Part 2 out of 2
stuff; feast their eyes on just such wonderful feats as you have seen
pulled off beside these massive walls; and step by step, be taken
into our confidence as we progress, until finally the amazing climax
arrives. Right now you can hear the machine clicking away, as the
operator takes a crack at the players resting between their acts.
Perhaps it may please you chaps to know that you'll be seen in the
finished production along with the rest of the troupe."
Billy seemed quite awed at the idea. He was observed to slyly pull
down his vest, and straighten himself up as though on dress parade.
If countless thousands of people were going to gaze upon his person
throughout the whole length and breadth of the land, Billy wanted
to do his family justice, and not disgrace his bringing up.
Plainly, the stage director seemed to be considerably interested in
the scouts. Possibly he may have had a boy or two of his own in his
metropolitan home who also wore the khaki, and consequently any fellow
who sported such a uniform was of some value in his eyes. Then again,
in his hard labors, the coming of Hugh and his four comrades may have
seemed like a breath of fresh air, something to temporarily distract
him from the routine of his trying business.
At any rate, he seemed disposed to continue the conversation while his
people were resting, and making ready for the next act in the drama of
"Although all this seems very wonderful to you boys," he went on to
remark, lighting a cigarette as he spoke, at which he took several
puffs and then nervously threw it away again, "it represents only one
little event in the bustling activities of my force here, as any
regular member of it could tell you."
"I suppose you must have been around some, sir?" ventured Monkey
Stallings, at which the red-faced manager looked queerly at him and
"Well, it's a hustling age, you know," he told them. "I've been at
this business over four years now, and so far it hasn't quite reduced
me to a skeleton in spite of the fierce work. I've taken the leading
members of my famous players across the desert in Egypt to the pyramids,
explored Spain and the heart of India, traveled across Japan, gone
into China, camped in Central American jungles, wandered into the
heart of Africa hunting big game, toured away up in Alaska as well
as traveled all through the Wild West, and in Mexico among the fighting
that's always going on down there. And I've got a few more stunts
mapped out that will dwarf everything else that's ever been undertaken.
Oh! this is only a little picnic for a motion-picture stage director."
He may have been stretching the truth more or less, but then Hugh saw
no reason to disbelieve what he said. The boy realized that in these
modern days those who would succeed in the midst of fierce competition
must have something very unusual to offer the fickle public in the way
of adventure and novel effects. Why, the mere fact of this manager
learning about the deserted castle in the lonesome valley, and
fetching such an army of players all the way up there to impersonate
the genuine characters of olden days, was proof enough that what he
had just been saying might be considered in the line of reason. At
all events, there was no ground on which to doubt him.
Billy was casting frequent nervous glances over toward the spot where
the operator was still grinding lustily away, seeking to get a good
picture of the actors in one of their off-periods, when they were
taking things easy after a recent "engagement."
When, by accident, Monkey Stallings chanced to step in the way, Billy
hastily moved his position. When a Worth was being immortalized in
this fashion far be it for a worthy scion of the race to allow a mere
Stallings to crowd him out. When, presently, the grinding ceased,
with the operator hurrying across to report his success to the bustling
stage director, Billy grinned in conscious triumph, for he felt convinced
that he stood out prominently in that picture, so that any one who saw
it must notice what a handsome chap one of the Boy Scouts appeared to
be on the screen, at least.
The man who was running all this wonderfully complicated affair looked
just like a goodnatured, red-faced bank cashier, but Hugh realized that
he must have an amazing capacity for detail work, as well as a
remarkable faculty for organization.
Now and then he would refer to a sheaf of papers he carried around
with him, fastened together with a little arrangement that allowed
of their being rapidly turned over from time to time. Doubtless this
was his plan of campaign. Hugh would have given something for the
privilege of examining the same, but lacked the assurance to ask such
a favor of one who was an utter stranger to him, and moreover could
not afford to spend much time with a pack of mere boys.
It could be seen that the players expected to be soon called around the
managing director for instructions connected with motion pictures were
taken. So Hugh pulled at the sleeves of Monkey Stallings, to intimate
that they had better fall back.
Arthur had already left them. Hugh hardly needed to take a look around
to understand what it was that had drawn the other. Yes, he was over
there where the man in a business suit seemed to be bathing the limb
of a super who had suffered more or less severely when the ladder on
which he was mounted had been roughly dislodged from the walls,
throwing all upon it to the ground beneath.
If Arthur were given half a chance he would soon be busily engaged
assisting the doctor wrap some linen bandages about that bruised limb.
By his eager remarks he would also arouse considerable interest on
the part of the company's physician, who probably always accompanied
the troupe wherever they traveled, as his services were in frequent
demand. Indeed, sometimes he became a very busy man.
"I wonder," Billy was saying, becoming more and more audacious, it
seemed, on the principle that give one an inch and he will want an
ell---"I wonder now if he'd listen to me if I asked him to let us have
a chance to get in the next picture?"
Monkey Stallings laughed harshly at hearing that.
"Well, you are a greeny, Billy, I must say," he declared. "Stop and
think for a minute, will you, how silly it would look to see a bunch
of Boy Scouts dressed in khaki clothes helping those old-time yeomen
tackle the walls of that ancient castle. Why, we'd queer the whole
business, that's what!"
"Yes, but didn't you hear him say we'd appear in that last scene?"
disputed the eager Billy, loth to give up his ambitious plan to have a
leading place in the exposition showing how this famous group of
motion-picture players did their perilous work.
"Sure he did," retorted the other, with a shrug of his shoulders as
if he pitied Billy's ignorance, "but then you must remember that was
intended to show the players resting up between acts, and not at their
work. There's a whole lot of difference between the two jobs, let
me tell you."
Billy made no reply, but it could be seen that he looked greatly
disappointed as he watched the myriad of actors begin to get in
position for the opening of the next scene. This might possibly
represent the triumphant entry of the assailants into the castle of
the enemy, which, in turn, would lead up to the rescue of the lovely
heroine just when the villainous knight was about to hurl her into
the blazing tower.
The chattering began to die away as the harsh voice of the stage
director was heard through his megaphone, giving directions as to how
this or that group should carry out their parts. Hugh wondered how
many turns it would take before that exacting manager felt like calling
it a satisfactory picture. Perhaps they might be forced to repeat
the scene many times, simply because some clumsy fellow did something
to injure its value.
Alec was busily manipulating his camera, and Hugh chuckled when he
found that the other was taking in the entire scene, showing the operator
with his instrument, as well as the scouts gathered near by. Billy,
too, had made the same discovery, for he was smiling as sweetly as he
knew how, and had again assumed that martial attitude which he seemed
to consider made him such a striking figure.
