on a couple of wheelbarrows and start stringing a line from our switchboard in the machine shop down to the quarry hole here.
"String it along the fences and where you have to cross Druery road put it overhead from tree to tree. Remember, no monkeying with the telegraph or telephone poles! We can be arrested for anything like that. Romper, you can stop in and ask Mr. Ford if he won't go up to Headquarters and connect up the new line. I don't think we should fuss with the switchboard at night.
"Now, I want the Blue Herons to go to headquarters and disconnect the big five-horsepower motor on the lathe. Load it aboard 'Old Nanc' and bring it down here as fast as you can. On your way turn in at Druery road and run up to the Baldwin quarries. Ask Dave Porter, the night foreman there, if you can borrow the largest and heaviest blasting mat he has. We'll need that. Now hurry, fellows."
The Scouts started off immediately, and Bruce turned to the circus manager.
"Now, if you'll bring your canvas men along, I'll give them a good, hard job. It's one we boys couldn't handle. Are you ready?"
"Sure!" said the manager. Then to his men, "Come on, boys!"
Bruce led the group around the quarry hole to the north side and pointed out the derrick and the coil of rusted steel cable.
"Here's what we'll lift the elephant out with, providing the boom will hold and your men can string the heavy cable through the pulleys at night."
"Huh! our end of it is no trick for a bunch of canvasbacks," said the foreman of the gang. "Get busy, boys, quick now! Some of you bring some gasoline torches so's we kin see! Move now, you fellers!"
In five minutes the circus men were working like beavers, weaving the cable through the pulleys, placing the heavy boom and getting the derrick fitted up for service. The system and speed with which the trained tent riggers went about their task was nothing short of marvelous to Bruce. He watched them almost fascinated until the little manager came up and claimed his attention.
"Look here you feller, I ain't sure your scheme is goin' t' work out," said he, skeptically. "How'er we goin' t' get some light into t' hole t' see the brute? These gasoline torches can't be lowered down there. The elephant would go wild and probably drowned hisself, an' if—"
"I'm figuring on using the headlights of Old Nanc (that's the troop's automobile we built last winter) for searchlights. They are powerful enough and can be turned anywhere we need 'em. There, you can get a look at them now. That's Old Nanc on her way here."
Up the road sounded a siren, and the little manager turned to see two headlights bowling toward him. It was Old Nanc loaded down with the heavy motor, blasting mat and tools.
"Fine, Bud; you made a fast trip. How are the wire stringers getting along?" shouted Bruce to the Scout who was driving the machine.
"We passed them about a hundred and fifty yards from here. They are coming along in fine shape."
"Good," said Bruce. "Now bring Old Nanc right up to the edge of the quarry hole. We want to shine her headlights down into there and see what it looks like below. Some of the circus men can unload the motor, and Nipper, you can show them how to set it up on the derrick platform. And while all this is going on, Babe, you take charge of making a sling. Take this blasting mat and get a couple of circus men to help you head a section of cable to each of the four corners. Fasten the ends together around that rusty derrick hook attached to the end of the cable. Hurry it, will you, fellows?"
With the help of some of the "canvas-backs," the automobile was worked off of the road and into the field on the north side of the quarry hole near the derrick. Then it was pushed cautiously toward the edge of the pit and its wheels blocked by some big pieces of marble so that it would not roll into the hole. The rays of the headlights dispelled the darkness below immediately and there was His Highness the Elephant, almost submerged, looking up at them with his ridiculously small eyes.
"Huh! Consarn it! I knew you kids was playin' me fer a fool," roared the circus manager when he looked into the cut. "How'er you're goin' to hitch anything around that animal, I'd like to know?"
"We don't intend to hitch anything around him. We're going to make a sling of that big blasting mat and raise him out that way."
"Yes!" roared the furious manager, "but how in tarnation are you going to get it under his belly? Think some one is going down there and dive between his legs with your blooming old sling, do yuh? That animal is nearly all under water, remember."
To tell the truth, that question had been bothering Bruce from the first. He had hoped that the water was only two or three feet deep. But there was at least ten feet of drainage in the quarry hole! He stood beside Old Nanc and bit his lips in his embarrassment. Luck seemed against him. Was everything going to fall through at the last moment?
He did not answer the irate manager, but began to turn one of the headlights slowly so its rays illuminated the west wall of the hole. Then suddenly the light paused, and a smile crept over the boy's face. The white beams had revealed to him a shelf of marble two feet above the water-line and at least ten feet across, skirting the lower edge of the west wall. He saw defeat turned into victory!
"Will that elephant mind his trainer?" Bruce demanded of the manager.
"Huh! Will he? Well, you'd better guess he will!" stormed the man.
"Then everything is simple. You lower the trainer in a bo'son's chair over the west wall there and down to that ledge of marble. He can coax the animal out of the water and up on the rocks, and after that we can send a couple more men down with the sling and they can do the rest. See the plan?"
"Well, I'll be hanged! You win, young feller," said the manager, smiling for the first time since the accident.
At this point the lads of the Owl Patrol reached the quarry hole trundling several empty wheelbarrows. Jiminy Gordon was carrying the remains of the last roll of wire.
"Here we are, Bruce, ready to connect up, but you'd better believe building a line at night is no easy job, by Jiminy."
"Guess it isn't," said Bruce in a businesslike tone. "Is Mr. Ford at headquarters?"
"Yes, he's waiting to turn on the current whenever he gets your signal."
"Great!" said Bruce. "I was a little worried about that. There isn't any real danger, but you might have made a ground or a short circuit and upset everything." Then turning to Nipper Knapp, he shouted, "How about the motor, Nipper?"
"Set and ready for connections," shouted the Scout.
"Right-o! Then we'll have Mr. Elephant out of the hole in a jiffy," shouted Bruce, as he seized the two ends of the wires and began to bend them about the terminals of the motor. He worked with speed and accuracy and the little circus manager could not help commenting on his skill as an electrician.
"Hum! I guess you lads know what you're doin', all right," he said.
"Well, we hope our efforts are successful," said Bruce. Then he added, "It's time you sent your trainer down there on the ledge to get the elephant out of the water."
"Don't worry, son; we ain't losin' no time on our end of this game. He's down there now an'—."
Shouts of laughter from the crowd assembled around the edge of the hole interrupted the