MoboReader> Literature > The Outdoor Girls in a Winter Camp / Or, Glorious Days on Skates and Ice Boats

   Chapter 15 IN A TRAP

The Outdoor Girls in a Winter Camp / Or, Glorious Days on Skates and Ice Boats By Laura Lee Hope Characters: 6298

Updated: 2017-12-04 00:02


"Well, they beat us," said Frank mournfully, as Allen came up into the wind, and let the Spider glide easily over the ice, while the rival craft, its occupants visibly rejoicing, shot out of sight around a bend of the river. "They beat us good and proper."

"Yes," agreed Will. "But I don't believe they can do it again."

"Oh, yes they can," insisted Allen. "They've got a faster boat, there's no denying that. But of course we had a much bigger load than they did. They're lighter. However, I'm not backing water. Those fellows handled her well, too."

"I wish we could have won," sighed Mollie.

"Yes, we'll never hear the last of it from Kittie and Alice," declared Betty. "They'll crow over us every chance they get."

"Let them," said Grace, speaking rather indistinctly on account of a chocolate in her mouth. "Some day you can come out, Allen-just you boys-and have another race with them-a regular race."

"We might win then," agreed the young lawyer, "but I doubt it. Theirs is a racer all right, and ours is built more for pleasure. It's a safer boat too, the Spider is. Once or twice they came near having a spill in wind that didn't faze us a bit. I'm glad we didn't have any accidents like the last time we met Alice."

"That's right," said Betty, recalling the two upsets.

"Let them wait," remarked Will mysteriously. "I'll soon have a boat that will beat anything on the river."

"Oh, is papa going to let you get an ice boat?" cried Grace. "I don't care! I don't think it's fair! You get anything you want. You had a new horse and--"

"And wasn't it on your account that dad let you girls come to this camp?" demanded Will. "Talk about me getting all the favors--"

"Children! Children!" admonished Betty with a smile.

"And besides, this has nothing to do with dad," went on Will. "This is something I'm getting up on my own account."

"Oh, tell us!" begged Mollie.

"Nope. It's a secret. You'll see it as soon as it comes."

"Give you a chocolate if you tell," bribed Grace.

"Nope."

"Two."

"Nope!"

"Oh, let him alone," advised Betty. "What are we going to do next?"

"Oh, just sail on-sail on," answered Allen with a laugh. "We won't try any more races though."

They proceeded up the river another mile or so, and had a distant glimpse of their rivals scudding about. Then something else claimed their attention. This was a sight of some men fishing through the ice for pickerel, and the girls at once evinced an appetite for fresh fish.

"Why, we can do that ourselves," declared Will. "We'll try it when we get back."

"Oh, see if you can't get them to sell you some," begged Grace. "They will be fine for supper."

The men were very willing to dispose of some of their catch. They were lumbermen from a distant camp, which fact becoming known, Grace insisted on her brother inquiring if they knew anything of Paddy Malone.

"I used to know him," said one burly fisherman, "but he hasn't been around for a year or so."

"Guess he don't dast come," put in another.

"Why?" asked Will curiously.

"He got into trouble, I hear, and the authorities want him."

"Nothin

g of the sort," the first man declared. "Paddy is as straight as a fish pole. More likely it's the other way round and he's staying away so as not to make trouble for some one else."

"Maybe," agreed the second man. "Anyhow he isn't around."

"That's true enough."

With their fish the young people started back in the ice boat, Will finding out, by talking with the other lumbermen, that Paddy Malone had not been seen in some time.

The fresh fish were indeed a welcome addition to the table that night, the boys having their share. "We'll have to try this sport to-morrow," decided Will, when he had cleaned off his plate the second time. "They're great!"

Accordingly the next day the boys chopped holes in the ice, and with baited hooks attached to springy branches, set in the ice, with a piece of cloth, that, by its bobbing gave indication of a bite, planned for a big catch. The visual signals enabled each lad to set several hooks.

But either they were not in the right place, or they did not use the right bait, for two small fish were all they caught.

"Those lumbermen have them hypnotized," complained Will. "I'm going up to their fishing grounds to-morrow."

The other boys said they would accompany him. This left the girls to their own devices, since they did not care to go with the boys.

"Who's for a walk in the woods?" asked Mollie, and they all were eager to come along. In their short skirts and leggings they found it easy going, even in comparatively deep snow.

"Oh, it's great to be an outdoor girl!" exulted Betty, as she trudged along beside Grace.

"Yes. I wonder if Carrie Norton, the girl who fell out of the tree, would like this?" ventured Amy.

"She was a real outdoor girl, too," observed Mollie, reflectively.

Carrie, however, who figured largely in the third book of this series, had gone, as has been said, to live with a distant relative. Occasionally she wrote to her young friends.

The girls had gone about a mile, or perhaps two, from their camp, and were nearing the debatable ground where Mr. Jallow claimed a valuable strip of timber. Grace was just about to warn her companions not to trespass, when Amy called attention to something in the woods a short distance off.

"See the cute little log cabin!" she cried. "Let's see if any one lives there."

"If they do they must be frozen!" declared Mollie. "It is full of chinks and cracks."

They approached closer to it. It was not like any log cabin they had ever seen, consisting, as they could see through the open door, of but one room.

"It's probably only a hunter's lean-to," said Betty. "Don't go too close, Amy."

But Betty spoke too late. Curious to see the whole interior of the cabin, Amy stepped across the threshold. A moment later she heard something move behind her. She turned, but not in time.

An instant later a raised, sliding door of heavy logs slid down in grooves, and Amy was a prisoner.

"Oh-Oh!" she cried out. "What has happened?" and she beat on the heavy logs with her little hands. "Oh dear!"

"It's a trap! You're in a bear trap!" cried Betty. "We must go for help!"

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