Jack Lightfoot down in Dixie; or, The voyage of single hand cruisers

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Jack Lightfoot down in Dixie; or, The voyage of single hand cruisers

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Title:
Jack Lightfoot down in Dixie; or, The voyage of single hand cruisers
Series Title:
All-Sports Library
Creator:
Stevens, Maurice
Place of Publication:
New York
Publisher:
Winner Library
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Language:
English
Physical Description:
1 online resource (30 p.)

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Subjects / Keywords:
Dime novels. ( lcsh )
Sports stories, American. ( lcsh )
Athletic clubs -- Fiction ( lcsh )
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serial ( sobekcm )

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
A46-00033 ( USFLDC DOI )
a46.33 ( USFLDC Handle )
025842176 ( ALEPH )
76277284 ( OCLC )

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serial

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Hanging desperately to the. tiller with one hand, Jack made a brave effort to clutch his fellow cruiser as he was swept on by the fierce gale. I I m 11111iUIUIUIUIUIUIU1

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P bl.sh rs' Note "Teach the American lloy bow to become 811 atMete, pd Jay the found'atfon for a C:Onstlt11tlo11 greater Ulan ftlft u I e of the United States. -Wise sayings from "Tip Top/ There hss never been a time when the boys of tbi araat country took ao keen an interest In all manly and health-giving sports as they do to-day. As proof of this witness the rec:ord-brealdnir throaii that attend college struggles on the ttrldiroa, as well as athletic and baseball games, and other tests of endurance and skill. la a multitude of other channels this love for the "life .strenuous" Is making itself manifest, so that, as a nation, we are rapidly forging to the front as eeeken of honest sport. Recognizing this "handwriting on the wall," we have concluded that the time has arrived to give this vut army of young eathuslaats a publication devoted exclusively to invigorating out-door life We feel we are justified in anticipating a warm response from our sturd:r American boys, who are .sure to revel in the stirring phases of sport and adventure, through which :ur character.s pass from week to week. ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY Iu.utl W1u1J1, BJI S"bs'1'tplion $11.SO per year. Entered to Act of Congress in tM year rqo5 in IM Of/ice of tM L1'lwarian o/ Con cress, WtUlanrton, D. c:, by T HE WIN N ER LIBRARY Co., 1 6 5 We s t Fifteen th3t., New York, N. Y. No. 47. NEW. YORK, December 30, 1905. Price Five Cents. JACK LlfiHTFOOT DOWN IN DIXIE; OR, The Voyage of the Single Hand Cruisers. By MAURICE STEVENS. CHARACTERS IN THIS STORY. Jack Lightfoot, t h e best a ll-roun d athlete in Cranfor d o r vic i n i ty, a lad clear of eye, clean of speech, and, after he had conquered a few of his faults, possessed of a faculty for doing t h ings while others were talking, that by degrees caused him to be looked upo n as the natural leader in all the sports Young America delights i n-a boy who in learning to c onquer hims e l f put the p o wer into h is hands to wrest victory from others. Tom Lightfoot, Jack's cousin and som e times his rival; though their striving for the mastery was a l w ays of the friendl y generous kind. Tom was called the "Book-Worm" by his fellows, o n ac count of his love for studying s uch secrets of nature as practical observer s have discovered and published: so that he possessed a fund of general knowledge calculated to prove u s eful when cruis ing a long the wonderful Indian River of Florida. Lafe Lampton, a b ig, hulking chap, with a n ever present craving for something to eat. Lafe always had his appetite a l o ng, a n d p"oved a stanch friend of our her o through thick and thin. Mr. Linscott, a genial Florida planter and orange grower whose home was upon the ludian River, to whom Jack bore a letter of in troduction from his father. Zeb Sully, who worked for the planter, and who was abl e to give our adventurers many valuable pointers concerning things that were strange to their Northern eyes. Job Dean, an exile whose health compelled him to live where balmy breezes blewa n d who incidentally l'nd providentially was fond of ducks. The Pigsons, a family of "crackers" who liked to indulge i n pork of some other person's raISing. CHAPTER I. OFF FOR FLORIDA. "Great-I s h o uld say so!" exclaimed J a ck Lightfoot. "Greater than great!" declared his cousin Tom. "Never anything like it! supplemented hu s ky Lafe Lampton too e x cited e v en to think of eating. "Father' s all right, b o ys!" "Right with a capital R, Jack." "All capi tals roa red Lafe. Every blessed letter and all in display typ e "That true, Lafe old man." "Never a truer word spo ken," cried Tom. "Never in this world ," gurg led Lafe, with a tre mendous headshake. "I'm so filled up with s o mething that wants to c o me out a nd can t that I'm choking. Gee whiz! 1 wis h I could run over and s pill myself." This brou ght a lau g h from all three such a long and r i n ging la ug h as n ever was h eard in the o l d s he d -room at Jack Lightfo o t's, for all that much h earty merri-

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z ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. ment had echoed from its trophy-hung, sporting equipped wall. It's a quite safe wager, however, that no three boys ever felt more like laughing, shouting, dancing, in fact doing anything in the whole category of outward ex pression, to give relief to their pent-up feelings. As Lafe Lampton had declared, only in his own in imitable fashion, one and all were fairly filled to over flowing, bubbling up to the very brim with more than they could say, think, or even hope to express. MThat were they doing? And why all this joyous agitation? No wonder you ask. It can be explained in a nutshell, however. Several days before, since the return of Jack Lightfoot' s father with a snug little fortune, Jack had ex pressed a wish to enjoy one good long outing, one grand sporting trip into a new country and amid scenes he never had viewed, as a sort of invigorating and broadening-out experience in advance of certain educational projects to be undertaken a little later. Immensely to Jack's delight his father had immedi ately favored the idea, no doubt appreciating the valu able impressions a youthful mind receives during such an experience He had done more than merely favor the scheme. He had volunteered not only to pay Jack's entire ex penses on such a trip, but also those of his cousin Tom and one other boy whom Jack should select, insisting that at least two companions would be required to make the outing a thoroughly enjoyable one. Naturally enough Jack's gratitude and enthusiasm knew no bounds, and for some time he neither could contain nor express himself. His father managed to calm him, after awhile, how ever, and then the project was more quietly considered and discussed. To make a.long story short, Jack had chosen to visit the famous Southern State Florida, with Tom for one companion, and the other his sturdy, reliable and loyal old chum, Lafe Lampton. It being a time when all could go without any seri ous disadvantages, it then being early in January, !heir plans were speedily shaped up, and the final prepara tions for the trip were being made that very evening in the shed-room, where the boys were engaged in packing such sporting equipments as they knew would be required. 1'\ aturally enough their enthusiasm had lost none of its zest, and not for a moment could they, when to gether, cea s e t2lking of the anticipated outing, a n J ex- tolling the splendid generosity of Jack Lightfoot's father. 'So the cat now is out of the bag and their joyous hilarity briefly explained. They were to leave Cranford the following morning, and about half the town was to give them' a grand old send-off. "Don't spill yourself Lafe," advised Jack, when he could repress his laughter following the former's re marks. "You, may get more than you like of that over the steamer's rail during our voyage south." "That will be spilling of another kind," cried Lafe, with a ludicrous grimace. "Gee, but I can imagine I hate to think of myself letting go anything I've once got fairly into my stomach." "That's not much like you, Lafe, for a fact," said Tom. "I have the same faculty with my stomach, Tom, that you have with your head," laughed Lafe: "How is that?" "I have a capacity for grub, and you for ideas." "That's one reason why father wanted Tom with us, Lafe," put in Jack. "He says there is lots to be seen and learned in Florida, and that a bookworm like Tom will be as good as having an encyclopedia with us." "I guess that's right, Jack." "He flatters me, I fear," Tom modestly protested, despite that there was much truth in what had been said. "Not by a long chalk, Tom." "I look forward with much pleasure," added the lat ter. "to visiting this famous Land of Flowers, this home of the Seminoles, this historic country discovered by the famous Ponce de Leon, and all the-" "Oh, gee! I look forward rather to oranges and bananas," interrupted Lafe. "And I to a crack at some good big game," cried Jack Lightfoot, whipping to his shoulder the rifle he then was making ready to pack. "A bear, a panther, any old thing that shall be worth the powder and ball." "Going to take your \!Vinchester along, eh?" "You bet, Lafe, and every other shooting-iron I own." "That's me, too, Jack." "There'll be something doing along the Indian River, you may wager your old boots on that." "That's where we wind up, isn't it?" "\Vell, that's where we are bound," laughed Jack. "It's h a rd to say just wh e re we shall wind up." "Has your father heard from Mr. Linscott?'' in-

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ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. 3 quired Tom, busy over a box containing his fishing outfit. "Yes," replied Jack. "He received a long telegram this morning in reply to his letter." "Everything all right?" "Sure thing,'' Jack nodded. "Mr. Linscott is an old friend o(my father, and he owns a place to which we are to go first and make a sort of temporary headquar ters. It was because of kpowing Mr. Linscott to be there that father was particularly pleased by my choosing to visit Florida. He at once wrote to Mr. Linscott stating an of the circumstances, and we are sure of a royal welcome." "That's the stuff." "Just where is this Indian River that we are bound for?" asked Lafe. "I don't quite place it." "It is close upon the east coast of Florida," cried Jack. "From what I have heard of it," supplemented Tom, "it is more like a long lagoon than a river." "I guess that's right, Tom." "It lies very close to the ocean in many localities, and extends south for a long distance." "Can vessels reach it?" "Oh, yes, small ones,'' nodded Tom. "It is con nected with the big Mosquito Lagoon by a canal, I be lieve, and the two form an interior waterway for nearly two hundred miles." "Gee, but it's quite a little puddle," grinned Lafe. "There is an entrance from the ocean through what is known as Mosquito Inlet, which is some miles south of Daytona. The river is called the Halifax there. The country is very low in places along there, with no end of marshes, swamps and lagoons." "Any game there ?'' "No doubt of it, Lafe. There used to be plenty of deer, bear, raccoons and a good many wildcats and panthers, while birds abound in vast numbers. Curious fellows, too, pelicans, herons, gulls and no of smaller birds." "Gee, that'll be great!" "It certainly will be very interesting." "And exciting, too, I imagine," added Lafe. "If we go on a cruise down the Indian River and do any camping, as we intend, we shall need a tent, won't we?'' "I am told that we can 09tain all that we may require in that line from Mr. Linscott," replied Jack. "Father has been at his place and knows all the ropes." "Good enough." "All we need to carry are our personal equipments," added Jack. "Do you know where the place is, Jack?" "Not exactly, Lafe." "How will we find it?" "\Ve are to be met at Daytona by a friend of hi$, who then will take us in charge." "That's more iike it," said Lafe, with approval. "No doubt we shall see wonders and do--" "It is useless to speculate upon what we shall see and do,'' Jack Lightfoot interposed, with a genial laugh. "We are going into a new country for us, amid strange scenes and possibly into stirring adventures. That we shall see a:nd do more than any one of us can pos sibly anticipate goes without saying." "That's right, too, Jack." "The Indian River joins with the Atlantic by an other inlet besides that which Tom has mentioned," added Jack. "Yes, the Indian River Inlet," put in Tom promptly, lest his knowledge of geography should be questioned. "That is at the southern end of the river, Jack, near St. Lucie. And there are still others called Santa Lucia and Jupiter." "Right," nodded Jack. "Mr. Linscott's place, how ever, is near the northern part of the river where it joins with the big Mosquito Lagoon. So we are to go to New Smyrna, where our guide is to meet us. Then we shall probably go down to the river by the way of the lagoon." "I see." "We are to go to Jacksonville by the Clyde Line steamer," added Jack; "and then by the East Coast railway to Daytona. The trip will take several clays." "Gee, I can't wait for morning to come," cried Lafe feverishly. "I've been all of a shake ever since I knew I was to go on this trip." Morning came with customary however, and the day dawned crisp and clear. The boys were to leave Cranford by an early train to New York, and when they arrived at the station a large crowd of school friends, also their parents and some neighbors, were there to see them start and wish them a good Yoyage. Among the throng on the platform were Nellie Con ner and Kate Strawn, at sight of whom Jack felt an additional thrill of pleasure and to whom he bade a par ticularly fond good-by. Like time and tide, however, trains wait for no man. With the checking of baggage and the hustle and bustle attending the departure, the few remaining minutes quickly passed and the whistle of the approaching train was heard in the ne:i.r distance.

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4 ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. Then came hurried hand-shaking, a father's hearty grip, a mother's loving kis s e s the final words of fare well; and before the three boys fairly realized it they were on the train, and all that remained when they rushed out to the rear platform were the fading of familiar scenes, the receding station, the animated throng, the waving of hands and hats and hangker chiefs, a last look at endeared forms and beloved faces through eyes bedimmed with tears despite them. "Gosh!" exclaimed Lafe, with a mighty choking in his throat. "This is the toughest part of it!" Jack Lightfoot threw off much of the same feeling, and, turning quickly, he clapped Lafe heartily on the back. "Cheer up!" he shouted, though his own eyes were moist. "Think where we're b o und, Lafe! Think where we're going! We're off for Florida!" CHAPTER II. NEW SCENES. Five days later. At about nine o clock in the morning, a broad, flat b o ttomed boat carrying a single mast well forward, and spreading a full sail to a light northerly breeze, was standing past the famous Mosquito Inlet, which lies quite a few miles south of the historic old city of St. Augustine. Seated at her tiller was a lank, raw-boned man of forty, roughly clad, but with a smile as warm and genial as the sunshine that lent luster to the blue of the broad Atlantic stretching away to the eastward, or turned to flashing diamonds the spray and drops from the breakers crashing on the nearer shore. Beside this man at the tiller sat Jack Lightfoot, with Tom and Lafe Lampton occupying a thwart amid ships; while stored to good advantage fore and aft were the trunks and traps which five clays before had been hustled aboard the train at the Cranford station. The boys had arrived safely at Daytona after a more interesting than specially eventful trip, and there they had been met that morning by a man from Mr. Lin scott's place, one of his own hands, with a boat to trans port them to their destination. The stranger had introduced himself as Zeb Sully, and, though he was far from handsome, and spoke with a broad Southern accent, his hearty greeting and genial manner at once won the liking of all. The trunks and traps had been hurried aboard the craft, and within an hour after their meeting with Sully, with whom the boys speedily began to feel perfectly well acquainted, all hands were aboard and speed ing through the inlet as previously mentioned. "Gee! but it seems funny to be in summer clothes and sweating hard in January," cried Lafe, mopping his brow after the exercise taken in getting under way. "Only think, Jack! Snow and ice up in Cran ford." Jack Lightfoot laughed, yet both he and Tom were much more interested in this new country, the broad passage near the lighthouse through which Zeb was guiding the boat, and in the long line of foamii1g breakers which almost masked the narrow inlet from an ocean view. Zeb quickly noticed this interest on their part, and volunteered such information as he could impart. "New sights for you boys, eh?" said he smiling. "I reckon you 've never been South afore." "No, never, Mr. Sully," replied Jack. "Everything looks strange to me, even the sky." "Well, that will look a little strange at night all right," lau g hed the man. "But say, while I think of it. You'd better, begin ri ght early to call me Zeb that's my fust name. I alias like to feel to hum with my friends, so my name's Zeb to you lads herearter." "Good for you!" blustered Lafe, with an impulsive display of approval. "That's the style of man we like. My name's Lafe, and his is Jack, and his is Tom. We're all right, too, every one of us, Zeb." "Right so, Lafe," grinned the man, close-hauling the sheet. "Have a good look at yonder ocean, boys, if you like. You'll see some water of another sort right soon." Jack glanced out over the broad sea and foaming breakers then through the inlet they were entering. "Where does this take us ?" he askeq. "Into the lagoon." "Mosquito Lagoon?" "Yes, arter a while. It's upward of quite a few miles through the old Hillsboro River." "Pretty shallow all about here, isn't it?" "Yes, all the way south. Can't skin around much except with a flat-bottomed craft." "What is that prominent point off yonder?" a s ked Tom. "That's what's called Massacre Bluff," replied Zeb. "Ifs where a crew of shipwrecked sailors was killed by a lot of Seminole Indians a good many years ago." "f\re there any Indians aro und here now?" "Farther s o uth, but none up to that busines s." "\!\Th a t are those t rees Zeb?" a s k e d L a fe, g azing

