Sid — I never knew he
could be so jolly,” Wilson said as they went
down to the boats.
“ Nor I,” Sidney answered. “ I think the
camp or the lake or something has bewitched
“ Well, it’s a mighty nice kind of bewitching,
then, and he seems to be getting no end of fun
out of it.”
“ So he does ; but Wilson — he’s got something
or other up his sleeve — I know he has. I saw
it in his eyes.”
“ If it’s up his sleeve, how could you see
it in his eyes?” retorted Wilson, and Sidney
responded to that by splashing a shower of
water over his friend as he picked up his
“ Going further ? ” the banker inquired, as the
boats glided out of the little inlet.
“ Why, I thought you wanted to explore the
whole lake. Wasn’t that what you said?” Sid-
206 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
ney demanded. But his father’s desire for ex-
ploration seemed to have been fully satisfied.
“ Why not leave the rest for another time
when Billy is along — and the Master ? ” he asked.
“ It’s after three, and we might stop at some
of the islands we passed on the way down.”
Seeing that some of the boys looked disap-
pointed, he added, “ Fact is I’ve a little writing
to do between now and supper-time, if I’m go-
ing to tell you this evening the story of a treasure
hunt I had a share in once upon a time.”
“ A treasure hunt ! ” The words awoke the
spirit of adventure in every boy. They pelted
the banker with eager questions, but he laugh-
ingly refused to answer any of them.
“ Not now, not now. Get me back to camp,
and I’ll spin the yarn for you after supper,”
was all he would promise.
At the landing, Jack tumbled hastily out of
the boat and scampered up the bank, eager to
learn how Billy was. The Master beckoned him
into the little tent, and there he found Billy
looking quite like himself, though he was still
“ Oh, Billy, I’m so glad — glad! ” Jack cried,
his blue eyes shining. “ What ever made you
go away so ? ”
“No questions to-day, Jack,” the Master in-
terposed. “ Billy is back with us for good and
that’s the end of it.”
Billy nodded agreement. “ I don’t need to be
stayin’ in bed, but he said I must,” he explained
AN EXPLORING EXPEDITION 207
“ So, like a good Scout, he is obeying orders
without argument/' the Master finished. “ I’m
going to keep him in bed till to-morrow, and
then I think he'll be as good as new. Had a
good time, Jack?”
“ Oh, splendid! If only you and Billy had
been with us. Mr. Hart was just like a big
“ So he was, Jack,” that gentleman agreed,
as he came up with boys straggling on all sides
of him. “ Marshall, it’s fine here — splendid for
the boys. I dropped a score or two of years
into the lake, and played I was no older than
the rest of the crowd.” He turned to the cot.
“ And Billy is himself again, I see. I don’t
believe you remember our introduction yester-
Billy shook his head doubtfully, while the
banker studied the serious face of this boy who
had been cheated out of his boyhood. Some-
thing in the worn, young face appealed to him;
and besides, it was Billy who helped to work
the great change in Sidney.
“ I think you and I must be friends, Billy,”
he said gently, laying his strong hand over one
of Billy’s as it lay on the bedclothes.
Billy said nothing, but the Master looked well
pleased. He knew how much Mr. Hart’s friend-
ship might mean for the boy.
THE PIRATE’S MAP
F OR the next hour Mr. Hart sat by himself
under a big tree busy with paper and
pencil. The car — much to the regret of
the Tigers — had gone back to town — the chauf-
feur carrying a list of things which he was to
bring back the next day. As the call for supper
sounded, the banker folded his papers and
stuffed them into his pocket.
“ Not hungry again, father? ” Sidney asked.
Mr. Hart laughed and his hand dropped across
his son’s shoulder with a pressure that made
Sidney glance up quickly into his father’s face.
That touch indicated a new comradeship.
A cool lake breeze springing up at sunset
gave excuse for a campfire, and the boys gath-
ered about it, calling upon Mr. Hart for the
story he had promised them. Billy’s cot had been
brought over, and he lay there in the firelight,
happy with the Master on one side and Jack
Harding on the other.
The banker, his back against a tree, looked
about at the expectant young faces and laughed.
“ When I was a boy twelve or fourteen years
old,” he began, “ I used to spend my vacations in
this neighbourhood ”
THE PIRATE’S MAP 209
“Oh, ho!” interrupted Sidney. “That’s
how you found the spring so easily to-day ! ”
“ Silence in the court ! ” laughed his father,
and went on, “ There was an old fellow living
down at the other end of the lake who had been
a sailor, and was fond of spinning his yarns to
youngsters like me. One day he told me that the
captain of a pirate ship had spent his last days
near this lake, and it was believed that he had
buried treasure somewhere about it. I asked the
old man if he had ever hunted for the treasure,
and he admitted that he had many times; and
finally one day when he was in an unusually con-
fidential mood, he told me that he had a paper,
found among the pirate’s effects after his
death — a paper that the old sailor believed was
a guide to the buried treasure. But though he
had tried again and again to follow the directions,
he had never succeeded in locating the treasure —
if any there was. So at last he had given up the
search, and he gave me the paper, wishing me
The boys were listening with breathless in-
terest — Sidney even more eager if possible than
the rest. He felt as if he had never really
known his father until now.
“And did you hunt for it, father?” he
prompted as the banker paused.
Mr. Hart laughed under his breath. “ Well,
I was a boy. Do you think I hunted ? ”
“ Yes, yes.” “ Bet you did ! ” “ Of course
you did.” “ Any fellow would — couldn’t help
210 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
it,” they chorused, and Jack implored eagerly:
“ Oh, do tell us, Mr. Hart — quick ! ”
“ Yes, I hunted. I hunted days and I hunted
nights, by sunlight, moonlight, and lantern light.
I worked out those old faded directions in a
dozen different ways, and tried every last one,
and I never got a glimpse of any hidden treas-
ure ” — the boyish faces showed deep disappoint-
ment — “ except — an empty box.”
“ That had held treasure ? ” Sidney demanded.
“ Well, you can form your own opinion. It
was a small iron box, brown with rust, and on
the cover, inside, was a rough drawing of a
skull and crossbones.”
“ The pirate sign ! ” exclaimed Nolan — a lover
of cheap magazine pirate stories.
“ And the box was empty ? ” asked Wilson
“ Quite empty, but ”
“ But what? But what?” cried Jack.
“ But — I made up my mind that if any other
boy ever tried to find that old pirate’s hoard
he should not be utterly disappointed, and
“What? What?” yelled a score of voices.
“ and so,” Mr. Hart went on, “ I put a
silver dollar into that box and buried it again.”
“ Oh, bully ! ” shouted Sullivan. A dollar was
a small fortune to him. “ Mebbe we can find
it when we have our treasure hunt. Have ye
got that paper now, Mr. Hart?”
“ Well, no,” there was a queer expression in
the banker’s eyes, “ no, I haven’t it — with me ;
THE PIRATE’S MAP 211
but I’m pretty sure I remember it, and I made
a copy from memory before supper. Here it
is.” He handed the paper to Sidney, and every
head in the troop except two — the Master’s and
Billy’s — bent over it in the light of the fire.
“ Down where we were to-day,” said Wilson.
“ Not so far from that spring of yours.”
Sidney flung a suspicious glance at his father
over the crowding heads.
“ Not so very,” Mr. Hart agreed.
“ The spring seems to be the starting point,”
“ That’s why I was so anxious to find it,”
Mr. Hart returned. “ I wasn’t sure I could —
it’s a good many years ago, you see.”
“ Hm-m ! ” Sidney surrendered the paper to
Frazer and went over to Billy.
But the other boys studied and questioned
and planned till taps was sounded. Then before
they separated they sang in chorus first “ Amer-
ica ” and then Luther’s splendid battle hymn —
“ A Mighty Fortress is Our God.” The boyish
voices sounded very beautiful in the shadow of
the forest and the stillness of the night, and as
the banker listened his vision broadened, and he
realised the immense possibilities for good — or
evil — bound up in those young lives. And he
understood why a man like Alan Marshall was
willing — was glad, indeed — to give years of his
life to the training of such boys.
SUNNY morning, clear and warm, found
Troop 5 eager for the treasure hunt.
To the Owls and Panthers a silver dol-
lar meant little, but the searching for it — the
finding it — meant a deal of fun. And Sidney
was quite sure that that silver dollar was not
all. He kept his opinion to himself, however,
lest possibly he might be proved a false prophet.
Jack was jubilant, for Billy was up and dressed
and really seemed quite his old self, and the
Master said he might go on the trip. The Mas-
ter, too, was going, the camp being for once left
to take care of itself. Bountiful supplies for
luncheon were taken, and while it was still early
and not too warm, the troop set off gaily from
the landing, each patrol, one after the other,
giving its own call, and then all uniting in the
call of the troop. This time no stop was made
at any of the islands, but plans were made for
future trips to one or another of them that
looked especially attractive.
“ Say, father, how did you spot that inlet
yesterday ? ” Sidney asked when they were ap-
proaching the lower end of the lake. “ There
are so many of them and they are so much alike.”
CONSULTING THE PIRATE’S MAP
K ^Srs ;■ .
• ■ • 1 VJ.
* ‘ , $8k mm
“ Look for a headland with three big pines.
The inlet is just beyond that/’ his father an-
swered, and soon two or three voices sung out,
“ There they are ! ” and a few minutes later
they were all scrambling up the rocky bank.
Half a dozen rough copies of the “ guide ” had
been made by the boys, and each patrol leader
carried one. Billy wanted that silver dollar —
wanted it badly for a special purpose. But the
other Tigers wanted it too, and meant to have it.
The spring was the starting point given.
From there the map said thirty yards due east.
Several boys had brought along their staves —
six feet six inches long — and with these the dis-
tances were measured.
“ Thence north to a big boulder under an old
pine,” Harding read. Keen young eyes searched
for the old pine, but there were so many, and
so many boulders too. “ But north,” reminded
Wilson, and there was a shout as the boys dashed
pell-mell towards a huge old pine whose lower
branches hung over and almost concealed a great
“ Why didn’t it say straight from the
spring to the boulder?” fretted an impatient
“ Never you mind why,” retorted Nolan.
“ ‘ Ours not to question why/ ” quoted Miller
with a laugh. “ ‘ Ours but to do or die ’ — that
is, find the next point,” and he repeated,
“ ‘ Twelve yards southwest to spring/ ”
“ Another spring!” said Taylor, and staves
were quickly laid due southwest till twelve yards
214 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
had been told off. But no sign of a spring was
to be seen.
“ Dry as a bone,” Miller grumbled, rubbing
his hand over the grass.
“ Measure it again,” suggested Frazer, and
once more the staves were laid along the un-
even surface. Back and forth, round and round
the boys circled, hunting for the elusive spring.
Mr. Hart looked on, his hands in his pockets,
a quizzical expression in his eyes.
“ There’s some catch about this, I’ll bet,” said
Sidney. “ Father, did you ever find a spring
around here ? ”
“ It’s so long ago — I may have forgotten, you
know,” his father answered evasively; but when
the boys had hunted a long time in vain, he
took Nolan’s staff, and pushing aside a green
vine that trailed over a rocky slope revealed,
deep down in a hollow, a tiny spring with no
“ Well, you must have hunted for that ! ” cried
His father merely laughed and shrugged his
shoulders. “ Scouts must have sharp eyes,” he
Then — “ * east one-eighth of a mile to a run-
ning brook,’ ” read Miller.
“ Rather a watery route this — ought to suit
you, Miller,” Clark observed drily. “ Let’s
see — how many yards in one-eighth of a
“ Two hundred and twenty,” replied Sidney
HIDDEN TREASURE 215
“ Thanks,” Clark returned as he watched Wil-
son’s rapid measurements.
“ Here ’tis — here’s the brook ! ” cried Jack,
who had run ahead, and further measurements
were omitted as all hurried after him.
Mr. Hart, however, sat down in a shady place
by the Scout Master remarking in a low tone,
“ They’ll be back presently,” and back they came
in a few minutes to repeat the measurements,
and discover that there were two brooks but
a little way apart.
“ Scouts must be accurate,” laughed the banker
as he loafed along behind them.
So from point to point the boys went, follow-
ing the directions, till with a whoop of delight
they pounced upon the last landmark set down
on the paper — “ A twin oak and blasted pine
tree.” There could be no mistake about these.
Then followed the direction, “ Search carefully
within six yards.”
“ Six yards which way? ” demanded Finnegan.
“ Oh, any old way,” retorted Jenkins, and
he began to search carefully for any place where
the earth had been disturbed. Back and forth
the boys went, stamping, probing, scanning every
inch of the ground.
“ We can’t dig it up for six yards all around,”
“ Why not ? ” inquired Mr. Hart quietly.
“ Oh, because — just for a dollar!” replied
“ Begorra, I’d dig it all up fer a dollar.
Gimme a shovel ! ” and Sullivan snatched a
216 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
shovel from the ground, and putting his foot
on it, drove it deep into the hard earth. Mr.
Hart smiled at the boy, but the smile faded
into gravity as he realised how much that dollar
meant to him.
^ If I find it, Billy, I’ll go shares with you,”
Jack whispered in Billy’s ear.
