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A Good Fish Story on the Upper Sacramento River.

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with you.

My companion's voice roused me from these hurried reflections.

“I don't mind telling you," he said, “that some of our boys at the camp play foot-ball. I was thinking we might arrange a match

You would have to come up to the camp and play, of course, as the boys would not care to play in public, but we might possibly bring it about. They would do it just for the fun of the thing."

“To be sure—and the practice,” I added.

I imagined he pulled the bridle again rather suddenly at this, as the horse's hoofs clattered sharply behind me for a few seconds; but I hastened to add carelessly that the proposed game would be good fun for both sides, and that I was in for it if he was.

“Can we play where you suggest?” I finished. "I should think there would be no place suitable near your camp."

"I shall have to explain something to you before we get there," was his response, less cheerfully given. "Otherwise you would be surprised at what you will see—which is nothing less than a football 'gridiron' carefully cleared and leveled off, and completely equipped for playing on.”

"Is it possible?” I exclaimed.

“Yes--you see, to be perfectly candid with you" (which he was not altogether, although he was doing nobly with a very difficult situation), “my friends are football players in season, when they are in the city, and they come up here to indulge in quiet practice, away from the crowds, and in the bracing, healthful atmosphere of a new climate and

new surroundings. That is why you will see a first-class foot-ball field adjoining our camp; and there we may possibly arrange to have a little game some time later in the month, providing my friends are willing, and that you and your friends will respect our desire for seclusion and will keep quiet about it while in town.”

I answered him with a monosyllable which he took for assent; and thereupon both of us fell into silence, he as though he had talked too much already, and I for the reason that I had a lot of thinking to do in private.

So we plodded through the dark of the night mountains in silence for the next three or four hours, when we stopped to light a fire, to rest, and to eat a bite from a lunch which my companion had brought with him.

Another very long and very wearisome travel brought us into daylight, and almost with the coming of the dawn a circle of white tents broke upon my vision through the trees, and I knew we were at the end of our journey.

My companion seemed half dead for sleep, which was the way I felt, and he beckoned me to follow him in silence, while he, after dismounting and turning the horse loose, made his way around the tented circle to an open door, and invited me to enter.

“My quarters," he mumbled sleepily. “Happen to be empty, by good luck. Pile in; we shan't be disturbed until we've rested awhile. There's room for two in these blankets. Good-night—and he was sound asleep.

I crept in by his side and lay down, but

though I was painfully tired and had been sleepy but a moment ago, I now found myself seized with that brilliant wakefulness which must follow a nervous fatigue, and which was to precede an inevitable period of drowsy exhaustion later on. In this accented alertness I could hear the slightest sound that fell upon the early morning air, even to the dropping of pine needles in the woods, the hopping of birds from limb to limb, the fluttering of wings and the swaying of the trees in a very light breeze. Soon I began to hear footsteps in various directions, and they moved as though the persons making them were still rubbing their eyes and yawning.

In the tent next to the one I occupied I presently heard voices in the half-articulate and rather stupid speech of men just waking from sleep, and heard them stretching their arms above their heads and kicking out lazily with their feet.

“Time to get up," said one, with his hand on his mouth. “Glory! but these mornings in California are fine.”

“They're just as fine in the mountains of Pennsylvania,” said another voice. “I'll be be glad to get back there and try them."

"It will be winter before you can do that,” was the reply.

“Yes, I suppose we'll have to stay the term out for the sake of keeping up the gag. Do you know how long they're going to hold us up here practicing ?”

"Until their college opens. Then we're to become full-fledged Hanford freshmen; that's the blooming part of it that amuses

To think of my coming to be a freshman here after being a senior at Cornell and a third-year foot-ball man!”

"You're well-paid for it, my boy; and it's a jolly lark. I was a soph at Pennsylvania, and played my second year on the 'varsity; but you don't hear me kicking."

"You're the best kicker in the country," was the retort. “That's why you're engaged to leave your happy Pennsylvania home and come out here to help a young California university lick its overgrown rival on the gridiron. What do you suppose the overgrown rival would say if it knew that Baxter, the famous Pennsylvania dropkicker-the greatest kicker, as I have said, in the country,-were up here on the mountain-top making ready to go down next Thanksgiving and kick its foot-ball hopes in

to the middle of next term? Come on, get up."

