Frank Merriwell’s Champions - Burt L. Standish - ebook

Frank Merriwell’s Champions ebook

burt l standish

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The story of the brave hero, Frank Merriwell, continues. The plot develops in Lake Lily Athletic Club. Club members practiced archery in the mountains. But it is not that simple. Guys again pass through an unforgettable adventure. Readers can witness another bright story.

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Liczba stron: 364

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Contents

CHAPTER I. FRANK AND HIS FRIENDS

CHAPTER II. THE LAKE LILY ATHLETIC CLUB

CHAPTER III. SHOOTING AT THE DISK OF GOLD

CHAPTER IV. BRUCE BROWNING’S ADVENTURE

CHAPTER V. HAMMOND’S PLOT

CHAPTER VI. NELL RETURNS A KINDNESS

CHAPTER VII. BY THE WATERS OF LAKE LILY

CHAPTER VIII. A FAIR GUIDE

CHAPTER IX. THE VALIANT DUTCH BOY

CHAPTER X. NELL’S LETTER

CHAPTER XI. A TRAITOR AND A SPY

CHAPTER XII. HARLOW’S DISCOMFITURE

CHAPTER XIII. AGAINST ODDS

CHAPTER XIX. FRANK AND ELSIE

CHAPTER XX. A BOXING MATCH

CHAPTER XVI. THE CLUB MEETING

CHAPTER XVII. THE EIGHT-OAR SHELL

CHAPTER XVIII. THE RACE

CHAPTER XIX. A RESCUE ON THE ROAD

CHAPTER XX. AT SPRINGBROOK FARM

CHAPTER XXI. TWO ENCOUNTERS

CHAPTER XXII. HANS USES THE HOSE

CHAPTER XXIII. CHOICE OF PONIES

CHAPTER XXIV. THE FIRST GO

CHAPTER XXV. THE END OF THE GAME

CHAPTER XXVI. BEFORE THE HUNT

CHAPTER XXVII. THE HUNT

CHAPTER XXVIII. A CHANGE OF SCENE

CHAPTER XXIX. FRANK MEETS DEFEAT

CHAPTER XXX. FRANK EXPRESSES HIS OPINION

CHAPTER XXXI. THE FIRST BLOW

CHAPTER XXXII. A SURPRISE PARTY

CHAPTER XXXIII. A GIRL’S REMORSE

CHAPTER XXXIV. A FIGHT AGAINST ODDS

CHAPTER XXXV. MERRIWELL’S CLOSE CALL

CHAPTER XXXVI. AN EXPLOSION COMING

CHAPTER XXXVII. THE LAST BLO. CONCLUSION

CHAPTER I. FRANK AND HIS FRIENDS

Ping! pang! crash!

Frank Merriwell, making a sharp turn in a narrow mountain path, felt his bicycle strike something which gave under his weight with a snapping, musical sound, and almost precipitated him over the handle bars of his machine.

Bart Hodge, who was close behind, checked himself with difficulty, and sang out:

“What’s wrong, Frank?”

“Smashed a music box, I guess,” answered Frank, leaping down and coming back.

In single file behind Frank Merriwell and his chum, Bart Hodge, came the other members of the bicycle party–fat and lazy Bruce Browning; the gallant Virginian, Jack Diamond; merry-hearted Harry Rattleton; the Yankee youth, Ephraim Gallup; the Dutch boy, Hans Dunnerwust; the lad with Irish blood in his veins and a brogue to boot, Barney Mulloy, and Toots, the colored boy, who when at home worked around the Merriwell homestead.

In the previous volumes of this series we have related how Frank and his Yale chums started out from college for a tour on wheels to San Francisco. This great journey was safely accomplished, and now the boys were on their way to the East once more. They had journeyed in various ways through California, Texas, Missouri, Kentucky and other States, and had now reached the mountain region in the southwestern part of Virginia. They had left the railroad at the entrance to the valley, and were now journeying by a little-used path to the pretty little summer resort of Glendale, situated by the side of a lake near the top of the Blue Ridge range.

A view of Glendale and the lake, which was known as Lake Lily, had been given them a minute before, at the top of a rise, as they were about to plunge into the bit of woodland, where the path made its short turn and brought to Merriwell the accident just mentioned.

