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Young Hunters of the Lake by Ralph Bonehill

Part 4 out of 4

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"We'll find some other hole, or else go below," said Snap, who was
as willing as anyone to leave the place.

They moved around, examining one spot and then another. At two
points they saw openings between the rocks but they were mere
narrow slits and not one of the lads could get through them.

"I guess we'll have to go below," said Shep, at last. "I hate to
do it, too, for it will be no easy matter to climb out of that hole
where we took the tumble."

"It's the only thing to do," answered Giant. "Come on," he added.
"Staying here is making me nervous. If another tree should come down
we might be buried alive."

They went back, and climbed down to the cave below. They had now
but one torch and this was almost burnt out. As quickly as they
could, they hurried to where they thought the hole was located. Only
a mass of rocks and dirt met their view.

"What does this mean?" cried Whopper.

"We have made a wrong turn---this is not the spot," said Giant.

"It looks like the spot to me," added the doctor's son, doubtfully.

"It is the spot," said Snap, and his voice betrayed his great

"Yes, but where is the opening?" questioned the others in concert.

"It is gone."


"Yes, there has been a landslide or something, and the hole has been
covered up!"



For the moment after Snap made his dismaying announcement none of
the young hunters spoke. Was it really true---was the hole covered
up, and were they buried alive under the mountain?

It was a truly horrible thought, and every one of the lads shivered.
They looked at the torch, now burnt so low it was hard to hold, and
then gazed at each other.

"Oh, Snap, we must find some way out!" faltered Giant. His voice
shook so he could hardly speak.

"Yes, let us get out as soon as we can," added Whopper.

They soon saw that what Snap had said was true---there had been a
heavy landslide and the hole beyond the cave was filled up completely.
Through the loose rocks and dirt the water was trickling and soon
formed a fair-sized stream that flowed over the cave floor and
disappeared into a crevice at one side.

"Well, we can't get out this way, that's sure," said Snap, after
an examination. "We must find some other opening."

They hurried around, bound to do what they could while the torch
lasted. But soon the light flickered up and went out, leaving them
in total darkness.

"Let us keep together," said Shep. "It won't do to get separated."

All were willing to follow his advice, and they, slung their firearms
over their backs and took hold of hands. Then they moved around the
cave with caution.

"I see a light!" cried Whopper, when they had reached a far corner
of the cave. "Look there!"

He pointed overhead. Sure enough there was a small hole. Through
it ran a tiny stream of water.

"That hole won't do us any good," sighed Snap. "In the first place
it is too small and in the second place it is out of our reach.
We'll have to find something better."

They moved on, and after a long time had passed Giant found a slit
between two rocks. They made an examination and found one of the
rocks loose. They rolled it away and felt a rush of pure, wet air.

"Here's an opening!" cried the small youth, enthusiastically. "Oh,
if only we can make it large enough!"

"We must make it large enough!" cried Shep, and then all went to
work with vigor, pulling back such rocks as they could move and
digging at the dirt with their bare hands. They had to make a
regular tunnel ten or more feet long and it took them over an hour
to do it. Their arms and backs ached from the labor, and their
hands were scratched and their finger nails torn, but to all this
they paid no attention. Their sole thought was to get out of the
cave that looked as if it might become their tomb.

At last the opening was large enough to admit of the passage of
Whopper's body and he passed to the outside. Then he dug from that
end, and presently Shep came forth, followed by Giant and lastly
by Snap.

"Thank heaven we are out of that!" murmured the doctor's son, and
his chums echoed his sentiment. Never had the outer world appeared
so glorious to them. At that instant they were all ready to vow
they would never enter a cave again.

It was still raining, and the day was fast drawing to a close. The
lightning and thunder had passed away to the westward, but they knew
the downfall would last at least an hour or so longer.

