> in strong gusts. See, now it
Copyright, 1922, by David O.
Cook Publishing Company.
' DAVID C. COOK PUBLISHING
COMPANY, Excin, ILtrNots.
August 19, 1922.
instead he stopped,
shore a moment and
stared down at the
then exclaimed, “Why, it looks like a sil
“Tt’s a balloon hanging right over our
old camping, ground!” cried Joseph Webb,
The boys raced down the beach, forget-
ting that they had had a long tramp out
from town and were tired and rayenously
The balloon hung low, about twelve feet
from the ground. The weighted, dangling
anchor rope had caught between two rocks
and held it there firmly in spite of its bob-
bing and tugging and struggling to get
away, There was no basket or car beneath
the balloon but there was a complicated
network of ropes.
“ Wouldn’t it be jolly to climb up there
and sit in the rigging?” exclaimed Bob, as
he seized the anchor rope.
Ilis tugging brought the bobbing silver
bell a little nearer the ground. “ Let
pull it down!” he cried excitedly,
Joe grasped the rope too, and the balloon
swung a little lower.
“Hooray!” shouted Robert. : With
quick spring, he caught one of the lower
loops of rope and swung himself up to a
saddlelike arrangement just under the bal-
loon. ‘Come. on up, Joe,” he cried. “It’s
a8 ‘pesitated.” - He was neither as agile
nor as adventurous as his companion, but
after repeated urgings and a little help
from Bob, he found himself seated -up
emons the ropes in another saddlelike
. “Ten't it fine?” demanded Bob as soon-
as Joe was settled. “ And don’t you.get a
different view of things from here?”
“Yes, you do,” agreed Joe, “an unsteady
~ sort of view.” :
fee “It is jouncing more than it did,” ex-
» Claimed Bob,
“and it shouldn't with your
“Tt is the wind,” “Tt comes
“But what is that noise?”
A vibrating, rumbling sound floated up
from below. It seemed tu come right out
of the earth. The boys listened and looked
about curiously, but it was a minute or
two before they
thing to do with the anchor rope.
“Tt must be rubbing against Pemethin’, ”
“Tt is! Look! Oh, Bob, it is almost
cut through! Joe pointed down as they
floated for an instant directly over the
crevice in which the rope was caught. A
sharp layer of stone jutted out about four
feet from the top and against this the rope
had sawed and rubbed with every motion
of the balloon until now only a thin strand
of it was -left.
“To am going to get down!” Joe made a
sudden” movement, and. they
violently to one side. Then they bobbed
up, jounced down azain, floated gently for
When they reached it.
_ the boys stood gazing up at it, fascinated.
realized that it had some- :
Bye E Gale
a moment and then twirled dizzily, round
and round, They clutched the ropes. to
keep from falling. Land and water and
sky looked as if they had been beaten up
together in a mixing bow
* OQov-00-00 1" cried Robert.
“Umm-mm-mm!” said Joe.
They both closed their eyes to shut out
the giddy confusion of things, and when
they opened them again they found that
they were moving quickly and smoothly out
over the bay. For a minute neither of
them spoke; st looked at each other
with seed, questioning eyes. And t!
Bob answered the- question that was in
both boys’. minds,
“There is nothing we ean do but sit here
and hold fast,” he s:
nd, as if to emphasize the need of
holding tightly, the wind caught the bal-
loon again, lifted it up, carried it along
swiftly for a short distance and then spun
it giddily around.
“This is exciting!” cried Robert when
they had once more settled down to a little
.smoother going, “It would be great sport
if only we were not so—so—”
“So scared,” finished Joe. “We may
as well be honest about it—we are dread-
fully seared. I am anyway.”
“Tt is not going to be pleasant if we
keep right on going and nobody. sees us,”
They fell silent again. then after a while
Joe spoke, “The thing I am afraid of is
that I'll get so dizzy sometime when we
spin around that way that-I'll drop off.”
“Perhaps we shall get used to spin-
returned Bob. “But.” he added
. “in case we don’t, just to be on
le, suppose we tie ourselves fast.
There seems to be plenty of rope hanging
They each cut off a dangling end that
seemed. to serve no particular purpose,
and. tying it under their arms, fastened
themselves securely in their seats. Being
free now from the fear of falling they be-
gan to look about them carefully.
The wind blew more evenly now, but
~of light mist.