Billy made no answer. He was staring up
into the twin oaks. Jenkins, following his
glance, suddenly pushed Finnegan up against
the trunk, and the next instant had mounted
on his shoulders and, catching the lowest branch,
was up the tree in a twinkling. Billy’s face
clouded. “ He was quicker’n me,” he muttered,
and picking up a discarded shovel he too began
to dig. But in a moment the Master stopped
“ I don’t think you’d better do that to-day,”
he said. “ It’s pretty hard work, and you are
not really rested yet.”
Billy looked at him wistfully, and for once
failed to obey promptly.
“If — if I could find that dollar!” he said in
a low tone, and added, “ I want it fer you —
fer what I’m owin’ ye.”
“ There’s no hurry about that, and there’ll
be a way soon for you to clear off that debt,”
the Master replied, his hand on the boy’s shoul-
Just then Sullivan dropped his shovel, and
plunging a freckled arm into the cleft in the
tree-trunk, nearly dropped headlong into the
opening as the dead bark crumbled under his
HIDDEN TREASURE 217
thrust. The next moment, with a yell that could
be heard for half a mile, he drew out of the
hollow trunk a small iron box covered with
“Glory be! I’ve got it! I’ve got it!” he
shouted, fairly dancing in his excitement, while
his red hair shone like an aureole around his
“He has! He has! Open it! Open it!” a
dozen voices cried as the boys crowded about
him. With hands trembling with excitement,
Sullivan pulled open the rusty catch, and there,
in a corner of the little box, lay a shining silver
dollar; and on the inside of the cover of the
box — stained and discoloured, but still distin-
guishable — was a rough drawing of a skull and
Sullivan drew a long breath. “ Be all the
saints,” he ejaculated, “ I nivir ixpicted to find
it raelly — an’ a pirate’s box too ! ”
Jenkins, who had dropped down from the tree
like a big beetle, gazed enviously at the lone-
some coin. “ Mebbe ’tain’t good,” he suggested
“ Let’s see that dollar a minute, Sullivan,”
Sidney cried out suddenly. He picked up the
coin — Sullivan keeping his eyes on it every min-
ute — and turned it over. Then with a queer
little laugh he handed it back. “ It’s good,” he
said, “ no doubt about that,” and then he turned
and winked at his father; and with a laugh that
covered some deep feeling, his father winked
back, and thought what a happy thing it was to
218 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
have Sid do a boyish thing like that — after all
that had happened.
It was Billy who discovered a bit of dirty
string hanging out of the opening in the old
tree, and, pulling at it idly, drew out a chip
tied to the end of the string. He turned it
over wonderingly. Then his eyes brightened,
and pushing aside with his elbows the boys
crowding curiously about him, he went straight
“ See,” he said, “ there’s somethin’ on this,”
and again Sid and his father exchanged glances,
for on the chip was drawn an arrow pointing
between the letters N and W.
“Hurrah! Hurrah! Northwest!” the cry
went up, and like a pack of hounds on the scent,
the boys were off. But soon they halted. How
far were they to go? They went back to the
tree and started off again, eager eyes searching
every inch of the way.
It was Sullivan whose shrill screech drew the
pack to him, where he stood pointing to two
twigs placed on the ground like this ^
“ It’s another arrow. This way ! ” they cried,
and again there was eager searching.
Wilson Harding stumbled upon the next sign.
It had evidently been drawn in the sod with a
sharp stick or a pencil point — like this
I t >
“ A letter — a letter ! ” cried Wilson as much
excited now as anybody. “ A letter three paces
HIDDEN TREASURE 219
And Miller, close at his heels, stumbled over
a stone a minute later, and disclosed under it a
folded bit of paper. Many eyes peering over his
shoulder read with him the words — “ Any Scout
who has done his one good turn to somebody
every day this month may find the last clue on
a white birch twenty feet from this point.”
The boys stood still. A swift glance had
shown them the white birch — the only one any-
where in sight — but not a boy moved towards
it, though many wistful eyes turned to it again,
and lingered there.
“ Guess I — got to go back,” muttered Billy
under his breath, and deliberately turned his
back on the little white birch. With a long
sigh Jenkins followed him, and one by one the
procession went back.
“What’s the matter? Clue lost?” Mr. Hart
“ No, sir.” It was Wilson who answered for
the crowd. “ But — we couldn’t fill the bill.”
He held out the slip of paper.
“What! Nobody who has done his one
kindness every day ? ” the banker asked.
Silence and embarrassed faces answered.
Then Jack’s clear voice piped up, “ You see, Mr.
Hart, we all always mean to do all the kind-
nesses we can, but — we forget sometimes, and
other times we can’t find any to do.”
Something blurred the banker’s keen eyes
as he met Jack’s quick bright smile, and then
caught a glance from the Scout Master.
Sidney, putting his arm across Jack’s shoul-
220 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
ders, added, “ Jack has it about right for the
rest of us, I reckon, father, but as for him,
what he forgets is, not to do his kindnesses, but
to count them. He has more to his credit than
any two of us. Isn’t that so, boys?”
“ It’s so every time ! ” Miller declared with
emphasis, and many voices seconded him, but
Jack’s face flushed painfully, and he drew back
shyly behind his brother.
“ So you give up the search ? ” Mr. Hart said.
“ But that will never do. Jack — since evidently
the treasure will never be found otherwise — I
guess you’ll have to run over to that birch tree
and tell us what you find there.”
Jack was off like a flash, and in a moment
he was standing by the birch waving his arms
like a small windmill. “ Come on, come on,
everybody!” he shouted. “Come quick!”
As the last boy followed, Mr. Hart looked
at the Master.
“ How they all love him ! ” he said.
“Jack? Yes, nobody could help it. And he
hasn’t the least idea of his influence over
“ That’s the beauty of it,” the banker added.
On the white bark of the birch the boys had
quickly discovered Snother bit of paper held by
a nail, and on this they read :
“ Three silver dollars — the last of the pirate’s
treasure, are within fifty paces of this tree.”
Then followed a hasty pacing and an eager
scurrying search. Martin was the first to send
up a shout of victory as he found one dollar
HIDDEN TREASURE 221
hidden under a big stone. Wilson discovered
the second, but Jack was close at his heels, and
did not guess that his brother had first seen the
silver gleam in the patch of blueberry bushes.
Jack seized the coin triumphantly just as Fin-
negan and Billy pounced at the same instant
on the third, lying half-hidden among the roots
of an old tree. The heads of the two boys
came together with a resounding whack as their
two hands clutched at the coin. It was Billy
whose fingers closed over it, but Finnegan
angrily declared that he had seen it first.
“ Oh, see here — don't let’s have a fuss over
it,” Wilson interposed, but Finnegan, red-faced
and glowering, insisted:
“ It’s mine an’ I’m goin’ to have it, too.”
Billy said nothing, but stood, his mouth set
obstinately, the coin in his tight-closed fist.
“ I — I seen it first,” Finnegan stammered,
“ but he was nearer the tree an’ got to it ’fore
I could. You know I seen it first,” he repeated
angrily, shaking his fist under Billy’s nose.
Still Billy said nothing, but his hand and the
dollar were both in his pocket, and there was
no yielding in his face. Jack stood close by,
his eyes anxious and full of pleading, fixed on
Billy’s face, but Billy carefully avoided looking
The boys gathered about the two claimants,
questioning and discussing the situation. Finally
Sidney asked Billy point-blank if Finnegan did
see the coin first. For a moment Billy made
no answer; then as if drawn by something
222 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
stronger than his own will, his eyes turned to
Jack’s and lingered there a moment, and then,
with a long sigh, Billy’s fist came out of his
pocket, the clenched fingers opened slowly, and
he held out his hand with the dollar lying on
the palm — to Finnegan. With a triumphant yell
Finnegan’s fingers snatched at the coin, and
Billy turned away in silence.
“ Oh! ” breathed Jack, his face all alight now,
and as the crowd turned back, he slipped nearer
to Billy, who had edged off from the others.
“ Billy,” he whispered, “ you can have the dol-
lar I found. I don’t want it — truly I don’t —
I just liked to find it, that’s all.”
He tried to slip the coin into Billy’s hand,
but Billy drew away, shaking his head.
“ No,” he said, and again his hands went into
his pockets, but empty now. “ I — I can’t,
Then seeing the disappointment in the face
of the Kid, he hastily explained, “Ye see I
wanted it fer the Scout Master. I — I got to
pay him some money; but he says I must earn
it, so ye see I can’t take your dollar. If I’d
found one myself, I guess that would ’a’ been
as good as earnin’ it — that’s why.”
“ Oh! ” Jack said again, but sorrowfully now,
and then he added, “ Well, Billy, I’m awfully
sorry you didn’t find one, but I’m so glad you
gave that back to Finnegan, ’cause it belonged
to him, you know.”
Billy said nothing. He had won his battle,
but the loss of the prize had been to him more
HIDDEN TREASURE 223
bitter than Jack — to whom a dollar meant so
little — could possibly understand.
“ Well,” Mr. Hart called out as the boys came
straggling back, “ have you unearthed all the
pirate’s hoard ? ”
“ Yes,” replied Sidney. “ Jack, Martin, and
Finnegan were the lucky ones. Let me see that
a minute, Kid.” He looked at the coin Jack
handed him and then grinned at his father as
he inquired, “ How long ago did that old pirate
“ Come, come,” exclaimed Mr. Hart, hastily
turning to the Scout Master. “If we stay here
answering foolish questions, we shan’t be back
in time for supper.”
Jack, looking at the coin as Sidney handed
it back to him, read aloud the date — 1908 — and
with shouts of laughter the boys trooped down
to the boats.
“ Was it all a fake, Sid — that story your
father told about the old sailor and the map?”
Wilson inquired as they went.
“ Don’t ask me — ask him,” Sidney returned,
but Jack put in earnestly:
“ Oh, it couldn’t have been all made up, ’cause
there’s the old box Sullivan found with the skull
and crossbones on it.”
But to the curious questions of the boys Mr.
Hart would not reply.
“ It was so long ago,” he protested. Maybe
he had gotten things a little mixed, and they
had to be content with that.
It was nearly five o’clock when they got back
224 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
to the camp, where they found Sales with the
big car. Also there was something — a big some-
thing — on the ground, covered with a heavy
blanket. Many curious glances wandered over
that blanket, but no questions were asked about
it. Supper was a very merry meal, the banker’s
sly queries and quick retorts keeping the boys
shouting with laughter.
Later the evening chill from the lake gave
excuse for a fire, and the boys sat or lay about
in the glow of the dancing flames, and the talk
was still merry, but now and then it changed
to graver themes.
At last Mr. Hart exclaimed, “ Bless my soul,
if I hadn’t forgotten all about — Sales, get
busy ! ” he called to the chauffeur, then turned to
the Scout Master. “ Do you think any of these
boys could be induced to eat some ice cream?”
There was a shout that must have scared the
squirrels in the woods about, and in a second
every boy was racing after a plate and spoon.
Supplied with these they hurried across to the
chauffeur, who had thrown off the big blanket,
revealing two great tubs packed with ice and
salt. Sales opened the freezers, and the Master
and Sidney, with big mixing spoons, filled each
plate as it was presented. That was a feast!
Everybody enjoyed it, but most of all the Tigers.
Sullivan, poking Jenkins in the ribs as they
were disposing of their second helping, re-
marked, with a long sigh of pure delight, “ Gee !
But hokey-pokey ice cream ain’t in it wid this 1 ”
“You bet it ain’t!” Jenkins responded with
emphasis. “ Say, Tim, ain’t ye glad yer a
Scout ? ”
“ Well, I should say ! I could eat ice cream
like this till me tongue froze solid,” rejoined
Sullivan. But even Sullivan found three help-
ings all that he could dispose of, though his
tongue was still unfrozen and he looked long-
ingly into the big freezer even then.
“ To think o’ all that bein’ left to melt ! ” he
sighed as he turned away. “ I c’uld wish I had
two stomachs like they say cows have.”
“ Now, boys,” Mr. Hart said at last, “ my
holiday is over — I must get back to business
early in the morning, so I have to say gooo? bye
to you all to-night — and I don’t want to say it.
I’ve had a fine time here with you. Before I
came out here I had thought this scouting busi-
ness was just a new game for you youngsters,,
and that’s all. Now I know better. I see that
it’s a deal more than a new form of amusement.
It’s an out-of-door workshop where boys find
out what they are good for and learn to make
the most of themselves. You can’t realise unti£
you are older how much this is going to mean
to you, but I know that you’ll all be bigger
men, wiser men, healthier and happier men — for
this scout training. I’m afraid I’m hardly eligi-
ble for membership in Troop 5, but I’m wonder-
ing if I can’t be some sort of honorary member.”
“ Yes ! yes ! yes ! ” cried the boys.
“ Well, that’s what I want to be then ; and
maybe some time — perhaps next year — I can
226 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
run away and spend a day or two in camp with
The boys crowded around him, each eager
for a personal good-bye, and he shook hands
with every one. Billy was the last. Mr. Hart
held his hand a moment and looked very kindly
into the plain face.
