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Westy Martin in the Yellowstone

118 pages
Library of Alexandria
When Westy Martin and his two companions, Warde Hollister and Ed Carlyle, were on their long journey to the Yellowstone National Park, they derived much amusement from talking with a man whose acquaintance they made on the train. This entertaining and rather puzzling stranger caused the boys much perplexity and they tried among themselves to determine what business he was engaged in. For a while they did not even know his name. Then they learned it was Madison C. Wilde. And because he kept a cigar tilted up in the extreme corner of his mouth and showed a propensity for “jollying” them they decided (and it was a likely sort of guess) that he was a traveling salesman. Mr. Wilde had the time of his life laughing at the good scouts, and, moreover, he humorously belittled scouting, seeming to see it as a sort of pretty game for boys, like marbles or hide-and-seek. He had his little laugh, and then afterward the three boys had their little laugh. And he who laughs last is said to have somewhat the advantage in laughing. Mr. Wilde told the three scouts that Yellowstone Park was full of grizzlies. “Oh, hundreds of them,” he said. “But they’re not as savage as the wallerpagoes. The skehinkums are pretty wild too,” he added. “Is that so?” laughed Westy. “You didn’t happen to see any killy loo birds while you were there, did you?” Mr. Madison C. Wilde worked his cigar over to the corner of his mouth, contemplating the boys with an expression of cynical good humor. “Do they let you use popguns in the Boy Scouts?” he asked. “Because it isn’t safe to go in the woods without a popgun.” “Oh, yes,” said Warde Hollister, “and we carry cap pistols too to be on the safe side. Scouts are supposed to be prepared, you know.” “Some warriors,” laughed Mr. Wilde. “You’ll see the real thing out here, you kids,” he added seriously. “No running around and getting lost in back yards. If you get lost out here you’ll come pretty near knowing you’re lost.” “What could be sweeter?” Ed Carlyle asked. The foregoing is a fair sample of the kind of banter that had passed back and forth between Mr. Wilde and the boys ever since they had struck up an acquaintance. They had told him all about scouting, tracking, signaling and such things, and he had derived much idle entertainment in poking fun at them about their flaunted skill and resourcefulness. “I’d like to see some boy scouts up against the real thing,” he said. “I’d like to see you get really lost in the mountains out west here. You’d all starve to death, that’s what would happen to you—unless you could eat that wonderful handbook manual, or whatever you call it, that you get your stunts out of.”