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Harper's Young People, June 29, 1880   By:

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[Illustration: HARPER'S




Tuesday, June 29, 1880. Copyright, 1880, by HARPER & BROTHERS. $1.50 per Year, in Advance.

[Illustration: A SOUP EXPLOSION.]

[Begun in YOUNG PEOPLE No. 31, June 1.]




It was a terrific storm. The wind swept down the river, raising a ridge of white water in its path. The rain came down harder, so the boys thought, than they had ever seen it come down before, and the glare of the lightning and the crash of the thunder were frightful.

"What luck it is that we got the tent pitched in time!" exclaimed Joe. "We're as dry and comfortable here as if we were in a house."

"Pick your blankets up quick, boys," cried Harry. "Here's the water coming in under the tent."

Joe had boasted a little too soon. The water running down the side of the hill was making its way in large quantities into the tent. To save their clothes and blankets the boys had to stand up and hold them in their arms, which was by no means a pleasant occupation, especially as the cold rain water was bathing their feet.

"It can't last long," remarked Tom. "We're all right if the lightning doesn't strike us."

"Where's the powder?" asked Harry.

"Oh, it's in the flask," replied Joe, "and I've got the flask in my pocket."

"So, if the lightning strikes the tent, we'll all be blown up!" exclaimed Harry. "This is getting more and more pleasant."

The boys were not yet at the end of their troubles. The rain had loosened the earth, and the tent pins, of which only four had been used, could no longer hold the tent. So, while they were talking about the powder, the tent suddenly blew down, upsetting the boys as it fell, and burying them under the wet canvas.

"Lie still, fellows," said Tom, as the other boys tried to wriggle out from under the tent. "We've got to get wet now, anyway; but perhaps, if we stay as we are, we can manage to keep the blankets dry."

The wet tent felt miserably cold as it clung to their heads and shoulders, but the boys kept under it, and held their blankets and spare shirts wrapped tightly in their arms. Luckily the storm was nearly at an end when the tent blew down, and a few moments later the rain ceased, and the crew of the Whitewing , in a very damp condition, crept out and congratulated themselves that they had escaped with no worse injury than a wet skin.

"Where are the rubber blankets?" asked Harry.

"Rolled up with the other blankets," answered everybody.

"It won't do to tell when we get home," remarked Harry, "that instead of using the water proof blankets to keep ourselves dry, we used ourselves to keep the water proofs dry. It's the most stupid thing we've done yet; and I'm as bad as anybody else."

"It was a good deal worse to pitch a tent without digging a trench around it," said Tom. "If I'd dug a trench two inches deep just back of that tent, not a drop of water would have run into it."

"And I don't think much of the plan of using only four pins to hold a tent down when a hurricane is coming on," said Joe.

"And I think the least said by a fellow who carries two pounds of powder in his pocket in a thunder storm, the better," added Jim.

It took some time to bail the water out of the boat, for the rain and the spray from the river had half filled it. But the shower had cooled the air, and the boys were glad to be at work again after their confinement in the tent. They were soon ready to start; and rowing easily and steadily, they passed through the Highlands, and reached a nice camping spot, on the east bank of the river below Poughkeepsie, before half past five.

This time they selected a place to pitch the tent with great care. It was easy to find the high water mark on the shore, and the tent was pitched a little above it, so as to be safe from a disaster like that of the previous night... Continue reading book >>

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