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ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. 5 out at a clump now visible in the wide stretch of scrub lands they were rapidly approaching. "Palmtttos," said Zeb tersely. "You ought to have that tree, Lafe," re marked Tom. "There have been pictures enough of them in our geographies, and we saw some from the train." "Never look at a geography unless I have to," grinned Lafe. "Sometimes they are called cabbage-palms," added Tom. "In the Malay Archipelago the natives gather betel-nuts from one species of palmettos and chew them for their intoxicating property." "Chewing isn't in my line," laughed Lafe. "Only grub!" "You're all right at that, anyway," smiled Jack. "There's plenty of palmettos down this way, boys," said Zeb. "Afore long, arter we get up in the creeks and lagoons, you'll see some mangroves." "That's another kind of a tree, Lafe," laughed Tom. "Did you think I didn't know 'twas a tree," growled Lafe, with a contemptuous stare. "Mebbe you think I thought 'twas a vine." "Sometimes their roots and trunks look like huge vines, Lafe, for all that." So the talk continued during a halt-hour run through the river past New Smyrna and on to the great lagoon. As they worked farther south the country appeared more barren, with broad expanse of marsh-land and swamps, intersected with numerous creeks, dotted with clumps of palmettos and mangroves, while the distant view was backed by a horizon of dark-green turpen tine pines. Stretching away to the south was a vast waste of scrub-land and pine-barren, and along about noon a broad sweep of low-iying water came into view, which Zeb promptly informed the boys was a part of the great Mosquito Lagoon. "We now follow this to the south," he explained, while the boys regarded with interest the great waste of water. "And then we work through into the Indian River." "Can we rn;:i.ke that to-day?" asked Jack. "Oh, yes, barrring bad luck." "We might have come down to Titusville by rail," added Jack. "vVouldn't that have been nearer for us?" "Yes," nodded Zeb. "But the boss had business for me up D a ytona way, and he thought boys might lik e c o min g down the lagoon. '' "Tpat was very thoughtful." \ "What's that land out yonder?" asked Lafe, painting off to the east as they bore away south. "That's the sand ridge between the lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean," Zeb explained. "It looks about like that all the way down the coast, only it's wider in some places than others." Lafe viewed for some moments the low ridge of ground, covered for the most part with a scrubby growth of saw palmetto, with a solitary palm here and there, or a clump of them at long intervals. "How many men does Mr. Linscott employ?" asked Jack, with some curiosity as to whom he was about to meet. "Four besides me." "Has he a family ?" "Only his wife." "He is in the orange-raising business, isn't he?" "No he doesn't do much with oranges," replied Zeb, shaking his head. "He grows mostly lemons, limes and guaves, along with some pineapples." "Gee, I won't do a thing to pineapples!" murmured Lafe, with a wink at Tom Lightfoot. "Is this place quite near the Indian River?" inquired Jack. 1 "Right on it," laughed Zeb. "We're some ways from any town, but the land's right good where we are, and his fruit turns out over the general rqn." "Has he any boats?" "Half-a-dozen of 'em." "I suppose he will rent us what we require?" "Well, no, there'll not be any renting done," said Zeb, with a twinkle in one corner of his eye. "I heard him tell his wife that you chaps must have anything on the place. Then she said she'd be mighty glad if you wanted the whole business, it's so long since she's seen any Northern boys." "Well, well, that very kind," laughed Jack, with much appreciation. "I'll bet they are the right sort," declared Lafe. "Yes, he's a fine man, Mr. Linscott," nodded Zeb. "Is there pretty good fishing and gunning to be had on the river?" asked Jack. "Right good now, Jack. This is just the season." "Is there any big game?" "Well, you might strike a deer by going arter him a good ways," rejoined Zeb; "but you'd take mighty smart chances of getting lost in the woods, which would be mor7 than a deer is worth. They run small down this way, you know." "Are there any bears?" "Only stray ones1 and them mighty seldom. There

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6 ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. used to be a good many about here, but that was some time ago." "I'd like to have got a crack at one bear." "Ain't looking for trouble, are you?" inquired Zeb laughing. "No, not exactly that," smiled Jack. "Good game sport is what I'm looking for." "You'll find that, Jack, all right," the man now re joined, with a nod. ."There are plenty of 'coons and no end of birds, big and small, while if you're really out for something to keep you busy you'll have no trouble in stirring up a wildcat most any time." "I don't think I'm out for bob-cats," laughed Jack. "I have heard that there are plenty of birds along the river," remarked Tom Lightfoot. "Well, I should say so," grinned Zeb, displaying a double row of huge teeth turned yellow with tobacco. "The air is full of them." "Any ducks?'' "Millions of 'em, Jack, such as they be. There's no end of fowl and small birds good for eating, and for bigger ones there are rafts of blue heron, gulls, peli cans, cranes and eagles. You'll find plenty of gun ning, boys, if that's what you're looking for." "That's what we want, Zeb, along with seeing this wonderful country." It is indeed a wonderful region, the great wild and wooded section lying to the west and the long stretch of scrub-grown sand that separates the river from the blue waters and breakers of the east coast. This vast stretch of land is nearly two hundred miles in length, varying in breadth from a few hundred yards to upward of five miles, and nearly covered with scrub and low trees and vast quantities of thorny plants. It is the home of hordes of raccoons and smaller ani mals, along with wild hogs and wildcats; while the deadly moccasin and the huge rattlesnake are fre quently met there, the latter of which often makes things lively for the inexperienced hunter who hears his warning rattle for the first time. Much of the talk between Zeb and the Cranford boys was interspersed with observations and remarks of a less pertinent nature, but for the most part it related to the scenes around them, and served in a measure as an introduction to the startling incidents and stirring adventures they were soon fated to experience. As they worked farther south, they began to see many of the things of which Zeb had spoken and the novelty of the scene aroused an ever-increasing inter est. The vast sweep of calm and shallow water; the numerous great clumps of mangroves rising along the shore nearest the ocean, with their curiously gnarled and twisted roots protruding above the surface; the low, thickly wooded shore on the west side; the count less crooks and creeks partly masked with tall water grasses and sedge, the home of the heron and the huge crane, and the awkward pelican with his curious pouch -all of them soon were seen in great numbers, and the interest of the boys was redoubled by the novelties which the passing moments brought. Suddenly, Lafe Lampton startled all hands by leaping wildly to his feet and shouting, with his eyes half star'ting from his head : "Ob, by thunder, there's a bear! Look, Zeb, look! Isn't that a bear r CHAPTER III. THE BATTLE IN THE AIR. Jack Lightfoot and Tom came to their feet in an in stant, though Zeb retained his seat at the tiller; yet the eyes of all were turned in the direction Lafe was ex citedly pointing. The animal he had discovered was plainly visible amid the scrub and bushes which lined the east shore of the lagoon some fifty yards away-a low, black fellow prowling along with his nose to the ground, yet which was lifted the moment Lafe shouted, revealing a long snout and a pair of narrow bright eyes. Zeb laughed lightly and quickly shook his head. "No, that's no bear, Lafe," said he. "That's a razor-back." "Razor-back?" "A razor-back hog," explained Zeb. "Gee whiz! I thought 'twas a bear," growled Lafe, with a look of chagr.in that brought a long laugh from Jack and Torn. "It looks enough like one from here, with that black hide. A razor-back hog, is it?" "That's what," nodded Zeb. "\Ve raise them down here for eating, but we don't confine them as hogs are raised up North. We let 'em run wild. That one most likely belongs to the man whose bean patch and lime grove you can see just bel9w here, with the roof of a house visible over yonder." "That's a lime grove, is it, Zeb?" asked Jack. "Yes, limes and lemons. They do better farther south though. Too much danger of frost here now adays." "Run wild, eh?" said Lafe, with his interest still

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ALL-SPORTS LIBRA RY. 7 centered on the hog. "I should think the porkers'd be stolen." "Sometimes they are," rejoined Sully, with a rather grim shake of his head. "Mr. Linscott's been missing a good many of his in the past three months, and we haven't been able to find ottt who's been lifting 'em. We'd fill 'em full of bird shot, if we could catch 'em at it. Most likely it's some of the Florida crackers. There's plenty of 'em round our diggings." "What the deuce is a Florida cracker?" asked Lafe, with a perplexed look. "A cracker?" echoed Zeb, with a laugh. "Don't you know what a Florida cracker is, Lafe?" "No, I'm sure I don't. 'Tisn't a fire-cracker, is it?" "No, not much," roared Zeb, hardly able to hold his laughter. "You'll know him all right when you see him, Lafe. He's a long, lank, skinny critter, gen erally dressed 'bout like a scarecrow in a bean-field. He's what the niggers down here eall 'the poor white trash.' "Oh, he's a man, is he?" "vVell, he's a sort o' sketch and outline of a man, that's 'bout all," declared Zeb. "He never has nuth ing, and the critter's too lazy to work and git anything. What's called a cracker, Lafe, is a white native of Florida, them of the poorest classes, and they're the laziest, doggondest lot o' loafers in the world. I reckon it's some of 'em that's been stealing Mr. Lin scott's razor-backs, but we ain't been able to git onto 'em yet." "Well, I'm glad I've found o'ttt, Zeb," laughed Lafe. "Much obliged." "You'll often run across 'em out gunning for a breakfast, along with a mangy dog or two," added Zeb, who plainly had no love for the "crackers." "You'll know one all right when you see him." "Oh, I say, Zeb, what are those birds?" interposed Jack Lightfoot, suddenly starting to his feet. "Are they buzzards?" "Yes, that's just what they are, Jack." They had come in of an open section of land 011 the west shore, where the railway skirting the river was in plain view for a considerable distance. On the slight rise presented was one of the stra];}g est sights one often sees, yet by no means inviting. To begin with it consisted of a dead cow lying upon the ground, badly bruised and broken, while about the dead animal walked a young calf, occasionally bleat ing in most mournful fashion. Gathered about the carcass, in an almost perfect circle fully thirty feet in diameter, were squatted more buzzards than Jack could have counted in a good half hour. They sat squatted ten or twelve deep in this perfect circle, not one of them moving, not one of them uttering a cry, but all gazing with a sort of hor rible anticipation at the decomposing carcass which occupied the middle of their ring. Th,e ground was fairly black with them, and a more curious and disgust ing spectacle one seldom sees. "Yes, they're buzzards all right," repeated Zeb. "They were there just as you see 'em when I went up to Daytona early this morning." "Not sitting just like that?" cried Jack amazedly. "Couldn't tell a bit o' difference," grinned z"eb. "Mebbe there's a dozen or two more of 'em, but that many don't count in a crowd like that. I'll bet some of 'em ain't moved a feather since morning." "But why is that?" "They're waiting for that calf to die, or get out," ex plained Zeb. "The cow must have been hit by a pass ing train killed. She was tossed out this way and the calf is still sticking beside her, not knowing what else to do." "And the buzzards are w-aiting to devour the car cass?" "That's what they're waiting for, Jack,'' nodded the. man. "They're a bit afraid of the calf, you see, and don't dare come nearer while she's there. Besides, they don't mind waiting much, for the cow's quite fresh killed." "What has that to do with it, Zeb?" "Buzzards ain't much on fresh meat," was grim reply. "They alias wait till it begins to smell, afore it's quite to their liking." "What a disgusting scene," muttered Jack, with a frown. "Isn't it?" growled Lafe. "Gosh! I shan't have any qppetite for my supper if I keep looking at those things." "Why don't you look at something else, then?" de manded Tom. "There are plenty Of other objects to view. Have a look at that group of cranes over next to that sedge grass under the east shore." "By gracious! there is one bouncer among them," put in Jack, now turning to gaze. "He must stand close upon four feet tall." "'Bout that," nodded Zeb. "He's quite a big one." "Look how he has his head bent." "He's looking for a fish. If you watch him, mebbe you'll see him go down and get it." The crane had been standing in about a foot of as motionless as if carved from wood, but even