“ I think, Billy, you and I must get better
acquainted,” he said, to which, as usual, Billy
When all the boys had disappeared Mr. Hart
lingered a while with the Scout Master beside
the glowing embers of the dying fire.
“You needn’t worry over that boy — Burns,”
he said. “ I’ll be responsible for him.” Then
as the Master did not reply at once he added,
“ I hope you don’t object.”
“ I shall be glad, very glad, if only you don’t
do too much for him, Mr. Hart. You see, with
such boys one must be careful. It won’t do to
make them dependent.”
“ What would you suggest ? ”
“ That you find him some employment for the
time between three and six o’clock — after school
hours — some work by which he can earn, say,
five dollars a week. I’ve been planning when
we go back to get him into a place I know of
in the city — a small home it is, where a man and
his wife have charge of a dozen or so homeless,
self-supporting boys. It’s a good place, clean
and pleasant, with a small reading-room and
gymnasium, and each boy has a little room to
himself, for which, with board, he pays two
HIDDEN TREASURE 227
dollars and a half a week. That would leave
ten dollars a month for clothing and all other
expenses, you see. It would be wealth to Billy.”
“ I see,” Mr. Hart answered. “ I’ve no doubt
you’re right, and I’ll find a place for him before
you get back to the city. And,” he added ear-
nestly, “ I realise now, Marshall, what you are
doing for these boys — mine among the rest —
and I want to help. If there is anything you
want for the troop, or for any boy in it, like
Billy — you have only to let me know, and I’ll
do my best to get it for you.”
The two men clasped hands, and the Scout
Master knew that henceforth not only the Scouts
in Troop 5, but other Boy Scouts would find a
helpful friend in Mr. Hart.
When the boys awoke in the morning the big
car and its owner were gone.
A VACANCY IN THE TIGER PATROL
HE August days slipped quickly by — far
too quickly for the boys of Troop 5.
A There were so many things they wanted
to do! Every hour of every day was crowded
to the limit. There was the lake carnival, the
tournament, the Indian games, and endless other
things, some of which had to be left until “ next
time.” But it was the Tigers who counted the
few remaining days with ever-growing regret,
for the first of September meant to them ban-
ishment from paradise — return to home condi-
tions that now they viewed with changed eyes.
On the last evening the Tigers managed to sit
nearest to the Master before the campfire; and
they were more quiet than ever before — more
quiet even than the others. The Master under-
stood and was not surprised when Nolan re-
marked gravely, “You said the other night that
us Tigers had a big chance for scout work when
we go home. We ain’t seein’ jest how. Won’t
you tell us ? ”
“ I was thinking, Nolan,” the Master an-
swered, “about the South End, where you all
live. There’s a great deal that ought to be done
down there. It’s a big job — a very big one for
VACANCY IN TIGER PATROL 229
boys to undertake, and yet I believe you could
do something worth while there if you’d really
set your minds to it.”
“You mean — clean it up?”
“ I mean clean it up,” the Master repeated.
“ Did you know that there are six deaths down
there to one in other parts of the city ? ”
Nolan looked startled and thoughtful. The
Master went on, “ Typhoid was epidemic in the
city last year, and will probably be so again
this season, and typhoid means — dirt !”
Jenkins was picking at the grass, and think-
ing of the little white coffin that had been car-
ried out of his home last summer. Finnegan
had like memories. Sullivan leaned forward
and spoke earnestly:
“How c’n we help it? We can’t clean up
the back yards an’ alleys,” he said.
“You don’t know what you can do till you
try. At least you can each clean up your own
back yard — that would be seven clean ones, and
that might make somebody else want to do the
same in another yard.”
“ But the streets — they don’t c’lect ashes an’
garbage down our way like they do up where
you live — not half so often.”
“ No, and that’s a shame to the city,” the
Master said. “ I’m going to use all my influ-
ence this year to get that changed, and even
there you can help. If I can show that you
seven boys are doing all in your power to better
conditions around your homes, the city authori-
ties may be shamed into giving you better serv-
230 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
ice than it does now. Boys, it is no easy task
I am suggesting to you — I know that. But all
the same I believe we can put it through if you
will all do your best; but you’ll have to will
hard and work hard, and never give in or give
up till you win. Your 4 one kindness a day '
is a fine thing, but I want the Scouts of Troop 5
to be willing to do much more than that.”
All the boys were listening, their faces earnest
and intent. The Scout Master’s glance fell on
the flag that had been lowered at sunset. He
pointed to it.
“ You would think it a fine thing if there
were war, to fight for your flag — for your
country — even perhaps to die for it. Isn’t it
better to live for it — to spend your life trying
to make your city better — the people in it bet-
ter? You boys in the South End have a
glorious chance, you see, to live for your
Billy’s eyes, grave and earnest, turned from
the flag to the face of the Master, and new
thoughts, big and beautiful, began to grow in
“ It is a splendid thing to give your life for
your country, but remember you don’t have to
go to war to do that,” the Master said, and a
little silence ended the talk.
The first day of September the tents were
taken down and packed away in the loft of the
farmer’s big barn, there to remain until the
next summer. The water pipes had been dis-
connected to prevent freezing, and nothing was
VACANCY IN TIGER PATROL 231
left but the fireplace with its rough shelter, and
the empty supply closet.
It looked so lonely that the boys were ready
to leave, yet as they formed in line to march
to the station, more than one pair of eyes looked
back, and more than one boy wondered if he
would come back the next summer. Some of
them were conscious that they had grown — not
perhaps in inches, but in other ways — during
these weeks of camp life. They knew it be-
cause of the new plans and purposes they were
beginning to consider. It was Sullivan — merry,
light-hearted Sullivan — who ran back and broke
off a branch of Balsam fir. He came back with
a very sober face, remarking as he fell into step
with the others:
“ I’ll keep this much annyhow. Mebbe I’ll
not be cornin’ agin next summer.”
“ Of course you’ll come again — every last one
of us will,” replied Nolan decidedly, “ and the
Tigers thereupon fell to planning how they might
earn enough “ extra ” in the next eleven months
to pay for another month at the camp.
For Billy a new life began the next day, for
Mr. Hart had not forgotten his promise, and
he had secured for the boy a position as special
delivery messenger for a big firm, and had
arranged that his working hours should be from
three-thirty to six-thirty, and half a day on
Saturdays. A second-hand bicycle had been
provided for him, and Billy could hardly believe
his good fortune when he learned that he was
to receive five dollars a week, and in addition
232 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
was to live at the Selden Home, with a clean
little room to himself, and all the privileges of
the place. Billy felt that with a home like this
— and the Scouts, with the Master and the
Kid for his friends, life had little more to
The day after their return from the camp the
seven Tigers came together for a conference.
Billy could not be with them, as he was at work.
Nolan and Jenkins lived in the same house, a
small frame where there were four families.
“We got to begin somewhere — might’s well
be your yard as any,” Finnegan had said; so
the seven boys were looking over the ground.
It was a disheartening undertaking, the cleaning
up of even that one yard, for it held a small
mountain of tin cans, broken crockery, ashes,
“ It’ll take us a month to do jes’ this one,”
Jenkins said dolefully, “with the little time we
All the boys did work of some sort in the
afternoon, most of them having paper routes.
“ An’ it’ll cut out all the fun — ball games an’
movin’ pictures, an’ all,” added Sullivan.
“Well, what of it? We ain’t quitters, are
we? An’ we’ve promised the Scout Master ter
do our best down here. If it takes two months
we gotter do it, ain’t we?” demanded Nolan.
“ S’pose so,” agreed Jenkins, “ but I guess if
them Owls an’ Panthers had a job like this
they’d find out what hard work is.”
“ Well,” said Nolan briskly, “ sooner we get
VACANCY IN TIGER PATROL 233
about it, sooner it’ll be done. Shall we start in
ter-night ? ”
It was agreed that they should.
“ But say,” demanded Finnegan, “ however’ll
we be carryin’ off this stuff? The’s cartloads
of it. An’ where’ll we be dumpin’ it at ? ”
“ It’s blockheads we are not to be askin’ them
questions before,” said Nolan.
“ There’s Hogan’s wheelbarrow — wouldn’t he
be givin’ us the loan of it, d’ye think ? ” queried
“ He might — we c’n try,” replied Nolan.
“ An’ as to a dumpin’ place — the’ ain’t none
nearer than the lots over by the river.”
There were eager protests and objections from
“ It’s too far over there.”
“ We never can lug all this stuff that far.”
“ It’ll take us forever.”
“ Well, where else can we dump ? ” demanded
Nolan. “ It’s no good to clean the stuff out o’
here an’ pitch it inter the alley.”
“ True enough — it ain’t,” assented Finnegan
“ Truth is — I’m thinkin’ the job’s too big fer
us,” put in Dunn.
“ Come now,” said Sullivan, straightening up
suddenly, “ don’t let’s give up before we begin,
annyhow. I say, let’s make a start an’ see what
we c’n do. I’d be ’shamed ter let ’em all know
we backed out before we begun.”
“ An’ that’s a true word — so would I,” agreed
Nolan heartily. “All right then — you all be
234 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
here after supper an’ I’ll do me best ter persuade
Hogan ter give us the loan of his barrow.”
When they came together after supper, Billy
was with them, and evidently Hogan had been
persuaded, for the barrow was there — also a
couple of shovels borrowed from other neigh-
bours, and the eight boys set to work with a
will. They laboured under a hot fire of criti-
cism from their elders in the house, and of
question and comment from all the younger boys
and girls who could find room to stand or sit
on the rickety fences on either side. But they
worked on grimly, ignoring question and com-
ment. It was astonishing — and likewise dis-
couraging- — to see how small a hole a barrow
load made in the huge pile that had been accumu-
lating for years in that back yard.
Load after load the boys dug up, shovelled
into the wheelbarrow, and carried off. And it
took so long to wheel a load over to the river!
But they worked on steadily until it was too dark
to see. Then they returned the borrowed
shovels and barrow, and were glad enough and
tired enough to go straight to bed.
But the next morning early, the shrill call of
Jenkins aroused the other Tigers, and summoned
them hastily to the scene of their labours, where
they found Nolan, red and angry, standing in
“ Look at that ! ” he cried out, and as they
looked the faces of the others reflected the angry
dismay of Nolan’s.
All their labour had gone for naught! For
VACANCY IN TIGER PATROL 235
every tin can they had carted off two at least
had been flung into the yard in the night.
“ IPs the alley gang — that’s who done it,”
“ An’ I say it’s a shame — after all our hard
work!” said Jenkins.
“ Wasn’t I tellin’ ye ’twas no use? ” his mother
put in from the doorway. “ Better leave things
as they be. It’s no good tryin’ ter change
But this pessimistic counsel had the contrary
effect from that intended.
“ We ain’t goin’ ter leave things as they be,”
Jenkins retorted. “ That alley gang can’t boss
us Tigers — can it, fellers? They must ’a’
worked like blazes to pitch all this stuff in
here last night, an’ they’ll soon get sick o’ that.”
“ An’ I’ll hunt up Barney Doyle an’ see if he’s
goin’ ter stand fer this,” added Nolan. Then
he faced the others. “What d’ye say? Do
we give up an’ let that gang beat us?”
“ No, we don’t ! ” was the unanimous response.
“ We’ll be back an’ clear out this truck ter-
night,” added Finnegan.
“ Hope they won’t keep us workin’ in this
yard all winter,” added Dunn gloomily.
“ They won’t ! ” Nolan retorted with sharp
And if the boys had worked hard the night
before, on this night they laboured like young
giants, with a fury of determination to prove
that they could accomplish something even in
the face of such obstacles. Back and forth the
236 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
wheelbarrow went with load after load, and
before they stopped work the boys had made
better progress than they had believed possible
in so short a time. The late moon was just
rising as Finnegan came back with the empty
barrow after the final trip to the dumping
ground. The boys rubbed their aching backs
and shoulders as they looked about them.
“ We’ve got a heap done ter-night,” Sullivan
“ An’ mebbe we’ll have it all ter do over ter-
morrow,” grumbled Dunn.
“ Aw, don’t be croakin’ ! ” retorted Sullivan
impatiently, and Nolan added, “ It’ll be lighter
ter-night, an’ Jenkins an’ me’ll be a-watchin’.
If any of the gang comes around we’ll sure
make it hot fer ’em.”
Nolan’s yard was not disturbed that night, nor
on the nights that followed, but it required con-
stant watchfulness and care on the part of the
two boys to prevent the people in the house from
throwing things into it as they had always done.
Jenkins’ mother frequently assured her neigh-
bours that the boy was the plague of her life
“ since he took up wid them quare notions.”
’Twas the scout business was at the bottom of
it all, she declared. But in her heart she was
proud of her boy, and of his “ quare notions ”
of cleanliness, and Mrs. Nolan was equally proud
of her son.
Sullivan’s yard was one of the smallest, but
if possible it was in worse condition than the
others. Back of it was Goat Alley — a very
VACANCY IN TIGER PATROL 237
plague spot with its open drain filtering through
the middle, and its tumbledown shacks, wholly
unfit for human habitation. Many babies were
born in Goat Alley, but few of them lived
through a single year.