Evidently this little expedition was bound to be fruitful with results,
and on their return home those who were along would have something
to show for their labors. Even if that eccentric relative of Alec's
lost the chance to obtain a quiet retreat "far from the madding crowd,"
as Billy had once described it, their week-end outing promised to
be well worth the effort it cost them individually and collectively.
They watched everything that was being done. It was astonishing to
see what an amount of stuff the players had fetched along from the
city, in order to carry out the battle scene true to the original,
as they understood it. Why, even the rude bridge that had been thrown
across the moat had been fashioned beforehand, and was carried with
them in sections, like one of those ready-built houses Hugh remembered
seeing advertised, that "any boy could put together."
The stage director was fuming, and saying a lot of hard things, as
though some of the stupid acts of the army of _supers_ nearly drove
him distracted. By degrees he managed to whip his forces into the
shape he wanted before he gave the warning signal that the fun was
about to commence.
"Whee!" Billy was saying half to himself as he stared at the bustling
scene, "but wouldn't it be great if only we'd been asked to put on
some suits like those fellows are wearing, and have a chance to climb
up the ladders? I bet you now we'd show them how to break through,
no matter what the men on the walls tried to put on us. But shucks!
that'd be too big luck; and besides, it could hardly be fair for
us boys to steal the thunder of those hard-working actors. There,
he's going to give the signal for the mimic war to begin. Everybody
take a big breath and sail in! Now, go it, you terriers; the battle's
THE ASSAULT ON THE "CASTLE."
"Yes, there goes the signal!" burst from the excited Alec, as they saw
the manager suddenly raise his hand, and fire a revolver three times
in quick succession.
Immediately everybody seemed to get busy at once. Most of the
battle-scarred veterans, who knew their business so well, started in
just about where the last stirring scene had left off. Possibly those
who had been "killed" in the former desperate assault had found time
to come mysteriously to life again, leaving a dummy in their stead to
be ruthlessly trampled on, now assumed new places in the ranks, to make
the assailants and defenders look more like a veritable "host."
The scouts held their breath in very awe. What they were looking at
was indeed quite enough to make any one do that. Certainly no such
remarkable scene had ever before been "set" since those actual days
when Crusaders and Saracens met in mortal combat on the plains of the
Holy Land, and knights went forth to battle in joust and tournament
wearing a fair lady's glove on their helmet as a talisman for luck.
Of course Hugh, as well as most of his young companions, had read
some of the romantic works of Sir Walter Scott, and were familiar
with his vivid descriptions of just such warlike pictures as they
now saw delighted Hugh, indeed, was of the opinion that it might be
one of these that the famous players of the motion picture world were
now acting, and the name of "Ivanhoe" was uppermost in his mind as
he watched the progress of the furious battle.
There were women folks in the castle, too, for occasionally they could
be seen frantically spurring their defenders on to renewed exertions.
Others may have been playing the part of prisoners, for the boys
discovered a white handkerchief waving from a window in one of the
turrets, as though to encourage the assailants in their work. Perhaps
this was Rebecca in her cell, Hugh thought.
All of this just about suited the imagination of red-blooded boys as
proper and right. It had been virtually going on ever since the world
began, and would in all probability endure so long as men lived on
Now and then, when one of the scouts discovered something that
particularly interested him, and to which he wished to draw the
attention of his mates, he found it necessary to fairly bawl the fact,
so as to be heard above the wild clamor.
As a rule, this appertained to Monkey Stallings and Billy. Hugh was
wrapped up in observing all that went on, and it required his undivided
attention, just as on the occasion of his visiting a big circus where
wonderful events were taking place in three rings at the same time.
Arthur Cameron, on his part, was mentally figuring on how much surgical
attention some of these doughty warriors would need after this amazing
fracas; and when Arthur had his mind set upon that entrancing subject
he might be considered blind to all ordinary matters.
As for Alec, his one idea was to snap off an occasional picture that
would show the astonishing thing he and his lucky comrades had run
across when the motion-picture players came to make use of the imitation
castle on the peak. The only trouble with Alec was a dreadful fear
that his supply of film might run out, and then he stood a chance of
missing what was likely to prove the best part of the whole proceedings.
Already he had reached Number Ten on his last roll, with but two more
to wind up. Oh, what would he not have given for a couple more rolls
of a dozen exposures each; just then they would have been worth their
weight in silver to the ambitious photographer.
Vague hopes had been playing at leap-tag in the mind of the scout
picture-taker. He wondered if there might not be some way in which
they could succeed in influencing that hopping stage manager to promise
to sell them a duplicate set of the pictures when they were ready
for showing to the public. Alec knew that they were rented out, and
sometimes sold outright. If Hugh now, with his persuasive tongue,
could only exact such a promise from the gentleman in charge, would
it not be a splendid achievement to incidentally have the picture
included in the programme to be run at the town hall for some local
benefit; and then hear the shouts from the boys of Oakvale when they
discovered familiar uniforms and faces amidst the actors at rest?
From various remarks which the boys had heard shouted by the stage
directors in giving his last directions they understood that this
attack was calculated to carry the fort. Already the men who wielded
that heavy battering ram made from a convenient log, seemed to be
smashing in the stout oaken front door, never built to resist such
a desperate assault. It quivered with each blow.
The director was shouting a medley of orders through that wonderful
megaphone of his. He seemed to be able to see everything that took
place. Hugh compared him to what he had once read about the eminent
conductor of orchestra and musical festivals, Theodore Thomas, who
when more than a hundred musicians were practicing under his direction,
with a fearful outburst of sound and melody, would suddenly stop the
proceedings, and scold a certain player whose instrument had "flatted,"
or come in just an ace behind the regular time.
And every member of that vast company was keeping a wary eye on the
director all the time seeming to be working like mad. They were waiting
to catch the signal that was to inaugurate the final scene, where
those on the walls were to weaken, allowing one after another of the
ascending men on the ladders to crawl over the parapet.
The door was really giving way now under the bombardment brought to
bear upon it. Indeed, not to be premature those who wielded the
battering ram had to slacken their efforts more or less, though
pretending to work as furiously as heretofore.
One thing alone seemed lacking, according to the mind of Billy, to make
the battle seem the real thing. There were no cannon shots, and even
the rattle of muskets and small arms appeared lacking.
Later on, when by chance in a carping, critical mood he mentioned
this fact, he was greeted by a roar of derision from Monkey Stallings
and Alec, who told him to brush up a little on history. He must remember
that in those ancient days gunpowder had not been invented, and that
consequently all missiles that passed through the air had to be hurled
by machines fashioned after the style of the familiar rubber sling
so well known to all boys.