"If we try to get down to our camp now we'll be soaked," said
Snap, as they gathered under the semi-protection of a large hemlock
tree. "The underbrush is loaded with water, and if there is anything
I hate it is to have a wet bough slash me in the face or breast."

"And we don't want to go back without that bear," put in Shep.

"No, indeed!" cried Giant. "It cost us too much trouble to get
a shot at him."

"Wonder what became of the other bear?" mused Whopper.

"Oh, he ran away," said Shep. "More than likely we'll never see
him again."

"If we could find a place that was half dry, I'd be in favor of
staying on the mountain all night," went on the leader of the club.
"We could build a fire and broil those quail Giant shot. We'd have
a bird apiece, and that would make a good supper, with what is left
of the lunch."

"The thing of it is, to find the place," put in Giant.

"Let us hunt around a little."

They moved around with caution, for they wanted to keep as dry
as possible. At last they reached a low, overhanging cliff, well
sheltered from the rain. Here were some dry brushwood and a number
of cedar trees, and they speedily built a roaring fire and began to
broil the birds Giant had brought down.

It was not a particularly inviting spot, but it was better than
being out in the open, and they made the best of the situation.
They dried their wet coats and took their time eating supper, and
none of them thought of retiring until nearly nine o'clock. By that
time the storm had cleared away completely and the stars were
showing themselves in the blue vault of heaven.

Fearful that some wild beasts might be around, the young hunters
resolved to take turns at standing guard. The campfire was kept
burning, for nobody wished to remain in such a locality in utter

Whopper remained on guard first, and about midnight he was relieved
by Snap. The leader of the club had just put some fresh wood on
the fire when he heard a strange sound some distance from the
shelter. Then came a mocking laugh.

"Ha! ha! He is dead! I am dead! Who will bury me?" came to
his ears.

"The ghostly voice!" he muttered to himself. He gave a sudden
shiver and then steadied himself. "I am going to find out what
it means, or know the reason why!" And he gripped his gun tightly.

"Did you speak, Snap?" questioned Whopper, who was just turning in
on the pile of dry leaves the leader of the club had vacated.

"Yes---no---I don't know. I just heard something," was the unsatisfactory

"What did you hear?" And now Whopper sat up.

"I heard that ghostlike voice. It was---There it goes again!"

Both boys listened and heard a hideous laugh. Then came the words,
repeated many times:

"I am dead! He is dead! Who will bury me? See the lights! I am
dead. Beware of the mountain! He is dead! The mountain will kill
you! See the lights! Who will bury me? Ha ha!" And then the
strange voice died away in the distance.

"What on earth can it be?" gasped Whopper. His face was deadly

"Don't ask me," answered Snap.

"What's up?" questioned Giant, who was a light sleeper, and the
sound of his voice awoke the doctor's son. Soon he and the small
youth were acquainted with what had occurred.

"Where did the voice go to?" asked Shep.

"It seemed to fade away in the air."

"Why didn't you take a shot at it?"

"How can you shoot something you don't see?" demanded Snap, half
indignantly. "Just let me spot that ghost and I'll show you what
I'll do!"

"Let us keep quiet," suggested Whopper. "Perhaps it will come

All sat down around the fire, for further sleep was out of the
question. Thus an hour went by, but nothing came to disturb them.

"Looks as if the ghost business was finished for to-night," remarked
Shep, glancing around down the mountainside. Then he leaped to
his feet. "Oh!"

"What did you see?" demanded the others, leaping up also.

"The ghost!"


"There---down among those tall trees."

"I don't see anything," said Snap, after a careful look.

"It is gone now. Oh, what a looking thing!" The doctor's son
was breathing heavily.

"Didn't you imagine it?" asked Giant.

"No, I saw it as plain as day."

"Yellow or white?"

"Yellow, and it had red horns, just as Ham Spink said."

"Which way was it moving?"

"It seemed to be moving towards us, but it disappeared behind some

After this the four boys were silent, straining their eyes and ears
to see or hear the ghost.