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8 ALL-SPORTS LTnRARY. while Zeb was speaking the bird's head darted like a flash below the surface. In an instant it reappeared, with a good-sized fish flapping furiously in its long bill. The crane quickly soared upward, with its splendid spread of wings sweeping the air with a most ma jestic motion. It had risen less than thirty yards, however, soar ing almost directly above the passing boat, when the still air resounded with a single ear-splitting squawk, that gave the boys a start and caused even Zeb Sully to draw up on his seat. "Now you'll see some fun, lads," he cried, with voice a little lowered. "Yonder comes a fish-ha wk after the crane's fish. I'll bet he gets it, too. I've seen 'em do it more than once, the robbers." Closely following the squawk, there had swept up from the scrub along the shore a large fish-hawk, yet almost infinitely smaller than the huge crane, at which he instantly directed his rapid flight. In less than ten seconds they came together nearly above the boat. The crane swerved, sweeping ahead of the boat, and then the pugnacious little hawk, squawking furiously, made a downward swoop, as if bent upon plucking out one of the crane's eyes with his curved talons. "Gee, but there's going to be a fight up there," cried Lafe excitedly. "I believe your story," said Jack. "Keep quiet and let 'em have it out," cautioned Zeb, hauling his sheet a little closer to keep a full on the sail and prevent flapping. Neither bird, however, appeared to notice the boat. The crane, with the fish still wildly flapping in its bill, swerved again and swept off to one side. Again the hawk renewed the attack, all the while making a terrible din, and by his more rapid movements was able to head off the crane whichever way it turned. Sweep after sweep, swoop after swoop, were made in rapid succession, now directly above the boat, now off to one side or the other, and all the while scarce thirty yards away. "Jimminy !" muttered Jack, with his hand gliding toward his hip-pocket. "If the hawk robs that splendid fellow of the fish, I'm blessed if I don't try to drop him with my revolver." "Yes, ,go ahead," gurgled Lafe, half choked with excitement. "No, no, not yet," pleaded Tom. "Let 'em have it out. Let' s see which will win." "Oh, I won't fire unless the hawk gets the fish." said Jack, intently watching the wheeling biras. The battle in the air had increased in violence, while the boys were speaking. Though the crane easily beat off the hawk for some time, the rapid wheelings and swervings he was com pelled to make in order to avoid the pugnacious little robber, were evidently beginning to weary him. Suddenly the hawk flew straight upward some yards, and then, with a tremendous squawk, shot furi ously down at the crane's head. The crane ducked and nearly lost hold of the flap ping fish. The hawk turned like a flash and got the fish by the tail. Then, for upward of ten seconds, they both had a grip on i tugging furiously, till the hawk lost its equilibrium in the desperate fight and had to let go of his end. Off went the crane again, now hoping no doubt to escape. But the dauntless little hawk was more determined than ever. Up he flew again fully ten yards above the crane, then turned and shot downward like a bolt of lightning. Evidently he now was too mad to squawk, for he made this last lightning move with no noise but a fierce whiz through the still air as he descended. The crane swerved and tried to elude him, but the attempt proved utterly \rain. They met for an instant in a confusion of flapping wings and flying feathers, a mix-up in which the ex cited boys hardly could tell what was going on up there; but when it ended the crane went wheeling to ward the scrubby shore with its bill empty, while off flew the triumphant hawk with the fish in his talons. Jack Lightfoot had drawn his revolver and had it ready. "It seems a pity, after the game fight he put up, but here goes!" he cried quickly. As he spoke he raised the weapon and his keen eye flashed over the ) steady barrel. The hawk was good thirty yards distant, and flying at an awkward angle. It was a hundred to one that only a most expert marksman could hit him. Bang! bang! bang! Thrice Jack's revolver spoke in rapid succession. A film o f s moke was wafted like a veil upon the air. Through it the eager eyes of the boys beheld a clump

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I ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. 9 of feathers leave the flying bird, then a loose fish fell flapping through the air and vanished into the water below, and then-down plunged the stricken hawk, shot through the breast. "Hurrah!" yelled Tom Lightfoot, at the top of his lungs. "Gee, that was a corking shot!" roared Lafe, execut ing a dance that threatened to capsize the boat. "It was a good shot, a mighty good one," Zeb warmly declared, thrusting out his big begrimed aw to shake Jack's hand. "I never saw a better one in my life, not with one o' them little popguns." It was, indeed, a remarkably fine piece of marksman ship, of which Jack might well have felt proud, yet ht; answered modestly : "Well, I wanted my first shot in the South to be a good one, and luck was with me. Before I return North, Zeb, possibly I shall do even better." "You couldn't do better, Jack," the man heartily cried. "It seemed a pity to the hawk," said Jack, "but I couldn't resist the temptation to try my hand." "Well, you've got one satisfaction," laughed Zeb, easing off the sheet and rising to his feet. "What's that, Zeb?" inquired Jack. "You saved the life of the fish." "Yes, that's true," laughed Lightfoot. "Now we'll lay to in the shade of yonder mangroves and have a bite to eat." "Gee, that won't hurt my feelings!" cried Lafe, jumping up. "Want to strike the sail?" "Yes, you might let go the halliards. After having a bite, boys, we'll go on our way. If this wind holds, and I reckon it will, we'll sight home well afore sun down.'' CHAPTER IV. INDIAN RIVER. As Zeb Sully had predicted, the wind held fresh and fair that afternoon, and just as the sun was running low in the west the Cranford boys arrived at Mr. Lin scott's place, which in a measure they had regarded as their destination. Though somewhat isolated, the nearest neighbors being two miles distant, it was located on a fine section of land overlooking a broad stretch of the Indian River, a plantation consisting chiefly of lemons and limes, with a few guaves and pineapples. Mr. Lin scott had been frozen out once, bnt just at present his groves looked as good as anything between Titusville and Rockledge. All viewed the scene with mingled interest and de light as they it-the acres of regularly planted trees, the prettily situated dwelling and grounds, the profusion of plants and flowers, the numerous out-buildings, the well constructed landing on the river bank, the several boats made fast along the shore, and, above all, the portly, middle-aged man and woman who stood waiting for them on the landing. These were Mr. Linscott and his wife, both Northern people, the one a genial and generous man, the other a whole-hearted, motherly woman, both glad enough to see friends from the North; and, as Jack had said to his companions, in the shed-room nearly a week before, their reception was a royal one. The Florida twilight is brief, however, so there was but little time for looking about out of doors, and sup per soon was in order. Lafe Lampton did himself justice at the table, de spite the buzzards, and maintained his enviable repu tation, for who shall say that a good appetite is not a good thing? Before the boys had been a half-hour in the house they were made to feel perfectly at home. A thousand and one questions were asked and an swered, but none specially worthy of note till quite late in the evening, when Mr. Linscott genially remarked: "Well, Jack, I suppose you boys have come down here with some project in the way of amusement, aside from looking about; and what I may do to enter tain you." "Yes, Mr .Linscott, we have," Jack promptly an swered. "Let's hear what it is." "Well, sir, we would like to go on a hunting cruise down the Indian River." "So that's your scheme, eh?" "Yes, sir, providing we can get a boat and such equipments for camping as we shall require." "I guess there'll be no trottble about that," said Mr. Linscott, with a furtive smile and wink at his w\.1e. "How long do you intend being gone?" "Well, sir, we figure upon putting in about a week." "If a wildcat doesn't eat you up," laughed their host. "We'll take the chances of that, sir." "You have your own guns, your father wrote me, and all the sporting equipments you require." "Yes, sir, everything in that line."

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IJ ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. "Zeb tells me you're a crack shot." "vVell, sir, we will not come back empty-handed, I think," laughed Jack. "That's right, too, sir," supplemented Lafe, with a nod of assurance. "We shall need a small tent, Mr. Linscott," said Jack. "I've got one for you," smiled Mr. Linscott. "And a few cooking utensils." "They are down in the boat-house." "Also a few provisions which--" "Which are already on hand." "Well, sir!" exclaimed Jack laughing. me that you have already provided about we shall need." "It strikes everything "So I have, Jack, as a matter of fact," bowed Mr. Linscott, joining in the laugh. "And you may give your father most of the creqit, for he wl"ote just what your wishes and plans consisted and requested me to anticipate your needs." "That's just like him," cried Tom Lightfoot, with much appreciation. "And very kind of you, sir," added Jack. "\Vell, the pleasure is not all yours," smiled Mr. Lin scott. "I have about everything ready for you. There is only one thing which I expected to have had, but have been unable to get." "\Vhat is that, sir?" "A suitable boat for such a cruise, one large enough for all hands, and the comfortable stowing of your traps," explained Mr. Linscott. "Just at this time I am using the one you had to-day, so I cannot well let her go." "Nor would we wish to deprive you of her," said Jack quickly. "I have a scheme, however, of which I think you will approve. I suppose each of you can handle a sail boat." "Oh, yes, sir." "We are A B's, all of us," put in Lafe. "I have three capital little boats of my own, just suited to such a trip," continued Mr. Linscott.. "You each may take one, stowing portions of your traps in each, for which there is ample room, and you can make the cruise single-handed. How does that strike you?" "The cruise of the 1 single-handers," cried Jack, with enthusiasm. "Out of sight, sir," nodded Lafe. "It will give each of you a boat to handle and look after, and as they are of the same size and model, spreadin_g the same stretch of canvas, it will enable you to do a little racmg and test your seamanship, if so inclined." "That will be great," cried Tom Lightfoot approv ingly. "I fancy this plan even more than going in one boat." "So do I, sir," said Jack. "In that case," laughed Mr. Linscott; "I can fit you out from keel to truck. All of the boats are in good condition, and the camping outfit I have provided is now in the boat-house. In the morning we will go down and look it all over, and such things can be added as you may suggest." "I venture to say that we cannot improve upon what you have done, Mr. Linscott," Jack gratefully re joined. "I'm sure we all appreciate your kindness." "Indeed we do," cried Tom Lightfoot, and Lafe, with one breath. "Very good," bowed Mr. Linscott. "I should en joy having you remain here with us, yet I know you will derive much more pleasure and excitement from the cruise, and I would not willingly disappoint you. Yet I wish you to remain to-morrow and look about a bit. You can devote part of the day making ready for the cruise, however, and get under way as early as you wish the following morning." "Your every suggestion suits to the very letter, Mr. Linscott," said Jack. "Your father wrote me that you are capable and thoroughly self-reliant, yet there are a few dangers against which I must caution you," Mr. Linscott now said, more gravely,. "What are those, sir?'' "Do not stir up a11y wildcats, if you can possibly avoid it." The boys all laughed, and Jack promptly answered: "We'll bear that in mind, sir, and cut out the wildcats-unless one meddles with us," he added, with sig nificant grimness. "In that case," laughed Mr. Linscott; "plug him with the first shot. They die hard, boys, and can put up a very nasty fight." "We will look out for them, sir." "You also must keep an eye open for moccasins and the diamond-backed rattlesnake when ashore," added their host. "Both sna kes are deadly poison, unless a strike from one is quickly and properly treated. I

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ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. II will give you some instructions about that in the mornwish to keep dry in case of rain, and they are roomy ing, and such remedies as you should have with you." enough to carry all of our luggage." "We will be watchful, Mr. Linscott, I promise you," replied Jack. "It now is ten o'clock, and you'd best turn in. To morrow we will have a look about the place, and you then may make ready for your cruise." The boys were given a large double chamber, en abling them to room togethc::r, and they retired very weary that night, yet feeling that their host was one man in a million. and that their first day in Florida was one to be remembered. In a way, however, it was as nothing t6 those that followed. Next morning Mr. Linscott showed them over his entire place, giving them all of the points relating to the growing of the various fruits and vegetables which he raised. It goes without saying that the boys saw many things of exceeding interest, the curious prickly pine apples, an orange tree, both in fragrant blossom and laden with ripe fruit, and the succulent guava, with which Lafe Lampton regaled himself to the top limit. Bo o kworm Tom had something to about nearly all of them, moreover, and Mr. Linscott appeared somewhat surprised at the general knowledge he displayed, commending it with much approval. In the afternoon the boys visiteq the boat-house, to which they took their guns and fishing outfit, with all the equipments they had brought from Cranford. Jack surveyed with an experienced eye the three boats they were to use, and expressed himself with much satisfaction. They were flat-bottomed, the Indian River being very shallow, except in places where a devious channel follows the course of the stream. The boats were about sixteen feet long, with five feet of beam, carrying a single large sail, with the mast set well forward, much after the rig of a cat. "They are all right, just what we want," Jack said approvingly. "Couldn't be better," declared Lafe Lampton. "There's enough forward deck around the mast to form a shelter for our ammunition and the things we "They are fine," said Tom. "As Lafe remarked, they couldn't be better." "They will handle easy moreover," added J act-. "and we can have great sport, each with a boat for him self." "I should say so!" "We'll get our traps aboard this afternoon, and be ready to get under way in the early morning." "That's the stuff!" cried Lafe. Then they set to work with a will, and at five o'clock that afternoon everything was in readiness. Mr. Linscott occasionally came down to watch them,. and he saw at a glance that they knew their busi ness, which naturally relieved him of any serious ap prehensions as to their safety. The following day dawned clear and warm, and be fore seven o'clock in the morning the boys were ready to get under way. Mr. Linscott and his wife, together with Zeb and the other men employed on the place, had gathered/on the landing to see them start, and were watching their movements with much interest. Lafe and Tom already were aboard their crafts, with sails set and flapping, and were making ready to cast off. Jack Lightfoot, however, still was on the landing; and he happened to overhear the remark Zeb Sully then made to his employer. "Two more of our hogs are missing this morning, Mr. Linscott," said he. Mr. Linscott frowned with annoyance, saying quite irritably: "Two more, Zeb !" "Two of the best ones, sir." "I'd just like to find out who is up to this thi e ving business," declared Mr. Linscott. "I'd make it warm for them, the rascals." "Been missing some of your hogs, sir?" inquired Jack. "Yes, for a number of weeks, Jack," replied Mr. Linscott. "Some rascally thieves have robbed me of a good many, and their work has been so stealthily done

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ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. that we have not been able to detect them. I would give considerable to do so." "Well, perhaps we may run foul of the scamps," re marked Jack. "Who knows?" Mr. laughed now, and shook his head. "There is not much likelihood of that, Jack, I guess," said he. "Well, here's my hand, and we all wish you a fine cruise. I shall look for you back in about a week." "I'll not remain away longer, sir, barring accidents. In which case I'll write you," cried Jack, with a hearty handshake. "Good-by, Mrs. Linscott. And you, Zeb, and all hands." "Good-by!" shouted all, for Jack was already springing aboard his boat, with a bundle of charts in his hand, which the planter had rooted out of a trunk, and which might keep them from going aground. "Cast off, comrades," he shouted, as he sprang to the halliards. "I'll give you a good start, but will over haul you within a short half-mile." A defiant laugh from Tom and Lafe answered his cha lenge, and at the end of another minute all three boats, with sails bellying in the fresh morning breeze, were leaving the landing rapidly astern. The cruise of the single-kanders now had fairly begun. CHAPTER V. A SUDDEN SQUALL. "Cruiser, ahoy!" "H ello-o-o !" "Come about!" "What's that for?" roared Lafe Lampton. "Make af long reach for the point where we landed for lunch! There's a squall coming up." The last was yelled at the top of his lungs by Jack Lightfoot, to one of his fell ow cruisers, some two hun dred yards away. The scene was one of the broader parts of the river, full two miles across, and the low-lying shores were hardly discernible at that distance, partly owing to the change that had come over the sky and the land scape since noon. The boys had cruised down the river without any special incident until nearly noon, finding pleasure enough in racing their well-matched boats and in view ing the wild scenes through which they then were passing; but just at noon they had made a landing on the east peninsula for a light lunch, intending to cruise farther down the river and gun for a hearty meal about four o'clock in the afternoon, which was to be prepared while they were making camp for the night. It was to this landing that Jack referred when yell ing to Lafe Lampton. The occasion was quite obvious, for the sky had become heavily overcast in the past quarter-hour, and dense black clouds were sweeping up from the north east horizon. There had been only a few indications of this sud den change when the boys got under way after lunch, yet the wind had so that a double-reef was necessary, though the sky still showed only that dull gray aspect which frequently precedes an approaching violent squall. Tom Lightfoot had advised putting out, however, and neither of his companions had opposed it, so all hands got under way again with reduced canvas. Tom had started some little time before the others, moreover, and had got quite a lead on them, nearly half-a-mile, when Jack caught sight of the ragged look in the near north and felt the first cold sharp gust of the coming storm. Lafe, too, now saw the trouble, and yelled back : "What about Tom? We can't leave him." Tom still was a good half-mile ahead of the other two boats, and was scudding down-stream before the spanking wind. "I'll overhaul him, Lafe," shouted Jack, trimming his sheet and standing over toward Lafe, who now had come about and hung motionless in the eye of the wind. "You can't overhaul him under a mile, Jack," cried Lafe, as the former sped within easy speaking dis tance. Jack rounded up1a little and eased his sheet, letting his boat glide less rapidly under the stern of the other. "I must overhaul him," he cried. "We're booked for a nasty squall. Look at that sky."