"It's coming soon now, fellows!" shouted the Stallings boy, whose
quick eye no doubt noted certain preparations for the final scene,
such as a gathering of the assailants on the ladders, now no longer
being overthrown, and also clinging to such projections of the stone
walls near the escarpment as they could find.
Alec held his hand.
"Only one more picture!" he was groaning, disconsolately, at the same
time determined that it should be the climax of the whole affair, when
the castle walls were actually carried by the energetic horde pushing
More wildly than ever waved those frantic appeals for "help" from
the narrow window slits in the tower room. The "fair lady" was apparently
doing everything in her power to encourage her knight and his followers
to renewed efforts in her behalf.
Of course, it was a foregone conclusion that the gallants who were
doing the assaulting would be victorious in the end. Motion-picture
patrons differ from those who attend the grand opera, since they will
not stand to have their drama turn out disagreeably. Right must always
triumph over might, regardless of how it actually happens in real life;
and the villainous knight was sure to be punished as soon as the heroic
leader of the attacking party could force an entrance to the castle,
and chase after him to the tower room.
Hugh drew a long breath.
Just as the sagacious Monkey had declared at the top of his voice, the
finish was close at hand now. At any second Hugh expected to hear the
volley of shots from the stage director's weapon sounding high above
the clamor. Indeed, much of the racket had died down, showing that
the actors themselves were looking for it, and did not want to do
anything to smother the welcome sound that would mean their release
from further toil and turmoil, for the moment, at least.
All this while the operator was grinding away assiduously. He knew
his duty was to get down everything that happened regardless of what
his judgment might be. If certain sections of the film proved
objectionable from any cause it would be an easy matter to eliminate
that part; whereas nothing new could be supplied without going over
the whole scene again at tremendous cost of energy.
It was certainly an education for Hugh. He had never dreamed that such
a splendid chance would come his way, allowing him to learn just how
motion pictures were made. Truly, the wonderful good luck that had
been the portion of himself and comrades for so long a period seemed
to still follow their footsteps, as one of the boys had only recently
And just then the shrill voice of Monkey Stallings rang out again, this
time with a note of genuine alarm pervading its tones.
"Look, oh, look!" was what he shrieked, excitedly; "that wall is sure
going to collapse right down on those men! That's real, not
make-believe! Oh, Hugh, can't something be done to warn the poor
fel---there, it's coming now!"
And right through it all the imperturbable operator kept grinding away.
It was a part of his business to get everything down, real or imitation;
and even an accident that imperiled human life might make good "stuff."
IMITATION AND REALITY
Perhaps it was almost mechanically that Alec pressed the bulb of his
camera at just the very second when that wall was toppling over. He
had a faint recollection afterwards of doing so, though only filled
with horror at the moment itself.
There was a sudden cessation to all the clamor as the accident happened.
Indeed, the three quick reports from the director's revolver hardly
seemed needed to bring a halt to the proceedings. As the door was
about burst in, anyway, and some of the men could not longer be restrained
from clambering over the top of the walls, it would answer just as
well as though things had proceeded in their regular routine.
Immediately afterwards a new kind of noise burst forth. Women shrieked,
and men shouted. There were also cries of pain intermingled with
the rest, Hugh noticed.
Before the scout master could even give an order he missed one of his
companions. Of course, this was Arthur Cameron. The sight of that
mass of rock toppling over upon several of the motion-picture actors,
and carrying others down amidst a perfect jumble of heaped up stones,
acted on Arthur as a red flag does upon the angry bull in the ring.
Nothing could have kept him back, for his ears would have been deaf
even to an order from the leader, whom he delighted to obey. Arthur's
surgical instincts were aroused, and he saw the path of duty before
him. And Arthur never shirked his duty.
Hugh waited not upon the order of his going, but immediately chased
after the other. Monkey Stallings was not far behind him, with Billy
tagging along of necessity. As for Alec, he only waited to gather
up his beloved camera, even neglecting to turn the last exposure down
as a completed roll.
In fact everyone seemed to be trying to converge upon the spot where
the wall had collapsed. The manager was pushing his way through the
crowd, waving his megaphone, and looking somewhat alarmed, for he
felt dismayed at the idea of having so many of his supers being injured
more or less seriously. It would mean not only pain and suffering
for the poor fellows but a pretty heavy bill of damages to pay by the
And yet, such is the force of education which becomes second nature
with men, that even in the midst of all this confusion the manager
could think to bawl out to the operator not to neglect to get all this
in his reel, as it was going to show what actual perils the actors
ran in making their pictures.
Another queer thing happened that must be set down. Hugh actually
forgot he was only a boy, and had been given no authority over these
men. He saw that the first to arrive on the scene acted as though
ignorant of the best way to go about rescuing the poor chaps who were
partly buried under all that wreckage of the fallen wall.
So what did he do but begin to order them about as though they were
slaves. He told a couple of them off to lift a heavy stone from the
lower limbs of a man who seemed to be unconscious, and then there
came Arthur actually directing them how to raise the wounded super
and carry him to where he could be laid under the nearest tree.
Stranger still the men did just as they were bidden. In moments like
this the stronger mind dominates the situation, regardless of age or
stature. Those supers were in the habit of taking orders, and never
stopped to question when told to follow out a line of work, especially
when the command came in a tone of authority.
That was the remarkable picture that met the eye of the stage manager
when he presently reached the scene. Hugh seemed to be telling the
others what to do as if all his life he had been accustomed to the
position of chief. No wonder the experienced manager stared at the
boy who wore the faded suit of khaki, and even allowed a faint smile
to wreathe his lips; for did he not have a beloved lad like that at
home, and in his heart he felt that perhaps some day, in a time of
desperate necessity, his son might likewise rise to an occasion as
this young chap was doing.
There was no lack of eager workers, and they seemed to fall in with
whatever Hugh told them to do. He pointed this way and that as he
directed them to dig in the mass of debris for any unfortunate who
might be buried quite out of sight. And not once did it enter into
the head of the earnest lad that the machine close by was clicking
away merrily through it all, showing everything that was being done
in the shadow of a real tragedy. Here was realism for fair!
Already three poor chaps had been either carried off or assisted.
There were two of them grunting as though quite badly injured. Arthur,
now joined by the regular doctor who accompanied the troupe of actors
on their many lengthy trips, was busily engaged, endeavoring to ascertain
the extent of the damages. A dozen of the awed actors and actresses
surrounded the impromptu field hospital, and upon every face could
be seen only the deepest sympathy.