- the horizon.
they were being carried more rapidly than
Cape Dodd, at the
ever away from shore.
em lay the ocean, s
they could see. They watched the shore’
grow dimmer and dimmer behind a curtain
Over their heads there was
a faint creaking of ropes, and beneath them
was the‘ rolling ocean. They had stopped
Finally the shore disappeared, and then
“Tf we hadn't meddled with something >
that didn’t belong to us we wouldn't be in
this scrape,” he said gloomily.
Robert grunted his agreement, and then
there was another long silence, : Again it
was Joe who broke it.
“Tlow long do you suppose we can
travel like thix without coming to anything
at all?’ he asked. But- before Bob could
answer he sat up- with a wild, joyous
shout. “Look! Look! he cried, “ the
wind has changed, and we are. drifting
back to shore.”
Robert turned and saw a dark. line on
Tle shouted, too. He was in
high good spirits for a few minutes, but as
the dark spot grew larger and more dis-
tinct he grew serious. _ Where were the
familiar mountains and hills? Where was
the Cobbington Light? And what had be-
come of all the other landmarks?
After a while he said slowly: “ That is
not. our shore at all.”
“Well, it can't be Europe,” exclaimed
Joe. “and there is no other land around.”
; “Y-yes, there is,” said Robert thought-
fully, “Dad used to tell me about some
island off the coast here, Scrap Island, he
called it. Nobody has been. there for
years’ and years, though, because the wa-
ters around it are so dangerous—mostly
shoals aud sandbars and hidden rocks.
nly a rowboat can get to it and. of
course nobody ever comes all this distance
from shore now that they know there is
nothing there but a few scrubby trees and
a lot of stones.”
“What did they expect to find there?’
“Treasure. There is an old story about
the pirates using it for one of their hiding
places, but that is probably just a fairy
tale.” Robert was not very much inter-
el in what he was saying. Te had
something else on his mind,
They could see now that the land ahead
was an island and not a very large one
either, and he was wondering what their
chances were for making a landing there.
Joe was. talking, but he scarcely heard a
word that was said. His whole mind was
centered on the direction the balloon was
taking, Finally he drew a long breath of
. “If we don’t strike the isla: ad, we can
try for one of the sand bars.” he said,
“There are lots of them around, and it
looks like pretty shallow. water between
them. See the wind has fallen, too. We
are not traveling so fast as we were.”
* Look,” returned Joe, “what is that?
Maybe we won't want to land at all. Do
you see that thing crawling around on the
ridge near the center of the island?”
Robert, watched for a moment, puzzled,
Robert caught one of the lower loopa of rope and
swung himeelf u}
and then three dark objects crossed the
ridge. The boys both laughed with joy.
“* Tlooray 2” they shouted, ‘ People!
But they were not men, they were boys
and they seemed to see what Robert and
Joe had not yet noticed—that the balloon
hung so low that it was in danger of col-
liding with the ridge of rocks that ran
down the center of the island. Under the
direction of the largest one the boys gath-
ered in the path of the balloon, and as it
approached, reached for the daugling an-
chor rope. The tallest boy caught it and,
with the help of the other two,. pulled it
down until Bob and Joe could climb from
“My! I am glad you were here!” ex-
“You can't be so glad to see us, as we
are to see you,” returned the tallest boy,
offering Bob his hand, “ we have been here
over three weeks and—Well,” be grinned,
“T hope you like it.”
They ciutched the ropes to keep frum falling.
“ Any kind of land is better than none,”
replied Bob, “It is solid and safe.”
Then Bob introduced himself and Joe,
and found that the tall boy was Vhillip
Snow and one of his companions was his
younger brother, Martin, and the other a
friend, Arthur Tredwell. All three of them
looked thin and haggard. .
“Those names -seem familiar,’ mused
Bob. “Say, you are not the boys who
were reported drowned a while ago, are
you? read about them in the paper.
They were on a picnic down at Barris
Point and went out fishing and a squall.
came up an
“And drove. them to this island ‘where
the boat was wrecked but they escaped
with their lives finished Thillip. “ Yes,
we are. the bo;
“TIard’ on the folks at home, “isn't it?”
said’ Arthur, “* thinking, all the time that
we are drowned.”
Everybody looked worried ‘for a‘ minute
and then Joe began to take packages out of
his pockets, and from a-pack at his side.
“Tt was dinner, time before we left’ shore,”
he observed. “Tt must be supper time