“ This is the worst yet,” Nolan exclaimed, as
the boys stood looking about the foul-smelling
“ An’ that’s a true word ! ” agreed Dunn.
“ Well, pitch in ! It won’t grow no better
while we wait,” and Nolan picked up a shovel
and set to with a will.
Five evenings the boys worked here, bad-
gered and tormented all the while by the hood-
lums of the alley, who tossed over the fence
everything from tin cans to dead cats. It was
useless to argue with them. Coaxing and
threats were alike disregarded. When on Fri-
day night the Tigers found a fresh lot of trash
thrown over since they left the night before,
they gave it up in despair.
“ It’s no use,” Sullivan said, dropping wearily
down on the doorstep. “ We’re too near the
alley. They’ll never let up on us.” He looked
very tired — all his light-hearted energy and, joy
in a fracas gone.
Nolan looked at him, and then again at the
yard. “ I hate ter give up beat,” he muttered.
“ We won’t,” said Billy, “ but I’m thinkin’ we
got ter have help here. Mebbe the Master can
tell us what ter do ’bout them,” he nodded
towards the alley where a noisy quarrel was
238 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
“ Well,” Nolan hesitated, “ we can ask him
ter-morrow night, I s’pose.”
So the next evening, when the Master called
for a report from the Tigers, Nolan answered
in a discouraged tone, “ Seem’s like we can’t
make it. Some of us thinks we’ve got ter give
“ Tell us all about it, Nolan,” the Master said,
and Nolan went on:
“ I told ye before how we begun cleanin’ up
our own yards, as you said, but ye see where
there’s three er four fam’lies has the one yard
— one of ’em jest can’t keep it clean if the rest
won’t help none. We begun with ours — where
me’n Jenkins live — an’ we cleaned it up fine. All
of us pitched in an’ worked together, an’ I tell
ye ’twas a job to clean out all them tin cans
an’ ashes an’ ev’rything. An’ the gang found
out what we was doin’ an’ they brought a whole
lot of stuff an’ filled the yard with it in the
night. An’ they’ve done that in every yard we’ve
“ Too bad, too bad ! ” the Master said.
“ We’ve got to break up that gang. It must
The boys shook their heads. “Ye can’t never
break up Barney Doyle’s gang,” they declared
one and all. Only Billy was silent.
“ Have any of you seen Barney ? ” the Master
Yes, the boys had all seen him. He was
“ always round,” they said, when there was any-
thing going on.
VACANCY IN TIGER PATROL 239
“And have you had any talk with him or
others of the gang about what you are trying
“ Ye-es,” Nolan stammered, and the Master
could well imagine that the “ talk ” had not been
of the friendliest on either side.
He considered the matter in silence; at last
he turned to Billy.
“ Could you persuade Barney to come and
see me again ? ”
But Billy shook his head. “ He won’t come,”
he said. “ He’s mad at me, Barney is.”
“ He’s down on us all,” Finnegan added, “ an’
so’s all the gang. ’Tain’t no use tryin’ no more,
“ No,” they all agreed, “ ’tain’t no use.” All
but Billy — he said nothing.
The Master turned to him again. “ What do
you think about it, Billy?”
“ I — dunno.” Billy’s response was slow and
“ Do you think we’ll have to give it up ? ”
the Master persisted, and Billy answered very
quietly, “ I ain’t givin’ up — yet.”
The Master’s rare smile flashed out then and
his eyes were very kind as they met Billy’s sober
blue ones. Well he knew that Billy no longer
“ believed in giving up.” Already he had paid
back that five dollars to the Master, and put
two more in the bank — thus fulfilling the last
requirement for a First Class scouting badge.
Settled for the first time in his life in a com-
fortable home and earning a steady income,
240 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
Billy’s self-respect was growing, and he was
developing in a way that gladdened the Master’s
“ I’m with you, Billy. I don’t believe in giving
up either,” he said. Then to the others, “ But I
see that you can’t accomplish much while this
gang is working against you. I must think over
it and see what can be done. By the way,
where’s Sullivan? Why didn’t he come with
you to-night ? ”
“ Sullivan’s sick. He’s got the fever,” Nolan
“Yes. It’s worse’n ever this year.”
The Master knew that — knew that it was
epidemic again in the city and that the health
officer was greatly disturbed over the situation.
He inquired about Sullivan — how long he had
been sick, his home conditions, etc.
“ I shall go down and see him to-morrow,”
he promised, and meantime, while you can’t do
what you have been planning to do, here’s a
chance for some good scout service. You can
do much to make it easier and pleasanter for
Sullivan while he is sick, and to help his
mother and sisters. Keep your eyes open, boys,
and you’ll discover opportunities for many
‘ kindnesses ’ — for typhoid means a long sick-
When the boys were leaving, the Master de-
tained Billy to say, “If there is any possible
way you can manage to get Barney here, you’ll
do it, Billy, I know.”
VACANCY IN TIGER PATROL 241
“ Sure I will,” the boy answered, “ but I
reckon he won’t come no more.”
And Barney did not come. The Master vis-
ited Sullivan, and kept him supplied with the
purest milk obtainable, and everything else the
doctor would allow. But the boy was very ill,
and day by day the chances of his recovery
The Tigers were faithful — one or another of
them was always about out of school hours
or after work, ready for any errand or other
service needed. Mr. Hart, learning through
Sidney of Sullivan’s illness, was ready also to
supply anything wanted, but the boy needed
very little now. Steadily he grew weaker until
the day came when there was black on the door,
and the boys knew that one of their number
would be with them no more. They were very
serious over it, for this death came close to them.
Sullivan, with his rough, red hair and freckled
face, his wide mouth so ready to laugh, his
quick temper and quicker tongue — why, it didn’t
seem possible that Sullivan was dead! To Billy
it came as a stunning blow. Billy’s heart,
opened first only to the Kid and the Scout
Master — and in a way to Barney — had lately
begun to open to others. To him more perhaps
than to any other boy in the troop, except the
Kid, had come lately a realisation of that word
of his new creed, “ All Scouts are brothers.”
But he did not really know until Sullivan died
how much he had begun to care for these seven
boys with whom he had been working. He
242 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
knew now, and he looked with changed eyes
on the six who were left; and they, feeling the
difference in him, without understanding it, be-
gan to count Billy “one o’ the right sort/'
Sullivan was dressed for the last time, in
his scout uniform — he had wanted it to be so —
and his comrades marched behind his coffin,
the yellow and black of the patrol banner making
a spot of vivid colour. The boys now could not
look at that banner without remembering how
proud Sullivan had been of it. To become some
time the patrol leader and be privileged to carry
the banner had been his great ambition. The
Scouts marched with downcast eyes, remember-
ing now only the cheerfulness, the merry wit,
and the ready kindness of the one who would
march with them no more.
The first keenness of their feeling wore off
in a little while, but they did not forget Sullivan.
The black bands on the sleeves of their scout
uniforms were for a time a continual reminder
that their ranks had been broken. But natu-
rally it meant more to the Tigers than to the
others of the troop. How much it had meant
the Master did not fully realise until one Satur-
day evening when the boys all gathered in his
room for the “ Campfire talk.” The seven
Tigers were there, and in their faces the Master
saw the evidence of a new energy and determi-
nation. The boyishness was changing into man-
liness, and manliness of a good kind too. Usu-
ally in these gatherings the Tigers were the
listeners — the Owls and Panthers taking the
VACANCY IN TIGER PATROL 243
lead. But on this night the Tigers seemed
quite to have forgotten the others, so absorbed
were they in their own ideas and plans. And
the others were very quiet, listening intently
but never interrupting. As usual Nolan spoke
mostly for the seven, the others putting in a
word now and then by way of explanation or
“Ye see,” Nolan said, “it’s this way, Mr.
Marshall. The health officer says Sullivan, an’
all them others that’s got the fever now, got
it ’cause our ward ain’t ever cleaned up as it
ought ter be — jest as you said. Goat Alley, back
o’ where the Sullivans live, is the worst of all —
a reg’lar sink-hole ’tis — where they dump every-
thing. We tried to clean it up, but ’twas too
big a job fer us an’ ” — he choked over the next
words — “ an’ the health officer, he said ” — an-
other pause — “ that stirrin’ it up the way we
did made it worse — fer — Sullivan. There’s six
cases of fever in that alley now. An’ Sullivan,
he — seems like he ” — Nolan stumbled on — “ Mr.
Marshall, you said ’twas jest as brave to die fer
your city at home as ’twas to die fer your,
country in battle, didn’t ye?”
The Master nodded. Nolan quite uncon-
sciously wiped his eyes on his sleeve as he went
on in an earnest voice, “ Well, that’s it. We
feel like Sullivan had give his life fer his city,
an’ now — we want to make it count fer some-
thing — see ? ”
“Count how, Nolan? In what way?”
“ We want ter finish up good an’ thorough the
244 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
job we — an’ him — started, an’ dropped,” Nolan
The Master’s heart swelled with pride in these
boys of his. “ I don’t know how it is going
to be done, boys,” he answered, “ but I believe
you will do it — that you will make the South
End a clean and healthy place to live in, and
if you do that, Sullivan’s death will not have
been in vain. What are you planning now ? ”
“ We’re goin’ fer Barney first,” said Nolan.
“ If we can get him mebbe we c’n get the rest
of the gang — some of ’em anyhow.”
“ Get the gang! How do you mean, Nolan? ”
“ Why, to join the Scouts of course.” Nolan’s
tone expressed surprise at the question. “ The
scoutin’s done a heap fer us — all of us — we
know it, don’t we, fellers ? ”
There was emphatic assent, and Nolan turned
again to the Master. ‘'Ye see,” he admitted, “ we
didn’t want any of the gang in the Scouts before,
but now we do. If we can get them toughs
into a troop mebbe they’ll find out there’s better
things to be doin’ than the things they’re up to
all the time.”
“ Do you think you can persuade them to
join the Scouts?” the Master asked, and Nolan
“ Well — one way er another. Mebbe we
won’t always remember the ‘ courteous ’ busi-
ness, but, Mr. Marshall, somehow or other we’ve
got to break up that gang and clean up the
South End, and we're a-goiri to do it. You
can bet yer life on that ! ” and like a deep and
VACANCY IN TIGER PATROL 245
earnest refrain several other voices echoed,
“ You can bet yer life on that! ”
That night it was the other boys of the troop
who lingered, after the Tigers had gone.
“ Do you believe they can really do it, Mr.
Marshall ? ” Sidney Hart asked.
“ On the face of it I should say ‘ no,’ ” the
Master replied, “ but, boys, I’ve found out that
when any body of men — few or many-^are
possessed with a deep determination to right a
wrong, they usually accomplish it no matter
what obstacles stand in the way. And you see
how it is with those boys. Sullivan’s death
coming just as it did, has had a peculiar effect
upon them. Those are not the same boys that
went out to Eagle Lake with us last August.
You see the change in them?”
“ Oh, yes,” two or three voices answered
“ Nobody could help seeing it.”
“ Yes, they’re different, and they’re in dead
earnest,” Sidney agreed, “ but father says the
South End is controlled by some of the worst
politicians in the city. I don’t see, Mr. Mar-
shall, how seven boys can do anything against
a crowd like that.”
“ Neither do I see how , but I’m beginning to
believe nevertheless that it will be accomplished
“ It will be something gained if they can only
break up that gang,” remarked Frazer.
“ And besides,” Jack’s earnest voice broke in,
“ besides, you know it isn’t only seven boys — it’s
246 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
twenty-three, for ‘ all Scouts are brothers/ and
brothers have to help brothers, don’t they ? ”
There was a quick interchange of glances,
and Wilson’s hand fell across the Kid’s shoulder.
“ Jack’s right,” he said. “ We’ve all got to
stand by the Tigers in this fight, haven’t we?”
Only Aleck Kenny — the boy who had taken
Barnes’ place in the Panthers — looked doubtful.
He had not yet gotten into the real spirit of
scout brotherhood — there were few troops in
which that spirit was as strong as it was now
in Troop 5 — and he was inclined to hold off.
But all the others left the Master’s room that
night pledged to him and to themselves to do
their utmost to help the Tigers in their big
HINDERERS AND HELPERS
4S the weeks passed the Scout Master was
/-% amazed at the persistence of the Tigers.
All sorts of obstacles hindered them, not
the least being the indifference of the people
themselves to the danger and discomfort of their
surroundings. They had always lived under sim-
ilar conditions and they dreaded changes.
“ Mebbe we’d be worse off in the end than we be
now,” they answered to all arguments. And the
city authorities continued persistently to ignore
all attempts made by Alan Marshall and others
for the improvement of conditions in the South
It might be cleaned up, but the folks down
there wouldn’t keep it clean a week — they rev-
elled in dirt down there, it was said. The urgent
recommendations of the health officer were dis-
regarded. Some “ power behind ” continued to
prevent action, and things went on as before in
the South End ; and meanwhile the “ gang ”
waxed stronger and more audacious — but still
the Tigers did not give up.
“ I wonder you are not completely discour-
aged,” the Master said to them one evening,
when the seven alone were with him.
248 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
“ I reckon we would be only for him — he won’t
let us,” Nolan said, indicating Billy by a nod.
