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The Hilltop Boys on the River by Cyril Burleigh

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"With a light burning?" asked the doctor. "One of the guards saw a
light at occasions shining from your tent. What were you doing
with it?"

"Could it not have been Merritt?" asked Herring. "I do not occupy
the tent alone."

"You were writing in those lines, were you not? Did you observe
that the first page had more on it than the others? I suppose
it would have taken too long to copy the entire poem, insertion
and all?"

"I don't know anything about it," snarled Herring. "What evidence
have you that I did these things that you charge me with doing?"

"I have not charged you with them, Herring. I am merely asking you
a few questions. I have circumstantial evidence, however, that you
did these things."

"Circumstantial evidence has hanged innocent men before now," said
the bully. "Haven't you any corroborative evidence?"

He was beginning to grow defiant now, feeling that the doctor had no
real evidence against him.

"Don't you think that a trip to some more lively spot for the rest of
the summer would be advisable, Herring?" the doctor suddenly asked,
looking quizzically at him. "Better for all concerned, perhaps?
You don't altogether like this camp life, do you, Herring?"

"Oh, I am satisfied with it," said Herring, putting on an air of
braggadocio, seeing that the doctor was giving him a loophole by
which to get out. "I don't see that I need---" but then he
stopped, seeing a look in the doctor's face like a danger signal.

"You think on the whole that it might be as well to go somewhere
else for a few weeks?"

The doctor got up, and Herring took the hint and went out, saying
nothing further upon the subject.

By the time Percival and the others had returned he was packing up,
and when Jack and Dick came back from Riverton he had gone, and
Merritt and one or two others had gone with him.

Shortly after this Jack and Percival, while in Riverton one day,
came across Gabrielle, the former nurse maid for Mrs. Van der Donk,
and Percival, recognizing her said shortly:

"How do you do? Will you tell me how you happened to put that watch
in my friend's pocket the night of the fire at your employer's house?"

"What you say?" asked the girl in the high key customary with her.
"I do not know you, I have not meet you before."

"But you know me," said Jack. "You remember the watch with the
diamonds on the case that your friend gave you? You were talking
about it on the banks of the kill one afternoon and said you had
lost it. You did not lose it, did you? Didn't you put it in my

"Who are you?" asked the girl, making a move to pass the boys.

"I brought the baby down from the room in the extension, and you
took him from me and thanked me very much. You remember this?
You said you would lose your place if the baby had been burned."

"Ah, then you are the young gentleman so brave who save the babee
from being burn? Ah, yes, that was very brave. The ladee give you
the reward, yes? That was very good."

"Yes, but what about the watch? You need not be afraid. The
owner has been found."

"An, yes, and you find the watch in your pocket? That is very droll!"
and the girl began to laugh.

"Yes, it was very funny," said Jack, "but how did it get there?"

"I put it there, me, myself. I am afraid to carry so fine a watch
and I wish to get rid of him. When you give me the baby and are
tangle in the blanket I put him in your pocket."

"The baby?" laughed Percival.

"The babee?" said the girl with a look of scorn. "No, the watch.
How I can put the babee in the boy pocket? That is stupid.
It is easy to do when I am so close to the boy and he not know
it. You have the watch then. You are be arrest, yes?"

"No, I was not arrested, and I found an owner for it. Your friend
tried to get it, but I had heard him say that he had stolen it, and
I would not give it up."

"An, and now he has go away and I do not see him. You want that you
shall arrest him?"

"No, I don't care anything about him," said Jack, "but I did want
to know how the watch got in my pocket without my knowing it."

"An, that is one easy thing to do," laughed the girl. "Then you
do not mean to make me arrest?"

"No, certainly not," said Jack.

"I am very glad. Good morning, sir," said Gabrielle, and in a
moment she had whisked past the boys, and when they turned to see
where she had gone she had disappeared.

"Well, that thing is explained at any rate," said Percival. "We
thought she might have done it, but I don't see now how she managed it."

