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A °f::TOE;SATT FRANCISCO CALE, SATURDAY, JUNE 24, loll— THE JUNIOR, CALLV-.
THE ADVENTURES OF JOE HARKER IN FROG HOLLOW FRANK CRANE t<o AY. Joe, aren't you lying down on jN your job?" * "What do you mean, dad?" asked Joe Harker Jr., with a puzzled look on his face. "Why," answered Joseph Harker Sr. with mock seriousness, "here it is three days since vacation began, and not a single redskin taken into camp! I took a look at your tent last night and failed, to find a solitary scalp dry ing on the ridgepole." - Joe was stumped for a very small fraction of a minute. It was a pretty difficult proposition for Joe's father to look serious, and he usually made a sorry mess of lt.'SHj "Well, you see, it's this way. Dad," said Joe. "We haven't started on the warpath yet. The grammar school boys have a little job on hand that is going to be attended to today. Our team proposes to put the Oyster Pi rates' nine out of business for the rest of the summer! We're going to make history today, Dad, and your little boy Joels the twilier that is relied on to do the trick!. Just feel of those biceps, Dad. ,You couldn't expect' a chap when he's training for a"n important event like this to take any chances of getting laid up by a stray bullet." "I don't know but "you're right, Joe, in being cautious, because I've been told the boys from along the shore are putting a strong team In the field this year." > „ "Of course wo wouldn't play 'em if they,; weren't worth while," said Joe. "But It's dollars to little apples that we do them up good and plenty." Well, I don't like to encourage' bet ting, Joe.'but I'll just wager a new pair of tires for your wheel against the old ones that you get \ licked." "You're on, dad," said Joe, rightly In terpreting the nature of the "wager." 'If you don't Quit your sporty talk and finish your breakfast," broke In Mrs. Harker, "you'll never get the 8:45 train. And, goodness knows, if you ever missed that I suppose the stock exchange would have to suspend oper ations for the day." "All right, mother; I'm off. But just hold out Joe's dinner until 1 hear what the score Is." After breakfast Joe sauntered out on the street, feeling all the Importance that the occasion demanded, and not one whit more; for Joe was a modest boy, and -the airy persiflage that he ex changed with his father was just a lit tie way they had. But there was no denying the fact that he was the star and mainstay of the Grammar School nine, and no one realized this better than the captain of the Oyster Pirates, a team made up of the boys whose pa rents lived along the shore of Bayville. Joe was well aware of the respect: in which he was held by the opposition and was somewhat surprised at the cor dial manner of Bill Larkin, whom he met just outside of the gate. Bill ap peared to be aimlessly pattering along, but when he saw Joe he immediately joined him, extending meanwhile an -greeting. - "'Hello, Joe!" cried the captain of the Pirates warmly, "I hope you're feeling In good trim? It's a bully day and we ought to pull off a great game mean," he corrected himself, "you fel lows ought to pull off a great game." "Why, aren't, you going to play?" gasped Joe. ? "Nope," replied Bill. "Mother got a telegram this morning from a big oyster firm about some deal or other, 'n Pop of cource had to be on the Polly. And of course the Polly Is about 25 miles down the sound buying seed oysters, and I've got to deliver that telegram and bring Pop home on the Jumping Jack!" "I'm awfully sorry, old chap," said Joe. And so he was, but he couldn't help thinking what a cinch It was for the Grammar School boys with Bill out of the game. Big Bill Larkin was not only the captain and brains of the Pi ratet but he was also the best backstop In Bayville and the hardest man; to fool when he was at the bat that Joe had ever been up against. Joe, however, was as game as a peb ble and too keen a, sportsman to be elated at any such advantage. He He Was Gazing Absently in the Direction of the Hook. didn't want a walkover and really felt sorry for Bill. . ; "Never mind, old chap," said Bill, "guessing what was in Joe's mind. "The pirates will do you up without me. But I would like to be there and soak you for a three bagger just for fun!" When Joe started from home he had no particular objective point, so Just kept strolling on with Bill, until he now found himself at the Water street land ing." - , . "There's the Jumping Jack. You've never seen her before, have you?" asked Bill. , -*;:~:"*';-?:-;> r- *: "No," replied Joe. "She's a Jim dandy all right, isn't she?" | "Bet your life! | Why, she can cut cir cles all around anything: In the bay; she's only,: 22 feet long, but the motor, is 10 horsepower .and she goes: like a train of cars.'Say, Joe!