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Pliny Quick's Great Stone Arrow
ARTHUR MORGAN LANGWORTHY
OAKDALF, grammar school was very much e.rcited
by the great mystery of the Five Forks Fort,
as it was known at first.
What secret plan was being carried out by General
Pliny Quick and his three brothers? Walter Arm
strong and others of their rivals tried awfully hard
to fi/id out, but in vain. They made many secret trips
out to Five Forks to inspect that pile of stones,
which steadily grew through the week until it be
came a long , , straight redoubt or breastworks about
three feet high, two Ceet wide and ?,0 or 10 feet long.
It was built of white stones from an abandoned
quarry pit near by, and stretched its gleaming length
parallel with the South road, which disentangled
itself from the Five Forks cluster of highways and
stretched due south. Perhaps you have read of Five
Forks In another story of this series. It is the cross
ing of five roads about a mile out of Oakdale. None
of the roads cross at a direct angle, but fork out in
live directions from a sort of hub. The spot is known
all over this section of the country as a landmark of
On the fourth visit Walter atul his crowd made
they were given a surprise.
"V/hy, It's an arrow!" he exclaimed. Surveying the
rapidly growing spearlike heud of the long white
pile. But Pliny, Austen and the other Quicks only
laughed mysteriously and th«vy continued to throw
rock after rock upon the arrowhead until they had
built it up to the same level as the long section.
'What are you making that fort" demanded Walter
for about the fiftieth time.
"You'll ftnd out if you watch t a i."fully," snickered
"We can plaj the BAlfie same as you, though T don't
know "vvliaL it is!' , roared Walter den'smily. Hβ was
determined not t<> let the Quirks get ahead of hint,
and the mysterious building of this great stone arrow
was very irritating. So now an idea struck him,
which at least might "bring him into the game," even
if lie didn't know wliat it way. Hβ called his friends
together, and then came the Quicks' turn to be aston
"iii, there! What do you think you're doing?'
shouted Austen a bit later.
"We're just going to .show you '.smarties' tliat you
ain't the only ones who can build forts at Five
Forks!" replied Walter, as he toted a rock up from
the quarry and Hung it on the pile he and his aids
were Industriously adding to.
Austen and the other Quicks hastily held a whis
pered conversation. Walter ivai highly gratiiied t"
see how much annoyance hi a building operations
seemed to cause. Finally Pliny walked over and said
"See here. Walter, -what we're doing doesn't con
cern you in the slightest, and you're liable to spoil
it if you try to imitate us."
"Well, then, tell me what you're trying to make!' ,
demanded Walter curiously.
"We've given our word of honor* not to tell or I
would," answered Pliny, Shaking his head.
Walter was nettled at Pliny's refusal U> tell I
secret of the great stone arrow.
THE SAN IWANCISCO CALL, SATURDAY, NfOVEMBER 2, I£I2.—THE fUNIOS CAlife
"Well, if you won't tell I guess we wont stop! Go
ahead, beys,!" answered Walter stubbornly, nodding
to the others to go on with their work.
Austen and Pliny were angry, but there was no
way to stop the Armstrong crowd. So they had to
content themselves with adding the stone "feathers' ,
to the tail of the arrow, and thus completing it, while
Walter's gang worked doggedly to parallel and dupli
cate their work with their own stone arrow.
Of course, this second arrow fanned the flames of
curiosity. Nothing was talked of at school but the
great stone arrows. Numerous guesses were made as
to Pliny's secret object in erecting such a strange
monument. But Pliny and his brothers only con
tinued to fcinile and keep still.
Walter Armstrong finished his duplicate arrow a
day or two Rfter Pliny's was completed, and then
kept on wondering what it was all about and what
was going to happen and iiow his arrow was going
to -queer" Pliny's. In fact, he rather maliciously
hoped it would. But three days passed and not one
On the third day Pliny met Walter in the school
yard and pulled a folded yellow paper from his
pocket. The other pupils crowded around, expecting
Pliny would now surely tell them something. They
could all see the folded paper was a telegram. How
ever, Pliny only grinned in the most exasperating
"Walter, your cheap imitation arrow won't 'queer'
us a bit —according to this!" and he waved the tele
gram uuder Walter's nose. Walter made a frantic
grab for it, but Pliny jumped aside and tucked it
safely away in his pocket. Every one clamored for
an explanation, but Pliny only grinned again.