"She is evidently very quick in her motions," suggested Jack, "and
from what we know of the man she was with, she may have been just
such a character herself, and have learned deftness of fingers from
him. He was evidently a pickpocket, and perhaps she had practiced
the trade herself. That is the only explanation I can give."

"No doubt it is the correct one, but it does not matter. It is
really the only feasible explanation there is. She had had the
watch, and she was the only one who was close enough to you that
night to have done it."

"Well, we shall probably not see her again to find out just how she
did it, and very likely she would not tell us, as that would be
revealing one of the secrets of the trade, and, of course, she could
not do that."



Shortly after the meeting with Gabrielle the boys were greatly
surprised by the doctor's announcing that he had received a proposition
from the company which operated the mountain railroads in that
section for the Hilltop boys to survey a new line and afterward
build it.

"This will give those of you who are studying engineering and
surveying some practical experience," the Doctor added. "Just the
surveying for the branch road will be done at this time, and later,
some time in the fall, before the regular term begins, you will do
the building. If you are agreeable we will move our camp in a day
or so and begin the work at once. Not all of you will care to go,
of course, as all are not far advanced enough for the work."

Percival, Jack and a number of others were fit to go into the work,
however, and they were delighted at the prospect of a change of
scene and of doing other work, and the party was quickly made up.

Being settled in their new camp, the young surveyors set out,
carrying their instruments, a number of the boys who were not
engaged in the work following them out of curiosity to see them
at work.

Percival and his gang went ahead, and shortly after they had started,
Jack and his boys followed, Jack with a level over his shoulder and
boys with flags, axes, chains and other things necessary in the work,
accompanying him, all in high spirits.

Billy Manners had a magazine camera slung over his shoulder and as
the boys set out at a brisk walk he ran ahead of the party, turned
his camera upon them, and took a snap shot, saying with a laugh:

"There, that's the first exhibit. That shows us on our way to build
a railroad."

"You did not get yourself in it, Billy," said Jack as they went on.

"There isn't room on the plate for him; he's too fat," remarked
young Smith, who carried a pair of signal flags and a pole. "You
would need a bigger lens to get Billy on the plate."

The boys went on at a good gait and at length were surprised by
hearing a considerable noise ahead of them, loud and angry voices
of men being the principal part of the disturbance.

"Hello! there is trouble ahead," cried Harry. "I wonder what it is
all about?"

"We will find out in a few minutes," said Jack, hurrying forward,
the others quickly following.

In a short time they came to a little station in the woods, not
much more than a shack, by the way, and here they saw Percival
and his gang opposed by a number of men of rough appearance, who
were talking in loud and angry tones and with threatening gestures.

"Hello! I've got to get this!" exclaimed Billy, pointing his camera
at the group and giving the bulb a squeeze. "This'll be the second
exhibit, trouble on the line. I wonder what it is all about?"

The arrival of the other party was somewhat of a surprise to the men
and they fell back a pace, Jack hurrying toward Percival and asking:

"What is the matter, Dick? What do these men want?"

"They say that we are going to ruin their farms by running a road
through them," replied Percival. "I'd like to know where they are.
I never heard of any farms through here, nor any one else."

"Well, they is!" snarled one of the men, a big, rough-looking
fellow with a shaggy beard and long hair which seemed not to have
been combed in a month. "They is farms here and they's trout
brooks an' pasters an' we ain't goin' to have 'em ruined by no

"You will have to see the company," answered Jack quietly. "We
are not going to build immediately anyhow. We are only surveying
now. The company has given us the right to do this, and if they
were going to ruin any farms they would not do it. Where are the
farms? I am pretty well acquainted with this section and I don't
know of any farms worth mentioning in all of it. We have authority
from the railroad to make our surveys and you had better see some
of the officers before you make trouble. Dr. Wise also will give
you all the information you require. He is with the rest of the
boys, about half a mile back."

"Well, we was told you was going to ruin our farms, and we won't
stand fer that. You talk all right, but the fust thing we know
we'll be druv out o' house an' home an' all our crops sp'iled."

"You should have them in by this time. Who told you that your farms
would be ruined?"

