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The Outdoor Chums on the Gulf   By:

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THE OUTDOOR CHUMS ON THE GULF

Or, Rescuing the Lost Balloonists

by

CAPTAIN QUINCY ALLEN

Author of The Outdoor Chums , The Outdoor Chums on the Lake , The Outdoor Chums after Big Game , etc.

1911

CONTENTS

I UNDER SEALED ORDERS II CAUGHT IN A FIRE TRAP III HEADED SOUTH IV JERRY MEETS TROUBLE HALF WAY V THE FIRST CAMPFIRE VI THE SWAMP FUGITIVE VII A FLORIDA SHERIFF VIII WILL DOES IT IX THE MOTOR BOAT AND THE PROWLERS X BLUFF'S FIRST 'GATOR XI ALL THE COMFORTS OF SALT WATER XII THE BREAKDOWN OF THE MOTOR XIII LOST IN THE FOG XIV A CRY ACROSS THE LAGOON XV A VISIT TO THE MYSTERIOUS SHARPIE XVI JOE XVII STUCK ON AN OYSTER BAR XVIII TROUBLE XIX WHAT HAPPENED TO JERRY XX LYING IN AMBUSH FOR BIG GAME XXI A STRENUOUS NIGHT XXII THE MESSAGE FROM THE AIR XXIII A DASH UPON THE GULF XXIV THE "NORTHER" XXV THE SECRET OF THE SEALED PACKET CONCLUSION

CHAPTER I

UNDER SEALED ORDERS

"Now KEEP your word, Frank, and tell us the news!"

"Yes, you got us to come to your house tonight under a promise, remember. What wonderful thing has happened to make you look so tickled?"

"Talk to me about the Sphinx! Frank has the old relic beaten to a frazzle!"

Three boys gathered eagerly around the fourth as they bombarded him after this fashion. Frank Langdon looked at the faces of his chums and laughed again.

"Well, it would be a shame to keep you squirming on the anxious seat any longer, boys, and I'm going to take you into my confidence just as fast as I can. Sit down and hold your oars. Jerry, pull that stool up; Will, the settee must do for you and Bluff. Now, are you ready?" he asked, tantalizingly.

"Crazy to hear!" was the characteristic reply of Bluff, otherwise Richard Masters, son of Centerville's greatest lawyer.

"Tell me about that, will you?" exclaimed Jerry Wallington.

"Please go on before we explode!" begged Will Milton.

"These things always have a beginning, you know. This one happens to be founded on the fact that we are close to our annual Christmas vacation, and that this year it happens that we're going to enjoy two full weeks you know that?" said Frank.

"Of course we do, thanks to that steam heater getting out of order. But don't rehash old stuff. That's history by now. What we want is the meat in the cocoanut. Please hit for the bull's eye, first chop," pleaded Will.

"I was wondering what we would do with ourselves during that time. There's old Jesse Wilcox, the trapper, who invited us up to spend a week with him and see how he runs out his string of traps in cold weather, catching muskrats, mink, 'coons, foxes and all such things in more or less abundance. We had about decided that we would accept, and I was even getting ready to go when something happened."

"Talk to me about your tantalizing chaps, did you ever meet up with one as bad as Frank can be when he knows the rest of us are so keen to hear?" cried Jerry.

"What was it?" demanded Bluff.

"I had a letter that changed my mind," replied Frank.

"Not from old Jesse?"

"Well, hardly, for I don't believe the old fellow can write. This was from one of my cousins, a fellow several years older than myself. You met him about a year ago when he stopped with us a few days."

"You must mean Archie Dunn," said Will.

"Go up head, Will. Archie it was. I was glad enough to get a letter from him, but when I read what he had to propose I thought I should have a fit."

"Just as we will, unless you hurry your yarn," growled Jerry, moving uneasily.

"Well, Archie wrote that he had laid out a plan for his amusement this winter. You know he is independent, having come into quite a snug fortune. He is as fond of outdoor life as any member of this club, and, having a tutor to accompany him, is able to do lots of splendid stunts that less fortunate chaps can only dream about."

"The lucky dog!" commented Bluff, enviously.

"It seems that this year he was about to carry out a long cherished plan of his... Continue reading book >>




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