THE BOY SCOUT CAMERA CLUB
THE BOY SCOUT CAMERA CLUB
G. HARVEY RALPHSON
I LOST: A FOREIGN PRINCE!
II THE HOLE IN THE ATTIC FLOOR
III WHAT THE BOX CONTAINED
IV A CAMP IN THE MOUNTAIN
V JIMMIE AND TEDDY MISS A MEAL
VI SIGNALS IN THE CANYON
VII A MINT IN THE MOUNTAINS
VIII UNCLE IKE PRESENTS HIMSELF
IX A LANK MULE AS A DECOY
X "PACKED AWAY LIKE SARDINES"
XI JACK'S ELEGANT CHICKEN PIE
XII THE BLACK HAND GAME
XIII THREE DAYS TO MOVE IN
XIV POINTING OUT THE TRAIL
XV A NIGHT ON THE SUMMIT
XVI THE CALL OF THE PACK
XVII JUST A LITTLE DARK WASH
XVIII BRADLEY BECOMES INDIGNANT
XIX NED PLAYS THE MIND-READER
XX SHOOTING ON THE MOUNTAINSIDE
XXI TOLD BY THE PICTURES
XXII A RECRUIT FROM THE ENEMY
XXIII RACING MOTORS ON THE WAY
XXIV THE MAN-TRAP IS SET
XXV THE CONFESSION OF A PHOTOGRAPH
The Boy Scout Camera Club
The Confession of a Photograph
LOST: A FOREIGN PRINCE!
"Two Black Bears!"
"Quite a mixture of wild creatures to be found in a splendid clubroom
in the city of New York!" exclaimed Ned Nestor a handsome muscular
boy of seventeen. "How many of these denizens of the forests are
ready to join the Boy Scout Camera Club?"
"You may put my name down twice--in red ink!" shouted Jimmie McGraw
of the Wolf Patrol. "I wouldn't miss it to be president of the United
"One Wolf" Ned said writing the name down.
"Two Wolves!" cried Jimmie red-headed freckled of face and as
active as a red squirrel "two wolves! You're a Wolf yourself Ned
"Two Wolves then!" laughed Ned. "Of course Jimmie and I can form a
club all by ourselves and he can be the officers and I can be the
members but we'd rather have a menagerie of large size as we are
going into the mountains of Virginia West Virginia North Carolina
Kentucky and Tennessee."
The boys who had not yet spoken were on their feet in an instant all
clamoring for membership in the Boy Scout Camera Club. Ned lifted a
hand for silence.
"Why this present rush?" he asked. "I've been thinking that Jimmie
and I would have to go to the mountains alone! Why this impetuosity?"
"The mountains!" shouted Frank Shaw of the Black Bear Patrol. "It is
the mountains that get us! We've been thinking that the club you were
organizing wouldn't get outside of little old New York but would
loaf around taking snap-shots of the slums and the trees in the
parks. But when you mention mountains why--"
"I'm going right down stairs and pack my camera!" Jack Bosworth of
the Black Bear Patrol declared. "When it comes to mountains!"
The clubroom of the Black Bear Patrol was on the top floor of the
handsome residence of Jack's father who was a famous corporation
lawyer and the boys persuaded Jack to wait until they had completed
the organization of the Camera Club before he started in packing for
the journey to the mountains!
"You'll want an Eagle if you're going to the mountains!" shouted
Teddy Green of the Eagle Patrol. "I'll fly home and get my wardrobe
Teddy Green was the son of a Harvard professor and was inclined to
follow in the footsteps of his father in the matter of learning--
after he had first climbed to all the high spots of the world and
descended into all the low ones! He insisted on exploring the earth
before he learned by rote what others had written about it!
"All right!" Ned grinned. "We'll need an Eagle!"
"And a Bull Moose!" yelled Oliver Yentsch of the Moose Patrol.
"You've got to have a Moose along with you!"
Oliver was the son of a ship builder and had a launch and a yacht of
his own. He was liked by all his associates in spite of his tendency
to grumble at trifles. However if he complained at small things he
met large troubles with a smile on his bright face. He now seized
Teddy about the waist and waltzed around the room with him.
"And that's all!" Ned decided closing the book. "We can't take more
A wail went up from the others but they were promised a chance at
the next "hike" into the hills and soon departed leaving the six
members of the Camera Club to perfect arrangements for their
departure. It was a warm May night still Ned closed the door leading
out into the wide corridor which ran through the house on that floor.
"We can't afford to take others into our plans" he said "for this
is to be another Secret Service expedition."