So it was Billy, the quietest one of all the
seven, who was, after all, the strongest force
among them. Nolan grinned, reading aright the
surprise in the Master’s face.
“ Oh, Billy’s mighty still,” he said, “ he ain’t
talkin’ much ; but once he gets a grip he holds on
like a bulldog. Billy never lets up.”
But the fever did not let up, either. It swept
the South End, claiming fresh victims every day.
Some lingered through long weeks of illness, and
then crept slowly back to health; but very many
slipped away as Sullivan had done; and the
black wagon of the undertaker was ever rattling
through the streets. There came a night when
Nolan reported that Mack Keefe — one of Bar-
ney’s gang — was down with the fever. Nolan
was greatly excited over it.
“ Mack lives in Goat Alley,” he explained.
“ You know there’s been more fever there than
anywhere else; but I never thought of Mack’s
gettin’ it — a big husky like him. They say he’s
got it bad, too.”
“ This is another chance for scout service, No-
lan,” the Master reminded him, and Nolan
“ That’s what Billy was sayin’ last night,” he
added. “ He said we’d all got to pitch in an’
“ He’s helping, of course? ”
“ Oh — he ! He’s payin’ fer Keefe’s milk — a
quart a day of the best. Milk’s all he can take.
HINDERERS AND HELPERS 249
An’ Billy’s goin’ down there ev’ry night after
supper to help take care of him. Ye see, Billy
knows Mack ’cause he used ter belong ter the
“ Yes, and we must all help, too,” the Master
said. “ I’ll go down to-morrow, Nolan, and you
can show me where to find Keefe.”
In one of the worst of the miserable dwellings
in the alley the Master found Keefe, a big over-
grown boy of fifteen, with a heavy coarse face,
and eyes now full of a dumb dread and terror,
like those of a trapped animal. The room where
he lay was bare and comfortless and the kitchen
from which it opened, dark and dirty. An old
woman puttering about the kitchen, the Master
knew must be Keefe’s grandmother, the only
relative he had except an older brother who
was a sailor and away from home.
The boy would not talk, but the grandmother
was voluble, whining over their poverty and
hard times. She bristled into anger, however,
when the Master suggested that the sick boy be
taken to a hospital. “ He would be so much
more comfortable than he can be here. There
would be nurses to care for him and doctors,
and he would be in a big airy room,” the Master
But the old woman cried out, “ No, no, no !
He shan’t go — I’ll take care of him here. You
don’t want to go to a hospittle, do ye now,
Mackie ? ” she appealed eagerly to the boy.
He shook his head wearily. “ I’m stayin’
here,” he muttered, and seeing that they would
250 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
not be persuaded, the Master could only try to
make the boy as comfortable as possible where
“ I’ll send down a softer bed — this one can’t
be easy to lie on,” he said, with a glance at the
humpy straw-filled bed and its dirty coverings.
“ And if there’s anything you want, I’ll be glad
to get it for you. Is there anything, Mack ? ”
Again the boy shook his head, but always with
that look of dumb terror in his bloodshot eyes.
A comfortable bed with a supply of clean bed-
ding was sent down the next day, and a doctor
and district nurse engaged. But nothing could
save Mack. Day after day the fever burned in
his veins and his strong young life fought against
it in vain. In three weeks the soul of Mack
Keefe passed out into the Unknown.
The Master was alone in his rooms the even-
ing after Mack’s burial when Barney Doyle
knocked at his door — not the old Barney. All
the swagger and defiance were gone out of him.
He nodded silently as he entered and, dropping
into a chair, sat for several minutes staring into
the fire. The Master waited until with a long
weary breath, Barney stirred restlessly, then he
said quietly, “ What is the trouble, Barney?”
“ It’s — it’s Mack Keefe — an’ all,” muttered the
boy, looking up with miserable eyes to the kind
face of the Master. And then, the ice once
broken, he poured out his trouble as if he could
keep it to himself no longer. “ I seen him most
every day while he was sick, but he never said
nothin’ till the last time. Then,” a shudder shook
HINDERERS AND HELPERS 251
the boy and his face whitened, “ he said — he said,
’twas my fault ”
“Your fault that he was what he was?” the
Master prompted gently.
“ How long had you known him, Barney? ”
“ I dunno — mebbe t’ree, four years.”
“ And what kind of a boy was he then — at
“ I dun — no,” Barney hesitated ; then added
with an evident effort to answer honestly, “ I
guess he's worser since I knew him.”
“ Haven’t all the gang grown worse in the
past three or four years ? ”
“ Mebbe so,” Barney admitted. “ I guess —
fellers does grow worse — mostly — don’t they?”
he asked, and in his eyes and in his rough voice
there was a wistful pleading.
“If they don’t grow better — yes,” the Master
replied. “ But how about Billy ? Do you think
he has grown worse since you sent him to me ? ”
“ No,” the answer was prompt. “ Billy’s doin’
fine ; but he was different — Billy was. He only
run with de gang ’cause he liked me. The rest
of ’em, they was in it ’cause they liked the fun
an’ the rough house an’ all.”
“ Why have you come to me to-night, Bar-
ney ? ” Alan Marshall asked suddenly.
Again a shudder passed over the boy and his
eyes showed the torture of his soul as he an-
swered, “ ’Twas Mack. I — I seen him, I told
yer — the last night. He — he was ’ fraid ter die,
an’ he wasn’t never scared before — Mack wasn’t.
252 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
An’ he said I’d made him bad — an’ that’s why.”
“ I see.” The Master laid a friendly hand for
a moment on Barney’s. “ And you’ve made up
your mind that no other boy shall have reason
to say a thing like that to you when he comes to
die. Isn’t that it, Barney?”
“ Yes, that’s right. I can’t carry a load like
that,” the boy answered solemnly.
“ None of us can, Barney. So you are going
to quit the gang at once ? ”
“ I’ve quit a-ready.”
“ Will somebody else take your place or will
the gang drop to pieces ? ”
“ I told ’em all last night it was a-goin’ to
break up. I told ’em what Mack said, an’ that
I wouldn’t stand fer any gang in the South End
after this. An’ they know me. There won’t be
“ That’s good, but can’t we go a bit further ?
Those boys must have something to interest them
and fill their time. Could they be gotten into
any of the clubs or work of Friendship House? ”
“ I guess not — they don’t cotton to the Friend-
ship House crowd,” Barney replied. “ But ”
“ Well— but what?”
“ They might — mebbe — some of ’em take up
wid the Scouts.” Barney searched the Master’s
face with questioning eyes as he spoke. “ I
dunno ” he ended.
“ Then why don’t you form a patrol and be
their leader in a better fashion ? ” Alan Marshall
“ Me ? ” Barney looked blankly incredulous.
HINDERERS AND HELPERS 253
“ Yes, you. Hasn’t Billy told you about the
scouting? He likes it.”
“ Oh — him. He’s differ’nt, I told yer. I — I
dunno would I like the scoutin’ er not — or the
other fellers. I guess mebbe it’d be too tame
“ Well, suppose you do this. Some of my
troop come here always Saturday evenings, and
they seem to have pretty good times. Suppose
you come next Saturday with one or two of the
old gang — Barney, I’m so glad that gang is
broken up ! — You needn’t say or do anything,
if you come, only just be here and sit by our fire
and listen to the talk. See how you like it. If
you don’t care to come again on a Scout night,
you needn’t. But, Barney, because you have
come to me when you are in trouble, we are
friends now, and I hope you will come to me
whenever you need a friend. Like Billy, you
are one of my boys from this time on, and I
always stand by my boys. Besides, if you don’t
conclude to join the Scouts, you and I will have
to think of some other way of turning those boys
around. You've turned square around — I can
see that, and now we — you and I together — must
try our best to start the others too on a new road.
And, besides, do you know what the Tigers are
trying to do ? ”
Barney nodded. “ To clean up de South End,
but it’s too big a job fer ’em. They’ll never put
“ I had begun to feel so myself, but now with
you on our side and maybe the old gang work-
254 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
in g for instead of against us, I begin to feel
sure we shall do it. That’s a man’s job, Barney
— a big man’s job. You want to have a hand in
it, don’t you? ”
The appeal was to the boy’s dominant char-
acteristic, and his eyes answered it. Barney was
born to lead and he knew it. Also it was just
the hour in his life when his mind, bewildered
and unsettled by Mack’s terrible death was
reaching out blindly for something new and safe
to grapple with. A flush swept over his face
and he lifted his head like one who scents battle.
“ It’ll be a gran’ fight, annyhow,” he exulted.
“ I wouldn’t mind havin’ a hand in it.”
“ That’s good,” the Master replied. “ We need
all the help we can get; only remember, if you
do get any of the old gang to help in this, that
Scouts always fight fair , if fight they must.”
Barney straightened suddenly. “ I ain’t fer-
gettin’,” he said. “ I’m on de square now, too.”
“ And, Barney ” — the boy had risen, his long
lank figure quite as tall as the Master’s — “ you’ll
have many a battle to fight with yourself, too,
and you won’t always win. Nobody does al-
ways. So when you stumble back into the old
ways, you must just try all the harder next time.
I shall expect you Saturday evening, anyhow.”
“ I dunno — mebbe,” Barney responded as he
But when Saturday night came he was there.
He came with Billy, and behind him slouched the
boy he had called “ Mug ” — his real name was
Hugh Boyce. He was not an attractive-looking
HINDERERS AND HELPERS 255
figure. A sudden realisation of this fact seemed
to dawn upon Barney as he glanced from him to
Alan Marshall. But the Master met the stranger
with as pleasant a greeting as he had given to
“ Oh, yes, I remember you,” he said. “ How
is your brother ? ”
“ Huh ! He’s all right,” muttered the boy, and
he proceeded to efface himself as much as he
could by slipping into a seat in the darkest corner
of the room, from which he did not once stir
until the evening was over.
The Tigers, when they came, cast glances inter-
ested and intensely curious at Barney and the
other boy. What could it mean — their presence
here — what would it mean with reference to their
great undertaking, they wondered, and each read
the same questions in the eyes of the others. The
Owls and Panthers, on the contrary, paid little
attention to the strangers, not knowing who they
were. They were used by now to the Scout
Master’s ways, and if he had brought the veriest
street arab into one of their campfire meetings,
they would not have been surprised, and indeed
this boy with Barney was not so far from a
genuine street arab.
At these campfire meetings, sometimes the
Master told the story and sometimes it was read
or told by one of the boys. To-night the Master
told the stirring tale of a Western city long held
under the dominion of corrupt political rule, and
delivered finally through the untiring efforts of
a single man — a young lawyer who had given his
256 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
time and money and professional ability without
hope of any return save the satisfaction of free-
ing his city from corruption and securing to its
people the rights that belonged to them as citi-
zens. It was a splendid record of self-sacrifice
for the common good, and the boys listened with
breathless interest — none more so than Barney
“ That’s what you meant by living for one’s
country,” Sidney Hart said, breaking the silence
that had lasted for a moment after the story
“ Yes, that’s one way,” the Master replied.
“ It’s fine, but I’d rather fight for my country
— in battle, I mean,” declared Taylor.
“ Oh, if you want just glory, of course that’s
the way to win it,” Wilson Harding put in.
“ Well, somebody has to fight. And, anyway,
you risk your life — that’s no small thing,” Taylor
“ That young lawyer risked his life while he
was fighting the ring, didn’t he, Mr. Marshall ? ”
“ A great many times; and if he had lost it
and lost the fight, there would have been no
glory for him,” the Master answered.
“ So I think he was more of a hero than those
who risk their lives in battle,” Sidney added
“ I think so, too,” the Master agreed. Then
he turned to the Tigers and inquired, “ Boys,
how is your battle going?”
Nolan shook his head with a swift side glance
HINDERERS AND HELPERS 257
at the two figures in the shadow. “ Looks like
we’re gettin’ beat, but Billy won’t own it,” he
The Master smiled at Billy. Billy seldom
smiled, but his face softened curiously as he met
the Master’s eyes. “ We ain’t licked yet,” he
“ You’re like Napoleon, Billy — you don’t know
when you are beaten,” said Wilson with a laugh
that had a friendly ring to it.
Billy had but a dim idea who Napoleon was,
but he answered soberly, “ I ain’t aimin’ to
know,” and he looked about in surprise at the
laugh which greeted that.
Then Nolan told how they had been making
a house to house canvas of the South End trying
to get all the boys interested in what they were
trying to do.
“ We got three clean yards on our block,”
Jenkins announced triumphantly.
“ And can you keep them clean, Jenkins? ”
“ I guess so, now the ” Jenkins stopped
short, with a quick glance at Barney and the
Nolan finished the sentence for him. “ Now
the gang’s let up. If they’ll keep hands off, we
kin keep them yards clean.”
“ I don’t think you’ll be troubled any more by
the old gang, Nolan,” the Master said. “ It’s
broken up, isn’t it, Doyle ? ”
Barney nodded, drawing farther into the shad-
ows, as all eyes turned with quick interest to
258 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
“ Well, Nolan/’ the Master went on, “ I begin
to feel much more hopeful. You have a very
big job on your hands, but if you stand by your
guns long enough, I believe you’ll win your bat-
tle, and it will be well worth all the hard work
you can put into it.”