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ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. 13 "I believe your story. Can't you make Tom hear?" "I'll make him hear all right, cried Jack, draw ing out his revolver. Then he fired a couple of shots in the air. Tom Lightfoot, in the far-distant boat, to wbich he had been paying all of his attention in order to maintain his lead, suddenly turned and looked back. He saw the two boats nearl)' together, with Lafe hanging dead into the wind, and he at first thought that some accident had occurred. Then he saw Jack rise and point toward the north ern sky, then signal for him to c!ome about, and he now wav ed his hand in reply. "He understands me, Lafe," cried Jack. "He's com ing about." "\i\lhat did you tell me to do?" shouted Lafe, as the boats began to spread. "Run up to the point where we landed for lunch," replied Jack. "Our tent is in your boat, isn't it?" "Yes, all but the poles. Tom has them." "Never mind," shouted Jack. "Haul your boat up and drop her sail when you get there. Then take out what you have of the tent and lug it ashore. We can make some kind of a quick shack out of it for shelter, to himself, as he hauled in his sheet and made fast. Then he settled himself at the tiller and looked for Tom, who was bearing off in the same direction. Under the fierce gusts of wind, which was rapidly becoming a gale, the surface of the river had been lashed into an ugly chop, which shook the small crafts from stem to stern, tossing them in a way that made a foothold exceedingly treacherous, while at times the spume and spray were hurtled over the busy skippers in blinding drenching clouds. Tom Lightfoot was now standing up the river on a starboard tack, evidently laboring hard in the rough water, and having all he could do to manage his boat. A quarer-mile away Jack was fairly tearing through the water, still on a port tack, with his body cr o uched at the tiller he was firmly gripping, and his gaze fixed upon his cousin's desperate movements. A moment later he ceased off a little, showing Tom a clear right of way, for they now were rapidly ap proaching one another at an angle, and presently they came within hailing distance. Then Jack yelled a word of advice. "Don't sail her so free, Tom!" he shrieked above the in case the rain comes suddenly." "All right!" yelled Lafe, waving his hand. understand." Qoisy rush of the gale. "Keep her close to the wind, "I and she'll not labor so badly." Jack waited and saw him fill away on a starboard tack to s tand up toward their former landing, a good half-mile away. "He' ll make it all right," he said to himself, also filling away. "I'm not so sure of Tom, in case the s q u all breaks violently." T o m had come about, however, and was standing o v er toward the far west bank, with his sheet close hauled on a port tack. The wind was steadily increasing in violence, as Jack had shrewdly anticipated. Blowing through the t o p s of a clump of palmettos on the shore some fifty yards from where he now was tacking, it made a pe culiarly angry s o und, especially threatening when it fiercely la s hed the hanging dead leaves against the swaying trunks. "vV e're going to get it hot and heavy, I fear," he "I can't do it!" roared Tom desperately. "She falls off when the waves catch her on her quarter." "Then ease your sheet a little-ease your sheet!" yelled Jack, as he flew by scarce twenty feet astern of his excited cousin. Tom saw the point and at once tried to take the ad vice given him. In so doing, however, in order to loose his sheet from the cleat, he lost for a moment his firm grip on the tiller. Naturally the boat instantly fell off still farther, and just then the squall broke with redoubled violence and caught the laboring craft broadside. She went over like a flash, burying her mast and sail into the waves, and tossing Tom Lightfoot head! long into the river. He still hung to the sheet, however, and could swim like a duck; yet the situation was not an enviable one, ..

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14 ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. the accident having o ccurred in the channel where the water was deepest, and the squall then being at its height. Jack Lightfoot witnessed the catastrophe the mo ment it occurrred. Instantly he saw what he should do----yet to do it in that living gale was another matter. Throwing his tiller hard down, he tried to bring his boat sharp about on the opposite tack. She came into the wind with a leap. For a moment the gale threatened to catch her in irons and shake the sail to threads. Jack leaped to the sheet and trimmed in a little, and then the boat eased off. v\rith a lightning move he took a turn of the sheet around the cleat, then gripped the tiller. He let the craft swing off till the wind filled her sail, when she again made way with the startled leap of a race-horse. Now Jack threw her up a trifle, till he could close haul the sheet and take a quick turn, then eased away, and again had her under perfect control. All of these movements had taken but a few seconds, and, though made with lightning rapidity, Jack had not for an instant lost his head. Now he saw Tom swimming amid the wreckage of his craft, and battling fiercely against the choppy waves. Again he yelled to him from thirty feet away, while his boat tore like a grayhound through the surging water. "Strike out!" he yelled. "Swim clear of the boat, Tom! Swim to the leeward. I'll pick you up." Tom Lightfoot heard him and understood. With a few lusty strokes he got free from the wreck, and into the clear water to leeward. Jack's object in so advising him was to avoid a col lision with the disabled boat while attempting to rescue his cousin. In a moment he tore by the wreck to leeward and saw Tom battling the waves some twenty yards beyond, and up to windward. For: an instant Jack held his course, measuring every chance and contingency, and at just the right moment he threw his boat into the wind. He saw Tom sweeping nearer in the turbulent water, and again he uttered a yell. "Look out for me, Tom! Be ready!" Hanging desperately to the tiller with one hand, Jack made a brave effort to clutch his fellow cruiser with the other as he was swept on by the fierce gale. For a second it looked doubtful, despite his accurate calculations and efficient seamanship, and it seemed as if Tom must be swept by out of reach. Just then Tom made a fierce lunge through the waves, however, and threw up his arm. Jack Lightfoot pounced upon it like a terrier upon a rat. "Hang on!" gasped Tom, nearly exhausted. "You bet!" cried Jack, with a grip.like that of a vise. Yet his watchful eyes now were upon the boat again, and he luffed her a trifle till he could haul Tom aboard, which was quickly done. Then he eased away again, and stood close-hauled up the river. The first furious outburst of the squall was already past, the wind becoming more steady and slowly abat ing. "Are you all right, Tom?'" inquired Jack, when the worst was over. "Sure!" exclaimed Tom, quite quickly regaining his breath. "It's lucky you were so near, and you picked me up splendidly. I was going to hang to the boat till she grounded somewhere, when I heard you shout." "I thought I could pick you up all right," replied Jack. "The boat must be towed over to the east bank, and I wanted your help." "Well, I'm all right now," cried Tom, scrambling to his feet. "A nasty upset, wasn't it?" "Accidents will happen," laughed Jack, too gener ous to be critical. "That's so." "Luckily most of the stuff in your boat will not sink, nor be much harmed by tl:]e wetting." "None at all," cried Tom. "I'm glad you have all of our guns and ammunition in your boat. The cooking utensils that are in mine are all stowed in the cubby forward, and we shall not lose them." "I think we can recover most of the stuff," replied

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ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. 15 Jack. "Now lend me a hand, and I'll run down to the leeward of her." "Going to try to right her?" "Not until the wind dies down cir we get her into shallow water. We'll make fast a line to her head stay and take her in tow as she lies. I think we can make the point with her." "No doubt of it." "Can you see Lafe?'' "Yes," answered Tom, gazing out over the wind ward rail. "He has struck his sail and hauled his boat up. He sees that we are all right, now. He's waving his hand." "Stand by, then," said Jack. "Take the end of the throat halliard, and be ready to make fast to your headstay when I round up." "I'm ready,'' cried Tom, still dripping like a soused \ sponge. "Hard-a-lee! Look sharp, now!" While he spoke Jack deftly rounded to at the leeBut the rain had now almost ceased, with rifts show ing blue sky through the clouds, and with half an eye one could see that it would presently be as clear and hot as before. I Lafe stood grinning on the bank, more amused than anything else; but Jack saw Tom flush quickly at the farmer's greeting, and he hastened to avert any unpleasantness. "It was as much my fault as Tom's, Lafe,!' he shouted laughing. "I drew his attention from his boat by yelling at him, and the squall caught him unpre pared. Don't stand there grinning, but come out here and lend a hand to set things right." "Well, I might as well be as wet as a drowned rat as one half-drowned," laughed Lafe. "So here goes!" And he plunged out into the shallow water, head, neck, and heels, for some twenty yards or more, to where his companions had brought the capsized boat. "Wait till I strike my sail," cried Jack, hastening to let go the halliards. "Then we'll haul my boat up to ward of the capsized boat, then ran slowly up to her the bank, and all fall to and right this one. I guess partly submerged bow, with his own sheet free and sail flapping. To make fast to the wreck with a line was the work of only a moment, and Jack then filled away again with the disabled craft in tow. "We can haul her all right," he presently announced. "I'll head straight up to the point where Lafe has landed. I think we can make it without a tack." CHAPTER VI. A FLORIDA CRACKER. "Gee, but you fellows had a fat old time out there! I thought you knew how to handle a boat, Tom." The above was Lafe Lampton's greeting when, after half-an-hour of tugging and towing, Jack and Tom succeeded in bringing the disabled boat within easy hailing distance of the bank on which Lafe was stand ing. It had poured in torrents for about half of the time, one of those violent squalls and showers characteristic of the Florida climate, and all hands were drenched to the skin. there's no great harm done." "None at all that I can see," replied Lafe, noticing Tom's brief soberness. "It was only an accident. It might have happened to anybody." This quickly served to set Tom all right again, and
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ALL-SPORTS LIBR.\RY. It was a good location for a camp, on quite a clear rise of the bank, with a background of scrub from which they could gather all the wood they required for a fire. It then was somewhat wet, of course, but could be quickly dried in the hot sun that was momentarily dispelling the sign of the recent clouds. A clear, level spot was selected, where the sandy soil already was comparatively dry, and there the poles and crossbar of their tent, an ordinary A tent, were speedily fixed in place. Next guy-stakes were cut and driven, the duck covering adjusted in place, the guys drawn taut, and the trick was done. "That's a good enough shelter for a king," declared Lafe, opening the flaps to look inside. "Aren't we as good as any king?" asked Tom laugh ing. "Better than most of them," cried Lafe dryly. "\Ve now will dig a trench around it,'' said Jack; "to carry off the flow of water in case it rains again.'' "That's the stuff!" cried Lafe. "And to keep out rattlers and every other kind of a crawling thing. I'm not looking to wake up with a diamond-back nestling next to my neck." "We'll take precautions against anything of that kind." laughed Jack. "You and Tom Cl;lt a couple of crotched stakes and fit a cross-piece for our kettle to hang on. While you are doing that I will dig the trench." for he felt quite a good bit peckish himself; but be fore he could reply all of the boys were startled by a cracking of the dead scrub-brush about a rod up the bank. As they turned quickly in that direction, there is sued from among the low trees, a tall, lank fellow about forty years old, miserably clad, with a ragged slouch hat over his brow and a cob pipe between his teeth. "By ginger!" thought Lafe, with eyes dilating. "I'll bet this is one of those Florida crackers!" Jack at once nodded to the man, however, and said pleasantly : "How are you, stranger?" The man came down a few steps, thrusting his hands deep down into the pockets of his dirty trousers, and surveyed the boys with a rather sinister eye for several moments in silence. "What brung you uns round hyar ?" he finally de manded, with a sullen, suspicious voice. "We are here only to camp until morning," replied Jack, by no means fancying the fellow's looks. "Campin,' hey?" "That's all." "vVaal, you uns keern't stay hyar." "Not stay here?" echoed Jack inquiringly. "Yer mustn't squat round so permiscus." "But this is not your land, is it?" Jack now de manded, beginning to frown. "I 'low you uns dunno nuthin' 'bout that," growled the fellow, with a threatening headshake. "Yer keern't Both were done in another quarter-hour, and now squat hyar, nohow. So up stakes an' git out. Them's t: : ings began to look camplike, indeed. Such provisions as they were to use, their eating i_1 1plements, cooking utensils, the coffee-pot, pans and tin-cups, their coverings for the night-all of these were quickly whisked up to the tent, and put in their places. Then Lafe Lampton abruptly asked, with sort of a hungry look appearing in his jolly eyes: "What do you say, Jack, if I slip out in my boat and shoot a trio of ducks? I saw a lot of them in the creek down yonder. They'd go all right spitted and roasted." Jack would readily have approved of this scheme, my orders." Tom began to look glum and Lafe ugly, but Jack Lightfoot, who felt sure that this man had no right to order them away, now took a decided stand much change of countenance. "I hear what you say, mister, but I guess we'll not break camp until morning," he replied firmly. "Yer reckon yer won't, hey?'" "That is about the size of it, stranger,'' nodded Jack. "Whether you have any rights in this land, or not, we shall do no harm to it by camping here until morning. So here we intend to stay, unless we are driven off by a stronger force than we can muster."

