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Kiddie the Scout by Robert Leighton

Kiddie himself took the paddle


He

searched for footprints, but could discover none; a newly-broken twig was all the sign that he could see. He glanced around among the trees, but there was no visible movement, and a whip-poor-will was singing undisturbed from a high bough of a balsam tree close at hand.

"No occasion ter worry about a trifle like that," he remarked, as he went on in the direction of the lake. "All the same, I'm some curious."

He did not look back while carrying the long teepee poles through the narrow ways between the closely-growing trees. Had he done so, even the sureness and quickness of his eyesight might still have missed the cleverly hidden form of Broken Feather, who lay at full length in the midst of an elder bush, stealthily watching him.

CHAPTER X

THE GUARDIAN OF THE HONEYCOMB

"And we're really goin' ter make a start right now?" questioned Rube, as he watched Kiddie packing their fishing gear on top of the rest of their equipment in the canoe. "We shall not get very far if you're notionin' ter make camp 'fore dark."

"All the better," said Kiddie. "If we find we've forgotten anything, there'll be the less distance for us to come back for it, see?"

"Thar's nothin' as you're liable ter have forgot," observed

Rube, confident in Kiddie's forethought. "Seems ter me you must have had a schedule of the things already fixed up in your head. Anyhow, I don't reckon as we shall have any occasion t' come back--unless it's for the big dog. Why ain't we takin' Sheila along of us, Kiddie? Wouldn't she have been useful?"

"In some ways, yes; in others, no," Kiddie answered decisively. "I'm leaving her to mount guard up at the homestead and down at the cabin. She'll be better fed here at home, and she won't be running wild. If we took her along with us, she'd sure be foolin' around among our traps, scarin' the wild critters away from 'em; and I ain't in favour of keepin' her on the chain. Besides, I don't calculate on your havin' a hound ter help you in trackin' and scoutin'. You must learn to do it all on your own. Ready? In you get, then, while I shove her off."

Kiddie himself took the paddle. The water was extremely calm, and as the canoe rippled out from the shore, every tree and bush and boulder was clearly reflected in the glassy surface.

"No," he said, after a long spell of silence, reverting to Rube's remark. "Thar's no advantage in going far this evening. We've made a start; that's the great thing. I ain't greatly in favour of a long-prepared programme, or of doin' things accordin' ter plan, like an ordinary tourist. Guess we'll make camp back of that point that juts out in front of us. But 'fore we land, we got ter catch a fish or two for supper. That's why we packed the rods an' lines on top of the outfit. May as well begin right away. Be careful how you move. Don't stand; crawl."

Rube got the two rods ready, while Kiddie paddled onward for a couple of miles. Here and there the calm surface was dimpled by rising fish.


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