"Well, we was told, anyhow, an' we warn ye that if any damage is
done to our farms or crops ye'll have ter suffer fer it. We ain't
goin' to be ground under by no graspin' mono'ly, we ain't, an' yer'
goin' to know it fust as last."

"There is no grasping monopoly in it," said Percival impatiently.
"We have a right from the railroad to make our surveys and we are
going to make 'em. I don't believe there is a farm within ten
miles and you don't look like farmers."

"Send some one back for the doctor, Dick," said Jack, who saw
that his friend's words had angered the men. "Who told you that
we were going to ruin your farms?" he added, turning directly to
the big man.

"I don't have to tell ye!" blustered the other. "I know what
railroads is an' we ain't goin' to have none on 'em rootin' up our
land, an' if ye sot up any o' them machines here we're goin'
ter---Hi! don't shoot!"

Billy Manners had suddenly turned his camera upon the follow,
considering him a good subject for a picture, and was just about
to squeeze the bulb when the man caught sight of him and sprang back.

"Ah! keep still," cried Billy in disgust. "You've spoiled the
picture. It would've been a fine one if you'd kept quiet."

"I don't want my picter took!" growled the big man, falling back
among the others. "Ye want ter use it ag'in me, that's what. I know
you fellers. An' ye ain't goin' to run no railroad, nuther!"

Jack looked around and quickly discovered that young Smith was
missing, and at once came to the conclusion that he had gone off
to get the doctor so as to settle the dispute about the surveying.

"If you will wait till we can send for Dr. Wise," he said to the
men, "he will assure you that we have every right to make the
survey, as well as to build the road. Will you send some one, Dick?"

"I will go," said Kenneth Blaisdell, who was one of Percival's party.

"All right, Ken, go ahead," and the boy set off through the woods,
Jack noticing at the same time that two of the men slipped away
with the evident intention of waylaying him and preventing him from
delivering the message to the doctor.

"I suspected as much," he thought. "Well, they don't know that young
J.W. has already started. He will get through all right, for although
he's little, he can be depended upon."

Then Jack gave Percival a wink and stepped back a little.



"What is it, Jack?" asked Percival as he joined Jack a short distance
from the group of men now standing idly about.

"They have sent some one to intercept Blaisdell. I have already sent
young Smith, or at least he has taken the hint and gone off himself.
He will get there, but I think we had better send some one to help Ken."

"You are sure, Jack?"

"Yes, I saw the man slip away. Here are Art and Harry. They will go."

Harry Dickson and Arthur Warren now came up, and Jack quickly told
them what he expected and asked them to follow Blaisdell and assist
him if necessary, both the boys slipping away without being noticed
by the party of men collected at the little station house and now
talking among themselves and paying no attention to the boys.

Percival got all the boys together, including those who were not of
the surveying party but had merely come along to see the work started,
and said to them:

"It is my opinion that these men have been influenced by some one
who has been telling them a lot of lies, and maybe for the purpose
of getting money out of us. They don't any of them look over
intelligent, and I don't believe there is a regular farmer among
them. They are squatters, I believe, and don't own half an acre
of land among them. We don't want to have a fight with them, and I
believe the doctor will settle the whole affair without any trouble
as soon as he comes back with Blaisdell."

Meantime Harry and Arthur had hurried on along the path through the
woods and it was not long before they heard the sound of voices
ahead of them, and hastened on, expecting that Blaisdell was in

In a short time they came upon the boy, with his back against a tree
and a defiant look in his face, saying at that moment:

"If you fellows attempt to touch me you will get hurt. You have
no business to detain me and you will get the worst of it."

"What are you doing to that boy?" cried Arthur, hurrying forward.
"If you want this matter settled, why don't you let him alone and
allow him to go and get the doctor and have this matter arranged

The arrival of two extra boys where they had expected to deal with
only one rather surprised the men, and one of them said with a growl:

"How do you know we was goin' to do anything to him? We've got
traps an' snares here, an' we thought he was goin' to meddle with
'em. We gotter look arter our property."

