The Boy Scout by Richard Harding Davis
A Rule of the Boy Scouts is every day to do some one a good turn.
Not because the copy-books tell you it deserves another, but in spite
of that pleasing possibility. If you are a true Scout, until you have
performed your act of kindness your day is dark. You are as unhappy as
is the grown-up who has begun his day without shaving or reading the
New York Sun. But as soon as you have proved yourself you may,
with a clear conscience, look the world in the face and untie the knot
in your kerchief.
Jimmie Reeder untied the accusing knot in his scarf at just ten
minutes past eight on a hot August morning after he had given one dime
to his sister Sadie. With that she could either witness the first-run
films at the Palace, or by dividing her fortune patronize two of the
nickel shows on Lenox Avenue. The choice Jimmie left to her. He was
setting out for the annual encampment of the Boy Scouts at
Hunter’s Island, and in the excitement of that adventure even the
movies ceased to thrill. But Sadie also could be unselfish. With a
heroism of a camp-fire maiden she made a gesture which might have been
interpreted to mean she was returning the money.
“I can’t, Jimmie!” she gasped. “I
can’t take it off you. You saved it, and you ought to get the fun
“I haven’t saved it yet,” said Jimmie.
“I’m going to cut it out of the railroad fare. I’m
going to get off at City Island instead of at Pelham Manor and walk the
difference. That’s ten cents cheaper.”
Sadie exclaimed with admiration:
“An’ you carryin’ that heavy grip!”
“Aw, that’s nothin’,” said the man of the
“Good-by, mother. So long, Sadie.”
To ward off further expressions of gratitude he hurriedly advised
Sadie to take in “The Curse of Cain” rather than “The
Mohawks’ Last Stand,” and fled down the front steps.
He wore his khaki uniform. On his shoulders was his knapsack, from
his hands swung his suitcase and between his heavy stockings and his
“shorts” his kneecaps, unkissed by the sun, as yet
unscathed by blackberry vines, showed as white and fragile as the
wrists of a girl. As he moved toward the “L” station at the
corner, Sadie and his mother waved to him; in the street, boys too
small to be Scouts hailed him enviously; even the policeman glancing
over the newspapers on the news-stand nodded approval.
“You a Scout, Jimmie?” he asked.
“No,” retorted Jimmie, for was not he also in uniform?
“I’m Santa Claus out filling Christmas
The patrolman also possessed a ready wit.
“Then get yourself a pair,” he advised. “If a dog
was to see your legs―”
Jimmie escaped the insult by fleeing up the steps of the
An hour later, with his valise in one hand and staff in the other,
he was tramping up the Boston Post Road and breathing heavily. The day
was cruelly hot. Before his eyes, over an interminable stretch of
asphalt, the heat waves danced and flickered. Already the knapsack on
his shoulders pressed upon him like an Old Man of the Sea; the linen in
the valise had turned to pig iron, his pipe-stem legs were wabbling,
his eyes smarted with salt sweat, and the fingers supporting the valise
belonged to some other boy, and were giving that boy much pain. But as
the motor-cars flashed past with raucous warnings, or, that those who
rode might better see the boy with bare knees, passed at “half
speed,” Jimmie stiffened his shoulders and stepped jauntily
forward. Even when the joy-riders mocked with “Oh, you
Scout!” he smiled at them. He was willing to admit to those who
rode that the laugh was on the one who walked. And he
regretted–oh, so bitterly–having left the train. He was
indignant that for his “one good turn a day” he had not
selected one less strenuous. That, for instance, he had not assisted a
frightened old lady through the traffic. To refuse the dime she might
have offered, as all true Scouts refuse all tips, would have been
easier than to earn it by walking five miles, with the sun at
ninety-nine degrees, and carrying excess baggage. Twenty times James
shifted the valise to the other hand, twenty times he let it drop and
sat upon it.
And then, as again he took up his burden, the Good Samaritan drew
near. He drew near in a low gray racing-car at the rate of forty miles
an hour, and within a hundred feet of Jimmie suddenly stopped and
backed toward him. The Good Samaritan was a young man with white hair.
He wore a suit of blue, a golf cap; the hands that held the wheel were
disguised in large yellow gloves. He brought the car to a halt and
surveyed the dripping figure in the road with tired and uncurious
“You a Boy Scout?” he asked.
Jimmie dropped the valise, forced his
cramped fingers into straight lines, and saluted.
With alacrity for the twenty-first time Jimmie dropped the valise,
forced his cramped fingers into straight lines, and saluted.
