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Kiddie the Scout by Robert Leighton

Gives promise of romantic solitood


"Then

we've no need ter hang around much longer," said Rube, "for I've fixed on Lone Wolf Canyon. There's a strong appeal in the name of Lone Wolf."

"Gives promise of romantic solitood, don't it?" mused the sheriff. "I'm not hankerin' after solitoods, myself. For real enjoyment, give me Brierley's saloon in Laramie on a Saturday night."

"Ah," rejoined Rube, "you never learnt the meanin' of campin' out. You ain't got the instincts of a scout, the same as Kiddie an' me. Don't suppose you even knows the name of the bird that's bin warblin' so sweet for the past half-hour in the tree over your head."

Isa turned and looked up into the tree.

"No," he said, "until you mentioned it, I wasn't aware that there was any warblin' in the programme."

"Don't you pay any heed to Rube, sheriff," Kiddie interposed. "It's a special hobby of his to know a bird by its notes. The songster you're listenin' to now is just a whip-poor-will. It starts every evening precisely at sunset. When it quits singing, we reckon it's time to crawl into our sleepin' bags."

Isa Blagg was in no hurry for the bird to cease its singing. Indeed, it was long after the usual bed-time when at length he consented to leave the bivouac fire.

On the following morning he awoke with alarm

to find himself alone on the island. He searched for Kiddie and Rube, and was beginning to fear that they had marooned him, when at last he discovered them swimming far out in the lake, where he had never thought of looking for them. They were so far away that he supposed he would have ample time to prepare breakfast for them; but on going to the fire he found the kettle boiling, the clean plates set ready, and the cut bacon waiting in the frying-pan. He strode to the creek and saw that his canoe was already loaded with the neatly-packed pelts that he was to take with him to Birkenshaw's.

"Gee!" he said to himself. "Never seen such a pair as them two in all my days. I ain't in it. They gets in front o' me every time!"

"We didn't ask you to come out and have a swim with us, Isa," greeted Kiddie as he stepped ashore.

"No use if you had done, Kiddie," returned Isa. "I never been in deep water in my life. None the less, I've gotten a healthy appetite for that bacon. Sleepin' on a island suits me. I'm real glad I came."

He paddled off in his canoe immediately after breakfast, when also Kiddie and Rube prepared to break camp.

CHAPTER XIV

LONE WOLF CANYON.

They were not long in crossing to the farther side of the lake and making a landing within the entrance to Lone Wolf Canyon. Neither of them had ever been here before, and they were disappointed in the prospect presented by the steep walls of barren cliff and the sunless gloom.


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