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ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. I/ The man's scrawny brows knit closer, and his eyes took on an uglier gleam when he replied. "I 'low you uns dunno who I be, does yer ?" he demanded. "No, and we don't care," Lafe now put m impul sively. "What Jack Lightfoot says is right, my man, and it goes." "Et do, hey?" "That's what it do, mister," growled Lafe. "We are here to camp, which will do no harm, and here we're going to stay. If you think of rousting us out, go on and get your crowd together and come and try it. You ain't big enough to do it alone, you can bet on that." "Ef you don't git out to onct, I reckon the kerowd'll come round hyar right smart 'nuff for yer." "Go ahead and bring 'em, then," retorted Lafe, with a defiant nod at the fellow. "You'll find us right here, mister, waiting and ready for you." "I reckon you uns won't squat hyar after--" "That's enough, sir," interposed Jack Lightfoot de cidedly. 'We don't care to discuss the matter any longer, nor to have any further talk with you. So the sooner you move on about your business, if you ha.ve any, the better we shall like it. Come, boys, let's finish our work." The others took the cue given them, and all turned indifferently away to resume their work. The stranger remained for several moment s eying them in grim and sullen silence, then rl'!uttered something through his scraggly mustache and turned away, presently striding off through the scrub in the direc tion from which he so unexpectedly had appeared. "Well, I'll be jigge red !" exclaimed Lafe, when the fell ow had gone. "If he isn't a cracker, he certainly has all the earmarks of one." "I guess there's no reasonable doubt of it," laughed Jack. "He was about as crummy a looking chump as I ever laid eyes on." "So he was, Lafe, for a fact." "You are not going to break camp, are you?" asked Tom. ( "Not by a long chalk !" "That's right, Lafe, not at the commands of fellow," said Jack, very decidedly. "I should say not." "He did not speak like one having authority, ancl I have no faith in his story of owning this la'.nd." "Own land!" cried Lafe "He looked to me as if he didn't own anything more than the dirty skin he stood in." "That's right, too." "His story appeared to me more like a m'\asly bluff," Lafe went on growling. "I'll wager he doesn't show up here again. Did you notice his eyes, how sus picious they looked?'" "I did, Lafe," nodded Tom. "I'll bet he had some reason for wishing to drive us away, or else he feared that we are here with other designs than hunting and camping." "What can he have feared?",. queried Tom. "That's more than I can tell. There doesn't ap pear to be anything for us to steal around in these diggings, unless we make off with or:ie of those scrub palmettos." "May be he's a hog thief himself," Jack Lightfoot quietly remarked, as there recurred to him the talk he had had with Mr. Linscott on the boat landing that morning. "By gracious, there may be something in that," cried Lafe. "Possibly," nodded Tom. "Be that as it may," added Jack indifferently, "we will borrow no further trouble about the fellow, boys, until it shows up." "Bosh! I'll bet he will not come back here, crowd or no crowd," growled Lafe contemptuously. "That is my opinion, too," said Jack. "Instead of going after ducks, however, I think you had better remain with us, Lafe, in case the fellow does return and make trouble." "Sure thing I will!" cried Lafe promptly. "Gee whiz! if there's anything doing in the line of trouble, Jack, I want to be with the bunch and right in the midst of it." Jack Dightfoot laughed approvingly, knowing well

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18 ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. how thoroughly loyal and game Lafe was on such occasions. "Good enough," said he. "We have plenty to fill up on with our canned goods, Lafe, and I'll wager we can serve up a rattling good meal." "But without any rattlers,'' cried Lafe laughing. "Let's get at it, Jack. I'm as hungry as a shark." ''Me too!" declared Tom. "I can put away a good bit myself, I'm thinking," said Jack smiling. "So hustle around, boys, and start a fire I'll look after getting the table set, or the ground, and will get the grub together." "That's the stuff!" shouted Lafe. All hands now set to work again, and soon a rattling fire was blazing on the river bank well down in front of their tent. The meal Jack Lightfoot provided proved even bet ter than he had predicted--or so at least Lafe Lamp ton said, and he did full justice to it. "I feel like an alderman ," he declared, rising and slapping his rounded paunch. "Indeed, I do, Jack! Don't I look it?" Jack laughed genially and admitted that he did. Then the remains were cleared away, and the boys laid off to rest. The time passed merrily, and the speeding minutes brought no further signs of the "cracker," nor was he seen again that day. The Florida twilight quickly deepened into dark ness, bringing out a myraid of stars in the purple dome of sky; and for awhile the boys sat around their waning fire, discussing the events of their trip thus far, and planning their enjoyments for the morrow. They turned in quite early, however, and with tent flaps secured soon were sleeping soundly, with naught to disturb them but faint sounds from the river, or the distant cry of some night-bird sailing overhead. CHAPTER VII. A LITTLE LIVE SPORT. Bang! several first-class fowling-pieces, the reports would sound just about as the words appear in print. They had rung from the three guns of the Cranford boys, despite that it was not yet seven o'clock in the morning, the day 'following their first night in camp. The novelty of their situation had occasioned one and all to awaken bright and early, nearly as soon as the first streak of red in the eastern sky appeared as the harbinger of Old Sol. They had at once turned out, finely rested by their undisturbed sleep, and, after a capital breakfast, they had broken camp. After getting their fraps aboard the boats they had quickly gotten under way again, bound down the river, and leaving little behind them as reminders of their visit except a black patch of charred wood and ashes on the silver sand of the river bank. Before starting, however, they had taken out their fowling-pieces, each providing himself with a good supply of shells, resolved to have a little sport in the way of gunning, and to furnish their larder with the ducks of which Lafe had been deprived by the showing up of the Florida cracker the previous day. The morning was clear and pleasant, with only a catspaw of wind now and then, just enough to waft their crafts lazily along, and make the handling of them child's play. The light air was well adapted to the project they had in view, however, and, after putting over toward the east shore, all three had stood down the river, hugging the shore quite closely to take advantage of the numerous little bayous, to the shallow waters and tall grasses masking the nooks to which resorted the many kinds of birds and fowl with which the Indian River abounds. A couple of miles had been covered in the course of an hour, during which several ducks had been brought down by each of the boys and taken aboard the boats. With a well-directed shot, moreover, Jack Lightfoot had killed one huge standing over three feet in height, which had started up from the sedge and flown Bang! bang! nearly across his bow. Bang! bang! bang! This huge bird, also, Jack had taken aboard, in-If the above words were audible, the spiteful ring of tending to remove the vast wings, to be used as trophies

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ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. with which to adorn the shed-room m distant Cran ford. "They will be capital reminders of this outing-if one possibly could need such a thing as a reminder of it," he had said to himself, while surveying the dead bird a little regretfully. A little later, after rounding a huge clump of man groves which formed a little island at one side of the river, all hands had drifted into a small bay, or bend of the river, connected with which were several narrow creeks c,md inlets which made up into the scrubby shore with numerous devious curves and bends. Here was presented as fantastic a scene as they yet had witnessed, and it was here that the crack of their guns had sounded in such rapid succession. In the shallow water in all directions about the shore and creeks, were hundreds upon hundreds of tall cranes and herons, some stalking to and fro, some standing idle or intently watching for a fish; together with which were countless awkward pelicans, with their hunched wings and huge pouches, some with the tail of a flap ping fish protruding from its gaunt, tremendous bill. In a way it was a most amusing and ludicrously sol emn spectacle, for to these Northern boys this vast colony of uncouth, awkward birds appeared indescrib ably funny. "Some of them look as if they were laughing at us," Jack cried to Lafe, as they glided into the bend and lost headway in the lee of the mangroves. "I'm going to have one of those pelicans." Then the crack of the weapons sounded, one atter the other in rapid fire, laying one of the huge creatures in the water, flapping furiously and making vain efforts to fly. Most of the vast flocl<: rose in the air, however, the pelicans with an exceedingly heavy and awkward flight, the cranes with wild, trumpet-like cries, while the whole cloud of them fairly darkened the sky for several moments. "I've shot a pelican!" yelled Jack. "I'm going to get him aboard the boat." "We'll gather in the whole bunch of them," cried Lafe, running boat up under Jack's starboard quar ter. "We've got no wind in here," replied the latter. "Never mind," cried Lafe. "Tom is rounding up to us, and we'll strike our sails and make two of th e boats fast to these mangrove roots. \i\That a snarly mess of 'em." "That's so." "Then Tom and I will get aboard your boat, Jack," added Lafe, hustling about as if his life depended upon it. "Drop your sail, old man Then we'll work about with an oar and pick up the birds. I'm bound to have them now we have shot them." "So am I," replied Jack. "The water is hardly a foot deep up here. We can shove around with an oar all right." "Sure we can. Lower your sail, Tom, and make fast to my boat. I've got a turn with my painter on one of these roots." "I'm with you," Tom cheerily answered, as he gath ered up his housed sail and put a stay around it. It took but a few minutes to make ready, and then, with all three in Jack's boat, they got out the oar with which it was provided and shoved out from the man groves to gather the slain birds. "Gee, but ain't he a monster!" chuckled Lafe, as they began moving forward. "Look at that fellow-he isn't dead yet! Crack him on the head with the oar. Jim miny, I guess that will settle him." At the end of a quarter-hour they had gathered a good-sized pelican, and a splendid blue heron. With these aboard they put back to the mangroves to get in the and rest for a spell, for all were dripping with perspiration. "Howling mackerels! I never saw such critters as these pelicans," said Lafe, with characteristic humor. "Look at this for a mouth. Get onto his pouch, too. It hangs down like a busted football bladder. Gosh and here's a dead fish in it, nearly all chawed up." Tom Lightfoot began laugh and look wise, and Jack smiled and said: "Give us a few points about the bird, Tom You probably know them, even if I don't, though as a mat ter of fact I should." "Yes, go ahead, Tom," cried Lafe approvingly. ,.,

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20 ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. "I'll tell y o u what little I remember," said Tom mod estly. "Let hc::r go, old' chap." "The pelican family of birds are all swimmers," be gan Tom. "They fly also, but their flight is heavy and ungainly, as you observed when some of them rose after we fired. This pouch under the lower mandible, as the rivers, and they are numerous in sections of the Mississippi valley. As you heard, their cry sounds somewhat like the note of a trumpet." "Gosh! but you must have a wonderful memory, Tom," said Lafe, with considerable admiration. "I couldn't get all the stuff into my head that you get, to say nothing of carrying it there or bill, enters into the throat and is capable of great dis"Never mind, Lafe," laughed Tom. "You make tension up for it with your stomach." "Gee! I should say so," grinned Lafe. "The pelican feeds chiefly on fish, and macerates them in this pouch. The female feeds her young with fish that have been macerated for some time in her pouch, and this has given rise to the fabulous story that she feeds them by drawing blood from her breast. They inhabit Eastern Europe and Africa, as well as America. That's about all I recall about the pelican." "You bet," grinned Lafe. "When it comes down to a stomach job, Tom, I'm right in the front row." "It's a good fault, Lafe, all the same," Jack now remarked, springing up from the thwart on which he was seated. "Let's stow these birds under cover, and then I'm going to make a trip around these mangroves. Did you ever see such a conglomeration of crooked roots One might walk entirely around the island on "Jimminy there's something in being a bookworm them.'' after all," laughed Lafe. "I'm glad we brought you "Let's do so," cried Lafe. "\'Vhat do you say?" with us." "Can you tell us anything about the heron?" in quired Jack. "There are a number of species in that family, also, and this that we have shot is known as the great blue heron," replied Tom "They frequent ponds and creeks, where they stand for hours watching for a fish, which they capture by transfixing it with this long, sharp bill. Then, unlike the pelican, the heron swal low the fish whole "Gee! the glutton," chuckled Lafe, who was in a fever of amusement over their sport. "They feed on reptiles, mice and small bird1, also," added Tom; "and build huge nests of sticks and grass in the trees of the swamps. You notice the head is crested, and from some species of heron are obtained the aigrettes which fashionable ladies wear." "You'd better take one home to Kate Strawn, Jack," suggested Lafe, with a grin. "Possibly I shall," smiled Jack, not in the least put "I'm agreeable." "And I," added Tom. Having made Jack's boat fast alongside of the others, the three cruisers now set forth on this new expedition-not a very long one, by the way, as the entire distance around the 0island was only a few hun dred yards. Yet a large group of mangroves growing out of the shallow water of the river sometimes presents a most curious picture. The gnarled and twisted roots often protrude several feet above the water, and ten or a dozen yards from the tree-trunks, frequently form ing entirely around the group a confusing, convoluted mass, much as if an army of monster serpents had writhed and twined themselves together, or as if the trees had thrown, out from themselves a huge barricade for mutual protection It was upon these protruding roots of the clump of mangroves mentioned that Jack, Tom, and Lafe now proceeded to pick their way, intending to make a circuit out. "I'd rather like to see her' now for a few minof the entire group. utes." It proved to be quite an arduous trip, this clambering "The. crane family," continued Tom, with a glance at from one patch of twisted roots to another, yet it the huge fellow at his feet, "comprise some of our brought to light several novelties well worth the labor. largest birds. Many of them inhabit dry plains, as well In one place, nearly under the trees, they discovered

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ALL-S?ORTS LIBRARY. 2! several lizards, and in another a number of curious little chameleons, one of which they succeeded in catching; only to lose him again a little later, when, in the shallow water directly under their feet, two huge water-snakes suddenly writhed into view with a flash and whirl, only to dart swiftly away to the deeper water. "Gosh!" yelled Lafe, nearly pitching backward with momentary affright. "V./ ouldn't those things jar you?" "They were enough to give a fellow a start," ad mitted Jack. "Or the jimjams. I've lost that little four-legged critter with a long tail." "Never mind," said Tom. "Don't wait to look for him, Lafe. We shall see plenty of them before we leave Florida." "And many a thing that we have not yet seen," added Jack. "Humph!" grinned Lafe. not seen before. I wonder crackers." "Yonder is one we have if he's another of those Jack and Tom glanced quickly in the direction m dicated. The boys had walked partly around the island, and then were nearly opposite a portion of the west bank of the river. From out one of the narrow creeks previously men tioned a man n.ow appeared rowing a small .skiff. Evidently had discovered the Cranford boys, moreover, for he was glancing toward them and heading his boat in their direction. They observed, furthermore, that he had a gun with him, the barrel'of which could be seen protruding above the rail of his skiff. "I wonder what we're up against now," muttered Lafe. "Mebbe we've intruded on another man's pre serve and are booked for a second call down. That chap has a gun, too, and can make good if he takes it into his head to do so." "\tVhoever he is, Lafe, there is nothing in trying to avoid him," said Jack Lightfoot, seating himself on one of the huge mangrove roots. "That's right, to.a." "He doesn't look so very belligerent," remarked Tom, as the stranger rowed nearer. learn of what his design consists." CHAPTER VIII. JOB DEAN. "Vv e soon shall Upon arriving about a dozen feet from the waitin g boys, the stranger, a middle-aged man in a light gun ning-suit, swung his boat around so as to faci: them, and then laughed quite genially. "Well, boys, I reckon you are strangers in these parts, aren't you?" he inquired cheerily. "Yes, sir, we are," replied Jack. "We hail from New England." "I thought you had the look of a New Englander," laughed the man. Bedford myself." "I was born and raised 111 New "Is that so, sir?" cried Jack, with interest. "Yes. Haven't been North, though, for nearly ten th a ts i>'' years. Where are you stopp111g 111 ese p r "With Mr. Linscott, sir, up the river." "That so? He and I are old friends. Tell him you met Job Dean, and mebbe he'll tell you who I am. I'm only Job Dean, though, as to that." "Well, you seem to be all right, sir," vouchsafed Lafe laughing. "We're dead sure you are, if you're anything like Mr. Linscott." "He's a fine fellow," Dean heartily rejoined. "I have a place over yonder, behind the palmettos and live oaks you see there. I was about to slip out for a iew ducks, but I reckon you've frightened them off for a spell. I heard your guns as I was leaving home." "\tVe have some ducks in our boats, sir, just around the mangroves," Jack hastened to rejoin. "If you'll accept them, we'll be glad to give them to you." "\Nell, that's a kind offer," said Dean, after a mo ment. "It would save me from sculling about some in the hot sun, but I don't quite like depriving you of them." "We shall be glad to have you take them." "Gee, that's right, sir!" cried Lafe. "\Ve can shoot more than we know what to do with. We have a dozen or more that you'd do us the favor to take off our hands." "In that case, boys, I shall accept them," Dean 110 .v