The young man in the car nodded toward the seat beside him.
“Get in,” he commanded.
When James sat panting happily at his elbow the old young man, to
Jimmie’s disappointment, did not continue to shatter the speed
limit. Instead, he seemed inclined for conversation, and the car,
growling indignantly, crawled.
“I never saw a Boy Scout before,” announced the old
young man. “Tell me about it. First, tell me what you do when
you’re not scouting.”
Jimmie explained volubly. When not in uniform he was an office-boy
and from pedlers and beggars guarded the gates of Carroll and Hastings,
stock-brokers. He spoke the names of his employers with awe. It was a
firm distinguished, conservative, and long-established. The
white-haired young man seemed to nod in assent.
“Do you know them?” demanded Jimmie suspiciously.
“Are you a customer of ours?”
“I know them,” said the young man. “They are
customers of mine.”
Jimmie wondered in what way Carroll and Hastings were customers of
the white-haired young man. Judging him by his outer garments, Jimmie
guessed he was a Fifth Avenue tailor; he might be even a haberdasher.
Jimmie continued. He lived, he explained, with his mother at One
Hundred and Forty-sixth Street; Sadie, his sister, attended the public
school; he helped support them both, and he now was about to enjoy a
well-earned vacation camping out on Hunter’s Island, where he
would cook his own meals and, if the mosquitoes permitted, sleep in a
“And you like that?” demanded the young man. “You
call that fun?”
“Sure!” protested Jimmie. “Don’t you
go camping out?”
“I go camping out,” said the Good Samaritan,
“whenever I leave New York.”
Jimmie had not for three years lived in Wall Street not to
understand that the young man spoke in metaphor.
“You don’t look,” objected the young man
critically, “as though you were built for the strenuous
Jimmie glanced guiltily at his white knees.
“You ought ter see me two weeks from now,” he protested.
“I get all sunburnt and hard–hard as anything!”
The young man was incredulous.
“You were near getting sunstroke when I picked you up,”
he laughed. “If you’re going to Hunter’s Island why
didn’t you take the Third Avenue to Pelham Manor?”
“That’s right!” assented Jimmie eagerly.
“But I wanted to save the ten cents so’s to send Sadie to
the movies. So I walked.”
The young man looked his embarrassment.
“I beg your pardon,” he murmured.
But Jimmie did not hear him. From the back of the car he was
dragging excitedly at the hated suitcase.
“Stop!” he commanded. “I got ter get out. I got
The young man showed his surprise.
“Walk!” he exclaimed. “What is it–a
Jimmie dropped the valise and followed it into the roadway. It took
some time to explain to the young man. First, he had to be told about
the scout law and the one good turn a day, and that it must involve
some personal sacrifice. And, as Jimmie pointed out, changing from a
slow suburban train to a racing-car could not be listed as a sacrifice.
He had not earned the money, Jimmie argued; he had only avoided paying
it to the railroad. If he did not walk he would be obtaining the
gratitude of Sadie by a falsehood. Therefore, he must walk.
“Not at all,” protested the young man.
“You’ve got it wrong. What good will it do your sister to
have you sunstruck? I think you are sunstruck. You’re
crazy with the heat. You get in here, and we’ll talk it over as
we go along.”
Hastily Jimmie backed away. “I’d rather walk,” he
The young man shifted his legs irritably.
“Then how’ll this suit you?” he called.
“We’ll declare that first ‘one good turn’ a failure
and start afresh. Do me a good turn.”
Jimmie halted in his tracks and looked back suspiciously.
“I’m going to Hunter’s Island Inn,” called
the young man, “and I’ve lost my way. You get in here and
guide me. That’ll be doing me a good turn.”
On either side of the road, blotting out the landscape, giant hands
picked out in electric-light bulbs pointed the way to Hunter’s
Island Inn. Jimmie grinned and nodded toward them.
“Much obliged,” he called, “I got ter walk.”
Turning his back upon temptation, he wabbled forward into the
flickering heat waves.