I could not imagine what the "overgrown rival” would say, for there I lay unable to say anything, although I was a part of the overgrown rival myself, and was now in possession of the whole astonishing truth!

Hanford had imported from the big col. leges of the East enough first-class foot-ball players to make a team, and these were to be entered at that university as freshmen with the beginning of the next term! They were then to be “discovered," one by one, as likely candidates for

university eleven; were to be “tried," put through a pretense of training and finally entered against the Buckeley team on Thanksgiving day!

Our college rules were that a 'varsity player must be a student at the university in good standing, a non-professional, and a man who had played less than four years on a regular 'varsity eleven. Technically, if all these Easterners could be enrolled as Hanford students and had not played the limit of four years on any 'varsity team, or teams, they were eligible to play against us, whether we found them out and exposed them or not.

"I wonder if Dalton's got back yet," said one of the voices in the next tent. “Poke your hand in and see.”

A hand came under the canvas and tapped me in the ribs.

“Yes, he's there," said the owner of the hand; and then he shook me violently, calling on me to wake up and tell him the news.

“Yes, you Rip Van Winkle,” said the other. “Open up. Got any letters for us?”

"He's dead," was the first one's comment. "Let him alone."

But here was an opportunity that was not to be lost, so I assumed as sleepy a tone as I could, by talking into the blankets, and asked what the matter was.

“Matter?" echoed one of the voices next door-'plenty of matter. Here we've been buried alive for a week without a newspaper or a word of writing, and you come serenely home with your pockets full of stuff and fall calmly to sleep without giving us a scrap. Come, hand 'em out."

"There are no letters for you," I said.

“No letters!” cried the invisible voices, indignantly; "didn't vou go to Redding?"

“I have arrived from there just now," I re

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plied.

A deal of grumbling from both parties in the next tent followed, in which various relations and friends were mentioned in a way I'm glad they never knew of; then one of the voices asked me if there were any lettrs for Driscol.

“What was that absurd name he gave them to address him by?" continued the voice, at a pause.

“Locsird Selrahc," I replied promptly.

“That was it," said the other. “Did you get any letter addressed to that name?"

“None," I answered.

"Well, in that case, Driscol told me to tell you that you were to turn loose this last carrier"—here the tent wall was lifted high enough to admit a small wooden box, which I took. "Turn the bird loose, old Somnus,

posure meant ruin to them—ruin in many directions. It was a disaster they would prevent with the extremest measures, if

There were big things to be sorted out of the confusion, and not the least was the fact that here was a lone Buckeley student all but lost in a mountain wilderness forty miles from friends, a camp of enemies at his back whom he had invaded and despoiled, and the chances of their capturing him about as thick as the leaves in the forest. In the possession of this dangerous intruder was complete knowledge of all their most vital plans for which they had made sacrifices of money, pleasure, comfort,and some little honor, if the point were squeezed; and to which they had proposed giving up an entire vacation. This was something more than a little afternoon frolic. Ex

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and then go back to your dreams."

"I'm going," I replied.

Taking the pigeon from the box and thrusting it into my coat, I crawled out of the tent and went.

CHAPTER V. Donaldson Goes to the City. With my hat fairly lifting with the bristling secrets which were now crowded under it, so that it felt ready to pop off like a hot skittle-lid, I took to the woods on my tip-toes and started down the mountain side. I had a kind of feeling that I was passing through nature's bedroom before she was quite awake, and should have to be very silent about it till I was out—for that is how the woods will awe an early-morning adventurer; but in the lightness of my tread just now there was caution of another kind, too, and I wanted to find a sheltered place where I might rest and untangle my sensations.

necessary. And the more I thought of this the more lonely the dawn-washed woods felt to me, and the farther I seemed from Tom and Donaldson.

I soon found a hiding place in which to sleep, in a huge pile of rocks-being too sleepy to reflect that a pursuer would ransack that place first of all if he should strike the neighborhood—and had scarcely crawled into it before I was down on

my back asleep.

Imagine my relief when I awoke to find myself still undiscovered and apparently unsought. I arose and made a hurried inspection of the neighborhood for half a mile around and saw no sign that any other human being than I had ever snapped a twig in that tremendous solitude. It seemed that I had not been followed, whether I was suspected or not.