"It is not the time for setting snares," said Arthur. "We know what
you are up to. Get ahead, Ken. We'll keep these fellows from
following you. They are a bad lot, but we will take care of them."

The two boys had picked up stout sticks, and they now advanced upon
the men so as to give Blaisdell a chance to get away.

The men fell back, being natural cowards, and one of them now said
to the boys in sullen tones:

"What you makin' such a fuss about, anyhow? We was only foolin' with
the boy. We wasn't goin' to hurt him none."

"Well, I don't think you will," replied Harry as Blaisdell set off
toward the camp of the Hilltop boys, knowing that the two would be
able to take care of the men.

"How did you men get the idea that your farms were going to be
injured?" asked Arthur. "Who gave you that notion?"

"Bill said so," replied one.

"Who is Bill? Is he the big man that did the most of the talking
just now? He does not look as if he knew very much."

"Yes, Bill's a big feller."

"Well, Bill had better study up a bit before he goes to making
trouble for people. Where is his farm, anyhow? Has he got one?"

"Ah, you talk too much!" growled the man as he walked toward the

Shortly after the return of Harry and Arthur Blaisdell, a dozen
boys came running in, the former saying:

"Here we are, boys. The doctor is coming as fast as he can. You
have not had any fight since I went away? Young Smith got there
ahead of me and some of the boys had already started before I got
there, so I did not go all the way, but came back with them to see
the fun."

Dr. Wise, all in black and wearing big spectacles came up soon and
asked Percival and Jack who were the men who had made the trouble
at the branch.

Jack pointed out the big man and the doctor said to him:

"What is the matter, my man? Why do you wish to oppose this work?
We do not intend any harm to you or to any one. The railroad
company has given me full authority to make a survey and to build
a branch road. What is your objection?"

"It'll hurt our farms," growled Big Bill.

"Who told you that?"

"Phil Watts, that feller yonder."

"How did you learn this, Watts?" asked the doctor.

"Jim Jenkins told me."

"Well, well, this seems to be all hearsay information," muttered
the doctor. "Where is Jenkins? We must learn where he got his
information. Who is Jenkins?"

"That's me," said one of the men who had hung back.

"And who told you that we were going to hurt your farms by building
the branch road? I do not know of any farms in this section, and
if there were any it would help rather than injure them by giving
you a chance to get your produce to market sooner. Who told you
that it would injure them, Jenkins? I want to get at the bottom
of this affair."

"Well, I wasn't the only one what was told it," growled Jenkins,
glaring around at his companions, "though it's been put up to me as
if I started it. Bill Calthorpe heard it as well as me, an' so did
Phil Watts. We was all told it together."

The big man did not seem to like this admission and moved uneasily,
first on one foot and then on the other.

"Yes, yes, but who was the person who told you?" asked the doctor
a little impatiently. "We want to get at the first person who gave
this information. Was it one of yourselves or a stranger? Do you
actually know the person who told you this?"

"No, I don't," growled Jenkins, "but I can tell you this, and that
is that he was a big young feller and had a uniform under his coat
which come open while he was talkin', so's I could see it plain;
an' if it wasn't the same identical uniform them boys wear, I'll
eat my hat!"

"Do you see him now?" asked the doctor.

Jenkins looked around and Bill Calthorpe and the other squatters
did the same, the first speaker's admission not being denied by
any of them.

"No, he ain't here now," said Jenkins.

"Was he here at all to-day?" suddenly asked Billy Manners in a tone
that brought attention upon him in an instant.

"Yes, he was!" said Jenkins doggedly, and all the boys gave a gasp.



The statement of Jim Jenkins that a boy wearing the uniform of the
Hilltop boys had told him and others that the building of the branch
line would injure them had already caused considerable excitement
among the young students, and Jim's second statement to the effect
that the boy had been there that very day only served to increase it.

The doctor did not seem to care about pressing this point, however,
and said somewhat impatiently:

"Well, whoever it was who gave you this information, it was false,
and I will prove to you that we have every authority for going on
with this work and that it will not injure you in the least."

Dr. Wise then produced maps, letters and other documents and proceeded
to enforce his point.