The young man did not attempt to pursue. At the side of the road,
under the shade of a giant elm, he had brought the car to a halt and
with his arms crossed upon the wheel sat motionless, following with
frowning eyes the retreating figure of Jimmie. But the narrow-chested
and knock-kneed boy staggering over the sun-baked asphalt no longer
concerned him. It was not Jimmie, but the code preached by Jimmie, and
not only preached but before his eyes put into practice, that
interested him. The young man with white hair had been running away
from temptation. At forty miles an hour he had been running away from
the temptation to do a fellow mortal “a good turn.” That
morning, to the appeal of a drowning Cæsar to “Help me, Cassius,
or I sink,” he had answered, “Sink!” That answer he
had no wish to reconsider. That he might not reconsider he had sought
to escape. It was his experience that a sixty-horse-power
racing-machine is a jealous mistress. For retrospective, sentimental,
or philanthropic thoughts she grants no leave of absence. But he had
not escaped. Jimmie had halted him, tripped him by the heels and set
him again to thinking. Within the half-hour that followed those who
rolled past saw at the side of the road a car with her engine running,
and leaning upon the wheel, as unconscious of his surroundings as
though he sat at his own fireplace, a young man who frowned and stared
at nothing. The half-hour passed and the young man swung his car back
toward the city. But at the first roadhouse that showed a
blue-and-white telephone sign he left it, and into the iron box at the
end of the bar dropped a nickel. He wished to communicate with Mr.
Carroll, of Carroll and Hastings; and when he learned Mr. Carroll had
just issued orders that he must not be disturbed, the young man gave
The effect upon the barkeeper was instantaneous. With the aggrieved
air of one who feels he is the victim of a jest he laughed scornfully.
“What are you putting over?” he demanded.
The young man smiled reassuringly. He had begun to speak and, though
apparently engaged with the beer-glass he was polishing, the barkeeper
Down in Wall Street the senior member of Carroll and Hastings also
listened. He was alone in the most private of all his private offices,
and when interrupted had been engaged in what, of all undertakings, is
the most momentous. On the desk before him lay letters to his lawyer,
to the coroner, to his wife; and hidden by a mass of papers, but within
reach of his hand, an automatic pistol. The promise it offered of swift
release had made the writing of the letters simple, had given him a
feeling of complete detachment, had released him, at least in thought,
from all responsibilities. And when at his elbow the telephone coughed
discreetly, it was as though some one had called him from a world from
which already he had made his exit.
Mechanically, through mere habit, he lifted the receiver.
The voice over the telephone came in brisk staccato sentences.
“That letter I sent this morning? Forget it. Tear it up.
I’ve been thinking and I’m going to take a chance.
I’ve decided to back you boys, and I know you’ll make good.
I’m speaking from a roadhouse in the Bronx; going straight from
here to the bank. So you can begin to draw against us within an hour.
And–hello!–will three millions see you through?”
From Wall Street there came no answer, but from the hands of the
barkeeper a glass crashed to the floor.
The young man regarded the barkeeper with puzzled eyes.
“He doesn’t answer,” he exclaimed. “He must
have hung up.”
“He must have fainted!” said the barkeeper.
The white-haired one pushed a bill across the counter. “To pay
for breakage,” he said, and disappeared down Pelham Parkway.
Throughout the day, with the bill, for evidence, pasted against the
mirror, the barkeeper told and retold the wondrous tale.
“He stood just where you’re standing now,” he
related, “blowing in million-dollar bills like you’d blow
suds off a beer. If I’d knowed it was him, I’d have
hit him once, and hid him in the cellar for the reward. Who’d I
think he was? I thought he was a wire-tapper, working a con
Mr. Carroll had not “hung up,” but when in the Bronx the
beer-glass crashed, in Wall Street the receiver had slipped from the
hand of the man who held it, and the man himself had fallen forward.
His desk hit him in the face and woke him–woke him to the
wonderful fact that he still lived; that at forty he had been born
again; that before him stretched many more years in which, as the young
man with the white hair had pointed out, he still could make good.
The afternoon was far advanced when the staff of Carroll and
Hastings were allowed to depart, and, even late as was the hour, two of
them were asked to remain. Into the most private of the private offices
Carroll invited Gaskell, the head clerk; in the main office Hastings
had asked young Thorne, the bond clerk, to be seated.
Until the senior partner has finished with Gaskell young Thorne must
“Gaskell,” said Mr. Carroll, “if we had listened
to you, if we’d run this place as it was when father was alive,
this never would have happened. It hasn’t happened, but
we’ve had our lesson. And after this we’re going slow and
going straight. And we don’t need you to tell us how to do that.
We want you to go away–on a month’s vacation. When I
thought we were going under I planned to send the children on a
sea-voyage with the governess–so they wouldn’t see the
newspapers. But now that I can look them in the eye again, I need them,
I can’t let them go. So, if you’d like to take your wife on
an ocean trip to Nova Scotia and Quebec, here are the cabins I reserved
for the kids. They call it the Royal Suite–whatever that
is–and the trip lasts a month. The boat sails to-morrow morning.
