Dr. Evans had just come from Webster City Hospital with a report for Mr. Hatfield concerning Old Miquel.

“The old fellow’s coming around nicely,” he informed the Cub leader. “A day or two of complete bed rest and he’ll be as good as ever. Quite a character! I had a long talk with him.”

“Did Dan guess right about him?”

“Absolutely. The old coot is a Navajo medicine man. He carved the face at the ravine though he has little recollection of doing it. So far as I can determine, he suffered a severe head blow which caused a memory lapse. Apparently, he hopped a freight, and must have been tossed off here at Webster City. Having no money, he took to living in the woods.”

“Did he tell you anything about the turquoise, doctor?”

“About the same as Dan learned. The tribal treasure was entrusted to him. He sticks to his story of giving it to a trading post man by the name of Howard Brandall. I wired him and received confirmation. The turquoise is still in his safe. He didn’t know the tribe considered it lost or stolen.”

“That’s fine!” Mr. Hatfield said heartily. “Then there’s no reason why Old Miquel can’t soon return to the west?”

“None whatsoever. By the way, what became of those two Indians who tried to avenge the tribe?”

“White Nose and Eagle Feather? No one has seen them since they left the cave this morning.”

Dr. Evans consulted his watch. “It’s now after four o’clock,” he noted. “They should be found, if they’re still in Webster City.”

“I’ll call the Cubs of both dens together and see if we can round them up,” Mr. Hatfield promised. “They should be told the truth about Old Miquel.”

Though the Pack ceremonies long since had ended, nearly all of the Cubs had remained at the Holloway camp, swimming and enjoying the beach. By now though, all were dressed in their uniforms again.

Summoning the Cubs, Mr. Hatfield asked them to be on the lookout for the two Indians.

“Until they’re found, it will be unsafe for Old Miquel to be released from the hospital,” he added.

Brad and Dan were especially eager to join in the search. Their first mission, however, was to return to Professor Sarazen the Navajo blanket found in the cave. After that, they went to the grocery store, thinking that the two Indians might have been seen there.

The storekeeper informed them that neither Eagle Feather nor White Nose had returned that afternoon.

“I’ll bet they’ve left town,” Dan remarked as the day wore on.

“It begins to look that way,” Brad agreed. “Since we can’t find ’em, we’ll have to give up the search for the time being.”

Disheartened, the two friends started for their homes. The day had been an exciting one, and both were tired. But they felt highly elated. Not only had they won the silver plaque for Den 2, but they had solved the mystery of the strange carved face. Likewise, they had the satisfaction of knowing that Old Miquel had been restored to reason.

Presently the boys drew near the railroad tracks. A flasher light warned of the approach of a freight train.

Had they hastened, Dan and Brad could have crossed ahead of the long, heavy freight. Instead, being in no hurry, they waited for it to pass.

The train rumbled by, moving slower and slower as it approached the station. Finally, it came to a jerky halt.

“Now we’ve got to wait,” Brad grumbled.

Dan did not answer. His gaze had fastened upon two lean figures. The men had emerged from behind the tool house on the railroad right-of-way. He recognized them as White Nose and Eagle Feather.

As Dan stared in disbelief, the two ran along the tracks. Finding an open boxcar, they leaped lightly inside. By now the boy had come to life.

“Quick, Brad!” he shouted. “We’ve got to stop them before they get out of town!”

The older boy also had recognized the two Indians. With Dan he darted to the boxcar whose door had been pulled shut from the inside.

The two Cubs pounded on the barrier, calling upon those inside to “open up!” When there was no response, Brad finally managed to shove open the heavy door.

“White Nose! Eagle Feather!” he called.

He could not see the two Indians anywhere in the dark interior of the car. At the same time, the freight’s heavy engine gave a sharp toot. The long string of cars began to move.

Again Brad shouted to the two Indians. Though he could not see them, he knew they must be in a dark corner of the car. The train was moving faster now.

The Cubs ran to keep up.

“You must stay!” Brad shouted. “The turquoise has been found! Old Miquel didn’t die! He’s told everything!”

The words carried, for from the darkness of the car, the two Indians suddenly emerged. They stood framed in the open doorway, and as Brad again pleaded with them, listened attentively.

The train now was moving so fast that the boys could not keep up.

“It’s no use,” Dan gasped. “They’re gone.”

But even as he spoke, the two Indians leaped from the train. They landed on their feet and came back to talk to the boys.

Brad related what had occurred since the two Indians had left the cave, stressing that Old Miquel never had been responsible for his strange actions.

“You can’t punish him for something that wasn’t his fault,” he ended. “Won’t you go to the hospital now—tonight—and tell Miquel that everything is all right again? That he can go back to the tribe?”

“We go,” White Nose promised. Gravely he and Eagle Feather shook hands with the two boys before departing.

Ten days elapsed before the Cubs saw the Indians again. Their appearance came most unexpectedly at a weekly meeting of Den 2 at Mr. Hatfield’s home.

“A little surprise, boys,” declared the Cub leader.

He then introduced not only White Nose and Eagle Feather, but Old Miquel as well. The old medicine man had almost fully recovered from his injuries and now was able to be about.

The three Indians made little talks, thanking the Cubs for the collection of clothing which was to be sent to the Navajo reservation. White Nose related the story of why the turquoise toad was so highly treasured by his people, and ended by presenting Brad and Dan with small pieces of carved gems.

“We return to our tribe tomorrow,” White Nose said in conclusion.

“Miquel too?” asked Dan.

He was assured that the old medicine man would accompany his two Indian brothers to New Mexico, there to resume his rightful place in the tribe.

Never before had the Cubs enjoyed such an unusual meeting. Not only did the Indians tell them many fascinating stories, but they recited chants and gave several dances. Finally, at a late hour, the meeting broke up.

“Wow! We really picked ourselves a theme when we decided to go in for Navajo lore!” Dan declared, collapsing into a chair. “What’s next on the program, Mr. Hatfield?”

“Oh, that’s a secret,” laughed the Cub leader.

“Is it something as exciting as the great carved face or the cave?” demanded Chips eagerly.

“You know we couldn’t expect to run into anything like that again in a million years,” Midge protested.

“Oh, yes, we could!” insisted Red. “And we will, too!”

“Sure,” drawled Mack, “with Mr. Hatfield to select the Cub theme, and Brad and Dan to carry it out, we’re certain to steer a straight course into another ripping adventure!”


Share on Twitter Share on Facebook