Still, after the worst was known and the last of the injured taken
care of, no doubt the task of completing the picture would go on,
just as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened. These roving
players become so accustomed to accepting risks in the pursuit of
their calling that a little thing like this cannot be allowed to
interfere with the main object of their business for any great
length of time.
Other supers would be called upon to take the places of those injured,
if there was any necessity for reenforcements, and the work of completing
the drama would proceed apace.
By degrees the mass of fallen material was pulled aside, many hands
making light work. Half a dozen of the agile players had managed to
save themselves, receiving only slight skin abrasions which would
hardly keep them from earning their salaries.
There were just four who had been carried or helped to the "hospital"
under the tree near by in the grounds of the castle. It was when
the pleasing fact had been communicated by one of the workers that
the last victim of the accident was found, with no fatalities to account
for, that the stage manager came up to Hugh with outstretched hand.
He had his megaphone slung over his back as a sportsman might his
fowling-piece. With that everlasting red bandanna he was mopping his
forehead again, and this time it may have been as much anxiety as
action that started the perspiration streaming down his rosy face.
"I want to thank you from my heart, son," he told the pleased scout
master, as he gripped his hand in a warm clutch. "You have proved
yourself a jewel in this emergency. If this is one of the things
scouts learn, I'm glad my boy has taken up the subject. I'm proud
of you all. I don't see, how we could have done things half as well
if you hadn't been on the ground to assist, yes, to take the lead.
Once more, I thank you!"
He glanced to where Arthur, with his coat thrown off, was working
over one of the victims of the near-tragedy. The sight seemed to
affect the stage manager, for he nodded his head violently, and Hugh
believed he could see a moisture in his eyes just then.
"I had another boy some years back, I want to tell you," he said,
softly. "He was drowned while swimming in the river. His companions
succeeded in getting Tad out, but they were utterly ignorant as to
how to go to work to restore him to consciousness---and so my boy
died. I believe before Heaven that if they had been raised in the
knowledge of the things you Boy Scouts learn in these days, my poor
wife and I need not have suffered such a cruel loss. When I learned
something about the education of a scout, I made up my mind that since
I had still one son left to me there would never be a repetition of
that calamity. He is now a patrol leader in his troop in Brooklyn,
and can swim like a duck. Come, let's go over and see what the worst
is going to be."
Hugh gladly accompanied the genial stage manager. His heart burned
within him, not with silly pride, but sincere gratification, on account
of what he had just heard. The boy's mind was so wrapped up in the
glorious possibilities that an aspiring scout ever has at his finger-tips
that commendation like this always pleased him. It was Hugh's ambition
to have the Oakvale Troop embrace every lad of suitable age in and
around his home town. He would not have a single one refused an
opportunity to enjoy those privileges and advantages which membership
with the scouts assures.
So they joined the circle around the temporary "hospital." The doctor
had not allowed the anxious crowd to press in too closely, for he
understood the value of plenty of fresh air and working room when
engaged in cases of this kind. Besides, most of the picture players
knew from former experiences what they must do, and were only eager to
be of any possible help.
Even the women, clad in their strange gowns of a bygone age, and wearing
astonishing head-dresses and shoes, showed remarkable courage. Their
nerves had been steeled by long association with perils of various
types, so that they manifested none of the weaknesses people expect
to find in connection with the gentler sex. One of the leading actresses
was assisting in washing quite an ugly wound that a poor fellow had
received in his arm. He seemed to be bearing his suffering like a
hero, and acted as though he rather enjoyed having one of the heroines
play the part of nurse to a humble understrapper.
Hugh allowed his eyes to fall with pardonable pride upon his chum,
Arthur, for he saw that, as usual, the ambitious amateur surgeon was
doing fine work, of which no one need be ashamed.
And all of this remarkable happening was being faithfully recorded
upon the rapidly shifting thousand feet of film in the hopper of the
machine, to later on astonish gaping crowds with a faithful delineation
of the perils attending the ordinary life of a motion-picture player.
WHEN SWORDS CLASHED
"I wonder if that winds up the whole show?" asked Billy Worth, a short
time later, as Alec and Monkey Stallings joined him, while there was
an unusual bustle among the numerous retinue of the hard-working
"Not on your life, Billy," observed Alec, "though I'm all in myself
so far as taking any more wonderful pictures goes, because I've used
my last film, which I consider hard luck. Hugh just told me the worst
is yet to come."
"What! are they going to make out to burn the old castle down? Is that
worrying you, Alec?" asked the Stallings boy.
"Sure it is," frankly confessed Alec. "Of course, the fire will be
a whole lot of a fake; that is, much smoke, and no real danger to the
girl shut up in that high turret room; but, all the same, it's going
to do considerable harm to the building, which may queer it for Aunt
"Well, what can you say?" demanded Billy. "These people have put
up the money to cover any damage they may do, and money talks every
time. Here comes Hugh back to tell us what the programme is. He's
just left that hustler of a director, and the chances are Hugh knows
all about it, because he's made a big hit with the manager."
"Hugh always does make people look up to him, somehow," mused Alec,
as though it often puzzled him to know just how the other managed it.
"There, Arthur has joined him, too, and is coming along," Billy went
on to say. "He's about finished helping the doctor take care of the
wounded yeomen who had the bad luck to be caught when that treacherous
old wall caved in."
The scout master, accompanied by Arthur, quickly joined them, to be
greeted by a shower of eager questions.
"I can tell you all about it, fellows," said Hugh, making as if to
ward off an attack. "Mr. Jefferson, the manager, says he figures
on completing his work in the one visit, and has made all necessary
preparations. It's a tremendous job to fetch his big company all
the way from New York up here. If they make good to-day they expect
to go back in the morning, or perhaps to-night, if they can catch
the late train. Otherwise they'll have to make another try to-morrow.
Personally, I think they'll make good to-day."
"What's the next stunt, Hugh?" asked Alec, his voice more or less
betraying the eagerness and concern he felt.
"Oh, from what I can gather," answered the scout master, smilingly,
"it runs about like this: The forces headed by the hero knight have
carried the outer works of the fortress castle in which the villain
has the fair heroine shut up in that turret room. The invaders, having
made a breach in the walls and swarmed over in various places, will
now pursue the few desperate defenders of the castle through this
passage; and that, with many a desperate hand-to-hand fight. Always
the knight in armor is seen hewing his way steadily through all opposition,
with one object in view. Of course this is to meet the scoundrel,
and finish him, which he eventually does after a dreadful sword fight."