*' exclaimed Bill, as if an idea had just popped into his head. "Why Can't you take a sail with me?" "I'd like to, all right," said Joe, "but you , won't be back before night, . and I've got to pitch that game, you know." "Oh, of course, you couldn't •go all the way, but you could sail around -the Hook. That's about seven miles, and it's only about a mile across the Hook to get home..-„ You can do all ]of; It 1 in* about an hour and a half and It's just nice now. I'd like to show you how the Jumping Jack can walk." This was a very tempting proposition to Joe. He gazed out on the dancing waters of the bay and noted the white caps in the distance/; Inshore the* rip ple , glistened In the . sunshine and seemed to say, "Come on; you'll; play ball all the better for your little out- ing." :*-*.* It didn't occur to Joe just then that this was the first invitation he had ever received from , Bill : Larkin to take a sail with him. If he had only stopped to think! But what boy can do much of a thinking act on a day like this, with a crackerjack launch tugging at her moorings and the waves beckoning him to come on? "Anyhow, what's the harm?" thought Joe. "I'll be back by 11 and the game doesn't start until 2." By this time Bill had: got aboard the Jumping Jack and was getting every thing shipshape preparing; to casting off. , Joe watched him test the batteries, till the oil cups, etc. But he didn't no tice that the captain of the Pirates was craftily watching him out of the corner of his eye. He was, though, and he observed that Joe was weakening every minute/JJjggßjrtSSS' "Just watch her, Joe!", he cried, giv ing the 'flywheel a turn. Letting her run out the length of the line, he deft ly stopped the motor and pulled her back to the landing, hand over hand. "Say, she'd go; from here to Boston 'n* never miss a spark!; Better get aboard, Joe; I've got: to start now!" " Wffli ' "All right, Bill; let her go! So long as I get back by noon it's all right," said Joe. But as he Jumped aboard there was a little voice 'way down in side of him * that seemed to whisper, "Joe Harker, you're a big fool!".- > If Joe heard the voice, he wasn't the kind of a boy to mope, or cry over? spilt » milk. He meant to, enjoy the sail, and he did. Bill hadn't exaggerated the good points of the Jumping Jack a particle. Just as they pulled out, the Flying Fish, a crack motor yacht from Viewpoint, hoisted her anchor and started after them. ; , ; "Just watch me play with that fel low," said Bill. "She's got a mahog any hull and cost about $15,000,, but"l can 'run right away from her." He then* proceeded to'"play with her" by letting; her get almost abeam *of .; the Jumping Jack, .when, as he expressed it, he "hooked up" the motor and forged ahead quickly, leaving the Flying Fish trailing a half mile -»astern. Similar incidents kept Joe Interested, and they were rounding the point of the Hook before Joe noticed how far they had gone. "Here we are. Bill VIJ. he cried. "I've had a bully sail, and if you will land me over there on that point I'll; get home In H plenty of "time. * I'm sorry you're not' going back with:me, old chap," he added, and meant every word of It. , *jnfen|| "That's all right, Joe,", answered Bill, who, was bending over the .motor. "We'll have It out some other time.".' Just then there was a succession of tiny explosions, like a pack of minia ture firecrackers going off, ♦ and the motor stopped. "Keep? her head to the wind, Joe. ; A plug blew out. I'll have her working all right In a minute." . * - •_ Joe obeyed ; Instructions, meanwhile ; anxiously watching his companion, who continued to tinker with | the motor." * A shade of suspicion . crossed 'his mind.' Was this a; scheme :to keep him away from the game? v No, that couldn't be. They were less than a" quarter of a mile from the Hook, and there were a pair of oars In the boat. He was sure Bill wouldn't try to keep him aboard by force, as he had whipped .him twice,? and they both knew he ? could do it again. For that matter, he could jump § overboard and swim ashore. A quarter of ; a mile swim meant nothing to. Joe; Harker. When these i thoughts were running through