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The Lone Scout's Christmas
A Christmas Story for Boys
Continued from Page 1
Henry was of a mechanical turn of mind and he realized
that doubtless the coupling had broken. That was what had happened. The
trainmen had not noticed it and the train had gone on and left the coach.
The break had occurred at the crest of the divide and the train had gone
rapidly down hill on the other side. The amount of snow told the boy that
it would not be possible for the train to back up and pick up the car. He
was alone in the wilderness of rolling hills in far western Nebraska. And
this was Christmas Eve!
It was enough to bring despair to any boy's heart. But Henry Ives was made
of good stuff, he was a first-class Boy Scout and on his scout coat in the
trunk were four Merit Badges. He had the spirit of his father, who had
often bucked the November storms on Lake Superior in his great
six-hundred-foot freighter, and danger inspired him.
He went back into the car, closed the door, and sat down to think it over.
He had very vague ideas as to how long such a storm would last and how
long he might be kept prisoner. He did not even know just where he was or
how far it was to the end of the road and the town where his uncle's ranch
It was growing dark so he lighted one of the lamps close to the heater and
had plenty of light. In doing so he noticed in the baggage rack a dinner
pail. He remembered that the conductor had told him that his wife had
packed that dinner pail and although it did not belong to the boy he felt
justified in appropriating it in such circumstances. It was full of
food—eggs, sandwiches, and a bottle of coffee. He was not very hungry but
he ate a sandwich. He was even getting cheerful about the situation
because he had something to do. It was an adventure.
While he had been eating, the storm had died away. Now he discovered that
it had stopped snowing. All around him the country was a hilly, rolling
prairie. The cut ran through a hill which seemed to be higher than others
in the neighbourhood. If he could get on top of it he might see where he
was. Although day was ending it was not yet dark and Henry decided upon an
Now he could not walk on foot in that deep and drifted snow without
sinking over his head under ordinary conditions, but his troop had done a
great deal of winter work, and strapped alongside of his big, telescope
grip were a pair of snow-shoes which he himself had made, and with the use
of which he was thoroughly familiar.
"I mustn't spoil this new suit," he told himself, so he ran to the
baggage-room of the car, opened his trunk, got out his Scout uniform and
slipped into it in a jiffy. "Glad I ran in that 'antelope dressing race,'"
he muttered, "but I'll beat my former record now." Over his khaki coat he
put on his heavy sweater, then donned his wool cap and gloves, and with
his snow-shoes under his arm hurried back to the rear platform. The snow
was on a level with the platform. It rose higher as the coach reached into
the cut. He saw that he would have to go down some distance before he
could turn and attempt the hill.
He had used his snow-shoes many times in play but this was the first time
they had ever been of real service to him. Thrusting his toes into the
straps he struck out boldly.