For an hour longer the talk went on, touch-
ing upon various themes. At nine-thirty the
boys began to leave, but the Master kept Barney
and his companion till the last.
“ Did you find it dull this evening, Barney ? ”
Barney brushed the question aside and asked
another. “ What them Tigers tryin’ ter do
now ? ”
“To clean up the South End. I thought you
“ Yes — but how? Jest cleanin’ up a few back
yards an’ t’rowin’ out the ash heaps, same ol’
way?” Barney demanded.
“ That’s only a small part — just the beginning.
They mean to hammer away until they get the
city to keep the streets and alleys down there as
clean as they are up here.”
“ Huh ! Ol’ Reagan’s fightin’ ’em. He owns
half the South End, an’ he don’t want no cleanin’
up ! ” scoffed Barney.
“ Why doesn’t he ? ” The Master wanted to
make Barney talk.
“ ’Cause he’d have to fix up the houses he
owns. All them shanties in Goat Alley is his,
an’ lots more.”
HINDERERS AND HELPERS 259
“ All the bad ones an’ most the s’loons,” said
Boyce, speaking for the first time.
“ I knew he owned much of the real estate
down there, and I’ve tried to see him, but I never
have,” the Master said.
Boyce grinned. “ He ain’t wantin’ to see yer,”
said Barney. “ He’s a bad lot — Reagan is.”
“ Do you know him ? ”
“ Can you think of any way to get hold of
“ To see him, you mean? ”
“ To see him first. But can you think of any
way to persuade him to help us make the South
End a decent place to live in ? ”
“ Ain’t no way ’less you could chuck ol’ Reagan
in the river. You can’t ever get round him,”
Barney asserted with conviction.
The next Monday evening Barney, with Boyce
at his heels, hunted up Nolan. “ Come on,”
he said, in the manner of one used to being
obeyed. “ I want you an’ all the rest of ’em
“The rest o’ the Tigers?” Nolan questioned.
“ Yep. Hurry up an’ get ’em.”
“ I’ve got to know what ye want ’em fer
first,” Nolan declared positively.
Barney eyed him with a scowl. “Ye pig-
headed fool,” he growled. “ Ain’t ye got sense
enough ter see’t I’ve chucked de gang an’ all
that? I mean business — on de square. Round
up yer Scouts an’ be quick about it. We’re goin’
up ter Billy’s.”
260 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
If Billy was the objective point, Nolan thought
it must be all right, though he still distrusted
Barney. So, somewhat reluctantly, he went with
the two boys, and the patrol call quickly brought
out the other five Tigers.
“ Now, come on ! ” Barney ordered and hur-
ried them up to the Home. Arrived there, he
put Nolan forward. “ You been here before,
ain’t ye?” he demanded. “Well, then, you go
in an’ tell Billy I want him.”
Billy answered the summons promptly, and
seemed not much surprised at sight of Barney,
who demanded, “ Kin we sit there an’ talk ? ”
pointing to the broad piazza that ran around
three sides of the old-fashioned house.
“ Till ten o’clock,” replied Billy, “ if we ain’t
“ Come on, then,” Barney rejoined, and pres-
ently the nine boys were seated there in the
light of the street lamps.
“ Now,” said Barney, “ you fellers pitch in an’
tell us all about this scoutin’ business — all of it,
mind ye, what ye like an’ what ye don’t like.
We want to know it all.”
It took several minutes for the tongues to get
really loosened, but there was no delay after
that. Barney, listening, and flinging out an oc-
casional quick, keen question, soon had a clear
idea of the study and work and play that gave
scouting its absorbing interest to the boys. He
heard all about that wonderful month at Eagle
Lake, with its work and study and frolic — of
Billy’s adventure and the visit of Mr. Hart and
HINDERERS AND HELPERS 261
his big car; and then the boys spoke in lower
tones of Sullivan’s death ; and that led naturally
to the great undertaking in which, they admitted,
they seemed as yet to have made so little
A church clock near by began to strike, and
instantly Billy was on his feet. “ It’s ten,” he
said. “ You must go now,” and before the last
stroke had fallen, the other boys were tramping
down the street.
“ Think you’ll join, Barney?” Nolan ques-
tioned curiously as they went.
“ I — ain’t sayin’ — yet,” Barney replied, and
not another word did he speak until the Tigers
turned off at Nolan’s corner. Then Barney
turned at once to his companion.
“ Now, Mug, ye know all about this scout
business. What about it?” he demanded.
“ I dunno,” the other boy responded doubt-
fully. “ You goin’ into it? ”
“ Then I’m thinkin’ I will, too. Got ter do
somethin’ now the gang’s broke up.”
“ That’s it, Mugsy,” Barney spoke quickly.
“ I’m countin’ on it workin’ that way with the
rest er the bunch. They got ter have somethin’
if they don’t have the gang ter run wit’, an’ we
got ter nail ’em quick ’fore they get mixed up
in somethin’ else — see? Now then, Mug, if
you’ll stick to me, I reckon we can put this
through. I’ll get a patrol o’ my own. I’ll be
the leader an’ you the ’sistant. How’s that ? ”
“ I’m willin’,” Boyce replied. “ But the’s only
262 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
eight in a patrol, Nolan says. What about the
rest o’ the gang? ”
“ What’s the matter wit’ havin’ two patrols ? ”
Barney retorted promptly. “ Let Tibbs be the
leader er the other. That’ll get him in an’ I’m
thinkin’ the rest’ll follow sooner or later.”
“ An’ if they don’t? ” Boyce questioned.
“ Well,” replied Barney slowly, “ ye see, Mug,
it ain’t any little fool play I’m planning.” He
drew himself up and threw back his shoulders.
“ I’m gettin’ too big fer the kind o’ things we’ve
been doin’ ; an’,” his voice dropped to a lower
key, “ it ain’t what Mack said — that ain’t all,
annyhow — it’s Billy Burns an’ the other fellers
— them Tigers. Look at them, an’ look at — the
gang ” — in the darkness he waved his arm —
“ four of ’em in the reform school, one in the
4 pen ’ — and then Mack. I ain’t meanin’ to end
up like them — any of ’em — an’ you ain’t, either,
Boyce shook his head in silence. Barney went
on, “ If ’t hadn’t been fer Marshall, Billy’d been
over t’ the reform school wit’ Tim an’ Jake to-
day. He’ll help us, too — he says so. An’ another
thing — it looks like there’s goin’ ter be a hot
fight down here in the South End an’ I want
ter be in it. I’m owin’ ol’ Reagan something! ”
“ Me, too ! Don’t ye be fergittin’ what I owe
ol’ Reagan.” There was a threat in the tone.
“ No, Mug ” — there was a curious softening
in Barney’s voice now — “ no, I ain’t forgettin’
Humpy,” he said.
B ARNEY lost no time — the very next night
he and Boyce set forth to round up the
old gang. They knew well enough
where the boys were likely to be, and found them
while the evening was still young. Barney led
the way to his own room, a bare place, but one
that he shared with no one. The boys had often
been there before, and to-night they came full
of curiosity. Barney had told them that the
gang was broken up and, moreover, that it was
not to be put together again. The others had
not yet determined what was to be done about
it, but every boy was eager to hear what Barney
had to say to-night. He did not keep them
“ Boys,” he began, “ I told yer ’t the gang’s
done fer. I ain’t goin’ ter have any more o’ ye
say ’t I helped get yer inter the ‘ pen ’ or — or
worse. I’m on the square now, cuttin’ out s’loons
an’ all the rest of it. I’ve been sick of it all fer
a long while, but I hung on ’cause I didn’t know
what ter take up instead. Now I know. I’m
goin’ in wit’ Nolan an’ his crowd, an’ we’re goin’
ter make things hum down here in the South
End. I tell yer there’s goin’ ter be lively times
when we get after ol’ Reagan, an’ we shan’t let
264 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
up on him till the job’s done an’ done to last —
don’t ye fergit that ! ”
“ Or Reagan — what ye goin’ ter do to him ? ”
half a dozen voices demanded excitedly. There
was an ancient feud between Reagan and the
“ Goin’ ter make him do what he won’t like —
fix up the ol’ ratholes he’s rentin’, an’ clean out
the yards, an’ help us get the city to clean the
streets — that’s what ! ”
The boys stared at Barney and at each other,
and then they all broke into uproarious laughter.
Old Reagan — old Reagan! Barney was expect-
ing to make old Reagan do all this ! Had Barney
gone crazy, or what did it mean?
But Barney soon convinced them that he was
not crazy, and having a tongue that could both
coax and threaten, and an iron will behind it, he
actually persuaded the boys to join him in this
new enterprise. And they finally agreed, not
because they had the least idea that Barney
would succeed, but because they loved nothing
better than a fight, and this bade fair to be such
a contest as the South End had never seen be-
fore. As to the Scouts — well, maybe there would
be some fun of a mild sort in belonging to them
for a while, and they could quit when they got
tired. Anyhow, things were sure to be lively
when Barney got busy. So from a mixture of
motives all of the boys agreed that night once
more to enlist under the banner of Barney Doyle.
It was late when they left, but Boyce lingered
yet a few minutes.
“ I never b’lieved you’d get ’em,” he said.
Barney laughed. “ I knew I would,” he ex-
ulted. “ I went fer ’em jest at the right time —
see ? They’s missin’ the gang — an’ me — an’
they’s wantin’ somethin’ new, an’ most of all,
they’s achin’ fer a fight — an’ that’s how ’tis.
They wouldn’t a-come in but fer the chance of
a scrap wit’ ol’ Reagan. What ye grinnin’ at ? ”
“ I’m thinkin’ how long we’ll keep them scout
laws — any of us,” replied Boyce.
Barney’s brows wrinkled in a dubious frown.
“ There’s the rub,” he admitted. “ That’s
where I’ll fall down, too, I’m thinkin’. You
an’ me’ll have to pin up our mouths fer a
while ter keep the cigarettes out an’ the swear-
words in — eh ? ” His mouth widened in a rueful
grin as he pulled some cigarettes from his pocket.
Then with a laugh, he handed half of them to
the other boy. “ Smoke ’em all, Mug, an’ I’ll
finish the rest to-night. Then I’ll swear off for
good or — or ”
He stood for a moment looking at the ciga-
rettes in his hand; then with a sudden swift
movement he threw up the window and flung
them into the street. “ Got to cut it out — might
as well begin now,” he added doggedly.
But Boyce, less heroic, stuffed his half of the
cigarettes hastily into his pocket, and when he
left spent some time hunting in the street for
those Barney had flung away.
A day or two later Barney, with a new light
in his eyes and a new lift to his square chin, ap-
peared again at Alan Marshall’s rooms.
266 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
“ Fve got two new patrols fer your troop/’ he
The Scout Master did not answer at once, and
Barney’s face clouded. He made a swift move-
ment towards the door, but the Master stopped
“ Wait, Barney, till I explain,” he said. “ As
far as I myself am concerned, I should be more
than glad to have the new patrols in my
“ Then I s’pose ye think we ain’t fitten to be
wit’ them swells in the other patrols — is that
it ? ” Barney demanded, with voice full of anger.
“ What do you yourself think about it, Bar-
ney ? ” the Master asked quietly. “ I suppose
these are the members of your old gang — these
new Scouts ? ”
“ Well, you know a great deal better than I
do what kind of boys they are — what sort of
language they use — what sort of lives they have
been leading. Do you think it would be right for
me to bring these boys into companionship with
the younger ones in my troop — boys like Jack
Harding and Coe and Ryder? What do you
honestly think about it, Barney?”
The quiet, pleasant tone and the evident sin-
cerity of the question banished the boy’s anger.
He sat quiet and thoughtful, his keen eyes study-
ing the Master’s face. After a moment he an-
swered, a note of heavy disappointment in his
voice, “ Mebbe not.”
“ You see, it is this way, Barney. The parents
of some of my Scouts would not have allowed
their boys to join if I had not had charge of the
troop; so it is my duty to see that the boys are
not thrown with dangerous companions.”
“ There’s the Tigers ” Barney ventured.
“ Yes, but it was the other way about there.
The Tigers were the first patrol in my troop, and
the others joined afterwards. And the Tigers
are not the same boys they were a year ago.
You see that, don’t you? ”
Barney admitted that. “ But,” he persisted,
“ if these other fellers ain’t goin’ ter have no
chance, how c’n they get any better ? ”
“ They surely shall have a chance,” the Mas-
ter earnestly declared. “ I want every one of
them, Barney. I want to help give them their
chance, and we’ll find a way to do it. Perhaps
we can manage it this way — by taking them into
the troop on probation. Do you know what that
“ Tryin’ ’em out? ” the boy asked.
“ Yes, that’s it. I’m sure,” the Master’s smile
was warm and friendly, “ I’m sure, Barney, you
have already found out that it is going to be
no easy thing for you yourself to keep some of
the scout rules — if you know the rules ? ”
“ I know ’em — I’ve read the book.”
“ Then you know that Scouts cannot lie or
swear. They must be clean inside and out, loyal
to the flag, to their officers, polite and kind and
honourable — and they must always obey orders.