"For the Government?" demanded Frank Shaw. "Then" he added without
waiting for a reply "I'll call up dad's editorial rooms and have a
reporter sent up here. Top of column first page illustrated! That's
our Camera Club in the morning newspaper!"
Frank's father was owner and editor of one of the big New York
dailies and the boy always took along on his trips plenty of blank
paper for "copy" but never sent in a line! His letters to his
father's newspaper were usually addressed to the financial
department upon which he had permission to draw at will!
"Huh!" Jimmie commented wrinkling his freckled nose "if you should
ever furnish an item for your daddy's newspaper he'd never live it
down! You've been on all our trips with Ned and never wired in a
The Boy Scouts of the Black Bear and Wolf Patrols had been through
many exciting experiences with Ned Nestor who young as he was was
often in the employ of the Secret Service department of the United
States government. Frank as Jimmie said had been with Ned from the
start and had never sent in a line of "copy" for the paper.
"I'm going to furnish a column a day this trip!" Frank declared
making a motion to seize Jimmie. "We're going to take pictures
aren't we? We'll take 'em by the acre and dad's newspaper is going
to catch every one of them."
"Huh!" Jimmie declared with a freckled nose in the air. "I'm a
newspaper man too. You needn't think you're the only cherry in the
pie! I used to sell newspapers before I got into the Secret Service
From his earliest years Jimmie had indeed been a newsboy on the
Bowery. He had never had a home except that provided by himself and
this in the early days of his life had as often been a box or
barrel in an alley as anything else.
"Why the mountains?" asked Frank Shaw presently. "Do you have to go
to the hills on this trip? I'm glad if you do of course but I'd
like to know something about it before we start. Dad will have to be
shown this time I reckon! He thinks we rather _overdid_ the stunt
when we went to Lady Franklin bay!"
"Never had so much fun in my life!" laughed Jimmie. "When you get
where it is forty below there's some delight in living!"
"What are we going to take pictures of?" demanded Teddy Green.
"Moonshiners!" laughed Frank. "Isn't that right Ned?"
"Not exactly" was the answer. "This is not a whisky case at all."
"Counterfeiters then?" queried Oliver. "They live in the hills!"
"No not counterfeiters either" Ned replied. "The government has
plenty of men to look after counterfeiters and moonshiners. All we've
got to do is to go into the mountains and take pictures and keep our
"Open for what?" insisted Jimmie. "My peepers will be open for a
venison steak about the first thing! You remember how fine the
venison steaks were up in British Columbia? That Columbia river trip
was some exciting! What?"
"Well" Ned began "you all know that I'm in the Secret Service for
you've been with me some of you at Panama in China and under the
ocean so we'll let the details go without explanation. I'm going to
the mountains to look after a precious package stolen from
Washington--from almost under the eyes of the president--three days
"Papers?" asked Jimmie. "You know we went to Lady Franklin bay after
"And they think the mountaineers stole this package?" asked Oliver.
"Tell us what it was that was taken first!" insisted Frank. "I'm
beginning to see a front-page story in this right now!"
"The package stolen" Ned went on with a smile "was more precious
than any bundle of papers could be! It wasn't of gold silver
diamonds or anything possessing that kind of value. It was of flesh
"A child stolen!" cried Frank. "This goes to dad's sheet right now!"
"Boy or girl?" asked Oliver. "Age please!"
"Boy" answered Ned. "A boy belonging to one of the ambassadors! Age
"But why should the mountaineers steal such a child?" asked Jimmie.
"I said the boy belonged to one of the ambassadors" Ned corrected
himself. "I should have said he belonged at one of the foreign
"The son of one of the attaches?" asked Teddy. "That's strange! Why?"
"Teddy" reproved Jimmie "you can ask more questions in a minute
than a motion picture machine can take in a hundred years."
"The stolen boy is in no ways related to any one in this country"
Ned answered "yet his safety is of the utmost importance. It is up
to us to find him."
"But why should the mountain men make a grab at a kid?" insisted
Jimmie. "I've asked that question numerous times now" he added with
a wrinkled nose.
"It is not believed that the mountain men know anything about the
matter" Ned replied. "No one suspects them of taking the child.
Mountain men are not up to that sort of thing as a rule. They will
make moonshine--some of them will--and may hide a counterfeiter but
they don't steal children!"
"Then who did steal him?" asked Frank. "Don't be so mysterious."
"I want the matter to sink deep into your alleged minds!" was Ned's
smiling rejoinder "and that is the reason I'm drawing the
explanation out. It is thought the boy was stolen by some one who
came over the sea to do the job--some one never before in this
"I twig!" Jimmie declared skipping about the room. "The stolen boy
is next of succession to some measly old throne! What? And he was
sent out here to get him out of the zone of danger and now he's been
The boys looked at Ned with redoubled interest. It had been
interesting the very idea of going into the mountains in quest of an
abducted child but the thought of going after a boy who would one
day be a king! That was exciting indeed!