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22 ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. replied, beginning to back water. "Jump aboard and "Possibly, though we have not yet decided," replied I'll pull you around to your boats." Jack. "We intend putting in about a week in all. We The boys readily complied, and Mr. Dean shook hands with each as he came aboard, then rowed lazily around the mangroves. "I suppose there is no law against gunning around here, is there?" asked Jack. "Not at this season of the year at any rate," the man laughed. "There are a hundred birds to one marks man in this section, so we require little protective legis lation at present. We protect our deer, though, and some birds." "Well, we ran upon a curmudgeon yesterday who tried to throw us down," put in Lafe "He ordered us off of the sand ridge across the river, but we declined shall return to Mr. Linscott's place by Saturday." "In that case I may call there to see you and get bet ter acquainted." ''.We shall be pleased to have you do so." "You must visit my place, also, if you find time," added Mr. Dean, now putting off. "Much obliged for the ducks. As for fishing and gunning about here, boys, nobody has a right to prevent you. So go ahead and get all the sport you can." Jack Lightfoot thanked him again for the informa tion given them, and with a hearty good-by, the boys stood watching him until he, with a parting wave of his hand, disappeared beyond the island. to stand for it." "He's all right," declared Lafe warmly. "It's a "Humph! why didn't he order you to stop breathpleasure to meet such a man." ing," laughed Mr. Dean. "You didn't go, eh?" "Not so that the chump noticed it." "What style of a man was he?" "A cracker, I reckon," said Lafe, then briefly de scribed the fellow. "I guess you run foul of one of the Pigsons," said Mr. Dean. "Your description about fits Zach Pigson. "What's he, sir?" "He's a cracker all right," laughed the man. "He is one of several Pigson families. All of one brood, two of whom have cabins 9n the opposite side. They are a worthless lot, and Zach is one of the worst of them. I don't quite see, however, why he could have wished to drive you off the peninsula." "Nor I," said Jack. "We were doing no harm. Fend her off, Tom. Will you come aboard, Mr. Dean, or shall we put the ducks in your skiff?" They now had arrived at the group of boats, which the boys quickly boarded, relieving the light skiff of its burden. "No, I think I'll not come aboard," said Mr. Dean, after thanking them for the invitation. "I'll take the ducks you kindly offered me and then return home. I judge from appearances that you are cruising down the river." "Yes, sir." "Are you going down to the inlet?'' "So it is," assented Jack. "I'm glad we had the ducks to give him, also to have learned something definite about the fellow we encountered yesterday." "What did he say his name is?" asked Tom. "Pigson." "Pretty name," chuckled Lafe. "The last syllable should have been omitted, however, to have hit him more accurately." "He was a pig all right, for a fact, and, therefore a pig's son," remarked Jack, laughing as he made the pun, "Now what do you say, boys? What shall our next move be ?" Tom gfanced out across the river. "There's a more wind, Jack," said he. "Let's get under way again and head down-stream till we see a good camping place." "I'm agreeable to anything." "Me, too," cried Lafe. "The sand ridge appears to be quite narrow below here," added Tom. "It will be but a short walk across to the ocean side, where we may find some capital sport explorifig the shore. Perhaps, too, we can have a swim, if the breakers are not too dangerous." "Gee, that's the stuff!" cried Lafe. "A swim m January. Who ever heard of it?'' "That will use up the morning;" continued Tom. "We'll return to our boats at noon and make camp for

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ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. 23 the night, and then this afternoon we'll put our rods and lines in shape and have a crack ;:it the river fish." '"Capital!'' said Jack approvingly. "You couldn't have planned it better." "All aboard, then!" shouted Lafe. "I'll bet I'm the first to get under way." This was the si p al for a general hustle, in which Jack, having the advantage of already being on his own boat, came out ahead. At the end of a short five minutes all three craft were clear of the calm under the mangroves, and were speed ing down the river before a freshening breeze. After a run of nearly three miles Jack sighted a desirable location for their next camp, and he at once signaled his fell ow cruisers to make a landing. The spot selected was near a solitary clump of tall palms, which rose high above the background of scrub pines and saw-palmettos, with a comparatively clear place nearer the river bank, admirably adapted for pitching their tent and making a convenient camp. "This is out of sight," declared Lafe, as they struck their sails and let the boats glide.gently up to the shelv ing beach. "It's even better than where we camped last night." "I think we had better pitch our tent before going across the ridge," suggested Jack, while they were en gaged in neatly furling sail and securing the boats. "Why so, Jack?" "It will be deucedly hot by midday, and we shall be gfad enough to find shelte r from the sun when we re turn." ''It's a good idea," said Tom, hastening to get out the tent-poles from under his "It will not take a great while." ''Not more than half-an-hour to put everything in shape." "Let's get at it, then," cried Lafe. "I'm impatient to see the opposite side of this ridge." had been made, and the boys were about ready to start on their tramp across the peninsula "Yes, I think so," said Jack. ''I would," put in Tom. "There is no knowing what we may run up against, and it's just as well to be prepared." "That's my idea-," nodded Lafe approvingly. "I'll bring them from the boats and then we'll get a move on." It was about ten o'clock when the boys started. Making their way up the ridge, they entered scrub that grew quite thickly in that locality, which added to the difficulty of walking. This, together with the yielding sand, upon which the hot sun was pouring down from a cloudless sky, soon had all three dripping with perspiration. After awhile Lafe Lampton halted to roll up the sleeves of his shirt. "Gosh! but this is hard going," said he, as his com panions also paused. ."It's worse than it was up in Hickman's swamp last November, Jack, when we went ducking in cold weather. I'm glad I didn't wear my jacket to-day." "There's a break in the scrub a little farther on," re plied Tom Lightfoot, pointing over the ridge. "There we shall get more of the breeze, and it will be cooler." "I'm not so very warm," remarked Jack. "Well, you've got the best of me, you two," re returned Lafe. "I've got more fat on me. Lean f el lows like you don't sweat much." "You should cut down your eating," laughed Tom "Then you wouldn't be so fat." "Humph! I'd sooner stand the fat," grunted Laff. "Come on again. I'm ready." And Lafe once more plunged on with a snort, much as if neither the scrub, nor the thorny plants which were frequently encountered, nor the sun nor the scorching sand, were to check him for any great length of time CHAPTER IX. Another yards brought them to the break A BATTLE WITH A RATTLER. of which Tom Lightfoot had spoken, and a stretch of "I say, Jack, are you going to take a gun with you?" almost clear sandy ground opened before them. a s ked Lafe Lampton, when the camp for the most part Lafe had forged some yards ahead, was the first

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ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. to enter it, breaking out of the dry scrub much like a bull moose out of a thicket. Here, however, he encountered somethit;ig that gave him the most horrible shock he had ever had in his !if e. It was introduced by the sight of a black streak on the silvery sand, or so at first sight it appeared to Lafe. Then the streak suddenly moved, and curled up in a triple ring. A short neck shot upward, a white throat and belly were revealed, a flat, pointed head whipped round in his direction, out of which gleamed and glittered a pair of eyes blacker than jet beads and sharper than needles. Then came the lightning-like whisk of a pointed black tail-and with it there fell upon the still air that one deadly sound quickest to send a sickening sen sation even to the experienced and stanchest heartthe crisp warning note of the venomous rattlesnake All of tliis happened in less than a second, more over, and Lafe uttered a1 yell that might have been heard a mile away. "Wow!" Then he jumped a good two yards, backward at that, as if his very life depended upon it. Back into the scrub he came, head, neck, and heels, losing his balance over a chunk of protruding roots and trailing vines, and rolled headlong at the feet of star tled Jack and Tom. "What is it? what is it?" shrieked Jack, terrified despite himself. For Lafe, white as a piece of chalk, presented a hor rible picture of fright as he scrambled wildly to his feet. "It's a rattler-a rattler!" he yelled, snatching up gun and darting to one side. "Look out for' him," cried Tom warningly. "He might come this way." At the same time he started after Lafe. Jack dropped his fowling-piece into the hollow of his arm, and then darted in the opposite direction. Naturally enough, knowing the venomous nature of the reptile, and after the serious warning they had re ceived from Mr. Linscott, all hands felt a thrill of dread lest one of them be struck with the snake's deadly fangs. For this reas on they had scattered almost involun tarily, and, two of them not yet having seen the snake at all, they had. moved blindly, so to speak, jumping in the first direction that appealed to them. As it happened, Jack .Lightfoot nearly jumped into the lion's mouth. The rattlesnake, which was a huge fellow fully five feet in length, had been sunning himself in the hot sand when Lafe broke from the scrub and nearly trod upon him. Like Lafe, however, the snake's first impulse was to escape, for the rattlesnake does not ordinarily attack an intruder unless cornered or much provoked, in which case he puts up an ugly fight. It had reared itself in alarm for an instant, however, giving Lafe his terrible shock; but the moment the latter fled the snake also writhed quickly away, equally anxious to escape, and followed the dry sand skirting the edge of the scrub. It so happened that Jack Lightfoot, darting quickly to one side, took a direction that caused him to head off the fleeing snake, and when Jack out of the scrub he nearly sprang on top of the startled reptile, just as Lafe had done. It needed only this second attack to arouse the rattlesnake's wrath. In leaping from the scrub Jack saw the vicious creature beneath him, and, despite himself, he landed on the ground scarce two feet behind him. Then came a fierce hiss, the quick sweep of a tail, and the wicked thrill of the snake's rattle, as he coiled like a flash and reared himself to strike With every nerve quivering, however, Jack proved to be as quick as the snake. As the venomous head was lunged out and down ward, with fangs protruding, Jack left the ground as quickly as if he had alighted on a red-hot stove with his bare feet. The snake struck the empty air. Jack made a second wild leap: then instinctively gl anced back and yelled, wildly: "He's here, boys! Here he is!" Then, to his added horror, he saw that the snake, instead of again trying to escape-was pursuing him!

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ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. It was scarce three feet away. Not daring to wait to use his gun, lest he should be struck in the foot or leg before he could shoot the en raged reptile, Jack gave another appalling yell, and ran for his life. Now he pau sed, h owever, seeing that Jack was safe for a time, and cried : "Hold on a bit! The snake is not moving from his position. I'll sneak around back of the tree and plug him at close range." A solitary pine tree some ten yards away, with a "Where's Tom?" cautioned Jack. "Look out that single branch some eight feet above the ground, quickly you don't hit him." caught his eye. Toward this he ran. With the snake still behind him Jack dropped his gun and made a flying leap He had measured the distance accurately. He caught the extending branch with both hands, whirled quickly up and over it then came down astride it quite as if it had been a horizont a l bar, and he in dulging only in a little stunt at gymnastics. He did not feel quite the same, however, for his blood ran cold, his flesh creepy, and his every nerve tense and strained. The rattlesnake had whirled fiercely around directly under the branch then reared itself in a belligerent coil, with its head raised a foot or more from the ground, its fangs viciously darting out, and its tail keeping up an almost incessant rattle. Apparently it had given up all intention of flight, and now was looking only for trouble. / Jack no longer felt any serious alarm, however, being well out of reach, and the entire episode, in so far as he had figured in it, had occupied only a few seconds. Now a shout reached his ears, and Lafe came plung ing from the scrub some twenty yards away. At first he could not locate Jack. "Where are you?" he yelled. "Where are you, Jack?" "Here in the tree," shouted Jack. "And the snake is right under me." "Holy smoke!" "Don't shoot from that distance!" roared Jack warn ingly. "The shot might scatter. You're loaded for ducks and may plug some of them into my legs Lafe had brought his gun to his shoulder and was ab o ut to fire. "I'm here, Jack." The last came from Tom himself, and his head pro truded from the nearer scrub some twenty feet from the coiled snake a point to which he had hastened upon hearing Jack s first yell for help. Now Lafe also saw him and shouted : "Stay where you are, Tom. Don't fire from there. I'll sneak around the tree and shoot the varmint's head off Lafe was proceeding to execute this sanguinary threat even while he spoke. With his gun ready, crouching like an Indian on a trail, he was stealing in a circuit to get behind the tree and shoot the snake from a few feet away. The snake saw him, however, and took it into his threatened head to look for other prey. With an angry hiss and rattle it suddenly lit out straight for Lafe. Lafe uttered a yell, but it was drowned by the thun dering report of one of the guns. The moment the snake had started from under the branch, leaving Jack well out of danger from any scattering shot, Tom Lightfoot had jerked his gun to his shou!der and fired both barrels at the moving reptile. His aim was true to the mark. In an instant the snake was only a writhing, twist ing, bleeding object on the loose white sand. Yet Lafe, half-frenzied with excitement, now set upon it with clubbed gun, which he wielded with all the energy and zest with which he frequently had swung old "Wagon-tongue," when the bases were full and a hit needed to pull a game out of a hole. Jack now came down from his perch, and a mo ment later the three boys stood gazing down at all there was left of the rattlesnake. Their fac e s were a little pale, for an encounter with