Joe's mind was gazing ab sently ', in **** the ? direction of the * Hook, when his attention was attracted to a tall tree some ! distance back; from * the shore. *•**- As he looked, he saw a red: flag, or rag/? waving backward and forward from the " branches, like * a Jackie wig-?: wagging from?the; masthead of a man o' war. He glanced t quickly at Bill, Intending to make some remark about the phenomenon, and-was somewhat surprised to observe that worthy gaz ing In the same direction. Before he* could make a remark, Bill called out: "Look alive, Joe! I've got her fixed all right. Just point for that row of spiling."' " J ;* » In I the excitement of ' landing, Joe i forgot all about the. flag waving >inci- dent and felt genuinely sorry, that BUI ? was forced to abandon the ball game. ■ ."Goodby, old chap," called Bill. "May the best team win!" . * "Those are my sentiments," answered Joe, "and it's a beastly shame you can't be with us." As Joe stood on shore and watched the Jumping Jack jigging across the Kills, a bone in its teeth and a long swirl of foam trailing In its wake,/ lie felt; pretty mean; at having entertained .-, even a suspicion of trick ery on the part of Bill Larkin. H»w ever, could he have seen the maneu vers of that young man as lie rounded a point In the shore that shut." off a view of the Hook,'he wouldn't have felt so contrite. Cutting a quick circle through , the water. Bill poked the nose •of the Jumping Jack -into the mouth ■of ' a small creek and : deftly brought his craft to" a stop as Its prow gently grazed the pebbly 'beach. From this retreat, while unable to: see the shore of the Hook, Bill's line of vision took in the top branches of the tree from which 1. the *. red flag had * waved . a wel come on % their,; approach. -'.*. That par ticular. bunch of foliage seemed to have a fascination for. Bill, as he : never • re laxed , his gaze * from ; its direction for; a moment. In a short time his vigilance was * rewarded. ? From the ; dark r green background; a*; streak :of - red , appeared moving In eccentric -curves! - -In•>less time than * it takes to tell It, the Jump ing Jack, hooked up to its.utmost limit of speed, ;. was ■ racing _ through the waters of the Kills,like ' a yscared cat, headed, for Bayvllle! ..Bill had evident ly forgotten? all about:. that Important telegram for his father! "Poor old Bill; It's.;a shame; he can't be In the '-- game," .**. was *.: the outspoken thought of -. Joe as he made tracks for home. :. * ;:\—. >.v.-"--' 1'?-•■**;=; ---,: "Hello, Harker! What's your hurry?" At the salutation Joe had a mild at tack of palpitation of the heart. He • had just turned 1 Into the road- on the outskirts of t Frog * Hollow," and ' there, ? sitting on a encerail,' were ! "Red" Dur- . kin and 4 three of his chums. ; Up to: this - moment? Joe ? had overlooked the '.fact? that the only road across the Hookj ran | throughl Frog Hollow! It was as much as a Bayville boy's life was worth to be caught alone by the Frog Hollow gang, and here he .was, on the most Important day of his existence, face §to < face: with the redoubtable leader of the gang! At this moment \ two;. more ? boys - appeared ■ from : behind :a \ cow stable, and *as i Joe looked at I their grinning | faces he | real ized ;. that he was: in a very, tight place. He realized It more yet when he saw one; of them shin up a tree with a piece of red bunting* protruding from his pocket. . The whole I plot ■ was ?as ? plain as " daylight .to him now, as he recalled the "accident" to '■ the , motor,? and.', how he had , caught "Bill" »Larkin watching for the signal while he pretended to be fixing: it! In his mind's eye he could see the . Jumping. Jack ; streaking It for *' home, bearing the? joyful news to the : Oyster/ Pirates that.- the star ' pitcher of the' Grammar School nine .wouldn't: be In the box that afternoon. But, while * Joe /was keenly, alive ?to i the dilemma he * was '-. In, he ; gave no signs, but ' put on as brave a face as be could muster up. - **? / -r -, ■*?/- . . "Hello, old scout!" he replied to Red's query. "Can't i stop -a - minute. We're going, to do up the Oyster - Pirates to day, Coming over; to the game?" "No,; I ain't comln' over *n' you .ain't goln' to play; grab him, Skinny!" . In telling the story afterward Joe de clared he hadn't the faintest idea where they came : from,'? but i before? you could say Jack Robinson?he was surrounded by at .least a dozen members of the gang! (To Be Concluded.) 3