"Whew!" gasped Billy, listening with round eyes to the stirring story.
Alec, too, was deeply interested, but his professional instinct caused
him to remark:
"They'll have to burn heaps and heaps of flashlight powder to get all
those inside effects. Wish they'd let me see just how they manage it,
but it would be apt to queer the value of the picture to have, a modern
Boy Scout appear in it. If I get a good chance, though, I've a notion
to ask Mr. Jefferson."
"You'll never be able to make it, Alec," Hugh told him. "He's the
busiest man on earth. He has to be thinking of fifty things at once."
"Go on, Hugh, and tell us the rest," urged Billy, pawing at the sleeve
of the other, which action he doubtless meant to be an urgent second
to his appeal.
"Every once in a while there will be glimpses shown of Rebecca in her
dungeon, looking out of the little opening, and carrying on as if
nearly frightened to death, for gusts of smoke will be circling around
her, and she is supposed to know that the fire is getting closer all
"Wow, that must make it a thriller for fair!" exclaimed Monkey Stallings,
who was known to love exciting stories, though his watchful mother
kept a tight rein on his propensity to indulge along those lines, and
censored all books he brought into the house before allowing him to
"Of course," remarked Alec, flippantly. "It goes without saying that
eventually knight in shining armor, Ivanhoe, or whoever he may be,
gets to the locked door of the turret tower room, bursts his way through,
and saves the lovely maiden, like they always do in stories of those
olden times. But here's hoping the fire doesn't get out of control,
and set in to destroy the best part of this wonderful castle. Such
things have been known to happen, I've read."
"Gosh!" ejaculated Billy with morse than his accustomed vigor, "you're
only thinking of the humbug old castle, Alec, and what chance there
would be for your rich aunt to buy the same if half burned down.
Guess you forget the poor girl shut up in that lonesome turret room;
what d'ye suppose would become of _her_ if the fire got beyond control?"
"And not a ladder in sight, either," added Monkey Stallings, dismally,
as he swept his eyes around in a nervous way. "As for a fire company,
there isn't one closer than Danbury, which is all of ten miles away.
Whew! I'm beginning to wish the whole business was over with, boys, and
the troupe jogging along back to the town they came from in all those
Hugh made no remark just then, but perhaps this suggestion of possible
trouble cause him a little concern. He could be seen looking gravely
toward the immense pile of real and imitation stone as though mentally
figuring what it might be possible to do in a sudden emergency.
As numerous events in the past had proved, Hugh Hardin was always a
great hand for mapping out things beforehand. He believed in the
principle of preparing for war in times of peace, so as not to be
"A man insures his home," Hugh often said in explanation of this habit,
"when everything seems lovely and safe, not when the fire is raging,
and his property going up in flame and smoke."
The stage manager had determined that there was no need of repeating
the last wild scene where the castle was taken, and a tottering wall
fell unexpectedly in the midst of the furious struggle. Let it stand,
he had determined, accident and all. It appeared to be almost perfect
"copy," and would show up as a faithful portrayal of the stupendous
perils attending the efforts of his company in enacting just one phase
of a romantic drama of the days of chivalry.
"I notice that they are meaning to use two machines and a couple or
camera men, so as to get all the excitement down pat," ventured Alec,
presently, as they stood and watched the hurrying people of the play
in their remarkable attire suggestive of those feudal days of old.
"One is to be kept busy outside," explained Hugh, "while the other
takes pictures of the fighting going on through the corridors and
apartments of the castle, while the knight and his valorous retainers
are battling their way closer and closer to the place where the captive
'maiden' is held fast behind the locked door. I got all that stuff
straight from Mr. Jefferson, and those are his own words, so don't
"Huh! it's too serious a business to do much laughing," grunted Billy.
"I'm just itching all over to see how it comes out. There, that must
have been the signal to start. I can see some of the men beginning
to make an awful smoke with the apparatus they're handling. What a
good imitation of the real thing it is!"
"Whoopee! listen to the big swords clashing inside the castle, will
you?" cried Monkey Stallings. "Say, we're missing great stunts,
believe me, in having to stay out here. I've got half a notion-----"
However, Monkey did not finish the sentence, whatever rash notion was
flitting through his active mind. Possibly he had indulged in a wild
dream that for one of his climbing abilities it might prove feasible
to reach a window above, and by thrusting his head through the
aperture see something of the wonderful things going on in the
passages where the crowd was thronging.
It was the fact of Hugh looking meaningly at him that caused Monkey
to stop in the midst of his sentence, for he saw by the expression
on the face of the scout master that Hugh would not permit any meddling.
The enormous expense and labor attending the taking of that picture
must not be wasted through any injudicious act on the part of himself
or one of his chums.
As the minutes passed the confusion became almost a riot, so it seemed
to Billy. The shouts of the fighting men grew hoarse with constant
repetitions, for naturally they had to give vent to their emotions,
or else much of their efforts would have lacked in the genuine feeling.
How those swords did whack and beat upon each other as slowly but
surely the defenders of the castle were being cut down one by one!
It was terribly realistic, too, with the vast volumes of smoke rising
up in billows, and here and there what seemed to be a red tongue of
fire shooting through the appalling waves of black vapor.
Presently, as the boys understood, matters would reach a climax. This
was when the hero knight attained the goal for which he was striving
Then he would be seen attacking the fastened door furiously, while
inside and out that ominous smoke curled in wreaths about him. In
the end, just when it seemed as though all would be lost, of course,
the knight must batter his way in through the broken door, and the
dashing rescue would be complete.
Hugh was beginning to feel nervous, and with a reason. While his
chums' were wholly wrapped up in observing the numerous exciting
incidents that fell under their observation, and connected with the
work of the laboring players, the scout master had made a sudden
discovery that worried him.
It was a very small matter, and would never have been noticed by any
one whose training had not been that of a scout, accustomed to observing
everything happening around him. But small matters may become _deciding_
The wind had shifted all of a sudden, and besides coming from a new
quarter was rapidly growing in violence. Hugh knew this from the way
the smoke had turned and was now sweeping toward the southeast. This
fact, while trifling in itself, might, as he well knew, assume a
terrible significance when it was remembered that a dozen industrious
supers were playing with fire, and causing it to appear that the whole
wing of the castle were enveloped in flames, real or make-believe.
Hugh had eyes for nothing else after making that thrilling discovery.
He watched with his nerves on edge, and at the same time began to
think within that active brain of his what his plan of campaign must
be should the worst that he feared come to pass.
