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Kiddie the Scout by Robert Leighton

Kiddie looked across at Gideon Birkenshaw

style="text-align: justify;"> CHAPTER XX


"Now, as you're here, Kiddie, an' we're all so comfortable, an' so interested in all you've got ter tell us 'bout this yer campin' trip, what d'yer say ter stoppin' the night along of us?"

Kiddie looked across at Gideon Birkenshaw.

"Dunno, Gid," he answered lightly. "Only I was hankerin' to go down an' have a look at the cabin."

"Cabin's all right," objected Gideon. "Cabin won't run away. What's the good of goin' down thar, a cold dark night like this? Better by far wait till mornin', an' see it by daylight. Rooms haven't bin dusted, beds haven't bin aired, fires ain't lighted. Supper 'll be ready soon, an', say, thar's a great pile o' letters lyin' waitin' for you on the window ledge back of you."

Kiddie turned and glanced at the formidable pile, but he did not move to open any of the letters.

"Oh, all right, Gid," he said, flinging a leg over the arm of the easy-chair in which he was sitting. "I'll stay. Of course I'll stay."

He had brought the canoe ashore in the creek at Grizzly Notch, instead of at his own landing-place nearer the cabin. Rube's injured leg was still painful, and he had to be helped up the steep trail to Birkenshaw's camp.

So Kiddie had not yet visited his wood-land retreat.

There was a large party of them at supper. In addition to Abe Harum, Tom Lippincott and Jake Paterson, Sheriff Blagg had dropped in on his way home down the trail from Three Crossings, where he had been to look at a bunch of horses. During the meal Kiddie was very quiet. It was Rube Carter who did most of the talking, and who told them of the battle of Poison Spider Creek and of Kiddie's election as chief of the Crows.

"I ain't any surprised at Kiddie's refusin' ter take on the chief business," commented Gideon.

"Not but what he'd make a tip-top Injun chief," added Isa Blagg. "But I'm figurin' as the time's gone by for a lay-out of that sort. Thar ain't liable t' be any more Injun wars an' mutinies, an' thar's no need fer another Sitting Bull. Buffalo huntin's played out, too. Buffaloes are 'most all killed off. All that's left for the Redskin is to turn his mind to agriculture, an' thar's heaps of men c'n teach 'em husbandry better'n Kiddie could."

"That's so, Isa; that's so," agreed Kiddie.

"Say, Sheriff," interposed Rube; "have you gotten any news ter tell us about that Sanson T. Wrangler business that brought you t' our camp t' get Kiddie's advice?"

"No." The sheriff shook his head. "No, it all turned out just as Kiddie said, in every particular."

"And Nick Undrell had nothin' whatever to do with it?" questioned Kiddie.

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