The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Boy Scout Fire Fighters, by Irving Crump
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Title: The Boy Scout Fire Fighters
Author: Irving Crump
Release Date: November 11, 2009 [EBook #30453]
*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE BOY SCOUT FIRE FIGHTERS ***
Produced by Jim Ludwig
The Boy Scout Fire Fighters
Barse and Company
I. The Motorcycle Fire Brigade
II. The Firemen's Tournament
III. Boy Scouts to the Rescue
IV. When the Circus Came to Town
V. A Scout is Resourceful
VI. Helping to Make the Movies
VII. Ethan Allen Comes To Life Again
VIII. The Prize Contest
IX. Working to Win
X. The Boy from Arizona
XI. The Courage of a Coward
XII. The Scout Life Guards' Beach Patrol
XIII. The Day of the Big Race
XIV. When the Unexpected Happened
XV. A Narrow Escape
XVI. Quarry Troop's Christmas
THE MOTORCYCLE FIRE BRIGADE
"By Jiminy, that was some fire for an old hay barn, wasn't it, fellows?" exclaimed Jiminy Gordon, as he entered the meeting room at headquarters. His eyes were flashing excitement and he was thoroughly out of breath from running up the long Otter Creek Hill. "I stayed until the last spark was out," he said, as he dropped into a chair beside Bruce Clifford, leader of the Owl Patrol of Quarry Troop No. 1.
"Some fire, is perfectly correct," said Bruce bitterly, "though it needn't have been anything more than an ordinary blaze. I tell you the Woodbridge Fire Department needs a little pep, fellows." This last was addressed to the four other occupants of the room, Bud Weir, Romper Ryan, Babe Wilson and Nipper Knapp.
"Right," said Romper.
"The way they went about it was a farce," said Bud.
"Yes, they all had to have their red flannel shirts on," remarked Babe, the fat boy, sarcastically.
"Say, did you see 'em scrapping over who should carry the fire trumpet?" laughed Romper.
"Sure, and about six men were giving orders," put in Jiminy, who had caught the spirit of the remarks.
"And no one obeyed any of 'em," supplemented Babe, sarcastic as usual.
"But the finest exhibition of firemanship was when one of the nozzlemen let go of the only hose they got on the fire while he hunted through his pockets for a paper of tobacco or something else just as important," said Bruce. "Of course the other nozzleman couldn't hold onto the hose alone and it twisted out of his hands. The thing acted like a big black snake, fellows, and hit Chief Blaney a whack in the chest that knocked him sprawling. Then it proceeded to wet down the whole fire department before some one captured it. It was a scream. Didn't any of you see it?"
"I reached there in time to see Tom Hogan try to stop it and get a ducking for his trouble," laughed Nipper Knapp.
"Oh, it is a shame," continued Bruce; "I know it isn't exactly proper to criticise, but then if they'd had a little system about it old Eli Osborne's barn would still be standing. Now it's a heap of cinders. I tell you any ordinary troop of Boy Scouts has more snap than the Woodbridge Fire Department. I believe— By Jove, fellows. I've an idea! Let's organize a fire department of our own. A motorcycle fire department. I was reading in a magazine only the other day how they started one over in England somewhere. How about it?"
"Bully—how's it done?" demanded Bud Weir, leader of the Blue Heron Patrol.
"Corking idea; let's get busy," exclaimed Jiminy Gordon.
"Great! Give us the details," shouted Romper.
Bruce wrinkled his brow in deep thought for several moments, then his face lighted up with a smile.
"Look here, fellows," he said enthusiastically, "three of us have motorcycles we got for Christmas, and Romper here and Ray Martin of the Flying Eagles have the machines they built themselves. Then there's 'Old Nanc,' the automobile we built last Winter. She's good enough to carry hose and hatchets and a couple of fellows besides. We've the equipment. What do you say? I'm dead sure my dad will let us borrow some fire extinguishers from the mill, and he has any amount of hose and other things to fit up a first-class brigade. We'll get our equipment together and then drill like the dickens. How about it?"
"And we'll keep it a secret. Won't tell a soul until we get a chance to spring a surprise on the whole town, eh, fellows?" suggested Bud.
"Let's spring it at the tournament and convention next month. The
Champlain Valley Firemen's Association meets here this year, you know.
Perhaps we can get first prize in the tournament, added Romper Ryan.
"Whoo-o-o-pe! Great! Let's get busy," shouted Nipper Knapp.
"Right-o," said Bruce. "But first of all let's tell our plan to
Assistant Scoutmaster Ford."
To be thoroughly familiar with Quarry Troop No. 1 you must know that it was composed of three patrols in Woodbridge, Vt., and that its members had created a reputation for themselves through their ability as mechanics and electricians. Woodbridge has long been noted for its electrically operated marble quarries and its many machine shops and textile mills, and the boys of the town, as a result of their surroundings, were by nature of a mechanical turn. Added to this, the Woodbridge Academy was one of the first institutions of the country to adopt a manual training course as part of its curriculum, and all the lads received an early drilling at the lathes and forges.
Bruce Clifford, always the most self-reliant lad in town, first suggested that he and his fellows establish "a troop of Engineers," and of course his proposal was received with enthusiasm by the Academy boys. Bruce took the plan to his father, Samuel Clifford, and to his father's friend, Hamilton Townsend, a well-known consulting engineer in Woodbridge. Mr. Townsend was delighted with the idea, and quickly consented to become the Scoutmaster, while Mr. Clifford, to foster the interest of the lads along mechanical lines, offered them the abandoned machine shop on the top of Otter Creek Hill for their headquarters.
This was a real find for Bruce and his friends, for the old place had never been dismantled.
Mr. Clifford was a builder of electrical stone cutting and polishing machines and for a long time he had maintained his business in the little two-story structure. But four years previous he had erected a fine new concrete building just across the way, and abandoned the machine shop, intending to tear down the building and sell the old equipment for junk.
This made ideal headquarters for a troop that desired to specialize in engineering. On the first floor were the old hand-forges, bellows, lathes, work benches, planing machines, and various other appliances. They were all out of date, to be sure, and