Bobby Blake in the Frozen North The Old Eskimo's Last Message
With a roar, the beast sprang forward.
BOBBY BLAKE IN THE FROZEN NORTH
|I||Caught in the Act|
|II||At Close Quarters|
|III||A Modest Hero|
|IV||Whizzing It Over|
|V||The Winning Hit|
|VII||A Sudden Shock|
|VIII||Against Heavy Odds|
|X||In the Depths|
|XI||A Gleam of Light|
|XII||The Lure of Gold|
|XIV||The Midnight Conference|
|XV||Stealthy as Shadows|
|XVI||The Secret Token|
|XVIII||Death Takes a Hand|
|XIX||On Angry Waters|
|XX||The Hail from the Shore|
|XXI||In The Eskimo Hut|
|XXII||The Frozen North|
|XXIII||Balked of Their Prey|
|XXIV||A Terrible Enemy|
|XXV||The Blinding Blizzard|
|XXVI||Mooloo, the Guide|
|XXVII||Finding the Treasure|
|XXVIII||In Imminent Danger|
|XXIX||A Clever Expedient|
“Gee whiz, but that was a hot one!” exclaimed Fred Martin, as he wrung hishands after throwing back the ball with which he and his chum, Bobby Blake,were having a little pitching practice on the Rockledge School campus.
“Had pepper on it, did it?” laughed Bobby, as he gripped the ball in readinessfor another throw.
“It fairly smoked,” commented Sparrow Bangs, who was stretched lazily on theground near by. “Bobby, you’ve got speed to burn this season.”
“If he pitches that way against Belden it will be all over except theshouting,” remarked Mouser Pryde, who was the second baseman of the Rockledgeteam.
“Bobby’ll need all he’s got when we tackle those fellows, if what I hear istrue,” put in Billy Bassett. “A fellow was telling me the other day that theyhave a couple of new batters on their team who can fairly kill the ball, whilethe rest are pretty handy with the stick.”
“I’ll back Bobby against the bunch,” said Howell Purdy loyally. “He’s beatenthem before and he can beat them again.”
“Don’t be too sure,” laughed Bobby. “There’s nothing certain in baseball, andthey’re a pretty husky bunch to stack up against. Whenever we’ve beaten themwe’ve known at least that we’ve been in a fight.”
“We sure have,” agreed Perry Wise, a fat boy who had been nicknamed “Pee Wee”in sarcastic reference to his size.
“We,” repeated Jimmy Ailshine, in derision. “Where do you get that ‘we’ stuff?You never caught a ball or hit one in your life.”
“Haven’t I always rooted for the team to beat the band?” asked Pee Wee, in aninjured tone. “What would the nine do without somebody to root for it when thepinch comes? As a rooter, I’m a wonder.”
“Sure,” said Mouser soothingly. “And Shiner is wrong when he says you nevercaught a ball. I saw you catch one last winter—a snowball, right on the end ofyour nose.”
The boys laughed and Pee Wee glared.
“You fellows stop picking on Pee Wee,” said Billy Bassett. “With all yourkidding, there are some things in which he’s away ahead of you boobs.”
“Name them,” demanded Fred.
“For instance,” remarked Sparrow incredulously.
“Well,” replied Billy, “he’s more polite than any of you, for one thing.”
Pee Wee began to look interested, though a little puzzled. Although hismanners were fairly good, as boys go, he had never thought that politeness wasone of his outstanding virtues, nor had any one else called this fact to hisattention.
“How do you make that out?” asked Howell Purdy.
“Prove it,” challenged Mouser.
“All right,” responded Billy. “Here’s the proof. When any of you are seated ina crowded car where there are ladies standing, what do you do?”
“Stand up and let a lady sit down,” replied Mouser, while the rest noddedapproval.
“Exactly,” replied Billy. “You stand up and let a lady sit down. And that’swhere Pee Wee has it all over you in politeness. He stands up and lets threeladies sit down.”
There was a moment of silence while this sank in, and then the boys broke intoa roar of laughter, while Pee Wee looked around for something to throw at histormentor, who adroitly skipped behind a tree.