Don’t sleep too late or you may miss her.”
The head clerk was secreting the tickets in the inside pocket of his
waistcoat. His fingers trembled, and when he laughed his voice
“Miss the boat!” the head clerk exclaimed. “If she
gets away from Millie and me she’s got to start now. We’ll
go on board to-night!”
A half-hour later Millie was on her knees packing a trunk, and her
husband was telephoning to the drug-store for a sponge bag and a cure
Owing to the joy in her heart and to the fact that she was on her
knees, Millie was alternately weeping into the trunk-tray and offering
up incoherent prayers of thanksgiving. Suddenly she sank back upon the
“John!” she cried, “doesn’t it seem sinful
to sail away in a ‘royal suite’ and leave this beautiful flat
Over the telephone John was having trouble with the drug clerk.
“No!” he explained, “I’m not sea-sick
now. The medicine I want is to be taken later. I know
I’m speaking from the Pavonia; but the Pavonia isn’t a
ship; it’s an apartment-house.”
He turned to Millie. “We can’t be in two places at the
same time,” he suggested.
“But, think,” insisted Millie, “of all the poor
people stifling to-night in this heat, trying to sleep on the roofs and
fire-escapes; and our flat so cool and big and pretty–and no one
John nodded his head proudly.
“I know it’s big,” he said, “but it
isn’t big enough to hold all the people who are sleeping to-night
on the roofs and in the parks.”
“I was thinking of your brother–and Grace,” said
Millie. “They’ve been married only two weeks now, and
they’re in a stuffy hall bedroom and eating with all the other
boarders. Think what our flat would mean to them; to be by themselves,
with eight rooms and their own kitchen and bath, and our new
refrigerator and the gramophone! It would be Heaven! It would be a real
Abandoning the drug clerk, John lifted Millie in his arms and kissed
her, for next to his wife nearest his heart was the younger
The younger brother and Grace were sitting on the stoop of the
boarding-house. On the upper steps, in their shirt-sleeves, were the
other boarders; so the bride and bridegroom spoke in whispers. The air
of the cross street was stale and stagnant; from it rose exhalations of
rotting fruit, the gases of an open subway, the smoke of passing
taxicabs. But between the street and the hall bedroom, with its odors
of a gas-stove and a kitchen, the choice was difficult.
“We’ve got to cool off somehow,” the young husband
was saying, “or you won’t sleep. Shall we treat ourselves
to ice-cream sodas or a trip on the Weehawken ferry-boat?”
“The ferry-boat!” begged the girl, “where we can
get away from all these people.”
A taxicab with a trunk in front whirled into the street, kicked
itself to a stop, and the head clerk and Millie spilled out upon the
pavement. They talked so fast, and the younger brother and Grace talked
so fast, that the boarders, although they listened intently, could make
nothing of it.
They distinguished only the concluding sentences:
“Why don’t you drive down to the wharf with us,”
they heard the elder brother ask, “and see our royal
But the younger brother laughed him to scorn.
“What’s your royal suite,” he mocked, “to
our royal palace?”
An hour later, had the boarders listened outside the flat of the
head clerk, they would have heard issuing from his bathroom the cooling
murmur of running water and from his gramophone the jubilant notes of
“Alexander’s Ragtime Band.”
When in his private office Carroll was making a present of the royal
suite to the head clerk, in the main office Hastings, the junior
partner, was addressing “Champ” Thorne, the bond clerk. He
addressed him familiarly and affectionately as “Champ.”
This was due partly to the fact that twenty-six years before Thorne had
been christened Champneys and to the coincidence that he had captained
the football eleven of one of the Big Three to the championship.
“Champ,” said Mr. Hastings, “last month, when you
asked me to raise your salary, the reason I didn’t do it was not
because you didn’t deserve it, but because I believed if we gave
you a raise you’d immediately get married.”
The shoulders of the ex-football captain rose aggressively; he
snorted with indignation.
“And why should I not get married?” he demanded.
“You’re a fine one to talk! You’re the most
offensively happy married man I ever met.”
“Perhaps I know I am happy better than you do,” reproved
the junior partner; “but I know also that it takes money to
support a wife.”
