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With Trapper Jim in the North Woods

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"It was a long trip, fellows, but we're here at last, thank goodness!"

"Yes, away up in the North Woods, at the hunting lodge of Trapper Jim!"

"Say, it's hard to believe, and that's a fact. What do you say about it, you old stutterer, Toby Jucklin?"

"B-b-bully!" exploded the boy, whose broad shoulders, encased in a blue flannel shirt, had been pounded when this question was put directly at him.

There were five of them, half-grown boys all, lounging about in the most comfortable fashion they could imagine in the log cabin which Old Jim Ruggles occupied every fall and winter.

"Trapper Jim" they called him, and these boys from Carson had long been yearning to accept the hearty invitation given to spend a week or two with the veteran woodsman. A year or so back Jim had dropped down to see his brother Alfred, who was a retired lawyer living in their home town. And it was at this time they first found themselves drawn toward Jim Ruggles.

When he heard of several little camping experiences which had befallenToby Jucklin and his chums, the trapper had struck up a warm friendshipwith the boy who seemed to be the natural leader of the lot, MaxHastings.

Well, they had been writing back and forth this long time. Eagerly had the boys planned a visit to the North Woods, and bent all their energies toward accomplishing that result.

And now, at last, they found themselves under the shelter of the roof that topped Old Jim's cabin. Their dreams had come true, so that several weeks of delightful experiences in the great Northern forest lay before them.

Besides Toby Jucklin, who stuttered violently at times, and Max Hastings, who had had considerable previous experience in outdoor life, there were Steve Dowdy, whose quick temper and readiness to act without considering the consequences had long since gained him the name of "Touch-and-Go Steve"; Owen Hastings, a cousin to Max, and who, being a great reader, knew more or less about the theory of things; and last, but not least, a boy who went by the singular name of "Bandy-legs" Griffin.

At home and in school they called him Clarence; but his comrades, just as all boys will do, early in his life seized upon the fact of his lower limbs being unusually short to dub him "Bandy-legs."

Strange to say, the Griffin lad never seemed to show the least resentment in connection with this queer nickname. If the truth were told, he really preferred having it, spoken by boyish lips, than to receive that detested name of Clarence.

These five boys had come together with the idea of having a good time in the great outdoors during vacation days.

And Fortune had been very kind to them right in the start. Although Max always declared that it was some remark of his cousin that put him on the track, and Owen on his part vowed that the glory must rest with Max alone, still the fact remained that once the idea popped up it was eagerly seized upon by both boys.

They needed more or less cash with which to purchase tents, guns, and such other things as appeal to boys who yearn to camp out, fish, hunt, and enjoy the experiences of outdoor life....