Just at this moment, Mr. Carrier, one of the teachers, came along. He greetedthe boys pleasantly and they responded heartily, for he was a prime favoritewith all of them. The athletic games of the school came under his specialsupervision, and he had the gift of imparting his own vim and enthusiasm tothe players. He had been a star himself both in football and baseball in hiscollege days, and his thorough knowledge of both great games made him afirst-class coach for the Rockledge boys. Under his tutelage, winning teamshad been turned out in the previous year, and he was eager that his teamsshould repeat their triumph this season.
“Practicing up, I see,” he said, with a smile, as he nodded to Bobby.
“Just enough to keep my arm limber,” Bobby replied. “I want to be in shape forour next big game.”
“And that comes off in less than two weeks now,” rejoined Mr. Carrier. “I hearthat the Belden nine is going great guns in practice and that the victory theywon over Somerset the other day has given them confidence. They figure, too,that since we’ve had the championship for some years the time is just aboutdue for them to have their turn. But we don’t agree with them, do we?” headded, with a twinkle in his eyes.
“No, sir!” agreed Bobby. “They’re not going to carry off the Monatook Leaguepennant if we can help it.”
“It does look pretty good on the Rockledge grounds, doesn’t it?” remarked Mr.Carrier, as he cast his eyes up on the flagstaff where the beautiful bannerfluttered in the breeze. “I’m depending on you boys to keep it there. Don’tforget the practice game to-morrow between the first and second nines.”
He passed on, and the boys looked after him with respect and admiration.
“He’s a dandy,” commented Sparrow.
“I’ll tell the world he is,” affirmed Mouser. “He’s more like a pal than ateacher, though he’s a mighty good teacher, at that.”
“Oh, I say, fellows,” called out Billy, slipping out from behind his tree,though still keeping a wary eye on Pee Wee, “there was a man downtown thismorning putting up posters for a big circus that’s coming over to Ridgefieldin a week or two. From what it said on the posters, it’s going to be ahumdinger.”
“Trying to get us on a string again?” asked Sparrow suspiciously.
“No, honest I ain’t,” asseverated Billy, forgetting his grammar in hiseagerness. “This is straight goods. It’s going to be in Ridgefield a week fromnext Friday. Gee, how I’d like to go!”
“Who wouldn’t?” remarked Fred. “But what good does it do us to have it inRidgefield? That’s twenty miles away, and you know the doctor won’t let usgo.”
“Maybe it’ll come to Rockledge, too,” put in Howell hopefully.
“No chance,” declared Billy. “I asked the man who was putting up the posters,and he said that this town wasn’t on the list.”
“That’s too bad,” said Bobby regretfully. “I haven’t been to a circus for along time and I sure would like to see it.”
“Like’s no name for it,” chimed in Shiner. “I’m just crazy to see it. Justthink, fellows, the tightrope walkers and the bareback riders, the acrobatsturning somersaults over the elephants, the fellows swinging on the trapezeand the horizontal bars—”
“And the clowns,” added Billy, as Shiner paused for breath.
“Billy likes the clowns because he can steal all their old chestnuts and passthem off on us,” was Pee Wee’s vengeful dig.
“But there’s something new in this,” went on Billy, not deigning to notice PeeWee’s fling. “They show a real Eskimo band, headed by a chief named Takyak whohas a trained walrus that can do all kinds of stunts. I never saw anythinglike that in any circus I’ve ever been to.”
“What’s a walrus?” asked Shiner, who was not very strong on the subject ofnatural history. “Something like a shark?”
“No, you silly,” returned Billy, who, fresh from his study of the posters, hadthe advantage over his mates. “It looks something like a seal, only it’sbigger and fatter—oh, it’s as fat as Pee Wee—” Here the latter gave anindignant snort—“and it’s got big tusks and as much whiskers as those fellowsover in Russia—you know the ones I mean, those Bolsheviks—and it’s sure thekind of thing I wouldn’t like to meet up an alley on a