Those hoarse shouts of the combatants, the clang of steel smiting
steel, the roar of the manager's voice through his big megaphone,
the shrieks of the women connected with the troupe, induced by the
real excitement of the occasion---all these sounds fell upon deaf
ears as Hugh gripped his chum Arthur by the arm and called his attention
to the impending peril, becoming greater with every second.
"The wind, don't you see it's whipped around, and is coming from a
new quarter?" was the tenor of what he called in the other's ear.
"If that fire gets away from those supers it's going to give them a
heap of trouble! Yes, it will chase those fighters out of the passages
in a hurry, and I'm afraid it'll even cut off the poor girl who is
supposed to be locked in that turret room."
"Hugh, look! look!" ejaculated Arthur, in sudden excitement; "Just as
you said, I do believe the fire has got beyond their control already.
Listen to the way everybody is whooping it up now. It's real fright
that we hear, and no make-believe!"
WELL DONE, SCOUTS!
Hugh was glad that he had foreseen just such an emergency as the one
that now confronted the motion-picture players. It afforded him a
chance to get busy without wasting any precious time in laying out
The men who had been inside the building began to come rushing out,
some dragging comrades who may have temporarily found themselves unable
to walk, owing to the fatigue influenced by their recent terrific
efforts, and also the weight of the armor which they were wearing.
Everybody looked alarmed and distressed, and with reason, for it was
now seen that the wing where the girl was shut up in that turret room
was enveloped in real flames, which, whipped by the rising wind,
threatened to consume the whole structure in so far as it consisted
of wood made to resemble genuine stone.
The director was again shouting hoarsely through his megaphone, but
he was now up against a situation that none of them had foreseen, so
that consequently no preparations had been made toward meeting it.
Men ran this way and that as though they had temporarily taken
leave of their senses. Women could be seen wringing their hands,
and shrieking wildly.
Although the outside camera man undoubtedly realized that this was
anything but a sham now, he never once ceased grinding away at his
machine. Long experience in these lines had convinced him of the
great value of a stirring scene like this; and besides, his services
were hardly needed in the work of saving the one whose life seemed
to be in deadly peril.
"We must do something, and right away at that!" called Hugh. "Come
along with me, every one, I've got a scheme that may be made to work."
They followed close at his heels. Evidently it did not enter into
the head of the scout master to think, of applying for permission
from the stage manager before starting to try out his suddenly formed
plan. Hugh realized very well that this was an occasion where that
energetic gentleman would be at a loss what to tell him. Besides,
a wideawake scout, accustomed to doing his own thinking, should be
better equipped to manage such an affair as this than a man whose
talents ran in quite another direction.
The first thing Hugh sought to get hold of was a long and stout rope
which he had noticed lying on the ground near by, together with numerous
other things which the company had thought to fetch along with them,
having an eye to possible need.
"Lay hold of that ax, Alec!" he told the other, who had managed to
leave his beloved camera back of a tree, under the impression that it
would hinder him in the execution of the work Hugh had laid out for
himself and churns to perform.
Some of the players had by this time begun to notice the little bunch
of khaki-clad lads running toward the burning wing of the castle.
They commenced to shout out to them, perhaps encouragingly, or it may
be intending to warn them not to attempt anything rash.
Little Hugh cared what their cries might mean. He had his plan arranged,
and believed it could be carried to success if only speedy action
"We've got to get to the roof of that tower!" he told the others, as
they drew near the fire, and could begin to feel the heat it was
beginning to throw out as it crept upward, whipped by the rising wind.
"Billy, I want you and Arthur to stay down under the walls and be
ready to receive the girl, if we manage to, get things going. Understand
that, both of you?"
"All right, if you say so, Hugh!" replied Arthur, though it could be
noticed that he looked greatly disappointed because he had not been
selected to accompany the rescuing party.
Billy did not make any reply. Perhaps he was, secretly, as well pleased
to be assigned to that task, because Billy, being a heavy-weight,
never made a success of climbing; and from all appearance there was
bound to be more or less of that style of work ahead of those who were
chosen to go aloft.
Having thus divided his party, Hugh hurried toward a window of the
main building close by. He remembered that it was possible to gain,
the roof of the castle---and unless the flames became too menacing---by
creeping along this they would be able to reach the top of the turret
tower. If no other means were found available for gaining access
to the room of the prisoner, Hugh expected to make good use of that
axe, and force an entrance through the roof itself, as he had seen
the Oakvale volunteer firemen do on more than one occasion.
Billy and Arthur watched their chums climbing hastily through that
window. Doubtless their hearts were throbbing with excitement, and
deep down those two were hoping and praying that not only would Hugh,
Alec and Monkey Stallings be able to come back alive and unharmed,
but that they might also accomplish the object that had enlisted their
Meanwhile the trio of scouts found themselves groping their way along
smoke-filled passages. Hugh made the others keep in close touch with
him while this was going on. He did not mean that they should become
separated, and something dreadful mar their endeavor to make themselves
Fortunately the fire had not as yet reached the stairway leading upward,
so that in a brief space of time the three scouts found themselves
in the corridor where so lately a terrific combat had been taking
place. They even stumbled over some fragment of imitation steel armor
which may have been hurriedly thrown aside at the time the alarm of
fire had sounded, causing such a hasty stampede on the part of the
Apparently, while the retreat of the actors in this near-tragedy had
been of a hurried nature, they had seen to it that no one of their
number had been left in the corridor to become a victim of the flames.
Hugh made sure of this, even as he pushed his way along.
A minute later and the boys were climbing out of a certain window on
to the roof. Hugh had taken note of that very circumstance himself
when prowling about the remarkable building; in fact, he had even
half pulled himself up to see what the roof looked like, though never
dreaming at the time he would so soon find need of his knowledge.
Monkey Stallings was, of course, in his element. None of the others
could do nearly so well as he when it came to this sort of thing.
Probably Hugh had remembered this circumstance when picking the acrobat
out as one of his party, instead of choosing Arthur Cameron.
He sent the Stallings boy on ahead, and gave him to understand that he
was expected to assist the others whenever he could. So they managed
to gain the roof of the main building, and started in, the direction
of the wing that was being fast enveloped in fiercely leaping flames.
When the trio of scouts were discovered by the clusters of appalled
actors down below, and many fingers were pointed up at them, cheers
began to arise. Undoubtedly those quick-witted players guessed what
Hugh had in mind, and as it seemed to be the only possible chance to
save the poor girl from her prison room, they one and all wished the
courageous lads godspeed in their mission.