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ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. a rattlesnake is never an agreeable one, and this not only was their first experience, but it also was an un usually stirring one. A measurement showed the snake to be five feet and one inch in length, truly a monster, and Jack remarked with a feeling of genuine relief : "Well, this is my first one, boys, and I hope it may be my last. I never could endure snakes." I," declared Lafe. "Gosh! I almost felt his fangs in my legs the moment he reared up at me." "He was a wicked fellow, surely," observed Tom. "A mighty big one." "It's a diamond-back, isn't it?" asked Lafe, stoop ing to study the double row of confluent spots marking the reptile's dark back. ''Yes, no doubt of it," said Tom. "Here are his rat tles at the end of his black tail. I'm going to cut them off for a reminder of this adventure." "Gee whittaker I'll never need any reminder of it," cried Lafe. "I bet I'll dream of snakes every night for a month." Nevertheless, Tom Lightfoot cut off the rattlesnake's t ail, which he wrapped in a piece of palmetto leaf to take back to the camp. CHAPTER X. A GLANCE AHEAD. With eyes more alert after the adventure with the snake, the boys now proceeded on their way across the sandy ridge. A walk of aoout ten minutes brought them to the coast side, and here there spread before them not only a boundless expanse of the broad, blue Atlantic, but also miles upon miles of a beach nearly as level as a floor, and of silvery whiteness in the rays of the midday sun. There was but a light air stirring, with scarcely any swell from the ocean, and the breakers, which at times roll in along this low peninsula with thundering vio lence, now were hardly more than a pleasant ripple on the shore. "By ginger! I'm going in swimming," declared Lafe, after looking about for a few moments. "I want to wash the recollections of that snake out of me." "I don't blame you," laughed Tom. "Yet I have heard that there are sharks in these waters, so we had best be careful and hug the beach." "By all means," supplemented Jack. "Let's wait un til yve cool off a little, Lafe, and then we'll all go in." "Sure thing. I'm aways ready to do the rest wish." "Not deeper than our waists, however, any one of us." "Well, I reckon that will give me water enough for a dip," laughed Lafe. "Hello! I wonder what made these tracks." In the dry sand well up from the water's edge was a curious uncouth marking, as if some awkward crea ture had waddled up out of the sea, and taken a solitary promenade along the silvery beach. Between the markings, which resembled irregular grooves, was a deeper indentation, much as if the crea ture had dragged behind him a tail too heavy to carry. Tom Lightfoot examined them for a moment, then laughed. "That's the trail of a sea-turtle," said he. "A turtle!" e,choed Lafe. "Gee whiz! it must have been a bounce"2" "So it was," replied Tom. "They are found very large in this latitude. These grooves on each side were made by his flippers, as he waddled along; and this deeper between them was left by his heavy body and lower shell, which he rather dragged than raised in walking." "I guess you're right, Tom," nodded Jack Light foot. "Oh, there is no doubt about what left such a trail," replied Tom. "It was left by a logger-head turtle all right." "I'd like ta see one," said Lafe. "We possibly might do so if we waited and watcned, but that would hardly be worth the while. The females come here in the dry sand to lay their eggs, generally in May or June, and some of the settlers in many locali ties make a business of hun ti ng for them. If we coul d catch a good green turtle now we would have som e soup," ad ded Tom.

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ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. 2'l "I wonder what I'd do with a bowl of turtle soup," I said Lafe, with indescribable drollness. "I think I could flirt with it in a way that would startle the na tives." "It wouldn't go bad, Lafe, for a fact," laughed Jack. "Not having any soup to go into me, however, I'm going into the soup myself. In words, the ocean," cried Lafe, beginning to strip off his cloth ing. "If any good fellows want to go with me, let them come on." Tom and Jack needed no further invitation, and soon all of them were sporting in the cool salt water, enjoying a swim in January, while some of their friends in the distant Cranford were blowing warmth into their finger-tips, or shielding them from the wintry blasts with woolen gloves or mittens. It was noon when the boys came out and dressed, and then prepared to return to their camp across the sand ridge. As in all such outings, with novelties on every hand, with new objects of interest constantly claiming one's attention, time speeds away with rapid wings, and a day seems scarcely to have dawned when, lo! it has begun to wane. The boys returned leisurely across the sand ridge, and it was well into the afternoon when they arrived in camp. Lafe threw himself down on the bank, heaved a sigh and looked about for a moment, then said: "Gee! I hate to confess it, Jack, but I'm blessed if I'm not tired." Jack laughed and took a seat near-by. "You have a right to be, Lafe,'' said he. "It is owing less to the labor, however, than to the newness of things and the excitement." "I guess that's right, Jack," nodded Lafe. "Along with squalls and crackers, with herons, and cranes, and pelicans, to say nothing of trudging miles through soft sand, and battling with deadly rattlers-jimminy crickets, Jack, I guess there's no doubt you' re right !" "So we'll just lie arounq here this afternoon, and .. cut out further sporting till to-morrow," said Jack. "A little later we will cook up a ripping good dinner, then put in a long night's sleep. We still have several I ducks aboard, and I'll wager, Lafe, that even you shall be satisfied." "Gee, I'm always satisfied, barring when I encounter a rattlesnake," laughed Lafe. "Then I'm more than satisfied." Jack sat for some moments gazing at the sand at his feet.1 Presently he looked up and said thoughtfully : "It's a bit curious, Lafe, that the element of danger must figure strongly in an adventure for a man to get the most out of it. Do you know, Lafe, I really got more real fun out of that rattlesnake fight than if I death had not been the result of a strike from him." "Me-too,'' said Lafe drowsily. "That was one of the dangers against which Mr. Linscott warned us,'' Jack musingly went on. "The other was wildcats. I wonder if we'll run across any of them during the week to come. I've got a feelLng that I rather hope we may. I think I'd really like to encounter at least one good, big, busy bobcat. That Florida cracker, too, Zach Pigson, I've sort of got it into my head that he could tell us something about Mr. Linscott' s missing hogs. I'd like to aid our good friend, Linscott, in that matter, if I could, and prevent further stealing from him. In a way that would repay him for his kindness to us. If e could do that, Lafe, and down one good wildcat, I should feel satisfied to---" He abruptly stopped, glancing up at his fellow cruiser. I Lafe Lampton had snored-he was sound asleep. Jack Lightfoot did not really anticipate it just then, yet, as coming events often cast their shadows before, his musings were but forerunners of stirring episodes in the week to come. THE END. During that week our young cruisers were destined to see many more strange sights, and participate in many adventures that would remain a memory of their cruise down the wonderful Indian River long after they returned North to the land of the Frost King. These we will present to our readers in the next issue of ALL SPORTS, to be entitled "Jack Lightfoot's Plans; or, Wrecked on Indian River." I

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28 ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. HOW TO DO THING5 By AN OLD ATHLETE. Timely essays and hints upon various athletic sports pastimes in which our boys are usually deeply interested, and told m a that may be easily understood. Instructive articles may be m back numbers of the ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY, as follows : No. 31, How to a Cheap Skiff." No. 32 "Archery." No. 33, "Cross-Country Runmng. No. 34, "The Game of Lacrosse." No. 35, "The ,Boy With a .. Hobby Collecting." No. 36, "Football, and How to Play It." No. 37, A Practwe Game" No 38 "How to Play Football-Training." No. 39, "The Men in the0 Iline.'; 40, "The Men Behind.'' No. 41, "Signal No. 42, ''Team Play.'' No. 43, "The End of Season." _No. A Gymnasium Without Apparatus.'' (I.) No. 45, A Gymnasmm Without Apparatus.'' (II.) No. 46; "Bag-Punching." CAMPING. The only difficulty about writing upon this interesting subject lies in the necessity for condensing a tremendous amount of information into a very small space. Volumes could be written about the delights of camping, and still much remain unrecorded. In a general way, then, we shall touch upon what con stitutes the necessities of camp life, when the utmost pleasure is expected to be derived from the outing. The writer has had unusual opportunities for indulging in this charming and fascinating outdoor life, ranging all ,the way from the M uskoka region in Canada, down through the Middle States, and along the Atlantic Coast to southern Florida, so that it stands to reason he should be in a position to give some common-sense and practical hints upon the subject. First of all, then, it must be understood that what would apply for one region might be wholly out of place in another-blankets and heavy woolen garments come in very pat up among the pines of Maine apd Michigan, but, as a rule, they prove a weariness to the flesh down along the sunny Indian in Florida-though, by way, there are occasiojlS, with a fierce Norther ragmg along that same beautiful lagoon, when the camp-fire of fat pine, .and a jolly blanket prove very acceptable to the camper and his fellow voyagers. Besides, most outings in Florida are taken upon the water, and the accompanying boat allows of much "dun nage" being carried that would of necessity have to be cut out of a canoe trip, where long "carries" are fre quent, or on a tramp into the primeval wilderness of the Far North. We will, therefore,. take it for granted that our young friends intend to go into camp somewhere in the Adiron dacks, and can employ a team or buckboard to transport themselves and the material for their outing, with per haps even a boat on top of it all, to the lonely lake that is to be the scene of their summer campaign. In such an article bn camping-out it would perhaps be wise to divide the subject into several heads, and nat urally the first of these would be the SELECTION OF THE CAMP SITE. A great deal may depend upon the wisdom shown in choosing the spot where days, and possibly weeks, are to be spent, and stormy weather, as well as fair, to be en countered. Avoid getting too near a swamp or marshy tract since the miasma arising from such a place is apt to sow the seeds of malaria in the system. Select ground where you can look out upon the water, for your greatest pleasure will be in that quarter. At the same time let there be a little drop to the ground, so that it will drain wef, during a continued rainy spell. The wise camper is al ways preparing himself for the time that _may come. After putting up your tent, with the opening toward the lake, dig a shallow trough or ditch around the back and sides, so as to encourage the water flow off. Then cover the floor space inside with some six inches of hem lock browse, if you can get it-straw affords a fair sub stitute in a pinch, and over this spread your blank_ets. Your fire will be just in front, and should the mght be cool you are to enjoy the blaze very much. As to the making of a fire, that is a subject well worthy of respect, since it is the little god whom all campers, young as well as old worship ; and it des erves an article all to itself. We will try to do justice to it later on. Of course you have chosen a site near which there is a crystal spring, for the lake water is apt to be or at least insipid for drinking in the summ et, bemg besides a good breeding-place for those germs that seem to be lurking in wait for so many suspicious souls. Many little conveniences can be arranged readily enough by boys who like to be comfortable-indeed, to many of us half the jo y s of camping-out spring from taxing one's ingenuity in fashionin g a landin g for the boat a closet for the tinware out of a box a rude table which to set the meals, a model cooking fireplace, and such things as are apt to add to the pleasure of all concerned. A month of this dependence upon one's self for everything has been the making of many a lad who up to that time, had not suspected what lay dorma1!-t within him, and had nev:er before been thrown upon his own resources. Whether your stay in the wilderness be of long or short duration it is of considerable importance that you be well hou'sed, and this brings us to the subject of THE TENT. Old campaigners, like the veteran "Nessmuk," capable of making a serviceable shelter out of boughs m : ..... -.. THE SHANTY TENT IN USE. less than an hour's time, and 0ne that answers a tem porary purpose very well ; but for a protracted stay thinrr more substantial is needed. This may be found m the army A tent, though a walled one is more comfortable if the additional weight in carrying the same is a matter' of no consequence. There is also a sports men's tent on sale which is very good; and the writer has passed many comfortable nights under one of this type, in various camps North and South. All these tents really require a fly over them, in order to shed water, unless the canvas has been especially prepared with material ; and. such a thing is difficult to bu y though it can be made ram-proof at home with some trouble. 1 So m e in g enious boys pref e r to make their own tent, and ( Conti?tu e d on page 30.)

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A CHAT WITH YOU Under this general head we purpose each week to sit around the camp fire, and have a heart-to-heart talk with those of our young readers who care to gather there, answering such letters as may reach us asking for information with regard to various healthy sports, both indoor and out. We should also be glad to hear what you think of the leading characters in your favorite publication. It is the editor's desire to make this department one that will be eagerly read from week to week by every admirer of the Jack Lightfoot stories, and prove to be of valuable assist ance in building up manly, healthy Sons of America All letters re ceive d will be answered immediately, but may not appear in print under five weeks, owing to the fact that the publication must go to press far in advance of the date of issue. Those who favor us with correspondence will please bear this in mind, and exercise a little patience. THE EDITOR. Having read several of your fine weeklies, I would like you to answer my questions. My measurements are as follows: Height, 5 feet; weight, 88 pounds in street clothing; neck, 12)/i inches; shoulders, across, 16 inches; around, 36 inches; chest, 30 inches; waist, 25 inches; biceps, 83/i inches; forearm, 9 inches; wrists, 63/i inches; thighs, 18 inches; calves, 12 inches; ankles, 8 inches. I. How are my measurements? 2. What are my strong and weak points? 3. Does my height correspond with my weight? 4. Is mush a wholesome food? 5. Do my m easu rements come up to the average boy's measurements of my age? K. K. M Bedford City, Va. 1. Your measurements seem to be very good for a boy of your size and weight. 2. You have no especially "strong" points, nor do you ap pear, on the other hand, to be weak in any particular. 3. Just about. 4. Yes, it is always said to be, though you know the old Bible injunction that "man must not live by bread alone," and we think the same would apply to the food you mention. 5. Yes. I have just finished reading your charming ALL-SPORTS, and my chum thinks it's fine; it is just to my taste. My taste calls for something that is true and manly, with no "blood-and thunder"' in it, and I hope Mr. Stevens will keep all such out of ALL-SPORTS. I am in the hospital with hip disease and do not know how I will have to stay. Did you ever know anybody with hip disease, and how long did it take to cure it? I will be glad when Jack Lightfoot goes abroad with his troupe. Do you ever expect to publish Jack Lightfoot's picture, with his chums? I think it would take fine. I have a room at home that I am going to fit up as a den and wish you would advise me as to the best way of making it look snug at a small cost. Hoping I have not written too long a letter, I remain a warm admirer of ALL-SPORTS. Hurrah for Jack Lightfoot and Lafe Lampton and all the Cranford crowd. I have got lots of my friends to read ALL-SPORTS. Well, good-by, from a would-be athlete, a crank, H. S. Richmond, Va. We cannot say how long it might take to cure your trouble, but we hope you will soon be home to carry out your design about arranging a cozy den. It would take more space than wt can spare in this department to give you hints as to how you could best accomplish this. Perhaps, some time, we may have an article on this subject in our "How To Do Things." We do not expect to print the pictures you speak of, though possibly it might be done later if there was sufficient interest shown by the admirers of Jack Lightfoot. I thought I w01 Id write a few words telling how much I like the ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. I think ALL-SPORTS and the Tip Tap lead all other weeklies. I think Jack Lightfoot is an ideal American youth. I like all the rest of his friends. I am col lecting souvenir postal cards and will be glad to exchange with anybody who sends me one. My comrades tell me that the applause column is only a fake, but I thought I would write a few lines to see if it is or not. WARREN E. FoRD. P. 0. Box 261, Mechanicville, N. J. I haven't seen any letters from this town for some time, though I know that there are a great many readers here. So I thought I would write and tell you what I think of the ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. Every one I know who reads it says that he likes it. Although I am a girl, I enjoy it as much as any of my boy friends, ;md look forward each week with as much delight to getting it from the news-stand as they do. I like Jack Light foot and all his friends; he is so manly. Then he has so much pride and independence. Long live Jack and his friends. Paterson, N. J. MINNIE JoHNSON. Jack's girl friends are as loyal to him as any of the boy readers, and we are glad to welcome you among his admirers. We ap preciate your pleasant letter. I have read the ALL-SPORTS since the first number came out, and think it "out of sight." Three cheers :'.or Jack Lightfoot and Maurice Stevens, the author. A CANUCK. Toronto, Ont. The ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY is not only "out of sight," as you say, but is always "in sight," for all boys on the street can be seen reading it. By the pleasant expression on their faces it seems that they think it is the best they ever read. Jack Lightfoot does so many wonderful things that they can't stop till they reach the end of the last chapter. I have read nearly all numbers of ALL-SPORTS, and while I didn't like them very well at first I do now, and read them every week. They are now running Tip Top a race for first place. I think Jack, Lafe, Phil, Nat and some of the rest are cer tainly fine, but wish there were a few more good spunky athletic American girls in Cranford to make more life to the stories. I have over five thousand libraries and papers, which I will gladly exchange with other readers who will write and send lists. I think Jack is a fine pitcher, but does he not owe much of his success to Lafe? I wish old Lafe went to school here. I pitch for our high school team, but we always have to use the town team catcher, for no one in school will catch me. I also pitch for the town team in the summer. Should like to hear from anyone interested in athletics. We have a basket-ball team here and I play right forward. Hope Jack gets up a team. Finish Boralmo up quick, for he is a villain. What is the matter with forming a correspondence club? I wish a number of your readers, both boys and girls, would write to me, and I will answer all letters. Can't you print pictures of all the boys and girls, as Jack and Daisy, one each week, on inside cover of ALL-SPORTS? I should be pleased to write to the following if they will send me their names: A Girl with Gray Eyes, of Leavenworth, Kan.; Genevia Raymond, Denver, Colo.; A Nellieite, San Francisco, Cal.; An Ardent Admirer, Argenta, Ark.; C. E. A. Defiance, Ohio; Un known, Honey Grove, Tex. Hoping to see this in print as soon as possible, and wishing Jack's football team, all his chums and ALL-SPORTS the best of success, EDWARD M. MARSH. Pine Island, Minn. Some time we may conclude to print the pictures of the lead ing characters in the Jack Lightfoot stories, as you and others suggest. A correspondence club might be a good thing, and our readers can take the matter in hand as they please.