You must already have found how hard it is to
keep all these rules even for one day.”
268 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
“ You’re right there,” responded Barney with
“ Yet you are in dead earnest about it — I can
see that. And for boys like those of your old
gang it will be very hard at first. You must
expect them to fail over and over again. If they
keep on trying, however, it will grow easier after
a while. I think it may be wise to put them on
probation for, we’ll say, three months; and then
perhaps they might become regularly members
of the troop — if they hold out.”
Barney nodded. He could not deny the wis-
dom of this, but it was plain to see that he was
deeply disappointed. “Ye see,” he explained,
“ I don’t see how I’m goin’ to hold ’em to them
rules — myself. I was countin’ on you to help
the rest of us same’s you have Billy. You let
Billy in your troop an’ he was one of the gang
“ I know — but you yourself admitted that
Billy was different from the others.”
“ That’s so. He was.”
“And Billy was only one. That is quite dif-
ferent from taking in a whole patrol or two of
“ Yes, I know,” Barney hastily responded.
“ But,” the Master repeated, “ you can count
on my help, Barney, in every possible way. You
can bring the boys here to my rooms whenever
you like — they will always be welcome; and I
think once a month you might bring them to the
regular Saturday campfire. There would not be
room for so many here, but Mr. Hart is having
another room fixed up for us — a fine large one
with a big fireplace. It will be ready soon, and
I’ll have your boys come and help us celebrate
our first meeting there. Be sure, Barney, that
I am ready day or night to help you and any of
these boys in any way. ‘ All Scouts are
brothers,’ you know, and I consider you all my
younger brothers. And as for you — Barney, do
you remember the first time you and I met ? ”
“ Uh huh ! The time Boyce give Scud Smith
what was cornin’ to him,” replied Barney.
“ Yes.” The Master smiled. “ You were pretty
rough with me that day, but all the same I liked
you then, and I’ve wanted to be friends with you
ever since. Now I understand why I felt so. It
is because you are going to grow into the splen-
did man you were meant to be. I expect to be
very proud of you and Billy some day.”
“ I — dunno,” muttered Barney, but the flush
on his face now was not from anger. He stood
up, awkwardly fumbling his cap. “ Then I’ll tell
’em they’re on probation — the boys ? ” he asked.
“ Perhaps we can keep them on probation with-
out their knowing it,” the Master suggested.
“The best way to get rid of bad things is to
crowd them out with good things. If you can
get those boys to helping the Tigers in what they
are trying to do in the South End — get them
really interested and earnest over it — it would be
the best thing possible for the boys themselves.”
“ I know. I’m thinkin’ they’ll do that,” Barney
“Good!” replied the Master. “And we’re
270 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
going to have another big meeting with Scouts
from the different troops showing what they
have learned, and all that. Take your boys to
that meeting, and have them get their uniforms
and banners as soon as possible. That will give
them the feeling that they belong — that they are
a part of it all. That kind of thing helps a lot.
I suppose they all work in the daytime ? ”
“ Yes, an’ two is goin’ to evenin’ school now.
I’m goin’, too, next year.”
“ Good again. You are on the up-grade, Bar-
ney, and you’ll come out all right ; only don’t get
discouraged when things go wrong, for they are
bound to do that sometimes.”
“ I know,” the boy said soberly.
But as he went away, there grew in him a new
ambition — half perhaps for himself, but half at
least for these other boys — for Barney could not
shake off the memory of Mack’s last words to
him. They seemed burnt into his heart.
Overtaking Nolan near his own home, he in-
quired how the Tigers were getting on with their
big job. Nolan despondently acknowledged that
they were making little progress. He took Bar-
ney through the house and showed him the yard.
“ We’re keepin’ it clean, ye see, an’ some others,
too; but between the folks that don’t care to
have things clean, an’ that gang of yours, it’s —
it’s tough work, I tell ye. Say, d’ye know it
took all us Tigers a whole week to clean this
one yard? ”
“ I guess so,” Barney agreed, “ doin’ it most all
“ An’, too,” added Nolan gloomily, “ it cuts out
all the fun — baseball an’ picture shows an’ every-
thing — an’ the fellers git grouchy over it.”
“ ’Course they do,” replied Barney. “ You
can’t do it alone — you Tigers — that’s what. But
now the gang’s goin’ to pitch in an’ help ye.”
“The gang — help!” Nolan gasped in open-
mouthed amazement ; then he stuck his tongue in
his cheek and winked. “ Help yer granny ! ” he
Barney looked at him gravely. “ That’s what
I’m sayin — they’re goin’ ter help. Don’t ye know
they’re all Scouts now? Well — they’re goin ’ ter
help!” he repeated.
Nolan’s face was a study. He was so accus-
tomed to think of the gang as one of the worst
obstacles in the way of progress that he could
not all at once believe in this marvellous change,
even although the gang had been transformed
outwardly into scout patrols.
“ Aw — well, we’ll see,” he replied evasively.
Then reverting to past wrongs, he added, “ They
dumped a cartload o’ truck in this very yard.”
“ I know,” Barney admitted, “ but they wasn’t
Scouts then, nor thinkin’ of bein’.” His glance
swept along the row of ramshackle frame houses,
every one bearing the marks of poverty and
shiftlessness. He knew what most of the back
yards looked like, and he did not wonder that
the Tigers were discouraged. He followed
Nolan back to the street where a pack of smaller
boys were yelling and fighting. Nolan glowered
272 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
“ Them kids’ll be makin’ a new gang pretty
soon,” he growled. “ They are up to all sorts
o’ mean tricks now.”
“ Why don’t ye get ’em to help ye ? ” Barney
“ Help? How would I? ”
“They do the mean tricks ’cause they got to
be doin’ somethin’,” replied Barney, applying the
Master’s wisdom, “ give ’em somethin’ better to
do. Make Scouts of them.”
“ S-scouts,” Nolan echoed, “ of them ? Why,
they yell at us Tigers every time they see us in
uniform, an’ sling dirt at us, an’ all that.”
“ That’s ’cause they ain’t in it,” returned Bar-
ney, “ an’ they want to be.”
Nolan scratched, his head thoughtfully.
“ Mebbe yer right — I dunno,” he said.
“ But, see,” Barney counselled, “ don’t ye go
beggin’ ’em to join. Jest let ’em find out that
a new troop’s goin’ ter be made up down here,
an’ they’ll be tumblin’ over each other ter get
“ But,” Nolan objected, “ lots of ’em ain’t old
enough yet to be Scouts.”
“ Well, they’re goin’ to be old enough, ain’t
they? Get ’em trainin’ fer it now. An’ make
them that are Scouts keep their kid brothers out
of mischief.” Then suddenly he changed the sub-
ject. “Say, Nolan, how about that 'one kind-
ness ’ biz? ” he asked curiously. “ D’ye stick to
that, honest ? ”
“ Yes, sir , we do ! ” Nolan declared. “ ’Course
we fergit some days, though,” he admitted.
BARNEY AGAIN 273
“ What kind o’ things do ye do ? What you
done ter-day ? ” Barney persisted.
A red flush crept over Nolan’s face and he
hesitated. “ You’ll think ’tain’t nothin’,” he
evaded, kicking at a stone.
“ Never you mind — I want to know. I got to
do them things, too, ain’t I, now ? ”
“ Well,” said Nolan slowly, “ I carried up a
pail o’ water fer ol’ Mis’ Murphy, an’ I got a
box over on the dump heap an’ broke it up fer
Mis’ Peters — her man’s out of a job an’ they
ain’t got no kindlin’ ”
“What else?” Barney urged as Nolan
Nolan flung back his heau defiantly, ready to
resent a glimmer of ridicule. “ Well, then, I kep’
the baby quiet while me mother fixed the dinner
— there ! ”
“ Hm, that’s free things,” was Barney’s com-
“ Oh, well, they ain’t much, any o’ them,”
Barney nodded and turned away. “ But he
didn’t laugh, anyhow,” Nolan said to himself,
looking after him.
It was the next evening that the Tigers began
work on one of the worst of the yards. The
house to which it belonged was now empty, and
the tenants who had just departed had evidently
dumped most of their belongings out of the
windows before they left. On top of the usual
small mountain of ashes, tin cans, and broken
crockery, there was a rusty old stove and some
274 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
remants of pipe, a broken bedstead, an old mat-
tress, and a cartload of similar trash.
The boys stood looking at it dubiously.
“ It’s the worst yet,” Jenkins declared.
“ It’ll take a month an’ more to clean it up,”
Billy began quietly laying aside the pieces of
bedstead and other wood. “ Them’ll make some-
body a fire,” he said to himself.
It was then that Barney appeared with the two
new patrols. The Tigers stared at the old
gang half doubtfully, half defiantly, and Bar-
ney, anxious to forestall possible hostilities,
“Say, Nolan, jou bossin’ this job? Where
d’ye want us to begin ? ”
Nolan looked at the big fellows grinning be-
hind Barney and promptly resigned in favour of
their old leader.
“ I guess if they’re goin’ ter work, you c’n
boss, an’ we’ll take the orders,” he said.
“ How about it ? ” Barney demanded of the
other Tigers, and as no one ventured to object,
he promptly took command, and soon had all
his followers hard at work; but none of them
worked harder than he. The Tigers laboured
with fresh zeal, for the many hands made the
labour light, and picks and shovels dug their
way steadily into the great pile.
“ Sidney Hart an’ Wilson Harding was down
here the other day an’ took a picture of this yard
an ’a lot of others,” Nolan said, as he worked
Barney scowled. “Took pictures! They bet-
ter a-taken shovels an’ used ’em,” he growled.
“ They did that, too — all the Owls an’ Pan-
thers have been helpin’,” Nolan replied quickly.
“An’ why shouldn’t they?” retorted Barney,
but he scowled no longer.
The work had been going on for an hour or
more when a harsh voice was heard to demand,
“ What are you doing here ? ”
Instantly every boy turned and faced the door-
way where, in the dusky light, stood an old man
with a shaggy grey head, a hook nose, and little
eyes set deep under bushy brows. It was
Reagan. They all knew hiA.
“ What are you doing on my property ? ” he
“ Doin’ what you ought to have done — cleanin’
out the dirt,” Barney flung back.
“ I don’t want it cleaned out. Get out of here
— the whole lot of ye ! ”
Barney deliberately turned his back on the old
man. “ Keep at it,” he ordered the boys, “ an’
say nothin’ to him.”
That order did not please the boys — there were
many things they all wanted to say to old Reagan.
It was only when Barney in a low tone passed
the word along, “ Don’t ye see it’ll make him
madder’n ” — he caught himself up quickly —
“ swearin’ mad, if he can’t stop us. Work like
blazes an’ say nothin’, no matter what he says ! ”
It was good counsel, and the boys were willing
to follow it when they saw that Reagan was half
choked with rage. He stood in the doorway
276 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
and swore at them, shaking his stick, and threat-
ening them with all the terrors of the law ; at
which the boys only laughed, and made their
shovels fly the faster. This was something like
— it gave the needed zest to hard labour.
The old man went off at last, muttering threats
and curses, and the boys expected the next night
to find a policeman on hand to stop their labours ;
but none appeared — much to their disappoint-
ment — nor did Reagan interfere again. Perhaps
he realised that the time was coming when he
could no longer disregard the demands from the
health office, and felt that, after all, he was get-
ting the best of it since the boys were doing
for nothing what he would have had to pay some
one else to do, when he could no longer avoid
So Barney and the old gang continued to
work — not all of them every night, as the Tigers
had worked — but still they gave most efficient
help. And meantime the Tigers had set about
turning other hinderers into helpers by organiz-
ing a new troop in the South End. With due
heed to Barney’s shrewd counsel, they talked
scouting to all the boys, but asked none of them
to become Scouts, and as Barney had foreseen,
the boys were soon clamouring for a chance to
join. And it was not long before nearly every boy
in the entire neighbourhood who could qualify
was enrolled, and working overtime to earn
money enough for the uniform without which
he could not feel himself a genuine Scout. Also
the younger boys were counting the months that
ONE OF THE SOUTH END PATROLS
separated them from the joys and glories of
scout life, and were learning the oath and the
rules, and beginning to practise the latter, too.
Barney’s plan had worked well.
His eyes were full of triumph the first time
that the South End troop appeared at one of the
public meetings. The Master, understanding the
look, grasped the boy’s hand and shook it heartily.
“ Good work, Barney — good work ! ” he said.
“ It’s an improvement on the gang, isn’t it ? ” and
Barney agreed that it was.
Then as the Master looked again at the new
troop, an idea flashed suddenly into his mind, and
he turned to Sidney.
“ Six patrols — a big troop, isn’t it, besides Bar-
ney’s two,” he said.
“ Fine ! ” replied Sidney, his eyes shining.
“ Sidney,” the Master went on in a tone too
low for other ears, “ you know all about the work
of the Tigers down in the South End — you’ve
talked it all over with them and Doyle, haven’t
“ Why, yes, lots of times, and you know we’ve
been helping them, too. The Tigers ought to be
the banner patrol of Troop 5, I think.”