"There it is!" fairly shouted Whopper, a minute later.

There was no need to utter the words, for the strange apparition was
now in full view of all. It resembled the body of a man, and glowed
with a strange yellow light, while the horns of red waved menacingly
toward them.

"Away! away! away!" came a deep voice. "Go away from the mountain
and the lake!" And then, raising a warning finger and pointing
directly at the four young hunters, the ghostly, figure suddenly
moved to one side and vanished!



"What do you think of that?"

Such was the question which several of the boys put to each other

"Why didn't somebody shoot at the ghost?" asked Snap.

"Why didn't you, Shep?" queried Giant.

"I---er---I forgot about it."

"The ghost vanished too quickly," said Snap. "But keep on guard---it
may come back."

"If it does it will get something from me sure," murmured the
doctor's son, and raised his shotgun.

"What do you think it was?" asked Whopper, after a painful pause of
several minutes.

"A man," answered Snap, promptly.

"A man!" cried Giant.

"Yes, a man---and I don't know whether we ought to shoot at him or
not," continued the leader of the gun club. "We certainly don't
want to commit murder."

"But if it's a man what is he playing ghost for?" queried the
doctor's son.

"That remains to be found out."

"Your theory is all well enough," said Whopper, "but it doesn't
account for the ghostlike voice."

"I know that. Nevertheless, I think that ghost is a man."

The young hunters continued to discuss the situation from all
possible points of view. Snap's positive declaration that the
ghost was a man made all feel less frightened, and they were anxious
to get better acquainted with the apparition.

"If it's a man I'd like to capture him and give him a piece of my
mind," said Whopper. "What right has he to roam around like this,
frightening everybody he meets?"

"He ordered us away from the mountain. Most likely, if it is a
man, he wants this territory to himself," answered Giant.

"That's the way I figure it," said Snap. "He may be crazy and
may think he owns the mountains and the lake."

"It couldn't be that old hermit, Peter Peterson, could it?" queried
Shep, suddenly.

"That's who it is!" almost shouted Whopper. "It's a trick of
his to keep folks away from here."

"But why should he come to us with that story of his?" questioned

"He told us that just to scare us. He thought we might go away
from the lake at once."

Again there was a lively discussion, and the young hunters agreed
that, if the ghost was indeed a man, more than likely it was Peterson.

"A fellow who would play such a trick ought to be tarred and feathered,"
was Whopper's comment.

"If it proves to be Peterson we'll have him driven out of this
neighborhood fast enough," said Snap.

Another hour went by, and as the ghost did not reappear the young
hunters grew heavy eyed, and one after another took a short nap.
Thus the night passed, and at last the sun showed itself over the
mountain top to the eastward, heralding another day.

With the coming of sunlight the boys were inclined to treat the
coming of the ghost as a joke. They could not explain the ghostly
voice, however, although Snap said he imagined the man playing
ghost might be a ventriloquist.

"Some of those ventriloquists are very clever," he asserted, "and
they can throw their voices almost anywhere."

The sun soon dried the grass and bushes, and after eating what was
left of the quail, and the lunch brought from the camp, the young
hunters struck off in the direction whence the bear they had shot
had disappeared. They traveled with extreme care, for none of
them wished to risk a tumble down the mountainside.

"Look! look!" yelled Snap, presently, and pointed some distance

"Wolves, and they are at some game," returned Whopper. "I do
believe it is our bear!

"That's just what it is," put in Giant. "What gall! Let us open
fire on 'em!"

The wolves were at least a dozen in number, all big and powerful
fellows. They had just come on the bear, that was dead, and were
quarreling among themselves over the carcass.

With great care the four boy hunters took, aim at the wolves, and
at a command from Snap, let drive. As the reports died away two
of the beasts were seen to be dead and two others were wounded.
The other wolves turned and retreated a few paces, then paused
and glared at those who had molested them.

