knew for certain
the manwas lying—that he had not been
by either of
Trapped ! " exclaimed Holden triumphantly. "
got him tight as a rabbitin a gin, Bob."
sneering laughter scorched theredman's pride! It touched him at the
and caused him to writhe inwardly,
his fingers twitched beneath the
his blanket with eagerness to
jeered at him. Yet thelads did not dream how near they were totragedy as they laughed at the little
actor sitting huddled at
They did not notice how the Indian's
first measured the distance
theoverhanging bank to the surface of thewater, and
as quietly calculated thedistance between himself and the lads.
Yes, you were indeed
for you have shown us
were lies. My father never wrote sucha
I am sure, for a red pencil is not athing
he possesses. And if he were well
to write, he would be well enough to
himself, instead of sending such a
Indian and a bad liar."
At the same time," whispered Alf, " thechap must know something or he wouldn't
here at all. We must find out
way or other."
True," Bob said.But
was no time allowed for
sidering what means to adopt to obtain
information, for just at
a wild cry, and sprang
the ground with the leap of a deer.
Bob was gripped as in a
and flung into the centre of the
of a wild catthe Indian sprang for
T H E
Indian is nothing if he is not un
in all his actions. Surprise
were ever his weapons of warfare.
among the long grass of an apparently
meadow he would suddenly riseup with his
to attack the caravan
was quietly pursuing its way along theprairie in absolute ignorance of the nearness
enemies. In the dead hour of night the
would suddenly ring throughthe forest, and the
would be scalpedand dead before the
had baretime to die away.
it was on
at a disadvantage. Bob was floundering in the water before he had time to realisethe
while Alf was equally unpreparedas the Indian sprang towards him.
claw-like fingers missed
intended grip upon the
but thearms managed to grapple the lad in a tight
but he was nomatch for the muscles of the giant Dacotah.
I'll be with you in a
!" called Bob
the water,striking out strongly for the shore as
ashe had recovered breath.
hastily around himwithout releasing the bearlike hug. He
the swimmer quickly approaching, andhe gave a cry of fury as he thought
he would be baulked of his purpose of
for he rightly thought
chance against two
lads. He might succeed in injuringthe one, but
was little chance of his
he released Alf. Feeling himself
for the moment, the boy jumped back in readiness for another
again the unexpected had him at a vantage.
boy anticipated no other attack nowbut
of fists or a knife at the utmost.
imagine. But beforehe had time to conjecture other possibilities,
Fox had slipped off his blanket, flung itaround the lad just as the ancient gladiatorwas wont to entangle his opponent in the
net; and before Arnold had reachedthe river bank, the Indian had wound theblanket tightly round his captive, picked
up in his arms, and commenced runningtowards the
gave a cry of dismay, and rushed onin
But the redskin had the
towards the picketed horse, stillcarrying the lad, who was half stifled by thethick
and practically helpless
tothe tightness with which the bond wastwined.It would have been an easy
Red Fox to have killed his captive and
escaped the other boy. But
wasnot his purpose. In his
to revenge theinsult of
words, he had quite forgottenThunder-maker's commission and the
eted ermine robe. These were nothing to
now. He had listened to sneers withpatience. The time had now
He ran towardsthe pack-horse. A slash with his hunting-
severed the rope within two or
across the animal's back, which theIndian was himself
dig of the heels, and thehorse sprang forward.
Bob saw as he reachedthe
was an ugly
grinning at himand an arm waving tauntingly, as horse,rider, and burden disappeared into the
was aghast !
rushed into the
and snatched uphis repeating rifle, which was already loaded;
the time he emerged again, he
sound of the fugitive riderpressing the branches through the bushtrack.
ran forwards at top speed, but he knew
unless some accident befell the
he stood a
chance of being able
aid his chum. The Indian would knowthe bush as well as his namesake fox.
would not be likely to
imperil his safety or blight any evilpurpose
he might harbour.
the track, which was
marked. It was the same course
by Mackintosh and Haggisearlier in the day. For a time it led throughan avenue of trees. Then it branched off
the left where the ground was hard-packedand dry, having been stripped of vegetation
a bush fire earlier in the year. Here thetracks were less easy to
for a steady
and the imprints of the
almost as quickly as they
made.It was heart-breaking to have to slacker*
at such a time, when every secondmight mean disaster to his chum. But what
he do ? And when ultimately thetracks led him to the border of a vast marshland, the lad was
in what wasalmost despair.
What is to be done now ? " he exclaimed
himself. " Poor old Alf ! What a
was not to be prepared for such a rascal,
my suspicions were so roused ! "But it was no use sitting
in hopelessness. Such weakness would have nothing
gain and everything to
himself together, as the apt sayinghas it, and racked his brains to meet the
he now hear to indicate
way the fugitive had taken. Moreover,the tracks completely disappeared frorosight when the boy had
a few pacesinto the shallow water and spongy moss.Plainly the
course was to mark thestarting-point with a stake, and
round the margin of the swamp
the spot where the rider had
It was a tedious process, but apparently
was no option. So he resumed the
tour with such hope as he
found the tracks after more
searching, as the dusk was beginning to creep
the forest. Thefootprints were more distinct now
theyhad been at the other side of the marsh, sothe boy was able to make some rapid pro
But, as the darkness
more difficult. He had to stoop lowin order to see the tracks at all, and ultimately he
them on handsand knees—feeling the footprints with hisfingers, just as a blind man feels the
was becoming thoroughly exhausted.Still he plodded on with
His knees were grazed and his back was aching, especially where the rifle wasstrapped; and at times he even stumbled and
in a heap
which each time he foundit more difficult to rise
the former one.It was indeed a
would havetaxed the
and nerves of the strongest. When we remember what the boy hadalready undergone
day, we have need
he endured so
Still hepersevered. Inch by inch he felt his
inthe pitch darkness, crawling through thebush with
his muscles gave way and hofloundered