Hungry as I was, I felt strangely rested, and looked to see where the sun was that I might be guided by it on my way toward

Redding. It hung low over the mountains, we use any of our last year's players it will as though it might be setting; but somehow be only as a blind, since we really don't need it had the smell of being on the rise, and I one of them. These Easterners are wonders.

I have twenty-two of them here, and will rubbed my eyes and sniffed the air to see

select the best. I want you to see them play if I had not slept twenty-four hours instead

and help me with your advice, but perhaps of twelve. I speedily found that such was you would better stay there long enough to the case. Small wonder then that I felt keep things quiet while school is breaking

up and the boys are starting away on their rested !

vacations.

The

enemy is always more Suddenly I put my hand into the breast of

watchful then than at other times. my coat and pulled out the pigeon, almost

And now I'll tell vou how the boys are to fearing to look at it. But it was undeni- find us, and how you are to come. Take the avly alive. I had not rolled on it, nor had

train to Redding one at a time. Every Sat

urday Dalton goes to Redding for supplies, it been able to get out. That it still breathed

and he will “do the rest” when he sees any was even a“ greater wonder, but breathe

of our boys there. Don't make any sign of it did, although somewhat wheezily. I held recognition, but just let him do the acting. it in my hand while I walked the first ten He'll get you here safe enough. None of the miles after that, then I sat down and gazed

rest of us go to town, as it would attract

attention to see many strangers of our class at it with a hungry eye. Clearly Provi

loafing around. Somebody might follow us dence nad spared it for my breakfast. Yet and ask too many questions. when it looked up at me it seemed to say Let one of the boys—(you had best send that just we two were all alone up there in

Slade and Halbeck)-bring another lot of

pigeons with him. the wilds, and that we were bound together

There's nothing else of importance to tell by a sympathy of interest. Doubtless the

you. Send as many boxes of good things to bird felt as far away from anywhere as I eat as you please, and address ihem all to

Locsird Selrahc. Dalton has a room in town did, despite the inexplicable instinct which

where he stores our supplies, and he will would steer him straight home if I were to

bring us what he can carry on a couple of let him go.

horses twice a month. I took the message off of him and put it

The only thing that we have to jear is that

he will get careless some day and let somein my pocket. Tuen I grabbed him by the

body follow him up here. Still these counneck-very gently, for fear of hurting him! try chaps are easily satisfied, and I can con-and, unclasping my fingers, smoothed coct a yarn that will send any inquisitive down his ruffled plumage with friendly cour

fellow about his business if one should haptesy and restored him to the inside of my

pen to come in spite of Dalton's precaution.

Yours as ever, coat. The message I unpocketed and read-

L. S. and it was indicative of how excited I must have been, up to now, that I had not done

I smiled and put the note back in my this before. It ran as follows:

pocket. Then I sheltered the pigeon under

my blouse and resumed my long tramp on an To W. G.-Wny do I not hear from any of

empty stomach down the hills to Redding. yon? Write me immediately whether you have received my messages. Perhaps you are

The morning after my arrival, tired and wondering why I haven't written to you, but half-starved, at our rooms—where I caused when I explain that Dalton contrived to let no end of a sensation, you may be sureloose a pigeon without any message on it Donaldson got on the train and went to San last Wednesday you will understand why

Francisco. Tom and I stayed in our rooms you failed to receive the communication I promised to send you. However, of course,

to the point, as the big toe said when it my father has passed over to you my mes

entered the stocking." sages to him, as he regards you as next to "You'll get to the point next Monday all myself in this enterprise. Of course you are right,” I said. “I shall strike for the mounpractically in charge of that end of it, and I have no fear that anything will go wrong

tains to-night. This is Friday Dalton, the there under your direction. This message

Hanford factotum, will come to town to-which goes by the very last pigeon we morrow. I'll miss him on the way up and have—is to say that we are ready for the have a clear field to work in while he's away. other boys to join us now. I don't think we

Now, don't fail to do your part, mind you, can use more than two or three of the old team, as I have men here that are much bet

not later than Monday.” ter. I do not intend to play myself. Even if

"Monday it will be,” said Donaldson.

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