"They are coming for us!" shouted Whopper, and the statement proved
true. With wild yelps and snarls the wolves leaped forward.

It was a moment of great peril and the young hunters fully realized
their critical condition.

"Shoot and jump for the nearest trees!" yelled Snap, and then let
drive again. The others discharged the remaining loads in their
shotguns, and three more of the wolves were hit, and one killed.
Then one after another the young hunters scrambled up into the
nearest trees.

The boys thought they would have a hard fight with the remaining
wolves, but evidently the pack had had enough of the encounter,
for those that were wounded limped off growling savagely and the
others followed, leaving the dead where they had fallen.

"We came up in the nick of time," said Snap, as he reloaded and
leaped to the ground, followed by his chums. "A few minutes later
and those beasts would have torn this bear limb from limb. I
suppose they thought they were going to have the feast of their

The body of the bear was cold and stiff, showing that it had died
shortly after being shot. It was a good-sized creature, and the
young hunters felt justly proud of their quarry.

"I knew we'd get plenty of small game, but I was afraid we wouldn't
get a bear," said Whopper.

"A bear always tops off a hunt," said Snap. "That or a moose," put
in Giant. "I'd like to get a crack at a good, big moose."

"I am afraid you want too much in this life," answered Snap, with
a laugh.

The problem of how to get the carcass down to their camp was a
serious one. They did not want to cut the bear up just yet, nor
did they want to spoil the skin by dragging it over the rocks.

"Let us make a good, strong drag of tree limbs," suggested Whopper.
"We can bind the limbs together closely, so the skin of the beast
won't touch the ground after we have tied the bear on top. Then
we can all haul it down between the trees."

"Maybe the bear will go down quicker than we anticipate," said
Snap. "But I reckon your suggestion is as good as anything."

It took the best part of the morning to make a drag that was
satisfactory and pry the big bear on it then the carcass was bound
down with vines and cords.

"Now, everybody be careful," cautioned Snap. "Some of these rocks
are very loose, and it will be the easiest thing in the world to
take a tumble and break an ankle or your neck."

Then the trip down the mountainside began. It was truly hard
work, for the drag caught on some rocks and slid altogether too
fast over others. Then, at one point, they came close to running
into a nest of hornets. One of the wicked creatures stung Whopper
on the hand and another stung Shep on the neck, and there followed
a wild dancing and yelling, while the boys allowed the drag to
tumble over and over down the rocks and ran for safety.

"Look out for the hornets!"

"We'll be stung to death!

"Did you ever see the match!" groaned Whopper, after the excitement
was over. "Just gaze on that hand---as big as a baseball mitt!

"And look at my neck!" came dolefully from the doctor's son.

A few of the hornets were buzzing around the fallen carcass of the
bear and the young hunters did not dare to approach until the pests
had departed. Then the drag was righted and the journey down the
mountainside was continued.

"Who ever thought so many things would happen on this trip," was
Snap's comment. "First we shot the bear, then we tumbled into the
hole, then we were buried alive, next the ghost came along, and
then followed the wolves and the hornets."

"Yes, and we are not back to camp yet," sighed Giant. "I think
I'll rest for a week after this."

"We ought to send this bear down to town," said Whopper. "I'd like
to put it on exhibition, just to show Ham Spink and some other folks
what we can do."

"Well, we might send it down in some way," answered Snap. "But
come on, I am getting hungry, and we're a long way still from the
lake shore."

"We are coming to a cliff of some sort," announced Giant, who was
in advance. "Take it easy now, or the drag will drag you where you
don't want to go."

They advanced with caution, and presently saw the cliff. Below were
some thick cedar trees, the tops reaching just above the cliff.

"Listen!" cried Snap, and put up his hand for silence.

For a full minute they heard nothing, and the others were just going
to ask the leader what he had heard when there came a shrill laugh
from the cedars.