“ So do I. But, Sidney, could you tell the
whole story, do you think — tell it so as to inter-
est other people ? ”
“ Why — I don’t know. What do you mean,
“ This. When I saw that new troop over
there, and remembered that the credit of it really
belonged to the Tigers and Barney, it came to me
278 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
that it would be a mighty strong object lesson —
that troop and ours together. We are to have
a meeting of the Civic Association next week.
I was going to bring up the South End question
there again, anyhow, but now I want you to
“Me?” Sidney's face was full of bewilder-
“ Yes, you. I want to have Troop 5 and this
new one at that meeting, all in uniform, and I
want you to tell there just as you would tell it
to me what the Tigers have been doing in the
South End — what they are trying to do now.
The sight of those boys there will appeal to the
Association very strongly. I believe that they
and you can do more for the South End than
any one else could possibly do.”
“ But — but, Mr. Marshall,” Sidney stam-
mered, “ I never spoke in a meeting in my life.
I’d get scared stiff ! ”
“ No, you wouldn’t — not when you think what
you are going to speak for — what the telling of
that story to that audience may mean. You
would not be scared, Sidney.”
The boy drew a long breath and his eyes began
to glow. “ I’d like to — I’d like fine to do it, if
I could,” he said.
“ You can — and you will. Don’t let yourself
worry over what you will say or how you will
say it. You know the story and the words will
come to you,” Alan Marshall answered.
Sidney went home with his thoughts in a
tumult. He did not tell his father what the
BARNEY AGAIN 279
Master had asked him to do, but at the dinner
table he broke out suddenly, “ Father, do you
know anybody with a lot of money to invest ? ”
His father gave him a keen glance. “ What if
I do? ” he retorted.
“ Only that I wish you’d get him to invest it
down in the South End.”
“ In what ? Saloons ? ”
“ No, in small houses or tenements.”
“ What are you driving at, Sidney? ” Mr. Hart
demanded, and the boy told the story of the
latest developments in the South End, and of
the big new troop organised there. Mr. Hart
had heard fragments of all this before; but to-
night he listened with a deeper interest than ever,
seeing how much it all meant to his own boy.
“ What I can’t see,” Sidney went on, “ is why
men with money to spare don’t buy up all those
old shanties and burn them, and build decent
houses there. Then have the alleys and streets
made clean and kept clean.”
" Couldn't have them kept clean. The people
down there wouldn’t keep a marble palace clean
if you built one for them,” the banker declared.
“ I guess they’d keep it cleaner than the places
they live in now — with no water except the pump
in the yard, and no conveniences of any sort, and
no regular collection of — anything, except rent.”
“ You seem to be well posted on conditions
down there, Sidney.”
“ I am — I’ve been down. I’ve seen the houses
and the yards and the alleys, and, father, putting
the poor folks who have to live there altogether
280 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
out of the question— I cant see how the rich men
in this city can let such a place exist, for their
own sakes. It is no wonder we have epidemics
of typhoid and everything. We’re bound to,
while that pesthole’s there ! ”
Mr. Hart listened and questioned, and in his
heart there was mingled surprise and a great
satisfaction at the replies he got. To have the
boy so keenly and intelligently interested in a
matter like this was worth far more to his father
than the cost of the new houses for which Sidney
“ Well, well,” he said at last, “ I’ll think it
over. Something’s got to be done down there —
you’re right about that.”
The next day he went with Alan Marshall to
the South End.
“ That boy of mine,” he said to the Scout
Master, “ has convinced me that something
must be done down here, and done now, and I
want to see for myself what is most needed.”
“ I think the time for action has come,” the
Master replied, “ and I feel that our city will
owe a debt of gratitude to those boys who have
been working with so much energy and per-
severance all these months. But for them there
is no saying how long things might have re-
mained as they are — as they have been for
When the car rolled slowly through the nar-
row unpaved streets, between the rows of ram-
shackle houses with their broken windows and
rickety steps — interspersed with vacant lots
strewn with rubbish — and swarming with babies
and children of all ages, the banker was soon
convinced that his son had not exaggerated the
conditions or the needs.
“ I understand Reagan owns most of these
houses. Won’t he sell ? ” he inquired.
“ Not at any reasonable price. To my knowl-
edge several attempts have been made to buy him
out, but the moment a possible purchaser ap-
pears, prices go soaring.”
“ Then the only way is to secure land near here
and put up decent houses.”
“ And then persuade the people to move into
them,” added Alan Marshall.
“ It would hardly seem as if much persuasion
would be required to get them to leave such
places as these for good houses.”
“ But, you see, Mr. Hart, these shanties are
rented for a mere song. They can be — having
no conveniences and no repairs — and poor people
often have to stay in such places to save a dollar
or two a week when the income is small and the
“ I see,” assented the banker. “ That’s one of
your Scouts ahead there, isn’t it? ” he added.
“ Yes, it’s Nolan. He seems to be trying to
stop the car.”
At a word from the banker, the chauffeur
stopped the car, and Nolan, picking up something
from the street, came running up, his face one
broad grin of welcome.
“ It’s glass — see? Might ’a’ busted yer tire,”
he explained, holding out the glass in his left
282 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
hand while his right gave the salute to the Scout
“ Thank you, Nolan — you’ve saved me a big
bill, maybe,” Mr. Hart said. “ Drop that glass
somewhere and step in here, won’t you ? ”
Would he? Nolan’s grin couldn’t well be any
broader, but never perhaps would he know a
prouder hour than that when, in the big car, he
rode through the narrow streets, and knew him-
self the envy of countless youngsters that stared
from doorsteps and sidewalks all along the way.
The banker questioned him, and he confirmed all
that Sidney had said, and added particulars that
made Mr. Hart very thoughtful.
“ Well, Nolan,” he said, when, after a glorious
spin around the river drive, he brought the boy
back to his own door, “ you Tigers have done
good work down here, and now I think it is time
for some of the rest of us to lend a hand.”
“ I reckon there’s enough fer all the hands to
do,” Nolan replied earnestly, and they left him
standing at salute, his face aglow.
“ The truth is, Marshall,” the banker said, as
they rolled swiftly away, “ these boys have made
me thoroughly ashamed of myself. I ought to
have investigated conditions down here for my-
self long ago. I knew they were bad, though
I didn’t know how bad, but I’ll try to make up
for it now.”
A LAN MARSHALL had invited many rep-
resentative men and women to be present
* at the meeting of the Civic Association
that next week, and many came, so many that it
was with difficulty that seats were reserved in the
body of the hall. Only Marshall himself and
the president of the Association knew for whom
the seats were reserved, and there was a stir
and an exchange of surprised glances and in-
quiries when the two troops in scout uniform
marched in. Sidney felt as if his heart dropped
down into his boots when, obeying the Master’s
gesture, he went to the platform and faced the
crowded room. He knew he never could speak
there — he was sure to fizzle, make a fool of
himself and spoil the whole thing. But that last
thought steadied him. What if he did make a
fool of himself? That wouldn’t matter to any-
body but himself. But — spoil the whole thing —
this thing that meant so much to all these South-
Enders — so much indeed to the whole city ?
Oh, no, he couldn’t do that. And there was
no danger. It was the story — the story — not
the way Sidney Hart might tell it that mattered.
And so he found himself listening quietly as the
284 j SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
“ We are to have to-night an illustration of
what might aptly be termed ‘ applied patriotism *
— in the story of what has been accomplished
by these boys who are our guests to-night. The
story will be told by Sidney Hart, who knows
all about it because he has had a share in the
“I’ve had only a small share in it,” Sidney
began, as he stepped forward, “ but Mr. Mar-
shall, our Scout Master, has asked me to tell
you what the other boys — the banner patrol
of our troop — have done, and afterwards we are
going to illustrate the story with some pictures
taken by other members of the troop.”
In two minutes he had forgotten all about
himself and was telling the story of what the
Tigers had done — of the obstacles they had had
to meet — of the long hours of night labour fol-
lowing school or other work, and finally of the
transformation of the alley gang into faithful
helpers in the work. He told the story well,
so well that his audience listened with the keen-
est interest, and as the men and women there
looked from the boy on the platform to those
other boys in the seats, their hearts were deeply
stirred and they were moved by a common im-
pulse — to help these boys. To many of them,
up to this time, scouting had meant only a safe
and pleasant amusement for the boys with, per-
haps, some useful training of eye and hand in-
cluded. To-night they realised what possibili-
ties were in it for growth in character, and the
promotion of a wide brotherhood as well. Here
APPLIED PATRIOTISM 285
was Sidney Hart, only son of one of the wealthy
and prominent men of the city, counting himself
in with these rough boys of the South End —
identifying himself with them — and pleading for
— what? For the simple sanitary conditions
which would make the South End a safe place
for those who must live there; and which at the
same time would put an end to conditions that
were a menace to the health of the entire city.
And when Sidney stepped down from the plat-
form and took his seat with his troop, the lights
were turned out, and on a sheet were thrown
many pictures — pictures of South End streets
and alleys and back yards, of Reagan’s rows
of houses, swarming with children, of interiors
of those houses with rotten stairs and crumbling
plaster and broken windows. Last of all a pic-
ture of that yard piled high with every sort of
refuse, where the boys were at work when
Reagan ordered them off his property — and they
did not go.
Before the audience dispersed that evening it
had been decided that, cost what it might in
money or effort, there should be a clean sweep
in the South End. And money was contributed
on the spot, for hiring men and teams, and a
committee appointed to see that every yard and
alley was cleaned as quickly as it could be done.
“ The boys have done their share, now we
will do ours, and we will find means to compel
the city authorities to do what we cannot do
ourselves,” they said.
As for the boys, they went home in a state
286 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
of joyous excitement and anticipation — those
who lived in the South End hardly more de-
lighted than the others.
Sidney Hart found his father walking rest-
lessly up and down the library. “ So,” he ex-
claimed when the boy entered, “ you’ve taken
to public speaking, have you ? ”
Sidney laughed a bit nervously. " You
weren’t there ! ” he cried.
“ Yes, sir, I was there, and — and I was proud
of you, my boy.”
At the look in his father’s eyes Sidney choked
up a bit, but in a moment he had forgotten
himself again and was talking eagerly about
“ Didn’t they make a great show — the two
troops ? ” he exclaimed. “ And weren’t the
people interested! I tell you, father, it’s com-
ing soon — what those fellows have been working
for — it surely is. Mr. Strong spoke to me after
the meeting, and Judge Pierson, and ever so
many others. And oh, father, two of the city
council were there, and I heard Mr. Marshall
giving them the plainest kind of talk.”
“ Yes, the boys have won, sure,” Mr. Hart
answered. “ There will be clean streets and
alleys in the South End and no delay about it
now. And, Sidney, I can’t let you boys have
all the fun. I’ve got an option on a big piece
of land down there, and an architect is already
at work on plans for small houses.”
Sidney drew a long breath. “ Well,” he cried,
“ if this hasn’t been a great day. I can hardly
wait to tell the boys this last news — I can’t
wait ! ” and he went out of the room, and up
the stairs two steps at a time, and the next mo-
ment his father heard him calling Wilson Hard-
ing on the telephone.
As for Barney Doyle — when he heard the lat-
est plans for the South End, he was divided in
opinion. Deep down in his heart he sympa-
thised with the boys of the old gang who felt
that they had been defrauded because the longed-
for fight with old Reagan was not to come off
after all. But in fact new interests were al-
ready beginning to drive old grudges and old
desires from the minds of the one-time gang.
At Sidney’s suggestion, Mr. Hart had done more
than fit up a campfire room for the troop ; he had
added to that two other rooms, one furnished
with papers and magazines, and the other with
tools and work-benches which any member of
the troop could use when he would. The boy
who does not like to have the freedom of a
good tool chest — without any obligation to use it
— is yet to be found. Barney’s followers and
the Tigers used the work-benches and tools
with ever increasing satisfaction. Already the
dark days of the gang were drifting into the
past, and the newest patrols of Troop 5 were
slowly but surely entering into the spirit of
In none of them, however, had this spirit
developed more rapidly than in Sidney Hart.
He found now an endless source of interest in
the boys of the South End, and no longer
288 SCOUT MASTER OF TROOP 5
dreamed of a wild life in the west. The other
members also of the Owl and Panther patrols
had discovered that even boys can accomplish
things well worth while when they work
unitedly, with determination. The whole troop
was now intensely interested in the complete
renovation of the South End, and they set them-
selves to interest their relatives t nd friends;
among these were men of wealth and power
whom the enthusiasm of the boys stirred to
action. So from many quarters influence was
brought to bear upon the city authorities — in-
fluence too strong to be disregarded — and
promptly the decree went forth that South End
streets should be paved, alleys widened and
drained, vacant lots cleaned, tenements repaired
and supplied with modern conveniences or else
torn down, and all unsanitary conditions reme-
died. Old Reagan, unwilling to submit to these
sweeping requirements, sold out all his holdings
and departed to parts unknown, and the boys had
the satisfaction of seeing the old shanties torn
down and replaced by comfortable small houses.
But the transformation of the South End
was only the beginning. The boys of Troop 5
have learned that the brotherhood idea is a key
to the solution of many large problems. Under
the wise direction of the Scout Master, they
are studying some of those problems now, and
planning great things for the days to come.
PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
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