Hugh felt considerably relieved when he discovered that it would be
possible to gain the other roof from the main structure. There was
really no time to lose, however, for the fire seemed to be getting
a pretty good headway, and any delay was likely to imperil their chances
They had to get down on their hands and knees and crawl part of the
way across. Had they been less agile they never could have made it,
and just here it was seen how wisely the scout master had acted when
he failed to choose clumsy if willing Billy Worth as one of their
Once upon the smaller roof covering the turret tower, Hugh found that
it was a matter of impossibility to lower themselves so as to gain
the slits of windows in the walls, made more for appearances than
for any particular use. And even though they were able to reach one
of these he doubted whether any of them could manage to crawl through.
There was nothing for it then but to attack the roof with the ax,
which Alec had managed to cling to through all his climbing. Hugh
snatched the implement from the hands of his churn, and went at it.
The ax bit into the roof with each hearty blow, and Hugh worked like
a beaver, knowing that there was constant danger they might be caught
by the creeping flames before their object had been accomplished.
Afterwards, when speaking about their experiences up there on that
roof, Alec and Monkey Stallings always declared they had never seen
any one wield an ax with more telling effect than Hugh did on that
wonderful occasion. Those who were below had a fair view of what
was going on aloft, whenever the wind carried the smoke aside, as
their encouraging cheers testified from time to time.
When Hugh found his muscles beginning to lag, he handed the implement
over to Alec, knowing the other must be fairly wild to have a hand
in the labor. How the chips did fly and scatter with each and every
blow of that descending ax! Alec put every ounce of vim he could
muster into each stroke, while if he faltered there was Monkey Stallings
opening and shutting his two hands as though eager to take up the
Then came the critical moment when the ax cut through, and a small
gap appeared out of which a spiral of smoke began to ooze. Larger
grew the hole, and then Alec, dripping with perspiration, fairly gasping
for breath, handed the ax over to the third member of the group, after
which the work continued furiously.
Finally Hugh stopped Monkey Stallings and made motions that he was
about to go through the aperture. The others saw him vanish, and
a brief but terrible period of suspense followed. Then through the
gap in the roof appeared the head of the young woman who was playing
the romantic part of the Jewess, Rebecca. Through all this tragic
happening she, must have managed to retain her self-possession in
a way that was simply wonderful, for she was now able to do her part
toward working up through the hole in the roof, assisted by the two
When those below discovered how success had thus far rewarded the
efforts of Hugh and his equally quick-witted fellow scouts, the cheer
that broke forth could have been heard miles away, so great was their
admiration for the work of the three boys.
However, there was still more to be done if they would escape from
the trap arranged between the rival elements, the wind and the fire.
To return over the same route by which they had come was now impossible,
since the fire had cut off escape by that course.
This was a possibility foreseen by Hugh when he concluded to take
that long and serviceable rope aloft with him. By this means the
girl could first be lowered to the ground at a point where the flames
had not yet reached; and afterwards it would be little trouble for,
himself and chums to also slide down to safety. Hugh always paid
much attention to details.
Accordingly this was what they hastily set about doing. They were
fortunate in having to deal with a plucky little woman. She understood
just what was expected of her, and indeed, to see the way she assisted
them secure the rope about her body under the arms, and then bade them
swing her free, from the parapet of the tower, one might suspect that
she had long since practiced for just this sort of thrilling picture.
All went well, and one by one the three scouts came sliding down the
rope later on, none of them so much as having an eyelash singed, though
the flames roared as if angry at having lost a victim.
"And," Billy was heard to remark when the boys could break away from
the excited players, all of whom wanted to squeeze their hands, and
say what they thought of the clever work, "Don't forget every
minute of the time that camera man was turning his crank like fury.
He got it all down pat, too, boys, as maybe we'll see for ourselves
one of these fine days."
OAKVALE GETS A THRILL
"What's the news, Alec?" demanded Billy Worth, some weeks after the
events narrated in the foregoing chapters took place.
They were just entering the town hall of Oakvale, where there was
about to be given a select entertainment consisting of the most part
of educational motion pictures. It was intended for the benefit of
the local orphan asylum, so that every seat in the big building was
being rapidly filled.
A number of the other members of the scout organization were gathered
near by, as a special section of the chairs had been reserved for
the troupe, for certain reasons which no one seemed exactly to understand.
It was only known that Hugh and Lieutenant Denmead, the regular scout
master, had made some arrangement with those who were, responsible for
getting up the benefit performance.
"Oh! I had a letter from my Aunt Susan in this afternoon's mail,"
replied Alec, as he nodded to several acquaintances near by, girls
belonging to Oakvale High School.
"About that place up in the country where we spent our last week-end
outing, and had such a lively time---eh, Alec?" suggested Billy,
with a wide grin.
"Yes, and the meanness of you fellows keeping the whole business to
yourselves all this time," commented Blake Merton, severely.
"We just know there was something _remarkable_ happened to you up
there," spoke up Don Miller, the leader of the Fox Patrol, "but no
matter what we hinted, never a word could we get any of you to explain
about it. What's it all mean, Hugh?"
"Wait and see," was the mysterious answer that again baffled the
curiosity of the eager listeners, some of whom had really begun to hope
that Hugh might think it time to remove the seal of absolute secrecy
with which the outing had been enveloped so long. "And Alec, suppose you
tell us what your aunt said in her letter. You don't look as if it
held good news, that's certain."
Alec laughed good-naturedly.
"Oh! she complimented me like everything because of those grand pictures
I sent her, and said that the account I gave of the thrilling happenings
up there made her satisfied with the little investment she had incurred.
I was welcome to the camera, and she also meant to send me another
present soon, because she found herself quite interested in scout
work. But she couldn't think of putting the deal through for
that---er---place. She says after what happened there, it's likely
to be a shrine for curious-minded folks for a long time to come, and
as she wants absolute quiet, that would not suit her. So you see, just
as I expected, that deal's off."
All this strange manner of talk greatly aroused the listeners curiosity.
They tried in turn to coax Hugh, Billy, Alec, Arthur or Monkey Stallings
to "open up and tell us what it all means, won't you like a good fellow?"
but those worthies only looked wise, nodded their heads, and told them
to "hold their horses," and in good time they would be treated to a
little surprise that would pay them for all their waiting.
The hall soon filled up, with seating space at a premium. It was
in a good cause and backed by the Women's League for Town Improvement.
The orphans needed a good many things to make them comfortable for the
winter, and this was to be one of several methods employed to obtain
these articles, which the town did not see fit to supply.
Walter Osborne, Bud Morgan and several of the other scouts had been
silently watching Hugh and his immediate chums. Their attention was
especially directed toward Billy Worth, who seemed to be so nervous
that he could hardly keep his seat.
