Page:Boys of Columbia High on the River.djvu/100

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90
COLUMBIA HIGH ON THE RIVER

thus Bones cuddled down among his burlap mattresses.

In two minutes he was asleep, if his heavy breathing could be taken to signify anything. Buster sat there a while, as though listening. Then he got up and wandered around the sides of the boathouse, carefully avoiding the center, as though it might be looked upon as dangerous ground.

The minutes dragged along, until an hour had passed. Frequently he started up to listen, while his blood bounded through his veins with increased speed. Each time, however, he discovered that his alarm was founded on trifles. Once it was caused by some men passing the boathouse, and talking. Again the rats playing at tag in between the inner and outer walls of the building gave him a fright.

Buster consulted his clock as many as five times in that hour. He had never known time to hang as heavily on his hands as now. The light had been put out, so that what came through one of the windows was all the illumination he had whenever he lifted up the alarm clock to scan its white face.

"Gee! this is awful!" he groaned, as he realized that still half an hour remained of his first watch.

Then again he sat up straight, while his hand trembled as he reached out for the novel weapon with which he had provided himself.

Surely he had heard some one brushing along the