The men seemed little interested, however, and several of them went
away while the doctor was stating his case, the big man at length
saying in a surly tone as he turned away:

"That's all right, go on with yer old road, but I'd just like-----"
and he went away muttering, followed by the greater part of the men
still remaining, some having already left.

"Ha! very strange, quite incomprehensible, yes, yes," said the
doctor. "Well, well! I really can't---well, never mind. Go on
with your work, young gentlemen. I do not think it will again be
interfered with."

Percival had not waited for the word to go ahead, but had already
set up his theodolite while the doctor was explaining matters to
the men, and had taken a number of sights, set his first bench mark
and was getting his boys to work, Jack being ready to follow behind
with his levelers as soon as the work ahead was far enough advanced.

The greater part of the men went away with Calthorpe, but a few of
them remained behind to watch the boys at work, showing considerable

Percival took his sights, fixed his direction and went ahead rapidly,
setting his stakes and running his line roughly, Jack coming on
later and settling the level.

After supper, when it was quite dark and the boys were sitting around
the camp fires, enjoying the warmth fully as much as the light,
Billy Manners came quietly to Jack, who was sitting with Percival,
the latter playing softly on a guitar, and whispered in his ear:

"Come with me, Jack. I've got something to show you that will give
you a surprise and set you to thinking."

"What is it, Billy?" asked Jack.

"Come and see!" was the mysterious answer, and Jack arose and followed
Billy to a little tent in a bit of thick woods outside the camp.

"What is it, Billy?" asked Jack as Billy opened the flap of his
little tent where the light of a small red lantern shone upon a bench
where there were hard rubber trays, a few big bottles and a pail
of water.

"I have been developing," said Billy. "I can take out the plates
I have already exposed and leave the others in the camera. It's
a magazine, you understand."

"Yes, I know all about them. Well, what are you going to show me?"

"There are developments which we did not expect," laughed Billy.

"Never mind your puns, Billy, but get to business. I know you have
developments, but what are they?"

"Here is one," said the other, holding up a developed plate between
his friend and the light of the ruby lamp. "What do you see on it?"

Jack examined the plate a few moments, and said:

"It is the station in the woods. Some one has just jumped aside. You
can see a bit of a blur on the edge like a man's arm and hand."

"Yes, and what do you see behind where the man was?"

"Two persons talking. Why, one of them is Herring."

"That's all right. Now look at this one," and Billy held up another
plate which was still wet.

Jack took it in his fingers and held it to the light.

"This is in the woods," he said.

"Yes. It was the first one I took when we came up and found that the
men were making trouble for Percival. What do you see on it, Jack?"

"I see some men making a disturbance, gesticulating and talking
excitedly to Dick and his boys."

"Yes, that's all right. What else?"

"Ah, here are two persons, almost out of focus and talking very
interestedly together at one side. They are down in front at one
side and their figures are larger than---why, Billy, they are
Jenkins and Herring."

"Exactly!" said Billy with a deal of satisfaction. "I thought you'd
see them if I said nothing and I'm glad you found them yourself.
I am going to have a print of that plate as soon as it gets dry
enough. I can dry it by a little stove I have and then take a
bromide print of it in soft grays. That will fetch it up all right."

"But, Billy, what are Herring and Jim Jenkins doing together and
what are they so interested about?"

"Didn't Jenkins say that a boy wearing the uniform of the Hilltops
had told him and the rest that running the branch would hurt them?"

"This picture shows that Herring had something to do with Jenkins
and yet everybody supposed he was in Saratoga."

"That's Herring all right and that's Jenkins," said Billy. "I'll
dry the plate and take a print of it. It won't hurt anything
to have a light now as I have no undeveloped plates about."

Billy then raised the red glass of the lantern to the top and
shoved a plain one under it, and then, lighting a little oil stove,
proceeded to carefully dry his plates, presently standing them
up not too near the stove and getting out his printing frames
and a package of photographic paper done up in a thick sheet of
heavy black paper which excluded the light.