“You raise me to a hundred a week,” urged Champ,
“and I’ll make it support a wife whether it supports me or
“A month ago,” continued Hastings, “we could have
promised you a hundred, but we didn’t know how long we
could pay it. We didn’t want you to rush off and marry some fine
“Some fine girl!” muttered Mr. Thorne. “The Finest
“The finer the girl,” Hastings pointed out, “the
harder it would have been for you if we had failed and you had lost
The eyes of the young man opened with sympathy and concern.
“Is it as bad as that?” he murmured.
Hastings sighed happily.
“It was,” he said, “but this morning the
Young Man of Wall Street did us a good turn–saved us–saved
our creditors, saved our homes, saved our honor. We’re going to
start fresh and pay our debts, and we agreed the first debt we paid
would be the small one we owe you. You’ve brought us more than
we’ve given, and if you’ll stay with us we’re going
to ‘see’ your fifty and raise it a hundred. What do you
Young Mr. Thorne leaped to his feet. What he said was:
“Where’n hell’s my hat?”
But by the time he had found the hat and the door he mended his
“I say, ‘thank you a thousand times,’” he shouted
over his shoulder. “Excuse me, but I’ve got to go.
I’ve got to break the news to―”
He did not explain to whom he was going to break the news; but
Hastings must have guessed, for again he sighed happily and then, a
little hysterically, laughed aloud. Several months had passed since he
had laughed aloud.
In his anxiety to break the news Champ Thorne almost broke his neck.
In his excitement he could not remember whether the red flash meant the
elevator was going down or coming up, and sooner than wait to find out
he started to race down eighteen flights of stairs when fortunately the
elevator-door swung open.
“You get five dollars,” he announced to the elevator
man, “if you drop to the street without a stop. Beat the speed
limit! Act like the building is on fire and you’re trying to save
me before the roof falls.”
Senator Barnes and his entire family, which was his daughter
Barbara, were at the Ritz-Carlton. They were in town in August because
there was a meeting of the directors of the Brazil and Cuyaba Rubber
Company, of which company Senator Barnes was president. It was a secret
meeting. Those directors who were keeping cool at the edge of the ocean
had been summoned by telegraph; those who were steaming across the
ocean, by wireless.
Up from the equator had drifted the threat of a scandal, sickening,
grim, terrible. As yet it burned beneath the surface, giving out only
an odor, but an odor as rank as burning rubber itself. At any moment it
might break into flame. For the directors, was it the better wisdom to
let the scandal smoulder, and take a chance, or to be the first to give
the alarm, the first to lead the way to the horror and stamp it
It was to decide this that, in the heat of August, the directors and
the president had foregathered.
Champ Thorne knew nothing of this; he knew only that by a miracle
Barbara Barnes was in town; that at last he was in a position to ask
her to marry him; that she would certainly say she would. That was all
he cared to know.
A year before he had issued his declaration of independence. Before
he could marry, he told her, he must be able to support a wife on what
he earned, without her having to accept money from her father, and
until he received “a minimum wage” of five thousand dollars
they must wait.
“What is the matter with my father’s money?”
Barbara had demanded.
Thorne had evaded the direct question.
“There is too much of it,” he said.
“Do you object to the way he makes it?” insisted
Barbara. “Because rubber is most useful. You put it in golf balls
and auto tires and galoches. There is nothing so perfectly respectable
as galoches. And what is there ‘tainted’ about a
Thorne shook his head unhappily.
“It’s not the finished product to which I refer,”
he stammered; “it’s the way they get the raw
“They get it out of trees,” said Barbara. Then she
exclaimed with enlightenment―“Oh!” she cried,
“you are thinking of the Congo. There it is terrible! That
is slavery. But there are no slaves on the Amazon. The natives are free
and the work is easy. They just tap the trees the way the farmers
gather sugar in Vermont. Father has told me about it often.”
Thorne had made no comment. He could abuse a friend, if the friend
were among those present, but denouncing any one he disliked as
heartily as he disliked Senator Barnes was a public service he
preferred to leave to others. And he knew besides that, if the father
she loved and the man she loved distrusted each other, Barbara would
not rest until she learned the reason why.
One day, in a newspaper, Barbara read of the Puju Mayo atrocities,
of the Indian slaves in the jungles and back waters of the Amazon, who
are offered up as sacrifices to “red rubber.” She carried
the paper to her father. What it said, her father told her, was untrue,
and if it were true it was the first he had heard of it.
Senator Barnes loved the good things of life, but the thing he loved
most was his daughter; the thing he valued the highest was her good
opinion. So when for the first time she looked at him in doubt, he
assured her he at once would order an investigation.