"Ha ha! I am dead! He is dead!" said a ghostly voice. "Who
will bury me? See the lights! I am dead! He is dead! Ha ha!"

"The ghost!" gasped Giant, and made a movement as if to retreat.

"Don't run," commanded Snap. "It is broad daylight. Let us investigate
this matter."

"I am dead! He is dead! Ha ha!" came the voice again, and then
followed a laugh that chilled them to the backbone. By this time
all of the young hunters had their firearms around in front of them,
ready for use.

"Well, if this isn't the queerest---" began Shep, when there was
a fluttering in the tops of the cedars and a big bird flew directly
over their heads. As quick as a wink, Snap took aim with his rifle
and let drive. The bird uttered a shrill cry, almost human, and
fluttered down at their feet. Then Shep struck at it with his gun
barrel, and it fell over lifeless.

"A parrot!"

"Yes, and he's the one who made the ghostly sounds!"

"Did you ever see the beat!"

"No wonder we couldn't locate that voice in the dark!"

Such were some of the comments of the young hunters as they gathered
around the dead parrot. Snap picked the creature up, made certain
it was dead, and opened its mouth.

"Yes, he was a talker right enough," he said.

"But I'd like to know who taught him to say such awful things
and nothing else?"

"Most likely the fellow who is playing ghost," answered Whopper.

"Yes, and that fellow must be close by," ejaculated Giant. "He
and the parrot probably traveled together."

"In that case, let us try to find Mr. Ghost," said the doctor's
son. Now the mystery of the ghostly voice was explained he was
no longer afraid.

"What will we do with the bear?" asked Snap.

It was voted to leave the carcass where it was, and this decided
upon, the young hunters looked around for some way of getting down
the cliff.

"Here's a rope ladder!" cried Snap. "Boys, do you know what I
think?" he added.


"I think we are near to where that ghost lives!"

"Then let us pay him a visit and ask him what he means by his
outrageous conduct," answered the doctor's son.

Then all commenced to descend the rope ladder, which led to the
bottom of the cliff.



It was a strong ladder and put up with care, so the young hunters
had no fear of falling. At the foot they discovered a well-defined
trail running along the base of the cliff to where gushed forth a
small stream of pure, cold water. Near the spring was an empty can,
evidently used as a drinking cup. The boys were thirsty and all
took a drink. Then they continued on the trail, until they came
in sight of a small log hut, almost hidden among the trees and bushes.

"Perhaps that is where Mr. Ghost lives," suggested Whopper, trying
to speak as lightly as he could, although his voice trembled slightly.

"We can knock on the door and ask," answered Snap.

"Beware!" came suddenly, from the vicinity of the hut. "Come
not a step nearer, if you value your lives!"

And then they saw the ghost like figure in yellow, with the dangling
red horns, moving among the bushes.

For just one moment the young hunters were badly frightened and
inclined to run. Then they gazed at each other questioningly and
stood their ground.

"We want to talk to you!" cried Snap. "We know you are a humbug."

"Yes, and we know all about your parrot," added the doctor's son.
He did not deem it wise to mention that they had killed the talking

"Go away! Go away!" answered the figure in yellow. "This forest
is mine! The lake is mine! Go away, ere it is too late!"

"I believe that man is crazy!" whispered Whopper. "Maybe he thinks
he owns the earth!"

"He is certainly no ghost," answered Snap. "But if he is crazy,
we'll have to be careful how we approach him. He may try to shoot us."

"See here, sir!" shouted the doctor's son, kindly. "Won't you come
and talk with us? We don't want to hurt you, or take your property
away from you."

"Ha! ha! I know you! You want to rob me of everything!" cried the
man in yellow, harshly. They now saw that what looked like horns
was simply a yellow cap with two stuffed red appendages on top.
The man had his face smeared with yellow clay.

"We'll not harm you in the least," said Giant, and now, attracted
by something in the strange man's appearance, he went several
steps closer.