The little tent was lined with tar paper which had no glaze and
was of an intense black, expelling all white rays which might
be injurious to his exposed plates, the red rays not doing this.

When his plates were dry Billy put one of them in his frame, which
contained a sheet of plain glass, and slipped one of his sensitized
sheets under it, closing the frame with a cleat under the back.

Passing this in front of the lamp for a few moments, he removed the
paper and placed it in a tray containing a developing fluid, when
at once the print began to show very plain.

When it was dark enough he removed it from the tray and put it in
another which contained a fixing fluid which prevented further
development, and presently washed it thoroughly in clear water.

"What do you think of that?" he asked Jack, with a tone of triumph.
"It is convincing, isn't it?"

"It shows Herring talking to Jenkins, but you cannot tell what he
says," remarked Jack with a smile.

"No, I have not got to taking talking pictures yet," laughed Billy,
"but the very fact that he was with Jenkins at all means something."



The boys left the little developing room after putting out the lights
and seeing that all was safe and that there was no chance of fire,
and made their way to the middle of the camp, where there was an open
space in which a number of the boys had gathered to amuse themselves.

There were several good singers among the boys and a number of them
had musical instruments, banjos, guitars and mandolins, so that it
was an easy matter to get up a concert at any time, the boys whiling
away many an hour in this fashion.

Some of the musicians had already begun to play when the three boys
arrived, their absence not having been noticed, and now Arthur, who
played the banjo, called upon a number of the boys to join in a
plantation melody and later a number of the old and new college songs.

Blaisdell had a good voice and he started the songs, the others
quickly joining him, till there were a dozen or more and fifty for
the chorus, the woods fairly ringing with the melody, which could be
heard a mile away by the men who had tried to stop the boys from

"Huh! they're singin' up there!" growled the big man. "We hain't
got nothin' yet, an' that young feller said he was goin' to pay us."

"We orter got pay afore we done anythin', that's the trouble,"
growled Jenkins. "He was a sneak. Arter promisin' to pay us for
makin' trouble, he run away an' left us." "Mebby if we tell
the ingineers who he is they'll pay us," suggested one of the men.
"We gotter get something out o' this."

"That's true enough," echoed Calthorpe. "We can't do things for
nothing. We gotter make something."

"I guess if we tell the young feller that we know who it was what
sot us ag'in' him he'll pay us something," added Jenkins. "It don't
make no difference to me where I get money, so long as I get it."

"O' course not," said a number of the men in a breath. "One feller's
money is as good as another feller's."

"Let's go down there and see 'em," suggested Calthorpe. "If the
feller what hired us won't pay up, we'll get it from some other
feller. That's all right enough, I guess."

Half an hour later Bucephalus called Percival to the edge of the camp,
telling him that he was wanted, Jack and Billy going with Dick.

"Did you want to see me?" he asked, seeing Jenkins and Calthorpe.

"Yes, I guess so," stammered Jenkins. "You're at the head of the
ingineers, ain't ye?"

"I am with them," Percival replied. "You are one of the men who
tried to stop us, aren't you? You are Jenkins, I believe?"

"Yes, that's me. What I wanted to say is this. I know who the
feller was what told us we'd be hurt ef the road went through, and
mebby you'd like to know who he is. I kin tell ye, for I know his
name an' he's one of-----"

"We know who he is," broke in Jack, "and you can tell us nothing."

Jenkins seemed a good deal put back by this speech and stammered
not a little as he replied:

"Huh! yer didn't know who he was this afternoon, 'cause ye asked
me if I had saw him. Guess ye're only bluffin' an' don't know-----"

"Look at this!" said Jack, suddenly shoving the print he had received
from Billy that very evening under the man's nose, there being
light enough for him to see it. "Do you recognize any one there?"

"By Jinks!" exclaimed Jenkins, who recognized his own portrait first
of all. "You've been takin' our picters to use ag 'in' us. Gimme

Jenkins tried to snatch the picture as Jack drew it back, but
Percival, by a quick movement, threw his hand up and said sharply:

"No, you don't, my man! We want to keep that picture for evidence.
Besides, even if you got it, we can print a hundred more of them."