“But, of course,” he added, “it will be many
months before our agents can report. On the Amazon news travels very
In the eyes of his daughter the doubt still lingered.
“I am afraid,” she said, “that that is
That was six months before the directors of the Brazil and Cuyaba
Rubber Company were summoned to meet their president at his rooms in
the Ritz-Carlton. They were due to arrive in half an hour, and while
Senator Barnes awaited their coming Barbara came to him. In her eyes
was a light that helped to tell the great news. It gave him a sharp,
jealous pang. He wanted at once to play a part in her happiness, to
make her grateful to him, not alone to this stranger who was taking her
away. So fearful was he that she would shut him out of her life that
had she asked for half his kingdom he would have parted with it.
“And besides giving my consent,” said the rubber king,
“for which no one seems to have asked, what can I give my little
girl to make her remember her old father? Some diamonds to put on her
head, or pearls to hang around her neck, or does she want a vacant lot
on Fifth Avenue?”
The lovely hands of Barbara rested upon his shoulders; her lovely
face was raised to his; her lovely eyes were appealing, and a little
“What would one of those things cost?” asked
The question was eminently practical. It came within the scope of
the senator’s understanding. After all, he was not to be cast
into outer darkness. His smile was complacent. He answered airily:
“Anything you like,” he said; “a million
The fingers closed upon his shoulders. The eyes, still frightened,
still searched his in appeal.
“Then for my wedding-present,” said the girl, “I
want you to take that million dollars and send an expedition to the
Amazon. And I will choose the men. Men unafraid; men not afraid of
fever or sudden death; not afraid to tell the truth–even to
you. And all the world will know. And they–I mean
you–will set those people free!”
Senator Barnes received the directors with an embarrassment which he
concealed under a manner of just indignation.
“My mind is made up,” he told them. “Existing
conditions cannot continue. And to that end, at my own expense, I am
sending an expedition across South America. It will investigate,
punish, and establish reforms. I suggest, on account of this damned
heat, we do now adjourn.”
That night, over on Long Island, Carroll told his wife all, or
nearly all. He did not tell her about the automatic pistol. And
together on tiptoe they crept to the nursery and looked down at their
sleeping children. When she rose from her knees the mother said,
“But how can I thank him?”
By “him” she meant the Young Man of Wall Street.
“You never can thank him,” said Carroll;
“that’s the worst of it.”
But after a long silence the mother said: “I will send him a
photograph of the children. Do you think he will understand?”
Down at Seabright, Hastings and his wife walked in the sunken
garden. The moon was so bright that the roses still held their
“I would like to thank him,” said the young wife. She
meant the Young Man of Wall Street. “But for him we would have
Her eyes caressed the garden, the fruit-trees, the house with wide,
hospitable verandas. “To-morrow I will send him some of these
roses,” said the young wife. “Will he understand that they
mean our home?”
At a scandalously late hour, in a scandalous spirit of independence,
Champ Thorne and Barbara were driving around Central Park in a
“How strangely the Lord moves, his wonders to perform,”
misquoted Barbara. “Had not the Young Man of Wall Street saved
Mr. Hastings, Mr. Hastings could not have raised your salary; you would
not have asked me to marry you, and had you not asked me to marry you,
father would not have given me a wedding-present, and―”
“And,” said Champ, taking up the tale, “thousands
of slaves would still be buried in the jungles, hidden away from their
wives and children, and the light of the sun and their fellow men. They
still would be dying of fever, starvation, tortures.”
He took her hand in both of his and held her finger-tips against his
“And they will never know,” he whispered, “when
their freedom comes, that they owe it all to you.”
On Hunter’s Island Jimmie Reeder and his bunkie, Sam Sturges,
each on his canvas cot, tossed and twisted. The heat, the moonlight,
and the mosquitoes would not let them even think of sleep.
“That was bully,” said Jimmie, “what you did
to-day about saving that dog. If it hadn’t been for you
he’d ha’ drownded.”
“He would not!” said Sammy with punctilious
regard for the truth; “it wasn’t deep enough.”
“Well, the scout-master ought to know,” argued Jimmie;
“he said it was the best ‘one good turn’ of the
Modestly Sam shifted the limelight so that it fell upon his
“I’ll bet,” he declared loyally,
“your ‘one good turn’ was a better one!”
Jimmie yawned, and then laughed scornfully.
“Me,” he scoffed, “I didn’t do nothing. I
sent my sister to the movies.”