"I can't tell you who the boy is." Ned went on "but I can tell you
that he must be found! The Secret Service men at Washington have a
pretty good idea as to who got him and they believe the criminals
are not above committing the crime of murder. In a certain sense
this boy is in the way in the old country!"
"Oh they wouldn't kill a kid like that!" Jimmie asserted.
"Wouldn't they?" demanded Teddy Green. "If you read up on history
you'll soon find out whether ambitious men will murder children who
stand in their way! I half believe the boy was murdered at the very
moment he was taken!"
"He has been seen alive since that time" Ned responded. "This is
Thursday. He was taken on Monday and was seen yesterday. Or a boy
believed to be the prince was seen yesterday on a launch on the
"Prince eh?" cried Frank. "It is a prince is it? Say but won't dad
be glad to hear about this? I'd like to write the headlines!"
"We may as well call him the prince" Ned laughed.
Before more could be said a servant knocked at the door and Jack
opened it so as to look out. In a moment he turned back inside with a
"Say boys" he said "there's something strange going on here
THE HOLE IN THE ATTIC FLOOR
Ned sprang to his feet in an instant and beckoned Jack to one side.
The others gathered around but Ned motioned them back.
"Let us find out exactly what Jack means before any remarks are
made" he said.
"Well" Jack began almost in a whisper "the servant who came to the
"Wait a moment!" Ned requested. "Let us get this at first hand. Is
the servant you refer to still out in the corridor? Look and see."
Jack opened the door an inch and looked out.
"Yes" he reported facing Ned with the door still ajar "he is
"Then ask him to come in here" Ned suggested "and you boys" he
added turning to the wondering faces at the other side of the
apartment "you get as close as you wish while this man is talking
but don't interrupt. It may be that we shall have to do something
right soon. I reckon our hunt for the prince starts right here in
the Black Bear Patrol clubroom in the heart of little old New York."
The servant Jack had beckoned to now entered the room and stood with
his back to the door looking from one boyish face to another. He was
a heavily built muscular fellow evidently an Irishman judging from
his face and manner.
"Will you kindly come over here and sit down?" Ned asked.
The servant complied and the others gathered around him.
"Now" Jack began "tell Ned what you just told me--about the man in
the attic and about the hole in the ceiling."
Every eye in the room was instantly turned toward the lofty ceiling
but nothing out of the ordinary was to be seen there.
"The hole he refers to" Jack smiling explained "is not in sight.
It is under the ornamental brass piece that circles the rod from
which the chandelier hangs. It was made to listen at and not to see
through I take it!"
"That makes a good starter" Ned smiled "so go on."
"Half an hour ago" the servant began "I was called to this floor by
one of the maids Mary Murphy it was and she was that scared she
looked like a bag of flour! She pointed to the staircase leading to
the attic and asked me to go up there.
"So I says to her: 'Why do you want me to go up there? If there's a
haunt there or a burglar or a man after one of the girls why
should I risk the precious neck of me when it's the only one I've
got with no prospect of ever getting another in case this one was
damaged beyond repair?' So she says to me she says--"
"Never mind what she said" Ned interrupted fearful of a long
involved dialogue between the two servants. "Tell me what you did."
"I went up the staircase three steps at a jump an' bumped the head
of me on the edge of the door at the top of it. You can see the dent
in my coco now!"
"And what did you find there?" asked Ned.
"There was a rug on the floor and a hole in the floor and a twinkle
of light shining into the attic from this room. Some one had been
"You saw no one?"
"Never a soul! I'm that sorry I can't express it!"
"When were you in that attic before--the last time before to-night?"
"Late yesterday afternoon it was."
"Was there a rug in the middle of the floor at that time?" Ned went
"No more than there is a bold lion in the middle of this floor sir."
"Well what did you do after you got up there to-night?"
"I hunted around for the man who had been lying there listening to
the talk in this room but I didn't find him sir."
"Did you ascertain where all the servants were at the time the
listening must have been going on?" asked Jack after a short pause.
"All but one" was the reply.
"And that one? Where is he now? That is tell if you know where he
"I don't know sir. He has left the house I reckon--bag and
"Who was it?" demanded Jack moving toward the door.
"Chang Chu the Chink may the Evil One get into his bed!"
"And then you came here and notified Jack?" asked Ned. "As soon as
you learned that Chang Chu was not in the house?"
"Indeed I did--within a minute and a half."