The attractiveness of the view was not lessened to Frank Merriwell and his friends by the rustic cottages stretching along the shores of the lake and the flag that floated above them, proclaiming the place the summer camp of the Lake Lily Athletic Club.

“It’s a violin,” Frank regretfully announced, picking up the instrument that had been crushed by his wheel and holding it for the others to see. “I don’t––”

His words were checked by a movement in the bushes, and a youth of nineteen or twenty pushed himself into view. He wore an outing suit of blue flannel, and a white straw hat that well became him rested on his abundant brown hair. He was tall and straight as a pine, with a dark face that might have been pleasant in repose, but was now distorted by anger.

“You did that!” he cried, facing Merriwell. “That is my violin, and you have crushed and ruined it. What business had you coming up this path, anyhow? This is a private path!”

“If this is your violin, I must confess that I seem to have damaged it pretty badly,” returned Merriwell, retaining his composure, in spite of the biting tone in which he was addressed. “As to the path being a private one, I am not so sure of that. At any rate, I did not run into your violin on purpose. It occurs to me that a path such as this, whether it is public or private, is not a place where one expects to come on musical instruments, and that you are somewhat to blame for placing it there. However, I assure you I am––”

“You will pay for the violin, and a good round sum, too!” asserted the youth, doubling up his fists and advancing toward Frank, who stood beside his wheel, holding the broken instrument. “This woodland belongs to my father, and no one has a right to come up the path except members of our club. If you hadn’t been trespassing, you wouldn’t have run into the violin!”

“I was going to assure you of my regret at having damaged the instrument, and of course I am willing to do whatever is right to make good your loss,” Merriwell continued, smiling lightly and deceptively. “But I still insist that a place like this is no spot for you or any one else to leave a violin. I presume you speak of the athletic club down by the lake?”

The youth’s face showed scorn now, as well as anger.

“Those Lilywhites? Not on your life I don’t! I was speaking of the Blue Mountain Athletic Club. Our cottages are right back here among the trees. You can see them from that bend. As for the violin, I was playing it a while ago, and jumped and left it here when one of the boys called me, expecting to come back in a minute––”

Again there was a movement in the bushes, with the sound of hurrying feet, and a voice shouted:

“Hello, Hammond! What’s the matter out there?”

Then half a dozen boys, attired like the owner of the violin, hurried into view.

Merriwell’s friends crowded closer to him when they saw this array of force, and Rattleton was heard to mutter something about Frank’s punching the violinist’s head.

“I don’t think there is any need of a quarrel here,” declared Jack Diamond, pushing forward. “Here, you fellows! I’ve been bragging all day to Merriwell and my other friends about the big-heartedness of the people of Virginia. I’m a Virginian myself, and I believed what I said. I hope you won’t insist on doing anything that will make me want to eat my words!”

The statement was not without effect.

“He must pay me for the violin!” growled Hammond. “I can’t afford to have an instrument like that smashed into kindling, and just let it go at that. As for this land, it is my father’s, and very few people besides members of our club go along the path.”

“Then the path is not wholly private?” queried Frank. “I am glad to know that.”

“And he as good as said he was to blame for leaving the thing where he did!” exclaimed Harry Rattleton. “I don’t think he is entitled to a cent.”

“Come, come!” begged Diamond, again assuming the part of peacemaker, though he was raging inwardly at the belligerent Virginia boys. “We expect to stop a few days in Glendale, and we can’t afford to be anything but your friends, you know. What is the violin worth?”

“A hundred dollars!” Hammond announced, though in reality the instrument had cost him only twenty. “I doubt if I could get another as good for double that sum.”

“I don’t want to quarrel with you,” said Merriwell, “and I won’t, unless I’m driven to it. I’m willing to settle this thing in one way, and in one way only. We will pick three disinterested persons who know something about violins. Let them set a value on the instrument. You stand half the loss for carelessly leaving it in a path which, by your admission, is not wholly private, and I will stand the other half for what I did.”

“Thot’s talk, Merry, me b’y!” shouted Barney Mulloy, who was itching for a “scrap” with these campers.

Hammond gave Barney a quick glance of hate.

