Page:Boys of the Fort.djvu/248

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minutes the fort was left out of sight, and they were standing in a hollow fringed with berry bushes. The boys were somewhat out of breath, and old Benson gave them a short spell in which to get back their wind.

"We were right, they are none of 'em in this vicinity," said the old scout. "Getting away was easier than I expected."

"It was no easy matter with the drum," came from Cass. "I came pretty close to falling and smashing it once."

The course now led up a small hill and then across a valley to another hill, a distance of nearly three miles. The trail was by no means straight and the walking was bad, and Joe and Darry had all they could do to keep up with the others.

At the last minute Captain Moore had given the boys half a dozen rockets, and explained how the fireworks were to be set off. Everything they could do to puzzle the enemy was to be done.

At last they gained the top of Conner's Hill—so called because Major Conner fell there while battling with some stage-robbers early in the seventies.

Bringing around his bugle, Cass blew a long blast and then a regular military call, which echoed and re-echoed throughout the mountains.