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30 ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. I am very fond of football, and you can well believe that I've been watching eagerly to see what Mr. Stevens would do with Jack and his chums on the gridiron. And now that I've read some of the numbers containing the record of games played I can't keep from writing to say how pleased I have been with them. The talented author certainly knows his business all right, and I guess the boys will join me in saying that better football stories it would be hard to find. I'm an old Tip Top admirer, but I must say ALL-SPORTS is giving the universal favorite a run for the money. I hope to be always able to read both, for I've somehow become as much attached to Jack Light foot as I've always been to the Merriwells. I did take another so-called athletic weekly for a tiTPe, but it was a "ringer," and the attempt at character drawing so poorly executed that I called it off. I think the Lightfoot stories occupy a distinct field by themselves, and the author has succeeded in creating a series of characters that seem very real. That is always the secret of success in writing for boys, who are quick to get on to dummy figures. Well, I'd better close, if I hope to get this in print. With regards and best wishes to the author, not forgetting the publishers, Enw ARD L. ScOTT. .Harrisburg, Pa. We are glad to hear from you, Edward, and trust that your friends are as well satisfied with ALL-SPORTS as you to be. "Write again when the spiri.t moves. ( "lfow to do Tbings")-Continttedfrom page 28. to please such we give two designs of a box, or shanty tent, spread out and erected, that, while not a thing of beauty, is a joy forever, when it comes to solid comfort. The sportsmen's shanty tent mentioned before is really fashioned after this same style, only on a larger scalethe one given would be rather small for two persons, though they could crowd in if necessary. 3 ', : 8 THE FLAT SHAPE OF A HOME-MADE SHANTY TENT. There is another subject that seems of prime impor tance to the would-be camper-that of INSECT LIFE, mosquitoes, gnats, black flies and such pests, that are ap\ to make life in the woods less of a pleasure than has been anticipated. The following lotion, tried and tested under many aggravating conditions, will be found equal to anything known, and far superior to the anti-mosquito salves usually sold at a high price. It is to be rubbed well into the skin at every exposed part, so that it really forms a pretty good coat of varnish. Of course while thus encased you must abandon the pleasures of soap and water for a time, but when the flies are bad a wise man is willing to forget all else, if so be he can laugh at their efforts to get at him. Take three ounces of pine tar, two ounces of castor oil, one ounce of pennyroyal oil-simmer all together over a slow fire, arid bottle for use. When this glaze is finally washed off it leaves the skin soft and clear. And now we have reached the very important sub ject of CAMP COOKERY. The necessities in the way 0f cooking-utensils are con fined to a few things-the generous frying-pan, without which no camp could ever be a joy; a tin coffee-pot of sufficient dimensions, with the lip and handle riveted on rather than / soldered, so that they may not drop off in the intense heat to which the article will be subjected; cups and pannikins of granite ware, as being the easiest to scour; common steel knives and forks ; cheap spoons ; a keen-edged butcher knife, fashioned after f mam1er to suit the cook's fancy, and there are several good shapes ; a large spoon for stirring things and ladling out ; and a couple of fair-sized granite kettles, with covers, and a bale so that they may be hung over the fire when it is desired to cook rice, potatoes, beans, soup, or for par boiling tough joints of squirrel and such things, before dropping into the frying-pan. That is the limit of actual needs, though some fastidi ous campers will burden themselves with more culinary specimens, most of which may never be used. A couple of iron rods, each about eighteen inches long, will come in very handy at the fire, for resting coffee-pot or pan upon when the width of the fireplace forbids their nesting coll1fortably across. Above all, be sure of a hatchet-if convenient to tote an ordinary every-day ax along, do so, for it will come in handy, since the amount of firewood burned in camp, when nights are cool, is amazing, and the ordinary camp hatchet is often found a delusion and a snare. Don't forget a handful of fair-sized nails-they will come in useful for hanging things up. As for food, every camping party ll1Ust be a Jaw unto thell1selves, and our limited space in this one article will only allow naming those articles that are really consid ered indispensable by old and seasoned sojourners in the woods. These can be set down as ground coffee, tea, sugar, oatmeal or hominy, rice, self-raising flower-for flap jacks, cracker-dust-for frying fish in, condensed milk, onions, potatoes; some canned goods, if they ll1ay be con veniently carried, such as corn, succotash, Boston baked beans, peas, and tomatoes; a strip of tell1pting breakfast bacon; several pounds of pink-white salt pork, a few slices of which comes in handy when frying anything. Butter and eggs are good, and may possibly be bought froll1 neighboring farmers-they are difficult to take into the woods. The camp mess-chest; with its nest of eight square cans of galvanized material, each having a wide screw top, is the only proper receptacle for all such things as coffee, tea, rice, Of course salt and pepper ll1USt never be forgotten. And, above all, in the estimation of a hungry call1per, there is perhaps no one object of food that af fords him such intense satisfaction as he sniffs at the savory atll1osphere and awaits the wekoll1e tinpan sum mons to dinner, as does that common, low-down, but insidious odor of those frying your life, don't forget to smuggle some of these in your kit, if you have to leave other things behind.

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STIRRINC SEA TALES PAUL JONES WEEKLY TORIES of the adventures of the gallant American hero, Paul Jones, in the battles he had with the British men-o' war during the Revolution. The history of his brave deeds forms some of the most interesting and brilliant pages in American history, and the stories which appear in "Paul Jones Weekly,, are so fascinating and full of the spirit of patriotism that no real boy can resist the tion to read them. LIST OF TITLFS t-Paul Jones' Cruise for Glory; or, The Sign of the Coiled Rattlesnake. 2-Paul Jones at Bay; or, Striking a Blow for Liberty. 3-Paul Jones' Pledge; or, The Tiger of the Atlantic. 4-Paul Jones' Bold Swoop; or, Cutting Out a British Supply Ship. 5-Paul Jones' Strategy; or, Outwitting the Fleets of Old England. 6-Paul Jones' Long Chase; or, The Last Shot in the Locker. 7--0Ut With Paul Jones; or, Giving Them a Bad Fright Along the English Coast. 8-Paul Jones Afloat and Ashore; or, Stirring Adventures in London Town. 9-Paul Jones' Swamp Trail; or, Outwitting the Coast Raiders. tO-Paul Jones' Defiance; or, How the Virginia Planter Invaded "Robbers' Roost." t l-Paul Jones' Double; or, Cruise of the" Floating Feather." t2-Adrift With Paul Jones; o r, The Last of the Lagoon Pirates. PRICE, FIVE CENTS For Sale by all Newsdealers, or Sent by the Publishers Upon Receipt of Price The Winner Library Co .. 165 West 15th St., New York

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001\t:IE :eovs. GET THE) ALL=SPORTS LIBRARY Teach American boy bow to become athlete and so lay the foanclatlpn of a conatltatloa greater than that of the United .States.'' -Wise from Tip Top. YOU like fun, adventure and mystery, don't yon? Well, yon can find them all in the paga of the ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. .A the name implies, the ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY ia devoted to the aport.s that all young people delight in. It has bright, handsome, colored coven, and each stor;y ia of generous length. You are looking for a big five centa worth of good reading and. yon can get it here. Ask 7our newsdealer for any of the titles listed below. He hu them in stock. Be nre to get ALL-SPORTS UBRARY. Like other good thing it hu ita imitatiOD11. 16-Jack Lightfoot's Strategy; or, Hare-and Hounds Over Cranford Hills. 17-Jack Lightfoot in the Saddle; or, A Jockey for Just One Day. 18-Jack Lightfoot's Dilemma; or, A Traitor on the Diamond. 19-Jack Lightfoot's Cyclone Finish; or, How Victory Was Snatched From Defeat. 20-Jack Lightfoot in Camp; or, Young Athletes at Play in the Wilderness. 21-J ack Lightfoot' s Disappearance; or, The Turning-up of an Old Enemy. 22--Jack Lightfoot's "Stone Wall" Infield; or, Making a Reputation in the League. 23-Jack Lightfoot's Talisman; or, The Only Way to Win Games in Baseball. 24-Jack Lightfoot's Mad Auto Dash; or, Speed ing at a Ninety Mile Oip. 25-Jack Lightfoot Afloat; or, The Cruise of the Canvas Canoes. 26--Jack Lightfoot's Hard Luck; or, A Light ning Triple Play in the Ninth. 27-Jack Lightfoot's Iron Arm; or, How the New "Spit" Ball Worked the Charm. 28--Jack Lightfoot on the Mat; or, The Jiu Jitsu Trick that Failed to Work. 29-Jack Lightfoot's All-Sports Team; or, How Lafe Lampton Threw the Hammer. 30Jack Lightfoot in the Box ; or, The Mascot that "Hoodooed" the Nine. 31-Jack Lightfoot's Lucky Find; or, The New Man Who Covered "Short." 32-Jack Lightfoot, Archer; or, The Strange Secret an Arrow Revealed. 33-JaclC Lightfoot's Oevemess; oc, The Boy Who Butted In. 34-Jack Lightfoot's Decision; or, That Chestnut of "Playing Against Ten Men." 35-Jack Lightfoot, Pennant-Winner; or, Wind ing up the Four Town League. 36-Jack Lightfoot's Pledge; or, Bound in Honor. 37-Jack Lightfoot's Nerve; or, A Desperate Mutiny at the "Gym." 38--Jack Lightfoot's Halfback; or, Playing the Giants of the League. 39-Jack Lightfoot's Gridiron Boys; or, Leading a Patched-up Team to Victory. 40-Jack Lightfqot's Trap Shooting; or, Up Against the Champions of the Gun Oub. 41-Jack Lightfoot's Touch-down; or, A Hard Nut to Crack at Highland. 42-Jack Lightfoot's Flying Wedge; or, How Kirtland Won the Game for Cranford. 43-Jack Lightfoot's Great Kick; or, The Tackle That Did Not Work. 44-Jack Lightfoot's Duck-Blind; or, A Strange \' Mystery of the Swamp. Lightfoot's Luck; or, Glorious Days of Sport Ahead. 46--Jack Lightfoot's Triumph; or, Back from a Watery Grave. 47-Jack Lightfoot Down in Dixie; or, The Voyage of a Single-Hand Cruiser. 48--Jack Lightfoot's Plans; or, Wrecked on Indian River. 49-Jack Lightfoot on Snowshoes; or, The Chase of the Great Moose. 50-Jack Lightfoot Snowed-Up; or, Lost in the Trackless Canadian Wilderness. WINNER LIBRARY CO., 165 West Fifteenth .St., NEW YOl\.K

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THE FA VO RITE LIST OF FIVE-CENT LIBRARIES ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY All sports that boys are interested in, are carefully dealt with m the ALL-SPORTS LIBRARY. The stories deal with the adventures of plucky lads while indulging in healthy pastimes. TIP TOP WEEKLY Frank and Dick Merriwell are two brothers whose adventures in college and on the athletic field are of intense interest to the American boy of to-day. They prove that a boy does not have t o be a rowdy to have exciting sport. BU FFA LO BILL STORIES Buffalo Bill is the hero of a thousand exciting ad ventures among the Redskins. These are to our boys only in the Buffalo Bill Stories. They are bound to interest and please you. BRA VE AND BOLD Every boy who prefers variety in his reading matter, ought to be a reader of Brave and Bold. All these were written by autlvxs who are past masters in the art of telling boys' stories. Every lliiiii:..:=::J tale is complete in itself DIAMOND DICK WEEKLY The demand for stirring stories of Western adventure is. admirab l y filled by this l ibrary. Every up-to-date boy ought to read just how law and order are established and maintained on our 1 Wes tern p l ains by Diamond Dick, Bertie, and Handsome Harry. ......... NICK CARTER WEEKLY We know, boys, that there is no need of introducing to you Nicholas Carter the greatest sleuth that ever lived. Every number containing the adventures of Nick Carter has a peculiar, but delightful, power of fascina tion. Do not think for a second, boys that these stories are a lot of musty history, just sugarcoated. They are all new tales of exciting adventure on land and sea, in all of which boys of your own age took part. ROUGH R I DER WEEKLY Ted Strong was appointed deputy marshal by accident, but he resolves to use his authority and rid his ranch of some very tough bullies He does it in such a slick way that everyone calls him "King of the Wild West" and he certainly deserves his title BOWERY BOY LIBRARY The adventures of a poor waif whose only name is "Bowery Billy Billy is the true product of the streets of New York. No boy can read the tales of his trials without imbibing some of that re source and courage that makes the character of this homel ess boy stand out so prominently


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