"Ain't you goin' to give us anything for telling you who it was?"
Jenkins asked in a tone of disappointment.

"No, for you have not told us."

"But I told you it was one of your fellers this afternoon. You
wouldn't ha' known anything about it if I hadn't."

"Oh, yes we would," laughed Billy. "That picture was already taken
when you mentioned the matter, and the minute we saw it we would
have known that something was wrong, even if you hadn't said a word."

"And we ain't goin' to get nothing?"

"No!" said Jack in a tone of decision.

"You may get what you don't want, though I won't say but that you
deserve it all right," laughed Percival "I mean a term in jail."

"And so this was what you sent to us for?" said Jack. "You might
have known you would get nothing. Come, Dick. Come, Billy. There
is no use wasting any more time on these fellows."

"You look out that we don't go on our own hook and stop your workin'
the branch," snarled Calthorpe. "We can make trouble for you
and we-----"

"Herring cannot have paid them anything for what they did," remarked
Percival as they walked back toward the middle of the camp. "That
is like him, to promise them something for a service and then forget
all about it. I don't believe he ever intended to pay them."

"That's nothing new for Pete," said Billy. "The man or boy who
relies on that fellow keeping his word is going to get left."

The work was resumed the next morning and progressed rapidly, many
of the boys from the camp who were not of the surveying party coming
to see how things were getting on.

Then, greatly to the disgust of the Hilltoppers, Peter Herring
and some of his cronies came along and stopped to watch the surveyors.

"I thought we would see him before long, Dick," said Jack in a low
tone to Percival. "He could not stay away."

"Huh! surveying, are you?" sneered Herring. "Much you know about
such things! Fine old railroad you fellows could build."

"I wouldn't want to ride on it, would you, Pete?" asked Merritt.
"The only time it would go smooth would be when the cars was off
the track."

"I thought you were at Saratoga," said Percival.

"So I was, but it was too slow there."

"So you thought you'd come here and make trouble for us?"

"Huh! I only got here just now. Me and a friend was motoring and
heard that there were some surveyors around, and we came to watch

"Then you were not talking to Jenkins and Calthorpe and the other
squatters and telling them that we wanted to ruin their farms?"

"Don't know what you're talking about!" blustered Herring, but Jack
saw him turn color and knew that he had been taken by surprise.
"Who are Jenkins and Calthorpe?"

"And you have not been anywhere near this place till just now?"
asked Jack quietly.

"No, of course I haven't! I told you I just came."

"Then how about this?" and the boy suddenly thrust the print Billy
had taken right under the bully's nose. "What were you saying to
Jenkins when Billy snapped this? Jenkins said a boy who answered
to your description told them that we would ruin their farms."

Herring flushed deeply and seemed utterly taken aback, it being
clear that he had not suspected the existence of this picture,
which was the clearest kind of evidence against him.

He tried to snatch it out of Jack's hand, but the boy was too quick
for him and drew it back, saying:

"What were you saying to Jenkins at the time that picture was
snapped, Herring?"

"I was telling him that there was no use to bother you about the
surveying," growled Herring. "Why would I want to get 'em to
trouble you for? It was nothing to me what you did."

"But just now you said that you had not seen Jenkins and did not
know him. This shows that you must have done so, and in fact
Jenkins himself said that one of our boys, a big fellow-----"

"Ah, what do I care what he said?" growled Herring, turning quickly
and walking toward the road, followed by his companions.

They did not see him again and were not troubled by Jenkins or any
of the pretended farmers, the work of surveying going on rapidly
after that. At length it was completed to the satisfaction of
everyone and the camp was broken up, the boys dispersing to their
several homes.

Those who have been interested in the fortunes of Jack Sheldon
and his friends will welcome the next volume of the series, which
will show the young surveyors completing the work already begun
and contain much to interest and instruct, as well as to amuse.

Jack spent a part of his vacation with Percival, and when the
two parted Dick said earnestly:

"You'll be on hand for the building of the railroad, Jack?"

"I certainly will, Dick."


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