When the small youth of the club spoke the man turned to him. A
moment later he started and throw up his hands in surprise.

"Who are you, boy? Speak quickly!" he demanded.

"I am Will Caslette."

"Ha! Where do you come from?"

"I come from Fairview, on the Rocky River."

"And your---your mother?" The man in yellow was now greatly agitated.

"My mother is a widow." Giant had now come closer still and was
looking the man over carefully. "What is your name?"

"My name? Ha ha! I have no name. I am a wanderer."

"But you had a name once---what was it?"

"My name---I cannot remember. Yes, I had one once when I was in
France fair France the belle of all countries! But the name is
gone---gone like the great history I was writing. Yes, and it will
never come back, never!" And the man in yellow threw up his hands

"Was not your name Pierre Dunrot?" asked Giant, quickly.

The strange man staggered back as if shot.

"Pierre Dunrot? Pierre Dunrot?" he repeated slowly. "Yes! yes!
That was my name! How----how did you know it?"

"Because you are my uncle!" gasped Giant, coming to the strange
man's side. "You are Pierre Dunrot, my long-lost uncle."

"Your uncle?"

"Yes, my uncle. Do you not remember my mother, Kate Caslette, and
do you not remember me---your little Guillaume, the boy you used
to ride on your knee?" went on Giant, earnestly and looking the man
straight in the eyes.

"Yes! yes! I remember now!" cried the man, and now his eyes
searched the small youth's face. "You are my little Guillaume
indeed!" He took Giant by the hand. "But how is this---my, mind
is in a whirl! I do not understand!" And he gazed from Giant to
the others in simple-minded perplexity.

"You ran away from home," answered Giant. "It was after the storm,
when the lightning had burnt up the manuscript of your beloved

"Yes, yes, yes! My beloved history! That is true! Oh, it was
cruel, cruel! After I had worked so many years and so faithfully!
My beloved history! It is gone, never to return!"

And the tears ran down the cheeks of the man.

"Uncle Pierre, you must give up your lonely life here," said Giant,
after a pause. "You must come home with me."

At this suggestion the hermit, for the man was nothing less, shook
his head vigorously. He was certainly queer---talking sometimes
quite rationally and at others in a rambling fashion. He told how
he had come to make his home in the mountains, how he had once
visited a large city and purchased three parrots and brought them
to the wilderness, and how one parrot had died and another had
been shot.

"The third is still with me," he continued. "But I am tired of
him---he is driving me crazy."

"He shall never bother you again---if only you will come home with
me," said Giant. "You must come home---mother wants to see you.
All your books are there. Don't you remember how you used to love
those books, Uncle Pierre?"

"Yes! yes!" The man's eyes began to glisten. "And so you want me
to go home? You look like a good boy, Guillaume."

"Why does he call Giant Guillaume?" whispered Whopper to Snap.

"It's the French for William," answered the leader of, the club.
"Say, but doesn't this beat the Dutch!"

"If giant can get this uncle of his to go home perhaps they'll be
able to get possession of that fortune of one hundred thousand
francs," was Shep's comment. "I hope they can get it, for Mrs.
Caslette certainly deserves the money and needs it."

Giant continued to talk to the hermit, and gradually the other
boys joined in the conversation. The young hunters soon saw that
Pierre Dunrot's mind was very hazy on some matters while clear on
others. Since running away from the Caslette home he had lived
in the mountains near the lake and he had taken every precaution
to keep other folks away from him. He had taught his parrots to
scare newcomers, and had played ghost by rubbing phosphorus and
other shining substances on his clothing and cap. He said he
owned several canoes, hidden along the lake shore, and in these
he sometimes went fishing, usually at night.

"Well, this solves the mystery of the ghost anyway," said Snap.
"Won't folks around Fairview be astonished when they hear of it?"