"It's my opinion," remarked Walter, sagely, "that there's going to
be something of a surprise sprung on the rest of us to-night. I've
been keeping tabs on Billy, and to see him grin, and look so happy
and proud gives the thing away. He just can't keep his face straight,
he feels so important."
"But what can it be?" asked Jack Durham. "The whole entertainment
to-night is made up of Professor Wakefield with his violin, and three
selected moving pictures."
"Yes," added Bud Morgan, referring to a paper he held in his hand,
"and one of these is a comic, a second a trip through the island of
Ceylon, showing things just as if a fellow was there on the spot,
while the third and last seems to be a series of pictures showing
just how a company of players go about when engaged in making one of
their wonderful films."
"I don't see how Billy can expect to be in touch with any of those
things," commented Walter, more puzzled than ever. "We'll just have
to wait and see, as Hugh told us. It may be that they've coaxed Hugh
to consent to get up there on the platform to-night, and tell all
about what happened to them the time they went off to spend the week-end
up the country."
"Walter, I wouldn't be surprised if you'd guessed it, after all,"
said one of the other fellows; and then as a loud clapping of hands
announced that the well-known local violinist was about to make his
bow to the big audience, the boys stopped exchanging opinions, and
settled down to the policy of "watchful waiting" so often spoken of
by the occupant of the Executive Chair at Washington.
The educational value of the "Trip through Ceylon" could not be gainsaid,
and the humorous film caused much laughter, and boisterous merriment.
Finally the announcement was made that they were now about to be
treated to a most wonderful series of pictures, showing the details
of how one of the best-known companies of moving-picture artists went
about their work when engaged in producing a drama of olden days,
with an appropriate setting and background.
They were first of all discovered starting forth from their hotel in
the city, and taking train for some place in the country, together with
much paraphernalia connected with their undertaking, so that it looked
very much like an exodus on the part of a whole village of fashionables.
Next the pictures showed them leaving the train, at some country town,
where a whole string of capacious cars awaited them, into which they
crowded, joking and laughing, and carrying bundles without end.
Then another scene disclosed the company clad in all manner of remarkable
garments, all of which might be recognized as having to do with the
historical time of the Crusades, when knights in armor attended by
their faithful squires were wont to roam the country in search of
Of course the younger element in the audience watched all this with
exceeding interest. They doubtless sensed with that intuition boys
always display, that sooner or later there would necessarily come along
heaps of fighting, and stirring pictures, when those men in shining
armor met in deadly combat.
One by one, the scenes passed in review, and finally there was flashed
upon the screen a picture of what seemed to be a veritable olden castle,
true to tradition, turreted tower, drawbridge, portcullis, deep moat,
apparently unscalable walls, and all.
Just at this interesting juncture, as the music happened to die down
temporarily, a boy who had been around some was heard to say aloud,
though he had not expected to make himself conspicuous:
"If that isn't the old place called Randall's Folly, I'll eat my hat!"
Walter Osborne gave Dud Morgan a quick dig in the ribs.
"Hey! it's coming, you mark my words if it isn't!" he hissed in the
other's ear. "Just look at Billy Worth there, bobbing up and down as
if he might be sitting on tacks. And see how he grins, and looks
prouder than a turkey gobbler. Something's going to break loose right
away, Bud, believe me."
Well, it did.
When presently, after that first onslaught of the gallant followers of
the hero knight, the motion-picture players were seen to be "resting
up" between acts, and those who had been injured in the fracas were
being attended to, a shout arose.
"Hey! what's this I see?" yelled a boy's strident voice. "Right
there along with all them knights and ladies there's a Boy Scout helping
take care of the fellows knocked out in that scrap. And, say, it's
our own Arthur Cameron, would you believe it?"
"And there's Hugh! Yes, and look at our Billy Worth strutting around
there as big as life. Oh, you Billy, it takes, you to get in, the
limelight every time!"
All sorts of shouts were rising in different parts of the hall as the
audience discovered the well-known lads belonging to their own town.
Most of them began to understand now why those fellows had persisted
in keeping so mute. Evidently they must have known that this wonderful
picture was coming in time to be shown at the benefit performance.
Everybody was eagerly waiting to see what followed. When the wall
fell there was a series of low exclamations of horror, for they were
intelligent enough to realize that this had not been a part of the
real programme, and also that the chances were some of the unfortunates
must have been severely injured.
Then came the picture revealing how the five scouts sprang forward
and assisted in the work of rescuing those caught by the falling rocks;
also how Arthur, as might be expected, did his part in taking care
of the injured. How proud many of those present felt at seeing the
manly way in which Hugh and his comrades rose to the occasion, and
did their calling great credit.
A tense stillness followed those loud cheers, for, an announcement
had been displayed relating how, owing to a shift of the wind, the
fire had spread, causing a sudden evacuation of the forces battling
in the passages and rooms of the castle; and also how through some
misfortune the lovely heroine was really and truly caught up there
in that lonely tower room, hemmed in by the cruel flames.
Then, as the startling scene moved on, the five hundred eager spectators
saw Hugh lead his fellow scouts to the rescue---watched three of them
vanish through that gaping window, to appear a little later on the roof,
followed with strained eyes their furious attack on the roof of the
tower, and finally saw them lower the lady in safety to the ground,
where Billy and Arthur, and many of the motion-picture players, waited
to receive them.
And last but not least, just as the scene closed, the three scouts
were discovered sliding swiftly down the rope past the hungry tongues
The triumph of the scouts was complete. Men shouted, boys shrilled,
and women laughed and cried and kissed each other. Never before had
such excitement taken possession of an audience in Oakvale. How proud
it made them to realize that their local organization was being advertised
all over the broad land, yes, even in other foreign lands as well,
it might be, so that Oakvale would soon become famous because of its
Through it all Hugh seemed to sit unmoved, though he shook hands with
the admiring crowds as they came up to offer congratulations, and
laughed heartily to see how Billy Worth strutted around, swelled with
"It was a whole lot of fun while it lasted," Hugh was telling a bunch
of the fellows, after the show was over. "But when a thing is done
with you can't extract much enjoyment out of the memory. What I'm
more concerned about right at this, minute is where we are going to
find another chance for an outing in the coming Thanksgiving holidays.
I'd like some of you to get busy thinking up a scheme, that will just
about fill the bill."
That somebody did engineer a plan along lines that promised to take
some of the fellows out of the beaten rut for the brief holidays,
can be set down as certain, judging from the nature of the title of
the succeeding volume of this series, "The Boy Scouts on the Roll
of Honor," and which, it is hoped; all who have enjoyed the present
story will procure without delay.