“I’ll do nothing of the kind,” he asserted, turning again to Frank. “You pay me a hundred dollars, or I’ll have it out of your hide!”

“Oh, you will, will you?” said Merriwell, facing him, and laughing lightly. “Jump right in, whenever you are ready to begin!”

One of Hammond’s followers, seeing that, in spite of the lightness of his manner, Frank Merriwell meant to fight, caught Hammond by the shoulders and drew him back.

“Let me at him!” cried Hammond, becoming furious in an instant, and making a seeming attempt to break away from his friend. “Let me go, I tell you! I’ll pound the face off him!”

“Let him go, as he is so anxious!” laughed Merriwell. “I’m willing he shall begin the pounding at once.”

At this, another of Hammond’s friends took hold of him, not liking the looks of Merriwell’s backers, and the two began to force the enraged lad through the screen of bushes in the direction of the invisible camp.

“Here is his violin,” said Merriwell, tossing it after them. “I am sorry I ran into it, and am willing to do whatever is fair. When he is in the same frame of mind, let him come down to the hotel at the village, and we will try to talk the thing over amicably. I will be his friend, if he will let me; or his enemy, if he prefers it that way!”

CHAPTER II. THE LAKE LILY ATHLETIC CLUB

Frank Merriwell’s party was scarcely installed in the Blue Ridge Hotel when two visitors were announced. They proved to be a delegation from the Lake Lily Athletic Club.

“We heard of your arrival only a little while ago, and we came straight up,” said one, speaking to Merriwell, who had risen from his piazza chair to greet them. “My name is Septimus Colson–Sep for short–and this is my friend, Philip Tetlow.”

“I am very glad to meet you, Mr. Colson–and you, Mr. Tetlow,” answered Merriwell, who then proceeded to introduce himself and his friends to the callers.

Colson and Tetlow were sunburned youths of seventeen or eighteen–keen-looking, intelligent fellows, attired in outing suits.

“You’ll excuse us for the call,” begged Colson, “but you see it’s this way: We’ve got those cottages down there, with the flag flying over them, and hardly anybody in them. The cottages aren’t much to brag of in the way of looks, but they are comfortable.”

“And you want us to help you occupy them?” laughed Merriwell.

“Yes, and help us do up the Blue Mountain fellows!”

Barney Mulloy and Harry Rattleton hitched their chairs nearer.

“Do you be afther m’anin’ thim chumps in the woods up on the mountain?” asked Barney. “Begorra! av yez say yis to thot, Oi’m wid yez.”

“I mean the fellows of the Blue Mountain Athletic Club,” said Colson. “A week ago they sent us challenges, which we accepted, but which we must back down from unless your party is willing to join in and aid us. You see, we had sixteen boys in the camp at that time. Now we have only five. The others, who came from the same town down by the coast, had to leave because of sickness in their homes.”

“How many boys are in the Blue Mountain Club?” inquired Jack Diamond.

“Well, there are fourteen besides Ward Hammond, who is their leader. They are already crowing over us in a way we don’t like, because they think we can’t meet them.”

“Are they summer visitors?” asked Rattleton.

“Some of them are. The others belong here in the village. Hammond was brought up here, and his father owns a good deal of land in these mountains. He hasn’t a very good name, though, and is not well liked. I’ve been told that he’s related by blood to some of these fighting mountaineers, but I don’t know how true that is. When you meet him, you will notice that he has the tall, lank appearance of a mountaineer.”

“We’ve met him!” grunted Browning.

“About challenges. What is their character?” questioned Merriwell.

“The arrangements were for an archery shoot, day after to-morrow, with a swimming match on the lake the next day, and that to be followed by a mountain-climbing contest.”

Colson looked hopefully at Merriwell and his companions.

“You must not say ‘no’ to our invitation,” he insisted. “You’ll find it much pleasanter in our cottages down by the lake than in this hotel, and we need you! We want you to join our club. It is perfectly legitimate, for we’re allowed to recruit from anywhere. As I said, a number of the Blue Mountain boys–more than half of them, I think–do not have their homes in Glendale.”

“What do you say, fellows?” questioned Merriwell, turning toward his companions.

“Av it’s thim chumps upon the hill!” exclaimed Barney Mulloy.

Merriwell nodded.

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