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The Heroes of the School by Allen Chapman

And Frank looked at Bart sharply


"What

are they doing?" asked Bart.

"They're hurrying from one place to another, looking at something through big magnifying glasses, just like that man in the boat. That's who they are. I can see the King of Paprica!"

"Let me have a look!" cried Ned.

"Is Sandy there?" asked Bart.

"I don't see him. Yes, there he is. He's helping them, from the look of things!"

In turn Ned and Fenn were allowed to gaze through the telescope. They confirmed what Frank had said, that the men were certainly at some peculiar operations.

"There are some more tents back of Sandy's," said Stumpy. "And I can see a log hut, too. There's something red over the door!"

CHAPTER XV

NED STOPS A PANIC

"Can you read it?" asked Ned.

"It begins with a 'K.' 'King of Paprica,' that's what it is. I can see it plainly, now that the sun is out from behind the cloud."

"This is where they moved the hut to," Ned went on. "Well, this thing is getting more and more mysterious."

Bart again ascended the tree and took a long observation. He reported that the men seemed to be measuring

the land with long chains, while one was using an instrument such as surveyors carry.

"Maybe they're planning to put a new trolley line through," suggested Fenn.

"That's so," agreed Bart. "I didn't think of that."

"Probably don't want folks to know which way it's going, as if they did, they might put up the price of land."

"But that doesn't explain the queer actions of the crazy men," objected Ned. "I bet there's something more than that in all this."

"Well, I don't see as we can do anything," spoke Frank cautiously. "We haven't any right to go on private land. Guess we'll have to let it drop."

"Wonder how they came to hire Sandy?" said Bart.

"Probably they knew he was so unpopular he wouldn't say much to the other fellows," explained Ned.

"Anyhow we've seen what we wanted to, though we can't make head or tail of it," came from Fenn. "Let's go on after the flowers."

"The men are going away now," Bart reported. "They've gone back in the woods, and Sandy is there on guard again. He needn't worry, we'll not bother him."

The boys remained on top of the hill some little while longer and then, finding a place where there were a number of beautiful wild flowers, gathered large bunches, wrapping the stems about with leaves, wet in a spring, to keep the flowers fresh.

They went through the woods so as to skirt the edge of the clearing but not near enough to it to be seen by Sandy, as they did not wish to get into a quarrel with the youth.

"Let's make some inquiries when we get back to town," suggested Bart, "and see if anyone has heard of a trolley line being extended, or of any surveyors at work."

"Whom can we ask?" inquired Ned.

"You ask Judge Benton, Frank," said Bart. "You know him, don't you?"

"Yes," was the answer, and Frank looked at Bart sharply, as if to see whether the suggestion was made with any particular motive. In fact Bart had mentioned the lawyer's name to see if Frank would volunteer anything about his visit to the judge's office that day. But Frank said nothing.


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