"I don't believe we ought to let folks know all the details,"
answered the doctor's son. "It would hurt Giant's feelings and
also his mother's. We can simply say we caught the ghost and
he proved to be a harmless old man with a talking parrot, and
that we shot the parrot and the man left the vicinity of the lake
after his parrot was dead." And so it was agreed. Of course the
boys' parents heard the real story, but that was as far as the
tale circulated.

The boys went into the log hut and there saw how the hermit had
been living in his primitive way. In a corner he had a box filled
with ammunition for his gun and also a large collection of hooks
and lines. He had a plate, a cup, and a kettle and pan, and that
was all. He ate from a block of wood and slept on a heap of cedar
boughs. His clothing was almost worn to rags.

It took a great deal of talking to get him to consent to return
to civilization, but finally Giant accomplished his purpose.
Then the young hunters told about the dead bear, and the hermit
showed them how to get the carcass down to the lake front without
much trouble. Once at the camp, Pierre Dunrot was given some
clean garments, and before donning them he took a bath in the lake.
When he had put on the clean clothing he looked like a different

Of course Giant was anxious to get home at once, and his chums
could not blame him. The others wanted to take the bear to town, and
so it was decided that the return home should begin the next morning.

The journey to Fairview took three days, the boys pushing along as
rapidly as circumstances would permit. The companionship of the
lads appeared to brighten Pierre Dunrot's mind wonderfully, and it
was only now and then that he relapsed into his former simpleness.

Fairview reached, Giant lost no time in hurrying his uncle to his
home. Mrs. Caslette was sitting by a window sewing when the pair

"Why, Will!" she called out and arose. Then she looked at the
man. "Can it be possible? Pierre!" And she stood still, staring
at her relative.

"Yes, it is really Uncle Pierre!" cried Giant.

The next moment the man and the woman were kissing each other. Mrs.
Caslette was bewildered and it took some time for Giant to tell
his story. Then Pierre Dunrot had his say. He was greatly
excited over coming back, and that night had to be placed in a
physician's care. Dr. Reed attended him, and came to see the
former hermit for a week. Pierre Dunrot had quite a severe spell
of sickness, mostly due to his weak brain, but when he got over
it he was clearer-minded than he had been for years.

"The past is like some awful dream," he said.

"I do not understand how I came to run away."

Later on he spoke of the fortune that was coming to Mrs. Caslette
and himself. He remembered all the details, and through the efforts
of a lawyer the hundred thousand francs at last came into possession
of the rightful owners.

The bringing in of the big bear by the boy hunters caused something
of a sensation in Fairview. The bear was put on exhibition for
a day at one of the stores, and then cut up and the meat distributed.
The skin was properly cured, and to-day forms a rug in the Reed
parlor. How the doctor came to gain possession of it will be told
in another story. Of course Ham Spink and his cronies were very
envious of the young hunters' luck, and they tried to circulate a
story that Snap and his friends had bought the dead bear from some
old hunter, but nobody would listen to the yarn.

"We know they can hunt," said one man. "They are the best shots
in this town," and his opinion was the opinion of the majority.

"Shall we go back to the lake and the woods?" asked Snap, one day.
"Remember, the vacation is not yet half over."

"My father wants us to go back," answered the doctor's son. "He's
got a plan he would like us to carry out." And then Shep told what
the plan was. The others instantly agreed to it, and what they did
will be related in the next volume of this series, to be entitled,
"_Out with Gun and Camera; Or, The Boy Hunters in the Mountains_."
Taking photographs of wild animals is both exciting and dangerous,
and in the new book we shall learn much concerning this new fad.

"Well, we had a dandy time," observed Snap.

"Yes, and we cleared up the mystery of the ghost in great shape,"
replied Shep.

"I'd like to bring down a few more bears," put in Whopper.

"And I'd like to get a shot at a moose," came from Giant.

"All in good time," answered Snap. "For the time we were out
I think we got our full share of game."

"We certainly did!" cried the others.


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