"Do you really want to know what the great Btonfl
arrow is for?" he asked.
"Yes! Tell us! Let up' on all that mystery: ,, they
"Then, come up to Five Forks tomorrow after
school—and find out," he answered, and nothing
could induce Pliny to add another word.
The next afternoon witnessed a grand rush for
Five Porkl by the whole school, and most of the
teachers, too. For that mysterious Btone arrow had
become a source of tremendous curiosity to all who
heard of it. Kverybody perched on the fence along
side the road and began to watch the two arrows.
Every now and then a cloud of dust would appear
far off down any one of the live roads. Then a
wave of excitement would result, only to dwindle to
disappointment as some farmer's automobile whizzed
past and nothing happened.
It was noticed that Pliny carried a teles-cope while
Austen consulted a watch every few minute's \s
time passed and the CTOwd began to grow iinpati. 1,1
the faces of the Quick brothers grew longer. \n
hour went by. The crowd, believing it was being
deceived, became more Impatient Headed by Walter
Armstrong the target boys confronted the Quick*.
"Say, if you fellows are playing- a trick you're
going to take a licking," he cried angrily, shaking
Us list in their anxious faces.
"We're not playing any trick"—Pliny was suddenly
interrupted by a shout from Austen, who pointed
toward the high mountain range which hemmed in
Oakdate valley to tlie west. Pliny never finished his
sentence, but clapped the telescope to his eye.
"Can you make out anything?" cried Austen, still
pointing to a tiny black speck just visible over one
of the mountain peaks. Pliny gazed Intently for
perhaps half a minute, then lowered his telescope
"Hurray! Here it conies!"
'Who? What do you mean?"
Pliny turned to the crowd about him and pointed
again toward the black specie.
"I mean that! Do you know what that is?"
"Huh! That's p.othin' but an eagle!" snorted
"You're sure? Just look through, this!" and Pliny
handed him the telescope. Walter looked through
it and then almost dropped the telescope.
"Boys!" he said in an awed tone. "Hoys, it's an
aeroplane!" There was a free light for the tele
scope on hearing this sensational news. A terrific
cheer went up us they watched the black speck grow
larger, until they could finally make out its dim
outlines. And then it came so close the sharp
"chug-chug" of the engine could be heard. It (lew
at a terriile speed and remained at a great height,
staying almost at the altitude it had readied in
crossing the west rang" of mountains. The spec
tators shouted to the aviator to come lower po they
could see him more plainly. Almost before they
could realize it the speeding , biplane had shot over
them, passing directly above the two stone arrows.
In another minute it was a mile away, Hying straight
above the south road in the direction toward which
tiie arrows pointed,
"He won't go wrong now! Throe cheers for the
great stone arrows!" yelled Pliny, and then the
onlookerfl understood the secret of the arrows at last.
"When t lie noise unci cheering was finally over Pliny
revealed the contents of that mysterious telegram
he ha.d received yesterday. li was addressed to
"Received wire, will look fur two arrows Instead
one. Much plainer. BxpetM me '■'• to 5 p. in. Thurs
day. (I I'XMtCK RfJQERS."
Perhfcpi you remember reading how the Quicks
Mved Qeorge Roger* , life last winter by picking
him up in their Iceboat 6il North bay. They bad
always remained great friend*, ami this was the
Outcome. Pliny now read part of a letter from the
f&moiUl aviator which made thing! clearer:
'I'm to race in the tH-state contest next month.
Have .secretly worked out a 'cutoff , which will .save
me more than Bβ miles If I can hit the light road in
Oakdale valley, nut it's tangled up in Five Forfce.
1 want tO gO .south above the south road. I'll have
to stay up OVer I, .".1)0 f'-et to avoid the nasty air
current* In tbe narrow valley, so want you to signal
me which road to take."
•Weil." piiny, after finishing the tetter.
'•I had just read about the aviator's great *ton<
arrow, built on the cliffs of Dover, Knyland. which
points exactly to.vaid Calais, acrotui the channel, lii
France. So it was a elncb to build th I ■; i i
arrow at five L'ork*!"